Woodloch Pines Resort – Hawley, PA

Our stay at Woodloch Pines was #hosted. All opinions within are my own.

Prior to this trip, I didn’t realize how big of an area the “Poconos” covered, even though I graduated from East Stroudsburg University many, many years ago. I have never ventured to Hawley, PA, where Woodloch Pines Resort is situated until this past weekend for our #hosted family getaway.

Woodloch Pines was absolutely amazing and will be an unforgettable trip.

We were in a 1 bedroom Edgewater suite in the Springbrook section of the resort. Our room had a balcony and overlooked the lake. It was stunning. In the warmer months, I could picture myself sitting with a big glass of wine and a book, taking in the fresh air and beautiful lake view. The two bathrooms (one with a stall shower, and one with a tub) were very helpful and we appreciated the coffeemaker, microwave, and comfortable beds/pillows. J is picky AF when it comes to cleanliness, and Woodloch is extremely clean and the grounds appear to be meticulously maintained. Everyone was super friendly and helpful; the resort is huge and I am bad with directions even with my trusty map, so thank you to everyone at Woodloch who explained and re-explained where to go and how to get there.

Let’s talk about meals. Woodloch Pines is an all-inclusive resort where you can choose a 2 or 3-meal plan option. (All of the details are on their website) You have a designated table for the duration of your stay and seat yourself during the breakfast, lunch, and dinner times. Can’t make it to the Inn? No problem, just call in your order and they will have it prepared for take-out. We did this for lunch when Nick was napping. Miss a dining window? Don’t worry, there are several a la carte options around the resort. The food was spectacular. Emilia loved the pumpkin bread. Nick enjoyed the pizza and french fries. Jason loved the pork shank with whipped potatoes. I loved the Woodloch Mud Pie dessert. The Bloody Mary at breakfast was one of the best I’ve had and the Tiddly Wink is a Woodloch specialty — must try! Menus are all posted online or on the Woodloch app.

As for activities, you can be busy from the morning until 1:00 AM. They have an activity sheet (also on the website or app) that lists all of the activities for the day. One of my friends messaged me and said, “Dan, it’s like a cruise but on land!” Honestly, that’s how Woodloch is — they have pools, hot tubs, a sauna, gyms, a splash pad with a slide, a toddler section, an arts and crafts room (Em made a photo frame out of popsicle sticks), a snow tube run, bumper cars/kiddie cars, an indoor playground with a toddler section, an outdoor playground, a climbing wall, a ropes course, a basketball court, several ping pong/pool table, and arcade games throughout. {I am missing things, so be sure to check out the website.) Then, they have activities that change daily. Em was able to attend the jewelry-making activity in the Kids Club room. Nicholas played with the toys and activity cubes. The staff was so kind and helpful. They had activities like Winter Olympics, Horse Racing, Bingo, and nightly entertainment (magic shows, a DJ, etc.)

This is where I tell you that these family trips are for the kids; J and I would wake up late, go to the gym, venture around the resort (we didn’t see half of what Woodloch has to offer during our stay), play pool, take a dip in the hot tub, sit in the sauna, eat meals in peace, get a spa treatment at The Lodge at Woodloch, go to the adult activities, catch a show, and grab some drinks at the nightclub if we didn’t bring the cherubs with us. Our nights end at 7pm when Nicholas is tapped out at 15 months old. Emilia, however, got to stay up late and challenged Dad to a few games of ping pong.

Here are a few tips to make your trip to Woodloch memorable:

  1. Bring a stroller for the kids or plan on utilizing the shuttle.
  2. Visit the gift shop. I got the coolest Woodloch ornament and some stickers.
  3. Take a walk around the lake. It is gorgeous. Bring a telescope or binoculars because the starry sky is mesmerizing. Em found the Big Dipper.
  4. Grab an activity sheet at the front desk every morning and prioritize your day. (Our priorities were the pool/splash pad and getting Em to the jewelry-making activity). Don’t expect to see or do it all. We didn’t see the entire resort and didn’t do a fraction of what was offered. We’ll just have to go back!
  5. Download the Woodloch app on your phone. It has menus, a daily activity sheet, a map, and more!
  6. Breathe. Even I took a few minutes to sit on the balcony to look at the lake and took some nice deep breaths of the crisp winter air. It was refreshing and revitalizing.

[[Side note: I want to tell you that if you aren’t following me on Instagram, make sure you head over there and check out my Woodloch highlight reel.]]

Between looking at the beautiful lake, taking a dip in the pool & hot tub, going down the water slide, making arts and crafts, beading a necklace during the jewelry-making activity, playing in the indoor playground, and taking the indoor kiddie cart for a spin, staying at Woodloch was a welcomed break from reality and allowed our family to make memories to last a lifetime.  

Book a room at Woodloch right through my link.

Though this was a hosted trip, (thank you, Woodloch), all opinions expressed within are my own. Be sure to visit Woodloch’s website and Instagram.

Feel free to pin to your travel board:


Lifeway Farmer Cheese Angel Hair Pasta Recipe

Sponsored post. Affiliate links within. All opinions within are my own. 

Have you tried Farmer Cheese by Lifeway Kefir?  
One of my resolutions for 2023 is to cook more healthy meals at home.

I want to share with you my Lifeway Farmer Cheese Angel Hair Pasta recipe:  

🧀16 oz container of Lifeway Farmer Cheese  
🍝Pasta (I used 1/2 box of angel hair)  
🍄Sliced portabella mushrooms (2.5 cups)  
🥬Chopped Kale (one steamable bag)


Saute sliced portabella mushrooms with olive oil, salt, and pepper. (I cook my mushrooms until they are a little crispy) 

While mushrooms are sauteing, cook the pasta and reserve 1 cup of water. Drain & return the pasta to the pot on the stove.
Steam chopped kale in the microwave.  

Add mushrooms & kale to pasta & stir.

Add Farmer Cheese (I added about half of the container) to the pasta and vegetables. Add the reserved cooking water. Stir until everything is mixed. You can add more cheese or a little water depending on how thick/thin you want your sauce.  

Add more salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon for a little zing. 🍋
J and I absolutely loved this dinner recipe! The Lifeway Farmer Cheese is up to 99% lactose-free, has 12 active and live probiotic cultures, is gluten-free, and has 13g of protein per serving.

I also love cutting up celery stalks or cucumbers, spreading on  Lifeway Farmer Cheese, sprinkling on Everything but the Bagel seasoning, and VOILA, a delicious, healthy, protein-packed snack!
More recipes and a store locator can be found on the Lifeway Kefir website

Let me know if you’ve tried Farmer Cheese before and make sure you re-pin/re-share my recipe on Pinterest!

The Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark Review

Our family needed this #hosted trip. After the year we’ve had with Nick’s medical issues (cranial helmet, heart murmur, surgery, croupe, the ‘rona, and RSV), him being a consistently inconsistent sleeper, and juggling working both inside and outside the home with a preschooler with lots of extracurricular activities and a husband in law enforcement with an insane schedule, I’ll repeat myself…

We needed this trip to The Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark. The Kartrite is located in the Catskills, which is less than a two-hour drive from our home. (Monticello, New York to be exact). Check-in was a breeze, and the beautiful lobby showcased a very tall Christmas tree and the infamous blue “K” that we made a point to snap some family pictures in front of. Everyone working at the Kartrite seemed genuinely happy; everyone smiled and asked, “Can I help you with anything?” Hospitality at its finest.

We headed to our two-bedroom suite which was huge – one bedroom had a King sized bed and the master bathroom had a stall shower. Em and Nick had their own room with 2 Queen beds (Nick was in the pack-and-play). They shared a bathroom with a tub towards the entrance of the room. The living room was comfortable, and it had a table for 6 people which was great when we had dinner in the room on our last night. The balcony had a great scenic view, too. A mini-fridge, microwave, and coffee maker provided good creature comforts. One thing about the Kartrite, it is immaculately clean. Jason is the most annoying person in the world when it comes to accommodations, and for him to mention how clean the Kartrite was means a lot. (Trust me, we have left places because it was not up to his standard of living.)

[[Side note: I want to tell you that if you aren’t following me on Instagram, make sure you head over there and check out my highlight reel so you’ll be able to see everything I am talking about. ]]

There are so many food options at the Kartrite. We especially loved Harvey’s Wallbanger, where we had Buffalo Wings, The Cowboy Burger, the Kartrite Club (by far the biggest turkey club Jason has ever eaten in his life), and the Catskill Hot Chicken. Em loved the spaghetti and meatballs, too. We enjoyed our morning coffee and breakfast sandwiches at The Highline. We got a delicious pizza at Surfside Grille inside the waterpark.

Let’s talk about the waterpark. Did you know the Kartrite has the largest indoor waterpark in NY state? This was our family’s first time at an indoor waterpark and it did not disappoint. Lifeguards were everywhere, and floatation vests are available for anyone to use. Em and Nick both loved the “Puddle Ducks” section where little Nicholas splashed away in six inches of water with plenty of water tables. Emilia loved all of the slides. I actually stood there for 2 hours watching her go down the slides over and over and over again. (She slept until 8:30 am the next day, which is why I let her go full boar…virtual high five!) We were very fortunate that the Kartrite gave us our own cabana, loaded with drinks, snacks, oversized towels, a fan, lounge chairs, a table, comfy seating, and a flat-screen television. This was great just to chill, eat our lunch in peace, and take a break. With two little ones, a cabana is an absolute must-have. This was hands down the best part of our trip. The waterpark literally has something for everyone — attractions for littles like Em and Nick, thrill rides, a hot tub pool that goes indoors and outdoors, a lazy river, a bar for adults to indulge in a fruity cocktail or beer, and so much more. There is no greater joy than seeing my babies happy. Em had a smile from ear to ear and Nick’s laughs made me laugh. Good job, Kartrite.

After we showered and had dinner, we had fun at the Playopolis arcade. Bowling at Van Winkle’s Alley was our favorite; followed by skeeball, ring toss, claw games, and carousel rides. The Kartrite has a wall climbing area, a ropes course, virtual reality, an escape cube, etc. After you earn your tickets, you go to The Vault to trade in your tickets for prizes. Em absolutely loved shopping for prizes. She left with an entire brown bag full of toys and candy that she energetically showed family members upon our return home. “I won these at the arcave.” No, it’s not a typo, it’s just how she pronounces arcade which makes J and I chuckle.

While we did as much as we could (let’s be real, we are on the kid’s schedule, not our schedule), we weren’t able to attend any of the listed daily activities. Each day Kartite has several activities for your kids and/or the family to participate in. What I love is that you can choose to do it all, do some, or just do you. The Kartrite also has a really nice gym. No, I didn’t work out, but I was able to see the machines and they looked like they would have given me a good workout. (Insert laughs here.) I would love to visit the Kartrite in the warmer months so we could enjoy the hiking trails that are conveniently located on the property. (We couldn’t do it during our stay since it is hunting season.) There is just so much to do around the Kartrite no matter what season or time of day!

The icing on the cake was when Em said, “Mommy?! Daddy?! I just want to stay here forever.”

Me too, Em. Me too.

Use code SPLASH for up to 25% off your stay at The Kartrite. Though this was a hosted trip, (thank you, Kartrite), all opinions expressed within are my own. Be sure to visit Kartrite’s website and Instagram.

Feel free to pin to your travel board:

Basic Invite (15% Off Included!)

Thanks to Basic Invite, I am sending out Christmas cards this year.

They might even be early, too. (I know, I know, for those of you who know me, this will be a shock.)

I also found the perfect card for Nicholas’ lumberjack-themed 1st birthday party.

Why Basic Invite?

Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers almost unlimited color options with instant previews online. Once a design is selected, customers can change the color of each element on the card. With over 180 colors to choose from, you can match your other vision to the card. You can also choose 40 different envelope colors. All of the envelopes are “peel and seal” so they can be closed quickly and securely.

I received custom samples before I placed my order. I loved the paper quality and wanted to make sure it met my expectations before sending my holiday cards and birthday invitations to family and friends.

Basic Invite offers an address-capturing service that allows customers to share a link on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media to request their friend’s and family’s addresses. The addresses are stored in the customer’s account and can be selected during the design process. Basic Invite offers recipient address printing at no cost on all card orders. They can also mail the cards for you, making card sending super easy…especially for busy moms like me!

For those interested in foil cards, gold, silver, and rose gold options are available. Customers can choose flat or raised foil on all of Basic Invite’s foil designs.

It was really fun to design our family Christmas card and Nick’s birthday card. I really like how I can truly customize everything; and loved how I can import addresses of my family and friends to save myself the trouble of printing labels and/or writing addresses by hand. Basic Invite is simple to navigate, and gives so many options.

Right now, Basic Invite is offering 15% off with coupon code: 15FF51

Make sure you browse all of the Merry Christmas Cards & family holiday cards that Basic Invite has to offer. Basic Invite is also on social media: Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter! Make sure to give them a follow!

Let me know what you think of our Christmas card and Nick’s birthday card in the comments!

Do you send out holiday cards?

*Sponsored content. All opinions within are my own.

Free Allschool Class! (up to $20 value)

A New Way to Homeschool with Allschool

Em has been taking Allschool classes for the past month. We absolutely love online learning and getting ready for kindergarten! What is Allschool, you ask?

Explore Thousands of Fun Classes Online

Allschool has over 3,000 online classes for kids ages 3+ where interests can be explored, and academic journeys can be broadened. 𝔸𝕝𝕝𝕤𝕔𝕙𝕠𝕠𝕝 𝕠𝕗𝕗𝕖𝕣𝕤 𝕒 𝕨𝕚𝕕𝕖 𝕧𝕒𝕣𝕚𝕖𝕥𝕪 𝕠𝕗 𝕔𝕝𝕒𝕤𝕤𝕖𝕤 𝕤𝕦𝕔𝕙 𝕒𝕤 𝕕𝕒𝕟𝕔𝕖, 𝕪𝕠𝕘𝕒, 𝕞𝕦𝕤𝕚𝕔, 𝕝𝕒𝕟𝕘𝕦𝕒𝕘𝕖, 𝕤𝕔𝕚𝕖𝕟𝕔𝕖 𝕖𝕩𝕡𝕖𝕣𝕚𝕞𝕖𝕟𝕥𝕤, 𝕔𝕠𝕞𝕡𝕖𝕥𝕚𝕥𝕚𝕠𝕟 𝕞𝕒𝕥𝕙, 𝕝𝕚𝕗𝕖 𝕤𝕜𝕚𝕝𝕝𝕤, 𝕒𝕟𝕕 𝕤𝕠 𝕞𝕦𝕔𝕙 𝕞𝕠𝕣𝕖!

Run, Run, As Fast As You Can!

Em joined Ms. Hannah for 𝕿𝖍𝖊 𝕲𝖎𝖓𝖌𝖊𝖗𝖇𝖗𝖊𝖆𝖉 𝕸𝖆𝖓 class where Ms. Hannah read the book and asked relevant questions. Em earned stars for correct answers, and the class was super engaging. Ms. Hannah also played a roll the dice game where Em had to draw body parts on the gingerbread man to match the corresponding die and then colored her own 𝕲𝖎𝖓𝖌𝖊𝖗𝖇𝖗𝖊𝖆𝖉 𝕸𝖆𝖓!

Ms. Rae taught Em two classes: Prepositions of Place with Piccolo (next to & between, in & on), Ms. Colleen read Em The Pout-Pout Fish for a Kindergarten readiness class, and Ms. Brenda instructed: A Bear Made a Cake in my Kitchen, which asked several critical thinking questions about what does and does not belong in a chocolate cake.

A Necessity for the Academic Journey

Em is certainly getting ready for Kindergarten! Allschool is an excellent addition to the academic curriculum as it provides children with one-on-one attention that a traditional classroom does not offer. Moreover, Allschool allows children to explore their favorite interests or discover a new hobby, and they tend to learn better that way. I love how all classes on Allschool are led by certified teachers, making it fun and interactive with the innovative star reward system. The next class we plan on taking is about space! Visit Allschool and sign up to take a free class (up to $20 value)!

👩‍🏫 𝙒𝙝𝙞𝙘𝙝 𝙘𝙡𝙖𝙨𝙨 𝙞𝙨 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙠𝙞𝙙𝙙𝙤 𝙜𝙤𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙤 𝙩𝙖𝙠𝙚? Let me know in the comments below!