The Bolder Life: Ringing in the New Year with some Strange Americans


Tyra Sutak

Published on: December 28th, 2012

When it comes to New Year’s Eve plans, I’ve pretty much done it all. I’ve done the house party bit. I’ve made reservations at absurdly over-priced restaurants. I’ve donned the little black dress and strappy heels and shivered my way through the cold, all for a glittery party hat and a complimentary glass of champagne at: an art gallery, a club, a bar, a hotel, a museum, my mother’s house… You name it and I’ve done it; which is why my previous plans for December 31, 2012 included sweat pants, fuzzy slippers and Ryan Seacrest. (Listen… don’t judge me.)

I was perfectly content with my asleep-before-midnight, leftovers-for-dinner, warm-socks-with-comfy-footwear NYE plans, until my friend told me about a local band playing a New Year’s Eve show at the Hi-Dive in Denver—he even sent over a few songs from the band’s debut album, A Royal Battle, to really seal the deal.

That band isthe Strange Americansand they rock; there’s no doubt about it. The 6-piece Denver band classify themselves as Americana—which to me translates to an authentic road band that blends old fashioned honky-tonk music with bits of rock-and-roll all topped off with meaningful lyrics that transcend multiple eras.

I’m a country girl, and this type of alt-country music is kind of my thing.

Listening to the Strange Americans downloadable album this week made me crave a night filled with cowboy boots and Jack Daniels—two things I’ve never worn or drank on New Year’s Eve. I’ve also never rung in a brand new year while dancing along to  live music—so you can see how I was so easily coerced out of my fuzzy slippers funk.

Lately this band has been getting a ton of buzz in the prestigious Denver music scene, and you can expect to hear a mix of music this NYE that will have you and your New Year’s date breaking it down on the dance floor and tightly shuffling along together for an intimate slow dance in between Jack Daniels breaks at the bar.

The guys that make up the band are incredibly talented and genuine and their strong harmonies and appearances by the eerily soulful B-3 electric organ, the harmonica and the mandolin really take their music from really good, to really great.

Tickets are only $8 and are still available for the Strange Americans (featuring Face Man and the Outlet) New Year’s Eve show at the Hi-Dive, but they’re going fast—so dust off your cowboy boots and click this link to buy yours now. Doors open at 8:30 p.m., show starts at 9:30 p.m.

And if you’re plagued by the thought of leaving the Boulder County bubble (I’m not judging), but you look good in cowboy boots, occasionally consume whiskey, and you’re sad that Boulder County doesn’t have a true honky-tonk venue, but you’re really intrigued to hear what a less weathered version of Lucero blended with the unique sounds of a band like the Lumineers resembles—then you’re in luck. The Strange Americans are playing at Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids and Solids in Longmont on Saturday, December 29th. Show starts at 8:00 p.m.

I know, I know—you don’t even have to say it, I already know—and you’re welcome.

Have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve, y’all.

The Bolder Life: The Sweet Life



Tyra Sutak

Published on: December 18th, 2012

Pecan pies, brownies, pumpkin pies, red and green cakes with sprinkles, and those tasty little sugar cookies—all cutesied up like Frosty the Snow Man or Jolly Old Saint Nick. Delicious. I’ve never been one to obsess about sweets, but I can guarantee that when I’m filling up my Christmas-themed plate with juicy turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, and sweet potatoes, topped with mounds of giant marshmallows—the imminent dessert course is always in the back of my mind.

Now baking during the holidays is hard. Baking in general is fairly difficult for me, so I’ve heeded the pleas from, well, pretty much anyone who has tried my baking recently, and I’ve started leaving the holiday baking in the capable hands of my favorite bakeries. Yep, the cat’s out of the bag folks, I’m a crummy baker—you can’t be good at everything. Lately, my go-to bakery that delivers a great product with the authenticity of a home-cooked treat is Sugar Bean BakerySugar Bean is an up-and-coming bakery in the Denver Metro area and they’re serving up just about everything from create-your-own-flavor-combination cupcakes, to specialty cakes, to a slew of cookie, brownie and bar options. Sugar Bean is even whipping up breakfast treats like muffins, scones, coffee cakes and some delightfully gooey cinnamon rolls—all perfect items to have on hand for seasonal guests that will soon be filling your house. The New Year will bring a storefront location in Thorton for Peggy Seubert and Kyndra Aragon, the mother and daughter team that run the bakery, and while the ladies of Sugar Bean Bakery look forward to finishing up construction on their retail location, they continue to stay busy operating their business as real life Sugar Fairies. As long as you’re in the Front Range/Denver area, Sugar Bean will deliver your favorite sweets to you. Just place your order online, and it’s like magic. Before you know it, you’ll be accidently “breaking” sugar cookies (which are unfit to serve) and sneaking tiny bites of flaky crust off of the pecan pie. I’ve even been known to sneak a taste of Sugar Bean’s not-too-sweet frosting off of the side of a cake which usually leads to guilt and me doing my best Martha Stewart impression to try to cover up my crime which typically leads to me make a bigger mess out of the cake. Go ahead and laugh, but don’t act like it’s never happened to you.

So whether you’re a fantastic baker and short on time, or are in the business of pretending like you can actually baked edible goods, give Sugar Bean Bakery a call. They added the perfect touch of sweetness to my Thanksgiving and I’m sure they’ll make you the most popular person at your Christmas table—behind the person that brought the wine, of course!

*Sugar Bean Bakery will be taking orders for Christmas until December 23rd.  

The Bolder Life: In the Know


Tyra Sutak

Published on: December 7th, 2012

There’s a lot going on around the Boulder County area recently. CU’s football program is a disaster—which really isn’t new news, however head coach John Embree was released from his position last week, stirring up some more drama for the team. Mother Nature hates Christmas and is straight up boycotting the holiday by not producing any snow and keeping temps around the 60s. There’s a bunch of professional football players from Australia wandering around in fairly short shorts in Boulder as part of a 2-week high-altitude training.

So much going on. So let’s catch up a little. Here’s what you need to know to be in the know this week:
• It was just announced that G. Love & Special Sauce will be paying a trip to theBoulder Theater on Friday, March 15th. Tickets go on sale on December 14th, and will definitely sell-out quickly. Add it to your calendar.
• Spirit Hound Distillery in Lyons kicked off what they hope to be many, many more years of business last week and are serving up specialty drinks made with house-made vodka, gin and the very lethal Richardo’s Never Clear – Decaf Liquor. Stop into the cozy tasting room this weekend and check them out.
• Oskar Blues is opening yet another business. Seriously guys? We’re still reeling from the last announcement! Keep an eye out for the new CHUBurger burger joint to open in Longmont next year. OB is promising tasty burgers with grass-fed beef from their Hops and Heifers farm as well as frosty shakes made with craft beer.
• The CU Buffs football program is… what it is—but the Buff’s Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams are kicking butt! Both teams are riding high this week after defeating in-state nemesis, the CSU Rams. Tickets prices are increasing and aren’t as easy to come by this season, due to the success of both teams, so check their schedule here, and make sure you catch a game this season.
• Bingo is cool again—well, at least I think so. I’ll be at The Bingo Mine this Saturday with my collection of troll dolls and different colored dobbers trying to win some big bucks while spending some quality time with my family. Sure, you’re laughing now, but I’ll get the last laugh when I steal the $75 grand prize away from an elderly woman by winning a game of black out.

And that is what you need to know to be in the know.

The Bolder Life: Weekend Love


Tyra Sutak

Published on: November 16th, 2012

In Boulder, Christmas comes a little early for foodies, and if you haven’t already plotted out and participated in the first few days of First Bite Boulder, don’t worry—you still have time to fulfill your food fantasies.

First Bite Boulder continues through Saturday, and there’s still time to make reservations. The menu at John’s Restaurant is ridiculous. Laudisio’s is serving up some creamy gnocchi that’s to die for, and chances are you’ll love anything coming out of Colterra’s kitchen! Nearly 50 Boulder (and restaurants in neighboring cities) are participating in First Bite Boulder and offering up three-course menus for $26 per person. It’s really amazing. Be sure to make a reservation, like, yesterday—and ask about special wine pairings!

Other events happening in Boulder County this weekend:

Oskar Blues is celebrating the 10th anniversary of their bustling brewery with a huge party in the Oskar Blues Barn at their Lyons location—the place where is all started. The music line-up includes nationally touring singer-songwriter, the White Buffalo; the Lyons-based Interstate Stash Express, and singer-songwriter, Erik Oftedahl. The music alone is enough get you interested, but OB will also be serving up a collaboration beer with brewing brothers, Ska Brewing. Click here for more info.

Downtown Boulder is Switching on the Holidays on Sunday. Take a trip to the bricks a watch Boulder’s beloved Pearl Street light up the Christmas lights for the first time this season. Listen to the Boulder Chorale, do a little ice skating, and ask St. Nick if you landed yourself on the naughty or nice list this year. Throw in some hot chocolate and you’ll be the epitome of the Christmas Spirit.

Saturday, November 17th marks the last day of the Boulder County Farmers’ Markets. Get out the Boulder and Longmont locations, support local, and stock up on some fresh veggies and supplies for a Thanksgiving feast before it’s too late.

And be sure to do a ton of eating this weekend. Practice makes perfect, and no time like the present to bust out your stretchy eatin’ pants and do a trail run for the big day!

Happy Weekend-ing!

The Bolder Life: Fall Out of the Boulder Bubble

Tyra Sutak

Published on: October 24th, 2012

Sometimes, I feel like the “Boulder Bubble” actually physically exists. I get a little antsy, and my hearts beats a little faster when I approach Boulder city limits. I get lost in neighboring cities. It’s really quite ridiculous. But sometimes, venturing out of one’s comfort zone can lead to some pretty amazing places—places that might just be located just beyond your own backyard and are perfect for spending a fall dat.

Just a stone’s throw from Boulder lays the tiny town of Niwot, and my new favorite place to spend a weekend afternoon. With fall in full swing, the town, named after Arapaho tribal leader Chief Niwot, is a bustling hub for brunch lovers, and coffee sippers, sidewalk strollers and small town loving folks that enjoy a break from city life and the simplicity of small town living.

I recently fell in line with those folks on a crispy, sunny fall day that started with a trip to the Red Wagon Organic Farm (located a few miles south of Niwot), where I snagged some pretty perfect pumpkins straight off the vine. I found a short and chubby pumpkin perfect for carving the CU Buffs logo into to show my support for my team during this difficult, frustrating period of rebuilding…
After getting my farm fix, I moseyed over to Niwot for a private event in which I was able to taste a sampling of the cuisine being offered up by local restaurants. I tasted a roasted pumpkin spaetzle by Niwot Market’s chef, Justin Hirschfield that was nothing short of the perfect combination of creaminess and spices complete with toasted pumpkin seeds. I devoured a juicy Kobe beef slider with horseradish, Havarti cheese and arugula whipped up by the Garden Gate Café, and I cleared my sinuses after eating some flavorful French Vietnamese chicken wings from Trepedda’s. And perhaps the best part of meal was washing everything down with some expertly paired beers from Niwot’s newest craft beer hang out, Bootstrap Brewing.

I had paid Bootstrap a visit a few days after they opened and was pleasantly surprised by the quality product that first time brewery owners Steve and Leslie Kaczeus were pumping out. Now in their 4th month of existence, the crew at Bootstrap, which includes former Pumphouse Brewery brewer, Dave Mentus, has improved their initial line-up of beers and are successfully venturing into the creative specialty brews territory. Recent specialty/seasonal offerings include a merlot-aged Boomer Brown Ale, and Oktoberfestbier, a Mo-Mentus Fresh Hopped Imperial Amber, and my favorite— a pumpkin beer. It isn’t officially fall without a good ol’ pumpkin beer, and the Punkin’ Ale at Bootstrap will definitely hit the spot.

So tear through that Boulder bubble and spend a little time enjoying the remainder of fall in Niwot style.

The Bolder Life: Twirl brings tasty fro-yo to the Boulder community


Tyra Sutak

Published on: September 24th, 2012

Since the frozen yogurt boom of the 1980s, fro-yo shops have become a dime-a-dozen in the United States and seem to hold a pretty constant place in the hearts of Boulderites as shops dedicated to this frozen treat continue to pop up in local business developments and all around the streets of Boulder.

It seems like when it comes to frozen treats, frozen yogurt takes the cake…

But when Twirl opened up their doors in the spring of 2012, they didn’t just open up the doors to yet another frozen yogurt shop in Boulder, they opened up the doors of an inviting community gathering place and they opened up doors of opportunity to local students and teens as well.

Located just a few blocks northwest of Boulder High School, Twirl Boulder – Frozen Yogurt and Beyond, offers a selection self-serve, all-natural frozen yogurt with a kid-in-a-candy-store selection of organic toppings and unlike most other frozen yogurt shops, Twirl also offers lattes and other coffee drinks as well as filling food– for the people, by the people, in the form of comfort menu items like cheeseburger sliders and grilled cheese. Mmm… grilled cheese.

At Twirl, the fro-yo flavors, topping choices, menu items and just about every other decision in the shop are made by members of the Student Advisory Council, a group of students that work closely with the Twirl owners and staff to make Twirl a safe and fun environment, filled with their favorite food items and activities—you know, the kind of place that every parent hopes their kid heads to once the school bell rings.

The community concept of the shop stems from owners Ken and Robin Luff and was developed from a combination of their passion for helping and supporting their community, and the realization that their growing sons lacked a comfortable, fun—yet safe place that they could hang out at after school. The décor of the place is very student-friendly and includes the Purple Lounge which has a TV, X-Box games and a karaoke machine available for use by all and can also be reserved by not only students, but members of the community as well. And the best part? It’s free. Fun really is free at Twirl, and although they aren’t just giving out their fabulous frozen yogurt and food, they are offering super cheap meal deals for students and low prices for everyone else.

And if this place doesn’t already sound pretty awesome, Twirl’s street cred was elevated by making an appearance on a trip to Mt. Everest and the DNC in its short existence. The Twirl flag that made the trek up the highest mountain on earth is framed and proudly hangs in the Twirl lobby—and Robin, a proud Obama supporter, and a group of students hosting a DNC watch party at Twirl were featured on the big screen at the Democratic National Convention earlier this year.

If that isn’t cool, then I guess I just don’t know what cool is.

Stop by Twirl Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and on the weekends from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. And if you’re a student and interested in joining the Student Advisory Council, just stop in and chat with Robin. She’ll give you all the info that you need it’ll be a great excuse to pick up some tasty frozen yogurt.

The Bolder Life: X marks the spot – TEDxBoulder returns for a third year


Tyra Sutak

Published on: September 19th, 2012

Boulder is a city run on innovation, creativity, forward-thinking and a collective desire to create a healthy and happy community for those who inhabit it.

This city has become a mecca for entrepreneurs that pave new paths and solidify Boulder as the ‘it’ place for start-ups and people with trailblazing attitudes.

It truly is amazing and inspiring, and this weekend brings an event back to Boulder that embodies and endorses that exact trailblazing/creative spirit that thrives in the area.

TEDxBoulder is back. This Saturday, September 22nd, TEDxBoulder returns to its digs at Macky Auditorium on the University of Colorado Boulder campus. This year’s theme is “Edges and Experiences” and the list of speakers scheduled for their 20 minutes of fame is top-notch and includes everyone from successful writers, to advertising folks, to firefighters and even a talk by TEDxBoulder organizer, Andrew Hyde. On top of the impressive collection of credentials and accolades attached to this year’s speakers, the third annual TEDxBoulder will also feature live musical performances by a grammy-winning singer songwriter whose work is featured in the hit movie Juno, and a 13-year-old singer songwriter that has already made a name for herself on the main stage at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Impressed yet? How ‘bout intrigued?

If you aren’t familiar with TED, then get familiar here and learn all about the origins and growth of this 28-year-old non-profit “devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading”. TEDx events, such as TEDxBoulder, are independently organized events by the community for the community and have become a melting pot for topics all across the board including but not limited to: technology, entertainment, and design.

Tickets for the main event are still on sale and available here. Doors open at 4 pm, show starts at 5 pm and the event is scheduled to run until 9 pm. Remaining tickets range from $25 to $35 in price depending on the seating location within the venue. No matter which section of the auditorium you end up in, you’ll still be rubbing elbows with somewhere around 2,000 TED enthusiasts throughout the evening.

Since you’ll already be in the area, I suggest an early evening dinner or late night cocktails at Café Aion, located just across the street from Macky Auditorium on the ever entertaining University Hill. You can find their menu here. The place is kind of to-die-for. Super charming, tasty food, and hand-crafted cocktails that will make you forget you’re sitting a stones throw from a campus that has repeatedly found its way on the list of  top ten party schools in the nation.

Don’t pass up this opportunity to get to know TED– you’ll be glad you did.

The Bolder Life: Everybody Homebrews…


Tyra Sutak

Published on: September 5th, 2012

President Obama spoke on the CU Boulder campus on Sunday and made quite an impression on the large crowd that packed themselves together like sardines to hear some hopeful words about the future from the current president. Though Obama has obviously been making more headlines than usual lately, chalked up to the election season, he’s also making headlines for joining the 1,000,000 folks that are estimated to brew their own beer at home. In response to an online petition started on website, the official recipes for two of Obama’s favorite homebrews were released. If there are there are three things you should know about the POTUS, it’s that he supports gay marriage, (which is awesome for my many friends that are truly waiting for equal rights), he’s really forgiving when people spill yogurt on his pants, and he really likes honey. Like, he really likes honey. Obama is putting honey from his wife’s White House garden in Brown Ales, Porters, and Blonde beers.

The word on the street is that although some people are skeptical about some of political promises Obama has made in his time, his homebrews really deliver. Even top U.S. Cicerones have deemed them tasty and avid homebrewers are busy scrambling to re-create the famous recipes.

The good news for us Boulder County folks is that we have a fantastic homebrew supply store right in our backyard.
The Hop to It! homebrew store has always been on my radar, but until my recent purchase of a homebrew kit from their shop, I haven’t really been inside. Now—like many other homebrewers, I’m addicted. While I wasn’t as well received or acknowledged in the store as my male counter-part homebrewers, I was still set up with a decent starter kit and sent on my merry way—encouraged to go forth and join the ranks of local homebrewers everywhere.

So whether you’re so inspired by the President’s homebrew antics, or simply looking to outdo his own personal homebrew, Hop to It! In Boulder is the place to go.

Here’s a print-out of the President’s recently released homebrews.

Print ‘em out. Take them by Hop to It! They’ll fix you up. You’ll be brewing like the President in no time.

C lick here for a link to the recipe and instructions for brewing up The White House Honey Brown, and The White House Honey Porter.

The Bolder Life: The Dating Life


Tyra Sutak

Published on: August 27th, 2012

Dating. Is hard. And unlike a fine wine, it doesn’t get any better with age. Lately I’ve been hitting the dating scene a little harder than usual. I’m mostly in the market for a reliable date to be my plus one at the weddings of all of my engaged friends so I don’t have to deal with the awkward conversation that inevitably comes from the token single guy that gets assigned to sit next to me—the poor token single girl.

Dating takes a lot of patience. I curled my hair, put on deodorant, wore lipstick and only cursed three times on my last date—which I’d say was pretty successful on my end. Aside from watching my language, I also have to tone down the number of times I mention my adorable dog and work hard to stop treating a silent moment in the conversation as a challenge to see who can fill it first.

I might be a little ridiculous as a date, but when it comes to figuring out what to do on the perfect date, I’m not half-bad.

So this one’s dedicated to the token single people at the random guest table hidden in the back of wedding receptions everywhere. May these date ideas provide you with good conversation, and run just long enough to give you an out if you should need one!

Prospect Eats Food Truck Party
I used to be a picky eater, and would only order salad on dates (which can be justified but is kind of a no-no, girls). Now I’m just an indecisive eater and I freeze up when asked what kind of food I’m in the mood for. So—to avoid debating on which restaurant to go to, why not stop by the Prospect Food Truck party on Monday nights? Not only is there a variety of food and a little something for everyone, but it’s outdoors, and there’s live music. And if the date is going exceptionally poorly, there aren’t any walls to stop you from making a beeline for it when your date gets up to use the restroom.

Boulder Outdoor Cinema
This is one of my new favorite things to do in Boulder. Unfortunately, this Friday is the last time you can catch a movie in the parking lot behind the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art in downtown Boulder. This Saturday’s flick is Pulp Fiction—which, unless you date hates Quentin Tarantino movies should work out fairly well and provide some good first date conversation. Grab some food to go from one of downtown Boulder’s tasty restaurants, a six-pack of some good craft beer or a bottle of wine and post up in the parking lot for dinner (and live music) before the show. Be sure to get there early, because the place fills up quickly, and don’t forget to bring your own chair. I mean, how embarrassing would it be if you had to sit on the ground…

Lyons Fork Beer Dinner
The Great American Beer Festival is coming up, and while I wouldn’t recommend attending the festival with a first date, for obvious reasons, I would recommend hitting up local beer events happening at breweries and beer bars near you. This year, the Lyons Fork is hosting a Maui Brewing beer dinner with 5-courses of amazing food expertly paired with craft brews from the Maui Brewing Co. Wear your cutest eating pants because no matter how polite and well-mannered you try to be, the food and beer at this event will be too good to leave sitting at the table.

Farmers’ Market Date
Yes, farmers’ market dates are a little cliché and borderline too cute, but if the date starts to go south, you can always use your newly purchased groceries as an excuse to go home. And if you go to the farmers’ market in old town Louisville, and the date doesn’t suck, you can always keep it going by heading over to Lucky Pie for a tasty cold beverage or make a trip to Sweet Cow if it’s not an appropriate hour to be drinking beer, or if desserts are just more you thing. Either way, farmers’ market dates are a good way to go.

The Bolder Life: Good deed, good karma


Tyra Sutak

Published on: August 22nd, 2012


Volunteering can be fun, and rewarding, and really good for chalking up a few points in the karma column. Becoming an avid volunteer is a lot like finding a good pair of shoes. Sometimes you have try on a few pairs until you find the right fit. And sometimes, the karmic rewards of your good deeds are immediate; like getting a free beer or meal for volunteering your time. Or getting an access pass to a fun festival, free of charge.

The Boulder area has a few fun festivals and events coming up that benefit local non-profit groups and will be a great opportunity to test the volunteer waters and rack up a few good citizen points.

I’ve listed a few upcoming volunteer opportunities below, but keep an eye out for volunteer needs at your favorite events. Couldn’t get festival tickets? Check the volunteer options. Can’t afford it? Check the volunteer options. Who knows, you might even get a free t-shirt out of it, and everyone loves a free t-shirt.

Truck It 2!! Food Truck Party!
August 24 | Gateway Fun Center
Yes! So Boulder jumped on the food truck party bandwagon a few months ago and are back for round two this Friday at the Gateway Fun Center Park in Boulder. Proceeds from all beer sales of this event will be donated to Parenting Place, so even buying a brew will get you a few karma points. However, if you won’t bonus karma points, sign up for the 7-10 p.m. volunteer shift and get your volunteer on while you assist the event organizers and support your community. Word on the street is there might be some instant karmic rewards for those who sign up…

USA Pro Cycling Challenge\
August 20-26th | Colorful Colorado
The USA Pro Challenge is underway and if you’re a huge cycling fan, or just want to see what all of the fuss is about, then sign up to volunteer as a course marshal or help out with other needs of this exciting local bike race. Even if you’re not interested in volunteering, but are intrigued about this race, check out this website. It’s a really fun way to stay up to date on all of the cycling action.

Boulder Creek Hometown Festival
September 1-3 | Downtown Boulder
Just as the Boulder Creek Festival welcomes summer to the Boulder area, the Boulder Creek Hometown Festival is a sign of summers end. This “homey”, local festival is filled with fun for the whole family and is a great way to bid summer farewell at the events beautiful downtown Boulder location. Like the Boulder Creek Fest, this festival draws in a lot of visitors, and volunteers are always needed. Sign up here, and do some good for the community. You were planning on going anyway, right? So why not donate a few hours of your time and help make this festival great.

The Bolder Life: Happiness Is…


Tyra Sutak

Published on: August 16th, 2012


Some people find happiness at the bottom of a giant bowl of triple fudge ice cream. Others define happiness by the amount of extra zeros on their paycheck. For me, happiness is a cool mountain breeze, the taste of a perfectly roasted marshmallow and the feeling you get when you reach the top of whatever mountain you’re trying to climb.

I love Colorado.

I can’t get enough. I load up my car with campfire grub, hiking and biking gear, and some good ol’ canned craft beer and head west on the weekends. Lately, “west” has meant a long and winding drive on I-70 to the Glenwood Springs area. I’m not sure what it is, but I seem to have found my summer in the red canyons of this sulfurous town.

Last weekend, I found myself soaked in water, helping guide a raft down the Shoshone rapids on the Colorado River. Two weekends ago I was on the seat of my mountain bike, Liv, cruising alongside the Colorado River and soaking in the beauty and stories of the majestic canyon walls.

Although it’s about a three-and-a-half hour drive from the Boulder area to Glenwood Springs, it’s totally worth it for a little weekend vacay. For those of you looking to blow the city limits and climb some mountains of your own, I suggest loading up a car and heading to the land of the hot springs. And while you’re there, you should probably check the following places out:

1.) The Hotel Colorado
Whether you’re staying at this (haunted) hotel or not, be sure to at least tour the main floor and check out all of the portraits and stories of the famous guests that have roamed the grounds before you. And while you’re there, grab a seat on the charming outdoor porch for a nice dinner or a wild west-themed cocktail from the bar. The smell of the fresh mountain air mixed with the old-timey, relaxing atmosphere found at dusk is a must-do for your mini-vacay.

2.) Hanging Lake
Nature’s first infinity pool. The trail head for this 1.2 mile hike is found just outside of Glenwood Springs and is well worth the 3 hour round trip hike. Pictures and words can’t even begin to capture the beauty of this National Landmark. After a steep hike through the canyons off of I-70 you are rewarded with a lake with water so clear, pictures taken from above the lake look as if they were shot underwater. It’s exceptional. And there’s also a waterfall—sprouting from the center of a canyon wall. It’s unbelievable. But get there early because the small parking lot at the trail head typically fills up by 8:30 a.m. and the trail becomes inundated with families and tourists willing their  sea-level lungs and shaky legs to get them a glimpse of this scenic wonder.

3.) Glenwood Hot Springs
I feel a little obligated to add this to the list since it’s kind of the main tourist attraction for this city. Swimming at this historic destination has been said to cure what ails you with at least fifteen minerals working in harmony to rejuvenate your mind and body. The Ute Indians were the first people to take advantage of Glenwood Springs healing waters, and now the pool stays jam-packed with visitors looking to gain the same benefits. As with most tourist attractions in this area, get there early to avoid battling major crowds.

4.) Rafting on the Colorado River
For the past twenty-seven years of my life, I’ve been more of a land-dweller and less of a water baby, so when I came across a Living Social deal for some beginner white water rafting offered by the Colorado Adventure Center, I jumped in head first. This is how I found myself sitting in the back of a raft cruising through the cool waters of the Colorado River last weekend. Although I did sign up for the beginner trip, I was hoping for a little more action and little more splashing coming from hardcore rapids and not the clumsy lady struggling to paddle in front of me. The company offers a few different options, including kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding, and this stretch of the river currently offers some of the best water for water babies in Colorado due to the lack of rain across the state.

5.) Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
As we were calmly coasting along an easy stretch of the river, our rafting guide pointed towards the sky to something swaying back and forth over the canyons edge. It turned out to be a swing, full of people that voluntarily got on the Glenwood Canyon Swing ride at the Caverns Adventure Park. Whoa. The hair on my arms stand up just thinking about hanging thousands of feet in the air over the side of a canyon. But if you’re the adventurous type, this ride is must-do. For others, like myself, that like to keep their feet on the ground, check out the cave tours. Not only is it an opportunity to learn the history of Glenwood, but you’ll get some exercise in and also get some killer views of the city as well.

6.) Four Mile Road Camping
On my first visit to Glenwood Springs, I stayed in a hotel and did a little late-night drinking at the Glenwood Canyon Brewing Co. (and other various watering holes around town) before I switched gears and moved on to camping at Turquoise Lake outside of Leadville on my way back to civilization. Last weekend, I arrived in Glenwood, seeking tips from locals on campsites semi-close to town. Turns out—there really aren’t any. But if you’re looking to spend some time in the great outdoors along with partaking in activities found inside of the Glenwood Springs city limits, camping off of Four Mile Road about 45 minutes outside of town is the place to go. Exploring a tip from our rafting guide, we made our way into the mountains and set up camp underneath a sky filled with stars… and an owl’s nest. You win some and you lose some. Nothing beats the way the sleepy sun highlighted every leaf, flower and blade of grass as it climbed its own mountains early the next morning.

**Mini Mountain Vacays are super fun! but traffic on I-70 isn’t! Be sure to plan accordingly and avoid eastbound 1-70 from noon-7:00 p.m. if you can.

The Bolder Life: Friday, Friday, Friday…


Tyra Sutak

Published on: August 10th, 2012

Sing it with me now!

In the words of Rebecca Black, it’s Friday, Friday, Friday—and I think we’re all pretty thankful for that.

With the weekend creeping up around the corner and the end of summer nearing, I’ve already entered warm-weather-is-ending panic mode which naturally mean that I have a Colorado weekend full of rafting, mountains, hiking, beer-drinking and camping planned. I’m leaving cell service behind and heading to the mountains to enjoy the rest of summer to the fullest! I was so excited about my weekend vacay that I’ve already packed up the car, grilled up some campfire grub and filled up the cooler—I—am ready to go. Which means my Friday night just freed up a little!
So I’m gonna paint the town red tonight! Well, I have an early morning, so I’ll probably paint the town more of a pretty pink color, but you get the idea. Here are three places you’ll probably find me this Friday, Friday, Friday…

Boulder Outdoor Cinema
The Boulder Outdoor Cinema exists, which is great, but ridiculous that I just figure out that there’s an outdoor theater in Boulder. Tonight, there’s a true classic showing at the Boulder Outdoor Theater which is located in the lot behind the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. Jurassic Park is playing. I know. You just got so excited! Catch some tunes by 80’s cover band, the Goonies before the show, bring your own comfy seat and snacks, and enjoy a warm summer evening at the movies.

Avery Brewing Co.
At 5:00 p.m. today, Avery is tapping and servings up the 15%er, Mephistopheles. This tasty stout sounds like the perfect way to end the week!

Lucky’s Market Food Truck Friday
Comida and the Sweet Cow food trucks will be at Lucky’s Market from 5:30-7:30 p.m. tonight with live music by Holly and the Husbands on the Lucky’s Market patio. I’ve been craving some Comida comida lately, so you can bet I’ll be at this Friday night party.

The Bolder Life: Food Truck Roundup


Tyra Sutak

Published on: August 7th, 2012

Food trucks are all the rage in Boulder County these days. They’re everywhere. They set up shop in busy office parks during lunch and feed grateful and hungry patrons outside of restaurant-less breweries—they even make special appearances at weddings!

I love food trucks. And the variety and quality of food coming out of these mobile foodie joints continues to fascinate me every day. My favorite thing about food trucks in the Boulder County area, is the fact that they occasionally join forces to form one big, awesome, outdoor “restaurant” with a little something for everyone– including dessert.

I just love it.

So here’s the scoop. Whether they’re rolling solo or traveling in packs, here are a few tips on tracking down your favorite mini restaurant on the move.

1.)    Social Media. Let’s be real—even my pops and my grandma have a Facebook page these days. Follow your favorite food trucks on Facebook and Twitter to find out when they’ll be serving up some delicious grub near you.

2.)    Tap Rooms. I’ve eaten tacos from the Verde Truck at Upslope, grilled cheese from the Bone Wagon truck outside of the Oskar Blues brewery and pizza from theAblaze food truck at Asher Brewing. Food trucks are also pulling up at Bootstrap Brewing in Niwot and Left Hand Brewing in Longmont. Food trucks and tap rooms are a match made in tasty heaven.

3.)    Prospect EatsThe original food truck meet-up. I was first introduced to the world of super friendly food trucks working in unison to provide the fair people of Boulder County with a variety of dinner options last summer when I dragged a friend of mine to a park in Prospect to find out what all of the buzz was about. I ate an appetizer from one truck, dinner from another, and I finished my meal off with a killer cupcake from the Tasterie Truck and some live music on a beautiful Colorado night. Find trucks like Top of the Hill Grillthe Salt Food Box, and the Heirloom Truck every Monday night through the end of September from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Prospect Park.

4.)     Lucky’s MarketLucky’s recently started a little neighborhood gathering on Friday nights outside of their store where they feed hungry folks fresh food from the market and it’s also where you’re likely to find healthy food from the RollinGreens truck as well as tasty desserts from Louisville’s Sweet Cow Moo Mobile. It’s definitely worth checking out this event since some of the hottest local bands are playing there.

5.)    Vista Ridge Food Truck Party & Gunbarrel Commons Food Truck Party.Food trucks are in such high demand these days that they are throwing parties in local neighborhoods bringing a whole new meaning to “delivery food”. Check out the Vista Ridge Food Truck Party in Erie on Tuesday nights and stop by the Gunbarrel Commons Food Truck Party on Wednesday nights. Food trucks really are taking over the world—one neighborhood at a time.

6.) Truck It 2! Not too long ago, Boulder finally jumped on board with the whole food truck party idea and threw a giant bash complete with local craft beer and live music at the Gateway Fun Center in north Boulder. It was such a huge hit that round two is happening on August 24thfrom 4-9 p.m. atthe same location. Enjoy beer from Avery and Twisted Pine. Play a few rounds of putt putt or some volleyball, listen to some live music and nosh on food from the Sesame Seed TruckCrock Spot and the Cheese Louise truck. The first Truck It! event in Boulder was packed, so bring two wheels or walk if you can, because parking will fill up fast!

The Bolder Life: 13th Annual Rocky Mountain Tea Festival


Tyra Sutak

Published on: July 24th, 2012

Shortly after The Bolder Life was born last summer, I got an email from the editor of Yellow Scene asking if I wanted to go to the Rocky Mountain Tea Festival at the Dushanbe Teahouse in Boulder.

“I can get you a media pass, if you’re up for it,” she said.

Although she had me a “media pass” (media passes are always just really fun things to have), I was so intrigued by the fact that I’d been living in Boulder for the past seven years and had never heard of anything like the Tea Festival, that I would have gone anyway.

I was in. My name was added to a list somewhere and I showed up on a bright summer day and took my seat in on the beautiful south patio seated just above a peaceful babbling creek in the heart of downtown Boulder’s bustling Farmers’ Market. The beyond-stunning hand-crafted Teahouse offered cool relief from the hot summer sun and I was quickly served a refreshing cup of tea as I waited for the first in a series of tea-tastic events to start.

Last year, my favorite event at the Rocky Mountain Tea Festival had to be the class hosted by Boulder herbalist, Brigitte Mars. Brigitte not only taught me which types of herbal teas offer the most benefits, but I also learned that if you’re living on a commune and your husband gets bit by a venomous snake, it’s totally cool to break out the vacuum cleaner and use it to suck the venom out. The more you know, right? It was an incredibly interesting session, to say the least, and full of samples of tasty teas.

This year marks the 13th year of the Rocky Mountain Tea Festival, and I’m most excited about the Tea and Cocktails class taught by Teahouse General Manager and exceptional cocktail-crafter, Kassi Tenborg. Kassi is mixing up a selection of tea-infused cocktails that pair perfectly with a warm summer afternoon and the serene décor of the Teahouse. Her Boulder Tangerine Bourbon Sour is kind of to-die-for, and she’s not only ready to show you how to make it during her four o’clock class on Saturday, but she’s also been generous enough to share the recipe!

Other popular classes include Cooking with Tea with Lenny Martinelli—the very passionate and energetic owner of the Dushanbe Teahouse and the rest of the Three Leaf Concepts restaurants.

And if you have a little princess (or prince) at home, be sure to take them to the Mommy and Me Princess Tea Party on Sunday, July 29th. Get your adorable on by dressing up in your Sunday best and enjoying a tea party fit for a princess complete with mini scones, cucumber sandwiches, and of course—tea. Reservations are required be sure to RSVP today!

Click here for a complete schedule and more information on the Rocky Mountain Tea Festival.

Boulder Tangerine Bourbon Sour
1 ½ oz Maker’s Mark Bourbon
1 oz Sour Mix
1 oz Boulder Tangerine Syrup
Rocks Glass
Add ice to rocks glass and add bourbon, sour mix and Boulder Tangerine Simple Syrup. Shake. Pour into rocks glass. Garnish with cherry and orange.

The Bolder Life: The Perfect Summer Day


Tyra Sutak

Published on: June 18th, 2012

It’s rare that I find myself in the middle of one of those perfect summer days; the kind of day that has a seemingly fake backdrop of fluffy white clouds floating in a never ending sky of blue. The kind of day that starts with the sounds of robins chatting outside your window in the morning and ends with a dramatic exit by the sun.

To me, the perfect summer day is an empty square on the calendar. Not having anywhere to be and not having to be anyone opens up a world of possibilities for the day!

Saturday proved to be the best day to experience my perfect summer day. My robin alarm clock went off around 7:00 a.m., and by 8:30 a.m. I was parking Lilly the Jeep at the Chautauqua trailhead. Along with my best friend and sister, I started up the Royal Arch trail and by 9:30 a.m., I was breathing in a stunning view of the city of Boulder (and beyond) and standing eye-level with the one of the famed Flatirons. Happiness. A slight breeze at the top of our trek and a series of photos taken under the picturesque arch that the trail got its name from rewarded us for reaching out destination.
By 10:00 a.m. we were back on the road and I was serenading my passengers with the sound of my starving stomach. A breakfast bagel at Moe’s quieted the growling and a quick cat nap gave my muscles a much needed rest.

Thrifting came next. I made a special trip to Longmont to ‘ohh’ and ‘ahh’ at the amazing vintage finds at Serendipity. If you’re one of those creative types or fancy vintage pieces, then I highly recommend that you make a trip to this store. The selection of well-maintained vintage furniture, historical pieces (they have a huge record collection!), antique jewelry and weathered picture frames are just waiting for you to fix them up, or leave them in all of their charming glory. I was busy looking for cool accessories and decorations for my sister’s upcoming wedding. A huge selection of hand-painted tea cups, lacey tablecloths and vintage wedding jewelry kept my brain spinning with fun ideas. This store is a little tricky to find, but once you get there, you’ll be happy you made the effort!

Dinner was a combination of bbq pork sliders, sweet potato fries, Belgian beers and sunshine on the patio of Rueben’s Burger Bistro.

I finished off my evening with a sweet, but not too sweet gluten-free beer on the patio at Shine Restaurant and Gathering Place.

Cool summer air, total relaxation, tired muscles and a delicious craft beer—what more could you ask for out of your perfect summer day?

Cheers to your perfect summer day!

The Bolder Life: Bootstrap Brewing

July 10, 2012

Tyra Sutak

Published on: July 10th, 2012

I have this friend. We grew up together which is why he trusts me enough not to question me when I text him an address and tell him to meet me at a place he’s never heard of. He either has a really great GPS system or a really good sense of direction because he always shows. Without fail. He waits patiently as I ask a hundred questions about the beer list and he usually approves of whichever beer I finally settle on.

He’s not a total foodie, but he’s always game to try new beers which is why I dragged him along on my first trip to Bootstrap Brewing, the new nanobrewery located in Niwot.

For being only two weeks old, the tiny tasting room located behind the Niwot Tavernand Winot Coffee was pretty packed. The mastermind couple and owners of Bootstrap Brewing were still buzzing around close to the 8 p.m. closing time—chatting with customers and doing some quality control on their product. I was impressed, and a little surprised. Whether it’s the small town love from their community or the fact that they’re putting out some pretty decent beers, it’s pretty clear that this baby brewery has a pretty solid future.

The place is definitely quaint, to say the least. The tasting room has a comfortable, homey vibe and is equipped with fabulous garage-style door that open up creating a much bigger space, and although there isn’t a “patio” per se, there are some places to sit and enjoy your beer outside in the peace and quiet and soak up some of that small town feel that is Niwot, Colorado.

While there isn’t a ton of variety to the beer menu at this point in the game, Bootstrap does have some very palatable beers including two versions of an IPA and a delicious brown ale. (Ever since I tried my first beer, a One Nut (Leroy) Brown from Oskar Blues, I’ve been hooked ever since).

They also currently have a Flagstaff Amber on tap and they’re donating a portion of the proceeds from that beer to the Boulder Wildfire CO-OP. (I don’t even have to say it, you already know how much I love a good cause that involves good craft beer).

And even though this brewery is the new kid on the block, they’ve already figured out the genius of a good food truck/tap room pairing.

I can’t wait to see what their draft list will evolve into.

And if you’re not quite ready to make the trip to Niwot to check out this new gem of a brewery, then get to Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids and Solids on Friday night and check out one of the three Bootstrap brews they’ll be tapping at 4:30 p.m. Grab a pint of the IPA, the Flagstaff Amber or the Boomer Brown and help give BoCo’s newest brewery a friendly, neighborhood welcome!

The Bolder Life: A Little Taste of Sanity


Tyra Sutak

Published on: June 28th, 2012

This week scrambled me up, cooked me in butter, added some salt and pepper and ate me for breakfast.

It’s probably been a pretty stressful week for everyone.

We’ve been glued to our TVs watching wildfires engulf our state. We’ve had cell phones cemented in our hands as we wait for news on loved ones and get word on our own homes. We’ve donated money to the Red Cross and we’ve pulled our cars off to the side of the road to make room for fire trucks with blaring sirens that are racing towards billowing clouds of smoke.

On top of all of that, it’s roasting out. I can’t remember the last time that I didn’t have to apply sunscreen and deodorant multiple times in one day. And of course we all (well most of us) have jobs, and we have to go to them on time and do work during the day. That is by far the most difficult part of the week.

I’ve been counting down the days ‘til the weekend and I’ve been trying to figure out the perfect cure for all of the stress and heat and craziness that have hijacked this week. And I think I’ve figured out just the thing.


Come on, you live in Colorado, don’t act like you don’t use a cold, refreshing, craft beer as a reward/your salvation after a crazy week.

Here’s a list of places that you’ll probably find me enjoying a cold one and toasting to a small glimpse of sanity this weekend.


Oskar Blues Tasty Weasel Tap Room | Longmont
If breweries were like universities, Oskar Blues would be my alma mater. However, my tenure with this company didn’t include the awesome new patio they recently built as an addition to their tasting room. Stop by the brewery this weekend, grab a beer and catch a tour of the place and try to relax a little, huh?!

Bootstrap Brewing | Niwot
I’ve haven’t been yet, but I know that you should go here and check out this week-old nano-brewery. I had plans to go earlier this week, but a fire broke out in my ‘hood, and stuff happens. This place is getting warm welcome right now from the local beer scene and is definitely worth checking out.

Boulder Beer | Boulder
I’m a huge fan of Boulder Beer, and even though I stick to one seasonal beer here (Kinda Blue is the epitome of a summer beer), I still can’t think of a patio that I would rather be on at my worst, sitting in the cool shade and noshing on a plate of nachos. Go here. Make an afternoon out of it.


Left Hand Brewing | Longmont
Left Hand is the place to be on June 29th to catch Grateful Dead cover band, the Dark Star Orchestra, and support the victims of the High Park fire while sipping on one of Left Hand’s tasting beers and snacking on some food. The place is gonna be packed. It’s kind of the place to be tomorrow night.