Top Photography by Tomas Cohen

I’m going to shake the boat a little bit in today’s article. Reid and I will take a ski trip to the mountains over a trip to Disneyland any day. Yes, it’s true! For those diehard Disney goers, feel free to blast me in my comments below…kindly though. But here are my thoughts. Skiing is a great way to be active, learn something new, improve at a sport, challenge ourselves physically, face our fears, encourage each other…I can go on and on. Skiing is good for families.

When we plan our ski vacation we always pick Vail. For us personally, it’s centrally located for Reid’s parents who meet us there. We fly from the west coast and they drive from the midwest. They love the opportunity to see the kids ski and help us by babysitting Levi so I can ski. If you have grandparents who don’t ski, you need to know Vail offers free scenic gondola rides after 3:30, so the grandparents can join the kids on top of the mountain, watch them ski and then grab hot chocolates at Bistro Fourteen.

We flew Southwest Airlines from Burbank to Denver. Southwest is one of the few airlines that has bags fly free and with snow gear, and we knew we’d have a lot of bags. We got into Denver late afternoon and by the time our shuttle picked us up, the sun was down and we missed the scenery. When you book your trip, make sure to get to Denver no later than 1:00 pm. It’s a two-hour drive from Denver to Vail and the sun goes down around 5:00 pm.  

Vail has world-class skiing and attracts people from all over the world. Vail has amazing restaurants like Flame (our favorite) and Standard. Also, the streets are heated, so you don’t really have to slosh around in your boots to explore the town. Where were heated streets when I was a kid? They also have free transportation that will take you from one side of Vail to the other.

We recommend ski lessons for the kids to get reacquainted with their skis and learn mountain etiquette. Secretly, Reid and I wanted to run off together and ski alone while they were in school. We met up with them for lunch and then did some runs with the ski instructor and the kids in the afternoon before I had to run off and feed Levi. You can book ski lessons online or even the day of. They offer private, semi-private or group lessons. With the four kids, we chose a private group lesson. Be aware though, you can’t mix snowboard lessons with ski lessons.

Besides skiing, we also took the kids to Adventure Ridge at the top of the Lionshead Gondola.  Adventure Ridge offers snow biking, an alpine coaster and snow tubing. The kids chose snow tubing so while I stayed home with Levi and ordered room service, Reid took the kids tubing. Very much a highlight for the kids.

The final day we were blessed with lots and lots of snow! We almost got up early enough to make first tracks. It was beautiful skiing with the snow falling and we skied the morning together as a family. With the fresh powder, the kids were able to take on the blue runs with no problems. Even our five year old was taking them on. Can I remind you how cute kids are skiing? Making fresh tracks in the powder was a great way to end our day…even though we didn’t really want it to end.

If you are curious, we stayed at Ritz-Carlton Residences, Vail. Our place had two bedrooms, a spacious living room with a pullout couch, a well stocked kitchen, 2 bathrooms, a powder room and convenient washer/dryer. The hotel staff was friendly and helpful and provides shuttle service anywhere you need to go. I went downstairs to order a quick bite to eat while the older kids were tubing and the staff brought it up shortly to my room. Reid and I loved the gym area. We got to try the new Pelaton bikes. If we were brave enough, I would love to try the hot tub and heated pool. Funny enough, our kids jumped in and quickly begged for warm towels and blankets. Oh to be a kid!

Where we stayed: Collaboration with RITZ CARLTON CLUB VAIL RESIDENCES

Eat Little Diner (breakfast) Mountain Standard (dinner)

Flame (steak dinner)

Outfit details: GG Belt // Camel Coat // Red Print Sweater // Faux Leather Pants //

My Ski Coat // Ski Pants // Levi SnowsuitBoys Moncler

Girls Puffer // Girls puffer// Boys Puffer

clutch by Olga Berg // sequin joggers // turtleneck sweater // sneakers // sunnies similar // camel coat zara similar //

clutch by Olga Berg // sequin joggers // turtleneck sweater // sneakers // sunnies similar // camel coat zara similar //

I’m a huge fan of flattering joggers let alone sequin joggers. Sometimes you need a little pop of metallic to wake up an otherwise neutral winter look. I’m wearing a small and it has a drawstring waist. I like the classic jogger ankle to compliment a pump for evening or sneaker for day. My wardrobe needs to be as versatile as my lifestyle!

Have you tried sequin joggers?

I’ll be honest, packing for a ski trip is one of the most challenging to prepare for. Let alone with kids. The layers, the ski gear, the goggles, the extra thick socks, sweaters, and don’t get me started on the puffy coats!! But it is one of our family’s FAVORITE vacations. I mean, is there anything greater than skiing down a mountain together? I share more of our first trip to Vail, CO here.

We leave Sunday for Vail, CO so packing has been in the works for a couple weeks, ordering things like hats, gloves and snow suit for Levi, a ski coat for myself and Reid and a snow pants for my 5′ tall 10 year old that is growing like a weed!

Ok, you ask, what did you pack? FYI, here’s my last post on what I ordered for our trip!

Canada Goose Ski Jacket I got it in small (the vest is cute too)// (flattering) Ski Pants // Slippers to walk around the condo // Burberry scarf // Boot with red laces // Vintage inspired knit // “Ski” sweater similar// the red print sweater in my flat lay (FYI go up a size, I could’ve gone with a medium. It runs small // Moon Boots (I’ve always wanted an excuse to buy these!) // White and black turtlenecks

Where did you shop for good baby clothes?

H&M. As much as I like characters and cute teddy bears, I like his clothing to be character free, easy separates and I order a lot of them from H&M! His snowsuit is very warm and I ordered a size 9-12 mos, since he’s gotten quite long!

Can you recommend some good packing cubes?

Yes! Packing cubes help you save SO much space!

OK, I’ve been wondering about this, which ski coat did you get?

I opted for casual and classic. THIS ONE fit the bill. I also like THIS VEST worn over a long turtleneck sweater, faux leather leggings and moon boots.

Where can I find more affordable ski options?

After I had shopped for everything, I discovered the Outnet has ski items, game changer! Check it out. Also, Topshop has some cute ski options.

What do you bring for snacks on the plane and for the ride from Denver to Vail?

I’ll bring gum, mints, kale chips, turkey jerky, and raw almonds.

Don’t forget to check the weather before you go. It should be snowing every day we are there. The weather will justify me bringing 4 turtlenecks!

More sweaters below!

How to shop for a Ski Trip

by Shalice Noel


scarf 2. ski sweater 3. gloves are under $10! 4. ski coat 5. sweater 6. moon boot 7. ski pants


1. hat 2. beanie 3. sunglasses 4. sweater 5. marled sweater 6. T-shirt 7. ski pants 8. backpack 9. ski jacket 10. boots similar

In 20 days we leave for Vail, CO to ski as a family! I’m starting to pack now for our trip. I’m still waiting on some turtlenecks and goggles coming in the mail, otherwise I’m feeling good about packing early! I can’t wait for our private ski lesson and enjoying more snowy conditions than last year. I’ll be sure to capture many pictures of my kiddos in ski gear, because it is THE CUTEST. Admittedly, my 7 year old is a better skier than I am and went down more blues than I did! Sadly, that’s the truth! Which is your favorite ski sweater, coat?

See more pictures HERE from last year’s family trip to Vail!

Camel Coat Outfit

Ski Jacket // Ski Pants //

The Arrabelle at Vail Mountain

Perched up on top of the breathtaking Rockies – a mere 8,022 feet above sea level, is the European inspired town of Vail, CO. I cannot tell you how excited we were to finally go here! Not to mention as a family. This summer, we stopped in Vail for two days on our way to Chicago. Read more here. We rode the gondola and marveled at the streams, the warm sun, chilly nights, and most of all, GORGEOUS VIEWS. Family vacations, as many moms know, are not all relaxing all the time, so we were super excited when Reid’s parents agreed to join us in Vail for a couple of days. A girl needs a couple date nights out with hubby, right? I also got a little spa day, more on that below.

Which do you prefer?  Skiing or beach.  As always…I’ll welcome one of each per year, if I can.  All in the name of balance, right?  Now that we live in a warm climate, I don’t mind a week in snowy cabin.  The family was fortunate enough to partner with Vail Resorts as the ski season was just getting kicked off this last week.  The beauty of going skiing as a young family is that you are investing in their skills so when they are teenagers, they’ll be racing you down the black diamonds…if that’s your thing.  Or, sipping hot chocolate with you in the lodge.

Reserved Ski lessons

For a large family, you can book a private group lesson for less than 4 kids ½ day ski school.  Here’s our lesson learned.  Skiers and snowboards don’t mix.  The boys chose to snowboard and the girls skied.  I booked Ski lessons for everyone.  The Vail Ski School was super accommodating.  They arranged for a group ½ day lesson for the boys at a little extra cost.  The girls kept with the private lesson I had originally booked.  While the kids were in their lessons, Reid and I skied together which ended up being on the same bunny slope as the kids.  So we all got to see each other the first day.  And woahhhh… did my heart melt seeing my mini snowboarders figuring things out!  It was the cutest thing I have ever seen.  Seriously.  Worth every penny.  The boys though switched to skiing the rest of the trip, so Reid and I spent a day teaching them skiing.  Fortunately, they picked it up pretty fast.  Can we say Pizza?  I grew up calling it Snowplow?  What did you call it?

Booked a spa treatment

My hubby surprised me with a spa treatment at the Arrabelle Spa.  With the winter dryness setting in, airplane hair, wind burn, I needed major facial reconstruction.  I had a 50 minute glow facial.  It was…..

Yes.  That good.

I loved the exfoliation, steam, hot towels and how tight my skin felt afterwards. I learned a lot too! The aesthetician told me silk pillows are worth the buy both for your hair and skin, go easy on chemical peels, and every night you go to bed with make-up on, ages you 7 days. Ouch! Good to know. Bonus, I was given lemon sorbet after the procedure and a welcome to come back to the spa anytime to use the spa’s hot tub, sauna and steam room as we were hotel guests. Which of course Reid and I did that night. 

Meal Planning

Planning a day on the slopes can be overwhelming.  Especially for a larger family.  We tried to ease some stress by packing a backpack of crackers, gummies and water.  It did help some hangry moments.  Nobody really wanted to stop skiing, so a quick snack hit the spot.  Plus, the lifts lines we the best during the lunch hour!

Spending time on the slopes will be memorable now and years to come.  We are now one of those skiing families that I always dreamed of being.

Thank you Vail Mountain/Vail Tourism for a wonderful trip our family will never forget!