Styling Your Husband, for the Holidays and Beyond

22 Nov

Our own Carmen Mix, J. Hilburn Custom Menswear Stylist and former owner of a boutique stationary store among many other things,  presented tips and tricks on how to dress up your spouse.  She stresses that guys ” don’t need a lot of items, just the right items” in the closet. She reviewed information on fit and ideas to dress up a look.


Carmen reviewed the correct method to select proper fit.  For chest size, measure the circumference of the chest to determine the jacket size.  Normally there is a 6 inch drop between waist and hip in all off-the-rack pants.  Shirt length is important in dressing up or down a look.  Untucked shirts are stylish if the tail hangs two inches above the bottom of the zipper.  Dress shirts are usually at or below the bottom of the zipper. Other notable tips: charcoal pants go with everything, undershirts are not to be seen. Also, multiple patterns may be paired if 2 patterns per one solid are at play:  for example a patterned shirt with a solid tie, then a pattern jacket, OR, a solid shirt, patterned jacket and tie.

Check here to see the slides Styling your guy for the Holidays and Beyond for more details on styling tips.  Happy dressing for the holidays and every day!

If Not You, Who?

9 Nov


The founders of the website If Not You, Who?, a free website providing a bounty of educational activities for children, Debi Dutton, Elissa Sungar and Carly Partridge led us in activities and games October 30th.

The website is geared toward caregivers of kids in the early childhood years, specifically 3-6 year- olds, but many of the activities can be tailored for younger or older kids.  The site is set up as a resource for adults to access for ideas for learning using common household items. It is replete with opportunities to play, the primary way children learn, and to interact.  The activities focus on 5 main areas of exploration: Language, Math & Science, Problem solving, and Social skills development.  Parents can search the site based on play type, time available, group or individual with caregiver-style play.

Debi, mother and inspiration to Elissa and Carly, co-founders of the site, demonstrated how a game with a beach ball could be used to develop all five target skills.  Using a sharpie marker, she had written numbers around the sphere.  She tossed the ball around to MomTime participants showing each skill is covered, for example: ” Which number is closest to your left thumb?  Add that number to the number closest to your right index finger.”  This game can be modified either using letters to encourage literacy or for various ages with various skills.

Elissa runs the website and blogs frequently on childhood education at Denver Post’s Mile High Mamas and HuffPost Parent site.  Carly is an educator at Aspen Academy in Greenwood Village.  Debi is a retired teacher and former column author who hosted a weekly television spot showcasing 3 to 4 activities, in her native Wisconsin.

In addition to being a free website, the philosophy is to encourages interactive play. Teachers and caregivers can use the ideas, as well.  A link to Google-translate encourages families from a wide spectrum of caregivers to utilize these stimulating and fun ideas. A beautiful aspect of the site is that the materials are readily available and affordable.  What a wonderful resource!

Check out the site If Not You, Who?

Harvesting Hope: Thanksgiving Day 5k Run

19 Oct


MomTime is delighted to announce our Fall Service Project supporting a Thanksgiving Day Run in support of The Foundation for Prader-Willi Research. This local “Turkey Trot” will be held in Stapleton’s Central Park on Thanksgiving morning. The goal of this race is to raise awareness and funding for the Prader-Willi Foundation.  This event is especially close to the hearts of MomTime as one of our longtime members, Julie Foge, has a daughter Eliza, who has been diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS).

PWS is the leading cause of genetic, life-threatening childhood obesity, and there is no cure.  A rare genetic disorder, it occurs randomly in one out of every 15,000 live births.  While the symptoms of PWS are varied, sometimes dramatic, the most notable symptom is extreme and unrelenting hunger coupled with a slow metabolism and low muscle tone. Because of the insatiable hunger, PWS is a life-threatening disorder.  To learn more about the Foge family’s journey with PWS, please visit Julie’s blog here.

In order to make this inaugural event a success, MomTime volunteer help will be crucial! We, of course, invite every member to run the race, to spread the word so that others register as well, but there are other ways to help! Right now, race organizers are searching for event sponsors.  The event itself will cost approximately $10,000 to cover expenses.  We want every race entry dollar to go toward the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research (FPWR). If you know of any organization who you think might be interested in sponsoring this event: PLEASE CONTACT THEM!  As this is an inaugural race on a holiday, sure to be a fun day for all, the sponsors may be especially pleased to have their organization or business featured prominently on t-shirts and other race souvenirs.  Harvesting Hope is a 501c3 organization as well, so any in-kind material donation will be tax deductible.

As we get closer to the race day there will be other ways to help, so please continue to check back for important details and visit Harvesting Hope to learn more about the race.

Help! My Child Is Struggling in School

8 Oct

Chistina Murphy, LPC, the Program Director for Griffith Centers for Children and Jessica Rock, MA, MFT, a Community Clinical Supervisor came and spoke to the group last week about strategies to best navigate educational options and services that may be available through schools.  Also highlighted were a host of parenting and communication tips to ease children through rough spots.


Christina described the benefits of positive parenting (reinforcing positive behaviors you wish to see more of-no matter how trivial-while downplaying the negative ones we wish discourage). Jessica offered a video game analogy:  when playing a game, often a desired outcome is reinforced by many bells and whistles, while a “miss” is accompanied by a brief “wa-waa” sound, then the game continues, without further fanfare.  The speakers offered the reflecting technique where you reflect the emotion being expressed (” I see you jumping up and down, are you angry/anxious/excited/ upset?”).  Recognize some behaviors for what they are–attempts to self-regulate negative emotions.  You can redirect the behavior to something safer, for example, “how about we stop jumping on the bed, and jump rope outside?”.  Jessica endorses trying for one or two small goals daily.  Jessica suggests asking the child what consequence they think they should receive when they transgress.  Whenever possible, it is helpful to build continuity between reinforcement systems used at school and at home to best support the behaviors we want to see.

A handout provided a useful tool parents can use to describe our emotions.  Sometimes, just labeling the emotion makes them more manageable.  It is important to stay present physically to the child, if having trouble regulating emotion. Try not to reinforce tantrum behavior by providing the desired object, rather try to praise efforts by offering something pleasurable, like a hug (reinforces calming down).  One technique is to offer a “Self-Control Contract” where kids agree to ideal goals for emotion regulation (example: I agree to use an inside voice, ask calmly for what I need, etc”). Another handout the speakers reviewed anger management, both in parents and in kids.  Of course, modeling anger management for our kids is an ideal way to teach it.

Finally, the therapist outlined the different plans available through school: 504 Plan vs individual education plans (IEPs) and how to distinguish between them.

To learn more, visit

Kick-Off Session: “Getting Our Sexy Back”

21 Sep

MomTime Fall 2015 is off and running!

Sage Hobbs, Life Coach, spoke about the importance and the ‘how to’s’ of keeping one’s mojo alive and well.

Sage started her presentation by sharing a turning point in her own life. She described feeling swallowed whole by career and caregiving roles so embarked on a new path that would help people, mothers in particular, stay vital in their passions.  She describes the concept of ‘Sexy’ as a huge one that is different for each person. She uses terms like energy, passion, confidence, even life-force interchangeably, all the while stressing that ‘Sexy’ is a dynamic state, that will change over time.

Sage stressed the importance of tending to one’s soul, sensuality, and sexuality improves not only personal fulfillment and happiness, but that it affects our families tremendously.  She says that when we inventory our top priorities, a starting point in the process, many of us put our families as a top priority.  Repeatedly, she stressed that mothers are a huge part of the family.  If we can learn to tend to our own creativity and sexiness, by way of nurturing our passions, our partners and children will benefit.  Kids miss out when their parent’s sense of fun and self are depleted.  There is a huge benefit to modeling self-care to our loved ones.  In parenting, children look to their caregivers to show them the way, not to simply say it. She notes, that teens are especially astute at ferreting out hypocrisy.  It is up to us to model the self-care/mojo-preservation, so that they may value their own sense of fulfillment and fun.

During the session, she pointed out the value to our children of doing the work to boost our vitality.  We also were challenged to think about the costs of not nurturing ourselves. Do you want your child to be:

  • Independent?
  • Enjoy healthy relationships?
  • Be able to experience pleasure and intimacy?

It is up to us to show them the way.  These are good reasons to nurture one’s own confidence and sexiness.  Not to mention the pure fun of making time to do things we love. There are many a clean and organized underwear drawers out there this week!  She suggested a nice starting point to reap immediate energizing-the-mojo work is to clean out that drawer that harbors old, ill-fitting, even ugly under-garments.  I know a mom who puts all kinds of stuff she can’t figure where else to place it.  Not sexy.  More than a few moms in attendance shared how fun it is to buy new, pretty things for ourselves. Next, you can expand to the whole bedroom.

Life is Now: Right here, Right now. This body, This person. 


Check out Sage’s Coaching website to learn more.

Heather Weldon, this year’s MomTime Coordinator, led the session by sharing a piece apropos to the whole year of planned MomTime called ” I Miss the Village” by Bunmi Laditan, originally published in the Huffington Post.


Fall MomTime Season Begins September 18!

13 Aug

Tell your friends and neighbors about MomTime’s upcoming fall kick-off meeting.  We have an exciting schedule of speakers lined up for 2015: Click here for details and links.  If you know someone who might enjoy meeting, connecting and sharing with other moms, please pass on the word. momtime flier fall 2015

Tour de Cure Coming Up in August: an update on Team Ryan

17 Jul

MomTime has raised $240 in support of Team Ryan.  Our running team “Run Like Mothers” raised these funds by participating in the Colfax Relay Marathon. Ryan Baer, the brother of two MomTime members, Jen Nutter and Michele Lopez, died from complications of Type 1 Diabetes.  The Tour de Cure is a bike ride fundraising opportunity of the American Diabetes Association to increase funding for Diabetes research.

Visit the Tour de Cure site to learn more.  Also, scroll down to view a previous post.

Way to go Jen and Michele!


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