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“You poked my heart” cute kid video goes viral

In the latest kids-say-the-darndest things on YouTube, three young children argue whether it’s “raining” or “sprinkling.” 

The boy becomes increasingly frustrated until the culmination around the 1:30 mark when the girl emphasizes her point by poking the boy’s chest.

Here’s the thing, kids: you’re all correct. I’m thinking their next weather report should be a lesson in synonyms.

Watch video.

Denver Deal: Odysseo, Postmates, Alliance Francaise & More

I have seen a couple of cirque shows. It never ceases to amaze me how a person could really contort their body in such ways – and smile through the whole thing. I was excited to attend the Social Media Night at one of Cirque’s newest shows visiting Denver, Odysseo. In Odysseo not only are the acrobats part of the show but so are some really amazing horses (62 to be exact). Describing a Cirque show to someone who has not been can be a bit difficult – because there is story, there is artistry, there is music, light and sound. More than anything – it is hard to explain because it is hard to believe that you really saw what you thought you did! Well, better than try to explain – I say just go! You can grab tickets and take the kids with you at 10% off when you use the code SMNDEN. Purchase online, at the box office or over the phone.

Postmates Launch in Denver

On-demand delivery service Postmates is launching in Denver Tuesday, Sept 30. The app allows Denverites to order in from any store or restaurant for delivery in under an hour. This means Olive & Finch on-demand, Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs delivered in minutes, groceries from Whole Foods at the touch of a button, you get the idea.  With this launch, they’ll be delivering free Voodoo Doughnuts on Tuesday to kick things off. Free Voodoo Doughnuts On-Demand: This will be an ongoing promotion on Tuesday 9/30 beginning at 11 a.m. until they sell out. Just download the app and the promotion will be featured on the home screen: select the Free Doughnuts On-Demand store, add your 4 free doughnuts (2 regular, 2 specialty), and request delivery. The entire order – including delivery – is free. There is a $50 in delivery credit for the first 500 Denver customers: The first 500 people who download the app and enter code DENFRIEND will get $50 in credit (good towards delivery fee) added to their account (expires 10/31); and Free delivery on all orders through 10/15. (The initial delivery zone covers LoDo, Uptown, Cherry Creek, Capitol Hill, RiNo, Five Points, Baker, Highlands, DU and LoHi). So hey – my diet thanks you for not YET being in Highlands Ranch! 

Parlez Vous Francais?

Is it obvious that I don’t speak French? (I’m not sure I even spelled that right). It is not a secret that children are the best language-learners, so it makes sense for children to begin learning at a young age. The Alliance Française de Denver, a historic French language and culture nonprofit serving Colorado since 1897, offers classes for children ages 1-11 (the first class is always free). They enhance children’s natural ability to learn a language by providing a structured routine that is both dynamic and interactive. Young children will enjoy learning French through games, songs, storytelling, sensory experiences, and various other activities. Parents are welcome to attend and share in the joys of discovering this beautiful language with their child. Class schedule available here: http://www.afdenver.org/shop/product-category/classes/french-for-children-teens/

Elevate

The founder of Discover Health and Wellness, a local chiropractic office is holding an event called Elevate.  It’s based off of his book that I shared with you a while back.  It is an all-day event that he is describing as the best day of your life or your money back! He is offering tickets for $89, and they include a free guest pass.  The ticket also includes, lunch, and a free 50-Minute massage which is a $70 value.  So, it’s really like $19 for the day for two people.  The event info is on his website, www.elevatebook.com.
 
Bloom Yoga Wear at Sports Authority
I love looking cute in my yoga wear – because heaven knows I don’t look cute DOING yoga! Bloom is the newest line to be featured exclusively at The Sports Authority. The line is consciously designed to conserve the Earth’s beauty by utilizing fabrics blended with organic cotton, rayon made from bamboo or Repreve® yarn, a soft and comfortable fiber made from recycled materials. Plus it is price-point conscious with items between $35 and $70. (If someone is wondering what to get me for Christmas….) 

Kids Clothing Swap

Golden Kids Clothes Swap will be held Saturday, October 4,  2014 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Hillside Community Church (103 N. Ford St. Golden, CO)
This is a free, community-wide event that happens twice a year in Golden. It is a great way to trade clothes and find quality, used clothing for your kids and at the same time be an outreach to the community around us. Consider bringing in your gently used kids clothing, fall costumes, children’s books, maternity clothes, and other baby items to the church on Friday, October 3 from 5:-8 p.m. or the day of the swap. See the website for more details and to subscribe to the mailing list for reminders on upcoming swaps: www.kids-clothes-swap.com

Children’s Consignment Sales

Twice a year, Mile High Mamas does a round-up detailing Colorado’s popular children’s consignment sales. Thousands of shoppers find bargains on kids’ clothing for newborn-preteen, toys, strollers, furniture, baby equipment, books, shoes, maternity items and more…all at 50-90 percent below retail. 
 

Ski Deals

We have posted a round-up of Ski Deals. Many of them start this weekend. If you plan on skiing/snowboarding check them out.

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Email me if you know of any great Denver deals!
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If you’re on Twitter follow me on Twitter (GeeWhy93).  If I find a great deal during the week, I’ll tweet it out.

Kids Eat Free

Mile High Mamas has rounded up a huge listing of local restaurants where kids eat free or for a discount with a paying adult.

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Email me if you know of any great Denver deals!
Don’t want to miss any of Mile High Mamas’ contests and events? Be sure to sign up for our weekly email newsletter so you can forward these great deals to your friends.
If you’re on Twitter follow me on Twitter (GeeWhy93).  If I find a great deal during the week, I’ll tweet it out.

 

 

One mom’s defence of the Jeffco school protests and walkouts

I want to share my view of this past weeks student protests and why I allowed my daughter to participate. My daughter and I had a lot of discussion about what is going on in her school district.

I speak as a parent. The past two years I have been PTSA President of my daughters high school. The two years before that, I was the PTSA Vice President and the Accountability Chairperson of the same high school. I have spent a lot of time attending board meetings and budget meetings, and even in meetings with the former superintendent. I have met with parents and teachers. I have heard a lot of different view points. So, although I may not know everything, I think I have a basic understanding of some things.

I have issues with common core and AP US History (I have read the curriculum for it). I have issues with a new unproven superintendent getting massive compensation before he has even done anything. I have issues with the teachers union for allowing incompetent teachers to be moved around instead of being fired. Most teachers are awesome by the way. I have issues with a proposed curriculum review board, not because I am against reviewing curriculum, I think we should, but it should be done by a combination of educators and parents, and not for political reasons.

I was excited when a conservative board was voted in, as I am conservative. However, I have been very disappointed with this group. I am disappointed with the incivility and disregard that they have shown for their fellow board members, for the former superintendent, for parents, teachers and community members. Instead of trying to work with anyone, they are alienating everyone, including those of us who would have liked to support them.

The issues surrounding any school district are complicated, especially one as large and diverse as ours. We need to make sure that we address the needs of all children in our district and not just our own.

Which is why I am glad my daughter and her fellow students protested. It is their education at stake. Their protests have succeeded.

How do I know? Because, they have encouraged all of us to have this discussion and become better educated as to what is going on in our district.

Guest blogger Lisa is a mom of five and lives in Arvada. Photo: RJ Sangosti

Elitch Gardens to kick off Fright Fest with (wait for it) a Hearse Parade and a giant pumpkin!

Confirmation that Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park rocks:

elitch1) They hand-delivered their Fright Fest announcement in a hearse.

2) They’re kicking off their Halloween season on Friday, Oct. 3 with a Hearse Parade. Not only are they teaming up with the Denver Hearse Association (yep, it really exists) but they will also have dozens of corpse mobiles that will creep up to the gates as darkness falls on opening night to welcome guests into the frights that lurk inside.

3) They are growing one of my husband Jamie’s pumpkin seeds and are entering it in Nick’s Garden Center’s  pumpkin weigh-off next weekend. Be sure to watch for it when when you visit the park!

About Fright Fest

This year’s Fright Fest is set to be the spookiest celebration yet as hoards of undead take over the usually jovial Theme Park in a Zombie Apocalypse. Denver’s largest Halloween tradition will haunt for five straight weekends of spooky fun for all ages with Family By Day and Fright By Night activities.

Family by Day

Halloween festivities invade the park starting at 12 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through November 2. Little ghosts and goblins can enjoy Free Candy on the Trick or Treat Trail and partake in several Halloween themed interactive challenges, including pumpkin decorating, costume contests, Ghouls Match, Gross Out for Kids, Hay Maze, Scream it Out and more.

Fright by Night

This takes over when the sun goes down and blood-curdling shrieks, shrills and chills will take place, starting at 6 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Prepare to be on alert all around you, as a Zombie Apocalypse has occurred and these creatures lurk around every thrilling corner.Get terrorized in the haunted houses – Flesh Factory: Outbreak and Terror Chamber 2. These multi-sensory experiences thrust guests into the action as they make their way through dark pathways and explore the site of a Zombie outbreak! Plus take part in two bone-chilling live performances, bringing stories of the undead back to life in Séance and testing your squeamish limits in the All-New Sideshow: Parade of Freaks.

Dates

Elitch Gardens’ Fright Fest will be open every Friday night, Saturday and Sunday from October 3rd through November 2nd. In addition to all the ghastly fun, guests can take one last spin on their favorite thrill rides. Some attractions during Fright Fest will have an additional fee, but your screams are priceless! Tickets start at $34.99 and packages start at $49.99. Dare to visit ElitchGardens.com/FrightFest for all the creepy details, discount tickets, and additional haunted packages.

CDC issues warning after paralysis, muscle weakness strike 9 Colorado kids

Nine Colorado children have been stricken with muscle weakness or paralysis since Aug. 8, and Colorado health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday they’re investigating a link to concurrent viral outbreaks.

The CDC has issued a national alert for doctors in other states to watch for similar symptoms.

All nine children’s symptoms were preceded by respiratory illness, said Dr. Larry Wolk, director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and a pediatrician.

“This is a very small number of patients,” Wolk said. “That’s why we’re asking if there are other cases. People shouldn’t panic.”

The cases were identified between Aug. 8 and Sept. 17 at Children’s Hospital Colorado among children ages 1 to 18 — most from the Denver area. The health department has been working with Children’s for about a week, Wolk said.

“All nine had some kind of lesion show up on their MRIs,” Wolk said.

The CDC advisory says symptoms include limb weakness and “abnormalities of the spinal cord gray matter on an MRI,” or magnetic resonance imaging.

Wolk said he didn’t know how many of the nine children suffered paralysis. And officials don’t know if any paralysis is permanent. He said none of the nine have recovered yet CLICK TO KEEP READING

-Elizabeth Hernandez and Electa Draper; Photo Cyrus McCrimmon

“The Boxtrolls” delivers on the charm of the grotesque

There comes a moment in “The Boxtrolls” when a terrific allergic reaction of social-striving baddie Archibald Snatcher elicits an understandably revolted “Ewww!”

There are many more delighted “Ewwws” than too-easy “Awws” in this charming, if a tad cynical, feature from the creators of “Coraline” and “ParaNorman.”

“The Boxtrolls” takes its inspiration from Alan Snow’s 2005 fantasy novel “Here Be Monsters!” And there are indeed monstrous goings-on in this 90-minute yarn extracted from a 500-plus-page tome. It was adapted by Irena Brignull and Adam Pava and is co-directed by Antony Stacchi and Graham Annable.

“The Boxtrolls” begins with the disappearance of an infant. The Trubshaw Baby becomes the sort of legend that keeps parents anxious and feeds kids’ nightmares.

It is a dark yarn one particular Cheese-bridge resident is all too happy to exploit. Boxtroll exterminator Snatcher (voiced by Ben Kingsley) has hopes of moving up in society and trading in his red hat for the “white hat” of the muckety-mucks.

 If the sorry elites seem to care more about Brie and Roquefort than other civic matters, it’s because they do.

Only the Boxtrolls are not the agents of mayhem CLICK TO KEEP READING

Foodie Friday: Delicious Pumpkin Pie Crisp Bars

I still remember the day I became obsessed with eating all-things pumpkin. I was pregnant with Hadley, called home and my family was eating pumpkin pie for Canadian Thanksgiving. As a wave of homesickness washed over me, I developed a pregnancy craving for pumpkin that never went away.

Thankfully, the pregnancies did.

Every year before the weigh-off for my husband’s giant pumpkins, we have a huge pumpkin party where our friends bring delicious pumpkin treats.


I like to experiment and fell in love with two new recipes that I tweaked until they were just right. I’ll share one this week and another next week.

About the recipe: two of my favorite treats are pumpkin pie and apple crisp. This recipe melds the best of both worlds with the “crisp” not only as the topping but also on the bottom and delicious pumpkin in between. Then, add cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger and this treat tastes like fall.

[yumprint-recipe id=’34’] 

 

Fourth day of walkouts with massive protest near Columbine High

While teachers and the Jefferson County school board are busy blaming each other for this week’s student walkouts and protests, the teens are happy to take credit.

“People think because we are teenagers, we don’t know things, but we are going home and looking things up,” said Savanna Barron, a senior at Lakewood High School, as she waved a sign on Kipling Street on Thursday morning. “If they don’t teach us civil disobedience, we will teach ourselves.”

By Thursday, the fourth straight day of protests, students had improved their organization, message and size, rallying a group of roughly 1,000 at a combined Columbine and Dakota Ridge high school walkout that saw kids crowd onto a pedestrian bridge over South Wadsworth Boulevard.

A movement that started with cardboard signs and random chants has moved to bullhorns and even a slogan: “It’s our history, don’t make it mystery.”

Facing criticism about skipped classes — including from passing motorists at Lakewood High who shouted at the demonstrators — some students opted to use their lunch or free periods to protest.

Others said they didn’t mind skipping class.

“It’s an unexcused absence, but I don’t care,” Tayler Lopez, a sophomore at Columbine and a protest organizer, said Thursday. “This is more important than truancy.”

 Hundreds of high schoolers across the county have hit the streets protesting a proposed curriculum committee that would call for promoting “positive aspects” of U.S. history and avoiding or condoning “civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law.” They’re also upset about an evaluation-based system for awarding raises to educators.

Controversy has swirled around the Jefferson County school board after the election of a conservative majority to run the 85,000-student district. Action began last week when two schools closed because 50 teachers either called in sick or took a personal day.

The issue has become so heated that Thursday the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said deputies were investigating threats against school board members’ children. Sheriff’s officials declined to elaborate.

The school board CLICK TO KEEP READING

Hundreds of Jeffco students walk out in largest school board protest

In the largest protest this week, at least 700 Jefferson County students left classes Wednesday morning in protest of school board decisions and proposed changes to history curriculum.

The students gathered at the intersection of Ken Caryl Avenue and Chatfield Boulevard by mid-morning, most from rival high schools Chatfield and Dakota Ridge.

Some of the students waved American flags and held signs that said, “Don’t make history a mystery,” which has become a slogan of this week’s walk-outs. Others piled into cars and sped around the intersection honking their horns and screaming out open windows.

Tensions have been mounting in the school district as students, parents and teachers push back against district leadership. Wednesday’s protests meant that students at roughly half of all county high schools had walked-out of their classes in protest this week.

Community members are angry about an evaluation-based system for awarding raises to educators and a proposed curriculum committee that would call for promoting “positive aspects” of the United States and its heritage and avoiding material that would encourage or condone “civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law.”

CLICK TO KEEP READING

Also don’t miss: Jeffco school board curriculum committee idea latest divisive issue

Best Fast Casual Kids Meals in Denver

I can’t do it all, but I can carry out really well! Not my motto, but sometimes my philosophy 

 School’s officially back in session; I think both of my children finally completed their first full week of school and, I’d like to tell you that I’m cooking Hank the Tank and Dora the Explorer these amazing three-course nutritious meals mostly provided by my garden; however, welcome to reality in 2014.  

Between schlepping my children to and from school and activities, I can barely find my own time to eat, let alone always make a healthy meal for my family. Lucky for us Denver is the capital of upscale quick service restaurants. While the Chipotle, Qdoba, Noodles, Panera, Einsteins and etc. are all a staple in my diet and my children’s as well (and headquartered in Colorado!), I needed to add some variety this fall. Here are my top five favorite urban casual eateries for kid’s meal carry-out this season. Of course, they all have exceptional foods and beverages for adults, but it’s about the kids . . . 

DISCLAIMER: To make this list, the eatery had to have multiple locations. Don’t see your favorites, please don’t kill the messenger. Later this season look for our round-up of best single location kid’s meals as well. And, there will be a juice round-up in early November, just in time for the holidays.

LYFE Kitchen

LYFE Kitchen

LYFE Kitchen

From the previous owners of one of my favorite childhood restaurants, McDonalds, comes the latest food experience, LYFE Kitchen. The first Denver-area location opened in Park Meadows Mall this summer and the Boulder location opens on Oct. 15.  Dora’s and I recent adventure to this airy, nature-inspired eatery rocked, and owner DJ Mitchell was on hand to keep Dora busy as I ate everything! The ambiance is perfect for dining in or taking out. Local beers and coffee are served year round and local, seasonal vegetables are on their menu when available. Their story, values, and beliefs are all on their website and pretty unique. World-class chefs Art Smith and Tal Ronnen heavily influenced this menu and we should all be thankful as their kid’s menu features Art’s famous, Un-fried Chicken. All children’s entrees come with either baked sweet potato fries or fresh fruit. Or look for traditional pasta with sauce or branch out and try the Unfried (and baked!) Chicken and French fries. Classic cheese flatbread and fish tacos are also on this delightful child’s menu. All calorie and sodium content is easily visible when ordering. Dora was a member of the clean plate club and also might have indulged in the chocolate budino and local peach budino, both under 250 calories a piece! Did I mention they have free sparkling water on tap? lyfekitchen.com

Yellowbelly

Never heard of it. That’s what most moms in Denver say. However if you find yourself in Boulder or Vail or inhabit these places, we have to give a shout out to Yellowbelly chicken. Their Red Bird chicken is well-known for both nutrition and taste. Everything from this place is always from scratch and their sides for kids include smashed potato fries, macaroni pie, citrus quinoa, and other seasonal and hearty items. For the biggest bang for your buck try their family meals. It is a whole roasted bird, 10 pieces fried or half roasted and half fried. That feeds an entire family for under $30.00. Plus, Yellowbelly fries their chicken and smashed potatoes in a GMO Free Rice Bran Oil and the fried chicken is gluten-free. While the kids and I have not ventured out to Yellowbelly, we were strongly encouraged to mention this authentic Colorado eatery. yellowbellychicken.com

Protein Bar

Protein Bar

Protein Bar

Originally from Chicago, like myself, I was thrilled when Colorado got this brilliant sensation. Currently there are two locations in Denver and one in Boulder, all in prime traffic spots. Calories, fat, fiber and protein grams are all posted next to each menu item. Their blended drinks are genius. My favorites for the moms are the Boulder Green Tea, Lodo Cocoa, Aspen Acai’d, and Ski Nut Butter & Jelly — all with obvious Colorado symbolism. Any of these shakes alone could provide a meal, but the kids have gotta eat. The Green Monster, an all-natural chicken, organic quinoa, spinach, tomatoes, basil pesto, and Parmesan, is a family favorite. The Kid’s Power Plate with all-natural chicken, black beans, organic quinoa blend, cheddar, and house-made BBQ sauce, with a whole wheat wrap is another power packed choice. Lastly, we must mention the Pizza Bowl. This is a dynamic and healthy spin on a classic favorite. All-natural chicken and organic quinoa blend topped with rich marinara and Parmesan make it a knock out choice. theproteinbar.com

Modmarket

Although Modmarket might be the oldest member of this crew, it’s still a newbie for many. Their newest location at DIA (coming soon) only cements them as THE new lifestyle eatery for the masses. It’s hard to pass up their gluten-free dough or barbecue pizza, but when it comes to kids and healthy on-the-go meals, their home-style plates are a solid choice. Choose from their barbecue chicken, roasted chicken, grilled steak, or sesame and ginger spiced tofu and sides such as rosemary sweet potatoes mash, balsamic carrots, arugula and blue cheese salad, and more. They also have a Build-Your-Own Salad for the kids! Kid’s sized salad with choice of veggies and dressing. Their organic fresh brewed ice tea is always nice for mom as well. modmarket.com

The Kitchen Next Door

Originally from Boulder, this Colorado icon has branched into four higher-end eateries; three more upscale community-oriented, faster, more casual locations, and one cocktail lounge. My favorite their “Next Door” brand with three locations—one in Boulder, City Set in Glendale, and Union Station. The founder’s food movement is ever-present in all menu items. For the little one’s pick them out a main dish of Slow Roast Pork Sliders. Both my kids LOVED these. Pair this one of their extraordinary sides including, Garlic Smashers, Kale Chips, Roasted Beets, or Marinated Beans. And don’t miss The Lunch Box. It is packed full of family favorites such as Long Farm Ham, cheddar, and carrots & celery sticks. Simple and delicious flavorings for this fall.  They also offer a healthy sampling of diverse salads. thekitchen.com