Monthly Archives

December 2016

The Home

Organizing for the New Year

Christmas happens in all it’s sparkly, loveliness and then boom… the day after Christmas hits and I feel the urgent need to put away all the decorations, get the carpets cleaned and start organizing like crazy.  The smell of Clorox, Pine Sol and organized cupboards is my end of year bliss.

home organization

So needless to say when Samantha Andreasen contacted me to tell me about her home organization business, I was super excited for her to come over and teach me her ways.  Samantha came over to give my garage a makeover and since then, I’ve been cleaning out all of my closets and rooms in the house.

Samantha comes into your home, helps you organize your room, closet or whatever space you need to make sense out of and teaches you some important skills.

Some of you may be thinking, “well I can do that,” but are you really going to?  I was going to organize my garage for the last year but never got around to it.  When hiring an organizing specialist it forces you to set a date of when you’ll do the project.  It helps you ask yourself, “do I really need this?” If not, time to throw away or donate it.  And it sparks a desire to get the rest of your home in order.  An organized home will make you happier, feel more peace and give you more time for the things that matter most.

To book an appointment with Samantha Andreasen, email her at and visit her website here. She charges $30/hour and is available Monday-Saturday.  (Check out the before and after pics below of my garage!)

Happy Organizing!


Andraesen, Home organizer & spouse

Andraesen, Home organizer & spouse

New Year’s Eve traditions around the world
New Year's

Fun Twist & Ideas on Celebrating New Year’s


For New Year’s the world seems a little smaller, together we all celebrate a new beginning.

Everyone celebrates a little differently, so this year we want to teach the kids about countries from around the world and how they usher in the New Year.

Get out a map and every hour leading up to midnight, talk about one country where it’s already turned midnight, do something they do to celebrate and even watch their celebrations online.

Here are a few ideas for you to share with the family:

  1.  CHILE (of course we have to pick this one because that’s where our mama is from!):  Eat grapes! Chileans eat 12 grapes at midnight for good luck, one for every month of the year.  When midnight strikes, the party begins!  A huge dinner, dancing, and fireworks with family and friends.  chile-flagNew Year in Chile
  2. RUSSIA:  Make a wish.  At midnight Russians write a wish for the New Year on a piece of paper, burn it, throw it in their drink  and drink it.  We might not be drinking ours but we are definitely making a wish and burning it.  The kids are going to love this one. russiaCelebrating the New Year in Russia
  3. JAPAN: Ring bells & write a postcard.  Buddhist temples all over Japan ring their bells 108 times to rid their sins from the past year and ward off worldly desires in the upcoming year.  People also send out postcards that will be delivered to their family and friends on New Year’s day with well wishes.  Celebrate with Japan by writing postcards to your loved ones and run through the house or yard ringing bells. japan-flagjapanese-New Year japanese-new-year
  4. NORWAY:  Masks, singing & candy. In Norway, kids wear masks to disguise themselves and go door to door singing Christmas songs where neighbors give them candy.  This year, we’ll make masks with the kids and have candy for them when they run around the front to ring the doorbell and sing us a song.  Norway also has a huge fireworks display that we’ll watch online.  norway-flagnorway-masks
  5. ITALY:  Out with the old and in with the new.  At midnight, some Italians throw things like furniture and appliances out the window to symbolize letting go of the past and getting a fresh start.  They eat pork at dinner to symbolize richness in the New Year and also have a firework and dancing celebration.  I am going to let the kids pick something old (and small ;)) and throw it out the window.  I’m sure dad is going to love that cleanup on New Years day!  italy-flag


What are your special celebrations on New Year’s Eve?

We hope you have a happy and safe New Year!


It’s not too late to call Santa

This week, we had our little boys call Santa on the Santa Hotline. It was pretty sweet. When you call the number, you hear a recording of Santa talking for a little bit and then, after the tone, your child or children can leave him a message telling him what they want this year for Christmas.

My little 3-year-old thought this was the best thing ever. He went on and on telling in detail what Transformer Rescue Bot he wanted, what it looked like, and how it’s supposed to transform. It was fun to listen and he was so happy making the call. The initial call is free and after your child completes the call you receive a text message, if the call was made from a mobile phone, explaining that you can listen to the message anytime within the next 48 hours. I’m not sure if there is a charge to call back the number provided on the text to retrieve the message. Your kids will light up and love leaving a message on Santa’s hotline, you may want to give it a try.

Merry Christmas!

Santa Hotline 951-262-3062


Last Minute Gifts

We’ve rounded up some last minute gifts.  These will still arrive before Christmas if you hurry and order!  Merry Christmas.


Kitchen Aid in tons of cute colors, Click HERE

Hand blending gift set, Click HERE

Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 3-3/4-Quart Round Braiser (Our favorite), Click HERE


InterDesign Twillo Mail, Letter Holder, Key Rack Organizer for Entryway, Kitchen, Click HERE

 Genuine Sheepskin Pelt White Premium Shag Rug (3′ x 5′), Click HERE

Comfy bedsheets, Click HERE


Nest Learning Thermostat, click HERE

The new Echo Dot, Click HERE

WeMo Switch Smart Plug, Wi-Fi, click HERE


Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils, Soft Core, 48-Count, Click HERE

Allydrew Decorative Masking Washi Tapes (Set of 12), click HERE

Tri-C Aluminum Field Easel, click HERE

Brother computerized sewing machine, Click HERE

Christmas, Inspiration

A Salt Sky Christmas Message

For hundreds of years it was prophesied and taught that a sign would be given prior to the most anticipated birth that has ever occurred on earth. A star would appear, a king would be born. However, he was not born in a palace. People were not preparing a special place for Him or his mother. In addition to the new star, His birth was announced by angels and heavenly choirs sang. In the most humble of circumstances, this king was born, in a stable where animals were kept because there was no room for Him anywhere else. All was peaceful when this king was welcomed by his parents. A new mother wrapped her baby, held him tight and kissed his precious face. She knew that He would do many great and wonderful things.

Two thousand years ago this baby grew up to be the only perfect man to walk the earth: Jesus Christ. He was the son of our Heavenly Father and an earthly mother. He taught men truth, gave His life to be the Savior of this world and gave us an example to live by so we could know the way to pattern our lives making it possible to return home to our Father in Heaven.

This time of year we remember this sacred birth of the King of Kings.  This season we also want to remember his mother Mary because she was a strong, confident and an obedient daughter of God.

Heather Farrell wrote a book called Women in the Scriptures and said: “We often talk about how much God loves us because He was willing to sacrifice His son, but Jesus was Mary’s son just as much as He was God’s son. What great love Mary must have had for all human souls to be willing to offer her son as a sacrifice for all our sins. What a magnificent and amazing woman she must have been. One can only imagine how her soul must have rejoiced at what glorious blessings awaited the world, but how, at the same time, her heart must have broken into pieces knowing what she knew her son would have to suffer. My soul rejoices in her and I will be forever grateful to this magnificent and beautiful woman for all her sacrifices and immensity of her love.

Mary, more than anyone knew of the plan for her son, for our Savior who would come into the world to atone for our sins and die for us. She had to have amazing faith to help carry out the Father’s plan, which included unimaginable suffering for us in the Garden of Gethsemane and evil men taking His life. And yet, she still stood by her son to the end, mourned His death, and suffered as only a mother would. She did this for Him and she did this for us.

Winston Churchill said: “To every woman there comes that special moment when she is figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a special thing, unique to her and fitted to her talent. What a tragedy if that moment finds her unprepared or unqualified for the work which would be her finest hour.

What if Mary would not have been ready or prepared? What if we are called upon to do something with our abilities and talents and we are not prepared?

We know that Mary stood near the cross at the end of her Son’s ministry. Standing by Jesus in what others perceived as a shameful predicament, Mary communicated that her fear of God was greater than the fear of man. Whatever accusation a bystander could fling at her, Mary’s stoic stance beside her Son communicates that unlike others of his disciples, she would not deny her association with Jesus. More than remaining loyal to a son, Mary was a stalwart disciple of her redeemer.” (Mary, Mother of Jesus by Camille Fronk Olson.)

This Christmas season, let’s take a moment to reflect on how we are living our lives.  One day we will each meet our Savior, and won’t we want him to say:  “Well done, thou good and faithful servant”.  It is our moment to be strong just as Mary was, to fear God more than man and love others as Christ did.

Sending all our readers our love this beautiful Christmas season.

Mary, Mother of Jesus

Coupons, Deals

This week’s KSL Deals

It’s always fun to team up with our friends at KSL and bring you deals too good to pass up. That’s us eating lunch at KSL.

Check out these deals and gift ideas just in time for Christmas!

The perfect gift, a gift cards to The Roof, The Garden Restaurant, Nauvoo Cafe & Lion House Pantry, CLICK HERE

Awesome spa pampering package 63% off!  CLICK HERE

Santa Sleigh Ride at the Homestead in Midway deal, CLICK HERE

31% off a stay and dinner for two at the Waldorf Astoria in Park City, CLICK HERE

A Sleigh Ride to Santa at Traverse Mountain, only $3!  CLICK HERE


Nailed it!
Christmas, Inspiration

Nailed it!

During a season of best smiles, picture perfect families, sparkling decor, incredible meals and presents (Pinterest wrapped to perfection); let’s remember the reason for the season.  That just being together is the best and sometimes when you’ve nailed your family Christmas card, like we have, you laugh and realize that you’d take this perfectly imperfect family any day because we’re super blessed to have each other.

With the busy rush of the season, we hope you’ll remember what matters the very most and take a moment to slow down and celebrate it.


Candle Light Christmas
Christmas, Community Event

Candlelight Christmas

Located: This is The Place Heritage Park
Event: Candlelight Christmas
Hours: 5:00-9:00 pm
Dates: December 9-23, 26 2016
Admission: $5, free for children 0-2 yrs
*This is The Place Booster members, Free admission
*all other memberships receive half priced admission

Candlelight Christmas featured on

We are continuing our #saltskyholiday with Candlelight Christmas. This event offers an old fashioned Christmas complete with Father Christmas, a live nativity, shopping, create your own handmade gifts, hot cocoa by the fire, hot soup and sweets.

This is a sweet event that you don’t want to miss.  Bundle up and enjoy an unforgettable evening.

christmas-250369_960_720 Candlelight Christmas featured on

The whole family can enjoy the magic of Christmas at This is The Place this year. We are giving 6 tickets away to this event. Enter to win on our Instagram.  We hope you enjoy this wonderful Christmas celebration


Salt Sky supports small business, join us in helping to grow our local economy by visiting the businesses we feature.



Christmas, Decor, Professional Services

Plate of the Month Club

This is too much fun to not pass along to our Salt Sky friends!

I just joined the “Plate of the Month Club” at New Orientation.  This beautiful store has the most elegant and unique dishes around, and I happen to have a love affair with dishes.

When I found these handpainted Christmas dishes I was instantly drawn to them, but if I came home with an entire set, my husband would probably have a heart attack.  So I joined the club!

This is how it works:

You go into New Orientation (1400 Foothill Drive #162, Salt Lake City)

Choose your dishes. There are so many choices.

Give them your credit card which they will safely store and every month they will charge you for one dish.  On the day that you choose, they will run your card and call you and let you know that it is all wrapped up and ready for pickup.

My set is so sweet and delicate, it is called Reindeer Games.  Each dish is of a different sport.  Dasher is one of my favorites because we like to ski.






To see the full set of these dishes, visit our friends at New Orientation.  It is a good idea to not take small children in as well as strollers, there are too many breakables.  This store is a must visit, there simply are too many beautiful treasures to enjoy.



A Salt Sky Inspiration story
Inspiration, Stories

The Power of Believing

Social science research teaches that the way we understand our intelligence and abilities deeply impacts our success.

When our daughter Samantha was 8 years old, she started taking ballet classes. We quickly realized that she had a passion for dancing when we saw that nothing could stand in the way of ballet.  One year, she even decided to forgo her own birthday party as she simply could not miss her ballet class. By the time she was a junior in high school, she decided she would audition at The University of Utah School of Ballet.

I called the dean of the school to ask a few questions to better understand the process. By the time I hung up the phone I was very discouraged and wasn’t sure how I was going to tell my daughter the bad news. The dean explained that her program was rated the second best in the country and that in the spring hundreds of dancers from all over the country as well, as some international hopefuls, would travel to Utah to audition for only 30 available spots. Those that would make it into the program would be the very best and would start school in the fall. The dean said, “Your daughter is welcome to try but the chances of getting in are slim, though it is always good to try so that she can gain experience.”

After getting the mountain of paperwork ready for her application and sending it in, the day of the audition finally came.  Samantha had written on sheets of paper that she placed in her room, bathroom mirror and refrigerator the words: “I WILL MAKE IT INTO THE U BALLET.” These words were in front of her daily for over a month; it’s all she though about.

But as we drove to drop her off, she felt scared, she asked her dad if he would walk her in to register and get a number that she would pin on her leotard. I stayed in the car. All I could think about, as I saw hotel shuttles unloading beautiful and talented ballerinas, was the crushing disappointment she was headed into. All I could do was pray for her to do her best. After 6 hours, we picked her up, it would be about two weeks before the letter arrived in the mail with news of the results of that day.

As Samantha held the unopened letter in her hands, I reminded her that she had done her best, that no matter what she had a bright future and all would be okay. I knew how hard she took rejection, I witnessed it when as a little girl, she didn’t get a part that she had auditioned for. But this was the audition of her life and I imagined that the disappointment this time would be monumental.

She opened her letter and read the words: “Dear Samantha, Congratulations, you have been accepted to. . .”  The rest was a blur as we both screamed and cried and jumped for joy.

I think great things happen when we believe in ourselves.  The subconscious picks up on our beliefs so we have to fill our mind with positive beliefs about being able to achieve our goals.

As this year comes to a close and a new year approaches, will you join me in clearing our minds of useless fear and stress of things we cannot control and filling our minds with positive thoughts, with affirmations that can have power over good and righteous goals.

Additionally, write it on paper and put your goal in places where you will see it. Repeat it over and over and most importantly, believe it. After all the hard work, you never know, a little miracle might just be around the corner.

Samantha finished her senior year of high school while at the University of Utah, the years that followed were her most difficult. Physical injuries were a way of life, the “corrections” that she was constantly given were at times harsh criticisms that hurt deeply and tore her down. But the hard things also made her a stronger person in the end.

What goals will you work towards this year?

Remember, after all you have done to get where you are, the most powerful thing you can do is believe.