Stapleton Family Karate is moving to the Northfield Shopping mall, August 2014!

[ Tuesday, July 22, 2014 | 0 comments ]
By Stapleton Moms

Micah Martin and his wife have been serving the community for close to 5 years as the owners of Stapleton Family Karate. Stapleton Family Karate’s mission has always been enriching the lives of families through life skill development such as respect, focus, and confidence. Until now Stapleton Family Karate has been running out of a small training facility in the Stapleton Business plaza. If you don’t know where the Stapleton business plaza is, you are not alone. Stapleton Family Karate’s program has been so well received by the Stapleton community that Micah and his wife have decided to expand their program to the Northfield Shopping Mall this August.

This expansion will allow hundreds more families in our community to participate in their life improving program with the convenience of being right in the mall. Not only will they be located in the heart of Stapleton, but the program will be taught out of a 4000 square foot, state of the art training facility by nationally recognized instructors that are amazing with children! In August the Stapleton Community will have access to the nicest and highest quality family martial arts program in the State of Colorado.

The programs offered will include Taekwondo for the whole family with family classes becoming available after the move to Northfield. A Family class means you can take class right alongside your child or children! The old saying in Martial Arts goes “Families that kick together, stick together!” Stapleton family Karate will also be offering Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for Adults. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is growing in popularity faster and faster as the best way to get in shape and learn self-defense at the same time. The best part will be Women’s only self-defense, Jiu-Jitsu, and fitness; available with childcare!!

If you have ever wanted to try Taekwondo or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for yourself, your child, children, or whole family now is the time! Stapleton Family Karate is offering a risk free, no obligation, and money back guarantee 30 trial. Enroll your entire family for 30 days for only $99.00! To hold a spot for your family for the summer or fall call 303-928-0043 or visit their website at www.stapletonfamilykarate.com for Karate Classes and www.ColoradoBJJ.com for Jiu-Jitsu Classes. Read the full story »
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Helpful Tips on Selecting the Right Real Estate Agent from a Stapleton Dad (and Realtor)

[ Thursday, July 17, 2014 | 1 comments ]
By Scott Petersen

There is much to consider when selecting the right real estate Agent for the purchase and/or sale of your home. Here are some Do’s and Don’ts for helping to make this process easier:

                 • Ask your Stapleton friends/neighbors for their neighborhood Agent recommendations.     Get 2-3 recommendations.
                • Hire a Stapleton Agent who lives in the neighborhood. They have the inside knowledge on what challenges exist on a home-by-home, street-by-street basis; homes that are yet to hit the market; specific builder defects to be aware of, historical knowledge, etc.
                       o Hire the Agent that helped you buy your home if you do not hire a neighborhood Agent. This way, you can negotiate favorable terms regarding his/her commission for your repeat business in the future.
                      o Hire an Agent when buying a new build through a Builder. They will NOT discount the sales price of your new home if you choose to represent yourself. The commission is built in to their pricing whether you have Agent representation or not. Therefore, you should hire an Agent so they discount their commission when you sell it in the future.
                • Negotiate your Agent’s commission. If you like two neighborhood Agents the same as far as competence, experience and approach, base your decision on the overall commission percentages. Everything is negotiable and cheapest/most expensive are not always best.
                • Take an active role in helping to create the game plan for buying/selling your home, including milestones and what happens at those particular milestones (e.g. lower the price after being on the market for XX days).
               • Trust the process and your trusted advisor (your Agent).
               • Do everything possible to make your home show as well as possible. Staging is oftentimes unnecessary (if you have all of the pieces in place), but do know that there is a higher expectation for  how Stapleton homes should show once they hit the market. The bar is set high in this neighborhood. Your greatest chance for selling your home quickly and for top dollar is to have your home priced right and have it show exceptionally well.
               • Hire an inspector for every single home purchase. Your inspector(s) should complete a full inspection, conduct a radon test and scope the sewer line. Yes, it can be expensive to check all three (3) (e.g. inspection, radon & sewer line), but you would rather have the Seller incur these costs before they move out than you after you move in.
               • Put a high premium on honesty. You don’t have the time, energy or expertise to guess your way through the home buying or home selling process. You want someone that will tell you what you need to know in a manner that’s honest and direct.

               • Ask your co-workers or out-of-state friends for their Agent recommendations. You really want an Agent who knows your specific neighborhood. Selling is typically more difficult than buying and your Stapleton Agent will most likely be more than able to help you buy your next home, whether in Stapleton or not.
               • Pay full-commission for any Agent, because this is a competitive real estate market and your Agent should be no different.
               • Automatically assume that the Agent who spends the most money on marketing and advertising is the most successful, respected or best fit for you.
              • Panic. Oftentimes, there is no reason to panic, because the market changes with little rhyme or reason. Put together a game plan with your Agent and stick with it, but recognize the best-laid plans may need to be adjusted from time-to-time in order to remain competitive.
             • Make the assumption that the highest offer is always the best. With the challenges in the Lending world, a lesser cash offer may be best for your family. Your Agent should be able to help advise you through this stressful decision. Trust your gut! There are a number of great Agents in this business. Stapleton is fortunate to have Agents who not only live/work in the neighborhood, but who genuinely have the best interest of the local real estate market in mind.

Scott Petersen is a neighborhood Realtor, Resident, Co-Founder of the Jets Lacrosse Program and Father of Four. Read the full story »
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Summer Vacation Estate Planning Checklist

[ Monday, July 14, 2014 | 0 comments ]
By Yvonne Olivere, Esq.

Traveling without the kids? Kids traveling without you? Before you part, plan. 
Time away from the kids can be both relaxing and stressful. You’re less apt to worry about what could go wrong, however, if you’ve made plans for the worst case scenario of something happening to your children while you are away, or vice versa. Whether you’re leaving the kids with a loved one so you can enjoy a grownup vacation or the kids are leaving you to spend time with friends or family, a little bit of planning on your part will go a long way towards ensuring summertime peace of mind.

Authorize medical care for your children 
As the parent or legal guardian of a minor child (18 years or younger), you need to provide legal authorization for a non-parent caretaker to make medical decisions on behalf of your child while you are apart. A standard authorization document is broad enough to cover most plausible medical scenarios, but you can choose to include restrictions and limitations. An estate planning attorney can help you draft an arrangement that suits your needs.

Appoint Guardians 
Naming guardians—the people who will raise your children if you aren’t able to—is perhaps the single most important estate planning consideration for the parents of minor children. This is, admittedly, a difficult decision, and not one to take lightly (see my blog from April on stapletonmoms.com for guidance on that topic). You can put it off some by giving your children’s summertime caretaker legal short-term guardianship, but sooner or later (preferably sooner), you’ll also want to grant long-term guardianship to a trusted adult. As an estate planning attorney and mother of three, I can guide you through the process of appointing guardians.

Create an Estate Plan
Faced with the prospect of being away from your children even for a couple of weeks might give you the necessary focus (as a mom of three myself, it’s fear for me!) to think about what would happen if the separation was permanent. Don’t let the word “estate” fool you; even those of the humblest means have things to pass on to their children. And an estate plan contains more than instructions for material asset distribution. You can even specify in a plan the values you want instilled in your children by guardians and conditions on inheritance to prevent “trust fund child” syndrome. Failing to come up with an estate plan leaves decisions in the hands of the state and can create undue stress on survivors. A thorough estate plan gives you have greater control over your legacy.

Revise Your Estate Plan 
An out-of-date estate plan could be nearly as problematic as no estate plan at all. Life changes quickly. The addition of a family member, a divorce, the acquisition of new assets, or a change in thinking about who would make the best guardians are just a few of the estate planning issues that should be revisited every couple of years. An estate plan update may not be the sexiest part of your summer, but it may just be the smartest.

Leave an Action Plan
A “Legacy Drawer” is a centralized location where all of your estate planning and other important documents/information can be accessed by your family should something happen to you. Items to include in a legacy drawer include your will and estate plan, personal information such as dates of birth and social security numbers, financial and insurance policy account info, funeral instructions, legacy letters, tax returns, and usernames and passwords for online accounts. A legacy drawer is one more way to ensure you don’t leave important financial matters to chance—or to the courts. It should be organized, secure and easily accessible to loved ones. Planning is an essential component to a worry-free vacation. Yet no matter how well we plan, there is always a nagging feeling that we forgot something before leaving on vacation. Despite fears to the contrary, you probably didn’t leave the stove on or forget to lock the back doors…but you may have neglected important aspects of your estate plan.

If you have any questions about these—or other—estate planning issues, please let me know. I can be reached at Yvonne@oliverelaw.com or 303-974-5617. Read the full story »
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[ Saturday, July 5, 2014 | 0 comments ]
Recently, I visited one of the brand, spankin' new McDonald's(R) locations in Denver, along with a bunch of
other food bloggers. We were there to learn more about the popular fast-food restaurant chain's efforts to provide healthy food to all of us, but specifically, to our kids.

I was impressed, not only with the operation that puts a lot of emphasis on cleanliness and food safety, but also with some of the efforts the company is making to have healthy options and to buy local. The McDonald's system purchased a total of more than $116 million worth of food from Colorado suppliers, sourcing locally whenever possible. I was pleasantly surprised by that.

Someone said to me recently, "if I ate the healthy stuff at McDonald's, it wouldn't feel like I had 'fast food' at all." Well, that's where you have a once-in-a-while splurge. But if you change your association with McDonald's from just a place for junk food, to a place to get something healthy, quickly, you'll enjoy the fruit and nut topped oatmeal and egg-white McMuffin a lot more.

Here are some of the things the company is doing to help:
In the Happy Meal, they automatically include a 1/2 serving of apples with a smaller size of fries (you can also ask for two packets of apples instead of the fries).  They offer fat-free chocolate milk or 1% low fat white milk as a drink. And the sodium in the Happy Meal Chicken McNuggets has been reduced by more than 20%.

McDonald's also offers healthy tips including:

  • Request your burger without the grill seasoning which contains salt
  • Order sandwiches without cheese which saves 200mg sodium per slice!
  • Order grilled chicken with Premium Salads instead of crispy to save 160 calories. 
While the name "McDonald's" will probably always by synonymous with "fast food" and the negative connotations that go along with that, I do believe they are making a real effort to offer decent alternatives and the education behind those better choices. After all, what company wants to be known for contributing to obesity rates? Definitely not McDonald's. Take a look at their website for more information. If we start our kids very young making healthier choices, even when at a fast food restaurant, they still stand a very good chance at growing up learning how to make the right choices for themselves. 

Read the full story »

Stapleton Pediatrics Adds New Doctor

[ Wednesday, July 2, 2014 | 0 comments ]

Nicole Erwin, M.D., Joins Stapleton Pediatrics 

Denver (June 10, 2014) – Stapleton Pediatrics recently announced that Nicole Erwin, M.D., is joining the practice and will begin seeing patients July 2, 2014.

Erwin is a Colorado native who recently completed her pediatric residency at McGaw Northwestern University at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. She received her Doctor of Medicine from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center School of Medicine and her Bachelor of Arts Degree in biochemistry from University of Colorado Boulder. Prior to attending medical school, Erwin worked in pediatric research with several different departments at Children's Colorado Hospital.

“We are very excited to welcome Dr. Erwin to the Stapleton Pediatrics team,” said Dr. Noah Makovsky, of Stapleton Pediatrics. “Her commitment to educating and partnering with families in pediatric health, as well as her connection to the Colorado community make her a perfect fit for our practice.”

“We are confident that patients and parents will love Dr. Erwin,” said Dr. Brandon Davison-Tracy, of Stapleton Pediatrics. “Not only does she have an excellent clinical and research background, but she also has a friendly and caring personality.”

Like all of the Stapleton Pediatrics providers, Erwin values an emphasis on preventive care and education. She has presented lectures on several pediatric-related topics, including developmental evaluations, sleep and sleep disorders, eating habits and acne. Erwin is the recipient of the McGraw-Hill Excellence in Pediatrics Award.

“I am thrilled to return to Denver to work with Stapleton Pediatrics in providing the best in pediatric care and supporting families in raising healthy children,” said Erwin.

Stapleton Pediatrics has been caring for families in and around Stapleton since 2007. To schedule an appointment or to learn more about Stapleton Pediatrics call 303-399-7900 or visit www.stapletonpeds.com. Read the full story »