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Denver Deal: Breckenridge, Smashburger and Qdoba

Hello again Mile High Mamas!  Do you order the same item when you visit fast-casual resturants (Smashburger and Qdoba are those types of restaurants)?  I know that my kids and I do!  In a recent survey released by JD Power & Associates, it was discovered that one-half of all people do!  So, you are in good company!  Qdoba has discovered a way to get you to try different.  And we invite you to the new opening of Smashburger – where you are sure to find some different options!


Smashburger!

There is a new Smashburger in town!  In the Tabor Center to be exact.    You can be among the first to try the new location – which will include breakfast items offered all day long and “After Hours” shakes & drinks.  Plus, this location boasts late hours Thursday through Saturday.  Text Smash to 94253 and win a spot to attend the VIP sneak peak event the night before the new store opens or register online for a chance to win, http://www.smashburger.com/sneakpeek2.php?city=5.

Breckenridge lodging deals for leaf season

I’m excited to take my kids on a great fall break getaway with great deals in Breckenridge.  Groups of four can stay in Breckenridge for four nights and experience fall colors by ATV, horseback and bike starting at just $76 per night. This special offer is only through October 31, 2010.  The package price includes lodging and activities. All packages can be customized to include more/less activities. Visit gobreck.com or call Breckenridge Central Reservations at 877.593.5260.

Qdoba beating boring!

Did you know that in a recent survey, one-half  of quick serve restaurant customers order the SAME thing each time they visit a particular restaurant!  Visit Qdoba’s website www.foodloversfightingburritoboredom.com, where you can play an online game to make an unboring entree.  Great coupons are available just for playing.

Money Magazine’s “Take Charge Live”

Money Magazine hosts a one night event “Take Charge Live” at Louisville Middle School on Thursday, September 16 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  Discussion topics include: Saving for College, Investing for retirement, budgeting and secrets to a better credit score.  Plus, it’s FREE when you register online.

Email me if you know of any great Denver deals! 

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You can also follow me on Twitter.  If I find a great deal during the week, I’ll tweet it out!

The big postpartum bounceback

The bags under my eyes will only take you to the west coast for a long weekend in Napa. They are no longer steamer trunks fit for trans-Atlantic voyages.

I am mostly confident my shoes would match, if I went anywhere of note. Doctor’s offices do not count, as one expects to encounter a certain amount of human frailty in places where people shift uncomfortably on paper lined tables.

My ability to eat complicated foods while nursing has returned. Watch as I stab lettuce hunks drowning in dressing from a plate two feet away, bringing the fork all the way to my mouth without drizzling Hidden Valley in a pink baby ear! Keep the applause to a polite golf clap, please. He’s sleeping.

Two weeks ago? I couldn’t have performed such a miraculous move.

Sometimes, I can’t believe I’m currently caring for our eighth newborn. That’s a lot of sleepless nights under my elastic waistband. That’s a lot of milk. The teeny diaper stack must reach to Saturn and halfway back. I’ve watched eight umbilical cords shrivel and fall off. I’ve celebrated every one of those gnarly little milestones.

It doesn’t get

Kicking Off Another Attempt at Soccer

On Saturday, community soccer kicked off and for the first time, both my kids played.

My husband Jamie and I enrolled 6-year-old Hadley a couple of years ago but she went on a two-year sabbatical after a disappointing season of general apathy and lack of killer instinct.

In her defense, her team name was the Butterflies. Not exactly cutthroat.

This time around, things were better.

Well, with the exception of the administration staff who somehow forgot to inform parents we didn’t have a coach until a few days prior.

It could have been the Lord of the Flies, soccer-style.

Oblivious to the pre-season drama, Hadley was excited to play and it showed. Not only did she actually attempt to touch the ball, she even scored.

This is a far cry from doing pull-ups on the goal post two year prior.

Though make no mistake, that was impressive.

Four-year-old Bode was the dark horse.

Win 10 Tickets to Elitch Gardens’ Fright Fest By Guessing The Great Pumpkin’s Weight!

**CONTEST CLOSED. THE GREAT PUMPKIN’S WEIGHT WAS 820 LBS. WE HAD TWO MAMAS MAKE THE SAME GUESS (817 LBS), IN WHICH CASE WE RANDOMLY SELECTED THE WINNER OF THE TWO ENTRIES. CONGRATULATIONS TO MONIQUE WESTFALL!**

I am married to a man who is obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin. The end of the growing season is near and the weigh-off showcasing Colorado’s biggest pumpkins is on Saturday, September 25 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Jared’s Nursery in Littleton.

This is a child-friendly event. If your little ones are not impressed by the 1,000+-pound gourds, they will love the straw maze and obstacle course, doggy costume contest, Galleria of the Ghouls, bouncy castle, face painting and more.

To try to make sense of the madness, I am kicking off Mile High Mamas’ Halloween season by offering 10 TICKETS to Elitch Gardens’ Fright Fest to the person who is the closest to guessing his pumpkin’s weight. Because I am a nice wife and want to help promote his obsession.

But mostly I just want to get him off my back.

The only thing scarier than the amount of time he has spent nurturing his orange monstrosity is when Elitch Gardens transforms from theme park to “scream” park in October. From haunted houses to a free Trick-or-Treat Trail (with the price of admission), there’s something for the whole family to enjoy. Fright Fest 2010 runs Fridays 5-10 p.m., Saturdays 12-10 p.m. and Sundays 12-9 p.m. weekends in September 25 through October 31. An adult ticket is $40.99; Child ticket (48” and under): $27.99.

Great discount: Bring in a new or gently-used children’s costume during Fright Fest from Sept. 25 through Oct. 24 and receive a special discounted admission of $24.99, which is $16 off the main gate price. All costumes will be donated to the Denver Children’s Home.

Some Fright Fest highlights:

Healthier school meals pound out new message in Colorado

School districts across the country are adding healthier food in their lunchrooms, but one of the nation’s leaders in the trend is finding it’s a tough campaign to sustain if kids don’t eat the food.

Boulder Valley Schools in 2009 overhauled its food-services program to make it healthier fare, adding salad bars in every school, preparing hot lunches with natural ingredients and serving organic milk.

But the program, which was billed initially as revenue neutral, lost almost $700,000 in its first year despite a 25-cent increase in lunch prices — mostly because fewer kids signed up to eat than were expected.

The school district, with about 25,000 students, anticipated a 10 percent surge in participation with the new meals above the 26 percent participation but got only a 2 percent district-wide increase.

Participation varied from town to town.

For example, schools in

SpaFinder Deal Days Bring Great Discounts for Mom

With a nod to the recession and knowledge that price is one of the main things keeping people from getting more massages and facials, local day spas and exercise studios are offering half-price treatments and classes during upcoming spa weeks.

It’s a chance to try a ballet-style fitness class, get that pedicure you’ve been putting off or highlights you’ve been wanting in your hair.

SpaFinder Deal Days are Sept. 20-26, and Spa Week is Oct. 11-17. Both require free registration at their respective websites, spafinder.com and spaweek.com. (Spa Week’s list of participating businesses will be available Monday.)

Here are some spa deals to check out (businesses are in Denver unless otherwise noted).

Pure Barre, 201 University Blvd., purebarre.com, 720-276-1493

• Two Pure Barre classes (55 minutes each), $23, regularly $46; or five classes for $53, regularly $105

Mokara Spa at Omni Interlocken Resort, 500 Interlocken Blvd., Broomfield, themokaraspa.com, 303-464-3266

• Mokara Signature Pedicure, $25, regularly $50

Search our events calendar

Looking for some family fun? Check our weekly posts below, and our event calendar.

FREE seminars on sleep challenges, potty training, toddlers & teens at Children’s Hospital

A few years ago, we were in the throes (or rather, woes) of potty training our stubborn 3-year-old daughter. Our pediatrician recommended we attend a FREE toilet training seminar at The Children’s Hospital and I have been an advocate of this program ever since.

Let’s face it: there is a lot to parenting and tapping into the experts at The Children’s Hospital is an easy way to learn tips or just find support. As a bonus, childcare for children ranging in age from newborn to 9 years will be provided by specially-trained Children’s volunteers. RSVP is required.

The sessions are:

Childhood Sleeping Challenges
Thursday, October 7,* 7–8:30 p.m.
Guest Speaker: Bart Schmitt, MD

Transition to New

Mamas: Families displaced by the Boulder fire need your donations

Editor’s Note: Thank you to the many Mile High Mamas who have so generously donated. I had many moms drop-off clothing, toys and books for Boulder families in need. Due to the overwhelming community response, please only donate:

Warm clothing and shoes, Womens, Mens XL ONLY
NEW packages of socks and underwear, all sizes, particularly adult sizes
Men’s size XL clothing
Toys for older kids (10-12 and up)
Laptop computers (running Windows Vista or Windows 7)
Bags- Duffle bags, suitcases, etc.
Bedding- sheets, towels, pillows, mattress pads, blankets (new or nearly new condition, please)
Hangers

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The fire in Four Mile Canyon has wreaked havoc on the lives of residents in the Boulder area. Though there have been no reported injuries, many families have been displaced or have sadly lost their homes and possessions.

In an effort to offer a community-to-community response, Boulder Rockn’ Moms is setting up The Four Mile Community Store, offering gently-used kids clothing, books, toys, and other children’s items to displaced families. They are requesting your donations to assist in this effort, and time is obviously of the essence. The store will be open to all residents with proof of address within the evacuation area.

Please bring your clean, gently-used items to Becoming Mother’s, located at 2525 Arapahoe in Boulder. For larger items, please call 720-317-3397.

Boulder Rockin’ Moms will also have a list for special requests, which will be posted here. They also need volunteers to help sort donations and assist “shoppers.” If you are interested in volunteering, please go here.

Win 2 Dozen CLIF Kid Snacks for Back to School

**CONTEST CLOSED. CONGRATS TO WINNERS MELISSA HISEL AND ERICA DOEMLAND!**

With kids headed back to school comes the inevitable task of making a healthy lunch, day after day, week after week.

And the fun part of getting kids to actually eat it.

That’s where Clif Kid organic snacks come to the rescue. Like Clif Kid’s parents, Clif Bar and LUNA, CLIF Kid provides snacks that are organic, wholesome, tasty and provide the right blend of nutrients… but specifically for kids. The CLIF Kid Organic ZBaR and Twisted Fruit both fit the bill by providing healthy on-the-go snacks that are easy for parents to pack and easy for kids to love.

ZBaR is the organic whole-grain bar that comes in kid friendly flavors like Chocolate Brownie, S’mores and Honey Graham but it’s made with a special blend of oats, carbohydrates, protein and fiber to help kids feel full longer and prevent energy spikes. Twisted Fruit is a snack made with all-natural fruit and nothing else. Unlike some whole fruits that get smushed in lunchboxes and come back uneaten and bruised, Twisted Fruit stands up to the backpack and has a fun rope-shape that kids love. Parents can rest easy knowing Twisted Fruit still provides one serving of healthy, organic fruit. And they come in cool flavors like Strawberry and Sour Apple. Plus, because CLIF Kid’s snacks are organic, they don’t contain any processed sugars or high-fructose corn syrup.

Mile High Mamas is offering 3 lucky winners a chance to try out 2 dozen of these delicious lunch-savers for free! Please go here to enter. Contest deadline is September 18, 2010.