BubbleLife Staff
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It's that time of year again. College students are cramming for their finals, that last stretch before the glorious winter break. Chances are, if you know a student, they're stressed out of their mind right now. 

One thing you can do to lift their spirits and motivate them is to send them a thoughtful care package. Consider sending one or two of these items to a student you know during the next week or two. 

1. Starbucks gift card. This one seems obvious, but trust me, there is no such thing as "too much caffeine" during finals week. Plus, coffee shops are great study locations, so gift cards give students the chance to camp out with their materials somewhere besides their cramped little dorm rooms. 

2. New headphones. These don't have to be especially fancy, but at school, it's easy to misplace your headphones in various jacket pockets and backpacks. It will be nice for your student to have an extra pair on hand in case they need to block out their roommate's chatter while cramming for their exam or writing a paper. 

3. Portable battery pack. Nothing's more annoying than being forced to trek back to your dorm room to grab a charger for your phone or laptop. Arm students with battery packs they can stick in their backpack so they aren't forced to cut their study sessions short when their devices start to die. 

4. Comfy clothing. Practically everyone lives in their sweats during these last few weeks of the semester, and you can never have enough sweatshirts or cozy socks at this time of year. 

5. Holiday-themed treats. It may not be winter break just yet, but munching on some gingerbread cookies or Christmas candy can certainly make students feel like the holiday is fast approaching. Plus, everyone needs some junk food to snack on during late-night, semi-panicked study groups. 

6. Highlighters and notecards. Because you can actually never have enough of these when it's time to take all your exams. 

7. Reusable water bottle. 
Staying hydrated during finals week is often low-priority, but if students want to stay healthy, they need to drink plenty of water. Encourage them to stick a reusable bottle in their backpack and fill it up throughout the day. 

8. Subscription to Spotify. 
The study playlists on this service are the best. You can either listen online or download them straight to your phone when you don't have service. 

9. Aromatherapy diffuser. 
Essential oils like lavender, chamomile and lemon are great for easing stress. Also, diffusers will cover up those nasty smells of unwashed laundry and dusty dorm rooms, making students feel more at home in their environment. 

10. Food they can make in their dorm room. 
On serious cram nights, students may opt to stay in rather than hitting the dining hall. Give them some snacks they can make in their dorm, like popcorn or instant oatmeal, so they don't run out of brain food. 

Do you have any other ideas for student care packages? List them in the comment section below! 

BubbleLife Staff
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Despite the fact that 180 kids died from the flu last season (80 percent of which weren't vaccinated against the illness), many parents are still planning on avoiding the flu vaccine this year. The question is, why

According to a poll published by C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, 34 percent of the surveyed parents said that although their children's doctors recommended getting the flu vaccine, they wanted to make their own decisions based on what they heard from friends and family. Most of these parents claimed to have heard negative things about the flu vaccine from internet sources and other people. It's estimated that nearly 4 in every 10 parents are making decisions about the flu vaccine based on what they've read or heard, not on what their health officials have recommended. 

To be clear, the CDC adamantly states that the flu vaccine should be given to everyone over the age of six months, as long as their health and allergies permit it. You cannot contract the flu from the vaccine, although you can experience mild symptoms in the hours after receiving the shot. Even if you received the flu shot last year, you must get the new shot in order to protect yourself from this year's strain of the illness.

A study from last year indicates for the first time that the flu vaccine can actually be life-saving for young children. Not only does the vaccine significantly reduce the chance of hospitalization, but it also drastically lowers the risk of severe complications and even death from influenza. 

Furthermore, getting the vaccine is not just about protecting your own family; it's about protecting those around you. Babies, young children, elderly people and individuals with chronic health conditions are more vulnerable to serious sicknesses like the flu, and by getting the flu shot, you may help prevent them from coming into contact with the virus. 

If you, like many parents, have read or heard negative things about the influenza vaccine, don't automatically assume that your family should avoid it. Do your research first and make sure you're learning from trusted sources like the CDC or the American Academy of Pediatrics

Have you and your children gotten vaccinated this year? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below. 

BubbleLife Staff
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If you think that the zoo is only a place you want to visit on warm spring days, think again. The Denver Zoo is returning with a winter wonderland once more, and it's worth visiting at least once this holiday season (if not twice). 

More than two million twinkling lights will illuminate the zoo over the next few weeks, as well as other festive displays. There will also be fun activities for the entire family, including an opportunity to see Santa and Mrs. Claus. Tickets do sell out fast, and attendance is capped each night to maximize visitors' experiences. 

What are you waiting for? Buy your tickets to this fun event, then grab a s'more and some hot chocolate while checking out all of the animals and exhibits the zoo has to offer. Tickets are $18 for adults, $12 for children 3-11, and $15 for seniors. Children under the age of 3 get in for free.

To learn more about the Denver Zoo and this event, visit

BubbleLife Staff
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Now that Thanksgiving has passed and we can officially welcome the Christmas season, we can all start binge-watching films that fill us with holiday cheer. Thankfully, Netflix is currently streaming a handful of seasonal movies to get you in the mood. Here are some of the best ones to watch over the next few weeks.

The Holiday Calendar 

This family-friendly film follows a young woman who realizes that her grandmother's Advent calendar might be hiding something magical. Every day, something unexplainable happens, and she realizes that the Christmas calendar might be answering questions she's long had about her future. 

Love Actually 

Ever since this film debuted in 2003, it's won the hearts of viewers around the world. Now, we can stream it repeatedly and fall in love as many times as we want to. It is rated R, so maybe save this holiday film for date night, not family movie night. 

The Princess Switch 

This brand new Netflix original film stars Vanessa Hudgens. A twist on The Prince and the Pauper, the story follows a Chicago baker and a soon-to-be-princess who swap places for the holidays. Mischievous and fun, this is a film the whole family can enjoy.  

A Very Murray Christmas 

In this 2015 holiday special, big-name comedians like Amy Poehler and Chris Rock join Bill Murray as he attempts to salvage his Christmas Eve show when a blizzard threatens to shut everything down. It's equal parts musical and comedy, and the all-star cast is a blast to watch. 


The Christmas Chronicles

This brand-new holiday film casts Kurt Russell as Santa Claus. Some mischievous kids sneak into Santa's sleigh, and their naughty behavior derails Christmas Eve and Santa's plans. Can they save the holiday before it's too late? 

A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding - Available on Friday 

If you loved The Christmas Prince, then you'll adore the sequel that's scheduled to hit Netflix on November 30. Follow Amber as she prepares to marry Richard and become queen of a small nation. Can she handle the pressure of a royal wedding and the expectations of those around her? Find out this weekend. 

Which of these films on Netflix are you excited to watch? Let us know in the comments! 

BubbleLife Staff
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Once you're stuffed full of turkey and pumpkin pie, you don't have much energy for anything other than watching a good movie. This weekend, there are a handful of great films playing in theaters throughout the area.

Here are the top movies you can take everyone to see, including the youngest kids and grandma and grandpa. 

Ralph Breaks the Internet 

The sequel to Wreck-It Ralph follows Ralph and Vanellope von Schweetz into the World Wide Web. Full of timely references and funny quips for the whole family, the film has already received its fair share of praise from critics, so it's sure to be a hit over the holiday weekend. 


This funny film takes the myth of the Yeti and turns it on its head. Migo is a Yeti who never knew humans existed, but when he is banished from his home and stumbles across a stray hiker, he's forced to embark on an epic journey. Cute and positive, Smallfoot will bring a smile to anyone's face. 

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms 

There's nothing more seasonal than The Nutcracker, and this unique adaptation stars Keira Knightley and several other talented cast members. It's a perfectly whimsical holiday film, although it does lack dazzling choreography or any traditional elements of the ballet. 

Dr. Seuss' The Grinch 

You already know the story of the grumpy green man who lives on Mount Crumpet, but why not hear it again as Christmas approaches
? The producers of Despicable Me have put a new spin on Whoville, and the Grinch is played by an actor we all know and love: Benedict Cumberbatch. 

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald 

Many people have lamented the changes in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter over the years, but that hasn't stopped people from enjoying this new part of Newt Scamander's story. See the beginning of Dumbledore's story and plenty of magical creatures as heroes battle a wizard who's gone bad. 

What movies are you going to watch over Thanksgiving weekend? Let us know in the comments! 

BubbleLife Staff
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With Black Friday hurtling toward us at the end of the week, and free delivery on Amazon just a click away, most of us end up doing our holiday shopping with big corporations. Although there are certain benefits that come with that, we miss out on the opportunity to support local people and businesses. 

Here at BubbleLife, we're all about the hyperlocal space. We want to find the events, people and businesses that make this area thrive. That's why we want to talk about shopping locally. When you buy from community stores and sellers... 

1. You keep the money inside your community. Not only are you investing in your neighbors and local residents, but you're also keeping the money from leaving the area. It's estimated that for every $100 you spend, roughly 68 to 73 percent of it returns to local activity. Your purchase helps stimulate your community's economy and provide for those who live around you. 

2. You help create jobs for locals. The more we shop at locally-owned stores, the more employees they need to hire for the holiday season. 

3. You protect the environment. Online shopping might be convenient for us, but it's not great for Mother Nature. The US Postal Service estimates that it will make 850 million deliveries between Thanksgiving and New Year's. That's a significant amount of waste produced by transportation. Instead, duck into a nearby boutique and snag your gift without ordering something from a different state. 

4. You nurture creativity and entrepreneurs. Don't we want our hometown to be a place full of art and unique creations? The only way a place can reach its full creative potential is if people support such efforts. 

5. You give to non-profits and people in need. Many local business owners partner with non-profit organizations, and a higher percentage of local shop sales goes to charity than non-locally owned businesses. 

Do you shop locally for the holidays? If so, where do you love to buy gifts? Let us know in the comments below! 

BubbleLife Staff
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November is National Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and as a result, health organizations around the country are trying to dispell myths about the disease and educate Americans. It's estimated that more than 234,000 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed in 2018, and more people die of lung cancer than colon, breast and prostate cancers combined

Many people assume that lung cancer comes as a result of smoking cigarettes, and although the risk for smokers is much higher than the risk for non-smokers, there are other ways you can develop the disease without picking up the bad habit. 

Here are four other things that will raise your risk of getting lung cancer: 

1. Breathing in secondhand smoke. You might not smoke, but if your family member or friend does, you're still putting yourself at risk. The American Cancer Society states that roughly 7,000 people die of lung cancer from secondhand smoke every year, so steer clear of others who are damaging their own lungs with cigarettes. 

2. Living in an area with high air pollution levels. Unfortunately, you might be breathing in pollutants without even realizing it if you live in a big city or places with high levels of contaminants. However, the American Cancer Society claims that this risk is lower in the United States than in many other countries due to certain policies that have been implemented. 
3. Inhaling asbestos. Old factories, schools, homes and other buildings used to be constructed with asbestos fibers. Now, we know that asbestos can scar human lungs and increase people's risk of cancer. Therefore, there has been a dramatic reduction in the use of asbestos since the 1970s, but some old buildings may still house the dangerous material. 

4. Exposing yourself to radon gas. This is a type of radioactive gas that's both odorless and tasteless. We all probably breathe in a little every day, but when a person is exposed to a substantial amount of radon, they increase their risk of developing lung cancer. This can happen when homes are built on soil containing high levels of uranium, thorium and radium. 

During National Lung Cancer Awareness Month, survivors and their families are encouraged to share their stories with others. People can also help spread awareness by encouraging people to schedule their annual doctor's appointments and learn about the early signs of lung cancer. 

To learn more about lung cancer or this special month, visit

BubbleLife Staff
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So far in this year's flu season, 23 people have already been hospitalized in Colorado. Unfortunately, we all know that diseases spread more quickly when we spend more time in airports and group gatherings, which makes this festive time of year a bit dangerous.

If you want to avoid catching a nasty bug at the mall or a holiday party, here are five tips from the CDC that will boost your immune system and protect your body. 

1. Stay hydrated, especially while traveling. While making your way to visit family and friends, drinking water isn't usually a priority. However, low cabin humidity on airplanes can seriously deplete your body's water supply, leaving you with headaches and a lowered immune system. Carry a water bottle around with you as you travel so you can continuously flush toxins out of your body and keep headaches and other ailments at bay. 

2. Disinfect the items you touch frequently. How often do you wipe down your office desk with disinfectant? What about your phone? Most people check their phone screens at least 300 times a day, which can make it one of the dirtiest objects you touch. During this time of year, try to sanitize items you come in contact with often, like door handles, table surfaces, remotes and electronic devices. 

3. Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and face. Regardless of how often you sanitize your hands, occasionally touching your face gives germs the opportunity to enter your body. Avoid wiping your mouth, scratching your eyes, or touching any part of your face unless your hands have recently been washed with soap. 

4. Wash your hands often - and correctly. I'm sure you're tired of everyone talking about washing your hands. It seems like such a simple thing, but in reality, most people aren't washing their hands often enough or long enough. This CDC guide dictates that you should scrub your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds, making sure to get under your nails and between your fingers. Hand washing is the number one way to prevent the spread of disease, so take it seriously. 

5. Get your flu vaccination. Although the CDC recommended that everyone get immunized before Halloween, it's not too late to protect yourself. The flu vaccine can lower your risk of going to the doctor with the flu by 40 to 60 percent, which certainly decreases your chances of letting influenza ruin your holiday season. 

BubbleLife Staff
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People in the Denver area are no strangers to cold weather, and we're facing a pretty severe drop in temperatures this weekend. The question is, how cold is too cold for dogs and cats during the winter? 

The answer to this question typically depends on a handful of factors: 

  • What type of breed is your dog or cat? Some animal breeds are more comfortable in cold weather than others. If you're not sure what climate your pet is best suited for, do some research online to find out how cold is too cold for their particular coat and body type. 

  • How old is your pet? Elderly, fragile pets are often more susceptible to cold-based illnesses and should be kept warm during the winters. Plus, old animals with conditions such as arthritis may experience more discomfort during cold weather. 

  • What kind of weather are you dealing with? Snow, hail, sleet? Although low temperatures alone can be dangerous, wet weather can pose more serious threats and prevent some breeds from acclimating to the cold. 

The American Veterinary Medical Association advises people to assume that cats and dogs are as susceptible to cold-based illnesses as we are. Therefore, if it's dangerously cold outside for you and your family, then it's too cold for pets to be left outside, too. Temperatures above 55 degrees shouldn't be a problem, but 40 degrees and under (especially for small or medium-size dogs) could be risky. When cold fronts bring temperatures like 25 degrees, it's smart to keep dogs and cats inside for the majority of the time, just to play it safe. 

If you do let your pet outside during freezing temperatures, keep an eye out for signs of hypothermia. These can include shivering, anxious behaviors, lethargy, and/or whining. You should also check their paws for signs of injury, like cracked paw pads or bleeding, after especially cold walks. 

To learn more about how different sizes of pets are endangered by the cold, check out this link from the Tufts Animal Condition and Care. 

We also want to remind you that stray animals suffer when temperatures drop, and many local animal organizations are doing their best to provide warm housing for animals without safe homes. Now is the time to support organizations like The Colorado Humane Society & SPCA and the Denver Animal Shelter as they care for thousands of helpless animals during the holiday season. 

*Article sourced from Dallas News

BubbleLife Staff
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As a community-driven publication, BubbleLife welcomes free submissions from all users so that we can cultivate a hyperlocal newsletter that truly reflects the Denver area. Right now, we want to hear about all of your holiday parties, Christmas markets, Thanksgiving drives, school events and more! 

You can share your upcoming seasonal activities as articles, calendar events or classified ads that will be distributed to readers throughout the local area.

If you've never contributed to BubbleLife before, you can follow these easy instructions or visit our help page

1. Find your community here and visit the homepage of your city. 
2. Click on the yellow righthand button that reads "Share News, Events & Classifieds." 
3. Create a BubbleLife account or log into yours if you already have one. 
4. Fill out your form (article, event or classified ad) and click "submit." 

We look forward to finding out more about the events happening in our community. Thanks for using BubbleLife!