Colorado’s Elitch Gardens Opens this Weekend!

Hooray for summertime!  My kids had their last day of school yesterday, the gorgeous sun is shining bright today, and we are ready to have some FUN!  Heads up to Denver - Elitch Gardens opens this weekend, and they are kicking things off with a *BANG*... as in, fireworks! Check out the opening weekend details.  And for a peek at my don't miss Elitch Gardens recommendations, check out my post Top 5 Experiences at Elitch Gardens. Elitch Gardens Opening Schedule Dive head first into summer at Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park this weekend as they celebrate Memorial Day. Guests can make a splash in Island Kingdom Water Park on its opening day this Saturday.  Also enjoy two new live daily shows, and a spectacular fireworks display. “Summer officially kicks off when we open the water park for the season,” says Karl Traeger, Marketing Director. “With activities fit for everyone, Elitch Gardens is the place to be for families this Memorial Day Weekend.” The water park boasts … [Read more...]

4 Ways to Nurture & Protect Your Skin This Summer

May being Melanoma Awareness Month is always a timely reminder, as we head into the lovely summer months!  I adore sunny summer days, and lots of playing outside.  But skin cancer is a real threat, and it's a topic that hits close to home for me.  My husband and I both have had run-ins with skin cancer, and it’s not fun.  And as most people know, it’s usually preventable. Add in the fact that sun can dry you out and prematurely age you likka prune... and it's definitely worth taking a look at a few ideas to nurture and protect your skin this time of year! 4 Ways to Nurture & Protect Your Skin At this stage in my life, I have many reasons to take good care of my skin.  Being outdoors in the sunshine is one of my favorite things, so avoiding the sun is not an option.  I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks to nurture your skin, protect yourself against skin cancer, and promote anti-aging as much as possible. Protect it.  Baby it.  It's the only skin you've got! # 1 Use a Sport … [Read more...]

PSA: That Time I Almost Hit a Middle-Schooler With My Car

Stunned.  That's how I still feel.  Last week when driving my middle school aged daughter to school... I almost hit one of her classmates who was crossing the street.  And  I've been stewing over the frightening "rule loophole" this fell into, ever since. Aside from almost hurting a child with my car, the other reason it was so scary was that neither of us technically did anything wrong. I was at the stoplight, needing to turn right.  She was waiting at the same stoplight, waiting for the pedestrian light to turn green so she could cross.  I'm typically a super cautious driver, but my daughter was almost late for school. The light was red.  I decide to go ahead and turn right.  A perfectly legal move, right? Half way through my turn, the light turns green. The pedestrian sign turns green. And that little girl... only a few feet away from my car, but completely fixated on that pedestrian signal... steps right off the curb into my pathway.  I *almost* hit her.  It was … [Read more...]

7 Magical Reasons to Stay at Wyndham Lake Buena Vista (near Disney World)

Let's talk about the elephant in the room first.  I almost always advocate for staying at a Disney World resort.  However, after two visits now to the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista property, I’ve now decided this is my one exception. They’ve got a  LOT to offer, and have gone to great efforts to make sure that families staying with them for a Disney World vacation still feel surrounded by that special Disney magic. There are even a few hidden Mickeys on site! Take a look at these solid reasons to consider staying at Wyndham Lake Buena Vista during your next vacation to Walt Disney World. #1 On Disney World Property Location The Wyndham Lake Buena Vista is literally ON THE WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT PROPERTY, across the street from Disney Springs!  If you want to save money but still stay as close to Disney World as possible, it’s an absolutely perfect location. Staying at this resort really adds no more travel-to-park time than staying at one of the other periphery … [Read more...]

Top Summer Womens Picks from Royal Robbins

Royal Robbins makes active, versatile clothing for people who enjoy the outdoors and travel.  They’ve got some fabulous technical fabrics, and even some great natural fiber blends that perform beautifully. With comfortable, stylish design and quality construction – it’s one of my favorite clothing brands.  Here are some of my favorite women’s clothing pieces from the summer Royal Robbins collection. Royal Robbins Jammer Short Hold up, you just found your favorite summer shorts.  And I don’t even really like shorts?!  The super comfy waistband, ultra smoothing and flattering fit, and soft yet durable stretchy fabric of the Royal Robbins Jammer Short will win you over instantly.  I love that they wear like a cozy yoga short, yet look classier and more appropriate for any adventure… from hiking to shopping. The fabric is a nylon and spandex blend, with UPF 50+ protection.  It’s an eco-conscious bluesign® Approved fabric, that’s breathable and moves nicely with you when active. … [Read more...]

Less Than Half Of Workers Are Using All Of Their Paid Vacation Days

In the words Chicago, of one of my childhood favorite bands, “Everybody needs a little time away...”  I’ve worked full time for over 20 years, and have always been a huge advocate for using your vacation time. So when I hear crazy talk like fewer than 50% of workers are using all their paid vacation days, I find this shocking. Downright ridiculous. Yet that’s just what Alamo’s recent 2017  Family Vacation Survey discovered.  And then there’s vacation guilt.  Apparently, that’s a thing.  This one I can relate to a bit, because I work with several “I never/rarely take time off” employees.  Including my bosses.  At best, this makes things awkward at times.  And at worst, it places extra pressure on me when using my vacation time. Vacation Guilt Syndrome When I ask for time off at work for a family trip, it does leave me feeling a bit like a slacker.  "Again?  You're going to Disney World AGAIN?!"   (But that's another story.) Aahhh, Vacation Guilt Syndrome.  This also rings … [Read more...]

Meet Lightning McQueen & Jackson Storm ~ FREE Denver Event!

Hey Coloradans!  If you are excited about Disney∙Pixar’s CARS 3 heading to theatres on June 16, 2017, then you'll want to head to this fun FREE family event in Denver!  The Disney∙Pixar’s CARS 3 Road to the Races Nationwide Tour is racing through Colorado, with a very importnant pit stop in Denver. ome see your favorite five-time Piston-Cup champion Lightning McQueen, tech-savvy trainer Cruz Ramirez and the sleek next-gen racer Jackson Storm.  This fun-fueled event is free, and open to the public. Disney•Pixar’s “Cars 3” Road to the Races, a nationwide tour inviting fans of #95 to gear up for the upcoming big-screen release, is coming to Denver for two days only. Life-size, character look-alikes of five-time Piston-Cup champion Lightning McQueen, tech-savvy trainer Cruz Ramirez and the sleek next-gen racer Jackson Storm will be rolling in to Alamo Drafthouse Cinema at Aspen Grove in Littleton.  They will set up shop Memorial Day Weekend- Saturday, May 27 and Sunday, May … [Read more...]

Save Money & Teach Safety: Tween’s First Smartphone

We’ve reached that stage in life where my oldest child is ready for a smartphone.  We waited as long as possible, putting it off at the thought of paying more each month for THREE smartphone users.  Phone plans are expensive… now we want to add another?  Yikes. My daughter started middle school as a 6th grader this school year.  I was surprised to hear her teachers are literally having students use their smartphones for some interactive assignments in the classroom. Then you add in the benefit of her being able to communicate with us during the day.  So yeah.  Let’s do this. One of her prime interests is being able to take photos with her phone.  But we knew this would also mean my sweet, innocent girl would now have access to social apps and the internet.  So we started with a chat about safety. Equip Your Tween with Smartphone Smarts My daughter is a such good, rule-following kinda girl.  She doesn’t pretend to be, or want to be, a 16 year old yet.  Thankfully, she’s … [Read more...]

Colorado Road Trip with Travel Ready prAna

Eleven years in, and the thrill of living in the state of Colorado has not worn off for me.  One of my absolute favorite Colorado road trips is east / west over the Rocky Mountains.  If you haven't traveled this stretch of I-70, you need to add it to your bucket road trip list. Colorado Road Trip This is a frequent Colorado road trip route for my family, whenever we head to Denver for the weekend.  Love the scenery along Colorado's I-70, as it dodges and weaves along the Colorado River in many places. The views obviously change with the seasons, both varying and beautiful.  My husband probably thinks I'm crazy, taking pictures with my phone on the journey.  Every. Single. Time. Favorite rest area?  Grizzly Creek, just a few miles east of Glenwood Springs.  It offers hiking trails and an easy stroll down to take in the Colorado River.  Simply lovely, and an excellent place to take a short break and stretch your legs.  And take some more pictures.  Every.  Single. … [Read more...]

“Pulses” ~ 11 Foods That are Cheap, Delicious, & Good for You

Aside from checking my heart rate, talk of "Pulses" was completely new to me.  But once I had a quick lesson on this low fat, high-protein, affordable, good for the environment food... I was instantly a [renewed] fan! Pulses are the edible seeds of plants in the legume family, which grow in pods and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Pulses Food List The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recognizes 11 types, check out this pulses food list: dry beans dry broad beans dry peas chickpeas cow peas pigeon peas lentils Bambara beans vetches lupins pulses nes ("not elsewhere specified") Ok, honestly I've only heard of about 5 of those.  How sad.   They are healthy, nutritious and easy to cook with.   They are a key ingredient in traditional cooking around the world and are used in soup, stew, falafel, hummus, curry, dal, tacos and more. Here are 4 reasons why you (and I) should care about pulses. 4 Reasons … [Read more...]