Author Archives: Krystal Wegner

Hello 2016


Sunrise over Cappadocia

About that long break in 2015….

To the friends and family who follow me on Instagram and Facebook, I’m sure you haven’t missed me thanks to the photos I frequently post. You know that we are madly in love with our growing girl and that 2015 was a big year for the Wegners. You know that we enjoyed our time exploring beautiful Utah and were even able to travel to Istanbul and Cappadocia, Turkey and Hambug, Germany in the fall. You know that Nick accepted a foot/ankle surgery position at a private practice in his home city of Omaha, Nebraska and that following his fellowship graduation we returned to the Midwest to begin putting down roots.

What you may not know was that while it was easy to document our life in photos and in pithy captions, it was challenging to go more in depth in writing. I can give you a myriad reasons why: there were computer troubles, exhaustion from chasing a toddler (parents of more than one, I commend you!), big moves, travel, and struggles finding new friends, a new routine and a new normal in a new city, again. All this aside, in truth the writing wasn’t coming naturally. 2015 kicked my butt and I just wasn’t in the mood to share myself until I found a way up and through it.

Here we are in 2016 and last year is officially behind us. HUGE RELIEF. Happy New Year! I try to avoid making hard-line resolutions but today a friend asked me what mine are for the year and it got me thinking. Here’s my informal list. Maybe by writing them down in public, these goals might actually be met this year.


1) Blogging. (sorry Missy!! Thanks for being so patient.)

2) Hydrating. I was seriously so thirsty last year. Thanks to the water bottle Annie got me in Xmas 2015 Cousin Exchange, I’m now set.

3) Vietnamese food. Ara needs to know how seriously good the motherland cuisine is. Now that we’re living in Omaha, I’m going to have to recreate my mom’s dishes because paying for bad Vietnamese food is just depressing.

4) Moving. I’m so much happier when I do.

5) Date nights. Self explanatory.


1) Complaining. This is a big one,

Then there are the others, like less screen time when she’s around, more charity work, more tea, more vegetables and less crap, but really it’s all about small steps and I think the point of the New Year is to start fresh. These will keep me busy for now.

Happy NY to all! May 2016 be your year.

Ara and Natalie’s Superhero 1st Birthday


Our little baby Ara turned ONE on March 25! I was so excited to cohost her 1st Birthday party in California with my cousin, Angela and her little girl, Natalie.  Angela and I were born four months apart and were inseparable growing up together. We loved the Babysitter’s Club books and hated piano lessons. We would spend the night at each others houses and stay up late playing, eating Oreos, whispering, giggling, and sharing secrets and dreams. She was and is my first best friend.

Angela was the first to become a mom and I watched her take on motherhood with her trademark humor and sweetness. A couple years later, we found out we were both expecting at the same time. Natalie and Ara were born one week apart. It was set! Our daughters were destined to be super cousins, just like their moms.

Living here in SLC, I had a hard time deciding whether to have a party for Ara in California (where a lot of friends and family are), or Utah. In the end, Nick and I decided to do both because it is such a special milestone. Angela suggested we cohost a party and the ideas came together pretty quickly once a theme was decided. Our husbands, bless them, just went with the flow. Enter the superhero/supergirl party theme for the girls’ 1st birthday! It was a play off of being super cousins, but we loved the idea of having an empowering theme for our daughters at an early age. The grandmothers (our moms) were eager to help and went to Party City to pick up supplies and favors. They kept calling Angela to ask what exactly a superhero was (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Big Hero 6?) and had a hard time finding things that didn’t scream “boy.” Next time, they asked, can’t we pick a more feminine party theme? Like princess or Minnie Mouse? Or at least something pink and pastel? 😉

I’m so thankful to be living in this age. Pinterest, online shopping, and texting makes long distance planning so much easier!! The party was a blast. Angela and Lee generously hosted everyone at their house and we were able to take advantage of their big backyard. Favorite details were the bounce house (always a hit!), the girls’ personalized capes and cape station, the cityline backdrop my mom made, the yummy desserts, and the fun signage that played up the overall retro superhero theme. WHAM! POW! Who run the world? GIRLS!!

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Immense thanks to Angela’s dad, my Uncle Cung Tran for taking a lot of the photos!

Family Session in Gasworks Park

Ah, so much has happened in the past few months! We were thrilled for Missy and CJ and the arrival of their beautiful son, Jonas. We can’t wait to meet him. I think a trip to Wisconsin is in order, Missy.

We’ve been staying busy in our quiet corner of the country. Over the last few months, we’ve visited several gorgeous national parks in Southern Utah, traveled to California and Omaha, and have been getting our skiing fix in at Park City (Nick’s been taking lessons and is a skiing ace now!) When home, Ara and I have established a weekly routine of Kindermusik classes, library sessions, playdates and swim classes. Winter has been mild thankfully, so we’ve been taking advantage of going outside as much as possible! Ara will be a YEAR old next week (March 25)!! She is crawling, standing, babbling, teething, laughing, a whirlwind of energy. Party-lover that I am, I’ve been occupied planning two birthday parties, one in California and one in Utah, to celebrate. Our first child only turns one once! That is how I justify it anyway.

One of my goals is to always keep moving forward and to try not to look back too often. Yet as we approach this special milestone in Ara’s life, I can’t help but reminisce about the year gone by. It has been the longest, shortest, sweetest year as we navigated parenthood and got to know our little one. She has enriched our lives and has brought us so much joy. I asked Nick the other night if he could ever imagine what our lives would be like with a kid and he said that while it is more exhausting and demanding than ever, he wouldn’t change it for the world. My thoughts exactly. I don’t think we ever anticipated how challenging and rewarding parenting would be. Or how big this love would feel.

Speaking of looking back, this is EIGHT months overdue! Here is a family session we did last June in Seattle when Ara was 3 months old. It was the week before we moved to Salt Lake City and Nick and I both wanted to work with our talented and wonderful friend, Dorothée at Belathée Photography, one more time before leaving Seattle. The sun was out that day, Nick was taking a break from studying for his boards, and we were at one of our favorite spots in the city, Gasworks Park. Going through these photos, I’m struck by how small Ara was then and how these moments already reflected her fun, sweet personality. We are so thankful to have lived in this beautiful city. To us, it will always be Ara’s first home.

All images by Belathée Photography



Ara’s 1st Halloween

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To begin, I have to reference this link from one of my favorite parenting blogs, the Ugly Volvo. It’s so funny and mirrors exactly what we were asking ourselves for Ara’s first Halloween: what in the world do you do with a 7-month old baby for Halloween? We don’t have grandparents living in the area so we couldn’t show her off, so you can bet we went with Option 6- put her in her $20 costume and run errands all day to make the most use out of it. Not only did we do that, we hauled our sweet little owl to a couple Halloween events earlier in the week as well, including Garden after Dark at the Red Butte Garden, a MOMs Halloween Party, a Little Gym class, and trick-or-treating at Nick’s office. She was a good sport and we had fun. There really isn’t anything cuter than an infant in a Halloween costume. Especially if there’s a padded butt.

With Mommy at the Red Butte Garden

With Mom Owl at the Red Butte Garden

With her daddy at the Red Butte Garden

With Dad Owl at the Red Butte Garden

Meeting her friend Sophie the Giraffe at the Little Gym

Meeting her friend Sophie the Giraffe at the Little Gym

Ara’s outfit was easy. I saw a little pink owl costume for sale at Carter’s and boom, she was done. I was feeling a little ambitious and thought we should do some kind of family costume and looked up Mom and Dad owl costumes online. Not wanting to pay a ridic amount for an adult costume ($50+!! Really??), I found an online tutorial for felt owl masks. Let’s say this again if you haven’t heard already. I’m not a natural DIYer. Missy is SO MUCH better at this kind of thing than I ever will be (those family Care Bear costumes?? Amazing!) A couple dazed trips to Michael’s later (I have no idea what to do in that store), and after a quick Youtube tutorial on how to back stitch, I was on my way to becoming one. It took me a few evenings of sweating and sore fingers to finish the masks but I think they turned out cute and Nick, bless his heart, wore his without complaint. Maybe next year, I’ll be ambitious enough to make full-fledged costumes for all of us. Probably not.

Our owl masks with the not-quite-big-enough eye holes

Our owl masks with the not-quite-big-enough eye holes and uneven stitching

So glad Mommy didn't make her costume...

So glad Mommy didn’t make her costume…hoot!

Recipe: Pot Roast and Risotto



It’s officially sweater weather! You can bet I broke out the slow cooker right when the air started getting crisp.

I have a love/hate relationship with the slow cooker. It is a magical tool, allowing one to leave a big raw piece of meat with vegetables in it in the morning, only to come back to a fully cooked meal at the end of the day with minimal fuss. And you can’t beat the smell. Throughout the day, the aroma in the kitchen keeps getting better, warmer, more meaty and delicious. On the other hand, sometimes whatever is cooked in it comes out a misshapen, mushy mess with all the flavor notes blended together in a bland, bleh way. (I could also very well be making the wrong things too.)

I’ve been on a mission to find great slow cooker recipes that are both easy to make yet still pretty to look at and eat! This week, I think I found one.

The idea started with this post. Pot roast and risotto, what a killer comfort food combination! I was in. After perusing the selection at Whole Foods, I ended up going with a chuck roast and a Porcini and Red Wine pot roast starter from Red Forks. I was looking for something super easy and quick to make for the week because it was going to be a busy one. If you have more time, here is a pretty comparable recipe from Epicurious that sounds amazing as well.

At home, I cut up an onion and a couple garlic cloves and placed them at the bottom of the cooker. I then browned the roast and rested it on top of the onions and garlic. After pouring the sauce and a cup of broth over the roast, I left it alone in the slow cooker for 6 hours.  The meat was fork tender and easy to pull apart by evening. To serve, I spooned slices of the roast with the au jus on top of the parmesan risotto, garnishing the dish with some minced parsley. It turned out so well and was both simple enough for a weeknight yet elegant enough for entertaining.  With a glass of red, this meal makes a perfectly cozy end to a fall day.

Parmesan Risotto

3 tsp Olive Oil
46 oz Chicken Broth, warmed
1 lb Arborio Rice
3 oz grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp onion powder
ground pepper to taste
In large skillet, evenly coat rice with olive oil. Add 1 cup of heated chicken broth, stirring continually. Maintain a slow boil and add rest of broth, 1 cup at a time, while stirring continually. When all the broth is absorbed, add cheese, onion powder and pepper.