October 17, 2010

Denver Metro's Halloween Guide

I am sorry I haven't posted in awhile, I am planning on getting back into it soon, we have just had some stressful family stuff lately. ANYWAY, I just thought I'd put this up for all the Denver Metro people, this should keep your kids busy!

For the crafty kids; check out:

Michael's FREE Halloween make and takes, click HERE

Lakeshore Learning Centers FREE make and takes, click HERE

For Family Halloween Events, check out:

Halloween Spook Skate (Parker), Sat. Oct. 23, 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm, Grab your skates and a costume and head to the Fieldhouse for the annual Spook Skate! Costumes, candy, crafts, concessions and climbing will keep participants of all ages entertained throughout the evening. And don't forget the skating! Get creative with those costumes because prizes will be awarded for the cutest, scariest and most unique costume from each age group, $5/$6, click HERE for more info

FREE. Spooktacular Festival (Castle Rock), Sat. Oct. 23, 1 pm - 3 pm, Castle Rock Rec Center, Halloween fun for the little ones and families, includes face painting, jumpy houses, games, crafts and contests. Open to all ages. Click HERE for more info

FREE. Trick or Treat Street (Downtown Castle Rock), Oct. 29, 2 pm - 5 pm, click HERE for more info

FREE. Pumpkin Fest at the Grange (Castle Rock), Sat. Oct. 30, 1 pm - 4 pm, includes Hay Wagon Rides, Make Your Own Scarecrow, Crafts, The Meadows Pumpkin Patch, Games, Food, Vendors and much More, click HERE for more info

FREE. Trick or Treat with Parker Police, Sat. Oct 30, 2 pm - 4 pm, Bring the family to the new police station for a behind the scenes tour and trick or treating with Parker's police officers, click HERE for more info

FREE. Littleton Historical Museum 'Victorian Halloween', Sat. Oct. 30, 6 pm - 8 pm, includes bobbing for apples, stories, fortune telling, refreshments (not a trick or treat event), click HERE for more info

FREE. Annual Halloween Carnival (Englewood), Sat. Oct 30, 5 pm - 8:30 pm, Grab your costume and kids or grandkids and creep, slither, or crawl on over for the annual Halloween Carnival. This safe, fun party for kids of all ages features carnival games, inflatables, concessions, and more. Admission to the carnival is free. Game tickets are sold for 25 cents each., click HERE for more info

FREE. A Spooky Halloween by the Littleton Symphony Orchestra, Sat. Oct. 30, Discover the 2000-year-old original story of the Sorcerer's Apprentice and hear French composer Paul Dukas' delightful and dramatic music of the same name!, click HERE for more info

FREE. Spooky Stories, a treat for kids age 5-12 at Douglas County Libraries, Come to the library for spooky stories told by Douglas County Spellbinders. They're sure to send shivers down your spine! Each program begins at 7 p.m., with slightly spooky stories in the first half hour (for ages 5 and up), and spookier tales in the second half hour (for ages 10 and up)., click HERE for more info

FREE. Historic Downtown Littleton Trick or Treat Street, Sat., Oct, 30, 12 pm, Bring the kids in their costumes and get Halloween started early with this safe, fun alternative to going house to house. Historic Downtown Littleton Merchants will be ready with candy and surprises for all! Look for the bright orange window posters at participating merchants., click HERE for more info

FREE. Trick or Treat Street at Aspen Grove (Littleton), Sat. Oct. 30, 5 pm - 8 pm, includes trick or treating with hay stack rides and a costume parade, click HERE for more info.

FREE. Trick or Treat off the Street at The Outlets at Castle Rock, Sat. Oct. 30, 4 pm - 6 pm.

Our retailers will be handing out candy and other little goodies for your ghost and goblins, click HERE for more info

FREE. Trick or Treat event at Chatfield High School in Littleton, Sat. Oct. 30, 2 pm - 4 pm, a fun trick or treat event put on by the high schoolers, click HERE for the high school home page to get the address

Halloween Trick or Treat Street (Highlands Ranch), Sat, Oct. 30, 11 am - 2 pm, Children ages 12 and under are invited to put on costumes, grab their trick-or-treat bags and join the fun at Trick-or-Treat Street! Local businesses provide treats for all the “little ghost and goblins!”, $1.00 per trick-or-treater (ages 12 and under) and each family may select a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch; while supplies last., click HERE for more info

Rockin Halloween on the Pinnacle (Parker), Sat. Oct. 30, 6 pm - 8 pm, Enjoy a scavenger hunt on the rocks, contests, prizes and other creepy activities for your all hallows eve enjoyment. Costumes are optional, but a best costume award may be in your future! $5, click HERE for more info

For adults, older kids, or if you have a little more money to spend, check out THIS list with several events going on in the denver area.

August 30, 2010

Cake Bites

These little cake bites seem like they are all the rage right now. I made these to go along with my son's birthday cake. They are very rich; but delicious and very versatile. You can pick any cake mix flavor and any frosting you want. Mix and Match. Be Creative. Here's how I did it:

First bake the cake mix (I used the party chip flavor) in a 9 x 13 pan according to box directions. Wait until it is COMPLETELY COOLED, (I waited several hours even), and then just spoon out the cake mix into a big mixing bowl.

Spool a whole jar of frosting into the bowl and mix together. I used a small cookie scoop thing to scoop out the cake into balls, and then put on a cookie sheet to chill in the fridge. Let chill for awhile.

I used white melting chocolate to do this part, but you could use whatever you like. I melted it and then rolled the chilled cake ball into it and put some sprinkles on top. Then I also melted some milk chocolate, put it in a bag, snipped the end and made the zig zag design over the cake balls/bites.

Let the cake bites chill again until the chocolate has set. Then enjoy! My kids loved helping me make these.

August 27, 2010


Hey, I really am still here, sorry it's been so long. We went on vacation to come back to my daughter getting sick, then starting school, then my baby getting sick, and then me. We are all getting better and getting back into a routine and posts will be coming up again soon!

July 21, 2010

Summer Break

Hey Everyone. I will be taking a 3 week summer break, due to some summer vacations we've planned and a couple dr. tests/surgeries coming up that I am sure will take up my time and mind. I will be back to blogging soon and I hope everyone has a great summer!

July 15, 2010


This weekend, (July 16-18), here is what is going on:

Make a FREE Sandy Beach Scene at Lakeshore Learning Centers, (July 17, 11 am - 3 pm) click HERE to see more

Join the Highlands Ranch Sunflower Farmer's Market to get a $2 Fish Taco, (July 17, 11:30 - 1:30) Click HERE to see more

Highlands Ranch Carnival, this is the last weekend, (July 17-18, 4 pm - 11 pm), click HERE to read more

KidSpree in Aurora, FREE, you don't want to miss this. (July 17-18, 10 am - 5 pm) "Walk through a giant maze or life-size board game. Paint a tiny town every color under the rainbow. Experience jugglers, magicians and all kinds of other entertainment." Click HERE to read more

Centennial Night at the Movies, (July 16, 7 pm) Click HERE to read more

July 07, 2010


This weekend, July 9-11, here is what is going on:

Earth Balloon at the Grange - (July 9, 1 pm - 4 pm), $2 per person, click HERE for details

Make a FREE Summer Memory Keeper at Lakeshore Learning Centers,
(July 10, 11 am - 3 pm)

Starlight Summer Movie #2 in Downtown Castle Rock,
(July 10, 6:30 - 10 pm), click HERE for details

FREE Malley Movietime in Englewood, (July 9, 1:30 pm), "See the latest FREE movies shown on a large screen! Popcorn sold for 25 cents", Click HERE for details

FREE 24th Annual Colorado Black Arts Festival, (July 9-11) "three day festival of music, dance and visual arts.", click HERE for details

Highlands Ranch Carnival, (July 9-17), click HERE for details

Highlands Ranch Rodeo (July 10-11), "Experience Colorado's western heritage at its best at the Annual HRCA Rodeo. Witness Bareback Riding, Saddle Bronc Riding, Bull Riding, visit exhibitors, and much more right here in the Ranch! Kids can get into the spirit with two fun and hilarious events: Mutton Busting and Chicken Scramble.", click HERE for details

Centennial Night at the Movies,(July 9, 7 pm) click HERE for details

FREE Olde Town Market in Historic Downtown Littleton (July 10, 10 am - 4 pm), "A whimsical artisans emporium," click HERE for details

July 06, 2010

Smore's Stuffed Brownies

This recipe is from Picky Palate, which is an amazing recipe blog! I made these twice in a week, they are very good. I would recommend making them with plenty of time to have the chocolate set up. I made them in the morning for the after dinner dessert, and they turned out perfect! Here is the recipe:

Batch Prepared in 8×8 inch baking pan

1 box of your favorite brownie mix

4 1/2 full Graham Crackers

3 1/2 Full size Hershey’s Bars

16 large marshmallows

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions. Line foil into an 8×8 inch baking pan and spray generously with cooking spray. Pour half the brownie batter into lined pan. Layer graham crackers over brownies following Hershey Bars and marshmallows. Pour remaining brownie batter over marshmallows. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick comes mostly clean from center. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Carefully remove foil and brownies from pan. Peel any foil from away from edges and cut into squares.

12 brownies

Click HERE to see the recipe with additional pictures on Picky Palate.

*picture from Picky Palate

Oopsey Daisy

I'm featuring "Oopsey Daisy" today. She describes herself as "happy mommy, looking for spicy ideas to beautify, multipurpose, simplify, and refunction." She has lots of cute ideas, including:

(when I saw this I had to put it because I was just talking to my friend the other day about how much we LOVE these blankets, but don't know how to make them)
She also has some great recipes, like Snickerdoodle Muffins ,

You should check out her blog.

July 01, 2010


Gear up because this weekend is the 4th of July weekend and there is A LOT going on:

First, the FREE crafts and events:

Cherry Creek Arts Festival, (July 2, 7 pm - 10 pm), click HERE for details

Make a FREE Patriotic drum at Lakeshore Learning centers
(July 3, 11 am - 3 pm) click HERE to see more

Make a FREE periscope at Home Depot Kids Workshop
(July 3, 9 am - 12 pm) click HERE to see more

Don't miss Paris Street Market at the Aspen Grove shopping center in Littleton,
(July 3, 8 am - 3 pm), click HERE for details

FREE day at the Denver Art Museum (July 3)

FREE day at the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls, and Toys, (July 4)

Now for the festivities, JULY 3RD:

4th of July Celebration at the Meadows (July 3rd, Bison Park, 11 am - 2 pm) "this fun event kicks off with the Bike Parade and continues with music, food, games, crafts and much more. Bison Park will provide shade for attendees and a turf field for activities." click HERE to see more

FREE: Let Freedom Sing, Independence Day Event in Parker (July 3rd, Salisbury Park, 6 pm - 10 pm)"including live music, children's activities, food and beverage vendors and of course, fireworks; plenty of family fun throughout the evening including bounce houses, slides, face painters, balloon artists, games and family-friendly music.",Click HERE to see more

Highlands Ranch 4th of July Parade, Run, and Celebration (July 3rd, 9 am - 9 pm) There is so much going on including the parade, 5K run, Huge celebration in Town Center, hot dog eating contest, pet adoption fair, click HERE to see everything in detail

JULY 4th:

Light up the Night, 4th of July Spectacular in Aurora (July 4th) "Fourth of July Spectacular, Aurora’s ninth annual Independence Day Celebration, features the largest fireworks display in the metro area and a performance by the U.S. Army Band from Ft. Carson. Fourth of July Spectacular takes place at the great lawn on the west side of the Aurora Municipal Center." Click HERE to see more

Independence Day Celebration in Lone Tree (July 4th, Sweetwater Park), includes a children's bike parade, fireworks, activities for kids, live entertainment, food and drink vendors, 5K, climbing wall, petting zoo, clowns, face painting, balloon artists, and more, click HERE To see

Family Festival and Fireworks in Englewood (July 4th, 3 pm - 9 pm, Belleview, Cornerstone, & Progress Parks) "featuring field games, activities, and live entertainment from 3 - 9 pm, with a professional fireworks display at 9:30 pm" Click HERE to read more

*And Don't Forget: This Tuesday (July 6) is FREE day at Denver's Children's Museum

June 30, 2010

Easy Patriotic Flag Dessert

I made this last year and everyone loved it. I'm looking for something new this year, but this is pretty good that I might just make it again and call it a tradition.

3 cups boiling water, divided

2 pkg. (4-serving size each) JELL-O Berry Blue Flavor Gelatin

2 cups ice cubes, divided

2 pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened

1/4 cup sugar

1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, divided

2 pkg. (4-serving size each) JELL-O Strawberry Flavor Gelatin, or any red flavor

2 cups halved strawberries

1/2 cup blueberries

STIR 1-1/2 cups of the boiling water into dry blue gelatin in medium bowl at least 2 min. until completely dissolved. Add 1 cup of the ice cubes; stir until ice is completely melted. Pour into 13x9-inch dish. Refrigerate 20 min. or until gelatin is set but not firm.

PLACE cream cheese, sugar and half of the whipped topping in large bowl; beat until well blended. Spoon over blue gelatin layer in dish; spread carefully to evenly cover gelatin layer. Stir remaining 1-1/2 cups boiling water into strawberry gelatin in separate bowl at least 2 min. until completely dissolved. Add remaining 1 cup ice cubes; stir until ice is completely melted. Let stand at room temperature 5 min. or until slightly thickened. Spoon over cream cheese layer in dish. Refrigerate 3 hours or until set.

SPREAD remaining whipped topping over dessert just before serving. Decorate with strawberries and blueberries to resemble a flag. Store leftover dessert in refrigerator

To see TONS of 4th of July recipes, crafts, and decorations, check out the link party at craftaholics anonymous:

June 29, 2010

Prepared NOT scared!

I am featuring this cool new blog that my Mom found. It's called "Prepared NOT scared." It's main theme is about food storage and preparedness. It has food storage meals and menu plans, food storage calculators, and lots of preparedness and storage ideas; but it is so much more than that. It has family home evening ideas, cool chore charts, yummy recipes, gardening, holiday games and ideas, TONS of ideas for kids. You should really check it out!

June 24, 2010


This weekend, (June 25 - 27), here is what is going on:

Sunflower Farmer's Market, (June 26, 12 pm - 2 pm) $1 Ice Cream Social, Highlands Ranch Location

Make a FREE summer fruit basket a Lakeshore Learning Centers,
(June 26, 11 am - 3 pm)
click HERE to see more

Make a FREE patriotic project at participating Michael's Crafts stores
(June 26, 10 am - 2 pm)
click HERE to see more

Make a FREE monster truck at Lowe's build and Grow clinics,
(June 26, 10 am - 11 am)
Click HERE to see more and register

The Cherry Blossom Festival 2010 is this weekend (June 26-27), "Experience Japanese dance, drum performances, art exhibits, Asian marketplace, food and more at this annual Denver event." FREE, click HERE to read more, located at 1947 Lawrence Street, Denver

Lollipop-Looza Kid's Carnival in Highlands Ranch, (June 25, 12 pm - 3 pm) "Join us for this fun and fabulous Kids Event! The Recreation Center at Westridge will turn into a kid’s play zone with everything from special battings cage games, dunk tanks, inflatable’s, games, prizes and more! This is a fun and active way to spend a Friday afternoon!" Click HERE to read more, tickets are $5.

FREE/Low Cost Summer Movies

During the summer, these movie theaters are participating in FREE or low cost children's/family movies (Rated G or PG). Check it out:

  • AMC Theaters: $1 summer movies, every Tuesday at 10 am, click HERE to see the movie showings (locations in Castle Rock, Parker, Highlands Ranch, Aurora, Littleton, Denver, Arvada, Evergreen, Westminster, Broomfield)

  • Regal Theaters: FREE Family Film Festival: Movies at 10 am every Tuesday and Wednesday, click HERE to see the movie showings (locations in Englewood, Lakewood, Littleton, Sheridan, Longmont)

  • Cinemark Theaters: Summer Movie Clubhouse: $1 per show or $10 for 5, click HERE to see more, (locations in Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Greeley, Lakewood, Pueblo)

June 23, 2010

Simple Perfect Enchiladas

(photo from The Pioneer Woman)

I love going through all my favorite recipe blogs looking for new things to make. I have my favorites that I always go to first and one on them is The Pioneer Woman. She is awesome and very funny. Her name is Ree and you should really check out her website. Anyway, I found a recipe titled "Simple Perfect Enchiladas." These are WONDERFUL! Click HERE for Ree's recipe, or see below, I changed it a little. You should definitely try these:

  • Sauce:
  • 1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon All-purpose Flour
  • 1 (10 oz.) can green enchilada sauce
  • 1 (10 oz.) can red enchilada sauce
  • 1 ½ cups Chicken Broth
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Chopped Cilantro

  • Meat:
  • 1-½ - 2 pounds Ground Beef
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
  • 2 cans (4 Ounce) Diced Green Chilies
  • ½ teaspoons Salt

  • extras to put in while assembling:
  • 3 cups Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • ½ cups Chopped Black Olives

Start by making the sauce:

In a large saucepan over medium heat, add oil and flour and whisk together to make a paste, cooking for one minute. Pour in the red and green sauce, chicken broth, cilantro, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30-45 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering, start the meat:

Brown the meat with onions in a skillet. Drain off fat. Stir in 2 cans diced green chilies and seasoned salt. Set aside.

Then assemble them:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour ½ cup sauce in bottom of baking pan. Spread to even out. Spoon meat, a little grated cheese, a little black olives, and spoonful of sauce in the center of tortilla. Roll up and place, seam down, in baking pan. Repeat until pan is filled. Pour extra sauce over enchiladas. Top with shredded cheddar cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly.

*My family LOVES rice, so I make Cilantro Lime Rice and put it inside the enchiladas as well.

June 18, 2010

Gemstone Park

6145 Sapphire Pointe Blvd.
Castle Rock, CO 80104

Basketball, Bike Path (Paved), Climbing Wall / Structure, Multi-use Court, Parking, Paved Trail, Picnic Pavilion (General Use), Picnic Tables, Play Fields, Playground, Portable Restroom, Swings, Synthetic Turf Field, and Tennis Court

We actually call this the Spiderweb park because of this climbing thing
fields behind the park
covered picnic area with big tables and little tables (they are the cutest things)

the climbing wall on the park side

tennis/basketball court
swinging benches, these are awesome

the climbing wall
Going up to the park


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