Tags Posts tagged with "family"

family

by -
0 1279

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and although most of us look forward to a big Thanksgiving feast with family, the prep work and festivities can feel overwhelming at times!  It takes a lot of planning and patience to have a stress-free holiday.  Here are some tips to make it a truly enjoyable season for everyone involved!

 

 

1. Get organized. As Meghan Trainor says, “All the right junk in all the right places”.  A stress free Thanksgiving starts with a clean and organized home.  If you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, hire someone a week before to come in and least do the deep cleaning for you, or ask a friend to come in and help.  Clean and organize your fridge, as well as your oven and kitchen areas.  Put stray papers and knick knacks away so all of your prep surfaces are free from clutter.  Wash linens for guests, and make sure necessities like toilet paper, paper towels, and toiletries are well stocked. You don’t want to have to make last minute trips to the store for your guests.

2. Plan your meals.  We put a lot of emphasis on Thanksgiving dinner, but make sure your other meals are planned out for the week as well, especially if guests are coming into town.  Make casseroles, or meals you can prepare easily.  Don’t break your back slaving over fancy meals for your guests, because you’ll be on your feet enough on Thanksgiving day!  Write down a menu and ingredient list for the week, and stick to it!

3. Don’t wait until the last minute.  Start preparing now. Buy your turkey and all the trimmings ahead of time.  You’ll be glad you did when the grocery store lines are a mile long next week!

4. Delegate responsibilities.  Typically family and friends are happy to help. If you have a large guest list, ask Aunt Norma to bring the green bean casserole, and cousin Sally to bring games to keep the kids entertained. Ask each family/guest to contribute in some way and everyone will feel needed and appreciated, and you’ll feel less stressed.  It’s a win-win situation.

5. Plan your menu.  Pin down your guest list first.  It’s key to know how many people you are cooking for. Figure out how you’re going to cook your turkey, how long it will take, as well as all the side dishes you want well in advance. Pinterest is a great tool for finding new recipes, but so is asking friends for their tried and true Thanksgiving side dishes!  Consider having a Thanksgiving recipe swap party to share and try your favorite Fall recipes!

6. Budget wisely.  Hosting Thanksgiving can easily become expensive. Asking everyone to bring something helps with this, but also make sure you have enough silverware, dishes, chairs, etc. to accommodate everyone.  If you don’t, consider borrowing these items to limit your cost. Simplicity is key.  Remember that your guests are there to spend time with you.  We want our home to be welcoming, but that doesn’t mean it has to look like a Pinterest board or break our budget.

7. Make a plan for the kids.  Adults are happy to just to sit and chat, but kids may need a little more direction with how to spend their time on Thanksgiving Day. You’ll be busy cooking, so make sure to designate another adult or older cousin/friend as caregiver/wrangler. Make sure the kids have activities, games and/or crafts to do to keep them busy while you’re busy.

8. Don’t forget the leftovers.  Make sure you have plenty of storage baggies and take home containers on hand for leftovers.  Sending your guests home with some leftovers frees up space in your fridge and ensures you’re not eating turkey until Christmas.  It will also make clean up a breeze!

What are some Thanksgiving tips you would recommend? We’d love to hear from you! 

by -
0 1932

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.

by -
0 933

I have a confession. I really want my kids to help around the house, I really do! The problem for me has always been allowing and trusting them to do it! In the past I was such a perfectionist, that I became my own worst enemy in some ways. For example, I was the mom that would allow the kids to decorate the Christmas tree, and then when they were asleep I would fix all the ornaments so the tree looked pretty again. I would let my kids help fold towels, and then secretly refold them because they did it wrong. I would let my kids bake cookies, but insist on taking over when the batter wasn’t stirred correctly.

 

Sigh…

and the truth is many moms fall into this pattern. We have become a generation of “it’s ok, I’ll do it” moms, and our families are suffering.  It not only effects our kids and their own independence, but it typically extends to our spouse as well. How many times have you given your partner directions to do something, and after having to explain it for too long just gave in and said “never mind, I will do it”?

We think we can do it all, and honestly we probably can do it all, because let’s face it, we are superwomen! Unfortunately, doing it all does not teach our families to do things for themselves, and it can lead to resentment in our children and spouses because it tends to send the message that we don’t trust them to get the job done, or we don’t think they’re smart enough. Obviously we want to avoid those assumptions!

Here some signs you may be doing too much for your family…

You’re focused on doing things “right” all the time

If you’re obsessed with the dishes being stacked in the dishwasher right, and find yourself saying things like “nevermind, I will do it” out of exasperation…you’re doing too much for your family. It’s time to let go, and let your children (or partner) complete the task. There is nothing wrong with giving some guidance as to how it’s done properly, but doing it all yourself is not only adding to your own plate of chores, but taking responsibility away from other family members. Something everyone in the home should feel like they have.

You’re constantly questioning your family’s decisions and choices

Maybe your husband comes home with groceries after you’ve given him a list, and he buys the wrong brands. Do you say something or do you let it go? If you say something like “I usually get this brand of toilet paper instead” or “I really don’t like this brand of barbecue sauce”, guess what? After a while your husband is going to say “You know what? Do the shopping yourself!” Now that’s one less thing he’ll be helping with around the house. Learn to bite your tongue and choose your battles. Learn to allow your family to do things their way sometimes.

Picking fights

If you’re so bent on being right or doing things the “right” away around your house, this can lead to more than just resentment on your families behalf. This can start to change the entire tone of your household, with more arguments and fights over silly things. If you’re doing everything, there’s no doubt you will become resentful too and start blaming it on the fact that no one knows how to do anything right. This is a very dangerous pride cycle, and there needs to be balance. A family that’s united is much more important than how the beds are made or how dinner is prepared.

You’re always bringing up past mistakes

Maybe your spouse was late paying the mortgage two years ago, or your child put laundry soap in the dishwasher that one time… do you still belittle them for it, or have a habit of bringing up their past mistakes? And do you use those past mistakes to justify why “you’ll just do it yourself”? If this is the case, you are taking away valuable lessons from your family. Mistakes are part of learning. Allow them more opportunities to learn and grow and they may surprise you with how much they can handle! And you may just start breathing a sigh of relief that you actually don’t have to do it all…

I realize not all moms struggle with this idea of “having to do it all”, and that many families have a very healthy balance when it comes to chores, responsibilities and contributions. But if you are a mom who struggles with any of the feelings above, there is hope (and you’re not alone). It’s ok to take a look within ourselves sometimes and figure out how we can do better. Sometimes it’s not our family who needs to “see the light”, sometimes it’s us…

Do you find yourself struggling with the “have to do it all” mentality? Or maybe you have found some good balance in your family and can share some more advice. We’d love to hear your thoughts either way!

by -
0 645

Financially, I am barely catching my breath from back-to-school season, but soon the holidays will be upon us and there will be more money stresses to come! It’s neverending, because parenting is expensive.  When you are raising a family there are always at least 5 things at a time that seem to pop up when you can’t afford them to, am I right?? I’ve had to become pretty savvy at not only expecting those surprises, but also looking for creative ways to save whenever possible.  Here are 5 ways you may be throwing your money away without even knowing it, along with 5 correspondong tips to save!

 

 

Online shopping

Are you addicted to shopping online? It’s hard not to be…you can find almost everything and anything in the world and have it shipped directly to your doorstep! It’s also a great way to find a deal without leaving your home, but if you aren’t using “Honey” you may be throwing your dollars away! Honey is a free Chrome add-on that pops up at checkout and automatically finds coupon codes for you! It even applies the best one to your cart, so you know you’re saving the most money.

You can save on everything from clothes to hotel rooms, and everything in between! Let Honey do the work for you, and know you just got yourself the best deal!! Basically, it’s pretty sweet.

You can get Honey HERE.

Gift cards

Gift cards are always a good go-to gift, and you really can’t go wrong with them unless you are going to the store to buy them! Go to giftcardGranny.com instead and save lots of moola! You can save up to 50% off on people’s unwanted gift cards! It’s definitely worth checking it if you haven’t before.

Electronics

Don’t underestimate the quality of refurbished electronics! Sometimes people are hesitant to buy refurbished iPhones for example, because they think they are old or faulty. This isn’t the case! Any returned item gets labeled “refurbished”, including brand new electronics that were returned simply because someone didn’t like the color, or didn’t want it. Apple has an awesome refurbishment process and policy, so if you or someone in your family is looking for a new iPhone, it’s a great way to save lots of money!

Paying too much for gas

Remember to take advantage of credit cards with rewards points, like the Chase Freedom card and the TrueEarnings Card from Costco. Another great way to save is by using GasBuddy. It’s an app that finds the lowest gas prices in your area. Bonus tip: make sure your tires are properly inflated! According to FuelEconomy.gov, this can improve your gas mileage up to 3.3%!

Unplug unused appliances

I have to admit, I am not one of those people who thinks about these things. My hairdryer, toaster, table fans, radio, etc are plugged in 24/7 whether or not I use them. The truth is you’re wasting energy and you’re paying for energy you’re not using! Even if it’s only a few dollars a month, it can be a significant savings in a year’s time. So keep those appliances unplugged when you’re not using them. And yes, turn off your lights if you’re not using them too!

by -
0 1493

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Justin Timberlake’s new Summer Anthem “Can’t Stop the Feeling” is taking over the airwaves and making everyone dance…including this adorable Daddy/daughter duo! Complete with coordinating outfits and moves, you can help but smile at the fun they are clearly having.  And kudos to dad for making these fun memories with his little girl!

 

Enjoy!

by -
0 647

When you have children, especially school-aged children, your morning routine can feel mundane, tedious and dare I say excruciating at times…  most likely because we do the same thing every. single. day.  Wake the kids up (which is always a fight), make breakfast, get them dressed and out the door in record time.  Only it’s not that simple, because we’re all grouchy and tired on top of these tasks! Mornings can feel anything but joyful at times, but I have some tips that can change that around, and they are pretty simple!

 

 

 

 

 

1. Make time for snuggle/talk time.  Set the alarm 15 minutes early, and have your kids jump into bed with you.  Snuggle, talk about any dreams you had, talk about the day ahead and what things you have planned. Have a tickle fight. Laugh.  It’s a great way to start the day, instead of feeling rushed and grouchy.

2. Listen to music.  Music puts everyone in a better mood!  Turn up the radio, or even create a “morning playlist” of happy, positive songs that will add a little pep to your step in the mornings!

3. Make breakfast fun and easy.  Create a breakfast menu each week that allows your child choices.  Write them on a kitchen board for your kids to see.  For example, Monday they can choose between peanut butter toast or scrambled eggs in a cup.  Allowing your kids to have choices helps them to feel like they have a little control over their morning, and also gives them something to look forward to when they wake up!  Anyone would get tired of the same old cereal and milk every morning!

4. Make choosing outfits easy.  I am all about letting my kids choose their own outfits, but if their drawers are unorganized, this can mean last summer’s swim trunks with this year’s Christmas sweater!  Make it easier on your kids (and you) by designating one or two dresser drawers to “school clothes”.  These drawers should be full of mix and match items that no matter what they choose will be appropriate for school.  Trust me, it’s a time saver!

5. Make their to-do list a scavenger hunt.  There are a list of tasks that need to be done every morning.  For example, get their backpack ready, make their lunch (if applicable), brush their teeth, find their shoes…. instead of sounding like a drill sergeant, make it a game!  Time your child to see how fast they can get everything done on their list! Having a check list can also keep them on track and helps to make sure they don’t forget anything.

6. Car Karaoke.  If your morning routine involves car pooling or driving your kids to three different schools in the morning (like me!) turn up the radio and have fun singing along! It’s an instant mood boost, and usually ends up in lots of laughs.  It’s a great way to start the day with a smile on your face!

7. Never leave without a hug and words of affirmation.  No matter how rushed you are, always give your kids a big long hug and tell them something you love about them.  “You look awesome today”, “I know you’re going to rock that math test today”, “I can’t wait to hear about your day after school”, these are all positive phrases that help your child look forward to going to school and help to add joy to their day and yours!

by -
0 1314

Showers. There are days you may not even recognize the word, because showers are a luxury and a gift from the heavens when you’re a mom – especially of young children. The idea of a shower sometimes brings a longing sigh to a mother’s lips with that look of “I use to know you long ago”… If by chance you ever get to throw some water on yourself, chances are you’ve had one of the experiences listed below.

 

 

 

 

1. The “No-one’s-home-I-can-take-as-long-as-I-want” shower

shower1

 

We all know these are like hitting the mom lottery.  They are so rare in fact that I questioned even bringing them up. They hardly ever happen, and on the odd occasion when they do, you are in that shower until the water runs cold, mama. Contemplating life’s deep complexities, actually using the deep conditioning hair mask you bought for yourself last year, and maybe even shaving the full length of your leg are all activities we can only dream of when this type of shower presents itself to us.

 

2. The “get-wet-and-get-out” shower

shower-mom-meme1

You are most likely a pro at this particular shower, because moms get to have them all the time (ahem, or at least twice a week).  It’s usually when you’ve got 5 minutes to freshen up before chaperoning your kid’s field trip, or a doctor’s appointment, or when guests are coming over for dinner….and maybe if you’re lucky enough to go on a date with your significant other. Because really, who has time to shower unless you actually have to smell nice?

 

3. The “Mom-needs-a-time-out” shower

bafb2bcca43b264d58b892d38d958a48

Sometimes this may not actually end up as a shower, but just sitting on the toilet for 20 minutes while you take deep breaths, cry, eat some chocolate, or take a nap….whether or not you actually end up in the shower doesn’t really matter.  Sometimes we just need to lock that bathroom door and escape to sanity-land.  Really, it’s for the better of mankind.

 

4. The “kill-two-birds-with-one-stone” shower

4092531

“Heck, I’m already in here so I may as well wash the bathtub and shower while I’m at it!” Moms are pros at multi-tasking, and taking a shower is no different.  We’re in there washing the tile, organizing shampoo and conditioner bottles, making grocery lists, packing lunches and pondering how much longer we can get away without replacing the shower liner…

 

5. The “spectator-sport” shower

momeme24

Oh yes, we have fans.  And they love us SO MUCH that they can’t bare to be a part from us for 5 minutes! This is the shower when our children bring their toys into the bathroom, and ask us 50 questions while we’re washing our hair, begging us to “look at this, mommy!” as shampoo lather slides down our face and burns our eyeballs.  They open the shower curtain or bang on the glass, and they make no sense because we can’t hear them over the water. They get frustrated, they cry, and you’re forced to end your shower early because the toilet is over flowing… it’s really the very best kind of shower.

 

6. The “more-the-merrier” shower

4a7bbcdae7cd62081825b9e8a7158ed3bc145bd92696d4bcb8fa2c21e7bfd51b

This is when baby won’t bathe unless they’re with you, toddler won’t let you shower alone, you’re trying to save water, or the kids are gone and you and husband want to save water “together”…

Whatever the reason, chances are if you’re a mom, you’ve experienced having to share your shower space with another human being.  If you’re multi-tasking shower mom, you may have even taken a stinky dog in there with you from time to time.  That’s how we roll.

 

7.  The “Celine-Dion-in-Vegas” shower

tumblr_mf7m2jQcfS1rhp2hko1_500_large

 

It really doesn’t matter if you have a good singing voice or not, because between the loud water, and the amazing acoustics you have the voice of an angel when you shower, and you know it. Not every day is a Celine Dion day, but on the days when you’re feeling extra sassy, or singing at the top of your lungs is a good alternative to screaming at the kids (which never happens) – this kind of shower can be a miracle worker.

 

8. The “shower? What’s-a-shower?” shower

No+time+for+a+shower+oc+p_508c12_3591698

For those of you moms who don’t know what a shower is at all, and live off of dry shampoo and layers of deodorant, we feel you, and we are praying for you.

 

Colorado is so abundant in wildlife that chances are you have seen some on your own property at one point or another! There are certain areas of the state you can visit that increase your chances of seeing elk, deer, bighorn sheep, moose, bison, bald eagles and more…and the best part?  You don’t even have to leave the safety of your car!  These road trips are fun for the whole family, so grab the kids and head out on a safari… Colorado style!

 

 

 

 

1.  State Forest State Park: This area near Walden, has been named the official moose capital of Colorado! More than 600 moose live here, as well as elk, mule deer, beaver, fox, eagles and black bears.

2Guanella Pass Scenic Byway:  As if the stunning views of 14,060-foot Mt. Bierstadt aren’t enough, this drive also gives you a great glimpse of Rocky Mountain wildlife which includes bighorn sheep, beavers, mountain goats and a variety of beautiful birds.

file0001938542925

3.  Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge: Located in Commerce City, this refuge is one of the largest refuges in the country! It’s home to more than 300 species which includes mule deer, coyotes, bison, songbirds and bald eagles.

4. Rocky Mountain National Park:  Take a drive through Estes Park before hitting the Park and take in Elk galore.  The park itself is also home to numerous species of wildlife, not to mention spectacular vistas!

5. South Platte River Trail: During the winter season, more than 100 bald eagles call this area home. They can be seen sitting on the branches of cottonwood trees all along the river. Red-tailed hawks, kestrels, merlins and golden eagles also live in this area.

6. Mount Evans Scenic Byway: This 28 mile route climbs more than 7,000 feet in elevation, and is home to mountain goats, bighorn sheep, marmots and pikas. *Note: closed during Winter

1-IMG_3052

7. Bighorn Sheep Canyon: You can catch Bighorn sheep year-round scaling the walls of the canyon and drinking from the Arkansas River.  There are rafting tours available here too!

8. San Juan Skyway: Great place to see elk, foxes, eagles, goshawks, red-tailed hawks, bluebirds, kestrels and perhaps the occasional black bear. Also home to some of the state’s most majestic mountain passes.

9. Garden of the Gods:  Drive through the parks winding roads and take in the beautiful scenery.  You can usually catch some Bighorn sheep walking around the park as well.

by -
0 1684

The other day, my 16-year-old daughter casually brought up the fact that as of September of next year, she will officially be “an adult”.  Eighteen. I think I choked on the water I was drinking because my mom brain couldn’t comprehend this fact – because it can’t be right!  There is no possible way my baby girl is turning 18, and more importantly there is no possible way I am old enough to have an adult daughter!

 

 

 

 

She just started her first day of Kindergarten.

She just learned how to read.

I just sang her lullabies to sleep.

I just taught her how to tie her shoes.

Didn’t she just start middle school??

SIGH.

The fact that my baby girl is growing up so quickly is both a joy to watch and a sobering reminder of how quickly her childhood has gone by.  I also have a 13-year-old daughter and 9 year-old-son, and now more than ever I am cherishing these formative years, and learning that the older they get, the less of a direct influence we have on them.  Our time spent with them becomes less as school, friends and other activities slowly seep into their schedules.  It’s a natural progression of them becoming more independent, but at the same time they still need to feel close to us, and they still need parenting. How do we bridge that gap as parents?  How do we maintain a close relationship with them the older they get? Here are some habits I have formed that have helped me to stay close to my children during their teen years.  Even if your children are younger, they are good habits to start practicing now.

1. Make time each and every day to talk about their day.  We all get busy, and we happen to fall into “habit phrases” we say to our kids such as “I love you”, and “how was your day?” These are often met with habit answers our kids form, like “love you too” and “fine”.  Bottom line is it’s not much of a connection or a conversation.  Every day I spend about an hour and a half driving my kids to and from school.  I have designated this as catch up time. I ask my kids what activities/projects they have coming up, what friend drama is going on, and more engaging questions so I really learn about their day. We also use this time to laugh and joke around and sing along to the radio.  Sometimes you have to create quality time, even if it’s during running errands!  The point is have daily quality conversations – any way you can get them!

2.  Eat dinner together.  I can’t stress this one enough.  There are lots of reasons to make this a family habit, and I believe it becomes even more important the older they get!  Here are five good reasons to make family dinners a regular habit.

3. Put electronic devices away in the car and at the dinner table. We don’t allow phones at the dinner table, because that is family time, and I don’t like my kids being glued to them in the car either, because that is also a great time to corner them for some good conversation! I am on my computer a lot because I work from home, but I need my kids to know they are my first priority, so I have to designate times that electronics are simply put away.

4. Know their technology.  Are you familiar with what apps your kids are using, and their activity on these apps?  I have accounts on all of the same social media platforms my children do, and I make it a habit to check in on their accounts to see what they’re posting and what others are posting as well. Get to know the latest trends when it comes to teens and technology.  The worst thing you can do is be in the dark when it comes to their online activity.  If you want to stay connected with your teen, that should also include their life online.

5. Get to know their friends.  If your child is mentioning names you’ve never heard or suddenly wanting to hang out with kids you don’t know, this is a warning sign to get more involved.  It is imperative that you know your child’s friends, and not only know them, but get to know them.  Have them over and chat with them.  Build a relationship of trust with them.  This will help them and your children be more open about their activities and who they’re with in the future.

6. Make physical touch a priority. “Mother of Family Therapy” psychotherapist Virginia Satir said that people “need four hugs a day for survival, eight hugs a day for maintenance, and 12 hugs a day for growth.” This most definitely applies to teenagers too!  Just because they have grown older, doesn’t mean the hugs need to grow old too. Make it a priority to hug your kids as they get older, touch their arm while they’re talking to you, mess up your son’s hair playfully, or rub their back while watching TV.  Give them hugs good night! Humans need touch at every stage of life.

7. Be interested in their interests.  Trust me, the last thing I want to do is play Minecraft.  But I’ve done it.  I don’t really want to watch Dr. Who either, but I have.  Why?  Because my son is obsessed, and I want him to know that his world is important to me.  What he loves is important, because I love him. It doesn’t mean you have to join them in activities you find boring all the time, but make it a point to be excited about the things they are excited about!  Rave about the new world they built, ask about the series they’re reading or new band they love to listen to. This helps your child feel validated.  It comes in handy when they’re older and have bigger serious interests like boyfriends and girlfriends!  Keep those lines of communication open!

8. Say sorry.  As your kids get older they need to see your faults, and they also need to see you admitting to them… and when necessary apologizing for them too.  Faults should never be something we try to hide, or make our children feel embarrassed about having. Showing humility to your child and saying sorry to them when you’ve done wrong strengthens your relationship and teaches unconditional love and acceptance. They will be more willing to come to you with their mistakes in the future when they see that you’re human too. We teach our children consequences when they do something wrong, and we should teach them we are willing to accept consequences also.

9. Share a hobby.  As noted above, you will not share all of your child’s interests, and they certainly won’t share all of yours! However, it’s important to find one or two activities that you do enjoy doing together. Make it your “thing”.  Whether it’s board games, gardening, hiking, movies, going to concerts, sewing or cooking.  Find something, and do it together regularly!  These are great memory makers!

10. Let them fail.  From the first day we became parents, it was survival mode!  We spent our days feeding, nurturing and keeping our little ones safe on a day to day basis. It is hard to break that habit of wanting to keep them safe at all times, and being there for them 24/7, but it’s necessary.  Our children will get hurt, both physically and emotionally and we can’t always prevent it, and that’s a good thing, I promise.  They have their own journey to travel, and need to learn how to deal with disappointment and pain. Micro-managing every aspect of their life can protect them from the world, but it won’t allow them to develop the necessary independent skills they need to thrive as an adult. We can’t always prevent failure and pain in their lives, but we can be a place for them to land when they’re hurting.  A safe place they will always call home.

Looking for somewhere fun to take the family? If you’re tired of the same old restaurants, we’ve got a fun list to check out! When looking for a unique dining experience, atmosphere can be just as important as the food! Check out these fun and inviting themed restaurants and take a break from the ordinary!  The kids will love it!

 

 

 

  1. Casa Bonita (Lakewood)

Casa Bonita is one of those Mexican restaurants that you go to for the atmosphere, and not so much the cuisine. It doesn’t receive rave reviews in the food department, but if you like Mariachi bands, gorillas chasing you, cliff divers diving off of cliffs, caves, palm trees, hidden grottos and darn good Sopapillas, you HAVE to go and check it out.  It’s honestly fun for the whole family!

casa_bonita_1

 

2. Solo’s Restaurant (Colorado Springs)

Parked in South Colorado Springs is a historic Boeing KC-97 tanker which has been transformed into a dining experience!  If you like planes, you’ll thoroughly enjoy eating a meal in one!

maxresdefault (5)

 

3. Linger (Denver)

If death and mortuaries are your thing, you may enjoy a meal at Linger…It’s actually known for an amazing menu and drinks, and was once a mortuary that housed the body of notorius William Frederick “Buffalo Bill” Cody! Instead of hiding the building’s macabre past, the restaurant owners decided to embrace it, starting with the iconic sign.  They’ve embraced it’s theme and offer menus shaped like coffins, water served in formaldehyde bottles, and a church pew that serves as a host stand!  We must also mention it has an amazing outdoor deck that has stunning views of the city.

renovation_linger_01

 

 

4. The Rabbit Hole (Colorado Springs)

Located in downtown Colorado Springs, this restaurant is actually located underground, and you have to take a narrow staircase to get down. Underneath you will find what only can be described as an Alice in Wonderland themed underground oasis!  It’s truly a unique experience, and their food is fantastic!

289775_l

 

5. White Fence Farm (Lakewood)

Known for it’s beautiful country themed grounds, home cooked meals and live music, you don’t want to miss out on an experience at White Fence Farm.  They also have a petting zoo and indoor playground which is great if there’s inclement weather!

Screen_Shot_2015-11-20_at_1.44.16_PM.0.0

 

 

6. Downtown Aquarium (Denver)

Dine with the fish at the Denver Aquarium!  You can sit right beside a 50,000 gallon fish tank which is something you don’t get to do every day!

3DFB77B71154DFC0602E6AFF90FC4743

 

 

7. The Fort (Morrison)

From their website:  The Fort, an award-winning Denver western restaurant located just southwest of Denver, is one of the nation’s most recognized establishments and sells more buffalo steaks than any other independently owned restaurant in the country. Featuring fine beef, buffalo, game and seafood, The Fort’s menu offers a tantalizing selection of old and new foods from the Early West.

o-11-1-700x933