Alcott and High

a weekly story about Denver, life, and the things that interest us

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Month: April 2016 (page 1 of 2)

Have a Cozy Weekend

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For all our friends in Colorado, have a cozy, snowing-in-May weekend.  We always forget that Spring in Colorado brings more snow than rain.  The forecast says tonight and tomorrow will be wet and messy with snow and slush, so use it as an excuse to stay in and get cozy!  Zach and I just started watching a new Hulu original show, The Path.  I love the actors in it, so maybe a marathon is in order.

Other ideas for staying indoors this weekend.

Do a Spring Cleaning.

Listen to podcasts in front of the fire.

Do some online shopping.

Have a great weekend.

Obsessed with-Parenting Podcasts

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I must confess, being a non-parent,  that I listen to parenting podcasts– a lot. I feel like I am sneaking in on conversations that don’t pertain to me but getting really good cliff notes for an upcoming test. The podcasts are  entertaining as women, mostly, talk about breastfeeding, sleepless nights, and what to really pack for the hospital when you give birth.  My favorite parent podcasts are:

 

lsshort

The Longest Shortest Time- Hilary just interviewed Teri Gross, Yes, Teri Gross! about her decision to not have babies. NPR alumns run the whole thing and the quality is like This American Life, but for families. I am  excited to listen to the Accidental Gay Parents, part 3. Listen to parts 1 and 2 you will become equally obsessed, with this couple and their story their family.

baby mamas

The Baby Mama’s Podcast- A  couple from Canada talks about their journey to get pregnant and stay pregnant. They talk about how they picked a sperm donor, getting the sperm in, and finally becoming pregnant. Then they obsess about everything and its fun listening in on their conversations about impending parenting.

pregnancy podcast

The Pregnancy Podcast- A research based podcast that literally tells you everything you need to know if you are a new parent. Each episode is like 20 minutes so its like: okay everything about breastmilk, go. Everything about 1-3rd trimesters, boom.  Everything about placenta encapsulation (ya uh huh) go.  Vanessa Marten just tells it like it is and sites her sources. You don’t have to google search because she does all the work for you and every week is something new about pregnancy or having the baby.

If you are a parent or non-parent, like me, listen along, to hear about non-conventional parenting, non-traditional family stories, the ups and the downs, the mistakes, the hilarity, and  joys of it all.  You can download all the episodes and search for others on the podcast app or just go to iTunes.

Seder

Zach’s close family friends host a Seder dinner that Zach and his family have been going to since he was a little kid.  When I started dating Zach, I got to be a part of this wonderful tradition as well.  My first Seder was in 2003 and I look forward to it every year.  Kids run around, babies squeal, and the adults drink wine and talk. We all celebrate the season of change, growth, family, and friendship by reading about the traditions of Passover.

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The food is prepared days in advance and the gathering feeds your belly and your soul.  Our hosts truly understand that food = love

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I love that the Haggadah I held back in 2003 is the same one I held this year (with a few more wine spatters on it from reciting the ten plagues!).   The Seder dinner is about remembering history through tradition and ritual.   My first few Seder dinners I focused on learning about the significance of what we were doing – why we wash our hands at certain times, why we deep bitter herbs in salt, and understanding the meaning of all the food symbols on the Seder Plate.  Now that I have been part of this for years, I look at Seder in a different way.  It is our chance to catch up with friends (who are family) that we may only see once a year at Seder.  As I start thinking about having kids I think about how wonderful it will be for them when they get to be the youngest reader.

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It was also great for me when my extended family started inviting my sister and Marcos to Seder dinner.  We feel so lucky to be a part of so many communities and traditions.

An Actually FUN workout

Shannon here. Shelby and I spent summers dancing at Cleo Parker Robinson Dance in Denver. Today, we both live a few minutes away so we started doing Zumba on Saturdays. The Zumba is taught by the dancers in the company and it’s an amazing workout.

(The dance theatre is in an old church)

An hour at the gym can feel like a lifetime but an hour in Zumba feels like 15 min. The music is amazing and you leave the class happy, sweaty, and lighter on your feet.

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My favorite thing about the class is that you can find every type of person from 2-year olds dancing behind their Mamas to 70-year old women. The class is suitable for experienced dancers and beginners alike.

Class is 10:30am on Saturday. See you there!

Obsessed With: Aillea Beauty

Shelby here with a new obsession in Denver – Aillea shop on Larimer Street.

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I have been transitioning all of my beauty products to non-toxic, natural products, and it has been a struggle to find natural makeup.  I heard about Aillea from an aesthetician, so Shannon and I decided to check it out.

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We fell in love with the light-filled shop and the the owner, Kathryn.  She was so friendly and eager to help.  Even though we were there to buy makeup, she offered to let us try out some natural skin care products – a brightening cleanser and a clearing mask.  While we waited for the mask to do its job, we drank champagne and talked about Kathryn’s  move from the makeup industry in New York to open this wonderful shop in Denver.

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Next Kathryn did a complete makeup look on each of us.  The best part was that Kathryn explained everything in detail with each product she used.  She explained what the products were made out of and how to use them.  We tried out foundation, concealer, translucent powder, blush, eye shadow, eye liner,  mascara, eyebrow shaping wax, and lipstick.  I bought my favorite products and walked out with a list of things to buy at a later time.

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I loved every minute of my time at Aillea – I hope you all check it out soon!

 

Have a Wonderful Weekend

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Shannon here! This weekend we are invited to a  Seder Dinner and a big birthday party. They are both on the same night and polar opposites, so that should be really fun.

On Sunday we are going to SLEEP IN and then this weekend the Denver Flea opens.  You can wander around and look a local art, clothing, and eat and drink from food trucks. There is also live music.

Enjoy Saturday and Sunday

xx,

Shan

A Strategy for Anxiety

Laura Murray Photography, Colorado, Engagement, Film

I sometimes struggle with anxiety. I can feel like everything is a priority 1 and it can keep me up at night.

Recently a therapist friend told me something helpful to do before bed if you are feeling anxious.

She said close your eyes. Now take everything you are thinking about and worried about and put it into a container. Image what the container looks like and feels like. Put your worries in there. Now, let’s take duct tape and put a layer around that container so the worries are securely inside. Now imagine where to put that container far far away.  Maybe it’s on a dessert island or the bottom of the ocean. Then imagine the container dropping or being buried. Then, imagine leaving the container, travel back to your home. Now, open your eyes.

I felt so much better knowing that all the stress was far away and I could sleep. Try this next time you are feeling anxious before bed, or really, anytime. It has helped me.

(Photo of me by Laura Murray)

How to Eat a Salad for Breakfast

Put it in a smoothie! Marcos and I go through 2 packages of spinach or power greens per week. Here is the thing,  when you put a bunch of greens in a smoothie, and add (secret and key ingredient) a banana, guess what? it just tastes sweet, like a banana.  Here are a few delicious smoothie recipes that I eat almost everyday for breakfast:

Smoothie

1.My favorite: The Peanut Butter Banana

To make it, blend together:

2 frozen bananas
2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
1 cup unsweetened milk (nut, soy, animal)
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
Two large handfuls of spinach or any other greens

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2.  Mixed Berry- If you have a Costco membership get frozen fruit  and greens in bulk, it will save you money.

To make it, blend together:

1 frozen banana
1 cup frozen mixed berries
1 cup unsweetened milk (nut, soy, animal)
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 large handfulls of mixed greens

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3). Green Smoothie

To make it, blend together:

1 frozen banana
1 cup greens (baby spinach, destemmed kale, collards, chard, etc.)
1 cup unsweetened milk (nut, soy, animal)
Honey or maple syrup, to taste

 

 

 

Recipes and pics mostly borrowed from Back to Her Roots. A blog I am obsessed with for smoothie making.

Shop Local – Talulah Jones

Shelby here, with love for a wonderful local business – Talulah Jones – on 17th and Park Avenue in Uptown.

The minute you walk into this shop you feel at home.  The women who run it are friendly and helpful and there is often a little shop dog chilling in a cozy corner.  The interior design also makes it feel like home.  It has a bohemian-glam aesthetic that reminds me of my house growing up.

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Talulah Jones is my go-to place for any gift.  I have a lot of baby showers in my life right now, and I will walk into the store and describe the mom-to-be and the person working will find the perfect gift to fit my friend.  I also go there for non-baby, non-kid gifts.  They have beautiful cards and wonderful gifts like unique cookbooks, interesting jewelry and clothes, and high-quality beauty products.

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I used to get stressed out about having to get a gift for someone – I always want to find something meaningful but that can take a lot of time.  Now I head straight to Talulah’s and I am at peace as soon as I walk in.  And they have great gift-wrapping!

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What are your favorite places in Uptown?

Shopping For: Summer Sandals

Shelby here.  I have started buying dresses and other summer clothes, anxious for sunny days and warm nights.  Almost every season I buy a new pair of flat sandals and then have worn them out by the next Summer.  This year I am looking to make an investment and find quality sandals that are timeless enough I can wear them for years to come.

After spending (too much) time on Pinterest and scrolling through fashion blogs, I have narrowed it down to three choices.

 

sam edelman

Sam Edelman

The Greta Thong is definitely a classic that will stay in style for years to come.  And I almost always buy black sandals.  They go with everything and they hide wear and tear.

 

 

slingback

Everlane

I am really into Everlane’s unique philosophy for fashion retail.  The quality you get for the price is phenomenal.  This Italian Slingback Sandal looks like something I could wear every day on a trip to Europe.

 

 

soft

Sofft

I have found that a wedge can sometimes be even more comfortable than a flat because it is soft around your arches.  I also like the two-tone pattern of the leather on the Vangie Slide.

 

Any other suggestions you think I should consider?