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, which is hard to say in May since it can be 25+ to snow May long weekend. When there is consistent weather at night above freezing is around the time to get planting (Mid-May usually). Survey your yard to spot the most sunny/shady spots and plant accordingly for best results.

Here’s a few zone approved plants to consider!

Fruits & Veggies:

-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.

 

#RealtortotheRescue #yeg #yegrealestate #yegrealtor #DaveSells #babycarrots

Easy Home Updates For Spring

Spring Fling Updates

 

Now that the weather is 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 its best to get on these things quickly. 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!

#DaveSells #RealtorToTheRescue #yeg #yegrealtor #spring

Downtown Dining Week

As many of you know I spent a large amount of my time in the hospitality industry so I thought I would highlight one of Edmonton’s fantastic dining events; Downtown Dining Week (DTDW)! It is a great opportunity to take in some of Edmonton’s delicious local eateries and get out of your house as I am sure you are getting a bit stir crazy with this recent cold snap. Lunches include two courses for $15, three course dinners for $28 and Executive dinners for $45. These are my top picks to check out March 10-19th.

  1. Atlas is one of Edmonton’s newer features in the Ice District which makes this the prime opportunity to try it out if you have yet to go. With a carefully selected wine menu to go with either the lunch or dinner menu. It is an upscale concept with a focus on local and sustainable products cooked in their signature charcoal oven.  The chopped tenderloin bowl on the lunch menu looks fabulous!
  2. Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, Kelly’s Pub on 104 St is the perfect hang out for your all day green beer drinking festivities. Comfort food is their specialty and the bacon wrapped scallops and tempura battered shrimp will certainly pair well with a bit of Irish whiskey.
  3. Rostizado by Tres Carnales is a modern take on Mexican cuisine. This is a spot that if you haven’t visited previously, you are missing out!! You may have to go back a few times because all three choices on the lunch menu look tasty! You can have my favorite drink, a Paloma while listening to a variety of hand selected vinyl. Although not on the menu, the churros are a must at any time! To die for!
  4. Sabor is downtown’s fresh and sustainable seafood specialists, with a Spanish and Portuguese twist. With a comfortable rustic atmosphere, this restaurant is a pleasure for lunch or dinner. The catch of the day is always fantastic for lunch and the paella is the gem on the dinner menu! But don’t forget the addictive piri piri prawns.

Hopefully something from this list tempts your taste buds or perhaps one of the other great restaurants featured for DTDW! For the full list of participating restaurants, you can visit the website here http://edmontondowntown.com/dining-week.php. Don’t forget to ask your server for a contest card after having any of the featured menus for a chance to win a $50 gift card to a participating restaurant or the grand prize Chateau Lacombe getaway!

Look Out 2017!

A new year, a new feature wall? What can give you a fresh start better then a little home makeover. We can help! Here is a few upcoming trends for 2017.

Green:

The “in” color this year is green. From vibrant lime to rich emerald. 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 really 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! #supportlocal

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.

Now if all you are needing is that perfect space to “redo”, you can reach out to the Dave Sells team anytime and we will keep you on trend.

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

 

#yeg #yegrealestate #DaveSells #RealtortotheRescue #shoplocal #2017

 

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!

#DaveSells #yeg #RealtortotheRescue #yegrealestate #happyholidays #yegrealtor

PS. Here is a little twist on the traditional shortbread recipe if you are looking for something quick and easy to whip up for your visit with the in-laws.

 

How To Make Perfect Whipped Shortbread

Prep Time

7 mins

Cook Time

35 mins

Total Time

42 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of salted butter
  • 1/2 cup of icing sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of flour

Instructions

  1. Whip the butter and icing sugar together well. You can add a flavor at this stage if you are looking for a bit more punch, lemon zest, early grey tea leaves, lavender, etc.
  2. Once it looks all deliciously creamy, resist from eating it by the spoonful, and get your flour ready.
  3. Start the mixer and slowly add in the flour, until it has all been added in.
  4. Then you can proceed to let your mixer do all the work for you and whip it for 6 minutes. You are wanting lighter than air shortbread here.
  5. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop the dough out onto an ungreased baking sheet. Top with decoration of your choosing.
  6. Bake them in a 275 degree oven for about 30-35 minutes. You want to dry out shortbread in essence, not bake it, thus the low temperature. They may brown slightly but mostly you are looking for them to be “dry”.

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 it’s a fun time for our four legged friends as well. But there is a few things that we need to keep and eye out for while trick or treating with our families.

  • Don’t keep pumpkin 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!
  • With the doors opening and closing for those cute costumed kiddies can be very stressful for your pets. Loud noises and unfamiliar faces can 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 a 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, 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 pets reach. Chocolate is poison for dogs. If you notice any of these 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 driver/peoples attention and they may see your pets. If somehow they get away you want to be able to see/find them.

Happy Halloween from the #DaveSells family!

#RealtortotheRescue #trickortreat #happyhalloween #Jacobthecorgi

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Winter is coming..

autumn-02Fall 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 some winter prep we should check off the list. As we all know fall only lasts a short while here in Edmonton, it could snow tomorrow so lets get to work!

  1. Lets put away the last bits of summer from our yards. Patio furniture, umbrellas and any toys that need to be stored.
  2. Clean out those gutters and make sure everything is in good working order. Nobody wants ice build up!
  3. Check your doors including the garage door. Do they feel draftee? Put some weather stripping on those bad boys to keep out the cold.
  4. Wash the exterior windows. Better let the moonlight in on those cold winter evenings.
  5. Drain and store your garden hoses. You can go further and install an insulated cover on the exposed faucet.
  6. Get those fireplaces ready to roar! Have your chimneys and flues inspected/cleaned. Nothing is better then a fireplace in the wintertime so you want to make sure you can use it!
  7. Check your roof. If you need to have any repairs done it is a lot easier to do now then when 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.

Ingredients

2 eggs plus the yolk of a third egg

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/3 cup white sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest

2 cups of pumpkin pulp purée from a sugar pumpkin* or from canned pumpkin purée (can also use puréed cooked butternut squash)

1 1/2 cup heavy cream or 1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk

1 good crust

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F. Beat eggs, mix in sugars, salt, spices, lemon zest: Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Mix in the brown sugar, white sugar, salt, spices—cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, ground cloves, cardamom, and lemon zest.
  2. 3 Add pumpkin and cream: Mix in the pumpkin purée. Stir in the cream. Beat together until everything is well mixed.
  3. 4 Pour into pie shell and bake: Pour the filling into an uncooked pie shell. Bake at a high temperature of 425°F for 15 minutes. Then after 15 minutes, lower the temperature to 350°F. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes more, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. (About halfway through the baking, you may want to put foil around the edges or use a pie protector to keep the crust from getting too browned.)
  4. 5 Cool on a rack: Cool the pumpkin pie on a wire rack for 2 hours. Note that the pumpkin pie will come out of the oven all puffed up (from the leavening of the eggs), and will deflate as it cools.
  5. Serve with whipped cream.

Happy Thanksgiving from the #DaveSells Family!

 

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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, damaged, or decorations 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.

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 that 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

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