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About the author  ⁄ Andrea Fellman

Andrea Fellman is a Mom who hasn't lost her style to motherhood. Andrea is the owner and editor-in-chief of Savvy Sassy Moms. She also contributes weekly to BabyCenter's Blog, a Los Angeles iVoice for ivillage.com, has run the social media and blog for the children's retailer the Right Start, and is now living in Costa Rica. Connect with me on Google+

Citizen e-Cigarettes9
I used to smoke. {Gasp!} And I’m not talking just a few puffs here and there when I was out at a bar with my girlfriends, and it wasn’t just a college phase either. I was buying packs of cigarettes long after college and usually hiding it from friends. I am not proud of this and I am not going to try to demonize anyone who smokes either. However, I think we can all agree that it is not good for you and it can kill you. I know, driving a car can kill you too, but no one chooses to get hit by a car.

What was my motivation to quit?

I became a mother. Oh, and I saw a picture of me in my beautiful wedding dress smoking a cigarette and it made me cringe.

Becoming a mother makes you see the world and yourself in entirely different light. It’s cliche but true, becoming a mother changes you. Suddenly your priorities shift. I had a responsibility not only to myself but to my family that I would be around for a very long time and I wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize that. I also want to be a role model for my children and setting a good example for my children is always my number one priority.

I pretty much quit cold turkey. I’m an all in type of person and when I set out to do something I do it.  It wasn’t easy, but my husband hated it, the cost was getting out of control and it just didn’t feel good, in fact it made me feel ashamed. I also found myself hanging around more and more people that didn’t smoke, so socially it just wasn’t around me as much anymore. This also made is a bit easier.

Choosing to make positive changes and live a better life comes in all different forms, we all have bad habits we’re trying to break, no one is perfect. It’s just a matter of three things; motivation, determination and having the right support. If you are a Mom that wants to quit smoking and want to make a positive change in your life, not only for you but for those little ones watching your every move, then I want to encourage you and support you.

Citizen e-Cigarettes11

Citizen e-Cigs

Citizen founder, Monica Ord, spent the majority of her career as a biomedical executive working with positive new treatments for cancer. Through clinical trials, she learned that even the best treatments only saved 20 percent of the cancer patients. So she founded Citizen Electronic Cigarette in 2014 to create a safer alternative for smokers. Her mission is to help wipe out second-hand smoke, as well as the toxins and chemical damage associated with traditional tobacco.

Almost all fail, as the American Cancer Society acknowledges. Even the patch and gum yield only a 15 percent success rate. Why? Smoking is a complex social and sensory habit. Smoking cessation products betray smokers trying to quit because they don’t give them the full physical/oral fixation experience of smoking. But Citizen Electronic Cigarette does — and its usage among people trying to quit smoking could help reduce the estimated 443,000 deaths caused every year by tobacco use.

Citizen’s team has upwards of 25 years in the biomedical, cancer and disease industry, so they have a deep perspective on the importance of the task at hand.

Why Citizen e-Cig?

Citizen rechargeable e-Cigs and eCigar give smokers the exact same experience of the real thing, except without the odorous, toxic smoke. Instead, they simulate cigarettes and cigars by producing a vapor resembling smoke. The taste is what smokers expect, even winning four national taste-test competitions. And this can make all the difference in helping smokers who want to quit.

Tobacco smoke contains a deadly mix of more than 7,000 chemicals and chemical compounds. Citizen e-Cig products contain only four food-grade ingredients (each approved by the FDA). Those trying to kick the habit never again will have to question what they just inhaled.

Plus, Citizen e-Cig has a solution for nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Smokers can step down their nicotine intake from 24 to 18 to 0 milligrams.

The very real prospect of helping smokers quit was enough to prompt John Paul DeJoria, (Patrón Spirits Co. & Paul Mitchell) to invest in Ord’s venture and prompt Sir Richard Branson, to champion Ord’s venture as “ingenious and meaningful.”

Get Social with Citizen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RepublicEcigs
Twitter: https://twitter.com/citizenecig
Instagram: http://instagram.com/citizen_ecig/

Citizen e-Cigarettes12

$1000 Citizen e-Cig GIVEAWAY

Citizen wants to know #whatsyourmotivation to quit? Tell them & you could win a year’s supply of Citizen product ($1,000 worth) for you or a loved one to make the safer switch!

Tell us: #whatsyourmotivation to quit tobacco? Enter the $1000 #giveaway.
Please enter through the Rafflecopter form below.

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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post and giveaway promotion. All my thoughts are my own. I share my story with you because it is honest and true and I only hope to help you live a happy and healthy life!

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It’s not everyday you get to jump around on trampolines and fly into foam pits with a board strapped to your feet! Last week I shared our family ski vacation at Copper Mountain with some helpful family travel tips, but this week I am sharing one of our favorite activities at Copper Mountain and this one actually took place off the mountain!

Our family visited the Woodward Barn, Copper Mountain which is an indoor training facility for skiers and snowboarders to practice and perfect their high flying jumps, twists, turns and tricks. So we took to the mats, trampolines and skate track at Woodward to see if we could be like the pros and turn a few tricks ourselves.

Woodward Copper Mountain Family Travel Colorado

Woodward Copper Barn

Our class started out with some stretching and basic tumbling to get our bodies warmed up. Parents can sit out and watch the class, but we wanted in on the action too! However, my husband and I could definitely feel our age a little when we did our backward summersaults. I think we both wanted to participate not only to bond as a family and show our kids we’re still cool, but to prove to ourselves we could complete the class,  and still come out in one piece.

After the warm up exercises we hit the trampolines and did some jumping into the large foam pits. As we made our way around the facility our instructor also gave us some important safety instructions. The Woodward Barn is open to anyone and offers drop in times for anyone to come and practice their skills, but they also offer a variety of weekly classes, private lessons, group classes, camps and host groups and parties.

Woodward Foam Pit Copper Mountain Colorado

Woodard Barn Intro Session

When taking an into session you should wear comfortable athletic type clothing.  We were also instructed to bring our snowboard boots. 

The last half hour of our class was spent with our snowboard boots strapped onto a board with wheels, much like a skateboard. Our kids were a little hesitant when we started on the skate ramps, because you start up on a platform and then roll down a ramp, so they weren’t too sure about the situation. The instructor assisted our kids and guided them down the platform before releasing them and letting the momentum take them. Once they got the first one out of the way they loosened up a bit. For the most part it is very easy and they go pretty slow.

After a few times at that we could move on to the skate ramps that launch you into a large foam pit! Sadly my kids were not having any of that. But my husband and I had to try it. I did not get to high off the ramp before falling into the pit, but it was so much fun cruising down the ramp and feeling just a tiny bit like a dare devil.

Woodward Shed Copper Mountain McKenna

Copper Mountain Woodward Indoor Training Family Travel

Woodwaed Copper Mountain Colorado Hudson
Woodward Copper Mountain Family Travel
The introduction class at Woodward Barn was a great family activity that gave us a break from the mountain and let us all try something different and fun. It was hard pulling my kids out of the foam pit and getting them to leave!

I appreciate ski resorts and mountains that have unique activities to offer kids and families. This was a great addition to our trip and an experience we’ll never forget. I would highly recommend visiting the Woodward Barn, the kids will love it and you’ll show your kids just what mom and dad are made of.

Have you been to Woodward or Copper Mountain? Would you want to try this?

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Winter Fashion Inspiration Savvy Sassy Moms
Winter Fashion Blues

The holidays are over and many of us are all hyped up on our New Year resolutions, but soon you may start to experience the winter fashion blues!  Which is why I wanted to bring you a little fashion inspiration. I spotted some beautiful blue handbags last week and then of course I started finding other items in this smokey shade of blue. I love this color because it’s lighter than black or brown but still chic and calm like grey. I was not a fan of the Pantone Color of the year for 2015 and so if I had to choose I just might have chose this gorgeous color. This color looks great as clothing, accessories, on your nails, home decor and even in your bathroom too.

So here are a few fashionable picks to help get you through the chilly days ahead.

Winter Fashion Inspiration

1. Michael by Michael Kors Selma Handbag $228
2. Infinity Scarf $29
3. Blue Jacquard Blue Skirt $30
4. Valreas Drop Earrings $48
5. Essie Parka Perfect $8.50
6. Navy Blue Velvet Pillow $50
7. Kate Spade Live Colorfully Perfume $95
8.Blue Trench Coat $26
9. Sole Society Marlena Clutch $40
10.Origins Charcoal Mask $16
11. ASH Jalouse Boot $198
12. Kate Spade Cosmetics Case $55

What do you think about this shade of blue?
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Copper Mountain Family Ski Vacation Savvy Sassy Moms Travel
Copper Mountain Family Ski Vacation

If you are planning a family ski vacation in Colorado, there are plenty of options. I was a little overwhelmed when looking online at all mountains and resorts. Luckily, we have some friends from Colorado who gave us some suggestions and steered us to the two they thought we would like the most — the first one being Copper Mountain.  So after flying into Denver and staying two nights in the Mile-High City, we hit the road! Copper Mountain is a just a short, two-hour drive from Denver (depending on weather conditions, of course,) which was also one of the reasons it was recommended to us.

Ten Mile Haus Copper Mountain Condo near the VillageCopper Mountain Lodging

There are several options for lodging at Copper Mountain. We stayed at Ten Mile Haus, which is in the Ten Mile Neighborhood and very close to the Center Village. I highly recommend staying near the Center Village if you are traveling with kids. It is close to the slopes, ski & ride school, and shopping, and it has plenty of dining options. Two other accommodations that are very close to the Center Village are Passage Point and Tucker Mountain Lodge.

Our two bedroom condo was two floors and had a nice size living room, kitchen and dining area with all the amenities of a vacation rental. We also had a garage for parking and free wireless internet. All Copper Mountain Lodging guests have access to the Athletic Club, which has an indoor pool, hot tubs, saunas and the Copper Spa. We were a very short walk over to the Center Village and were very happy with the Ten Mile Haus condo. It was cozy and had everything we needed.

Family Travel Tip:

There are three main villages, East, Center and West. Copper Mountain has a free shuttle that will take you to the different areas of the mountain. However, staying near the Center Village is ideal if you are traveling with small children.

Copper Mountain Ski & Ride School Rentals
Ski and Snowboard Rentals

The first time our kids had snowboards on was two years ago at Mammoth Mountain, so getting them back on boards was long overdue!

You can rent skis and snowboards for the entire family at Copper Sports. We picked up all of our rentals the night before — this is a huge time saver in the morning, and I highly recommend doing this. The rental process always takes a little while, so make sure the kids are well fed or it can be a painful process! You will have to take your things back to your condo, so if you can bring a large bag for the boots it might help lessen the load.There is an overnight equipment storage option if you’d prefer.

Family Travel Tip:

Copper Sports is also where you will purchase your lift tickets, get your rentals and enroll in ski or snowboard lessons. They sell clothing, ski masks, toe warmers and lots of ski gear  It’s a one-stop shop for everything you need to get yourself on the mountain.

Ski and Snowboard Rentals Copper Mountain Colorado Burton Snowboards

My husband and I were able to rent demo boards, which was great!  I checked out the Burton Snowboard Lip Stick and I loved it.

McKenna Snowboardning Copper Mountain Ski & Ride School Family Travel

Ski & Ride School

Our kids spent two days of Ski & Ride School. They had the same instructor both days, which I really liked. She was able to see their skill level and carry over things they learned from the day before. You child’s lesson includes rentals, lift ticket, lunch and a GPS tracking system. Lessons are from 9:30 – 3:00, and they will be grouped with other children their age and skill level. They also have a Ski and Ride School shuttle that takes the kids over to the Green Acres where they start their lessons. Parents can also ski or ride down to Green Acres to watch some of the lesson if they want, too!

Family Travel Tip:

Be sure to pick up your kids on time and tip your instructor.

Copper Mountain Ski Gear Winter Shopping

Copper Mountain Shopping

If you forget your hat, face mask, goggles or just need a new pair of warm socks, the Copper Sports has plenty of gear and warm clothing to choose from. We actually had to buy goggles and warm socks for our kids, and we found some great options here. Kelly’s Closet is a cute shop for stylish clothing and accessories for women and kids, and the store Kokomo is a fun shop for souvenirs and Colorado inspired gifts.

Camp Hale Coffee at Copper Mountain
Copper Mountain Coffee

I know a lot of families stay in condos that have kitchens so it is easier to just make breakfast and coffee right away before heading out, but there are two great coffee options right near the Center Village chair lifts. Camp Hale is inside Copper Sports and a great place to grab a cup of coffee and a quick breakfast before the kids go to ski school, or if you need another cup of coffee after all that work just getting the kids off to ski school in the morning!  Camp Hale has two other locations on the mountain: one at the East Village in Copper Station and in Solitude Station at the top of the American Eagle chair lift.

Belgian Bean Waffles and Coffee Copper Mountain Colorado
Another place to grab great coffee is the Belgian Bean. They also make waffles with a variety of toppings, oatmeal and a selection of pastries.

Copper Mountain Center Village Shopping Family Travel

Mccoys Mountain Market Copper Mountain Groceries

Through out the Center Village there are plenty of other retail shops and McCoy’s Mountain Market, which is the only place to pick up some basic groceries, snacks and beer. The market is small and might not have all the items you need depending on how long you are staying.

Family Travel Tip:

Stop at the grocery store before getting to Copper Mountain or plan on going into the town of Dillon the first day for all your grocery shopping needs.The prices will be better, and there are more options.

Village at Copper Mountain Colorado Family Travel Savvy Sassy Moms

Copper Mountain Family Ski Vacation
Copper Mountain Center Village

The Center Village is the hub of the mountain and very easy to walk around, with plenty of dining options. At night they have a few fires going for people to hang out around. There is also a rock climbing wall and ice skating rink — the ice skate rentals are $10. There is also the Alpine Zip Line, which is 300 feet in the air and goes across the frozen lake. Cost is $10 and open 2:00pm – 6:00pm.

Kids Night Out

When you spend $30 (per child) in the Village you receive 3 hours of FREE childcare from 5:30pm – 10:00pm. This service is for children who are potty trained to the age of 12 years old. You must make a reservation 48 hours in advance and show your receipts of purchases made at the Village shops or restaurants. For more details go to Kids Night Out.

Copper Mountain Colorado View Family Ski Vacation

I found Copper Mountain to be very easy to navigate, and it has a very laid back vibe. We were there early in the season, so it wasn’t too crowded and luckily we never had to wait in any long chair lift lines. It seems to be a bit younger of a crowd, but it was also very family friendly. We felt like we belonged here. It was a even mix of skiers and snowboarders, which is always nice to see. A lot of times, at other mountains, I feel more like the minority.

Copper Mountain is known for its naturally-divided terrain, which is really nice to keep people with the same skill level on certain sections of the mountain. It progressively gets harder as you make your way from the West Village over to the East Village.

The West Village has the Kokomo Chair lift that is great for families and beginners. This is where you will find most of the green runs.  Since we were there in early season this section was not open for us, so we were unable to take the kids up the chair lift with us, which was a bummer, but more reason to go back!  My husband and I loved all the blue runs and felt really comfortable on this mountain. We hadn’t snowboarded in almost two years and Copper was the perfect mountain to pick back up again!

Have you been  to Copper Mountain?


Disclosure: This was a media stay and parts of this trip was comped for the purpose of reviewing the mountain and all it has to offer families. All my thoughts are my own and I share this with you to help you find your next family ski vacation.

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January Baby Bundle

It’s that time again for our monthly Baby Bundle, each month we pick four of our favorite baby gear items and give them all away. January’s giveaway is sure to blow you away! All of these items will prepare you to bring your new baby home and are items every expecting parent should put on their baby registry.

HALO Swivel Bassinett

HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper

Finally a bassinet that allows you to co-sleep safely. The new HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper is the only infant bassinet that moves to bring baby to you. Now your little one can sleep as close to you as you want – even right next to you in bed – and still sleep safely in his own separate space. And the more the Bassinest moves, the less you have to – which makes taking care of baby throughout the night a lot easier. A dual swivel motion allows the Bassinest Swivel Sleeper to rotate 360 degrees, which means baby can be pulled right next to you in bed. Also, with its patented retractable wall, baby can be easily lifted out of the Bassinest to the breast for nighttime feedings – without having to get out of bed.

New parents are tired and often confused by conflicting advice to keep their babies close for bonding and breastfeeding, while trying to balance safe sleep practices. The HALO Bassinest comes to the rescue offering a safe sleeping environment for baby, as well as the ability to sleep close. New fabric design now available!

HALO Sleep Sack Social:

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Offspring Baby Clothing

Offspring

With a new bundle of joy on the way the brand Offspring has the cutest prints for both boys and girls. The bright colors and modern patterns keep it fresh and fun. Their collection of soft cotton footies, two piece sets, blankets and take me home outfits are just to hard to resist. Offspring also knows that having a baby can be expensive so the prices won’t break the bank which is what we love because baby’s simply grow too fast!

Offspring Social

Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / Instagram

Babyhome Wave Wooden Rocker
Babyhome Wave Wooden Rocker

The Babyhome Wave Wooden Rocker features simple, soft lines, turns its design into one of the warmest and most comfortable for baby on the market.  It offers a pleasant, steady, front-to-back rocking motion which relaxes baby to ensure their utmost restfulness and also comes with the option of a stationary position.

Made from high-quality laminated wood and available in walnut and white, the chair has a harness with three attachment points and comes with a cotton reducer that is soft to the touch and easy to wash. Two reclining positions are featured along with a folding position, so it meets baby’s needs perfectly while also ensuring their utmost comfort at all times. Wave folds easily and compactly so it can be stored in small areas.  This stylish and functional bounce chair is ideal for lovers of the best in children’s design.

The new Wave Bounce Chair is available in White or Walnut wood finishes and fabric color choices include Graphite, Clay or Sand. $179.00

Babyhome Social

Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / Instagram

Simmons Kids Rowen Crib

Simmons Kids Crib

Design a nursery like no other with the Rowen Collection from Simmons Kids®. With grooved detailing and clean lines, it merges timeless design with heirloom- quality construction, ensuring your little one’s room will be stylishly appointed for years to come. This 4-in-1 convertible crib converts into a toddler bed, a daybed and a full size bed. Available in black espresso or grey for only $299 at Target. Simmons Kids is a sister brand of Delta Children.

Delta Children Social:

Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / Instagram

January Baby Bundle Giveaway Savvy Sassy Moms

January Baby Bundle Giveaway!

One winner will receive the following prizes. Open to US and Canadian residents.

HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper {$249.00}
Babyhome Wave Wooden Rocker {$179.00}
Simmons Kids Rowen Crib {$299.00}
Offspring Layette Baby Clothing {$100.00}

Enter the Baby Bundle Giveaway

Please enter through the Rafflecopter form below
Contest ends on 1/30/2015
May take up to 4 weeks for delivery of items

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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post and promotional giveaway.

 

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For our winter family vacation we headed to the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado to do some snowboarding, but first we spent two fun filled days in Denver, which was just a enough to get a taste of this mile high city. We stayed at the Embassy Suites Downtown Denver and I have to say, this was the perfect location. The Embassy Suites is in the middle of it all and conveniently close to the 16th Street Mall which runs right through the heart of Denver.

Embassy Suites Lounge Denver Convention Center

Embassy Suites Denver Convention Center

Embassy Suites Downtown Denver

The Embassy Suites Downtown Denver is a great property for families because of their large one bedroom suites that have a nice size living room area that includes a large desk, which is great since my husband and I usually take our work with us when we travel. These suites also have a small kitchenette with a small refrigerator and sink. The bedroom has two queen size beds with modern and luxurious bedding with fluffy duvets. I loved the bed and had a hard time getting out of it.

What I loved about staying at the Embassy Suites was that they had a complimentary happy hour from 5pm – 7pm with some appetizers too. This cocktail reception was a great way to end after a long day of sight seeing and activities. The restaurant and lounge area is very large and has plenty of comfortable seating, a full bar and fireplace. The complimentary breakfast is also very nice and had plenty of options for all of us. It was a better breakfast buffet then other hotels I’ve stayed at that offer the complimentary breakfast.

Denver with Kids

When traveling to a city it always helps to have a local friend, they can give you recommendations and if it’s a good friend, they might even join you and take you on a little city tour!  My good friend and graphic designer, Aimee Giese of Greeblehaus lives in Denver and was the perfect person to show us around her town. I love having insider tips and hearing from a local what they love about their city. So what did we do?

Childrens Museum Denver Colorado Family Travel
Denver Children’s Museum

The Denver Children’s Museum is about a 10 minute drive from the Embassy Suites and very easy to get to. My kids love visiting Children’s museums and you know it’s a good museum when you can;t get your kids to leave. This museum was under construction when we visited but there was stil plenty to do!  Our kids loved the building the in the ball room and creating different mazes and tracks for the balls to go down. We also spent a lot of time in the bubble room, which is always a favorite! They also have a Backyard Room where kids can crawl through tunnels, dress up like squirrels or bunnies and play with animal hand puppets. And If animals are your thing you should also consider visiting the Denver Zoo, which is only about a 15 minute drive from downtown and has over 4,000 animals and is one of the best Zoos in the nation.

Union Station Denver Downtown

The Terminal bar Union Station DenverThe Kitchen Next Door Denver Union Station
Denver’s Union Station

The newly renovated Union Station just recently opened in July of 2014 and is one of the hot spots to check out in Denver. Not only does it serve as a major transportation hub but it is now a popular place to hang out, grab a drink and a bite to eat. In the Great Hall of Union Station is the The Terminal Bar where you can order and pick up a specialty drink or draft beer right from the window and then have a seat anywhere you’d like.  The Great Hall is a gorgeous open room with high ceilings and the center of it all. There are plenty of seating areas, couches and two shuffleboards.

We ate at The Kitchen Next Door for lunch. The Kitchen Next Door calls itself a community pub and specializes in fresh, organic farm-to-table food. It’s a casual atmosphere and a great place to grab a bite to eat and a drink. and they also have a great kids menu.

Rocket Fizz Denver Colorado

From Union Station you can start to walk down the 16th Street Mall and you will find even more dining and shopping options. A fun place to take the kids is Rocket Fizz, an old fashioned candy shop with an eclectic mix of candy from the past, flavored sodas and even some unique and hard to find candy from all around the world. We could not believe that there is bacon flavored soda with chocolate!

Kris Kringle Village Denver Colorado

Kris Kringle Village Denver Colorado Christmas Shopping

Kris Kringle Village Shopping Denver Colorado

ChristKindl Market

Right off of the 16th street mall was the ChristKindl Market, a small Christmas Village set up for the Holidays and only open for a few weeks during Christmas. The village has a European flair that includes a giant beer tent, which looked like Decemberfest inside!  You can shop the autheentic German beer steins, Polish pottery, glass ornaments, wooden toys and nesting dolls. You can also buy Austrian pretzels, Danish pastries and hot roasted nuts.  If you are visiting Denver when the ChristKindle Market is happening, it is a must see and do.

FREE 16th street MallRide

By this time if your kids are complaining about the walking, you can just jump on the free MallRide which runs the length of the 16th Street Mall and is free for anyone to ride! Which is nice if anyone from your group wants to go back to the hotel, and the Embassy Suites is just a block away. If you ride the 16th street MallRide train to the very last stop you will get off close to the Capital Building, from there you can continue to explore a little more of the city sights, political buildings and some unique sculptures along the way.

Denver Capitol Building

Denver DIY Walking Tour

I love to walk around cities and take pictures of the buildings, and and when you have a local leading you it’s even better!  My husband took my son back to the hotel but my daughter came along for this fun walk. We walked past the Capital building which has a distinctive gold dome roof and it looked gorgeous as the light on the city was changing from day to night. It was cold in Denver so the grass was not green and the trees were bare, but I actually loved the beauty of the bare trees up against these concrete buildings.

Denver City Buildings

Denver Government Building Travel

Downtown Denver Colorado Family Travel

Downtown Denver Chair and Horse Sculpture

Denver Art Museum Sculptures

Denver Art Museum

We stopped to look at the fun sculptures that are near the Denver Art Museum and take in the awe of the Art Museum building which is a sculpture itself.  We did not go inside the museum but if we had more time we would have liked to.  On our walk back to the 16th Street Mall and where we could jump back on the MallRide, the city was starting to get dark but had this illuminating glow from the street lamps and all the Christmas lights.

Denver Capital Building at Night

16th Street Mall Denver Colorado at Chirstmas Time

Cherry Creek Shopping

Anther place to mention is Cherry Creek which is Denver’s popular shopping destination. You can either go to the indoor Cherry Creek Shopping Center (which has a great indoor play space for kids) or walk Cherry Creek North. Cherry Creek North is outside and has blocks of unique boutiques and specialty stores like Paper Source, Sur La Table and Kate Spade. They also have plenty of restaurants to choose from and Syrup a popular place to grab some breakfast.

We were only in Denver for about 48 hours but we had so much fun. I highly recommend staying in Denver for a night or two before hitting the road to the mountains. This way you can get acclimated to the altitude a bit before going even higher.  You can also stock up on water and snacks or buy anything you might need before venturing up to the mountains. We really enjoyed staying at the Embassy Suites for it’s service and hospitality, large rooms and most of all it’s location.

Have you been to Denver?  What are some of your favorite things to do!?


Disclosure: I was given a two night stay to review this property. All my thoughts are my own.  I share this with because I love to travel and share tips on what to do with kids when traveling and the Embassy Suites is a great family friendly hotel.

 

 

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I heard about the book WILD from my contributor Angela, she recommended it as a book club pick for taking your book club to the movies right here on Savvy Sassy Moms. I of course cruised the list and was interested to see what books would soon be turned into movies, but to be honest I typically just wait for the movies to come out. WILD starring Reese Witherspoon is playing in select theaters now and fans of the book can find a theater near them by visiting http://theaters.howwilditwas.com.

However, when I was flying home to Minnesota six months ago to say goodbye to my Grandmother before she passed away, I spotted it at the airport and picked it up and bought it without a second thought. Maybe it was the bright pink laces on the cover or maybe it was because I recognized it from Angela’s popular reading list. Whatever the reason, I was immediately drawn to it.

As I read the book I felt closer to Cheryl and I felt like we could be friends. In a weird way I totally got her and understood why she had to set out on a journey to make peace with who she was and all the things that had happened in her life. I understood her need to be alone, her stubbornness and and her strength to just go out and do something, even if it was crazy to most. I understand the need for complete solitude, maybe not on such a severe level, but I got it.

Death of a parent, especially when they are young or it happens suddenly or unexpectedly is a very traumatic thing. There is a huge hole in your heart that will never get filled and something just always seems a little off. I am still shocked at how it can sneak up on me in the most random ways.

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Not only does Cheryl have to deal with the death of her Mom but she has to face herself and learn to accept with who she is, make peace with her past and decide what she wants the next phase of her life to be. I think that there is a point in everyone’s life that they must decide how they will choose to live it. Our lives are based on a series of decisions and where you end up is a result of those decisions, good or bad. No one goes through life without a little drama and bad decisions, and WILD is a great reminder that when you fall down or find yourself at the very bottom, you have to find a way to pick up the pieces. WILD also made me realize that as women, we are extremely hard on ourselves and forgiving ourselves is the most challenging of all, and in order to get on with our lives it may take a WILD journey to forgive and let go.

WATCH this WILD Movie clip staring Reese Witherspoon

Have you read WILD? Will you see the movie?


Check the list for a theatre showing WILD near you: http://theaters.howwilditwas.com

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About the movie:

In WILD, director Jean-Marc Vallée (DALLAS BUYERS CLUB), Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon (WALK THE LINE) and Academy Award nominated screenwriter Nick Hornby (AN EDUCATION) bring bestselling author Cheryl Strayed’s extraordinary adventure to the screen. After years of reckless behavior, a heroin addiction and the destruction of her marriage, Strayed makes a rash decision.  Haunted by memories of her mother Bobbi (Academy Award nominee Laura Dern) and with absolutely no experience, she sets out to hike more than a thousand miles on the Pacific Crest Trail all on her own.  WILD powerfully reveals her terrors and pleasures –as she forges ahead on a journey that maddens, strengthens, and ultimately heals her.

Visit the Official Website
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#WILDmovie


WILD Movie Giveaway!

$50 Visa gift card to see the film in theaters
Copy of WILD (movie tie-in cover, paperback)
Copy of the official soundtrack

Please enter through the Rafflecopter form below.

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New Years Eve Style Gold Lee Jeans
New Years Eve Style

Celebrating New Years Eve in style does not necessarily mean wearing a cocktail dress. For most of us we might be celebrating at a friend’s house or with family, so ringing in the New Year with your favorite pair of black skinny jeans can be done! In fact, I like keeping it casual and classy with black as the foundation of my New Years Eve outfit and then glam it up with the accessories. Gold and silver are always a New Years Eve favorite, I suggest you choose one or the other and then match your nails, makeup and clutch to play up the sparkle!

Choose a vintage looking lace top or something sparkly to pair with your black skinny jeans to feel festive and fashionable. Break out those sexy heels and wear a knock out statement necklace to instantly jazz up your look and one of the easiest ways to get in the party mood is with a fun manicure and pedicure.
New Years Eve Style Silver Lee Jeans

Lee Jeans Easy Fit

I was sent a pair of the Lee Easy Fit skinny jeans and I have to tell you, they are as comfortable as my yoga pants. They go on so smooth and make me feel like I am wearing leggings but with the look of jeans. What I love is that they do not gap in the waist and they have a slimming effect! I love that I can dress these up with heels and a sparkly top or wear them with an oversized cardigan and stylish winter boots or ankle wedges.

Lee Black Skinny Jeans Easy Fit

For me and many moms finding a great pair of fitting jeans at a savvy price can be a challenge. I’m all about style, quality, price and comfort. If it meets all four of those things then I have a winner!

How will you dress it up this New Years Eve?


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post and I am a brand ambassador for Lee Jeans. All my savvy thoughts and sassy opinions are my own.

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If you are planning your next family vacation and want to shake things up a bit, have I got some exciting destinations to share with you! Expedia Viewfinder challenged me to put together a list of great family travel for 2015, including places families could go looking for adventure. This year, I want you to think outside the vacation box, step away from the typical resort pools and kids’ clubs and take your family vacation to the next level. These family vacations are not only are exciting, but they will inspire, educate and create memories to last a lifetime.

Vista Verde Steamboat Spring Colorado Family Adventure Travel 2015
1. First Class Dude Ranch

Vista Verde – Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Vista Verde Ranch is a luxury guest ranch located just north of Steamboat Springs, CO. Visiting a dude ranch has always been on my bucket list, and from the looks of it, Vista Verde is the place to go! Not only is the riding program top-notch with great horses, tons of instruction, and beautiful trails, but this ranch offers so much more. Other activities include mountain biking, fly fishing, hiking, rock climbing, wild yoga, cooking classes, wine tasting and even a hands-on photography workshop. The Kids program is filled with a variety of activities, including a ropes course, scavenger hunts, panning for gold and painting on horses! They offer 7-night stays during the summer, and Vista Verde is an all inclusive ranch — all meals and activities are covered. It’s a good idea to book sooner than later, as they usually are fully booked for the summer.

Caves Branch Jungle Lodge Belize Family Travel Adventure 2015

2. Cave Tubing

Cave’s Branch Jungle Lodge –  Belize

Enter the exciting world of rivers disappearing into the underworld as you float on inner tubes with only your headlamp to light your way. Sound exciting? It sure does to me — sign me up! Caves Branch Jungle Lodge in Belize is non-stop adventure, whether you are hiking through caves, rappelling down a 300-foot cliff, exploring the Mayan underground or cruising the seven miles of underground rivers. For 19 years, Ian Anderson has been creating wild adventures for families, they have stepped up their services to include first rate amenities that brings them up in standard, which includes five star tree houses, but they are not a resort and still remain a rustic jungle lodge. The youngest age for a cave expedition is seven years old, and many of the cave trips are for 10 years and older. Caves Branch is not for everyone, so be sure to check the website to make sure you and your children will be comfortable and your little ones can participate.

Check out Expedia’s viewfinder for more Belize photo inspiration

Western Expeditions Soutwest Sampler Rafting Tour Utah Family Adventure 2015

3. Family RaftingTrip

Southwest Sampler, Utah

Western River Expeditions provides stunning family rafting trips alongside the beautiful red rocks of Utah. Their Southwest Sampler is perfect for families seeking a variety of activities, which includes a two-night stay at the Gonzo Inn in Moab, Utah, a guided tour and hike of Arches National Park, lunch and a Hummer Sunset Safari. Then you’ll spend 2 days / 1 night drifting along the Colorado River, taking in the beauty of the beautiful rock formations and camping under the stars. This trip will allow you to bond as a family while giving you a sense of adventure, reflection and renewal. Children as young as 5 years old may go on these exciting rafting trips.

Tierra Magnifica Surf Camp Spanish Immersion Nosara Costa Rica Family Travel
4. Learn Spanish & Learn to Surf

Tierra Magnifica – Nosara, Costa Rica

Imagine spending your family vacation completely immersed in the culture and tradition of a Costa Rican seaside community, surrounded by abundant wildlife and one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. Tierra Magnifica is a first-class private estate that sits high above the quiet beach town of Nosara on the pacific coast of Costa Rica and caters to large groups and family vacations.Tierra Magnifica offers one and two week summer Spanish Immersion Camps that combine 17 hours of Spanish instruction with a selection of activities, tours and family time that will create memories for a lifetime. Spots are limited for the Spanish Immersion Camp, and it fills up quickly, so be sure to make your reservation soon! They also offer a Family Adventure Surf Camp throughout the entire year.

Cinnamon Bay St John Camping Family Travel 2015 5. Camping on the beach

Cinnamon Bay – St. John, US Virgin Islands

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be stranded on an island?  Okay, maybe not stranded, but if skipping the traditional hotel room and sleeping right on the beach sounds like fun to you, Cinnamon Bay Campground on St. John is the place for you!  Cinnamon Bay offers families tents and small cottages right on the beach, just steps from the water.  You can either rent a tent, which has a solid floor and mosquito netting, or you can rent a small cottage that comes with four walls, four twin beds, electric lights and electric plugs. Both options come equipped with a picnic table, charcoal grill, propane gas stove and gas lantern, ice chest, water container, storage bin and cooking and eating utensils. There is a restaurant and general store, and cribs are available upon request. This will not only be a great family adventure, but for the budget-savvy. it’s a great way to get that beach front room — without a high price tag. For pricing, visit Cinnamon Bay rates. 

Anthonys Key Resort Roatan Honduras Family Adventure Travel

6.  Dolphin Scuba Summer Camp

Anthony’s Key Resort –  Roatan, Honduras

At Anthony’s Key Resort you’ll stay in over-the-water wooden bungalows and get up close and personal with dolphins during their Dolphn Scuba Summer Camp. Roatan is know for its first-class diving experiences and their dolphin programs for both adults and children. During the week, children ages 5 to 14 will interact with bottlenose dolphins through various encounters, feeding and training sessions. They’ll also be exposed to diving and snorkeling skills, depending on their age and skill level. Oceanside discussions, short classroom sessions, snorkeling trips and other outdoor activities will give your child a real appreciation for the ocean, marine life and the environment in general. You might not have thought of Honduras as a family vacation spot until now!

Rubys Inn Utah Camping in a Tipi Family Adventure 2015

7. Sleep in a Tipi

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Sure you can sleep at the Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel or at their sister property Ruby’s Inn, but why would you when you can sleep in an authentic Native American Tipi? That’s right. Ruby’s Inn also has RV and campgrounds where you can rent a tipi for the night. How cool is that? These are the closest accommodations to Bryce Canyon National Park, a must-see and must-do destination as one of Utah’s most beautiful red rock parks. The best way to see Bryce Canyon is either by horseback, where you’ll literally ride on the trails used by outlaw Butch Cassidy, or by the popular ATV tours. Next to Bryce Canyon is Zion National Park, where you can explore even more hiking trails, mountain biking and rock climbing.

Big Cedar Lodge Wilderness Resort Family Travel 2015
8. Luxury Wilderness Resort

Big Cedar Lodge – Ozark Mountains, Missouri

Big Cedar Lodge is known as America’s premier wilderness resort and was founded by Bass Pro Shops owner Johnny Morris. Big Cedar Lodge offers a wealth of outdoor adventure perfect for families. The resort provides an amazing lake-front setting, five swimming pools and land and water adventures ranging from bass fishing, water skiing and lake cruises to campfire wagon tours and horseback riding. The children’s adventure program is for ages 4 – 12, and kids receive a backpack filled with adventure tools and a hat for collecting pins. Adventure pins include BB gun safety and training, camping, tent making, fire building, rocks and fossils, canoeing and plant and animal identification. I know my kids would love to earn and collect all these pins.

The Springs Resort Arenal Costa Rica

9. Adventure in the Rainforest

The Springs – Lake Arenal, Costa Rica

The Springs is a luxury resort nestled in the middle of the rainforest in Costa Rica and has one of the best views of the Arenal Volcano. The Springs is a spectacular resort with large, lagoon-style pools, and a secluded section of hot springs and waterfalls called Perdido Springs (Lost Springs). These pools are surrounded by lush tropical plants, and in the middle of this hidden oasis is a small jungle bar and a water flume called the Monkey Slide. Sitting just below the resort, lagoon pools and springs is Club Rio, an outdoor center with river kayaking, river tubing, rock climbing and rappelling, horseback riding, fishing, mountain biking nature tours and a Wildlife Preserve for rescued animals. Not far from the resort you can also visit the popular Arenal Hanging Bridges and zip line through the jungle at Sky Trek. We have actually been here, and our family had an absolute blast.

The white sand beach of Isla Carmen.10. Family Kayaking Trip

Baja California / Mexico

ROW Sea Kayak Adventures  features a family-friendly kayaking trip that is easily accessible from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The Isla Espiritu Santo Kayak Sojourn takes you to the tranquil waters surrounding Isla Espirito Santo, a National Park and UNESCO Biosphere located just north of La Paz, Baja. The island features numerous deep coves, fantastic rock formations and beautiful white-sand beaches voted by Travel Magazine as some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Espiritu Santo (Holy Spirit) Island is uninhabited, and you’ll spend days 5 days / 4 nights snorkeling with hundreds of tropical fish, sea lions, parrot fish, and sometimes even dolphins. Trips from mid-January to late March may be combined with their Pacific Coast whale camp to see grey whales and their calves!  What could be better than that!?

 


Where will you take your family in 2015?

 

Disclosure: This was a post written in partnership with Expedia, however, I personally selected all of these locations and trips. All my savvy thoughts and sassy opinions are my own.

 

 


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Life Lock 2 HOLIDAY NEW NEW

LifeLock Holiday Twitter Party

Friday, December 12th,
11:00am PST / 2:00pm EST
Hashtag: #LifeLockLive

Hosts: @LifeLock @JeanChatzky @Momtrends @SavvySassyMoms

Join us this Friday, December 12th as we team up with Life Lock and Jean Chatzky, personal finance expert and LifeLock educator, to talk about holiday shopping and what you need to know to help keep your personal information safe and secure. We’ll talk about safe shopping practices and how to protect yourself while traveling.

Traveling during the Holidays it is the perfect time to make sure your identity is protected and safe. Jean will share some travel tips when it comes to your credit cards, passwords and important identity safety tips before you hit the road.Jean will also have some great advice for parents who may be gifting their children smartphones this Holiday season and how to keep your kids safe online.

In today’s always connected world, identity thieves are connected too and you might be at risk of identity theft when you bank online, search, shop, text or tweet! Luckily we have Jean Chatzky live with us on Twitter to talk about her tips and tricks to help protect your and your family’s identity during the holidays..

Consumers today must actively take “ownership” of their identity to protect themselves especially during the holiday shopping season. With LifeLock you will be able to shop knowing that someone is monitoring your activity and keeping your private information secure. A consumer empowered with his/her own identity can engage in commerce with confidence!

unnamedJean Chatzky, the financial editor for NBC’s TODAY show, is an award-winning personal finance journalist, AARP’s personalfinance ambassador, and a contributing editor for Fortune magazine. Jean is a best-selling author; her eighth and most recent book is Money Rules: The Simple Path to Lifelong Security. She believes knowing how to manage our money is one of the most important life skills for people at every age and has made it her mission to help simplify money matters, increasing financial literacy both now and for the future. In April 2013 Jean launched JEAN CHATZKY’S MONEY SCHOOL, a series of college-style, interactive online personal finance courses that give men and women across the country the opportunity to learn from and interact directly with her. Jean lives with her family in Westchester County, New York.

For more information please visit www.jeanchatzky.com

LifeLock Twitter Party Holiday 2014

Twitter Party Prizing

5 Lucky winners will receive a six-month LifeLock membership and a $50 American Express gift card!

RSVP for Prizing

 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post and party for LifeLock. All my thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

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