My no-good, very-weird, 16th Street encounter.

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So yesterday was a pretty nice day, I didn’t have too much going on, and I wanted to go search Barnes & Noble for a book…so I decided to hit up 16th Street Mall! I haven’t really gone anywhere near there because it’s always mobbed with people, and this girl doesn’t do parallel parking THAT well, yet. But I decided, why not?

It’s actually an awesome strip, with tons of stores and restaurants, varying from chains to local places. I spent a lot of time just wandering around and just people-watching. The mall (which is outside) actually has pianos outside that are free for anyone to sit down and play. I actually struck up  a conversation with a man that had gone to Berkeley for classical piano, and through some tragic events, ended up homeless on the streets of Denver.He goes to the mall everyday to play and hope he brings some joy to people listening.

NEVER would I have ever thought I would just take the time to sit and listen to a homeless person share their story out of interest, but I don’t know…I feel like this city has changed me. I bought him Subway after that…. it was the least I could do, after he played me a Beethoven Sonata.

As I continued down the mall, I could see somehow walking towards me. Excuse me, not walking, speed walking. Somewhere between jogging and running. I have only seen one person who moves that way. I will refer to her as A…. I knew her from my past stay at ERC. She was an older woman who would CONSISTENTLY pace up and down the hallway, always “just checking” the doors, or “just looking” for something… anything. I called BS on that pretty fast, because I knew that game. That had been me my first stay there…. any movement was necessary. But I could distance myself from her, because I knew this past stay that pacing didn’t get me anywhere…. except it got me tons of hate from other patients and a Bodybug. So yeah.

 

However, I realized this woman coming towards me was A. In my mind, I knew I should’ve kept walking, but something compelled me to say hi. I stopped her and she looked slightly confused…but then her face lit up and these words followed: “Oh my god Kenna hi!!! You’ve lost so much weight!! Ugh I”m so jealous, you look great. I have to stay at XX pounds or I have to go back. You look amazing. I have to go. Congratulations!”

 

And just like that, she was off walking again.

I was floored. What the hell just happened? How could so much come out of someone’s mouth so fast? What was I supposed to do with what she just told me? WHAT THE F***?

And my next reaction shocked me even more.

Instead of feeling proud or happy that someone noticed I may have been struggling, or thoughts congratulating me….. I felt sad. For so many reasons. I was sad she thought of struggling as something to congratulate. That she was violently pacing up and down the mall on a gorgeous day. That she seemed so distant. I was sad that it seemed ERC had not changed her at all. Now every treatment program is different, and everyone responds to things differently… I understand and respect that. But ERC truly saved my life. And I believe those close to me (family, friends) can agree. Even though I had to return, it’s not because the program had “failed me”… I had failed me and I needed to be reminded as to what I value. 

I called a friend of mine and was able to process it. She was really helpful and let me know how proud she was of me of how I handled that situation.

And you know what? I had a great rest of the day! I went out to see “Begin Again” with one of my guy co-workers. It was such a great movie and we had such a great time! We got drinks afterwards (because I am 21 and an adult 😉 ) and then went and harassed our co-workers at the good old ‘Bucks.

I’m actually amazed at how good I feel. Maybe that won’t last..who knows? I’ll bask in it for now.

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Tales from the Barista life

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So I may not have mentioned previously, but I work at Starbucks. I have for almost the past year, but the varying differences in the two stores I have worked at are huge. For instance, my first store was located inside a Target. You almost always worked by yourself, and “rush hour” was essentially 8 people.

At the Starbucks I work at in Denver, it’s basically in the middle of the business district. Which means it is busy all day, ere day. (Yeah, I meant to spell it like that). ANYHOO, I’m really loving it, my coworkers are pretty awesome, and thanks to the business, shifts seem to fly by…. unless you’re there until 10:45 and that it just.. the worst. 

However, seeing as how it is in a business district, you will also getting the snooty, uppity business people that have no problem reminding you that you are a mere barista, and your job is to serve them. I actually have a pretty high tolerance for assholes (on the outside at least), but that still doesn’t make it easy to have someone throw a drink back at you and scream that you are “the worst barista I have ever seen”

 

People, please remember that we are human beings too.  We make mistakes, and when it happens, we always offer to remake your drink (FOR FREE, might I add) and try to make it up to you. There is no need to be nasty, when we are literally bending over backwards to make you happy.

 

HOWEVER, there are the customers that are rather hilarious/unbelievable and I figured I’d write about a few of them. Keep in mind, I am not writing this to “exploit” them, they are just incredibly entertaining to serve, and honestly….. it amazes me that someone can come into Starbucks EVERYDAY. Like….. no thanks. But thanks, because you pay my tips.

 

Katherine- Katherine always comes in everyday and gets a decaf Americano with some steamed non-fat milk in a “for here” cup. Personally, I like to think Katherine was once a man…she’s got a super deep voice and just looks uncomfortable in her dress that she always wears. However, she is always super friendly and like to collect our leftover coffee grounds for her garden. What a woman.

Jim- Where do I even begin with Jim? Jim used to live in Mississippi and was one of the first people to start hiring blacks into his company (this should give you a clue as to how old this guy is). For some reason, this made him a lot of money, so he is just a freelance worker now. He comes to our store everyday around 3 p.m., with a Subway bad in his hand and orders his 3 pump classic, no water, green iced tea. I have been told he hits on anything that moves with boobs… but I haven’t experienced this side of him yet. Maybe for the better? I just think he’s a funny, slightly crazy old guy who enjoys routine 🙂

Mystery Vanilla/Hazelnut Latte man- I believe I have my first Starbucks stalker. This man comes in about everyday, ordering the aforementioned drink. He joked about my glasses one time, and I told him not to worry, they were 100% fake. The next time he came in, we talked and joked around a little….and I personally think that’s a good place to keep a relationship. NOPE, says this man whose name I have yet to learn. Now whenever he comes in, it doesn’t matter what I”m doing, he demands I make his drink. Why? So he can have an opportunity to chat me up while I”m at the bar (coffee bar that is). And it’s not just for the duration of when his drink is being made…. most of the time it’s 15 mins +. I don’t know how to politely tell him that I need him to go away so I can focus on other people’s drinks, but man…. it’s really weird. He even went so far as to ask me what I”m doing on my days off, and if I got lonely, I could always “give him a call”. Yeah sir, that’d be cool if you weren’t 37.

 

Anyways, obviously there are a LOT more people then just those 3..but if I wrote about them, this post would actually never end. So that’s it! And I will leave you with some nice articles as yo why you should be nice to your barista 🙂 Namaste. 

 

http://www.buzzfeed.com/justinabarca/things-every-barista-knows-to-be-true

http://www.thefrisky.com/2013-01-31/50-things-your-barista-really-wants-you-to-know/

 

 

 

 

 

Enough with sandwiches already….

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Ok so before I begin this, I will not just be reviewing sandwiches/ sandwich shop. I am just in this weird honeymoon stage of being SO FREAKING EXCITED to find gluten-free bread everywhere, and being able to order something that feels “regular”…..

 

And on that note…… two reviews on sandwich places 🙂

The firs:; Erbert and Gerbert’s.

While it was pretty exciting to find GF bread… it was a rushed visit. I was on my way to work, and needed to pick up something. I was trying to not get a ticket(may or may not have parked illegally) and generally was rushed. So luckily, this place turned out to be more of your Jimmy John’s type… just with different names

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Once again, when I ordered gluten-free bread, they were very attentive to it. They changed their gloves and brought out a new knife to slice the bread. I ordered the Jacob Bluefinger: provolone, tomato, lettuce, mayo, and avocado( but of course).

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All in all I believe it was $8, so definitely on the lower price end compared to other places. I quickly grabbed my sandwich and ran out to my ticketless (thank goodness) car.

 

TASTE: So the sandwich itself wasn’t all that special. It was a good flavor (especially the avocado) but the ratio of bread to filling wasn’t enough. They used an Udi’s sub roll, and while I love Udi’s and all the products, their bread can be very dry. It was a good size though, and didn’t feel too overwhelming when eating it. Not a place I would frequent all the time, but definitely good to know the option is there (especially right in the middle of downtown, near my school).

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Fast forward a couple days later, and we’re on to…. Olive and Finch!!

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Now I’ve been here before for dinner, but to me, this isn’t a very “dinner” like place. It’s a local cafe, that prides itself on using locally sourced products and being very vegetarian and vegan friendly (and gluten-free friendly as well, hence why I went back)

This place really reminds me of the Urban Farmhouse in Midlothian; something about the feel of the place, the staff, and the food.

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Once again I was grabbing dinner on the run and decided to stop in. This being a local cafe, it was a little more expensive, but for what I got, I would say it was very worth it. I ordered the Jamal sandwich (that name makes me laugh and I have no idea why…)

It was comprised of blackened fish, citrus tartar sauce, capers, avocado (DUH), and roasted tomato. It was all wrapped in a very neat little bag to-go and brought in a…semi-timely fashion. The kitchen was open and I could see them making all the sandwiches with fresh ingredients. 

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TASTE: Holy cow…. this bread was stuffed to the brim!! It was served in a toasted gluten-free roll that was pretty filling, so finishing this was pretty difficult for me (I have a very hard time with feeling full, a fear I am working hard to overcome), and even though some thoughts came into my mind to just throw it away, that I didn’t need it all, I thought “Hey I spent almost $12 on this…. I damn better finish this.” And it was worth it. The fish was nicely cooked, and even though it was bland, the citrus tartar sauce was pretty spicy and added lots of flavor. Besides it being filling, I would say the only complaint I would have is that it spilled everywhere!! It got all over my work pants….. even though they’re already stained with lots of syrups and various sauces/coffee 🙂

 

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Well there you have it!! I hope it’s at least a little interesting for some of you? T everyone following/reading these posts, I can’t express how much it means to me. I was actually pretty self-conscious about starting to write, as I am not the most eloquent, nor do I believe I  talk about things that are interesting. But every time I receive a notification saying someone has liked a post or started following me, I do a little happy dance inside. Your encouragement is very much appreciated/needed. I’ll try to update more often!!! Have great days 🙂

 

Now THAT is a sandwich…. Snarf’s Review

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Ok people… I present to you a positive review!!! Haha… 

I promise I am never trying to be rude/negative, but sometimes I just have high expectations (in all areas of my life), and it’s sad to get let down.

ANYWAYS, yesterday was the LITERALLY the worst weather ever(read that in a Chris Traeger voice, from Parks and Rec). Raining, lightning, cold, nasty BLEH.

I needed a pick me up….. and I decided Snarf’s.

Now, yes, I do not want to turn to food for comfort, but I had also planned to go here for a while, and  it had been a rough day. My therapy/nutrition session went poorly (being told you gained weight sucks) and just body image was everywhere.

But I guess the winning situation is that I didn’t let that deter me from getting dinner.

Off 11th street is a little sandwich shop called Snarf’s. Now granted it’s not a lot to look at (I believe it was a garage at one point), but like the old saying, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”.

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For some reason, I’ve been on a sandwich kick (which once again is terrifying), but I’ll take it.

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And damn was Snarf’s a good place to go.

For one, they didn’t just have gluten free bread… it was a gluten free sub. A regular sized sub!!! That’s is almost as uncommon as Leonardo DiCaprio winning an Oscar. I decided to get the vegetarian sandwich, which had provolone, sprouts, avocado, and lettuce. What a choice it was.

I watched as they took out special sanitized knives to cut my bread, changed their gloves, and even changed the tray in the oven to toast the bread. It’s clear they were attentive to my gluten-free needs, and that was reassuring to see. 

They gave me my sandwich and I ate it right there and then.

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HOLY CRAP IT WAS SO GOOD. Filling? Yes. Delicious?? Even more yes. Worth $11?…… ABSOLUTELY. I can’t truly describe how good this sandwich was… it was crispy and fresh but the avocado truly brought this sammie together.

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If you live in Denver, please try this place. Even though service was a little slow, it was well worth the wait. And it made the weather that much more bearable 🙂

Review: Glutino Toaster pastries

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So there are numerous things I miss now that I’m gluten free. I miss being able to go whatever restaurant I want, without having to plan in advance. I miss cake. I miss soft pretzels. And if any celiac has ever told you they don’t miss Pop-Tarts… well I”m sorry, but they’re lying.

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Pop-tarts are man’s convenience food. Breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner… whatever time it is, it’s an appropriate time for a Pop-Tart. Once upon a time, my mom made homemade gluten-free pop-tarts and they were awesome. But other than that, I have had no interactions with toaster pastries whatsoever.

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UNTIL NOW.

I had been reserved about buying these Glutino toaster pastries, especially since they are $5 dollars a box( a box containing just 5 pastries). However, like all great things at Wal-Mart, I found them cheap… only $3! So I figured, why not?

I decided to have one on this dreary morning in Denver. I toasted it, but I think just having it plain would be good as well.

Poptart

When opening the package, it doesn’t look too impressive. Just a plain pastry with some holes, no icing. This display is why I decided to toast it, in hopes of making it a little more aesthetically pleasing?

Poptart inside

And clearly by aesthetically pleasing I meant burning. Well done, Kenna. 

Taste: They weren’t too bad! They mostly just tasted like a flaky crust, with a hint of mashed strawberry in there. Nothing too extravagant, but I did enjoy them. For $3, I would buy them again. They’re convenient, and provide even a sense of normalcy (even if they are from a company entitled Glutino haha).

 

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Now if only I could find my precious Glutino english muffins somewhere in Denver, then we’ll be set. 🙂

Have avocado…. will use :)

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Here is the life of an avocado in a nutshell:

AVOCADO

So naturally, I HAD to eat the avocado that’s been screaming at me to use it from my fridge.

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Now I won’t lie. Even though they are a GOOD fat, avocados are scary (calorie content wise). But I am recovering. And I need challenging food choices.

So what to do with it? For some reason my mind screamed “AVOCADO TOAST”

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So voila ladies and gentleman! Probably the easiest recipe known to man:

Step 1: Toast bread

Step 2: Mash avocado onto toasted bread. Lightly salt

Step 3: Enjoy your delicious repast

Not my greatest recipe (I promise more intricate ones will come 🙂 ) but I was feeling this tonight and went with my cravings!!!!!

Enjoy a selfie.

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Protein Bar and Audition News

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So I think for my next “review”, I”ll go somewhere I’ve already been so I can have some positivity on here! After attending church this morning, I decided to stop at the Protein Bar for a snack while waiting for my audition. I’ve actually been planning on visiting the Protein Bar for a while now, but the opportunity never presented itself.

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I was very impressed with how extensive the menu was; ranging from quinoa bowls, to blended drinks, to breakfast items. I decided to go with the Red Rocks smoothie: soy protein, almond milk, a banana, and strawberries. Once again, I don’t know if it’s pricing, but it came up to a hefty $4 for a 12 oz. smoothie. I took a sip and wasn’t met with much. It tasted like water and ice blended together, with a faint hint of strawberries. I will have to go back to try some of their actual food, to give a more extensive review.

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In other news, I went to my first audition in Denver today! Was quite a stressful experience getting there, and, like all auditions, lasted a good 5 minutes. It is for a production of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”, and it went really well! I sang “I Know Things Now” from Into the Woods and performed a monologue. They had me sing for the part of Olive, and at the end invited me back for callbacks tonight at 7 p.m…. which is great, considering it’s been a while since my last audition.

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I don’t really know what tonight holds in store for me (in terms of singing, acting, etc.) but I can only hope it goes well!

Thanks again for reading 🙂