One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson & The Most Beautiful Bucket List Ever. Louis Tomlinson from the band One Direction has been in mourning since losing his mother and sister this year- until he met an elderly gentleman mourning his wife. You’ll melt when you see how they’ve healed each other. You can see the video sparked from One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson & The Most Beautiful Bucket List Ever here.
Bacon-Balsamic Brussels Sprouts Recipe. This is the veggie dish that even your kids will eat.
First: did you know it’s spelled “Brussels?” I have misspelling this vegetable forever! Also, these brussels sprouts are freaking delicious. This is a tasty side dish for Easter dinner. (BTW: Cooking with Todd and the Toddler has an epic step-by-step recipe for Roasted Leg of Lamb for Easter that’s unbelievably tasty, find it here.)
Teaching Kids To Love Reading. One of our family’s New Year’s Resolutions was reading. I was the kid who got in trouble for hiding under my blanket with a flashlight and reading until a ridiculous hour. So I was shocked when our kiddos did not take to reading as enthusiastically as I did. But here’s what I’ve learned: every kiddo has their own way. So it’s my job to find the path that gets each of my Littles enthusiastic about books. So, here’s some different thoughts on amazing books and how to invest your little people.
Teaching Kids To Love Reading
- What are they interested in? So, my 7 year old Zoe is crazed about Minecraft. I immediately ordered 3-4 books about Minecraft on Amazon.com. I didn’t pay attention: the fonts in the boks varied, they were oddly styled and hard to read. They just made her more frustrated. So we started with some of the “New World” instructions on her iPad. We read about diamond armor and th Ender Dragon. Then, we graduated into Minecraft technique posts. I read a paragraph, she read a paragraph. We were reading together… and yeah, now she’s into the “Friendly Creeper Diaries.
- You Read To Me, I’ll Read To You: It’s actually the name of a book series, but it was an “Oh, duh!” moment for me. We always read together when Zoe was little, but now that she’s in second grade, I’d just intended to check off the books she’d read on her homework list. What is wrong with me? This is an age where she actually wants to hang with me. And it’s not even just her reading to me- it’s reading back and forth, asking questions about the story and laughing at silly things.
- Make It Fun: Once again, this one took me by surprise. What do you mean, reading isn’t fun? So we came up with some ideas. During the summer, we read in our trampoline tent dome (Editor’s note: you can find an easy DIY video for this epic little creation here.) We acted out all the dialogue in different accents. (Zoe is very proud of her Cockney accent.) We’ve listened to audio books together to get her excited, then re-read the book together. We’ve created her own books- writing out different stories with her clever illustrations. There’s easy ready-made books here to use to create your own classics.
Here’s one of my favorite graphic novel kits. One of my favorite experiences with the twin’s 7th grade class was creating their own graphic novels. It’s not particularly expensive and the fun of watching these kids collaborate and create together is one of my most tender memories. They created a super-hero with autism, who could move back and forth in time to solve crimes because “For kids with autism,” said their classmate Jerry, “it’s hard for us to understand time anyway.”
What has worked with your kiddos? What made them finally want to learn to love reading? Share! Discuss! We all need new tips and tricks.
(Image credit: Gage Skidmore)
Kevin Bacon’s Passing Out Blankets At The SLC Rescue Mission. Kevin Bacon was in town for the Sundance Film Festival, and he took a drive down the canyon- not to meet with the “Beautiful People,” but to hand out blankets at the Salt Lake Rescue Mission as part of his ongoing charity, 6Degrees.org. Because he’s awesome like that.
You can hear the whole story here on The Todd and Erin Daily Stream.
New Resolutions Series – The Secrets To Your Success. In our New Resolutions series, if one of yours is building your career, Dan Young from PC Laptops is here to tell you how.
Imagine bringing your son from North Carolina for a holiday visit, and the high altitude here in Utah sparks headaches so violent that a trip to the ER reveals he has brain cancer… just in time for treatment. It’s a miracle. There’s a GoFundMe account raising money for his treatments, you can find it here.
What Do You Do When Things Fall Apart? What do you do when things fall apart? I mean, everything in your life is in pieces? Kirk Bentzgen- owner of the massive Performance Auto- is my favorite story of how to come back when everything looks utterly bleak.
How do you come back from divorce, losing your business, losing your father and getting brain cancer? This man is a hero, and his path back is a great guidebook for all of us struggling with loss. Watch and be inspired.
Need more uplifting stories?
Gentle ways to care for yourself during busy and stressful times- find it here.
Do you know someone who has overcome unimaginable odds to find happiness again? We’d love to talk to them- please email me at Erin@thetoddanderindailystream.com
You Can’t Come Home For Christmas? I’ll Come To You. When you’re new to your position, you get all the “non-popular” shifts, like the holidays. As for flight attendant Pierce Vaughan, she was unfortunately scheduled to work through Christmas Eve and Christmas.
Her dad Hal was not thrilled with this news, and decided that if she couldn’t join the family for Christmas, he would join her. So he mapped out all her flights- six in total- over the two days and booked a seat for each one.
Mike Levy happened to be on the first leg and seated next to Hal. After hearing the whole, sweet story he had to post about it on Facebook. Since then, the story’s been shared tens of thousands of times. Pierce also followed up on social media, since everyone was dying to find out how it all worked out. It was a challenging schedule, and when you’re on a “buddy pass,” like Hal was, you’re one of the first to get bumped if the flight was full. Here’s what she wrote:
“Dad’s first trip using his benefits was a success! A special thanks to all of the patient, wonderful gate agents around the country and my perfect crew. He made it on every flight and even got first class RSW-DTW (Christmas miracle).
Shoutout to Mike Levy for being a great first class passenger & helping us to understand how cool this actually is!”
I’m always filled with happiness when I see a family so devoted to each other.
(Image credit via Flickr: Simpleinsomnia)
5 Fresh Ways To Celebrate New Year’s Eve. Erin here… I have to be honest–years of hosting New Year’s Eve events as a radio “personality” leaves me with a loathing for the Big Drunken Bar Fest. It’s depressing being the only sober one in the room and trying to give away prizes to people too drunk to remember their name, much less read the teeny tiny numbers on their winning tickets. Maybe you’re just looking for something different because you’re different–you’re a mom now, or you’re newly single. Here’s some ideas I found poking around New Year’s Eve celebrations across the globe. (Editor’s note: stop by our Amazon.com page– I’ve picked out affordable options to help you enjoy all of these traditions.)
5 FRESH WAYS TO CELEBRATE NEW YEAR’S EVE
(photo credit: The Style PA)
1. Wear Red Lingerie: In Italy it is considered good luck to wear read underwear and lingerie on New Year’s Eve. It is believed that wearing something red will give you good luck in love and relationships in the year to come.
(photo credit: Peter Mooney)
2. Run: you don’t have to be training for a marathon to want to be stronger and leaner in 2019. What better way to bring in the New Year than while exercising? If you can run outside, bring a group of like minded friends and champagne in the water bottle. My friend Cheryl snow shoes through the forest with her family to greet the New Year in utter, perfect silence.
(photo credit: Charlie G)
3. Jump: in Denmark they have a tradition of climbing onto a chair and jumping off at the stroke of midnight. How about going a little bigger? Jump into a (heated) pool or body of water. Jump without fear into the New Year and all the adventures you’ll bring with it.
(photo credit: Quazle)
4. Get Rid of Loose Ends: one of the many traditions of New Year’s celebrations in Vietnam, is a purging of unfinished business. Return all things you’ve borrowed and pay off any debts you can. Start off the new year with a clean slate.
(photo credit: Chrls Blakely)
5. Burn, Baby Burn: pick up flash paper from a local magic shop or order online from here. Write your worries, troubles, frustrations and things you want to leave behind as you head into the New Year. Light and throw into a big pan or barrel–they flash white light with a very satisfying “whoosh!” as your troubles disappear along with 2018.
Our personal New Year’s Eve tradition? We use sky lanterns-write down a worry or trouble you want to leave behind from 2018, and a new wish or goal for 2019. Your worries fly away to be consumed by the flame-and your wishes are marked down by Fate to come true. (Obligatory warning: we of course check with the local fire department wherever we do this to make sure we’re following local regulations.)
Go For “Good Enough” This Holiday And Be HAPPY! When did the holidays change from “This is GREAT!” to “Oh, I hope I can make it through the holidays.” Probably around the same time we all decided we had to be perfect and only post perfect things we’ve baked, crafted or decorated on social media. Here’s our new challenge: post something imperfect and show that “Good Enough” is great. Here’s a wonderful pep talk from Dr Julie Hanks teaching us how. Make this your happiest holiday yet by embracing imperfection.
Go For “Good Enough” This Holiday. Erin here- as you can see from the picture above, these are my totally feeble Milano Reindeer Cookies- it’s a miracle the cookie company hasn’t emailed me, begging me to not make them look bad. But they were made with my 7 year old Zoe and a lot of… uh… heart. We don’t have to be perfect to be happy for the holidays. I am embracing my imperfections! (Editor’s note: If you still want to try the no-bake Reindeer Cookies, because they really are tasty, find the video and recipe here.)
An Exhaustive List Of Every Christmas Light Show Along The Wasatch Front. I must hate myself. Really. I do this to myself EVERY YEAR, but to my Littles, the light cruises are an indispensable part of the Holidays. We circle city blocks for hours, marveling at the lights and amazing creations that people with more time, money and (clearly) intelligence can put together. Since the only thing it has to cost you is a gallon or two of gas, it’s one of the most affordable options. Here’s a breakdown by county along the Wasatch Front, including the wildly enthusiastic amateurs. You’re welcome.
(Editor’s note: if you’re looking for more ways to instill meaning and fun into the Holidays with the people you love, take a look at our post on “Creating Holiday Traditions” here. And what about taking care of yourself, enjoying the Holidays instead of just “getting through another one,” by checking out our tips here.)
An Exhaustive List Of Every Christmas Light Show Along The Wasatch Front
6-10-pm: Spanish Fork Festival of Lights-runs every night through New Year’s Day. Tickets $7-30.
6:30-10pm: The Christmas Light Cruise on the Provo River-tickets are $8.00, children under 2 free.
5:30-10:30pm: Pond Town in Salem-a sweet light display on the pond at the center of town, free admission. The display runs through 1.2.15
5-10pm: The Shops At Riverwoods-is ablaze with lights through January 1, 2018. There’s carriage rides Friday, Saturday and Monday. Free admission, small charge for the carriage rides.
5-10pm: Provo Town Center-watch the free holiday light and music show through December 31, free admission. 351 W Center St, Provo
5-10:30pm: Christmas in Color– now at the Utah Lake Stake Park – Marina, 4400 Center St, Provo. $25-30 per car- no limit on how many passengers.
The Plucky Non-Professionals UC: free admission
936 S 200 E, Orem: 100,000 lights set to music
Adam says to be sure to hit the Fibernet building in Orem. The building is just East of the University Mall-they’ve added even more lights this year!
Salt Lake County:
5-10pm: The Lights At Temple Square-of course, the Grand MamaJama of all holiday lights is the heart-stopping display at Temple Square. Open seven days a week through December 31, admission is free. Be sure to stop by the reflecting pool.
6-9pm: Candlelight Christmas at This Is The Place State Park-discover the warm glow of a pioneer Christmas with dancing, crafts and a visit with Father Christmas. Dude. Hardcore… Tickets: adults $11, kids $8, children under 2 free. Runs December 8-27 Monday through Saturday, closed 24-25th.
5:30-9pm: Zoo Lights at Utah’s Hogle Zoo-I’m seriously considering putting sunglasses on the kids this year, it’s that wildly colored and bright. Open through December 31st, tickets are $4-6 for members, and $7-5 for non-members.
5-11pm: Light Up The Night At The Gateway Mall-hundreds of thousands of lights. including a wildly rotating color wheel on their gigantic Christmas Tree. Free admission, open through January 2, 2018.
Noon-6pm: Gallivan Center Ice Skating Rink and Light Display-gorgeous neon splashes of color all over the Gallivan Center, plus ice skating and a fire barrel! Check here for sudden closures or schedule changes. Admission to see the lights is free, ice rink is a small fee.
5-10pm: The Lights At Gardner Village-there’s free admission and Elf Hunts! Runs through December 31.
Dusk to 11pm: The “Tree Of Life” is a beautiful addition to the Draper City Park–thousands of white lights that have created kind of a draw for spiritual seekers to the tree. Draper City Park, 12500 South 1300 East.
5:30-11pm: Christmas in Color – a high-tech animated display from the group that creates the Midway Ice Castles. $20 per car on weekdays, $25 on weekends. (No limit to how many per car.) Salt Lake County Equestrian Park, 11161 s 2200 W, South Jordan.
The Plucky Non-Professionals SLC: free admission
Christmas Street: 5400 South 3200 West, Salt Lake City. Best seen on foot.
Christmas Street Sugarhouse: the oldest neighborhood to claim the title here in Utah. Glen Arbor St, Salt Lake City
Christenson & Hymas Light Display: tune your radio to 99.5 for the music that goes with the show. 11693 S. 700 E., Draper
Frosty’s Winter Wonderland: something new goes up every night, slow for a moment and Frosty or one of his kids will trot over to hand you a candy cane. 805 E 18th Ave, Salt Lake City
Lights on Wakefield: if you’d like to donate, they’re raising money for the Mascot Miracles Foundation (pediatric cancer) tune your radio to 87.9fm. 6388 S. Wakefield Way (5885 W.)
6-9pm: Clark Historic Farm, live nativity and luminary walk. Tickets $2 per person, or $1 with food donation.
The Plucky Non-Professionals TC: free admission
Lights on 1310: Sunday-Thursday 6-10pm, Friday-Saturday 6-11pm
Wait! There’s more from the Toole Transcript here.
Dusk-11pm: Layton City Lights In The Park-free admission, open through January 1.
The Plucky Non-Professionals DC: free admission.
1600 S 1100 W, Syracuse: 25 years of light display madness
223 N 1400 W, Clearfield: Christmas lights dance to the music, set your channel to 93.7fm
The Lights On Sherwood Drive: huge display in Kaysville – 5:30-10pm
5-9pm: Ogden’s Christmas Village-free admission, meet with Santa, take a tour of the homes. Crafts, photos with Santa and food available for sale. Runs through December 31.
The Plucky Non-Professionals WC: free admission
Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Exeter Dr, Morgan: admission is free, but they’re asking for donations for Primary Children’s Medical Center if you’re so inclined.
Box Elder County:
5-10pm: Fantasy At The Bay, Willard Bay State Park-my kids LOVE this wonderful display. Take a horse-drawn wagon ride through the lights for free, but PLEASE tip the driver–this sweet man offers the service for free because he doesn’t want any child disappointed. Admission is 50% off on Wednesdays, and get a $1.00 off coupon here. It’s worth the drive. Open through December 31, seven days a week.
The Plucky Non-Professionals BEC: free admission:
The Hooper Holiday House: The Goodrich family is proud to invite you, turn the radio to 90.5 for musical accompaniment.
Tremonton-102 S Tremont St: lights synchronized to music, 5:30-11pm
Heading down south?
St. George has a huge collection of Holiday light displays, and the ambitious Braden with HedgeHog Electric compiled them all for you–it’s part of a fundraising drive for the Southwest Utah Habitat For Humanity. You can find that excellent Holiday map here.
Okay, seriously, I can no longer feel my fingers. I’ve been writing this post for the last 5 hours. Yet, there are more! Be sure to check here for more enthusiastic amateurs. There’s bound to be a house or two near you. I’m sure that there’s great places I’ve missed. Please add your two cents in a comment below. C’mon! It’s for the children…
Wait. What do you mean I’m not Native American? My grandmother always insisted that her mother was Native American- Pawnee, in fact. Grandma also liked to screw with us, so when The Todd and I got our DNA test results, it turns out I have absolutely zero Native American blood. However, I am something else. Which I TOTALLY did not expect.
Ben Lomond High’s student body is protesting a move to keep them from recognizing two deceased students in their graduation ceremony. The Ogden School District does not seem enthusiastic.
Did you know the University of Utah has an eSports Department? And scholarships? And a team? Which is competing on ESPN? (Probably the Ocho.) Also, Lt. Gov Spencer Cox is running for Governor and why calling in dead to work is a bad idea.
Own Your Own Nudist Resort In Paradise! Why bother to visit a nudist resort when you could own one? The world-famous resort in New Zealand is up for grabs at a super low price. Admit it. You’re tempted.
Say you’re sad that your vacation pictures aren’t as cool as everyone else’s. Enter a company that’ll photoshop your family into various magical destinations, so it looks like you’re lounging on a beach in Hawaii or skiing in Switzerland.
Also, chicken casseroles, pictures from Mother’s Day, and yes, we DO have the fastest-growing house prices in the country. Then there’s Utahns and selfies- we take a lot of them. A LOT. Like, more than the rest of the country. Are we that vain? Are our lives just more interesting? Discuss.
(cover image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index…)
I Gave My Mother A Liver Transplant For Mother’s Day. So, when it comes to epic Mother’s Day gifts, Utahn Brandon Finlayson wins. You can never top what this kid gave his mother. We’ll explain.
Now, THIS is the kind of break-in I’d totally support: a woman who broke into a stranger’s house to wash their dishes and tidy the kitchen. The police found her brushing the family dog.
Plus, we are forced to visit a hot new food trend that combines two beloved snacks. And it is vile.
Today’s Tasty Camping Hack- Orange Cinnamon Rolls. Today’s tasty camping hack- Orange Cinnamon Rolls- you will love me for this one.
BTW: if you’re looking for more yummy camping hacks that are easy to cook over a campfire, take a look at our Banana S’more recipe here.
Imagine going to school where there is a milk and cookie bar. I would support this. Speaking of college, there’s a boatload of student debt forgiveness programs that no one seems to be taking advantage of- we’ll tell you where to look. The US Department of Education is a good start- go here. And then stop by The Insitute of Student Loan Advisors here.
Two wonderful Tell Me Something Goods on the show today- one about former inmates who now run a moving company called The Other Side Movers who helped the Pleasant Grove Police move to their new location. The other- about a group of farmers at auction that refused to bid on their neighbor’s property- so that farmer could buy it back. And finally, you have a THREE BILLION DOLLAR nuclear sub- the new pride of the Navy of India. What is the ONE THING you should remember
More Tasty Camping Hacks: Banana S’mores. It’s amazing what you can do with a campfire and a big bunch of marshmallows. And even the most savage camper can be soothed by a tasty S’more. Have a look at the show today! BTW: if you’re all about the S’mores in every tasty variety, try one of our other hacks here.
We have a wonderful Tell Me Something Good about a restauranteur who drops off soup from his place to chemo patients every day on his way home- free of charge and always with a bit of conversation. I’m loving these new Tell Me Something Good stories, because I see people sincerely and deliberately looking for those who might need their help. Maybe not the people who would step up and ask for it, but those for whom a helping hand could mean everything. I’m trying to become one of these people who “sees” where they’re needed.
Meanwhile… the Canyons School District is looking at launching an exciting new program designed to help our kids work through emotional and social challenges that have lead to serious problems in the past.
Apparently, no one taught Nana how to put the safety on her new gun. Grandpa learned this the hard way. #marriagegoals #lifelessons
Camping Hacks! Tasty S’More Hacks For The Campfire. Camping hacks! We’re obsessed with them this week because no camping trip with the Collards is without a pile of hacks that could go horribly, horribly wrong. We’re starting with a tasty new S’mores hack today.
Camping Hacks! Tasty S’More Hacks For The Campfire. BTW: are you searching for more family-friendly spots to take your kids camping? How handy that we have Utah’s five best right here.
Here’s a weird conundrum- the state’s refusing a beverage license for a karaoke place because they’re not defined as “entertainment,” however, the two Axe-throwing venues that have “beverage” licenses apparently are. Huh?
Here’s something to be proud of- two cities in Utah- Ogden and Salt Lake City make the top ten best places for Nude Gardening. Bet you didn’t expect that, eh?
Spoilers for Game of Thrones!
There’s a killer local Game of Thrones spoiler with a great local connection to the University of Utah Red Rocks Gymnastics- turns out who you think killed the Night King didn’t. It’s all explained here.
Taping Erin’s Mouth Shut: No “Avengers: Endgame” Spoilers! Apparently, the only was the Todd think he can keep me from blurting out a spoiler from “Avengers: Endgame” is to tape my mouth shut on the show today. It just might work. We’re discussing an awkward issue- with “Endgame” running over three hours and no one wanting to miss a second, how do you avoid the inevitable potty break?
There’s a very vocal group of foodies who say we’re making our meatballs all wrong. Let’s put that to the test, shall we? Here’s the Todd’s Easy Italian Meatball recipe. BTW: are you looking for some new ways to make old favorites? Try the Todd’s Cajun Stuffed Turkey Wings- the recipe’s here.
Would you want your daughter to play high-school football? There’s a lawsuit underway here in Utah to allow it. What would you tell your daughter to do if a group of boys wouldn’t let her leave the room? One girl’s solution got her expelled. And there’s a clever new real estate enticement for millennials that is actually making them buy a home.
And if you win a multi-million dollar lottery and you used a stolen debit card to buy it, who gets the money?
Robo-Taxis – Would You Ride In a Driverless Car? So your Taxi pulls up and there’s no one at the wheel. Would you still get in? Elon Musk from Tesla says he’ll have over a million “Robo-Taxis” on the road next year.
In our new segment “Stuff People Sent Us To Try,” we try out the new board game “5 Second Rule” with the additional challenge of being the “Uncensored” version. Like the regular game wasn’t hard enough… You can find both versions here.
Did you know there’s a legal percentage here in Utah for lawn covering your front yard? Who knew? And that you can be fined for not having said lawn percentage? Also, a cool new treasure hunt in your spare change, brain implants that turn thought into words and LeBron James – yes, the NBA player – is creating a whole new way to reach “unsaveable” kids.
TAKE MY MONEY! Krispy Kreme Is Making Nutella-Filled Doughnuts! Nothing this exciting has happened since they figured out that peanut butter and chocolate taste great together. Now… Krispy Kreme Doughnuts are being made with Nutella in the middle! They’re not available here yet so we’re going to do it for you.
Also, a new “What moms really want for Mother’s Day” list is out. Let’s read it together and laugh, shall we? My favorite is the one where they mention how much housework moms do, then suggests taking her away for the afternoon and then… what? Bringing her back to the filthy house? AGH! What about cleaning the house for her? (BTW: if you’re looking for a Mother’s Day package Mom would really like- click here to enter The Gateway’s giveaway- nearly $1,000 worth of jewelry, pampering, clothes, dinner, concert tickets… it’s spectacular.)
Nothing to be proud of, but the American Lung Association has released their annual report for terrible air, and we’re 18th in the nation. Our air here along the Wasatch Front is worse than Chicago.
TAKE MY MONEY! Krispy Kreme Is Making Nutella-Filled Doughnuts! Sorry… I just needed to say that again…
Donovan Mitchell from the Utah Jazz has been an amazing addition to the team- and such a great philanthropist in the community here. He’s up for an award from the NBA- if he wins, he gets a $25,000 cash prize to donate to community charities. You can vote here. Vote! Vote often! To vote for Mitchell, tweets using the hashtags #NBACommunityAssist and #DonovanMitchell or @spidamitchell. or on Jebbit.com.
(Image credit: Frenchieinportland)
Tacos In A Can – How Disgusting Can It Be? Yeah, so The Todd is obsessed with the alluring new promise of “tacos in a can.” So, we’re trying it. Whether I want to or not.
Plus, just to make sure I feel guilty about excusing that extra baby weight, we have the story of an “Extreme Runner” mom who fits in nursing her newborn in the middle of her 250-mile run. Yeah. 250 miles
About Todd & Erin
Twenty years of marriage, three kids, an emotionally needy Portuguese waterdog and the long-running Todd and Erin Show - we're about as Utah as you can get. The Todd is the master DIY genius that might save you or sink the boat. Erin is the Comic Con regular with celebrity chats and film and entertainment news. Be sure to enter our weekly $100.00 gift card giveaway - everyone deserves a little extra luxury in their lives, and we're here to give it to you, missy! Stick around, let's be friends. Life is good here!