Girls’ Gift Guide

I’ve been busy working on this girls’ gift guide for the past couple of months and I’ve had so.much.fun picking out all of my very favorites. I did my best to find links for each item and I’ve posted them below. Let me know if you have any questions. And if you’re new here, welcome! The action is really over on my instagram page Wander & Scout, so I hope you’ll follow along over there. Merry Christmas and happy holidays friends!

xoxo,

Jamie

Girls Gift Guide

Calico Critters  //

Disney Princess Enchanted Cupcake Party Game  //

Micro Kickboard Micro Mini Kick Scooter

Made by Mary Jewelry

Corolle Mon Bébé Classique Pink Doll

Christmas Pinafore Dress

Saranoni Plush Blankets

The Puffin in Bloom Collection

Disney Animators’ Collection Deluxe Figure Play Set

Princess Teepee Fairy Tent 

Ellie & Fern Doll

Hearth & Hand Doll House

Customizable Journals

Fujifilm Instax Mini

Usborne Coloring Books 

Electra Sweet Ride Bike

Beddy's

Beddy’sZipper Bedding

Advertisements
Girls’ Gift Guide

The Best Thai Yellow Curry

Every year at this time, those dang winter blues start to get ahold of me. This year, I’ve got an entire plan of action to try and beat them! For starters, I’ve decided to invite friends over for weekly lunches. Good, healthy food and great conversation always give me a pick-me-up. I find myself hibernating and isolating myself during the winter months, and that almost always leads to feeling more down. Today I invited some neighborhood friends over for some homemade curry and build-your-own Vietnamese spring rolls. And you know what? I feel enriched and energized from a great discussion we had about mimimizing stress in the new year. So for today at least, my plan worked!

IMG_1995.JPG

This curry recipe is THE BEST! I figured I’d share it with all of my friends out there.

Basic Curry Recipe (serves 1-2):

1 T. Oyster sauce

¾ C. coconut milk

1 ½ – 2 T. fish sauce

½ t. chili powder

½ – 1 T. sugar (red less sweet than yellow)

1 T. curry paste (mix with a ladle of chicken broth) (for Panang, use less paste as it is spicy.)

Kaffir lime leaves if desired

Meat of choice

Vegetables of choice (I love red and yellow bell peppers, onions, sweet potato, bamboo shoots (canned), and broccoli

  1. Saute raw meat with curry paste and broth for about 2-3 minutes or until meat is almost done.
  2. Add coconut milk, oyster sauce, fish sauce, sugar and chili powder.
  3. Add vegetables last and cook 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add broth as it boils for desired consistency
  5. For Rama Curry, add 1-2 T. JIF peanut butter at the end of the cooking.

This is the curry paste I use and it makes all the difference!

IMG_1996.JPG

With the exception of the curry paste, you can find all the ingredients you need at the local grocery store, but it’s even more fun to go on an adventure to a local Asian market! Yesterday the girls and I stocked up on ingredients at Ocean Mart.

Hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as we do.  I’d love to hear how it turns out!

 

xoxo,

Jamie

The Best Thai Yellow Curry

Brazilian Culture Night

One of my very favorite things about being a mom is helping my kids grow a love and appreciate for other cultures. With the Olympics held in Rio just a few days away we figured now would be a great time to introduce them to Brazilian culture!

We loaded up on books about Brazil from the children’s section of the library, found a recipe for feijoada, headed to the local Latin markets for ingredients, cooked up a giant batch of the classic black beans and rice dish, invited our Brazilian friends the Pessoa’s over, blared some Samba music, drank guarana, and stuffed our faces.

It was so much fun!

IMG_2883

We love the Pessoas. Nando who is originally from Rio was actually planning on volunteering as a dentist at the Olympics, but he didn’t get the itinerary in time to book tickets.

IMG_2858

Pao de Queijo are those amazing cheese rolls and the bake-your-own variety  are actually available at Costco and Harmon’s. They are so addictive! We found the Guarana soda at La Pequenita on State Street Downtown. It’s a teeny tiny little Latin market with a decent selection of some Brazilian items.

IMG_2870IMG_2863

This is the recipe I used for the feijoada.It turned out great–my Brazilian friends just said it needed about five times as much salt. Apparently they like their food very salty in Brazil. (: I bought all the meat at El Rancho. You could simplify this recipe and just add a ham hock and some sausage or bacon. It  might not be quite as authentic but it would still be delicious!

IMG_2871

IMG_6791

 

Feijoada (Brazilian Black Beans)
Yield 8 servings

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 bay leaves
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound choriço sausage, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 pound carne seca or other salted cured beef, soaked overnight and cubed (
1 pound baby back spareribs, cut into individual ribs
1 pound black beans
10 cups water
4 cups collared or kale greens, sauteed in olive oil
4 cups cooked white rice
Brazilian hot sauce

Garnish: 1 orange, halved and cut into thin slices, and Farofa

Directions

In a large heavy-bottom saucepan, over medium heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions and garlic. Crush the bay leaves and add to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for 5 minutes. Add the sausage. Continue to cook for 4 minutes. Add the cubed beef, ribs, beans and water. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the beans are tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Adding water as necessary to keep the beans covered. Using the back of a ladle, mash 1/4 of the beans. Reseason with salt and pepper if needed.

To serve, spoon some of the greens and rice onto each serving plate. Spoon the Feijoada over the rice. Shake some of the hot sauce over the entire plate. Garnish with the orange slices and farofa.

Next time I make this I’ll probably just use a ham hock and some sausage. It would be just as good. Also, Carne Seca is impossible to find in Utah.

And if you’d rather skip cooking all together, Tushar in South Jordan and Sweet Spot in Sandy are both great, inexpensive, kid-friendly Brazilian restaurants!

Have fun and happy Olympics!

xoxo,

Jamie

Brazilian Culture Night

Best Kid-Friendly Utah Hikes

One of my very favorite summer traditions is packing up the kids every Monday morning, picking up Einstein Bagel’s Monday special, and heading up to the mountains to explore!

I’ve compiled a list of some of our go-to Utah hikes and I hope it’s a good resource for you as you plan adventures with your kids!

Favorite kid-friendly utah hikes from Wander & Scout.JPG

All of these hikes are kid friendly. I’ve done them all with my four little kids, usually with a baby on my back and a four, six, and nine year old hiking along. I’ve rated them based on the hiking abilities of my kids. So, moderate means moderately hard for my four year old, therefore it might be super easy for your 11-year-old. Know what I’m saying?

Anyway, I hope you find this list to be helpful. And don’t forget that I post about our adventures daily on instagram @wander_and_scout. I’d love for you to follow along!

IMG_4561.jpg

SILVER LAKE—Big Cottonwood Canyon–*Easy
This one mile loop is a popular trail around a beautiful lake with areas of shade and sun. It’s a very easy, flat trail with a boardwalk portion of the trail that is stroller/wheelchair accessible. We’ve seen all sorts of different wildlife here. This is a great introductory hike for new little hikers. It’s definitely a popular trail and can be busy on the weekends! Here’s a link with  more info.

IMG_4793.jpg

BELLS CANYON LOWER RESERVOIR–Mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon–**Moderate**
This 3 mile out and back trail is a great mix of hills, flat areas, and a few switch backs leading to a beautiful reservoir. It’s a great spot to stop and picnic and refuel before heading back down the mountain. There are some beautiful views of the valley from this trail. It can be quite hot in the summer months so I recommend going early so you’ll be hiking in the shade of the mountain, plus you’ll beat the crowds since this is a popular trail.

There are two trailheads for this hike, one is on Wasatch Blvd in Sandy and the Granite Trailhead (the one we did) is at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon. The parking lot is small and fills up fast but there is additional overflow parking on the right hand side if you continue east as you head toward the canyon.

More info here.

IMG_4246.jpg

LISA FALLS–Little Cottonwood Canyon–*Easy*
This is a quick and easy 1 mile roundtrip hike takes you uphill to some waterfalls. There are some rocky drop offs at the top so you’ll want to keep a close eye on little ones, but over all it’s a great hike for all ages.

More info here.

IMG_9816.jpg

BATTLE CREEK FALLS-Pleasant Grove–*Easy*
This is an easy 1.4 mile hike suitable for all ages that leads up to a waterfall. Bring clothes and shoes that can get wet since it’s fun to splash in the falls. This can be a pretty popular hike so it’s best to get an early start on a weekday. It’s also hot in the summer sun, so plan accordingly.

More info here.

STEWART FALLS–Provo Canyon–**Moderate**
This 4.2 mile out and back hike is right by Sundance and Aspen grove and it’s a great one for ambitious little hikers. The uphill trail leads to a beautiful waterfall with sprawling vistas down the canyon.

More info here.

IMG_5343

SCOUT FALLS–American Fork Canyon–**Moderate**
This is a breathtakingly beautiful hike at the base of Mt. Timpanogos with groves of aspens, wild flowers, and scenic vistas. The 3 mile round trip hike is best for motivated little hikers and the reward at the top is a rushing waterfall and incredible views. This is the same trailhead as the Mt. Timpanogas hike, so it can be extremely busy on the weekends. I’d definitely recommend going on a week day! Park at the Timpanooke Campground parking lot and take the trail right by the restrooms.

More info here.

IMG_5412

BLOODS LAKE–Big Cottonwood Canyon, Guardsman Pass–*Easy*
This is one of my very favorite hikes, especially in July when the wildflowers are showing off. It’s a quick little downhill jaunt to the gorgeous lake surrounded by evergreens. You can bring swimsuits to dip into the freezing cold water or explore around the lake where there’s a rope swing. The elevation is very high so bring a sweater even in the middle of summer just in case it’s chilly. I’d recommend waiting until July for this one since the snow will linger a long time up there.

More info here.

IMG_9635 (1).jpg

DONUT FALLS–Big Cottonwood Canyon–*Easy/Moderate*
I’ve honestly never completed this 3.7 mile hike.  I’m usually hiking with all of my kids on a weekday while Dan is at work and I haven’t been able to cross the stream on my own with all the kids. That being said, it’s a beautiful trail that is quite popular so be prepared for crowds on a weekend.

More info here.

IMG_5476.jpg

CECRET LAKE–Little Cottonwood Canyon–*Easy*
Mid-late July is a gorgeous time to hike this 1.7 mile trail when the wildflowers are in bloom. One important thing to note is that this hike is not accessible until July 1st (or later) when the roads are open. The trail leads up to a pretty little lake great for picnicking.  There is very limited parking and it’s a popular trail so try to visit early on a weekday. There is a free shuttle service offered on weekends from Alta.

More info here.

ROCKY MOUTH TRAIL–Sandy, Utah–*Easy*
This quick and easy uphill trail that begins in a residential area leads to some waterfalls that are fun to explore. Find more info here.

Best Kid-Friendly Utah Hikes

Wild Poppy Field

Last week my friend Nicole texted me to tell me that I had to check out this dreamy little wild poppy field. She had discovered it thanks to a recent blog post by The House that Lars Built. Sold. I definitely don’t have to be told twice when it comes to fields of flowers!

I wasted no time in putting it on the schedule, knowing full well that the blooms are almost done for the season. There are few things I love as much as wildflowers!

We set out this morning ready to scout out this new-to-us spot at Lambert Park in Alpine. It was definitely an adventure trying to find it, but it was totally worth it once we finally found this hidden grove.

06-13-2016-62

I’d say only about a quarter of the poppies are left, but it was still incredibly picturesque. I can only imagine what it looked like a week+ ago!

06-13-2016-22

But honestly, poppies or no poppies, this place is a beautiful spot to explore with trails for hiking and biking with incredible views.

06-13-2016-2506-13-2016-3106-13-2016-5

Here we are hiking in the complete wrong direction hunting for the poppies…for a very long time…and my kids were not so happy about that…

06-13-2016-19

Check out The House that Lars Built for directions and a map, but even with those directions I found it to be extremely difficult to find. I’ll add a few pointers that might be helpful.

You can park at the LDS church building directly behind Lambert Park (1125 N Alpine Blvd in Alpine.) Let’s use the church as an anchor point. Immediately east of the church building is a dirt road that looks like it’s gated closed. It’s not. Walk or drive through there. You’ll basically take two lefts and then one right to get to the poppies. (Ignore the first left where the footbridge is.) This will put you just a little bit northeast of the church building. You’ll know you’re on the right road if you pass a beautiful little stable on the left that you can see in someone’s backyard. Continue on a bit and when you come to small gravel road that’s drivable turn right. It will lead you to a little grove of trees where the poppies are. You’ll know you’re in the right place if you see the remains of an old stone building and a teepee made of tree branches, and of course, poppies!

Hopefully this helps! The blooms will probably only be around for a few more days so I’d recommend going soon if you want to see them. And if you go, I’d love you forever if you’d tag @Wander_and_Scout so I can see your adventures! Have fun you guys!

 

 

Wild Poppy Field

Utah Summer Bucketlist

My kids get out of school a week from tomorrow and then it’s officially summer break! I’m  (mostly) thrilled about having them home 24/7. I’m definitely looking forward to getting a break from the after school witching hour runaround of homework, scouts, piano, baseball, soccer, chores, dinner prep, etc. I’m excited to fill our days with a mix of hiking and adventures with some lazy days sprinkled in.

I’ve compiled a list of some of the best-of-the-best summer adventures here in Utah.

Utah Summer Bucket List--the very best stuff to do in Utah this summer with kids

This bucket list definitely is not all-inclusive, but these are a few of our very favorite adventures. I hope you find it helpful!

  1. 07-29-2015-27

    SPRING LAKE TROUT FARM  is a cute little fishing pond in Payson, Utah. The great thing is they provide the poles, the bait–everything! You don’t even need a fishing license. All you have to do is show up and pay $5 per pound of trout you catch. They even help the kids cast their lines and real in their catch! We caught a bunch and they filleted the fish for us and it was ready for dinner that night. IMG_5947

  2. CHERRY HILL We absolutely love this quaint waterpark in Kaysville. It’s clean and charming and we all have so much fun here! I could float down that lazy river all the live long day with my girls. It’s so relaxing. There are waterslides and pools and mini golf too. I love that there is a large grassy area with lots of shade trees where you can set up camp. Plus, outside food is allowed which makes for a much more affordable day. If you want to save some money, you can visit after 4:00 pm for $12 instead of the all-day price of $20. Also, look for special promotional deals throughout the summer (if you bring soda cans, etc) *They require swim diapers and plastic covers and they enforce that pretty strictly, so come prepared for the little ones. 

    IMG_5067

  3. Wildflower Hikes –I think the mountains covered in wildflowers might be my very favorite thing about Utah. Mid-late July is the time to go depending on the year and the altitude of the hike. The above photo was taken in Little Cottonwood Canyon right by Alta at the very end of June last year after a particularly mild winter and early spring. There’s not necessarily a trail right here, but we just explored and picnicked and let the kids run free. So, so beautiful. Other great wildflower hikes with kids are the Cecret Lake trail (it can be pretty busy on weekends or holidays) and Bloods Lake trail.

IMG_5392

Bloods lake in late July was crazy beautiful with all of the wildflowers in bloom!

04-30-2016-55

4. Rockwell’s Ice Cream in Provo is this cute little ice cream parlor on Main Street in Provo with the.best.ice cream. We love the Muddy Buddy, Snickerdoodle, Strawberry, and Honeycomb. Tack on a trip to BYU’s Bean Museum or Museum of Art (MOA) on a hot summer day and you’ve got the perfect field trip!

IMG_4419

5. This is the Place Heritage Park I can’t say enough about how much we love this place. Train rides, pony rides, Native American dance performances (don’t miss these!), class in the old school house, rag-doll making, gold mining (my kids’ favorite), leather stamping–there is so much to do. It was worth it for us to buy a family membership so we could come back again and again.

IMG_4152

6.Mona Lavender Fields Young Living Farms is about an hour south of Salt Lake, but for us, it is totally worth the drive. The lavender blooms at the end of June, but it’s still a fun place to visit and explore even if it’s not peak lavender season. Bring a picnic and enjoy roaming the grounds where there’s plenty of shade, an old western town, fun old-school “rides” that the kids loved, and even a medieval jousting arena. You can check out the shop and pick up all sorts of lavender-scented stuff and you can even sample lavender-flavored ice cream! The lavender festival takes place on June 27th, but I kind of like just wandering around and exploring without the crowds.

IMG_4136

The kids had fun exploring the old Western town at Young Living Farms.

IMG_4158

7.Rowley’s Red Barn After exploring the Mona Lavender Farm, we like to swing by Rowley’s Red Barn just up the road. This place is adorable and reminds me of the places I loved when we were living in New England. They have ice cream and fudge and all sorts of old fashioned treats. They’ve also got a huge walk in refrigerator with tons of gorgeous, well-priced local produce. We love this place!

IMG_5723

8. Utah Olympic Park –this was one of our very favorite days of the entire summer last year. We went to the Fairy Forest in Kamas (see below) and then headed to Park City to hang out at the Olympic Park. We skipped the Alpine slide this time, which can have extremely long lines, and instead the boys did the smaller ropes course. It was slightly cheaper and they spent 30 minutes tackling the course instead of just five minutes going down the slide. There is a cool playground at the bottom where the girls played happily while the big boys conquered the ropes course that ended with a small zipline ride (included in the price.) Here’s a Groupon deal for the Olympic Park.

IMG_5693-2

If you’d rather not spend any money at all, you can still have so much fun watching the aerial skiers. We could have sat here all day. It was so cool to watch those tricks!

IIMG_5703

The Fairy Forest –My kids absolutely loved visiting the fairy forest in Kamas! It’s unlike any place we’ve ever been. Basically the fairy forest is an unofficial spot that the park rangers have to pretend that they don’t know about. People have brought hundreds of their own little fairy houses and have painted and decorated small rocks, creating a fun place to explore. The forest itself isn’t super beautiful, but the drive up there is gorgeous! If you go up there, I’d recommend creating your fairy houses in advance and making them out of natural, bio degradable supplies.

IMG_5706

We brought a bin of non-toxic paint and some paint brushes and the kids painted rocks. We had to drag them away because they were having so much fun. I loved watching they’re creativity run wild.

IMG_5708

HI-Mountain Drug After visiting the Fairy Forest, this old fashioned soda counter/diner in Kamas is the perfect spot to stop for a burger and shakes! The shakes were so good with so many unique flavors. We didn’t eat burgers but I hear they’re amazing. I especially love that this family run business has been around for three generations. IMG_6368

Liberty Park Seven Canyons I had been to Liberty Park dozens of times, but until last summer when my sister-in-law invited us to tag along, I had never been to the fun little water feature in the middle of the park. All of these little “streams” intersect making for the perfect place for younger kids and babies to splash and play.

IMG_5412

Bloods Lake This is one of our very favorite hikes with kids. A half-mile downhill trail leads down to this pretty lake where the kids can splash and play. On the opposite side of the lake (far right in this picture) there’s even a rope swing. We weren’t brave enough to dunk into the icy water but we had fun watching other people do it! Note, even in July it was chilly on this hike because it’s at such a high altitude. I’d definitely recommend bringing a sweater, even if it’s warm in the valley below.

05-14-2016-8

Auntie Rae’s Dessert Island This fun little dessert cafe in Holladay has Dole Whip of $1! They have tables and a grassy area out front where you can eat your ice cream, berry pie, and cookie sundaes.

IMG_5474

Wheeler Farm We love exploring this FREE farm and park. There’s a nominal fee for wagon rides and milking demonstrations, but usually we just picnic, play on the playground, feed the ducks, admire the gardens, and visit the animals. A few nearby (ish) places where we like to pick up picnic food are Cous Cous Grill, Greek City Grille (not open on weekends), and Oh Mai.

I hope this list helps you create some memorable summer adventures with your family! And as always, I’d love to hear about your favorite spots!

Utah Summer Bucketlist

Studio 5 – Kids Culture Through Cuisine

IMG_3809.PNG

I had so much fun putting together this month’s round up of kid-friendly cultural cuisine.  You can watch it by following the link below. Thanks so much for all of your support and encouragement, you guys!

 Studio 5 – Teach Kids Culture Through Cuisine

Studio 5 – Kids Culture Through Cuisine