Friday, May 24, 2013

Our Blog Has Moved!

We've moved our blog to our newly launched website. Check out new posts and all your favorite classic posts at

Monday, May 13, 2013

Eight Survival Techniques That Will Help You During Boulder Startup Week

bswOutdoor survival training has some surprising overlap when it comes to surviving long, action-packed events like Boulder Startup Week, which is taking place this week.  Here's eight survival techniques that can teach us how to make it through the wilds of five days of panel discussions, meetups, and happy hours.

Survival Technique #1: The only person you can ultimately count on is yourself.
Self-reliance is key in the outdoors; no one else will give you the physical stamina, mental fortitude, and common sense necessary to survive. So when making plans, packing, and during those unexpected moments, be prepared to take care of yourself in addition to the needs of any companions you may have.
How It Applies During BSW: No one else -- your boss, your friends, your mommy -- is going to make you get the most out of Boulder Startup Week. It's up to you to show up, learn, engage, and make connections.

smartphoneSurvival Technique #2. Always leave behind detailed plans and timetables with a trusted person.
That way, if you're missing, a search party can be organized sooner rather than later if you don't get back when you expected.
How It Applies During BSW: Planning your schedule is key for maximizing your experience. Download a copy of the BSW schedule of events to your smartphone or tablet and make a game plan for each day. Prioritize the panels and networking opportunities that will help you most achieve your goals (see #4 for more).

Survival Technique #3. Prepare for the contingencies (getting lost or stranded, darkness, weather, illness/injury, etc).
Know how you will cope with unforeseen challenges and have a plan of action for them.
How It Applies During BSW: One of the best things you can do for your physical and mental health during an event like BSW is to intentionally leave yourself some downtime. Whether this means starting 0ut the day with yoga, catching up on some reading, or just digesting all the information from the latest panel, give yourself some time to breathe so you don't become overwhelmed.

Survival Technique #4. Assess your situation as objectively as you can.
Plan your next move carefully: ask yourself questions about your immediate circumstances and make a plan of action in your head. If you're satisfied with that plan, make it happen; if not, give yourself time to think up something better.
How It Applies During BSW: You might actually want to do this step first, which is setting goals for your time at BSW. Are you looking to learn more about certain aspects of startup culture? Does your startup have needs you want to address and find solutions for? Or are you looking to network your way to the perfect partner or angel investor? Clarifying your purpose for attending will help you pinpoint the events that are most crucial to meeting your goals.

Survival Technique #5. Take stock of your supplies and immediate needs.
Keep an eye on your water and food supply. A healthy human being can survive several days without water and several weeks without food.
How It Applies During BSW: There's a lot of alcohol at BSW. Between the pub crawls, happy hours, and dozens of restaurants and bars in the downtown area alone, there are many opportunities to imbibe. If you choose to do so, pace yourself, especially if you are coming from sea level. Regardless of whether you are drinking alcohol or not, drink lots of water. Your body will thank you.

Survival Technique #6. Signal.
Carry a whistle, mirror, and matches to start a fire so you can signal for help.
How It Applies During BSW: Join and contribute to the online conversation of BSW. Whether on your blog, Instagram, or Twitter, it can help you get noticed as well as get your thoughts down on what you are learning. And don't forget the hashtag #BSW13!

Survival Technique #7. Find food.
Bring protein bars and other high-calorie energy food with you. Avoid plants unless you know for a fact that it's edible. If it walks, swims, flies, slithers, or crawls, odds are good it's safe to eat. 
How It Applies During BSW: Food is actually easy to find at BSW, especially free food. Use the time you would have spent searching for food to network with the other attendees who are also there for the free food.

Survival Technique #8. Make fire.
Fire will help you cook, stay warm, and signal for help.
How It Applies During BSW: Attend Ignite Boulder to make friends, learn cool stuff, and get inspired. Seriously, if you only attend one BSW event, make it Ignite.
Now you can go out into the wilderness of Boulder's startup community and use these tools and advice to make it the best time of your life.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Look Back in Time: Victorian Motherhood

Mother's Day is just around the corner, which inspired me to do some digging into what Victorian motherhood was like.

Social Responsibility
Beginning in the early 19th century, motherhood was idealized in American and British cultures. No longer just a reproductive function, it had been elevated to a level infused with symbolic meaning. At the same time on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, motherhood was becoming a social responsibility. Women were being charged with the responsibility of bringing up responsible, educated citizens. In America, this philosophy was later dubbed republican motherhood. And in order to do this, mothers had to be taught the best way to do so. Motherhood was no longer something natural and innate; it was something to be learned. Instructional publications were widely circulated throughout the 19th century which reinforced domestic femininity and a woman's focus on her husband and children and would recommend advice on raising children, proper nursery conditions, and good foods for infants and children.

The Ideal
A Victorian-era woman was expected to marry, a wife was expected to become a mother, and a mother was expected to be constantly present for her children. Marriage marked entry into maturity, but motherhood meant she passed into the world of female fulfillment. An affirmation of her identity, domesticity and motherhood were considered all the spiritual and emotional fulfillment that a Victorian-era woman needed. Even single women without children were encouraged to find work that would fulfill this need by becoming a governess or nursery maid. The same woman for whom the era was named after, Queen Victoria, became a symbol of femininity focused on motherhood, family, and domestic virtue with her brood of nine children.

The Reality
The real experience of motherhood in the Victorian era differed greatly depending on one thing: the mother's class status. Middle-class mothers spent more time with their children, breast-fed their babies more often, and played with and educated their children more than the previous generations of mothers. In industrial cities, high mortality rates were blamed solely on the working women who were not there for their children (even though factors like poor sanitation, overcrowding, and disease were truly the cause). Working mothers were often labelled irresponsible and neglectful even while they struggled with the challenge of balancing the need to work with the demands of home life.

This idealized notion of motherhood waned in the 20th century as Freudianism gained influence. Americans began to see the close-knit bonds of mother and child (particularly sons) as unmanly and what was called "uplifting encouragement" was retermed nagging. And by the 1940s, the idealization of mother was under attack by educators and psychiatrists who believed women should stop seeing themselves as guardians of familial morality, an abrupt about-face from the previous century.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Six Ways to Add Vintage Touches to Your Wedding

Vintage weddings are something we are very familiar with at the Hotel Boulderado. Our hotel opened in 1909 and we have worked very hard over the years to preserve the period nature of the building, including the function spaces where wedding receptions take place. If you are planning a vintage or retro themed wedding, here are six ways to add vintage touches.

Get the theme going as early as your save the date cards and/or invitations. The biggest thing to remember when you add a theme a wedding (or any event) is to keep it consistent. When you say "vintage," do you mean '50s rockabilly? Victorian opulence or steampunk? '60s era glamor, a la Mad Men? Keeping your theme clear, consistent, and omnipresent will help you make decisions along the way. To illustrate, here are three unique invitations that tie back to different "vintage" eras.

When you are deciding on vendors, ask if they can add anything to your theme. For example, does your transportation company offer any fun, vintage alternatives? If you are getting married in the Boulder/Denver area, we recommend Boulder Denver Limousines, who can provide a Rolls Royce dating back to 1939 on your special day. Another fun retro transportation option is a VW bus, especially if it can be decked out in "Just Married" writing and tin cans.

Dress You Up in My Love
Outfits are one of the most visible ways to bring retro into a wedding. It could be just the bride and groom, or the whole wedding party. For lots of extra fun, you could even request your guests get in on the vintage vibe with their attire.

Hair, Makeup, and More
Another very visible way to add vintage flair to your wedding is through the bride's hair, makeup, and accessories.Again, keep consistent with your chosen vintage era. Cat-eye eyeliner and lush red lipstick would be fabulous for a '50s era bride. Cameo jewelry would be a great touch for a Downton Abbey-inspired wedding.

Wedding (Cup)Cakes, Brownie Pops, and Candy, Oh My!
Every wedding cake is as unique as the couple who chooses it. And some couples are so unique they don't even choose a cake. Here's four examples of how you can bring a vintage flair to your wedding cake -- even if the "cake" is really cupcakes, brownie pops, or a candy station.

Table Settings 
 If everyone is sitting down to dinner at your vintage-inspired wedding reception, try bringing your era straight to the table. This can be accomplished with your floral centerpieces, accents, and even the flatware and silverware your guests will be eating off of.