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Kraft Mac & Cheese will no longer be bright yellow. After complaints and petitions, Kraft Foods Group Inc. announced that starting in January 2016 the “blue box” Mac & Cheese will no longer include synthetic colors or artificial flavors.

 

 

 

“Kraft will replace the synthetic colors with those derived from natural sources like paprika, annatto and turmeric,” the company said in a statement. “These recipe changes are the latest steps in the Kraft Mac & Cheese journey to delight consumers with on-trend updates to meet consumers’ changing lifestyles and needs.”

They are removing the “potentially harmful” dyes Yellow 5 and Yellow 6.  Kraft has been pushed by consumer groups to remove the dyes for years. “We know parents want to feel good about the foods they eat and serve their families.”  The Mac & Cheese boxed shapes like “Minions” and “Star Wars” are already natural and free of artificial colorings.

Some people are unhappy about this change, what do you think? Will you miss the iconic yellow color or is it better without the artificial dyes?

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Find your happy place at an advance screening of TROLLS in Colorado Springs! For your chance to download a complimentary pass for the screening on October 29 at 10:00 am at Cinemark Carefree Circle please visit http://www.gofobo.com/My719Moms. Seats in the theater are first-come, first-serve so please arrive early! TROLLS opens everywhere November 4.

 

 

Movie Release: November 4, 2016

Cast:  Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Russell Brand, Zooey Deschanel, Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski, James Corden, Kunal Nayyar, Ron Funches, Icona Pop, Quvenzhané Wallis, with John Cleese and Gwen Stefani

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From the creators of Shrek comes the most smart, funny, irreverent animated comedy of the year, DreamWorks’ Trolls.  This holiday season, enter a colorful, wondrous world populated by hilariously unforgettable characters and discover the story of the overly optimistic Trolls, with a constant song on their lips, and the comically pessimistic Bergens, who are only happy when they have trolls in their stomach. 

Check out the trailer below!

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I think as moms we all have this idea of how “the talk” will go, or how we will handle sensitive questions that our children throw at us… but the moment almost never goes as planned, because usually the moment is totally unpredictable and happens when we least expect it!! Such was the case when my 9-year-old son asked me about periods last week.

 

 

 

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I honestly wasn’t ready for this talk with him! I have two teenage daughters who I literally sat down when they were 8 or 9 and very carefully explained everything to them. I planned for it. I bought books and everything! Maybe it was easier for me because they were girls? I was a girl, so I felt like I could relate to them! But when my SON came to me one evening while I was working and told me my 17-year-old daughter told him “girls have something happen to them every month that hurts and makes them grouchy”, I kind of went into panic mode.  This is how the conversation went:

My son: “I want to know EVERYTHING, mom”

Me: “Are you… sure?” (Kid, this is your escape. Run for the hills!)

Son: “Yes. Everything.”

Me: Deep breath and silent prayers…”Uhh, ok”

“Well, as you know, girls and boys have different body parts, right?”

Son: “Yeah! I have a penis!!”

Me: “Right…well, girls have other parts that help them carry a baby inside their body.”

Son: “Like, their stomach right? I have a stomach too.”

Me: “No, babies don’t grow inside stomachs. They grow inside a ladies uterus, which is like a pouch down here” (motions where it is)

Son: “Ohhh, like a sack?! I have one of those too!”

Me: (heaven help me) “Well, actually this is on the inside of a woman’s body, down here (motions to where it is) And every month it gets ready in case a baby starts growing there. It gets really soft and comfortable and pillowy, the perfect place for a baby!”

At this point my son is completely intrigued. He looks as if someone just handed him 10 packs of Pokeman cards. And I’m patting myself on the back because I’m totally rocking this talk! Everything is going so smoothly…

I continue: “So, if a lady doesn’t get pregnant that month (please don’t ask me how she gets pregnant or I’ll poke my eyes out) her body gets rid of the old stuff in her uterus and it starts all over again”

My son: “Cool, ok, so how does she get rid of the old stuff?”

Me: “Well, that’s a period! It comes out as blood and stuff, from her vagina. She bleeds.”

My son’s expression instantly changes from intrigue to horror (I caught the moment with a photo. See below)

 

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Me: (nervous laugh) Yep, so that’s a period. Aren’t bodies amazing?!! And sometimes it hurts and sometimes it makes girls a little grouchy. And that’s why we buy lots of pads and tampons around here…

Son: “Oh my gosh!” (makes connection) “the pads and tampons catch the BLOOD?!!”

He looks equally disgusted and mesmerized at the same time.

Me: “Well, yes. But even though women don’t like getting their periods, they are very grateful that their bodies can grow babies. Women’s bodies are beautiful and sacred and special.”

Son: “Well, that’s for sure”

This is where I felt like I might cry a little…

Me: “So, how are you feeling about this??”

Son: “Well, I actually feel really grateful that I am a boy right now. And I have something I would like to say to the girls…”

I wasn’t expecting what happened next.

He ran upstairs, found his sisters, and very sincerely and seriously said “Girls, I AM SO SORRY! I am so sorry you have to have periods every month for like 3 or 5 days, and I understand why sometimes you don’t want to talk to me.”

They giggled and laughed, but he was super serious about it, and it was slightly adorable.

Our talk may have been a little awkward, a little unpredictable, and a little messy, but we survived, and it went ok. I don’t know that there is a “right” way to have these talks, because every child and every parent is different. I think the important thing is to know that they will happen so prepare yourself as much as possible! And be sincere about it when they do happen. Talk to your child on their level, using ideas that they can understand and relate to.

The best part is watching my son revel in this new found information. He has a little more confidence now, like he’s discovered a hidden level on a video game. It’s cute, and he’s totally diggin’ it. I also love that it taught him compassion and respect.

And now this mama can breathe for a while…until he wants to know EVERYTHING about how babies are made…

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It’s that time of year!! You can’t walk into a store these days without running into “Pumpkin Spice” something! I’m not sure how a candle scent and bread/cake flavor transformed into a flavor avalanche of ALL things pumpkin spice…. but it’s become an epidemic of sorts! Now don’t get me wrong, I do occasionally enjoy the scent and flavor of Pumpkin Spice during the Holiday season, I just don’t know if I need it added to everything. Check out some of these crazy Pumpkin Spice products that have been spotted…and let us know, yay or nay??

 

 

 

Pumpkin Spice….milk

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Pumpkin Spice Fettuccini 

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Pumpkin Spice Pringles

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Pumpkin Spice Jell-o

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Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter 

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Pumpkin Spice Condoms (ok this one is fake, lol)

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Pumpkin Spice Kale Chips

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Pumpkin Pie Protein Powder

Pumpkin Pie Protein Powder is a vegan protein supplement that can be blended into a smoothie or stirred into breakfast oatmeal for a protein-packed punch of pumpkin flavor. (Photo from AI Sports Nutrition)

 

Pumpkin Spice Dog Shampoo

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Pumpkin Spice Gum

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Check out this hilarious Pumpkin Spice Everything parody!

What crazy pumpkin spice products have you seen? We’d love to hear about them! 

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The US Food and Drug Administration is warning caregivers to stop using Hyland’s homeopathic teething tablets on children, as they continue their investigation of 10 seemingly related childhood deaths and over 400 adverse events associated with the tablets.

 

 

 

The warning came Wednesday, and CVS pharmacies have removed the products from their shelves in light of the statement. The FDA has stated, “the relationship of these deaths to the homeopathic teething products has not yet been determined and is currently under review.”

The FDA is now taking claims seriously after reports of death and illness have been piling in over the past 6 years. They are warning caregivers not to use these homeopathic teething products until they fully investigate the claims and figure out the link.

Symptoms related to the deaths and adverse reactions seem to include fever, lethargy, vomiting, sleepiness, tremors, shortness of breath, irritability and agitation.

The FDA is warning parents who use these products to take their child to the doctor immediately if they exhibit any of the above symptoms.

Hyland’s, the maker of the homeopathic teething tablets issued this statement to CNN:  “Hyland’s has not been made aware of any data that supports the claims in the warning against our teething tablets and gels. Our understanding is that the Food and Drug Administration’s investigation of these products is still ongoing. The fact is that we have not been made aware of any medical or statistical evidence to support a causal link between homeopathic teething tablets and adverse outcomes at this point. We continue to request any available information and statistics from the FDA.”

Despite their confusion about the product having any adverse effects, they have stopped distributing the product in the United States until the product is fully investigated.

As an alternative to teething tablets or gels, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that parents “massage the child’s gums with a clean finger when a baby is in pain; use a solid teething ring or clean, wet washcloth that’s been chilled in the freezer; frozen bananas, berries or bagels.” Parents can also give their child a weight-appropriate dose of acetaminophen.

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As mothers and consumers of baby products, we trust that the products we buy are safe and reliable for our children to use.  Which is why two moms were recently very startled to find that the baby formula they had purchased was tainted with maggots.

 

 

 

First time mom, Taylor Seyler from Independence, Missouri breastfeeds her two month old son exclusively but was in need of a supplement, so she purchased some Similac baby formula. After feeding him 2 ounces she began to notice worms swimming in her baby’s bottle.

“Two ounces down I noticed the worms and I was like oh. That’s great,” she said. “Took it from his mouth, went and put a napkin over the faucet and we poured it down the drain and we saw the maggots on it.”

She contacted Abbott, the company who manufactures Similac and they responded with this statement:

“We take all concerns about product quality and safety seriously. Parents can be confident that our Similac infant formulas are safe. A third-party entomologist has reviewed the photos and concluded that based on the life cycle, and the age and size of the Indian meal moth larva in the photos, they entered the product after it left our facilities and the safety seal was removed. Our products pass rigorous safety and quality checks, including numerous steps to check for foreign objects and ensure proper packaging.

Indian meal moths are very common and can often be found in kitchen pantries inside flour and cereal. To prevent contamination, caregivers should inspect products before use and practice safe handling with powdered formula, including washing hands, closing containers tightly after each use and storing products in a dry, cool, clean place.”

Unfortunately, Seyler is not the only mom who has recently noticed maggots in baby formula.

Helen Williamson is a mother of four who recently noticed worms in Nutramigen formula.

“I went to burp her like normal. I happened to glance over at the bottle and saw you know waves. I pick up the bottle and hold it in the light and I see worms like inching up. Pick up the can and looked in it and saw pieces of the formula moving inside the can. So I was like oh my gosh,” said Williamson. “I just feel like they’re not doing something right because there wouldn’t be, I’m sorry they look like maggots to me. There wouldn’t be maggots crawling around in my baby’s bottle.”

Mead Johnson is still investigating this incident but did release this statement:

“We can share with you that we have not received any similar complaints on this batch of Nutramigen.  As we understand the situation, the can of product had been opened by the consumer the day before it was used.  It is important to note that the introduction of foreign matter into any Mead Johnson product during the manufacturing and packaging process is extremely unlikely given our numerous stringent safeguards and quality control procedures.”

The moral of the story is to fully check all cans before purchasing to make sure they are properly sealed and have not been tampered with. Also be sure to properly store and seal containers upon bringing them home to ensure freshness and safety. After mixing formula with water, be sure to check it before feeding it to baby. Although harmful contaminants are rare, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

 

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I don’t know about you, but I am extremely picky about my bras. They have to fit well for comfort, and I need good support, so the design is important as well. Unfortunately good bras are pretty expensive, so the few I do have need to last as long possible! Bra care is not something many of us have been schooled on, and I am ashamed to admit I typically just throw them in with any other laundry that needs to be done and call it good! However, after some research I learned I am sending them to an early demise by doing so… Here are 10 tips to keep your bras around as long as possible:

 

 

Don’t wear the same bra 2 days in a row

Bras are made from delicate materials, and wearing the some one for 2 days in a row can stretch and break down the material, especially from sweat. If you have a couple favorite bras you wear all the time, it might be good to invest in a couple more of the same brand and style. Wash them at least a couple times a week to extend their life.

 

Store them correctly

Most of us just throw our bras in our underwear drawer and call it good. To keep the cups shape, you actually shouldn’t fold them at all. In bra stores they lay them flat and unfolded for a reason. You might want to make some extra space in your drawer to do the same. It will help keep them looking their best, and in return keep you looking your best!

 

Hand wash your bras whenever possible

It sounds tedious, but it really doesn’t take much longer to hand wash your bras, and it will make a huge difference in how long they last. Just fill up your sink with warm soapy water, soak your bras for about an hour, rinse them with cool water, and then hang them up to dry. Your budget will thank you!

 

Fasten the clasps together at the back before washing

This will prevent the straps from coiling around each other, getting tangled up in the washer or dryer, and also help keep underwires from bending.

 

Use a gentle detergent

Since bras are delicate, you should be using a delicate soap for them. Baby soap is a good alternative to regular detergent or you can buy lingerie detergent.

 

Use the proper water temperature

If your hand washing, use warm water and rinse with cool. If you’re washing them in the washing machine use cool water…even warm water can get too hot and can warp the shape.

 

Use a lingerie bag

If you must use a washing machine, at least purchase a lingerie bag. This will keep your delicates separate from other items in the load, and prevent bras from snagging and getting twisted with other laundry.

 

Select the “gentle” cycle

Always use the gentle cycle if you’re going to use the washing machine, and never mix bras with heavy items like towels, jeans or heavy sweaters, etc. They should always be washed with other delicates.

 

Hang bras to dry

Bras should always be hung up to air dry, and should never be put in the dryer! This will damage the bra and break it down, especially if they are made with Lycra or spandex (which almost all are).

 

If you travel often, buy a travel bag

If you travel regularly, consider purchasing a small travel bag for your delicates. This will keep them in tact and prevent them from being squished with other items, especially if your suitcase is on the smaller side.

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Halloween is around the corner, and chances are you’ve already thought about what your little one will dress up as this year!  There are so many adorable choices out there, but have you noticed how expensive costumes are in the store?!  Yikes.  We’ve gathered some easy-on-the-budget and “spooktacular” DIY costumes for babies.  Thanks Pinterest!

 

 

 

 

Which one is your favorite?

 

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http://incredibleinfant.com/family/diy-baby-costumes/

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http://incredibleinfant.com/family/diy-baby-costumes/

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http://www.costume-works.com/baby_gumball_machine.html

 

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http://www.buzzfeed.com/alannaokun/16-kids-who-are-not-excited-for-halloween#.linx0Xqgw

 

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http://www.cubebreaker.com/28-childrens-costumes/

 

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http://www.buzzfeed.com/jenlewis/22-amazing-kids-halloween-costumes-that-theyre-too-young-to?sub=2588040_1827010#.fu13ON5WL

 

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http://www.buzzfeed.com/alannaokun/30-halloween-costumes-you-can-make?sub=1822174_640815

 

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http://coolmompicks.com/blog/2014/10/08/funny-creative-diy-halloween-costumes-for-baby/

 

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https://www.etsy.com/listing/106628909/baby-hat-raggedy-ann-wig-pattern-cabbage?utm_source=Pinterest&utm_medium=PageTools&utm_campaign=Share

 

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http://www.howweelearn.com/baby-halloween-costumes/

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Halloween is just around the corner, and you might be asking what fun things there are to do around town! We’ve done all the work for you, and made a handy dandy list of “spooktacular” Halloween activities in Colorado Springs.  “All ages” activities are family friendly and have an asterisk beside them, all others are geared more towards teens/parents.

 

 

 

Click on the title links for more info! Enjoy!

1. Hellscream Haunted House

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Colorado’s Ultimate Haunted House, is not only one of the scariest haunted houses in Colorado and the Midwest, but one of the Top Haunted Houses in the Nation. For 6 years this intense, cutting edge, multi story, multi attraction haunted event has thrilled and terrified visitors…regularly garnering attention from the likes of NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, and the Colorado Springs Gazette. Named scariest and best in Colorado Springs numerous years by the Colorado Springs Gazette, and named the scariest and most feared Haunted House in Colorado by several websites, and organizations! Created by film, television, and special effects professionals, HellScream is also notable for its custom movie quality special effects, amazing actors, unique themes, and extremely detailed sets. Don’t miss one of America’s best haunted houses…visit HellScream this Halloween season!

  • HellScream Haunted House was named best & scariest Haunted House in Colorado by DenverHauntedHouses.com
  • Best Haunted House in Colorado Springs by the Gazette Scream Team numerous years.
  • Peoples choice award for Best Scare & Best Value in Colorado by “Our Town Live” on 740 KVOR

 

2. Ghoul’s Gulch Haunted House

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Ghouls Gulch is more than just a haunted house company, we are a family. The original members decided to move from home haunters to professionals in 2003 when they emerged in Colorado Springs and teamed with Theatre Works on Dante’s Inferno. Many of our original Inferno techs and cast have been with us since then and are now members of our family. We have watched the cast grow not only into adults but into key members of our team. With each haunt that we do our family grows and we are thrilled. We welcome previous cast and crew back and enjoy reuniting the family as often as possible.

Our family has a wide range of skill sets, from Professional Grave Diggers to Rock and Roll Roadies to Technical Theater Teachers to Electrical Engineers and Computer Scientists to Certified Pyrotechnicians, Airbrush Artists and more. We even have a Therapist to help out when we have messed with our own heads too much.

We are a diverse group and appreciate the uniqueness of the individual. We build haunts because it is our passion and we have fun doing it!

 

3. **Trick or Treat at the Spook-Out Shoot-Out

 

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4.  Goth Glam Bash at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center

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The Bash is back and it’s bigger and better than ever! Unleash your dark, mysterious side and prepare for an evening filled with eerie and alluring fun. Whether you’re cyber, goth, steampunk, glitter, Lolita, Victorian, or anything in between, we challenge everyone to enter the most creative costume contest and win the best, most exclusive prizes in town. 

Oct 29, 2016
7:30p-midnight

  • Music
  • Photo Booth
  • Food Trucks
  • Cash Bars
  • Costume Contest with Prizes
  • Live Entertainment
    • DJ
    • Aerial Contortionist
    • Taiko Drummers
    • Tarot Card and Pendulum Readings
    • Acrobatic Yoga Performers

Tickets: $10 pre-sale, $15 Oct 22-28, $20 at-the-door

 

5. **Boo at the Zoo

 

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It’ll be all treats and no tricks for your little pirates and princesses at this year’s Boo at the Zoo, the region’s most unique Halloween event. Boo at the Zoo is a fun way for families with young children to trick-or-treat and enjoy Halloween festivities in a safe environment, and all of our candy is made with sustainable palm oil to help protect wild orangutans!

Support the Zoo’s efforts to reduce waste by bringing your own trick-or-treat bag from home!

2016 Dates – Open 7 nights!

Friday, Saturday & Sunday, October 21-22-23
Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Monday, October 28-29-30-31

Time

4 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. – with the last ticket sold at 7:30 p.m.

Please NOTE: The Zoo will close early for day visits at 3 p.m. on all seven Boo at the Zoo evenings, with the last ticket of the day sold at 2 p.m. Guests must exit the Zoo at 3 p.m. Last Sky Ride is at 2:30 p.m. and the Shrine Road closes at 1 p.m. The Zoo will open for Boo at the Zoo at 4 p.m.

 

 

 

 

6. **Great Pumpkin Run at Venetucci Farm

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The Pikes Peak Community Foundation is excited to present the Annual Great Pumpkin Run at Venetucci Farm.  Come out for a great morning and run, walk, jog or just cheer our runners on!  We will once again offer the Little Pumpkin Fun Run that will include two distances, 400m and 800m, for children 10 and under.  Feel free to wear your Halloween costume and join in on all the fun!

Due to severe hail damage to the crops and fields, the Pumpkin Patch will NOT be open at Venetucci Farm.  However, please join us for a whole host of Family Activities on October 8th, including face painting, wagon rides, live music, and more!

Suggested $5.00 donation for non-runners.

Please note:  Registration is online at Active Communities, sponsored by the City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services Online Service.  You will need to create an account and use the following activity numbers:

 

 

8. **Emma Crawford Coffin Races & Parade

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October 29, 2016 The 21th Annual “Emma Crawford Coffin Races and Parade”
12:00 to 4:00PM

This festival lines the streets of Manitou Springs with thousands of spectators cheering on 50 coffin race teams racing down Manitou Ave. Attendees come from all over the country to experience this internationally acclaimed event. The races are preceded by the parade of coffins and antique hearses. This event is a great kick-off to Halloween and fun for the whole family. More info at www.ManitouSprings.org 

 

9. Emma Crawford’s Wake – Miramont Castle

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October 28th “Emma Crawford Wake”, Miramont Castle
The cost of admission will grant you entrance into Miramont, viewing of Emma laid out in the parlor in pure Victorian splendor, and a Victorian Wake, resplendent with a generous buffet dinner and beverages in the Great Hall. Since this is sure to be one of the year’s most talked about events, make your credit card reservations early. Space is limited. Time: Viewings are every 20 minutes. The 1st Viewing is at 6pm and the last one 7:20pm.
Cost: Adults – $50.00, Children 12 and under – $30.00

Call 719-685-1011 to make your reservation!

 

10. Haunted Mines

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The Haunted Mines is an all-volunteer charitable organization that raises money for theWestern Museum of Mining and Industry (WMMI) and other local charities. We do this by producing a professional, thrilling Halloween event for our community’s enjoyment. We teach our volunteers valuable skills that they put to use at our events and carry with them into their adult lives.

We want to be the best Halloween haunted attraction in Colorado. We produce a thrilling and exciting event unlike any other, for adults of all ages and children (ages 13+). We use historical-based scenes and situations from the American West and America’s mining legacy as our backdrop, but with a new twist every year to keep you screaming!

 

11. Rocky Horror Picture Show at Iron Springs Chateau 

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Richard O’Brien’s ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ comes to the Iron Springs Chateau this October!

Live actors performing on the Iron Springs Chateau stage, along with the most popular cult movie sensation in international history playing, will provide an outrageously fun night. Goody bags are free to the first 25 arrivals – and there’s even a costume contest on Friday and Saturday evenings of Halloween weekend for fans who dress up as their favorite character. Come on down to the Chateau…It’s just a jump to the left…and a step to the right…Let’s do the Time Warp again…

This show is sure to sell out — Get your tickets NOW!

This production is rated R – You must be 18 or accompanied with a parent.

REFUND POLICY: Rocky Horror Picture Show Tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable.
PRIVACY POLICY: Customer information is collected for the purpose of processing your order. This information is kept confidential and is not shared.

 

12. Fright in Falcon

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We are a homeschooling family of 5 who love Halloween, being creative and “Geocaching” … and apparently, THIS is how all those things come together! 🙂

Fright in Falcon 2016

Halloween is almost here, and we’re getting ready for YOU!

We’re working hard to make Fright in Falcon 2016 bigger, better, and yes, even a bit scarier.

Fright in Falcon is open on Friday and Saturday nights September 30th thru October 29th, October 30th, and October 31.

Children’s Hours: 5:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M.
Regular Hours: 7:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M.

Don’t wait. Get your tickets here!

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All relationships have their ups and downs, and no relationship is ever perfect. We’ve all had fights and arguments with those we love because that’s the normal roller coaster ride of being human, right? Absolutely! However, there are behavior patterns and habits that are abusive, and that are not ok or normal. These are destructive behaviors that are fairly consistent in a relationship and that make the victim feel isolated, controlled and belittled. If these behaviors are practiced over time, the victim starts to see it as their “blurred normal”, not even realizing that they are caught in an abusive cycle.

 

“Emotional abuse” can a be a term that is thrown around a lot these days, and to show respect for those that are true victims of emotional abuse it’s a term that shouldn’t be used lightly.  The following scenarios are not emotional abuse:

  • You get into the occasional argument with your partner, and you exchange some harsh words that you both regret. This is not emotional abuse.
  • Your partner forgets your anniversary 2 years in a row. This is not emotional abuse.
  • Your partner has a bad day and acts cold and distant one evening. This is not emotional abuse.

Although these situations can cause some hurt feelings; as they stand alone, they are not abuse. These are normal human behaviors we are probably all guilty of at one time or another.

Real emotional abuse endures daily battles. For example, living a life of constantly walking on eggshells to make your partner “happy”. Waking up each day worrying what they will be upset about or find fault in today. Feeling emotionally exhausted and drained because you’re trying to make your partner happy, but to no avail. Feeling anxious when they come home each day because you don’t know how they’ll act or treat you.

Here are 5 signs you are in an emotionally abusive relationship:

  1. Your partner discourages you more than supports you.  Is your partner supportive and happy when new opportunities come your way? How about when you discover a new hobby? Or do they scoff at your interests, and say how stupid they are. Do they make you feel guilty for pursuing your own interests and friendships? Do they belittle your job? Your friendships? Your activities? A non-abusive partner will be your cheerleader and not your personal Debbie Downer. They will be happy for you when you are happy…pay attention to these cues.
  2. Your partner criticizes you. Your friends praise you and say how pretty you are, or that you look great in your new outfit – everyone seems to point out the good things about you, everyone except your partner. If they are constantly making remarks about how you should work out more, questioning your make up, hair color or style, or making snide remarks about your character, this is controlling and emotionally abusive behavior. If they literally call you names in an effort to maintain power and degrade your worth, you are being emotionally abused.
  3. Your partner is indifferent to your suffering. A loving partner should be a safe place to land when you’ve had a rough day, you’re not feeling well, or you’re struggling with heartache and grief. An emotionally abusive partner will become distant and indifferent during these times, because they don’t like the focus being taken off of themselves. Abusers also tend to be very self absorbed and more concerned about their schedule, their day, their needs, and their feelings more than anyone else’s.
  4. You feel more chaos than contentment.  Every relationship has it’s highs and lows, but if you are living in a constant state of chaos it’s time for serious reflection. Healthy relationships are built on two people striving to retain balance and compromise. If one partner is constantly in need of being in control, and belittles you and even instigates arguments to maintain that power, that is emotionally abusive behavior.
  5. Your partner is constantly playing the blame game.  “If you had just made my lunch last week”, or “done my laundry properly”, or “paid that bill on time”…then I wouldn’t have any reason to treat you like crap. This is what they’ll tell you. Or, if you hadn’t taken that trip with your friends, they wouldn’t have had such a crappy week at work. If you just kept the house more clean, they wouldn’t be so stressed. Is your partner really good at blaming you for their own bad behaviors or bad days? If your partner is constantly blaming you for making their life miserable, and not taking responsibility for their own actions, that is a sure sign that you are in an emotionally abusive cycle. An abuser thrives on control and pride.  Always willing to point out the flaws in others, but has a really hard time seeing flaws in themselves.

Don’t short change yourself. Healthy relationships are built on respect, admiration, sacrifice, balance and personal responsibility. No one should ever feel controlled, manipulated, belittled or scared when their partner comes home each day. If your partner doesn’t realize there is a problem, and refuses to seek help, it is time to leave the relationship, for your own sanity and well being. It is not your responsibility to pay for someone else’s brokenness. Despite what your partner tells you, you are worth it.

If you feel like you have nowhere to turn and need help, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or visit their website for more info.