Month: September 2013

Denver Deal: Free Days, Broncos Fans, and Panda Express

I have a friend who’s son won’t eat anything but chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese. In my house, my kids had to eat what I made. No requesting something else. But what I’ve done is created these amazing little foodies. Which is why it was so exciting when I took my kid to Street Kitchen Asian Bistro last week. It is located just East of I-25 on Dry Creek. They tried all kinds of food that they would not have (we actually just told the waiter to bring us whatever were their specials) otherwise. They tried crab rangoons,Okonomiyaki (which appeared as though it was moving – on purpose!) Spicy tuna roll (sushi), stuffed-roasted pork belly, the most amazing full-meal-deal fried rice, and topped off by green tea ice cream, a yummy drink dessert with tapioca in it an...

What is your parenting style: Cheerleader or Coach?

In our younger, leaner years, my husband Secret Agent Man was an athlete. I was a dancer. So how did we end up with uncoordinated kids? My twin boys can’t run. You know the kids that shuffle up and down the soccer field with their feet never fully coming off the ground? They would be mine. Mini Me, my daughter, loves to dance. She has been in a local cheerleading program for three years. She always ends up getting “The Spirit Award” as opposed to something like “Best Jumps.” Mini Me, like her mother, is high energy. Her coach is very encouraging and says that being energetic is what cheerleading is all about. But, unlike me, a former “All-American Pom-pom Girl” and former college ballroom dance champion, she forgoes technique in favor of an Elaine Benes-type dance style. Whenever I have tr...

Fees pile up for parents in Colorado public schools

Gone are the days when parents could send their children to public school with a few classroom supplies and some lunch money. Strapped school district budgets, caused by dwindling state and federal dollars, are forcing parents to dig deeper into their pockets as more school systems in Colorado and across the country turn to student fees to maintain services and programs. Want to play sports? That could cost up to $130 at Adams 12 Five Star Schools. Taking an advanced-placement class? You could pay up to $189 in fees at Jefferson County Public Schools. Need to ride the bus to school? An annual transportation pass in the Douglas County School District is $150. The fees pile up quickly for READ ON

Events: Ringling Bros, Pumpkin Harvest Festival, Cider Days and More!

Four Mile History Park’s Pumpkin Harvest Festival. On Oct. 5 and 6 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., don’t miss this FREE county fair area where you can rummage through their costume bank and take an ‘old-timey’ photo in front of the Four Mile House, enter a pie eating contest or win something yummy in an old-fashioned cake walk.  Find the perfect pumpkin in the patch, create your very own scarecrow, listen and dance to old time music, play historic games or make a historic craft. There will be plenty of food available including homemade caramel apples and other goodies. Be sure to visit the mountain men and Native American encampment, take a horse-drawn ride and tour Four Mile House, Denver’s oldest standing structure, as the Booth family prepares for the harvest.  Admission is free but there is a cha...

DIY for all ages: NoCo Mini Maker Faire gets kids into science Oct. 5

Think of the NoCo Mini Maker Faire on Oct. 5 as a combination of robotics, creative problem-solving, DIY projects and a nerdy version of the Pinewood Derby. “It’s all of those things wrapped into one,” says organizer Elizabeth Weiland. She decided to organize the event as a way to meet others with similar interests in science, engineering and problem-solving. Such fairs have become popular across the U.S. As Weiland made the rounds of potential exhibitors and participants for her own, the response astonished her.

How Do I Transition My Baby from the Family Bed?

Dear Mama Drama: My husband and I have been practicing the family bed with our son who is now eighteen months olds. We all sleep in the same bed, with him either in the middle or on the outside of me with a portable bed-rail next to him. He also sleeps in our bed during his naps. As he is getting bigger we think he is ready to begin sleeping in his own bed in his room. We want to make this a smooth transition that maintains the trusting relationship we have built with him. Do you have any recommendations on how to proceed?  ~Trusted mama (photo credit)

The school cafeteria’s hurry up and eat policy–advice for quick, healthy lunches

Most parents tell me that their elementary school child has 20 to 25 minutes to enter the school cafeteria, search for her lunchbox buried in a portable tub, find a place to sit, open all the containers, eat (oh, right, eat), then clean and pack up before the bell rings. In an effort to ensure that their kids eat anything at all, well-meaning parents pack lunchboxes filled to the brim with typically, 7 to 8 different options! Picture this: Your little first grader searches for spot in a sea of tables, newly found lunchbox in hand. She squeezes in between her best friends, climbing up onto the metal bench, feet dangling, with her little elbows resting on the much too high table top, just below her chin. Most school cafeterias provide the same size seating for the entire school, whether the ...

Make Ahead Meals – Burrito Bonanza (Breakfast, Chicken and Beef Burritos) – Freezer Meal Ideas

Since I am addicted to Pinterest, and nap time usually ends up with me searching and pinning for two hours instead of doing my chores has led me to find freezer meals!  During my searches, I have found that moms just like me are looking for quick ways to make dinner without a lot of work or clean up.  Throughout the multiple pins I have come across, I have been disappointed in the preparation of the dishes.  Many of the pins have combined raw meats with veggies to be pulled out and cooked at a later date, which sadly a lot of people do not know that this is a possible food contamination hazard. Yikes, right…?  I didn’t like this, but I loved the idea of being able to pull something out of the freezer and cook it any my convenience. We love Mexican food, and when the craving hits we usually...

A marathon-training Denver mom’s body-image breakthrough

While I was recently plugging along on an 18-mile training run, I played a lot of mind games with myself to help push me through.  I’ve done this a lot since I started running six or seven years ago, and it’s one of my favorite things to talk about with other runners.  In part, because I like to gather new ideas for future runs but also because sometimes it makes me laugh: -“If you make it to that tree, you can walk a bit”, “If you make it to that lamppost, you can walk a bit” etc…. -While doing loops, I threaten the road I’m headed towards: “Alright Broadway, I’m coming for you” or if there is a particularly difficult hill: “You think you’re better than me?”

Deals: Free National Parks, Free Museums and More!

I was recently invited to see Defending the Caveman at the Denver Center (Garner Galleria Theater). The one man show was funny and a great date night idea! The hilarious show points out the differences between men and women. I used to think that show tickets were too expensive for me to go – but really the tickets are totally affordable (starting at just $25 each) – and there are several places you can get discounted tickets as well (including Sister Act Sister Act sings its way into the Denver Center this week for a limited engagement (through October 6) Sister Act tells the story of Deloris Van Cartier, a wannabe diva whose life takes a surprising turn when she witnesses a crime and cops hide her in a convent. The show is fun and family friendly. Save up to $20...

Events: Giant Pumpkin Festival, Hike & Seek and More!

Hike & Seek. National Wildlife Federation (NWF), America’s largest conservation organization, is pleased to announce the fourth annual Hike & Seek event on Sept. 28 9 a.m.-noon at South Platte Park, in Littleton. Hike & Seek is a family outing that inspires a child’s sense of adventure by combining a nature hike and scavenger hunt. The event brings families together for a few hours in the great outdoors for some fresh fall air and fun and provides an opportunity to rediscover nature. People are encouraged to sign up at early to buy tickets and then show up ready to spend some family time in nature. Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off and Festival. Don’t miss this great family event Saturday Sept 28, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Jared’s Nursery, Gift & Garden. See giant pumpkin...

Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month: What Every Woman Needs to Know

September is Gynecologic Cancer Awareness month.  It seems like an odd thing to name a month after, but since many gynecologic cancers go unrecognized in their early more treatable stages, this is an opportunity to raise awareness of what the five main types of gynecologic cancer are and what you need to know about them. Before we start, do you know the five gynecologic cancers?  Think of all your girl parts: uterus, ovaries, cervix, vagina, and vulva.  Those are the five. Do you know which one is most common?   It’s uterine cancer. We hear a lot about pap smears but this most common cancer is actually not diagnosed on a pap smear.

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