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Fun Ways to Keep the Kids Entertained When the Temperatures Drop

By | All Posts, Cooking, DIY, Entertainment, Home, Inspiration

It seems like a constant battle for any mom: how to keep your kids entertained. When the temperatures drop, and the kids are stuck inside, it seems like an even bigger battle. Before you know it, cabin fever sets in and you are looking for ideas that will be educational, but also help to expend at least some of their boundless energy.  Here are some of our suggestions on how to keep the kids entertained once the weather turns.

Cooking with the Kids

Inviting the kids to cook with you in the kitchen is a great way to educate and empower them, while having fun, quality time together. Not only can kids learn math skills like counting, fractions, sequences, measuring and forming shapes through cooking, but they will also learn problem solving, chemistry and can increase their vocabulary too. In addition, they will learn a valuable skill they can use throughout their life. The best part is: everyone gets to reap the rewards of your work together. Tacos and pizza recipes are perfectly suited  for cooking with little kids, but why not combine them and make a Taco Pizza together? Yes, kids love macaroni & cheese. But, instead of reaching for another box, why not try making a healthier homemade version like Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese? And don’t forget dessert: S’mores Casserole is just as much fun to make as it is to eat. There are tons of recipes to try out here as well.

Get Moving Together

Often, when the temperature outside gets lower, so does our level of physical activity. The same goes for our kids as well. A lack of physical activity can not only slow down a child’s metabolism, but it can lead to an increased risk of becoming overweight, or obese, in adulthood. It can also lead to a host of other health issues like diabetes, higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and a more dismal outlook on life, according to KidsHealth.org. Encouraging kids to stay active even when they can’t go outside not only has several health benefits and helps them burn energy, but it’s also a great opportunity to create positive experiences and family memories.  All you really need is a little imagination. A family dance party is not only tons of fun but requires very little planning. Have each family member pick out their favorite songs and start dancing. Take it up a notch by adding some fun dance lights, glowsticks, scarves and/or ribbons to wave around; or try adding a little competition to your dance party and make it a dance-off. Who doesn’t love balloons? There are endless ways to get the kid’s heart rates up with balloons, like balloon volleyball or balloon tennis. Clean-up time is usually a struggle, but how about turning it into a race? Put on a favorite song and challenge the kids to see how much they can put away before the end of the song. There are so many fun ideas & games to try, your kids might even want to stay inside to play when it is nice outside.

Get Crafty

Being stuck inside during the cooler months creates the perfect opportunity to bring out the craft supplies and get creative. Crafts are great for kids, not just because they are fun, but because crafts help grow self-esteem, creativity, imagination, STEM skills, problem solving and patience. Crafts also allow children to express themselves and communicate their inner feelings. Creating something and finishing a project that they can see displayed gives kids a sense of pride and delight in watching others admire their work. Instead of buying a bunch of decorations for the holidays, why not have the kids create the holiday decorations this year?  Garland is a great project to help develop fine motor skills and can really bring out their creativity, because there are so many options. Try some of these: DIY Yarn Balls, Falling Leaves Garland or Washi Tape Christmas Trees. Or make some ornaments you can hang year after year like Silver Snowflakes, Popsicle Sled Sleds, or Jolly Elves. Photo ornaments are another type of ornament you will appreciate for years to come. Don’t forget to add names and dates so you can look back and reminisce when the kids get older.

Share A Smile

Have relatives or friends that live far away? A great way to spread warmth when it is chilly outside is to have the kids write letters or draw pictures to give to family, friends or anyone they want to make smile. Another idea is to call a local retirement center and ask if your kids can make some cards and crafts for the residents.

If they have some gently used toys they no longer play with, this is a great time to encourage them to donate to other kids who could use them. Not only will you be encouraging your kids to give to those less fortunate, you can also help reduce your toy clutter as well. Charities like Deseret Industries and Goodwill are good charity options, as they will either donate the toy to an organization for you, or sell the toy in their thrift store and serve the community in that way. Other charities may have specific wish lists or restrictions on the types of toys they can accept, so be sure to check with them before trying to donate. You can also check with your friends or coworkers with younger kids to see if they might appreciate receiving a toy. Have your child wrap up the toy and give it as a gift.

7 Easy Ways To Stay Fit This Fall

By | All Posts, Health & Fitness

Who doesn’t love the fall? The leaves are changing, it’s the perfect sweater weather and there is pumpkin spice everything. But with the sun setting earlier and holiday comfort food on the horizon, it can be difficult to stick to your health goals. When the temperature lowers, so can our motivation to stay active. Here are our tips to help you stay on track as autumn hits.

1. Enjoy The Outdoors

Take a hike—literally. With the mountains colored in splashes of red, orange and yellow, fall is one of the most beautiful times to explore the outdoors. The crisp cool air is better for your body and you can hike without the worry of overheating that can happen during the summer.

2. Take Advantage of Fall Activities 

You don’t have to be at the gym to get in a good workout. Fall is full of outdoor activities that will help you keep off the pounds. Running around a corn maze or picking pumpkins and apples can help you stay fit without sacrificing your favorite fall events.

3. Watch Your Water Intake

You may not think you need as much water in the fall because the weather has cooled down and you aren’t guzzling water to stay hydrated like you were in the summer, but that is not the case. Despite the weather change, make sure you keep up your water intake. Drinking water has many benefits for your health including increased energy and weight loss.

4. Yard Work-out

With all the colorful autumn leaves falling in your yard, use this chore to burn up a sweat. Raking and bagging leaves burns 350-450 calories in an hour, so you can work on your fitness while cleaning up the outside of your home. This is an activity the whole family can enjoy, because who doesn’t love jumping into a big pile of leaves.

5. Keep A Food Log

Research has shown that if you write down what you eat during the day it will help you make healthier choices. You can keep it simple and use pen and paper to write down your calorie intake or use apps such as My Fitness Pal that lets you scan the barcode of each item you eat. As you start tracking what you eat, you will notice patterns in your lifestyle and can take action.

6. Come Prepared

Fall is notorious for delicious candy and desserts and avoiding them can be tough when you don’t come prepared. If you pack healthy snacks to eat throughout the day, it makes junk food less of a temptation. A little preparation will help you stay on top of your goals and make it easier to say “no” when the Halloween candy comes around the office.

7. Don’t Skip TV Time

Sometimes getting to the gym is a struggle when an episode of your favorite fall drama is on TV, but you don’t have to skip the latest episode of This Is Us to get in a good workout. There are plenty of exercises you can do from the comfort of your own home. Walk on the treadmill during an episode or do sit-ups and lunges during the commercial break, the options are endless.

Building the Right Face Mask to Fend Off Winter Skin

By | All Posts, Beauty, DIY

Winter is coming.  As the temperatures and the leaves start to drop, many of us have already started gearing up to defend our skin against the fiercely drying conditions of winter. Finding the right moisturizer in the beauty aisles can be overwhelming and expensive. The good news is you probably have everything you need in your kitchen to keep a healthy glow in your skin.

 

You can find recipes for homemade face masks all over the internet, but how do you know which is the best choice for you? Trying mask after mask with minimal results can be frustrating and can get expensive. Creating a custom mask might be the answer to help your skin stay healthy and smooth. Knowing the benefits of everyday household and natural ingredients can help you mix up a perfect blend to keep your skin full of life.

 

Before we talk about specific ingredients, we should break down what makes them so great. All of the ingredients we’ll mention are packed with things that have amazing benefits for your skin. Knowing how each element helps keep your skin healthy will help you choose the right ingredients for your custom mask. So let’s break it down!

 

Potassium provides hydration and moisturization. B Vitamins act as anti-aging agents. Vitamin A works to heal dry, weathered skin, fade acne and dark spots, and smooths aging skin. Zinc fights acne-causing germs. Vitamin C helps collagen production and controls skin oils. Vitamin E protects against UV damage and slows signs of aging. Amino acids nourish skin and strengthen connective tissues to maintain skin elasticity.

So what things can you gather up from your cabinets that will put you on the right track for happy, healthy skin?

 

Honey

 

The idea of putting honey on your face might seem like a recipe for a sticky mess, but you don’t need much to reap its benefits.  Full of antioxidants (which will help with anti-aging), Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C, honey will give your complexion a nice little boost.  The enzymes in honey allow it to easily seep into your skin and open up your pores so that the pores are easier to clean out. Also, did you know that honey is a natural antibacterial? Use a dab on clean skin for acne spot treatment!

 

Egg Yolks

 

We’ve all heard of putting egg yolks in our hair for a good protein treatment, but putting them on  your face has a host of other benefits. Vitamins A and B2 help foster smooth and younger-looking skin, while the zinc helps keep the skin clear. In baking, eggs are used for their binding qualities, and that’s the same reason to put them on your face: they help lock moisture into your skin!

 

Oatmeal

There’s a reason you’ve seen so many facial recipes that feature oatmeal: It has a tried and true reputation for loving your skin as much as you do. Oatmeal offers gentle exfoliation and helps the skin retain moisture, which ultimately leads to your skin looking and feeling young and fresh.  Oatmeal is also a great natural anti-inflammatory, it nourishes the skin, and improves dryness and roughness. What’s not to love?

 

Sweet Almond Oil

This ingredient may be less common in households, but it’s well worth adding to your skin care arsenal. Every drop of this oil contains Vitamin E, Vitamin A, monounsaturated fatty acids (to help retain moisture and heal dry, chapped, irritated skin), protein, potassium, and zinc. Talk about a power house! Sweet almond oil will help lighten dark under eye circles, help relieve distressed skin, and it’s a natural makeup remover.

 

Bananas

If you only add one thing to your skin care regimen from this list, make it bananas. Mashing up a single banana and applying it to your skin once or twice a week will provide huge benefits! Potassium, B vitamins, Vitamin A, Zinc, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and amino acids are all packed into this one source. Bananas will help moisturize your skin, balance your oils, treat acne, treat dark spots, and help with anti-aging.  

 

Any of these ingredients alone can help improve the overall health of your skin, but creating a bespoke recipe that addresses your specific skin needs with all-natural ingredients helps your skin and your wallet!

10 Expert Tips on Sneaking Exercise into Your Day

By | All Posts, Health & Fitness

Let’s be honest, nobody really wants to exercise.

Okay, some people do. Some people enjoy the rush of spending two hours lifting heavy at the gym, finding the most advanced hike they can and huffing it up a mountain, or going hard on their daily 5am run. However, for the rest of us – those of us who after a long work day just want to order in and collapse on the sofa, or feel like chasing your kids around is enough exercise for the day – there are fortunately plenty of things you can do to sneak in some extra calorie burn.

In the age of convenience, we don’t need to be nearly as active as we used to be. You can order anything from your sofa, from groceries to toilet paper. This results in a lot of bad habits that significantly cut out a huge chunk of exercise we could be easily getting throughout our day. Some of these tips may seem like they won’t amount to much, but a few daily changes will add up over a week! Movement and exercise also release endorphins and other chemicals in our brain that make us feel energized, alert, and more positive. If you are a mostly sedentary person and are often tired, have trouble concentrating, or just want to shed a few pounds, these tips may be for you!

1. Wake Up and Stretch

If you’re groggy in the morning and struggle to get out of bed, try standing up and taking just a few minutes to stretch out before starting your day. Stretching is great for your muscles and circulation, and can leave you feeling less stiff. It’ll also wake you up a little so you’re not feeling sluggish for your morning routine. Waking up with a full body stretch and making your bed will burn a few extra calories and give you a positive, fresh start to your day!

2. Walk Your Dog (or Your Kids) (or Your Friend)

It might be easy to just open your back door and let your dog romp around in your backyard with the kids for a bit while you stay inside and watch the news. However, you could be joining in and getting some of that quality calorie burn! Take your dog or kids for a walk, or take them to a park and play with them instead of just sitting and watching. Don’t have a dog or kids? Ask a friend to go on a walk with you instead of catching up on the phone. There’s probably a local cafe or shop you’ve been meaning to venture to; maybe ask a date out on a walk to go check it out!

3. Make TV Time Active

Bingeing time doesn’t have to be a guilty pleasure. If you have a gym, or a treadmill at home, try walking while you catch up on your favorite series. No treadmill? No problem! Keep a yoga mat or kettlebell by the TV and instead of plopping on the couch, try doing some yoga or simple weight training exercises while you watch. Doing a little workout will also keep you from mindless snacking while you watch (we all do it).

4. Stand Up More

If you’re in a waiting room, taking a call, or waiting on a bus, try to break the habit of sitting down when you don’t really need to be. Many people get into this habit, having sedentary jobs and waiting in traffic for an hour a day. Opting to stand instead of sit will not only burn more calories, it’ll keep you feeling more alert throughout the day. You can also try speaking with your manager to see if you can get a standing desk. Many workplaces will try their best to accommodate this request.

5. Sit Smarter

If you have a desk job and have to sit for most of the day, don’t get discouraged! There are subtle, simple exercises you can do even while you sit. Try flexing your ab muscles and holding it for as long as you can, and then releasing. Do a few stretches in your seat every few hours. Get creative – listen to some of your favorite music and tap your legs and feet. If you have a home office, swap out your office chair for an exercise ball! Balancing on one engages your core muscles, and burns calories.

6. Cook Yourself a Meal

Instead of ordering take-out or stopping at a fast-food joint on your way home, stop at the grocery store and get some ingredients to cook your own meal. Not only can you make a much healthier, lower calorie option than standard take-out, but cooking yourself is more of a workout than people realize. Working up a sweat in the kitchen, where you might be on your feet over a hot stove for an hour, is a great way to get in some distracted exercise. It can also be fun, if you’re cooking with a friend or partner! Put on some music, or a show in the background and get cookin’!

7. Park Farther Away

A super easy and simple way to add a few more steps to your day is to simply park farther away! Unintentional rhymes aside, this habit may seem inconsequential, but its really the small daily changes that add up over time. Instead of spending an extra ten minutes sharking around a busy parking lot waiting for that perfect spot right in front of the entrance, just park in the back and walk. You’ll not only burn more calories, you’ll get more of that vitamin D your body is probably craving!

8. Take the Stairs

Going off that last point, taking the stairs is a super easy but often bypassed way to get around that gives you a little extra boost. It’s usually faster than waiting for the elevator anyway. It really is the small steps that will make the big differences when you’re making lifestyle changes, so remember that next time you’re thinking of skipping the stairs.

9. Clean the House

Cleaning your home or apartment is a great way to kill two birds with one stone – it’s actually a great workout, and you always feel so good when you’re done and can enjoy a spotless house. You can make cleaning more of a workout and more fun by playing some music and “dance-cleaning.”…Don’t pretend you don’t know what that means.

10. Take More Breaks

Desk jobs can really make it difficult to get your exercise in for the day. Apps can help you make sure you’re reaching your goals, even while at work. Try setting alarms every hour or so to remind you to get up and stretch or take a small walk. Bring a water bottle to work and try to meet your water consumption goals so you have more reasons to get up for refills and bathroom breaks. Having a FitBit or other kind of pedometer can help you set and reach daily step goals.

Getting more exercise doesn’t have to mean starting a one-hour gym routine where you are lifting heavy or huffing it on the treadmill. Some of the best exercise you can possibly get is simply walking more. The great thing about most of these tips is that many of them take no or very little extra time out of your day! It’s more about making smarter choices than drastically changing your life. Anyone can do it, and you don’t have to wait until the new year to set new goals. Try some of them today!

Closet 101: How to Make Your Wardrobe Organized, Beautiful, and Zen

By | All Posts, DIY, Home

Organization is overwhelming. Papers, clothes, toys, and books…it is incredible just how many things the average American household has inside it. We challenge you to quiet the noise of some of your own mayhem and focus on one impactful area this week: your closet. This is the place where you start your day and put on the armor and confidence you need to face whatever the world is going to serve you. Make that start purposeful by having a beautiful, zen space to keep your wardrobe. You’ll save time and stress; and you don’t have to break the bank doing it.

Make Everything Visible

There is a reason retail stores display all the inventory they have in such purposeful, neat stacks. If you do not see it, you will not buy it. Well the same is true for your closet: if you do not see it, you will not wear it. Who knows what incredible lost relics have been scooched to the back of your armoire? You may have incredible pieces that seem gone forever simply because you do not give yourself easy visual access to everything you have. If you don’t think you have the space to see everything, you probably have too many pieces. Consider pairing down.

Matching Hangers Are Your Friend

A simple change that clears a lot of visual chaos is to have matching hangers. We recommend thin, non-slip versions like these from Sweet Home, but really any matching set will do the trick. By removing the extra noise of mismatched colors and materials at the top of the closet, your eye naturally moves downward and focuses more on the actual clothing.

Use Containers to Maximize Space

Containers in general are always a good thing when it comes to closet organization, but again we would encourage you to go with matching sets. Think of your closet as an art gallery, and the clothing are the works of art. Everything else in the space should not compete, but rather bring your eye back to the fabrics. This simplifies your process for choosing outfits by making color-matching and memory recall of where things are placed a cinch. The only trick with containers is sizing is key. Take specific measurements of your available space and purchase bins that optimize is to the fullest. There’s nothing worse than getting geared up to tackle a mess only to realize the accessories you have don’t fit right or won’t do the job best.

Sort Your Sock and Underwear Drawers

Keeping with the idea of being able to see everything you have, make your drawers an easy-to-use area. We are obsessed with linen organizers like this version from The Container Store that give a place for every item and keep every item in its place.

Display Shoes Vertically

The most underutilized area in any space is what’s above your line of sight. Make a point of looking up and brainstorm how to best use what you have. Shoes particularly are perfect for this kind of storage as you can easily categorize shelves by occasion, color, or style and you’ll know just where to look depending on what you’re dressing for. You’ll be more inclined to seek out those green heels you never touch when you know they’re on the shelf with all your other green shoes.

Utilize Every Inch of Space with Clever Hacks

The back of your closet door, any wall space within the closet, and other parts of your bedroom are most like littered with spots you’re not quite sure how to fill. Get creative with your oddball items like scarves, camis, and jewelry by making storage systems out of these underwhelming wall spots. So often a few hooks will do the trick, but there are also plenty of easy-to-install products out there that will help you give everything a home.

Tips to Make “Back to School” So Much Smoother

By | All Posts, Home

There is something so blissful about summer. Lazy days, hours of outside time, and treats you can only get at their peak for a few months of the year. (We’re looking at you, watermelon.) But there’s also a relief for many parents as the beginning of school draws near. With all of summer’s pros, there are the cons to consider like a lack of routine, messy homes, and wired kids needing more intellectual stimulation. To make the transition positive for everyone in your household, here are our top tips to prepare for the “back to school” season.

Slowly Reintroduce a Stricter Schedule

Right now your routine may be a bit lax as you enjoy late wake up times and “eat-when-you-please” meals. Many families struggle with the sudden change school brings to rushed mornings and closely timed lunches. Avoid experiencing a huge shock to you and your kids’ systems by incorporating better habits progressively throughout the next few weeks. Inch that bedtime a few minutes earlier each night, and set wake ups just a bit earlier. It’s a good idea to check on your specific school’s lunch hour and breaks, to help your little ones’ tummies adjust to waiting a little longer for their next snack. Emulate the timing they’ll have at school as much as possible at home and you’ll all adjust easier when the time comes.

Get the House in Order

Pantries, medicine cabinets, entryways, and closets…these are a few of our least favorite things. For whatever reason the areas of the home that store the most important things also tend to become chaotic the quickest. Take inventory of your home’s biggest pain points and make yourself a list and calendar for tidying them up. By tackling one area each day, you’ll be able to get the place in an ideal state for a new routine without overwhelming yourself in one giant cleaning sweep.

Make Shopping a Fun Time for Everyone

You will have no problem finding great deals on kids clothes, shoes, and school supplies this time of year; but you may have some issue getting all 3 kiddos packed in the car, acting reasonable in the store, and leaving with everything you intended to get by the end of the trip. Turn some of that responsibility back on to your children…for older kids that can read, give them individual shopping lists for things they can look for while you help the younger ones. And make it fun for everybody by giving each child choices and a sense of decision-making in the process. You may need to steer them toward the three outfits that are appropriate and within your budget, but then allow them to pick the one they like! A little bit of personal style mixed in with your practicality guidance will go a long way in helping your kids gain excitement and confidence for school.

Coordinate Carpools and Extracurricular Activities Now

You may have had it all worked out in the spring, but things with kids change so quickly that it’s probably a whole new ballgame with each new school year. You may have teenagers transitioning to middle school or high school, perhaps the neighbor who used to do pickup for the elementary kids has moved away, or your nine year old is just insisting that he needs to play basketball this year and he’s no longer into soccer. Whatever the changes you anticipate to face this fall, get the logistics in order sooner rather than later. Visit orientation campus days, call neighbors to get car pools set up, and register for the coming sport season sooner rather than later. Removing the guesswork for your upcoming calendar will also remove a lot of stress.

Create a Command Central

Now that you have a family routine once again, the kids are set with new backpacks, and the house isn’t quite so disheveled…the rest of the year will be a breeze right? We wish. Set your entire crew up for success by having a central point of organization. Set up a central location for a full calendar, chore charts, important school papers, and even baskets or shelves for things like dance practice outfits and homework. By having all of these things in one important place, each person in your home will know where to look when they’re confused, and what to do in preparation for each days’ “excitement.” With some collaboration, organization, and teamwork—you’ll all get back on track for a fun and productive school year.

Summertime Recipes You’ll Crave: Tuna Avocado Toast

By | All Posts, Cooking

With the incredible health benefits and freaking great flavor, it’s no surprise to us that avocados are just so in right now. In honor of the recent National Avocado Day this past Tuesday, try out this delish summer combo to have a quick and scrumptious lunch.

 

Tuna Avocado Toast

2 Slices Whole Grain Bread

½ Avocado (Medium, Ripe, sliced into pieces)

2 Tablespoons Iceberg Lettuce (Roughly Chopped)

1 5 oz. Can White Albacore Tuna (Drained)

½ Lemon (Juice Only)

1 Teaspoon Red Wine Vinegar

2 Teaspoons Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons Iceberg Lettuce (Roughly Chopped)

Salt  & Pepper to Taste

 

  1. Brush a touch of olive oil lightly on both sides of the whole grain bread, place on baking sheet and place in 300 degree oven to toast.
  2. Scoop flesh out of avocado and slice into long pieces. Salt and pepper, then set aside.
  3. Open the can of tuna and drain any water off. If packed in oil, do not drain.
  4. Combine juice from the lemon, vinegar, tuna, and olive oil in a small bowl. Tos together lightly. Salt and pepper to taste. Do not add olive oil if using oil-packed tuna.
  5. Take two lettuce leaves and chop roughly.
  6. Assemble toast with the browned bread on bottom, then top with tuna mixture, then lettuce, and finally laying 2-3 slices of avocado on each piece of toast. Serve immediately.

Best Utah Destinations for a Summer Weekend Getaway

By | All Posts, Entertainment, Inspiration

A vacation does not have to include an elaborate plan, thousands of dollars or two weeks away for an international excursion. Sometimes the best way to truly “vacate your life” is by booking a spontaneous weekend to explore all the wonders in your own backyard. So pack the car, put some snacks in the cooler, and head off to these close-by gems for a great weekend trip.

Photo Credit: Booking.com

For the Adventure-Lover

Bear Lake: Garden City, Utah

A mere two hours from downtown Salt Lake City, Bear Lake is an idyllic spot to swim, jet ski, fish, four-wheel and lots more. There are great facilities for campers all along the lake and hikes in the surrounding hillsides. Anyone wanting to reconnect with nature and get much-needed sunshine should spend some time here. Also, you won’t want to miss their famous raspberry shakes.

Photo Credit: UnionStation.org

For the Quirky Hobbyist

Union Station: Ogden, Utah

Formerly the junction of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads, the Ogden Union Train Station is now a fascinating museum with relics and information covering a broad range of interests. The museum’s now housed in the old station include the Utah State Railroad Museum, the Spencer S. Eccles Rail Center, the John M. Browning Firearms Museum, Utah Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum and the Browning-Kimball Classic Car Museum. Take a few days to learn a wealth of knowledge about the history of the Old West and find some great souvenirs that are both beautiful and educational. In the station itself and the surrounding neighborhood, you’ll find great shops selling everything from books and antiques to jewelry and clothing.  

Photo Credit: Bararch.com

For the Stressed-Out Sally

Sundance Resort: Sundance, Utah

As a famous ski resort, Sundance may not be the first location that springs to mind when considering a summer vacay. The truth couldn’t be further from what you’d think as Sundance offers plenty of fun and relaxing activities including an exceptional spa, art classes, great restaurants and unique summer concerts. You can also take a scenic lift ride to hikes or to the top for lunch at Bearclaw Cabin.

Photo Credit: Overblog.com

For the Foodie

Staycation: Salt Lake City, Utah

With so many cultures represented in the greater Salt Lake area, you certainly won’t go wrong by having a cute and quiet “staycation.” There are several funky and up-and-coming neighborhoods that offer diverse and awesome fare for a good value to boot. Book yourself a sweet little Airbnb to feel like a home but away from home; and then check out our picks for the best food spots right now in SLC: Feldman’s Deli offers Jewish deli classics in the New York City tradition; Takashi has the best authentic Japanese cuisine and sushi around; Valter’s Osteria is traditional Italian including fresh pasta made right before your eyes; and Saffron Valley does delicious Indian dishes with a contemporary twist.

Photo Credit: RubysInn.com

For the Thrifty Budgeter

National Park: Bryce Canyon, Utah

The canyons and ridges in this red rock area make this location a national treasure. By camping and sticking to activities like hiking or exploring, there are many clever ways to keep the cost of this trip very affordable. For example, get creative with food by packing lunches, grilling over an open fire (when allowed), and making breakfasts easy with items like fruit and oatmeal.

Summertime Recipes You’ll Crave: Shrimp Tacos

By | All Posts, Cooking

Shrimp Tacos

10 Corn Tortillas

1 Pound Shrimp (Peeled and Deveined)

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon Chili Powder

1 Teaspoon Cumin

1 Teaspoon Salt

1 Teaspoon Black Pepper

 

For Slaw:

2 Cups Cabbage (Shredded)

½ Cup Fresh Lime Juice (Approximately 3 Limes)

1 Clove Garlic (Peeled and Crushed)

1 Small Jalapeno (Minced)

½ Cup Red Onion (Diced)

½ Cup Sour Cream

2 Tablespoons Milk

 

Optional (For Garnish):

1 Avocado

1 Cup Cilantro

 

  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine olive oil and seasonings for shrimp and mix into a paste. Toss the shrimp in the spice mixture until fully coated. Allow to sit and marinate 10 minutes or more before grilling shrimp on a cooktop or flame.
  2. Prepare ingredients for the slaw, chop and dice according to list. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until the vegetables are coated with sour cream and milk mixture. Add salt and pepper as needed to taste.
  3. Warm corn tortillas approximately 20 seconds per side on a hot pan or grill.
  4. Build tacos by putting the slaw in the middle of the tortilla first, then top with 3-5 shrimp per taco, depending on their size. If desired, finish with slices of avocado and sprigs of cilantro.

Summer’s Best Beauty Products That Won’t Smudge

By | All Posts, Beauty

It’s summer, and easy breezy looks are what it’s all about. When everyone is melting in the sun, no one will be surprised to see you with simply a little SPF, lip balm, and waterproof mascara. But for the times when you still want a gorgeous “beat face,” we recommend these smear-proof products.

Sephora Perfection Mist Airbrush Foundation

A smooth canvas is the crucial first step to a fabulous makeup look. These airbrush foundations apply light and oil-free. You can keep the coverage subtle or apply a bit more with a beauty blender for a more full-coverage look without appearing cakey.

Laura Mercier Creme Cheek Color

This all-season cream blush from Laura Mercier has stood the test of time. It continues to be a favorite for beauty bloggers every year, and we are completely on board with their sentiment. The creamy texture blends super well, but then leaves a satin finish that isn’t at all greasy. The peachy tones in “Sunrise” are so cute for a fresh face.

Tarte Cosmetics Amazonian Clay Waterproof Bronzer

While the price tag on this product is a little steep, the formula has such great pigmentation that one container is sure to last you the entire summer. The Amazonian Clay in the bronzer makes it completely waterproof, and helps control oil to keep the rest of your makeup last a whole lot longer.

Beauty Bakerie Matte Lip Whip

This long-lasting matte liquid lip color stays put through all the elements. It feels super light and won’t smudge; and the colors are fun and flirty. The “Berry Pop” shade is a classic mid-grade pink that looks fab on pretty much any skin tone.

Anastasia Beverly Hills DipBrow Pomade

Your brows will be sure to keep their shape when they are set with this creamy matte pomade from Anastasia Beverly Hills. Once set in place, this formula stays put without feeling heavy. And as we all know…as long as your brows are on point, your entire face will be.

Smashbox Always On Gel Eyeliner Pencil

Gel liners are great year-round, but especially when you know heat is going to be a factor. The control of a pencil makes for easier use, but the smooth application gives the bold look of a liquid. This particular gel pencil from Smashbox is waterproof and guaranteed to last up to 24 hours. So it’s ideal for sweaty days in the sun–wear it to the all-day outdoor wedding you’ve been dreading.

L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara

This affordable product from L’Oreal is a drugstore WIN. Having tried virtually all the waterproof mascaras out there, we can say with confidence this one gives you thickness, length and zero smudging. Even if you’re having a more simple day, this mascara, along with great brows and a dab of lipstick, will still be a bomb look. Seriously, try it. Buy it. Like right now.