“Mama, Rock Me Like a Wagon Wheel…”

Thanks to our contributing blogger, Liberty Lausterer, for a look into square dancing! Thought of as country past times, square dancing and line dancing can be found throughout Wyoming. Liberty takes a look into the art of square dancing…

by Liberty Lausterer

Square Dancing Caller to Dancers:

“Bow to your partner. Corner too. Circle left. Heads up to the center and back. Sides, Grand Square. Turn a corner. California Twirl. Dosados and swing your partner!”

Old Crow Medicine Show

If this square dancing speak reads a little like a foreign language, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Up until two months ago I had no idea what most of these calls meant. But when we moved to Wyoming it seemed like the perfect way to embrace the west. Plus the Quadra Dangle in Laramie is just a really neat space, and piece of Union Pacific Railroad history in Wyoming. And when the caller played Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel,” Mumford and Sons, Stevie Wonder, and Zumba music during the open house I was all in.

Next month my husband and I will complete our three months of Mainstream Lessons. Mainstream means we can literally travel anywhere in the world and dance the same exact calls we dance in Wyoming. But that’s not even the best part. What is truly amazing about square dancing is that you get to embrace a piece of western culture, and you get to embrace your partner (not to mention lots of other people’s partners).

A fast-paced scene at Laramie’s Quadra Dangle, courtesy Liberty Lausterer

I happen to dance in Laramie, but there are clubs all over the state. The Quadra Dangle will offer another session of lessons in January. So rock me mama like a wagon wheel!

Laramie’s UW Women’s Club Features 2013 Holiday Home Tour

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The University of Wyoming Women’s Club Holiday Home Tour is scheduled from noon-4 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 15. Tickets cost $10 in advance and are available at Ace Hardware and Turtle Rock Coffee. Tickets also are available the day of the tour for $12 at the featured homes. Children 12 & under are by donation.
From a new custom-built home to a historic tree-area Hitchcock home, the public will have the opportunity to view a variety of housing styles, all decorated with holiday cheer.

“The Holiday Home Tour is our main fundraising event for the year with the proceeds providing for a scholarship to assist non-traditional female students to attend UW,” says Kristen Klaphake, the tour’s co-chairwoman.
Stops on this year’s tour include a contemporary-designed home featuring interesting pieces from Thailand. A 1980’s home on the tour was beautifully and creatively remodeled into an attractive, modern space. Also on the tour is a historic tree-area home designed by Laramie architect Wilbur Hitchcock that has been beautifully renovated.
“This year we have a selection of beautiful homes decorated for the holidays. Taking the tour is a great way to bring in the season and to appreciate the architectural home designs we have here in Laramie,” says Klaphake.
For more information, visit http://uwwomensclub.com/ or call Klaphake at (307) 399-1363.
Photo credit, University of Wyoming Women’s Club: This house at 2036 Nighthawk Drive will be among those featured during the 2013 Holiday Home Tour.

MADE IN WYOMING: Wyoming Silvers

visit our website & read the new Winter 13-14 issue of Wyoming Lifestyle Magazine

We are thrilled to team with the Wyoming Business Council to feature a Wyoming First business every week on our blog! Wyoming First is a program that promotes Wyoming member businesses. Visit their website (click here) to learn more about this service — and if you are a Wyoming business who’s not a member, be sure to inquire about membership! There are many benefits!

These week we are featuring Wyoming Silvers of Upton, WY

Jill & Dennis Hendrix, Wyoming Silvers  PO Box 872  Upton, WY 82730  307-630-4166  wyomingsilvers@yahoo.com  www.wyomingsilvers.net

Jill & Dennis Hendrix began selling wholesale to gift shops and state parks across the country.  In 1997 they began direct sales and discontinued selling in the wholesale market.  Wyoming Silvers offers a diverse product line from jewelry to lariat baskets and clocks.  Jill and Dennis have received several fine art awards at art shows across the Midwest.

Wyoming Silvers creates art glass jewelry and some silver work.  Each piece is one-of-a-kind, blown, fused and torch-work glass.  Dennis creates lariat rope baskets and lariat clocks.  He also creates the custom name rings. Each one is made with the customer’s personalization on a comfort fit stainless steel band.  They are very reasonably priced, which includes the ring and all the personalization.

Normally, Wyoming Silvers’ products can be ordered via their website, however, this month they are in a kiosk in front of Christopher Banks and Kay Jewelers at Frontier Mall in Cheyenne.   Visit their web site or stop in at the mall, this is a great opportunity to own a handcrafted unique piece of art.

Wyoming Silvers recently received licensing to use the Bucking Horse and Rider logo on their line of personalized jewelry of rings, pendants or bracelets and happily will work with customer on custom pieces.  They are made to order, and if purchasing at their Frontier Mall kiosk in Cheyenne you can pick up your ring the same day.  Products ordered are generally shipped within 48 hours and the shipping is free to the customer.

This year they have added more sculptural glass work and gift items.  Blown glass ring holders and nifty purse holders are priced under $20.  In the jewelry line, Jill has added convertible necklaces that can be worn with or without the pendants.  These necklaces come with matching earrings.  All jewelry is gift boxed with the Wyoming first seal.

ELAN Home in Jackson Hole



Luxury vacation home in Jackson Hole, Wyoming combines custom architecture with hidden home systems to make a breathtaking and simple-to-use getaway for guests.


PETALUMA, CALIFORNIA, November 25, 2013 — Designing a home automation system that homeowners will love usually comes down to one thing – usability. If the system is easy to use, delivers all the functions the owners desire and makes their daily home life easier, it’s a dream come true.  Simplicity becomes an even bigger factor when the home will serve as a guest rental for much of the year.

For Tom Taylor, a veteran high-end residential architect, this level of sophisticated yet simple home automation was a must-have for his new home and rental property at the Amangani Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. To achieve this, he hired Connecticut—based C&T Systems to install an ELAN® g! Entertainment and Control System that makes it easy to control the home’s lighting, heating, audio/video, pool, spa, security and surveillance systems.

According to Andrew Spalla, C&T’s director of engineering, every step in the project was carefully considered and the design was fully orchestrated before installation began, ensuring a smooth process and a perfect result. “We agreed that for the home to be comfortable for the Taylors while also being simple and luxurious for guests, it needed to provide controls that are intuitive and can be operated by anybody with zero training,” he said. “And it was important to minimize the visual impact of the control system keypads while keeping the operation simple for lighting, music and AV.”

All the lighting controls throughout the house are intuitive, from LED light strips and recessed lights that have pre-set ‘high’ and ‘low’ dimming levels to motorized window shades that can be raised or lowered through the ELAN g! mobile app or an ELAN HR2 remote. Each room has a lighting keypad that includes buttons for ‘high’, ‘low’ and ‘off’, plus up and down arrows for diming that allow guests to set their perfect lighting level.  The system is intelligently designed to fit each space in the home, so that the ‘high’ level is brighter in the kitchen than the ‘high’ level in the master bedroom, and that certain light fixtures automatically adjust brightness at night and in the daytime. In addition there are select scenario buttons that set scenes throughout the house for things like entertaining.

The owners have special settings for themselves that use the intelligently hidden LED light strips to accentuate the grain of the redwood walls, stone fireplaces and the texture of the semi-transparent Lutron window shades that block sunlight but allow the views of the mountains to show through.

The shades are an important component, giving the Taylors and their guests control over sun glare when enjoying TV or a movie.  A simple tap on an ELAN keypad, HR2 remote or the g! app on an iPad or iPhone lowers the shades and then fires up the home theater or living room entertainment area.

“When designing this home and the electronics systems, aesthetics always came first,” Spalla added. “We used Sunfire speakers in the home theater to provide true theater quality sound, and we replaced the spa system’s ugly controller with an attractive keypad that matches the home’s décor and design.  By combining all the home’s functions into the g! system we eliminated a lot of standard wall clutter, like light switches, thermostats and a spa control dial. Now it’s all controlled from a single light keypad in each room, or from an iPad or iPhone. We also kept the system as hidden as we could, using Niles and SpeakerCraft speakers that mount flush into the ceiling and can be painted.  Unless someone points them out to you, you’d never even know they were there.”

The Lutron lighting keypads can be specially programmed, such as the one located near the doorway to the outdoor seating area; it features a special ‘Spa’ button that tells the ELAN g! system to turn on the patio lights and hot tub jets, while automatically turning on the outdoor audio system and playing selections from the owner’s playlist or streaming sources such as Pandora.  Spalla and Taylor chose Niles speakers for the outdoor area because they are extremely weather-resistant and provide superior sound quality. Other rooms use multi-function buttons as well, such as the bedrooms where a ‘Suite Off’ button switches off any lights, TV and music that are currently on in the room.

The keypads are wonderfully easy to use for each room, but managing the entire home’s bevy of electronic systems requires a true touchscreen experience, which Spalla delivered with a 10-inch in-wall ELAN TS10 touch panel in the kitchen.  Through the TS10 the Taylors and guests can manage, monitor and control everything in the home, from the audio, video, security systems and surveillance cameras to the snow and ice melting system.  All of this control is also available on the ELAN g! mobile app, which the owners and guests use on their iPads or iPhones to adjust heating, lighting, windows shades, audio and video without getting off the couch, or even when away from the house.

Setting up for a movie night is easier than ever using the ELAN HR2 remote or an iPad, which allows the viewer to turn on the home theater or living room media system, choose their favorite program or movie, turn down the lights, turn up the volume and set the heat to their ideal level. And several of the home’s TVs are recessed into the wall, creating another super-custom touch that makes the architecture and design the main attraction.

C&T Systems is a division of C&T Electric Corporation, located in Vernon, Connecticut.  C&T has been in business since 1973, and became one of the first ELAN certified dealers in 1989. The company offers a wide variety of solutions for electrical, telecom, generator, lighting control, whole house audio, entertainment and integration systems. For more information visit www.candtelectric.com/ctsystems.html.

About ELAN® Home Systems:

Founded in 1990, ELAN® Home Systems is an industry leading manufacturer of innovative, award-winning whole-house entertainment and control systems that are distributed through a comprehensive channel of select dealers and distributors throughout the United States, Canada and more than 58 countries worldwide. To learn more, visit www.elanhomesystems.com.

ELAN is part of Core Brands®, LLC, a Nortek company. Core Brands combines the product and marketing strengths of ten iconic audio, power management, and control brands into a single business unit that includes the ATON®, BlueBOLT®, ELAN®, Furman®, Niles®, Panamax®, Proficient®, SpeakerCraft®, Sunfire® and Xantech® brands.

Nortek, Inc., (NASDAQ: NTK) is a global, diversified company whose many market-leading brands deliver broad capabilities and a wide array of innovative, technology-driven products and solutions for lifestyle improvement at home and at work. Please visit www.nortekinc.com for more information.


WY FOODIE: Yummy Recipes from WY Beef Council

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A new series of great holiday recipes from our friends at the Wyoming Beef Council! We greatly appreciate all the hard work they do promoting the advantages of beef – a Wyoming agricultural staple and the income for many of our friends & neighbors!

As we begin to think about having guests over for the holidays, we can’t help but imagine all the wonderful possibilities. When it comes time for friends and family to gather ‘round your table, our holiday recipes will delight their senses—from the smell of a roast in the oven and the taste of cranberries to the sight of a hearty breakfast after a brisk morning walk in the snow.


Appetizers like Bite-Sized Sweet & Spicy Beef Ribs and Mini Meatballs with Apricot Dipping Sauce will wow your guests and start the event off right! They’ll be the perfect pairing with fruity holiday wines.

Mini Meatballs with Apricot Dipping Sauce: are made with lean Ground Beef and can be kept warm in a slow cooker. http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/recipe.aspx?id=4005

Bite-Sized Sweet & Spicy Beef Ribs: http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/recipe.aspx?id=4532

Beef and Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms: These perfectly bite-sized mushrooms are stuffed with a savory blend of Ground Beef, blue cheese and chives. http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/recipe.aspx?id=4900

Beef and Couscous Stuffed Baby Bell Peppers: Tiny peppers are packed with Ground Beef, spinach and couscous for a colorful appetizer that’s easy on the waistline at only 35 calories each. http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/recipe.aspx?id=4921



Main courses like an awe-inspiring Classic Tenderloin with Cranberry Drizzle or a comforting North Woods Hearty Pot Roast will fill the bellies around the dinner table.

Classic Tenderloin with Cranberry Drizzle: http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/recipe.aspx?id=4409

North Woods Hearty Pot Roast: http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/recipe.aspx?id=405

Crumb-Crusted Top Sirloin and Roasted Garlic Potatoes with Bourbon Sauce: Is just as glorious as a more expensive roast, but is easy to prepare and a breeze to carve. http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/recipe.aspx?id=197

Walnut-Crusted Roast with Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes only looks like it took you half a day to prepare. The simple walnut crust comes together quickly and the roast is placed in the oven for about two hours—the perfect amount of time to set the table. http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/recipe.aspx?id=1908


And finally if breakfast or brunch are more your style, serve a twist on a classic breakfast pastry with Beef Sticky Buns. For those busy mornings, a quick and easy Beef and cream cheese bagelwich will cross one more thing off your growing to-do list. Not to mention, adding protein to your morning meal will keep you satisfied longer.

Beef Sticky Buns: http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/recipe.aspx?id=391

Beef and cream cheese bagelwich: http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/recipe.aspx?id=3906


You can view the entire collection of holiday recipes, perfect for any dining occasion on BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com. While you’re there, don’t miss the newsroom for more story ideas.

MADE IN WYOMING: 307 Soapworks

visit our website & read the current issue

We are thrilled to team with the Wyoming Business Council to feature a Wyoming First business every week on our blog! Wyoming First is a program that promotes Wyoming member businesses. Visit their website (click here) to learn more about this service — and if you are a Wyoming business who’s not a member, be sure to inquire about membership! There are many benefits!

This week we are featuring 307 Soapworks of Bar Nunn, WY

Lynn Hazen, 307 Soapworks 307-262-7409  307soapworks@gmail.com www.soapguildstores.com/307soapworks

Lynn Hazen started making soap after she and her sister had a conversation about home-based businesses.  Handmade soap was on the list of businesses. At first Lynn thought it was a silly thing to do from home, after all, who would be interested in purchasing soap from somewhere other than a store.  She put the notion of learning to make soap on the back burner, but eventually started searching the internet for information.  Lynn started with Melt and Pour soap but she quickly lost interest.  She then decided to research how to make Cold Process soap.  After reading tutorials and books and watching videos for about six months, Lynn finally got up the courage to make her first batch of Castile soap, and she was hooked!

Lynn is currently the sole soap maker but hopes to make it a family business. 307 Soapworks does custom orders and only uses essential oils to scent the soaps.  However, if someone wanted a product made from a specific fragrance oil, she would require them to purchase the entire batch of about 2.5 pounds of soap or 7 bars.  Some of the ingredients used are: Avocado, Castor, Coconut, Olive, Palm and Rice Bran oils; and, Kaolin Clay.

307Soapworks products can only be purchased online at this time:  www.soapguildstores.com/307soapworks.  

Lynn will be participating in the Winter Market in Casper at the Ag Extension Building on Fairgrounds Road, the first Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.  The next market will be December 7th.

Lynn is proud to be a Wyoming native, so she wanted her products to have a Wyoming theme, and the soapy name illustrate that very sentiment: “Whoa, Nellie” (for Nellie Tayloe Ross), “Togwotee” (for Togwotee Pass), “Gebo” (for Gebo, WY), and a salve named Dr. Lillian’s Salve (for Dr. Lillian Heath).  Current products include soaps, lip balms, laundry soap, salve and solid lotion.   


ART IN WY: WY Film & Cardinal Matters, Casper’s Corridor Gallery Event

WYOMING FILM IN DUBOIS:  The 2013 Wyoming Short Film Contest winner, Mark Christian, is working towards a film shot in Dubois, Wyoming — Cardinal Matter — and they’re going to the people to help put together their budget! They’ve just got 13 days left and $12,000 at stake…can you help them out? Read on for a letter from Mark…

My name is Mark Christian, winner of the 2013 Wyoming Short Film Contest, held by the Office of Tourism and Wyoming Film Office and was awarded $25,000 to make a film to be shot in Wyoming. I am reaching out to you because we are trying to spread the word of the film across the state. The film will be shot 100% in the state of Wyoming showing off its beauty and providing work for its kind and hardworking people.

Our film, Cardinal Matter, is a feature length film about Austin, a US soldier on leave who has lost all his family. All he has left is his cousin, Hunter, but when he goes to visit he becomes the target of a deadly corporate cover-up. It’s a powerful tale illustrating the effects of large cities on rural America and we feel strongly about telling a good story through a compelling narrative that audiences of all demographics will enjoy.

Currently, our biggest obstacle is budget. We are about $12,000 shy of our goal on indiegogo. Myself and the rest of the Cardinal Matter crew are hoping you can share our campaign page/fb page to spread the word to your followers. I have provided a link to our facebook page as well as the Indiegogo campaign below.

I would be happy to answer any questions! You can reach me at cardinalmatterfilm@gmail.com.
Indiegogo Page:


Facebook page:


“It’s Not about the Frame,” John Atherton

CASPER:  The Corridor Gallery Welcomes “It’s Not About the Frame”

The Corridor Gallery is excited to announce “It’s Not About the Frame” an upcoming show opening on December 13th at 7pm featuring a collection of Classic American Illustration. “It’s Not About the Frame” is a hand selected batch of 45 original American Illustration works from Fred Taraba’s collection. The Corridor has chosen to remove existing frames and show all work sans distraction. Knowing that most who purchase any of these works will opt to have framed themselves, The Corridor is offering a $100 framing certificate with each sale. The show’s flagship piece is an original illustration done for the cover of The Saturday Evening Post in 1945 by illustrator John Atherton. Given the popularity of The Saturday Evening Post, many of the less known cover illustrations have sold in excess of six digit figures. More intriguing than a potential price tag on this piece is the fact that John Atherton gifted it to a few women that saved Atherton’s life after a ski accident in 1945. John concluded his life saga by drowning in a fly-fishing accident shortly after at the age of 51. Every single piece of this collection reveals complex and interesting stories such as this.

About Fred Taraba

Fred Taraba is a dealer in original American illustrative artwork… that is, painting and drawings that have been created specifically for reproduction in books, magazines, advertisements and many other media. He has been in the business of caring for, writing about and selling original illustration since 1983. For sixteen years he was the Director of Illustration House, Inc. a New York City gallery and auction house specializing in the art form. Prior to that he spent eight years with The Society of Illustrators in New York as their Assistant Director/Curator and Librarian. The public are invited to the opening reception on the evening of Friday, December 13th at 7pm. There will be a cash malt beverage bar at hand and the Fred will be present for questions. “It’s Not About the Frame” will ONLY be showing through Sunday, December 15th. Please contact the Corridor Gallery or Fred Taraba with any questions. 

Event Details

Event: “It’s Not About the Frame” featuring 45 works of original illustrative artwork
Opening Reception: Friday, December 13th at 7pm
Admission Cost: Free Show
Showing Through: Dec 13th 7pm-midnight, Dec 14th 10am-5pm, Dec 15th noon-4pm
Accommodations: Cash malt beverage bar
Information: For more information, please contact The Corridor Gallery at (307) 333-7035, Reed at (307) 259-8001 or visit http://www.tarabaillustrationart.com/


Hot Power Yoga of Laramie

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Hot Power Yoga, 511 East Ivinson Avenue, Laramie Wyoming


Hot Power Yoga of Laramie is what it sounds like – a yoga workout set in a very warm environment. Hot Power Yoga of Laramie sets their temperature in the mid-90s. The purpose is to sweat – and a lot. “{Heat benefits include} joint lubrication, increased muscle mobility, and an overall cleansing through sweat,” Hot Power Yoga of Laramie says. They highly recommend that women who are pregnant, have recently been pregnant or are soon-to-be pregnant not attend.

Besides the heat factor, Hot Power Yoga is “…fitness-based, making it a little more vigorous and good for building strength,” HPY of Laramie explains.

Hot Power Yoga of Laramie can be found online at www.hotpoweryogalaramie.com, by calling 307.703.YOGA, and is located at 511 E. Ivinson Street. This is a place that is on my ‘must try’ for fitness resolutions this year!

Thank you to Ardent Photography of Laramie for graciously supplying these fabulous images!


LODGING: The Bentwood Inn B&B, Jackson Hole, WY

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For a beautiful and relaxing experience in Jackson Hole, visit The Bentwood Inn B&B in nearby Teton Village. A short drive from downtown Jackson, and a short drive to the slopes, The Bentwood Inn offers luxury and ambiance year-round. Outside Magazine called The Bentwood “One of North America’s best Ecolodges,” and as soon as you pull into the drive you’ll see why. We greatly enjoyed our own stay, with a lovely gas fireplace, spacious bathroom and a delicious night’s sleep.

Visit their website to learn more about The Bentwood Inn B&B – and when you’re planning your next Teton vacation, check them out!