What to do in Stapleton this weekend: ART SHOWS!

[ Wednesday, November 19, 2014 | 0 comments ]
If you're like me, you blinked sometime in January and realized next week is Thanksgiving.  And once the turkeys have been carved, you know what happens next.  We're all launched right into holiday shopping!

But if you're like me, you've made a pledge to do things a little differently this year.  I'm a small business owner, and I know just how vital small business is to the life of our community.  And with the (very) finite amount of money I plan to spend on my (massive) holiday shopping list, I plan to spend at least half on local small businesses and artisans.  Because behind a small business there is a real person with a big dream, contributing in a real way to his or her community.  I'm so excited to be a big part of that this year!

And if you are, too, there are some great opportunities coming up this weekend!

Central Park's 3rd Annual Craft Show
Central Park Recreation Center- 9651 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd

An arts & crafts sale featuring pottery, holiday-themed decor, jewelry, fabric arts, tasty treats, and more!

Stapleton Artist Group Holiday Art Bazaar
2667 Xanthia Court (Right next to Westerly Creek Elementary)

Come meet local artists and find beautiful and one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on your holiday list!

I hope you'll join me in my pledge to support local small business and artisans this year.  Amazon.com might be easy, but this is FAR more fun! 

Katie Bradford Osborne is a Stapleton Mom and local professional artist.  She graduated from the Art Institute of Philadelphia with a degree in photography in 2009- the same year her daughter, Ana Gray, was born- and now pursues her passion of shooting women including maternity, boudoir, and her very favorite- Empower Her portraits- along with logo design and mixed media jewelry art under the umbrella of her business- The Roaring Artist.
Katie also offers Mamarazzi workshops and personal classes to local moms with DSLRs who are interested in more in-depth knowledge of their cameras and how to capture their children from behind the lens.  
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Take a holiday weekend at Cheyenne Mountain Resort

[ Sunday, November 16, 2014 | 0 comments ]
Looking for a holiday getaway with your kids, but the thought of I-70 traffic makes you shudder? Head to Colorado Springs for the weekend and stay at Cheyenne Mountain Resort with a special Stapleton rate!*

Bringing the kids? Turn your weekend into a Santa extravaganza! Book the Cheyenne Holiday package starting at $99 - and you'll get complimentary Elf turndown service with milk and cookies for the kids, a caramel apple, hot cocoa and hot toddy bar, live music evenings, and you can wrap up the weekend with The Sunday Santa brunch and get your portraits taken with Santa Claus! Weekends only in December.

Or leave the kids at home and ring in the holidays with the MistleToe Magic package - a romantic getaway for two complete with a king room or suite accommodations, holiday chocolate covered strawberries and champagne, and breakfast in bed. Since a romantic getaway isn't complete without a smooch or two, this package also includes mistletoe. Mistletoe Magic is available starting Dec. 1-31.

P.S. Cheyenne Mountain Resort is pet-friendly! And this special Stapleton rate is good YEAR-ROUND!*

What to do in Colorado Springs:

*Reservations must be booked online at www.cheyennemountain.com or via phone at 1-800-428-8886 and use the promo code STAPLETON

Mid October – April 30th: $89.00 per night, Reduced Resort fee of $15
May 1st – Mid October: $149.00 per night, Reduced Resort Fee of $15
Call 1-800-428-8886 or 719-538-4000 or www.cheyennemountain.com
Mention or enter the rate code of: STAPLETON
** When receiving your confirmation the Resort Fee will state $21 (or regular resort fee) however will be adjusted to $15**

Please feel free to call Brian-Douglas Stanwood (your Stapleton neighbor) with additional questions or needs if you are unable to book your room at 303-929-9202.
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Neighborhood Spotlight: Atlas Physical Therapy

[ Wednesday, November 12, 2014 | 1 comments ]
By Stapleton Moms

Atlas Physical Therapy at Stapleton is off and running…
Specializing in orthopedic and functional therapies, Atlas Physical Therapy at Stapleton opened its doors at the Stapleton Plaza in March of 2014. Alex Lanton PT, DPT, OCS is the owner and primary therapist at the location. Alex has six years of experience in physical therapy, receiving his masters and doctorate degrees in physical therapy from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Atlas Physical Therapy at Stapleton offers a wide range of therapeutic and rehabilitative services including: trigger point dry needling, manipulation, massage, functional training and exercise. The goal of Atlas PT is to get you better faster and back to doing the things you enjoy in life. We have the outcomes to prove it! Atlas tracks outcomes in a nationwide database and consistent comes in the top 5-10% nationwide!

The clinic has extended hours, 7am-7pm Monday through Thursday and 7am-5pm on Fridays to accommodate work and school schedules. They accept most major insurances and don’t require a doctor’s referral to administer treatment. To top it all off they offer a free 15 minute consultation to new patients. Atlas has alternative therapies as well. Massage from the amazing hands of Jessi Staib with over ten years of medical massage experience. Reformer and Mat Pilates offered from Robyn Youpt long time Cirque du Soleil performer and Pilates instructor to their talented athletes.  Visit to learn more: www.atlasptco.com Read the full story »
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Are You Helping your Kids to Cultivate a Healthy Relationship with Food – or Setting Them Up for Struggle? – Part III

[ Monday, November 10, 2014 | 0 comments ]
By Annette Sloan

In the second post of this series, we learned about being careful with the comments we make about our kids’ food choices, and I shared tips for modeling a healthy attitude and making it easy and desirable for the whole family to eat well.

Today’s third and final installment of the series is perhaps the most important. Like Rodney Atkins says in his hit song “Watching You,” our children are constantly watching us, and they learn from everything we do. The messages we send via our own relationships with food and body are no exception. In a society where 75% of women practice some level of disordered eating, it’s a good idea for moms to take an honest and compassionate look at their own thoughts and behaviors around food.

DON’T: Pass down your own food and body image issues.

Did you know that many thought patterns and behaviors that we consider normal are actually signs of an unhealthy relationship with food and body? For example:
  •  Feeling guilty after eating a “bad” food 
  • Measuring your self-worth by how “good” or “bad” you’ve been with food (or by the number on the scale) 
  • Being constantly dissatisfied with or ashamed of your body 
  • Ongoing inner and outer chatter about what you should and shouldn’t eat
  • Comparing what’s on your plate to what’s on other people’s plates (and feeling superior or inferior, depending on the match-up) 
  • Bonding with other women over what you dislike about your bodies (I love this clip from Mean Girls as an example) 
  • Judging other women’s bodies (whether it’s hating them because they’re perfect or thinking mean thoughts about their perceived imperfections) 
I know each of these behaviors intimately, because I used to practice them. To be honest, they pretty much ruled my life for years. (Read my story here).

As I’ve shared my journey with others, I’ve found that almost every woman relates to it on some level. It doesn’t take an eating disorder to make an unhealthy relationship with food. If one or more of the points above resonated with you, it might be time to take a gentle look at your thought patterns and behaviors. I promise that you’ll feel much better when you’re free from food-and-body chains. Perhaps more importantly, you’ll show your kids what it looks like when a woman is happy, healthy, and confident in her body. Wouldn’t it be great if your kids grew up with the message that being healthy is easy, fun, and joyful, instead of an elusive goal driven by force, deprivation, and obsession with looking a certain way?

DO: Commit to honestly work on cultivating a happy, healthy relationship with food and eating.

I’ve come a long way in my own relationship with food. I’m no longer chained to the above behaviors. I now eat whatever I want, and, paradoxically, I’ve found that when I give myself this permission, I naturally want healthy foods most of the time. I like to share this lesson with my clients: “Be careful not to should too much, because eventually you’ll end up shoulding all over yourself.”

If you’re interested in embarking on a journey towards a healthier relationship with food, here are a few resources I recommend:
For less time-intensive motivation and inspiration, there’s lots of good stuff on my Facebook page.

I can tell you from experience that this is not an easy journey, but the rewards are well worth it. I wish you the best of luck. If there is anything I can do to help, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Annette Sloan owns (w)holehearted, a Denver-based business specializing in compassionate health coaching for teen girls. Her work as a coach and speaker empowers teens to discover their happiest, healthiest, most authentic selves. Annette also offers mother-daughter bonding sessions that incorporate yoga, positive body image, and a healthy relationship with food. Learn more (and download your free report, “The Savvy Parent: Five Essential Practices for Role-Modeling a Happy, Healthy Relationship with Food,”) at www.healthyteengirls.com Read the full story »
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Putting the Happy Back into the Holidays

[ Wednesday, October 22, 2014 | 0 comments ]
By Lisa Culhane

The holidays are just around the corner. I know this because the catalogs encouraging me to redecorate my entire house lest my guests judge my inferior interior have started to arrive along with the Christmas decorations at the neighborhood mega store.

If the idea of the holidays brings a smile to your face and you find yourself skipping around the room then you’re set. Enjoy. However, if the thought makes you feel like sprinting for the corkscrew as you shove copious amounts of chocolate into your mouth or you suddenly feel the desire to curl up under your desk in the fetal position, read on.

Every year it happens. We think this is it. This is the year I’m going to get the holidays Pinterest perfect. We know it’s possible because obviously everyone else is doing it.

Or are they?

Comparing ourselves to the social media vortex is a sure-fire recipe for guilt, stress and overwhelm. To avoid this pretty little cocktail this season try the steps outlined below. Decide to put the happy back into your holidays. For many the holiday season is filled with unrealistic expectations that can be a minefield, whether we're expecting something from someone else or from ourselves. Either way, when we wind up with a different outcome from the one we hoped for, disappointment guilt and blame aren’t far behind.

Anne Lamont calls expectations “resentments under construction.”  Unchecked, expectations can create all sorts of angst, especially around the holidays. As the saying goes, hope springs eternal and perhaps this is the year your family will change. The year that your brother won’t get sloppy drunk, that your uncle will keep his racist comments to himself and that your mother won’t lean over and stage whisper, “are you sure you want that cookie dear?” But expecting your family to change is setting yourself up for disappointment. In spite of our most ardent hopes, the most likely scenario is that no one is going to change. In fact, the only person you can absolutely count on to change is you.

One way to make a positive change is to notice and note your conscious and unconscious
Christmas Morning
expectations. For instance, perhaps you unconsciously expect to have a relaxing Christmas day in which you stay in PJ’s and read your new book from Santa. However, if you’re staying at your in-laws who invite the world over for brunch you are going to be disappointed. Or maybe you are planning an elaborate dinner that will take everyone’s help to prepare, yet your family would prefer eating something simple and spending the time together working a new puzzle.

This year, instead of enduring disappointment, head it off at the pass. By simply noticing and noting your expectations, you can create more realistic ones or choose a different path.  For instance, you cannot enjoy a day in your PJs if you have agreed to stay at your in-laws. So, you need to make a conscious decision. You can agree to go to your in-laws and adjust your expectations or decide to stay home for the holidays so you can enjoy a PJ day. Or maybe you agree to go to your in-laws but leave a day early so you can create a second Christmas day at home where everyone spends the day in PJ’s reading and relaxing. The point in noticing and noting your expectations is to create a solution that works rather than unconsciously believing in an unrealistic outcome.

Another issue that can lead to holiday disappointment is failing to set boundaries, especially around gift-giving and over-planned schedules.

First, let’s address gifts and how we receive them. Again, start by checking in with your expectations. If there is something you want, ask for it because no one can read your mind. No one. Believe me, I’ve tried. For years my expectation was that if my husband loved me, he would know what I wanted. Giving up this simple, but crazy expectation helped both of us immensely. Trust me. Don’t count on Osmosis. Ask. And be realistic. In addition, be gracious. There will almost always be a something that takes you by surprise. Just assume the person meant well and move on. Dwelling on the meaning of a misguided gift will only make everyone involved feel bad. (And keep reading for my suggestion on how to turn that blooper into a winner!)

Now, for those you plan to buy for, I suggest a fresh perspective. Instead of sending Aunt Bess yet another fruit cake or pair of slippers consider making a donation in her name to an organization she loves. Or, consider giving Uncle Alfred an invitation for tea or ask him over for a game night and he’ll be far happier in the long run. In fact, studies on the Greater Good website demonstrate that experiences make people happier than possessions and that the feeling of happiness grows, rather than fades, over time. You might find this dubious but one year my 11 year old daughter was thrilled to receive a single book, a jump rope, toothpaste and a handful of treats for Christmas while my 9 year old son was delighted with his book, popsicle sticks, yoyo and treats. We were traveling and tested the concept in real time that having fun experiences together trumped stuff. And it worked.

The marketers would love for you to believe that everyone wants more stuff. I encourage you to take a moment and question that premise. You might be pleasantly surprised.

As for time, if you are truly the belle of the ball type with a closet full of good dresses, a reliable babysitter and copious amounts of free time, then by all means say yes to every invitation that comes your way. However, if you’re not, graciously saying no to every invitation that doesn’t light you up like the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center is a better choice.

To accomplish this, start today, before the invitations begin to arrive by creating a way to measure your reaction. Take out a sheet of paper and draw a line across the page. In the middle of the line write a big fat 0, which is neutral. At one end of the line put a -10 which means absolutely not and at the other a +10 which means absolutely. This is your scale. When an invitation arrives, pull out your scale, take three deep breaths and then simply ask yourself, “Where does this invitation fall on the scale?”

Write down the first number that pops into your head -- the number that arrives a split second before the rationalization that says “but it’s my boss, best friend, mother, etc.” If the first number is a + 5 or above, RSVP yes and for anything less, decline. No excuses are necessary. Just say no politely. A simple note or phone call that simply says, “Thank you so much for your kind invitation. We’re so flattered to be included and so sorry that we will be unable to attend” will suffice. While initially difficult, this practice ensures that you are spending your time on the things you truly enjoy rather than on the things you’ve justified as being important. And it is this simple practice, repeated again and again, that allows real happiness to take root.

Another issue that often causes holiday anxiety is a never-ending to-do list. This can be stressful, both because an unfinished list prevents you from relaxing, and because many of us simply put items on the list that are neither important nor satisfying to our holiday season.

Just like above, using a scale to manage your to-do list is helpful. First, make a list. Don’t skimp. Write every little and big thing down. Now go back over the list and notice which items make you feel like skipping and which items bring up a feeling of dread and rate them on your scale from a -10 (I would rather die than complete this task) to a +10 (This makes me feel like skipping!) Put a check next to every thing that rates above a +5. For everything else, ask yourself if it is really necessary. If not, see if you can just decide to not do it. (Bag it.) Many items might initially seem important but really just add a lot of work without actually adding much to your holiday celebration. Is the time and effort of homemade cookies worth it? Or would you be just as happy with treats from the store or from that bakery you’ve been meaning to try? Everyone’s answer will be different. That’s the point. It’s not about doing what’s on Pinterest or everyone else’s list but rather about doing what makes you feel good.

If after an honest evaluation there are still items on your list that don’t make you feel like skipping and are necessary, figure out a way to get someone else to do it for you by either paying them to do it or trading a service. (Barter it.) Or make doing the item more fun for yourself. (Better it.) For instance, I dislike shopping both on-line and in stores and the pressure and crowds of the holidays increase that feeling. So last year I first limited the number of items I needed to buy by giving donations in people’s names in lieu of gifts to many on our list. Then I limited my actual shopping to the few stores I truly enjoy. (Bettered it.) Finally, my husband then did the rest of the shopping on-line for specific gifts we couldn’t get at those select shops. (Bartered it.) And viola, just like that the dreaded holiday shopping was not only done but enjoyable and easy.

Another sneaky component here is the glorification of busyness and feeling stressed. That’s a black hole you want to avoid. As friends, colleagues, family and social media compete for who is busier choose not to participate in the conversation. I guarantee that you’ll feel better.   No matter your best intentions we can still get overwhelmed despite our best efforts. When this happens, sometimes just observing yourself and your situation, as though you were watching a movie, can give you a new perspective and allow you to see the humor in your situation.

For instance, I like to pretend I write for The Onion and as the holiday drama unfolds I reframe the scene in my mind as if it’s going to be an Onion article.  In doing so, I’m able to distance myself enough from the situation so that things that usually make me crazy make me laugh instead. If the idea of being a satirist doesn’t work for you perhaps the idea of a contest does. Invite 4 friends to contribute $10 each or have everyone pony up their worst gift of the season and whoever has the craziest family story when you reconvene for the post mortem, wins the money or box of bloopers. At the very least, make arrangements with a trusted confederate who you can call to debrief with while you’re in the middle of crazy town. Just knowing you are going to share your story with a friend may help you detach, just enough, from the craziness and not be drawn in. Whether viewing the scenario as if it’s a movie, using humor, a contest or debriefing, the idea is that you see your siblings bickering, your child’s fit about not getting a pony or the gift from your mother-in-law as something to laugh about.

Yes, the holidays can be stressful. However, by noticing and noting your expectations, limiting your activities to things that fall into the higher range of your happiness scale and learning to laugh at the craziness, you can put the happy back into the season. Skipping is optional.

Lisa Culhane is the author of Discover the New G Spot (or How to Unfriend Your Guilt), a Life Coach, weekly gratitude blogger and the mother of 2 teenagers and can be found at lisaculhane.com or reached at lisa@lisaculhane.com Read the full story »