Getting rid of the “Christmas Crazies”!!!

Getting rid of the ” Christmas crazies”!!!

It takes months and months of planning and preparation, and within a few short hours the “big day” is all over for another year.  People often talk about the “day after Christmas feeling”, and it’s experienced by children and adults as well, but it doesn’t need to be that way.

I recently read a short article where teachers commented on the stories they hear when kids return to school in January.  Rarely do kids report on the gifts they received, but more often tell stories about the time they spent with their parents and extended family during the break.  With a little creativity and at little or no cost, you can extend the holiday feeling by spending time with your children!

Here are some great ideas you might want to consider doing with your family during the Christmas break.


Skating:  The local arenas in Almonte, Pakenham and Carleton Place have organized public skate events, either sponsored by a local business or the township, offering free public skating during the holidays.  Check their websites to confirm dates and times or

Swimming:  Just because you haven’t gone south for the holiday, doesn’t mean you can’t take the family swimming.  Nothing burns off a little extra energy (and calories) than a couple of hours splashing in the pool.  (It might even make the kids tired!)  Check the Christmas Swim Schedule at the Carleton Place Pool for dates and times for their free, sponsored, public swims.

Bring in New Year’s Eve with kids of all ages:  Why not ring in the new year with Beckwith’s New Years Eve Family Fireworks, beginning at 4:00 p.m.?  The Beckwith Township Council will be hosting this FREE event at Beckwith Park.  There will be horse-drawn sleigh rides, a bonfire, free skating, and fireworks begin at 6:00 p.m.  The canteen will be open in the Recreation Complex, or take your own thermos of hot chocolate with snacks.  If you plan this right, you can still be home and in bed before 10:00!

Sledding & Hot Chocolate:  This will certainly be more fun if you invite another family to join you.  Grab the sleds or the saucers or crazy carpets AND the kids, and head to Gemmill Park in Almonte (the big hill behind the arena), for an afternoon or early evening of sledding.  The fresh air will ensure everyone has a great sleep.  Take a thermos of hot cocoa with you to enjoy on the hill or invite your friends back to your home for a snack.  It’s also a great way to get rid of the Christmas baking before the new year resolutions hit!

Stay indoors and play Board Games all day:  AND stay in your pj’s all day long!  I remember long ago spending a day in the basement rec-room with my family, playing “Monopoly” and “Clue” and working on a 1,000 piece jig-saw puzzle.  We even got to eat dinner in front of the television!

Invite another family in for a Pot-Luck Dinner:  Sometimes the last minute, impromptu invites work out to be the most fun.  No planning for the perfect meal or preparing the house, just a get-together with the adults and children.  Spending time together with people whose company you enjoy is more important than having the perfect meal.  Who cares if you have 2 desserts and no vegetables?  It’s the company that matters more.
How ever you decide to celebrate this holiday season, I wish you and yours a very happy, healthy holiday and wishes for an amazing 2020!

T’was the Night Before Christmas and in comes a SHOWING REQUEST!!!

T’was the Night Before Christmas and in comes a SHOWING REQUEST!!!
A showing on the night before Christmas may be a touch dramatic BUT the reality is, many people have their homes listed for sale over the holidays and, of course, you want to be accommodating when prospective buyers request a showing. says that “the weekends before Christmas and New Year’s Eve have some of the highest traffic of the year!” Cold weather buyers generally mean business so here are some tips to help
you make the showings count!


Winter Wonderland!

When fall arrives and the trees start to lose their leaves, maintaining the exterior of your home becomes even more important. Your home is potentially more exposed now with bare trees in your yard so it’s more important than ever to touch up the paint, clean the gutters and spruce up the yard. Also be sure to keep buyers’ safety in mind by making sure stairs and walkways are free of snow, ice and leaves.

Deck the halls…..but not too much!

A festive touch can add to the beauty of your home but be careful to not go overboard! Too many decorations, or adornments that are too large can overwhelm a space and distract potential buyers. Large decorations may take up precious space or make your rooms seems cluttered. If you are someone who LOVES Christmas decorating just put all of your efforts into daydreaming about Christmas in your New home!

Baby it’s Cold Outside!

Make your home feel warm and inviting during showings by cranking up the heat, playing soft classical music and offering homemade holiday treats. Encouraging buyers to spend more time in your home gives them more time to admire its best features.

Do you have any tips for showings over the holidays? Send me a message with your pro tip!!
Be sure to share with me on Facebook and/or Instagram.

Brunch is ALWAYS a good idea….!

Brunch is ALWAYS a good idea….!!!

Going out for brunch is a great way to spend time with your family and friends over the holiday season. It can also make things a bit easier as a host when you have out of town guests. We have a wonderful variety of great locations to choose from locally. Whether you prefer a more traditional “eggs & bacon” style breakfast or enjoy an alternative brunch, we have you covered!
Here are some great local options:


Mill Street Crepe Company: This one-of-a-kind, Almonte favourite is a must try! While shopping in the Heritage Court mall, you won’t be able to pass by without stopping in for a bite, the smell is amazing. They offer a wide variety of crepes including both sweet and savoury. Pair a crepe with one of their delicious fresh soups or salads to create the perfect meal. Mill Street Crepe Company is located at 14 Mill Street and is open Monday – Friday from 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. as well as Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. You may want to make a reservation as they are usually quite busy!

Heirloom Cafe: Just across the street from the Mill Street Crepe Company, is another one of Almonte’s favourites, the Heirloom Cafe. Every Sunday, The Heirloom offers a special brunch menu that will be sure to please! They offer a variety of “egg” dishes including gourmet omelets, benedict & quiche. For a heartier brunch, indulge in their lamb burger complete with a fried egg & smoked cheddar. Yum! Located in the Victorian Woollen Mill, the Heirloom Cafe is open Tuesday through Sunday beginning at 11 a.m.


The Daily Scoop Cafe: For a classic “eggs & bacon” style brunch, visit the Daily Scoop Cafe, located at 500 Ottawa Street. This cozy cafe offers fast and friendly service and is a great meeting spot or drop in for a quick bite. Their menu is complete with a large variety of classic breakfasts, including eggs & bacon, pancakes, omelettes and eggs bennie. The Daily Scoop is open during the week from 7:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. and 8 a.m. until 1:30 p.m on weekends.

Freska: A new addition to Carleton Place’s restaurant scene, Freska has a menu packed full of delicious brunch options. They prepare a selection of different egg dishes, pancakes, french toast, waffles, breakfast sandwiches and breakfast bowls. Their coffees, lattes & cappuccinos are made using local Equator beans. Craving your daily dose of Vitamin C? Freska also has fresh squeezed orange juice! They are open from Tuesday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. as well as Saturday & Sunday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.


The Good Food Company: A very popular brunch spot in Carleton Place, The Good Food Company strives to incorporate locally grown ingredients into their menus. All of their soups, salad dressings and desserts are made in house and their eggs are produced by a local cage-free poultry farm. They serve fair-trade coffee roasted just up the road in Clayton by Fluid Solar Coffee Roasters and their bread is made a Baker Bob’sThe Good Food Company is open from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. from Tuesday through Sunday at 31 Bridge Street. They also recommend making a reservation as their cozy cafe is usually full.

Do you have a favourite local brunch spot? I’d love to hear your reviews and recommendations! Snap a photo of your favourite dish and be sure to share with me on Facebook and/or Instagram.