Wednesday, July 29, 2009

On a little vacay

Some day I will stop making excuses for my lack of posts...some day...perhaps I should simply write one post a week with all the reasons why I won't be writing more posts that week or why last week's posts were few and far between. Hey, that kind of sounds like a good idea so here's this week's list of excuses:

  1. We close on our home August 25th and have put an offer on only one home--a short sale in Draper which means it won't be a short process at all. No other homes have struck our fancy so we could be homeless in less than four weeks. House hunting takes up a good portion of my week. Over 30 homes and counting!
  2. I am behind on posting for Rocky Mountain Moms Blog so I need to catch up on that this week.
  3. I drove 12 hours yesterday with four kids (and one sister) in the car from Utah to California.
  4. I'm on vacation while in California so I'll be posting whenever and whatever I please.
  5. We'll be at Six Flags Marine World tomorrow and San Francisco on Friday. Doubt I'll have the time or energy to post.
  6. My mom has threatened to take away all computer privileges because I'm supposed to be on vacation.
  7. I'm too busy eating junk food, sitting on the back patio watching the kids and hitting Target for all the things we forgot to pack including a swimsuit, goggles and Diet Coke.
  8. We tend to stay up really late playing games so there's little time for silly Facebooking or Twittering.

Eight seems like a good, solid list of excuses for this week. If you're lucky I might try another post on Friday, probably some tasty recipe I'll be cooking while here--or one of my mom's fave recipes. For now I'm going offline to scavenge in the pantry for Mother's Iced Oatmeal cookies. My sister better not have eaten them all!
Image by t3mujin, shared via Flickr.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Moms Who Make It on KSL 5!

Though the Moms Who Make It conference took place over a week ago we are still hearing about it on Twitter, most of the tweets now from women excited about MWMI '10. (By the way, mark your calendars for around the middle of June...MWMI '10 will probably take place around June 17th and might even be two days next year!) But just last night we were able to catch KSL 5's coverage of the conference, which featured an interview with Cari Greer, one of our keynote speakers and a source of inspiration for MWMI attendees:

Video Courtesy of

We were so excited when we heard KSL 5 would be on site to interview Quinn and a few of our speakers and couldn't wait to see if we would be newsworthy enough to feature. Of course WE knew we were newsworthy; it was a matter of convincing the local news station...and I think we managed to do so! Kudos to Quinn, who's idea for a conference all about empowering and inspiring women was such a success that women are already looking forward to next year's event. What can I say? Quinn totally rocks!

If you want to learn more about Quinn and you can visit the site here. You can also view info about the recent Moms Who Make It conference, including our conference schedule, by clicking here. For more info about Cari Greer and Sole Desires shoe parties, visit

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Farmers Market Zucchini Salad

A couple Saturdays ago my good friend Vanessa over at I Never Grew Up introduced us to the Salt Lake City Farmers Market. We had so much fun pushing a double-wide stroller through the crowds that we only made it halfway around the park. Looks like we'll need to head back for part two in a couple weeks. We did manage to pick up some super fresh zucchini, basil, cantaloupe and of course tasty treats like pastries, asiago cheese bread, kettle corn and honey butter (which I swear I could eat with a spoon).

We manged to finish off the cantaloupe before it became too ripe but the golden zucchini suffered the fate of most of the fresh veggies in my veggie drawer (i.e., mushy, moldy and inedible). I knew I had to do something with the rest of the zucchini and quick, but at the same time I didn't want to eat a whole pan of zucchini brownies and a couple loaves of chocolate zucchini bread myself. (Okay, I wanted to but knew it w
ouldn't be very good for me to do so.)

So what I ended up doing was taking three of the four zucchini, shredding it with my food processor and freezing it in two-cup portions, the perfect size for most any zucchini recipe. I plan on using some of it in a Pineapple Zucchini Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, a new recipe I found on The Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen site. Can't wait for that one! As for the remaining lone zucchini, I created this simple salad using some leftover tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and fresh basil--also a yummy find at the Farmers Market.

Here's a simple recipe; feel free to tweak it as you like. It's actually a take on my Quick & Easy Italian Salad:

Farmers Market Zucchini Salad

1 zucchini, sliced and quartered
2-3 roma tomatoes, sliced and quartered
1/2 to 1 cup diced mozzarella
10 to 12 basil leaves, chiffanade
1/4 cup or so of Wild Harvest organice Rustic Italian dressing (my all-time favorite Italian dressing)

Place all ingredients in a bowl and toss with dressing. Serve immediately or refrigerate for 30 minutes to chill and intensify the flavors.

This was even better the next day--yummy and refreshing and not nearly as blurry in real life! (Sorry, Quinn...I just don't have your food photography skills.) You can add a little red onion, olives, cherry tomatoes or even a variety of tomatoes. And if you have a non-mushy golden zucchini, throw that in there too! --Emily

"Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie." ~Jim Davis

RMMB: "16 and Pregnant"--Seriously?!?!

My recent post for Rocky Mountain Moms Blog (RMMB for short) is live. This week I took on the new MTV show "16 and Pregnant." Have you seen the show yet? Consider yourself lucky if you haven't. I ask you, what exactly is the point of this show?

I'd love for you to read what I have to say about it and then leave a comment on the RMMB site letting us know your thoughts on the whole thing. Really, just what are we trying to teach our kids? --Emily

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: A super "sweet" smile

An evening walk around the neighborhood, a visit with friends, a juicy popsicle and the words, "Say cheese!" "How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live"

If it weren't for gym magazines I may never know what's going on in the world. From the latest detox diets to Fall's must-have accessories, the gym is a plethora of useful information. But seriously, I do get the chance to read some really interesting articles when I'm lucky enough to grab a Time or Newsweek from the stand, and today is the perfect example.

Evan Williams and Biz Stone of Twitter

In a recent issue of Time magazine I found an article all about Twitter titled "How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live." Now, you don't have to extol the virtues of the latest 140-character communication craze to me--I'm already a big fan. But this article pointed out a few things I didn't know, a few things I hadn't thought about, and a few possibilities for the future that make you stop and think.

New to Twitter? Seasoned pro? No matter where you stand when it comes to tweets, DMs, @ replies and followers, you'll want to read "How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live" in its entirety. It may just change the way you think. And yes, it's a wonderful, wonderful web.

P.S. If you want to follow me on twitter you can find me here: @emihill. Tweet on! --Emily

"How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live" by Steven Johnson online at

Image of Evan Williams and Biz Stone of Twitter from Time. com

Monday, July 20, 2009

Moms Who Make It: One great recap

As many of you know I have loads of excuses for why I'm only posting a couple times a week, one being Moms Who Make It '09, a conference I helped plan and which took place last Thursday. I am still recovering (who knew I could be THIS exhausted) but the time and energy was well worth it. The conference was a success, and when I say success I'm talking about quality not quantity.

Though the turnout was smaller than we had initially hoped, it was perfect for our first annual MWMI conference. But those small numbers did not make for a "small" conference. The keynote and closing speakers totally rocke
d and the mini classes and breakout sessions were chock full of helpful, inspiring, useful information. The meals were delicious, the swag bags full of treats and the after party full of sorbet, music and even a little dancing.

I wish I had more time to write but I am still swimming in those other "why I'm not posting regularly" excuses like the sale of our home, the endless hunt for a new home, a trip to California and training for a half marathon. Th
ank heavens one of our backstage bloggers, or "sexy six" as we like to call them, wrote a post last week that does a fabulous job recapping the conference. It was truly a wonderful day and everyone there is already looking forward to MWMI '10. Believe it or not, so are we!

For some great photos, a sneak peek at the classes and potentially embarrassing after-party video (go, Evonne!) check out Vanessa's post "Just What I Needed--Moms Who Make It Conference" on her site I Never Grew Up. Don't be surprised if it leaves you a little sad...sad you weren't there this year. Good thing you have next year to look forward to! --Emily

P.S. You can see a list of the Moms Who Are Making It winners on Crazi Beautiful's site here!

Vanessa, Quinn and I at the end of the conference.
Can you tell we're super uplifted and inspired?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Less than 24 hours...

...until the Moms Who Make It conference and I am operating on 4 hours of sleep so this is all you're getting as a post for today:

Come to the conference.

You will leave inspired and empowered.

You will love it and I will love seeing you there.

Moms Who Make It: Empowering Creativity in Life & Business
Thursday, July 16th
@ Noah's in South Jordan, UT

For more info and to buy your afternoon/evening tickets click here.

Monday, July 13, 2009

What prevents you from enjoying "me time?"

Last week I had the opportunity of being on the panel for Mom It Forward's #GNO night on Twitter. The subject was "me time"--something all of us women need but very few of us enjoy. One of the follow-up posts I wrote is all about those things that make it especially hard to take time for ourselves. And this time is vital for our happiness, health and most importantly, sanity.

In "The Top 5 Things That Get in the Way of 'Me Time' (...And How to Deal With Them)" I've compiled a list of what I feel are the five biggest obstacles to the ever-elusive "me time." As usual I've thrown in a good dose of humor--it wouldn't be one of my posts if it weren't a tad bit funny. (Hello--humor is one of the ways I stay sane!) So enjoy a good little chuckle and read how you too can make time for yourself even with days full of children, laundry and a serious lack of sleep.

Related posts I wrote for Mom It Forward's "Me Time" #GNO:

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Top 5 reasons why YOU should attend Moms Who Make It

My good friend Quinn is the woman behind and the Moms Who Make It Conference. She just posted a great YouTube video listing the top five reasons why YOU should attend the conference. By the way, we only have our afternoon/evening session tickets left--the mini-class and full-day conference tickets are totally SOLD OUT!

But the afternoon/evening session ticket still gives you the biggest portion of the conference complete with fabulous keynote speakers, a wonderful panel of entrepreneurial women, breakout sessions on everything from motherhood to social media, a truly tasty gourmet dinner AND our mocktail party after the event where you can socialize, network and connect with other women.

The conference is next Thursday, July 16th. Grab your tickets before they're gone!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

And the excuses continue...

I would be surprised if this blog still has faithful readers after the latest posts being few and far between. And once again here I am telling you this mompreneur's schedule is still so crazy, so full, so nuts she won't be posting much this week or probably next week as well.

The Moms Who Make It conference (have you nominated a mom who inspires you?) is just over a week away and there is still much to do to get ready: swag bags, gifts, goodies for our backstage bloggers (aka The Sexy Six), nearly sold-out registration for mini-class and full-conference tickets...the list goes on and on. Add to that a #GNO IRL tomorrow night at Rock Creek Pizza Co. in Riverton, Utah for which I'm a panel member, a church activity on Sunday, a few posts I'm behind on for other sites and the biggest of all, the sale of our home.

Our home is officially under contract as of today with a closing date of August 25th. It was listed less than a week before the offer came through. Now we need to not only start packing but also find a place to live!

So wish me luck as I live of Oreos and Diet Coke for the next seven weeks. I will try to post when I can but forgive me if it's not as often as you or I would like. I promise come September life will be back to its normal level of insanity. --Emily

Friday, July 3, 2009

Do you know a mom who inspires you?

Though Mother's Day has come and gone, moms are still working hard, creating joy and spreading love wherever they go. We would love to honor these women during the Moms Who Make It conference on July 16th. (For more information on the conference, click here.)

For our Moms Who Are Making It spotlight during the conference we’re looking for moms who have had difficult life circumstances but have used them as a catalyst to change their lives for the better. These are moms who have inspired you to look at your own life and think, “I can ma
ke it too!”

We will collect all the nominations and randomly select ten to be honored at the conference. Each time a mom is nominated she receives an entry into the drawing, so the more nominations the better her chance of being spotlighted at our event. These moms will receive a full-day ticket to the conference and an invitation to attend the VIP Mocktail Party that night so they can mingle with our speakers and the moms. We're also throwing some fun swag into the mix!

If you know a mom who is “making it,” please email or comment a quick summary (200 words or less) on why you think she should be honored during the Moms Who Make It conference. You can send an email to momswhomakeit {at} createdbymom {dot} com.

If you wonder if you’ll be honored as one of our Moms Who Are Making It, buy your ticket now before the price goes up on July 7th (midnight) OR before they sell out! If you are chosen we will refund your ticket.

We’re looking forward to sharing their stories and being inspired just as you have been inspired by them!

Moms Who Are Making It is sponsored by The Potted Pansy snags my fave recipe...

...and reviews our fabulous caterer for the Moms Who Make It conference in her recent post. I've taste-tested Utah Celebrations Catering twice now and each time I find my lips chapped from licking them so dang much! The food is fresh, yummy and the most flavorful I've had from a local caterer. Holly (aka @phemom) does a great job recapping the latest Backstage Blogger tasting event on location at Utah Celebrations Catering in Orem. And being a food blogger, her photos and description of the evening are as tasty as the food!

What made me absolutely adore Holly more than I already do (if that's possible) is she somehow managed to wrangle Chef Steven's recipe for his Chicken Marsala. If this dish isn't famous yet, it will be very, very soon. It melts in your mouth, delights the tastebuds and pretty much changes your life. I can't wait to make this recipe at home!

Chicken Marsala
Source: Utah Celebrations Catering, Chef Steven Swallow

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
2 teaspoons salt
Flour for dredging

2 T unsalted butter
1 T garlic, minced
1 T shallots, minced
1 C sweet marsala wine
1 C heavy cream
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 T fresh basil, finely chopped
Salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Season chicken breast with the salt and dredge in the flour. In a saute pan on high heat, melt the butter and add the chicken. Sear till the outside is golden brown, remove from the pan, place the chicken in a baking dish and place in the oven to finish cooking through, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

In the same pan the chicken was seared in, saute the garlic and shallots until just slightly golden brown
over medium heat. Add the wine to the pan with the garlic and shallots and deglaze and reduce till a syrup consistency is reached. Add the heavy cream and reduce the sauce until it coats the back of a spoon and leaves a line when a finger is drawn through the sauce. Add the Parmesan cheese and basil and salt to taste. Pour sauce over the chicken and enjoy.

"One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating." ~Luciano Pavarotti

All images from

Thursday, July 2, 2009

#GNO IRL: A girls' night out in real life!

Many of you know I have been super busy helping Quinn, the woman behind, plan the Moms Who Make It conference. Believe it or not I've been dubbed the Director of Communications for this fabulous event, yet I'm doing the lamest job of it considering I've been failing to post all the cool pre-conference events/hype parties/taste-testings we've had. I've left that to our Backstage Bloggers, now more affectionately known as our Sexy Six. But I should definitely be doing my part to "communicate" when it comes to MWMI.

Though it's a bit late to blog
about the Noah's VIP Preview night, Utah Celebrations taste-testing, The Sweet Tooth Fairy and Lorken Food Finery hype parties I can tell you about our last pre-conference event:

For those familiar with Twitter you'll recognize the #gno hashtag started by none other than our very own Jyl from Mom It Forward. Every Tuesday night from 7 to 9 pm Pacific time, Jyl hosts #gno complete with a handful of panelists tweeting their answers to questions about a specific topic from preparedness to family activities to photography. The tweets are fast and furious but the night is a lot of fun, often continuing o
n into the wee hours of Wednesday morning!

On July 7th from 7 to 9 pm we'll have our first ever #gno in real life (IRL)! The topic is "me time"--basically, taking time for yourself (is it possible? does it make you feel guilty? do you even do it?) BUT Jyl will be hosting the July 7th #gno on location at Rock Creek Pizza Co. in Riverton, Utah. It's an official girls' night out online and off and we want YOU to come!

Whether you're an experienced Twitterer or a newbie, come on by for some great conversation and great food. Bring your laptop, computer, i
Phone, whatever your Twitter tool of choice--Rock Creek has free WiFi! Or arrive with no intention whatsoever to tweet; come simply to get away with girlfriends for the night. To sweeten the deal Rock Creek Pizza Co. is offering everyone who at the tweetup 25% off her purchase. This is a great excuse for you to try their gourmet chicken garlic pizza, my personal favorite!

Our #GNO IRL is also the last hype party beforeMoms Who Make It on July 16th and marks the last day you can buy your tickets before the price goes up. If you want some serious "me time" then you'll want to schedule a sitter now for July 16th and plan to attend MWMI '09.

I'm planning to be there laptop and appetite in tow. Hope to see you all there! For more details, click here. To RSVP visit the Facebook event page: #GNO IRL "Me Time". --Emily

P.S. If you can't make it we would love for you to join us online and in your pj's!

P.P.S. Only a couple days left to enter to win a Flip video camera and full conference ticket to MWMI '09! We'd love to have you as Boutique Cafe's exclusive conference correspondent!