Please Read: Your Chance to Help Climate Change

We’ve all seen the distressing photos.  Polar ice caps gradually disappearing, and the fallout it means for polar bears.  One of many global problems we’ve seen result from climate change.  It’s the heart breaking image I always picture when this topic comes up. CO₂ and Climate Change:  The Problem Left to its own devices, nature actually has a beautiful system of restoration.  Our lush forests are amazing in their restorative powers! They permanently remove CO2 from the atmosphere.  Plants can split CO2 into carbon and oxygen, releasing Oxygen back into the air for us to breathe. But humans have disturbed this natural ecological balance.  We are seeing more and more negative consequences caused by an increase in CO₂.  At mankind’s current rate of pollution, nature can’t keep up. CO₂ and Climate Change:  A Solution That Can Help In regards to climate change: "Technically, there is a solution.  With our help, nature could do the job." ~Hans-Peter Schmidt, Carbon … [Read more...]

7 Things You Should Know Before Getting Backyard Chickens

We’ve been the proud owners of backyard chickens for 2 ½ years now.  Although we don’t know it all, we have learned a few unexpected things about this venture.  If you are debating about buying some peeps and taking the plunge, here's what to know about backyard chickens.  A few helpful tips that may help you make your decision. There’s definitely many benefits to owning these enjoyable and funny birds, and we are still very happy with ours.  However, there are both good and bad aspects to having them roam your backyard. # 1 - They Will Trash Your Yard First up for what to know about backyard chickens:  Let’s talk about that backyard.  Prepare yourself, cause the girls are gonna trash it. Sure, you could keep your backyard chickens in their coop at all times.  It would certainly be tidier.  But in order to get the full benefit of those extra-nutrient rich, free range eggs - you gotta let the girls out. The upside is that they have so much fun around the yard.  … [Read more...]

First Time Biking to School… Terrifying, yet Rewarding

My first grade son loves riding his bike.  I'm happy about that, because I do, too.  Ahhh... I foresee many grand biking adventures in our future!  So it's not surprising that he's been begging to ride his bike to school. *heavy sigh* But I have a problem with this.  You see, the unavoidable route between our home and his grade school includes a very scary road.  Narrow.  Busy.  No sidewalks.  Fast moving traffic, with a speed limit of 45 mph.  It's basically like biking on the edge of a highway.  With a 6 year old.  Terrifying. Oh, there's a bike lane.  But's it's 2 feet wide, at best. Sometimes you just have to suck it up, as a parent, and take a calculated risk.  I love the idea of riding our bikes more, and as a mode of transportation.  I love everything about it. Living an active lifestyle! Sneaking in exercise, via something that's also fun! Saving gas! Polluting less! Teaching our kids good life habits! Alright, so let's do this... Obviously, the plan is for … [Read more...]

Top 5 Ruidoso, New Mexico Things To Do (for Outdoor Lovers!)

Ruidoso, New Mexico is a unique mountain village that may be a bit off the beaten path.  But what you’ll find here is an outdoor lovers paradise, which is well worth a visit.  Here I've gathered the Top 5 Ruidoso New Mexico things to do with a family. This unique off the beaten path destination offers much to outdoorsy families looking for a fun yet relaxing getaway.  Get your heart pumping activities like hiking, mountain biking, and skiing.  Or just taking a leisurely stroll through town to browse local Western art.  There’s something for everyone here to enjoy. # 5 - Mountain Bike Trails Since my son turned age 5 and graduated to a decent trail worthy bike, family mountain biking has become our favorite outdoor activity. With new trail development and a vast network of empty rural roads and awesome mountain trails, cycling in Ruidoso has never been better. Ruidoso local bike shops can hook you up with bike rentals.  Then check out the Discover Ruidoso website for … [Read more...]

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...]