Copenhagen city guide

I’ve been wanting to share my favorite Copenhagen tips for years now and I don’t know how it’s taken 9 years to do so. Wait, yes, I do! Consider it one of those “never a tourist in your own city” moments, meaning, I experienced it all, just never wrote it all down in one concise list. Well, thanks for your patience! I’ve received numerous emails over the years asking for my recommendations and I’ve given them out, but I always thought that I needed an extra “oomph” to get it out into the world. That extra oomph was our recent trip to Denmark visiting family and revisiting some of my favorite haunts. Guess what? They still hold up! And they’re amazing.

If you’re planning a trip to Denmark, here’s what you MUST do:

Mexico City Guide

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Growing up in Southern California, Mexican food was a staple and Spanish was second nature. I had briefly visited Mexico back when you didn’t need a passport, but I’m embarrassed to say that I really didn’t know much about the thriving culture that is Mexico. I mean, I wasn’t hiding under a rock and I knew and had witnessed many aspects, but until you live it and see it at its best, it’s really tough to comprehend how thriving a culture really is.

Abby Clawson Low, a designer whose work I’ve admired for ages, moved to Mexico City a few years ago and documented her adventures (you can check out her Instagram here and here) and I couldn’t help but gawk at every image. She revealed a side to it that I didn’t knew existed. She brought it to life! She recently released a book about it called This is Mexico City and it inspired me to finally make a visit just in time for her book signing. Along with former Mexico City resident and Utah Valley tamale maker expert, Nadia Coates of Casa Palomi, and my good friends Meta Coleman and Chaunte Vaughn, we hit up Mexico City with two babies and lived to tell about it.

I call our experience an “Ode to Barragan” because the focus of our trip was discovering the work of Luis Barragan. I am forever changed!

Here’s what to see, what to eat, and what to do in Mexico City! Lars approved!

Lars’ Must Sees in New York City

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New YorkI had the opportunity to go to New York last month for work and lucky for me, I got to go back for round two this past weekend! New York is one of my favorite places in the world and I will never pass up an opportunity to explore the big apple. Baby J accompanied me on both trips, and though it slowed my usual pace, there’s nothing sweeter than seeing faces light up once a baby is around. It can melt even the crustiest of hearts (see my story below!). I felt so empowered to find that I could still visit my favorite places with a baby.

You may be thinking: “Brittany, how do you get around New York of all places with a BABY?” Well, thanks to Uber, we were able to navigate the city seamlessly. It can be done! And today I’m giving you a rundown of my favorite shops, restaurants, and sights of New York so you can start planning your own trip. And whether you have a baby, traveling solo, or a whole gang of girls, Uber’s new On-Time Pickups Guarantee is sure to make your trip stress-free.

New York

Our France itinerary

It’s been a few weeks since our trip to France and as we’ve been cooking on all 4 cylinders since, what with the One Room Challenge and all of our holiday content, not to mention some upcoming big projects (stay tuned!), but I’ve now hunkered down to share our itinerary because if you ever get to the chance to plan a trip to France I’d highly recommend so many things that we did. They took my breath away. I mean, look at my face here! That’s the look of pure joy (and it’s all staged because we’re pulled off to the side of the road 😉 )  Because we were there for a wedding, it took us to a part of the country that I’ve always wanted to go to but hadn’t prioritized yet. It was a life-long dream really.

Instead of creating a comprehensive Paris guide, I’m just noting a few bucket list items that may or may not be the Eiffel Tower. You can find those in all tour books. These are worth it, but not mentioned as often. Here we go!

Best Baby shops in Paris

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Baby shop tour of Paris As you might be well aware by now because I have tendency to deluge you with travel photos and Instastories, I was in France for two weeks last month for my brother-in-law’s wedding. We planned our trip so we’d have a bit of exploration time, because you can’t just go to France and not soak in all the magic, right? At the time of our booking I wasn’t pregnant, but once we found out that the little guy is on his way, I thought it would be great fun to dedicate a couple of days to baby shopping in Paris. In fact, when I was there last year for a conference, my friend Anne of Pret a Voyager, took me to a number of beautiful baby shops, which at the time were so inspiring, but not relevant to my life.
This time around, I put in hours of online research to identify the best ones and a number of Parisian friends stepped in to offer their advice. Thank goodness for an insider’s view! Paul and I ended up spending 2 1/2 days walking around the city exploring beautiful shops and feeling so lucky we got to be there during such a beautiful time of the year. I was 7 months pregnant and all of a sudden the aches and pains that everyone talked about of pregnancy became my reality, though I’m sure walking for 10-12 hours a day had something to do with it. We decided that we need to come back annually to repeat the process…and perhaps stay for a number of months 😉 Baby shop tour of Paris

The installations of Chateau Chaumont

LES PIERRES ET LE PRINTEMPSI just got back from the most glorious trip to France (actually sitting in the airport on our last leg now!) for 10 days and I can’t tell you how many miracles happened to make it such a particularly memorable experience. Well, miracles combined with a lot of poor customer service, but that’s par for the course, I suppose. I hope you were able to follow along on Instagram and Instastories because I did a lot of documenting. A lot. But don’t worry, I’ll be more thorough here on the blog. Lucky you 😉

Flower Power festival at chateau ChaumontI wanted to start with one of the most magical experiences of the trip: Chateau Chaumont. We went to France to attend the wedding of Paul’s brother who lives in Denmark and got married to a lovely lady from the Loire region. I had done a ton of research on which chateaux to visit as we’d have a car for the first portion of our trip thanks to our friends at AutoEurope so we planned a road trip for the days prior to the wedding staring out in Brittany and Normandy and then working our way down. I knew we’d have a bit of sight-seeing time around the wedding celebrations, but, like all travel schedules, time is way more limited than you think it’s going to be–gah! The day of the wedding was one such example. We had about two hours to go do something before we had to get ready for the town hall wedding in Onzain. Instead of the chateaux I had researched, I looked on the map and noticed one just across the river–because that’s what happens when you are in chateau-land–chateaux just appear out of nowhere. We popped over and what do you know? There’s a Flower Power Festival. You can imagine my excitement. 

Las Vegas City Guide

Illustrated Downtown Las Vegas City map

I grew up visiting Las Vegas WAY more than I ever wanted to. Being from Southern California, it was always a practical pit stop on our way to other destinations. Admittedly, it’s a welcome sight after miles of thirsty desert, and for a child it’s a fantastical Disneyland of sorts. But you get into walking the strip and realize, “hey wait a minute, there’s something odd about this city of neon lights and magic shows” (alas, it may have something to do with the hundreds of naked girl fliers being passed out by men flicking them in their hands). After an unfortunate experience with my family involving not reserving a hotel for the night and ending up at a trucker motel in North Vegas and finding a surprise in the bathroom (hint: it’s not what a 10 year old should be seeing and no, it was not a dead body), I swore off Sin City. 

However, since moving to Utah it has since become the closest destination with some sort of entertainment component and I LOVE staying in hotels so we’ve been discovering the city more and more and you know what? There is WAY more than meets the eye. I recently met illustrator Abbie Paulhus who introduced me to the lesser-known and totally rad side of Las Vegas and today she’s sharing her favorite spots along with this beautifully illustrated map.

I’m so excited to get to share about this because I’m so passionate about people seeing that there’s more to Vegas than just the strip and “sin city”. Here are my favorite spots in the arts district of Downtown Las Vegas:

Cuba Travel Guide Part 1: logistics

Havana, Cuba travel guideI’ve been giving some sneak peeks away of our trip to Cuba over the past few weeks and it’s been so interesting hearing your reactions. Most are floored that we (Americans) could even go and others have mentioned that you are anxiously awaiting a travel guide because they are planning their trip too. After our experience, there is a lot we were really pleased about and other things we would have done differently.

I’m breaking the guide into two parts. One part for logistics on how to travel to and around Cuba and the other for things to see and do. I don’t normally provide traveling logistics, but because Cuba is still rather unknown to Americans, information was somewhat hard to find.

Let’s dig in.

Cuba coloring pages

Brace yourselves, because I’m going to be talking about our trip to Cuba for awhile! We took a team trip to Cuba two weeks ago, mostly Havana, and a quick trip to Trinidad as well with a special purpose in mind. I’ll be revealing more about our special purpose soon, but I thought I’d start with a few coloring pages. It’s a great time to visit as flights are super cheap. We found ours for $250 each!  I’ll be sharing a travel guide soon so stay tuned.

About 5% of Cubans have Internet and even then it’s on dial-up so it’s slow and shaky. I knew wi-fi would be hard to find, but I wasn’t prepared for such a scarcity. I thought it might be easy to pop into an Internet cafe and tell my family I was alive, but that was not the case. And somehow instead of finding the break relaxing I found it to be a bit unnerving. But, all is well and I’m alive to write about it. #problemsofablogger Instead of Internet while you’re down there, might I suggest printing these out prior to your trip to color as your traveling entertainment. There are three to choose from.

Guide to Provo, Utah

Guide to Provo Utah

This post has been a long time in the making, folks. I’ve been wanting to do a feature on Provo, Utah, where I’ve now lived for three years, but as you know, it takes awhile to feel situated and like you’ve been able to experience a lot in your town. I’m a terrible social planner. But I know you’ve been on the edge of your seat waiting for it to come out, so so sit back, it’s time to explore everyone’s top bucket list location, Provo, Utah. AND, good news, while you’re traveling to get here, you can color it in with this handy dandy coloring page. See download below.

I first lived in Provo as a student over 15 years ago and it has changed so much! Back then I didn’t have a car so I didn’t really know what I was missing out on, but even in the three years we’ve now lived here, it’s changed dramatically. There’s a horde of tech companies moving here as well as company headquarters and offices as well as a thriving music, art, and social media influencer scene. Ha! I don’t know if that’s the proper term for it, but I don’t know how else to phrase the YouTubers and bloggers who reside or have come out of Provo or Utah in general. For some reason, there are a LOT!

Provo City Guide and coloring page

Provo is a popular destination for Mormons, and being Mormon, I often get asked where to eat, where to stay, what to do. I also find that a lot of people from the North take the Utah I-15 route to go South to see Utah’s great national parks: Bryce, Zion, Arches to name a few. Utah is a gorgeous state and there’s a lot to see, especially if you love nature. I love looking at nature, but admittedly, I’m not the biggest nature go-getter. I prefer to mosey really.

Provo City Guide and coloring page

Provo is about 40 minutes south of Salt Lake City, and one of the last cities before you travel south down to the national parks and further south. For that reason, it’s another popular stop along the way. Being a university, there’s more diversity than you’d expect and a lot of interesting people. I’ve found that a lot of people are moving here from all ways of life and I love that it feels more and more diverse. After living in major cities for the last decade before moving here, I was expecting it to feel more small town and I’m so pleased with the direction it’s going. There’s more and more rad things to do and people are really latching onto it and making it their own.

Provo City Guide and coloring page

Many of the residents here are, as you might expect, Mormon and with that comes a lot of unique living patterns. For example, Mormons don’t drink alcohol so the preferred vice of choice is soda and sweets. Thus, a thriving soda and sweets scene is prevalent. Never heard of such a thing? Neither had I! But the NY Times caught hold of it when a lawsuit went down between two competing soda places. Food for thought. Pun intended.

Here we go!

TO EAT

Lars Top 12. Warning: there’s a LOT of pizza choices. Mostly because they are the best ones and not necessarily because I only love pizza.

  1. Bruges. MY FAVORITE fries in the world. I love them. AND they come with various sauces for dipping (my favorites are the lemon pepper dill and greens). NOT TO MENTION, their delicious waffles. The Lars favorite: liege waffle, creme fraiche, and strawberries on Waffle Tuesday ($2 waffles).
  2. El Gallo Giro. I love me some Mexican and this is my favorite in the area. It’s authentic and they’ve got some delicious fresh juices (unlimited refills!). 
  3. Communal is perhaps the only restaurant in the area where you’d go for a really nice meal. There aren’t too many options for a date night that’s not cafeteria style and this one is nice for the farm-to-table aspect. I find that they have a very stable menu, which means that we don’t go too often because it often feels like there’s not too much change. Their chicken is delicious. 
  4. Black Sheep a fun spot for Native American/Mexican/Southwestern fushion. They’re known Navajo tacos but personally I love their hog jowl tacos and buffalo nickel burger best. Get their cactus pear lemonade for the whole table.
  5. Station 22 is a great place to bring out of towners because of the great ambiance. It’s a Southern-inspired cuisine and the decor reflects that. They’ve got a large selection of old-fashioned sodas, in true Provo fashion.
  6. Slab. I love Slab SO much. A “slab” is basically two pieces of pizza put together. I LOVE the rosemary potato bacon. I get it every time, but they have so many options that I should try.
  7. Pizzeria 712. YUM!
  8. Cafe Rio is a Utah chain but there’s a reason it’s spreading. Two words: pork salad.
  9. Ginger’s Garden Cafe is located in Springville, just south of Provo. It’s right by our studio. It’s all healthy and good. Delicious smoothies. Plus, afterwards, you can take a yoga class.
  10. Nicoitalia. Good take-out pizza.
  11. Good Thyme is a cafeteria style restaurant intended for work lunches, but it’s farm-to-table and good.
  12. Terra Mia pizza. Another delicious pizza place.
  13. Owl Bar at Sundance.

Other yummy eats:

  • Bombay House. It’s not my favorite Indian in the world, but most people around town think it’s the best. 
  • Treehouse Room at Sundance for a fancier meal.
  • Brasas. Yummy Mexican. Plus, they let you try everything before you buy it.
  • Foodtruck round up. All the food trucks in the area come together every Thursday. Fun vibe, although I wish they had more seating options. 
  • Kolaches. A Czech pastry that come in savory or sweet. 
  • CupBop. Korean bbq. Good for variety. 
  • JDawgs : hot dog, JDawgs sauce bottle *
  • Malawi’s Pizza.
  • Aubergine. Delicious healthy food. 
  • Art City Trolley. Restaurant inside the iconic Springville trolley. 
  • Roll it up. I had a delicious experience there when they changed chefs last year. So delicous.
  • Guru’s 
  • Cubby’s. I love their tri-tip salad.
  • 180 Tacos 
  • Bam Bam’s BBQ
  • Waffle Love
  • Mountain West Burrito. They used to have one located closer to our house, and I thought that one was better. It just hasn’t felt the same since. 
  • Straptank Brewery. I haven’t actually been, but it’s brand new in Springville and I’ve heard good things. Plus, the building and vibe is rad.

TREATS

DRINKS (the non-alcoholic kind)

  • Pop n’ Sweets. Old time soda and candy from all over the world.
  • Swig/Sodalicious. I’m not much of a soda fan (or anything with syrup) but locals love them. Which one is better? I have no idea. Try one of each and make the choice yourself.
  • Mend Juicery. Delicious juices and popsicles.
  • Ivie Juice Bar

TO DO:

  • Sundance. I always take visitors to Sundance. It’s cozy and beautiful. They have zip lines, ski lift rides, skiing. Plus a number of workshops and classes. It’s beautiful.
  • Sunriver Gardens. My favorite nursery in the area. Lovely plant collection and setting and fun gift shop. They even have workshops and such.
  • Velour. Provo has a surprising number of successful bands that have made it big and they typically start here.
  • Rooftop concert series. Every first Friday during the summer the city gathers to hear some of the best at this free concert. 
  • Foodtruck round up. Every Thursday.
  • Provo farmer’s market. Every Saturday in Pioneer Park.
  • Quarry Climbing. To be honest, I have NO experience with this. Ha! But maybe you’d like it.
  • Hiking: Provo Canyon, Rock Canyon, Squaw Peak. Well, everywhere really.
  • BYU MOA. I interned there in college! Great exhibitions and collection.
  • Harmony classes. The best local craft classes. 
  • Beehive Bazaar, Bijou Market, 3 Dotters Vintage  and other markets. Spread throughout the year. Look at their calendar to see when they are.
  • Provo Beach Resort. It’s the closest thing we have to California. 
  • Movies in the park (rock canyon) 
  • Springville Museum of Art. This is the site of my very first internship. I made the museum newsletter. It was my first exposure to InDesign.
  • Soap Factory 
  • Riverwoods. If you need some retail therapy.
  • Float the provo river
  • Color Festival in Spanish Fork.
  • Utah Lake (rent at outdoors unlimited)
  • Crandall Printing Museum: printing press
  • Thanksgiving Point: Visit for tulip season!
  • Stadium of Fire: Biggest 4th of July celebration in existence. At least it feels like it. It’s so closet to my house it’s a little too close for comfort.
  • Provo City Center temple is brand new and beautiful. Lovely for a walk around. It used to be the old Provo Tabernacle and was burned down in 2011 and recently completed as an LDS temple. 
  • Provo temple. The older 60s temple. A peaceful walk around.
  • Movies 8. $1 theaters!
  • Classic Fun Center. You know I’m all about the skating. Here’s where to go.
  • BYU campus.

SHOPS

HOTELS

There aren’t too many hotel situations in Provo. You have to go outside a bit for something really scenic and pretty.

Provo guide and coloring page

DOWNLOAD the Provo coloring page here. 

I’m sure I’ve missed some. What are YOUR favorites?

Stay tuned, I’ll be doing more city guides including nearby Utah cities like Salt Lake and Park City.

Don’t miss our Guide to Colorful Walls in Utah Valley and Salt Lake 

Photos by Anna Killian 

Lars Bucket List Trip: Carl and Karin Larsson’s home in Sundborn, Sweden

carl larsson's house

larsson home

There are certain places in the world that mark your memory and change your vision of the world. Visiting Carl Larsson’s home in Sundborn, Sweden was one of those places. Sadly, when I visited a few years ago, I didn’t take great pictures, and you’re not allowed to take pictures inside. BUT! Lars contributor, Meta Coleman, captured it on a recent trip and documented some lovely details and wrote about her experience. Her story kicks off a new series called Lars Bucket List Trips where every now and again I’ll share places to add to your bucket list. Perhaps they’ll inspire you too. 

As a child I had a large Carl Larsson print in my room. It was of a girl sitting in her bedroom holding a tulip. I felt very connected to that little girl and to the beautiful day to day family life painted by Carl Larsson.

Guide to Spring City, Utah

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Guide to Spring City, Utah

A few weeks ago I was invited to go down to Spring City with some friends to celebrate Pioneer Day, a state holiday here in Utah. We were guided around the town by Spring City native, Zina Bennion, whose family settled there in the 70s and helped turn it into the artist destination that it is today. Zina is a wealth of knowledge about many things but especially about Utah history and artists as both of her parents are well-respected artists and she grew up immersed in that community. Today, we are lucky to hear the full guide to Spring City.

And you might be wondering why you even need to know about this little town in Nowheresville, Utah. I would have wondered the same thing before visiting. Guys, this place is a little piece of magic. Only this town and Williamsburg, VA are listed as complete towns on the national history registry. and Forbes listed it as one of the top prettiest towns in America. And I had never even heard of it until a few months ago. We need to change that people!

We’re releasing the guide today just in time for Labor Day, when the annual Artist’s Studio tour and plein air competition takes place. If you haven’t made Labor Day plans yet, I’d strongly suggest going!

So, without further ado, here’s Zina!