Archive

Category Archives for "Personal Life"

3 Proven Ways to (Re)Start Your Fitness Journey

fitness

There are days that I wish I was still a teenager and could eat whatever I wanted without gaining a pound. Sadly, those days are gone for us and in order to stay fit and healthy, we need to make an effort.

Regardless of how many times you have restarted your fitness journey, I have three proven ways to push you in the right direction. These are the three things that have helped me stay on track since I restarted my personal fitness journey this past winter. How’s it working you ask? Well, I’ve managed to lose 20 pounds. I’m not saying it hasn’t been hard or that I haven’t had my fair share of setbacks, but these three things I’m about to share with you have made the difference between recommitting to my goals or giving up when I hit those setbacks.

1. Group Classes

Signing up for group fitness classes is the single most helpful thing I have done for myself on my fitness journey. Having different classes scheduled throughout my week makes it possible for me to build my workouts into my schedule and gives me that healthy sense of guilt when I skip a class. I personally schedule 4 different classes a week to target all of my different muscle groups. Even if these classes are the only time you go to the gym, you are still getting to the gym 4 days a week.

2. Accountability Buddy

I admit that sometimes the guilt of not attending a class isn’t enough to get me out of the house. This is where my accountability buddy (or in my case, my husband) comes in. When I started my fitness journey I told my husband to only let me skip the gym once a week. That means going to the gym six days a week. At first, it wasn’t hard to get me out of the house and to the gym, but as it got harder and harder to lose those pounds, my enthusiasm waned. That’s the importance of having someone to hold you accountable. Sometimes my husband has to drag me out of the house kicking and screaming, but I still get to the gym. When you are about to give up on yourself your accountability buddy can help you refocus on what’s important.

3. Diet

Unfortunately, our diets also have to be a factor in our fitness journey. Eating healthy or, at extreme least, not overeating is an important piece of making sure we meet our goals. This is where I’m going to introduce you to the piece of technology that has helped me stay on track. Lose It! is an app that helps you with every aspect of your fitness journey, but especially when it comes to your diet. When you sign up you fill out your age, gender, weight, and fitness goals. Then the app creates a special program for you. You can log your food by just scanning barcodes or adding things manually. Plus, you get badges when you hit different milestones like losing weight, logging regularly, or exercising regularly.

These three things are the only things that keep me on track some days. However, your own fitness journey might require other systems of accountability. Wherever you are on your journey, I wish you luck as you move forward and remind you to never give up!

Basic Banner - pink

How To Embrace Your Uniqueness & Beauty

Embrace & fully express

Everyone knows the importance of loving yourself, but it is also something that we forget and neglect to do on a regular basis.

Just think about it. When was the last time you thought something positive about yourself like, “I am so good at keeping the clothes folded around here”? Now, when was the last time you had a negative thought about yourself like, “Why can I never be on time”?

It seems far easier to be critical of ourselves than it is to think of the positive. This reminds me of the “Magic Ratio” made popular by Dr. John Gottman. If you don’t know what the Magic Ratio is, this is how it works. The ratio is 5:1, as in, you need to have 5 positive interactions with your significant other for every 1 negative interaction to maintain a stable relationship. Now, I know we aren’t talking about relationships with others right now, but I think this logic still applies.

To have a healthy relationship with ourselves, we need to remember to think of the positive more than the negative. It’s like a muscle that we have to strengthen. So today I have a challenge for you. Every time you notice yourself thinking something negative about yourself, try to think of 5 positive things about yourself. Doing this will help you remember that you are truly unique and beautiful, both inside and out!

To dig into some other ways to not only embrace but also express your own unique massive beauty check out our Co-Founder’s most recent project by clicking on the image below!

Learn More About IMBUE

5 Easy Ways to Be More Productive TODAY

productivity

Productivity.

Have you ever had one of those days where you sit down in front of your computer at work and suddenly it’s lunch time and you’ve barely gotten through all your emails? Or when you get home and sit down for “just a moment” to relax and suddenly it’s time for dinner? I feel like we all have these dilemmas that make us feel unproductive.

Which brings me to the point of today’s post. Today I will give you 5 easy things you can do to instantly boost your productivity at work or at home. Let’s jump in:

1. Get Up!

Whether you are sitting at a desk at work or sitting on the couch at home, you need to get up. It has been proven that people who exercise on a daily basis are more productive than those who don’t. So take a walk around the block, go to the gym during lunch, or even just take a lap around the office. The important thing is to get your body moving in order to kickstart the rest of you.

2. Conquer Your Tough Tasks First

It is easy to waste your morning on mundane tasks, but if you decide to focus on your hardest task of the day first, you are more likely to complete it (and everything else on your list) sooner.

3. Take a Break

When you feel like you’re hitting a wall, stop! Taking breaks is actually a good thing. Someone who takes short breaks throughout the day will be far more productive than someone who stays chained to their desk. Sometimes your brain needs a break in order to find out a new way to do something, so do your brain a favor and take it.

4. Stop Multitasking

At this point, we have all been told that multitasking is actually less productive than focusing on one thing at a time and yet, for some reason, we keep multitasking. Make an effort to focus on at least your main tasks on a one-by-one basis.

5. Build a Routine

Screenshot_20170622-123024

Making something routine is a great way to boost productivity. You can make it part of a routine to take breaks, stop multitasking, or even focusing on hard projects first. When it comes to my personal routines, I have a secret weapon and today I am going to share it with you!

My secret weapon is an app called Fabulous. This app helps you turn anything into a routine. From making your bed each morning to blocking out distractions at work, Fabulous can help (and the best part is that it’s entirely free)!

For example, I have a set of 7 “habits” that I complete each morning. The app starts with an alarm at a certain time each morning. That’s when you start your “habits”. There is a timer for each habit and once the habit is complete you click a big, satisfying button. Once you have made it through your routine the app congratulates you and you continue with the rest of your day. Try it for a few days and you will see just how productive (and fabulous) you can become!

Basic Banner - orange

The Best of Colorado Springs: A Travel Guide

Colorado Springs title

This time of year, everyone seems to be dreaming of taking a vacation. Well, today I thought I would give you my current home as a travel suggestion.

I have lived in Colorado Springs for about two years and when I have friends and family come to visit I become an unofficial tour guide. So today I’ll be your tour guide and walk you through EVERYTHING that is worth a trip to Colorado Springs.

First, I’ll give you a little context on why Colorado Springs is so unique and then I’ll jump in and go into detail about the six types of attractions that I consider “can’t miss” and some of my personal favorite options in each of those categories. So, without further ado, let’s start exploring Colorado Springs!

Fun Facts

The first thing you will notice upon arriving in Colorado Springs is Pikes Peak. Nicknamed “America’s Mountain”, Pikes Peak is the only 14-er visible throughout the Springs. It looms over us wherever we go, and we love it. It isn’t the highest mountain in Colorado by far, but it is unique because it stands alone in the Springs, meaning it isn’t part of a range with lots of larger mountains and, therefore, sticks out more.

Speaking of the height of our mountain, the elevation in the Springs is probably much higher than you’re used to (no pun intended). Throughout town, the elevation fluctuates between 5,740 ft and 14,115 ft but averages out to about 6,035 ft (or 1.14 miles) in town. This means that you should remember to drink lots of water and moisturize because when you become dehydrated you will start experiencing altitude sickness, and no one likes that.

 

The beauty of nature in the Springs really is awe-inspiring. For example, did you know that the woman who wrote the song “America the Beautiful” was actually inspired to write the song while she was visiting Colorado Springs by train in 1893? Beyond this example, countless authors and artists have been inspired to write some of their best work in Colorado.

Another fun fact, the US Olympic Training Center is in Colorado Springs (plus the headquarters to 24 US National Federations for various Olympic Sports). If this interests you, stop by the training center for a tour!

I’ll leave you with two other quick notes on the Springs and then we can get into the really fun stuff!

First, there are five separate military sites in Colorado Springs, although there are three main ones. There is the Fort Carson Army Base, the Peterson Air Force Base, and the US Air Force Academy. That being said, don’t be surprised when you see TONS of military walking around town, it is perfectly normal to see someone in uniform running into the grocery store to grab some dinner on their way home.

Second, be aware that you CANNOT trust the weather forecasts. There have literally been multiple days in the past few years where it has snowed, hailed, and rained and then has gotten up to 75 degrees and sunny all within the SAME DAY. One of the meteorologists in the Air Force told me that Colorado Springs is one of the hardest places in the world to predict the weather (because of our mountain) and even when they do the science 100% right, they still have a 50% chance of being wrong. How do we handle this crazy weather? We try to be prepared. Layers are your friend, try to keep an umbrella in your car, and, if the weather gets too crazy, remember that it never lasts long.

All that being said, let’s explore some of the most unique things you can see while visiting Colorado Springs.

Nature

There are endless trails, parks, and mountains to explore while you are visiting, but there are six places that I consider “can’t miss” above everything else.

  1. Pikes Peak – Obviously this mountain makes the list. But there are lots of different ways you can choose to explore this mountain.
    • The Cog Railway – This railway goes straight up the side of the mountain and has been running since 1891. The trip is a little bit over 3 hours and is a perfect way to learn about pikes peak while actually climbing to the summit in comfort.
    • 16695595113_e0c03f153b_b.jpgThe Incline – If you want something intense, try the Incline in Manitou Springs. It is a 1-mile hike to the top, but don’t let that fool you. During that one mile, you gain 2,000 feet and are climbing at a grade of 45% on average (although in some spots it gets as steep as a 68% grade). Depending on how fast you take the trip, it can take from 30 minutes to 2 hours to reach the top. At the top, you can connect with the Barr Trail and take switchbacks back down to the bottom. Or, if you’re REALLY ambitious…
    • Barr Trail – You could take the Barr trail all the way to the top of Pike’s Peak. Please note that this is rather difficult and is almost impossible when the mountain is still snowcapped.
    • Drive – If none of those options seem like the right fit, you can simply drive to the top yourself. It costs $15 per adult to take the drive yourself and takes 2-3 hours round trip.
  2. Garden of the Gods – The beautiful rock formations at Garden of the Gods will leave you in awe. You can simply drive through the park, stop at the gift shops and visitors center, or hop out and walk some trails. The most common trail (Perkins Central Garden) is paved and, therefore, easy to walk. It also has the most amazing views of the various rock formations. Another pit-stop must is the Balanced Rock which you can drive right past or park and take some fun photos.
  3. 100_0326.JPGSeven Falls – Seven Falls was bought by The Broadmoor after a flood in 2013 and took two years to reconstruct the roads and trails that had been destroyed. Now, when visiting the Falls, you must park at the Broadmoor and take a free shuttle up to the Falls. I describe the Seven Falls as a “pre-test for the Incline”. If you have a hard time hiking the 224 steps (with railings) to the top of the Falls, you probably shouldn’t try the Incline. But if you do make it to the top, don’t stop there! Keep on hiking and you will be able to take a trail to Inspiration Point. It is absolutely beautiful and worth it when you get there. After you’re done with your hike, go into the mountain and take the elevator to an overlook where you can view the falls that you just hiked.
  4. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo – This zoo is entirely worth the trip and is considered to be much better than the Denver Zoo by locals. The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is the only zoo actually built on the side of a mountain. You can hike to the Shrine of the Sun at the top of the zoo, or just enjoy all of the animals. Be sure to bring your camera because you will have the chance to hand feed the Giraffes! Also, take a chance to look at the upcoming events to see if any line up with your visit. Personally, I love their 21+ evening events in the summer with food, drink, and live music!
  5. Manitou Cliff Dwellings – These dwellings are ruins from the Anasazi people that lived in Colorado from 1200 BC to 1300 AD. They are a truly amazing piece of history to explore.20160425_123032.jpg
  6. Cave of the Winds – This cave is full of amazing rock formations and gives countless tours each day. Take part in the Discovery Tour to explore the unique sights found in the cavern, try the Lantern Tour to hear local ghost stories and experience how the caves were originally explored, or try Caving 101 and get dirty by crawling through muddy passageways.

Food

WOW! After all of those adventures, you’re going to be hungry. Don’t fear, Colorado Springs is chock-full of amazing local food. I always tell my friends and family when they visit that we could eat out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day and still not have a chance to try all of my favorite restaurants in town before their trip is up.

Breakfast

○  Mountain Shadows Restuarant – This is a great little place, but get there early because the locals love it! My suggestions: the cinnamon roll (featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives) or the Reuben Omelette – it might sound weird but it is delicious!
○  King’s Chef Diner – There are two locations for this place, one is smaller but shaped like a castle and very cute, the other is downtown and a little bigger. Regardless of which location you go to, there is almost guaranteed to be a wait. But it is so worth it! When you look at the menu, pay attention to the different sizes you can order. Keep in mind that a 1/4 order here is about equal to a normal-sized order anywhere else! My favorite is The Grump while my husband jumps back and forth between The Thing and the Breakfast Burrito (be sure to get the green chili – locals will put green chili on everything).
○  Paris Crepe – They have both sweet and savory crepes so you can really eat here for whatever meal you wish. Plus, it is a great place to stop in when you are shopping downtown. My favorite is the French Crepe, it’s like a Nova Bagel!
○  Omelette Parlor – This is a unique find. The Omelette Parlor is actually the home where a movie star, Ruth Etting, retired in 1893. Since then it has been turned into a restaurant, but you can still tell that it was once a home the second you step inside. I love their skillets, try the Continental Divider Skillet or the Mount Elbert Skillet for something truly delicious.20160420_095402
○  Bonus: Snooze – So there are no Snooze’s in Colorado Springs, but I make a point to stop at the one in Lone Tree whenever I am picking someone up from the Denver Airport. I actually make my family and friends fly in early in the morning so that we can get breakfast at Snooze on the way back to Colorado Springs. If you are flying into Denver, I strongly suggest you do the same. What should you get if you stop in? The Bella Bella Benny. Hands down. That being said, they have some pretty out of this world pancakes as well!

 

Lunch/Dinner

○  Mona Lisa Fondue Restaurant – When was the last time you went out for a fondue dinner? Chances are, it has been a while. Mona Lisa Fondue is located in downtown Manitou Springs and is a great choice for a fancy night out. Make sure you make a reservation, don’t be afraid to upgrade your courses, and don’t skip the dessert! It is promised to be worth it.20160513_195555.jpg
○  The Rabbit Hole – This is a truly unique dining experience. First of all, it is underground. The entrance looks like a subway entrance with a door. After winding down the staircase, you reach the restaurant, which is entirely Alice in Wonderland themed. From the paintings on the wall to the menu, you will find references to Alice in Wonderland everywhere. Be sure to get a reservation if you want to experience this – they fill up VERY fast. If you want a good cocktail, try The White Rabbit. After all, who doesn’t love flaming marshmallows?
○  TILL Kitchen – The Till is a relatively new addition to Colorado Springs and my husband and I absolutely love it. It is highly environmentally friendly, even their tables are made out of local pine trees that were killed by beetles. They also try to get all of their food from local farms that are committed to sustainability. Not to mention how delicious all of their food is. This place fills up pretty fast on weekends so I would suggest a reservation here as well. What’s my favorite thing on the menu? A drink called By Way of Bees – I promise you will be in for a pleasant surprise.
○  Edelweiss Restaurant – Are you German? Or do you at least enjoy German food? If so, you cannot miss Edelweiss. This family-owned, authentic German Restaurant has been around for over 50 years and lives up to its name. You dine among endless German decor and they even have strolling musicians on the weekends. It fills up fast, so get a reservation here as well. If you want an appetizer, both the Brie and the Potato Pancakes are amazing! However, all dinners come with a German side salad so you won’t be going hungry if you skip the appetizer.
○  Briarhurst Manor – Okay, this is my last suggestion that requires a reservation (and probably needs a reservation the most of all of the places I’ve mentioned). This is another place that used to be a home and has been transformed into a wonderful restaurant. It is also located in Manitou Springs but is a bit separate from downtown, so there is plenty of parking. This home was built in 1876 by the founder of Manitou Springs. A little-known fact is that this fancy restaurant and popular wedding venue is also considered one of the most haunted houses in the area. The good news, all of these spirits seem to be friendly and, if you ask, you may even be allowed to explore the manor after dinner looking for your own spiritual encounters.
○  Alchemy – This is a small pub in Old Colorado City with unique food and even more unique cocktails like the Cotton Candyland or the Walking Dead. Stop in for a bite (or just a drink) while shopping.
○  Bad Daddy’s or Skirted Heifer or Bingo Burger or Crave – So there are a LOT of good burger restaurants in the Springs and, honestly, you can’t go wrong with any of the ones I listed. Bad Daddy’s is a sit-down place with a sports bar feel and create-your-own burgers. The Skirted Heifer and Bingo Burger are right next to each other in Downtown Colorado Springs and are very small (you might want to get your burgers to go). Finally, Crave is located in a shopping complex on the north side of town. If you want to see burgers as big as your head, Crave is your best option. So, regardless of what atmosphere you are craving, we have a great burger place for you!
○  Rudy’s BBQ – If you didn’t know any better, you would drive right past Rudy’s.  It almost looks like a truck stop with a gas station attached and everything. But don’t let its appearance deceive you, it is the best BBQ in town. I always get the Pulled Pork Sandwich, while my husband always gets a few Breakfast Tacos.20160422_211221.jpg
○  Jack Quinn’s Irish Pub & Restaurant – If you want some good Irish food, look no further than Jack Quinn’s. Located in Downtown Colorado Springs, it is a great place to enjoy the evening. Their food is delicious (I especially love their Irish Nachos) and they have live music almost every night of the week.
○  Thunder & Buttons – Located in Old Colorado City, this is a delicious local pub. The pub was named after two elk that used to drive around a local to the various bars in town in the 1880s. This is a really friendly place with various weekly events to check out in the evenings.
○  La Baguette – Last but not least, if you look right next door to Thunder & Buttons you will find La Baguette. This is a perfect place to grab a quick lunch in between shopping. If you want to feel like you stepped into Paris, look no further. I personally enjoy their French Onion Soup.

Shopping

First of all, if you’re still holding on after all of those restaurants, I’m impressed. Now, food and nature aren’t all that the Springs has to offer. If you enjoy shopping, you’ll love it here – you just need to know where to look. Sure we have endless shopping centers as well as two malls, but the really great finds aren’t in any of those places. Here are my five favorite shopping areas:

  1. Old Colorado City – This is my favorite shopping spot. Almost all of the shops are privately owned, there are tons of local artists being featured, they have great events throughout the year, and four of my favorite restaurants are located here! Take an afternoon to stroll down Colorado Avenue and enjoy, not only the shops, but the great atmosphere of the town. Like many places in town, furry friends are usually welcome and many restaurants have water bowls on their patios for your four-legged friend.
  2. The Promenade Shops at Briargate – If you’re looking for some middle to high-end chains, this is the place to go. Here you can find places like Athleta, Eddie Bouer, Loft, Pendleton, Williams-Sanoma, and much more. Like all of the best shopping in the Springs, this is an outdoor complex. Plus, if you would like to take a break, one of my favorite burger joints is just around the corner (Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar).20160607_111346.jpg
  3. Downtown Manitou Springs – Of all of the different shopping options I’m mentioning, Manitou Springs is probably the most “tourist-y”. You will find countless t-shirt shops and tiny souvenirs; but if you can look past all that, it is a really beautiful and historical town. Manitou Springs is where you go if you’re heading to Pikes Peak. This is where you will find the Cog Railway, the Incline, and Barr Trail. The Cave of The Winds and The Cliff Dwellings also reside here; so, chances are you will spend some time in Manitou no matter what. Manitou also has tons of cute shops and great food (three of my favorites reside here as well as the Swirl Wine Bar). When you stop in Manitou, be sure to stop and fill up your water bottles at one of the eight local mineral springs around town. Each spring tastes a little different, but many of them are naturally carbonated and have a sweeter taste. Shoshone Spring is right downtown at the corner of Navajo and Manitou.
  4. The Outlets at Castle Rock – If you are always looking for name brand items at discounted prices, the Outlets at Castle Rock are worth the drive. If you are driving in from Denver you will pass these outlets about 30 minutes before reaching Colorado Springs. With over 100 name brand stores, you will be sure to find something to your liking.
  5. Downtown Colorado Springs – Last but not least is Downtown Colorado Springs. With over 50 privately owned shops, there is plenty to see. Stop by Josh & John’s Ice Cream for a cool treat, peruse through Zeezo’s costume shop for some fun, and stop by Poor Richard’s for used books or a nice coffee shop or some pizza (this shop is actually three shops that are all connected)!

Adventure

By this point, you might be wondering, “what doesn’t Colorado Springs have!?!”. Well, to be honest, I’m not really sure. You can have just about any experience you want here and what better way to show that then for me to share my six favorite adventures that you can have while here?

  1. Rock Climbing – Are you the type of person that looked at those amazing rock structures at Garden of the Gods and found yourself thinking, “I want to climb those”? Well, you can! Front Range Climbing Co. will gladly schedule either half or full day, private rock climbing trips in the Garden of the Gods for you! Don’t worry about being part of a large group of people where your trip is tailored to the 5-year-olds, this will be perfect for you.20160605_162841.jpg
  2. Horseback Riding – Maybe instead of climbing those rocks, you just want to experience them as the pioneers did when they first found them in the 1860s. Pick either a one or two-hour ride and enjoy a ride through the many horse trails in the Garden of the Gods park with the Academy Riding Stables.
  3. White Water Rafting – Do you want to get your adrenaline pumping? Maybe you should plan a half or full day trip down the Royal Gorge with the Whitewater Adventure Outfitters. Not only will you get the chance to see the beautiful and historical gorge and race through the rapids, but you will also get a chance to race the historic Royal Gorge train.20170204_132127
  4. Riding the Rails – Speaking of the Royal Gorge train, you can book rafting and a train trip as a package, or just enjoy this wonderful train trip. Sit in the Vista Dome to see above you as well as out the windows or sit in either the dining car, the club car, or in coach. You can choose to take a lunch or dinner trip or just grab some snacks. Regardless of where you choose to sit, there is on open air car where you have access to take in the beautiful views. If you would prefer to stay a little closer to town, don’t forget about the famous Cog Railway up to Pikes Peak.
  5. Zipline Tours – Hop in a Jeep and drive out to a local zipline course to enjoy the sights from the sky! Adventures Out West has zipline tours all summer from 8:00 am to about 4:00 pm. With their Colo-Rad tour, you will take part in five separate ziplines over Manitou Springs, the longest of which is over 600 feet long.
  6. Hot Air Balloons – Another fun option that Adventures Out West has to offer is hot air balloon rides. You can choose to fly as part of a group of 10 people or pick a private trip. Get ready to get up early, most of these flights start at dawn, but it will be worth it to spend 3-4 hours flying over the sights with a champagne toast and breakfast in the field after your beautiful morning flight.

If these six adventures aren’t enough, there are even more options out there. Adventures Out West alone also offers Jeep Tours, Segway Tours, Guided Hikes, and Van Tours.

Events

Regardless of what time of year you choose to visit, there is bound to be a great event going on. Check the Colorado Springs website to find out what is going on in town when you visit, but, if you can, here are my favorite events that happen in each season in Colorado Springs.

  • Spring: Territory Days – Each Memorial Day Territory Days takes over Old Colorado City. They have almost 200 different booths, live music and so much more. Stop by for a gunfight re-enactment, watch Native American Dancers, or stroll through the various local craft vendor booths. Entrance is free, so what’s stopping you?20160717_131924
  • Summer: Renaissance Festival – The Colorado Rennaissance Festival is my absolute favorite event each year. It is open for eight weekends each summer and is a sight to see. It is located about 30 minutes north of Colorado Springs in the small town of Larkspur. I make sure to attend the festival at least twice each summer and always look forward to next year. Beyond the endless shops with beautiful wares, the shows are outstanding. See comedy shows, watch jugglers and acrobats complete amazing feats, watch the jousting tournaments, see endangered cats perform, or take a ride on the back of an elephant. All of this and much much more is at the festival each summer.
  • Fall: Emma Crawford Coffin Races – Remember when I told you that Manitou Springs has some amazing history? Well, the story of Emma Crawford is just another piece of the history of Manitou. Emma Crawford passed away in 1890 from tuberculosis. Emma’s dying wish was for her fiance to bury her on top of Red Mountain which her fiance honored. However, in the early 1900s, her casket was forced to be moved to the south side of the mountain when the railroad began to be built. After some harsh rain, Emma’s casket slid down the mountain and some young boys found her at the bottom of the mountain. Now Manitou Springs celebrates this crazy event each year with the annual Coffin Races in October. Where else can you see 70 teams in crazy costumes racing coffins down Mainstreet?
  • Winter: The Classic Broadmoor Holiday Show – The Broadmoor is a luxury resort at the base of the Cheyenne Mountain. It was built in 1918 to be the “Grand Dame of the Rockies”. To this day, it is rated a 5-diamond resort and continues to own much of the Springs including Seven Falls and the Cog Railway. It also gave the city of Colorado Springs the gift of the only mountain zoo in America in the 1930s. Today, The Broadmoor is home to almost 800 rooms, 26 retail shops, 10 full-service restaurants, and 10 smaller cafes and lounges. It even has its own movie theater and bowling alley. As you can tell, I could go on and on about The Broadmoor forever, but let’s get to the actual event. Each winter, The Broadmoor hosts their own Holiday Show. Dinner begins at 7:00 and the entertainment begins at 8:00. Expect music, dancing, fun, and (above all else) a night you will never forget.

Beer

Another fun fact about Colorado, we love our beer. There are literally HUNDREDS of breweries in Colorado and almost 50 of them are located in the Springs. If you love beer, spend a day jumping from microbrewery to microbrewery, but even if beer isn’t your thing, there is one brewery that you should make sure is on your list of things to see in the Springs.

The Bristol Brewing Company was founded in 1994 and today their beer is available almost anywhere in the state. But that isn’t the cool part. The Bristol Brewery has a pub inside their facility. That’s not the cool part either. Their facility is an old elementary school built in 1916. Now, that’s the cool part! You can stroll through the old school and still see the children’s murals on the walls. Stop by the Principal’s Office for a mixed drink or bring your furry friend to the Bristol Patio to enjoy some of their newest (and most famous) types of beer. As a bonus, make sure you stop by the bathroom when you’re there (trust me, it’s worth it)!

20160421_170057.jpg

Whew! There you go. You are now prepared to not only visit Colorado Springs but also to truly soak in every unique aspect of the area that you wish! If you want a cheat sheet for the area, click on the infographic I made for you below – each suggested activity is hyperlinked to its website!

Have fun planning your trip and make sure to enjoy yourself!

Colorado Springs

34cebb037210ff256ce631d854da8490If you’re still hanging in here, I’ve got an extra surprise for you.

You know that Bishop Castle I mentioned at the bottom of my infographic? It is a very fun trip. You can climb to the very top of each tower (although it isn’t the safest and is at your own risk).

Some people even use the main room on the second floor for their wedding ceremonies! The owner/builder is currently working on adding an elevator so everyone can see this sight. And it will always be free to the public.

It really is something you should see if you don’t mind the trip. Here is a picture of the castle for you to get a better idea of the amazing feat of building this by hand.

Now, go enjoy yourself!

Basic Banner - sky blue

20 of the Best Articles to Shift Your Midlife in the Right Direction

20 articles.png

When working our way through midlife, it is easy to feel as if everything is going wrong.

Your kids or moving out, or even worse, they’re not. Your parents are getting older and need more help. Your job is feeling stale but the stability makes you feel as if you couldn’t possibly leave. Your personal style is non-existent. Everything just seems so serious!

The list goes on and on, and with all of these changes, no wonder why people in midlife tend to feel as if things are not the way they should be, or at least are not the way they want them to be.

Therefore, I want to give you a list of some inspirational articles to help you shift your personal midlife experience in the right direction for you. I have 20 articles for you to explore and 7 topics to embrace. Enjoy!

1. Embrace Your Age

2. Find Your Style

3. Don’t Forget About Your Brain!

4. Save More Money

5. Believe in Yourself

6. Make Life Easier

7. Know That You Can Laugh About It

Now that you’ve made your way through my seven topics and 20 articles, I hope that you feel a little lighter, a little more beautiful, and way more inspired!

Basic Banner - pink

How The Back Forty Inspired Joy and Passion at the CWC

interviews

About a month ago, The Back Forty took part in the California Women’s Conference (or CWC). Building up to this event we frantically worked to create the perfect presence. We finalized our first online course, published our first Back Forty journal, and created countless banners and flyers. We didn’t know what to expect walking into that exhibit hall, but we had dreams of the contacts we would gain through our raffles and giveaways, the books we would sell, and the contacts we would make.

Little did we know that another aspect of our booth would be the most rewarding.

At our booth, we had a small recording studio set up. We were thinking that we would interview a few people about the passions they discovered while traveling through midlife. We had no idea how big a role this would end up playing at the conference.

We were thinking that we would complete 15-20 interviews each day, lasting about 5 minutes each. What we weren’t expecting was to be so inspired by the stories of finding one’s passion and the joy of sharing that passion with others.

We ended up conducting about 30 interviews over the two-day conference, but the average video ended up lasting 15 minutes. Suddenly, our expected 3 hours of content became over SEVEN AND A HALF HOURS.

Walking into the event, we had no idea the type of passion and joy we would find in those we interviewed. Now, not only have we had the chance to interview amazing people, but we have been given the opportunity to share these inspiring stories with the world. We have decided to turn these inspiring interviews into an online program aimed at inspiring others to create their second half of life as their best half. Now, this course is not ready to be released yet, but I have put together a short video with some excerpts from our two days of interviewing.

Enjoy!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7mnZfk513I]

Basic Banner - orange

75 Simple Ways to Be More Happy with Life

Get Happy!

Today I want to inspire you to become happier. Everyone needs a little pick up every once and a while and today I am sharing with you 100 ways to make your day full of a little more happiness.

So, without further ado, let’s get happy!

  1. Go for a walk
  2. Take a nap
  3. Clean something
  4. Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while
  5. Read something inspirational (try this or this!)
  6. Sip on some tea or coffee
  7. Get a massage
  8. Say “Bubbles” in the angriest voice you can muster
  9. Plan a special dinner to look forward to
  10. Ignore your phone for a few hours
  11. Think of 3 things you’re grateful for
  12. Watch your favorite TV show
  13. Go for a drive
  14. Complete a random act of kindness for a stranger
  15. Do yoga
  16. Listen to your favorite band or singer
  17. Look through local Groupon deals for something to do this weekend
  18. Dance
  19. Bake cookies
  20. Pick 3 things you want to get done today and do them
  21. Go shopping
  22. Pretend you’re a kid again and just PLAY
  23. Pick up some flowers to brighten your home
  24. Read a new novel
  25. Quit a bad habit (if only for a day)
  26. Sing
  27. Buy your favorite sweet as a snack
  28. Find the nearest park, beach, or forest and explore
  29. Stop slouching
  30. Complete a DIY project
  31. Go to any store and pick up 5 items that make you happy
  32. Work on your personal To Do list
  33. Look through some of your old photos
  34. Schedule time to volunteer at an animal shelter
  35. Call your parents
  36. Go see a movie (or maybe even go to a drive-in theater)
  37. Make plans with a friend who you haven’t seen in a while
  38. Cook your favorite dinner
  39. Go window shopping downtown
  40. Pay it forward next time you’re in line to get food or coffee
  41. Are you mad at someone? Let it go
  42. Go to the Zoo
  43. Search for inspirational quotes, write one down, and put it somewhere you will see it regularly
  44. Meditate
  45. Stop thinking about where you are now and think about what is possible instead
  46. Draw a picture
  47. Drink a glass of water
  48. Pick a new sitcom you haven’t seen before and watch the first episode
  49. Download the app Happify
  50. Whisper “Boopity Boop” under your breath in 4 distinct voices
  51. Go to a gym class
  52. Take a bath
  53. Spend time with your significant other – without electronics
  54. Shake up your routine
  55. Play a board game with friends or family
  56. Have a firepit? Build a fire
  57. Make a list of 10 people in your life who inspire you. Then share your reasons why with them
  58. Make your favorite drink
  59. Start a home improvement project
  60. Set a new life goal and take the first step towards achieving it
  61. Snack on some fruits or veggies
  62. Switch up your commute. Leave early, take a new route, and try to enjoy the ride
  63. Find a funny article and laugh a little (I find that BuzzFeed is a good place to start)
  64. Spend some time alone to focus on you
  65. Go to bed early
  66. Jump and try to touch the ceiling
  67. Eat something healthy
  68. Do you have a pet? Go get a hug!
  69. Search for a “No Laugh Challenge” on YouTube
  70. Face something you fear
  71. Skip from one end of the room to the other
  72. Instead of thinking about everything that needs to be done, try to focus on one thing today
  73. Tell someone you love them
  74. Be spontaneous and do something RIGHT NOW
  75. Smile!

If all of these happiness-inducing ideas aren’t enough, I have decided to start giving you something a little extra each time I write a new post.

Did you know that there are almost 1,500 National Days throughout the year? Some of them inspire conversation, others promote change, and still others just make you laugh. Here are the National Days that fall on April 25, 2017:

  • DNA Day
  • East Meets West Day
  • Hug a Plumber Day
  • Telephone Day
  • Zucchini Bread Day

chevron

6 of the Best Ways to Fill Your Relationship with Happiness

another try.png

As we grow older it sometimes gets easier to focus on our significant other’s faults instead of their virtues. Pet peeves slowly become intolerable and your relationship becomes more routine and boring.

Where did all that happiness go?

It’s not that the happiness is gone, but rather that you have stopped nurturing the happiness. When was the last time you did something special for your significant other just to show them how much they are loved? Chances are, all of us could do special things for those we love more often.

But what am I supposed to do? I hear you asking. Look no further because I have compiled my list of the top six ways to fill your relationship with happiness by showing your love.

1. Plan a Special Night (without you!)

This might sound counterproductive but let me explain.

Does your husband love watching a certain sport? Does you wife have a favorite TV show? Chances are, there is something on TV that you hate as much as your significant other loves. Well, I’m here to tell you that there is a way to turn these experiences into loving gestures.

Order your significant other’s favorite delivery food (Pizza? Chinese? Mexican?) and schedule to have it delivered right before your husband or wife’s show starts. About 30 minutes before their show begins, say that you are going to bed, or another room, or whatever you normally do to avoid watching this show. Once you leave, send your significant other a text telling them that their favorite food is on the way, to enjoy their show, and that you love them.

Tah-dah! Suddenly, avoiding something you hate has been turned into a romantic gesture.

2. Clean

Do you get home from work before your significant other? Maybe you wake up earlier than them? Go to bed after them? Chances are, you are “alone” at home at one point or another throughout the week.

Turn this into a chance to show your love. What part of the house gets messy the fastest? The kitchen? The living room? Pick a room, and clean it before your significant other gets home. Not only will they notice, chances are they will also appreciate it and feel the need to reciprocate at some point.

3. Turn an Obligation into a Surprise

This one is my favorite idea by far. Think about something that you request from your significant other on a regular basis. Do you ask them to stop at the store on their way home? Grab you something from the other room? Cook dinner? Walk the dog? Now’s the fun part, you get to turn that mundane obligation into an exciting surprise.

Ask them to do the obligation and then surprise them with a fun activity. Ask them to grab some cheese from the grocery store and then surprise them in the cheese isle with plans to go on a hike and have a picnic. Or ask them to grab your glasses from the other room and then have tickets to the movies or a museum next to your glasses. Ask them to cook some pasta for dinner and then have a giftcard or reservations for their favorite restaurant waiting for them next to the pasta.

It is entirely up to you on how simple or extravagent these surprises are. The important part is that you are turning something they don’t enjoy doing into a fun experience for both of you.

4. Plan a Date

This might seem like a relatively simple concept, but when was the last time you actively planned a date on your own? I’m not talking about deciding that you need a night away from the kids and planning something together or deciding that neither of you want to cook and going out for dinner. I’m talking about taking at least 30 minutes on your own to choose something to do together and booking the neccessary tickets/activities. Plan to take a weekend getaway, go to the zoo, or even just make a dinner reservation.

It’s not the extravagance of the date that is important. It’s that you took the time to plan to do something together because you enjoy spending time with your significant other. It’s a great way to say I love you, which brings me to my next point…

5. Say “I Love You”

Have you ever heard of the “magic ratio” discovered by psycholigist John Gottman? He says that there is actually a ratio of positive to negative comments in a relationship that can pretty much guarantee a stable relationship. What is this ratio?

5:1.

For every negative comment you make to your significant other, you should make five positive comments. So think about it, what is your current ratio? How often are you saying “I love you”? How often do you tell your significant other that you appreciate them? Now, how often are you complaining? The longer we are in a relationship, the easier it is to take the positives for granted and become more frustrated with the negatives. This can cause our ratios to get completely out of whack.

So what am I suggesting you do? Figure out what your current ratio currently is, and then work towards that 5:1 ratio. Start with just a week and see the difference that it makes in your daily interactions when you try to stick to the ratio. Chances are, you will both become happier.

6. Reverse Your Bad Habits (if only for a day)

Pet peeves. We all have them. And we all have pet peeves about our significant other. Maybe they leave the toilet seat up, or they leave their clothes all over the bedroom floor. Chances are, by this point you are thinking about your biggest pet peeves about your significant other. Well, stop!

Think about your significant other’s pet peeves about you instead. You know what they are. Now, actively try to stop all of those habits. Start with just a day and see how long you can make it last. I’m not saying that you change forever, but make an effort and your significant other will notice.

With all of these new ideas, I know you can actively bring happiness into your relationship. Because, after all, who doesn’t want to be happier? Your relationship is important and worth the time it will take to strengthen it. Even if your relationship is already stable and relatively happy – these six tips can bring even more happiness into your relationship.

Do you have any other examples of special things you do for your significant other to bring more happiness into your relationship? Tell me your favorites in the comments below!

beach

5 Inspirational People Who Prove Midlife Is Just the Beginning

People (1).png

I don’t know about you, but most Saturday mornings I need a little inspiration to get me going. After all, if you’re not careful, it is easy for the weekends to get away from you. So, today I am going to help inspire you to make the most out of not only your weekends but your life!

Here are 5 inspirational people who decided that they had yet to do what they were here to do in midlife and beyond (plus a bonus)!

1. Winifred Pristellwinifred

Winifred currently holds the World, National, and State records for single lift bench press for her age group and weight class. At the age of 47 she was dangerously obese and decided to make a change. By the age of 68 she had set world records for bench press (lifting 176.2 lbs) and deadlift (lifting 270 lbs). She is now a proud great-grandmother of 3 and healthier than she’s ever been.

2. Pierre Jean “Buster” Martinbuster.png

Buster claimed to be the United Kingdom’s oldest employee. He worked for Pimlico Plumbers in London and even refused to take a day off on his 100th birthday! According to Buster, he was born in 1906 and continued working until he died at the age of 104 in 2011. If that isn’t a dedicated employee, I don’t know what is!

3. Fauja Singh

Fauja is the first 100-year-old to finish a marathon. He also Faujaaccomplished eight world running records for being the oldest man to accomplish each record in ONE DAY. He is currently 105 years old and living in the UK. He ran between the ages of 89 and 101. Why so late in his life? A tragedy led him back to it. He witnessed the death of his fifth son in 1994 and decided to return to his passion for running. He began training and started running international marathons at the age of 89. At the age of 93 he completed the London Marathon 58 minutes faster than the previous world record. Eight full marathons after the age of 89? Pretty impressive if you ask me.

4. Dorthy Custedorthyr

Dorthy was a stand-up comedian starting in 1916. She thought she would never become famous until she got the chance to perform on the Tonight Show at the age of 100 in 2011! After that, she decided that she was never too old to achieve what she wanted to do. She performed on the Tonight Show again in 2012, for her 101st birthday she ziplined the Snake River Canyon, and for her 102nd birthday she base jumped off the Perrine Bridge into the Snake River Canyon and became the oldest base jumper in the world.

5. Werner Bergerwerner

Werner is the oldest person to climb the highest mountain on each of the seven continents. He climbed his first mountain on the list in 2002 at the age of 64 and completed the last mountain on the list in 2013 at the age of 76. How many people do you know who have climbed Mount Everest? Not to mention at the age of 69!

To learn more about Werner, see his Facebook Live interview with The Back Forty Co-Founder, Darrell Gurney, by clicking here!

BONUS: Tao Porchon-Lynchtao

Meet Tao. She is the world’s oldest yoga teacher at the age of 98! She is pretty amazing. So amazing, in fact, that I wrote an entire blog post about her a few months ago. Click here to find out what makes Tao so special!

Hopefully, that is enough inspiration for you today. After all, as we say in The Back Forty, “You have yet to do what you came here to do!” So, what is it that your second half of life has in store for you?

map

Sources: GuinnessWorldRecords.com, Wikipedia – Dorthy Custer, Wikipedia – Fauja SinghWikipedia – Buster Martin, HeraldNet.com, and WinifredPristell.com

Are You Ready to Look Fabulous Forever?

Look Fabulous Forever

Today I want to share with you a company I found called Look Fabulous Forever. This company is all about “celebrating the beauty in older faces”. Their philosophy is that age is not a barrier to looking fabulous and, to prove that, they create makeup that is formulated specifically for mature faces.

Not only do they create makeup specifically for women in midlife and beyond, they also create wonderful makeup tutorials to help women who can no longer wear makeup in the way they used to. Check out the video below for an idea of what types of tutorials they create:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIChnFDSAOY&w=854&h=480]

Are you interested in learning more about Look Fabulous Forever’s makeup line? Explore their line and if you find anything you like you can get 20% off your first offer by clicking here and using the discount code FRIEND20!

simple

1 2 3 6