Happy 2015 Colorado!

Happy 2015!
May this year be filled with hope, dreams and success.

New Year's Eve Celebrations in Colorado Springs 2014

Well, Christmas 2014 has come and gone and in just a few days it will be 2015! Wow! Hard to believe. Just in case you have no New Years Eve plans and are looking for something fun to do, here's a few ideas.

You can check out more events for New Year's Eve around Colorado Springs by visiting the Gazette's list here.

The Pikes Peak AdAmAn Club has had a tradition since 1922 of climbing Pikes Peak and Igniting fireworks to usher in the New Year. 

Merry Christmas

A very Merry Christmas to you and all those you love. I am grateful for you. Enjoy your day and every day as 2014 comes to a close (can you believe it?) Blessings to you!

Some Different & New Holiday Traditions

Here are some UNIQUE and fun Holiday Ideas to do with your friends and family.

1.  Christmas Lights Awards Night.  Most of us drive around town and look at Christmas lights. This year, do things a little different. Before you go, make treats and awards. Yes, awards! Such as “Most creative house”, “Best Christmas Lights in Town”, “Most Beautiful Nativity Scene”, “Best Santa.” You get the idea. As a family, come up with the awards, write them on tags and put one tag on each plate of treats. As you drive around looking at lights, secretly/or not secretly deliver your awards. It is so much fun. To make the trip even better, make everyone hot chocolate and take it with you to drink as you go. Put the hot chocolate in the “hot cups” with the lids to avoid spills in the car.

2.  Family Picnic Under the Christmas Tree.  Grab your picnic basket and pack it full of all your family’s favorite foods and eat dinner under the tree. Lay out a blanket, dim the lights, and chat while you eat. Use paper plates and silverware and don’t forget the treats. You can even make these INDOOR S’MORES to eat, no fire needed.  To add to the experience, ask each other fun questions about Christmas’s past. Share a favorite Christmas memory, etc…

3.  Holidays Around the World.  Read about holiday traditions around the world. Teach your children where their ancestors came from and learn about the traditions there. You could even make a traditional treat from the country. It is very easy to find recipes on line, as well as stories on traditions. You could even call family members and ask them to tell their traditional stories personally!

4.  Indoor Snow Making.  No matter if you live in cold climate, or warm, everyone loves playing with snow. Time to bring the snow inside for a little family fun. And all you need is a large box of Corn Starch and a can of Shaving Foam. Get a large bowl or container, and mix the two ingredients together until they are thoroughly combined and then play! Make mini snow men, mini igloos, mini anything. Parents and kids will all love this one.

5.  Freeze Dance: Christmas Version.  Turn on some holiday music and play Freeze Dance! You kids will love it. You control the music. When you turn it on, your kids dance around the room however they want. When you stop the music they have to freeze and stay in the position. Have everyone look around and laugh as they look at the silly faces and positions everyone has found themselves in. It doesn’t matter the age, all kids “feel” music and will move with it. Our kids could play this for hours. You can get active also. Instead of sitting while they play. Get up and dance with them.

What is your favorite thing to do with your families during the holiday season?

Original Blog Post from Heather Johnson at Family Volley

25 Homemade Candy Recipes

I just LOVE homemade sweets, don't you? The holidays have me enjoying baking and hunting for new recipes to try. I came across this GREAT blog post from Amy @ The Idea Room. Can't wait to try out some of these Christmas goodies. Leave a comment and let me know what delicious recipe you tried! I can't wait to try the dark chocolate salted caramels and the microwave caramels. Can you tell I like caramel?
And, Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Gift Ideas for Everyone on Your List

Looking for the perfect gift for family and friends? Try one of these gadgets and gifts for the home:

Matching Mornings – Give the couples on your list a set of matching or personalized mugs.

Tune Tech – Be the life of the party with a music docking station or wireless speakers.

Wine Accessories – Impress your sommelier friends with a gift for their wine cellar, like this red wine decanter and aerating funnel.

Endless Entertaining – Give the gift of entertaining with a cheese board and knife set.

Breakfast Basics – Make cooking up a batch of pancakes and bacon easier with a set of pancake rings and a cast-iron bacon press.

Coffee Caddy – Help keep your coffee connoisseurs organized with a Coffee Pod and Flatware Caddy or a K-Cup Carousel.

Vintage Charm – Give a piece of Americana with the iconic Fiesta Ware. Now back in vogue, this colorful dinnerware takes you back to Thanksgiving dinner at grandma's house.

Coffee To Go – Make rushing out the door with a java in hand easier with a single cup coffeemaker that brews coffee directly into a reusable go cup.

Personal Touch – Add that personal touch with a monogrammed wooden cutting board made from bamboo or maple.

Bathtub Bliss – Give the gift of relaxation with a bathtub reading caddy, like this one with a reading rack to hold your book.

Whatever gift you get ~ make it unique and special and have a WONDERFUL Holiday Season!

Original Blog Post from Matt Pickett

Brass Door Knobs Could Improve Your Health

Did you know that brass (an alloy made of copper and zinc) has antimicrobial properties and is believed to suffocate germs, not allowing them to spread? Some hospitals are even outfitting rooms (including hospital beds) in antimicrobial copper. So, if you are upgrading or renovating your home, consider changing out your door knobs to be all brass.

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing you and your loved ones a very happy and safe Thanksgiving. Enjoy!

Amazing Real Estate Fact: Warren Buffett

When I came across this interesting fact, I felt I had to share. I think this is pretty cool.

Warren Buffett

Quick Tips for Home Holiday Readyness

Preparing your home for the holidays can be fun and, at times, stressful. It’s the 
season of extravagant dinner parties, pie cook-offs and family potlucks. In a 
nutshell, it’s a time where many of your loved ones will be spending lots of time in 
your kitchen. So it’s no surprise that you are wanting your kitchen to look 
top-notch when the festivities begin filling up your calendar. Getting your kitchen 
up to par, does not mean your holiday season has to become the season of 
headaches. Here are some easy tips to ensure your kitchen is fine-tuned for 
hosting the perfect dinner party and bullet proof for major cleanups or accidents 
Give your appliances a good touch-up. 
Checking your microwave for spaghetti sauce splatters or remnants of Easy Mac 
is a simple clean that is often overlooked. To avoid a self-clean cycle going 
extremely wrong, use a wet rag to clean inside your oven. Test-run your 
dishwasher to make sure it can handle a large amount of dishes. Use white 
vinegar and a sponge to remove any residue left on the door and door gasket. 
Double-check your home’s safety mechanisms. 
If small children will be attending your events, you’ll want to make sure your 

kitchen is not only party ready, but childproof as well. Ensure all electrical plugs 
are covered, glass items and lamps are placed away from table edges, and 
stairways or other potentially accident-prone areas are blocked off. Make sure 
your fire extinguisher is stored nearby, your smoke detector and CO2 batteries 
are good, and your first-aid kit is fully stocked. 

Why A Red Front Door?

Have you ever wondered why some homes have a red front door? Do those owners just love the color red? What is the meaning behind it? I was curious and so I did some research and wanted to share with you my very interesting findings.

The red door tradition has many connotations and claims to invention. I find each reason interesting and appealing.

Red doors are more commonly associated with Feng Shui, which claims a home’s entrance is the “mouth of Chi”, where all good energy enters a space. Good fortune and welcome are the Feng Shui terms popularly linked with red front doors.

A red door provides protection. In Biblical times, the Hebrew slaves were instructed to smear blood of a lamb on their front doors to protect their first born from the angel of death. In old Catholicism churches painted the doors of the church red to represent the blood of Christ. Passing through the door would mean that you were on holy ground. Some believe a red door protects the occupants from evil.

In Scotland, homeowners paint their front door red when they pay off their mortgage!

During slavery red doors were used by the Underground Railroad to symbolize that a particular home was a safe haven.

In early America when people traveled long distances by horse and buggy, private homes with red doors alerted weary travelers that a meal and a bed were available for a small fee.

One odd red door rumor stems from the Fuller Brush salesmen days. It was believed that if you painted your door red, travelling salesmen would read it as a sign that “no sale” was possible and would pass you by.

Many Chinese paint a fresh coat of bright red on their front doors annually before the New Year to attract good luck and fortune.

Do you have a red door? What's your reason?

Images taken from here and here. Information gathered from several sites including this site.

Wallpaper: Old Fashioned or Trendy?

I recently read the below article online and wanted to share with you. Do you like wallpaper? 

In recent years, wallpaper played a minor role in home décor, relegated mostly to powder rooms and otherwise pushed aside by paint, which has been considered the cheaper, faster way to freshen a room.

Wallpaper also didn’t fit the more modern aesthetic that gained hold in the last dozen years or so, says Paula Berberian, creative director at Brewster Home Fashions, a fifth-generation family-owned wallpaper manufacturer in Randolph, Mass. And some buyers considered it far too personal a choice, as well as problematic to install and later remove.

But tastes change. Many younger buyers don’t remember their parents’ and grandparents’ homes covered in floral, striped, and velvet papers and are now gravitating to wallpaper as a chic update choice. “They consider it quite cool, along the lines of Mid-Century modern,” says Berberian.

It’s even catching on in parts of the country far from the trendsetting coasts.

“We just finished a Parade of Homes in Boise, Idaho, and Provo Utah, and most of the high-end houses incorporated some wallpaper—often big, bright, bold, large-scale geometrics,” says Robyn Shea, a salesperson at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate in Boise who retails several wallpaper brands under her other business, Design Source 101.

There are other reasons for wallpaper’s growing appeal:

Easier to hang and remove: Papers have been vastly improved, and are easier to hang and remove without damaging walls. Some are fabricated on a nonwoven substrate, so they make it easier to hide surface imperfections, too, says Berberian. Jackie Just’s Murals Your Way, based in Minneapolis, are made to peel and stick, making them easier to apply, remove, and reuse elsewhere.

More environmentally friendly: Many wallpapers today are made from eco-wise materials, such as water-based prints that breathe. Some with new vinyl coatings hold up better to bathroom steam and can be wiped free of dirt, grease, and fingerprints.

Patterns are hipper and fresher-looking: Buyers should focus on overscaled geometrics including kaleidoscopes, Asian-inspired themes, trompe l’oeil photorealism shots of materials such as weathered wood and brick, horizontal and chevron patterns rather than traditional vertical stripes, and faux leathers, says Jon Sherman, owner of manufacturer Flavor Paper in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Colors are brighter: Think aquas, oranges, purples, greens, yellows, hot pinks, metallic silvers and golds, and contrasting white and black combos, says Jill Wagner at New York-based manufacturer Osborne & Little. Midtone pastels have made inroads, and, of course, gray, the hot neutral, makes the cut.

Texture has become more pronounced: Metallics and crystals are being incorporated, as well as bits of suede, gels, beads, and cosmetic-style powders that change with light and as people move past them, says Sherman. Even ’50s grass cloth has returned, but with a contemporary edge and in more than earth tones.

More inventive installations: Wallpaper is going beyond just a room’s four walls; nowadays, it’s viewed as a possibility for one accent wall, the ceiling, or in between ceiling beams or coffers, says Berberian. And it can be used to expand space, make it more intimate, or camouflage a problem, says general contractor Beverley Kruskol of M.Y. Pacific Builders in Los Angeles. Santa Monica, Calif.-based designer Kimball Hills of Rumba Style hadn’t used wallpaper in years, but is doing so with white grass cloth to brighten a client’s burled wood wall.

Price points vary: Some companies like Berberian’s offer single rolls from $40 up, and Just provides a fully customized 8-by-0-foot feature wall mural for between $500 and $800.

But since not all buyers yet are fans of wallpaper, professionals recommend that home owners weigh choices carefully unless they plan to stay for years.

Here are more tips:

Dip a toe in slowly: If your clients are new to using wallpaper, they might want to start small, such as an accent wall in a bathroom, says Chicago designer Lisa Wolfe, who is a huge wallpaper fan. She also recommends it to break up large areas, or in a bedroom, entry hall, cozy den, breakfast room. Using it in a kitchen requires restraint since many equate to the dated kitchen paper of the past. Today’s buyers are still more inclined to tile backsplashes or paint. But if a home owners likes the idea, they should consider a perky, modern pattern.

Wallpaper borders are out, says Wagner of Osborne & Little.

A wallpaper whitewashing is a no-no: If an entire house is wallpapered, sellers might consider removing some before they list. And they should defin

itely clean or take down dirty, worn, or torn wallpaper, which is a huge turnoff.

This article is from Realtor Mag, the official magazine of NAR OCTOBER 2014 | BY BARBARA BALLINGER

Reminder Again About End of Daylight Saving Time

Just another quick reminder to turn your clocks back an hour as Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. tomorrow, November 2, 2014.

Happy Halloween 2014

Wishing you and yours a Happy & 
Safe Halloween

Daylight Saving Time Ends This Weekend

Just a friendly reminder to you that Daylight Saving Time Ends this weekend. That means for many of us in the U.S. that we "fall back" an hour Sunday morning at 2 a.m. For me, that means before I hit the hay on Saturday night, I turn all my clocks back one hour. Thankfully, in this day and age, many of my clocks are digital and smart and so I don't have to do a thing. Do you have a lot of clocks you have to turn back? Enjoy your "extra" hour of sleep!

Best Home Improvements

Ever wondered what your best bet home improvements might be? Sure, you can spend a lot on something purely for the personal pleasure of having it ... like that outdoor Jacuzzi under the attached gazebo ... or you can go the practical route and make an improvement that will increase your home's market value. But be forewarned! You can't expect to always recoup your costs on both counts. Just because you put $25,000 worth of improvements into your home, does not mean that your house is worth $25,000 more!

It may not sound very exciting, but it's the basic improvements you make to your home that may have the greatest return on its value: a beautiful new bathroom wont' make up for a leaky roof. Below are some examples of a few improvements that usually pay off - and some that rarely make a difference (no matter how much you paid for them) when it comes time to sell your home.

If you're planning to sell your home in a year or two, a fresh coat of a neutral-toned paint could make the sale easier. A professional exterior paint job may also recoup close to 75% of its cost. Let's face it - we all like things fresh looking.

With just a few basic improvements, your kitchen can practically pay you back with interest! New paint and flooring are always appreciated; plus you might even consider sanding, staining or painting worn-looking cabinets. Replacing old cabinet hardware is a low-cost improvement that makes a big difference in appearance. According to the Remodeling Magazine 2013 Cost vs. Value report, the average spent on a major kitchen remodel is around $54,000, while a minor one averaged $18,000. The full kitchen remodeling recouped 69% of its cost and the minor remodel was valued at 75%.

Generally speaking, increasing the functional space of your home holds its value longer than remodeling just to make a house look better. It's also much less expensive than adding an addition to your home. Remodeling Magazine reports that converting attic space into a bedroom, for example, usually costs around $48,000 and returns about 73% of that cost. Turning your basement into extra living space costs about $61,000, with a recoup average of 70%.

At an average cost of $37,500, a new bathroom addition can recoup about 55% of its total cost, according to the Remodeling Magazine.

Adding a deck is a very cost-efficient way to add square footage to your house. Remodeling Magazine estimates that wood decks cost around $9,300 and generally recoup 77% of their value. Compared to other outdoor improvements, that's an excellent return.


Your utility bill savings may make up for the iffy resale value. However, a good set of standard windows should get you around 73% back. If you start getting too fancy with custom shapes and sizes, though, don't expect to get as much in return.

Another nicety, but who's going to spend all that time and money? If the potential buyer is not horticulturally inclined, chances are your floral handiwork won't add to the offering price. The same can be said for expensive fences and stone walls - they look nice, but buyers don't pay up for them.

Colorado Springs Halloween Events 2014

Colorado Springs & Nearby Halloween and Autumn Events 2014

What's happening in El Paso County, Colorado this fall? Check it out! Of course, there's plenty happening around town this month, spooky and otherwise. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but maybe it will help bring your family and friends together to enjoy Halloween and celebrate autumn. 

Where & More Info
Sherlock Holmes & The Cripple Creek Ripper
10/3 – 11/1/14
10/9 – 11/2/14
Boo at the Zoo
10/17-19, 10/24-10/26 and 10/31
Colon Orchard Farm Corn Mazes
Thru 10/27
Halloween Costume Carnival
Coffin Race & Parade
Howl-o-ween Day of the Dead
A Giant Day
Chefs vs Surgeons Pumpkin Carving
Emma Crawford’s Wake
The Haunted Mines
9/19 – 11/1 (Thurs – Sat nights only)
Rocky Horror Picture Show
10/30 – 11/1
Cemetery Crawls
10/18 & 10/25
Space & Science Fiction Halloween Costume Ball 3
Haunting at the Hill Halloween Costume Ball
Halloween Séance & Ghost Hunt
The Spook Out Shoot Out Family Halloween
Haunted Brew Fest
Fall Pumpkin Festival
Sat & Sun in October
Wishing Star Farm Fall Festival
9/25 – 10/31 (Thurs – Sun only)
Chatfield’s 8-acre Corn Maze
9/19 – 11/1 (Fri – Sun only)
Trick or Treat Train
10/25 & 10/26

Chimney Safety

With autumn in full swing, I thought some information on chimney safety would be prudent. Do you have a wood burning fireplace? I do and I LOVE it! Yes, it's nice to turn on a switch and have a fire (gas) and it's not messy and quick and easy. But, man oh man, do I love the smell of a real fire! Hopefully this info is helpful to you.

Traditional wood burning fireplaces are still very popular and can be a wonderful feature on any property. However, they represent a unique safety issue for homeowners. Regular maintenance and upkeep are essential to keeping in home fireplaces / stoves fully functional, and therefore, fully safe for you and your family. According to FEMA, chimney and stove related accidents account for 36% of residential home fires.

To keep your property, and more importantly your family, safe while using your traditional fireplace, be sure to follow these simple safety and maintenance tips. 

This ideally will be done by a specialist, but at a minimum, you can check to see that there's no debris, animal nests or other obstructions in your chimney.

I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but in reality, many people use their hearth to store items, often too close to the fireplace. Also, remove fireplace waste on a regular basis. Make sure that the ashes are over 5 days old when you remove them and the best practice is to use a metal can for the waste.

Birds and squirrels can easily take up residence in your chimney and can cause major problems.

Soft and/or moist wood does not burn as well as dry hardwood. This can cause creosote buildup in your chimney. Creosote is the black, oily residue that builds up on the inside of your chimney when woods are burned at low temperatures. Creosote is highly combustible, and can easily cause a chimney fire. Even a little creosote on the inside of your chimney can cause a problem, because the buildup restricts airflow in the chimney, reducing the combustion heat of the fire, causing more creosote to be created.


A mesh gate will protect the interior of your home while still allowing adequate air flow to the fire. Do NOT shut the glass cover on a fireplace when there is a fire. An inadequate air supply will cause the fire to burn at a lower temperature, again creating dangerous creosote.

Be safe and smart, whether you have a gas or wood burning fireplace, enjoy it this autumn and winter. Here's a few local Colorado Springs chimney cleaning companies that I recommend.

Dr. SOOT Chimney Sweep
   Phone: 719-598-4466
   Web Site

Clean Sweep Chimney Sweeps
   Phone: 719-533-0542
   Web Site

Ray's Chimney Service Plus
   Phone: 719-475-1998
   Web Site

Moving Companies Colorado Springs

Are you in need of a local, Colorado Springs Moving Company? I know some of you are planning on moving soon and you might need a mover to help with the heavy lifting. I've done some research and wanted to give you this helpful list.

If you have questions about moving to or from the area or need help with a market analysis to find out how much your home is worth, send me an email or call me.


** I have had personal experience with No Hassle Moving and worked with both Ray and Larry on several occasions. They are friendly, prompt, do a wonderful job moving (including heavy antique furniture) and they have great pricing! You can reach them at 719-328-9394 or visit their site. **

** Maybe you are moving from a surrounding state or moving to a surrounding state? If so, I've also had a great experience with Mountain Men Delivery out of Denver, CO. They service Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Arizona & Texas. You can reach them at 303-287-8034 or visit their site. **

Here's a few other Colorado Springs Moving Companies to check out:

Two Men & A Truck
   Phone: 719-896-2719

Triple O Movers
   Phone: 719-597-6683

Bennett's Moving
   Phone: 719-268-1188

Manitou Express / Mountain View Moving (a Buehler Company)
   Phone: 719-392-4296

Weber / Wright Moving Company
    Phone: 719-577-4922

Preventing Auto Theft

4 Steps for Preventing Car Theft

Is your car model popular among car thieves?

Cars give us freedom. They enable us to do what matters most, and to pursue our dreams – everything from visiting relatives, traveling to fun destinations or driving to life-changing events like weddings or job interviews.

But that can change when your car is stolen.

And some of us are at greater risk of car theft, according to an August 2014 report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).

For 2013, the most stolen vehicles in the nation were (totals in parentheses):

1. Honda Accord (53,995)
2. Honda Civic (45,001)
3. Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size) (27,809)
4. Ford Pickup (Full Size) (26,494)

5. Toyota Camry (14,420)
6. Dodge Pickup (Full Size) (11,347)
7. Dodge Caravan (10,911)
8. Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee (9,272)
9. Toyota Corolla (9,010)
10. Nissan Altima (8,892)

The good news is that you can take steps to prevent your car from being stolen, whether it’s on the NICB’s “top 10” list above or not.

Keep it locked: Always lock your car, close the windows and sunroof and take your keys with you.

Don’t leave it running: Never leave your car running while unattended, even for a minute.

Use security devices: Electronic immobilizing devices send signals to the fuel systems or ignition so the car can’t start. When using these devices, thieves are unable to hotwire cars. Steering wheel locks can deter theft, and tracking devices aid in stolen car recovery.

Use common sense: Park your locked car in well-lit areas, attended parking lots or in your locked garage at home. Don’t leave your registration card or spare keys in the glove compartment.

Here's some tips to preventing auto theft.

Content from Advisor article, October, 2014.

Price Reduced: Cheyenne Canyon Home for Sale near Broadmoor in Colorado Springs

$283,499, 3Bd/2Ba Single Family House, 2158 sqft.

Kathy Stenberg | Springs LifeStyles Real Estate | 719-963-4867
1315 Cheyenne Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80906
Cheyenne Mountain Colorado Home
3Bd/2Ba Single Family House
Year Built 1954
Sq Footage 2158 sqft.
Bedrooms 3 Beds
Bathrooms 2 Baths
Laundry In Unit
Lot Size 8276 Square Feet
Website www.springslifest...


School Dist 12! House is completely functional with a lot of important upgrades. All original wood floors restored on main level. Newer wood flooring in kitchen. Tile baths. Vinyl windows. Large open living spaces and master bedroom. Nicely sized bedrooms and two large rooms in basement. Recent remodeling in basement: carpet, drywall, paint. Composite deck with great views. Large workshop/shed with electrical. 5 min walk to Broadmoor. Add'l back parking and access via alley. Nat'l park mountain trailheads 2 blks away.
Colorado Springs
see additional photos below
Unit Features

- Living room- Family room- Storage space
- Range / Oven- Refrigerator- Dishwasher
- Garbage disposal- Fenced yard- Heat: forced air
- Hardwood floor
Community Features

- Off-street parking


Bright Kitchen

Large Hardwood Living Room

Bright Bedroom

Main Level Bedroom

Large deck

Great family in room in basement

Basement is spacious and has several rooms

Basement room - great for office or craft room

Basement Family Room area

Basement laundry

Contact info:
Kathy Stenberg
Springs LifeStyles Real Estate
For sale by Agent/Broker

Posted: Jun 12, 2014, 7:55pm EDT