Helping Your Children Understand Why We Celebrate Christmas

Whenever the holidays roll around I hear my kids constantly talking about the toys they want. There is a lot of wanting and I don’t hear them talk much about giving. I am not an extremely religious person (we don’t go to church every Sunday) but it is really important to me that our children understand why we celebrate Christmas and what acts of service we can provide during the holidays. I recently asked my audience how they taught their children the real meaning of Christmas after I shared what I have done because I want more ideas!

Here are some ideas to help your children understand why we celebrate Christmas:

Let each child choose from a giving tree: I was recently working out and saw there were still plenty of names left on a giving tree so I grabbed a few so each of my children can buy for a child. When I drop off the gifts, if there are still more tags I’m going to have to snatch them and hurry to buy their gifts too!

Gift your children 3 gifts from Santa: The three gifts from Santa represent the 3 gifts from the Wiseman to baby Jesus. I think this is an awesome idea!

Giving machines: Vending machines are now vending machines! What a clever idea. Instead of swiping your credit card and getting candy you can buy a sheep for a family overseas,  a pair of shoes for a child, 100 meals for your local food bank. Let your child pick what they would like to give (keeping your budget in mind!). Right now there are 10 across the country, click here to see if there is a Giving Machine in your area.

Grocery shopping for your local food bank: Let your child pick out the food items and take them with you to drop the groceries off at your local food bank.

Gifting one present from Christmas morning: Wow, this is a good one that would take a lot of will from your child but would be so worth it. Have your child choose one of their gifts on Christmas morning to take to a shelter.

Jesse Tree Ornaments with Advent Book: This book tells the story of Christmas. Each night a story is read and there is a corresponding ornament.

Childs Play Nativity Set: Fisher-Price makes a children’s Nativity Set that they can play with. I love this idea because I remember playing with ours as a child and rearranging everyone.

I hope you find these ideas as helpful as I have. If you have more, please leave them in the comments!

Live votre rêve!



A Staycation At The Hilton Salt Lake City Center + Visit To City Creek Center

hilton Salt Lake City centerHas it registered to you that Christmas is one week away! Settling back in Utah for the season took up a lot of my time and energy, unpacking, organizing, and decorating the house for Christmas! Until yesterday, I still had two people to shop for, and let’s not even mention the wrapping that needs to get done (luckily wrapping is therapeutic for me and just a bit time-consuming)! The boys have been a little stir crazy also. When we lived in Utah last season we were out and about going to so many places and now with COVID still around we are no longer going to the museums and play places. A staycation is what we need.hilton Salt Lake City center

Planning fun activities for the boys, while I can be productive, is pretty much how I plan everything these days. They can play with cars and cardboard boxes while I open the boxes and organize them! Switching up our home routine and staying at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center and being able to finish my Christmas shopping at City Creek Center is just what my family needed! I let the boys know we were doing something fun and packed our bags!
city creek center shopping

We entered the immaculate lobby of the Hilton Salt Lake City Center and dropped our bags off in our room. We headed to City Creek Center to burn some energy and run around the enormous Christmas tree and finish our shopping, shopping here during the holidays is truly a Christmas experience. The boys hadn’t been there since last Christmas and Myles remembered everything. He knew all about the storybook lanterns and this year they are contactless! You just have to wave your hand over this one spot and the storybook lanterns turn on.

city creek center giant Christmas tree

city creek center contactless story lanternscity creek center contactless story lanternsI surprised the boys with being able to go swimming, they could not believe it! We had wrapped up our afternoon of shopping, finished an early dinner, and went back to our rooms to grab our suits and do a little swimming! I was very happy watching the boys enjoy themselves so much. Myles is such a little fish, swimming everywhere, and Noah is completely content sitting on the steps squealing and splashing. Eli and I were easily entertained by the two of them!hilton Salt Lake City center

The boys took their baths back at the room and we all got into our matching winter pajamas and just has fun. It was later than I had planned but sometimes it feels good to let loose and not be so strict on the schedule. We had such a wonderful stay at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center and loved being able to walk over to City Creek Center for some shopping and Christmas fun! This is something I would love to continue to do with my family and will be a great family tradition.hilton Salt Lake City center

Live votre rêve!

This post is sponsored by City Creek Center. As always, all opinions are my own. 

hilton Salt Lake City center



Holiday Shopping At City Creek Center

City Creek CenterMy holiday shopping has been a little different this season. Since this is my first time living in Salt Lake City I am still figuring out what the best stores and shops are. Lucky for me (and all of you!) there is one destination that has anything and everything you need to do your holiday shopping and that is City Creek Center. Along with having all the stores to do your holiday shopping, City Creek Center is also extremely family friendly. Being new to Salt Lake City I have been very impressed with how family friendly shopping can be and how much is available for children.City Creek Center
City Creek Center
I chose to do my holiday shopping at City Creek Center because they have all the stores but also because I can break up the shopping with activities for my boys. The most popular amongst my boys is watching the fish. Did you know this shopping center has hundreds of fish that swim among the rocks? My boys could sit and watch the fish swim all day if I let them. You can actually feed the fish too! They offer this on Saturday mornings between 10:00 am and 10:30 am. It is first come first serve so keep that in mind. Another go-to for my boys is the fountain. The America First Credit Union Fountain Show runs at the top of the hour every hour during operating hours. After dusk the fountain show has fire accents!City Creek CenterSaving the most important for last which is visiting Santa Clause. The perk about going to visit with Santa at City Creek (other than he is the sweetest and the most kind) is that you check in with your name and number and then you will get a text when it’s your turn! This way you can grab lunch, coffee or do your holiday shopping and there is no waiting in line! For more information regarding Santa photos click here.City Creek Center
City Creek CenterI’m so glad to live in a city with the beautiful City Creek Center that has so many stores for adults, children, home and more. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!City Creek Center
This post is in collaboration with City Creek Center. As always, all opinions are my own.

Live votre rêve!


Instagram Live Gift Guide

memphis bloggers
Last week my Bluff City Lights girls got together for a little Instagram live to show you guys a couple of our go to gifts. We did our best to answer most of your questions but I thought it would be best for me to leave it all here for you on the blog.

Air Plants//
These are hard to kill and easy to care of. Can easily be added to any shelf, table or mantle. I talked about them in my gift guide here. A couple local stores sell them which is where I have purchased these below from but I recently order some online for my sisters Christmas gift and they are beautiful. air plants

O-Venture Key Ring//
This is a very practical gift. I love cute keychains but they typically make my keys heavier than they already are and still get lock in the bottom of my diaper bag. This O-Venture key ring is light weight and easy to find in your bag, you can also easily slip it on your wrist! There are a ton of different styles too, I don’t think I can pick a favorite but this one is pretty cool! 

Lipsmart Treatment//
My lips always need something on them, I have some type of lip balm scattered throught the house, my car and bags. I tried this balm out for the first time this evening and I loved it. It is similar to Vaselline but smoother, there is no scent either which I prefer.

Leslie Ponder Studios//
I first learned of this jewelry designer at Memphis Fashion Week. I love how contemporary her line is. Everything is handmade and has a pretty touch of gold! For the holidays she is making these darling little nativity scenes that come in three different colors.
** You can now get 20% off your order by entering code mary20 at checkout!

Bling Sting & Alert Keychain//
We are definitely in a world where we need to be cautious. I have never owned pepper spray but I know I need to and now that I see how cute this one is I had to purchase for myself! Such a great stocking stuffer! This gemstone alarm keychain is also perfect for any female!

3-step Mask & Makeup Eraser// 
Face masks were one of my 5 easy gifts. There are so many different masks to choose from and no persons can have too many! I really want to try this 3-step mask. This makeup eraser I had never heard of but Alex loves it! You just need water and the towel and it gets all your makeup off and you can toss it in the wash after a few uses! Isn’t this tropical print cute?

Hi Y’All Cups & Napkins//
These are really fun to have for a little holiday party. If you aren’t the best cook offer to bring the paper goods!

The Magic Light Wand//
This is a fun little gadget. It is used to light your holiday lights in your home but could actually be programmed to light anything! The Magic Light Wand really does seem magical because of the sound it makes, Myles would love to have this!

Hope you all have a wonderful holiday!

Live votre rêve!


A Secret Santa Gift Guide For Her

There are millions of gift guides out and about right now and I’m pretty sure every blogger you follow has a gift guide out on what to buy for your sister, your man, the fitness guru and others. The gift guide that I haven’t seen is what to buy for a Secret Santa Exchange, White Elephant, Yankee Swap or Dirty Santa. There may be some other names out there for this type of exchange but you get what kind of guide this is. This gift guide is for when you have to buy a gift for someone that you don’t know very well or for a general population because you don’t know who will pick your gift. I love doing these gift exchanges because I love finding unique gifts that anyone can use.

There are items from all sorts of stores but all of them are having a Black Friday deal and most of them will continue to have a sale through Cyber Monday that you can take advantage of from your computer!

West Elm – buy more save more + free shipping!
CB2 – buy more save more + free shipping on items over $29

Shopbop – buy more save more!
Express – 50% off everything.


gifts under $50

House decor, one size fits all, no age restriction, spa-related items are just a few things to keep in mind when buying for a gift exchange. There is still time left to save big on your holiday shopping.

Live votre rêve!