ONE Aya Summit
Nov 2014

AYA Summit – ONE Campaign & ONE Girls + Women

Sometimes you attend a conference that fills you up with so many emotions, and so much knowledge, it takes you some time to process it. Such was the case for the first ever AYA Summit, held at Google’s Washington DC offices and hosted by the ONE Campaign along with their new initiative, ONE Girls & Women.

I had first heard of ONE about 10 years ago at an U2 concert with my close friend Marabeth. She and I went to college together and have seen U2 more times (together and apart) than I can count. Bono is a co-founder of ONE, and spoke passionately about the organization then, as he does about pretty much everything. But here is the thing, ONE has become a major advocacy group around the world, so it’s not just Bono’s voice – it’s all of ours – speaking out to fight poverty and disease.

Given my background in public health and cancer prevention for nearly 15 years, these issues are very important to me. I was honored to attend the AYA Summit with fellow bloggers from around the world, and meet people who are making such a difference in terms of health, economic stability, energy, human rights – particularly in Africa. As many of these problems affect women disproportionally, the majority in attendance and the majority of the focus was on female issues within the scope of global crisis.

“Aya” is a hardy west African fern, and the name was meant to represent the resilience and strength girls and women show during times of great stress. Continue reading…

Covenhove - Joel Van Horne - Colorado music
Nov 2014

Covenhoven, The Symphony Show & His Kickstarter

The collaboration here in Denver is amazing. Recently Joel Van Horne (who performs under the name Covenhoven) had a very special show at the Walnut Room that included openers Josh Dillard and Navy, as well as Megan Burtt and members of Sphere Ensemble symphony group playing with him. There was also a video shoot happening, so I can’t wait for that to be revealed as well.

The main point, of course, is the music. Joel is one of those songwriters who pierce your heart. Then you listen to him sing and it just feels like Colorado to me. Not sure what that means, exactly, but listen and you will understand. Continue reading…

Nov 2014

The Darkness of Diabetes

I have had diabetes for over twelve years now. Probably more, because they were pretty sure I had it for several years prior to diagnosis. The first ten years were a cakewalk. I only took a little bit of medicine and checked in with my doctor and really not much else. Then there was that time in my life when things got rough. I call them the Dark Years.

It was when my mom got sick and I got sick and other then that bad time in childhood with my dad, it was pretty much the worst period of my life. The good news is when you have a bad couple years, you appreciate the good ones so much more. After I spent nine months on my back with the ear infection my body didn’t bounce back easily. Part of this I know is age; when you’re over 40, things just take longer to heal. But it just seemed like my pancreas has decided it just wasn’t going to work anymore. So I was taking all kinds of different meds and lots of insulin. Continue reading…

Riot Fest 2014 Denver - Day 2
Nov 2014

Riot Fest 2014 Denver,
Day 2: Social Distortion, Taking Back Sunday, Strung Out (Concert Photos)

Saturday at Riot Fest 2014 was a long day. I had over 5,000 photos from that day alone, and The Cure didn’t allow any photographers in, so that would have been a few million more had I been able to shoot Robert Smith. Lots of hard choices and as I look through other reviews, it’s interesting how we all ended up seeing different bands. I would have loved to see every single one, because the lineup (just like Day One) was stellar.

Riot Fest 2014 / Denver / Day Two (Saturday):

Wiredogs • Pianos Become the Teeth • Larry And His Flask • Allout Helter • The Bots • Frnkiero And The Cellabration • Strung Out • Dum Dum Girls • We Came As Romans • Clutch • Baby Baby • Lucero • Glassjaw • Face To Face • Dads • Hot Snakes • Taking Back Sunday • Red City Radio • Descendents • The Used • City & Colour • Plaque Vendor • Social Distortion • Bring Me The Horizon • I Am The Avalanche • A Day To Remember • The Cure


Denver band, friends and general bad-asses. I love how Wiredogs can make really hard rock accessible for someone like me, although they will roll their eyes when they read that. It’s the truth, though. I like punk with musicality behind it, and also how lead singer Dan Aid somehow manages to sound British when he sings it.

Riot Fest 2014 Denver - Wiredogs

Riot Fest 2014 Denver - Wiredogs Riot Fest 2014 Denver - Wiredogs

Riot Fest 2014 Denver - Wiredogs Continue reading…

Costa Rican Flowers and Plants
Nov 2014

The Flowers & Plants of Costa Rica

We have our first real touch of cold here in Colorado, which – let’s face it, compared to other parts of the world, is not that cold… but when you have recently been to the rainforest, it sure feels cold. One of the things that fascinated me about Costa Rica was the diversity of its flora and fauna. Of course, I have no idea what the names of most of the plants were. In some ways, this is right up my alley because I take lots of flower photos here at home and generally have no clue what they are, even when they are in my backyard.

Can you help me identify these lovelies?

I would be happy to credit you when I update the post.

Either way, it feels nice to take a trip back to the tropics on a chilly day like today.

Costa Rica Flowers & Plants

Costa Rica Flowers & Plants Costa_Rica_185

Costa Rica Flowers & Plants Continue reading…

Confidence In My Smile
Oct 2014

Confidence In My Smile

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

My first surgery on my teeth was at age eight. There was all this extra space and an excess of gums. At that time, dentists could put patients under anesthesia in the office so I don’t remember much about it. My second mouth surgery was in 6th grade and the doctor had received a letter just the week from insurance telling him no more in-office operations, which caused complete panic at the idea of being awake while they had another go at making my teeth grow in more normally. That was my first experience with nitrous oxide and my mom still talks about how hilarious I was while high.

Unfortunately, it didn’t work, either. I ended up with years of braces, retainers, bonding and my smile was still messed up. I had a huge gap between my two front teeth, which in retrospect is really unbelievable, given all the pain I went through. I finally got veneers to fix my smile, but I wish I had access to something like Invisalign because I would have been their perfect patient. Continue reading…

PBS Kids Odd Squad
Oct 2014

Coming Soon: Odd Squad on PBS Kids

Nerds unite. It’s “Get Smart” for 5-8 year olds with humor that both parents and kids can enjoy. I loved seeing a preview of Odd Squad earlier in the year at the PBS Annual Meeting, and even though my son is 12, he has still enjoyed the clips and games I have shown him after PBS Kids unveiled the website for the show. The show focuses on two young agents, Olive and Otto, who are part of “Odd Squad,” an agency whose mission is to save the day whenever something unusual happens in their town. But really – it’s all about learning and enjoying math.

There is also the tech whiz Oscar and Miss O, the team’s boss, who I personally think will steal the show pretty much all of the time. Ms. O is always barking orders and talking about how she’s “getting too young for this.” As you can see in the photo below, the kids are adorable – and the set is kid-sized to make everyone feel at home. Continue reading…