Christmas at Grand America

This past weekend we had the pleasure of staying at Salt Lake City’s Grand America Hotel and attending their Christmastime tradition of Breakfast with Santa with our families! You don’t need to be a hotel guest to enjoy all the Grand has to offer, which we loved. If you’re local or planning on traveling nearby for the Holidays, here’s a quick summary of what you can look forward to!

Christmas at Grand America

The Grand America is the only AAA rated 5 Star hotel in the city, and with a pedigree of that rank, we weren’t sure how it would be with our… energetic boys in tow.

Christmas at Grand America

When we checked in, we were amazed to find cribs waiting (for those who still use them!) and when left for dinner and returned for bedtime, we each had a bedtime story “Maurice on Holiday”, plate of warm cookies and milk on ice to share.

Christmas at Grand America

We also felt right about home on this particular weekend because families are everywhere you turn! Touring the Holiday window displays, peeking at the giant Victorian Gingerbread House shopping the flawless Jou Jou Hotel Toy Store, listening to the live Jazz band and sipping cocoa (get the Coconut Almond!) in the lounge. There is a feeling of festivity in the air that you can almost taste!

Christmas at Grand America

Each of the Grand’s many display windows have been transformed into Winter scenes, they have am “Eye Spy” scavenger hunt card that the boys loved walking from window to window checking things off their list.

Christmas at Grand AmericaThen on Saturday morning we surprised them with the breakfast of a lifetime! While they got to pick from chocolate chip pancakes, brioche french toast, an omelette bar, fresh fruit, every kind of smoothie and parfait, we had butterflies knowing any moment Santa would walk in!
Christmas at Grand America

Santa and Mrs. Clause came in ringing their bells and leading all the attendees in a Christmas song, our boys were stunned and so excited! Then The Clauses came and sat down by each table, talking to every kid and taking pictures. After the breakfast they had a special photo-op and we know for certain… that beard is real! It was such a special weekend and we’re so glad we were able to share it with our families! It’s definitely a new tradition around here!

For those of you who are local, next time you tour the Grand America Holiday windows, you might find yourself with a free stay! All you need to do is take a picture and put it on Instagram or Twitter with the #GrandWindows hash tag to enter!

Here’s a detailed list of their Holiday Attractions this month.

nena & co. giveaway! [closed]

Congratulations to Kimberly for winning this giveaway!

A few weeks ago we had sponsor Alejandra from Nena & Co. over so she could show us her line of repurposed leather bags and share her love story for Guatemala. These experiences are such a blessing for us because we learn so much, it opens our world view, and we create new relationships we might never of have the chance to. We interviewed Ale and here’s what she had to say about how she has bridged her roots and heritage with her modern-day fashion-forward business.

Nena & Co bags from Guatemala

1. Tell us about Guatemala!
“For me, Guatemala is completely magical. If you know someone from there they will tell you that the fruit is the sweetest, the people are the nicest and color are the brightest you’ve ever seen and frankly, they are right. I’m for sure one of those people. (Ed. Note: Nicole spent a Summer in Guatemala and nodded along at how amazing it is!) When I’m there I’m ready to eat, laugh with my family and soak in as much as I can. Usually when I go to Guatemala it is to visit family and lately to do genealogy with my mom. But now I focus a lot of my time on working with artists on product development. It is important to me to know who is putting that final brand on Nena & Co. products, or the women I buy my materials from. My career experience is probably like anyone else but I would say what brought me to this point is working and watching my parents have an idea and turn it into a profitable business. My own mother was born and raised in Guatemala, came to the US as a newly-wed and lives the American dream with the opportunities this country provides for Entrepreneurs. Together with my dad I’ve seen them run successful business from designing and manufacturing pinatas in Mexico, to designing diecuts for scrap booking to exponentially growing their accounting firms. I think that’s were I get my inspiration and creativity. Most of my “real” jobs have kept me stagnate and from doing things I really want to do.”

2. How has using locals in Guatemala for product creation shaped your business?
“When I started Nena & Co. I just thought, I love working with the talented people in Guatemala and I love bringing them to people that otherwise might not ever enjoy the textiles from Guate. After a few month of Nena & Co. up and running I decided I needed to work on more product development plus we had raised enough money to take bring down a couple water filtration systems. When I reached the design studio, the Doña (or the female head of the household) pulled me aside to tell me Nena & Co. has been a blessing in their life and all the people they have had to hire. Their house had been burnt down and lost everything just a few month before I contacted them to work together. She proceded to tell me that they weren’t sure what they were going to do and then…Nena & Co. placed its first order. I looked around the room and realized, all these people work to make Nena & Co. products. All the sudden Nena & Co. wasn’t just a fun idea…it was people. I didn’t realize what a difference starting a small business could make.”

Nena & Co bags from Guatemala

3. You’re using textiles that are made with centuries old looming techniques and patterns, how have you brought those into the 21st Century and made them such a hot item for our most fashionable friends?

“I like to describe my design process like this: raised by a Guatemalan mother and an American father gives me a love for the bright colors and intricate designs of age old traditions and textiles in Guatemala and the American side lends me a love for style, fashion and innovation. I don’t want people to buy my product just because its for a good cause. I want them to love what they see and be even happier that they are helping someone less fortunate in a different part of the world. For me to go first hand and know every process of the design and production of my product gives me more drive and passion for these women and what we all do to make ends meet. It makes it more real.”

4. Tell us more about the actual bags, what are some cool features to look for?
“Yes! Aside from my earlier designs, Nena & Co, products will either have red or purple lining, the Nena & Co. logo and the bags will specificaly have a tassel on the back zipper and three pockets with a unique front pocket where we take the neckline of the Huipil (or the maya women shirt) and transform it into a front pocket on most of the bags. I like to do this cause its a great feature for mothers for their bottles or sippy cups but also its a way of preserving the Huipils original form. I’m also really excited to have just release Nena & Co.’s exlcusie accessory line which includes camera straps, Turbans and cosmetic bags all of which are priced under $100. The crossbody tote is also a Nena & Co. exclusive design. Meaning you would not be able to go to the market in Central America and find them there.”

We are such huge fans of Alejandra and the love she puts into each piece was more than evident as we spoke. Tears were shed, hugs were exchanged and we were immediately recruited to Team Nena & Co.! She is giving away a day bag valued at $200 to one lucky winner! We weren’t kidding when we said our most fashionable friends are rocking Nena and Co! Check out these babe moms, Sydney, Cara and Dani!

Nena & Co bags from Guatemala
Here’s how to enter!

Follow Nena & Co. on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest and leave a comment below for each!

For extra entries follow Small Fry on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, too!

Entries are open until Sunday December 8th at 11:59 MST, good luck!

holiday beignets

holiday beignetsToday we have an awesome holiday recipe from Melissa over at So Festive!

“Hello there! My name is Melissa, but you can call me Mel. I blog over at So Festive!, a collection of all things festive for holidays, parties, and life. I’m a big fan of traditions and today I’m going to share one of my favorite holiday traditions with you.

Have you ever heard of beignets (pronounced “bin-yays”)? If you haven’t, don’t worry because most people haven’t. My parents discovered these delicious french doughnuts at Cafe du Monde in New Orleans years ago. They fell in love with them and decided to make them for us every Christmas morning.

Today I’m going to show you how fun they can be to make with your kids. Ready? Let’s go!

1. Here’s what you’ll need: Beignet mix (can be purchased online , at World Market for $4 per box, or try the from-scratch recipe here) mixing bowl, water, rolling pin, holiday cookie cutters, paper bags, oil for frying and powdered sugar.Beignets | Small Fry

2. Combine 2 cups of mix and 7 oz of water in a mixing a bowl (for each batch). Stir until it is a soft, pliable dough. If it’s too sticky, add a little more mix. If it’s too thick, add a little more water. You can’t mess it up!Beignets | Small Fry

3. Put the dough on a floured surface and roll it out to 1/8th inch thickness. Use holiday cookie cutters to cut the dough.Beignets | Small Fry

4. Put each beignet in hot oil and fry until each side is golden brown.

Beignets | Small Fry

5. Let the beignets drain on a paper towel.

Beignets | Small Fry

6. Put them in a paper bag with a few cups of powdered sugar and let the kids shake, shake, shake!Beignets | Small Fry

7. Last, eat! Don’t be afraid of the mess. They are just kids and you will make a memory–a festive one at that!”Beignets | Small Fry

Doesn’t that seem so easy and doable? And with so many steps the kids will love. We’re excited to try this one out!

For even more festive holiday ideas, follow So Festive on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

We hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving! We have so much we want to share this upcoming month we decided to postpone our typical Fryday posts until the New Year so we can cover it all! If you need a consolation, we have a pretty killer Instagram giveaway going on this morning! Hint: #blackFRYday. Happy weekend, everyone!

happy thanksgiving!

It’s finally here! The most anticipated meal of the year. We are all hardcore traditionalists when it comes to Thanksgiving, yet we each celebrate very differently. For Nicole’s family it’s Sunday best, formal china, and a kid’s table. For Emily, each person contributes a dish, but the meal is comprised of recipes from her Great Grandmother and to stray from them is strictly prohibited. For Jenna her mom makes the meal with the help of her kids at her sides and it’s the one day a year her dad doesn’t wear a suit and tie. Football is on the TV and played in the yard. One thing each of our days will share is family at every turn, and a good long nap. We are supremely grateful for each of them, our health and safety and for you as well. So from our boys to you:


Thank you for reading Small Fry and we hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!


The boys are decked out in Fall favorites from Shop Belle! Shop Belle has graciously offered 15% off until December 5th, simply enter “SMALLFRY15″ at checkout!

Dash is in the Anchor Chain Tee 

Hayes is in the now sold-out brown flannel, but blue is still in stock!

Quinn is in the Striped Cardigan

Also, we can’t stop drooling over their incredible holiday party dress collection for girls! This cape!

holiday gift guides : the toddlers

 This age group is such a fun one to shop for! They’re just starting to get “it”, when it comes to the Holidays, but haven’t succumbed to the crazed list-making and dog-earing of toy catalogs just yet. That sweet spot between two and four, where we’re all in, is up today!

First up, for the little sis:
holiday gift guide for your little girl

1. A play tent for reading, pretending or snoozing is always a big hit! Land of Nod wins for any and all tent needs. [$149] 15% off today using “SFBLOG”

2. Have we convinced you of the greatness that is Stuck
by Oliver Jeffers? Floyd’s shenanigans are not just for boys! [$12]

3. Baggu bags are a long-time favorite of ours, but this sweetly striped pack for little girl’s is too darling to miss. [$42] via Darling Clementine.

4. Puzzles are such a great indoor activity for those colder months. This one is from Land of Nod! [$19.95]

5. Yosi Samra has such beautiful little shoes for girls (and women!) We love their glitter flats for the holidays, but stripes always win over here! [$48]

6. Have you seen the “Messy Hair Don’t Care” tees floating around the internet? Quinn and Fox are the geniuses behind it, but we love all their other tees just as much! [$30+]

7. We are such huge fans of Petit Collage. Everything they make is beautiful and timeless for any nursery. Their new line of Pop-Out toys are stellar! This San Francisco skyline especially. [$9.00]

8. Beenie Buds and Co has such a cool curation of kids apparel and gifts! This Josephine doll is the coolest. [$50.00]

And now for the little guy:

holiday gift guide for your little boy

1. Flat Out Frankie‘s ride-on animals are so clever! They have dinosaurs and unicorns and other mythical creatures to suit any imagination.

2. Land of Nod plush toys are so quirky and fun, this S’more is perfect for bed time or play! [$34.00]

3. Crewcuts has some seriously cute pajamas right now. And they’re all 30% off with the “HOLIDAY” code at checkout!

4. If you live in a desert tundra like we do, you know that it can be somewhat hard to keep toddlers warm. They won’t wear gloves, they rip off their hats, and good luck with a scarf!  7 AM Enfant makes the most amazingly warm accessories for this very purpose. When you’re on the go, this stroller muff is an absolute necessity. An investment, but a necessity. [$189.00]

5. If you were lucky enough to get a battery powered car as a kid you know it is a pivotal moment. That two mile per hour wind in your hair is life changing. If you’re looking to make this Christmas the one they will never forget, try Peg Perego’s Fiat 500.

6. We know a few boys who find a pair of boots and never let go. They’ll wear them rain or shine, puddle or dirt pile, and we love it! This camo pair of wellies via Joules is just tough enough for any occasion. [$57.00]

7. We love the idea of making one purchase that continues to arrive month after month. It’s such a great gift for a far-away grandparent who wants to keep close. A Little Bundle sends gift boxes based on you or your child’s personality and in our experience it’s a great way to discover new brands to love! [$36/month]

8. Our boys are in that phase where anything that is personalized with their name on it, becomes an instant favorite. These initial tees via One Oxford Lane are so cute and your little guy will be proud to rock it! [$26]

There you have it! Now that it’s Thanksgiving tomorrow, the Holidays feel a little bit more urgent don’t they? Good luck with all your preparations for tomorrow! Crayola sent us this darling little film filled with ideas to keep your kids occupied while they wait patiently (or not so patiently) for dinner to start. We get it kids, let’s eat already!

And a Thanksgiving message to get you in the spirit!

Visit today’s sponsor Crayola for more ideas and Thanksgiving Day crafts! Submit your own using the #ColorfulThanks hash tag, or vote for your favorite submission!