Megan Lombardo Music

I'd like to take a moment away from regular programming to give myself a completely shameless plug.

As I've mentioned many times before in this space, I'm a musician.  By trade, by hobby, by passion.  And I am now accepting new students in the Denver metro area!

Please visit my professional website for more information.

Thanks so much for your support!


Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam

How about an art exhibit that you can climb all over?  I could definitely get into that.

Artist Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam had the same idea when she decided to crochet playgrounds for her admirers to not only look at, but climb on.  

I mean come on.  Look at this woman on her hands and knees crocheting!  That is seriously amazing.

Go out and play in your community today!

(All images from here.)


Art. Food. Music. Life.

Judy Kaufmann

Well, hello there.  Aren't you looking smashing today!  I hope you all are having a wonderful week.

Last week, I had a blast falling in love with my hometown and I hope you all did too.  If you missed any of the posts, make sure you go back and check them out.  Of course I'm biased, but I'm completely in love with all the wonderful recommendations that I got about great things to do in Denver.  It's going to take me months to try everything out!

Before Denver Week, I had a bunch of beautiful things laid out to show you and of course, in true MEL fashion, I missed a very important one! And of course, also in true MEL fashion, I've been hoarding other beautiful things in my inspiration folders for the past couple weeks as well.  So I'd like to shed some inspiration pounds today, if you don't mind.

First up...

Remember this post?  These collages by Alexis Anne Mackenzie are some of the most interesting pieces of art I've ever seen.  And it is certainly not for a lack of creative genius that I didn't get around to posting more about them until now.  Like I said earlier, it's just the spastic MEL nature.  Anyway, I think they are simply wild and freakishly beautiful.  And I love all the hidden messages.  Can you see them?  (Found here.  Images from here.)

Alexis Anne Mackenzie

Alexis Anne Mackenzie

Alexis Anne Mackenzie

I will definitely be making these for dinner tonight.  They're like a grown up version of steamed broccoli and weird cheese substance from when you were a kid in a cafeteria.  Perfect.  (Image from here.)

Smitten Kitchen

And just to bring it all home...

Question:  What happens when you mix art and food?

Answer:  Genius.

(Images from here.)

Dimitri Tsykalov

Dimitri Tsykalov

Dimitri Tsykalov

Oh and I almost forgot!  This has nothing to do with skeletons or food but it does have to do with my version of art.

Have you noticed the tunes on your right of the page?  Yep, those are from me.  Check them out and let me know what you think.  And thank you so much to everyone who has already passed on such kind and gracious feedback.  It gives me no greater pleasure than to make people happy with music.  Every kind word brings greater meaning to my life.  Thank you.



Denver Week Finale: Gabrielle from Design Mom

Well, my dear internet cosmos, we made it.  It's been a wonderful week exploring my new home town of Denver and I hope you have had as much fun as I have.  I just want to take a quick second and thank all of the wonderful bloggers who were kind enough to let me in on their favorites.  They have made me feel so welcome and have given me TONS of ways to stay busy exploring and falling in love with my new hometown.  There is no way for me to adequately thank them for such a wonderful gift.  And I hope their suggestions have inspired you to get out and explore your hometown too, even if it's not Denver.

So, today we have our last list of Denver favorites from a blogger who really needs no introduction.  But for the sake of good etiquette, I'll at least keep it short and sweet.

Who?  Gabrielle Blair
What?  Blogger extraordinaire, design maven, super mom, community builder, role model, inspiration
When?  Her family adventures have taken her all over the world, spanning many beautiful years, most recently France (swoon).  She lived in Denver in 2009-2010 and has a whole bunch of wonderful things to do here on her blog.
Where?  Here are her top favorites, only a handful compared to the many more wonderful ideas from her blog, from her time here in Denver.  And make sure to check out subscribe to her blog to stay up to date on all the other places she documents.
Why?  Because a little random blogger from CO decided to e-mail her on a whim for some Denver advice.  And because this busy mom was so kind enough to let me in on her secrets.  And because she was so kind enough to let me share them with you.

So, without further ado, Gabrielle's Denver favorites, after the jump...

Design Mom

Hi Megan! We love to eat at Oceanaire and Cherry Cricket.

Oceanaire, Landry's Select

The Cherry Cricket, denver.org

We love concerts at Red Rocks.

Red Rocks Amphitheater, denver.org

We love Duffeyrolls.

Duffeyrolls, Design Mom

 Staying at the Brown Palace.

The Brown Palace

Weekends in Boulder

Boulder, Blog the Rockies

Rocky Mountain National Park

MEL here--I also just had to include the following three pictures from Gabrielle's blog.  This is how her family enjoyed the RMNP.  Can't believe I hadn't thought to do this myself!

Denver is awesome!  Kisses, Gabrielle

Thank you so much Gabrielle for your list of Denver favorites!

And thank you, my dearest internet cosmos, for joining me for this very special week.

Have a great weekend exploring your hometowns--


Denver Week: Melanie from You Are My Fave

Happy Friday everyone!  As you know, we're coming up on the finish line of Denver Week and I have to say, I've had a blast.  I hope you all have too.

I'm so glad that you have come back to check out today's list of Denver recommendations!  And remember--I will have one more list for you guys tomorrow from a former Denver-ite who has been completely changing the world of blogging over the past few years.  Seriously.

And today, I couldn't be more thrilled because we have another Denver blogger who has her hand in a TON of different creative venues as well.  Meet Melanie Blodgett from You Are My Fave.  

First of all, I just have to give a little disclaimer here.  Compared to all the wonderful guests I've had this week, I am very new to this whole blogging business.  And I know I'm a very small fish in a HUGE pond.  But anyone who knows me can testify that in the majority of my time on earth, I've never met a stranger.  So I thought I'd try to reach out in the blogosphere as well.  And just from this week alone, I'm feeling not quite as little as I once felt.  

Melanie was one of the first bloggers to make me feel this way.  When the Mr. & I were relocating to Denver, I of course had a million questions.  I have read Melanie's blog for a while and just thought, "Hey, she might have some great insight!" and I e-mailed her.  Next thing I knew, I had lists full of awesome neighborhoods, restaurants, and amazing things to do in Denver from Melanie.  And if that wasn't enough, she even had her own realtor call us and make a connection.

All of that being said, Melanie is the real deal.

So without further ado, here's Melanie's list of must-see's in Denver, after the jump:

You Are My Fave

There are a lot of great parks in Denver--Washington Park is the most popular, but City Park is great too and Sloan's Lake has a nice path around it.

Sloan's Lake, Denver Photo

The Highlands Square neighborhood is charming and has a great street of shops to browse through. I especially like The Perfect Petaland Word Shop. Another couple charming areas are Pearl Street and Gaylord Street. 

Highland Square, Denver Photo

The Perfect Petal, Design Sponge

Wordshop, Bloodstream

Three other shops I love: Talulah JonesFancy TigerMod Livin

Talulah Jones, Westword

Fancy Tiger, Sunset

Mod Livin', Design Sponge

The Santa Fe Arts District has a Friday night art walk on the first Friday of the month.  There's also great antique shopping around there.

The Denver Public Library system is expansive and amazing, you won't need a Netflix subscription once you get a card.

Denver Public Library

Red Rocks has a lot of concerts in the summer and movies.  It's an amazing venue.  I also love the smaller venues in the area: The Fillmore, The Ogden, and The Bluebird.

Red Rocks Amphitheater

The Fillmore, colfaxave.com

Ogden Theatre, Cinema Treasures

The Bluebird, writRHET

We like to take day trips to Boulder and go to the farmer's market and stroll up Pearl Street   (Check out Emily's list and Tiffany's list for photos of these two favorites.)

Rockiesgames are fun to go to in the summer.

Colorado Rockies, denver.org

A few restaurants we love: Steubens, The Hornet (Remember from Will's list?) Root Down, Jelly, Cloud Nine Frozen Custard 


Root Down, Open Table

Jelly, Westword

Thanks so much for the great list Melanie!  I have to say I have tried a few of the wonderful restaurants and been to some of the parks and areas of town on this list and she is right, they are all amazing.  I can't wait to try all the rest.

Tell me, what do you guys think about Melanie's favorites?  Are any of hers yours too?

Don't forget to stop back by tomorrow for the grand finale of Denver Week and to hear from this lovely blogger extraordinaire!



Denver Week: Emily from A Denver Home Companion

Happy Hump Day!  If you've been with us since Monday, I'm so glad you're back!  And if you're just now joining us, here's what we've been up to:  it's Denver Week!  I'll have a new post every day from some of Denver's most wonderful bloggers, sharing some of their favorite things to do in the Mile High City.  We started off the week with Will from The Momentum, who told us about all the great places to get your midday buzz on.  Then yesterday we heard from Tiffany from Camp 1899, who introduced us to a local winery with a $5 tasting.  If this keeps up, we may have a real drinking problem by the end of the week. 

Anyway, today we have a guest-post (my very first one!) from the delightful Emily Power from A Denver Home Companion.  Emily and her painstakingly adorable family--her chef & coffee shop celebrity husband, her doe-eyed doll of a daughter, Ramona, her precious dog, Otto, and her goats (!!!)--have homesteading in the city down to a tee.  I love reading about all of her adventures as a creative, a mom, a wife, and just all around rockstar.

So without further ado, take it away Emily, after the jump:

Emily & Ramona in Ironwood, one of Emily's favorite places (read below)

Megan, being new to Denver, asked me to write up a list of my five favorite places in this town for her to check out. Five places? Just five?! It was hard to narrow it down. I didn't, after all, want to leave anyone out. There are so many places to explore and shop and eat at in this city that I love love love love. To narrow it down i chose the top five spots that i keep returning to over and over lately. 

1. crema coffee house. Is anyone that knows me surprised I listed this? I am an unabashed fan and supporter of this place (full disclosure: my hubby is one of the owners and the chef here). It is great. The coffee is serious and excellent and the food is unique but accessible. Don't let the naysayers scare you: yes, it does seem to attract a large amount of the hipster-persuasion but they don't bite and the baristas love meeting new customers and making regulars out of you. My favorite is the toddy (iced french press, perfect for this heat wave), the breakfast burrito, the gyro, and the juice. It gets busy, especially on the weekends, and everything is made with lots of handcrafted love, so expect a little bit of a wait but trust that it'll be worth it.  


2. ironwood. This is a magical shop of curiosities, vintage goods, local art and jewelry, succulents, and beautiful stones and rocks. Aly has lovingly and painstakingly created a space that speaks to the whimsy in all of us. It is certainly not your average gift shop or vintage store. Even if you are not a lover of knick knacks and small tokens of nature, make sure you pick up a break-it-yourself geode as a memento. Also, if you are a thrift-store-shopper or estate-sale-goer and have some goods you want to unload, Aly does buy from pickers. 

Optimysticism installation, Ironwood

3. commons/confluence park and surrounding paths along the river and pedestrian bridges leading to downtown. Here's how you would utilize this space: start with a drink in the bar at linger during happy hour (sure, the patio is popular but I think the bar is a lot sexier and more comfortable and less crowded). Then head down the hill to little man ice cream for dessert (just order a kids size: it's cheap and more than enough ice cream. I recommend anything with the word "salted" in front of it). Keep walking down 16th, across the I-25 pedestrian bridge. If you're on bike you must stop into salvagetti (first building north of the bridge) to say hi to the great employees and best bike shop in Denver. Otherwise, keep walking straight and you'll run into commons park. South one block is confluence park. These places are great for relaxing, having a picnic, people-watching, or access to trails for biking or running. Beyond commons park is yet another beautiful pedestrian bridge that spits you out essentially right on the 16th street mall. Skip this place, but pop into the kitchen for dinner or take a peek inside union station. Heading back to where you started, stop into williams & graham for a nightcap.

Mix It: Williams & Graham's Vieux Carré from 5280 on Vimeo.

*MEL here--How cool is the above video about one of Williams & Graham's specialty cocktails?  Plus, I have friends who live near this bar and said it was a super rad speakeasy-style bar, masked behind a storefront of bookshelves.  Looks like our drinking problem will continue after all.*  

4. denver art museum: This museum rivals some of the great ones I've seen in my travels. It's big without being overwhelming and they have a good balance of an incredible permanent collection as well as great temporary exhibits. My favorite section is the western american collection. I thought that it was going to be cheesy oil paints of Kinkade-ish landscapes but boy was I wrong. I visit on the first Saturday of the month when the museum is free. It can be a bit crowded but I've never been a lingerer in a museum so I'm fine sweeping through, saying hi to my favorite pieces, and ducking out. If you want a quieter experience here, I suggest avoiding the museum at this time. Oh, and if you have children, this museum is so kid-friendly. I can't wait until Ramona gets better at walking and her and I are going to have a date here.

Western American Art, Denver Art Museum

5. boulder farmers market: No this is not in Denver but if you're in the Denver area on Wednesday evenings or Saturday mornings, it's certainly worth a drive to Boulder to check it out. The produce is fresh and local and the vendors are kind and excited about what they're doing. There are some prepared food kiosks but mostly it's fresh produce and happy-animal products (Denver is notorious for having "markets" that offer mainly local companies selling their prepared foods. This does not a farmers market make). To make your drive to Boulder worth it (though I have driven there just for this) I'd suggest poking your head into boxcar coffee and cured for some caffeine and picnic provisions (or grab lunch at pizzeria locale). If you want to get some hiking in, chautauqua has lots of trails to choose from.  (It's MEL again--in my very short time here, the Mr. and I have searched hi and low for a great food co-op or farmers market and surprisingly, we haven't come across much.  So this is wonderful to know about!) 

Boulder Farmers Market, Bon Appetit

Boxcar Coffee, Eric McNeish

Cured, Denver Post

Pizzeria Locale, Archinect

Chautauqua, Planet Ware

OK. I knew I couldn't do it! I have to throw a 6th one in here for good luck:

6. patzcuaro'sI order the margarita (as big as your head) and the chicken burrito deluxe. Nothing fancy. Good-sized portions. Cozy and shaded patio. Salsa with a kick.

Taqueria Patzcuaro, Lovely Denver

Welcome to Denver, Megan! I can't wait to hear what you think of these places and also recommendations on places you discover on your own.

Thank you so much Emily!  It's Wednesday which means I might hop in the car and head to the Boulder Farmers Market today!

Tell me, my dear internet cosmos, have any of you been to any of Emily's favorites?  Tell me in the comments below.

I'll be back tomorrow with a new list of things to try out from this super cool new mom.