Donate While You Dine | Great Plates 2016

 
 

Great Plates is returning to Downtown Fort Collins for another year of charitable dining. For the first two weeks of March, diners at 36 downtown restaurants can receive breakfast and dinner specials and donate to a wonderful cause in the meantime.

From March 1–14, each restaurant participating in Great Plates 2016 will offer a dinner menu option for $25, ranging from a one- to four-person dinner. Some restaurants will offer breakfast options for just $2.50.

This significant discount in pricing is intended to encourage diners to donate the money saved to the Food Bank for Larimer County. If you choose to donate just $10, you will be providing 40 meals to those in need. Just think — if the food bank and Downtown Fort Collins reach their goal of raising $90,000, that will provide 360,000 meals for the hungry. What an impact that will make on the local community! And if you choose to dine at one of the participating restaurants and donate a little extra money, you get to be a part of that.

Last year, Great Plates exceeded their goal of $60,000 by raising $82,700 for the Food Bank for Larimer County. This event is growing more and more each year, and we hope 2016 is no exception!

Did you know that the Food Bank for Larimer County is the only food bank serving the county? The beauty of the work that the Food Bank for Larimer County is doing is that they are able to make our dollars stretch much further because of their wholesale buying power. 96 cents of each dollar donated is used for hunger-relief programing. And with just $1, the food bank can provide $5 worth of food to an individual or family in need.

Providing food to those hurting in our community is something we so believe in, and think you should too! This is the perfect way to get involved in a cause greater than yourself and to dine at some wonderful local restaurants in the meantime.

Great Plates 2016

 

Download a menu to get an idea of what food offerings you can expect at the following participating restaurants for Great Plates 2016:

 

If you need breakfast, go to:

The Crooked Cup or Snooze A.M. Eatery

If you’re craving a burger, head to:

The Boot Grill & Comedy Club or Austin’s American Grill

If you’re in the mood for pasta, visit:

Enzio’s Italian KitchenRARE Italian or Bisetti’s Ristorante

If you’re thinking Mexican, consider:

Pueblo Viejo Family Mexican RestaurantRio Grande Mexican Restaurant or Illegal Pete’s Inc.

If you have a sweet tooth, stop by:

Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop or Kilwins Chocolates & Ice Cream

If pizza’s on your mind, eat at:

Beau Jo’s Colorado Style Pizza or Old Chicago Old Town

If you’d like a drink, wind down at:

Pour Brothers Community TavernCooperSmith’s Pub & BrewingCooperSmith’s Poolside, Fort Collins Brewery & TavernSocialWashington’s Sports Bar & Grill or The Yeti

If you’re in pursuit of quality steak, visit:

Rodizio Grill or Sonny Lubick Steakhouse

If you want something spicy, go to:

Lulu Asian BistroTaj Mahal or Wabi Sabi

If you’re into seafood, stop by:

Fish Restaurant and MarketJax Fish House or Jay’s Bistro

If you want something light, dine at:

Tasty HarmonyWelsh Rabbit Bistro or Spoons, Soups Salads & Sandwiches

If you can’t quite decide between all of the above, go to:

Blue Agave Grill, The KitchenThe Mainline Ale House or The Melting Pot

 

Great Plates 2016

(Pictured clockwise from top left: Blue Agave GrillJax Fish HouseThe Kitchen and RARE Italian)

PHOTOS COURTESY OF: Downtown Fort Collins, TripAdvisor, YelpThe Kitchen and RARE Italian

 

Fun Classes to Take in Fort Collins: Exercise, Art, Cooking + Technology

 
 

The opinions about schooling range on a colorful scale from “loathe it” to “love it”. Some enjoy learning new things, stretching their abilities, and educating their minds. Others only imagine school as a torture chamber with unnecessary work, endless tests and degrading marks of success (or lack of it).

Thankfully, there exists a whole other category of classes you can take that are much more fun than your eighth grade geometry class or your organic chemistry course in college. These are the classes you sign up for willingly, don’t receive a grade for and come away with a skill (or project) that you’re proud of and can directly apply to your life. Or they might just inspire you to pursue a crafting hobby, get more creative in the kitchen, jog more often or stay up-to-date with ever-changing technology.

Because we love alliteration, we decided to find fun (and a few free) classes in Fort Collins for four types of folks. Most cost money, but a few hidden gems are free of charge. So find a class that interests you, send this list to a friend or your significant other, and get together to explore something new!

 

For the Active Folks:

Old Town Athletic Club

Whatever kind of fitness class you’re looking for, you can find it at Old Town Athletic Club. And the best part about their policy, especially for those non-committal people, is that you don’t have to be a member to take one of their classes! You can simply buy a group fitness punch card for $7 per class for a 10-class card, or $7.50 a class for a 5-class card. Stop by the club or contact Old Town Athletic Club for more information about their punch cards and available classes.

Speaking of commitment, before you commit to buying five or 10 classes, it’s a good idea to know what you’re getting into! Check out their weekly class schedule to see all that they offer. There truly is something for everyone, including yoga, sculpting, bootcamp, toning, Nia, kettlebells and more. Each class is 45-60 minutes, and you’re sure to leave feeling better than when you walked in the door.

Old Town Athletic Club

 

Elan Yoga & Fitness

Yoga is a wonderful way to relieve stress, strengthen core muscles, stretch your body and regain focus and peace. Elan Yoga provides a number of classes designed for everyone from beginners to expert yogis, and ranging from non-heated to hot yoga. You are sure to find the perfect class with the right conditions for you.

We’re particularly excited to tell you about Elan Yoga because of their introductory offer. You can test out their facilities and their classes for 20 days for just $20. It will only cost a dollar a day to find out if yoga is your next hobby!

Elan Yoga Fort Collins

 

Fort Collins Club

When everyone is coming to the gym in February to cancel their gym membership because of failed New Year’s resolutions, eagerly take their place by starting your gym membership. Becoming a member at Fort Collins Club gives you unlimited access to their classes, pilates excluded. Take a class in aquatics, cycling or a dynamic group class — including Nia, Zumba, Dance Fusion, Step Aerobics and FCC Boxing.

If you’re serious about this whole membership thing and are a true Fort Collins Club prospect, you can try out their facilities with a one-week trial! That truly takes the risk out of the decision.

Fort Collins Club

For the Artsy Folks:

Pinot’s Palette

Create your own masterpiece following step-by-step instructions from a guide at Pinot’s Palette. But the best part about this place is being able to sip on your favorite beer or wine from their bar while you paint! Their process is simple: “Paint. Drink. Have Fun.” Pinot’s Palette would make the perfect destination for a girls’ night out, date night, birthday celebration, bachelorette outing, or company event.

All you have to do is check their class schedule to find a class that both interests you and works for your schedule. Then show up, ready to paint a lot, drink a little and have so much fun! You can also paint around town at one of their classes held at your favorite breweries and restaurants.

Pinot's Palette

 

VanCo School of Art

You might stop in your tracks at the sight of “School of Art,” thinking you have to be an enrolled student to participate in their classes. But alas, VanCo School of Art opens its doors to the Fort Collins community and trains aspiring artists of all ages.

They offer classes for kids, teens and adults on subjects ranging from oil painting to figure drawing with a live model. Take a look at their schedule to find the right class for your age and interest.

VanCo also hosts private parties, if you’re looking for a fun place to spend a birthday party or baby shower!

VanCo School of Art

 

Lambspun

Lambspun is a comprehensive, full-service fiber store stocked with all the supplies needed for knitting, crocheting, weaving, felting and spinning. The experienced staff extends their knowledge on these subjects through their variety of classes offered at Lambspun. Viewing their well-maintained 2-acre property is worth the trip to Lambspun, as it has become an oasis of flowers, 70-year-old trees, grass and buildings from a simpler time.

Step back to the roots of handiwork by taking one of their classes on subjects like circular knitting, crocheting, Navajo weaving and wet felting. Who knows? Maybe 2016 is the year you’ll pick up a new crafting hobby and start your own Etsy store!

Lambspun

 

For the Foodie Folks:

The Cooking Studio

Cooking classes make for a wonderful date night, activity with friends, or a relaxing time alone to learn something useful and exciting. Whatever the occasion (or lack thereof), you’re bound to have fun in the process and walk away with more culinary knowledge than when you walked in. The Cooking Studio in Fort Collins provides several classes per week on a myriad of subjects and food categories — from knife skills to bread making.

The Cooking Studio is focused on wholeheartedly engaging with simple and fresh ingredients, which they believe is the key to eating food that tastes and looks amazing. And we certainly agree! Their five fully equipped workstations filled with state-of-the-art appliances means you’ll get to be king or queen of the kitchen while you learn from the very best.

The Cooking Studio

 

foodies! Culinary Academy

Educate the whole family about food nutrition and cooking by enrolling in foodies! Culinary Academy. This one-of-a-kind cooking school is in the business of teaching the importance of planning, preparing, and eating nutritious, delicious, affordable, home-cooked meals using local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients. What a mouthful (no pun intended). And an important lesson for kids to learn at any early age! That’s why foodies! has classes specifically tailored to kids. Sometimes us adults need a refresher course on the subject, so foodies! has a selection of classes specifically tailored to adults.

So whatever your age (or your kids’ ages!), foodies! is the place to be in order to learn practical and healthy food information.

Foodies Culinary Academy

 

Free Williams-Sonoma Technique Class in Broomfield

If you’re trying to save money but don’t mind a little road trip, especially since gas is currently so inexpensive, consider taking a free Williams-Sonoma technique class in Broomfield! The Flat Iron Crossing location in Broomfield offers classes on various culinary subjects, but the concepts are simple and very applicable to your everyday kitchen life.

Each Williams-Sonoma store across the country offers the same class each day, but the times vary depending on the location. So check out their upcoming classes, then call the Broomfield location at 720-887-2900 to get more details about the specific class you’re interested in, make your reservation (because the class size is limited), then drive to Williams-Sonoma on that date!

Williams-Sonoma

 

For the Techy Folks:

The Digital Workshop Center

The Digital Workshop Center is a locally owned, independent computer training school offering professional development and training classes on design software programs, desktop applications, business solutions and advanced computer training concepts. If you’re lost in all that technical jargon, don’t worry! There are some very basic classes designed for the beginner computer user.

If you practically grew up alongside the evolution of computers and technology, there are several classes you could take to take your skills to the next level with classes covering the Adobe Creative Suite, social media classes or even full-stack web development classes. There’s a class designed for every type of computer user, on nearly every subject in the field at The Digital Workshop Center!

The Digital Workshop Center

 

The Poudre River Public Library

The Poudre River Public Library is passionate about educating, and that holds true for how they view technology and the future of its users. They are so passionate about educating people on this subject that they offer free computer classes at their Harmony Library computer lab.

Have you always wanted to learn how to blog? (That’s obviously something we endorse!) Or how to enhance your digital photography? Or how to master the sometimes frustrating Microsoft Excel? Check out the Poudre River Public Library class schedule, sign up if necessary, and show up without paying a dime!

Computer Classes

 

Girl Develop It Fort Collins

You may have heard that there is a major underrepresentation of females in the computer programming world. Girl Develop It aims to change that by providing affordable programs for adult women interested in learning web and software development in a judgment-free environment. They have a Fort Collins chapter that holds periodical events focused on coding and building a community of women coders. Many events (such as Code & Coffee) are laid-back and relaxed, providing an environment to collaborate, encourage and share recent projects.

It’s no secret that coding is such a valuable skill to learn — for every age, race and gender! Learn the basics or expand on your coding knowledge by becoming a part of Girl Develop It’s community.

Girl Develop It

 

There is so much to learn!

Many people have their favorite exercise class they’ve gone to for years, the cooking class they take each anniversary or their favorite craft store where they learn new skills. Whatever you’re learning, we’d love to hear about it!

 

PHOTOS COURTESY OF: Old Town Athletic Club, Elan Yoga & Fitness, Fort Collins Club, Pinot’s Palette, VanCo School of Art, Lambspun, RBB Architects, The Cooking Studio, foodies! Culinary Academy, Williams-Sonoma, The Digital Workshop Center, Rayi Christian Wicaksono and Girl Develop It

 

Shop Local | Etsy Home Goods From Fort Collins Makers

 
 

There has been a huge movement as of late focused on shopping locally, supporting small businesses, and keeping your dollars within your community. Then, as the story goes, Amazon comes along and attempts to shift our focus from community to convenience.

We’re the first to admit that online shopping has its perks. With so many things going on in our lives and a large portion of our time each day spent on the Internet, it’s one of the best ways to get gifts, buy things for the home, or update your wardrobe. You can minimize your online shopping page to pause the process while you answer an email or tend to a screaming child, and it will be waiting there for your return. There is no waiting in lines, no crowds, and no questions asked. It’s done.

Because we can’t deny the convenience of online shopping, but still aim to promote shopping locally, we wanted to find a way to combine the two concepts. We are also in the business of helping you make your home the best version of itself, with the use of home decor (and other home improvement projects). Hmm. We’ve got it!

Here’s a list of Etsy home goods from Fort Collins makers! If you’re not familiar with Etsy, it’s pretty amazing. Essentially, it’s an online marketplace for makers scattered all across the world, who create all sorts of things. You might call it “The Amazon of Pinterest”. Or for our purposes, “The Amazon of a Local Fort Collins Flea Market”.

It’s time to shop locally from the comfort of your couch!

 

The Red Pistachio

Get a unique, handmade pillow cover or nursery blanket from The Red Pistachio! Cherie, the shop owner, has a wide variety of patterns available in her Etsy store. She makes her pillows with babies in mind, but who says you have to put them in a nursery? These would make a stylish addition to any room in the home.

The Red Pistachio

 

Iron Grain

Paul Hueber with Iron Grain makes exceptional benches for both indoor and outdoor use. You can order a customized bench or trust his expertise with this design featuring clean lines and simple construction. The indoor bench makes for a perfect mudroom or entryway addition, and the outdoor bench would work well on a patio, deck, front doorstep or in the shade by a tree! While he has some products on Etsy throughout the U.S., Paul primarily sells furniture, metalwork and other carpentry products and services on his website to local Northern Colorado customers.

Irongrain

 

SodaCreek

Jordan House of SodaCreek says that ever since he could walk, he was in a woodshop helping his dad build furniture for his handcrafted furniture company. He now integrates his furniture knowledge into everything he makes. He has an incredible rocking chair made from Colorado aspen logs, some unique wooden bowls, and our personal favorite — gorgeous handmade cutting boards.

SodaCreek

 

Woodpony

Tyler Morris Woodworking is a three-person team that creates beautiful wood pieces in a Fort Collins shop. Their Etsy shop features their smaller pieces, which are still very high-quality products. They sell an abundance of countertop or shelf corbels, recipe boxes, trays and various home-related pieces. Whatever direction you go while shopping their supply, you’re guaranteed to walk away with a one-of-a-kind work of art that this team has perfected since 1997.

Woodpony

 

EdisonHouse

Reclaimed wood is the name of the game for EdisonHouse. We personally love their pallet shelves, which are as attractive as they are functional. Distressed and reclaimed wood is very popular because of its effortless and natural look!
Edison House

 

TheRusticPalette

Speaking of palettes and reclaimed wood, TheRusticPalette has mastered the art of transforming unwanted wood into something magnificent. Owner Amanda House has created a stunning collection of iPhone stands and docking stations, iPad/tablet stands and docking stations, barn wood clocks, candle holders, custom barn wood signs, coasters and wooden jewelry. We’re especially drawn to the tablet stands. You could turn your iPad into a virtual recipe book by displaying it in an attractive stand while you cook in the kitchen!

The Rustic Palette

 

GenuineWoodworking

We’ve talked about GenuineWoodworking before and we will again because we are blown away by this concept! Shop owner Andy turns old skateboards into eclectic pieces of art for the home, from speakers to bottle openers to lamps to coasters. This would make an exceptional gift for a new homeowner or a fun addition to your own home!

Genuine Woodworking

 

LandiDesigns

Geodes are all the rage in home accessories. Linda Kelly of LandiDesigns has capitalized on this trend by turning these captivating rocks into functional pieces for the home. Check out her collections of drawer knobs, coasters, napkin rings, drawer handles and candle holders. These unique additions to your home are sure to make a statement!

Landi Designs

 

KatesMountainCrafts

Display your Colorado or CSU pride at the front entrance to your home with KatesMountainCraftswooden key holder! It can hold keys, scarves, jewelry or anything else you need to hang up as you walk in the door. Kate also accepts custom orders, so you can have her paint any design onto a key holder to personalize it even more. However, Kate’s pride and joy is her therapeutic weighted blanket for both children and adults. Read all about the mental and health benefits this blanket can provide for those suffering from Autism, depression, trauma, insomnia, etc.

Kate's Mountain Crafts

 

WJMRDesigns

West Roberts of WJMRDesigns has been experimenting with different woodworking projects since he was younger and has since picked up welding as an alternate means of creating. He loves turning what one might consider “trash” into works of art. And that is exactly what he has done with his upcycled coin bank and his twin tower aspen candle holders.

WJMR Designs

 

BoxwoodLights

Jason Erman of BoxwoodLights is new to the Etsy scene, but his woodworking skills are far from beginner status. His original, nostalgic lighting designs blow us away with their simple yet interesting aesthetics. Jason focuses on table lamps, but has a gorgeous walnut wall sconce for sale as well! For this occasion, Jason created a 10% off coupon specifically for readers of this blog. All you have to do is enter GROUPBLOG at checkout to receive 10% off your order!

Boxwood Lights

 

TwoBoysandaDog

Make a statement — quite literally — with a personalized quote on reclaimed wood from TwoBoysandaDog. We love the light and airy feel of these designs which would look amazing in a bedroom, bathroom or kitchen. We’re also drawn to her rustic redwood trays for sale!

2 Boys and a Dog

 

RikkisTropicals

Who knew you could purchase live plants online? RikkisTropicals sells air plants mounted artistically on natural materials such as shells and driftwood or in hand-blown glass orbs and hanging lanterns. These air plant displays make for a unique and lively home accessory that requires very little maintenance.

Rikki's Tropicals

 

It’s your turn!

Do you have a friend or family member creating awesome things in Fort Collins? We would love to know about them and their work!

PHOTOS COURTESY OF: The Red Pistachio, IronGrain, SodaCreek, Woodpony, EdisonHouse, TheRusticPalette, GenuineWoodworking, LandiDesigns, KatesMountainCrafts, WJMRDesigns, BoxwoodLights, TwoBoysandaDog and RikkisTropicals

 

The Best Places to Watch the Super Bowl in Fort Collins

 
 

One of the best aspects of the Super Bowl is the fun social environment that exists while watching the game alongside friends and family members. Naturally, such an environment attracts beer and greasy food, which makes the experience all the more enjoyable. So, what places in Northern Colorado host all of the abovementioned Super Bowl necessities? Thankfully, we did some digging and discovered some of the best bars for watching the game in the Northern Colorado area.

Some establishments have food or drink specials up their sleeves, and others are just downright wonderful environments for such an occasion. Read on and find the perfect place to spend your Super Bowl Sunday cheering on the Broncos. Wherever you go, you’re guaranteed to drink quality beer, stuff your face with delicious food and scream and yell with perfect strangers. Because what would football be without high-fives and stranger hugs?

Avogadro's Number

Avogadro’s Number

Super Bowl Sunday Hours: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Location: 605 South Mason Street, Fort Collins, CO 80524

Phone Number: 970-493-5555

This live-music venue does it all in the food department — from breakfast to lunch to dinner. Their menu is catered to the healthy eater with lots of veggie options (plus you can veganize any dish!) but they offer delicious pizzas and hearty sandwiches as well. Avogradro’s Number is playing the game on their big screen in the entertainment room on Super Bowl Sunday. Plus they’re offering $2.75 Fat Tire drafts!

Avogrado’s sure knows how to entertain the masses any day of the year, and that definitely applies to their Super Bowl Sunday party.


CB and Potts

 

C.B. & Potts Restaurant & Brewery

Super Bowl Sunday Hours: 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.

Location: 1415 West Elizabeth Street Fort Collins, CO 80521

Phone Number: 970-221-1139

Many Colorado State University graduates have fond memories of C.B. & Potts going all the way back to their start almost 40 years ago, because of its proximity to campus. The original location expanded to seven locations in the state of Colorado, two of which are in Fort Collins.

This is the place to go to watch any game because of the exceptional food (including burgers, steaks and seafood) and top-of-the-line beers. In fact, C.B. & Potts began brewing their own beer in 1996, and thus began their contribution to the evolution of the craft beer industry. Their brewers are focused on creating the freshest and most “drinkable” beers out there, which has earned them over 100 prestigious medals.

C.B. & Potts’ local roots and successful growth throughout the state is proof that they’re worth a visit — especially on an action-packed day like Super Bowl Sunday.


 

Old Chicago

Old Chicago

Super Bowl Sunday Hours: 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.

Fort Collins Locations:

  1. 147 South College Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80524
  2. 4709 South Timberline Road, Fort Collins, CO 80528

Phone Numbers:

  1. 970-482-8599
  2. 970-207-9456

Old Chicago specializes in a positive game-day environment, with huge flatscreen HD televisions located above the bar and others scattered throughout the restaurant. But you can also expect some of the best pizza and beer around. With five locations in Northern Colorado, you can find the closest one to you, or the one located in your favorite town.

Beer enthusiasts have praised Old Chicago’s world-class craft beer selection since 1976. And if you need some assistance in this area, Old Chicago can help you learn how to taste beer. With knowledge like that, you can trust their beer quality and selection. If you’re headed to their Old Town location to watch the Super Bowl, check out their menu ahead of time to get an idea of their offerings and pricing. Or find the location nearest you to see their menu!

Whichever location you choose, you can know you’ll be in good hands with Old Chicago.


The Red Zone at Pumphouse Brewery

The Red Zone Sports Bar at the Pumphouse Brewery

Super Bowl Sunday Hours: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Location: 540 Main Street, Longmont, CO 80501

Phone Number: 303-702-0881

The Red Zone Sports Bar is the perfect destination for sports fans, as it contains over 29 large flatscreen HD TVs, pool tables, pinball machines and other arcade games. This contemporary and airy sports bar offers the same incredible food and beverages as the Pumphouse, but in a more casual and upbeat environment.

You can see the game in full view because of the televisions in view at every turn. You’ll get a selection of food perfect for pairing with your favorite brew. This seems like a wonderful lineup for your Super Bowl Sunday plans.


Road 34

Road 34

Super Bowl Sunday Hours: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Location: 1213 West Elizabeth Street, Fort Collins, CO 80521

Phone Number: 970-491-9934

Let’s break away from a traditional sports bar with a visit to Road 34. Gather ‘round one of their long wooden tables to bond with strangers and be a part of the action. Road 34 also has pool tables, arcade games and a front patio for the warmer days ahead. But probably the most notable piece of information about this place is fact that it doubles as a bike shop. Well, there’s one right next door! With beer and bikes all in one place, it doesn’t get much more “Fort Collins” than this.

On Super Bowl Sunday, Road 34 is offering their standard all-day happy hour, plus a $15 nachos with a micro pitcher special! This is the perfect time to try something new and steer clear of the typical sports bar experience. You’re sure to have a blast at Road 34.


Trailhead Tavern

Trailhead Tavern

Super Bowl Sunday Hours: 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.

Location: 148 West Mountain Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80524

Phone Number: 970-221-5757

The Trailhead Tavern is a well-loved bar in the heart of Old Town offering 14 beers on tap, including some local craft beer favorites, and full lunch and dinner menus. Their hiking theme means they are prepared for refueling and replenishing calories, which is necessary due to all the jumping and screaming you’ll be doing while watching the Super Bowl.

During the Super Bowl, Trailhead Tavern is offering $2 pints of PBR, $2.50 select micro pints, and a “dozen wings and a pitcher” special that starts at $16. Due to these great deals and the fun atmosphere tested and approved of for years, this is the place to be on Sunday.


Washington's Sports Bar

Washington’s Sports Bar & Grill

Super Bowl Sunday Hours:

Location: 132 Laporte Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80524

Phone Number: 970-484-3989

Washington’s Sports Bar & Grill is another Old Town favorite as it has become a staple for good food and an exciting nightlife destination. And the excitement will only increase with the Super Bowl game playing in the background!

With a large menu focused on their exceptional burgers, they have everything you’ll crave during the game. Pair your meal with a brew that fits your style and you’ll be good to go. Or grab a few $3.50 Bud and Bud Lights available all day on Sunday! During commercial breaks (although that’s sometimes the best part), play some air hockey, pool, shuffle board or other arcade games to pass the time.


William Oliver's

William Oliver’s

Super Bowl Sunday Hours: 9:30 a.m. – 2 a.m.

Location: 2608 South Timberline Road, Fort Collins, CO 80525

Phone Number: 970-680-3726

William Oliver’s long hours every day means they know how to party 24/7. But more importantly, this locally owned and operated pub focuses on supporting other local businesses by offering a vast array of Colorado-made products. Grab a drink from their 24-page drink menu and choose from their delicious food selection.

William Oliver’s is offering several game day specials, including their BOGO beer and hotdog special (buy any beer and get a free hotdog), $2 off Bushmill’s Ginger Tea cocktail, and $3 whiskey pours. This classy and local-centric environment makes for the perfect place to watch the game.

Go Broncos!

Whatever you do, wherever you are, whoever you’re cheering for — you’re bound to have a fun time at one of the abovementioned establishments. But might we submit that you’ll have a little more fun if you are cheering for the Broncos?

PHOTOS COURTESY OF: Avogadro’s Number, C.B. & Potts, Frisco Inn on Galena, Copper Mountain, The Coloradoan, The Red Zone at Pumphouse Brewery, Road 34, Trailhead Tavern, Washington’s Sports Bar, William Oliver’s and The Rocky Mountain Collegian

 

Top Fort Collins Instagrammers to Follow | Explore Colorado Goods, Artists + Photographers

 
 

The beauty of Instagram (besides the actual beauty that is displayed in picture form) is the ability to get a glimpse into the lives of people all over the world — and sometimes out of this world. It’s an easy-to-navigate platform for posting snapshots of your life and broadcasting them for your audience to see. It’s a purely visual means of communication with a tendency to captivate its users.

The beauty of Fort Collins is… wait, do we even need to explain this? You already know Fort Collins is situated in the beautiful region of Northern Colorado and other cities have several reasons to be jealous of such a thriving metropolis.

So the deadly combination of Instagram and the city of Fort Collins means one magnificent thing: our beloved home can now be shared with Cyberworld through daily snapshots from some stellar photographers and creatives in the area.

That’s why we explored Instagram in search of some of the best Fort Collins Instagrammers to share with you! We have one piece of advice for you. Log into Instagram and make sure you’re following all of these accounts. And let us know which Fort Collins accounts you like to follow! Community is a vital ingredient for Instagram’s success. A lot of well-known Instagrammers wouldn’t be where they are without the support of friends, family, followers and fans.

Here are a handful of some of our favorite Instagrammers in Fort Collins! Some have a large following, others are just starting out, some have four legs, and some sell a few things. Together they form a complete, eclectic and jealousy-inducing picture of what it’s like to call Fort Collins home.

Fort Collins Instagrammers

 

@brandon_batman_photography

Brandon of Brandon Batman Photography has an eye for capturing the beauty around him as he explores all that the Northern Colorado area has to offer. Brandon’s Instagram account mostly includes photos of stars, wildlife, mountains, lakes, trees and sunsets, all of which blow us away. His use of saturation and framing have us hooked on his style.

 

@brownpaperbunny

Jessica Mack is an Australian illustrator living in the U.S. — or Fort Collins, specifically. Jessica possesses a ridiculous amount of talent and an extremely unique and colorful style. After pursuing art at her local university in Australia, Jessica eventually enrolled in a Master of Fine Art at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. And the rest is history! Jessica saw a noticeable progression as she practiced art, which refined her love for fashion illustration and bright colors.

There is a little sneak peek into my art studio on the blog today: http://bit.ly/ArtStudioTour #illustration

A photo posted by Jessica Mack (@brownpaperbunny) on

 

@feastingfortcollins

Kristin Mastre of Feasting Fort Collins and Fresh Air Fort Collins (among other blog titles) is a food writer and restaurant critic. Her work is important to us — and we’re sure you can agree — because we’re always looking for and excited about new restaurants in Fort Collins. You can’t always spend the time and money to hop around to every establishment in the city, so Kristin has vowed to do the feasting for you. Follow @feastingfortcollins to help guide your next culinary adventure in Fort Collins!

 

@joule_bug

Now, we can’t survey the personality of Fort Collins without talking about dogs. Let’s start with one dog in particular! Joelle, nicknamed “Bug”, is a 5-year-old boxer rescue, who loves exploring Colorado with her lucky owners. Joule loves wearing shades, drinking beer, meeting new dog (and human) friends, and going on hikes — rain or shine…or snow!

Make sure you get my good side 💁🌄 #AdventureWithJB

A photo posted by Joule (@joule_bug) on

 

@kellikroneberger

Kelli Kroneberger is a lifestyle and fashion photographer who handles marketing for boutique, brands and creative businesses. She also has an incredible eye for styling interiors. Kelli’s list of clients includes Sunday Supply Co., HEYDAY (both of which you’ll hear more about as you read on), Boutonne, Posh Boutique, Tula, RARE Italian and Microsoft. Wow. Her clean and simple style will leave you inspired in regards to your wardrobe, home styling and lifestyle in general.

 

@kodiakthebeardog/@kuma_thehuskybear

If the dog to human ratio of this list is intended to be reflective of the Fort Collins community, we better add one more canine. Heck, let’s add two more! Kodiak and Kuma are brothers with adventurous spirits and adorable faces. They both have bearlike qualities, hence the names Kodiak and Kuma. And on a shallow level, their mom sure has an eye for photography. We’re just thankful we have her to chronicle the lives of these puppies!

enjoying a few laughs over coffee with my best pal 🐾.

A photo posted by Kodi Bear (@kodiak_thebeardog) on

T’was a windy day in the mountains 🏔💨.

A photo posted by Kuma Bear (@kuma_thehuskybear) on

 

@msheathernoel

There are so many fun things happening within the towns of the major cities in Colorado, but a lot of the beauty lies off the beaten path in Rocky Mountain terrain. Heather Hanson has made a point to live life as a “beautiful adventure” and we’re glad she took her camera along with her! She has captured some of the most breathtaking Colorado scenes we’ve seen.

 

@s.neubert

You may remember us mentioning Sarah Neubert on our Valentine’s Day Gift Guide from Colorado Businesses. Sarah is a crafter residing in Fort Collins with a gorgeous line-up of weavings available at Rain Boutique and other Colorado shops. Her Instagram account peeks at her project process, debuts the finished products, and gives a taste of her everyday life. But her personal account isn’t even her greatest Instaccomplishment! Sarah is the facilitator of @theweavingkind, a group featuring monthly challenges and inspiration to help weavers connect, develop and find a unique voice.

Couple newbies (the one on the wall is a necklace)

A photo posted by • sarah neubert • (@s.neubert) on

 

@sundaysupply

You may recognize the style of this account, as it is heavily influenced by artist and lifestyle photographer Kelli Kroneberger (@kellikroneberger). This account is worth following so as to stay informed about this adorable shop’s everyday happenings, but you may also glean inspiration with their beautifully crafted shots. Black, white, brown and denim — these are the main colors you’ll find on this feed, fostering a peaceful and organic tone.

 

@sweetdivergence

Remember that bright-color-loving Australian illustrator we talked about? Well, Jessica Mack has a nomadic side that coexists with her artistic tendencies. As if one well-known Instagram account wasn’t enough, she has a separate one devoted to her travels around the world. With all of her extra free time, Jessica is also a social media strategist for Otter Box and LifeProof. She truly leads a colorful life worth following!

 

@theheydaystore

If you haven’t yet made it to Jessup Farm to check out HEYDAY, you can now visit the store virtually thanks to their well-curated Instagram account. Their simple-living style found in-store is beautifully translated into their feed, which inspires followers to replicate their concepts. Many of HEYDAY’s pictures focus on women’s clothing, while others debut their amazing home and office products. But all in all, it’s a gorgeous way to display their inventory without being super salesy. You might say Instagram is the modern day “show-and-tell.”

The glorious @stateofbeingthelabel coat is made for you! Available online 💻// photo @kellikroneberger

A photo posted by H E Y D A Y (@theheydaystore) on

 

@topodesignsftcollins

Yes, this next company sells products as well, but their ability to position them in a gorgeous backdrop keeps us hooked on this account. This Colorado company has locations all over the country and one in Fort Collins, hence @topodesignftcollins! You can’t scroll through their feed without feeling the itch to get outside. The adventurous spirit of Topo Designs is embraced in Fort Collins, with all of its opportunities for hiking, biking and the myriad of reasons to be outside.

Good morning from Rocky Mountain National Park with @ajwells and @joshuaedric, Klettersack in tow

A photo posted by Topo Designs Fort Collins (@topodesignsftcollins) on

 

That’s the lucky dozen!

Hopefully your “following” number just went up a bit after scrolling through some of these accounts. As mentioned, let us know how we can increase our numbers by passing along your favorite Instagrammers in Fort Collins!

 

Mansion Monday: 7 Northern Colorado Homes That Will Blow Your Mind

 
 

You might dread Mondays for their “back-to-reality” and “start-of-the-workweek” qualities. You’re not alone in this! We decided to brighten your Monday with a look at the finer things in life — in the form of breathtaking homes. So we have officially declared today Mansion Monday!

The Northern Colorado area hosts a myriad of home styles, from traditional to modern and everything in between. You can always get virtual tours of said homes by way of photo-perusing, but looking through our list of over 400 properties would take you this entire week! So we dug around and pulled a few extraordinary homes from the bunch to save you the hassle.

Here’s a look at some of our favorite mansions in the area! Some are included for their overall luxurious and grandiose qualities, and some for specific impressive details we wouldn’t mind incorporating into our own homes.

 

Ranch Home with Four-Season Sunroom

This ranch home situated on a 5.91-acre lot in Belmont Farms has breathtaking views of the Front Range and lots of lush, green grass for endless outdoor activities. But we’d like to focus on the home itself, and one area in particular. This home’s four-season sunroom has an integrated outdoor/indoor kitchen and is completely covered for the ultimate protection in the case of adverse weather. Imagine sitting out here to enjoy a BBQ dinner during a rainy summer night or sipping coffee in the winter with snow falling right outside!

39759 Pinnacle Ridge Court

 

Gorgeous French Provincial Estate With Expansive Sunroom

You’ll feel as though you’ve teleported to Europe while in this impressive provincial estate located near Seeley Lake in Greeley. The immaculate details, including marble floors, elegant ceiling designs, and stone-wall features give this home a fairytale feel. We’re particularly excited about the sunroom, which absorbs the 300 days of sunshine Colorado has to offer.

This property also hosts a 6,000-square-foot shop including a paint booth, car hoist and lots of room for additional storage. The surrounding garden and landscaping — including a gazebo! — make this package deal unbelievable.

3505 Holman Court

 

Golf Course Home Perfect for Entertaining

Entertain the masses within this mansion overlooking the 6th green of Mariana Butte Golf Course in Loveland. Experience luxury by riding the elevator to the second story where you’ll find an outdoor covered patio with a fireplace. Just inside, there’s a gorgeous, gourmet kitchen with all the high-end appliances to fulfill a homeowner’s dreams!

We’re also drawn to the spa-like bathroom setup with a freestanding bathtub, and the entertaining space on the first floor with a kitchen of its own.

890 Deer Meadow Drive

 

Rocky Mountain Home With Indoor Sport Court

This ranch home on 2.1 acres of land with mountain views is the epitome of a Rocky Mountain home, with its wooden cabin-esque features and stone walls surrounding the fireplace and master bathtub. This property is ideal for a car or RV enthusiast with its enormous attached garage and shop including an office and bathroom.

But the additional space doesn’t stop there! An 3,500-square-foot sports court is included as well! This combination seems too good to be true.

3221 Huckleberry Way

 

Architectural Masterpiece with Gorgeous Outdoor Space

We can’t seem to find anything wrong with this next home. The interior blows us away, with its open-floor plan in the kitchen/living room area, tall ceilings and immaculate finishes in every room. We particularly admire the private laundry in the master walk-in closet, which exudes convenience at its finest! And once we step outside, we’re even more impressed. The landscaping is picturesque, from the stonework to the well-manicured plants. And a Koi pond? This place is a dream, inside and out.

8456 Golden Eagle Road

 

Lake Home With Seven Fireplaces

The only problem you’ll have in this next home is deciding which of the seven fireplaces to curl up next to in the winter. And all year long, you’ll be able to enjoy views of the lake just a few feet from the airy balcony with a Viking grill, refrigerator and (yet another) fireplace. We love the fancy columns throughout the interior that give it a castle-like atmosphere. This home also hosts a theater room and wine cellar, if you weren’t blown away enough already.

517 Whitney Bay

 

Cozy Rustic Home on Quiet Lot With City Views

Consistency is key for this property situated atop a hill with city, lake and golf course views. The rustic look of this home is carried fluidly throughout each room, displaying its intentional design. We love the reclaimed wood features in various locations, such as the sliding barn door leading into the master bath. We are also drawn to the tall ceilings in the living area with large windows overlooking the city!

1973 Kestrel Court

 

Which of these mansions catches your attention?

We’re not too sure we can answer that questions ourselves!

 

Non-Traditional Valentine’s Day Gift Guide from Colorado Businesses | Shop Local

 
 

Valentines Day Gift Guide from Colorado Businesses

We have quite the creative community in the state of Colorado. From local makers that sell their goods online to small businesses with brick-and-mortar storefronts, there are many companies to choose from while doing your Valentine’s Day shopping.

Now presenting… our Valentine’s Day gift guide with hand-selected items sold by Colorado companies!

Whatever your budget or style, you are sure to find something on this list that catches your eye — and the eye of your valentine! Many gifts are for the home, some are for wearing or sipping, and a few are for you to enjoy together. We’ve been waiting to share this with you, and hope it can enhance your shopping experience, or at least make you aware of a few exceptional Colorado companies in the meantime.

We can all agree that it’s important to support our neighbors by shopping locally. For this post, we consider the entire state of Colorado our “neighbors”! So band with us as we aim to keep our dollars in the beautiful state of Colorado this Valentine’s Day and beyond.

 

Valentines Day Gifts Under $25

Candles

Eden Candle | Loveland — $20

This rosemary, basil, sage and spearmint soy candle from And the People sounds like it smells good enough to eat. All of their products are handmade in small batches in their home studio in Loveland, where they handle the entire candle making process — from creation to packaging and shipping to photographing products. With quality ingredients, like their 100% non-GMO soy wax, you can expect the highest quality candles, created just down the road.

 

 

Tasting Colorado Cookbook

Tasting Colorado Cookbook | Online + Various Colorado Stores — $25

Denver author, Michele Morris of Cooking With Michele, shares her love for our state’s flavors in her book, “Tasting Colorado: Favorite Recipes from the Centennial State” that debuts the dazzling variety of Colorado’s cuisine. This is the perfect gift for the cook or baker in your life (or the aspiring ones!) as it draws from local dishes and favorites. You can order it online or at various Colorado bookstore locations.

 

 

Valentines Day Gifts Under $50

Otterbox Clear Cases

Swappable Design Inserts + Clear iPhone Case | Fort Collins — $35

If you’re new to the area, you may be happy to find out that the world-renowned OtterBox is based in Fort Collins. So you are still technically supporting a local company by shopping their durable, resilient and practically life-proof phone cases. OtterBox’s fun swappable design inserts will allow your valentine to switch out patterns when they get sick of a look, and each pattern is just $5! So buy them the clear case that fits their smartphone — from an iPhone to an Android and everything in between — and pick a design or two. Or can let them choose their own if you’ve got a picky valentine!

 

 

Teakoe Tea

Cinnamon Swagger Whole Leaf Tea + Stump Teapot | Denver — $36

Warm up the soul with this whole leaf tea from Denver-based Teakoe accompanied by their Stump Teapot, ideal for any hot tea drinker. This pot handles any loose-leaf or pyramid-bag tea and is equipped with a removable infuser and hinged lid for easy brewing! The cinnamon, peppercorn and clove notes of the Cinnamon Swagger tea is sure to comfort your valentine in the remaining cold days of winter.

It gets even more interesting! Did you know that tea could be promoted to a cocktail? Teakoe has constructed a mixology guide with recipes and instructions for taking their teas to the next level. The Mountain Mojito makes mountainous Colorado proud.

 

 

strongwater bitters

Herbal Bitters Sample Box | Denver — $37

Picking a drink flavor for someone can be a difficult task. Strongwater took out the guessing game with their Herbal Bitters Sample Box. It includes all four of their delicious bitters in a custom-branded Strongwater gift box. You and your valentine can experiment with their Golden Ichor, Amores Melipona, Fire Tamer and Sweet Riza bitters, and settle on your favorites! Need some direction at the cocktail bar? Thankfully, Strong Water has lots of recipes to choose from.

 

 

Nike Wing Mug

Winged Nike Mug | Denver — $38

It was hard to pick just one thing from Carnevale Clay’s inventory of gorgeous, handmade pottery. The Winged Nike Mug is coil and slab handcrafted and made from red stoneware and white glaze. Anne Carnevale, the Denver-based creator behind these creations, is a master at her craft hoping to tell a story with each piece.

This mug would make the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for all coffee and tea drinkers. In fact, maybe you could pair it with a local tea or coffee? We love Happy Lucky’s Teahouse and Treasures for tea and have a few favorites for coffee!

 

 

knotty tie Coloradical tie

Coloradical Tree Tie | Denver — $50

Help your man support Colorado in a subtle way with this Coloradical Tree Tie from Knotty Tie Co… because who doesn’t love a good tree graphic? All of their ties are made with certified organic cotton sateen, and are made by hand in the USA. Knotty Tie Co. has the utmost consideration for the ethical treatment of people and the environment and even hire skilled resettled refugees. This is a stylish company with a global perspective for doing good.

 

 

kind design print

Fort Collins Colorado 36×24″ Poster | Boulder — $50

The perfect gift for the Colorado enthusiast (shouldn’t that be everyone?) is this Fort Collins Colorado poster from Kind Design, based in Boulder. This particular poster is the topographical map of Fort Collins mixed with the infamous Colorado flag, but you can choose from a wide selection of their various Mapping Colorado Prints, such as Steamboat Springs or Aspen. Or step it up a notch and order one of their metal prints for your valentine! For the matte paper prints, be sure to order well in advance (1-2 weeks) as each print is made to order.

 

 

Valentines Day Gifts Under $100

Bohemian Woodworx

“The Arlene” Heirloom Box | Denver — $59

This heirloom box from Bohemian Woodworx would make for a meaningful and gorgeous Valentine’s Day gift. This particular size holds up to a 2.5×3.25” wallet-sized print, so it would be the perfect container to hold prints of you and your valentine. You can even order custom lid wood burning to truly personalize your heirloom box.

Bohemian Woodworx offers a variety of different sizes to choose from that vary by price, so pick whichever one works well within your budget! We promise, your valentine will not be disappointed with the beautiful hand-made craftsmanship of these pieces.

 

 

Artifact Uprising

Print + Wood Cleat | Denver — $59

Artifact Uprising has a mission to bring your moments off your device and into your life. They help achieve this goal by offering high-quality prints and unique ways to display your photos. One of our favorite pieces is their print + wood cleat handcrafted with beetle pine reclaimed from Colorado forests. Upload your favorite couple photo as the included signature print on thick paper with a textured matte eggshell finish. Pair this print with the wood cleat and you’ve got the perfect gift for your loved one to admire and cherish forever.

 

 

Loveland Ski Resort Marriage

Get Hitched at Loveland’s 25th Annual Mountaintop Matrimony | Loveland Ski Area — $65

Make this Valentine’s Day a mountaintop experience for you and your valentine — or should we say your fiancé? Loveland’s 25th Annual Mountaintop Matrimony is a mass-wedding at the top of the Ptarmigan Lift (with a 12,050 feet elevation!) for couples getting married. It’s also a big party for those wishing to renew their vows. The best part? You both get to ski and snowboard for the price of one ticket. Just propose with, “Marry me and ski for free!” and she’ll be convinced. If she says “yes”, get all the information and pre-register by February 12!

 

 

Wall Weaving

Hand-woven Wall Hanging | Fort Collins — $75

These hand-woven wall hangings are just examples of Sarah Neubert’s work that you can commission or pick up at Rain Boutique in Fort Collins or two other Colorado locations. Contact Sarah to work on a personalized commission piece, specifying the colors, design and size of your Valentine’s Day gift. A weaving is an adorable piece to hang in the home, and its handmade and local qualities make it even better!

 

 

Fort Collins Cooking Classes

Cooking Class | Fort Collins — $75

The Cooking Studio in Fort Collins offers cooking classes multiple times a week covering a variety of culinary subjects. They even have a Valentine’s Eve class on February 13, but because of its popularity, it is sold out! You might add yourself to the wait list, but it’s more safe to gift a future cooking class to your valentine! The Winter Soups and Stews class on the Saturday after Valentine’s Day (February 20th) would make for the perfect cozy date night.

 

 

Azure Cutting Board

Breadboard | Denver — $93

This beetle kill walnut breadboard from Azure Furniture is hand-shaped and sanded in their Denver factory and finished with an all-natural, food-safe oil and beeswax blend. Our favorite part about this Valentine’s Day gift? Because each piece of wood is different from the next, every breadboard has varying markings, knots and characteristics. So you’ll receive a one-of-a-kind piece built by hand from an exceptional local woodworker.

 

 

Lamp made of skateboards

Lamp Made From Repurposed Skateboards | Fort Collins — $95

Genuine Woodworking makes one of the more unique collections of home goods, constructing their pieces from repurposed skateboards. This eclectic and colorful look of their lamp is sure to make a statement during your Valentine’s Day gift exchange. Explore their other funky options, like their drink coasters or smartphone speakers!

 

 

Valentines Day Gifts Under $200

TOPO Designs Backpack

Woolrich Rover Pack | Denver/Fort Collins/Boulder — $198

We have our eye on this American-made pack from Topo Designs. Apparently a lot of other people do too, as the pattern we’re most excited about (red and black buffalo check) is on backorder. So add your name to the waiting list to hear when it’s back in stock, or grab a black pack instead. Or explore the myriad of other bags, apparel and accessories available from this Colorado company. You really can’t go wrong with Topo Designs!

 

Free Valentine's Day Gifts

free brewery tours

Boulder Brewery Tour | Boulder — FREE

Did you know that there are 20 breweries, five wineries and four distilleries in Boulder? We know the people of FoCo love a good craft beer, so we suggest venturing a little further from home and trying someplace new!

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to hop on board one of their (usually free!) brewery tours. Breweries with regularly scheduled tours include Avery Brewing Company, Boulder Beer Company, FATE Brewing Company, Redstone Meadery, Upslope Brewing Company and Vapor Distillery. Since Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday this year, maybe spend Valentine’s Eve exploring one of these breweries on Saturday night. Make a weekend out of it!

 

 

Loveland Valentines Day Cards

Loveland 2016 Sweetheart City Valentine Program | Loveland — FREE

Loveland is the nation’s Sweetheart City, and rightfully so! Over 130,000 people across the world send in their Valentine’s Day cards each year to get a special cachet message from this city of love as part of Loveland’s Valentine Re-Mailing Program. All you have to do is mail in your pre-addressed, pre-stamped valentine(s) in a larger, 1st class envelope and the rest is history! If you’re confused, here’s a visual that may help. All Colorado mail must be received by February 10 in order for it to make it to your valentine in time!

 

It’s the season of love and we love all things local.

What are your favorite local makers and Colorado companies?

 

DIY Bedroom Dresser | Ikea Tarva Dresser Hack

 
 

It’s the new year which often means a time where we set lofty goals for improving ourselves. That may include staying more organizing, eating healthy, or doing a better job of staying in touch with long distance friends and relatives. But what about new years resolutions for your home?

Cleaning out your closets and getting rid of unwanted/unneeded items is a great start. In fact, we’re pronouncing 2016 as the year of minimalism. Another great resolution for your home is to give it a makeover! This could be as simple as swapping out pillows to give your space new life. Or, it could mean investing in new furniture pieces to help organize your space (and gives you a good reason to get rid of items you’ve had for years that doesn’t fit your style anymore). Whatever the reason, we have an easy DIY that will transform your bedroom without breaking the bank. Yes, it’s another infamous Ikea hack!

Ikea Tarva Dresser Hack

To start, make a trip to Ikea (either in store or online) and track down the Tarva dresser. While ordinary at first glance, there is a lot to work with! The natural unfinished wood provides the perfect canvas for a DIY project.

The rest is pretty simple. Just choose a stain and paint color that goes well with your space. We choose a walnut stain and white paint. And believe us, the possibilities when it comes to white paint are endless! We didn’t choose pure white as we wanted it to have a softer tone to it, so we settled on an off white color with slight yellow undertones. We loved how it turned out!

Convinced to try this for yourself? We’ll walk you through the steps we took to create this look, but feel free to take this project and make it your own!

 

Ikea Tarva Dresser Hack

What You’ll Need

– Ikea Tarva Dresser

– Hammer + Screwdriver

– Wood Stain (We chose this Walnut stain)

– Paint (We chose the color Sleek White by Behr in a matte interior paint)

– Protective Coating (Optional, but recommended!)

– Paintbrush

– Floor Tarp

– Extra Fine Sandpaper

– (12) Hardware for Knobs (We loved these gold ones from Anthropologie)

 

Step 1: Assemble Ikea Dresser

Ikea Tarva Dresser Hack

This is the most daunting part of the project. As you sit on the floor surrounded by 100 pieces of wood, screws, etc. don’t fret. It’s not as difficult as it looks! The instructions that accompany the dresser walk you through the process step-by-step with images. All in all, it took us about an hour to construct the dresser.

Note: We recommend skipping the step of adding the dresser backing for now. It’s much easier to paint without it. Once your paint has dried, grab your hammer and nail the backing to complete the look!

 

Step 2: Paint the Frame

Ikea Tarva Dresser Hack

Set the drawers aside for now and get started painting the frame. Lay down your tarp, and begin coating the dresser evenly with the paint making sure to go with the grain of the wood. It’s best to add the paint in thin coats to avoid drips. Just make sure you wait for the paint to dry completely in between coats! It took us two rounds of painting to cover the wood. It still has a slight wood grain look to it, which we preferred, so add another coat if you prefer to have a more solid look to the paint.

Once the paint is dry and you are happy with the finished look, add the backing to the dresser before moving on to the next step.

 

Step 3: Stain the Drawers

Ikea Tarva Dresser Hack

Now that the frame is painted, it’s time to move on to the drawers! Using a paintbrush or rag, lightly coat the drawers with the stain. Again, the number of coats you add depends on your personal preference. Just know that the more stain you add, the deeper/darker the stain will appear. We choose to add one coat of stain so more of the wood grain would show through. Once you’ve added the stain to all the drawers, wait for them to dry completely before you assemble the dresser.

Note: if you stumble upon a drip, or an area where the paint is too thick, this is where the sandpaper comes in. Lightly sand the area to help smooth it out. This also works well if you notice brush strokes in the paint!

At this point, you have the option to add a clear protective coat, which we recommend! Adding a protective coating will help preserve the wood and prevent it from getting stains and/or water marks. It also makes it easier to wipe down and clean.

 

Step 4: Add Hardware to Drawers

 

Ikea Tarva Dresser Hack

You’re almost done with the project! The last step involves adding your preferred hardware to the drawers. We particularly loved the look of these gold ones from Anthropologie, but there are endless options out there to choose from! Anthropologie has some fun colored ones, too if you want to add a pop of color or visual interest to your dresser.

Now that that’s all done, the only thing left to do is style your dresser. We recommend hanging a fun art print or a mirror about the dresser to pull the look together! What do you think of the finished look? If you attempt this DIY yourself, please share your photos of the end results in the comments below!

Ikea Tarva Dresser Hack

Ikea Tarva Dresser Hack

Ikea Tarva Dresser Hack

Ikea Tarva Dresser Hack

Ikea Tarva Dresser Hack

Ikea Tarva Dresser Hack

Ikea Tarva Dresser Hack

Ikea Tarva Dresser Hack

Like the styling from the photos? Get the look!

White Molded Evie Chairs from World Market // Rens Sheepskin from Ikea // Studded Velvet Pillow in Nightshade from West Elm Distressed Gold Moroccan Table Lamp and Crinkled White Paper Lamp Shade from World Market // The Kinfolk Table book from Barnes and Noble // Cowhide Journal with Leather Wrap from No Boundaries Journals // White Planter from Whole Foods // Invincible Summer Art Print from Ella Vine & Co. // Candle from West Elm // West Emory Gold Vanity Mirror from Target // Horizontal Double Rib Throw in Nightshade and Organic Brighton Matelasse Duvet Cover from West Elm

 

 

10 Valentine’s Day Weekend Getaways

 
 

We’ve mentioned some restaurants in the Northern Colorado area that would make the perfect Valentine’s Day destination, but we realize some might want to escape from it all instead of heading downtown to the action on a holiday weekend. That brings us to our next point! We were thrilled to discover that Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday this year, as we looked ahead on the 2016 calendar.

Valentine’s Day, weekends, getaways…what does this all mean? We’ve got it! Let’s delve into a list of some Valentine’s Day weekend getaways for you to consider visiting with your loved one this year. We found several in Colorado and several in Wyoming, but they all have one thing in common: they are each designed to create a relaxing, romantic and restful experience for their guests. These places vary in style and proximity to your home, so take a look through the descriptions or simply pick the distance that you prefer to travel this Valentine’s Day.

So pack your bags, tell your significant other you’ve got the Valentine’s Day plans set this year, and jump in the car for a weekend of relaxation and romance. On the other hand, you might want to surprise your valentine instead! Imagine their excitement when they discover that you have reserved a room overlooking a magical mountain range or a cozy cabin in the woods where you’ll spend the weekend together without a care in the world.

Whichever direction you go — literally — you are sure to experience the perfect getaway as a couple.


Estes Park Condos in Estes Park

Pricing: $165-$350

Location: 1400 David Drive, Estes Park, CO 80517

Distance from Fort Collins: 1 Hour, 15 Minutes

The beauty of Estes Park (and yes, it is beautiful on its own without these factors) is the secluded mountain feeling that you can experience without having to venture too far from home. Staying at the Estes Park Condos is the perfect way to immerse yourself in this charming town and get spoiled with amenities within their one-, two- or three-bedroom condos with cabin-like decor.

Each condo has a full kitchen, a living room, and a jacuzzi bathtub, and some have personal hot tubs or spas. You can use some of their free fishing poles and supplies, and go fishing amongst majestic pines in Fall River. If you get cabin fever during your stay, adventure to Rocky Mountain National Park just a mile away or to the bustling downtown just 3 miles away.

Estes Park Condos


Albany Lodge in Laramie

Pricing: $110-$145

Location: 1148 Highway WY-11, Laramie, WY 82070

Distance from Fort Collins: 1 Hour, 45 Minutes

We happen to think cabins make for the perfect wintery and romantic escape, and the cabins at Albany Lodge will not disappoint. The Snowy Mountain Range in the Laramie and Cheyenne area provides a beautiful and adventurous setting, with a wide range of activities from snowshoeing to snowmobiling. Unwind and unplug from society at this Valentine’s Day weekend retreat at Albany Lodge!

Albany Lodge


Rocky Mountain Lodge and Cabins in Cascade

Pricing: $150-$225 (Cabin & Cottage)

Location: 4680 Hagerman Road, Cascade, CO 80809

Distance from Fort Collins: 2 Hours, 20 Minutes

We searched far and wide to find some of the best cozy cabin experiences in surrounding areas and discovered this gem tucked away in the Rocky Mountains at the entrance to Pikes Peak. Rocky Mountain Lodge and Cabins is a rustic yet elegant bed and breakfast and cabin rental experience. This destination is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and homebodies alike, as the outdoor activities are endless and the amenities inside will make you feel right at home.

Spice things up with one of their romance packages, ranging in contents. Their Basic Romance Package is far from basic, as it includes a bouquet of roses, a bottled of chilled sparkling cider, chocolate covered strawberries or chocolate truffles, a fruit and cheese platter, and two souvenir champagne flutes.

Rocky Mountain Lodge


Saratoga Resort and Spa in Saratoga

Pricing: $150+

Location: 601 Pic Pike Road, Saratoga, WY 82331

Distance from Fort Collins: 2 Hours, 40 Minutes

Wyoming has some impressive natural hot springs scattered throughout the state and one of the best locations to enjoy them is at Saratoga Resort and Spa in Saratoga. Submerge in one of their five teepee-covered hot pools, cozy up to a fireplace with a fireside drink from the resort’s microbrewery, and treat yourself and your valentine at their full-service spa.

Travel to Saratoga Resort and Spa nestled between the Snowy Range and the Sierra Madre Mountain Range, where rustic elegance meets the great outdoors.

Saratoga Resort and Spa


The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch in Saratoga

Pricing: $750-$1,100

Location: 66 Brush Creek Ranch Road, Saratoga, WY 82331

Distance from Fort Collins: 3 Hours

This luxury dude ranch in Saratoga provides majestic scenery and endless adventure atop 30,000 acres of Rocky Mountain wilderness. You may be surprised by the price of a night’s stay at the Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch, but there’s good reason for the pricing. It was voted the #1 Resort in the U.S. and #1 Resort in the U.S. for the second year in a row! The list of reasons for these awards is too long to list, such as their activity options, spa experience, and overall feel of their luxurious lodging spaces.

Brush Creek Ranch sure knows how to make couples have an unforgettable experience during their stay, with horseback excursions, spa packages, trail adventures, destination dining and more.

Brush Creek Ranch


The Lodge & Spa at Cordillera in Edwards

Pricing: $210-$720

Location: 2205 Cordillera Way, Edwards, CO 81632

Distance from Fort Collins: 3 Hours

This next place is the perfect destination for the skiing couple, or those who enjoy a gorgeous mountain view — wait, isn’t that everyone? The Lodge & Spa at Cordillera provides an impeccable ski lodge experience, and is regularly on the list of the top 10 spas in America.

Listed as the #5 ski resort in the USA, it provides guests access to Vail and Beaver Creek skiing thanks to its central location between the two. Eat a warm meal after an adventurous day on the slopes at one of their two restaurants, which gave the Lodge & Spa the title of the #1-rated Colorado resort for food and service. Don’t miss their luxurious spa, as you unwind with one of their spa treatments or a massage.

The Lodge and Spa at Cordillera


The St. Regis Aspen Resort in Aspen

Pricing: $700+

Location: 315 East Dean Street, Aspen, CO 81611

Distance from Fort Collins: 4 Hours, 20 Minutes

If your budget allows for a more grandiose experience, you might consider traveling to Aspen for a romantic getaway at the St. Regis Aspen Resort. It’s simple — this resort provides the best of both worlds for those seeking adventure and luxury all in one contemporarily packaged mountainside manor.

Take part in the winter activities in the town of Aspen, such as skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, winter fly fishing or dog sledding. Indulge in the epicurean experiences with their various dining options, and retreat to your private and elegant accommodations at the end of the day.

St. Regis Aspen


Teton Mountain Lodge in Teton Village

Pricing: $230+

Location: 3385 Cody Lane, Teton Village, WY 83025

Distance from Fort Collins: About 7 Hours

Make Teton Mountain Lodge your base camp for your Rocky Mountain adventure during a Valentine’s Day weekend getaway. This upscale lodge provides chic rooms and suites, some including whirlpool tubs, multiple levels, full kitchens, gas fireplaces and terraces. All of this luxury exists slopeside to the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and near Grand Teton National Park, so you’ll truly be in the center of it all within Teton Village. You’ll also have the opportunity to completely relax and unwind in this cozy lodge with the one you love.

Teton Mountain Lodge and Spa


The Rusty Parrot Lodge in Jackson

Pricing: $290+

Location: 175 North Jackson Street, Jackson, WY 83001

Distance from Fort Collins: 7 Hours

We think Valentine’s Day is one of the best reasons to celebrate love and the person you get to share it with. So prepare a “Celebration Package” at the Rusty Parrot Lodge in Jackson for a getaway you’ll never forget. With an extensive history and list of awards, the lodge is sure to impress its guests. Curl up in fine linens and awaken in the morning to explore the area around you. Not sure where to start? Don’t worry — Rusty Parrot’s front desk staff will steer you in the right direction.

Rusty Parrot Lodge


Blue Lake Ranch Bed and Breakfast near Durango

Pricing: $160+

Location: 16919 CO-140, Hesperus, CO 81326

Distance from Fort Collins: 7 Hours

Travel all the way south to Durango to a ranch nestled on 200 secluded acres with breathtaking views of the La Plata Mountains, lush meadows and gardens, and a private lake. This ranch welcomes guests all year long but we think it’s particularly special during the colder month of February because of its special romantic touches. Most of their accommodations feature private decks with breathtaking mountain views and romantic fireplaces. We recommend the king bed suite in the Ranch House for a more intimate getaway.

Blue Lake Ranch

It’s time to switch things up this year!

Now, get out there and escape to one of these weekend getaways this Valentine’s Day!

PHOTOS COURTESY OF: Estes Park Condos, Albany Lodge, Rocky Mountain LodgeSaratoga Resort and Spa, Brush Creek Ranch, The Lodge & Spa at Cordillera, Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa, The Rusty Parrot Lodge and Blue Lake Ranch

 

January’s Community of the Month: Berthoud

 
 

Throughout the course of our blog, it’s fairly often that we highlight community events or businesses applying to the Northern Colorado area as a whole. This time, let’s start to narrow our focus and examine some specific communities within that region, because each community is unique and contains its own personality. We’ll pick a different community each month to highlight, deeming it the Community of the Month.

Zoom in with us on the Northern Colorado map to look closer at a community we think is very special. Drum roll, please…


The Community of the Month for January is Berthoud!


 

Berthoud is situated south of Fort Collins between Loveland and Longmont, with clear views of the Rocky Mountains. It certainly has a small-town feel and plenty of charm. The population of Berthoud is just over 5,000, so residents know their neighbors and are able to form a tight-knit community.

Berthoud is surrounded by spacious farmland, giving it the nickname, the “Garden Spot of Colorado”. But a lot of culture exists within the town itself. Its historic downtown hosts locally owned shops, restaurants, a museum and community center. Berthoud thrives on community events and long-standing traditions, such as their annual parade on “Berthoud Day,” inviting families to enjoy a pleasant picnic experience with live music at Berthoud Park. Other parks residents enjoy year-long include Fickel Park, Town Park and Roberts Lake Park.

Berthoud, Colorado

From a homeowner’s perspective, Berthoud is a wonderful place to call home and raise a family, as it provides gorgeous Victorian homes, new housing developments, tree-lined streets and beautiful parks. Families have access to wonderful schools in Berthoud, such as Berthoud Elementary, Ivy Stockwell, Turner Middle School and Berthoud High School, all within the Thompson School District.

With Berthoud’s close proximity to major highways, residents can easily venture to Fort Collins and Denver via I-25, or Loveland, Longmont and Boulder via U.S. 287. Calling Berthoud home means you can escape from the busyness of a larger city to a relaxing small-town community but still remain connected to those cities and experience their diverse cultures. It’s truly the best of both worlds!

But if you’re just passing through Berthoud for one reason or another, consider visiting one of the following establishments. There is so much to do in the Northern Colorado area, so why not take a mini road trip to a neighboring town — such as Berthoud — on a Saturday afternoon? Life is too short to remain stationed in familiarity and routine.

Berthoud Restaurants

Start the day off right with a cup of coffee from Da Bean Coffee House located near the center of town off Mountain Avenue. Choose from their menu including delicious pastries, sandwiches — and of course, coffee — then sit down and relax at Da Bean.

Venture to Grandpa’s Cafe, a fantastic greasy spoon burger joint with thin, old school burgers. But they don’t stop there! Grandpa’s Cafe serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, providing family dining comfort food at a reasonable price using fresh ingredients.

Or consider visiting Nonna Bella Country Italian Restaurant for a delectable dinner within a charming and quaint atmosphere. This family-owned and operated local favorite offers country and Italian entrees, soups, salads and wine.

Berthoud Farmer and Flea Markets

If you happen to visit Berthoud during the summer, make sure you don’t miss the Berthoud Farmers and Fleas Tailgate Market on Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. There’s nothing like local produce from a town that is very knowledgeable about farming. Leave with one of their homemade crafts and merchandise as a souvenir!

Educate yourself with a visit to either the Little Thompson Valley Pioneer Museum or the McCarty-Fickel Home, both part of the Berthoud Historical Society. The town of Berthoud has a rich history of agriculture, industry and its fascinating people.

Berthoud Historical Society

If you’re looking to explore Berthoud for more than one day, you might stay at Berthoud Inn & Events for a more unique experience than your typical chain hotel. Choose from their various room styles, from Egyptian to Oriental to Art Deco. Book your stay to experience a Northern Colorado “getaway” not too far from home!

Whatever you do in Berthoud, as a resident or guest, you’re sure to enjoy your experience as you bask in Colorado’s boasted 300+ days of sunshine. We love this community and know you will too!

Our ears are open!

What community in the Northern Colorado area do you want us to feature next month?

PHOTOS COURTESY OF: Town of Berthoud, Colorado, The Group, Inc. Real Estate, Da Bean Coffee House, Daily Camera, Nonna Bella Country Italian Restaurant, Berthoud Local and Berthoud Historical Society