Helping Your Kids Get Badly Needed Exercise

You've heard the debate before, and even pondered it yourself. "When we were kids... we used to play outside until dark!  And ride our bikes all over town!  And have dirt clod fights for hours!" Oh, wait.  Maybe the last one was just my little brother. Sadly, times have changed.  And frankly, conditions aren't as safe for children as they once were.  Add in the fact that we now live in a much more sedentary society, one riddled with screens for entertainment.  So how do you keep kids active? Personally, I find it very challenging to help my kids get badly needed exercise.  I look for opportunities to provide active play for them both.  But my tween daughter is at an age where I'd like her to start learning to be self-motivated, when it comes to fitness and a healthy lifestyle.  This past year she turned 12, which was an age which allowed her to be added to our family gym membership. She really enjoys this, and it's helped being able to take her along with us to go get some … [Read more...]

Poolside Road Kill… & What I Love About Swimming Lessons

I’ve “made” my kids take swimming lessons every summer for years now.  I’m not sure why that’s the Mom’s Job, but apparently it is.  Since my 12 year old daughter has pretty much mastered the four main swim strokes, I finally let her off the hook this year.  But my 6 year old son still has some learning to do.  He actually requested to take them his year, so that was a pleasant surprise?! Since I work full time days, my husband has been a good sport about taking J to his lessons every day at noon.  I sneak out for a lunch break, and get to go watch him.  It’s been nearly 100 degrees for weeks now, but it’s a worthwhile show to watch. We are just entering Week 2.  Here are my favorite things I love about watching a 6 year old’s swimming lessons. Second Time’s the Charm My son hesitated at his very first diving board attempt. His instructor was waiting patiently in the water, with a floating device.  My son approached the end of the board, where he paused for quite some time … [Read more...]

Print Vacation Memories on a Gorgeous Photo Canvas [Giveaway, Ended 7/20]

I have a newly budding passion.  After returning from our recent Florida vacation, I had some wonderful photos I wanted to display in my home.  I have tried this once before (and loved it), so I knew I wanted to order a nice, large print on canvas.  It turned out AMAZING! If you haven’t tried this, I encourage you to do so.  You can select any photo file to have printed on a canvas, then wrapped around a wood frame.  Canvas Factory has great prices, and produces the nicest quality canvas prints I’ve seen. This option is more unique, and honestly less expensive, than ordering a large photo print and purchasing a traditional photo frame to house it. Canvas Factory - Ordering Experience The Canvas Factory site is easy to use.  They have some awesome, artistic ideas and layouts for you to chose from.  I’d love to try the split canvas print (one photo, spread across 3 panels) or canvas wall display (multiple photo panels to display together). After uploading your photo, you can … [Read more...]

How to Grill a Pizza ~ Papa Murphy’s BBQ Chicken

This is a sponsored conversation on behalf of Papa Murpy's and KC Masterpiece.  All opinions are my own. #SummerAt425  Summertime dinner on a hot, 100 degree day can be a challenge.  Do you really feel like pre-heating that kitchen stove, further adding to your air conditioner's battle?  We recently learned how to grill a pizza, and tried it out on the exciting new flavor of take and bake - Papa Murphy's BBQ Chicken Pizza.  I love this summertime trick! It's easy to do, and keeps the heat outside.  We literally eat pizza once per week, and it's often from Papa Murphy's.  Did you know they are the world's largest fresh take 'n bake pizza brand?  I feel like you can't beat their fresh ingredients, and I love baking it at home so it's optimally steamy and delicious when we eat it.  It typically ends up being our fun Friday Night family tradition.  At the end of our busy week, we are tired and ready to relax at home with an easy-but-quality meal we all enjoy. We've tried most … [Read more...]

Lies Travelers Tell Themselves To Justify Their Trip

The following post was contributed by a partner. We all have our own affirmations about many aspects in life. At work, we say we can do this or that without taking into account what might really happen. In traveling, this is also true as we justify our travel plans with certain affirmations. However, most affirmations we make when we travel are unrealistic. In fact, there are things that we tell ourselves that are flat out lies, and we travel in vain and return home without achieving anything. There are times that we have travel regrets, whether travel expenses, or a missed opportunity, and it haunts us. Today, we will go into the five lies that travelers tell themselves, and you can see if any of these relate to the last time you went anywhere. Five Tall-Tale Lies We Tell Ourselves   Morning Flights are the Best You probably want to get a 6:00 am flight, so you can start your day early and reduce your stress. Ironically, air travel is stressful; … [Read more...]

5 Fun Activities for Hot Summer Days

I work full time, and suffer from a slightly larger dose of extra mom guilt in summer.   It weighs on me, if I think my two kids aren't getting to have any fun.  Plus, the summer school break flies by so quickly.  It’s only 10 weeks long in Colorado! So this summer I have made a concentrated effort to line up fun activities for my kids. 5 Fun Activities for Hot Summer Days These are a few of the things we have done this summer, that you may like to try yourself.  We’ve had three solid weeks of 100+ degree temperatures.  Whew!  Here are my 5 fun activities for those smokin' hot summer days. #1 – Free Bowling My sister in law tipped me off to this one, or I may not have believed it.  I tend to be skeptical of anything claiming to be “free”! Check out KidsBowlFree.com, and see if you have any local bowling alleys participating.  Every enrolled child can bowl 2 free games of bowling every day, all summer long.  All you pay is the price of shoe rental.  We’ve tried it, and … [Read more...]

Trek Bike’s ABC’s of Bike Safety

Summer biking season is in full sway!  One of our absolute favorite things to do is hit the trails for a family mountain biking adventure.  But logistically, we most often find ourselves riding the streets in town. Did you know that 600+ cyclists a year are killed by cars, and 80% of the accidents happen during the day? Riders overestimate their visibility by 700%!  So how do you stay safe, and make sure you don't have any issues with cars spotting you?  June is Safety Month, and is an ideal time to asses your family's bike safety tactics. Alarmed by these statistics, Trek embarked on a mission to cut cycling deaths by 50% by the year 2020. As a first step, Trek partnered with Clemson University on a visibility study, and from the study’s findings created the ABC’s of Bike Safety.  Below are their valuable tips, which map out the must-dos to remain safe on the road. Trek’s ABC’s of Bike Safety Always On: At the very least, riders should install front and rear-facing daytime … [Read more...]

Best Hiking Baby Carrier Backpack for Petite Moms

Hiking with a kid carrier can be one of the most enjoyable phases of outdoor time with your child.  Now that my youngest is 6, my family is past this stage.  Although at the time, I occasionally pitied myself for being loaded down likka pack mule... now I truly miss these days. The days of hiking a nice long trail, without needing to turn back after .5 miles for a tired child who can't keep up. The days of knowing you are transferring a love of the outdoors to your child at a precious age.  Even as your baby dozes off for a nap in the fresh air, to the lull of mom's cadence on the trail. There are so many fantastic benefits to hiking with your child in a backpack carrier!  It's truly one of the best pieces of gear we owned for our babies/toddlers. But wait... what if your pack doesn't fit, causing you back pain and greatly hindering your enjoying of the experience?  No bueno. Calling on the [Petite!] Hiking Pros Although I've written about MY experience and tips for … [Read more...]

5 Things You Need for an Awesome Kids Party in Denver

When you're in charge of planning your child's party it's easy to set up high expectations for yourself.  Especially with social media platforms like Pinterest around to remind you what your party could look like, if you had an unlimited budget, and accessibility to a plethora of celebrity quality vendors. For the rest of us mere mortals, here are some ideas to ensure that a kids party in Denver (or anywhere) is a success! Attention to the Child It's easy to completely take over the party and plan it according to your own specific tastes. However, it's important to remember why you're throwing the party in the first place. Be sure to take into account their interests, age, and personality. This will lead you to planning a custom party for your child, and they will have fond memories about it for years.  Ability to Research Online The Internet is your absolute best friend when you're in the midst of planning a celebration. Finding a source for party planning is as simple as … [Read more...]

You’ll Love the Ecuadane Everywhere Blanket [+ Giveaway, Ended 6/28]

Ecuadane came about as the result of three well-traveled sisters deciding to share some of their favorite products they’ve discovered from across the globe.  The name Ecuadane was formed by combining the names of two countries: Ecuador and Denmark – home countries of their parents. Their flagship product is the Everywhere Blanket. It’s versatile, high quality, an down right gorgeous.  I love finding places to obtain such unique items online. Hand Woven in Ecuador One look at the gorgeous designs available on the Ecuadane site, and I was hooked.  I’ll warn you, it was *not* easy to choose just one!  So many lovely designs and vibrant colors in these Inca inspired patterns. The Ecuadane Everywhere Blanket is made in Ecuador, woven by Otavaleños from a blend of alpaca and synthetic materials.  The tag says “wool”, which represents the alpaca fiber content. It’s soft and a little bit furry.  Maintenance instructions explain that brushing it occasionally will keep an … [Read more...]