February 27, 2009

A Three Cupcake Day

This year has probably been the best birthday I have had in years. After spending a wonderful evening with a good friend on Wednesday night the real birthday began on Thursday. I slept in and enjoyed some virtual birthday love via Facebook and Twitter then on to a whirlwind of activity.

I met my friends Janine and Lindsay for lunch in Boulder. We went to The Med and it was so nice to have a leisurely lunch with the girls. It's been so long since I have done that and it was like a breath of fresh air. We then sauntered over to Tee and Cakes for the first of three cupcakes.

My day continued with a little bit of volunteer time with The Women's Wilderness Institute. We're getting close to Gear and Cheer so it was time to do a preliminary walk through of the event site, Rembrandt Yard and pick up some donations. When I arrived at the TWWI office, my friend Lori had a wonderful hot pink cupcake waiting for me. This put a big smile on my face, however my teeth were hot pink from the frosting so I am sure it wasn't a very attractive smile.

Then on to the climbing wall with my friend Amber. Who arrived with a cupcake and one of those little toys that you place in the water and they grow. It's a pink cat, I can't wait to play with it! We only got in a few climbs due to a crowded wall but it was still good to get moving a bit.

Finally the last stop of the day was a wonderful dinner with my cousin Dana at Panzano. They have a wonderful four course menu for Restaurant Week and I am still full!

I am so thankful to all my friends for making it a great day! Between the virtual love to the real life festivities I am a truly a lucky girl.

February 24, 2009

Your mission, if you choose to accept it...

My work with The Women's Wilderness Institute has really made me take a deeper look at volunteering. Prior to TWWI, I tried a few different volunteer opportunities because I wanted to give back to the community but I didn't feel the connection. Not to say these organizations were lacking in strong missions or value to community, but I didn't have the passion for the cause.

I finally found the passion and drive to volunteer with women and girls outdoor education. I never lose interest in the mission and that fuels me, even when I don't think I have enough energy for a day job, social life and volunteer work.

Excited to have found something so inspirational made me wonder how are other people volunteering or are they? I looked at my friends and people in the community to see how many are currently volunteering their time and skills, I am proud to say it's about 40%. In addition about 50% of those who don't volunteer time donate money. I asked a few people what the main reason was for not volunteering and for many it was the lack of passion. They just hadn't found an organization that was a match.

So for those of you who don't volunteer, who want new opportunities for volunteer work, or maybe want to take a vacation and save some money, read on.

For Outdoorsy types one great tool is Service Leader. This website links to various parks and wilderness areas that need assistance.

If you're in Colorado there is also Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado. While visiting their website you can choose from a range of activities for individuals, groups, and families as well as adventure level volunteer activities.

If you're a climber you may like to plan or participate in an Adopt-a-Crag event. These events focus on cleaning and preserving our climbing areas as well as the trails leading to prime climbing spots.

So now maybe you're saying, but what about me Cupcake? I am not an outdoorsy person, I have to wear sunscreen when I sit near a window! Well the sky is the limit. The question I always ask people when they wonder where they should volunteer is simple, "When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?" A veterinarian, a teacher, or maybe an artist?" The go visit Volunteermatch.org and type in your location and keywords such as Animals, Kids, or Art and you will find all kinds of unique ways to give back.

For my fellow crafty types check out Sewing Charity. There is a comprehensive directory of charities that can use your hand crafted donations to support all types of organizations through out the globe.

Now I know you're wondering, what about those vacations you mentioned? If you don't need five star accomodations and don't mind getting your hands dirty consider a volunteer vacation. Depending on the type of vacation you may be building trails or teaching English. For far less than you would normally spend on vacation you can pair up with an orgnaization and volunteer while still having time to relax Resources include the American Hiking Society and Global Volunteers. I have not tested either of these personally but have read good reviews.

There are many other opportunities out there, these are merely a few resources to get you going. So get out there and make a difference!

February 23, 2009

Waking up from the Benadryl Coma...

Westword Artopia was a great time. Once again I had the opportunity to work with an amazing group of performers including Buskers, Belly Dancers, Fire Eaters, Burlesque Dancers and an amazing Aerialist.

However a full day of work at the day job and a full night of work lead to a full day of rest on Sunday. I was so sore and stuffy that I gave in, took some Benadryl and went back to bed.

However this morning I feel pretty good. I am heading up to Boulder for a full day of meetings at the Women's Wilderness Institute as well as a pre-birthday lunch with some wonderful friends.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Monday!

February 21, 2009

The Periodic Table Of Yumminess

As you may have guessed, I love cupcakes. So this morning when I came across Woman's Day Periodic Table of Cupcakes via the Presurfer I was intrigued. On this table you will find recipes for cupcakes grouped in five categories: basics, fruit, nature, holiday, and kids favorites.

I definitely find the list worthy of a little baking experimentation. I think I may try the Blushing Grapefruit or Caramel Apple soon. I wish that there were more pictures to accompany the recipes however they all sound delicious so I can't complain too much, right?

February 20, 2009

Instant Gratification

I love coffee. I don't drink, don't smoke, so coffee is my thing. I really love coffee. When I received an email announcing a new Starbucks coffee this week it almost went straight junk folder. Starbucks is always announcing something new so I rarely read their emails however two words caught my eye,
Instant Coffee.

That's right folks! Starbucks new product Via Ready Brew is made with "ethically-sourced Arabica beans" and is prepared with Starbucks new microgrind method that is supposed to make it better than the instant coffees on the market today.

Honestly I like brewing coffee, I like the process, I like the way the aroma permeates my home and basically it's a ritual. However I am always open to experiment so I ordered the free sample of Via from Starbucks. It should be arriving in a few weeks. I will report back then.

February 18, 2009

Gear and Cheer is around the corner

I have been climbing for about two years now. After my first course with the Women's Wilderness Institute I was hooked. I often wonder if I hadn't learned with their amazing instructors on a perfect day in Boulder Canyon, would I be climbing and drooling over gear today?

Hopefully the answer would be yes, but I know in my heart that something is just different about WWI. This amazing non-profit organization has really perfected the learning experience for women (and girls). They know how to speak to women of all ages, help them find their inner strength, and create an amazing environment that is so magical and rare.

That's why I am now a volunteer with WWI, focusing on the annual Gear and Cheer Silent and Live Auction. If you're in the Boulder/Denver area, mark April 23 on your calendar. The event is held at Rembrandt Yard in Boulder and will have amazing entertainment, wonderful auction items, and is a chance to mingle with other outdoor enthusiasts.

We're always looking for new volunteers and sponsors for the event. If you have time to give contact Lori Mathews, Volunteer Coordinator, at 303-938-9191. If you would like to contribute to the auction we're always looking for gear as well as unique items such as clothing, jewelry, or other goodies. It's a great way to generate publicity for your business as well as give back to a great cause.

Artopia anyone?

Last year I had the opportunity to work Westword's Artopia. It's an amazing event in Denver featuring music, food, fashion and art. It's a great way to see what's going on in the community.

Last year the venue I managed had amazing variety from Burlesque to Poetry to Aerial Dance. I am excited to be there again because this promises to be another amazing event!

Come check it out Saturday night! Tickets include complimentary food and liquor sampling and can be purchased for $30 in advance or $35 at the door and can be purchased here.

February 17, 2009

So disturbing...

I can't watch this video because the reported cruelty is just too much for me. This video is supposed to show a lad named Timmy beating a cat against a wall and then hitting it, the attack going on for about a minute.

Normally I wouldn't blog about something so evil however I feel like I had to get it out of my brain. I am not sure what bothers me more the pure violence and disregard for life or the fact that the boy seems to think it's okay by posting the video. I hope by displaying his maniacal tendencies he will be caught and this sociopath will be stopped and get treatment before he can hurt more animals or humans.

February 16, 2009

200 Sit-ups and 100 Push-ups! Can I make it?

While my niece has a little lunch and chills a bit I thought I would share my latest fitness endeavor. I found these programs through a post on The Presurfer and started the program a few weeks ago. Then I got sick so I am back to Day One.

The theory is that by the end of six weeks anyone is capable of being able to do 200 sit-ups and 100 push-ups. The routine isn't crazy, you just build up to it and the physcial benefits of a stronger core and upper body are always a nice perk. I will try to report my progess over the next six weeks and soon I will be hardcore like a PowerPuff Girl.

If you want to check out the programs visit 200 Sit-ups and 100 Push-ups.

February 15, 2009

Easy like Sunday morning

I woke up without a voice today. So I put the kettle on, cancelled my plans and plan on doing a few projects around the house that I have been putting off. Which means that hopefully my Ravelry projects will all have pictures up soon. For those who don't know what Ravelry is, it's a site for fiber fiends (knitters and crocheters) to keep track of their projects, find patterns, and find friends. If you think knitting is still a hobby reserved for the blue haired ladies, you may be surprised to find such forum groups as Knitters on Belay (climbers who knit), Tattooed Knitters, and L Word knitters.

Also, for those who are curious. YES, I won at Bingo on Friday night. Even better part of my prize pack were lovely Athena's toys donated by Kerri. If you're not in the know, visit Kerri's Athenas store as she carries everything from bath and body lotions to adult toys for the most daring. We had so much fun and the proceeds from the Denver Cycle Sluts Bingo went to a group called Man Reach, a non profit reaching out to isolated gay men in rural areas.

February 14, 2009

I want a piglet

Kingsford Goes to the Beach - Click here for this week’s top video clips

What's Your Valentine's Day Song?

While Valentine's Day does not rank high up on my scale of fun holidays I was pleasantly surprised to find this quiz in the Rocky Mountain News this morning. I love things that are sentimental and bring me back to age 15 when life was easier and my biggest worry was whether or not to highlight my black hair with magenta or violet. So low and behold I took the quiz to find my Valentine song and the results were predictable and somehow reassuring.

I followed the conversation hearts twice, two different paths and ended up with Lovesong by The Cure both times! Maybe you'll have different results. Just follow the path and find your perfect love song.

February 13, 2009

Who's Ready for Trailer Park Bingo?

I will admit it. I don't LOVE Bingo. Sitting in a room full of people waiting for numbers to be called out well...that's just not my thing.

HOWEVER, Bingo with the Denver Cycle Sluts is a whole other world! Held the second Friday of each month is Slut Bingo, this months theme is Trailer Park Bingo. Featuring such amazing drag queens as Zoey Diddum and Sassy Squatch you are in for a good time. Each month these queens of camp bring hours of entertainment, prizes, and debauchery while raising money for a local charity.

So come on down to Club M at Hamburger Mary's at 708 E. 17th Ave in Denver. Balls Drop at 9:00, Doors are at 7:00.

It's VD and that's okay...

So in prep for the festivies known as Valetine's Day or Single's Awareness Day I have come across some fun toys and ideas on the web. Check em out!

Make Your Own Conversation Hearts

Awkward Valentines

Make Your Own Virtual Conversation Hearts

Virtual Bunch of Flowers

A new blog....

So once upon a time I had various blogs. All very specfic such as my knitting blog, outdoor adventures blog, and pink shirt daily blog. Then I realized it was just too much to keep everything in compartmentalized so now I am just throwing all together.

My first post is to share is this delicious Vegan Mousse recipe I found at Homespun Oasis. Yes, the main ingredient is Avocado and that's a little off putting at first but I made a batch last week and it's delicious. I used quite a bit of agave nectar in mine and ended up eating it right out of the bowl.

If you haven't had a chance check out Homespun Oasis. It's a treasure trove for anyone who loves handmade goods, fun stories, recipes, and lots of giveaways!