Family Celebrations at the YMCA of the Rockies

Family Celebrations at the YMCA of the Rockies

There’s nothing more beautiful than wintertime in the mountains. The snowcapped mountains and fresh powder on the ground make for a fun day of playing outdoors followed by warm evenings by the fire. Getting together as a family is a wonderful reason to go up to the mountains for a weekend of fun (although there’s never any need to have a reason to go to the mountains when you live in Colorado). 

Just a few weeks ago we headed up highway 36 from Denver to the YMCA of the Rockies, just outside Estes Park to celebrate my sister’s 16th birthday as a family. During the winter months traffic into the mountains can get a bit crazy, being able to enjoy the mountains without having to fight ski traffic is always a plus. 

Even after a heavy snow, the trip from Denver took just an hour and half to get to the YMCA campus, perfect for a car loaded with teenagers in the backseat. 

Now that we’re grown and out of the house, its hard to get all our schedules to align so we can get together as a family for a weekend away. When we do, having space for us all to sleep without having to do a ton of planning is the ideal time together. 

The YMCA of the Rockies is the perfect place to get together as a family, especially since we could stay in a loge with a few rooms for us all to spread out. With 6 adults in the family the double bed rooms in Emerald Lodge are ideal for everyone having enough space and rooms near by one another. They also have cabins or vacation homes on property for bigger groups or those who want to have a more private gathering.

The cafeteria serves three meals a day so theres no need to cook and a full calendar of activities are available to keep you busy during your stay. 

We started the day playing out in the snow and then warmed up in the Craft & Design Center where we could choose from t-dye, ceramics, mosaics, jewelry design and a whole variety of other projects. 

After grabbing lunch we picked up some skates at the Sweets Memorial Building and went out to the frozen lake for outdoor skating before checking out some board games to enjoy by the Lodge fire after dark.

Staying together was the perfect family celebration for my sister’s birthday, giving us just enough of a break to really enjoy the time before we had to head back to Denver on Sunday. With no dishes to wash and everything we needed a short drive on campus, it was a relaxing adventure that everyone was able to enjoy. 

Disclosure: The YMCA of the Rockies invited us to join them for a weekend stay in one of their lodge rooms. All opinions are my own. 

 

Time Out For Football Party Ideas

Time Out For Football Party Ideas

With NFL playoffs well underway and college football wrapping up just last night, now is the time to gather your fellow fans and root on the best of the best as they compete for this year’s most coveted titles. I love college football. The fans are more passionate and the players are in it for the love of the game (and the scholarships, chance of going pro etc…), but mostly the love of the game. 

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Three Easy Appetizer Ideas to try this Holiday

Three Easy Appetizer Ideas to try this Holiday

When the house is full of hungry family you need easy appetizer solutions to help quell the chaos so you can finish up the rest of the meal. The best appetizers give guests something to snack on without ruining their appetite for dinner. 

With less then a week left towards Christmas, planning elaborate appetizers is most likely not on the top of your to-do list. I know it’s not on mine! These easy appetizer ideas will keep the crowd calm and can get on your table in just minutes! 

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Easy Christmas Snacks

Easy Christmas Snacks

When the snow starts to flurry outside there is nothing I crave more than warm cookies right out of the oven. The winter here in Denver has been a bit on the slow side, so the need to heat up the house with baking hasn’t been as top of mind as in the past.

Now that the weather’s starting to dip – we did have a below zero day last week – and the snow has stayed on the ground for more than a few hours at a time, the holiday baking craving has officially begun. 

If your December calendar looks anything like mine, the want for fresh baked goods and the time to actually bake might not be in alignment. Between holiday parties, family gatherings and volunteer commitments it feels like everyday is already jam packed. The last thing I need to add to my plate is a kitchen covered in flour and a dozen bowls to wash. 

Easy Christmas Snacks from Hickory Farms

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Simply Seasonal Holidays With Bliss

Simply Seasonal Holidays With Bliss

Thank you for hopping over from Flourish & Knot and welcome to my Rocky Mountain Bliss! I’m so excited to be participating in the Simply Seasonal Holiday home tour and can’t wait to share some of my Christmas decorations with you.

Having worked retail for many years it took me a long time to get on board with decorating for the holidays. My number one rule is no holiday decorations are allowed out before Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is its own holiday and it gets to have a very special three weeks in between Christmas and Halloween. 

After that, gathering up the decorations boxes for an afternoon of holiday decor can be fun. We started with the outside of the house the Saturday after Thanksgiving and were lucky enough to have an amazing neighbor who rented a cherry picker come lend us a hand with the top tier of lights. This sped up getting the outside lights by a TON.

 

 

We haven’t yet found the perfect artificial tree so we followed the instructions we received from the tree lot to wait until after December 1st to put up a live tree. 

I love the smell of pine and there is nothing better then coming home to the house all woodsy and warm. As I was growing up, my mom picked out ornaments for my sisters and I to have when we each built homes of our own. My collection is a combination of Coco Cola pieces and Hallmark. 

When we first moved in I knew I wanted to make the front living room welcoming and inviting. I picked up our entry table from Target last year and I love decorating it for the holidays. Eventually I want to completely fill it with decorations and am working on building it out each year. 

My favorite holiday decoration on the table is the boxwood topiary (which I liked enough last year to keep it out after the holidays). I used gold and silver ornaments to tie in the lantern with a festive look.

Our downstairs living room uses teal and black as the main colors. We’d already ordered the stockings before we moved in so it works well that they were already black! 

Having the TV above the mantel creates a bit decorating challenge, but I think some garland and side decorations gives the stockings the holiday love it needs to complete the look. I love how much fun you can have with apothecary jars so I added some teal and silver ornaments to bring some color to the rest of the built in display. 

Thank you so much for stopping in to check out my decorating tips this holiday season! I’ll be working on some craft projects over the next week, so come back to visit for more inspiration later this month. Be sure to hop on over the next Simply Seasonal tour home at Pocketful of Posies to hear how she readies her home for the holidays. I’ve added a link to everyone else participating {and the day they post} so you can be sure to check out all the amazing blogs in this series. 

myholidayhome

Monday, December 5

Organize Nashville

Creatively Homespun

At Home with Zan

Uncookie Cutter

Tuesday, December 6

Timeless Creations

Craftivity Designs

Green with Decor

My Life from Home

Two Purple Couches

Old House to New Home

Wednesday, December 7

Our Crafty Mom

A Purdy Little House

Roots North & South

Pender & Peony

Organize & Decorate Everything

Thursday, December 8

Flourish & Knot

Rocky Mountain Bliss

Pocketful of Posies

Recreated Designs

Knock it Off Kim

The Interior Maven

Little Bits of Home

Friday, December 9

Love My Simple Home

Brooklyn Berry Designs

Simple Nature Decor

2 Bees in a Pod

Country Design Style

Finding Your Joy in The Journey

 

This post contains affiliate links. Clicking on links to products helps support Rocky Mountain Bliss! 

 

Christmas Potluck Ideas for Work

Christmas Potluck Ideas for Work

When the office is busy, pot luck lunches make it fun to get away from your desk and spend some time with co-workers instead of slamming a grocery store salad at in front of the computer. I used to work at an office where everyone would bring in pumpkin themed food right before Thanksgiving. It was fun to see how everyone took the prompt (pumpkin) and would try to make a semi meal that wasn’t entirely dessert. 

Planning a Christmas potluck is a fun way to bring holiday cheer into the office and I’ve put together a list of Christmas Potluck ideas for work that can help you get started.  Continue Reading…

Holiday Gift Bliss: Beachwaver Curling Iron

Holiday Gift Bliss: Beachwaver Curling Iron

With a full schedule of events and parties, the holiday season is the perfect time for dressing up and going out on the town. Getting ready for a night out can be time consuming and making sure that your look holds up throughout the evening can ensure you enjoy the entire evening. 

I have naturally wavy hair, which oddly makes it harder to keep a curl for more than an hour at a time but when I tried the Beachwaver Curling Iron I was impressed at how much longer the style stayed for. So far I’ve curled my hair before going to bed and sleeping on the style overnight and STILL had curls the next day. 

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The 1 1/4 inch barrel is perfect for longer hair and the rotating ceramic iron helps me to curl my hair in less time. 

What Makes the Beachwaver Different

Most standard curling irons have a clip and you need to manually wrap your hair around the barrel. The Beachwaver is a rotating curling iron, so you clip your fair to the bottom and the barrel spins to tightly bring the hair into the curl. 

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The rotating barrel makes it easy to curl all your hair without having a mirror behind you and angling the way your hair wraps will change how the style looks. 

Curling long hair is not easy, and often more work then it’s worth. The Beachwaver Curling Iron changes that, making curly hair something we can all enjoy! 

With New Year’s Eve on the horizon, there is no better time to glam up for a celebration. 

Shop at Target

In honor of cyber shopping week Target has an great deals all across their site! You can snag a great price on the Beachwaver and finish up all your other shopping all at the same time. 

Disclaimer: I received a Beachwaver to review for this post. All opinions are my own. I was not compensated for this post. This post contains affiliate links. 

 

 

Holiday Gift Bliss: Nutri Ninja BlendMAX Duo™

Holiday Gift Bliss: Nutri Ninja BlendMAX Duo™

When the holiday season comes around eating healthy may be the furthest from your mind, but with resolutions on the horizon, gifts that inspire good cooking are winning choice for everyone on your shopping list. 

When deciding what items will take precedent on your counter, choosing appliances that can serve multiple purposes creates efficiently you need during the holidays and all year round.  With it’s interchangeable canisters the Nutri Ninja BlendMax Duo™ is at the top of my list for both holiday cooking, and gift giving this year. 

Healthy Holiday Gift Ideas

The single serve cups make mixing up healthy smoothies on the go as easy as a click of a button and the Pro Extractor Blades allows for nutrient & vitamin extraction that allow you to make the most out of your smoothy. Just toss in a scoop of your favorite protein powder and the to-go lid makes your shake a full meal in minutes. 

Healthy Holiday Gift Ideas

The Nutri Ninja Auto IQ Boost options allow you to select the level of blending you want and once selected you can walk away knowing that your drink will be mixed perfectly. 

Healthy Holiday Gift Ideas

The 88 ounce pitcher is perfect for mixing up large batches of drinks or pureeing your favorite salsa recipe into the perfect consistency. The large pitcher ensures that a full batch can be made at one time without needing to return to the kitchen. 

Nutri Ninja Duo is the perfect gift for family and friends who enjoy living a healthy lifestyle.

Healthy Holiday Gift Ideas

With blades throughout the pitcher, ice is pulverized with ease and fruits and veggies are perfectly diced. 

The Perfect Gift for Healthy Ambitions 

Everyone wants to eat better, be healthier and feel better. The Nutri Ninja Blendmax Duo is the ideal gift for family members who enjoy living an active lifestyle. With an inspiration recipe guide included in the set, your gift recipient can enjoy trying new recipes or find inspiration for jazzing up their favorites. 

Shop at Target

Today is Cyber Monday and Target has an additional 15% off your entire purchase just for shopping and other great sales all week long. 

Disclaimer: I received a Nutri Ninja to review for this post. All opinions are my own. I was not compensated for this post. This post contains affiliate links. 

Gifts for Thanksgiving Hosts

Gifts for Thanksgiving Hosts

Hosting Thanksgiving dinner is HARD. I’ve only hosted the meal twice but I know from that experience that its not easy to put a 20 lb bird and 15 different sides on the dinner table at once. Since moving back to Colorado I’ve been lucky enough to not need to host the family gathering. 

When you are attending as a guest, the pressure is off, and aside from bringing a side dish or dessert it’s likely not much is expected of you other than your attendance. When that is the case, it’s nice to bring a hostess gift that they will really enjoy after wrapping up all the dishes and mess from the day.

When I’m looking for the perfect hostess gift, I love the variety of options I can find at Hickory Farms. With so many gift solutions to choose from, I can really select a product that is tailored to the personality of the family member who’s taken on the biggest task of the day. I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite gifts below, and outlined who I think they are perfect for!  Continue Reading…

Holiday Home Prep

Holiday Home Prep

As the holiday season is just around the corner, now is the time to set yourself up for a happy and stress free celebration. No matter if you are hosting Thanksgiving, or traveling across the country for Christmas with family out of state, taking the time to prepare will ensure that you have a happy holiday no matter where you’ll be joining in on the revelry. 

Holiday Home Prep for
Celebrating with Guests

Holiday Home Prep Tips from RockyMtnBliss.comClear away clutter 

If you enjoy decorating your home for the holidays, prepare your rooms by first clearing away clutter.  By putting away items that are not used regularly you open up space for other decor and any gifts that may be coming into the house. 

Create a box that you can pull back out after the holidays and place any non-holiday decorations that you want to bring back out after the season is over. 

Holiday Home Prep Tips from RockyMtnBliss.com

Stock Up on Essentials 

If you are inviting family over, make sure that you have everything you need to be a successful (and stress free host). In the kitchen, check the cupboards and make sure that you have all the basic staples including flour, sugar, and baking power for an impromptu cooking backing session.

In the rest of the house make sure you have plenty of toilet paper, paper towel, tissues and cleaning supplies. Having these items on hand will mean you don’t have to run out at a moment notice if someone comes down with a cold while celebrating at your home. 

Holiday Home Prep Tips from RockyMtnBliss.com

Roll out the Welcome Mat

If you have plan to have guests, make them feel at home by providing all the basics in an easy to access and find place. In the bathroom you may want to include a basket with fresh towels, extra toilet paper and any toiletries they may have left behind (I love repurposing hotel bottles for this). 

In the bedroom, include an extra blanket, pillows and a couple of bottles of water. It’s nice to not have to go hunting in a strange house when you need a drink late at night. If you have a wifi password, write it down and leave it in an easy to find place. 

In the kitchen, place coffee essentials out in the open where they are easy to find. If your guest is an early riser they’ll appreciate having easy access to caffeine before the rest of the house gets up. 

Prep your home for the holidays with these home care tips and tricks.

Finish Your Household Ironing

If your home is anything like mine, ironing the things I need for a well laid dinner table is the last thing on my mind, but I DO want that clean freshly ironed look if I’m inviting guests over. I usually toss tablecloths in a drawer only to iron them 5 minutes before rolling out on the table but during the holidays, thats not an easy feat to accomplish. 

The weekend before your holiday celebration, plan a time that you can get ironing done ahead of time. Set out the tablecloth, cloth napkins and any dress clothes that you want to wear during the holiday weekend. No matter what I need to iron, my go to home appliance is my DW3 SteamCare Iron from Rowenta. This new iron just came out a few months ago and it’s officially changed my mind set on how to approach ironing. 

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With no need to adjust the temperture for various fabrics, I can iron everything I need for my home in one sitting, without needing to wait for the iron to cool or up or down. This is a huge time saver when you go from cotton napkins to synthetic tablecloths. 

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The Microsteam350 Sole Plate allows the steam function to be more effective than my old iron, getting set in wrinkles out in a fraction of the time – perfect for tablecloths that ended up stuffed in a drawer. There’s even a vertical function that makes it possible to iron items once they are hanging, allowing me to shake wrinkles from curtains without taking them down or run a quick steam over a dress before getting ready for a holiday party.  

Prep your home for the holidays with these home care tips and tricks.

Getting your ironing done before guests arrive leaves your mind free for enjoying the celebration. You can always hang things up and give a quick once over with steam before setting up for the meal. 

What Holiday Home Prep tips do you want to share? Leave a note in the comments! 

Disclaimer: I received a DW3 SteamCare Iron to review for this post. All opinions are my own. I was not compensated for this post. 

Photo Credits: UnSplash, TheLittleOne

 

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