Blog

How to Incorporate Your Personality in a Pre-Owned Home

Have you just moved into a house that doesn’t quite feel like yours? With any big move, it takes a while to settle in and really feel at home. The best way to speed up this process is to incorporate your personality into the home design.

There are endless ways to decorate and accessorise a pre-owned home. You can’t go wrong once you stay true to your personal style. Here are a few simple design ideas for your inspiration:

Continue reading

20 Things I Cannot Go (Most) Days Without

1. My London Fog in the AM

2. My Vega pre workout drink

3. My backyard

4. My daily planner (yes, even in this digital world I still have one)

5. My watch (even though I forget to wind it half the time)

6. A pair of flip flops in my car

7. My personal trainer and dear friend Philip (I get to see him 3 days a week!)

8. Godiva Nut Clusters

9. My ride

10.Trips to the lake

11.My workout gear in my car (for spur of the moment workouts)

12.Hair ties

13.My Tom Ford Pink Tease Lipstick

14.My real estate team

15.My children and my husband

16.Mucho Burrito

17.Our Phoenix home

18.Church with my family on Sundays

19.My hair brush

20.My water bottle

Calgary in June

Although the official date for summer isn’t for another few weeks, the weather Gods have been blessing us lately which means the visible population of Calgary has magnified. People are out and about everywhere, (even with the 17th Avenue construction) and it made me curious, where is everyone going and what is everyone doing? In the off chance that along your travels you don’t actually have a destination, or your weekends are in need of something different, I got you covered. In the event you do have plans, but you need more, I still got you covered. Continue reading

Chrissy Teigen: Hungry for More

Oh, those summer nights! You know, the ones where your sun kissed skin is glowing from the day’s rays, so you remain the perfect temperature even when it starts to cool. Oh, those summer nights, you know, the ones where the sun never seems to sleep, and the wind is warm blanket. Oh, those summer nights, you know, the ones where you plan a potluck dinner with your friends and the smell of Bar-B-Q over takes you with nostalgia. Who doesn’t love a summer night?! I’m sharing my 3 favourite recipes from Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings – Hungry for More, so you can enjoy those nights even more.

 

Hungry for more

Home Inspections

You found the home of your dreams and you’re eager to move in. But wait, before you start packing up your old home, it’s important that you get the details of your new home. All. Of. Them! Given that home inspections are imperative, no matter what type of home you buy, understanding them are vital.

As a realtor, I would always just suggest inspections for houses and townhomes. Now, I suggest for condos as well. Inspectors can tell you if behind the shower has elevated levels of moisture, and any shower could have this. In a home inspection you’ll have your roof looked at, your foundation checked, they’ll make sure the HVAC system and electrical system are working correctly, and the list goes on. Here are the ones I recommend you get checked out before saying ‘yes to the house!’

With our new Cannabis laws what should you as a buyer know, and what should you disclose as a seller?! According to RECA (Real Estate Council Alberta) quote:

Up to four, legally grown marijuana plants are unlikely to cause the damage or mould necessary to create a material latent defect or require remediation. Real estate professionals do not have to disclose that four plants were legally grown in a property, unless they created damage enough to require remediation, which is unlikely. It’s the scale of grow operations that causes the damage, not the type of plant.”

I’m sure many of you are familiar with the Asbestos. And unfortunately, many older homes have it. Which is why I highly recommend you go get it checked out!

Sewer lines scope. Exactly how it sounds, and I suggested that any home older than 1975 has it done. It only costs $300-400 and saved one of my clients $15,000 last year!

Educate yourself on radon. As well as radon detectors and radon testing. It’s a fairly new for agents. Be sure to ask some questions. According to Service Canada, quote:

radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally when the uranium in soil and rock breaks down. It is invisible, odourless and tasteless. When radon is released from the ground into the outdoor air, it is diluted and is not a concern. However, in enclosed spaces, like homes, it can sometimes accumulate to high levels, which can be a risk to the health of you and your family”.

Some buyers say home inspections are a waste of money. And I say, unless you are an expert in all these fields, it could be the best $500-1200 (depending on size of home) you could ever spend. If your inspection comes back and there are things that need attention, ask your inspector which issue is time-sensitive.

Places in Calgary to Run

You won’t find me on a mat in a hot studio; I’m not a yogi. You won’t find me on a stationary bike in a colourful room; I’m not a cyclist. You’ll find me on various terrains, along the river, through the forest, on cracked pavement clocking distance from point to point; I am a runner. And if you’re a runner like me, here are my top favourite places in Calgary to run.

Edworthy Park – Through the trails, along the Bow River.

Eau Claire – Along the Bow River, there is a common loop that people do around to 14th street, along Memorial and through Prince’s Island Park.

Inner-City South West – Along with Elbow River (close to Mission and Stanley Park).

And as you may know, everyone and their dog likes to run the stairs at McHugh Bluff’s (I’m thinking it’s for the skyline views). Now, I love running stairs, but I don’t particularly like having to battle the crowd, so I go to the stairs behind the Glencoe Club, along Earl Grey Crescent.

Running for me is therapy. When I run it clears my mind and fills my soul. It releases then tension in my body and gives me a fresh perspective on things. The things that felt problematic at the beginning of my run end with clarity and resolution. Running makes me happy and healthy!

Simple Organizing Tips

By now I’m sure you’ve heard of Marie Kondo and if you’re looking for an extensive cleaning and organizing guide, this isn’t the article for you. BUT, if you’re so busy that sometimes you can’t see straight, look no further, I have curated a list of 7 simple solutions to live life with a little less mess.

#1. This is so simple and has saved me countless times – Get a bowl or hooks and place them by your front door. There is nothing that will frustrate you more than storming through your home looking for your keys. Save yourself from transforming into a human tornado and fix this quick!

#2. Throw things away! Movie tickets, bus passes, or useless receipts. Get rid of them. UNLESS they’re sentimental, like you took a trip to Italy and your SO proposed on the train, keep that ticket, definitely keep that ticket! It leads to my next point…

#3. If you have physical sentiments, have a place for them. A junk drawer will not do, and the bottom of your purse doesn’t count either. In fact, if you keep something and it stays tucked away for years, it’s just collecting space and perhaps isn’t as important as you once thought. For those things with significance, buy a scrapbook, or a photo album and document them. Display them and let them have purpose and everything else, BYE!

#4. Breakfast is finished and you’re about to head out the door, oh but wait… now your kitchen sink is full of dishes. Seriously, save yourself from feeling overwhelmed 9 hours from now and either, make time to clear those out, or prep a breakfast before you go to bed.

#5. “Please, please, please,”… as your mother would say “before you leave this house, make your bed.” And according to an NBC article your mom may have been onto something. By making your bed every morning you’re paying attention to small details, and “if you want to make a difference in the world,” it starts here.

#6. Once the dryer beeps, or the clothes on your rack are dry, fold and put them away. Do your best at making this a routine. If you’re someone whose clothes pile up throughout the week and then end up spending an entire Sunday afternoon putting them away, you’re doing it wrong and then you’re living in chaos all week long. And that kind of anxiety can be ignored but will always return.

#7. Last and certainly not least, write yourself a to do list and get yourself a journal, or put things in your phone, with reminders! Life is hectic and the days get away on us quicker than we’d like to admit. And the last thing you want is to miss an important meeting or skip a scheduled appointment and have fork out a few dollars due to your own negligence.

By having just a few things in your life sorted out, I guaranteed it’ll make your work week easier to handle. Organizing doesn’t always have to be extensive, you certainly do not need to pile everything you own into the middle of your home and then cry while you decide if you love it or not. You may just need to adopt some in-the-moment helpful organizing habits.

My Favourite Ab Workouts

Our core, much like the foundation in a building, is what will decide the strength of the rest of our body. If you build a house on a poor foundation, chances are it will not last long – this is why strength training your core is vital. A strong core means that not only do you take the strain of your shoulders and knees, but your movements are more powerful and controlled and you’re less likely to end up with injury. I have curated a list of my 3 favourite core strengthen exercises.

THE PLANK

  • Engage your core
  • Place your hands directly under your shoulders
  • Shoulders away from your ears
  • Engage muscles from your legs
  • Keep your arms straight or rest on your forearms
  • Draw shoulder blades in and down the spine

Hold this pose for 45 seconds, and then rest for 15 seconds, and repeat x 5.

BICYCLE CRUNCHES

  • Lie on your back
  • Hands come together to hover behind your head
  • Knees up
  • Left elbow meets with right knee
  • Right elbow meets with left knee
  • Make sure you extend the leg not in use, to mimic the motion of a bicycle

Repeat this motion, when both elbows have touch opposite knees, that counts as 1 rep. Complete between 10-15 reps x 3 sets.

RUSSIAN TWIST

  • Grab a weighted ball
  • Sit with your legs out and crossed
  • Twist the ball from the right to the left

Repeat this motion, when the ball has gone to the right and to the left, that counts as 1 rep. Complete between 10-15 reps x 3 sets.

These are just few of the many ab workouts you can implement to your everyday fitness plan. The internet is full of information on core strengthening and training. And if your foundation is not in check, how can the rest of you be? Set yourself up for success!

How to Child Proof Your New Home

If you’re moving into a new home, you probably already have plenty of things to tick off your to-do list. However, if you have young children or plan on having kids soon, do your future self a favour and make childproofing one of your top priorities. Try the following tips to start childproofing the main rooms in your new home:

Living room

If you have bookshelves, make sure they’re secured to the wall. Put edge bumpers on any sharp furniture to prevent any unnecessary scrapes and bruises. If you want to hang pictures, hang them high and consider avoiding glass – if a curious child manages to reach for one, you don’t want to risk them being showered in broken glass. If you plan on using space heaters in winter, make sure they are kept out of reach of children and are always turned off when not in use. Use cordless window coverings to avoid strangulation risks and install safety guards on windows so your curious children can’t open them and climb out. Cover outlets with protective covers, both in the living room and elsewhere in the house.

Kitchen

As a commonly dangerous area for children, the kitchen in your new home might require some extra attention. To start, install a plastic stove guard so kids can’t get their hands on the knobs and buttons of the stove, store any harmful products up high, and install a safety latch on the fridge and cabinets. Most importantly, always keep your wits about you while cooking. Unfortunately, childproofing a kitchen isn’t enough to keep accidents from happening. If your children enjoy watching you cook, why not set them up a secure area from where they can watch but not get their hands on anything dangerous?

Backyard

Also remember to secure any outdoor areas that your child explores around your home. Many kids love playing in water, whether a backyard pool or nearby streams or ponds – but make sure you constantly remind your children about safety in these settings. Children can drown very quickly even in shallow water, and should always be supervised. If you or another trusted adult are not free to keep watch on them, ensure you have a safety fence or gate to guard access to the water source.

When providing safety advice around pools, fireplaces, and even garden equipment such as lawnmowers, always speak kindly and calmly. Try to focus on the things that the children can do, and emphasize the importance of being aware of dangers, instead of focusing on particular worst-case scenarios or scary stories.

Photo Credits: Pexels

Bedroom

Although it might be less aesthetically pleasing, skip the classic toy chest altogether and use a plastic box in its place, or at the very least, avoid a chest with a heavy, free-falling lid. While you’re at it, you might like to reinspect all of your kids’ toys and ensure there aren’t any choking hazards present – broken toys can easily become hazards. If your kids are prone to night-time wandering, install a safety gate across their doors. Make sure that every person’s room has a good-quality smoke alarm installed and check the alarm batteries every couple of months.

Bathroom

Your new bathroom is one of the most important rooms to childproof. Install a lock on the toilet so that your kids don’t accidentally fall in – they can drown in shockingly small amounts of water. If your bathroom door has a lock, you might like to consider removing it or using a doorknob cover – you don’t want to risk one of the kids getting stuck inside. You might also like to try child-friendly taps, fitted with a safety lock, to reduce the risk of your children burning themselves with hot water. Furnish your floor with a slip-proof mat, which will be helpful for both the kids and the adults of the family. Finally, always keep your medicines in their original packaging – most of these will already be childproof by nature, so all you have to do is to keep them out of reach of tiny hands, ideally by installing safety latches on your cabinets.

Childproofing an entire home is well worth the hassle, time, and energy. Childproofing will give you peace of mind to know that your home will be much less of a danger zone if you ever lose sight of the kids for a few seconds. Ensure you don’t have to deal with avoidable accidents by taking childproofing seriously!

Johanna’s greatest passion is writing. She hopes to inspire and encourage others through her articles, and has written blog posts about home and living, business, and travel topics. Given a choice right now, she would love to swap the hustle of the city for a cosy stone cottage surrounded by trees and snow-capped peaks for a few years! You can easily find Jo and her work on Musings of Johanna.

10 Events in March for Calgarians to Watch Out for!

We made it through the first two months of the year, and we can agree that after the length of January and the uncomfortable cold in February, we’re hoping that March brings sunshine into our lives. If you’re feeling anything like me and the last two months kept you indoors, undercovers, cold, and in lack of entertainment, it ends here, I’ve put together 10 things for you to check out this March.

March 1-3: Real Estate S.O.S.

As a realtor, I know the market is slow. People want answer, they want to see things moving and it can wear on us as agents when we’re at a standstill. This is where we grow! This is where we learn! Check out Real Estate S.O.S. for some marketing tips and networking fun!

March 1-3: Home & Garden Show

Go check out the latest in home and design at the BMO Home + Garden Show
Thursday, February 28: 12pm – 9pm
Friday, March 1: 12pm – 9pm
Saturday, March 2: 10am – 9pm
Sunday, March 3: 10am – 6pm

Plus, HGTV Canada’s Todd Talbot & Carson Arthur LIVE on stage!

March 7: Snap YYC – International Woman’s Day

“Bettering the balance to a better society” is the motto for this event. And it rings true, because although we celebrate woman on this day, we should celebrate men too! Let’s reinforce the meaning of equality, cut down the boxes and barriers through a night of music, fashion, and entertainment, and all come together as one. Hope to see you there! Tickets found here.

Featuring, Serena Ryder & Michael Bernard Fitzgerald.

Mach 9: Self Love Renovation

This event is in search of some serious boss babes who would like to gather together, expand their vision, open up their network and enhance their talent.

March 12: Calgary Career Fair & Training Expo

What better way to network! What better way to learn! Whether you’re still trying to figure out where your passion lies or you are already full of eagerness and inspiration on your chosen field, this is an excellent way to obtain more knowledge and valuable information about the next steps you need to take from the professionals in the field. Tickets here.

March 16: Next Big Thing

Are you a busy parent with a hidden talent? Have you decided to stay home and raise your children and now they’re fleeing off to school. Do you hustle your 9-5 and come home with burning ideas. Are you a creative individual looking to expand your visions? If so, this is the event for you! The Next Big Thing is an entrepreneur-focused educational conference where you will learn a number of skills from, digital marketing to industry trends.

March 16: Babes Who Brunch

In the words of Babes Who Brunch, “There’s nothing more powerful than a woman determined to rise,” and at our monthly Babes Who Brunch event this saying could not ring more true. This is truly a wonderful social event for women in the community to get out and get to know each other. Plus this monthly guest speaker is, yours truly!

March 21: Fuck Up Nights YYC

Remember those times you failed and probably saw no hope for the fututre? Ahh! But remember the lessons that came from it? And how you can look back now and laugh and with confidence say that, it served a great lesson and purpose. Well guess what, you aren’t alone! This night is dedicated to celebrating those moments from some top leading entrepreneurs! Tickets here.

March 28: Never Skate Alone – Mental Health

We go to the doctor if our arm hurts, or if we feel a pain in our abdomen. We go to the doctor is we’re under the weather. So, why is there such a stigma for consulting a professional if your mental state is in crisis. Your brain matters too! Mental health affects us all. This event unites people to come together to provide space and help raise awareness and offer the message, “you are not alone”.

March 29: Unite YYC | Ladies Night

Here is another excellent networking event! Take the night away from your everyday hustle and join like-minded Calgarians to discuss events, ideas, exchange numbers and make plans. We are a stronger force when we work together! This event is a Ladies Night edition but Unite YYC has other types of these events coming up to keep your eyes open.

Hopefully this provides some new insight on what Calgary has to offer in the month of March. And hopefully we’re not too frozen to attend. Drop me a line and let me know which events you are considering attending. Hope to see you out!