Food Truck Friday: Ba-Nom-A-Nom and Bear’s Backyard Grill

July 31st, 2015  |  +The Group Real Estate  |  CommentNo Comments


Today we’re featuring two amazing local food trucks! Ba-Nom-A-Nom, who specializes in frozen vegan treats, and Bear’s Backyard Grill, who offer backyard flare with a twist. Share our post on Facebook for a chance to win a free entree from one of these vendors!


100% Fruit.”

Combining healthy and delicious flavors, the Ba-Nom-A-Nom food truck family has been serving vegan frozen treats to loyal customers for over four years! Founded by Sarah Ladley, who was only 23-years-old at the time, the food truck has become a hit with other families in the Fort Collins area.

“Because of the passion I have for what I do, I have been able to get through the trials and tribulations of starting a business,” explained Ladley.

Also helping pave Ladley’s path toward food truck success was her undergraduate degree in Public Health and Nutrition at The University of Pennsylvania. Her studies soon sparked her overwhelming fascination with the lethal Obesity Epidemic.

“ I don’t think most of my customers know that I started my truck in an effort to help with obesity prevention,” she said. “I hope once my business is producing more revenue that I can create school programs for obesity prevention, and I personally would love to teach nutrition classes. You cannot choose to eat healthy if healthy options do not exist!”

Offering healthy alternatives, Ladley typically obtains her products from a number of different places, but local suppliers who help stock local grocery stores remain her primary source. These products help establish what Ladley considers to be her two keys to success: a great, unique product and friendly customer service.

Yet, success doesn’t always come easy. “The weather affects business so much.  Also, managing employees is very hard when the schedule changes almost every week,” explained Ladley.

Overall Ladley embraces her business and all the travels it entails. She hopes to expand her eatery into store front space, and wants to hopefully get a second truck as well in the near future. So next time you see her truck, stop by for a frozen treat that’ll make you say, “Ba-NOM-a-NOM”!

Contact to book Ba-Nom-a-Nom for your special event.

“If you were stranded on a deserted island, which one of your menu items would you want to have an endless amount of and why?”

The plain banana soft serve because it is the best thing on the menu!” – Sarah Ladley, owner, Ba-nom-a-nom.



Modern Flavors – Vintage Values.”

Our other featured food truck is Bear’s Backyard Grill, a company founded by “Natural Born Griller”, Curt Bear, and which incorporates various modern flavor elements of local sourcing and ethnic variety. Bear’s Backyard Grill bases all of its operations on the vintage values of community-based support systems, individual freedom, responsibility and all things built to last.

“Getting customers to return starts with really good food, something different than the ordinary, but not so different that people are scared to try it the first time,” explained Bear, whose company primarily focuses on private event catering, backyard parties, company picnics and the like. “I get compliments all the time on how friendly my staff is when I’m not around and I think that encourages people to come back as well.”

This “really good food” is comprised of meats from Boar and Bull Butcher Shop, while other items, such as seasonal vegetables, come directly from farmers.

“Our branding is all about being open to different types and styles of people, so we might do a fancy wedding reception one night, an outdoor music event another night and then a beer festival the next. We adjust our menu to the demographic we expect at different venues,” noted Bear.

This versatility truly enables the eatery to focus in on the catering market, rather than merely settling for some good brewery days. As Bear makes clear, this makes specialization important because it’s hard to do everything well. He jokes, “Once you find something you do well it’s a good idea to focus there for the sake of sanity.”

Although Bear’s Backyard Grill has proven a success in recent years, it still faces it’s fair share of challenges. For example, marketing execution is a ceaseless task, and finding new locations is a consistent and ongoing challenge as well.

“It’s tough to wear so many hats – you’re the chef, the staffing manager, the marketing manager, the finance manager, the primary salesperson, the mechanic, and the janitor – shifting between one role to the next, sometimes many times per day, can be very challenging physically and emotionally,” added Bear.

Despite it’s challenges, Bear explained that the people of Fort Collins truly make his job worthwhile. He said, “The people in Fort Collins are friendlier than almost anywhere I’ve been.  Especially when we do private party catering and company celebrations and stuff. We really enjoy being part of the special occasion.”

Next time you’re in the mood for a cheerful atmosphere and a delicious meal, swing by Bear’s Backyard Grill or check out their full catering menu for future events!

“If you were stranded on a deserted island, which one of your menu items would you want to have an endless amount of and why?”

I would say The BaconAteHer! Burger.  It’s grass-fed local beef, so you’ve got a great protein source, the buns get your carbs, and the lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, and jalapenos get your veggies. Ummm, it’s also got bacon on it, and it’s delicious!” – Curt Bear, owner, Bear’s Backyard Grill.


How to ‘Fare’ at the Fair | Larimer County Fair & Rodeo 2015

July 30th, 2015  |  +The Group Real Estate  |  CommentNo Comments

It’s that time of year! Just when you thought you’d never smell the sweet aroma of popcorn and funnel cakes, or get to witness a rodeo spectacular again, the Larimer County Fair is back in action this July 31 through August 4!

Larmier County Fair 2015
Here at The Group Inc., we understand that while the fair may be an exciting, fun-filled family event, it can also easily become overwhelming to the underprepared. For this reason, we have put together a list of five ways to help you ‘fare’ at this years fair. Enjoy!


With so many events happening simultaneously at the fair, it can become hard to keep track of what’s going on. This is why it is important to make a list of all events you want to see before the arriving at the fair. This way, you can make sure to write down times and locations, ensuring that you don’t miss your favorite, must-see events. After you’ve established this list, it will also help you to design the best, most-efficient route for your fair plans.


Chances are you’re going to buy food, and spend most of your time walking, sitting or watching at the fair. This means the packing of most items is simply unnecessary. Plus, no one likes to lug things around with them as they wonder, and the more you bring, the greater the chances of misplacing something. When deciding what to bring with you and what to leave at home, keep this in mind! However, items we recommend to do bring are: water, sunscreen, a camera, wallet with at least $20 cash and your phone to avoid separation from your group (Pro tip: drop a pin where you park!).


Whether attending the fair with friends or children, no one likes to find themselves accidentally separated. And just incase phone service is lacking in some areas, it’s always important to designate a meet-up spot prior to engaging in fair activities. When deciding where to make your meet-up spot, consider using a public place such as in front of the public restrooms, or at the foot of the tallest building at the fair. Spots such as these are typically the easiest to remember and to backtrack to.


Sometimes traffic to and from the fair can be so outrageous it’s comparable to the ride lines at Disney World. This being said, consider making your visit to the fair on a weekday rather than on the weekend to avoid excess traffic. Furthermore, arriving early and leaving earlier than the rush will also help ultimately keep you traffic-free and sane. However, if you do happen to find yourself stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, keep calm, take a few deep breathes and find comfort in knowing the fair only comes around once a year – so it’s totally worth it!


While rides, cotton candy and games all top the charts for fun fair activities, don’t forget what’s most important – sharing memories with the people you love. So grab your kids, relatives and friends and check out all the free attractions of the fair including the parade, movies under the stars, Sunday’s complimentary pancake breakfast and more!

The Fair is open to the general public Friday 4-10pm, Saturday & Sunday 10am-10pm, Monday & Tuesday 4-9pm. Please note buildings, attractions and the carnival will not be open before the times noted. Dogs are permitted but must remain leashed at all times.


Sculpture In The Park 2015 is Being Held August 8th-9th

July 28th, 2015  |  +The Group Real Estate  |  CommentComment (1)

32nd Annual Show // August 8th and 9th, 2015

Saturday 9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. // Sunday 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

The largest outdoor juried sculpture show in the United States, Loveland’s Sculpture in the Park summer open-air art show and sale is preparing to return for its 32nd year at Benson Park on August 8th and 9th. Known as “a sweetheart city which has a love affair with the arts”, Loveland first established this event during the summer of 1984, with a mere 50 involved artists. Today, 30+ years later, over 1,200 artists have come to display their work at this event.

Along with artists in attendance, Sculpture in the Park also draws in tens of thousands of visitors annually, while remaining a “must-see contemporary art site”, according to the book “Art Travel Guide: Must See Contemporary Art Sites Across the USA”, by Connie Terwilliger.

With the Rocky Mountains as a majestic backdrop, Benson Sculpture Garden is truly one of the most unique sculpture gardens in the nation. It is open to the public throughout the year, and continuously draws in both national and international visitors. Hosting this event is the Loveland High Plains Arts Council, a private, non-profit organization which promotes sculptural arts for the cultural and economic benefit of the entire community. This weekend, the organization expects to sponsor the showcase of approximately 2,000 pieces from over 160 international juried artists. A full list of participating artists can be found here.

“The best part of this event is the unique opportunity that our guests have to meet the artists in person and to talk to them and learn how they make their pieces and the stories behind them,” explained Loveland High Plains Arts Council Show Business Chairman, Polly Juneau.

All proceeds from this event will go towards the purchase of sculpture for the existing Benson Sculpture Garden, which currently houses a collection of 148 sculpted pieces, as well as towards the funding of park improvements and landscaping.


Above is a map of the location as well! Please note that since parking is very limited near the showgrounds, it is highly recommended that you use one of the free shuttle buses. However, if planning to drive, parking will be located at Loveland High School. It can only be accessed coming on 29th St West off 287 it is closed East bound from Taft.

We hope you’re able to join us next weekend to see the work of many talented artists at this amazing event! For more details, visit them online at



Do you have what it takes to be in the Larimer County Rodeo?

July 28th, 2015  |  +The Group Real Estate  |  CommentNo Comments

While some children grow up wishing to be teachers, doctors or even astronauts, there are some children out there aspiring to be involved in the great western rodeo – and that’s just how rodeo stars, Andy BurelleDusty Tuckness and John Harris all began their careers. Now, after decades of experience, they have advice to offer future bull riders who will be in attendance at the annual Larimer County Rodeo on Sunday, August 2nd through Tuesday August 4th.

A competitive sport that arose from cattle herding practices in the nineteenth century, the United States rodeo has truly transformed into a sporting event which involves skill and speed while working to manage variety of livestock. Although a lifestyle filled with excitement, according to an article by the Los Angeles Times, “Rodeos are 1 1/2 times more injurious than boxing, 10 times more than football and 13 times more than ice hockey.”

Andy Burelle, a 38-year-old bull rider from Ardmore, Oklahoma admits that rodeos are filled with potential dangers. He notes, “I’ve been doing this 17 years and have had a plate in my ankle, a dislocated tibia, my teeth knocked out and many more injuries. Honestly, it’s just a part of the business, no way around it.”

When offering advice to potential bull riders, Burelle joked that the only way to totally avoid the dangers of the rodeo would be to take up golf. Yet, he explained that to lessen the chances of an injury, one should treat all bulls, the nice and the mean, the same way.

Constant travel can be another inherent pitfall of being a part of the rodeo, yet it can also be an important, exciting step toward rodeo stardom. Although some bull riders spend upwards of 280 days per year traveling, there are numerous ways to cope with the frequent on-road time.

29-year-old bull rider, Dusty Tuckness, a native to Meeteetse, Wyoming, explained that, “It’s hard not seeing the family as much as you normally could, or having to go on late over-night drives. I’m a real family guy, so it can be tough, but it’s the life we live.”

When deciding how to best manage time spent traveling, Tuckness advises that future rodeo stars try to find a balance between the career and being able to take time for one’s self.

The third most challenging element of the rodeo is undoubtedly having to face defeat. In the rodeo business, one of the quickest lessons learned is that, while working with livestock, something could go wrong at any moment. These types of incidents tend to largely affect rodeo clowns, whose job is to distract a raging bull from jeopardizing its rider.

Experienced rodeo clown himself, 36-year-old John Harrison of Soper, Oklahoma, has worked rodeos from coast to coast and has been selected to perform three times at the prestigious Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, NV. In 2014 he even brought home two golden bucks, representing his achievement of Coors Man in the Can and the 2014 PRCA Comedy Act of the Year.

“You never know when something is going to break down during a show, so you always have to be ready for a curveball,” stressed Harrison.

He suggests that when dealing with unexpected errors one should avoid getting nervous on the spot and to instead go ‘off the cuff’. This means that, instead of making obvious a mistake, one should do something to divert the audience’s attention.

“I personally like to walk up to the stands and if I see someone on the phone, I’ll take it and see who she’s talking to,” laughed Harrison. “The stands are definitely a part of the rodeo – without these people we’d have no rodeo.”

After advice from three astounding rodeo stars, do you think you have what it takes to be a part of the Larimer County Rodeo? Either way, if you want to witness a stellar show, don’t miss Burelle, Tuckness or Harrison in their rodeo performances!



You’re Invited to the Advanced Healthcare Celebration in Support of Two Great Local Organizations!

July 27th, 2015  |  +The Group Real Estate  |  CommentNo Comments


Commemorating 10 years of providing Fort Collins residents with holistic chiropractic treatments, Advanced Healthcare invites the community to take part in a free anniversary celebration being held Saturday, August 1, which will support two great causes.


The first cause being highlighted at the event is All Aboard Animal Rescue Shelter, a non-profit organization designed to enhance the quality of life for both pets and people through matching adoptable animals with their forever homes. At Advanced Healthcare’s event, All Aboard Animal Rescue Shelter will be hosting a dog adoption event for the community.

The other organization is Realities for Children, Inc., an organization which aims to provide the unmet needs of children who have been abused, neglected or are at-risk by uniting local businesses, youth agencies and the community in collaborative and mutually beneficial service.

All proceeds from Advanced Healthcare’s celebration will be split between and donated to these two philanthropic organizations.

“The best part of this event is definitely our ability to raise money for both charities and to help adoptable dogs find homes,” expressed Marketing Director at Advanced Healthcare, Dannah Bahrani.

Gib’s NY Bagels, a locally owned and operated Fort Collins business since 1994, will be providing free food for the event. With four locations, the company offers great coffee and authentic New York style bagels. Subway will also be donating a cookie platter, and King Soopers has donated a gift card to Advanced Healthcare for additional refreshments.

After chowing down, attendees are invited to participate in a free hour-long outdoor fitness class hosted by Title Boxing Club. The class will consist of a 15 minute warm-up, 30 minutes of eight, three-minute combination rounds and will conclude with 15 minutes of core work.

“We’re doing an outdoor full-body dynamics class which will demonstrate shadow boxing, a type of boxing where you’re still throwing the punches, just without striking the bag,” explained Title Boxing Club, Fort Collins Assistant General Manager, Trevor Barhan.

Another reason to attend this event is undoubtedly the silent auction. Items being auctioned at the event include: a one-year membership at Title Boxing Club; a two or four-person hot air balloon ride; a professional portrait painted by artist, Kathleen Brady; one month of unlimited martial arts classes and a uniform from ATA Family Martial Arts; 6 passes to the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery; and a one-hour massage.

You can also enter to win some amazing raffle prizes, including: supplies for a new puppy from Pet Club; a one-person Hot Air Balloon Ride with Soaring Adventure of America Inc.; a $25 gift card to Simply Thai; a $20 gift card to Navi’s Nails; a 1 hour massage with Michelle; and $20 gift card to Tokyo Joe’s.

The event, which is open to the public, will be located at 2201 S Shields St. in Fort Collins, and will run from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. RSVP on Facebook prior to the event to be automatically entered to win one of the fantastic raffle prizes!


Food Truck Friday: Win a Free Entree at Big’s Meat Wagon or Umami Mobile Eatery!

July 24th, 2015  |  +The Group Real Estate  |  CommentNo Comments


Today we’re launching a new series, Food Truck Fridays, where we highlight FoCo food trucks and give users the chance to win a free voucher from participating vendors. First up this week are Big’s Meat Wagon and Umami Mobile Eatery! Like and share our post on Facebook for a chance to win a food voucher from one of these awesome food truck vendors!



“Serving up BBQ and other fresh fixings at special events & farmers’ markets around town.”

First up in our #FoodTruckFridays series is Big’s Meat Wagon! This truck serves a variety of barbequed meat products and offers Big’s Original BBQ Sauce – the godfather of all sauces. Whether you are a local here in Fort Collins, or live just miles away wanting some good BBQ Sauce, Big’s is the truck for you!

“I’ve been participating in BBQ competitions for years, and even started selling my own sauce back in 2011,” commented McQuain. “My truck originally developed from a need for good BBQ in town, and ended up being much cheaper than selling my BBQ individually.”

He has found that what makes customers seek out and return to Big’s is simply that it offers a great product that has an amazing taste.

Although 99% of the time Big’s operates solely at the hand of McQuain, he does “employ” a few of his friends from time-to-time to assist with the truck’s service. What’s their compensation? BBQ, of course! As McQuain jokes, it’s a deal they cannot resist.

One reason Big’s is truly irresistible is due to it’s locally sourced ingredients, which he gathers from places such as Miller Farm in Platteville, CO, Sam’s Club and at Shamrock Foodservice Warehouse. McQuain explains that, to him, it’s all about getting the best product and the best deal.

“As a food truck owner, I don’t put out a product I wouldn’t want to order myself at a restaurant. I know exactly what’s going out the window at all times,” said McQuain. “It’s a super hands-on business, whereas restaurants tend to be more corporate-owned.”

Interested in trying Big’s Meat Wagon? McQuain will be traveling around Fort Collins today, so give him a call at  (970) 980 – 3988 with your delivery or catering requests!

“If you were stranded on a deserted island, which one of your menu items would you want to have an endless amount of and why?”

“ The beef brisket. It speaks for itself” – Joe McQuain, owner, Big’s Meat Wagon.



“UMAMI… the fifth taste.  When you know it’s not sweet, salty, sour or bitter, and you can’t quite put your fork on that mouth-watering taste you’re sensing… that’s Umami!”

Also kicking off our #FoodTruckFridays series is Umami Mobile Eatery! Umami is an asian-style FoCo food truck whose dishes have been inspired by owner, Sara Gilman’s travels abroad and through a universal desire to eat and share good food everyday.

“I wanted to try something different. I worked in restaurants for ten years and love learning and trying new things. I also have dreams to open a brick and mortar restaurant and this is a good first step in obtaining my goal,” proclaimed Gilman.

Her truck, which utilizes a variety of recycled and compostable products, obtains its ingredients largely from local sources when applicable, and food distributors otherwise. Umami Mobile Eatery’s usage of fresh, local ingredients prepared from scratch, in combination with excellent customer service, truly keeps customers wanting more of Gilman’s menu items.

“Food trucking is not for the faint of heart,” explained Gilman. “It’s the hardest thing I have ever done, but I love every minute of it. The best advice [I have] is to keep it simple and organized. My business is always evolving and the journey has been rewarding, even with the many ups-and-downs of this summer.”

Busiest on Friday’s and during the evening hours, Umami is perfect for someone looking for fun, healthy, and fair-priced meals. Taking the lead in local catering, food trucks such as Gilman’s continuously provide Fort Collins with something to do while keeping up with the ever-changing community.

Coming this fall, Umami has planned some exciting sustainability programs, and hopes to see you around town, campus or out at the breweries! Currently the company’s most popular locations are New Belgium and Odell Brewing Companies.

“There has been some talk of a future “Mini Umami”- We will see what comes of that in our crazy schedule. Until then, I want to keep Umami local in Fort Collins, for she is a FoCo staple,” stated Gilman.

“If you were stranded on a deserted island, which one of your menu items would you want to have an endless amount of and why?”

“Seared Dumplings hands down! I have to have our dumplings once a day because they are that good.” – Sara Gilman, owner, Umami Mobile Eatery.


11 Easy DIY Shelves to Maximize a Small Space

July 21st, 2015  |  +The Group Real Estate  |  CommentNo Comments


Admit it, few things are as rewarding as finishing a project from start to finish. So grab your tools and supplies and do-it-yourself! In addition to being able to customize each individual project to your needs and style, DIY projects also provide a finance-cautious method of renovation.

Whether you just purchased a new home or are looking for new ways to spruce up an old space, we’ve gathered a collection of simple, inspirational, home DIY projects with the potential to improve any space.




Rustic Wood Pallet Shelves

They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and that is definitely the case when it comes to upscaling those lonely, abandoned wood pallets! Why? Because they are the perfect low cost, DIY building material. Although you’re looking at 2-3 hours of work including measuring, cutting, sanding, assembling, and varnishing to create your own rustic wood pallet shelf, the material allows one to truly customize their shelf design to best fit their individual space. Full instructions here.

Pro Tip: Wondering where to find wood pallets? Ask your local grocery store! If they’re not using them, they may be happy to have you take it off their hands.



Modern Pegboard Shelving System

We understand that sometimes your storage needs adjust with your ever-changing lifestyle. As your acquire more household items, or as you simply upgrade your home, you are bound to have either more or less items needing to be stored/shelved. For this reason, the modern pegboard shelving system is a perfect solution! It’s built with flexibility in mind and allows you to rearrange the existing structure in multiple ways whenever one sees fit. Full instructions here.

Bonus: It’s very easy to make and requires little precision and patience, making it a perfect solution for beginner DIYers or those without a lot of extra time to spare!



Paint Bucket Shelves

A highly-economical DIY shelving project, the utilization of old paint buckets turned storage units can turn any space into a fun, more modern-looking one. We particular love this project for a kid’s room or play area as these gallon-sized buckets are spacious enough to fit books, toys and other small miscellaneous items. Full instructions here.

Design Trick: Remove the original label and add a fresh coat of paint to match or add visual contrast to the room in which it is hung.



Tree Branch Bookshelf

Another modern trend in shelving involves tree branch bookshelves. Whether you are a tree-loving environmentalist or not, this design is extremely functional for the avid book reader. Holding books directly against a wall, this project provides maximum space while supplying a one-spot solution to book space needs. Plus, you get to showcase your amazing collection of great reads! Full instructions here.

Alternative Design: Making it out of cardboard is a neat way to up-cycle, easy to work with because there are no fancy tools, and it is free! Cardboard also makes it really light so you don’t have to worry about heavy duty hardware in the wall to support it.



Rope Shelves

One key to maximizing space is to remove extra clutter from being stored on the floor level, and the new rope shelving trend does just that! This idea is perfect for renters who do not wish to put holes in the wall, or for homeowners who like to switch up their decor frequently. By hanging such a shelf from the ceiling, you can avoid drilling into the walls altogether! Full instructions here.

Pro Tip: Remember you can always cut the rope down if needed, but you can’t add on any extra slack, so better to make it too long than too short!



Industrial Pipe Shelving Unit

This shelving style requires vast measurement and pre-planning, for “building” the correct size tends to be tricky. Aside from its necessary precision, this style perpetuates the industrial trend for a fraction of the cost. All materials required to complete this project can be bought in a single trip to just about any hardware store. Full instructions here.

Why DIY? A 10-foot length of pipe costs between $4 and $20 (for electrical conduit up to copper, black, and steel pipe) and each flange/fitting will set you back around $2. Compare that to around $2 for 10 feet of PVC pipe and 50 cents for each joint (or less if you buy in bulk), and the savings add up substantially!



Rotating bookshelf

You have not experienced maximum storage efficiency until you’ve tried your hands at the rotating bookshelf. This shelf style may not be the easiest to build, but it sure is perfect for the smallest of spaces. With a footprint smaller than 2′ square, the bookcase doesn’t take up a lot of floor space but offers a tremendous amount of storage, thanks to its round layout and ability to spin 360°. Full instructions here.

Pro Tip: In a small room, the most overlooked (and underused) storage area is the corner. Try putting your rotating bookshelf here to optimize available space.



Mason Jar Shelf

Small items, such as bathroom toiletries are easily among the hardest to find ways to efficiently store. Yet mason jars, a hot trend in design and home decor, provide the perfect size for even your tiniest items while allowing for personalization. This extra storage will help keep clutter off your floors and countertops, and your guests will be sure to admire your farmhouse chic-design style. When utilizing mason jars, the storage and design possibilities really are endless! Full instructions here.

Design Trick: Try storing a live plant in one jar to give your room a fresh and natural feel.



Magazine Shelf

Do you constantly find yourself losing either your phone, wallet or keys (or all of the above)!? Having a single location to empty the contents of your pockets after a long day of work can be one of the easiest steps to achieve a more organized daily routine. Luckily, as it turns out, recycled magazine holders make the perfect catch-all shelves, and are both simple and cost-efficient! The slender build of a magazine holder will unquestionably help maximize storage in even the tiniest of spaces! Full instructions here.

Pro Tip: Consider hanging multiple vertical shelves side-by-side, and color coat them for homework, weekday necessities, etc.



Honeycomb Shelves

Tired of traditional-looking shelves? Honeycomb shelves are a great, custom alternative and can provide much-needed excess storage space. A five-step process to build, these shelves can be painted and utilized in a variety of ways adding character to its intended space. Although this DIY project requires quite a bit of preplanning, it’s sure to produce results you’ll be proud to show off for years to come. Full instructions here.

Pro Tip: Use Elmer’s Probond Wood Filler to fill any gaps in joints with synthetic wood. It’s easy to paint and stain over, too!



Recycled Drawer Shelves

Have an old, unused dresser? Then you potentially have a brand new set of shelves! By adhering a drawer’s base to a wall, you’re able to decorate and personalize the shelf’s backing to make your room increasingly unique. Aside from being highly customizable, this DIY project is also extremely low budget, allowing completion to cost a minimum of around $20, uses limited materials and only requires approximately 1-2 hours worth of labor. Full instructions here.

Pro Tip: Rather than using screws to secure drawer backs to the wall, use anchors to hang these shelves for better support.

Have you created DIY shelves for your space? If so, we’d love for you to share photos in the comments below!


The Farm’s 30th Anniversary Event: Pony Rides, Barn Dances and a Stick Horse Rodeo

July 20th, 2015  |  +The Group Real Estate  |  CommentNo Comments


For the past three decades The Farm at Lee Martinez Park has provided hands-on family fun to the community of Fort Collins. Now, the park looks to share some more good ol’ fashion family fun and farmin’ with residents as it hosts its 30th Anniversary at The Farm celebration from Tuesday, July 21 to Saturday, July 25!

There will be plenty of family-friendly activities including pony rides, which are available from Tuesday to Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., as well as a Milk and Cookies Storytelling session on Friday commencing at 10:30 a.m.

Milk and Cookies Storytelling gives you the chance to sit down with friends and family to hear new and old stories about farm life. Here, you can learn about how things were done way back when, and how farm life is today – all while enjoying a delicious cookie and ice cold milk provided by Morning Fresh Dairy and Kiwanis Club.

On Saturday, a stick horse rodeo for ages 3-6 will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., and will cost $6 per child. Rope tricks with Cowboy Vic Anderson, a free performance filled with rope tricks, songs and yodels, will then begin at 10:30 a.m. and will run until 12:30 p.m.

Concluding the event will be an old-fashioned barnyard dance that will sure to be a hit for the entire family! So grab your dancing shoes and show off your moves from from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.!

“Barnyard dance is a great farm-oriented community activity and just seems like something the whole family can do and have a great time doing together,” said Fort Collins Recreational Supervisor, Bridget Brownell.

Since 1985, the farm at Lee Martinez Park has served as an educational and interactive experience for residents and visitors alike. Typically featured at the farm are farm animals, pony rides, hayrides, interactive family fun, birthday party rentals and other special events.

Through its years of operation, the farm has truly offered individuals opportunities to learn more about the farming industry while gaining hands-on experience. To register for any of the events listed above, sign-in to RecTrac or call 970.221.6665.

Here is a breakdown of the schedule for the 30th anniversary celebration. You can also download it hereSee you at the farm!


Photos courtesy of TripAdvisor.


You Can Talk the Talk, But Can You Walk the Foodie-Walk? Determine if you fit the profile for Fort Collins’ Food Walk

July 17th, 2015  |  +The Group Real Estate  |  CommentNo Comments


Beer and bikes may be the city’s claim to fame, but don’t let that fool you. Fort Collins also has a reputation for good eats. So, if you’re a food connoisseur, grab your friends and join your city, local restaurants and eateries in Downtown Fort Collins tonight for their monthly “Foodie Walk”.

This event, a self-guided culinary adventure through the beautiful, historic pedestrian-area of the city, features new food presentations, tasting opportunities and themes each month and was created precisely for the average “foodie”. With over twenty breweries scattered throughout the city, it’s also a great excuse to grab a beer – because it’s Friday in Fort Collins!

So, who exactly is a foodie?

They are people who love the consumption, study, preparation and recreation of all types of food. Foodies want to acquire more information regarding science, industry, ingredients, history and characters surrounding menu items. You can often spot a foodie in Downtown Fort Collins because culinary shops here truly focus on having unique quality ingredients and locally-sourced, organic produce in their shops.

According to Mark Bittman, the New York Times leading food columnist, “It’s rewarding to find the best pork bun; it’s even more rewarding to fight for a good food system at the same time. That’s what we foodies do.”

Here are seven signs to determine whether or not YOU are a foodie.

  1. The worst thing that could ever happen to you is to not like what you ordered when you go out to eat.
  2. Your friends are embarrassed to go to restaurants with you because you bombard the waitress with questions about where they get their ingredients.
  3. You rarely follow a recipe when cooking on your own time and experiment with different ingredients depending on what you’re in the mood for.
  4.  Your vacation plans revolve around finding the best places to eat in the area.
  5.  You get really excited and mark it on your calendar when a new grocery store is opening in your neighborhood.
  6.  You wake up in the morning and your first thought is what you’re going to have for breakfast. Then right after breakfast, you immediately think ahead to the next time you can eat again.
  7.  To you, FOOD = FUN.

Did you establish that you are, in fact a foodie? If so, the Fort Collins Foodie Walk is sure to offer a way for you and your friends to explore and enjoy the world of Northern Colorado food and spices! The event will begin at 5:00 p.m. and run until 8:00 p.m.

Click here to get the full list of participating restaurants and stores!


Keep Your Summer Rolling At The Ft. Collins Food Truck Festival

July 15th, 2015  |  +The Group Real Estate  |  CommentNo Comments



As we hit the peak of summer, we’re going to be highlighting food trucks on our blog every Friday starting July 24th! We’ll showcase new food trucks every week and give away sweet food-truck-loving deals. It’s #FoodTruckFriday and you should definitely keep an eye out for it.

To kick off the series, we want to highlight the upcoming Fort Collins Food Truck Festival, organized by The Coloradoan on Thursday, July 23. It’s a place where you can enjoy awesome food while listening to live music and supporting United Way of Larimer County, a non-profit organization which seeks to advance the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for all in Larimer County.

Can you imagine a better Thursday evening? We didn’t think so!

The event was designed to bring the community together for an evening of food and fun, and will host fifteen local food trucks. Some of our favorites will be participating in the festival: Austin’s Tacos, Bears Backyard Grill, Bigs BBQ Sauce, Common Link, Divine Ice Cream, Feeney Weenies, Human Bean, Kona Ice, La Piadina, Ripe Tomatoes Pizza, Silver Seed, Sustainable Spoon, Taco Stop, Umami Mobile and Wing Shack.

So bring your appetite, some good company and come support your local community while raising money for a great cause!




In addition to tasty food-truck grub there will be face painting, cotton candy, massages, and corn hole. Our very own Shaley Scott will also be performing! Scott is a Fort Collins native, born Melanie Pedersen, and a self-taught musician and trained dancer. She attended Rocky Mountain High School, Colorado Academy of Arts and Colorado State University. Her music has been featured on the soundtracks of such independent feature films as Art House, Scarecrow 2, Dracula’s Curse, Piranha Sharks and the upcoming animated musical Yellow Brick Road. We love supporting local artists from Fort Collins!

The festival will be held on Thursday, July 23 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at 1300 Riverside Avenue in Fort Collins. While admission to the event is free, festival attendees are suggested to donate a minimum of $10 for the services of the event and parking. All acquired funds will be donated to the United Way of Larimer County.

“The funds from the Food Truck Festival will go to United Way’s Community Impact Fund, which helps local children and families succeed in school, work, and life by funding local programs and collaborative initiatives within United Way and with our dozens of Community Impact Partners.,” explained Vice President of Marketing and Communication of United Way of Larimer County, Kate Hagdorn.

See you there!
Fort Collins Food Truck Festival
July 23rd, 2015 | 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
1300 Riverside Avenue