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The Mama Sagas–Come Share Your Stories With Us!

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I prepared for everything I possibly could. I thought I had all my ducks in a row. But from the moment I entered the hospital it became clear that becoming a mom is a wild ride and preparation is impossible. There are things no one tells you and no one shares – maybe because they are afraid of scaring you, or afraid of embarrassing themselves or inviting unwelcome judgment. As a result, many women experience moments of panic, isolation, or desperation after our babies are born or adopted. Some women feel terrified or confused or lost…. and women who don’t have close friends or family or good resources may feel like they have nowhere to turn. Even when our kids get older, we tend to sugar coat our realities when talking to other moms. We rarely talk about the things we feel might make us look like bad moms – like for instance the fact that sometimes my daughter refuses to eat anything but pancakes and syrup (ahem, last night).

But motherhood is certainly not all rainbows and butterflies. It’s poop and vomit and tears and saggy skin and uncontrollable laughter. It’s real and raw and messy. For generations, we have tried to achieve a standard of perfection – Super Mom status. But in doing so we haven’t shared the things that would help each other the most- the real challenges that actually make us super moms. We haven’t talked about how to stop peeing our pants when we run, or how having sex for the first time after giving birth can be terrifying… or less than impressive.

I want to change that. I want to celebrate real moms and real moments, and provide quick, accessible, and credible expert answers to our most pressing questions.  Because the truth is, when you enter into motherhood you enter into a tribe of heroes. Moms give of themselves beyond measure and sacrifice themselves – almost to a fault. They find balance amidst chaos. They surf the waves of unpredictability with grace and persistence. They wear their vulnerabilities on their sleeve and chase a standard of excellence they know their families deserve. An instinctive fire burns within their souls, fighting for whatever it takes to give their little ones the best the world has to offer. It’s time we tell our stories, and share the real heroism that is motherhood.

In the next few weeks, we will unveil the first of many video clips celebrating everyday moms. We will find the answers to the questions that keep you up at night. And if we are doing anything right, we will make you laugh.

Come Join Us!

If you’d like to be a part of this patchwork of heroes, find me this Sunday, May 3, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Sloan’s Lake Playground on 26th and Tennyson. Come anytime in that window, bring the kiddos, wear your stained shirt, and come as you are. We have stories to tell.

The Mama Sagas are the brainchild of Heidi McGuire and Saralyn Ward. Heidi is the owner and operator of 321 Media Productions – a Denver-based video production company specializing in online storytelling and presentation coaching. Heidi spent a decade in television news, including 9News in Denver and earned an Emmy for her work as a solo video journalist. Saralyn Ward is a writer, fitness consultant and Pilates instructor whose passion is to empower others to live a robust, healthy life. Her work can be seen on elephant journal and Gaiam.com, as well as in FitPro, Dance Spirit and Pilates Style magazines. She has been featured in several commercials and fitness DVDs, and authors a blog called Fit to Glow. Saralyn and her husband Tom live in Golden with their 2 year old daughter.

Mother’s Day Grand Prize Giveaway: Camps, Food, Cleanse, Crafts & Beauty (valued $1,500+)

Its that time of year again. Time to honor us. We tried to pack in a little adventure, relaxation, indulgence and Colorado fun into this year’s Mother’s Day contest. You can enter each contest separately and enter them all if you please right here. I think I have gathered up my largest giveaway of goodies for moms EVER! We have camps—for moms and kids—, crafts, home decor, food, healthier food and maybe even a cleanse as well. Here’s to us! 

 Vela Adventure

First up, Vela Adventure. Both Amber and I got into the summer adventure mode with these ladies last year. My camp of choice was stand up paddle boarding and yoga. The camp over delivered in every one of my expectations. At every Camp Vela adventure, the outing includes professional instruction, any necessary equipment, guide gratuity, snacks, beverages, catered lunch, a dedicated photo link and more. Please see my story here: http://www.velaadventures.com/blog/archives/07-2014 for my adventure from last year. The winner can choose her camp of choice. Here’s to mom getting dropped off at camp this summer without having to pack herself a lunch! 

 Prize: Vela Day Camp

Retail Value: $150

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SupperBell–Chef-inspired meals delivered to your door

Picture this: My in-laws were in town and I was juggling my kids’ soccer, play rehearsal, piano lessons and Cub Scouts. What’s a busy mom to do?  I ordered SupperBell, Denver’s answer to dinner with chef-inspired meals. This new meal-delivery service was started by local Denver parents with big families. They were looking for a convenient and cost-effective way to feed their family nutritious and delicious meals when no one felt like cooking. They use fresh and local ingredients to prepare meals the day they are delivered.  My family’s favorites were the steak and frites, the lemon-herb chicken practically melted in our mouth and the gold mashed potatoes were unanimously a favorite (menus change regularly). All meals are delivered chilled and never frozen. All I had to do was pop them in the oven or microwave and we had a restaurant-quality meal at our own dinner table…and we definitely impressed the in-laws! -AJ

Prize:  SupperBell gift card

Retail Value: $50 (prior to entering, go here to see if they deliver to your zipcode; if not, be sure to request it!)

supperbell

 Glazed and Confuzed

Straight from the donut’s hole: Roses are red, violets are blue, wife’s have kids and husbands who need to win a little love from Glazed and Confuzed! This one-of-a-kind sweet factory is a favorite treat for my family. Their baked goods are so unique; not your typical donuts. Last week we indulged in my kiddos’ favorites chocolate and vanilla, and they had one flavor that happens to me my quirky favorite in flavor for ice cream, candy, etc.—green tea! Don’t miss this flavor if available. Flavors change daily, but classics are always freshly baked. Denver editorial agrees, being named one of the best donut shops by Thrillist and more. The shop is giving away an extra large donut, perfect for birthdays or summer parties.

 Prize: One Large Party Donut

Retail Value: $35 

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Hedgren Totes

There are two things of which Mom can never have too many: shoes and handbags. We have a new obsession for you! Hedgren is a popular European bag company that is finally available in the U.S. and is Boulder-based. They have a variety of fabulous totes, colorful handbags, backpacks and travel gear that are perfect for Mother’s Day gifts and beyond. We especially like the Hedgren Kaci Tote, a fabulous tote with lots of practical pockets in a variety of spring colors including Gold and Blue with a fun pop of color in the interior lining. The Hedgren Leah Tote has a stylish design featuring a zip top, front zip pocket as well as back pockets, long handles for easy carrying and lots of great space inside the bag.

Prize: The Hedgren Kaci Tote

Retail value: $99

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Great Play of Cherry Creek

Next one on the list is Great Play of Cherry Creek, and let’s be honest, five days of free camp is music to any mommy’s ears! Not only five free days of camp for the little one, Great Play of Cherry Creek’s philosophy focuses on safe, healthy, sport utilizing core fine and gross motor skills at the root of all play. For kids who have no background in sports, to little league stars, Great Play of Cherry Creek offers a phenomenal introduction to all Colorado sport activities.

http://greatplay.com/cherrycreek/

 Prize: Five Days of Camp

Retail Value: $175.00 

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Show of Hands

Show of Hands in Cherry Creek North has always featured gifts, jewelry and home décor from local Colorado artists and selected national and international artisans. Over 250 individuals craftsman consistently rotate and produce new and unique pieces specifically for this creative expose and mecca. This 40-year-old gallery in the heart of Cherry Creek, that also boasts FREE parking in front of the shop, showcases such unique and hard-to-find accessories and decor, it’s hard not to take up one of those free parking spots all day. Need one of these handmade items for your home?  Show of Hands will be giving away to one lucky mom, a heart felt and beautiful piece of jewelry from their collection. It reads: The greatest thing she learned is that there is no way to be a perfect mother, but a million ways to be a good one. 

 http://www.showofhandsdenver.com

 Prize: Bracelet

Retail Value: $54.00

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 Neighborhood Music Stapleton

Neighborhood Music Stapleton is opening a brand new facility this spring! On May 17, this incredible music organization, will move to a brand new gorgeous, 14-room studio in the heart of Stapleton for easy access for all!  Whatever you OR your child might be interested in, they have it. Piano, Voice, Guitar, Ukulele, Violin, Mandolin, Drums, Banjo, Flute, Trumpet, Trombone and more can be explored in this music school setting. There’s not just traditional lessons either. You can also enroll in group song or instrument as well as the school’s incredible summer programming and concert series. This really is Denver’s newest School of Rock! Neighborhood Music Stapleton is giving away two amazing prizes for moms this month. All you need to do is enter one time for this prize and the first winner chosen will be given her pick of program and the second winner chosen can receive the alternate choice. Looks like we are giving moms lots of options to kids out and in to some fun culture this summer. 

http://neighborhoodmusicstapleton.com

 Prize: One month of private music lessons, include one 30 minute lesson per week! Students can also opt to do the 
“Try It” Program, which gives students the opportunity to try a different instrument every week for four weeks.

Retail Value: $115.00

AND

 Disney’s Aladdin Jr. Musical Theater

Summer Camp (Ages 8-13 yrs)

June 22-26th Mon-Fri 9 AM- Noon

Final performance: June 26th at 5:30 PM Cost: $150 Limit: 15 students

A musical adventure filled with magic, mayhem, and flying carpet rides. Roles for male and female students! Camp will culminate in a full performance.

Retail Value: $150.00 

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Belly Bliss

Still need to enroll your little one into classes and camps for the summer? I told you, I got this covered! We really got moms a little break this summer. Belly Bliss, Cherry Creek’s nearly 7-year-old success story, is precious. How could it not be? They offer everything for moms-to-be to moms of kids! Babies – how is that not precious? From massage to yoga to accupuncture to kids’ art to stroller workout classes, this studio truly encompasses it all for mamas.This summer the studio is offering programming at a phenomenal rate; the most affordable in Cherry Creek! Camps include yoga, crafts, story adventures, safari explorations and more. Enter to win a FREE week-long half-day camp at Belly Bliss. There is also FREE parking at this location in Cherry Creek North. Check out their website for age requirements for various camps.

http://www.bellybliss.org

Prize: Week-Long Half Day Camp

Retail Value: $175.00

 

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Kolat

This delightful spread is a nutrient-rich tasty treat that that can be seamlessly incorporated into any mom’s hectic routine. Kolat is a healthy blend of fruit, nuts and spices, naturally full of antioxidants, essential minerals, healthy fats, and phytonutrients. Plus it has 50% of the Recommended Daily Value of vitamins per serving, so that your entire family’s minds & bodies can thrive! Ok – now the interesting part, it has received over a half-dozen major awards from 5280, food-based publications and other lifestyle outlets. Jess, the lovely genius behind this brand, has made me want to eat apples again. She is launching 4 more new flavors early this spring. Moms everywhere can be proud of Jess and her healthy snack line, she does it all here in Colorado. Win a prize pack of a jar of each of her 4 original flavors. 

http://thinkolat.com

 Prize: Assorted Kolat Pack

Retail Value: $40.00 

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Alive on Canvas

Are you a DIY queen in need of a new project? Highlight some of your favorite keepsakes on a canvas?  Through this company moms can create Keepsake Art Collages using memorable items, like the outfit your child wore home from the hospital, recital dresses, sports uniforms or anything close to your heart. This could be a mom’s dream or a Pinterest overload situation. Whichever it is, get crafty this summer with the help of someone else, they can do the dirty work for you. 

https://www.aliveoncanvas.com/gallery/keepsake-art-starter-canvas/

 Prize: A gift certificate in the amount of $175.00. The winner can buy the DIY book and a 16 x 20 printed starter canvas OR put that amount toward other retail options fro Alive on Canvas.

Retail Value: $175.00

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Pressed Juice Daily

Pressed Juice Daily is cold, pressed, organic juice in a variety of flavors for health conscious mamas to enjoy. PJD is a staple in my house, I’m addicted to the almond milk, immunity shot and citrus 3. It is the easiest and most efficient way to incorporate raw fruits and veggies into any diet. Plus, their immunity shots are packaged in the cutest little glass bottles, perfect for slipping in a purse or bag, and a way to upkeep a healthy and happy lifestyle when there are 1,000 other things on your plate—none of them being food! The two guys behind the juice are pretty darling as well. They cater to all types of body types and diets. Adam and Christian respect anyone’s moment towards a healthier lifestyle. They are usually on hand at their central Denver location, on Broadway, to answer any questions, make recommendations or introduce you to one of their 20+ flavors and mixes. For moms, in case you indulged a bit too hard over Mother’s Day, we have a one-day cleanse to reboot the system and get you hydrated for summer’s adventures. 

http://www.pressedjuicedaily.com

Prize: One Day Cleanse

Retail Value: $60.00

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 Simplified Bedding

Simplified Bedding is a new bedding product specifically designed for children, teens and adults who really want a quick-fix in the morning as to not to make a complicated bed.  This product is an integrated bedding system that combines a high quality cotton duvet cover and flat sheet into one seamless and sleek bedding solution — providing simple bed make-up, tangle-free sleeping and easy laundering. Easy laundry? Sign us up. And, also sign me up for someone to do this laundry for me. Heck, even change the sheets for me is possible. Moms . . always thinking about other moms. 

http://www.simplifiedbedding.com

Prize: Twin size bedding system OR a queen size bedding system. Winner can pick!

Retail Value: $159.00 -$189.00.

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Xtend Barre Highlands Ranch

You’re a busy mom with not much time for yourself. But we have just the answer for you. The newest and most advanced workout is here, and it can be yours FREE for 2 months! Xtend Barre Highlands Ranch offers that unique combination of ballet, Pilates and cardio adrenaline-fueled workout, giving you that sleek, chiseled body you long for. In each 55-minute class, you lengthen and strengthen all body parts while having a blast and making new friends. And no worries! No need to know how to dance to join in. They go beyond the traditional Xtend Barre classes and also offer TRX classes as well as Xtend Stride which is a combo of a 20-minute jog/run around the Dad Clark Park Trails. Their instructors guide everyone through the easy-to-follow moves, where you will feel strong, graceful and excited to come back for more.

http://www.xtendbarre.com/studio/highlands-ranch/

Prize: Two months of free classes

Retail value: $159/month

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Contest CLOSED. CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE WINNERS AND THANK YOU TO THE PARTICIPATING COMPANIES!

 

Video: Hilarious Bun in the Oven Pregnancy Announcement

After seeing all the darling pregnancy announcements that are going viral, it makes me wish we’d been a bit more creative.

Once upon a time, my husband and I had sold our condo more quickly than anticipated and we had a six-month gap between when our new home would be finished. His parents generously let us live with them but before moving in, I learned I was pregnant. We decided to have fun with it so sat his parents down and asked if it would be OK if someone else moved in with us. Imagine their delight to learn they would become grandparents.

As excited as they were, their reaction doesn’t have anything on Lynnda and her “bun in the oven.”

No Sensor: What I Learned My First Year as A Mom

The past 365 days have been a wild ride. My son just turned one year old and I’m in complete shock. I preface this article by stating God has blessed me with the easiest.child.ever. I dread the day God laughs and Declan does a complete 180 and becomes a “terrible two” (or I have baby No. 2), but until then…

This is my incredibly honest and oddly numbered list of what I learned this past year as a first-time mom.

  • It wasn’t as hard as I thought…..and no I didn’t have “help”
  • There are moments and even days you don’t like your child as much as you “think you should.” That doesn’t make you the devil
  • Putting yourself and your marriage above your child makes everything easier and everyone happier
  • Amber beads are the real deal….
  • Try to succeed but expect to fail. You wont be constantly disappointed by the steep learning curve that is the first year of parenting.
  • Push yourself. Mommies are still sexy, funny, smart and sociable. It’s easy to hibernate in the cave of your house, in your sweats with no bathing routine. Shower and at least invest in sexy yoga pants. It goes a long way for your self-esteem and your relationship.
  • Don’t use the “new mom” excuse to yourself or others. Women have been new moms way before nannies, iPhones, mamroos and formula. Suck it up and be empowered by the fact you’re a new mom, not crippled, you can do this!
  • Breathe… showing stress and getting worked up just feeds you and your babies attitude for the worse. Take a breath, find a way to laugh about it and try again.
  • Stay true to yourself. Being a mom can be all-consuming. There is nothing I dread more than a girls night out (or play date) where all the women talk about are their kids. Isn’t this our night away? Continue your hobbies, try new things, read a book, nurture adult relationships. Your kids will grow up and move away. You need to still have you.
  • The hype is real: I love my son so much more than I ever could have imagined. I’m head over heels obsessed. I’m totally the mom who thinks her son is perfect and misses him while he naps.
  • Exude confidence. Even when you have no idea what you are doing, act confident. Make a decision and be confident in that decision at that time. Kids will feel safe and know who is in charge. Be definitive when you put them to sleep or tell them “No.” Question yourself, your partner, scream or cry once the door closes behind you.

Elissa Sungar is the Co-Creator of If Not You, Who?  a free website that offers easy and fun in-home educational activities that help prepare children for kindergarten and life. Her passion for early childhood education grew out of her experience as a pre-school teacher at Stanford University’s Bing Nursery School. Elissa loves spending time with her family, hiking, running, tennis, yoga, cute workout clothes, good cheese, great baked goods, exploring Denver and taking care of her new baby boy!   Twitter: @ElissaINYW

Denver Deal: Starbucks, Mad Greens, King Soopers and More

I am a fourth generation Colorado native and I am very proud of that fact. I am even more proud when the ideals of our politicians match my personal ideas. I saw that in action this last week when Gov. John Hickenlooper along with the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation challenged Colorado schools, businesses and individuals to collectively perform 10,000 random acts of kindness. The six-month challenge kicked off at Gov. Hickenlooper’s inauguration and culminates at the Biennial of the Americas event in Denver on July. What can you do?Give, receive or witness an act of kindness. Post your photos, videos and stories using #StateOfKind on Twitter, Vine, Facebook or Instagram. Or email them to Glinda@randomactsofkindness.org with the subject line: #StateofKind.

FREE Salad at Mad Greens Westminster. In celebration of their newest location, Mad Greens will have free salads for anyone who shows up at their new location at 120th and Huron on Tuesday, April 28 between 10:30 and 8:30 p.m. The salad can also have chicken added and a free drink. 

Free/Cheap Days

  • The Newman Center at the University of Denver has a mothers day 2 for 1 Special for their final performance of the year. 
  • Friday, May 1 Four Mile Historic Park admission will be free.
  • Colorado Railroad Museum offers free admission this Saturday, May 2.
  • Sunday, May 3 is free admission at the Mizel Museum of Jewish Art and culture.
  • Tuesday, May 5 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. is free at the Children’s Museum of Denver (compliments of Target)
Professional OrganizingSimply Put Organizational Solutions for the Home is a full-service company, which helps people focus, simplify, and organize their home or office. They design, purchase, and install innovative space solutions and organizational systems. Products and services are tailor-made, high quality and guaranteed to meet diverse and changing needs. Call today 303.321.2692 – get the first 2 hours of home or office organizing support for the price of one (a $150 value for only $75). Additional hours are 20% off (making it just $60/hour). Plus, the offer is good for new and existing clients on your first project of this year. 

Starbucks. Starbucks is once again having Happy Hour with Frappuccinos! Nothing could make my teenage kids happier. May 1 (this Friday) through May 10, Starbucks will offer their cold blended beverages for half price between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. 

King Soopers. King Soopers offers a Free Friday item. If you sign up for King Soopers coupons – you can download a chosen free item each Friday. Items in the past have included Lindt Chocolate Stick, Lipton sparking iced tea, power bars and yogurts. All it takes if for you to click “download to my card” then when you check out they take the entire purchase price of that item off your bill. Also while you are at KingSoopers.com (or the KingSoopers app) you can download manufacturer coupons (so you don’t have to cut and carry them) right onto your card. 

Girl’s Night At The Movies. Based on the literary classic by Thomas Hardy, FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD is the story of independent, beautiful and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan), who attracts three very different suitors. Visit www.FoxSearchlightScreenings.com and enter: MaddingMamas to download an admit-two pass to the advance screening on Monday, May 4th in Cherry Creek.

 Vail Announces Epic School KidsFor years the ski areas in Colorado have given free passes to kids in 5th and 6th grade (some make you pay a nominal fee for the 6th grade) but now, Vail Resorts is offering FREE skiing for Colorado kids kindergarten through 5th Grade. Visit any Vail-owned retail locations (Colorado Ski & Golf; Colorado Ski & Sport; Boulder Sport; and Colorado Springs Sport) with your child. Have a copy of their school ID, report card, birth certificate or letter from the school to sign up for the FREE pass which will be good for four days at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone plus, one free beginner’s lesson. These are ONLY available in the stores through end of May.  

Denver Art Museum. The Denver Art Museum (DAM) recently announced that kids 18 and under are entitled to FREE general admission every day for the next FIVE years thanks to Kaiser and Reiman Foundations. 

Consignment Sales. MileHighMamas has compiled the best of the best in kids consignment sales. The whole list can be found at: http://www.milehighmamas.com/blog/2015/02/11/denver-childrens-consignment-sales/  

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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.

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.

 

Contest: Looking for a Little “Me” Time with Benefits? Win 2 months for free!

You’re a busy mom with not much time for yourself. But we have just the answer for you. The newest and most advanced workout is here, and it can be yours FREE for 2 months!

Xtend Barre Highlands Ranch offers that unique combination of ballet, Pilates and cardio adrenaline-fueled workout, giving you that sleek, chiseled body you long for. In each 55-minute class, you lengthen and strengthen all body parts while having a blast and making new friends!

And no worries! No need to know how to dance to join in. Our instructors guide everyone through the easy-to-follow moves, where you will feel strong, graceful and excited to come back for more!

Looking for the body enjoyed by celebrities and models alike?

Join the thousands of women all over the world who have discovered this amazing workout-with-results! With over 180 studios worldwide and rapidly growing, Xtend Barre has been touted by the fitness editors of SELF, SHAPE, ELLE, VOGUE, WELL & GOOD and many more.

We are driven to ensure your success in achieving jaw-dropping results.  We go beyond the traditional Xtend Barre classes too.  At Xtend Barre Highlands Ranch, we also offer TRX classes as well as Xtend Stride which is a combo of a 20-minute jog/run around the Dad Clark Park Trails, then back to the studio for Xtend Barre’s toning, sculpting and flexibility class.

Want more? Let’s step outside with our Xtend Stride Stroller class where we meet at Redstone Park in Highlands Ranch. We start with a quick cardio blast around the soccer fields, ending with our unique sculpting barre moves facing scenery of mountains while your children play.

xtendHow can this be yours?

Don’t miss this opportunity!   Register to win our Mother’s Day Give-Away. Tell us about yourself and your fitness goals for your chance to win 2 Months of Unlimited Classes at Xtend Barre Highlands Ranch for that healthy, sexy look and feel you want. You may enter as many as five times.

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Soybu: Get 25% off these darling spring fashions from Colorado’s favorite activewear company

Who is ready for some darling spring and summer fashion?

From the very start, Colorado-based Soybu has been simple – to empower women in their busy, active everyday lives so they will look and feel feminine, stylish and comfortable. All day. Everyday.

Their spring/summer performance apparel is creatively designed to move seamlessly between the activities of everyday without sacrificing quality or style. Take eco-friendly fibers + minimal impact on the environment = a happy planet. And you’ll feel fabulous wearing them!

Be sure to check-out their new Mod Nouveau line, which transports you to Spain with rich, bold color.

Serendipity Skirt

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Angie Tank

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 Dharma Dress

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Gigi Pullover $55
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The Cierra Tunic Motioncierratunic

Pairs beautifully with the Teegan Leggings.

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I’m a big fan of the Reese Tee’s mesh detailing sewn into the back of Soybu’s peace symbol.

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And to tie everything together, the Meryl Wrap is available in a beautiful variety of colors.

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Women of all sizes want to be active so I love that Soybu recently introduced plus-sizes (and with real, beautiful models who are not a size 12). 

Wanderlust Skirt Plus

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Alecia Tank
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Deal

Soybu wants you to stay in the “know” about new collections, exclusive sales, events and more! Get a 25 percent off coupon code when you sign up AND for your birthday–it’s a win-win all around. In partnership with Mile High Mamas.

Melissa’s Eats & Treats: Orange White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Ice Cream Recipe

Mile High Mamas is thrilled to announce our new spring and summer column: Melissa’s Eats and Treats.

It’s springtime! That means lots of bright, light flavors, and fun ways to serve them! A super easy way to make a great presentation is to use half of an orange peel as a bowl. Just cut an orange in half and remove the fruit. Then you can fill the peel with fruit salad, Jell-o salad, or ice cream, like my Orange White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Ice Cream.

If you’ve been swept up in the essential oils craze, you will love this ice cream for its use of Wild Orange Essential Oil. If you have not been swept up in the essential oils craze, you can still use orange extract and love it all the same! So break out that ice cream maker, and let’s bring on spring! (Note: If you do use essential oils in cooking, make sure they are approved for internal use).

If you are intimidated by making ice cream, don’t be! Just read my article called Three Reasons Making Ice Cream is Easier Than You Think. And if you don’t have an ice cream maker, you are really missing out! My favorite requires no salt and no ice.

If you love the flavors of orange and white chocolate, be sure to catch my recipe for Orange White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies​!

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For more great recipes from Melissa, be sure to visit icecreaminspiration.com.

Super Dance, Summer Fun at the Colorado Conservatory of Dance

Some children seem to come out of the womb dancing, bopping or swaying to the music that surrounds them. Using the coffee table as a stage, they perform triumphant world premieres for audiences of thousands…or maybe just the family cat. They show such vibrancy and passion in their innate love for movement.

So, what do you do? Maybe you’ve never danced, and now you’ve got this kid who clearly loves it.

summerdance1If you’ve ever spent hours pouring over which pre-school or elementary school your child should attend, then that means you take education very seriously. You will want to give the same kind of attention deciding the right dance school for your child, since you will be trusting this school with your son or daughter’s physical safety and development. With summer right around the corner, you have an ideal opportunity to test out some schools to see what might be the right fit for you and your child.

StoryTime Ballet Classes

Here at the Colorado Conservatory of Dance, we focus on the experience in the classroom, and we believe that a clean and clear approach to a ballet base builds more than just a dancer, but someone who is responsible, respectful, focused and joyful. Our beloved faculty is highly educated with decades of professional experience, and together we create the possibility for everyone to express themselves and feel fulfilled through dance, regardless of aspiration.summerdance3

In the summer we have several short programs that can get a first-timer started, in addition to programs that help experienced dancers excel. Here are a few of our programs for beginners:

Our StoryTime Ballet Classes are perfect for 3 & 4 year olds who love to bring their favorite stories to life through dance. Even these youngest dancers have fun playing through movement, and they might not even notice they’re learning real ballet steps!

Fairytale Ballet Camp

Our 5-8 year olds explore and re-create a classical ballet in our Fairytale Ballet Camp, and then they perform it for friends and family at the end of the program. Each day includes crafts, acting, musical theatre, and ballet – with lots of creative juices flowing!

Classes For Beginners, 9 Years and Older

Some dancers are bitten by the bug when they start to gain a little independence. Maybe they see someone dancing on T.V. and wonder if that is something they could do. The answer is a resounding “YES!” Our beginning ballet programs for students ages 9-13 are extremely successful, taking the dancers through an accelerated program that gets them “caught up” very quickly. In the summer they may take classes in Ballet, Musical Theatre, Character, Modern and Body Conditioning, providing a well-rounded, enriching program for curious minds.

Our parents and students say:

“We most appreciate the strong focus [at CCD] on dance EDUCATION for our children. This high quality education could not be possible without the well-educated faculty who understands the developmental needs of their students.” – CCD Parent
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“Whether they want to become a professional dancer or not, you give them the opportunity to experience dance in a safe, beautiful environment. You open the door to possibilities.” – CCD Parent

“Taking ballet helps me run circles around the other kids on the soccer field. Lots of boys say they want to come to class with me, and I just wonder why they don’t, because ballet rocks!” – Bergen, Ballet Boy Super Hero

To get your summer started at the Colorado Conservatory of Dance, simply give us a call at 303.466.5685 or visit ccdance.org/classes/summer-programs. In partnership with Mile High Mamas.

Take Compassion Experience’s interactive journey through the lives of kids in Kenya and Philippines

 Do you want to help your children become global citizens?

The Compassion Experience is coming to Littleton April 24-27, 2015. This free event will bring visitors on an interactive journey through the lives of children living in Kenya and the Philippines.

Through over 2,000 square feet of interactive exhibit space, visitors will step inside daily life in a developing country — visiting homes, markets and schools — without getting on a plane. Through the use of an iPod and headset, each tour is guided by a child whose story starts in poverty but ends in hope.

The event is an excellent opportunity to experience another culture and better understand the realities of global poverty. This event is brought to you by Compassion International and Mission Hills Church at 620 Southpark Drive, Littlleton, Colo.

Walk-ins are welcome or you can reserve your free tickets here.