The Bagogloo Team had a great time this past weekend at the annual RE/MAX Nova Christmas Party at Casino Nova Scotia!
A Big Thank You to the management of RE/MAX nova for another wonderful event where we celebrated the holiday season, as well as, spent time enjoying the fabulous corporate spirit & culture of RE/MAX Nova; great times with great people!
We are proud all year long to be a part of the RE/MAX nova team & the RE/MAX family!
How to Prepare a Gifting Box for Last-Minute Occasions
Growing up, my mother taught me the importance of having a “birthday box.” This was the name she gave to a box she kept in the cupboard that included items that could be gifted at a moment's notice, such as a last-minute invite to a birthday or anniversary party.
Though she called it a “birthday box,” it went far beyond birthdays. As she described it to me, having these items available showed her to be a gracious guest every time and she'd make certain it was filled to the brim at the beginning of the holiday season.
Beyond the gift items in the box, there were cards for every occasion, gift bags, ribbons, crepe and wrapping paper, but what fascinated me the most was how carefully she curated the gifts. There were some rules to what would be bought for the gifting box, which included:
Neutrality – they needed to have a more general appeal so they could be gifted to anyone: any gender, any culture and any season. Occasionally, non-neutral items such as kid gifts and seasonal items were added but they were rare.
Meaningfulness – each item had some sort of story associated with it.
Usefulness – the gifts were something people would actually use. Knick-knacks were frowned upon unless they were incredibly meaningful.
Quality + attractiveness – the items had to be of high quality.
When I grew up and made my own life and home, I took this idea with me and now maintain my own “birthday box,” which I call a gifting box. So, what are some of the items I put into that box?
I love to travel and am lucky to have had several opportunities to do so, so I always try to carve out time to hunt for items I can bring back for friends and family as well as add to the gifting box. That being said, I have also been on the receiving end of these travel gifts and know all too well how uncomfortable it is to receive touristy trinkets, so it's important these souvenirs align to the standards my mother set: usefulness and quality. This means I avoid buying anything at the airport and instead look for things like the following.
Non-perishable local food items
Think hot sauces, locally-sourced preserves and spices, and treats and confectionary. When I went to the middle east, I stocked up on saffron. I brought back hot red pepper sauce from the Azores. Some other edible gifts I've brought back are Kona coffee from Hawaii, Fleur de Sel from France and Black Sugar Tea from China. You can never go wrong with chocolate or candy, either.
Small kitchen items
Many locales I've visited have unique ceramics and things like utensils and hand towels. Larger ceramics can be difficult to carry back with you as they are fragile to pack and get too heavy to carry on, but small, lighter items such as bowls, vases and tiny containers can be wrapped up and placed between clothing items in your suitcase. I love the colourful patterns on Mexican ceramics and have gifted many small plates, bowls and even tiles to people. I also brought back lots of beautifully hand-painted chopsticks and tiny ceramic soy sauce bowls and chopstick rests from Japan. All of these items have been a big hit.
Local artist creations
Though you need to be careful in this area to avoid clashes in taste, I've discovered lovely gift books, hand-painted boxes, soaps and lotions, coasters and table runners that are easy to bring back and are well-received by anyone. Avoid something people will need to hang on their walls or otherwise put on display as displayed items in a person's home are usually very personal.
Handmade + artisanal products
I find arts and crafts markets are treasure troves for unique gifting box items. Much like souvenirs, non-perishable food items, small kitchen items and things created by local artists that can be used are equally meaningful gifts.
I don't limit my gift box additions to treasures I pick up while in far-off places. I've found some incredibly unique and beautiful items in my own backyard and am always sure to pick up a few for future use…and even for myself.
Your own handmade products can also be a welcome gift. Though I'm not very crafty, my mother was incredibly talented in this area and had everything from small stained-glass boxes to watercolour painted cards. Many people I know make their own preserves, candles and soaps.
More gifting box Ideas
Other items that have been big hits are:
Games – This includes everything from Uno to mahjong sets to trivia cards.
Gift cards – Though I keep these at a minimum because they seem more transactional, they can work nicely for a coworker's birthday or a holiday gift for teachers.
Books – I try to keep these fun, light and inspirational. My rule of thumb: does this book work well for bathroom reading?
Kitsch or nostalgic items – As long as it isn't junky! I have lots of “Canadiana” in my gifting box—thermoses with a mountie print and CBC classic logo socks and toques.
Paper and stationery – Notebooks, writing paper, nicer pens and fun and unique desktop items (like novelty push pins) can also be fun to gift in the right scenarios.
I also make certain I have a stack of cards for every occasion and the appropriate wrapping accoutrements.
Price points + other considerations
Generally, the items in the gifting box range from $10 to 30, but there are a few more premium items for special occasions. At the end of the day, the value lies in the eyes of the recipient. A small ceramic hand-painted box from Portugal or a tiny bag of a rare spice from the Middle East may have only cost you $5 but could be worth a fortune to your host, while an expensive art piece that doesn't suit their taste is worthless.
Even though the items are purchased without a specific person in mind, you should still try to bring an item you know your host would enjoy.
The key to having the right gifts for every occasion is to think about filling up this gifting box year-round and learning from which gifts are the most joyfully received. Make it a habit to think about the gifting box when you're travelling, at a market or just shopping around. Stay away from clutter and buy things you would want and use.
As the holiday season approaches and the multiple last-minute invitations roll in, you will be grateful you stocked up.
With funny, inspirational and beautiful prints that you can download in minutes, Elemenopee Design allows you to do what you wish with their art. Put it on the fridge, a cork board, or hang it up in a frame—the possibilities are endless with these affordable designs.
Delicate and simple is what this jewelry shop is about. Packaged in boxes with punny and sweet sayings, this shop is definitely a go-to for dainty and playful pieces to accent your style and personality.
These fun socks with witty sayings on the bottom of the feet are a perfect gift (or a perfect splurge for yourself). With all kinds of categories to choose from, say exactly what's on your mind with these adorably funny socks.
Not only does CAMP Skincare have pretty beauty and skin care products, it's also all natural and all plant-based. Perfect for giving your skin the hydration it deserves, this shop also specializes in baby and mommy products.
Eyeshadows, pigments and highlighters are the main seller in this shop. All the product is vibrant, shimmery and cruelty-free (big plus)! If you're a makeup artist or just a makeup lover it'll be hard to stay away from this shop.
Haven’t cleaned your coffee maker in awhile? It’s time. Much like cleaning your laundry vents and polishing hardwood floors, maintaining your small kitchen appliances is essential to their well being. So take good care of your coffee maker: It is, after all, your lifeline to a productive morning.
Emily Fazio, 2016
The convenience of single serve coffee makers is unmatched, but unlike a traditional coffee maker, many models retain water in a reservoir for long periods of time leading to mold and mineral deposits. Whether you operate a Keurig, De'Longhi, Lavazzo, or one of the many other brands available, signs that it may be time to clean your coffee maker include:
Longer than usual time to brew a cup of joe
When you expect a full cup of coffee but the brewed batch only fills half of your cup
Extra grounds or granules in your brewed cup
Any unexpected, moldy or mildew-y smells
Mineral build-up on visible parts of the machine
Mineral deposits associated with hard water buildup, whether visible to the eye or not, are responsible for many of these problems associated with a single serve coffee maker. If you have hard water, you may notice a need to descale (or delime) the inside of your machine more often.
Begin by emptying any water from inside the reservoir.
Wash and clean any removable components of the coffee maker in the sink with warm, soapy water. Some models even have dishwasher-safe components (for example, the entire reservoir on my Keurig is safe to go in the dishwasher). If your coffee maker also excels at espresso and has a milk steamer attachment, use this opportunity to disassemble and clean those pieces too.
While the coffee maker is partially disassembled, use a small cleaning brush dipped in vinegar to clean around the base of the machine where the reservoir is, and in the area surrounding where the pod/cup goes (I’m not the only one with lots of grounds trapped in there, am I?). On some models, that plastic area that the pod sits in is also removable.
Emily Fazio, 2016
Reusable filters need a good scrub now and again too, because the grounds will become congested in the mesh. I’ve found that a trip through the dishwasher isn’t quite as effective for the reusable pods, but if you soak it in a cup of vinegar, and then use a small brush to loosen any granules and clean the fine mesh, you can get it pretty clean.
Emily Fazio, 2016
Cleaning the inside of the coffee maker is as important as cleaning the exterior components.
Reassemble your clean, dry reservoir, and fill it with 4 cups of white vinegar and 2 cups of water.
Run the machine a few times with no filter in place, essentially brewing cup after cup of hot vinegar. After a few cups have cycled, let the machine sit with the vinegar solution in it for a few hours, and then complete the rest of the cycles so that all of the solution has run its course through the machine.
Emily Fazio, 2016
I think you'll be surprised about how dirty that vinegar water will be. You'll be sorry you didn't do this sooner.
Emily Fazio, 2016
Remove and clean the reservoir one more time, and this time fill it with water.
Run several more cups of plain water through the reservoir to clean out any lingering vinegar (though keep in mind that vinegar is non-toxic, and you probably wouldn’t even notice if there were still a few drops of it in your coffee).
All set! Test it out with some fresh grounds, and have a great start to your day.
A few tips for easy on-going maintenance?
If you’re brewing cups of cocoa, tea or mixtures like soup, run an extra cup of plain water into a mug afterwards. This will help rinse any residual sugars from the filter area and cleanse it before the next use.
If you do have hard water, or your machine is requiring cleanings more often than you might expect necessary, consider using filtered water in the reservoir instead of water straight from the tap.
If you’re going on vacation or not planning on using the coffee maker for an extended period, empty the reservoir and turn off the machine.
Cleaning a glass coffee pot? Stick to completely all-natural cleansers, such as vinegar and a few tablespoons of salt. The salt will work like a scrub against any burnt on coffee stains and spots on the interior.
Whether you’re hosting a Halloween party and want to scare your guests, preparing your porch for trick-or-treaters, or trying to impress your neighbors, you need Halloween decorations. But even though crazy inflatables and cheap cobwebs are readily available, you can find plenty of tasteful-yet-spooky, even professional-grade, Halloween décor for sale online. And if you’re placing outdoor Halloween decorations, you also want to make sure they’re sturdy enough to withstand variable October weather. So to help you find the best Halloween lights, yard decorations, props, and even scents, I asked five haunted-house designers and architects for advice on turning your home into a haunted house, both inside and out.
Leonard Pickel, a haunted-house architect with over 40 years of experience in the industry and over 300 professional haunts under his belt, and Kris Golojuch, founder of haunted-house consulting and design firm Scareventures, both recommend steering clear of black plastic trash-bag-like material, called visqueen, when decorating. “It’s just a massive fire hazard,” says Golojuch. “People tend to want to build tunnels out of them and they can be very scary if that were ever to catch on fire. It looks very cheap and tacky from the outside anyway.” A better alternative, according to Pickel, is Creepy Cloth, which is basically loosely woven, cheeseclothlike material that you can drape over lamps, doorways, furniture, and hallways.
Most of the professional haunted-house designers I spoke with also dismissed cotton cobwebs from a bag because they glob into big masses when they get wet and are difficult to work with. Their recommendation is to instead repurpose beef netting, used by butchers to keep sausages and cured meats together. According to Golojuch, this stretchy material is also used in professional haunted houses to create cobwebs. “Knott’s Berry Farm was one of the pioneers using beef netting to make big spider webs, and we still use that,” he says. “It’s just a popular look. It doesn’t always look real, but there’s a lot of fun things you can do with it. Universal used it to create the Upside Down for Stranger Things.” And because the beef netting is sturdy and will keep its shape, you can use it either inside or outside.
Light is another easy way to create a spooky atmosphere, both indoors and out. “Darkness is your friend, but less is more,” says Pickel. “So when you’re thinking about doing your Halloween party, now you’re talking about really dimming down the light.” That means using a dimmer or replacing your regular bulbs with super low-watt versions. “We’re talking 15 watts. Even a 30-watt bulb is way too bright to light your house,” he says.
Sunlite SM13/R 13-watt Spiral Energy Saving Compact Fluorescent CFL Light Bulb, Red
You can also use so-called colored “party bulbs” to set the mood. “Inside, yellows and oranges and reds is probably the direction I would go. It’s going to make you feel more on edge. Those are the kind of colors that you put in a fast-food restaurant to get people moving around.” Pickel recommends CFL bulbs to incandescent ones because they generate less heat and therefore present less of a fire hazard.
Neewer 12 x 12-Inches Pack of 8 Transparent Color Correction Lighting Gel Filter
$12 at Amazon
For effective outdoor lighting, Pickel recommends pointing a purple or green light straight up at your house. “The landscapers even call the concept of shining lights up at trees or up at a building the Dracula effect because when the sun is out, all the lighting is coming from the top down, and that’s how people see their houses, even at night,” he explains. “So if you flip that, it gives the structure a completely different look and a completely different feel,” specifically a spooky one. These lights are solar-powered, so they charge all day and shine all night; to add color, simply slap on a theatrical lighting gel.
AtmosFX Zombie Invasion! Halloween Digital Decorations
One recent trend in professional haunted houses has been the use of animations and video projectors to create an immersive experience. And though it looks quite professional, it’s an effect that easily translates to the home, especially if you already own a small projector or have limited floor space for props. “You either put it on the window so it’s seen from outside, or you put it on the wall,” inside your house, explains Brett Hays, president of the Haunted Attraction Association (HAA), a trade organization for haunted-house designers and other folks in the industry. That way, when trick-or-treaters see your house from the outside, “it looks like zombies are all clawing at the window, trying to come in, or there’s a character that shows up in the doorway,” which can spook party guests. Both Hays and Dan Hower, secretary of the HAA, recommend the animations from AtmosFX. This collection would be great for a window projection, with a looping zombie-swarm animation.
If you don’t have a projector but want to use these effects, AtmosFX also sells an all-in-one projector with 14 preloaded scenes.
$200 at Amazon
A quick way to set a mood or decorate a large outdoor area, like your yard, for Halloween is with a fog machine. Froggy’s Fog is the industry standard, used in haunted houses and in theatrical products, and even by fire departments trying to train firefighters, according to Pickel, and they make both fog machines and high-quality fog fluid — or “fog juice” — that is nontoxic and won’t gunk anything up in your home.
A ground fog machine, which cools down the fog and keeps it low to the ground, is another space-effective option. “It’ll lay low and it’ll kind of cover the whole area,” says Hays. “So it covers a lot of ground and sort of brings everything into it without a lot of expensive decorations everywhere.”
1 oz. Swampy Marsh - Water Based Scent Additive for Fog
If you want to take your fog one step further, Hays recommends adding scents, also manufactured by Froggy’s Fog. “We’ve been doing that for a few years, but I think that is kind of a neat thing that really completes the effect,” he says. “You can purchase every different kind of scent. If it’s a graveyard, you have a kind of a musty earth kind of smell, or if it’s a hospital setting, you have a really clinical chemical smell. There are just unlimited variations: campfire, cotton candy, forest, gun smoke, pine.”
You don’t need a fog machine to take advantage of these scents, though, and turn your home into an immersive Halloween experience. Froggy’s also sells stand-alone scent-distribution boxes that release very convincing smells, according to Hays. Though he offers one word of warning: “The absolute worst one is called slaughterhouse. It really stinks, [but] it’s really effective because it’s really strong.”
Home Accents Holiday 5 ft. Poseable Skeleton With LED Illumination
If you’re looking to buy effective, cost-effective Halloween props, all of the experts recommended hitting up Home Depot, which has become a go-to source for high-quality but affordable Halloween decorations. “Some of these animatronics are almost as good as the professional-quality props,” says Hower. “I’ve seen a lot of pneumatics and moving animations that are now there that five years ago wasn’t even an option for a home haunter, but now is reasonably priced.” The best deal, however, is probably the skeletons, which are durable and well-formed, according to Golojuch. “It’s very lightweight and it accepts paint, it’s easy to age, add things to it. You can dress them up, and it doesn’t take a whole lot to stand them up if you use some rebar.”
Home Accents Holiday 11 in. Animated Skeleton Dog With LED Illuminated Eyes
Golojuch is also excited about the selection of animal-shaped bones at Home Depot. “There’s always new creatures. They’ve had fish, they’ve had dogs. They have full-size horses. They have dinosaurs. They had a big T-Rex last year,” he says. “They’re pretty good because they’re very anatomically correct. The sculpting department has done an awesome job with those, so if I was doing a home haunt, I would definitely be loading up on those.” Simply place a little dog skeleton by your front door to greet guests, and you’ll be all set to scare.
A wreath is one of the simplest ways to transform your home. At various points throughout the year, a well-designed seasonal wreath adds pizazz and personality to a front door, mantel or window. We encourage you to change up your wreaths often to keep things looking fresh and timely.
With that said, fall is a fun season for crafting. Learn how to make a fabulous fall wreath that will add warmth to your home. These 14 fall wreath tutorials should offer just the inspiration you need.
02 of 15
Go Modern With Air Plants & and a Wire Frame
Air plants might just be the new succulents, and a wire wreath gives these faux florals the appearance of being truly airborne. Wrap some fall florals with wire to the wreath base for an easy, inexpensive, and stylish DIY. Hang this on a door, window, or even incorporate a bunch as decor for a bridal shower!
The best fall wreaths incorporate coveted seasonal elements like pumpkins, colorful fallen leaves and burlap. But you're not limited to just fall-inspired elements. Take this wreath, for instance. Instead of orange pumpkins, white pumpkins are used instead. Also, instead of only using warmly-toned maple leaves, some green botanical leaves and moss are added into the mix. Don't be afraid to choose elements that will ultimately coordinate with your home and sense of style.
Learn How to Make a Fall Wreath in Under 10 Minutes
If you love crafting with fall leaves, this is the wreath to try. Not only is this fall leaf wreath large and impressively beautiful, it took the original creator under ten minutes to make. Who said all craft projects had to be time-consuming?
One of the more common types of fall wreaths for farmhouse style homes is the wheat wreath. This wreath might seem simple enough, but it's really important to get the placement right. Make sure the wheat you're working with is bundled with different lengths, so the wreath doesn't look too choppy or uniform. The smaller the wheat bundles, the easier it will be to make this wreath look like something you'd find on Pinterest.
Fall berry sprigs are a wonderful way to add depth and dimension to a fall wreath display. However, only using berry sprigs can get a little redundant and boring. This diy fall wreath also incorporated coordinating fuzzy sprigs to add extra interest to the main section of the wreath base.
Warm jeweled tones are popular for fall decor, but a monochrome pop of golden yellow shouldn't be overlooked as an option. This color choice will work great if you have a cool toned blue or purple door, which is opposite of yellow on the color wheel.
Crafting with felt is still a popular way to add a cozy element to fall decor. Like seen here, felt is most commonly used to make flowers. The more types of flowers you can craft with felt, the more eclectic and artsy the wreath will feel. There really is no wrong way to tackle this tutorial.
Wood slice projects are everywhere for fall, but this wood slice wreath is likely one of the easiest to make look good. Rustic style is inherently masculine, which is why we see a lot of raw wood elements. If you think this wreath is too simple or masculine for your taste, add some brown and neutral toned floral elements along the bottom-center or lower-left hand side.
Embroidery hoop wreaths are a both vintage-inspired and modern looking, but they aren't the easiest to master. Your best bet if you want to tackle this project is to choose some fall-inspired faux florals you love that are on the thinner side. Keep those florals positioned on the hoop in the same way they are here. Also, notice how the ribbon that the wreath hangs from is very thin and plain. This makes sure the hanger doesn't detract from the thin, sleek nature of the wreath.
Don't Limit Yourself to the Usual Fall Color Palette
After seeing so many rich crimson-toned fall wreaths, it's a refreshing change of pace to find one that has soft pastels and pinks that you might see in spring. Dried and faux hydrangeas are common in fall wreaths, but they're typically seen in shades of deep brown, orange and burgundy. We say throw your fall color scheme out the window and have fun with it. If you're afraid the wreath won't have people thinking fall, add a "give thanks" sign like the one here.
Burlap bubble wreaths are so inexpensive and versatile, which is why we see so many variations of them. Once you get the basic burlap wreath down, it's easy to use the same wreath for many different seasons. By making the decals detachable, you're able to change out seasonal elements quickly. Instead of gluing on the fall leaves you see here, opt to adhere them with velcro instead. Then, think about other elements you can add for winter and spring.
This fall wreath diy is a fan favorite and for good reason. Not only does it look good, but it is relatively simple to recreate. Your main challenge will be finding a color scheme that looks good with your home and other fall decor. If in doubt, you can never go wrong with jeweled tones in four or five different shades. Center the majority of your leaves at the center and then let a few wander off course in the same direction as the wreath base.
Natural Coffee Filters Can Transform Into a Beautiful Fall Wreath
If you're the type of crafter that loves repurposing everyday items into your projects, then this is the tutorial for you. Natural coffee filters go from ordinary to feminine and fall-worthy in a manner of minutes. If you only have access to white coffee filters, simply stain them with some coffee to get this look.
If wreaths seem too old-fashioned for you, there are other ways to add a touch of fall to your front door. Seasonal signs are a popular craft that allows you to customize a message that resonates with you and your family. You can do a lot with some vinyl letters and a little creativity.
To me, fireplaces have always symbolized a feeling of home and warmth, which makes them one of my favorite architectural features in a home. While a fireplace typically makes a statement on its own, I like to consider the mantel as a blank canvas where you can highlight your personality and design style. Even if you don’t have a fireplace, a mantel on its own is an opportunity to showcase pieces that reflect who you are and what you love.
Mantels also function as an ever-changing design feature in a home, and I look at restyling my own mantel as a way to celebrate the colors and beauty of each coming season.
Below, I’m breaking down how I go about styling my mantel. As you go through each step, remember that the size of your mantel and the material it’s made out of—like wood, stucco or stone—are factors that play into the types of objects you should consider displaying. Don’t feel like you have to incorporate each and every detail you see—think of them more as a reference as you work to create a mantel that best suits you.
An anchor piece is a large object like artwork, a mirror or wreath that functions as the focal point. I always like to start with the anchor, and then build out the look from there.
2. ADD HEIGHT
Introduce design details that have varying heights, like candlesticks and stacked books, to help create visual interest on your mantel. Candlesticks will bookend the overall look while stacked books add height and bridge the distance between the other elements on your mantel. I typically incorporate antique books because of the aged aesthetic they add to the overall look, but you can also use newer books with clean lines for a more modern look.
If your anchor piece seems to be dominating the mantel, layer other visually interesting details in front of it, such as family photos, artwork, or more personal items, like framed handwritten letters, kids’ drawings, or a favorite quote.
4. ORGANIC SHAPES
Plants or faux greenery add life and movement to your mantel. I typically like to stick to one type of stem, even if the vases are different.
For a more laid-back, eclectic style, display an assorted arrangement of items in odd numbers and various sizes. Antique frames in a range of shapes, or even candlesticks, books, and a potted plant are the types of things I typically use. If you prefer a more traditional and polished look, incorporate similar items in even numbers—think pairs of candlesticks on each side of the anchor piece.
I hope this guide gives you a visual reference to follow as you’re styling your own mantel this season!
Sarah joined the real estate world after many years in the tourism industry. Sarah has studied at Mount Saint Vincent University, Utah Valley University, and Laval University to receive a BBA with a focus on marketing and management. Her goal as a REALTOR® is to make buying and selling a home an enjoyable experience. If you’re a first-time buyer or a real estate investor, Sarah wants to help make the process stress-free, comprehensive, and even fun! Sarah can be reached at 902- 237-5020 or email@example.com.
Command hooks are as ubiquitous as they are handy. But don't get it twisted: the stock you see in the aisles at Target is only a small taste of what the entire line has to offer. In addition to those adhesive hanging hooks, Command has several highly specific applications of their removable technology.
They're just the perfect thing for tidying up some messy corner of your home. From simple spray bottle holders to a full-blown smartphone charging station, read ahead for ten highly specific Command hook solutions that are every bit as unique as they are renter-friendly.
Looking for an easy way to score some extra cabinet space? Command Spray Bottle Hangers attach directly to your wall to keep your bulky cleaning spray within arm's reach without taking up an inch of cabinet space.
Great for corralling extra long cords, Command Cord Bundlers can be used on the wall or on the back of appliances (like mixers and blenders) to keep pesky–and not to mention, unattractive, cords organized and out of plain sight.
Why waste valuable storage closet space storing mops and brooms when you can hang them up instead? Mount a Command Broom Gripper or two to the inside of your storage closet door (or on a nearby wall) and hang up your brooms and mops in style while freeing up some floor space.
Showers come in all shapes and sizes, and often, without enough storage space. Thankfully, Command created a rust-resistant satin nickel bathroom organizer—complete with a removable storage bin—that sticks to all kinds of tricky surfaces (including glass, mirror, and shower tile) for stashing your personal care products and beauty supplies.
Believe it or not, Command's Smart Phone Station is quite the multi-tasker. Not only does this clear cutie instantly create a stylish wall-mounted charging hub for your smartphone, you can install one near your entryway, so you won't waste any precious time searching for your phone on the way out the door.
Desperately seeking a simple way to streamline the space under your bathroom and kitchen sink? This clever under sink cabinet caddy from Command is perfect for storing dish soap, hand soap, sponges, and other sink-side accessories, and mounts nicely to paint, wood, tile, and more.
Hair dryers: Can't live without 'em, but can't ever seem to find a smart way to store them either. Fortunately, the Command Hair Dryer Holder sticks to just about any bathroom surface you can think of—glass, mirror, tile, fiberglass, wood, and painted walls—and provides a cute place to stash your blow dryer (that won't clutter up your counter space).
Transform your cramped front door area into a sophisticated entryway in seconds with the help of Command's Mirror Organizer. Designed with a handful of hooks (for hanging keys and lanyards) as well as a small storage ledge for stashing sunglasses, jewelry, mail, and more, this multifunctional organizer keeps your on-the-go items in check and provides a place to check your lipstick before you dash out the door.
Keep your dish sponges safe—and out of the sink—with a Command Sponge Caddy. Along with drain holes (for dripping excess water out of the sponge) and a built-in tray for catching the mess, this handy storage caddy can hang anywhere from under your sink to your tile backsplash, for easy (but bacteria-free) sponge access.
Searching for a renter-friendly way to forge your very own gallery wall (or at least hang up a couple pieces of art)? The Command Picture Hanging Kit can hang up seven pictures of various sizes—no hammer and nails necessary!
When faced with grossness in the kitchen (read: the whole house has the flu, or you found a cockroach infestation under the sink, or the dog trashed the room after eating who-knows-what), it's tempting to bring out all of the big guns and throw every cleaning product you've got at the problem. But don't!
First of all, most cleaning products are plenty effective on their own. Plus, combining them could be toxic — and in some cases lethal.
"Some people just think more product is better, but they don't think about science and safety first," says Nancy Bock of the American Cleaning Institute. "Mixing cleaning products can lead to irritated airways, respiratory problems, or burns to skin, eyes, throat, nose, and lungs. Some gases created from combined cleaning products could cause damage of the nervous system, eyes, lungs, skin, liver, kidneys, and even death."
So good rule of thumb: "Don't take any chances when it comes to safe use of products," says Bock. Don't believe us yet? Here are some tempting cleaning combos that are especially bad.
Cleaning Products You Should Never Mix
Hydrogen peroxide + vinegar
While these two chemicals can be used in succession as a cleaning duo, do not mix them together. "Combining these two creates peracetic acid or corrosive acid, an irritant that, in high concentrations, can harm the skin, eyes, throat, nose, and lungs," says Bock.
Drain cleaner + more drain cleaner
If you've got a clog, it's tempting to pour in as much drain cleaner as you can find under your sink — but beware of using one right after the other, because these super-strong formulas (they're meant to eat away those clogs!) can react very, very badly. "Combining drain cleaners can cause the release of chlorine gas and potentially lead to an explosion," says Bock.
Bleach + ammonia
Combining bleach and ammonia releases chloramine vapors, which can cause respiratory problems and throat burns if inhaled, says Bock. Beware that many cleaning products contain either bleach or ammonia in their formulas, so the fact that you could be combining these two might not be so obvious — which is why you should never, ever mix any kind of cleaning product.
Bleach + rubbing alcohol
This combination releases chloroform, a gas notorious for being used by old-fashioned bad guys to knock out their victims. High levels of exposure can lead to damage of the nervous system, eyes, lungs, skin, liver, kidneys, and even death. "Even low levels can make you dizzy or nauseous," says Bock.
Bleach + vinegar
Same deal: This releases chlorine and chloramine vapors. These can cause a chemical burn, most likely in your lungs or eyes," says Bock.
The takeaway: Again, to be super clear, you should never mix cleaning supplies! It's that simple.
In the midst of a kitchen and bath renovation in our 1890 home, I find myself uttering those four expensive words: while we're at it. Most recently it was, "while we're at it, why don't we paint our dining room?" So I asked our drywall/paint contractor to add that onto his estimate for work in two other rooms. The total for the 225-ish square foot room? $1,890. (Turns out, we won'tbe painting the dining room while we're at it.) Now, granted, that included skimming/refinishing the awful textured ceiling, and all the door, window, and baseboard trim in the room, but still, here's my point: Professional painting is not cheap.
But what if you're not out to transform your room, but just have some dings and marks to address? Even if you take on the labor yourself, there's still the paint, brushes, rollers, pans—not to mention all the time that goes into doing a proper paint job. It's all incentive to ignore those wall places in need of some TLC (that spot where Airbnb guests taped a sign on the wall for their bachelorette party, I'm looking at you). Until you can't walk by them one more time.
Here's some good news. There's no need for a full-on paint job. You can get by with ten bucks and literally a few minutes. Welcome to the happy world of touch-up tools. They may smack a bit of the stuff of infomercials, but they seriously do make your life easier. Check out the Shur-Line Touch-Up Painter–less than 7 bucks from Amazon.
This little gadget holds a couple ounces of paint, so, in an ideal world you'd fill it when you originally paint the room. That way, it's loaded and ready to go when you need it. But, if you can't go back in time, just fill it with some of your leftover paint. (You keep that, right? You definitely want to keep that). Worst case scenario: You get a sample size of your paint color and hope the match is exact. Regardless, it holds such a small amount that it's super easy to shake—as opposed to thoroughly stirring a gallon bucket—which is pretty crucial to getting a good match.
Much like those dishwashing wands with handles that hold your dish soap, the touch up tool dispenses paint as you apply pressure. And because this dabs/rolls on, you don't get the marks you would from touching up with a brush.
Online reviewers have a couple of extra cautions and tips for you. First, take the roller off quickly after you're done to clean and dry it. You'll also want to wash out the reservoir underneath the rollers. Lastly, to avoid drips, be sure to hold it vertically as you're using it.
So next time your Magic Eraser won't do the trick, no worries. And remember, before you do tackle an entire room paint job, plan ahead so you're prepared with your touch-up secret weapon.
We would like to welcome Will Tanner to the team as one of our newest associates! Will is looking forward to assisting clients as part of The Bagogloo Team and he may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (902)430-3022.
RETIREES AND BABY BOOMERS CAPITALIZE ON HIGH-VALUE PRINCIPAL RESIDENCES TO ENTER ACTIVE RETIREMENT AT RECREATIONAL PROPERTIES, BLURRING THE LINE BETWEEN RECREATIONAL AND RESIDENTIAL.
A recent survey of RE/MAX brokers and agents found that in 91 per cent of popular Canadian recreational property markets examined, retirees were the key factor driving activity. This includes established recreational regions such as Prince Edward County and Comox Valley. This is in stark contrast to last year’s findings, when retirees were a dominant driving force in only 55 per cent of markets examined.
The survey found that in British Columbia, Ontario and Atlantic Canada, more retirees and soon-to-be retirees are purchasing recreational properties outside of urban centres for use as retirement homes, increasingly blurring the line between recreational and residential properties.
Retirees are fueling demand: 91 per cent of regions surveyed reported that retirees drive demand for recreational properties
One in three survey respondents (33 per cent) say that they own or want to own a recreational property for investment purposes
Buyers are increasingly renting in urban centres such as Toronto and Vancouver while purchasing recreational properties
Other than affordable purchase price, waterfront rated as the most important feature to Canadians when considering spending time at a cottage or cabin, beating out reasonable maintenance costs
“Last year, we found that Baby Boomers and retirees were increasingly selling their homes in urban centres like Toronto and Vancouver,” says Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada. “It’s clear that many put the equity they received from those sales into the purchase of a recreational property with the intention to retire in comfort and away from the city.”
Many of these individuals are engaging in more active forms of retirement, choosing to maintain physical fitness and emotional fulfillment by pursuing passion projects and leading lifestyles that involve farming, hiking and maintaining vineyards. This is particularly the case in regions such as South Okanagan, Wasaga Beach and Rideau Lakes.
Due to the strong US dollar, retirees in the Sylvan Lake and Lake Winnipeg regions are selling their snowbird properties south of the border and purchasing recreational homes for use as retirement properties as well.
In a separate survey conducted by Leger, six in 10 Canadians (58 per cent) enjoy recreational properties as places where they can relax and spend time with friends and family. However, the majority of Canadians (84 per cent) do not actually own recreational properties.
“Many Canadians want to live out the ‘Canadian Dream’ and spend time at the cottage or cabin but today, that doesn’t necessarily mean owning a recreational property outright,” says Christopher Alexander, Executive Vice President and Regional Director, RE/MAX INTEGRA Ontario-Atlantic Canada Region. “Many are choosing to rent recreational properties, often by pooling resources with friends and family, which speaks to recreational properties still being in high demand.”
In fact, one in three Canadians (33 per cent) say that they own or would want to own a recreational property for investment purposes. In Toronto specifically, the survey of RE/MAX brokers and agents found that in regions such as North Bay-Sunridge, Bancroft and the Bruce Peninsula, many owners of recreational properties actually rent their principal residences in Toronto, where they live most of the year. Using their recreational properties every so often while renting them out for the rest of the year, these individuals are renting a principal residence where they live while buying where they play.
In Leger’s survey, more than half of Canadians (54 per cent) who own a recreational property, or are considering buying one, identify savings as their source of funding. Twenty per cent would use a loan, 20 per cent would rely on home equity and only 11 per cent would rely on inheritance.
The survey also found that other than affordable purchase price, Canadians who own or would consider owning a recreational property named waterfront access (55 per cent), reasonable maintenance costs (54 per cent) and proximity to town (43 per cent) as the most important factors when purchasing. The survey of RE/MAX brokers and agents, waterfront access was considered the most in-demand amenity in most regions, overall.
The recreational property market in British Columbia is being driven primarily by retirees. Other emerging trends include couples and young entrepreneurs seeking work/life balance, and recreational property buyers cashing in on expensive urban housing markets. Across the board, the region is experiencing a seller’s market due to lack of recreational inventory. The amenities in greatest demand are beaches and skiing facilities.
Demand for recreational properties in the Prairies is being propelled primarily by young families, followed by young couples and retirees. Retirees are commonly seen selling their recreational properties south of the border in favour of buying closer to home, due to the strong US dollar. The most sought-after recreational amenities are boating, fishing and beaches.
Ontario’s recreational property market is being buoyed by retirees who are leaving larger metropolitan cities in favour of cottage country. Emerging trends include retirees or semi-retirees buying cottages as retirement homes; couples priced out of expensive urban markets opting for the waterfront lifestyle; and buyers holding cottages as investment properties. Due to lack of demand, the region is experiencing a seller’s market. Properties in greatest demand are those offering beaches and boat facilities.
Demand for recreational properties in Atlantic Canada is being driven by retirees moving away from larger cities. Other market trends include young couples and families opting for the saltwater lifestyle; retirees and semi-retirees purchasing homes for retirement; and buyers seeking recreational properties in close proximity to the inland city centres, Across the board, the region is experiencing a balanced market. In highest demand are properties with access to beaches and golfing.
Key Findings from the 2018 RE/MAX Recreational Property Omnibus Survey
1. One-quarter (24 per cent) of Canadians would consider buying a recreational property in the future.
2. Canadians cite the following reasons to own or want to own a recreational property:
It is where I can go and relax and spend time with friends and family = 58 per cent
It is a getaway home = 46%
I can do activities I can’t do at my permanent residence (hiking, fishing, etc.) = 46%
It is an investment property = 33%
It is a retirement home = 19%
Other = 4%
3. Canadians identify the following sources of down payment when considering their current recreational property or their next purchase of a recreational property:
Savings = 54%
Loan = 20%
Home equity = 20%
Inheritance = 11%
Other = 4%
I don’t know = 11%
I prefer not to answer = 3%
4. More than two-thirds (68 per cent) of Canadians who own or are considering owning a recreation property are willing to travel up to two hours, with 31 per cent saying they would travel two hours. Slightly less (28 per cent) are willing to travel three or more hours.
5. Canadians identify the following features as important when considering their current recreational property or their next purchase of a recreational property:
Affordable purchase price = 64%
Waterfront access = 55%
Reasonable maintenance costs = 53%
Proximity to town = 43%
Reasonable distance from primary residence = 37%
Relative seclusion = 33%
Land access = 30%
Proximity to sports/recreation = 25%
Accessible medical facilities = 24%
Nearby neighbouring properties = 15%
Island property = 12 per cent
Other = 1%
None, don’t mind which features my recreational property has = <1%
Don’t know/prefer not to answer = 3%
6. Canadians 55 and older (vs <55), who own or would consider owning a recreational property are significantly more likely to say waterfront access, reasonable maintenance costs, proximity to a town, reasonable distance from primary residence and accessible medical facilities are important.
Peach Salad with Grilled Basil Chicken and White Balsamic-Honey Vinaigrette
Summer is almost here and we are looking for some great recipes to share with you. This one caught our eye with the juicy peaches in the salad. Let us know if you try it!
Yield: About 5 servings
Grilled Basil Chicken
1lbboneless skinless chicken breasts
3Tbspolive oil, plus more for brushing grill
1/3cupslightly packed chopped fresh basil
1Tbspfresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3Tbspwhite balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
10ozSpring Mix lettuce
1lbpeaches, sliced (about 3 small)
2ears corn, husked and kernels cut from cob
1/2cupchopped pecans, toasted
1/2small red onion, sliced thin (about 3/4 cup), rinse under water to remove harsh bite
4ozGoat cheese, crumbled
For the chicken:
In a small mixing bowl whisk together olive oil, basil, garlic, and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper (about 1/2 tsp of each). Using the back of a spoon, press basil against sides and bottom of bowl (to help extract flavor from basil). Place chicken in a resealable bag and pound thicker parts of chicken to even thickness with a meat mallet, then pour basil mixture over chicken and evenly distribute basil over chicken. Seal bag while pressing excess air out, rub marinade over chicken and transfer to refrigerator and marinate 2 - 5 hours.
Preheat a grill to 425 - 450 degrees over medium high heat. Brush grill grates lightly with olive oil then place chicken on grill. Grill until cooked through, rotating once halfway through cooking, about 4 - 5 minutes per side (chicken should register 165 degrees in center of chicken on an instant read thermometer). Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes then slice into strips or dice into cubes.
For the vinaigrette:
Whisk together all ingredients until well blended and season with salt and pepper to taste. Store in refrigerator until ready to use, stir again before pouring over salad.
For the salad:
In a large salad bowl gently toss together lettuce, peaches, corn, pecans, onions, and grilled chicken. Sprinkle goat cheese over top and drizzle with vinaigrette. Serve immediately after adding dressing.
Thank you to our clients who have chosen us to help them buy and sell their home. We love what we do and receiving an honour like the RE/MAX Titan Award is only possible because of our clients who continue to choose our team and recommend us to their family and friends.