Serial

November 5, 2014

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Do you guys listen to podcasts? I’m relatively new to the world of them and have my boyfriend to thank for this new love of mine. Jeff listens to podcasts a lot. Actually Jeff does most of the cool stuff that I later adopt. He’s just naturally cool. I can’t remember what those people are called, but I’m like one level down from cool. I’m an early adopter. And this time around, I’m a seriously seriously late adopter.

I love podcasts. L-O-V-E LOVE. I listen to them on the way to work and while I’m cooking dinner every night. They’re great because I’m a finicky music person; it has to match my mood exactly, or I prefer silence. Podcasts, however are so different. They offer stores and information and they’re so engaging. They’re entirely different from the whole experience of listening to music. My current favorite podcast is Serial.

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Serial season 1 is currently in progress and gets released weekly. The content is about a murder case and is being told from the point of view of a narrator. I love Serial because it reminds me of a book on tape, but it’s actually real life. Every week, more of the story unfolds with the new episode, unlike most other podcasts, which are a new story or topic every week. The host, Sarah Koenig, has tremendous talent in her storytelling and I appreciate that she gives us a really full view of the story. Her reporting appears to be incredibly honest and she’s open about her conclusions and biases and leaves plenty of room for the listeners to develop their own opinions.

The general premise of the podcast revolves around a murder that happened 15 years ago. Koenig is interested in this case because the alleged murderer has been in prison since his senior year of high school and as Koenig says it, something about this case is just… off. Whether or not Adnan Syed, the alleged murderer is guilty or not, is only a piece of the story. Koenig has interviewed many many people for countless hours and has come to one main conclusion so far: at the very minimum, the court’s proceedings and conclusions do not appear to have justly proved that Sayed was guilty. Too many facts are amiss, too little was proven at the time. Koenig shifts back and forth between believing that Syed is telling her the truth that he didn’t do it and also examining certain details that might prove that he did.

The story is gripping, thorough and has kept me on the edge of my seat every week.

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Where to listen:

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Surrounded

November 4, 2014

surrounded

Look who’s back already! Making good on my promises and all.

I have a confession. I’m dying for some snow over here. This is a confession because I am an ardent (and self-proclaimed) snow hater. Actually I love snow, I just hate the thing that happens after snow, where everything is bright and dirty and cold and not pretty. But this year, everything seems to be staying unseasonably warm and bright and sunny and I’m wearing all black and have shifted to drinking hot beverages and where is the damned snow? I also remembered Brianna’s snowy trip to Keystone at the beginning of the year and am so needing this.

Oh, art. Yes, how does that tie into snow? It doesn’t. Besides that this art has bright whites and reminded me of winter and then I pitched myself out into left field there. Sorry. Here are a few of the artists that have been inspiring me lately. It’s sort of strange when you see these thick themes running through your life and you can’t exactly explain why this reoccurring element keeps coming back. That’s me with paint. Over the past year or two, some of the most natural and intrinsic inspiration in my life has all boiled down to paint. Oil, watercolor, acrylic, doesn’t seem to matter, but the art I am loving is definitely paint.

I signed up for a pottery class a while back and haven’t had a chance to get in… maybe I should be doing a painting class (like this) instead…

Sources: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4

Chia Pudding

November 3, 2014

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I’m pretty sure that if I write one more post about how I’m going to be a better blogger/human/everything someday, the Internet will actually just explode. I know I sound like a broken record, but this time I mean it. I promise promise one more strong attempt at coming back to this place with some dose of regularity and bringing actual posts to life, rather than booming off about my content creation dreams.

This has legitimately been one of the busiest months of my life. I didn’t even have the emotional capacity to text people back within a 3 day period (or at all) over the past few weeks. I started my new job and a few weeks later got thrown to the wolves and I’m lucky I’m not sitting off in a dimly lit corner somewhere rocking back and forth muttering “label text” over and over to myself.

The new exhibition that just opened at the MCA Denver is truly stunning and I’m incredibly grateful to have been a part of making it all come to life. BUT. But, wow. My coworkers are all in a sort of blank stupor where those who haven’t taken days off to recover are passing one another and giving the faintest smiles before hugging themselves and glancing around anxiously, as if another piece of art might leap out in front of them and demand to be hung on the wall. *shudder* I ate pizza 4 times last week. I also only spent 4 hours in my home in a 24 hour period. I also earned myself an extra week of time off from work. I think I have a chemical addiction to coffee now and I used to hate the stuff. Anyway, enough of my Art Museum Woes for today.

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It’s been a long time coming but I climbed right back onto the horse today and am ready to start a new diet and exercise routine and honestly, I need to start new routines for just about everything in my life, but I am not going to tell you how bad my tooth-brushing routine has been lately. Actually, I’m going to tell you about… CHIA PUDDING.

What to say. Let’s start with the fact that the first time I made chia pudding, it was just downright awful. It was just chia, almond milk and vanilla and it turned out like frog eyes in a bath of no flavor. But I went back to the drawing board and came up with this recipe that’s totally amazeballs and will maybe even make a believer out of your boyfriend.

 

    CHIA PUDDING

Ingredients:
– .5 cups chia seeds
– 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
– 1.5 teaspoons agave nectar
– .5 cup vanilla yogurt (whichever kind you prefer)

Mix all of the ingredients together in a medium tupperware. Make sure that they are mixed quite well, the yogurt will take a bit to become blended in. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy in the morning.

To serve like I did, put chia pudding in the bottom of a jar, layer a thick serving if muesli above it and then create a small mixed berry smoothie out of almond milk, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries for the top layer. This breakfast will give you great sustained energy all day and will definitely keep you full until lunch.

Bath Season

September 14, 2014

(click the products to see more info)

autumn bath essentials

Ahh, the birds are migrating south, my knuckles have windburn and I’m dusting off my boxes full of boots, sweaters and scarves. The cold has arrived a tad early this year in the mountainous west.

If you live in Colorado, you can queue up your best Cher eye roll, apply a layer of cow breast lotion and bear with me for a moment while I explain just how crucial bath products are to those who don’t know and live near sea level.

You see, those of us who live at high elevations aren’t crazy only because the lack of air, we’re crazy because of the manic nature of our weather. For instance, yesterday it was 55 degrees and raining all day. Tomorrow, it will be 85 degrees and sunny. It’s like this… all the time. With all the back and forth, Coloradoans are a little nuts. One cuckoo trait of a true Coloradoan (not to be mistaken with a native… do all states get crazy about defining who is a native and who isn’t…?), is your knowledge and use of all things… moist. Yes, moist. Stop gagging, it’s a real word that really has meaning here. Moist as in, if you don’t use good products during bath season, your already-dry-as-fux-from-the-elevation skin runs the risk of developing some deep crevices. There, I said moist crevices only 27 words apart. Are you spewing yet? Okay. Stay with me, it gets worse. If you use harsh soaps during the months of September through oh, let’s say May, your dermis will get itchy and red and you might sprout scales and a tale and now you’re probably spewing from my hyper-visual word selection, aren’t you?

Cool.

So the lesson is, buy the good stuff. Don’t let dandruff define you as a person. And for heavens sake, stay moist. Moist crevices. Gag. What are your favorite products for bath season? See a few more of mine here.

Museum of Contemporary Art Denver

September 12, 2014

bloodstream blog

I’ve been at my new job almost a month now, so I think it’s finally safe to post it to the blog! I am officially the Design and Production Manager (a fancy way of saying the only graphic designer in the whole damn place) at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver… and I’m really happy about it.

I gave up both a little and a lot to come here. Freelance was not going so great for me and I will get into that eventually, but I was lonely, broke and feeling a little jaded about graphic design altogether. It was a conundrum though, because as a freelancer I enjoyed so many freedoms that I got used to having and giving those up was a big decision. Ultimately I started weighing my options and all the variables and decided that perhaps it was just time for a change in my life.

In fact, my therapist (triple-dog) dared me to just change something in my life, get a little uncomfortable. And I did. I applied to exactly one job. I really didn’t have much hope for getting it, because after all, there had to be hundreds of applicants and I had just spent 1.5 years learning how to become a visual designer, completely self taught and had very little confidence. I designed my resume, I created a matching cover letter, and I applied to the MCA.

Three interviews (and only 1 super embarrassing foot-in-the-mouth moment) later, I was offered the job. My whole life, yes the whole thing, seems to have changed. I spend my days working long hours, but I have so much hope for my future. I have so much joy in the things I am designing. I feel liberated and enabled and appreciated and like I am contributing to the world.

Plus… you guys can all come visit me at a really cool museum.

Check out the MCA Denver here, here and here.

summer break

August 18, 2014

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Hello again.

Sorry for my lack of presence, as you might be able to tell, I took a break from blogging for the summer. This wasn’t a pre-meditated break, and at most times it wasn’t really even a conscious break. I didn’t decide that it was a break, until just now when I decided I would like to come back.

I just needed some time. Life has been chaotic lately and I sort of went into “protect” mode, where I completely introverted myself from the world and put a bit of a shell over my exterior. Here I am though! And here are a few of the high points and low points and random points of my summer:

Travel
I got to spend a bit of the summer on a tour bus and staying with friends while my boyfriend was out on the road for 11 weeks. What a rollercoaster! I had an especially amazing time visiting my friend Rachel in Los Angeles, my friend Casey in Minneapolis, seeing both Vancouver and Toronto for the first time and bopping around NYC for the better part of a week.

Love
My boyfriend and I overcame some big hurdles this summer. We have made a few big decisions as a couple (no babies, no rings, don’t worry mom) recently and there is some big change coming our way, but we’re tackling it together and that’s all I really want at the end of the day.

Work
I hit the 1.5 year mark with freelance and well, this free lance is pretty much ready for a nice full-time job again. Don’t get me wrong, freelance is an incredible, incredible thing, but you have to be in the right place for it in so many ways and I’m just not. Plus I miss health insurance. And I enjoy being around other humans. And it’s just time for a change. So I’m on the job hunt.

Wow it feels good to write. I’ll update you guys some more about my crazy summer very soon.

PLACE DE LA MADELEINE

May 16, 2014

Champs-Élysées

Champs-Élysées

I’m missing you, Paris. I’m really really missing you. Especially one person in Paris… cough Meg cough. I’m missing going to the Boulangerie right next to Meg’s apartment and talking about men and our dreams and our 23 year old lives.

One of my favorite parts of staying with Meg was that she’s basically the perfect Paris guide. The combination of our mutual love for beer, good food and coffee and her acute sense of all things fashionable was the best way to be introduced to the city of light.

Meg insisted that I had to try some macarons when I mentioned my love for sweets, so we walked in the rain all the way down Place de la Madeleine in pursuit of some kitschy (albeit gorgeous, delicious, lovely) french cookies.

Champs-Élysées

Champs-Élysées

Champs-Élysées

Paris for my first few days was anything but touristy. Meg took me to all of her favorite spots that were well off the beaten path of cameras and souvenirs. We saved the corny and clinquant for the end of the trip, making sure that I would be able to say “I’ve seen Paris” by the time I left. So when we got into the 8th and on the Avenue, I felt like I was experiencing a different city altogether.

This was the Paris I’d imagined. Posh posh shopping, people dressed to the nines, perfectly polished streets and traffic; in the road and on foot. Everywhere else that we had seen felt like I was walking through my own neighborhood (except, you know, better), but this. This was Paris.

Champs-Élysées

Champs-Élysées

Champs-Élysées

Champs-Élysées

Not to say that this was necessarily my favorite part of Paris, it wasn’t even close. It was definitive though. It was the presentation of all Paris stereotypes and what an American imagines having never been there. Actually, this part of Paris reminded me of parts of every city I’ve ever been in: 16th street mall in Denver (or dare I say Cherry Creek), Broadway in Nashville, Gaslamp in San Diego, Beverly Hills in LA.

It’s something to be experienced, even if just for a few hours.

Bisous bisous for now, Paris!

Champs-Élysées

Champs-Élysées

Goal | 007

May 5, 2014

Goal of the Month

I was a self-published author once… in middle school. I wrote a book on my desktop computer in my bedroom and printed a copy for each of my friends to read. The story is so embarrassing (and brilliant) that I am actually embarrassed to tell you what it’s about, but I’m also a bit proud so I’ll go ahead.

The plot circulated around the members of my favorite band falling in love with my friends and I.

Yes. That happened.

Needless to say, my novel was a smash hit in my social circle. My friends begged me to write more and more until the book went past the 50-page mark and I had exhausted the simplistic plot so much that I strongly considered making my book into a series. I also have some vague memories of my mother getting pretty cranky about how quickly my printer ink was running out. I daftly tried to convince her that I was just doing a lot of school work.

I might have peaked as a writer in the 7th grade though. My college thesis barely hit 40 pages and I can safely say that none of my peers were trying to bribe me to write them into my thesis as a character. Twelve years and a lot of life experience later, I am finally ready to start writing my first full-length novel. I’d like to think that I’ve aged nicely and will still have the compelling touch that I embraced so fully at the age of 13.

I’ve avoided starting my book for a long time, due to a severe amount of insecurity about my writing that I developed during my years as a journalism student in college. I became a very good writer, but I also learned that editors will destroy you. They will read your writing and they will kill it.

“Your writing is not your baby,” my professor would say. “You can’t let it be, because people will kill your baby. They will tear it apart and destroy it and you will have to remake it over and over and over. Do not get emotionally attached to your writing, or you’ll hate being a writer,” she would warn us.

It was some of the best advice I have ever received, but it also kept me from following this dream of mine until I was good and ready – and well, to be honest, I’m not good and ready, but I have realized I probably never will be. I am going to put myself out there though and just do it.

The worst-case scenario is that an editor doesn’t even glance at it and I simply print a couple copies and give it to all of my friends again. Ha! So for my goal of the month, I am going to begin the planning and writing stages of making my very own novel. My true goal is to not give up on this project when it gets hard though.

Goal of the Month

My goal of the month for April was to simply try and catch up in a few areas of my life. I did a decent job, all things considered. The first third of this year has been a doozy, but I haven’t come to expect anything less after the past 2.5 years of my life have been a doozy. I got way overloaded with work and did a good job of trying to catch up in April. I still have a long way to go, but I am ready to knock the ball out of the park.

April was a great month because I gave myself some emotional space to continue my process of healing, but I also began to push back on myself and was able to get the ball rolling. Sometimes all you need is to push back a little and it’s all downhill from there.

I want to continue working long days, forcing myself to focus even when it’s hard and getting some things off my plate so I can bring about some change in my life.

April was a good successful month though!

Road Trip Fever

May 3, 2014

Road Trip Fever

Sandals on the floor of the car, pulling over to snap a photo with the most picturesque cactus, chip bags blowing around the backseat, playlists consisting of ’90s anthems + hip hop jams, wind blown hair, night-time diner stops, exploring the small towns of America… I think I have the road trip fever.

I went one one by myself through southern Colorado last summer and one with my boyfriend across the country to San Francisco/Tahoe and I’m already yearning to get back on the road again! This year I have a feeling that I will head out on a road trip or two to visit my boyfriend while he’s on tour across America.

I’m recruiting friends to join me and already looking at the best dates to go *squeal*. We have options along the west coast all the way through Canada and then some in the south down to Florida or a handful across the midwest too.

Planning a road trip (or two!) is keeping me from getting too sad about Jeff leaving for the whole summer again and giving me something to look forward to. Cheers to the bright side!

Anyone else planning any road trips for this year?!

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Water Taxi

April 29, 2014

Peanut Island Water Taxi

I’ve been thinking about my adventures in the past two years a lot lately. It’s an interesting realization that I’ve basically only traveled alone or with strangers in the past few years. Well, mostly. I’ve traveled with my boyfriend a lot, but when we travel it’s always for his job and when we get where we’re going, I’m typically completely solo except for an occasional dinner together. This kind of travel used to really stress me out, but now that I’m not doing it as much I find myself missing it sometimes.

I had to be really brave to just set out by myself and do things like take a water taxi to an island off the coast of Florida for the day. I had to get a lot of nerve to travel to Europe by myself and take trains, planes and boats all alone for 3 weeks. I definitely had to push myself to spend a month in Peru with a handful of complete strangers too.

The more I reminisce on these times, the more proud I am of myself for leaving my comfort zone and just going with the flow. I’m so grateful for the random times I’ve had and for the boldness that seems to come to me only during travel…

Peanut Island Water Taxi

Peanut Island Water Taxi

When I decided to get out of my hotel during a short trip to Florida last year and take a “water taxi” to a little place called Peanut Island, I didn’t know what to expect. I found this strange website with some vague directions off Yelp on how to find my taxi boat and just went for it.

Taking a water taxi was… just awesome. When I got to my dock, I found an ATM and a bar and decided to sit down and have a little drink so I could work up the will to go talk to the Captain of the boat and set out on my day-journey. Two gin and tonics later, I found Captain Joe (I recognized him from the website) and thanks to my liquid (gin) courage (buzz), I hopped on board and the two of us set out for Peanut Island.

Peanut Island Water Taxi

Captain Joe was a pretty neat fellow, who gave me lots of history on Peanut Island and tourism there. My roundtrip taxi ride only cost me $10 and I had a few different timing options, which was convenient. I took a second taxi from Peanut Island over to another nearby island for lunch and had to pay a bit more to a different service, which was definitely worth it.

Peanut Island Water Taxi

If you ever find yourself in Palm Beach (or West Palm Beach), I definitely recommend finding Captain Joe’s water taxi and hopping over to Peanut Island for a day. What kinds of bold travel experiences do you guys have? Have you ever traveled alone?

xoxo

Peanut Island Water Taxi