Monthly Archives: October 2013

Chipotle’s Sofritas have come to Colorado- try it today!

TM registered- Chipotle

Chipotle has rolled out its Sofritas in Colorado.  Sofritas  are compromised of shredded Hodo Soy tofu (non-GMO) braised with chipotle chiles, roasted poblano peppers and spices.  I don’t eat meat but I hear the texture is just like meat, and personally, I loved the flavor!  It is mildly spicy (not overwhelming), and the spices flavor this vegan protein quite well.  Being a vegetarian, I am very excited about returning for more!

sofritas inside soft corn shell
sofritas inside soft corn shell

Sofritas was introduced in Chipotles in California last year as a test market, and has finally made its way east to us.  So yummy!  I had the opportunity to try it out* and I chose to get mine in the tacos.  I tried it with 2 soft corn shells, and 1 flour.  What a yummy vegetarian, protein-filled lunch, and the price in most Denver markets is only $6.24 for three tacos, a giant burrito, or you can still do the naked bowl.  You can add all the same toppings, and ingredients to this vegan alternative to meat.  I topped mine with black beans, cheese, lettuce, brown rice, and my choice of salsa, and sour cream.  Unlike the veggie burrito/tacos, guacamole is extra when you order the sofritas.

*Required Disclaimer: I was offered a free Sofritas (value of $6.24) coupon to try this item out.  This did not influence my post, and the review is honest and based on my personal experience with the item. 

Share

Fall in Colorado – there’s nothing quite like it!

photo 5I posted about Fall before– it is my favorite season of all, but not until I moved to Colorado.  I grew up outside of New Orleans, and while I love my hometown, seasons tend to blend, and you roll from one to another without really noticing.  I have lived many places – the mid-west, Europe, and states in the Southern U.S., but Colorado has very distinct seasons, and the most noticeable, for me, is Fall.  The great thing is you don’t have to venture far to notice all the beautiful colors, and changes.  You can experience beautiful Fall in your own back or front yard, down the street, or just around the corner.  My favorite thing about Fall is just driving, and observing that in front of me, noticing the beautiful foliage, often reflecting off the lake which is only a stone’s throw away from my home.

photo 2There’s nothing quite like Fall in Colorado.  The morning frost starts to linger a bit longer, and when you walk outside in the early morning, you can see your breath.  It’s crisp, you feel it, but it’s a dry cold, and my body welcomes the wondrous chill of Fall in the air.  When I am outside, I can literally smell that Fall is here from all that is before me- the leaves, the grassy burnt aroma of foliage turning beautiful shades of amber, burnt orange, vivid yellow, while some remain green.  Soon, the first snow storm will arrive and all the leaves will blanket the grass beneath the tree, leaving bare branches.

photo 3

Fall represents so much to me, and always has.  The changing of the leaves and the weather is just the superficial change.  It helps me prepare for what is to come.  For me, since arriving to Colorado in 2002, Fall has generally correlated with major life changes. Like the leaves turning different colors as they mature in the Fall, my life has changed in some major way, always in the Fall.   October and November, like the harvest, has brought bountiful change to my life- most wondrous of change.  So beautiful and varied the colors of the leaves, so many milestones reflected in each turning shade.  From career milestones and promotions, pregnancy, job offers and job changes, major elections, to dating and a wonderful once-in-a-lifetime marriage proposal, Fall in Colorado paints a beautiful history in vivid, bright, and beautiful colors for me- for us.

photo 1Now, with our children, we have new milestones, all just as beautiful, vivid colors and different shades and shapes of leaves.  Fall in Colorado- there’s nothing quite like it!

photo(2)

Share

Celebrate Choice: Working Moms, At Home or Outside the Home

I have had just a glimpse of a different life, just a mere taste, and I think it’s time to end the age-old battle between working moms outside the home and those who work so hard at home.  It’s a choice depending on life circumstances, and sometimes it’s not a choice, but a necessity for special circumstances.  Suffice it to say, celebrate the choice, appreciate where you are in, and just stand still long enough to enjoy it.  In this post, I refer to stay at home moms as “work at home moms” because honestly, I do not see what else you call it.  These women and men, although I just use the female reference for simplicity of this post, labor at home for their families, and work very hard- cleaning, repairing/fixing things, errands, finances, chores, kids, sometimes homeschooling, volunteering at schools, churches, and hospitals.  I refer to moms who work at an office, or outside the home (even if part-time) as moms who work outside the home, but let’s face it, these men and women are juggling all of the above plus the job(s) outside the home.  It’s amazing what they can do and accomplish, often on little to no sleep.

I fall into the category of a mom who works outside the home and I can attest to a zombi-ish state on most days.  However, over the past two weeks, due to circumstances outside my control, I have had the rare opportunity to get a glimpse of the work at home mom and wife’s life.  Unlike maternity leave, though, there was not a newborn at home, both kids were in their respective schools, and the probability is high that I will be paid back for this lost time.  During this time, I have come to both understand and respect work at home mommies so, so much more.  The days just fill up, and there’s sometimes not enough time to do it all!  And add to that, one, two, three, or more kids at home, school drop-offs and pick-ups (no aftercare), and perhaps even special needs children, and voila! These mothers (or fathers) don’t just work, they work their **** off! I don’t know how you do it all, but I completely am in awe.  It is a non-stop day, and you wake up the next day and the next and you get to do it all over again.

Sure, working outside the home is no picnic either.  The commute is awful, the work is often piled sky high, and my home looks like a tornado ripped through it all the time.  But I get a little distraction or escape daily.  I can shut my office door, get my work done, and I can sip my coffee whilst I read and reply to the countless e-mails in my inbox.  I am interrupted by a knock on the door by colleagues with whom I can have pleasant adult conversations with, and then still return to my work undaunted.  Sure, there are crazy emergencies, and deadlines, but I get to control them and I get to choose how I react to the stress.  I can either let it overwhelm me and freak out, or just get it done.  I use my lunches to either workout, run errands, or eat lunch peacefully at my desk whilst knocking some work out.

A work at home mommy with kids at home can’t often control what is going on around her and has to simply react.  She has to structure play time, learning time, keep doctor’s appointments, pay bills, manage household finances, shop for groceries, run errands, and keep her sanity.  The knock at her door is often while she is trying to escape to use the restroom or shower in peace.  She often can’t return to what she was doing undaunted.  As I can attest, she often eats her breakfast or lunch standing up while serving others, if she eats at all.  I have literally had to take breakfast with me and eat it in the car while doing drop offs.  Forget about running errands in peace if the kids are at home.  Activities with kids are exhausting because you’re watching them, helping them, and not really distracted or engrossed in something fun (other than your smart phone).  Granted, those are the moments working outside the home mom really misses, and often cries at work because she can’t be at the park with her daughter after 3 p.m. pick up.  It’s a choice, and often a hard one.  It’s sometimes not a choice if finances are at issue, or she’s a single mommy, but it doesn’t take away how hard it is for working outside the home mom.

Work at home mommy has a hard time breaking away for even a coffee break.  The entire day is planned for her.  If all her kids are in school, she has a chance to do something fun with friends, but her friends are all in the same boat, so scheduling is tough.  Often, work at home mom finds herself living Groundhog’s Day– different week, same routine. Cleaning bathrooms and rooms 1-2 one day, kitchen and flooring on day 2, and basement on day 3 (or, some other order).  Dishes are always part of the daily routine. The following week, this repeats in some form or fashion.  Add in there menu planning, and cooking and shopping for the ingredients.  She may have time to work out only if her kids are not there, and even then it is a luxury.  Chores are still chores, and errands are errands, but work at home mommy has an advantage that work outside the home mommy does not have: She can always be present.  She is there!  When the school calls, she can run there.  When something was forgotten at home by little Joey, she can run it to the school, or just be more present at the school and in her kids’ lives.  She is there when they get on the bus, get off the bus, or for pick up and drop offs, and after school care is provided by the best care provider ever – her!  This makes me jealous and a bit envious of work at home mom.  Don’t get me wrong, work outside the home makes time for her kids too when she can, and she cherishes those moments too.  She volunteers for field trips and classroom parties at the school when she can, and she always schedules doctor’s appointments too.  It’s just that some weeks, work outside the home mom will be out of town, or she has to schedule around work commitments, so her schedule is more unreliable than work at home mom.  And if work outside the home mom is as lucky as I have been with my employer and my supervisors, she has a lot of flexibility, but work outside the home mom feels guilty when she has commitments at work and has to miss something for her kiddo.  Likewise, she feels bad or feels she is letting her colleagues and others down when she can’t be at a work because of something for her kiddo.  It is literally a two-edged sword.   Work outside the home mommy is always packing her bags and going on a guilt trip no matter what.

There are pros and cons to both lifestyle choices, but it is what it is, and it’s best to find silver linings in what you are present in now.  Know that no matter what you choose, someone will be in awe of your choice even if you are not.  There is still so much judgment about work at home mommies, and it’s just wrong.  They don’t sit around and do nothing all day.  They don’t have all this free time  – in fact, the day just flies by before its time for pick-up and after school activities.  They are running kids from music lessons, to gymnastics to swim and appointments.  Their houses are not always the cleanest, and they don’t need to get lives- they have amazing lives, and they are living in the present.  All of us can learn something from work at home mommies.

There is also so much judgment around work outside the home mommies, and this is  wrong as well.  These women are often working upwards of two jobs, commuting daily, and still balancing and juggling their jobs, parenting, household responsibilities, and all of the other things.  They are trying to do it gracefully as possible, so cut them some slack.  They are not neglecting their children, nor are their children growing up any less loved than yours.  Often, they are loved even more because their parents cherish every second they get with them.

Whether you fit inside one description or another or a totally different one, doesn’t matter.  You are a mom and with me, celebrate choice.  I have seen the light and it took a forced furlough for me to understand what my life could be like if I made a different choice.  If you feel you need to change things, try to imagine yours differently and you may appreciate how the other half lives.  But, more importantly, hopefully, it will remind you that wherever you are, whatever choice you made, you are living an amazing life and doing the best you can do!  You are where you are supposed to be!  If you are not, don’t be afraid to change it. For now, celebrate the choice you made, celebrate the choice I made, and let’s be on the same side.

Share

Butterfly Pavilion Bug-a-Boo Event Review

IMG_8265Just in time for Halloween, a Bug-a-Boo event* at the Butterfly Pavilion located in Westminster, Colorado, at I-36 and Church Ranch Blvd exit.  I wrote a pre-event review and you can read all about it here.   The event is 19-20 October, so if you haven’t been there, you still have time to go tomorrow!

IMG_8254

 

All of the information I posted before is included below including the discount tickets, but here is my review:  We had a great time.  It was the first time the girls could wear their Halloween outfits out and about and sweet Snow White and Bloom had a fantastic time!  There is so much to do – so little time, and with little ones, you probably won’t get to do it all.  There is indoor trick or treating at different areas (perfect in any weather), and all the bugs are there to join in on the fun!  A parade is performed around noon on the terrace, and you can still do the butterfly outdoor area with costumes on.  You can visit Rosie, and hold her with your costume on, and get face paintings, glitter tattoos, and decorate your own pumpkin! There are prizes, and the usual fun Butterfly Pavilion critters and bugs to see.  Lots of local vendors are on site to provide prizes, gifts, and candy.

decorate your own mini pumpkin
decorate your own mini pumpkin

The only warning I have is that you get there right when it opens or go after 1230, so that the crowds have died down.  It was insane today when we arrived to get a parking spot at noon, and the overflow lot is all the way at AMC theaters!  Other than the crowds, which I cannot stand, it is fine once you are inside.  Because there is so much do to and so many places to visit, you can avoid the crowds, except for face painting, of course.  All in all, a great event and fun for all ages.  A discount code is included below, and it’s not too late to go if you haven’t been yet.

IMG_8268When: Oct 19-20 all day (open 9-5pm – last entry at 4:15 p.m.)
What: Experience Metro Denver’s favorite Halloween event – Bug-A-Boo at Butterfly Pavilion! Celebrate the fall season dressed in your Halloween best while enjoying indoor trick-or-treating, creepy crawly activities, a parade led by Pete the Mantis, and lots more fun for the whole family to enjoy! Kick off the holiday a week early! Festivities will run from 9am to 5pm on both days.
Coupon Offer: Thanks to Colorado Kids, you can save $2.00 per ticket (up to 4 people) – click here for the coupon link.
image001

Have a good time and wear a costume!
Have a good time and wear a costume!
* Required Disclaimer: I was offered free admission for my family in exchange for this post and a post-event posting/review of the event. Sponsored by Coloradokids.com
Share

Endurance House – Westminster, Colorado

Endurance House- 136 and I-25
Endurance House- 136 and I-25

Endurance House is an athletic store with products for the marathoner and the triathlete, or in my case, the basic runner.  The store has a concept of more than just selling athletic goods and apparel, but supporting events, and the athlete.  This weekend is their grand opening so if you haven’t headed out there already, try to do so.  Their grand-opening events are listed here.  Located at the Orchard shopping center across from Wal-mart at I-25 and 136th, this shop is a gem.  We went there today to check out their store, their concept, and to get some Newtons.  I cannot wait to try these shoes out!

My new Newtons!
My new Newtons!

The best experience for me was the staff.  They are so helpful, very friendly, and committed to the customer.  My representative spent upwards of 30 minutes with me as I ran on the treadmill, discovered the perfect shoe for me, and as I waffled in the decision-making proMomma and her new running shoescess.  The store has biking, and running accessories, and the staff is knowledgeable, and devoted to helping you buy the right items based on individual needs.  They know the market, and they know the sport.  I highly recommend Endurance House, and I thank 3W races for introducing me to them.  Go check out their newest Westminster, Colorado, location for some great deals this weekend!

 

*Please note: this is not a paid post, nor was I asked to do a review of the store.  I won free Newton running shoes at an event sponsored by 3W races.  My husband raced in the event.  I wrote this review on my own and all opinions are my own.  I had a positive experience at the Endurance House, Westminster, Colorado, and wanted to share this positive experience with my readers.

Share