8 Fun and Easy Ideas for Your Tailgate

Broncos season is underway and do you know what that means? We have the full license to Party On, Mom!

partyonmomMile High Mamas is excited to be one of the Party On, Moms for the P&G at Walmart campaign that is inspiring moms to bring the party – whether homegate, tailgate or even date night at the stadium. We’re gearing up to bring the party for the Denver Broncos vs. San Diego Chargers game on Sunday, October 30 at Sports Authority Field.

Gretchen is appearing on Colorado and Company this Thursday at 10 a.m. to share her fun, inexpensive and most importantly, easy ideas for throwing your own party at home. The best part? She’s got great time saving tips for getting your house party ready and all her goodies only have a few ingredients. Our party plan is so simple your kids can help! 

 Here are eight fabulous steps to throwing your own Broncos party.

1) Shop.

Huddle, make a list and head to Walmart to get all your party essentials in one stop. Food and decorations aside, the house has to be ready for hosting and Swiffer, Bounty and Febreze are products we depend upon. Be sure to enter to win our Party On, Mom pack filled with trusted P&G brands and a $25 Walmart gift card. 

2) Get creative.

Ditch the unimaginative tablecloth. Buy a green rug, turf or green felt, grab some athletic or electrical tape for the stripes and and get numbers from the mailbox section in Walmart to create your very own football field.  broncos1sm

3) Decorate.

Go crazy with Broncos colors, foam footballs, pompoms and any fun football-themed decor (can you believe Walmart even sells a Broncos-themed slow cooker?) And don’t forget the food. Lots and lots of great food. Here are a few of our ideas.

4) Eat: Bacon

Gretchen’s fast and tasty edibles include Bacon cheese bites.


Loaf of white bread
Cream cheese spread chives and onions

Instructions: Cut the crusts off several slices of bread. Spread a generous amount of cream cheese on each slice. Roll, wrap with bacon and cut in half. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

5) Eat: More bacon

You will fall in love with Pioneer Woman’s famous Bacon Appetizers. The Cast of Characters: Club Crackers, Thin-Sliced Bacon, Grated Parmesan Cheese. That’s it. Yes, we’re serious and these are seriously delicious.



6) Eat:Buffalo Hot Wings Rolls

1.5 cups cooked shredded chicken (or use canned chicken for quick prep)
1/2 block (4 ounces) of cream cheese
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
1/4 cup buffalo wing sauce
2 Tbsp sour cream
Instructions: Mix ingredients together, spread on tortillas, roll, cut and eat. It’s that easy and delicious!

7) Eat: Stuffed Mushrooms

 We have two different variations to these, both of which require just three ingredients and are mouthwatering.
Cheddar-stuffed mushrooms
8 oz bag cheddar cheese
1 tube (32 oz) pork sausage
15-25 mushrooms
Instructions: Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Carefully break off stems and lightly hollow out the mushrooms. Mix uncooked sausage and cheese together, add the mushroom tops (if desired).  Stuff with mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Cream cheese-stuffed mushrooms
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 medium-sized onion, diced
1 tube (32 oz) pork sausage (we like Jimmy Dean  Premium Pork Hot Sausage for an extra kick)
15-25 mushrooms
Instructions: Preheat broiler. Prepare mushrooms like above. Place sausage and onions in a large skillet and cook over medium heat until evenly brown. Blend cream cheese with sausage mixture, stuff mushroom caps with a generous amount and arrange on a medium baking. Broil for 3-5 minutes until lightly browned.

8) Party On, Mom!

Long after your food is gone, keep the party going. Tack your football field tablecover on the wall and use it as a background for a selfie booth. Stack your cups and use a small foam football to do a “knock-down” carnival game for kids.

And remember, above all else: Don’t stress, just Party On, Mom!

This post is sponsored by P&G at Walmart.

 Be sure to enter our giveaway (link) and find all the products you need for your own Broncos tailgate or home gate by visiting Walmart.com/partyonmom

You can watch the video of Colorado & Company here: http://www.9news.com/…/party-on-mom-walmart…/343248736

*This blog was written by Amber Johnson. Content collaborated by me – all photos are mine.

Esprit de She at Red Rocks Literally Rocks

I like when an even can turn my pre-conceived notions on their heads. I always thought of gyms as a place for the guys. Based on this event (which is produced and brought to us by LifeTime Fitness), I think LifeTime gyms would be a place that I as a woman or my kids could/would feel comfortable working out OR going to the spa. The celebration and encouragement I saw from the staff and all the participants was AWESOME.

Pre-Event Training. I signed up for the pre-event training through the club. It was a minimal cost at just $3.20 for the 5K training and $6.40 for the 10K (Get it? The Mileage). The training was twice a week on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings. I knew that Wednesdays were already going to be out for me as they started the run at 6p but I had to run my daughter to something every Wednesday. Which left Saturday mornings. There was a tiny snafu with the first week – then the following two weeks I had my son’s football games at 9 a.m. so I would not be able to make it. I did however, try to run on my own. I do think this would have been a really great resource getting me readying and having someone actually give me pointers – it was simply a timing thing that I could not take full advantage of this program. But will try to next time.

The Run (10K/5K). I have stayed away from races for all my life (with the exception of the Bolder Boulder – which I run with my sister, brother-in-law and nephews). I guess I sort of figured that the Bolder Boulder was different because there were so many people and waves – that several people walk the event. And let’s be honest, all three years that I’ve participated I’ve walked at least part of the race. But what I loved so much about this race – is that there were women and girls of all different shapes, sizes and fitness levels. Everyone seemed to be supporting and encouraging all the others (as opposed to what I thought races were – which were “competitive” to see who gets the best time). The last mile or so was sort of “ambitious” as it was all up hill (this is where I walked a lot). But I made it – getting a finisher medal at the end making me believe that I had achieved something!img_3306

Yoga. While I didn’t participate in the yoga. I know there were a lot of ladies that participated in Yoga on the Rocks. So even if you are not a runner (or walker) that wants to do the 10K or 5K race – there is still something for you!

 Marketplace. I’ve been to a lot of expo’s. People hawking their wares. Nothing to see/do in booths except buy, buy, buy. This was very different. Each of the vendors really had something substantial in their booth.

  • Gildan (the title sponsor). The Gildan booth was awesome. They gave each woman a pair of socks and a T-Shirt (as well as a 25% off coupon). Then we could take our shirt over to the T-Shirt decorating area – where there were pictures and ideas on how to personalize our shirt and all the items needed to do it. From scissors to ideas books. Plus, their tag line is every ___________ counts. You fill in the blank with what matters to you. We could write in whatever we want and some words of encouragement for Girls on the Run.img_3309
  • Lifetime Spa. LifeTime is not just a gym but also there is a spa on site. The staff from the spas were on hand to paint nails, braid hair and even give massages! And it was all free! I got my nails painted and my hair braided – but the line for the massages was too long (they were making a list and texting people when it was their turn).
  • Food Samples. There were several booths that were handing out free food samples. Some of the best were ones that handed out full size produces.
  • JR Watkins. I guess I sort of expected the sports drinks, quick energy foods, and running gear. But I was delighted to be introduced to J.R. Watkins hand soap and lotion (and they gave away a full size hand soap)…and it smells so good.
  • Beer/Wine. After the race several ladies used their coupon for a free glass of wine or beer.
  • Participation Bag. The bag that we received was a Natural Grocers bag that I can use and use again. It was chock full of great stuff including a race shirt. (I noticed several ladies immediately put theirs on – I didn’t because I didn’t want to walk back to my car to leave my other shirt). There were some great samples and coupons stuffed inside.

 Concert. I love going to concerts and finding new groups. I especially love hearing someone who I thought I knew – but then deciding I like them even more (and go and download a bunch of their songs). Even better if the concert is at Red Rocks on a beautiful fall afternoon. I was really impressed with the opening band, Tyler Watkins band. A local country band. They were great and very energetic. Then Jana Kramer came on stage as the headliner. She is awesome in concert. I love the way she interacted with the crowd and knew that it was mostly women. I loved that the concert only went until 7 p.m.img_3318

I will most certainly seek out this event next year. I will go. I will invite friends. I will celebrate the “She” in me! The event helped me set a goal (of running the race) and achieve it. It was a really fun event the celebrates women. Girl Power!



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Fall Break Getaway to Jackson Hole and Yellowstone

Through my work with hotels – I had a certificate for a two night stay at the Wort Hotel in Jackson, WY. I had held on to it for too long. (It had been like 2 years – and the certificate was technically expired). But I called the hotel and asked if we could come up during the kids fall break. They said YES!

We were going to drive. Since my son couldn’t go because they were still going to practice for football – I asked my daughter if she wanted to bring a friend. We were driving so we got a fairly early start on Monday morning. It is an eight hour drive to Jackson. My daughter being 15 was excited about having the opportunity to drive a bit on her learner’s permit.

We got through Denver and Ft. Collins in decent time and made it to Village Inn in Laramie, WY for breakfast. But first a quick little stop at the stadium for University of Wyoming. The girls must have been really hungry because they both ordered pretty big breakfasts and at a lot of it. Plus, we got a free slice of pie with any entree. We packed the pie to-go and hit the road again. The road from Laramie to Jackson is mostly across I-80. It is flat and windy. But my daughter was a champ. The girls blasted their music and sang along – while taking photos and videos. A few times during the trip we just had to get out to stretch and take some photos. img_3102



We arrived at the Wort around 3 p.m. which was perfect as that is check in time! The Wort is a historic hotel right in the corner of town where all the fun tourist shops are and town square (the park). We shopped a bit, grabbed tacos at the little taqueria and tequila place across the street from the hotel and left just in time to catch the most amazing sunset. img_3149

The next morning breakfast was at the most amazing bakery in town, Persephone. It is a cute little bakery with GREAT pastries. It felt like something straight off a pinterest page.

img_3243On our way to Yellowstone! When you create your budget for this trip remember that it cost about $80 to buy an annual National Parks Pass. (National Parks Pass is free for fourth graders and way cheap for seniors). It would be about $50 to just get in Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. Since we live near a couple National Parks we decided to buy the whole year deal. From Jackson, we were so close we needed to see Old Faithful. Old Faithful is the guyser that erupts in a spray of more than boiling hot water over 100 feet in the air. It naturally happens on a regular timeline…thus the name Old Faithful. The drive is about an hour and a half from the hotel so we knew we were going to be in the car for a good part of the day. But we stopped, got out and walked a lot more than we had done the previous day. img_3193



Due to our timing – (October) – it was cold and even snowed a bit while we were there. Old Faithful was worth seeing so we could say we saw it – but the girls (both teens) weren’t really all that into it. We didn’t do much exploring because of the weather. We had to wait in line for the one food outlet that was open. I really can’t imagine how crazy with tourists that must be in the summer. Maybe if you are going then pack a lunch.


My daughter was our photographer making me stop to take many photos. We also stopped for small hikes – like down to the lake, to the waterfall and to see wild animals! I was hoping to see a moose. Which we did not get to see. But, we saw the big three: Buffaloes (this was early in the morning); a grizzly bear (although my iPhone photo isn’t great – it’s the brown blob in the picture) and a HUGE elk. And actually, we would not have seen the grizzly had we not pulled over on the side of the road when we saw a lot of other cars pulling over. The ranger was great. He was explaining that the Grizzly was about 8 years old (they live to about 20) and that she was over there eating to fatten up for hybernation. She probably wouldn’t be able to run all that fast with all her weight which is why it was OK for us to be so close. If you go to Yellowstone, don’t be afraid to stop on the side of the road when you see other cars doing the same.


We wrapped up the afternoon with a detour toward Jenny Lake. We found out that the main entrance was closed for repairs to the trails. But the gate attendant told us another way to get to the lake. It was BEAUTIFUL. I mean, I live in Colorado. I’ve seen mountains. But somehow Teton is more majestic, more jagged, more rough.While Yellowstone gets a lot of great hype (and it should – it’s an amazing national park!) Jenny Lake is a highlight for anyone who makes a trip there and should not be missed.

The trails were easy enough for us to have some fun and take lots of pictures. But, we were there in the late afternoon and I had mentioned that we needed to be mindful that the sun goes down pretty quickly when it dips behind mountains. AND there were tons of signs about being aware of the bears. (The sign also said to make lots of noise to help deter bears – which was not a problem for us). img_3218

Dinner was at the BBQ joint in town. It was delicious and more than filling.

The next day we couldn’t leave town before heading back to Persephone’s Bakery. This time we sat down (there is very little seating – especially inside). I had the best croque madame ever. The girls had pastries – chocolate croissant and cinnamon brioche. Then we went back to a few shops to grab some items we had seen but not purchased before.


And headed back toward Denver. Short but sweet little two-night fun in Jackson.