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Showing posts from July, 2010

Mom Spot: Time Saving Tip Tuesday

Hello readers! Today my son is turning FIVE - a whole fist-full - I can hardly believe it. I'm taking a few days off as we celebrate and look forward to a fun weekend. There's lots of planning and baking and merriment to be had... you know how that goes!

I'll be dropping in with a few posts here and there, but it won't be my normal posting schedule. Which brings me to my time saving tip for the day:

Never feel guilty for setting priorities by cutting out unnecessary items to make time to enjoy the most important things!
You know what really matters to you. Sometimes you just need to take a moment to sit back and reflect on what is most important - especially when your schedule feels overwhelming. Do you feel like you'll be judged or like you're letting someone down? Of course you do. But guess what? You're still doing what is best for your and for your family. 
There will be other kids at that birthday party you committed to. There will be someone else to help…

C'est la Vie: Weeding... Again.

It's hard not to think when you're out in the quiet of the garden. I've been neglectful of my weeding and it took me the better part of two hours to pull all of the weeds that had grown up and around all of my beautiful plants.

This process really got me thinking about the weeding we need to continue in our relationships. It's easy to let little disagreements of hurt feeling go. Especially in our marriages, we may be too busy with the kids or already at our wits end with juggling parenting and work responsibilities that we let comments slip that should never be said.

For example, (I'm sure none of you will relate to this) your husband has been at work all day and you've been home with a crying baby (or maybe a relentless toddler, pick your poison). You've managed to put a decent meal on the table at your scheduled dinner time, but your husband is still not home. You start busying yourself with picking up toys to pass the time. Ten minutes pass. Fifteen. Whe…

Clement Park

There's still time to catch a free outdoor music show through Foothills Park and Recreation at Clement Park! Every Thursday from 7-8:30pm you'll find a variety of different musical talents to enjoy as you relax in the park. There are three more weeks left of the Summer Entertainment Series. If you're looking for day time events, look no farther!

Clement Park spans just about the entire area between Pierce and Wadsworth Blvd. on Bowles Ave in Littleton. The 60 acre Johnson Lake is a main attraction with 1.4 miles of lighted, paved trail tracing it's border. You'll find people fishing, running, biking, and walking around the lake any hour of the day. This expansive park also has several playgrounds, almost 20 shelters, a skate park, horseshoe pits, tennis courts and much, much more!

If you live in south suburban Denver, Clement Park is a great meeting place for families with kids. You can reserve a shelter for a family gathering or birthday celebration. Or you can ju…

C'est la Vie: Movie Miracles do Happen (Ramona & Beezus)

Have you been to the movies with your kids lately? I usually find myself disappointed. There are a few laughs between my cringing  and a lot of eye rolling on my part. It's rare to find a movie that suits every member of our family. Although I can't speak for my husband (somebody has to work around here!), the kids and I enjoyed an afternoon at the movies yesterday. And when I say enjoyed, I mean we really, really loved Ramona and Beezus!

My almost 5 year old boy even found himself laughing at the silly scenes, and I will admit this is a show geared for girls. It's been a long time coming for those of us who grew up reading the classic Beverly Cleary books! This movie lived up to and surpassed all of my expectations. The characters, scenes, and script truly made the books come alive. Little Joey King could be the next big child actor. Her facial expressions were fantastic and she hardly seemed to be acting whatsoever. Absolutely delightful!

As for the rest o…

Blueberry's Bakery and Cafe

To know me is to know that I love to watch Food Network. Our life is so hectic that frankly, it doesn't happen as often as I'd like, and many times I catch shows later in the evening after the kids are in bed. I've become particularly fond of a little show called "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives." The host, Guy Fieri, travels all over the country to restaurants that fit this description. Usually, the owner and/or chef of these establishments are doing something unique (or just really, really yummy) with the food they prepare and serve.

I think that Blueberry's Bakery and Cafe would be a fit for this show. It is tucked away in the Woodlawn Shopping Center in old Littleton. On their take out menu it tells you to "look for the FAMILY DOLLAR sign"... if I didn't know better I might automatically walk the other way. But their pastries and lattes are right on the mark. My latest delight was the blueberry turnover. My morning was made on the first bite. M…

Mom Spot: Trials

"These (trials) have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."
~1 Peter 1:7

C'est la Vie: Thursday Night Again?!?

Wasn't it just Sunday night and I was complaining about what a long week I had ahead of me? Surely I can't be sitting on the cusp of another weekend? But here it is. Thursday night. Tomorrow will go by in a blink, just like every other day this week did. Who am I kidding? Just like every other day of my life since having kids!

Maybe this week I'll learn to stop complaining and just enjoy. On nights like this (a cool breeze wafting through the window and plans for fun with friends on the horizon) it seems particularly possible to sit back, relax, and enjoy this ride of life. But catch me on Monday morning trying to fly out the door with two kids in tow and I'm singing a different tune. Life is like that. It's fast. It's hectic. It's exhausting.

But it's also wonderful. It's funny. It's exciting. It's what I'm made for! Thank God for moments when when I can take a deep breath and just be thankful. Thankful that I'm a mom. Thankful for …

Colorado State Parks

Sometimes I feel a little guilty. We use our State Parks pass so often that I wonder if they are losing money on us. Some of you have surely heard me brag about Chatfield State Park in the past, and I do take the kids every few weeks in the summer to swim at the beach there. We also take spur-of-the-moment picnics, hike at Roxborough, camp at Golden Gate, and have many more state parks to cross off our "to do" list.


Wildflowers are in full bloom right now in the high country! Did you know???
There are over 50 state parks in Colorado.Parks offer activities like: boating, biking, hot-air ballooning, ice skating, swimming, gold panning, fishing and so much more!Parks passes are only $60 annually and can be purchased at any park.You can also purchase passes at REI, King Soopers, Safeway, Gander Mountain, and Sportsmans Warehouse stores.You can make reservations online for camping all year long (some parks are summer only camping). You can apply to be a volunteer at any state park o…

Mom Spot: Living Green Tip

After today there is only one more week of Green Living Tips and I'm beginning to wonder if I might make a more permanent arrangement! There are so many simple things we can do!

This week is super simple, low-cost, and possibly something you are already doing that you don't realize:

Re-usable Cups and Mugs for everyday beverages
It was back in college that I started using a Nalgene bottle for water around campus. When coffee became a necessary beverage to start my morning, I gathered several plastic coffee mugs. (Now with kids, I even use them if I'm not leaving the house because heaven knows I can never finish my coffee before it gets cold otherwise.)
Here's the trick: keep one in the car for the pit stop at Starbucks or Peet's for your morning cup-o-joe. Have an insulated cup and lid designated for the quick stop off for a tea or soda at the mini-mart. It's all about starting new habits. You may start out feeling like it's a hassle or kicking yourself for fo…

C'est la Vie: Delusions of Teenage Years

My daughter was musing over how much older she is than her cousins. We were scrolling through some recent photos and her mind was doing some math.

"How old will I be when my cousin is 8 years old?"


"Well," I said, "You are six years older than he is, so you'll be 14."


"Fourteen! I can't believe it!"


"I can't believe it either. It's going to be here before we know it," I lamented.


"Don't worry, mom. I'll still love you when I'm 14," she promised.

It was as if she was reading my mind. Oh, I know she'll still kind of love me some of the time when she is 14 years old. It's all of the other times that I'm worried about. I think it's precious that she is so fond of me that she can never imagine not liking me. I hope it lasts longer than usual. But I've been around teenagers enough to know that even if they still like their parents, they certainly don't want to spend time with them and …

Make a Difference: Backpacks for Back-to-School

Giving backpacks to school children oddly seems like a more recent phenomenon. Perhaps the economic down turn in recent years has sparked new levels of need and the desire in others to give. I can't think of a much nicer way to make a difference than to help a child be prepared for school. Life is hard enough being a kid when finances are tight. Does a child need the additional pressure of knowing they will be walking into school on the first day without a backpack, pencils, or other school supplies? Absolutely not.

Churches around the Denver-metro area along with other non-profit organizations are working to make sure that every child has what they need to start the school-year off right. For those of you in Littleton, Bemis Library has a drop box. All supplies will be given to children in Littleton Public Schools.

The need is great and your help will directly impact the life of a child in your community. Find out how you can donate in your area by contacting your school district…

Savory Sweet Life

Is it a blog or is it a website? It is, in fact, a blog by nature. But you will be blown away by all of the amazing recipes and fun tips for making your life even more delicious. Those of you who were uber impressed by my recent "jam" experience can find that recipe here and many, many more!

Noodles? Check.
Eggs? Check.
Beef, chicken, and seafood? Check, check, and check!

The pictures are mouth-watering, the tips are time-saving, and the giveaways are read-worthy! Enjoy!

C'est la Vie: Sewing Project !

For quite some time now (going on three years I think), I have banned myself from frequenting craft stores. I had formed a habit of not only browsing the aisles full of colorful craft supplies and trendy home decor items, but rationalizing that all those items in my cart were absolute necessities. With age comes wisdom, right?

Well, even if you don't call it wisdom, my fasting from craft stores has become a habit. So when I took my daughter on a frantic search for a new hermit shell crab (more on that in another post), I never would have thought I would end up in the craft store. Taking my daughter along may have been the beginning of the end... in hind sight of course. She was toting her adorable kitty purse complete with lip gloss, notepad and pen, mini dolls, and CASH. Her original plan was for purchasing a "party dress." I had gently nudged her far enough to secure a trip to the second-hand store and figured we could find something suitable for under ten dollars.

Wha…

Curtis Arts and Humanities Center

Day Two of the arts! The Curtis Arts and Humanities Center is a small but wonderful treasure in Greenwood Village. This post is just in time to tell you that as part of Greenwood Village Day on the last Saturday in July, you can become an artist too!
Curtis Arts and Humanities Center There will be activities for everyone at the Art Center and the fields surrounding it. You can find a listing of all the events at the Curtis Center HERE along with guide to Workshops and other Programs. "Back to School with Art" will be upcoming. Check out the website for more information.

Mom Spot: Time Saving Tip Tuesday

I have this funny feeling like I've posted this before. If you can find it, please let me know. There's no need for repetition... or maybe there is. Clever ideas that seem great on paper or in my head but never seem to make it into practice makes me think that maybe repetition isn't so bad after all. And repetition is exactly (maybe not exactly) the topic for today's time saving tip.

Schedule Your Life
I like spur-of-the-moment as much as anyone, but there is a wonderful rhythm to life when you (and your kids!) know what is happening next. This "scheduling" is something that first took root with me in college when I was trying to juggle classes, work, a boyfriend, extra curricular activities, etc. etc. Then I had kids. The stakes were even higher. Miss a bed time? Prepare for a toddler-sized meltdown. Have to go to the grocery store? Better make sure daddy is home to watch the kids. Need to clean the bathroom? Little hands need to be well out of reach.
Add to th…

C'est la Vie: Down the Rabbit Trail

It doesn't happen often and I'm proud to say it. But yesterday I found myself behind the computer following this link and that link and before I knew it an hour of my life was gone. It didn't plan it. There were other things I could have (and honestly would have rather been) doing. The past is the past and I am trying to move on. But I feel bad. I wonder how I could have avoided this pitfall.

Here are a few of my thoughts. Please feel free to leave a comment of your own.
Post-It note on my screen saying "Don't go there"Setting the timer on my cell for 15 minutesMaking a list of what I'm going to do while I'm online, check off each as I go, and making no exceptions for diversionsSetting aside one hour/week on my planner just for the purpose of "exploring" online... maybe then I won't feel so guilty about it

Depot Art Center and Gallery

I have art on the brain. Maybe it's the fact that I spent over three hours yesterday helping my daughter on a craft project. Maybe it has something to do with my pursuit for the perfect painting for in my dining room. Who can be sure? I do know that Littleton has more than a few great art stores/galleries and I've decided to introduce two of them to you this week.

Don't you feel cooler just looking at this picture??
Children need to experience art. But these could also be great places to clear your head and have a little "me" time for moms! The "All Colorado Show" is currently running during regular business hours (Wednesday - Saturday 11am - 4pm). You can also take classes at the Depot, but the listing is being updated the last I checked, so be sure to take a look in a few weeks.

Friday Night Lights(out)

Nothing says welcome to the weekend like a quite house with kids asleep. Here are a few books I'm interested in looking at this weekend. For tonight, I'm watching a movie! See ya Monday!


The Horse and His Boy by CS Lewis








Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller








Vintage Jesus by Mark Driscoll

Old Littleton 101

Hey all! Running out of time today - yikes! In an effort to keep with my Old Littleton Friday theme, here's the link to the website of all things Old Littleon.

If you don't live near Littleton remember to shop and eat local. Support your community!

C'est la Vie: Donuts

We have a doughnut problem in our house. The problem lies in the fact that everyone the house but me seems to be oblivious to the fact that they are (ah-hem) not good for you. And then I feel like the bad guy and want to do something special. Yada, yada, yada.

So I happen to be browsing through a Pennsylvania Dutch cookbook that I snagged on a trip back home not too long ago. The Amish/Pennsylvania Dutch are known for their delicious homestyle cooking and old time recipes. When I saw the recipe for "Fastnachts" I just had to give them a try. Somehow calling them "Fastnachts" made them seem less bad for you then a conveyor belt doughnut from the grocery store or local doughnut shop. I did say it just seemed that way. Plus the fact that it was a fun kitchen activity the kids and I could do together, I was able to fairly easily justify it.

Do I recommend it? Let's just put it this way: don't plan on having these for breakfast unless you want to get up at 6am o…

Evergreen Jazz Festival

If you didn't already have a reason to go to Evergreen, the Jazz Festival is a great reason to make the trip. This cozy mountain town doesn't have the glam of a ski town and that is what makes it so fabulous. There's fun for families all year round including the arts and crafts show (July 17-18)!

Sounds like a good time and you can be there to see it July 23-25.

Mom Spot: Living Green Tip

I have one word for today:

compost
Anyone can do it, anywhere, any time of the year. Countertop composting may be your best option if you live in  a small place. But believe me, you want to get this stuff out of the house as soon as possible. Seriously.
That's why what you really need to know about is what goes in there and where to put it. I've read books on the subject (yes, actual entire books) and here's what it boils down to: Get yourself a good collection bin for inside and a realistic spot to put it outside (I use an old plastic ice cream container by my sink and then a standard bin with lid in my garden.)Stick with vegetable and fruit debris primarily along with egg shells and coffee grounds.Although coffee grounds can go directly to the dirt, all else needs time to decompose. Give it no more than 3 days inside and then get it where it needs to go!So where should it go? In a bin, in a ditch, or on a pile. You choose. (If you live in an apartment, don't think this i…

Make a Difference: Denver's Road Home

Knowing that Denver has a plan to end homelessness makes me proud to live in Colorado. Denver's Road Home is a 10 year plan to make sure that everyone has a place to call "home." The recent (and continued) economic downturn has caused significant issues, which is no surprise. But Mayor John Hickenlooper and the members of the committee continue to strive forward and be optimistic that the goal can be achieved.

In year five, there is still much work to be done. And it can't be done without willing helpers. People who are ready and able to put hands and feet to the effort of ending homelessness. Did you know that about 60% of homeless are families with children? It is a reminder to me to be thankful for all that we have and that if I'm truly thankful, my actions will show it.


The website for Denver's Road Home is packed with information! You can find out how to get involved. You can educate yourself on the issues and the plan. I hope it will move you to make a …

Mom Spot: Make Grow Gather

Here's a blog I think you'll really get into. You'll find a little bit of everything at Make Grow Gather.

This recipe was one I had to pass along... if you find yourself dreaming in cheese you will be having sweet, sweet dreams tonight! Check out yesterday's post: summer food: burrata mozzarella, roasted sun golds & basil oil.
Photo from Make Grow Gather (Kelly Wilkinson) A two of my favorite finds: 
Tomato Cage Lanterns - so clever! One of the places she likes - Homegrowngo look for yourself! I know you'll find something you love too!


C'est la Vie: Faraway Places You'll Find Nearby

Living in Colorado really is a way of life. For those of you who follow Mom In Progress regularly, you know that every day around lunchtime I try to post something specific for moms living here. It may be something to do with the entire family or something special for moms. Either way, I hope you find it intriguing or useful and hopefully both. Colorado (like many other well governed states, I'm sure) offers an abundance of things to do all year long that are not only fun for families, but present opportunities for fitness, education, and an appreciation for nature. To live in Colorado and miss all that seems just plain wrong.

And we have been living in the wrong. Over ten years here and we still had not been to the top of Mount Evans. It's the highest paved road in the United States. It peaks at over 14,000 feet. It has vistas that will take your breath away. It boasts varying wildlife and lovely lakes along the way. It's only an hour and a half from our house.

So we went…

American Girl Crafts at Park Meadows Mall

Maybe you haven't heard of American Girls... yet. If you have a girl, it's nearly impossible to avoid the topic. Especially if you browse through Park Meadows Mall and stumble upon the American Girl store. The first in Colorado, the store offers a tantalizing array of American Girls and their exquisite accessories.

Visit the Park Meadows website for full details on all events and activities
However, on Sunday afternoons I discovered they offer a special craft time for girls. On Sunday, July 18 stop by from 1-3pm for Lanie's Nature Notebook craft and on Sunday, July 25 from 2-4pm for Flower Power Frame craft.

American Girl is definitely doing something right with young girls. Their doll characters all support excellent moral values and teach the history of our country through the eyes of children. Each doll has her unique story that is captured through books and through her wardrobe, of course!

And moms, there's something unique for you at Park Meadows too - the Williams …

Mom Spot: Time Saving Tip Tuesday

I have jewelry on the brain with our Stella and Dot giveaway going on! So, my time saving tip for today is:

Organize Your Jewelry!
Don't be ashamed. We all have our downfalls and it's quite possible that none of us really care for our jewelry the way we should. And I'm not saying you need to go out and buy some expensive jewelry armoire. Just take part of an afternoon and assess your jewelry selection and make it more accessible. Not only will this save you time when you are striving to put together the perfect outfit, but it will help you to see all that you already have.
This should help you by first sorting and realizing there are pieces you never wear that you should be wearing or that it is time to toss or box up outdated pieces. Second, you won't find yourself eying a beautiful bracelet that looks almost identical to one you have at the bottom of a drawer somewhere. I'm not an advocate for either throwing things away unnecessarily OR hoarding loot like it's …

Stella and Dot Giveaway!

The time has come! As a thank you to my faithful readers and as an incentive to share Mom In Progress with your other mommy friends, I'm offering the first of several giveaways!

Stella and Dot is an awesome fashion jewelry company created by a mom, to make being a mom and having a business a reality! Our giveaway this week is courtesy of Marcee Shultz - thank you Marcee!! All of the links take you directly to her website and you are going to want to see all of the lovely things Stella and Dot has to offer.

We are running the giveaway all week long for the Uma Silk Wrap Necklace and Pin! The necklace and pin combo retails for about $90 and it can be yours for free!
Here's what you need to do:
Become a follower of Mom In Progress (click on the "follow" link on the top of the page, left-hand side)Leave a comment including two things: a link to your favorite item at Stella and Dot and your email address (I need a way to contact you if you're the winner!).It's that …

Englewood Parks and Rec

Although you hear me yacking about Littleton all the time, Englewood is just a few blocks north of us and has a good deal to offer too. I received their summer activity catalog earlier this year and was so impressed with the classes and sports available for all ages, I did a little research.

I discovered on their website a fun find for families: Tuesday Kids Stage Family Nights. Click on the link to find a listing of all the fun shows for the rest of the month of July. While you are there, check out their children's events calendar and get a taste for what is happening all summer long!

Tomorrow's Kids Stage features Jim Jackson for magic, juggling, and comedy - sounds like fun to me! All Tuesday night events are held at the CityCenter Englewood Amphitheater at 1000 Englewood Parkway and begin at 7pm.

Hot Pots!

My daughter recently attended one of the kids camp sessions at Hot Pots in downtown Littleton. Hot Pots is a pottery painting studio where you can pick a project and paint your heart out - they fire the pottery for you which is included in the base fee.

My daughter's project was a "graffiti plate" that is now a proud centerpiece in our kitchen. For only $20, kids receive training on painting pottery, the materials needed, class time (in this case, 2 hours), and firing of their work. You pick it up after a designated date.

There are three more Kids Camps scheduled for this summer - contact them to see if spots are still available. Other great specials happen regularly. For example, come in for Family Day this Sunday and everyone's studio fee is just $5! Or come on Tuesdays for the 2-for-1 special. Or come in for Happy Hour every Friday from 5-9pm and the studio fee is $6/painter. Visit their calendar for a schedule of all events.

So, like any mother, I have to show of…

Mom Spot: No Need to Fear

"When I am afraid, I will trust in You."
Psalm 56:3

This is the first of five memory verses we are working on with our kids this summer. It's simple and drives home a great message of the faith - we can trust God no matter how we feel. And remember, don't underestimate your kids! Toddlers as young as two can begin to learn simple Truths about God that will be sealed in their heart forever!

C'est la Vie: Raw Food Musings

I know some moms who have made the move toward eating raw foods exclusively. I'm ashamed to say that I know very little about it. For a while now I've written it off as, "How much is there to know? You just eat food without cooking it!"

But that is simply ignorant, and I'm woman enough to admit it. I decided to do some online research.. Sure, Amazon carries hundreds of books on the topic, but I figured I could find plenty of information on the net without spending a dime. I was right!

If you have curiosity about the topic too, I'm including some links to blogs and websites that give plenty of details. Here are the foundations of the raw food movement from the information I've gathered:

Eating raw allows you to warm foods to temperatures no greater than 130 degrees, because cooking above this temperature destroys most of the nutritional value of food.Eating raw is believed to prevent (and in some cases) cure diseases as well as dramatically increase energy …

Highlands Ranch Carnival

Did you grow up going to carnivals in the summer? I did and it was always a great time! I remember buying tickets, playing games, riding rides, and eating funnel cakes and cotton candy (definitely the best part!). The Highlands Ranch Carnival will be held at Mountain Vista High School (10585 Mountain Vista Ridge) July 9-17. The good news? No more buying tickets. Purchase a daily pass for $25 at any Highlands Ranch Recreation Center (or $30 at the carnival) and stay to play all day and all night.

Carnival hours are 1-11pm Sat and Sun; 4-11pm Mon-Fri.

Get a taste of summer's past and maybe even start a new tradition with your family!

Mom Spot: Living Green Tip

For all of the green living tips I'm sharing this month, I want to make sure it's something that I've done myself. If I've done it, I can tell you with all sincerity that you can do it too! My life is too complicated and busy to take on projects and efforts that are more work than they are worth. So today's green tip is one that is a relatively low cost and super simple to do - just minutes really.

Change your shower head to a water saving variety.
This only takes a quick trip to your local hardware store. We chose the WaterPik EcoFlow - which you can also purchase online. It's as easy as taking out the old shower head and replacing it with the new one. You may need a good wrench if the old threads are sticking, and it never hurts to use plumbers tape to give an extra tight seal, but that's about it for equipment.
I especially like our EcoFlow because it has a pause feature on the handle that is perfect for when you are shaving your legs (I'm sure it's…

C'est la Vie: Bickering and Quarreling (AKA. the waking hours)

I've seen more than a handful of Facebook posts from my mom friends sharing about how tough summer break has been. Kids are home and days are suddenly full of discord...  not exactly the summer "break" we were all hoping for. Although, it does feel like it will break you.

I've tried several different tactics so far in the hope of creating peace. They have "tickets" for ALONE TIME that they can cash in each day. I've tried using a reward system: for every hour they can go without fighting, they can earn a small prize. And then I started realizing that just keeping them from arguing was becoming my full time summer job! I knew I needed help.

The National Center for Biblical Parenting has many great resources. You can even sign up for their free e-newsletter that sends parenting tips right to your inbox. Here is their recommendation on Sibling Conflict and a book that could be helpful too!

Being a parent is just another reminder of how much I need a God w…

Make a Difference: Birdies for Blessings Golf Tournament

This charity golf tournament will be held on August 30 in Parker at Pradera. It is truly beautiful there. This event benefits children who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, are faced with a lifetime medical condition or are involved in tragic accidents.

Golf to make a difference! Get all the details at the Prestige Professionals Miracles Foundation website.

Mom Spot: Green Living

Green living is more than just buying organic and using CFL's. But what is practical for you and your family? I've found a great blog that links you to all kinds of informative websites to help you answers all of your green living questions. Check out Low Impact Living where you can learn about the impact you can have, discover the difference simple changes can make, see where you can buy green products, and find local services that are going green.

C'est la Vie: Places I'd Like to Go

In spite of how life can sometimes seem like it's dragging you around by your ankles, I still like to dream. Our travel in June reignited my desire to explore. Since I don't foresee any major trips in the near future, I decided to take a trip via the internet. Here are a few places I'd like to go and the websites that will "take" you there.

Alaska - Scribbit (I've been following this mommy blogger for a while and she has great stuff!)

Australia - WhyGo Australia (Part blog, part travel website, it has great pics and tons of information.)

France - Paris-Sharing (Takes dreaming a step further... consider apartments for exchange!)

Germany -  A Studio with a View (American artist Stephanie Levy lives in Germany and shares life in her blog.)

Hawaii - Hawaiirama (Rated one of the Top 10 Best Hawaiian blogs by US World and News Report)

Italy - Venice Daily Photo (One photo a day captures life in Venice - spectacular!)

In Season Local Market

Putting my first order in this week at In Season Local Market! Their local delivery service is debuting and I am determined to try it out. Basically, In Season works to bring local food to the locals. Everything they carry is grown, produced, or manufactured within 250 miles of Denver. I'm a fan. (And you can be too, on Facebook.)

Check out the grocery list HERE and click on FOOD ME to place your order. Think cheese, milk, eggs, produce, meats, juice, honey - even flour and popcorn!!

Mom Spot: Time Saving Tip Tuesday

Thank you to my Nana for imparting this wisdom to me: buy cards ahead to send. Special days of the year tend to sneak up on me. I know part of it is my own personality flaws, but I also know that being a mom keeps you so busy that sometimes an entire month can can away from you!

Here's the time saving tip:

Buy cards ahead for birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Have them signed and envelopes ready too!
If you don't already have a list of special dates for family and friends, make it your goal to accumulate them all in one place. I like to use Hallmark's free online service.
Of course, you can handpick cards, but I've found that this in itself is very time consuming. I prefer to purchase a box of simple cards that say almost nothing. This gives you the freedom to personalize the card without worrying about it saying something silly. With a list of dates in hand, begin signing cards and prepping envelopes (add names, return address and stamps - leave address blank…

Make Your Bags

As I've been thinking about green living, one of the most practical things is toting reusable bags instead of the plastic ones at the store. If you're not a fan of the standard bags you find for sale, you can always make your own. (Don't forget Africa Bags and check out my blog about them).

I found a few websites with great patterns and ideas to make your own reusable bags! Check out:
TipnutCurblyPie and CoffeePlanet Green - using recycled materials! and check out this bag at Instructables.com

Arapahoe County Fair

The Arapahoe County Fair is nearly here! Join the fun July 21-25 at the county fairgrounds. Whether you come for the animals or the carnival, there truly is something for everyone. We took our kids a few years ago during the day mid-week and loved the slow pace and plenty of rides for little ones. We strolled down aisles of chickens, rabbits, horses and sheep. Plan to stay for the day and have some great fair food too!

Looking for discount tickets? You'll find a link on their website also.

Old Mill Brewery and Grill

Looking for dinner out with the kids in Old Littleton? Maybe something that doesn't have balloons, bland pizza, or a drive-thru? When our family is in the mood for a night out at a kid-friendly but not kid-focused restaurant, we like to head to the Old Mill.

This historic building has a great deck off the front that makes it perfect for families - sit outside in the cool evening air and don't worry quite so much about the kids being too loud. We particularly like going for the great specials they offer... Monday is BOGO on all burgers!

And bonus, they even have some online coupons! 

I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. Try my favorite thing on the menu: Prime Rib Dip. If you like prime rib and a french dip, you won't be disappointed. And ALWAYS order the fries.

Mom Spot: Care for Others

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also the interests of others."
~Philippians 2:3-4

Plastic Wrap, Cakes and other Random Thoughts

I've been baking all afternoon for a friend's wedding. The cakes look and smell fabulous so far. In spite of that, I have had not even a fleeting desire to even taste them. That's weird right? Cake upon cake comes out of the oven wafting sweet, tantalizing goodness right in my face and I don't even salivate. I should probably just be thankful.

Second thought: plastic wrap. Does this stuff actually adhere to ANYTHING??? I have yet today to have it willfully stick to any surface. What a waste. It is a nice reminder of why I started using Press 'n Seal about a year ago even though it seems to cost almost twice as much.

And cupcakes. Where have I been not knowing this was the new trend in wedding fare? Apparently having cupcakes at the wedding can even be the main event. Go figure. I dressed mine up by using giant, frilly papers and will be topping them with decadent chocolate frosting (chocolate cupcakes to start with), and fashioning a strawberry slice on top. Now th…

Movies at Red Rocks

Any excuse is a good excuse to go to Red Rocks. But, Film On The Rocks is a great one. Find a baby sitter for the kids and make it a date night!

I will caution, some of these movies are not one's that I would personally pick to watch. But the website says,

"Each week this summer, a classic film and band will appear at Red Rocks Amphitheatre hosted by local comedians - a thoroughly entertaining evening for all. Tickets are $10, parking is free. Shows do sell-out so patrons are encouraged to buy tickets early. "

You can arrive early for dinner (or stop in Morrison on the way!) and truly make a night of it. Nights vary, so be sure to check all the details at the link above.

Green Tip: Another Use for Water Bottles

What better time to start a theme than the first day of a new month? Look for "Green Tips" every Thursday morning at Mom In Progress.

Today's tip is one I am proud to say we use every day. It only takes a little initiative and a few empty plastic water bottles. If you haven't made a habit yet of toting a reusable water bottle, here's a good way to recycle a few.

You'll need one empty bottle for each toilet in your home. Put either some sand or small rocks in first to weigh it down. Add water to fill completely. Put on cap. (Extra tip: if it has a pastic wrapper, take that off now.) Take the lid off of your toilet tank and submerge the bottle on one side making sure to keep it away from mechanics.

Try a flush to make sure everything works properly. Replace the tank lid. Now, every time you flush, you are saving the amount of water that bottle takes up (about 16 oz. for the standard size water bottle). That adds up fast!

It's so simple, I hope you'll ta…