New Listing: Better than New in Loveland!

I have a new listing on Wisconsin Ave in Loveland. The home was only built in 2012. While there are still some new construction homes going up in the area, there are definitely some great advantages to this home that the owners have loved living in for the past four years:

  1. That tangible feeling of “Home” when you step through the front door. You can feel when the owners have enjoyed the home. Call it good energy or a sense of how a family lives in a home, but no matter the age, it makes a difference.Dining B
  2. Full landscaping and landscaping that’s had a chance to mature. When you first plant your garden, everything looks tiny. Give a few years and it all begins to fit (give it a few more years and it might start looking overgrown, but that depends on how much attention you pay your garden).Yard B
  3. Little perks the homeowner has already added. The home was built with the covered patio out back, but the owners added a nice sun shield that stays with the home. Patio D

Check out full listing details here.


Have Extra Zucchini? It’s…

Zuchinni Day Pg 2Zuchinni Day Pg 1

Casitas are Cool: Coachman Lane

I have a new listing in Clydesdale Park up in North Fort Collins. It’s truly a quality home, but the best part of the home is…the attached casita with ¾ bath & wet bar.
**A casita is a small guest home.

Now here’s why casitas are cool:

It gives you an excuse to create a cozy courtyard with separate entrances for everyone and a communal hangout space…Patio

Your guests get to sip coffee (and other beverages) at their private wet bar…
Casita Bath

Bonus: You can have this kitchen in the home to yourself…
Kitchen B

It’s great if you’ve ever had aspirations to run a hotel room for guests or have a college age kid complaining about needing their own space (15 min to CSU)….

And, best of all, it’s still steps to your home for those epic family movie nights….

Check out the full listing details here…
Gate A

How would you use a casita?

Golden Eagle: Art Meets Architecture

“Not everybody understands vignette layout…it’s not for everyone, but the truth is everyone loves it once they’ve had it.” – Robert Smith, custom builder

Walking into our new listing at Golden Eagle Drive is like walking into a piece of artwork. Details abound around every corner and on every surface (look for the leather insets on the stair posts and glass sink in the powder room).

The house is different layout from today’s popular open concept plans. Need a break from the kids? Let them watch movies in the family roomLiving Room 1
…while you cozy into the living room with book.
Living Room 4
Need your own space? Pick between the loft office (also makes a great guest room/6th bedroom/classroom) with it’s own entrance…
Upstairs Office
Or the dream closet with washer and dryer…
Upstairs Master Bedroom Closet
Ready for some outdoor time? Listen to the rushing waterfall feature while watching the koi swim…
Back 3
Or if you’re feeling active, walk out the back door to the neighborhood tennis court (it’s almost like having a private tennis court)…
Deck A
And who wouldn’t love having a split 5-car garage?
8456 Golden Eagle Road
Best of all, the builder lives here and has created a beautiful high-quality family home!

Find full listing details and additional photos here.
Find details about a great local builder, Robert Smith Construction, here.

Why Life is Better on the Lake

10 Reasons Life is Better on the Lake…

As told by our newest listing: Valley Oak Drive, Loveland, CO

1. You can spend your days out here…Back

2. Or here looking over Boyd Lake…

3. You don’t need to go indoors to enjoy a good meal with this outdoor kitchen…Deck-5

4. But if you really must go inside, you can cook in this kitchen…

5. You won’t mind working from home in this office (with mountain and lake views)…

6. You can relax and enjoy a night in while still watching the lake…GreatRoom-2

7. Your friends will never want to leave when you have a walkout basement like this…WetBar

8. And you might have trouble leaving bed in the morning from this Master Suite (with attached bath, huge closet with washer & dryer, and deck overlooking the lake)…

9. Continue to enjoy the sound of water from this bubbling fountain out front…

10. Take your boat and water skis out because you have this private and permanent dock…

Life is Better on the Lake. Check out full listing details here.

An Irish Whiskey Tour

Last summer my wife and I took a trip to Northern Ireland to celebrate milestone birthdays and to explore our Irish family roots. On St. Patrick’s Day this year, we stayed home, recreated some of the traditional Irish dishes, and opened the Irish Whiskey we brought back in our luggage. The cuisine of Ireland is comfort food, drawing from the land and sea. Potatoes, salmon, sausage, cabbage, oats and cheese are the most popular ingredients.

Traditional Irish whiskey differs from Scottish and American whiskies because it is distilled three times instead of twice. The more a liquid is distilled, the lighter, smoother and more alcoholic it becomes.” Single pot still whiskey” is used to describe a particular style of whiskey made in Ireland at a single distillery in a pot still. It is made from a mixed mash of unmalted green barley and malted barley. We tried lots of different brands of whiskey on our trip (after all, we WERE celebrating). Slàinte (a toast meaning “health” and pronounced “slahn-cha”) #IrishWhiskey

1.Old Bushmills Distillery, based in Bushmills, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, is the world’s oldest licensed distillery. King James I granted the governor of Antrim a license to distill in 1608, giving the distillery bragging rights. We had a lovely lunch and tried their selection of blended whiskies. We also learned that this institution was purchased by Jose Cuervo in 2014.

2. Redbreast 12 is regarded by critics as one of the foremost examples of excellence in the single pot still Irish whiskey category. It tastes like Christmas with its fruitcake nose, full bodied spicy marzipan palate and custard finish. It has been named Irish Whiskey of the Year multiple times.

3. The Powers John’s Lane Release 12-year old single pot still Irish whiskey is one of the best balanced that we drank. Smooth and earthy with spice and honey.

4. No longer in operation, The Old Jameson Distillery in Dublin is now a tourist attraction. Jameson blended whiskey is our choice for Irish coffee, so we had to try the Dublin version. The bar also serves Jameson cocktails and single pot still Jameson whiskey.

5. Tulamore Dew. The Tullamore Dew Single Malt whiskies contain both malted and unmalted barley-based whiskeys, triple distilled and aged between 12 to 15 years in old bourbon or sherry casks. Some pot-still whiskey is included in the blend. This was my wife’s favorite because she loved the vanilla-caramel-toffee nose, palate and finish.

6. Teeling Whiskey was distilled for 300 years in Dublin until 1976 when economic times closed it down. With the recent craft of distilling making a comeback, Teeling is now producing incredible whiskey. Our favorite was the small batch blended single grain whiskey with a sweet nose and woody finish.

7. Green Spot. This single pot still whiskey does not carry an age statement . It matures for 7-10 years in a mix of bourbon and Sherry casks which creates the sweet, minty, malty experience.

8. Midleton Very Rare. Before leaving for Ireland we heard that Midleton Very Rare was THE best Irish whiskey, but also very expensive because it is released in limited quantities. It is triple distilled and aged 12-25 years. We found a pub in Dublin that sold a relatively well-priced glass of it and savored the taste from our single glass. We enjoyed the experience but wouldn’t call it our favorite.

9. The Tyrconnell. Tyrconnell was the name of a racehorse in the 19th century that won at 100-1 odds. We love single malt scotch, so it is only fitting that we would try the pot still single malt whiskies in Ireland. Flowers, citrus and vanilla… what’s not to like about this Irish whiskey!

10. We had a glass of the mass produced whiskey, not the reserved or 18-year-old Kilbeggan. The inconsistencies are the fact that is double not triple distilled and the finish is not long and sweet.



St. Paddy’s in Fort Collins

MARCH: St. Patrick’s Day, Spring, Daylight Saving Time, Spring Break, National Nutrition Month, Palm Sunday, Easter….lots going on this month.

So, I would like to start with our town’s Irish roots…there are none! Camp Collins, later Fort Collins, was named after Lt. Col. William Oliver Collins, the popular commander of Ohio Cavalry troops whose headquarters were at Fort Laramie. The genealogy of Collins is English and/or Irish (Ó Coileáin) and that is as close as we get to Irish heritage in Northern Colorado.

Last Friday, we met friends at Lucky Joe’s in Old Town for their tasty Irish coffee: Jameson Irish Whiskey, brown sugar, fresh hot coffee, and homemade sweet cream. The presentation is what really elevates their coffee to “the best Irish coffee in Fort Collins!” Each cup is topped off with a cinnamon design. My wife and I ended up with a shamrock and our friends had a panda bear. #bestirishcoffee

One of the McElroy St. Paddy’s traditions is making Irish coffee. Our recipe of choice is from the Buena Vista Café in San Francisco. Real cream is used, not whipped cream in the can.

Irish Coffee…the drink of music and magic…was conceived by Joe Sheridan at Shannon Airport. Stanton Delaplane discovered it there and brought it back to San Francisco. In 1952, Delaplane asked The Buena Vista to recreate the drink and today you can head to the end of the cable car line to get a cup of authentic Irish Coffee, just as it is served in Shannon. (Or, come to my home!)

1.    Fill glass mug with very hot water to pre-heat, then empty water.

2.    Pour hot coffee into hot glass until it is about ¾ full. Drop in 3 sugar cubes.

3.    Stir until the sugar is thoroughly dissolved.

4.    Add a full jigger of Irish Whiskey.

5.    Top with a collar of lightly whipped whipping cream by POURING GENTLY OVER A SPOON. (by pouring over the spoon, the coffee and whipping cream do not mix and you have a beautiful layering of your Irish Coffee).

What are your favorite Saint Patrick’s Day traditions?