How to Be More Present

I firmly believe that I had a greater attention span when I was twelve. The only digital technologies that were possible distractions at that time were AOL Instant Messenger and Frogger on my parent’s original green Apple iMac. I wasn’t allowed to do either often and my parents forbade most TV. Friday nights was special – it was TGIF with Family Matters, Full House and Dinosaurs!

Nowadays, as a 31 year old, I find myself having to force my brain to focus on one thing at a time, all the time. I open my laptop at work in the morning and find myself trying to do ten things at once immediately. Or I’m at my local ski mountain, Eldora and I find myself thinking about filing my taxes while this is in front of my face. (Yes, that’s Wyatt having a private moment, now made public).

That said, I do not want to be someone who is always on my phone, distracted by everything around me, focused on nothing at all. Time passes too quickly. To try to practice more focus, mindfulness or whatever you want to call it, I started doing the following everyday.

Meditate Every Morning

Meditating is something everyone knows they should do, but actually doing it is a very different story. The big game changer for me in the actual successful practice of meditation was downloading the app “Waking Up” with Sam Harris. The app is free, as are the first week of meditation lessons. I find that the lessons are short enough to be practical (max 3 minutes) and very relaxing. It also helps set me up for the rest of my day. If I can focus first thing on a Monday morning when I have a million things to do or think about, anything is possible.

Then, whenever I’m feeling stressed or distracted throughout the day, I try to take deep breaths, close my eyes and think of the image that brings me peace. The ocean tide going in and out. The ocean feels like being warm, care-free, and small.

Read For At Least One Hour A Day

By “read” I don’t mean stare at the words thinking they might magically communicate to your brain (without you) what they mean. By “read” I also don’t mean owning books so that they can collect dust next to your bedside (guilty). I mean actually sit for an extended period of time or a short period of focused reading time. Really consume the words so that if someone was to quiz you right after you read a page, you might pass.

The part of your brain that allows you to concentrate is a muscle. It needs to be worked otherwise it gets smooshy. No one wants a smooshy anything. Every evening before I go to bed, I read for an hour to relax me to sleep, but also to give my prefrontal cortex a good little jog.

Coincidentally (or not), I’m reading “Focus” by Daniel Goleman and it is blowing my mind. I am intentionally reading it slowly so that I absorb every morsel of content and because I’m in no rush.

Intentionally Forget Your Phone

This is not a drill. I started doing this a couple of weekends ago and it has been a game changer for so many reasons. The most recent time I intentionally left my phone at home, I went out with Wyatt to play ping pong (I know, so white). Even though this move was totally conscious, I still checked my pocket for my phone about ten times that night. However, I did not actually need it a single time. I just wanted to look at it it’s stupid face.

Because I did not have my phone, I also did not have a stupid time-kill distraction in moments of silence or boredom. You know what I did instead? I actually talked to the humans around me! I know, crazy.

I didn’t turn my phone on again until the next morning and alas, the world was as I left it. Full of stupid distractions and notifications that really do not matter.

I dare you to try it. This weekend when you go out with friends (assuming you’re safe and can get home without your phone) leave it. You’ll have so much more space for the humans around you that actually matter. Plus, you’ll find yourself relieved to not have to constantly tend to the master that is your phone. You can be present, in the moment with you and the people you love around you.

Life Lessons from Bumble

Before I met Wyatt, I was Bumbling hard for about a year. It was exhausting, interesting, depressing, exciting, but most of all hilarious. For all the single ladies out there Bumbling hard, just know that what could seem like horrible experiences, can sometimes be softened by these two thoughts: when you’re 80, you’ll reflect on this time and think, “Those were the days…” and this, like everything in life, is temporary. Might as well laugh about it while you can. Here are some of my favorite journal entries about my Bumble experiences.

How to Spot Red Flags on a First Date

I’m eating sushi with an unmemorable guy. I tell him that sushi is my favorite food. Despite the fact that he took me to sushi, he says he actually hates it. He then says “all meat tastes the same to me.” Cool.

How to Hack Bumble Dating Code

Normally, none of the following questions suck. For some reason, in the seemingly scripted land of Bumble all of them are cringe worthy.

“What do you do for fun?”

“How long have you been in Colorado?”

“Do you ski or board?”

How many fourteeners have you climbed?

How to Avoid “Cross-Pollinating”

Me to my girlfriend.

Me: “I met this guy, an engineer from Michigan.”

Friend: “Oh yeah? What’s his name?”

Me: “Matt.”

Friend: “Hmm…what’s his last name?”

Since he’s one of six “Matt Bumble” in your phone and getting last names is strictly forbidden, you compare phone numbers. It is indeed, the same “Matt Bumble.”

Moral of the story, if you live within five miles of your best friend and her Bumble radius is the same as yours, you can guarantee that your Bumble game is overlapping. Just how much is what really matters.

How to Spot Guys Named Chad

When you walk into a bar in Denver looking for a tall, bearded white guy who tells you he’s “wearing a plaid button down” and you walk up to at least two other people.


“No, sorry, not Chad.”

Walk away, think to yourself, “Hopefully that was the last time I ever have to ask a random lumbersexual if his name in Chad.”

In a world full of Chads, I’m just looking for the Waldo.

Bumble Life Lessons

Believe it or not, this story ends less depressing than you might think.

After very apathetically dating a Bumble dude for a couple of months, I was on the brink of total psychological, romantic, and emotional exhaustion. I knew this guy was not “the one” and all of my friends told me so very candidly (thanks, Casey).

One night one on what I told myself would be our last date, we went out to sushi with his friends. Wyatt sat directly across from me. We talked about real estate (hot, I know).

I approached that night like I was meeting a friend of a friend of a guy I was planning on never seeing again. Nothing to win, nothing to lose.

Three months after I broke it off with Bumble dude, Wyatt and I both got back on Bumble for one last shot.

Now I’m just trying to be more open knowing that monumental moments (good band name) can happen anytime.

How to Keep Your Skin Hydrated in Colorado

If I added up how much money I’ve spent trying not to have my face dry out like the desert I (choose) to inhabit, I would probably cry. Most hydrating face creams claim to make you look younger. Fuck that, I’m just trying to look my age. But, the good news is at least I would not be crying alone. Thousands of other women and men also blow their proverbial wads on moisturizing elixirs from farmer’s markets made of baby tears, whole milk and organic yak spit (obviously).

Until recently, I thought there was no real solution or at least nothing that I could afford without getting with Jeff Bezos (gross). BUT, I have good news, even better than the fact that I am not with Jeff Bezos. Hydrated, healthy Colorado skin is possible if you can nail the right products and habits.

Drink Water – A Lot of It

Depending on how long you’ve lived in Colorado, it’s probably become pretty apparent that it is the high desert and it is dry as fuck. Carrying at least a 21 ounce water bottle with you at all times is akin to having your wallet, keys, cellphone and…pants. We go everywhere with our beloved Kleen Kanteen, Hydroflask or Nalgene. We love our water bottles so much that we decorate them with stickers of every single brand that gives us a free sticker. We don’t even care if we like the brand. Got a cool sticker? It’s going on my water bottle. Haven’t washed your water bottle in weeks or even months? Doesn’t matter. At least you won’t die if you get stuck in I-70 ski traffic – just don’t go sharing it with anyone (you know who you are).

In any other state if you brought a water bottle to an office meeting it would be considered tacky. Not in Colorado. If you’re the one without your water bottle, you’re the asshole. But I digress. According to the “experts” an average adult woman should drink about 2.7 liters of water per day. This is about 4.3 bottles in your 21 ounce Nalgene. Yeah, it’s basically a part-time job that if you don’t show up, you get chronic migraines, fatigue and possibly death. NBD. I like to follow the rule of thumb, if I’m not drinking water right this minute, I probably should be.

Wash Your Face Sans Face Wash

I know, I know, but you have this brand of face wash you love that gets your face as clean as a baby’s arse. But, unless you’re a lady farmer in Greeley, your face is probably not that dirty. If you are a lady farmer in Greeley, that’s super dope, you can do whatever you want cause you’re way cooler than me. A lot of face washes have alcohol in them. which is a big no-no if you’ve already got dry skin or you live in the high desert.

The best face wash for dry skin is…water! You got it, it comes from your faucet and is here to wash the makeup off your face… for free. If you want to get rid of the horror show eye make up look after you wash your face, take a little shea butter on a cotton swab. Gotta lubricate dem eyelashes anyway

Apply Derma E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum

You can get this stuff at your local Whole Foods (shocker) or even better on Amazon for around $20. After washing your face, squirt a few squirtlets in your palm and prepare to get wet. But really, rub it into your skin in circular motions and you can actually feel it seeping into your pores. The magic elixir of this stuff is the hyaluronic acid which I have been told by “experts” is the only thing that really seeps into your pores to provide moisture from the inside out. This product is also super dope because there are only four ingredients, all of whom you can pronounce without a PhD in chemistry.

Lather Mimosa Blossom Dream Cream

This is not the name of a Phish song or the name of your super heady friend’s first born. It is perhaps the most overlooked product in the Whole Foods skin care section. It might be it’s very inconspicuous label or the fact that it’s called “Mimosa Blossom Dream Cream” and everyone who passes it by thinks, “how high were they?” I’m here to tell you that they must have been pretty stoned, but this shit is unreal. It’s hands-down the most hydrating salve I’ve ever found and is only $18 for 6 ounces. Why do we assume if things are cheap they’re suspicious? Why do we assume that if it has a label that looks like it was the cat’s meow in 1992 that it can’t be incredible? Put your assumptions away my friend and dive into the Mimosa Blossom Dream Cream face first.

Plus, the first of about fifteen lovely ingredients is…wait for it…”purified mountain rain water.” How could you go wrong?

Tinted Elta MD Sunscreen

I know what you’re thinking…but, it’s winter why do I need sunscreen. If you live in Colorado you need to wear sunscreen all the time. It doesn’t matter that you won’t be outside today, if you are near a window and it’s the day time, you’ll need protection. Living at altitude literally means living closer to the sun, that is real shit. Not only do we live closer to the sun, there is more of it – nearly 365 days of the year. Just make sunscreen part of your daily morning routine and your crowsfeet will thank you later.

This stuff was recommended to me by a dermatologist, so I snagged some on Amazon and I have been in love ever since. It’s SPF 40 and made for broad spectrum exposure (read all the spectrums of the sun) which is perfect for mountain dwelling. Plus, the slight tint makes you look a little bit less like a pasty ghost in the winter.

100% Raw Shea Butter

This is not a drill. If you feel like you’ve reached critical mass with not being able to hydrate, just grab a glob of raw shea butter and get to rubbing. This stuff is especially amazing as an additional layer to the Blossom Dream Cream, but I wouldn’t recommend putting make up on over it. It will probably slide right off your face. I’ve been buying the Shea Moisture brand at Target for about $10, but any 100% raw fair trade shea butter should do. I also find it to be the best for dry cuticles, hands and wait for it…nipples. You read that right, your nipps are probably dry and you should rub this all over them.

Top Five Things to Bring Skiing in Colorado

It’s that time of the year, when weekends are 50% skiing, 50% recovering from skiing. Most Friday evenings in our house are a discussion on where we should go, what time we should go and how to avoid shitty I-70 traffic (we never do). Yesterday we made the call to go to one of our favorite semi-local mountains, Winter Park Resort. Winter Park and Mary Jane have incredible terrain and are only about 1.5 hours from Boulder (without traffic). It’s also free of the big resort bullshit like paying for parking and then having to take a shuttle to the lift. I’m all about ski in, ski out, no bullshit mountains. If I wanted to go to Disney World, I’d be in Florida (read hell).

Wyatt and I are not the type to wake up at 5:00 AM to get the first chair up the “freshies,” the proverbial “pow-pow.” So we roll up there at around 10:45 AM. No matter what, I always leave myself about an hour before we head out to pack my “essential” white girl shit.

1. Pre-Ski & Après-Ski Tea

Over the past couple of months, I stopped drinking coffee daily. I stopped out of necessity when I got the flu, but then I just wanted to see how gnarly my withdraw headaches would get before I wanted to throw myself off a cliff. Shockingly, I quit my daily morning cup cold-turkey without having to start WWIII at 2:00 PM while blowing massive doses of Advil to get me through the day.

Now, I’m all about that tea. Conveniently, we live across the street from the Celestial Seasonings Factory which is glorious for my new-found tea obsession, but also because it permeates the air with a combination of honey, chamomile and pumpkin-spice smells. I swear, it’s the closest thing to heaven on earth. As an aside, they do free tours, tea tastings and the tea boxes are $2.00 each. But I digress.

My go to for pre-ski and apre-ski tea is a no brainer. Celestial Seasonings’ Honey Chamomile tea is the jam. Here’s how to do it:

  • Two tea bags each into my insulated Kleen Kanteen water bottle and two tea bags in my insulated Hydro Flask
  • Few drips of organic honey (how else can you really measure honey)
  • 1 tablespoon of Bulletproof XCT Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Charlotte’s Web CBD (when available)
  • Typically, I use my Kleen Kanteen for my après-ski tea since its better insulated.

I promise that after crushing the gnar in arctic temperatures, and schlepping around like the Michelin Man in all of your ski gear, drinking a piping hot, sweet, delicious cup of tea will make your day. (Make one for your partner too or I guarantee they will drink yours).2

2. Après-Ski Snacks

I’m a huge fan of eating a hearty breakfast before skiing. Typically, we make scrambled eggs, black beans, avocado and toast, which always think will hold us until dinner. But, much to my dismay, every damn time – it doesn’t. I always wrap up the last few runs of the day thinking about all of the delicious food stuff and drink stuff I want to consume immediately. But, as previously mentioned there is always the likelihood that you along with all of the other white people in the state of Colorado will be sitting together on I-70 while you dream of the burgers that await you. If you get hangry like I do, you’ll need to bring some après-ski snacks to hold you over until burger time. I always pack:

  • Whole Foods 365 brand resealable bag of roasted, unsalted cashews – delicious fatty treats
  • Whole Foods freshly ground almond butter and raspberry jelly sandwich – sweet, salty, protein-rich fatty meal treat
  • Organic baby carrots – just to balance it all out

3. Beanie & Sunglasses 

No matter how cute you want to look after getting off of a day on the slopes, I bet you will have wicked helmet hair, goggle lines and wind burn. Just embrace it, no one looks cute after skiing. BUT, that’s why the gods made beanies – to keep your head warm and cover up your nasty, dready, post-ski hair. This is especially crucial if you plan on being in public after you take your helmet off. It is customary for Colorado white people to want to “grab a beer” or a “bite” after skiing, so you’ll want to be prepared for it. My favorite beanies are from LL Bean (I know. So white).

For all the same reasons and because no matter what you think, snow is bright as fuck – bring your sunglasses. There will be no point in time while you’re in the mountains that your eyes will want to be uncovered. If they are, it will feel like they are burning out of your head – plus, it’s crows-feet central. My go-to for sunglasses is Zeal Optics in Boulder. They’re local and always willing to fix or replace the sunnies that “accidentally broke” (read, you sat on them).

4. Lucid Mood Vape Pen

As a cannabis industry professional, I like to think I know a thing or two about what, when and how to consume cannabis. For skiing or other (white person) outdoor activities, get yourself an “Relax” Lucid Mood pen. They’re about $30 depending on the dispensary you get them in, but I would recommend The Giving Tree in Denver. What’s great about these pens is that they’re super portable, last a long time, taste delicious and offer a functional, relaxed, happy high. Plus, you can just pull them out and puff on the chair lift instead of having to pack a messy bowl or even worse, light a joint. Warning, the “Relax” flavor tastes like your vaping lavender essential oil, so if that’s not your jam, I’d suggest trying the “Chill” or “Energy” kind5. Chapstick, Hand Cream, Packable Water Bottle

5. Chapstick, Hand Cream, Packable Water Bottle

A day in Colorado without chapstick is a day that you might not survive. I say this kind of jokingly, but mostly serious. YOU NEED CHAPSTICK WHEN YOU SKI. My favorite is from Whole Foods (shocker) called Soothing Touch Vanilla Rose Lip Balm. Even better, it’s “85% organic” (for real, what’s the point of that claim?) Your ski coat will have a thousand secret pockets, make sure this is in at least one of them.

Similarly, your cuticles and hands will dry out like a prune after being washed, exposed and cold as fuck all day. I’m loving Trader Joe‘s Ultra Moisturizing Hand Cream and have a tube in my purse, my office, next to my bed side and right here in front of my face. It’s everywhere.

Lastly, one of my favorite additions to my ski stuff repertoire has been a HydraPak packable water bottle. Especially if you plan to do some high skiing, you’re going to get cotton mouth and want to stab a baby for some water. This thing is small enough that I can fit it in my jacket pocket, but big enough to last me a full day of skiing. As a bonus, it also is fun to play with and feels like a fake boob when full.

Looking all active and what not.


After skiing at Winter Park/Mary Jane, you MUST stop at The Dairy King in Empire on the way home (you’re going to sit in traffic anyway) and get a large sweet potato fry, bison burger, and a cup of vanilla soft serve. Be aware, they are cash only, but everything is really cheap. This place is a Rocky Mountain American classic and the experience will be nothing less.

How I Got Here

Despite the fact that I love a pair of good moccasins and a large bag of popcorn just like the next white girl, we’re all just a bunch of mammalian-alien (good band name) creatures for better or worse. Just bumbling around, doing our best, trying to make sense of it all and seeing things through our own lens. In the meantime, we might as well find humor in it.

Here's a little (high) poem:
Let's be softer
Assume nothing about anyone
Be nice to everyone
Laugh (at yourself)