Friday, August 22, 2014

toy storage

I saw this photo on Chris Rann's instagram and thought it looked like a pretty cool space. But what caught my eye the most was the toy storage. I love how there are colorful wooden toys housed in some open shelving, showcasing them rather than hiding them away. I thought it was a great idea as a way to organize toys. Unfortunately, so many toys these days are big, bright, ugly, and plastic. But for the beautiful wooden toys, this is the way to "store" them.

Look for more about the house this space is in next Wednesday ... it's a vacation rental in Marfa, Texas.

We are headed back to Denver today. We had a great time in Durango and being there for over a week really allowed us to get settled. I got a lot of work done, too ... in case you didn't hear, last weekend I launched my redesigned REMEMBER the day website. In honor of the occasion I am offering 25% off with the coupon code NEWSITE25. Head over to my newly redesigned website, check it out, and let me know what you think.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

burgers at james ranch

James Ranch is a magical place. Located in the Animas River Valley north of Durango, the setting is as gorgeous as it gets. The Ranch is a family-run, 400 acre, high altitude ranch with irrigated pastures, crystal clear flowing water, 100% grass fed and finished beef cattle, grazing Jersey milk cows, a spruce tree nursery, and an organic vegetable and flower garden. The ranch uses organic farming practices, and consists of four different agriculturally based enterprises. The family has a quality of life goal that dictates the ranch remain in agriculture as a lifestyle preference for the families and open space for the community.

James Ranch sells their beef and cheese and garden goods at the Durango Farmers' Market, but these products are also available at the market at the ranch. Tours of the ranch are also available, something we have yet to do. Our favorite part of the ranch is the Harvest Grill & Greens. It is a food cart on the ranch property where you can get one of the best burgers on this earth. The lawn is terraced with picnic tables and lots of open space and ridiculously amazing views. Not a bad place to enjoy one of the most delicious burgers on earth. They have live music some nights, and the goats and chickens are always around. It is an amazing experience to eat James Ranch's grass fed organic beef burgers on a locally-made bun topped with James Ranch's  organic cheese. Add to that the spectacular atmosphere and views; like I said, it's magical.

Last night we went to James Ranch for dinner. We always get the Signature Burger, which is the one I described above (a hand-formed, one-third pound beef patty with James Ranch Belford cheese, caramelized onions, lettuce from their garden and their signature rosemary garlic mayonnaise spread on a lightly buttered, toasted bun from local bakery, Serious Delights). Raffa will eat a little of our burgers here and there, but last night he was all about the chips (also locally made) and the chocolate chip cookie (surprise! also locally made). He was also all about sitting at the child-sized picnic table, which John and I obligingly sat at too.

After dinner we took a stroll around and found the goats and chickens. It was absolutely the most perfect and beautiful weather, which made it so difficult to leave. But, Raffa's bedtime was calling after an already eventful day, which was spent about 75% outdoors. So, we packed it in and headed the ten miles back to town marveling at the beauty of the valley on the way.
If you are in Durango, or ever get the chance to visit, James Ranch is a "must visit". We adore it; who wouldn't?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

back to school clothes

So Raffa obviously isn't of a back to school age, but like anyone his wardrobe needs updating when seasons change. Retailers are always way ahead of the seasons, and if you are like me you have been inundated with fall and back to school clothes emails and ads from various retailers. If you are also like me, in the not too distant future you will start fall clothes shopping because you are looking forward to the change of seasons.

So I did a little fall scoping for Raffa, or back to school you could say ... I haven't purchased yet because (1) sizing (babies grow too fast to buy that far out) and (2) sales (retailers always have sales on all of this stuff a month or two down the road).

But now I have compiled a list of things to go after and it includes:

vest to keep warm // Zara down vest $29.90
baseball tee // Slyfox Threads We Are Young Tee $25
sweatshirt // Prefresh sweatshirt $58
cords // GAP straight cords $29.95
skinny jeans // GAP Skinny jeans $29.95
more skinny jeans // GAP Skinny jeans $29.95
shoes // Van's Classic Slip On $29.95
pajama pants // Zara cat print trousers $15.90
pajama pants // Zara mask print trousers $15.90

Monday, August 18, 2014

durango farmers' market

We are in Durango right now, enjoying one of our favorite things - a Durango summer. We have had beautiful weather, but we also had a couple of cozy, rainy days too. Another one of our favorite things is the Durango Farmers' Market. We have been to farmers' markets in Denver, Miami, and several citied in between and I have to say, the Durango one is the best I have been to. It is large enough to get what you need but not so big that it is overwhelming. It is bustling, but it isn't so busy that it is a pain to shop. Lastly, there is a great selection of everything you might need - lots of fresh vegetables, some fruit, meats and cheeses, some prepared foods and coffee, flowers, breads and pastries, roasted New Mexico green chiles, a knife sharpener, and a few other miscellaneous vendors (clothing, scarfs, jams/jellies, etc.).

On Saturday, I wore Raffa in our Sakura Bloom and we headed down to the farmers' market. That's another bonus - it is an easy three block walk from home! I love how quiet Main Ave. is on Saturday mornings, and it is always a lovely walk down to the farmers' market since we go before things get busy. On our walk, Raffa caught his reflection in a window and was making some of the funniest faces I have ever seen him make; and it was absolutely adorable too.

Since we are here for a little over a week, we went ahead and got a good little sampling of vegetables to make salads for the next few nights. The salad greens mix from Stone Free Farm is amazing, and you don't usually hear people getting that excited about the greens in their salad. We also got some pickling cucumbers, some amazingly delicious heirloom tomatoes (I think they were Cherokee Purple), and some Easter egg radishes. The guys at Fields to Plate who we bought our radishes from were a riot; farmers all hopped up on coffee and super excited about their beets and radishes. But, I mean look at the colors and presentation - it was truly gorgeous.

We always get quiche from Bread, too, because they are literally the most delicious quiche you will ever eat. I love quiche and have made or purchased and eaten a lot of them, so I feel qualified to make this assertion. John went with his usual green chile and bacon and I had goat cheese and herb. They are the perfect accompaniment to the fresh salad.

I really wish we were going to be around next weekend to go again! But the farmers' market goes through October here in Durango so I hope to make it back maybe once or twice more before the season ends.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


a portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2014

photo taken august 16, 2014 // Durango, Colorado

Raffa loves flowers. We cannot pass flowers without him pointing them out. That ugly thing he is holding in the photo above is a flower, albeit a weed flower. But, Raffa could care less, whether dandelion or rare orchid - he loves flowers. He doesn't sniff them, rather he touches them lightly with his pointer finger.

Read about The 52 Project and why I am participating here.

See all photos in this series here.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Ace Juice Bar

This post was written as part of Williams Sonoma's Juice Week focused on "Weird, Wild, and Crazy Juices." Although the juices we tried weren't especially weird, wild, or crazy we wanted to share our experience at Ace as well as talk a little about the juice we use at home. I did not receive any compensation for writing this post, and as always, the opinions expressed here are all my own.

Several years ago, when we were still living in Durango, we got a juicer and started juicing. It came at a time when we were really cleaning up our diets - we went from eating out often (and eating places like Subway, Blimpie's Subs, etc.) to eating mostly at home. We really cleaned up what we at at home focusing on lots of vegetables, high quality protein, true whole grains, and minimal processed food and refined sugar. We decided to juice to get the extra greens in, as our juices always focused on packing in a lot of green vegetables with a little sweet to take the edge off.

We purchased the economic Breville Juice Fountain Compact. After shopping all of Williams Sonoma's juicers, this had the right price point, and we found that it served our juicing needs well. Clean up was never fun, but certainly not horrible. Our favorite juice was typically a green like kale, maybe add some extra greens like parsley or spinach. Then we would add some sweeter vegetables like carrots or beats. And to finish it off, and what really made the juice palatable, was the apple or pineapple to really add a nice flavor. Sometimes we would to lemon or lime, if we were in the mood for tart. And occasionally we would add some ginger, but despite its amazing health benefits, I find ginger flavor hard to take in a juice.

Even once we moved to Miami, we continued to juice, although we also added in more green smoothies. After moving to Denver, and having Raffa, however, our poor juicer has been collecting dust. We both miss it, and it is a shame that our Whole Foods in the area don't have juice bars. I am personally not a fan of the Sujas etc. that you buy off the shelf. I like my juice literally fresh pressed. That is, of course, the benefit of doing it at home or having a good neighborhood juice bar.

I recently looked in to juice bars in Denver, and was surprised and disappointed that there are not that many. Of the three I found, we decided to try the most fun sounding first - Ace Juice Bar. What makes Ace's juice bar fun is Ace itself ... Ace is housed in an old garage and is a ping pong hall that serves up much lauded Asian inspired dishes. Lucky for us, they oddly enough have a juice bar. It's a small menu, with just six concoctions but they all sounded delicious and the hours are convenient.

John, Raffa, and I headed down to Ace one afternoon earlier this week to check it out. We shared two juices - a watermelon, thai basil, chia seed, and coconut water juice and a celery, pear, and kale juice. Both were refreshing and delicious. The a watermelon, thai basil, chia seed, and coconut water juice was ultra hydrating - mostly watermelon flavor with a good hint of the basil. The celery, pear, kale delivered the pear flavor nicely, which pleasantly surprised me since celery usually overpowers other flavors in a juice.

Raffa can be somewhat of a finicky (okay ridiculously particular) eater these days, but he drinks green juice whenever offered. So, it is safe to say he liked them too.

And since it is a ping pong hall, there are ping pong balls everywhere and Raffa loved playing out on Ace's patio tossing and chasing their bright orange ping pong balls.

We will definitely be back to Ace for juice again and I would love to try their food, too.

We will also work our way through trying some of the other juice bars in Denver. And perhaps we should really think about dustin off our Breville.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

my favorite boyfriend jeans

I searched high and low for the perfect pair of boyfriend jeans. For the longest time I was wanting a pair, but just couldn't fin a pair that were the perfect mix of slouchy but not dumpy. Then I found the Citizens of Humanity Premium Vintage Corey boyfriend jeans - and that's when I hit the boyfriend jean jackpot. Now I wear them all the time.

I wear them with all sorts of tees and tanks, but one of my favorite tanks right now is my T by Alexander Wang Rayon Linen Blend Striped Tank (paid $120, but you can get it for $100 on Shopbop!). And, my shoes of choice this summer are always something comfortable, and I especially love my Vans Perforated White Leather Slip Ons.

I usually wear my Ray Bans lately, but I am totally coveting these Anine Bing Copenhagen sunnies. I also have been thinking about adding an inexpensive watch like this Winston. Lastly, let's dream big - I really want a new cross-body bag and I am loving this Lanvin Flap bag.

See a glimpse of me wearing most of this outfit (minus watch, sunnies, and Lanvin) on Instagram here and here.