The power of doing something different and date ideas for Salt Lake City

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HAHA Ok, as I wrote this title I wanted to convey that in this post I’m going to talk about trying new and different things, AND that I’m also sharing some fun pictures from our anniversary getaway, (and date ideas for Salt Lake City) but when you talk about anniversaries and doing things differently it can start to sound kind of kinky…HAHA and I swear this post is not about anything THAT different and or sexual. At least not this year.

But because of the How to Be Awesome series, I’ve been trying to do things differently and here’s why:

The definition of insanity (according to Einstein I think) is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

I’ve been wanting different results for a while now, in my day-to-day life, and especially in my business life, but I keep doing the same things over and over again and expecting things to change. So essentially I’ve been acting insane. (What else is new?)

I was telling myself the same sob stories in my head about why I can’t do this or that, and at the same time expecting “this or that” to happen. Like, magically? I don’t know, it made sense at the time.

So what does this have to do with our anniversary? Well ever since we’ve become fully self-employed I’ve felt like we can’t spend money on ANYTHING. *We still don’t have health insurance…working on it! And also keep in mind I don’t count business expensives and thankfully my nails and parties are business expenses…

But! It was my year to plan our anniversary and I decided I wanted to make it special. DAMN SPECIAL. So I went out of my comfort zone and reached out to The Grand America. They are a BEAUTIFUL 5 star hotel in Salt Lake City, and I knew Eric would LOVE a romantic gettaway there, especially if his wife scored a deal! I felt a little uncomfortable approaching The Grand with my media kit, and essentially saying, “You guys, I rock, let me promote you!” But then I thought:

What good is working 50+ hours a week to build a personal brand if you hardly get paid or cash in on all that hard work? And then I’m sure I added like, “Mama should go for what mama wants!”

So the first thing I did differently?


And holy crap. THEY SAID YES!

And not only yes, but they offered a few spa services for us to review and a night at the Utah Symphony.

I know people might think, “Oh bloggers getting free crap,” but you guys, I work really, really, really hard, and make almost no money. This is my own fault and I’m working on the money part, but I am SO careful about what products and services I agree to promote, that by the time I accept something for “free” which means in exchange for promotion, I usually end up putting in much much more work and promotion than the value of the item. But still, I was nervous that my readers or IG friends might think I was annoying by flaunting my fancy weekend, but I was on a roll so I decided to do another thing differently and:


I had good intentions, and worked hard for that fancy weekend, so I needed to just GET OVER IT and enjoy myself for Heaven’s sake. Hopefully people would be happy for me! (And on IG I totally felt like they were!)

Now, I’m gonna sound like an idiot, but I go to SO many concerts (remember my husband is a musician) so at first, the symphony was kind of the last thing I wanted to do. But I looked at the schedule and saw that it was “A Roger’s and Hammerstein Celebration” and I thought, “Well, I do like musicals…” So I accepted the tickets and the whole Music is Grand package.

And then you know what happened? The FREAKING Utah Symphony asked if we’d like to go backstage and meet the conductor and guest vocalist! HAHAHAHA! Like I’m important or something! HYSTERICAL! Again, I was going to say no. It would be awkward, I thought. “I’m not important, why on earth would they want to meet me?! It will be a waste of their time!”

But like I said! I was trying SO HARD to employ this radical new “Alison” response, and that’s when I did number 3:


I decided that Eric (who really wanted to go backstage, again, he’s a musician) and I would go backstage, and instead of trying to prove why I was back there, I would do my best to be as uplifting and enthusiastic about their performance as humanly possible. This was super easy to do as the whole thing ended up being SO MUCH FUN! Eric and I had an amazing time doing something we would have normally never done.

The conductor, Jerry Steichen and vocalists: Lisa Vroman: Soprano, Gary Mauer: Tenor and William Michals: Baritone (more like sexitone) were gracious and sweet. I insisted on hugging Jerry, and he loved my shoes. I mean we practically became best friends and I said, “Jerry I will yell praises to your name from the rooftops!” And so, this is me, doing that.

Anyway, it was so cool to see the backstage of the Utah Symphony: and such a different night that we will always remember.

I read or heard about a study one time where they said, that people have the LEAST amount of regret about spending money on experiences. So like, buying a trip leads to less buyers remorse than a car. I’m trying to keep that in mind!

So as we excited the concert we saw a bike taxi thing, and because I was in the best mood ever I said, “Hey baby, let your sugar mama take you on a ride” to my husband, not the cyclist.

The cyclist sped us around downtown SLC as snuggled under a blanket and we listened to, “How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You” and before we knew it we were riding through Temple Square, which just happened to be where Eric and I had our first date.


The universe was telling us, YES! YES! You’re doing it! You’re doing everything right. And it was amazing.

So, here’s what I hope this post can maybe help you think about:

1. Ask for what you want. You’re not a bad or greedy person if you do.
2. Stop worrying about what people are going to THINK you mean, do or say, worry more about what you mean, do or say, and that those are good, then let go.
3. Say yes when you would have said no.

And now that you’ve suffered through all of that…I give you PICTURES!!!

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Ok, if you are in Salt Lake City, and you like Vietnamese, you MUST MUST go to OH MAI. The bahn mi is SO GOOD and the Pho is pho-tastic. Trust me. Mmmmm. I want it now.

This is the entrance of The Grand, it is, totally grand.

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And I love the fresh flowers they always have. My pose is so hysterically touristy (not intentionally haha). Just take it in. All I’m missing is a peace sign.

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We were greeted in our room by this! Perhaps you saw my dance that featured it?

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And the SPA. OH THE SPA! I got a blow-out and Eric got a beard trim! But if you’re staying there you get to access it for like $10 or something. And I can’t believe I haven’t done that before. There is this room (pictured) that’s all plush and cozy with treats. Also there was a cute girl with an ankle tracker there, enjoying the services. She was probably a reality TV star that I have no clue about. Or just a privileged youth, but it was so Bling Ring and I LOVED it.

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Ok so for dinner before the Symphony we hit Eva’s in SLC. Which is my FAVORITE restaurant in Salt Lake. It’s not too fancy or anything, I just love it. GO forth and eat.

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Then we hit the symphony!

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And then we had the bike taxi ride, but it was too dark and blurry for pictures.

This was my pre-sunday brunch breakfast…

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And then we hit the Sunday Brunch. And OK if you’re not gonna throw down for a weekend, though I would say it would be worth EVERY penny, and I don’t have a lot of money, I just think experiences are good things to spend money on, but yes, the brunch? Throw down for the brunch.

Oh! And if you mention “The Alison Show” when you call for Sunday Brunch at the Grand America you can get 15% off for May 4th! Please call 801-258-6708 and mention “TheAlisonShow” when making your reservation.

Ok! So fun! Right? I hope you enjoyed this incredibly long and hopefully informational post, if it wasn’t helpful about the power of doing something different than I hope you at least got some fun ideas for what to do when you’re in SLC next time! Haha.

Love you all!





  1. bp

    The power of doing something different… It’s going to be my mantra this week… Heck, this MONTH! I am so happy you had a grand anniversary and even MORE pleased that you know your worth. Nobody knows what we need and deserve more than WE do!!!!
    Keep being awesome! You do it best!

    1. thank you! after I wrote it it reminded me of the book: it’s RAD! xo

  2. You are so inspiring! Please don’t stop what you’re doing because you’re helping me to be brave and I’m not brave at all. I’m terrified of putting myself out there but you’re helping me push myself and I appreciate it more than you know. You rock! And that sounds like it was an amazing anniversary celebration. So glad you two had that experience!

    1. aw thank you so much!!

  3. I seriously pretty much wanted to NOT like you upon finding your IG bc you’re so adorably happy and I’m just a tad bit cynical… But I added you and dammit now I’m practically obsessed with you… I mean, borderline for sure. Loved this post- I’m totally insane and can very much relate. Always wanting more for my business but waiting for magic to happen. I made myself go back to school a few months ago and it’s the best and worst thing I’ve ever done, hey at least it was something different!? Thanks for being awesome, there- I said it.

  4. Mindy Colovich

    I. Freaking. Love. You. I found your blog this year and it has been my most favorite thing. I too am trying to make changes this year.Finding myself. Being brave. My New Years resolution is to just “do” more. Your blog has helped me do that (uh dance off). And I totally agree with spending money on memories. My husband and I went to The Grand on a whim once. No special occasion. Just a couple of kids in love. He got a massage by a very robust woman and said it was the best he’s ever had. I just hung out in the spa. Like literally just hung out. Ordered lunch, read some magazines took a 30 minute shower, drank some fancy water. It was so AWESOME! One of my favorite memories ever. I think it’s so great that you’re asking for what you want. We should all do that. In every aspect of our lives! Crap, sorry for the novel. I should have probably just emailed you. I could go on forever. Xoxo

  5. Leah Tucker

    Alison- I’ve kind of been stuck in a rut doing the same things over and over again too and feeling like I’m not really getting anywhere- your advice is super timely and uplifting and I love it. I’m a new follower and I’m so glad I found you! Oh- and happy anniversary!

  6. This freaking rules! I’m really digging your message……

  7. Sarah

    Thank you! I so need this right now, I am in the process of interviewing for a new job and I just found out that I have to interview with all of the Senior Staff, it is terrifying to me!! but your advice is going to help me get through it.
    and plus, thursday is my 17th wedding anniversary, I think hubby and I need to get our brunch on this weekend!!

  8. Sarah

    oh and, I gave my husband the book “the Power of starting something stupid” last month!
    total coinky dink!

  9. You’re adorable!! I loved this awesome post + the pep talk that came with it AND all of your cute pictures. Way to be!

  10. I got goose bumps when you wrote the universe was telling you YES!!! You SO deserve wonderful things to happen to you. The hotel looks amazing–in fact, it all sounds amazing. If we get up there (we are SoCals) we will have to visit. #1 is such a difficult thing to do, but it reminds me of the Law of Attraction and John 11:12. Sometimes all you have to do is ask (nicely). Oh, and I looooove the picture of you at the spa!!!!! Gorgeous!

  11. Laura

    Thank you, Alison. Your honesty and openess gives me courage and inspires me to truly live!

  12. What a great post! I love the saying about the definition of insanity and have to say it to myself often. I am more comfortable when I’m in a routine but then disappointed when I’m stuck. What a contradiction! Thanks for these reminders!

  13. HannahF

    Alison, this is so inspiring for me in so many ways, the fact that you stepped out there and pitched yourself to this hotel and did something to benefit both parties is monumental. And you a good stay, spa services and a great anniversary. Love it!

  14. Tomorrow I’m gonna make a point of saying yes to something I would normally say no to. I might not like it and it will probably make me really uncomfortable but lets see what it brings! 🙂 I’ll let you know how it goes!

    1. Ok so nothing came up today that I needed to say yes or no to… I did make a trip to an art printing store to get info on scanning and making prints… too bad it’s $$$$ . I think tomorrow I’m going to do something I really really want to but I’m even more nervous about peoples reaction than when I got more tattoos! I want to get my nose re-pierced but with a ring instead of a cute little stud like before… I had to take it out when i had surgery in January (broken arm). I don’t know why I’m so worried what others will think but I’ve ALWAYS wanted to do it and just see how it looks. Worse case I change out the jewelry in a few weeks right?

  15. Kiley

    This is freaking cool! So glad you had the best time! Us mommas deserve it!

  16. Kiley North

    I just found your IG and blog. I love it. I’m so excited to read more about it. In just the little I’ve read you’ve been so inspiring and have given me a good laugh which I always love!! I look forward to getting to know you more through here!!

    May 8, 2014   |   Reply
    1. Aw thank you so much! and welcome!

      May 8, 2014   |   Reply
  17. You are one of THE cutest most adorable bloggers I have ever read for. Seriously. The banana party made me smile and this post made me want to hug you. Kudos!

    1. HAHA well THANK YOU!! So glad you came to say hello!!! Hope to see you again!

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