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In your email and online every week.


"A large chair does not make a king."


Smile. It make people wonder what you're up to.

I saw a cartoon recently showing two men working on a factory line creating the torso and head portions of manufactured replicas that looked just like them. One man is What makes you smile? A certain memory? A humorous person? A morning sunrise? We all have something that makes us smile, or at least I hope so. Can we make other people smile? Of course, we can. Here are seven ideas to help you accomplish that today:

1. Mail a handwritten letter. The average person receives hundreds of electronic messages every day and spends 1.2 seconds with a finger hovering over the delete button before deciding to delete each one or not. Care to guess how that compares to the time people spend reading a hand-written letter? Find a notepad and buy some stamps. You will be glad you did.

2. Reach out to someone in need. I called a friend this week who suffered a horrible loss of a family member. I dreaded making the call, and he likely dreaded taking it. But after a few minutes, we were both smiling.

3. Tell people you’re proud of them. You are certainly proud of many people for the wonderful things they do. Tell them. Yes, saying this can feel awkward at first, but the reward will come from the smiles you will instantly see. 4. Send flowers. Two billion dollars is spent on flowers each Valentine’s Day. But don’t wait for a holiday. Send flowers for no reason at all, and they will be appreciated even more.

5. Deliver food. My wife recently took a meal over to neighbors who are dealing with health problems. She made their day, and their compliments made hers. She now brings food to them a few times each week, and this simple gesture has brought smiles to everyone’s faces.

6. Pay a compliment. You don’t want to come off as a creep, but if you are sincere, a few words can make someone’s week.

7. Smile at everyone you see today. If you don’t buy into all the aforementioned ideas, you might this one. My sister had a painting in her bedroom in our childhood home that said: “Smile. It makes people wonder what you’re up to.” And she did. And we wondered. Give it a try.

Thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
President and Publisher
Big Green Umbrella Media
515-953-4822, ext. 305

Seen around town

Jay Rickertsen, Kenny Cox and Chad Cowan at the Urbandale Chamber AM Exchange hosted by Mail Services on July 27.

Residents can help fight hunger at biking fundraiser

The Urbandale Food Pantry is hosting the 2021 Pedal for the Pantry - Presented by F&G fundraiser on Sunday, Aug. 29. Participants can register to ride virtually or in-person. One hundred percent of registration fees will go to support the Urbandale Food Pantry.

All riders participating in the event will also receive discounts on drinks for support in donations to the pantry at local breweries including Kinship Brewing Co., The Handlebar, 515 Brewing Co., Confluence Brewing Co., Captain Roys, The Triangle Tap, Stormys, Firetrucker Brewery, Reclaimed Rails Brewing Co. and Brightside Aleworks. Participants will receive a T-shirt and wristband.

The virtual ride option has riders pick their favorite trail and ride around town with family and friends, stopping at their favorite breweries along the way.

The in-person VIP ride option offers an onsite 45-minute ride on a bike trainer at the Urbandale Food Pantry. During the onsite VIP ride, participants will ride alongside local celebrities, challenge each other with miles rode, listen to music, and enjoy refreshments.

Riders can register for the event at UrbandaleFoodPantry.org/events.

Pedal for the Pantry helps raise funding to provide food assistance to our neighbors in need. It is no secret that a community with access to food is a more productive, more positive, and more secure place. Join in helping fight food insecurity in Central Iowa. 

Urbandale Public Library updates

The Urbandale Public Library will be closed Sept. 5-6 in observance of Labor Day.

View all programs by visiting www.urbandalelibrary.org to find the online calendar and register or call the library at 515-278-3945.

Brown Bag Book Club, Aug. 24 and Aug. 26, noon, adults (18 and older), in-person. Brown Bag Book Club meets on the last Tuesday and Thursday of each month at noon. New members always welcome. This month’s discussion is on “The Glass Hotel” by Emily St. John Mandel.

Friday Flicks & Adult Movie Night, Fridays, 1 p.m. and Aug. 26, 6 p.m., for adults (18 and older), in-person. This August features unconventional road trips Visit the library website to view the full movie schedule.

Upcoming events

• Party in the Park is Friday, Aug. 27, 6-9 p.m. at Walker Johnston Regional Park, 9000 Douglas Ave. This free family-friendly event features food trucks, a beer garden, inflatables, lawn games and live music.

• Urbandale Historical Society Ice Cream Social is Sunday, Sept. 12, 2-4 p.m. at Urban House, 4010 70th St. The Urbandale Historical Society will serve ice cream with pie or cake and water, lemonade or coffee. Visit the Urban House and Barn, and enjoy visiting with friends during the afternoon.

• Historical program: The Roller Skating Rink in Urbandale will be presented Sunday, Oct. 10, 2 p.m. at Urban House, 4010 70th St. The Urbandale Historical Society will host this program. Come to learn more about this  popular recreational venue for young people, enjoyed during the 1950s. Bring your memories and stories to share with others during the meeting.

• State of the City Address will be presented Thursday, Sept. 30, 6 p.m. at Fire Station 43, 15100 Meredith Drive. The public is invited to attend Mayor Andeweg’s State of the City Address. An open house with light refreshments will be held from 5-6 p.m. The presentation will start promptly at 6 p.m. A time capsule dedication will take place at the conclusion of the event. RSVP at www.Urbandale.org/RSVP.

Joke of the week:

What does a
house wear?


Your Urbandale Living magazine

Mailed to residents of Urbandale the first Thursday of each month. 

This month's cover story: 

Roll call

Back to school means a return to the classroom.

By Darren Tromblay

As hard as it may be to believe, sunscreen and swimsuits will soon be replaced by hoodies and backpacks. Fall is on the way, and, with it, a return to the classroom. Unlike 2020, this school year will begin in the classroom. Urbandale Community School District will welcome all students back into the classroom — the 100% online option will not be offered. Masks will be optional for students and staff. While concerns linger, many are hopeful that the school year will bring some stability for staff, students and families.


Read this month's issue
Chrysalis program empowers girls

Karen Acres fourth and fifth grades part of program

By T.K. West

Since it was created in 1998 by the Chrysalis Foundation, the Chrysalis After-School Program has helped more than 8,000 girls, including those at Karen Acres Elementary School. This program is provided at no charge to participants and targets girls at an age when the pressures of adolescence begin to take hold.

As part of the program, leaders are trained and individually coached to deliver curriculum that covers academics, career exploration, volunteerism, healthy behaviors, leadership skills and financial literacy. This especially includes science, technology, engineering and math.

“Girls Group can boost your confidence,” says Urbandale student Ajla Hodzic. "It is a safe place, and we build great relationships and friendships.”


Read More
Maytag’s four-cheese mac with fig-balsamic drizzle

By Jolene Goodman

I share a delicious recipe from my friend Cyd Koehn this month. She is one of the best caterers in central Iowa. If you have not had the pleasure to enjoy a tasty spread from Cyd, you are in for a treat as I share her recipe for Maytag’s four-cheese mac with fig-balsamic drizzle. This recipe will bring gourmet mac and cheese right to your kitchen, satisfying your family’s tastebuds with a dish they will be asking for again. Let me know what you think!

Maytag’s four-cheese mac with fig-balsamic drizzle


Read More

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