Memorial Day

We live in an amazing country. Sure, there are protests happening constantly and nothing is perfect. But, I think people forget that we have the freedom to protest. That we can do whatever we want and be whoever we want to be. For me, I can legally go outside in whatever clothes I want and spend the day doing some amazing hiking and rock climbing. I am forever grateful to those men and women who gave everything so I could have the freedom to do anything.

Happy Memorial Day

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 This beautiful piece of Earth is called Red Ledges. You can access it by taking Diamond Fork Canyon from Spanish Fork Canyon. There is so much hiking and rock climbing; they even have picnic benches so you can have a little lunch after you hike! I love Utah!

Aromatherapy 101

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I love aromatherapy. Yes, I am one of those people that have tons of essential oils in my house- it has just been a big part of my life for the past several years and I enjoy learning about them as well as educating others. Not a lot of people understand aromatherapy and how it could possibly help anything so I thought I would write a quick little intro post to aromas and why they are such a big deal.

It all starts with the Olfactory System. The system includes parts of the body involved with smell such as your nose and your brain. When you smell anything, sensory neurons send signals directly to your brain where aromas can be decoded. That’s why smell can affect emotion, memory, behavior, and thought. What we smell literally triggers different parts of our brain!

For example- Lavender can help people feel relaxed. That’s because when we smell it, the certain molecular compounds in the plant trigger the parts of our brain that tell us to chill out. It’s Science (not just hippie voodoo I promise!)

Now that we have the basic science out of the way, let me share with you a couple basic aromas that can help you get more warmed up to this idea.

Lemon and Orange- pretty much any citrus aroma is very uplifting. They can help you to feel motivated, encouraged, and just put you in a better mood.

Lavender- a very calming aroma. Usually people use it to help feel more peaceful and restful. It is also very commonly used and can be pretty easily obtained.

Frankincense- really grounding. This aroma can help you feel more balanced and provides some benefits for your skin!

Tea Tree- a purifying aroma. Tea Tree is really versatile. It not only helps cleanse the air- but can help with your skin and nails. This is one of my favorites to help with skin break outs on guests.

If you have any questions about aromatherapy or essential oils, please feel free to ask away! Like I said before, I love helping people out- it’s what I do!

San Francisco : Your Day Guide

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I love San Francisco- easily one of my favorite cities to see. Sure, the traffic is always crazy, but the list of things to do is endless. Everything I go, there are some things I have to do and then I love finding new places to adventure as well.

The first thing I always have to do is get a sourdough bread bowl filled with delicious clam chowder. Most people go to Boudin to eat this meal which means it is always crowded. If you walked down the block a little bit more, you will come to a place called Tarantino’s that over looks the wharf. They have such good food and and big windows with beautiful views.

After that, I love walking over to Ghirardelli Square. The walk from the wharf to the square goes along the water and then up through one of the city’s many parks. Since it is all on a hill, you get a lovely view of the water. There is usually a line at the Ghirardelli shop so make sure you are prepared to wait a little bit; it usually does go by pretty quickly. The shop has many different sundaes to choose from. I recommend the warm brownie sundae- vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, a fresh brownie, topped with whipped cream and a cherry… Yeah. It is one of the most amazing things you will ever taste.

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Of course, as a tourist in San Francisco, you probably want a cool picture of the Golden Gate Bridge. There are a lot of cool places you can go. One of my favorites is by a historical Site called Fort Point. When you get on the road to the old fort, there are several places you can stop to get a good view (and picture) of the world-famous bridge. After you get your picture, you can continue on to Fort Point. If you are a history buff, you will love walking around and learning all about this cool building under the Golden Gate Bridge.

If you have time, some other cool places to check out are the Sutro baths and Muir Woods. San Francisco is an amazing city and whether you are there for 1 day or 1 month, you will not run out of things to interest you. If you have ever been to San Fran, I would love to hear about your favorite things to do!

The Homestead Crater : What To Expect

We finally went to The Homestead Crater!

This is something I have wanted to do since I moved to Utah a few years ago and I am so glad we finally got to go. The Homestead Crater is located at The Homestead Resort in Midway Utah- a cute little community nestled in the mountains. From the outside, the crater looks like a hill or a small volcano. A small tunnel takes you to the center where you can swim in some amazing hot springs.

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Since I had never been before, I did not know what to expect and was shocked by some of the different things at the resort and the crater. Here are some things to keep in mind before you go!

– You must make reservations ahead of time. The hot springs are a popular place and reservations are required in advance to check them out. These reservations are at a specific time so make sure you get to the resort at your scheduled reservation time

–  Since you have a specific time to be there, you only have a certain amount of time to enjoy the hot springs. Your reservation is for about an hour including changing time. This means they allow about 40 minutes for actually being in the hot springs.

– You must wear a life vest. Unless you are going there to scuba dive (yeah- you can go scuba diving if you are certified or taking the certification lessons there), you have to wear a life vest the entire time you are in the hot springs. You can rent snorkeling equipment for an additional cost which is cool. However, don’t think you can go swimming around under water while you’re here.

– You will not be the only ones there. Unless you bring a large enough group to block out the entire hour or you go during a time that is not busy at all- there will be other people there. AND there is not an age limit for the crater so there may be lots of little kids there with you. If you are looking for some alone time or quiet time, this may not be the place for you.

I thought going to the crater was a cool experience and I am glad we got to do it. However, I am not sure if it is something I would do again any time soon. There were a few too many rules to fully enjoy the hot springs in the Crater. I can’t wait to go to more hot springs here in Utah!

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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and I love this holiday! It is tied with Halloween for my favorite. Sometimes, you get to spend the entire day with your loved one for Valentine’s Day- other times, you may only get a couple hours to grab some breakfast or a drink before needing to do other things.
So, I wanted to give a few different ideas for the whole day that you can use together or just one idea for whatever you may have time for!

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8:30 AM – Treat yourself to donuts. Chances are your local donut places also has milk, chocolate milk, or coffee. Start your day with a yummy, sugary treat. If all you have is the morning together on Valentine’s Day, then this is a fun thing to do because you get some time to yourself while eating a delicious (although fattening) breakfast.

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1:00 PM – If you get to leave work early and you and your honey love relaxing together, why not get a couple’s massage? These tend to book out quickly for Valentine’s Day (I know this firsthand because I work in a spa). But, if you book your appointment in advance and try a few different places, you should be just fine! Couple’s massages are so intimate and relaxing and several places offer lots of specials to make this special date even more special.

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5:30 PM – Watch the sunset. Whether you have a picnic in the last light of the day, or catch the last bit of light and then go stargazing- watching the sunset is very romantic. This date idea also doesn’t cost anything! So go find a tall building or a mountain top this Valentine’s Day.

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8:00 PM – Now you have had a long day of either needing to be at work, taking care of kids, or spending a lovely day with your sweetheart. No matter how your day has been, you’re probably ready for a drink. I am not sure what this may mean to you- to me, it means soda or hot chocolate. There is this adorable place by where we live called Pop N’ Sweets. They have candy, chocolate, and soda from all over the world! They even have a cute little hot chocolate bar. When Wesley and I went, I got dark hot chocolate and he got… ButterBeer! I know… I know… way cool.

Whether you have an early breakfast, a nightcap, or all of the above with your love- I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Top 5: Utah County

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If you have come to visit me and Wesley while we have lived in Utah, chances are we took you to at least 1 of these places. This list is definitely not all there is to do in Utah County (that would require writing an entire book) but this is a small list of places we love taking our family and friends when they come to visit; we got hiking trails, driving trails, food places, etc… So, here is where Wesley and I will probably take you when you come to visit.

Sundance Resort

This is a beautiful mountain escape located up Provo Canyon. Robert Redford bought the land in the 1960’s and wanted to preserve the beauty of this new property. He envisioned “the balance of art, nature and community”. That’s what Sundance is and you don’t even have to book a room at the resort to experience this. Not only are there delicious dining options and an incredible spa, there’s a ski lift that is open all year round- for skiing in the Winter and beautiful views in the Summer. There are also numerous trails to walk around the resort and the surrounding forest.

When we bring people up here, we usually like to walk through the General Store, located right by a ski lift. We then like to get hot chocolate from next door and then walk around the grounds, taking lots of pictures!

 Bridal Veil Falls

This picturesque waterfall is in Provo Canyon; in fact, you drive right by it on your way to Sundance Resort. When you get to the falls, you can either drive up a ways and park right in front of the falls to enjoy the view. Or, you can park at Nunn’s Park and walk along a nice trail to the waterfall. Either way, you will get a beautiful view of Bridal Veil. If you want a little more adventure, you can actually follow a steeper, switch back trail to go up the waterfall! It does give some amazing views of the canyon.

Thanksgiving Point

The best part about Thanksgiving Point is you have so many options of fun things to do! You can just spend an afternoon at the gardens, or you can spend a day or two experiencing everything you can!

You have your choice of 2 museums: The Museum of Natural Curiosity and the Museum of Ancient Life. There are also beautiful gardens that expand for 55 acres! You can even go to Farm Country and check out all the different animals. With an amazing local movie theatre and lots of places to eat, this is a place you can check out over and over again.

Alpine Loop

This is one of my most favorite places in the world. Alpine Loop is a scenic byway that cuts from American Fork Canyon to Provo Canyon and actually goes right by Sundance Resort! The road cuts alongside mountain edges, follows rivers, and takes you through magical Aspen Groves. Wesley loves this because it’s a fun drive with his Subaru. I love it because I see something new and different about the scenery every time we go. We both love it because we can either drive straight through, or stop and have ourselves a little adventure on one of the various trails.

We love bringing people on this drive and walking around to take pictures. It really gives our friends and family a nice chance to see the beauty of Utah- away from the noise of the city.

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Station 22

By the time we are done taking our friends on one of these adventures, we are ready to eat! We have soooo many favorite restaurants in Utah (hmm… that’s a good blog post idea…) but we decided to pick one that was different from other places we had been and not something you can really find anywhere else.

Station 22 is the perfect place for delicious comfort food. Not only do you have your choice of burgers and salads- the menu also includes chicken and waffles, mac & cheese, fish and chips, and delicious appetizers. They even have huge wall of craft sodas- colas, creams sodas, root beers, birch beers, sarsaparillas- and much, much more! You get to eat all this food and drink your yummy soda and the cutest, eclectic cafe. I’m getting hungry just writing this!

There you go! Those are some of mine and Wesley’s favorite places to take our friend and family! I hope you got some fun ideas for your next adventure!

*The picture of Thanksgiving Point is not my picture*

Winter Wonderland

I am definitely a summer girl.

I love green trees, lakes, waterfalls, barbecue, clear nights, the sun… I just can’t lie. I have a favorite season. And it’s Summer. It’s a good thing the seasons are not my children- that might be problematic.

Anyway! So, Summer is great, Spring is beautiful, and I definitely do not mind Autumn. But, Winter and I have not had the greatest relationship. When I lived in Southern California, I never really noticed it because my Winter in Huntington Beach consisted of 75 degree weather and beach days. No, it wasn’t until I moved to Utah that I found out me and Winter don’t really get along.

It’s cold. It’s dark. My heating bill goes up. I slip on ice all the time. Driving is a hazard. The list can go on and on. So, every once in awhile I just need that little reminder that Winter is beautiful in it’s own way.

Today I got that little reminder.

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I mean- yes, it is still dark and cold. But it is oh so magical.

Memories From 2016

What an amazing year 2016 was!

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As I look back on this year, I am filled with so much gratitude and happiness. Wesley and I were able to explore so much of our beautiful state of Utah- from waterfalls and lakes to forests and views. We love this amazing place we live in; We were even able to buy our first home together here!

I graduated as a Master Esthetician from the Aveda Institute in Provo. It was an amazing education and I love having a career where I am continuously learning. I feel so blessed to work in a field where I feel I can help people.

Wesley and I are so excited for the adventures to come in 2017!

Sunday Adventure #3

Link to Sunday Adventures #3 here —> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QH9UdfAOvWI

For our latest Sunday Adventure, Wesley and I drove the Alpine Loop Scenic Byway. It is my favorite drive and definitely my happy place. IMG_0831

Alpine Loop connects American Fork Canyon and Provo Canyon. It goes by Sundance Resort, past beautiful rivers and aspen groves, and has amazing campgrounds. You can go hiking, mountain biking, and spend an amazing time with your friends, family, and pets!

Alpine Loop is beautiful and I definitely recommend it to everyone!

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Sunday Adventures #2

Link to Youtube video here! —> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOl6XzZYrAU

This week, we went to Nebo Loop for our Sunday Adventure. Nebo Loop is a scenic byway that you can access from Payson, Utah or Nephi, Utah.

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Right now, It is closed a little bit in from Payson because of severe road damage. So, we did not get to drive too far in.

However, you can still hike around and it is simply beautiful right now! Where the road is closed is a lovely area where you can park and and have a picnic.

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This drive is so fun and there is so much to do with the trails and camping areas.

***TIPS***

1.) Bring a sweater or light jacket. A combination of the time of year and the environment of these mountains mean the weather can go from sunny to rainy in a couple minutes (see the video we posted for an example). It is best to be prepared with some warm clothing just in case!

2.) Wear the right shoes. Because the drive is closed, there is a lot of opportunity for walking around and hiking. Bring some hiking shoes because you will definitely want to stop along the way and take in the beautiful scenery!