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Holiday 2016

Taking the “Hum” Out of Humbug Holiday Gift Guide



Nederland, CO

Wreck The Halls

E-scene The Gift Of Grief

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Dianna is a dedicated mortgage professional with over 16 years of experience guiding current and future homeowners through the finance experience. As a Full-Spectrum Lender she offers Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA loans for purchasing or refinancing with her personal touch she explains all loan options available Dianna’s extensive mortgage expertise has made her very unique and gives you a personal experience unlike any other. She is the loan officer and processor ensuring no details or deadlines are missed and you don’t get “lost in the process” Dianna is an Erie resident who services all of Colorado and offers face-to-face meetings to ensure she understands your full financial goals and guides you seamlessly through the mortgage. She is compassionate and effective, she is in constant contact before, during and after the loan closes to be sure you are always confident and comfortable with your mortgage.

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ADVERTISING ELIFE magazine offers businesses the most cost-effective way to reach consumers in Erie and its surrounding towns. Information about advertising is available on the Web at Call 212.695.2959 to request a media kit.

SPONSORSHIPS ELIFE magazine supports organizations that make our town a better place to live and work. Submit sponsorship proposals to

EDITORIAL OFFICE 212.695.2959 | ELIFE is published by Ventker Publishing

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Editor-in-chief Trisha Ventker Creative and Production Director Advertising Sales Executive Copy Editor Layout and Design Director Layout Assistant Photographer Contributing Writers

Trisha Ventker Keaton Canos John Small Trisha Ventker Tom Ventker Trisha Ventker Jen Barton Diana Graham Mayor Tina Harris TJ Jackson Heather Kemp Jeanna Lutze Dan Mackin Alia Slatton John Small Sue Sundstrom Andrea Sutton Tedd Taskey Trisha Ventker

EDITORIAL OFFICE 212.695.2959 | ELIFE is published by Ventker Publishing


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Note from Editor 


With the presidential election behind us and the holiday season quickly approaching, no matter what your political affiliation, each year has the power to remind us of precious memories of the past or offer us the possibility to create new and lasting memories As cliche as it sounds, home is where the heart is.  Inside this issue you’ll find the Holiday Gift Guide which helps highlight some of our local businesses and what they can offer as gift ideas.  There’s nothing more special than a handmade gift. We have a tremendous amount of talented and artistic neighbors here! Erie residents are ecstatic of the new King Soopers Marketplace on Highway 7.   A big thanks to Mayor Tina Harris and the board of trustees, along with our town supervisor, AJ Kruger who has been instrumental in making that happen.


ELIFE celebrates the full richness of Erie: respecting our heritage as we continue to thrive. To just wish everyone a Happy Holiday would be nothing more than trite at this point. We at ELIFE are anything but! We truly want you to have a great holiday.  Remember this is the season of giving. Knowing that, here the staff of ELIFE is giving you a Holiday issue as well as a Winter issue. We have been pleasantly surprised at how popular ELIFE is! We are approaching 50,000 impressions!   Hopefully next year we will double that number. We have a winter issue coming and we value and welcome your input. Thank you for your support and keep reading ELIFE!

Trisha Ventker TRISHA VENTKER Editor-in-Chief


Trisha Ventker is an author, photographic artist, branding and social media expert and retired elementary school teacher. She also finds promoting and bringing local businesses together very rewarding. She is best known for her book Internet Dates From Hell which is self­published by Ventker through iUniverse.  It has since had the movie rights to it optioned by Paula Wagner. Trisha is also one of the first Indie Books authors to have a book optioned for the big screen.  Trisha is originally from New York City, presently residing in Erie, Colorado with her husband and son.

01 ERIE   Letter From Mayor Tina Harris Erie's Rich History ­ Part 4 Homecoming E­scene

02 HOLIDAY Taking The "Hum" Out Of Humbug Holiday Gift Guide

24 33 36 30

42 38

03 HOME Wreck The Halls… (Or Not) Fa La La La La


04 FOOD Savory Palmiers Recipe Cacao


57 58

05 SELF DISCOVERY Where Did My Brain Go? The Gift Of Grief

62 66

06 ARTS & EXPLORATION Ten Things You May Not Know about the Poinsettia Nederland CO

68 72

07  PETS Fur Babies


08  HEALTH & BEAUTY Introducing Salon Chateau de Beaute  OMG! I Forgot My Eyebrows!    

78 82








TINA HARRIS Mayor Town of Erie MONEY Magazine Names Erie #13 of the Best 50 Places to Live

SUPPORT ERIE BUSINESSES: SHOP LOCAL THIS HOLIDAY SEASON The reasons why the opening of the new King Soopers at Vista Ridge Marketplace is cause for celebration include diversification of Erie’s economic base, increasing annually renewable sales tax revenue generation and providing more opportunities for us all to shop local this holiday season. When you buy local, you are simultaneously creating jobs, investing in neighborhood improvement and promoting community development. Shopping local keeps more money in Erie because businesses often purchase from other local businesses and service providers and/or farms. Successful Erie businesses attract other businesses creating a healthy business culture. Erie businesses support local non-profits which make our community better. Buying local conserves energy & resources in the form of less fuel for transportation and packaging. Now that you have reasons to shop local - here are a few ideas to help you support our Erie businesses. HIGHWAY 7 Beyond groceries, King Soopers offers expanded prepared foods, bakery and floral sections; pet supplies; baby and toy supplies; school and office supplies; kitchen utensils, dishware and appliances and an apparel section. Immediately west of King Soopers is Vista Village with a number of retailers including: The Lazy Dog Sports Bar & Grill, Si Senor!, Papa John’s Pizza, Sakura Sushi Express, The Nail Lounge, Halcyon Salon and Spa, Great Harvest Bread Company, Village Vista Wine & Spirits, Chateau de Beaute Salon, Beattie’s Healthmart Pharmacy, Vista Ridge Cleaners, Java Island and 7- Eleven. And for those of us on the run, don’t forget Kum & Go at Bonanza Drive. Travel a bit further west and take Airport Drive to Erie Coffee Roasters in the Erie Airpark. DOWNTOWN ERIE Downtown’s restaurants and brewpubs are a great place to enjoy time with family and friends including: Industrial Revolution Brewing Company (IRBC), Briggs Street Café, Nosh Sandwiches, Gaucho De Argentina Empanadas, Azteca Mexican Restaurant, Echo Brewery, 24 Carrot Bistro, Rose Café, Black Jack Pizza, The Old Mine, Sweets Ice Cream & Coffee, Miner’s Tavern and don’t forget Cristos Coffee, Foxtail Pines Veterinary Hospital, and La Casona Del Mariachi (opening soon!) at the south end of Briggs Street.



The intersection of Erie Parkway and County Line Road is home to Walgreens, Burger King, the expanded County Line Liquors, JJ’s Pub, Nails Crazy and Stop N Save. Just to the south at County Line and Austin is Abo’s Pizza, Erie Animal Hospital (don’t forget your pets), Rich’s Tennis School, Columbine Appliance & Fireplaces, FRP Apparel, Coal Creek Car Wash and Elevate Fit Club.


The Arapahoe Ridge Marketplace Safeway is a great place to shop and keep your dollars in Erie. After you get your groceries – don’t forget to support these other businesses: Erie Liquors, Art Cleaners, Tip Toe Nails, Subway, Domino’s, Papa Murphy’s, Dairy Queen, Noble Roman’s P’ZA and Starbucks. Thank you in advance for your commitment to shop local. And above all else, please have a safe and happy holiday season. Sincerely, Mayor Tina Harris

Arts Coalition of Erie PRESENTS





SATURDAY DECEMBER 10 ages 3 and up

*children under 3 will need assistance with decorating by an adult. NOT A DROP OFF EVENT


WWW.ERIECO.GOV/BIZGUIDE The online Business Resource Guide has been created to provide new, existing and prospective business owners information on the Town’s business-oriented services and regulations. This guide is intended to serve as a resource to assist owners through the process of owning, operating and starting a business in Erie.

Find resources and more information about:

Location Decisions

Licenses & Permits

Business Planning


Competitor Information


Community Events

Meeting Spaces


Financing & Incentives




Additional Resources

Contact Paula Mehle, Economic Development Coordinator, at 303-926-2769 or for any further assistance.

Brunch with Santa Sunday, December 11th & 18th Seatings at 9:00am | 11:00am | 1:30pm

Santa's Favorites Breakfast Delicacies Muffins, Croissants & Breakfast Breads Scrambled Eggs Breakfast Potatoes Applewood Bacon Sausage Links Buttermilk Biscuits & Sausage Gravy French Toast & Pecan Caramel Sauce Belgian Waffles & Maple Syrup House Green Chile Fresh Assorted Fruit Made-to-Order Omelets

Lunch Entrees Roasted Winter Vegetables Atlantic Salmon, Jasmine Rice, Papaya Salsa Cold Smoked Salmon Carved Prime Rib ​

Sweets Decadent Chocolate Fountain Assorted Petite Fours Sweet Glazed Puffs

More Details Pricing Adults $25.95 / Children 5-10 $12.95 4 & Under Complimentary

Required Reservations Julie 303.926.1723*214



Masters Restaurant (Inside Colorado National Golf Club) 2700 Vista Parkway, Erie CO 80516




john left


Erie’s Early Banks, Schools and Recreation By the Nineteen Tens and Teens, Erie's population was growing as were the financial interests of the town. Between 1910 and 1920, Erie's modest population increased from around 600 to 700. By late 1928, the town boasted a population of just over 1000 residents! More people meant more money to be made and handled by Erie's merchants. Although the mining industry was attracting many, not only from ours but also from foreign lands, people began investing in Erie as more than just a "backwater mining town", that is until The Columbine Miners' Strike and disaster of 1927. (More on that in a later issue) William Whiles from England tried his hand at mining and in time became coowner of the Garfield Mine with William H. Drinkwater. Whiles joined Erie Bank as a teller in 1903, only to become its president within a few years. This apparently set a precedent, for a James Brennan would follow in Whiles' footsteps and joined the bank also as a teller then succeeding Whiles as Erie Bank's president. Although many national banks were folding after the 1929 Stock Market Crash, Erie Bank remained solvent through the thirties and early forties. Banks like Erie's were responsible for F.D.R.'s issuance of the National Bank holiday in 1932.


by John Smal l

Erie’s first school is established; 33 students enrolled. School was first held in the first Town Hall building 237 Wells St., (above) and in the “Coffin” house at 525 Pierce St.

 "Little Erie" survived yet another catastrophe and ONE OF THE FIRST SCHOOLS NEAR ERIE WAS would continue for several more decades until the THE IDAHO CREEK SCHOOL LOCATED SOUTH 1970's when most of the nearby mines closed for good. OF OLD HIGHWAY 52 AND EAST OF COUNTY ("Ghost Town Erie" also in a later issue) LINE ROAD IN 1861. Although most if not all of Weld County's earliest school records have been lost, enough data has been restored from interviews and county records over the years. One of the first schools near Erie was The Idaho When early twentieth century Erie wasn't working, Creek School located south of old Highway 52 and east of investing, educating its youth or engaging in any other County Line Road in 1861. The founders were Robert activity for its own preservation, it recreated like Block, Dan Irwin and Morse Coffin. The school welcomed anyone else did! By 1915, Erie/Canfield Baseball was its first students on September 1st of that year. It would be twenty years before Erie housed and educated the "tops in entertainment" for the neighboring towns. Each youths of Erie in its own schoolhouse. Proudly standing possessed a team, and after only a few years, they on the corners of Briggs and Wells Streets did it welcome shared a heated rivalry to say the least. Along the flood over 100 students filing in (of course singly and quietly plains of Erie did these teams regularly play along with up the front steps) to learn from Erie's first teachers, several other mining towns' teams on a regular basis. including Mary. L. Young, considered the very first to While the townsfolk gathered in proximity to the ball render the three "R's" to Erie's kids of 1881. Today, the field with full picnic fare, Erie's brass bands U.S. Post Office occupies the lot that the school did for accompanied the contests which were consistently anticipated during the three seasons that the schedule over 25 years! The next school built was The Lincoln School up the of games offered the community. Although not block on Holbrook and Wells. Unlike its predecessor, this professional were these men, holding merchant, mining, school was made of bricks with four rooms each adjacent milling, farming and livestock raising jobs during the to cardinal points. Opening in 1907, the population of week, these men would donn their own uniforms, take Erie forced the school to offer classes in the mortuary or instruction from coaches and managers and play the "Coffin House" over on Pierce Street due to the overflow game as hard as the pros in the National Baseball of students from one year to the other. Erie was growing Association on the weekends. Local boys would assist their fathers and uncles as bat boys when they weren't and the children were too! The dire need for a high school became evident by playing their own daily games on the very fields their 1920 as extensions to the Lincoln School proved dads would on the weekends. Their games were less inadequate for the aging student body. Although the four organized; the use of broomsticks and wadded socks new classrooms doubled the size of the original building, were their bats and balls of the early  Nineteen Tens and it still housed grades one through twelve most Teens! Many of the local merchants would support and uncomfortably for everyone; therefore, in 1929, sponsor their towns' teams, advertising their prowess on students in grades seven through twelve moved to the storefronts and in local papers with great pride and some prejudice on occasion. new high school on Main and Cheesman Streets. (To be continued) By 1966, a new elementary school was needed and built across from the high school on its western side along East County Line Road. The Lincoln School had taught its last students in June of that year as the building became listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been used by the Town Of Erie for its government offices and government affairs. The first principal of the new elementary school was also the last of the Lincoln School, namely, Ivan Adams.


About the Author


John J. K. Small was born in Manhattan, New York in 1954. Moving to Long Island from the south Bronx in 1963, John attended both public and private school straight through his college years. Taking an Associate Degree from SUNY Farmingdale and both Bachelors and Masters Degrees from St. John's University, John is a permanently certified English/Education instructor of high school and college classes, teaching English, History and Education on both levels for the past 32 years. As a writer, he has assisted published writers with copy editing and proofreading along with business owners in constructing business plans, operating agreements, power point narratives, advertising campaigns and business collaboration in general. John lives with his wife, Maureen and son, Jonathan in New York.

Bibliography Dyni, Anne Quimby. Erie Colorado: A Coal Town Revisited. Erie Colorado: The Town of Erie, 2001. Print.  Lambrecht, Mona and The Boulder History Museum. Images of America: Boulder 1859-1919. Charleston, South Carolina, Arcadia Publishing. 2008. Print. Michener, James A. Centennial. New York, NY: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 1974. Print. Stull, James B. For The Historical Society. Erie. Images of America: Erie. Charleston, South Carolina, Arcadia Publishing. 2011. Print. Stull, James B. A Brief History of Erie Colorado: Out of the Coal Dust. Charleston, South Carolina. The History Press. 2015. Print.

WHY JOIN THE EEDC? Be a part of Erie’s “economic engine.” Connect with people and businesses that will aid in helping Erie’s growth. Receive value-added business services. Receive access to information on demographics, job growth, employers, real estate, labor force, etc. VISIT US AT WWW.ERIEEDC.COM


homecoming piece


homecoming piece

One of the best parts about living in a relatively small town is the sense of community. Having grown up in Boulder, and then moving on to the West Coast and living in both San Francisco and L.A., you don’t get that same sense of place and belonging as you do when you’re walking down the local version of Main Street. Few things can top this, but there is an event that is a small slice of the best of Americana, taking your Main Street and turning it into a Rockwellian affair: Homecoming. And so on one pleasant evening in early October, my family and I found ourselves drawn to Briggs Street for the parade and events that would culminate a mile or so up the road under the Friday night lights a few hours later.


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Tedd- Holiday

Taking the “Hum” Out of Humbug by Tedd Taskey Often times the most stressful part of the holidays is not shopping, parking, baking, wrapping, etc., but the difficult people we must deal with during the season of “joy.” Research tells us that the key factor in stress is the loss of control or predictability and loss of outlets for frustration.


Many people don’t want to attend family functions (or dysfunctions as the case may be), or other social activities because they dread inevitable situations: When will mom embarrass me in front of everyone by asking why I’m not married yet? When will my drunk spouse start dancing with the Christmas tree? When will my sister’s husband start ranting about politics? What if I have a panic attack?

tedd Holiday

Although we may not be able to control what others say or do, we can control what we do. By establishing exit strategies, verbal and physical, you will empower yourself with predictability of how you will conduct yourself. Here’s how…

1) Assume that you will be faced with the dreaded situation and play out the possible scenarios BEFORE you get in the situation. This will allow you to create an exit strategy, thus reducing your stress. 2) Create your verbal and physical exit strategy. Knowing and practicing what you will say, will help you exit. For example, if you are confronted with an uncomfortable topic that you do not want to discuss, you may want to say, “This is nothing I want to discuss right now. Thanks for respecting that.” If badgered, you may offer a last verbal exit strategy before you physically leave. For example, “If you cannot respect my request to leave that topic alone, it will be better for me to leave.” 3) Your physical exit strategy should include all others for whom you may be responsible. Let your children, spouse, etc. know ahead of time that you may be leaving early and have a plan in place. Coaching and preparing others will help mitigate the angst and awkward tension that can often accompany an early exit. For example, with children: “When we leave grandma’s house and you can do it quickly and without complaining, we will be stopping at Starbucks for a special treat. behavior will be rewarded.”

And remember, we may be leaving early.

You may not have control over the crazy stuff that people can do around the holidays, but you can control how you will respond. Obviously, everyone’s situation is unique, but following the basic guidelines of verbal and physical exit strategies will help. By putting some preemptive measures in place, you will empower yourself and lower your anxiety considerably.

“Many people don’t want to attend family functions (or dysfunctions as the case may be), or other social activities because they dread inevitable situations.”

Either way, your good


Tedd M. Taskey, MS, LMFT resides in Erie, Colorado and serves the Denver area as a psychotherapist and executive trainer. He works with couples and individuals working on a wide range of issues including anxiety, depression, self-esteem, trauma, and anger management. His practice specializes in serving the highpowered “A-type” personalities who often fall victim to entitlement behavior which can be abusive and destructive to their personal and professional relationships.

Epic Counseling 51 W 84th Ave

Denver, Colorado

(720) 775-7746

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S e r i e s



dan mackin page 2 

Some things in the world just don’t turn out the Now you get to see how well your well way you would like. While it’s a harsh truth, re s e a rc h e d c o n t r a c t o r s re a l l y r u n t h e i r working with contractors is usually one of those businesses. In many cases just getting them to things. Just because someone is good at give you a quote is like pulling teeth. If you’ve building, does not automatically mean they are done well then you good at running a business. This leaves many should get at least a homeowners frustrated and some even attempt couple without much to do the work themselves causing even more follow-up. Scan problems. While there is no true solution to this through the quotes to conundrum, there are some steps you can take compare what work to make the process more bearable. they will actually be doing. In many cases Finding the right contractor is your first step. Yes, the more detailed the you can ask friends who they have used or who bid, the more they recommend, but it is in your best interest to trustworthy the dig deeper with your questions. The term contractor. This also “good” is very relative and it’s up to you to helps you down the line deter mine if their suggestion fits that since they will have less opportunities to have description. The sort of questions you should ask “unforeseen costs”. are; “How did their work turn out compared to what they promised?”, “Were they able to stick Go through all of the bids and find the one that to their timeline?”, “Was their bid accurate to best fits what you are looking for. Remember that your final price?”, “How was their pricing the lowest bid doesn’t mean it’s the best, but the compared to the other bids you got?”. Starting same applies to the highest. Once you have with these questions will get you a good feel for signed an agreement with the contractor be sure how the contractor conducts their business. not to pay them in full up front. In many cases your agreement should be to pay for the project Once you have (hopefully) narrowed it down to in segments. At most you should only pay for some potentially good options, it’s time to set up materials up front. There are too many horror appointments. This is a great time to start stories of someone paying full cost and their working on getting the best price and wasting contractor just disappearing. If possible pay with the least amount of your time. If possible, a card, this helps your ability to dispute costs schedule all of the contractors to come quote at later. Cash is king for deals, but it’s not easy to the same time. This spurs some competition and recover. ensures that you’re giving all of them the same description of what you want. One big thing Now it’s time to start the project. This will be the here is to be honest about what you’re looking true test of all of your research. In the next issue I for, but do not give up your max budget. This is will cover how to get the most value for your a common mistake and can ruin any chance you money on a rehab. have for saving money on the project.

ABOUT DAN Dan is a local who understands real estate is a serious industry, but also an entertaining one when viewed in a different light. 720.971.7139 powered by Brokers Guild

https:// www.fa cebook.



Important Notice To Erie Home Owners • Did you purchase your home more than six months ago? •

Did your builder finance your home?

Do you have an FHA Loan?

Are you paying monthly mortgage insurance?

If you answered yes to one or more of the questions above, now is a great time for a MORTGAGE CHECK-UP!

Home values have seen an increase in Erie. It’s possible that you could refinance to eliminate your mortgage insurance. Rates are still quite low. We can assess whether it’s possible for you to refinance to a lower interest rate and/or payment.

Call to find out if refinancing makes sense for you.

Lisa Sinner Loan Officer NMLS #492628

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*According to the Freddie Mac PMMS Survey. ©2015 Axiom Financial LLC, Equal Housing Lender, NMLS #4642. Not an offer to lend. Program, rates and terms subject to change without notice and are not guaranteed before a loan commitment and/or rate lock are issued. All services rendered are to assist in providing mortgage loans.




Call Your Realtor Friend

Jeff Crase: Your Local Real Estate Specialist Buying? Selling? Your transition should be stress-free and run smoothly.

Jeff has been voted a 5-STAR realtor by 5280 from 2010-2015.

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Licensed Mortgage Broker

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Keeping it REAL Estate A real estate agent’s job is not to sell you a home, it’s to help you find the right home. At Team Zen we strive to make the process easy and fun. No sales pitches or hard line tactics. Just quality assistance with a no fluff attitude.

Dan Mackin 720-971-7139

powered by Brokers Guild

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Ensure your business gathering has the character and space it deserves. Our space possesses rich wood trimming and elegant stonework that will impress, while putting your business colleagues at ease. For executive luncheons, use our modern and spacious kitchen. A beautiful deck, lawn and pavilion are perfect for your outdoor needs.


right john’s article


About ALIA

Alia with Chef Michael Chiarello

Alia Slatton is a professional baker and graduate from the Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Boulder, CO. She's lived in Erie with her boyfriend and two dogs for 5 years. For questions or to ask about having wonderful desserts made for you, please email her at:

INGREDIENTS: One package puff pastry sheets, thawed 2 tablespoons melted butter 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese 1 teaspoon each dried oregano and dill 1/2 teaspoon each salt, ground black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes 1. Combine spices in a bowl and stir together. 2. Dust counter with flour. Unfold the pastry sheets. Using a rolling pin, roll each sheet out in one direction until they're rectangular. 3. Using a clean pastry brush, brush each sheet with melted butter. 4. Sprinkle each sheet evenly with the shredded cheese and press down slightly to adhere the cheese to the pastry. Sprinkle the spices evenly over the cheese, using as much or little as you like. There may be leftover spice mix! 5. Take the long edges of one of the pastry sheets and carefully roll each edge evenly towards the center until they meet, and the pastry is a u-shape. Repeat with second sheet! 6. For easier handling, cut each roll in half. Carefully transfer rolls to plastic wrap and wrap tightly. 7. Freeze for 30 minutes and preheat your oven to 400* Fahrenheit. 8. After chilling, slice each roll into .� thick slices and lay them 1� apart on parchment-lined cookie sheets. They may need to be baked in batches, depending on the size of your sheets. Remember it's easier to slice cold dough! 9. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden-brown and puffy. 10. Let cool completely, and store in airtight containers 2-3 days. These are excellent served with an antipasto tray! The spices listed here are only suggestions, experiment and use whatever spices appeal to you. Feel free to trade the Parmesan, but use a drier cheese like crumbled feta. Fresh mozzarella, for example, will release water during baking and the crackers will be soggy


cacao article

What you didn’t know about the process by Jeanna Lutze

Did you know your chocolate started from a plant? In fact your chocolate started in a pod that grows on a tree, only near the equator. It begins as cacao before it is crafted into exquisite chocolate. The beautiful thing about cacao is that it can be used for cooking, baking and drinking. It is full of antioxidants and amazing health benefits. I imagine the amount of people that have actually had the opportunity to taste a bean/seed from a cacao pod are few. It’s covered in a silky, wet, white pulp that is sweet and honey like in taste. The raw seed that is turned into chocolate, is bitter and chewy.

The process in actually making the cacao into chocolate or cocoa is not for the impatient. Once the pod is ready to pick off a tree it continues its chocolate journey . The pod is cut open, beans removed, then they’re dried out, roasted, shelled, and then they start going through the steps of being made into whatever it is they’ll be used for. The whole process takes several days to weeks to complete. The importance of making sure the process is timed perfectly and is not rushed is the difference in whether or not your chocolate gets produced at all.

Did you know? Cacao can  improve cacao article your mood due to the way it boosts certain neurotransmitters that promote a sense of well-being. This amazing plant can reduce blood pressure and reduce your risk of stroke.

Cacao is rich in minerals like magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, copper and manganese. Eating cacao helps reduce bad cholesterol due to the 700 compounds of antioxidants.

About Jeanna (aka Caco Girl) I am the daughter of a Cacao farmer that loves being the marketing and distributing executive for Colorado. It's important to me and my family to listen and deliver a high quality, unique chocolate that impresses your taste buds. website:

Since 2011



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Where Did My Brain Go? jen barton article


Where Did My Brain Go? jen barton article

by Jen Barton Where Did My Brain Go? I forgot why I walked into the room. It happens more often than I’d like to admit. I used to be sharp, always at the ready with a witty comment or a smart reference. Growing up I often poked fun at my mom for telling me the same story twice, or when she couldn’t recall the name of a book. “Come on, it’s Sense and Sensibility” I’d say incredulously before rattling off the main characters first and last names and the actors who portrayed them in the corresponding movie. “One day you’ll get old too, Jenny” she’d say. Not me. Nope! I’m with it all the time. My brain is always on. But just as mom said, it happened to me. It started with having children. Something about the growing of a human, delivering a human, then dealing with said human, and a subsequent human, through countless stages of life and head scratching situations. Somehow that experience, with a side of welcome-to-your-40s, has sucked the astuteness right out of my brain. For a while I believed it was temporary. Sleep deprivation will do this to a person, I thought. Having a 2 and 3 year old in the house all day while trying to figure out potty training is bound to cause brain activity malfunction. But my babies are in elementary school now and use the potty independently, most of the time. Yet my brain continues to operate at best in second gear. Could it be my lifestyle? I read important, thought provoking books. I engage in conversation with intelligent adults regularly. I even watch Sun Dance Film Festival movies, sometimes. If we’re being technical, I watch them approximately one to two times a year. These movies typically aren’t always enjoyable, rather downers most of the time, and I have trouble identifying with the plots that just end and leave me to wonder, what the heck? But two times a year should count for something. Could it be my diet? I’ve increased my memory enhancement foods like berries and foods containing omega-3 fatty acids. But just last week I had to send a note to my book club friends with my thoughts on the assigned book I had just finished,

“because I know I’ll forget these intricate details when we meet next week.” I can’t remember the details of a great book for a whole week! I had forgotten the main character’s name, the problems I had with her and the things I loved about the richness of the plot. I had to re-read my email to convince myself I even liked the book. Could I be sick? I searched WebMD, because that’s what I do, worried about early onset memory conditions. The searching panicked me some, like medical searches are known to do, and I ultimately decided not to go down that road just yet, the road that almost always ends in a therapist’s office. So I did the next logical thing: turn to my friends. I started dropping phrases like “isn’t it maddening when you go to the grocery store but forget to buy the one or two very critical things on your list?” in casual conversation. The results were staggering. Over and over I heard “that happens to me all the time.” Soon I felt in good company. One friend confessed she drove to Target and parked her car then had to sit in her car for 20 minutes to remember why she was there. When my brilliant problem-solving husband started forgetting things I began to recognize, and even take comfort in, the typical loss of brain function with age that many of us experience. He and I used to talk about our favorite actors and bands with endless discussions about band members, including their names, past albums, and songs. Recently he said, “You know that song with the lyrics that go, ‘take a walk on the… something’ but I can’t recall the guy’s name who sings it right now.” And I knew exactly what he was talking about, also not able to think of the artist’s name. After one of those conversations I Google the lyrics until I am reminded of the facts. Because I will not let this brain slip away completely, not without a fight. I will carve in random facts deeper so next time I need to recall Lou Reed’s name, I will be quick and ready. Unfortunately Lou Reed doesn’t come up in conversation much in my circle, but knowing I’ll be ready in the off chance the situation should arise seems like the right thing to do. Google is my memory aid. My best friend. My beloved. Every once in a while I find myself chanting Dylan Thomas’ words in my mind like a mantra (I know it’s Dylan Thomas because I Googled it), “rage, rage against the dying of the light” thinking of my brain, and grieving the razor-sharp functioning machine it used to be.

jen barton article  

Jen Barton a 10 year Erie resident, is a wife, mother, and freelance writer. She writes mainly as a means of cheap and convenient therapy. She can be contacted at jenleebarton@gmail.comÂ

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gift of grief article

MANY THINGS need to be grieved, including the loss of a job, the end of a marriage, the loss of a pet, a pregnancy that ended too soon and the death of a loved one.

For some reason, most of us tend to think of

grieving as a sign of weakness. Men perhaps, feel this more than women do. Perhaps, that

shouldn’t be. Time is needed to overcome any

tragedy. Time and grief are gifts in themselves!

It may be appear easier to deflect or try to bury

ourselves in work as a curative measure. The end

of something is deemed the natural progression of its life. Since everything is born, it must have a time limit. This includes ideas, positions in a

workplace, marriages, and even the conception of a child.

“Whether they live for 3 minutes, 3 years or 80... that life needs to be celebrated and the loss of life needs to be grieved.”

Everything has a lifespan or course of existence. We have all said, “It needs to run its course”, whether it’s a cold, a job or a life!I Hopefully that life is well-lived.

Everything has an end. Just like marriages begin with a wedding day in a church or a beach, they also have an end. Marriages run their course,

some end prematurely , others go the distance. Grief is always part of life. Life is a gift! It’s a blessing that is shared by many!

Whether they live for 3 minutes, 3 years or 80... that life needs to be celebrated and the loss of life needs to be grieved.

gift of grief article  

Do NOT let anyone tell you how you

should grieve. Some may claim you are doing it wrong, or when it's time to stop when it’s convenient for them. Only you can decide

that! This is trill the gift of grief. Grief is not necessarily the worst thing in life. It allows

us to feel, to remember, and to know that we are still alive!

It gives us the license to cry our break things as long it is on the path of healing. After all, all wounds need to be felt, considered and

allotted the time to heal. Grief is like a salve-

a coating, a mixed blessing! Hopefully in time we can overcome our grief and celebrate the

good times rather than obsess the end times.

Whenever one needs to grieve, one should be allowed to! Except the gift of grief! Share it

with others! The comfort one receives while on the journey of grief should be shared by this around them. Grieving is the necessity

of life. Please share this and keep pressing on.

We're coming up on Daniel being gone for 7

years, as he died on January 21, 2010. We miss him every day.

-Andrea Sutton

ArtSmart poinsettia article

by Sue Sundstrom

Ten Things You May Not Know About The Christmas Poinsettia Have you ever wondered why the poinsettia plant is commonly used in floral arrangements for Christmas? 1. The poinsettia is a plant native to Mexico, and its common English name derives from Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Minister to Mexico, who introduced the plant to the US in 1825. 2. In tropical climates, the plant can grow to a height of 14 ft. Its colored bracts are actually leaves, not flowers, that are created through photoperiodism, meaning they require darkness for 12 hours at a time, 5 days in a row to change color. 3. Aztecs used the plant to produce red dye and as an antipyretic (fever reducer) medication. 4. Today the plant is known in Mexico as Flor de Noche Buena, meaning Christmas Eve Flower. 5. The legend of the poinsettia originated in Mexico in the 16th century when a girl, named Pepita or Maria, was too poor to bring a gift to the celebration of Jesus’ birthday. She was inspired by an angel to pick weeds from the roadside and bring them to the church altar. Magically, red blossoms sprouted from the weeds and became beautiful flowering plants. 6. The star-shaped leaf pattern is said to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem, and the red color represents the blood sacrifice of Jesus’ crucifixion. 7. December 12th is National Poinsettia Day in the US. 8. The first poinsettias grown commercially in the US were by Albert Ecke, a German immigrant, who sold them from street stands in Los Angeles in the 1900’s. His grandson, Paul Ecke Jr., advanced the connection to Christmas by sending free plants to television stations to appear on the air between Thanksgiving and Christmas. He also appeared on television shows like “The Tonight Show” and Bob Hope’s Christmas specials to promote the plants. 9. To keep your poinsettia healthy and continuing to grow colorful bracts after the Christmas holiday requires a daily period of uninterrupted long, dark nights, followed by bright sunny days for two months in autumn. Any incidental light such as from a TV, streetlight, or passing cars hampers bract production. 10. And finally, while some think that poinsettias are highly poisonous, they are only mildly toxic. According to POISINDEX, a major source for poison control centers, a 50-pound child would have to eat 500 bracts (colored leaves) to be harmed by the toxins, although contact with the sap can cause mild skin or stomach irritation if ingested.

Sue Sundstrom is a watercolor and pastel artist, living and creating in Erie. She has been painting, drawing, and teaching art classes for more than 35 years. She has a Master’s Degree in Fine Art and Art Education. You can find more information about her and view her work at

Sue Sundstrom

poinsettia article 

Poinsettia Watercolor by Sue Sundstrom

Over the past few years, Erie’s downtown has seen the opening of delicious new restaurants where the patios are packed with people enjoying local craft beer and parking is hard to come by on a weekend evening. PopUp Culture co-founders and Erie residents Jessica Learoyd and Heather Cleveland were inspired by the momentum of local businesses and wanted to contribute to Erie’s unique identity through cultural offerings. So they set out to bring the quality and excitement of big-city events to the town they call home, utilizing a variety of non-traditional venues throughout Erie. When parents decide it’s time for a date night, Pop-Up Culture wants them to be able to stop at one of Erie’s locally owned restaurants for dinner before heading over to the pop-up comedy club for a night that’s guaranteed to bring tears of laughter. When New Year’s Eve rolls around each year, they envision Erie residents having a high-end, extravagant option that’s no more than a couple of minutes away, thereby saving community members money in both gas and child care than if they were to drive to Boulder or Denver. Just as Erie is known for its hot air balloon festival, so too could it be known for its yearly farm-to-table dinner set in picturesque downtown or its family-friendly luau complete with a roasted pig and Polynesian dancers.

OUR SERVICES Murder Mystery Dinners Cultural Events Comedy Nights Improv Classes Galas and Events

ABOUT US Pop-Up Culture, LLC is an Eriebased company that produces creative cultural events in nontraditional venues. Their debut event—a murder mystery dinner theatre production—premieres on November 12 at the Erie Community Center and features B B Q f ro m M i l l e r ’s G r i l l e i n Lafayette and desserts by Erie’s own Sweets Ice Cream & Coffee. 303-518-4172

Turning transactions into relationships and going above and beyond the sale!

Daphne Queen

8z Real Estate


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T W I D D L I N G M Y T H U M B S NEDERLAND, CO - EXPLORING nederland article

Nederland, CO was a surprise on an afternoon of exploring this fall. Moose and a mining museum were more than we expected when we left for a hike! Ned (as the locals affectionately call it) is a little mountain town nestled on a beautiful lake in southwestern Boulder County, just 17 miles up the canyon from the city of Boulder.  It was known for mining silver and tungsten but now is known as the base of Eldora Mountain Resort, a favorite of us locals.  Nestled on the Peak to Peak Highway, the drive is half the fun!

We took a hike at Mud Lake, which is an interesting name considering how beautiful it is. A nice, easy hike if you have people visiting from lower elevations or children with you. (We had both.) Considering it was late September the fall colors were pretty spectacular! As usual, a crystal blue day in the Rockies.

volunteers there who took their time with my kids explaining everything they were seeing, how mining worked in early Colorado history and were fascinating!

Make sure you stop in town at the Carousel of Happiness. It is a revived antique carousel with 56 hand-carved animals. Anyone can ride for $1!  It is a beautiful story of a local resident who wanted to spread joy after returning home from the Vietnam War.  He’s the guy who carved all the animals, but never did it until he purchased a carousel that had been stripped of all the horses.  He’s truly an artist! Kids of all ages will love it!

It was a spectacular day! And exactly what life is about…creating memories!

Our biggest treat was on our way home. While we were driving, I pointed out to our guest that the area beside the road is very similar to the places I always see moose.  Boom – traffic jam!  A mama moose and her twin yearlings having their afternoon snack!

Two park rangers were there because of all the commotion and traffic back-up on the Peak to Peak Highway. From them we learned that moose have very few natural predators, so they don’t feel threatened by humans.  That’s why there were tolerating dozens of spectators gawking at them.  She also told us twins are an indication that the herd is healthy and growing, a wonderful sign that they’ve only seen in the past few years. Another thing she taught us was that dogs are seen a huge threat because the moose consider them wolves.  If you’re ever hiking with your dog, walk a HUGE circle around moose or they will charge you because of your dog.  (Glad our pup was still in the car post-hike.)

On our way back through town we had to stop when my kids saw a huge backhoe. The sign said it helped dig the Panama Canal.  How it ended up in the mountains of Colorado, I never figured out!  But, my boys loved it!

Although we’d just stopped for a photo, we realized we were next to a mining museum ran by Boulder County Parks. It was fascinating! There were three fantastic

photo credit: Heather Kemp




NEDERLAND, nederland article 

photo credit: Heather Kemp

ABOUT HEATHER Heather Guess Kemp is the founder of Her work is also featured on The Huffington Post, Colorado Moms, Hashtag Life With Boys, Holl and Lane Magazine, in ELIFE Magazine, Denver Parent where she is managing editor and on the site MDWAS where she is also a contributing editor. She and her husband live in the beautiful Colorado Rockies with their three sons and fur babies near Boulder. In her spare time she plays in her flower garden, reads 3-5 books/ month, considers shopping a sport, and watches superhero movies. When not corralling her boys, it's her backyard farm of dogs, cats and ducks that keep her busy. Email her at


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Chateau de Beaute chateau article


3160 VILLAGE VISTA DR., #103, ERIE, CO 80516

303-665-0529 CHATEAUDEBEAUTESALON.COM Being a work-from-home mom, who spends my days creating ELIFE magazine’s layout, ads and promoting local businesses in addition to maintaining my family’s happiness, I seem to be on the quest for a brief escape from my daily responsibilities. Living for years in Manhattan, I miss that “city vibe” that salons can offer. I have visited local nail salons wherein I have le% more stressed and frustrated by due to technicians arguing in a foreign language. Consequently I have wondered if I should've brought my own nail file.

chateau article

Although I am normally loyal to my hair stylists for amazing cuts and color, I wanted to find a local stylist near my home who could accommodate me for an occasional blow dry styling at a moment’s notice. I walked into Chateau de Beaute for both manicure and pedicure. Pleasantly surprised, Wendy (the technician) meticulously transformed my tired nails into a “work of beauty”. Subsequently, I decided to test Kelly, one of the stylist’s work. Retrospectively, I found myself as a single woman residing in Manhattan cherishing the luxury treatment of a thorough scalp massage being immersed in the fragrance of a French couture shampoo, Balmain.

I had learned Balmain is a quality paraben and sulfate-free product, which is perfect for the health-minded woman. Kelly was respectful, making small talk as she worked. Her efforts were sleek and elegant. Following the styling, Margaryta showed her professionalism with makeup skills. I magically transformed into a glamorous woman. Although it was a Monday night, and I had no special occasion on the agenda, the reaction of the people on the Art Coalition Board meeting spoke volumes to me. My next “order of business” is to experience Margaryta’s spa facial. I just can’t wait to return to Chateau de Beaute for an experience like no other!

Q &A with Owner, Margaryta ELIFE: chateauWhy articledid you decide to open a salon in Erie? Margaryta: Opening Chateau de Beaute Salon was a very long dream of mine and it didn't come true overnight. I was always told that every girl has the same dream and that I needed to steer my energy towards "real career". Every job experience was very valuable and I wouldn't trade a single minute of my journey for anything else. A"er 6 years of working hard in different professions and two degrees later, I figured it was time to convert my dream into a plan. I started by getting enrolled in yet another school, getting my esthetics license, and working as a makeup artist. It took almost two years for the dream to finally become the reality. ELIFE: Tell us a little about yourself, your family, your background: Margaryta: I was born and raised in Ukraine. I have a very small family but with strong values. We support each other and encourage one another to start new ventures. Life is too short not to follow our dreams. My family has played a major role in the whole process. Without their support my dream would have stayed just a dream. Their love, support, experience and belief means the world to me. There are no words that can express the extend of my gratitude and respect to my family. ELIFE: What do you think you can offer that other salons in the are cannot? Margaryta: The idea of having all beauty services offered under one roof came to me a"er years of commuting between places. I like convenience and everyone lives a very busy life nowadays. Having a unique, all inclusive salon in a walkable distance that offers superb quality services was my goal. I

strive to provide an unbelievable experience. ELIFE: Tell us a little about your decor in Chateau de Beaute, What inspired you? Margaryta: My family and I have poured our souls into décor. We consider it to be a shabby chic style with just the right amount of French Provincial influence and Industrial elements. Being from Europe definitely helps to recreate the atmosphere here on the American soil. It is a part of who my parents and I are, and we wanted to share this with everybody. Chandelier, clocks, fireplace and French lounge music make you forget that you are in yet another salon, but make you indulge in the European chic without leaving the country. A lot of furniture was handmade by my dad and makes it even more special. As a person with strong family relationships, I work towards creating our own family at Chateau de Beaute. Here we truly believe that every person is beautiful inside and out. But sometimes we all need a kind reminder of how beautiful we really are. It may take just a lipstick or a new hair style or a fun nail color or even a genuine compliment from a stranger to make us feel good about ourselves.

all photos in this article: by Arnold Danilov


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eyebrows article

 It’s Thanksgiving Day and the entire family has gathered at Mom’s. The scene is serene and just the aromas themselves are adding pounds to my hips as we speak. Agony (boos) and ecstasy (cheers) from the football game of the hour volley from the man cave like a ping pong ball. The kids are plunking out the first Christmas carols of the season on the vintage piano in the living room. In the kitchen, the room from whence all miracles of love exude, Mom stands at the mixer folding enough butter and cream into her famous mashed potatoes to bring on a bout of angina. My brother is making the rounds with his index finger “taste testing” every dish that escapes a rap on his knuckles from a wooden mixing spoon. Suddenly, the euphoric scene is shattered by the sound of the mashed potato bowl splintering on the tile kitchen floor. In a Nano second all sound and breath ceases as flight or fight epinephrine shoots through our veins in immediate response to the unfolding crisis. Just as the mashed potatoes hit the floor, Mom’s hands cover her face in horror as she moans, “OMG, I forgot my eyebrows”! With matching horror in his voice, my stupid, insensitive Brother screams, “OH NO MOM! Where’d you leave ‘em”?!  As he dashes around the kitchen lifting and shifting everything that isn’t bolted down to look beneath and see if there is a stray pair of eye brows hiding there.  In utter humiliation she races for her bedroom mirror to begin the daily ritual of penciling in her eyebrows. Even with years of practice, they never have and never will, look real. For the woman or man without eyebrows, this is the stuff that nightmares are made of ! While the masses are chuckling, the man or woman with a Thyroid Disorder (causing extreme thinning or complete loss of hair growth), Chemotherapy and/or Radiation, Alopecia (an auto immune disorder that causes the partial or TOTAL lack of hair growth everywhere on the body), or Vitiligo (the progressive loss of melanin ‘color pigment’ in the skin and hair, as in Michael Jackson’s Disease) is ravaging the mental health and self confidence of millions of Americans and people throughout the world. It doesn’t have to be this way folks! The definition of “tattooing” is the implanting of color in the skin. From there, Traditional Tattooing and Cosmetic Tattooing travel in opposing directions.

eyebrows article 

The implanting of the carbon based INK of a traditional tattoo looks like someone cut

ONE of your brows at the biggest social event of the season?

a pair of brows out of construction paper and glued them to your forehead. Unless the

Stop the worry and humiliation. (Not to mention saving the mashed potatoes) Ladies

Traditional Tattoo Artist is also a Cosmetologist or Aesthetician, they have NO training in permanent cosmetic pigments

AND Gentleman liberate your life. Permanent Make Up is the wave of the future and the future is here!

(vs. ink), color, placement, symmetry, ethnicity, image or lifestyle of their brow client. The same goes for Nurses. I have never seen a Nursing School syllabus that includes make up, image consulting or eye brow color, shape and placement classes! With eye brow cosmetic tattooing,

Ms. Diana Graham is the Founder and CEO of About Faces Permanent Cosmetics, Medi Spa and Training Institute with a career spanning nearly 40

colored pigment is implanted to mimic “HAIRS” growing from your brow area. If you are working with an Artist, (as opposed

years. She is in private practice but also collaborates with local and internationally known physicians. Ms.

to a Technician) your brows will appear as

Graham serves the Aspen, Vail and Erie/

real as real can be, and they will give the Almighty a run for His money in style and appearance!

Boulder communities and has performed over 5000 procedures. She can be reached at 970. 9 4 L I N E R

Do you really ENJOY this daily ritual of 15-30 minutes of your precious day spent penciling, shadowing, measuring and balancing of the main object of your facial expressions? Not to mention the worry that you accidentally smudged or wiped away

(945.4637) and at


De aj Salon Be Your Own Kind of Beauty!

297 N Hwy 287 #107 Lafayette, CO 80026 by Liquid Mechanics



Character Clubs teaches and instills 6 traits of character, gratitude and service. Our programs build confidence in children by developing life and leadership skills through fun experiences. Campers will create art projects relating to the character traits, team building exercises, a service project and a gratitude ceremony to end the week.

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ELIFE magazine HOLIDAY 2016  

This issue features everything HOLIDAY. ELIFE celebrates the full richness of Erie; respecting our heritage as we continue to THRIVE. ELIFE...

ELIFE magazine HOLIDAY 2016  

This issue features everything HOLIDAY. ELIFE celebrates the full richness of Erie; respecting our heritage as we continue to THRIVE. ELIFE...