We Saw Disney on Ice Worlds of Enchantment in Salt Lake City

Posted by Carly Morgan

Disclaimer: We received free tickets to Disney on Ice in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts below are my own.

The family at Disney on Ice

We just saw Disney on Ice here in Salt Lake City! I know I’m supposed to be on a social media break but I have to share photos before this show leaves town.

Kyle and I have been to Disney on Ice twice before (together) but we’ve never taken our kids so it was the first time for all three. Felix wasn’t a big fan because there were too many loud noises so bring earmuffs of some sort if you’re bringing a baby. As for our older two, they were very very happy with the show. Of course, it helps that they were born to two parents who have a serious Disney merchandising issue.

Merchandise at Disney on Ice

Also, you Disney fans will note that we showed up at “rope drop” and, yes, we stayed until the goodnight kiss. Well, until the usher practically swept us out, anyway. So, little prep note: I thought it was going to be cold cold cold in the show but we were plenty warm even though we were near the ice. I brought layers for everyone but we all ended up in short sleeves for most of the show – even the baby!

Olaf hat at Disney on Ice

As far as snacks go, there were the typical concessions that they have at the event center plus cotton candy, snow cones, ice cream, and lemonade sold specifically for the show. The cotton candy came with either an Olaf hat or a Mickey crown so we got both bags. There was more variety for the snow cone holders but all three of the kids got snow cones from one of the vendors walking around and he only had the Anna/Elsa cups so that’s what they got. No complaints!

Snow cones and Mickey crown at Disney on Ice

Snow cone at Disney on Ice

Be prepared for a slightly hard sell on the merchandise, only because there are so many stands in the outer edge of the arena and so many vendors walking around once you come sit down. If you have little kids, it’s really hard for them to see all that fun stuff paraded around if you aren’t planning on getting anything (which is, of course, a brilliant marketing strategy) so we had planned out ahead of time to let the kids each get one treat and one toy or souvenir. We ended up overdoing it, but only because we (the parents) are huge dorks and we wanted the stuff for ourselves. From what I saw, most of the groups that came in made one or two purchases for the show and that was that. It helped that people are allowed to bring in outside food like snacks, drinks, and treats from home. We just figure it’s one of those special occasions where the Morgan family is all in!

Eating snow cone at Disney on Ice

Fun Disney hats at Worlds of Enchantment

The Lightning McQueen hat came with the souvenir Disney on Ice program we got when we bought the Disney on Ice pennant and the Queen Elsa snow flurry wand. The wand is awesomesauce – it lights up and the little snowballs all go around in a circle – but it was a tough choice because there were a few different wands and light up swords. Prices were what you’d usually expect at a Disney event like this. I think the cheapest thing we got was the $6 pennant and the most expensive was probably the wand ($25?). Although you might not believe it from the pictures, there were things that we didn’t buy. To be specific, Calvin wanted an Elsa hair headband thing with the blond ponytail attached and Eva wanted a princess necklace. I also saw a cute Tinkerbell doll and Kyle checked out a pair of themed binoculars that made shapes (snowflakes?) out of the lights when you looked through them. So really, we didn’t go as overboard as we could have.

Disney on Ice pennant

The show started with a little warm up by the ice dancers to get the crowd excited and up on their feet, dancing. After that, four of the classic characters (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy) came out to get things going and they introduced each of the different stories. If you’ve never been to a Disney on Ice show, it’s not always just one story. This one, Worlds of Enchantment, is made up from stories from four different Disney and Disney/Pixar movies: Toy Story 3, The Little Mermaid, Cars, and Frozen. The first one was Toy Story 3 and everyone in the crowd was so excited to see the familiar characters. Personally, I loved the Slinky dog – such a fun two-person costume!!

Toy Story at Disney on Ice

The Little Mermaid was next and the crowd absolutely went wild when she came out. Major princess fans in the audience! The puppets for this one were really cool. There was a giant sea horse that I had a hard time getting a shot of but it really looked like it was floating at the bottom of the sea. I only wish this part of the show was a little longer, because it was my personal favorite. I was Eva’s age when that movie came out and it’s always going to be in my top five for Disney movies.

The Little Mermaid at Disney on Ice

I should note that we had good seats, but the whole event feels intimate and I don’t think there were any seats that I would have considered too far away, especially considering how big the movements were and how much was going on down on the ice. Plus, they had tight shots up on the monitor so people could see details a little more clearly no matter where they were sitting.

Tow Mater at Disney on Ice

There was an intermission but the show felt like it was pretty fast. It turned out that we were in there for a few hours but I really didn’t feel it. Considering my older kids are three and six I would have thought that they would have been more squirmy but they were captivated the whole time even after being seriously overloaded on sugar. The only one that was really over it about a half hour before it ended was Felix. It is not a baby-nap-friendly type of event and I nursed him a couple of times to settle him, although I wonder if I should have walked him out during the really noisy parts. There were lots of loud explosions and sparks in the second half of the show, starting with the Cars. Calvin got a little nervous because he wasn’t expecting the fireworks the first time around but he wasn’t too scared to enjoy that part of the show.

Watching Disney on Ice Worlds of Enchantment

Cars at Disney on Ice

It seemed like the most popular part of the show was when the Frozen story began and the moments where Elsa and Anna were out on the ice. You could tell that was who everyone was waiting for and their solos were so pretty. I’m sure those costumes were so much fun to make and they were beautiful under the lights. They added bubbles, snow, and a few sparks to this part of the show but the highlight was the skating itself. The kids loved seeing all of the spins and jumps, although I think Eva was a little nervous that the skaters were going to fall when they were doing all of their fancy tricks. I have to start introducing that one to more figure skating!

Queen Elsa at Disney on Ice

Frozen at Disney on Ice Worlds of Enchantment

Watching Anna and Elsa at Disney on Ice

Anna and Elsa at Disney on Ice

The show runs here in Salt Lake City through March 12th and tickets are still available so I hope you get to go! It was so fun to take the kids to a magical world for a few hours and it definitely soothed my need for a Disney fix. After all, I haven’t been in a Disney park since 2015 – you’ve got to get that pixie dust when you can!

Salt Lake Family: Hill Air Force Museum

Posted by Carly Morgan

Museum at Hill Air Force Base

The Hill Aerospace Museum at Hill Air Force Base is one of those Salt Lake City family outings that most people have done at least once but never think about. An obvious choice for plane enthusiasts, the museum doesn’t have much in the way of family-focused entertainment (no playgrounds or fancy flight simulators here) so even though it’s free admission (donation suggested) and a short drive from Salt Lake City it isn’t usually too crowded.

That being said, I think it’s a little underrated because there’s a ton to look at (more than you’d even think) and the place is well-staffed with volunteers who are happy to chat and ask questions. There’s also a nice area set up for coloring and folding/flying paper airplanes so if you do your homework (i.e. check out the teacher/student resources page provided by the museum), you can turn this into a fun and educational outing. Sadly, I did not do my research for our last trip up there so we failed to create functional gliders and our kids spent their coloring time doing self portraits instead of airplane sketches. Even so, it was a pretty great way to spend a late winter Saturday and the kids have already asked to go back.

Hill Aerospace Museum

Airplane at Hill Air Force Base

Air Force Museum in Salt Lake City

Fun museum outing in Salt Lake City

Weekend activity in Salt Lake City

Day trip from Salt Lake City to the Air Force museum

Family outing to Hill Air Force Base

Kid activities at Hill Air Force Base

The museum is located about 25 minutes north of downtown Salt Lake City and it’s surrounded by places to grab a bite to eat, although I’d recommend bringing a picnic lunch if it’s a nice day. Little tip: call the gift shop at the museum before you head up just to make sure they’re open. Sometimes they have to close down depending on security happenings and what the national threat level is and for some reason the only phone number that consistently gets answered is that line to the gift shop.

5 Things to Do for Christmas in Salt Lake City

Posted by Carly Morgan

Salt Lake City has a ton of fun things to do for the Christmas season. Here’s 5 of my favorites (including one that only happens once a year – tonight!):

 

1 /// See the lights at Temple Square

This is the classic thing to do every Christmas here in SLC and if you go on a Friday or Saturday night, be prepared for crowds crowds crowds. My advice: go on Tuesday night, go as early as you can, park at City Center near Nordstrom, and stop at Blue Lemon for a hot cocoa to go while you stroll. If you finish up early, do a little holiday shopping at City Center.

2 /// Visit the Zoolights at Hogle Zoo

My second favorite spot for Christmas lights is at Hogle Zoo. It’s not an overwhelmingly impressive display, but it’s a lot of fun for kids and last year that was the only place that Eva had a chance to get her photo taken with Santa Clause. Pack your own snacks (a thermos of cocoa and some cookies) but be sure not to take anything with wrappers that your kids might accidentally drop. It’s unsafe for the animals and you don’t want to be chasing bits of plastic wrap around in the dark!

 

3 /// Christkindlmarkt at This is the Place park

Christkindlmarkt is Dec 4 – 6 this year and it’s both fun and free. They set up a little Christmas market in the plaza outside of This is the Place park with all of the charming things you’d expect from a traditional German Christmas market. It’s a great spot for grabbing unusual presents and Eva always loves to see the carol singers and the live reindeer. This is also a good spot for meeting Santa!

4 /// The holiday windows at The Grand America hotel

The windows that line the shops inside The Grand America hotel are always done up for the holidays, so it’s nice to head down to view the window displays and marvel at the beautiful trees. Technically this is a free family activity, but we inevitably end up picking up some of the amazing hot cocoa (best in Salt Lake if you ask me!) and a little something at the incredible toy store for the kiddos.

5 /// Nativity in the Glen (1050 S 1500 E, Salt Lake City, Utah 84105)

This neighborhood live nativity only happens on one night (it’s tonight, Dec. 3rd!) and it’s a very special event. Volunteers perform the nativity story complete with live animals and people sing Christmas carols. There’s usually a delicious treat (cocoa and lion house rolls this year) and it’s just down the street from Christmas Street (1050 S 1500 E) where a few of the houses usually go all out with the holiday lights.

Asthma, a New Baby, and Clean Carpets from Stanley Steemer

Posted by Carly Morgan

This post was sponsored by Stanley Steemer. The thoughts and opinions below are my own.

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I am embarrassed enough about what I am about to tell you that I almost didn’t agree to partner up and write this post. It’s a mom confession but not one of those safe ones where you know that everyone has been there at least once (yoga pants at Target, kids’ sandwich crusts for lunch because it’s not worth cooking something extra for yourself). This is one of those confessions that deserves major judgment. That being said, I’m writing this post because I put off this task forever thinking it would be too hard, too expensive, and not worth it because my kids are too messy and it turns out I was wrong.

Guys, we got our carpets cleaned.

I am in my thirties and I have never ever hired carpet cleaners before. I’ve only lived in rentals and, outside of flood-type emergencies, I’ve never lived anywhere long enough to warrant cleaning the carpet. Most places clean the carpets between tenants and I’ve only ever lived in apartments for two years or less, but we’ve been renting our little house for more than five years now and this is the first time we’ve arranged to get the carpets cleaned.

I know. Cone of shame.

Being honest, the thought of getting the carpets cleaned was always balanced against the fact that our kids are mess monsters and ultimately it never felt like it would be worth it. They spill EVERYTHING. It’s not even worth buying juice and keeping it in the fridge because it all ends up on the carpet anyway. Why would we bother to clean the carpet in our rental when our kids are little and disgusting and will just mess it up? Plus, the house is small and Eva has asthma and the thought of her breathing in a bunch of chemicals made me nervous. And it’s a rental…it’s not even our carpet!

All fine and logical until you factor in 5+ years of dirt and the fact that I had taken to either apologizing profusely when someone came over for a playdate or simply skipping playdates in general with new friends because our carpet was awful. Our dining room in particular was beyond embarrassing because it’s the central hub of the house, connecting all the other rooms, and there was this horrible black-ish worn out intersection of dirt thanks to all the foot traffic.

dining-room

So, when Stanley Steemer offered to partner up and clean our carpets in exchange for working on this post, I decided it was a sign what with the new baby and all of the nesting, etc. What really won me over was the fact that Stanley Steemer is certified asthma & allergy friendlyTM, which means that they’ve been proven to remove 94% of carpet dust, pollen, and dander that can cause asthma flare ups. I had been worried that the cleaning process itself would actually worsen Eva’s asthma temporarily so we didn’t get the carpets cleaned even after we got rid of the cats, but it turns out that the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America recommends that carpets be cleaned professionally 3 to 4 times a year. With all the pollen changes that happen in Autumn, this is always Eva’s toughest season so it feels good to have a head start on it.

I was still stressed about the cleaning process, particularly because we have a small and crowded house and I’m too pregnant to move stuff around too much, so I wasn’t sure how all of that would work. It ultimately was much easier than I thought because they moved the furniture that they could and, once the carpet was clean, they put the furniture back with protective pads and sheets of plastic under it so I didn’t have to have a bunch of furniture stacked in the kitchen waiting to go out on the clean carpet.

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It was also faster than I thought it would be – fast enough that I had them do our loveseat and a large area rug that I got a few years back. Funny story about the rug: a friend of mine gave it to me after she used it as the base of her photo booth during a blog conferences and she told me I probably needed to have it cleaned because it had three days of foot traffic on it. I told her I would but of course that never happened, especially after the kids started to spill all over it, so this lovely rug has just been so sad living with us. It felt good to finally get that taken care of and see the difference once it was clean!

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I was impressed by the little details that I hadn’t thought about, including safety bumpers on the doors and furniture and little signs reminding us to step carefully onto our tiled surfaces while the carpet was still damp because it was a slipping hazard.

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The carpet also dried faster than I thought it would and we were fine walking around on it by the evening. We kept the windows open to dry it but we don’t really have any fans to set out so I wondered if all that humidity would stay trapped but it wasn’t an issue.

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I wasn’t really sure what to expect because we don’t do carpet cleaning but I was impressed by how much they were able to get out and the difference it made right away. I thought the dining room in particular might be a lost cause because the combination of food staining and foot traffic had made such a mess but it all came out nicely. You can still see a pattern of wear in the areas where we walk all the time but it’s a huge improvement.

So maybe this is a grown-up responsibility that everyone mastered by the time they turned twenty but if you’re putting off getting your carpets cleaned because you rent or because you have small children or because it’s all just too much, it was really not the ordeal I thought it was going to be and I’m so much happier with the house in general now that it’s done. It’s also inspired us (including the kids!) to keep the house a little cleaner and it made us get started on the baby’s part of our bedroom because the carpet is now so fresh and clean. Plus, Stanley Steemer has a bunch of tips and how-to videos about care and cleaning up carpet stains in between professional cleanings.

The biggest perk, though, is the asthma thing. Eva had absolutely no reaction to anything that happened during the cleaning and if it turns out that she has an easier fall/winter season because all of that gunk came out of our carpets, I am going to be absolutely thrilled. Those invisible triggers are the worst!

If you’re interested, you can schedule a cleaning online complete with an estimate for how much it will cost so you don’t end up being surprised once your house is all clean. There’s also a call center that’s open 24/7 if you have any questions.

Our Tour of Tide Dry Cleaners

Posted by Carly Morgan

Disclaimer: I had a few items cleaned for free at Tide Dry Cleaners as part of my tour through their facility. The thoughts and opinions below are my own.

I get weird emails as a blogger. I’m sure we all get weird emails (who knew there were so many people just waiting to give us money from international accounts) but I get non-spam weird emails. Things like “how would you like to borrow this couch for a week” or “can we pay you in hot dogs” or “please come to a party to celebrate our new flavor of flax cereal”.

Recently, I got invited to tour the new Tide Dry Cleaners opening in South Jordan. I have to admit that I almost skipped right over it since I haven’t been going to very many local blogger events lately, but then I realized that I had absolutely no idea how dry cleaning works. What is dry cleaning?

 

 

I had too much curiosity to turn this one down (for all I knew this would rival that time Mr. Rogers went to the crayon factory) so I took an armful of dirty shirts and my mother and we went to the dry cleaners. Taking my mom was key because my mom is someone who actually has things dry cleaned. I only have things dry cleaned if something has happened and a recovery needs to take place (my wedding, someone else’s wedding) or if something fabric-not-clothes needs to be thoroughly cleaned (that time Eva threw up on Curious George). Honestly, dry cleaning is too intimidating to use all the time. I prefer to ruin Kyle’s work shirts and then blame him for shopping anywhere other than Old Navy. True Story.

Anyway…

I’m not totally sure I got my “authentic” dry cleaner tour because this dry cleaner doesn’t look like any other dry cleaner. It’s totally open so when you walk in you can see everything that’s going on. There’s no weird back room where they’re taking your clothes. It was also really bright and clean inside and it smells like Tide laundry detergent so that’s a little confusing. Therefore, I can’t promise you that this is how all dry cleaners work because this is probably not how your dry cleaner works but this is how your dry cleaner SHOULD work because it’s awesome.

 

1 /// You check your clothes in and they get barcoded. When you set up an account as a Tide Dry Cleaners customer, you get a number that matches your profile. They then put this little heat tag barcode somewhere discreet on an inside seam or something (vs using a pin to actually put a hole in your clothes) and that tag stays on the whole time so your clothes never get lost. They also save special instructions to the little heat tag so the people who work there can scan it and immediately see that you want them to double check the buttons or use light starch or go with a scent-free soap. That scent-free thing can also be a permanent option in your profile for everything you ever bring in – huge for allergy/asthma families or people who suffer from migraines.

Side note – one of the cool things that Tide does is they use that barcode system to update your account through an app you can put on your phone so you can actually check the progress of each item of clothing as it goes through. I really can’t imagine that you’d need to know exactly when your shirt is getting ironed but it’s kind of cool to have the option, right?

2 /// Your clothes are checked for stains, rips, etc. Before they wash anything, they check everything over for stains and they were pretty confident that they could get any kind of stain out at their stain station. It’s funny because they’re really just using the same Tide-brand stuff you can get at the grocery store and some elbow grease, so it isn’t dry cleaner magic so much as people who know what they’re doing with your clothes.

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3 /// Your clothes are washed. Turns out that dry cleaning looks a lot like regular clothes cleaning except everything is washed in a special solution. There are different solutions and processes depending on what color the clothes are and the type and some clothes go through in little bags (like delicates or beaded things) but really the process just looked a lot like washing.

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4 /// They’re steam pressed until dry. This part was my favorite. They have this fancy pants machine for shirts that presses them while they’re on a dummy so they’re pressed to look like how you would want them to look when you’re actually wearing them. After they’re taken off, they’re looked over and hand pressed a little bit to make sure that everything looks right.

Things that aren’t shirts had a different pressing area and less fancy equipment but the process in general was still pretty much the same. It was nice to see how organized it was. They talked about how they never lose anything and it made sense, because everything was so in-it’s-place I don’t see how you could.

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5 /// They fix your buttons. If they notice that a button is missing, they replace it if they can. This is true even if you didn’t mention the button or if the button wasn’t there when you dropped it off. It’s a free part of the service. Of course, if it’s a really weird button they might not be able to do it, but then they’ll make a note of it for you.

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6 /// It does the Dance of the Clean Shirts. I don’t know what this machine is really called, but after your clothes are ready they get bagged and scanned in and the machine moves so that all of your clothes can be hung up relatively close together so you don’t have to wait long to pick them up.

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It’s worth noting that Tide Dry Cleaners work a little differently than regular dry cleaners because they offer free curbside valet OR you can actually use this giant clean clothing ATM thing they have to pick up your dry cleaning at any time just by punching in your info. Naturally, they also have an outside dry cleaning drop off where you can put your clothes (and any new ones) as long as they’re in your special dry cleaning bag with your barcode on it. So, theoretically you could go in once and then drop off and pick up from the dry cleaners forever without ever actually having to get out of your car. Score one for errands you can run in your pajama bottoms.

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Other than that, there were some nice services that had to do with some of the products that Tide makes, but the prices are still low (lower than the one by my house in fact) and the people who are running it are all very friendly and down to earth.

The grand opening for this Tide Dry Cleaners is this Saturday and they doing two free garments for everyone who comes by, along with some other giveaways. The address is 11514 S 4000 W in South Jordan, Utah, and they’re open from 8-5.

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They’re starting to pop up all over, though, so if you aren’t in the area you should see if there’s a Tide Dry Cleaners by you. Apparently one opened south of me last year and I didn’t even know about it, so I’m happy to spread the word about these guys!

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