Green Mountain West Trail: Boulder, CO

Hike this guy if you’re looking for some great views of Downtown Boulder, but you don’t want to commit to a 3+ hour long hike!

EPISODE TWELVE
February 15, 2020

Views:

The Green Mountain West Trail located in Boulder, Colorado is a 3.7 mile Out & Back that’s perfect for a leisurely walk or run. The optimal months for this trail are between April to October.

– OVERALL RATING –

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Difficulty level: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 702 ft
Temperature: 29 degrees
Summary: Hike this guy if you’re looking for some great views of Downtown Boulder, but you don’t want to commit to a 3+ hour long hike.
I hiked this trail back in February 2020 the day after Valentines Day. This trail is dog friendly, but Mac and I boarded Riley because we stayed the night in Denver on Pearl St. If you’re hiking this trail while it’s snowing or after its snowed, bring spikes. I wore my spikes and I’m very happy I brought them because there was a decent mix of ice and snow. Spikes will help you get more traction, which will decrease the chances of you falling. I didn’t fall on this hike, but I fell 3+ times in Apex Park – a hike we did a month earlier so come prepared!

My hiking boots
REI spikes

Brews:

WARNING – We’re stepping away from beer this week and trying a mead. Mead is an alcoholic beverage that’s made by fermenting mainly honey and water.

Mead: A flight of 6 different meads from a variety of meaderies around Colorado plus a few additional states like Michigan.
Location: Savannah Bee Co

Mead’s alcoholic content is typically between 5-20% and the flavor profiles ranges from sweet to dry. You may find some meads that are very thick so you get more of that honey-feel or others can be light and crisp, tasting more like a traditional white wine.

Happy Hiking!

THE 2019 guide to Ugly Christmas Sweaters

It’s that time of year, mates. Ugly Christmas sweaters are by definition a hideous article….

It’s that time of year, mates. Ugly Christmas sweaters are by definition…..

A hideous article of clothing, received from relatives who don’t like you. It’s origins are ancient and were initiated to punish kids who wouldn’t eat their spinach. The relative always had a horrifying affliction Ie: (mustached aunt) .

-Urban Dictionary

Today, the term “sweater” is used loosely. It could be a turtleneck, a vest, or a sweatshirt. It’s just gotta be ugly. Oh and we choose to wear them. No more mustchaed aunts handing them out on Thanksgiving, just us and our own hard owned dollars. Since your time is valuable, I’ve put together a list of 6 places where you can get your 2019 Ugly Christmas sweater to wow your friends and most importantly, your dog.

1. Goodwill / Salvation Army / Thrift Stores

This is the cream of the crop. BUT they will go QUICK. They’re the A++ ugly sweater department. With this first option, you will have to do some digging and may have to stop by several different thrift stores or Goodwills. However, it won’t make a huge dent in your wallet so you can spend that extra money you saved on buying one for your dad. Cheers!
Learn more about Goodwill here.

2. Blizzard Bay

Oh me oh my, I’m loving these ugly sweaters. The Blizzard Bay boys have sweaters ranging from tacos wrapped in bows to llamas with a santa hat. You can’t go wrong with the Blizzard Bay boys.
Check out what they have on Amazon.

3. Ragstock

DEAL OF THE DAY: Vintage Christmas sweaters are 50% online at Ragstock. Ragstock started in the Twin Cities (MN), but has since expanded outside of this frigid, tundra-like city. To spice up your ugly sweater look, you can also pick-up a pair of ugly Christmas leggings and a jumbo light up santa hat. Ragstock’s got you covered head to toe!
Check out Ragstock.

4. Tipsy Elves

“As seen on shark tank”. Tipsy Elves got its first big debut after Robert Herjavec invested $100,000 for 10% of the company on Shark Tank back in 2013.
Check out Tipsy Elves sweaters.

5. ASOS

You might already shop at ASOS so if you get an ugly Christmas sweater from here, you can also order a new years dress. Two birds one stone, ladies!
This is the site for you if you want an ugly sweater, but you don’t want anything too “in your face”. ASOS has a wide range of cute Christmas sweaters with sequin embellishments and dachshunds dressed up in Christmas swag.
Check out ASOS ugly sweaters.

6. Forever 21

Forever 21 is going all out this year. Not only can you buy an ugly sweater, you can also dress up as a Christmas tree with presents as feet. If you’ve been craving attention lately, this outfit is for you. You’ll get all the double-takes and passerby comments. WOOHOO, self-confidence boost of the season!
Forever21 Ugly Christmas apparel.

4 Step DELICIOUS Dinner

Let’s make a delicious & healthy steak dinner in an hour

Garlic, asparagus, tenderloin steak, nibble potatoes. That’s all you need to fall in love with your plate.

Earlier today, Mac and I were taking The Beast on a walk and Mac stopped at King Soopers to grab some chicken breasts along the way. Out he came with 16oz of meaty steak. Okay, delicious.

How to make a steak dinner in an hour

Step 1: The wine

Pour a glass of red wine into a classic wine glass. I bought my red & white glasses from CB2 and they make the wine taste even better.
Wine suggestion: Cabernet Sauvignon – Flavors: Bell pepper, green olive, herb, cassis, black cherry

Thank you, Matt!!

Step 2: The steak

Cover both sides of the steak in olive oil, salt, & pepper. Toss those hunky pieces of meat onto a plate and set aside.

*The steak will take 4 minutes on each side on the grill.

Step 3: The potatoes

Preheat the oven to 425. Then take your nibble potato medley and cut them all in half. They’re tiny, so be careful! Throw the cut potatoes into a bowl and mix in some olive oil. No need to measure the olive oil out, just eyeball what you think is best! Take 2 pinches of salt and throw it into the bowl. Throw some ground pepper into the bowl. Next, grab the Italian Seasoning and sprinkle a generous amount over the potatoes in the bowl.

Once the potatoes look straight off of Master Chef Junior, throw them on a baking sheet and toss them in the oven for 30-40 minutes.

Step 4: The asparagus + The garlic

Cut the asparagus in half and place onto a plate. Next, put a medium size pan on the stove and turn the heat to between low & medium. Add olive oil to the pan and wait for it to heat up. Now, place the asparagus in the pan and squirt lemon juice onto it. Add a small pinch of salt.

Take 3 cloves of garlic and cut them in half or in thirds. Throw those guys into the pan of simmering oil and asparagus.

Let the garlic and asparagus brown and soften. This should take ~15-20 minutes.


If you haven’t put the steak on the grill yet, now would be the time to get those tenderloins searing. We also added bacon to ours to give it some extra street cred.
*Each steak will take 4 minutes on each side on the grill.

Wah-lah! It’s dinner time.

I absolutely loved this dinner. It was the perfect way to get in a balanced meal and try something new in the kitchen. Mac and I have made a good amount of meals since we moved to Denver 2ish months ago and I would say this dinner is in first place, by far.

Resources:

  1. Wine Enthusiast – Wine 101
  2. Food from Whole Foods + King Soopers

If you have any questions, please leave a comment all the way at the bottom of the page!

Don’t give up on finding a therapist. Here’s how I found one

You will hit roadblocks along the way in this process. But you will find a therapist that will help you improve your self-esteem. You will find a therapist that will teach you techniques to overcome an unanticipated loss. You will find a therapist that you can work through your anger with.

If you’ve ever began the process of trying to find a therapist, then you know first-hand how truly difficult it can be. You’ve experienced starting and stopping around 50-100 times because each time you get a little closer to finding a potential match, there’s another roadblock. You think to yourself, “Okay, this lady looks great. She specializes in eating disorders and anxiety”. You start to look for her contact information and ROADBLOCK— She doesn’t accept your insurance.
So then you wait a few days and after your afternoon run the adrenaline and endorphins are flowing so you think to yourself, “Okay, let’s give this another try, there has to be someone out there”. So you type in a variety of search terms of what you’re looking for:

Female, PTSD, Aetna, within 5 miles, and stress.

Next, you click on a licensed professional counselor (LPC) that matches all 5 criteria objectives you typed in. You email her along with two others that could potentially work. ROADBLOCK— None of the three potential therapists are accepting new patients right now.

So you try again in a week. More and more roadblocks continue to pop-up and you’ve pretty much lost all hope in finding a therapist at this point.

There are an innumerable amount of barriers when it comes to finding a professional to talk to. It’s easy to find a dentist or a nail salon, but it can feel like it’s close to impossible to find a licensed therapist that’s right for you. What was specifically challenging for me is when I was finally ready to look into options, I quickly became defeated. Each time I tried searching on a variety of websites I hit a new roadblock– Not accepting new patients, too far from my house, hours that weren’t compatible with my work schedule, out of network providers, etc. After my brother died, I searched for someone to work through my trauma with on and off for over a year. You’d think that in NYC you’d be able to find what you’re looking for in 10 minutes, but that’s just not the case. Eventually I moved to Denver and after living here for two months I started the search again. With persistence and commitment to figuring this out, I finally had a great phone consultation that led to an appointment that was booked for the following week. These are the steps I took:

7 Steps to Finding a Therapist

  1. I used Psychology Today
    • I applied the following filters:
      • Zip code
      • Widened the search to 5 miles
      • Clicked “Cigna” as my insurance
      • “Show Only Women”
      • Selected Grief, Trauma & PTSD, & Anxiety

  2. Next, I opened a few profiles that looked interesting to me

  3. Then, I emailed them directly through psychologytoday.com
    • Here you provide basic information: Why you’re reaching out, your phone #, email, and name. I also wrote the name of my insurance provider in the message as well

  4. Now the ball is in the therapists court and you wait to hear back. I also recommend giving them a call at the number listed on their profile

  5. When your potential therapist gets back to you, set up a 15-30 minute initial phone consultation
    • The free consultation is very important.I cannot stress this enough. During this call, the therapist will ask you questions and you can ask them questions. Be transparent and open about why you’re looking for a therapist. This will give you a good gauge if this could be a good fit for you.
    • Examples of questions to ask:
      • Do you specialize in ___(anxiety, trauma, self esteem, relationship issues, bipolar)__
      • What does your availability and hours look like?
      • Do you accept my insurance? **This is very important because out-of-network costs can be through the roof. If the provider you’re looking at setting up an appointment with is in-network for you, then you will pay a co-pay (mine is $40 per session). You and the therapist should both call your insurance provider to confirm your benefits.
      • How long are your sessions?
      • How do we set up counseling goals specific to me?
    • I’m very sensitive to people’s voices and tone, which is another reason why an initial call is extremely beneficial.

  6. If the initial consultation goes well and you’re interested in setting up the first appointment, the therapist will likely have you send over three things via email:
    1. A picture of your insurance card (front + back)
    2. Your date of birth
    3. Your current address

  7. Lastly, confirm your appointment time and go.
    I highlight go because setting up an appointment can seem like a good idea now, but then the day comes and we make excuses for why we can’t go. Excuses like, “I haven’t seen this friend in a year and we should get dinner”. Response: You’ll be a better friend if you prioritize your health and wellbeing. Or this excuse: “I have to work late”. Response: Keep your commitments, you’ll be better at work if you prioritize your health and wellbeing.

    If this first appointment goes well, set-up a second appointment while you are in the office. If you’re on the fence as to whether this is the therapist for you, go to 1-3 more sessions and then make a decision to start looking again.

You may have to repeat this process several times until you find the therapist that fits your needs and wants. I did. You will hit roadblocks along the way. But you will find a therapist that will help you improve your self-esteem. You will find a therapist that will teach you techniques to overcome an unanticipated loss. You will find a therapist that you can work through your anger with. You will find a therapist that uses EMDR as a therapy method. You will find a therapist that is in-network that you can afford. You will find a therapist for you. Start by taking the first step. You’ll be even stronger than you already are afterwards.

When we talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary.

-Fred Rogers