JUNO Awards in the Hammer!

The 2015 JUNO Awards are only 9 days away. The awards ceremony will honour Canadian music achievements in the later part of 2013 and in 2014. This wonderful event will be taking place in our fair city of Hamilton, ON. HOW EXCITING! The ceremony takes place downtown in FirstOntario Centre over the weekend of March 14 – 15 and televised nationally on CTV March 15. GREAT NEWS is that you do not have to wait till next weekend to enjoy the festivities in the city. There are various concerts and events related to the awards taking place as soon as tonight, March 9. Actually, there have already been pop up performances in the city…..anyway, get in on the fun! Plan ahead by checking out tourismhamilton.com’s Juno Awards – TURN IT ON! section and find a complete listing of events.

I will note, one event I do plan on participating in (so long as real estate work doesn’t get in the way) is Turn It On Music Crawl. It is an enhanced Art Crawl with live performances throughout the JUNO Zone – Jackson Square, James Street North/South and King Street East/West locations. In addition to music, you will be able to snack at food trucks, enjoy local entertainment, pop into shops and galleries. James St North specifically will have 10 stages set up throughout the day and then the Art Crawl itself will begin. Don’t miss a minute on Friday March 13 from 5-9pm.

HOORAY for JUNOs in the Hammer!

Kitchen Renovation – Difficulty Making Decision

I am a full time REALTOR. I know I have told you many times before. I see houses daily. I view old, new, retro, stylish, modern kitchens and SO MUCH MORE. When you see a kitchen you know you would want this, or that, but you would never lay it out like that, or couldn’t live without this…I could go on, but you get what I mean. It seems so easy to know what you want when it is right in front of you. I always thought my husband and I would know exactly what you wanted in a new kitchen. Let me tell you, it isn’t that easy.

I am a very visual person. I need to see IT ALL together to know how I feel. When you are putting pieces together to make a whole and all the pieces are at different locations, it was hard for me to wrap my mind around. And I am a decisive person when it comes to so many things in life. Now that I am married and want and need to share the decision making process with another person, things are much more difficult.

My husband, John and I have similar tastes, which would make it easier, but it still hasn’t been. That is not to say we don’t agree on the choices have and are making for the new kitchen. It means, there are too many choices to make and you simply want to make sure those final decisions ones you will be forever happy with. I think we will be. But, WOW! Making the design decisions was and is difficult than I truly expected.

Like anyone preparing for a renovation, you set an approximate budget. You look at photos, you set your mind or heart on a look, or colours etc. We did all that too. My husband and I decided on a white kitchen with grey accents (in tile or paint for example) and new we were going to work with our existing kitchen configuration. We had a budget in mind and we were not interested, at this point in time, to tear down walls. The big decisions made, you would think. That was all very manageable. Then, we went shopping.

After investigating different kitchen companies (5 to be exact), we settled on the newly launched IKEA kitchens. Wonderful. We went to IKEA to order. 4 hours in IKEA resulted in a full order. YEAH! 4 HRS! No one tells you how long this will take. I had a layout planned months ago when we first went to IKEA but, with the new launch, we had to start from scratch. Base cupboards now needed a slight change, a set of drawers moved, some enlarged, and then the fridge and the sink need an adjustment. 4 hrs of decision making is draining. Are you done, NO! More to come…

Choosing tile is another challenge. I love intricate detail. Colour is gorgeous. If I had my way, a room full of Portuguese tile would be a dream. However, together, John and I discussed that we may not live in this house forever. We should make choices that would appeal to any buyer coming through our property. The REALTOR in me never hides and I have taught my husband well. So, we need to love the kitchen, but not get out of control with our selection. After 7 different tiles shops, from big box stores to smaller family owned companies, we finally choose our tile…FOR THE FLOOR ONLY. Yes, samples came home and went. Yet, no concrete decision on back splash quite yet. Again, more to come…

So the decisions we have made should be great. They were not easy though. I gave you the extra short version on our progress. At this time, for those who have never renovated a kitchen before, know the variety out there can be overwhelming.

As a Realtor, my recommendations, opinions, and sometimes choices are vital to guide my clients through the buying and selling process. That comes very naturally. When it comes to me, my own life, I am always a bit nervous. I put a lot of pressure on myself. I do not know if you can relate. Hopefully you are much more decisive than my husband and I.

Regardless, the time has come for the tear down! The fun begins tomorrow evening. Expect more from my kitchen renovation very soon.

The Month of Holiday Cheer

December is here! The month full of holiday cheer! As the snow starts to fall outside here in Hamilton, I decided it would be great to share the best way to kick off the month and really get into the spirit of Christmas –

Christmas in Gore Park!

CHML/Y108 Children’s Fund and the City of Hamilton to bring you Christmas in Gore.

Excitement starts December 4th at 6pm, Y108’s radio personalities will be broadcasting live from Santa’s Workshop in Gore Park for their 24 in the Gore collecting new unwrapped toys, food and cash donations for the CHML/Y108 Children’s Fund Operation Santa Claus.

On Friday December 5th at 5 pm The City of Hamilton provides free miniature train and carousel rides which will start operating daily until December 24th.

At 5:30 pm we will officially light up Downtown Hamilton’s Christmas decorations including the 40’ tall Christmas Tree of Hope followed by a FREE concert by CRANK presented by CHML/Y108.

Also, walk down to: A Victorian Night in the Village!

Friday December 5 from 6-9pm in the International Village located at Ferguson Station in downtown Hamilton. 3 hours of carolers, Christmas music, horse & carriage rides (1st come, 1st served of course), and sales at shops & restaurants.
The festivities continue on Saturday, December 6th in Gore Park when the Downtown BIA hosts Santa in Gore Park for free pictures from 11:00am to 3:00pm. Start your Christmas shopping in Santa’s Village. Free refreshments will be provided by Philpott Memorial Church. The whole family will have a great time with carolling, Christmas entertainment and free crafts!

Christmas Evening Tours at Dundurn Castle

See the castle lit up for the holidays. Start in the front hall with carol-singing, then tour Sir Allan MacNab’s lavish home, and enjoy traditional Christmas treats in the historic kitchen. $27.00 admission for all ages running Dec 5-7 and Dec 19-21 from 7pm-9pm.

And that is just the start of the month folks! Check the tourismhamilton.com site for a list of other family events (The Big Sing, Model Train Weekend, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and MORE).

So embrace the joy of the holiday season, be good to you and yours, and Happy Holidays

**image is one of my favourites from Susan Houghton Debus**

Victoria Day Weekend in The Hammer

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It’s Thursday night before the long weekend. It seems everyone is preparing to the escape from work as early as they can tomorrow to rush up north to some wonderful cottage retreat where they can celebrate the first long weekend of the spring/summer season. I, on the other hand, am happily staying in the city. I may not have the tranquility of a cottage location, but I do have awesome food, good friends, drinks, fireworks even, and a lake view (at the Bayfront of course). So here are a few events in the greater Hamilton everyone should attend this weekend.

Down by the Bay

Bayfront Park is the place to be this Friday May 16, 2014, from 4.30 PM – 8 PM. It will be the first of many Friday’s this summer where one and all can enjoy food, trails, shops, outdoor activity, great people and all the joy the area offers. Taste the creations from 15 different food trucks this Friday. Who wouldn’t want to start the weekend and the season off right?

Waterdown Arts & Music Streetfest

Head up to Dundas Street East (HWY 5) in the heart of Waterdown on Sunday May 18, 2014, to see and experience a street lined with vendors. From 11 AM – 11 PM you can enjoy 10 musical acts (stage located in from of the Mill Street and 5 American House), 40 street vendors, 15 food trucks, and the Niagara Inflatable’s. Family fun for everyone that has been in the works for 18 months now and will be a joy for the entire town and its’ guests.

Fireworks!

Sunday, 18 May 2014 head down to Dundas Driving Park at 71 Cross Street in Dundas Valley from 6 PM – 10PM for food trucks, snacks, soft drinks, glow sticks (available for purchase) and fun at the park all before the stunning fireworks show begins at dusk. Of course, the even is FREE but the Dundas Valley Sunrise Rotary Club would appreciate any cash donation at the gate to help finance the club’s local and international service work. This Victoria Day Celebration is supported by the City of Hamilto

Happy Victoria Day Weekend!

Hamilton Festivals & Events

Hamilton Festivals & Events

I know the weather hasn’t been as great as we all hoped. It is May already and it truly doesn’t feel like May-like weather. But, considering it is May and there is no more snow at the very least out there, I am feeling the need to venture out into the city.

Hamilton has so many fantastic festivals that run from the beginning of June right until the end of September. I provided a list of events for my clients, family, and friends to have last year. I did not want them to miss out on an event either. I am starting to work on that list for 2014. As I browse the Tourism Hamilton calendar (which you can do easily via the link) I decided I will also provide this list to my followers. So, the list is in the works. I hope to have it up soon.

Now, my list is mostly festivals in the greater Hamilton area. But there are more fun and interesting events in this wonderful city I recommend everyone attend. So, in addition to my future list/blog post, I plan on posting some other awesome events on a monthly basis….starting Today!
Post to follow from your proud Hamiltonian!