Disney Cars: Extended Look at Cars 3, What You Should Know, & Carsland!

After a distressing couple of months with nothing but that awful (as in, upsetting) teaser trailer of Lightening McQueen getting in a wreck that "changes everything"... we finally are getting an extended peek at the new Cars 3! Cars Movies ~ My Family's Favorite! First, I'd like to address the commentary I've read online about Cars and Cars 2 "not being Disney/Pixar's best work".  What?  What?  What's this? To hear that someone thinks the Disney Cars movies aren't great films genuinely puzzles me?  My family absolutely ADORES Cars.  The setting, the characters, the storylines, the jokes, Mater's twangy accent.  All of it. Sure, having a young son who loves all-things-with-wheels has increased our interest.  But as an adult parent who has watches hundreds (perhaps thousands) of animated movies in the past decade, I know of what I speak.  The Cars movies are fantastic, and well worth a repeated watch.  And we can't wait for the release of Cars 3! I'd just like to plug … [Read more...]

To Ski, Or Not to Ski… That is My Dilemma

I grew up in the relatively flat state of South Dakota.  Land of long winters and below-freezing wind chills which whipped across the prairie.  My parents were both raised on ranches.  In short, they were not skiers, nor was teaching kids to ski anywhere on their radar. South Dakota is not totally devoid of a ski area, though.  So it was at age 16 that I made my first pilgrimage with fellow teens, to go learn to ski at Terry Peak in the Black Hills.  What did I think of skiing? Skiing First Impressions Cold. Icy. Terrifying. Cute boys. Short runs. Long chairlift rides. That’s about it, in a nutshell.  I tolerated it for the social aspect. But it was nothing I had a burning desire to pursue. I’ve since had the chance to ski bigger mountains than South Dakota offers, and enjoyed some good times on the slopes.  There have admittedly been brief, optimal moments when I felt a rush of excitement and glee over a great run.  Overall, I have comfortably settled in at:  … [Read more...]

TomTom® Adventurer is the Ultimate GPS Outdoor Watch

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of TomTom®.  The opinions and texts are all mine. For those of you who've considered a fitness watch, GPS watch, or any other type of sports tracker, or maybe you're just ready to upgrade your watch tech, and would love to see a product that offers more than ever before, you're going to be very excited to see the new TomTom® Adventurer GPS Outdoor Watch. Just released this fall, the TomTom® Adventurer packs a powerful punch of functionality and convenience.  Plus, it's perfect for the outdoor enthusiast. TomTom® Adventurer as a Fitness Watch I've personally never worn a step tracker or fitness watch of any kind.  But I've always been curious if it would motivate me to be more active in my daily life.  Since I work in an office full time, I spend way too many sedentary hours at the computer, and have become lax about taking some ergonomic breaks and taking a walk. Wearing the TomTom® Adventurer the past two weeks has … [Read more...]

6 Tips for Staying Healthy In Winter

This season my family and I had dodged the sickness bullet thusfar, until my kids came down with a cold the past week.  Those are pretty manageable, so if that's the worst we see I'll be very grateful.  Gratitude aside, there are steps you can take to help minimize the sickness in your household this winter.  Always good to have a reminder this time of year, so take a look at these tips for staying healthy in winter. Get a Flu Shot I used to go back and forth on this  one.  And frankly, I'm the only one in my family that gets a flu shot.  But I'm also the one who has TWICE dodged a bad round of the flu that my entire family had... except for me.  It's not rocket science, and I feel like that's sufficient evidence of their effectiveness for me to continue to get one. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate I've never really understood why winter is a "dryer air" season?  Static in your hair, dry flakey skin, and waking up with a dry, parched throat are all symptoms. It's why this time of … [Read more...]

PrAna Offers Sustainable Gifts for Adventure Lovers

PrAna is one of my favorite versatile, adventure-ready brands. Not just for yogis, their fun offerings work just as well for travel and hiking, as a day at the office. It's the type of clothing I love to invest in, as they are quality made and eco-friendly. If you're looking for a gift that can brag sustainability, be sure to shop the mens and womens styles at prAna.  Their use of fabrics such as organic cotton, recycled wool, and recycled polyester make for a purchase you can feel good about. Just a note about this brand's sizing.  It's my one small frustration with them... I find their items run small.  With very few exceptions, I'm always happiest when I size up one size in prAna. PrAna Stacia Sweater I'm not a big sweater wearer, even though I think they look classy.  So the prAna Stacia Sweater was a surprising hit with me, and I've been amazed how often I wear it.  The front design is delicate, and the longer tail in back adds a flattering detail to the design. The … [Read more...]

Teaching Kids Empathy and Love, Not Hate

  I want my kids to grow up to be exemplary human beings.  People who think of others, not just themselves.  People who take a stand for what it right, and make an effort to make society a better place.  Instilling empathy in them is a great foundation, a human emotion that will drive beneficial actions throughout their lives. So how do we as parents teach something like empathy?  As is true of so many areas of parenting, it’s an ongoing process. As in, if I remind my kindergarten son to put his dirty socks in the clothes hamper, day….after day…. after day… someday it will finally click.  (At least that’s my dream.) I look for teaching opportunities and resources that will model good characteristics, and inspire them.  With a young boy age 6, and a tween girl age 11, it’s not always the same thing that will strike a chord.  Last weekend we all watched the new American Girl movie “Melody 1963: Love Has to Win” on Amazon, and it fit the bill nicely. The messaging … [Read more...]

My First Kayak Adventure Ever… in Sagres Portugal!

Death by rollover.  Trapped upside down in my kayak, whoosing past head-smashing rocks, unable to release my lower body from its underwater tomb.  Yep, it’s one of my worst nightmares.  Can you blame me? Hence my hesitancy whenever I’ve had the opportunity to go kayaking. And I almost passed up the opportunity yet again, on a recent media trip to Portugal.  We had a local guide from the fishing village of Sagres Portugal who was planning on taking our small group of three out for a kayak adventure.  Realizing I was there to report in the capacity of “OUTDOORSY” TravelingMom… I figured I better suck it up, Buttercup! And join them. Lesson learned:  Never pass up a chance to kayak with a guide! My First Time Kayaking – Walk in the Park Turns out the only danger that day was if I had actually tipped over, my iPhone would have been trashed.  Other than that, it was so completely safe that they even take out children if the sea is calm. “The Sea.”  That’s what they … [Read more...]

PrAna Offers Outdoor-Tested Styles Good for Our Planet

PrAna is a lifestyle brand originally most well known for their yoga apparel, but which has grown to encompass much more. With environmentally friendly materials, fair trade practices, and use of sustainable fabrics - this is clothing you can feel good about, that's good for our planet. Their core belief: "give back more than we take from the world". Living an active life in Colorado, I adore clothing that multi-tasks for all aspects.  Clothing that I can wear to my office, around town on the weekend, hiking or enjoying outdoor time, and (bonus!) to maybe even exercise in.  Many of the PrAna styles fit that bill, are built for women and men, and work well for everything from travel to taking a hike. The prAna designers even make sure to go adventuring themselves in the clothing, testing and assuring that each piece will be a valued and welcome addition to your wardrobe. I've been a fan of prAna for awhile now, and find their pieces are of high quality which end up being long … [Read more...]

The Ultimate Outdoor Woman Gift Guide

It's been another year of trying out all kinds of outdoor, travel, and fashion gear for the Colorado Mountain Mom site.  I'm an outdoor gal with a wide range of tastes, but at our core we all love some of the same basic things. Here are a few of my absolute favorites I've found for this season.  There's a nice range of prices, so hopefully this may help you find the perfect gift for that outdoor gal in your life! Ultimate "Outdoor Woman" Gift Guide Sunday Afternoons ~ Shasta Trapper Hat, $48 I knew they made great sun hats, but didn’t realize the awesome variety in styles that Sunday Afternoon designs.  This company knows hats, and I feel you’ll not find a better fitting, more comfortable option for your head. I'm loving the cute yet practical Shasta Trapper Hat, new this season.  Furry warmth of the fold down flaps will keep your neck and ears cozy, while a handy brim shades the eyes.  Perfect for winter adventures! Native Eyewear ~ Penrose Sunglasses, … [Read more...]

Sqord Helps Families Play Together, Win Together [Giveaway, Ended 11/25]

I’m excited to introduce you to Sqord, a family fitness platform that makes healthy, active play more fun for kids by allowing them to compete and earn points for everyday activities.   Sqord wrist bands are an accelerometer worn to record your activity level, and provide a visual reminder to encourage movement. One part social community, one part fitness tracker, one part game.  The brand’s first product:  the Sqord Pod and Game App that encourages kids to get out and play with others - building camaraderie and friendship through exercise-related activities. How does it work?  The Sqord Activity Pod tracks movement in the real world and converts it into Sqord Activity Points that kids can use in the Sqord App. Available for Android and Apple, the Sqord game app enables players to wirelessly sync and upload their points, and increases engagement and interest from kids by adding an element of friendly competition. The more Sqord Activity Points they earn, the more and … [Read more...]