Tag: Blogger

ARTECHOUSE: Infinite Space

image description: photo of a shadowed person in a mirrored space, overlaid the image are the words ARTECHOUSE What You Need To Know: Especially If You’re Disabled.

If you’re a disabled person considering visiting ARTECHOUSE in Washington, D.C. here are a few things you will want to know before heading out and shelling out for a ticket.

First, the location is nondescript – the entrance is next door to chain restaurants well outside the typical D.C. center – don’t plan to walk to this museum from your stop at the Capital or the Lincoln Memorial.

Be prepared to do a lot of unusual standing and sitting. The foyer where you enter the museum is a small square space, all hard surfaces with only a few small benches. Everyone has to read and sign documents upon entering about understanding the nature of this exhibit – even before you get to see what it is, or have an idea what you’re agreeing to.

There is one elevator that services the museum, however, it is very small and as we are not wheelchair users, we were not able to absolutely tell if it was possible to get down to the museum level by elevator (or other accessible means).

When you get to the rooms where all the technological art is displayed – there are warnings at every doorway to let you know that if you have vertigo or any issues with flashing lights to not enter. I’m sure it was somewhere in the initial paperwork we signed as well, but it *is* disorienting if you ever have issues with balance or flashing lights. Be aware of this. I have vertigo and was mostly ok, but if I was having a bad day it would not have been the place for me.

The whole point of the exhibit was the special Infinite Space room, which required signing up again, and waiting for up to 30 minutes – for what was a mere 2 minutes in the exhibit – shut in with two or three other people you didn’t know. Something to be aware of. We ended up in the space alone because of being Deaf and having a lot of difficulty communicating with the staff members who were taking names and making phone calls for turns.

We did enjoy hanging out in the beanbags and getting kombucha at the bar.

image description: orange kombucha in a black futuristic goblet with a special ARTECHOUSE coaster underneath.

As the current iteration of ARTECHOUSE is data based, my computer programming partner looked over all the code he could see and was not impressed. We still enjoyed the overall experience, but if you’re knowledgeable about data and coding this might not be much fun for you.

All in all, it was an interesting experience – worth it for one trip – and probably not something we would ever venture out to see again.

Weekend Wander: Boulder

I have traveled to Boulder – both when I lived in Colorado – and several times since moving to Maryland. My best friend growing up lived in Boulder and a chosen family member lives fairly close now as well.

image is of light trails around a hairpin curve above Boulder Colorado’s city lights. Overlaid in white letters are the words Weekend Wander: Boulder, Colorado. Photo by Shiro hatori via Unsplash.

On your first morning in Boulder, I would take you out for brunch. The Buff is a Boulder institution. I would recommend a Homestead Skillet – and if you like it spicy, I’d go for the Ole since you’re in Colorado. It has chorizo, green chile, and jalapeños. If you love coffee, give the local Nitro Cold Brew a try. Or we could go for a breakfast burrito at Illegal Pete’s.

It’s famous for a reason! You shouldn’t miss Pearl Street. The downtown mall was designated The Downtown Boulder Mall in 1977. It also prohibited cars – and this made the mall more attractive to tourists and locals alike.

If you’re up for a treat we could check out the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse for the location – as the teahouse is considered one of Boulder’s most attractive and popular tourist attractions. It is also a local favorite for good tea, food, and atmosphere. When I was in high school we would drive the hour across the front range just for tea and chicken salad!

Boulder has a fairly accessible trail system (if you can handle hills, anyway) on the Boulder Creek Paved Pathway – with 7 miles of paved path from the foothills all the way to the plains where you can get a taste of the landscape of Boulder.

You didn’t ask, but I’ll tell you that there are a bunch of must-dos and sees in Boulder! One of them is to take the Celestial Seasonings factory tour! The tour is wheelchair accessible and the factory has chairs on site. The Celestial Seasonings brand began in 1969 when one of the founders hand-picked herbs in the Rocky Mountains.

If you’re an outdoors person or you enjoy hiking, Boulder is the place to be for easy access to trails of all levels of difficulty. Chautauqua Park is full of trails and there is a trail map here. Unfortunately, there isn’t great indication on accessibility – only on use type and elevation.

Image description: a blonde with her hair up is posing in front of the final ascent to Royal Arch in the Flatirons.

My latest hike in Boulder was Royal Arch in the Boulder Flatirons. This is a 3 mile strenuous trail, that ends at a natural rock arch overlooking Boulder with a gorgeous view. It tends to be busy though (as evidenced by all the people in my photo above). I enjoyed the hike and the view made every step worthwhile.

Want to collaborate and share your city! Email me.

 ❤ Always, J.

Weekend Wander: Denver

I lived in Colorado up until I got married and moved away, so I will detail some places I know well as well as some places I have visited since moving in my Weekend Wander posts.

First things first, we start with food!

I’d take you out for brunch at Snooze, an A.M. Eatery. I would recommend the Juan’s Breakfast Tacos, or if you’re a Benedict fan, I love the Smashed Avocado Benny. The local cold brew coffee is also worth a try! Another option is Jelly Cafe, known as Capitol Hill’s hottest breakfast spot. Pro Tip: Grab some doughnut bites for the road!

If you’re in Denver, you definitely shouldn’t miss Red Rocks Park & Amphitheater. Even though it’s a bit of a drive! If you can go to a concert, it is an experience you will have almost no other place. I also personally love hiking around Red Rocks Park. Check out the shorter loop at Trading Post Trail. My partner and I got married at the Trading Post, there’s a really beautiful building with a scenic overlook.

If you’re up for a treat, we can check out Little Man Ice Cream – where ice cream is served from an actual milk jug. The banana pudding ice cream is somehow better than real banana pudding if you like things chilly! Bonus, for every scoop of ice cream purchased, Little Man matches that scoop with a donated scoop of rice, beans, or other essentials to a community in need anywhere around the world.

image description: a blonde wearing a striped dress and purple jacket and a redhead with a dark jacket and jeans sit on a bench in front of Little Man Ice Cream.

If you’re interested in history, you should not miss The Molly Brown House Museum (the home of the Unsinkable Molly Brown of the Titanic). The Molly Brown House Museum stands as an enduring symbol of the turn of the 20th century in Denver. Margaret Brown, never known as Molly during her lifetime, was a true activist, philanthropist and creator of cultural change. She helped create Colorado’s juvenile court system and was one of the first historic preservationists in the area. You can learn lots more about her here. Accessibility information for the museum is visible here.

Getting around Denver can be relatively simple, as there is a comprehensive bus system and an expanding light rail and commuter rail network. But if you really want to get to know the active, outdoors, and adventure-friendly city, you should hop on a bike from Denver’s community bicycles and ride around town.

You didn’t ask, but I will tell you that a trip to Denver wouldn’t be complete without checking out one of the many historic railroad locations. If you’re in Denver proper, you absolutely must check out Denver’s Union Station – a historic destination over 100 years old. The Great Hall pays homage to the pioneer spirit that started it all, while still being modern and beautiful. If you’re hanging out in Golden after visiting Red Rocks Park, go check out the Colorado Railroad Museum. Here you can learn everything there is to know about Colorado’s rich railroad history.

A few other must-sees: Larimer Square, Clear Creek Riverwalk in Golden (it’s pretty accessible), several murals by artist Kelsey Montague of #WhatLiftsUs – one #WhatUnitesUs is/was on the east facing wall of Il Posto at 26th and Larimer, and a whole list of the murals is here.

Want to collaborate and share your city! Email me.

❤ Always, J.

Summer Maxi Dress for Shorties

image description: a grid with the photo of a blonde in a teal maxi dress standing with her black service dog. on the left: A Summer Maxi Dress for Shorties: Being Petite means maxi dresses are a challenging summer essential, these six options work for those of us who are short.

I love maxi dresses in the summer, and have ever since getting married and moving away from my lifestyle in Colorado eight years ago. My favorite dresses are all still in heavy rotation – albeit a bit worn. So this summer, when it started getting hot out, I started trying on and looking for a new dress to wear in the heat.

I am a Loft dress wearer first and foremost, as Loft is often one of the few places it is easy to find dresses and really all clothing in good petite proportions. But this summer there weren’t any maxi dress options at my local store, so I had to look online and be a little more creative.

image description: blonde girl wears a teal maxi dress with thin straps and stands with her black and silver schnauzer service dog beside her.

This dress is where I got a little creative. I saw it first on HeyNasareen of Instagram, who is also petite like I am. She wore it with the extra length tied in a knot. Since it was a very inexpensive dress from Amazon, I ended up just cutting the hem for a raw edge hem look and it’s working so far! I might use fray-check on it to make sure it definitely doesn’t ravel, but it’s doing good!

Here are several other options that I found on Loft’s website. I already have the other teal dress (caution, it runs much larger than usual. I am a true 2P and I should have bought this in a 0).

  1. LOFT CHEVRON STRAPPY MAXI DRESS
  2. LOU & GREY BRUSHMARL MAXI TEE DRESS
  3. LOFT WRAP MAXI DRESS
  4. LOFT DOTTED PLEATED WRAP MIDI DRESS (This dress in Regular is long enough to be a maxi dress on me, if a little large.)
  5. GRECERELLE Women’s Summer Casual Loose Dress Beach Cover Up Long Cami Maxi Dresses with Pockets. Pockets make the dress.

Some other Amazon options that are basically the exact same as the GREGERELLE dress.

ZZER Women Casual Summer Loose Long Dress Beach Cover Up Cami Maxi Dresses with Pockets. I love that this comes in a teal floral option.

HUSKARY Women’s Summer Casual Loose Dress Beach Cover Up Long Cami Maxi Dresses with Pockets. This has a leaf/palm print option that is really cute.

ATERAIN Summer Casual Maxi Dresses Cover Up Long Cami Sleeveless Beach Dress with Pocket for Women. This has a cute mandala print.

What do you consider your best summer basic outfit? Are you like me, and you need a one-stop outfit like a maxi dress? Or are you a shorts and tee type person? Let me know in the comments!

❤ Always, J

Summer Essentials: Pool-side

image description: two women in an infinity pool with the mountains in the background. overlaid the image are the words: Summer Essentials – Five Favorites for Pool-side Fun!

  • Everyone’s Most Important Accessory: SUNBLOCK!
Image is of a spray on sunblock bottle: New Look Aveeno Active Naturals HydroSport. SPF 30.

We all know how important skin protection is now. I personally prefer Aveeno sunblocks and lotions because most other types cause skin reactions for me – my skin tends to be sensitive. If I can find a higher SPF, I will use it for sure, but the spray-on kind is easy to use and it means we actually use it. And since my partner has red in his hair, he burns easily so we reapply often!

  • My Partner’s Favorite: SNACKS!
Image of three bags of green and white. The brand says Joel's Traditional Homegrown Meats. 100% Grass-FedBeef Jerky.

This is just an example. Our pool has a bar where you can get snacks and drinks, but if I plan ahead, I like to bring things that are portable and don’t spoil like this beef jerky. I also like to bring fruit, strawberries or watermelon. And I would carry trail mix for emergency hanger.

  • A Book! Either on Kindle or in paper.
image is of a refurbished Kindle Paperwhite with a prologue up on the screen.

I read a lot in the summer. My favorite thing for as long as I can remember is to sit by the pool, well-slathered in sunscreen, and read a book until the sun starts to set. I don’t do it nearly as often anymore, but even now that I’m all grown up, my favorite books are science-fiction fantasy and getting lost in other worlds. I’ll share what I’m currently reading below.

  • A Cover-Up!
Side by side images of a long haired brunette in a black coverup dress on the left, and the same person in a white coverup dress on the right.

I think this long dress-like coverup is a cute option! When I grew up in Colorado, all coverups were either made out of terry-cloth or polar fleece because you could never tell if it was going to be freezing and windy or dry and 95.

Now that I live somewhere with humidity – and have ever since I moved away from Colorado – I have learned that you want your coverup to be lightweight, breathable, and airy. Terrycloth is only going to make you sweat!

  • A good Facial Cleanser for Afterwards.
image of the Aveeno Active Naturals ultra-calming makeup removing wipes package that has a plastic resealable top.

These Aveeno makeup removing wipes are a great option to keep in your pool bag for removing the sunblock, chlorine, and sweat immediately after your time in the pool. The first thing I do before I leave is go wipe all that stuff off my face, because if I don’t, I run the risk of getting a breakout.

My other favorite wipes are AcneFree Oil-Free Towelettes, but they seem to be really difficult to find these days. Aveeno is the only other thing I’ve been able to use without major skin reactions.

  • What I’m Currently Reading!

I just started the 9th book in the Kris Longknife series by Mike Shepherd. The title is Redoubtable. I have enjoyed the series so far, as it is my favorite kind of science fiction. This one is a space exploration series, which means that both my partner and I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it because it has enough character development, relationship and plot points about people – and he loves it because it’s all about expansion and pioneering space (or pirating as the case may be.)

What is your current pool-side read? Do you have a favorite book you read every summer? Let me know in the comments!

❤ Always, J

Copycat Baked Egg Bites

image description: photo of egg muffins on a white cutting board. the muffin on the bottom right hand corner has a bite taken out of it.

I don’t know about you, but I have been gradually eating more diverse foods and being flexible about what’s around. I finally stopped being scared of fats a few years ago after working with a trainer and gradually adding fat back into my diet. That was such a helpful experience! I learned a lot of things and I learned that there isn’t really any morality to food – there’s no such thing as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ food. (If you’re interested in that, go check out Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch).

After that, it was really nice that when we were traveling or if I was hungry at odd times and only had access to things like Starbucks or gas stations, I could still eat and not feel as anxious about it. When Starbucks rolled out those delicious egg bites a year or so ago, they were an instant fast favorite of mine. Enough fats and proteins to keep me going until another meal time, and delicious to boot!

However, my local Starbucks – the one that I passed everyday walking to the gym or the studio or back home – never EVER seemed to have them in stock. It was so frustrating! Those were the only thing I wanted on the menu, so I finally took matters into my own hands.

Copycat Starbucks Egg Bites

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


Ingredients
6 eggs
1/2 cup parmesan asiago cheese
1/2 cup mozarella cheese
3/4 cup cottage cheese
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
1/4 cup spinach (frozen or fresh cooked down and drained)
pepper to taste

Instructions
Add eggs, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, and salt to a bowl. Optional to blend these together for 30 seconds (I didn’t).
Mix in the sundried tomatoes and spinach.
Grease a silicone muffin tin with olive oil or coconut oil spray.
Fill each cup about 3/4 of the way full.
Cook at 375 degrees for 20 minutes with a casserole dish of water on the shelf below.
Remove the silicone muffin tins and let cool. The egg bites rose a little while cooking but settled as it cooled.
Remove eggs from the muffin tins when cool (I used a butter knife).
Store in an air tight container for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
Microwave for 30 seconds when ready to eat.

These would be fun with other kinds of mix-ins! I just happen to always have spinach and sundried tomatoes on hand. Bacon would be lovely, but I think it probably needs to be at least par-baked first.

Enjoy! Let me know how these go for you!

❤ Always, J.