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Denver’s Cheeky Aprons launches line of functional kitchen lingerie

Ladies, you might think your significant other is lucky to get a home-cooked meal every once in a while, but in Ashlee Coln’s world, cooking is a much spicier affair.

And it’s all because things got dangerously hot in her kitchen. “I’ve always loved to cook, but one night after a few cocktails, I realized cooking in sassy lingerie could ruin the garment and cooking in the nude usually leads to injury,” she said.

Coln, 25, said nearly getting burned (while preparing sautéed mushrooms in port cream sauce for her boyfriend) put her on a mission to find a sexy but serviceable apron for her steamy cooking sessions. “I assumed it was something that already existed,” said Coln, who studied hospitality at Metropolitan State College before starting an event planning business three years ago. Finding no such aprons in stores or online, she decided to create her own.

Panera Bread’s Top Teachers Contest, Spring Menu & Warped Blogger Humor

If there’s anything I love it’s great teachers and great food.

Last night, Panera Bread had both for Denver-area mom bloggers as we learned about Panera’s Top Teachers contest and sampled their spring menu.

Panera’s Top Teachers

Honor your favorite teacher by creating a video up to one minute long or writing a 100-200 word essay, and upload it here. You and your teacher could win a Tablet, $1,000 for your school and more.

Grades Pre-K through 12 are encouraged to enter between now and May 1, 2012 and there are three different age-group categories. One student and teacher will each win an iPad2 and the school will receive a $1,000 grant.

Don’t forget to honor all of our amazing teachers during National Teacher Appreciation Week, May 7-11, 2012!

New Spring Menu

Do Your Part: Try these 7 green cleaning secrets

Spring is here and that means it’s time for a good cleaning.

Instead of bringing in chemical cleaners to do the dirty work, opt for a deep, green clean. Using safer cleaning products helps create a healthier home and a healthier family.

Here are seven green cleaning secrets to help you do your part for your environment during the annual spring tidying ritual.

Win VIK (Very Important Kid) or General Admission Tickets to the LEGO KidsFest! (20 Tickets Up for Grabs)

**CONTEST CLOSED. CONGRATULATIONS TO WINNERS HEIDI DOMAGALA, SUMMER HARTSHORN, VICKI RUPP AND SARAH KELSO!**

If there is one must-attend event for kids in Colorado, this is it: the LEGO® KidsFest will be at the Colorado Convention Center April 27 – 29, 2012.

Not familiar with this national tour? Think three acres of hands-on educational fun for all ages with millions of LEGO bricks, not to mention construction zones, dozens of life-sized LEGO models and displays, LEGO Ninjago and LEGO Games, group builds such as Creation Nation, live LEGO Master Builders and so much more

Among the many LEGO attractions, families will find:

New FDA sunscreen rules require more protection, fewer claims

You’re an SPF 30 kind of person — cautious, but not meek; edgy, but not reckless, like those SPF 15 hedonists.

But this summer your identity may grow a bit more complicated.

Thanks to new rules by the Food and Drug Administration, manufacturers no longer can emblazon their bottles and squeeze-tubes with SPF-related marketing jargon (Waterproof! All-Day Protection!) and be done with it. Instead, the labels also must declare the product has passed “broad spectrum” tests that measure the lotion’s ability to protect against two key kinds of ultraviolet rays — UVB rays (the ones that SPF refers to) and now also UVA rays, the light that sinks deeper into the skin and, like UVB rays, contributes to cancer and signs of aging.

In addition, that old-school label that called your SPF 30 “waterproof” will be a no-no in months.

Denver Post’s extensive 2012 guide to summer camps!

Summer camp season is once again upon us! We’ve compiled a list of summer camps covering a wide variety of activities, locations and dates. You’ll find everything from hockey to arts and crafts, from martial arts to horseback riding.

We’ve separated the lists into day camps, overnight camps and camp organizations that offer both day and night camps.

Click the links below to go to each list.

Let the summer fun begin!

Summer Camps 2012 – Day Camps Part 1

Summer Camps 2012 – Day Camps Part 2

Summer Camps 2012 – Overnight Camps

Summer Camps 2012 – Day & Overnight Camps

Note: There are literally hundreds of camps from which to choose in Colorado and some are better choices for your child than others. Be sure to read Four Things Every Parent Should Know When Choosing the Right Summer Camp with expert advice from Avid4 Adventure that covers everything from counselor age to camp credentials to
inclement weather plans.

Help children avoid life’s financial pitfalls; Is kids’ allowance helpful or harmful?

Some people wreck their credit before they even learn to drive.

“Many kids have ruined their credit by the time they are 16 years old,” author and consumer advocate Remar Sutton says in a video introduction to the FoolProof Initiative, a free online financial training program, designed by and for teens and college students and endorsed by America’s credit unions. (See foolproofonline.info or foolproofsolo.com). “Bankruptcy for people under 25 now make up a huge and growing portion of all bankruptcies.”

Bite-size saving and spending lessons should begin alongside potty training, according to parenting and personal finance experts. When young kids miss out on money lessons, the consequences are lasting as they may fall into the ranks of people who learn about money the hard way, after such financial missteps as mistaking a charge card — such as American Express, which must be paid off in full — for a credit card. Other common traps:

Amy Michelle Go Totes: The perfect bags for moms on the go (with discount code)

Subtitle: Why I am carrying a diaper bag even though my youngest is in 3rd grade.

If you want a purse for a busy mom-on-the-go, you buy a purse designed by a busy mom-on-the-go.

And if that mom happens to live in Colorado, BONUS.

I met Michelle Herbert in a yoga class. She explained that she and her friend Amy met each other in graduate school. Over dinner one night sans kiddos, Amy was horrified at the disarray of Michelle’s bag when she opened it to get something. Michelle explains:

Think papers, diapers, bottle explosions, food, letters, work documents… all thrown into a black hole.  I told Amy that there were only two types of baby bags. Even in the saturated markets of baby products and women handbags I could not find a bag that was organized and functional AS WELL AS sophisticated and elegant.   If I wanted organization and function, I had to sacrifice style and elegance; if I went for elegance and sophistication I sacrificed organization and function.  Clearly, I was not willing to give up my fashion sense, but the lack of organization was not looking pretty.

Quite simply, we started Amy Michelle to design and manufacture a baby bag to reflect a woman’s style, while accommodating the travel and organizational needs of both baby and mom.  Motherhood requires many important sacrifices, but we did not believe choosing a baby bag should be among them.

That night at dinner we started designing functional and stylish baby bags on a restaurant napkin.

Their functional yet stylish designs resonate with moms everywhere — including me. Amy Michelle bags have been featured by Franklin-Covey, at Bed Bath & Beyond and Babies R Us. In addition, Amy and Michelle were named emerging entrepreneurs by Sam Walton and honored by American Express for women in business.

Disclosure: Michelle let me select any bag from her collection for purposes of sharing my honest opinion with you.  The collection has options for work, travel, and baby. I no longer have babies so I asked Michelle what was the smallest bag that I could fit typical mom stuff in, plus an iPad (which I intend to get one of these days). She steered me toward the New Orleans, which comes in two color swatch options.

You can tell that moms designed these bags because the interior of the bag is a light color so that you can see your stuff against it. On the outside of the bag are three handy pockets for cell phones, keys and, yes, and iPad. On the inside are three pockets in addition to the main chamber, plus two more areas specifically for water bottles, sippy cups, or whatever liquid gets you through the day. One thing that’s quite noticeable is that the material used is very lightweight. My shoulders (and my yoga practice) are grateful.

You can also tell that moms designed the website because of the videos that accompany each bag. Let me show you the video for mine (90 seconds):

This bag is reasonably priced at $59.95.

Michelle and Amy are generous businesswomen. A portion of the profit from each bag goes to help children through the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Denver.

AND! Amy Michelle is offering MileHighMamas readers a 15% discount plus free shipping in the continental US.  Enter “poppy” when asked for a coupon code at checkout.

Form and function do indeed go together in Amy Michelle bags. Take a look and I bet you’ll agree.

Lori Lavender Luz of WriteMindOpenHeart.com is a mom via open adoption to Tessa, 11, and Reed, 9. She and her family live in the Denver-area where Lori is writing her first book, The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption in, yes, her yoga pants. It will be published by Rowman & Littlefield and available in mid-2013.

Spring 2012 Children’s Consignment Sale Schedule!

Twice a year, Mile High Mamas does a round-up detailing Colorado’s popular children’s consignment sales.

And for the fourth season in a row, Tracey Gifford saved the day. The proud mother of two elementary-age boys is the owner of the Just Between Friends sale in Denver and offered to compile this year’s schedule for us.

As a word of thanks, I’d like to offer a little shout-out to Tracey’s sale April 19-22, which is the largest kids’ gear and clothing resale event in Metro Denver. 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% below retail. They are proud a partner with Catholic Charities and the Junior League of Denver. For times and location, see below. Mention Mile High Mamas and get in FREE!

Be sure to also check out the following fabulous sales:

What is REALLY in your food?

Pink Slime in processed meats has recently made headlines across the country. In an in-depth investigation on The Doctors television show airing Monday 2/27/12, called What’s REALLY in Your Food?, the docs shared that a chemical found in lice shampoo also shows up in our food and that chickens destine for our dinner table are dipped in chlorine.

Are you concerned about what ingredients are turning up in our food supply? Should you be concerned?