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Monday 31 August 2020

Babe Walls

By now you guys probably know that I'm a big fan of street art. I share a lot of it here on the blog and especially over on Instagram. Finding colorful walls is one of my favorite things to do and I love it when there are a lot of murals all in the same area. For this reason, street art festivals are one of my favorite things. 

You may remember that we went to Colfax Canvas a little while back and watched the artists at work. Well, more recently there was another street art festival near us called Babe Walls. My favorite thing about this particular festival? All 25 of the artists involved were women and non-binary folks! In a field that's often dominated by male artists this was such a refreshing change.

Now, we didn't actually make it to the festival to see the artists at work, however the kids and I did go check out all the murals once they were done. They're so good! If you're in the Denver metro area make sure to head to  Westminster to check them all out. And if not, well, you can see them here! I've shared the Instagram handles of each of the artists under their work if you're interested in checking them out. 

Mural by @seewalker_art & @r0melle
Mural by @chelsealewinski, @ashleyjoonart & @taylorherzog
Mural by @annacharneyart & @reverieink
Mural by @kaitlinziesmer & @kjorin
Mural by @lindeezimmer & @olivemoyer
Mural by @kokonofilter
Murals by @reveryart & @alexandrea_pang
Mural by @seewalker_art & @r0melle

Thursday 27 August 2020

Staying Healthy for Back to School with Sambucol Black Elderberry Gummies

Disclaimer: I was provided with free product from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) in exchange for my honest review. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

It's back to school season!

While back to school may be looking a little different this year (ok, a lot different) there are still plenty of things that will stay the same. There may not be backpacks, school buses, and classrooms for those learning at home but those first day jitters and the early starts will still be there. For kids returning in person things will look different too with masks, hand sanitzer, and social distancing.

No matter how back to school looks for your family this year, there's one thing that we all strive for, and that's keeping our kids (and ourselves) healthy. Keeping active, eating a healthy diet and getting enough sleep is imperative, not just for our bodies but also for our minds. Our little learners can only take in so much at school if they're not feeling well.

Our school district has returned to home learning for the beginning of the school year. This means that while the kids are less likely to pick up germs from classmates, their health may be affected in other ways due to extended screen time and less chances to get active.

So, what am I doing to keep the kids healthy and happy while they learn at home? Read on as I share what works for us...

Start off the day fresh with a good night's sleep
Ok, this can be a tough one, especially after the long Summer break when regular schedules went out the window. Well, for our family at least! Setting a bedtime schedule makes a huge difference, especially for younger kids. Make bath time a part of your bedtime schedule. It's a great way to calm little bodies down, especially if you add a little lavender to their bathwater or use bath products containing lavender. Avoid screen time before bed and opt for story time and snuggles instead.

Drink lots of water
Learning can be thirsty work, so make sure that your little one stays hydrated throughout the school day. My kids are much more likely to drink more water if it's handy, so I make sure they fill their water bottles with cold water before starting their day and keep them on their desk. I need to take this advice myself!

Make time to get active
Sitting still at a desk all day isn't good for anyone, so make sure to get active during scheduled breaks. Even if it's just jumping on the trampoline for 5 minutes, playing on a swing or climbing structure, riding a scooter in the backyard, playing fetch with a pup or tag with a sibling, getting active makes such a difference. If you have access to outdoor space at home the change in location, the fresh air and the sunshine help a lot too.

Plan outdoor activities for after school
Once the kids are done with school for the day I like to get them outside and moving. We're lucky enough to have a backyard now that we live in Colorado, but we still got outside plenty when we lived in our apartment in California. Heading to a local park to run around or play on the playground (if it's open) is a great option. A family walk after dinner is another great option. After school activities including gymnastics, dance and swimming have just reopened here so we're making use of these too.

Take screen free breaks
Not all breaks from the computer need to involve exercising your body. Give your eyes a break from bright screens and exercise your mind by reading a book or drawing a picture. Creative play with Lego, Magnatiles, building blocks, playdoh etc is a great option too. Even if it's only a 5 or 10 minute break from class work switching things up with activities like these gives kids a rest while still keeping their mind active.

Provide healthy snacks
Have healthy snacks and meals on hand for recess and lunch. Make sure to include a mix of fruits, veggies, proteins and healthy grains. As younger kids tend to be grazers, I find that serving food up in a muffin tray (with a different food in each spot) is a great way to get fussy eaters eating a variety of food. School recess and lunch breaks don't tend to be very long, so make sure to check your kids' schedules and prepare ahead. That way they'll have plenty of time to eat without having to rush.

Give your immune system a boost with Sambucol Black Elderberry Gummies
On top of providing my kids with healthy meals I like to give their immune system a boost with Sambucol Black Elderberry Gummies. My kids and I have one or two Sambucol Black Elderberry Gummies each morning with breakfast.

These little gummies are packed full of antioxidants along with vitamin C and zinc and offer natural immune support for adults and children ages 4 and up. They suitable for vegans and vegetarians, and are free from gluten, nuts, soy, dairy, eggs,  artificial color and artificial flavor. 

Have you tried Sambucol Black Elderberry Gummies? 

You can purchase Sambucol Black Elderberry Gummies from Walmart, Target, CVS, Walgreens, GNC, The Vitamin Shoppe, Ralphs, Vons, Safeway, and Kroger. You can find a retailer near you at www.sambucolusa.com/pages/store-locator 

Thursday 20 August 2020

Bath Bombs & Soap Making at Buff City Soap

Are your kids still on Summer break?

We have just one week left before the kids go back to school and I've been trying to make it memorable with fun outings - which isn't easy given the pandemic, the heat or the wildfire smoke.

But I did find a fun indoor activity perfect for small groups - soap and bath bomb making at Buff City Soap! We headed to our nearest Buff City Soap in Aurora earlier this week and spent an afternoon with some good clean fun.

Now, we've made bath bombs at home before in the past (you can see them here) but these bath bombs were the legit real deal. The shape, the texture, the fragrance... they were all just like the ones from the store. Well, some of our shapes might've come out a little odd, but for the most part they were perfect. The kids were pretty proud of what they made.

Wednesday 12 August 2020

Yellowstone National Park: Mammoth Hot Springs

Just when you thought you'd never have to see another Yellowstone post from me again I'm back with one more! Trust me, you'll want to hang around for this one. It's a good one!

One of my favorite places in all of Yellowstone was Mammoth Hot Springs. Located in the very northern part of the park, right by the Montana border, Mammoth Hot Springs is a fair drive from the South entrance of Yellowstone, but oh boy is it worth the trip. The landscape here is quite unique, and very different to anything you'll see elsewhere in the park. It's quite otherworldly and at times, as Mathilde pointed out, it felt like we were on the surface of the moon.

Mammoth Hot Springs is known for its spectacular travertine terraces, made where water and limestone interact, but there is so much more to see here. Let's take a look...

Thursday 6 August 2020

Garden of the Gods

This past weekend we went on two very different adventures. I've already shared Saturday's urban adventure (which you can see here), so today I'm sharing Sunday's nature adventure.

One of the good things about living in Colorado is that there is a wealth of amazing landscapes right on our doorstep to explore. One of the bad things about living in Colorado is that Summers are incredibly hot, which means that we're yet to explore a lot of these landscapes. On Sunday we decided to brave the heat and head south to Colorado Springs for the first time. While there are a lot of fun things to do and see in and around Colorado Springs, our destination for the day was Garden of the Gods.

I'd been wanting to visit Garden of the Gods for such a long time but we'd never gotten around to it either due to heat, snow or the fact that it gets crazy busy on weekends. Visiting on a weekend during a pandemic probably wasn't the best idea, but I knew that Kim would enjoy visiting there too so I wanted to save our first visit for a time when he could come along too. So we packed our masks, sunscreen and lots of water and hit the road for an afternoon out in nature.

Garden of the Gods is located just a short drive from Colorado Springs, which is about an hour and a quarter south of Denver or an hour and a half from Boulder. The park is easily accessible with several ways to explore. Visitors can park at the main parking lot at the entrance and hike through the park. Alternatively, there is a ring route drive called Juniper Way Loop with parking lots in various locations along the way. We decided to go for the second option - mostly because we missed the entrance to the parking lot and couldn't turn around, but also because there was a chance of a storm coming through in the afternoon and having our car nearby would be handy.

Monday 3 August 2020

Colfax Canvas Mural Fest

Happy Monday!

Did you do anything exciting over the weekend? We had two very different adventures. I'll be sharing Sunday's adventure tomorrow but first up is Saturday's adventure...

On Saturday Lola, Mathilde and I headed to the Denver neighborhood of Aurora to go on a mural hunt. Aurora is probably the Denver neighborhood that we visit the most. It's not a touristy location with museums or galleries but it is home to Third Culture Bakery, one of our favorite food places from Berkeley. It's a little out of the way coming from Boulder, but we stop by regularly for a little taste of home.

Aurora is also home to lots of amazing street art, and on Saturday the number of murals around the neighborhood increased as part of the Colfax Canvas Mural Fest. You know I love a good mural so when I heard about Colfax Canvas I knew we had to go check it out.

Mural by @pher01
Mural by @love_pulp and @tukeone
Mural by @detour303, @A.L._Grime and @annacharneyart
Mural by @caseykawaguchi
Mural by @rube.zilla
Mural by @Pher01
Mural by @pin.pusher

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