See the Night-time Heavens in Utah

Did you know that rural central and southern Utah offer the clearest views of the nighttime sky? It’s true! Within the continental U.S., this is the place! Take a tour of the heavens from here in Utah with this awesome and awe-inspiring video by Nate...

Utah: Most Underrated State

A recent study by Thrillist pulled together what each state is best at — and most distinctively so. Turns out, Utah did pretty well. While we weren’t found to have the “Cheapest Groceries” (Idaho), or have the highest homeownership rate (West Virginia), or even offer the “Best Trails” (Missouri), Utah was found to be the “Most Charitable” state in the Union. And that’s not all. As Kate Peregrina of Yahoo described the study’s results, “Utah also has the highest volunteerism rate in the country. It’s the most underrated state in the Union, in terms of good people.” Keep up the good work, good people of...

Living in Utah makes marriage more likely

Want to get married? Then, “this is the place.” Utah is, by far, the place where people are most likely to get married. Certain urban areas like New York City hold the opposite distinction where people who are from that area are much less likely to be married by age 26, and continuing with their same-age peers as they age. No place encourages marriage quite like the conservative Mountain West, especially the heavily Mormon areas of Utah, southern Idaho and parts of Colorado… [Economists] believe that they have identified a causal role that geography plays in people’s lives. The data, which covers more than five million people who moved as children in the 1980s and 1990s, suggests that children who move from, say, Idaho to Chicago really do become less likely to marry, even if the numbers can’t explain exactly why these patterns exist. Source: How Your Hometown Affects Your Chances of Marriage –...

7 Utah factory tours will amaze you and your kids

  One way to help get the word out about your company is letting tours come and see what you do. When I was in kindergarten, I visited a bread factory, and still buy their breads as often as I can. Utah has numerous factories located around the state, but here are seven that you can visit for low-or-no cost. It’s a learning experience like no other — and often a delicious one too! Sweet’s Candy Company Everyone loves Sweet’s traditional candies, and you can go see how to go on Sweet’s Factory Tour here. Week’s Berries of Paradise This would be a great time to go see how blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are grown and harvested at this family-owned berry farm in Paradise. Mrs. Cavanaugh’s This tour costs $1 per person but includes samples, from their delicious caramels, chocolates, brittles, and more. Learn more here. Crumb’s Brothers Artisan Bread See and smell how artisan breads are baked, at their facility in Logan. Cox Honeyland See an observation bee hive, a bee nursery, and see how honey is harvested at their plant. V Chocolates You can tour V Chocolates fragrant facilities with their factory tour. Heber Valley Artisan Cheese For a small fee, this tour includes numerous samples of their award winning cheeses.   Images: Mrs. Cavanaugh’s,...

Utah solves the Homeless problem: Give them homes

Utah has solved homelessness, according to numerous media publications. The radical notion of giving the homeless homes has apparently escaped notice up to this point, and Utah’s strategy of doing so is receiving acclaim — along with slaps on the forehead. “It’s more humane, and it’s cheaper,” the director of Utah’s Homeless Task Force said. “I call them ‘homeless citizens.’ They’re part of our citizenry. They’re not them and us. It’s ‘we.'” Here’s a recent report from NBC News on Utah’s solution to being homeless:     The homes-for-the-homeless program has received attention from numerous publications, from the New Yorker, to Business Insider, to Mother Jones, and many others. Utah has emphasized other housing programs as well, offering lower and low income families low-cost homes, where the self-employed or people without perfect credit, can build new, custom homes themselves. There are programs for those in Utah’s urban areas, and in rural areas, too.   Image: NBC...

Born poor, stay poor? Not in rural Utah!

A new Harvard study, featured in the New York Times, compares income mobility throughout the country. It’s findings are surprising. If a child is born poor in an urban area, they are likely to remain poor into their adult life. But if they were born in a rural area — including Utah’s rural counties — their future income mobility is relatively assured. Consider Sevier County, Utah, the focus of this article… It’s among the best counties in the U.S. in helping poor children up the income ladder. It ranks 2,243rd out of 2,478 counties, better than about 91 percent of counties. It ranks better for poor children than it does for rich children… The Times article allows visitors to select different counties and see what those childrens’ future income mobility is likely to be, based on sex and their birth family’s income levels. It singles out Duchesne County, population 18,607, as a remarkable stand-out, showing remarkable income mobility. Much of the income mobility may be attributed to the rural Utah’s high quality of life: Across the country, the researchers found five factors associated with strong upward mobility: less segregation by income and race, lower levels of income inequality, better schools, lower rates of violent crime, and a larger share of two-parent households. In general, the effects of place are sharper for boys than for girls, and for lower-income children than for rich. “The broader lesson of our analysis,” Mr. Chetty and Mr. Hendren write, “is that social mobility should be tackled at a local level.”   Chart image: New York...

Free Relief Society Party Printables

I had the opportunity to make this free printable set for a Relief Society party and I thought others might be interested in it, too, so I’m offering the set for free download here. They could work well for a RS party or event or even to make a fun treat for visiting teaching. The set includes water bottle labels, treat toppers, a “Charity Never Faileth” banner and mini banner, mini candy bar wrappers, and cupcake...

Free Printable 8/15 Visiting Teaching Message

Learning about Christ and humility is the Visiting Teaching lesson for August 2015. I see humility as the bridge from pride and arrogance over to true learning and growth. It’s pretty hard to learn and grow if you already know everything! Thus, humility is such an important key. One of my favorite examples of humility is John, when he asked Jesus the ever-important question — “Lord, is it I?” I’ve tried to learn from that sentence and ask myself that whenever I run into an issue in my life that I’m struggling with. I always find that either I am the cause of the problem or I need to be the solution, so either way, it is “I”. I have a free printable download of two messages to a page for the August 2015 lesson. I hope this helps make it easy for you to share this special message with the women you visit. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FREE AUGUST VISITING TEACHING PRINTABLE! If you need a yummy treat to bring with you, how about this delicious recipe for blueberry muffins?!  It’s perfect for making the night before with school starting up soon. Plus, they work great for breakfast or to tuck into a lunchbox, too. They use Bisquick, so that helps to make them extra quick! For breakfast or snacking, nothing beats homemade blueberry muffins. Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins Ingredients 2 cups Bisquick 1 cup buttermilk 1/3 cup sugar 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla 3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries Directions: Heat oven to 400ºF. Grease bottoms only of muffin cups (or use liners). Stir...