Article written by Kristin Kleimann
If you’ve ever noticed the building located at 1776 S. Jackson Street, just off Colorado Boulevard and Mexico Avenue, you might have assumed it was an apartment building. In actuality, the Executive Club office building happens to house the longest functioning pilates studio in Denver, Pilates Esstentia: in business since the 1980s and in this location since 1991. In 2015, Peace of Mind Pilates moved to share the same space.
Sabra Blacklock of Pilates Essentia, and Marisa Oldefest of Peace of Mind Pilates, are the two women business owners behind the cooperating pilates studios. Marisa and Sabra first worked together several years ago when Marisa taught at Sabra’s Pilates Essentia studio. After a break for Marisa to raise her family and begin the Peace of Mind Pilates home studio, the two joined forces to work again collaboratively in one convenient location.
The shared studio houses a varied range of pilates equipment including two Cadillacs, three chairs, five reformers, five spine corrector barrels and one high carrel. The back of the studio includes space for mat classes.
Of course, it is these caring and passionate women business owners, Sabra and Marisa, who are key to the longevity, success, and devoted client following behind the boutique studio.
“Sabra is a master teacher who is able to not only teach the fundamentals, but can also address specific issues. She is AWESOME.” - Client Testimonial
Sabra Blacklock has over 27 years of pilates experience. She was trained in the Fletcher Pilates Method by Ron Fletcher and studied and worked at his studio in Los Angeles as a pilates apprentice. She is a certified Pilates Method Alliance Certified Pilates Teacher and Senior Professional Fletcher Pilates Teacher. She was also a part of a trio of women who put together the original teacher training for the Fletcher Pilates Company.
Sabra combines pilates with neurological and pain management elements with a goal to help clients get back to living life free of chronic pain. As she explains, “Our focus is around the education piece: how your body is supposed to be functioning, how it IS functioning, and bridging the gap to get clients to an optimal place.”
“I have taken Pilates with Marisa for over 11 years. When I first started, I had no idea what Pilates was, much less the benefits that would be gained. I was only looking for help for my balance and health. With Marisa's patient teaching and guidance, I have knees that keep working and balance to my body. Even though I am facing knee replacement surgery, my knees have gone on working better than the doctors have believed. I know that having Pilates has helped me build up my knees for the surgery and it will help in a quick recovery.”- Client Testimonial
Marisa is a Pilates Method Alliance Certified Pilates Teacher, Qualified Fletcher Pilates Teacher, Certified Massage Therapist, Certified Aroma Touch Technique Practitioner and a trained ballet and modern dancer. She has been teaching Pilates for over 20 years. Her focus is making pilates accessible to all age ranges (from teens to seniors) as well as pilates for pain management. As Marisa explains, “While we offer classes for all ages and fitness levels, our specialty really is working with injured clients and helping them get back to their fitness goals in a safe way. Our clients tend to stick around, and that speaks for itself.”
Classes and Staff
The boutique studio offers the best in Fletcher Pilates Method instruction. Classes run for 55 minutes and you can choose between mat or equipment classes. They also offer groups classes, duet classes, and private sessions.
“In 10 sessions you will feel the difference. In 20 you will see the difference. And in 30 you will be on your way to having a whole new body.” -Joseph Pilates
The studio staff are very experienced and combined, offer nearly 90 years of pilates experience.
On the third Thursdays of the month the studio hosts a “Pilates and Pinot” event where you can come participate in pilates and enjoy a glass of pinot after. Once the weather warms, the studio will be hosting a “Pilates in the Park” event which will be a pop-up mat class in either Observatory Park or Dinosaur Park on Mondays at 12:30pm.
Sabra and Marisa look forward to helping you use pilates to change your body, mind, and spirit!
Website: Check www.peaceofmindpilates.com for exact dates and times and to schedule a session. They are currently offering specials for new clients.
Location: 1776 S. Jackson Street, Unit 100. Denver, CO 80210
If so, meet your neighbor and “Dirty Paws” owner, Becky Luke.
Article written by Kristin Kleiman-Duggan
Becky Luke loves animals ---- all animals. She grew up on a ranch on the Western Slope and has been around many different animals all her life. It is no surprise that in May 2017, she started “Dirty Paws,” a pet care business that allows her to combine business with her passion for animals.
“We love them when you have to leave them.” -Dirty Paws
Through Dirty Paws, Becky offers many services from daily pet walking to full service overnight pet sitting. As Becky points out, “Our pets prefer being in their own homes as it makes them happier and less stressed.” Becky is comfortable administering medication, including insulin and pills and caring for older pets with special needs. While Becky mainly cares for dogs and cats--and some chickens--she’s has experience with other larger animals, like horses, cows, and pigs. She says she is a “stickler for providing fresh water, to keep pets hydrated and happy.” If she stays in your home, she also can bring in your mail, shovel your walk, and water your plants. She really does mean full service.
Becky provides her services to our local neighborhoods including Bonnie Brae, University and Observatory Park, Cherry Creek, Wash Park, and Cherry Hills. As a 20-year resident of Wash Park, some of Becky’s favorite places to take your canine companions on walks are in and around the neighborhood, including to Wash Park and the Highline Canal. Becky offers personalized and devoted attention to both her human and animal clients, so she does not mix different client’s animals. When she is with your pet, she is with your pet.
Dirty Paws has received top reviews on Yelp, Google, and through their testimonials:
Becky was so great with our babies! She house-sat for us while we went on a long weekend trip! Our girls were very happy to have her! I think she took better care of them than we do :) She sent us pictures and texts to us giving us updates on them, which is an added bonus! I highly recommend her...She loves our babies as much as we do!
Becky From Dirty Paws watched our very energetic dog, Oakley, who is 2 1/2 years old recently for 5 days. She did an amazing job! We loved how she had a checklist of questions and wrote notes when she came over to meet Oakley. Every day we got different pictures of her walking Oakley. She also watered our flowers and brought in the mail. It made it so much easier to leave our crazy boy knowing she was there to take care of him. Her heart is in the right place and she is so responsible. I highly recommend Dirty Paws!
What more could you or your pet ask for?
To contact Becky and Dirty Paws and for more information, please visit:
Dirty Paws, Becky Luke, 303.913.2544
Happy hearts and happy faces,
Happy play in grassy places --
That was how in ancient ages,
Children grew to kings and sages.
(Robert Louis Stevenson)
On a rare, cool, grey, school day in September, I arrived to interview Helen Andresen, the owner of Iliff Preschool, Kindergarten, and School-Age Summer Camp. I was warmly greeted and given a comprehensive tour of the homey space. I was immediately struck and thrilled by the vast amount of unique outdoor play space. Eight separate age-appropriate playgrounds reflect the overall philosophy that the outdoor classroom is just as important as the indoor classroom for learning. Nearly every classroom is immediately open to the classroom playground so children can move seamlessly between in and outdoor space to explore, discover, and learn. These spaces are referred to as Outdoor Learning Labs.
A main goal is for the children to be outside as much as possible.
Research indicates that children who play outside are “smarter, happier, more attentive, and less anxious” than children who spend more time indoors. Other studies related to the benefits of children being outdoors include building confidence, promoting creativity and imagination, teaching responsibility, providing different stimulation, getting children moving, making children think, and reducing stress and fatigue. (www.childmind.org)
Iliff staff guide children in the Outdoor Learning Labs to use the environment as a place of learning and experimentation. The children and staff
The Iliff Preschool, Kindergarten, and Summer Camp was established in 1963. The overall educational philosophy is a blended one of play-based, Montessori, Reggio Emilia, natural influences, experiential, integrated curriculum and projects, learning by doing, whole child focused, embedded curriculum standards, and an overall “have fun” philosophy.
With a low student to staff ratio and open enrollment year-round,
eight different classrooms accommodate
Families love the school for many reasons including integrated instructional strategies, a focus on music, art, STEM, yoga, and dance.
As Helen Andresen summed, the school was “built on love and desire for the good of the community.” When you visit the school and see all the happy hearts and happy faces; you can’t help but conclude, she has achieved and surpassed her objective. This school is magical.
For more information, please visit www.iliffpreschool.com
Iliff Preschool, Kindergarten, and School-Age Summer Camp
4140 E. Iliff Avenue
Denver, Colorado 80222
This article was written by Kristin Kleimann and was published in the December 2017 issue of "Life in the Park" magazine for the University Park, Denver neighborhood.
“Our goal is to design and install spectacular kitchens and baths. When we do that, everything else falls into place.”
–Lewis Snyder (President of JM Kitchen & Bath)
That’s a pretty tall order from Lewis Snyder, a Colorado native and owner. But JM Kitchen & Bath- at 2324 S. Colorado Boulevard- has been doing exactly that for the past 41 years. As a full-service kitchen and bath dealer, they’ve been a part of the University Park neighborhood for the past 10 years and may well have designed one of your neighbor’s kitchens or baths.
JM Kitchen and Baths has won numerous awards, including:
Part of the secret of their success is that JM designers average 20 years of experience and can work within any budget. And they have one-stop shopping where homeowners, designers, architects, and real estate professionals can look through samples of cabinets, countertops, flooring, appliances, and more, all during one free consultation. The University Park location, one of two, also has 8 different kitchen displays so you can see how the whole design can come together.
JM Kitchen & Bath features the top brands you would expect from such a well-recognized company. They feature Sub-Zero, Wolf, Kitchen Aid, Whirlpool, Asko, Sharp, and other appliances to help you cook to perfection. Their cabinet lines include Crystal, Omega, Homestead, Homecrest, and Urban Effects. And you can top your cabinets with granite, quartz, Corian, laminate, metal, glass, tile, and other countertops.
“I don't think I will be able to move from my house now because I have never seen a kitchen I like as well. Many people have said that it is the most beautiful kitchen they have ever seen.” –Client Houzz Review
Are you are looking to start a kitchen or bath project? If so, please come in and check out their showroom today. Their services include: kitchen and bathroom design and remodeling, semi- custom and custom cabinets, professionally measured, fabricated and installed countertops, professionally produced floorplans, color elevations and perspectives produced on CAD computers, lighting design and installation, tile design and installation. In addition, they offer project management, storage, and delivery of their products. JM Kitchen & Bath provides some of the country’s leading brands of cabinetry, countertops, appliances, tile, and lighting. They can install these products, if you wish, and offer cabinet and product storage until you need everything, along with professional delivery. Most importantly, your new kitchen will be beautiful and functional. That’s been their goal for over 40 years.
You can visit and JM Kitchen & Bath at:
2324 S. Colorado Boulevard
Denver, Colorado 80222
This article was written by Kristin Kleimann and appeared in a past issue of "Life in the Park" magazine.
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