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B.C. fires

August 15th, 2018 by royallepagepremier

I woke up this morning, as did all of YEG, to even MORE smoke in the air. The sky was dark and red, and when I stepped outside I could actually smell fire. For a second my brain flashed images of a bonfire, marshmallows, happy things, but unfortunately that’s not the cause of this smell.

I have never experienced anything like the smokey skies we have right now. It is terrifying, and my heart is bleeding for our western neighbors. There are some fires in Alberta right now, they are all classified as under control, as of writing this post. If this is what Alberta is getting, how bad is it in B.C.?

As of today, Aug 15th, the B.C. government has declared a provincial wide state of emergency, in effect for two weeks, but may be extended if need be. Over 500 wildfires are burning over 50,000 hectares of B.C. and unfortunately new ones keep starting. Firefighters from several provinces and even different countries are actively fighting every day. Dozens of evacuation orders have removed thousands from their homes, and thousands more are on stand by, should they need to leave.

The imminent danger is obviously closer to the fires. But the smoke is not without problems. Smoke this thick can affect your health and vision. It makes daytime look like night, limits visibility, irritates the eyes, throat and lungs. In more severe cases it can make you nauseous, cause wheezing and chest pain or even cause infection. The elderly, children, pregnant woman and those with chronic heart or lungs diseases are especially at risk. Check on your neighbors and friends often, stay inside whenever possible and close all your windows.

Stay safe YEG, and pray for B.C.

August Long Weekend

July 30th, 2018 by royallepagepremier

Across Canada the civic holiday that comes on the first Monday of August goes by many names. It all depends on the province, or even city, you’re in, but here in Alberta we celebrate Heritage Day. Albertans make a BIG DEAL out of August long weekend and Heritage Day! Though not a statutory holiday, most employees have the day off, and usually, businesses that are open have shortened hours. It’s obviously an extremely popular time to go camping, with the weather usually warm and sunny, people are looking to soak up the summer while they still can. August long also hosts the famous Heritage Festival and BVJ!  So, here I am to give you the low-down on how to spend your 3 day vaca.

We’ll start with the big hitters

  1. Camping: If you haven’t already secured plans to go camping, it is probably too late. Campground reservations fill up  in advance for this coveted weekend. You could get lucky still, but if you just want to focus on enjoying your weekend (instead of searching for it) try camping in the backyard for a night. There’s no fire ban (as of me writing this) so grab some sticks, marshmallows and sleeping bags for a fun night that requires minimal effort.
  2. Servus Heritage Festival: The free entry, 3 day event is at Hawrelak Park from August 4th-6th. This year there will be 71 pavilions that show-case the food, clothing and more from 100 countries. Food and merchandise will be for sale at the pavilions, and the festival has tons of multicultural live performances, on stages throughout the park, that are free to enjoy.
  3. Big Valley Jamboree: This 3 day Camrose music festival runs from August 2nd with a parade, concerts and evening “kick-off” party and goes till Sunday afternoon. The festival is jam packed with performances from big names in country music. More than 50 artists will preform across multiple stages in the afternoons and evenings. Tickets start around $100. Essentially a non-stop party, BVJ is not for the faint of heart. Enjoy responsibly!

Honorable mentions:

  1. The Fairy Berry Festival: This Bon Accord, family-oriented affair runs from August 4th-6th. Live music, puppet shows, a corn maze and more, this fairy/pirate themed festival is sure to keep your kiddos busy. Prices vary for youth, adult and special passes; under 2 is free.
  2. Poundmakers Lodge Annual POW WOW: This huge event runs two days, August 4th and 5th, 1 p.m. – 11:45 p.m. There are traditional dancers, singers, food and crafts at this free-to-attend event, to bring awareness to the Poundmaker’s community efforts.
  3. Blueberry Bluegrass Festival: August 3rd-5th experience live bluegrass and country music at Heritage Park. The festival is family friendly, with a petting zoo, wagon rides, outdoor arcade, food concessions and so much more! Tickets start at $40, kids under 12 free with an adult.

Also this weekend: Eskimos v Roughriders (Aug 2nd), St. Albert ArtWalk (Aug 2), Grand opening of the Zeilder Dome and S.P.A.C.E Gallery at the Telus World of Science Centre (Aug 3), Summer Movies in the Park featuring Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (Aug 4) and SO MUCH more!



source (and for more things to do)

10 Tips For Your Home

July 11th, 2018 by royallepagepremier

I’ve been a homeowner for a while now, but I know I still have a lot to learn. Recently, the valve for the hose on the outside of my house just blew off, and I was SHOCKED. Luckily my father-in-law happened to be over and knew how to shut off the water to it. I’ve decided to take my limited knowledge and create a list of simple tips for feeling more comfortable and prepared in your home.

  1. Know how to shut off your water! In case you ever have something like that ^ happen. Your sinks and toilets should have they’re own shut off valves, but you should also know how to cut off the whole house, just in case.
  2. On a similar note, know how to control your breaker. Whether you need to turn off electricity to a section of your home (maybe doing renos?) or if you’ve tripped a breaker, you need to know where your breaker box is, how to flip the switches, and what switches belong to what area of your house.
  3. Basic knowledge of plumbing and electric work can save you $$$ when switching out light fixtures, unclogging a sink, installing a fancy new thermostat .. etc, because you wont need to hire a professional to install it.
  4. Know how to change your furnaces filter! Always clean out your dryer’s lint trap (get the vacuum in there and suck it all out) And just in case you forget to do those things, always make sure your fire alarms are working!
  5. For the love of all that is holy, take the time to find the studs and using the anchors when mounting or hanging something heavy on the wall. (Learned this from experience) It’s NOT worth it to skip!
  6.  Keep a plunger and toilet brush in EVERY bathroom in your home. Just trust me on this..
  7. Splurge on your mattress and sheets. You spend a third (or more if you’re like me) in that bed.. it’s worth it.
  8. Do some weather proofing.. Chaulking to fill gaps, that special plastic stuff that goes over your windows, cleaning your gutters.. Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt personally victimized by Alberta weather.
  9. Know how to do a quality paint job. Drop cloths are NOT optional. Buy the good paint, and the good brushes.. or hire painters.. it’s worth it!’
  10. Decorate to your style, but follow basic design rules! Don’t over crowd a room with giant furniture. Don’t paint your walls a colour that conflicts with permanent fixtures (i.e. don’t paint your walls a blue-grey if your kitchen floor is warm-beige tile) it just won’t look right. And so on and so forth, you can google/pinterest this stuff till the cows come home.

I hope this list helps you out a bit! There’s probably a million more things that could be added, but these are things that I have found important during my time being alive! Happy home-owning!

Canada Day!!

June 28th, 2018 by royallepagepremier

Happy Birthday Canada! 151 years old this Sunday!

Royal Lepage is proud to be Canadian. Our Royal Lepage Premier Real Estate family loves Canada, and wish you and yours a fun and safe weekend full of celebration! Here’s a few things to do around YEG to celebrate our nations birthday.

  • Classic: Fireworks. At 11 pm the city will have two firework shows, one downtown and one in Mill Woods. They offer live stream if you can’t be there in person. The communities surrounding Edmonton often have their own fireworks as well, so check into those for smaller crowds.
  • At the Alberta legislature building and grounds: A free pancake breakfast, with music and games, at the south grounds from 7am – 10am; and live performances and events continuing on in the building and grounds, Federal Building and Capital Plaza, from noon to 9pm.
  • The Edmonton Valley Zoo is also celebrating their birthday with a scavenger hunt, live music and more from 11 am to 4 pm. Regular admission applies.
  • Muttart Conservatory is also hosting live music, along with mini cupcakes and wood carving demonstrations from 11 am to 4 pm. Regular admission applies.
  • Mill Woods Park (66 Street and 23 Avenue): 1 pm to 11 pm, a petting zoo, live entertainment, hay rides and carnival games, and fireworks — all FREE to the public.
  • The Chinatown Night Market: Cultural displays and unique shopping plus a community BBQ, goes from 1 pm – 8pm at Wong’s Benevolent Association, 96 Street and 102 Avenue.
  • The Works Art & design festival: By donation, make Canada themed art at the Capital Plaza from 11 am to 9:30 pm.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, and you should definitely look into your local community to see what’s going on!

Special note: Edmonton transit will be operating on a regular Sunday schedule, including a special late fireworks service. Late Night Owl Service will be available until 3 am on Routes 1, 4, 8, 9 and 512.

We stand on guard for thee!

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!


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