Northern Colorado and More

The Best Indoor Trees for Your Home

Artificial plants may never die, but having live plants in your home will make your home look and feel better. Nothing brings life into a home better than well-maintained greenery.  Most indoor trees are easy to take care of and only need adequate water and a spot where they’ll get enough light. You can fill your home with trees or just add enough to a room to beautify empty space. Here are the best indoor plants to add life and coziness to your home.

1. Fiddle Leaf Fig

You probably have a friend who has a Fiddle Leaf Fig tree in their home right now, and for good reason. They only need regular watering and indirect light, and are the perfect size to add a touch of greenery to a room. Be sure not to overwater this tree, as it will drop leaves quickly.

2. Weeping Fig

This tree is one of the most popular indoor trees. It has slightly arching branches and can fill out quite well if taken care of. Like the Fiddle Leaf, it prefers indirect light but it doesn’t like cold drafts or hot, dry air. This tree is best kept away from doors and A/C vents. The Weeping Fig is known to shed less than a quarter of its leaves in the fall and sprout them again in the spring, so keep that in mind when buying one.

3. Areca Palm

If you want to add a beachy vibe to your home, this feathery palm will do just that. It thrives in bright spaces and can grow up to 10 inches in a year, reaching 6-7 feet indoors. In the spring and summer, the Areca Palm likes light, constant moisture. During the winter months, it works best to let it dry out a bit between waterings.

4. Rubber Tree

The Rubber Tree is one of the easiest to grow indoors. If you want a darker-colored plant, consider this tree that only requires moderate light. Occasional pruning will help the tree look its best, but be sure to wear gardening gloves to keep the sap off of your fingers.

5. Ponytail Palm

If remembering to water plants isn’t your forte, this is the plant for you. The Ponytail Palm stores moisture in its base so it will be just fine if you forget a week or two of watering. The plant has long, strappy leaves that add the perfect touch to a contemporary room. It prefers indirect, bright light and is slow-growing.

6. Lacy Leaf Philodendron

If you’re looking for an easy plant that will live long, this is the one for you. With massive glossy leaves, this philodendron can grow up to 6 feet wide, so keep this one in mind if you have a large space to fill. This plant only needs watered when the soil becomes dry and requires moderate light.

Visit Fort Collins Itinerary – Girlfriend Getaway

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 Girlfriend Getaway itinerary.

Do you need a Girlfriend Getaway? Fort Collins is the perfect destination to get away with the girls and enjoy outdoor adventure, spa pampering, wine and chocolate and everything else in between.

GIRLFRIEND’S GETAWAY DAY 1

Morning:

Hike Arthur’s Rock in Lory State Park

Arthur’s Rock is one of Fort Collins’ most popular hikes and boasts magnificent views of Horsetooth Reservoir and Fort Collins from above. Located in Lory State Park, this 1.7 mile trail is easily accessible from town and puts you in open mountain space within minutes.

Afternoon:

Spa Treatment

There’s no better way to relax in Fort Collins than a nice spa treatment after some outdoor recreation. Have a girl’s day at one of our many local spas and enjoy treatments from massages, to pedicures, manicures and anything in between. This relaxing experience will get you set and ready to enjoy the rest of your vacation in Fort Collins, CO.

Cocktails at Coppermuse Distillery

At Coppermuse customers can tour the distillery and sample spirits in the tasting room, choosing from a menu of nearly 20 cocktails (and growing), showcasing Coppermuse Vertueux Vodka, whiskeys, rums and an assortment of infused vodkas – from vanilla to lemon to cucumber. Also enjoy great bites and a great environment in their comfy, lively tasting room.

244 N. College Ave
970-999-6016
www.coppermuse.com

Evening:

Dinner at Jax Fish House

Jax Fish House (not to be confused with Jax Mercantile, Co.) brings us fresh seafood with a special knack for oysters and cocktails. Chef de Cuisine, Kevin Grossi has an impressive dedication to quality. This is one of the few (if the only) kitchen staff that I know of taking a field trip to small Fort Collins farms to become familiar with our farmers, produce, community, and incorporating that in an ever changing seasonal menu. You want to support local food? Eat at Jax Fish House.

123 North College Ave 
(970) 682-2275
www.jaxfortcollins.com

Dessert at Kilwins Chocolates & Ice Cream

Offering a variety of handcrafted chocolates, homemade fudge, premium ice cream and many other sweet things in the heart of Old Town Fort Collins.

114 North College Ave
(970) 221-9444
www.kilwins.com

DAY 2

Morning:

Coffee and light breakfast at Little Bird Bakery

This neighborhood bakery and café is located in the heart of Old Town Square in a historic building. This quaint bakery is known for its decadent breakfasts including homemade quiche and croissants and their always perfect coffees, lattes, cappuccinos and more. Have a leisurely morning at this bakery, soaking in the views of Old Town Sq.

11 Old Town Square
(970) 568-8906
www.thelittlebirdbakeshop.com

Shopping in Old Town

The inspiration for Disneyland’s Main Street USA. Enjoy the ambiance of one of ‘America’s Best Downtowns and home to many Fort Collins local shops, restaurants, art and music. Local boutique shops offer the perfect trinket or gift for that special someone or even for yourself.

Afternoon:

Dinner at CooperSmith’s Pub and Brewing

One of Fort Collins’ first breweries, CooperSmith’s serves fine beer and fine food alike. Enjoy patio dining at its finest and the hustle and bustle of Old Town Square.

5 Old Town Square
(970) 498-0483
www.Coopersmithspub.com

Nuance Chocolate

Nuance Chocolate is a popular small batch business in Fort Collins, serving in-house crafted chocolate in an ever changing range of flavors to pair with the changing seasons and demands. One of the best ways to experience this fresh chocolate is in a thick, hot chocolate form known as sipping chocolate. This decadent treat is a perfect way to end a winter evening in Old Town or curb that sweet-tooth while sticking with the craft beverage theme.

214 Pine St
(970) 484-2330
www.nuancechocolate.com

Evening:

Lincoln Center Theatre Performance

As one of Colorado’s largest and most diverse presenters of professional theatre, dance, music, and visual arts, this Theatre Center is a crowned jewel for Fort Collins and the perfect place to spend an evening with your girlfriends. Enjoy Broadway right here in Fort Collins at this magnificent and newly renovated theatre.

417 W Magnolia St
(970) 221-6735
www.lctix.com

Late Night Drinks 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
www.socialfortcollins.com

5 Ways to Fill the Space Above Your Bed

Even if you have a beautiful headboard, the space above your bed can seem empty if left untouched. This space can be tricky to decorate, but that doesn’t mean you should leave it blank. There are plenty of ways to spruce up that space without much work. Here are 5 ways to make the best of that negative space!

1. Add a Set of Shelves

Even if you don’t need the extra storage space, you can use shelves to add small decor that is unique to you. Your favorite books, small planters, or even picture frames are a great way to personalize the shelves.

2. Wallpaper the Wall

If you’re worried about adding anything above your bed, consider creating an accent wall with floral wallpaper. Many places sell peel and stick paper so if you decide you don’t love the style or you’re renting and cannot make a permanent change, you can still try out wallpaper.

3. Make the Room Look Bigger With Mirrors

The best way to make a room look bigger is to strategically place mirrors across from open windows or sources of light. You can also place 2 small mirrors alongside a large central mirror if your bed isn’t across from a light source. This will also make your room appear larger while filling empty space.

4. Consider a Tasteful Tapestry or Wall Hanging

Tapestries aren’t just for college dorm rooms. If you aren’t ready to add shelving fixtures but want something a little more than wallpaper, consider adding a pop of color with a tapestry or a statement yarn wall hanging.

5. Create a Gallery Wall

Whether it is gridded and organized or statement and staggered, a gallery wall is the perfect way to add a little more ‘you’ to your bedroom. Frame your favorite family photos or the landscape photos from your favorite vacation.

Is it Time to Upgrade Your Heating System?

Maybe the heating system in your home has been in place since you moved in and you’re not sure if it is the best option for you, or you’ve recognized that heating your home is putting a hole in your pocket. Here are the different heating system options to help you find out if your current system is best for you, or if it is time for an upgrade so there will be no shivering indoors this season.

Boilers

Boilers heat the floor, walls, and air by circling heated water through a piping system loop. Electricity, propane, and natural gas can all power a boiler system and can distribute heat in a variety of ways. There are old-school steam radiators, hot water radiators, and hydronic radiant floor heating. Boiler systems are usually more expensive and costly to install, but are typically more quiet than forced air and can be more efficient than forced air systems.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps heat or cool your home by taking advantage of existing outdoors, underwater or underground temperatures. Air-source heat pumps are the most common, followed by the split ductless system and the geothermal system. While heat pumps tend to be more expensive than forced air or central heating and can be noisy, they will save you money in the long run because of just how efficient they are.

Furnaces

Furnaces, commonly referred to as forced air, are the most common system because while inexpensive, they are quite reliable. You may have an older furnace that needs replaced, and based on the current efficiency rating, it may be worth your time and money to invest in a new maximum efficiency furnace. A key factor in saving money with a furnace is making sure it is the right size for your home so it doesn’t overwork itself, costing you more in the end.

Turn Your Home from Cold to Cozy

The days may finally be getting longer, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t longing for the warmth of summer. Instead of letting the cold weather get you down, take the time to turn your space into a warm and cozy escape from the outdoors. Here are some tips to turn your house from cold to cozy.

Bake Your Favorite Dessert

Not only will the smell fill your home with sweet, warm scents but baking and the process it requires can fill your home with joy. Plus, you have a great snack to cuddle up with the couch!

Light Some Candles

Lighting candles will add to your comfy atmosphere. They will give soft light and welcoming scents for every corner of your home.

Add Texture To Your Decor

The right decor can make your space even more inviting. Plush cushions and throws paired with the perfect cable-knit blankets will make you and your guests want to spend the weekends binge-watching from the couch.

Have Guests Over

Instead of locking yourself in alone this winter, make sure you invite guests over to enjoy your cozy home with you! Have them bring their favorite snack or winter beverage and share your coziness.

Perfect A Winter Beverage

The best thing to have with your baked goods is a warm beverage to enjoy. Crock-Pot hot chocolate and apple cider is great for the kids and hot toddies or mulled wine will warm you up quick!

Make A Winter Playlist

The final step to making your space cozy this season is making the perfect playlist to play in the background while you are snuggled in. Grab your mulled wine + fresh cookies and enjoy the sounds of the winter from the comfort of your cozy home!

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.