Jan. 20, 2019

Northern Colorado Small Business Spotlight: Blush Boutique in Greeley

 

Located in a lovely historic building in downtown Greeley that has been fully refurbished, the vibe in Blush Boutique is glamorous with a touch of urban and rustic all rolled into one lovely little shop. In addition to gorgeous feminine dresses and lacy tops, you'll find a variety of curated home goods, select beauty items, and pieces made my local artisans. Every item in the store is handpicked by Emile, the shop's owner, herself or one of her style-savvy "Blush Babes" to delight and inspire women. 

 

Northern Colorado Small Business Spotlight | Real Estate and Lifestyle in Northern Colorado, a blog by Joanna Gyrath, Fort Collins Realtor

 

Emilie, the boutique's owner and creative director, has a passion for uplifting women in the Northern Colorado community. When I asked her if there was anything specific she'd like me to share about the boutique, she said "the biggest thing is that we want to be a place where women feel loved and appreciated." In addition to managing Blush, Emilie is a wife, mother, photographer, blogger, and all-round inspirational woman. 

 

Northern Colorado Small Business Spotlight | Real Estate and Lifestyle in Northern Colorado, a blog by Joanna Gyrath, Fort Collins Realtor

 

I wanted to share this post from her blog in which she shares about her journey of opening the boutique while also going through the exciting transition to motherhood. In it she says "I decided that if I didn't pursue this dream, this ache inside of my chest, that I would regret it for the rest of my life. I was tired of seeing everyone else do what they loved while I sat on the sidelines." If you're a small business owner looking for inspiration or you're dreaming of opening a business, or you're dreaming of anything really, you should read this post (click here)

 

Northern Colorado Small Business Spotlight | Real Estate and Lifestyle in Northern Colorado, a blog by Joanna Gyrath, Fort Collins Realtor

 

Complementing its mission to encourage women in Northern Colorado, Blush has started a Blush Cares program, donating profits to charities that support humanitarian efforts including helping victims of sex trafficking. Blush encourages Northern Colorado nonprofits to reach out to them about arranging pop-up shops to fundraise for local charity. We got to experience the kindness and generosity of the boutique and its customers with their toy drive that they held for foster children in Weld County last December.

Blush Boutique, thank you for the contribution that you are to our community and for being an uplifting space where women can escape the chaos of our busy lives to treat themselves and feel pampered!

 

Northern Colorado Small Business Spotlight | Real Estate and Lifestyle in Northern Colorado, a blog by Joanna Gyrath, Fort Collins Realtor

 

Friends, if you have yet to visit Blush Boutique in Greeley, it's about time! In addition to supporting this great local business directly by shopping in their store, you can also show support by giving them positive reviews online, following them on social media, and telling your friends about the goodies you've found there. Behind directly buying their products, word of mouth advertising is one of the best ways to show love to small businesses in our community!

 

 

I've said this on the blog before, but shopping small one Saturday per year is not enough to keep our small business community growing and thriving! Two of my favorite locally owned businesses shut their doors in 2018 breaking my heart, but also inspiring this series of Northern Colorado Small Business Spotlight posts. I've featured local businesses before, but not like this. Now it is my mission! Owning a small, local real estate company has been an adventure and shown me first hand how important it is to support local businesses in our community to ensure that they will still be here for years to come.  I'm starting out with some of my favorites, but would love to hear about your favorite small businesses so I can meet and fall in love with them too! 

 

 

Northern Colorado Small Business Spotlight | Real Estate and Lifestyle in Northern Colorado, a blog by Joanna Gyrath, Fort Collins Realtor

 

 

 

 

Jan. 4, 2019

2018 Christmas Carnival for Foster Children in Weld County

 

2018 Christmas Carnival for Foster Children in Weld County

 

The 2018 Christmas Carnival for Foster Children in Weld County was a huge success! We are so thankful to have had the opportunity to help with the event again this past year. It is a chaotic and busy time of year, but I'm not sure it would feel like Christmas without this special event to look forward to each December and put into perspective the many blessings in our lives. Each year this event takes a spotlight in our home and our business where friends, family members, and clients help us pull it off by donating gifts, wrapping paper, and giving of their time to volunteer. 

Thank you to all the case workers at Weld County Human Services who work tirelessly with these kids every day and still took of their own time to put these parties together. Toilynn Edwards, John Killen, Alyssa Loma, Charlene Montgomery, Jennifer Fogg, Kathleen Jensen, Shanon Staires, veronica Cavanos, Esther Comacho, Brent Miller, and the many others who helped make these events happen!

I wanted to specifically thank Rebecca Lorenz at Cornerstone Home Lending for the time she put into heading up the events, coordinating with volunteers, recruiting donations, planning and executing crafts and games for the party, and delivering gifts to children who weren't able to attend the Christmas parties. Without her these parties would not happen. Thank you for all you do and for letting us be a part of it!

 

2018 Christmas Carnival for Foster Children in Weld County

 

Thank you to Ani Hulse for the time you spent behind the scenes in coordination of the event, designing graphics, stuffing stockings, and recruiting donations. You were a great addition to the team this year!

The owners and photographers at Megan Grove Photography and Lilly Jean Photography came together for the second year in a row to document the evenings, and capture a photo of each child with Santa for them to take home with them. These photos make a memorable keepsake for the children but also serve a huge role in our fundraising efforts within the community for the events year after year. Thank you both for the many hours of both time and effort you devoted to making Christmas special for these sweet kiddos.

Thank you to my mom who handmade over 600 stockings for the second year in a row so that each child could receive a stocking from Santa. The fact that she makes all of these stocking continues to shock and impress everyone involved in the events. Thanks mom!

Thank you to Cassi Wedel and Wedel & Associates for helping us with a coat drive that provided warm clothing to dozens of children who were going without. Thank you to Blush Boutique in Greeley for holding a toy drive for us and your wonderful customers who dropped off gifts for these deserving children. Thank you to the generous employees at Guild Mortgage for donating gifts as well. Thank you to Eileen's Colossal Cookies of Greeley for donating 1,000 cookies to the parties- they were so yummy! 

I owe a huge thank you to all of our clients who attended our Fall Festival in November and donated gifts. Thank you to the hundreds of individual members of our community who volunteered, and donated gifts, stocking stuffers, party supplies, wrapping paper, and desserts, and who contributed financially to the Realties for Children Weld County Christmas fund. There were so many giving individuals involved in pulling off this event, an enormous collaborative effort that is truly amazing to be a part of! Thank you Northern Colorado! 

 

Northern Colorado Realtor, Joanna Gyrath

Dec. 22, 2018

Fire Truck Birthday Party at the Windsor-Severance Fire Museum

 

Fire Truck Birthday Party at the Windsor-Severance Fire Museum

 

We had a blast throwing our son's 4th birthday party a few weeks ago at the Windsor-Severance Fire Museum. I was shocked to learn that no one had ever thrown a birthday party at this location before, but very pleased with how easy it was to put together and how accommodating Dan Lowe, the museum curator, and his team were. We really enjoyed the opportunity to have a fun party and support our local fire rescue at the same time, and would love to encourage others in our community to do the same! I'm sharing all of the details to put the party together in this post, so peppered throughout, you'll find links to the products we used, made by mostly small businesses, to help you throw a preschooler approved firetruck party of your own!

 

Fire Truck Birthday Party at the Windsor-Severance Fire Museum

 

Winter birthdays can be kind of tricky, since you can't really just go put up balloons at the park due to the weather, and having a party at our house isn't necessarily the most exciting environment for a party can become crowded. As far as firetruck themed parties go, I can't think of a better location. The space was already decked out in real firefighter memorabilia and had three retired firetrucks on site for the kids to explore and climb on, so almost no decorations were necessary.  

 

Fire Truck Birthday Party at the Windsor-Severance Fire Museum

 

Not only did we have a fun, fully-decorated space for our party, but the fire station was able to send out a real, working firetruck for the kids to tour and had several firefighters attend the party to read a firetruck story to the kids, give safety demonstrations, play a "bucket brigade" game, and mingle. The fire fighters and staff also provided fire prevention education, coloring books and helmets for the kids. Honestly, there was so much provided by the fire station that the party would have been a success even if we did nothing else, which made planning the party a very low-stress endeavor- which is saying a lot because, if you know me you know I'm typically someone who obsesses over every detail!

 

Fire Truck Birthday Party at the Windsor-Severance Fire Museum

 

Now that our family is gluten-free I've been working on my baking skills since gluten-free alternatives aren't always readily available (or even edible, frankly) and while I was nervous about baking for a crowd, I am happy with the end results. Elliot wanted firetruck cookies for his birthday instead of a cake, so we ended up with sugar cookies as well. I made all of the desserts, topping the firetruck cake with a cute custom firetruck candle from PishkaDesigns and the cupcakes with little firetruck pull-back toys and firefighter helmet lollipops. Speaking of gluten free, we had Garlic Jim's gluten-free pizza delivered and it was by all accounts the best gluten free pizza that any one has ever had, and several people didn't believe me when I told them it was gluten free. We are addicted to this pizza and recommend it highly!

 

Fire Truck Birthday Party at the Windsor-Severance Fire MuseumFire Truck Birthday Party at the Windsor-Severance Fire Museum

 

As a backdrop for the cake table, I used a wooden name sign from the Etsy shop JenAndHailey which I painted red myself. The process was so easy, as the sign is made from a light and porous wood that takes well to painting and is easily covered with just one coat. I love the personalized name signs from this shop and now both of my kids have one hanging in their bedrooms. I'll be sharing a tutorial for painting them soon so check back in a few weeks! 

 

Fire Truck Birthday Party at the Windsor-Severance Fire Museum

 

Another one of my favorite Etsy shops is Toluni Handmade which made these matching firetruck birthday shirts for both kids and coordinating tote bag, which made for a really fun gift bag that he can continue to use for years to come. I love that she was able to personalize his shirt with his name and age, and that she made my daughter a matching one with a pink firetruck and the words "little sister." Both kids loved their shirts and insisted on sleeping in them on top of their pajamas that night after the party was over.

 

Fire Truck Birthday Party at the Windsor-Severance Fire Museum

 

Believe it or not, firetruck piñatas are hard to find, so I had Apinata4u Handcrafted Pinatas make me a custom one that was AMAZING! My son wanted so badly to play with it, and actually got upset when it burst open because he'd rather keep it as a toy than eat the candy out of it. Don't worry, we taped it back together afterward and brought it home for him to play with until it falls apart. These piñatas are surprisingly sturdy, so it may last a long time! 

 

Fire Truck Birthday Party at the Windsor-Severance Fire Museum

 

Our last activity was to paint our own "Made By Me" wooden firetruck toys with working wheels. These kits came with their own washable paints, paintbrushes and sticker sheets. The stickers included details like windows and ladders for the trucks, which was perfect since our crowd of 3 and 4 year old artists went the route of Picasso, so I'm not sure you would have known they were firetrucks without them. I'm pleased to report that the included paint truly is washable and came right out of clothing without any special spot treatments!

 

Fire Truck Birthday Party at the Windsor-Severance Fire Museum

 

I love supporting small businesses, and the products by the wonderful Etsy shops and family owned businesses mentioned above were really the highlight of the party. That said, certain basic party supplies like plates and napkins were also required so I'll link to those below too. I should mention, that the firefighter outfit was his halloween costume!

 

Pullback Fire Trucks

Pullback Fire Trucks

 

Fire Truck Favor Boxes

Fire Truck Favor Boxes

 

Firefighter Hat Shaped Lollipops

Firefighter Hat Shaped Lollipops

 

Blue Orchards Fire Truck Tablecovers (2), Fire Engine Party Supplies, Firefighter Events

 

Fire Truck table cloths

 

Firefighter Party 9 inch Truck Shaped Lunch/Dinner Plates (8 ct)

Fire Truck plates

 

 

 

 

Dec. 1, 2018

10 Colorado Christmas traditions to continue year after year

 

Christmas Traditions in Colorado | Real Estate and Lifestyle in Northern Colorado

 

We've been in Colorado since 2006. This is where we got engaged, where our babies were born, and where we've built a life. Colorado is home and we want our kids to remember Christmas here opening gifts around our own tree.

As Colorado transplants, that means creating our own new family traditions that may differ from the ones we grew up with on the east coast, but which, with every passing year, precipitate a feeling of familiarity and of having some roots here.

I love the feeling of warmth and nostalgia brought on by Christmas traditions! Enjoying these activities together as a family each new holiday season allows us to reminisce on memories of years past and pause to savor the present moment just as it is right now. 

Whether you're a Colorado native or recent transplant, it's never too late to start these Christmas traditions with your own family! 

 

Christmas Traditions in Colorado | Real Estate and Lifestyle in Northern Colorado

The Christmas Lights in Old Town, Fort Collins

Christmas Traditions in Colorado | Real Estate and Lifestyle in Northern Colorado

Old Town is pure magic this time of year. Whether you choose to enjoy them bundled up for an evening stroll with your loved ones, or riding through the streets sipping hot chocolate on a horse drawn carriage, the lights in Old Town, Fort Collins are a "can't miss" at Christmas time!

Contact Colorado Carriage and Wagon to reserve your horse drawn carriage ride, and ask about their Winter Special package starting at Old Town Square and ending with dessert at the Melting Pot on Mountain Ave. 

 

   

Christmas Traditions in Colorado | Real Estate and Lifestyle in Northern Colorado

The Nutcracker by Canyon Concert Ballet in Fort Collins

Christmas Traditions in Colorado | Real Estate and Lifestyle in Northern Colorado   

 

Canyon Concert Ballet presents our 36th annual production of The Nutcracker Ballet.  With a dazzling score by Tchaikovsky performed by the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra, this is a rare chance to see a classical ballet accompanied by a live, full orchestra in Fort Collins.  This iconic holiday story is sure to please audiences of all ages with mystery, battles, and beautiful ballerinas in sparkling tutus!

Tickets can be purchased at the Lincoln Center online

 

 

  

Christmas Traditions in Colorado | Real Estate and Lifestyle in Northern Colorado

The Polar Express Train Ride at the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden

Christmas Traditions in Colorado | Real Estate and Lifestyle in Northern Colorado

The story of The Polar Express is being theatrically re-created so you and your family can be immersed in the sights, sounds and intrigue of this classic children’s tale. Prepare to be surrounded by the magic and wonder of the holiday season!

Tickets may be purchased online on the Colorado Railroad Museum website

   

Christmas Traditions in Colorado | Real Estate and Lifestyle in Northern Colorado

Brewery Lights at Budweiser Brewery Experience in Fort Collins 

Christmas Traditions in Colorado | Real Estate and Lifestyle in Northern Colorado

Come for the lights. Stay for the incredible display of holiday spirit. It’s all here at the scenic Anheuser-Busch Brewery in Fort Collins. Enjoy complimentary beer, s'mores, hot chocolate, food in the biergarten, holiday tree maze, digital light show, $1 train rides, and more!

For more information, click here to be redirected to the brewery lights website

 

  

 

Christmas Traditions in Colorado | Real Estate and Lifestyle in Northern Colorado

Zoo Lights at the Denver Zoo

Christmas Traditions in Colorado | Real Estate and Lifestyle in Northern Colorado

Zoo Lights will span through 60 acres of Denver Zoo's campus, with nightly entertainment, animal encounters, Santa meet-and-greets and, of course, illuminated animal sculptures that swing through trees, jump across lawns hide in bushes and appear in places where they’re least expected. Running December 1 until December 31, is one of Denver’s most anticipated events, which is a great opportunity for folks of all ages to enjoy the holidays or kick off the New Year with family, friends and colleagues.

Tickets may be purchased online on the Denver Zoo website

 

  

 Christmas Traditions in Colorado | Real Estate and Lifestyle in Northern Colorado 

Give to those less fortunate

 Christmas Traditions in Colorado | Real Estate and Lifestyle in Northern Colorado 

 

If you don't already have a favorite nonprofit, take a moment to check out mine: Realities for Children.

 

Realities For Children provides Emergency Funding, Youth Activities, Critical Distributions and other services to Northern Colorado children who have faced abuse, neglect or are at-risk. 

 

For monetary donations, please visit the Realities for Children Website here

 

  

Christmas Traditions in Colorado | Real Estate and Lifestyle in Northern Colorado

Garden of Lights at the Gardens on Spring Creek in Fort Collins

 

Garden of Lights

Join us for one of Northern Colorado's best holiday traditions! Stroll through the whimsically decorated and twinkling Gardens lit by hundreds of thousands of LED lights.See your favorite perennial flower beds, huge sculptural flowers, a brilliant blue pond, grapevines, butterflies, and a Primordial Forest with dinosaurs—all created entirely from holiday lights!

 

While admission is free, donations are appreciated.

 

Click here for more information about the Gardens on Spring Creek

 

  

 

Christmas Traditions in Colorado | Real Estate and Lifestyle in Northern Colorado

Support Colorado Small Businesses 

Christmas Traditions in Colorado | Real Estate and Lifestyle in Northern Colorado 

 It takes more than one Saturday per year of shopping small to keep our small business community thriving. Visit one of the many locally owned shops in Northern Colorado, a Winter Farmers Market, a holiday pop-up shop or a craft show to support Colorado artisans and small business owners! 

 

 

Christmas Traditions in Colorado | Real Estate and Lifestyle in Northern Colorado 

 Bake one of these high altitude Christmas cookie recipes

Christmas Traditions in Colorado | Real Estate and Lifestyle in Northern Colorado

One of my favorite traditions growing up was when all the ladies in my family gathered in my mom's kitchen to bake Christmas cookies. My grandma would bring her cookie cutters and rolling pins to make sure there was enough, and we'd spend the whole day stepping on each other's toes, licking icing off our fingers and making the biggest, happiest mess you've ever seen.

 Here are 10 high altitude cookie recipes to bake this Christmas

 

 

 Christmas Traditions in Colorado | Real Estate and Lifestyle in Northern Colorado

 Make a hand-made gift

 Christmas Traditions in Colorado | Real Estate and Lifestyle in Northern Colorado

 There's something therapeutic about making things with your hands. Northern Colorado has no shortage of options when it comes to painting and pottery studios. Pinot's Palette, a "Paint and Sip" in Old Town offers a glass of wine or beer along with the painting experience. While not all of these are suitable for children, several, including Flutterby Ceramics in Fort Collins specialize in children's crafts and Mommy-and-me classes.  

  

 

 

Fort Collins Realtor, Discount Real Estate Commissions, Sell home, Buy Home, Homes for Sale, Commissions, 3%, 6%

Nov. 23, 2018

Gyrath Realty Group's Second Annual Fall Fest for Foster Children

 

Gyrath Realty Group's Second Annual Fall Fest for Foster Children in Weld County | Real Estate and Lifestyle in Northern Colorado, a blog by Joanna Gyrath, Fort Collins Realtor

 

This time of year is all about expressing thankfulness, yet words don't do justice to the immense gratitude I feel toward everyone who helped pull off this beautiful event. Our generous friends and clients banded together at our Fall Festival for Foster Children to bring Christmas to 120 children in foster care in Weld County this year, more than double what we collected at last year's event. Thank you so much to every one who came out and made this event a huge success! 

 

Gyrath Realty Group's Second Annual Fall Fest for Foster Children

 

On top of being a great success as a fundraiser, we had a wonderful time enjoying the company of friends as we painted pumpkins from the Colorado Pumpkin Patch, had our faces painted, played yard games, hit a piñata, roasted marshmallows, and more!

 

Gyrath Realty Group's Second Annual Fall Fest for Foster Children

 

This lovely handmade pumpkin piñata from Apinata4u Handcrafted Piñatas was a huge hit with the kids at the party, and the most detailed and sturdiest piñata I've come across! It's hard to capture in the photos, but I loved the effervescent leaves on the front of the piñata, which created a contrast and quite elegant look which served as a decoration for much of the party. The next time you need a piñata for an event, be sure to support this great small, family business specializing in handmade and custom piñatas! 

 

Gyrath Realty Group's Second Annual Fall Fest for Foster Children

 

Among the delicious food at the party were a caramel apple bar and s'mores bar, which I had to share pictures of here because... yum! 

Above, the caramel apple bar was complete with delicious gourmet caramel sauces from Sweet Addict bakery (made in Colorado!) paired with granny smith and honey crisp apples from Trader Joe's, a top these beautiful rustic cutting boards from Peccadilly.com. It was so easy, rustic, fall-inspired, and delicious! If you're not familiar with Peccadilly yet, you have to check out this wonderful online boutique which was my favorite place to shop for decorations and supplies for this event, but also features a variety of other products. The reason I love them is that they exclusively sell ethically conscious products that support small businesses,  artisans and designers with similar values. The gold garlands and lovely fall napkins with leaf designs were also ordered from their website. 

 

Gyrath Realty Group's Second Annual Fall Fest for Foster Children

 

The s'mores bar was a huge hit as well, with a variety of graham crackers and cookies which could be paired with three different types of Chocolove Chocolate (made in Colorado!) and five different flavors of Smashmallow marshmallows. Truly you guys, if you haven't tried a s'mores with cookie dough marshmallows and hazelnut butter cups you do not know what you're missing out on.  I got so many compliments on this s'mores var and the variety of pairings!

 

Gyrath Realty Group's Second Annual Fall Fest for Foster Children

 

Nov. 20, 2018

Just Listed! 4167 Cypress Ridge Ln, Wellington, CO 80549

 

Home for Sale at 4167 Cypress Ridge Ln, Wellington, CO 80549 | Just Listed, Real Estate in Northern Colorado, Real Estate listings, search homes for sale, Wellington, Colorado | Real Estate & Lifestyle in Northern Colorado, a blog by Joanna Gyrath, Fort Collins Realtor

 

Just listed at $350,000, this 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom, 2802 square foot home in Wellington is ready for showings!

 

Home for Sale at 4167 Cypress Ridge Ln, Wellington, CO 80549 | Just Listed, Real Estate in Northern Colorado, Real Estate listings, search homes for sale, Wellington, Colorado | Real Estate & Lifestyle in Northern Colorado, a blog by Joanna Gyrath, Fort Collins Realtor

 

Move in ready split level home in Park Meadows! Spacious kitchen with stainless steel appliances including gas range! Master suite upstairs includes 5 piece master bath and walk in closet. 2 additional bedrooms, full bath and laundry complete upper level. 

 

Home for Sale at 4167 Cypress Ridge Ln, Wellington, CO 80549 | Just Listed, Real Estate in Northern Colorado, Real Estate listings, search homes for sale, Wellington, Colorado | Real Estate & Lifestyle in Northern Colorado, a blog by Joanna Gyrath, Fort Collins Realtor

 

Living room along with a 4th bedroom and 3/4 bath on lower level. Unfinished basement for future expansion. Central A/C. Fenced backyard. Brand new roof with high impact shingles! Epoxy floor in oversized garage. Neighborhood park nearby!

 

Home for Sale at 4167 Cypress Ridge Ln, Wellington, CO 80549 | Just Listed, Real Estate in Northern Colorado, Real Estate listings, search homes for sale, Wellington, Colorado | Real Estate & Lifestyle in Northern Colorado, a blog by Joanna Gyrath, Fort Collins Realtor

 

Nov. 10, 2018

Kitchen Projects with Knape & Vogt

 

If you've been following my blog for any period of time you know that I am completely addicted to Knape & Vogt products. Although my mission to organize our home seems to be a moving target, any progress I've made thus far can be attributed to the handy organizers from Knape and Vogt which have multiplied our storage space and made "a place for everything, and everything in it's place" a little bit more attainable as a goal. Even on our most disorganized days, at least that saying is still half true around here! 

 

Kitchen Projects with Knape and Vogt, Home Improvement and Organization | Real Estate & Lifestyle in Northern Colorado, a blog by Joanna Gyrath, Fort Collins Realtor

 

I have to start with this spice tray insert because it is amazing! Yes, it is perfect for keeping your spices organized, but it is also the perfect size for separating different flavors of k-cups (no more carousels taking up precious counter space!) and the perfect holder for charging phones and other small electronic devices. 

 

DIY In-Drawer charging station | Kitchen Projects with Knape and Vogt, Home Improvement and Organization | Real Estate & Lifestyle in Northern Colorado, a blog by Joanna Gyrath, Fort Collins Realtor

 

I have to share details on how to turn this spice rack into a charging station because it is one of my favorite DIY projects to date. I am loving not having cords and devices scattered everywhere in our home and contained neatly in a place where no one can see them. The project was easy and took about an hour to complete. You'll need a Knape & Vogt Spice Tray Insert, a saw (depending on the size of your drawer), a drill with a hole saw attachment, and some sort of extension cord depending on the types of devices you are charging and the distance to the closest power source.

Because of different kitchen configurations, doing a real step by step tutorial doesn't seem like it would be of immediate benefit, so my goal is to share enough tips here that you can plan a similar project in your home. A key detail for this project is that any drawer you choose must be easily accessible to an outlet. I selected a drawer in my island which was right beside the power source for my gas cooktop, so the power source was very easily accessible by drilling a couple of holes to feed the cord through- one through the back left side of the drawer itself, and the other through the cabinet wall parallel to hole I drilled in the drawer. Many kitchens don't have concealed outlets inside cabinets like this, so it might make more sense to do this project in a drawer next to your range or fridge, and drill a small hole toward the back of those cabinets where it will be hidden from sight.

Because of the movement of the drawer, I wanted to drill a large enough hole that the cord could move with it without getting stuck or tangled and potentially affect its usability. I chose to drill a hole with an inch diameter and it has worked well without a single issue. 

I love that the Knape & Vogt spice rack is so large, because I was able to organize all three of these drawers with only two of them, by cutting one to serve as the k-cup organizer and charging station. This might not work in all kitchens depending on the dimensions of your drawers, but it's worth checking the measurements before you order!

 

Kitchen Projects with Knape and Vogt, Home Improvement and Organization | Real Estate & Lifestyle in Northern Colorado, a blog by Joanna Gyrath, Fort Collins Realtor

 

A little more straightforward as far as projects go, while I was at it I organized every drawer in my kitchen. It is amazing what giving each item in your kitchen a home can do for your sanity! I actually found the cosmetics organizers to be perfect in the kitchen as well to organize less used items like whisks, frosting tips, mixer attachments and items like that. Sizing them was easy and I was surprised to only need an exacto knife to cut them to size. I decided not to permanently attach them because having the ability to take them out and rinse them in the sink seems necessary in my home, but you could easily use a screw to attach them and even caulk them in for a really nice, built-in look.

Here are the ones I used:

 

Kitchen Projects with Knape and Vogt, Home Improvement and Organization | Real Estate & Lifestyle in Northern Colorado, a blog by Joanna Gyrath, Fort Collins Realtor

 

I've talked about the Roll-out Wood & Wire Dividers from Knape & Vogt before, but truly can not get enough! It is unbelievable to me how much more I can fit in my cabinets with the addition of these roll-out racks, and how easy they are to install. Both of these wood and wire slide outs were installed in under 20 minutes with a total of 8 screws between them. They are perfect for muffin tins, donut tins (yes for making donuts!), cutting boards, cooling racks, lids, you name it. 

 

Kitchen Projects with Knape and Vogt, Home Improvement and Organization | Real Estate & Lifestyle in Northern Colorado, a blog by Joanna Gyrath, Fort Collins Realtor

 

A less expected item that has become a huge convenience in my kitchen was adding a roll-out laundry hamper in our pantry. Not for laundry, but for produce! Produce drawers are becoming a trend in some of the high end kitchens these days, and I've been in love with the idea of having a bin to contain things like squash and sweet potatoes that we always seem to have massive amounts of from the garden. This is far superior to any other storage method I've tried, including storing them in a loose basket at the bottom of the pantry because it gets so heavy! Even when this sliding bin is full, it still glides easily on the track so I can access the produce without trying to maneuver a bulky bin.

We also added a second Pot & Pan Caddy for organizing other kitchen essentials that needed a more permanent and convenient home- mixing bowls, toaster, tea kettle, strainer and pizza stone- yes, one caddy can hold all of that. This caddy is one of my favorite Knape and Vogt products because it is shockingly easy to install and use and multiplies your cabinet space by 3 or 4 times. If you are shopping for a cook, a home cook, or really any person with a kitchen this Christmas, this caddy will be such a hit! 

 

Kitchen Projects with Knape and Vogt, Home Improvement and Organization | Real Estate & Lifestyle in Northern Colorado, a blog by Joanna Gyrath, Fort Collins Realtor

 

Last but not least, I wanted to share one last DIY project that I did recently: a built in utensil caddy in our lazy susan. I used a utensil caddy that I already owned, and really any type of caddy will work as long as there is a little bit of a lip around the top to keep it from falling through the hole. Essentially the steps are: Pick a caddy and where you want it, trace its shape on the surface, and cut the hole for the caddy to slide down into. Looking back there are probably a hundred better ways to make a hole in a plastic surface, so don't focus on my method so much as the end result, because that's what I'm loving! Any project that results in fewer items on my countertops feels like it adds space to my kitchen and is totally worth the investment in my book!

 

Nov. 6, 2018

Two great new listings hit the market over the weekend!

 

 

11581 Jimenez St in Parker is listed at $535,000 and features 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and 3,524 square feet. This like-new home in convenient location and desirable Heirloom neighborhood! Upgraded kitchen features large island, quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances, double oven, custom espresso cabinetry and tile backsplash.  An open floor plan leads you into the living room with gorgeous stacked stone fireplace and craftsman wood mantle. A dreamy master suite features oversized soaking tub, two separate vanities, and two separate closets! This beautifully maintained home is perfect for the modern lifestyle with upstairs laundry, french doors, main-level guest room with ¾ bath, main-level office, jack-n-jill bath conjoining the other two bedrooms upstairs, and up-to-date finishes throughout. Concrete patio and fenced backyard are great for entertaining! Community includes a pool and clubhouse!

Click here to view the full MLS listing for 11581 Jimenez St, Parker

 

 

1105 5th St in Pierce is listed at $345,000 and features 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and 2,914 square feet. This move in ready home on a nearly 1/2 acre lot! Hard to find a lot this large at this price! Main level offers spacious kitchen along with dining area and an office. Large master suite upstairs includes 5 piece master bath and walk in closet. 2 additional bedrooms, full bath and laundry complete upper level. Living room along with a 4th bedroom and 3/4 bath on the lower level. Unfinished basement great for storage or future expansion! Attached 2 car garage. Easy drive to Fort Collins or Greeley!

Click here to view the full MLS listing for 1105 5th St, Pierce

 

 

 

Oct. 25, 2018

Laundry Room Facelift in Our Fort Collins Home

 

It would be pretty easy to write an entire post about how much I hate laundry. Between the icky smells, the mysterious stains that appear on my clothes any time they end up in the same laundry basket as the kids' clothes, and the missing socks, there is easily enough content there. Not to mention the sheer volume of laundry that accumulates! If we aren't washing a load every other day in my house, we are falling behind. I dream of the day that my kids are old enough to launder their own clothes, or at least be able to get through a meal without needing an outfit change.

But you didn't come here to hear me whine! Instead, let me share with you what I've been working on lately to improve the functionality of my laundry room and streamline the laundry process. 

 

Laundry Room Facelift in Our Fort Collins Home: Real Estate an Lifestyle in Northern Colorado, a blog by Joanna Gyrath, Fort Collins Realtor

 

This might sound odd unless you can relate, but clutter and piles cause me anxiety. As I started thinking about updating the space, my main priority was getting organized and clearing surfaces so that when I go into the laundry room I can tackle the task at hand, rather than spend half my time trying to find homes for random items that collect on the counter and the tops of the appliances. But getting rid of the clutter and the unsightly things was only the first step. I also wanted to transform the laundry room into a space that felt pretty, bright, and feminine. Adding some pretty accents to the room seemed like the best way to make the laundry room feel less like a forgotten corner of our home and more like a space that we are using to its fullest. Because it's a small room that serves several functions, my goal was actually to reduce the number of items not introduce more stuff, so finding pretty accents that served a function was the main goal in this space when it came to decoration. 

Adding hardware to the cabinets and drawers felt like an obvious way to add some style will improving the functionality of the space. I love my new Whimsical Pulls in oil rubbed bronze from Bar Z Decorative Home and Cabinet Hardware, made in Silverton, Colorado! You can get a closer look at them on their website or by checking out my How to Install Cabinet Pulls Tutorial. Being able to support a Colorado small business in addition to finding such a beautiful, quality product is a win-win!

 

Laundry Room Facelift in Our Fort Collins Home: Real Estate an Lifestyle in Northern Colorado, a blog by Joanna Gyrath, Fort Collins Realtor

 

Complemented beautifully by the cabinet pulls is my elegant new faucet from Pfister. The Tuscan Bronze finish is a perfect match, and the feminine design adds exactly the feel I was hoping for in this laundry room. After all, I am the primary person who uses it, so if ever there was a room in my home that should have a fun and feminine feel to it, the laundry room is it. This is now the second Pfizer faucet in our home, and I continue to be impressed by the quality and beauty that makes these faucets feel more like sculptures that serve an important purpose than a simple faucet that is merely used to bring water to a utility sink. If you're on the market for a new faucet, I'd suggest checking out their entire catalog as they have so many lovely options, but I am also linking here to the Pfister Marielle Mini Widespread Faucet that I picked.

 

Above the utility sink, I hung two lovely Corner Wood Shelf Kits from Knape and Vogt in white to hold some of the functional items that need to exist in the laundry room but don't need to be living on the countertops where they get bumped over and make a mess. Their size was perfect to hold a big mason jar for loose change, and a basket for loose socks. I added a small wreath to the top shelf because it felt like it needed a little love, but other than that and the potted plant on the counter, every piece in this laundry room has a purpose. 

 

Laundry Room Facelift in Our Fort Collins Home: Real Estate an Lifestyle in Northern Colorado, a blog by Joanna Gyrath, Fort Collins Realtor

 

Okay, I lied. Technically having the word "laundry" painted on the wall serves no purpose, but let me explain. When I first started shopping for this project, I saw hundreds of cute little laundry signs with quotes that I could hang or set on the counter for decoration. While I liked the idea, I couldn't justify bringing in more objects to this space when one of my main goals has been to declutter. After seeing an example of using stencils to decorate a laundry room on the Cutting Edge Stencils Blog, I decided that this would be the perfect way to bring in the look of a sign without actually bringing anything new into the space to collect dirt or create clutter. I selected the Zamira Letter Stencils from Cutting Edge Stencils because it seemed to coordinate well with the overall project, but it was a hard choice since they have many great designs to choose from. And painting them was fun! 

 

Laundry Room Facelift in Our Fort Collins Home: Real Estate an Lifestyle in Northern Colorado, a blog by Joanna Gyrath, Fort Collins Realtor

 

Once I had my pretty accents picked out, the next main goal was to hide from view or minimize everything else. The trash can was an obvious starting point since that is always in the way and takes up valuable, limited space. I used a Door Mounted Waste Bin from Knape and Vogt to get that bin out from underfoot and concealed in a cabinet where no one would know it exists unless they need to. 

Next up on my "hide" list? I'll give you one guess: it's worse than doing laundry.

Ironing. 

Not only did I not have space to house a bulky ironing board between uses, but the tight quarters meant that the hassle of pulling it out and ironing clothes in there was such an annoyance that I would avoid doing it at all costs. When a simple spritz of water wasn't enough to de-wrinkle a shirt, I would end up dragging the bulky board out into the living room where the kids could knock it over onto themselves creating a whole different kind of stress. Essentially I had a very flawed, thoughtless system that wasn't working and needed major improvements. Enter the Nutone Ironing Center which pretty much saved my sanity. There are a few different options of cabinet style, but I was incredibly pleased with how well the white cabinet door matched my existing cabinets. This unit looks like it was made for this space. Honestly, my laundry room has a little less than the recommended clearance for the ironing board to pull out, but it swivels in all directions so it works perfectly even in a small space like mine. I can't promise that I will love ironing now, but having the board, the iron and everything I need ready to go at a moments notice means that when I can't avoid it, at least it can be streamlined and easy. I am loving not having to store that big ironing board!

 

Laundry Room Facelift in Our Fort Collins Home: Real Estate an Lifestyle in Northern Colorado, a blog by Joanna Gyrath, Fort Collins Realtor

 

Last and definitely not least, I need to share the LUXE Laundry Sorter System which was invented by an entrepreneur in Lakewood and is made by hand in Colorado. Essentially the system involves wall mounted cleats that allow you to hang your laundry baskets on the wall when needed, or stack them to one side when not. I thought that this was a great alternative to shelving in this area for one great reason: when not in use, they no longer have to take up space. I decided to hang them horizontally over my washer and dryer because that's where I would tend to place the laundry baskets for use or storage anyway, but I needed a better option since the baskets were often tumbling off during spin cycles. I hung four cleats so that I could have a basket for each family member when sorting clean clothes, although I use them most often with just two baskets labeled "clean" and "dirty." 

These cleats are very secure, which I know because I hung them myself with the provided anchors according to the instructions. Since I was hanging them horizontally my process was a little bit different, but only involved a level to make sure they were straight, a dry erase marker to indicate the line where I wanted them to line up, and a drill. It was really easy, and took me about half an hour from start to finish.  The cleats arrived in a raw wood which is really lovely on its own and doesn't even need to be painted. I did paint them to help them blend in with the wall, but when it came down to it, I skipped the last coat because I liked having a little bit of that natural wood grain showing through.

 

Laundry Room Facelift in Our Fort Collins Home: Real Estate an Lifestyle in Northern Colorado, a blog by Joanna Gyrath, Fort Collins Realtor

 

Here's a quick little video from the inventor that shows how to use the system in a vertical configuration which probably makes more sense in many laundry rooms. This system is so nifty!

 

 

And finally, my before and after side by side:

 

Before and After, laundry room makeover, Fort Collins | Real Estate and Lifestyle in Northern Colorado, a blog by Joanna Gyrath, Fort Collins Realtor

 

 

 

Oct. 25, 2018

OtterBox Giveaway!

 

OtterBox Giveaway! Real Estate & Lifestyle in Northern Colorado, a blog by Joanna Gyrath, Fort Collins Realtor

 

If you live in Fort Collins, I don't have to tell you what a huge part of our community OtterBox is! Growing from a start up to now being one of Fort Collins' largest employers according to the Coloradoan, OtterBox is clearly doing something right. As a small business, having such an awesome company that loves and supports our community to look up to is awesome! 

 

I'm obsessed with my case from the OtterBox Strada series. As you can see, it is definitely well loved, but these things last forever! Every OtterBox case I've had has outlived my attention span with the phone inside, and only gets replaced when I decide to upgrade my device. I am excited to share my love of Otter products with a lucky winner! 

 

OtterBox Giveaway! Real Estate & Lifestyle in Northern Colorado, a blog by Joanna Gyrath, Fort Collins Realtor

 

You can earn up to 2 entries in this giveaway. Here is how...

1. Follow @joannagyrath on Instagram AND comment on this post (click here)

2. Follow @gyrathrealtygroup on Facebook AND comment on this post (click here) 

The giveaway will end on Monday, November 29, 2018 at noon. A winner will be contacted to receive their prize- a digital code good for $100 on OtterBox.com and free shipping. Winner must be a resident of Colorado. 

 

 

OtterBox Giveaway! Real Estate & Lifestyle in Northern Colorado, a blog by Joanna Gyrath, Fort Collins Realtor