Best Networking for Overstressed Moms 2001 | Matching Moms | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword
Experience is what inspired local stay-at-home mom Julia White to start Matching Moms. Faced with a feeling of isolation as a new mother in a neighborhood where she knew no other mothers with children, she realized how important it is to hook up with someone nearby for a combination of adult support and children's play opportunities. The resulting free Web site accepts and posts profiles that Web-surfers can then browse in search of a neighbor with whom they just might hit it off. Safety in making such decisions is stressed, and early communication between posters is purposely anonymous, though it's ultimately up to the mothers whether or not they actually meet. Think of it as a newfangled sort of dating service -- not such a bad thing when you need someone to lean on.

Developmental Pathways of Aurora, a nonprofit that provides services to the disabled, has taken its mission of fulfilling special needs to the next level by opening this 12,000-square-foot store. Pathways offers a full line of wheelchairs, walkers and other durable medical goods, and the profits are used to underwrite the organization's service programs.

You can't use them where you're going, but back here, your organs could save the lives of others. Now is the time to sign up for the Colorado Donor Registry, created by the Colorado Legislature in 2000 and officially up and running as an electronic database on November 19, 2000. Those who marked the appropriate spot on their driver's licenses are already on the registry; those who sign up on the Web site will be added -- quickly, since time is of the essence. More than 71,000 Americans are waiting for organ transplants, including 1,200 at Colorado transplant centers; in 1999, more than 6,000 Americans, 63 of them in Colorado, died while waiting.
Searching the Web for information about a medical condition is convenient -- if you have a computer hooked up to the Internet. But you have to wonder how accurate some of that information is, and where it's coming from. Enter the Platte Valley Medical Center and the Adams County Library, which spent years preparing the fully staffed, regularly updated Community Health Resource Center. Not only can anyone with a library card discover a wealth of objective health and medical information in both English and Spanish, but local physicians can give patients a special "information prescription" that the library staff will fill with the appropriate pamphlet, book, videotape or computer printout.
Bad hair is something folks obsess, mess and confess over. But of much more concern is a lack of hair -- particularly when that lack results from a medical condition. Hana Designs helps men, women and children who have lost their locks feel better about themselves by outfitting them with natural-hair wigs (faux follicles are used when necessary) for all situations. Let there be hair.

What would you want to be caught dead in on your wedding night? Frederick's of Hollywood? Maybe not: It seems the trousseau is making a comeback, starting with the perfect foundation for holding everything in place during the ceremony and ending with...well, ending with whatever your imagination allows -- within the high-couture limitations of good taste, of course. So toss out your Victoria's Secret rag (not to mention the rags purchased therein): The new SoL Bride catalogue, brainchild of local sisters Jeanie Peterson and Cindy Johnson -- whose ritzy retail endeavor SoL (short for "Store of Lingerie") opened in 1997 in Cherry Creek North -- is hot off the presses in artful black and white. We promise it will uncover a whole new niche in mail-order underwear.
I stink, therefore I am. You've survived your kid's CSAP and your own Pap smear; you've tested out on and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. But can you pass the smell test? Eleuria makes custom scents designed for your unique personality, as ascertained by a questionnaire on the company's Web site that asks such intimate questions as: Do you prefer the smell of campfires or fresh laundry? Combining the quiz results with her personal knowledge of chemistry, Eleuria owner Kerry Ott designs a customized fragrance that's you, and only you. The nose knows.

Once you've figured out that Denver Fabrics isn't in Denver, you know where to go to find the largest selection of fabrics in the area. The showroom is mammoth, filled to bursting with a greater variety of fabric colors, styles and textures than most of us can imagine, plus a wide range of buttons, patterns and any notion your sewing projects could ever required. As an added bonus, the store sports a small play area complete with a VCR, which gives kids a place to hang out while their parents assemble the materials for their next sartorial masterpiece.
For those of us unfortunate enough not to have industrious Lithuanian aunts and grandmothers, there's Lele. Local businesswoman Debra Belk imports sweaters, mittens, scarves and and assorted other items for women and children from Lithuania. The yarns, a blend of cotton and linen, are custom-dyed and then knit, crocheted or loomed by hand by a network of Lithuanian women supervised by Belk's cousin. Clothing by Lele -- the Lithuanian word for "baby doll" -- is available nationwide; in Denver, items are available at Applause and the Garment District.

Maybe you're really bad at wrapping gifts. Maybe you hate to make the effort when most gift wrap goes straight into the trash. Or maybe you're just tired of having your storage closet overrun by rolls of half-used paper and shiny curlicue ribbons that you paid too much for in the first place. What you need is a trip to MacFrugal's, where among such oddities as plastic lambs and giant boxing gloves, you'll find tasteful, high-quality gift bags of every size and shape, for every occasion. And here's MacFrugal's gift to you: The average price per bag is just 69 cents.

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