Denver Museum interviews 9-year old for top curator job

DMNSHow cool – the Denver Museum of Nature and Science recently interviewed a 9 year old for their  open head curator position. Totally awesome that they would go to such lengths to nurture a budding interest in paleontology and museums. Fingers crossed for him!

Cheers, Amy

(PS image of DMNS found here)

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St. Nicholas Day (hurray!)

St NikolaHappy St. Nicholas Day! Growing up, this holiday was one of my favorites. In my family, we put our shoes out and received little goodies that could be shared with the family throughout the rest of the holiday season.

If you’re interested in learning more about the holiday, here’s a few fun links:

This Monologue: David Sedaris explains St. Nicholas Day in his usual witty way.

This Website: Apparently, there is a St. Nicholas Center devoted to all things St. Nick.

Also, here’s a few of my favorite items to give and share: local honey or tasty fruit butters, exotic cookies from around the world, gourmet sausages, tasty coffee or tea.

Hope you have fun plans today!

Cheers, Amy

(PS St. Nicholas image from here)

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Colorado Gives Day

footer_promo_givesday120412Today is Colorado Gives Day – do you have your charity picked out?

It’s easy to get caught up in the mad rush of the holidays. I think it’s important to take a step back now and then to focus on giving back. I love living in a state that goes out of its way to dedicate a day to this important idea.

On December 4, the Community First Foundation and FirstBank team up to challenge the people of Colorado to give back and to give locally. You can go on the Giving First website and pick a charity by name. Or, you can sort through by cause. Over 1,000 local Colorado nonprofits are included.

I plan to donate to 4 Mile Historic Park. I’ve worked in nonprofit development and I know how difficult it can be for cultural nonprofits to get funding in a tight economic climate. I will also donate to Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies. I have several friends who volunteer their homes to foster animals through this group – I want to support their efforts and also help find loving homes for the surprising number of dogs who are abandoned by their owners.

Give a little or give a lot – the gifts add up. Last year, Colorado Gives Day collected over $12 million dollars. And, it’s the perfect way to pause and reflect on the spirit of the holidays while making a difference in your local community.

Cheers,
Amy

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Festive + Advent

advent570For our family, this weekend kicks off the holiday season. We have a full slate of festivities lined up – the Victorian Christmas at 4 Mile Historic House, a craft fair at the neighborhood church, and a winter walk through the woods with friends.

What are your plans to celebrate the start of the holidays?

Alas, I think that Griffin will be too young for an Advent calendar this year. However, I’m excited by all the wonderful ideas floating around in blog-land! I thought that I’d share three of my favorite Advent calendar ideas, in case you’re looking for inspiration.

Oh Happy Day: Basically just start scrolling. Jordan has come up with a plethora of creative and exciting ideas. My favorite is this one, which makes use of a big Christmas tree fabric photo from Ikea.

Black Eiffel: Talks about a tradition of reading one holiday book a day for Advent. Be still my beating heart! This is definitely something I want to do with Griffin next year.

The Etsy Blog: This one is not for the faint of crafty heart…stitching skills are required. But, I love the idea of a calendar that will stay with you year after year. You can fill the pockets with gifts or just with wishes for the new year.

Cheers and happy (almost) December!
Amy

(PS Image above is from the Etsy blog)

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Bits of Beauty

Taking a brief moment to share with you some of the beautiful things I’ve stumbled upon lately…

This essay: I always enjoy reading Pico Iyer. His recent essay in the NYTimes, The Snake in the Garden, is a wonderful holiday reminder to relax and live in the moment.

This song: Have you listened to any of the podcasts from NPR’s Winter Songs series? They asked viewers to pick a song that represents winter for them and send it in with a story. My favorite episode was the one with this Brandi Carlile song.

This artist: I recently stumbled upon a great artist that I had never heard of before. Romare Bearden created colorful, primitive collages that absolutely leap off the paper and grab the viewer. The Smithsonian has a traveling exhibit featuring a series of pieces illustrating Homer’s Odyssey – I’m desperately hoping that it comes close to Denver. In the meantime, I’m considering ordering this book.

This product: Tub Tea…the name alone lures you in. Picture a giant teabag floating in your bathtub. Part relaxing, part quirky. I felt like I’d fallen into Alice in Wonderland.

(Image above from Tub Tea website.)

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Soldier Care Boxes – A great way to give back

I recently wrote about my addiction to Tallgrass Spa. Quick update post – they are doing a very cool project for the holidays called Soldier Care Boxes.

The idea is to send care packages to soldiers serving in Afghanistan. You can contribute in several ways. You can spend a few minutes writing holiday messages on stacks of cards while you relax in the great room after a treatment. There is a also a discreet basket for toiletry donations up by the front desk. Tallgrass is allowing visitors to purchase Aveda products at-cost – meaning they don’t make a profit – to donate to the care boxes.

I think this project is such a great idea and I applaud Tallgrass for their efforts. What a wonderful way to give a little something to people who are giving quite a bit of service to their country. The care boxes are scheduled to be mailed on November 19…which means there’s not much time left to contribute! If you need an excuse to head out to Tallgrass this week, consider supporting the project.

Cheers, Amy

(PS – Photo pulled from the press release.)

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Holiday Relaxation – Tallgrass Spa

I always get a little stressed out around the holidays. November and December are my favorite months of the year, but they always seem to fly by at a breakneck pace. I’ve started to plan ahead, to make sure that I get chances to relax. (Isn’t that a weird part of modern life? That we have to schedule relaxation?) One of my big indulgences is a trip toTallgrass Spa.

Tallgrass isn’t exactly a secret – it frequently receives top reviews in local and national publications. Buried up in Evergreen, out on Upper Bear Creek Road, you would think they would get less traffic than they do, but they always seem to be busy. (Hint – if you call to schedule same-day appointments, you get a 15% discount.) Continue reading

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