Basically NoCo

Warm Up Your Bathroom for Winter

While you may enjoy stepping out into a cold bathroom in the middle of summer, that usually isn’t as enjoyable when winter strikes. Even with your heat running, sometimes bathrooms can get a little frosty – especially after a hot shower. All of the surfaces in your bathroom, like the tile floors and porcelain toilet, are not ideal for holding in heat. Here are 3 ways you can bring the heat to your bathroom this winter so you won’t have to dread shower time anymore.

Invest In A Towel Warmer

What better way to beat the chill than a warm towel to wrap up in when you are ready to get out of the shower? Heated towel racks can be installed right outside of your shower door. The rungs of the rack typically act as warming rods and can hold several towels at once, so everyone can enjoy a warm towel this winter!

Heated Toilets Seats Are In

While America is a little behind on technologically advanced toilet systems in comparison to other countries, heated toilet seats have started to make their way into the mainstream bathroom decor here in the US. These toilets usually come with bidet-like system, so toilet paper is no longer needed. With a quick wash and a gentle dry with warm air – all while you are on a heated seat – going to the bathroom in winter doesn’t have to be dreadfully cold!

Never Get Cold Feet With Heated Floors

Most people would agree that stepping out of the shower onto an ice-cold tile floor can send a chill up your body no matter how warm you are. Instead of hopping across the bathroom as quickly as possible to find slippers, consider investing in radiant floor heating if your bathroom is due for an upgrade. While it is definitely not an easy project, it will add value to your home and be priceless on those days where you don’t want to freeze your toes on cold tile.

Leadership Loveland – Education Day

I’m pregnant and I’m a planner (my poor child will have to be very patient with me). I’ve been looking forward to Education Day as a part of Leadership Loveland since day one, mostly because I was excited to hear about public education in Loveland. Early education and elementary school education has been on the top of my mind lately.

Fortunately for me, we not only got to explore Truscott Elementary School, but we got to hear from numerous people from Thompson School District, Front Range Community College and Aims Community College.

The thing I’ve been raving about is the Dual Language Immersion Program offered at Truscott Elementary School and Cottonwood Plains Elementary School. It’s inspiring to see the passion of the administration and teachers who have made such a significant investment into the lives of local children.

2019-TSD-Strategic-Plan-Booklet-3The other program I’m a big fan of is Thompson School District’s Strive 2025 strategic plan and their portrait of a graduate. The emphasis on creating graduates who have not only achieved academically, but are employable doesn’t seem out of the box even though this may not always be the outcome. There are apprenticeship and internship programs as well as career specific classes and numerous opportunities for students to earn college credit. Students are poised to graduate high school prepared to be successful members of the workforce. It’ll be exciting to see what happens as the school district continues on it’s path towards these goals.

We continued our class project discussion after our class. During the last month we selected a preliminary project and assigned teams. Now as we move into the new year, we have some major questions that need to be answered so we can narrow down our parameters. Hopefully next month I’ll be able to share some more details. Keep your fingers crossed!

*Thank you Dixie Daly and The Loveland Chamber of Commerce for the photo and to Thompson School District for their Strive 2025 Portrait of a Graduate.

Leadership Loveland – Economy Day

74799787_156979512364513_844013626883833856_oYou guys! The Wal-Mart Distribution Center is so cool. I’m going to be honest, our tour of this 1,000,000+ square foot facility was the highlight of Economy Day with my Leadership Loveland class in November. Their efficient system sends out 70,000 parcels about every 10 hours and sends out 200 trucks full of items each day. How incredible is that?

74908148_157118585683939_4653240123368931328_oAnother favorite aspect was discovering how large companies like Wal-Mart, smaller mom and pop shops, and the overall vision for Loveland fit into the local economic picture. After our tour we heard from Loveland Downtown District and the City of Loveland’s Economic Department about where we are and where we’re going. Sometimes as a resident when you hear about plans and some things don’t come to fruition, it’s confusing why. It’s easy to get discouraged about what’s possible and what the future holds for a community you love. I was encouraged by the enthusiasm of the people in the trenches doing the work to make Loveland the destination it deserves to be.

75380046_157133075682490_4636708373339832320_oTowards the end of the day we began our class discussion about our community project (that continued on at Crow Hop). We will be designing and implementing this project from start to finish. It was inspiring to hear ideas from classmates and see how well we were able to come together and set next steps. My hope is that we’re able to solidify our project and make a tangible impact, something we can all be proud of.

*Thank you Dixie Daly and The Loveland Chamber of Commerce for the photos

10 Steps to Declutter Your Kitchen

I have seen some beautiful kitchens all around Northern Colorado! Folks have really stepped up their game. Many times newer kitchens come with more cabinet space and if you build it, the clutter will come. Conveniently much of the clutter is hidden behind the facade. If you have reached the point where you can no longer open a door in your kitchen without having something fall out, it is time to declutter your kitchen. Follow these steps and you can begin a clutter-free life, starting with your kitchen!

1. Sort through your utensil drawer. Toss out any broken or unused utensils.

2. Open your pantry and get rid of anything that is expired. Take the time to organize your shelves by food type. Have a shelf for canned items, a shelf for boxed items, and so on.

3.  Throw away any old or expired spices in your spice cabinet/rack.

4. Organize your Tupperware cabinet. If you’re like most people, this is probably the most disorganized area of your kitchen. Toss out any broken containers and any lone containers or lids. If the majority of your Tupperware fits those categories, toss it all and start fresh. Many containers on the market today have stackable/attached lids to help you stay organized.

5. Work your way from the outside to the inside of your refrigerator. Remove any old papers, coupons, or notes from the outside of your fridge. If it is something you don’t want to part with, like a card or invitation, place those in a box for safekeeping. Now that the outside is cleaned, declutter the inside as you did your pantry. Pull everything out and get rid of any expired food or drinks. Wipe down your shelves and replace the items you’re keeping, organizing them by type as well.

6. Clean off your sink and counter area. It is so easy to use the counter as a place to collect clutter, so take the time to go through each item and decide if it stays or goes. Consider buying an organizational tray for your cleaners and soaps, but find a home for everything else. Counters are much more beautiful without clutter.

7. If you have a medicine drawer or cabinet in your kitchen, clean it out. Throw away empty boxes and expired meds.

8. Find your dish towels and designate a drawer or shelf to keep them in. Sort out the ones you no longer use and toss them or keep them as cleaning rags.

9. Get rid of the cups you no longer use. We are all guilty of hanging on to collectible cups that remain untouched for years after we bring them home. If you don’t use them, donate them to a local shelter in need or toss them.

10. Whether we like to admit it or not, most of us have a junk drawer in our home – very often in the kitchen. Empty it and only replace the items you need and use. The sauce packets that have been there since you moved in are not going to be used now if they haven’t been used yet.  Try to only keep items that you use often, like batteries or small tools.

Leadership Loveland – Culture Day

I’m a little late to the game in sharing about this, BUT I’ve been having a blast with Leadership Loveland and want to shout it from the roof tops. I’m pregnant and really shouldn’t be climbing on roof tops, so here I am writing a blog post about it instead.

Let me back up first and explain Leadership Loveland and why I’m involved. Leadership Loveland is a program put on each year by the Loveland Chamber of Commerce. Rising community leaders take part in a nine month program meeting for a day each month to learn about subjects like culture, the economy, local government and more. In addition to learning about the community’s history and interacting with current local leadership each year’s class takes part in a community focused project.

Culture -Photo 1Our first class out on the town was centered on local culture. We started our day touring two bronze foundries, getting an up close and personal look at their process and how far reaching artwork made in Loveland really is. You’ll notice a Buzz Lightyear that’s used for Pixar employee gifts AND recreations of the Fearless Girl that are both cast right here in Loveland. How cool is that?!

After our excursion to the foundries, we went to the new Metrolux Dine-In At The Foundry in Loveland that not only boasts a luxury movie watching experience, but a full bar and restaurant. We toured the theater and our group was served an amazing meal directly from the chef. As a part of the leadership curriculum we spent time in the afternoon diving into our StrengthsFinder results.

Finally we went on backstage tour of The Rialto Theater and the Loveland Museum. Personally, I really enjoyed the Paper Chicano Dos exhibit at the Loveland Museum. This exhibit that will run through mid January features art from Cheech Marin’s private collection. It’s definitely worth the time to check it out.

If you have questions or have any interest in being a part of a future Leadership Loveland class, I’d love to chat.

Up next . . . Economy Day!

*Thank you to Dixie Daly and The Loveland Chamber of Commerce for taking a posting fantastic photos from our adventures.

Keep Your House Smelling Great (Every Single Day)

Have you ever walked into someone else’s home and were overwhelmed by how incredible it smelled? That was something I loved about my mom’s house while I was growing up. People always commented on how great our home smelled!

Or maybe you couldn’t wait to leave because there was a not-so-great scent as soon as you entered? Often, we become so accustomed to the way our own home smells that we don’t notice if the scent is bad or good. It can be frustrating to wonder what others think about the scent of your home. If you feel like your house doesn’t always smell fresh, follow these steps to make sure that it smells amazing all the time.


  • Empty garbage cans regularly

  • Clean out your refrigerator once a week

  • Sprinkle baking soda or carpet deodorizer before vacuuming

  • Open the windows when the weather is nice

  • Invest in an air purifier

  • If you have pets, brush and bathe them often

  • Get rid of old musty towels

  • Use a daily bathroom cleaner spray to prevent mildew smells

  • Pour a little drain cleaner in your sinks on a weekly basis to get rid of any unwanted scents


  • Add a few drops of essential oils on your air filters

  • Use linen spray daily

  • Burn candles

  • Use a wax melter

  • Arm up homemade potpourri in your crockpot

  • Place car vent clips in your air conditioner vents

  • Buy fresh plants for your home

  • Invest in good-smelling cleaning products with scents you love

  • Use an essential oil diffuser

Mistakes to Avoid on Your First Buy/Sell

If this is the first time you’re considering buying a home, or selling your first purchase, there are a lot of possible challenges you can end up facing. Having the right agent can ensure you’re able to get through these challenges, but since some of the issues are universal, let’s review some mistakes you want to avoid making.


Pricing a property is a science of its own. There are a lot of components and factors and so many small details that ultimately lead to the value of a home. Although there are a lot of sites with estimates, namely Zillow, the technology used on online sites to determine property values are simply not accurate. Zillow even states that their numbers can be inaccurate up to a whopping 20%. Without a background as a real estate professional, it is virtually impossible for a consumer to be able to know the proper components needed to price a home. When you’re purchasing a home, your eagerness to find a deal can lead to stubbornness about what you’re willing to pay and what you think a home is worth. But what you WANT it to be worth is the complete opposite of what it should sell for. If you’re a first time seller, you may want to sell your home for as much as you can squeeze out of it, but this can lead to unrealistic expectations, and ultimately lead to an overpriced home that never sells. Don’t make the mistake of assuming you know what a home’s value should be. Instead, partner with a real estate agent that truly is working for your best interest, and let them provide you the tools to support home values, so you can place an offer, or price your home, at a number that makes sense.


If you go into a sale, or purchase, refusing to make negotiations, dead-set on what you want without exception, you’re more than likely going to cause a lot of grief and stress for yourself during the sales process. When you’re looking to buy or sell a home, you have to have an open mind about negotiations. They are a common practice within the industry, with buyers wanting to spend less and sellers wanting to net more. If neither party is willing to make negotiations, you’ll find yourself in a contract time and time again, only to fall apart before you can finally close on the home. Having a great agent will help you ensure you make negotiations that are reasonable to lead both parties to the closing table, without compromising your interests.


Although we all have an idea in our mind what our dream home should be, sometimes the market, and your budget, can’t realistically checkmark everything off of your list. Find an agent that helps you look for the most important needs in your dream house, but keep an open mind to a home that fits most of your needs, but not necessarily all of them. Having too many expectations within a home can become stressful and result in never finding a home that really matches your needs. If a home has the major components you are seeking, get creative and see if the other things you want can be added down the road. Have a certain number of non-negotiable items, like bedroom/bathroom count, but then have a list of “wants.”


Don’t make the mistake of trying to handle the sales process all on your own. There is a reason that the real estate profession, and the laws around it, are as strong as ever. Real estate agents are a necessity during the sales process to ensure the right steps are taken to get a home sold. Buying and selling is a difficult process that requires knowledge and expertise that comes from a professional within the industry. From legal terms, to finding homes that aren’t even listed on the market, there are a lot of ins and outs inexperienced buyers and sellers may not think about, which can lead to losing value on your home or never finding the right one. Avoid the stress of “learning the hard way” and find a professional that can give you the guidance you need to get the task at hand completed and ensure you’re happy with the outcome.

Visit Fort Collins Itinerary – Foodies Delight

Fort Collins has something for just about anyone and conveniently Visit Fort Collins has suggested itineraries to choose from. Whether you’re new to town, have someone visiting or want to rediscover this awesome town, check out the Visit Fort Collins website. See below for their Foodies Delight itinerary.

Fort Collins is a Foodie’s Paradise. From fine dining to pub fare, vegetarian and tapas as well as a robust food truck scene, there are cuisines for every type of palate in the Choice City. Let’s not forget about the great cocktail and craft beer options throughout Fort Collins as well.


Explore Old Town

Old Town- the inspiration for Disneyland’s Main Street USA. Enjoy the ambiance of one of ‘America’s Best Downtowns. Multiple stores around the area offer the perfect gifts or ingredients for making that perfect dish at home.

The Cupboard

The Cupboard is a 10,000 square foot kitchen specialty store that has been a downtown institution in Fort Collins since 1972, with many loyal customers. Visitors to Fort Collins often make The Cupboard one of their top stops in town. Find a diverse array of kitchen themed items from food preparation to food presentation.

152 S College Ave
(970) 493-8585

Nuance Chocolate

At Nuance you can enjoy decadent truffles and chocolates made in house from bean to bar, and on a cold winter evening try their sipping chocolate, similar to a thick cup of hot chocolate that is all made from scratch, in-house.

214 Pine St
(970) 484-2330

Vern’s Toffee House

Vern’s Toffee is a well-known family-owned and operated toffee manufacturer based in Fort Collins. The small, family-owned business has the best original toffee recipe around. Vern’s has been a part of the local foodie scene since 1976, serving up delicious, all natural, hand-crafted toffee.

444 S. Link Lane
(970) 493-7770

Old Town Spice Shop

This spice shop claims to hold the highest quality spices, blends, salts, sugars, extracts, peppers and teas in the country. They fresh grind many of the spices themselves, making them fresher than you can get at many other spice shops. Their large variety of products allows them to serve everyone, from the person that says they can’t cook to gourmet chefs.

130A S College Ave
(970) 493-7206

Turtle Mountain Fermentery

Turtle Mountain is a non-alcoholic kombucha brewery that makes for the perfect pit stop to refresh. The taproom features seven rotating taps and they ferment their own sauerkrauts and kimchi in house, which you can also get tastings of. Turtle Mountain has a great non-alcoholic bar vibe that is really worth the visit.

513 N. Link Lane, Unit C

Lunch and a cooking class at Farm Fusion in the Kitchen

Farm Fusion in the Kitchen is a small farm-to-table cooking school located in north Fort Collins. They offer hands-on cooking classes, tours and experiences on their farm. Farm Fusion aspires to bring awareness and exposure to small businesses and farms in the community, and to teach the public how to make incredible tasting food with the freshest ingredients.

2627 Cattlemans Road, Fort Collins, CO  80524
(970) 219-7711

Rocky Mountain Olive Oil

This store believes sharing their line of Ultra-Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oils and Balsamic Vinegars will help others discover a healthier and more flavorful way to prepare and enjoy their food.

123 N College Ave #173
(970) 484-8101

Savory Spice Shop

Savory Spice Shop offers a large variety of blends and spices. Their spices are ground fresh in weekly batches, so that they can offer the freshest possible product.

123 N College Ave
(970) 682-2971

Welsh Rabbit Cheese Shop

Joining with the other Old Town specialty and local food shops, The Welsh Rabbit Cheese shop is your destination for purchasing and enjoying artisan-crafted cheeses from around the globe. Also pick from their charcuterie, chocolate, crackers, and other related items.

216 Pine St.
(970) 232-9521

Happy Lucky’s Tea House

Visit this tea house for all your tea needs, buy tea to go, sit and have a cup in store, buy their tea sets or learn about their wall of teas from the expert staff.

236 Walnut St
(970) 689-3417


Fort Collins Foodie Walk
(Offered on the 3rd Friday of each month)

Downtown Fort Collins offers a culinary adventure in a beautiful historic pedestrian area of the city. The Fort Collins Foodie Walk is a self-guided walk that occurs each month and will feature new presentations, tasting opportunities, and themes each month. Visit participating local culinary shops and eateries for a taste test and recipes.

Dinner at The Kitchen

The Kitchen Fort Collins is a community bistro located in the heart of historic Old Town, open seven days a week at 11am. The menu focuses on rustic, organic plates sourced from local farmers and purveyors. The atmosphere and service reflects The Kitchen’s philosophy: community through food.

100 North College Ave
(970) 568-8869

Late Night at Social

Social is the place in Fort Collins for properly crafted cocktails, sommelier selected wines, and charcuterie. Located underneath an Old Town shop, at the entrance into Old Town Square, Social is designed with a soft modern/industrial decor as to keep the focus on what they are best at…quality food and beverage.

1 Old Town Sq
(970) 449-5606



Lucile’s Creole Café

Experience Creole cooking from around the world in this one of a kind, Victorian-style restaurant. They offer wonderful food and an authentic New Orleans ambiance which includes Cajun music, decorations and a great sense of community.

400 South Meldrum St
(970) 224-5464

Local Farmers Markets

Enjoy our local Farmers Market all year long, offering three different options during the summer and our Winter Farmers Market during the colder months. This is the perfect way to spend a weekend morning no matter what season you visit. Connect with our local growing season and find produce to make that perfect, fresh and Fort Collins local meal.


Lunch at Café Vino

This local restaurant features a diverse European-inspired menu created by local chefs. Here you can explore your most discerning tastes in a casual-yet-classy setting, where the ingredients are the finest available and local or organic whenever possible. Try their tapas inspired menu for a small bite or their full menu for plates sure to fill your belly and please your taste buds.

1200 South College Ave

Use the afternoon to discover Fort Collins, with activities from outdoor recreation and brewery tours to shopping and drives through the Poudre Canyon.


Tapas at Welsh Rabbit Bistro

As the Welsh Rabbit Cheese Shop’s accompanying bistro, here you can come in, sit down, and enjoy flights of cheese paired with wines and beers that have been crafted both near and far.

216 Pine St.
(970) 232-9521

Dinner at Restaurant 415

Restaurant 415 is a young and fresh addition to the Fort Collins dining scene, a menu that features local, seasonal ingredients sourced from local farmers. Restaurant 415 perfectly combines a fresh, fun environment while making a positive impact on the community through local sourcing.

415 S. Mason Ave
(970) 407-0415

Drinks at the Forge Publick House

Tucked away in Old Firehouse Alley in Old Town Fort Collins, this cozy bar offers a great environment to relax and sip on some brews. The bar houses 10 rotating taps with beer that never disappoints.

232 Walnut Street
(831) 332-8060


Avoid the Wrong Real Estate Agent

In what will likely be the biggest investment you make in your life, buying a home needs the attention and assistance a professional real estate agent can provide. But not just any real estate agent, it’s important to find the “right” one. With the ease of being able to land a license, you will want to make sure you’re hiring an agent who has the experience and drive to ensure you’re provided the tools and skills to walk away from a closing knowing your needs were met. Let’s jump into some issues you can face if you don’t have the right agent on your team.


It’s important to find a real estate agent that sits down with you and actually listens to your needs. What type of home do you want? Where do you want to live? Does the commute to school or work have to be a certain distance? Etc. Working with an agent that doesn’t take the time to listen to your real estate needs will end up wasting your time and sending you homes to look at that don’t match your needs. Sit down with an agent that wants to get to know your needs and wants to help you achieve your goal of buying your dream house.


Choosing the wrong agent could mean finding yourself in situations with terrible advice. Make sure you choose an agent that is able to give you the proper direction when it comes to the whole sales process. From negotiations to repairs, you want to ensure you choose a trusted adviser that can guide you on the right path.


A great agent will negotiate for you to get an amazing deal. Now this isn’t to equate to unrealistic negotiation expectations of what the market will sell a home for – because that can mean losing your dream house. But the “wrong” agent won’t bother to negotiate on any part of the sales process. You want to find an agent that not only negotiates for you, but does it in an effective way and advises you on the best steps to take, to ensure you still get the right home.


A great agent has a set and active schedule that allows you to get in touch with them, or a member of their team, in a reasonable time frame. The “wrong” agent will be difficult to get in contact with, and they may even not get back to you during the sales process (for days or sometimes even weeks). To find a great agent, you want to find one that has dedicated business hours that allow you to get in touch with them at any time during those hours, and is available to call you back if they miss your call in a timely manner. This is incredibly important during the sales process. If something needs immediate attention and your agent is nowhere to be found, you can lose the deal.


The “wrong” agent can be unethical, or simply not have the proper knowledge about the legalities within the industry that is standard for agents to follow through on. As a professional in an industry with a lot of accompanying laws, it is an agent’s job to know how to protect you throughout the sales process. They rare responsible for providing the necessary contracts and guidance to ensure you’re protected by the decisions you make as well.


Buying a home is an important and big process in a person’s life. If you’re buying your first home, or you’re purchasing your dream home, you don’t want the experience to be traumatizing. A great agent will be able to navigate the bumps that come up within the sales process in an experienced and professional manner. The “wrong” agent will create a mess of the sales process, not find you the right home, and you can end up with a home you don’t actually love – or one with too many issues. Find a great agent that knows the process and can ensure it goes as smoothly as possible, giving you the time to prepare for common situations that may cause delays. Although some things can occur that neither party may be aware of, having an experienced agent will help you through general hurdles that could arise throughout the sale.

Let me know if you think we might be a good fit!

Spark a Bidding War

Ready to make a move? Have a certain figure in mind that you need to sell for? Depending on the local market, you might be able to get a little more than the typical asking price of your home. Let’s take a look and see if setting a bidding war is smart for the sale of your home. If so, here are a few things to consider to help get your sales price over asking after starting a bidding competition.


When there is not much interest in a property, buyers get nervous and suspicious that there may be something wrong with the home that they may be missing, and that could sometimes be further from the truth. You want to price your home competitively to entice more showings. When you price your home right under the market standard, it leads to more showings, more appointments, and more excitement around your home.


You want to make sure your price gets buyers interested in your property. Even if they end up paying more than asking, the excitement from feeling like they are getting a deal and landing your home sets the right mood for buyers to WANT your property. Always price the home in a way that is going to appeal to a large audience. Pricing a home at $399,900 can generally generate more foot traffic than one listed at $400,000. Advertising a home for sale that is listed for slightly under the market value can garner a lot of interest, which can lead to the home selling for more than what the seller originally wanted.


Make sure you work with an agent that has the ability to start up a “coming-soon buzz” around your home. You want to let the market know that your home is going to be hit the market soon to start up conversation and interest. This gives time for word about your home to spread to get more foot traffic and competition on your house.


It is without question that getting over market value for your home requires it being in tip-top condition. Discuss with your agent the importance of having your home professionally cleaned and staged to attract more buyers. Starting up a buzz won’t lead to much if buyers walk into your home and are turned off by odors, unappealing lighting, or rooms that are not properly staged. You want to allow buyers an opportunity to see your home in the best light the first time they walk through your door.


Have your agent set a deadline for offers, say a Monday or Tuesday, right after a weekend of doing open houses. This can generate a sense of urgency around your home, letting buyers think there is a large amount of interest and encourage them to get offers in quickly. Setting up this state of urgency generally makes them want to put their best foot forward with their first offer.


To generate a little more excitement and foot traffic, you can offer an incentive for whomever purchases the home, or set a fun giveaway during an open house. Some people have given away cars, tickets to a major event like the Super Bowl or vacation tickets, etc. Doing an out-of-the-box giveaway helps to generate organic buzz around your home. Some giveaways have even landed seller’s homes in the local news. More buzz means more potential buyers, which means a potential opportunity for a bidding war to get you a better sales price.

Call me to get the conversation started about the market in Northern Colorado and how to position your home to get the best possible price.