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4 Reasons to Give Yourself & Loved Ones the Gift of prAna — and $ave!

Have you seen the fabulous clothing styles available on There are so many reasons to put prAna on your gift lists this season, especially now with a special 15% discount offered to readers (see below for code).

Let us count a few of these reasons:

  1. prAna makes stylish activewear that suits the Colorado lifestyle, for both men and women. Check out prAna jeans, sweaters, pants, shirts, yogawear, and other offerings.


  1. prAna clothing is versatile and can take you from the office to the workout.prana5
  2. prAna is an earth-healthy choice for your gift-giving. It offers sustainable, recycled, fair trade certified and hemp items. In addition, prAna gives back to communities around the world.
  3. You can feel good supporting prAna, as its core belief is to give back more than it takes from the world. Probably a lot like your core belief.

Exclusive Discount Code

After you’ve made your selections for yourself and those you’re going to gift with prAna, enter this code at checkout to get 15% off: MHMF16LOLU. Hurry — the code is valid until December 19.

I’ve made my selections — this yoga top and these capris. They are on their way and I can’t wait to wear my very first prAna. (Disclosure: MileHighMamas was provided clothing for purposes of this winter campaign.)

No matter what your activity is, there’s never been a better time to do it in prAna. And give others the gift of doing so, as well.

~~~~~adoption book

Lori Holden lives in yoga pants. She’s mom to a teen daughter and a teen son, and she blogs from Denver at Her book, The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole, is available in paperback, hard cover, audio and e-book versions. It makes a thoughtful anytime gift for the adoptive families in your life.

I’m lovin’ it: Healthier changes to fast food

Some of my earliest memories are of my parents treating us to Saturday morning Hot Cakes at McDonald’s and if we were lucky, we’d have a visit from the man, the myth, the legend, Ronald McDonald!

A lot has changed since those days in the fast-food industry and, in my opinion, they are great changes as our society becomes more health-conscious. 

McDonald’s USA recently announced a number of moves across its menu as the company continues to evolve.

“Our customers have asked for it and we’re listening. Now more than ever, our customers care about how their food is prepared, where it comes from and what goes into making it,” said local McDonald’s owner/operator, Jay McAvoy. “We’re committed at McDonald’s to continuing our food journey and making changes to our food that we’re proud of and our customers will love. We look forward to the continued work and progress we are making as a company who puts our customers first.” 

When it comes to the food we love, simpler is better. And that’s why over the past 18 months, McDonald’s has accelerated their efforts. As part of that journey, McDonald’s is taking steps to better inform customers of the strides they’re taking. Here are examples of the changes they have already made and those changes coming soon:

  • McDonald’s has removed artificial preservatives from several items, which also don’t have artificial colors or flavors, including its iconic Chicken McNuggets. Across its breakfast menu, the pork sausage patties and omelet-style eggs served on McGriddles, Bagel and Biscuit breakfast sandwiches, along with the scrambled eggs on its breakfast platters, also now have no artificial preservatives.mcnuggets2
  • They’ve rolled out new buns that no longer contain high fructose corn syrup, including the buns used on Big Macs, Quarter Pounders, hamburgers and cheeseburgers, Filet-O-Fish and McChicken sandwiches. The Artisan roll introduced in 2015 never contained high fructose corn syrup.
  • McDonald’s has made a major commitment to only serve chicken not treated with antibiotics nearly a year ahead of schedule. In total, these changes touch ingredients in nearly half of the food on McDonald’s menu. They are going to source 100% cage-free eggs by 2025 in the U.S and Canada. According to the Humane Society of the United States, more than 100 companies have since announced their commitments to do the same, showing positive impact across the industry.
  • They have refreshed their premium salad blend by replacing iceberg lettuce with fresh romaine, baby spinach and baby kale, and made further enhancements just this last summer with the addition of Tuscan red leaf lettuce and ribbon-cut carrot curls. The freshly prepared Premium Salads offer at least 2.5 cups of vegetables.
  • McDonald’s has revitalized its classic Egg McMuffin, moving from margarine to 100% real butter, and continuing to serve a fresh cracked Grade A egg at the center of it all. They also source milk in its low fat milk jugs and Go-GURT® low fat yogurt from cows not treated with rbST*, an artificial growth hormone.
  • They introduced Buttermilk Crispy Chicken a year ago,, made with 100% chicken breast filet, real buttermilk and a blend of spices including black pepper, garlic and onion powder. This followed the introduction of Artisan Grilled Chickenin March 2015.

eggmcmuffinThese menu changes for the BETTER are impressive and I look forward to hearing about even more positive food updates in the near future.

On a fun note, there are 205 McDonald’s locations in Colorado and the economic footprint is substantial. Supplier purchases from Colorado equaled a staggering $149 million dollars including 79 million pounds of beef, 19 million pounds of flour and 48,000 pounds of honey–that’s a lot of bees and a LOT of support for our local economy!

And a lot of love going into McDonald’s effort to helping its customers make wholesome choices.

In partnership with Mile High Mamas.


Pregnancy + Marijuana: What Every Colorado Mom Should Know

Having a baby can be one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life. There are so many possibilities, and also so many questions. Whether a woman is currently pregnant or a new mother, there is so much to learn and many health decisions to make for not only herself, but also for her baby.

In Colorado, there are plenty of questions women have about marijuana use during pregnancy, especially now that retail marijuana is legal if you’re over 21. Can marijuana harm my baby? Marijuana is natural so doesn’t that mean it is safe? Isn’t marijuana supposed to help with nausea during pregnancy?

That’s why we’ve partnered with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to help answer some of these questions. Here are some highlights from our recent Q&A with CDPHE.

What do we know about marijuana use and pregnancy?

CDPHE:  Research has shown that there is no known safe amount of marijuana use while pregnant. Colorado’s Retail Marijuana Public Health Advisory Committee reviewed the scientific literature available on the health effects of marijuana use and published the report, “Monitoring the Health Concerns Related to Marijuana in Colorado: 2014,” which you can view the full results of here.broccoli

Since marijuana is legal now, what’s wrong with using marijuana while pregnant?

CDPHE:  The fact that retail marijuana is legal does not make it safe. Marijuana contains THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical that makes the person consuming it feel “high.” Whether marijuana is smoked, vaped or eaten, THC is passed to the baby when a woman uses marijuana during pregnancy. Exposure to THC in the womb may affect a baby’s brain development, making it hard for him/her to pay attention and learn as he/she grows older.

Some cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids, occur naturally in the body and in breast milk. These endocannabinoids help your nerve cells communicate better. However, THC from marijuana is much stronger than your natural endocannabinoids. THC can upset the natural endocannabinoid system in your body. This is one more reason why pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should not use retail marijuana to avoid any risks of THC.

But, marijuana is natural, so doesn’t that mean it’s safe?

CDPHE:  Not all natural substances or plants are safe. Lead, tobacco and poisonous berries are examples. Marijuana contains THC, which may harm a baby.tree

Isn’t marijuana less dangerous than alcohol? Tobacco? Secondhand smoke?

CDPHE:  We know from research that whether marijuana is smoked, vaped or eaten, THC is passed to the baby when a woman uses marijuana during pregnancy. And, exposure to THC in the womb may affect a baby’s brain development.

We also know that breathing marijuana smoke is bad for both mother and baby. Marijuana smoke has many of the same chemicals as tobacco smoke, and some of these chemicals can cause cancer.

So, it’s not really about whether marijuana is more or less dangerous than other drugs like alcohol or tobacco. It’s about making sure expecting mothers understand the risks that come with retail marijuana use so they can make the healthiest choices for themselves and their babies.

What about women using marijuana to help with nausea?

CDPHE:  The THC found in marijuana may harm the baby during pregnancy, since THC passes through to the baby. We encourage a woman experiencing nausea during pregnancy to talk with her health care provider about safer options that do not risk harming the baby.

What about when marijuana seems like a better alternative than other medicines?

CDPHE:  A health care provider can recommend medical marijuana for pregnant women in special cases. A health care provider has the expertise to decide whether the benefits are greater than the risks. It is unsafe to use any medicines while pregnant that are not recommended by a health care provider. A pregnant woman should talk to her health care provider about safer choices that do not risk harming the baby.

What if a woman used before she knew she was pregnant?

CDPHE:  If a woman has used or currently is using retail marijuana during her pregnancy, she should speak with her health care provider. If she wants to stop using marijuana while pregnant, her health care provider can connect her with treatments that are confidential and nonjudgmental. You can learn more at Mother’s Connection or by calling 1-800-CHILDREN.


The goal of this campaign is to help Colorado women learn the facts about retail marijuana so they can make informed and educated decisions for themselves and for their babies.

Changing societal attitudes and marijuana’s legalization doesn’t change the fact that the developing embryo (and fetus) is dependent on the mother for oxygen, nutrients and a balance of hormones, chemicals and other substances to grow normally. What a mom-to-be eats and smokes affects her baby. That’s why it’s important for Colorado women to learn more about the risks associated with marijuana and pregnancy.

You can learn more at  And, be sure to talk to your health care provider about questions or concerns you may have because we all have one goal: to have a healthy baby.

In partnership with Mile High Mamas

America’s Got Talent Finalist Headlines Outlets at Castle Rock’s Tree Lighting Concert

Over 8,000 bulbs will light up the Outlets at Castle Rock Christmas Tree on Saturday, Nov. 12 during the grand finale of the center’s 11th Annual Tree Lighting Concert. Headlined by America’s Got Talent finalist Brian Justin Crum, the free concert will run from 5-7 p.m. and is expected to draw in thousands for a family-friendly kickoff to the holiday season.

“We’re thrilled to be able to offer Denver and Colorado Springs families the opportunity to see the sensational Brian Justin Crum perform live,” said Andrea Nyquist, Marketing Director. “His powerful ballads – paired with the center’s first Santa Claus sighting and lighting of the beautiful Christmas Tree – are sure to make this the most incredible Tree Lighting Concert yet!”

Brian Justin Crum is best-known for his Broadway-caliber performances on the 11th season of ‘America’s Got Talent’, making it to the most competitive finals the show has ever seen.  From his viral rendition of Queen’s ‘Somebody to Love’ and ‘Creep’ to his show-stopping ‘Man In the Mirror’, Crum wowed the competition week after week.  

Crum has also starred in many successful Broadway shows such as ‘Grease’, ‘Altar Boyz’ and ‘Wicked’ and has always been a huge advocate for the LGBT community. Crum’s first solo EP is set to launch later this year.  

Joining Crum on stage, the night will be hosted by on-the-rise performer AJ Lehrman. This 18-year-old singer/songwriter has performed around the world on tour with British pop group S Club 7 and a cappella sensation Pentatonix. Recently, AJ’s loyal fan base helped him place second in the 2016 Macy’s iHeartRadio Rising Star Competition and his passionate debut album – including breakout EP ‘Tongue’ – has been making waves on music scenes across the country.

The concert closes with a center-wide countdown – led by Santa Claus – to the lighting of the 55-foot White Fir Tree. Sourced from the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, the tree stands more than 10 feet taller than the big blue bear at the Denver Convention Center and is longer than an NBA basketball court. Near the end of its lifespan, this tree is part of an important forest manicuring process and 10 young, budding trees were planted in its place.

Concert attendees will also have the chance to win a ‘Weekend Ski Getaway’ including a two-night hotel stay and ski passes. Additional contest information is available at

Outlets at Castle Rock is conveniently located between the Denver Metro Area and Colorado Springs region at I-25 and Exit 184 in Castle Rock, Colorado. For more information please visit To join the Outlets at Castle Rock community, please follow us on Facebook, Instagram @outletsatcastlerock and Twitter @Shop_CR_Outlets and search #CastleRockIt and #OCRTreeLighting.   

On Election Day, Moms Will Vote for Little Lungs

The same air pollution that is making our children sick is contributing to rising temperatures, extreme weather, disruptions to the food supply, increases in ground level ozone and particle pollution. In Colorado, this is happening right now, and we need to find solutions.

Lafayette Mayor Christine Berg is speaking out to educate parents on the issues affecting her children’s health.

“As a mom, and with another one on the way, it’s critical that we talk about these issues as moms and parents who have a powerful voice.”

She’s encouraging moms everywhere to vote on Election Day. Mayor Berg wants all Colorado parents go to the polls and elect politicians that stand with Colorado children to make sure that we’re all addressing the impacts of climate change.

This Tuesday, November 8, the health of our children will be a key issue. Parents need to be demanding answers from candidates — from all political parties — about what they’ll do about climate change and other issues that directly affect kids’ health. 

“You have a role on Election Day in the voting booth, but sometimes being a good mom means being a good citizen,” said Gretchen Dahlkemper, director of Clean Air Moms Action. “And you have an active role to play in democracy before and after Election Day.”

“We have the opportunity to put people in office, on both sides of the aisle, who are going to look at solutions-oriented rules to combat climate change,” Dahlkemper said. “Let’s stop fighting about the causes and start fighting about the solutions.”

cleanairThose solutions include pushing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state governments to cut carbon and methane emissions, promote cleaner energy sources, and crack down on companies that pollute our air, water, and soil. Dahlkemper, a mom of three, said she’s mindful of her daughter, who has asthma, and how these policy questions directly affect her health. 

“The stakes couldn’t be higher for protecting our children’s health,” said Mayor Berg.

Parents are powerful. You have an incredible opportunity to affect the outcome of federal, state and local elections. Think about who’s going to be protecting our kids when you’re going to the voting booth. Don’t let your child’s health be voted away.

Ways to Get Involved

Mayor Berg is joining a nationwide network of moms promising to vote for little lungs on November 8. Check out Clean Air Moms Action’s InstagramTwitter, or Facebook feeds to meet more moms who are acting as health heroes for their kids.

Even a small gesture goes a long way. Dahlkemper said she keeps hearing friends say they can’t believe what’s happening in politics, and they’re unsure how to change it. She said she always replies with a call to act and a promise to vote.

“If you don’t know what to do to make sure that you wake up on November 9 and recognize your country, contact us,” she said. “We will make it work for you.”

About Clean Air Moms Action

Clean Air Moms Action, advocacy partner of Moms Clean Air Force, is building political support and mobilizing an army of concerned parents across the country to keep toxic chemicals out of our homes and bodies as well as delivering climate change solutions big and small.

Every child deserves the right to clean air, and clean energy is the key to our children’s healthy future.

Don’t let your child’s health be voted away. Make your promise to vote for little lungs on Election Day – November 8. Go to for more information. 

In partnership with Mile High Mamas.



8 Fun and Easy Ideas for Your Broncos Party

Broncos season is underway and do you know what that means? We have the full license to Party On, Mom!

partyonmomMile High Mamas is excited to be one of the Party On, Moms for the P&G at Walmart campaign that is inspiring moms to bring the party – whether homegate, tailgate or even date night at the stadium. We’re gearing up to bring the party for the Denver Broncos vs. San Diego Chargers game on Sunday, October 30 at Sports Authority Field.

Gretchen is appearing on Colorado and Company this Thursday at 10 a.m. to share her fun, inexpensive and most importantly, easy ideas for throwing your own party at home. The best part? She’s got great time saving tips for getting your house party ready and all her goodies only have a few ingredients. Our party plan is so simple your kids can help! 

 Here are eight fabulous steps to throwing your own Broncos party.

1) Shop.

Huddle, make a list and head to Walmart to get all your party essentials in one stop. Food and decorations aside, the house has to be ready for hosting and Swiffer, Bounty and Febreze are products we depend upon. Be sure to enter to win our Party On, Mom pack filled with trusted P&G brands and a $25 Walmart gift card. 

2) Get creative.

Ditch the unimaginative tablecloth. Buy a green rug, turf or green felt, grab some athletic or electrical tape for the stripes and and get numbers from the mailbox section in Walmart to create your very own football field.  

3) Decorate.

Go crazy with Broncos colors, foam footballs, pompoms and any fun football-themed decor (can you believe Walmart even sells a Broncos-themed slow cooker?) And don’t forget the food. Lots and lots of great food. Here are a few of our ideas.

4) Eat: Bacon

Gretchen’s fast and tasty edibles include Bacon cheese bites.


Bacon cheese bites

Loaf of white bread
Cream cheese spread chives and onions

Instructions: Cut the crusts off several slices of bread. Spread a generous amount of cream cheese on each slice. Roll, wrap with bacon and cut in half. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

5) Eat: More bacon

You will fall in love with Pioneer Woman’s famous Bacon Appetizers. The Cast of Characters: Club Crackers, Thin-Sliced Bacon, Grated Parmesan Cheese. That’s it. Yes, we’re serious and these are seriously delicious. 



6) Eat:Buffalo Hot Wings Rolls

1.5 cups cooked shredded chicken (or use canned chicken for quick prep)
1/2 block (4 ounces) of cream cheese
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
1/4 cup buffalo wing sauce
2 Tbsp sour cream
Instructions: Mix ingredients together, spread on tortillas, roll, cut and eat. It’s that easy and delicious!

7) Eat: Stuffed Mushrooms

 We have two different variations to these, both of which require just three ingredients and are mouthwatering.  
Cheddar-stuffed mushrooms
8 oz bag cheddar cheese
1 tube (32 oz) pork sausage
15-25 mushrooms
Instructions: Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Carefully break off stems and lightly hollow out the mushrooms. Mix uncooked sausage and cheese together, add the mushroom tops (if desired).  Stuff with mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Cream cheese-stuffed mushrooms
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 medium-sized onion, diced
1 tube (32 oz) pork sausage (we like Jimmy Dean  Premium Pork Hot Sausage for an extra kick)
15-25 mushrooms
Instructions: Preheat broiler. Prepare mushrooms like above. Place sausage and onions in a large skillet and cook over medium heat until evenly brown. Blend cream cheese with sausage mixture, stuff mushroom caps with a generous amount and arrange on a medium baking. Broil for 3-5 minutes until lightly browned. 

8) Party On, Mom!

Long after your food is gone, keep the party going. Tack your football field tablecover on the wall and use it as a background for a selfie booth. Stack your cups and use a small foam football to do a “knock-down” carnival game for kids.

And remember, above all else: Don’t stress, just Party On, Mom! 

This post is sponsored by P&G at Walmart.

 Be sure to enter our giveaway and find all the products you need for your own Broncos tailgate or home gate by visiting and then watch this video for even more Party on Mom fun:


Colorado Surrogacy: Fulfilling Dreams at High Altitude

Would you carry someone else’s baby? How about your sister’s?

Despite stars like Tyra Banks and Nicole Kidman using surrogates to complete their families, surrogacy remains one of the least talked about tools in the fight against infertility.

Why do surrogates do what they do and how much do they get paid?

Colorado Surrogacy, LLC is a new surrogacy matching agency that sets itself apart by only recruiting surrogates from Colorado.  Most agencies recruit surrogates from any state in the country where surrogacy is legal.  Colorado Surrogacy feels that focusing locally gives them a great advantage because they can be more hands-on to their surrogates through the process and truly support them.  Surrogates help intended parents from varying backgrounds and walks of life. Some are infertile couples who desperately want a child. Same-sex couples also choose surrogacy to create a family. Other intended parents are single men and women who want a child. 

babyColorado Surrogacy is a collaboration between Jennifer White and her sister, Ellen Trachman.  They worked for many years at the Trachman Law Center that provides legal assistance to families using Assisted Reproductive Technologies and saw a great demand and need for quality and personalized surrogate matching services.  In addition, Jennifer struggled with infertility for years and truly understands the heartbreak of a family being out of reach.  

“Surrogates have huge hearts and there are so many reasons they would be willing to act in that capacity.  There is a true selfless joy that comes from carrying a child for someone who can’t do so themselves, says Jennifer. “Some surrogates have watched a friend or family member suffer with infertility and want to help.  Others believe that the altruistic act itself carries more than enough reward.”

Of course, there is also compensation.  Surrogate mothers from Colorado Surrogacy start at $35,000 in base compensation.  They also receive a $200 per month non-accountable allowance, up to $150 per month towards housekeeping (after pregnancy is confirmed) and a stipend for maternity clothes.  The intended parents also pay for their legal expenses during the process and all pregnancy-related medical expenses.  

There are some other nitty-gritty requirements. Surrogates must: *be between the ages of 21 and 40 *reside in Colorado *have given birth at least once relatively complication-free and are currently raising that child *have a body mass index between 18 and 33, *not use illegal drugs, smoke or abuse alcohol *not be receiving certain government aid, *and, of course, have the full support of their family.

Clearing up misconceptions about surrogacy:

– Colorado Surrogacy only handles gestational surrogacy which means that the surrogate is NOT genetically related to the child she is carrying.  The embryo that is transferred is created with an egg from either the intended mother or a donor and sperm from either the intended father or a donor.

 – There are legal contracts in place from the start to protect the surrogate.  There is no chance she’ll get “stuck” with the baby. The contract addresses everything.  

family– Abortion is a hot-button issue in the surrogacy world and one that people hear a lot of negative press about.  Colorado Surrogacy screens both their surrogates and intended parents very thoroughly and match them based on same beliefs.  If a surrogate comes to them saying that she would never have an abortion or consent to selective reduction, then they will match her to intended parents who won’t ask her to.

A Colorado Mom’s Story

Colorado mom Amber decided when her youngest son stopped breastfeeding that she would pursue becoming a gestational carrier. “We knew we were done having our own children and this would be a way for me to do something I enjoy while helping another family. Plus, I’d get compensated without having to put my kids in daycare.”

Following the birth of baby Finn, Amber says “It was harder than I thought to see them go but most of my tears were tears of joy. They love him so much and he’s going to have an incredible life. I have a special kind of love for Finn. You know how every parent thinks their baby is the perfect baby? Even though Finn isn’t mine, I look at him and think he’s absolutely perfect. I can’t take credit for genetics but I’m very proud of myself for growing such a perfect baby.”

For more information contact Colorado Surrogacy by email at or phone at 720.707.0714 any time. In partnership with Mile High Mamas.

Don’t Miss Wicked Wednesday Halloween Party at Outlets at Castle Rock!

Get a jump on the Halloween celebrations with Outlets at Castle Rock by dressing up the family for a Wicked Wednesday Halloween Party on October 26th! Kids 12 and under can enter the costume contest for a chance to win prizes, get their faces painted, and enjoy a free magic show from Keir Royale. Don’t forget to trick-or-treat at participating stores. The party goes from 5-7 p.m. in suite 205 on 1st Street.

Looking for even more free and safe Halloween fun for the kids? Visit Outlets at Castle Rock on Halloween from 4-6 p.m. for Trick-or-Treat Off the Street! Just look for the stores with the pumpkin in the window to get your treats.

Outlets at Castle Rock is conveniently located between the Denver Metro Area and Colorado Springs region at I-25 and Exit 184 in Castle Rock, Colorado.

The center is the largest open-air outlet center in the State of Colorado, where you’ll find over 100 name brand stores, including Coach, Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, American Eagle, Osh Kosh and so many more.

For all of Outlets at Castle Rock’s upcoming holiday event information, visit their website:

Find it. Love it. Castle Rock it.

Play MINECRAFT in Movie Theatres with our Exclusive Discount!

Do your kids love playing Minecraft? Super League Gaming lets children experience their favorite game in the most exciting way possible: in a movie theatre, with all of the gameplay on the big screen!
• It’s a fun and social environment filled with like-minded gamers.
• The gameplay encourages creativity and promotes teambuilding.
• Minecraft strengthens S.T.E.M. educational concepts.  
• A scholarship will be split evenly among the members of the winning team.
• Free league t-shirt for gamers.
• Parents can attend for free!minecraft2
Super League’s newest offering is a 4-week league, Metropolis Madness. Gamers will meet once a week from Oct. 18-Nov. 1 as they build and battle across an array of custom-built mods and worlds. Get tickets at for the following movie theatres:
• Cinemark’s Century 16 Bel Mar and XD at 440 S. Teller St., Lakewood, CO 80226
• Cinemark’s Century Boulder at 1700 29th Street, Boulder, CO 80301


Admission is $80, but you can save $20 with the promo code MILEHIGH.  

McDonald’s: The Next Generation with this Denver Mom

Meet Lauren Boselli-Addy. Lauren’s father is an owner/operator of 14 Denver Metro area McDonald’s and she began working for her dad when she was just 8-years-old. With hard work and dedication, she worked her way up in the organization and eventually became and approved owner/operator herself in June 2015. 

Archways to Opportunity

Since the beginning, McDonald’s has provided many opportunities to employees including training that inspires confidence and builds skills that will last a lifetime. Employees learn marketable skills that are applicable whether they choose to stay a year or stay for a career at McDonald’s. Did you know McDonald’s offers tuition assistance to managers and crew? McDonald’s also provides employees who have reached mid-management levels the opportunity to receive a year-and-a-half’s worth of transferable college credit.

Lauren and her family run their organization of 14 restaurants together. Her husband, Kyle works as their company controller and her twin sister Elizabeth works in the front office doing marketing and administration. Lauren loves coming to work everyday knowing she has her family by her side and enjoys seeing the many families impacted by Archways to Opportunity. 

Tell us about your family history with McDonald’s. At what age did you start helping there?

My dad, Tony Boselli, began his career with McDonald’s in July of 1974 in Thornton, CO. He began as a manager and worked his way up through the system and was awarded his first store in 1988. He was business partners with his brother, Bud Boselli, and their business grew to ownership of 21 McDonald’s restaurants. Currently, my father owns 14 restaurants.mcdonalds2

I began working for my dad when I was 8-years-old. I would go to work with him on Saturdays and would clean the lobby, take orders at the front counter and hand out food in the drive-thru window. I worked every summer at the restaurants during high school and when I went to college I would work during school breaks, giving me spending money and helping with college expenses. I worked my way from crew to director of operations before I was awarded my first store in June 2015.

 What are some of your fun earliest memories?

I loved helping my dad out on Saturdays at the restaurant and knowing that I would get to play in the play place after working and enjoy an ice cream cone. I also had every birthday party at McDonald’s. It was great having all my friends come to the restaurant for my party and have Ronald McDonald there to entertain everyone. 

 You are now an owner/operator of a McDonald’s. Tell us what was involved in working your way up in the company?

After graduating college I began working full time as an assistant manager while I completed my course work to go to Hamburger University in Oakbrook, IL where McDonald’s corporate offices are located. I was on the Dean’s List for my Hamburger University class and when I came back I was appointed to Store Manager. I was then put into training for Area Supervisor. I continued my classes and then was promoted to Area Supervisor of five restaurants. I entered the Owner/Operator Next Generation program in 2012 and began taking roles in leadership among other owners in the Denver Metro area.

I became an approved owner/operator in June 2015. I own one restaurant in Thornton, CO and I still work with my dad who is the best business partner I could have ever asked for. 

How is McDonald’s considered a family business?

McDonald’s is built on next-generation ownership. It is growing up in the business with your parents and being part of the community. McDonald’s employees are part of the family, as we have employed generations of family members. McDonald’s has provided my whole family an excellent career. As my dad always says, “we have ketchup in our blood.”

 How many employees does your organization currently have enrolled in the Archways To Opportunity Program?

We have six employees currently enrolled in the Archways to Opportunity program at my location including Mayra Gutierrez who is receiving tuition assistance and Ivon Hernandez, who is enrolled in our management program and receiving credits for college.archways

 How does the program work?

There are four components to the Archways to Opportunity education program at McDonald’s in Denver area and Colorado restaurants: 1) English Under the Arches: FREE English-language skills classes for employees wanting to learn or understand English better. 2) A FREE program to obtain a high school diploma. 3) Tuition assistance to attend a college to receive a Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree. 4) Resources and support to help remove the many barriers to pursuing educational goals.

For more information about Archways to Opportunity, go to In partnership with Mile High Mamas.