A Daily lifestyle website. Sharing the latest products on the market, Parenting stories, travel guides, and destination information you can use! Along my travels, I became a Certified Food judge so you can also enjoy Food related posts!

Friday, May 31, 2019

Chautauqua County, New York is the perfect first stop on the Empire State Road trip

A few weeks ago I was invited on the Empire State Road trip. It travels through Chautauqua, NY to Watkins Glenn, NY and finishes off in the 1000 islands area. A perfect collection of places, easily within driving distance, to visit and experience. We just arrived back home and I am so excited to share our travels with you! It is my hope YOU will be inspired to also take this road trip yourselves. 
Our first stop was checking into the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel. It has recently opened, just last August, to an inviting town. It is a combination of luxury, business class aesthetics mixed with a welcoming staff and modern amenities. 
I received a free stay to help facilitate my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.
We had the pleasure of securing a room with a view of Chautauqua Lake, complete with a balcony! If you are interested in staying the night, I truly recommend the upgrade because the views both sunrise to sunset are absolutely amazing!
On the first day of exploring the area, we ventured to the National Comedy Center. Another new development in a pretty well known "city" called Jamestown, NY. Home to Museums, including one dedicated to "I love Lucy", a popular TV series, that offer homage to some of the most famous comedians known. 
The innovation, futuristic technology (A.I. Laugh battle by Microsoft for example) and general care they have put into the National Comedy Center is exquisite. You could easily spend hours, many visits and still not experience everything the Center has to offer. I hope to do a FULL review on this establishment as a mere mention just does not do it justice!! 
If you are in town, please, please, please, do yourself a favor and stop in! 
Next we popped in the Lucy-Desi Museum. Much as you would suspect they have costumes, memorabilia, photographs, replica "I Love Lucy" sets and the history of the late Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. What I found fascinating was the ever growing collection complete with her car and numerous awards! If you are a fan, this is a great place to get some history.
Now, we had a choice to visit the Chautauqua Institute or Robert H. Jackson Center next. Both places, I would recommend but if you are touring the area pick what interests you! On a nice day, perhaps you could enjoy the beach, a delicious meal or listen to theatrical/musical shows at the Institute. On a rainy day perhaps a visit to "the historical center which features interactive exhibits, presentations, and media exploring the universal principles of equality, fairness, and justice". 
Nature is a huge interest to my family. I would be remiss if I didn't include great areas to explore just that! I have written a full review of the Panama Rocks Park, here, a place that might entice some of you hikers! You can also walk the trails at the Jamestown Audubon or perhaps bird watch at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History. 
When our full two days of exploring had come to an end we all enjoyed a fancy dinner at the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel! I ordered the Shrimp Scampi. It was hands down the best scallops I have ever tastes. Perfectly seared, with just the right amount of sauce👌.

Side note: If you do stop in for a meal, I recommend servers Darlene & Jamie they are rock-stars✨!  
With our first stop on the Empire State Road Trip complete we headed off to the next location Watkins Glenn, NY. I will be sharing, each stop, in the coming weeks.
Have you ever been to Chautauqua, New York. 
What attractions do you find interesting (museums, nature trails, hiking, adventures, golf etc)? Let us know in the comments below!!
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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Review of Budsies custom stuffed animal, a unique STEAM toy!

This post was written by Western New Yorker Writer, Ashley.
I have a little artist on my hands! She loves to draw and color everything.
Budsies is a unique STEAM toy that really brings a child’s imagination to life. Draw a picture of your stuffed animal, send it in and back it comes in REAL life. 

See your kids artwork, doodles and drawings Custom, and handmade. Also featured on Shark Tank!

Fun, creative and educational , this STEAM toy makes a great gift for children to cherish because they created it!

You can check out and buy Budsies online at Budsies.com or check them out on Facebook and Instagram @budsies. 
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Tuesday, May 28, 2019

8 Wines to get you ready for Summer parties

We might have never met but let me share something about me. I love wine. Not for excessive drinking. Simply a glass with dinner or for dessert might just be what the doctor ordered! Through my travels both on Press Trips for work, or on our own, we have enjoyed countless winery tastings. This Summer I would love to help add some delicious wines to your list! Some you might already enjoy and some I might be introducing you to for the first time. Either way, I hope you enjoy them as much as we do. I should STOP to mention my taste pallet! I enjoy the semi-sweet spectrum of wine all the way to Ice Wines. If you are interested in dry wines, this list might not be for you (sorry). In time my pallet might broaden but for now it seems pretty settled on the sweeter things in life.
**I received free products to help sample and taste for my review. I was not required to write a positive review . The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.
First up a new wine to my collection, Tussock Jumper 2017, Sweet Cat Red Blend, Italy. With just a hint of spice, a deep ruby color, and soft tannins, Perfectly paired with sweet barbecue ribs, bacon wrapped shrimp, salads, soft cheeses, and desserts.
They also have sparkling Prosecco from Treviso, Italy! I have to say I get a bit excited when we pop open a bottle of this ♥ A great alternative for Champagne, this bubbly favorite is perfect for those finger food gatherings or having a picnic in the park.
Need a little help wine pairing? Check out Tussock Jumper’s AR app, as each wine region’s ambassador ‘jumps’ off the bottle to help with wine pairings and recommendations for the varietal. 
While traveling the North East wine trail near Erie, Pennsylvania we found Arundel winery. As I have said we tend to enjoy the sweeter wines and our favorite from this particular winery is "Young Love" 😍. A sweet tasty Niagara wine that has no after taste but goes down rather smoothly. 
Perfect for Summer days and fabulous meals!
While on the Pocono Press Tour we explored the Pocono Winery. Eating some delicious foods while tasting wines. This satisfying "Sweet Niagara" wine won out to our taste buds. I would venture to say it is one of my favorite all time Niagara's but I am always willing to continue searching.
This Bartenura Sparkling Moscato Rosé (pictured above) has become a new staple in my wine cabinet. With a slightly sweet and bubbly flavor it pairs well with just about anything. The bottle is wonderfully designed and perfect as a gift or for those intimate party gatherings.
Just last week we got back from Watkins Glenn, NY. This particular area just so happens to have a pretty nice wine trail! It also holds Celsius🍷 (pictured above) from Atwater Estate Vineyards, my all time favorite Ice Wine!! When my spouse and I went on a little Wine adventure to fine one they enjoyed we stumbled upon Atwater Winery. After having a great tasting experience we learned my other half enjoys SWEEEET sugary beverages that practically plop out of the bottle. If you enjoy the same this is the Ice wine for YOU!

Need another sparkling suggestions? Perhaps this Prosecco Superiore DOCG might be up your alley. A sparkling wine with a clean, pleasantly fruity bouquet, reminiscent of rennet apples and peach blossom. Its flavor is rounded and well-balanced. Its mellow versatility also brings flavorful sparkle to a small plate brunch or your favorite rich dessert.
When we can't go out to wineries I also enjoy a wine subscription box called Winc. A great way to try new wines and flavors form the comforts of your home. Pick from red or white, dry or even sweet wines!  If you are interested in this as use my code to get $20 on me!! Just click here & enter it.
Meet my indulgent lush affair, ONEHOPE California Sparkling Wine. It comes in only the most spectacular Sparkly bottle EVER (complete with lots of glitter)! Perfect for those cold Summer nights when the weather is chilly and all one can really do is cozy up inside with a bubbly beverage and binge watch Netflix!
I know there is many more wines that NEED to be on this list. I hope as we travel more, try more and get more suggestions I can add to it over the years.
Have a Semi-sweet wine we should try?? 
Let us know in the comments below!
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Friday, May 17, 2019

Mission Control clears you to enter the National Air and Space Museum in Fairfax, Virginia

Back in March I made a deal with my son. If he went on the field trip at school (missing a Space demonstration) I would take him to a Space Museum. The things we do to get our kids to go to school. His only stipulation was "not just any Museum, Mom, it HAS to have something special". Right! After searching the internet I found a place claiming to house a real life size Space Shuttle within it's walls. WHAT?! I messaged the tourism board asking if this was in fact the case. Folks, let me introduce you to the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution in Fairfax, Virginia.
We loaded in our vehicle and headed to Fairfax, Virginia (roughly 6.5 hours drive). I never mentioned where we were going just said I was fulfilling my end of the bargain. Interested in our full itinerary while in town?? Go check it out HERE
 When we first walked in my son was pretty overwhelmed. 
"These exhibitions examine the history of powered flight and space exploration. From the first flight of the 1903 Wright Flyer to the first images of Pluto provided by the New Horizons spacecraft."
My first impression was: "WOW". 
"The restoration hangars are filled with 195 history-changing aircraft, 150 spacecraft and satellites, and thousands of other artifacts." 
It was hard not to "lost in space"...with so much to look at. He did not even see the Space Shuttle at first. We walked down to the Space demonstrations, snapped a few photos by some artifacts including this astronaut suit, pictured above.
The stunning Space Shuttle Discovery is pretty hard to miss though! 
Fun fact: My friend ( a fellow writer over at Capital Moms), who accompanied us, watched this Space Shuttle fly in on top of an airplane!!
 After 39 successful flights for NASA, this beauty is retired within the Museum walls for everyone to enjoy. Let me tell you it was the highlight of our trip! Definitely worth the smile plastered all over my son's face. I am a strong advocate for reading but somethings were meant to be SEEN in person! 
Books, photos and words just do not do this place/aircraft/experience justice.
Did I mention the National Air and Space Museum is FREE? I honestly had no idea until we entered and could not find the ticket counter. Might I recommend if you do have little one's grab a "Scavenger Hunt" at the Customer Service Counter. The seasoned local had never grabbed one before either (ha) but let me just say the kids loved it!
 If you are in Fairfax County, Virginia or maybe looking for a Space Museum with "Something special" this my friends is the place to visit! Family-friendly, knowledgeable staff, educational classes, tons of things to see/do and it's handicap accessible!! 
Have you ever visited a Air & Space Museum??
Do you have a favorite Space Memory??
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Monday, May 13, 2019

Teriyaki Chicken with Quinoa Recipe


The last few weeks I have been trying to mix things up in my kitchen. It can be so hard to make different dishes with our busy schedules. Here is a great dish to whip up if you are stressed for time and low on ingredients.  
What you will need:
2-3 small peppers
2 garlic cloves (chopped)
3 tbs teriyaki sauce
Few dabs of Worcestershire
1 small onion (diced)
I also added some red wine, optional
Diced mushrooms also optional
Boneless Chicken breast ( use what you need)
Add some Olive oil to a frying pan along with onions and mushrooms. 
Let these almost brown before adding the garlic to the pan.
 Lower your heat and add the boneless chicken in. Also add the teriyaki sauce, wine, Worcestershire and peppers. Allow the chicken to cook thoroughly. While this is simmering I add my quinoa to my instant pot and allow to cook.
 Once the quinoa cooks I add it to the plate. I add the chicken atop with the juice and vegetables. This has such a great flavor and takes less than 20 minutes to make. Serve & Enjoy!
Do you like to mix your dinner meals up?
Have you tried Teriyaki Chicken before??
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Friday, May 10, 2019

Our stay aboard the Fulton Steamboat Inn in Strasburg, PA

When I was younger, we lived pay check to pay check but at times even that was a struggle. My Mom would stretch her pennies and save like a mad women! Any money left over after paying bills went for things we needed plus traveling adventures. Her idea was that small trips here and there helped us connect as a family. She fueled my love of travel from an early age. Now I  want to pass down that love of travel experiences to my son.
On one memorable trip she took us to a "Steamboat" hotel. While searching online about the Lancaster, Pennsylvania area, I found the Fulton Steamboat Inn! Talk about fate.
You bet your racing horse ticket I booked a room for my family. Neither one of them had any idea until we literally pulled in the parking lot. Sort of a little special surprise before we called it quits on our Spring Break vacation. The Fulton Steamboat Inn in Strasburg, PA is pretty darn unique! It houses 97 Victorian and Nautical themed rooms complete with all of the modern amenities.
 After check-in we ventured outside to the Jr. First Mate's Happy Harbor Playground. A perfect spot for kids to run, play and create tails from a seven sea voyage.
Everything about this area from the Amish farm lands to the Fulton gardens have you feeling relaxed. 
We walked to the fire pit area, around the gardens and enjoyed their fully stocked koi pond.
The local ducks even have made this area a home. 
One thing I truly love about being a parent....watching how my son takes after "me". His sense of humor is a spitting imagine of mine. This photo above shows that!! We both saw this "sign" and stood smiling waiting for a photo capture without even discussing it to one another.
 The grounds of this Inn are beautiful and honestly it's hard to capture a "bad shot"!! It is so family friendly I could not recommend a stay more, truly!
When we had enough of the outdoors we went inside to enjoy their indoor pool. 
Did I mention the pool has painted fish on the bottom of it?? 
I thought this was the neatest thing and so did my son!!
Before you leave I would also suggest a meal at their restaurant.  We had half-off appetizers for dinner in the bar area. It is very kid-friendly with table seating. The food is delicious, workers are kind and orders are taken right away (perfect when you have little ones with you).
In the morning we enjoyed a "family style" breakfast. I have never had this sort of buffet style dish before. It was pretty neat and filling. They served all three of our portions on one plate (shown above). We just took what we wanted. YUM!
Overall our stay at the  Fulton Steamboat Inn in Strasburg, PA was memorable. I am so glad they are operating after all these years. We can't wait for our next visit! If you are traveling in the area I HIGHLY recommend you book a stay!
Have you ever stayed the night in a Steamboat??
What are your favorite places in Lancaster, PA??
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