Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Our Utah Adventure: Day Three: Part III: Bryce Canyon "Queen's Garden Trail"

 This is a continuation of a travel series to Utah.  To start at the beginning, go  HERE.  The rest of the posts in chronological order are HERE,  HEREHEREHEREHEREHEREHERE, and HERE!

In last week's travel post I shared all our excitement and emotions as we walked the rim of Bryce Canyon amphitheater.  In this week's post, and in the week's to come, I will share our adventures as we hike deep down into the canyon.

The most popular hike in Bryce Canyon is the Queen's/Navajo Combination Loop.  This hike combines Queen's Garden and Navajo Loop to form a 2.9 mile loop.  To keep the posts from getting too long, I'm only going to cover Queen's Garden in today's post and I will do the Navajo Loop next week.

The loop connect the two most famous scenic overlooks in the park,  Sunrise Point and Sunset Point. It is recommend that you start the trail in a clockwise direction for safety reasons (which is Sunrise Point).  A lot of visitors want to start at Sunset Point so that they don't have to hike the steepest part up.  However, the gravel can be slippery and dangerous falls can occur if you hike it that way. You also get better views (especially when you reach the famous Wall Street area) if you hike it clockwise.

To take you down as safely as possible into the canyon, the trail is a series of switchbacks.

As impressive as it was to see the amphitheater from the rim, it's even more impressive as you descend down into it for you get a real idea of the size of these unique formations called "Hoodoos".

My husband got such a kick out of the shapes of some of these monuments.  He came up with a lot of creative nicknames.  The most famous hoodoo on this trail is called "Queen Victoria" because the shape looks very similar to the Queen.  You will have to google that to see it, I'm not sure if we got a picture of it.  How that happened, I have no idea. 😠

We had so much fun exploring all the nooks and crannies on this trail.  There were so many interesting tunnels and door ways.

Can you tell how hot I am in the picture?  I think it was in the upper 90's this day.  It actually didn't feel that bad because the air is so dry.  The park service recommends that you drink at least one liter of water for every two hours you plan to hike.  I definitely did that and more!

We were constantly "oohing" and "ah hing" on this trail because around every bend was something else unique and interesting.

I loved this beautiful formation of hoodoos.

You still get a lot of gorgeous panoramic shots like this one even when you start walking deep into the canyon.

It's fun to look down as well as up, and all around to get all the different viewpoints of the hoodoos.

Next week I will cover the second half of this trail:  Navajo Loop!

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

My Christmas Tiered Tray

I have a metal tiered tray in my dining room that I decorate for the holidays and seasons.  Decorating in miniature a metal tiered trays is a very popular hobby.  Many stores on Etsy are selling items specifically for tiered trays because they are in such hot demand.  I didn't buy anything from Etsy but I sure had to scrounge around all my local stores and my stash.  I will tell you where I purchased each piece as I go through the pictures.

The house is just a simple painted block, it's sitting on a white cupcake stand from Target.  The green trees are meant for miniature Christmas Villages.  I love the pop of color they bring to my tray.  I purchased them from Menards and Walgreens.

On the lower tray beneath the house I have a Christmas Tin Gift Card Holder with an ornament in front of it and another green bottle brush tree.

I asked my husband to cut pieces of wood to fit inside my tray so I could lift items up so that they could be seen.  The tin and the truck ornament are sitting on top of the piece of wood.  I painted the wood pieces white so they would not be so noticeable.

The truck ornament and metal gift card tin are from Hobby Lobby.

Turning to the left side of the house I placed two holiday bowls and filled them with ornaments and a red star cookie cutter.

The ornaments are all old ornaments from my stash, but the bowls are new from Home Goods.  I thought they were such cute, tiny holiday bowls, and I knew they fit my metal tiered tray.  I have no idea what they are used for,  custard or dips perhaps?

I filled the empty corner of the larger lower tray with red and white glass bulbs.


The last side has a bigger bottle brush tree and ornament sign on top, with a decorative gift box and Christmas pick on the bottom.

 The cute "Away in a Manger" sign is an ornament from Hobby Lobby.  The large bottle brush tree I purchased from Walgreens.


The little "Merry Christmas" square paper box I picked up at Michaels.  The Christmas pick was already in my stash.

 I had to really scrounge around and go to a lot of different stores to find cute little items to fill my tray.  I'm always late to decorate my tray and most of the good stuff is gone by the time I get to the store.  But, I really like how my tray turned out, so maybe it was good thing I was late.

Come back this Sunday for my 2019 Christmas Home Tour!  

 Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Monday, December 9, 2019

Cozy Holiday Fashion

In last weeks Monday's "Grandma & Me" post , I showed a beautiful red holiday dress to wear to church or a more formal Christmas gathering.  This week I'm sharing a more cozy, casual Christmas outfit.  It might be hard to see in some of the pictures, but the pants are actually holiday dress pants I purchased years ago from JCPenney.  They have a beautiful metallic gold thread woven through the pants and are very shimmery in real life.  

I accentuated the holiday look by adding a new fur jacket (also from JCPenney) and carrying a metallic gold purse.

My coat was a Black Friday deal.  I was Christmas shopping for my family and I saw this jacket at an unbelievable low price of $14.99 (originally $44.00) and I had to have it.  I liked that it was a thin jacket for a fur because it wouldn't add any extra bulk to my frame.  And even though it was thin, let me tell you, it was WARM.  I wore it to church on a 33 degree day, and I was sweltering.

I paired the jacket with a grey turtleneck and tall black slouchy boots.

I purchased my boots this past fall at Ross.  And if you look closely, you can see the gold metallic thread in the pants.  They are so pretty in real life!

For jewelry, I chose gold drop earrings (Stitch Fix) and a gold pendant necklace (old).

The fur coat is still available, and although it is on sale, it is not at the great Black Friday price I paid for it.  It comes in several different colors and you can find it HERE!

Holiday pants, old, similar HERE,  Turtleneck, old, similar HERE,  Black Slouchy Boots, Ross, similar HERE,  Metallic Gold Purse, old, similar HERE,  Gold Pendant Necklace, old, similar HERE,
and Gold Drop Earrings, Marlyn Schiff, HERE.

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Friday, December 6, 2019

Have You Tried A Packable Jacket?

I was in TJMaxx a month or two ago and I saw this cute Calvin Klein Jacket on the clearance rack for around $50.00.  I bought it because I wanted a THIN winter coat that I could wear hiking/exercising but also for running errands.  I love my long, down-filled parka but it is way too warm to wear shopping;  I get too hot inside stores.  Anyhow, when I got home I noticed there was this nylon bag inside the pockets.  "What the heck is this for?" I wondered.  I soon realized that this charming, stylish coat had a practical purpose as well.  It compresses down to fit into a tiny little bag so you can pack it a suitcase!  Yay!  Win, win for me!  With all the traveling I do, that will really come in handy.

Another reason I bought this coat was because I tried two other thin winter coats (one from Old Navy and one from CJBanks),  I loved the thinness of both of those coats, but after a little wear the stuffing inside the coat started protruding through the seams making me look like I was covered in lint!  I only paid $25.00 for each of those coats, so I thought it was due to the "cheapness" and I got rid of them.  I thought I would try ONE MORE TIME with a higher end brand and hopefully the stuffing won't come out.  So far so good!

I wore this look to a hair appointment and running errands.  Everything I'm wearing is old (other than the coat), but I will try to link to something similar at the end of the post.

The coat is labeled to keep you warm in as little as 7 degrees.  That is perfect for Wisconsin winters.  When it get below zero, I always pull out my long, down-filled parka anyway.

I wear my black combat boots in winter more than any other boots I own.  They are so practical in the snow and ice.

My only issue with these packable coats is that I wish they were a tad bit longer.  Most of my tops/sweaters hang lower than the coat.  However, it is the perfect length for hiking/exercising in cold weather.  Maybe I can find another one that is a little longer?

Calvin Klein Packable Down Puffer Coat,  check your TJMaxx stores otherwise Macy's has them HERE!  Black Floral Blouse, JCP, old, similar HERE!  Liz Claiborne Black Tote Bag HERE! Grey Skinny Jeans, Stitch Fix, old, similar HERE! Combat Boots, Charlotte Russe, old, similar HERE!

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!