Monthly Archives: March 2017

[Travel] Denver + Colorado

19 years ago, little me was in Denver, CO with my family but little me also didn’t remember much from that family trip. So one day a few weeks ago, a conversation with my mom went a little something like this…

Mom: Do you remember anything from our Colorado trip?

Me: Nope

Mom: Want to go back, then?

Me: Um, absolutely.

Mom: Okay, let’s go at the end of March

And just like that, our airfare was bought and our hotel reserved. It was an amazing week, with 6-full days packed with adventures. My family’s motto when it comes to vacations is not to sleep in, take our time and chill, but instead we book up our days with things to see, do, and eat! We set the alarms and are out seeing local sites by 9am usually.

Day 1: We landed!

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Day 2: Garden of the Gods, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo near Colorado Springs

Gorgeous red rocks stacked high in these ‘gardens‘, relatively easy hikes, and the coolest spaced-out zoo up on a mountain

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Day 3: Rocky Mountain National Park & Estes Park

SNOW! Only 1/3 of the Park was open because snow is still covering the roadways in the higher areas, but nonetheless it was amazing. Estes Park is gorgeous, with nice shops and cafes to take a break at.

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Day 4: Pike’s Peak & Manitou Springs

We did the Cog Railway tour ($40/person) up the mountain and back. The whole trip took about 3 hrs with about 45min up at the Peak. Then a little shopping and eating in Manitou Springs to finish off our day!

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Day 5: Downtown Denver

Botanic Gardens + Glazed & Confuzed Doughnuts + 16th Street Mall shopping in downtown Denver.

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Day 6: Downtown Denver

Molly Brown House tour, state Capitol, Denver Art Museum (specifically, the Star Wars costume exhibit), and Jelly Cafe for lunch! Walking, viewing, listening, and eating, which also means a super successful and fun day!

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Day 7: Downtown Denver

Denver Museum of Nature and Science + Union Station

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Day 8: Home again 😦

A morning tour at Hammond’s Candy Factory, lunch at HopDoddy Burger Bar (the best Green Chile Queso Fries ever) and then off to the airport

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Where We Stayed: Residence Inn by Marriott Denver City Center (I’d give it 5 stars! Perfect location and a less than 5 minutes walk from the 16th Street Mall; great service, clean hotel rooms, and all-around two thumbs up!)

Mobility: Rented a car for 4 days, walked and used Uber for downtown sites

Have any questions about what we saw or did? Need food suggestions? Have any comments or things to add to my list that you found really great in Denver? Comment below or email me! I’d love to hear about anything regarding Denver or Colorado ❤

 

Original post on my website found here.

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Feminism Struggles

It’s #InternationalWomensDay and how else does one spend it other than to post a bunch of women’s rights quotes?

But how many of us actually understand what a feminist is? It’s not a Women-Above-All mentality, it’s not a Females-Are-Better idea, but it’s a Equal-Rights-For-All thing. It means fighting for both females AND males. It means creating a neutral space where men aren’t superior to women and women aren’t superior to men, a space where gender isn’t even part of the equation.

It’s a struggle, though, for many to understand what “Feminism” means. There are lots of stereotypes and pre-judgments made. the misconceptions really taint the image and idea of being a feminist. The biggest problem is being uneducated about it. Here are the common ones:

1. Only Nasty Women are feminists

First, I’m the nicest person around {and totally humble}, so obviously I can’t be nasty. But, on a serious note, it seems that society has painted a specific photo of what a feminist looks like: a hippie, young girl who doesn’t shave anywhere, sitting in an old beat-up Volkswagen van smoking a joint and picketing outside of big businesses.

WRONG: There are some women who look like that and are feminists, but hey, that’s their style so keep doing you, boo. But there are so many other “feminists” out there: men, women, business people, teachers, scientists, chefs, old, young, completely shaven, and no matter their religion, ethnicity, or lifestyle. There isn’t a set image. And of course, there are some Nasty Women 😉

2. It means you can’t shave

Now here’s the most annoying misconception: true feminists don’t shave their armpits or legs. here’s another classic stereotype: going woolly-mammoth is the only way to prove you’re fighting for women’s rights. I’m pretty sure Emma Watson shaves or the maybe it’s just a lot of Photoshop. Sure if you don’t want to shave, that’s fine, but it isn’t a must-have to fight for equal rights.

WRONG: You can shave. You can take care of your body however you want because that’s the whole damn point of feminism! Feminism is the right to have control over your own body no matter who you are (male, female, transgender, whatevs). Plus, men can shave so we’re back to our circular reasoning.

3. Females can do everything men can do already

Alrighty, well, yes females have come a long way since the start of the civil rights movement, but the fun can’t stop there! Yes, women can “technically” be “anything” they want, but the obstacles are way harder. How many women are politicians compared to men? How many women are in the Armed Forces compared to men?

WRONG: As I said before the idea of feminism is to fight for EVERYONE’S rights: female and male. So females can have the careers men can have, but there is still a stigma associated with some jobs that make it hard for females to do those jobs. And conversely, men have a hard time with some jobs that are considered “female-oriented”, like nursing, or secretarial positions, or artistic jobs. The truth is there isn’t pure gender equality and feminism means fighting for men’s rights, too. And no matter what some politicians say, there is no universal equal pay. Please, don’t shut me out right now. I have actually spoken to women who have been shortchanged in their position compared to their male counterpart.

4. You can’t be “feminine” and a “feminist”

Hmm, okay. So I can’t be a fashionista and fight for equal rights. I can’t wear a dress and fight for those who are treated unfairly. I can’t be afraid of bugs and still fight for those who are told they’re inferior.

WRONG: You can be ANYONE you want to be and fight equality. You can look however you want, sound however you, smell however you want, and have whatever spiritual beliefs you choose.

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5. You have to hate men

Well, that’s going to be a problem for my future husband. Awkward.

WRONG: For the millionth time, fighting for female rights subsequently means fighting for male rights. So, feminists actually can’t hate men or else they’re fakes. Feminists work with men and will work with men until there is no division of power. Let’s all just love each other ❤

 

 

SO, FIGHT ON, LADIES AND GENTS!

Original post on my new website found here

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Expectation vs. RL: Dieting

It’s a constant war between our love of food and wanting to be “fit”. We want all our muscles being showcased, abs popping out, butt tight, and legs as toned as Carrie Underwood’s… BUT OMG FOOD.

1. The realization that you need to start eating cleaner

Expectation: I gained 1 pound – better get back into shape!

Reality: I gained 1 pound…every day for the last three years straight.

 

2. The first day feels

Expectation: I feel so renewed and ready for this!

Reality: Maybe I’ll start tomorrow?

 

 

3. The first day’s food inventory

Expectation: Fruits and veggies everywhere!

Reality: Someone at work brings doughnuts in, it’s also someone’s birthday so there’s cake, and then, it’s The-Bachelor-and-Pizza night.

 

 

4. Time to exercise

Expectation: I used to be in such great shape – this is like riding a bike! I’ll be back in shape in no time.

Reality: Died…on the treadmill…walking…for 15 minutes.

 

 

5. Meal preppin’

Expectation: Super easy, fun and diverse meals all ready to go by Sunday night.

Reality: Get half a week’s meals ready one time – time to call it quits.

 

 

6. Choosing healthier options

Expectation: This is so easy, salmon and chicken salads all day, errday.

Reality: Maybe if I order the fat-free Ranch dressing with these wings it’ll be okay.

 

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7. Three months later…

Expectation: Look at those abs popping out!

Reality: LOL 3 months? I quit DAY 3.

 

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But have no fear, you high-expectation folks. You’re not alone! Plus, who really needs to “diet”? Food is too precious to waste.

Until next time

xOx

Find the original post on my new website: www.shaylaokeeffe.com

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