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Start Poken! A Social Media Gadget and Giveaway!

Recently I participated in a MomActive Twitter Party sponsored by Start Poken, where I noticed they were giving away Pokens. Now you may wonder, as I did, what in the world is a Poken. Well let me share something new and fun with you!

A Poken, by Start Poken Inc., is a gadget that plugs into your computer’s USB port allowing you to upload your social media profiles as well as contact information. You can exchange that information with another Poken owner by touching them together. Pokens come in a variety of different characters such as Baby Poken or Rock Star Poken. They also offer customizable Pokens for individual corporations to promote their own brand.

My neighbor and I both have Pokens. We uploaded our Social Media contact information onto the Pokens, touched them together, giving each other a “high four”, and exchanged our contact information. We then inserted the Pokens into our laptops and uploaded each other’s information into our Poken account page.

So from now on, should I need to contact my neighbor electronically; I can simply go to my Poken account page and click on her Social Media icons. Furthermore, I have often times written down contact information from random people I have met only to find it weeks later at the bottom of my diaper bag shredded or covered in Goldfish crumbs. No longer! My handy Poken will keep my contacts Goldfish crumb-free and I won’t lose the info. I keep my Poken clipped to my wallet should I come across any other Poken Lovin’ friends.

Want to know more about Poken? Check out their Frequently Asked Question Page which explains everything you would want to know about Pokens in simple terms.

Poken is also having a contest to win a Poken every Tuesday between now and July 21st. You can follow Poken @startpoken and @teamstartpoken.

That being said, I am excited to share a POKEN GIVEAWAY with you!!!!!! This giveaway has been graciously been sponsored by Start Poken as well. To enter, you will need to visit
Tech Talk for Moms to enter.

Good Luck and Start Poken!

Band-Aid® Couture

Today, June 30th, marks a milestone in our family. Is it a birthday? No. Is it a wedding anniversary? No. It’s the anniversary of our first trip to the ER with Claire.

We do things big around here. I mean, if you’re gonna go, go all out.

There was blood. There were paramedics. Did I mention all the blood?

But, all’s well that ends well, and in reality, it was something that really couldn’t have been avoided. It was just a bonk on the head that happened to require stitches. Claire tripped and hit her head on a rather innocuous upholstered chair, and did so just right that it split her forehead open.

I learned some things that day:

  • Wow. Head wounds can gush! Quentin Tarantino would have been impressed with the aftermath in our living room.
  • I can remember all of my First Aid Training in the midst of chaos. I can remain calm under pressure. I didn’t really freak out until that night when she was in bed.
  • I don’t know which would be worse, dealing with the emergency firsthand or coming up our street and seeing our house surrounded by rescue personnel. (My husband had just left when the accident happened, which is why I called 911 in the first place, and he came home before they’d left.)
  • Head wounds really do bleed a lot.

Tour de Colorado’s Ultimate Splurge for Families: The Broadmoor’s New Cottages

I had been touring the Olympic Peninsula all week. I flew home late that night, did laundry, repacked and then jumped in the car with my family the next morning. Upon arrival at The Broadmoor’s sculpted grounds, I was frenzied and sleep-deprived.

The moment we pulled up to the security gate, all my worries were whisked away faster than the Calgon commercials of yesteryear. I gave the guard my name, received a parking pass and drove to the valet. I was greeted by Alex, a Romanian bellhop with a damsel-wooing accent: “Mrs. Johnson! How nice of you to join us again.”

I wondered how he knew I had stayed at The Broadmoor once before. Did he also know my favorite color is blue and that I have no intention to pay that unmerited parking ticket I received downtown?

In the end, I didn’t care. The Broadmoor does that to you. It doesn’t matter if you are promenading around Cheyenne Lake or pairing luxurious accommodations with gourmet dining. If You’ve Been Here, You Know.™

Cradled at the base of Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs, this Five-Star, Five-Diamond hotel set on 3,000 acres has added a new feature to secure its place in the annals of The Ultimate Colorado Family Vacation: cottages.

Staying here is reminiscent of a Hansel and Gretel fairy tale. Only instead of being made of gingerbread and candies, these cottages feature spacious parlors with high-beamed ceilings, natural stone fireplaces, heated bathroom floors, surround sound systems, large flat screen TVs and the latest in-room technologies that blend seamlessly into the comfortably elegant design.

Nothing like living your own modern-day fairy tale.

The Broadmoor’s one- to eight-bedroom cottages are perfect for family gatherings and so when the Broadmoor offered to host us, my parents made a special trip from Canada for the occasion. Set along the legendary East Course, only a pristine creek separated us from the 18th fairway. I knew this would even impress The Mother Who is Impressed by Nothing.

We kept most of our activities simple. We

Win the Ultimate Pamper Package in the Mile High City!


Mile High Mamas had a makeover–

Now it’s your turn!

To celebrate our redesign, we have put together the ultimate pamper package for moms and we want you to win it! Just what will it entail?

Only some of the very best indulgences Denver has to offer including:

Named as “One of Denver’s top spas” by 5280 magazine, this haven in the Highlands is as charming as the Victorian house in which it resides. The decor is Shabby Chic, the staffers authentic and most importantly, the massages are fabulous.

I’ve had a few treatments and hands down, my favorite was the 60-minute Swedish massage. Then again, I talked for weeks about my rejuvenating facial. But when my husband surprised me with a luxurious couple’s massage last week? Definitely a show-stopper. Bottom line: whatever your pleasure, Indulgences Day Spa delivers and leaves you feeling, well, indulged.

I was going for ice cream with my family and stopped in my tracks when I passed the chic Scalet Salon. As if lured by the Pied Piper, I obediently marched in, professed love at first sight and found myself i

10 iPhone App Suggestions for Parents

I recently bought an iPhone and I am now addicted to it. I enjoy finding ways I can use my iPhone to help me organize my life and occasionally entertain my daughter. has shared a list of 10 iPhone apps which parents may find helpful.

Thanks for these great tips!

Apple’s newest phone, the iPhone 3G S, went on sale this past Friday, and sold a million in the first weekend. With over 50,000 apps on the market, how will consumers—particularly busy parents—know which are the best ones to buy? According to tech leader, the best ones aren’t always the ones that are top-rated on iTunes. editors have cut through the clutter and named the 10 iPhone apps for parents and how they can be adapted to make motherhood (or fatherhood) a less complicated experience.

* Shazam: This app is able to identify whatever song is playing in the background wherever you are; use it to snag a sound bite from that new Top 40 hit your child loves, and get the details on whether it is in line with your family’s listening standards.
* White Noise: Babies scream, toddlers pout, and parents can often lose their minds, White Noise is perfect for taking things down a notch.
* Kindle: One of the most exciting apps for the iPhone, Kindle lets you

Glue and snouts for dinner! Why being picky is not a lifetime sentence

My kids have never eaten baloney, cottage cheese, or plain Cheerios. They’ve never been subjected to rhubarb, which I’ve heard is so awful it must be engulfed in strawberries or the unfortunate gobbler may die of grossness. They’ve never known the earthy-oozy tastes of soy milk, bleu cheese, feta, tofu, or tapioca pudding.

Gosh, those are some picky kids!, you might think.

But I’m the person who doesn’t like any of the above. I never buy, prepare, or serve foods that have been on my ick-list for decades. Pickiness begets pickiness, so I’ve witnessed my prejudices become a part of my kids culinary sensibilities. Blame Me.

My family is known for having dark hair, blue eyes, and a certain panicked look on our faces when cottage cheese is near.

I’m not worried for my kids, though. They will be challenged by opportunities to eat new foods as they grow. I was. I found myself in the warm kitchen of a cook possessing dramatically different tastes while visiting my husband’s grandparents for the first time.

For breakfast one morning, I was served biscuits and gravy, a standard all-American hearty breakfast. I was 25 years old and had never eaten the combination of speckled glue and browned and crumbled pork snouts over bread. Please. My father thinks white gravy is vile, along with dumplings and all casseroles but tuna. The idea of putting chicken on pizza was so ludicrous to my dad when the trend began that I suspect he marked it as a sign of the fall of western civilization. Because of my dad’s strong food aversions, my mom didn’t bother cooking anything other than steak, potatoes, fried chicken, and German food.

My husband’s grandparents were wonderful and welcoming that June morning 13 years ago. I knew I was going to eat every last speck of my first platter of biscuits and gravy. I loved their grandson and I already loved them. I took a bite, for them.

One food aversion died that day. Now I make biscuits and gravy for dinner occasionally, especially on cold winter nights.

I won’t be sliding plates of feta-dotted anything or rhubrarb pie under anyone’s noses, though. There will be no after-dinner bowls of tapioca until I am six feet under or I I’m ashes scattered artfully in an Anthropologie.

Does this make me a bad mom? I don’t think so. There are plenty of experiences and objects I don’t bring into our home because they don’t reflect us as individuals or as consumers.

If a kid came home from a friend’s house raving about an amazing mystery food called tofu and asking if we could pick up a loaf or brick or conglomeration at the store, I’d say no. Tofu can be found elsewhere. I hear it grows in the gutters of Boulder, sometimes creeping up old brick buildings. Fun fact: You can tell down by which side of a rock tofu grows on.

As long as our meals are balanced, I won’t worry. Enjoying what’s on our plates is far more important than wishing something wasn’t there.

Embracing the Unexpected–Pregnancy, That Is

Guest blogger Janalee Chmel is co-owner of “MA! motherhood with attitude” (Mile High Mamas’ pick for the most hilarious mom-oriented cards on the market) and is a Denver-based freelance writer.

My heart is pounding as I write this because it feels sort of like “coming out.”

Where to begin??? Welp, how about on January 28, 2010.

January 28, 2010. That is the day I am due to deliver Baby #3.

Yes, I am knocked up. Bun in the oven. “TIN ROOF! RUSTED!” (google it)

Noooo, this was not planned.

OK, so here I am, 40 years old, children at ages 7 and a 6, and one on the way. Suffice it to say, I’m scared.

YES, this is a blessed event. YES, “everything will work out,” as my husband Dave and I keep hearing from our giggling friends. But this is quite scary. Let me lay it on ya:

* No maternity insurance (though we are figuring out some good options. The ‘figuring out’ process has been terrifying, though.)
* Two-bedroom house
* 4-seater car

If that’s not enough to keep a hormonally charged woman up at 2 a.m. every night, I don’t know what is!

How did this happen?! Oh, youuuuuu know. But, OK. Between us girls: I had to go off the pill in April due to health reasons. Little did I know that my 40-year-old body would immediately begin ovulating and, as “luck” would have it, I must have ovulated on the one day Dave and I forgot to… well, you know. So, the stars aligned. These odds alone have me convinced that this will be one special baby… and that I need to play the lottery.

Talk about “JACKPOT!”

My last blog entry was May 26 and I whimsically wrote about vacuuming. The very next day, at 1 in the afternoon, I was a puddle on the bathroom floor. Pregnant. No, I did not accept this information gracefully.

I LOVE OUR LIVES! I love our family! My girls are so danged fun and easy now! Dave and I get out on bike rides together, we aren’t tied down by naps, we had plans for a 10-year anniversary vacation — our very first solo vacation since Delaney was born. All of that is on pause now. A very, very long pause.

Now, to all of you who were just about to blurt out, “You’ll be fine!” or “You’re blessed!” Or “It will all work out!” I KNOW THAT! In my more peaceful moments, I’m so danged excited to snuggle a baby again! The snuggling is not the stressful part of this. And it IS stressful!

Here are the things I’m excited about…

* Delaney and Allie being big sisters to a baby. To me, this is the number one reason to feel joyful. My two girls are going to be amazing! And loving!
* I get to go through labor again. I love labor! I know, crazy. I’m not one of those natural-birth moms at all. I just love labor and delivery!
* The surprise. We never find out the gender of the baby and I LOVE that moment in the hospital when you discover who is joining your family.
* Snuggles. Snuggles snuggles snuggles snuggles.
* Firsts: First smile, first tooth, first foods, first words.
* I’m even looking forward to those 2 a.m. feedings when it’s just me and this tiny being enjoying that beautiful mother/child bond.

One of my friends asked, “Did you do this because you’re running out of material for MA!?” Another said, “This could be a great business write-off!” LOVE IT! I’m already collecting ideas. Lay ‘em on me.

So, my friends, here we go. Just when I think it’s time to write about being a soccer mom, I get to go back and write about sore nipples.

Here we go!

Mama’s Fantastic 4th of July Preview

We here at the Mamas strive to bring you information on activities that are fun and economical. The 4th of July offers so many amazing things to do, whether it’s a community fireworks display, or the Cherry Creek Arts Festival. Thus we bring you our 4th of July list. It’s long, but by no means exhaustive. Almost every city/municipality/what-have-you has some kind of Independence Day celebration and/or fireworks display. If you don’t see your neighborhood represented, give your local government, civic association, or HOA a call. Chances are they’ll point you in the right direction, whether it’s their own celebration, or one nearby. These events are organized by date, and then region, so you can strategically plan your weekend and soak up as much fun as humanly possible. Have fun!

Friday, July 3
10:00 am – 8:00 pm: Cherry Creek Arts Festival, (continues on July 4 and July 5) North Cherry Creek between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, and Clayton and Steele Streets, Denver. If you’ve never been to the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, you really should take a day this holiday weekend and go. This three-day event is no ordinary artisan festival, and in fact features some truly fine art by amazing artists. It’s a gigantic street fair-slash-art gallery. It is beyond well-organized, with plenty of restrooms, relaxation stations, and changing stations. There are tons of fun activities for the kids. Live music continues into the night. Check the website for information on parking, shuttles, biking, etc. In addition to great art, food and beverages are available for purchase, so you won’t go hungry or get dehydrated as you marvel at the beauty around you.

Dusk: Glendale Fireworks, Cherry Creek Drive at Cherry Street in Glendale. Fireworks start at dusk, and last approximately 30 minutes.
7:00 pm: Colorado Symphony Orchestra Patriotic Concert, City Park Meadow, behind the Museum of Nature and Science in Denver. The CSO offers up a traditional, All-American program for Independence Day.

Northwest Denver
4:00 pm: Edgewater Fireworks, Citizens Park, 24th and Chase Street in Edgewater. Entertainment, food, and drinks begin at 4:00 pm. Fireworks to follow around dusk. Check the website or call 303-238-7803 for more information.

Saturday, July 4
8:30 am – 11:00 am: Stapleton 4th of July Parade and Pancake Breakfast, Central Park in Stapleton. Get there early for the pancakes, and stay for the parade.
10:00 am – 4:00 pm:
Old Fashioned July 4th Celebration, Four-Mile Historic Park, 715 S. Forest St., Denver. Enjoy horse drawn rides (for a small fee), and other old-fashioned Independence Day events and activities.

Mama’s Weekly Picks for Colorado’s Best Family-friendly Events

This week, we bring you a slightly abbreviated list in anticipation of the holiday weekend to come. Look for a gigantic list of all things Independence Day coming your way later this week. Fireworks displays and celebrations galore, people! We’ll also get your holiday off to a great start with an early post of activities for late next week and beyond. Are guests invading? Look no further than the Mamas for great ideas on where best to take the out-of-towners.

In the meantime, relax, take in a concert or a movie, and enjoy the warm weather we’re finally having. A pre-holiday trip to Estes Park might be in order to check out the Scandinavian Midsummer Festival. Or head down to Sakura Square and enjoy some Japanese culture. As always, Denver is rich with fun things to do. . . enjoy!

Summer Concerts

Friday, June 26

Noon – 1:30 pm: Noon Tunes, 1300 Block of Pearl, Boulder. This series runs through August 14. This week, enjoy a long lunch with the The Cantrells.

Sunday, June 28

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm: City Park Jazz, at the Bandstand at City Park Pavilion. This popular series runs Sundays through August 9. Park for free at the Zoo or the Museum, then take the shuttle to the bandstand. Free bike parking is also available. This week’s band is the Michael Friedman Jazz Quartet.

6:30 pm: Summer Concerts in the Park, Memorial Park at 25th and Chase, Edgewater. 303-238-7803 x28. This series runs through July 6. This week: The Juice of the Barley (they’re an Irish band, just in case you were wondering).

Tuesday, June 30

7:00 pm – 8:30 pm: Concerts at the Crescent, Crescent Ampitheater, DTC Boulevard and Belleview (just east of Yia Yia’s Euro Café) in the Denver Tech Center. This new addition to our list features fun concerts in a nice little area down south. Bring your own food, but leave Fido at home. This week’s band: One on One, featuring Motown, soul, and rhythm and blues.

Wednesday, July 1

Earning My Mom Badge

I have loved Tessa from the the moment I knew of her existence, but the lovin’ wasn’t proven until she was about 3 months old.

My husband Rob had a conference in Costa Rica one summer, and I didn’t want to miss the chance to travel with him. So we recruited two babysitters — the kind who buy their own airline tickets and hotel room — a.k.a “parents.” Mine.

Three-month-old babies have a surprising amount of stuff. Clothing, diapers, wipes, and (in our case) formula, bottles, washing paraphernalia and drool cloths. One of the bulkiest things a baby
needs is a bath.

I envisioned getting on the plane with all her stuff and my stuff and a car seat and a stroller, and it was easy to decide we could do without the bath. I’d just have her take a bath with me.

Our hotel room had a beautiful deck bath. Deep but not long or wide. I filled it up (it took awhile because of the volume) and got in with Tessa. We played and burbled for awhile, happy in our liquid cocoon.