Girl Look at That Body

This is not me–but it could be. Photo by flickr/lululemon athletica

Every time I try to get back into working out, it always starts out the same way. I’m really going to do it this time, I think. I just need to work out every day—okay, at least three times a week—and eat healthy. Only salads. Maybe with some boiled chicken breast. Or I could try to go vegan. I could be skinny in like, two weeks if I went vegan.

Usually, my attempts are short lived.

Last year, I decided to try Krav Maga, which is basically self-defense with the added bonus of eye gouging and groin kicking (“You want to kick your attacker in the head, through their groin!”), but I think I only went three times in six months, all within my first week of membership. I’ve tried Cardio Tennis (fun, but expensive), Barre Conditioning (painful, even though I never actually broke a sweat), YogaSculpt (the unofficial tenth circle of hell, complete with free weights and dance music) and most recently, CrossCut, which my best friend teaches and, despite his best efforts, ended up being too hard for a wimp like me. (In all fairness, his website did warn that the classes involved “a high level of exertion,” but somehow, I still imagined I’d look like the sweating, smiling babes in this Eric Prydz video.)

I was lamenting about this to one of my friends, about how I hated working out (and more so, spending an hour out of my day being terrible at something in front of other people), and she replied, “Well, maybe tomorrow you should just spend some time doing things you’re good at.” Well…maybe that’s an excellent idea. Why didn’t I think of that before?

I’ve always been so focused on self-improvement and broadening my proverbial horizon that sometimes I skip out on the activities I’m naturally good at, like yoga. Or happy hour. I digress. Even in The Fire Starter Sessions (which I’m currently obsessed with), Danielle LaPorte attests, “Being well-rounded is highly overrated. Your most valuable currency is what comes most naturally to you.”

So, I decided to take up ButiCycle, which is half an hour of cycling, followed by half an hour of yoga, interjected with some good ol’ fashioned booty-poppin’ and hip thrusting. It’s that perfect combination of something new and something familiar. Am I amazing at it? Um, questionable. But I’m pretty damn good at about half of it, which should keep me encouraged enough to keep going. Well, at least for the next two weeks.

Do Something That Scares You…and Other Misadventures

Photo by flickr/dherrera_96

Lately, I’ve been trying to abide by the adage “Do one thing every day that scares you.” And I’m not talking about jumping from moving trains or trying to pick up a rattlesnake or anything heroic—just little stuff, like striking up conversation with a stranger or trying something new (even if that means making myself look stupid, which it usually does).

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Pop-Up Restaurant: Decadent Doughnuts + Craft Coffee

Pop-Up Doughnut & Coffee Shop, shown with menu and the “Summer”

This morning, my boyfriend announced that he wanted to take me on a date—right at that moment. Where would we be going on a date at 10:30 in the morning? Well, as it turns out, The Inventing Room (a team of renegade culinary alchemists), had recently opened a pop-up restaurant at Table 6, serving up innovative doughnuts and craft coffee creations. So, naturally, I took a break from writing and enjoyed a leisurely trip to this ephemeral sweet shop.

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Summer Cocktail: Peach-Ginger Iced Tea + Bourbon

Ahh, iced tea on a sweltering summer day.

This drink is what I consider to be the perfect intersection of afternoon tea and cocktail hour. The black tea has just enough caffeine to get you through an afternoon slump, while the bourbon gives you that feel-good buzz to unwind after a long day of working … or in my case, cruising Pinterest. (Just kidding—I do work. Sometimes.)

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Escape to Eldorado Springs

My friend Natalie snapped this awesome picture of Eldorado Springs Pool.

It’s no secret that reclining at the pool has been a well-established pastime of mine, especially after years of living in Vegas, where that translates to frosty cocktails, perfectly bronzed bodies and an upbeat soundtrack provided by superstar DJs. Well, things are a little different in Colorado, and I have to admit, I actually enjoyed the change.

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How to Try Something New (Or Why I Suck at Job Searching)

Jonathan Adler storefront by flickr/jfiess

I’ve been a full-time freelancer for only two months now, and already, I’m dying for some human interaction. Don’t get me wrong, working from home has its perks (a 10-second commute being one of them), but I’m starting to feel like maybe I should get a part-time job, just to break things up and get out of the house more. I started cruising through Craigslist, thinking I should just do something I would enjoy, like being an ice cream scooper at Sweet Action (there goes my diet) or a floral arranger or maybe even a salon receptionist. Then I saw it: Sales Associate for Jonathan AdlerSwoon. They’re opening a Jonathan Adler store in Denver?! I’m in love.

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Where’s the (Kobe) Beef?

photo by Flickr/cherrylet

For those of you who have spent even a small amount of time with me, you probably already know that I’m one of those people who likes to study weird things about … well, everything. Especially when it comes to food and drink topics.

I was absolutely fascinated when I learned that Chilean sea bass doesn’t come from Chile. (The name is a euphemism, devised by wholesalers to make Patagonian toothfish from the Southern Ocean sound more appealing to Americans.) I was thrilled to learn the difference between whiskey with an “e” and whisky with a “y” (no “e” for the Scottish or Canadian stuff), and I was absolutely floored to discover I had been butchering the name of my favorite champagne for years. (Next time, I’ll ask for a glass of Mo-wett, NOT Mo-ay.)

So, you can imagine my horror (gasp!) and delight when I stumbled across this Forbes article that matter-of-factly proclaimed there is no such thing as Kobe beef in America.

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Summer Cocktail: Calimocho

Making a calimocho in the backyard.

Oh, it has been HOT in Denver. Summer is definitely in full swing, which means it’s high time to break out the warm weather cocktails. A recent favorite of mine is the calimocho. I was first introduced to it at Gjelina in Venice Beach, but they’re so easy to make that they’re perfect for a picnic or backyard barbecue.

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5 Things I Had Forgotten About Las Vegas

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

5. “Staycation” is something locals actually say—and do.

After living in Vegas for so long, “staycation” is just part of my lexicon, but I’m always amazed when people in other cities don’t know what it is. Basically, it’s a vacation while staying in your hometown. You can take advantage of room service, lounge by the pool and engage in super-hot hotel sex with your significant other (or a stranger, whatever), all without paying for a flight or dealing with TSA dolts. I spent an afternoon at the pool with my friends who were staycationing at Caesars Palace, and it reminded me how much I love this trend.

4. Paris Hilton is a regular fixture.

I landed in Vegas just in time to catch a private media opening at Mizumi, the new Japanese restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas, and having been to countless restaurant openings, it was everything I would have expected: opulent décor, a spread of bite-sized samples and the same roster of publicists, media folk and socialites that show up to every event, including Paris Hilton. When you’re not running into Paris, you’ll see her whereabouts in the SpyOnVegas galleries or at least in Norm Clarke’s column. I guess some things never change.

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Trip to the Tropics: 5 Things to Do on a Rainy Day in Denver

Adrift Tiki Bar

Adrift Tiki Bar

Yesterday was one of those gloomy, wet days that makes you forget all about the tantalizing, 80-degree weather the day before (yep, this is Colorado). Fortunately, marginal employment affords me a pretty flexible schedule these days, so instead of lamenting the dreary weather, I spent my Monday chasing tropical pursuits around the city:

1. Denver Nature & Science Museum: This is always a good standby when you’re going stir crazy and need to get out of the house during rainy/snowy weather. Yesterday, we checked out the Lizards & Snakes exhibit, which had more than 60 live snakes (silent scream!) and lizards. My favorite was the chameleon, which really does change colors when it walks onto different foliage (in case you were wondering). Tip: I happened to discover by dumb luck that around 1:45 p.m. on a weekday is the best time to visit. That’s when field trip buses depart, taking gaggles of screaming children back to school and leaving behind a quiet, line-free museum.

2. Adrift Tiki Bar: I don’t know if it was the smiling hula girl paintings or the retro exotica music playing in the background, but this South Seas hideaway on South Broadway was just the tropical escape I needed yesterday. Their menu is packed with Polynesian-inspired small plates and classic (read: high-octane) cocktails like mai tais, zombies and (my favorite) the Macadamia Nut Chi Chi: a sweet, nutty blend of macadamia nut liqueur, vodka, coconut cream and pineapple juice. Other things to order: the carnita pork slider with charred pineapple and green onion aioli, and the mofongo chips, which are basically smashed green plantain patties that are fried and drizzled with a sticky-sweet coconut rum glaze. Yum.

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