<![CDATA[Henry Tillo - Realtor - Century 21 Heritage Group Ltd, Mortgage Agent - Centum Mortgage Professionals - Blog]]>Mon, 08 Jan 2018 23:36:58 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[Happy New Year!!  New Year, New You]]>Mon, 08 Jan 2018 17:47:33 GMThttp://tillo.ca/blog/happy-new-year-new-year-new-youHappy New Year!
    As you said goodbye to 2017, did you make the healthiest choices? Are you ready to make some changes?  If you woke up not feeling so great this morning, resolve to do better. Here’s how to start the New Year to feel a bit healthier all year long.  You have to do more than make the resolutions, though—you have to stick with them.
Here are four that you should stick to:
1. Breakfast, water, vegetables
You are what you eat—and drink.  Fuel up every morning with the most important meal of the day—as early as possible. It will give you energy, and keep you full so you so you don’t fill up on junk food later.  Before breakfast, start your day with a full glass of water. Why? Cleanse your body before you start the day. Not only does it clear your body of toxins, it also improves brain functionality.  At lunch and dinner, fill at least half your plate with vegetables. You’ll get fuller faster, cut down on empty calories, and fill your body with nutrients, water, and fiber.
2. Commit to realistic goals
Why? You’ll fail otherwise, and that won’t feel so great.  Commit only to what you can do in the timeframe that you have. Don’t stress yourself out with looming expectations.  Shift your mindset from thinking that getting healthy is too hard and takes too much time to think that you can break down the pieces into manageable bits.  Make your fitness goals fit your schedule and make them manageable with work, family, and personal life.
3. Sleep
Humans need 7 to 9 hours of high-quality sleep every night. What does this mean? It means you wake up feeling refreshed. Sleep helps your body ward off chronic illness and keep excess weight off.  If your sleep is consistently poor, make it better in 2018. Consider getting a sleep study done at a clinic. Having an outside expert evaluate your sleep can help you make a plan to improve. Sleep in a dark room—get light blocking curtains and minimize outside light.
This one’s important: pay attention. Shut off all electronics at least an hour before bed. Why? Backlit devices prevent melatonin—a hormone that prepares your body for sleep—from releasing in your brain.  Bottom line: consistent, dark, and quiet. Your body needs sleep to recharge and be your best self.
4. Strengthen your social relationships
Not only is it fun to hang out with friends and family, it’s imperative to your well-being.  Harvard Medical School Women’s Health Watch reports that “people who have satisfying relationships with family, friends, and their community are happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer.”       Your takeaway? Feeling better is about doing better. Start now.

<![CDATA[Secrets to Hosting a Stress-Free Holiday Party]]>Wed, 06 Dec 2017 01:53:01 GMThttp://tillo.ca/blog/secrets-to-hosting-a-stress-free-holiday-party                                               Secrets to Hosting a Stress-Free Holiday Party
     Everyone knows that hosting the holidays can take your stress level from 0 to 60. But, worry not, with careful planning and some tips, this year will be the holiday entertaining season that you actually enjoy just as much as your guests.
Make a List - Perhaps the ultimate way to create a stress-free holiday is to live by a list. Plan ahead, and don't be afraid to delegate. Asking guests to help with a party-related task makes them feel more involved, so never be afraid to ask.
Cook Ahead- Do as much ahead of time as possible. Soups and stews are the ultimate winter and holiday food — they'll feed a crowd. If you’re famous for a recipe, make it.  Knowing you’re serving a sure thing will take some pressure off.  And there’s nothing wrong with trying a new recipe, just give it a trial run before serving it to a crowd.  
Stock Up- You'll never run out of nibbles if you shop with an aim to entertain. Stock your pantry with a selection of cookies and crackers. Consider purchasing nuts in bulk — which can be mixed together.  Serve them with drinks or chop and scatter around a cheese platter. Long-lasting jarred tapanades and pestos make an impressive dip when mixed with fresh sour cream.
Keep Drinks on Hand- As far as beverages go, it's always smart to stock up on soda and mixers. Make sure to have coffee (regular and decaf), cocoa, cider and a basket of teas handy. Keep your bar stocked with vodka, rum and a few choices of wine.
Create Comfort- For a casual holiday party, don't feel compelled to seat guests around a dinner table. If you've got a lot of company, a buffet may be a better way. Buffets are the most efficient way to serve a lot of people, but be sure to pull the table away from the wall so that there are four sides available to people, otherwise lines form and people can't get to the food easily.
Be a Graceful Giver- Store a few extra gifts in a closet and you'll never be caught off-guard when a friend springs an unexpected gift-exchange; try to collect items for all ages and a few gift bags in holiday colors. If you make a practice of picking up items as you stumble upon them throughout the year, it'll be easier when the season comes around.  Consider buying in bulk — divide one case of good red wine or champagne or prettily wrapped portions of quality tea or coffee. Or do some extra baking. Double that cake recipe or cookie confection and you'll have freshly baked gifts ready to go.

<![CDATA[3 Quick Tips to Get Your Home Holiday Ready]]>Mon, 13 Nov 2017 17:35:31 GMThttp://tillo.ca/blog/3-quick-tips-to-get-your-home-holiday-ready                                             3 Quick Tips to Get Your Home Holiday Ready

    The holidays are a time for celebration and fun, but they may also take a lot of preparation and can be daunting for many of us.  From buying and wrapping presents to decorating and organizing the home, the to-do list can feel endless.  Here are some tips on how to get your home in top shape for the holiday season.  

Add some cheer to each room
     Holiday decor doesn’t have to mean displaying ornaments, wreaths and reindeer in every room.  The festive feeling can come together in any room with just two to three simple touches.  Bright area rugs and cushion covers, festive florals and centrepieces can give an entire room a lift.  You can also rotate these items throughout your home to give it a refresh throughout the season.  Also adding one or two new items each year can make your home feel and look different each holiday season.  

Get Guest Ready
      Add that special touch in your guest room, if you are anticipating guests staying over this holiday season.  From towels to scented candles, that special detail will go a long way to guests feeling welcome and enjoying their stay.  Keep your house fresh and smelling great.  There are many homemade aromatherapy recipes on the internet that includes items that you already have in your pantry like cinnamon sticks, lemons and oranges that when boiled add a beautiful fragrant to the house that lasts for a long time.  

Freshen up for the Holidays
​     As much as we love unboxing holiday decor and furnishings each year, the musty, stale smell can sometimes be unpleasant.  The first thing to do is wash and freshen up everything from linens and table runners to holiday throws and cushions.  A quick wash or tumble in the dryer with fabric softeners or sheets goes a long way to making them look and smell great the entire holiday season.

<![CDATA[Advice for New Homeowners]]>Mon, 30 Oct 2017 18:46:05 GMThttp://tillo.ca/blog/advice-for-new-homeowners                                             ​Advice for New Homeowners

     If you’ve just bought a new home, chances are that you’ve had to go through many steps to
get there. A mortgage approval, tours of different neighborhoods and sales centres, and meetings
with real estate agents and lawyers. Once you move in, there’s the unpacking, the painting and
decorating, and probably a few trips to the local hardware store. Before you get settled, here’s
some essential advice to help make sure you continue to take the right steps towards a positive
homeownership experience.
Make Sure to Inspect your Home Carefully
     The Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI) is a critical first step that all new home buyers in Ontario
must take. It represents the first opportunity for buyers to view their home in its completed state
and thoroughly assess its condition. More than a quick tour, the PDI is a chance to carefully take
stock of anything that’s damaged, incomplete, missing, or working improperly. It’s also the time
to learn how to maintain the home. Take pictures of any defects that you notice. They may be
useful later if you make a warranty claim.
Pay Attention to your Warranty Coverage
     Every new home built in Ontario comes with warranty coverage provided by the builder, and
backed by Tarion. In addition to deposit coverage and delayed closing compensation, there are
also 3 separate warranties on new homes. These warranties cover the home for certain defects in
work and materials, substitutions of items agreed to in the purchase agreement, violations of the
Ontario Building Code, and coverage for major structural defects. Your builder should provide
you with a Homeowner Information Package before you take possession with detailed information
about the warranty.
Be on Time-the Warranty Doesn’t Wait
     As soon as you take possession of your new home, register for MyHome-Tarion’s online
warranty portal. The service allows homeowners to securely submit warranty forms, supporting
documents such as pictures, and view official correspondence. Tarion will also send you
automatic email alerts so that you don’t miss any important deadlines. Timing is essential when
submitting warranty forms and missing a deadline can jeopardize a claim.
Keep It Looking (and Feeling) Fine
     Regular maintenance doesn’t just ensure your home stays in good condition it also helps keep
your warranty intact. Any issues that arise in your home that are the result of improper maintenance
will not be covered under the warranty. To ensure that your home and home warranty remain
protected, fit regular maintenance into your schedule.
     Owning a new home is a significant accomplishment, but it also comes with great responsibility.
​ More information, tips and resources are available online at Tarion.com.]]>
<![CDATA[Redecorate With Today's Top Trends]]>Tue, 10 Oct 2017 14:41:52 GMThttp://tillo.ca/blog/redecorate-with-todays-top-trends                                                  Redecorate With Today’s Top Trends

  Get some design motivation to achieve your home decor goals by checking out some of the key trends being seen in homes right now.

Colour.  Vibrant, rich hues to keep homes warm and lively are in for fall.  Tawny port, the colour of your favourite decadent red wine, adds instant sophistication in accessories like throw pillows.  Russet gold, grenadine, emerald and neutral grey are other on trend seasonal shades.

Furniture.  Stay fresh and current with the mix and match aesthetic that allows you to combine your favourite styles.  Repurpose one or two vintage pieces and combine with contemporary pieces that have added features like hidden storage.

Patterns & Textures.  Scandinavian style and the ever-popular hygge lifestyle are even more appealing as the weather cools down and we transition into winter hibernation mode.  Incorporate it in your space with fuzzy blankets, natural materials and comfy pillows in a palette of calming neutrals.  For patterns, look for traditional prints like gingham and herringbone in soft fabrics.

Accents.  Shelf and table arrangements that look ready to show off on social media are what to aim for.  Decorate with succulents, brass or stainless steel candle holders, vases and woven mats or baskets.  

Smart Design.  As technology advances and we spend more time on our devices, homeowners are looking for easy interconnectivity and convenience.  Imagine being able to open or close your window shades, setting your thermostat higher or lower or even seeing who is at your front door without being home.  All this from the convenience of your phone at any location.  This miracle of technology provides ease, comfort and security at your fingertips.  

<![CDATA[Tips for Room Design]]>Mon, 18 Sep 2017 15:08:39 GMThttp://tillo.ca/blog/tips-for-room-design                                                     Tips for Room Designs

    No matter what type of room designs you choose, there are tools of the design trade which are used to create a finished and sharp look to each room.  Learn about these tools below, and you will soon be on your way towards creating new designs that you will love for years to come.  

Maximize the Room’s Space:  Incorporate space saving features into the room which will help you to achieve a clean and uncluttered look.  Look for furniture such as coffee table, end table, beds and even sofa or chairs which include hidden cabinets in their design; install a few shelves as well if you have decorative items you want to display in the room.

Let the Space Flow:  Create furniture arrangements in a circular pattern which invite traffic to flow in and around the room.  Stay away from any type of obstacle arrangements which can stop traffic.  Positioning your furniture in an inviting manner will also create wide open spaces in your room which can make a room look larger and more welcoming.

Use Contrasts:  Contrasting features in room designs are pleasing to the eyes, add dimensions to the room and break up similar color patterns.  Add a picture with a brighter color, throw pillows that have contrasting tones or spice up a room with bright green plants.  You can also create contrast with shapes or patterns - for example, using a plain square window treatment in a room with a circular couch or picking a round fabric light cover in a room with square furnishings.  Whatever types of contrasts you choose to use, just use them sparingly.  Decorative contrasts are a lot like spicy peppers used in a main dish - a little goes a long way.

Create Effects with Color Tones:  In addition to contrasts, using color tones properly will give a room added depth.  As a rule, lighter shades of color should be used on the walls and floors; these lighter tones will make up the majority of the color in the room.  Use matching medium color shades for furnishings or large decorative pieces in the room, and then ‘pepper’ the room with just a few smaller pieces which are darker in color.

    Room designs which use varied color tones should break up these tones in the arrangement of the room as well; for example, arrange a darker piece in a light area of the room, and use lightly colored pieces to brighten corners of the room which are dark.  

<![CDATA[Maximize Your Productivity With a Stylish Home Office]]>Tue, 05 Sep 2017 18:41:00 GMThttp://tillo.ca/blog/maximize-your-productivity-with-a-stylish-home-office                               Maximize Your Productivity With a Stylish Home Office

    Creating an inviting home office that helps increase productivity without compromising on great style can be a daunting task.  Sharon Grech, Benjamin Moore Colour and Design Expert, shares tips on how to achieve the perfect balance of function and style.

    Stay colourful from nine to five.  When choosing paint colours for a home office, Grech points out that it is important to consider the time of the day you will be spending most of your time in the space.  This will really help you choose the right colour for the room.  Bold, dark colours will work especially well in an office environment, provided the office is well lit with overhead as well as task lighting.

    Get inspired with accessories.  Create an inspirational space that really gets your creative juices flowing.  Choose a few of your favourite decorative pieces, pictures or motivational typography art to accent the space.  “You want to create a workspace that feels happy, peaceful and buzzes with positive energy,” says Grech.  “Select items that will get you motivated and help you stay in a productive frame of mind.”  Find more information at www.benjaminmoore.ca.

<![CDATA[Top 5 Summer Home Security Tips]]>Mon, 21 Aug 2017 17:42:04 GMThttp://tillo.ca/blog/top-5-summer-home-security-tips                                             Top 5 Summer Home Security Tips

    Most of us look forward to getting out of the house to enjoy the sun and warm weather.  However, when planning your summer vacation or gearing up for a sunny weekend getaway, it’s important to secure your home, too.  Here are 5 items to include on your going-away checklist that will help protect your home against theft or damage.
  1. Shutter your home and invest in security.  Not only can a monitored security system with a posted sign help deter thieves, it may also qualify you for a discount on your home insurance.  Draw your curtains, secure all windows and doors, and make sure all locks function properly.  Install jams to sliding windows and doors and a safety bar on patio doors to help prevent access.  
  2. Trust a friend.  Always let your insurer know if you’re going away for extended periods of time.  Arrange to give a set of keys to a neighbour or family member who can visit your home regularly to make sure everything is in order while you’re away.  This will help your home look lived-in and ensure any emergencies are covered.
  3. Prevent water damage.  In most provinces, water is the leading cause of home damage.  Water damage is expensive and often difficult to eradicate.  Identify and address water issues early to keep them from getting worse.  Before travelling, turn off the main water supply valve to your plumbing system and drain any appliances that hold water.
  4. Unplug.  All electrical and electronic devices like computers, televisions and portable air conditioners should be unplugged in case a power surge occurs while you are away, which could damage your property.
  5. Maintain a record.  Create an inventory of your possessions.  Take pictures or videos of your valuable and always keep receipts.  These records may make it easier for police and your insurance company to track items should something be stolen during your absence.  
<![CDATA[Top Summer Home Improvement Tips]]>Mon, 31 Jul 2017 16:06:10 GMThttp://tillo.ca/blog/top-summer-home-improvement-tips                                               Top Summer Home Improvement Tips

    Summer is one of the best times to focus on outdoor home improvement projects that deliver the greatest return on your investment.  In order to receive the best bang for your buck, these are the 3 top recommended improvement tips by realtors:
  1. Build a deck or patio.  A new deck or patio is a great way to add a focal point to any backyard.  Not only do these structures add to a property’s visual appeal, but they also provide homeowners with the means to enjoy their outdoor living space to the fullest.  During the summer months, a patio is a great place to entertain guests, barbecue and enjoy leisure time with friends and family.  Whatever your motivation, a deck or patio will encourage you to get out and enjoy the summer, all while adding a healthy amount to your property’s bottom line.  
  2. Install a sprinkler system.  On average homeowners use 50 per cent more water than necessary on their lawns, adding to their monthly bills and causing their grounds to flood.  Automatic lawn sprinklers are an easy way to avoid this as they are designed with busy lifestyles in mind.  Although installation can be costly, you may save money in the long run.  
  3. Landscape your yard.  Landscaping is one of the best ways to add visual interest to your outdoor living space for a relatively small fee.  Whether you choose to garden or install a built-in fixture like a pond, beautifying your backyard is a great way to create an attractive and serene environment that builds your home’s equity.  
<![CDATA[5 Organization Tricks to Make Your Home Feel Twice as Big]]>Mon, 17 Jul 2017 22:50:26 GMThttp://tillo.ca/blog/5-organization-tricks-to-make-your-home-feel-twice-as-big                                 5 Organization Tricks to Make Your Home Feel Twice as Big

    Organizing your home is just a natural part of spring cleaning, but sometimes, you end up with odds and ends you are not sure where to keep, or how to sort.  Once you are done scrubbing and dusting, try out these tips to clear the clutter and help prevent a new mess from forming.
  1. Use kitchenware in unexpected places.  Bathroom and beauty supplies are often a hassle to organize, so think outside the box and use items you keep around the kitchen.  A tiered cake stand makes for a great, compact sorter of cotton ball jars, hair clips, creams and other odds and ends.  Meanwhile, cutlery organizers are perfect for arranging makeup and wine racks are ideal for storing hair products in tight spaces.  
  2. Label everything.  Get rid of bulky packaging in the kitchen, linen closet and your arts and crafts box by keeping everything in neat, stack-able containers.  Easily find what you are looking for by creating customizable labels.  
  3. Develop a spice rack strategy.  These versatile little jars have more uses than simply storing paprika.  Sort nuts and bolts in the garage; craft room; or rings and bobby pins at the vanity.  A spice rack is a great way to neatly store jewelry, nail polish, and books or magazines.
  4. Create picture-perfect frames.  Up-cycle old frames to declutter your mind and space.  Get rid of post-it notes everywhere by painting the glass on the old frames with chalkboard paint and use as a message board.   Or, remove the glass and put a cork board backing to tack up mail and grocery lists.  
  5. Choose minimalist furniture.  Furnishing your home with items that have simple lines and few nooks and crannies will ensure you are constantly editing what you own, donating or discarding things you no longer need, and only keeping what you use on a regular basis.  For example, try shelves instead of enclosed bookcases and a stool or planter for a nightstand.