Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest Rules


This year we’re starting a new Christmas tradition with our family. We will be hosting the Christmas Eve festivities at our house. And not just any festivities…Uncle Ugly’s Christmas Sweater Jamboree featuring the Ugliest Christmas Sweater Contest! I thought that I’d share the Ugliest Christmas Sweater Contest Rules with you in case you were planning your own party this year. The rules don’t really mean anything, and we’ve never really stuck to them (they were just a way to keep my crazy family from cheating), but here they are anyway.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest Rules

Photos and results from the 2010 Ugliest Christmas Sweater Contest are here! Enjoy the Ugly :)

Uncle Ugly’s Christmas Sweater Jamboree
Featuring the Ugliest Christmas Sweater Contest
Contest Rules and FAQs

To be eligible as an Ugly Christmas Sweater Contestant you must wear a Christmas or Winter themed Sweater, Sweatshirt, or Sweater Vest to the Jamboree. Turtlenecks and long or short-sleeved t-shirts will not be accepted. You may wear such items underneath an Ugly Christmas Sweater-vest, but it will not be considered part of your sweater and therefore not eligible for judging. You may add to or alter your Christmas sweater however you like, have fun and get creative. Additional items such as hats, jewelry or other festive attire will not be considered when voting for the Ugliest Christmas Sweater. An item must be attached to your Christmas sweater in order to be eligible.

You can be disqualified from the Ugliest Christmas Sweater Contest for the following:
+Putting on your ugly Christmas Sweater after entering the jamboree (You must be already wearing your sweater when you show up to the jamboree.).
+Removing your sweater before the Ugliest Christmas Sweater Champion has been announced.
+Altering your Christmas sweater after entering the jamboree (Any and all alterations or additions to your sweater must be completed before entering the jamboree.).
+Swapping your sweater with another contestant before the Ugliest Christmas Sweater Champion has been announced.
+If you are overheard using the word “boring” anytime before the Ugliest Christmas Sweater Champion has been announced.
+If your sweater does not have a Christmas or Winter theme
+If your “sweater” is actually a t-shirt, turtleneck, or any shirt other than a sweater, sweatshirt, or sweater vest.

How will the Ugliest Christmas Sweater Champion be determined?
All eligible Ugliest Christmas Sweater Contestants will have the opportunity to vote for the champion. You may not vote for yourself. You must vote for someone. Anyone not competing and anyone who has been disqualified are not permitted to vote for the Ugliest Christmas Sweater Champion.

What will the Ugliest Christmas Sweater Champion receive?
The Champion will receive the coveted Ugliest Christmas Sweater Trophy of Awesomeness.

Will any other prizes be awarded?
Contestants will also have the opportunity to vote for the person with the overall Most Festive Attire and the person with the Most Naturally Ugly (unaltered) Christmas Sweater. The winners of these categories will win only the title and bragging rights. No prizes will be awarded.

Where do I get an Ugly Christmas Sweater?
I don’t know. That’s your problem. I’ve got my own sweater to find.

Uncle Ugly’s Christmas Sweater Jamboree is on Christmas Eve!

Start looking for or making your Ugly Christmas Sweater right away!

labelschristmas300Ugly Christmas Sweater Competition Tradition (Coolest Family on the Block)10wayschristmaspjs1


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Win a ticket to The Mom Con in Pittsburgh!


I’d love for you to join me and a group of other ladies at The Mom Con in Pittsburgh. Introduce yourself, tell us your goals and your dreams. Just be you, whoever that is. Hey, I’m an awkward weirdo, but that’s okay, and I’d love the opportunity to be awkward and weird around you!

To read more about The Mom Con Click here or on the image below or just go ahead and enter the giveaway by clicking the link at the bottom of this post! :)

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Because a shared experience is a powerful thing. It creates community, which allows for sparking ideas and learning from each other. Social media can take us a long way toward building relationships with each other, but it will never replace the power of face-to-face contact. The Mom Con is a day to get inspired by our speakers, empowered with new ideas, and connect with each other in real life. It’s a place for creative + motivated moms to be who they really are.

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Enter to win a free pass to The Mom Con on Saturday November 15, 2014 at the Pittsburgh Marriott North

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
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Easy Last Minute Halloween Costumes


Easy Halloween Costumes: Cat, Scarecrow, Nerd

This year the Cool Family opted for some extremely cheap, simple, and easy no-sew Halloween costumes.

Easy Halloween Costumes: Black Cat, Scarecrow

Thankfully Adaline insisted on being a Black Cat this year. I was going to go the leotard route but figured it was pointless to spend the extra money, especially if she would end up being too cold. She wore a black long sleeved shirt and black pants that she already had. We got a cat kit for $5 at Target which included the ears, tail, and bowtie (it also came with a weird nose, but it looked awkward). A little eyeliner nose and whiskers and we’re done!

Easy Scarecrow Halloween Costume

Jon wanted to be a scarecrow. The costume was simple: overalls and flannel shirt. Jeans would work as well especially if the shirt is a little longer and you could cinch the waist with some rope. For the straw “cuffs” I just tied some yard into a circle and then tied yarn around it and put it on his wrists and shoes. For the hat/hair I stuck pieces of yarn to duct tap and then safety pinned the strip of duct tape to the hat. Simple! I was going to put a scarecrow nose and stitched mouth on him, but he wouldn’t let me :(

Scarecrow Cuties: Mom and Son Comparison

When I was 2 years old I was also a scarecrow for Halloween. That’s me on the left. Do you think Jon and I look alike at all?

Nerd Halloween Costume

I decided to go as a nerd because I only needed a few accessories to complete the costume: nerd glasses, suspenders, and a bowtie. I will tell you that I’m not happy with my accessories at all. We went to Party City because it was closer and these were the only options. I think the glasses are too “trendy”, the bowtie is too “cocktail waitress”, and it was all pricier than I would’ve liked. After I’d already bought the stuff I found cheaper and more appropriate accessories at a Halloween store at the mall. So I’m disappointed.

Nerd glasses, suspenders, bowtie: Party City 2014
Nerd knee socks: Target 2014 (I already had these, because they’re awesome)
Hair Pom Poms: Gymboree 2010 (They’re Adaline’s, I thought they worked perfectly)

Potterhead (Harry Potter Nerd) Halloween Costume

Because I wasn’t entirely thrilled with my nerd costume (I hated the bowtie in particular), I decided to change it up and go specifically as a Harry Potter Nerd or a Potterhead, if you will. I already had the awesome Gryffindor t-shirt and scarf, and the round Harry Potter glasses. Yes, I already had those, just for every day use. Because, shut up.

Harry Potter Glasses: Amazon
Gryffindor T-shirt: Wal-Mart 2014
Gryffindor Scarf: Universal Islands of Adventure 2011
Nerd glasses, suspenders: Party City 2014
Nerd knee socks: Target 2014
Hair Pom Poms: Gymboree 2010

Potterhead (Harry Potter Nerd) Halloween Costume

It ended up being chilly so I wore a gold cardigan that I already had that matched perfectly and in the end I decided to wear the nerd glasses instead of the Harry Pottery glasses. Fascinating stuff, right?

Gryffindor T-shirt: Wal-Mart 2014
Gryffindor Scarf: Universal Islands of Adventure 2011
Gold Cardigan: Target 2013
Nerd glasses, suspenders: Party City 2014
Nerd knee socks: Target 2014 (I already had these, because they’re awesome)
Hair Pom Poms: Gymboree 2010 (They’re Adaline’s, I thought they worked perfectly)

Last year Adaline and Jon went as an Artist and Masterpiece.
Click for costume details.

Artist and Masterpiece Sibling Halloween Costumes

What did your kids dress as for Halloween this year?
What’s your favorite go-to last minute costume?
Let me know in the comments!


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Visit my other blog: JennRian.com. It’s pointless, sarcastic, and mildly amusing.

Healthy Halloween Snacks


Easy Healthy Halloween Snacks

We were in charge of bringing classroom snacks for the Kindergarten Halloween party. Homemade treats were not allowed (which is just as well since I don’t cook or bake). I really get tired of all of the junk my kids accumulate from October to January during the holidays, so I really didn’t want to give the kids loads of sugar. Instead I prepared healthy snacks (fruit and cheese) with a fun “Halloween” twist…and they got organic lollipops as well. Yep, I’m one of those super fun parents :P.
(Don’t worry, they also got store bought cookies filled with sugar and artificial junk and bags of artificially colored Cheetos :( That was my husband’s doing. He’s everyone’s favorite.)

These healthy Halloween snacks were ridiculously easy to make. Seriously, I can’t express to you enough how quick and simple this was! I made 16 of each and it only took about half an hour to complete. I know, right?! All you need is a black Sharpie Marker!

Healthy Halloween Snacks: String Cheese Ghosts

These String Cheese Ghosts were the easiest to do. I just drew little ghostly faces on the back of a cheesestick and was finished in only minutes! Effortless!

Healthy Halloween Snacks: Jack-o-Lantern Oranges

Using a Sharpie marker I drew Jack-O-Lantern faces onto oranges. Okay, okay…so they were Halos or Cuties which are technically Mandarin Clementines. But I’m still going to call them “oranges” anyway because this is my blog and I’m a rebel that laughs in the face of accurately classifying fruits by their proper species and binomial name. Suck it, science!

Healthy Halloween Snacks: Banana Pirates

I’ve seen these Banana Pirates around cyber space for years now. They’re not particularly “Halloween-y” but I still thought they were cute and fun. Halloween is a time you can dress up and be whatever you want…so can your banana! Maybe if I wasn’t so lazy I could’ve come up with a different more appropriately themed “character”, but this will have to do.

Healthy Halloween Snacks

What are your kids’ favorite healthy Halloween themed treats?
What other creative character can you turn a banana into?
Do you call Clementines “oranges” too?
Let me know in the comments!

Need last minute Halloween Costumes for siblings?
Check out these adorable and easy Artist and Masterpiece costumes!

Artist and Masterpiece Sibling Halloween Costumes


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Visit my other blog: JennRian.com. It’s pointless, sarcastic, and mildly amusing.

Silly Wacky Crazy Seuss Hair Day


Silly Wacky Crazy Seuss Hair

Can you believe Adaline is in Kindergarten now? Today she had Crazy Hair Day at school and I thought I’d share her silly, wacky, crazy hairdo with you!

Silly Wacky Crazy Seuss Hair

I can’t take credit for the awesome hair…my mom did it.
I’m hair-challenged and can barely put hair in a ponytail.

SILLY WACKY CRAZY SEUSS HAIR
*Put hair in multiple ponytails.
*Twist the ponytails into knots and secure like tiny buns.
*Use colorful scrunchies and barrettes.
*Accent with curly-Q pipecleaners.

Silly Wacky Crazy Seuss Hair

I think her hair has a very Dr. Seuss-esque quality to it. It would be perfect for a Dr. Seuss celebration, Read Across America, or Wacky Wednesday!

Silly Wacky Crazy Seuss Hair

Party in the back…

Silly Wacky Crazy Seuss Hair

Free Dr Seuss fonts10 Easy Dr. Seuss Snacks


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Visit my other blog: JennRian.com. It’s pointless, sarcastic, and mildly amusing.

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle ends 9/15



(Video here)
Click through to my other blog to read more about the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle and to access the purchase links.
Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle

Full Disclosure: There are no affiliate links contained in this post on coolestfamilyontheblock.com because they are against WordPress.com terms of service. If you click through to JennRian.com or my YouTube channel there are affiliate links that will take you to the product purchase page.


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Children’s Book Signing in Pittsburgh: Papa’s New Home


Book Review: Papa's New Home by Jessica Lynn Curtis

Papa’s New Home is the award-winning story of a young girl who loses her grandfather, Papa, only to get to see him again in a miraculous visit to his new home, heaven.

Book Review: Papa's New Home by Jessica Lynn Curtis

Here are a few of my favorite things about this book.
I like that the book not only mentions Jessie’s sadness and confusion about Papa’s death, but also her anger. I think that anger is an often overlooked stage of grief in regards to young children. While anger is only mentioned in one or two sentences I think that it’s enough to open up communication with a child who is experiencing anger in grief.
I like how Papa explains that bodies can get old, or sick, or hurt and stop working, but that our spirits never die.
I really like that Papa is portrayed as still looking the same age as when he passed. Many hold the belief that everyone in heaven is young, but I think that concept can be confusing for young kids.

Book Review: Papas New Home by Jessica Lynn Curtis

This book obviously contains spiritual elements with mentions of heaven, spirits, and angels. However, this is not a specifically Christian book as there is no mention of God or Jesus. This book would appeal to families of many different faiths. It paints a very vivid picture of Heaven beyond what is mentioned in Scripture depicting lost loved ones with jobs they enjoyed on earth (such as gardening) and living in houses with beloved pets and eating chocolate cake with relatives.

Book Review: Papa's New Home by Jessica Lynn Curtis

The story is beautiful and the lovely illustrations definitely help portray a feeling of peace. For the right child it could be a powerful tool to help with the loss of a grandparent.

If you’re in the Pittsburgh area you can meet the author of Papa’s New Home, Jessica Lynn Curtis, at a book reading and signing this Saturday!

Book Signing: Papa's New Home by Jessica Lynn Curtis

BOOK READING AND SIGNING EVENT
Meet author Jessica Lynn Curtis, who will be reading and signing
copies of her Mom’s Choice, award winning title, PAPA’S NEW HOME!
Saturday July 26, 2014 11:15AM
The University Store on Fifth
4000 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Click here for directions or more information
(Book can be purchased at the University Store on Fifth)

Buy Papa’s New Home on Amazon!

You can also like the book on Facebook and follow Jessica on Twitter (@JessieLynn817!

*Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. If you purchase through one of these links I may receive a small amount of money. I was not compensated for this review, all opinions are my own.


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