View from Cherry Creek in Denver, CO

View from Cherry Creek in Denver, CO

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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OneSpark 2014 – CitySpeax Project Promo Video

Thanks to all of our friends and family that have made this trip to OneSpark in Jacksonville tomorrow possible. Watch our brand expansion project’s video – CitySpeax – your city, your love.

Also, please please PLEASE vote for our project to get NOTICED and FUNDED here. “Bookmark” it, and help us rise through the ranks of popularity. Thanks again for your support!

Denver Dishcrawl Stop 1: LoHi Steak Bar, A Gathering Place

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Check out the gathering space provided in the private room of LoHi Steak Bar! Click on the pic to be re-directed to the LoHi Steak Bar’s website to check out their menu, specials, and events going on. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

 

A gathering place, LoHi Steak Bar is centrally located on 32nd Ave & Tejon St. – right in the middle of all the LoHi (Lower Highlands Denver, for you newbies) action.

With an easy locale, a welcoming atmosphere, and a killer restaurant and bar menu, it’s easy to see why LoHi Steak Bar is an easy choice in LoHi.

The first stop on our Denver Dishcrawl, LoHi Steak Bar, accommodated our vast group in a private dining area. With name tags on our shirts signaling vegetarian or otherwise, dishes composed of their specialties were placed before us.

On other organized  “crawls”, it’s not uncommon to receive a dish or two crammed onto one, crowded plate; it’s also not uncommon to receive a well-versed speech regarding said crowded dish from some trainee who barely knows the joint.

LoHi sent out their best dishes and friendly, intelligent staff to go over the SEVERAL dishes they created and disbursed. Details of local ingredients and other facts of each dish were provided in advance of each plate devouring.

 

Check out the deliciousness LoHi Steak Bar prepared for the Crawl: 

First, we were provided button mushrooms stuffed with Polidori Sausage (a local Colorado company!). Lemon was provided to be squeezed over the mushrooms, adding an incredibly tangy flavor to the hearty plate. Well done, LoHi… well done. Also pictured is a fantastic Moscow Mule in the proper, copper mug. Just a friendly, DenverSpeax reminder – if it doesn’t come in a copper mug, it’s not real. Write that down.

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We have a weakness for Moscow Mules – it’s true… And, stuffed mushrooms? Let’s just call this photo “Heaven”. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

 

Next, we’re presented with “not your average” Hummus PlateLoHi uses fresh ingredients to concoct a thick, creamy Hummus with olives and red pepper. DenverSpeax feels there’s a fine art in creating your own house Hummus, especially when it tastes as great as their’s (and when you’ve tried countless times at home, each ending in failure…)! Great starter for your table of friends.

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LoHi Steak Bar’s Homemade Hummus. Click on the photo to check out this, and other, menu items. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

Here we go – the pride and joy of Stop #1 at LoHi Steak Bar – the vegetarian Portobello Sandwich (made especially for the Dishcrawl) and the House Ground Chuck Hamburger. Both were exceptionally prepared: juicy, fully dressed, and flavorful. There wasn’t the slightest hint of stuffy or dull – just two classics that delivered nothing short of satisfaction. Oh! Their seasoned, crispy House Frites were fantastic as well, and served as a welcomed and complimenting, over-indulgent side.

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Mmmm…..portobello sandwich. How we love thee! Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

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For all of the carnivores out there, this one’s for you. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

As if all of this weren’t enough, LoHi went ahead and dished out creamy, delicious Cheesecake as well! Sorry, this went too fast for the camera to keep up – our sincere apologies.

Please keep in mind that this was only Stop #1 of 4 on the Denver Dishcrawl, folks. We understand that at this time you must REALLY be kicking yourself for not attending. We get it, and luckily there are more Dishcrawls coming up in Denver. Make sure you stop by the Dishcrawl site to check out the next events, and secure you & your friends’ spots. Even though we’re only one stop in to this magical, dish crawl blogging journey, I’m sure you’re understanding the great value and experience Dishcrawl.com is prepared to provide us all.

Not only does Dishcrawl bring us together within our beloved Denver community, it introduces us to great gathering spots, like LoHi Steak Bar. I think Maggie said it best when describing our first stop as a “non-stuffy” place; we agree that LoHi Steak Bar is perfect for relaxing and hanging out with those who mean the most. Check out their events, specials, and menus on their site. Also, make sure you invite us to your food fest – it hasn’t even been a week, but we’re ready for more mushrooms, burgers, and frites!

 

24 hrs in San Diego

I’ve been in San Diego since 11 pm pacific time yesterday, 2/26/2014.  For the first time, I experienced the rain there which was a pleasant mist. Check out the shots I took below before moseying on back to the airport to fly home to Denver – a storm is a’brewin’!

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Boats hangin’ and rockin’, waiting for better weather. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Feb 2014

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No room at the inn. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Feb 2014

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Storm’s coming! Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Feb 2014

Until next time, San Diego…

12 inches and counting.

Check out the Summit County Snowpocalypse via this awesome blog.
We’re definitely digging’ all of the fantastic pictures of snow! Cool shots!

The City Girl's Guide to the Wild West

We all knew it was coming.

It was all over the news. OpenSnow was shouting the impending storm from the mountain tops. Amy (aka the Keystone Lodge and Spa “Mama Bear”) had a migraine earlier this week. The question was, would it actually hit Keystone?

You see, Keystone Resort is fondly known by Summit County locals as “The Donut”. Though we are included in all of the winter weather alerts, Keystone seems to be located in a weather bubble that causes the town and hill to get about half as much of the predicted snow. It can be frustrating.

Bu today, today was different.

With 8″ reported at 5:00am and another 4″ falling between 5:00 and 8:00am, Keystone finally raked it in; and we “locals” reaped the benefits of having our home hill take the cake in the powder wars.

Waist deep snow everywhere. Face-shots with every turn. Trees branches…

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Skiboarding at Arapahoe Basin, Colorado

Last weekend, we rolled up to A-Basin to skiboard (some of us ski, some of us snowboard – this magical word includes both) for the day. The first and only time Steve and I visited Colorado (October 2012), we skiboarded A-Basin; it was great to experience more than one run being open and nice, short lines. Check out the photos from last Sunday on the mountain:

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View from one of the lifts at A-Basin. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Jan 2014

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Last chair of the day – the wind was nuts and visibility on the way down was shadows at best. Totally worth every second! Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Jan 2014

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Our last run of the day. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Jan 2014

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It’s great to be reminded every once in a while! Especially after a nice yard-sale in the middle of the mountain. I mean, not that that’s ever happened… Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Jan 2014

Excited to get out on the mountain this upcoming Saturday – hopping in the car and heading West is such a great feeling.

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Crossfit DeCO – A Workout I Never Regret

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Meet Steve Mercer, part-owner of DenverSpeax LLC! Steve’s stepped out from behind the scenes to write about a new passion of his.

While living in Michigan, I stumbled on Crossfit via Youtube, and became instantly hooked / curious; it was different. Everything about it screamed “this is NOT your normal workout”.

This was about two years ago, and since then I’ve followed Crossfit fairly closely, but never actually visited or joined a Crossfit gym (aka, “box”). Since moving to Denver, I’ve been searching for a new gym in order to keep myself fit; let me tell you, this is not an easy task when in a new city. Some are too far away,…some too expensive,…some are just too much of a singles meet up, or even too boring. Crossfit came to mind as a good option.

Today I can gladly tell you I hurt…I hurt in a good way.

About two weeks ago, DenverSpeax was approached by Leslie Friedman, owner of Crossfit DeCO, to give them a try. Honestly, we’ve all heard some sort of negativity surrounding Crossfit, which caused a bit of hesitation for me at first. Crossfit has developed a reputation for being too intense and only for high-performance athletes. However, wouldn’t you want to support a locally owned business, be surrounded by other health-conscious people who support you, and become more functionally fit for a more active lifestyle?  Hopefully, you are answering “uh, YES!”.

 

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Crossfit may be hard work, but it’s also a ton of fun. Check out Crossfit DeCO’s class schedule by clicking the picture above. Credit: Steve Mercer, Jan 2014

Located at 923 W 9th Ave, Denver, Colorado 80204, I nervously walked into Crossfit DeCO, and was immediately greeted by many of the coaches and members. Looking around the gym (or “box” via Crossfit lingo), I noticed all different age groups, fitness levels, and experience were in attendance.

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Yeah, Crossfit can seem intimidating, but it’s important to try it out for yourself – create your own point of view. Click on the picture above to be brought to CrossFit DeCO’s website. Credit: Steve Mercer, Jan 2014

Each day, as a member, you are given a warm up and a “workout of the day” (aka WOD) which is designed to help improve your overall functional movement. A WOD can be anywhere from 10 to 40 mins long, involves a variety of different movements, and will whip you into shape.

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It doesn’t take a lot of fancy machinery to get in shape. Credit: Steve Mercer, Jan 2014

I am starting in the functional classes, or “Level 1”. In these classes, you learn the basic movements while still getting a good workout under the guidance of one of DeCO’s experienced coaches. An approach you will find at DeCO is that everyone is expected to try their hardest, but not everyone is expected to perform on the same level; this mentality is not always found in a Crossfit box that I really appreciate. At DeCO, workouts are easily scaled to a person’s capability. Your workout is YOURS.

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It’s amazing what you can do in an encouraging, supportive environment! Credit: Steve Mercer, Jan 2014

DeCO offers services outside of your day-to-day WOD as well, which is very cool – it’s not just the same, old Box. They offer chiropractic services, massage therapy, Olympic lifting, nutritional counseling, and personal one-on-one training. Check out the rates on their website here. Trust me- the cost is small compared to getting these services independently.

https://www.facebook.com/CrossFitDeCO?fref=ts

Oh, just hanging out… Click the above picture to be brought to Crossfit DeCO’s Facebook Page. Credit: Steve Mercer, Jan 2014

We have experienced other gyms, and this is nothing like going to 24 hour fitness or your local fitness center. A new visitor to DeCO may be confused about the lack of equipment and machines, but don’t worry – you can still workout without giant weight machines or treadmills. What stood out for me, and became reasoning behind joining as a member, is the honest encouragement from classmates as well as the coaches. Understanding that it is most important to give all you can, and to do YOUR personal best each time, will prove to be rewarding in Crossfit; Crossfit DeCO encourages you to do so in the most supportive way, making each class enjoyable. I won’t sugarcoat it – it’s tough, but the experience is incredible. Sure, sometimes it’s difficult to get our of bed in the morning and show up. To put it best, one morning after the most thoroughly exhausting WOD at DeCO, I posted a picture on Instagram with the caption:

“I never regret it (after it’s done)”.

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C’mon- they’re your friends! Credit: Steve Mercer, Jan 2014

If you want to join DenverSpeax on this journey, Saturdays are free to drop in! Stop in, give it a try, and let them know DenverSpeax sent you. All fitness levels are welcome. Like I’ve mentioned – it’s a great Box with coaches that are highly knowledgable. They’re happy to help with any questions you may have about the Box, or even CrossFit in general.

For more information, visit http://crossfitdeco.com/ and like their Facebook page to see the daily workouts and upcoming events.

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Small San Diego Trip – In Photos

Yesterday, I got home to a 20 degree Denver, Colorado, from a 70 degree San Diego, California. No place is quite like Denver, but I welcomed the warmth for a few days!

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The San Diego cityscape through the windshield of an elantra. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Dec 2013

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Amazing cloud pattern. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Dec 2013

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The emptiest the San Diego airport has ever been, I feel. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Dec 2013

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A little over-dressed for San Diego, but just right for Denver! Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Dec 2013

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A Michigander Thanksgiving

Steven and I were fortunate enough to be able to visit Michigan this past Thanksgiving, and revisit many things we didn’t know we missed.

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My mother’s backyard in Muskegon, Michigan, on Thanksgiving with a fresh blanket of snow. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Nov 2013

Sometimes you forget how beautiful some of the simplest places can be – like a backyard!

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Bell’s Two Hearted Ale… why do you not visit Colorado? At the Holiday Bar in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Nov 2013

Dear Coloradans, I know I haven’t been around long, but I feel you know beer. You know how to brew it, you know how to market it, and you sure as hell know how to enjoy it!

Michiganders also know a thing (or twenty) about beer – check out Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo, MI. Home of my personal favorites, Two-Hearted Ale and (seasonal) Oberon. For whatever reason, (I’m sure there’s some fancy reason I’m not privy to) Bell’s cannot be located in Colorado, which is incredibly saddening. If you’re ever in a state that receives distributed Bell’s brews, please do yourself a favor and try them out.

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Meet Remington – 9 weeks old. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Nov 2013

Seeing family is fantastic; meeting new members like the sweet baby Bernese Mountain dog, Remington, above, is the icing on the cake. Welcome to the family, Remington.

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The B Team in Conklin, Michigan. Credit: Who even took this picture?, Nov 2013

To us, our friends are also our family. Pictured above is the B Team, putting to bed a bottle of Absolut Citron that has taken 10 years to finish. Sorry to say, but that stuff is awful. However, with a little teamwork and strategy, obviously anything is possible.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving with those they love, even if via FaceTime.

Have fun with the upcoming holidays – remember to breathe and take the festivities in stride. You can do it – we believe in you.

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