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Family Day in Norfolk!

I’ve seen people posting here and there asking about what’s available for families to do this coming Monday the 20th for Family Day so I decided to do some homework for you. Here’s a list (not everything I’m sure, but a good start!) of some of the things you can take the kids to without hauling them to the “City”. Unless you want to, and in that case, have fun!

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FREE Swimming courtesy of your local Simcoe & District Real Estate Board

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*10 -11 am Pre-School/Family Swim

* 11:15 am – 12:15 pm Family Swim

* 1:30 pm -2:30 pm Public Swim

 

Be sure to check out the pool rules (in the photo) about restrictions on supervision (i.e. parent to child ratio, wristbands) or go to http://www.norfolkcounty.ca and search aquatics. Be sure to be pool ready 15 minutes ahead of swim times if your child needs a swimming test, they won’t be done during swim times.

 

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FREE Skating at local Arenas

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Head to one of the Norfolk County Arenas located in Port Dover, Simcoe (Rec Centre), Waterford, Delhi, Langton from 2-3:30 pm. Thank you Norfolk County for the ice time!

 

 

 

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If you prefer a longer skate the Talbot Gardens Arena in Simcoe, the RBC is sponsoring a FREE skate from 2-4 pm

 

 

FREE Hot dogs and Crafts at the Rec Centre

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12pm – 1 pm Hot dog lunch (with hot chocolate and cookies!)

1 pm- 3
pm  Games, snacks and crafts

Be sure to register ahead, don’t be disappointed! I called and asked since today was supposed to be the last day to register…  But they said they could extend as long as they had room. Call (519) 426-8866, ext 2233 Monday-Friday 7:45 am – 5:45 pm.    *Children and youth must be supervised

 

Art With Heart (Main St. Port Dover)

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2 sessions: 3pm-5pm and 6pm-8pm
$40/pair ($10/extra family painter)
Come on out to Art with Heart and create fun, abstract portraits of your partner(S)! Our Instructing Artist will assist you every step of the way as you not only create a fantastic canvas painting to hang on your walls at home, but memories that will last a lifetime.

Register today by calling Nikki at 226-567-5500, emailing nikki@artwithheartstudio.ca or follow the link to their Facebook page HERE.

 

Simcoe Strand Theatre Matinee

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Take the kiddos (and yourselves) to see the new Lego Batman movie. There’s a Matinee showing at 2 pm and these local ticket prices don’t break the bank even with snacks on top! Adults $8 and Children $6.

 

 

 

 

 

 

White Horse Bowling (Simcoe)

img_7533I’ve taken my girls to the White Horse Bowling Lanes in Simcoe and we always have a great time! They have gutter guards for the little ones (or big ones who don’t want to lose to their kids) which makes it more fun for littles.

They also have an indoor mini-golf course in case you don’t like bowling or want to do both.

Make sure you wear socks, white shirts for the blacklight, and bring some change for the Arcade games after!

Snacks, drinks and pizza are available to purchase.

 

Upcoming Family Fun

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Child’s Play is a new indoor playground currently under construction at the Giant Tiger Mall in Simcoe. They are thisclose to being ready to open! If you go to their Facebook page (HERE) and watch for updates, they will let you know as soon as they can open the doors (shouldn’t be long now!!).

So excited for Jesse and Jerusa Hunter, congratulations!

 

 

 

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#GoNorfolk is a project developed by Amélie Chanda, a local Wellness Coach to motivate you to be active around Norfolk County. Amélie is teaming up with community organization to provide some excitement to start 2017! There will be information, prizes, photos, events and much more!

Like the page (by clicking HERE) to stay up-to-date with all the events around Norfolk County! The next event is February 26th and details will be released at 8:30pm on Thursday the 23rd.

 

Just a Short Drive Away in Dunnville…

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Take a wagon ride to the sugar bush. See how they collect sap using buckets and modern pipeline. Sample some pure maple taffy made on snow. See different methods of boiling sap, past and present. Satisfy your appetite with brunch topped with their pure maple syrup! Visit their Facebook page HERE.

 

I’m a mom too and I know just how hard it can be to find fun/new things to do with your family that everyone will like. We are so lucky to live in an area where there are amazing events and opportunities just around the corner. I hope you find something on this list that you didn’t know about! Watch for my next event post for March Break…. 

 

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Melissa Mummery, SRES®, ABR®, SRS®new-cb-3d-logo

Sales Representative

Cell: 519-718-2628

You can find my Office located at 217 Main St., Port Dover, N0A 1N0

 

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FREE Eyeglasses? Just for Kids…!

One of the things my clients look to me for is who to contact for what: Schools, Contractors, Plumbers, Doctors, Dentists, etc. They ask about where to get the best perch dinner (we are in Port Dover after all), how to get involved in the community, and a huge list of other newcomer questions. It’s important to me to be able to not just get through the real estate transaction with my clients but also to stay in touch and make them feel welcome.

I came across this little bit of information for parents (or grandparents) of little ones in JK since my youngest just started in this school year. It’s called the “Eye See Eye Learn” program and it’s something that happens not just in Ontario but in other Provinces as well (check the picture to follow the Ontario link).

My oldest has glasses (and contacts) and her Teacher in grade 3 was the first to point out there may be a problem – I just hadn’t noticed and since I don’t wear glasses I hadn’t thought to have her eyes checked. So a big thank you to Mrs. Smith (and to Mrs. Baldwin when we thought that it might just have been end of year eye burnout for Grace and waited till grade 4)! So we’ve been better at getting the rest of the girls in earlier (yes “girls”, I have 4).

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Borrowed from the the website of Ontario Association of Optometrists, this is their explanation of the program:

“Eye See…Eye Learn® provides comprehensive eye exams by participating local optometrists to junior kindergarten students across Ontario. The eye exams are covered under provincial health insurance (or OHIP) when you show your child’s health card. This means that there is no out-of-pocket cost for the eye exam.

If the child requires a pair of glasses, they will receive a complimentary pair donated by Nikon Lenswear, OGI and your participating optometrist. The value of the glasses is estimated over $250.

The Eye See…Eye Learn® program was developed to raise awareness among parents of the importance of having their children’s eyes checked when starting school. Each year, thousands of children start school without ever having an eye exam.

Children who cannot see the board, focus on a picture or follow words in a book may struggle to achieve their full learning potential. Vision problems can also impact their hand-eye coordination for physical activities and even impact their social development. In fact, 80 per cent of learning comes directly through vision.”

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So, no time like the present no matter the age (kids up to 18 are covered for eye exams through OHIP) and your Eye Doctor can help you through your options for glasses with or without extended benefits. While you’re there look after yourself too!

If you’re new to the area and are looking for a recommendation, our family goes to Norfolk Family Eye Care in Port Dover (they also have a Simcoe office) and we love them! They  do participate in the Eye See… Eye Learn program and are conveniently located in the No Frills plaza at the corner of Thompson Dr. and Main St. Or check them out online by following the link when you click their picture.

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School’s out for the Holidays…What to do Where in Norfolk!

The days leading up to the Holiday Break are always busy with school concerts, class (and work) parties, gift exchanges and last minute shopping trips. This year they are in school so late that by the time the first weekend is over, so is Christmas! And then what…?

As a working mom of 4, my schedule can be a bit weird but I try to do some fun, local things with the kids when they’re off … in between Realtor stuff of course. We all know what grown ups are doing on their holidays… looking at Realtor.ca and planning their next move (we should talk about that)!

If you aren’t a family who goes away over the 2 week break, here are some ideas to keep the kids busy (and your sanity somewhat in tact). Mother nature willing, they can spend some outdoor time in the snow too!

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Saturday November 26, 2016 – Sunday, January 1, 2017

Visit the historic Simcoe Panorama between 5:30-11:00 pm daily. Amazing displays, priceless family time and good old fashioned trolley rides! You can see the details by visiting their website HERE

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Friday December 23, 2016 – …

Norfolk County has a huge variety of events from Workshops (some for FREE!) to skating to swimming and more. Visit the Norfolk County Activity Guide for an easier to read version by clicking HERE

Saturday, December 31, 2016 

Celebrate with the kids at the Simcoe Rec Centre, then bring the family party to Wellington Park to see the Panorama!

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6:00 – 6:45 pm or 7:00 – 7:45 p.m. **New Year’s Eve Party** – New location – Simcoe Recreation Centre: Crafts, glitter, yummy snacks, Lego land and giant games are just some of the activities we have for you and your family. Balloon drop at 7:45 p.m.

8:00 – 9:00 p.m. **River of Lights Bonfire** (FREE) Meet at the fountain in Wellington Park Cozy up by the fire and enjoy s’mores, a scavengers hunt and enjoy the lights then celebrate the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 in the circle of friends candle ceremony.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Port Dover’s Famous (or infamous) Polar Bear Dip

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Start the New Year as a spectator or a participant (like Jen and Carmen did, thanks for the photo SnapdHN!) at the main beach at 1:00pm then head to the Port Dover Harbour Museum for the Captain’s New Year’s Day Levee & Old-Time Fiddle Party!

Captain’s New Year’s Levee & Fiddle Party

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Visit the Harbour Museum on FB by clicking HERE to see all the amazing things they have to offer.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

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**** Please do not wear your Sunday best.  An apron or old t-shirt or your paint clothes recommended.  ( We are going to have some messy fun! )

Visit Michelle Snively Jefferies on FB to check out her paint classes and art for sale by clicking HERE

Coming Soon…

Child’s Play opens soon in the Simcoe Town Centre! This is going to be THE new place to take the kids in 2017, I can’t wait! Visit their FB page HERE to meet Jesse and Jerusa and find out about the amazing things they will be doing.

January 2017

Enjoy the new movies “SING” or “Rogue One” at the Strand Theatre – matinees every day during the holiday break! Admission details and showtimes can be found HERE

January 7, 2017

Art with Heart is having a Kids Paint Party from 2-4 pm (and an Adult wine and paint from 7-9 pm). You can ask Nikki about the details about this or one of her many amazing programs by visiting her FB page HERE

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Don’t forget our local Libraries! There are books, movies and video games that can be borrowed, or for those of you that don’t mind flipping virtually you can download them on your own device! Though as a way to spend time, check it out in person but make sure to look up their hours HERE

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Remember to check out the Norfolk Tourism website because let’s face it – we live in an awesome place with so many things to see and do all year round. Visit their website by clicking HERE and you’re sure to find something new to do!

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Congratulations you’ve made it! See you again to get ready for March Break… in the meantime if you’d like to connect on FB you can come by my page by clicking HERE

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(Mostly) Local Artists of all Kinds – Norfolk County is THE Place to Be!

I grew up in Port Dover and am now raising my 4 daughters (with my wonderful hubby whose family goes back generations) in this lovely little community. It’s gotten bigger over the years to be sure, but what hasn’t changed is the support we have for our neighbours, friends and local businesses in general and especially in time of need. Now more than ever with so much choice it is important to shop local as much and as often as you can.

I would include myself in the category of “small business Owner”. I am a full time Salesperson and a Realtor® with Coldwell Banker Coastline Realty here in Port Dover. Though I have a great company behind me for training, advice and support, I am 100% self employed. Like any other business owner I have overhead, expenses, put in countless hours and LOVE what I do. My girls go to school here, they take dance, play baseball and you’ve probably seen us (or heard us – I apologize) at the local grocery stores and downtown shops. So when you’re considering real estate services, before you think “big city”, let’s sit and talk (or Facebook) about why this local real estate Expert (me) is a hometown option worth exploring.

PrintOk, so enough about me. The reason for my post is to support these local Artisans who represent what is such a draw for people visiting, moving here, or  choosing to stay here as grown-ups. I encourage new (and old) Norfolk County residents to not just reside here but to get involved in the community. Whether it be joining one of the local Facebook pages, attending a craft show, buying from a local artist, taking an art class, seeing a play at the Lighthouse Theatre or volunteering, where we “hang our hat” is a big part of who we are. Our little piece of heaven is that much sweeter because of the arts community – our handmade, local, custom, unique, creative, individual, amazing Nor-folk!

This list is by no means everyone and everything you might find here but I appreciate the folks who commented on my requests in our little Facebook community pages. Please click on their names and show a little Facebook love to their pages – and remember to tell them where you found them!

Home furnishing and Antiques/Collectibles

Re:vived Home (Sarah Morrison)

Kindred Spirit (Julia Mansley)

ReLoved Painted Pieces (Aleisha Ferrera)

*Grit and Vise (Hagersville)

ReBorn Designs

 

Home Décor

Crafts by Martine

Bristlevine Designs

*Sawdust and Sparkle (Tillsonburg)

The Rustic Feather

Iron Oak Designs

Silk Flower Designs by Jackie

 

Gifts

Record Time (Timothy Bryan)

*Sew Darn Cute – Sock Creations (Selkirk)

*Deb’s Threads – custom embroidery (Cayuga)

I Sit ‘N Crochet

Baskets by M – Simply Baskets and More

*3 Beez in a Car – custom crochet items (Canfield)

 

Artists

Vic Gibbons

Cindy Benko Studio and Gallery

Donna Saville (water colour paintings, framing)

Michelle Snively-Jefferies Art

Silver Lake Studio

Heather Verplanke Art

Hidden Creek Studios

Angela Hardy Fine Art

Nature Creations

Catherwood and the Kiln

 

Lessons

Cameron Studio (Marlene McNiven Morton)

Art With Heart (Nikki Schram)

Dover Paint and Paper (Chalk Paint classes)

Michelle Snively-Jefferies Art

The Crepe House Cocktails and Canvas

Deakin’s Den (and personalized paint pieces) Waterford

The Queen Bee Studio – Tracey-Mae Chambers

Angela Hardy Fine Art

 

Garden

*Chunky Country Home and Garden (Judi Cox Brown) Tillsonburg

Al Seville (birdhouses)

*Muskoka BBQ Fire Pits (Made in Bracebridge)

 

Music

Rang’s Custom Tube Amps -custom design and construction

Mike Farr’s Drum Lessons, Repairs, Tuning, and Custom Drum Wraps

Port Dover Uke Heads

 

Jewellery

Lake Erie Charms (Nicki O’Brien)

Silverwearables

LunaLeaf StudioLunaLeaf Studio (Jewellery and art for home and garden)

Sue Koopman – vintage silverware rings and bracelets

Meghan’s Jewelry in Candles

 

Health, Skin Care and Wellness

Simply Bee Natural

*Bloom Skincare Co (Brantford)

Solstice Botanicals

 

Pets

Budz Bonez

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Stained Glass

Glass Dreams Jane Meyers (or glassdreams1@gmail.com)

 

Specialty Services

JUGZ Motorcycle – custom builds, parts and service

 

Kids

The Chewelery Box

Jessica MacLean – all things sewn and crafted (personalization available)

 

Entertainment

Lighthouse Theatre

Image Puppet Production

Norfolk County Roller Derby – Seriously how cool is this?!

 

Special Mention

Norfolk Arts Market

Artists of Norfolk County

Culture Rodeo Tourist Guide

Harley Snively Memorial Art Fund

Port Dover Farmers Market at Silver Lake Lions Club – Saturdays from 8am-1pm

Simcoe Farmers Market at the Norfolk County Fairgrounds – Thursdays from 9 am – 4 pm

 

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And new to our area is the Norfolk Cultural Map. Here’s the awesome thing about that – you can and SHOULD (for a very modest fee) get yourself on the map! Choose a category, fill out the form and you can be a part of where people will be going to look for local artists such as yourself. Click HERE to visit their website and sign up!

What is Cultural Mapping?

Cultural mapping is recognized as an essential planning and economic development tool in municipalities across Canada and around the world. Cultural mapping is defined as:

A systematic approach to identifying, recording, classifying, and analyzing a community’s cultural resources.

How is this useful?

Cultural Mapping informs municipal planning:

Identifying and mapping cultural assets strengthens the base of information that can be used to inform future planning and decision-making in any municipality.  Cultural planning of course benefits from cultural mapping, but so does land use planning, economic development, and tourism.

Cultural Mapping raises awareness of cultural assets:

Consolidated databases of cultural assets support marketing and promotion to both residents and tourists.

Cultural Mapping supports cultural development:

The subjective nature of what “counts” as culture can lead to disconnection and distinction within the cultural community.  A cultural map is a stronger base of information that strengthens and creates networking and partnership opportunities, and encourages people to view their community using a cultural lens.  More collaboration contributes to a higher quality of life and overall community well-being, and stimulates new economic opportunities in multiple sectors.

For additional information on Cultural Mapping in Canada, see:

Creative City Toolkit

Municipal Cultural Planning Toolkit

Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport

Objectives

The objectives of the Norfolk County Cultural Map are:

  • Promote arts, culture, and heritage creators, industries, events, programs, and services.
  • Increase or enhance economic opportunities, including tourism, for Norfolk County’s creative sector.
  • Create pride and stimulate interest in Norfolk County’s culture and heritage.

 

I hope you enjoyed this article and would love to hear your feedback! You can visit me on my Facebook page (and maybe stick around for a real estate tip or two) by clicking HERE.

 

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March Break Fun in Norfolk County

It’s almost upon us – today is the last (potentially) kid free day until March Break if you have managed to get holidays, re-arrange your schedules or are a stay at home parent. As the mom of 4, though only 3 are in school, the very thought of planning activities the kids can talk to their friends about when they go back is a little frightening. We don’t do any major traveling since it’s so much more expensive so we like to “day trip” locally with a big night out being a movie and dinner out. Perhaps a day or 2 at a March Break Camp.

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Guess what? There are many things you can do with the kids without having to go very far (or spend much)! I’ve put together a snapshot of some of those things you might not know about – and some you likely look forward to…

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The great outdoors moves indoors for two days at the “Norfolk Wildlife Festival & Adventure Show” in Simcoe, in the heart of Ontario’s South Coast.

Spring Break 2016! Want a great way to kick it off? Come on out to the 14th Annual Norfolk Wildlife Festival & Adventure Show taking place March 12th & 13th. Located at the Aud, on the Norfolk County Fairgrounds. For more information, click HERE to check out details online.

I’ve taken the kids to this one and will take them again this year. It’s a fun day and a lot of bang for your buck. They may also learn something in spite of themselves.

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The Lighthouse Theatre will be host to Lucas Wilson, otherwise known as the Illusionist, and his amazing Assistant Kelly. Lucas will bring along his favourite illusions and some new illusions for this Special March Break Magic! Lucas will also be making a major announcement at the show, you won’t want to miss this historic announcement. The magic continues after the show with a brand new interactive magic workshop with Lucas and Kelly. Learn how to perform your very own magic at home in this LIMITED VIP ONLY workshop. Approximate run time: 60 minutes.

 

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The “Nearly World Famous” DuffleBag Theatre will be returning this March Break with CINDERELLA, their newest interactive play.  Don’t miss this high-energy, comedic adaptation of the timeless fairytale!  Audience members (that means grown-ups, too) will have the opportunity to join DuffleBag actors on stage and bring this hilarious show to life! CINDERELLA wouldn’t be complete without the magical Fairy Godmother, Prince Charming and, of course, Cinderella’s boisterous and determined animal companions.
Tickets to this laugh out loud, family friendly production are on sale now! Recommended for ages 2 and older.

Tickets are $10 each or just $32 for a family of four!*

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Lighthouse Festival Theatre is thrilled to feature Alexander & the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day a fun filled interactive production  presented by To Be Determined Theatre Co. This fast paced comedy follows Alexander through his terrible day complete with singing, dancing and tons of audience interaction.  This production is perfect for families and audiences of all ages!

Tickets: $10 each or $32 for a family of four*.

*Family friendly pricing not available online, call the friendly Box Office at 519-583-2221.

 

I’ve been fortunate enough to watch some of the amazing (and VERY interactive) Lucas Wilson Magic Shows (because that’s what he is – pure MAGIC) as well as many different Dufflebag productions and I can’t say enough about them. You MUST take your kids to at least one! Click HERE for the details page on the Lighthouse Theatre website for information or to buy tickets for any of these shows.

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The Norfolk County Libraries have some great programs through March Break (too many to mention so click HERE for more info). Best part? FREE!

 

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Who doesn’t love a fun Family movie?!

Though there aren’t matinees through the week (you would need to travel out of town for that) you can watch this New movie in Simcoe for far less than you will pay in larger theatres. And as a mom of 4, less is more! You can check out the Strand website HERE for movie details, pricing and showtimes.

 

 

 

 

Swimming, FREE Skating and a variety of Norfolk County programs including camps, Babysitting course and more can be found HERE. There is absolutely something for everyone on this list!

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But sometimes Mom and Dad are not able to be off this week so, what do you do then?! Read below for some local March Break Camps you may not have thought of…

Budding Artists? Check out a local kids Art Camp at Art with Heart HERE.

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I have my girls signed up for one of the days because I know they will LOVE it! I have painted with Nikki for her Adult Wine and Paint nights which you should check out for yourself after March Break is over… Not an all week camp but enough to give them a break (and you) from being “bored”.

 

If your kids like to learn about all things maritime, or just want to have a good time in Port Dover, check out the March Break Camp at the Harbour Museum HERE.

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Kids, ages 6-11, are invited to register for a week of arts, crafts and games. Themes include: “Wonderful Winter”, “Pirates!”, “St. Patrick’s Day”, and “Port Dover During the Wars”. Registration fee: $112 per child, or $26 per child, per day. Extended hours are available for an additional fee. Pre-registration is required.

The Waterford Heritage and Agricultural Museum has a full day camp for kids.

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Experience a fun-filled WHAM March Break with special access to hands-on learning through history, science, art, music and much more! Camp runs from 9:00am to 4:00pm (extended care available if needed).
Cost: $27/child, per day. (Ages 5-11)
Extended care 8:30 – 4:30 at an additional $5 per child, per day.Click HERE to find out more.

Camp follows a balanced school day structure with two nutrition breaks. Youth should come prepared with appropriate outdoor clothing and indoor shoes.

Ancient Civilizations March Break Camp at the The Norfolk Arts Centre

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Make art like an Egyptian at the Ancient Civilizations March Break Program at the Norfolk Arts Centre! Each day we will examine a different ancient culture. From Egyptian hieroglyphs to Mayan temples we will learn about the art and architecture of past societies as models for own ancient civilizations-inspired creations. Participants will look at the features of Lynnwood National Historic Site to consider how ancient civilizations have influenced art and architecture throughout the ages.
Monday: China
Tuesday: Americas

Wednesday: Greece & Rome

Thursday: Egypt

Friday: India
This program is for children in grades SK – 6.

Click HERE for more information.

Older kids too cool for camp? Click HERE to check out out this 1 day Survival Camp!

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Arctic Survival for youth ages 10 to 15 years

Think you have what it takes to make it in the wilderness? Challenge yourself to a day of survival at Backus Heritage Conservation Area.  Campers will scavenge to find materials to build a shelter, start a fire without using a single match and cook outdoors! Learn how to search the forest for resources and meet a local trapper. Pre-registration is required.

If there’s something you love doing locally that I’ve missed please let me know!

Happy March Break 2016!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Real Estate is Weird

When did it become a bad thing to have a job you love, work hard at that job, and earn your paycheck? How would you feel if people you didn’t even know judged you based on your potential for income? Or felt that you made too much for doing exactly what you were hired to do? Being a Realtor® is so weird.

I’ve been in this business just over 7 years now and most days I absolutely love it. It’s challenging, frustrating, exciting, rewarding and sometimes downright awesome. But I must say that there is one thing that seems backwards to every other job I’ve ever had in my life… In “normal life” (let’s call it), your wage is based on your performance, your salesmanship, your effort and your customer service. You either negotiate a wage or have a wage assigned based on your experience and/or the company standard. You do your job, you get paid. You do a great job perhaps you get promoted and you get a better wage or bonuses. Everyone is pretty excited to see someone succeed and do well financially. And those that don’t work as hard or don’t do a very good job either stay stuck where they are or get fired.

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Real estate should not be any different. We outline our services, provide references, negotiate a wage with the potential client and if we are hired we get to work. Whether that is with a Buyer or Seller client there is an expectation of the level of service, duties performed and upon the completion of the job we were hired to do we get paid. If those things don’t happen, we are in the position to be fired like anyone else. So, then, if we meet or exceed the expectations of our clients, perform the duties we were hired to do, and do so as outlined in our contract, why shouldn’t we then be able to proudly collect the paycheck we earned?

I hear sometimes about how “easy” it is to be a Realtor® or how we don’t have to “do much” and make a “ton” of money. I don’t know about other Realtors® but let me tell you that the “easy” ones are few and far between. They help us keep our sanity in a crazy business and give us a boost every now and again that we need to work like mad on the next 10 hard ones. We often work for weeks, months, maybe years with the same client putting in endless hours (and sometimes expenses) that make that paycheck at the end harder earned than any job I have ever had. (Except being a mom – that one’s pretty hard.)

Assuming you get paid. Because sometimes circumstances change. And those hours invested do not end up in a paycheck. Those are tough.

And here’s a little thing to mention without being too specific… It may sometimes be months between paychecks and in that time we still have many financial obligations to maintain our license, our insurance, work on growing our business, keep up to date on our education and professional memberships, pay office and Board fees… Let’s not forget that we are keeping our houses running; kids, mortgages, etc. just like everyone else. maya 1

 

Please don’t read this as a complaint. It’s meant to show pride in my work and confidence in my ability to explain (though I shouldn’t have to) why I am worth my wage. I can provide you with a long list of people I have worked with that would agree… Or better yet, let’s sit down and talk about it.

 

 

 

Top 10 Things a Buyer should know

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10. Get pre-approved. Don’t just enter the numbers into a calculator on a bank website to see if you can “afford” the mortgage amount you want after finding your dream home on the internet, but speak in person to a person. Make sure they get down to business – credit check, income information, other debt to be considered. And get it in writing, most will give you a 90 day “guarantee”. Understand what costs/expenses are involved with buying your home especially if it’s your first time. Land transfer tax, down payment, deposit, lawyer fees, title insurance. You can’t buy something with nothing. If you aren’t sure who to start with, I can make some suggestions.
9. Decide who is buying the house as in who has financial say because they are going to be on title and or the mortgage. If you are married, great, hopefully you agree and that person has already done the banking with you. If you are buying with a friend/boyfriend/parent/other, make sure everyone has been considered in the bank approval because it does matter.
8. Choose a location. Not necessarily a street but a town (maybe 2) or at the very least an area. And put together an honest list of “Must Have’s” and “Would be Nice to Have’s”, it’s important that everyone is on the same page BEFORE you start looking at homes.
7. Pick one Realtor®. Just one. Don’t call each listing agent for each property you like, it gets very confusing. We don’t like to interfere with anyone’s client so please, call your Realtor® to find out answers, book showings, etc. It’s not “bugging” us, it’s our job. And we want to do it!
6. Be honest with your Realtor® about what you’re qualified for as well as what you’re comfortable with paying budget wise. These are very often different numbers and we do understand the difference. We are here to keep you on track as well as find you the right home. We can’t do our job properly without the right (and full) information.
5. Keep an open mind. We may send you (or show you) different properties than you have considered for yourself but trust us, we know what we’re doing. We take your lists of “must have’s” and “would like to have’s” seriously but we also know our local market and what is realistic in your price range. Sometimes we surprise you with what you didn’t know you wanted.
4. Be prepared to make a decision, AKA an Offer. We are out looking because you want to buy. If you find something you really like that’s in your price range, to keep waiting for “what else might come up” might mean missing the one that would have been right for you. There’s no guarantee that a better one is coming along and in a market like we had last year, you’re not the only one looking.
3. Stay calm. Negotiating can be stressful and emotional and not always fun. Feelings can get hurt (on both the Buyer and Seller side) but it doesn’t mean that there can’t be a successful ending for everyone. Rely on your Realtor® to be the voice of reason, that’s why you have us by your side.
2. Don’t buy anything large. Nothing. No car loans, store credit cards, new couches, nothing. These purchases may sway the ability to qualify for your mortgage with the bank. Wait until after closing to consider any major purchases.
1. Enjoy your new beginning. Thank you for trusting me to walk with you through this very big deal, it really is what I love most!