The Spa at Spruce Peak Stowe Vermont

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I love a good spa treatment and Spruce Peak (formerly Stowe Mountain Lodge) in Stowe has an amazing spa. From the incredible views from the relaxation room to the unique treatment options to the quality services, it's one of those spa's you don't want to miss out on when visiting the area. 

Most people think of Stowe, Vermont and think if either the stunning fall maple leaves or they think of skiing but I love Vermont year-round. Each season has something lovely to offer. One of the hidden secrets of Stowe, Vermont are the amazing spas. Stowe Mountain Resort has one of the best in the US. Let me give a little peek into what the spa looks like and my favorite treatment to get while you are visiting. 

My favorite treatment at the spa is their Rejuvenating Leg & Foot Ritual. I never knew spending 25 mins having your calves and feet worked could feel so amazing. The treatment is designed for relief after a long day of skiing but skier or just a snow bunny with your hot cocoa in hand this treatment will change your life forever and possibly ruin you for any other foot massage.

A couple of my favorite must try treatments include the Oxygen Facial and the Stowe Cider Uber Scrub.

Visit Spa at Spruce Peak in Stowe next time you are up that way. You will not be disappointed.

Maple Sugar Walnut Blondies Recipe

 

Vermont Inspired Recipes

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When we visited Vermont for Camp Gathering-Vermont this past April we visited just at the end of the maple sugaring season.  A lot of people think of fall in Vermont and they think maple syrup but the maple sugaring season is in the very early spring when the days are warming up but it's still below freezing at night. This is when the sap flows.

To the warm flavor of real Vermont syrup still evokes a feeling of fall. My Maple Sugar Blondies are made up of the warm fall flavors including walnuts and the caramel flavor of a blondie. I use Butternut Mountain Farm's real Vermont Maple Sugar AND pure Vermont Maple Syrup in this recipe too. If you can't find it in your local store you can order it online on their website- Butternut Mountain Farm

We visited Butternut Mountain Farm in Johnson, Vermont and I assure it is some of the purest finest maple syrup you will buy.

Enjoy!

Maple Sugar Walnut Blondies

  • 1/2 cup of butter 

  • 1 1/2 cup pure maple sugar

  • 1/2 cup of grade A dark robust pure maple syrup

  • 3 eggs

  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  • 2 cups unbleached flour

  • 1 cup white chocolate chips

  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Melt butter. Add eggs, maple sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, baking soda, salt and nuts.

Stir by hand, Then mix in flour. Pour into 9x13 inch greased cake pan. sprinkle white

chocolate chips on top. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown and pulling

away from the pan on the sides. Cut and serve. I like to sprinkle a little bit of maple sugar over top and drizzle with a little bit of pure Vermont maple syrup right before serving.


Sweet Tip: Only mix by hand and be sure stir only to incorporate the ingredients and no more for best 

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More Vermont Posts

 

A New Electric SUV? SIgn Me Up! Rivian

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Have you seen the RIVIAN SUV? Have you even heard of RIVIAN? Yes, it’s an auto maker and yes they are making some sexy all electric SUV’s and trucks!

As a designer myself, I am drawn to well design and good looking vehicles. RIVIAN has done an amazing job with the lines, shapes and colors of their R1T All-Electric Truck and the R1S All-Electric SUV. YES! ALL Electric!

For the typical SUV and truck buyer elevtric has not amounted to powerful in the past which kind of makes a eletric truck a bit of an oxymoron in concept. We will have to see what RIVAN has created here and see if it can stand up to the needs of the truck and SUV crowd. Here are the specs.

Rivian R1T All-Electric Truck Specs:

  • Range Up to 400+ miles

  • Acceleration 0-60 in 3 seconds

  • Payload 800kg

  • Towing Capacity 5,000 kg

Rivian R1S All-Electric SUV Specs:

  • Range Up to 400+ miles

  • Acceleration 0-60 in 3 seconds

  • Payload 800kg

  • Towing Capacity 3,500 kg

Look at that beautiful luxurious interior!

Look at that beautiful luxurious interior!

Ok, my long time followers know that when I test drive a vehicle one of the first things I look at is the gas mileage. That’s for several reasons. This all electric SUV has me so so hopeful that dreams do come true.

  • First, I hate paying the outragously high price for gas especailly when it hikes up during the summer adventure months.

  • Second, the less petrochemicals we use in our lives the better. Better for our health and better for our precous planet we have been given to care for.

  • Third, pumping gas is one of those chores I would rather not do.

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The Rivian and are only available for pre-order at the moment. Prices start at $69,000 for the truck and $72,500 for the SUV which falls within the Range Rover price point with a $1,000 down payment required.

If you ask me I would rather spend my money on a good adventure vehicle like this than an oversized house! Downsize your house and upsize your adventurous side!

Go check it yourself here ;

RIVIAN R1S All-Electric SUV & RIVIAN R1T All-Electric Truck

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Montage Deer Valley Resort With The Family

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The Montage Deer Valley Resort is a place where you can bring the whole family. There is something for everyone to do plus their's skiing too!

It's January and time for a wintery wonderland getaway to a magical place where snow covered tall pines and mountains are your view from your bedroom window. A place where you can ski in and ski out from dinner. A place where all the hustle and bustle of your everyday life melts away and you get to have fun, relax and live life. The kind of life you always imagined. 

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The Montage Deer Valley is that very kind of place. 

The Montage Deer Valley is located right on the fluffy powdered slopes of Deer Valley Utah adjacent to three high-speed chairlifts. Skiers can stay at this 5 star luxury resort or just ski right in for lunch, dinner or drinks.

The architecture and design as well as the art throughout are reminiscent of a lovely mountain lodge. It's cozy comforting and luxurious all at the same time. Original artwork from local rocky mountain artists adorn the resort.

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One of our favorite features of the resort is that Montage Deer Valley is pet-friendly. Your pet is welcome. The resort has two sweet mascots Bernese Mountain Dogs Monty (pictured above) and Jonas who are at the resort to greet you with a well-mannered smile. Isn't Monty a handsome boy!

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If you are more of a stay inside and enjoy the snow from the window view, Daly's Pub is a family friendly place to hang out and have fun. With four regulation bowling lanes the kids will have a great time and so will you! We saw the sweetest older couple spending their anniversary together and having a blast bowling.

You can order dinner right at the lanes with a great variety of classic favorites including hearty delicious cheeseburgers, fries and pizza.

In the mood for some pool or video games? They have that too. Or you can just hang out at the bar and watch the game after a long day of skiing on the mountain.

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The indoor and outdoor swimming pools and hot tubs are open year round. One of our very favorite things to do is to sit in the hot tub under the winter snowy night sky as the snow is falling. My family loves it too. It's one of our traditions when we visit a ski resort hotel. It's magical. You have to try it.

My girls loved hanging out at the complimentary gourmet s'mores bar choosing from handmade flavored marshmallow and sitting fireside toasting their tasty treat.

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Our two bedroom three bathroom suite was perfect for our family. We had plenty of room to move around and feel like we are in a nice space rather than a tiny hotel room. The beds are cozy with down pillows and comforters. Each bedroom has a cozy fireplace. We were greeted with fresh cookies and fruit which was a big hit with the kids. The oversized soaking tub is perfect for relaxing the muscles after a day of snow filled activities.

There are so many things to do and see in Park City but The Montage Deer Valley offers a complete resort full of activities and relaxation so you never really have to leave to enjoy a great getaway!

Road Trip with Toyota and Lexus 2015

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Over the river and through the woods we all went on a road trip to Vermont. This past April a few food and travel bloggers gathered in Stowe, Vermont for Camp Gathering- Vermont. Paul Lowe of Sweet Paul Magazine, James Anthony of the Phoenician Flea, Brandy of The Nutmeg Nanny, Gina Matsoukas of Running to the Kitchen, Sha' Atwater and myself, April Atwater from Sweet & Simple Magazine had the chance to drive some sweet 2015 Lexus and Toyota vehicles. The Toyota and Lexus brands are some of my favorite and these beauties keep up with the quality and luxury we've come to expect.

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Paul and James drove the 2015 Lexus RX 350 up to Stowe, Vermont from Brooklyn, New York 

"James and I were so happy with our Lexus, made the long drive such a pleasure. We actually said it was like driving on butter, it was so smooth"

Paul Lowe

Sweet Paul Magazine

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A few of the luxury extras we love for the road trip includes the beautiful wood detailing interior option.

Little luxuries go a long way on a road trip. In April the weather in New England can go from hot to cold at a moments notice. Having heated and cooled seats on both the driver and passengers side makes it extra comfortable. The remote touch interface even makes listening to your favorite tunes or planning your navigation a luxurious experience.  

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Lots of room for your travel gear in its versatile cargo area. This crossover is the top of the premium brands in our book. As Paul said, "It's like driving on butter!"

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Brandy and Gina drove up to Vermont from Poughkeepsie is the 2015 Toyota Highlander.

"I loved using the Toyota Highlander because it was roomy, had awesome features and was super comfortable for our road trip. I was so sad when I had to give it back because I loved driving it so much. In fact a few weeks later I even made my husband go test drive a Highlander because I'm in the market for a new car!"

Brandy O'Neill

The Nutmeg Nanny

"Loved so many features of the Toyota Highlander, specifically the Bluetooth integration and smart dash display. It drove like a car, not an SUV and made the winding roads of Vermont fun to drive!"

Gina Matsoukas

Running to the Kitchen

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There is sky for miles and a great view of the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont when road tripping in the 2015 Toyota Highlander with a full panoramic sunroof.

With seating for up to 8, quiet interior and rear-seat entertainment system getting friends together for a road trip is fun all around.

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There is sky for miles and a great view of the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont when road tripping in the 2015 Toyota Highlander with a full panoramic sunroof.

With seating for up to 8, quiet interior and rear-seat entertainment system getting friends together for a road trip is fun all around.

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If you are looking for comfort and great has millage the 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid is for you. Not only does it offer great back seat foot space the seats are comfortable.

The gas mileage is 40/39. You can get some serious road tripping done with this kind of fuel efficiency. We only stopped to get gas once the entire week we drove the Avalon and covered most of Northern Vermont in that week.

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The multi-information display just past the steering wheel in the gauge cluster let us know many miles we had left on our tank of gas, what our average fuel economy was on the trip and if we where in eco or sports mode. This information is important when driving the back roads on Vermont when you don't know when your next gas station will be coming up.

I also like the blue light. It's easy on the eyes when driving at night.

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If you're like me you have at least two drinks with you on the road. I keep an ice water and often a real sugar Dr. Pepper or a coffee on hand. I love the space in the doors for my water bottle and center drink holders for both the driver and passenger.

I always use a center arm rest when driving long distances. It one of the first things I noticed once I start driving. The Avalon has a nicely placed adjustable center arm rest.

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The exterior detailing of smarter aerodynamics of the Avalon is designed for minimum wind noise and a smoother ride. We loved driving the 2015 Toyota Avalon. It's on my list of favorite 2015 vehicles.

2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Review

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With it's nice quality interior and above average gas mileage we are liking the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander.

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One of the first things I look at when first getting into a new vehicles is the quality of the materials of the interior. It doesn't matter what the current perception of a brand is, I judge a good portion the quality of the luxury experience by the materials. It's like anything from a good pair of leather shoes to a designer handbag. The name means nothing if the materials are subpar.
 

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Mitsubishi has done a great job with the Outlander's interior. It's comfortable, stylish, and dare I say luxurious. Loving the fold down arm rest drink holder for the back row seats. Luxury bonus, bluetooth and the Fuse voice control is now standard.
 

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Though not the larges of cargo space the fold flat seats make for a great usable space for transporting your snowboards, diy project supplies or load of groceries.

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Loving this little extra bit of storage in the back for first aid kits and car kits, jumper cables or stashing your expensive buys from plain site.
I am very impressed with the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander. Give it a test drive and check out the other online reviews from consumers. I think you might be happily surprised. 

Price:
starting at $19,595
MPG:
25/32

2015 Mitsubishi Lancer * Surprisingly Nice Ride

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I haven't taken a look at a Mitsubishi in a long time. When the 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer arrived for a test drive I was pleasantly surprised. It is a roomy, comfortable compact sedan and up to par with it's competitors. Just look at that stylish front grill and those tire rims.
 

The technology in a car is one of the first things I look at for comfort. When buying a new car the tech package matters. Mitsubishi offers a large 7-inch LCD touchscreen with navigation to help you find the way and real time traffic updates to let you know which areas to avoid, in the 2015 Lancer.
I found the traffic updates super helpful since I drive around town a lot during the day dropping off and picking up kids.

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The back seats roomy and comfortable with enough space for my long legged teen boys. Three can easily sit in comfort or fold down the center arm rest too. The nice thing about the back seats is that they also fold down for more truck space. If you have booster seats or car seats there is room for you too.
 

If you're like me you end up at Ikea buying something you didn't plan on and need the extra room of the fold down seats for your find to fit. It's also great when heading up to the ski resort with the snowboards and skis.  It makes the car so much more versatile.
 

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The 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer is equipped with a Rockford Fosgate Premium Sounds System. There are 9 speakers in this car for some serious sound. Tech radio features include SiriusXM Radio and HD Radio to use those 9 speakers.

One of my favorite features on new vehicles is the FAST-Key electronic entry and start system. It seriously cuts down on my searching for the car keys panic.

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My two favorite color options on the Lancer are the Apex Silver for a classic look and the Octane Blue for a more sporty look. Which color would you choose?

Top favorite features are the all wheel drive for all weather ease of driving, great cameras for safety and the touring package with the leather seats.

The 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer
Starts at $17,3951
MPG
26/34
Seats 5

2015 Toyota Camry * New Refreshed Design

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There is a reason the Toyota Camry is America's best selling car 12 years in a role. It's comfortable and classy. This year Toyota stepped up the fashion game for a new sexier more sporty version of the Camry. 

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I love the red contrast stitching on this ash black leather interior. Click on the image to see it up close. Added with the new mesh grill, hood lines and the front to back crease line I would say that sexy is happening.

The sporty comes in with the paddle shifters, sunroof and sport styled seats.

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Just because they added the sporty doesn't mean they left out the luxury.  Luxury features include the 8-way power-adjustable heated driver’s seat, JBL GreenEdge audio, wood-grain-style accents,quiet drive, steering wheel-mounted controls and the best thing ever invented- smart key system with push button start.

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Coolest feature on the 2015 Toyota Camry is the wireless charging option. No worrying about a charger cord. The complete convenience of the wireless charging system on the Qi-compatible device and it wirelessly charged. Hooray! 

 Gas mileage comes in at an average of 28 miles to the gallon which is still pretty good for a mid-sized 6 cylinder sedan.

5 Star safety rating with knee airbags. Yes, that's a thing now.

 

2015 Toyota Camry

$22,970 

starting price


2015 Kia Sedona SXL * Unexpected Luxury

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Wow, Kia has stepped up their game. I never really gave Kia much of a look listening to other people and their thoughts Kia read cheap and not as good as Honda or Toyota BUT I was wrong. When I picked up my college age son in the 2015 Kia Sedona SX-L, he said, " what kind of car is this again?" It told him it's a Kia minivan. He was surprised first that it was a minivan and second that it was a Kia. He has been in Lexus, Infiniti and other luxury brand vehicles and he said, "mom this van is as good as the other luxury brands you test drive." There are luxury amenities in every row.

My list of favs that will surprise you are...

2015 Kia Sedona SXL


Dual Sunroofs for a sense of more space and great for drives up the canyon or on a starry night.

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Tri-zone climate controls that means three rows three climates. In addition the front seats are heated and airconditioned and the second row of seats are heated. Bonus: the steering wheel is heated too!
 

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A brilliant addition to any minivan in the Kia Sedona SX-L are the stain resistant fabric on the seats. The interior cloth repels stains, odors, and static. Spilled your morning coffee? Not problem. Kids get in with mud on them? No problem. Yes, this is a must for any family vehicle.
 

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Do you see that foot rest in the second row #luxury Such a stylish and roomy interior. There are several seat configuration that change with a touch of a button so no struggling to move the seats around. Minivans have come a long way in the past 10 years.

For safety the Kia Sedona has surround view so you see completely around the van. It also features an active technologies like the Forward Collision Warning System and the Blind-Spot Detection with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert. This is so helpful when driving on the freeway and in heavy traffic plus, will calm the nerves of a mom with a teen driver.

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A little creature comfort bonus with the cooler glove compartment #luxury Road trip anyone?

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The 2015 Kia Sedona is road trip ready. An outlet and usb port for charging. It has nice smooth quiet drive it like gliding on butter. The steering handles super smooth as well. The v-6 engine has plenty of power to tow too. I could easily spend hours in this van. Everyone would be comfortable and enjoy the trip.

 

Kia's low priced van offers more luxury that the other leading minivans on the market. It would be my choice of minivan for my family. Go check one out and see for yourself. Tell us what you think.

 

2015 Kia Sedona SX-L
Price $28,300
MPG
18/24

60 months warranty (double its competitors)