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Darling Colorado Comfort and Fashion — Win a $100 shopping spree at Soybu Women’s Activewear!

It’s the beginning of the year, and it’s cold, and you want comfort! It’s also the beginning of the year and you want to be fit, “sticking” to those New Year’s resolutions and feeling good about yourself. I wish there was a simple answer to this dilemma, but the closest I have found this year is in thanks to Soybu.

 Is it a new yogurt? The newest workout fad? Those would probably help; however, it’s actually a two-decades’ old clothing and lifestyle label that just launched it’s newest brand. Soybu is a Colorado-based Active Fashion Group’s solution to comfort, function and style for women created by Colorado moms and daughters. It’s brilliant and simple. Pun intended, the colors are eye-catching and just the pop you need this long, cold winter (and we’re giving away a $100 shopping spree below!)

I know, at first it sounds and even resembles Lululemon (sans the nightmare see-through incident and prices), or Patagonia, Columbia or others. Again, wrong. I walked into that store armed with a dozen questions since I like to think of myself as the lifestyle fashion diva of our group of Mile High Mamas. I was ready to see nothing new and politely ask my questions and leave.
Soybu Activewear for Women
 Well, owner Tina Schmitt had me at her experience and before I knew it I had tried on a half-dozen outfits. With over two decades manufacturing everything from blankets, fleece and system jackets to yoga pants and dresses, her breath of the industry was flawless. Nonetheless, it’s the story behind the line. It involves pieces specifically designed for Tina that she wanted to wear, but couldn’t find in stores, at the prices she wanted or the materials she knew would stand up to the test of time—morning run to throwing a dress over it for school drop off, to lunch date back to racing the kids to and from sports—that’s a day in many moms’ offices, and that doesn’t even include the many hours many us log at offices and professions!

 Soybu stands by their mission “embracing confidence and a positive self-image,” but also realizes that women come in a multitude of sizes. Thin doesn’t always mean healthy and heavier doesn’t mean you’re not toned and a killer athlete. Sizes here are true to form as Amber and I tried on dresses, skirts, the caboose series (my favorite and still wearing day three in row). Then I saw Amber with this darling pair of scrunchie capris and I just had to buy those as well. The line is sophisticated, accessible and fun, plus the tennis skirts and dresses cater to our unique Colorado fashion.

 Their Greenwood Village location opened in early 2014 and the most adorable part of the store, wait for it . . . is the girls’ section. I believe I was mid-sentence with Tina when I saw the dresses and was off! The Gracie by Soybu collection targets girls aged 6 – 14 and is beyond age appropriate, flattering for all sizes and energetic!

sy_fall14_lifestyle_82Grand Opening

Also, don’t miss out on the store’s GRAND OPENING! Wednesday February 19th from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., customers will receive 25% their entire purchase and they will have the opportunity to meet the Soybu designer from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The best part of all, spend $50 or more and receive a free Bombshell Tank (images available at www.brandfolder.com/soybu). Like Sobyu on Facebook while in the store and receive a free accessory, while supplies last! The store is located next to the new Trader Joe’s at Cherry Hills Marketplace, 2500 E. Orchard Road, Unit 2500 A, Greenwood Village, Colo.

You can also sign up for their e-mail list and automatically get in a monthly drawing to win $200 shopping spree—first winner to be drawn on February 19th.

Spring 2014 Preview

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Contest

So Mile High Mamas, what can you do? Enter below to win a $100 shopping spree (online if need be). You may enter as many as five times. For more information visit www.soybu.com. Contest deadline is Feb. 28, 2014.

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Disclaimer: Mile High Mamas is partnering with Soybu on this promotion. All opinions and views expressed are our own.

 

Product Pick: Kids can make their own soda (and have fun doing it) with Soda Stream

My mom used to act like a can of pop (yes, I say pop – go ahead and psychoanalyze where I’m from because I don’t call it “soda” or “coke”) was a super treat. We only got one every once in a while or on special occasions. And most definitely, we were not allowed to act silly with it – like blow bubbles into the cup.  (I know EVERYONE else was allowed to do that!) I have carried much of that mindset into my life – albeit a bit more relaxed because we live in 2014 when we swing by the fast food joints much more often than I would personally desire.

I recently received the new Soda Stream source to review. This slick little unit is pretty cute (and doesn’t take a lot of counter space) – it looks pretty slick. Plus it means that we no longer have to take bottles back and forth from the car and to the recycling bins. It’s all in one simple easy re-usable unit. It also means that you save a ton of money – making your own soda (with water) is way less expensive than buying all the cans of soda just one flavor bottle can make!

It is so simple and easy to use that my 12-year-old daughter was showing me how to do it it. You just snap to lock the bottle in and then push the “carbonating block” (which is pretty much the front of the machine) down until it lights up to indicate how much fizz it’s adding to the water. There are three settings for fizz (light, medium, and high). For carbonated water you do not need to anything to it. For soda, you add flavoring then gently roll the bottle until the flavor is mixed in. (Don’t shake it – opening it after shaking will just cause a giant mess – we “accidentally” tried it, which the 12-year-old then got to clean up).

There are over 60 flavors to choose from – cola, diet, gingerale, lemon-lime, caffeine free, cherry cola, cosmopolitan (Ladies Night!), energy drinks, and Dr. Pete among others! We are still having fun experimenting. We are trying to come up with the perfect treat to serve at our Superbowl Party. But our FAVES are Country Time Pink Lemonade and Ocean Spray Cranberry.

Not only are we having far more pop than mom would be proud of  but, we are also being mad scientists with flavoring it and most definitely blowing bubbles into it! Anything you think we should add in? What should be in our own version of “Orange Crush” (Go Broncos!)? What flavor is “Superbowl Soda”?

The Soda Stream is available at Target, WalMart, Ace Hardware, William Sonoma, Sam’s Club, Kohl’s, Staples, Best Buy, JC Penney and Macy’s. The models range from $79.99 to $199 depending on the model you purchase (the Source is $99.95) and the flavorings cost between $5 and $8.

Nightmare on Curtis Street: A Spooky Staycation at Denver’s Quirkiest Hotel

Here’s the thing about haunted hotels. I’ve always been fascinated by them but when push comes to shove, do I really want a ghost encounter giving me nightmares?

That answer is a resounding “NO!” But Nightmare on Curtis Street,  on the other hand, is more up my haunted alley.  The Curtis- a DoubleTree by Hilton in the heart of Denver has dreamed up a fun staycation for Denver families to have a memorable…and fun Halloween! Their package includes:

·         Overnight accommodations on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013 on the 13th floor (which is “haunted” and has loads of spooky characters roaming around!)

DIY for all ages: NoCo Mini Maker Faire gets kids into science Oct. 5

Think of the NoCo Mini Maker Faire on Oct. 5 as a combination of robotics, creative problem-solving, DIY projects and a nerdy version of the Pinewood Derby.

“It’s all of those things wrapped into one,” says organizer Elizabeth Weiland.

She decided to organize the event as a way to meet others with similar interests in science, engineering and problem-solving.

Such fairs have become popular across the U.S. As Weiland made the rounds of potential exhibitors and participants for her own, the response astonished her.

Events: Cultimate Festival, Heroes Against Hunger and More!

Heroes Against Hunger Summer Block Party. Help fight child hunger On Saturday, August 17th from noon-5 p.m. at the University of Denver Campus Green. Admission is FREE and kids can enjoy carnival games, a bounce castle, and great food, which will cost less than $4. Currently, one in five kids in Colorado struggles with hunger. Chefs Daniel Asher of Linger, Brandon Foster of Vesta Dipping Grill, Jeff Osaka of Twelve, Matt Selby of Corner House and Tyler Wiard of Elway’s will join Cummings to create and serve their favorite dishes. Local farmers, Denver Urban Gardens, MM Local, Source Local Foods, and Whole Foods will set up a farmers market to show off local produce. Community organizations like Cooking Matters Colorado, Produce for Pantries, and Slow Food will give cooking demonstrations. http://www.heroesblockparty.com/

Cultivate Festival. On Saturday, Aug. 17, the Cultivate Festival will return to Denver’s City Park, bringing together food, farmers, chefs (local and nationally renowned), brewers, wine makers, artisans and musicians to get people thinking and talking about food and food-related issues. The festival is FREE and brought to Coloradans by locally-grown Chipotle Mexican Grill. The event will feature a Kids Zone, filled with fun, educational activities to help families learn about where their food comes from and why it’s important. Free activities and events include         Plant the Seed: Get kids gardening by decorating biodegradable pots and planting seeds to start their very own salsa garden at home,        Applegate Art Yard, and the Kitchen Community: See how a Learning Garden helps to connect your kids to nutritious food by creating an outdoor classroom and experiential play space with edible vegetables.

Be one of the first to see Peter and the Starcatcher Aug. 15 through Sept. 1 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. A grownup’s prequel to the beloved story of Peter Pan, Broadway’s most mayhem-filled evening of madcap fun launches its national tour in Denver. With enormous talent, ingenious stagecraft and the limitless possibilities of imagination, experience the story of a nameless boy who becomes Peter Pan.

Central City Wild Bunch. Now through Aug. 17, bring back a bit of the Wild West with old fashion shoot-outs which feature comedy and different stories each hour. Talk to the cowboys about what life would have been like in Central City during Colorado’s Gold Rush. Affiliated with Gilpin Historical Society and Central City. Shows start at High Noon and are on the hour until 4:00 PM and are held on Main Street in Central City. http://www.denver.org

Cirque du Soleil. After its last visit over three years ago with KOOZA, Cirque du Soleil returns to Denver July 18-Aug. 25 with its signature blue-and-yellow Big Top! The company’s latest big top production, Amaluna will be at the Pepsi Center Grounds. Amaluna is a fusion of the words ama, which refers to “mother” in many languages, and luna, which means “moon,” a symbol of femininity that evokes both the mother-daughter relationship and the idea of goddess and protector of the planet. Amaluna is also the name of the mysterious island where the story unfolds. For more information about Cirque du Soleil, visit cirquedusoleil.com.
Air Force Football’s Kid’s Day. The Air Force football team will host its annual Kid’s Day on Saturday, Aug. 17, beginning at 10 a.m. in Falcon Stadium. The day begins with a live practice at 10 a.m. followed by the performance from the Air Force cheerleaders/dance team. The autograph/photo session begins approximately at 11:45 a.m. and goes until 1 p.m. Fans can sign up for Kid Force and will have an opportunity to wear and be photographed in an Air Force uniform and helmet between 10 a.m. and the start of the autograph session. In addition to the on-field activities, the Air Force athletic department will also be offering an exclusive, one day only pre-sale of Notre Dame game tickets for those in attendance at Kid’s Day. www.goairforcefalcons.com
2013 Denver Pet Expo. On Aug. 17, check out 165 + pet-friendly exhibitors, live demos, low-cost vaccinations, a special appearance by Shorty Rossi (and his pit bull, Hercules), star of ‘Pit Boss’ on Animal Planet, giveaways, discounts on your favorite pet products, contests, retailers and much more for the whole family! Plus a mega-adoption event with 300+ pets available at this Denver Merchandise Mart event. http://www.denvermart.com/
Old-Fashioned Corn Roast Festival. On Aug 23rd will kick off the event with the annual Corn Shucking Contest, lots of food, fun and entertainment with the New Sensation, 80’s Band. Saturday the 24th starts with the Annual Corn Roast Parade, Corn Eating Contest, Loveland’s Got Talent, Kid Zone activities, with lots more food, fund and entertainment and bands playing all throughout the day in downtown Loveland at 152 East 5th Street.  http://www.denver.orgThrough Aug. 21. Beat the heat and give your brain a boost: “Just Add Water” is back at the Children’s Museum of Denver. The outdoor exhibit is all about H2O and the many ways it moves and travels: splashing, sprinkling, shooting and swirling. It’s a hands-on experience, so prepare the kids to get a little wet along the way — and it couldn’t hurt to have a towel handy. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday (open until 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays), 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Children’s Museum of Denver, 2121 Children’s Museum Drive; 303-433-7444. $9 for guests ages 2-59, $7 for seniors and 1-year-olds. mychildsmuseum.org.The Heritage Square Music Hall Children’s Theatre presents “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” Emperor Mullinium is the original “Fashionista” and thinks more of his clothes than his own people!  Is that any way for an Emperor to behave?  We think not!  It’s up to the audience to help him get his priorities straight.  “The Emperor’s New Clothes” runs through August 31, 2013 with performances every Saturday at 1:30 PM. Tickets: $8 for children and adults, $7 for seniors (62 and up). Special rates for groups of ten or more children apply. Weekday performances are available, but vary, so call for information. For reservations, call 303-279-7800. Heritage Square Music Hall Children’s Theatre is located at 18301 W. Colfax D-103, Golden, CO 80401. More information at www.hsmusichall.com

Taste of Colorado. A Labor Day tradition in Denver, Taste of Colorado not only has more than 50 of Colorado’s favorite food establishments and 280 Marketplace booths but loads of family-friend events. Featured acts, including Wayne and Wingnut’s “Red Hot Chili Puppets” Comedy Ventriloquist, Bekah Smith’s One-Woman Circus Adventure, and Mr. Kneeel’s Hip Hop for Families, are set to appear on the Comfort Dental KidzStage. Children and adults can stay busy for hours with carnival rides, games, educational exhibits, and more.  The KidZone presented by MIX 100 is a family-friendly area offering play equipment and table tennis. There will also be a great variety of free, hands-on craft activities for children of all ages, presented by 101.9 WAY-FM. KidZone hours are 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Fri., Aug. 30; and 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sat., Aug. 31 through Mon., Sept. 2. The four-day, free admission, food, music, and entertainment festival will take place in Downtown Denver’s Civic Center Park. www.atasteofcolorado.com

Denver’s Annual Rocky Mountain PBS KIDS Fun Fest. On Sept. 7, Rocky Mountain PBS is hosting a fantastic FREE party for families. Ideal for kids preschool age through sixth grade, the event will host PBS characters such as Curious George, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Word Girl and Sid the Science Kid. Entertainment from the stage includes performances by outstanding local talent guaranteed to get everyone moving. Healthy refreshments will be offered and kids will enjoy moving around to different activity areas featuring Discovery Street, PBS Healthy Kids Go, PBS Science KIDS, PBS KIDS Create and PBS ABCs & 123s KIDS. The event will be held at Rocky Mountain PBS, 1089 Bannock Street, Denver from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. http://www.rmpbs.org/funfest

Nick Cave: Soundsuits at the Denver Art Museum. Through September 22, renowned contemporary artist Nick Cave will debut a new body of work at the Denver Art Museum in the summer of 2013. The exhibition features a combination of multimedia elements and performances along with a selection of figurative sculptures the artist dubbed “Soundsuits.”
More Info: www.denverartmuseum.org 

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Nature Programs

Also, don’t miss this event from Jeffco parks. LMNC programs are FREE and registration is required unless otherwise noted. Register online or by calling 720-497-7600. Looking for a program for your class, scout troop, or other group? Visit their website or call to learn about group programs.

Lair o’ the Bear Campfire: Beaver Tales

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 14 (Lair o’ the Bear Park)

View beaver activity along the creek then head to the education shelter to learn more about these amazing creatures through campfire activities and stories. Enjoy roasting marshmallows afterward. (All ages.)

 Lair o’ the Bear Campfire: Beaver Tales

7:30 p.m. Thursday, August 15 (Lair o’ the Bear Park)

View beaver activity along the creek then head to the education shelter to learn more about these amazing creatures through campfire activities and stories. Enjoy roasting marshmallows afterward. (All ages.)

 Toddler Nature Nuts: Beetle Brigade

10:15 or 11:15 a.m. Thursday, August 15 (Lookout Mountain Nature Center)

Most bugs are beetles. So what are beetles? Learn what they are, hear a beetle story, and do a craft about the largest insect group in the world. (2-year-olds, with an adult.)

 Jr. Naturalists: Animals Underfoot

10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Friday, August 16 (Hildebrand Ranch Park)

Unearth some of the amazing stories about the wildlife under our feet. What fast-flying bird of prey nests exclusively underground? Who are the tunnel makers? There is more life under the soil than above it.

40th Anniversary Exhibit   
March 19 to November 17 (Hiwan Homestead Museum)
Come celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Jefferson County Historical Society and Jefferson County Open Space, which was voted into existence in 1972 and began receiving funds in 1973. Displays will center on important points in history, interesting facts about the development of Open Space and a variety of memorabilia.
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Ongoing Fun for the Whole Family

Everything from roller coasters to rhinos.

Daily. After a popular run in 2012, the Children’s Museum of Denver relaunches its “3, 2, 1 … Blast Off!” exhibit. Created in conjunction with United Launch Alliance, “Blast Off!” teaches kids about the basics of rocket science by letting them build and launch their own rockets. The new version of “Blast Off!” includes two giant-size models of real-life rockets, plus a vaulted ceiling for vertical rocket launches — the previous space allowed only for horizontal flights. Museum members are invited to arrive at 9 a.m. Saturday for a special members-only hour before the museum opens. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Children’s Museum of Denver, 2121 Children’s Museum Drive; 303-433-7444. $9 for guests ages 2 to 59; $7 for 1-year-olds and seniors age 60 and older. mychildsmuseum.org.

Flight of the Butterflies 3D at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. A scientific adventure. A compelling detective story. A stunning sight to see. Flight of the Butterflies 3D is all this and more. Dr. Fred Urquhart spent nearly 40 years working to discover the monarch butterflies’ secret hideaway and solve the mystery of their unique migration path. In this dazzling 3D film, you will experience the inspiring story of this scientist’s passion and see up close the lifecycle of these beautiful creatures. Get a butterfly’s-view of the world as you fly over North America and into the isolated mountaintops in Mexico where you will encounter hundreds of millions of fluttering monarchs. www.dmns.org

Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park

May – October

The nation’s ONLY downtown theme and water park opens for the season on May 4. With more than 45 thrilling rides, plus a splash-filled, 10-acre Water Park, musical stages, stunt shows, arcades and the StarToon Studios (a kiddie area with pint-sized fun), there’s something at Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park for just about everyone. New additions this year include a new family-friendly rollercoaster Blazin’ Buckaroo and seven new shows including the must-see Cirque Conjure in the Trocadero Theater, a sophisticated combination of illusions, music, dance and comedy parents and kids will enjoy.   elitchgardens.com

Spun: Adventures in Textiles
Through September 22, Denver Art Museum
The Denver Art Museum (DAM) takes a wide-ranging look at textiles from pre-Columbian weavings to modern fiber art, Navajo blankets to an examination of clothing in art and photography.
More Info: www.denverartmuseum.org

Catalyst: Colorado Sculpture
Through January 12, 2014, Denver Botanic Gardens
Denver Botanic Gardens celebrates the achievements and vision of Colorado sculptors in this astonishing outdoor group exhibition. Twelve artists view the garden spaces differently, altering the landscape with amazing 3-D work.
More Info: www.botanicgardens.org

Denver B-cycle

Through November

Explore the city on two wheels! Denver B-cycle is an automated bike sharing system designed for short trips around The Mile High City. It’s easy and fun. You can check out one of more than 500 bikes from any one of 50-plus stations (conveniently located near major attractions and neighborhoods) and return it to any other station. denver.bcycle.com

Colorado Rockies

April 5-September 25

Major league baseball returns to downtown Denver’s Coors Field on April 5, as the Rockies square off against the San Diego Padres. The fun continues all spring and summer long. For an affordable option, buy tickets in the Rockpile, where seats are just $4 for adults and $1 for kids under 12. coloradorockies.com

Toyota Elephant Passage

Year-round

Say hello to Denver’s new, five-ton locals. At 10 acres, this landmark $50 million exhibit at Denver Zoo is North America’s largest bull elephant habitat. You’ll see majestic Asian elephants cooling off in a shallow stream, Malaysian tapirs care for their young, acrobatic gibbons swinging overhead from tree to tree, fishing cats diving for their next meal and the piercing stare of a black leopard, all from the center of an Asian village. denverzoo.org

GPS Adventures at the Wildlife Museum. The Wildlife Experience recently opened its newest exhibit, which sets you on a course for hidden treasure… all you need is a GPS unit and a sense of adventure. This life-sized maze exhibition introduces visitors to cutting-edge Global Positioning Systems (GPS) through Geocaching – a family friendly treasure hunting game.  More than four million people around the world are on the hunt for over a million hidden treasures.  In addition to hidden booty, these geocachers are finding the real treasure: reconnecting with family, community and nature in a meaningful way.

Back-to-school fashions for 2013 as seen on 9News!

It’s the most beloved or dreaded time of year: back-to-school shopping! This morning on 9News My20 at 8:40 a.m., I’ll be doing a fashion show with all the latest styles featured below from Kohl’s, Dillard’s and The Children’s Place.

Disclaimer: My children and family friends are my models. That’s my way of saying there may be swinging from the chandeliers.

Or rather, from the studio lights.

It’s summer: Time for crawdad fishing in Denver’s neighborhood streams and ponds

August looms and kids all over are itching for fishing, or anything else to while away the last days of summer.  ! — those of the shallows that lurk in every slow-moving body of water in town, await their nemeses. One can almost picture them flourishing their pincers in a ‘Bring it on!’ moment.

The recommended equipment for crawdad-fishin’ is rather tricky and expensive.  Here is your shopping list, Mom:

1) a stick.

2) a string.

3) a paperclip.

4) a hot dog.

Seriously, the beauty of crawdad-fishin’ is its simplicity:

This summer, bring back the art of the fort

Summer vacation just started for my children.

Which makes me think of my own summer vacations several decades ago. My sisters and I would sleep in til 7:30 (only 10 minutes later than we grudgingly awoke on school days), eager to suck the marrow out of all the daylight. We’d get dressed and chomp down some Count Chocula, sailing out the screen door with our pigtails flying behind us.

We’d start playing with these, making as much merriment noise as we could to get the other neighborhood kids to come out and join us. Soon Gaylee and Pam, Tyler and Greg and assorted other grade-schoolers poured out of their houses and into the street. We’d play kickball and kick the can and explore the woods on the edges of our neighborhood. More days than not we’d do our absolute favorite activity, building forts.

We’d head into someone’s backyard, usually

Disney World: The Magical Land of Forced Fun

I’ve seen many helpful blogs here in the Mile High Mamas about tips for getting the most out of your trip to Disney World. And I’m just going to be upfront about this right now: This is not one of them. But I’m betting that if you’re planning on making the trip any time this summer, it will be one that you think about while you’re there.

Penny store

If your kids are learning to add, about money, or to be an entrepreneur, suggest a penny store. Save your pennies, and get ready for big fun.

Supplies:

  • Sticky notes for prices
  • Pencil or pen
  • Table or bench for the “store”
  • Cash register (if you have one)
  • Items to sell — see below
  • Pennies ( – nickels and dimes for older kids) for the seller and the buyer in purses, containers or pockets

What to sell:

  • beads and pipe cleaners to make bracelets
  • matchbox cars
  • books
  • Polly Pocket stuff
  • rocks
  • recycled supplies for art projects
  • cut up words for poems
  • toys that didn’t get put away throughout the week
  • ANYTHING except your little sister

Now, for the pricing. Start out with one penny per item. When the “customer” buys three penny items, the seller will total it up.

1 + 1 + 1 = 3

Play. Be sure to trade seller and buyer from time to time.

Try raising prices to two cents or three cents per item. Obviously, older kids can have free reign of both the pricing and different coins.

Please post what you end up selling and how it went. We love to hear from our mama friends.