Patty Kogutek, also known as Sister Mary Kateri, stopped by SmartFem to share about her life journey and accomplishments.
With an award-winning book under her belt, and numerous public speaking appearances, Patty has had a lot of success. But that’s not the only side to Patty. Her experience and journey has molded her into the wonderful individual she is today. For Patty it has been to live life guilt free, and she might have just achieved it.
Patty Ptak Kogutek was born in Omaha Nebraska, where she attended all catholic schools. Right out of high school she decided to enter the convent. While her parents were against it, they ultimately supported her in her decision and finally approved. Patty felt that she needed to be of service to God, and a good way of doing that was to enter the convent, where she would dedicate all of her time to him.
According to Patty the first two years at the convent were the toughest, as they were the most strict. “They want to mold you into a wonderful nun…leaving the material world behind,” said Patty. They were not allowed to talk about anything personal. She felt that they were trying to take away her personality.
After spending seven years of her young life in the convent, Patty decided it was time for a change. She was ready to live her life. She moved to California with her parents and brother. As she had already been teaching in the convent, she had a college degree, but decided to go back to school to be able to teach in the state of California.
Education became a huge part of Patty’s life. She received her Doctrine at USC and worked as a principle. She later worked at the San Diego County office. She retired 12 years ago, but only to do bigger and better things.
Patty’s life is far from perfect, but she knows how to make the best of it. She has been divorced, broke off an engagement, and then married again, but she doesn’t let that define her. She lets all those imperfections let her grow and learn as she lives her life one day at a time.
The once nun did not completely leave God behind, she simply learned that she could live her life and serve God at the same time. Patty’s first secret from her 7 Secrets of Guilt-Free Living reads, “Don’t let religion get in the way of your relationship with God. “That is what living guilt free is. It is being OK with with saying no, being OK with living for yourself, and being OK with looking after you before anybody else.
It took Patty about four years to write her book A Change of Habit. Not because it wasn’t a priority, but because it became difficult to dig back into her memories. Patty and her husband split their time between Phoenix and Montana. They are hoping to relocate to Phoenix permanently.
While it seems like Patty has done it all, she is not done yet. She says she wants a bigger platform to accomplish even bigger goals. Could writing for SmartFem be one of them? Stay tuned!
SmartFem’s Phoenix plastic surgery expert Dr. Richard Joseph Brown “Dr. Rick” continues our series on plastic surgery with the topic of financing plastic surgery.
So you’ve made the decision to have plastic surgery. You’ve interviewed surgeons. You’ve researched the procedures you are contemplating. You’ve even checked out a local Phoenix area plastic surgeon’s website and watched the 3D animation of your procedure (wink wink). Maybe the only thing that is holding you back is money.
Consider this: Know up front that plastic surgery will need to be paid in full prior to the procedure. If a lump sum is not an option – and for most people, it isn’t – there are two other financing options to look at.
Layaway – Not just for Kmart. All kidding aside, some of our most financially savvy patients, who are eager to get going, plan ahead. He or she picks a date in the future (within 6 months) and we work individually to take payment bi-weekly or monthly until the procedure is paid in full. Then, come surgery time, all that is left to think about is how to relax after surgery and take care of yourself so that you heal quickly.
Another financing option is called Care Credit, offered through GE Capital Retail Bank and applying is quick, easy and secure. Plus you’ll know within minutes if you qualify. Care Credit allows you to pay over time, instead of a lump sum prior to surgery. They even have a no-interest option if paid off in six months. You can finance all of your procedure, or if you have some cash saved that you’d like to use, Care Credit can cover the remainder. Care Credit offers a payment calculator on their website so that you can see right away what your monthly payments would be.
Check out CareCredit.com and call us with any questions. We’re happy to help.
Dr. Richard Joseph Brown “Dr. Rick” is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon serving the Phoenix, AZ area with practices located in Scottsdale, Arizona, as well as Sun City West. Dr. Rick is an expert in the field of plastic surgery and frequently contributes to SmartFem.
It is nearly impossible not to smile when a butterfly enters your vision. Now imagine thousands of them, and Phoenix is probably the last place you would expect to witness that, especially in a rainforest environment. Since opening in May of this year, Butterfly Wonderland in Scottsdale boasts the largest butterfly atrium in America! Due to its lush, tropical environment, it is also most likely the only butterfly atrium where you feel like you have had a moisturizing facial along with your visit…
Far more than just a facility where butterflies rule, you will find several other live exhibits to fascinate your grandchildren and yourselves. To get in the spirit of things, begin in their fabulous 3-D theater to watch the Flight of the Butterflies. This movie chronicles the amazing journey of the Monarch Butterfly. Your little ones will thrill at the butterflies soaring within their grasp. Next you will enter the Emergence Gallery where you will witness various species of butterflies emerging from their chrysalises, their metamorphosis complete.
Our grandkids were really fascinated with the Live Aunt Colony and the Honey Bee Extravaganza. Watching those industrious creatures made us adults feel rather lazy in comparison! The Rivers of the Amazon exhibit showcases freshwater aquatic life up close, and even includes a baby stingray petting pool.
Above all is the Butterfly Conservatory, the magical centerpiece of this extraordinary facility! By all means, bring your camera to this lush atrium that is adorned with tropical plants, waterfalls, koi pond, and thousands of butterflies that travelled here as chrysalises from as far away as Thailand! An equatorial climate awaits; a feast for the senses! Be sure to school your grandchildren beforehand regarding the basic rules; no touching the butterflies, watch where you step, and enjoy it when they choose you as a landing spot! It is easy to lose track of time while watching these beautiful creatures.
www.butterflywonderland.com 480.800.3000 Food Items available Gift Shop Open 7 days a week, 9am-5pm Adults $18.95 ; Student, Military and 62+ $16.95; Children 3-11 $9.95 2 and under free, strollers welcome
Check out their website for group rates, annual passes and private event rates
Please no sunscreen – since butterflies ‘taste’ with their feet, if they land on you it can interfere with their ability to taste ( A Fun Fact courtesy of a Butterfly Wonderland Volunteer)
In 2007 and 2008, the housing market dropped off the table – essentially no sales and no income. Developers holding land needed cash to survive and sold land for pennies. The bottom of the land market was in 2010 with an average sale price of 27 cents per square foot per CoStar; investors with cash gobbled up the parcels.
When the housing market finally rebounded to a price point that allowed developers to again build and sell for a profit about a year ago, they were forced to buy back their in-fill land; often times, from the same folks that they sold to and sometimes at more than triple the price. The average sale price for land in Q3 2011 was 92 cents/sf and in Q3 of 2012 was $2.62/sf, almost tripled.
The projection made at a seminar held by Valley Partnership, an advocacy group responsible for development in metro Phoenix, on May 31 stated that metro Phoenix would increase in population by more than one million over the next 10 years. To meet the population explosion, we will need around 350,000 new homes to be built. Obviously the construction industry will not only fuel jobs for houses, but also for all disciplines of real estate. This also means that land will be in strong demand. The in-fill locations have already jumped in value, but land on the outskirts of metro Phoenix are also starting to appreciate, and now provides a strong buying opportunity.
One of the main reasons for buying land as an investment is that once the market goes up – land values typically go up at a much faster rate than other real estate investments. The number one rule is location and timing and there may be no better time to invest in land in Central Arizona than right now. A buyer has the ability to buy land and do nothing but wait for values to jump, or possibly add immediate value to the property by legally changing the zoning via the entitlement process.
Land can be a risky investment because it almost always involves speculating that the land will increase in value over time. While we believe that metro Phoenix is truly set for a huge boom – events that we have no control over can always happen, be them local or worldwide. Land also has some holding costs like property taxes, and possibly maintenance while the property is sitting vacant and generating no income. On the positive side there are no buildings, plumbing /electrical issues, nor tenants with complaints about accommodations or excuses why they could not pay! Land is easy, but always work with a trusted and experienced land specialist.
Something mothers can really appreciate on Mother’s Day is time away from the usual house chores, cooking and cleaning. However our families can make it happen, we long for a day where there are no dishes or clothes to wash, hand prints on the stainless steel appliances, toothpaste smudged on the counter tops and backpacks dropped in the walkways. Dads are often charged with making something happen on Mother’s Day especially when the children are young. Cookies, flowers, candies and cards will be flying off the shelves this week in preparation for Mother’s Day this coming Sunday, May 12th. But, if you are anything like me, a day at the spa is nice and so are flowers but homemade gifts and sharing special times with the children are even more desirable. I’d like to spend quality time having fun with my kids and make a mess that is not in my kitchen or my house that I will later clean up.
In light of our Mother’s Day wish that messes will magically disappear that day, I thought I’d share a few events around Phoenix where kids can make homemade gifts or share time in the kitchen with no mess for mom to clean up. Here is a list of some activities scheduled in Phoenix that kids can enjoy one on one with mom or the entire family.
Mother’s Day may not be the only day you are looking for something to do with your children either, Although, it is an important one. It is difficult when everyone has their own lives and such busy schedules to make one on one time together. Another site worth visiting that has suggestions on all sorts of activities for kids, in Phoenix, or wherever you may be is Kid Pep. Kid Pep lists a variety of activities for families with children and it’s not just limited to the Phoenix area. It’s a resource you can refer to if you are traveling or perhaps we’ve captured a reader that is out of state.
From all of us at SmartFem.com, we wish you a beautiful, loving and relaxing Mother’s Day 2013.
Locations throughout Phoenix Valley
AJ’s through-out the valley will be holding their Little Chefs Club event on Saturday, May 12th. Each AJ’s will coordinate its own activity so you will need to check with your local store for times and the specific activity. In the past, Little Chefs Club has decorated Mother’s Day cookies and made tiered cookie cakes. There have also been events where children made heart shaped pizzas and cute homemade cards.
Scottsdale Fashion Center and Kierland locations
Sur La Table in Scottsdale Fashion Square and Kierland offer cooking classes all month long. On Sunday, May 12th, both stores will be holding a Mommy & Me Bake: Cupcakes class beginning at 11:00 am. The cost is $35 per person and children ages 5 and up can attend the event. This is well worth it as your little chef can frost to his heart’s content and the mess stays behind. Space is still available and you can register for the event on line at the Sur La Table website.
35 N Robson, Mesa
Children ages 6-12 are invited to make a unique recipe holder and a lovespoon for their mother. The class is scheduled for one hour and begins at 10:30 am on Sunday, May 12th. General admission to the museum is required and this special class is an additional $13. Following the class, families can spend the remainder of the morning and afternoon in the museum.
Locations throughout Phoenix valley
On Mother’s Day, As You Wish Pottery is holding a special event where mothers and toddlers can paint together and create a ceramic plate. Refreshments will be served in the shops and you can spend as much time as you like working on your masterpiece. The cost for the event is $25. Remember the pieces do have to be fired so you will come back the following week to pick up your completed art work.
Locations throughout Phoenix valley
Every other Saturday, Lowe’s holds a kids craft workshop. You will need to check your local Lowe’s store to confirm times as they may vary slightly throughout the valley. Most workshops begin at 10:00 am. This Saturday, May 11th, children work with a Lowe’s specialist to create a lovely heart shaped box for their beloved mothers.
Elements is nestled into the north slope of Camelback Mountain with a beautiful view of the iconic Praying Monk rock formation. Elements is one of those places where even if the food was not good, you would want to come back for the view. Fortunately, their food is exceptional so this one is a win! As a matter of fact, their food is so good that Howard Seftel, a well-known Phoenix restaurant critic, recently published an article on Azcentral.com where he commented “Chef Beau MacMillan’s fare is among the Valley’s best”. Seftel added Elements to his personal wish list to participate in Phoenix Devoured 2014. We will have to wait and see if that recommendation gets Executive Chef MacMillan of Elements to highlight his culinary creations at the event next year. He has been featured on the Food Network and is an Iron Chef America winner. This is one successful and busy chef.
Elements graces The Sanctuary, which is a boutique resort with Asian accents and a chic contemporary style. When you dine at Elements. overlooking their vanishing edge pool, palms, and lush gardens, you will leave the bustle of surrounding Phoenix behind. Elements provokes a sense of escape where you will feel as if you flew away to an exclusive resort destination. For those who come to visit Phoenix, that is exactly what the property is.
Chef MacMillan prepares culinary delights with fresh fish, beef, lamb and pork. He also has colorful vegetarian options and gluten-free dishes to accommodate his guests dietary preferences. The chef seeks out the best local ingredients, hormone-free meats, sustainable seafood, and organic produce. Over the years they have improved their menu and remodeled adding a private dining room that seats 12 with a distinguished view into the kitchen. An extension was also added off the main dining room that has floor to ceiling folding glass walls that open for a fresh air dining experience.
Elements is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I would vouch they offer the best breakfast in Phoenix. The smoked salmon frittata ($15) is fluffy and served with rich dill crème fraiche. Dining on their patio in the morning, overlooking the pool and mountains is truly an unsurpassable experience. Their breakfast menu and brunch menu is full of delights such as an Asian ratatouille omelet ($14), pumpkin chocolate French toast with cinnamon mascarpone ($14) , and a Belgian waffle with salted caramel, bananas and macadamia nut crunch ($13) These are extraordinary breakfast entrees full of flavor.
Lunches at Elements are light and include salads, wraps, pastas and spa bento boxes. For beef lovers they have a juicy charbroiled Angus beef burger ($15) and a Kobe beef hotdog ($11). It’s not difficult to find a light and healthy entrée and the kitchen is always willing to accommodate special requests. For dinner, try the bacon wrapped filet of beef ($44) or pan seared scallops with minted salad and carrot curry butter ($38). During certain times of the year, an heirloom tomato salad has appeared on the menu that is the best I’ve ever had. A secret I recently stumbled upon was their herb garden. While you pass by the garden at the bottom of the entrance stairs, it’s so easy to miss. Stop and take peek at it. They are growing all sorts of herbs, produce and fresh lettuce. No wonder the flavors of their food are so fresh. They are often picking the herbs just hours before using them.
Last but not least, Elements does a great job on cocktails. They are all made with fresh juices and often incorporate herbs from the garden. You may find a strawberry basil or grapefruit rosemary martini and their cocktails are impeccable. Definitely try the strawberry martini if you are there on a night when it’s on the menu. You will not find an extensive wine list at Elements but you will find the wine list change and there are typically selections from notable wineries.
There really isn’t anything negative to say about Elements. They have consistently delivered heavenly food and attentive service. Whether you are there for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, you will always find Elements to be a romantic and private hide-away with a beautiful view of Paradise Valley and fresh food busting with herbs and natural flavors.
Have you thought about restaurant reservations for Mother’s Day? It’s coming up on Sunday, the 12th of May and we have ideal weather in Phoenix for a delightful afternoon brunch. However, if that’s what you have in mind, don’t wait until the last minute to make your restaurant reservations. Many popular dining establishments in Phoenix are already fully committed for Mother’s Day brunch. While it’s nearly two months away, if you plan to dine out, now is the time to make your reservations. I did some homework and provided some suggestions below for restaurants that still show availability on Mother’s Day and offer something unique, such as a patio or view. Reserve on line using Opentable.com and read more here about the benefits and cash back opportunities of using OpenTable. Please check menus for pricing to ensure the restaurant is within your ideal budget.
Details: 11111 N. 7th Street, Phoenix. 602-866-7500 (reserve online)
A Different Pointe of View sits atop the Tapatio Cliffs in the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort. This restaurant is at the highest point of the property and offers breathtaking panoramic views of Phoenix. The menu has a Mediterranean influence and has been serving guests for over 25 years. Tiered seating ensures each guest can relic in the magnificent city view. While the restaurant has been in business for over 25 years, the interior is well maintained and current. While the food doesn’t always compare to other luxury dining establishments in Phoenix, nonetheless, the overall dining experience is enjoyable with an unsurpassed view.
Details: 5700 E. McDonald Drive, Scottsdale. 480-607-2300 (reserve online)
Elements is situated on the north side of Camelback Mountain with spectacular views of Paradise Valley. The restaurant recently underwent a stunning remodel that includes a new dining room, The Praying Monk, where you can enjoy the feel of indoor outdoor dining with open glass walls. The restaurant resides in the boutique Sanctuary Hotel soothing Asian accents and lush gardens. The restaurant offers a beautiful breakfast any day of the week but for Mother’s Day they are sure to add some extraordinary creations. The typical breakfast menu offers some great picks. Try the smoked salmon frittata, pumpkin chocolate French toast or buttermilk pancakes with sea salt better and real maple syrup. No matter where you sit, the view will be gorgeous. Chef Beau MacMillan uses hormone free meats, organic produce and sustainable seafood. They also have vegetarian and gluten-free menu offerings.
Details: 5550 E. Lincoln Drive, Paradise Valley. 480-948-5170 (reserve online)
Brunch at El Chorro has been a long standing Phoenix tradition. The restaurant has an expansive patio with fountains and lush vines meandering. For brunch, try their infamous eggs benedict with your choice of beef tenderloin, smoked salmon or Canadian bacon or their crème brulee French toast. Often, holiday brunches will be presented with carving, eggs made to order and dessert stations but this isn’t guaranteed since El Chorro hasn’t posted their menu for Mother’s Day brunch just yet.from within color pots. The menu has a southwestern influence and the restaurant has their own garden where they grow produce and herbs they use in their dishes. El Chorro is famous for their delectable sticky buns and all their brunch entrees are preceded by a basket of the warm soft cinnamon buns.
Details: 4925 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. 480-424-6095 (reserve online)
Taggia is tucked away in the FireSky Resort in Scottsdale and offers tranquil patio dining with a wood burning fireplace and overlooking a lagoon with trickling falls. The restaurant is open daily for breakfast and lunch. On holidays, they usually offer a prix fix menu. The menu offers seasonal Italian cuisine and Chef Massimo De Francesca cooks with organic and seasonal ingredients. While this restaurant is a bit rustic, which some may not care for, it is still elegant and the food is consistently rated high. They serve piping hot rustic potatoes with most of their breakfast entrees and their omelets are fluffy and packed full of fresh vegetables and cheeses. Taggia is very kid friendly and an affordable choice for a brunch.
The House at Secret Garden is one of those places that you arrive at and ask yourself “Has this place always been here?” Well it had to be, because the main home on the property was built in 1929. At one point in time it was even a hippie commune. Today, The House at Secret Garden has been transformed into a quaint, and surprisingly affordable, restaurant with outstanding food and service. Offering fresh farm-to-table seasonal cuisine, this restaurant received the award for Best Authentic Arizona Restaurant of 2012 by Phoenix New Times.
There’s a certain air of mystique about the candle lit hacienda that you will sense immediately. Your curiosity will be sparked when you step through the old wooden doors and see the beautiful stair case adorned with Mexican tiles and iron railings. You won’t be able to resist exploring all the areas of this ever so interesting property. The question begs, what’s at the top of those beautiful stairs? Well, I couldn’t resist asking and was informed the restaurant uses it for office space and it’s not open to guests. The House has a patio with outdoor dining that is set far back from the street and is a quiet, tranquil area. The patio is surrounded by flowering trees, a brook, and during the cooler months it’s warmed by an outdoor fireplace and heaters.
The dining room is positively charming and intimate. It’s cozy with soft lighting, rich colored woods and glazed walls. Their creaky wood floors add to the charm. Upon sitting down, you will find yourself eager to discover the menu. The cocktail menu has creative and refreshing features all made with freshly squeezed juices. The wine list is exceptionally thoughtful. The House offers a range of respectable low, mid and high priced bottles and wines by the glass. A detail that speaks a thousand words on the wine list is a Paul Hobbs chardonnay and a Hobbs malbec from Argentina. When you are dealing with smaller wine lists, as opposed to the wine novels offered in some restaurants, and there’s a bottle or two of Paul Hobbs tucked in, no doubt the person who pulled the list together has fine taste in wines.
Salads and starters were beautifully presented. On the menu, is a cheese platter that you can customize by mixing and matching a variety of different cheeses. The platter is accompanied by grilled bread, figs drizzled with balsamic, nuts, olives and golden raisins.
Other starters included seasonal soups, a grilled romaine salad and sweet potato planks served with crème fraiche and pancetta. The happy hour runs daily from 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. and there are additional appetizers to choose from on that menu. Happy hour on their serene patio with the outdoor fireplace is sure to be a relaxing end to a busy day. The owner, Pat Christofolo, highly recommends the shrimp and grits, pork belly, polenta fries and pappardelle. Pat shared these are some of the customer favorites. Pat’s son, Dustin, is the chef and co-owner and he is the former chef at The Farm Kitchen at South Mountain. Pat says the restaurant is chef driven and will maintain their focus on seasonal local cuisine.
Main courses are affordable and delivered timely to the table by friendly and polished servers. Portions are just right so you won’t gorge yourself and the flavors of the fresh herbs, cheeses, and vegetables can be distinguished in the dishes. It’s apparent by the overall presentation that the food is prepared with admiration for the customers. For dessert, try the Dried Berry Bread Pudding with cranberries, raisins, almonds tart cherries and bananas. Served with pecan gelato and bourbon maple anglaise, this dessert is divine.
The House at Secret Garden is truly a delight from the charm of the old home to the service, food and affordability. If you haven’t had an opportunity to stop in, definitely do so and make your reservation quickly and easy by going to OpenTable.com. You can expect a delightful evening at The House in a relaxed setting and likely find yourself eager to return.
2501 E. Baseline Rd.
Residents of the Valley rocked the red carpet on the 24th of February at the Camelback Inn. Phoenix guests were treated like movie stars roaming the red carpet. The evening was elegant and fun filled. Rolf’s Salon style lounge was there to ensure that everyone was ready for their close-ups. The event was definitely attended by Phoenix’s A-listers.
ABC15 was the television partner for the evening and ABC news anchor Connie Colla was the hostess of the evening.
Connie’s hair and make-up was done by Rolf’s Salon. She looked elegant and vintage Hollywood. Her gown was so beautiful it was actually auctioned off for the Arthritis Foundation.
The evening was that of a fairy tale as the women in their beautiful ball gowns gathered together to support the Arthritis Foundation as well as view the nominated films. Oscar night generates so much excitement world-wide, but it is refreshing to see Phoenicians come together to enjoy each other and come together as a community to support the amazing philanthropic work right here in Phoenix.
The Arthritis foundation was the charity tied to the Black tie event. Arthritis strikes about 50 million adults and 300,000 children and is the leading cause for disability in this nation.
all photos by SmartFem
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