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Happy Father’s Day

June 13th, 2018 by royallepagepremier

They say a woman becomes a mother during her pregnancy, but a man becomes a father the first time he holds his child. In that moment it becomes real for them. My husband was amazing throughout my pregnancy and labor, but after it was all over, and I looked over to him holding our tiny newborn.. there are no words to describe the amount of love in that room. He couldn’t take his eyes off our son. You could tell how crazy in love he was with this tiny human, and there is something magical about seeing someone else love your child as much as you do. Fathers love their children in a way that only fathers can. It is one of the most amazing things I have ever been so privileged to witness.

Not everyone gets this, and that can make Father’s Day hard. Some are missing dads, and some dads are missing children. Sometimes Father’s Day looks more like an empty chair, rather than any type of celebration. If for some reason Father’s Day isn’t what you wish it were, know that my heart is with you. Though sometimes it hurts, Father’s Day should still be a happy day, and it doesn’t always have to be your dad. Step-dads, grandfathers, uncles, family friends…a father figure can could in so many different forms.. Whoever it is you spend Sunday with, I hope your heart and home are filled with love and appreciation.

A very Happy Father’s Day from us to you!

Armchair DIY-er

June 7th, 2018 by royallepagepremier

My husband and I have owned two homes together. We did quite a bit of work on the first (renovated the entire kitchen and upstairs bathroom) and some minor work in our second (changed the light fixtures and backslash). I’d say our second is still a work-in-progress, as there’s a few things I’d still like to do to it. I’ve done a LOT of painting in my day, and can handle my own with some power tools. I’ve redesigned our rooms too many times trying to figure out OUR style. Mostly I’ve done a lot of planning, and re-planning, and budgeting, and re-budgeting, and measuring and then measuring 10 more times; and my husband does most of the hard stuff. I tell you this as way to build my credentials as an armchair DIY-er. I’ve been through several projects, teeny to huge, and I’ve learned a lot. In this post, I’m going to try to pass on what general knowledge I can.

  1. Know basic design laws:
    • Aesthetics work in the law of 3’s. Whether it’s photography, beauty, objects.. 3 is key. When styling an area with objects, say candles or knicknacks, always aim for odd numbers grouped together, 3  to 5.. and use 3 different levels, short, medium and tall within that group. Use a pallet of 3 colours to adorn a room, generally: 1-2 neutrals and an accent colour. When placing art on walls you’ll generally break the wall into thirds to find ideal spots.
    • Bigger isn’t always better. Furniture needs to fit your space without being bulky, so don’t just buy the biggest couch you can squeeze in the living room. You want the space to flow. However, sometimes bigger IS better. With window dressings, you want to go high and wide when placing that rod. At LEAST 6 inches (more if is a larger window) to each side, and as close to the ceiling as possible. This makes your window look way bigger, and lets is as much natural light as possible.
  2. Don’t ignore the “small” things: A cheap and oh-so-easy way to give your house a face lift is to put love into those little details that are so often over looked. Door knobs, interior door colours, light fixtures, baseboards, cabinet pulls, etc… Whether you paint, or replace these things, it will breath new life into your house like you would never imagine. Light fixtures are a BIG deal, but are so often over looked. When you invest in ones that really compliments your space you’ll see what I mean. Painting your interior doors is a really easy weekend project that will shake up your whole house!
  3. Don’t cheap out on the staples. Paint, light fixtures, tiles… things like this ground your home. They are the base to add on top of. By no means do you need to buy the most expensive things, but if you’re re-doing your back splash (like I just did) buy the proper tile adhesive and use the proper amount, it will make a huge difference. Any buy the good paint. In the big picture paint is basically the cheapest was to update your home (did you know you can paint tile!) and if you get the cheap stuff it will be noticeable very quickly.
  4. The most important rule of DIYs (other than always putting safety first!) is be uniquely you. Find inspiration, figure out what you like and then make it your own. Don’t force an exact thing to fit into your home if it doesn’t work. Go with the flow of your home, and your style, AND have fun!

Rainmaker Rodeo

May 23rd, 2018 by royallepagepremier

If you’ve lived in St. Albert and area for a year or more, you probably know about the Rainmaker Rodeo!

From the hosting website: “The 2018 Rainmaker Rodeo is just around the corner and we are excited! This year promises to bring some of the hottest acts to the Concert stage, more great marketplace vendors, our awesome Midway and some of the best Cowboys and Cowgirls that ride here in Alberta! The St. Albert Kinsmen club is proud to host our the Rainmaker Rodeo and invite everybody to come down and visit us! The Rodeo will happen on May 25th, 26th and 27th in 2018.”

Every year the event is jam packed with tons of fun stuff to do and see, including the parade! If you’re watching the parade make sure to keep an eye out for our Royal Lepage Premier team riding in a LIMO and other cars!

I hope everyone has a safe and fun weekend!

May Long

May 16th, 2018 by royallepagepremier

Guys, May Long 2018 is one for the books! We’ve got a few things to cover in this post

1: HUGE Congratulations to Royal Lepage’s own Kristin Pierce who is getting married May 19th!

Kristin and her fiance Taylor are a love story 12 years in the making! So sweet! We wish her all the best!

 

2: Royal Wedding! Prince Harry and Meghan Markel will tie the knot in spectacular fashion (I’m sure) on May 19th as well!

So I’m not a crazy royal follower or anything, but I do love a wedding! And being a part of the commonwealth I feel obligated to be a little too into the royal family. We all know Meghan Markel is an American commoner, which is scandalous enough as is; but she’s already breaking tons of fashion traditions and her wild family is stirring up drama already. I’m so ready for it all! The wedding starts airing around 2:30 am, May 19th, our time, so you really have to be dedicated (read:obsessed) to get up that early to watch it, but I will happily watch the recording when I wake up! I know lots of people like to host viewing parties for these types of things, like it’s the Superbowl, and I’m all for that, because then you have wine and someone to talk to during the boring parts. Me personally, I mostly wanna see the dress, but I need to know if her family crashes the ceremony they aren’t invited to!

 

3: Splash parks, BBQ’s, sunshine! Bring it on!

Okay, sorry, enough about weddings! Here’s what everyone else can do this weekend:

Splash parks open this weekend! Finally! You can get your kids out of the house! The outdoor pools open the following weekend.

Is there anything more classic than having a BBQ on May long weekend? Probably quite a few things, ignore them for the sake of my post. 🙂 Here’s a couple tips to having a killer BBQ party:

First, you gotta have a veggie option. I don’t care if you’ve never met a vegetarian in your whole life, you gotta have balance. Grilled veggies are deliccccious. Other non-meat food you can grill: watermelon (trust me), peaches, brie, homemade pizza! Be adventurous!

In the spirit of being inclusive, make sure you have more than just spirits to drink. Nothing ruins a BBQ faster than someone getting a little too tipsy! Pop, juices and of course water to curb that heat! And don’t forget the ice!

Then there’s the meat itself. Dry rub vs marinade vs plain. This is really personal preference, but I’m partial to dry rubs. Marinades are great if you have the time to let the meat sit in them, but I am not a planner, so I never do. Dry rubs are great for ribs and large chunks of meat, but fresh cracked salt and pepper is perfect on a properly cooked steak. And of course, it’s almost impossible to overcook hot dogs or hamburgers.

Having a clean grill is essential! If your grill is greasy try warming it up, then scrubbing the bars with baking soda and an aluminum foil ball! Rinse the gunk away and rub with an oiled paper towel to re-season.

 

 

Whatever you’re doing this long weekend, I’m sure it’s a great tribute to Queen Victoria and her day. 

Mother’s Day

May 9th, 2018 by royallepagepremier

Mother’s Day is May 13th, which is THIS Sunday guys! The most sacred of holidays, as we all know how under-appreciated most moms really are. Moms are so worthy of celebration, and generally the least ready to be celebrated. By nature, mom’s are selfless. They have given they’re bodies (for biological mothers), time, and freedom to raise other humans. They rock messy hair, wear clothes that don’t fit and drink too much coffee. All mental effort is somehow centered around mom life. They spend the rest of their lives worried about their children…. and they love it. They are paid in love and kisses and pride. It makes moms unbearably happy to see their babies grow and laugh. A mother’s love is the most pure thing on this planet. It’s not always perfect, but being a mom is really hard work, and it never stops. It’s important to remind your mom that you’re thinking of her, because she’s always thinking of you.

Partners to moms should always be involved for this holiday, especially those with young children who need help showing their appreciation. And it doesn’t matter if you’re fully grown and have you’re own family and life now, you’re mom is always your mom. Even if she’s not here anymore.

Which brings me to a very important topic. This is not a happy holiday for some. Mother’s Day may be a painful reminder that someone is missing, or even of someone that has never been there. You’re empty chair might be the mother you’ve lost or never had, but it could also be a child you’ve lost, or a child you desperately want. It may also be a reminder of a relationship that isn’t whole, or what it should be. It’s important to remember it’s okay to feel sad and angry. You are under no obligations to fake a smile for this. Be real with yourself. Peace will find it’s way back to you in time, if you let it.

For those of you lucky enough to have wonderful mothers in your life make sure they feel extra special this Sunday.

Mother’s run this world, they always have. And they do it all in the name of love.

Sunny dayz

May 3rd, 2018 by royallepagepremier

My fellow Albertans, the sun has finally found us!

After a long, cold, winter that yellow ball in the sky is like a familiar hug. Its warm and happy and sprinkling that wonderful vitamin D down on us! BUT, summer hasn’t started quite yet. We all know that we have 2 seasons here, Mosquitoes & Construction season (summer) and The Air Hurts My Face season (winter), with about 2-3 week periods between them that other provinces and countries would call “spring” and “fall”. These aren’t real seasons here in the 780, but I try to look at that as a positive thing. Yes, the bugs thaw and rise from the dead with a vengeance, buuut I get to wear my new summer clothes right away!  During this “spring season” the outdoor pools and spray parks are still closed, the city is still getting ready for the big events but you NEED to get out and soak up some of those sun rays!

Here’s what you do:

  1.  Turn off your thermostat. You don’t need it anymore. Open some windows and soak up some sun indoors. I like to read or clean when the rays start pouring in.
  2. Go shopping! Buy yourself a new summer outfit to celebrate the return of the sun! You’re kids will out grow the new clothes you buy them before summer is even over, but you gotta do it. Try searching through second hand stores, or social media buy & sells to save yourself some money!
  3. Yard work.. this seems like such a chore when the splash park is open or there’s an event going on, but right now you’re just so dang happy the sun is out it seems like a treat!
  4. Switch up your hair/make up.. Sorry guys, I’m mostly addressing the ladies here. I live by the theory that you should have a ‘winter’ look and a ‘summer’ look. I wear my hair, make up and nails darker in winter; so for the summer I pull out my bronzing power, bright nail polish and get some highlights!
  5. Extra Credit: Give yourself a summer goal. Now is the time to set a goal for the summer. Maybe you want to learn a new language, lose weight, or do a renovation in your house. This is the perfect time to do your research and get yourself prepared. Tell yourself: By October 1st I want X….  For Example, my husband and I are currently learning American Sign Language so for us: By October 1st I want us to be able to have a conversation using only signs!

Most importantly, don’t be afraid of the less than sunny days. Edmontionians coming out of winter are like baby deer. We get so worried when it’s a chilly day in May.. we’ve been in the dark so long, we’re afraid to trust the weather. But we are on the other side. No more snow. Have faith, and wear sunscreen!

 

Pub Night Fundraiser!

April 24th, 2018 by royallepagepremier

Join Royal Lepage Premier Real Estate on May 25th at the St. Albert Canadian Brew house for a fundraising event!

In an effort to raise funds for the Royal Lepage Shelter Foundation a couple of our agents have taken it upon themselves to organize at pub night fundraiser! There will be a silent auction and a 50/50 draw. Ticket are $10 and includes a drink!*

We’re so excited to be putting on this event and can’t wait to see you there!

*restrictions apply

Earth Day!

April 18th, 2018 by royallepagepremier

Sunday, April 22 is Earth Day! So let’s talk about some super easy ways you can celebrate AND help our big beautiful planet!

  1. Don’t drive your car. It is Sunday after all, so were you really planning on going somewhere? Me neither.
  2. Get outside! I know we’re in a record setting winter right now, but it’s supposed to warm up. You’ll use less electricity and enjoy some fresh air!
  3. When you go back inside, keep the electronics off. In fact, unplug them! unplug your TV, toaster, laptop. Grab some cards, maybe a board game and kick it old school!
  4. Buy less new stuff! For every new item you buy consider the packaging, materials and process that went into getting that item to you. Buying second hand is so easy with all the new apps and websites available. You’ll save money and the planet!
  5. Switch out your current cleaning products for some Earth friendly ones! Big name household cleaners are full of untested chemicals, but luckily greener options are becoming increasingly popular, which means it’s so easy for you to make the switch! Look for labels that say “biodegradable” or “plant based” on household cleaners, and switch out your paper towels for reusable cloths, like the amazing Norwex Envriocloth!
  6. Update your appliances for eco-friendly verisons. While energy efficient, water saving washing machines in every home would be amazing, even just updating your light bulbs can make a huge difference! There’s tons of government rebates available for updating your home to be more eco-friendly.
  7. Get involved! Volunteer at organizations that put effort into helping the planet, adopt a highway, or sponsor an animal at a wild life preserve.
  8. Recycle! (you’re wondering why this is so far down the list, I know, but I have my reasons) Recycling is a big one, but you have to do it properly. Bring your bottles and cans to the bottle depot, make sure your yogurt containers are clean before throwing them in the recycle bin, and remove the staples from your papers. It’s important to get yourself educated on your local recycling programs so you can make sure your efforts aren’t wasted.
  9. Invest in reusable items! I know, earlier I told you to buy less stuff, but this is different. Things like reusable coffee cups (or reusable cups for your coffee maker), cloth grocery/produce bags and silicone snack/sandwich bags will save you money and help save the planet! Pick a disposable item you find yourself going through a lot of, and see if you cant find a reusable version.
  10. And last, but not least, the most classic of classics, plant something. Trees and plants clean our air and provide oxygen, and flowers are food for so many creatures that keep the planet turning, like bees. Whether you plant a tree or flowers outside, or get a new houseplant, you’re doing something good!

There is a fantastic quote that serves as a reminder of why it’s important to take care of our planet:

“We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children”

Proud to be Canadian

April 10th, 2018 by royallepagepremier

Canadians are the most generous, resilient and caring people I have ever seen. In the wake of tragedy, time and again, Canadians stretch out their hands to carry the hurt and fallen. To count myself in as a Canadian and an Albertan is nothing short of an honor and a privilege.

I talk about this today as a reminder that there is still light in dark times. As you have likely heard; Friday evening the bus of the Humboldt Broncos Junior Hockey team was struck by a semi-truck, resulting in the death of 15 people, and several more injured to various degrees. Several of these young men were from Alberta, with quite a few from Edmonton and St. Albert, hitting our local community hard. This painful tragedy has brought all of Canada to its knees, but together, we will rise back up.

For the families and loved ones of the victims, the loss is immeasurable, but Canadians are relentless in their generosity. A Go Fund Me page was set up to help the suffering families with a goal of $10,000, which was promptly smashed, and as of writing this, has over 7 million dollars in donated funds. A campaign has started, to show those left behind that they are not alone. Community members are leaving their porch lights on overnight, and putting a hockey stick, or two, out on their front porch, for the boys. This campaign has now become international, with social media posts coming in from all over of hockey sticks on front porches.

What and incredible thing it is to be Canadian.. Through tornadoes, fires, floods and tragic accidents we are strong…

Right now, We Are Humboldt Strong

Hoppy Easter!

March 29th, 2018 by royallepagepremier

Who’s ready for a looong weekend!

Easter is one of my favourite holiday’s for a few reasons:

  1. Extra long weekend! If you’re a lucky duck like me you get Friday and Monday off!
  2. Easter egg hunts!
  3. Huge Easter feast!
  4. Time with my family!

Easter is a big deal in my family (probably cause they’re Catholic) which means it’s an all day event with a massive feast. Every year we all gather at my Aunt’s house to search for hidden eggs, eat way too much food and just be together as a family. And yes, I do still search for eggs. In fact, my youngest cousin is now 15, but we still search for eggs. My aunt has had to get really creative with where she hides them now, but tradition is tradition! My son is now 13 months old, and he is the first, and only great-grandchild in our family, but I imagine in the coming years our egg hunts will transfer from me and my cousins, to him and his. It warms my heart, but also makes it sad; oh where has the time gone?

As far as food goes, my family goes all out. There’s a lot of us, and quite a few boys in their late teens to mid 20’s so you know those boys can pack a lot away, so we all cook and bake and bring together. We have all the staples, ham, potatoes, veggies, pie, and of course lots of chocolate. Every once in a while a few of us get a bit creative with a dish and with more of my cousins getting married and being in committed relationships, we get to see more and more new dishes put on our table every year. I’ve always believed that the type of food a person eats is a huge part of them, and others food traditions being shared with our family is another things that warms my sappy heart.

Almost all my cousins are adults now, one is married, one is common-law, two of the teenagers are too cool to spend time with family most of the time; so I’m truly grateful for any excuse to bring us all together. I know, I know, my sappy, mom heart is showing. I love my crazy family, and any excuse to drink wine and eat chocolate.

There is a bonus 5th reason that I love Easter, and it’s my husbands family. His family is a lot smaller than mine, not big on holiday traditions, and I see them on a pretty regular basis; but they are wonderful people, so any time with them is good time. I get to have two Easters, and I get to see my handsome nephews, so it’s fair to say I’m pretty spoiled.

A big Happy Easter from Royal Lepage Premier, and I hope you enjoy your long weekend, whatever your doing!

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