Beautiful Utah! Life Elevated!

Beautiful Utah!

Not only do we celebrate America’s birthday this month, in Utah on the 24th of July, we also celebrate the day the pioneers entered this beautiful valley to make it their home!

Beautiful Utah!

Five Fast Facts About Beautiful Utah!

  • Utah was acquired by the United States in 1848 in a treaty ending the Mexico War.
  • The Great Salt Lake covers more than a million acres.
  • In February of 2002, Salt Lake City hosted the XIX Winter Olympics.
  • The TV series “Touched By An Angel” was filmed in Utah.
  • USA Today recently rated Utah as having the strongest economy. 

My father traveled extensively throughout his life, but he always used to tell me that driving up over the ridge of Sardine Canyon into beautiful Cache Valley and realizing that he was once again back home in Utah always filled him with deep feelings of great joy and contentment!  I experience those same feelings when I return home from a trip and peer out the window of the airplane as it touches down at the Salt Lake City, Utah airport.

The beautiful view as you first enter Cache Valley via Sardine Canyon!

Beautiful Utah!

Welcome To Beautiful Utah!  Life Elevated!

Beautiful Utah!  Life elevated!

The vast mountain ranges and scenic surroundings of Utah can’t help but make you catch your breath as you visit this great state!  I imagine that as the pioneers caught their first glimpse of Utah when they peered over the rugged mountain tops, they surely realized there would be plenty of hard work ahead for them as they settled in Utah.

Perhaps that is why “Industry” is our state’s motto!

Industry--Utahs motto

I’m so grateful for my Utah heritage.  I loved growing up in Utah, it was a great place to raise my children, and it’s fun to see my granddaughters being raised here, as well!

Beautiful Utah!  Things I Love About My Home State!

♥  I love experiencing all four seasons in Utah! 

Each season brings its own kind of magic to Utah–although I will admit that the older I get, I love shorter winters!

Beautiful Utah!

♥  I love the natural outdoor playgrounds in Utah!

Hiking, biking, boating and skiing, and anything else in between–you name it…it’s all amazing in Utah!

Beautiful Utah!  www.mytributejournal.comBiking in Utah

Watering skiing at Pineview

Vintage "Ski Utah" sign

I love that even the big cities have a quaint, small-town feel in Utah!

There are many big-name department stores in Utah, but I love that there’s an eclectic mix of small businesses and shop owners too.  A fun array of vintage, antique and thrift stores help keep locals stocked up with all the unique baubles and chachkies we love so much!

Vintage jewelry

On any given weekend from early spring to late fall throughout the beautiful state of Utah, you can bet that there will be a local Arts Festival or Farmer’s Market set up to sell fresh produce and handmade wares to intrigued consumers.

Beautiful Utah!  Summer Arts Fest!

Beautiful Utah!  www.mytributejournal.comThere’s lots of good eating to be done in beautiful Utah too!

Good eats in Utah  www.mytributejournal.comMostly, I love Utah because like all the other 49 states in America, we are blessed with countless opportunities to work hard and play harder, and raise our families in wonderful communities where we have the chance to nurture and support each other through good times and bad.  I’m so grateful to be an American citizen–and I love living in beautiful Utah!

Beautiful Utah!  www.mytributejournal.comI hope everyone is having a fabulous summer–even though it is going by way too fast!

If you live in Utah, what do you love about our fair state–or what do you love most about where you live?



The Happiness Challenge Recap! Kiss Your Life!

The Happiness Challenge Recap!  Kiss Your Life!

The Happiness Challenge Recap! Recently I completed the Happiness Challenge: “Can You Be Happy For 100 Days In A Row?”  I think most of us know what it takes to be happy in our lives–heavens knows there’s plenty written on the subject of happiness; we just need to remember and make it a conscious daily decision to be happy!

Abraham Lincoln quote on Happiness  www.mytributejournal.comLike most mother’s, mine wisely advised me that:

“Happiness is a choice!”    

I think any worthwhile undertaking like the happiness challenge, if taken to heart, can’t help but deepen the meaning of our everyday lives…it’s then that we are indeed reminded of the fact that there really is so much for us to be happy about!

Here’s a brief recap of a few of the other things that my happiness journey has helped me remember better…

The Happiness Challenge!

Happiness is staying true to ourselves!

We all tend to pride ourselves on our personal uniqueness; but sometimes we need to do a better job at extending this individuality to our own brand of happiness instead of letting others determine what it should be.  I am a lot more creative when I take charge of seeing to my own happiness!

One of my favorite quotes on happiness sums this up perfectly:

Tolstoy quote on being happy The Happiness Challenge!


Happiness is being realistic! 

Believe me, I love a good party, I love going on vacation and going out to lunch with friends.  Spending a fun afternoon shopping with my daughters, daughter-in-law and granddaughters is pure, blissful happiness!  However, if we’re being realistic, for most of us, our days are filled with family schedules, jobs, house upkeep…and the list goes on and on.  I’m so grateful that my dad showed me early in life that a light-hearted “Carpe Diem” is a better way to discover real happiness when going about those things that we may consider mundane and ordinary.

“I have noticed that some people seem to always be looking for some spectacular job or opportunity, a lucky number or what not–which will bring them great wealth or an exciting adventure; then they can relax on easy street for the rest of their lives–only concerned each day with what they can do that will be exciting and fun!  This attitude has had little appeal for me.  It seems so much of life’s pleasures come from caring for small mundane tasks.  Unless a person can learn to enjoy these, much of what life has to offer is lost!” from the history of Leroy I. Jorgensen

Every day can’t be like the 4th of July…but we can certainly make each day happier by seeing how special each one of them really is in their own right!

4th of July Fireworks in Boston

(Boston’s 4th of July fireworks taken this year by my daughter, Mandi.)  

The Happiness Challenge!


A moment of unhappiness doesn’t need to ruin our whole day!

Just like how having a cookie or two doesn’t need to lead to unhealthy eating for the rest of the day, similarly a bout of unhappiness doesn’t mean the whole day needs to be a pity party!  (I’ve been guilty of this!)

A favorite Mary Englebright picture!

Sometimes we just need to take a good look around us and find something to be happy about–then, like one of my favorite Mary Englebright card’s says…we can “Snap out of it!” 

It’s probably no mere coincidence that the songs “Let It Go” and “Happy” are both included in the popular Disney movie, Frozen.

"Let it Go" from the movie Frozen

Olaf singing "Happy" in the movie Frozen

More often than not, if we let go of some of the things that make us feel unhappy–especially the ones we can’t control, we’ll experience a truer sense of happiness!  It’s easier said than done, but by taking on this challenge, I really did find myself focusing more on all the wonderful things in my life that make me happy!

It’s also good to remember that others deserve to be happy, so if we’re not “feelin’ it” we shouldn’t bring them down with our grumpiness!

If all else fails, we can do what my granddaughter, Marli, does that seems to add to her perpetual state of happiness and belt out our favorite song to the top of our lungs!

The Happiness Challenge Recap!  Kiss Your Life!

The Happiness Challenge!

Happiness breeds happiness!

We all have those “go to” people who have that special knack for lightening the mood and putting a smile on our faces–and hearts.

The Happiness Challenge Recap!  Kiss Your Life!

I try hard to take notice and stay in tune with others so that I can be that person for someone else.

The Happiness Challenge Recap!  Kiss Your Life!

Sometimes it helps to just be silly together too!

In wrapping up my 100 Day Happiness Challenge, this quote pretty much says it all…I really do have so much to be happy about and grateful for in my life!

The Happiness Challenge Recap!  Kiss Your Life!

What I’m learning now is…

My happiness did not start nor will it end with this challenge, but I’m learning to be much more aware of the things that make me happy.  It sounds cliché, but the happiness of those I love makes me the happiest!

The Happiness Challenge Recap!  Kiss Your Life!

How do you stay upbeat and happy in your life?  What do you do to keep a positive outlook when life throws you a sucker punch?  


My Summer Bucket List!

My Summer Bucket List!

What, it’s June already!  In some ways I feel like it was just last week that we were lamenting our long winter season and the cold polar vortex!  But hey, bring on…

Summer Bucket List!

I love summer–it has a fun, casual feel, but just like any other time of year, it often passes by too quickly…and then you’re left to wonder how it got away from you–sigh!

I usually have the light hearted, Carpe Diem, take on life that my father had…always wishing for grand adventures often leaves me longing for what’s ahead instead of relishing the day before me!  That doesn’t mean I’m not up for setting goals and making plans so things are more memorable in my life–in fact, this year I decided to make a Summer Bucket List!

My Summer Bucket List!

Even though it was clear back in October, my granddaughters remind me often that one of the first things on my Bucket List will be to keep a promise made at my Grandma’s Halloween Festival by planning…

My Backyard camp out!  www.mytributejournal.comMy family will tell you that my idea of “roughing it” is usually a nice motel, but I’ll be the first to light up the Coleman lantern at a summer backyard camp out with these two cute girls!

Halloween stories!

photo (71)

Vintage Recipe Box. www.mytribuejournal.comDo you ever find yourself getting in a bit of a rut, rotating the same few recipes over and over again because…well, just because!  This summer I want to dig deep inside my recipe box and pull out some of the recipes I haven’t made in a while!  My mom’s recipe for lime frappe–has anybody said that word since the 70′s!?– is the best summertime drink, and my mother-in-law’s cherry squares are a light and easy summer desert!

Patio party!

After rustling through my recipe box and pulling out a few I want to make this summer, it will be fun to plan a potluck patio party and serve some of them to my neighbors, as well as have them bring some of their favorite dishes too.  I have great neighbors, but probably like many of you, too often we end up just waving to each other as we’re going to and from our various obligations.

Patio furniture  www.mytributejournal.comPatio decor  www.mytributejournal.comThis summer seems like the perfect time for a casual get-together to catch up with some of the most delightful people I know, in a more relaxed setting.

My Summer Bucket List!

Bike Trails

I’m a little slow to join the biking craze, but with all the great bike trails popping up around my neighborhood, it’s hard not to be enticed.  My daughter has a nice route right behind her new home that I’m excited to try.

My Summer Bucket List!

Besides, who can resist putting on a cute helmet and going for a bike ride if you’re lucky enough to have this darling biking buddy!

My Summer Bucket List!

Recently my son, Jake, sent us this fun picture of his Friday night date with his wife, Whitney!

Drive-in movie

Jake’s picture brought back memories for me and my husband of some great times we had all snuggled up in the back of his truck at the drive-in movie when we were dating!  It seems like these classic American icons are slowly but surely disappearing, so before it’s too late, hopefully we can all get in on this unique, retro experience!

 My Summer Bucket List!

Like any other time of year, there’s always plenty to do during the summer to take up our time–and as fun as it is, it can be a little exhausting.  I have to remind myself that it’s OK to just kick back and RELAX!

Patio furniture  www.mytributejournal.comHave a great summer, everyone!

What’s on your Summer Bucket List?