Family Travel // 15 Reasons you need to be a Ski Family // Solitude Mountain Resort

February 8, 2016

IMG_4960I grew up in Utah, but did not grow up in a ski family, or grow up skiing at all actually.  In fact, it wasn’t until my freshman year at Brigham Young University that I even skied for the first time.  So, it wasn’t until I was 18 years old, when I took a P.E. class at BYU, and learned how to ski, and that started my love of the sport.  I ended up getting a season pass, and hitting the slopes after classes, and bringing a book to read on the lift.

Ski Utah
The next three years, I taught ski lessons to little kids, and skied a lot during college.  I dreamed of marrying a skier, and having skier babies, and ski family vacations.  Then, I met my husband, and he had only skied a handful of times, and life went on, we moved to a state with no mountains, and I was either pregnant or nursing for several years, and skiing was on the back burner.

Ski Family Vacation DestinationsFast forward a few years, now my kids are all old enough to hit the slopes, and have skied the past few seasons and love it!  I got my husband ski lessons for Christmas a few years ago, and now we love to go skiing together!  It is such a fun family activity, and I always am trying to talk everyone I know into becoming a Ski Family!  There are so many good reasons, and I wanted to give you all of them below!

Ski Vacations

Here are 15 Reasons to be a Ski Family:

  1. If you live in a state with low temps and a long winter, it helps get you outdoors and active.  If you hate the winter, become a skier!
  2. The Great Outdoors.  I am a huge lover of the outdoors, and love to spend time in the mountains, it’s my happy place.  I love being able to spend that time in the mountains in both the summer and winter.  Once you get to the top of the mountain with those breathtaking views, you breath in new life I am convinced.  So good for the soul!
  3. You’ll love the snow!  When you’re a skier and it snows, it isn’t such a bad thing, in fact, you’ll find yourself praying for it to snow!
  4. Bonding time on the lifts!  Skiing is such a great way to spend some time together, you can ski and enjoy your time down the mountain, then chat and catch up on life with conversations on the lifts.
  5. Skiing helps with family support, and teamwork!  I can’t tell you how many times my kids root for each other, and help each other up when they fall.  They show support for one another out there on the slopes.
  6. Ski Vacations.  When I learned to ski, all I wanted in my future was a family of skiers and family ski vacations.  There is nothing better than skiing all day, and cozying up in the mountains somewhere with your family.  Magical.
  7. Feeling the wind in your hair.  Old or young, there is nothing like flying down a beautiful mountain.  That adrenaline rush can’t be beat!  My kids are smiles all around after a great run!
  8. Pushing yourself.  My kids, husband and I all have pushed past our fears, and conquered the mountain all in our own ways.  It is a great sense of accomplishment!
  9. It’s never too late to learn.  As someone who didn’t learn to ski until the age of 18, I love that there are still things out there that you can just fall in love with that you haven’t tried yet.  Take my husband for example, he didn’t really learn to ski until last season, and now he’s loving it.  He even has been heading up a time or two before work to get some runs in.  I can’t tell you how happy it makes me that he’s converted to the ski life!
  10. Lodge life.  There’s nothing better than a day out on the slopes, and building up an appetite and having a minute to sit in the warm lodge with your family and talk about how the day is going over some warm ski food!  Usually some cheese fries, and maybe a cookie or two. That’s the type of stuff that becomes a tradition, and a cherished memory.
  11. A great break from technology.  With phones, and tablets, and tv being a big distraction among families, especially in those long winter months, it is nice to get a break from electronics and get outside and in nature.
  12. Great Exercise.  Skiing is such great exercise!  My legs definitely feel it when I ski hard, and you can burn a lot of calories while doing something fun!
  13. A great skill to have.  I always tell my children that I am so jealous of them learning to ski at such a young age!  I remember being a kid growing up in Utah with all my friends hitting the slopes, and invitations weren’t coming my way since I didn’t know how to ski.  It is a great skill to know that you can keep with you all of your life!  Like riding a bike!
  14. Family Traditions.  We love to head up to the mountains often during ski season, and usually it involves making a stop at our favorite gas station to grab a few treats for the lift, or some hot cocoa.  We love the little traditions of being up on the mountain, and playing games on the lift, and inspecting the individual snowflakes that fall on our coats.
  15. And, the best part of being a Ski Family.  Skiing is such a fun activity to do together as a family!  A great quality time bonding activity that the entire family can do together, and enjoy those memories and experiences for a lifetime!

Solitude Mountain Resort

We recently were able to try out a new Ski Resort that we had not been to before, Solitude Mountain Resort up Big Cottonwood Canyon in Utah.

(Hit the Read more button for more details on our recent Ski trip!)

 


read more

Recipe // Lindt Chocolate Valentine’s Day Pot de Crème

February 5, 2016

Lindt Chocolates Pot de Crème Valentine's Day Dessert Recipe via Armelle Blog

Pot de Crème is one of those desserts that looks fancy, and has an added measure of sophistication to it.  It is the perfect recipe to show your love for someone at the end of a romantic meal, and can be easily made for a large group. Sharing love through food is one of my absolute favorite ways to show my love for others, and well let’s be honest, chocolate is always a good idea!

I am partnering with Lindt Chocolate to bring you my favorite Pot de Crème recipe using a mix of their Excellence 70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate, and their Milk Chocolate LINDOR Truffle Bar.  When making a Pot de Crème, chocolate is the star, so using a quality chocolate like Lindt Chocolate makes all the difference in this recipe.

Lindt Chocolates Pot de Crème Valentine's Day Dessert Recipe via Armelle Blog

Surprisingly, Pot de Crème is very simple to make, and it is easily made in advance to serve at a dinner party or gathering.  This chocolatey custard has the perfect amount of chocolate, and serving it in heart shaped ramekins makes it even more special for Valentine’s Day!

Lindt Chocolates Pot de Crème Valentine's Day Dessert Recipe via Armelle Blog

Lindt Chocolates Pot de Crème Valentine's Day Dessert Recipe via Armelle Blog

Pot De Crème Recipe
makes 6-8 servings

9 oz Lindt Chocolate, roughly chopped (I used 3 oz of the Lindt EXCELLENCE 70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate Bar, and 3 oz of the LINDOR Milk Chocolate Truffle Bar)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup sugar (more if using bitter chocolate)
6 egg yolks
1/4 tsp salt

Lindt Chocolates Pot de Crème Valentine's Day Dessert Recipe via Armelle Blog

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 300° F.  Line a large roasting pan or baking dish with two layers of paper towels.  Place eight ramekins, in the pan.  Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil.  Once the water comes to a boil, remove from the heat and cover. In the meantime, place the chopped chocolate in a large heatproof bowl.  Bring 1 cup of the heavy cream to a boil in a small saucepan.  Once the cream reaches a boil, pour it over the chocolate and let stand for 1 minute.  Stir with a rubber spatula, starting in the center of the bowl and working outward in a circular motion, until the ganache is smooth; set aside.
Step by Step Lindt Chocolates Pot de Crème Valentine's Day Dessert Recipe via Armelle Blog

Combine the remaining 1/2 cup heavy cream and the whole milk in the saucepan and bring to a boil.  Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and salt until slightly thickened and pale yellow in color.  Drizzle in a small amount of the hot cream-milk mixture, whisking constantly, to temper the eggs.  Pour in the remainder of the hot liquid, still whisking constantly, until completely incorporated.  Finally, gently whisk the egg mixture into the ganache until incorporated. Spoon any skin that has formed off the top of the custard.

Lindt Chocolates Pot de Crème Valentine's Day Dessert Recipe via Armelle Blog

Divide the custard evenly between the prepared cups.  Pour some of the previously set aside hot water into the baking dish around the custard cups so that it reaches about halfway up the sides of the cups.  Cover the top of the pan tightly with foil, poking two holes in opposite corners.  Very carefully slide the pan into the oven. Bake 35-40 minutes, or until the custard jiggles only a bit in the center when tapped or lightly shaken.  Carefully remove the pan from the oven and transfer it to a cooling rack.  Allow the custards to rest in their warm water bath for 10 minutes, then remove the foil and very carefully transfer the cups from the water to the cooling rack.  Once they come to room temperature, cover individually with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. Can be made a few days in advance!

Lindt Chocolates Pot de Crème Valentine's Day Dessert Recipe via Armelle Blog

Top with Homemade whipped cream!  And, a few chocolate shavings, and Valentine’s sprinkles if you want to make it extra festive!

Lindt Chocolates Pot de Crème Valentine's Day Dessert Recipe via Armelle Blog

Enjoy!

This post is sponsored by Lindt Chocolate:  Master Chocolatiers since 1845.

All photos by me

DIY // Free Galentine’s / Valentine’s Day Printable Download

February 4, 2016

Free Printable Witty Valentine's Day Cards

Surprising the ones you love with a thoughtful gift big or small will always bring a smile to their face.  These witty little Valentine’s cards are perfect for the main person in your life, or even for your bestie who just gets you!

Free Printable Witty Valentine's Day Cards
Pick a card, and pair it up with some chocolates, candy,  a special delivery of tacos, or even a fun DIY, they are all covered in the printable!Galentine's Day Cards

Supplies you will need:
Cardstock Paper
Color Printer
Scissors
Print off the Free Download Here.

Cut them out, and pair them up with a little special something for your Valentine, Bestie, Galentine, and loved ones!

Here are a few examples of things you can pair the cards up with!

Free Printable Witty Valentine's Day Cards

Who doesn’t love Chocolate!  Pair up a free Valentine’s Download with a box of chocolates or homemade goodie.

Free Printable Witty Valentine's Day Cards

Free Printable Witty Valentine's Day Cards

Sticking with the candy theme.  The “All you need is Love … and, Candy!” card goes nice with a uniquely packaged goodie box full of Valentine’s candy!

Free Printable Witty Valentine's Day Cards for your Bestie

And, one of my personal favorites, “I DIY for You!” For your bestie that is a DIY genius!  A great way to show your love for your crafty friend.

Free Printable Witty Valentine's Day Cards

A few other favorite cards that are included in the Valentine’s download for your love or bestie (Galentine, or what have you.)

“Thanks for being my person!”

“You Just get Me!”

“I Heart you…. (and, Taco’s)”

“Love ya GirlFran!”

“Treat YO Self!”

“Well, Ain’t You Fabulous!”

And, a personal favorite, that may or may not be based on real life over here.

“I Love that you don’t Judge me for wearing my Yoga Pants all Day!  Ha!  That one is relevant in my case. Wink!

Be sure to grab the Free Download for the Galentine’s for your besties, or even your love, they all apply for someone!

And, Happy Galentine’s or Valentine’s to you!

Photos by Me