Saturday, December 10, 2016

Christmas in Color - and GIVEAWAY

GIVEAWAY:  Do you want to win a pass to take your family to see Christmas in Color in either Provo or Kearns?  Enter on Facebook or Instagram to win!  Giveaway ends December 14.
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We drove through Christmas in Color last night after we'd heard everybody raving about it.  According to their website it's Utah's biggest drive-through light show with over 1,000,000 lights!  I love that you just play a flat fee per car so my cousin and I piled our kids in the same car and drove around together enjoying the lights.
Just look at this (blurry) picture of my 3-year-old.  She loved it!  There is over a mile of lights choreographed to Christmas music.  It really was fun.
 
If you go, get discount tickets here.  They're a little bit cheaper and it's definitely worth the $15 to go.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Buffalo Plaid Pillows for under $10

I've been swooning over this buffalo plaid print lately and really wanted a couple throw pillows for my bed but the cheapest I could find with an online coupon and on sale was $17 a pillow.  I went to the fabric store to see if I could find fabric to make it for less and was unsuccessful.
 
Then I found a buffalo plaid throw on clearance at Kmart.com for $3.  THREE DOLLARS!!  I bought two (one for my pillows and one for the end of the bed), picked up two zippers and sewed pillow cases for two throw pillows I wasn't using anymore.  The whole project took me about an hour.  Anyone else loving this buffalo plaid trend?

Spuds - and GIVEAWAY

GIVEAWAY:  Let Spuds and Just Another Utah County Mom treat you to your own loaded potato!  TWO lucky winners will receive a $10 gift card to spuds!  Enter by commenting on my posts on Instagram or Facebook to win.  Giveaway ends Dec 16.
We tried out Spuds last night.  It just opened in Provo and I just heard about it but I guess it's been around as a food truck for a while and before that it was at the farmer's market.  Have you heard of it?
The basic idea is that first you pick your potato (baked, mashed or fries).  Then you pick what flavor you want and top it off with a few extra toppings.  I picked a baked potato with sweet and spicy pork (a lot like the pork at cafĂ© rio) and added butter, sour cream, chives, cheese, jalapenos and onions.  I had never had pork on a potato before but I liked it!
My husband ordered the mashed potatoes topped with buffalo chicken, cheese, sour cream, chives and banana peppers.  What would you order on yours?

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Luminaria at Thanksgiving Point - is it worth it? (and GIVEAWAY)

GIVEAWAY - Do you and your family want to go to Luminaria so you can have the same magical night together we did?!?!?  Thanksgiving Point and Just Another Utah County Mom are giving away 4 tickets to Luminaria!  Enter by commenting on my posts on Instagram or Facebook.  It couldn't be easier!  Giveaway ends December 11 at midnight.
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We went as a family to Thanksgiving Point's Luminaria last night.  We have an annual pass to Thanksgiving Point and so do several of my friends but EVERYONE I talk to has asked me the same thing....  "We are thinking about going, but haven't decided yet.  Is it worth it?"
 
I think the hesitation to go comes from the $20 for adults and $17 for kids 3-17 price tag.  Thanksgiving Point members get a 10% discount but still...
It's beautiful.  It really is magical and you can see it in my kids' faces in the pictures below.  I love that you have to reserve a time so it doesn't seem crowded.  I love a lot of things about it.
 
So, is it worth it?
I can tell you without hesitation if you go you will love it.  It's something that is fun for all ages.  My young kids loved it.  I saw teenagers there.  I saw grandmas and grandpas being pushed around in wheelchairs there.  I saw middle aged couples on dates there.  (Honestly, I think this would be a spectacular date choice.)
 
I think it all depends on how much money you feel comfortable spending.  If you pay to go to the tulip festival in the spring, you will love this.  I liked it a lot better than the tulip festival.  If you pay to go to Cornbelly's in the fall, I think it's just as fun.  If you're comfortable splurging on this once-a-year tradition, you'll have fun.  There really is nothing like it and I don't know of anywhere else you can go to get Christmas lights at this level.
 
However, if you are going to spend the whole time walking through thinking "I can't believe we spent $80 on this" you probably aren't going to enjoy it.  Not because it isn't magical or fun, because it is, but because the stress of the money will ruin the experience for you.
I think my favorite part is that while we walked through the pathways of lights, each place had a different smell.  We got to a place with flower lights that smelled like flowers.  There were places that smelled like pine.  It really was magical.
They did have these small heaters a few places throughout the pathways but dress really really warm.  I dressed my kids in their snow boots, snow pants, hats, gloves, mittens, scarves and coats and they still got a little cold.  Granted, it was in the low 20s last night and the wind was blowing but 95% of this is outside so dress warm.
The only part that isn't outside (above) is beautiful.  There were places to sit and admire the poinsettias and a place to buy hot chocolate or treats.  To top it off, the whole room smelled like Christmas!
I loved that it had a whole section devoted to Christ and the spiritual side of Christmas.  The picture above doesn't do it justice and show just how breathtaking the lit lanterns surrounding the statues of Christ were.
My kids loved seeing the live reindeer!
There was a place called Smores village with fire pits that also had games and fun things to do.  My husband insisted we played a little bit of corn hole and my kids loved posing in the snowman cutouts.  There was a super size lite brite and a track to race wooden sleds down.  You could also buy smores kits there to make over the fire.  I loved it because it wasn't crowded at all so everyone could play.
 If you go with kids, consider buying some glo-sticks before you go!  The cheapest place I've found them is actually at Macey's grocery store and I was wishing I had brought some along as we were walking around.
 
The picture everyone seems to have of Luminaria is of the colored lights right as you walk in all the way down the hill.  Did you know these lights change with the songs?!?  Watch the video below to see how cool it is!
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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

DIY Easy No Sew Christmas Sweater - Fireplace Scene

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This sweater is so easy and always a huge hit at our ugly Christmas sweater parties.
 
I just got a shirt from our local thrift store for $3.  Then I got some felt and clear plasticy fabric and created a fireplace scene using a hot glue gun to put it all together and attach it to the shirt. 
 
MAKE SURE YOU PUT SOMETHING BETWEEN THE FRONT AND BACK OF THE SHIRT WHEN YOU ARE GLUING (LIKE WAXED PAPER OR A CUTTING BOARD) SO YOU DON'T GLUE THE SHIRT TOGETHER.
 
I made sure to leave the top of the fireplace scene open (didn't glue that part to the shirt) so my husband could slip his iPhone through.  Then he just put on an 8-hour YouTube video of a fire, slipped his phone in and he was ready to go!

Riced - and GIVEAWAY!!!

 GIVEAWAY!!!  Let Riced and Just Another Utah County Mom treat you to lunch.  Enter on Facebook or Instagram to win ONE OF TWO $15 gift certificates!  Giveaway ends December 14.
 We stopped by Riced in Lehi today while we were out running errands.  Have you tried this new Chinese place out?!?  I felt like we got a lot of food for the price we paid and it was good quality too.  (Picture above: Orange chicken kids meal.  Pictures below:  Mongolian beef on the left and sesame chicken on the right)
 Riced is sort of a mid-point between Panda Express and PF Changs with quick at-the-counter ordering but fresh higher quality food.  The sesame chicken was my favorite.  It was today's special so we got the chicken, rice and a drink for $7.95.  The kids meal was only $4.95 but came with a lot more food than most kids meals.  I feel like it was reasonably priced for the quality and atmosphere.
Look how pretty and inviting this place is.  They had traditional tables to eat at too but I think it would be a fun place for a date night with a few chairs and couches in a more casual setting to choose from as well.


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

No-Sew Ugly Christmas Light Up Sweaters for Kids

I love these no-sew DIY ugly Christmas sweaters for kids because they're cute and easy so anyone can make them and my kids love them because they light up!
I took a trip to our local thrift store and picked out two sweaters in my girls' sizes for just $2 or $3 each.  The I bought THESE light up strings, felt from the craft store, heat n bond, sticky back velcro, googly eyes and two ridiculous-looking embellishments for their headbands from the floral section of Hobby Lobby.
For the present sweater, I just cut out a square of polka-dot felt and added a stripe of purple felt using Heat n' bond.  Then I used Heat n' bond to attach the top half of the present (more on that below) to the shirt and hot glued the bow on.  I then hot glued the lights on.
 
MAKE SURE YOU PUT SOMETHING LIKE A CUTTING BOARD OR WAXED PAPER BETWEEN THE FRONT AND BACK OF THE SHIRT BEFORE YOU HOT GLUE SO YOU DON'T HOT GLUE THE WHOLE SHIRT TOGETHER.
 
It's not as hard as it sounds.
 
For the reindeer sweater, I cut out the shapes I wanted and used Heat n' bond to put the whole reindeer together, hot gluing on the googly eyes.  Then I used Heat n' bond to attach the top half of the reindeer to the sweater and used a hot glue gun to glue all the lights on.
The reason you only attach the TOP HALF of the graphic is because you want to hide the battery pack under the bottom half.  I then put one small piece of Velcro at the bottom to keep it shut and that battery pack hidden.  (See above)
 
For the headbands I just hot glued the things I got from the flower section to a headband we already had.
We got so many compliments on these and my girls love them.  My 3-year-old kept saying "thank you for making this for me mom, you're the best mommy ever."