Financial Freedom for Your Children…

It’s easier than you might think…and it starts tomorrow! Ok, ya, it would be ideal if you were able to run out today and invest a little bling for baby Penelope. She could spend her college years on the slopes, buy a snazzy condo in Boulder and chill with her insouciant trustafarian friends – picking up random gigs with the band and entertaining for cash on Pearl Street in her free time. But, if you’re a parent of a young child, you probably have a list of obligations – and the list outweighth. The good news ~ Penelope might learn to manage her hard earned dollars AND you don’t need cash flow now to set your child up for successful financial management later!!!

Attend this FREE event to learn more about the many ways Young Americans works to educate our youth for a successful financial future. More than $1,500 will be given away in cash prizes ~ rain or shine the Birthday Carnival is on!

The Radical Art of Corn Starch

We’ve talked MuD RuN, TrI AtHAlON, 5K, HeALtHy TRadITioNs and TrYiNG SoMEthiNg NeW…so, I think it’s only fitting that we take a closer look at one of the newest, craziest, most colorful races available in our state ~ COLOR ME RAD!!! Um, can you say #PhotoOp?

This 5K incorporates an array of vibrant explosions of blue, green, pink, purple and yellow along the course (so don’t think you’re going to take that short cut and not be found out!). As you come to the finish line, coated in rainbows of 3.1 miles of pure success and adrenaline, prepare yourself to finish out that last bit of unbridled, passionate aggression – as you pummel your friends and family with handfuls of beautifully crafted, colorful cornstarch (kids, this is your chance at letting your parents know how you really feel about limited game time and the crackdown on sugary snacks.)

As if finishing this 5K wasn’t enough, just think about your new, wayyy seriously cool image as your co-workers view your epic profile photo – dripping in the evidence of a seriously awesome race – come Monday morning. Oh ya.

“This is the royal rumble of color. Every 15 – 20 minutes everyone will grab handfuls of color and pummel each other until you’re black and blue (from corn starch – no real bruising will occur). There will be music, food, and sponsors welcoming you across the finish line with open arms. Hugs are free and just like any good AA meeting, spectators are welcome.”

I know…you’re still wondering one thing: how did they make the vintage term “Rad” hip again?

“Unlike Communism and my late Uncle Steven, “Rad” has survived the fall of the Soviet Empire, the scrutiny of the SEC and Webster’s Dictionary, heart disease, and the disdain of high school students everywhere. Like an old vinyl record, it was lost in common practice and parlance and has now reemerged as the vanguard for everyday nomenclature amongst babies, toddlers, teens, and business execs.”

Ok, so you’re preety much convinced, right!? BUT, you did just drain your FSA account on those fancy new frames and top-shelf contact lenses…and it could get dangerous out there. Precautionary concerns ARE legitimate, and guess what…they thought of that too!

“Using the same tactics you use protect your “special parts” from the sun and wanton eyes. Clothing, for starters, works wonders for keeping your skin as soft, supple, and as unseen as a baby’s backside. Goggles, glasses, shirts, shorts, shoes, cooking aprons, hospital gowns, or radiation suits can be worn to protect you from the frequent blasts of color from Color Me Rad, and any stray UV rays from holes in the ozone overhead.”

No doubt you have several other questions and concerns – check out the Color Me Rad round up of FAQs and gain a true appreciation for the seriousness and professionalism of this event.

*This race is NOT timed (aka: shame-free), children 7 and under run FREE (but won’t receive a shirt), all ages welcome*

Color Me Rad will take place Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield on September 29th and benefits the YMCA of Denver. Expect to be coated in color every 5 minutes following the 9 a.m. start time.

[Coming soon via Mile High Mamas: ENTER TO WIN … FREE Color Me Rad registration for two!]

Dirty Dash for FREE & Compete Against Team Fine sWine!!!

What is team Fine sWine?…what is The Dirty Dash?…and how do I score a freebie, right!? Well, lemme fill ya in!

Team Fine sWine  {legit team name gratis creative member/co-captain Melissa}
Fine sWine is the uber-talented, fabulous foursome we have assimilated for the upcoming Dirty Dash in Colorado Springs, CO on August 11th. Yep, I gathered three of my most athletic friends (ok, so none of us have *actually* competed in a mud OR obstacle race, two members are new to the whole idea of running – without vice trailing close behind – and one is only agreeing to this because rumor has it there might be a beer [rootbeer option] chug along the course…ya, be intimidated!). After carefully selecting my team, I passed along the specific training advice I received from the event coordinators: Get up, walk around and do some stuff. Sit back down. We so have this in the bag!

The Dirty Dash
Um, just about the most epic, cool race to roll through the Rockies this summer…and it’s family friendly too!!! This 3.5 mile competition includes walls, pipes, nets, slip ‘n slides – YES, I said slip ‘n slides!!! – and all kinds of other dirty, muddy challenges to help you prove to yourself *and those around you* that age (and the nearing mid-life spare tire) is not going to deter you from being a champion at your sport!

The FREEBIE
All this and a chance to win TWO FREE RACE REGISTRATIONS!?!? Life doesn’t get much better than this. K, so just LIKE WineGlasSlipper’s NicestMomBlog on FB (clear the dust from the button) or FOLLOW me on Twitter (love Twitter btw) for your chance to be selected as the lucky winner AND to compete first hand against the killa Fine sWine. (Just know: we are training as you read! Be afraid.)

Fine Print: Winner will be chosen on or by July 1, 2012. Registration details, race information and official rules (excluding freebie – prefectures WineGlasSlipper – complements Dirty Dash staff) available at TheDirtyDash.com. Winner will receive notification and registration code via email/direct message. Not responsible for injuries inured prior to, during or following the dash – including but not limited to: emotional distraught over failure to win a free registration, failed attempt at proper training procedure, lack of creativity in team name formulation or rightful intimidation by the daunting competition (aka: Fine sWine).

Young Americans ~ Center for Financial Education

I recently visited Young Americans Center for Financial Education and received a guided tour and explanation of the many ways this non-profit organization helps educate children on the importance of financial responsibility. I have to say, I was quite impressed. The lessons are staged in real-world, interactive settings and offer lessons that even adults might appreciate including: exchange rates in different countries, various investment opportunities and the many ways to effectively balance a budget considering economic conditions.

Young Americans Bank is a REAL bank just for kids! Risks are minimized so it’s a safe place for a youngster to start learning the ropes of real-world banking. Check out the details here: Young Americans Bank

Young Americans Center offers a full Calendar of Events with many opportunities for learning made fun! A couple I have considered enrolling my seven-year-old in…

Money Matters Saturday Classes (5-16 year-olds) are totally free and cover lots of money topics.  And you can earn $5 in Bonus Bucks when you attend these classes!  Be SURE to register first.

Summer Camps (2nd-7th graders) are the BEST!  Every camp includes a fun hands-on activity at the end of the week.  Jr. Money Matters – Young AmeriTowne – Girls Can – International Towne – Be Your Own Boss – And More!

U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Comes to Colorado

It’s the first day of winter break – kids are out of school and parents are wondering what to do. Following the whirlwind of class parties and gift exchanges, you may be lacking in creative ideas. Start your vacation off right with festive cheer and show your children the importance of giving to others. Toys for Tots will benefit from donations at this event AND Choose Outdoors had a great suggestion – donate outdoor toys and help our youth stay active and have fun…OUTDOORS!

U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree for the 2012 Holiday Season to come from Colorado Join Gov. John Hickenlooper, Undersecretary of Agriculture Harris Sherman, the U.S. Forest Service, Choose Outdoors, John Fielder, the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of Colorado and many more this Friday for an important holiday announcement. The REI Denver flagship store will host the kickoff event for the 2012 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, which Colorado will provide for the first time in more than a decade. Learn more about participating throughout the year for the chance to accompany the tree to Washington, D.C. for next year’s lighting ceremony at the Capitol Building, hosted by the Speaker of the House. One lucky youth will get the opportunity to flip the switch to turn the lights on the tree. Toys for Tots will be at the event, ready to accept your donation for this year’s holiday season. Choose Outdoors recommends donating outdoor toys to encourage youth to spend more time outdoors.

What: •Press Conference for 2012 US Capitol Christmas Tree – “Celebrating Our Great Outdoors”

When: •Friday, Dec. 16, 2011 at 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Press conference begins at 11a.m. Join us at 10:30 a.m. to get into the holiday spirit with music, refreshments and festive celebration.

Where: •REI Denver Flagship Store – Between main entrance and Starbucks 1416 Platte Street Denver, CO 80202

Douglas County Board of Education Proposes Bond & Mill Levy Override…

and this is a very good thing.

Let not the future of our children be left to the disdain of politics.

A clear, timeless perspective – possibly overlooked in the wave of cool and epic forward thinking – simple, basic foundational values.

Our children’s education.

I use “our” loosely. American youth belong to us…all of us. Inherently, these little ones will someday be ruling our nation and making decisions as we fade into the generations of long since past, leaving only a legacy of what we once stood for. It’s our responsibility to look out for the whole…not just those we consider our own. In doing good for others we are ultimately doing good for ourselves.

Our values.

They’ll hold strong through generations. Evidence will be apparent for years to come as the love from one is passed down to another and another. Can we say we’re leaving this a better place with what we give of ourselves today? Time, money, passions…are they aligned with core values? What we believe today will be evident in tomorrow.

Our responsibility.

I was rather disappointed in a recent article I read on Douglas County Board of Education’s $200 million bond and $20 million mill levy override for the November ballot. The tone of the article was rather negatively leading and incorporated the voucher debate rather than focusing on the issue at hand. If I had simply read the article and not looked further into the facts, I may have considered it a lost cause and possible jumped on the “no thanks” band wagon.

The issue is simple, our public schools need funds to make improvements and pay teachers. Where will we find these dollars and make the burden less upon the individual. Through taxes. Small contributions by many for the bennefit of all.

I don’t know about you, but I would gladly make small sacrifices for the betterment of our country and for the good of the whole. I know I can’t do it all on my own, but together we can make an amazing difference in the lives of many.

I understand that the mention of a proposed tax increase can be daunting when viewed in the short-term, but with a futuristic approach and full perspective of realistic needs and benefits, a little sacrifice now doesn’t sound like such a burden. In opposition to the specific article I stumbled across, I’d advise for each individual to seek education on the issues and don’t make assumptions, be mislead by haughty promises or distracted with side issues…do have faith in our educational system and the caring, loving individuals whom have given their lives to improve the future for the sake of all of us…and absolutely assess your core values when considering what you can do to help improve our community.

Spreading the love.

We all work together as one body…and with each of us doing our own part even when we don’t agree or like what others are doing, our contribution still results in an astounding big picture. I’m not a fan of negative media influences or politically charged debates…be aware of the source when collecting information and don’t let the small disparities divide us in our hearts – in the values that profess who we truly are.

Yes on 3A & 3B

I am in favor of 3A & 3B to improve our schools, pay our teachers and give hope to our future leaders. It is one thing I can do, as an individual, to help improve our community. Yes, arguments can be had – and some within reason – but based on my beliefs, my values, my faith…the answer is simple for me.

Oh, and on a completely selfish level…I live in Douglas County and benefit from the increased property value in neighborhoods with fantastic schools – it is one of the very reasons we bought our home in Highlands Ranch…but that’s not the core value I’m basing my decision on – just being real honest here, wink.

Choose Your Own Adventure – Spring Break 2011

The budding of life brings a fresh, new beginning – a soliloquy of nature resounding the promise of hope and new life. 

I absolutely love spring break in Colorado…a brief glimpse of what is to come, interrupted briefly by the grand finale of heavy, wet spring snowstorms, culminating just in time to let our hearts fill with joy at the arrival of gorgeous Colorado summer weather.  Springtime in the Rockies is a sight to behold, and by far my favorite season of the year!

With this transition in seasons comes prime opportunity for adventure, fun and learning in the Denver area.  With snow in the mountains, you can hit the slopes early – sunshine included – and head back down to town for an evening of capris and flip-flops.  You can shred and tan all in one day…some dare to combine the two but that looks cold to me, ha.

If you’re going to get the most out of your spring break, you’ll want to design a plan of action.  Call a family meeting, make a priority list, choose some “plan B” items, sort the details and be sure to watch the forecast daily – Colorado can keep you on your toes!

Plan with a Purpose
To make this year’s spring break really interesting choose a theme – something your children are interested in – and plan around it.  Include costumes and face paintings in your exploration of our amazing city.  Use cookie cutters to pack themed sandwiches and peanut butter tortilla snacks in your sack lunches.  Incorporate themed lessons in your activity choices – you’re children won’t even notice that they’re learning when they’re having this much fun. 

Volunteer
Along side your chosen theme, make an effort to volunteer in the community.  Contact a local venue and ask if your family can come help for a day.  This can also be a great way to visit an attraction you might not normally be able to squeeze into the fun budget.  Contact Volunteers of America if you are short on ideas – be sure to tell them your plan with a purpose and see what recommendations they make.  Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community, build leadership skills and to instill empathy in our children.

Explore Denver
When making your adventure plans, focus on a specific area of town.  Here are some ideas, categorized by geographic area.  Remember not to over-schedule so that you don’t run out of steam too quickly! 

CENTRAL DENVER

  • Botanic Gardens (Denver) – Beautiful gardens indoor and out, March 20th, FREE Day. 
  • The Denver Firefighters Museum (downtown) – Adults $6, children 1-12yrs $4.
  • United States Mint Tour (downtown) – Discover how our currency is made and take home a souvenir, FREE.
  • Molly Brown House Museum (downtown) – March 23rd,  Meet the Headlining Women in Colorado’s History, tea and treats in museum store, $10.
  • Racine’s Restaurant (between Cherry Creek shopping and downtown) – Giant gingerbread pancakes and beautiful works of art, need I say more?
  • Steuben’s Restaurant (downtown) – Diner atmosphere, excellent kids meals with carrot sticks, cucumbers with ranch, edamame beans, fresh berries and choice of entree and side. 
  • Il Vicino (downtown & other locations) – Micro brewery, great food, charming atmosphere and kids can make their own dessert using pizza dough.  

Central Denver offers endless entertainment options for people of all ages.  I’ve purposely left out some of the main attractions and highlighted places you’ve possibly never visited.  Try something new this spring break!

NORTH

  • Hammonds Candy Factory Tour (Denver) – Learn how candy is made and sample something delicious, FREE
  • Adventure Golf & Raceway (Westminster) – Season opening Friday, March 11th, impressive atmosphere, fun for the whole family, prices vary based on activity.
  • Jumpstreet (Thornton) – Wall-to-wall trampolines, $8-$12 first hr, week day discounts.
  • Butterfly Pavilion (Westminster) – Adults $8.50, children 2-12 yrs $5.50.    

SOUTH

  • Hudson Gardens (Littleton) – $1.50 admission this year in celebration of their 15th birthday.  
  • The Streets at SouthGlenn (Centennial) – Beautifully lit at night with several places to stop for a bite to eat, see a movie at the new Hollywood Theater.
  • Westlands Park (Greenwood Village) – Spend an entire day here, huge park with something for everyone, FREE.
  • Pasquini’s (Lone Tree & other locations) – Great atmosphere, delicious Italian food and you can play with dough while you wait!
  • Yogurtland (Centennial) – Variety of frozen yogurt choices, add your own toppings and it’s only $.30/oz.  Great price for a family dessert night out!  

EAST

  • Wings Over the Rockies Museum (Denver) – Air and Space Museum, adults $9, children 4-12 yrs $6, under 4  free.
  • Wild Life Experience (Parker) – Adults $10, children 3-12 yrs $6, under 3 free.  
  • Monkey Bizness (Centennial) – Even big kids can play, climb and bounce here.  Children 12-23 months $3, 24mos – 18yrs $7.50, parents are free, check schedule for open play hours.

 WEST

  • Dinosaur Ridge (Morrison) – Exhibits, shuttle tour, and real dino tracks, just a few dollars/person, 3 and under are free.
  • Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave (Golden) – Adults $5, 6-15yrs $1, 5 and under are free.
  • Casa Bonita (Lakewood) – It’s about the atmosphere and entertainment, kids love it, menu is limited.  Euphoric memories from your childhood?  Visit again it hasn’t changed.  

VARIETY OF LOCATIONS

  • Letterboxing – Go on a real-life treasure hunt.  Letterboxes are hidden all over the Denver area!
  • Pottery Painting – Find a paint-your-own pottery near you!  Prices are per project and make fabulous keepsakes for parents and grandparents.
  • Outdoor Fun – Colorado offers endless FREE fun outdoors.  Choose a location, dress for the weather and have a blast!
  • Scrapbook – Be sure to keep a record of your spring break adventure.  Kids can practice journaling and note all that they are learning.

 HELPFUL RESOURCES

  • Restaurant.com - Enter a zip code and try something new…at a discount!
  • Science & Cultural Facilities District, Denver - With a mission for advancement and preservation of art, music, theatre, dance, zoology, botany, natural history and cultural history, this website provides a listing of excellent learning opportunities all around the Denver area – including a free days listing.
  • Denver 365 - For a listing of year-round area events.

 

What adventure will you choose this spring break?

Some venues provide group, local resident and senior discounts.  See individual websites for details.

Photo: Global Denver

 

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