Win a Fall Foliage Trip to Telluride, Colorado

Fall in Telluride

Fall in Telluride, Colorado

Autumn in Telluride rates as one of my favorite times of the year. Since we’re located in southwestern Colorado, it’s typically sunny and warm during the day and cool and crisp at night. Known as the gold season, the aspens present a dazzling array of sunshine yellow, honey and maize while the brush, which flanks our mountainsides and carpets our valleys, turns into a rich showing of saffron, russet and ruby red.

The foliage typically peaks at the end of September, however, the scenery remains stunning here through mid October, especially if we’re blessed with a fresh dusting of snow on our breathtaking peaks. The big summer and festival crowds have gone home, so you can easily soak up the tranquility of our charming mountain destination and the outlying area whether you’re hiking, biking, fishing, jeeping, shopping, dining or just lolling on a nice deck.

Thanks to Mountain Lodge Telluride, the New Sheridan Chop House Restaurant, Paragon Outdoors/Bootdoctors and Salon 7, you can win a fabulous stay in Telluride, one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. (And that’s coming from a gal who lived eleven years in Paris.) Here’s what the trip includes:

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A Happy Ending to My Own Horror Story

A Small Section of My Face: A Gruesome Reality

A Small Section of My Face: A Gruesome Reality

Happy Halloween everyone! I hope it’s a fun one for you and your loved ones.

I’ve been out of touch the past couple of weeks, since I’ve been dealing with my own ghoulish happenings. Truly ghastly and yes, I felt like I was wearing a mask of sorts for a whole week. I looked like a monster and it seemed like I was living a nightmare.

Unlike most Halloween doings, this wasn’t fun at all. The whole dreadful experience did, however, force me to step back and be even more thankful for what I have in my life—my own good health and the people that love and support me every day. It also reinforced my feelings of compassion. I’ve always considered myself a caring and compassionate person yet now I’m even more so because I had a good taste of what it’s like to look like a freak.

By now you might be wondering what happened to me. Well, I had a terrible reaction to some medication that literally fried my face off from the inside out. My whole visage burned and swelled and itched and cracked and peeled like a moist riverbed dried up beneath the mid-day Mojave Desert sun. It hurt like hell; only large and regular doses of self medicating could make me somewhat comfortable. It was so unsightly that it made a child gape at me wide-eyed at the Medical Center and my dermatologist exclaim, “Wow, I’ve never seen such a reaction.” I did, however, feel an overflowing of compassion from folks at the pharmacy and other doctors’ offices which I frequented a lot that week because there was no easy fix. I truly sensed that people poured there heart out to me whether they said anything or not. My attempts at hiding behind the disguise of a pink fleece hoodie proved futile and after my third visit to the pharmacy, I just let it all hang out like a terribly over ripe peach dangling from the limb of a tree. At one point, I had to pop into a market for cat food and perhaps in an effort to reach out to me, the cashier kindly complimented me on my scarf.

I just wanted to lie on my couch and retreat into my own world, generously applying cold compresses and oil to my face every half hour while listening to Mozart and sipping wine.

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3 May 2013, 4:57pm
Beauty Mountain Living Shopping:
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Hydration and More for You and Mom All Year Round

Clarins Total Eye Concentrate

It snowed again this week in Colorado, a not-so-surprising weather occurence that barely disturbed most Coloradans. We need the moisture and here in the Rockies, that typically comes in the form of snow. Even in May.

Hydration. That’s the buzz word out here. Whether we’re talking about what we put into our bodies or what we slather onto our skin, preventing ourselves from being “dried out” is key. Low humidity, bright sun and temperatures that range from frigid cold to blistering heat—often coupled with fierce wind and dust—is how weather in the Rockies may best be described. None of this makes for a particularly hospitable environment for our skin. And to make matters worse (at least for our skin), we love to play outdoors here in the West. I mean really playing hard as in long days of skiing, hiking and for many, even dirt bike riding!

I’m grateful for the many wonderful products that help me affront this often challenging climate year-round. My bathroom boasts glorious creams and oils that allow me to appear radiant throughout the driest of times. Most of these have been sourced through trial and error. Ever put a cream on your skin and then ten minutes later your skin feels taught and barren? Well, those don’t pass muster in my house. No, I need to feel juicy.

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Pick a Spa, Pick a Ski Destination

Outdoor Pool at The Peaks Resort & Spa

You’re missing out on a good chunk of fun and relaxation if you think your whole mountain experience has to be all about hitting the slopes. Sure, there’s nothing like spending day after day in the fresh air, carving perfect turns on buttery snow or picking through exquisite, diamond-shaped moguls. Yet even the most die-hard skiers and boarders need a day off. Or maybe just a half day. Or how about a couple days off? It’s supposed to be a vacation after all. You don’t want to feel like you need a vacation after your vacation, do you? How about après-ski—don’t those moments represent some of the best of your whole ski vacation? Those delicious hours of the day don’t have to be all about drinks at the bar.

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Drooling Over Pastry Paris

“Pastry Paris: In Paris, Everything Looks Like Dessert”

“The fine arts are five in number, namely:  painting, sculpture, poetry, music, and architecture, the principal branch of the latter being pastry.”

                                                                                                  —Antonin Carême (1783-1833)

The above quote surely served as inspiration for Susan Hochbaum in the creation of her darling book, “Pastry Paris:  In Paris, Everything Looks Like Dessert” (The Little Bookroom). A luscious treat, enticing enough to devour in one sitting, “Pastry Paris” takes my vote for the best gift-y book of the season. Lovers of Paris, pastry, history and beauty will savor it like a best-loved dessert.

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22 Aug 2011, 10:27am
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Marking a Milestone with Good Wishes and a Great Face Cream

My Super Salve

Well, it’s finally arrived. The moment I have been somewhat anxiously anticipating for the past year, at least the last six months. Today I’ve officially hit a major mile marker on my roadway of life. Not sure if I’m comfortable enough to say what it is, but it’s a big one. You can only guess.

I breathe deeply and nearly sigh as I write this. I began preparing for this monumental birthday last March. Before that I felt more dread than hope. Then I decided to change my attitude around it. I wrote a list of clear and concise affirmations of what I wanted to manifest most in my life, began saying them out loud on a daily basis and then after a couple of months, procured a luxurious face cream. Yes, I contacted my friend Cassandra at Clarins and she furnished me with a shopping bag full of potions, lotions and sprays. They have been my saving grace these past couple of months as I’ve barreled toward this day.

Am I sounding shallow? I hope not. I think we all need sensory experiences that ground us in our daily lives. Consider the feelings triggered by the smell of freshly-brewed coffee in the morning, the sound of a loved one approaching the door, the feel of your pet nuzzling up for attention, the taste of buttered toast with jam, the sight of the sky easing into darkness at the end of the day. We are comforted and nurtured by these sensations more than we realize and I’ve found that the more I tap into these feelings, the more they serve as an emotional compass in my daily life.

HydraQuench Rich Cream by Clarins has been this sort of balm for me every day and night these past couple of months. It has been the constant that—along with many deep breaths—has calmed me in good times and in bad, through sickness and in health and through richer and poorer (mostly!) in this wacky marriage with myself that is now blankety-blank years strong. Its enveloping texture and fresh clean scent has soothed me amidst my early morning and late night thoughts of where I should be in my life, what I should be doing now. With each creamy application, I’ve been reassured that I’m right where I’m supposed to be, so enjoy it. The fact that this beautiful product offers superlative skin care for very dry skin and cold climates has been a bonus. Most times when I apply it, I swear that HydraQuench Rich Cream must have been created with the Rocky Mountains in mind.

Good Enough to Eat

And the slathering hasn’t stopped there. Every couple of days or so I glaze myself with Delicious Self-Tanning Cream, also by Clarins, a glossy and chocolate-y caramel-colored sensation that resembles a gooey French dessert. Its most effective and soothing ingredients are, in fact, caramel, cocoa bean and cocoa butter. Yum-ME! If only I could fall into a vat of it on my most woeful days. Instead, I luxuriate in the seamless golden tan it casts upon my skin. This glorious cream makes the many days I’ve not been able to leave my desk for a hike all the more bearable.

The few times I have bronzed in the sun this summer, I’ve been coated with this French company’s Multi-Cellular Protection SPF 50+ Sunscreen. It’s touted as being “smart sun for younger looking skin” since it protects against harmful UVA and UVB rays while nourishing your skin with a five-plant formula of extracts made from senna, pea, plane tree, olive and baobab. It’s in its marvelous combination of plant extracts that Clarins truly excels. They’ve been making holistic concoctions, many of which are characterized by a distinctive scent, way before it became fashionable to do so.

Oh, How I love this Eau

The aromatherapeutic benefits of their products can stay with you for hours. I’ve always been a huge fan of their Eau Dynamisante, an invigorating fragrance introduced to me decades ago when I first visited France. Its notes of lemon, patchouli, rosemary and thyme have remained with me all these years. And since I’ve been in need of an extra boost this summer, you can bet I’ve been giving myself a little spritz at least once a day, sometimes more when the going gets especially rough. Breathe. Eau Dynamisante by Clarins makes the breathing all the more delightful and exhilarating.

So here I am. Me and my face cream and an armful of various other soothing products. We’ve made it to this big day together and I know that with their help I’ll be more fabulous than ever in the years to come. As my Mom wrote in her birthday card to me, “It gets really fun from now on.” Wow, that was a surprise, but I sense it must be true. She’s aged gracefully, surely with the help of some fine face creams as well as a terrific sense of humor.

I count my blessings. I’m grateful for my Italian genes that belie my age, a mostly sunny personality and the ability to look on the bright side of a situation, no matter how dire. Most of all though I’m grateful for good health and all the wonderful people, places, things and experiences that have shaped my life thus far. My life continues to resist going exactly where I want it to go. The big book deal has yet to occur, true love still seems elusive, bill paying challenges me more than ever and hanging on to certain old behaviors and beliefs that impede my growth can still be a problem.

Hélas, life is not perfect. And neither am I. But there’s always hope. The first step is acceptance; the next is a long, languorous application of a gorgeous face cream. I look into the mirror, smile and think of my Mom saying “Oh cripes.” Yeah, that’s it, oh cripes. Now it’s time to get on with it.

One way or another, I think I’ll punctuate this birthday with an exclamation point. At the half century mark, a period just doesn’t seem to cut it!

Know that Clarins is committed to the environment and many of their products and their packaging reflect this concern. I was especially impressed with their Gentle Beauty Soap, made of shea butter and hazelnut oil, that provides a green alternative to most facial cleansers that come in plastic. It’s great for airplane security as well.

Read Clarins, Cassandra and Me for more about my love for this great French company.

Hunny and Me at Gateway in June Before My Clarins Self Tanning

Approach every birthday—and every day for that matter—like a gift to be unwrapped with much wonder and excitement.

Now I’m off to the pool to fan myself.

9 May 2011, 2:37pm
Beauty Mountain Living Shopping:
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Hair Help

Moroccanoil:  My Secret Weapon

Moroccanoil: My Secret Weapon

Spring. It’s a great season for cleaning, organizing and freshening up all that you own. I’ve been doing a lot of that lately and have been careful not to neglect something that I wear everyday whether I stay home or go out. Yes, as the title of this story indicates, I’m talking about my hair.

Hair—how it looks and feels—is important to all of us. So I thought I’d share a few of my secrets with you. I consider myself an expert of sorts since I live and play in a climate that can render the most silky locks into a nest of untamable frizz. Plus I’m at a time in my life where age only makes the situation worse (Oh dear!), and both my hair and skin seem to constantly be crying out with a Sahara-like thirst the likes of which I’ve never known. My bad coif situation reaches hair-splitting proportions by the end of ski season. (Although I’m careful to always wear a hat on the slopes, the little tufts that frame my face still become fried and discolored by our intense high-alpine sunshine. I bet you didn’t know that the sun on the ski slopes of Colorado beams far stronger than on most beaches.)

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Great Deals for Public Radio: Summer 2010

Capella's Take on Mountain Elegance

Capella's Mountain Elegance

There are lots of travel deals out there these days but you won’t find any as enticing as the ones I’m presenting to you below.  And best of all, by making a pledge for them you’re supporting KOTO community radio in Telluride, one of the few entirely community-sponsored radio stations in the country.  More and more people tune in on the Internet as well during T-ride’s famed Bluegrass Festival (when KOTO broadcasts live) or just any ‘ole day of the year.  It’s a great way to get the flavor of a happening mountain town along with some fine music and talk.

If you don’t know about my Travel Fun radio show, please tune in live one of these Tuesdays.  Or you may listen to some of my past interviews that I’ve posted as podcasts.

Now for the good stuff.  Here’s what you can snatch up in exchange for a pledge, just e-mail me through my Contacts Page to lock in your travel premium.  (You can also go there to sign up for my RSS feed and/or to receive bi-monthly Travel Fun announcements.  Be sure to provide all your contact information including phone and address (e-mail as well as snail mail, please) and your desired prize.  Know that I’m accepting pledges on a first come, first serve basis, so act fast!


First-Rate Dinner and Lodging at Capella

$150. pledge: a two-night stay in a standard room (pictured above—wow!) in this stunning hotel, valued between $200. and $500.

$75.  pledge: dinner for two at Onyx, Capella’s signature restaurant, valued at $100. not including tax and gratuity.

Feeling sophisticated?  It sounds like you need to spend some time at Capella, the newest bright star of Telluride’s hospitality offerings.

The Himmel Spa at The Klammer

The Himmel Spa Relaxation Room at The Klammer

Gorgeous Health and Beauty Treatments from the Fairmont Heritage Place, Franz Klammer Lodge

$75. pledge: One-hour facial, valued at $130.

$75. pledge: One-hour massage, valued at $120.  Note that both include access to the pool, fitness center and spa facilities for the day.  How delightful, how de-lovely! Read what I have to say about The Himmel Spa at The Klammer in my story, Telluride’s Ultra Luxe Mountain Spas.


Almost Like Home:  Box Canyon Lodge

Almost Like Home: Box Canyon Lodge

Great Getaway to America’s Little Switzerland

$50. pledge: Enjoy an overnight, valued at $100., at Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, in Ouray.  Read my Ouray story as a primer.

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    This blog is a personal blog written and edited by Maribeth Clemente. This blog sometimes accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content. The owner of this blog is sometimes compensated to provide opinion on products, services, Web sites and various other topics. Even though the owner of this blog receives compensation for certain posts or advertisements, she always gives her honest opinions, findings, beliefs or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blogger's own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.
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