#TransformationTuesday | From ’90s to Mountain Modern


It’s one thing to change a few details of an interior or switch out some rusty appliances and fixtures, but another thing to completely transform the style and feel of a home. That is exactly what Susan Kosonocky, owner of restyle design, llc, did to this severely brown ‘90s cabin in Steamboat Springs. She created a bright and eclectic look that she describes as mountain modern — and we couldn’t agree more.

Transformation Tuesday Before and After

This remodel was for a client Kosonocky had previously worked with who purchased this property as a weekend/vacation home in Steamboat Springs. The client wanted the decor to be modern, but still family-friendly, as they have three small children and a dog. The project entailed a complete interior renovation of the 3,000-square-foot home, including the kitchen, three bedrooms, three bathrooms, flooring, paint, doors, hardware, lighting and all new furnishings. Discussion for the project began in May 2014, renovation started in September 2014 and the project was completed in early 2015.

Transformation Tuesday Before and After

The inspiration for the color scheme came from a single picture on houzz.com of a chatreuse barn door.

“We loved the idea of an unexpected color scheme in the mountains, so we went with grey walls and trim, chartreuse accents, mixing in rustic reclaimed wood accents to give it a mountain flair,” said Kosonocky.

This unexpected color scheme and non-traditional style is what we love most about this remodel. The “before” pictures of this home are exactly what you might expect to see in this setting, but the new face-lift catches you off guard in the best way possible.

Transformation Tuesday Before and After

Kosonocky has a wonderful relationship with this client, who she says has great input and an eye for color and is open to new ideas. These qualities are certainly reflected in this space and it is clear that the two were able to collaborate successfully and take risks with some design choices together.

Throughout the entire remodel process, Kosonocky was particularly excited because she was able to do a complete interior remodel and furnish the entire space. In other words, she had a completely blank slate to work with!

Kosonocky always presents a design board at the onset of any project to present some ideas and process exactly what the client wants. This particular client wanted something completely different from their Fort Collins home. They have a craftsman house in Old Town that Kosonocky designed in an industrial style, with lots of color, reclaimed wood, funky tile choices, and iron fixtures and furniture.

“I really enjoy coming up with a design that reflects the clients’ tastes and lifestyle, and they are thrilled with the end result, so I feel that I succeeded and that is so gratifying,” Kosonocky said.

Kosonocky has been in the design business since 2009. She started out in the fashion industry in New York City as a buyer and merchandiser for Bloomingdale’s and J. Crew. She then entered the real estate world in Fairfield County, Conn. but soon realized she enjoyed staging and viewing houses more than selling. She then moved with her family to Fort Collins where they designed and built a custom home. It was then that she decided to start her own design business because she enjoyed that process so much.

Susan Kosonocky Headshot

It’s clear that Kosonocky has a natural gift and eye for design. Her style could be described as classic, eclectic and evolving. We think that last word is so important; she has the ability to constantly grow and learn in this field and doesn’t stay stagnant with just one design tendency. In fact, she enjoys designing spaces from traditional to modern, depending on the particular client’s style. Her trademark is her ability to mix high/low furnishing and accessories, and she loves to add something unexpected to her designs. That is certainly the case with this modern Steamboat Springs remodel.

Beyond the drawing board, fabric swatches and measuring tape, Kosonocky values the relationships she develops with her clients. The positive impression she makes is clearly reflected in the reviews she receives on her Houzz site. Since she started using the site in 2013, she has received the Best of Houzz award for service in 2014 and 2015.

Enough talking. We think these stunning “after” photos of this space speak for themselves. Notice (and it’s hard not to) the pops of bright green that exist consistently throughout the cabin. As mentioned, this bold color is quite unexpected in this mountainous venue, but we admire the juxtaposition. What do you think?

Transformation Tuesday Before and After

Transformation Tuesday Before and After

Transformation Tuesday Before and After

Transformation Tuesday Before and After

Transformation Tuesday Before and After

Transformation Tuesday Before and After

Transformation Tuesday Before and After



Simple DIY Exposed Hanging Light Bulb


Some DIY projects take hours or even days to complete while others magically come together in a matter of minutes. The latter was the case for my most recent DIY venture that I did absolutely no research on prior to my journey. So in a way, after I stood back to admire my creation, it felt too good to be true and like it should have cost me a few more dollars, blood, sweat and/or tears.

I recently created an exposed light bulb fixture to hang near my bed and act as a bedside lamp replacement — mostly because my cheap Walmart lamp worked for about four days total and then completely gave up on me. I also happen to be completely drawn to and enamored by simple, minimalistic design. So what’s more minimalistic than tossing the whole lampshade idea out the window altogether?

DIY Hanging Light

Thankfully, this endeavor only cost me a few bucks and I am extremely happy with the effortless look I achieved with just a few minutes of “manual labor”. I simply bought a “Make-A-Lamp Kit” and a 40-watt vintage light bulb at Home Depot during a massive house plant shopping spree. I really had no idea if these two things would work together to create what I had imagined in my mind before my trip to the store. However, I purchased them confidently and with no Google search history filled with “exposed light bulb how-to,” but clung to my receipt just in case of an electric nightmare.

DIY Exposed Hanging Light Bulb

For the purposes of this project, the Make-A-Lamp kit includes several unnecessary components, such as bottle adapters and some mysterious screws, but I used the most substantial pieces to create my exposed hanging light bulb. Here’s how you can create the same look!


-Make-A-Lamp Kit

-40-Watt Vintage Light Bulb


-Safety Pin

-Extension Cord


-Phillips Screwdriver



1. First push the wire through the center of the brass check ring. Make sure that the rounded side is on the same side as the plug. In other words, imagine that the ring is resting on the light bulb when all is said and done.

2. Bend the metal wire in a U shape and identify the neutral conductor by looking for the rib or ribbing on the insulation. Connect this wire to the silver colored screw. Connect the other conductor to the brass colored screw. Tighten terminal screws making sure all of the conductors are under the screw head.

DIY Exposed Hanging Light Bulb

3. Place the brass shell over the lamp socket, aligning it so the on/off switch peeks through the openings in the brass shell.

4. Pull the brass check ring down towards the light so it rests on the brass shell. It won’t perfectly fit that part, as it technically is intended to rest the opposite direction on top of a lamp. But it helps to cover some exposed wires and makes the piece look a little more finished.

5. Simply screw the light bulb in and test your electrician work by connecting it to an outlet and switching the on/off switch. (This is the part where I was surprised that everything worked so easily!)

DIY Exposed Hanging Light Bulb

6. To hang the light bulb from the ceiling, simply feed the wire through a safety pin or some other small metal loop. Then nail the safety pin to the ceiling with a hammer. You can then adjust the wire so the light bulb hangs exactly where you want it to. There are several other ways to achieve this same result; I just used whatever materials I had available and improvised this solution, and it worked beautifully. (I have four years of experience with homemade dorm room hanging solutions.) However, buying a U-shaped nail or a screw hook would probably be a more civilized approach to this attachment dilemma. I also didn’t mind the rustic look of the rusty safety pin, so if you want to hide your handiwork a little more, I would opt for the screw hook.

7. Attach the wire to another place on the ceiling closer to the wall. I got lucky and was able to hide the wire completely behind a cloth tapestry hanging behind my bed. So I only had to attach the light bulb to one place, which worked out well because I only had one safety pin! Do whatever works best for your space. I actually prefer the exposed wire look as well, so don’t feel like you absolutely need to disguise the wire — I think it adds to the whole industrial look!

DIY Exposed Hanging Light Bulb

8. You will probably need an extension cord to help the plug reach an outlet. I was thankful for the wall tapestry at this point because I was able to completely hide the ugliness of the extension cord meeting with the lamp wire as well.

9. Admire your (not-so-hard) work! The best part about using this lamp kit is being able to turn the light off and on right on the hardware instead of having to reach behind your bed or nightstand to plug and unplug it, or fumbling around to find a switch attached to the wire.

Now turn off your other lights, turn your new light on and curl up in bed with a book and cup of tea. You can then thank Thomas Edison for your new bedside ambiance. But before you do any of the above, check out these other looks people have achieved with exposed light bulbs. There are endless possibilities with this project!

DIY Exposed Hanging Light Bulb

This look is very similar to what I did, except the wire is hidden in the ceiling, so it would require a little more installation thought. But as mentioned, I love this minimalistic look and the stark contrast of the black wire surrounded by so much white in the room.

DIY Exposed Light Bulb

Another popular hanging method involves attaching a wooden mount to the wall and wrapping the wire around it or feeding it through some sort of hole drilled through the structure. Side note: the gray cloth wire on the second photo is particularly beautiful!

DIY Exposed Light Bulb

What is a Pinterest search without seeing some sort of Mason jar craft? Maybe you think they’ve gone too far, but regardless, you have to admit they make a wonderful see-through faux lampshade in this setting. We love the wooden loop creating a staggered spiral staircase look! This would of course require a little more financial investment, but the look is worth it — especially for a dining room or kitchen.

DIY Exposed Light Bulb

If you’re not as motivated by DIY projects and would rather have someone else do the work for you, buying a sconce would be a wonderful solution. This rustic and simple fixture makes a statement and is not lacking elegance.

DIY Exposed Light Bulb

Metal cages and geometric design in general fit this minimalistic look quite nicely. The random and purposefully tangled wire look in this particular space is bold and fun, but the thinness of both the cage wires and the electric wires make these fixtures look clean, fresh and bright.

DIY Exposed Light Bulb

Speaking of a beam supporting an assortment of lights, this is another look I love. The varying bulb sizes and the different cord lengths keep your eyes engaged and create an eclectic, but effortless flow to the piece. And can we just talk about how perfect this kitchen is in general?

DIY Exposed Light Bulb

Let us know if you end up doing a project similar to this or if you have any other exposed light bulb ideas we haven’t thought of! *Cue light bulb illuminating above head jokes*

PHOTOS COURTESY OF: The Interiors Addict, Curate & Display, Remodelista, Simplifying Fabulous, Restoration Hardware, OneFortyThree, Apartment Therapy and ArchStudios


Solar Panel Homes: Savings From the Sky


Money may not grow on trees, but it might just fall from the sky. Many homeowners are installing solar panels on their homes in order to convert natural energy into electricity. The upfront investment of installing solar panels ultimately saves you an average of $2,400 per year.

Some solar panel companies offer free installation and just expect payment for the price of the actual materials. This cost ranges between $15,000 and $40,000 for residential properties. This initial out-of-pocket investment might make your heart skip a beat (and not in a good way), but if you do some quick math, the initial cost will be paid for through the month-to-month savings accumulated long-term. Solar panels can essentially pay for themselves.

Solar Panel Homes

If you’ve seen these mysterious mirror-like additions to roofs in your neighborhood, but had no clue what they were, we’ll make it pretty simple. In short, solar panels harvest natural sunlight energy and convert it into electricity. This electricity can be used to power an entire home or business, from light bulbs to ovens.

Solar Panel Homes

As Colorado boasts 300 days of sunshine a year, its residents are wise to take advantage of the free, natural energy emitted from the sun at all times — even on cloudy days. How much energy does the sun produce? We’re so glad you asked! Let’s put it this way. There is enough energy emitted from the sun every second to power the United States for 9,000,000 years. What?! Since you’ve been reading this, the sun has stocked us with energy we could be using in the year 270002015. So it only makes sense to harness that energy and transform it into something extremely useful.

Not only do solar panels have an impressive ROI track record, you can also become a valuable resource to your utility company, which in turn will add more money to your pocket. Several utility companies will actually buy electricity your solar panels have gathered that you did not use. And that can often be 20-40% of a household’s total solar production. This process is called net metering.

Solar Panel Homes Net Metering

You might be thinking, “All of this sounds great! Where do I sign up?” Or maybe the thought of transforming your quaint cottage home into a shiny space station doesn’t quite settle well with you as “Back to the Future” scenes are flashing through your mind. You are now dreading your next Homeowner Association meeting.

But alas! There are several attractive options for disguising your money-making machine in order to not attract as much unwanted attention from your neighbors. Also, if you’re not willing to jump right into the solar world (or solar system, if you will), there are some small steps you can take to ease into this significant transition. Or maybe you could test out the power of solar by resting in these re-charging stations disguised as public furniture, which are of course powered by the sun.

Solar Panel Homes

Solar Panel Homes

Overwhelmed? So were we. This is a good place to start. It doesn’t hurt to input some information to see how much installing solar panels at your home could save you, as savings vary depending on several financial factors. Because this calculator may not be completely accurate or personalized, you might also consider reaching out to a local Fort Collins solar panel company. They will be able to give you a more complete picture of your financial future with solar panels.

Alt E Wind and Solar | 970-482-SOLAR (7652)

Burnham-Beck & Sun | 970-482-6924

PHOTOS COURTESY OF: SolarCity and City of Fort Collins.


The Best Hikes to See the Changing of the Aspens


Now that it’s officially fall, we wanted to share a few of our favorite hikes to see the changing colors of the aspens! One of the first things I learned about Colorado after moving to the state was that the aspens put on quite a show in the fall. And I found this out well before the leaves began changing colors; people were that excited about it.

Those who eagerly anticipated autumn’s arrival spoke of breathtaking hikes I should embark on at just the right time in order to get the best views of these golden aspens. Suddenly, my fall weekends were booked.

If you are as curious as I was, here are a few hikes we recommend going on in order to see the changing aspens. And lucky for you, they are each relatively close to us! The hikes on this particular list progressively get farther away and more intense in difficulty. We figured that the higher your hiking dedication, the longer you’re willing to travel for some of the best autumn views in Colorado!

These are just a few of the breathtaking hikes for seeing the changing colors of fall. Do you have any favorites that are not on the list? We’d love for you to share those with us. Who knows, you may inspire us to try a new adventure as well!

Aspen Colorado Hikes

Bear Lake Loop at Rocky Mountain National Park

Hike Difficulty: Easy
Hike Distance: 0.8 Miles (roundtrip)
Elevation: 9,475 Feet

Grab your jackets, pack a picnic, hop in your car and head on over to this breathtaking gold mine of treescapes! This trail is perfect for anyone seeking a mellow and peaceful aspen experience. Little work is required to see views that will make your jaw drop. Rocky Mountain National Park hosts amazing views as a whole, but this particular trail is known for its display of golden aspens, doubled by the reflection on Bear Lake’s mirror-like surface.

The Bear Lake Loop trailhead is located at the end of Bear Lake Road, which is 9 miles from the turn-off at Highway 36. There may be an abundance of visitors to the park during the beginning of fall as this is a popular destination within the park. You may consider taking the free park shuttle or visiting on a weekday to avoid high foot traffic and crowded parking lots.

Your hike will begin just beyond the Bear Lake Ranger Station. The park recommends hiking the loop counter-clockwise so you can follow along with a booklet that can be purchased at the trailhead. The booklet provides natural, geographical and historical information that is sure to enhance your experience. Plus, you might just learn a thing or two!

As the trail circles around Bear Lake, you’ll be immersed in a forest of spruce, fir, pine and of course, aspen trees. You’ll soon have a commanding view of Hallett Peak on the eastern shore of the lake, and views of Half Mountain and Longs Peak as you near the northern shore. These are great opportunities to whip out your camera—there’s nothing quite like a mountain reflecting on calm lake water.

The trail is relatively flat with a hard-packed terrain, so it should be doable for all members of the family. There are also several benches to relax at in order to fully take in the spectacular views.

If you’re feeling up to it, continue on the network of trails that form a 12.5-mile loop linking Bear Lake, Lake Helene, Odessa Lake, Fern Lake and Cub Lake.

Aspen Colorado Hikes

Three Island Lake Trail near Buffalo Pass

Hike Difficulty: Moderate
Hike Distance: 12.2 Miles (roundtrip)
Elevation: 8,150 Feet

One of the most popular places to see aspens changing is in the Steamboat Springs area, located a few hours away. Buffalo Pass is just west of Steamboat Springs and is lined with an overwhelming number of glowing aspens. The pass eventually reaches the Continental Divide and Summit Lake, which provide wonderful views of fall foliage. If you want to skip the whole hiking idea, this scenic drive would be a great alternative!

However, if you want to get your boots muddy, the Three Island Lake Trail nearby is what you should set as your GPS destination. This hike is positioned in the Mt. Zirkel Wilderness and supplies glacial lake views and a more substantial trek through coniferous forests and high-elevation meadows.

This stream-side trail is overflowing with lush greenery, but during the fall, the scene shifts to include yellow and orange aspen trees.

The hike is considered moderate in difficulty, but the length of the journey means you should come equipped with water, snacks, sunscreen and appropriate footwear. Be sure to take as many breaks as needed, which will also help you enjoy the scenery more — and your experience in general.

And guess what? You can also bring your dog along for the ride in case all of your human friends are booked for the weekend! Either way, enjoy the view at the top and take a long, well-earned break while you appreciate the stunning views that Three Island Lake Trail has to offer. And maybe while you’re up there you’ll start daydreaming about and planning your next and even greater feat — conquering a fourteener.

Aspen Colorado Hikes

Various Hikes Surrounding Maroon Bells

Hike Difficulty: Easy-Difficult (Depending on Hike)
Hike Distance: Depending on Hike
Elevation: 14,019 and 14,163 Feet

When discussing the aspen craze in Colorado during the fall, it is only right to mention the iconic Maroon Bells, which are famous fourteeners. Nicknamed the Maroon Bells, Maroon Peak and North Maroon Peak are separated by about a third of a mile and are the most photographed mountains in North America.

We would like to draw your attention to a few hikes surrounding the Bells because they are just that spectacular this time of year and, well, always. Don’t worry, we’re not trying to trick you into climbing a fourteener on your casual Sunday afternoon stroll. These two towering beasts just happen to make an extravagant backdrop for whatever difficulty level of hike you choose. In other words, pick your poison! At least your surroundings will look pretty, blisters or no blisters.

The following hikes are among the most recommended hikes for optimal autumn views in the Maroon Bell area:

  1. Maroon Lake (Easy)
  2. Crater Lake (Moderate)
  3. Cathedral Lake (Difficult)
  4. American Lake (Difficult)

Be aware that you must take a shuttle to enter the Maroon Bells area from mid-June through October 4 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. You can park your car on site before 8 a.m. or after 5 p.m. but be prepared to pay a $10 per vehicle fee.

Okay, now you know where to go. But you might be wondering when do I go?

Aspens start changing colors in late August in higher elevations and this transformation works its way down to lower elevations in October. So mid-to-late September is usually when you can expect to see those golden aspens at their prime.

Not a hiker? No sweat (literally).

There are various fall foliage drives — and even a zip-line or gondola tour! — that you might take instead.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF: ProTrails, Bootprints.com, Earth Porm, The Trail Girl, Examiner, and TripAdvisor.


Interactive Map: Pick Your Favorite NoCo Pumpkin Patch


While cruising through the NoCo countryside, it’s obvious that the pumpkin-pickin’s are not slim! With several farms to choose from in the area, we wanted to make your search a bit easier, so we’ve created an interactive map that allows you to choose the farm or pumpkin patch nearest you.

Once you pinpoint your destination, match the letter on the map with the corresponding name in our alphabetical list below. Read more information about the location by clicking on the link to their website or Facebook page. Then — and this is very important — get your flannels and boots on, mark your calendars and pick the perfect pumpkin for your front entryway!

View Fort Collins Area Pumpkin Patch Map in a full screen map

A: Anderson Farms

Home of Colorado’s longest-running corn maze and pumpkin patch, Anderson Farms is a historic must-see. They also have hayrides (both haunted and non-haunted), a huge playground and farm animals.

B: Anderson’s Patchwork Pumpkins

There must be some correlation between the name Anderson and pumpkins because this farm is another favorite of ours! Located about 30 minutes away from the center of Fort Collins, this pumpkin patch has delicious snacks to enjoy while searching for your perfect pumpkin.

C: Bartels Farm Pumpkin Patch

Bartels Farm is a family-owned and family-operated farm established in 1905. Following tradition, the current owners still grow organic corn, hay, wheat and barley, but are known for their expansive pumpkin patch and vegetable garden. Choose to pick your own pumpkin or grab a pre-picked pumpkin at Bartels Farm, and enjoy a corn maze, straw maze, tractor-pulled hay rides, and a petting zoo!

Fort Collins Pumpkin Patches

D: Fritzler Corn Maze

Although it is surrounded by several fun attractions, the Fritzler Corn Maze is of course known for their impressive maze. The winding trail extends 1.6 miles, has an impressive design history, and includes two phases for participants to conquer — one sunny and peaceful, and the other dark and haunted. But don’t worry! Fritzler has a cozy fire to wind down by after an eventful (and scary!) experience.

E: Hankins Farms

Solve the mystery of “The Farm Scene Investigation” in the corn maze at Hankins Farms. Make sure you swing by the pumpkin patch and jump on the quad bungee trampoline! This farm is geared towards families with children ages 2-14, but is suitable for the kid-at-heart as well.

Fort Collins Pumpkin Patches

F: Harvest Farm

Harvest Farm is a 209-acre farm and rehabilitation center for men hoping to break cycles of addiction and homelessness. Your attendance to the farm’s fall festival and corn maze directly supports their mission — plus you and your family will have a blast in the meantime! The fall festival hosts an absurd amount of activities, including a 10-acre corn maze, pig races, an obstacle course, a pumpkin junction and corn cannons.

G: Lukens Farms

With impressive livestock and farm animals on hand, Lukens Farms provides visitors with the opportunity to pick their own apples and pumpkins, and pet some adorable farm animals in the meantime. The farm uses integrated pest management practices so you can know your selections are coming from a safe and conscientious source!

Fort Collins Pumpkin Patches

H: Miller Farms Corn Maze & Fall Festival

Visit Miller Farms to teach kids what working on a farm looks like and where their produce comes from. You can harvest your own vegetables (and that of course includes pumpkins!), jump on a giant jumping pillow, climb a hay pyramid and visit the petting zoo. Make sure to stop by “Antique Alley”, one of Colorado’s largest tractor, farm equipment and aviation collections.

I: Northern Colorado Corn Maze

This 15-acre maze is designed for laughter during the day and fear at night. Enjoy the fun daytime activities, like a scavenger hunt, pumpkin patch, bounce houses, farm animals and a pedal car race, but be sure to stick around for a challenging haunted maze at night!

Fort Collins Pumpkin Patches

Fort Collins Pumpkin Patches

J: Osborn Farm

150 years ago, the Osborn family made Colorado their home. Today, the fifth and sixth generations are providing the Northern Colorado area with an abundance of plump pumpkins on their gorgeous farmland. Check out their variety of vendors that make the atmosphere alive with activity.

K: Pumpkin Pickin’ Paradise

This place is just as the name proclaims — a pumpkin pickin’ paradise. Travel through either the haunted or non-haunted maze, haunted house, or the pumpkin patch. The weather may be chilly, but this place still feels like paradise.

L: Scarecrow Gardens

The kind folks at Scarecrow Gardens are proud to say that their produce is “so fresh, it’s scary.” They emphasize growing high-quality and flavorful fruits and vegetables, and we are happy they have included pumpkins, winter squash, decorative gourds and Indian Corn in the mix. If you enjoy your experience this fall, you can revisit Scarecrow Gardens in December to cut down your own Christmas tree!

Fort Collins Pumpkin Patches

M: Something From the Farm

Take home something from the farm at — you guessed it — Something From the Farm. This family-owned pumpkin patch is the perfect place to grab a pumpkin, enjoy a hayride and explore their 3-acre corn maze. Don’t miss the selection of fall necessities available in their country store!

N: Tigges Farm Produce and Pumpkin Patch

Tigges Farm is known for their pumpkin patch and roasted chilies, among other fresh produce. Our favorite part about this place is that they offer free admission to the farm and weekend activities. So there should be nothing holding you back from visiting Tigges Farm to pick your perfect pumpkin!

PHOTOS COURTESY OF: Fritzler Corn Maze, Harvest Farm, Miller Farms, Osborn Farm and Something From the Farm.


7 Acts of Kindness For Celebrating Good Neighbor Day


Our lives are getting increasingly busier and cluttered with to-do lists and appointments. Not to mention, our main connection with others can sometimes be through a “like” or an online comment. Sometimes the only thing we know about our neighbor is that their son started kindergarten this year because we saw that he held up a small chalkboard sign announcing it on Facebook.

To counteract this lack of involvement, National Good Neighbor Day was created long before smartphones and Facebook timelines. Becky Mattson of Lakeside, Montana started the holiday in the early 1970s, intending to inspire others to connect with and recognize the importance of good neighbors.

National Good Neighbor Day

Several years later, President Jimmy Carter signed a proclamation establishing September 24 as National Good Neighbor Day, and in 2003 the date was changed to September 26. In President Carter’s proclamation, he mentioned that the nation should “observe such day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.”

And what should those ceremonies and activities entail, you ask? We have some ideas:


1. Offer to watch your neighbor’s child(ren) or pet(s).

Nothing says “I care for you” quite like watching someone’s offspring…or pets who think they are offspring. Whether it’s for a quick trip to the grocery store or a date night, offering to babysit or pet sit will provide your neighbor a break from reality…and peanut butter and jelly stains.

2. Invite your neighbor over for a meal.

Whether you model your cooking style after Martha Stewart or Betty Crocker, making a meal for your neighbor will be meaningful and hospitable. It doesn’t have to be an extravagant feast; the simple act of inviting someone into your home is what matters most. Plus, some of the best conversations occur at the dining table, so it will be a good opportunity to get to know your neighbor on a deeper level.

3. Deliver baked goods to your neighbor’s door.

We’ve all seen the cheesy “welcome to the neighborhood” scene in movies that typically involves doorsteps, chocolate chip cookies and Saran wrap. But we think Hollywood is doing something right! You don’t have to follow their model solely for new residents; neighborhood veterans appreciate spontaneous cookie deliveries just as much as newcomers. Baked goods truly are the way to the heart!

4. Host a neighborhood block party.

This is a great way to be a good neighbor to the entire neighborhood all at once. Don’t worry — it doesn’t necessarily require that you do all of the planning and execution single-handedly. Just present the idea, get a few neighbors to help you out, and head up your little committee. It’s a wonderful chance for people to step beyond their doorsteps and get to know each other in a fun and carefree setting. Tip: Organizing it as a potluck frees you from the responsibility of cooking or catering!

5. Offer to assist with your neighbor’s yard work.

If you see your neighbor toiling away in the sun (or rain!), step alongside them, grab a shovel, and assist them in their mission. Fostering a service-minded community is important and you can do your part without stepping far from home. Even if your neighbor isn’t present, you can still rake leaves in their yard or help clear a pathway covered in snow or ice.

6. Take in your neighbor’s trash from the curb.

It’s simple. It will take a maximum of 30 seconds, but will most likely be a meaningful gesture to your neighbor. Who knows? It may even become part of your routine!

7. Simply extend a friendly wave and “hello” to your neighbor.

If time and money prevent you from executing any of the above ideas, a friendly greeting will go a long way in establishing relationships within your community. It’s tempting to make the daily sprint from your car to your house (or vice versa), but instead, take a moment to greet your neighbor!

In the meantime, if you need a refresher on good neighbor practices, sit back and watch a few episodes of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” Or check out these good neighbor moves from Purple Clover that might just restore your faith in humanity.

National Good Neighbor Day

National Good Neighbor Day

From Top Left:

1. Gilligan prevented a stranger’s car from getting soaked during a storm.

2. A college student got on his hands and knees to serve as a human bench for an elderly woman.

3. A motorcyclist pulled over to help an elderly lady cross the street on a rainy day.

4. Someone gave a donation to an expecting couple whose home was damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

5. An anonymous donor set out free flowers to spread the love on Valentine’s Day.

What would the world look like if there were just a few more good, caring and proactive neighbors? Better yet, what would your neighborhood look like? Aim to be one of those good neighbors during National Good Neighbor Day and beyond.



Join Us for a Polo Match! | Neighbor to Neighbor Polo Championship


It’s time to dust off your derby dresses and pretend you’re an extra in “Pretty Woman” because Neighbor to Neighbor is hosting their annual Polo Championship on Saturday, October 3. This year’s event will feature a polo match on the lovely grounds of The Ranch Events Complex in Loveland.

A VIP reception begins at 1 p.m. but everyone is welcome at 2 p.m. to enjoy food, beverages, a silent auction and to chat with your favorite polo players.

If you’re a diehard CSU fan and are disappointed that this match interferes with game time — don’t worry! There will be a lounge at the match with a TV live-streaming the game.

Neighbor to Neighbor Polo Championship

The match officially begins around 2:45 p.m., including the traditional divot stomp, a hat contest and a champagne toast. After all is said and done, there will be a live auction, photos and a reception, which concludes around 5 p.m.

The Neighbor to Neighbor Polo Championship is a wonderful opportunity to do something out of the box on your Saturday afternoon, and to support a good cause simultaneously.

Neighbor to Neighbor’s mission is to open doors and advance lives by providing stable housing, financial education and support, and by preventing homelessness and foreclosure for Larimer County residents. The Polo Championship is a fun way to support this mission—one that is truly changing lives in the community through something as tangible as housing. Funds raised by the Polo Championship specifically support N2N’s Resident Services and emergency rent assistance programs. The Group is proud to be a sponsor of this event for the second consecutive year.

Neighbor to Neighbor Polo Championship

Get your tickets! Individual tickets are $55 and two tickets are $100.

You think we were kidding about the derby dresses? Nope! “Pretty Woman” derby attire is in fact suggested. Men, grab your suspenders. And women, whip out those big, floppy hats and join us on October 3 at the annual Neighbor to Neighbor Polo Championship.

Need a little inspiration? Here are some photos from last year’s match that might help!

Neighbor to Neighbor Polo Championship

Saturday, October 3, 2015

1:00 p.m. VIP reception for sponsors

2:00 p.m. Guests arrive, enjoy hors devours and silent auction

2:45 p.m. Match begins, 1st and 2nd chukkers

3:15 p.m. Traditional Divot Stomp & champagne toast, hat contest

4:00 p.m. Second half begins, 3rd and 4th chukkers

4:30 p.m. Winners announced, live auction

5:00 p.m. Photos with players, auction check-out

5:30 p.m. Event conclusion

For more information, visit n2n.org or contact Kelly Evans, Executive Director, at 970-488-2363 or kevans@n2n.org.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF: Neighbor to Neighbor.


FORToberfest: This Year’s Brewery and Musical Line-Up


Fortoberfest Fort Collins


Annual FORToberfest
Old Town Square
September 19, 2015
11:00am – 10:00pm


We all know that Fort Collins is known for “bikes, beers and bands” so to celebrate our city’s commitment to its vibrant music scene, rich history of local brewing and sustainability, The Downtown Business Association is hosting its Annual FORToberfest!

A spin on the classic time-honored tradition, FORToberfest is a Fort Collins-style Oktoberfest that gives party goers a chance to create their own tasting trays from 12 local breweries, including: 1933 Brewing CompanyBlack Bottle BreweryCoopersmith’s Pub & BreweryFort Collins BreweryHigh Country BeverageHorse & Dragon Brewing CompanyNew Belgium Brewing CompanyOdell Brewing CompanyPateros Creek BrewingRally King BrewingSnowbank Brewing and Zwei Brewing Company.

One in particular that we’re excited about is Rally King Brewing! They are new to Fort Collins, having just opened a few months ago. So if you haven’t had a chance to stop by their brewery yet, this event is a great opportunity to try their beer for the first time! While sipping on a local brew, you’ll be able to stroll the streets of downtown, listen to live music from local artists, eat delicious food, and visit with art and bike vendors along the way.

Held September 19, 2015 from 11:00am – 10:00pm on Walnut Street and Linden Street in Old Town Square, this free event is a great opportunity to experience the Fort Collins culture for yourself!


FORToberfest Live Music


The all day festival will feature diverse music genres from Colorado bands that we promise will not disappoint. This year’s musical line-up includes:

The Seers
11:00am – 12:00pm

A self-proclaimed Psychedelic Folk Rock Variety Show, The Seers offer a little something for everyone, no matter your music preference. From classic rock, to oldies, country and blues, The Seers do it all. This is the perfect way to start the day off right!

12:30pm – 2:00pm

Are you ready for an afrobeat influenced dance party? Because these guys are sure to deliver! That’s not all they offer though; they strive to maintain the musical integrity of their afrobeat forefathers while humbly encouraging social consciousness.

2:30pm – 4:00pm

This hometown trio brings a musical punch to this year’s event with three-part harmonies that will leave you wanting more of their “dirt stomping soul” tunes.

Arthur Lee Land
4:30pm – 6:00pm

Arthur Lee is a one man show who can do it all; he’s a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and a master Loop Artist. Combining the sounds of folk-rock, bluegrass and electronica, he offers a fresh and creative approach to music.

6:30pm – 8:00pm

Known as a “Rocky Mountain Guerilla Grass” band, the Oakhurst sound can best be described as “bluegrass meets rock and roll”. We hope you brought your dancing shoes because you’ll be moved by the rhythm when Oakhurst takes the stage.

Dan Treanor’s Afrossippi Band
8:30pm – 10:00pm

Last, but certainly not least, Dan Treanor’s Afrossippi Band is the grand finale of this year’s event. Dan Treanor and his band deliver a powerful mixture of American Blues, Roots and Soul.

We hope to see you all this weekend as we celebrate all things Fort Collins. Come hungry and thirsty, and be prepared to be entertained during a day of FoCo-inspired fun! For more information regarding parking, shuttle transportation and other event details, visit downtownfortcollins.com.


A Parade of Homes Sneak Peek From HighCraft Builders | #TransformationTuesday


If you didn’t make it to the Parade of Homes this past weekend, you have one more opportunity! The parade continues though the upcoming weekend, September 18 – 20, and today we have a special sneak peek into one of the parade homes remodeled by HighCraft Builders.

This weekend is your only chance to tour this beautiful property because unlike the new-construction model homes on the parade, HighCraft’s three owner-occupied remodels on the tour are not for sale. However, if you want to see a home that is for sale, don’t worry. There are plenty of those in the parade with more than 30 model homes to see in all.

If you’re like us, it’s sometimes hard to imagine all the hard work that goes into a finished remodel, so we asked HighCraft Builders to share some photos to show the transformation. Seeing where a remodeling project started can be so inspiring! These photos were taken of 1510 West Shore Drive in Loveland. We’ve personally stared at the entire collection of images for hours. The transformation is so dramatic in some places that we can hardly tell it’s the same home!


Parade of Homes 2015 Fort Collins | HighCraft Builders


The street view was nice before, but the new front entry is far more dramatic and welcoming, and the garage bump-out provides additional space. The brick façade was replaced with stone for a fresh update.

Parade of Homes 2015 HighCraft Builders


The backyard renovation is even more dramatic than the front.


Parade of Homes | HighCraft Builders


HighCraft really put a lot of thought into the new design. They worked with an incredible crew to build a generous wrap-around patio with multiple seating areas.


Parade of Homes Remodel 2015 Fort Collins


The double-sided fireplace can be enjoyed both under the covered outdoor living room and inside the master bedroom. The raised firepit feature offers additional seating and warmth on chilly nights. The high ceiling of the gabled portico makes the space feel so much more open, and reflects the same design elements used for the front entry.

Every seating area takes full advantage of this amazing view of Lake Loveland… check it out! And yes, those are two more seating areas right at the water’s edge with a deck built around the massive cottonwood tree for natural shade.


Parade of Homes 2015 Backyard View


The kitchen is always one of our favorite before-and-after transformations to see, and this one does not disappoint. It’s such an important room in the house. HighCraft really opened up the space to make it more inviting and functional.


Parade of Homes 2015 Kitchen Renovation


We’re loving the soft, neutral paint tones and the clean white counter tops, complemented by the warm, dark wood used for the cabinets.


Parade of Homes Kitchen Remodel HighCraft Builders


The brushed metal finish of the cabinet knobs and bin pulls tie into the stainless appliances and range hood.


Parade of Homes Kitchen Remodel


The busy ceiling and wall lines were simplified for an elegant, yet dramatic, look in the new space. The fireplace was relocated, and the stone work provides continuity between the living room and the updated exterior. The attention to detail is incredible.


Parade of Homes Living Room


If you’ve never participated in a Parade of Homes, it’s a fun, no-risk way to get inside of homes to inspect builder quality, gather design inspiration, research neighborhoods and view construction trends across Northern Colorado. It’s a great opportunity to meet professional remodelers, designers and builders face to face, too.

We’re so thankful to HighCraft Builders for allowing us to share their work. This remodel is just a taste of what you’ll be able to see during the final weekend of the Parade of Homes.

We’re excited to see which home earns the People’s Choice Award. Ballots are located in every Parade of Homes tour booklet. Parade attendees who visit five or more homes can vote for their favorite. When you cast a vote, it also enters your name into a drawing to win thousands of dollars in prizes. Good luck to all the builders that participated this year, and to attendees vying for prizes!


More About HighCraft Builders

HighCraft Builders is a design-build company based in Fort Collins, and they’ve been serving the area since 1998. Their work is remarkable and we love exploring their projects on Houzz and Pinterest for regular design inspiration. And they do it all: interior and exterior remodeling, architectural and interior design, and completely custom new construction and large scale repairs. If you want to work with them for your own project, contact the team here and schedule a free consultation.


9 CSU Tailgating Essentials for the Big Game


9 CSU Tailgating Essentials


It’s officially college football season! This is one of our favorite times of year as we proudly support our local CSU Rams. There’s just something about the sea of green and the camaraderie shared with 32,000 of your closest friends on game day.

As we prepare for the season and this week’s game against University of Minnesota, we wanted to put together a list of tailgating essentials that are sure to be a hit at your next CSU tailgate. So grab your ticket, a few friends and the items listed below to get the most out of your day leading up to kick-off!

CSU Tailgating Essentials

Get these Essential Tailgating Items


1. Cornhole Board Set // $219.00
We firmly believe it’s not a tailgate unless there is a game or two of cornhole involved. So go green this football season with a branded board set and see if you have what it takes to go up against Nick Stevens in a throwing competition.

2. Portable Bar With Shelf // $331.49
Spend your Saturday morning bellied up to this portable bar! Easy to fold up and transport, it’s the perfect addition to your tailgating party.

3. Set of 8 Cornhole Bags // $34.99
While the cornhole game does come with bags, why not take it up a notch with these bag sets as well?! Both sets are branded to CSU so no matter who wins, it’s always the Rams. Those are the kind of odds we like to see!

4. NCAA Snack Helmet // Price: $59.00
Not a culinary genius? No need to stress about what to bring to your next tailgate with this find! Disguise the fact that you brought store bought chips and dip by serving them in this CSU helmet bowl.

5. Green beer
Who says green beer is only for St. Patrick’s Day?! Simply add a few drops of green food coloring to your beer for a festive CSU-inspired drink.

6. Sidekick Foldable Cooler // $65.95
Lightweight and easy to carry, this “cool” foldable cooler is the perfect way to keep beverages cold and refreshing!

7. Wooden Tumble Tower Game // $149.99
This classic game has been revived! The tower can get up to 5 feet tall when in play, and makes game day instantly more fun when the life-sized jenga game comes out.

8. Grill steak branding iron // $29.95
Get fired up for a CSU win with this branding iron. Brand your steaks, brand your buns, brand just about everything with this…just not your friends!

9. NCAA Champion Picnic Basket // $148.99
Bring your tailgating essentials with you in this wicker CSU picnic basket. With service for two, including plates, silverware, wine glasses and a wine opener, you’re set to get the party started!


Header Photo Courtesy of Eric Lumsden/ Flickr