Simplify For Happiness


Two weeks ago I wrote a blog post talking about the negative effects clutter has on our brains. We learned that physical objects compete for our attention and energy, and we often hold emotional attachment to these objects. Holding on to clutter can reduce our productivity and creativity, and can even make us depressed. This week I wanted to offer a solution! Simplify! There are a plethora of areas in our lives that could use some simplification: closet, kitchen, home furniture, car, work, our MINDS, and more! Here is an excellent article that gives us 100 different way to simplify our life. Read, simplify, and become happier! Cheers!


Durango Nature Studies Online Auction!


Have you wanted to be more involved in our community but unsure how? Here is your chance! Durango Nature Studies is holding an online auction event from September 10-20th. There are over 125 different auction items already. What does that mean? You have over 125 opportunities to help out our community!

Durango Nature Studies (DNS) does great things for our community. Since the organization was created in 1994, DNS has brought hands-on education about science, nature, and our environment to the Four Corners. Their website states their vision: “As an integral member of our community, Durango Nature Studies inspires a positive personal relationship with our natural world through outdoor learning, thereby promoting enhanced respect for nature.”

Business owners and community members generously donate to this auction to help DNS raise money. This is one of the annual fundraisers where DNS (non-profit) earns money to support nature, science, and environmental education programs that thousands of school children attend annually in Durango, Bayfield, Ignacio, and northwestern New Mexico. They also provide workshops to the adult community.
Not only does your money go to a great cause and help our community, but you also can get some great auction items! A few items on the list are:

  • Energy Awareness Classes for Kids
  • A Personal Bird Walk for Four
  • Memberships to Anytime Fitness and Fitness Solutions
  • Multiple Pack and Carrying Bag Styles from Osprey Packs
  • More Outdoor Gear – such as a water filter, Big Zip, stoves, and backpacks
  • Round of Golf at Hillcrest Golf Course
  • Kids’ Toys – Such as a medieval castle, a dart board, skateboard gear, and puzzles
  • Gift Certificates to Mutus, Zia, Cyprus Café, Durango Coffee, and Eno
  • Hand Made Quilt
  • Jewelry and Belts
  • Haircuts and Massages
  • A Brother Sewing Machine
  • Bar Stools
  • Private Snowboard Lesson
  • Rock Climbing Lessons and Time at the Rock Gym
  • A Night at the Strater Hotel

The online auction ends at 9:00 pm on September 20th (Sunday). Make sure to bid at least the minimum amount on each item. Items won’t be sold unless the minimum bid is met. Hope everyone that is able will take advantage of this great opportunity to donate and be an active part of the Durango Community! Bid on an auction item here. Cheers!


Does Clutter Have a Negative Effect on Our Brains?

Source: Flickr User: puuikibeach
Source: Flickr User: puuikibeach

The answer is YES! I think we can all relate when it comes to the amount of unnecessary stuff we have in our homes, offices, computers, and even minds! Doing anything about this stuff is usually put off for another day. But let’s be honest…that other day usually never comes. So why do we put off these tasks? Maybe we feel like we have too many things going on in other aspects of our life to stop everything and clean our closet! Adding another task to the list sounds overwhelming, but it could very well be the answer.

Neuroscientists at Princeton University have found that clutter has a negative impact on our brains. When we are surrounded by unnecessary stuff while trying to focus, each physical object is competing for our attention. Human beings aren’t physically able to multitask, therefore, while trying to focus on work, every smart phone *ping* or clutter object breaks our focus essentially making us less capable of creativity and doing our job to the best of our potential.

There is a great article that goes into more detail about all of this here. So what can we do about this? We can de-clutter! Living a simple life and getting rid of clutter can be life-changing. Most of our clutter holds a great deal of emotional baggage that we honestly would be happier without! Stay tuned, next week’s post will be how we can shed a few clutter pounds and be happier because of it! Have a great weekend friends!

10 Home Maintenance Tips for Winter!


There are many home maintenance tasks that all homeowners should be doing every season to optimize occupant health and safety. A healthy home is one that is kept clean, dry, well-ventilated, pest-free, safe, and well-maintained. There are specific maintenance tasks that need to be carried out depending on the season. Here in Colorado our summer days are coming to an end and we need to prepare our homes for the winter chill! The following is your winter checklist.

1. Service your Heating and Cooling System

Soon you will be switching from air conditioning to heat. To make sure that your system is running correctly and as efficient as possible, hire a HVAC professional to ensure both of these. When you hire a professional they can change your air filter, test safety controls to prevent fires, clean the blower and motor, test the furnace burner and thermostat as well as check the ductwork for any leaks.

2. Check and Repair Roof

This winter is supposed to be a great one! This means snow, and a lot of it. Check your roof now for any damaged shingles or leaks. Next time it rains, check your home to make sure there is no water leaking to the inside. Next, sweep any leaves and debris that have built up over the previous months (this includes rain gutters). If you have a chimney, pay close attention (most common area for leaks).

3. Inspect and Clean Fireplace and Chimney

Get your fireplace inspected by a Chimney Sweep. For the best inspection hire a sweep that is F.I.R.E. certified inspector. They will be very knowledgeable about potential fire hazards in and around your home. Usually, chimneys should be cleaned when the creosote buildup reaches 1/4″ or more.

4. Trim Trees Limbs and Rake Dead Debris

You need to have at least 10 feet between any hanging tree limbs and your chimney. Trim any limbs closer as well as any dead tree limbs. Not only are dead limbs more flammable, but they are more likely to break off in the winter months. In addition, make sure your chimney has a screen to prevent rodents from building a nest inside.

5. Check your Fire Extinguishers

Every home should have fire extinguishers that are visible and within reach of your kitchen stove and fireplace. There are many things to check to ensure that they are working properly. Make sure they have not expired. Make sure the tamper seal is still intact on the pull pin. Inspect the hose for any damage or cracks. Make sure the pressure gauge is in the green zone, and lastly make sure the nozzle is not clogged.

6. Check and Replace Worn Weather Stripping

Check your doors and windows for torn and worn weather stripping. This is big when it comes to the amount of cold air coming into your house during winter. Replace any torn stripping with new more efficient stripping. Not only will this keep your home warmed, but your heat bill lower.

7. Stock Up On Firewood

Now is the time to buy and stock up on firewood. Find an accessible location for storage.

8. Cover Exposed Water Pipes

Wrap any exposed piping with insulated, weather-resistant material to keep pipes from freezing!

9. Change Batteries in all Smoke and Carbon Dioxide Detectors

It’s a good idea to test these a few times a year. These units typically stop working after 7-10 years. It’s always important to make sure these units are working properly.

10. Change the Direction of Ceiling Fans

By changing the direction of your ceiling fans, the warm air will be blown downward instead of up. This will help keep your heating bills low, because you will be less likely to turn up your heat thermostat.

Winter is coming! Let’s all make sure we have healthy homes.


– Stuart

Water Saving Tips Due to River Contamination

Hello Friends!
     As you all know, 3 million gallons of contaminated water rushed into the Animas River from Silverton’s Gold King Mine Wednesday. If this is new information for you, read more about it here. The City of Durango and La Plata County declared a state of emergency on Sunday due to the contamination. While the city and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is doing all it can to get us through this, what can WE do? I’ve attached a news release from the City of Durango about conserving water, and have also attached tips that we can utilize to make this process smoother.

Spacious and Sunny Townhouse

Sundancer Townhomes

  • 2 Bedrooms
  • 2.5 Baths
  • Open Floor plan
  • 2 walk-in closets
  •  2 Car garage
  •  1552 Sqft
  •  Deck with views of Missionary Ridge
  • MLS 692265
  • $285,000

Spacious and sunny Sundancer townhouse in the Animas Valley.
Decide whether to have your meals indoors or al fresco with the
wooden deck right off the dining area providing views of Missionary
Ridge. The kitchen and dining area flow into an open living area with
a cozy gas fireplace. Both upstairs bedrooms have walk in closets and
en suite bathrooms, the master with double sinks and a walk in
shower. The second bedroom en suite has an oversized soaking tub.
The garage is a two car side by side and there is plenty of room for
extra storage with a large storage room in front of the garage. This is
a beautifully maintained home minutes from downtown on the
trolley line and with the peace and tranquility provided by its valley

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Unbelievable Craftsmanship – Custom Log Home

Front of Home

241 Bluebird Lane

This log home is artistic and rustic.  It’s a home that sets itself apart– you won’t find anything like it. You will notice  the home’s unique character and craftsmanship in the attention to detail in the features throughout the home.  Two bedrooms and 2 full baths are found on the main level  with an additional bedroom, half bath and sunny living space on the second level.  Not only is the home built from logs milled on the property,  but it also has plank floors, knotty alder cabinets,  granite countertops, custom tile, and baseboard heating. Enjoy the natural peace and tranquility of the beautiful 12 acres on Homestead Ranches from the southwest facing stone patio and pergola .  There is a covered parking area as well as a 3 bay barn/detached 2 car garage  built with post and beam construction. This home is a ‘Must-See’!

  • 12 acres
  • 2115 SQFT
  • 3 Bedrooms
  • 2.5 baths
  • Wood Stove
  • Logs Milled on Property
  • Plank Floors
  • Knotty Alder Cabinets
  • Barn/Garage with Post and Beam  Construction
  • Pergola over stone Patio
  • Granite counter tops
  • Electric Baseboard Heat

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