The Family Practice

family life is a practice in balance and flow


This Fortune is Whack

I woke up this morning feeling less than stellar so I’m taking it easy and working from home before I head out on my afternoon meeting circuit.

I have to share this note that was in Spencer’s fortune cookie last night.

Kind of a funny “fortune” don’t you think? But since I am in the middle of launching a new business and whatnot, well, I feel like the universe was maybe trying to say something. Be prepared. Don’t rush.

Or maybe there was some grandiose meaning lost in translation; take it as you will.

Another sign from the universe: I flipped open the book Shortcuts to Mindfulness and the essay my bookmark opened to is titled “How Working on Your Business is a Spiritual Path.” (<–not the first time I’ve flipped that book open to the exact thing I needed to read, it happened once before with The Great Art of Doing Nothing)

It gives me goose bumps. So spot on what I need right now. Catherine lists six ways that work is akin to spiritual development. The first, “You have the opportunity to confront your grandiosity: The daily tasks it takes to become successful in business confront the glamour, fame, and wealth the ego feels it its due. One the career path, you start at the bottom and work your way up. The ego humbles itself in the process of admitting how much you don’t know.”

The other five:

  1. You learn how to work.
  2. You learn to plant seeds and wait for the harvest.
  3. You learn to be of service to something bigger than yourself.
  4. You earn real, lasting self-esteem instead of the fake kind that comes from repeating affirmations.
  5. You reap the benefits of being in engaged in Right Livelihood – it feels good to know that your work helps create a better world.

I really suggest reading the full essay in the book Shortcuts to Mindfulness.


Alright, I’m off to conquer my to-do list, or at least part of it. I hear that successful women are willing to forego some of the to-do list on a regular basis, so I’ll be doing a bit of that today as well J

And one last thing! If you participated in the Eat Local Challenge with us this summer, please complete this short survey:

Anddddd…just a reminder that the Eat Local Challenge – and this blog and myself personally – are on the ballot for the Indie Ogden Awards. You can cast your vote here: Indie Ogden Awards Ballot

Question of the day: Have you ever received a fortune cookie message that left you scratching your head?


Cookies and Business, I’ll have both please

There’s something special about traditions. And there’s something even more special about taking a childhood tradition, making it your own and sharing with your children.

I grew up making cookies with my mom and grandma. Scratch that. I grew up baking all kinds of things with my mom and grandma. My mom bears her soul via baking dishes and cookie tins. If she’s baked for you, made you batch of cookies, or you’re lucky enough to have your own return-for-a-refill cookie tin, she loves you.

My grandma was the queen of pies, jams and jellies.

So it’s not a big surprise that my grandmother is the one who bought me my Kitchenaid. Not just the mixer, but the entire fleet of Kitchenaid accessories. My mom gave me her recipes and a boatload of tools to use well beyond the baking spectrum. Pots and pans, knives, bake ware, serving ware, decorative accessories. Not because they wanted me to be some perfect, domesticated housewife, but because they knew (as do I) that these are the utensils for creating shared memories.

Last night I wanted nothing more than to make a batch of cookies with my boys. And that’s exactly what we did. In fact, that’s all we did. After baking and enjoying our treats Mack asked me, “But what are we having for, you know, like, real dinner?”

These cookies, featured in the Betty Crocker cookbook I had to have because Grandma had it, are a childhood tradition. Not because this was the exact recipe we used, or even that peanut butter cookies were really our thing. They’re a tradition because we flipped through the book together, picked what we wanted and pulled out the ingredients. We sampled the brown sugar, the white sugar and the sticky goo as we went along. We pinched some dough to sneak a taste, licked the beaters and then the bowl…and still wanted a cookie, or two, once they were all baked up.

The cookbook in question? Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book, original from 1950.

Mine however, is a reproduction.

Betty Crocker Peanut Butter Cookies Plus

Mix together thoroughly: ¼ Cup Butter, ½ Cup Peanut Butter, ½ Cup Sugar, ½ Cup Brown Sugar, 1 egg

Sift together and stir in: 1 ¼ Cup Flour, ½ tsp baking powder, ½ tsp soda, ¼ tsp salt

Chill dough. Roll into balls size of large walnuts. Place 3″ apart on lightly greased baking sheet. Flatten with fork dipped in flour…crisscross. Bake until set…but not hard.

Temperature: 375* Time: Bake 10 to 12 min.

The Plus? I added a dash of cinnamon right at the end. That’s it; the secret ingredient is a bit of cinnamon.

I enjoyed mine with a cup of Tazo’s Sweet Cinnamon tea (the aforementioned tea that I cannot get enough of).

This morning, I’m anything but a 1950s housewife: my first stop this morning is to place my vote for RAMP among other things, then I have a board meeting to present a budget at, and later today I am presenting my business plans to two different groups for input, financing options and legal advice. See, you can have your cake cookies and eat it them too.

Question of the day: Do you have traditions that you’ve made your own and shared with your kids?


This is New

This post is going to sound braggy. I just know that it is. So please know that it is not at all my intention to brag about myself. But I am really excited about being included in this and I’m proud of the work that I have been a part of, or played a role in J

The Indie Ogden Awards

I came home from yoga on Sunday to a surprising discovery. As I walked up to the front door, Nick ran outside to tell me I was on the ballot for the Indie Ogden Awards. I was pretty confused and as he started to explain what I had been nominated for, tears came to my eyes…until I realized we had people over for the football game and I pulled my emotions together before walking in the front door J

But seriously, wow. And thank you. Whoever nominated me please know that it really means so much to me that my work has been included on this list of amazing things in Ogden.

Indie Ogden nominations:

Best Local Media – The Family Practice Blog

Volunteer of the Year – personal

Best Local Project/Event – Eat Local Challenge and Oasis Summer Nights

Things I am affiliated with, also on the ballot:

Best Local Media – Historic 25th Street

Best Ogden Revitalization – Historic 25th Street and Oasis Community Garden

Best Local Nonprofit – GOAL Foundation and Junior League of Ogden

Best Local Project/Event – Harvest Moon Festival and Ogden Farmer’s Market

Really, really, thank you.

In short, I feel so very lucky to be a part of just a few of the many great things taking place. There are so many people that give so much to this community and I am really honored to see my name listed among some of my respected mentors. It’s very humbling. And I know I should say that I don’t do any of it for the glory, or to win an award – I don’t, I didn’t know there would be one – but it does feel so incredible to have at least the one person who nominated me for these things take notice to the time and energy I spend. It can all be quite thankless at times, and just seeing my effort recognized (whether I actually win anything or not) feels damn good. I hope I’m allowed to say that, because it really does. Damn good. I don’t think I’ve ever been nominated for an award like this before (although I bet my mom chimes in to correct me ;) ).

You can find the full listing of nominations and place your own vote here:

The awards show is in December, just before we leave for our Christmas vacation to visit family. I have so many friends on the ballot – personally, for their projects, for their businesses – that it will be a really fun event to attend and cheer them all on.


The 7 Habits Meets Flag Football

Last night was really great for Mackenzie. He had his last football game of the season and not only did he get some great plays in, his team won and they were awarded “best sportsmanship” in the league. They’ll get to go on field at the college game in a couple weeks to be recognized by the Weber State football team. He was ecstatic!

His school focuses heavily on the 7 Habits and this was a perfect opportunity to talk about habit 6: synergize. Last year, Mack’s team just ran around like buzzing bees and each kid was trying to be near the ball. There was no passing game and a very short running game. This year, they learned more about the structure of a team, how to play various positions and rely on your teammate to be in a certain spot or anticipate their movements. Mack has loved having the 7 Habits in his class and is really proud to tell me them from his memory – he was even more excited that he could relate one of them to the new trophy in his hand.

We celebrated with an ice cream date to Sub Zero which is kind of like Cold Stone except that your ice cream starts out in liquid form. You pick your “base” and then a flavor to add, and then your topping(s). They whip it up in a bowl and submerge it in liquid nitrogen which freezes it immediately. It’s yummy ice cream and the experience is pretty cool for a kid – or, college kids on a date, which is where I think they get a majority of their business J

I was also excited because the new edition of Utah Stories hit the shelves today. I’ve love this little magazine since we first moved to Utah because it tends to feature smaller, locally owned businesses and covers stories that the mainstream media is missing entirely. Now I’m writing for their new “Ogden Section” – two stories a month.

You can read one of the stories for this month online: Guerrilla Arts in Ogden. For my story on the West Ogden “Trackline” development, you’ll have to pick up a hard copy J I really enjoyed flipping through the magazine and reading the other stories, including a story on the redevelopment work in Provo.

This morning I was really good and put in the whole of my miles on my running schedule for the first time since I started. I have barely ran since the Ogden Marathon and when I signed up for the #October100miles challenge I was really pushing myself into high gear to make it happen. Am I on track for the 100 in October? Nope. Have I run 100% more miles than last month? Yep! And I’m happy about that!

I needed to get in four miles today and looked for an interval workout to make it go by quick and easy. Look what I found!!

Iowa Girl Eats has a flipping ton of treadmill workouts on her blog! I googled it quick and saved the above image to my phone and easily worked my way through the forty minutes. I originally read it wrong where it says “repeat minutes 2-12″ I read 7-12 and then realized I was only about halfway through my mileage – I re-read it carefully and did the 2-7 minutes (x2) so that I still did the whole workout, just entirely out of order. Whatever, I got my sweat on and my miles in!

Now, I’m working from the coffee shop for a bit (focused work away from home and all distractions) before I go to a meeting with the visitors bureau. We’re talking ski season! It’s coming up sooooonnnnner than I’m really excited about but hey, that’s our big travel industry here so I’ll get over it. I’m just sooo not a winter person. But shhhh, admitting that is kind of a sin around here.

I’ve also got two press releases to write and send out, some projects to check in on, a doctor’s appointment for Spencer, Mack starts guitar lessons this afternoon, and a Junior League meeting and film screening afterwards. Whew! It’s going to be a busy afternoon and evening! Did I mention also that Nick has folks in from corporate, we’re down to one car and juggling between responsibilities? Fun stuff!


Salty Party Spa Night

Last night I was a lucky, lucky gal and got to attend a blogger spa party for Salt of the Earth at the Salt Spa in Woods Cross. There were over a hundred lady bloggers – all from Utah, holy crap! – and we each got to partake in a night of salt scrubbing, sugar scrubbing, hand massages and scent creations. Also, the food was amazing. Whole Foods catered the event and I kid you not, the fig cake with caramel/fig sauce was the best thing of all time. Don’t tell anyone but I smuggled a piece home to share with my bestie J

Mikaela from Indie Ogden invited me and I rode down with her and another blogger, Harmony. We were some of the first bloggers to arrive so we immediately popped upstairs for a hand treatment – salt scrab and “mousse” massage.

The little bento box of scent options was really fun. You get to pick your favorite, add in some non-scented nutrients like anti-aging or super moisturizer and they mix up your own little concoction of heaven. I’ve washed my hands probably ten times since the hand treatment and my skin is still incredible soft and yummy smelling. My scent of choice: Cabernet Neroli.

As the night progressed we were able to snack on some delish treats and eats from Whole Foods. Everything looked really good but I started with the fig cake and ended with the fig cake. That’s right folks, who needs dinner?!

I was really surprised when one of the young guys (young, like, he’s probably my age) that had been running around with the rest of the staff all night took the microphone and introduced himself. He’s the owner of the company! Sorry guys, I really did not do much research on this before I agreed to go…

I was so incredibly impressed with his passion for his work and what he’s done to make his company stand out. Salt scrubs are nothing new but he’s managed to make it into something wholly unique and build an enterprise of it. A graduate of our local, Weber State University, he started with Salt of the Earth when he was something like 14 years old and helping out a neighbor’s small business. By the time he graduated WSU he called up the woman and asked what she was doing with the company – not much as it turns out and he offered to buy it. That was 2008 and the rest is… well, history.

Paul developed the concept for customized blends, which are personalized at point-of-service, and he designed and created a “blend bar” which features his products and the customization process. He also designed clever packaging and prep to make it a fun, interactive experience for both the spa technician and the client.

I wasn’t able to get a good photo of the blend bar during his presentation, so this one is from the Examiner

We did a piñata that got a little crazy (I swear people are insane. I actually got sat on for a portion of the piñata madness by a woman who scooped out a pile of prizes and then sat backwards onto my leg in order to protect her winnings. Really??!) and then afterwards I went back inside to make my take-home gift. We got to choose from salt scrub, sugar scrub or body mousse and then whip up our own scent combination. I was so in love with the Cabernet Neroli there was no question that’s what I’d be getting and I thought sugar scrub would be better for at-home because I like to shave with sugar scrubs instead of shaving cream (it gives a really close shave and protects your skin).

All in all it was a really fun night out with the ladies. I met some other local bloggers “IRL” and that’s always a major plus. But I have to say that the BEST part of the night was hearing Paul share his passion for his company. Salt scrub is nothing new and nothing life changing, but people who are passionate about their work – that is. I’m excited to see where this company goes in the future and I know I’ll be rooting for them from here on out.