Bake Sale and Fun: May 1st Spring Service Project

20 Apr

May Day, May Day!


We need your help with sweets and treats to sell at the Spring Bake Sale. This year our efforts will benefit Beauty for Ashes Uganda as well as provide scholarships for MomTime mamas.

Sunday, May 1st, we will be continuing the tradition of May baskets. I’m from the South but I hear that all y’all Midwestern gals celebrate spring by filling baskets with a few treats and then giving them to friends. It’s a sweet ritual of spring that has origins in Roman times when it was the Festival of Flora, the goddess of flowers. Sounds fun to me! So, in addition to our cute, individual treats at the table, we will have extra baskets available for folks that want to put together May Day Baskets for friends or family.

Please consider baking/making/buying treats for the Bake Sale. And even if you can’t be there Sunday.  To sign up go to SignUp Genius.

I’ll have the following drop locations for your convenience:

– The little kitchen at the church: by the Common Area on Saturday (just label it MomTime Bake Sale).

– Jill’s house: when you come to the MomTime Spring Party on April 30th- bake, drop, then party!

If you have any extra baskets you’d like to get rid of, we’d love them too! Just drop them off with your goodies and we’ll put them to good use!

Thanks and Happy Spring!

Amy U.


Date: 05/01/2016 (Sun.)
Time: 9:00am – 12:00pm MDT
Location: Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church
Created by: Amy Usalavage

MomTime Runners to Support Colfax Community Network

13 Apr


Our team Running Like Mothers is running the relay Marathon on Colfax Avenue on May 15.  We are so excited to sponsor a dynamic community organization serving kids and families in our own backyard: Along Colfax Avenue itself!  The Colfax Community Network is an organization working with families residing in motels along that corridor.  Their work includes an after school program in which elementary students are provided a safe place to go with snacks, programming and mentoring activities, an outreach program delivering hygiene products and other supplies, a food panty, and  a summer camp program.  CCN hosts a community night each month where a homemade meal brings everyone together.

Consider donating toward the cause.  Any amount is very welcome.  Check out the CCN’s website.  There are many ways to connect and support their efforts.  See the volunteer opportunity page for ideas.  OR come along on race day, Sunday, May 15th to cheer on the relay teams.
colfax logo new 2


Conquering Stress and that Sense of ‘Overwhelm’ by Jennifer Kilgo

18 Mar

Jennifer Kilgo, MA, LPC and owner of Root Counseling a private practice serving women in Denver spoke to MomTime a few weeks back.  Jennifer gave a warm presentation to the group outlining steps to recalibrate our internal conversation to subdue feelings of being overwhelmed and to better cope with stress.  She dedicates her practice to working exclusively with women, she explained in her introduction, “because women often put everyone else  in their lives before themselves” leaving them prone to a sense of “overwhelm. ” She polled the group on coping skills we use to address our own stress.  Responses were many: using organization tools like lists and prioritizing, getting adequate sleep, exercise, solitude and nature, meditation and prayer, and time with friends and partners.
Jennifer quickly got down to some key culprits that get in the way of our efforts. She outlined unreasonable expectations, perfectionism, critical self-talk, and many more.  We did some exercises to show the power of internal thinking.  We wrote down critical ideas we harbor then considered talking to a dear friend or family member using the same language.  The exercise really illustrated the extent of harsh self-talk. Most were surprised at the degree of harshness and high expectations we have for ourselves.  We explored how to exercise self-compassion. We also explored the power of affirmation in break-out groups.  In so doing, we not only laughed a lot, but discovered that many others feel the same way.  Finally, Jennifer led the group in a guided relaxation exercise in which she helped us visualize a painful or stressful thought, name it, and let it go.
Overall, we enjoyed a morning of self-discovery and connection with other moms about ways to handle stress.
To learn more about Jennifer Kilgo and her practice please visit her website.



Talking to Parents about Senior Living Options with Laine Dipasquantino

4 Mar

Laine Dipasquantonio spoke to our group this week about options in long term care for an aging parent.  Laine co-founded Senior Living Specialists of Colorado after having managed her own mother’s care and living situation. She now helps other families find their best options, in terms of amenities, location and budget to find a good fit when long term care is selected. Of course long term care settings are one of many options to consider.  Families must evaluate parents’ needs and wishes and factor in financial planning.  Laine has toured 100s of senior residences and is active with the Colorado Gerontological Association, the Colorado Chapter of the Alzheimers’ Association and numerous other agencies.  Contact her at or at 303-949-6249.  Her placement services are free, and she has lots of information and referrals to offer as well.  Also visit her siteLaine P and group discussion

Laine shared a link to an AARP article on ideas to introduce the topic to get the conversation started.

Less Stressful Weeknight Meals

26 Feb

 Our own Carrie McConnell, registered dietician, led a group discussion on how to minimize the stress involved in meal preparation. Wary of leading an advice- giving session, “of course, no one wants advise,” Carrie facilitated a creative and entertaining brainstorm. Here are the results of our collective ideas on simplifying the process: IMG_4423

Some helpful tools and appliances to aid the process:


Some thoughts on improving the internal thought process involved in meal prep:


Some go-to ingredients to always have on hand for easy planning:


Collectively, we problem-solved some typical barriers to getting the dinner on the table.  Here are a few: varying meal times, variable participants (late arrival or non-arrival of spouse), variable weekend schedules, picky eaters, dietary restrictions, over-snacking, hovering, hungry kids and partners, poor manners, lack of variety, and many more.  Some wonderful solutions were elicited by sharing our own struggles and ideas.  A few favorites heard were: changing our self-talk about the process (see photo), change expectations, enlist kid’s help, meal plan and preparation on a given day of the week, recipe sharing, apps, reward positive behavior and manners ( Carmen suggests placing quarter on each child’s chair as a reward they may keep if not seen during the meal to minimize jumping and squirming at table), placing vegetable snacks out while meal in preparation is in progress, among others.  Finally, Julie Foge shared the tip, ” my job is to provide a balanced, nutritious meal while the child’s job is to decide if they will eat it or not”  as a way to minimize too much short-order cooking or simultaneous meal planning.

Many MomTime members shared some easy or go-to recipes. Barbara Fick graciously organized them so they are available to share here.  Thank you, Barbara: MomTimeRecipes

Enjoy and bon appetit!

Spring Service Project: Beauty for Ashes Uganda

5 Feb

Brandi Lea, founder of a women’s cooperative organization, serving families of the Teso region of Uganda came to share her story of getting involved in helping women help themselves.  The goal of the organization is to achieve long-term sustainability through development of co-ops where the women lead by choosing and developing their own projects.  U46

Brandi told MomTime about the work she facilitates: a phenomenon that has grown from serving about 30 single mothers and widows to more than 1050 women and 600 children in their care.  These women have had such success working collectively that saving has become possible.  Women are able to amass a personal savings, a group savings, and emergency fund savings account. Examples of projects chosen are crop rotation, literacy training, the purchase and care of cows (dairy products), poultry husbandry, textiles, childcare collectives, cassava mills, and orchards.  The idea is to  bring up the level of each by working together.

Brandi gave an impassioned testimony about the love that is her driving motivation. Her mantra she shares with all those women in Uganda, she shares with with us at Momtime: You are loved! You are worth loving!

Momtime will be collecting sturdy backpacks to be sent to the region in early June.  Please consider sponsoring a village in the region.  You may choose a village to follow, even form a personal relationship with women in these villages.  For example, a new village forming cooperatives is called Soroti Town.  Brandi enthusiastically endorsed this form of sponsorship.  Visit the website to learn more.

Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Demystified by Amber Hollis

29 Jan

Amber L. Hollis, L. Ac, Dipl.OM, a Chinese Medicine Practitioner from the Vitality Center presented an introduction on the ancient, curative and preventative tradition.


Traditional Chinese Medicine or “TCM”, is a functional approach to health where the focus is upon keeping people healthy and enhancing vitality.  Amber discussed the benefits of acupuncture (the physical therapy of the tradition), diet and herbal treatments employed in her practice.
Her discussion included an interesting introduction that made a case for why there are many misconceptions about TCM that come from the mistranslation of 4,000 year-old Chinese texts.  She described a common notion of chi = energy,  as a mistaken translation which has led to an erroneous “Energy Model” of practice.  In Amber’s view, Chi is better understood as “air” or oxygen, while Jing-mai (author’s phonetic spelling) which can be assessed through pulses, describes a distribution system or circulatory system, also once wrongly translated in the 19th century as the  “meridian system”.   She went on to describe the importance enhancing our circulatory system to bring nutrient-rich supplies to all tissues.
Amber’s discussion outlined a fascinating discussion of the mechanism of action at work in the TCM.  Much of the talk was devoted to question and answer, which elicited a great discussion. MomTime members largely volunteered great stories of the benefits of acupuncture they had personally experienced.  Our audience members shared stories of successful treatment of nerve pain, headache, sciatica, infertility, immobility, carpel tunnel syndrome, and anxiety. One woman shared that the treatment was more relaxing than a massage or a nap.  The speaker joked, “so good it will make you drool.”  She has a long list of ailments she is able to treat.

Amber encourages us to discover what vitality feels like.  Check back here for more information.






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