November 2016

8 Expert Pie and Beer Combinations
5280 Magazine – November 2016

Could there be anything better than the profusion of pies at Thanksgiving? We’re glad you asked, because it turns out that craft brews and pie can be symbiotic dessert partners: Beer has residual sugars that often pair better with seasonal slices than most wines. “In pie and beer pairings, take into account three things: harmonies, flavor elements, and intensity,” says Julia Herz, craft beer program director at the Boulder-based Brewers Association. What does all that mean? Similar flavors in the pie and beer result in harmony. Fruit or floral notes in an IPA would work well with a fruit pie; a nutty brown ale would pair best with a nut or spice pie. Flavor elements are factors of taste that include aroma and mouthfeel. Intensity means the richness of the pie and the alcohol content in the beer.

Soak, Explore, Repeat
5280 Magazine – November 2016

This summer, Colorado’s tourism gurus designated a 720-mile circuit of 19 naturally heated soaking spots as the Historic Hot Springs Loop. Of course, nothing goes better with hot than, well, cold. To that end, we’ve put together five hot springs and winter adventure combinations in some of our favorite locations.

Why is Blue Apron single-shaming me? Meal kits don’t work for solo chefs.
The Washington Post’s Solo-ish – Nov 1

The plastic containers of meals, such as steak frites and coconut-poached fish with bok choy fried rice, are piling up in my fridge, and they are a little too fancy to pack for work lunches, where they would suffer the fate of the microwave.

Oscar Watch: La La Land’s Director Damien Chazelle & Star Emma Stone on Their Moving Musical
The Credits/Where to Watch – Nov. 7

Oscar-nominated writer/director Damien Chazelle set out to make a genre film with La La Land. Inspired by classic song-and-dance movies such as Singin’ in the Rain and Swing Time, he wanted to create an old-fashioned musical but “keep it grounded” in realism and contemporary Los Angeles.

How Arrival’s Production Designer Created an Alien Language
The Credits/Where to Watch – Nov. 7

Oscar-nominated production designer Patrice Vermette was tasked with creating an alien language for the new movie Arrival — and although he started by studying the languages used in other films about alien invasion, he ended up “reverse engineering” the language that Amy Adams uses to communicate with the invaders in the new film (in theaters Nov. 10). Vermette took a feelings-first approach to crafting the alien language by thinking about what it said to the audience without words.

From Storyboard to Screen: Behind the Scenes of Disney’s Moana
The Credits/Where to Watch – Nov. 21

Disney is in on the joke about “princess movies” in the new animated feature Moana (in theaters Nov. 23). In the film, a road trip by sea in which a young Polynesian woman named Moana leaves her island home to find the demi-god Maui and return a lost object to its right home, there is more than one joke about the title character’s princess credentials.

Women Afield: My First Pheasant Hunt
Colorado Outdoors Online – November 16

The first time in my life I’ve held a shotgun is also the first time I’ve hunted. On a cold and clear morning in November, I joined thirteen other women for a Women Afield pheasant hunt organized by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

October 2016

One of my articles this month made a grown man cry. I’ll just let you guess which one it is.

Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail didn’t cure my depression—but it did change my life
Quartz – Oct. 5, 2016

For five minutes late on a Friday afternoon, I was completely lost somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. I could not see or hear my friend Ruth, who should have been just behind me on the other side of the ridge. Or the ridge before that. I had crossed a lot of such ridges, thinking I would catch sight of the lake just over the next one.

A (Road) Trip Back in Time
5280 Magazine – October issue

With all the new construction in Denver, it’s easy to forget that Coloradans find value in old things, too. There’s no better time to remember than this month, which marks the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act and the creation of the National Register of Historic Places. (Locations designated as historic places are eligible for preservation grants and tax credits.) The register lists notable sites such as Pikes Peak and the Stanley Hotel plus many lesser-known—and thus, less crowded—landmarks worth a visit. We’ve sifted through more than 1,500 Colorado properties and districts and charted your four-stop journey through the past—no DeLorean necessary.

5 Local Beers to Seek Out at GABF – Oct. 6, 2016

The Great American Beer Festival is once again upon us, running from October 6 to 8 in downtown Denver. As you walk inside the Colorado Convention Center, pretzels draped around your neck, you might be awestruck and even overwhelmed by all the boozy options that await you—more than 3,500 brews, to be exact.

Assumption: is not user friendly

Problem statement: Users need better navigation on in order to increase attendance

Who uses

  • Tech curious, early(ish) adopter
  • Reads Wired, NYT, keeps up on some tech theory
  • Not a browser; looking for something specific quickly
  • Job seeker or career climber
  • Uses tech/software/internet in daily work



  • Problem: navigation, finding specific courses, hard to/understand find tracks
  • Observed while watching use: a lot of scrolling, “where did that drop down come from”
  • Possible solution: key on same page


  • Used to apply for sponsorship, couldn’t check status of application
  • Site didn’t recognize her (no history)
  • “Nearly impossible to find anything” 

2016 website (UX/UI Design by Guiceworks):

screenshot-2016-09-22-at-7-21-17-am screenshot-2016-09-22-at-7-21-35-am menu

Lo-fi Prototypes:

Airline customer service experience

Client: Hypothetical
Student exercise at General Assembly User Experience Design Bootcamp (October 2016)
Teacher: Amara Hulslander,

Users: Frequent travelers
Persona: “Frequent but harried traveler”
Travels 6-12 times per year divided between business and personal reasons 25-35 years old
Lives in or near city
Employed FT
Has had bad customer service interaction(s)
May have rewards program through work
Lacks time – expects to find information fast
Wants to control own schedule



  • Most recent flight (DIA to Seattle via Delta): Good experience because of minimal interaction with airline
  • Avoided customer service
  • Checked in online
  • Most recent bad flight experience (DIA to Nicaragua via United): Flight canceled
  • Waited in line at customer service desk, received no explanation
  • Could not get through to customer service phone line


  • Most recent flight (DIA to Arkansas via United): Chose airline because of points program through work
  • Made reservation on website in order to better compare flights/price
  • But used app at airport after checking in
  • Frustrated by having to use multiple tools to accomplish one task

Problem statement: Regular traveler needs a way to interact with customer service with minimal frustration because s/he is currently avoiding customer service interaction.

Assumption: Lack of communication prevents Regular Traveler from becoming a loyal, repeat airline customer.

Flow chart:


Original wireframes (used Marvel App):

Client: Ruth Moon (the bride)
Provided content, design notes

Users: Primarily invited wedding guests
URL included on wedding invitations

Problem: Users need an easy way to RSVP so that they will do so ASAP.

Original wireframes (using Balsamiq and Marvel):




Client feedback: Different fonts, images, one information page

Final features: 3 pages total; countdown clock (JavaScript snippet); embedded Google map; links to registries, transportation and hotel information; RSVP form using Mailchimp; personalized Favicon; fully responsive


September 2016

This month I started a new job. Survived a painful anniversary…and a robbery (not on the same day thankfully). Saved my cat (slight dramatization – but he was sick). Bought a car. Added a couple new writing outlets to my portfolio (Thrillist is below and stay tuned next month). Yeah, tough month.

I also wrote about You’re The Worst for Buzzfeed Community and Angry Birds for LinkedIn. And started writing about (and taking photos of) state parks for the Colorado Outdoors blog.

Jonás Cuarón Talks About his Savagely Intense Film Desierto
The Credits – Sept. 28

Desierto, Mexico’s official submission as Best Foreign Language Film to the next Academy Awards, doesn’t seem a likely inspiration for Gravity, which won seven Oscars in 2014. But when young filmmaker Jonás Cuarón showed the first draft of the script to his father Alfonso nearly 10 years ago, the elder Cuarón said he wanted to make a movie like it — in space.

What Learning to Backpack Taught Me About Colorado
Thrillist – Sept. 21

Growing up in the Great Plains, my only exposure to camping involved an RV. When I moved to Colorado in 2014, I didn’t have a closet full of old gear like the natives, and my family doesn’t do hand-me-down tents. All I had was a copy of Cheryl Strayed’s Wild and determination not to let my new location on the Front Range go to waste.

What Are Denver’s Booziest Neighborhoods? – Sept. 14

Alcohol delivery service Drizly launched in Denver in 2014, and since then it’s been gathering some fascinating data on our residents’ unique tastes in booze. It should come as no surprise that the 80202 zip code—which includes the central business district, LoDo, and Riverfront Park—is Denver’s “thirstiest” area, year-to-date, according to Drizly. But this downtown locale also tops out all zip codes serviced by the app, including ones in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, and Washington, D.C.

In today’s pop culture, men with scars are sexy. But women are still expected to look perfect.
The Washington Post Solo-ish – Sept. 1

If Romeo were around today, he would be heavily scarred on his back or chest. Juliet would wax poetic about these signs of his strength and bravery.

August 2016

Writing from the depression beat this month. I think this first clip helped some people and the second was a little bit of public processing I probably wouldn’t do again.

What I Needed From the Church During My Depression
Christianity Today’s Her.meneutics – August 3

Speaking at the Democratic National Convention last week, the singer Demi Lovato took advantage of the powerful platform to advocate for mental health care in America. “Like millions of Americans, I am living with mental illness,” she said. “Too many Americans from all walks of life don’t get help, either because they fear the stigma or they cannot afford treatment.”

My Boyfriend Dumped Me Over My Depression, And I’m Better Off
Thought Catalog – August 19
My Boyfriend Dumped Me Because He Didn’t Believe My Depression Would Get Better
The Mighty – August 24

In every therapist’s or doctor’s office I’ve ever been in, one of the questions I am asked as part of my assessment is whether I have a significant other and how that person handles my depression. “That’s often one of the biggest stressors,” my doctor once said, congratulating me on not having a boyfriend. “Someone putting pressure on you to feel better.”

She didn’t mention the stress of knowing someone doesn’t believe you can feel better.

July 2016

This month I also published a piece in a prominent women’s magazine under a pen name. Alas, for legal reasons, that is the only clue I can give you.

I also contributed a book to this list of 10 Books Worth Reading This Summer. I have since read the book and can’t quite recommend it for the reasons I was first interested.

We asked each other 36 questions to fall in love. Then we broke up.
The Washington Post Solo-ish – July 27

Our first weekend as a couple, my boyfriend and I asked each other those 36 questions to fall in love, which appeared in a New York Times Modern Love column last year. We’d been friends for years and were giving things a shot, romantically.

8 Refreshing Summer Cocktails to Try
5280 – July 27, 2016

From spicy margs to tiki-inspired sippers, these are the drinks of the season.

Social media campaign examples

As a freelance social media consultant, I provide strategy guidance, platform maintenance, and basic analytics reporting. My focus is Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. My experience includes managing a high-profile public figure’s social media brand; contributing to social content distribution and strategy at a political think tank; writing and implementing a complete social media strategy for a national law firm including individual coaching for attorneys; and creating a book launch social media campaign for a publishing company. Here are a few examples of my digital experience and work on social media campaigns:

  1. The Hill – full time, 2011-13
  • Covered politicians using social media, including innovation during 2012 presidential campaigns
  • Live blogged breaking news on Twitter on a daily basis and during presidential debates
  • Worked closely with political and media teams at Facebook and Twitter
  • Regularly broke news on Twitter
  • Launched and wrote weekly Q&As with members of Congress on their use of Twitter

twitter pinning

Figure 1 Feature cover story on Ann Romney’s use of Pinterest

Figure 2 Created and managed a beat focused on how politicians use social media


  1. The Heritage Foundation/The Daily Signal – full time contract employee, 2013-14
  • Managed and ghostwrote think tank president’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts
  • Engaged in content on reddit, StumbleUpon
  • Used tools such as,, Google Analytics
  • Repurposed and distributed content on organization’s social media including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Tumblr as well as website and WordPress microsite
  • Live tweeted and blogged about events
  • Wrote marketing copy using market research, SEO principles
  • Managed Facebook Q&A with think tank president
  • Supported book launch for Sen. Jim DeMint’s book “Falling In Love With America Again,” including contributing to strategy and writing social media marketing copy before and after launch
  • Supported launch and wrote copy for “The Daily Signal” spin-off news analysis site, including contributing to marketing launch and branding strategy

tweetie pinterest

Figure 1 Accepting a Tweetie award from Twitter for best digital campaign

Figure 2 Earned national media attention in Jezebel for unique Pinterest campaign


  1. Tyndale Publishing House/NavPress imprint – freelance, 2016
  • Designed social media campaign strategy to correspond with book launch
  • Provided recommended content, timeline, incentives and market research


navpress bev

Book launch campaign including parameters, action items and content/graphics recommendations


  1. Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck – full time, 2014-present
  • Overhauled firm social media strategy on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, including writing firm wide social media guidelines with input from legal counsel
  • Designed graded Twitter “audits” and provided one-on-one coaching to attorneys
  • Managed firm Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts

grading onepager

Figure 1 Social media guidelines “one-pager”

Figure 2 Criteria for Twitter best practices

May 2016

Your Mountain Drinking Passport – May 30, 2016

We all know by now that the mountains aren’t just for skiing. Now, a new program called Elevated Libations aims to further broaden the horizons of slope junkies and tourists alike by showcasing the unique experiences offered at mountain-town bars.

Why Adult Coloring Works for Christians
Christianity Today’s Her.meneutics – May 23, 2016

Last year, sales of coloring books in the US shot up from 1 million to 12 million units. The sales spike quickly prompted a slew of articles asking whether our culture is collectively stressed out and/or reverting to childhood hobbies. I, too, mocked the trend right up until I started coloring this year as a therapy tool and discovered that it settles my mind and helps me focus.

5 Cocktails for Cinco de Mayo – May 3, 2016

Even if you have no real reason to celebrate the Mexican army’s underdog victory over French wanna-be colonists on May 5, 1962, Cinco de Mayo is still a great excuse to experience Denver’s tequila scene. Here, five agave-focused libations to get your party started. Bonus: Balance out all the drinking with tacos—check out our list of Denver’s 52 Top Tacos for some inspiration.