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Fall Home Decor

Color Contrast

Using a minimum of two contrasting colours you can create a big impact with your fall display. Use a blue colored vase that complements the color of the leaves you use. This makes the leaves stand out and adds more interest to the room. You can even use colors like purple or green to complement red, orange, and yellow leaves.

 

Branching Out

Create an arrangement of any size with just a few branches! Arrange the branches in a vase and you’re done! You can also add in any kind of ornament to for extra details. To hang the ornaments, use ribbon or hot glue to keep everything intact.


Autumnal Art

Here’s a fun project to involve your kids in! Press and dry leaves by placing them between sheets of paper inside a heavy book for several days.

Stretch linen over a canvas and staple onto the picture frame. Pin pressed leaves onto the canvas in rows for any pattern you’d like.

Another option is to display leaves inside a picture frame. You can also use two pieces of same-sized glass and secure with book cloth tape. Secure the pieces of glass together by wrapping the edges with colored, linen book cloth tape. For an added touch place a berry-covered branch for a simple, yet elegant mantel display.

Sleep Seasonal

If you have neutral bed sheets in need of a seasonal lift, switch them out for fall coloured pieces. Bold red or orange sheets and pillowcases pop against any coloured bed frame and bedspread. Choosing linens in shades of red will come in handy even after fall since the color can stick around into the holiday season.

 

Display New and Old Photographs

The holiday season is when family and friends gather, so when better to display a collection of photographs that’s stowed away for everyone to enjoy.  Attach the photographs to twine or rope with clothespins. For a neater look, mount the photos onto pieces of cardstock using photo corners.

Bowled Over

You can never go wrong with a bowl full of things. By unpacking a pretty collection of ornaments, you can transform any bowl into something eye-catching. Take this silver bowl: It’s a lovely receptacle for ornaments. A few striped balls add just a pop of color. The great thing is you can mix and match how you please, whenever you want!


5 Easy To Make Healthy Snacks

The kids are back in school which means it’s back to routine. Finding ways to improve this new routine around the family schedule is no easy task. If your kids are like most kids, they’re always looking for a snack after school, whilst doing their homework or when their friends are over; Here are a list of 6 healthy and easy to make snacks for the entire family to enjoy.

Spicy Kale Chips

Gluten Free Spicy Kale Chips


What you need:

  • 4 cups torn curly kale leaves (remove stems)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. After lining two baking sheets with parchment paper, arrange kale on sheets. Brush with oil, and then sprinkle with salt and chilli powder. Bake for 20 to 25 mins or until crisp. Cool completely before serving.

 

Crunchy Peanut Butter-Coconut Bananas

Crunchy Peanut Butter-Coconut Bananas


What you need:

  • ⅓ cup cornflakes coarsely crushed
  • 2 tablespoons flaked coconut
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla yogurt (fat-free optional)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 bananas

In a small skillet mix together crushed cornflakes and coconut. Over medium heat stir together until coconut is browned and then remove from heat. Separately mix yogurt and peanut butter.

 

Cut banana into thick slices and spread peanut butter mixture onto slices and then sprinkle with cornflake mixture. Sandwich with another banana slice on top.

 

Baked Pita Chips

Savory Baked Pita Chips


What you need:

  • 2 pita bread rounds (6 inches)
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon chili powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Split pita rounds and cut each half into six wedges. Brush wedges with olive oil . In a small bowl combine garlic powder, salt, chilli powder and if chosen, cayenne pepper. Sprinkle powder mixture over wedges. Place wedges on baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.

 

Mini Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits

Mini Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits


What you need:

  • A 32 ounce carton vanilla or plain low-fat yogurt
  • 2 cups fresh red raspberries, blackberries, and/or blueberries
  • ½ cup low-fat granola
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Spoon 3 tablespoons of yogurt into parfait glasses or dishes. Add in berries, granola, almonds. Drizzle honey on top.

Barbecue Roasted Chickpeas

Barbecue Spice Roasted Chickpeas


What you need:

  • 2 cans chickpeas (15 ounce), rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon barbecue spice
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder

 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl combine chickpeas and all other ingredients. Spread evenly in one layer across baking pan. Roast for about 30 mins or until crisp and browned. Stir once halfway through roasting. Cool completely.

 

 

 

August 2017 Market Watch

For this month’s episode of Market Watch we will be talking about what the August market looked like. The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) released their market watch report for the last month and we’re going to discuss the numbers.

 

We’re through most of 2017, and we’ve witnessed quite a few fluctuations in the market. The number of new listings are down by roughly 7% in the year-by-year comparison as seen on TREB. However the number of active listings have increased by 65% compared to August 2016. As you can probably tell, the number of active listings are affecting sellers, as new listings are not coming into the market. Seeing as homes are not selling as fast as sellers would hope.

As shown in the graph above, August sales have dropped roughly 35% (vs. August 2016), climbing to reach the 2013 rate.

 

Since sales have slowed down it’s no surprise the price is lower than what it has been for the last few months. In the first few months of 2017 we saw the average home price steeply increase month by month, however the last few months have not been following the same pattern. As of August 2017 the average price sits at $732,292  which is not a vast difference from June 2017’s $746,218. However in the year-by-year comparison August 2017’s price is 3% higher than that of 2016.

Overall sales has reduced for all types of homes. However condos have maintained their increased value throughout the year, whilst detached homes have come down to the prices of last year. If you’re thinking of up-sizing to a detached, now is the time.

For those who are unaware or need a refresher as to what months of inventory are, it refers to the time it would take to sell all current listings with no new listings being added. In this market keeping track of the months of inventory is as important as the price. As seen in the graph above, the average inventory for the GTA area for August 2017 has reduced since July 2017, almost reaching the 2013 inventory.

 

As mentioned before the reductions in new listings between July 2017 and August 2017 mean sellers are eyeing the load of active listings which aren’t moving steadily. According to TREB if more buyers move into the market looking to acquire home ownership then the current balance we’re seeing will be skewed with the increase in pricing. Many potential buyers are staying in their seats to see how the market will play out, whilst examining the pre-existing pile of listings.

 

The average day on market (DOM) for the City of Mississauga is 24 days while the City of Toronto now sits at 23 days. Both cities are stocked with 2.58 months of inventory.

 

This is why it is so important to choose the right agent; Sellers must choose someone who can provide guidance in the current situation and understands what their expectations from this transaction. Buyers must find someone who can advise them, and knows when to push and when to hold back.

 

Steven Ho is the ideal realtor for any client, and here’s why: In a townhouse complex, Steven sold 30% of the 9 listings available, whilst 6 separate agents sold the remaining 6 listings. The average DOM for the 6 listings was 14 days, whilst for Steven’s listings the average DOM was only 9 days.

 

In terms of sold prices, the 6 other agents sold for roughly $489,000 while Steven Ho sold for $533,000, a difference of $44,000! A significant margin that is potentially lost with other realtors which could go to the payment of your next home. Here’s another reason to go with Steven: The other agents sold their listings for 102% of the asking price, which is a fair amount to gain no doubt. However Steven outperformed the other agents once again by selling his listings for 106% of the asking price. An additional 4% on a $500,000 home is $20,000!

 

People think all agents are the same, but different agents yield different results; picking Steven Ho will help you get the best results.

 

Source: All statistics are taken from the Toronto Real Estate Board 2017.

 

Back To School Tips

In a blink of an eye summer has come and gone. Was it even a proper summer to begin with? These last few days have been chilly, with the prior weeks subject to cloudy and rainy days.

 

Leaving that aside, let’s get down to business: It’s back to school time!

 

For most parents it’s a time of relief, sending your children back to order and routine. After weeks of sleeping in and staying up late, they could use a few tips to get back into the grind.

 

SELF-SERVE STATION

 

Create a drawer filled with healthy treats. Dried fruits and nuts can be stored in clear containers so rummaging is not needed. This way everyone (including adults) can help themselves to snacks. Using drawer organizers, the space can be kept neat and functional.

 

In addition to this you can create a sandwich supply in your refrigerator, with all the necessary ingredients to whip up a sandwich.

Whip up the kids' sammies in a flash by storing deli meats, cheeses and spreads in a special fridge spot. Add pre-portioned fruits and veggies (divvied up on the weekend or the night before) for a faster grab-and-go station. See more on IHeart Organizing » Storage baskets, $22 for six BUY NOW

FILE EVERYTHING

Create a "home file," either a file box or a cabinet drawer, with a slot for each subject; color-code the tabs to match up with each class. Not only does this system give kids a place to unload past assignments, but it also helps them organize reference materials (e.g., a periodic table of elements) as the semester changes.  What you'll need: file box ($36, amazon.com), hanging folders ($9, amazon.com)


Using a file box or a cabinet drawer, organize your child’s school assignments and documents. Using coloured tabs to match each class, it can help out with a lot of the homework stress.

 

SUPPLY CUPBOARD

You know the feeling — it's 9 p.m. and you're out of posterboard for your daughter's project that's due at 8 a.m. Prevent late-night freak-outs with a supply stash: markers, index cards and so on. Save cash by buying products in bulk. What you'll need: posterboard ($14, amazon.com), glue sticks ($8, amazon.com)


Just like in school keep a cupboard dedicated to storing extra supplies. You never know when you will need poster board at 9PM the night before an assignment is due.

 

DAILY ROUTINE

Help little ones establish a morning and bedtime schedule with an illustrated checklist. See more on IHeart Organizing » Removable tape, $5 BUY NOW

This is ideal for younger kids, who need some help getting back into structure after a routine-free summer. Post it in a place where both you and your child are most likely to see it.

 

ADULTING ZONE

 

Create your own to-do list — with car keys and permission slips at the ready — to keep your morning just as hassle-free. See more at Mom on Timeout » What you'll need: hanging wall file ($45, amazon.com), dry erase board ($8, amazon.com), command hooks ($3, amazon.com)


Create your own area organized with your own essentials. A whiteboard for your shopping lists and a calendar with events coming up. Folders for each child and their important school documents, along with your household items as well.

 

Tips For A Timeless Kitchen

The kitchen is the biggest asset in your home. By investing in its decor you could wow friends, family as well as future buyers. The key to a beautiful kitchen is convenience as well as a timeless design.

 

Quartz Countertops


Quartz-surfacing countertops require less maintenance than their granite comparables and are timeless in terms of what’s trending. Plus, the shimmering surface is less dominant than other materials, so you’re unlikely to get bored of it.

 

Open Spaces


Tear down those walls, and banish kitchen isolation: Open layouts are here to stay. A desire for informal dining and comfortable cooking drives this design trend, supporting a casual yet connected lifestyle. Open kitchens encourage interaction and entertainment with their breezy blend of living spaces.

 

Integrated Appliances


Sick of appliances sticking out like a sore thumb? Try integrating them into your kitchen with clever paneling and built-ins. This trend opens new worlds for designs; appliances can now stand alone as a stylish statement piece or quietly recede into surrounding cabinetry.

 

Deep drawers: Use dishwasher drawers in place of a regular dishwasher or in addition to a full-size dishwasher. These handy appliances offer efficient cleaning for a few dishes.

 

White Walls


White kitchens will never go out of style. You’re more likely to grow tired of bold hues on major surfaces, so stick with accessories you can swap out to get that kiss of color. Consider your kitchen’s stone floor, backsplash, and trim to find the perfect shade of white for the space.

 

Coffee Bar

All you need is an alcove which can house a variety of appliances and items such as: espresso machine as well as coffee cups and condiments. An area like this provides dedicated functionality out of the way of the main cooking area. The beauty of it is that there are doors where it can be shut and not ruin your kitchen’s streamlined design.

 

Clean Lines


Consider heavy moldings and frilly finishes things of the past. No-frills kitchen designs with strong horizontal lines last longer. One way to achieve this look: horizontal cabinet pulls. This maintains the flow of parallel lines running through your kitchen space.

 

Big Sinks


When it comes to sink trends, the emphasis is on function. A deep and wide sink contains splashes while simultaneously accommodating large pots and pans or other items that require hand-washing. This could be half a double sink or both.

 

Stainless Steel


Stainless steel continues to reign supreme in the world of appliances. It cleans easily, and has continued to remain timeless in kitchens. Not only does it compliment  any colour scheme but it could also be used as statement pieces.

 

 

On-counter Garage


An on-counter appliance garage is like a garage for cars: It houses a machine you often use but don’t always want in plain sight. Here, an appliance garage with a roll-up aluminum door closes to hide the mixer, leaving counter space in front for other uses. If you don’t want to go all out with the coffee bar, this is a smaller option (in terms of scale) to hide away your coffee-making utensils. It could also work for breakfast appliances.