11/30/11

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Winter Golf in Colorado: How to Stay Both Dry and Fashionable

Kissing Camels Golf Shop apparel

The key to golfing comfortably during winter is wearing layers like the vest above.

The snow may fly in Colorado, but it melts quickly, and suddenly you find yourself faced with a beautiful and perfect day to golf!  Keeping warm on the golf course requires common sense and the layering of a few key clothing articles:

  • Look for items that are constructed in wind-proof or wind resistant-fabrics.
  • Long-sleeved polo shirts, vests, and  jackets made from polar fleece offer warmth without bulk, and when paired with winter golf gloves, can make a chilly day on the golf course most enjoyable.
  • Ski shops offer a large variety of lightweight clothing that reduces the bulk but keeps you warm.   You can purchase battery-operated hand warmers and heated jackets and vests designed to keep your torso toasty.
  • Always remember to wear a hat, as you lose much of your body heat from your head.
  • Add a warm scarf, mini pocket hand warmers, and long underwear, and you are all set!

After your chilly round, be sure to warm up before heading home — at the 19th hole!

Warm and toasty golfing!

Jeanne

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11/29/11

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This Holiday Season, Give the Gift of Presence, Not Presents

Cookies for Santa

Our Home for the Holidays Package includes cookies

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, and the holiday season is truly upon us.  When I reflect upon Christmases past, my most striking memories involve the people with whom I spent the holidays, not the particular gifts I received.  In other words, PRESENCE seems to be more important than PRESENTS.  This holiday season, I encourage you to make the time to connect with your loved ones.  Whether you enjoy a feast together, play football out in the cold, attend services, catch a movie, or debate politics, what is most important is that you are doing these activities TOGETHER.

Thinking about heading home for the holidays?  Since costly airfare and rising gas prices can make holiday travel tricky, and Colorado is one of the most festive places to be this season anyway, maybe this is the year that you should consider bringing your friends and family to you.  The Lodge at Garden of the Gods Club has a great Home for the Holidays Package that would be the perfect gift to offer your loved ones this year.  Click here and enter the code PKGHFH to book the following package for those whom you’d like to invite for a visit:

  • A special rate of $139 for one night or $199  for two nights
  • An assortment of fresh-baked holiday cookies in your room upon arrival, along with a couple of Verna’s signature holiday cookie recipes to take home

We look forward to seeing you around Garden of the Gods Club this holiday season!

Tom

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11/28/11

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Get Into the Christmas Spirit With Classic Holiday Decorating Ideas

For many people, decorating their home for the holidays becomes another to-do in the midst of a busy holiday season. Though it may take a bit of effort, adding some holiday spirit to your home has a special way of lifting the spirits. It is a great reminder to slow down and savor this time that only comes once a year, and it also gives you a chance to express your creativity. As Garden of the Gods Club gets dressed up for the holidays, we thought we would inspire the interior decorator in you.  We’ve researched some of the best holiday decorating ideas to share with you.  Once you’ve put these to use and added a few of your own twists, we encourage you to “brag” about your work by sharing photos of your decorated home on our Facebook page.  Happy decorating!

Enjoy the spirit of the season as you decorate your home for the holidays.

• Create holiday story centerpieces. Create snapshots of classic Christmas and other holiday stories with centerpieces of holiday villages, manger scenes, Christmas carolers, Santa’s workshop, and more. An article in Country Living Magazine provides an excellent idea for making your own holiday village. To do this, purchase a card stock village at your local craft store and cover the card stock buildings with festive wrapping paper. Next, adorn the buildings with tinsel, mini wreaths, or any other item you would like in your mini village.

Poinsettias are a classic Christmas flower

• Introduce holiday-themed floral arrangements. As winter’s grays and whites can leave us longing for color, why not spruce up your home with some holiday-themed floral arrangements? Poinsettias are the classic choice, of course, but they aren’t the only choice. Some other flowers that are also available in the winter include the following:  purple, orange, yellow, deep red, pink, and white ranunculus; yellow, pale green, and white cymbidium orchids; and tulips in a variety of colors. Place the flowers in a clear vase and tie matching ribbon around the neck of the vase, or place them in a holiday-themed vase with coordinating colors. You can also string garlands of winter foliage like holly or ivy around fireplaces, doorways, or stairway posts to create a simple and sophisticated look in your home.

• Host a holiday craft-making party. What better way to get in the spirit of the season than with friends or family? Take one evening to gather and create homemade ornaments. One excellent DIY holiday ornament idea is to paint clear holiday balls with wintry images. Snowflakes, blue, gray, and white designs, evergreen trees, and red and white designs are just a few ideas; however, the possibilities are endless! Draw upon the energy of having loved ones near to create memorable ornaments.

• Display throw pillows with holiday colors or designs. An easy way to add holiday flavor to your home is by decorating with holiday-themed throw pillows. Throw pillows in holiday colors or wintry designs bring the season into any room, and they require little effort to place or clean up.

Holiday candles light up your home for the season

• Light holiday candles. Enjoy the season of lights by lighting up your home with holiday candles. Seasonal candle scents like evergreen, balsam, apple pie, sugar cookie, fresh vanilla, and cinnamon and cloves give the home a cozy, snuggled-in-for-winter feel. We recommend Rosy Rings candles, which are locally made in Colorado, are carried by our spa boutique, and come in festive scents like Rosewood & Red Berries and Cinnamon Piñon.  Or you can purchase LED candle lights to place in windows.

 • Spread cheer with holiday messages. You can purchase simple holiday messages that sit on a shelf or window sill, such as “joy,” “peace,” or “hope.” For you DIYers, you can also find these messages in bare wood at craft stores like Michaels or Hobby Lobby and then paint them to color-coordinate with the room in which they will be placed.

• Re-purpose pine cones. The possibilities for creating holiday décor with pine cones really are endless. You can spray-paint them silver or gold and place a bunch in a large bowl or vase, superglue them together into the shape of a Christmas tree, string them together into a garland, place them in bunches with holly and garland around a candle, on ledges or shelves, and more. You can even purchase scented pine cones to bring that fresh, evergreen scent indoors.

Create a gingerbread house to display or eat! Yum!

• Build a gingerbread house. Get creative with your gingerbread house with graham crackers, an assortment of candies, and frosting to hold the house together. Then either display your creation or eat it!

• Get traditional with a classic popcorn and cranberry string. Using a sewing needle and fishing wire, string together popped popcorn and freshly rinsed, whole cranberries to create this garland. Hang from the inside of a window, wrap around your Christmas tree, or place anywhere else you see fit.

• Color-coordinate your Christmas tree(s). Decorating your tree with a specific color scheme is a great way to add elegance to your home. Trees can be done in a silver, white, and blue scheme, a gold scheme, a  silver scheme, a red, purple, and gold scheme, or a variety of other color schemes.

• Hang up paper doves. Doves are an excellent element to add to holiday décor, as they’ve long symbolized love, peace, and hope. One helpful article recommends hanging them from chandeliers or doorknobs or even placing them in empty bird cages for a classy, vintage look.

When it comes to decorating for the holidays, the sky is the limit. So put on some holiday music, break out a glass of eggnog or mulled wine, and add some holiday sparkle to your home. We hope these decorating ideas get you off to a great start!

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11/25/11

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Fitness Friday: 5 Tips for Recovering From Thanksgiving

Happy Black Fitness Friday!  Maybe you didn’t intend to continue gulping down all of those slices of pumpkin pie, helpings of green bean casserole, delicious cranberry-inspired creations, or extra glass of wine. However, if you’re like most of us, you probably indulged a little more than is considered healthy on Thanksgiving Day–and that’s OK!  What’s not OK is letting one day turn into a string of days indulging on leftovers. In fact, statistics show that the average person gains one pound during the last six weeks of the year and that these pounds add up over the years. To help you (and your body) get back on track, we’ve prepared a list of our our top 5 ways to help you recover from those extra Thanksgiving helpings.

While delicious, Thanksgiving treats can leave you feeling short on energy.

1. Set your mind.  Before you do anything else the day after Thanksgiving, mentally decide that you are going to value your body and take care of it. Lauralee Beerman, personal trainer and group exercise instructor, reinforces the importance of doing this. “Eat primarily vegetables and healthy protein only for each meal the day after Thanksgiving,” she said. “We have plenty of carbs in our system the next 24 hours.”

Doing yoga or going for a brisk walk is a great way to recharge after Thanksgiving indulgence.

2. Energize your system. Rather than letting a day of indulgence keep you from working out, remain consistent with your workout program during the days following (and prior to, if possible) Thanksgiving. This way you can indulge without guilt. “Go for a long walk, or do yoga to energize your system,” Lauralee said. You can also check out our Sports Club’s group fitness schedule by logging into the members-only website here.

3. Make time to rest and reflect. The constant activity and food of the holiday season can leave you feeling exhausted fast. And Thanksgiving Day is only the beginning!  Between now and Christmas, be sure to schedule times to allow yourself to rest, reflect, journal, listen to music, unplug from technology, get a massage, or whatever recharges you. It’s much more difficult to make wise health decisions if you’re mentally and physically drained.

4. Eliminate leftovers. If you must enjoy leftovers after Thanksgiving, do so in moderation. Or better yet, bring leftovers to your workplace’s break room for co-workers to enjoy. Or box up leftovers and give them to a needy family or church. The less you keep around, the fewer chances you have of repeating another day of indulging.

5. Drink water. Make sure to drink plenty of water the day after Thanksgiving, especially if alcohol was consumed. When you’re dehydrated, you’re more likely to mistake thirst for hunger and overeat.

Remember to enjoy the delectable treats of the holiday season, just in moderation. Continue to be consistent with your workouts and healthy eating habits, and you’ll sail through the holiday season without extra pounds as evidence of your enjoyment. Hopefully these tips have inspired you to recover well from Thanksgiving and to continue taking care of yourself throughout the holiday season.

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11/24/11

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Things to Do in Colorado Springs This Weekend: Nov. 25-27, 2011

Christmas lights at Garden of the Gods Club

Ahh, the holidays... A wonderful time of year!

Happy Thanksgiving!  If you find yourself with a house full of visitors and aren’t sure how to entertain them, check out our list of fun events happening in Colorado Springs this weekend.  They are sure to get you and your family in the holiday spirit!

  • The Nutcracker — Friday, 7 pm, Saturday, 2 pm & 7 pm, and Sunday, 2 pm, Pikes Peak Center.    Enjoy a local rendition of Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece featuring the Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale and ballet dancers from the Pikes Peak region.  Clara, the Sugarplum Fairy, the Mouse King, and more than 150 dancers are sure to delight your whole family.  Tickets $27-50.
  • Moonlight Madness — Thursday, 9 pm, to Friday, 9 pm, The Outlets at Castle Rock.  Technically, this event isn’t located in Colorado Springs, but it’s just a few minutes north of us, so I wanted to include it.  I actually attended last year, and while it was pretty chaotic, there are definitely some great deals to be found.
  • Victorian Christmas — Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm, Miramont Castle (Manitou Springs).  Enjoy a true Victorian Holiday experience.  The castle is lavishly decorated for the season, with homemade refreshments to entice you. No reservations required.
  • Holiday Music — Saturday and Sunday, 1-3 pm, Manitou Ave.  Enjoy the sounds of the season as festive strolling musicians provide the soundtrack for your shopping and dining in historic Manitou Springs.
  • Holiday Craft and Gift Bazaar — Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm, PPLD East Library Community Meeting Room (5550 N. Union Blvd.).  Shop for the holidays while supporting local artists, crafters, and merchants. Find unique gifts for everyone on your shopping list. Enjoy a complimentary coffee or fruit punch; Christmas treats will be available for purchase. Pizza slices and canned soda will also be available for purchase at lunchtime.  Be sure to stop by the Colorado Literacy Foundation table and enter the drawings for some fantastic gift baskets. Children will enjoy a visit with Santa Claus, and photos will be available for purchase.
  • The Broadmoor’s White Lights Ceremony — Saturday, 5 pm, The Broadmoor.  As part of a 25-year tradition called “The White Lights Ceremony,” more than 250,000 strands of lights brighten the nighttime sky signaling the official start of The Broadmoor’s holiday season. Just before 5 p.m. on November 26, holiday music fills the air on the West Patio followed by a special dedication for the American Cancer Society called “Love Lights a Tree” and the much-anticipated arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus.
  • Palmer Lake Chili Supper and Star Lighting Ceremony — Saturday, Palmer Lake Town Hall.  This annual event raises money for maintenance of the star, which has been lighting Sundance Mountain in Palmer Lake since 1936.  For the price of admission, attendees have their choice of turkey, spicy, or mild chili, potato soup, and cinnamon rolls along with a variety of beverages. A raffle is conducted with services and donated items from a number of local businesses as the prizes.  For details, call 719.481.2953.
  • The Best Christmas Ever — Saturday, 5-8 pm, Mr. Biggs Event Center.  Fire up your holiday season with The Best Christmas Ever!
    Remember to pick up an extra gift for a child when out shopping on Black Friday, and then drop by Mr. Biggs Center with your family on Saturday evening to enjoy Christmas music, goodies, and lots of holiday cheer.  The Best Christmas will be accepting new, unwrapped toys, new or used bicycles, and frozen turkeys. Bring a new, unwrapped toy to the bonfire and get $5 off a Mr. Biggs play pass!  Can’t make it to the bonfire? Bring your gift to Mr. Biggs between 10AM and 6PM any day between Nov. 26 and December 20, or look for a donation drop-off location near you.

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