About Mile High Mamas
Mile High Mamas was created as an entertaining community resource for area moms. The site includes regular posts by some of Colorado’s most popular Mommy Bloggers, a message board, monthly cutest kid contest , and a Mama Drama advice column. We also hold regular giveaways and product reviews. If you would like to have one of your products featured for a contest or review, please contact us for consideration.
Mile High Mamas strives to use the very latest social networking tools and we want to keep you on the cutting edge. We can be found on Twitter and be sure to join us on Facebook for fun updates and freebies.
Mile High Mamas sends out a weekly email newsletter detailing Colorado’s hottest topics, events and deals for Colorado moms. Don’t miss out so sign up here! Do you have an event you would like to publicize? Be sure to add it to our calendar, forum and Facebook wall.
We are also pleased to launch our Denver Deal. Money-saving mama Gretchen Yoder rounds up the very best bargains, coupons, sales, frugal tips and freebies specifically with Colorado moms in mind. If you know of any great deals, please email her at gretchenyoder at milehighmamas dot com.
The site is moderated by the Editor, Amber Johnson. If you are a Colorado parent who blogs and would like to be included on our blogroll, please email her at amber at milehighmamas dot com. Every month, Mile High Mamas publishes blog posts from guest bloggers. To submit a blog post to be considered for publication, please email Amber.
Mile High Mamas occasionally hosts a Mama’s Night Out where Colorado’s most influential social media moms gather. Past events have been hosted by the Warwick Hotel and Sephora in Boulder. In exchange, our moms blogged and tweeted about the venue, providing invaluable publicity. Please contact us if you are a community partner and are interested in working with us. Also, if you are a Colorado mom in social media, we would love to have you!
Mile High Mamas was a finalist in the National Newspaper Association’s Digital Edge Awards (“The Edgies”) and received an Honorable Mention for Web Site Excellence from the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).
Remember above all else, this site is about you and for you as a mother. The participants determine its tone and direction. We encourage you to log on and help us make Mile High Mamas Colorado’s most enlightening, supportive and entertaining parenting website.
A few of the Mile High Mamas bloggers: Susan, Amber, Jaime, Lori, Lisa, Heather and Gretchen. Photography: Iman Woods. Stylists: Sarah D. (make-up) and Dawn Capra-Grace (hair)
Disclosure: While Mile High Mamas’ bloggers often receive free or discounted products, they are not compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owners. If we claim or appear to be experts on a certain topic or product or service area, we will only endorse products or services that we believe, based on our expertise, are worthy of such endorsement. In accordance to FCC regulations, we disclose such relationships.
AMBER BOROWSKI JOHNSON, EDITOR
Mile High Mamas is the brainchild of Amber, a former adventure-travel writer turned adventurous unraveling mother of two children. She attests the former birth was considerably less painful than the latter two, epidurals notwithstanding.
She is originally from Canada but spent a number of years working as a publicist for Utah’s ski and outdoor industry whilst moonlighting as a radio personality and travel writer. She relinquished her wanderlust life to marry the real love of her life ten years ago.
She and her husband Jamie are outdoor aficionados and share this passion with their two children, Hadley (age 9) and Bode (age 7). Amber’s self-deprecating humor is her coping mechanism for the daily joys and mayhem of motherhood and is what has kept her sane. Well, most of the time. She consoles herself that all other lapses make for stellar blog fodder. And the fact she is married to a man who is obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.
Amber is a columnist for the Denver Post’s $MART section and was named the Grand Prize Winner in Microsoft Office’s Winter Games Contest and was their accredited blogger at the 2010 Vancouver Games. She works as a social media strategist at Pixo Web Design & Strategy and has been named as a Brand Enthusiast for companies such as Sara Lee, Nintendo, Ford, Playtex and Disney on Ice. She has been blogging since 2005 (themilehighmama.com) and was honored in Westword magazine’s Best of Denver edition. Amber has been the recipient of numerous awards including 1st Place Online General Excellence for the Colorado Associated Press Editors and Reporters Association; Finalist in the National Newspaper Association’s Digital Edge Awards; Honorable Mention for General Website Excellence, Society of Professional Journalists. She is a family travel writer and a regular contributor for various publications and travel sites. Twitter ID: @TheMileHighMama
LORI, BLOGGER EXTRAORDINAIRE
Lori has lived in Arvada for most of her life, except for forays to Kansas (college), Japan (searching for self), Syria (adventure with new husband), and Denver proper (fixing up an old Victorian, pre-kids). She and her husband are now raising her two children, Tessa (10) and Reed (8) in the same zip code where she grew up.
Lori was named a Top 10 blogger by Parenting magazine and BlogHer. She has also written for Conceive magazine and Adoptive Families Magazine. Her blog has been named by both Adoptive Families and by Grown in My Heart among the very best adoption blogs.
Lori writes at Write Mind Open Heartabout adoptive parenting, open adoption, perfect moments and mindful living. She spoke at Blogher08 about Adoption/Loss/Infertility (ALI) issues and she is the Open Adoption Examiner. She serves up sassy product reviews at All Thumbs Reviews. She is tickled pink to be a Mile High Mama Blogger.
Lori is passionate about de-freakifying open adoption for people considering this path to parenthood. She and her daughter’s birth mom consult with adopting couples and speak at adoption agencies on how (and why) to create successful open adoptions. Lori’s adoption stories are told at Drama 2B Mama. Find her on Twitter: @LavLuz
GRETCHEN WHITE, BLOGGER EXTRAORDINAIRE
Gretchen was born in Denver in the early 1970s. Her first six years were spent in the suburbs, out in the middle of nowhere near Hampden and I-25. She thought the center of the universe was the big fountain at Cinderella City and that Mayor McNichols and Mayor McCheese were brothers.
Then her father got news. His job was being transferred to a place with no mall. No escalators. No fountains. No Elitches. Quite rudely she was taken from Denver to the remote desert and peach-dotted landscape of Grand Junction. It was a good thing, ultimately. She learned to love the astounding natural beauty of our state. She realized if she couldn’t be entertained by the offerings of a big city, she’d have to entertain herself. So she began to read and write and plot ways to escape. After high school graduation, she joined the tie-dyed masses at CU-Boulder, promising her friends back home she’d never, ever change. But she did.
After three years of classes like Ancient Athletics, she returned home to Grand Junction where she got a job slinging burritos and beer at a local favorite hangout. Not content to forever ask “red or green chili?” she enrolled at Mesa State College, where she met her future husband, Lee. They each earned a BA in English Literature. Shortly after graduation, they married and settled into a quiet life in the Grand Valley. Their first daughter, Aidan, was born in 1997. Their second child, a boy named Ryley, came along a mere 18 months later. Job prospects for English majors weren’t abundant in the Grand Valley, so they decided to move back to the Denver metro area in mid-1999.
Five more kids have joined the family since returning to the front range and another is on the way. Their names are Sam, Tommy, Joel, Beatrix and Archer. Life with seven kids is never quiet, so she began blogging in 2004 as a way to record and reflect on the whirlwind. She calls her blog Lifenut. She is also a regular contributor for the popular blog 5 Minutes for Parenting. Twitter ID: lifenut
GRETCHEN YODER, DAILY DEAL EDITOR
Gretchen is a single mama. She grew up right here in Denver area (with a short stint as a youngster in Steamboat Springs). Gretchen is always busy and loves to be “on the go” deals are an important part of making sure that she can do so much! Her son and daughter also enjoy the benefits of all the deals the Gretchen finds.
Gretchen loves to be outdoors, hiking, biking or just playing a friendly game of wiffle ball with her son – he somehow usually wins. She is addicted to coupons and finding the best deals or entering sweepstakes (one day she will win something really great).
Gretchen is excited about contributing to Mile High Mamas’ Daily Deal and looks forward to hearing about great deals from readers.
LISA VRATNY-SMITH, MAMA DRAMA EDITOR
Lisa is a small town girl who came to the big city for college and never left. One of Colorado’s rare natives, she has lived throughout the state from the mountains to the plains and everywhere in between.
Lisa and her husband are raising two big-brained boys who keep them on their toes, literally and figuratively. She has worked with children and families for more than two decades and is passionate about doing what is right for children, hers and everyone else’s.
A vegetarian and vanilla soy latte addict, Lisa spends her days striving finding the balance between the never ending details of life. The strength and support of family and friends keeps her going and feeds her spirit. As a recovering perfectionist, Lisa’s mantra is “life is a practice.” Practice leads to growth and more opportunity to practice. Motherhood continues to provide a consistent source of these opportunities!
As most mothers do, Lisa wears many hats in life, the most important of which is Mama. She is also a school social worker, behavioral consultant, parent coach, yoga instructor, blogger, freelance writer, and the list goes on… She created Behavior Support Solutions, a parent coaching and resource website, writes Laughing Yoga Mama blog, and loves sharing the tips, tricks, and perspective shifts that make a difference in her journey through motherhood and life.
With her ever present smile and infectious giggle Lisa is committed to using kindness and humor to create a supportive community of motherhood; helping moms to be gentle with themselves and their children, find their strengths, and continue to reflect and grow each day. Twitter ID: @laughingyogamom
JAIME CLARK SWARTZENDRUBER, DESIGN DIVA
Jaime’s passion for adventure writing pairs well with motherhood. With 2.5 young children – Silas, Noelle and an obnoxious, fuzzy lap dog Fiona Belle – life is far from mundane and inevitably results in abundant content ideas. Sounds convenient but there is one sure downfall…the title of “mom” includes remedying all of the chaos continually produced in mass, wince.
As a Colorado native, Jaime had the privilege of taking completely for granted the amazing surroundings of her childhood hometown – located in the Heart of the Rockies – the perfect setting for an outdoor enthusiast in the making. An escape to the beautiful town of Salida (with an itinerary of sunshine and powder) remains one of Jaime’s favorite rejuvenation techniques.
A Bachelor of Science in business marketing from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and four years spent in the confines of a dorm room – three of them as a resident advisor – left Jaime’s heart longing for wide-open spaces (the state of Wyoming wasn’t exactly what she had in mind). Her venture north landed her in the English Department at the University of Wyoming, working with an array of intriguing characters, and ultimately sparking her passion and love for the art of writing.
Life in Colorado and the gift of motherhood leaves Jaime feeling supremely blessed, not to mention amazing family, friends, epic adventure, divine inspirations, ski country, Rocky Mountains, 360 days of sunshine, and the abundant opportunities she is ever grateful for including: blogging at Wine Glass Slipper, conducting editorial reviews, travel writing, freelance marketing, serving on countless committees (#habitualvolunteer) and of course, the honor of being part of the remarkable Mile High Mamas team. Twitter ID: NicestMomBlog
JULIE BIELENBERG, PRODUCT REVIEW EDITOR
Julie Bielenberg is a Denver-based writer. She was a managing editor for a regional home and lifestyle publication before starting Tweeter Communications, her editorial services boutique. With a BA in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin, a MA in Humanities from the University of Colorado and five years experience in Mexican radio and television, Julie has a very diverse background and bilingual career. Her passion is writing and she currently contributes to numerous lifestyle publications and outlets. When not working, she enjoys spending time with her boys—two dogs, a son and husband—in the mountains of Colorado.
Once Julie’s editors heard she was pregnant in 2009, the mommy story requests began coming and haven’t stopped. Julie has written dozens of stories on pregnancy, life with infants, shopping advice for moms and traveling with children. Nearly a year into life with her first child, Julie makes it her passion to be an urban chic mom. Balancing both work and play with Hank the Tank is the best challenge she has ever been given. In trying to accomplish this feat, Julie enjoys writing and researching about everything motherhood.
Julie is also a contributing editor for The American Dog and regularly appears in Colorado Meetings + Events and Denver Magazine. She has also covered diverse topics for www.sheknows.com. All of her editorial can be found at www.tweetercommunications.com.
HANNAH CAMACHO, TECHNOLOGY/APP REVIEW EDITOR
Hannah literally grew up in church parking lots across America. Her father was a minister and she, her mother and her four siblings lived in a 40 foot fifth-wheel trailer having all sorts of traveling adventures together. Life was full of glorious uncertainties and living in such close quarters fostered strong family bonds. She developed a passion to teach herself every skill in which she developed an interest and earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, learned to play the banjo, studied foreign languages, and became a playwright.
Hannah studied at Northland International University and earned a bachelors degree in Speech Education there. It was there that she met her future husband, Anthony. After dating on and off, they were finally certain they would be married after Hannah graduated, but their plans soon changed. Anthony was in the military and the week of finals of Hannah’s sophomore year he got the call that he was to be deployed to Iraq. The couple got engaged the following day and married only five days later. They have now been married six wonderful years and have been blessed with three beautiful children who are the light of their lives. Aria (age 3) is full of personality and has never met a stranger. Lincoln (age 2) is shy and melancholy and more of an intellectual. Victor (6 months) is a happy boy who is content to entertain himself as long as he has a full tummy. Being a wife and mom is Hannah’s full-time job and she wouldn’t trade it for the world.
In her rare-but-precious spare time Hannah enjoys writing. She is the founder of MyAppinions.com. My Appinions is meant to present readers with honest opinions on well-known and little-know applications. She reviews apps of all kinds, but particularly has a soft-spot for educational ones. She also contributes to one of the foremost app review sites on the web: AppAdvice.com. Twitter ID: @MyAppinions
Photo credit: Pin-up photography by Iman Woods. Sarah D. (make-up) and Dawn Capra-Grace (hair).
The Mama Creed
Welcome to Mile High Mamas, a place for area moms to connect and reflect.
Where isolation is obsolete, laughter reigns and judgments cease.
We are in the prime of our lives. If we were slabs of meat. And since we are not, we are over-tired mamas who love our children.
But don’t necessarily always like what they do.
We dream of a maid but live under our laundry pile.
We relish Girl’s Night Out, mini-vacations and playgroups.
We don’t always shower but manage to look purdy anyway.
We believe our children are brilliant, beautiful and blessings.
That toddlers and teen-agers are terrors terrific.
We believe Teletubbies are of the devil.
We acknowledge that insecurities, frustrations and calamities are a part of motherhood.
Above all, we laugh, learn, cry and vent.
And it is here we are reminded that we are not alone.
P.S. We like chocolate. Lots of it.