Month: February 2016

Living Water Resort: A Home Away From Home at Blue Mountains

Living Water Resort: Your Home Away From Home

We love getting away to the Collingwood area for either a quick weekend getaway or a week-long adventure. There is so much to do in the region (not just skiing!) and we never get bored. Where we stay when we get away is just as important as what we do. On our last getaway this past weekend, we stayed for the first time at Living Water Resort.

Living Water Resort is part of the larger Cranberry Village that is located in the heart of Collingwood and a short five-minute drive to the Blue Mountain hills. The Cranberry Village has been family owned over the last twenty years by Larry Law who developed the Village into a residential and hospitality areas with the focus being on family and experiences. It is this family and experience model that really shines through when you enter the lobby and throughout your stay at Living Water Resort.

Living Water Resort: Your Home Away From Home

The Living Water Resort is off of the main road in Collingwood and was easy to locate with ample parking.  We checked in around four and the entire process was painless. While my husband and I checked in, our children relaxed in comfort in front of the fireplace and television watching sports (I swear they could have spent most of their time there!). Just a little ways down from the lounge was the fitness centre and pool, which we were able to have a quick glance in before heading upstairs. The kids were in awe of the huge slide that was in the pool which for part of it went outside of the building (every child and adults dream slide!).

We spent the night in an one bedroom suite, complete with full kitchen, living and dining area, full bath, washer and dryer with an adjoining one bedroom suite that had two beds, full bath and mini kitchen area. The kids were delighted that they each had their own bed in their own area of the suite (win win for kids and adults).

Living Water Resort: Your Home Away From Home

My personal favourite part of the stay? The view:

Living Water Resort: Your Home Away From Home

How incredible is that view? The windows in the living room spanned the wall so we could pull back the curtains and enjoy the relaxing marina view while sitting together in front of the fireplace and television. It was the most relaxing evening we spent together in a long time (and trust me after a long and active day at Scenic Caves it was much appreciated!).

My second favourite location in our suite, was the soaker tub and the huge shower with alternating lights in the shower head. I filled the tub with water, pulled the curtains up a tad and could relax with my coffee while viewing the calm of the world around me. It helped my sore muscles and unwind my mind after a busy day. If it wasn’t for my kids wanting breakfast, I think I could have spent an hour soaking in the bath.

Living Water Resort: Your Home Away From Home

The kitchen had everything you would ever need to make your own meals or in our case warm up some of the meals we had purchased in the Cranberry Village. The appliances were all new and high quality. I love how the fridge had the same sleek wood look to the doors so it effectively hides it while completing the modern look of the kitchen. The washer and dryer were located just between the kitchen and bathroom which was perfect to dry wet towels, clothes from the day and if you stayed a whole week, to ensure that you went home with clean clothes.

Living Water Resort: Your Home Away From Home

The overall look and feel of the suite was modern with a welcoming touch to invite you in. You literally feel like you are at home (just a whole lot nicer and in our case neater with no toys!). The suite has everything you can possibly need with the bonus of having the gym and pool downstairs. The resort also has an arcade and daily fitness classes.

While they are still currently building their in-house restaurant as part of the third phase of their completion, you can head over to the Cranberry Resort (it was under a five-minute drive from the hotel) to enjoy a meal at either Memories or the Courtyard Bistro. We enjoyed dinner at Memories and loved the service and quality of the food.

If you are heading out to the Collingwood area and are looking for a family oriented, full service hotel, make sure you check out Living Water Resort. Don’t forget to follow them on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date with new information and deals.

Disclosure: We stayed at Living Water Resort in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Unleash Your Inner Winter Child at Scenic Caves Nature Adventures

Winter is all about the magic of snow falling, new adventures and the quiet beauty and silence of being outdoors. As an adult, I have learned to dread the drives in the snow and icy conditions, the layers of clothing on my kids and getting the snowsuits on just to have to pull it all off again because someone forgot to use the bathroom. It can be easy to forget the pure and simple beauty of winter! It is important to reconnect with that love and to share it with your children. This past weekend, we headed out to the trails at Scenic Caves Nature Adventures Nordic Centre and reconnected with our inner child to regain those lost memories and to just unwind and have fun with our boys.

Unleash Your Inner Winter Child at Scenic Caves

We visited the Scenic Caves Nature Adventures trails during the early fall and fell in love with the natural environment and history. There was just so much to do, see, learn and touch. We kept trying to picture the Nordic Centre but could not quite get the image in our head. What we experienced was far beyond expectations.

Unleash Your Inner Winter Child at Scenic Caves Nautre Adventures

Scenic Caves Nature Adventures is literally transformed into a winter wonderland with the hills to one side and a breath-taking view of the lake on the other side (the lake was a beautiful blue on Sunday that just drew our attention to it). The main lodge was transformed into a chalet style building with comfy couches, fireplaces and tables to relax, warm up and enjoy a snack before heading back out. Families (and individuals) can participate in either snowshoeing or skiing. The Nordic Centre provides rental equipment, that you can purchase as part of a package with your admission.

Unleash Your Inner Winter Child at Scenic Caves Nature Adventures Nordic Centre

We participated in both snow shoeing and cross-country skiing. My personal favourite was definitely the snowshoeing, mainly because my balance is awful and even more pronounced on skis! No matter how hard I tried, I kept overcompensating by leaning back, which of course led to my feet up in the air and me on my behind.

Unleash Your Inner Winter Child with Scenic Caves Nature Adventure

The snowshoe trails make up about ten kilometres of trails throughout the area and include a walk down to the Suspension Bridge. Walking across the bridge and the views it offers in winter is incredible (not to mention that much more nerve-wracking!). Our youngest was definitely the bravest and headed out across the bridge first. Along the way we took a lot of opportunities for snow ball fights, breaks on the side of the trails – which is quite peaceful to stop in the middle of the  trails, sit down on the side and just embrace the quiet, the trees and the nature around you.

Unleash Your Inner Winter Child With Scenic Caves Nature Adventures

The cross-country ski trails are divided into easy to moderate to more advanced. We stuck to the easy peasy trails (the real name!) and our incredible instructor, Marianne led the way. If you are going to head out cross-country skiing and it has been a little while since your last time on skis, I highly recommend spending the extra time with an instructor. She taught us much more than just how to navigate the trails but the grip of the bottom of the skis, how to tilt your knees and ankles and not to mention how to just laugh and have fun. I honestly think our youngest kept falling so she would come over to pick him and talk to him! He laughed the whole hour and a half we were out on the trail (which we were so proud of him for completing!). I was so proud of how fearless they were and how quickly they picked up what she was teaching them. Nothing stopped them on those trails (except for maybe me falling every time I stopped paying attention to my legs and arms and how they were moving!).

Unleash Your Inner Winter Child with Scenic Caves Natures Adventures

Make sure you leave yourself at least three hours to truly appreciate the whole experience and to ensure you have enough time on the trails to take in the nature and sights. The Nordic Centre has two warm up centres for you to take a break in, grab a coffee and quick rest before heading back out. The main centre has an outdoor fire pit (I love the smell of logs burning!) which gave us a chance to recover, drink some water but keep warm too.

While you are out on the trails, keep your eyes open for little critters (we so badly wanted to spot a porcupine!) but we did find these little prints near the front lodge:

Unleash Your Inner Winter Child at Scenic Caves

Make sure you follow Scenic Caves Nature Adventures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with trail openings and important information.

Disclosure: We received admission to Scenic Caves Natures Adventures to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Because Family Time Matters #StreamTeam


Life is busy, trust me I know – between work, school, soccer, swimming and yoga, it can be hard to just take a minute to breath and unwind. But doing so is so important for not only your own mental health well being but for you families well being too. Taking the time to press pause on life, relax and unwind as a family unit builds stronger family bonds. We love our family time – we can choose one family activity and then spend time talking, listening and just living in the moment.

Our sacred family time is Saturday night. We love to stay in, just the four of us and unwind together. Staying in the comfort of our home, gives us the freedom to focus on each other without the background noise public places offers. Not to mention we can be as silly as we want to be – dance parties, fashion shows, baking and karaoke – yes please!

Because Family Time Matters #StreamTeam

When all the active fun winds down and it is time to start thinking bed time, it is time to create our impromptu camp out in front of the television (sometimes we even let Grandpa join us – even if he falls asleep first – sorry Dad!!).

Because Family Time Matters #StreamTeam

That is when we can find family hits on Netflix that the WHOLE family can enjoy. With the premiere of Fuller House coming up in two days (squeal!!), I can not wait to show my children this series and explain to them how this was a huge part of my own child and teen years. I loved Full House and to think of them as adults (although it brings home how much I have aged as my kids like to point out!) is mind blowing. The adventure picks up many years later with new Tanner additions, not to mention a Gibbler addition! After having a sneak peek at the first couple of episodes, it had me in tears, it had me laughing and most of all anticipating the next episodes.

Check out this trailer for Fuller House now:

And if you are a huge Full House fan like me, check out these other great family inspired titles: SuperMoms Like DJ Tanner, Steph Tanner Presents “How Rude” TV and Kimmy Gibbler and Other Pesky Friends HAVE MERCY! 🙂 I have to admit, I can’t get all of my favourite Full House sayings out of my head and have been using them like crazy. This weekend will definitely be all about Fuller House.

Because Family Time Matters

What are your favourite family themed movies currently streaming on Netflix?

Disclosure: I am a Netflix #StreamTeam member and receive perks associated with this affiliation. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Kissed by a Cowboy Book Review

Litfuse Book Tour

In Kissed by a Cowboy Cassidy was looking for a home and a place to belong and not for a cowboy to steal her heart!

Kissed by a Cowboy Book Review

About Kissed by a Cowboy

Having lived through her parents’ endless string of “matrimonial bliss gone wrong,” Cassidy Starr knows when the odds are not in her favor. Divorced and humiliated, her faith on rocky ground, Cassidy is through with love. She has been bucked off that horse far too many times. Instead, she returns to Wishing Springs, Texas, and the rundown farm she has inherited from her great aunt Roxie. She’ll reopen the strawberry farm and a bed & breakfast and follow in her aunt’s footsteps, remaining forever-independent, happy and single.

Rancher Jarrod Monahan’s hands are full running the ranch, looking after his ailing grandfather, and chasing down a group of rustlers on the loose. He’s pushed his longing for a family to the bottom of his list of priorities. Besides, he was in love once but ran scared and lost his one shot at happiness. But suddenly, the biggest regret of his life has moved in next door with a wounded heart, determined to become a spinster and that is a challenge that Jarrod just can’t pass up.

Jarrod sets his mind to breaking down the walls around Cassidy’s stubborn heart. How can he show her that this cowboy’s kiss lasts forever?

My Thoughts

A great Western romance read with some twists along the way. We have our main character Cassidy who has been through so much through her marriage. She is hurt, betrayed and unable to trust and ready to start another relationship. She has darkened her heart to a chance of romance. A strong part of me can’t blame her, I can’t even begin to imagine the emotions she is going through. She is struggling to come to closure and does not want this to interfere with her future but it is hard not to let it. Her pain keeps surfacing to the top throughout the novel.

On the flip side we have Jarrod, a man who has known her whole life but who has also been scarred by family and life. He has come to terms with his past and wants to move forward but he needs to help show Cassidy the way. He needs to help build her trust and acceptance, which is not easy!

A wonderful tale of trust, honesty, love and acceptance with a Western spin! You will fall in love with the warm and funny characters and the honest story.

You can find more reviews on the Litfuse Blog Tour page. You can purchase a copy of the book here.

Rating: 4/5

About the Author

Debra Clopton is a multi-award winning novelist and has written more than 22 novels. Along with writing, Debra helps her husband teach the youth at their local Cowboy Church. Debra’s goal is to shine a light toward God while she entertains readers with her words.

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Voice of the Spirit

iRead Book Tours

In Voice of the Spirit, can two people with different beliefs stay together?

Voice of the Spirit

About Voice of the Spirit

Tobias and Lauren have been together for four months since the end of Do You Want to Play. They’ve found rhythm in their relationship, but that rhythm comes to an abrupt stop when a body is found nailed to a cross inside Pious Church.

As they dig through possible suspects—from religious fanatics to resentful Satanists—they also find themselves reexamining their relationship, trying to figure out if two people with opposite beliefs can stay together. As time begins to run out for their kidnapped singer and the murders begin to pile up, they will have to find a way to resurrect what they had doubted and sacrifice what they had believed.​

You can purchase a copy of Voice of the Spirit on Amazon.

About the Author

Charlotte Raine is a best selling suspense author. Charlotte gets inspiration for her writing from the scenic mountains around her home near Vail, Colorado.

When she is not writing you will find her after a long day of skiing at one of the many lodges in Vail. She will most likely be next to a warm fire, drinking a glass of wine and telling stories.

You can connect with her online, Twitter and Facebook.

The Giveaway

Charlotte is giving you the chance to win one of three signed copies of Teacher Beware. Enter via the Rafflecopter below.

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