New Canada Food Guide

New Year, New You, New Food Guide?

In light of the new Canada Food Guide, I thought I would re-share some tips from my experience.

Most everyone knows that I lost some weight… ok, I lost a lot of weight – over 120 pounds. Tons of people ask me how I did it and that’s a very long answer. Today I am just going to share with you some tips of how I did it and have maintained (+/- 10 lbs) for over 5 years.

First off, I’m sure you have heard it a hundred times and have read it on a million blogs – but drink more water! For a girl that loves soda and juice, this was probably the hardest thing I had to do. I tried to cut out as much as possible of sugary drinks. I don’t drink coffee, I am more of a tea drinker but Starbucks is my biggest weakness, to continue to enjoy it I looked for the lowest calorie drink on the menu that I liked – my drink of choice was a Venti Cool Lime Refresher with light ice (only 90 calories). They have since discontinued it, so if you have a suggestion let me know. Right now I’m drinking sugar-free Strawberry Infused Green Tea.  Anyways…. I felt like I could still go for a “coffee” with my friends without guilt.

Second, is portions. When I was considerably overweight I could sit down and plow through an entire large pizza. Don’t get me wrong, I still want to, but I don’t! Now I am conscious of how much I’m eating, when you start to think about how big your stomach is and how much food you are putting into it. Few tips from me… I only use side plates, I no longer use full dinner plates. The other trick that I did was I started putting away the leftovers before I even sat down to eat. Recipes typically cater to families, so putting away the extra helped so that I wasn’t temped to have seconds and had meals for later in the week.

Third is choice! I am a big believer in menu planning, it helped me know what I was going to be eating throughout the week and even get control of some of my cravings. That way I wasn’t out and about running errands thinking there is nothing in the house and just stopping for Taco Time. I was already prepped and knew I was making good food choices if I stuck to the plan.

Final tip from me would be exercise! At the peak of my weight loss journey I was doing a lot of bootcamps, not so much anymore now that I am maintaining. I still remain active, right now I’m doing yoga at home. Golf is a big one in the summer and I try to get out and do a little something everyday.

Canada Food Guide

 

Other tips from people that I unfortunately have never been able to master but they seem important:

Eat Breakfast – ughh, I really don’t like breakfast. Ok maybe bacon and eggs but a girl can’t do that every day. I will do smoothies or take a handful of nuts and raisins as I’m headed out the door.

Salad / Vegetables – it’s green and gets on my plate (my dad says that all the time and I tend to agree). I obviously eat vegetables but salad baffles me – it’s just lettuce. People that order it on menu because it’s the healthy choice… beware, all the toppings and dressings can quickly make it the most high calorie and fat item on the menu. Do your research!

To make sure you are successful give yourself a break. A cheat meal, a lazy day or $5 in 10 cent candies! It’s all natural and just remember it’s a journey – so keep moving forward and don’t give up. Just start all over again with your next choice. I am not skinny or super fit but those are my ways of maintaining my weight loss and keeping a balance in my life. I can still go out with friends (and eat fish tacos with a gin and tonic – am I right??) and enjoy everyday loving myself and feeling comfortable in my skin.

Chef's Plate

Chef’s Plate – The Relationship Saver

We lead a pretty busy life! Both of us work (obviously), flip properties and when you add my chaotic #realtorlife to the equation, planning meals can be a bit overwhelming. Last year when we bought our second house, were renovating and adding a secondary suite, tensions were a little high and when asked “What’s for dinner?” I would bite off the head of my unsuspecting partner. It wasn’t his fault and, in truth, a valid question but I didn’t have the answer.

That’s when I was introduced to Chef’s Plate. People had mentioned it before but now that the dinner dilemma had reached critical volume, I took a closer look. And thank goodness because I swear it saved our relationship – lol.

Here is the scoop….
Meal Plans range from classic and family friendly to 15 minute meals and vegetarian. And you can pick either 2, 3, or 4 meals a week delivered.

We opted for the 4x per week Classic, which is their widest variety of meat, seafood and vegetarian recipes. Both 30 minute and 15 Minute recipes are included. Note the 15 minutes ones are offered at a premium price.

The nice thing is some weeks when we have a lot of dinner plans and events, we can reduce our order to 2 or 3 meals or even skip the delivery entirely (which we did over the holidays).

This is great not only for busy families but I think it would also be amazing for the seniors in your life! If someone has mobility issues or isn’t eating the healthiest options then fresh food can be delivered to their door. They choose the meals and the 15 minute meals even come with all the veggies/ingredients chopped and ready to go.

I have been impressed with the freshness of the ingredients, the ease of the recipes and, actually most surprisingly, the portion size. We can both eat dinner and most nights, there is enough left over for my partner to take for lunch the next day.

We did the math and worked out how much wasted food we had at the end of the week and this works for us! Maybe it’s not for everyone, but I encourage you to run the numbers and see what it might do to your family’s quality of life and time spent together!

Get your free plates here -> chefsplate.com?r=3pc-IS4KGSW or use the referral tag #freeplatesfromYYCRedShoeRealtor

 

WE PICK THE ONES THAT WE WOULDN’T MAKE OURSELVES, DUE TO LACK OF SKILL AND SPECIALTY INGREDIENTS. OUR TASTES LEAN TOWARD MEXICAN AND ASIAN. SOME OF OUR FAVOURITES:

  • Sweet Potato & Avocado Poke Bowl with sticky rice and sesame-soy dressing
  • Crispy Chicken Katsu Sandwich with garlic aioli and a crunchy slaw
  • Pork Meatball Hot Pot with leeks and rice noodles
  • Crispy Fish Tacos with avocado salsa & creamy lime slaw
2019 Design

20 Home Design Trends for 2019

Rose gold, subway tiles and exposed lighting were some of the top home decor trends of 2018. With a new year comes new decorating patterns, stylish, timeless pieces to fresh takes on old styles. 2019 is going to have some fantastic home design trends.

Published in DECORMAG

ARTISANAL FIXTURES

Like velvet pieces many designers have noticed a shift and that more decorators are partial to fixture from local artist and small businesses, especially lighting. Artisan fixtures personalize your home, and like natural elements, helps shifts homes focus from the tech world to the natural world.

NATURAL ELEMENTS

Stepping away from the tech-obsessed decor we saw dominate the 2018 design trends, 2019 move towards fresh, natural materials such as stone, copper, concrete, and granite. These elements will help bring an organic and serene ambiance to any space while reflecting the world around your home.

VELVET FURNISHINGS

Believe it or not, velvet was seen as old fashion and stuffy, now viewed as a luxurious yet funky. This multi-dimensional fabric has already started gaining a lot of attention, leading many designers to believe velvet decor will be one of 2019’s most sought-after trends.

FLORAL PATTERNS

This decorating trend has been around for awhile, in the upcoming year. However, we will see floral patterns in a new light. Decorators expect to find exaggerated proportions and contrasting colors used for this timeless decor pattern.

COPPER ACCENTS

Rose gold was one of 2018’s most used decor trend, yet for 2019 we are expecting to see less rose gold and more copper accents, along with a mixture of other metals. With it’s red and orange tones and overall earthy hue, copper is a much-needed breath of fresh air for the new year.

RICHER COLOR PALETTES

Though muted colors can help you avoid making spaces feel overwhelming, designers believe that 2019 will be a year where bolder colors are preferred. Richer hues throughout your home can make your more muted furnishings and decorative decor pop. Lookout for dramatic reds, statement pinks, bold yellows and organic greens.

BRASS DECOR

2019 is setting up to be a year where we wave goodbye to stainless steel and polished nickel, and welcome brass accents back into our homes. Brass is a surprisingly warm and subtle alternative to the expected steel accents.

BLACK & WHITE DECOR

A truly timeless design trend, black and white furnishings will want to be on your list of trends to incorporate into your home’s decor this 2019. The visual contrast of black and white will provide a sense of balance and boldness to your home’s space.

MILLENNIAL PINK

A massive hit in 2018, this trendy hue is getting a lot of attention. We’ve already seen this pink shade make its way into home decor and fashion, but for 2019 get prepared to incorporate this hue in new creative and unique ways, as an easy way to update any space.

TONAL REDS

The past few years we have seen designers and homeowners gravitate towards cooler colors such as blues and greens, so we are excited that warmer tones are going to be in for the new year. Tonal reds are a great way to add complimenting contrast while providing the warmth that makes your home more inviting

GEOMETRIC PATTERNS

Similar to floral patterns and brass decor, incorporating geometric patterns is no new trend. Yet for the new year geometric patterns are expected to become a dramatic presence. Colors will be bolder with oversized patterns. This is a trend that will help make a bold statement in any room. A chic and easy way to incorporate this pattern into your home decor is adding geometric throws.

CONCRETE ACCENTS

Some may wonder why concrete has left the construction zone, yet 2019 will be the year it steps into many homes decor. Providing a crisp, clean look that’s easy to compliment Concrete isn’t just for countertops. Geometric concrete tiles will become increasingly popular and pair two of next years hottest design trends into one stylish piece.

VINTAGE LIGHTING

A trend that many will be shocked to see making its way back into the new year. The vintage lights we are expecting to see will be less exposed lighting and more of vintage pendants and sconces, in brass and copper finishes. 2019 will be a year where trending designs come together in unison.

BUCKET SINKS

Also known as Trough sinks, bucket sink joins the list of vintage design trends that are predicted to make a massive comeback in the next year. Farm-house inspired, these pans are family friendly and will add personality and a touch a nostalgia to any kitchen or bathroom.

BURNT YELLOW

Previously this shade of yellow was seen as too overwhelming and dramatic, yet in the coming year, the bolder the better. Yellow is a color that exudes happiness, confidence, and cheer. Whether used in accents or statement pieces, burnt yellow is sure to make your home feel joyous in 2019.

70’S CHIC

With many old design trends coming back in style this 2019, such as velvet and geometric patterns, our designers are expecting to see many nods to the 70s era. 70’s chic decor is all warm palettes, funky textures, and abstract silhouettes. Incorporating this trend into your home will bring out amazing personality into everyliving room or bedroom design.

AGATE WALLPAPER

Many seem to stay away from wallpaper in general, yet 2018 was a year that saw wallpaper used in more homes. 2019 will be no different, and it is all in print. Agate wallpaper is making a splash for its pops of colors, and its natural ununiformed lines and colors perfectly marry both the bold and natural trends we expect for 2019.

MATTE FINISHES

From beauty products to customized cars, technological advancements have made matte finishes all the more alluring and viable. Compared to the dramatic effect that high-shine finishes conjure, matte finishes lend furnishings a more relaxed, however, futuristic appeal.

Take this sleek console brought to life by a sensational yellow and periwinkle color combo. In a more traditional color combo it would have come off as standard. And if it were finished with a high-gloss effect, it would come off as overly loud. Instead, thanks to its matte patina, it’ll lend any room a quiet sense of dignity and grace while remaining ultra-cool.

For a similar effect, look for matte finished furnishings that boast unexpected hues and silhouettes, or go for classic styling as when a piece is finished with a matte technique, it will remain forever-cool.

CANOPY BEDS

Though they haven’t been in vogue since the late 80’s, we’ve seen a steady rise in clients requesting updated takes on grand canopy beds. It could be because hotel inspired bedroom suites have been all the rage over the past decade, or it very well could be that people are seeking out the ultimate comforting oasis.

Whatever the case, minimally minded canopy beds are readily available in an endless array of options. And since they usually boast a slim silhouette and elements, they can now fit in almost any room with ease without coming off as overbearing and unnecessary. To make one work in your bedroom, follow suit and source a canopy bed that is quiet and slim to ensure that it won’t take up too much space or ever go out of style.

Cochrane

JUST LISTED : 28 Glenpatrick Crescent Cochrane

Grab a cone of famous MacKay’s ice cream in Cochrane and then come see this perfect starter home…it even has a mountain view!

 

Warm and inviting, this 3-bedroom duplex is situated on a large pie lot that is entirely fenced. The main floor living room is double the usual size, with a stone-faced corner fireplace and access to the front deck for an evening drink while enjoying those views. Laminate flooring flows through the main floor to a cute white and bright kitchen with pantry storage, the 2pc bathroom and a dining room that opens to the backyard. Upstairs hosts three good sized bedrooms. The master bedroom has a walk-in closet and a cheater door to the main 4pc bathroom, which was recently remodeled. The basement level now homes the laundry, the utility room and a spacious rec room/office.

Cochrane Cochrane

At this price, can you believe that you can have your own double underdrive garage? The yard is a dream for anyone with a green thumb to grow their own veggies or just wants to escape to a private oasis. Escape to Cochrane today!

For more information click here 
Virtual Tour here

JUST LISTED : 1204, 2200 Woodview Drive SW

Welcome Home to 1204, 2200 Woodview Drive SW, Calgary!

Quartz Counter tops. Check! Brand new kitchen. Check! Brand new GE Stainless Steel Appliances. Check! Trendy vinyl plank floor. Check! In-suite new laundry. Check! Low condo fees. Check! This place checks all your boxes, and for under $250,000? WOW!

This fully remodeled single-level townhouse is perfect for first time home buyers or the savvy investor. Open the front door and fall in love with the warm and welcoming feel of this home. The open concept living room is beautifully lit with natural light, and the kitchen is a showstopper. White shaker style cabinets, large subway tiles and under mount sink.

The bathroom has faux marble tile surrounding the deep tub and plenty of storage in the vanity.

The master bedroom is huge with a walk-in closet, motion-sensor light and custom built-ins. The 2nd bedroom also has a generous closet with built-ins!

Storage not a problem here, with a pantry and extra space in the furnace room. Did I mention a newer furnace/hot water tank? You’ll be the envy of your friends!

View the virtual tour here

For more information visit here

   

Date Night

Calgary – It’s Date Night!

Calgary is AMAZING!

I know, I might be biased – but there is so much to do in our city.  With everything the city has to offer date night should be easy and more than just dinner and a movie. 

How about these cool local date night ideas:

• Live Improv: Loose Moose Theatre 
• Handmade Pasta Making Lesson: The Spice Chica 
• Murder Mystery Dinner: Fort Calgary 
• Sunday Brunch: Monki Breakfast Club
• Drop in Volleyball: Rally Pointe
• Tacos and Bowling: National on 10th
• Escape Room Experience: Level 1 Escape / Escape Capers YYC 
• Surfset Group Fitness: Revolution Fitness 
• Live Music: There are tons of cool places like Ironwood and Wine Ohs

Everyone is different and the more you can personalize the experience the better it will be for both of you.  Remember that they love you  just spending time together and reminding them how important they are to you will win you major brownie points and fill your heart up with joy.

Or, “Netflix and Chilling” always works too  😉

Love Valentines Day

Valentine’s Day – Pamper Her or Spoil Him

Tis the season of love, tingly feelings and romance.  I adore this time of year, people being all mushy gushy with feelings, open hearts and public displays of affection. I mean, seriously, is there anything cuter than a couple holding hands walking in the snow and not feeling the cold. It doesn’t matter if you are in love with yourself, a partner, your family, your friends or even your pet – sing it from the rooftops during this time of year. It’s OK!

“BEING IN LOVE IS AN AMAZING THING; BUT BEING IN LOVE WITH YOUR BEST FRIEND IS EVERYTHING!”

There seems to be a lot of gift giving this time of year, but celebrating your love for another doesn’t mean you have to spend all your savings. There are many ways you can show you care … I’ve listed some of my ideas below that you can totally steal and take credit for on Valentine’s Day:

Pamper Her
  • Breakfast in bed or meet for breakfast somewhere instead of dinner
  • Send her a sexy text message or tantalizing voicemail
  • Have a romantic Valentine’s Day picnic on the floor. Use some candles and lay a soft blanket on the floor. Put on some soft music and white Christmas lights for additional romantic lighting
  • Share a warm bath with scented oil or bubble bath
  • Together write your love story – how you met and fell in love. Don’t forget “lived happily ever after”
Spoil Him
  • Hide post it notes around the house with cute little sentiments
  • Mail a love letter to his office so it arrives on Valentine’s Day
  • Use lipstick to make hearts and XO’s on the rear view mirror or bathroom mirror. Leave a kiss on his napkin for lunch or dinner
  • Do something together, go skating or tobogganing – its fun, seriously!
  • Break out his favourite board game, puzzle or video game

Asbestos – What We Did!

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral and for years prior to 1990 it was a popular in construction Canada wide.  Mainly used for insulating buildings and homes against wintry weather and noise. It has also been used, and, in some cases, continues to be used, in products like:

  • cement and plaster
  • industrial furnaces and heating systems
  • building insulation
  • floor and ceiling tiles
  • house siding

Here we were, looking to renovate a townhouse that was built in the late 1970’s – we were pretty sure that there would be asbestos. Therefore, during our home inspection period we had a testing company come out and grab samples from everywhere that could potentially contain asbestos. We were right, they did detect 2% Chrysotile Asbestos (which is by far the most common form) in the drywall joint compound no where else. The company said that it was often added to the mud as a binding agent – I sure didn’t know that. Anyways, we negotiated with the seller some of the costs and were off the races.

So, you know, Health Canada says there are no significant risks if materials containing asbestos in your home are:
  • tightly bound in products and are in good condition
  • sealed behind walls and floorboards
  • isolated in an attic
  • left undisturbed

Well, we were definitely going to be disturbing those nasty little asbestos fibres, so next came abatement. We hired M.A.R.S. Environmental Services to do the work for us as we wanted it done properly and safely. It was going to take them 2.5 to 3 full days to remediate all the areas that were going to be affected by our renovation plans. That even included around each of the electrical plugs we were either going to move or replace/repair.

Did we learn a lot through the process? Yes. Was it a bit costly and time consuming? Yes. Was it worth it? YES!! The health of my family, and the ability to confidently say it has been remediated when we go to sell, is totally worth it.  I would say that if you are going to be renovating or flipping an older property, get the testing done prior to waiving your conditions for peace of mind and to ensure you still have a profit margin in that flip!

JUST LISTED : 88 Prominence View SW

This bright & well-kept San Francisco-style end unit town house with double turrets is located in the beautiful community of Patterson. This home is surrounded and backing on to a green belt, it is uniquely situated in the Capilano Gardens condominium complex. The features include a tiled foyer with mirrored entry closet, gorgeous cherry oak built-ins and cabinetry. There is rich oak flooring throughout the main floor and neutral carpeting upstairs. There is a desirable large south-facing deck that has an expansive and private view. It allows for a wonderful summer retreat for BBQing or hosting friends and family.

This two-storey townhouse offers a grade-level foyer with access to double tandem attached garage. The kitchen includes a wall pantry and island, turret-style breakfast nook with a magnificent view. Don’t forget about the granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances. The open concept living/dining room has a marble-faced gas fireplace and built in bookcases. The main floor also has a 1/2 bath and in-suite laundry.

The upper floor has open hall plan with built-in cabinetry and a den with more large windows. The spacious master bedroom retreat features a mirrored by-pass doors into a semi walk-in closet. There is also an ample second bedroom. And a large 5-piece bathroom with a corner jetted tub.

This is one of the most sought after locations and town house in the area. Be sure to call your favourite REALTOR for a tour today.

For more information click here.

For the virtual tour click here.

Patterson 88 Prominence View SW Townhouse   Patterson 88 Prominence View SW Townhouse

Patterson 88 Prominence View SW Townhouse   Patterson 88 Prominence View SW Townhouse

 

About Coach Hill Patterson Heights:

Coach Hill Patterson Heights is a well established community in the city of Calgary. It is located in close proximity to downtown, Canada’ Olympic Park and one of the most geographically unique areas of the city.  Whether it is the rolling hills, bubbling waterfalls, sloped ravines, or natural fauna – this community is beautiful. There are also interesting bike paths and friendly people that make Coach Hill Patterson Heights their home, our community has a lot to be thankful for.

JUST LISTED : 167 Douglas Woods Hill SE

Welcome to this show stopping family home in sought after Douglasdale.

This open concept home has been recently updated for a polished, modern look. You’ll be impressed as soon as you step inside this gorgeous home. It features hardwood floors, a spacious living & dining room, main floor laundry & a discrete half bathroom. The home opens up into a family room with huge windows and a corner fireplace. Once in the kitchen your eyes are drawn to the details which includes high end cabinets, stainless steel appliances & shining granite countertops.

Upstairs is your extra large dream master suite – a large 4 pc ensuite with corner jacuzzi tub & a walk in closet. There are 2 additional bedrooms & a kids/guest bath up.

The fully finished lower level is ideal for family entertainment. Space includes a supersized recreation room, built in office space, a 4th bedroom & storage space!

The backyard is enormous, did we mention there’s a POOL? The property is well manicured with a large multi-tiered deck. Welcome Home.

For more details click here!

Check out the virtual tour here.