July 11, 2012

Aspen: Green Drinks

Thursday from 5-7pm, meet new people, learn some stuff, snag some snacks, AND check out the new exhibit Seasons of the Nuche at Aspen Historical Society—a must for anyone who calls Aspen home, even part time. It’s your history!

green drinks

July 9, 2012

Pony Pics

I promised more pics of the ranch but have been a little tardy … hasn’t the summer flown by? The slideshow below is just a little sample of the awesome animals I’ve been working with. I just love horses!

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July 6, 2012

Feel Good Friday 070612

Feel Good Friday is a roundup of the things that made me feel good or that I’m grateful for all week. Join me and leave your Feel Goods in the comments!

  • BBQ that turned into all-night adventure … when your friends wear outfits like this and hang out in art galleries until way past bars close, what else could you expect?


    he doesn’t have facebook so I have to post embarassing pics on the blog!

  • New crafts!
    bracelets <—from this pin

    magazine recycling bin

    Recycling bin made of recycled magazines

  • My girl crew. This week: late night phone calls, wine bombs and hunters, champagne + steaks + bikinis, black skinny jeans, and moby.
  • Writing about what is quite possibly my fave topic: giving + getting, shopping on sites that donate to charities.
  • I’m going to be honest, I’m struggling to find the good in some of the things that happened this week, but I know good must be there. More time to focus on myself, my personal growth, and figuring out what I really want.

See last week’s Feel Goods here.

July 5, 2012

Festival Summer in Telluride

It’s hard to leave Aspen. Which must explain why in the three summers I’ve spent in Aspen, I’ve never made it to Telluride. However, nestled in the very-different-from-the-Rockies San Juan Mountains, Telluride (elevation: 8,750 ft.) lies in a box canyon, surrounded on three sides by 14,000-foot peaks, which makes for something awesome. Plus it connects to Mountain Village (elevation: 9,540) by a free, scenic gondola.

Maybe I’ve been wanting to visit, but now I have the motivation: I had no idea that Telluride has become such a festival hotbed. Behold an insane amount of festivals (8 before September ends):

The homegrown Telluride Yoga Festival (July 12-15, 2012) allows new and experienced yogis to deepen their practice through many different forms of yoga led by experts from around the globe.

The Telluride Jazz Festival (August 3-5, 2012) comes to town for its 36thyear, bringing internationally recognized acts in classic, mainstream, blues, Brazilian, African and Latin jazz. Performances are staged outdoors in the daytime and in intimate clubs and historic concert halls at night. “When trumpet great, Dizzy Gillespie exclaimed on his visit to Telluride in 1977, ‘If this ain’t paradise, heaven can wait,’ he hit the right note,” says Telluride Jazz Festival Executive Director, Paul Machado.

For foodies, foragers and folks searching for something more unusual, the Telluride Mushroom Festival (August 16-19, 2012) educates citizens, both visitor and local alike, about the many incredible aspects of the amazing world of mycology.

Further up the mountain, Telluride Festival of the Arts (August 17-19, 2012) is an annual weekend-long, culinary, and visual arts event held in Mountain Village.

Cycling enthusiasts can stop spinning their wheels for the stage one finish of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge (August 20, 2012).  Olympians, World Champions, and Tour de France podium winners will race through the majestic Rockies, enduring more mountain passes than any other race in North America (Aspen is also a stop).

Brand new Rock and Roll Festival (August 25-26, 2012) will bring a dozen acts to Town Park, including Ben Harper and the Relentless 7, Los Lobos and Big Head Todd and the Monsters.

Held over Labor Day weekend, the Telluride Film Festival (September 2-5, 2012) is not a competition, but rather a celebration of the best in film from all around the world. Films must make their North American premiere at the festival in order to be considered, which has allowed attendees to be among the first to see highly regarded, award-winning films such as “The Descendants,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” “Juno,” “Brokeback Mountain” and “Bowling for Columbine.” Another unique aspect of the festival is the element of surprise; the program is kept secret until opening day.

The music festival season closes out with Telluride Blues and Brews (September 14-16, 2012), a three-day festival with headliners including Phil Lesh & Friends, Gov’t Mule and the B-52s, along with a grand tasting featuring more than 50 of the best regional craft breweries.

For more on Telluride, visittelluride.com

July 3, 2012

Conversations from Aspen Ideas Fest

I love that living in Aspen allows me to attend Ideas Fest sessions that I wouldn’t normally get the pleasure of joining (see past recaps here and here). This year, I attended two distinct but related panels, so I will discuss them together. The details:

Entrepreneurship 2012 with Michael Lopp, Kevin Delaney, Joe Muscat, Daniel Epstein, and Paul Sciarra (filling in for Arianna Huffington)

Vital Voices: The Power of Women Leading Change around the World with Alyse Nelson, Laura Alonso, Kah Walla, and Amira Yahyaoui

OK, so first let’s point out the obvious, which I already tweeted about: the entrepreneurship panel is all men. The women’s leadership panel is all women.

This is a problem. This is the problem.

The festival seemed to excuse this on the entrepreneurial panel because Arianna Huffington was supposed to be on the entrepreneurship panel, but there is absolutely no excuse for not replacing her with a woman: she is not the only big-name woman entrepreneur in the world. To have a panel in this economic climate that largely discussed how to encourage young people to become entrepreneurs, it’s critical that those young people understand that entrepreneurs can be of both sexes. Currently, the world of entrepreneurship is dominated by men, and that is precisely the reason for a conversation-encouraging organization like the Aspen Ideas Fest to include women.

To be fair, the panel itself was excellent: great conversation, varied viewpoints and ages, and lots of great insight for budding entrepreneurs (like me—though it’s worth noting that I’m female). When asked about challenges, the veteran entrepreneurs gave advice on perseverance, execution (literally, “you need someone who can cross the t’s and dot the i’s”), and stubbornness. But Paul Sciarra of Pinterest summed up best a point I’ve heard before but am also reiterating constantly to myself and others: “Despite what you’ve heard, Pinterest is a four-year overnight success.” When asked how he stayed motivated, he replied, “An unwillingness to fail. You’ve told all your friends that you’re doing this … and I didn’t want to face them at the end of the day.”

Entrepreneurship may be marked by that stubbornness, but the panel members spoke a lot about the value of failure to entrepreneurship. They argue that the culture of entrepreneurship as a whole, particularly found in Silicon Valley, makes it systemically okay to fail, which is critical for entrepreneurial success.

The Vital Voices panel was excellent as well, and the women who spoke were eloquent, passionate, and inspiring. Working backwards, 27-year-old activist Amira Yahyaoui of Tunisia wrapped up her comments by saying, “We need man feminists. We have to stop thinking we are separate. We cannot do it by ourselves. Men have to act now.” And that’s exactly why the lack of men on the panel IS an issue. Women in leadership is not a women’s issue.

Then again, there were less than 10 men in attendance. So it’s not just a planning fail, it’s an attendee interest fail (which you could attribute to the planning as well, but we’ll stay away from that).

That said, the discussion was interesting and focused on two overarching themes: first, that “the time for talking is over, the time for doing is now;” and second, that “women are facilitators” as leaders. Argentine Congresswoman Laura: “All the women are facilitators … women sitting at the table feel the way the affected people feel or live, we don’t think about interest groups or corporations, that’s the second part … Business can always be fixed. You can adapt business. What we see is a different face on the people that are affected by the law.”

2011 Cameroon Presidential Candidate Kah Walla: “But if it is by accident of history or how we constructed societies, women have been in charge of taking care of human beings. So when we come to power, that is who we want to be when we come to power … The main purpose when I’m sitting here is, how much space can I create for these other people? The societies we’ve built that exclude some of us don’t work for any of us! That’s the difference.”

… in the end, I’m thrilled by the quality of the discussion at the panels and treatment within them of equality of the sexes. The makeup of the panels, unfortunately, demonstrates the deep inequality that still exists, that sections issues off into gender boxes instead of opening up discussions to all.

Also: I’m super-bummed I missed out on Anne-Marie Slaughter and Katie Couric talking over Slaughter’s controversial Atlantic cover story “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” that rocked the world last week. But AIF did a great job posting video coverage and lots of reactions here.

June 29, 2012

Feel Good Friday 062912

Feel Good Friday is a roundup of the things that made me feel good or that I’m grateful for all week. Join me and leave your Feel Goods in the comments!

  • New. Vacuum. Life-changing.
  • Finally washing, vacuuming, and detailing my car. (apparently I’m summer cleaning?)
  • Toooooobing Slaughterhouse! Amazing!!
  • Incredibly thoughtful gift from a friend to add to my beach house decor:
    beach house
  • Nappy Roots Round 2 … less protruding thigh than the first, more dancing and laughing at the crowd in Aspen singing “all my life, been poor …”
  • Nali meets the horses!
    nali horses
  • Guess what’s on tap for tonight? I’m already grateful for it … wait for it … take a wild guess … Girls Night Magic Mike viewing!!!!!

See last week’s Feel Goods here.

June 28, 2012

Six Secrets to Grilling the Gill

Executive Chef Chris Bauer of Eddie V’s Prime Seafood on 5th Street in Austin can grill a mean fish—and he’s sharing with us six secrets to grill the gill:

  • Thickness of product to be grilled is important. Fish should not be any thicker than ¾” and no less than ½”. Thicker cuts of fish will result in over-charring and drying out on the outside. Thinner cuts will be too difficult to control doneness and will break apart on grill
  • Build your charcoal fire and allow charcoal burn until it has a white ash covering.
  • Brush grill with a wire grill brush well to remove any burnt on particles
  • Using a kitchen towel dipped in vegetable oil, hold the towel with tongs and rub grill (just before placing items on grill to cook) with oiled towel. This will help prevent items from sticking.
  • Season items to be grilled well salt and cracked black pepper. Additionally, brush items to be grilled very lightly with olive oil. Too much oil causes flare-ups and result in an off taste.
  • Do not over-char grilled fish. This will impart a bitter taste.

swordfish at eddie v's

Ready? Chef Bauer’s Charcoal Grilled Swordfish Steaks with Avocado, Fresh Crab, Red Chile and Cilantro Vinaigrette pairs perfectly with chilled white win and takes almost no time to prepare.

8 oz each Swordfish Steaks, ¾ thick, no skin, no bloodline
1 each avocado, peeled ½ dice
4 oz of fresh crab meat, no shells
1 tablespoon of red pepper, very finely diced
1 teaspoon of Serrano pepper, very finely diced
1 tablespoon of red onion, very finely diced
4 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
6 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of sambal chili sauce
Kosher Salt as needed
Fresh Cracked pepper as needed
2 tablespoons of cilantro, chopped

1. Season Swordfish with salt and pepper, brush lightly with some olive oil
2. Grill Swordfish 4 minutes on each side over charcoal fire to desired doneness
(medium-medium rare is preferable)
3. Combine avocado, onion, cilantro, peppers, vinegar, 4 tablespoons of olive oil,
sambal and cilantro, season with salt to taste
4. Place Swordfish in center of hot plate
5. Place avocado mixture on top of swordfish
6. Place fresh crab on top of avocado mixture
7. Serve Immediately

June 26, 2012

New Summer Drink Coco Breve

You know how when you’re floating the river, nothing tastes better than Keystone? But if you’re anywhere else, nothing tastes worse?

Coco Brevé will likely taste better than Keystone on the river—although I did not test this assertion.

This is no small feat. Because literally nothing tastes better.

kiwi lime coco breve

But the coconut water bevvie’s bubbles and alcohol are a pretty killer combo for a hot summer day in a toob, on a boat, by the beach, lounging poolside … you get the idea.

Coco Brevé is launching in Austin and Atlanta, Los Angeles, Miami and San Diego this summer with two flavors: Kiwi Lime and Mango Citrus. I preferred Kiwi Lime, though both taste more like coconut water than their respective flavors. I love coconut water. Some people do not.

Specs: 12-ounce bottles at 4.2 percent alcohol by volume and 130 calories

Bottom line: hydrate while you drink? Yes.

cocobreve.com / facebook.com/cocobreve

Intrigued? Luckily, you’re invited to the Coco Brevé launch party at—where else?—The W’s WET pool. Invite below + don’t forget to RSVP!

coco breve invite

Sidebar: Have you guys tried Shiner’s Summer Seasonal Ruby Redbird? Ginger + Grapefruit at just 4.2 ABV is HEAVEN in a bottle … mix me a cooler of Coco Brevés and Shiner Redbirds and I will last sun-up to sun-down, slightly drunk and incredibly happy. 

June 22, 2012

Feel Good Friday 062212

Feel Good Friday is a roundup of the things that made me feel good or that I’m grateful for all week. Join me and leave your Feel Goods in the comments!

  • Getting to spend Father’s Day with my dad! He’s awesome.
  • Family time at the Memphis wedding weekend was incredible and all too rare … loved hitting up the zoo with my youngest cuz and checking out the aminals!
    tiger! nali
  • Dinner at Matsu! Uni shots?

    uni shots

    Sake, Ponzu, quail egg, and sea urchin + cucumber stir stick

  • Cold brew coffee. I skipped making it all last week since I was only in town for three days, but I am so glad to have it back in my life!!

See last week’s Feel Goods here.

June 20, 2012

Aspen: Da Bears

I saw my first bear this summer, but thankfully I was on horseback. With summer hiking on the brain, it’s time to refresh our wild animal encounter skills in case you run into a bear without your trusty steed—and by steed, I could mean pistol, if you’re into that sort of thing (and I am, I mean, I don’t want Nali eaten by a mountain lion).

survival guide

For 19 other wild animals, click here: Freeze or Flee (you have to sign up to see the images any bigger than the one above)


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