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Bode and Morgan Miller Open Up About Daughter’s Drowning

Following the tragic death of their 19-month-old daughter, Bode and Morgan Miller say they are trying to “live our days with purpose” — and they’re speaking out in hopes of preventing similar drownings.

On Monday, the Olympic skier and pro-beach volleyball player appeared together on the Today show, opening up for the first time about the loss of their youngest child, Emeline “Emmy” Miller, on June 10 after she fell into a neighbor’s pool. 

Click to read full story

Deals: Broncos practice, Christmas in July and more

I was asked to be a guest judge at the Rock the Runway Model Contest at the Outlets of Castle Rock again for the second year. It is fantastic to see all the kids strut their stuff on stage. But perhaps my most favorite part is when Peggy Ziglin does a quick fashion show before the fun begins. I always see just the right outfit and this is the second time in a row that I’ve immediately gone to purchase something that was up on stage. They have so many great deals right now – just in time for back to school. Find out how you can enter to win a Chrome Notebook!

 Plum Consignment. One of my favorite consignment stores in Denver is Plum Consignment in Stapleton! They are holding their annual End of Season Progressive Summer Sale. This week (week of July 31), score 30% off  seasonal merchandise, next week (week of August 7th) get 40% off and week of August 14th get 50% off. Of course, you save more if you wait longer but you get better selection when you shop sooner!

Dog Days Movie. You’re invited to an advance screening of LD Entertainment’s DOG DAYS next Thursday, August 2 at 7:00pm at the AMC Westminster Promenade. DOG DAYS is rated PG and stars Nina Dobrev, Vanesssa Hudgens and Eva Longoria and highlights the everyday connections between people and their dogs in LA as they uncover life lessons and new relationships – the film is in the vein of ‘Love, Actually’ and ‘Crazy, Stupid Love’. You can watch the official trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAfqqHwgI1U. Opens in theaters everywhere Wednesday, August 8!

Football Season! August really is the best month (besides it being my birth month) – it means the start of FOOTBALL! The Broncos training camp has started. Practices are free to attend and open to the public (9:30 a.m. to 12 noon) Plus, you can score Colorado Buffaloes tickets deals – three games for just $33 each. (New Hampshire, Oregon State and Utah) the offer is only good through July 31 at 5 p.m. But probably the least expensive football tickets in the state are for Air Force Academy Football – we’ve seen tickets as cheap as $19 each! And they have a fun fan-zone for kids that is before home games!

 Alamo Draft House. Looking for something fun and cheap to do with the kids INSIDE (aka in air conditioning)? Choose your own ticket price ($1, $3, or $5) movies. Buy tickets online to reserve seats. 100% of the sales are donated to local nonprofits! Most screenings are for kids 3 and up. https://drafthouse.com/denver   

 Firehouse Subs. H2O for Heros campaign at Firehouse Subs is back in action. On Saturday, August 4, bring in an unopened 24-pack of bottled water and receive a medium sub. All the waters will go to local fire and police departments to be distributed to those in need. Deal for you deal for them. 

Dairy Queen. Dairy Queen is hosting Miracle Treat day on Thursday, August 2. $1 or more of every Blizzard treat sold is donated to local children’s Hospital.

Noodles & Company National Zucchini Day. National Zucchini Day is Wednesday, August 8. On that day when you swap classic noodles for zucchini noodles at Noodles & Company you can do it for free (normally it is 75 cents). My daughter loved the Zucchini Romesco.

Pizzeria Locale. On August 8, Pizzeria Locale is rewarding bookworms with BOGO (Buy one Get one) from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. show a valid Denver Public Library card to get your deal! Also through Aug 15, text PIZZA to 333331 for a chance to win pizza for a year (one per week) and a party for 10 people (15 winners).

National Oyster Day at Ocean Prime. Oysters get their day – August 5. Ocean Prime will celebrate by offering “Half Off the Half Shell” with half-priced oysters the entire night! Try your oysters two ways: West Coast and East Coast. West Coast are sweeter – East Coast are saltier. Try them both and see what YOU think.

Christmas in July at Denver Center. Through July 31 use the code JULY to get special discounts for Christmas shows at the Denver Center. Shows include A Christmas Carol, SantaLand Diaries, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Cirque Eloize – Hotel.

 Cheesecake Factory. In celebration of National Cheesecake day, The Cheesecake Factory will give you half off any slice of cheesecake on Monday, July 30. The kids and I love the turtle cheesecake!

Redbox. Summer Spin is in full swing through August 26 at the Redbox App. Complete activities for a chance to win instant prizes and get an entry to win one of three trips – including a trip to California for the Venom movie premiere and 2-night stay at Legoland.

 Summer Concerts and Movies outside. We pulled together a list of some of the best of free concerts and outdoor movie showings. There is something for everyone – all across town. 

 Golden. In the cute little town of Golden just West of downtown Denver, there is so much to do. Fridays in August catch a Movie & Music at Parfet Park, visit the Golden Fine Arts Festival August 18 & 19, or shop for great deals at the Sidewalk Sale on Sept. 15.  

 Snow Mountain Ranch.  Women’s Adventure Camp makes for a great experience for women looking for their own camplike experience in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Why do kids get all of the summer camp fun? It will be held Thursday, Aug 23 through Sunday, Aug 26, 2018 and the cost is $325 – plus, right now guests who sign up with 3 friends, will all receive $15 off. Activities include: Archery, Art: Ceramics, crafts, watercolors and drawing with local artist, Karen Vance in her studio, Birding, Canoeing, Climbing wall, Fly Fishing / Fishing, Rowley Homestead Experience, hiking, High Ropes, mountain biking, goat yoga and more. 

 Glenwood Caverns. Get a 50% OFF Tram Ride Admission to experience America’s only mountain-top theme park…Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs.  It’s a full day of family fun and adventure for everyone, with great kid-friendly rides and attractions along with awesome thrill rides and amazine cave tours. Go to glenwoodcaverns.com for hours and info. Buy online and enter promo code MHMAMA for discount.

 

10 Things You Can Only Experience in Grand Junction

It’s the ultimate Colorado staycation.  Just a few hours west of Denver, Grand Junction provides visitors a truly unique Colorado escape within the Grand Valley.  With access to over 1.7 million acres of state and federally protected public lands, outstanding outdoor activities including biking, hiking and fishing, some of the best golf in the state, unique shopping and dining experiences, arts and culture, and so much more. Visit Grand Junction shared these 10 ways to explore Grand Junction:

  1. Explore the Colorado National Monumentat Sunrise. No matter the time of year, it’s always a great opportunity to soak in beauty of these red rock canyons. Touted by Outside Magazine and USA Today as one of the top 10 best places for solitude in the US.
    Idea: Get ready to ride in one of the most scenic road cycling events in the United States – The Tour of the Moon Grand Cycling Classic travels the length of the 23-mile long RimRock Drive in the Colorado National Monument on September 29, 2018. Register early, as this ride sells out fast! 
  2. Try Downhill Biking at Powderhorn Mountain Resort. Only atop Grand Mesa can you enjoy the sweeping scenic views of the valley below as you ride down the slope at Powderhorn’s newest attraction, the downhill mountain bike park.
    Idea: Take a downhill mountain biking lesson on the most recently addition, the Mutton Buster green singletrack mountain bike trail at the Powderhorn Mountain Bike Park.
  3. Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) on the Colorado River The Colorado River is the state’s best SUPing river, with plenty of stretches of calm waters from Palisade to Fruita. This is the perfect place for anyone trying to get the hang of the board.
    Idea: Take a stand up paddle boarding lesson with Grand Junction Stand Up Paddle Boarding Co. or Rapid Creek Cycles & Paddleboards. You can even give SUP yoga a try!
  4. Get Serious About Mountain BikingIs Grand Junction the Best Biking Town in America? You be the judge… 
    Idea: Mountain biking does not have to be hard-core, check out the newly expanded Three Sisters Park. *Careful* -the adjacent Lunch Loops trail system is for advanced riders only. The kiddos would also like the easiest and most family-friendly trails in the valley: Rustler’s Loop(at Kokopelli Loops), Kessel Run (at 18 Road), or Prime Cut (Bookcliffs). 
  5. FOUR! Actually, there are five beautifully designed public golf courses. Highlights include elevated tees with a red rock backdrop of the Colorado National Monument.
    Idea: Don’t miss the #1 public golf course in Colorado as ranked by Golf Digest, The Golf Club at Redlands Mesa.
  6. 50 years and going strong at the Museum of the West. Fulfill your inner cowboy or cowgirl with a trip to a museum dedicated to the Western lifestyle in downtown Grand Junction. 
    Idea: Have you ever imagined what life was like for a pioneer? “Ride” the stagecoach to see for yourself. Or really go back in time with a dino dig at their sister museum, Dinosaur Journey. 
  7. aRT Murals on the Riverfront Trail.Artists have transformed bleak piers and skirts of overpasses on the Riverfront Trail into vibrant, colorful, artistic expressions.
    Idea: Take a walk or leisurely bike ride along the trail to see these incredible murals.
  8. Arrive and Drive Racing at the Grand Junction Motor Speedway. If you like to drive fast, take it to the track – the Kart Racing Track, that is.
    Idea: Make it a teambuilding activity for your workplace. (Talk about a memorable get together!) 
  9. Hike or ski the Grand Mesa. The world’s largest flat top mountain is your year-round paradise.  Oh, and 300 lakes = an abundance of fishing opportunities.
    Idea: Have you ever heard an elk bugle? Experience this magical love song from the Grand Mesa Uncompahgre National Forest. *Be safe and wear bright orange when hiking during big game hunting seasons.
  10. Shop Downtown Grand Junction. You won’t find big box chain stores here. You will find galleries, boutique shopping, unique toy stores, charming candy stores, bookshops, cute kids’ clothing, bike shops, outdoor gear, specialty retailers and weekly farmers’ markets.
    Idea: Watch them make the sweet tooth cure, mouth-watering almond toffee, at Enstrom Candies.

Ready to Visit Grand Junction? Order or view their Visitor Guide

Recipe: Coconut Oatmeal Almond Cookie Recipe

Hands down, oatmeal cookies are my favorite but I also have a love affair for coconut and anything almond-flavored. oatmealcookie

So I started experimenting with a recipe where I usually use chocolate chips and vanilla but instead used almond extract and they were a hit.

[yumprint-recipe id=’14’]

10 Ways To Experience & Celebrate Rural Colorado Summer 2018

Tucked in the smaller towns in all corners of the state is where travelers will find some of their most authentic Colorado experiences: elevated western hospitality; farmers and producers supporting a superior local fine-dining and culinary experience; small town arts and culture with urban sensibility; a growing outdoor recreation scene of world-class outfitters and sporting events. Plus, Colorado’s small towns offer unique places to sleep, with new and unexpected lodging offerings, farm stays and ranch packages rounding out a visit.

Colorado.com shares these ten travel experiences set to connect travelers with some of rural Colorado’s best flavors, farmers, tours and road trips, historical landmarks, festivals, markets, outdoor adventures and natural wonders for summer 2018.

  1. SADDLE UP: Colorado’s Dude and guest ranch offerings provide an elevated western hospitality experience, with several ranches launching new activities and packages for 2018. While horseback experiences will always be the center of any ranching vacation, more guest ranches promoting bike programs for guests that still want to be in the saddleMajestic Dude Ranch has extensive mountain biking programs with on-ranch trails available. Vista Verde Ranch launched Fat Biking as part of its winter activity line-up and has new top of the line mountain bikes for summer riding. Over at Cherokee Park Ranch in Livermore, kid’s bikes are dotted all over the ranch and available for smaller guest-riding. While guest ranches make the perfect family vacation, many ranches are holding adult-only retreats and themed weeks, often during the month of September when school break finishes. For those who can’t wait until September, Black Mountain Ranch offers adult-only weeks throughout the summer. Colorado Trails Ranch offers a painting workshop in September and The Home Ranch offers Yoga week, combining plenty of Zen with typical ranch activities.
  1. NEW RURAL CUISINE. Top-tier chefs are moving into rural areas—especially west of Denver—and raising the bar on the dining scene with small focused dinner events and intimate dining rooms offering fast-evolving menus that reflect seasonality and locality of ingredients. Guest and dude ranches are moving from pork and beans to offer 20-course fine tasting menus and molecular dining. Cloverdale Farm and Restaurant opened doors mid/late 2017 in Steamboat Springs offering an intimate, fine dining experience using locally grown and sourced ingredients alongside a curated old world wine list. Traditionally a hunting lodge, High Lonesome Ranch in Debeque launches its 2018 season of high-end dinners, serving a 20-course tasting menu overseen by Matt Chasseur and Patrick Ayers. Latigo Ranch in Kremmling will also offer a second program of fine dining, with a molecular dinner club.
  1. THE YEAR OF THE BIRD: 2018 is the Year of The Bird and Colorado offers many must-see bird watching locations and events. While not an exclusive Colorado event, International Migratory Day (IMBD) is celebrated worldwide, with events in Colorado sometimes associated with it or occurring at the same time. For details about local events visit the IMBD website. Wray’s Prairie-Chicken event attracts visitors from around the globe to see the prairie-chicken courtship calls. The Yampa Valley Crane Festival (Aug 30-Sept 2) is a great time to view hundreds of cranes from the Rocky Mountain flock which join local birds to rest and feed before continuing their journey south. The Colorado Owl Festival kicks-off in October, hosted in Pueblo by the Nature and Raptor Center of Pueblo, Pueblo County Library District, Pueblo Zoo, Arkansas Valley Audubon Society and Mark Park Environmental Center for a weekend of all things owl. Other wildlife events and festivals can be found at the Colorado Parks & Wildlife website.
  1. NEW RURAL MAKER SPACES. As maker culture grows in popularity, across rural Colorado more maker spaces and retail outlets are opening doors for budding artists and crafters. CoCo Crafted of Colorado Springs now offers budding crafters the chance to create wall hangings, art, embroidery, and painting. At the recently opened Pueblo House, weekly MakerSpace classes and events are available. Fort Collins is now home to Creator Hub offering workshops and classes covering everything from CAD design, soldering, and crafts. In Durango’s Powerhouse science center, the new Maker Lab is the first ever maker space for the Four Corners region, offering training and tools for budding inventors and designers. In Carbondale, a new mobile maker space, Rosybelle, rolls into events throughout western Colorado offering crafts for adult and kids alike. Mancos is already known for its Mancos School of the West, but coming soon to the town is an outdoor maker space.
  1. MEET YOUR FARMER. As one of the country’s leading agritourism destinations, there are many ways for travelers to connect with the growers and producers through farm stays and tours, farmer’s markets and foodie events across the region. Eastern Colorado’s High Plains Adventures connects vibrant communities into one visitor experience and spring and summer season are dotted with farm festivals and events. From Aurora to Deer Trail these towns are linked by history and commerce, by pioneers and entrepreneurs, by geography, agriculture and new business, and by adventure seekers and the local folks who welcome visitors to their towns, ranches, homes and real lives. The Guest House, Carbondale brings new farm experiences, dinners, and events to a sixth-generation family ranch in The Roaring Fork Valley. The Guest House is a working permaculture farm with expansion plans that include a high-end lodge and restaurant. Focused on principles of beauty, sustainability, and transformation, The Guest House offers guests the opportunity to eat with a connection to the land, be cared for at the highest of standards, and build their own connections to themselves and their community. Cabin hospitality experiences launched December 2017, along with a community dinner program and events each month. Rick and Kristi Cranston of Tall Grass Farms Alpacas in Bennett on the Eastern Plains are always eager to share their love for alpacas. Tours of the farm are available to get acquainted with the alpaca herd and their friends, which include dogs, cats, horses, chickens, and llamas, check out the handmade fiber products for sale at their store or request a fiber-arts class. There are many farming regions to choose from to taste Colorado’s finest local produce. La Junta and the Arkansas Valley are famous for corn, cantaloupes and watermelons.  Farm markets are typically open between July and October to the delight of residents and visitors alike seeking the good bounty from this fertile land, and market season offers a delightful time to visit, with more than ten farms markets available. From July through September, chefs from critic-approved restaurants in Boulder and beyond whip up meals for farm suppers under the stars at Lyons Farmette. The intimate organic farm grows ingredients for the dinners, local restaurants, and on-property weddings. The events include a tour of their fields and the chance to mingle with their alpacas, a goat named Waylon and a llama named Cuzco. The farm also offers great workshops on chicken keeping, beekeeping, and other topics. Celebrate rural Colorado farmers & producers at one of the world’s leading event for locavores when Slow Food USA and Slow Food International comes back to Denver for its second U.S. Slow Food event, July 13-15, 2018Slow Food Nations combines the energy of a street food festival, gravitas of a food systems conference and inspiration of a cultural exchange, while showcasing some of Colorado’s leading culinary influencers, farmers and producers who participate in markets, dinners and events that demonstrate why Colorado is one of the leading local food destinations in the country
  1. REGIONAL TOURS & TRAILS: There are new ways to plan a rural road-trip, with regions offering a new lens to see the cultural, historical or epicurean highlights. For Summer 2018, The Colorado Creative Corridor will offer visitors to the State an invitation to pair destinations for a unique arts and cultural experience. The “Corridor” will take visitors some 331 miles through five Creative District destinations, traveling through several different regions that tell the rich story of Colorado mountain culture. The arts communities of Carbondale, Salida, Crested Butte, Delta County/ North Fork and Ridgway all offer unique event programming and activities, alongside mountain town eclecticism, outdoor recreation, and authentic Colorado flair. The Colorado Distillers Guild is launching a Colorado Spirits Trail in 2018 inviting visitors to discover the spirits of the West. The trail highlights more than 50 participating distilleries from every corner of the state, and offers a map and interactive website to folks interested in tasting the amazing and creative spirits being produced across Colorado.  Individuals can pick up a map at participating distilleries, Denver International Airport and tourist information offices throughout the state.   Each travel season, the Colorado Tourism Office brings a new collection of inspiring travel ideas via its online trip-building platform, the Colorado Field Guide, which is designed to take travelers off the well-trodden path and into new corners of the state where untapped and lesser-known experiences are for the taking. Summer travel highlights include Lamar to La Junta via the Santa Fe Trail, Three Days of Heritage Sites on the Royal Gorge, All About Wildflowers in Crested Butte, and Zero Impact in The Vail Valley.
  1. RIDES THE RAILS: A symbol of a bygone era, Colorado’s historic railroads have been lovingly restored and expertly maintained so riders can relish access to jaw-dropping landscapes and a steady supply of family-friendly fun. As if spectacular views of the Royal Gorge weren’t enough, Cañon City’s Royal Gorge Route Railroaddoesn’t shy away from a themed outing.  In springtime, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad sets a course for Cascade Canyon, a 26-mile journey through the San Juan National Forest along the Animas River. Opt for a Historic Narration Coach to hear tales of what it took to build the rails, or combine the trip with a Snowmobile Adventure Package for two hours of thrills around Molas Pass. Scenic wonders are revealed around every curve as the Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad’s century-old steam engine takes you back in time to the gold-mining days of these eponymous towns just west of Colorado Springs. The relaxing, four-mile round trip passes the old Midland Terminal Wye, historic mines and Echo Valley, all set to an educational narration. Departing from Alamosa with a stop in Fort Garland, the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad chugs toward Fir Summit on weekends June through September, where an outdoor amphitheater awaits at the top of La Veta Pass. This one-of-a-kind concert venue is home to the Mountain Rails Live concert series, an occasion to see how the West was sung. Another way to connect with Colorado’s railroad culture is through a visit to the Colorado Model Railroad Museum which hosts themed events throughout the summer season, starting with Dinosaur Days (June 8-9) bringing dinosaur-related activities into the railroad space.
  1. NEW OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: The Eagle River Park will open Summer, 2018, unveiling a world-class whitewater park featuring an in-stream design optimizing the river’s natural morphology, and will offer riverside recreation areas, where there will be riparian plantings and restoration. The Eagle River Park with its layers of recreation opportunities and proximity to I-70 will be a gathering spot for is destined to attract tourists/travelers, athletes, and events from around the region. Splash-In Sea Planes (July 14) offers a highly unique spectator event as seaplanes land in Kenney Reservoir, RangelyThe Seaplane Pilots Association is taking advantage of one the two private lakes where the aircraft can land in Colorado. Kenney Reservoir is owned by the Rio Blanco Water Conservancy District. A new outfitter is offering week-long classes in the art of elk hunting and butchery. Timber to Table of Hotchkiss, empower first-time hunters with specialized courses—including special programs just for women hunters— to hunt the land and then butcher and cook the game. Timber to Table aims develop respectful and ethical hunters, who understand the benefits of defending public lands while responsibly sourcing their food. The Run, Rabbit, Run 50 and 100 Mile Endurance Runs of Steamboat Springs recently announced the creation of the inaugural $100,000 “Rabbit Cup.” Paired with the Run, Rabbit, Run’s existing $65,000 purse, the combined $165,000 prize package makes this – by far – the largest trail ultra purse in the world. The Rabbit Cup also is the first event of its kind in the world. Run, Rabbit, Run returns September 14-15, 2018.
  1. NEW CULTURAL VENUES TRANSFORMED FROM OLD SPACES. Rural communities are rebirthing old or unusual spaces into venues for culture, the arts and music: The Tank Center for Sonic Arts  is a former silo in Rangely now renovated into a stunning music venue with outstanding and renowned acoustics; The 1887 brick building that was originally the Salida Edison Electric Light Co. is now the Steamplant Event Center, drawing guests to its scenic riverside location for community gatherings, art showings, movie screenings, live music and a sculpture garden. Established in 1915, The Sherbino has been the heart of Ridgway, providing a venue for community events ranging from music to poetry. Now in a period of rebirth, the Sherbino continues to stand out as the hub of community activity throughout Ouray County. The Rocky Mountain Land Library is a former historic ranch dating to 1862 in South Park, taken over by Jeff Lee and Ann Martin, two longtime bookstore employees who have stockpiled some 32,000 natural history books over the years for an ambitious library project. Renovations at Buffalo Peaks Ranch are ongoing, but visitors can already participate in workshops on poetry, ecology, botany, painting and more — or simply come to soak up the invigorating Southwestern landscape that inspired so many of the books in Lee and Martin’s collection. A former Western-style dry goods shop in downtown Trinidad. The A.R. Mitchell Museum has brought this vintage gem back to life and filled it with artist Arthur Roy Mitchell’s work and collected pieces on subjects like cowboys, horses, cattle and frontier landscapes. The horseshoe-shaped mezzanine is something to behold, and the building’s original pressed-tin ceilings and wood floors are beautifully intact.
  1. ON YOUR BIKE:It’s no secret that Coloradoans love their bikes and there’s plenty of cycling events all over the state throughout 2018. From the quirky to the fat tire, to the high-altitude to the scenic prairies, there are many events to watch or participate in. Known as one of the most unique and quirky festivals in the country, Frozen Dead Guy Days takes place in the Colorado mountain town of Nederland — three days of frosty merriment featuring 30 live bands in heated super tents and outrageous events like coffin racing, costumed polar plunging, frozen t-shirt contests and much more. Celebrating its 17th year in 2018, Frozen Dead Guy Days continues to be a world-renowned spectacle.  Pedal The Plains launches into its sixth year (Sept 15-17) Governor Hickenlooper and The Denver Post launched a one-of-a-kind cycling event celebrating the agricultural roots and frontier heritage of Colorado’s Eastern Plains, with a loop beginning and ending in Ordway. Described by the Governor as “a ride for the rest of us,” Pedal The Plains seeks to engage riders of all abilities, from seasoned cyclists to first-time riders, in an educational and recreational experience.

One Book, Two Books, Red Book, Blue Book: Making Reading Fun

Summer is here, and between the lemonade stands and outdoor adventures, we can’t forget about learning. Vacations present an incredible opportunity to slow down and read with your kids. You can read about the places you’re traveling and activities you’re planning, or just enjoy the books you’ve come to love. Whether you’re swinging in a hammock or keeping cool by the pool, reading is a great way to relax and explore. Head to your local library with your child and stock up for your summer reading lists. Let them choose books that they gravitate toward so they can get excited about the reading roster.

We’ve gathered some ideas to help you guide your child’s language and literacy skills through the power of reading.

From the time your child is born, you should be reading to him on a regular basis according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Follow these helpful hints to get kids excited about books:

  1. By setting an example and showing your child that you love to read, she will be inclined to read more too.
  2. Make reading fun by singing the text to keep her attentive, making the book interactive by pointing at the pictures, or using books that are fun to touch and feel.
  3. Point at pictures and say the names of objects out loud. Your baby will listen and learn the importance of language.
  4. Read for a few minutes every night at bedtime. Soothing routines end the day on a positive note.

Reading every day with your toddler is one of the most important things you can do to help him learn. Check out these suggestions to cultivate a lifelong love of reading:

  1. Your 12-18 month old can already choose a book off the shelf, so encourage that independence.
  2. When he looks at pictures of animals imitate animal sounds to bring the book to life for your child.
  3. Find a quiet, comfortable place to read together, or you can read out loud while your child plays near you.
  4. “Read” the pages out of order or in whatever order your child prefers.
  5. Make a baby-proof picture book to teach your child names of family members, friends, pets, and more. Learn more here.

Reading can help prepare your child for preschool by cultivating their conversation skills and increasing their attention span. Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. The most effective way to read to your child is to actively involve him in the process by letting him react and interact with the book.
  2. Make reading  fun, verbal, and stimulating. The focus should not be on teaching, but on the fun you’re having with your child while you read.
  3. Set up your child for success by selecting books that will help her learn new words.
  4. Read the world around you. At the grocery store, read labels and find items that start with the same letter to teach the importance of language.

Get more parenting tips, games, and other resources, based on the age of your child, sent right to your cell phone 2-5 times a week for FREE with Bright by Text. Text BRIGHT to 274448 to sign up!

* Message and data rates may apply. Text STOP to 274448 to stop. Text HELP to 274448 for help.

 

Managing Kids and Social Media: Three Takeaways for Parents

By the time our children are in middle school (even before), many start asking about joining social media. While most social media sites don’t allow children younger than 13 to sign up, that doesn’t keep kids from asking, “Can I get an Instagram account?”

So where do you begin in making sure your kids aren’t behaving badly on Snapchat or posting something inappropriate on Facebook? Here are three takeaways to get started on the right foot down the social media path with your children.

Establish Trust

Just like talking about personal safety with your children starts at an early age — “Don’t talk to strangers” — it is essential that parents begin discussing the internet early on. Our children are immersed in technology at a very early age, both at home and at school. So the more you talk to them about being a good digital citizen, the better.

As they become curious about social media, those early conversations will lay the foundation for healthy and appropriate online behavior. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or YouTube, show your child how each application works and its purpose. Demonstrate how you manage your own online life responsibly by only posting things you are comfortable sharing with the world and ensuring your account is set to private. Explain to your child how they can block users who they don’t want seeing their information. Most importantly, be sure they understand they can only have the account if they are connected with you, their parents, so you can keep an eye out — just like you did when they learned to cook or ride a bike.

Ride the Wave of Change

New social media applications are released all the time: first it was Facebook, then Twitter, Instagram and of course, Snapchat. That means parents need to learn how all of these platforms work in order to keep track of your child’s social media life.

Unfortunately, there’s no real way to “check the box” on this task because the apps are always adding new features. What happens when Instagram adds Stories and now, aside from just posting pictures, your child is creating a highlight reel about every detail of their day? By maintaining an ongoing conversation with your kids and checking in on their online behavior from time to time, you will be able to keep up with any major changes.

Even as apps add new features, kids are finding alternative ways to use the apps. Your child may have already set up a “finsta” account, also known as a “fake Instagram” account, without your knowledge. This is a separate account, with a different handle (or name), used to share more unfiltered (less polished or curated) content with a group of close friends, in private. This is where building, and maintaining, the foundation of core social media values and behavior with your child come into play. Be sure to ask them about finsta and inquire further about what they are posting and to whom.

“Everyone Else is Doing It”

When the newest social media penetrates the App Store or Google Play and your child wants in because “Everyone else is doing it,” why do they really want it? Inquire further about the new social media app, what your child plans on doing with it and with whom they’ll be communicating on it.

Don’t fall for the “Everyone is doing it” pressure. Consider whether your child is a fit for this kind of social media and talk about it with them. Parents and children should make conscientious decisions about whether to start with a new social media app and then periodically re-evaluate the decision.

Social media can be tough to navigate as a parent and, frankly, as a child. It can open new doors to bullying and inappropriate behavior. But it can also be a great way for children to keep in touch with family and express aspects of their changing identity. Keeping communication open, learning about the changes in social media together and not succumbing to outside pressure — you’ll stay on the right path.

Andrea Bazion is the founder of everHuman, a Fort Collins-based company that helps people to better navigate their digital lives. Photo: picjumbo.

 

Deals: Women’s Adventure Camp, Arapahoe County Fair & More!

 Arapahoe County Fair. Find Fair Fun for Everyone at the Arapahoe County Fair, July 26-29. Get online DISCOUNT tickets now for only $10. It is fun the whole herd with UNLIMITED carnival rides, two nights of fireworks, two rodeos, concerts, barnyard friends, truck and tractor pulls, high-flying dog shows, heritage activities and more. $10 discount tickets are available online NOW through July 26. Join the fun. BUY your tickets today at arapahoecountyfair.com 

7News Colorado Day. For the seventh year in a row, Denver7 is inviting the community to celebrate Colorado’s birthday at The Shops at Northfield Stapleton on Friday, July 27th from 2-8 p.m. Denver7 Celebrate our Colorado, presented by AAA, will feature live music from local bands, a special performance from our very own Shannon Odgen, T-shirts giveaway when you show your Denver7 app, kids activities including face painting, balloon twisting and caricature artist and more!

Snow Mountain Ranch.  Women’s Adventure Camp makes for a great experience for women looking for their own camplike experience in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Why do kids get all of the summer camp fun? It will be held Thursday, Aug 23 through Sunday, Aug 26, 2018 and the cost is $325 – plus, right now guests who sign up with 3 friends, will all receive $15 off. Activities include: Archery, Art: Ceramics, crafts, watercolors and drawing with local artist, Karen Vance in her studio, Birding, Canoeing, Climbing wall, Fly Fishing / Fishing, Rowley Homestead Experience, hiking, High Ropes, mountain biking, goat yoga and more. 

Buffalo Bill Days. The annual Buffalo Bill Days festival brings rootin’ tootin’ FREE Wild West fun to Golden, July 27 to 29. The weekend includes western-style entertainment, Best of the West Parade, Mutton Bustin’ competition and an authentic Cody’s Wild West Show complete with dancing horses, roping and pistol tricks. Local bands provide music on the main stage and car shows, arts & crafts, duck race, kids’ games and train rides fill Golden’s downtown streets.

 Alamo Draft House. Looking for something fun and cheap to do with the kids INSIDE (aka in air conditioning)? Choose your own ticket price ($1, $3, or $5) movies. Buy tickets online to reserve seats. 100% of the sales are donated to local nonprofits! Most screenings are for kids 3 and up. https://drafthouse.com/denver   

Firehouse Subs. H2O for Heros campaign at Firehouse Subs is back in action. On Saturday, August 4, bring in an unopened 24-pack of bottled water and receive a medium sub. All the waters will go to local fire and police departments to be distributed to those in need. Deal for you deal for them. 

Summer Concerts and Movies outside. We pulled together a list of some of the best of free concerts and outdoor movie showings. There is something for everyone – all across town. 

Glenwood Caverns. Get a 50% OFF Tram Ride Admission to experience America’s only mountain-top theme park…Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs.  It’s a full day of family fun and adventure for everyone, with great kid-friendly rides and attractions along with awesome thrill rides and amazine cave tours. Go to glenwoodcaverns.com for hours and info. Buy online and enter promo code MHMAMA for discount.

 

Inspiring Model? ‘ROCK the Runway’ Model Search

Do you have an aspiring model?

On Saturday, July 28 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Colorado’s #1 Outlet Center will welcome hundreds of young hopefuls for the 2018 ‘ROCK the Runway’ Model Search. The competition is open to all aspiring models, ages 5-23. Each of the winners will be given the opportunity to appear in future advertisements and fashion shows for Outlets at Castle Rock, Outlets at Silverthorne and Outlets at Loveland.

“We are anticipating another astounding turnout of contestants at this year’s ‘ROCK the Runway’ Model Search,” said Colorado fashion expert and Outlet Insider Peggy Ziglin. “Over the years I’ve seen this modeling program inspire self-confidence in these young people. For those who are truly committed, it gives them a unique opportunity to chase their dreams.”

The competition will be divided into three different age categories: elementary (5 to 10 years old), middle school (11 to 13 years old) and high school/college (14 to 23 years old). Of the participating contestants, a group of roughly 20 winners will be chosen to appear in upcoming advertising campaigns. The day’s activities will be overseen by a panel of judges made up of fashion industry experts and winners being announced on-site following the final contestant catwalk.

Registration for the 2018 ‘ROCK the Runway’ Model Search is available here. On-site registration for the event will be available for those do not preregister online; however, participants who preregistered online are still required to check in on the day of the event. On-site registration and check in for ‘Rock the Runway’ Model Search begins at 10AM.

Interested in Homeschooling? Check-out the ‘Public School at Home’ Tour

Interested in homeschooling?

 The K12 Public School at Home Tour, a traveling, interactive mobile unit, will be visiting Denver July 26-27 and Colorado Springs July 28–29, making stops at popular attractions and events such as Elitch Gardens Theme and Waterpark and Security Service Field, home to the Colorado Springs Sky Sox minor league baseball team. The visits are part of a cross-country mission to demonstrate how online education options have advanced and can be personalized to better fit parents’ and students’ needs. K12-powered schools combine K12’s interactive and engaging curriculum with dedicated, Colorado-licensed teachers, an active community, and Individualized Learning Plans for each student. Colorado online schooling options available to Denver and Colorado Springs-area students and powered by K12 include Colorado Preparatory Academy, Destinations Career Academy of Colorado and Pikes Peak Online School

The fun and engaging tour experience features a colorful and inviting space with six distinctive areas that introduce parents and students to the curricula and opportunities offered through K12’s virtual program. Visitors can test actual K12-powered lessons, take part in hands-on educational activities, learn to code with robots, have fun with augmented reality and interact directly with local school administrators and educators. K12 has also launched its first mobile app, which visitors can check out on-site.

The K12 Public School at Home Tour will make the following stops in Denver and Colorado Springs:

Thursday, July 26, 2018                 2 – 8 p.m.                Elitch Gardens Theme and Waterpark                                                2000 Elitch Circle, Denver

 

Friday, July 27, 2018                     2 – 8 p.m.                Elitch Gardens Theme and Waterpark   

                                                                                    2000 Elitch Circle, Denver

 

Saturday, July 28, 2018                 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.       Space Foundation Discovery Center

                                                                                    4425 Arrowswest Drive, Colorado Springs        

 

Sunday, July 29, 2018                   10:15 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Security Service Field/Sky Sox Baseball Game

                                                                                    4385 Tutt Blvd., Colorado Springs

“The public school at home option has been so beneficial for so many Colorado families,” said Nicole Tiley, Head of School for Colorado Preparatory Academy and Pikes Peak Online School.  “We want more people to know that they have access to an exceptional, tuition-free education option. The K12 Public School at Home Tour is a great way to showcase the high-quality, personalized education programs available through our online public schools.”

“It’s important that students have the opportunity to explore career opportunities in order to prepare for their future,” said Teri Cady, Head of School for Destinations Career Academy of Colorado (CODCA). “When visiting the mobile unit, families have a chance to learn more about CODCA, the state’s first full-time, online career technical education program approved by the Colorado Community College System, and speak with representatives in-person to learn more about the program.”