Summer Lovin’!

Summer Lovin’!

My Summer State Of Mind! What is it about summer…

…even if you’re not on vacation–summertime just has a more festive, fun, casual feel about it!

My Summer State Of Mind! “It’s a smile, it’s a kiss…it’s sweet summertime!  “Summertime”  by Kenny Chesney

Summer isn’t necessarily void of the obligations and concerns we may have any other time of year–but things just seem to be more lighthearted at summertime.

S   U   M   M   E   R  !  !  !

My Summer State Of Mind!


Summer is snow cones and splash pads! Snow cones! If my granddaughter, Makena, had her way, “Bananaberry” would be the official flavor of summer!

Splash pads!  www.mytributejournal.comGoing to a splash pad is a nice alternative to the neighborhood swimming pool.  It’s easy to watch the kids and you can even kick off your shoes, roll up your pant legs and join in the fun.

My Summer State Of Mind!


Summer comes with its own unique brand of fun! Arts festival. My Summer State Of Mind! Farmer’s markets, art’s festivals, boating…so many things that help make for great times and happy memories during the summer months!

iMy Summer State Of Mind!


Oh, the delightful, joyful music of summer! My Summer State Of Mind! My Summer State Of Mind!  www.mytributejournal.comSummertime always seems to inspire the singing of infectious, upbeat music–in my case, it’s always slightly off key!

iMy Summer State Of Mind!


It wouldn’t be summer without a little make-believe and magic!Playing dress-ups!  www.mytributejournal.comPlaying dress-ups!

My Summer State Of Mind!

Even ordinary days in the summer take on a special energy and excitement that’s hard to describe!

My Summer State Of Mind!

My Summer State Of Mind!

Road trips and riding bikes–just a few more really great things that you can’t help but love about summertime!

Road Trippin'

My Summer State Of Mind! Just being together with our families is always one of the very best parts about summer!

Family fun  www.mytributejournal.comThat…and lots of good food!!

World's Best Hot Dog!

The recipe for the ultimate food truck hot dog coming soon!  My new favorite summer meal–seriously, sooo good!

Quicker than we realize, summer will be a done deal…so let’s keep on making the most of it while it lasts!

A Summer State Of Mind!

What do you love most about summer?


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?