Building Our Story

Friday, February 12, 2016

57th Annual Colorado Garden and Home Show

Disclosure:  I was compensated for this post.  All opinions are my own. 



Hey Denver!  Are you looking for something to do this weekend?  Take time to stop in at the 57th (yes, 57 years) Annual Colorado Garden & Home Show.  This event is perfect for families, those that are ready to do some home remodeling inside and out, those who love all things gardening and flowers or those who love shows and events like this.  



The General Details:

When - Feb. 13 - 21, 2016

Where - Colorado Convention Center downtown Denver - 700 14th Street  Denver, Colorado

Show hours: Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Sundays, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.;
Monday through Friday, Noon – 8 p.m.

Prices -
General Admission $12
Senior Ticket (at the door) $10
Children 12 and under are free!

Bonus - In an effort to help area food banks, the Colorado Garden & Home Show will offer $2 off admission to attendees who present a nonperishable food item at the ticket window at the Colorado Convention Center. All of the food gathered will be distributed to local area food banks. This discount is not good with any other offer.

Parking–
Parking is available at Coors Field (Park Avenue exit at I-25, follow to Wazee) for $5 per vehicle and there is a free shuttle to the Convention Center, or, you can take the RTD Light Rail to the station located at the Convention Center.


What To Expect:

The 57th Annual Colorado Garden & Home Show Features Seminars, Hot New Products and 11 Gardens which transforms 400,000 square feet of the Colorado Convention Center into a virtual marketplace of garden and home improvement ideas. The show features:

  • More than 600 companies from 25 states and Canada to introduce new technologies and trends in landscaping, gardening, energy-efficient heating and cooling products, window treatments, siding, flooring, lighting, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, patio furniture, gutters, sound systems, storage systems, greenhouses, decks, spas and more

  • 11 inspiring landscaped gardens with rich colors, fragrances and textures

  • An entry garden presented by Bellco with an outdoor expedition theme developed in partnership with Outward Bound. The 5,500 sq. ft. garden will feature a climbing wall for kids, kayaks, tents, and information on Colorado’s beautiful outdoors.

  • The Hot Products Zone for must-have new gardening and home improvement products

  • Exhibit of eclectically designed wilderness-themed cakes on Feb. 13 and 14

  • 50 free educational seminars and how-to demonstrations

  • Flower sale on Feb. 17 ($2 per pot)

About Colorado Garden Foundation:

Colorado Garden Foundation, a nonprofit corporation, 501(c)(3), provides funds for horticultural related grants and scholarships for the benefit of Colorado. To date, the Foundation has awarded more than $6.8 million for horticultural projects and scholarships throughout the state. Colorado Garden Foundation presents the Colorado Fall Home Show focusing on home renovation,
remodeling and sustainable living and the Colorado Garden & Home Show, the Rocky Mountain region’s largest, oldest and most prestigious consumer garden and home improvement show west of the Mississippi in February.  

For more information, visit ColoradoGardenFoundation.org,
facebook.com/coloradogardenfoundation or Twitter @cogardenfdn

***One hundred percent of every ticket sold is awarded throughout Colorado in the form of grants and student scholarships, including one four-year, full-ride scholarship to attend a Colorado institution by the Colorado Garden Foundation.  

That is amazing, as a person that works for a non-profit in Denver it is great to hear about the other fantastic non-profits in our great city.  This Colorado Garden Foundation helps students really focus on their dream of attending school.  I remember looking at all of the amazing garden's that are set up with beautiful flowers and plants and seeing that each of the universities in Colorado partakes in those creations. 




Sounds like a great event right?  Jeremy and I have gone a number of times and we love it.  Not only does it give you great inspiration for gardening and home remodeling but it has the fun aspects of shows that we all love.  Yummy food, family activities and booths full of items that will have you preparing for spring and summer.   

Take time with the family or maybe a date day to the Garden and Home Show.  It will help you get into the Spring and Summer mood!  Get those gardening and remodeling plans ready!!  Or, just go and enjoy the time with family and friends!


You can visit the Colorado Garden and Home Show website here.


 What are your plans this weekend?  Hope to see you at the show!



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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Book Review: The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty

A tasteful book review of The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by Anne Rice


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I have never been the person that heads to the grocery store to pick up the latest Fabio on the cover book; Katy, if you are reading this - I love you!  My roommate in college introduced those erotica books and at the time had no reason to read them.  However, then the whole 50 Shades of Grey craze it and I followed the crowd and picked up the series.  I did my 50 Shades of Grey reviews and honestly, they were okay, nothing amazing and pretty tame if you ask me.  In fact, I was not one of the many woman freaking out about the "abuse" in the books because it was pretty obvious that the whole plot, if you can call it that, was a tame submissive S&M relationship that results in pleasure.  

Okay, now bring this to the present.  We were heading out for the weekend and I wanted a book to read.  So, I asked a coworker for a good book recommendation and Anne Rice was brought up in conversation.  Like most people when they hear Anne Rice the immediately think of Vampires!  Yup, that was me.  So when I search on my nook for my next week I searched Anne Rice and saw the Sleeping Beauty series.  The reviews were high and I vaguely remember having another coworker years ago suggest this series LONG before the whole 50 Shads stuff.  So...I bought the first book in the series - The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty.


My Review:

The synopsis of this book is all about Beauty waking up from a 100 year sleep set in a historic novel.  The first chapter is all about the Prince who conquers Beauty which results in her waking up.  Because he woke her and broke the sleep - he "owns" her.  This sweet young lady is brought to the Princes kingdom and is introduced to a world of slaves and playthings.  Yes, playthings.  The slaves are known as tributes and are trained for years on how to become sexual property for the kingdom.   There are both male and female tributes in this experience. 

The book goes into a good amount of detail about the training that takes place - this is where I was surprised and found myself wondering how close these sexual games were to rape and lack of consent.  

Through out this book Beauty finds another tribute that she falls for.  She disobeys the orders of the kingdom and finds herself desiring this slave instead of her Prince.  Even after many stories and examples of what would happen to her if she disobeys she continued and the book ends on her being sentenced to being sent to a neighboring village.  

While this book does have a good amount of "clean" relations between a number of characters I found that that the language used to describe the acts were a bit hard to read.  I will be the first to admit that I am not prude and find that every one should be able to be sexual in their own way but I may have reached my hard limit in this book!  Pun intended!

When I put the book down I did find myself wanting to know what happens to Beauty but again, not sure I am ready to read the details of the sexual slavery and S&M descriptions.  The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty  blows 50 shades out of the water!  This is the real deal so be ready! 


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This book is recommended for adult audiences only. Read at your own risk and keep an open mind about Anne Rice. Rice firmly believed that women should have the freedom to read and write whatever they pleased, and considered the trilogy her political statement.  I can totally see this statement after reading the book.  


I have not read the second or the third book of the series and cannot decide if I will.  While the first book was certainly an interesting read and a quick read I have not decided if this is a genre of book that I find I need to continue reading.  




Have you dove into the world of Anne Rice' Sleeping Beauty?


Post contains affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase through my link, Amazon will pay me a commission for it. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free, so thank you!


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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Transformer Rescue Bots : Adventures in Time and Space DVD {review & giveaway}


Disclosure:  We were provided a copy of this DVD for our reviewing purposes.  No other compensation was given.  All opinions are my own. 



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Transformer Rescue Bots :  Adventures in Time and Space


Jude, and now Teagan too, love watching the Rescue Bots on Saturday morning so whenever we get the chance to pick up the newest DVDS from the Rescue Bots we have very excited kiddos.  The newest DVD will be released in just a few days and lucky for Jude these crazy bots are heading into space!!  Pretty perfect for Jude.

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Episodes Include:
  • It’s A Bot Time
  • Unfinished Business
  • Switcheroo
  • Time After Time
  • The Last Of Morocco


The Rescue Bots take their adventures through time and space! This heroic collection of Transformers: Rescue Bots will be released on DVD on February 23, 2016 from Shout! Factory Kids, in conjunction with Hasbro Studios. Featuring five exciting episodes that the whole family can enjoy, this DVD is priced to own with a suggested retail price of $14.93.

Griffin Rock’s Autobot first responders — Chase, Heatwave, Blades and Boulder — are back for five more action-packed adventures! Only this time, they’re proving that they’ll stop at nothing to protect their Earth friends, even if it means traveling through all of time and space!

Executive produced by Jeff Kline (TRANSFORMERS PRIME), TRANSFORMERS RESCUE BOTS features the vocal talents of LeVar Burton (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Lacey Chabert (Party of Five), Steve Blum (TRANSFORMERS PRIME), Maurice LaMarche (Emmy® Award winner for Futurama) and the legendary Peter Cullen who voices OPTIMUS PRIME when he makes cameo appearances in the series.





Now it is your turn to surprise your Transformer loving kiddo - enter to win your own copy today!! Simply follow the giveaway form below. Good Luck!


Rafflecopter Form:

a Rafflecopter giveaway










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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Daily Boost - Even In The Snow

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Nature Made® as a part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.  


We all start the New Year with resolutions or goals and most of those, if not all of them get tossed out the window by this time of the year.  Sad but true.  I had a number of goals this year and one of them was to be better about taking vitamins and supplements that would in turn help me feel healthier and better day in and day out.  


One of the reasons why I really wanted to stock up our medicine cabinet with a number of different vitamins and supplements was because of the cold weather here in Colorado.  Most of December was filled with sickies in our house and it was not fun.  We missed out on so many winter and Christmas activities due to those bugs.  And as usual the kids would always share their sickies with us but would bounce back from the bugs way faster than me - so I was in desperate need of a Daily Boost!  


Every time I started feeling sick I would try to take as much Vitamin C as possible and sometimes it helped, most of the time not. So instead of trying Vitamin C after the bugs hit I decided to be preventative during this time of the year and make sure I take a Vitamin C every day. I choose Nature Made supplements because they are the nation’s #1 best-selling brand for quality vitamins, minerals and supplements* to help support nutritional gaps and they are also the #1 Pharmacist recommended supplement brand in 9 categories**.  Those pharmacists really know their stuff when it comes to supplements and vitamins so I choose to go with their recommendations. 

I have been tracking my supplements in my beloved planner and that has really helped me keep on track with this goal.  I do not know about you but I have a terrible time remember to take medications - that includes vitamins.  Now that I have a good system I am really doing well with it.  2016 vitamin goal is in full effect and honestly, I have felt great since getting on track with my Vitamin C.   I am happy that I have found an easy way to make sure I enjoy those special winter moments with Jude and Teagan.  

"Taking vitamins and supplements is one way. Taking action is another.  Something small that makes a big difference — we call it a Daily Boost."  Nature Made Daily Boost microsite.



Before the year passes you by, stop in at Walmart and decide how you are going to give yourself a Nature Made Boost!  The prices are always on point and in budget, so there is no excuse not to start right now!

There are hundreds of ways to boost your wellness and remembering your daily vitamin is the first step!  I love that quote.  To make sure you are staying on track and motivated you need to visit and join the Nature Made Daily Boost microsite.  This is a great way to take time to focus on your health and wellness daily with out too much hassle or time.  I have enjoyed this site and feel like it has helped me really focus on my wellness in the New Year. 



To make sure you are motivated for your year of boost and for you to stay on track with your New Year Health goals Nature Made is giving away 20 $50 gift cards to Walmart for your vitamin, mineral, and supplement needs!
Influence Central will randomly select 20 winners from all program entries and will handle fulfillment of the winning prizes. Building Our Story is not responsible for the delivery of prizes. Giveaway ends 2/15/16. Good Luck!!

Entry Form:



*Based in part on data reported by Nielsen through its Scantrack Service for the Vitamins Category for 52-week period ending 9/26/2015, for the xAOC, FDM, and FM Markets. Copyright © 2015 Nielsen.
**Based on US News & World Report – Pharmacy Times Survey, Nature Made is the #1 Pharmacist Recommended Brand in Nine Categories – Letter Vitamins, Omega-3/Fish Oil, Coenzyme Q10, Flax Seed Oil, Herbal Supplements, Cholesterol Management-Natural, Garlic, Diabetic Multivitamins and Mood Health Supplements




Get out there and play in the snow!! 


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Monday, February 8, 2016

Broncos Win!!!!

BRONCOS WIN!!!!


It was a big weekend in the Mile High City – Broncos are the World Champs!!  Unless you have been under a rock you know that the Super Bowl was last night and thankfully the Denver Bronco’s defense decided to show up for the big game.  Here in Colorado, the orange and blue runs deep, it runs on traditions and faith.  We are #UnitedInOrange – even during bad seasons.  But this year, we not only made it to Super Bowl 50 but we WON!  


Jeremy and his kiddos making sure they are dressed and ready to cheer on those Broncos!  We continued our family traditions by heading over to my parents house to watch the game but this year we were cheering on our home team.  Go Broncos!!


This picture is from 2014 when the Bronco's played in Super Bowl 48 against the Seahawks, while that was a terrible game we still enjoyed getting together as a family!!  Look how little the kids are!!!


This boy was so hyped up when we told him we were going to win!!  YAY!!!!


The kids convinced Grandpa to continue his tradition of painting his face Bronco’s colors and we all had a fun time.   Teagan loved seeing Grandpa with his "make-up" on!!  HA!!  And even convince him to read her a book for the game started.  Smart girl. 


So as we come off of this Bronco's fever it is fun to look back at memories of our family in Orange and Blue.  This is a picture of my dad and I in 1990 when the Broncos were in the Super Bowl.  I was only 7 years old.  Once Jude saw this picture in 2014 he told Grandpa he has to paint has face whenever the Bronco's are in the Super Bowl.  I am so happy we are able to keep this traditions going.  I love this picture!!  


Thank you to the Denver Bronco's for bringing the trophy back to Denver!!  We are so proud to live in such an amazing city!!  



GO BRONCOS!!!!!


Do you have any Super Bowl traditions with your family?

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Friday, February 5, 2016

Beautiful Boat Ride to Little Water Cay - Turks & Caicos

Disclosure:  we received a conference rate for our stay. 

Over the last couple of months I have been sharing all about our trip to Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa and making our lists of what to do or not do on our next visit.  One of the experiences that I was lucky enough to have with one of my bloggy BFF was tour and excursion to a local hot spot filled with iguanas!  

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Little Water Cay, also commonly known as Iguana Island, is a must see if you are in the Providenciales. This 116-acre cay is home to between 2,000 and 3,000 Turks & Caicos Rock Iguanas, so there is no way you will leave the cay without seeing one of these amazing creatures. Not only are the Iguanas great to look for but the natural beauty of the plants and other creatures make for the perfect excursion. 

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The moment we docked at the cay we were all in awe of the beauty surrounding us.   The boat ride across the ocean to the Island was the most amazing experience.  I had not been a boat like that for over 15 years so to see the beautiful turquoise water and feel the sea air was stunning.  

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The calm waves were beautiful up against the white sand.  We even spotted a small shark in the water near our boat.  I was told that it wasn't one that would eat us but I decided to stay out of the water!  HA!  

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Look who welcomed us to his space!  Most of the iguanas that we saw during our trip were pretty decent in size too.  If I was alone walking in the jungle I would have certainly jumped if I saw one of these!  It was so cool to see these creatures in their natural habitat.  

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Little Water Cay is full of beauty.  I think the most interesting part about this day trip to Iguana Island was the amount of different landscapes and native plants,  Every place we walked we found something that we had to take a picture of!  Gorgeous!  These iguanas know how to live!

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Iguana Island Selfie!!  

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Then, we saw one on the move and I tried to get a picture with him.  He wasn't having it.  Some of the iguanas were just minding their own business but others were totally checking us out.  I mean, who wouldn't want to hang out with a bunch of #BeachesMoms?  

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Do you know what that is?  It's an Iguana track.  See the feet prints and then the tail dragging in the sand.  Pretty cute if you ask me.  All over the soft white sand on the island you could see these fun tracks.  

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Provo Adventure Cruise with Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa:

A scenic sail along Provo's coastline transports adventurers to Little Water Cay and a visit with the unique inhabitants -- endangered rock iguanas. A guided tour of the cay offers a close-up look at this friendly species in their natural habitat. Next, it's all aboard to the Captain's favorite snorkeling spot to and a swim with amazing coral, fish and colorful marine life. Finally a stop at a private beach for sunbathing, or a search for treasures like delicate sea shells and sand dollars.


Learn more about pricing and schedule tours here. 

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Tips for visiting Little Water Cay:

Bring water!  While the boat ride is nice and cool from the sea breeze, once you are hiking around the cay it is HOT!  Where sunscreen and bug repellent, a few of our fellow bloggers got bit a couple of times while out walking.  If you plan on staying long, it is probably a good idea to bring a swimsuit and towel so you can enjoy the beach. Bring your camera just in case you get to see some of the iguanas or other creatures up close!  While most of the "trail" is an easy walk, there are a couple of rough areas, I wore flip flops but wish I had worn better shoes at times.  Totally doable in flip flops though, just a suggestion.  Have fun and look for other creatures.  We kept seeing these giant green crabs - they were super good at camouflage so I couldn't ever get a good photo of them.  Have fun, and take in the natural beauty of a very special island.  

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Be sure to bring:
  • Camera/Water Camera
  • Sneakers/Water Shoes
  • Sunscreen
  • Towel
  • Swimsuit
  • Change of Clothes
  • No Jewelry
  • Cash
  • Bug Repellent

Not recommended for:

  • Pregnant Women
  • Physically Challenged
  • Not Handicapped Accessible
  • Back/Neck Problems
  • Arm/Hand Surgery
  • Motion Sickness
  • Heart/Respiratory Problems

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Heather and I enjoying the beautiful boat ride back to Beaches after a fantastic trip to Iguana Island.  What a great experience to have with one another.  We were so lucky to have this opportunity while at the Social Media On The Sand Conference.  

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If there was a list of things that you must do when you visit Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa this is one of them.  While this is not something that is included in the all-inclusive rate it is well worth the cost and is completely set up for you at the tour and excursion booth.  Just like the rest of the activities, the staff is there to help you have the time of your life and they make sure they get everything set up perfectly for you.  

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Have you ever experienced an excursion like this?  Would you want to go see the Iguanas on your trip to Beaches Turks & Caicos?


Post contains affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase through my link, Amazon will pay me a commission for it. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free, so thank you!

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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Loaded Baked Potato & Chicken Bake Recipe

Finding easy meals that the kids enjoy can be difficult.  Thanks to a snow day this week, I was able to try a one dish meal I had been wanting to try to for awhile.  It was truly the perfect thing to have baking while we had some fun in the cold snowy weather with Jude and Teagan.  When we were done outside we walked in the house to a yummy aroma of dinner baking.  So perfect on a snow day!

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Loaded Baked Potato & Chicken Bake 

Free printable recipe here. 

Ingredients:

4 medium sized russet potatoes, cleaned, peeled and diced
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast - cubed
1/2 cup turkey bacon, crumbled
1/4 cup green onion - sliced 
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 TBSP unsalted butter
salt and pepper

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Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 9x13 casserole dish.

2.  Layer half of the diced potatoes in the bottom of the dish.  Place all of the cubed chicken evenly on top of the potatoes.  

3.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.  

4.  Sprinkle half of the bacon crumbles over chicken and layer 1 cup of cheese over bacon.  

5.  Add half of the green onions over the cheese layer. 

6.  Spread the remaining diced potatoes over onions.  Then add remaining bacon and 1 cup of cheese and the rest of the green onions. 

7.  Pour heavy cream over top f the casserole evenly.  

8. Drop "pieces" of butter over the casserole. 

9.  Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour.  

10.  After 1 hour, remove foil and continue to bake for another 30 minutes.  

11.  Serve and enjoy hot!  

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While this one dish meal does take a bit of time to prepare and bake it was well worth the time.  It was so good and the entire family decided it was one that we had to make again.  We paired this with a side of veggies and it was a very wholesome and warming meal on a cold snow day.  


What are your favorite one dish meals or casseroles to enjoy with your family?



Post contains affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase through my link, Amazon will pay me a commission for it. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free, so thank you!


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