I know I’ve said it before but it really has been so amazing starting this blog. Not only have I learned so much and have had the opportunity to go on so many new adventures, I also have had some pretty great people come into my life from it. The community of bloggers is so wonderful and supportive and it is always a breathe of fresh air to connect with people who have the same passions as I do. I’m very grateful for all the fun this excursion and project in my life has brought me!
In light of this, I’m so excited to introduce Lauren of Rural + Mine! Lauren is talented, sweet, creative and it has been so fun teaming up with her on the different eateries in our communities. I will let the interview below do the rest of the talking but please enjoy and get ready to learn about some awesome places to chow down! (Also, visit her post on my favorite places to eat HERE)!
Tell me about yourself?
I’m 25-years old and live in Northwestern New Mexico. I actually was born overseas- living in Saudi Arabia for 14 years because my dad worked for the oilfield industry. It was a beautiful place to grow up and I cherish those memories. I then lived in Dallas, TX and went to high school there and college at the University of Oklahoma (Boomer Sooner!). My husband, Daniel, and I met in college and we have been married for nearly two years. We are parents to our fur-baby, Murphy, the cutest French bulldog you ever did see!
Tell me about your blog?
rural + mine is a lifestyle blog that explores innovative and unique ways to live. This blog is a twist of urban flair, but also an exploration of the stunning Southwest lifestyle. I believe the Southwest really is a magnificent region, and I believe not everyone is aware of the culture, cuisine, and landscapes New Mexico has to offer. I also enjoy sharing my favorite trends that bring a more urban feel to the blog.
What are your long term goals for your blog?
I majored in print journalism at OU and have fallen in love with writing. It’s such a calming thing to do every day. I hope to grow my blog, where one day I have a team of creative and talented individuals. Launching a magazine that is associated with my blog would also be a dream come true!
Tell me about where you live?
Farmington, New Mexico is a mesmerizing area- with mesas and colorful sunsets. A lot different from Dallas because the city is located in the high desert. The residents here are very athletic and enjoy being outside. Plus, Farmington is close to many exciting areas like the Grand Canyon and Santa Fe.
What are your favorite things to do there?
Last year, I began skiing lessons. So fun! But, still terrifying for me to go down steep runs. My husband grew up skiing, so it is an exciting activity for us to do together. We travel up to Durango to ski, which is only an hour drive from Farmington. I also love playing Frisbee golf and snuggling up on the couch with my Frenchie, Murphy and watching movies.
What is your favorite kind of food?
MEXICAN! And I’m talking Tex-Mex style. If you give me a bowl of queso, sour cream chicken enchiladas, and a margarita I’m a happy gal!
Describe your style.
Since I launched my blog, I feel like my style has changed drastically. I love unique pieces of clothing. I would say I love that bohemian flair, but also adore floral dresses. My favorite current look has to be distressed jeans and a slouchy sweater. I’m all about being comfortable!
Where is your favorite place to shop?
For clothes, I love Anthropologie and Kate Spade. Farmington doesn’t have many stores, so I mainly do my shopping online, which is a little scary at times because I don’t know if what I’m buying will even fit! I’m also in love with West Elm for our home. Anything that is different and quirky, I’m there.
Who is your girl crush?
I’m sure this is a common answer among most women, but I absolutely love Taylor Swift. I’m all about girl-power and I think she does a spectacular job demonstrating those key values. She appears kind and humble and always ready to take photos with her fans. Plus, her style is so on point. I think I’m obsessed with wearing red lipstick now because of her.
Favorite place you have ever traveled?
Growing up in Saudi Arabia, my family had the opportunity to travel all over the world. It’s hard to pick one destination, but if I could choose TWO, my favorite places are the Amalfi coastline in Italy and Nepal. Amalfi is just stunningly gorgeous and the people in Nepal are so kind and always have a smile on their faces.
Words to live by.
Without further adieu, dive on into learning about some of Lauren’s favorite yummy places…
El Moro Spirits and Tavern
Durango is a quaint town situated in the Rocky Mountains and this eatery illustrates the exciting Wild West. In downtown Durango, El Moro Spirits and Tavern is the perfect stop for a unique cocktail, like a Bloody Mary cocktail that is made with bacon-infused whiskey.
There is an interesting story behind El Moro as it is the site of “Durango’s Strangest Shootout.” Durango was established in 1880 as a mining town. In 1906, Sheriff William Thompson raided the saloon during a poker game and confiscated a roulette wheel. Outside of El Moro, Thompson confronted the city marshal, Jesse Stansel, for his lack of enforcement. Then guns were drawn and Thompson was killed.
If you want to step back in time, visit El Moro. The old-timey vibes still linger within the eatery because of the tin ceiling and exposed brick walls. On one side of the building, a bar that reaches to the ceiling is packed with bottles of liquor that includes different whiskeys and infused vodkas.
The brunch at El Moro is exceptional. Homemade blueberry Pop-Tarts and bottle service mimosas for $20? You can’t go wrong with that! One of my favorite cocktails there is called the “Gun ‘N’ Roses,” which is lavender infused gin, champagne, ruby port, grapefruit juice, and a splash of lavender and lemongrass syrup. To. Die. For.
Some bites I recommend are the espresso salted caramel corn, cast iron seared salmon burger, and the fresh goat cheese infused with wild fennel pollen and lavender (Did I mention anything with lavender; I’m there!).
Durango Coffee Company
This is the perfect place to sit back and enjoy a novel or catch up with a friend. Durango Coffee Company serves premium coffee that is delicious, plus they do latte art…amazing!
Durango Coffee Company is not only a coffee shop, but also a place to buy cookbooks, bakeware and tea pots. Think a local Williams-Sonoma in a mountain town. I enjoy browsing through the aisles of kitchen supplies, waiting for the barista to make my coffee.
A long list of specialized coffees are offered like snickerdoodle latte, Milky Way latte, white butterscotch mocha and one of my favorites, Mexican mocha, a mix of chocolate and cinnamon goodness.
This place definitely gets my stamp of approval!
When my husband and I travel to Durango for the day I always insist we walk into Jean Pierre Bakery. Croissants, fruit tarts and macarons galore! These tasty treats adorn the bakery shelves and I can never leave without buying something.
Jean Pierre opened in 2004 and is located just a ½ block from the historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Train- an attraction you must do if you visit!
The bakery is attached to a restaurant that serves authentic French food. I’ve had breakfast here and let me tell ya, the quiches are so tasty!
Several other items on the dinner menu are escargot, poulet de champignon, and shrimp provençal.
Eno is an exciting coffee/wine/tapas bar with a contemporary flair. The ingredients they use are unique and fresh. Every day, Eno serves various “…of the day” tapas, whether that is bruschetta, deviled eggs or quiche. My husband and I had the pesto deviled eggs and they were fantastic!
Eno is a smaller restaurant with colorful paintings hanging on the walls. Most of the customers were working on their laptops and drinking wine. So this place is like a local Starbucks, except instead of a skinny vanilla latte, you can order a vodka and tonic!
So what tapas to order? Well we ordered the summer vegetable bruschetta, the deviled eggs and baked brie with blackberries and drizzled balsamic. Um…delectable!
And for cocktails, I ordered the Alpen Glow, which won the 2013 Taste of Durango for “best cocktail!” The Alpen Glow is a concoction of muddled mint, cucumber and lime with lavender bitters, run, hibiscus liqueur, soda and ginger ale. LOVED it!
Durango is a college town so there OBVIOUSLY has to be a pizza place. Homeslice has some of the best pizza I have ever tasted! With two locations in Durango, basically any ingredient you can imagine can garnish your specialty pizza.
My husband and I ski at Durango Mountain Resort and after long days of hitting the slopes, we stop by Homeslice on the way home for a slice of pizza and a cold local beer. The Moscow Mules are also a huge hit!
Homeslice is trendy, fun and the staff are extremely friendly. A few of my favorite pizzas are- “Pork-U-Pine,” which is smoked ham, pineapple, aged cheddar cheese on marinara sauce; “Thyme Traveler,” which is chicken sausage, caramelized onions, and thyme on garlic oil sauce; and “Fa-Gouda-Boutit,” which is breaded eggplant, smoked gouda, smoked bacon, basil on marinara sauce.
Homeslice really is a slice of heaven. Make sure to try it when you are in town. You won’t be disappointed!