May 6, 2019

10 Mother's Day Gifts that Aren't Things



"The best things in life are not things"

-Art Buchwald


Mother's Day in Northern Colorado, Mother's Day Gift Guide, Gifts that aren't things | Real Estate and Lifestyle in Northern Colorado, a blog by Joanna Gyrath, Fort Collins Realtor and owner of Gyrath Realty Group



Whether you’re shopping for your own mother or the mother of your children, skip the flowers this year and instead give a gift of quality time making memories together!


1. Say Thank You

It sounds cliche, but only when you’re a mother yourself will you understand your own mother's love and sacrifices. Of course, you love and appreciate her every day of the year, but make sure Mother’s Day is a day when you stop, look her in the face, and tell her "Thank you!"


2. Pamper Her

Sure, this varies by the season of motherhood, but most of the mothers I know can hardly slow down long enough to drink enough water, let alone indulge in any real self-care. Give her a massage, a pedicure or a whole day at the spa if you can to allow her to really unwind and feel pampered.


3. Feed Her

Take her out to dinner, or if she really loves to cook, get tickets to a class at the Cooking Studio Fort Collins where you’ll experience a hands-on tutorial on how to prepare a new dish followed by a delicious dinner. If you’d rather avoid the mother’s day crowds you could pick up her favorite takeout as long as, and this is the key ingredient, she doesn’t clean up after the meal.


4. Give Her the Night Off

When was the last time she went out for a girl’s night? Husbands, if you have little ones in the house, there’s a good chance that she can’t remember either. Make the plans and be there to give the baths, read the books, and pajama the kids so she can have a night to regroup and unwind with her friends.


5. Support a Cause

Is there a special cause that is close to her heart? Consider reallocating the money you would have spent on flowers to a donation in her honor. Or, even better, make arrangements to spend the day volunteering together.


6. Learn a New Skill

Would she prefer a yoga class or a paint and sip class at Pinot’s Palette? Practicing a new skill that requires creativity can be a wonderfully enriching experience, and spending time doing this with a loved one can make great, lasting memories.


7. Reserve Your Seats

Whether it’s the ballet, a sporting event, concert or even just a movie that she’s been dying to see, Mother’s Day is the day that she gets to pick. Think of all the piano recitals and soccer games she’s attended for you, and this time, sit your butt in the seat next to her and have fun watching a performance of her choosing.


8. Lend a Hand

Is she drowning in projects? Ticking off a project on her to-do list not only lightens the load, but it also frees up time for her to do something more enjoyable instead. If this happens to come in the form of a cleaning service or a professional organizer, she won’t complain about that either!


9. Sign Her Up

What does she love that she doesn’t do often enough? Consider buying a membership to a favorite destination to take the kids, like the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery.


10. Take Her on an Adventure

Whether she would prefer to hike Devil’s Backbone or take a picnic to one of Northern Colorado’s many natural areas, spend Mother's Day together appreciating Colorado’s beautiful scenery and soaking up sunshine.




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







April 23, 2019

Things to do with kids this summer in Northern Colorado!


Things to do this summer in Northern Colorado with kids | Real Estate and Lifestyle in Northern Colorado, blog by Joanna Gyrath, Fort Collins Realtor and home stager


With summer around the corner, we moms are planning day trips and scheduling activities to keep our little ones busy, engaged and out of trouble! Northern Colorado is a wonderful place to raise a family and, while I could never list everything to do with kids here, hopefully this helps get ideas flowing! Wherever possible I've linked to more information on each venue and activity so click through to read more.


Here are some of the top spots on our summer bucket list, in no particular order: 


A little further but worth the drive:


Whether you're new to Northern Colorado or you're just looking for some fresh ideas for family fun, I hope you find this list helpful as you start your summer plans!


Realtor, Home Stager in Fort Collins, Gyrath Realty Group, Joanna Gyrath, Small Business, Locally Owned, Northern Colorado, Loveland, Greeley, Fort Collins, Timnath, Windsor





March 7, 2019

Please join me at CASA of Larimer County's Light of Hope Breakfast on March 27!


Last year's Light of Hope breakfast at the Hilton in Fort Collins included a delicious hot meal and the opportunity to hear first hand from a CASA volunteer who was in need of CASA services herself as a child. This year the speaker will be a former CASA child who was trafficked sexually before he was taken into foster care and given what he refers to as "simple stabilities like dinner, bedtimes and family movies that make a huge impact." As an adult he is working tirelessly to bring awareness for foster kids and has created Open Arms Awareness Day to bring together people in Larimer County who are interested in becoming foster parents. 


When I first heard of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) I didn't know what they were or understand the extent of their important contribution to children in our community. Their mission statement is "to be a voice in court for abused and neglected children." What that means in reality is that a CASA volunteer is someone who meets with children who face Dependency and Neglect cases on a weekly basis and provides recommendations to help the courts determine what is in the child's best interest. According to the CASA of Larimer County website, this volunteer is often the only consistent adult in the child's life during their court case. 


Currently only able to provide this service to 40% of children in need of advocacy in the Fort Collins area, CASA of Larimer County is working diligently to recruit funds and volunteers to more than double this impact by the end of next year to 100% of Dependency and Neglect cases.  Attending the Light of Hope event is one way that you can support the vital role that CASA of Larimer County plays in helping children who have faced the hardest of circumstances as they transition into a better future. Tickets to the breakfast are free and you are invited to learn more about this important cause, how to volunteer, and to make a donation. Click here to register for the Light of Hope Breakfast.


See you there!



Learn more about CASA of Larimer County at



Fort Collins Realtor, Home Staging, Get home ready to sell, top real estate agents in Northern Colorado, Fort Collins Real Estate commissions, net more on the sale of your home, reduced commissions, home for sale, fsbo, list on the MLS, Real Estate Listings, Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Timnath, Windsor, Gyrath Realty Group, Joanna Gyrath, Ben Gyrath






March 2, 2019

Just Listed! 2011 Alpine Dr, Erie, CO 80516


Just listed in Erie at $430,000

BD   3 BA  2,916 SqFt



Must-see, move-in-ready home in Vista Ridge! Natural wood floors greet you as you enter, drawing you into an eat-in kitchen, complete with granite countertops, tile backsplash and stainless steel double ovens! An open floor plan invites you into an airy living room with two story vaulted ceiling and cozy gas fireplace. A generous back patio offers ample room for grilling, dining and entertaining in a private, landscaped backyard with no house behind and siding to open space! A spacious main-level master suite boasts granite countertops, double sinks, soaking tub and walk-in closet. Upstairs, a large loft offers beautiful mountain views, overlooking open space and the foothills in the distance! This impeccably maintained home features a brand new water heater, updated oil rubbed bronze hardware and light fixtures, and much more! Home warranty included. This great location is walking distance to parks, pool, and trails, and convenient to shopping, restaurants, and schools!


Click here for more details and photos and to schedule a showing!


Feb. 28, 2019

Just Listed! 14300 N County Road 7, Wellington, CO 80549


14300 N County Road 7, Wellington, CO 80549

 BD   3 BA   2,150 SqFt


Just Listed in Wellington at $435,000! 


36 acres of useable land with mountain views and no HOA! Take in views of Longs Peak from your front porch on your own private country escape, less than 20 minutes from Fort Collins. Ranch style home with acreage in Poudre School District with convenient, easy access to I25. A huge 6+ car detached garage invites you to bring your toys! Appliances are included in this spacious kitchen with large island, including a stainless steel refrigerator and oven. Master suite features an attached study and radiant heat in master bath, as well as throughout much of the home. Water feature in tranquil backyard. See the potential with framed mother-in-law suite above the garage, ready to be finished!


14300 N County Road 7, Wellington, CO 80549   4 BD   3 BA   2,150 SqFt


Click here for more photos and information.


Feb. 7, 2019

Just Listed: 7708 E Academy Pl, Denver, CO 80230


Just Listed in Denver at $469,000!

Rare opportunity to own a like-new single family home just steps from Lowry's shops, eateries, parks and overlooking the Wings Over the Rockies Museum.


The countertops and island in the upgraded kitchen are an elegant, earthy granite which contrasts beautifully with the espresso cabinetry and gleaming stainless steel appliances, including gas stove and french door refrigerator. Hardwood flooring and an open floor plan seamlessly connect the kitchen to a spacious dining area and into a bright living room which features a nook and second patio with sliding glass door.


The upstairs master suite features custom, built-in organizers in the walk-in closet, double sinks and stylish subway tile with designer border in the shower. All bedrooms feature matching black out cell shades on the windows and clean, like-new carpeting.


Attached two car garage and spacious entryway that can be used as a mudroom!


Open house Saturday 2/9 12-3 pm!

Feb. 5, 2019

Northern Colorado Small Business Spotlight: J. Brady Seasonings


Something I love about small business owners, which I'm seeing over and over again as I write this series of Northern Colorado Small Businesses Spotlight posts, is the way they light up with excitement when they talk about their work. Brady Stewart of J. Brady's seasonings was no exception. Referring to his line of Fort Collins' made spice blends as a "passion project," Brady talked with me about his history, his love of food, and his plans for the future with such excitement that I left the conversation feeling a renewed energy for my own business. My hope for this series is to both introduce the Northern Colorado community to great local businesses and products like J. Brady's Seasonings, as well as share that entrepreneurial spark that makes small business owners unique and keeps us going!


Northern Colorado Small Business Spotlight: J. Brady Seasonings


For Brady, spicing up people's lives isn't his only gig. I wondered why someone with a successful career as an engineer for a food packaging company, where he can use his degree and work in the food industry, would spend his evenings and weekends packaging orders, presenting to retailers, and selling his spices at farmers markets. He described it this way, "If I work hard and have a huge win at work, I get a little bit," holding up his fingers to emphasize how small, "but the benefit is mostly to the company. Whereas with my spices, when I get a win I'm the one who sees those results. And they could be huge. My only complaint is that it does cut into my fishing time a little bit!" 


Northern Colorado Small Business Spotlight: J. Brady Seasonings


If you imagined him saying those words with a chuckle and a Texas accent, you'd be on the right track. Brady Stewart reminisces of growing up in north Texas with parents who both loved to cook and experience the world through their love of food. He smiles when he tells me their names: Martha and Jimmy Stewart. His father, who shares Brady's first name, spent some time in Iran when he was a child. American Southwest flavors, Creole, as well as Indian and flavors from around the world spiced up family dinners in the Stewart home. Brady recalls watching cooking shows with his parents, and laughed out loud about how star struck he was when he met Rachael Ray in a bar in Texas out of complete coincidence.


J. Brady Seasonings made in Fort Collins, Small Business Spotlight | Real estate and lifestyle in Northern Colorado, a blog by Joanna Gyrath, Fort Collins Realtort


Going to college in Oklahoma, studying abroad in Italy, and traveling for pleasure to Europe, the UK, and New Zealand, Brady's cooking is inspired by flavors from around the world. At home, Brady found himself blending his own seasonings for his own personal use in his kitchen. "I wanted to master flavor profiles in a spice blend that you could use over and over again in a lot of recipes." His wife encouraged him to sell his spices, and before long he was moving production from his kitchen to a co-packing company in Fort Collins where they could be made in larger quantities and packaged for retail. Look closely at the labels on his seasonings and you'll notice that they share a common theme. Inspired by the craft brewing industry, Brady wanted his spices to have their own personality and be easily identifiable, just like the beer labels from craft brewers like New Belgium.


Northern Colorado Small Business Spotlight: J. Brady Seasonings


While Brady and his wife might not be Colorado natives, blending spices in Fort Collins that are inspired by beer is about as Colorado as it gets. Brady notes that there is a big difference between the small business community here in Northern Colorado than in Oklahoma where he started out. He shared about working with another spice company who I was surprised to learn is more of a friend than a competitor, and that he recently wrote an article about how to get started in the craft food scene for NoCo magazine to help other budding entrepreneurs. "Small businesses in Colorado are collaborative, and while there is also a bit of friendly competition, there is a general consensus that adding more raises the standard and the quality of all of the products on the market." 


Brady's spice blends are now sold in over 40 retailers here in Northern Colorado and can also be purchased online at Be sure to check out his website for some great recipes!


Fort Collins Realtor, Home staging expert, Joanna Gyrath

Posted in Windsor, Colorado
Feb. 4, 2019

Just Listed! 4306 Eaton St, Denver, CO 80212

(Virtual tour above should play automatically)



This move in ready bungalow in Berkeley area is listed at $410,000.


Clean white cabinets and sparkling stainless steel appliances make the kitchen bright and airy. Pot rack and island included.


The open floor plan, fresh modern paint, wood floors and updated light fixtures work together for a lovely, updated look.


New roof in 2017 and new furnace and windows in 2016!


Great location! Walking distance to Randall Park and convenient to shops and dining on Tennyson Street as well as the new development on 38th and Wadsworth with Lucky's Market.


Click here for details and photos:







Posted in Open House
Jan. 26, 2019

How to have a Paint and Sip night in!


Paint and sip studios are taking Northern Colorado by storm, and for good reason! Painting is therapeutic and I honestly think that anything that gives you an outlet for creativity is good for your soul and mental state, regardless of the outcome. While I'm a huge fan of this emerging industry, my particular stage of mom life involves more frequent 4 am wake up calls than ladies' nights out. So I decided to have my own Paint and Sip night in!


Paint and Sip Night In! Real Estate and Lifestyle in Northern Colorado, a blog by Joanna Gyrath, Fort Collins Realtor


These DIY word signs by Jen & Hailey can be made to say anything you want and come in a lovely raw birch wood that smells amazing (is that weird to say?), with such an elegant grain that I almost didn't want to cover it with paint. I had ordered these back at Thanksgiving so I selected the words "Gather" and "Thankful" because they seemed festive at the time and I had planned to use them as decor for the holidays. Let's not talk about the fact that I'm getting my November projects done at the end of January, and just focus on how beautiful these signs are shall we?


Paint and Sip Night In! Real Estate and Lifestyle in Northern Colorado, a blog by Joanna Gyrath, Fort Collins Realtor


One of the best things about these signs is that you can't really mess them up. Many times I have embarked on a creative project only to feel frustrated over the wasted time and effort when the end results weren't what I'd wanted. Not this time- these signs are fool proof. I used paint brushes because I wanted to enjoy a quiet evening recreating the paint and sip experience at home and use paint I already had on hand, but you could absolutely hit these with a can of spray paint if you want to get the job done in less time. 


Paint and Sip Night In! Real Estate and Lifestyle in Northern Colorado, a blog by Joanna Gyrath, Fort Collins Realtor


My method is easy, and each step should be accompanied by a sip or two of your favorite wine or other yummy beverage:

  • Paint around the edges first, taking your time and getting into all the little nooks and crannies. Depending on the word and font you pick when you select your sign, there may be more or fewer tight spaces to get into, but I'd suggest a pretty small brush.
  • Use a small roller on the face of the sign immediately without waiting for the edges to dry. I do this right away because you could potentially end up with a bit of a raised online around your letters if you let your edges dry. That wouldn't necessarily be bad, but I wanted mine to have a smooth surface. 
  • Move the signs a few times while you wait for them to dry so they don't bond to the cardboard or drop cloth underneath them, risking damaging the signs when you pull them up. 
  • Optional- going over them with very fine sandpaper or a sanding sponge is a great way to even out any bubbles or get a little bit of a distressed look around the edges.
  • Whether you'll need a second coat will depend on your paint and preference. The white paint I used on the gather sign had a built-in primer and didn't need more than one coat. The gold craft paint was pretty thin and needed three.


Paint and Sip Night In! Real Estate and Lifestyle in Northern Colorado, a blog by Joanna Gyrath, Fort Collins Realtor


And the last step: Decorate your home! 

I am using the smaller "Thankful" sign as a wreath ornament on the front door, while I hung the large "Gather" sign over the couch in the basement. I have also used these signs to decorate my daughter's nursery, my son's room and as decor at his birthday party. These signs are so versatile and easy to hang that there are endless possibilities. I hope you'll support this amazing small business and have your own Paint and Sip party or night in! Click here to see Jen and Hailey's shop on Etsy.



Northern Colorado Realtor, Joanna Gyrath


Posted in
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





Posted in Greeley, Colorado