I signed up for twitter, and, like many other people, abandoned it…

Until NOW…

I’m trying to become more ‘connected’ and have therefore resurrected my good ol’ twitter account. I haven’t poked around much on twitter before, so I’m going to document this new experience.

Things I’ve learned:

1. the “@” is an easy way to tag other twitter users in your tweets. Similar to linking people, pages, and events on facebook (I’m MUCH more familiar with facebook!)

2. the “#” is explained well by Kristine Wirth: “The hash mark (#) before a word in a post allows you to tag that post for that word.”

3. Another thing I never took much notice of is the ability to link things on facebook and youtube and twitter, etc etc etc…. For example I opted in to link my youtube account to my twitter account. Therefore when I “like” a video on youtube it automatically tweets for me:

“I liked a YouTube video — Iron and Wine – Boy With a Coin
More to come on the adventures in twitterland…

Beginner Telemark Skiing

I made a pact with myself to alpine ski more this year. I learned to ski when I was three years old, but once I hit 17 and was working at a ski and snowboard shop, the young guys swayed me toward snowboarding. So for many years I didn’t ski at all. Then last year after going on a trip to Switzerland with my family and dealing with catwalks for a day I decided to demo alpine skis. I realized I LOVE to ski, something I only realized after being frustrated on a snowboard. I was working for ski school at the time and upon return to the US was able to pick up some nice new Rossi Bandit skis and bindings, ordered boots and I was ready to go. It was such a weird feeling to be back on skis but I really enjoyed it. I tried to split my time although many days the snowboard won.

…Until this year. It’s been a pretty dry year for Summit County and I resolved to really work on my skiing this year. I have more days on my skis by far. I’ve ridden my snowboard only a handful of times at the resort, although for backcountry my splitboard snowboard is my precious baby. I love her. She rocks! So anyway on an endless pursuit of new and exciting things, I decided to take a telemark ski lesson. I signed up for “tele days” at Arapahoe Basin, where the lessons are less expensive than on regular days. It was only me and one other student, and we got up the lift pretty fast. The first drill we did was to stand in place and practice constant movement. Heel of one foot lifted, other foot planted, in a staggered stance, then moving them fluidly to switch. Hard to explain without pictures but has some resources, as does youtube.

We practiced foot placement with emphasis on the toe/ball of foot part of the free heel foot. Jim, my instructor, said even experts have to consciously think about putting pressure on that part of the foot, and with each change comes a different foot to focus on. We practiced keeping the pressure constant and going in a line. Then we practiced uphill arc turns keeping the feet staggered the whole time, keeping the pressure constant. Then we did monomark turns where you try and keep the skis staggered through the turn. This was extremely helpful later on when we talked about linking turns. It was about this time the other student decided he had enough and left the class. Private lesson for mešŸ™‚

For the rest of the class I got great individual attention. Jim told me to make sure that I’m keeping my feet staggered and always moving. We started working on turns and how to make them fluid using monomark, not hopping or making choppy “z” turns. It was a great time and a fabulous learning experience. I’m hoping to go out again soon!

YUMMY Vegetables!

In trying to eat more vegetables I picked up two large, organic portabello mushroom caps the other day and cooked them up last night. It was quick and delicious! Here is what I did:

2 Large Portabello Mushrooms

1/2 C Cooking Wine

1 TBSP Olive Oil

2 TBSP each, soy sauce and balsamic vinegar

2 garlic cloves minced

Preheat oven to 400F. Place mushrooms in baking pan. Mix up all the ingredients and pour into the mushroom caps.

Bake at 400F with aluminum foil covering the mushrooms for 30 minutes, then uncover and cook an additional 10 minutes.

toxins on your face

I came across the “dirty dozen” chemicals in cosmetics while researching what the products were in my face wash. What’s a paraben? Does fragranceĀ  just make the stuff smell good? Petroleum, isn’t that what you put in your gas tank?!

The list can be found here: and helped me see that parabens, fragrance, and petroleum have no place on my face!! I’ve started using products without these chemicals and intend to continue. Check your face wash, face moisturizer, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, cosmetics, body lotion, and you will most likely see that many of those products contain “dirty dozen’ ingredients. I’ve heard the defense of “but you use such a small amount at a time” BUT you use these products everyday, some even a few times a day. That has to add up…

Another though I had was how many tampons I was using a month and what a waste that was. I read in the book “Wanderlust and Lipstick” by Beth Whitman that she had a friend suggest using a menstural cup to her. Since tampons are not always available, it is a great alternative as you can reuse the cup for years. And it eliminates waste. I used this livejournal site and it was extremely helpful: I also just came across an article about possible dioxins in tampons, and the potential for serious illness from this. I realize it is on a menstural cup page, but may hold truth nonetheless: FYI I can only speak for the Diva Cup, and it is great!!!

I was searching about ownership of some natural companies when I came across this article that tells of Clorox’s ownership of the popular company, and a rift between original owners:

I have started to shop more at the local Vitamin Cottage and have come to like Kiss My Face products, especially the Potent and Pure starter kit, it has great products and is paraben-free and does not test on animals. I am still skeptical of all the products I use, but for now I have to keep washing my face and I like their stuff:

There are cosmetics companies that are non-toxic as well, Ava Anderson is one of them: which I found through the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics:
It is crazy to me that baby shampoos and products contain some of these harmful chemicals. I thought at least the babies would be spared from exposure, but it doesn’t appear that way. “Not Just A Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry” by Campaign co-founder Stacy Malkan looks very interesting. I would like to learn how to make my own products.

sustainable food naturally

Part of my resolution this year is to “live more naturally,” to be more aware of the products and foods I put in and on my body. This started with thinking about food, and has brought me to take a closer look at cosmetics, lotions, tampons, soaps, and many products we use daily without much thought.

This film, “Food, Inc.” really made me start to think about the food I ingest. More information including a trailer can be found here:

“The Cove” is another one. Just when I was thinking “ok, I can live without meat, I love seafood enough…” I watched the Special Features “Mercury Rising” section of this documentary and was stunned. I had no idea how prevalent mercury really is in our seafood, and how quickly the oceans are being fished off. Here is more:

After all this I started to look into eating more vegetables and replacing meat and fish. A local homeopathic Doctor suggested looking at Dr. Furhman’s nutrient-dense food pyramid which you can click on to view larger here:

So I’ve tried to live without meat or fish and I’m working on phasing out eggs. I want to see

Cheese, too. Cheese can have up to 10 times the hormones as milk. If I can find a local farm that I can buy meat, eggs, cheese, etc from I think I would be okay with it but right now I don’t have a place like that. I would have to do some soul searching and see if I could make exceptions. Sometimes exceptions lead to more exceptions…

Still working on all of this. It is definitely overwhelming, sad, eye-opening, intriguing, any many other things. I know a lot of my friends are also discovering what we have been kept from for so long. The blindfold is finally being slowly removed and the lies of food are being exposed. The myth of the small family farm is deteriorating, and I think that is a good thing. People deserve and need to know where their food comes from, the pain these animals go through, how sick they can be when they are turned into meat that is meant for people to consume. No wonder people get sick from animals that are sick.

travel: books, websites, inspiration

Some great travel books I’ve come across:

“Tales of a Female Nomad” by Rita Golden Gelman

“Delaying the Real World” Colleen Kinder

“Vagabonding” Rolf Potts

“Wild Writing Women” Lisa Alpine et al

“Go Your Own Way” Faith Conlon et al

“A Journey of One’s Own” Thalia Zepatos

“Adventure Divas” Holly Morris

“Three Cups of Tea” Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin

There was also a great point made on a travel blog the other day about the importance of reading history books versus guidebooks. I will definitely take that advice on my future travels and supplement any guidebooks with historical books.

This is one of my favorite sites that I found because Facebook suggested I become a fan. It is a wealth of information and it is always fresh and current:

Buying A Road Bike

It’s snowing like crazy here today. We got about a foot of snow overnight and are expected to get two to three more. WOW! It always seems to dump snow this time in April. I’m glad I got on my new road bike the other day while it was sunny and 50 degrees out! Jake and I set it up, which was interesting. At first the seat was wayyy too high, then it was too low, now I think we’ve almost found “just right.” I am still a bit nervous to clip in while in motion, but I will get over that fear. Clipping out is easier than expected! The whole process of finding a bike was an intense one. I have never spent so much money on a single transaction so I wanted to make sure it was perfect. A few steps I believe are helpful:

1. Get fit for a bike by an expert. I went to Ryan at Treads in Parker. He used to work at ProPeleton, and he is just great. I got on a model bike and he did all the measuring of angles and all that. He also answered all the many questions I had which was great! He fixed my cycling shoes so the cleats were set to the most optimal point on the shoes which was very important. I was expecting to pay over $200, what ProPeleton had quoted me, but he only charged $100 and was not pushy about buying a bike from his store which was a HUGE relief. He even gave me his email address if I had any further questions. So if you’re thinking of making the road bike investment, ask around and find an experienced fitter. It will make all the difference!

2. Once you are fit, the fitter will probably suggest a few bikes that would work for you. Take lots of notes! I was able to find the perfect bike for me at a great price because I knew exactly what I was looking for. DO NOT let someone tell you “this may not be the right size, but we can make it work.” AHH! Bad sign, walk away. Someone that knows proper fitting will not say that. If you know what you’re looking for you will have a better chance of being satisfied with your purchase!

3. Find out as much as you can about the bikes available in your price range. Read reviews, call around, etc. For me, I was looking for a women’s specific, which I thought was a trap at first, but once Ryan fit me he said I have the dimensions that warrant a women’s-specific model.

4. I bought the Specialized Ruby Elite. I will keep updating on my adventures in road biking!