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Surprise! You Can Afford to Shop in Aspen, Colorado

If you’re in the market for a pair of shoes that cost more than my first car, Aspen is certainly the place to go. However, I was surprised to find a number of shops selling affordable items in this high-end town.

Surprise! You Can Afford to Shop in Aspen, Colorado. Mountain Flowers. HeidiTown.com

We visited Aspen in January during Wintersköl, their annual winter festival that features snow sculpting, a canine fashion show, on slope fun and more.

While in Aspen, I discovered that if you poke around, you can find some fun little shops scattered amongst the big fancy names we’re all familiar with from New York Fashion Week.

Here are some of my favorite Aspen shopping finds. I’d love to learn about your favorite Aspen stores in the comment section.

Explore Booksellers

Do you think the old-fashion bookstore is a thing of the past? It’s alive and well in Aspen at Explore Booksellers. This the kind of place that welcomes the reader and encourages them to stay awhile. Continue reading

Featured Festival: Denver Christkindl Market

A grand welcome to the market by Ms. Laura Kantwerk.

A grand welcome to the market by Ms. Laura Kantwerk. Photos by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

It seems rather appropriate for the Mayor of a place called HeidiTown to have a connection to the German Chamber of Commerce – Colorado Chapter. Full disclosure: This organization has been advertising their events with HeidiTown for a while now and it’s a match made in heaven.

This organization puts together well-organized and top-notch events that I am more than happy to slap my endorsement on. Their Biergarten Festival is a summer party my husband and I look forward to every year.

The GACC-CO’s winter event is the Denver Christkindl Market. In operation for 12 years, this year there’s a new look, but the market hasn’t lost its intimate, European feel.

Christkindl markets have deep roots in Germany where the oldest recorded Christmas market dates back to 1310 in Munich. Held in front of churches, the markets were often part of a person’s church visit. Today, these markets are still held in town squares across Germany.

Tour the Denver Christkindl Market to find unique, handmade gifts for nearly everyone on your list. I found lots of knit hats and beautiful artisan jewelry that I’d love to find under the tree this Christmas.

Pastries at the Denver Christkindl Market

Pastries at the Denver Christkindl Market.

The best part of the market, in my illustrious opinion, is the food and the beer/entertainment tent. I’d recommend coming hungry, having some delicious European-style food and a beer or two and then going shopping.

While we were visiting the beer tent last weekend, the Chalet Dancers from Castle Rock were peforming and their authentic German dances impressed the crowd, me included. Under the tent you’ll find a full lineup of entertainment on the weekday evenings and weekends.

Sipping a beer or gluehwein (spiced wine), you’ll be transported to a different time and place, and this is what I love the most about the Denver Christkindl Market and the Biergarten Festival – it’s a chance to experience a little German culture right here in Colorado. Our state is rich with German heritage, but we don’t always get a chance to see it, taste it and feel it in action. I applaud the German Chamber of Commerce – Colorado Chapter for keeping this culture alive and well.

Keep in mind that the market is a wonderful event for children – from entertainment to delicious pastries, make the Denver Christkindl Market a part of their childhood memories this Christmas.

chalet dancers at Denver Christkindl Market

Chalet Dancers from Castle Rock, Colorado.

Denver Christkindl Market

Skyline Park (16th & Arapaho)

November 23 to December 22, 2012

Sunday – Wednesday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Thursday – Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Join the Denver Christkindl Market on Facebook

www.denverchristkindlmarket.com

Top 5 Gifts Made in Colorado

In the weeks leading up to Christmas I always put out a top 5 list of some sort, and this year I decided to share with you my picks for the top 5 made in Colorado gifts for 2012. The prerequisite for making my list was that the product made by each company had to be manufactured IN Colorado.

This list is in no particular order.

mou co cheese co

Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

1. MouCo Cheese Co. I’ve had the pleasure of touring MouCo and writing about them for several other publications over the years. They just so happen to make my favorite cheese of all-time, Truffello, which is saying a lot because I’ve never met a cheese I didn’t like. Their website describes Truffello as a “mystical soft cheese to be savored and shared with reck-licious ease.” MouCo sells their cheese all over the world, but it’s all made in their small factory in Fort Collins, Colorado with milk from local cows.

Website: MouCo.com

Facebook Page

Twitter.com/mouchocheese

2. OZ Snowboards. I don’t ride, but if I did I’d ride an OZ board. I ran into these guys on Facebook and fell in love with their concept and the beauty of their boards. They make these works of art in Evergreen, Colorado.

Website: OZSnowboards.com

Facebook Page

Twitter.com/OZSnowboards

milk & honey handmade soap from Moonflower Essentials

Milk & honey handmade soap from Moonflower Essentials. Photo from www.MoonflowerEssentials.com.

3. Moonflower Essentials. This small company is located in Denver, and they make my favorite lotion, Forest Muse. I’ve known owner, Barb Donnelly, for a number of years, and she’s a creative lady with a talent for making body products that truly impress. Moonflower Essentials has a Holiday Open House planned for Sunday, December 9. Learn more here.

Website: MoonFlowerEssentials.com

4. NeedleForge.com. This company was brought to my attention by a HeidiTown citizen and I couldn’t resist putting them on this list. I don’t know exactly how to explain what it is they make, but my Facebook tipster put it like this: Geekery + yarn = win. Every yarn creation is made by hand in Denver, but if you want something by this Christmas you’d better get your order in real soon, because according to their Facebook page, orders are stacking up and they only have so many hands to do the knitting!

Website: NeedleForge.com

Facebook Page

Nova Monda Chocolates

Nova Monda Cacao & Chocolates. Photo from Nova Monda on Facebook.

5. Nova Monda Cacao & Chocolate. I have not had the pleasure of trying this chocolate yet, but it made my list because it’s made in Lafayette, Colorado and it was highly recommended to me by two people; the Chef at the Welsh Rabbit Cheese Shop and a trustworthy friend with good taste.

Website: NovaChocolate.com

Facebook Page

Twitter.com/NovaMonda

This could have easily been a top 50 list, as there are many wonderful Colorado companies and craftsmen I would have enjoyed highlighting in this piece. If you have a favorite please feel free to share it in the comment section.

Please Note: A lot of Facebook friends helped me with this list by sharing their favorite Colorado companies and I’ve compiled a list of all their suggestions in a NOTE on the HeidiTown Facebook page. Click HERE to see it!

***

I encourage you to shop local this year, as much as possible. Spending your hard earned money at a small Colorado-owned business will ensure that all boats rise.  

Celebrate Colorado Buy Local Week with FREE t-shirts from LoyalTee & HeidiTown

It’s Buy Local Week here in Colorado, and around the country. There are so many reasons why it’s good to buy local, and according to ColoradoLocalFirst.com, there are five main reasons.

1. Environment By buying things closer to home you are cutting down on fossil fuel use, reducing your carbon impact AND saving money!

2. Local Economy Local businesses buy more often from other local businesses, so the money you spend is retained in the community in a more concentrated fashion.

3. Local Flavor The experience at a local establishment is unique – providing the local flavor of the area.

4. Community Care Local entrepreneurs are more connected to our community, because they live here, too! They are more likely to get involved in community efforts and activities.

5. Voicing Your Opinion By buying locally you are saying, “Hey, I like this business and the neighborhood wouldn’t be the same without it.”

So without further ado, to celebrate Buy Local Week here on HeidiTown, I’ve joined forces with a local Colorado company, LoyalTee, a Denver-based t-shirt company. LoyalTee is a collection of shirts featuring local landmarks, like Johnson’s Corner, Stadium Inn, and Duranglers Fly Fishing, to name a few.

Johnsons Corner t-shirt

All LoyalTee shirts are made in the USA, and a percentage of all sales goes to the business feature on the shirt. I absolutely love this company and their concept, so I was very happy when they decided to be a part of a HeidiTown contest.

In addition to getting a $23 gift certificate and free shipping to LoyalTee, the lucky winner of this contest will also get a HeidiTown t-shirt!

HeidiTown t-shirt on blue

Just leave me a comment  telling me your favorite Colorado landmark and you’ll be entered. As usually, I will pick the winner (at random) on Friday afternoon, Dec. 2, 2011, at approximately 3 p.m.

It’s hard for me to pick just one favorite Colorado landmark, but today I think I’ll go with the Bucksnort Saloon.   I love that the Bucksnort is located up a long dirt road. I love their un-level floors, and I especially love their forest fire burger with jalapenos and cream cheese.

Good luck!

~ Contest Closed ~


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