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El Paso & Southern New Mexico





inspiration ideas resources

it’s all about the view

stunning pool design

having it all

authentic Tuscan style in Mesilla Valley

affordable elegance in El Paso




Bill Faulkner

El Paso & Southern New Mexico

inspiration ideas resources



24 where the heart is

There’s always room for everyone in a family-friendly abode in Mesilla Valley.

35 affordable elegance

Three amenity-filled homes prove a semicustom home is the easiest way to have it all.

On the cover: A breathtaking panoramic view of the El Paso skyline is the focal point of this home’s scenic backyard. More on pools with a view on page 6. Photograph by Bill Faulkner.

in every issue 4 Inside Su Casa

6 Life+Style Southwest

Pool designs that are all about the view; a new line of high-tech LED lighting; Steve Thomas discusses his “64 House”; and the latest bathroom design trends.

16 Design Studio

Moll Anderson’s bathroom brings the “wow factor”; a roundup of coffee tables that range in style from rustic to retro.

58 Vida Buena

Country artist Josh Grider; the CrossFit phenomenon at El Paso’s CrossFit 915; and inspiration to live healthier from Tucson’s Canyon Ranch.

60 Live Performance Calendar

Some of this spring’s most exciting live events in El Paso and Southern New Mexico, including the buzzed-about Broadway adaptation of Wicked.

66 Su Libro Three new books with different perspectives on literature, gardening, and cooking.

68 Su Cocina

Executive Chef Philida Bill’s exciting new menu at Southwest University Park; Ump 88 Grill; and the benefits of juicing with Mom’s Fresh Juice Co.

80 Adios

A burst of color and eclectic style come together in a quirky dining room. 2

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John Hall Photography

Inside Su Casa


Bruce Adams


550 S. Mesa Hills Drive, Ste. D2 El Paso, Texas 79912 P. 915.533.2288 F. 915.533.2280 “Creating inspiring built environments that exceed expectation.”



S U C A S A S p r i n g 2015


he weather is now transitioning to spring, and the warm days of summer aren’t too far off. This is a lovely time to live here in the El Paso/Las Cruces area, where we’re able to enjoy a long and delightful spring. Like all seasons, spring is also a time of transition, both inside and outside your home. In this issue of Su Casa, we consider a personalized approach to home design. Every home is, of course, personalized to its owner’s particular tastes in some way, but when we get more ambitious with our personalization, we need to consult an industry professional. Many such professionals are advertisers in this issue, and they’ve worked with numerous homeowners over the course of their careers and made it their business to stay on top of the newest and most innovative solutions. I’m often concerned that if I bring in an expert for a certain project my opinion and needs will be ignored—but that’s never been the case. Having spent a lot of time talking to landscape architects, interior designers, remodelers, and builders, I’ve come to realize that these professionals aim to make their clients happy. They listen to our needs and concerns. The advantage for us is that they have a wealth of solutions to offer, including different options for various budgets. No matter what you’re looking to design—your swimming pool, your bathroom, your lighting system—there’s an expert whose career centers on being knowledgeable as well as innovative within that area. What’s more, these experts know that they’re being employed to satisfy our needs, not their own. Whether it be one of the areas of the homes covered in this issue or any other area, remember that, as homeowners, it’s our job to convey our needs to the professionals we’re turning to. It’s their job to come up with options. The more precise we can be with our needs, the more precise the professionals can be with their solutions. Our biggest challenge is actually understanding what our needs are. That’s where this and every issue of Su Casa comes in. We exist to expand your vision of what’s possible in a home—and not just any home, but your home.

El Paso & Southern New Mexico

inspiration ideas resources

Published by Bella Media, LLC Publisher Bruce Adams Business Development Bob Skolnick Associate Publisher B. Y. Cooper Editor Danielle Urbina Executive Editor Amy Gross Associate Editor Cristina Olds Contributors Moll Anderson, Jackie Dishner, Tiffany Etterling Cassie McClure, Jessica Muncrief Stephanie Rodriguez, Steve Thomas, Barbara Wysocki Lead Graphic Designer Sybil Watson Designer & Media Specialist Michelle Odom Contributing Designer Whitney Stewart Photography Bill Faulkner, Nohemy Gonzalez, Jesse Ramirez

For advertising information contact: office 915-581-2300 mobile 575-649-8340 mobile 915-603-8434 Customer Service Manager Julieta Rios Operations Manager Ginny Stewart

Please direct editorial queries to For subscriptions, call 818-286-3164

El Paso Office 550 South Mesa Hills Dr, Ste D-1 El Paso, TX 79912 915-581-2300 Santa Fe Office Pacheco Park, 1512 Pacheco St, Ste D-105 Santa Fe, NM 87505 505-983-1444 Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico Volume 03, Number 2, Spring 2015. Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico is published quarterly in December, March, June, and September by Bella Media, LLC at Pacheco Park, 1512 Pacheco St, Ste D-105, Santa Fe, NM 87505, USA, Phone (505) 983-1444. ŠCopyright 2015 by Bella Media, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is strictly prohibited. Basic annual subscription rate is $9.95, Canada & Mexico is $23.95, other international countries is $27.95. U.S. singlecopy price is $5.95; back issues are $6.95 each. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico, P.O. Box 15305, North Hollywood, CA 91615-5305. Subscription Customer Service: Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico, P.O. Box 15305, North Hollywood, CA 91615-5305, Phone (818) 286-3164, Fax (800) 869-0040,

Life+Style Southwest

by Jessica Muncrief

it’s all about the view Pool design soars to a whole new level


S U C A S A S p r i n g 2015

Nohemy Gonzalez


n this hectic, modern world, many homeowners yearn to step out their back doors and embark on mini-staycations. Swimming pools today are about much more than swimming and cooling off. The realm of today’s pool designer extends far beyond the water’s edge, and the decision to install a pool is often a package deal, incorporating elaborate landscaping and amenity-filled patios and entertainment areas. Since aesthetics are right up there with functionality, topnotch pool design starts with a spectacular view.

Bill Faulkner

going with the flow

Stunning mountain vistas. Check. Enchanting desert landscapes and jaw-dropping sunsets. Check and check. Tack on more than 300 days of sunshine, and it’s easy to see why many area homeowners put extra effort into creating enviable outdoor spaces. More often than not, it’s a pool that takes center stage. Whether perched above the city lights or in the valley with the mountains off in the distance, the view from the backyard almost always dictates the placement of the pool, says custom pool designer Joe Beechler of Paradise Pools in El Paso. “If the home is built on a slope, a vanishing edge is usually a great option. Sometimes we can also work in other elements—like stone walls or waterfalls. Sometimes, though, the edge is enough, and adding in other features

“The primary focal points for any pool should always direct your eyes toward the view, but never distract from it.”—Joe Beechler, Paradise Pools

will block or pull too much attention from the view,” Beechler explains. “The primary focal points for any pool should always direct your eyes toward the view, but never distract from it.” But whether the view is at the top or the bottom of a slope, Beechler and landscape designer Mark Nash, owner of Nash Patio & Garden, both agree that it’s better to work with the natural surroundings than against them. In one memorable project, Nash found himself in a canyon at the base of the Franklin Mountains, so he created a pool entirely of moss rock flagstone that blends effortlessly into the setting. With water appearing to flow into the pool instead of out, it could actually be considered a reverse vanishing edge. “Our main concern building at the base of the hill was not to disrupt the natural drainage of the canyon,” he remembers. “A neat effect, however, is that it appears as if the water is coming straight off the mountain into the pool.”

This resort-like pool design offers stunning views of the Franklin Mountains. Landscaper Mark Nash surrounded the pool with large palm trees, plenty of greenery, and a Colorado moss rock deck.

Bill Faulkner

Opposite: Juan Carlos Rodriguez of Silver Springs Pool and Spa took advantage of this West El Paso home’s location and designed an infinityedge pool that overlooks the desert landscape. When planning the pool and landscape for his own home, Rodriguez created an oasis with amenities like waterfalls, water slides, and lush foliage (above).



“The primary focal points for any pool should always direct your eyes toward the view, but never distract from it.” —Joe Beechler, Paradise Pools

Natural elements like stone walls, desert landscaping, and a delicate fire feature help integrate the mountain view into this pool’s design.

Nohemy Gonzalez

The minimal separate features and the vanishing edge of this pool by Paradise Pools keeps the focus on the panorama of the Franklin Mountains beyond.

Bill Faulkner

To create a tropical vibe, Mark Nash incorporated several waterfalls into this pool and surrounded the area with cold-hardy palm trees.


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The decision to install a pool is often a package deal, incorporating elaborate landscaping and amenity-filled patios and entertainment areas.

Bill Faulkner

building a view

Even if a home isn’t blessed with an awe-inspiring view, that doesn’t mean one can’t be made. When Juan Carlos Rodriguez, owner of Silver Springs Pool and Spa, started building a pool for his own family’s home, he found himself faced with plenty of space, but it was all completely flat and lackluster. Rodriguez called in the heavy equipment. “We wanted to create the effect of a tropical island; that’s the view we wanted to see from our back window,” he explains. “We created that landscape by bringing in the grader to move dirt and create different elevations that allowed us to incorporate different elements.” Rodriguez finished out the overall look with palm trees and plenty of green foliage. The newly created elevations allowed for the installation of multiple waterslides and islands right in the middle of the water. When the Rodriguez family looks out their window, what they see is their own private oasis, right in the middle of the desert.

resources Nash Patio & Garden Paradise Pools Silver Springs Pool & Spa

Life+Style Southwest

by Donna Lee Schillinger

by Tiffany Etterling

An early pioneer in track lightin Tech Lighting is synonymous w exceptional design and long lasting construction.

Above: Rising and falling bands of LED strips join to create the Surge linear suspension light, which is modeled after graceful ocean waves.

Palestra line-voltage pendants merge stylish design and advanced LED technology in these fixtures inspired by solid glass paperweights crafted by Venetian artisans.

The ultra-thin Span adds a sophisticated, modern touch to bathroom sinks and vanities.

illuminating innovation T

he light bulb has come a long way since Thomas Edison’s patent of the carbon filament lamp in 1879 to the widespread use of compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs in the past decade. In terms of design and performance, the technology improves every year. Tech Lighting, a line of lighting under parent company Generation Brands, is one company on the cutting edge of both lighting technology and design. Founded in 1983, Tech Lighting was an early pioneer in track lighting. Today, the company is synonymous with exceptional design and long-lasting construction. “You don’t see anything cheap from Tech Lighting; it’s all quality,” says Shirley Gschwind, owner of Westside Lighting Gallery in El Paso. Tech Lighting introduced low-voltage technology in the United States and also pioneered the FreeJack system, which allows homeowners to easily switch out fixtures, says Generation Brands Chief Design Officer Sean Lavin. “It’s so easy that we have customers who switch their 10

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fixtures out seasonally,” he adds. “They’ll have three fixtures for different times of year.” Today the company’s lighting categories not only include line-voltage and low-voltage pendants, but also linear suspension lighting, ceiling lights, wall sconces, bath lighting, LED recessed downlights, and more. The majority of Tech Lighting’s fixtures use LED technology, and some use halogen bulbs. “Halogen allows you to do everything a little smaller,” explains Lavin. He adds that halogen produces a brighter, crisper light, and

Courtesy of Generation Brands

Stylish, high-tech lighting that makes an unforgettable statement

ng, with g-

the compact scale makes everything seem more refined. Tech produces an ultrasleek track lighting with nickel, chrome, and other finishes to match kitchen appliances, providing light and ambience to kitchen spaces without the bulk of traditional rope lighting. The Span bath light uses advanced, edge-lit LED light guide technology, similar to an iPhone. “The benefit of light guide LED is that it’s directed light,” says Lavin. That means the overall fixture can be sleek and minimalistic without sacrificing performance. “Span looks like a floating piece of glass. It gives you a very clean, shelf-like appearance. When you turn it on, the glass just lights up.” Tech Lighting combines practicality with innovative design aesthetics. Lavin’s own designs are often inspired by nature.

A pioneer in track lighting, Tech Lighting is synonymous with exceptional design and long-lasting construction. Surge, a new take on the traditional chandelier, came from hours of studying surf patterns, while the Folium pendant takes the design of a leaf and marries it with an energy-efficient light. Lavin and the Tech Lighting team constantly travel the world searching for inspiration for design styles that range from modern to retro. “Offering a high quality product is just as important as creative design,” says Lavin. “People don’t realize that every piece of glass we sell is blown glass; it isn’t manufactured.” In an industry defined by innovation, Tech Lighting is setting the bar high, offering customers the latest in beauty and cutting-edge technology.

resources Tech Lighting Westside Lighting Gallery 915-585-3000

by Steve Thomas

The “When I’m 64” House


hen the Beatles song first came out, turning 64 was never going to happen! But it’s coming, so I’m thinking about it, particularly in terms of housing. My wife and I have bought and renovated a series of homes, each bigger and more suited to an active family life. The best was a 1700s first-period colonial in the historic district of Salem, Massachusetts, with a big backyard for kids and dogs; tons of bedrooms and bathrooms; a big kitchen for the holidays; a garage, a workshop, a hot tub. You get the idea. I loved that place, but I needed something very different for my “64 House.” I’m currently renovating a circa 1905, Shingle-style cottage in Maine called Sea Cove—a shore base for us and a practical retirement home if we age out of the rigors of island life. We could just call it “64 Cottage” because the whole concept is to create a base for a very active next couple of decades for my wife and me. The “64 House,” like the “Family House,” is a workshop, but one to facilitate getting out of the house rather than staying at home—to ski or bike, to travel

to Paris or Patagonia. Sound good? As you design your “64 House,” consider these suggestions: Keep it small. Get rid of stuff, rent a storage locker nearby, and seriously edit your art collection. Small doesn’t mean blah. Designer Robin Siegerman maximized every square inch in Sea Cove with built-ins. It’s like living in a grand yacht rather than a small house. Go for premium fixtures, fittings and appliances. If you think I like spending more for appliances than a car, I don’t. But the Wolf/Sub-Zero/Asko package is worth every penny. Living small means everything is in your face, so you want everything you see and touch and feel to speak quality. Control costs by editing features and furniture. Building small means you use less “stuff,” and editing the stuff you do put in means you’ll use less still. Utilize simple, efficient, robust building systems. On Sea Cove I used a combination of spray foam and cellulose insulation, along

In overall concept, the “64 House,” like the “Family House,” is a workshop, but one to facilitate getting out of the house rather than staying at home. with highly efficient Kolbe & Kolbe windows and doors (from Sunwest Construction Specialties in Santa Fe) for a very tight building envelope. The state-of-the-art, mini-split heat pumps heat and cool the house for a dollar a day, and the electrical and plumbing systems are straight and simple. Our 64 House is easy to maintain: We can lock the doors and go off for a month without worrying about complex mechanical systems failing.

Steve Thomas is a home renovation expert and the spokesperson for Habitat for Humanity International. 12

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Living small means living smart. Clever built-ins, like these understair shoe shelves, free up valuable closet space elsewhere.

Steve Thomas

Steve Thomas

Douglas Merriam

Small, highly designed spaces for active boomers

Above: High-end kitchen appliances are worth every penny, says Steve Thomas, who is partial to the Wolf, Sub-Zero, and Asko brands. Likewise, he says, it pays to invest in quality hardware and finishes, like the upscale (but still fun) nautical fixtures on his kitchen sink (below).

We moved into the house this past December, just as the worst of the Maine winter set in. Despite bitter temperatures, the heat pumps kept the house warm, even below zero. It is always very instructive for me to live in what I renovate because I get to see firsthand what works and what doesn’t. So far, so good with Sea Cove Cottage. I’ll let you know how it’s doing in six months. Or maybe I’ll just send you a post card . . . from Patagonia!

Life+Style Southwest by Julieta Rios

small room,

Courtesy of Interceramic; Courtesy of Kohler Co.

To spice up the palette of white and gray walls and hardware, consider a mosaic of tiles in an array of hues.

big style Professional designers share new and exciting trends in bathroom design

Accent walls dressed in decorative tiles from Interceramic lend visual interest to this sleek bathroom.

Vessel sinks with freestanding and wallmounted faucets add style to simple spaces.


athrooms are often the smallest rooms in most homes, but that doesn’t mean they should ever be neglected. Quite the contrary; bathroom design has evolved over the years, transforming the traditionally busy, functional family space to a haven of relaxation. In fact, the bathroom may be the ideal room in which to create a place of pure luxury in one’s home. “The master bathroom has become a very important room in the home,” says Mayela Perez, owner of Dekora in El Paso. “Make it your own by including something you relate to in your bathroom’s design.” With bathrooms (especially the master bath) now representing a significant part of a home’s investment, Perez suggests taking ample time to develop these rooms into warm and inviting spaces using plenty of natural light, natural elements, and a blend of textiles in surfaces and backsplashes. “For great bathroom finds I recommend visiting Interceramic,” she says. Although many of her clients lean toward gray


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textiles with white accents, Perez encourages adding accessories with a touch of color—flowers, plants, or décor—to create a clean, streamlined look that still exudes warmth. When it comes to hardware and fixtures, trends have undergone a few changes in recent years. Once all the rage, large bathtubs are out, and sexy showers are in. “It’s all about the shower,” says El Paso interior designer Margaret Ann Colia of Margaret Colia Interiors. “Men particularly like rain showerheads or double-headed showers. Installing multiple showerheads or having his-and-hers features is a big thing as well.” While showerheads and faucets are becoming increasingly sleek to accommodate a refined style of bathroom, they are also more technologically advanced; many manufacturers now offer eco-friendly, water-conserving fixtures. If your goal is to transform a bathroom into something more like a spa, Colia suggests taking advantage of the latest technology in bathroom accessories. “Use embellishments like chandeliers and shiny tiles with

Make the shower your stage and sing along to your favorite tunes with showerhead speakers by Kohler.

metallic finishes,” she says. “Televisions are a must in bathrooms now, and freestanding or wall-mounted towel warmers are a big thing for those who have the space.” Other options include shower speakers, chromatherapy (tubs that use colored lighting for effect), fireplaces, and heated floors. Whether you’re remodeling the bathroom for a whole new look or simply redecorating to keep things up to date, the options are endless. But both designers agree on one thing: Don’t be afraid to try something new. “Bathrooms are fun because that’s the place where you can break the rules,” says Colia. “Have fun; go out on the edge.”

Vessel sinks and wall-mounted fixtures create space on the countertop.

resources Dekora 915-222-2072 Margaret Colia Interiors 915-478-0694

Enchanted Spaces

When you mix form with function, a well-designed bathroom delivers the “wow”

“Old trunk fronts and panels make wonderful sink fronts,” Moll notes. “I love to layer mirrors because it adds dimension. By hanging these fabulous old gilded mirrors from the ceiling with chains, I was able to mirror the entire back wall.”

John Hall Photography

a little piece of heaven

by Moll Anderson

“A large copper tub (above) serves as an eye-catching focal point and brings a lot of ‘wow factor’ to a bathroom—and nothing beats it for a long, luxurious soak,” says Moll Anderson. “Lighting in a bathroom is everything, from a chandelier over the tub, to antique sconces on either side of the mirrors, to well-placed accent lighting.”


hen it comes to home design, I think bathrooms should be right up at the top of the list with kitchens! Think about how much time you actually spend in your bathroom. Every morning I bet it’s the first place you go straight out of bed. It is for me. You prepare for the day in your bathroom. You bathe or shower, brush your teeth, put on your makeup or aftershave. It’s the place you first see yourself every morning in the mirror, and where you take that last-minute look to say, “Okay, I’m ready to face the world!” before walking out of the house. That being said, a bathroom should reflect the vibe of your home and yet be super functional. You need to ask yourself this question: “What does my bathroom need to do to make my life better?” I’m serious! That should always be your goal when remodeling or building. If your life isn’t going to improve by it, then why do it? Other questions to ask yourself: What does my bathroom look like now, and why doesn’t it work? Is it outdated? Not userfriendly? Does it always seem to look dirty or cluttered? What would the ultimate dream bathroom be for you and for your relationship? Is it a Zen, modern, or sophisticated vibe? Or like me, do you want your bathroom to be an extension of your design décor? When I was working on our Santa Fe home, I knew my master bathroom needed to have what I call “the wow factor”—the moment when you walk into a room and all you can say is “Wow!” I know you know what I mean! Because I was remodeling an older (historic) home, I had to work within certain parameters, but the bathroom still had to be multifunctional to make a difference for my husband and me—meaning, it needed a closet, a laundry room, and a place to take long lingering baths and showers. By hiding all the necessities behind doors and upping the wow factor with accessories, my bathroom is both functional and “Santa Fe seductive.” 16

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Moll Anderson Moll Anderson is a television host, interior designer, life stylist, and author of three books, including Change Your Home, Change Your Life. She and her husband are part-time residents of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Quality Builders of Traditional New Mexican Homes * Remodels * Casitas * Grand Haciendas * Design Services * No matter the size, no matter the price, we make all homes unique and classically New Mexico View hundreds of photos at

Wayne and Kiki Suggs 575-525-9530 office 575-644-5327 cell

Design Studio

by Danielle Urbina

center of attention You can’t beat a coffee table for storage and style When it comes to coffee tables, the phrase “last but not least” comes to mind for many designers and homeowners. Often integrated as the last piece of the puzzle (after seating), a coffee table typically ends up being the star attraction in a room, instantly enhancing its design appeal while also serving practical purposes (think space and storage). From retro to rustic, here are a few favorite designs that will set the tone for a living room that’s both functional and stylish.

Rustics For Less Four-Drawer Cabana Coffee Table Fans of rustic Southwestern style will love this table. At Rustics For Less, artisans handcraft their tables using a three-step waxing process that ensures beautiful, long-lasting color. The Cabana is made with durable, straight-grain Brazilian pine and comes in several colors from antique green (shown here) to antique black. Price upon request, Rustics For Less

Marge Carson Malibu Rectangular Cocktail Table From Marge Carson, this minimalistic table is just right for the bare essentials. A great addition to any contemporary home, it features a rectangular, brushed-steel base perfect for storing your favorite books and magazines. Matching steel legs support a smooth, streamlined tabletop. Also available in a circular design. Price upon request, Charlotte’s Furniture

World Market Aiden Coffee Table Rustic style meets industrial design with this coffee table from World Market’s Aiden furniture collection. This mobile table (fitted with wheels that make it easy to move) is crafted from sustainable, fine-grain mango wood and is adorned with metal accents and legs. The collection also includes a console table, end tables, a bar cart, and more. $290, World Market,


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West Elm Origami Coffee Table Intricate design inspired by the Japanese art of paper folding gives this coffee table a leg up in style. Its gunmetal steel base is lightweight and supports a handinlaid, bone-tile tabletop. Though this table is smaller in size, it’s big in quality craftsmanship and trendy design, and its subdued color fits beautifully in a living room or home office. $399, West Elm,

Copenhagen Caro Coffee Table Inspired by midcentury style, the Caro coffee table from Copenhagen is the perfect combination of vintage and modern. The wooden design features an eye-catching natural walnut tabletop supported by a chrome base, a stylish complement to rooms with modern dĂŠcor. $465, Copenhagen

Editor’s Pick

Hemlock & Heather Reclaimed Wall Hangings


‘m a big fan of transforming materials like metal, old fabrics, and reclaimed wood into anything—from shelves and cabinetry to headboards and décor. So when I was browsing El Paso’s new West Elm store in the Fountains at Farah, the colorful wooden designs from Austin-based Hemlock & Heather were quick to catch my eye. In 2009, husband-and-wife duo Kris and Kelley Denby began to dabble in the world of construction and design while trying to furnish and decorate their new (and first) home. In the midst of creating pieces for themselves, the couple began designing and repurposing one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture and décor. With the idea of sustainability in mind, Kris and Kelley use discarded items and reclaimed wood to create pieces from rustic coffee tables to vibrant wooden wall hangings in the shape of, well, what else but Texas? —Danielle Urbina $130, West Elm, Hemlock & Heather,

Crafted with 100 percent recycled materials, each Hemlock & Heather wall hanging includes a note detailing the origin of the wood.

Editor’s Pick

Casa Decor Custom Bar Tables


enjoy entertaining at home, and as the hostess of many birthday parties and other celebrations, I’ve noticed that most party chatter happens right at the bar area. I really love the beauty—not to mention, the storage potential—of the rustic bar tables and liquor cabinets found at Casa Decor in El Paso’s Upper Valley. The furniture and décor company (which has served El Paso and New Mexico for 20 years) prides itself on creating rustic, one-of-a-kind furniture that gives your home a Western vibe. Casa Decor’s bar furniture is as functional as it is pretty, with a smooth finish and plenty of space for storing liquor, wine bottles, glasses, and other bar necessities. Looking for something really specific? The craftsmen at Casa Decor can build any custom piece to fit your needs.—Danielle Urbina Price upon request, Casa Decor

Above: Careful attention to detail is the hallmark of all of Casa Decor’s furnishings. In this hand-carved wine rack and liquor cabinet, individual spaces for 25 wine bottles plus a platform for pouring make it an eye-catching piece that’s perfect as a home bar.

VISIT US Parade of Homes April 18th thru May 3rd

by Tiffany Etterling Photographs by Bill Faulkner

where the heart is Custom details abound indoors and out in a family-friendly, Mesilla Valley home


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he term “Mesilla Valley” gets tossed around quite a bit. It’s most often used to describe the greater Las Cruces area, but that’s not precisely correct. There is an actual valley in Mesilla—the flood plain of the Rio Grande River—where one couple discovered an ideal five-acre site to build their dream home. Though they’re just minutes apart, the mountain and the Valley in Las Cruces each provide completely different canvases for an architectural backdrop. According to the homeowners (both native New Mexicans), he enjoys the desert landscape while she prefers the Valley. “I grew up in the Valley in Los Lunas, New Mexico,” she explains. “When we first moved to Las Cruces we lived up in Los Alturas for a while, and then I said, ‘now it’s my turn.’” This 7,500-square-foot-home took nearly two years to complete and was a collaborative effort between the homeowners, architect Michael Weeks of Michael Weeks Design/Build, interior designer Nancy Charles, and homebuilder Eddie Chavez to design a custom residence that would fit the family of four’s every need. More importantly, the homeowners wanted to create an inviting space where friends and family would feel welcome. “We are very family oriented. We don’t do a lot of traveling; we’re homebodies,” the wife explains. To accommodate their two children, three dogs, three cats, four chickens, and two reptiles, large outdoor spaces were essential. “We really wanted a place where our kids and their friends would want to be,” her husband adds. “And it worked; everyone loves being here.”

Above: Traditional Tuscan design starts from the outdoors in, beginning with intricate wroughtiron gating and stone and brick accents on the front porch. A series of bricklined archways (left), stone columns, and textured wall finishes inside (opposite) lend to the home’s custom-designed and authentic Mediterranean style.


In the formal dining room, bold textiles, paintings, and a decorative tin ceiling by designer Nancy Charles complement the warm palette. The kitchen (below) is one of the primary gathering places, so a comfortable area for cooking and entertaining was a necessity.

A grand stone fireplace with detailed carvings and corbels provides a focal point in the living room. Energy-efficient glass doors by Pella open out to the home’s sprawling backyard.

From rustic stone and soft faux finishes to brick and cantera tile, there’s a natural flow of textures from one space to the next.


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You Can Teach an Old House New Tricks!

Imagine the Possibilities

For entertaining purposes, the patio was one of the most important spaces in the home. “We can seat 50 on the patio comfortably, but we can probably seat another several hundred on the lawn,” he continues. The backyard patio includes a semienclosed outdoor living room complete with a flat screen television, a crackling fireplace, cozy couches, and faux fur throws for cool winter nights. Outdoor living is a big deal for this family. Their fully loaded outdoor kitchen includes a Dacor smoker grill with stove burners, a refrigerator, an icemaker, and a sink, all of which are used often. “From about March through November we eat outside almost every night,” one homeowner explains. “And even in the winter the grill gets used two to three times per week.”


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A large, arched nicho showcases colorful art in the formal dining room.

Both homeowners wanted a blend of elegance and comfort in the master suite design, so they incorporated rich fabrics and rustic wood in the bedroom and opulent stone columns alongside the relaxing soaking tub in the bathroom (opposite, bottom).

“Home is where the heart is, so this is where we stay,� says one homeowner.



Located just a few hundred yards from the Rio Grande River, the home is surrounded by mature trees. The trees may obscure the view of the Organ Mountains, but the homeowners say they also provide a sense of seclusion and privacy. To enhance the natural beauty of the property, they brought in landscape guru Mark Nash of Nash Patio & Garden, explaining, “We don’t have a view, so we just created our own view.” After living in the home for several years the couple worked with Nash to customdesign an organically shaped pool adjacent to a large gazebo complete with seating and another outdoor fireplace. They originally intended for the gazebo to be partially enclosed, but opted for an open design to accommodate live music for parties and other events. The inside of the home is just as enticing as its outdoor spaces. Eschewing an open floor plan, the homeowners went for large, separate rooms and several distinct living areas. A split floor plan means that the master bedroom is well separated from the kids’ rooms by two living rooms, a kitchen, and an office. “One of the good things about this house is that it’s separated, so the kids can have their loud music on and have their friends over,” says one 30

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The private office doubles as a man cave, with plush seating, a specialized ventilation system ideal for cigar smoking, and large windows that display a tranquil view of the Mesilla Valley.

homeowner. “We can still keep an eye on them, but their music doesn’t get on our nerves.” The master suite is outfitted with a kitchenette and a tranquil sitting area with a garden view, while the master bathroom includes his-and-hers vanities, sinks, and closets complete with meticulously organized cabinetry that stretches from floor to ceiling. True to authentic Tuscan style, finishes in the home vary throughout. From rustic stone and soft faux finishes to brick and cantera tile, there’s a natural flow of textures from one space to the next. Nancy Charles artfully combined the couple’s treasured family photos with religious artwork from the Romantic era. “We wanted a Tuscan/Mediterranean style, but we wanted it to be comfortable,” the homeowner explains. “Nancy put it all together for us. She was amazing.” His-and-hers offices provide both homeowners with space to work from home when necessary, without stepping on toes. His features floor-to-ceiling wood and a specialized ventilation system so that he can enjoy a cigar without bothering the family. Hers is more feminine and functional, with splashes of color and inviting décor. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Remodeling or buying? Choose the names that you trust for quality.

“This is a party house,” says one homeowner. When it comes to entertaining, the home’s thoroughly Tuscan outdoor kitchen and living area are crowd pleasers.

All the elements of a gracious, lowmaintenance lifestyle are at your Featherlite/ Acme Brick showroom: • natural and manmade stone • thin brick from leading manufacturers • outdoor fireplaces, fire pits, and other accessories • clay and concrete paving brick Ready to transform your home? You can rely on the expertise of Acme Brick. See us soon.

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Landscaper Mark Nash of Nash Patio & Garden helped the homeowners to create a lush oasis around the sparkling pool and elevated spa.

The home is replete with beautiful touches that stop short of pretentiousness. Charles hand-painted a Renaissance-style tin ceiling for the formal dining room, bringing depth and sophistication to the room. What the homeowners refer to as the kids’ living room adds a more New Mexican feel to the home with supple leather furniture and the artwork of Noel Espinoza, one of the couple’s favorite artists. Despite the home’s air of elegance and sophistication, the feeling of comfort is immediate. For the homeowners, this means their ultimate goal of creating an inviting place for family and friends (and animals, too) was achieved. After all, says one homeowner, “Home is where the heart is, so this is where we stay.”

resources Builder Eddie Chavez Architect Michael Weeks Design/Build Designer Nancy Charles Appliances Builders Source Appliance Gallery Fixtures Morrison Supply Co. Flooring Malooly’s Flooring Company Landscaping Nash Patio & Garden Lighting Kitchen Kraft Home Pool Paradise Pools Windows Pella Windows & Doors




elegance A semicustom home is the easiest way to have it all by Jessica Muncrief


lose your eyes and picture your dream house. Is it a sleek contemporary or perhaps a more traditional Tuscan? Does it have wood floors throughout or Spanish-style tile? Now imagine getting everything you want—within budget and without the daunting task of designing from scratch. Until recently, homebuilders fell primarily into two categories: craftsmen specializing in completely customized residences, and production builders erecting high volumes of spec and tract homes. A happy medium has emerged, with semicustom homes an increasingly popular option. The El Paso semicustom market is booming in new home developments springing up from the New Mexico border to the far Eastside, as well as southeast into Horizon City. Custom design comes at a price premium, and starting with a blank canvas can be overwhelming and time consuming. A semicustom builder meets the client halfway, offering established floor plans that potential homeowners may tweak to meet their specific needs. They can also choose the home’s architectural style and select from a wide variety of finishes and fixtures. More and more prospective homeowners are realizing that affordable elegance is truly the best of both worlds, so Su Casa looked into how three El Paso homebuilders are helping clients realize their visions for personalized home design.



Affordable Elegance

custom creation Photographs by Nohemy Gonzalez


ast El Paso homeowners Carlos and Sugey Huerta had so much input into their Bella Vista home they don’t even consider it “semicustom.” “This is pretty much a completely custom home,” Carlos says. “Bella Vista started us out with a set of blueprints, but they were great about giving us the freedom to make changes to the floor plan and select the finishes and all the other details. We had a say in just about everything that went into the house.” This flexibility, along with innovative design, is what drew the Huertas to Bella Vista. “We were working with another builder, but he didn’t like deviating from his plans, and he didn’t have a lot of ceiling designs,” Sugey says. “Edgar Garcia, the owner of Bella Vista, does ceiling designs very well. He works in a lot of details.” The Huertas had two major requests when it came to their new home: beauty and functionality. “I wanted us to enjoy every single room and to use every single space,” Sugey says. They modified some of the elements they liked from the Bella Vista model homes, working closely with Gabby Rubio from Interceramic Tile, for example, to incorporate a three-dimensional wall treatment from floor to ceiling in the powder room. Rubio also created a cohesive theme of ornamental tile throughout the house. 36

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To fulfill Sugey’s wish for plenty of light, larger-than-average windows were installed, and, at Carlos’s request, all the doors and windows were outfitted with a dark trim. They opted to move the fireplace from the living room to the master bathroom where they felt it would get the most use. Carlos collaborated with the carpenter to expand the kitchen, create custom closets with tons of organizational storage, and to turn the standard office layout into a dual workspace for both husband and wife. “We also spent a lot of time with the framer,” Carlos adds. “He was amazing. He really explained the whole process and worked with us to create the rotundas we wanted, and he worked out an innovative design for the columns on the front porch.” In addition to utilizing Bella Vista’s subcontractors, Carlos and Sugey researched and hired professionals who fit their overall vision, like Mike’s Landscaping. They also called in Octavio’s Drapery for all the window treatments and Murals by Pete for the 360-degree murals in the children’s bedrooms.

Hand-placed granite tiles adorn the stone backsplash and add a one-of-a-kind touch to the Huertas’ kitchen. Opposite: In the powder room, an accent wall is dressed from floor to ceiling in stone tiles. The couple opted for a vessel sink and a stand-alone faucet for a refined look.



At the center of the home is the family’s great room, complete with decorative wrought iron details, custom drapery, and shelving (below, left) that displays a collection of dÊcor.

To mirror the color scheme throughout the rest of the home, richly colored cabinetry and a series of neutral-toned travertine and tile were used in the master bathroom. A fireplace beside the soaking tub makes the master bath a haven for relaxation.

Ultimately, the Huertas ended up with the perfect home for their young family, and they both agree that the process was more fun than stressful.

While working with Bella Vista on the architectural design of the home, Carlos incorporated dimensional curved bay windows in several areas of the home, including the master bedroom. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


www.TheIronSnail.Com (915)204-7215 Custom Iron Entry Doors and Gates

Custom features that exude elegance start in the entryway, where an intricate medallion is inlaid in the rotunda floor. Glass doors lined in a dark trim let in plenty of natural light.

Free Local Design Consultation Design, Fabrication, and Installation We Ship Nationwide

Ultimately, the Huertas ended up with the perfect home for their young family, and they both agree that the process was more fun than stressful. “When you live in a smaller home, you really start thinking about the things you want and need in a new home, so we came into this with a 40

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vision,” Sugey explains. “Sometimes we strayed from what Bella Vista typically does, but they were so easy to work with. They worked hard to accommodate us and give us exactly what we wanted.” Bella Vista Custom Homes, SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM



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Affordable Elegance

amenities galore Photographs by Bill Faulkner


tile backsplash and custom cabinetry with wine and spice racks in the kitchen. Prewired surround sound for the built-in, media-ready entertainment center. Venetian wall textures and a designer fiberglass front entry door. With luxurious amenities like these standard features, Diamond Homes certainly lives up to its name. “Our home has beautiful curb appeal. The stone accents and stamped concrete really make it stand out from the rest when you drive up our street,” says V. Baquera, a Diamond Homes homeowner. “I love that the ‘upgrades’ other builders charge for are standard.” More than just attractive to the eye, these homes are also built with quality in mind. Owner Francisco Baquera started his career in commercial construction before shift-

Regardless of the architectural design, each semicustom home features two-tone stamped concrete, a tiled entryway, and cedar wood accents. 44

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Opposite: The outdoor fireplace provides ambience and warms cool evenings in the backyard. Stacked stone fireplaces are one of the many upgrades available to Diamond Homes customers. Right: A large dining room provides plenty of seating for the Baquera family to enjoy meals together. Doublepaneled vinyl windows with plantation shutters are a standard feature.

“Our home has beautiful curb appeal. The stone accents and stamped concrete really make it stand out from the rest when you drive up our street.”—V. Baquera SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


ing to residential builds 20 years ago. “He takes an excellent understanding of what makes a solid foundation and applies it to the homes he builds,” explains Argelia Barba, a real estate broker at Dream Work Realty. The eco-conscious will also appreciate the Energy Star 3.0 certification, which also comes standard in every Diamond Home. After selecting one of the 15 preset floor plans, prospective homeowners have a wide array of options to turn a house into the home of their dreams, and minor alterations to the floor plan are allowed. “For example, a hallway linen closet might be replaced with a built-in desk area, or a garden tub can substitute for a large walk-in shower in the master bathroom,” Barba says. Once the floor plan is finalized, the real fun of designing begins. Exterior styles range from minimalist modern to the classic Mediterranean style popular in El Paso, and Barba confirms it’s easy to customize even further and create a more transitional design. Inside, custom cabinetry can be oak, alderwood, or soft maple. Sinks are available in topmount decorative glass or undermount porcelain. Accent colors are included in the paint selections, and

Instead of placing a television in the family room, Baquera filled entertainment center shelves with decorative accents and speakers that take advantage of the home’s NuVo Audio system. Each Diamond Home is pre-wired for surround sound. Above: In the kitchen, a ceramic tile backsplash complements speckled granite countertops and stainless steel GE Profile appliances. 46

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Left: The master bathroom offers the best of both worlds—a calming soaking tub and a large, semiframeless shower with double showerheads. Below: Distinct ceiling design is integral to the architecture of the home. Uplighting throughout adds a soft glow to the main living areas.



the homeowner can choose up to three interior ceiling designs. Other bonus features, like ventless fireplaces, outdoor grill prep areas, and over-range pot fillers, can also be incorporated. “People often walk in to the model home and are surprised that the builder offers such high-end custom features at a smaller scale and affordable price point,” Barba notes. Beyond high-end features, Diamond Homes excels at offering families a seamless, personalized, semicustom homebuilding experience. That’s because the Diamond Homes team is itself a family. “This is a family-owned business, and the builder, his sons, his sonin-laws, and his daughter-in-law are on-site and overseeing every single home that’s built,” Barba explains. “They’re involved in any changes and the approval of the floor plan, the finish selections from floor to ceiling, and the final walk-through and inspection. It is a very hands-on process, and that contributes highly to the high quality of the home.” Diamond Homes,

Colorful artwork and metallic hues on the throw pillows brighten the master bedroom. 48

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Custom shelves with a slate-colored finish house a ventless, three-sided fireplace in the entryway.



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Transform your home and community! By shopping, donating and volunteering at Habitat ReStore, you become part of a movement dedicated to ensuring everyone has a decent place to live. Habitat ReStore’s ever-changing merchandise and one-of-a kind finds give you the opportunity to be creative. Visit Habitat ReStore!

Shop. Donate. Volunteer.


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Affordable Elegance

a learning experience Photographs courtesy of Definitive Homes

One of Definitive Homes’ more popular floor plans is the Cortez, which offers more than 1,900 square feet of space, as well as a variety of custom options including exterior stone and ceramic tile for the outdoors.


lexibility, affordability, and a high quality end product are the cornerstones of a positive semicustom homebuilding experience, and realtor Cindy Talavera says Definitive Homes delivers across the board, starting with a welldefined list of wants and needs. “In our communities, we have inventory homes. We have one of every floor plan so new clients can physically walk through and see firsthand what they do and don’t like,” Talavera explains. “They may say, ‘I would love this home if only it had this,’ or they may find certain things they like in different homes. We put all that together and do whatever we can to accommodate everything on their list. Before they even commit to anything in writing or with a deposit, any floor plan changes are made and submitted to the draftsman. Not all builders are willing to do that.”


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[Clients] get one-on-one time in Definitive’s design center where a qualified interior decorator helps personalize the home with stucco color, trims, flooring, paint, and even wall textures.

Every customer gets the opportunity to work with an experienced designer to choose from a variety of colors and finishes for the countertops, islands, and cabinetry in the kitchen.

Customers also get professional guidance when it comes to choosing color schemes and flooring in other areas of the home, like the living room (left).


An open floor plan provides a seamless transition from the kitchen (complete with bar seating) to the dining room.

Changes can range from the fairly simple, like turning a powder room into a threequarter bath, to adding on a fifth bedroom if necessary. While the four bedroom, twoand-a-half bath model is still the most popular, especially for young families, Talavera says many of her clients these days are retirees looking to downsize. “Semicustom homes are perfect for people looking for something smaller and easier to care for, but they don’t want to lose that bling factor,” she notes. “We offer a fully landscaped front yard with a drip system. We can use artificial turf which is maintenance-free, but still pretty. We include extras like wooden shutters, exterior stone, and a full appliance package—and they are nice appliances. It’s ideal for people who still want all the perks and conveniences.” 54

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Above: Framed mirrors and undermount sinks are a big plus in every bathroom. Homeowners also get to personalize every bathroom with their choice of granite and backsplash design.

A textured accent wall covered in stone graces the entryway of the home.



Each bedroom features plush carpeting, wooden shutters, and neutral walls lined with white molding. In the master, homeowners get the benefit of having two walk-in closets.


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One big perk Definitive Homes offers is an opportunity to be part of the construction process, quite literally from the ground up. All new clients are invited to a Saturday morning construction class, complete with breakfast and hard hats. A construction supervisor physically walks buyers through the building process covering everything from the post-tension engineered slab foundation to the custom refrigeration system to all the bells and whistles that finish out the home. Everything is explained in detail so customers understand exactly what they are buying and the standards to which their home is made. They also get one-on-one time in Definitive’s design center where a qualified interior decorator helps them personalize the home with stucco color, trims, flooring, paint, and even wall textures. “These homes are easy for me to sell because I truly believe in the product,” Talavera explains. “Everyone from the smallest to the largest project gets the same quality service. I don’t know of any other builder who lets clients get this involved in the building of their home.” Definitive Homes,



Vida Buena

by Stephanie Rodriguez

getting to know Josh Grider

The native Las Cruces singer/songwriter discusses the road to Texas country music success

What made you decide to get into country music?

I think this profession chooses you. I’ve loved music since I was a little kid; I sang in choir. I’ve always been around music, going to concerts, listening to my dad’s old country music like Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard. I learned guitar in high school and have been writing songs ever since. I saw guys [like George Strait and Alan Jackson] on stage and wanted to be like them. I never wanted to do anything else.

What are some of your favorite songs or albums that have inspired your career as a singer/songwriter?

The George Strait box set was very influential on me. I knew every song front and back. Mainly ’90s country: Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson. Everything I hear influences me. I can’t listen to country music too much because I have a fear of copying it. I try to listen to other stuff. I really like bluegrass and jazz.


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Any favorite memorable tour moments?

Probably those first shows. Getting to play in New York City and walking up and down the street. Playing Gruene Hall, a legendary dance hall in Texas. There’s nothing like the crowd singing your songs back at you. It’s pretty unbelievable.

After many years of hard work in the Texas Red Dirt music scene, Josh Grider’s career kicked into high gear in 2012 when he recorded and released The Gettin’ There.

Have you had a chance to meet anyone who’s inspired your career and music?

I lived in Nashville for three years and spent every day songwriting. I worked with old country songwriters from the ’50s and the ’60s; one was Curly Putman. I was awestruck by those guys. I played a fundraiser for George Strait. I saw him at the [NMSU] Pan Am Center every year. I played one of his songs and didn’t know he was backstage. He shook my hand and said, “Nice job, young man.” I didn’t say much, just, “Thank you, sir, for all you’ve done.” I couldn’t believe it.

Courtesy of AMP Entertainment


ou stand backstage listening to hundreds of people in the audience; you’re the opening act for country legend Reba McEntire. You step up to the microphone, guitar in hand. This is the new normal for Las Cruces–born country singer Josh Grider. “I’m happy onstage; that’s home for me,” says Grider, who left home at 18 to pursue a singing career and never looked back. “I’m very much a deep-in-the-heart songwriter,” he adds. “Songwriting is the basis of who I am.” Since his first EP, The Gettin’ There, Grider has had three number one songs on regional Texas music charts and was featured on the national television show Troubadour, TX. We visited with Grider prior to his 150-city tour in support of his latest album, Luck & Desire.

What are your future plans?

I tour almost every weekend. I’m going into the studio in March to start working on new material. A new single should be out by summer, but [I’m making] new music this year for sure.

resources Josh Grider

“I look at my songs like my kids: I love them all,” says Grider. His latest album, Luck & Desire, was released in 2014.



April through May


The Spencer Theater presents the Nashville Chicks as part of their spring lineup of entertaining performers. The Nashville Chicks, a trio of singers and songwriters, combine their musical talents in song and share the stories behind hit songs they’ve written for stars like George Strait, Faith Hill, Colbie Caillat, and LeAnn Rimes.

Shakespeare’s famous comedy comes to life in the Southwest! This spirited production of Twelfth Night tells the tale of Viola and Sebastian, twins separated in a shipwreck. Laughter and chaos abound when Viola disguises herself as a man, only to become the apple of the Countess Olivia’s eye. Join the talented cast of theater students from NMSU for a night of fun this spring.


Based on the heartwarming classic Walt Disney film, Mary Poppins the New Musical brings the beloved singing nanny back in a production full of memorable adventures with a pair of unruly siblings from England. The magical musical is perfect for the whole family, with valuable life lessons portrayed through original music and lyrics (like “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”) by the Sherman Brothers.




As a native of Golden, Texas, country singer/songwriter Kacey Musgraves was sure to put a few Texas cities on her 2015 tour—Same Tour, Different Trailer—and El Paso wasn’t left out. Fresh off a 2014 Grammy win for Best Country Album, Musgraves is touring the nation performing chart-topping hits like “Merry Go ‘Round,” which received praise from Rolling Stone and NPR. Don’t miss your chance to see the future of country music live at Tricky Falls.


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Country music fans, get your dancing shoes ready—the three-day Las Cruces Country Music Festival is back again with country’s biggest stars and up-and-coming talent. This year’s performers include Kenny Rogers, Dustin Lynch, The Swon Brothers, RaeLynn, and Las Cruces’ own Bri Bagwell. The three-day pass also includes the NMSU Rodeo, Farmers and Crafts Market, and the “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” Country Breakfast.


With multiple award-winning songs in their repertoire, The Band Perry (a fiery trio of siblings) puts on an energetic show with their rock and roll–influenced sound. They take the stage at Ruidoso’s Inn of the Mountain Gods this spring to perform hits like “If I Die Young,” “Better Dig Two,” and “DONE.”


Based out of Vancouver, this classically trained quartet performs vocals from the “popera” genre, and their classical crossover material ranges from pop, to arias, to self-written songs that put a new spin on today’s modern music. The group will be accompanied by a piano and violin to produce a stellar one-night performance at the Spencer Theater.


Join several local artisans this spring for El Paso Parks and Recreation’s annual Art in the Park weekend. For two days, El Paso artists and craft vendors will showcase and sell their work at Memorial Park in El Paso’s Manhattan Heights Historic District. Enjoy the festive atmosphere with live entertainment and delicious food from several local food trucks.


Wicked, the wildly popular Broadway hit musical, comes to El Paso for two weeks this May. The winner of some 50 awards (including a Grammy and three Tonys), Wicked is the untold story of the witches of Oz and how they grew up together long before Dorothy and Toto arrived in Munchkinland.


Award-winning rockers Paramore will make a stop in El Paso as part of their 2015 Paramore: Writing the Future tour. The rock band got its start in 2004 and has since produced popular hits like “Misery Business,” “The Only Exception,” and “Ain’t It Fun,” which earned them a Grammy for Best Rock Song this year. Opening for Paramore will be American indie rock band Copeland. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Vida Buena

by Cassie McClure

CrossFit 915 coaches (from left to right): Jonathan Ortiz, Samantha Bencomo, Marc Duchene, Amy Duchene, Edith Peregrino


athletes Gymgoers at CrossFit 915 push, pull, and deadlift their way to ultimate fitness


rossFit, a high-intensity form of core strength training and conditioning, has spread in popularity across the world, with its focus on functional movements and the ability to diversify every workout to an individual’s goals and needs. In the way CrossFit pushes its followers to their limits, one gym, CrossFit 915, takes its members’ commitment to health further, by offering nutritional help and tailoring workouts for even the most hesitant gymgoer. With two locations in El Paso, CrossFit 915 now has over 30,000 square feet of space where members can combine intense cardio, gymnastics, and weightlifting and performing workouts with minimal machine usage, focusing instead on equipment like kettlebell swings and wall balls, which require heavy medicine balls. Each workout is created with the individual in mind, respecting each person’s limits while also helping them build to the next level. CrossFit 915 was established by Marc and Amy Duchene when they realized there was a missing link at most ordinary gyms. “Marc wanted the benefits of a regular gym but also the sport aspect of his collegiate track program,” says Amy. A former track athlete herself, Amy was introduced


S U C A S A S p r i n g 2015

Both the East and West El Paso locations have 19,000 square feet of space for everyday workouts, in-house competitions, and clinics.

There’s a reason why CrossFit 915 has been voted best CrossFit gym in El Paso: Marc and Amy Duchene have filled each gym with 180 feet of pull-up rig, 12-foot muscle-up stations, dip bars, kettlebells, medicine balls, slamballs, and more.

to CrossFit through Marc but was skeptical of all the weightlifting involved. The CrossFit 915 team decided to create a specialized female-only version of the workouts. “FemmeFit is for women like me who might like the high-intensity aspect of CrossFit but aren’t too sure about the weights,” says Amy. “It has all the benefits of the CrossFit workout but without the barbells or the heavy weights, so it’s a great introductory level program.”


CrossFit is about respecting an individual’s limits while also helping them build to the next level.

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The gym also helps clients focus on the nutritional component as a key element for physical growth and progression. “We do four nutritional challenges every year and offer oneon-one nutrition consultation,” says Amy. They’ll even the take the guesswork out of calorie counting, she says: “Through a program called Fit Food, you can order your food for the week at the gym and pick it up on Sundays.”

Monday - Saturday 10am - 6pm


Courtesy of CrossFit 915

CrossFit 915




Vida Buena

Canyon Ranch by Barbara Wysocki

Slow down and grow at Tucson’s award-winning resort and spa

Above: At a Lunch & Learn cooking class, watch a chef prepare a delicious, healthy meal in the demonstration kitchen, then enjoy the results. Tasty, waistline-friendly meals are also served in the Clubhouse (above, top).

Walk or jog picturesque trails that show off the natural beauty of southern Arizona. 64

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“Every choice you can make here is a healthy one,” Canyon Ranch promises.

ere, quiet pathways crisscross 150 acres of ponds and flowing streams. Desert flowers, trees, and cactus plants grace colorful gardens. Timeless sculpture echoing the wisdom of Arizona’s ancient ones enriches peaceful walkways. Snugly situated in the adjacent rolling landscape, Southwest-style casitas almost whisper “relax” by way of rocking chairs nearby and white-noise machines. It’s the perfect place to slow down: Canyon Ranch, a world-class destination resort and spa, teaching guests since 1979 how to live healthier, longer, and more joyful lives.

seize the power

Located at the foot of Tucson’s Santa Catalina Mountains, Canyon Ranch welcomes eager seekers of selfimprovement. Touting “The Power of Possibility,” attentive staff backs up the resort’s promise with offers of more than five dozen classes, workshops, and lectures daily. Guests sit down with program advisors to design four or more days’ worth of renewal and discovery. A sample itinerary might include a photography hike in the morning, exploring sacred dreams or a better golf stroke at midday, then closing the day with a discussion on how to connect nutrition with the immune system. Within this smorgasbord of medical, fitness, spiritual, and metaphysical activity exists the opportunity for introspection and personal growth. From sunrise to moonlight there’s so much to do. Guests take dips at the Aquatic Center; paint at the Creative Arts Center; combine knowledge with tasty bites at Lunch & Learn kitchen sessions; hit the tennis, squash, and wallyball courts; and even zip-line through the High Ropes Challenge course. The spa offers numerous treatments—try an herb-infused wrap— but the red adobe building also houses six gyms, a Pilates studio, a yoga dome, indoor cycling, and spaces for dance, drumming, and weight training. Many guests and new friends pause to chat in the spa lobby as they grab water, juice, fruit, and cookies at the snack bar. (Delicious, calorie-annotated menus are also served in the Clubhouse.) Early risers may bump into Mel Zuckerman,

the resort’s 87-year-old founder, in the gym, where he works out daily. Inspired after having revitalized his own body and soul, Zuckerman and his wife Enid created Canyon Ranch to offer “healthy living vacations,” ensuring “every choice you can make here is a healthy one.”

Courtesy of Canyon Ranch

on the right foot

On-site medical evaluations by physicians and medical personnel often become springboards to changing old habits. New ones are initiated with the support of Canyon Ranch staff in an intimate setting. The Life Enhancement Department helps guests focus on weight loss, brain health, smoking cessation, and even new exercise practices. But guests can also indulge in horseback or bike rides, facials, or new life-affirming awareness via astrology. At Canyon Ranch they say, “Maintain your body as devotedly as you do your house,” which might mean working literally from the ground up. At the Healthy Feet Center, for instance, classes are designed especially for the feet, because “when they hurt, everything hurts.” In “Happy Feet,” even the toe tips get a workout standing, balancing, and stretching.

solo pursuits

Zuckerman and his staff members urge guests to take time for contemplation. Slowing down for solo pursuits, such as laps in the outdoor pools or hiking on the boulder-bordered desert trails, stimulates new internal rhythms, they say. Guests are encouraged to take self-guided Spirit Walks, where along the way, short prompts provide space for internal reflection and suggest what it means to experience peace, joy, and serenity. Benches in the new Meditation Garden allow for wordless communion with birds, butterflies, and sculptures and a connection with symbols of rebirth (the lotus flower, for one), letting tension melt away just by focusing on the gentle splash of a nearby water feature. Guests are invited to splash, too. Watsu, another calming liquid venture, provides watersupported massage inside a warm personal pool. Overheard emerging from the pool, a Boston banker declared it made him feel “like a manatee,” while a children’s librarian related the experience to that of being in the womb. Before it’s time to leave, stop and browse the Showcase Boutique or Ranch Store for books, workout gear, fitness equipment, and aromatherapy. These are just a few of the many take-homes available for purchase, so that the lessons learned about slowing down don’t come to a full stop. Canyon Ranch,

Within the resort’s smorgasbord of medical, fitness, spiritual, and metaphysical activity exists the opportunity for introspection and personal growth.



Su Libro

different perspectives Three new books on literature, cooking, and gardening



S U C A S A S p r i n g 2015

Novel Interiors: Living in Enchanted Rooms Inspired by Literature, by Lisa Borgnes Giramonti, Potter Style New York, hardcover, $35

“We don’t just read a great story, we inhabit it,” says author Lisa Borgnes Giramonti.

ome cook Gina Homolka found her place in the world of blogging when she merged her love of photography with a knack for creating delicious, low-calorie recipes of her own. “Needing a place to house all of my skinny creations, I started purely for fun,” she recalls. “As a graphic designer, my blog allowed me to marry several of my passions: creating fabulous skinny meals, design, and photography.” Originally inspired by her quest to shed a few pounds, Homolka began creating healthy recipes that avoided the use of artificial and processed foods found in many of the fad diets she’d tried over the years. “I’ve always loved to cook, and I love a challenge, so I set my mind to figuring out how to make some of my favorite meals lighter,” says Homolka. She began to tweak her favorite meals by using all-natural ingredients lower in fat and calories but in a way that still left in plenty of flavor. Hundreds of recipes, millions of fans, and many gratifying weight-

The SkinnyTaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor, by Gina Homolka with Heather K. Jones, RD, Clarkson Potter, hardcover, $18

Penguin Random House; Ivan Terestchenko


n her book Novel Interiors: Living in Enchanted Rooms Inspired by Literature, Los Angeles– based author Lisa Borgnes Giramonti, a former columnist for W magazine and essayist for Martha Stewart Living, takes readers back in time, to literary worlds they may have once romanticized in childhood. From the bare rooms of a Dickensian house, to the extravagance of the D. H. Lawrence period, to Alice in Wonderland’s fantastic underground rabbit hole, 60 classic novels are mentioned in conjunction with Giramonti’s purpose: to help readers determine their design style through the lens of the classic novel. Divided into richly designed sections that delve into six different concepts (simple, traditional, earthy, glitzy, bohemian, and fantastical), Giramonti, along with the many beautiful images created by photographer Ivan Terestchenko, takes readers on interesting twists and turns. She offers lessons on how to live these particular lifestyles—how to inhabit a room like The Great Gatsby, for instance, or the importance of creating a quiet place to read, as one might find in Little Women. To assist a reader with dressing up actual spaces in the way novelists do on the page, she includes lists of period-appropriate decorative items—silhouette portraits, valet trays, leaf prints. Each section includes quotes from the characters in novels mentioned, illustrating how they existed and entertained in their literary spaces, or what they admired. About the library she created for the March family, Louisa May Alcott is quoted as saying, “The friendliest homes seem to have an untidiness that enhances their beauty.” On the other hand, in going “Au Naturel,” the author describes what it’s like to live in a room well edited: “When we whittle down our possessions, what remains becomes more sacred.” It’s very much like living with Heathcliff in the austere farmhouse known as Wuthering Heights, where one might walk on stone floors, sit on hand-carved furniture, or sip from an earthenware cup. In “Anything Goes,” Giramonti shares how to make an emphatic statement with color, how to mix patterns like a bohemian, and why an eclectic room demands attention. At the end, Giramonti lists each classic novelist mentioned, including a paragraph about the books and interiors discussed, calling the reading list a “jumping-off point” for future investigation. Her gorgeous book is a novel—and literal—approach to interior design.—Jackie Dishner

Roasted asparagus garnished with lemon and parmesan, from The Skinnytaste Cookbook.

Homolka inspires (and challenges) home cooks everywhere to get in the kitchen and take charge of their health in the most delicious way possible. loss success stories later, and Homolka knew she was onto something life-changing. Homolka’s first cookbook, The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor, features 150 tasty recipes—125 new dishes and 25 all-time favorites from her blog. Each flavorful recipe is healthy and includes easy-to-find ingredients and detailed nutrition info for the everyday home cook. Look for comfort foods like Buttermilk Oven “Fried” Chicken and Kiss My Grits Shrimp, and more refined dishes like Chicken Marsala on the Lighter Side and Sweet n’ Spicy Sriracha-Glazed Salmon. For readers with a sweet tooth, Homolka’s Double Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies (with mashed avocado swapped for butter), and Pumpkin-Obsessed Vanilla-Glazed Scones definitely hit the spot. Taking it a step further, Homolka includes the advice of registered dietician Heather K. Jones and also shares her tips for portion control, meal planning, and kitchen organization. With her first book, Homolka inspires (and challenges) home cooks everywhere to get in the kitchen and take charge of their health in the most delicious way possible. —Danielle Urbina

Cool Springs Press


n what may be the understatement of the century, Jacqueline A. Soule, a botanist and the author of nine books about gardening, opens her latest work, Southwest Fruit & Vegetable Gardening, with the statement, “Gardening in the Southwest is not like anywhere else on earth.” Anyone who has ever tried to grow a garden in the high desert of New Mexico or the drier climate of Arizona knows exactly what Soule is talking about; even Southern New Mexico, though more favorably disposed to growing, has its own share of idiosyncrasies. This book, much like gardening itself, is down-and-dirty. There’s nothing frou-frou about it, because its intended use is as a guide book, to provide the experienced or novice gardener with clear-cut directions for getting his or her own garden to thrive. As the title suggests, the three growing regions of Soule’s focus include Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico, but the book is divided by chapter into gardening topics relevant to the growing regions (e.g.,“Planning & Planting Your Garden,” “Fruits,” “Dealing with Pests”) rather than the regions themselves. This book is strictly about edible plants, not flowers. But the author is as enthusiastic about inspiring the reader to experiment with growing relatively exotic fruits like pomegranates and pineapple guava (in the Southwest, remember!) as she is about creating gardens for low-key (but still bountiful) late fall harvests of cool-season vegetables like turnips, arugula, carrots, onions, and cilantro. Unsure of when and how to harvest?

Southwest Fruit & Vegetable Gardening (Arizona, Nevada & New Mexico), by Jacqueline A. Soule, Cool Springs Press, paperback, $23

These things are spelled out for each edible featured in the book. Although Soule is a botanist with a PhD, her writing is friendly, and her tips are easy for even the newest gardener to grasp. She offers advice liberally but without judgment, urging gardeners of all experience levels to give themselves a break when something doesn’t grow the way they’d hoped. After all, this is the Southwest. “There are many actors that don’t make the red carpet and tons and tons of produce that is fed to livestock,” Soule points out. “When it comes to food you grow, if it tastes good and is healthy for you and your family, a few blemishes do not matter.” The point of gardening, she reminds us, is to have fun, get a little dirty, and experiment like crazy.—Amy Gross



Su Cocina

by Stephanie Rodriguez Photographs by Nohemy Gonzalez

brand new ball game Executive Chef Philida Bill steps up to the plate at Southwest University Park with an exciting new menu


ove over, tired peanuts and boring Cracker Jack. There’s an exciting new menu at the ballpark, thanks to Southwest University Park’s new executive chef, Philida (Phili) Bill. Like the ballpark, Chef Phili is new to El Paso, and her eclectic culinary ideas are coming to life as the baseball season roars into full swing. Originally from northern Colorado, Phili moved to the Sun City nine months ago to assist former Executive Chef JJ Castaneda for the home opening season of the El Paso Chihuahuas Minor League baseball team. Just a month into the Chihuahuas’ first home stand, however, Castaneda left to pursue other opportunities, and Phili was offered the job. “I was very surprised at how much I fell into it,” she says. “I really felt at home.” Phili has worked for Ovations, the nationwide food and beverage catering and concessions provider at Southwest University Park, for five years. As the executive chef, she is now in charge of staffing, pricing, catering, and menu development for the ballpark.

Above: Chef Philida Bill at Southwest University Park in the heart of Downtown El Paso.

“El Pasoans have already shown they’re adventurous. I hope they like the new menu items and keep coming back for more.” —Executive Chef Philida Bill Concession goodies include Twisted Hummus with fresh veggies and one of Chef Phili’s latest creations, the Ultimate Corn Dog topped with chili beans, cheese, and chopped onions. 68

S U C A S A S p r i n g 2015

After a booming first year serving foodies and baseball fans alike, Phili has eagerly awaited the 2015 season of Chihuahuas baseball, where she and her staff will feed thousands of hungry El Pasoans. Her plan is to keep signature items, such as last year’s buzzed-about Border Nachos—tortilla chips topped with seasoned grilled steak, jalapeño cheddar cheese, salsa roja, cilantro, and crema served in a souvenir dog bowl. But quite a few soon-to-be favorites, all developed in the offseason, will also soon debut. To make room for the new menu, some old food items such as the Philly cheesesteak, Polish and Italian sausages, and alligator nuggets (an homage to Plaza de los Lagartos located in the old San Jacinto Plaza) have gone. But to maintain the El Paso spirit, the Gator Dog—sans alligator meat—has been added to the Alligator Alley concession stand. Different menu items, from Phili’s take on a classic Vietnamese bánh mì to the Brownie Tower, can be found throughout the park at the concessions stands, City Hall Grill, Sun Kings Saloon, and WestStar Bank Club. The new menu also includes a refreshing watermelon and mint salad, chili cheese fries, Twisted Hummus with vegetable crudités, and the Ultimate Corn Dog, a jalapeño- and cheddar-stuffed hot dog piled with chili beans, cheese, and onions. The Deconstructed Guacamole, too, is sure to attract the hungry masses, consisting of half an avocado combined with Tajín seasoning, jalapeño crema, pico de gallo, and salsa roja, all served in the avocado skin along with tortilla chips. On the sweeter side, Chef Phili is eager to introduce a delicacy derived from one of her childhood favorites: fried ice cream with candied bacon. Like any determined young chef, Phili is already planning more unusual concession options (think street taco stand), but this year, her main focus is on creating a wonderful guest experience. “El Pasoans have already shown they’re adventurous,” she says. “I hope they like the new menu items and keep coming back for more.” When fans flock to Southwest University Park for the El Paso Chihuahuas’ 2015 season opener on April 9, one thing is for sure: Their stomachs will thank them for it.

Chef Phili is already planning more unusual concession options, but this year, her main focus is on creating a wonderful guest experience.

Above: Chef Phili’s báhn mì is loaded with smoked pork, pickled daikon radish, carrot, jalapeño, cilantro, and rich Sriracha mayonnaise.

resources Southwest University Park SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Su Cocina

juicy fruit

by Jessica Muncrief Photographs by Nohemy Gonzalez

Mom’s Fresh Juice Co. does every body good


hen Farz Farrokhnia’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, his family braced themselves to deal with the unpleasant, often harsh, side effects of treatment. Incredibly, there were almost none, and she is now completely cancer-free. Farrokhnia attributes his mom’s recovery in no small part to the fresh juices she consumed throughout her treatment. When he was considering a career change from public relations and advertising to becoming a pastry chef, he opted instead to join forces with longtime friend Noelle Coley, owner of The Juice Chick, an El Paso home-based delivery business. “Everybody loves pastries . . . but they aren’t so good for us,” Farrokhnia notes. “When Noelle said she needed help expanding the business, I jumped at the chance. I saw it as the perfect opportunity to get into food in a good way.” Farrokhnia started by rebranding the business and revamping the menu. He added 10 new drinks with ingredients appealing to people who might be reluctant to try health food. They renamed the business Mom’s Fresh

Mom’s Fresh Juice Co. uses high-quality ingredients in all of their products including fresh produce like apples, lemons, beets, carrots, celery, and ginger.

continued on page 78


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Owner Farz Farrokhnia (left) and Operations Manager Marc Chavez (right) stay busy in the kitchen of their new storefront in downtown El Paso’s Union Plaza.

Special Advertising Section

Su Cocina

hometown hero Professional umpire Doug Eddings makes the right call with delicious pub fare at Ump 88 Grill

by Tiffany Etterling Photographs by Jesse Ramirez

T Doug and Margarita Eddings with their daughter Mia at Ump 88 Grill in Las Cruces.

“I go to all the major cities in the world. I could live wherever I wanted to, but Las Cruces always draws me back. I just love it.”—Doug Eddings

“We really wanted to draw the college crowd, which is why we started doing Taco Tuesday,” says Doug. The ground beef tacos are served four to a plate and are piled high with cheddar cheese, fresh lettuce, and tomato.

here’s always a packed house when Doug Eddings is bartending at Ump 88 Grill in Picacho Hills. People come from all over to have a beer, enjoy great food, watch a game, and to shoot the breeze with the friendly Las Cruces native. Doug attended Mayfield High School and New Mexico State University, but he’s spent the last 26 years as a Minor League and then a Major League Baseball umpire. “Ump 88 symbolizes who I am—my profession—but also my love of sports,” Doug explains. His wife and business partner, Margarita Eddings, shares his love of sports and coaches girls’ basketball at Mayfield High School. “What’s really cool is that people will come in and ask where [Doug] is,” says Margarita. “A lot of people like to follow him while he is on the road. He’s the hometown boy, and they get to go to his restaurant, have a drink, and watch him on TV.” As an MLB umpire, Doug spends half of his year traveling around the country. Owning a pub was something he dreamed of doing in retirement, but when an Irish pub in Picacho Hills went on the market in 2010, Doug and Margarita decided to speed up the plan. “Doug has always wanted to have a restaurant in his hometown, and the fact that we live two minutes away is a huge plus,” says Margarita. Though Ump 88—named after Doug’s MLB umpire number—loosely resembles a sports bar, the restaurant has the unmistakable ambience of an authentic Irish pub. “You walk in this place and everything about it tells you it’s an Irish pub because every piece of wood that you see in this place is from Ireland: the furniture, the bar, and all the woodwork,” Doug explains. When it comes to the food, an expanded menu offers something for everyone, from fish and chips to a juicy, spicy green chile

cheeseburger with Hatch green chile from Young Guns Produce. For something a little different, Doug recommends the grill’s chile mussels, slow cooked to perfection with a wine and chile reduction and served over a bed of pasta. “I don’t think a lot of places in town offer mussels,” says Doug. “And the secret sauce is really tasty.” Kitchen manager Lupe Hernandez infuses that same spicy reduction into other Ump 88 favorites like the green chile mac ‘n’ cheese with its three different kinds of cheese.

“St. Patrick’s Day is like Christmas here. It’s an all-day affair.”—Doug Eddings Ump 88 offers a variety of weekly specials and events including a monthly wine dinner. But the most popular day at the pub is a great early-week pick-me-up: Taco Tuesday. Hordes of hungry patrons craving ground beef tacos at just 50 cents a pop flock to the grill. “We serve around 4,000 tacos every Tuesday,” Margarita notes. Of course, what’s an Irish pub without an annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration? “St. Patrick’s Day is like Christmas here,” says Doug. “It’s an all-day affair. We have all the Irish food, three different bands, and this year we had our fifth annual Ump Pong tournament.” No matter where Doug’s job as an umpire takes him, he will always be a hometown boy with firm roots in Southern New Mexico. “I go to all the major cities in the world. I could live wherever I wanted to, but Las Cruces always draws me back,” he says. “I just love it.”

Above: Chile mussels served over a bed of spaghetti and infused with a chardonnay and chipotle chile reduction.

Above: The Ump Burger is topped with pepper jack cheese, Hatch green chile, bacon, and mushrooms, and served with a combination of french fries, sweet potato fries, and onion rings. Left: “[Since] Doug’s an umpire, we decided to hang sports memorabilia on the walls,” says Margarita. The decorations include several signed sports jerseys, photographs, baseball bobbleheads, and a photographic roster of MLB umpires.

resources Ump 88 Grill



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continued from page 70

From left to right: Green-Aid (kale, cucumber, celery, parsley, apple, lemon, and ginger); Spicy Lemon (lemon, cayenne pepper, maple syrup, and alkaline water); and Sophia (grapefruit, apple, and mint).

“We want to be cheeky and fun. We want to destigmatize health food.” —Farz Farrokhnia Juice Co., paying homage to Farrokhnia’s mother, and opened a storefront in an upand-coming part of downtown El Paso. “The whole concept is to introduce a way to get nutrition into your body quickly and easily,” Farrokhnia explains. “It’s easy to get fast food. It’s easy to indulge in things that we shouldn’t indulge in, and now it’s easy to treat your body the way it should be treated.” All the products are made in-house with fresh produce using a cold-press machine that ensures each bottle is packed with the maximum amount of nutrition. The team aims to incorporate familiar ingredients customers are comfortable eating, like oranges and pomegranates, while also introducing nutritional foods that might not be part of many people’s regular diets, like kale, beets, and chia seeds. “We want to be cheeky and fun,” Farrokhnia says, citing clever drink names such as

The shop’s zero-waste policy ensures that all compostable waste from the produce is reused in local gardens.


S U C A S A S p r i n g 2015

Golden Girl, a blend of pineapple, apple, and mint, and Beety Beety Pom Pom, a crimson mixture with beets and pomegranates that’s a play on the Tejano pop singer Selena’s famous song, “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom.” “We want to destigmatize health food,” he adds. Operations manager Marc Chavez says he’d never tried a juice cleanse until he joined the Mom’s Fresh Juice Co. team, but now he considers it essential to his well being. “When you start juicing and realize how good you feel, it becomes a life change. In the most fun way, it’s a bit cultish,” he says with a laugh. “Once you’re in, you’re part of the secret. Join our cult. Drink our juice.”

For customers’ convenience, the shop offers six-pack weekly subscriptions and one-, three-, and five-day cleanses that can be delivered directly to your home.

resources Mom’s Fresh Juice Co. Also sold at: The Kitchen at 150 Sunset Just Fit Foods

Breakfast & Lunch served all day Mon - Sat 7am-3pm Sunday Brunch 9am-2pm

630 Sunland Park Dr. 915-760-4889 SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM



a riot of color

Jesse Ramirez

No one has ever used the word “neutral” to describe Jill Leavitt. The El Paso “semi-retired interior designer,” as she calls herself, pens a blog called Stella’s Roar, a celebration of colorful things both literal and figurative. It’s no surprise, then, that the designer who adores color should embrace it as her personal aesthetic. Throughout Leavitt’s own home, dramatic accents, textiles, and furnishings complement what are now intensely hued walls. The dining room barrages the senses with mango-colored walls and ceilings, eye-popping heavy tapestries, a patterned Oriental rug, and vivid rainbow stripes in both the upholstery and window coverings. This is not a room for dining; it is a room for feasting (and roaring!), a place where sensory overindulgence is not only acceptable, but just what the designer ordered.


S U C A S A S p r i n g 2015


LAS CRUCES 575-523-6330


EL PASO 915-219-8265 7812 GATEWAY EAST #230 EL PASO, TX 79915

Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico Spring 2015 Digital Edition  

Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico Spring 2015 Digital Edition

Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico Spring 2015 Digital Edition  

Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico Spring 2015 Digital Edition