Me and my family went with my brother and sister-in-law to Zions National Park awhile back. This park is AMAZING!!! My husband and his sister went on the Angel's Landing hike while I stayed below and hung out with my son. I didn't miss them at all with how beautiful my surroudings were. Me and Carter had an impromptu photo sesh!!
It was a little hot for my husband's and Carter's hair. I think the pictures below are so funny!! Carter's hair was sticking straight up!!
It was a breath taking weekend, and I had a lot of fun. We did some shorter hikes the second day and ended our trip by eating at a nice breakfast place in St. George, called The Bear Paw. We were going to hike the narrows as well, (a famous hike in Zions), but it was closed due to the water being too high. I want to go back and definitely do that hike. Thank you for reading!!
My little family was able to go to the Wild Animal Park in San Diego, with my family, awhile ago. This park is super amazing because you get to see a lot of animals in huge cages, so it really feels like you are on a Safari in Africa!!
It ended up being very rainy the day we went (it rained a lot this last year in Cali!!) and so my curls went flat pretty instantly. But this made the park a magical experience because it was almost completely empty! There were no lines, no crowds, and the animals were acting wild due to the rain. All the zoo keepers mentioned how funny all the animals were acting. It was a pretty cool day.
Brown Boots - Clarks via Nordstrom Rack, $29. Similar here
Cat Socks - Journeys, Present from my sister-in-law
Black Leggings - Hue via Nordstrom, $25.00 (I've talked about these leggings before but they are seriosuly the best leggings I've ever owned. Definitely worth the price) Here
Beige Shirt - Max Studio via Nordstrom Rack, $7. Similar here
My family and I got to go visit Balboa Island, by New Port Beach. This place is so amazing!! I had never been before and I fell in love. My new life goal is to buy a house on that island. The houses were so interesting and then there were harbors everywhere with yachts right on the home owner's front steps! It seemed like such a fun place to live.
Grey Shoes - Toms, previously worn (I'm guilty of wearing these a lot since they are so comfy)
Dark Jeans - Express, here. I have to take a second and rave about Express jeans. They have petites, and legging type jeans (which are the most comfortable type of jeans). They seriously fit so good, so go check them out if you are petite.
Green top - Nordstrom rack
Feather Necklace - Lucky
You had to take a cute little ferry to get to the island, and people could drive their car onto the ferry, which I thought was so cool! I can't wait to go back this summer.
Me and my husband's family went to go see Christmas lights at Temple Square, in Salt Lake City. It was FREEZING, and I (of course) forgot my coat. (I'm still a Cali girl at heart and firmly believe that I will be warm in a sweater!!!). However, seeing the lights was totally worth the freezing cold. They are so magical and I love going every year. I actually started to warm up after we were walking around a bit. I was fine as long as I didn't focus on what my extremities felt like!!
My beautiful sister-in-law dressed very appropriately for the weather, and looked fantastic!
On to what I wore...
Brown Boots - Jessica Simpson (via Nordstrom Rack), $29. This is out of stock but similar here
Striped Dress - K-mart, $4. They had this great closing out sale near my house. Everything was so unbelievably cheap.
Holiday traditions have been a topic that has been on my mind lately. Carter is now 10 months old, which isn't old enough to really do a whole ton of traditions with. But it got me thinking about how I want my family to be and what we will do for Christmas once he is a little older. I have such amazing memories with my family during this time of year. I want to make sure that my children have just as an amazing time as I did. This post is about what we did for the holidays this year, even with a 10 month old.
1. Advent Calendar: My wonderfully talented sister made these quilted advent calendars. It’s amazing all the little parts she stitched together. There are all types of advent calendars out there, even ones with candy for each day of Christmas!
2. Picking out a fresh Christmas Tree/ Decorating the house for Christmas: I loved having a fresh Christmas tree growing up, and there is no other smell in the world like fresh pine. Me and Gideon started buying a fresh tree last year and made a day of setting it up and putting out the rest of our Christmas decorations. This year we repeated that tradition (even went to the same lot by our house selling trees!) and I seriously had so much fun. We put loud Christmas music on and had hot fresh tea with cookies. This is definitely a tradition we will continue to do every year. I'm sitting by my fresh cut tree as I'm writing this and couldn't imagine anything better.
3. Take a picture with Santa: This might be a little strange if you don't have a child but I don't judge! This Santa is actually Carter's great grandfather, on Gideon's dad's side. I think that is really special that he will have this holiday picture with his great grandfather, to remember him by.
4. Decorate Ginger Bread Houses/Cookies: Me and my in-laws had a ginger bread decorating contest the other weekend. I had never really done this with my family before but it was super fun! I actually made sugar cookies while everyone else decorated. They were delicous but stuck to the pan. So, if anyone knows a good recipe or what I did wrong, leave me a comment! The ginger bread houses turned out very cute and it was fun too see everyone in a little friendly competition over who had the best one.
5. Have a snow day! We actually only made it up the canyon in time to snap a quick picture beside the snow because we aren't used to how quickly it gets dark now. Next time it snows though I want to build a snow man and go sledding, and then come back home and drink some hot chocolate.
6. Watch Christmas movies: We watched Miracle on 34th Street. I got a part time job at Nordstrom Rack and haven't been home a lot of nights during the week. We haven't been able to watch as many Christmas movies as we normally do, due to my crazy schedule. It definitely makes me appreciate the time we do have as a family. I really love Elf, The Night Before, and The Santa Claus, if you want some good Christmas movie recommendations.
7. Matching Family Christmas PJ's! This is such a cute idea, I think, especially with a family. Typically, the pj's are given out on Christmas Eve. I wanted to get more wear out of them so I gave them to everyone ahead of time. I got these matching onsies at Target. I thought they were a great deal for $25 a piece, with getting 50% off when you buy two. Definitely check out their Christmas pajamas! They had a great selection and they fit pretty good, even me at 5'1" and Gideon at 6'6".
8. Look at Christmas Lights: This is a fun and FREE activity! Carter is still a little young to really enjoy this but we still got the whole family together and went down to Temple Square in Salt Lake. This is a religious spot for LDS members but they welcome all to come see see their beautiful light display. It really is magical, though chilly.
Those were all the Christmasy things that me and my family did. We ran out of time this month (I swear the first part of winter races by and then after Christmas it goes SO SLOW!) Next year I want to go to see the Nut Cracker, at the Ballet West in Salt Lake. I also heard about doing a bon fire in the cold with S'mores, which sounds fun, too. Once our children start to get older, I would like to act out the birth of Christ, which our family always did. I also liked having a Christmas Eve Talent Show growing up. I read online about also taking your family to go do service somewhere, together, as well as getting presents for a family in need. What are some holiday traditions that your family does? I would love to incorporate more as our family grows, so leave a comment with your suggestions below! Thank you for reading, and have a great Christmas!!!
My In Laws surprised me and my husband with tickets to Luke Bryan back in late September! (I know, I know, I'm way behind on the times, there is snow on the ground now!)
We couldn't find a baby sitter, so we took Carter with us. He did so good! He fell asleep during the first artist and then woke up in the middle of Little Big Town's set and just burst into tears. I seriously panicked because he was screaming but the concert was so loud and I couldn't find Gideon to leave or help. I don't think he was expecting the noise. After that, he did awesome and didn't cry at all. He loved looking at the lights.
Luke Bryan was so amazing live!! I would definitely go see him again if he comes back to Utah. Me and my family danced and sung his songs all night. This night is such a great memory, especially because we were with family.
To all those new mom's out there, don't be afraid to try something new, even with a baby. I was very stressed to bring Carter to the concert and wouldn't have gone if we hadn't been given tickets. I had a small panic attack when Carter woke up screaming because he was scared. But we were able to calm him down and there were so many helping hands with Gideon's family. It was so fun and I'm glad I didn't miss out because we have a baby.
Me and Gideon went to my family annual Lake Powell trip back in September (I'm still playing catch up with my posts!)
This year was a little different because my family ended up renting a house boat with 5 out of my 8 siblings, plus my parents. It was a little crowded and we weathered a crazy storm that shook the boat all night long. It was a very frightening night, we found out in the morning that other boats had been tipped and all sorts of crazy things.
However, after the storm the weather cleared up and it turned into a beautiful boating vacation. My dad was able to knee board (which I'm amazed at!) and we were able to play in the sun.
What is great about renting a house boat is that you can camp in a beautiful, isolated spot that you couldn't get to unless you got there by boat. We found this perfect little sandy beach to park the boat on and just enjoyed the scenery.
This trip was hard with a baby. It was actually the only hard trip I've had with Carter so far. And we drove to California when he was 3 weeks old and hiked in Zions National Park when he was 3 months! Just goes to show what a good baby we have lucked out with. For some reason, he was up both nights of the trip, which made it really hard for me to enjoy the next day, when you are that tired. We managed to push through and will still be going next year!!
Some girl friends and I went for a drive up American Fork Canyon, back in September (yikes, sorry it's been so long!) Life has gotten real crazy the last couple of months!!!
It was super fun to just be with the girls and hang out (with no baby in tow). We just relaxed and laughed, ALOT!! I'll just say this, what happens on the mountain stays on the mountain (;
Dress - $10, Bella Ella Boutique (I can't believe what a steal this dress was!!) Similar on sale here!
Black Bralette - $20, Victoria Secret (If you have a larger bust most bralette's won't work. Victoria Secret has ones with underwire so they are perfect!!) Here.
Rose Gold Sandals - $25, Sports Authority (I got them when the stores were going out of business. They aren't real Birkenstocks, but are super comfy) Get similar here
Glasses - Claire's (borrowed from my cute sis), and Necklace was a bridesmaid gift from my other sister-in-law.
I seriously love this flowy dress. I can't wait until next summer so I can wear it again. It was such a steal at $10!! Does anyone else buy a ton of summer stuff in fall since it gets so cheap??
The mountains seemed particularly beautiful this year. I've never noticed the fall colors before or have been too busy, but I definitely noticed this year!! I think everyone needs to take some time away from the valley and head up to be in nature. It will clear your head like nothing else.
We ended the night with bum dinners and s'mores at my house. It was a perfect summer night that I'll hold onto in my mind as it starts to get cold. (I think everyone can tell that I am not a winter gal!) Thanks for reading!!
I was finally able to make it up to Oktoberfest at Snowbird (in Utah). I have lived here 9 years and have never been able to go. It was super fun with some great people watching. I decided to wear a cute little romper that I got from Ella Bella Boutique, as these are the final days of summer. I like to hold onto the warmth as long as possible.
I got a yummy Belgian waffle and delicious brats at this fun mountain German fair.
Carter looked handsome in his fall gear and the weather just got me excited for the seasons to change. (Though summer is still the best!) We has the best time with Gideon's family. I definitely recommend taking a drive up to Snowbird if you are in Utah during the Fall.
Blue Romper - Bella Ella Boutique (on sale for 9.99 in orange!) Here. Gold Sandals - $28, Birkenstock, Similar in silver here.
Camo Leggings - $10, Burts Bees Baby, Similar here. I seriously can't get over this brand for babies. Carter is tall and skinny so I have a hard time finding shirts and pants that are long enough but don't fall off. Burts Bees has fit him the best so far and they have the most hip clothing for babies.
Blue Shirt - $8.99, Tea Collection, similar here. Another great brand for those tall and lean babies! Also, super soft material which I love for my son.