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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!

5 Things to Consider Before Buying your First Home

You’re landlord didn’t get back to you on the leak coming from your washer. You’re tired of paying someone else’s mortgage with zero return. You want a dog, because who doesn’t, but you have no room or your rental doesn’t allow pets. Let’s get you a house! Apart from crunching your numbers and figuring out the financial side of things, I’ve curated a list of 5 major points to consider before buying your first home in 2019.

Let’s talk goals so we don’t waste our time. When investing in a home, it’s important to think about where you see yourself in at least 5 years. Are you single? Do you have future wedding plans? Maybe you’re thinking about having more children or adopting some furry friends.

We know there can be some gorgeous homes on the market that have you visualizing what life would look like in that kitchen, or all the summer BBQ’s you can be hosting, however the reality of that is sometimes those homes may be out of your budget.

Considering a fixer-upper scares people away, but in reality it’s not a bad option. Not only will you be saving on your house as a whole, but you can take the extra money and add in your own personal touches to your home. Plus, a bonus is that you get to connect with your home on a more emotional level than if you bought something someone else designed.

This one ties in closely with your 5 year plan. Think about your lifestyle – do you work downtown? How long do you want your work commute to be? Do you need lots of space? What amenities are important to you? Will your lifestyle change in the next couple years? These are important questions to consider, as there is a likelihood that your life will look a lot different in even just a year. Think about your lifestyle!

I cannot stress this point enough, as it is easy to confuse your wants versus your needs. Let’s narrow it down. Wants are, types of flooring, bay windows, skylights, a jacuzzi or a pool. Needs are, adequate square footage, sufficient number of bedrooms and bathrooms for your family, and easy access to your everyday routes. This does not mean that you should dismiss your goals to change out the flooring or add a pool, it just means that it may not be a priority when house shopping for the first time.

There is no rhyme or reason when it comes to shopping for real estate, it is a process that requires a ton of patience. Seldomly do things fall together right away. Keep yourself open to experience as a whole. On average it could take anywhere from 1 to 2 months, and in some cases, 3 years. Yes, finding that perfect home will be exciting, but unless it’s a brand-new home, chances are there will be hiccups with in it as well. And if it isn’t a deal breaker, sometimes bad news can help with negotiating price – stay optimistic!

Once you’ve been preapproved for a mortgage, found a trusted realtor, and considered all the lawyer fees, moving costs and home inspection – ask your realtor to sign you up on an automatic email program so you can receive listings, that fit your criteria, the minute they come in. If your current rental price includes utilities, it may not be a bad idea to map out what those will look like on their own as well, so you can get an idea. The process in finding a new home takes time, that’s why it is important to consider things closely, owning your own home comes with so many added benefits, let this process take its time so it’s all worth it in the end.

What’s in my Bag!

It goes without saying that looking through someone’s bag without their permission is a big privacy breach. You just never know what they can be keeping. Which got me thinking, what are people carrying in their bags? Because my bag travels with me everywhere I go and I take things with me that I basically cannot go without. And I’m here to share them with you.

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Tips for Moving in the Winter

It’s December in Calgary, and if you’re familiar at all with the weather patterns here, you’ll notice that there really aren’t any. It could snow in July, in fact, it has. Aside from Calgary’s unpredictable weather change, which pays its dues through warm Chinook winds in the middle of January, moving in the snowy months can be a challenge. And if it happens to dump snow around the time of your big move, here are 5 things you should keep in mind!
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How will Smart Homes make your life easier?

Written by: Ana Bera, our guest writer from Toronto, born world traveler, hungry for knowledge and ready to make a difference in the marketing world.

Think about it. We can name any part of modern day society, and we will probably find something that was invented to automate it. We love to make things faster, simpler and cheaper. But how will smart homes make life easier?

An Unusual Hand of Help

The average person living in the western world has become completely consumed with tons of small things. They are caught up in a busy work schedule. They try to juggle family life, bills, home admin, and making a home livable. But, in recent years, smart homes have risen to the occasion to lend a helping hand (or robotic arm rather).

It has many different applications and possibilities to save you time. As the old saying goes – time does, in fact, equal money, but it has many ways of physically saving you money as well.

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An Unconventional New Addition To Our Team

Yes, we have been an all-ladies team for many years. Then one day I met Sam.

His work ethic seemed spot on, his mind seemed sharp. I was looking to hire someone to keep my personal life together. To assist me with some of the things in my life that get left behind because having a career, raising daughters and being a wife takes centre stage. I realize he could not go to my doctor’s appointment or run hills for me, but I could use some help with all the other smaller yet important tasks that life brings you. Continue reading

In The Neighbourhood Know

One of the most powerful pieces you can have in your seller’s arsenal is extensive knowledge of your neighbourhood’s amenities. Think of it as setting up your property for a blind date: you want to highlight desirable aspects about your community. That’s where your REALTOR® comes in – to help guide the process to identify common interests with interested buyers and pique their curiosity.

In Calgary, transportation is always an important issue so be sure to cover multiple options. What’s the best route to major arteries like Deerfoot, Crowchild or Glenmore? How many minutes to downtown? Or, if you enjoy a weekend drive, what’s the perfect passage to the Rockies or the Foothills? Beyond cars, be sure to mention what you can reach by bike. Calgary’s network of bike pathways is extensive, and cycling enthusiasts of all-ages can enjoy a little pedal power at Prince’s Island Park, Glenmore Reservoir, Eau Claire along the Bow River pathways! Finally, what best-kept secrets are within walking distance? Paths can be a great for a leisurely evening walk or a brisk morning run.

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Five Luxury Home Trends with the Wow Factor!

Whether you’re thinking of relocating or renovating, I recommend my clients keep an eye on these five luxury home trends to impress potential buyers, guests or themselves!

1. Smart Home Technology


 

From lighting, heating, to security and even appliances, not only does Smart Home Technology make your home smarter, it can also make your life easier! 

Thermostats and lighting will adapt to your preferences. Being able to access your home’s status from a phone or tablet will give you peace-of-mind while on vacation.

2. Gourmet Kitchens

 

The focal point of every family’s home – the kitchen – is a key element in the home buying experience! Larger kitchens accommodate both family and guests for easy, central entertaining on weekends or during holiday gatherings.
Kitchen islands have increased in size and now feature outlets, charging stations and even additional sinks or pot-fillers. Choices for countertops include marble, quartz, or wood in a wide variety of colours such as blues, greens, greys and even black.
Add a personal touch with handmade tiles for your backsplash which are available in a wide range of glazes, surfaces, shapes and colours. Finally, indulge your creative side with metal accents throughout the kitchen! Accent bands, tile inlays, and even cabinetry hardware can add a timeless element while easily matching designs and appliances.

3. Farmhouse Décor 

 

While this warm, simple style has been around for ages, it’s blooming again thanks to TV shows like Fixer Upper and is especially a great fit for fans of Alberta’s Western spirit. 

Look for materials and accessories that have been “upcycled” like rustic signage and vintage lighting. Farmhouse or trough sinks – in porcelain, stainless steel, and copper – are a great alternative to replace the traditional white sink.

4. Bold Colours

 

Embrace vivid colours to add an accent to a wall or add some panache to an entire room! Make a statement with yellows, greens, or blues – or make things pop with shades of rose or lavender. If you’re not quite ready to change the wall colour, you can always swap out rugs, pillows and accessories to highlight the new colour scheme in your home!

5. Wide-Plank Flooring

 

Rustic elements bring not only more authenticity, but also a greater degree of comfort and coziness. Wide-plank flooring made from materials like recycled wood in natural or light colours are gaining in popularity and make for a warm welcome for prospective home buyers on a tour!

Which luxury home trends are at the top of your must-have list?

Connect with me today, about your real estate needs for tomorrow. 

 

 

Living Locally

Living locally speaks to my heart. I love my city, my community, and I am passionate about supporting local businesses.

The great thing about living locally is the opportunities to connect with your neighbours, expand your network and enjoy your community. Here are some ways to do it:

  • Read the local papers, especially the papers for your community.
  • Check bulletin boards in community centers or laundromats for events.
  • Join the chamber of commerce. This is a great way to make business connections.
  • Create or join Facebook groups.
  • Join Meetup.com This site encourages local meetings and building community. One man used it to build a group of hundreds of members in his neighbourhood.
  • Go to local festivals.
  • Eat at small cafés.
  • Get out for a walk and enjoy the many paths around the city.
  • Did you know that most communities have garden plots that you can rent for 35-60 dollars per season? My mother-in-law rents one every year and we plant and harvest the vegetables with our children. It’s a family event and tasty!
  • Every neighbourhood has a community association with a small fee yearly to be a part of it. Marda Loop has a yearly festival call Mardi Gras that I support.
  • The Indulge fundraiser in South Calgary has grown every year. It’s a lot of fun. and I always run into many people, even outside the community. Local businesses support the event by offering food, wine, beer and door prizes.
  • During elections, people line up outside or schools or community associations. Some run in and out so fast they don’t appreciate what may be around them.
  • I love to shop! From Purr and Purr Petite for kids, to Robert Sweep for home accessories and linens. Kala and Lime in Aspen is a fabulous gift store which supports many local artists. For sportswear, in Britannia Plaza I love Hemm Active Fashion.
  • Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE to eat (thank goodness I don’t drink, I would be a house). Some of my favorite local eateries in Calgary are Aida’s, Seed & Salt, Native Tongues and the Lady Bug Cafe.

My husband often tells me that the reason we know so many people is because I take the time to get to know those around me. We have block parties, watch each other’s homes and enjoy each other company.

If you take the time to talk to people and ask a few questions, you could develop and nurture many friendships in your community. Living locally speaks to my heart and warms my soul. Interacting with local businesses and spending time in the parks gives me a lot of happiness.

How do you live locally?