Blaze Pizza black light boxes

SF child care recognized for nature program

All About Kids Family Child Care, owned by Lori Taylor and located in Spanish Fork, has earned national recognition as a Certified Nature Explore Classroom.

The certification and recognition comes from the Nature Explore program, a division of the nonprofit Dimensions Educational Research Foundation. The certification confers several benefits on Taylor’s daycare, including membership in a network of nearly 500 “like-minded spaces” nationwide, the press release states. Certified Nature Explore Classrooms foster nature-based outdoor learning.

“Lori Taylor’s commitment to providing research-based and nature-rich learning offers a wonderful example to programs and educators throughout the country,” said Heather Fox, director of communications and outreach for the Nature Explore program. “These spaces inspire hands-on activity, creativity, play and plenty of time exploring the natural world for children of all ages.”

Taylor said she became interested in creating an outdoor classroom for her child care nearly three years ago, but she wasn’t sure where to begin until she attended a Nature Explore workshop. With the help of her husband and son, Taylor has created several activity areas in her backyard, many of which are named after spots in Utah National Parks.

Activity areas include a large open space play area, a gathering area, a music and movement area, an alphabet garden and more.

“I knew that I wanted to create something unique for the children who would use it,” Taylor said. “Watching the children play in our outdoor classroom makes me smile and remember the magic of being a child.”

Learn more about Taylor’s day care and its nature program by visiting, or by calling 801-798-3226.

Lehi man wins 2019 Author Academy Global Award

Lehi resident Dr. Brandt R. Gibson won a 2019 Author Academy Award in the fantasy category for his book, “James and the Band of Fire.” Gibson received the award last week at the Author Academy Awards ceremony in Ohio.

“The Author Academy Awards is an honor bestowed for literary merit and publishing excellence in the writing and publishing industry,” said Kary Oberbrunner, founder of Author Academy Elite and the Author Academy Awards. “Our goal is to help further connect this global community of authors, maintain excellence and integrity of the book publishing industry, and raise awareness that the stories being told and the authors who write them are worth our attention.”

According to a press release, over 1,000 authors worldwide were nominated for their work in the beginning of January. Nominations were made in 16 categories: general nonfiction, self-help, advice, business, memoir, health, clean romance, fantasy, mystery, thriller, science fiction, YA and middle grade, children’s, historical fiction, general fiction and religion.

Self-published, traditionally published and collaboratively published were all considered for an award, with entries being reviewed and evaluated based on popular vote, social contribution and overall presentation by a panel of judges, the press release states.

Gibson was one of 10 finalists in the fantasy category. Learn more about the Author Academy Awards by visiting the website.

Blaze Pizza offers black light boxes for Halloween

Blaze Pizza, which has over 330 locations nationwide and four in Utah, is offering limited edition large pizza boxes for Halloween.

The special boxes, 500 of which are available at each store, have secret black light-activated messages on them. Under regular light, they look like normal pizza boxes. Customers who get a special box and share it to social media, tagging @BlazePizza and using the hashtag #BlazeHalloweenSweeps will also be entered to win prizes, which includes free pizza delivered for free for a year, a free pizza party, or one free large pizza.

Blaze Pizza is also offering free delivery nationwide from Oct. 28 to Nov. 7, available through the website and app.

“Blaze Pizza was recently ranked as ‘America’s favorite pizza chain,’ and we’re excited to upgrade Halloween parties across the country with a better delivery pizza,” said Daniela Simpson, general manager, digital growth division. “No frozen dough or scary processed ingredients here. Blaze Pizza is all about serving up real food this Halloween and all year long.”

Carley Porter covers northern Utah County and business for the Daily Herald. She can be reached at