2017 Holiday Shopping Guide

Looking for that perfect gift to give for the Holidays?  Don’t fret, we’ve found some GREAT locally owned small businesses and artisans who have what you are looking for!  Browse our locally owned shopping guide and pick up a few gifts for friends…or yourself…and be proud in knowing you are helping support local small business!

Extraordinary Beards
We produce salon quality beard oils, beard balms, beard washes and grooming products to keep your beard looking extraordinary!
Available online at Extraordinarybeards.com



The Fugly Mug Company
The Fugly Mug Company is an online retailer of the most unique coffee mugs, gifts, and Colorado themed merchandise. We are a small family business based out of Parker, Colorado and can ship globally anywhere a little Fugly is needed!
Available online at www.fuglymugcompany.com



The Wine Barrel
Choose from fantastic bottles of wine, custom labels, wine accessories (openers, charms, bags, etc.) and artwork. Can’t decide on the perfect gift for the wine lover? Gift Certificates are also available! Visit our store at 11495 S. Twenty Mile Rd, #5, Parker, CO 80134



Cookieliciousness specializes in beautiful and delicious frosted sugar cookies as well as decadent gourmet cookies including our best selling Salted Caramel, Cranberry Orange Oatmeal, and Double Chocolate Peppermint cookies.



Jennifer Skalecke Fine Art
Beautiful hand painted ornaments, custom glassware and acrylic on canvas paintings. Perfect pieces for gifts for special occasions, during the holidays, or adding gorgeous accents to your own home. Visit Jennifer’s Etsy shop to see examples of her gorgeous work and find something special!



Ro+Co Ltd
All-natural soy candles available in 15 amazing scents, infused with therapeutic-grade essential oils . All our candles are eco-friendly, Phthalate free and hand poured in Colorado!
Shop online at www.etsy.com/shop/ROANDCOLTD



Beautiful Art Picture Framing & Art Gallery
Our custom Picture Framing & Art Gallery provides custom framing for your Sports Jerseys, Limited Editions, Originals, Canvases & So Much More! Check our our Newest “LJ Gallery Moments” where we take YOUR photo/jpg and put them on Aluminum, Acrylic or Painted Canvas! We also have LOCAL Artists Artwork in the Gallery for purchase. Shop in our store located at 19501 E. Mainstreet, Suite 103 Parker, CO 80138 or online at www.BeautifulArtPictureFraming.com



Silver Aspen Studio
Specializing in hand-stitched beaded leather cuffs and wraps, metal etched designs, Sterling silver, gemstone and Swarovski Crystal and much more, Silver Aspen Studio has beautiful necklaces, bracelets and earrings for all budgets; all handmade in Parker.
Available by appointment or online at Silveraspenstudio.com




Bumble Brie Designs
We design and make handcrafted wooden signs, home decor, personalized glassware, custom apparel, decals and much more!
Available online through Facebook – www.facebook.com/pg/queenbumblebrie

Little Bean’s Nut Shoppe
Offering delectable small batch Colorado Craft beer roasted and glazed nuts, perfect for corporate gifts, stocking stuffers and holiday parties! Find our product at The Local in Southlands or shop online at littlebeansnutshoppe.com

White hawk & Z
Hand painted wood signs for holidays and every day, ornaments, and more, often on reclaimed wood. Also offering custom designs.
Come see us at Rose Wild & Jane 399 Perry Street, Ste 100, Castle Rock, CO 80104 or shop on Facebook at www.facebook.com/whitehawkandz

Jojo’s Jungle
Specializing in all things vinyl products – mugs, wine glasses, ornaments, signs, t-shirts – creating handmade gifts for your friends and family.
Available online through Facebook – www.facebook.com/jojosjunglegifts

The Rusted Windmill
Local artists selling one-of-a-kind gifts and home decor. Available at their in-store location, located inside Elev.5900 at Parker Station on Mainstreet Parker

We make and sell one-of-a-kind hats, bows and headbands.
Available online through Facebook – www.facebook.com/KTQTs

The Smells Good Store
Specializing in body care products, home fragrances, and unique gifts. Available at The Smells Good Store – 313 3rd St., Castle Rock, CO 80104 and online at www.TheSmellsGoodStore.com

Living Designs
Customized decals for any wall, car, cup, tile, etc. Great gifts with endless possibilities! Available in store at 15791 E. Tufts Ave. or online through Facebook – www.facebook.com/LivingDesigns

Rollin’ With My Oils
Ready to Use Essential Oil Roller Bottle Blends that make using oils super easy, even for the most novice user.
Available online – www.etsy.com/shop/rollinwithmyoils

BBD Graphics, Inc.
Graphic Design and Layout, Logo Design, Screen Printed Apparel, Heat Transfer Vinyl Apparel, Car Vinyl Advertisement, Wall Vinyl Designs, Painted Signs & More! Available online through Facebook – www.facebook.com/BbdGraphicsInc

The Sassy Stitch By Erin
Beautiful handmade crochet items, specializing in custom designs.
Available online at www.Etsy.com/shop/TheSassyStitchByErin

Castle Rock Chalk
Custom designed chalkboards, perfect for seasonal decorating, unique everyday home decor and perfect touches for special events.
Available online through Facebook – www.facebook.com/castlerockchalk1

Natalie’s Twinkletoes and Bows
We create adorable baby barefoot sandals and headbands – perfect for gifts for the littlest ones on your list!
Available online through Facebook – www.facebook.com/nataliestwinkletoesandbows

Add a little extra sparkle to the holidays with handcrafted sterling silver jewelry featuring Swarovski Crystals and Swarovski Pearls.
Available online at www.etsy.com/shop/myrosabella and by appointment in Parker

A Thing of the Past
I make hand-painted wooden signs using carefully chosen pieces of lumber, selected for its unique beauty. From there, it is cut and sanded by hand before being stained and painted for a piece that is truly one of a kind. I make many standard items, but also make custom signs. Available online through Facebook – www.facebook.com/athingofthepastllc

glow + gather
We create natural, handcrafted personal care products and home goods, as well as infused salts, sugars, and spice blends designed to help you embrace your inner glow and gather your friends & family to spread joy. Available online at www.glowandgather.com

Alison Kelley Designs
A self-taught metalsmith and jewelry designer, Alison enjoys making gemstone and crystal jewelry, as well as metal fabricated pieces made of sterling silver, gold, copper or brass.
Find great gifts from Alison Kelley Designs at Rose Wild & Jane 399 Perry Street, Ste 100, Castle Rock, CO 80104 and online at www.alisonkelleydesigns.com

CreativeCutes Jewelry Designs
CreativeCutes offers beautifully hand-crafted, stylish, Boho earrings, necklaces and bracelets, featuring fine Czech glass and gemstone beads, Swarovski crystals, leather and mixed metals in fabulous colors and current styles, all reasonably priced and locally crafted for your jewelry shopping needs. Free gift wrapping and local delivery are always offered! Available online at www.CreativeCutes.etsy.com

Wrought’n Apples Boutique & Gifts
We carry a large Selection of Unique Clothing, Home Decor, Fashion & Handmade Jewelry, Candles, Niki Biki Brand Basics, Children’s Apparel & Accessories, DownEast Basics, Footwear, Scarves, Colorado Clothing, Holiday Decor, Clothing & Gifts to Spoil Everyone Wrought’n!
Shop our store located at 10510 Dransfeldt Rd #106 Parker, CO 80134

Purgatory Cellars Winery
A Colorado winery with European charm making and sharing unique, award winning, locally made Colorado wines.
Visit Purgatory Cellars Winery at 18921 Plaza Drive Suite #100, Parker, CO 80134 or online at www.purgatorycellarscolorado.com

Desert Rose Designs
Unique gifts and custom creations, including shawls, scarves, hats, stuffies and more…the best items made from the finest materials. We also create fully customizable, woodburned art. If you can dream it, we can help you realize it. All items are handmade in CO. www.facebook.com/love.desertrosedesigns

The Embellished Rose
Fresh roses with words, logos even photos printed on them. Great for birthdays, holidays, anniversaries and other special occasions. We also offer a full range of handmade gift baskets. Visit our store, located at 133 County Road 17, #E1B, Elizabeth, Colorado 80107 or shop online at theembellishedrose.com

The Olde Willow Herbal Mercantile
We personally make our own hand-crafted herbal remedies for your physical and emotional well-being. Kim and EmmaLee are a mother-daughter team of Master Certified Herbalists using only the freshest of herbs, tried and true recipes and listening hearts. We would be blessed to help you! Visit us online at theoldewillowherbalmercantile.com or come see us at 45938 Sun Country Dr. Elizabeth, CO 80107

Spring’s Sticky Bling
Providing custom vinyl designs for work and play.
Shop online through our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Spring’sStickyBling

Likewoah Crocheted
Cozy Crocheted Goods including wool blankets, warm beanies, infinity scarves, fringe scarves and more. Sales from products at Likewoah Crocheted benefit Planned Parenthood. Shop online at www.etsy.com/shop/LikewoahCrocheted

Locally made in Colorado, our leggings are made of recycled material. All designed from real photography & real adventure. Crafted to Inspire. Check out the amazing designs online at www.mellivoraco.com

World in Pencil
World in Pencil is a collection of quirky and wonderful Colorado wildlife drawings by award winning, local artist Christine Benson. Available this holiday season are notecards, Christmas cards, selected individually or in assorted holiday boxes, ready to be given as gifts. Other gifts include small framed prints and pencil sets. Contact the artist at high_altitudes@yahoo.com for more information or to place an order.

Angle K Farms
We make the finest herbal medicines on the market with proven recipes. Are products are made from the highest quality organic or naturally grown herbs and they are not diluted, allowing you to receive the maximum value of these wonderful herbs.
Shop all our products online at www.anglekfarms.com or visit us at 10490 Dransfeldt Rd. Suite 100, Parker, CO 80134

JC Custom Design Works
Eco friendly woodworking and boozy gifts specializing in locally sourced Colorado beetle kill wood.
Available online at www.jccustomdesignworks.com

Douglas County Veterans Tribute

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” President John F. Kennedy

Nearly a century ago, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in World War I, then known as “the Great War.” This day was commemorated in numerous countries as Armistice Day and in 1938, November 11th became a federal holiday in the United States. Years later, in the aftermath of WWII and the Korean War, Armistice Day legally became known as Veterans Day. A day dedicated to American Veterans of all wars.

During this time of remembrance, you may see people wearing a Red Poppy in their lapel. Red Poppies became symbolic of remembering those who have served after showing up in the poem, “In Flanders Fields,” by John McCrae after WWI. Lieutenant Colonel McCrae, after losing his friend and comrade, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer in battle, was inspired by the sight of red poppies growing in the scarred battlefield and penned these infamous words in May of 1915…

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Honoring those who have served is an act that should be constantly present for all of us. On Saturday, November 11th, at 11:00am, the community is invited to come together to do just that, honor all who have served, at the Douglas County Veterans Day Tribute at the site of the Douglas County Veterans Memorial. The exquisite monument was designed and crafted by Mr. Bill Hueg. The magnificent eagle is 14’ tall with a stunning 8’ wingspan. Recently, Castle Rock Boy Scout Troop 780 pitched in to clean and wax the monument, in order to honor our service members and earn community service credit for their hard work.

Now that the monument is in place, the Douglas County Veterans Monument Foundation has been able to shift its focus, becoming a valuable resource for Veterans through their Veterans Assistance Grant Program. This program was created to assist with ADA home modifications, service dogs, transportation needs, funeral expenses – anywhere that a gap exists with Veterans’ needs. Donations towards these grants can be made through DCVMF’s website, dcvmf.org. By donating to the DCVMF, volunteering, attending the ceremony on Veterans Day or just taking the time to sincerely thank a service member every opportunity you are given, you are making a difference in the lives of those who are willing to sacrifice their own.

Douglas County
Veterans Day Tribute
Saturday, November 11th
Veterans Monument Plaza
301 Wilcox Street
Castle Rock, CO 80104

Rink at the Rock

The Rink at the Rock is located in Downtown Castle Rock at 414 N. Perry Street
For more information, go to www.rinkattherock.com

When that Star shines bright over Castle Rock, that means it’s time lace up your skates, at the Rink at the Rock! Skating season once again kicks off with the Starlighting Event in Downtown Castle Rock on Saturday, November 18th. Rink at the Rock will open for another winter of sensational skating through the holiday season and into the new year.

The historic site of Rink at the Rock was once the home of Gertrude A. Ehmann-Mikelson, who lived there from the late 1930’s until her death in 1993. Her family’s legacy dates back to 1878 and plays a significant role in the history and development of Castle Rock. Gertrude’s grandfather helped construct the Old Stone Church and the original Courthouse on the Square. A very busy mother of three, she was also very active in the community while simultaneously working as a school teacher. Gertrude served on the Selective Service board and helped create what is now known as the Tri-County Health Department. With all Gertrude and her family did for the community, surely she would be extremely proud and pleased that what was once her family’s home is now a place for everyone to come together each year.

In addition to open skate times, Rink at the Rock offers programs for young skaters and skaters young at heart. For those 5 years old and up with little to no skating experience, Rink at the Rock offers Learn to Skate classes in two different sessions throughout the season. Session 1 will be held on Saturdays: November 25th, December 2nd, 9th & 16th at 10:00 am. Session 2 will run on Sundays: January 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th at 10:00 am. Lessons are $95 and that includes the four 30 minutes classes, skate rental and same day skate pass.  Contact 804-459-0102 / RinkattheRockInfo@gmail.com for private lesson scheduling and fees. Registration forms can be found online at www.rinkattherock.com.

The kids aren’t the only ones tearing it up at the Rink. Co-Ed Adult 4×4 Broomball teams are forming now and you still have time to get a few friends together and join in on the fun. Broomball teams must have a minimum of four players, at least 18 years of age. Brooms and balls will be provided, helmets are required and other pads are recommended! Team registration deadline is 12/5. Games will be played Tuesdays at 6:30 pm beginning November 28th through February 13th.

In addition to open skating, skating lessons and the Broomball league, the Rink at the Rock is available to rent for private events. It’s the perfect place for a fun holiday get-together or an unforgettable winter birthday party! Private event reservations are available on days that are not already scheduled for other special events or open skating. A group discount is available for parties held during open skating with a prior reservation. A 50% discount off your skate rental is available for groups of 20 or more. To secure your group discount and reserve your event, contact Andrea Meier, Andrea.CastleRock@yahoo.com.



Mon & Tues:     Reserved for programs, lessons, private parties

Wed & Thurs:    4pm – 8pm

Friday:               4pm – 9pm.

Saturday:          11am – 9pm

Sunday:            11am – 7pm


Nov. 22: 11am – 8pm

Nov. 23:           3pm – 8pm (Thanksgiving)

Nov. 24:           11am – 9pm

Dec. 24:           11am – 5pm (Christmas Eve)

Dec. 25:            4pm – 9pm (Christmas Day)

Dec. 26-Jan.1:  11am – 9pm (Winter Break)

Jan. 2 – 5:        11am – 8pm (No school))

Jan. 12:            11am – 9pm (No school)

Jan. 15:            11am – 8pm (Martin Luther King Jr. Day)

Feb. 16:            11am – 9pm (No school)

Feb. 19:            11am. – 8pm (President’s Day & Last Day of Season)

Castle Rock Starlighting

Castle Rock once again hosts the season’s most time honored tradition and welcomes everyone to the annual Castle Rock Starlighting Celebration Saturday, November 18th, in the Historic Wilcox Square, right in the heart of Downtown Castle Rock.

Since 1936, the Star has been lit nearly every year for the holiday season, serving as a symbol of hope and peace for the community for over 80 years. The Star was conceived from humble beginnings. Poles were donated by a local electric company to build the 40 foot structure and it was wired to be lit with nearly 100 bulbs with wire donated by the Mountain States Telephone Company. The Star shone brightly over the town of Castle Rock from 5pm to midnight each night until 1941. During WWII, lighting the Star became a luxury Castle Rock could no longer afford. Due to electricity rationing during the war, the structure remained a symbol of hope on the Rock, even unlit. On August 14, 1945, the Star was lit as a “V” for victory, marking the end of the war. December 7th of that year, the Star was once again lit for the holidays and has been each year since. Four years later, in 1949, the Star was rebuilt to make it a much safer and stronger structure, with repairs and maintenance being done over the years as needed.

The Star isn’t just for the holidays. In 1998 and 1999 it was lit in Bronco’s orange and blue in honor of Denver’s back to back Superbowl wins and again in 2015 after the Bronco’s win over the Panthers. It’s also been used to bring us together in difficult times. In 2001, after the horrific attacks on September 11th, the star was lit for several weeks as a symbol of remembrance and unity. That year, the Starlighting Ceremony theme was one of patriotism.

The Star Lighting Ceremony is a tradition that began in the mid 60’s after a new group of community leaders, led by Mrs. Anne McConnell, instituted the ceremony. Programs included choirs from local churches and the USAFA and even a parade. For over a decade, the ceremony was held at the Douglas County Courthouse until the courthouse was destroyed by fire in 1978. It was then held on the “courtyard square” then in 1999 it was moved to the steps of the new police station on Perry Street.

This season’s celebration will once again include hot chocolate, strolling entertainers, live entertainment and the big man in red himself will be there for visits and photos. While you’re downtown, lace up those skates and hit the Rink at the Rock, Castle Rock’s outdoor rink. The celebration is from 2pm-7pm, with Starlighting Ceremony beginning at 5pm. The Star will be illuminated at approximately 5:30pm.

Free shuttle rides will be available from 1:30pm-8:30pm from Douglas County High School, Douglas County Fairgrounds and Castle View High School. Shuttle locations are specific, so be sure to make note which shuttle you arrived on to be certain you return to your car on the same shuttle route. Open parking will be available in Parking Garage levels 1, 2 and 3. Many roads leading into downtown will be closed for the event so plan accordingly.
Come share in the magic of Castle Rock’s very Norman Rockwell-esque tradition and head out to Wilcox Square Saturday, November 18th, for the Castle Rock Starlighting.

Local Business Spotlight

Haute Hare Salon & Spa
Haute Shave Barbershop

209 4th Street
Castle Rock, CO 80104
Hours of Operation
Tues – Thurs 9a to 8p
Fri 9a – 6p, Sat 9a to 4pm

TELL US ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS: Haute Hare Salon & Spa and Haute Shave Barbershop are your place for everything hair related along with massages, nail services and a great women’s clothing boutique. The main salon area is always buzzing with busy stylists and the sound of upbeat contemporary music keeps the energy flowing. Our stylists are collectivly trained in every hair service you could ever need. From current colour trends, to smoothing treatments that calm your frizz, and real hair extensions to create that long flowing hair you’ve always dreamed of having.

On the barbershop side, our classic barbers, trained in the old art of straight razor shaving, intricate clipper cuts and refined shear cutting, work behind their big comfy oversized barber chairs with that good old classic sound of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack playing over the busy buzz of clippers.

If your just strolling around Castle Rock with some friends for lunch and shopping make sure you check out the cutest Cozy Closet Clothing Boutique! With great designs, amazing fabrics and affordable prices you are sure to find something.

Why did you choose to open in Castle Rock?
We have been residents of Castle Rock for more than 15 years. Keri had been working in a booth rent salon in town for 4 years when she felt the desire to be in the quaint downtown Castle Rock atmosphere. Josh started looking and came upon a salon location that was wanting to sell, it was a perfect 1000 sqft space. We took over the location that was formerly The Salon on Fourth. There had been salons in that space for more than 20 years in the past. Keri started out wanting to create a booth rent salon with a great location and comfortable professional environment for the stylists and clients. Four years after creating their perfect personal space, that they designed and Josh built with his amazing woodworking talents, Josh and Keri had the opportunity to expand into the space next door to become 3000 sqft of Salon, Spa & Barbershop. Keri had always dreamed of owning a large successful salon that included spa services so her clients could experience the best in a beautiful location. With Josh becoming a barber 5 years prior adding the barbershop just made sense. Having the best talent, the greatest customer service, top quality products and a happy healthy working environment for their staff was always their top priority.

What do you like most about owning your salon?
What we create is what we do! Josh has built the most beautiful space for us to work in every day. We have the best staff ever which makes owning a business so much easier. And making people feel and look good is the best.

What advise would you give someone wanting to open a business in castle rock?
Think custom! Offer something no one else is doing. Downtown Castle Rock is an incredible little gem and deserves to stand out. Our residents want something they can’t just find anywhere so let’s give them something to remember!

Harry’s Toy Drive

A note from Mia Samora, Harry’s Mom

“Every day, all day, memories of my son flood my mind, but mostly my heart. Every day, all day I long to hold him once more. I long to look into his brown eyes that were as big as saucers when he smiled, and as big as the universe when he cried. People say, “I can’t imagine the pain.” They are right, they can’t. Losing a child is more painful than anything I had ever imagined, and much worse.

When you lose a child, you have to start your life all over. You begin with learning how to breathe again. It is the first step, and the hardest, because you just can’t imagine living without your baby. Step two: You have to learn how to talk yourself into getting out of bed to face another painful day. Third: You have to find something or someone that can make this life bearable. These are ongoing, daily steps that I, and every parent who has lost a child has to partake in.

When you lose a child, you lose a part of yourself. You have wonderful memories, and you try to concentrate mostly, on those. The sad memories are always there, always present, but you always try to replace that thought with a beautiful memory in an effort to make the bad one fade—sometimes it works.

Some of the hardest times for me have been to think of my son’s future. When you have a child, you dream of what they will become. How will they look in their tuxedo at prom? Who will be their first love? What will his voice sound like when he enters puberty? Will he pass his driver’s license test? Where will he choose to go to college? What will it feel like to see him graduate? How exciting will it be to watch him get married, better yet…have your grandchild? There are a million “what ifs and should have beens.” All empty questions, with no answers. When you lose a child, their future is no more.

My son lived for eight years and fifty one days. In that short time he loved helping others, loved caring for others, and especially loved to see other children smile. He was a funny boy, with silly jokes. He was a warm person, giving hugs at just the right time. At school, if a student became ill, Harry would take his work into the nurse’s office so that his friends would not be alone. His heart was huge. He was not perfect, but he was perfect to me. Just the sight of him filled my heart with love. His hugs sent me to the moon…and beyond. I can’t share a future with my son, but I can see his legacy live on. A legacy that will keep Harry’s spirit alive forever!

In an effort to honor my son, I created a toy drive on what would have been his 9th birthday. I gave a memorial birthday party and donated about 50 gifts to Children’s Hospital in Parker, in his name. Over the past years the toy drive has grown, last year we collected almost 1700 toys! I have not done this alone, as many businesses and schools have joined in, it has become a community effort, for certain. The toys are delivered just before Christmas, making the holiday a bit more cheerful for the children that are at Children’s Hospital. These toys bring smiles to hospitalized children. I am hoping when my son looks down, he will see those smiles, and perhaps it will make him smile, too.”

Toy donations can be dropped off at Waid Publishing,
12760 Stroh Ranch Way, Suite 202, Parker, CO 80134
For more information, visit their foundation website at

Get a Sweet Beard

It’s that time of year…when men of all ages put aside their razor and let their beard grow in honor of “no-shave-November” and embrace their inner lumber-jack. This annual beard tradition has origins that are a bit scruffy. Some use this opportunity to raise awareness and money for men’s health issues, specifically prostate cancer, while others believe this hairy right began as a protest of college aged men who didn’t shave during mid-terms. Whatever the reason may be, here are some tips on growing a man mane that your friends will be envious of and you would be proud to display.

First off you must understand that your facial hair is not the same as your head hair. Body hair is also called Androgenic hair. It is very different from the hair on your head and vellus hair, which are much finer and lighter in color. Androgenic hair is very much associated with levels of male hormones in your system. Because of this, typically men have more androgenic hair than women. Also, your beard hair tends to be much thicker and have a courser texture than the hair on your head. In addition, the growth cycles between active growth and dormancy of facial hair are much further apart. This is why your beard hair will never grow as fast or long as your head hair. The only things that affect these cycles of growth are your genetics and how much testosterone you have in your system.

Most men who choose to not grow facial hair state that because of the “itch” associated with growing a beard they decide not to. The itch comes into play twice when growing a beard. It first arrives when you start to grow your beard out and the hair is pushing out of the follicles. This sensation is often described as itch. The second time is when the hair is long enough to “poke” back around at your skin. One simple remedy to eliminate or significantly reduce beard itch is to make sure and use good high quality beard oil (Extraordinary Beards is a favorite of ours) from day one. This keeps the hair softer and helps to keep your skin hydrated and healthy.
One of the most important factors for growth has nothing to do with your beard. Plain and simple, be healthy! Beard growth is a metabolic process, so if you are pounding your body with bad food, smoking, no exercise, etc. then your beard will respond (or not respond) to how your body is. Your rate of hair growth is pre-set by your genetics so if you want to grow at that level then you need to give your body everything it needs to be healthy. Cut out the cigarettes and start exercising.

By far the most important aspect is time. Give it time, don’t give up. Your beard will grow and as long as you keep it healthy with beard oils and balms and keep your body healthy then nature will do what it does best and you will have a hair hedge to be proud of come November. Besides, your lady friend will appreciate your dedication and commitment, which are traits you should be proud of.

If you are blessed with a very active growth beard then make sure you keep it neat and clean as it grows. Oil it up at least once a day and use a good wood comb to help train your beard and evenly distribute the beard oil. Plastic combs are a no no, so stay away from them. Most plastic combs are injection molded and under a microscope you can see that the teeth have barbs and cracks that will grab your hair and pull it out. Natural wood combs avoid this and help provide a good look when used.

With some basic prep, good quality beard oil conditioners and patience you will impress your friends this November with a healthy hedge on your face. Who knows, come December you may decide to keep your furry friend and grow it out for another year and fully realize the respect and admiration that comes from having an epic beard!

Extraordinary Beards premium beard care products are available online at extraordinarybeards.com

The Bookends

The Lost Letter: A Novel
By Jillian Cantor

This historical novel, which spotlights love and survival, is inspired by true resistance fighters in World War II. We begin in Austria in 1938, as we follow Kristoff who is a young apprentice to a master Jewish stamp engraver. He begins to fall in love with Elena, the engraver’s daughter as the country is forever changed by the Nazi forces. We jump to Los Angeles in 1989 and get acquainted with Katie, a journalist going through an unwanted divorce and coping with her father’s declining health. Her father’s love of stamps and the collection he leaves to her brings her into the mystery that unites both places and times.

PAM I was intrigued when I read the cover of this book at our local library. As I began to delve into the story it proved to be a good pick and I couldn’t put it down. We begin in Austria, then quickly transition to Los Angeles as the author works to unravel the mystery from both ends. Were you lost in this story, Becky?

BECKY I really enjoyed the two storylines and different characters. The author seamlessly wove the different timeframes together for a beautiful tale that kept me intrigued. Did both stories come alive for you, or did one shine brighter than the other?

PAM At the beginning, I was more captivated by Kristoff’s tale in 1938. However, as the stories began to come together I was equally invested in both parts. The story begins as Kristoff begins work as an apprentice for a famed Jewish stamp engraver in Austria. Were you as intrigued as I was about this art? I had never learned about this art and enjoyed the descriptions of the process.

BECKY It was fascinating to learn more about the history of stamp making and collecting. I never really put much thought into that little square until this story. I had no previous understanding that the placement and intricate details could send a message to the recipient. The 1938 section will introduce you to the Faber family. We hardly get to know this family and the apprentice, Kristoff before their life is quickly altered by the German takeover of Austria. I am always amazed when I hear about resistance workers and their absolute dedication to their cause. Do you feel like the author created a vivid scene for this terrifying time in history?

PAM The author certainly illustrated the uncertainty of the time and how the people of Austria had little to no control in their lives. As events led to the separation of the family, there were no guarantees of reunion or safety. Elena was very passionate about the resistance and continued to push the limits, while Kristoff was a reluctant accomplice. Did you feel their different levels of commitment were due to their backgrounds and the fact that Elena’s family was Jewish?

BECKY Elena was more personally invested in the crusade due to her heritage but I think that it was ultimately her personality that drove her dedication to the cause. She was bold and fearless while Kristoff was led by love and in my opinion a bit of manipulation. However, they both risked their lives with the choice to alter the stamp making process. As we move over to the 1989 storyline we meet Katie. She is rediscovering her life as a single person and trying to manage her father as his memory deteriorates. Unsure what to do with her father’s impressive stamp collection she takes it to an appraiser to see if he has anything of value. An unopened letter, with an interesting stamp is among the collection and will tie these two timeframes together. Would you have been tempted to open the envelope and read the contents?

PAM I would have been so tempted! But, I loved the determination Katie found when she decided to try to find the intended recipient of the letter. She is struggling after her divorce and as she deals with her father’s deteriorating memory. Katie works for her ex-husband and must deal with this awkward situation on a daily basis. She feels stuck and is unable to move on and reclaim her life or find a new path. Did you feel that this letter and her mission to deliver it helped her find some of her self worth after the loss of her husband and her father (at least as she had known him)?

BECKY Katie is a journalist writing movie reviews. This is an easy job and below her level of experience but she is not ready for yet another change. Finding this letter was more than the desire to solve a mystery, it was tied to memories of her father and her childhood. I believe that it helped her find focus and anchored her while her life was spiraling out of control. Which eventually gave her some self worth and the strength to take the next step in her life. What resonated with me after reading this book was how much communication has changed. The author mentions in the Author’s Note that concentration camp prisoners were allowed to send and receive mail. When is the last time you wrote or received a letter? Texting, tweeting and email have taken over our communications. It is a quicker way to deliver information but I wonder if our older community feels the loss of connection due to our technology dependency. This was a wonderful book and I highly recommend this story to anyone who enjoys historical fiction. Join us next month as we read The Christmas Angel Project by Melody Carlson. A small book club is struggling with the loss of one of the members. Her last Christmas gift will challenge each lady to grow in ways that will change them forever.

Local Author Spotlight

Sally’s hard day
By Christine Losciale-Thoemmes
Illustrated by Dr. Marissa Robinson

From the moment Sally woke up until she came home from school, she was having a hard day. Not know what to do with her negative emotions, she finally talks to her mama and learns new ways to help herself feel better.

About the Author & Illustrator

Christine Losciale-Thoemmes lives in Colorado with her husband and 4 children. She has Master’s degrees in both Psychology and Creative Writing and is a certified Life Coach. She enjoys teaching Yoga and reading to children.

Marissa Robinson lives in San Francisco, California with her husband. She has a PhD in Psychology, specializing in Art Therapy. She is a licensed therapist and teaches Mindfulness.

Sally’s Hard Day is available online at amazon.com.

Grannie Panties are Under Rated
By Gayle Erickson

Elle Martin has it all.
Handsome and successful husband. Check.
Daughter and son in an exclusive private high school. Check
Privilege, status and wealth. Check, check, check.

But there is more to Elle’s story.
Already struggling to keep up appearances in a social set full of pretension and ultra-competitiveness, Elle is thrown into a tailspin when a surprise announcement by her husband threatens to expose the truth behind her carefully constructed facade of perfection.

What will happen when long-buried secrets are unearthed and haunting new revelations are discovered? Will Elle finally be able to find her happy ending?

Toggling between the early nineties and the present day, Grannie Panties Are Under Rated captures the Gen X experience from latchkey kid to helicopter parent with keen insight and precision. A page-turner full of surprising twists, it is a must read for anyone who has struggled to reconcile the chasm between the person they long to be.

For maximum enjoyment, be sure to listen to the Grannie Panties playlist on Spotify!

Grannie Panties are Under Rated is online at www.milehighpublishinghouse.com.

The Castle Rock Craft Show Extraordinaire

Twenty-five years ago, a few ladies from the Castle Rock Senior Center decided it might be fun to get together and sell some of their beautiful, handmade crafts. That humble beginning back in 1992 has evolved into the largest craft event in south Denver and now serves as the unofficial kick-off to the holiday shopping season for thousands of eager shoppers.

The Castle Rock Craft Show Extraordinaire comes to town Saturday, November 4th, from 9:00am-4:00pm. Every square inch of the area’s biggest venue, the Douglas County Events Center at the Fairgrounds in Castle Rock, will be filled with 150 booths selling unique, handcrafted items, one of a kind gifts, scrumptious food and much, much more.

One of those booths will be set up by Thelma Minney, who may hold the title of longest running vendor. “I’ve loved this show since I started in 1996,” she said. Although she has had to give up her bees after years of selling honey, she’ll still have other items for craft show shoppers, including her aprons, which are always popular selling items. She keeps coming back because the show keeps getting better. She is not alone, as more than 80% of the vendors, coming in from all over the state, are returning this year.

The show has moved around, from a room in a previous Senior Center building, to the Castle Rock Recreation Center, and then to Kirk Hall at the fairgrounds in 2006, when it housed 35 booths. It relocated to the current location in the Events Center in 2007, taking up only half of the facility but allowing space to expand the popular bake sale, book sale and silent auction. The show grew to 80 vendors by 2011, but was only attended by about 800 people. As word spread, the show has literally exploded these last few years; bringing more than 5,000 people through the doors in 2016, shopping not only at the craft booths, but also at “Grandma’s Attic,” where hundreds of treasures await. Another popular addition is the recently added Holiday Wreath Silent Auction in the Community Corner room.
“We are proud of the legacy of this show and strive to honor those who started it 25 years ago as we prepare for it all year,” explained Debbi Haynie, Executive Director of the Castle Rock Senior Activity Center. “The show has a following with the vendors who say it’s one of the best, with the hundreds of volunteers it takes to put on an event of this caliber, and with the attendees who come back year after year because of the great bargains they find.” Proceeds from the event provide services and programming to the growing senior population.

Traditionally, the Castle Rock Craft Show Extraordinaire has never charged an entrance fee, and that tradition continues this year. Admittance is free, however, guests are asked to consider bringing non-perishable food donations for a local food bank. The first 1000 families who come through the doors this year will receive a commemorative 25th Anniversary shopping bag. Nothing will get you in the holiday spirit more than mingling through the seemingly endless aisles of treasures at the Craft Show. They say it’s better to give than receive, but finding that perfect gift to give is pretty great too. Mark your calendars for November 4th and be prepared to find all kinds of great gifts for everyone on your list!

Don’t miss the Castle Rock Craft Show Extraordinaire on Saturday, November 4, 2017. It is at the Douglas County Events Center from 9:00am-4:00pm. For more information, go to www.castlerockseniorcenter.org