Pumpkin spice season is near!

As sad as it is these cool mornings are a sign of things to come. With fall quickly approaching there are some cleaning tips that you can start tackling while the afternoons are still hot!
 
-Wash and store those beach towels. Using a bit of a nice smelling fabric softener on your dyer cycle will help keep them fresh and ready for the beach next season.
 
-Wash and store your patio furniture. Using a mild dish soap or detergent give everything a good scrub, including a spot wash on the cushions. With the sun still coming out in the afternoon letting them dry in the sun before storing.
 
-All those fun outdoor kids toys you have been avoiding with the lawn mower. Give those guys a nice bath in a chlorine bleach/water solution. Store them in a closed container to keep them clean for next year!
 
-Organize and clean your garage/shed. Since you have so much to store for the winter this is a good time to clean everything out making room for the furniture and outdoor items you are storing.
 
-Inspect all your drains and gutters for clutter. Keeping them clear will help avoid winter ice dams. While you are out there check your roofing and siding!
 
-Clean and inspect your windows/doors inside and out. Check the caulking and weather stripping. You do not want to be losing heat through leaks in the winter.
 
-Drain and disconnect your hoses. Forgetting to do so can cause freezing in the pipes which can burst. Last thing you want when you are all cozy with a cup of cocoa in the winter.
 
-If it is time for your annual furnace cleaning schedule your service including filter replacement. No working furnace in the winter is no fun…trust me.
 
-Replace batteries in your smoke/carbon monoxide detectors and make sure they are in full working order. With all the winter baking you are going to be doing coming up you want to make sure they are in good working order.
 
-Make sure your fireplace works! If you have a wood burning fire place, schedule it to be cleaned and inspected.
 
-Tidy and prep your cupboards/pantry. Check the best before dates and throw away anything past due. If there are things you are not using that are not expired you can donate them to the food bank for those in need. This will give you a good idea of what you need to restock for the busy cooking/holiday season. Nothing feels as good as a clean and organized kitchen!
 
Now that you have finished these fun little tasks you can sit back and relax. Enjoy the rest of the beautiful summer we have here in the YEG!
 
PS. Did you know these tips and tricks also make your house in prime condition to list! If you are thinking of putting your house on the market this fall contact the Dave Sells team for your free assessment. We are never too busy for your referrals.
 
#yeg #yegrealtor #DaveSells #RealtytotheRescue #pumpkinspice

How to get a golf course worthy lawn

Do you want to be the envy of the neighborhood with a lush, weed free lawn? We have some tips that can help you get there.

-Aerating your lawn in the spring and then again in the fall is good pre and post-summer maintenance that will help get your lawn extra healthy.  Aeration helps water and nutrients penetrate the soil and decompose the thatch left from the year prior.

-Spreading soil and fertilizer in the patches that just will not grow. Sometimes the grass needs some more soil to grab onto after it has been compacted over the previous year. Before adding your soil, you can grab a soil testing kit from your local garden center. This will test you soils PH balance and let you know what you can add to your new soil promote healthy lawn growth.

-Go Bag less! The grass clippings will provide nutrients rich in nitrogen to your soil as they decompose and promote water retention. Using a lawn mower that has a mulching blade will accomplish this easily. Beware that you will have to regularly mow your lawn as it is difficult to mulch longer, moist grass.

-Mow your lawn when it is dry. Wet grass will clump and prevent moisture and air from reaching the grass beneath. The best time is before it rains… if you see the storm clouds coming, try to get out and mow the lawn!

-Water! Your lawn is thirsty but do not over water. Proper watering can make it harder for weeds to appear. You will want to water less for longer periods of time to promote deep root growth. This will keep your grass looking greener longer even in times of less rain.

-Change up your style. Cutting your grass in different mowing patterns will prevent the grass from laying in one direction and creating lawn mower ruts.

Following some of these tricks should help you achieve a great looking lawn. You can host the neighborhood croquet tournament!

#yeg #yegrealtor #RealtortotheRescue #DaveSells #lawn #lush #grass

April Showers Bring May Flowers

Gardening in Edmonton can be a challenge with the weather variations! Although we are considered a zone 3A, some gardeners are trying out zone 4A plants because of our warmer than average summers. If you are like me, 3A means nothing, so we are going to break it down simply into what grows best!

Prep! Aerate your garden, mix it up! This will spread the nutrient rich top soil throughout, and this is also a good time to add in any compost to the soil. The best time to start planting is hard to pinpoint, since it can be 25+ degrees or snow May long weekend. The best time to start planting is when there is consistently above freezing weather at night (mid-May, usually). Survey your yard to spot the most sunny/shady spots, and plant accordingly for the best results.

Here’s a few zone approved plants to consider

  • Kale
  • Radishes
  • Swiss Chard
  • Potatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Peas
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Chives
  • Horseradish
  • Tomatoes
  • Corn
  • Pumpkin
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon
  • Blueberries
  • Saskatoon’s
  • Asparagus

And if you just want things that are nice to look at here’s a few flowers that are zone approved!

  • Poppy
  • Violet
  • Iris
  • Asters
  • Coneflower
  • Sunflowers
  • Ferns
  • Hostas
  • Lilies
  • Lupins
  • Primrose
  • Dogwood
  • Lupine
  • Sedum
  • Wildflowers
  • Baptisia
  • Peony
  • Liatris
  • Moss Phlox
  • Bleeding Heart
  • Monkshood

There is nothing better than eating a dinner full of garden veggies! Feel free to share the love with your friendly neighbourhood realtor! Anyone who has seen my SnapChat knows my love of mini carrots.

 

Easy Home Updates For Spring

Spring Fling Updates

Now that the weather’s warming up and the snow is melting, this is the perfect time to start preparing for upcoming spring projects.

  1. Schedule your roof replacement! Roofers will book up quickly, and with the short spring/summer here in Edmonton it’s best to get on these things at the start of the season. Your roof protects your home from the elements, and even a very small leak can cause major damage. When selling a home, a new roof is a great selling feature for potential buyers!
  2. Clean out those gutters! With the melting and thawing cycle, leaking or clogged gutters can cause water to accumulate in all the wrong places, which can pool around your foundation. Eventually this can lead to water in your basement. Gutters are inexpensive to replace/maintain.
  3. Inspect your garden hoses and faucets. Hopefully you were on the ball and got your hose unhooked, drained, and properly stored for the winter. If you didn’t manage to remember, you will need to check for freeze damage. Having someone in the basement or close to the water shut off is advisable in case of a leak.
  4. Schedule maintenance/repairs on your A/C unit. With hot summer days just around the corner, you do not want it to stop working on a 30+ day! Regularly check the filters, and keep it cleaned as part of your routine. Make sure you schedule annual technician service checks to ensure proper long-term maintenance of your A/C system.
  5. Check all your doors and windows. Wear and tear from structural shifting is very common in the winter season. Check the weather stripping and caulking for gaps or air leaks. These can be easy DIY repairs if a full replacement is not required. Keeping the house cooler in the summer months will be easier and more efficient with a better weatherproofed home.
  6. Schedule your spring yard maintenance early! Having your yard aerated, raked, mowed, seeded, and fertilized can help get you that healthy green, weed-free lawn. Ask a local professional for DIY help, or hire a professional company to help maintain your yard for you.

Spring is a short but sweet season, so you better get hustling!

Look Out 2017!

A new year, a new feature wall? What can give you a fresh start better than a little home makeover.

We can help! Here are a few upcoming trends for 2017.

Green

The “in” color this year is green, from vibrant limes to rich emeralds. Adding a little pop by mixing it in with your current dinnerware or a full feature wall will get you this up-to-the-minute look. Greenery represents refreshment and revitalization.

Bronze

Bronze is a great metallic that can actually warm up a space, unlike most other metals. You can see this trend in tap wear, lighting, and decorative pieces.

Upholstered Headboards

Out with the timber and in with the upholstery. Ranging from neutral to ultra-luxurious with plush velvet, it’s a simple way to update and bring that bit of pizazz to the bedroom.

Jewel Tones

Keep your eye out for the pastels to take a back seat to their “richer” counterparts. Add in some metallic, raw stone, sheer fabrics, or flowing silks to create an air of romanticism.

Artisinal Goods

Supporting local and high-level craftsmanship will come into play with the revitalization of glass blowing, woodworking, and local artists. Check out local craft shows throughout Edmonton to get your hands on some amazing local wears!

Texture

Velvet, faux fur, and other soft materials are continuing to keep us warm and cozy this year. Furry chairs and velvet couches are just begging to be touched.

If you need that perfect space to “redo”, you can reach out to the Dave Sells team anytime and we will help keep your home on trend this season.

Now get out there and use this as an excuse to shop!

Tips for your holiday season

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The holidays are a very busy time of year for everyone. We at Dave Sells wanted to give you a few friendly reminders of things that can easily slip your mind while tossing back a few too many eggnog’s this season.

  • Don’t neglect those pipes! With the temperatures dropping, you don’t want frozen or burst pipes to ruin your festivities. Keep the water flowing through your pipes by frequently using or running taps. Ensuring there isn’t any stagnant water solidifying in the pipes is key.
  • Outside lines should also be turned off and/or insulated.
  • Inspect those holiday light strings for frays or cracks in the bulb holders. Keep all cords away and out of reach from your pets and children.
  • You don’t need a National Lampoon Christmas fire!
  • When running long sets of lights, make sure to not plug multiple extension cords together. Insert another Griswold Christmas joke here. Better to get a longer cord!
  • Installing lights on your roof? This should be a two-man job! Choose a suitable ladder and have someone spot/hold it while installing the lights. Even falling from one story can cause serious injury. Stay safe and plan -out your decorations!
  • All the holiday baking and cooking will have your stove and oven working overtime. Test out your smoke alarm batteries, and well as your CO2 detector.
  • Hiding all the gifts can be a task all its own, but don’t be tempted to store flammable materials too close to your furnace. All the wrapping and tissue papers do not mix with your gas furnace.

The Dave Sells family wants you to have a safe and happy holiday!

How to keep your furry friends safe this Halloween

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We all know that it is not just a fun time for kids, but a fun time for our four-legged friends as well. But there are a few things that we need to keep an eye out for while trick-or-treating with our families.

  • Don’t keep pumpkins with fire burning candles on the floor, or in an area that is easy for your pets to knock over. We don’t want anyone getting burnt!
  • Those scary mood lights or decorations you’ve hung can be a great chew toy. Make sure that they are secure/covered to keep those pesky vampire dogs at bay!
  • Doors constantly opening and closing for those cute costumed kiddies can be very stressful for your pets. Loud noises and unfamiliar faces can easily scare pets. Keeping them in a separate room for the night can relieve stress for them and prevent any unwanted growling incidents!
  • Don’t leave your pets outside. Also, consider bringing outdoor cats inside, especially black ones. October can be an unsafe month for pets, as people can tease, steal, injure, or even worse. Don’t take the risk.
  • Dressing up your pets is awesome! But don’t forget about them. Make sure they are comfortable and free to move, breath, and bark/meow. We wouldn’t like being put in a costume that made us feel awful, and neither do they.
  • Keep those Halloween treats out of reach. Chocolate is poison for dogs. If you notice any of the following symptoms please go immediately to your veterinarian. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures. Halloween candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, and subsequent loss of coordination and seizures.

Last, but not least, if you are bringing your four-legged friend out for trick or treating, be sure that they have light reflective collars or clothing. With dimly lit areas and pets being close to the ground, they are very hard to see. Many distractions from decorations and costumes can divert drivers’ and trick-or-treaters’ attention and they may not see your pets. As well, if they somehow get away you want to be able to see/find them.

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Winter is coming..

Fall is the season of pumpkin spice everything, crunchy leaves, and oversized sweaters. But we can’t get too cozy in front of the fireplace because there is winter prep to check off the list. As we all know, fall only lasts a short while here in Edmonton. It could snow tomorrow, so let’s get to work!

  • Let’s put away the last bits of summer from our yards. Patio furniture, umbrellas, and any toys that need to be stored.
  • Clean out those gutters and make sure everything is in good working order. Nobody wants ice build-up!
  • Check your doors, including the garage door. Do they feel drafty? Put some weather stripping on those bad boys to keep out the cold.
  • Wash the exterior windows. This will let some dreamy moonlight in on those dreary winter evenings.
  • Drain and store your garden hoses. You can go further and install an insulated cover on the exposed faucet, as well.
  • Get those fireplaces ready to roar! Have your chimneys and flues inspected/cleaned. Nothing is better than a fireplace in the wintertime, so you want to make sure you can use it!
  • Check your roof. If you need to have any repairs done, it is a lot easier to do now instead of waiting until there’s 2ft of snow outside.

That doesn’t seem so bad, does it? With the long weekend coming up there isn’t a more perfect time to get winter ready. And because you are all so efficient, you probably have time to make a pie for your in-laws coming over for Thanksgiving, so here’s a little recipe that you can whip up in your spare time! Don’t worry; you can buy the piecrust pre-made.

Organizational Tips for the New Year

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Ready to get things organized and arranged for the new year? Before taking the tree and decoration down, throw out any unused or damaged decorations, or any that no longer look new. Give away what you have not used but are still in good repair, and fix damaged items before storing (such as lights), or discard them.

This will help you out in the long run when setting up for Christmas next year. Another benefit is that you will eliminate storage space by discarding items you no longer need. Pack all decorations in labeled clear bins for easy use and visualization for next year. Organize your indoor space for your spring garden essentials and decorations.

This will give you a head start as 2016 begins.

Enjoy, and Happy New Year!

Decorating | How to Decorate & Design Kitchens, Home and Cabinets

HGTV Decorating how-to, expert tips and advice on how to decorate your home, kitchen, bathroom, living rooms and cabinets. Watch HGTV free online in Canada.

Source: Decorating | How to Decorate & Design Kitchens, Home and Cabinets