World-renowned children’s book artists and authors, Michael and Kathleen Hague, will be signing their newest book, Michael Hague’s “Read-To-Me Book of Fairy Tales,” and their many other wonderful books, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday Dec. 14, at Hooked on Books, 3918 Maizeland Road, in the Markets at Maizeland Shopping Center. (Hint: a signed copy becomes a collector’s item.) Stop by for FREE coffee, cookies and snacks. To celebrate the Hague’s visit to Hooked on Books, all used children’s books for ages 12 and younger will be 25% off. For more information, or to reserve Hague books, call 596-1621.
The Back Row is Colorado College’s only all-male a cappella performance group. At its Winter Concert, they will be performing music written by people like The Beatles and Kanye West. The concert is scheduled at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, in Armstrong Theatre, inside Armstrong Auditorium, 14 E. Cache La Poudre St. It’s FREE and tickets are not required.
Need legal advice but not sure how to start? The El Paso County Bar Association invites you to “ask-a-lawyer.” From 10 a.m. to noon on the second Saturday of each month, local attorneys will answer the public’s legal questions FREE of charge. The next one is scheduled on Dec. 14 at The Citadel mall. They also offer the “call a lawyer” program from 7 to 9 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month. The next session is scheduled on Dec. 19. All calls are anonymous and confidential. The number to call for this service is 471-0380 and it’s only good during those hours. Questions? Call 473-9700 and leave a recorded message and someone will return your call. To find out more about the bar association, go ONLINE. Or send them an email: email@example.com.
Family fun awaits you this month at the Fountain Creek Nature Center, 320 Pepper Grass Lane, in Fountain. Check out the Nature Hikes with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 14 & 21, 10– 11:30 a.m. Participate in the interactive reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” poem, make a snowflake craft, and then join Santa for a hike around the nature loop to see what gifts nature gives us. ($3/member, $4/non-member; reservations required.) Or go for Horse Drawn Wagon Rides on Saturday, Dec. 14 & 21, 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. & 1 p.m. Enjoy the sounds of Suffolk horses clip-clopping down the regional trail with jingle bells and seasonal songs. ($5 / person, pre-paid reservations required; weather permitting.) Supports the nature center expansion project. For reservations, call 520-6745 or go online to www.elpasocountyparks.com.
Music lovers may want to put this one on their calendars: The Colorado College Music Department presents “A Night of Student Music,” featuring works by Dvorak, Liszt, Schumann, Beethoven, Milhaud, and Debussy. The FREE concert will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 13, in Packard Hall, 5 W. Cache La Poudre St., by both current students and recent graduates of Colorado College. Performers include Abby Mietchen ’16 (piano), Trisha Andrews ’14 (violin), Zachary Bellows ’13 (piano), Andrew Pope ’13 (clarinet), and Meghann Maurer ’12 (violin).
Award-winning Colorado outdoor photographer John Fielder presents a narrated slideshow about his recent high-country treks in Wyoming and his latest book, “Denver’s Mountain Parks: 100 Years of the Magnificent Dream,” at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, in the Richard F. Celeste Theatre, Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center, 825 N. Cascade Ave. on the Colorado College campus. It’s FREE.
On a cold winter’s eve, what tastes better than a cup of hot cocoa? Hot cocoa mix (especially the gourmet brands, like Ghirardelli) might be a luxury item on your grocery list, and it can be really pricey if you buy a cup at Starbucks or other coffee hut. So why not make your own at home? It’s easy, tasty and saves you money. You can make a whole batch of your own mix for the price of one cup of Starbucks cocoa. A can of cocoa mix in the store is only slightly higher than homemade, but the quality varies by brand and it’s likely full of unpronounceable preservatives. The Nestle company offers this recipe for homemade mix: Combine 1 1/2 cups instant nonfat dry milk with 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 cup baking cocoa powder, plus a pinch of salt. Most recipes recommend Dutch-processed cocoa powder for best taste. Combine thoroughly in a container that has a tight lid. To serve, place 4 tablespoons of the mixture in a cup and add boiling water and stir well. Marshmallows are optional. For richer cocoa, add hot milk instead. No preservatives or funky ingredients, either. The Food Network has a dozen other recipes for hot cocoa mix, including a caramel one, a hazelnut flavored one, a peanut-butter version, and a peppermint cocoa, among others. They are, of course, more expensive to make, but still stack up well, cup for cup, against one you buy at a coffee shop.
This Amazon promotion is a great deal at a perfect time. Create and Amazon wish list (http://www.amazon.com/gp/socialmedia/promotions/wishlist2013/?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&linkCode=ur2&tag=livontheche-20), share it on Facebook and get a credit for $5 off a $35 purchase. Once you complete the “Share & Claim” action, a $5 off $35 or more promotional credit will be automatically applied to your Amazon account. There’s some fine print. You can read all the details here. Promotional credits must be redeemed by 11:59 PM PST on Sunday, December 15, 2013. This promotion is available to customers located and with billing addresses in the United States. Limit one promotional credit per customer. Quantity is limited.
If you or your loved ones are on a budget or a fixed income, ignore the inclination to exchange sweaters and ties this year, and make over your holiday gift giving with practical presents. Don’t worry — we’re not talking about tube socks and toothbrushes. The idea is to choose something that either represents a special treat that people on a budget wouldn’t spend on themselves, or a way to help offset the cost of something they enjoy or need. For some truly practical gifts to ponder, see the full story at: http://livingonthecheap.com/useful-holiday-gifts/
This is the one time of the year when it pays to give gift cards because of all the bonus offers. The end dates vary by offer, but most expire Dec. 31. In addition, some are available online or in-store only, while others are for sale online and in-store. (For true savings, it’s better to buy them in-store, rather than pay shipping charges.) Our ’ On the Cheap’ writers have researched and posted some of the more popular national deals — to get them just click on this link: http://livingonthecheap.com/gift-card-bonus-offers-round-up/. However, there are many local deals to be found, so check your favorite neighborhood shops for more offers.
Monarch is one of the most accessible ski areas from Colorado Springs. So, if you ski, take advantage of this offer. Radio stations 94.3 KILO 103.9 RXP and The Ski Shop, Inc. have teamed up to offer this great deal. On select Sundays you can enjoy a carefree ride to and from Monarch from Colorado Springs including a ski lift ticket for $49. The first KILO/RXP ski bus tickets are on sale now for Sunday, Dec. 15. This bus is open to anyone age 18 or older. Contact the Ski Shop to book your space — 636-3355.
Even if you’re on a tight budget, you can add your furry friends to your gift list. Presents for dogs and cats are inexpensive and super simple. Some are easily pulled together from items that are already in the house. You can bake up some nifty pet treats for Fido or Fluffy. You can create some fun homemade toys they’ll love. You can even make them a new bed. For details on how to execute all these, go to the full story on our sister site, Living on the Cheap.. Click on this link: http://livingonthecheap.com/free-and-inexpensive-pet-gifts/