denver-guide I am so proud of my little hometown. It's grown so much over the years. SO many amazing shops and restaurants have popped up everywhere. Like GOOD shops and restaurants, places I recommend to everyone.

A few of those spots can be found on South Broadway, an area that's equal parts cute, hipster, and grungy. Hey, grunge is part of any city right? It's nothing dangerous... just gives the 'hood some personality.

I've been a South Broadway regular since I bought my very first graphic tee and Ramones purse at the age of 15. The Ramones purse is long gone (bummer, I know), but Broadway is still one of my favorite places to find unique goodies.

I teamed up with the incredibly awesome and talented Annabelle Mintz of Evergreen Lane Productions to create this video of a few Broadway faves. Talk about a fun day. We might need to do another. What do ya say, Annabelle? The Highlands next?

Here are a few spots you'll see in the vid plus some other South Broadway gems!

+ Sugar Bakeshop: I took a high altitude baking class here and fell in luurrve. They had me at homemade poptarts. Plus with typewriters and local artwork decorating the joint? I mean, come on. I love them.

+ Fancy Tiger Crafts: an all time fave. Remember those adorable mini embroidery projects from the summer Eat Drink Create? Yep, the supplies were from Fancy Tiger.

+ Fancy Tiger Clothing: awesome + unique finds (yes, I did buy the Arts & Cats button from the video... I wear them proudly).

+ Punch Bowl Social: bowling, arcade games, de-licious foods... nuff said.

+ Starlet: so much cuteness in this store! They have 2 locations here in Denver AND an online shop! Hands down my favorite clothing store, I can always find something cute & unique.

+ Sweet Action Ice Cream: heavenly + hand made + local. I eat it in the summer. I eat it in the dead of winter when it's -5 degrees. It's that good.

+ The Mayan Theater: the coolest old school independent theater (decorated in art deco Mayan revival style (obvs) and the top is shaped like a Mayan temple!).

Are you in Denver? What are some of your favorite places?

Images by artsocial; video by Evergreen Lane Productions.


sugar-and-creativity This year I'm on a creativity quest. Join me as I try 12 different methods for boosting creativity over the course of 12 months. Every Tuesday I'll share my progress... Psst February is dedicated to diverse experiences.

"I've wasted a whole lotta butter," Natalie of Sugar Bakeshop laughs as we begin our High Altitude Baking class. Creating the perfect baked good, especially in Denver, is all about trial & error. It's a process... but the good news is, even if your cookies turn out flat or your muffins sink in the middle, they'll still taste uh-mazing.

I've lived in Colorado my whole life and I've never followed the high altitude instructions for any recipe... it's about time I learned, huh? Here's the scoop: in high altitude areas, the pressure is lower so baking time is often longer. Liquids also evaporate faster, so adjusting flour, sugar, or liquids is usually necessary. Aside from high altitude tips, I also (finally) learned the difference between baking powder and baking soda - powder is for treats that rise and soda is for treats that spread. Oh! and you can make your own brown sugar by mixing 1 cup sugar + 1 tablespoon molasses.

I learned a lot about the high altitude baking process, but I also got some clarity and insight into my creative process...

This class was my second Dabble adventure for February. My quest to have diverse experiences this month has led me to some interesting discoveries. The first being, by staying open to so many new experiences, I sorta felt like a tourist or traveler in my own city. That's a cool feeling. It's like the ultimate stay-cation. Think about it, aren't you much more likely to do new things while you're on vacation? I sure am.

That willingness to try new things is something I want to continue developing - it's like muscle, I have to use it often otherwise I'll slide back into my old comfy routines. I want to keep pushing myself because each new experience has made my world that much bigger. By broadening my horizons, even in the slightest of ways, I noticed I wasn't as likely to get stuck in my problems, worries, or the day-to-day.

But the million dollar question - did these diverse experiences make me more creative? Did I have any grand ideas? Drum rolllll.... unfortunately, no. I definitely had more new ideas during January when I focused on meditation, and I think that's where I'll find my creativity. At least for me, to maximize creativity I need to get still and be quiet. I tend to get overwhelmed in new situations and need time to process everything. Even this month, my instincts were to go back home and sit with what I learned. I think that's my path to creativity, guys. Get still.

Funny though, that was the underlying message during the self-reflexology class: listen to yourself and your body. Even the baking class - my favorite part of the class was hearing about Natalie's success as an entrepreneur, how she followed her gut and her passion from selling baked goods at the farmer's market to running her own super adorbs bakery. So if I'm "connecting the dots" of my experiences, as the experts recommend, the dots that stick out in my mind are about listening to your inner guidance, following your passion, and persevering... all of my favorite things! Hmm.

March will be all about the good ol' default creativity method: the brainstorm. I'll be powering through and simply working + creating more. Something tells me March will be much easier than February...

Thanks, Dabble, for making this post possible! Catch up on past Be Creative project posts here.

Image by artsocial.