10 Hours in Monaco

As many of you know, my new career goal is to become the Princess of Monaco. It is hands down the dreamiest place I have ever been. It is the second smallest country in the world and the most densely populated. Every inch of Monaco is beautiful. We spent about 10 hours there, so here is my advice for the must-see sites!

Casino Royale

Even if you’ve only seen part of the James Bond Casino Royale movie cuz you fell asleep halfway through and started drooling on your boyfriend’s throw pillow, not to worry, it is still worth a look. It is a stunningly beautiful building. You have to pay 10 Euros to get in and when we went they were giving a private tour, so we just got to see the entrance and lobby areas, which were beautiful! They have a strict dress code you must adhere to if you want to go inside, no shorts or flip flops and a jacket is required in the private rooms.

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monaco6 Harbor

Basically every beautiful yacht on earth is parked in Monaco. We walked around the harbor for about an hour just oohing and ahhing over how lavish they are. They all come with a highly trained crew, which made me think – how much does a yacht captain make? Well, most of them make about $150,000 a year, not including bonuses. Sign me up! Seriously, they were the most amazing boats I have ever seen.

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The Grand Prix

We arrived in Monaco 3 days after the Grand Prix had wrapped up. It was awesome because everything was still set up for the big race. We walked along the tiny, windy roads and were amazed at how fast those cars zip through them. monaco4 The CARS

I am just about the last person on earth to ogle at cars, but in Monaco you are absolutely surrounded by exotic vehicles. I don’t think Honda Civics are allowed… It was fun to see them all zipping by us on the street and of course Sam loved getting some up close views of some super fancy cars. We started counting Bentleys the second we got there, but stopped after we made it to 10 within 10 minutes… monaco7

Larvotto Beach

This public beach is similar to Nice in that it is made of tiny pebbles, but they are not as big as the ones in Italy. We could not get over the beautiful clear water. Warning if you go: You will see a lot of boobs! At first, Sam was like oh my gosh did you see those, look at THOSE, but by the end of the day we were actually pretty used to it (and don’t worry mom, I kept my top on :)) monaco9 monaco11

Monaco is such a gorgeous place and I can’t recommend it enough. If you go, it is about a 10 minute train ride from Nice, France.

Martha Stewart Interview

We had the incredible opportunity to interview Martha Stewart while she was in town for Alt Summit and what a powerhouse! We first listened to her Keynote address to a crowd of about 300 bloggers at Alt Summit and then went to a private meeting with her at Macy’s City Creek. We were able to sit down and chat with her for about 20 minutes. First lesson about Martha: she runs a tight ship. Her schedule is perfectly coordinated down to the second. Second, Martha has been in this business for a very long time and is the ultimate professional. When asked how she “does it all”, she said she wakes up two hours earlier than she wants to. She is not the type that lays back and watches her fortune roll in. The lifestyle brand icon made it very clear that she oversees every decision for her company and life.For example, after she met with us she instructed all the Macy’s employees on how she wanted them to sell her new home style products – she really is all about the details! It was fascinating to hear from such an iconic woman.

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martha stewart book line marthastewartbookbrittface marthastewartbookbrookeface Q: Have you been to Utah before?

A: The first time I came I was celebrating my daughter’s birthday. We drove to Zion and climbed Angel’s Landing. I crawled the last few feet, she just walked to the edge. It was scary, the wind was blowing. {laughter}

Q: What inspired you to put the book together? (This is her 85th book published, she has 2 more coming out this fall!)

A: We have always been discovering wonderful recipes across the country since we started the magazine 20 years ago. We have really loved the kind of melting pot recipes you find in America. This was a good way to compile them into one place and tell the back stories, celebrate the ethnic groups that make this delicious food that we all eat. The recipes are really great.

Q: What is your favorite indulgence or splurge when eating?

A: It is more about variety for me than indulgence, I don’t like eating the same thing all the time. I grow a lot of stuff, all winter long. We’ve been growing all the salads, spinach parsley for my green drink every day. That is one thing I do drink every day except today. Tomatoes, root vegetables, I have a greenhouse that’s barely heated. I have my own chickens and my own eggs. I grow my own food. It’s not chocolate or peanut butter. {we gasped}

Q: While you were speaking at Alt Summit you mentioned that you work with your sister. Britt and I work together, tell us about that?

A: Yes, I work with one sister and one sister-in-law. It’s nice. My sister is a great writer and she knows my voice. It’s very good for her to write on my blog because it sounds like me. I don’t get a chance to edit everything she writes, but I trust her. Today’s blog is about a visit I made last weekend to this beautiful nursery in Portland, Oregon. I woke up at 4 o’clock and read it very quickly. She is very busy doing stuff and just emailed me and told me she finished doing my rose garden blog. She asked if she could have tomorrow off… I haven’t answered yet..I’m going to torture her a little bit. {giggling} My sister-in-law has a big job at the company she is the business manager for publishing and manages HR. And my niece Christina works for me too, she sells the digital advertising. I am trying to get her married to her cute boyfriend.

(Britt: Well, just tell her you will plan her wedding!)

I have! She knows she can get married at my house, but I don’t know my nephew already did that.

Q: What would you serve at a 4th of July party?

A: I love fried chicken. I’m not a big meat eater, but everyone else loves it, so maybe some nice steaks as well. We always have a lot of food, food is important in our family. Good food.

Q: What’s the best way to make your guests feel welcome?

A: Talk to them (laughter). Invite them into your kitchen and have them help you with your preparation.

Q: What comes to mind when you hear someone say “That’s so Martha”?

A: I laugh. It’s true it happens a lot. I think we really did make an impact on the way people think about entertaining at home, to keeping a home and decorating a home. To me that is very flattering. I try to help people understand that homemaking can be much nicer than once thought. Elevating homemaking to a higher level is nice, it shouldn’t be a drudgery it should be a pleasure.

Q: Martha it seems like you are in a new place everyday, how do you still find time do things you want? If you have a few hours of free time what would we find you doing?

A: I have redesigned a garden at my East Hampton house so I am very involved in that. Luckily you have email and photography to say yes or no to things. I go out there every spare moment. Sunday I got home at 5:08AM at Kennedy airport and we drove straight there to see the progress. It is important for the homemaker to make those decisions. You can leave a little up to other people but not a lot. I should’ve been a landscape architect, it’s one thing I love.

Q: There must be one thing that you really don’t want to do that you assign out?

A: I have housekeepers, I have to because I work so much. At my house in Bedford I live on a farm, I have a housekeeper that has worked with me for 27 years now. She was off for the last two weeks and I was left looking for this green silk dress I wanted to wear to a wedding. I never found it. I only wore it once and I don’t know where it is. I am sure it is under something but we looked everywhere. I don’t have time to vacuum. We have so many animals, we have to vacuum every day and I don’t have time for that.

Q: How do you think it’s best to entertain at parties with chidren?

A: I just finished my grand kids Chicka Boom Boom themed birthday party. It was very apropros and adorable. To pick a theme for a party is really nice. Next year my granddaughter requested a bagel themed party. (laughter)

Q: Is there a treat that they always request from their grandma?

A: Oh no, I am not allowed to make them anything that is a treat. I cannot give them jam or anything fun. Everything is healthy and vegetarian. (she told us earlier that her daughter is vegetarian)

By the end of the interview, we were all smiling and felt like we were truly friends. Martha even pulled out her ipad and showed us cute pictures of her grandkids at the Chicka Boom Boom party! Martha Stewart Collection merchandise is available at Macy’s and online. It is so cute and festive for the summer. Thanks to Martha for a fun afternoon!

B&B

 I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has provided me with compensation with this post for the Macy’s Martha Stewart event. However, as always, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.

London Top 10

new london collage Sam and I are still trying to process all of the things we saw on our European adventure, it was so amazing! We still like each other (yay) and we had such a fantastic time exploring together. I feel so lucky to have such a great travel partner. I know it sounds cheesy, but experiencing everything with Sam made it so much sweeter. To start things off, here are our Top 10 Sights to See in London!

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#10 Buckingham Palace

It’s such an iconic and historical location, how can you miss this? One of the most fun things to see here is the Changing of the Guard that happens every day at 11:30am. I don’t know how those guards stand so still!

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#9 Tower Bridge at night.

Magical. If you’re looking for a romantic evening stroll, head to the Tower Bridge. It is magnificently lit up at night and a great spot to wander around.

 

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#8 Borough Market

Food Heaven. You would never guess we had traveled straight for 20 hours when we took this pic, right? When I lived in London, I don’t think I ever missed a Thursday at Borough. You MUST get the grilled cheese sandwich from the Kappacasein stand and we also splurged for the raclette because we were starving. Don’t even get me started on the chocolate… Some of the best food in London if you ask me. It’s also a great spot to go if you are touring St. Paul’s Cathedral because it’s right across the bridge.

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#7 Lion King at Lyceum Theater (or any other show because they are all amazing)

Musicals are amazing, but musicals with British accents?! Basically nothing better. I always recommend going to the theater the day of and asking for their cheapest tickets. More often than not, they will offer you “partial view” seats, which usually mean really close but you can’t see one corner of the stage. We went to Lion King for 32 pounds each and sat in a box.

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london orangery #6 Kensington Palace & Gardens

This is one of the most quintessentially British places you can visit. The perfectly manicured gardens are great for a morning run or an afternoon stroll. If you would like to spend some time there, I would recommend going to the Orangery for tea because it is straight out of a storybook. We tried to stalk Will & Kate, but couldn’t find them anywhere…

London Eye Collage

#5 South Bank

This is a fun area of London near the London Eye and aquarium that is filled with street performers, food trucks and fun restaurants. We got to hang out on a rooftop garden and tried out Giraffe restaurant (which sadly wasn’t that great).

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#4 Trafalgar Square

The center of London. This is the best people watching location. On a sunny day in London town, there is really no place better to be.

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#3 National Gallery

My favorite museum of all time. Sam had to endure quite a few hours of wandering, but lucky for him there are nice comfy couches everywhere. The building is gorgeous, clean and huge and displays two of my favorite artists’ work Monet and Degas. The water lily paintings are even prettier in person!

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#2 Portobello Market

This is hands down the best market in London. It happens every Saturday on Portobello Road and is always packed. It is filled with antiques, London memorabilia, new clothing and lots of great food. Of course my favorite is the Portobello Crepes stand! Sam loves the bratwurst and middle eastern food.

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#1 Big Ben & Parliament

It is so cool to see such an iconic site in person.

London will always have my heart, I just love the energy and vibe of the entire city. Please do not be alarmed if the next time you see me I have a little bit of an accent :)

Cheers,

Britt

Park City Weekend

DSC_1118  We had such a fun girl’s weekend in Park City celebrating our best girl Lauren’s birthday.

It wasn’t until the weekend was over that both of us realized that some quality girl time is so good for the soul.

There’s nothing like talking about boys for hours while eating your weight in chocolaty treats!

We are lucky to have such fabulous ladies in our lives.

We started the weekend with dinner at a new Main Street favorite Rock’n’Reilly’s. It’s a fun pub type of restaurant with unique twists on American dishes. If you go, you need to order the nachos (seriously, they are gourmet) and the veggie burger (explosive flavors of amazingness). Then, we partied the night away at the Stein Eriksen. So fun to have a hot tub on our own balcony!

We ended the birthday weekend with brunch at the Little America hotel downtown.

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Spring Bucket List

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Once the sun starts coming out, we feel the need to make a list of fun stuff to do during the next few months.

1. Hike: everywhere. Too many favorites to list them all, but if you need a place to start, just head up Millcreek Canyon.

2. The Drive-in movie theater: (Brooke went once already, but slept through both movies (!!!), so she needs a re-do.)

3. Driving Range: our guys love golf, so we both want to try a little harder to get better this season. Plus, the driving range is a much easier commitment than a 4-hour round of 18 holes!

4. Tennis: we are absolutely terrible, but tennis is such a fun sport. Luckily, we have a patient older brother who loves to play with us.

5. Picnic: our favorite spots for a lunch in the sunshine are Memory Grove, Sugarhouse Park and Donner Park.

6. Park City bike ride: there is nothing like going on a bike ride through Park City. It is just so beautiful and refreshing.

7. Rita’s: this our favorite place for custard and Italian ice. Sam and I first tried Rita’s in South Carolina and are now hooked. They have locations in Union Heights and Draper.

8. Tea in the Courtyard at Grand America: We have had tea in the beautiful lobby lounge, but cannot wait to go sit in the gorgeous courtyard for tea time. It’s such a fancy & fun afternoon date for only $20/person.

9. Ruth’s Diner for dinner: it’s a SLC classic and visitors will not be disappointed with the location. It’s one of our favorite patios to eat on because of the beautiful surroundings.

10. Sunday walks & House hunting: Sam and I are loving going on walks every Sunday through our Holladay neighborhood. It’s a great place to dream about what we want our future home to look like (also adding to our ridiculous expectations, but that’s beside the point).

Twin Travels: Hawaii

Sam and I had such a great time in Hawaii at the beginning of January.
We went to the Big Island and stayed in Kona.
Scroll down for my list of favorite things to do :)

KONA 2013 BLOG 2 {the Hawaii crew, so lucky to be a part of this family}

KONA 2013 BLOG 3 {my favorite place we went…. the Waipio Valley}

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{i married a water baby. he was in the ocean 99% of the time}

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{have you ever seen anything better? smelly wetsuits for everyone!} KONA 2013 BLOG 15
Activities:
– Snorkeling: some of the best clearest water in the world! Captain Cook monument is probably the best and most popular spot.
– Waipio Valley: hands down the most beautiful place I have ever been. It is a pretty steep hike in, but so worth it! You get to spend the day on a black sand beach with wild horses and waterfalls.
– Manta Ray Dive: this was unfortunately a hilarious mistake. For about $100 per person, you are promised a dive with manta rays swimming all around you. We went on a night when the water was choppy and cold and only saw one tiny manta. My advice– check the weather before you go :)

Eats:
– Lava Lava Beach Club: my hands down favorite restaurant on the island. They have the BEST burger I have ever tasted. It is a blue cheese with guacamole and amazing sauces. They also have a yummy rice bowl that comes in a real pineapple. Amazing!
– Tex’s Drive In: Everyone else shared a few malasadas while I ate two huge ones! They were so tasty. You can watch them make the donut like treats right in front of you. It is located in Honokaa.

A big huge thank you to my amazing in laws for the trip of a lifetime that we will always remember!

– Britt

***All photos courtesy of my cutie photographer sister-in-law Annie :)

An Afternoon with Steve Madden

We got to interview mega designer Steve Madden on his first trip to Utah. He is in town for Sundance and an event at Nordstrom at Fashion Place Mall. He was much more down to earth than we were expecting. In Brooke’s words, “the complete opposite of Anna Wintour”.

Steve told us what it takes to start your own company, the trend he hates, and what he thinks of working with the Olsen twins.

You can read the full interview below.

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B&B: IT’S YOUR FIRST TRIP TO SALT LAKE CITY, WHAT DO YOU THINK SO FAR?

SM: It’s great, I’m staying in Park City and it is beautiful.

B&B: WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WHILE YOU’RE HERE?
SM: We are just going to catch a few films, I leave Monday night.
B&B: THERE IS A HUGE CROWD DOWNSTAIRS WAITING TO MEET YOU, WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT HAVING SUCH A HUGE FAN BASE IN UTAH?
SM: It’s unbelievable, there was a nice little article written about me yesterday in the Salt Lake Tribune, it’s great, it’s very nice. I’ve always thought it was a fashionable town. It really is. I always notice that, girls from Salt Lake are really cool.
(***Steve is happily married with 3 kids, so pretty sure he was being serious here and not just pouring on the sugar :) ).
B&B: HOW DID YOU START YOUR BUSINESS?
SM: I started my business with $1,100 and I decided if it was 40 pairs of shoes I was going to sell that was it, and then it just pyramided.
B&B: HOW DO YOU STAY SO CONSISTENT? IT SEEMS LIKE NO MATTER THE YEAR OR SEASON, STEVE MADDEN IS ALWAYS IN STYLE.
SM: We’re insecure so we’re always working hard.
B&B: WHO DO YOU HAVE IN MIND WHEN YOU ARE DESIGNING?
SM: People that I work with, or more democratic, I don’t think of any stars or celebrities, I just try to make shoes people like to wear.
B&B: FAVORITE TREND?
SM: I like what you’re wearing.
(***He said this to Brooke was wearing a pair of Steve Madden studded boots)
B&B: ONE TREND YOU ARE SICK OF?
SM: Platform pumps. They are starting to look a little old to me. We sell them in our stores, but they’re starting to look a little old.
B&B: A TREND YOU WISH WOULD DISAPPEAR FOREVER?
SM: Sneakers
B&B: WHAT DO YOU THINK OF BLOGGERS?
SM: I love it, it’s a great trend. Things are changing and it’s fine. I’m not a big “I like the old days” kind of guy. I would rather look at Wikipedia than the Encyclopedia. By the way, Wikipedia has my age wrong, i’m really 56, but Wikipedia says i’m 55.
B&B: WHAT IS A NORMAL DAY LIKE?
SM: I have a lot on my plate, but everybody has a lot on their plate and I really mean that. Whatever someone has going on in their life is important to them. I have a pretty big company and I have three young kids.
B&B: DO YOUR KIDS LIKE YOUR SHOES?
SM: My daughter, the darling who is named after me loves Skechers. (Face palm then laughs)
(*** By the way, his daughter is 6 years old.)
Then Steve turned the tables and asked us a few questions.
SM: You’re identical?
B&B: YES.
SM: Are the Olsens identical? (He works with Mary-Kate and Ashley on a very regular basis)
B&B: NO, THEY’RE FRATERNAL (WE KNOW THIS BECAUSE WE THOUGHT WE WERE MARY-KATE AND ASHLEY GROWING UP)
SM: Well, the Olsens look 100% more alike than you to do. You look very different from each other.
So, as you can tell Steve is a down to earth, nice and normal guy. The best part is that he is one of maybe three people in the world that think we look nothing alike :)

 

Life as a Viral Sensation

To say that the past 2 weeks have been a whirlwind is a major understatement. I have been pulled in a million different directions talking to media around the world. I never knew passing out during a live shot would bring me so many interesting opportunities! I have received thousands of thoughtful messages from  people as far away as India, New Zealand, Norway and England. This home grown girl from Utah is definitely feeling the love.

Here are a few photos to give you a peek into my life since my fainting video went viral.

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This was my crazy set-up for Entertainment Tonight with Nancy O’Dell. I had to communicate with Nancy over a speaker phone while still looking into the camera ahead of me. It was a doozy :) I have always loved watching Nancy and it was fun to chat with her and see her own bloopers from her local news days! You can watch the interview HERE starting at 16:12.

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I was thrilled to get a call from CNN. Being a newsie I have always admired their on-air product and was excited to see how things work behind-the-scenes. They treated me like a princess! They sent a driver in a town car to pick me up from my house (!!). Then I was taken to their studio downtown where a stylist was waiting for me to do my hair and makeup. It was glorious! The anchors from New Day were so great and probably my favorite interview that I have done. You can watch it HERE.

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For my interview with CBS This Morning a photographer came to my house. It was nice to be relaxed in my own space. I thought they did a nice piece on the whole incident and were very kind with their comments. A shout out from Oprah’s BFF Gayle King is always a fun surprise! You can watch the interview HERE.

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This is a photo of me during my interview with Australia. My face looks a little confused because there were 3 anchors talking in my ear at the same time with Aussie accents! I loved hearing from them and they were so funny. There was a 3 second delay since Australia is a little far away, but overall the interview was really fun. You can watch it HERE.

photo 3 (7) Last but not least, I got to talk to a scout troop about being in the media. I wasn’t sure how interested 8 year old boys would be in a girl, but they were an excellent crowd! I was asked to be the guest speaker for their media night and my topic was having a positive attitude in middle of a mishap. (surprise!) It was so fun to hear their questions and remember what it was like to be a kid.

Overall, this experience has been really eye opening. My hope is renewed in society. I have been inundated with sweet emails, phone calls, and messages from complete strangers. The world is a great place. Who knows what will come next! Thank you for all your support.

Here are a few of my favorite articles and mashup videos:

Time Magazine

Huffington Post

Today Show

Mashable

Youtube Mashup & A Rap Mashup

Death and Taxes 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thankful

We are so thankful for the incredible year that it has been.
Here are just a few of the particulars:
Family that loves and supports us in everything we do. They are simply the best.
Friends that are hilarious, talented, inspiring and so loyal.
Jobs that we truly enjoy.
The fact that booties are in style because they are the most comfortable shoe ever created.
Embarrassing moments (i.e. Britt running into a glass door a few weeks ago or when Brooke peed her pants at cheer tryouts in junior high…) that keep us laughing for years afterwards.
Dark Chocolate Coconut Almonds from Costco (life changing)
BOYS. (one in particular for Britt)
Healthy bodies and a fitness instructor that just told us to “go crazy” with Thanksgiving dinner (our kind of girl)
Nail polish the color of pomegranates… Red Carpet “Draped in Rubies”
And we are thankful for YOU! Thank you for reading our silly little blog and making the internet fun :)
and on and on and on…
Have a fabulous Thanksgiving!
B&B

 

4th of July done on the fly!

 
If you just woke up and thought, “Oh no it’s the 4th of July. What am I going to take to the BBQ tonight?” No worries, we have some great last minute ideas.
The best part is you probably already have all the supplies.
 
#1 The perfect table setting.
You can’t go wrong with vases and candy. All you need is tape and paint.
 
#2 The perfect dessert.
To go along with the grilling theme we love the idea of strawberry shortcake kabobs!
These look adorable and are fun for kids to assemble.

 

#3 Patriotic Lemonade
Everyone wants a festive drink. This lemonade is easy as pie – all you have to do is freeze blueberry and strawberry ice cubes and voila!
 
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