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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.

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.

Northern Utah’s Most Unique 4th of July Firework Shows and Fun

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Utah is such a patriotic place to live, we have not only one but two incredible holidays in July to celebrate the founding of our country and our great state. Independence Day and Pioneer Day are classic institutions for cities all across the state with parades, fireworks, carnivals and so much more for your entire family to enjoy. To start the month off right, we have put together the quintessential list of unique and fun Fourth of July pastimes in Northern Utah. Make memories to last a lifetime with your loved ones and try one or several of these patriotic activities.

This Is The Place – Heritage Park Liberty Days

Set in an old timey pioneer village with huge fields of grass, historic buildings, and the largest authentic Native American teepee in the state, your family will get a great feel of what life was like in the early days of our country. This grand park has plenty of space and many activities to enjoy all day long including gold panning, horseback rides, Native American dancers, and a Colonial-style flag ceremony.

Details:

The 4th of July FUN Place for Everyone!

Wednesday July 4th, 2018

10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

This Is The Place Heritage Park

2601 East Sunnyside Avenue Salt Lake City, UT, 84108 United States

Salt Lake Bees Game and Firework Show

There is nothing more American than watching a baseball game with a hot dog and cold beer followed by an epic firework show. Watch the Bees play the El Paso Chihuauhuas this 4th and introduce the kiddos to the greatest U.S. sport.

Details:

Salt Lake Bees vs. El Paso Chihuahuas

Wednesday July 4th, 2018

Game starts at 6:35 PM

Smith’s Ballpark

77 West 1300 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84115

Oakley Independence Day Rodeo and Celebration

Set in the middle of the Rocky Mountains about an hour east of downtown Salt Lake, Oakley may be a small town, but it is a small town that really knows how to party. Independence Day revelry is incredible there with a 5K race, parade, rodeo, patriotic program, a barbecue, and an impressive firework show to end the day with a literal bang.

Details:

Oakley Independence Day Rodeo and Celebration

Wednesday July 4th, 2018

7:00 AM – 11:00 PM

Oakley Recreation Complex

4300 North SR 32, Oakley, UT 84055

Lehi & Thanksgiving Point Independence Day Celebration

Enjoy music, food, and prizes before settling in with a blanket to enjoy Lehi City and Thanksgiving Point’s annual firework show. There are lots of vendors to enjoy before the sky is lit up at 10 pm.

Details:

Thanksgiving Point 4th of July Celebration

Wednesday July 4th, 2018

4:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Electric Park

3003 Thanksgiving Way, Lehi, UT 84043

Orem City Colonial Fest and Cries of Freedom Presentation

If you’re all about historical authenticity, the Colonial Fest in Orem, Utah is the perfect place for you to “geek out” in a patriotic way.  You’ll feel as though you’ve stepped back in time to the early days of our country’s birth with a myriad of fun and educational activities.  There are colonial artisans, exhibits, and demonstrations ranging from cannon firings to colonial children’s chores. Watch a full Continental Army and British Redcoat battle or take in unique aspects of frontier life including an apothecary shop, blacksmith, and printmaker studio.

The Cries of Freedom Presentation just next door to the Colonial Fest features incredible patriotic music and a special ceremony to honor the lives of fallen veterans. Bring tissues for the beautiful and touching tribute.

Details:

Orem City Colonial Fest and Cries of Freedom Presentation

Wednesday July 4th, 2018

9:00 AM – 8:00 PM

SCERA Park

600 South State Street, Orem, UT 84058

Fun with Dad: Activities to Make this Father’s Day Awesome

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Play Golf (or Mini Golf)

It’s hard to go wrong with this family favorite. If you’re in a family of golfers, eighteen holes in the morning make for a great start to your dad’s special day. In a family with small kids or if your dad isn’t the Phil Mickelson type,  a rousing round of putt-putt is always a good choice. Glendale Golf Course, Topgolf, and Fat Cats are all great options if you’re in Salt Lake valley.

Go Fishing

A Father’s Day classic, we love this pastime. It has all the great elements desired for spending quality time with your old man: fresh air, the great outdoors, peace and quiet, and he’ll get to teach you techniques or tricks from his “good old days.” If your dad is the strong, silent type…this is also a perfect time to get him to finally, just maybe open up. For a quick day trip in the Salt Lake City area, check out Holmes Creek Reservoir, Highland Glen Park, or Mabey Pond.

Baseball

The greatest benefit to taking your father to a baseball game is the afternoon will be low-key, easy, and fun. Purchase tickets to a Salt Lake Bees’ Game here. Or if you are a more hands on family, it’s also a blast to organize your own neighborhood game. Reserve a local park, gather people your dad loves spending time with in your community, and complete the evening with a potluck picnic. It requires a bit more planning and effort than attending a Minor League game, but it will be a memory you won’t soon forget.

Visit an Amusement Park

Sometimes the best gift is a good time. Save your pennies spent on presents your dad will most likely forget in a few months, and allocate those funds instead on doing something different and exciting. Get Air is an indoor trampoline park, Seven Peaks water park is great for the summer heat, and Lagoon is a Utah classic with rollercoasters and carnival games.

Grill or Cook His Favorite Meal

A lot of dads out there consider themselves the household “master of outdoor cooking.” He may be impressed however with all the things he’s taught you over the years. Get dad to take a seat and show him the skills of a new family “flame master.” You also can get some help from local pros if you’re not really that great of a chef…we won’t tell. Sugarhouse Barbecue, R & R Barbecue, and Pat’s BBQ in Salt Lake City all have incredible sides and delicious barbecue.

Fun with Mom: Activities to Make this Mother’s Day Memorable

By | All Posts, Entertainment, Home, Inspiration

It doesn’t take a big budget to make mom’s special day unforgettable. Try one of the activities we’ve listed and have a great time without breaking the budget.

Have a Picnic

This one is easy to plan and fun to execute. Throw a blanket in your car, stop at a deli for some subs, and you are ready to take mom out for a calm and relaxing afternoon. Pick a great spot near the woods or a river to connect  with your mother and Mother Nature alike.

Do Something Adventurous

Everyone has something they’ve always wanted to do or try, and just keep chickening out. Mark off that bucket list item together. Sign both of you up for scuba classes; do the big roller coaster at your local amusement park; or try an exotic food for the first time.

Take a Trip Down Memory Lane

Spend some time feeling nostalgic with your dear mother. Take her to a place you loved visiting as a child, go through old photos together, or make a recording of her talking about her own family history or childhood memories. You will learn a lot and feel a new sense of pride or understanding in your lineage.

 

Check Out a Museum or Art Gallery

Learning with someone else links you in a fun new way. Take in a new exhibit or visit the museum up the street you’ve been taking granted.

Get Active

It’s great to try new physical activities together, or simply add yourself to the mix of something your fit mom already enjoys. Try a HIIT class for the first time, or tag along on your mom’s run. Neither of you are exercise-inclined? Getting back on track with a new regimen as a team is a great way to bond!

Make a Night of It

If you’d really like to make this Mother’s Day a treat, a staycation or local getaway may be just the ticket. Cheap hotel rooms can be found online easily, even with a short notice, and you’ll definitely see a part of your hometown you wouldn’t experience otherwise.

Get Much Deserved R & R

Splurge for an all-inclusive spa day for two; or if you’re on a budget, set one up at home with DIY foot scrubs, face masks and manicures. The new calm and zen you feel doing something special for yourselves will be almost as good as the one-on-one conversation.

Help Her at Home

Is pulling weeds tough on your mom’s back? Or maybe she just hates dusting the top shelf of her curio cabinet. Volunteer for a job that your mom may not love doing and she will be sure to love YOU just a little more today. Accomplishing tasks together is also a great way to chat and reconnect. Let her have a seat and tell you about Aunt Cyndy or the neighbor’s dog while you achieve something for her.

Game Night!

Sometimes the best ideas are the most simple. Dust off the boxes in the game closet and pull out some classics to have a low-key evening. We guarantee Clue, Parcheesi and Uno are way more fun than you remember.

Give the Gift of Time

Time is often our most precious resource. Going all out and planning something for the two of you is lovely; but if you don’t have much else to give we’re willing to bet she’ll gladly take just having a few hours with you one-on-one as well. Stop by and visit without fussing too much. Hang out. Talk about your lives, watch a movie, help her cook dinner. Don’t overcomplicate it and instead focus those precious moments getting to really know your mom. You’ll be glad you did.

Utah-Made Gifts to Show Your Mom You Love Her

By | All Posts, Beauty, DIY, Entertainment, Health & Fitness, Home, Inspiration

In case you missed all the incredible vendors we had at this year’s Salt Lake Women’s Show, we have gotten together a list of some of the best for giving your mom a great Mother’s Day. Take a look at these local merchants who do incredible handmade work right in your backyard.

For the Chronic Picture-Taker

She values memories above all else. Take the work out of it for her a get a professional to take photos of her and the whole clan. Pink Rose Photography does gorgeous work in Salt Lake and Utah Counties and will make your entire family feel comfortable and look beautiful.

For the Active Mom

Clothing: Get your mom some high quality workout wear from Belcorva. Perfect for runners, yogis, and weightlifters, Belcorva’s pieces offer versatility, quality, and unique pocket designs perfect for any busy mom.

Workouts: There is no better gift than spending time together. Register you and your mom a great activity to do together like a kickboxing class with I Love Kickboxing, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) at Etude Fitness, or Barre Sculpt with Core 7. Working up a sweat together is a great time to bond.

For the Sweet Tooth Lover

If your mom is always happy with chocolate or strawberries, give her something a little different this year from one of these gourmet boutique brands. Sweet Tooth Fairy has cupcakes in every shape and flavor; while Farmhouse Fudge makes rich and decadent gooey goodness.

For the Mom Needing a Night Out

Today is the perfect day to try something new. Spice things up for your mom by sharing a great memory with her. Topgolf has a casual, super social atmosphere with the easiest golf you could play, food and drinks; and Painting with a Twist hosts evenings that give you a chance to get back in touch with your creative side.

For the Interior Decorator

There’s certainly no place like home, and if you’re anything like us, you know that part of home’s appeal is Mom’s unique and cheerful aesthetic. Check out handmade crafts from CB Creations, get some high quality paint from Chalk Couture for the Do-It-Yourselfer, support women from Kenya with Imani’s handmade home furnishings.

For the Mom Who Needs Some Zen

It’s no secret that being a mom is stressful. For the momma who has a lot on her plate, there will be nothing she’ll appreciate more than the chance to unwind. Set her up for some much-deserved rest and relaxation with a luxurious bath bomb from Bombin Baths, give her skin the royal treatment with products from Beauty Counter, and then finish with a new makeover utilizing locally made boutique makeup from Lemon Loves Meringue.

For the Fashionista

We all know that clothing is the trickiest gift to buy for others. These Utah home-grown brands provide great customer service, have modern, fresh takes on apparel, and make quality the highest priority. Your mom’s fabulous look will be covered from head to toe with hats from Gigi Pip, dresses from EmmaLou, and shoes from Copper Threads.

5 Ways to Make Your Life More Green

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Get a Head Start on Luscious Green Grass

Make your neighbors “green with envy” this St. Patrick’s Day by getting a headstart on a gorgeous yard. It’s surprising how much you can brighten things up by cleaning up some debris, raking or mowing the lawn, and getting your grass aeration done before it starts full regrowth.

 

 

Make a Green Treat to Share with Friends or Family

Who doesn’t love Mcdonald’s Seasonal Shamrock Shake, am I right? Do yourself a favor and grab one, but be sure to also make fun green goodies to share. We love some of the new recipes we’ve seen like Green Crinkle Cookies from Wicked Whisk, Grasshopper Fudge from Sweet Recipeas, or the absolute best Mint Chocolate Chip Pie from Barbara Bakes. With these sweets in hand, you’ll get plenty of those Irish kisses this year.

 

 

Purchase an Indoor Plant…A Real One this Time

Seek out Aloe, Jade, Rubber Trees, or Fiddle Leaf Fig for plants that are incredible home decor options which have a great look and are very easy to care for. The species we’ve listed also come in a range of sizes so you’ll be certain to find something that suits your space, big or small.

 

 

Reuse Glass in Interesting Ways

What we love about this hack is you can BE green while saving green and adding green to your life…get it? Green glass is a classic look, and you’ll find this material at secondhand stores and thrift shops all over. You may even be able to get green wine bottles for free at your favorite restaurant or bar. Use the glass elements you find to organize craft supplies, create an outdoor wind chime, or cut the tops off for a one-of-a-kind glassware set.

 

 

Spruce Up Your Interior with Green

The greatest thing about this color of nature is its universality. Green pairs well with any other color scheme, so it’s always a good time to add in an art piece or some throw pillows with this revitalizing hue. No need to completely redecorate, simply refresh with cost-effective and beautiful green touches.

#LoveYourself this February with the Best Books for Women Power

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As RuPaul would say, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the h*** you gonna love somebody else?”  To that we say, “Amen!”  

So this Valentine’s Day, take a little time to appreciate that gorgeous lady in the mirror before planning something nice for that certain someone.  For us, there’s no better way to “love ourselves” than to kick back and snuggle in to a great book…especially one that can remind you just how fabulous you are.  

Here are our picks for some of the best new books to help you see once again that you are one powerful, vibrant, incredible woman.

 

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

This book covers everything from weight loss, love, and friendships, to the ridiculous Hollywood standard for beauty.  We love Kaling’s writing style which is completely down-to-earth and authentic.  And the essay format of the book offers something really dynamic as she takes little snippets of life and dissects them to show the humor in all the ironies associated with being a 30-ish female professional in today’s competitive world.  We feel ya, girl.

 

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Tales of Extraordinary Women by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo

The format of this book is especially wonderful for those mommas out there that would like to pass the female power on to their little ladies…but really it’s just great for the little lady inside all of us as well.  Featuring amazing short-form tales about women from plenty of different backgrounds, ethnicities, and eras…there is sure to be characters that speak to you and your daughter.  J.K. Rowling, Elizabeth I and Serena are just a few of the powerhouses described in these engaging stories.

 

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Poehler explores the power of saying “yes” and just how sweet life can be when we’re open to new experiences.  She fills the text with bits about her life, alongside witty analysis and sage advice.  In short, we love her.

 

Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job.  Kill It in Your Career.  Rock Social Media. by Aliza Licht

As a powerful fashion exec and wildly successful social media influencer, Licht knows how to teach others to follow their dreams and take the world by storm…just as she did.  She has a warm and friendly style that makes us feel as though we’re just sitting with her at the local coffee shop.  If you want to be inspired to move your career to the next level, and love your life while doing it, this is a great read for women of all ages.

 

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

Amy Schumer has seriously changed the face of movies and television over the past few years, and now she’s changing the book world.  She’s witty, naughty, satirical, and oh-so-powerful in this semi-autobiographical work.  She gets pretty personal and real as she talks about her teenage years, family, friends, sex and journey to stardom.  

 

I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora Ephron

If you’re not familiar with Nora Ephron, it’s way past time.  She’s written most of the best romantic comedy films and plays in the last thirty years, and she doesn’t disappoint in this semi-autobiographical text either.  She speaks a bit about growing up, and a lot about growing older.  Her dry wit throughout the entire thing helps us feel way better about our lives, too, as she admits to her own loneliness, parenting struggles, and fear of death.  Same.

 

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brene Brown

Having written three prior works to make #1 on the New York Times Bestsellers list, and produced nearly a dozen other texts and audiobooks, Brown has proven that she has unique and inspiring wisdom to share with millions of women across the globe.  In this, her most recent and arguably best motivational work yet, she discusses how our current social climate is more polarized and disconnected than it has ever been.  She offers thought-provoking ideas as to how we can navigate and manage this isolation by finding belonging through the power of true authenticity.  You’ll become far more mindful, zen, and in touch with yourself as you read this powerful text.

 

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

Hilarious and entertaining, Sincero shares great stories and anecdotes for self-love, exercises for self-empowerment, wisdom for all women, and the best way to turn off the nasty voices we all have in our head.  With the occasional swear word and a lot of humor, she motivates you to live life to the fullest and get what you want for real.  

Embracing Winter

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Happy winter! The snow has come again! If you’re ready to get out of the house, here’s some inspiration for what you could do this weekend. But first, make sure you’re bundled up.

Outside activities

There’s always the fun activities of building a snowman, having an epic snowball fight, making snow cream, or creating snow angels

 

…but if you’re looking to get further from home, there’s also:

Inside Activities

If you’re more inclined to stay warm inside, there’s still lots of places to go!

 

And if you decide to stay home, binge watch some Netflix and drink some delicious hot chocolate, that sounds good too.

 

Let us know what you did or if you have any other winter suggestions! Have a wonderful weekend!