1. Latest & Greatest December 2011

    December 1, 2011 by admin

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  2. Parties that DON’T Pack on the Pounds!

    by Mindy Wood

    If you think about it, those of us who struggle with our weight often don’t shed the pounds because we use food for pleasure and a sense of reward. While it’s good for everyone to indulge in a little recreational “binge” there are ways to avoid turning those holiday parties into a buffet line! Consider a few fun ideas and food combinations that will at least leave you in the same size pants you were in before the holidays.

    First try to plan a party that isn’t driven by food. Let your party create a productive purpose like the gift wrapping social. Invite your friends over for a night of scissors, tape, bows and Christmas paper. It’s a chore for most people and with the bulk of the shopping done by a week before Christmas, it’s a party that usually doesn’t overlap other scheduled parties earlier in the month. You’ll add some fun to a usually boring occasion. A late afternoon party lends itself to light refreshments, saving you time, money and calories! Don’t pay someone to wrap your gifts when you can make a party out of it! Kick up the Christmas music, break out the wine and wrap it up!

    Christmas is so…ornamental isn’t it? Art is nestled in the soul of everyone making it common ground for everything from booking a museum’s seasonal exhibit to making ornaments. Check with your local art district or museum for a group class designing ornaments. You could throw a Christmas décor party where your friends bring bits and pieces of décor they don’t use and trade them in or put together wreaths, wall décor, and even preserve nostalgic ornaments with special meaning.

    In the 5k craze sweeping America, a lot of walkers and runners are opting for a trek through lighted displays ending with a simple party or meeting at a favorite coffee shop, smoothie place, or bar. While Decembers in Oklahoma usually start to get pretty cold, a dusk run is dark enough to enjoy the lights but still warm enough not to freeze your sneakers off! Ending the journey with hot cocoa and a favorite seasonal treat like toasted nuts is a healthy and a reward for burning off calories.

    Food is enjoyable but it doesn’t always have to be guilty pleasures that leave you with a smile. At your parties, be sure to exhaust seasonal fruits and vegetables and “tweak” the dips and sides to make it healthier. There are a lot of ways to replace certain ingredients without giving up the flavor. Forgo the mayo, substitute it with plain low fat yogurt and you’ll come out ahead by a whopping 370 calories! Can’t live without cream cheese? Puree low fat cottage cheese and save 100 calories! Opt for the turkey link sausage and spices instead of beef or pork link sausage to save yourself 160 calories. Search for healthy substitutes online or make sure your favorite chef will cater low calorie options for your party.

    While you’re at it, don’t over look spa parties, make up sessions in favorite boutiques, and shopping tours with a light lunch. There are plenty of party resources and tips here at SEO. Creative caterers, exceptional entertainment, party supply stores, boutiques, restaurants and much more!

    Happy Planning! Mindy Ragan Wood

  3. Don’t Miss Downtown in December!

    by Alison Shumake

    Only in Downtown Oklahoma City can you experience the thrill of outdoor ice skating, exhilarating snow tubing rides down the southwest’s largest man-made slope, water taxi excursions along the winding Bricktown Canal, free museum Sundays, free river cruises, a magically-lit botanical garden and historic avenue, a festive 5K run through the heart of Downtown and plenty of holiday cheer for the entire family! This month-long adventure attracts thousands of revelers to the heart of the City’s polar playground. Don’t miss the festivities that will run through the New Year! Get ready for Holiday Cheer as the newly remodeled Myriad Botanical Gardens welcomes three special activities in “Downtown in December.”

    Devon Ice Skating Rink

    Last month, the much-anticipated new downtown ice skating rink made its "Downtown in December" debut at the Myriad Botanical Gardens. The rink is located on the east side of the Gardens across from the Cox Convention center, situated on the Seasonal Plaza just north of the new Gardens restaurant. The rink is open daily from noon – 10:00 pm. through February 28. Group sessions are available in the mornings with reservations and our affordable rates allows you to enjoy the rink for as long you want at just $10 per skater or $7 if you don’t want to skate.

    Devon Saturdays With Santa

    Get out those Christmas lists! Saint Nicholas himself will be at the Myriad Botanical Gardens December 3, 10, & 17, from noon-3:00 p.m. Visits will take place at the West Lake Pavilion near the Children’s Garden where Santa will be on his throne to greet children, while a sleigh will be on display for festive family photographs. Snacks and kids’ crafts will be available in the Children’s Garden area, along with a special mailbox to collect those important letters to Santa Clause. Admission:FREE

    OG&E Garden Lights

    The Gardens will sparkle inside and out through January 1 during "Downtown in December’s" OG+E Garden lights. Stroll through a fantastical winter wonderland of color and light in the newly-renovated outdoor grounds. Inside, warm up during "Holidays in the Tropics" inside the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory. The Crystal Bridge will offer FREE ADMISSION from 6-9 p.m. every Sunday during "Downtown in December," (December 4, 11, 18, 25 and January 1).

    Downtown in December
    Contact: Alison Shumake
    301 W. Reno, OKC OK 73102