My New Venture: Zia Photography


Hello Dear Readers, New Readers, or New Farmington Residents!

I’ve stopped blogging at Living in Farmington, NM but I have started a new business.

I started Zia Photography. I have a huge passion for documenting what is most important and what can bring us the most joy: FAMILY.

I hope you follow me there! Please give me a call if you want me to document your family. 634-9495

All the best,

Instagram: @ziaphotos




Personal Living Experience – Karlee’s Story

Karlee's amazing kids!
My cute kiddos!

Thanks Karlee for doing this interview! I know that families who are looking at moving here or who are new to Farmington, can learn some great tips on how to adjust here and what to appreciate about this area. Thanks!

Where did you move here from, what year, and what brought you here?

We moved from Edmond, Oklahoma in June 2009 to buy our practice.

When we first started looking at options of where to go after graduating from school, I had to put it in my mind that I could make it work for our family wherever we were as long as our basic needs were being met. When Farmington came up as an option, I half jokingly told my husband, “It’s got a Sam’s Club, a Walmart, a Target, a Hobby Lobby and a Lowe’s… that’s more than I could ask for!”  Had I not gone into our move with this attitude, I am sure I would have focused on all the things I didn’t like and made myself miserable. 

Did you and the family easily adjust or did it take a while?

It took a while.
Floating shelves I made for my craft room.
Floating shelves I made for my craft room.

What do you love about Farmington?

Honestly I am not sure I can totally say I LOVE anything yet. But here is what I can say I appreciate: I have met some great people, I have everything I need here, Farmington is really pretty central to a lot of places that I like to go. We have good weather (not too cold, icy or snowy in the winter, not too hot in the summer and no crazy tornadoes!!). We have some pretty scenery and sunsets and we are close to a lot of different activities and learning/historical places. There really is something for everyone here; you just might have to take some initiative and find it.

What are some things that your children enjoy about Farmington? Are they involved in any sports or activities?

Lots of parks! My kids were pretty young when we moved here so they really have adjusted well and I really tried hard to find the positives and focus on that when we first moved here. So I think it’s been easier for them. They are involved in volleyball, baseball, softball and music right now. They have done golf and my son wants to start soccer.

What are some of your favorite activities to do in Farmington or the surrounding areas?

We camp, go 4-wheeling, hunt, snow ski, water ski, golf, hike, go to the shooting range, volleyball, baseball, and softball.

What are some of your favorite date places?

Uhhhh….. we are kinda boring and usually just do dinner and a movie.

Are you involved in any clubs or activities?

I play on a women’s league volleyball team; I have recently started learning to play tennis. I golf and am involved my church. I do lots of crafting and wood working (she’s amazing!).
This girl has skills! An entry table that she made.
An entry table that I made.

What are some things that you do not like about Farmington (just keepin’ it real)?

 For the most part now, there is not much I don’t like but I still do struggle with variety and accessibility.  I grew up in a big city so I am used to having a lot of variety and always being able to just run out and get whatever I wanted/needed right then. Its been a bit of adjustment for me – I have to plan better so I can find it online and get it here in time. 

Best Gourmet Burgers – Three Rivers Eatery and Brewery

Three Rivers Eatery and Brewery

You can buy a good, classic burger all around Farmington. But to eat the best gourmet burgers, you’ll have to go to Three Rivers Eatery and Brewery.

My absolute favorite is the Smothered Open-Faced Bomb! Here is the description from the menu: Smothered Open-Faced Bomb – Colby-jack cheese, green chile pork sauce, a fried egg, diced fresh jalapeños, diced heirloom tomatoes, and green onions. Served on toasted sourdough. This is the bomb burger! So, so good.

What’s so special about their burgers?

  • Their patties are their own mix of angus chuck, ribeye, Kobe sirloin, and ground bacon.
  • They make it fresh daily.
  • 1/2 pound burger. I want a burger that I can sink my teeth into.
  • The burger combinations! Where else can you find bacon jam on a burger?
  • 1/2 off on Monday nights starting at 5pm. My $14 burger suddenly becomes $7!
This is one good salad! It only cost $1 more to sub out the fries for the salad.
This is one good salad! It only cost $1 more to sub out the fries for the salad.

Burger Selections

  • El Bobador $15/ $14 / $13. A spin on the 3RB classic Bob’s Burger. Bacon, colby-jack cheese, sliced fresh jalapeños, onion ring, lettuce, heirloom tomato, red onion, dill pickle slices, and side of hopscotch ale bbq sauce.
  • Truffle Salted Mushroom $13/ $12 / $11. Sautéed crimini mushrooms, Swiss cheese, crispy onions, baby spinach, heirloom tomato, and dill pickle slices.
  • Jay’s Pink Cadillac $16/ $15 / $14. Crispy pork belly, white cheddar, bacon jam, baby arugula, heirloom tomato, pickled red onion, and dill pickle slices.
  • Au Poivre $13/ $12 / $11. Peppercorn encrusted, bleu & brie cheeses, sautéed onions, Cognac demi-glace, baby arugula, heirloom tomato, and dill pickle slices.
  • Smothered Open-Faced Bomb $14/ $13 / $12. Colby-jack cheese, green chile pork sauce, a fried egg, diced fresh jalapeños, diced heirloom tomatoes, and green onions. Served on toasted sourdough. Add sour cream .50 Add guacamole $1. Warning: The green chile sauce is HOT!
  • Gourmet Burger of the Week* Ask your server what Gourmet Burger Chef Jay has prepared for you this Week. No Substitutions, additions, or deletions. *Prices will vary depending on current special , ask your server. New Burgers start on Tuesday.
Casual and fun atmosphere.


  • They serve quality, hand-crafted food. This means a longer wait time. I wouldn’t take an impatient 2-year-old to dinner here.
  • The atmosphere is casual, fun, and funky. It’s a great place to take the family or out-of-town guests.
  • 101 East Main Street
This is the only time my kids get excited about pennies. Buying gumballs at Three Rivers.
This is the only time my kids get excited about pennies. Buying gumballs at Three Rivers.

Question: Where is your favorite place to buy a good burger? Please leave your comment on the Living in Farmington, NM Facebook page or in the comment section above. Thanks for reading!



Living a Healthier Life in Farmington – Bountiful Baskets


“Mom are you pregnant?” asks my 10-year-old daughter.
“Yes, I’m five months along. NOT!”

I have known for a long time that we have needed to increase our vegetable and fruit intake for our overall health. So when my daughter makes a comment like that, it gives me a great kick in the pants to start taking some action!

Bountiful Baskets is a way that I can do that and I know that it will help other families in Farmington too.

Look at the delicious variety! Kiwis, pomegranates, lemons, pineapple, cantaloupe, and oranges.

Here is what people are saying about Bountiful Baskets:

  • I flippin’ love it! I’m hooked! We can with it; I’ve canned carrots. I’ve made mango raspberry jam. Papaya bread is amazing! If you don’t know what to do with an item, just Google it. That is how I came to make papaya bread. Also, I eat fruits and vegetables that I normally don’t eat. -Debra Lisenbee
  • Honestly, I buy a Bountiful Basket because it is cheaper than what you can get at the grocery store. The quality is better too. I bought 40 pounds of Honey Crisp apples for $34 and they were $3.99 at the grocery store. -Angie
  • It’s affordable produce and there is an organic option. It also forces you to try new things. We tried fennel and it’s really good in some butter, cheese, and bacon. -Chara
  • We buy a Bountiful Basket because of the quality of the fruits and vegetables and because of the variety. -Heather
A community effort. Volunteers at Heights Middle School.

Bountiful Baskets – How it works:

  • It is a co-op. The produce comes from local farmers. It is not leftover or damaged produce from large chain grocery stores.
  • You order your basket online every other Monday. Ordering starts on Monday at noon and ends until sellout or Tuesday at 10 pm. Here is the link:
  • Pick up times for the produce: Friday at 6 or 6:20 @ Heights Middle School; 3700 College Blvd.
  • Participants must volunteer once a quarter. It’s fun to volunteer! You help distribute the produce into the baskets and meet community members.
  • This is a completely volunteer operation – which is awesome! No one is paid, not even the site coordinators. They do it for the love of community and for healthy and affordable produce.  A shout out to my sister, Melissa, and her good friend, Crystal, who brought Bountiful Baskets to Farmington. They paved the way for Kirtland and Aztec to have it too.
  • Next date to purchase: Monday, November 2nd.

If you need help ordering, click on the link for the Bountiful Baskets New Mexico Facebook page. Someone will gladly help you.



If you are looking for a way to eat more healthy for you and your family but also in an affordable manner, Bountiful Baskets is the solution. Here is to happy, healthy eating in Farmington!




My Favorite Lunch Spot in Farmington

Mikasa Japanese Cuisine

I dream in sugar and baked goods but I do try to eat healthy most days. It’s a weird life.

Mikasa Japanese Cuisine

So my favorite healthy lunch spot is in Farmington is Mikasa Japanese Cuisine. I can’t get enough of this place!

Chicken Hibachi

I only order one thing and that is the chicken hibachi. It is delicious mix of stir-fried chicken and vegetables in an awesome sauce served over rice. The chicken is always tender and the vegetables are always how they should be – never mushy or completely raw. Another bonus – you never have to wait long for your order.

Sumo came with a high recommendation for their chicken hibachi. I actually went there and was so disappointed that I didn’t go to Mikasa instead. If you live across town, Mikasa is totally worth the drive to downtown Farmington.

If you go:

  • 400 W Main St; Farmington, NM 87401
  • (505) 327-2255; They do deliver.
  • $7 bowl/ $10 plate Chicken Hibachi
  • If you are on a low carb diet, you can order it without rice or have the rice served in a separate bowl.
  • Children Friendly: Yes! The staff never gives me the stink eye when my one-year-old spills rice all over the floor when she eats.

Question: Where is your favorite lunch spot in Farmington? Please leave a comment in the Living in Farmington, NM Facebook page or in the comment section above. Happy Eating!



Best High Altitude Pumpkin Bread

The best pumpkin bread!

I have the BEST pumpkin bread recipe that works wonderfully at our high altitude of 5,395 feet in Farmington!

It’s incredibly light, moist, and melts in your mouth.

How do you find the best recipes ever??? You shamelessly ask for them. That’s my secret.

My son’s best friend’s mom brought us over some pumpkin bread down in Socorro. It was absolutely amazing! Of course, I asked her for the recipe. She kindly shared it with me. Thanks Virginia!

Now I can share the recipe with you.

Best High Altitude Pumpkin Bread
So light and moist and works at an altitude of 5,395 feet!
Write a review
2725 calories
379 g
372 g
123 g
32 g
11 g
880 g
2595 g
234 g
1 g
106 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 2725
Calories from Fat 1092
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 123g
Saturated Fat 11g
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 22g
Monounsaturated Fat 84g
Cholesterol 372mg
Sodium 2595mg
Total Carbohydrates 379g
Dietary Fiber 6g
Sugars 234g
Protein 32g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. -2 1/2 cups flour (wheat works well too)
  2. -1 2/3 cups of sugar
  3. -2 teaspoons of baking soda
  4. -1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  5. -1 teaspoon of ginger
  6. -1 teaspoon of salt
  7. -4 eggs
  8. -1 cup of oil
  9. -2/3 cup of water
  10. -1 can of pumpkin (15oz)
  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large loaf pan or two smaller pans.
  2. 1. Mix all the dry ingredients together - flour, sugar, soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.
  3. 2. Mix all the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl - eggs, oil, water, and pumpkin.
  4. 3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
  5. 4. Fill the loaf pan(s) to 2/3 full.
  6. 5. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
  7. 6. Enjoy!
  1. Dollar General sells their generic brand of pumpkin for only $1! Wal-Mart sells their brand for $1.58 and I think Libby's is $1.88.
Living in Farmington, New Mexico

I Found Delilah in Farmington!!!

I used to laugh, cry, and rock out with Delilah.

Then I moved to Farmington and I couldn’t find her. She was one of the many things that I had really missed!

The my husband found her a few months ago!!! At last, I could listen to sappy love stories, classic love songs by Rod Steward, Phil Collins, Kelly Clarkson, and all the ones that you know the words to by heart. The Phil Collins song below was the first song that came on when I streamed the Delilah show this morning. Such a great one!

Deliah is the radio personality behind the Delilah show. She is the self-proclaimed “queen of sap” and I and millions of others love her for that!

Her radio show is on at 7 p.m. on 107.9 in Farmington.

You can listen to her in the car when you are driving your son home from Scouts (like I do) or stream her radio show from home.

Happy listening!

Question: Who is your favorite radio personality? Please leave a comment on the Living in Farmington, NM Facebook page or in the comment section above. Thanks!



3 Favorite Doors in Farmington

Besides God and family, it’s the little things that make me happy. I’m pretty easy to please. For instance, there are three doors in Farmington that bring a smile to my face.

St. John’s Episcopal Church

They have one of the most beautiful churches and doors in all of Farmington. It is right next to the E3 Children’s Museum & Science Center.

A work of art.

Dunkin’ Donuts

The bright pink door handle with a hole in the middle is so fun to open. It says, “Open me. You have come to the right place. Yummy doughnut treats await!”

This superhero needs a doughnut break.
This superhero needs a doughnut.

E3 Children’s Museum & Science Center

Their doors are enormous and yet they are a children’s place. My son always wants to open the door himself. It is like he is entering a gigantic gateway to fun!


Question: What are your favorite doors in Farmington? I’ll take snapshots and post them on the Living in Farmington, NM Facebook page. Thanks for reading!



How To Make Friends In Farmington

Photo courtesy of

I have written about this before but I believe it to be true: A huge key to happiness is in having meaningful relationships (NY Times bestseller, Gretchen Rubin, talks about this in her book The Happiness Project).

So are you happy with your social life? Do you feel like you have good friends in Farmington?

When I was growing up, I was a total LONER! I still have a hard time making associations (I am far more comfortable behind a computer – go figure!).

I just recently met a wonderful mom who moved here a few weeks ago. She has inspired me with her techniques on how to make friends in Farmington.

A few tips on how to make friends from this mom:

Scenario: There is usually a group of 3-6 moms who meet at the E3 Children’s Museum on Wednesday.
Me: These women look like they have been friends for years and they are deep into their conversation. I don’t want to interrupt them even though I wish I could be a part of their association!
The New Mom: Excuse me. Are you all part of a group? I’m new in town and am looking for groups to join.
Reality: Other moms are actually very willing to help other moms. Don’t be afraid to interrupt a group of talking moms and to join the conversation!

Scenario: Finding a group to join.
Me: I don’t know where to find one. That was literally my excuse for years.
The new mom: She Googled and asked around for groups to join. So easy!
Reality: It can be hard if you don’t know what to Google. This mom already knew about MOPS and she Googled “MOPS in Farmington, NM”. I am going to start a “Club” page so it will be easier to find a club or group to join in Farmington.

Scenario: Joining a group.
Me: I joined a group and it wasn’t a good fit for me. Then I gave up.
The new mom: “I’ve already been to a book club meeting and I’m going to attend both MOPS meetings this month.”
Reality: If one group isn’t a good fit, there are others. Don’t give up! Be proactive. That has been the greatest thing that I have learned in my four years of living here. I always thought that friends would magically come to me. My new friend has taught me that I have to put myself out there.

Friends are Waiting

You might have to go a little outside of your comfort zone, but I am confident that your happiness will increase exponentially in Farmington as you make wonderful associations and friends in Farmington!

Question: What is your secret sauce to making friends in Farmington? Please leave a comment on the Living in Farmington, NM Facebook page or in the comment section above. Thanks!



Things To Do: E3 Children’s Museum & Science Center


My 3-year-old Joe and 1-year-old Sienna love their museum preschool! The E3 Children’s Museum and Science Center is the coolest, most fun, and educational place for young children in Farmington!

Joe bawled his eyes out when his three older siblings went back to school. He wanted to go to school so badly! So I told him that he could go to his own school – the museum preschool.

So every Wednesday, we go to the E3 Children’s Museum and have a blast. He loves his “preschool” so much that at 9 pm last night (Thursday) and this morning (Friday), he told me that he had to go to his museum preschool!

Why We Love the E3 Children’s Museum and Science Center

  1. It’s a children’s place. It’s a place for children to PLAY, EXPLORE, and LEARN. Little do they know that they are learning so much like fine motor skills when they hold a paintbrush or social skills when when they have to take turns on the slide in the Tot’s Turf room. 
    Cousins exploring and playing with sound waves.
  2. The staff are incredibly friendly! The lady manning the front desk will greet us when we walk in and Cherie (the education coordinator) or Barbara (the education assistant), will talk to the kids and smile at them while she explains the art activity. 
    Barbara, the education assistant, and my good friend.
  3. It’s a great meeting place for moms, dads, grandparents, caregivers, and children. I enjoy going to the museum just as much as my children because of the adult interaction I receive. It’s so easy to meet other caregivers there and strike up a conversation.
  4. It’s easy on the budget. Farmington has one-up on the Albuquerque children’s museum! I wouldn’t be able to attend the museum often if I had to pay the Albuquerque price. Even though it is free, donations are accepted.
  5. The art activities. I am not an artsy or crafty mom. Thankfully, Cherie, the education coordinator, plans quality, age-appropriate art activities for the children every week. I now have art for my wall and refrigerator and special art for the grandparents to put on their refrigerator.
Showing off his elephant – one the many awesome art activities that Joe has made at the Wednesday activity.

E3 Children’s Museum & Science Center

Hours: Tuesday – Saturday; 10 am – 5 pm

Toddler Playdates: Every Wednesday; 10-12; Art activity offered. Come to develop early motor skills and meet new friends. (This is the activity that we call attend and call “preschool”.)

Friday Fun: Every Friday; 10-11; Art, songs, stories, and fun offered!


If you are new to Farmington and you and the kids need an outting, come say hi or hang out with me and my kids on Wednesday at 10. I’m actually shy and am more comfortable behind a computer, but I hope to help you feel welcome and let you know that Farmington is a wonderful place to work and live!