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!
Stephanie Catcher at 10:49 AM
Business Spotlight - Zehrs Click and Collect
Thursday, April 4, 2019
Zehrs Click and Collect
Getting groceries is part of everyone’s regular routine, but if you’re like me, finding the time to spend walking around a grocery store just isn’t how I like to spend my free time. Not only does grocery shopping take me a long time, but I also find I spend way more in the store than I have to on those tasty impulse items.
This year I discovered click and collect, now I’m not going to lie, it took a few orders to become the breeze it is now, so don’t be frustrated when you first try it. When you first set up the service, you need to make sure to log in, if you are logged in, the system will remember what you have ordered in the past and will start smart suggesting when you are ordering. Also, make sure to add your PC points card number to your profile so you can collect your points on all your purchases.
The search through the categories can be a little daunting, which is why I like to use the search bar function, but there is a great tip. Instead of searching for just one item like bread, search for many items you know you need and put commas in between so you can find them all at once and save time (bread, milk, raisin bran, cottage cheese) this will speed up the process. Once you’ve ordered a few times, your frequent items will appear in a list making it much easier to shop online.
I was worried about having someone who works for the store picking my items, worried I wouldn’t get the best produce or I would get milk about to expire, but I can assure you, I’ve been happy every time with the items chosen. It seems the people who shop at Zehrs for you are shopping like they would for themselves and it’s much appreciated! The other thing that the shoppers at Zehrs do which is great, is if an item you ordered online is out of stock in store, they will call you, ask if a substitute is an option, and give you the options for similar products. The communication they provide is fantastic, and they always have great substitution suggestions.
The other reason I like the click and collect online ordering is that I am less likely to impulse buy that giant bag of chocolates or extra tub of fancy sounding ice cream. The $3 I pay to have Zehrs complete the shop for me saves me money and most likely pounds in the long run!
Once your time frame has come and it’s time to pick up your groceries, you arrive at Zehrs, try the one at Stanley park, it has underground parking for their click and collect, so in the winter, you don’t have to worry about the snow! Once you arrive, you call the number on the click and collect sign and they will come out with a cart of your items, which have been in their fridges and freezers waiting for you. If you order one of those hot counter chickens, they will grab that when you call so it’s super fresh and hot still! You can bag your own groceries from their cart, or if you have nice plastic reusable grocery containers, you can use those too. The service is environmentally friendly, convenient, fast and fantastic! Give Zehrs click and collect a try, I can guarantee after using it about 3 times, you’ll be hooked on it’s ease.
Stephanie Catcher at 9:50 AM
Attending Open Houses
Friday, March 22, 2019
Are you going to Open Houses?
Attending open houses can be fun, you can see your neighbours homes, get decorating ideas, go into large homes and dream of the possibilities; but are you doing it right? When you attend an open house the agent working that open house is there to sell that home or to connect to potential clients. Are you leading that agent on? Are you pretending to be an interested buyer? Are you not interested in the home and walk around giving negative comments?
While as a realtor we are happy to have people come through the open house, there is some etiquette that we would expect. If you are a neighbour and simply coming through to “check” out the house just let the realtor know. I often find that neighbours can be the best source of finding buyers for a home, they let all their friends know how great the neighbourhood is and they see the signs go up first, but if the realtor hosting the open house thinks you are an interested buyer they may be wasting valuable time speaking with you at an open house when they could be answering questions for a truly interested buyer. The same rules apply if you are a person who frequents open houses as something to do on the weekend or is looking for decorating ideas. A simple “I’m just looking for decorating ideas” or “I’m a neighbour, not looking to buy myself” can go a long way in an open house and will most likely guarantee you won’t be hounded for information either.
If you are a buyer who is interested in buying but the house is not what you had expected, simply leave. Remember the agent doesn’t own the house and while constructive feedback is appreciated, often the agent is aware of the condition of the home and if there are obvious defects, they are aware of that too. When you walk through an open house with lots of negative opinions and there are other people in the house, remember that this may be the home of their dreams or their budget may differ from yours and this home is all they are able to afford and they will make it work. If you walk around and provide negative comments around every corner you may be jeopardizing the sale of the home. The agent will not be offended if you simply walk in, say it’s not the right home for you and leave.
I look forward to seeing you at any open house I hold and hope if you attend other agents open houses that you keep these tips in mind, happy hunting!
Stephanie Catcher at 2:46 PM
Business Spotlight - Groundhog Divers
Friday, March 22, 2019
Business Spotlight – GroundHog Divers
If you’re looking for a fantastic activity to expand your world, you should try diving. If you think that diving is only an activity that happens in crystal clear warm waters, think again. Our region has a fantastic dive shop that not only offers you all your diving gear but so much more!
Located at 194 Victoria St N, between Weber and Margaret, this family run dive shop is your one stop shop for all your diving, snorkeling and outdoor water sports needs. What makes this shop unique is all that they offer, including a classroom where you can complete your diving course on site, an indoor pool where you can learn to use the equipment, a fully stocked rental and sales department and a professional repair centre and of course all your tank refills needs can be taken care of as well.
Groundhog Divers also offers events for local diving to assist with getting your certifications and if you’d like to travel they know all the best dive spots and have many great relationships with international dive shops including Papa Hogs in Cozumel.
The knowledge and service offered by Bruce and his staff is vast and their underwater videos and photography alone are worth the trip into Groundhog Divers. If diving is a little too advanced for you, you can also get other water gear at Groundhog Divers like full snorkel sets, lifejackets, wet suits, Go Pro underwater cameras and water sports items.
If this is the year you’re looking to try something new that will turn into an enjoyable hobby for life, stop into Groundhog Divers and see what they have to offer, you won’t be disappointed.
Stephanie Catcher at 2:25 PM
What to do in Kitchener Waterloo - Local Bars
Friday, March 22, 2019
What to do in Kitchener/Waterloo - Local Bars
Looking for somewhere great to grab a craft beer, a unique cocktail, hear some live music, have a great late night bite to eat or play some games, here is a short list of some of the incredible bars in Kitchener Waterloo and what makes them great!
The Bent Elbow:
Located at: 2880 King Street E, Kitchener (Near Fairway and King at the Expressway Exit)
If you love craft beer, this little local bar is what you’ve been looking for: The Bent elbow offers 40 Taps of Ontario and World Class Craft Beer. Plus over 50 Bottles of One offs, Hard to Find Selections and Trappist Ales. They even make beer signature desserts!
Rhapsody Barrel Bar:
Located at: 179 King Street W, Kitchener, downtown Kitchener
This venue offers something unique nightly! They are a great little space to listen to some music or watch an up and coming comedian. Whisky or wine pairings with their unique menu full of small tapas, tacos or sliders. This is a great place to meet friends and enjoy some music on a nightly basis. Check their calendars often for what is happening, it’s always different!
Death Valley’s Little Brother (DVLB):
Located at: 84 King Street N, Uptown Waterloo
This little shop is full of all those things you know you shouldn’t have in excess, coffee bar during the day, buttery bread and an extensive Whisky bar in the evening. This is a great spot to end your night with a stiff nightcap and swap some stories!
Located at: 137 Glasgow Street, located in the Catalyst Buidling
This is the space Kitchener Waterloo has been waiting for and it offers all that we’ve been craving! You start your experience at an interactive table where you can place your order right from the table, play games or even watch the kitchen in live time making your delicious meal! Looking to enjoy a beer, they brew fouor in house and you can even take some home with you. Looking for a lighter morning, they also brew their own coffee and bake pastries and breads onsite. This location is worth a stop for a coffee, a drink, a fantastic meal or even just to see the art and the new electronic ordering tables!
Pin up Arcade Bar
Located at: 247 King Street N (King & University)
If you’re looking for a bit of nostalgia, stop into Pin Up Arcade bar for some adult beverages and some good old fashioned fun like we had at the old school arcade when we were kids! This is a great hangout spot to bring old friends and new and if you go during the day, you can even bring your kids and introduce them to the games you played as a kid!
Located at: 47 King Street North (Uptown Waterloo)
Carefully crafted cocktails and food is what you’ll find at White Rabbit, they have an impressive bar selection and wonderful food options and specials. Offering up specials such as all you can eat mussels, $10 lunch and Flights and bites with five different beers and five bites for just $20. Open until 2am, this is a wonderful stop for those who enjoy a well-planned cocktail and a tasty bite!
Arabella Park Beer Bar
Located at: 740 Belmont Avenue W (Belmont Village)
I would say Arabella park in one of the reasons that Belmont village is having a resurgence of great spots to spend time and enjoy some beverages. With 18 rotating beer taps featuring some of the Regions best local beer and ciders as well as other great microbrews, this bar is a fantastic place to enjoy and old favourite or discover a new brew. While you’re there, make sure to get some fries, they are fantastic too!
Stephanie Catcher at 10:09 AM
Keep your Floors Clean
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Keep your Floors Clean for Bare Feet
With Spring finally here, more and more buyers are looking at homes and are wearing sandals. While you may wear summer shoes in your home, buyers feel it’s rude to leave their shoes on in your home, so they take them off and are left with bare feet.
I urge everyone who has their home for sale in the summer to do the barefoot test. Take a walk around your home like you are a potential buyer in your bare feet and make sure that nothing sticks to your feet, that your feet don’t stick to anything and that your home in general feels clean.
Areas that I commonly find to be a concern are front entrances, make sure that if you do wear your shoes in the house that you aren’t leaving sand and dirt particles at your front door, a barefoot visitor will grab these on their feet as their first and last impressions. Basements, all buyers go into the basement, even if you don’t go there a lot, so make sure even your furnace or utility room is clean. Another basement area that can feel very dirty to bare feet is a kitty litter area, I’ve often walked into a basement and ended up with kitty litter on my feet from little fluffy walking it around the basement. I would suggest a small carpet outside of your kitty litter box for fluffy to wipe his paws on before he treks it all over the basement.
Buyers will also step outside of your home, into the garage or onto the deck, so make sure those areas are swept up as well. All areas of your home, inside and out need your attention, not only in the summer, but all year round.
Another item that can set off barefoot buyers is sticky kitchen floors, if you have children I’m sure a spilled drink it common, but in a buyers mind, a sticky floor is dirty and a dirty floor can mean a dirty home which causes them to wonder what else has been left unattended.
Before your home is ready for sale, make sure all areas of your home are bare foot tested and ready for those summer buyers.
Stephanie Catcher at 1:57 PM
Business Spotlight - La Cucina
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Business of the Week - La Cucina
If you haven’t been to visit La Cucina in downtown Kitchener yet, you’re missing some of the best pizza in the Region! This warm and cozy spot is one of our favourite spots for a random Tuesday date night, a great place to bring friends for a fantastic dinner out or even great for a special occasion.
Why do I like this spot so much? I love great Italian food and George appreciates a thin crust pizza. While I don’t have the pizza, George craves it like nothing else in town and we have to go here often to get his fix! Here’s what he likes about the pizza, the pizza oven is located in plain sight in the restaurant and you can watch your masterpiece being made, the ingredients are fresh and the crust is perfectly thin. When the pizza comes to your table, it’s still bubbling hot and smells so good! If you’re looking for a different pizza, they have so many varieties and Tuesday is Pizza night, all pizzas are only $13
If you prefer pasta, like I do, the pasta at La Cucina is incredible, all made in house and with homemade sauces and many ingredients imported to Italy. We visited Italy in 2016 and La Cucina is as close as we’ve come to enjoying meals like we did in Italy.
To start I would suggest the Caesar salad, always fresh and crisp with nice and crunchy croutons. If you’re looking for something to share, they have some incredible Antipasti plates with fresh meats, cheeses, and even house made porchetta!
The atmosphere at the restaurant is inviting, cozy and they have great tables for two that are intimate or space for family and friends to gather and enjoy a wonderful evening out. If you love Italian food in a great atmosphere, La Cucina will not disappoint, you’ll be proud to have introduced your friends and family to this wonderful downtown Kitchener gem!
Stephanie Catcher at 1:32 PM
Museums in Kitchener/Waterloo
Saturday, March 16, 2019
Waterloo Region has many museums that allow you to journey back into our local heritage or to see some interesting local art. If you are looking for something interesting to do with the family this weekend, give our local culture a chance, you’ll have fun, learn something and it’s reasonably priced for an afternoon.
Here is a list of some of our local museums and what they have to offer.
Our largest community museum, take a step back in time and visit this museum year round for exhibits and artifacts from the past. If you are visiting in the summer months, your admission also includes living history at Doon Heritage Village, see what life would have been like in Kitchener/Waterloo in 1914. This village comes to life with actors in costume, historic buildings, demonstrations and fun for the whole family!
Located at: 10 King Street West Kitchener, ON, N2G 1A3
Best known as a museum for children to have fun and learn, this exciting museum located downtown Kitchener has fun for the whole family with new exhibits often and many fun permanent exhibits including a bed of nails, Geo-Terraces, a walking Piano and the animation station. Many unique events held here in the evenings for adults including beer fests and interesting local food events. Be sure to check often to see what is new at the Museum.
Located at: 466 Queen Street South, Kitchener, ON N2G 1W7
Another living history Museum focused on life and art in the Waterloo Region, focused on folk art and learning trades of the past, all summer long you can learn skills such as soap making, spinning and dyeing wool, food preservation, health and folk medicines from the local garden and even tasty baking! Offering family admissions for $15 and many programs for less that $10 a day, this is a great spot to enjoy some local heritage.
Located at: 528 Wellington Street North, Kitchener ON N2H 5L5
Woodside National historic site is the boyhood home of Canada’s 10th and longest serving Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King. This authentic Victorian home is located in a beautiful park setting surrounded by 11.5 acres, and is stunning in the fall. Children can visit free and adults are less than $5, view artifacts donated by the King family and see how a family lived in the early days of Kitchener, then called Berlin.
located at 101 Queen St N, inside Centre In The Square.
Kitchener Waterloo Gallery focuses on connecting people and ideas through art, with a focus on contemporary culture. When you visit here, you would often see artists from Canada and around the world featured. This museum offers many art programs for adults and children including free gallery tours, culture talks, art for beginners, creative play and many fun summer art camps in a variety of topics. Admission to visit this gallery is free and programs are reasonably priced.
Located at: 25 Caroline Street North, Waterloo, ON N2L 2Y5
Located in Uptown Waterloo, the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery is dedicated to exhibiting and collecting ceramic, glass, enamel and stained glass works of art. Its exhibits rotate four times a year and offers many programs for both children and adults. Admission into the gallery is free and while you are there, you can stop into the shop and pick up some unique gifts!
Located at: 1754 Old Mill Road, Kitchener, ON N2P 1H7
This beautifully maintained home of Homer Watson houses many original Homer Watson pieces, dedicated to the preservation and collection of his art, this gallery not only offers an opportunity to view his artwork, but also that of many other local artists using a variety of mixed medium. If you’re looking to be inspired, visit Homer Watson House and Gallery, not only is the art interesting, but are the house and the grounds. Art courses are also offered for all ages, this home nestled in a beautiful neighbourhood is a must see and with admission for adults of only $5, it’s a great way to spend an afternoon
Stephanie Catcher at 9:22 AM
Business Spotlight - Morris Car Wash
Thursday, March 14, 2019
Business of the Week: Morris Car Wash
Spring is coming, it's been a long hard Winter, but Spring is almost here and with Spring it's time to get your car looking it's best!
This is a photo of my beauty Ruby (Yes, I name my car) on a Sunny day in March. I always take my car to Morris to make it shine inside and out!
For those who have never been, here's a little about how it works: The car wash is located at 533 King St E in Kitchener, but you have to access the driveway at the back of the car wash, which is off of Betzner. Take that little dead end street to the end, and hang a right.
If you're lucky there won't be a line, if there is a little line, take that time to clear out any garbage in your car and make sure that all your stuff is piled together so you can get maximum interior cleaning done. I always remove my tissue box, my cards, chap sticks, pens, coins and any other little items so they can get into all the small spots to clean too.
If you have children, remove the car seats so they can vacuum under there as well. They do offer some exterior only packages, but I'll be honest, nothing feels better than getting into a car that has just been cleaned inside too, so for the few extra dollars, treat yourself! If I'm doing my regular clean every 2 weeks, I use a #1, which includes: The exterior wash, cleaning of the rubber mats, cleaning of the windows, cleaning of the dash and they my console, a light vacuum, which is great for my car and a towel dry at the end. The entire was process is usually completed by about 4-5 gentlemen and I'm always impressed by their speed and how thorough they are.
Once you drop your car at the back wash entrance, you go inside where you can watch your car wash being completed, then pay at the counter and wait outside for your car to be pulled up all shiny and bright and if the weather is warm enough, they will towel dry it outside.
For those of you who don't get your car cleaned on the regular, you can use a more in depth detailing package where you leave your car for the day and they will make sure to clean everything you require, including a seat shampoo if you need it. I used this service once when my car was broken into and I wanted to make sure there was no glass left over inside. Thanks to the thieves, I had a bright and shiny car inside and out! If you need to know more about their packages click here.
If you're looking for a fantastic wash and little interior cleaning without having to spend the afternoon in your driveway. Morris is my go to place for a wash and I always leave feeling like a million bucks!
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.