Gift Guide No. 1: We'll Take 'Em All

This gift guide is essentially a round-up of designs and experiences we love right now! Enjoy!

1. Otis throw (we're a bit partial to the name!) designed by Milena Buchholz for Slow Down Studio, here

2. Spa Box from Colorado Crafted, here.

3. Safety Pin studs/Winking Eye studs by Bing Bang Jewelry available at Shop Goldyn, here.

4. Rifle Paper Calendar, here.

5. #TreatYoSelf at Base Coat Denver/LA - a non-toxic nail salon, appointments here.

6. Mara Coaster Set by Xenia Taler at Woonwinkel Home, here.

7. Memberships to the Denver Botanic Gardens and the MCA Denver.

8. Big Arch Necklace by Ladies & Gentlemen Studio, available through Sight Unseen, here.

9. Party Shape Clutch by Lillian Farag, here.

I hope this gives you some ideas! Enjoy the weekend!



friday favorites: holiday gifts under $100

I know it’s been a little bit quiet on the blog-front these days, but all new posts- chock full of recipes and walking tours- are coming your way soon! In the meantime I thought I would post the first installation of a three-part Holiday Gift Guide today, you know, to be timely and all…
These would all make a perfect gift for me someone you love.
Hope you're having a wonderful start to the holiday season!

Gifts Under $100 (And Many Under $50!)

1. NY Cutting Board from AHeirloom. $48. (I decided to go with my home-state because Colorado’s shape is square, but they carry it if that’s what you’re looking for!)
2. Kitchen Trivet in Walnut with Dots from AHeirloom. $48.
3. Moon Coasters by Karen Kimmel, available at Woonwinkle, seen on Sight Unseen. $36.
4. Tea Egg in Rose by Made By Makers for Normann Copenhagen, available via the CoolHunter. $19.
5. The Solvo Opener by Sempli. $35. 
6. Haand x SL Geometric Mug by Haand Ceramics and  Sarah Loertscher. $48. 
7. Paloma Serving Tray by Wolfum. $68.
8. Hive Vessel by House Fish (Denver). $89.
9. Aquarelle Knife Set (3 pc) from Waggo Home. $89.
10. Sedona Planter by Swedish Gypsy (Colorado)…because I keep lots of succulents in my kitchen. $35.
11. Pincushion Napkins (set of 2) by Skinny La Minx. $20. I buy my Skinny La Minx at Hazel & Dewey in Denver.

Thank you to Carly Loman, my colleague at DLD PR, for putting the collage together. Please note that while my firm works with Sempli, UE, Waggo Home, and Haand, this is not a sponsored post and the recommendations are my own!

a last minute holiday gift guide: kitchen + dining accessories

This blog has been up and running for over 3 years. And while I usually focus on food, family and the places we go, I thought it would be nice to switch things up a bit! And so, I present to you, my very first Holiday Gift Guide! Okay, okay. It's a little bit late, but better late than never (and maybe you'll even spot something that's great for…you!)

While this blog is a labor of love, and I do love putting it all together, what pays the bills is my real job. When the kids are in school, the vast majority of my time is spent telling the stories of small design companies— putting their voice into words and curating a behind-the-scenes look at the company’s personality, character and lifestyle. I do this through the channels of social media and content driven posts at D Loves Design PR- a boutique PR firm that is based in Brooklyn…that has now expanded to Denver!

Because of my work (which overlaps with some of my hobbies and interests) I spend a lot of time pouring over designs of all kinds: from kitchen gadgets and accessories, to lighting and rugs, to wallpaper, ceramics and other beautiful objects. And since I curate design boards, I thought it would be fun to share a few of my kitchen favorites this season. I bet they would make the perfect gift for someone on your list! I'm hoping to have these sorts of collages (design, food, recipe round ups, etc.) as a regular feature on the blog- so please let me know what you think

Special thanks to Carly Loman, the Jr. Account Executive at DLD PR, for putting the image sheet together! Happy holidays to you and yours!

1. Vaso Sake Set by Sempli*
2. Apron by Stitch & Hammer
3. Escape Glass Tumblers by Aruliden (because who doesn't love the mountains!)
4. Arrow Spoon by Amelie Mancini (small world: I went to high school with her fiancé!) 
5. Herringbone Salt Cellar from Leif
6. Alhambra Coasters by Fiyel Levent*
7. Star Cutting Board from Fern
8. Geometric Coasters by Koromiko
9. Kitchen Aid Professional 620 Stand Mixer (if you win the lottery…it's a beauty!)
10. Copper Foil Recipe Cards from Yellow Owl Workshop
11. Wooden Mini Bowls from Wind and Willow Home
12. Tea Towels by Skinny LaMinx (because you can never have too many tea towels!) I buy mine locally at Hazel & Dewey in Denver.

Please note: I do not benefit financially from any of the items in this post. An asterisk indicates that the principal of my firm has a relationship with the designer or artist—but I only have indirect and tangential relationships with these companies. The suggestions are my own and this is not a sponsored post. Enjoy!

sarah + dulcie's colorado crafted

About a year ago I stumbled upon Two Tarts, a wonderful blog written and photographed by Sarah Welle & Dulcie Wilcox. I was immediately struck by the stunning images, the mouth watering recipes and the fabulous looking cocktails. 
It's not surprising that Sarah & Dulcie are also behind Colorado Crafted- a company that offers gift boxes filled with gourmet foods, handcrafted by Colorado artisans in small-batches that really are "the best of the best." Dulcie and Sarah have found the most passionate people making incredible things...and it's all local! Even their boxes have names like the Steamboat, Mt. Evans and  Hanging Lake (which I kind of wish I had on this hike). 
Anyway, I'm a big fan...
I've asked Sarah & Dulcie a few questions for this post and they were kind enough to give me some answers.

What is the biggest challenge to starting your own company?
We started by investing very little of our own money because we didn't want to do any loans. Everything we make just goes right back into the company. We've had a lot of grandiose ideas for what we want to do, but there have definitely been financial limitations. But ultimately, starting smaller has worked to our advantage because we have been able to hone our vision before making any large investments.

What are the biggest rewards to starting your own company?
We love being able to work for ourselves and on our own time, and most of all getting to create something beautiful that we're proud of! And of course, sampling delicious food is one of the biggest perks.

How do you juggle family, your blog and your business?
We don't clean our houses as much as we should! :) 

Do you think the small-batch food market in Colorado has changed over the past few years? If so, is it heading in the right direction?
Definitely! There are more and more interesting artisanal foods popping up all over the state.  We've seen talented artisans creating cool products before quitting their full time day jobs, which is awesome.  People seem to be increasingly interested in buying high quality small-batch products that are unique to their area.  Supermarkets are getting more and more interested in carrying special, locally made products too.

Anything you want to see made here in Colorado that isn’t being produced right now?
We are always on the lookout for a good cracker or other small savory snacks. 

What’s the most far-flung place you’ve shipped to?
We only ship within the US (and shipping is always free!), so nothing too exotic. But most of our boxes are being shipped outside of Colorado.

How do you go about deciding which companies you want to work with? And how do you find or hear about the companies? 
First and foremost, we are looking for an exceptionally made food. Everything we sell is made in small batches, and we love when products are made with local ingredients (either locally grown produce or another CO-made ingredient, like whiskey or honey). Word-of-mouth is one of the best ways we discover new artisans.

Do you have a favorite treat or snack that you just can’t put down? 
Sarah is obsessed with Chile Crunch - an innovative spin on hot sauce that's made in Denver. It is roasted peppers, garlic and onions suspended in oil. It is super crunchy which makes it unique and totally addicting.  It is amazing on hard boiled eggs, salads, avocados, soups...  you name it!
Dulcie's current favorite is the Tuffy Kickshaw caramel corn, flavored with brown butter & Stranahan's whiskey.

Now you both live in Longmont. What are the best places to eat in the Boulder/Longmont area? (Anyplace that's also kid friendly?)
We love living in Longmont, and the restaurant scene is slowly growing. We have some terrific restaurants that have really inspired menus, but are also totally kid-friendly. Comida and Harold's are the top two that come to mind. 

Finally, where do you see Colorado Crafted in a few years? Do you dream about a brick and mortar store?
While a brick and mortar storefront probably isn't a great fit for Colorado Crafted, we do love the idea of a shop with a local angle, and we have flirted with the idea of a craft beer and liquor shop. 
As for Colorado Crafted, we are interested in steadily growing, and we are introducing a bath & body box this holiday with some really fantastic small batch soaps and lotions. We can't wait to see how the box sells!

Thank you Sarah and Dulcie! I love what you’re doing and I’ll be looking out for those bath & body boxes…

{This is the first post in a series called Colorado Companies, (co/co). I'm so impressed by the businesses and makers who are transforming the food scene in Colorado every day. I wanted to highlight companies that use locally sourced ingredients or products in beautiful ways, and Colorado Crafted fits the bill! Please note that I do not have any financial or business relationship with Colorado Crafted, nor did I receive anything in exchange for this post. I just dig their style and their company...and I hope you will too!}