Monthly Archives: March 2011

Disney On Ice – Princess Classics in Denver 2011

logo courtesy of feldinc

Disney on Ice Princess Classics came to Denver and we saw it on opening night, thanks to Feld Inc.  I had a contest on my blog earlier in the month and one lucky family was in attendance too.  Daria was the lucky winner and here is her review.  Check it out.  The show continues this weekend so if you haven’t yet, get your tickets now!  Here is the information on pricing and where to get tickets again:

www.Ticketmaster.com/DisneyOnIceDenver.Thursday, March 31 at 7:00PMFriday, April 1 at 11:00AM & 7:00PMSaturday, April 2 at 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PMSunday, April 3 at 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & (7:00 PM Spanish)  Additionally, you can call Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000.
Tickets**:
$72.50 VIP Front Row, $42.50 VIP, $26.50, $20.50, $15.50
 
photo copyright of Feld Entertainment & Disney- all rights reserved

Now…. onto the Show!  We went to Opening Night and saw all the Princesses, their Princes, and Mickey and Minnie were there too!  The girls had a blast!  The show was at the Denver Coliseum which is a convenient venue to get to but make sure you plan to take back roads because the Brighton Blvd exit was backed up onto I-70 and I-25.  There are plenty of back roads to use alternate roads.  There are also several ways and short cuts to get to the parking lot so stay left once you eit on Brighton Blvd.  And go straight for the free lot.  There are also $5 lots and $10 lots nearby but parking at the Coliseum in the South/West Lot is free if you are okay with a long walk.  It is a long walk to the front and will call is on the west side so plan accordingly.  We got there just in time for the opening act even though we left our home (some 10 miles from the Coliseum) at 6pm.  So, plan accordingly.  I think like all events, you have to plan for parking, traffic and the time in line to get into the venue itself. 

Once inside, I have to say the Coliseum is a great venue!  Easy to find your section and your seats and the concessionaires outside are easily accessible but of course, restrooms are always backed up especially if you are trying to get your kids into the women’s restroom.  Ladies, take your men with you – the lines are much shorter.  

photo copyright Feld Inc, Disney- all rights reserved

The first part starts with Aladdin and Jasmine and takes you on a magic carpet ride.  You get snippets of all the Princess Classics including Sleeping Beauty, Mulan, Little Mermaid, Snow White, and of course, Beauty & the Beast.  The first part ends with a beautiful ballroom “dance” of all the prince and princesses and then an appearance with Mickey and Minne.  The kids are mesmerized and ready for act two in no time which is the entire Cinderella story from start to finish- evil stepsisters, fairy godmother and all. 

It is a beautifully done part two that ends with the glass slipper fitting Cinderalla, and a royal “dance” of the Prince Charming and Cinderella.  This leaves you walking out and driving home…happily ever after!  Every Cinderella, Snow White, Prince and Princess in that Coliseum left happy.  I think the parents did too.   The show is longer than Mickey’s Magic Show and is almost 120 minutes from start to finish with the intermission.  We left slightly early to beat the rush home (plus the kids were fading) so I cannot blog about the lines out the parking lot but there are two roads out of the main parking lot- go straight- that leads you onto Brighton Blvd for the quickest access to I-70.  Of course, if the traffic is bad, try to re-route your GPS and take the back roads to I-25 and I-70 and enjoy the ride with the sleepy, happy kids.   I looked back and my eldest was smiling and laughing whilst looking out her window.  That made me smile too.  My youngest is two and oldest four and they had a great time and it is fun for all ages.  If you have princes and princesses, Disney on Ice-Princess Classics should not to be missed! 


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Perfect Moment Monday– Milestones & My Potty Mouth

photo courtesy of Microsoft(c)

This weekend marks the 2nd week that my 2 year-old is really meeting some important milestones. I know, it’s silly to those who do not have kids or those have put all this behind them but it is truly an exciting time in a toddler’s life and dare I say, for the parents as well- potty training.   Granted, we have to stay close to the restrooms but my 2 year-old has been so excited about all of this.  Her face lights up every time she is rewarded or a kind word is spoken to her about going potty, but others have glared at me at stores, restaurants, and random places that we stop… and trust me, this child has potty-trained all over the Denver metro area in the past two weeks.  So, for example, we were having dinner at Souper Salad and she needed to go.  I was surprised she held it as I finished my salad… but we made it and she did it and there was cheering (audience of one- me).  She was so happy, she ran to dad afterwards in the restaurant area and screamed, “daddy… I went pee pee in the potty!” It was very cute but alas, I am sure some who were trying to digest their salads, processed pizzas, and breadsticks were quite disturbed over all this potty talk.  It’s not cute unless you’re going through it I guess.

But I could care less. I am very excited about this and all the milestones in my kids’ lives thus far and they are too- they have a right to be and as they progress through life, I reserve the right to get even more excited and nutty.  For now, until they start sports, dating, and all that other stuff that goes along with having a true potty mouth,  I’ll enjoy these perfect milestone moments – “potty mouth” and all.

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Financial Friday- It’s Your Money*, PART I

* This was posted at Denver Parent on March 18, 2011 as Part I of the series: Saving for your Child’s Education  and is reposted below for you to read

Today, Part II was posted at Denverparent.com. Please read Part II after you read Part I in the series. Leave me a comment here or there and ask your toughest questions or offer your comments on what your experiences are.  We want to hear from you! ***

IT’S YOUR MONEY!
Quarterly financial tips- from one parent to another
Saving for your Child’s Education- Part I

As a parent we have so much to do – it’s a day to day, often, hour to hour survival. Amidst doing chores, picking up kids, dropping off, cooking, cleaning, homework, and if you have babies, changing diapers, we have to find time to figure out this whole money thing. That’s right, money matters do not end just because you got that fat refund from the IRS in April. It is an ongoing process. If only I had a crystal ball to figure out if my 2 year old will go to college and grad school, and whether she will get scholarship. Unfortunately we won’t know that now nor will we know how we are doing job and economy-wise so it is good to plan for your and their future. This series of It’s Your Money! focuses on saving for your child’s education. In Part II, I will discuss the two most widely used vehicles for college and educational savings- 529s and Coverdell ESAs, and in Part III, I will address Custodial Accounts.

If you went college, you probably remember it well but perhaps forgot the costs unless you are still paying the loans. In-state public tuition may have averaged $5000 per year (just tuition, not any other costs). But, today, the cost of an identical college education is double, even triple that, and again, that does not take into account room and board, books, fees, insurance, or other expenses. The average in-state tuition for a public college is $10,000(1). A CNBC news report by Scott Cohn in December of 2010 sums it up the best: “The cost of a college education is rising faster than the cost of medical care and as much as three times as fast as consumer prices in general. But that’s just the beginning of the price of admission.” (2) Statistics from this report and other reports like it indicate that almost two-thirds of graduates leave with a sizeable debt when they graduate. “America’s student debt at the end of 2010 is nearly $880 billion.” The article addresses some of the pitfalls of student loans as well – there is no walking away per se and unlike a home mortgage in which you would lose your home and property, in a student loan default situation, the harm could be for a lifetime- it could follow you or your child for a long time to come, and interest on the unpaid amount compounds daily.

This makes savings for college a must! In order to prevent a situation where you have to take a loan or second mortgage upwards of $80,000 for a private or even state-funded school, it is important to start saving for your child’s education from day 1- the day you get that social security card and it goes beyond a simple passbook savings account. There are better savings options available and putting in as little as $1000 a year can get your little one a sizeable nest egg that he or she can use for college tuition, books, living expenses, and more (depending on the vehicle you use to save). It all starts with you and starts by knowing the tools at your disposal. If you are working parents, there are also ways through your employer to put money in a dependent care spending account (max. per year is $5000 per family) and get pre-tax benefits on daycare and preschool expenses as well. If you plan to send your child to public school, you should be aware that even the cost of public school is no longer “free” like it used to be. There are often fees, and cost associated with a public education these days as well and with the recent cuts announced by almost every school district including here in Colorado, you definitely need to start saving early.
Stay tuned for the next two articles to see what vehicles for educational savings are available but before you save for any of the plans or methods I will discuss, it is important to also know your goals and estimate how much money you think your child will need when they will enter college (depends on the age of the child too). When you estimate the costs, do not forget about the possibility of grants, merit scholarships, sports scholarships, and other programs that may be at play which could reduce that estimate. When In doubt, plan for the higher estimated amount.

References:
(1) Financing Your child’s Education, Deborah Fowles, About.com, referenced at: http://financialplan.about.com/cs/college/a/FinanceCollege.htm
(2) Student Loans Leave Crushing Debt Burden, Scott Cohn, MSNBC.COM, referenced at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40772705/ns/business-cnbc_tv/#

*** Disclaimer: I am not a financial or tax advisor so please seek proper advice before proceeding with your investment or financial goals.

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Disney on Ice- Princess Classics in Denver … it’s only a week away!

I previously posted information and ticket giveaways for Disney on Ice-Princess Classics coming to Denver, March 30 through April 4. Daria is the lucky winner of the Family 4-pack.  And now, opening night is only one week away so if you haven’t already, get your tickets at the ticketmaster website.  If you get tickets for opening night, they are discounted with the code.  Here is the information for opening night and prices for shows and schedule again in case you missed it:

Disney on Ice presents Princess Classics!
This enchanting adventure is an amazing journey to the magical lands of Disney’s classic fairy tales. Travel to a kingdom under the sea, an enchanted French castle, an Arabian palace and more! With special guest Tinker Bell, enter the worlds of your favorite Disney princesses – Cinderella, Jasmine, Ariel, Sleeping Beauty, Belle, Mulan and Snow White – and see their dreams come true as this royal skating extravaganza brings magic to Denver!

Playing at the Denver Coliseum
Performance Schedule:
Wednesday, March 30 at 7:00PM – Opening Night – Tickets are only $13!*
Enter the code: DEAL13 in the “Advance or Promotion Ticket” box at: www.Ticketmaster.com/DisneyOnIceDenver. Thursday, March 31 at 7:00PMFriday, April 1 at 11:00AM & 7:00PMSaturday, April 2 at 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PMSunday, April 3 at 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & (7:00 PM Spanish)
Tickets**:
$72.50 VIP Front Row
$42.50 VIP
$26.50
$20.50
$15.50
Tickets on sale through Ticketmaster online at www.Ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets may also be purchased at the Denver Coliseum box office starting March 14th. Ticket sales link: www.Ticketmaster.com/DisneyOnIceDenver.
*Valid on Wed. March 30th only; excludes VIP seating; Additional fees may apply. Redeem through Ticketmaster at: 1-800-745-3000 or at http://www.ticketmaster.com/Disney-On-Ice-Princess-Classics-tickets/artist/821550.
**Service charges and handling fees may apply.

It’s important to also check out the venue information- The Denver Coliseum is a great venue for events with ample free parking, and is very easy to get to from the entire city.  Check out the Denver Coliseum website to help you plan for your magical evening. 

Additionally for all the Princes and Princesses out there, please print out and enjoy this Princess Coloring Sheet to help build some excitement before the show. What fun! Hope to see you there on opening night and if not, do have a grand and magical time at the ball.

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Nutella- simply yum!

My friend, @CrunchyGreenMom, had an amazing Nutella party.  She was selected to host this party in order to promote Nutella.  What a great time!  I had no idea you could do so much with Nutella.  She made these amazing chimichangas and I have to say, I have to try this at home- it had Nutella, bananas, cayenne pepper and cinnamon – oh wow!

Then, of course, there was a great fruit dip made with Nutella and cream cheese.  You can modify it to make it with yogurt and even with greek yogurt.  All I can say is… yum!  There are some great ideas and recipe ideas from Connie Evers, who is a registered dietician and has written books on Nutrition for Kids.  Check out her website!  She had some great recipes and ideas for healthy eating and how to incorporate Nutella into breakfast, etc., to make kids eat the healthier foods.  It was a great party, yummy eats, and great recipe ideas.  I had a blast!  I remember when I lived in Europe, I used this in place of peanut butter and had tons of crepes with Nutella and bananas.  It just made everything taste better.  I think the next time I am at the Air Force Base, I am going to pick up a jar of Nutella (they are cheaper at commissaries for some reason), and then enjoy again.

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