Friday, August 14, 2015

Big Vegas (Birthday) Fun

My Dad wanted to spend his 75th birthday in his favorite place in the world… Vegas! I have been going to Vegas since I was six and My Dad has instilled a great love of the glitz and glamour of Vegas in me. Traveling to Vegas with my Mom and Dad is one of my very favorite things to do. It’s always a fun vacation and we have been so many times that it actually kind of feels like home away from home in a way.

We have always had such amazing times in Vegas. When I was little I loved all the lights and excitement but my favorite thing was Circus, Circus. Now that Big A is old enough to come with us he loves all the lights and excitement but I think Circus, Circus is his favorite. I love that I can share this with him. I love that he loves it too. (Secretly I love letting the kid in me out a little while I play with him, I can still kick butt on the “horse races”!

We had a fantastic Vacation. We lounged by the pool (with a Celebrity sighting! Zac Efron!), we had decadent food (Hello Serendipity! So Amazing). We can chalk up yet another amazing Las Vegas vacation.

Room Service!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Parade of Homes with HGTV Raised Kids

When I think about the Salt Lake Parade of Holmes I am filled with nostalgia. I have wonderful memories of going through these amazing Mansions with my mom as a kid. Awestruck by the pools, tennis courts, kitchens. I have wanted to share this with my kids but I thought they were still a bit too young.
 Then a few months ago we were visiting some friends way out west in the Salt Lake valley in an up and coming area. Their neighborhood was surrounded by new developments all touting open model homes. On a whim we stopped by one to see what it was like. A and a were great, nicely looking through the house, examining the fun new features. When we left Big A said “Mommy do you think we’ll be on TV?” laughingly I asked him “Why would we be in TV?” “Well on “Love it or List it” of course! I didn’t even see David there.” (FYI “Love it of List it is an HGTV show about remodeling your house or buying a new one). We obviously watch enough HGTV that it has filtered down to A and a. As we were headed back home A and A both begged to go see more houses. That was it, I knew the Parade of Homes would be a fun family adventure.
We got our passes, loaded the Parade of Homes app on our phones and off we went. The Parade is a scattered site event but the App provides you perfect turn by turn GPS directions to all the houses. To not overwhelm the kids we did 5 -6 houses at a time. The houses are located in general “clusters” and made breaking up or visits easy.
My worries about the kids being too small were quashed on the first site we visited. They loved exploring the big houses, checking out cool features (Movie Room!, Waterfall Glass Hallway floor!, Hidden Pantry door to the garage!) and pointing out not so cool features (Glass walled showers in the front of the house!, Tiny kids rooms!, a Bidet! EW!).  They have picked up way more HGTV than we thought “Mom doesn’t this look like a wall the “Property Brothers” would have done?” Big A said of a cool reclaimed wall.
Of all the houses though the kids only claimed one was a “List It” (meaning we’d sell our house to buy that one) and Jeff and I actually agreed, if we had $1.5 million to spend. It was heartening that of all the other cool houses they still liked our house better.
After we had hit the houses we’d planned and were headed home both A and a were crying and whining in the back seat of the car “We wanna see more houses!” For all the parents who think that the Parade of Homes isn’t for their kids, reconsider.
Thank you to the Salt Lake Home Builder’s Association for providing us passes to the Parade of Homes. All views and opinions are my own.



Sunday, July 19, 2015

"Hike" at Silver Lake ... Perfect for the kiddos

We are so lucky to live in a place so full of beauty. I'm sure every one thinks this of where they live; be it the ocean, the desert, the bright lights of the city. But to me few things can compare with the beauty of the mountains surroundung Salt Lake City.

I have heard about this wonderful family friendly hike at Silver Lake just up Big Cottonwood Canyon and have been wanting to check it out for awhile now. This Saturday we had the rarity of nothing planned and the weather was gorgeous so I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to check it out.

About 30 minutes away right outside of Brighton ski resort is Silver Lake. It is a breathtaking spot nestled in the mountains. The "Hike" was a super easy and consisted of an even boardwalk for about 2/3 of the way around the lake. It was pretty and fun, long enough to make it worthwhile but short enough the kids weren't complaining at the end. We packed a picnic and ate first. It was a perfect day playing in the beauty of our "backyard"!

Monday, July 13, 2015

"Little" a turns 4

Our little A is 4 today! The time has gone by so quickly! I still think of her as my “Baby.” She is not a baby anymore at all. Little a is growing up so fast! She is a precocious, intelligent, curious, spunky, fun loving, little ball of energy. She is such a sweet little beauty who is such a fun, athletic little tomboy.

…. And no matter how big she gets… She will still be my “Baby”.
Here's some shots from her "4 year-old" photo shoot at the always amazing FOTOFLY studios


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Utah Arts Fest 2015

Jeff and I have been going to the Utah Arts Festival since we first started dating. We have loved seeing all the amazing art and entertainment. Jeff has fun caching up with artist friends that are showing at the fest. Over the years our festival going experience has evolved... or maybe it's devolved, depending on how you look at it. Gone were the days of leisurely strolls through the artists booths, now we spend 90 percent of our time crafting in the kids ART yard. Not that this change was bad, we just missed the art part of the Arts Fest.

This year we came up with a great solution. We did the fest twice.

Thursday, my Mom and Dad graciously had A and a over for a fun sleepover freeing Jeff and I up for an evening of grown-up fest going. We strolled hand in hand around enjoying the artists booths, listening to the funky fun sounds of the "Saliva Sisters" and Jeff got to visit with some old artist friends. It was a fantastic night and we closed the Festival down.

 Saturday we loaded up the kids and headed down town for some family art fun. We Spent 99% of the time at the ART Yard. The YARD had an Egyptian theme this year. The kids painted huge paper mache Mummy's and Sphinx. They created tons of fun free make and take crafts and had a blast at the instrument "petting zoo" hosted by Summerhayes Music. We had some delicious ice cream treats to cool us down provided by "SO Delicious." The kids had a FANTASTIC time at the festival and weren't dragged through the vendor booths.

Doing the Festival twice this year was a great idea. We all got to enjoy our favorite parts of the festival in a fun relaxed way.



Friday, May 8, 2015

Disneyland 2015

Disneyland 2015!!! My Mom and Dad did it again! They gave us the most magical experience. I know it's completely cliche but Disneyland (for us) really is one of the most magical places on earth. It's not just the rides and characters and Disney awesomeness; It's the amazing family experience that we got to share.

We started the trip off with a limo ride to the airport and had a perfect flight via Jet blue (Dad said he only ever wants to fly Jet Blue).  We stayed at the Grand Californian and Mom and Dad had the "Magic Makers"  "help"  mickey leave a huge welcome package for the kids full of awesome treats and gifts.

We spent whirlwind days in the parks, full of rides and the kids meeting their favorite "Stars". I think little a's biggest moment was meeting "Elsa". She looked so very nervous! Big A's favorite was the roller coaster, California Screaming. He is such the little daredevil (don't know where he gets that from...ahem). They both got picked to be part of the Jedi Training and got to "fight" Darth Vader. We did Character Dining (amazing!) and played in the hotel's beautiful pools. The entire trip was perfect. It's cheesy and cliche and all of that but it was pure family Magic.

 I hope the kids will never forget it (little a is only 3), I hope Mom and Dad had an awesome time (rides are NOT their favorite), I know that I will never ever forget it.