Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Making Strides

This week I have taken the step toward future employment in the City!  I have applied for two Group Fitness Instructor jobs, one with the City/County of Denver and one with a company called Medifit.  I also applied for a part-time (2 days a week) gig as a front office/medical assistant for an office specializing in obesity. 
My goal is to work a job or two in fitness, plus part-time at a plastic surgery, dermatology or medical spa practice. 
I want to have multiple streams of income, so I am going to brainstorm other opportunities, ones related to the things in which I am most interested:  health and wellness, blogging, Halloween, travel and food experiences.
And, of course, I want to volunteer.  I have already attended the volunteer orientation for The Center and I am getting to know many of the people thru Chris, so I believe I will see what role I can fill there. 

Monday, July 28, 2014


So, yeah, we are a little late to the party, but we are now anxiously awaiting the Season 3 release of
Orange Is the New Black
My mom gave us access to her Netflix account when she was visiting, so the three of us watched a few episodes.  Then, my mom and I watched one episode in Florida together and she caught a few more the day I was on the boat!!! 
Chris and I finished both seasons the other day and a little online searching returned no date for the third season.
Anyone know when that will be?!? 
In the meantime, the three of us are going to watch Breaking Bad.  After watching just the pilot episode, I can see why this took off.  It shouldn't take us all that long to watch the series, as we won't have cable or satellite when we move to Denver.  We are going to have internet and see if a digital antenna will give us the local stations.  Therefore, we will be aficionados of Netflix ~ I see binge watching of Weeds in our future!!!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Next on my New Business Cards

I took the exam for certification as a Longevity Wellness Specialist!  I should get my results and certificate via email in two days! 
This means that I can help guide you with information regarding anti-aging, hormones, exercise, rest, vitamins & supplements.  All of which you must discuss with your doctor, along with getting the blood work to see where you are deficient in order to make an educated plan for living a long, healthy and vibrant life!
"I like Life!  Life likes me.
A perpetual spree!"

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Steele Street

You did it!
Your good thoughts worked magic!
We were approved for the apartment we really wanted!!  We will be living on Steele Street in Denver, getting the keys August 1st! 
"Named after a Roman architect, Vitruvius is a vintage building full of character, located right across the street from Denver's City Park, and blocks from all the culture found on Colfax Avenue.  Relax like a Roman god in spacious apartments with tall ceilings, picturesque windows and large luxurious porticos."  (as described by the apartment management company) 
The one thing they forgot to mention is the shady courtyard enclosed by wrought iron fencing. 
It's quaint and old with tons of charm!!  It's going to be fun using our decorations to style the place ala C&J!  Tho, I suspect there will be many things that remain in storage.  Maybe some that were in storage here come out and others go in.  Who knows?!  That's part of the fun!!
I am looking forward to the first evening we can enjoy the portico beneath our lights while sipping a libation.  And then early mornings with a hot coffee, waking to the sounds of the city and the park.
Here is a little info on our new neighborhood.

And this should be a Google Map satellite view of the Vitruvius.

Mile High City Moving

I feel that finding our next place, from Longmont to Denver, is harder now than it was out-of-state, from Indiana to Colorado!  YIKES!
We want a 2/2, would do a 2/1, might end up with a 1/1.
We see a rental advertised, but are told it is already rented when we call.  Chris makes appointments for viewings and gets contacted about 30 minutes before to say it has been rented.  The place, a townhouse, I really wanted, Chris attended an open house while I was in Florida.  We didn't get picked!  We have done a couple drive-bys to find that we don't like the area.  A house was a little more "worn" than we liked, but we would have managed it had the street/neighborhood been better.  We had appointments to see 4 apartments yesterday, but were told that morning two of them had been rented (both 2/1's which we really want).  
The prices are all over the place.  We have an amount in mind and areas of the city where we would like to live.  We worry that we will either have to overpay or settle for something small, just to remain in Denver proper.  We are thinking we might do a suburb, which would get us much much closer than now up in Longmont.  (We would, most likely, be able to get something a bit newer and bigger for a similar, maybe smaller, price.) 
We applied for a 1/1 (925 sq.ft plus a storage "closet) last nite.  It's right at City Park, so we have a great spot to run & walk.  The building, while old, is gorgeous ~ Romanesque with porticos and a shared courtyard!  There is a claw-foot tub, not to my liking, but we really like everything else about the place.  A shared laundry, but we are working with slim-pickings and a time crunch. 
Chris has been a champ with packing, as usual.  I am working on embracing the chaos! 
We could use a bit of luck....our lease ends August 31st.
Fingers crossed!  Asking for thoughts & prayers.  

7 Days in the Blink of an Eye

My mom and I flew back to Florida together on July 8th.  Chris dropped us off before he went to work and we enjoyed breakfast (and, me, a coffee) at DIA.  Our flight was on time & uneventful; thankfully!!
As is often the case, when I visit Florida it isn't the type of beach-y vacay that most enjoy.  My sole purpose is visiting all of my family:  Mom, brother, sisters, grandparents, aunt, nieces & nephews and great-nephew.  My days are populated with visits, at least one per family member, if I'm lucky.
This visit, because of my mom, I was lucky!  The days flew by and can be a bit blurry in retrospect, but I know that I was able to spend precious and priceless time with family, the young, the old and the in-betweens!
My youngest sister, Shannon, and her daughter, Shyla, picked us up at the airport.  I was a surprise for Shy!  She knew her grandma was coming home...and had her eyes on my mom the moment she spotted her!  I was a bit unrecognizable with my short, blonde 'do!  Even Shy asked Shan why Aunt Jennie always changes her hair!  Shan basically told her that it's my thing!  :)
We spent part of the evening at my brother's, eating pizza, meeting my newest nephew, Lucas, and getting to know Ryan's 1 1/2 year old, Evan, who was only a few months old when I last (& first) saw him.  My sister, Kelley, joined us along with her mini-me, Kennedy, and hubby, Cody.  Evan and Kennedy didn't know me, and Evan never really warmed up (but I hear he is his daddy's boy), but Kennedy started to let me in a bit.
I spent part of Wednesday afternoon with my grandparents, who picked me up from my mom's on their way home from the hospital where they have been volunteering for close to 20 years!!  My mom swung by after work and we went to pick up Shyla...so she could show her Aunt Jennie her new school.  And she was also very excited to show me the beautiful dress she picked out to wear! 
After dinner at my grandparents', Mom, Shyla  and I headed home to meet Kelley & Kennedy.  Mom & I were having the two girls for a sleep-over Wednesday nite!  I thought Shy was going to sleep with me, in Shan's old bed, but she is so used to sleeping in my mom's room that she quickly left me saying she needed to brush her teeth.  Shy slept with grandma, while Kennedy slept in Shy's "old" bed, also in my mom's room.  Apparently, I was wiped out because my mom was up around 3AM with two sick girls and I never heard a thing. 
After a very leisurely Thursday morning, my brother stopped by on his way home and then we took the girls, along with Kelley, bowling.  Well....the girls almost bowled one whole game and then I played for all 3 of us the whole 2nd game!  That is a whole lot of frames!!!  I wasn't going to let the money go to waste!!!
Later than I had wanted, I was dropped off at my grandparents for my own sleepover!  I always enjoy our time together.  We chat, relax, watch a little TV, maybe look at family photos. 
Friday morning, the three of us made plans to visit my Aunt Stephanie.  I hadn't seen her in a handful of years because she had moved to Indianapolis (yes, I know, we were both living in Indiana simultaneously, but there were extenuating circumstances, plus we just didn't travel to Indy often).  This would be my first time meeting her new husband, Skeet, and seeing their home.  We were also going to chat about anti-aging, healthy eating, exercising, etc., so, Aunt Stephanie invited her friend, Nancy, too.  Their home is lovely.  A different layout than other Florida homes I have seen over the years, with a door from their bedroom to the pool cage!  From the bedroom, you enter the bathroom and then out the door to the sunshine & pool.  Awesome!!!  And Skeet, well, he is a very likable guy!  My aunt seems happy and that is what matters most to me!
Friday nite....Girls Night Out!  My mom with all her girls!!  We went to one of my sisters' usual haunts.  The place was pretty dead and a live band played, so we were pretty much getting our own private concert!  We enjoyed free shots from the owner, who Shan knows, danced with one another and some of Shan's friends.  My mom snuck out around 1, I believe!!!  Me, Shan & Kel took a quick trip to another bar across the street...I met the owners, we enjoyed a free shot, I was introduced to several people.  Shan dropped me off about 2.  Very fun nite!
Mom and I slept in a bit on Saturday, before running a few errands and meeting with everyone at Applebees to celebrate my grandparents' birthdays!  Grandpa was turning 89 the next day, while Grandma's birthday isn't until September 18th.  We wanted to fete both of them while we were all together!!!  Grandma was pleasantly surprised!  Mom picked up a tiny cake, too!  Success!!
I had to say my goodbyes to my brother, who was leaving for North Carolina the next day for work.  Always hard...I never feel like I get enough time with Ry.  But, he has work and lots of little ones to manage. 
Aunt Stephanie said her goodbyes, too, even though she could have told me my last day, as Skeet & Grandpa were taking me to the airport.  She didn't want to delay the inevitable, I guess, nor make herself sick over it.  (She suffers from fibromyalgia and felt she would get too worked up.) 
I was supposed to spend the nite at Shan & Steve's, where I would have slept in Shy's bed since she was with her dad most of the weekend.  (He did let us have her for the few hours at Applebees!!)  However, I was just wiped and simply wanted to crash at my mom's.  We did make a quick stop there on our way home, so that I could see Shy's new room (painted all pink!!!).  Shan was exhausted, but she & Steve went out since I wasn't going to hang with them. 
Sunday was my Florida vacation moment:  spent several hours in & on the water on Steve's boat with both of my sisters!  Ahhhh!!!  I slathered on my SPF 55 a few times, there was a bit of cloud cover, the water felt almost bath-like and Mom bought me some wine coolers.  The girls tipped one another from floats, Kelley & I played a paddle ball game and we all enjoyed cold, adult beverages!  Our day was cut a little early because the Super Moon created a very high tide.
With the early end to our day on the water, tho, my mom made last minute arrangements for us to visit my nephew, Alex, and his son, Casey.  I met Casey when he was only a few weeks old.  Now, he is an adorable 2-year old!  He, unlike Evan, took to me immediately ~ the moment I walked in the door!  Alex & his girlfriend, Brittany, recently moved back in together and are in a very nice place, in a wooded area.  I was so happy to have been able to squeeze in this particular visit because, in all honesty, I didn't think it would happen. 
All that was left come Monday was seeing my nephew, Jake.  Again, thanx to my mom, we made a visit to Jake's home, about 25 minutes north, for a lunch date.  He is almost 15, smart, social,
polite!   He has a really great life with his mom, stepdad, stepbrother and half-brother.  I am happy for him! 
A quick stop at Kelley's Monday nite, where Shan & Shy joined us, so I could love up on the girls (and Kelley's two awesome part-Bengal cats) and say our farewells.
And then....there it was....7 days gone in the blink of an eye!  Each day went by so quickly.  I think I enter a time-warp of sorts when I am there. 
My mom and I said our goodbyes before she left for work.  My grandpa picked me up to spend a few hours with he & Grandma. 
And not to be forgotten ~ I did get some fitness in, too, to include: Thursday, I crazily went out for a 4-mile run at 11!  SO.HOT.&.HUMID!  I knew better, but I needed it!!  My second run (about 3.5 miles) was done earlier and was much easier, Saturday at 7! 
I know we can't live in Florida and I don't know if my family and I could survive living too close to one another, but I never get enough time with each person.  I love them all intensely and I work at being part of their lives. 
Until we meet again...

Monday, July 7, 2014

Shelley Does Colorado!

After a ridiculous 2-hour delay, my mom arrived for her first Colorado visit at 7:30P on Thursday!  Once we collected her luggage, we whisked her to Hamburger Mary's, to sit out on the patio for dinner & drinks (for the first time).  {Chris & I had to grab dinner, just the two of us, because of the flight delay ~ we had drinks and sandwiches at Toby Keith's.}  So, all three of us enjoyed drinks while my mom also had one of the famous burgers.  We got awesome service from Lio, who had been our waiter on our first visit, and Jackie!  They kept us entertained!!
Friday, the 4th of July, found us a bit groggy, after arriving home so late.  I made us a breakfast of an oven-baked apple pancake and turkey sausage links, along with fresh red seedless grapes and blueberries.  We packed up a picnic lunch and considered listening to the Longmont Symphony at Thompson Park; apparently, it's THE thing to do on the afternoon of the 4th, as the park was packed and there was no close parking to be found.  We drove on by and headed toward Boulder, taking the scenic route from 66 to 36.  We showed my mom the house where JonBenet Ramsey was murdered, the house used for the outside shots in Mork & Mindy, the Flatirons from Chautauqua Park, the UC-Boulder campus.  To my surprise, Pearl Street Mall was hopping!  I really thought, due to the holiday, practically every shop would be closed.  I guess they do it up and have the Boulder Art & Jazzfest for the holiday weekend.  We strolled among the tents of wares, Chris and I grabbed a coffee at Caribou and soon we were all a bit hungry.  We grabbed our cooler, snackbag, water bottles and a blanket and headed over to find shade on the grass in front of the county building.  We ate PB&J sandwiches, carrots & celery, grapes & blueberries while watching a man make giant bubbles for the kids with his homemade mixture (a combo of Dawn dishwashing liquid, light Karo syrup & water) and equipment (poles and rope).  My mom couldn't get over being able to sit on REAL grass!  The day was comfortable, tho we had to dodge some raindrops here & there, and it never hit the high of 91 predicted!  Thankfully!!  We gathered up our stuff, before all falling into naps, and hit up Walnut Brewery for brews & the giant pretzels!
After not sleeping well the nite before, none of us knew if we would be able to even stay awake for the 9:30 fireworks!!  Chris came up with a great idea....jump in the car and just head over to the field just outside our neighborhood, where the hot air balloons take off.  It was perfect!  Not only did we see the Longmont fireworks display, but we saw firework to the south, the east, the southwest and the northwest!!!  Then, Chris just turned the car around and we were home in less than a minute!  No hassling with traffic!  (Unlike the nite before, when we got stuck in the Denver traffic after Hamburger Mary's due to the fireworks at Civic Center Park!!!
On Saturday, the temps in Longmont were to be in the mid-90's, so we decided to head up to the High Country, where it was sure to be cooler.  I went to kickboxing and then came home to make a breakfast of scrambled eggs (with quinoa, green onions and celery), sautéed zucchini, toast, blueberries & grapes.  Then, we were Estes Park-bound!  My mom's first time IN the mountains!!!
Since it was a holiday weekend, we saw more people than we have on the other three trips Chris and I have taken there (2011, 2013 and 2014).  It was comfortably cooler and the river was full.  The sound of that water moving down the mountains and across the rocks is so peaceful.  There is a place we would like to stay, Silver Moon Inn, as the water runs past and provides such a peaceful respite.  (We will stay one nite in the Stanley, too, of course!!)  We even saw three guys on inner tubes, which is really the only type of "river rafting" I care to do. 
We took my mom to Grubsteak, where you can get elk, yak or buffalo burgers.  We discovered this little gem on our last trip.  I got elk, while Mom & Chris got yak.  All exceptional!
Then, it was time to make our way back down the mountain.  Something my mom did not enjoy for even one second.  (I don't blame her, it's not one of my favorite things in the world either.)  She said this will be her one & only time in the mountains because she has no plan to EVER make a drive like that again. 
After running a couple errands on the way back, we landed at home to veg the remainder of the evening.  I baked a Tuscan lasagna, that I made last week and had frozen, with garlic bread and salad.  The lasagna is a keeper!  We all loved it!  It was easy to make in advance and Chris & I can eat it for days!!!  We watched some UFC prelim fights, then started on the Netflix series "Orange Is the New Black".  Yes, we are behind...but my mom has an account and hadn't watched it, either.  It was another "late" nite for all of us...after only watching the first two episodes of Season One!
A somewhat leisurely Sunday morning of scavenging for breakfast: rye sourdough toast for Mom, PB toast for me, eggs with the last piece of apple pancake for Chris.  We decided to take Mom for a little "culture" by  sharing beignets at Lucile's Creole Café.  We thought we were going to be the heat of the day, but, boy, were we wrong!!  Ah, well!  We sat on the patio, anyway.  Tho I don't think my mom was all that impressed, Chris & I sure enjoyed our beignets and chicory coffee (with equal amounts of ice water to beat the extra heat!!).  To continue our leisurely Longmont-centric day, the three of us enjoyed the comedy of one Miss Melissa McCarthy inside the A/C of the Twin Peaks movie theatre.  We went to see "Tammy" and, as we had hoped, the movie was hilarious!  MM, Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates and many others kept us laughing the entire time!  I don't care what the critics have to say!  It's just pure fun!  We rounded out our evening with a homemade chicken potpie and salads, while watching a couple more episodes of "Orange Is the New Black". 

Mom's trip was capped off with a dispensary visit....The Farm in Boulder!  This was the ONE thing she said she must do!  A couple items were purchased and a few pictures were taken!  ;)

I hope that my mom enjoyed her time and we were able to show her much of what there is to love about Colorado....this may be her one & only visit. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Solo Boot Camp Times Two

Today, I taught my first solo bootcamp class at Fit Chick Express!
I took the class at 6AM.
Then returned to teach the 8:30 and 9:30 ~
I was energized, to say the least!!!
I did most of both classes along with the Chicks ....thereby, getting almost 3 under my belt by 10AM!!
I feel confident that I brought enthusiasm, motivation, energy (in spades!!)!  I believe the ladies like my style.
They were Fireworks today!  I can't thank them (and the owner of FCE, Angie) for letting me do what I love! 
(One day...soon...I will even get paid for it!)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Whirlwind

The other day a thought popped into my mind.
"Can you believe how many things we have done in less than a year in Colorado?"
We have visited Golden, Estes Park, Lyons, Lafayette, Denver, Fort Collins, Louisville and Boulder.  I have also been in Greeley, briefly.
We have attended two awesome concerts of NOLA-based bands: Trombone Shorty and Galactic.  Both of which were held in cool downtown Denver theatres, the Ogden & the Fillmore, that have been repurposed over the years.
We have volunteered with many different organizations:  serving holiday meals at The Our Center (Longmont), Salvation Army bell-ringing (Longmont), GIC (Denver), The Center (Denver), Denver Comic Con, Denver Pride Parade. 
We celebrated OUR holiday, Halloween, at a hotel-takeover party called Coloween.  We dressed up again on October 31st to get free drinks at Left Hand and stopped at what ended up being a bad dive hotel bar!! 
We have attended the Boulder County Bombers Bombshells roller derby twice.  We took our bag chairs to Roosevelt Park one Tuesday evening to listen to live music.  We walked Pearl Street Mall for the Boulder Creek Festival over Memorial Day weekend and scored tons of free swag and cups of coffee!! 
We found perfect French-pressed coffee at a little café in Fort Collins. Discovered a love for Milk Stout at Left Hand Brewing Company.  We know the free street parking in Denver.  We got to see Tattered Cover in LoDo before they closed the 2nd floor.  We enjoy the atmosphere at Tom's Diner on Colfax.  We celebrated Mardi Gras at Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids & Solids ~ 2 nites worth! 
I did a short stint as a Starbucks barista and headed back into my old optician ways for a little longer. 
I got certified as a Group Fitness Instructor and quickly & gratefully got "hired" at Fit Chick Express, where I have also made friends with so many awesome women, who share my passion!  Within less than a month's time, I have also been offered an amazing opportunity to franchise, as the owner of FCE sees within me the charisma, talent & ambition to extend her company into Denver!
We have hiked, walked, eaten and drank our way around!  We got to spend a few hours over coffee with an old high school pal, Joe Rocchio.  We celebrated the Christmas holiday with family, my "brothers", KAML & MAML, and new friends, Mark & Erik, who made us the most delicious Italian meal.  I got to spend my birthday bowling and drinking "Old Man Can" beers with the same group, along with KAML's new fiancee, Stacie.  I've had Happy Hour drinks & apps with new friends; we have plans for 2 more monthly meet-ups before we move.  We have met so many people and made many new friends by putting ourselves out there and trying new things! 
It has been one full first year in our new home state...and it isn't even over, yet!  We still have 2 more months!!  My mom is visiting this week ~ our first guest!  We will be seeing The Fixx at a small venue in Lowry.  I have a kettlebell certification workshop.  We will attend our first (of many in the years to come) Happy Hour at The Center on the 18th and should see some of the wonderful people we have had the privilege to meet and look forward to the others we are sure to befriend.  We hope to see some of our NWI friends when they visit in August.  And wrapping up the final weekend before our 1-year anniversary, we will witness the sharing of hearts, love & life when our friends, Jess & Emily, commit to one another.  We are honored to be included in the nuptials & celebration.  We also get to see our friend, Sandra, who will be visiting from NWI to attend her son's wedding in Estes Park.  Coincidentally, Sandra's was the last face I saw as we were driving on I-94, westbound from Indiana to Colorado!!!
I may have forgotten something.  I most certainly have forgotten some things!  It's been such a whirlwind that I can't believe a year has almost passed. 
It's true ~ Time flies when you are having fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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