A grip-and-grin with Pam Grier. Valentine's night just for the girls. When it comes to putting together the hottest ladies-only parties in town, Hip Chicks Out is unrivaled. Get on the website's mailing list to find out what saucy events are coming up, then dress to impress and hit the town. You'll never even miss the boys.
Robin Lohre's Miss Talulah's and Talulah Jones boutiques are wildly popular, thanks to their ever-changing merchandise. And now the same cool stuff is available without ever leaving the comfort of your own home. Log on to talulahonline.com and shop for embellished satin handbags, embroidered cuff bracelets, eyeleted baby frocks, wooden pull toys, knitted smiling-lion pillows and more. And all without changing out of your pajamas.
Pets. We love them, but we don't love their detritus. The clumps and snowstorms of freshly shed hair, the naptime drool, the secret spraying spots. Luckily, the furniture in Amy McCawley's Livable Home Store makes the mess less permanent. Everything comes with stain-, soil- and odor-resistant upholstery that looks at home in any decor. Good dog.
Best Friends has the perfect solution to bored Rover's lack of a backyard view. The PetPeek is a hard plastic dome that, with a little basic woodcraft, fits into a privacy fence and allows your mutt a safe, enclosed-bubble glimpse of the world beyond. Demand has been so strong that the company, a local mail-order operation, is now taking orders months in advance.
Firehouse Animal Health Center
When Firehouse Animal Health Center opened in the old Firehouse Car Wash, it brought high-end veterinary service to an area with money to burn and dogs to pamper. Head vets Jed Rogers and Beth Spencer drew in customers with high-tech equipment, warm bedside manners, mod furniture in the waiting room, original art on the walls, a client rewards program, charitable donations, fresh coffee and the motto "You wish your health care was this good." And last year, Rogers started building an empire around his concept, buying Colfax Avenue mainstays All Creatures Animal Hospital and Colfax East Animal Hospital, as well as a facility in Ken Caryl; he's also planning a new practice in Park Hill. Here's to world domination.
Tender Touch Animal Hospital is known for its routine well care, but the staff also excels at easing the pain of loss. The hospital's private "comfort room" is furnished with a sofa, chair and rugs in soothing shades of eggplant and sage, candles, a water cooler and tissues for terminal-patient visits and euthanasia. Grief support and counseling referrals are also available, as well as cremation, urn selection and complimentary commemorative paw-print castings and angel ornaments to honor your dearly departed four-legged friends.
Birdsall & Co
You can get your compost and beefsteak tomato plants at any of the big-box stores, but when it comes to quality tools, trellises, decorations and fountains -- the kind of thing that transforms an amateur's backyard plot to a horticulturalist's refuge -- Birdsall has the goods. Decorative pottery, fancy rakes and snips, lanterns and statuary, the right mix of greenery and more can be found in the showroom and throughout the adjoining grounds, much of it arranged to inspire visitors to get cracking as soon as winter's glaciers recede.
Soon after the zombie hordes of mailbox- and trash-can-pilfering meth addicts descended on our city, everyone had to rush out and buy a paper shredder. Sadly, the sheer volume of credit-card offers alone was enough to burn out the motor of the cheapest model. Tossing a dead shredder into the garbage is not an option. That little machine saved you from thousand of dollars and many tearful days of having to repair your credit report; it deserves better. It deserves the recycling services of Action Recycling. In addition to accepting the usual recyclables, the full-scale center also accepts metal, computers, electronics and batteries. Trust their dedication in proper handling, and feel good about doing your part to make the world a better place.
If you were too busy raiding panties and packing phone booths to pay attention to that tweedy professor half a century ago, here's your second chance. DU's VIVA (Vibrant Intellectually Vigorous Adults) program is for true seniors -- those 55 and older who want to keep using their noggin rather than hit the shuffleboard courts. A reasonable registration fee gains access to as many classes as a student can handle, on subjects ranging from Hemingway's stories, opera and the cinema of the McCarthy era to the legacy of 9/11 and African genocide -- meaty stuff, not the gruel served up by the usual adult-ed classes. Let's hear it for mens sana in corpore sano, even if the joints are beginning to creak a bit.
As college administrators around the country struggle to combat binge drinking, one student group at the University of Colorado at Boulder has a brilliant idea: Keep students from killing themselves by providing trained EMTs at parties. "I just thought it would be great if college kids could party the way they wanted to, but if something happened there would be someone there to deal with it," says Anthony Rossi, a former CU student who developed Student Emergency Medical Services in 2004. SEMS now has about fifty members, staffs all of CU's sorority parties, is making progress with secretive, reclusive frat brothers and has even branched out to other schools. A sensible approach to college drinking? Imagine that.

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