Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Weekend in Los Angeles

We spent a weekend in L.A. recently and enjoyed every minute of it. After the plane ride, Mike showed me his old neighborhood, where he lived till he was 9, in El Segundo.

We strolled through Olvera Street and stopped for some excellent Mexican food, although Lucy wasn't crazy about the lime.

Another day, we went to the Farmers' Market where Lucy was very serious about pony rides, and we sampled local Pain au Chocolat and Breakfast Quesadillas and saw some amazing fingerling potatoes (thought of you, Dad!). We then took fresh peaches and walked down to the beach and enjoyed the sun and the sand.

Oh, and we shopped and shopped and shopped. . . first in the fashion district (blocks and blocks of fabric and textile stores!) and then at H&M. We got a little somethin' for daddy, mommy, and baby.

We saw some beautiful architecture (pictured here are the Disney Concert Hall and the Union Station.)

We didn't eat a single cupcake, however, even though I know there are plenty of good ones in L.A. It was on the list of things to do until we found Diddy Riese. . . here's the math: any scoop of icecream you want + any kind of fresh cookie you want = an awesome icecream sandwich for $1.50. And that's why we ended up going 3 times in 4 days.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I picked up the new Salt Lake Magazine which features the "Best of the Beehive" this month because, well, I love lists. . . and this has a list of Utah's Best Dining. . . and, well, I love dining. Then to my surprise as I was flipping through I saw a big full-page portrait of Rebecca Vernon a friend from our Roosevelt Ward days. No, she's not a premier Sushi chef or all-star restaurateur, she was one of the highlighted people in the article titled "Meet the Yummies." What are Yummies you ask? Young Urban Mormons. The article was introducing some mormon hipsters who are changing the stereotype and the look of mormons, albeit slowly. . . Rebecca, or as we used to call her, Rock-star Rebecca, is the perfect example. She's 32, single, and has style and talent to knock your socks off. She plays drums and bass in two different bands in clubs on Saturday night (one of which just signed with a Swedish record label!) and then goes to church Sunday morning. She follows her passion and is living out her music dream AND maintains her standards.On another note, some of my favorite Yummies, the Pratts, have the funniest story I've ever read on a blog. It involves a Burger King, some toddlers, a gutsy Grampa and a fugitive Father. For a good laugh, check it out here. . .

Friday, August 22, 2008

happy birthday, little one!

Our little Lucy just turned one, so here are some things I know about one-year-olds. . .

One-year-olds love balloons.
. . . and cousins and friends and Great Grandmas. . .. . . and they love presents and wrapping paper and ribbon . . . and birthday cards . . .
One-year-olds DO NOT like candles . . .
. . . so they may seem dubious at first . . .. . . but they soon realize they like cupcakes . . .. . . a lot . . .
. . . which is good 'cause there are a lot of them . . .. . . 'cause one-year-olds' moms think a birthday party is a really good excuse to stock up on things they themselves like, like cupcakes and izze soda . . . . . . oh, and one-year-olds definitely love their dads . . .
. . . even if they're going through a mommy phase . . .

Friday, August 15, 2008

Fun Things To Do in Salt Lake City when family visits

Jake and Jesse in the Crystal Cave at the Library.

Jake and Sam in the Snowflake Olympic Fountain at the Gateway
Shannon and Jake riding Trax. . .

One of the reasons I haven't been blogging is because my sister and her family all came in to town from Odessa, Texas and we were incredibly busy having fun. We were going every minute. . . in another month, another sister and her fam will be coming from Virginia! I'm so excited, I love hosting and having family!

Here is a list of "Fun Things To Do With Kids In SLC" I put together for them:
  • Antelope Island - Take a picnic, see bison. 45 minutes each way. . . annual bison round-up in November. $9 per vehicle.
  • This is the Place Park - A glimpse at pioneer life: churn butter, card wool. $8/adults - $6/children (3-11)
  • Hogle Zoo - Mountain lions, tigers, bears, oh my! $8/adults - $6/children (but two are free cause we have a membership!)
  • Temple Square - Walk the beautiful grounds, look at the beautiful bridal couples (there will inevitably be some there no matter what time of day or what time of year you go!), read plaques about Mormon history, talk to some sister missionaries, you can even go listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir practice on Thursday nights! There is also a free movie about the life of Joseph Smith that shouldn't be missed.
  • Dinosaur Museum at Thanksgiving Point - A very good museum, plenty of interactive bits and things kids CAN touch. They also have imax type movies $10/adult $8/children and be ware of Two Dollar Tuesdays. . . the line goes around the building!
  • Wheeler Farm - See some farm animals, feed ducks, milk cows at 5:00 - free but bring cash for the extras $1.50 for hayrides, 50¢ to milk cows.
  • Hike to Donut Falls or Silver Lake, picnic & s'mores - free
  • Gateway - Splash in the Oympic Fountains (bring swimsuits!), walk on the moon at the Clarke Planetarium, eat a Ben's Cookie - free except for the Ben's Cookies, could also see a movie or an Imax movie
  • Children's Museum - also at the Gateway, $8.50
  • Trax ride to City Library - downtown rides are free, I'd coordinate this with the Temple Square or Gateway visit. Don't miss the comic book store, the glass elevators, and the children's section downstairs where there are fun cubbies along the southeast wall to explore (kids will love the Crystal Cave, Gramma's Attic, and the room full of computers!)
  • Backyard Campout
  • Fairmont Pool or Holladay Pool - Indoors, with slides and fountains and stuff. . . ,
  • Liberty Park or Sugar House Park - Feed ducks, playgrounds, room for frisbees. Pack swimsuits for Liberty Park, there is a fun splash park in the kids area and sometimes a miniature model of the waterways of Utah is on and impossible NOT to climb in and splash around. Free.
  • Sweet Candy Factory tour - as much fun for the adults as for the kids. Free with plenty of free samples!
  • Bouncin Off the Walls or Bounce U - two places you can pay and go bounce crazy and bounce out any energy that's left after all the other things you've done!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Forget the cake. . . let them eat s'mores!

Sunday was Mike's b-day and instead of making him a cake, we made home-made s'mores! Ever since trying table-top s'mores at a restaurant in Dallas last fall I've been wanting to recreate them and I think we succeeded, they were AMAZING! Seriously, I'll do it again and again. I owe the success to Martha Stewart for the fantastic recipes.

  • The marshmallows were a little involved, calling for things like a candy thermometer and unflavored gelatin, but I just followed the directions and it worked. . . here's the recipe. (I did one batch vanilla as called for in the recipe and one batch coconut where I substituted coconut flavor instead of vanilla extract and then also sprinkled the top and bottom with shredded coconut)
  • For the chocolate we melted down a big bar of chocolate (thanks, G, that 11 lb bar has come in handy!), added a tablespoon of heavy whipping cream and spread it on wax paper till it set again. We wanted it to melt faster than a hershey's bar, and it did. It melted the minute it touched those toasty marshmallows! MMMMmmmmm. (Discaimer, the marshmallow doesn't look toasty in my pic above because that one was done in the microwave which also works well and is almost as delicious as over the campfire.)
  • The graham crackers were especially easy to make and so good. They even have wheat germ and whole wheat flour, so doesn't that mean they're healthy too? Martha doesn't have the recipe online, but you can find it in her fantastic new cookbook:
Martha Stewart's Cookies
And speaking of that cookbook, can I geek out about the design for a minute?

Dear M.S. Graphic Designers,

This is just a quick thank you for your work on the new Martha Stewart Cookie Book. You're brilliant and talented and it is obvious that you not only design cookbooks but you actually use them. After seeing your novel, ground-breaking solution to a cookbook Table of Contents, I had to wonder, why didn't I demand this before? How did I not realize that this is what I wanted every time I peruse through a cookbook? Why doesn't every cookbook have pictures of all the recipes right at the beginning with names and page numbers right next to them? I opened it up and almost cried.

I love you, M.S. Designers. You not only made a beautiful book, but you enhanced the user experience.

Juliann Law
a fan