With National Burger Day approaching, I want to make sure that you all enjoy an amazing burger for this special day. Some of these locations are a little harder to find, but totally worth the search! None of these burger joints are fast food, because you can’t rush meat perfection!
This small stop in Cambridge is such a fantastic place for making your own burger, choose your meat, your toppings and they have incredible sauces. This is my number one spot for burgers and worth the drive into the small residential neighbourhood. The meat is flavourful, the fries are fresh cut and the toppings are plentiful. Make sure you try the Garlic Dill Aioli
Another great small location with food worth the wait, while the burger toppings aren’t elaborate, the burger is tasty, the perfect size and nice and juicy! If you’re like me, you also want a great side with your burger and the Crazy Canuck is the best place in town for a Poutine! Stop in here and discover a new favourite!
Sonny’s is on this list for the Nostalgia, the burgers remind me of my childhood and the fries are always fantastic! With a Ms. Pac Man machine to play while you wait, this is the fastest burger stop on the list, but one that is worth it for the summer to sit out on the picnic tables and enjoy some classic burger family time!
Another Nostaglic stop, but Harmony lunch has gotten a update to modern eats with Chef Nick at the helm! What makes a harmony burger different? They’re made with pork patties, grilled to perfection and topped with great items such as pickled jalapenos, pineapple salsa or even chunky peanut butter! If you’re really going to go all out with your burger, turn your bun into a grilled cheese, it’s worth your entire week of calories!
Not only will you get a great view and wonderful atmosphere, but the food is fantastic too! There are so many different types of meat for burger choices here, so it’s sure to please the whole family including a lamb burger, a chorizo burger, a beyond meat vegetarian burger and their famous homemade burger with the cheese ring! If you’re up to the challenge, you can complete The Puslinch Burger Challenge. 3 Puslinch Patties (1bun), poutine and a milkshake. One hour to finish. Winners get on a wall of fame, free T-shirt and don’t pay, if you can’t finish pay $40!
Stephanie Catcher at 1:50 PM
Is Furniture Holding you Back?
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Is your Furniture Holding you Back?
Are you looking for the perfect home to fit your couch, a Persian rug or maybe a dining room table? Does this make sense to anyone, why are people buying homes for objects and not for those people who are living in the home? Too many times I’ve seen families turn down the perfect home in the perfect neighbourhood because it won’t fit their bedroom set or their mirrored dresser.
Don’t let your things rule your life, the people who live in that home now obviously have a bed and it seems to fit, so sell your larger than normal bed and buy one that fits in that perfect house, or trade with a family member if the item is important to the family. I understand keeping a family heirloom, but if your home budget doesn’t allow you to buy a home with a living room that is 20x20 then maybe Grandma’s rug should go to a family member who has space for it and then you can find a home that is right for you and your family, not a rug that you feel obligated to keep.
Reality is budget is a large deciding factor in what kind of home you end up in and if you are forced to choose the home with the largest dining room to fit a table you never eat at, you may be giving up on other items that you need such as an extra bathroom, a large yard or even a home in a condition that you can move into right away.
The best suggestion I have to avoid being caught in buying a home for your items is to make a list of why you are moving from your current home, these are items that are driving you out of your current place and into a new one. Once you know what is driving you out of your current home, what is on your list of need to have and nice to have, knowing the difference between need and want can be very difficult but make the process easier. If you are buying the home with another person, I strongly suggest making this list together, you may find out that your spouse hates that large couch you inherited and buying a home with space for it makes no sense if it’s uncomfortable anyways.
Remember when you are looking for a home why you are moving, I’m sure your bedroom set didn’t wake up one morning and decide to move because it didn’t like your current neighbour, if you have to part with some items to move to where you want to be, I’m sure your happiness in the new home will outweigh the cost to replace an item that is too large for your new home.
As the Long weekend approaches, drinks by an outdoor fire will soon become a weekend favourite, make sure before you rush out to get those marshmallows that you know the rules of outdoor fires at your address. Below is a
quick guide to the basic rules of outdoor fires in each city
Must be 5 metres from any building, structure, fence, roadway, overhead wire or other combustible article
No more than 1 metre of material being burned in any direction
No combustible ground cover within 1 metre of the fire
Must have an extinguisher or garden hose near fire
Must be under constant watch by owner of occupant over 18 years old
recreational fires in fire pits must be contained by a distinctive, raised, non-combustible barrier that completely surrounds the fire pit to separate it from the surrounding area
Fire can only be conducted between 6pm and 11pm any day of the week
Outdoor open fires are not permitted within waterloo city limits
A burn permit is required for all open air burning
The campfire cannot exceed 2ftx2ft
The fire must be contained in some way, steel rim, bricks, chiminea or fire bowl
Must be under constant watch by owner of occupant over 18 years old
An appropriate extinguishing agent must be present at all times
Must not cause any danger or nuisance
Minimum distance is not less than 4.5 meters from any structure, fence of combustible structure
Campfire are not permitted when winds exceed 16km/hour
A burn permit is required for all open air burning not used for cooking purposes
Burn permits cost $60.31
A distance of at least 150 metres from a building
Limit the size of the fire
Necessary Water supply
Fire permit required, cost is $40
Fire must be supervised at all times
Sufficient water or fire retardant equipment must be available
Fire must be extinguished if smoke interferes with neighbours
Permit void on days that are too windy, dry grass or other unsafe open air burning conditions
The only open air fire permitted is a small confined fire supervised at all times and used to cook food
A person over 18 years may apply for a burn permit
Fire must be burned in a confined burn site, including a circle of stons/bricks, chiminea or fire bowl
No burning allowed on windy days
No burning allowed on air quality advisory days
Contained sites must be 25ft from combustible structures
Stephanie Catcher at 11:57 AM
Signs that your Home is Kept Clean
Monday, May 6, 2019
Signs I look for in a Clean Home
Everyone knows that when they list their home for sale that they have to de-clutter and keep their home cleaner than usual. Vacuum twice as often, fluff the pillows, make sure your bedroom is bright and beautiful. But does your home show that you are always that clean or that you just rushed around and make it extra clean on the surface for the sale. Some telltale signs that I look for when showing a home can give a lot of insight as to what goes on in the home usually and how clean the owners truly are. The following is a list of what I check for when a buyer is concerned with a clean home.
Tubs – I always check the tub, it’s one of the hardest areas to get clean if you don’t keep it clean on a regular basis, a sparkling tub says that the home owner is clean or just replaced the tub. Discolouration, peeling or damaged caulk are all signs that your tub is not a first priority.
The Furnace – I know it’s a weird spot to check, but a clean furnace can say a lot about the home owner. Most people let dust pile up on their furnace, this amount of dust can make the furnace look older than it really is, so take a duster to your furnace and give it some new life. Don’t forget to change that furnace filter too.
Windows – I don’t only look to see if the glass has been cleaned both inside and out, but the tracks. A home that has been neglected will often have tracks full of black dirt or dust, a toothbrush and some patience can take care of this issue and make your windows look newer and the buyer is less likely to mention they need to be replaced.
Dishwashers – Appliances that are built in stay with the home, so I check them. A person who keeps their home in tip top shape will not only wipe the outside of these appliances, but they will also make sure the inside is clean too. I check the outside edges and if visible I look in the trap. This cleaning is another quick tip to make your home look like it’s in tip top shape. Even if the appliance is not staying, check ovens and washing machines, they can also be areas that show home neglect.
Trim, crown molding and ceilings – buyers are look for your home to clean from top to bottom, that means dusting or washing your trim, crown moldings and ceilings. If you have to repaint some areas that are bit grungier, you should, this quick job will give your home the shine it needs. You'll also be surprised how much cleaner a fresh coat of ceiling paint can make your home look, give it a try one weekend, you'll be happy you did.
If you really want your home to show well, make sure to touch on these spots that I often find are missed in a quick cleanup. Most home owners are so focused on removing items that they aren’t seeing what’s right in front of them. If you have to hire a professional cleaner to make these items shine, it’s well worth the money and they can make sure all these spots are clean quickly and your home will be ready to be placed on the market.
Mother’s day is just around the corner and if you are looking for something incredible to surprise the wonderful mothers in your life with, a stop into Living Fresh Flower + Plant studio will be exactly you’re looking for!
When you go into Living Fresh you will be met with much more than just your everyday bouquets. Their arrangements are unique, vibrant and something that your mother will remember. Not only do they put together great floral arrangements, but you can also get an incredible hand tied bouquet, unique plants, gift boxes made with local treasures, flower subscriptions or even treat your mother to a floral arrangement class.
Their shop is bright and spacious and showcases some of the most incredible flowers and plants you have ever seen, if you’re looking for that unique gift for someone hard to shop for, this is a must-see shop! For special occasions, Living Fresh will offer seasonal arrangements that are quick to pick up, or if you have a little more time, you can let them know what you are looking for and they are sure to make something for you that surpasses your wildest dream!
If you’d like to try your own skills at floral arrangements, Living Fresh offers in depth small classes over a few weeks so you can learn this skill yourself and become a confident floral designer, great for those looking to kick start their career as a floral designer or even someone who wants some in depth knowledge for their own floral designs.
Living Fresh is going to be your go to shop in downtown Kitchener for your floral needs, from gifts, everyday flowers to brighten your home in any season or even weddings. Tina and her team at Living Fresh will not let you down and provide a beautiful experience with fresh and long-lasting flowers!
Okay, let’s be serious, I don’t need to wait for summer to enjoy ice cream, but it does run through my mind more when it’s gets warm. Think of ice cream like my version of an ice cold beer on a hot day!
If you haven’t tried our loved local treat you’re missing some of the most fantastic and interesting ice cream that I’ve ever had! Now I’ll be honest, their location isn’t open all the time, so it’s a little hard to get into if you’re busy, but there are lots of other locations now in Kitchener Waterloo where you can pick up and try these tasty creamy creations! I’ve got a table below on where you can get your fix of Four All Ice Cream.
If you want to know what makes their icecream so special, it’s how’s it made! Locally sourced milk and cream is then combined with local and/or responsibly sourced ingredients, often in small batches. The flavours change regularly and if you love one, make sure you keep going back to get it, get all of it! Not only the ingredients are great, they are packaged in small should packaging, which will leave you asking yourself if you should just eat the whole thing, of course you should! Also when they’re small, you can buy many flavours and try them all!
Make sure to stop into one of the below Four All pick up spots this summer, it’s a stop you won’t regret!
Stop in at Graffiti Market for this Icecream Taco!
Packing, Cleaning, Freshening and Staging. There is a lot of work involved in getting your home ready for sale. I often have clients tell me after they’ve gone through the list of work to be done for their home that they are so much happier in the home they are looking to sell. Instead of rushing around last minute to do all the work to give your home to someone else, do those items ahead of time and for yourself to enjoy!
Everyone knows what needs to be done to their home and any homeowner can name a list as long as their arm of things in their home that bother them. If those small items bother you, it will bother the buyer of your home as well. So do those small jobs now, you’ll be surprised how much better you feel about your home and how quick it was to do it. Doing these small jobs as you go along also save you some time when you are actually ready to list your property, you can focus more on the staging and less on the little jobs that you know should have been done months or even years earlier.
Some examples of small jobs include: painting scuffed baseboards, caulking countertops and tubs, painting the ceiling, cleaning eavesthrophs both inside and out, straightening kitchen cupboards, replacing taps, laundry hoses, updating lighting, replacing or cleaning older and stained carpet , updating bathroom and kitchen flooring, and anything else that you notice on a daily basis that needs updating or repair.
Take the time to show your home the love it deserves and the love that you had for it originally by maintaining it well now so when you are ready to list your property you can focus on the cleanup and staging and less on the small jobs, and you’ll be able to enjoy your home more when the list isn’t getting longer and longer until it becomes a burden. Complete those items for you and your family to enjoy now instead of working hard in the month before you sell your home to let someone else enjoy all your work.
Recently I received an inquiry from a couple who are thinking about selling their home in about a year. You may be thinking, “Why would they call a Stager a year in advance? That seems way too early!” The truth is it is never too early to start thinking about your resale plan. As soon as you even consider selling your home, you should book a consultation with a professional Home Stager to have the property evaluated.
In a Staging Consultation, your Home Stager will tour your home with “buyers’ eyes” and do a room by room analysis to determine how to best market your home to the target demographic. They will provide you with recommendations that may include some of the following improvements: painting, replacing flooring, updating countertops, lighting and fixtures, rearranging furniture, adding accessories, landscaping and always will include cleaning and de-cluttering advice. All of these recommendations are based on the condition of your home, keeping in mind the target demographic of buyer as well as the price point of the property. Your Stager will explain the improvements that are a must and where you will see a return on your investment.
By calling a Home Stager well in advance to listing your home for sale, you are giving yourself ample time to complete all of the crucial recommendations for marketing your home. It does take quite a bit of time to sort through your belongings, determining what is to be packed, donated, sold or thrown away. This is a task that all homeowners face when selling their home. If you need to replace flooring or paint numerous rooms in the house, by getting a head start you have time to set money aside for these improvements instead of scrambling at the last minute. Calling a Stager just a week before listing is not in your best interest as you may not have enough time to complete the recommendations; therefore listing your property before it is truly market ready.
When it comes to the sale of your largest asset, it is crucial that you are putting the best product on the market. Don’t let buyers chip away at your asking price because you didn’t give yourself enough time to prepare your home for sale.
I am the proud owner of an ugly little house with a lot of personality. Maybe you're in the same boat?
Just over a year ago, my partner and I decided to buy an older home with a great location; we found it in Uptown Waterloo. A far cry from our new-build first house, the Uptown house is a two-story, 1920s double-brick building with some interesting features. Rather than spacious rooms with plumb and level walls, our new house has tiny, divided spaces with lumpy plaster walls — level is just a state of mind anyway. The change has taken some getting used to, but bit-by-bit we’ve been rehabbing the house and making it into a warm space that feels like home.
Here on the blog, I’ll be sharing our various projects, decorating tips and DIY tutorials to hopefully help you make the most of your own space. Since we’re just kicking things off, I thought I would start with three tips for getting your new house to feel like a home as quickly as possible:
Paint. Chances are good that your new house either has the previous owner’s terrible taste splashed all over the place, or looks like it has been dipped in a swimming pool of buyers-beige. As soon as you can, pick up a can of paint and change the wall colour in the main living spaces. Paint is cheap and can have a huge, visual impact. If you’re like me and are nervous about picking a colour, go neutral. A white paint with a hint of blue/grey/green is a lovely fresh look and will go with everything you own.
Hang your Artwork. As soon as those walls have dried, open the moving box marked “Art” and get something personal on those fresh, blank walls. Whether it’s a canvas print, family photos, or your kids finger paintings in dollar-store frames, adding something beautiful to a room will instantly give you that at-home feeling. Like the paint, art is really easy to change and/or rearrange. Don’t get paralyzed by arrangement decisions. Look for some inspiration, then get hanging! If you can't find the box marked "Art" buy yourself some flowers instead — you deserve them; this place is a mess!
Make a Memory. It’s going to take time to settle into your new home. Just looking around at the chaos of moving boxes, furniture and bubble wrap is enough to give anyone buyer’s remorse. So, take an evening, stop unpacking and spend some time with the people you love. Order a pizza, pop a bottle of champagne, and dance around your box-maze-mansion like no one’s watching — although, you’re neighbours probably are watching, so take like 5 minutes and put up a sheet or something before you break out your A-list dance moves.
If you’re looking for a tasty meal or even a snack, Bao Sandwich Bar is an incredible stop and one you will not regret! Located at 62 Balsam St, Unit #B106, Waterloo, the location is a little hard to find, look it up on the map and I can tell you it’s worth the search! There also isn’t parking in it’s little parking lot most of the time, so street parking it is, this spot is also worth the little walk!
A few tips about ordering, the Bao sandwich is best on the little Bao bun, steamy and soft, you will not regret this bun choice. They offer bigger sandwichs on Baguettes, but the steamed bun really stands out for me! Just get more of them and try some different varieties, they offer an incredible beef bao, I also really enjoy the crispy chicken and the crispy fish, I can tell you, there has never been a person I went with who didn’t like the Bao they picked. They have fresh and crispy ingredients inside a deliciously soft Bao bun that will keep you coming back at a price that won’t break the bank. Don’t be fooled by the small size of the Bao however, I can only eat 2 before I’m full and I don’t even make it a combo but you can with nice crispy fries, or a duck poutine!
This is a great place to stop with some friends who don’t mind sharing food so you can try a little of everything until you have your favourite. If you’re ordering with the office, they also offer local delivery through doordash or onelocal, so you can get your Bao fix for your whole office. This hidden gem in Waterloo will quickly become a favourite and the reason for many cravings, I think about it often!