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  • Ski Mask, Snow Gear, and the Best Mountains to Ride

    Snow season is here, grab your gear, grab a lift ticket and let's go.

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    2014-2015 Snow Season is Here

    The most glorious part of the year is now finally upon us...ski and snowboarding season. There is only so much time to take advantage of that majestic white powdery goodness. We are putting together this guide to help you find the best gear, the best slopes, and easy places to purchase lift tickets. I know from personal experience that skiing and snowboarding can be a pretty expensive hobby, so saving money while tearing up powder is a great added bonus.

    The Gear

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    Ski and Snow Essentials

    Nothing beats the feeling of brand new gear for a brand new season. Brand new gear actually isn't that expensive as long as you know where to shop. The first ingredient of a killer winter wardrobe is a ski face mask.

    Essential #1: Ski/Face Mask

    When it comes to choosing the perfect face mask, there are three basic options that you will come across:

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    Balaclava Ski Mask: These masks cover your entire head and usually are available in either three-hole or one-hole designs based on your personal preferences.

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    Full Face Neoprene Mask: The second option you have available to you is a full face neoprene mask. These do not cover your entire head like a traditional ski mask or balaclava. The material might look thin but these face masks pack a warm punch.

     

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    Half Face Ski Mask: The last option you have is the half face mask. These masks only cover up the lower half of your face up to your nose. Wearing this in conjunction with a great pair of goggles is my personal preference.

    Each type of face mask has it's own pros and cons based on the individual and based on personal tastes. There are hundreds of great styles and designs out there, you should have no problem finding the perfect accessory.

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    Winter Essential #2: Ski Gloves

    It doesn't take a scientist to figure out that snow is cold, really cold, everyone knows that. However, what many people are not aware of is that much on your body's warmth escapes via your head, as well as you appendages like hands and feet. A great pair of ski gloves not only looks great but can keep your body heat up. The gloves also protect you from physical contact with the ice and snow which can actually cause burns if you are not careful. For more casual winter excursions off the slopes you will find flip top gloves which can change from mittens to fingerless gloves and back again.

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    Winter Essential #3: Beanie/Trooper Hat

        The last winter essential is a beanie or trooper hat. Most people know what a beanie is, it is probably the second most popular hat type aside from a baseball cap. What some are unaware of, is a little hat called a trooper hat. In my opinion a trooper hat is one of the most comfortable hats I have ever worn. It is basically a super comfortable beanie that has ear flaps as well as soft fur lining. Another variation of this hat I also love is a trapper hat. This hat combines the versatility of a ball cap with the comfort of a beanie or ear muffs.

    Top 5 Mountains You Must Ride

     

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    Ski Colorado

    Colorado is known as one of the premier locales for skiing and snowboarding. Colorado is just a beautiful place to begin with. The fantastic snow is just an added bonus. Check out the website below for information about season passes, travel packages, and other slope information.

    http://www.coloradoski.com/

     

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    Ski Utah

    Utah has a reputation of being the land of the Mormon's. However, there is actually some great downhill action to be had here. This is a great place for beginners, experts, and even families. There are so many runs to choose from and while I have not had the opportunity to experience all that Utah snow season has to offer, it remains one of the premier winter destinations. Visit the Ski Utah website below for more information.

    http://www.skiutah.com/

     

    802016_trailmapSki Vermont

    Vermont...I never knew Vermont was a top tier ski and snowboard locale. However, after a little research, I am dangerously close to booking a flight. With three big mountains to explore, there is truly something sweet for skiers and snowboarders of all ages and experience levels. Click the link below for more information.

    http://skivermont.com/

     

    Snow-Summit

    Ski Snow Summit

    Being a Californian for my entire life, Snow Summit has been the go-to spot for most of Southern California. Featuring both natural and man-made snow, a great day on the slopes is more affordable than you might think. Check out the link below for season start times, life tickets, and season passes.

    http://www.snowsummit.com/ski/

     

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    Ski Mammoth Mountain

    What I might consider, the Holy Grail of snowboard and ski hotspots is Mammoth Mountain. This mountain offers some of the most fantastic sights, and some of the smoothest rides. Check out the Mammoth website for more information about season times, lift tickets, and 3 month passes.

    http://www.mammothmountain.com/

     

  • Have you Seen Me?: The Story of Where's Waldo

    He once was lost but now he is found.

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    Here are some little known Waldo facts

     

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    Waldo Origin Story

    Waldo was created by an artist name Martin Hanford. He was trying to write a book that would showcase his artistic talent. He created the character Waldo to help provide a link between each scene in the book. His earlier editors thought his book filled with only crowd scenes would be lacking a them and direction. Basically Waldo was an afterthought. Handford was mostly looking to showcase his talent for creating busy crowd scenes.  However early fans of his work were drawn to the fun and unique character and he has evolved and grown for more than 25 years now.

    The story of Waldo is simple, a distinctly dressed man wearing a red and white striped beanie and striped clothing begins a world wide journey around the world and other exotic locales. He visits everyday places like the beach, ski slops, the zoo and even The Land of the Waldos. The books invited the readers to find the uniquely dressed Waldo among the crowded scene. At the start of each page is a postcard from Waldo explaining his travels and some hints about the picture.

     

     

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    This is what happened when Asia got a hold of Waldo

    Waldo's Tool's of the Trade

    Waldo is not traveling empty handed. Everywhere that he travels he carries with him 12 special items.

    1. Walking Stick
    2. Kettle
    3. Mallet
    4. Cup
    5. Backpack
    6. Sleeping Bag
    7. Binoculars
    8. Camera
    9. Snorkel
    10. Belt
    11. Bag
    12. Shovel

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    399A22656FDE7AC3EEE9EA9BEC173BThe Where's Waldo Cast of Characters

    Waldo Might Be Lost But He is Not Alone

    Waldo might have started off his journey alone, but he would not be alone for long. He would later be joined by several new characters. His first female companion would be Wilma but she was soon replaced by her identical twin sister Wenda. Wenda dressed just like Waldo with a striped beanie, and red a white striped shirt and wire framed glasses. He would soon find his nemesis named Odlaw, which you might have noticed is "Waldo" spelled backwards. He wears yellow and black striped clothing and his wire framed glasses have a blue tint to them. Also unlike Waldo Odlaw has a sinister mustache. He is sometimes seen trying to steal Waldo's magical walking stick. Another companion for Waldo in his travels was Woof. Woof is Waldo's dog, he is one of the hardest characters to find in the series. Wally's mentor of sorts, was Wizard Whtebeard. According to the story he was the one to send Waldo on this journey to find himself. He is recognized for his long white beard, blue wizards hat and red cloak.  Eventually Wally's popularity grew to the point to where the Wally Watchers were created. They were Waldo's devoted fan-club and actually were featured in the Ultimate Fun Book.

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    Man of Many Names

    Waldo originated in England but is known by different names in all of the countries that he has been introduced to.

    • French=Charlie
    • Hindi=Hetti
    • Norway=Willy
    • Croatia=Jura
    • Denmark=Holger
    • Czech=Valdik
    • Estonia=Volli
    • German=Walter
    • Hungarian=Villi
    • Italian=Ubaldo
    • Korean=Wolli
    • Vietnamese=Van Lang

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    Taking Waldo Fandom to a whole new level

    Lesser Known Waldo Facts

    • The book was shortly banned because there was a nude women on the beach in one of the scenes
    • There is no formula for finding Waldo, he could be anywhere.
    • Scientists have  studied people searching for Waldo and have studied the brainwave patterns associated with it
    • There are only 7 main books in the series, however many spin off versions have been produced.
    • In 2011 3,872 people broke the World Record in Dublin for the most people gathered together dressed like Waldo.
    • There was a Google Earth project called "Where on Earth is Waldo" where art students painted Waldo templates and encouraged people to put them on their roofs so that they would show up on Google Earth, and you could find him just like the books. http://whereonearthiswaldo.wordpress.com/
    • The original character had round glasses, and a pom pom red and white striped beanie. Waldo's creator Hanford describe him as being like a "trainspotter" which was a phrase used in England in the 1980's describing someone who was a bit daft (Kind of silly or foolish, some might say, lost)
    • The NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) version of Where's Waldo is considered one of the worst video games of all time.
    • Some actually have gotten a Waldo Scene tattoowheres-waldo

    He is not a hard man to find

    Waldo: From 1987-2014

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    Waldo has become a huge part of the popular culture of the past 25 years. Anybody under the age of 30 will most likely have fond memories of the garish yet memorable lost traveler. Many people choose to dress up as Waldo every year and decide to don the red and white beanie, the striped shirt and the black wire rim glasses. Waldo has become the kind of character that stands out while blending in. These Waldo costumes can be found online and sometimes in stores. Some people make their costumes but it is better to save your time and buy Waldo Costumes from trusted online retailers. Click here for more great costume ideas including Wenda costume sets and the complete Waldo Costume set including the shirt, glasses and beanie.

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  • When Retro Goes Modern

    When does retro style become modern style.

    mini-Retro.jpgWhen Does Retro Become Modern?

    Each decade has had its own unique culture. Whether it was the fashion styles, the music, social trends, or popular entertainment. A movement, that has steadily been growing is retro. Retro can mean many different things to many different people. When it comes to style, retro has slowly become the new modern. Whether it is the clothes we wear or the music we choose to listen to, retro is here, and it is here to stay. We are currently seeing the resurgence of the 70's and 80's. The once overlooked styles like the floppy women's sun hats of the 70's to the classic bucket hats of the 80's are making a comeback in a big way.

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    70's Floppy Sun Hat

    Nothing was more 70's than floppy straw sun hats for women. That image was plastered on pictures from that era. Whether they were worn at famous concerts like the infamous Woodstock or for long sunny days at the park. Women had taken to these hats, to the extent to which nobody had ever seen. The hat style slowly began to fizzle out around the dawn of the 1980's. Women had taken to new more compact hat style and that brought on the age of the visor. However, the floppy sun hat has quickly been making its way back into the mainstream. With skin protection and sun care becoming more important, seemingly everyday, women have looked to these hats for both style and sun protection. What does the future hold for the iconic floppy sun hat?

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    80's Visor

    As we progressed out of the 70's and the demise of the floppy sun hat was almost complete, there was an emergence of a new style. That hat style would turn out to be the compact sun visor. These visors offered most of the protection that the floppy sun hats provided yet were compact, customizable, and inexpensive. You would have a hard time finding a company not using this new style for marketing campaign, promotions, or as part of a uniform. The popularity of the visor was catalyzed even further by tennis players, golfers, and women featured in music videos on the emerging MTV Music Television channel. But the trend that took off like a rocket, would slowly fizzle out once more. Just like the 70's the 80's has seen a resurgence in recent culture and the visor is slowly becoming as popular as it once was. The loud vibrant colors of the 80's have made their way back into the mainstream once again, thanks in part to the visor. The most popular materials these days include straw, terry cloth, cotton, and clip on PVC plastic.

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    Super Retro

    The world of fashion has even seen a trend that I am going to call "Super Retro". This Super Retro style that was expedited by the "hipster" movement. Super Retro is moving to slowly bring back all of the popular styles of the 1920's-1950's. These classic styles like ivy caps, newsboy hats, top hats, and berets are becoming more prevalent in this "Super Retro" movement and in popular culture as well. The clothes are also reflecting this change in that classic vests, sweaters, even eyeglass styles have evolved and adapted to this new style. You could call this fashion style retro, but to the individuals that are a part of this movement it is not a just a style, but a way of life. The members of this movement have been shaping the styles of the last decade and it is showing no signs of stopping.

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    Retro Modern

    At what point does retro become modern? You have only to walk into your nearest IKEA store to see this retro style spilling in modern styling. Even the music of today has subtle hints of the 70's and 80's prevalent in their infectious beats. It is time to finally embrace that retro is no long retro anymore. The styles of yesterday have become the styles of today. If these styles have become the basis of popular fashion or they really retro anymore? Regardless of what you call it, this style is one of my favorite styles of the last century and I for one, am happy that they are back.

  • Party Hat People: Novelty Hat

    You will be amazed at how much, fun, smiles, and laughter an awesome novelty hat can bring to your next party or special event.

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    People have been wearing fun costume hats for centuries now. From the early Mayan civilizations to the theme parties of today. Novelty costume hats are not just for Halloween anymore. Any of these would be perfect for festivals, holidays, theme parties and so much more. Just like a person, every hat has a unique personality. Accentuate your personality with a fun novelty hat. The best gift you can receive is a gift that you didn’t even know you wanted. Every crazy hat out there holds a special place in so many hearts. When you find out what is really out there, you will be overwhelmed with how many incredible hats exist.  Novelty hats are suitable for crazy costume parties and Halloween as well. You can accessorize your outfit with a silly, goofy look. The amount of fun you will have with these creative novelty hats is only limited by your imagination.

    Shamrock_Cartoon_1 St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner and it is my personal favorite time of the year to get all decked out in green gear. Sure, these hats might be a little over the top, but it is all part of the St. Patrick's Day tradition. Celebrate with some green beer, corn beef and cabbage and a killer St. Patrick's Day hat.

    There are so many great hats to choose from including, Jester hats, food hats, Animal hats, Birthday hats, Pimp hats, and much more. One of the most popular novelty hats out there this season has been the animal hat. There are so many warm comfy animal hats out there it can be hard to choose. You’ll find bear, rabbit, panda, dog, raccoon, bunny, and so many other animals. If you are looking to help celebrate a holiday or a special event you should shop for a holiday and theme hat including most of the major holidays including, St. Patrick’s Day, Independence Day, Mardi Gras, Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, 4th of July and many more. These hats are not just for children, they are available in both youth and adult sizes. Don’t settle for a mundane and boring holiday or special event. Kick it up several notches with a fun novelty hat that will not only make you the life of the party, but will bring smiles to the face of everybody that sees you.

     

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  • Mardi Gras aka Fat Tuesday

    Mardi Gras in French translates to "Fat Tuesday" in English.
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    Mardi Gras is one of the rowdiest events of the year. “Mardi Gras” in French is translated as “Fat Tuesday” in English. It is a raucous and hedonistic event that is held the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. This has traditionally been the “last hurrah” before the start of the Lenten season. The event has also been referred to “Shrove Tuesday” and indulgent meals are eaten to prepare you for Lenten fasting and restraint. This is the last day of the “carnival season” and no matter what you call it, the event includes gluttonous amounts of food and sin-like behavior. The city of New Orleans is always alive, but Mardi Gras bring the city to life like never before. There are many fun hats and masks associated with the holiday and getting dressed up is half the fun.

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    The Colors of Mardi Gras

    There are three important colors associated with Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras. The first color associated with this rambunctious holiday is purple. The color purple signifies justice. The second color associated with the holiday is green signifying faith. The third major color is gold signifying power. These colors are personified on masks, cakes, parade floats, beads, clothing, tapestry and much more. These colors have been associated with the holiday since its inception. Bright colors, images, fun filled streets and great food are all a huge part of the Mardi Gras holiday. We have been celebrating "Fat Tuesday" for over a hundred years and it is one of the most entertaining, history rich events in our country's long illustrious history.

     

     

     

     

    There are many facts that you might not know about Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras)

    1) If you were not aware, Mardi Gras and "Carnival" are the same celebration.

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    2) The second little known fact is that many people think that the holiday has pagan roots. However the holiday was born due to the Catholic Church’s discouragement of sex and the eating of meat during the Lenten season.

    3) New Orleans was actually not the first host of the Mardi Gras celebration. That honor goes to the city of Mobile which would be the present day Alabama.

    4) Mardi Gras celebrations survived early efforts at suppression and this year alone one million visitors are expected in New Orleans.

    5) Small social societies like the Mistick Krewe of Comus kept the celebrations going during the battles against suppression. The year 1837 saw the first Mardi Gras street parade.

     

    mardi-gras-songs-2010_13931357086) These small societies actually did not racially integrate until 1992 when an ordinance was passed disallowing racial discrimination.

    7) Mardi Gras celebrations have occasionally been cancelled over the years. This has actually occurred 12 times since 1857 and the last time this occurred was in the year 1945.

    8) The Super Bowl in New Orleans interrupted the parade schedule and the typical 12-day parade season was expanded. Official parades have been banned from the narrow tourist filled streets of the French Quarter since the 1970’s.

     

     

     

    kingcake9) If you have not heard of King Cake, it is only eaten during Mardi Gras. The cake is made of brioche dough and is braided and filled with cinnamon. The dough is glazed like a doughnut and the glaze is made of the iconic colors including purple, green, and gold. The thing that really sets this cake apart from other baked delights is the little plastic baby that is hidden in each cake. The person who finds the baby traditionally has to buy the cake next year or host the next year’s party.

     

    The best part of Mardi Gras is dressing up in great hats and masks and just let loose. You can find a great deal of "Fat Tuesday" hats and a big selection of Masquerade masks perfect for your theme party or celebration.

     

     

     

     

     

     

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