How to Create Beautiful Hairstyles for Girls

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Learn how to create these lovely styles @ Mile High Mamas: “Pretty Easter Hairstyles for Girls” (my model loves her dog, cozy jammies, trips to the pool and has a very hard time holding still for a photo!)

 

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Late Season Ski Fix…Monarch Mountain

Just for a weekend, but squeezed it all in…epic powder @ Monarch Mountain, Amicas, The Jug, Patio Pancake, Riverside Park, Tenderfoot, F Street Bridge views of the Arkansas River and invaluable time with family and friends in a little town dear to my heart…Salida, CO.

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Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, Commence L’Adventure!

Four amazing seasons; brilliant blue skies; temperatures that let you work up a sweat without overheating…and glorious views from atop peaks piled with fresh, untainted powder? Oh no, it’s not a dream ~ this is COLORADO ski country.

There’s just something about the freedom, coupled with the awe of such a magnificent creation – an offering of unrefined nature at altitudes of such magnitude…ok, so maybe I need more oxygen up there, right? Well, if delusion are my poison, I’ll take them because this really is the stuff dreams are made of.

That is precisely the reason I don’t just want to – I have to – teach my children the skills to get them to the top of those majestic peaks…not metaphorically (well, yes, that too)…rather literally, to the summit because, even if the only way down is intimidating at best, there’s just something incredible about the whole experience.

So, where does it all start?

At the base of the mountain – and if you’ve planned your vacation to perfection, you’ll eat, sleep and play at the base, slowly working your way to the top. Sound intense? Not so much…I’m talking about luxurious accommodations at the Park Hyatt in Beaver Creek.

 photo credit: concierge

The Park Hyatt is located at the epicenter of it all. It’s a true ski-in/ski-out offering the finest amenities and in perfect proximity to daily, complimentary three o’clock chocolate chip cookies (served by chefs in white hats!)…Sweet tooth aside, let me tell you, Park Hyatt is the premier Colorado vacation destination…and for some very good reasons – these are just my top five:

  1. Children’s ski school is located right next door. Benefit: no shuttling in to drop the kids off (important need-to-know tip, because if you’re traveling to the base of the mountain every morning, you’re loosing a lot of value in your ski-in/ski-out accommodations).
  2. You won’t get lost! I may be one of the few people truly at risk for this, but having spent an inordinate amount of time navigating my way back to resorts nestled in discrete locations on the mountain, I can attest – this is an important feature, ha!
  3. Ski and boot valet. Not just a fancy locker room with automatic doors and boot warmers – this is the real deal. If you’ve ever tried to juggle skis, boards, boots and poles for – not just yourself – but you kiddos too, you understand the value of this service.
  4. Après Ski S’mores by the fire pit…including HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOWS. I kid you not. Gourmet flavors created to marshmallowy, melt-in-your-mouth perfection. Your kids will love ‘em too, wink!
  5. All the other wonderful offerings that a five-star resort and spa might have to offer…breathtaking views, fabulous dining, heated towels and robes, outdoor pools, jacuzzis galore, heated walkways, kid-friendly hot toddy hut, full-service spa, hot cocoa in the lobby, wonderfully cozy beds, turn down at night – lovely toffee bars (I may have gracefully accepted the bars but gave a rain check on the service…and he offered a couple extra bars – good trade) and pretty much anything and everything you might want…because I’m pretty sure they’d do it for you! That’s one of the greatest things about the town of Beaver Creek – they have impeccable customer service!

Before you book your trip, be sure to check out the Park Hyatt’s latest promotions! One of my favorite new features: Pampered Pooches. Read how this lodging option will forever change the life of one of our dearest family members – our sweet Fiona Belle – and the suffering she endured during our road trip to Wyoming, ugh! “So You Can’t Spoil a Baby…How About a Furry One?”

VIEW OUR FULL VACATION PHOTO JOURNAL!

Thanks to Park Hyatt for being a gracious host, putting up with my quandaries, welcoming families, taking a green initiative…and for loving our furry babies!

A Day in the Life…Park Hyatt, Beaver Creek

Not too shabby, huh? Ok, I admit I was TOTALLY and COMPLETELY thrilled to do a review at the #ParkHyattBeaverCreek!!! AMAZING. Need I say more? Well, of course I will – but not yet – because I have a story in the que…and then another after that. (Do I know myself too well or what!?) I was a bit too excited not to share photos. Check it out:

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Special thanks to Park Hyatt for hosting/Nana for last-minute kiddo rescue/Best Friend Ever for putting off a little work to ski fresh powder at BC…oh, and for almost dying at the top of Golden Eagle (Double Diamond Black – Super Scary Terrain) following a HUGE snow storm WITH limited visibility…and remaining my friend after all that!

Learn to Ski/Board on the Cheap @ Echo Mountain

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Wouldn’t it be great to have a ski area close enough to Denver to avoid all the I-70 mess? How about a place with affordable prices, small enough to set the kiddos free – night skiing available (to squeeze a few runs in after work/school). I guess I’d wish for close-in parking, reasonably priced food and amazing views too…but we can’t have it all, right?

Well, maybe we can @ Echo Mountain!

Echo is fairly new to Colorado, privately owned and designed to meet the needs of families…but they let experts on the slopes too, particularly in the tricked-out terrain park, where boarders can be seen from the chair lift – entertaining crowds with their daring performances. The lodge offers spectacular views of the Rockies, free WiFi AND a close watch on the one, main lift as well as a good portion of the mountain. What does that mean to you? Well, if your kids are old enough, you can relax, work, surf the net and maybe even sip a cocktail…all while the kids take their wild energy to the slopes.

Not quite there yet? Echo has ideal accommodations for the little ones too! With a magic carpet, handle toe and several novice runs, you are assured opportunities for those in their early years on the mountain. Kid’s lessons are a good idea too. Get ’em up there young and they won’t have to endure the pains of adult learning!

Don’t forget to gear your little ones up right! “Best Winter Gear for Kids”

The Santa Express Train in Canon City, Seeing is Believing

What to do this holiday season? It’s a question families face each year as they set out to make the most of this special time together – living intentionally, creating memories to last a lifetime and going above and beyond to cultivate young, developing imaginations and instill strong ideals for quality values to be passed down for generations to come.

So, how can one family accomplish this and experience an amazing evening of holiday cheer…a favorite pick of mine: The Santa Express Train at The Royal Gorge Route Railroad!

“Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see.” The Polar Express

Read about our family adventure last season as we took a ride aboard the Santa Express… “The Spirit of Christmas Aboard the Santa Express”

Our Christmas ride was so much fun that we returned this summer to help with a media shoot. The kids found it rather entertaining that they had their hair and make-up professionally done – and we all got a laugh when dad had his nose powdered (yes, we’re saving that photo for later use). Si and Noelle also realized that helping with a photo/commercial shoot isn’t quite as simple (or as exciting) as they had imagined. It was a full day’s “work” and when we were through, we were all exhausted. (I’m most certain the photographers/camera men were ready for us to head out after some of the *impatient kiddo* behavior we demonstrated, hee hee.) Despite some fits and unpleasant attitudes (mostly the kids, ha) it was another great memory – including many laughs – aboard the Royal Gorge Route Railroad.

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Flat Acres Farm & “Corny” Family Traditions

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The harvest season marks a labor-intensive reaping of abundant crops. Following the harvest is a vast celebration. Now, I have to admit (because I’m sure you’re wondering,) I didn’t actually participate in any harvesting…but I did try to grow a small pumpkin patch in our back yard a couple of years ago – the Pumpkin Fairy had to save the day – shameful, I know!

Thankfully, in today’s culture, we don’t have to produce our own crops in order to participate in fall festivities! We’ve made it a tradition in our family to visit a farm each year and enjoy the games, mazes, food and fun.

Flat Acres Farm, a stranger to the Pumpkin Fairy, is decked with healthy mounds of rotund pumpkins and gourds, ranging in size and shape, waiting for a new home and transformation into a lovely Halloween jack-o-lantern. Every young patron visiting Flat Acres Farm takes a punkin home. This farm aint just for punkins tho…

Tall cornstalks loom overhead in the jungle of corn maze leading to a towering pyramid of hay bales.

Smaller twists and turns, designed with bales, allow parents to watch as children navigate their way through the maze.

Buckets o’ kernels await a full-body plunge (I resisted given that I didn’t want to embarrass US Family Guide – or my children, ha!)

The best thing about this farm…it’s 100% authentic. Family owned and operated with love and care for decades. The farm is used for – FaRMiNg –when not decked out in festive fall fun and most of the attractions are repurposed so they can be utilized throughout the year.

During growing season, bean stalks wind up
the structure of this snake tunnel!

Signs and photo cut-outs serve as lids to the corn boxes!

This farm has something for everyone and much to offer young children. It’s conveniently located on the south side of Denver in Parker, CO. I absolutely recommend this family tradition to everyone and a stop at Flat Acres Farm is a must for young families!

Beaver Creek Summer Vacation

Destination…Beaver Creek, Colorado!

Ahhhh, a restful vacation in Beaver Creek – filled with ongoing excitement that is! What is there to do in Beaver Creek in the summertime? Well, let me tell you…

Mutton bustin’ at the Rodeo at Tracer Creek, jeep exploration with High Mountain Adventure Tours, BBQ lunch on the mountain at Saddle Ranch, a wagon ride to the base of Larkspur Bowl for a fabulous gourmet dinner at Beanos Cabin, skating the Black Family Ice-Rink in the center of the village (yep, even in the summertime), swimming, s’mores and restful nights at The Charter…oh, and don’t forget savoring warm chocolate chip cookies at the base of the mountain, 3:00 p.m. daily, served on a silver platter by chefs in white hats…part of the “not exactly roughing it.”

Our Beaver Creek family vacation was the highlight of our summer!

~ Chocolate Chip Memories ~

Could be the chip that stole my family’s heart? There’s something heartwarming, mouth-watering and utterly comforting in the air at the majestic Beaver Creek…and I don’t think it’s just the fragrant aroma of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.

Our winter ski vacation at Bear Claw was amazing and left us longing to go back. Memories of making our way down slopes just in time for the perfect ooey gooey indulgence to get us through our last run of the day…we knew we’d return…what we weren’t expecting was to have that opportunity just a few months later!

Beaver Creek, Summertime
It was a sight to behold. Noelle had packed her ski gear (which her mom unpacked twice!) because she couldn’t imagine the slopes any other way than blanked with mounds of white powder and she wasn’t about to miss out on epic skiing! The rest of us understood pretty well that we’d have to choose a different kind of adventure this season, but I do think we were all rather surprised (and impressed) at how much there was to do…and at how much fun we had doing it!

We played the game of finding our favorite ski runs and trying to remember back to what they looked like in the wintertime. Silas was impressed that there was a full mini golf course right where he had stood in line to get on the chair lift…with a snowboard! Everything was much the same but really quite different. I hadn’t appreciated the actual Beaver *Creek* until we took a walk along the quaint trail along side it in the summer time…which is a funny story because — I LOVE the free shuttle service in Beaver Creek — and I use it often when staying there. In the winter, it just makes sense – mounds of snow, loads of gear and enough ice to slow a walking pace to a crawl. In the summer, well, I really don’t want to admit how long it took me to realize this, BUT if you stay in mountain lodging (such as the Charter), um, you can just walk out your back door. The trail system is beautiful and fabulous, and goes directly to the village with parks and playplaces along the way.

So, when you call for the shuttle and the dispatcher tells you the wait might be 10-15 minutes because they’re a bit behind schedule…but politely suggests the *brilliant* option of walking (because it takes about four minutes)…give it a try! #BecomingInfamousInBeaverCreek

Further details on “What to do in Beaver Creek?” coming soon!

Photo journals of Beaver Creek Winter Fun and our summer memories: Horsing Around ~ Beaver Creek.

Water World, Splashing Good Fun

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Water World is a favorite destination for our family, and it was so much fun to visit with our Mile High Mamas friends this summer!

I have been quite impressed with the variation of the adventure we experience from year to year – and I’m not just referring to the fabulous upgrades the park has undergone. With each passing year, our children reach new heights (quite literally) of independence and confidence in the water, leading us to novel discoveries and basically, a whole new [Water] World. This year, Si officially reached the 48’ mark – an enormous milestone in the life of a young boy – giving him the freedom to ride some serious thrillers, which he politely passed on (for now anyway), but lets keep that quiet as he works on his inner courage…to his credit, he did ride the Voyage to the Center of the Earth TWICE – happily!

Noelle’s raft ride experience didn’t go quite as well, ha. Bravery, however, was not so much her issue as was the dilemma of taking a break from the fun to use the potty. Ok, so accidents happen, especially in the lives of four-year-olds, but the mess is generally contained to their own little bodies and not shared with everyone on the raft – yikes!

So, thank you Water World for chlorinated water, thank you for hosting the Mile High Mamas and thank you for sticks by which we measure our growth, our children’s development, our inner courage…a mile marker for years gone by filled with sweet memories at a water park which has become so much more to us than simply an epic place to play.