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How to Choose a Wedding Photographer

 

Choosing a wedding photographer is a big  
step in building not only your perfect

day but also to insure you have the right team
to support you and, help create    your perfect wedding and most importantly to capture those beautiful moments and keep them alive for years to come. But the question is, how do you choose the wedding photographer that is right for you?


We believe first and foremost you need to connect with their work in someway. This is different for each couple, but it can be the style of the images, the emotion that is captured or even what the photographer believes a wedding day should be. Why is this important? Remember when planning your wedding, you want to choose vendors that are aligned with your vision and will help it come alive. The same goes for the photographs of the day. Choosing a photographer that isn’t aligned with you, your vision or personal style is a recipe for memories you may not cherish as much as you should.

 

For us, our mission is simple. Your photographs should be honest, real and true to the two of you. We are firm believers that photography should not be another check on the list, or one more thing to get done. It should be enjoyable, easy and add value to your day!

 

One of the few (if only) thing you walk away from your wedding with is the photos that tell the story of you and the events as they happened. You want this story to be documented and captured through the eyes of someone who 100% gets you! Remember love is hardly ever perfect and it’s those imperfect moments that are so incredibly beautiful.

 

Before you reach out to photographers, it’s also good to look at their portfolio and blogs of recent weddings. We recommend checking for a few things: Consistency, day & night images as well as other types of lighting situations. What you are doing here is getting a sense of what your day will look like regardless of the weather, location or available light!

 

For us, it is crucial to how we work that we meet every couple. Getting to know you, and what you are looking for is crazy important. Trust us when we say this: Meet your photographer in some way. Be it Skype, FaceTime, Face-to-Face. You are going to be stuck with them the entire wedding day. You may LOVE their work, but what if you do not click with them in person.

 

Lastly, is budget. Weddings can get expensive and it can happen fast! But we do recommend, if you REALLY fall in love with your photographer extending the budget in this area. Keep in mind this is one of the FEW takeaways you will have from your day. The food will get eaten  and the flowers will wilt but after all is said and done your photos will not only be a remainder of the love you shared that special day but will also continue you to carry the memory of your day forward for generations to come.

 

 

Connect with their work: Photography is an art form and each photographer/artist has a unique vision that can been seen through their work. From editing style or color, posing or grouping down to more formal or candid shots, the types of photographers are endless and you want to make sure to intrust the right one to highlight you and your special day just the way you envisioned.

 

Look at different weddings and lighting scenarios on their blog: You know how they “its good luck when it rains on your wedding day” well I don’t  know who “they are” but from personal experience it throws a curveball in to your plans for the perfect day. Its is extremely important to have a good look at your photographers portfolio and ask for examples of shots that were taken in different weather, lighting conditions, indoor /outdoor or even night or sunrise shots. The way your photographer handles different lighting situations can be just as important as their style. More often then not wedding will progress from inside a church to outdoor for cocktails then back indoor for reception etc.… and you want to make sure the images stay consistent to highlight the story of your day.

 

You connect with them as a person: We here at Joee and Tyler Photography feel that connecting with your photographer is crucial to the success of your shoot. I mean let’s face it, you will be spending the better part of your day with your photographers and how comfortable you are with them will show in your photos. Nobody likes getting their picture taken but having your picture taken by someone you are comfortable with really makes all the difference. When reaching out to the photographer that you feel may be right for you suggest that you meet before hand over coffee that way you have the opportunity to get to know each other better, discuss what you are looking for and what you really like about their work. This is a great way to not only break the ice but to also get some of those burning questions answered, besides at the end of the day do you really want to meet your photographer for the first time on your big day?

 

 

Be flexible with budget for the right one! We all know weddings can get really expensive really fast! After the costs for the venue, catering, florals, clothing you are usually looking at a rather substantial investment “and you and your partner deserve every bit of it”. Something to consider is that your wedding day.. well is just that, a day. In the end after all is said and done the food will be eaten, the florals wilted, and dress put away. The one thing that will be a constant remainder to not only you but also your family and friends for years to come will be those photos. Those will be what you so proudly have displayed around your home, that you will share with family, friends and loved ones as well as what you will look back on for years to come filling your heart with feelings of love for each other and your minds with memories of that beautiful day that brought you together in matrimony. Think of Photography as an investment that will stand the test of time.

 

Recommendations/Word of Mouth: Speak to your friends and family about their Experiences with their wedding photographers and try to make use of the tips and advice from those who have organized their own weddings. A good photographer should always be happy to provide you with testimonials from previous clients upon request or even provide you with contact details should you wish to hear from them directly. Do your research, google reviews, search their websites, Instagram and Facebook. When a client receives their gallery and sees the images of their special day they are usually so overcome with emotions and memories that they can’t help but post how wonderful of an experience they had and the same goes for the ladder. We are lucky to be living in an age where anything can found with only a few clicks of a mouse. Recommendations and comments are the truest form of how past clients have valued their experiences and your perfect photographer should be more then happy to share that information with you.

 

Links/Contact Information

www.joeeandtyler.com 

hello@joeeandtyler.com (email address)

226-989-7984 (Phone)

 

!!! Vote for Joee and Tyler Photography (Waterloo Region RECORD Contest) !!!

https://www.therecord.com/readerschoice/categories/professional-services/subcategories/photography-studio-services?fbclid=IwAR1nSh12rLL59mOzq22T17QRuhxl83EGwSQwqWFlCxKjNFp_n1ZxV2l-4yU

 

 

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The Power of Using Spare Minutes

 

 

I recently read a book about productivity that talked about realizing the immense value of utilizing spare minutes. This really spoke to me, I truly think that you can change so much about your life and your environment in just a few short minutes, those minutes add up and that can equal real change.  After reading the book, I took a look at my life and how I'm already using those spare minutes, and thought I would share my tips with you.    

 

Using Spare Minutes Every day 

 

Everyone has the stuff that somehow gets out of it's regular home and instead of letting them pile up where they shouldn't be, I have a couple of spots in the house that I use. I use these spots to put these items that don't belong on that floor and then when I walk by the spot, I always grab either the whole pile and put it away when I get to the next floor or next room, or a grab a few things.

 

Think of how many times a day you walk up an down your stairs and how many times you could be moving something with you, never travel through your house empty handed. Grab that laundry basket, the recycling, that book you finished, it could be anything, but grab it!

 

I've found the best way to do that is to put these items in a certain spot and check that spot before you go up or down the stairs and take those items with you on the trip. For me, I use the stairs when going up, the hallway for items to go to basement and the corner of my desk in my office for items to go to the main floor.

 

When you break up those tasks into smaller trips, it doesn't feel like you're cleaning or tidying, it's just taking something with you on your trip to make your trip a little more useful.

 

Once you start doing this, you'll start to find all those random items get into their homes much quicker and once it's a habit it's so easy to keep up.

 

Spare minutes while cooking:

 

Now, for those who know me, know that cooking is truly not something I enjoy, I never have and I bet I never will. I feel trapped in the kitchen when I'm cooking, because of that, I use those spare minutes while I wait for something to boil, or cook to do other things.

 

First thing I always do while I'm waiting on something I'm cooking is the dishes, either in the dishwasher by filling/emptying it, or washing the hand wash dishes.

 

If I'm cooking something that takes more time than those tasks take, the next thing I will do is make my shopping list, go through the cupboards real quick and take a little inventory and record what I will need next time I shop. You could also meal prep in this time, if that is something you do, not a skill I'm really good at, but you can check out Bloom and Thrive Nutrition Coaching, Heather has great meal prep ideas!

Sometimes I take those spare minutes to make a sweet treat, like Jello, pudding or Rice Krispies. I love having something to look forward to and dessert is one of the best things to look forward to after you've made a meal you didn't really want to cook in the first place.

 

I think that we often get stuck in a cycle where we turn on the oven to cook dinner, put on a timer and go sit on the couch, I believe in doing this things you don't like first, swallow that frog! And yes, I was that kid that came home and did homework on Friday night, I know, I know...

 

Everyone has a list of things to do, and completing some of those quick cleaning or organizing tasks while you are waiting for dinner is a good way to get that list done and to feel less overwhelmed with what needs to be done.

Once something becomes routine, you'll be surprised how quickly you can get more done and feel more productive in life!

 

Spare Minutes in the Car:

 

I'm sure that I spend more time in the car than most people do just sitting and waiting.

I realized pretty quickly that being early for client appointments is who I am, but that also means that I either park in front of the house that's for sale waiting, or if I'm listing, I'm parked around the block waiting for the right time so I don't look like a creeper.

 

Here's what I do in my spare car minutes:

Return important emails and phone calls, text a friend I haven't connected with in a while. If I'm driving to a property that will take me a while to get to, I call someone I haven't talked to in a while to catch up, it's nice to have a chat with friends who you can't always get a chance to see to catch up, or my Grandma, love chatting with her!

 

I organize photos on my phone, delete the ones that were taken as a joke and don't mean anything, create folders for the ones that can be put into folders and organized

 

I brainstorm, I use the time in my car to decide what kind of blog posts or videos I'd like to work on. I also often use this as a little quick business planning or mapping out my next steps, I do this with voice notes on my phone.

If I know I'll be waiting a long time, because I'm real early, often because it would have been a waste to go home in between appointments, I read. I always keep an active book on my phone or tablet, just in case I get a half hour to relax in the car. This is much nicer in the warm weather obviously.

 

Other things I always do when I'm out and about is to know what errands I need to run are and plan my day accordingly, if I'm going to drive right by a place I need to be, I'll stop in, complete the errand and cross it off my list of to do's that week. There's nothing worse than being close to a quick task and not being able to complete it. I do a lot of quick drop offs and pickups of signs, water tests, paperwork, gifts, you name it, I always have a small list of to dos that I can do quickly.

 

Spare Minutes before bed:

 

I think that this is one of the most important, how you start and end your day can make a huge difference.


A lot of what I do before bed is mental, but there are few things I take care of around the house too. I spend no more than 10 minutes doing these things, so don't think you need a lot of time to get ready for bed.
I get it, you've had a long day, you're ready to just fall into bed, however, if you leave something that is a little nagging and needs to get done, you may not have your best sleep. Set yourself up for success!


The night before I make sure the kitchen is clean, or at least clean enough to wake up and make breakfast stress free.  We discuss what we're going to have for dinner the night before, so if I need to pull out dinner from the freezer, I do that.


I collect any items that need to leave the house with me the following morning, this happens on the stairs or front hall chair so it's not missed in the morning, I hate running around in the morning grabbing items and forgetting something or being late.


I lay out the files that I need to work the next day if I'm leaving in the morning before I get time to sit in the office. This sometimes includes setting my clothes out too.


Mentally before I fall asleep but after I'm in bed, I go through my day, what went well, how can I improve and what still needs to be done tomorrow. This is also a memory technique I use, to remember what's happened. I also run through my upcoming calendar in my mind so I know what still needs to be done, another memory technique and a reason why I don't use a calendar for my appointments.


I also make a short list for the next day of what my 3 must do items are, this is not for appointments I must get to, but for work that I want to complete in my business or around the house. I find that choosing these the night before helps my brain to prepare, since the do the tasks I hate the most first and I wake up prepared do to them.
I reflect on 5 positive things from the day for my gratitude, this ends my night on a high note remembering all the great things that made me smile so I have sweet dreams!


if you're going to try any of these items, try the 5 gratitude items, it puts your whole day into perspective and sets you up to be happy the next day!

 

Spare Minutes in the Morning 


Morning Routine, there's a lot of talk around having a productive morning routine. I wake up early, around 6:30, but I'm also dressed and working by 7am. I don't have a long morning routine, so here's how I start my day, it really starts with the night before, but I also make sure to wake up in a positive space to get my day started right.


As soon as I wake up, while George uses the bathroom, I complete my morning gratitude, I once again go through the day before and try to remember what happened that made me happy, usually this is 5 to 10 things. Right now I'm focusing on the smallest things that make me happy, I truly believe that these micro things that happen to us can make us happier that we ever imagined. Being positive is a choice I make every day and it gets easier when you practice gratitude.


Then I practice mindfulness, I do this to help me stay in the moment, which helps with happiness and being productive throughout the day, the simplest way to start mindfulness is when brushing your teeth, think of the brush and each tooth, really focus on the process that you do automatically and it will bring you into the moment.


The final thing I do in my morning routine to be productive is run down my list of to do's. I only put 3 things on this list, it's short, if I complete those 3 items right away, I move onto others, but I don't make a huge overwhelming list of to do's. When I choose my 3 items, I always do the one that I hate the most first, I am most productive in the morning, so I want to crush that item and get through it right away. To be clear this list does not include things that I do daily like checking emails, listings or returning calls, this list is to complete items that you should get to in your business or life but aren't pressing and never get done.
 

 

Email in Spare Minutes 


Email, it can be a real mess and cause a lot of stress in everyone's day. I strive to keep myself at a zero inbox. I know that sounds crazy, but you can be productive and deal with all your emails I swear to you! Here's some tips to keep yourself productive in those spare minutes with email.


Take some time to set yourself up correctly first: I used 3 email addresses, one for business, this is my main email address and this is the only email that I have pushing to my phone. I hate seeing a huge number of emails in my little indicator, so I only have emails that I may need to handle immediately pushed to my phone.
My 2nd email address is for those emails that I need to get but don't ever need to respond to, I check these once a day, sometimes twice, but never more than that. This is usually where my electronic bills, receipts from stores and other non urgent items go.


My 3rd email address is for all that spam email you know you're going to get, when you have to give your email address to get some information or to a store who you know is going to spam you, I check this about once a month, if that, and believe me, it saves me a tonne of email overwhelm.
Once you get your inboxes all set up correctly, you need to identify what questions, files or replies you are always typing out or sending. Since I'm so often out on the go, I reply to most of my emails from my phone and I don't make someone wait until I get back to a computer for an answer, than can mean a lot of typing.
Here's what I do, I will create a file for a property for example, all the questions I keep answering I put in this file, I also have the listing and other info that I may need about it. When I reply to an email with info that I think others might want too, I copy that response and save it on this notes section in my phone, so I can copy and paste it the next time.


The simple act of recognizing that you truly answer the same things many times means you can save so much time typing in the future. This works well for files you need to send often too, google drive is very helpful here.
The last quick tip that I have for you, is use your downtime to respond to emails before you scroll through social media. Most of my emails can be responded to very quickly, I may need to do some additional work later for that request, but I always respond right away.


I look at email like sitting down in a restaurant, if a server comes and brings you a drink, you don't feel ignored, even if the server takes a while to come back for your food order, you're still happy you got a drink. If you respond to an email with thanks, I got this, I'll work on this later tonight, the sender feels connected to you and you've bought yourself a little more time since they are not frustrated and wondering what is taking you so long. The other thing I do after I respond, if I still need to do something for that person, I mark the email as unread so it's sitting there reminding me to work on it.


Zero inbox may not be possible for everyone, but once you use some of these tactics, you may be closer to it than you think.

 

There's a lot of tips here, I hope that you are able to take a couple of golden nuggets out here, remember that real change can seem so overwhelming, but it's truly just small steps added together over time, so take one tip this month, learn it, make it work for your life, do it and master it, once you've mastered it, you've made that change and move onto the next.  You can do it! 

 


 

 

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How I'm Staying Postive


I'm not going to lie, it's not easy in these times to always be positive, but as a generally positive person, I thought that I would share a few of the things that I'm doing now to stay positive. Some of these tips are things I do all  the time, but I can assure you if you start to implement some of these into your routine, little by little, you'll feel the positivity coming.

 


Daily Gratitude: Even now, there is something that happens to you daily that you can be grateful for. Maybe it's  something small like some flowers in your garden, a new show you found on Netflix or a quick call with a friend, but be grateful. I find that the smaller the things you can find to be grateful for, the more general enjoyment you will have. Not everything has to be amazing and huge to be grateful for, last week I was so happy for my oatmeal that was perfect!

 


Get dressed: I know that it sounded like fun when we all started working from home to work in our PJ's, but getting dressed every day is the 1st step to feeling normal. Working from home may be your new normal, so make a routine of it, wear pants, brush your teeth and run a comb through your hair, you'll feel better about yourself when you look in the mirror.

 


Stop trying to be perfect: Online you're seeing all these people who are baking perfect loaves of bread, making beautiful cakes or home schooling their kids from their incredible home classroom. You don't have to be Instagram perfect, you kept yourself and your kids alive today, you did it! You're winning at life, stop comparing your time at home to how others are spending their time, do what feels right for you and do something small to move that needle every day.

 


Think of others: Every week I choose 5 people or families who I can give a moment of happiness to, maybe that's delivering some cookies, sharing a some puzzles or games, having a phone call, writing a letter for fun mail, or making videos of George doing magic tricks. When you focus your time on how you can make someone else's day better, you're not thinking about yourself for a while and it's easy to be positive when you think of how happy you can make other people!

 


Take up that hobby: Do you have something that you've always wanted to try? Maybe it's learning how to play guitar, woodworking, a physical skill like hula hooping, reading those books that have become dust collectors on your shelf or if you're like me, you like to crochet to make things, I've moved into some new crochet skills with slippers and baby yoda dolls recently, spoiler alert for my family for Christmas! YouTube is a great place to learn a little something that you can try as a hobby.

 


Find something to look forward to: I get it, we've all given up a lot to be home, we've already missed 2 trips and I think that at least 4 concerts will be cancelled, but I know that a lot of those things are still going to happen. I often find that the planning before a trip is a big part of the excitement. So chat with your friends and family and make plans for when we can see each other again, plan a BBQ, a trip, a fun day or even what you're going to do the first day you take your kids and leave them with Grandma and Grandpa.. The anticipation of greater times to come will help you with your positive thoughts.

 


If your'e still having a hard time with what you've lost during this time, I find it helps to look back at old photos and remember the good times that you've had in the past. I know that my photo roll on my phone is always good for a few hours or laughs and memories, share those memories with people who were with you, send them the photo, send a video of yourself remembering those times, you'll be happy you had those times to keep you going when it's harder now .
There is no light without the darkness, so embrace these times and know that there will be better times soon and we're all in this together. If you find these tips helpful, please let me know and if you still need help to find positiviity, please reach out, I'm always here to chat and have some positive conversations.
 

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Great reads right now

Need an idea for a new read?  I've got a guest writer on this blog, thanks to Candace, she loves to read and when I asked her for some info about good reads right now, she was happy to share!  

 

Here are 6 of her top picks right now, including a few of her thoughts on the book.  Happy Reading! 

 

"They said Nick wanted a certain number, and honestly I don't remember what it was so I told them to give it to him.  I'll make it back, she recalled saying. And then I did. Give or take a billion."

 

 

This is a must-read memoir for everyone – filled with the juicy details of her relationships but it is so much more then just that.  Jessica really presents us with the story of her life – trauma, failures, successes and really finding herself.

 

“Life up here may be simple but it’s not easy, and it’s not for everyone. Water runs out; pipes freeze; engines won’t start; it’s dark for eighteen, nineteen hours a day, for months. Even longer in the far north. Up here it’s about having enough food to eat, and enough heat to stay alive through the winter. It’s about survival, and enjoying the company of the people that surround us. It’s not about whose house is the biggest, or who has the nicest clothes, or the most money. We support each other because we’re all in this together.

 

 

This book is full of love, self discovery and forgiveness.  K.A Tucker brings you on an adventure in Alaska – be prepared to not only fall in love with the characters, but the remote, dark, cold landscape of Alaska.

 

“Today I was supposed to be with Brandon.  Setting a bottle of Woodford Reserve against his headstone.  Sitting on a blanket on the grass where we laid him to rest, telling him how much I missed him, how the world was worse for him not being in it, how hollow I was and it wasn’t getting better with time like they said it would.”

 

 

Bring out the Kleenex – this book will have you in tears at times, but also hopeful for Sloan to find love, and find herself again after the tragic loss of her fiancé Brandon.  This rom-com book really does touch on all the emotions

 

“But the love of sisters needs no words. It does not depend on memories, or mementos, or proof. It runs as deep as a heartbeat. It is as ever present as a pulse”

 

 

This story is based on a real place that existed from the 1920s-50s – The Tennessee Children’s Society.   Avery, the daughter of a prominent senator feels as though there is a secret that her grandmother is keeping.  The book then brings us back in time, with Rill with her siblings in the Arcadia.  The book does flip from past to present and it really helps set the tone for the story.

“Life doesn't work that way, Alina. Hatred spreads - it doesn't burn out with time. Someone needs to stand up and stop it.”

 

 

Present: Alice’s grandmother is hospitalized and unable to speak, but finds a way to communicate to Alice.  She asks Alice to travel back to her homeland in Poland.  Past: the story of Alina, and her family and love during the war.  The story is much more then a story about the war, and a hidden secret.

“From the inside, a violent home looks starkly different than it does to outsiders. Children who grow up with cold, narcissistic, or sadistic parents don’t know that a caretaker with the potential for extreme cruelty is not the norm. Even when they see a contrast in the families of friends, they’ve already been robbed of the ability to challenge parental authority. Instead of seeking help, they hunker down and adapt.”
 

 

This is a true crime story of ‘Shelly’ Knotec – a sadistic lady who tortured anyone who came into her life.  It is really well written but not a light read – beware as the content is very graphic.

 

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Great Organization Hacks & Tips


Have you been putting it off? or have you already organized your whole house? There's time now to look at your closets and crawl spaces and clear out the old junk you don't need or find a way to make them more efficient.  

 

 

I know a lot of you still have boxes in the crawl space from when you moved to your home 3 years ago, if you haven't needed them in that time, you don't need them!


Here are some great organizing ideas to help you get started:

 


�� Use that space in your linen closet by hanging a few towel racks inside the door to hang long items that are bulky to fold


�� Learn the Marie Kondo method of folding by standing items up in the drawer, they are easier to see, you don't lose the shirts on the bottom of the pile and it saves so much space!


�� Hang pots and pans - not every home has a space for a ceiling hung pot rack, but you can do a half moon one on the wall, or even put hangers on the outside edge of your cupboards to make them easy to grab


�� Reclaim garage ceiling space - one of the items in a garage that people are most impressed with is above storage, this can be used for those items you only get out once a year, like Christmas ornaments and saves so much space!


�� Re purpose those old dresser drawers, if you have a dresser you are looking to get rid of and you aren't using the space under your bed for storage, use those drawers under your bed for storage. They are great for shoes, seasonal clothing, or even toys for the kids.


�� Use magazine holders on their side to wrangle those reusable water bottles and coffee cups


�� organize makeup with magnets, when I saw this in a house, I was amazed! Clear off your bathroom counter by hanging a magnet strip on the bathroom beside the mirror, then glue magnets to your favourite items and hang them in an easy to grab space on that magnetic strip


�� If you use pot drawers, you may still have an issue on what to do with the pot lids, these drawers are usually large enough to put a tension curtain rod across the front, then you can stand up the lids in that space and they are successfully wrangled and out of the way!


�� is your wrapping paper running away every time you open that closet? Use binder clips to clip the paper together, so those loose ends don't unravel. You can also try hanging your wrapping paper in a garment bag


�� In the pantry, try using a shower caddy to store those loose items like snacks, spice packets or juice crystals

 


Hope these tips give you some inspiration to get organized, let me know which idea is your favourite and if you're going to try any of them.


 

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Great Poutines in Kitchener Waterloo

Let’s talk about the best Canadian combination that has ever existed, potatoes, cheese and gravy!  If you want to feel like you’re eating a healthy salad when you order a poutine, we call is a potato salad with gravy vinaigrette and cheese.  There are many factors that go into a great poutine and I’m sure not everyone is going to agree with me on where to get a great one, but if you haven’t tried the ones on this list, give them a try and let me know what you think!

Let’s start with what I like in a poutine, it needs to have a beefy gravy, I don’t like one made with chicken gravy, the fries need to be fresh cut and cheese needs to be real cheese curds!  I also like some additional toppings on a poutine, not always, a traditional one is good too, but most of the ones I dream about on this list have some kind of fun topping or modification

 

Crazy Canuck

141 Ontario St N, Kitchener  or 845 Weber St, Waterloo 

The poutine at Crazy Canuck is at the top of my list for a reason!  The portion size is great, their gravy is perfect, and they have nice crispy fresh cut fries!  I order the Montreal smoked meat one, real Quebec style, now they do include some sauerkraut and some kind of mustard, I opt not to have those and just enjoy their traditional poutine with the smoked meat.  They also seem to fry up the meat a little, so it’s nice and warm and has crispy edges, it’s the poutine of my dreams!

 

Big Fat Pita

85 King St W - Kitchener

I know that it sound strange to enjoy a poutine from a pita place, but they offer much more than pitas stuffed with more chicken and shawarma than you can handle!  They also make a very nice and rich beef gravy atop of fresh cut fries and fresh cheese curds.  Their traditional poutine is good, but if you order it with bacon on top, he puts on so much bacon crumble that you can’t even see the fries!  That’s a huge win on splurge day!

 

Smoke’s Poutinerie

255 King St N – Waterloo

Smokes is exactly what you would expect them to be, they specialize in poutines and they do a great job at it.  They do offer different types of gravy, so if you want to get a meat free gravy, smokes is your place!  Their main gravy is a chicken base, which is why it’s no on the top of my list, but their homemade gravy recipe is delicious.  Smoke’s offers the most topping options of any poutine place on this list, and my favourite is the philly steak.  I find adding the philly beef to the poutine makes up for the missing beef gravy. 

 

Hemlock St Burger Bar

251 Hemlock St – Waterloo

For me what makes the Hemlock St Burger bar poutine so special is their fries!  They make a bomb fry to go with their burger on their own but turn those fries into a poutine and you’re making magic!  If you want to up your game even more, put some poutine right on that burger, it’s a match made in heaven!   They also offer the crispiest of the bacon, and as some of you know, I like my bacon SUPER crispy and Hemlock St Burger bar provides just that!

 

Classic Chip Truck locations

I’ll do a post later in the summer about the different chip trucks around town, but for now, I’ll list the chip trucks or little permanent huts where you can get fresh cut fries with beef gravy and squeaky cheese curds, let me know which of these is your favourite

David’s Fries – 36 Lancaster St W

Manitou Takeout -  808 Courtland Ave E

Wesley’s – 2067 Victoria St N

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Brunch is one of the best ways to kickstart a Sunday Funday!   We have lots of incredible spots for brunch in the region, here are some spots where you are able to enjoy an great meal and of course a Mimosa or Caesar!

 

Cambridge Mill

100 Water S N, Cambridge

Brunch at the Cambridge Mill is a whole morning/afternoon event.  They have an incredible spread in their buffet from all the usual breakfast foods to a huge table of cold items, seafood and a carvery with a rotating selection of meats.  They even have made to order items like Belgian Waffles, fresh crepes and omelettes!  Most spots in the restaurant come with a fantastic view of the river and if you are brunching after 11am, you can enjoy bottomless Mimosa’s, Caeser’s and Bloody Mary’s. 

 

The Bauer Kitchen

187 King St S, Waterloo 

For those looking for a great brunch spot uptown, The Bauer Kitchen has you covered.  Offering a brunch menu with lots of great options like homemade granola and a lovely basket of baked goods to an incredible lobster eggs benedict.  If you are brunching with someone who doesn’t like breakfast foods (but why would you) Bauer Kitchen also offers pizzas, burgers and gluten and vegan friendly options so everyone can join you.  If you’re looking for a great Sunday drink, they have a vast caeser bar where you can make your own caeaser by choosing from a variety of spices and toppings like pickles, bacon and so many other tasty drink toppers. 

 

Proof Kitchen

110 Erb St W, Waterloo 

Another great uptown location for Brunch, you can enjoy brunch at Proof and then go for a walk in Waterloo park, what a great way to spend a weekend day!  They offer a smaller brunch menu, but the food is incredibly delicious, I would strongly suggest you try the baked and stuffed French toast!  Especially if you have a sweet tooth like me!  If savory is your jam, the smoked Brisket Benedict has been a hit!  They also offer a little boozy brunch with Caesers and Mimoas for just $5 each.  Brunch on!

 

Golf Steak House

598 Lancaster St W - Kitchener 

No brunch list would be complete without mentioning the one that started it all in town.  Golf Steakhouse is the family spot to have brunch, this is a great place to go for a large family birthday and their Sunday brunch offers something to please everyone in your family.  They offer all the regular breakfast  buffet foods, lots of cold salads and even devilled eggs on their salad bar!  For those looking for more of a hot lunch, you can enjoy ribs, roast beef and ham on their hot tables and carvery!  They don’t offer any boozey breakfast options, but don’t worry, you can eat your feelings on their dessert table!

 

 

Kypreos

305 Lancaster St W, Kitchener 

I wouldn’t call Kypreos an only Sunday Brunch spot, Kypreos is our go to breakfast spot. I love their hashbrown potatoes and they always make the eggs perfectly.  They offer a large breakfast menu that is sure to please anyone in your party, but this is the spot you would go to when you want to enjoy a delicious and quick breakfast, Kypreos will not dispappoint, their service is fast and friendly and the food is always hot a delicious!

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Movie Theatres In Kitchener Waterloo

Movie Theatres In Kitchener Waterloo 

 

We’re still in hibernation mode, but want to get out of the house, but not too excited about going outside.  How about you warm up with a movie and some popcorn.  Kitchener Waterloo has some great spots to check out a movie

and they have different wonderful perks, so here’s my list of where you can go to see a movie in the Region and why you would want to go to each location.

 

 

Princess Cinema & Princess Twin

Both great spots in Uptown Waterloo.  You would go here for a few reasons, you want to see support a local business and you want to see a great movie that may not be playing in the big theatres.  Last year for us, it was the Oscar nominated film Parasite, I could not get enough of that movie and Princess was the first and one of the only places to have it! They also host great festival movies and so many other unique events for movie goers.  Another great thing about the princess is the membership pricing and they use real butter on the popcorn which they are melting from a real stick of butter!  Also, you can buy individual licorice there, what more can you ask for!

 

Apollo Cinema

Another wonderful local theatre, located in Downtown Kitchener.  Best part about Apollo is in the renovation when they opened, they removed every other row of seating from the first few rows and put in tables in front of the seats, it’s an incredible transformation with room for your popcorn, snacks and drinks!  They have a liquor license and serve great local adult beverages.  Apollo also has member pricing, but what I love about them is that they play some really fun retro movies with themed drinks and food!  Think Uncle Buck with Pancakes or Home Alone 2 with Cheese Pizza.  Apollo is such a fun theatre to see a movie in and you should check them out for one of their fun drunken movie nights, you get to shout at the screen and have a blast!  They even serve local Four all ice cream there, so it’s got a little something for everyone!

 

Cineplex VIP

This theatre offers exactly what the name says it does, it offers a VIP service, it does have regular movies too, but the VIP can be worth it for the right movie!  In VIP, the seats recline, have small tray tables for your drinks and snacks and they even have a person who will take your dinner order at your seat if you arrive to the movie early enough.  This theatre is the full package and a way to really wow your date!  There is a full menu, so you can order appetizers, full meals which are great and dessert as well as get your regular popcorn.  They also offer a fully licensed bar and can mix you up a cocktail or pour a pint of beer.  My favourite part about VIP is that the entire VIP section of the theatre is 19+ so there are never any children, it’s a great night out!

 

Landmark 10 & Landmark 12

These theatres are our go to places for when you’re looking to see a new blockbuster movie.  Landmark has some of the best theatre popcorn and all their seating is reserved.  The reserved seating is one of my favourite things about the theatre now and makes movie going much more enjoyable if you are on a tight schedule.  I always keep a Costco pass or 2 in my purse and can book those deals online and have the perfect seats reserved.  Landmark 12 down by Sportsworld also offers an IMAX theatre if you’re looking for big screen experience.  I love that we offer this here now, IMAX used to be something we could only see in Toronto and had to travel for that special night.  Both of these theatres offer a great experience, comfortable seats and make for a great regular movie night out.

 

Cineplex Conestoga Mall

Cineplex by Conestoga Mall is also your typical new release movie theatre, they do have some fun weekend morning retro movies for kids at a reduced rate for a fun family morning out as well.  My favourite part about this Cineplex is that they offer food in their theatre, burgers, fries, sandwiches.  This theatre also has reserved seats and if you’re in a time crunch to make an early movie and haven’t had dinner yet, this theatre has you covered!  Another fun option for action movies is Cineplex offers D-Box which is a 4D experience where the seat moves with the movie, think of taking a ride with the movie! 

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Where to Skate for Free in Kitchener/Waterloo 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
Did you know that there is free skating every week all over the Region?  Here's a list of where and when you can  enjoy a free public skate.  There are also lots of single days of free skating available in the Region, get out there and enjoy this fun winter activity.  If you like to skate outside, enjoy the rink in front of Kitchener City Hall, it's now open and ready for those perfect winter days. 
 
 

 

Weekly Free Skates

 

     

 

 

Arena 

 

Day 

 

Time

 

Notes

 

 

Activa Sportsplex

 Monday

 

 

3:30pm - 4:50pm

 

Last skate: June 29

Cancellations: December 9 & 30, March 9

Lions

 

Monday

 

3:30pm- 4:50pm

 

 

March 9 only

 

Kinsmen Arena (The Aud)

 

Tuesday

 

10:30am-11:20am

Last skate: March 3

Cancellations: November 26, December 24 & 31

 

 

Activa Sportsplex

 

Tuesday

 

3:30pm - 4:50pm

 

Last skate: June 30

Cancellations: December 24 & 31

 

Don McLaren Arena

 

Tuesday

 

4:00pm - 4:50pm 

 

Last skate: March 24

Cancellations: December 24 & 31

Grand River Arena 

 

Tuesday

 

4:00pm - 4:50 pm

 

Last skate: March 24

Cancellations: December 24 & 31

 

Lions

 

Wednesday

 

11am - 12:50pm

 

Last skate: March 25

Cancellations: December 25 & January 1

 

Kinsmen (The Aud) 

 

Wednesday

 

4:00pm - 4:50pm

 

Last skate: March 11

Cancellations: December 25 & January 1
 

Kiwanis (The Aud) 

Thursday

 

 

10:30am - 11:20am

 

 

Last skate: March 12

Cancellations: December 26

 

Activa Sportsplex

 

Thursday

 

11:15am - 12:05 pm

 

Last skate: June 25

Cancellations: December 26 & May 7

 

Activa Sportsplex

 

Thursday

 

3:30pm - 4:50pm 

 

Last skate: June 25

Cancellations: December 26 & May 7

 

Lions Arena

 

Thursday

 

4:00pm - 4:50 pm

 

Last skate: March 26

Cancellations: December 26

 

Activa Sportsplex

 

Friday

 

10:15am - 12:05pm

 

Last skate: June 26

Cancellations: November 22, December 27, 

January 31, April 24, May 1 & May 8

 

 

 

 

Free Skate Days

 

 

Location

Date

Time

 

Albert McCormick Community Centre

 

November 10th

 

12:00pm - 12:50pm

RIM Park Manulife Sportsplex

 

December 8th 

 

3:30pm - 5:20pm 

 

Activa Sportsplex

 

Decemeber 23rd

 

9:00am - 10:50am

 

Sportsworld (Gaylea Rink)

 

December 23rd 

 

1:00pm - 2:50pm

 

Lions Arena 

 

December 30th 

 

2:00pm - 3:50pm

 

Sportsworld (Gaylea Rink)

 

January 2nd 

 

9:00am - 10:50am  and 

2:00 pm - 3:50pm

 

Lions Arena 

 

January 2nd 

 

9:00 am - 9:50am  and 

1:00 pm - 2:50 pm

 

Don McLaren Arena 

 

January 2nd

 

9:00 am - 10:50am and 

1:00 pm - 2:50 pm

 

Grand River Arena 

 

January 2nd 

 

9:00 am - 10:50 am and

1:00 pm - 2:50 pm

 

Lions Arena

 

January 3rd 

 

9:00 am - 9:50am and

1:00 pm - 2:50pm

 

Don McLaren Arena 

 

January 3rd

 

9:00 am - 10:50 am and

1:00 - 2:50 pm

 

Grand River Arena 

 

January 3rd 

 

9:00 am - 10:50 am and 

1:00 pm - 2:50 pm

 

Sportsworld (Practice Arena)

 

January 3rd

 

1:15pm - 2:50pm

 

Albert McCormick Community Centre

 

January 12th 

 

12:00pm - 12:50 pm

 

RIM Paril Manulife Sportsplex

 

February 9th 

 

3:30pm - 5:20pm

 

Albert McCormick Community Centre

 

March 8th 

 

12:00pm - 12:50pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

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50 things to do to sell your home faster

50 Tips to Prepare your Home to Sell Faster 

 

Here’s 50 tips of what you should be doing to get your home ready for sale, some of these things are great projects you can work on over the winter if you are looking to sell in Spring of 2020.   

 

If you need me to come by for a quick evaluation to let you know what you should be working on to make your home look it’s best, let me know.  I’m always happy to come over early in the process to get you started, some of my clients take over a year to get their home ready, but by having me in early, you aren’t wasting time or money on items that won’t increase the value or your home or get it sold quickly.

 

Evaluate:

1. Have a Realtor, Interior Designer or Professional Organizer Walk through your home with fresh eyes to determine what needs to be removed, updated or repaired in your home.

 

Repair:
 

2. Patch Damaged Walls
3. Replace Cracked Floor Tiles
4. Oil Squeaky Doors
5. Fix Sticky Windows or broken panes of glass
6. Fix leaky faucets and toilets
7. Re-Caulk Sinks and tubs
8. Replace and repair ripped and broken screens

 

Update:

 

9. Replace outdated cabinet knobs and pulls
10. Update old lighting fixtures
11. Update blinds if needed
12. Replace shower heads or faucets if needed

 

Paint:

 

13. Paint interior walls neutral colours
14.Paint exterior doors and window trim
15. Paint baseboards to freshen
16. Paint ceiling to freshen up if needed
17. Paint exterior railings if possible

 

Brighten:

 

18.Take down heavy window coverings that block light
19.Wash all windows
20.Increase the wattage of light bulbs
21.Replace Dark Lamp Shades


Depersonalize:

 

22. Remove family Photos
23. Store Knicknacks
24. Remove any large collections or collectable items of value

 

De-Clutter:

 

25. Thin out books on the shelves
26. Empty Kitchen Counters
27. Remove out of season clothing from closets
28. Store items in the appropriate space (garage or storage unit)

 

Organize:

 

29. Organize Pantry
30. Organize Closets
31. Organize basemen storage
32. Organize Garage, Shed and outdoor storage

 

Clean:

 

33. Clean all interior surfaces
34. Clean door & window frames, tracks and jams
35. Air out and clean cabinets under sinks
36. Power wash decks and walkways
37. Clean outdoor furniture
38. Clean porch lights and all cobwebs

 

 Hide Signs of Pets:

 

39.. Remove all pet smells
40. Hide pet food and water bowls
41. Take pets away for all showings, or let a friend care for them while your home is for sale

 

Stage Inside:

 

42. Reduce amount of furniture in each room
43. Organize furniture to give each room a purpose
44. Place flowers around home for showing

45. Prune & Landscape:

46. Remove all dead plants
47. rune overgrown shrubs and bushes
48. Fill open garden space with seasonal flowers
49. Add fresh mulch to beds

 

Stage Outside:

 

50.Make front porch clean and inviting with nice chairs if there is room
BONUS:  Use outdoor furniture to create inviting outdoor spaces

 

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