Friday, January 29, 2010

Coffee with Pops

Yesterday was my daddy's birthday, so he stopped by my work at lunch to take me for a coffee break. Guess I should've been the one buying, but hey, I'm broke.

We went to The Market - one of the great local eatery/coffee shops/bakeries in downtown Denver. I got a big ol' cup of loose leaf lemon mint tea (since I've been a bit under the weather the last couple of days), and my pop got a decaf Allegro coffee.

The pile of napkins on the table is 'cause my daddy-long-legs kept knockin' his knees under the table & spilling our drinks.

Later that night I made dinner for everyone at my pad - I may even post a couple of the recipes up here! I did everything "Mexican" style, but without any cheese or meat. It was really yummy!

Ugh, back to trying to get over this doggone cold... and hopefully breathe out of my nose again soon.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Avery's Sweet Salvation!

Last night I met up with some girlfriends at one of my favorite restaurants in Denver: City O City. Everything is vegetarian "comfort food", and it's absolutely delicious. We split the seitan buffalo wings (teriyaki style with vegan ranch), and I got the spinach salad (with candied walnuts, gorgonzola, sliced apple, and raspberry vinaigrette). Everything was soooo scrumptious, and the conversations and giggles never stopped.

I decided to get something a little different to drink, and ordered Avery's SALVATION (Belgian-style ale). It was ridiculously good, lightly sweet, teeny little bubbles, refreshing.... and 9% alcohol by volume! I certainly felt it when I was finished with the bottle, but I enjoyed it very much. I'm starting to think that these belgian-style beers are really my thing... I think I've loved every one I've tried!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Best Freakin' Potato Salad Ever

Last night I had some of the gals over to be guinea pigs for some new recipes, and to watch the chick-flick classic "Thelma & Louise".

One of the recipes I tried was from my new How it All Vegan cookbook, and I gotta say - it turned out to be one of my new favorites. It was super duper easy, and I hope I don't butcher the crap outta the ingredients here - but this is pretty much it. And it's without all of the fatty eggs and mayonnaise that usually goes into potato salad!

Vegan Cucumber Potato Salad

- 2 to 3 cups diced red potatoes (or fingerling potatoes - this is what I used)
- 1 cucumber (chopped)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp prepared horseradish
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar (I just used some old red wine that wasn't fit to drink)
- fresh dill

Cook the potatoes in boiling water for about 20-30 minutes (until tender with fork), and run under cold water until cool. (I would've allowed time for them to chill in the fridge for a little while myself, as the cooling process was difficult with just cold water). Mix the olive oil, mustard, horseradish, red wine vinegar & dill in a small bowl. In a large bowl combine the potatoes & the cucumber, then mix in the dressing. Voila! Deeeliciousness!

A potato salad that's healthy for you? WHOA!

Another great recipe that came out of the evening was the Curried Apple Soup - the girls gobbled it right up and went back for seconds. You'll have to get the cookbook though for that recipe - and I promise, it's worth it. All of them are super easy, and so far absolutely delicious!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Zee Avi - Just Loverly!

I just found out about this lovely little singer named Zee Avi. She's just 23-years-old, and has the most beautiful Billy Holiday-esque singing voice. I found her album at the library, and have been bopping around to it all day. She's totally worth checking out - I can imagine listening to her music while strolling on a sandy beach or swinging away in a hammock...

...sigh, I need a vacation!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Talons Challenge Weekend o' Fun

We had a ridiculously fun time this weekend!
Friday night started us out at Breckenridge with a night full of dancing, and $4 PBR tall boys. It was an absolute blast, and the DJ was crankin' out dance tunes from the 70's, 80's & 90's. Needless to say, we boogied our booties off.

The next morning I dragged my butt off the couch at 6:00am to meet some friends for the ride up to Beaver Creek. The sunrise was absolutely gorgeous, and though I was freezing and slightly sleepy I mustered up the energy to snap this awesome photo.

While my more adventurous friends went off to tackle the 13 black diamond runs, I hung back with some other peeps and hit the blue "intermediate" runs. There was some amazing fresh powder, and we even found some runs where we could make the first cuts through it. It was the best day of boarding I had all year.

Sunday I came home early, took down my Xmas decorations (finally) and cleaned my apartment. All-in-all a pretty kickass weekend!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Talons Challenge 2010 Baby!

Leavin' early today to go do the Talons Challenge in Beaver Creek tomorrow! It's where you try and do all the black diamond runs in 1-day, and at the end you get entered into a raffle for prizes & such.

Because I'm a huge chicken, I will be doing the blue runs all day. At least they won't be crowded! :)

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ouchie, Illegal Pete's

I am a well-known addict of Illegal Pete's. To those of you who don't live in Colorado, Illegal Pete's is a 100-times better version of Chipotle and Qudoba. They have the best vegetarian green chili, awesome fish burritos, a full bar, and they're open 'till 2am. Can't beat that!

But for some reason, even though I have been on the Eat to Live plan for over 2 weeks now, and even though I've lost 7 pounds so far on the plan - I decided to stop over there for a late-night order of chips and chile con queso. I'm thinking it may have something to do with the 3 glasses of wine & the martini I had before stumbling over, but I can't be sure.

It was deeeelicious at the time, but boy my tummy doesn't like me today. Note to self: If you've spent 2 1/2 weeks cleaning out your system from dairy, salt, and high calorie foods - maybe it's not the best idea to stuff your face full of melted cheese & fried chips. Common sense, really.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Donating Blood

I'm going to donate blood today for the first time in about 10 years.

My first experience donating blood was not a very good one. It was in High School, and I really only did it so that I could skip class. I drank a ton of water because they said you needed to stay hydrated... but forgot that you should also have a full stomach too. So all my tummy was filled with was water, and not much else! The donation process went fine, but afterward while nibbling on my free cookie I started to feel woozy. I laid down on a bed and they had me breathe into a bag, but then I realized I had to pee like crazy because I'd been drinking so much water!

My friend led me to the bathroom, and the moment I stood up from emptying my bladder I thought I was going to faint. She helped me lay down on a bench, but then I realized that I had to puke, but if I got up I'd pass out. The only trash can nearby was a huge cafeteria-sized one on wheels. She struggled to get it tipped over to where I was laying so that I could lean over and barf into it. Needless to say, the rest of the day I was completely out of commission.

And now, for some reason, I've decided to give it another shot! If I'm remembering correctly, I'm O positive, which means that my blood type can be used by all others (except O negative). I think that's right, anyway. My point is, that my blood is in high demand and I SHOULD be donating!

I tried to sign up last year, but there's this stupid law in place in Colorado where you have to wait 12 full months after getting a tattoo to be eligible. I just realized this month that it has been 18 for me, so I can finally do it again!

So I'm ridiculously nervous, but glad that I can help my community and possibly save someone's life. I really hope I don't barf this time.

UPDATE: My donation time has been postponed 'cause I had to identify my friend's purse thief during my appointment time! See my post "Purse Snatchers Suck" for the full story... Don't worry - I rescheduled for February to donate. :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Purse Snatchers SUCK

Last night we were at one of my favorite local hangouts having a wonderful time - right up until we were leaving and my friend realized her purse was gone.

Yes, someone stole my friend's purse! Right out from under our noses! I know from personal experience how awful it feels to have something like that happen to you. Your purse is such a personal thing, and it's just plain violating. I was furious to say the least, and my dreams last night mostly concerned me tracking down the thief and opening up a can of karate-style whoop ass, right in their disgusting awful faces.

It's one thing to rob from a store - that's bad enough. But stealing someone else's property really chaps my ass. My friend had everything in there - her brand new iPhone, her wallet (ID, credit cards, etc), favorite sunglasses, iPod, keys, etc. Many people would argue "it's all material shit anyways, and maybe this is a way of saying that these things shouldn't matter that much". But this isn't a girl who lives lavishly and throws her money on expensive crap. She worked to earn these things, then some idiot just came by and took it all away. It's infuriating.

Anyway - if any of you spot a light brown leather Banana Republic shoulder bag swinging on the arm of some tart in the Denver area, please bring her in for questioning immediately. Over & out.

UPDATE: The Denver Police just arrested the 2 suspects!! They lived in the apartment complex across the street from the bar we were at. The superintendent found a bag with my friend's ID and credit cards, and called her up! The woman had a warrant out for her arrest, and they FOUND HER PURSE in the woman's apartment! They arrested her, and my friend's iPod, swiss army knife, and sunglasses were actually still in the purse, along with all of her business cards. AMAZING.

I chalk that shit up to good karma. The Denver Police must get a hundred reports of stolen personal items a week - and out of all of those, ours turned up. Time to pay it forward!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Crazy about Podcasts! Well, one of 'em at least...

My big sister informed me about these wonderful little things called Podcasts. Yes, I'm a little behind the times, but whatevs.

She told me about this one called "Stuff You Missed in History Class" (from How Stuff They talk about all kinds of fascinating events in history, and get to the bottom of what really happened. And I'm TOTALLY obsessed with them! They're all between 8 and 20 minutes long, and perfect to listen to while working out, on a bike ride, or while doing the dishes. (I listened all about Marie Antoinette, Thomas Jefferson, how Rasputin was killed, and what Knights went through to get their status just the other night!)

Anyway - if you haven't discovered these wonderful Podcast things, you should definitely check them out. You can download them for free through the iTunes store, and plop them right onto your iPod. Knowledge is yummy!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Gerbera Daisies

A lot of people make the mistake of calling them "Gerber Daisies", when the actual name is pronounced "Gerbera". Just a little fun fact for ya! They're my absolute favorite type of flower. They're bursting with color, and they make me ridiculously happy. Two awesome friends of mine had a bouquet of them sent to my office for my birthday last year, and they truly brightened up my little basement-no-windows-or-sunlight-hole-in-the-wall office!

This bouquet my mom bought for me on a whim when we were at Whole Foods last weekend. They make me smile every time I look at them!

Thanks mom!

Monday, January 11, 2010

How to eat a pomegranate ... and LOVE IT!

Pomegranates have always intimidated me. They're funny lookin', you're supposed to eat the seeds, and Lord only knows how the heck to get them out of there without making a complete mess!

Oh wait - my friend Katy knows too!

Katy brought a pomegranate over as dessert for dinner one night. I watched her intently to see how she worked her magic, and I could've smacked myself in the forehead for not seeing the simplicity. So here's what you do:

1.) Cut off the pokey end of the fruit so that you have a flat base.
2.) Set the fruit on it's now-flat base, and cut it into 4 quarters.
3.) Fill a large mixing bowl with water, almost to the top.
4.) Take a slice of the pomegranate and dunk it under the water. While holding it under, run your thumb over the seeds to pop them out of the shell. Don't worry too much about scraping off the rind in the water, as you'll see - the seeds will sink to the bottom, and the rind will float to the top!
5.) Continue with the other slices, then either use a strainer or your hand to scoop out the rind that has floated to the top of the bowl.
6.) Drain the seeds, and enjoy!

The mystery has been solved, and with no mess of pink juice all over your kitchen and yourself. You can buy the seeds already out of the shell at Whole Foods in a neat little container, but it'll probably cost you about 5x more than just doing a bit of work yourself. And, it's fun!

Mmmmm, antioxidants!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Yes Men VS Maybe Men

I'm starting to think that life is too short to settle for "maybe".

I love who I am, and the person that I've become. I'm so lucky to have so many wonderful friends and family around me, that I know love me like crazy. Yet, why do I get discouraged when I barely know a guy - and he's not sure whether or not he wants me?

Of all the things I've learned, I know that I deserve to be wanted. I deserve to be needed and loved by someone. When I meet someone who isn't sure about me - isn't sure of whether or not they want to be with me - I think, that there has to be someone out there who is sure. Who knows after meeting me or after a bit of time that YES, I am the girl they want. All of my quirky qualities, my fashion experiments, my humor, my faults. Someone who will at least take the chance to get to know me and see me for everything that I am before making a decision either way.

This is who I am. I don't like to put expectations on anyone, or any situation, but I know all of this about myself and that it means something very real to me.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Yoko Ono - What a Lady

I've always known about Yoko Ono, and about her relationship with John Lennon (you'd have to be living under a rock in the deep dark ocean to not). But I didn't realize what a wise woman she is! I'm on an email list for BUST.COM (one of my favorite websites / magazines), and they wrote an article about how every Friday she does a Q & A day on her Twitter page -

I read through these, and found them lovely and right on point. The 2nd one is pretty much my favorite. Now I won't feel so bad about switching to flats these days.... they're more comfy anyway! Go, Yoko, Go!

Do you regard yourself as a feminist? I regard myself as a woman. And for a woman in this society, we have no choice but to be a feminist first, and sympathizer of men second. I say this, because I know that many men who are still sane, are all suffering, too, in many ways. Give them understanding and sympathy.

Do you have any advice for a woman who is searching for her higher self? Higher mind? Higher truths?
Just be yourself. You help the world by being you, not by wearing a pair of high heeled shoes.

If women had more control of the world, how would things change for the better? Why do men seem to cause so much more grief? I think we should give a rest to the guys. They certainly need it. Give us, women, a few decades or a century. After that, we should go fifty/fifty. The guys who were sitting and watching us women do the job, will then be in a position to come in again with their new wisdom. Our planet will need all the energy we can muster to deal with other planets of the Universe, successfully. So we’ll do it together – woman and man.

I’d love to know how to not get discouraged fighting for Gay equality. It feels like we’re going backwards.
That’s because you are relying on the approval of politicians who represent the majority. The fight, therefore, is doomed to be difficult. Don’t be discouraged, moan or be angry. Just know that it’s a difficult game, and play it with joy. One day you will have a surprise!

How does a non conformist woman keep her spirits up in a world where women are often considered as less important than men?
I think what we think of women is more important than what others may think of us. I think of women with pride and dignity. I think we are hot! We are the hottest! And we will prove it by the miracles we create for the world. They need us.

How do you view female artists?
There are still difficulty of being a woman in any field. Because it is still a male society. But we’ll get around it. If we come up with ideas they need to use, they will. Men are very pragmatic that way…or shall I say, the world is? You may not get much credit for what you do, but you get the pleasure of knowing that you have done something for the progression of the society, or, if you are an artist, for the art world. It’s very similar to our role of having kids. Mothers’ role in this society is a painful one. You don’t get properly credited or assisted. But we have the pleasure of knowing that we created miracles called the future of the human race.

Image and information courtesy of

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My New Journal & Vegan Cookbook!

One of the wonderfully generous comedians that we work for dropped off a $50 gift card to the Tattered Cover as a Christmas present yesterday! I couldn't have been more thrilled - the Tattered Cover is a locally owned bookstore in Denver, and one of my favorite places to kill a few hours wandering around.

Today I stopped over there on my break (fighting the wind and big fat snowflakes), and picked up a new adorable journal designed by this amazing artist: The image pictured is the one that I picked out - it says "I am fairly certain that given a cape and a nice tiara, I could save the world". I think that's a lovely personal motto, don't you?

I also got "How it All Vegan" - an awesome vegan cookbook that I've been wanting to check out for a while! Here is their website, just FYI: Just flipping through it got me all excited to try out the recipes. They look really simple, and super fun to try. I was really relieved to see that the preparations are very brief, as my attention span for long instructions pairs in tandem with my attention span for reading a manual for... well anything. AND this works out great with my "Eat to Live" plan, as being vegan means no dairy or animal products (which I wanted to do anyways), and I can limit the salt & such. I'm so excited! Now I just need to get a good food processor.... guess who's birthday is coming up in March?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Best Night Ever

Last night my friends really came through for me.

I wasn't even planning on doing a set at open mic night until my friend Katy said she was planning on going. Then I found out 2 more friends were planning on it, so I felt the need to put on a show! I rehearsed with Matt after work, then made my way over to the bar...

...and noticed not 3, but 4 friends at a table! Then I got a phone call from ANOTHER friend saying she was coming down, and turned around to see my little sister and my friend Jesse walk in. I had no idea that so many people were going to be there, and I was thrilled. I even got one in particular surprise "show up" from a certain someone that I completely didn't expect.

I eventually went onstage, and sung "The Way I Am" by Ingrid Michaelson, "Colore" by Les Innocents (my token french song), "Collette" by Langhorne Slim, and "Glory Box" by Portishead. I was met with very enthusiastic applause, and I was giddy with all of the positive energy in the room! I have never had that much undivided attention while singing before, and the crowd let me know how much they loved my performance. I know it was just open mic, but it felt AMAZING.

Afterwards my friends all hugged me and told me how well I did. Total strangers at the bar stopped to give me a high-five, or a "great job!". I was overwhelmed. The best part of the night was looking over at the grinning faces of my wonderful friends while singing my heart out under the lights.

It was a night I'll never forget, and my friends made it truly amazing with their support and love. I can't even begin to explain the happy feeling in my heart!

UPDATE: I just heard from Matt that I WON last night! I left before open mic was over, but every Monday night they give away a bar tab to the best performer. And I won it!! WOO HOO! :) It just gets better & better!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Paolo Nutini, you are fan-freakin'- tastic!

I saw this posting on my friend Chris's blog, and I simply had to copy him! (He's OneMonkeyShow on my favorite bloggies list).

He's only 22-years old, from Scotland, and not only ridiculously cute, but super duper talented! The video is a live acoustic version of the song "Pencil Full of Lead" off his newest album Sunny Side Up. If you like to bounce around in your seat, or tap your toes, you're gonna love this little jig. Enjoy!

Getting back on track for 2010

Hey all!

Hope you had a wonderful New Year!

I'm taking the new year in stride, and work on getting back in shape & healthy again. I know everybody says that in January, but I really do mean it! I dusted off my old rollerblades yesterday, and went for a skate around Wash Park (and amazingly remembered how to do it without falling on my face). I even managed to get out of bed early enough to go to the gym this morning, and I brought all kinds of delicious fruits & veggies to eat at work today. It's gonna be a good year!

I'm adopting the "Eat to Live" plan, as I got the book from my parents for Xmas (in picture). The 6-week plan is definitely going to be a challenge as I will have to cut out SALT, and BOY do I love salt! I'm sure that's part of my problem, and that my taste buds need to do some "waking up" again without the aid of sodium. Luckily I get to eat as many fruits and veggies as my heart desires, which shouldn't be too much of a problem for me! It'll be interesting cutting out dairy too, as I have forgotten what it's like to go without that (and gosh, I love cheese so much).

So wish me luck! OH, and if you have any thoughts of FREE & FUN ways to get exercise, please let me know in the comments. I think the only way I'll be able to stick to working out will be if I think of it as less of a chore, and more as something FUN! :)