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How I'm Staying Postive


I'm not going to lie, it's not easy in these times to always be positive, but as a generally positive person, I thought that I would share a few of the things that I'm doing now to stay positive. Some of these tips are things I do all  the time, but I can assure you if you start to implement some of these into your routine, little by little, you'll feel the positivity coming.

 


Daily Gratitude: Even now, there is something that happens to you daily that you can be grateful for. Maybe it's  something small like some flowers in your garden, a new show you found on Netflix or a quick call with a friend, but be grateful. I find that the smaller the things you can find to be grateful for, the more general enjoyment you will have. Not everything has to be amazing and huge to be grateful for, last week I was so happy for my oatmeal that was perfect!

 


Get dressed: I know that it sounded like fun when we all started working from home to work in our PJ's, but getting dressed every day is the 1st step to feeling normal. Working from home may be your new normal, so make a routine of it, wear pants, brush your teeth and run a comb through your hair, you'll feel better about yourself when you look in the mirror.

 


Stop trying to be perfect: Online you're seeing all these people who are baking perfect loaves of bread, making beautiful cakes or home schooling their kids from their incredible home classroom. You don't have to be Instagram perfect, you kept yourself and your kids alive today, you did it! You're winning at life, stop comparing your time at home to how others are spending their time, do what feels right for you and do something small to move that needle every day.

 


Think of others: Every week I choose 5 people or families who I can give a moment of happiness to, maybe that's delivering some cookies, sharing a some puzzles or games, having a phone call, writing a letter for fun mail, or making videos of George doing magic tricks. When you focus your time on how you can make someone else's day better, you're not thinking about yourself for a while and it's easy to be positive when you think of how happy you can make other people!

 


Take up that hobby: Do you have something that you've always wanted to try? Maybe it's learning how to play guitar, woodworking, a physical skill like hula hooping, reading those books that have become dust collectors on your shelf or if you're like me, you like to crochet to make things, I've moved into some new crochet skills with slippers and baby yoda dolls recently, spoiler alert for my family for Christmas! YouTube is a great place to learn a little something that you can try as a hobby.

 


Find something to look forward to: I get it, we've all given up a lot to be home, we've already missed 2 trips and I think that at least 4 concerts will be cancelled, but I know that a lot of those things are still going to happen. I often find that the planning before a trip is a big part of the excitement. So chat with your friends and family and make plans for when we can see each other again, plan a BBQ, a trip, a fun day or even what you're going to do the first day you take your kids and leave them with Grandma and Grandpa.. The anticipation of greater times to come will help you with your positive thoughts.

 


If your'e still having a hard time with what you've lost during this time, I find it helps to look back at old photos and remember the good times that you've had in the past. I know that my photo roll on my phone is always good for a few hours or laughs and memories, share those memories with people who were with you, send them the photo, send a video of yourself remembering those times, you'll be happy you had those times to keep you going when it's harder now .
There is no light without the darkness, so embrace these times and know that there will be better times soon and we're all in this together. If you find these tips helpful, please let me know and if you still need help to find positiviity, please reach out, I'm always here to chat and have some positive conversations.
 

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Great reads right now

Need an idea for a new read?  I've got a guest writer on this blog, thanks to Candace, she loves to read and when I asked her for some info about good reads right now, she was happy to share!  

 

Here are 6 of her top picks right now, including a few of her thoughts on the book.  Happy Reading! 

 

"They said Nick wanted a certain number, and honestly I don't remember what it was so I told them to give it to him.  I'll make it back, she recalled saying. And then I did. Give or take a billion."

 

 

This is a must-read memoir for everyone – filled with the juicy details of her relationships but it is so much more then just that.  Jessica really presents us with the story of her life – trauma, failures, successes and really finding herself.

 

“Life up here may be simple but it’s not easy, and it’s not for everyone. Water runs out; pipes freeze; engines won’t start; it’s dark for eighteen, nineteen hours a day, for months. Even longer in the far north. Up here it’s about having enough food to eat, and enough heat to stay alive through the winter. It’s about survival, and enjoying the company of the people that surround us. It’s not about whose house is the biggest, or who has the nicest clothes, or the most money. We support each other because we’re all in this together.

 

 

This book is full of love, self discovery and forgiveness.  K.A Tucker brings you on an adventure in Alaska – be prepared to not only fall in love with the characters, but the remote, dark, cold landscape of Alaska.

 

“Today I was supposed to be with Brandon.  Setting a bottle of Woodford Reserve against his headstone.  Sitting on a blanket on the grass where we laid him to rest, telling him how much I missed him, how the world was worse for him not being in it, how hollow I was and it wasn’t getting better with time like they said it would.”

 

 

Bring out the Kleenex – this book will have you in tears at times, but also hopeful for Sloan to find love, and find herself again after the tragic loss of her fiancé Brandon.  This rom-com book really does touch on all the emotions

 

“But the love of sisters needs no words. It does not depend on memories, or mementos, or proof. It runs as deep as a heartbeat. It is as ever present as a pulse”

 

 

This story is based on a real place that existed from the 1920s-50s – The Tennessee Children’s Society.   Avery, the daughter of a prominent senator feels as though there is a secret that her grandmother is keeping.  The book then brings us back in time, with Rill with her siblings in the Arcadia.  The book does flip from past to present and it really helps set the tone for the story.

“Life doesn't work that way, Alina. Hatred spreads - it doesn't burn out with time. Someone needs to stand up and stop it.”

 

 

Present: Alice’s grandmother is hospitalized and unable to speak, but finds a way to communicate to Alice.  She asks Alice to travel back to her homeland in Poland.  Past: the story of Alina, and her family and love during the war.  The story is much more then a story about the war, and a hidden secret.

“From the inside, a violent home looks starkly different than it does to outsiders. Children who grow up with cold, narcissistic, or sadistic parents don’t know that a caretaker with the potential for extreme cruelty is not the norm. Even when they see a contrast in the families of friends, they’ve already been robbed of the ability to challenge parental authority. Instead of seeking help, they hunker down and adapt.”
 

 

This is a true crime story of ‘Shelly’ Knotec – a sadistic lady who tortured anyone who came into her life.  It is really well written but not a light read – beware as the content is very graphic.

 

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Great Organization Hacks & Tips


Have you been putting it off? or have you already organized your whole house? There's time now to look at your closets and crawl spaces and clear out the old junk you don't need or find a way to make them more efficient.  

 

 

I know a lot of you still have boxes in the crawl space from when you moved to your home 3 years ago, if you haven't needed them in that time, you don't need them!


Here are some great organizing ideas to help you get started:

 


�� Use that space in your linen closet by hanging a few towel racks inside the door to hang long items that are bulky to fold


�� Learn the Marie Kondo method of folding by standing items up in the drawer, they are easier to see, you don't lose the shirts on the bottom of the pile and it saves so much space!


�� Hang pots and pans - not every home has a space for a ceiling hung pot rack, but you can do a half moon one on the wall, or even put hangers on the outside edge of your cupboards to make them easy to grab


�� Reclaim garage ceiling space - one of the items in a garage that people are most impressed with is above storage, this can be used for those items you only get out once a year, like Christmas ornaments and saves so much space!


�� Re purpose those old dresser drawers, if you have a dresser you are looking to get rid of and you aren't using the space under your bed for storage, use those drawers under your bed for storage. They are great for shoes, seasonal clothing, or even toys for the kids.


�� Use magazine holders on their side to wrangle those reusable water bottles and coffee cups


�� organize makeup with magnets, when I saw this in a house, I was amazed! Clear off your bathroom counter by hanging a magnet strip on the bathroom beside the mirror, then glue magnets to your favourite items and hang them in an easy to grab space on that magnetic strip


�� If you use pot drawers, you may still have an issue on what to do with the pot lids, these drawers are usually large enough to put a tension curtain rod across the front, then you can stand up the lids in that space and they are successfully wrangled and out of the way!


�� is your wrapping paper running away every time you open that closet? Use binder clips to clip the paper together, so those loose ends don't unravel. You can also try hanging your wrapping paper in a garment bag


�� In the pantry, try using a shower caddy to store those loose items like snacks, spice packets or juice crystals

 


Hope these tips give you some inspiration to get organized, let me know which idea is your favourite and if you're going to try any of them.


 

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Great Poutines in Kitchener Waterloo

Let’s talk about the best Canadian combination that has ever existed, potatoes, cheese and gravy!  If you want to feel like you’re eating a healthy salad when you order a poutine, we call is a potato salad with gravy vinaigrette and cheese.  There are many factors that go into a great poutine and I’m sure not everyone is going to agree with me on where to get a great one, but if you haven’t tried the ones on this list, give them a try and let me know what you think!

Let’s start with what I like in a poutine, it needs to have a beefy gravy, I don’t like one made with chicken gravy, the fries need to be fresh cut and cheese needs to be real cheese curds!  I also like some additional toppings on a poutine, not always, a traditional one is good too, but most of the ones I dream about on this list have some kind of fun topping or modification

 

Crazy Canuck

141 Ontario St N, Kitchener  or 845 Weber St, Waterloo 

The poutine at Crazy Canuck is at the top of my list for a reason!  The portion size is great, their gravy is perfect, and they have nice crispy fresh cut fries!  I order the Montreal smoked meat one, real Quebec style, now they do include some sauerkraut and some kind of mustard, I opt not to have those and just enjoy their traditional poutine with the smoked meat.  They also seem to fry up the meat a little, so it’s nice and warm and has crispy edges, it’s the poutine of my dreams!

 

Big Fat Pita

85 King St W - Kitchener

I know that it sound strange to enjoy a poutine from a pita place, but they offer much more than pitas stuffed with more chicken and shawarma than you can handle!  They also make a very nice and rich beef gravy atop of fresh cut fries and fresh cheese curds.  Their traditional poutine is good, but if you order it with bacon on top, he puts on so much bacon crumble that you can’t even see the fries!  That’s a huge win on splurge day!

 

Smoke’s Poutinerie

255 King St N – Waterloo

Smokes is exactly what you would expect them to be, they specialize in poutines and they do a great job at it.  They do offer different types of gravy, so if you want to get a meat free gravy, smokes is your place!  Their main gravy is a chicken base, which is why it’s no on the top of my list, but their homemade gravy recipe is delicious.  Smoke’s offers the most topping options of any poutine place on this list, and my favourite is the philly steak.  I find adding the philly beef to the poutine makes up for the missing beef gravy. 

 

Hemlock St Burger Bar

251 Hemlock St – Waterloo

For me what makes the Hemlock St Burger bar poutine so special is their fries!  They make a bomb fry to go with their burger on their own but turn those fries into a poutine and you’re making magic!  If you want to up your game even more, put some poutine right on that burger, it’s a match made in heaven!   They also offer the crispiest of the bacon, and as some of you know, I like my bacon SUPER crispy and Hemlock St Burger bar provides just that!

 

Classic Chip Truck locations

I’ll do a post later in the summer about the different chip trucks around town, but for now, I’ll list the chip trucks or little permanent huts where you can get fresh cut fries with beef gravy and squeaky cheese curds, let me know which of these is your favourite

David’s Fries – 36 Lancaster St W

Manitou Takeout -  808 Courtland Ave E

Wesley’s – 2067 Victoria St N

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Top 5 Sunday Brunch Spots in Waterloo Region

Brunch is one of the best ways to kickstart a Sunday Funday!   We have lots of incredible spots for brunch in the region, here are some spots where you are able to enjoy an great meal and of course a Mimosa or Caesar!

 

Cambridge Mill

100 Water S N, Cambridge

Brunch at the Cambridge Mill is a whole morning/afternoon event.  They have an incredible spread in their buffet from all the usual breakfast foods to a huge table of cold items, seafood and a carvery with a rotating selection of meats.  They even have made to order items like Belgian Waffles, fresh crepes and omelettes!  Most spots in the restaurant come with a fantastic view of the river and if you are brunching after 11am, you can enjoy bottomless Mimosa’s, Caeser’s and Bloody Mary’s. 

 

The Bauer Kitchen

187 King St S, Waterloo 

For those looking for a great brunch spot uptown, The Bauer Kitchen has you covered.  Offering a brunch menu with lots of great options like homemade granola and a lovely basket of baked goods to an incredible lobster eggs benedict.  If you are brunching with someone who doesn’t like breakfast foods (but why would you) Bauer Kitchen also offers pizzas, burgers and gluten and vegan friendly options so everyone can join you.  If you’re looking for a great Sunday drink, they have a vast caeser bar where you can make your own caeaser by choosing from a variety of spices and toppings like pickles, bacon and so many other tasty drink toppers. 

 

Proof Kitchen

110 Erb St W, Waterloo 

Another great uptown location for Brunch, you can enjoy brunch at Proof and then go for a walk in Waterloo park, what a great way to spend a weekend day!  They offer a smaller brunch menu, but the food is incredibly delicious, I would strongly suggest you try the baked and stuffed French toast!  Especially if you have a sweet tooth like me!  If savory is your jam, the smoked Brisket Benedict has been a hit!  They also offer a little boozy brunch with Caesers and Mimoas for just $5 each.  Brunch on!

 

Golf Steak House

598 Lancaster St W - Kitchener 

No brunch list would be complete without mentioning the one that started it all in town.  Golf Steakhouse is the family spot to have brunch, this is a great place to go for a large family birthday and their Sunday brunch offers something to please everyone in your family.  They offer all the regular breakfast  buffet foods, lots of cold salads and even devilled eggs on their salad bar!  For those looking for more of a hot lunch, you can enjoy ribs, roast beef and ham on their hot tables and carvery!  They don’t offer any boozey breakfast options, but don’t worry, you can eat your feelings on their dessert table!

 

 

Kypreos

305 Lancaster St W, Kitchener 

I wouldn’t call Kypreos an only Sunday Brunch spot, Kypreos is our go to breakfast spot. I love their hashbrown potatoes and they always make the eggs perfectly.  They offer a large breakfast menu that is sure to please anyone in your party, but this is the spot you would go to when you want to enjoy a delicious and quick breakfast, Kypreos will not dispappoint, their service is fast and friendly and the food is always hot a delicious!

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Movie Theatres In Kitchener Waterloo

Movie Theatres In Kitchener Waterloo 

 

We’re still in hibernation mode, but want to get out of the house, but not too excited about going outside.  How about you warm up with a movie and some popcorn.  Kitchener Waterloo has some great spots to check out a movie

and they have different wonderful perks, so here’s my list of where you can go to see a movie in the Region and why you would want to go to each location.

 

 

Princess Cinema & Princess Twin

Both great spots in Uptown Waterloo.  You would go here for a few reasons, you want to see support a local business and you want to see a great movie that may not be playing in the big theatres.  Last year for us, it was the Oscar nominated film Parasite, I could not get enough of that movie and Princess was the first and one of the only places to have it! They also host great festival movies and so many other unique events for movie goers.  Another great thing about the princess is the membership pricing and they use real butter on the popcorn which they are melting from a real stick of butter!  Also, you can buy individual licorice there, what more can you ask for!

 

Apollo Cinema

Another wonderful local theatre, located in Downtown Kitchener.  Best part about Apollo is in the renovation when they opened, they removed every other row of seating from the first few rows and put in tables in front of the seats, it’s an incredible transformation with room for your popcorn, snacks and drinks!  They have a liquor license and serve great local adult beverages.  Apollo also has member pricing, but what I love about them is that they play some really fun retro movies with themed drinks and food!  Think Uncle Buck with Pancakes or Home Alone 2 with Cheese Pizza.  Apollo is such a fun theatre to see a movie in and you should check them out for one of their fun drunken movie nights, you get to shout at the screen and have a blast!  They even serve local Four all ice cream there, so it’s got a little something for everyone!

 

Cineplex VIP

This theatre offers exactly what the name says it does, it offers a VIP service, it does have regular movies too, but the VIP can be worth it for the right movie!  In VIP, the seats recline, have small tray tables for your drinks and snacks and they even have a person who will take your dinner order at your seat if you arrive to the movie early enough.  This theatre is the full package and a way to really wow your date!  There is a full menu, so you can order appetizers, full meals which are great and dessert as well as get your regular popcorn.  They also offer a fully licensed bar and can mix you up a cocktail or pour a pint of beer.  My favourite part about VIP is that the entire VIP section of the theatre is 19+ so there are never any children, it’s a great night out!

 

Landmark 10 & Landmark 12

These theatres are our go to places for when you’re looking to see a new blockbuster movie.  Landmark has some of the best theatre popcorn and all their seating is reserved.  The reserved seating is one of my favourite things about the theatre now and makes movie going much more enjoyable if you are on a tight schedule.  I always keep a Costco pass or 2 in my purse and can book those deals online and have the perfect seats reserved.  Landmark 12 down by Sportsworld also offers an IMAX theatre if you’re looking for big screen experience.  I love that we offer this here now, IMAX used to be something we could only see in Toronto and had to travel for that special night.  Both of these theatres offer a great experience, comfortable seats and make for a great regular movie night out.

 

Cineplex Conestoga Mall

Cineplex by Conestoga Mall is also your typical new release movie theatre, they do have some fun weekend morning retro movies for kids at a reduced rate for a fun family morning out as well.  My favourite part about this Cineplex is that they offer food in their theatre, burgers, fries, sandwiches.  This theatre also has reserved seats and if you’re in a time crunch to make an early movie and haven’t had dinner yet, this theatre has you covered!  Another fun option for action movies is Cineplex offers D-Box which is a 4D experience where the seat moves with the movie, think of taking a ride with the movie! 

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Where to Skate for Free in Kitchener/Waterloo

Where to Skate for Free in Kitchener/Waterloo 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
Did you know that there is free skating every week all over the Region?  Here's a list of where and when you can  enjoy a free public skate.  There are also lots of single days of free skating available in the Region, get out there and enjoy this fun winter activity.  If you like to skate outside, enjoy the rink in front of Kitchener City Hall, it's now open and ready for those perfect winter days. 
 
 

 

Weekly Free Skates

 

     

 

 

Arena 

 

Day 

 

Time

 

Notes

 

 

Activa Sportsplex

 Monday

 

 

3:30pm - 4:50pm

 

Last skate: June 29

Cancellations: December 9 & 30, March 9

Lions

 

Monday

 

3:30pm- 4:50pm

 

 

March 9 only

 

Kinsmen Arena (The Aud)

 

Tuesday

 

10:30am-11:20am

Last skate: March 3

Cancellations: November 26, December 24 & 31

 

 

Activa Sportsplex

 

Tuesday

 

3:30pm - 4:50pm

 

Last skate: June 30

Cancellations: December 24 & 31

 

Don McLaren Arena

 

Tuesday

 

4:00pm - 4:50pm 

 

Last skate: March 24

Cancellations: December 24 & 31

Grand River Arena 

 

Tuesday

 

4:00pm - 4:50 pm

 

Last skate: March 24

Cancellations: December 24 & 31

 

Lions

 

Wednesday

 

11am - 12:50pm

 

Last skate: March 25

Cancellations: December 25 & January 1

 

Kinsmen (The Aud) 

 

Wednesday

 

4:00pm - 4:50pm

 

Last skate: March 11

Cancellations: December 25 & January 1
 

Kiwanis (The Aud) 

Thursday

 

 

10:30am - 11:20am

 

 

Last skate: March 12

Cancellations: December 26

 

Activa Sportsplex

 

Thursday

 

11:15am - 12:05 pm

 

Last skate: June 25

Cancellations: December 26 & May 7

 

Activa Sportsplex

 

Thursday

 

3:30pm - 4:50pm 

 

Last skate: June 25

Cancellations: December 26 & May 7

 

Lions Arena

 

Thursday

 

4:00pm - 4:50 pm

 

Last skate: March 26

Cancellations: December 26

 

Activa Sportsplex

 

Friday

 

10:15am - 12:05pm

 

Last skate: June 26

Cancellations: November 22, December 27, 

January 31, April 24, May 1 & May 8

 

 

 

 

Free Skate Days

 

 

Location

Date

Time

 

Albert McCormick Community Centre

 

November 10th

 

12:00pm - 12:50pm

RIM Park Manulife Sportsplex

 

December 8th 

 

3:30pm - 5:20pm 

 

Activa Sportsplex

 

Decemeber 23rd

 

9:00am - 10:50am

 

Sportsworld (Gaylea Rink)

 

December 23rd 

 

1:00pm - 2:50pm

 

Lions Arena 

 

December 30th 

 

2:00pm - 3:50pm

 

Sportsworld (Gaylea Rink)

 

January 2nd 

 

9:00am - 10:50am  and 

2:00 pm - 3:50pm

 

Lions Arena 

 

January 2nd 

 

9:00 am - 9:50am  and 

1:00 pm - 2:50 pm

 

Don McLaren Arena 

 

January 2nd

 

9:00 am - 10:50am and 

1:00 pm - 2:50 pm

 

Grand River Arena 

 

January 2nd 

 

9:00 am - 10:50 am and

1:00 pm - 2:50 pm

 

Lions Arena

 

January 3rd 

 

9:00 am - 9:50am and

1:00 pm - 2:50pm

 

Don McLaren Arena 

 

January 3rd

 

9:00 am - 10:50 am and

1:00 - 2:50 pm

 

Grand River Arena 

 

January 3rd 

 

9:00 am - 10:50 am and 

1:00 pm - 2:50 pm

 

Sportsworld (Practice Arena)

 

January 3rd

 

1:15pm - 2:50pm

 

Albert McCormick Community Centre

 

January 12th 

 

12:00pm - 12:50 pm

 

RIM Paril Manulife Sportsplex

 

February 9th 

 

3:30pm - 5:20pm

 

Albert McCormick Community Centre

 

March 8th 

 

12:00pm - 12:50pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

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50 things to do to sell your home faster

50 Tips to Prepare your Home to Sell Faster 

 

Here’s 50 tips of what you should be doing to get your home ready for sale, some of these things are great projects you can work on over the winter if you are looking to sell in Spring of 2020.   

 

If you need me to come by for a quick evaluation to let you know what you should be working on to make your home look it’s best, let me know.  I’m always happy to come over early in the process to get you started, some of my clients take over a year to get their home ready, but by having me in early, you aren’t wasting time or money on items that won’t increase the value or your home or get it sold quickly.

 

Evaluate:

1. Have a Realtor, Interior Designer or Professional Organizer Walk through your home with fresh eyes to determine what needs to be removed, updated or repaired in your home.

 

Repair:
 

2. Patch Damaged Walls
3. Replace Cracked Floor Tiles
4. Oil Squeaky Doors
5. Fix Sticky Windows or broken panes of glass
6. Fix leaky faucets and toilets
7. Re-Caulk Sinks and tubs
8. Replace and repair ripped and broken screens

 

Update:

 

9. Replace outdated cabinet knobs and pulls
10. Update old lighting fixtures
11. Update blinds if needed
12. Replace shower heads or faucets if needed

 

Paint:

 

13. Paint interior walls neutral colours
14.Paint exterior doors and window trim
15. Paint baseboards to freshen
16. Paint ceiling to freshen up if needed
17. Paint exterior railings if possible

 

Brighten:

 

18.Take down heavy window coverings that block light
19.Wash all windows
20.Increase the wattage of light bulbs
21.Replace Dark Lamp Shades


Depersonalize:

 

22. Remove family Photos
23. Store Knicknacks
24. Remove any large collections or collectable items of value

 

De-Clutter:

 

25. Thin out books on the shelves
26. Empty Kitchen Counters
27. Remove out of season clothing from closets
28. Store items in the appropriate space (garage or storage unit)

 

Organize:

 

29. Organize Pantry
30. Organize Closets
31. Organize basemen storage
32. Organize Garage, Shed and outdoor storage

 

Clean:

 

33. Clean all interior surfaces
34. Clean door & window frames, tracks and jams
35. Air out and clean cabinets under sinks
36. Power wash decks and walkways
37. Clean outdoor furniture
38. Clean porch lights and all cobwebs

 

 Hide Signs of Pets:

 

39.. Remove all pet smells
40. Hide pet food and water bowls
41. Take pets away for all showings, or let a friend care for them while your home is for sale

 

Stage Inside:

 

42. Reduce amount of furniture in each room
43. Organize furniture to give each room a purpose
44. Place flowers around home for showing

45. Prune & Landscape:

46. Remove all dead plants
47. rune overgrown shrubs and bushes
48. Fill open garden space with seasonal flowers
49. Add fresh mulch to beds

 

Stage Outside:

 

50.Make front porch clean and inviting with nice chairs if there is room
BONUS:  Use outdoor furniture to create inviting outdoor spaces

 

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Prepare your house for winter

Winter is Coming - Prepare your Home for Winter 

 

     You’ve got your snow tires on and you’ve cleaned up and put all your patio furniture away, but what have you done to winterize and prepare your house? Your house is probably your biggest investment and therefore deserves a little of your attention. I’ve compiled 10 easy tips for you to help make sure your house is ready for Jack Frost and Old Man Winter.


     1. Clean out the gutters. Blocked gutter can cause ice to build up in you gutters and push them away from the house. Blocked gutters also cause something called ice-damming. This is a condition on your roof where snow melts on nice sunny days but has nowhere to drain and starts to back up under the shingles and can cause interior leaks and damage. Check the eaves troughs for leaks and holes and repair as needed. Holes can lead to large and dangerous icicles.


     2. Adjust and replace damaged downspouts. Downspouts can get damaged over the summer by children, pets and wayward lawnmowers. Make sure they are in good shape and are directed well away from your foundation. Water that is allowed to drain beside the foundation can cause water to freeze and apply pressure against your foundation and potentially cause cracks.


     3. Clean out your window wells. Leaves and newspapers that get blown around in the fall can accumulate in window wells and block the drain that is located just below the gravel. A blocked drain can cause water to leak through your windows into your basement.


     4. Turn off the outdoor water facet. You probably have a hose in your yard or garage. In very cold weather the water in the line supplying your hose can freeze and cause a pipe to burst inside the house. Make sure you shut the valve (usually located in your basement) that supplies any faucet that may be subjected to extreme cold. Don't forget to remove the hose and store it inside and leave the valve open.


     5. Check the attic. It’s a good idea especially in older homes to check to make sure your insulation has not be blown away in areas near the edge where the vents are. Bare spots of insulation will cause heat loss and hot-spots on the roof which will cause snow to melt and possibly backup under your shingles as well as cause icicles to form inside your attic.


     6. Do a visual inspection of your roof shingles from the ground. If you see any curled shingles, don’t wait to contact a roofing contractor to investigate immediately. Warn shingles can become loose and blow off in wind storms. Missing shingles can be very costly or impossible to replace in the middle of winter.


     7. Get your furnace inspected. It’s always a good idea to have your furnace serviced each year to ensure your family’s safety as well as to make sure that it is working as efficiently as possible. Make sure to change your furnace filter every 30 days during the heating months.


     8. Check windows and doors for air leaks. On a windy day, take an incense stick and hold it up to the edge of windows and door frames. Any air leaks should be corrected with caulking, or replacing doorsweeps.


     9. Fireplaces and woodstoves. If you have any woodburning stove or fireplace including pellets stoves, an annual inspection and professional cleaning are required by insurance companies. Even if you never use your fireplace it’s still a good idea to have the chimney inspected every year or two to make sure that it could potentially be used in case of an extended power outage in the middle of a winter storm.


     10. Check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure that the batteries are changed in spring and fall. Carbon monoxide detectors have an expiration date and must be replaced from time to time. Check your carbon monoxide detector for its best before date today.


     Mark Carruthers is a Registered Insurance Broker with Pioneer Insurance Brokers located in Kitchener, Ontario. mcarruthers@pioneerinsure.com

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Kitchener Oktoberfest Fest Halls

Where to Oktoberfest in Kitchener/Waterloo

 

If you’ve never had the chance to attend our Oktoberfest, it is a sight to behold!  As a non beer drinker I have still found joy in the festivities! Including the incredible traditional outfits, the dancing that I am so happy to see people  keeping the tradition, the German Polka music and of course the chicken dance!  Who doesn’t enjoy getting down to a little chicken dance.  Let’s not forget the food, the region is full of pretzels, schneitzel, sausages, Oktoberfest mustard and warm beer nuts! 

Oktoberfest is a great 9 days for those in the region to get together to enjoy some good cheer before winter begins and many events are family friendly.  For a full list of events visit here

 

Below is a list of the region’s fest halls, what makes them unique and where to find them

 

Alpine Club

464 Maple Ave, Kitchener

 

Known for their apple Strudel, go to Alpine club for the eats and stay for the fun entertainment.  Alpine club offers traditional dancers, has their own house band and if you’re lucky, you may catch the lumberjack demonstration! 

 

BAYERISCHES HAUS

90 King St W – Elements Night Club

 

Bayerisches Haus is a community partnership with the Lions clue and will be hosting those more night club like events including Beatoberfest and Rocktoberfest, this would be the fest hall where more university students will be attending.  If you’ve never been to one of these events, make sure to wear short pants, with the amount of beer spilled on the floor from the beer drinking and polka dancing, it will wick up your pants to your knees!

 

Chicopee Haus

396 Morrison Rd, Kitchener

 

Our only fest hall located in a rustic ski chalet, this fest hall offers some really fun outdoor festing opportunities.  You can enjoy the evening relaxing outdoors on one of the Muskoka chairs by the fire pit or try your luck in the shooting range; fire a pumpkin from the trebuchet, shoot the potato guns, blast a pumpkin from the canon, or throw and axe in the range.  Gather your friends and try their 4 person shot ski too!

 

Concordia Club

429 Ottawa St S, Kitchener

 

If you’ve never been to Oktoberfest before and you’re only going to do it once, make Concordia Club your stop.  The Concordia Club is the largest ethnic German Club in Canada. The entertainment and food during the festival, as well as the rest of the year, is as unique and diverse as is the heritage of the Concordia Club.  Concordia club can hold almost 4,000 guests on any fest evening with their large fest tent.  While it is also the loudest of the venues, you are sure to have fun playing their many games, dancing with friends and strangers, they have live music all night long and also have traditional dancing entertainment.  They also put on an incredible German platter dinner, you might even catch a glimpse of Unkle Hans if you look!

 

Hubertushaus

1605 Bleams Rd, Mannheim

 

Another staple in the fest hall lineup, Hubertushaus offers some unique food specialities including Rollbratten (pork tenderloin roasted on a spit) served with Spaetzle Noodles & Coleslaw or Breaded Pork Schnitzel served with Potato Salad & Coleslaw as well as a selection of scrumptious cakes and tortes.  This year they are also hosting their 50th anniversary family event Bogenschuetzenfest.  What is Bogenschuetzenfest? This family friendly event is the longest continuous running Family & Cultural Event and will be celebrating it's 50th anniversary in 2019. Anyone with a barebow and 2 special blunt-tipped arrows may participate in Bogenschuetzenfest on Saturday, October 12th. The aim is to knock off parts of a Styrofoam eagle mounted on top of a 35' pole. On Sunday, October 13, participants can compete in the Running Boar Tournament, where the target is a 3D replica of a wild boar travelling at approximately 20 km/h. Any bow is allowed and field tip arrows.

 

 

KOENIGSTRASSE GARTEN

125 King St W , kitchener – Bobby O’Briens

 

With all the changes that have happened in the last few years in downtown, it has been harder and harder to find a home for the beer garden tent. Best thing about the tent is that they service beer and German fare and you don’t need a ticket to get in.  This year, that space will be hosted on downtown Kitchener’s largest patio at Bobby O’Briens, a good match.  Head downtown and watch the tapping of the keg and stop in here for a pint or two.  This tent will only be open the 1st weekend of Oktoberfest

 

Oktoberfesthaus

41 Ardelt Place, Kitchener

 

The newest Festhall, which just launched in 2019.  Promising to be one of the biggest fest halls in the festival offering authentic music and food.  The food will be provided by the Transylvania club, who with the closing of the stampede last year has lost their venue for Oktoberfest.  Oktoberfesthaus is unique in that they will be cashless, you’ll be able to buy everything you need with just a wristband, so make sure you go online to get set up to avoid the lineups

 

Schwaben Club

1668 King St E, Kitchener

 

Schwaben club is another German club that offers year round German fare, so you know that the food is incredible, they also offer German beer on tap and are one of the only fest halls to offer this during Oktoberfest.  Home of the shotski and with 2 different fest halls within Schwaben club, you are free to choose which fest hall suits you, as you progress through the halls throughout the night, they get a little more rowdy! 

 

Oktoberfest Koolhaus

425 Bingeman’s Centre Dr, Kitchener

 

Koolhaus is another large tent fest hall.  What makes Kool Haus unique is that they offer VIP lounges, you up to 5 friends can enjoy a more relaxing Oktoberfest experience with bottle service and private bar access all night.  Also offering German fare and even local craft beers, Bingeman’s knows how to cater to a crowd and this is going to be one fun crowd at Kool Haus!

 

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