Monthly Archives

January 2016

salt sky utah.com
quote of the week

give it a try

We’re talking to you . . . Yes, you! Take a risk, follow your dream, say “I love you”, propose already!

Happy Friday to those taking a leap of faith this weekend.

 

winter activities in utah
Family Adventures & Travel

Utah winter activities

Winter is awesome in Utah… but it seems like just about now, we all start getting the winter blues and hoping for spring. While spring isn’t as close as some of us would like, let’s embrace the amazing state that we live in and get out and play! That’s right, bundle up and soak up all the amazing things that are right here in our backyard. Here’s a list to get you out and enjoying Utah.

Skiing – Skiing not in the budget or no time to go as often as you’d like? Did you know that you can ski at Alta for $10? That’s right! Ski after 3:00 for this awesome deal. Snowbird also has some night skiing for $13 and kids 6 and under ski free!  Also try a weekend getaway to Brian Head, it’s such a fun couple trip.

utah winter acitivites

Midway Ice skating rink – There is a great outdoor ice skating rink in Midway that has great prices and gets you out to explore a beautiful city that is so close but feels like a great day trip. Head into Heber to eat at the Dairy Keen and pick up a June Pie on the way home. This is one of our favorite day trips, you’re going to love it.

Ice Castles – Did you know that there are only 3 ice castles in the U.S and we have one of them right here? These castles in Midway are stunning and kids feel like they’re in a magical place. Bundle up… I’d suggest some snow clothes for the kids, it gets to be pretty cold but so worth it.

ice castles, winter utah activities

Park City getaway – Sometimes the inversion around Salt Lake is just terrible so my very favorite place to visit is Park City. Get away to some clear blue skies, beautiful scenery, great shopping and fabulous food. Make it extra special and rent a condo or hotel for the night. I could live there, it’s gorgeous.

Gorgoza Park – Sledding to the extreme at Gorgoza Park in Park City. There are 7 tubing lanes with a lift to pull you up,  mini snowmobiles, a Fort Frosty play area for younger kids and a place the family will love.

Crystal Hot Springs – Take a day trip to Honeyville and soak in some natural hot springs while you’re surrounded by snow… so fun!

What are your favorite winter activities to do in Utah? Share your ideas below!

Winter activities to do in Utah! Seriously fun!

britt

Valentine table decorating ideas
Valentine's

A lovely Valentine Table

Valentine’s Day is one of our favorite holidays for decorating!  Our friend, Jen Wunderli,  is an amazing party designer who set up this beautiful Valentine table for us.  Whether decorating for a romantic dinner for two or for a family Valentine party, this set up is sure to leave an impression.  From lace to gorgeous dishes, reds, pinks and pearls, you simply can’t go wrong.  Happy decorating!

Valentine table decorating ideas

Valentine table decorating ideas

Valentine table decorating ideas

Valentine table decorating ideas

Valentine table decorating ideas

Valentine table decorating ideas

Valentine table decorating ideas

 

Valentine table decorating ideas

Long time friends, Kelli Harris (left) and Jen Wunderli (right).  Photos taken at the gorgeous home of Kelli.  Table decor by event designer Jen Wunderli.

Happy decorating!

 

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Inspiration, Stories

Be kind or be quiet

I needed a pink cake a little while ago and found myself out of time to make it. So I visited a lovely bakery in my neighborhood hoping I could find one. There was a white cake, a yellow cake and a purple one but I was told no pink.

I decided to just take the white one, and asked the clerk if she could write a name on it in pink frosting for me. She said she would be happy to, but just as she pulled the cake out of the case I turned around and saw the perfect pink cake in a different rack. I told the clerk that I had just seen the pink cake and would take it instead.

Her attitude immediately changed from helpful to put-out.  She told me that she simply would not write on that cake because it was a “day-old cake”. I told her that I didn’t mind a day-old-cake as I thought cakes always tasted better the next day. (She wasn’t amused)

I asked if she could box it up and if I could possibly buy some frosting so I could write on it myself. She replied that they did not sell frosting.

By now I was wondering why I was about to give this bakery my business and spend $28 on a cake. I asked her how it was possible that a bakery was not able to sell frosting. Grudgingly she went to the back and brought out some small bags of frosting, told me it would be $2 a bag and asked what color I wanted. In frustration, I responded that by now I would take any color.

As she rang me up she explained that she simply couldn’t write a name on the cake because her bakery could not be associated with a day-old-cake. As I paid I pointedly wondered aloud if maybe she should also remove the sticker with the bakery’s name on it from the box.

It came to me then that their eclairs and pettifors are excellent and that I would probably want to return to the bakery sometime and it was probably not a good idea to antagonize the clerk. So, I swallowed my frustration and left with a warm compliment to the baked goods.

Why is it so easy to react to other people’s bad moods and let a good day turn sour because of what someone else says or does?

This week, I am working on being nicer to everyone I come in contact with, regardless of how difficult they are.

I realized the day of the cake incident that we cannot possibly know what other people are going through in their life. Our job is simply to be nice. And, yes, it is a hard thing to do at times.

katty

easy paper valentine garland DIY
DIY, Valentine's

Easy Paper Valentine Garland

It’s freezing outside and the kids are getting cabin fever!  Luckily one of our favorite holidays is right around the corner and the perfect time to get them working on some decorating projects to celebrate. We went to EM Paper in Holladay, Utah to get the cutest ribbon and paper for this project.

What you’ll need:

  • Light weight cardstock paper (8.5″ x 11″ sheets), cut in 2″ strips (long sides)
  • scissors or paper cutter
  • stapler
  • ribbon
  • glue

First cut your strips of paper.

easy paper valentine garland DIY

Next… fold strips in half.  With folder edge pointing down, turn your top pieces inward to create a heart.

easy paper valentine garland DIY

  Staple the top of the heart together WITH the bottom point of the next heart.  Continue stapling hearts together until your garland is the desired length.

easy paper valentine garland DIY

Use your favorite ribbon and tie, glue or staple as shown below.

easy paper valentine garland DIY

This is a fun project that your kids will love to help with and won’t take you very long to put together.  Happy creating!

britt

RuleofThirds DIY better photos in 3 simple steps!
Professional Services

Lemontine Photography

Today we have an awesome guest post from the very talented, Rebecca Longhurst.  She is teaching us how to take better photos using your camera or phone!  Rebecca is the owner and operator of Lemontine Photography, LLC. Born and raised in southern California, Rebecca moved to Utah in 2010 and married a local. She is a mother, a past elementary teacher, and a full time natural light photographer. Her bread and butter is wedding photography but she enjoys taking pictures for every event when time permits.  

RuleofThirds DIY better photos in 3 simple steps!

Ever wonder how some people take beautifully eye catching pictures? This tutorial will teach you a little more about using the Rule of Thirds to enhance your pictures – even using your iPhone!

The Rule of Thirds is a guideline to composing photos in a way that is pleasing to your eye and it is simple to learn. In order to use the Rule of Thirds you simply divide your photo into nine equal pieces and then check to see where the lines cross. You can do in three easy steps.

First, draw two (figurative) horizontal lines across your photo. This will divide your photo into three equal parts.

RuleofThirds DIY better photos in 3 simple steps!

Second, draw two vertical lines (again, figurative) across your photo. This will leave you with nine equal pieces.

RuleofThirds DIY better photos in 3 simple steps!

Third, use the lines to compose your photo! For aesthetically pleasing results place your subject along one of the lines. Another good idea is to place your subject, or focal point, wherever two lines cross.

RuleofThirds DIY better photos in 3 simple steps!

Using this simple rule will help your pictures look better and attract more attention, even if you are using your iPhone!

-Rebecca

Lemontine Photography is giving all of our followers a special deal!  Visit her website www.lemontinephotography.com to see more of her work and use the promo SALTSKYUTAH to get $50 off your next session.  Have a great time playing with your newly learned photo tips!

now taking valentine crate orders
Valentine's

The perfect valentine crate

Delivered right to your door or place of business.  Perfect gift for the ones you love.  Place your order right away, we have a limited quantity. Simply click HERE to order. All credit cards welcome.

Crate includes:

Fresh potted flower.

2 Raspberry Lime Cupid Sodas.

Giant rice crispy treat dipped in milk chocolate.

Jar of cherry sour candy.  Our favorite.

Bag of freshly made cookies from Just Iced Cookies. 

Wood crate with lid to use later.

Cost: $42

The perfect valentines crate!

Free delivery if delivered to a place of business.  Minimum 5 crates.  Delivered on Fri, Feb 12. Get your co-workers together!

$10 Delivery fee for single crate delivered anywhere in the valley.  Delivered on Sat, Feb 13. Or Pick up in Holladay and save.

Place your order today!

Make someone’s day with a gift they will LOVE and remember.

cake by courtney DIY cake basics article, featured on saltskyutah.com
DIY

Cake Baking Basics from a pro

We are totally excited to have the very talented Courtney Rich, from Cake by Courtney, as a guest blogger today!  We think you’ll be just as pumped to get baking as we are… thanks Courtney!

Hi! I’m Courtney from Cake by Courtney. I’m a self-taught baker, obsessed with cake. Several years ago I ditched box mixes in pursuit of melt-in-your-mouth, to-die-for flavor combinations, fillings and textures. I believe cake must be decadent, life-changing and worthy of celebration! And I believe anyone should be able to make that kind of cake. That’s why, when the girls of Salt Sky Utah asked me to do a guest post about the basics of cake making, I jumped at the opportunity. I’ve had my fair share of cake fails, including my own birthday cake a couple of years ago (what a debacle that was!). But, with each cake, whether a success or fail, I learn something new and go on to make better tasting, better looking cakes. So today, I hope to take out a bit of the trial and error for you and make the art of baking cakes a little easier.

I have a lot of great things to share with you, but the first piece and most important words of advice I can offer is to start simple and get to know the basics. The last thing you want to do is pick an overly complicated cake for your first try and get discouraged if it doesn’t turn out exactly how you saw it on Pinterest. So, start simple and get yourself familiar with ingredients, baking tools, and techniques. Once you have the basics down, you’ll feel far more confident in tackling more challenging cakes down the road.

Ok, now on to cake prep and assembly! Here’s my list of tips, along with a couple videos and pictures, that I think will be most helpful to you as you start baking cakes.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW COURTNEY’S CAKE PREP VIDEO!

-If you suspect that your oven gets too hot (cooks quickly) or not hot enough (takes a lot longer than the recommended bake time), test the temperature with a thermometer once your oven reaches the recommended baking temperature. If it’s not accurate, simply adjust your oven temperature up a little or down a little to get it to the right point.
-You can use any pans of your liking, as long as they’re at least two inches high. One-inch pans are too low and you’re likely to get cake batter pouring over the sides as it cooks.
-Always butter or spray your pans with nonstick spray, then place a parchment round on the bottom of the pan, and spray again. If you want to go the extra mile, give the pan a light dusting of flour.
-When trying a recipe for the first time, follow it exactly. Have your ingredients on-hand so you don’t have to make substitutions (it won’t be the same cake the recipe intended it to be with substitutions). Once you’ve made a recipe once and know what it’s supposed to taste like, then you can test out new substitutions and compare to the original recipe.
-When measuring your dry ingredients, use a spoon to scoop the dry ingredient into the measuring cup and then scrape off the excess with a knife. This method gives you the most accurate amount of the ingredient. You can always use a kitchen scale for measuring too.
-Use a kitchen scale to weigh the pans as you fill them with batter so your cake layers come out as even as possible.
-Don’t open your oven to check on your cakes before 20 minutes.
-To check if your cake is done, you can either gently tap the top of it or insert a toothpick into the center. If the cake still jiggles when you tap it, it’s not done. If the toothpick comes out with thin batter or gooey batter on it, it’s not done.
-Let your cakes cool in the pans for 5-10 minutes. They’ll still do a little cooking during this time so make sure you don’t leave them in the oven too long. It’s ok for the toothpick to come out with some crumbs on it. If it comes out completely dry, you’ve likely over-baked the cake.
-Invert your cake layers onto a wire rack to cool completely and then wrap in plastic wrap and chill until ready to use.

cake by courtney leveling DIY

When you’re ready to assemble your cake, level your cake layers. This can be done with a cake leveler (as seen in my pictures above) or you can use a ruler to mark four points around each cake layer and then connect those points with your serrated knife as you move to the center. If you use this second method, make sure you measure the same height for each cake layer.
Use masking tape or duct tape to secure your cake board on to your turntable (the cake board will slide around otherwise)
Place your first cake layer in the center of the cake board, right side up.
Using a plastic bag or pastry bag, pipe an even layer of frosting on the first cake layer. You can then use an offset spatula to level out the frosting even more, if needed. To get the best view, get eye level with your cake.
When you’re ready for the final cake layer, place it bottom-side up to get the flattest surface for frosting.
Spread a thin layer of frosting around the entire cake to lock in the crumbs.
Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes to firm up and then finish frosting and decorating.

CLICK HERE TO SEE COURTNEY’S CAKE ASSEMBLY VIDEO!

I hope this helps give you a little more confidence to throw out those boxed cake mixes and start baking truly scrumptious cakes from scratch.  And if you need some recipe inspiration or have any questions, head over to CakeByCourtney.blogspot.com!

cake by courtney

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Beauty

Luccablu

When we discover something wonderful, we like to share it with our Salt Sky friends. LuccaBlu is a new mask that we recently tried and loved.

Here are the benefits of it and why we love it.

  • It is a bio-medical collagen moisturizing mask (collagen is the substance that holds the whole body together). This mask contains the highest quality of active collagen for best possible results.
  • Winter weather dries your face. This mask will help retain moisture for continued intense hydration.
  • The blend of active collagen and beta-glucan gives the skin a silky smooth feel. Yes, please!
  • It rejuvenates skin, promotes epidermal cell growth and improves elasticity, and who doesn’t need that.

LuccaBlu offers two different masks. The Firming and Lifting Facial Mask and the Moisturizing Facial Mask.

And lucky for us, they are giving all our Salt Sky followers a 20% discount. Simply click here and enter SALTSKY1 at checkout.  Offer expires on February 12, 2016.

LuccaBlu is also giving away a box of 5 masks to a lucky winner AND a friend!  Go to our Instagram @SaltSkyUtah to enter.

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LuccaBlu Firming and Lifting Facial Mask   image1-2

THANKS LUCCABLU!