A Visit to Denver Museum of Nature & Science

There is certainly plenty of fun to be had in the city of Denver, Colorado.  When my family and I were there last weekend, we decided to swing by the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.  And boy, are we glad we did!  It had been a few years since our last visit.  As it turns out, this place is even more fabulous than we remembered. With three stories of interesting and varied exhibits to choose from, there’s truly something to pique everyone’s interest here. Our kids ages 6 and 12 have been bubbling with enthusiastic chatter ever since, telling friends and grandparents about all the things they saw and learned. Plus, it was air conditioned. On a 100 degree Colorado summer day.  It was the perfect place to be for a day of family fun. Awesome Outer Space Display… (Even if you Skip the Planetarium) You’ll notice when you purchase tickets there are several options.  One is to add a visit to the Planetarium.  We did *not* have these type of tickets, but were happy to … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

Family Stay at Disney’s Art of Animation Little Mermaid Room

Is Art of Animation Resort the best choice for your Disney World Resort money?  Here's all the fun details of a stay at in the Little Mermaid Rooms. From the Awesome Cars and Finding Nemo pools, to the drawings and character design you'll find throughout this resort, it's a family Disney Vacation delight. Room Photos, the Food Court, and Disney Transportation... plus how far is it to Magic Kingdom from the Art of Animation Value Resort?  I'm a pretty strong advocate for always staying at a Disney World Resort.  Between that and being a Value Resort fan, I was very excited when the newest addition Art of Animation opened in 2012.   This whimsical, incredibly family-friendly resort has four Disney movie themed areas.  Three of them consist of family suites:  Cars, Finding Nemo, and The Lion King.  Although these rooms look spacious and awesome, alas - for my family of four, a suite is unnecessary.  And with a nightly suite rate that is comparable to staying at a Disney … [Read more...]

FREE Summer Reading & Activity Program ~ Bug Camp

As a parent of two school aged children, I confess I don't worry too much about "stopping the summer slide".  In Western Colorado, their summers off from school are precious and short.  They need a break. But I have already noticed the antsy boredom.  And the too-much-screen time.  So when I heard of Cricket Media's free summer reading and activity program, I immediately checked out the site.  They've got a great calendar set up, with something new to check each day.  So far I'm seeing downloadable activities that inspire reading and getting outside to explore with a nature bingo hunt.  Very cool! This *just* started, so now's a great time to get started and check it out! Free Summer Reading Program ~ Bug Camp 2017 Cricket Media invites families everywhere to discover a world of adventure and learning with BUG CAMP 2017!  This free summer reading program launches June 5th. Created with engaging content from Cricket Media's award-winning magazines for children and teens, … [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...]

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...]