I am totally bias. I have lived in Utah my whole life. ♥ I know exactly why people travel from all over the world seeking the adventure the wild Utah can provide. I love the weather, landscape, family friendly values and the rich history of the area. Apparently, so does everyone else!

I lived the first half of my life in West Valley City, Utah where I enjoyed the four seasons in the northern part of the state. Then I moved south to be with my family and experienced the very warm and mild winters the St. George and Ivins area of Utah has to offer. The variety and beauty is really amazing to see. The beauty alone makes Utah a popular travel destination and then....people decide to stay. People are moving here in droves.

People have been moving to Utah for various reasons, with job opportunities in the technology and healthcare sectors, a high quality of life marked by outdoor recreational opportunities, and a family-friendly environment being just a few.

Here are some of the main attractions and activities that draw people to Utah:

Arches National Park
Arches National Park
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National Parks: Utah is home to several stunning national parks, including Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Capitol Reef National Park.

Capitol Reef National Park
Capitol Reef National Park
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These parks offer unbelievable landscapes, picturesque hiking trails, tons of camping opportunities, and unique geological formations. The landscape diversity is off the charts!

Canyonlands National Park
Canyonlands National Park
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National parks are for sure the top reason people from all over the globe head to Utah to see the beauty for themselves. I think those of us that live here don't realize that we see these natural beauties that others only get to enjoy in pictures.

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Outdoor Activities: Utah is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can enjoy hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, camping, river rafting, canyoneering, skiing, snowboarding, and off-roading.

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The state's diverse terrain provides endless opportunities for adventure. And yet there is still a big part of the population that doesn't like to do any of those things. Seriously, what do you do instead?

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Skiing and Snowboarding: Utah's mountains offer world-class ski resorts such as Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley Resort, Snowbird, Alta Ski Area, and Solitude Mountain Resort.

First snow of the season in Park City, Utah
First snow of the season in Park City, Utah
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The state's famous dry, powdery snow attracts skiers and snowboarders from around the world. And don't forget the ski resort in the southern part of the state. Brian Head Ski Resort is in close proximity to Cedar City and national parks like, Zion, Cedar Breaks, and Bryce National Parks.

Salt Lake City, Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah
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Salt Lake City: Utah's capital city, Salt Lake City, is a vibrant destination known for its beautiful mountain backdrop, rich history, and cultural attractions. Visitors can explore Temple Square, visit the Utah State Capitol, attend a variety of sporting events, live performances, and indulge in a thriving culinary scene. Oh the food. ♥

different views along Utah's Highway 12 scenic byway
different views along Utah's Highway 12 scenic byway
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Scenic Drives: Utah boasts several scenic drives that showcase its natural beauty. The most famous is the Highway 12 Scenic Byway, which winds through the stunning landscapes of Bryce Canyon, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and Capitol Reef National Park.

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Cultural and Historical Sites: Utah has a rich history, particularly tied to the settlement of the West and the Mormon pioneers. Visitors can explore historical sites such as This Is the Place Heritage Park, the Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail, and the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City.

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Stargazing: Utah's vast, sparsely populated areas offer excellent opportunities for stargazing and astrophotography. Places like Natural Bridges National Monument and the remote desert regions provide some of the darkest skies in the country.

The state's natural beauty, outdoor activities, national parks, and unique landscapes make it a sought-after destination for adventurers, nature lovers, and those seeking a taste of the American West. So come and see for yourself. You. Will. Love. It! If you live here already, get out and enjoy it. ♥

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How could you turn down an invite like this? This local Cedar City, Utah family really puts together a party! And why not? Grandma Irva was celebrating her 105th birthday!

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We gave her a shout out on the radio station Cat Country Utah and made plans to go to her party. The day of the party the restaurant was packed at 2pm. The line went around the restaurant and all the way into the lobby. Short stories were told and plenty of pictures were taken.

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Her 1st husband Calvin Cantrell "Bob" Brindley died in 1946 at 31 years old, leaving her with 3 children ages 7, 5 and 18 months.

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Irva's 2nd Husband is Pete Sudweeks. Grandma Irva has now lived longer than both husbands and 3 of her 4 children.

Before she switched to Diet Coke??
Before she switched to Diet Coke??
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When asked what the biggest change she has witnessed she replied "Prestone."(antifreeze) Before that they had to wrap the engine in the car at night to keep it from freezing.

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We've watch videos of Irva reciting the Gettysburg Address and telling stories at family gatherings.Thank you to her family for the pics! We fell in love with her spunk and love for her family, life and country. She is a true gem. ♥ 

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She still goes to get Christmas trees on Thanksgiving weekend with her family!
Grandma Irva says she's the #1 Jazz fan! We should see if they would honor her at a game!

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We wanted Grandma Irva to know how much our community loves her and we received birthday wished from around the globe to share with her.

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Grandma Irva was a social media sensation very quickly. 

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From Cedar City, Utah to Alaska, Tonga, and Scotland!!

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All of her relatives took time to wish her the best!.

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Her secret to living a long fulfilling life? Diet Coke! We hope you enjoy many more Diet Cokes Grandma Irva! ♥♥♥

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Big Thank You to Chantell Brindley for the amazing info and pics. We love that you listen and share your family with us. ♥♥♥

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Major Changes Coming To Utah Walmart and Target Stores Due To Theft

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Businesses in Utah, like Walmart and Target, are grappling with a major issue: theft. Customers using the "five-finger discount" are causing significant financial headaches for both small and large companies.

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Just last year, stores across the United States faced a staggering $112.1 billion in losses due to retail theft. To put that into perspective, imagine having $112.1 billion – you could purchase over 112,000 million dollar homes in Southern Utah! That's a substantial amount of money.

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If you've been shopping at Walmart, TJ Max or Target in Utah, you've probably noticed certain items locked behind cases, requiring staff assistance for purchase. Video games and perfume are common examples, secured behind plexiglass.

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Now, even playing cards are often tucked away. But here's the kicker – there's a new addition to the list of secured items, and it's a lot stranger than Pokemon cards or the latest Tom Ford perfume.

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 Believe it or not, it's underwear. Yep, theft is now prompting businesses to lock up underwear due to its increasing pilferage. 

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More and more items are being placed behind plexiglass by businesses needing to safeguard their investments. 

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It's usually the items that can be easily placed in socks, pockets, hoodies or in the waistband of your pants. Theft makes the price go up for those who actually work hard and try to be good decent people. Please report theft to the local authorities and the store management.

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Aaronee LOVES the country lifestyle. She has a great little farm with Alpacas, goats, dogs, cats and chickens! So yes, some.....stuff on her boots. ;) Aaronee's playlist has everything from Reba & Brooks & Dunn to Rascal Flatts & Garth to Miranda Lambert & Laney Wilson to Kane Brown & Morgan Wallen. She loves them all. ♥ Get her some chips and salsa or tater tots and a root beer float and she is set. She loves chatting on social media so make sure to hit her up on the Cat Country Utah Facebook page!

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These Are The 8 Most Stolen Items From Walmart in Utah

What gets stolen the most at Utah Walmart's?

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It makes all of our prices go up. It get my blood boiling. I'll breathe and you can read. Here is the list of the top 8:

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  1. - Cosmetics
    Y'know, there are some real good drugstore brands out there, but swiping stuff like lipstick, perfume, mascara, compacts, and hair dye, isn't the way to go.
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2 - Small Electronics
When it comes to small electronics, from basic watches to fancy smartphones and headphones, folks seem to eye those a lot.

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3 - Toys
Toys like Hot Wheels or Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh cards, and Magic the Gathering cards disappear a lot.

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4 - Over the Counter Medication
Now, for some reason, people nab pain relievers the most, followed by laxatives and pet meds. You'd think with self check out people wouldn't be so embarrassed to buy laxatives, ooo but there is a camera at self check out. hahahah

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5 - Food
Interesting fact- packaged meat is reported as the most shoplifted item in America. Also on the list is baby food, deli stuff, alcohol, and noodle packets.

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6 - Intimate Items
At the top of the lists mentioning the stolen goods at Walmart are things like pregnancy tests, condoms, underwear and adult toys are apparently top targets.

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7 - Apparel and Accessories
You won't believe it, but underwear gets swiped a lot from Walmart, along with shoes, hats, handbags, and sunglasses.

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8 - Jewelry
I thought rings would be high on the list but apparently earrings, necklaces and bracelets take the top spots.

 Stealing is dumb and it raises the prices for those that do have some morals left. With the influx of people moving to our state, some of the things Utah was known for, are seemingly going out the window. Petty crime rates are going up. Be honest and don't take things that don't belong to you. If you notice anything suspicious, please report it. Remember to be safe! It's better to tell the store staff or the authorities rather than trying to deal with it on your own.
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A lot of times when there is a top ten list of amazing places in the state, Southern Utah is a little overlooked. This time we have 2 Steakhouses in the top 10!

A great steak is all about the perfect combination of quality, preparation, and personal taste. If it all comes together it's amazing. When you can visit a business that can serve it to you, even better. LET'S GO SOUTHERN UTAH!

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Here are the Southern Utah steakhouses that scored in the top 10 on the Best Things UT website!

Anasazi Steakhouse, St. George, UT

"Offering different steaks at a variety of prices, Anasazi Steakhouse in St. George uses what are called “hot stones” to cook their meet. Essentially, slabs of volcanic rock are heated in a special oven for 6-8 hours before they are delivered to your table with your entrée selection. There, you have ultimate control over the cooking of your meat. Taking a unique approach to steak, the restaurant is a must-do for meat lovers."

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Rusty’s Ranch House, Cedar City, UT

"Cedar City is one of those places you go when you want to get away from it all without actually getting away from any modern conveniences. In accordance with that vibe, Rusty’s Ranch House makes you feel like you’re really at a “Ranch House,” enjoying the freshest, down-home cooking possible. Offering four different steaks from $19 to $27, the restaurant is famous for attracting meat-a-holics from across Utah."

You can check out the complete list here: https://bestthingsut.com/steakhouses/

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How do you get the perfect steak? Let's break it down.

Firstly, the cut matters a lot. Different cuts offer various flavors and textures. For instance, a ribeye boasts marbling that melts during cooking, making it tender and flavorful. Filet mignon is leaner but incredibly tender. Then there's the New York strip with a balanced fat-to-meat ratio.

Next, quality is key. Opt for well-marbled steaks as the marbling—those fine streaks of fat throughout the meat—ensures juiciness and adds flavor when cooked. Fat = flavor.

The cooking method is crucial too. Whether you're grilling, pan-searing, or broiling, getting that perfect sear on the outside while maintaining the desired doneness inside is the goal. And speaking of doneness, everyone has their preference—ranging from rare to well-done—so ensuring the steak reaches the ideal temperature for your liking is essential.

Seasoning plays a vital role. Salt and pepper are the classics, but experimenting with different rubs or marinades can elevate the taste. Some prefer the simplicity of just salt and pepper to let the natural flavor of the meat shine, while others enjoy the complexity of various seasonings.

Lastly, resting the steak after cooking is often overlooked but equally important. Letting it sit for a few minutes allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a juicier steak when you cut into it.

Ultimately, a great steak is a balance of quality, preparation, and personal taste preferences that make it a delightful experience to savor and enjoy!

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In Utah a lot of homes have food storage that needs rotating. This simple pantry hack will help you put together delicious chili that you will fool your guests into thinking it's made from scratch. 

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Ingredients:
2 cans of whatever chili you have in your pantry/food storage (I used Nalley Turkey Chili)
8oz of salsa (I used medium homemade salsa cause I still had some on hand)
Heat, stir and serve. Fast and yummy!
If you have time, you can up the anti and start with sautéing
¼ diced yellow onion
2 cloves minced garlic
Then adding in the chili and salsa.
Don't forget the toppings like cheese & sour cream and the chips to scoop it all up.
Everyone will think you have been slaving all day on your delicious chili dinner.
Enjoy!
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Karen Dutson
Karen Dutson
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We've already had some snowfall across Utah, but what is to come? When will we get dumped on? Lots of rain, snow and balmy temperatures are forecasted this winter because it's an El Nino year.

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It's expected to be seasonally stormy through December with rain and snow on and off but, the bigger amounts of snow come in January & February 2024

Here is what is What the Farmers Almanac has forecasted for Utah:

Southwest -Forecast for Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah: An El Niño could lead to "copious amounts of rain and snow across the entire Southwest," the Almanac forecasts. The Pacific Coast can expect a "stormy, snowy, and wet" second week of January followed, in the first week of February, by "heavy mountain snows" that will cover the western U.S., it forecasts.- Famers' Advance

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When will winter end? Winter temps and precipitation may hold on till early spring, with a possibility of snow during the first part of April. (We'll have to see what the groundhog has to say.)

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