Courtesy of Gordon Phillips & Ed Katchur

Gordon & Ed's Mini Mag

Real Estate Real Easy With The Pair That Care Gordon Phillips

& Ed Katchur Sales Representatives, REALTORS ®

Maxwell Real Estate Solutions Ltd. 5913 - 50 Avenue Red Deer, AB T4N 4C4 Office: 403-346-7755 www.HomesInRedDeer.ca www.HomesInRedDeer.com

Gordon: 403.357.7720 gphillips59@hotmail.com

Ed: 403.506.7171 ekatchur@maxwellrealty.ca

Volume 16 | Number 11

QUARTZ VERSUS GRANITE COUNTERTOPS

When given the choice between quartz and granite countertops, which is a better option in the long run? Designers and home builders have been debating this for years and it comes down to personal preference and your needs. Here are a few aspects to consider.

Quartz is a manufactured item that contains ground quartz (found naturally) and polymer resin (added). This makes it nearly indestructible and very durable. Granite, on the other hand, is a stone mined around the world that is cut into the shape and size needed. Since granite is natural, no two pieces will be the exact same which can add a unique look to your home and you can base your design around the stone. Quartz, being manufactured, can be customized to meet your colour needs which appeals to many homeowners. Quartz is more durable and other than wiping down with soap and water each day, it doesn't require a lot of extra maintenance. You do need to be cautious when placing hot pans on it though as it can be damaged. Granite is a porous stone which means it is more prone to stains and bacteria growth if either get into the natural grooves. Aside from wiping regularly, your granite countertop may need to be resealed regularly. Finally, cost may also sway you one direction over the other. Quartz is more costly initially whereas granite is more cost effective at the start, but resealing can add up over time.

WINTER SQUASH SOUP

INGREDIENTS 2 lbs butternut or other seasonal squash, peeled, seeds removed and cubed 4 Tbs olive oil ½ cup cider vinegar 1 Tbs sugar 1 medium onion, chopped 2 stalks celery, chopped 1 medium carrot, chopped 2 apples, core removed and chopped 3 tsp ground ginger ½ tsp cinnamon ¼ tsp five spice powder ¼ tsp (scant) ground nutmeg 2-32 oz containers vegetable stock Kosher Sea Salt Fresh ground pepper Crusty Bread- toasted for serving

DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat oven to 425˚F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment. 2. Combine cider vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt in a small sauce pan and simmer until reduced by half. Set aside. 3. Toss cubed squash with 2 Tbs olive oil, spread on the prepared baking sheets, season with salt and pepper and roast until edges are caramelized, about 30 minutes. 4. While squash is roasting, preheat a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Adjust to medium low and add 2 Tbs olive oil and onion. Sauté and allow onion to “melt” over low heat, about 5-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add spices and stir to coat. Add carrot and celery, raise heat to medium and sauté until sweating, then add apple and cook until fragrant and slightly tender. 5. Add squash to pot, stir to combine and add vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer. 6. Working in batches, purée mixture in a blender until creamy and smooth. Be careful while blending hot ingredients. 7. Return soup to pot and bring to a simmer. Add cider vinegar reduction, stir to combine. Adjust salt and pepper to suit taste. Serve and enjoy!

Courtesy of Feedtheswimmers.com

ONE KIND WORD CAN WARM THREE WINTER MONTHS. - Japanese Proverb

When you’re thinking of how long winter seems to be, remember this Japanese Proverb and share some kindness with a friend, loved one, neighbour or stranger. It won’t cost you anything and will make both you and the recipient feel warm.

WINTER SAFETY DRIVING TIPS Canadians often joke about driving in the winter and how they can do it in their sleep, so to speak. However, if you're new to driving or new to driving in snow and poor road conditions due to a recent move, there are some pretty basic do's and don'ts to follow to make your winter trips safer and less stressful. First, before even getting in the vehicle, use the facilities, pack a snack and water and ensure your winter safety kit is stocked and accessible. Ideally, you'll have winter tires on your vehicle as well because they are made to keep their elasticity and grip at low temperatures which means more traction for you. Also be sure to brush, or scrape, off any snow or ice that has accumulated on your vehicle. It will not only allow you to see better, but also prevent snow from disturbing the drivers around you as it blows off your moving vehicle. Once on the roads, you generally want to give yourself more space between the vehicle in front of you so you have more room to stop, but also to react if someone in the next lane skids or loses traction on a patch of ice, for instance. Avoiding sudden braking and turning to help prevent yourself from skidding on snow or ice and definitely adjust your speed to the road conditions. If you stay with the flow of traffic by not going too fast or too slow, you should be safe. Finally, experts say to avoid using cruise control in poor road conditions and to be cautious when relying on other driver assistance technologies (such as lane keeping assistance and blind spot warning) as they may not function properly or accurately with precipitation falling. Review your vehicle’s owner’s manual for instructions on these technologies as well as Electronic Braking Control (standard on vehicles made since 2012.)

ENHANCE YOUR CURB APPEAL

When your home is on the market, the first impression the buyer is going to have is from your online photos. Probably the first photo will be of the exterior of your home. If you want to have potential buyers click through to read the full listing and see the rest of the home in person, you’re going to need to make sure your photo shows your home in its best light. Curb appeal is extremely important year-round. And even though there is the potential for a foot of snow to cover everything, enhance the curb appeal of your home with a few small changes. In all photos and whenever possible before showings, clear the driveway or sidewalk of snow and ice. Keeping these areas maintained is not only safest, but it is sure to leave a positive impression on anyone viewing your property. You’ll also want to

look over the yard and remove any foliage debris that didn’t get taken care of in the fall. Broken branches, unruly weeds, piles of leaves should be removed as the yard will look better and show you care for your home and property which buyers will appreciate. Another way to add care and warmth to your home is by creating adequate lighting along pathways, doors and around the yard. The more a buyer can see, the better they can visualize themselves in the space in the warmer months. Finally, little things like updating the house numbers, having limited seasonal décor on the porch and investing in a sturdy and tasteful welcome mat will not necessarily be seen in photos, but will leave viewers smiling when they step onto your porch.

WINTER JOKES

What kind of ball doesn't bounce? A snowball. How does a snowman get to work? By icicle. Which side of a polar bear has the most fur? The outside. Why do birds fly south for the winter? Because it’s too far to walk. Why do programmers love winter? Because there are no bugs...

CRYPTO-QUOTE Using the key below, can you unscramble the famous quote?

A B C D E F G H I

JKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

J H X I

QOPSWZMEBVKRNAUCDYLGTF

"YBL KRQ IBF KFNLH R KFSQYRDQ MLXDQH MV TRPPVDQX RIRV HKRWW HYFQLH."

- TFQZSTDSH

Courtesy of www.puzzlechoice.com

Solution: The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. - Confucius

FIVE WAYS TO REFRESH A ROOM Making a small, yet impactful change to the look of your room can be quick, easy and cost effective. The easiest way is to change out decor items - get new storage baskets, replace your candles or vases, get new throw pillows, etc. If you want to take it a step further, here are five easy and relatively low-cost changes you can make this weekend that go beyond purchasing new decor. 1. Apply wallpaper to, or paint, the panels on your interior doors. For doors that don't have pre-made panels, change the colour or texture of the entire door, or just a rectangle in the middle. 2. Change your lampshades and/or paint the bases of your lamps. Either way, it will look like you went and purchased new lamps when really you just gave them a makeover. 3. Change your light fixtures. You can add a chandelier to your ceiling light in the kitchen or incorporate a square design if your light fixture covers used to be round or vice versa. Add colour to your wall sconces or track lighting to really make a statement. 4. Install decorative vent covers. There are so many options on the market today including the option to purchase custom designed vent covers to make those household necessities into works of art. 5. Upgrade the legs on your furniture. If your table, bed, chair or sofa legs aren't a permanent piece of the frame, you can replace them entirely. Or, you can purchase covers that change the look to match more with other furniture, or to stand out completely.

Your referrals are greatly appreciated

Gordon Phillips & Ed Katchur Sales Representatives, REALTORS ® Gordon: 403.357.7720 Maxwell Real Estate Solutions Ltd.

Ed: 403.506.7171 ekatchur@maxwellrealty.ca www.HomesInRedDeer.com

gphillips59@hotmail.com www.HomesInRedDeer.ca

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