Fashion

Salt Lake City Holiday Family Staycation // City Creek Center

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This past week our family was able to kick off the holiday season with a little staycation in downtown Salt Lake City, UT. I have been feeling a bit disconnected as a family these past few months due to my Dad’s health, which has had me traveling to and from Seattle to be with him, so some family time was something we were all needing. There’s nothing I love more than being with my family, away from everyday distractions, and getting to spend quality time together.

I love staycations because they’re a great reminder that you don’t have to go far from home to still feel like you’re on a full fledged vacation. Spending a night or two in a nearby hotel for a weekend can be just the ticket to rest and relaxation for the whole family, and it’s all without the hassle and cost of travel time. Grand or not, most hotels offer amenities that can feel like luxuries, such as swimming pools (and hot tubs), game rooms, cable television subscriptions, fine dining and more. Plus who doesn’t want some time off from making the bed, washing and folding loads of towels, and emptying the garbage. I know I do! We stayed at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center and it not only offered several of the amenities I mentioned, but also is located in the best spot to enjoy the shopping, dining and sites in and around City Creek Center. And a major added bonus since it is a pet friendly hotel, we were able to bring along our little pup Bella who loves nothing more than being with us ALL the time.

After we checked in to our room and everyone claimed their sleeping spots we headed off to City Creek Center which is located just a short jaunt away from our hotel. And of course we brought Bella with us, because we could! Did you know City Creek Center allows dogs? They don’t only allow them, they encourage shoppers to bring their pets to their mall. Even supplying doggy clean up bags (which came in very handy for us..that might be a story for later ha!) and offering treats to pets who visit their customer service desk. Liliana was so excited to be able to bring her pup Bella along with her into all of her favorites shops including American Girl and the Disney Store!

City Creek Center is absolutely beautiful this time of year that it immediately got all of us into the holiday spirit and jumpstarted our Christmas shopping. There is so much to see and do around City Creek, especially during the holidays. The candy windows at Macy’s are unreal and a sight to be seen. They have the best stores for everyone of all ages and dining too! We enjoyed the most wonderful dinner at the Nordstrom Grill, Sixth & Pine and finished off the evening by watching the holiday fountain show which played to fun festive tunes and included some surprise fire that had all of us mesmerized.

We started the next morning off with the most wonderful treat for our family. A Breakfast at Tiffany’s! We were fortunate to have the store to ourselves all while we enjoyed the most delectable meal. While we ate we were given a short rundown of the history of Tiffany & Co and it captivated all of us! Truly a wonderful and such a prevalent company that has played a big part in our country’s history. And while we all browsed and marveled at their beautiful products Bella ran around the store like she had finally made it home! They welcomed her there as well, even letting her model one of their new home line items.. a dog collar and charm. They were so sweet to Liliana as well. She even got to wear some pretty pearls and Audrey Hepburn sunglasses for fun! I think the biggest thing that I want to pass along about Tiffany’s is that they really do have gifts that are affordable for everyone. I think often times there is a stigma surrounding their company as being “over the top” and I can completely see where that assumption can come from. Because they do have incredibly exquisite and expensive items, but they also have items that make perfect gifts starting at $50. And to top it off, no matter what you purchase it always comes wrapped up for you in that pretty little Tiffany Blue (which is the only patented color ever, did you know that?) box all ready to give to your loved one, friend, or neighbor.

After a little rest at the hotel and some lunch it was time for my little ones + Bella to have a visit with Santa. Yes, I said Bella! City Creek Center is part of Santa Paws, so every Tuesday through December 12th, 2017 you can bring your dog in to have a visit with Santa and sit on his lap for their own photo with him. Or you, or your children, or both can be in it too. Whatever you choose. Liliana was so happy to get to have Bella visit with Santa because now Santa will for sure know what she wants for Christmas. I especially love how City Creek Center has their Santa set up inside of a beautiful lantern. It adds just the perfect touch of whimsical magic to your Santa visit.

I think one of the greatest things about a staycation is the flexibility that they offer. It allowed for my bigger kids and husband to bounce in and out of hanging out with us as they still had some work commitments. It was also incredibly convenient to be staying so close to City Creek because when someone needed a break or if we needed to take Bella back to our room (so we could eat at a restaurant) we were easily able to do so.

If you’re local (in all of Utah and southern Idaho I’m talking to you too) to Salt Lake City and are looking for a quick break from your everyday routine, we highly recommend a staycation at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center in the downtown area near City Creek Center. It really can be a perfect way to remind yourself what’s best about the Holiday season: family time, shopping for loved ones gifts (because nothing beats giving), visiting Santa, the cozy days, and all those opportunities to lie back and put your feet up by the fire. And the best part? Your staycation will feel like a full vacation at a fraction of the price.

 

Photos By Samantha Broderick

 

This post is sponsored by City Creek Center. All opinions are my own.

Ziraffe Childrens Store – Feature

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I’ve been wanting to start sharing some features more in this space and thought it would be fun to start off with a great little online shop – Ziraffe. One of the best things I’ve gained from blogging and Instagram is finding small shops who I would have never most likely happened upon.

Ziraffe is a children’s shop carefully curated by two Moms living in California, Yunyi and Katie. Friends for years whose goal is to bring together a collection of brands and artisans that embody their love for minimalism, fun, and chic design. Their view on minimalism is pretty much my favorite. “Minimalism doesn’t just mean simple; it’s not a reduction of style. It means the details and aesthetics are refined, and very well thought out. It’s the fundamental concept of “Less is More.”” How cool is that?

Another thing I love about Ziraffe is that they promote practices that are fair and try to avoid carrying any products that have harmful chemicals or dyes because fair trade and sustainability are vital to their company. They also promote sustainability and a sense of connection through the Ziraffe LovedBy_Community™. It’s a platform where you can buy and sell previously loved children’s clothes within a trusted community. This allows people to pass along their favorite children’s clothes and follow the journey that great clothes take from one family to another. You can read more and find out how to join it here.

ziraffe doen featureziraffe feature sunset

Liliana’s dresses are from a premium children’s fashion label from Taiwan called Once. Yunyi shared with me all about the Designer of Once, Vicky, who graduated from Central Saint Martin in London and had been a fashion designer for quite some time before starting Once.

“For this current season, she drew inspiration from La Belle Et La Bête – The 1946 French film of Beauty and The Beast. The entire collection is romantic, magical and fun. I’ve seen a lot of gorgeous girls dresses before, but the dresses from this collection really blew me away. When I first saw them last summer in Paris, I was in LOVE! And secretly wished I had a little girl.” ~From Yunyi about Once

The detail and quality of the dresses was obvious from the minute I pulled them out of the package. And what makes them even more special is that I know Yunyi has a personal relationship with the vendor behind the dresses because she strives to get to know each and every vendor before they carry their products in their shop. Truly, a love and passion for quality and getting to know all about the products they sell. And there’s nothing more I love than supporting small businesses who are genuine and driven by passion. Check out Ziraffe and fall in love like I have.

 

 

Beautiful photos by Samantha Broderick

 

Back to School Tips – KEEN Kids Giveaway

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back to school tips

I don’t know about you, but Back to School really snuck up on me this year. I felt like I needed another month or so of summer.. or at least a few more weeks. I think I was feeling a little sentimental and refusing to accept the fact that our youngest was heading to first grade. Which means she’s now gone all day, and I’m no longer a Mom at home with young kids. Ahh.. big changes and shifts that I like and don’t like all at once. Anyhow, now that school has been back in session for a couple of weeks I thought I would share a few tips and tricks that help make being back in school a little easier around here.

back to school - routine

1. Establish a Routine

To make the transition easy on both you and your kids school schedule start establishing a bedtime routine at least a week before heading back to school. That means bedtime earlier so you can get up earlier as well. Lay out clothes + shoes for the next day, as well as gather any items (soccer cleats, ballet leotard etc.) that they may need for any after school activities or extra curricular’s they have the next day. That way they are prepared not only for their upcoming school day but after school as well!

back to school - homework station

2. Set up a Homework station

Help your kids stay organized and on top of their homework by creating an area in your home where they have all they need to stay focused and on task. We use a basket for homework packets that are sent home at the beginning of the week and not turned in until the end. As well as any papers that may need signatures or notes to be read by a parent. We have a small caddy full of everything they need to complete their homework assignments; pencils, erasers, scissors, glue sticks, colored pencils, markers, crayons etc. on the same shelf as well so it’s all easily accessible. Another caddy with extra supplies and a basket to hold library books (so they’re not lost or forgotten each week) finish off our simple homework station.

back to school tip - snack drawer

3. Create a Self-Serve Snack / Easy Breakfast Drawer

We have always tried to adopt the idea that children feel empowered when they can serve and help themselves. By creating a snack drawer you not only do just that but also help your kids develop a healthy relationship with food. We keep different types of bars, from protein to granola, and instant oatmeal in ours. That way they can help themselves to their own healthy breakfast, a quick after school snack or add one to their lunches.

4. Make Packing Lunches Easy

We love having easy to pack lunch items on hand for our kids to help in or fully pack their own lunches. Things like pre hard boiled eggs, yogurt tubes and individually packed portions of turkey breast are perfect easy proteins. Squeeze pouches of fruits + vegetables or petite sized fresh fruits are also great for smaller appetites and ensure less waste. Tip: We love to freeze our yogurt tubes and pack them frozen in lunches. By the time lunch rolls around they’re perfectly cold and have kept the rest of the lunch chilled as well.

back to school - keen hikeport

5. Wear Good Shoes! Seriously!

One of my most favorite and fond memories growing up was my annual trip to the department store with my Dad for new school shoes. He was, and still is a firm believer that wearing good shoes as a growing child makes all the difference! And I’ve adopted the same feelings. There is nothing better than finding a good solid shoe that is comfortable, supportive, easy for my kids to take on and off, plus super fun and stylish on top of it!

KEEN Kids is known for it’s great summer sandals and is the “go-to” summer camp and adventure footwear brand for the whole family. As seasons change and families transition to fall and back to school, KEEN Kids offers a great functional and quality product for that transition time. We love KEEN Kids shoes because they check off all of our requirements from above, work perfectly for both school + play and can be styled with a variety of outfits. See below for some outfit inspiration featuring KEEN Kids Moxie in both the Moxie Flat and Moxie Mary Jane styles for girls. And the Hikeport +  Jasper styles for boys. All styles my kids have, wear everyday, and LOVE! 

Best back to school shoes - keen


We’re so happy to team up with a great group of bloggers to share lots of KEEN styles for kids AND an awesome giveaway. TEN lucky winners will receive a pair of KEEN shoes for school (select from New Arrivals). Please enter using the Rafflecopter below.

Don’t forget to visit all of the participating blogs too! They all have KEEN shoe styles to share as well as great tips and ideas for school:

The Chirping Moms // Wanderlust Crew // Suburban Wife, City Life // Girl in the Red Shoes //Marino Bambinos // The Love Designed Life // Momfessionals // Munchkins and Moms // Being Brickner // Thrifty Nifty Mommy

Giveaway: Enter using the form below

 

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