We at Circa Real Estate Group are hosting a bracket challenge on CBS Sports, and the winner gets a $100 Amazon gift card! It’s open to anyone, so even if you’re not a client, you can join our bracket challenge here. No expertise required (trust me, I entered ;).
Home & Family
I’ve been updating the grand openings/coming soon page with a whole lot of new restaurants and stores that are coming to the Pikes Peak Region, but realized I should do a post with some of the highlights:
- Big Train Restaurant has moved from their longtime space at Nevada and Fillmore and is now in the space that used to house J.P. Fizzy’s on Garden of the Gods. The old Big Train restaurant building will be razed and a hotel built in its place.
- The K-Mart building at that same location (Nevada and Fillmore) is being remodeled into Roadhouse Cinemas, a twelve-screen, dine-in move theater and entertainment complex.
- The Burlington Coat Factory at Powers and Barnes is projected to open this week.
- Pueblo-based coffee roaster Solar Roast is adding a location in downtown Colorado Springs, next to Bingo Burger.
- The Salsa Brava in Briargate will be closing and will be replaced by its sister restaurant, Urban Egg.
I didn’t hear about Palmer Lake’s Winterfest, which was held on Sunday, until the day before, so I don’t know how many of you all even saw it when I posted about it – but I put a reminder on my calendar to look up the info and post it sooner next year!
My girls and I decided to go and had a great time enjoying the free ice skating on the lake, hot chocolate, smores, and hot dogs.
My oldest girl commented that you maybe learn how to ice skate a little faster on a lake, rather than at a rink, because there’s no side to hold on to!
I opted to keep my shoes on, mostly because adult-sized skates were a bit hard to find, but also because I figured one of us on the lake ought to be able to be on stable ground. I did manage a pretty epic fall when I accidentally pulled some cash out of my pocket and had to run across the lake to catch it, so that made me not-too-eager to try to find skates that fit.
It was such a unique experience to ice skate on a lake, particularly on the lake we often stand-up paddleboard on in the summer!
Hi, Springs Bargains readers! I’m excited to debut Circa Now Homes, a new real estate concept from our company, Circa Real Estate Group. We’ve crafted the simplest home-buying experience you can imagine – akin to a retail experience. You can even tour the home by yourself.
Right now, we have one Circa Now Home home for sale for $329,500 in Springs Ranch (and another one coming soon in Fountain). This home will not be listed in the MLS or Zillow until later this week, but you can see and purchase it now through Circa Now Homes right now!
On the selling side, the Circa Now process is designed to provide buyers with a streamlined process for selling their home; you can find out more about selling your home to Circa Now here.
There’s lots more information about the Circa Now Homes concept through our website. We are continuing to provide traditional home buying and selling services, but we’re excited to be able to offer new innovations so that we can serve our clients in the way that best fits their needs.
Pikes Peak Library District announced last week that beginning February 1st, they will no longer be charging late fees on overdue items, and they will also begin automatically renewing items when they are one day from being due. This does not mean that there will not be fees if you don’t return books: when a book is 21 days overdue, it will be considered lost and you will be charged for the replacement. However, I know from experience that if you find the book after you’ve paid for it and return it, they’re usually able to refund what you paid (within one year, I believe).
The new policies could possibly mean that some books take longer to be returned – I know I heard some speculation about feeling like that was the case when they stopped charging fines for children’s items – but I do hope it enables more families to whom the late fees were a burden to use the library!
Merry Christmas from my family and all of us at Springs Bargains and Circa Real Estate Group! I’m going to be mostly taking off the remaining time in December, so posting will be slow around here, but I’ll be back in January.
Here’s what Christmas has looked like around the Isaac house this year:
We kicked off the Christmas season with our annual Circa Real Estate Group client appreciation event, where we invite clients to our home to take home a fresh Christmas tree or a wreath. It’s a ton of work (and we don’t even grow the trees) but it’s fun to have a little Christmas tree farm for a weekend. This year, we found an antique sleigh to add to the atmosphere and use as a photo prop, and we were excited to get snow during the last few hours of the event, which hasn’t ever happened before!
Our collection of Christmas books seems to have exploded – I kept finding more and more in our Christmas decoration boxes – so this year, I wrapped them up with a bow and didn’t allow them to be read until December 1st, since Thanksgiving was so early this year. It drove one of my voracious readers, in particular, crazy to have to wait, but it was fun to anticipate reconnecting with lots of our favorites.
We also wrapped up Christmas books from the library, but just did it for ten days (5 kids = 2 days for each kid) this time and that was fun, as always (and I was kind of glad to get that done in just two weeks).
It’s not often that piano playing gets brought up when mountain biking with friends, but it did for me this year and as a result, I was invited to get together to play Christmas piano duets. It was so fun, even though three of the four of us hadn’t played in years! We mostly just played duets that were easy enough to sight read, and had great fun and laughed at all our mistakes.
I took the kids to the Broadmoor’s gingerbread house display and enjoyed the awkwardness that is walking around the Broadmoor. I mentioned this to a friend of mine and she commented, “Isn’t that part of the Broadmoor’s charm, that everyone feels out of place there?” Ha!
I’m looking forward to some good times with a fire and some good books on Christmas break! I’m just finishing up reading aloud the Little House series with my girls and hopefully some good books will come up on hold at the library for me.
I hope you and yours have a wonderful Christmas season!
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Luke 2
Did you know that Colorado Springs Utilities, and many of the other utility companies in our area, offers rebates when you upgrade to more energy-efficient appliances, thermostats, and HVAC systems? You can get $50 for installing a smart thermostat, $250 for a new furnace, and $50 for a refrigerator, among several others. Check out the full page of information here, and if you’re not a CSU customer, be sure to check your utility company’s website because I know others in our area also offer similar rebate offers.
A couple of years ago, I shared one of my kids’ favorite things to do at Christmas: getting Christmas picture books from the library, wrapping them, and opening one every day. It’s like getting a gift every day – but you don’t have to pay anything for it, and it has to be returned to the library so it doesn’t take up space for very long.
Jeremy and I have five kids, so one child gets to pick out a book each weekday. They all love it, from my 13-year-old all the way down to the six-year-old! This year, I think we’re just going to do it for a couple of weeks (I always feel bad hogging Christmas books for very long when I know other people want to read them right now, too!) and we’ll fill in with some of our own picture books that I’ve been collecting over the past few years.
Anyway, if you want some great Christmas picture books, be sure to check out the ones in this post as some of our all-time favorites are there, and I’ve added a few new ones. And now is the time to either get yourself to the library or put them on hold – they’ll be checked out very soon.
Tips on selecting Christmas picture books
- If you want to just go and browse, I highly recommend going to the East Library as they have a huge selection of holiday books to choose from (really, this library has more books by far than any other branch, I think, so if you want to browse anything, this is the branch).
- If you want to put books on hold, I love using Amazon to look at the “related” books to get ideas of new titles.
- When searching the library’s catalog, don’t forget to search for books with “winter” and “snow” in the title as there are quite a few books in the main children’s section (not the holiday section) that are fun to read at Christmas.
- For older kids, sometimes it’s also fun to put out Christmas chapter books – I don’t have a huge list of those, but the American Girls series has lots of Christmas options, and we have some compilations of the Christmas chapters from Little House or the Anne books that are fun to read. Oh, and don’t forget The Best Christmas Pageant Ever!
- Be careful that you don’t wrap up any books that are super long, or it’s a surefire guarantee that your child will pick that one on the night you feel least like reading. Ha! (Holly and Ivy was a sweet book with lovely illustrations, but it’s long so we’ll be putting that in our regular book basket to read when we have time.)
However you choose to do it, I hope you find some great books that you enjoy reading with your kids this Christmas! You might even whip up some super-easy hot chocolate to drink while you read.