Many times I talk to people about the type of food I like to eat - for example - locally made chocolate that's $6 for just one bar - they look at me like I'm crazy. Most people don't want to spend any extra money on food - even if an organic can of soup costs just $1 more than Campbell's. But I believe quality is better than quantity. When a product is made with all-natural ingredients and being locally made on top of that - you seriously can't beat that combination. You are benefiting both your health and the community when you buy local products that are made with love and no fillers. So I want highlight some of the products that I love to buy in Denver.
Elevation Ketchup is so darn good. It's not like a liquid Heinz ketchup - it has texture - you can tell it's made with real tomatoes. Made and created in Denver - Elevation has several varieties of ketchup. I usually get the Original Recipe which consists of organic tomato paste, purified water, organic vegan cane sugar, organic vinegar, sea salt and organic spices. No high fructose corn syrup or preservatives - just straight fresh organic ingredients. You can find it at Natural Grocers, Marzyck's Fine Foods, NOOCH Vegan Market and buy through its website.
Pablo's Coffee is one out of the many great coffee roasters in the city of Denver. I had been buying coffee from the grocery store and asked myself - why am I not buying from one of these local producers that put a lot of love and quality into their coffee? Coffee is huge for me and I'm always venturing to different coffee shops - so I decided to try out Pablo's ground coffee by the pound. I always get the Danger Monkey variety which is the most popular - a delicious dark roast. If you buy at one of their stores - they give you a punch card and you can get a free bag after you buy six.
Binnie's Coconut Butter made just north of Denver in Thornton - makes delicious coconut butter spreads. One of the reasons I love Binnie's is because when I was a kid - I would go to my grandma's - and she would always make toast with butter and sprinkle cinnamon on it - it was so good. When I put my Cinnamon coconut butter on toast - it tastes very similar to that - but it's healthier which is nice. It's a little pricey - but it lasts a long time and I don't use a whole lot - just whenever I want some toast with a little bit of sweetness.
The bread I use for the coconut butter - and everything else I eat - is Canyon Bakehouse Gluten-Free Bread. Made in Johnstown, Colorado - this bread is so good you won't miss gluten. Every other gluten-free bread I've had has never tasted this good. It has the same firmness as regular bread and comes in several varieties like 7-grain, mountain white, cinnamon raisin and more. I like to use it to make avocado toast - and almond butter with banana toast. It is made with all organic ingredients - and they make bagels, too! This isn't a super local product because it's sold all over the country - but it's made in the state I live in and I know I can trust it.
My favorite show for the last two years has been: 'Vanderpump Rules.' It's about these young hot L.A. 20-30 somethings that all work/have worked at this restaurant called SUR, owned by British entrepreneur Lisa Vanderpump. You can compare it to the old 'Laguna Beach' and 'The Hills' - I think it's way more entertaining though. There's always some kind of drama - someone hooking up with someone or cheating - it's good stuff. So I saw that one of the stars, Jax Taylor (in the middle) and two other guys from another Bravo show 'Summer House' were doing a Facebook live, where people can ask questions, and they'll pick the most interesting ones to answer. My question was 'Jax, do you really actually hate James Kennedy?' another guy on the show. The guy on the right, Carl, read off my question, and Jax gave a nice, lengthy answer. On the new season - Jax and James seem to be friends - I wonder if I had any part in that...
Other notable encounters without photos:
1) I was on the Today Show when I was 7 with my whole family and we talked with Katie Couric and Al Roker. My sister Amy was holding up a sign 'Ask me to do the Austin Powers dance,' (the movie had just come out). Al Roker asked her to do the dance and she did. Then he asked me to do it - I said no because I was too shy.
2) I got Chris Brown's autograph at the American Family gym in my hometown of Mechanicsville, VA - he's from Tappahannock not too far away. My friend Kirsten and I were working out our legs downstairs when she said 'Look! It's Chris Brown,' and we saw him walking our way. We asked for his autograph and he gave us both one.
3) I got my picture taken with the NBA player Allen Iverson when I was a kid. We had gone to an NBA game (my Dad loves basketball) and somehow we got pictures with him afterwards and another player, Juan Howard.
4) My boyfriend and I met some of the guys from the punk bands, 'Teenage Bottlerocket' and 'Lagwagon' when I was on the road for five months with his band 'Insubordination.'
5) I spotted Jamie Bell (off-set) with his famous wife - wait for it - KATE MARA (loved her in American Horror Story Season 1) at my favorite coffee shop, Lamplighter in Richmond, VA.
6) When I worked on TURN, other notable actors besides Jamie were Kevin McNally whom has been in every 'Pirates of the Carribean' movie - playing a pirate, dude with the short gray hair...you know who I'm talkin' bout'. One of the episodes I filmed on - Andrew McCarthy who plays the love interest of Molly Ringwald in 'Pretty In Pink,' was directing it because it was the season finale and it had to be epic.
Travel Blog: Highwaychildx.wordpress.com
After I graduated college in 2015, I went along with my boyfriend, Scott, and his band Insubordination on their Quit Your Life Tour. He came up with the idea about a year before we went, mapped out a route across the whole country and parts of Canada and Mexico. He already had a big van and all the band members were down to go. He set the date for June 2015 because it was going to be right after the drummer, Christian, graduated college, as well as I. I went along to help sell merchandise (T-shirts, CD's, etc.) and to help everything go smoothly. I went along because, well, I wanted to see the country!
Since I was already a seasoned traveler and I had just gotten out of an internship where I was doing tons of writing, I decided to make a travel blog for the trip. It took me a while to figure out a name, but one day while at the gym, I was listening to Pandora when I heard Jimi Hendrix's song 'Highway Child.' The song is about a young guy living life on the road, so it seemed to me like 'Highway Child' would be the perfect name.
For six months, we were in a different city every day and I took tons of photos and wrote about our experiences and the shows: Best of time of my life. I even funded a little Kickstarter to sort of compile a lot of it into a book. Here's a preview link: www.blurb.com/books/7433157-highway-child.
Since then, I've been blogging about all of my little trips and excursions. Head to the link at the top!
I hail from Richmond, Virginia, and in 2013, I found out a TV show was going to film outside of the city with the lead being Jamie Bell, aka 'Billy Elliott'. The movie Billy Elliott was a film about a young boy growing up in a mining town in England during the 80's. He lived with his father and brother - his mother was dead. His Dad worked in mining, but at the time, most of the miners were on strike, so it was hard times. The boy, Billy Elliott's afterschool activity is boxing but he finds himself more fascinated in the ballet going on in the room next to him. The movie follows the taboo of this young boy, and his father and brother finally accepting his love of dance after seeing how gifted he is at it. I loved it when it came out.
When I saw that Bell was going to star in this new show, I didn't think twice before applying to be an extra. Since I was a kid, I've dreamed of being an actress, yet I've always been too shy to do anything about it. When I applied back in 2013, I never heard anything back. But I decided to try again for the filming of the third season in 2016, and I got a call! I ended up working on two episodes. Then again this year, I worked on three episodes for their fourth and final season.
It was a great experience. It was so cool seeing how everything gets filmed and how it all works. I wore 1700's attire that was sort of uncomfortable, but it was exciting. One day on set, I stood for so long in heels on the grass that I ended up getting a few large bruises on my thigh.
I hope to be an extra again, and maybe one day a real speaking role. If not, it's just fun to do. (Btw, I got Bell's autograph on the last day of filming :) )