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Canada Day Celebrations!!

Fri, 29 Jun by lisarice

Spruce Grove Canada Day Celebration 2018

 Date: July 1, 2018

Time: 9:00 AM – 11:00 PM MDT


 Event Description:

The Spruce Grove Canada Day Celebration is happening on Sunday, July 1, 2018, at Jubilee Park, located at 510 Grove Dr. (east of Spruce Village). For more information. please visit:

 Canada Day


 Stony Plain

Heritage Park
Join us on July 1 as we gather to celebrate Canada Day! Activities include a Citizenship Ceremony, Art Walk, Kids Zone, live entertainment, Concession, various food trucks, and, of course, cake! Event descriptions are below.

Citizenship Ceremony 

Heritage Park Pavilion
2 – 3 p.m. 

Help us officially welcome new Canadian citizens to Stony Plain.

Art Walk

10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Kids Zone

10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Pioneer Museum

A free, kid-friendly area featuring puppet show, magician, mini carnival, interactive circus, bounce house, face painting and more.

  • Chris Gowan Magic – 10:45 a.m. and 12 p.m.
  • Friends Forever Puppet Show – 1:15 p.m.
  • Kids Zone closes at 2 p.m.

Show and Shine Car Show

10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Main Street

Come check out a street-full of classic cars at the annual Show & Shine event as part of the Canada Day Celebrations.

Food Vendors

10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Live Entertainment

Heritage Park, Blueberry Centennial Stage
11:15 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Celtara perform at 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.; The Oddibles perform from 12 – 12:45 p.m. and 1 – 2 p.m.

Canada Day Celebration

Canada Day Celebration

Enjoy live music featuring Pushing Ginger, old fashioned picnic games, Devon’s Splash Park, dunk tank and free hot dogs and cake at our annual Canada Day Celebration! And we can’t forget the annual watermelon eating contest for both children and adults!

Date: July 1, 2018
Time: 12:30 – 3 p.m.
Place: Centennial Park

Whatever you decide to do – enjoy your long weekend!!

What Designers Say….

Tue, 06 Mar by lisarice


8 Things Interior Designers Notice the Instant They Walk Through Your Door

By Jennifer Geddes |

If an interior designer were to walk through your front door, like, right now, what would this professional think of the place you call home?

We’ll tell you right now: plenty. And that’s even before you’ve given the pro the grand tour. Interior designers, with their sharply honed sensibilities, can take in a space in seconds. In fact, these pros can’t help but make a ton of snap judgments—and typically these first impressions aren’t all that good.

In case you’re curious about what jumps out at interior designers when they first enter a home, here’s an unsettling glimpse, courtesy of some experts who aren’t afraid to spill the beans. But don’t beat yourself up if you recognize your home in some of these criticisms; these flaws are entirely fixable. Read on for an inspiring home decor wake-up call.

  1. A wonky flow

“The first think I notice is whether or not the furniture placement promotes good flow of traffic,” notes Lorelie Brown, a Showhomes franchisee in Charleston, SC. Most living and family rooms have a focal wall that’s anchored by a fireplace or television, which means the chairs and couch should be arranged to face this point without causing you to walk awkwardly around them.

“I find this problem happens a lot in an open floor plan, with pieces defeating the whole ‘open’ idea,” she adds.

The solution: Less is more. Remove extraneous chairs and side tables to create a natural path in and out of the space.

  1. Poor lighting

The wrong lighting can ruin even the best interior design.

“Usually when I walk into a home, the overall look is dark and drab because there’s not enough of the right kinds of light,” says Anna Shiwlall, a designer with 27 Diamonds in Los Angeles.

Of course, we can’t all be blessed with a flood of natural light, but you can install what you need rather easily. Sit in each chair or section of the room, and determine whether you can read easily. If not, add in the missing table or floor lamps; don’t rely on one big overhead light.

  1. The insane amount of clutter

Interior designers dream of a streamlined, junk-free look, which means their eyes will immediately come to rest on the hot mess that is your bookshelf.

“Just because you have it doesn’t mean it needs to be on display,” points out Jeanne Hessen, senior designer at Closet Factory in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Her advice? Pick and choose a few sentimental or interesting pieces to show off, and put the rest away.

  1. A lack of theme

Style continuity is a big one for design pros. If your pieces don’t work well together or there’s no unifying color or theme to the rooms, the whole look can feel off.

“This seems to come from a lack of understanding of the style elements and characteristics of the pieces in the room,” explains Mark Sidell, a Closet Factory designer. Too many colors, in particular, can create a sense of disorder. Make it better by choosing a neutral palette and then introducing just a couple of coordinating hues.

  1. That (ahem) smell

Truth: Interior designers make snap judgments not just on what they see, but also on what they smell. As a homeowner, you’ve become inured to your own odors, but an outsider can nail a scent right away.

Pets are the most obvious offenders, followed by cooking smells and odious candles. Fortunately, the remedy is an easy one: Open the windows as often as you can to air out stale spaces (especially in bedrooms and the kitchen).

  1. The state of your loo

We can’t be more emphatic here: Your bathroom must be pristine!

Interior professionals (and potential buyers) will look with a critical eye at every bathroom in your home, and a dirty one will convince them that the entire home isn’t clean, even if it is. Towels must be fresh, grout should be clean, and definitely clear your counters of personal items (makeup, hair dryer, toothbrush).

  1. No sense of scale

We’re talking tiny lamps on huge tables, or king-size beds squeezed into too-small rooms.

“I always notice the layout and scale of the pieces in a bedroom,” says Hessen. Frankly, most people buy whole packages at the furniture store instead of choosing complementary items in the correct sizes for their home.

“To fix this, try to mix and match your styles and the stores where you shop,” she adds. “You’ll end up with a more interesting, inviting space.”

  1. A lack of personal style

Let it shine! A lack of personality in a home means your space will appear boring or sterile. Even worse is a look that’s been copied directly from a catalog. A designer can certainly help you develop a style, but you can also jazz up your abode with art you love, mementos from a faraway trip, or a collection that has special meaning.


Mastering the Art of Color – In Your Master Bedroom

Mon, 19 Feb by lisarice


Choosing  the Right Shade

Consider what mood you want to set in your master bedroom. Most homeowners want this space to be a peaceful retreat, with soothing colors. But that doesn’t mean that bright or dark colors have no place. You can use a palette of neutral shades to create a look that leaves room for pops of color in your bed linens, pillows, lamps and other accessories. A neutral palette also works well because you can change out your accessories to suit your mood or to decorate for the season.

If you want more color on your bedroom walls, let your passions be your guide. Love green? Green is one of the best colors for bedrooms, because it has elements of both warm and cool, and there is a wide range of tints from which to choose. With green, you can furnish your room in a modern, traditional or eclectic style. It looks great with pops of complementary colors and furniture that is either painted or bare wood.

If red is your favorite color, you can use it in the bedroom, but use caution. Red stimulates, and too much of it can be overwhelming. Choose a muted tint, or try using red on just one wall, either behind your headboard or on a wall that has large windows, to break up the intense color. Be careful about using bare wood furniture in a room with pure red walls, as the two can clash. Better to go with painted pieces.

The tips for red also hold true for yellow. Softer shades will be more relaxing, and you don’t want to go with too bright a shade in the bedroom.

Cool and soothing blues are a natural for the bedroom. In traditional bedrooms, deeper shades of blue create a stately backdrop for antiques and classic furnishings, as well as artwork. There are plenty of muted and pale tones of blue that create a soft look for those who don’t want a dark color on their walls.

Happy Valentines Day

Wed, 14 Feb by lisarice

First Time Home Buyers Cont….

Mon, 05 Feb by lisarice

 How to Become A First Time Home Buyer  –      Week Two

This week we take you through the process once you know the terms in a mortgage and have your pre-approval all in place.

Remember though – throughout this process that your financing has been pre-approved as it was presented to the broker or bank; this is not the time to forget to pay bills, change jobs or make a large purchase.  All of that can change your pre-approval.


Find a realtor to work with you.  Someone who you can talk to and be honest with them and yourself about what you can afford and what you are looking for.  They will help you narrow down the search area and your home criteria.  Then they will assist you by showing you homes and getting you started towards the next step.  Take your time but make sure when you have found the right house that you actually take the step and write an offer.


Writing the offer – seems scary to a lot of people but that’s why you have a realtor to assist you.  Each offer is individual and will have different subject to’s on it and different requirements.  Let your professional assist you – remember you write an offer occasionally when you purchase a house – but your realtor writes offers on a regular basis.

Your offer will general have at least 2 subject to’s in it.  One will be for financing – remember a pre-approval is approval of you – now the lender wants to approve you for that specific property.  Another common subject to on an offer is property inspection.  You want to have a licensed inspector ensure that the property meets the standards that you require.

It is uncommon for the first offer to be accepted, so be prepared to face a counter offer. Sometimes multiple counter offers may go back and forth before you and the sellers have agreed to a price.  Once accepted the offer becomes pending to the date of your subject to’s removal.


Once the offer has been accepted and signed off by both buyer and seller the offer then goes to your Broker/Bank so that they can get working on the financing right away. Your Broker may need to update some of your documentation and will also need documents related to the property.

It is at this stage that you want to firm up which term, amortization, down payment amount etc., that you will want to proceed with. Your Broker/Bank should be able to advise you what your options are regarding; pre-payment privileges, rates, and expected turnaround times.


Usually it is a good idea to make sure that your financing has been approved or that there is a strong chance of it happening before paying for an inspection.  We want to ensure that you can go ahead with the purchase before spending your money.  However, you will still need to give the inspector ample time to arrange a time to inspect the property and ensure you have time to review the inspection report so make sure you discuss with your Realtor to figure a proper time frame.

It is highly recommended that you are present during the inspection so that you have a good idea of what problems the property may have and also what is in very good shape. You are paying the inspector for their knowledge and you can definitely learn about your house and any issues while there.  If you are unable to be present you will receive an electronic report that you can review.  Once you have the report you should discuss how to move forward with your realtor.


Removing subjects happens when you decide you are 100-per-cent committed to purchasing the property. You then remove all of the subjects that protect the buyer (subject to financing, inspection, etc.). At this stage you have now bought a home.


Now that you are firm on the deal, you need to get prepared for the closing date that you specified on your contract. During this time there are a few items you will need to arrange.

This is where you need to arrange utility hook ups, insurance (the bank will not fund the mortgage without proof of home insurance) and all the other small details that come with moving homes.


By now you should know how much money you need to bring in to your lawyer to complete the transaction, and will be instructed to bring them a bank draft or certified cheque to cover the balance of the funds to close, along with proper ID.

During this meeting you will be going through a fair bit of paperwork with the lawyer to complete the transfer.


Usually on the day of closing you will get your keys.  Although contracts in Alberta state noon; possession is actually once money has reached the seller’s lawyers hands.  Your realtor will contact you once they have been notified of key release.  Generally we don’t advise making plans for hook ups or moving trucks on this day as you never know what time possession can be.  Talk to your realtor for further clarification.

You’re done! And are now a homeowner!

Remember that the professionals who helped you get into your home are always more than willing to help answer any questions you have, along the way.  Don’t be afraid to ask – it’s what they are there for.


First Time Home Buyers

Thu, 25 Jan by lisarice


    How to Become A  First Time Home Buyer              –       Week One

 It’s quite the process – and a lot to get your head wrapped around so we will break it down into smaller stages…


Before you begin searching for a home, it is important to ensure you know what you can afford.

The first step in buying a home should be to take a look at what you can afford and how you are going to pay for it. If you’re like the majority of home buyers, you will have to finance your purchase with a mortgage loan. So what exactly is a mortgage?

A mortgage is a loan that uses the home you buy as security. This loan is registered as a legal document against the title of your property. Below is a quick overview of some of the most common terms and aspects of a mortgage that you should understand.

The principal is the amount of the loan that is actually borrowed.

The interest is the amount the lender charges for the use of funds borrowed. Interest rates vary according to a number of factors including terms and conditions of the mortgage and the borrower’s credit history. Payments are usually comprised of both principal and interest.

The amortization period is the number of years that it will take to repay the entire mortgage loan in full. A longer amortization period will result in lower payments but will take longer to pay off the loan which means you will pay more in interest. Amortizations typically range from 15-30 years.

The term is the length of time for which a mortgage agreement exists between you and your lender. A longer term means you will keep the interest rate agreed upon for a longer length of time. Rates and therefore payments vary with the length of the term. Terms usually range from 1-10 years with a five-year term being the most common. Remember to think about things like how long you wish to be in the home etc – there are generally payout penalties should you have to change the mortgage prior to the term ending.

The maturity date marks the end of the term, when you can repay the balance of the principal or renegotiate the mortgage at interest rates in effect at that time. If you choose to repay or renegotiate the mortgage before this time, penalties may be charged. Once your mortgage matures you are free to renew with your current lender or shop around to other lenders for the best rate.

The payment schedule is the frequency at which you will make your mortgage payments. These can occur monthly, semi-monthly (twice a month), bi-weekly (every other week) or weekly. Generally, more frequent payments result in lower interest costs over the life of your mortgage as more principal will be paid down per year.


When you are ready to start looking at buying a home, you will need to first determine who you will want to work with to get financed. Traditionally most people will use either a mortgage broker or a bank.

First, mortgage brokering used to be primarily for “subprime” mortgages (individuals with poor credit or other unique circumstances). Almost all Canadian banks have ties to the broker channel in some way, by either directly or indirectly funding mortgages.

The other big shift that has occurred over the past five years is centralization. Gone are the days of relationship banking, where a bank will help you based on your relationship and length of time you have been with them.

Now many banks base their lending criteria on quantifiable data, like income to debt ratios, credit ratings, etc.

Fitting into your bank ‘s box is more difficult than ever before and banks’ boxes have shrunk considerably. Even if you do fit in their box, is their box appropriate for you?

It’s your choice – but something you will have to decide.



A mortgage pre-approval is when your lender has reviewed your basic financial information (income, credit score, current debts, etc.) and has determined the maximum amount of money they will lend to you.


You will have to provide information to the bank or the mortgage broker – this is not a quick phone call with an estimate.



The down payment for a property is due prior to possession and generally comes in two parts.  The deposit on a home comes from your down payment money when you write the office.

Next week we will continue on with the next steps…

Take Care,

The Scents of Fall – Latte

Wed, 23 Aug by lisarice

Fall – you can feel it in the air and see it in the leaves that are starting to change color. It brings a whole different experience and expectation for colors, temperatures and scents. The smell of pumpkin spice always reminds me of this time of year. And for those that live off of latte’s and coffee drinks (most of you know that I’m a tea drinker myself) this one seems to have stand out reviews… The thought of it makes me want to try it – but then there’s the coffee part… Take a sniff – let me know how they turn out if you decide to make it. Or make it and send me a pic – or invite me for a visit – would love to smell for myself. Happy Fall!

Pumpkin Spice Latte


• 1 cup almond milk
• 2 tbsp. pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
• 2 tsp. maple syrup
• ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
• ½ tsp. vanilla extract
• ½ cup strong brewed coffee (or 2 shots of espresso)
• Fresh grated nutmeg (optional)
Combine almond milk, pumpkin maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla in a small saucepan over a medium low heat. Whisk everything together and as soon as the milk begins to simmer, shut off the heat and transfer the milk mixture to a blender.
Add a ½ cup of strong brewed coffee to the blender and blend for 10 seconds or until light and frothy.
Pour into your favorite mug. Top with fresh nutmeg and enjoy!

Nutrients for entire recipe (aka 1 drink): Calories: 78; Total Fat: 2.7g; Saturated Fat: 0.1g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Carbohydrate: 13g; Dietary Fiber: 2.4g; Sugars: 9.8g; Protein: 1.7g

Peanut Butter…

Thu, 20 Jul by lisarice


Spread the Good News

Peanut butter is not just for kids. Adults, too, can reap health benefits from adding it to their diet. Granted, it’s not exactly low in calories, but we’re only talking about a few tablespoonfuls in exchange for a pile of nutrients: protein, heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, fiber, bone-building magnesium, and potassium, a mineral important for blood pressure and heart function. For the healthiest choice, pick peanut butter without added sugar, salt or hydrogenated oil.

 Control Your Cravings

Eating 3 tablespoons of peanut butter (or 1½ ounces of peanuts) at breakfast helped overweight women feel fuller and have fewer hunger cravings, a 2013 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed. Not only did the women report feeling satiated eight to 12 hours after breakfast, but the peanut butter helped keep their blood sugar levels steady in the afternoon.

Protect Your Heart

Numerous studies have shown that people who regularly include nuts or peanut butter in their diets are less likely to develop heart disease or type 2 diabetes compared to those who rarely eat nuts, says Walter Willett, professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. PB also is a good source of potassium — a mineral crucial to heart function.

Two ounces of nuts (or peanut butter) a day improved both glucose levels and blood fats in those with type 2 diabetes, researchers at the University of Toronto found. Aim for natural peanut butter, which has less sugar. Some PB spreads, including reduced-fat versions, have high amounts of added sugar.

Here’s How to Add It to Your Diet

  1. Swirl a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter into your morning oatmeal.
  2. Make a peanut butter smoothie with PB, bananas, milk or yogurt, a little honey and ice. Blend until smooth.
  3. Pack a midmorning snack of apple slices and peanut butter.
  4. Try a slice of whole-grain bread slathered with peanut butter.

What Your House-cleaner Says…

Tue, 11 Jul by lisarice

Things Your Housecleaner Wishes You Know.

Hate cleaning your house? No one could blame you: There’s precious little fun in scrubbing toilets. Or wiping down grime-streaked windows to the point where your elbows are sore for weeks. And you probably cringe when you think about your living room’s floor-to-ceiling built-in shelves, whose upper levels haven’t seen a dust rag since Tony Soprano faded abruptly to black.

Enter the humble housecleaner—here to save you from yourself! You can hand over your most hated tasks and wash your hands of cleaning.

But if you’re hiring a housecleaner to do the hard work, don’t make the job even harder. Following these insider tips from cleaning experts will not only help ensure your status as a decent human being, they can also help you save some cash.

Here are seven tips for keeping your cleaning from turning into a dust-up.

  1. Precleaning will save you money

If you’re anything like us, you probably do a little precleaning for your housecleaner. And then, if you’re like us, you wonder how much of that is truly necessary—after all, that’s what the housecleaner is there for, right?

Here’s the deal: You should do whatever you can to help them help you. No, you don’t need to bust out the Clorox, the Shark vacuum, and the Miracle Mop, but you should tackle those dirty dishes, throw out the takeout containers, and pick up that pile of clothes. If you don’t, you may find that your wallet’s been cleaned out, too.

“Picking up clutter does make our job a lot easier,” says Megan Sentner, the manager at Greenapple Cleaning in Ottawa, Ontario. “That being said, we have no problem picking up clutter as long as the clients understand that it takes more time and costs more.”

Think it all comes out in the wash? Let us do the math for you: If your housecleaner charges you $30 per hour (the average rate) to clean, then a half-hour spent decluttering will cost you an extra $15—or $390 for a year’s worth of twice-a-month cleanings. Instead, straighten up the night before and save that cash for something else.

  1. Give specific directions

Unless you’re ordering a top-to-bottom scrubbing every week, your cleaners need direction. Is the bathroom looking a little grungy? Ask them to spend extra time on the shower. Request extra attention to your baseboards. Sic them on your son’s room, now that he’s finally off to college.

“If they don’t leave full instructions, there’s a chance they’ll be disappointed,” Sentner says.

If you’re new to the world of professional housecleaning, you might not know exactly what your home needs most. Most maid services will happily stop by for a consultation so you can learn exactly how dirty you are.

  1. Deal with your pets, please

Your dog runs in terror when you turn on your Dyson, so why would you leave it home alone when all the floors are getting vacuumed? Not all pups need to be boarded during housecleaning, but if you already know your pet hates strangers or loud noises, at least put it in the backyard or a comfy crate.

“We don’t mind having pets in the home while cleaning, but some pets don’t like having us there,” Sentner says. “It’s stressful for our team members to have a dog barking for three hours.”

Aggressive pets can also mean your house doesn’t get cleaned: Housecleaners aren’t expected to sacrifice their own safety to clean your home, and if they’re faced with an angry animal, they might have to bail on the job, Sentner says.

  1. If you wouldn’t touch it, they won’t either

Yes, housecleaners will scrub away that nasty buildup around the bottom of your toilet seat. But they also have a limit: They won’t pick up your dog’s poop.

  1. Allot the proper amount of cleaning time

Don’t feel ashamed if your house is in dire straits. Life happens. Work picks up, a kid or two comes along, and suddenly you have no time for more than the bare minimum. Cleaners (probably) won’t judge you—but you should expect the job to take a bit longer.

Be honest with your housecleaners about the home’s current state so they can allocate enough time on their schedule.

  1. Use an insured cleaning service

Housecleaners can’t avoid touching your most valuable belongings—Grandma’s heirloom teapot needs dusting, too. But sometimes accidents happen.

The best way to ensure the safety of your precious possessions is by selecting an insured cleaning service. It’ll have provisions in place to quickly rectify the situation.

“If we made a mistake and caused damage, it’s our responsibility,” Sentner says.

Bu it’s your responsibility to make sure things are in line and prepared for your housecleaner’s visit. That includes removing any truly priceless valuables—and making sure your home (however dirty) is a welcoming environment.

  1. You’re not entirely off the hook

Hiring a housecleaning service doesn’t mean you can skip all of the cleaning. Well, sure: You probably can, if you’re willing to pay for the service to do the basics every time it comes by. But if you want to cut costs, make sure you try to keep up your home’s appearance in between cleanings.

“Minor maintenance can be the difference between us cleaning for three or five hours every two weeks,” Sentner says.

Simple DIY tasks include wiping down the front of the cabinets after cooking, squeegeeing the shower, and sweeping the kitchen floor. Integrating them into your day-to-day routine can save you a few bucks on your bill.

As always, if you’re looking for a reference for a house-cleaner or any trade please give me a call.  I would be happy to assist.

Canada 150 Celebrations in Our Community

Wed, 28 Jun by lisarice


Canada is turning 150 this year! What a great time to celebrate. Check out and enjoy these family friendly events going on in our community on July 1, 2017.

Spruce Grove

Where? Jubilee Park

When? Festivities begin at 9:00am with the Pancake Breakfast. There will be entertainment all day until fireworks at 11:00pm.

For all the event details, check out this link:

Stony Plain

Where? Heritage Park

When? The activities begin at 10:00am, including the artwalk,  and will wrap up at 2:00pm.

Link here for full details:

Parkland County

Where? U of A Botanic Gardens

When? 11:00am – 3:00pm. During this time, the gardens will be filled with activities and live music.

All the information can be found, here:


Where? Voyageur Park

When? June 30 at 4:00pm & July 1st

Check out the details on the 2 days of events in Devon for Canada 150!


Where? St. Jean Baptiste Park

When? There will be entertainment all day beginning at 12:00pm and ending with fireworks at 10:45pm.

Link to full event information, here:


Lisa Rice, Remax Spruce Grove
4, 16 Nelson Drive, Spruce Grove, Alberta T7X 3X3
Tel: 780-818-8884 Office: 780-962-8580 Fax: 780-962-8998
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