Friday, June 19, 2015

SuperDad Cookies!

I have decided to re-open my online bakery. I'm excited and busy with filling out paperwork. I will be listing treats online, at local shows and in the process of trying to work with some local food trucks.

While I'm waiting to get all my licences in order, I needed to make a few dozen cookies for Father's Day. I tried a few ideas earlier this month and loved the superhero theme the best. My husband and dad are truly heroes to my kids!

The stars were the easy design in the set. You could easily set these out for your kids to create for Dad! Just pipe and flood with royal icing in superhero colors and dip into bowls of sugar. I have a feeling that even though these were the easiest, they will be the favorite!

A few comic inspired squares - playing off my Dad's nickname of PopPop!

Some fun SuperDad flooded cookies.

And these were my favorite even though they were the trickiest. Though now I'm thinking it would be smart to have painted the Superman emblem.

All packaged and ready to be gobbled up!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Hiking With Kids in Utah - Bell Canyon (Lower Bell Canyon - Boulders Trailhead)

I had read a few times that the Bell Canyon trail is a fun one to do with kids. When I posted that I planned on going, I received other news. Some warned it's too steep, it's too dangerous - don't do it with young kids. But it's hard for me to give up a plan. I knew that if we started and I felt that it was too much, we could always turn around. 

We hiked the Lower Bell Canyon from the Boulders Trailhead. This is low in the valley and there is little shade. We were hot! Plan to do this hike in the early morning, late afternoon or on a cooler day. My 4 yo was quite unhappy with the amount of sun we hit.

It is steep for the little ones, they truly earned some hiking boots on this trip. They were able to do it without much concern for their safety, but I knew they were challenged. The trail can be narrow, so this would be a good time to explain hiking manners and etiquette with your kids.

My kids are always happy with a hike that includes water! Bell canyon doesn't allow dogs or swimming - leave the suits at home. It does however allow fishing at the reservoir. When they are a bit bigger, this would be such a fun place to fish with them.

There is no way that children younger than 4 could do this safely in my opinion. I strapped my 2 yo on my back until we reached the reservoir. There were times that hiking with him on my back was tricky, but never too difficult. I did see an adventurous new mother with a very young baby strapped on.

Beautiful views, but not much wildlife - another hiking prereq for the kids. Though they were quite proud of how high they climbed.

The reservoir is gorgeous! I've read that it can be quite crowded during the year, but we had a great time. Pack some water and snacks to enjoy by the water (and please bring your trash back with you.)

Is the Lower Bell Canyon hike a good choice for you? This is for older kids or adventurous younger ones with some experience. It wasn't my kids favorite - too hot, too high and no animals. But I'm sure in a few years, we will be back to catch some fish!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Hiking with Kids in Utah - Lisa Falls

The last time I hiked Lisa Falls, I was 7 months pregnant with Julie and chasing after a very rebellious 2 year old Isabelle. It wasn't fun. Maybe that's why it's been a couple years since I considered going back and I am so glad we did!

Lisa Falls is a very short hike off the road in Little Cottonwood. Though it is a short hike, it is rocky and travels near the falls. I don't recommend toddlers walking this trail without very close supervision, my husband carried our two year old son. He was pretty scared of the rushing water and didn't want to walk on his own. There was another family there that had a young baby strapped on to their backs and she looked so happy!

It is however fun for slightly older kids - our 5 and 7 year old had a blast! Be sure to pack swimsuits, towels and water shoes. The girls had the best time playing in the water.

There were a few times I wanted to jump in and protect them, but they had so much fun exploring and playing in the water. It is a good time to go over water safety with children though, the falls can be strong during certain times of the year.

And well, you can't hike near falls with two princesses and not have a mermaid photo shoot!

This was also a very popular site for rock climbers. The kids loved to see them climb!

Two thumbs up for Lisa Falls! Just watch those real little ones on the trail and maybe not for pregnant Mommas (or at least it was too much for me a few years ago!)

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Strawberry Jalapeno Margarita - Stop Animation

My first attempt at stop animation. Oh my word - I'm addicted! So much fun. And now I want a margarita..

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Hiking with kids in Utah - Silver Lake

I have never seen myself as an avid hiker. Though I love the wilderness, it just has never been high on my favorites thing to do. Well that is until I became a mother. That is one of the best things of being a parent, exploring the world through new sets of eyes. Have you tried hiking with your kids? There are so many awesome reasons to make this a regular excursion with them!

*Kids are natural explorers. They want to see new places, climb big boulders and spot animals (even if it is just a chipmunk) in the wild. They want to learn in a fun environment.

*Hiking is typically free. There are times when parks will charge a minimal fee, but this is such an inexpensive way to spend the day.

*Kids need to burn off energy. Hiking allows them chances to run, to climb and wear themselves out. You may find that you are rewarded with fabulous naps after your hikes.

*Instead of yelling or bribing your kids to remove themselves from technology, hiking is a fun way to accomplish that without an argument. You may find that the more your kids love the outdoors, the less you hear the electronic sounds.

This summer, I will be posting my reviews of hikes with kids in the local Northern Utah area. Please feel free to chime in with your favorite places to hike!

Last week we started our season off with a favorite of ours, Silver Lake. Hands down, I think this is the best beginner hike with kids that I have found. The hike around the lake is about an hour at a slow speed - the perfect time for my kids (2,5,7). It is common to spot moose and beavers. On our trip we only saw chipmunks and squirrels though.

I recommend packing the kid cameras, bug collectors and jackets. Here the kids spotted a beaver dam on one side of the lake and a lodge on the other.

The path is quite large and safe with little elevation gain. You could easily push a jogging stroller on the path (we saw at least a 1/2 dozen that morning).

It is a wonderful shaded hike that is a cool respite from the valley during the hotter months. I recommend if you prefer a more peaceful time, plan on hiking early in the morning. Around lunch time, the parking lot is full and the lake is chirping with lots of little voices.

Two kiddo thumbs up for Silver Lake!

Have you gone? What was your favorite part of the hike?


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