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Five on Friday {Long, Hot Week!}

Hooray for the weekend!  This has been one long, HOT week!  We have a busy weekend ahead of us. Tomorrow night we have our “California” themed supper club. Our daughter is going to Hershey Park this weekend with a friend of hers and we drop our son off at sleep away Boy Scout Camp on Sunday. Here are five from this past week:

1.Birthday Boy – Last Sunday my son turned 11.  He went with a couple of friends to see the new Spider-Man movie.  Then they went to lunch at IHOP and had frozen yogurt from TCBY. We went out to dinner to Palace Dumplings, at his request, for all the dumplings!  This restaurant makes so many different varieties and they are all so good!

2. Reading – I am almost finished reading The Favorite Daughter by Kaira Rouda.  It’s a suspense read that I’m almost finished with and that I’m feeling so-so about.  I’m curious to know how it will end but it has felt very repetitive.

3 Watching – We finally finished the third season of Stranger Things.  It was a great season but definitely more horror-like than I was expecting.

4. Tomato Plants – Look at how well my tomato plants are doing!  I’m so excited to actually have some tomatoes this season. My husband made some adjustments to our box system this year and the plants have been thriving!

5. Farmer’s Market – There’s a farmer’s market within walking distance of my husband’s office.  I’ve decided that he should go every week to try out all the vendors. This week he picked up some fruit and veggies.  Last night he made beet chips with the orange beets and they were delicious!

This week on the blog I shared 20 Fun Things to Do in Putnam County.

Sharing with Friday Favorites. Have a great weekend!

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20 Fun Things to Do in Putnam County

Living in northern Westchester County, Putnam County is so close and accessible.  Both my husband and I grew up in Putnam County and are very familiar with the sites and attractions.  However, creating this list we realize that there’s still a LOT that we still need to do!  Here’s our list of some of the fun things to do in Putnam County. Please let me know if there is anything that I should add to my list!

1.Play a round of miniature golf at Red Rooster in Brewster and then grab a burger and shake.

2. Visit the Putnam County 4-H Fair.

3. Have breakfast at Countryside Kitchen in Mahopac (home of the famous cannoli pancake).

4. Visit Putnam County’s Veterans Memorial Park and go for a hike or a  swim. This is also where the Putnam County 4-H Fair is held as well as the Daniel Ninham Pow-Wow.

5. Ski or snowboard at Thunder Ridge in Patterson.

6. Go antiquing in Cold Spring.

7. Enjoy tea at Florrie Kaye’s Tea Room.

8. Visit Fahnestock State Park.  Hike part of the Appalachin Trail, swim in Canopus Lake or even camp.

9. Visit the Chuang Yen Monastery in Carmel.

10.  Visit Green Chimney’s Farm & Wildlife Center in Brewster.

11. Visit the Constitution Marsh Audubon Center in Garrison. Visit the nature center, take a walk out to the marsh and/or join one of their guided public canoe trips (see their program page for details).

12. Walk or ride the Putnam County Trailway.  This 12 mile path has trailheads in Baldwin Place and Brewster.

13. Have an ice cream cone from Moo Moo’s Creamery in Cold Spring.

14. Visit Boscobel in Garrison.  Tours are available of the house, gardens and grounds April through December.  In the summer you can see the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival perform and in December you can see Sparkle.

15. Take a picture with the Sybil Ludington statue in Carmel.

16. Enjoy dinner at Clocktower Grill in Brewster.

17. Visit the Stonecrop Gardens in Cold Spring.

18.  Visit a Farmer’s Market in Brewster, Cold Spring or Putnam Valley

19. Take a kayak or canoe tour on the Hudson River with Hudson River Expeditions (in Cold Spring).

20.  Enjoy some delicious Indian food at Jaipore in Brewster. We love their lunch buffet.

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French Food Products to Celebrate Bastille Day!

(Thank you to the French Food and Drink Federation and Business France for sending us this Taste Box of goodies to sample. As always, all opinions are our own.)

Many moons ago, back in 2002, my boyfriend (now husband) and I visited Paris, France. This was our first international travel experience and was the beginning of our interest in all things culinary. My husband tried escargot for the first time and we enjoyed our fill of steak frites!

While the United States celebrates its Independence on July 4, France celebrates Bastille Day on July 14. This day celebrates the storming of the Bastille fortress-prison in 1789 and is considered the turning point of the French Revolution. The French holiday is celebrated in Paris with a military parade and firework shows are held throughout the country.

In honor of Bastille Day, Business France kindly sent us a box of French goodies to sample. We sadly don’t see a trip to France again anytime soon in our future. However, Bastille Day is the perfect occasion to enjoy the flavors of France with some of these French food products. We enjoyed getting to try new-to-us food products made in France.

Abtey’s Eiffel Tower box of chocolates – Not only is this tin adorable, but the individually wrapped praline filled milk chocolate balls are amazing! We love chocolate, but have discovered that we REALLY love French chocolate!

Vichy mints – These octagonal shaped mints were invented in 1825 in Vichy, France. They are super minty, leaving a fresh, cool feeling in your mouth.

Carambar caramels – These caramels were created in 1954 and continue to be a popular French sweet, especially for kids. Although we sampled the original caramel, the candy comes in several different flavors. Known for its jokes, you can “snap” (snapchat) a code for 50 different augmented reality jokes.

Chancerelle House Connétable sardines – Connétable is the world’s oldest sardine cannery that is still in operation. The fish are caught at the peak of the fishing season with sustainable fishing methods. To be honest, I’m not a big sardine fan. However, my husband enjoys them and was gobbling these up.

André Laurent Choucroute Traditional and Seafood choucroute – Choucroute is the French version of sauerkraut. The company has been family owned since 1945. Most of their sauerkraut is cooked in wine and bacon. While we haven’t tried this yet, I am hoping to enjoy it this upcoming week with sausage or chicken.

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Five on Friday {The Kids Come Back!}

So glad it’s Friday. And in the summer, that means I get out of work at 12 PM! And today we get our kids back! They have been in New Hampshire with my sister and her family for the past week enjoying time with their cousins. You would think my husband and I would be living up a child-free week……well, not quite. Here’s what we’ve been up to this week:

1. Cat sitting – We trade cat sitting duties with our neighbors. When we’re away, they take care of our cats and when they are away we take care of their cats. However, once of their cats was recently diagnosed with diabetes and needs an insulin shot twice a day, 10-15 minutes after she eats. Well, almost two hours of every day (one in the AM before work and one in the PM) was spent this week at their house taking care of the cats. Which did not leave us a lot of time for a date night.

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2. Watching – This week we have been watching Stranger Things season 3 and have only one more episode to go. This season really felt like a horror movie to me. While it’s been suspenseful it’s also been a bit gross and scary!

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3. Reading – I haven’t had much reading time this week but I’m about half-way through The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms. It’s a fun, light summer read that I’m hoping to finish this weekend.

4. Cooking – With the kids away, we’ve been cooking all the foods that the kids don’t like – farro, tofu and these stuffed portobello mushrooms. These were so good and something the kids would never eat!

5. Date Night – Last night after we finished our last cat sitting duties, my husband and I did get a chance to go out to dinner. We tried a new-to-us local restaurant where we shared a couple of dishes. Our fave was this burrata served over fried eggplant and roasted peppers, topped with a pistachio basil pesto oil and a balsamic reduction.

This week on the blog I shared my June Reads.

Have a great weekend! Sharing with Friday Favorites.

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June Reads {2019}

Happy summer! Reading on the beach is my favorite summer reading spot and I’m fortunate to have been able to enjoy a good amount of this over the past couple of weeks. Today, I’m sharing my June Reads with Steph and Jana’s monthly SUYB linkup. June was not a great reading month for me. I only read four books, which was disappointing. However, we’re not even half-way through July yet and I’ve already read four books! Yeah for summertime! Here are my June reads:

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3 stars:

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Passion On Park Avenue by Lauren Layne – Naomi Powell is the successful CEO of the jewelry and accessory subscription company, Maxcessory. She discovers that her new neighbor Oliver is the boy who used to torment her when she was younger. Naomi also becomes friends with Claire and Audrey when the three discover they have something (or should I say, someone) in common. This was my first Lauren Layne book. It’s the first book in a three book series, that I will likely not continue. However, I may give one of her other book series a go if I’m in the mood for a romance. Overall, it was an okay, cute romance novel that fits the bill if you’re looking for a light summer read.

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Such a Pretty Girl by Laura Weiss – Meredith’s father was supposed to be in prison for nine years, until she turned 18. But now at 15, he is being released and her newly, safe world is disrupted. Trigger warning – this book deals with child sexual abuse/rape. It was a dark and disturbing read that sickened me to think that there are adults who sexually abuse their own children. I want to believe that “in real life” it wouldn’t be so easy for this father to come back into his daughter’s life like this one did.

4 stars:

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Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue – Jende and his wife Neni are Cameroonian immigrants, trying to make it in America. It’s the fall of 2007 and they are living in Harlem, when Jende gets a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Jende and Neni think they are, “living the dream” but then Lehman Brothers collapses and everyone is affected. The many themes of this book including immigration, social class and relationships made it a great book club choice, for the local book club that I recently joined.

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Run Away by Harlan Coben – Simon and Ingrid haven’t seen their daughter in forever. Addicted to drugs she’s gone into hiding with her boyfriend. But Simon sees her one day playing the guitar in Central Park and follows her. This time he’s on a mission to find her and bring her home, but he ends up going down a dark and dangerous path. I’ve been a Coben fan for awhile and know that when I pick up one of his books it will be a quick, suspenseful read. This one didn’t disappoint.

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Five on Friday {4th of July Weekend}

Did you have a fun time celebrating the 4th of July? We are back in Rhode Island for the holiday weekend to spend a couple more days with my family. My sister will be leaving tomorrow for New Hampshire to visit her mother-in-law in and is taking my kids with her for the week. They get to enjoy some more cousin time while my husband and I head back to work. Here are some highlights from last weekend’s trip to Rhode Island and some other highlights from the week:

1. Beach Reading – Reading at the beach is one of my favorite summer activities. I just finished One Day in December by Josie Silver this week. It was a cute chick lit/romance read, perfect for the beach.

2. Fishing – It’s an annual tradition for us to go fishing with our dad. It was a small group this year with just my dad, sister me and our husbands. Unfortunately, we didn’t catch anything (that we could keep), which hasn’t happened in awhile. Regardless, it was such a beautiful day to be out on the water.

3. Seafood – It’s also tradition to stop at Iggy’s on the way home and pick up clam chowder and clam cakes for lunch. This time we also picked up some clam strips and fried calamari. There’s nothing like seafood by the seashore!

4. KitsbyKitsby is a baking kit company where you pick the recipe and they ship everything pre-measured to you (minus a few ingredients like eggs). The recipes are pretty fancy and things that I normally wouldn’t decide to try on my own. They sent us a kit to try out and the kids and I made these Earl Grey Mini Cakes. They weren’t a huge fan of the tea flavor but we had fun making them together. Kitsby also has a bakery/storefront in Brooklyn, but I don’t ever travel there!

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5. Watching – My daughter and I watched the movie Isn’t It Romantic earlier this week. I’m glad we opted to wait to watch it on DVD. I like Rebel Wilson, but the movie felt too similar to I Feel Pretty and not as good.

6. Tween Summer Reads – The “Summer Slide” is real and kids lose so many of their math and reading skills during the long summer break. National Geographic Kids kindly sent me some of their newest releases and my kids are loving them! I love that they can work on their critical thinking skills with Brain Games. They love reading all the interesting facts in Weird But True! USA and the 2020 Almanac. They are working on non-fiction reading skills and learning, but don’t even realize it! It’s important to me that they are reading and working in actual books, since they get so much screen time in the summer.

Hope you have a great weekend! Sharing with Friday Favorites!

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Five on Friday {Take Me to the Beach}

Happy Friday! As you read this, I am currently in Rhode Island. The kids had their last day of school Wednesday and then we headed up to my parent’s house in Rhode Island for a long weekend. We are kicking off summer with some much needed rest and relaxation. My sister is up with her family as well so the kids are getting lots of cousin time too. Last weekend was super busy and I’d love to fill you in on all the family fun we had!

1.Strawberry Picking – June is strawberry picking season. We tried a new to us farm, Saunderskill Farm, a little over an hour’s drive away. There is nothing like ripe, freshly picked strawberries. They just scream summer! And they only cost $3/pound!

2. Vietnamese Food – After we went strawberry picking we headed into New Paltz for some lunch. It’s a college town with lots of restaurants. We found a Vietnamese restaurant and enjoyed a tasty lunch, including this pho.

3. Hot Air Balloon Festival – Sunday we got up at 4 AM to make it to Barton Orchards. We wanted to be there for the sunrise and to see the hot air balloons at the Empire State Hot Air Balloon Festival take off. It was a fun experience. Now, I want to take a ride in a hot air balloon!

4. Farmer’s Market + Animals – We got home from the hot air balloon festival and I took a much needed nap! Then my husband, son and I went to the Muscoot Farmer’s Market. We picked up some veggies for dinner and then since it’s a farm, we had to visit the animals!

5. Game of Thrones – So this past week my husband and I finally finished watching season 3 of GOT. I was recently warned about the dramatic scene in episode 9. But I still didn’t see it coming!

ICYMI this week on the blog I shared what was Cooking Lately in June.

Sharing with Friday Favorites…..have a great weekend!

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Cooking Lately {June 2019}

I cannot believe that summer is here and June is almost over! As I mentioned in last month’s post, due to lack of time, instead of posting our weekly meal plans, I’m posting the dishes from the month that the family enjoyed the most. This will hopefully inspire you to try a new recipe! Here are some of the dishes that we enjoyed in June. Next month will likely have lighter, more veggie filled summer recipes! And if you have a great recipe that I should try, please share! I’m always looking for new dinner ideas.

Asian Turkey Meatballs – I mentioned these meatballs in a recent Five on Friday post. My husband made these for our “bite-size” themed supper club. They were easy to make and so tasty! Make a batch of these and serve with some rice and veggies and you have a complete meal.

Mexicali Hashbrown Taco Casserole – I’m always looking for new takes on tacos. This taco casserole sounded interesting and from start to finish only took about 45 minutes. My husband did the grocery shopping and when I wrote hash browns on the list, he purchased a bag of diced potatoes that were labeled hash browns. He didn’t realize that I needed the shredded hash browns. So this ended up being made with a thicker potato than was called for. Although it doesn’t look it in the pic, the potatoes were cooked. I was too lazy to give them a broil to brown them for the pic! #truth

One-Pan BBQ Ranch Chicken Gnocchi – I’ve been enjoying one pan pasta dishes recently. I’ve been hesitant because in the past the pasta hasn’t always cooked correctly. However, this dish came together nicely. I did dice the chicken prior to cooking it and I omitted the baby spinach. The kids really enjoyed this dish.

Paprika Shrimp and Farro – I try not to repeat recipes very much. But I’ve been going through some old meal planning calendars and remaking some of the recipes again. I believe I first made this dish back in 2017. When I was growing up there was no way that I’d eat this dish. I disliked all grains – rice, barley, etc. So, I have to give my kids credit for eating this. My husband actually made this and he precooked the farro the night before. Then it was super quick and easy to warm the farro and cook the shrimp.

Philly Cheesesteak Pasta Skillet – I mentioned I was on a one pot meal kick and this was one of those dishes. Total time for this meal is only 35 minutes and one that everyone enjoyed. I will make this again in the fall and winter when comfort food is needed.

Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole – Breakfast for dinner is always a winner with the family. I’ve made countless breakfast casseroles because they are just so easy and I love having the leftovers for breakfast. I’ve made similar tater tot breakfast casseroles before and this one doesn’t especially stand out, but it was good. This is another dish that I could have broiled to crisp up the tater tots, but I didn’t.

What are you making for dinner this week?

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Five on Friday {Happy Summer}

It’s officially summer! I keep seeing everyone’s last day of school pics on social media but my kids are still in school until next Wednesday! My daughter especially, who is still studying for finals, is not quite feeling the summer vibes yet. Here are five from this week:

1. Father’s Day – My husband wanted to go on a family hike for Father’s Day. Since the weather wasn’t looking great for Sunday we went Saturday. His request was a hike with a good view. I chose Minnewasksa State Park in Gardiner, NY. And it appeared everyone else wanted to go there too. We had to wait 20 minutes to get into the park, since the parking lot was full. It was worth it though. We do love a good waterfall and this one didn’t disappoint.

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2.Reading – This week I started reading Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne. It’s contemporary romance that is a super light and so far, a fun read.

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3. Watching – We just canceled our cable a couple of weeks ago. I’m not really missing it too much, since we have Netflix and Amazon Prime. This past weekend we watched a couple of episodes of the Netflix show The Chef Show with Jon Favreau and chef Roy Choi. I loved the movie Chef and so far this show has been really enjoyable. It’s a mixture of cooking and celebrities/entertainment. We also ended up watching a couple episodes of Awake on Netflix. The concept is ridiculous – contestants are kept awake for 24 hours and then have to compete in different challenges for a chance to win $1 million dollars. Somehow it hooked the family that we watched the first two episodes.

4. Black Thumb – I love plants. But I seriously have a black thumb. I keep buying them and end up killing them. Take this basil plant pictured above. My mom was at BJ’s and they had a deal where she had to buy 3. She offered me one and of course I said yes. I left it out on my front deck. Her plants are doing amazing…..my plant doesn’t look like it’s going to survive. It currently looks worse than this. Her advice was to repot it. Which I did, but I think it was too late. I love fresh basil, especially in the summer – pesto, caprese and more. So, I will likely be buying a new basil plant! LOL!

5. Cooking – This week we really enjoyed this One-Pan BBQ Ranch Chicken Gnocchi from Yes to Yolks. It was easy and tasty.

ICYMI this week on the blog I wrote about my Mom Escape to the Lodge at Woodloch.

Sharing with Friday Favorites….have a great weekend!

Mom Escape to the Lodge at Woodloch

Crossing the state line into Pennsylvania, it’s as if the sign knew what my trip’s purpose was: “Welcome to Pennsylvania- Pursue Your Happiness” This solo mom escape was my very abbreviated, but much needed, respite from everyday life – my job, my kids and my husband. This was my time to focus on myself. For months, I’d been expressing to my husband that I needed to get away. “Go,” he said, supportive of my needs.

And so, after some research, I decided to visit the Lodge at Woodloch. The Lodge fit all of my requirements – a short driving distance from home, adults only, and a focus on health and wellness.

The Property:
The Lodge at Woodloch is located in Hawley, PA, less than a two hour drive from northern Westchester County. It is one of the three family-owned and operated Woodloch properties (the family-friendly, Woodloch Resort and the golf course community at Woodloch Springs are the other two) located on over 500 private acres.

The property consists of the main Lodge as well as Little Lake Teedyuskung, a Cranberry Bog and lots of wooded forest. Blackmore Farm is walking distance from the Lodge and supplies some of the produce used in the restaurant.

There are also functioning hives, with bees that help pollinate the garden and will eventually provide honey for spa treatments and the restaurant.

As I pulled up to the front gate, Robert was there with a huge smile and a warm and welcoming greeting. He checked my name off a list of incoming guests and directed me to the Lodge entrance. Once I arrived, the valet was there ready to take my bags and park my car. When I approached the front desk to check in, they greeted me by name and welcomed me with a
complimentary refillable water bottle, labeled with my name to avoid confusion with the other guests, and a tote bag. Every employee who I encountered during my visit was always friendly, helpful and had a warm smile.

Activities:
The Lodge at Woodloch is an all-inclusive resort with meals and activities included. However, some of the art classes do have fees. What drew me to the Lodge was the variety of activities they offered. With a focus on mind, body and soul, there is something for everyone. The daily activity schedule is conspicuously posted all throughout the Lodge. However, I’m the personality type who printed out the activity schedules for each day of my stay and highlighted all of the activities that I wanted to do!


The third floor of the Lodge contains the three exercise studios (Oak, Linden and Willow) as well as a cardio gym, rowing room and sitting area with a snack and hydration station. One thing I noticed is that there is no shortage of quiet sitting areas. They are everywhere throughout the Lodge and Spa.

I wanted to take advantage of all of the different fitness classes they offered. The first day, I enjoyed Drums Alive with Ashley ,where we drummed to upbeat music using exercise balls placed in step risers. This was such a fun and energetic class. I took a Splash Dance class with Christy using weighted poles in the water and basically pole danced in the pool. I’ve never taken a pole dancing class, so I don’t have anything to compare it to. It was, needless to say, another fun class. Later in the day, I took a Journaling for Self-Discovery Class with Susan, where I was given inspiration and resources to help me journal. I ended my evening with an after-dinner evening kayak ride with Ryan.

I started the second day with an 8 AM Chakra Meditation class with Alicia. One of my goals this year was to start meditating. I’m hoping this class helps inspire me to start my journey. Next, I took a Barre class with Retta. I’ve taken barre classes before so knew what I was getting myself into! Right after that, I took a Tower Power Class with Alicia. This is a Pilates class using a Tower (an apparatus attached to the wall). While I’ve taken Pilates classes before, I had never taken a Tower class. I really liked it and felt movements were more controlled using the resistance springs. Immediately after, I took my final fitness class of the day: the Great Wall of Yoga, again with Alicia. I really enjoy yoga and have taken classes at my local gym and have practiced at home. Using adjustable straps in this class took it to the next level, as I was practicing yoga while literally hanging off the wall! In the afternoon, I took The Ritual of Tea class, as I’ve started drinking more tea, especially in the evening.

I didn’t take any of the “Creative Discovery” classes during my stay. It’s not because I didn’t want to. I just didn’t have enough time. Many of the classes they offered were two hours. During my visit, classes included Zendoodle, terrarium building, Dot Mandala Stones, Pebble Art, Patchwork Painting, Basic Calligraphy and Decorative Lettering, Decorative Birdhouses and more. Most art classes had a nominal $10 fee.

For those drawn to nature, there are many outdoor activities including guided hikes, Bog Talk, Basics of Birding, Forest Bathing, Basics of Mountain Biking, Forest Yoga, Garden Tour, Tenkara (a Japanese style of fly fishing) and more. As you can see, there is plenty of wildlife in the woods. On a short walk around the property I saw three deer and was able to get pretty close to them! There is also an archery range and an outdoor exploration center called The Lily Pad that has kayaks, stand-up paddle boards and more.

There is also a Lotus Labyrinth on the property. This is a peaceful place for meditation and quiet reflection.

Every instructor was friendly, encouraging and patient, whether there were two people in the class or 15. They were also all very punctual: starting class on time and ending promptly so you had enough time to get to your next activity.

The Spa:

The spa has separate women’s and men’s retreats that include showers and changing rooms, saunas, steam rooms and whirlpools. There are also a couple of different sitting areas in the spa as well.

The Aqua Garden has an indoor pool where the aqua fitness classes are held. However, the most remarkable features of the Aqua Garden are the two heated soaking pools with HydroMassage Waterwalls. I might have spent the majority of my spa time here! There is also an outdoor whirlpool which is open year-round. The changing room has walls of digital lockers. Inside each locker is a fluffy spa robe. At the spa desk you can request a pair of sandals. It was nice to be able to store my things while I was at my spa treatment and the Aqua Gardens and not have to worry about carrying a key.


The treatment rooms are in the downstairs area of the spa, as well as the co-ed Whisper Lounge which includes an outdoor porch and rocking chairs. Relaxation and comfortable seating are the big focus here!

Prior to my visit, I booked the Rosemary Awakening, the spa’s signature treatment. The treatment starts with a rosemary and mint body polish (exfoliating scrub). A quick shower is followed by a full body massage with shea butter and essential oils. The treatment ends with a scalp massage and a foot massage. Amy, my massage therapist was great. She explained each step of the treatment and checked in to make sure I was enjoying myself. Even though I was completely unclothed for the treatment, she was so adept in draping the towels and sheets that I was never exposed or uncomfortable. Needless to say, this treatment was AMAZING and left me feeling so relaxed.

If full body treatments aren’t your thing, the spa offers facials, massages, sleep treatments, FLOAT therapy and more. You can also visit the Lotus Salon for hair cuts and styling, or to get a manicure or pedicure.

The Accommodations:

I stayed in room 322 during my visit. The room is a Veranda Classic Standard with a King bed. There is a large flat-panel TV and a mini refrigerator. There is also a comfy chair and a rocking chair in the room (again, plenty of cozy seating!). The room also has a desk with a salt lamp on it, which I thought was a nice touch. The bathroom has double sinks, a marble walk-in shower and a private toilet.

The best thing about this room was the private veranda with this view! During the day I kept the veranda doors open and enjoyed listening to the rock garden waterfalls. I woke early and enjoyed drinking my morning coffee on the veranda while I read my book. This was extra special quiet mom time!

The Food:


Executive Chef Josh Tomson, graduate of the French Culinary Institute in NYC, leads the dining team. He incorporates farm-to-table dining into the menus and tries to use local products, including produce from the onsite Blackmore Farm, whenever possible. All meals are served in Tree, the onsite restaurant.


Three meals are included in the price for each night of your stay, (dinner on the day of your arrival and breakfast and lunch the next day). There are menus for each meal where you can choose from several different options. Each selection is labeled as to whether it is vegan, vegetarian, gluten-friendly or contains nuts. Many of the items can also be made gluten-friendly or vegan upon request. They have daily specials at each meal as well. Dinner starts with an amuse bouche and then includes an appetizer, salad, main course and dessert. My dinner started with a chilled strawberry soup amuse bouche, then I chose the Colossal Crab and Shrimp Cocktail, the Signature Salad and the Seared Scallops with a Green Pea Puree. For dessert, I had that night’s special: a Skillet Cookie topped with Vanilla Gelato and Chocolate Sauce.

For breakfast the next day, I enjoyed an Open Faced Mushroom Omelet and some fresh fruit from the buffet. The buffet also had a yogurt and oatmeal bar, as well as a variety of baked goods and even a frittata. For lunch, I ordered the Lobster & Crab Roll, which, according to my waitress, is one of their most popular dishes. I had a small bowl of Potato Leek Soup and made a salad from the salad bar.


As a self-proclaimed foodie, I thought the food was quite good. The presentation was beautiful. Portions aren’t huge, but they are satisfying. All of my seafood dishes were excellent. At lunch and dinner there were several options that looked good and I wished my husband was there so we could share dishes! I found dessert and the sweets offered at the snack bar to be so-so.

I have to admit, eating was the only time during my stay that I felt awkward visiting by myself. I don’t think that I’ve ever previously dined alone in a restaurant setting. I brought my notebook to take notes of my visit and a book and I was okay, but it did feel a little uncomfortable. If you prefer, room-service is available for a small fee.

During my stay, the majority of the guests were women; either groups of friends or mothers and daughters. My daughter is still a couple of years short of being old enough to visit, but I can see us visiting the Lodge together. In the meantime, my husband will hopefully accompany me on my next trip here!

If you are looking for a mom escape, I highly recommend visiting the Lodge at Woodloch. Whether you choose to visit solo, like I did, or with a group of friends, your stay here will be super relaxing and fun…everything you need to rest and rejuvenate yourself before returning to reality.

(To see lots more pictures of my visit, please check out my Lodge @ Woodloch Instastories! I received a media rate for my stay as well as a complimentary spa service to facilitate my review. As always, all opinions are my own.)

The Details:
The Lodge at Woodloch
109 River Birch Lane
Hawley, PA 18428
(570) 685-8500

Check-In Time: 4:00 PM
Check-Out Time: 12 Noon
However, you can participate in the classes and activities and/or make spa appointments earlier/later than the check-in and check-out times. Luggage can be stored in the bell hop closet until your room is ready or you are ready to leave.

*This resort is for individuals ages 16 and older.

*It is recommended that spa treatments be booked in advance. They do book up quickly.

*Activities on the schedule marked with an asterisk (*) have limited space and require guests to sign up in advance with the spa concierge. Please be courteous and call the spa concierge to cancel an activity or class that you signed up for but are unable to attend.

* Dinner is served from 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM but reservations are required. Casual dress is recommended. While resort bathrobes and/or workout attire can be worn in the dining room for breakfast and lunch, it is not permitted at dinner.

*Alcohol is available during meals at an additional cost.

*The Lodge encourages guests to unplug. Cell phone use is not allowed in public areas.

*Gratuities are included in your package rate. However, I did leave a cash tip for housekeeping and the valet.

*Check out their website for specials and deals.