This and That

By Maria Lichty

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1. New Year’s resolutions are great. I am all about self improvement and constantly working on one’s self to be a better person, but I never make food or weight related resolutions. Maybe next year! Here is how I brought the new year in.

2. We had all of the Dixon siblings. the kids, and Papa here for the New Year. We had such a blast. It made me hope that one day we can all live close to each other. We have such great family.

3. January weather in Salt Lake is the worst. It’s not because it is cold, I actually love the cold, but we have the worst inversion in January. It’s like cellophane is placed over the mountains and we are stuck in bad pollution and fog. It’s dreary in the valley and sunny in the mountains and we have lots of red alert days where it’s not recommended to go outside. I hope February gets here fast.


1. We are struggling to get back to our normal routine. We had a house full of family for about a week and it was so much fun. I think Caleb is bored with just mom and dad. He misses everyone and so do we! The holidays always go by too quickly.

2. My dad babysat Caleb one night so Josh and I could go on a date. We went to see Les Miserables. We both loved it. Go see it!

3. Our New Year’s Eve was pretty quiet. We stayed home with the kiddos and had an ice cream party! It was fun sampling all of the different Haagen-Dazs flavors! The Caramel Cone is out of this world amazing! The Coconut  Macaroon, Salted Caramel Truffle, and Spiced Caramel Biscuit were also favorites. I woke up with an ice cream hangover:)

4. My dad bought me new running shoes for Christmas! I love my green Brooks! I have already broken them in-I needed to after all of that ice cream:) I have only used them on our elliptical though. The temperature has been around 10 degrees in the mornings. That is too cold for me! I am a baby when it comes to the cold, even if I am bundled up. I hope it warms up a bit so I can test them out on the road.

5. I might not be the biggest fan of the snow and cold, but look at this view! Salt Lake City sure is gorgeous!

6. And I will get a little break from the frigid temperatures because we are going to HAWAII in January! Yahoo! We are going to Maui for 6 days and 5 nights! We are staying at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea for 3 nights and 2 nights at the Fairmont Kea Lani Maui. We’ve never been to Hawaii before and are beyond excited. If you have any recommendations for us, please share in the comments-things to do, places to eat, etc. Thanks!

7. I want to stuff my face with these Garlic and Herb Stuffed Brussels Sprouts.

8. I am still trying to find the perfect boots. I am currently obsessed with these boots. Should I buy them? I need your fashion advice!

9. I know it’s the new year and we are supposed to be eating healthy, but I really want to hide in the corner with a pan of these brownies. They look divine!

10. And if you are trying to eat healthier in 2013-High 5! We posted 75 Healthy Recipes to Kick Off 2013 to help you out. I promise the recipes don’t taste like cardboard. They are delish!

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. Hi Maria! I’m really trying to be healthy too – but I just made cookies again last night lol! Thanks for linking up to my chocolate covered pretzel peanut butter brownies! I’m visiting Salt Lake City this year with my boyfriend for a wedding in March and I am SO excited. It’s so gorgeous there. So jealous of your green brooks! My pink ones have seen better days.

  2. I got new running shoes to and am dying to break them in outside. I hate treadmill running. I hope this inversion is gone soon. Its depressing. I cant help you on the hawaii part. Im going to oahu in fall. So excited!! Have fun and cant wait to hear about your trip!

  3. Your shoes look so fun. They would make me want to work out. However I would be inside for sure. I hate the cold.

  4. Buy the boats!! I have been on a major boot kick!! I just bought a pair of Jessica Simpson brown boots from Macy’s! Love them!!! However if your going to Hawaii, you need to be on the lookout for flip flops and sandals!! You both enjoy your week, and oh and how the new year was brought in with chips, cheese and salsa, it’s perfect!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. I’m with you Josh! I usually try to make an out of the box goal. This year its to give more. I’m giving blood every 8 weeks. All of those ice cream flavors sound yummy. LOVE the shoes. SO cute.

  6. When I traveled to Maui my family downloaded the app called “Maui Revealed” – it’s like having an interactive tour book on your smartphone. It was extremely helpful!

  7. Lucky you on the Hawaii trip! I’m sure you will love it. And I agree – buy the boots! Love them! And my mom and I saw Les Mis over the break – absolutely phenomenal!

  8. Love those boots, can’t go wrong with Aldo in my opinion! I have three pairs from there ๐Ÿ™‚

    Lucky you, Maui is incredible. Enjoy!

  9. Sounds like a great NYE, especially with all that Haagen Dazs!! Wailea is amazing with a fantastic beach to go to! You’ll have serious fun!

  10. Get the Maui Revealed book by Andrew Doughty. It is considered the “bible” when it comes to traveling to the Hawaiian islands. Our favorite restaurant in Maui was a place called Pacific’O in Lahaina. Get a reservation on the outside deck around sunset. Mama’s Fish House was another yummy place for dinner (near the start of the Road to Hana). For an off-the-beaten-path restaurant, go to A Saigon Cafe near the Iao Needle. Have fun!

  11. Brooks are my FAVORITE running shoes…I’m jealous of your neon green color! New shoes are on my list once I have recovered from my Christmas spending spree. And cute boots under $200? GO FOR IT! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Eat at Mama’s Fish House at start of Road to Hana at sunset. One of my top 3 dining experiences: great food, service and ambiance

    Check out the decor in both bathrooms. The men’s was well done with model airplanes and old WWII pin ups

  13. Go to Kihea for breakfast, it’s right around the corner from Wailea. Kihea Cafe is the name of it….they have GREAT pancakes ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Maui Revealed. Everything they recommended was superb! From restaurants to shows to diving company. Wish I was going!

  15. Maui is amazing, have fun! I second the rec for the Maui Revealed book.

    Definitely drive the Road to Hana. The views are spectactular. Plan on leaving early in the day.

    Mama’s Fish House is delicious.

    Haleakala Crater is also worth the curvy drive up to the top.

    If possible, rent a convertible and put the top down. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. I can not recomend highly enough the Halimali general store. It’s in up country and its s seasonal fresh ingredients resturant. Also there is an amazing lavender farm that does lunches and tours. If you enjoy snorkeling the boat trip to Molokai crater is fun.

    In the past we have also enjoyed kayaking with turtles, helicopter sightseeing, hiking the swinging bridges and always swimming in the ocean.

  17. Thanks for linking the 75 healthy recipes; they’re getting pinned and hoping to use some in my menu planning. Yum! We’ve got big weight loss goals this year, but my teenage daughter and her cousin are not helping. They baked cookies one night, and caramel corn the next. Argh! Happy new year!!!

  18. So jealous – been to Maui for the past two years during the Iowa winter! You’ve gotten good suggestions so far. We also loved Monkeypod Kitchen and Pita Paradise in Wailea. Go snorkeling at Molokini crater. I’m not a fan of snorkeling to begin with, but loved it. I’m sad I’m not going ๐Ÿ™

  19. Hawaii…. my favorite spot! I’ve been there 6 times, twice each with 3 different friends. I’ve stayed at the Kea Lani – beautiful!
    One thing you need to see is Haleakala at sunrise. You and Josh might enjoy the bike ride down – I’ve never done that but it’s so worth the 3am drive up to see the sunrise at 10000 feet! Only once in 6 trips was it not gorgeous, so we waited a day and went back and it was beautiful. You can hike on the way down, as the sun is up by then, and then go back to the hotel for a nap! You can do Hana (another must-see) in the same day – did that once – wouldn’t recommend it, as it’s way too long of a day with such an early start, but if you have the time it’s another gorgeous trip! Hairpin curves and lots of one way bridges, but hikes along the route and gorgeous waterfalls, and once you get there the waterfalls are even more impressive.

    Lucky you to get to go!

  20. We honeymooned in Maui and it is amazing. I would recommend the hike in the national park and Mama’s Fish House was definitely our favorite meal. Everything we ate there as fantastic so you can’t go wrong, even in the small not-so-touristy places that were recommended by staff. [I would recommend asking random hotel staff and shop attendants for food recommendations, I can’t remember all of the places we went but we had some great lunches off of their suggestions!]

  21. Hawaii?? I’m so jealous! I’ve never been either, but I imagine you’ll find plenty of things to do and have a great time!

  22. Maui is my favorite place in the world! We live on Oahu (I am actually laying on the beach as I write this) and we have spent lots of time on Maui. Get the book and/or app called Maui Revealed. If you want to email me I can give you a list of our favorite things there.

  23. I have never seen brussels sprouts stuffed like that! I must try it next time I see them at the store!

  24. Enjoy Hawaii! My parents have been there many times and just spent 3 months there this past year. I am getting the sense they may move there one day. ๐Ÿ™‚ When I was in the travel industry, I sent clients to both of those resorts. They are fabulous and offer exceptional service. You are in for a real treat!

  25. I love the boots. You should definately get them. I have been on a boot buying kick lately…..2 tall pairs, 1 mid calf pair and 4 ankle pairs!!!! Help I have to stop.

  26. The coconut macaroon is so so yummy!!
    So jealous of your Hawaii trip! How completely exciting!

  27. We will be in Maui on January also. We will be there from the 22- feb 5. It will be humpback whale season when you go, make sure to book a blue water rafting trip, they leave out of kehei harbor right next to wailea. Also, the wailea resort has a great luau show. Also if you have time do the road to Hana, it’s worth it for all the beautiful waterfalls.

  28. I second the recommendations about Maui Revealed. It is an invaluable tool while you are there. My husband and I honeymooned in the Hawaiian Islands in December 2007 and had so much fun. There was actually a freak winter storm while we were on Maui and lots of the island lost power, trees down, roads closed, etc., which prevented us from doing a lot of the things on our schedule. But we made the most of it!

    Definitely do the road to Hana; lots of little places to explore all along there. Maui Revealed will help with that. We wanted to do the sunrise bike tour of Haleakala but the weather cancelled that on us. ๐Ÿ™ However, that sounds like something you and Josh would love.

    We also loved Pacific O’s, so definitely go there, and A Saigon Cafe was pretty good too. We ate at a place called Da Kitchen in Kihei our first night there; a true hole in the wall but the authentic local-style food was really good. If you or Josh like beer, we really liked the Fish and Game Brewing Company. Try the Coconut Porter, my fave!

    You MUST NOT MISS a trip to the Ali’i Kuli Lavender Farm in Kula. The intoxicating smell hits you as soon as you open your car door and the scenery is breathtaking. The Tedeschi Winery is also close to the lavender farm and may be worth a stop.

    Also take a walk along the Wailea beach path, which you should be able to access from both of your hotels. And we had fun spending an afternoon exploring the tide pools at La Perouse Bay. Winter is also the best time of year for whale watching, best done at MacGregor Point. You could also take a day trip to nearby Lanai Island or snorkel/SCUBA at Molokini Crater, neither of which we were able to do because of the weather. ๐Ÿ™

    Y’all are going to have SO much fun! Have a wonderful trip; I can’t wait to relive the island through you!

  29. My husband and I went to Maui for our honeymoon. Like everyone else said, “Maui Revealed” is definitely a good source to use while you’re there!! I would definitely recommend going on the Road to Hana. We also loved going to Lahaina to eat at Genki Sushi. It’s a cute Japanese place where the sushi comes on little floating boats that circle around the tables…it’s adorable, AND you get to choose what you want!

    Hope this helps! =)

  30. I went to Maui a year ago with my parents. We did *not* do the Road to Hana, but there are a lot of other things to do as well!

    We loved the Flatbread Company in Paia and ended up eating there twice:

    There was a gelato place about a block or so away…umm…don’t buy gelato and go outside in Hawaii unless you want a melted sticky MESS. (It was windy too – gross!)

    I went ziplining for the first time and loved it! I can’t remember the name of the company, but it was the one that’s platform to platform (you don’t go down to the ground between zips) and more in the trees/forest. Oh, I just checked the locations I starred on Google Maps – I think it was this company:

    We went down on the Atlantis submarine – very cool and got some great pics.

    I went horse back riding for the first time ever, which for me was a lot scarier than the ziplining! (You don’t know what your horse might do!!) I went with this company out on their ranch: I should note that this is not “horseback riding on the beach” but there were still beautiful views.

    We also went on a dinner cruise for our last night, which was great, only – once the sun set it was really dark…and the weather wasn’t *awesome* for us that night. Still fun though.

    We mad all of the arrangements for these activities through our hotel. They had one of those activity orientation meetings our first morning there.

    OH!!! I also searched and found any local craft fairs that would be happening while we were there. We discovered Maui Macaroons at one and loved them! It inspired me to make my own macaroons once we got back which are so simple and delicious, but MM has some fun flavors that are worth trying. Plus they keep and travel well if you want to bring some back!

    Have a great time!

  31. I echo everyone’s comments on the Maui revealed book, totally worth its weight in gold. Based on their recommendations, the best shave ice is in Lahaina called “Local Boys West.” Get the Lava Flow which is pina colada with strawberry. Its THE best. Maui is awesome, you’ll have a great time! We went on a helicopter tour and saw a mother whale and her calf, much better view than a boat! Can’t wait to see all the tropical inspired recipes you’ll post when you get home. ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. We went to Maui for our honeymoon – loved it!

    You must go to Ululani’s for Shaved Ice – it was the best – they have the best flavors and its simply amazing. And they’ll add more syrup if you need.

    Aloha Mixed Plate is a good place for lunch or a casual (and super reasonably priced) lunch.