Posts Tagged ‘Holidays and celebrations’

Why Wait for Spring to List Your Home? 9 Reasons to Sell During the Holidays

Monday, December 14th, 2015

Why Wait for Spring to List Your Home? 9 Reasons to Sell During the Holidays | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamYou might think that putting your Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or Edmonton area home on the market at this time of year is a bad idea. But there are actually many good reasons to list your home during the holiday season.

  1. People shopping for a new home during the winter months tend to be more serious about a home purchase than those looking at other times of the year. They may be in a situation where moving is not an option since January often marks the start of a new job. Buyers are not only more likely to make an offer, but also more likely to meet your list price, especially as people are apt to be in a good mood at this time of year!
  2. Generally, fewer houses are listed at this time of year. This means less competition for your home now than later in the spring when more homes will come on the market.
  3. Many businesses reduce their hours during the holiday season, meaning employees may have time during the work week, not just evenings and weekends, to shop for a new home.
  4. Some buyers may find themselves in a financial situation where it is advantageous for tax or incentive reasons to make their deal before the end of the year.
  5. You’ve probably spent a fair amount of time cleaning, decluttering and decorating your home for the holidays. Why not take advantage of this natural staging when your home is looking its best?
  6. Your home being on the market does not have to interfere with your holiday plans. You always have the option to specify when showings may or may not occur.
  7. Selling now does not necessarily mean you’d have to move now. It is possible to negotiate a later date for buyers to take possession, or to allow you to remain in your home for a longer period of time.
  8. But, if you sell and move to a temporary residence now, with the intention of buying later in the spring, you can do so with money in the bank and without the pressure of having to write an offer that is conditional upon the sale of your current home.
  9. Mortgage rates remain at record lows so there are still many buyers for whom your house just might be the perfect home.

 

Whether you are looking to buy or sell at any time of the year, I’m here to help. Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Give Twice with These Energy Efficient Gifts!

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

Give Twice with These Energy Efficient Gifts! | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamGift-giving season is nearly upon us in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton region. Saving energy and helping the environment are good no matter what season it is. If you prefer giving gifts that are useful and practical, you’re sure to find something to please on this list of energy efficient gifts. And your gift will help the recipient to use less energy and save money too.

For the home improvement fanatic:

  • LED or CFL lights
    Bulbs, lamps, reading lights
  • Home energy monitor, such as the Kill-a-Watt monitor available from Amazon.ca
    Allows the user to track the amount of electricity being consumed by various devices.
  • Faucet aerators and low-flow showerheads
  • Programmable thermostat
  • Window insulating kit
  • Plugs for unused electrical outlets
    Did you know that up to 20% of air leakage from your home can occur through outlets?
  • Ceiling fans
    Keep your home warmer in winter, cooler in summer and help with humidity all year round.

For the home cook and bottle washer:

  • Pressure cooker
    This old-fashioned pot uses up to 70% less energy than traditional cooking and cooks food faster too.
  • Tea towels
    Who says everything has to be washed in the dishwasher!
  • Cold water laundry detergent
    Single-use packs make a good stocking stuffer gift.
  • Energy Star rated appliances of all kinds

For the device geek:

  • Power bar
    These come with all sorts of innovations, such as integrated timer, auto shutoff, and special sockets for charging mobile devices
  • Solar-powered cell phone and battery chargers
  • Solar backpack
    Looks like a regular student backpack but can charge electronic devices. (Check out this one called the SolarGoPack from Amazon.)

For the survival dude:

  • Battery powered radio in case of power outages
  • LED flashlight
    Or how about this hand-crank flashlight from Ikea?  Great gift for kids too.
  • Portable solar panel kit
    The GoalZero Guide 10 Adventure Kit allows you to charge all sorts of things, such as USB powered devices, phones, tablets, flashlight batteries, and emergency radios.

Do you have more ideas to add to this list? Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

How Safe is Your Spruce Grove Home for Halloween?

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

How Safe is Your Spruce Grove Home for Halloween? | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamFabric ghosts fluttering from trees, big blow-up monsters, elaborately carved jack-o’-lanterns, orange lights on roof edges… Every year in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton region, it seems more and more homeowners decorate their homes for the visits of little superheroes and princesses out to collect treats on that spooky night.

Just how safe is the path to your front door for those little tricksters? And from a homeowner’s perspective, would your liability insurance coverage be adequate in case of an unforeseen accident? I remember witnessing a problem at a friend’s home last Halloween that could have had disastrous consequences. The home is a bungalow whose front door is reached via 4 concrete steps, built at a time when railings on the sides of such porches or stoops were not mandated. The porch luckily drops off into a fringe of shrubs at the front of the house, rather than onto a hard concrete sidewalk. Inevitably, several excited youngsters fell off the steps that night, resulting in some minor bruises and spilled candy. Things could have been so much worse, and I’m pretty sure my friend will be reinforcing those porch edges this Halloween.

Keep visitors safe this Halloween:

Check your fire safety measures

  • When setting up electrical decorations and lights, don’t overload your electrical circuits.
  • Use battery powered flameless candles in jack-o’-lanterns.

Check for obstructions and hazards in your yard

  • If you must use an extension cord, make sure it is out of reach of little hands and well secured so as not to be a tripping hazard.
  • Remove obstacles such as lawn ornaments or garden tools, and rake up wet leaves and other debris.
  • Light up any decorative elements in your yard to avoid people running into them, or make them part of your Halloween tableau by surrounding them with “crime scene” tape.
  • Light up your walkway and keep the path clear. Snow on Halloween is always a possibility in our area, and it goes without saying that snow and ice should be cleared away to prevent injury from falls on slippery sidewalks.

Check your insurance coverage, just in case

Have you heard of the Teal Pumpkin Movement?

People paint and display a teal pumpkin to show that they are giving out treats that are safe for all kids, including those with allergies. That usually means non-food items, such as stickers, erasers or pencils, small toys and the like.

Protect your home and property too:

  • Keep your pets indoors for their safety as well as the safety of visitors.
  • Place garbage cans inside a building or secure them so they can’t be tipped over.
  • Park vehicles in your garage if possible.

How Safe is Your Spruce Grove Home for Halloween? | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamOnce you’ve made your home safe, fill up the treat bowls, dress in your spookiest costume, turn on all the lights, and prepare to welcome all the little ghosts and goblins!

Do you have any more tips to add for a safe and fun Halloween? Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Treat Your Mom This Mother’s Day With These Special Edmonton Experiences

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Treat Your Mom This Mother's Day With These Special Edmonton Experiences | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam

 

So you’re living on one of the many Edmonton acreages or in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or the Edmonton region and need some great ideas for Mother’s Day activities this year?  Whether you want to take mom out for a fancy brunch or celebrate her by doing something totally unique, below are some great ideas to suit every taste.

Get Fancy at the Empire Ballroom Sunday Brunch

If your mom is the type who likes to be treated to elegance and class on her special day, take her and the family out to the Sunday brunch at the Empire Ballroom in the Fairmont Hotel in downtown Edmonton. This beautiful hotel has an amazing view of the River Valley (perfect if the whole family is together and you want a good photo op) and is known for the absolutely delicious food it serves up. Your mom will feel royally treated, and nothing speaks elegance in Edmonton like the Hotel MacDonald.

Try Another Great Brunch Spot at The Moose Factory

Another Edmonton classic that is great for Mother’s Day and slightly less formal is Tom Goodchild’s Moose Factory on Calgary Trail. Many Edmonton families enjoy their special Mother’s Day brunch that features a chocolate fountain! If your mom is a chocolate lover, the chocolate fountain is sure to be a big win for her.

Many other Edmonton and area restaurants also sponsor a special Mother’s Day brunch. Check out these spots featured at Open Table.

Locally, try places such as the Homesteaders’ Kitchen at the Multicultural Heritage Centre in Stony Plain or the Grill restaurant at The Links Golf Course in Spruce Grove – but reservations are a must!

Get Unique at the Rutherford House

For a more unique take on a Mother’s Day activity, head to the Rutherford House to participate in their Social Sundays. The Rutherford House has been preserved through the centuries, belonging originally to the first premier of Alberta, Alexander Rutherford. Every Sunday they open the house to the public and host activities such as old-fashioned crafts and give demos on old -fashioned traditions. On Mother’s Day they will have a special Mother’s Day craft. This is really an event the whole family can be a part of.

Learn About Moms Across the Animal Kingdom

For a more educational Mother’s Day that gets the whole family involved and engaged, the Edmonton Valley Zoo is hosting a special event. They have something for everyone at this event, which runs from noon-4 PM. For moms they’re providing mini massages and manicures, and for kids they have a number of crafts (to make and give to mom of course) as well as face painting, live music, and magic shows. This is a great event if you have little ones who need to be engaged throughout the day.

Get Active This Mother’s Day

The Edmonton Sport Chek Mother’s Day Run is an annual 5k and 10k run that happens each year on Mother’s Day. The event is one of Edmonton’s largest running events of the year and helps raise money for local Children’s Hospitals. This year on Sunday, May 10, head to Hawrelak Park. Cost is $35 ages 11 and up, $25 ages 5-10.

Timetable:
• Warm Up – 8:45 AM
• 2.5 km Ride – 8:55 AM
• 10 km Run – 9:00 AM
• 5 km Run & Walk – 9:30 AM
• Little Legs Race – 10:45 AM
• Awards – 11:00 AM
Register here.

Edmonton is a wonderful place during special days like Mother’s Day because the city really comes alive with celebration. There are so many ways to get out and celebrate mom. From the fancy to the unusual, the city has something happening for every taste.

If you want more information on any of these ideas, or if you need any information on Spruce Grove real estate, Stony Plain real estate, Parkland County real estate, Edmonton real estate, or Parkland County acreages, feel free to call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

101 Gift Ideas for the Host or Hostess

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

101 Gift Ideas for the Host or Hostess | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamWell, maybe not quite 101, but a whole bunch anyway! If you’re like me, you do a lot of visiting and hosting over the holidays, whether it’s in our home area of Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County, the Edmonton area or elsewhere, and you don’t want to arrive empty-handed. But what are the best things to take as a thank you token for your host? On the list below are lots of things you’ve given in the past, but there may be a few things you haven’t thought of! The cost of the item will be up to you. If you know your host well – a good friend or family member — then you may want your gift to be more extravagant and more personally attuned to the person’s taste. Otherwise, we’re looking for items generally under $20 and less personal in nature.

Beverages

  • wine, spirits, liqueurs, craft beers. A nice hostess gift for someone who likes to try different liqueurs is a half dozen mini bottles in a pretty basket.
  • special coffees, teas such as David’s Tea, or gourmet hot chocolate mixes. Starbucks and Tim Horton’s both package items especially for this time of year.
  • unique bottled beverages such as special bottled waters, or other drinks with unusual flavors (look in the international section of your favorite large grocery store).

High-quality chocolate

This year Purdy’s Truffles retail at $14 per box, and this is a gift appreciated by pretty much everybody!

Specialty food items

  • If you know what your hosts like, treat them to a favorite item they wouldn’t purchase for themselves – caviar, maybe!
  • Look for artisanal or craft items made by specialty producers in small quantities: special syrups or honey (Manuka honey is prized by many people); salts, spices or herb blends (Himalayan sea salt is trendy right now); pepper mill filled with fancy peppercorns; special barbecue or hot sauces; dips or spreads such as antipasto or jalapeno jelly (even better if you make them yourself!); gourmet olives; specialty pickles or jams (again, even better if homemade); special cooking oils or flavored vinegars; special popcorn or nuts or trail mix; biscotti.
  • Or put together a “gift in a jar”:  a Mason jar filled with ingredients for cookies and the like, together with a recipe card, and beautifully decorated. Google “gifts in a jar” for tons of ideas.
  • A gift that seems mundane but I guarantee will be appreciated:  a super fresh loaf of bread hot from your own oven, or from Cobs Bread.

Hosting items

  • beautiful paper napkins or Christmas crackers
  • a pair of unusual placemats (made of twigs or bamboo, perhaps!)
  • dip servers or spreaders
  • stemless wineglasses (all the rage right now), or a set of unusual shot glasses
  • cheeseboard and slicer
  • cocktail shaker
  • coasters
  • cocktail picks
  • salad servers
  • pretty seasonal tray or dish
  • wine stoppers
  • wineglass charms
  • tapas trays (or other tiny serving dishes)

Kitchen things

  • cookie cutters or stamps
  • wooden or bamboo utensils
  • unusual gadgets that your hosts might appreciate but which they are unlikely to buy for themselves, such as a rasp grater or garlic rocker
  • specialty dishes and containers, like a garlic pot, olive serving dish, herb oil infuser, oil spray bottle, etc.
  • herb chopper or pizza cutter
  • crocheted dish cloths (a staple at our local farmers’ markets!)
  • Check out all the kitchen gadgets at Canadian Tire, or get fancy with something from Gifts and Gadgets, or visit the Crooked Pot gallery in Stony Plain for one of a kind pottery items.

Book, calendar or pretty journal, music…

Take a look at online retailers such as Indigo for ideas.

Flowers / plants

Etiquette mavens suggest not bringing a loose bunch of flowers (because then your hostess has to find a vase, trim the flowers, etc.) so:

  • either put your flowers in a vase yourself,
  • or look instead for a small potted plant such as a colorful pepper plant,
  • or a tea garden or herb garden in a box. If you have a green thumb, consider making some yourself next summer; directions can be found online. Tea plants would include things like lemon verbena, mint, etc. A herb garden might include chives, basil, oregano, parsley, etc.

Special soaps

Lush Cosmetics will cut you a chunk, or look for pre-packaged soaps of all kinds at the Body Shop, Bath and Body Works, Spruce Grove’s Gifts and Gadgets, and the like. Or make your own! Or pick up a pretty container of liquid hand soap for your hostess’s kitchen sink.

A beautiful one of a kind Christmas tree ornament

Many gift shops, such as Gifts and Gadgets, carry items like this.

Photo frame

Practical gifts

  • microfiber cloths packaged with a natural cleaner, such as Green Works
  • pretty tea towels or apron or oven mitts (check out the Ove Glove at Canadian Tire!)
  • grocery carry bags made from heavy recycled plastic or cloth
  • miniature LED flashlights to hang on a keychain or tuck in a purse (see Amazon.ca for a selection)

I wasn’t going to include candles or mugs in this list, but lots of people still like to receive them! (The Bay has a candle that looks just like its iconic Hudson’s Bay blanket!)  Jazz up your gift of a special candle by adding a unique lighter or fancy matches. Fill a pretty or unusual or holiday-themed mug with candy or sachets of tea or hot chocolate or a Starbucks or Tim Horton’s gift card.

Got other ideas for great hostess gifts? Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Shop From Your Spruce Grove Home This Holiday Season!

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Shop From Your Spruce Grove Home This Holiday Season! | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamEdmonton, Spruce Grove, Stony Plain and Parkland County have some great shopping venues, as local residents know. From West Edmonton Mall’s vast array of stores that includes many world-class retailers to Whyte Avenue’s one-of-a-kind treasures to unique and interesting shops in Spruce Grove and Stony Plain, there is something for everyone. (Check out Spruce Grove and Stony Plain shops in my Community Connections Business Directory. Under Jump to Category, click on Shopping, Spruce Grove and Shopping, Stony Plain.)

During the holiday shopping season, though, with time short and weather unpredictable, wouldn’t it be nice to find an easier way than traveling from store to store?

Google “Canada online shopping” and you’ll discover that almost every brick and mortar store has an online presence from which you can order products. Which online stores will give you the best deal on the best quality merchandise and get it to you in a timely and low-cost manner? Once you get hooked on online shopping, you’ll soon learn the answer to this question through personal experience.

Instead of driving to the mall, hunting for a parking spot, being jostled by crowds and waiting in lineups, start by educating yourself about the policies of the online retailers you discover. You can expect that major retailers like Sears, The Bay, IKEA, Best Buy, the Apple store, Costco, Walmart, and the like will work hard to keep customers happy, but this should be true for lesser-known retailers too.

Some things to consider about online shopping:

  • Do the prices appear to be comparable to what you’d pay in a store? (Compare prices by reading The Best Price Comparison Sites in Canada from How to Save Money.ca.)
  • Even better, does the retailer offer special pricing deals to entice you to buy online? (For example, the Body Shop offers 50% off a wide variety of merchandise ordered online during the holiday shopping season, plus free shipping.)
  • Shipping costs can be a killer. Look for deals on shipping. Free is good! Mountain Equipment Co-Op, a wonderful place to buy anything connected to outdoor recreation, regularly offers free shipping during the holiday season when you purchase a certain dollar amount. Excellent service too with fast delivery and accuracy of orders. (Note that you do have to buy a $5 lifetime membership to purchase from them.)
  • When you order online, you want to know that the goods will arrive when you need them and when promised. Amazon Canada, with its enormous selection of goods, is very speedy in the fulfillment of orders. Staples offers next-day delivery.
  • Be sure to read through the returns policies of online retailers you’re considering doing business with. Sears Canada, for example, briefly considered instituting a re-stocking fee, but customers irate at that idea soon persuaded them to keep the current policy of free returns at catalogue sales offices.
  • An important consideration:  What security measures do companies have in place when you hand over your credit card number online? Most of us know to look for the “s” denoting a secure webpage after http in online addresses, but check out the retailer’s security and privacy policies also. Read the article Online Shopping from the Canadian Consumer Handbook for tips on how to protect yourself online.
  • Does the retailer participate in any kind of loyalty or cash-back program? For example, Sears allows you to earn AirMiles or get cash back through Ebates (see below).
  • Tip: Once you become a seasoned online shopper, you may want to shop internationally, but I suggest sticking with Canadian retailers you know to begin with.

Other good sources of information and deals:

  • A good article featuring reviews of some online retailers: Shop Online in Canada from the Huffington Post.  Look for the bonus article about online shopping scams.
  • Groupon:  Get your name added to their emailing list and get ready to save big bucks on all kinds of items, from goods like watches and bed sheets to 50% off restaurant meals to adventure experiences like a hot air balloon ride to vacation trips around the world.
  • AirMiles. If you are already a collector of Air Miles, you know that you can redeem those Air Miles, not just for trips and hotel rooms, but for a huge variety of goods and services that make great gifts.
  • Ebates. Shop at a variety of big-name online retailers, like Amazon, Sears, Walmart, the Bay and many others, and get real cash money back, sent to you by cheque. Heck of a deal!
  • Shop.ca is basically an online shopping mall where you can save money and earn Aeroplan Miles.
  • Beyond the Rack is an online only retailer handling mostly clothing, accessories and home décor items.
  • RedFlagDeals offers flyers, deals, coupons, lists of stores, etc.
  • At SmartCanucks.ca find coupons and all sorts of other deals.
  • Great Canadian Rebates:  As the name suggests, get rebates by shopping at the retailers listed through this website.

Also good to know: Many Canadian retailers present their own version of the US Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales following the American Thanksgiving which just happens to fall this week. Hard to escape the ads but easy to take advantage of the deals!

Got your own online shopping stories or secrets to share?  Please call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Nextfest 2014: Your Guide to Edmonton’s Next Generation Arts Festival June 5-15, 2014

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Nextfest 2014 Your Guide to Edmonton's Next Generation Arts Festival June 5-15, 2014 | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamAs a resident of Parkland County, Stony Plain, Spruce Grove or the Edmonton area, you surely have an exciting and nature-filled lifestyle full of plenty of opportunities to enjoy your surroundings. With beautiful areas like Parkland County acreages and Edmonton acreages just waiting to be explored, the opportunities are endless, and with NextFest Art Festival just around the corner, this assertion couldn’t be more true! Here’s your guide to Edmonton’s Next Generation 2014 Arts Festival, happening from June 5 to 15 this year.

What Is NextFest?

From June 5 to 15 this year, ramp up for one of the most fun and exciting arts festival you’ve ever seen. Over 11 days, you can visit the creative works of over 500 artists and over 50 art-related events. With daring and engaging artwork from the realms of visual art, dance, film, music, and theatre, you’ll get the chance to meet and interact with emerging local artists while enjoying the entertainment their artwork provides.

Where Is NextFest?

NextFest will take Edmonton by storm during its 11-day run in a variety of different locations and venues. With the confirmed schedule still pending, some of the venues you can expect to visit during NextFest to get a first glance of the visual art, music, dance, and theatre performances include Atomic Zombie Art Gallery, The Roxy Theatre, The Artery, and Garneau Theatre in Edmonton.  Visit the NextFest website for the most current information.

Who Are the NextFest Artists?

If you’re wondering what type of talent and emerging artists you can expect to come across at NextFest, you’ll be surprised at the range of artists you’ll find. From graduates and current students of the University of Alberta to professionals in their specific field of art, you’ll find a range of expertise and talent at NextFest. While the majority of the artists are local to Edmonton (born and raised), some of the talent group hails from the West coast and other parts of Canada.

What Are the Events at NextFest?

The art-world events are nearly limitless at NextFest, with opportunities for everyone to enjoy, both the artistically inclined as well as the art enthusiasts. NextFest NiteClubs, a series of events at The Artery, are just a few of the options, offering multi-disciplinary performance parties in the themes of a political revolution, fright night, and risqué cabaret evening. Poetry readings, award ceremonies, and theatre performances are a few more of the exciting opportunities at NextFest this year.

Regardless of which area of Edmonton you live in, from Edmonton acreages to Parkland County acreages and surrounding cities and towns, you shouldn’t miss NextFest this year. As a perfect way to kick start your summer and inspire your inner art enthusiast, NextFest brings with it all of the artistically inclined opportunities you’ve been waiting for.

For more information and specific questions about Spruce Grove real estate, Stony Plain real estate, or Parkland County real estate, feel free to call me! Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Summer Fun from the Spruce Grove Ag Society

Friday, May 16th, 2014

Summer Fun from the Spruce Grove Ag Society | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamOur short summers in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton area make for a couple of very busy months for most of us, as we cram in all the fun that we can!

Even if you already have a long list of things to do this summer, you’ll want to take part in these three events sponsored by the Spruce Grove and District Agricultural Society.

  • Flapjacks at the Tracks – Pancake Breakfast:  Saturday, July 19, 8-11 AM.  Come out to the Grain Elevator and be served a delicious breakfast by local dignitaries.
  • Farm and Heritage Carnival:  Saturday, August 16, noon – 4 PM.  Bring the kids for corn on the cob, hotdogs and hamburgers, together with a ton of old-fashioned fun in various contests and competitions.
  • Harvest Fair:  Saturday, September 20, 9:30 AM – 1:30 PM.  Celebrate important aspects of our local agricultural industry at the Grain Elevator site which will be transformed into a farm and old-fashioned playground.

These events not only add to the culture and entertainment in our city, but they raise funds for the Ag Society’s projects.  These projects include maintenance of the Grain Elevator and the restored Water Tower, allowing the Society to keep alive our local history and agricultural heritage.  Future projects include constructing a building which resembles a period train station that will house the Spruce Grove Archives, the Museum, a café, a gift shop and a conference room.

Hosting friends and relatives this summer in our local area?  In 2013 over 4000 visitors from around the world visited the Grain Elevator Museum and Archives.  Show off some of what our city has to offer by bringing your guests to participate in the Ag Society’s events!

If you’d like to learn more about the many things happening all year round in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain and Parkland County, call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Easter in Edmonton: The Best Events Happening Around Town

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Easter in Edmonton- The Best Events Happening Around Town  | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamEaster Sunday falls on April 20 this year, which means that with a little luck there will be some warm weather in town to lighten the mood of Easter festivities. If you’re new to the Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton region, or if you’re a long-time resident, there are always lots of great events happening around town where you and your family can celebrate Easter in the community. These are just a few of the events you can take part in this year.

Hop to It at the Edmonton Valley Zoo

The Edmonton Valley Zoo is holding their popular “Hop to It” event again this year. Visitors will get to participate in science experiments and craft making. You can also get a temporary airbrush tattoo, experience the sensations of an egg-themed touch table, and go hunting on a scavenger hunt. The “Get Closer” feature offers guests some fascinating encounters with the zoo’s animal residents, and you can watch the animals hunt for their own Easter eggs. Depending on who finds them, the eggs might be played with, eaten, or even smashed.

How to Make a Monster at TELUS World of Science

If you’re looking for something a little different on the Easter weekend, it would be a perfect time to visit the How to Make a Monster exhibit at TELUS World of Science. The exhibit will show you the latest tricks and techniques that Hollywood uses to bring big screen creatures to life. You will see the work of Academy Award winning effects artist John Cox, including aliens from Pitch Black, the crocodile from Peter Pan, and the ape from George of the Jungle 2. You can also take control of a creature and try your hand at being an animatronic puppeteer. The exhibit’s last day is April 21, which is Easter Monday.

Chop Suey on the Prairies: A History of Chinese Restaurants in Alberta

You can put some “East” into Easter by visiting the Royal Alberta Museum on Easter Sunday. That’s when they launch “Chop Suey on the Prairies,” an educational look at the history of Chinese restaurants in Alberta. The exhibit will examine the popularity of Chinese food in North America and look at the many different settings in which you can find Asian cuisine. What you learn might surprise you.

Easter Eggstravaganza at Rutherford House

The Rutherford House Provincial Historic Site has established a great tradition of hosting an Easter Eggstravaganza. This family event lets visitors explore the historic home of Alberta’s first premier, Alexander Cameron Rutherford; he first moved into the house in 1911. The event features an Easter egg hunt, a sampling of cookies that are baked traditionally in a wood burning oven, and fun Easter-themed crafts.

As you can see, you won’t have to look very far to find great family fun on Easter weekend in Edmonton, no matter the weather.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about your home or Edmonton real estate. Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Short Month, Lots Happening

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Short Month, Lots Happening | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamFebruary in the Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and Edmonton region can be a dreary month.  Everybody’s tired of winter’s cold, snow and dark, while Christmas and New Year’s celebrations are just a distant memory.  But this short month actually provides lots of opportunities to add a festive touch to day-to-day life.

Chinese New Year

While not a February holiday in 2014 (the Year of the Horse officially begins on January 31, 2014), the lunar new year does often belong on a list of this type.  The Wikipedia article tells us that the lunar new year can occur as early as January 22 or as late as the 19th of February (get ready for the Year of the Goat starting Feb 19, 2015!).  Should you celebrate it this year with dragon costumes, dancing, food, fireworks, money in red paper envelopes, paper lanterns and more?  Did I mention food?  Why not?!

SuperBowl , February 2, 2014

In the US, the first Sunday in February every year is the championship game of the National Football League and is known as much for its great TV commercials (which, sadly, we Canadians often don’t get to see!) as for the game itself.

Groundhog Day, February 2

We all know the story that if the sun shines on Feb 2 and the groundhog sees his shadow, scaring him back into his burrow, oops, 6 more weeks of winter.  Big deal in Alberta where we’re happy if only another 6 weeks of winter is all we see!  Canada actually has three famous groundhogs making their predictions:  Balzac Billy in southern Alberta, Wiarton Willy in Ontario and Shubenacadie Sam in Nova Scotia.  Wiarton Willy, whose festival began in 1956, even has his own statue and is the star of a big winter festival.  Of course, we all know rodents can’t predict the weather, but it’s fun to be reminded that winter will eventually end, and the day gives us a good excuse to watch Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day movie!

February 2 is also the date of a Christian holiday celebrated by many devout Catholics around the world:  Candlemas.   Check out the article in Time and Date.com.

Winter Olympics, February 7-23, 2014, Sochi, Russia

Even non-sports fans find themselves caught up in the hoopla, pageantry and emotion of triumph and defeat at the Olympic Games.  Lots of televisions in Canadian homes will be tuned in to the Games this month.  Whether you just like to watch the opening and closing ceremonies, cheer on your favorite athlete or team, or follow all the events avidly, the Olympics offer another great chance to show our national pride.

Valentine’s Day, February 14

Cupid with his bow and arrow, red cinnamon heart candies, chocolate in heart-shaped boxes, gifts of flowers or jewelry, Valentine’s Day cards exchanged by school kids, mushy romantic ones for the grown-ups…  Love the holiday and get involved, or throw an Anti-Valentine’s Day party!

National Flag of Canada Day, February 15

We Canadians are proud to wear and fly the red maple leaf, but I think most of us are a little hazy when it comes to some of the finer points of our nation’s history.  I wonder how many people these days remember just how young our flag is.  Here is some trivia for you:  Canada’s flag was designed by George F. G. Stanley, who was inspired by the flag of the Royal Military College of Canada.  The design was selected by a multi-party parliamentary committee on October 29, 1964 and approved by the House of Commons on December 15, 1964.  Queen Elizabeth II proclaimed the new flag on January 28, 1965 and it was inaugurated on February 15, 1965, replacing the country’s Red Ensign flag.  In 1996 1,000,000 flags were distributed to Canadians in the One in a Million National Flag Challenge for 1997.  Next year, in 2015, our flag will be 50 years old.  How should we celebrate?

Family Day in Alberta, February 17, 2014

Premier Don Getty back in 1990 was responsible for this holiday, making Alberta the first Canadian province to declare a day off work in February, recognizing time for family and the importance of family values.  Nowadays, many communities in Alberta stage special events on Family Day.  What are your plans for this special day?

Do you know why February has just 28 days, instead of 30 or 31?

Blame the Romans who created the calendar.  There are many explanations and theories about this, but it really comes down to February being a month that nobody liked much!

Is February a good month to buy or sell a house?  You bet!  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Barry Twynam, Realty Executives Leading
#1 14 McLeod Avenue, Spruce Grove, Alberta, T7X 3X3
Tel: 780-962-9696 Cell: 780-910-9669 Fax: 780-962-9699
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