Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Lake Arrowhead & Big Bear Family Weekend

We wanted to have a chance to connect and getaway as a family in the mountains. For us, majestic trees, fresh air and beautiful views in every direction calm our souls and allow us to reassess what's important.  We felt the pines were calling us so we booked a house for a weekend of fun and relaxation.

We began our weekend by driving to Big Bear on Friday morning.  We were blessed with moving freeways and made good time up the mountain. Along the way we spotted a young deer, so cool!

We stopped for lunch at Get A Burger, recommended by Steffen's good friend. (Super cute place!)  This burger spot serves great food in a relaxed retro atmosphere.

With full tummies we visited the Big Bear Discovery Center.  We took some fun pictures and checked out what the center had to offer.  
(A few animal displays, map/trails and coloring pages) 

 The hubs wanted to take a road less travelled for for a photo opportunity.  So we went off road to get a picture above Big Bear Lake.  Can you see it behind us?

After finding a good picture spot we visited the Alpine Runs and Village Candy Store.  

The town was quiet and I literally felt my body relax.  The gelato helped too!

On the way to Lake Arrowhead the kids and I sang "Down By The Bay," told jokes and created storylines about Muppet characters.  It was great, really great!

I soaked in the the beauty of the trees and forgot about our fast paced scheduled lives.  I was in the moment.
Our chalet was located just around the corner from Lake Arrowhead Village. Yes, it was a great location.  We settled in and spent the remainder of the afternoon relaxing!
 For dinner we stepped out for Mexican food and walked the Village.  We were able to meet up with a dear friend of my mom's at dinner.  We chatted and ate many baskets of chips! The trio really liked the ballon man who made each of them an animal. (cat, jaguar and elephant) At the edge of the Village they had a few things for the kids to do. Our group opted for the bumper cars.  Lots of giggles and big smiles were had there.

Our evening ended with snuggles on the deck and quiet time among the trees. So cute, huh?
Our family woke up on good spirits and ready to eat. We hit the waffle house for breakfast.  I was so busy cutting up food that I missed a photo opportunity.  Our waffles hit the spot and provided us fuel for exploring around the lake. We visited the market, found some small strands of beach and visited the local resort and spa (must return without the littles).  The boys went back to the chalet and we girls did a little shopping.

In the afternoon we set out for a nature walk.  The trio marveled at rocks, acorns and pine cones.  The quest for a prefect walking stick entertained them well.  It was warm but occasionally the wind would blow through offering relief. A little ping pong and more time just hanging out together took up the remainder of our second day.

Dad made his famous Korean ribs for dinner.  Isabella was in heaven.  The air smelled incredible and we all ate our fair share.  Dinner was followed by Drumsticks and kicking back with Elvis playing in the background. We tucked in the littles and the guys settled in for Netflix watching.  Mom and I sat for hours just talking without any interruption. Perfection!

Our last morning included sweet treats and bacon for breakfast. A quick cabin clean up and packing rounded out the morning.  We met on the deck for a final group picture.

Our weekend went fast but it was savored! A BIG thank you to my parents for a wonderful weekend.
We accomplished exactly what we had hoped.  Our family slowed down and connected. Together we recharged and strengthened our bonds! In many ways big and small, the weekend was a gift to ourselves, I loved it.
Memories are made of this!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Trader Joe's Peach Dump Cake

On a recent trip to Trader Joe's there was an end cap with a display featuring Peach Dump Cake.  I wasn't able to pass by without buying the ingredients.  I made it with Isabella and it couldn't have been easier! It's a perfect dessert for a cool summer night.

1 box Trader Joe's Vanilla Baking Mix
1 Jar of Trader Joe's Peaches
1 stick butter
1/4 c pecan pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Use 8x8 baking dish, pour peaches and juice into dish, layer baking mix on top of peaches, sprinkle with pecans, dot with butter crumbles

Place in oven for 40 minutes
Allow to set and cool 20 minutes before serving
Serve warm with Trader Joe's Vanilla Ice Cream