Friday, October 11, 2013

Pork Chops with McCormick Spice (and GIVEAWAY!) Ends 10/24.

This post brought to you by McCormick & Company. All opinions are 100% mine.

Lately when people ask me how things are going, I usually use a word like "chaotic" to describe my life right now.  My husband is in a very time-intensive program at school, which leaves me responsible for taking care of the kids 24/7 AND working from home to support us.  (Luckily I have an awesome job that lets me work from home and be the mom I need to be too).

I need something I can cook for dinner that is easy but delicious, and that you can make on a budget, which is why I was thrilled when I found the recipe for Home Style Pork Chops at McCormick.com.

I made these Pork Chops this week using McCormick Paprika, McCormick Thyme Leaves and McCormick Black Pepper, Ground and we loved them.  They only took a few minutes to prepare and everybody ate them right up.  I decided to grill them instead of pan fry, but it would work either way.

McCormick has generously offered to let me host a “Homemade in America” comment contest for my readers to win a McCormick gift set!

To enter, just leave a comment and tell me what your favorite McCormick spice is!  Winner will be chosen at random at midnight October 24.

Get one extra entry for each of the following (leave a seperate comment for each entry):

1.  Follow McCormick Spice on Facebook.

2.  Follow McCormick Spice on Twitter.

3.  Follow McCormick Spice on Pinterest.

Remember to leave your email address if it is not associated with your profile.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

It's baby season and I've got some Brookside Chocolate to celebrate!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sam’s Club. All opinions are 100% mine.

I don't know what it is, but it sure feels like baby season around here lately.  My baby is already 4 months old but I feel like I am surrounded by newborns!  Most of my close friends have had a baby in the last month or two or will have one within the next couple of weeks.

When I had Lily, one of my sisters gave me a bag of Brookside Dark Chocolate Pomegranate and it was honestly my favorite thing anyone brought me in the hospital.  Nobody told me that as a new mom, once that baby comes out you are STARVING.  ALL THE TIME.  I needed something tasty I could snack on in between visitors and nursing and honestly ate the whole bag during my two-day hospital stay by myself.  I was hooked.  I love this stuff!

Since then, I have also tried Dark Chocolate Acai with Blueberry, which I might actually like even better.  You better believe I am showing up to the hospital to visit my friends with a bag of Dark Chocolate Acai with Blueberry and a bag of Brookside Dark Chocolate Pomegranate for them.  Best post partum gift ever.

Did I mention how much I love this stuff?

Do you want to try Brookside chocolate too?  You're in luck!  On October 5 Sam's Club will be sampling Brookside chocolates in their stores!  Go stock up on this adult version of Halloween candy and discover Brookside- you'll be glad you did.  For more information on Brookside chocolate, you can visit Brookside Chocolate on Facebook.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Adventure Time Gunter Garbage Can using Duck Tape® Sheets

This post brought to you by Walmart. All opinions are 100% mine.

After many requests, here is the tutorial on how to make the Adventure Time Gunter Garbage Can for the Adventure Time Room I put together.  (The top left in the picture is the character from the show - my inspiration.)

Adventure Time is super popular right now but there isn't a lot out there to buy when it comes to decorating a room.  This Gunter garbage can was super easy to make with the use of Duck Tape® Sheets from Walmart.

First, I started off with a plain black garbage can I purchased from Walmart.

I purchased 2 white Duck Tape® sheets, 1 yellow Duck Tape® sheet, and 1 black Duck Tape® sheet.  You could also buy Duck Tape at Walmart and use Duck Tape® from a roll.

The basic shapes of Gunter are very simple, so I just cut out a triangle for the nose, two black circles for the eyes (and then I cut two circles out of the middle for the pupils).  I used the white to do the dome shape of the body - you can see where the two Duck Tape® sheets meet in the picture if you look close.

I drew a pattern on cardstock for the feet and cut out four feet out of the yellow Duck Tape® sheet.  I cut the heel off of two of the feet and then stuck 1 foot with a heel to 1 foot without a heel so both the top and the bottom were yellow Duck Tape® but the heel was still sticky on one side.  Then I simply stuck the sticky part of the heel to the bottom of the garbage can.

Duck Tape® made this project the easiest ever.  The whole project only took about half an hour and was not expensive at all to make.  I loved being able to cut shapes and then have it easily stick on permantly - no messing with glue or paint.  It added the perfect touch to our Adventure Time room!

Pick up your Duck Tape® sheets at Walmart when you do your back to school shopping and make a Gunter garbage can of your own!  Your kids will love you for it!

More projects using Duck Tape® can be found by following @TheDuckBrand on Twitter.

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Beat the Heat Missionary Package with Crystal Light®

This post brought to you by Dollar General . All opinions are 100% mine.
With three of my siblings on missions this summer, we have had a lot of fun sending them all packages and letters to let them know we are thinking about them!
Since one of my siblings is a missionary in Florida, one is in Arkansas, and one is in Iowa, I hear every single week when they write about how hot it is outside.  Every single week.
This week I sent them "Beat the Heat" care packages!  Some things were actually to keep them cool and some things just had the word "cool" or "ice" in it.
You may notice I added my favorite flavor of Crystal Light® in there (Strawberry orange sunrise).  I have talked about how much I love Crystal Light® before, so I thought it would be the perfect thing to add to this package to give their water a little extra flavor.
Crystal Light®, as well as other summertime drinks can be found for unbeatable prices from Dollar General.  There are all kinds of all kinds of good deals on Kraft® drink products at Dollar General.  Kool-Aid®, Crystal Light®, Country Time® Lemonade, MiO® Energy and Capri Sun® would all be perfect for this package!
Coupons for Kool-Aid®, MiO® Energy and Capri Sun® can be found here.
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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Holding onto the last bit of summer

This post brought to you by Dollar General. All opinions are 100% mine.

We are holding onto the last bit of summer at my house before school starts so as soon as I saw this recipe for Pat's Favorite OREO Ice Cream Bars using PLANTERS nuts from Dollar General, I knew I had to make it.

Seriously...what could be better than butter pecan ice cream sandiched between an OREO crust and caramel icecream topping with COOL WHIP?  You can get the recipe here.

You can get the KRAFT products at Dollar General - and they have special savings going on all the time.  All you need to do is visit the website, dowload the coupons and start saving.

Couponing is something that I am not good at...yet.  I am trying to get better.  My husand is going from working full time down to working barely any starting next week so he can finish school this year, and although I am ready to support us for a bit while working for the best job for me ever, money is still tight and I am looking to save wherever I can.  Clipping coupons on the Dollar General site is so easy - it takes hardly any time at all to get savings on things I need.

Summer is almost over and fall is just around the corner, which I guess is a good thing because those KRAFT caramels are calling my name.  It's almost caramel apple season!  What are you most excited to make this fall?

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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Missionary Care Package: Treat your Trainer

My little brother left the MTC and entered the mission field recently.  Right after he wrote home the first time telling us about his area and companion I put together this "Treat your trainer" package.
 
The idea is that although missionaries get a lot of packages when they first go out, the packages slow down considerably most of the time the longer they've been out.  This package was meant to be exciting for my brother's companion and my brother as well.
 
 
I packed it all into one of those flat rate boxes and decorated the box with the Elders' names and "Treat your trainer" so he'd get the theme of it.
 
 
Air freshener plug ins:  Treat your trainer to a great smelling apartment!
(My brother mentioned their apt smelled weird when they moved in)
 
 
"Treat your trainer to some candy!  Some for him and some for you"
(I got 2 boxes of each kind)
 
 
"Treat your trainer by making him dinner"
I included stuff for Suddenly Salad and chicken salad sandwiches - one of his favorite easy meals.
 
 
"Treat your trainer to some cool treats!  Take a break from the heat & cool off with a popsicle"
These Fla-Vor-Ice popsicles are perfect to send in the mail because they can be left at room temperature and it's HOT where he is.
 
 
Finally, I looked up a restaurant that was close to his apartment since he doesn't always have access to a car and included a gift card (enough for him and his companion to eat).
"Treat your trainer to a night out to eat"

Monday, August 5, 2013

Cool off this summer with Fla-Vor-Ice

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Jel Sert. All opinions are 100% mine.

Summer 1997

I love summer.  I've always loved it.  I have memories of going on vacations during the summer but my favorite memoreis involve playing with my siblings outside, jumping on the trampoline and sleeping outside.

It occurred to me just the other day that my little girl is now at the age that my earliest memories were made.  The things I do with her now will create memories that will last her lifetime.  I always try to do fun things with her but it made me want to step up my game even more.  This summer we've had the oppertunity to spend a lot of time together at the water park, going to movies, going to the zoo and museums, and playing with cousins.


At the cabin

This past week I took the girls to our family cabin to spend some quality time with my husband's side of the family.  There is no air conditioning there, and although it is in the mountains it definitely gets hot in the summers, especially in this record-breaking heat.  I packed a box of Fla-Vor-Ice and popped it into the freezer as soon as we got there.

We all enjoyed snacking on Fla-Vor-Ice while we were there.  Lily's favorite flavor was berry punch (the blue one).  I loved that they were an easy and mess free way to cool off but I didn't have to worry about them eating too many because there aren't many calories and sugar in each one.  Lily would ask for another one a couple hours later and I wouldn't hesitate to let her grab another one.

Fla-Vor-Ice is hosting the Fla-Vor-Ice Flashback Sweepstakes!  You can enter now through August 20, 2013 for your chance to win a box of Fla-Vor-Ice, a $50 VISA gift card, or a year supply of Fla-Vor-Ice!

Summer Flashback Giveaway

It's easy to enter!  Just visit to Fla-Vor-Ice on facebook and like their page.

Fla-Vor-Ice

Then just click on the "Sweepstakes" tab and follow the prompts to fill out the required information.

Be sure to "like" Fla-Vor-Ice on Facebook and follow @FlaVorIce_Pops on Twitter too!

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Dream Nursery Reveal: Kate's room

I spent countless hours planning for and getting Kate's nursery ready for her arrival.  I wanted it to be perfect - my dream nursery - and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.
 
 
I wanted it to be super girly with a neutral color scheme and a hint of pink.  When I had my husband hang the chandelier I asked if he liked it and he said "it's pretty girly".  I immediately replied "oh good, that's what I'm going for!"
 
I found the curtains at Target.  I considered making some but it's much cheaper to buy curtains than to buy that much fabric.
 
The glider was also from Target.  I always try to have a picture of Christ in my childrens' rooms an I found the perfect one at Seagull Book & Tape that went right along with the color scheme I was going for.
 
I made the Kate wall hanging, mobile, bumper pads, crib quilt, and crib skirt.


I got the chandelier and framed mirror at IKEA.  You seriously cannot beat the price and the chandelier is the perfect touch - I'm in love with it.  I got the changing table at D&B Woods on Center Street in Provo and we had it stained to match the crib.  I made the changing table pad cover.


I love the custom closets in our house - it really saved us in this room.  Although I wanted it to look 100% like a nursery, it was our only remaining guest room a few weeks prior and I still have to store some stuff in there.  With the help of the custom closet, there is plenty of space to store everything with room to spare.
 
I got both bookshelves at Target.  I love to fill the shelves with pictures and toys and not just books when I can because I think it adds a lot to the room and keeps things interesting.  I filled both shelves with pictures of Kate's family, pictures of her mom, dad and sister as a baby, and a maternity picture from right before I had her.  I filled the fabric bins with bath stuff, bibs, toys and burp cloths.
 
It's my dream nursery - just what I wanted.  It took a while to put together but it was worth it.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Hawaiian Punch®: Aloha Morning™

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Dollar General. All opinions are 100% mine.

What kid doesn't love Hawaiian Punch®?  I remember as a kid being so excited that I got to choose my own drink at Chuck E Cheese's because I could choose Hawaiian Punch®.  (I wasn't a huge fan of carbonation as a kid).

I'm always on the look out for fun things for my kids to try, which is one reason I was so excited to learn that Hawaiian Punch® now makes a breakfast drink called Hawaiian Punch Aloha Morning.  Hawaiian Punch®: Aloha Morning™ is made with 5% real juice and has 40% less sugar than other breakfast drinks.

I was never a big fan of breakfast until I had kids.  I never made a big breakfast and was lucky to even get down cereal.  I know it's the most important meal of the day, but it's hard for me to get going in the mornings!  Once I had kids I felt responsible to keep them healthy, and breakfast was a big part of that.  Although I don't always cook a big breakfast every morning, we do have breakfast every morning and I try to serve something more than cereal whenever I can.

I have been meaning to make a hot batch of German Pancakes with homemade coconut syrup lately and Hawaiian Punch®: Aloha Morning™ would go great with that meal.  Lily loves juice so she would be thrilled if I got her a new drink to try, especially something fun for breakfast since she's usually stuck with milk.

You can find Hawaiian Punch®: Aloha Morning™ at your local Dollar General store.

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Living Planet Aquarium - GIVEAWAY (ENDED)

CONGRATS TO LINDA, JENNA, MARY, HEATHER AND CHELSEA WHO WON THIS GIVEAWAY!

We went back to the Living Planet Aquarium this week as a family.
 
 
Lily loved watching the river otters play.

 
We thought it was a lot of fun to pet the small sharks in the touch pool.

 
Our favorite exhibit this time was watching the 14-foot anaconda.  She was active when we went - slithering all over her cage and sticking her tongue in and out.
 
Shortly after we took the picture above she saw us looking through the glass and swam over to say hi!
 

 
She touched her nose right to the glass where Lily was - it was incredible to watch such a big snake!
 
The Sandy Living Planet Aquarium is closing in September to allow for transition into the new aquarium coming soon in Draper.  For more information on the new Draper aquarium, visit their website here.
 
DO YOU WANT TO TAKE YOUR FAMILY TO SEE THE LIVING PLANET AQUARIUM IN SANDY BEFORE IT CLOSES?
 
5 lucky winners will receive a family 4 pack of tickets to the Living Planet Aquarium!
 
To enter, just leave a comment telling me what you're excited to see in the new Draper aquarium.
 
Make sure to include your email address in the comment if it's not linked to the profile you're commenting with so I can contact you if you win.)
 
For additional entries, leave a seperate comment for each of the following:

-Like Utah County Mom on Facebook

-Follow Utah County Mom on twitter

-Follow Utah County Mom on Pinterest

-Share this giveaway on your blog, twitter, or facebook with a link to this post (1 entry each)

-Subscribe to Utah County Mom via email (enter your address on the left sidebar)
 
This giveaway will end at 11:59 PM (Mountain Daylight Time) on July 31, 2013.

Fine print: Although I received free tickets to review this venue, the opinions on this post are 100% mine. The giveaway is for people willing to drive to Sandy only.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

"Hang in there" Missionary Care Package



My sister only has 6 weeks left of her mission so I sent her a "Hang in there" package filled with monkey and banana themed things.
 
I started off by making her this card.
 
I kept to a yellow and brown color scheme and added some banana flavored pudding as well.  I got a small stuffed monkey at Toys R Us for $3 and added a pile of pictures to update her on what is going on at home.
 
I picked some yellow candy and made a label that reads "I'd go bananas without you!"
 
I picked some brown candy and made a label that reads "You're more fn than a barrel of monkeys!"

Friday, July 12, 2013

Summer Missionary Care Package



I put together a summer Missionary care package for one of our sibling's who is serving an LDS mission in Florida.
 
I stuck to a red, white and blue theme for the most part and chose candies that reminded me of summer.  I put in a few small squirt guns and a pile of pictures of all the fun we have been having this summer.  Finally, I tucked in a letter and a picture from Lily.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Love Notes by Lauryn

Thursday, July 11, 2013

"I hope you're having a ball" MTC Missionary Care Package


 
My youngest brother entered the MTC last week making it 3 siblings between my husband and me currently serving LDS missions.
 
Between my mom and his friends' packages, I figured this Elder was getting more candy and junk food then he could possibly eat in his two-week stay at the MTC so I sent him a non-food MTC care package.
 
I heard through the grapevine that he has been enjoying playing basketball with the Elders so I sent him a glow-in-the-dark over the door hoop, a pile of pictures of family and a card my kids drew.  I added a card that said "I hope you're having a BALL at the MTC" to tie it all together and I was set.  Simple and sweet.

The ball/hoop was only $10 at Toys R Us so it didn't bother me that he would only get to use it during his limited amount of free time and have to leave it behind when he went onto his mission a couple weeks later.

It brought a smile to his face and that was my goal!


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Crafting for money

People are always looking at crafts I have made and saying "you should sell that stuff! You'd make a fortune."  They are wrong. Here's why.

Crafting and sewing both take quite a bit of time.  The finished product may look impressive when its done but often it costs almost as much to buy the supplies as purchasing the finished product.  Especially in the case of sewing, the time it takes to create your masterpiece (masterpiece to you only because it involved so much work but simple and ordinary to everyone else) makes it difficult, if not impossible to get paid a reasonable hourly wage.

I love crafting and sewing. Especially sewing. Love it. But not as a job, as a hobby. I love to create, design, invent, come up with something all my own and taylor my project so it fits my needs perfectly. It's exciting for me. It's fun.

As soon as I agree to do it for money though it loses its appeal. It becomes a job, a task I must get through. It's stressful because I want it to be perfect for my customer.  It's stressful because even when I charge what I think is a ridiculous amount, even for a custom-made item (like $350 for this comforter), to make a semi-reasonable hourly wage of a whole $10 per hour, I still feel like I am losing money because I would have made more by just working my other job with much less stress involved.

So I don't usually craft for money.  No thank you. I will stick to medical transcription and sell DVDs online to bring in a little extra cash.  I will keep crafting fun.

This post was sponsored by Music Magpie.  Although it was a sponsored post, all opinions were still 100% mine.

Monday, July 8, 2013

It's HOT outside!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Coca Cola. All opinions are 100% mine.

It's crazy hot outside!

We have been having a lot of fun this summer going swimming, to parades, fairs, parks, up the canyon, having water fights, and playing in the kiddie pool in the back yard.  Even at night it's hot so we always keep a beverage handy to help cool us off.

With all our outside fun, I try hard to ensure my kids and I stay hydrated.  It's really hot outside!  Espcecially while nursing, I watch my liquid intake cloesly to make sure I don't get dehydrated.

My husband has been getting really into Coca Cola products lately which has made it easier to cool off when it's hot.  I can't even count how many NOS® he has drank this summer, keeping him hydrated and giving him energy to go to the gym or just get through the day.

Lily obviously doesn't drink NOS® so I try to keep other options on hand like Dasani®, Powerade®, Fuze® or Vitamin Water®.  Having a variety of beverages for her to choose from helps make it easier to get her to drink often.

I was thrilled when I learned that Sam’s Club has unbeatable prices on NOS®, Dasani®, Powerade®, Fuze® and Vitamin Water®.  My husband saves up the points from his NOS® to get prizes, and with the prices Sam's Club offers he should have his next prize in no time!

What are some ways you help your family stay hydrated while having fun in the sun?

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