Christmas Recap

Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone! I can’t believe this year is over. I feel like every year goes by faster and faster. I hope you all had the best time over the holidays, however you celebrate. 🙂 I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite parts about this Christmas!

We had a gingerbread house contest with my boyfriend’s family and it was so much fun. Cody and I decided to come up with our own idea beforehand instead of just using the kits. We chose to do a Christmas barn so the night before, Cody made the dough and I went over early the next day so we could start baking. I thought I would be more helpful in this area but Cody ended up being better at rolling and cutting the dough so I stuck to oven duty. After I dyed the walls of the barn red, we put all the pieces on cookie sheets, covered them with saran wrap, and set off to his parents’ house.

It was pretty funny because his mom had set up kits at everyone’s station and in comes Cody with premade gingerbread ready to assemble. Needless to say, we won AND we set the bar pretty high so now I don’t know what we are going to have to think of for next year.

I forgot to take a picture after we had cleaned up our station but this is just a glimpse of what it looked like. I made the sheep out of pretzels and marshmallows and the trees from sugar cones and green frosting. It was hard but worth it in the end! From what I hear, a trophy is coming our way 🙂 If you want to take this design on next year for your contest, you can find the instructions here.

My friends and I like to do a Secret Santa exchange every year and it’s fun because you never know who you’re going to get. This year, I got my friend Levi and he had a lot of interesting things on his list. In the end, I got him throwing axes and a hammock. I think my Amazon account is probably confused why all of a sudden I’m into axes but oh well. My friend Tino was my Secret Santa and he gave me an Amazon Echo Dot. I set it up this weekend and it’s so fun. What are your tips & tricks on what to do with Alexa?

I cannot wrap to save my life (and I can’t rap either, but that’s a different story). This year, I wrapped one present and was super proud of myself and then I took on a weird-shaped box and when I eventually ripped the paper, I gave up and finished watching 8 Mile. (Yes, I was watching Eminem rap while I tried to wrap for inspiration.) My sister helped me finish and I got to write their names on the boxes. We both love choosing a wrapping paper color scheme and this was mine:

Yes, that is a small gingerbread man.

For my Christmas present, Cody spoiled me big time and got me the nicest record player ever. Not only that but he bought me really nice speakers to go with it. My records sound amazing! I ran out to Target the next day to buy a table for it because I wanted to display it. I’ve spent a few days listening to my records now and made a huge list of ones I need to get next. I need to step up my gift-giving game now!

If you look in the mirror, you can tell I’m listening to Ace of Base’s The Sign. Classic.

I got a lot of goodies for Christmas but a couple things I was super excited for was the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy by Kevin Kwan. I loved the movie so much so I’m excited to read them! My sister also got me a calligraphy set and voucher for an online class! She is my biggest supporter to keep writing so I’m excited to start that and see my handwriting improve.

How did you celebrate the holidays?

Red Mood

December always gets me in a red mood, especially the deep reds. I just feel like it’s the perfect color to celebrate the Christmas season. I wanted to share my red finds to help you put a little pep in your step this holiday. 

O-Ring Zip Back Plaid Wrap Skirt

Red plaid is always great but this skirt will help you be more festive, I just know it! Get it for $19 from Shein.

Lime Crime Velvetines Liquid Lipstick in Wicked

Dark red lipsticks are always GORGEOUS but they’re my favorite on winter nights, especially if you’re dressing up. Get this color from Lime Crime right now because they’re giving you 50% all their red lips!!!

Ex-Boyfriend Corduroy Jacket

Maybe you’re not trying to dress up too much but you just want a comfy & cozy jacket to wander around in… this one’s for you! The inside has faux sheep fur to keep you warm 🙂 Get it from Bohme for $54.50.

Comstock Casual Sweater

Everyone needs a casual and comfy red sweater in their arsenal, especially for the holiday season! This super cute one is from Piper & Scoot and you can get it for $48.

Halogen Alexa Boot

If you like to dress in all black like I do, then you’ll probably want a red boot to make it pop. This cute bootie is from Nordstrom!

York Puffer Coat

I’ve really gotten into coats and jackets a lot this year and it’s hard for me not to want to buy all of them. This cute puffer coat is perfect for a casual winter day and is screaming your name! Get it from Poppywells 🙂

Long Tassel Scarf

Again, with all the black I wear, it’s really nice to have a red scarf to finish the outfit. This cute long scarf is $19 from ASOS.

Holly Jolly Hoops

These hoops are a perfect addition to your holiday outfit! Emmy Ivy has the cutest earrings but you have to check often because they sell out quick!! Get these here for $12 🙂

Amelia Sweater

I love cold shoulder tops and this cute one is just the right color for the season. You can get this one from XO Mandysue for $39 🙂 Remember, you can use our discount code SALTSUGAR35 for a 35% discount on your any order!

Let’s Get Cozy Cardigan

Who doesn’t love furry and soft clothing? I just found the cardigan that you will probably live in all winter. You’re welcome. Get it from Bella Ella Boutique for $40.

What red pieces can you not live without? 



Last year, some of my girlfriends and I decided to start an annual girls’ trip to Disneyland and we had a great time. We got to go during the Christmas season and it was magical. This year, we tried to go in October but mine and my sister’s work schedule didn’t allow for that so we went back during Christmas again. 

We had a lot of fun eating our way through both parks. The churros! The popcorn! The cheese popcorn! The beignets! The corndogs! The corn on the cobs! The fries! I mean, thank goodness you have to walk everywhere because otherwise, they would have had to roll us out of the park. 

My sister and I using the cute Snapchat filters at Disney’s California Adventure

This year was cool because I finally got to ride Toy Story’s Midway Mania. I literally have never done it because whenever I go, the Fast Passes are all gone and the wait is 14050294 hours. It was a lot of fun, except for losing to my sister.

They were also selling the super cute long-sleeved shirts with ‘Disneyland’ written across the back. I think these ones were the cutest I’ve seen so far so I had to buy one in my favorite color (or non-color, if you’re one of those), black.

We spent the first day at California Adventure and it was sunny and gorgeous. The second day, we spent it at Disneyland and it was cloudy and a little chilly so I’m glad I brought my jacket because I didn’t take it off once. You’d think I wouldn’t be a baby about the cold since we live in Utah but nope, still always freezing.

Cute picture on the boardwalk at Pixar Pier in California Adventure. I loved Coco so much!!

We all agreed that California Adventure is the perfect place to start because it really doesn’t have as many things as Disneyland does so you can get to all the things you want to and still have time to do other things at night. Your feet aren’t also ready to shrivel up and fall off when you do California Adventure first. Another great thing we did is get the Max Passes instead of just regular Fast Pass. This means you don’t even have to walk to the Fast Pass Distribution for your favorite ride, you can just get it on the app. AND any pictures from rides are free to download with the purchase of a Max Pass. Bingo bango.

We also left both days to go back to the hotel and take naps. This was amazing because we always felt super rejuvenated afterwards! I am not a fan of staying at the park all day long because I get super tired so this was awesome. I’d say we took naps because my friend Amanda is 6 months pregnant and she needed to rest but I’d be lying because she was killing it. I hope I’m as gung-ho to walk around Disneyland when I’m 6 months pregnant without complaining. I’m pretty sure I was the weakest link on the entire trip.

Left to right: Amanda, Jocelyn, Annette, and I

While at Disneyland, we thought it would be nice to ride Peter Pan’s Flight because Annette and I hadn’t ridden it since we first came to Disneyland when I was in kindergarten and Amanda and Jocelyn had never ridden it. However, that day was a nightmare because it was so incredibly packed with people! We found out that it was a day that wasn’t blacked out for annual pass holders so it felt like the entire state of California was there. This made the wait times for Peter Pan’s flight a consistent 80+ minutes.

We decided to be sneaky and wait until the fireworks ended at night to hurry and get in line for the ride once they opened the area again. Apparently, everyone had that idea because it felt like Black Friday shopping. I’m pretty sure parents have killed to get their children on that ride and will continue to do so. It was a mad rush to get back in line for that ride but alas, we got in line because we knew it would still be the shortest wait we’d ever get for it. 30 long minutes later, it’s finally our turn and in THE BLINK OF AN EYE, we’re being let off the ride because it’s over. 

Yes, Disneyland is cute and all but the things people are willing to wait for is insane. We all agreed that was not worth the wait and we laughed at the parents who waited 2 hours to get their kiddos on that ride. Anyway, it was a lot of fun but I think I need a vacation from that vacation. 


Weekend Highlights

I had a super fun weekend with new friends and old friends. On Saturday, we had a dinner & movie night with my friends. It took us probably 35 minutes to pick something to watch because we’re all so stubborn that any time someone suggested something, someone else would hate it. I can never stop laughing with these guys.

One of my favorite things about Christmas in Utah is when the lights at Temple Square turn on after Thanksgiving. It always feels like the official start of Christmas. I love looking at them but I will admit, I’m a baby when it comes to the cold so I don’t go every year.

This year was fun because Cody’s mission companion from Brazil and his wife, Matt and Lorena, came to visit and spent the weekend at his place. We took them to do a few of our favorite things including eating at Maxwell’s, doing an escape room, going to Gourmandise for dessert, getting fries (or frites) from Bruges, and going to Temple Square to see the lights.

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Photo courtesy of TripAdvisor

Maxwell’s in Salt Lake is a great restaurant and bar that has some really good (and HUGE) pizzas!

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We did an escape room at The Escape Key in Salt Lake and it was a lot of fun. This is my third time doing an escape room and I’ve escaped every single time. We made it out with about 12 or 13 minutes left. This one was a little hard because the whole room was dark the entire time and we only had flashlights and eventually, small black lights.

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Photo courtesy of Gourmandise

This is one of my favorite places in the entire world. My dad found this place when I was younger and we’ve all been obsessed ever since. I’ve had birthday dinners with friends here so it holds lots of good times and memories for me. We brought Matt and Lorena here because Lorena was really craving some dessert and this is the first place I think of when I want dessert.

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Photo courtesy of Gourmandise

My favorite treats are the chocolate mousse slice, the chocolate strawberry tartelettes, and the raspberry mango tartelettes. There is lots of good stuff here to choose from!

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Photo courtesy of TripAdvisor

Lorena was also craving fries (a girl after my own heart) so we took them to Bruges and got a huge serving of fries and sauces. It was delicious!!

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Lorena and Matt invited Cody and I to the Christmas Devotional at the Conference Center for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints so we walked through Temple Square on our way to the Conference Center and took some pictures!


I had a blast getting to know these Brazilians living in New Zealand (still insanely jealous about this)! I love making new friends 🙂

Christmas Decor 2018

Last night, I was finally able to finish getting my Christmas decorations up. Normally, I like to have it done the day after Thanksgiving. It mostly was this year but I decided I really wanted a second Christmas tree and the way we’ve got our furniture in our family room made it so the tree we had didn’t fit great. I put the bigger tree in our formal living room but I still really wanted one in the family room. I talked to Adam and I hurried and ordered another tree online. I got in a little trouble because he knew I had been wanting a second tree and was going to take me to pick one out as part of my Christmas gift but I went and bought one first.

The tree came a couple days ago and tonight I had the time to get it up and finish the decorations.

This is our bigger tree that is now in our formal living room. I like that you can see it lit up from the street. This room felt so warm and cozy this year. Last year I didn’t put much in it.

I bought our stockings last year from Pottery Barn Kids. Adam’s one requirement for his stocking was that it should have a fire truck and luckily I was able to find one! They still have our stockings in other designs. Find all of their stockings here. They’re on sale right now too!

I picked up the garland at Home Goods this year and added some LED lights from Costco. You can’t tell but it has pine cones, berries, and some burlap throughout it. The Santa advent calendar is from Pottery Barn but years ago. My mother-in-law was kind enough to give it to me.

The pillow is from Bed Bath and Beyond last year.

I would like to do a fun village on this cabinet but it’s not going to happen this year. The sign is my favorite Christmas song and it’s from Vine and Branches.

This table is usually in my entryway but there was a minor leak in the ceiling and we’re still working on fixing the wall and ceiling. It’s got another Vine and Branches sign. I believe the tree is from Target a couple years ago.

Adam’s mom gave me this cute Santa cookie jar earlier this year.

I found this cute truck at Target this year.

Last year, I found some glass trees at Home Goods that I loved and at the time I thought I could go back and get them later but they were gone when I went back! I was so sad. When I saw these glass trees are Target, I knew I had to have them. Find them here. They have different sizes and they come in different colors. I think I bought this garland last year and I can’t remember where but I added more of my LED lights from Costco.

Here is my new tree! I knew I needed something skinnier for that corner and I love how it turned out. I was trying to stick with mostly red and gold ornaments and it just makes the room feel so cozy looking. I found the tree skirt at Target here.

That is most of my Christmas decor this year! I like to add a little more each year because I am obsessed with Christmas! Have a great weekend!

Facing Fears

Happy week of Thanksgiving! I hope everyone has a great week and enjoys time with friends and family before the Black Friday shopping begins!

Yesterday, I conquered a big fear of mine. It’s making my hands sweat as I type about it. Christmas is one of my favorite things and going all out with the decorations is really important to me. Usually, I would be bugging Adam since the beginning of November to get the Christmas lights up on the house before it’s too cold. Somehow I forgot this year and then he started remodeling our bathroom. It’s been consuming all of his free time so I didn’t dare add to it and ask him to put the Christmas lights up even though I know he would’ve found the time to do it.

It’s supposed to snow later this week so I knew if I was going to put the lights up I had to do it soon. I chose to do it when Adam was at work so I could do it in my own time. I got myself up a ladder and onto the roof with very shaky legs. I got all the lights up even though I had to redo a few parts and will have to get back up again to fix some light bulbs that are burnt out and maybe even how the extension cords are set up. But you know what, I got up there and got most of it done even though it was terrifying, especially the parts that were two stories up!

You can see the gaps where I need to fix the burnt out light bulbs.

This may seem silly to some people but I’m proud of myself for climbing up a ladder and sitting on the edge of the roof to put the lights up. Heights are definitely not my favorite thing and I would be OK never doing it again but I know if the situation arises, I can do it again. I celebrated it by going to Taco Bell after!


I rose above. Literally lol.

Stay tuned this week for shopping finds and deals to know about on Black Friday!

Xoxo, Steph