Category Archives: In the Community

Mardi Gras at St. Claire Winery and Bistro

If you can’t make it to New Orleans this year for Mardi Gras, why not celebrate at St. Claire Winery and Bistro.  On February 21, 2012 they are offering a fun-filled evening  with a Mardi Gras themed atmosphere paired with wine and Cajun food.  I don’t want to forget to mention that there will also be live music, party favors, and a great atmosphere!  The reasonably priced event, $32 per person, gets you a souvenir wine glass, a three coarse meal (Red Beans & Rice with your choice of Grilled Pork Chop,Blackened Grilled Chicken Breast or Cajun Grilled Shrimp), soup or salad and dessert!  There will also be a wine pairing with this delicious meal.

When:  Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Where:  St. Claire Winery and Bistro
901 Rio Grande Blvd. 87104
Call them to make a reservation for this fun event!



Cleaning up the Bosque

Recently we took our new puppy on a walk to the bosque for a nice long walk.  We really love the bosque’s trails and winter time is no exception.  During the winter my son likes to look up in the trees for porcupine nests and bird nests.  It is the perfect time to see the wild life habitats because the trees are dormant.

While on this walk my son noticed that the trails needed some maintenance.  He was finding trash all over the place and took it upon himself to find a plastic bag while walking and started picking it up.  I was really proud of my kiddo for noticing and even more impressed when he started to clean it up.  Our walk turned into a day of clean-up at one of our favorite places.  It was an easy way of doing community service without having to really think about it.  What have you done for your community lately?

North Fourth Street Holiday Stop and Shop

I don’t know if you are familiar with the north valley, but for those of you who are not – now is a good time get acquainted.  The north Fourth Street corridor is full of fun antique and eclectic shops, along with bakeries and restaurants that are fabulous!  Part of the fun of living in the north valley is that most of the shops, bakeries, and restaurants are local.  The north Fourth Street corridor spans Fourth Street north of Alameda to just south of Montano.

Some of my favorite places near my home are A Cake Odyssey -I love their red velvet cupcakes and I order my son’s Birthday cakes there, Casa De Benividez (a great lunch stop), The Antique Co-op – I found a funky retro metal love seat there, Plants of the Southwest, and Steel Garden Art just to name a few.  So, if you want to buy local or if you want to buy something unique stop by any of these friendly places.  I think you will be surprised at how many shops you’ll find.

(P.S.  There are approximately 42+ shops to stop at along the way)

Happy Shopping!


Nob Hill Holiday Shop & Stroll

*Update!  Due to those terrible winds on December 1st, there will be a make-up of sorts:  the Nob Hill Park and Shop on Thursday, December 15th.  Lots of merchants will have great one-day sales and parking up and down Central is free.  Please see the Nob Hill Facebook page for more information.  Cheers!

The annual Nob Hill Holiday Shop & Stroll is upon us!  On Thursday, December 1, 2011 from 5pm to 10pm Central Avenue will close to vehicular traffic from Girard to Montclaire (5 blocks east of Carlisle).  Central will fill with shoppers, fire jugglers, carolers, old world/vaudeville entertainment, gift wrappers, cuddly dogs and cats available for adoption, food trucks, and of course all the unique shops in Nob Hill.  It’s a chance to get out of the stuffy malls, walk around in the fresh air, and enjoy the vibrant holiday atmosphere that is Nob Hill.

This is a lively event where you can people watch with a cup of joe from Satellite Coffee, stroll with a Boba Tea,  dog watch with a pint on the patio at Tractor Brewing Co., or work on your shopping list at places like the A Store, Zap Oh!, Getrude Zachary, Dawg Gone Good, Masks y Mas,  Tres Boutique, and Beeps!

The only downside is that navigating the area to find parking can get a little hairy.  I suggest parking on streets north of Central because of the construction going on with the Lead/Coal streets south of Central.  (Also, a couple of blocks on Silver will be closed.)  You can also take the ABQ Trolley to get to Nob Hill.  Last year, and likely this year, the pick-up/drop-off locations are:

Central & Girard
Central & Kelly’s Brew Pub area
Central & Serafin’s Restaurant area
Central & Desert Fish area
Central & Washington

By the way, throughout the evening of the Shop & Stroll many shops will be collecting canned goods for the Storehouse.  So bundle up, bring some canned goods, and get into the Christmas spirit!

I hope to see some of you out there this year!


3.1 miles and a turkey dinner later

The weather was absolutely perfect for the 11th annual Turkey Trek!  The sun warmed me up, the skies were clear, and there wasn’t any wind.  Over 1300 runners and walkers particpated this year.  This included the stroller derby contingent, happy walkers, casual runners, and elite racers.  Not to be forgotten are the many race organizers and cheerful supporters.

Alas, the perspective on this photo reveals my start position - pretty much at the back of the pack :)

I think the one mile Fun Run for the kids was conducted twice:  once soon after the 5K was over and then again at the scheduled time of 10:45am.  Other than this little hiccup, the morning appeared to be a success.

Approaching the turnaround at Mountain and 12th Street.

Granted, I’m not responsible for preparing a Thanksgiving feast, but it was still a great way to jumpstart my metabolism for the day.  I must say it was especially fun this year because of so much of my family that paricipated in race:  husband, sisters, nieces, in-laws, and cousins from out of town.  I definitely recommend this for next year!


Local Retailer Highlight: NM Tea Company

*Hello Readers!  I just wanted to let you know that this isn’t a sponsored post.  I’m not being compensated for this post and I’m not related in any way to the NM Tea Company or its owners.

NM Tea Company

One of my favorite local shops is the New Mexico Tea Company located near Old Town in Albuquerque.  The owner, David Edwards, is so friendly and whenever I wander in he is usually there to chat about the various teas, explaining the health benefits and providing recommendations.  Tea is great for its health benefits, aroma, and relaxing vibes.  The shop itself is in a great location tucked in among Old Town casitas and down the street from several museums and Tiguex Park.

Organic Mother's Tea

These days I’m drinking Mother’s Tea which is a blend of various organic herbs.  It contains raspberry leaf which by itself is rather boring, but this blend includes peppermint leaf and tastes minty fresh.  T is drinking various rooibos (african red tea) blends which are rich in antioxidants and Hawthorn leaf for heart health.  NM Tea Company carries many different teas from the straightfoward like chamomile and peppermint to the exotic like Sgt. Peppers Rooibos and Thai Lemon Ginger.  They also carry medicinal teas like The Healer Tea for colds, allergies and headaches and Kidney and Bladder Detox Tea.  Some teas are imported but they also carry tea from right here in New Mexico.

Organic Hawthorn Leaf and Flower

I’m not a huge tea fanatic, but NM Tea Company affords me the opportunity to shop for something that is way more interesting in a small shop setting rather than mindlessly grabbing a box of tea based on the package design under the unsexy flourescent lights of a grocery store or big box discount chain.  I find it way more enjoyable to walk into this warm, cute shop located in a sweet, old neighborhood, breathing in each tea and sampling others before deciding what to buy.  Plus, I can buy just the amount I want without committing to a huge box of something I might not care for.

Cascadia Licorice Rooibos

I wish you could take in a deep breath and smell the wonderful scent of these teas.  It’s a beautiful bouquet of fragrant aromas.

Organic Green Rooibos

Part of the fun is examining the physical make-up of each tea:  berries, leaves, twigs, peppercorns and all.

Sergeant Peppers Rooibos

If you couldn’t tell by now, I’m a huge proponent of shopping local, especially during the holidays.  When I shop locally, more of every dollar that I spend stays in this community.  According to a 2004 study, for every $100 spent locally, $68 is returned to the local community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures.   A study in Austin showed that for every dollar spent at local book and music stores returned 45 cents to the community while a dollar spent at Borders returned only 13 cents to the Austin economy.  Buying local also means encouraging vibrant shopping districts, supporting retailers that know your name, and supporting stores with local character.

Organic Chopped Hibiscus Flower - T mixes this with hawthorn leaf to boost flavor.

So, have you been to NM Tea Company?  What are your favorite local shops?


Get Dressed Up For Day of the Tread a bike ride and 5k/10k Run!

Fall is my favorite time of year partly because Halloween is my favorite Holiday. So if you want to get out and help benefit kids in our community, there is no better way than to register for the “Day of the Tread.”  The proceeds benefit our Children’s Carrie Tingley Hospital.  I’m doing my clinicals at Carrie Tingley and I see patients every week who drive from Gallup, T or C, Silver City, Farmington and other far away cities to meet with specialists for a 20 minute doctor’s appointment.  Carrie Tingley Hospital is the only children’s hospital in the state that helps children with all kinds of disabilities.  These kiddos desperately need basic services like gas money to get to their appointments and other basic services.  So, come out and help a good cause that benefits kids in our community!  Click here for more information and our entire family will be there dressed up in our favorite costumes.  Come join us!


Whether you want to ride 12-100 miles, run 5k-26.2 miles or walk 5k-10k, please join us for the 5th Annual Day of the Tread October 16th.To register:1. Download the 2011 Registration Form atwww.dayofthetread.comor2. Register online at


3. Start Treadin’ for Casa and Carrie.

Raise $150 by October 1, 2011 and we will register you and pay for your registration all while your tread makes a huge impact on the lives of families facing cancer and kids with special needs.  Treadin’ For Casa and Carrie Registration Form 


Please call Kim at 243.6626 with any questions.
dott collage

Biking to Balloon Fiesta – free bike valet service

riding bikes to Balloon Fiesta

For the past three years we have taken the bike trail to Balloon Fiesta.  We live in the north valley and catch the bike trail at Paseo Del Norte and take it across to the Diversion Channel.  There we catch the long trail and ride it all the way to Balloon Fiesta Park.  You drop your bike off right in front of the park and they give you a ticket to reclaim it after the festival.  This service is free (they accept donations).    Our ride takes about 15 minutes and saves us the headache of having to park.  Not to mention parking can be far away and taking a shuttle to the drop off area makes no sense to me.  Riding our bikes gives us some exercise and is fun in the early morning because we get to wear or headlamps.  We pack our bike trailer with hot chocolate, blankets and cameras.

the view from our front yard

Last year my husband ended up getting a flat tire on the way over.  The bike valet supplied a tube and fixed our tire for free!  We donated 20.00 for the service because it was so unexpected and gladly welcomed.  I was just so impressed with the level of service and have been a loyal supporter ever since!  If you don’t live close to Balloon Fiesta you can still drop your cars off at a bike trail and head on over.  For example, you can park at the Railrunner station one 2nd Street and El Pueblo and catch the bike trail to the diversion channel.  Click here for more information about the FREE bike valley service.

Bike Valet hours of operation and details….

  • Morning Sessions 5:30AM to 10:30AM
  • Evening Sessions 5:00PM to 9:00PM
  • Bikes not picked up from the bike valet area will be removed and stored. The bike owner will have to call the Balloon Fiesta main line at 821-1000 to arrange pick up.
The bike trail runs along the AMAFCA North Diversion Channel crosses underneath Paseo del Norte and Alameda Blvd. continuing north where it crosses from the west side to the east side ending just north of the Balloon Museum. There you will find the Bike Valet staffed by local bicycle group volunteers of Bike ABQ, NM Touring Society.

Launching Local Food Week


This Sunday, the Local Food Festival and Field Day marks the start to Local Food Week here in New Mexico.  The Gutierrez-Hubbel House and Demonstrative Farm will host the Festival from 11-4pm.


The Festival truly has something for everyone:  There will be workshops and lectures about canning, gardening, and curanderismo.  Enjoy free local food samples, shopping for fresh local produce and pantry staples, a tour of the farm, Q&A with a Master Gardener, live music, free basic health screenings, and seed sack races for the kids.

Other ways to celebrate Local Food Week include the NM Brewfest on October 8th and the Harvest Festival Weekend at the ABQ Bio Park starting October 8th (sample the smells, sounds, and tastes of the fall harvest!).

Check the Local Food Week website for more activities and information.


Health and Religion

Today is a special post from a very good friend of mine.  We met about 8 years ago in Boulder, Colorado at the start of a new semester at a new school.  Before meeting this friend, I knew little to nothing about her religion.  Over time she taught me about it and now I find it fascinating.  Today she shares a little bit about it with you.  I find it appropriate for this blog because of the focus on achieving wellness and balance:  mind, body, and soul.  You may have read about it in National Geographic magazine in an article about living long, healthy lives.  Read on.  I hope you enjoy this post as much as I do.


Mind, Body, and Soul.

We know it is important to take care of our “mind, body, and soul.” However, we often lose focus on one if not all of these things in our day-to-day lives.  Seventh-Day Adventists is one organization that tries to help people maintain this balance.  It is a Christian denomination that emphasizes the importance of healthy living through eating right, rest, exercise, and fellowship with others.  Back in 2005, National Geographic published an article regarding longevity that focused on Seventh-Day Adventists along with Okinawans and Sardinians.  The video can be found here.


Part of Seventh-Day Adventists’ commitment to healthy living is in its name.  “Seventh-Day” means that we should rest one day a week, specifically the seventh day or Saturday.  It is a day to put aside all your work, chores, and worries, and focus on your spirituality and relationships with others.  Initially, you may feel guilty about that load of laundry waiting for you or not mowing the lawn that looks like a jungle, but once you develop the habit to making time for yourself and loved ones, you will wonder how you survived without it.

Eating habits

When you eat your bowl of cereal in the morning, you can thank the Kellogg brothers.  Both Seventh-Day Adventists and vegetarian, John Harvey Kellogg and Will Keith Kellogg invented corn flakes breakfast cereal, and popularized cereal as an alternative to eggs and meat for breakfast.  Like the Kellogg brothers, many Seventh-Day Adventists are vegetarian, or least minimize their consumption of animal products, to be healthier.  Eating less meat and more vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains is simply good for you.

One popular nutritional book is The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, which examines how avoiding animal products decreases the development of chronic diseases, such as cancer and coronary heart disease, and increases longevity.

Get going!

If you want help in developing a healthy lifestyle, feel free to contact a local Seventh-Day Adventist church, hospital, or school, and see what it offers.  They likely offer health-related events open to the community, but of course each church and hospital varies in its programs.  For example, the Albuquerque Central Seventh-Day Adventist Church hosts coed fitness classes every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.  Also, on October 7, 2011 at 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m., there is a health expo to test for diabetes, take your blood pressure, and provide other health-related screenings.  Some are free, and some are for a nominal fee.  Personally, my favorite events are the cooking classes about how to cook vegetarian meals that are actually tasty.  Last time, I had “cheesecake” that I found out was made from tofu.  Other Seventh-Day Adventist churches in Albuquerque are Heights Seventh-Day Adventist Church and Three Angels Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

 Mind, body, and soul are all interconnected.  Like a three-legged stool, we become unbalanced if one is cut short.  Next time you’re at the gym or trying to beat your personal best time, remember to take time to care for other aspects of your health.  Let’s learn from each other, so we can become healthier and happier people.