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5 Natural Home Fresheners You Can Make

Making your home smell delicious isn’t something you have to spend a lot of money on. Especially if you’ll be showing your home to potential buyers, or having an open house, you’ll want a fresh, clean scent to permeate your entire home so that it smells as great as it looks!

Here are five all-natural home fresheners that you can create yourself for a fraction of the cost of store-bought room fresheners, and without all the potentially harmful chemicals, too.

1. Lemon and rosemary

All you’ll need to create this fresh, clean scent is: a small stockpot, water, a few sprigs of rosemary, a lemon, and about a ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract. Fill your pot a little over halfway with water, add a sliced lemon, the rosemary sprigs, and the vanilla extract, and let it simmer on the stove and fill your home with a lovely scent. You can also place the mixture in jars with holes in the lids around the house, but you’ll want to change the solution every other day or so.

2. DIY reed diffuser

You’ve probably seen expensive reed diffusers in home stores. You can make one (or several) yourself very easily! The supplies you’ll need include a small vase, baby oil or mineral oil, essential oil of the fragrance you desire, and a few bamboo skewers or rattan diffusing sticks.

Fill the bottom of the jar with a half-inch of baby oil or mineral oil. Add the scented essential oil you’ve chosen (lemon and orange always smells clean, and lavender is very relaxing). Add your skewers or reed, and tie a ribbon bow around the vase for decoration. The oil will diffuse up the skewers or reeds, and will fill your home with your amazing essential oil fragrances!

3. Scented wood blocks

To make these easy and long-lasting fragrance diffusers, you’ll simply need some wood blocks, a small paint brush, and your choice of essential oil fragrances (or perfume oil). Cover the outside of the blocks in scented oil using the paintbrush, and let them sit overnight to absorb the oil fully. Wipe off the excess oil, and place these in inconspicuous places around the house (but make sure you place them on a small plate, jar lid, or any other glass or plastic container as the oil will leach onto any porous surfaces.) If you find your blocks need refreshing, simply “paint” them with more essential oil!

4. Au naturale orange candles

When we say natural – we mean natural! For these easy to make candles, you’ll need an orange (or oranges), a knife, any type of vegetable oil, and a candle lighter (not matches or a cigarette lighter). Cut the orange in half, and carefully run the knife around the edges of the orange to loosen the fruit. Remove the fruit, but be careful not to remove the inside stem – the white stem that sticks up from the orange’s center.

Once the inside of the orange is cleaned out, add oil to fill it just over halfway full. The stem will absorb the oil in about 45 minutes. Now you can “light” your orange.

The reason you’ll need a candle lighter is because it’s going to take a few minutes to dry the orange stem out enough for it to catch a flame. So hold the flame from the candle lighter to the stem, and just keep it there. Once it turns brown or black, it is ready to light. Keep trying to light it until it “catches”, and there you have it – an entirely homemade orange candle!

5. Easy refreshing room spray

Instead of buying bottles filled with chemicals you can’t even pronounce to refresh your rooms, why not make your own room spray out of completely natural ingredients? It’s easy, and you can create any scent you can imagine. We’re going to make lemon basil spray.

You’ll need: a 16 ounce spray bottle (you can use an old hairspray pump bottle, just make sure you rinse it out really well), ¾ cup of water, ½ cup of water, a tablespoon of vodka, 4 tablespoons of dried basil, a coffee filter and 5 drops of lemon essential oil.

In a small pot, bring the ½ cup of water to a boil and add the basil. Let that steep for four minutes. In a separate pot, bring the ¾ cup water to a boil. Line your funnel with the coffee filter, and place the funnel in the opened spray bottle. Pour the steeped basil water into the funnel, letting the coffee filter catch the basil. Now pour in the ¾ boiling water, vodka, and essential oil. Shake it up to mix, and then spray!

You can refresh this on a weekly basis using any essential oil and herbs you want, and you can also add extracts such as almond or vanilla – you’ll only need a few drops. Get creative and come up with deliciously scented room sprays of your own!

* Article Provided by the Lighterside of Real Estate

Why Do Real Estate Agents Ask If You’re Pre-approved?

Have you ever walked into an open house, or called a real estate agent about a listing, and within minutes, they’re asking you if you are “pre-approved” for a mortgage?

If you haven’t, then you have never walked into an open house or called an agent. Or at least enough of them…

Just wait. It’ll happen.

And you’re going to feel like it’s pretty pushy for them to ask that.

It’s like a joke.

It makes you feel like telling real estate agents this knock-knock joke…

You: Knock-knock.

Real estate agent: Who’s there?

You: Nunya.

Real Estate Agent: Nunya who!?

You: Nunya business if I’m pre-approved or not! Just show me the house, and I’ll get pre-approved if I even like the house. I can definitely get approved for a mortgage. Probably way more than this stupid house anyway. So, stop asking if I’m pre-approved.

Try it…maybe the agent will laugh! Or, maybe not. Depends…

But it’s no joking matter.

It depends on the agent. Agents have different personalities. They all come across different ways. They all handle how they meet, greet, and chat with consumers in different ways. There’s no one way to “be”, as a real estate agent.

But every single real estate agent should be asking you if you’re pre-approved. But many do not. Because they feel like it is a bit pushy and forward. Because he or she worries about offending you. But they shouldask…

…because it’s entirely relevant for them to know.

…because it’s entirely important for you to be pre-approved.

It might come across as a pushy, or invasive question. Maybe that is because of how an agent asks the question. Or when the agent asks the question. Or, simply because you don’t know that it’s a question that should be asked.

But it is not a joking matter.

And you should expect the question, be prepared to say that you are pre-approved, and…you should actually want the agent to ask you that question.

It’s not like a first date.

If you were going on a first date with someone, and one of the first things the person asked about was how much money you make, and can you afford the date, you’d feel like that was pushy and weird.

Rightfully so. You don’t go in for a kiss the minute you meet each other, let alone ask for a hand in marriage. There’s some build-up.

Beyond that, there’s some time that needs to be spent together before probing questions about finances are asked. That kind of stuff comes way after even the first kiss, because finances are a pretty private, intimate subject. Even more intimate than a kiss…

Which is why it seems so invasive when an agent you’ve just met asks you if you’re pre-approved. It feels like they’re asking you some pretty private, intimate stuff that’s none of their business.

But asking for a pre-approval isn’t like going in for a kiss. It isn’t a marriage proposal. And it isn’t probing on the part of the agent.

It is a necessary question, and an important piece of information for the agent to know. And for you!

Why does an agent ask you if you’re pre-approved?

Agents aren’t asking you if you’re pre-approved because they’re looking to size up how much you can spend. (At least not most agents…)

They want and need to know that you are serious, and qualified to buy a house.

And they certainly have their reasons for wanting to know…

  • Real estate agents need to make sure they’re working with someone who can actually buy a house. They don’t get paid until and unless the person they’re working with buys a house. So, this is a matter of being careful about who they spend their time with. It might sound selfish…but you can’t fault them for that. They’re in business. Nobody cuts them a paycheck. And showing people houses is not a public service or charity work. Even working with someone who is pre-approved doesn’t guarantee them that they’re going to make any money. But at least it’s an indication that the person they are working with can do something.
  • Agents also need to know how much you’re pre-approved for in order to advise you as well as possible. Picture an agent showing you houses for weeks, and months. You finally find “the one”! You get all excited about the house, and you want to make an offer, only to find out then that there’s no way you could afford the house. This leads to heartbreak and aggravation…for both of you. It doesn’t do either of you any good to go through all of that only to find out you can’t afford the houses you were looking at…or even buy one at all.
  • And, to a degree, this is a safety precaution. You might not believe this, but agents are in a pretty risky position. If they just say OK to every person who calls and asks to go see a house, with absolutely no proof or verification of who the person is, that puts them at risk. Sure, a pre-approval won’t necessarily stop an evil person from doing something, but this is a pretty basic precautionary request.

Why you should want an agent to ask if you are pre-approved.

Even if you have just started browsing for a home just a little bit, and haven’t gotten pre-approved (yet)…at least expect the question. Don’t be offended when you’re asked if you are.

In fact, pay closer attention to the agents who do ask if you’re pre-approved! The ones who ask make it easy for you to find a great agent to work with.

Because if they’re asking that question, it’s a good sign that they are thorough and thoughtful about how they do their business. That’s the type of agent you want to have on your side when you’re buying a house — one who’s careful from the get-go. One who pays attention to the details. One who isn’t going to waste your time any more than their own. Or allow your heart to be broken when you fall in love with a house you can’t do anything about.

And if you want to get some really good attention and service from the best agents you come across, don’t even let them have to ask if you are pre-approved…

Get pre-approved before you even start looking. And let the agent know you’re pre-approved before they even ask. You’ll set yourself apart from almost every buyer the agent has ever met.


* Article Provided by the Lighterside of Real Estate

4 Mistakes To Avoid When Selling Your Home

Selling your home is, in a nutshell, a complicated process. There are a million factors to consider: when to sell, how to sell, and how much to sell for, to start. In order to successfully sell your home, it’s important to avoid the many potential pitfalls along the way that can threaten to bring the selling process crashing down and cost you immeasurable time, money, and hassle.

Here are 4 mistakes you’ll definitely want to avoid when selling your home:

Over or Underpricing

When selling your home, it’s imperative you price it in a way that’s in line with your current market. If you mis-price your home, no matter what way you look at it, you’re leaving money on the table: if you underprice, you’ll sell your home for less than it’s worth. If you overprice, you won’t be able to compete with other homes and your house will sit on the market, costing you time and money.

Before you list your home, do your research to understand what’s going on in your local market. Get to know the average listing price of comparable homes in your neighborhood and look at the price where most homes seem to be closing. You’ll want to price your home in the same range to both stay competitive and ensure that you’re getting the best price for your home.

Not Investing In Repairs

Many homeowners neglect to invest in minor repairs on their home, presumably since they’re selling the house and figure the new homeowners can take care of it. But listing your home as a “fixer upper” and not investing in the necessary repairs can drive down the value of your home and end up costing you a significantly higher amount of money than just handling the repairs yourself.

Prior to listing your home, evaluate any areas that might need repair. Does the exterior need a fresh coat of paint? Does your plumbing need to be replaced? Is there landscaping work that needs to be done? Getting these repairs out of the way before you start showing your property will end up getting you higher offers and will save you money in the long run.

Not Staging Your Home

Staging is an essential part of the selling process. By staging your home properly, you’re showcasing your property in the best light and maximizing its appeal to potential buyers.

But many sellers (particularly first time sellers) decide to skip the staging process. They either show their home as is or, if they’ve already purchased another property, move all of their things out and show the home empty.

Both of these scenarios can have a negative effect on potential buyers.

If you show your house as is, with all of your furniture, decor, and personal belongings, your house will look lived in – by you. It’s going to be hard for potential buyers to picture themselves in your home when pictures of your family are staring back at them from every wall surface.

On the other hand, if you showcase your home empty, it can be challenging for potential buyers to picture the home as a liveable space. It will seem cold and impersonal, which can hurt your chance at selling.

If you want to sell your home, invest in proper staging that highlights the best parts of your property and makes your home feel attractive and appealing to potential buyers.

Trying To Sell On Your Own

With so many potential mistakes that could prevent you from selling your home at the highest possible price, the biggest mistake you could make is trying to navigate the process on your own.

Working with an experienced real estate agent who understands your market and the selling process is invaluable. Agents handle the entire process from beginning to end and can help you avoid major mistakes on the way. They know how to price your house to sell and how to get your home from listed to sold in as little time as possible.

Do yourself a favor – if you’re considering selling your home, don’t try to do it on your own. Get the right support by partnering with a qualified real estate agent.

There are a lot of mistakes that can be made on the road to selling your home. But if you know what to look out for, you can avoid those mistakes and get your home sold quickly, easily, and profitably.


*Article provided by the Lighterside of Real Estate

Learn more about the area we specialize in!

Learn more about the areas we specialize in for buying or selling!

Parkland County: West of the City of Edmonton with a population of over 30,000 Parkland County is defined by Saskatchewan River and Pembina River on the South and West Edge and Range Road 260 and Township 552 on the East and North sides of the County. Our team services the East half of Parkland County area from Town of Wabamun. Parkland County website is

Lac Ste Anne: North West of the City of Edmonton, Lac Ste Anne County has a population just over 10,000. The County spans from Range Road 11 to Range Road 100 and Township 535 to Township 600 at its furthest point. Our team services only a small section of this large County, West of Highway 43 and East of Highway 33. Lac Ste Anne County website is

Spruce Grove: Located only 11 km west of the City of Edmonton; The City of Spruce Grove boasts a population over 35,000. Spruce Grove is fast growing with an increase of over 30% from the 2011 population census. Spruce Grove has a City feel with such big box stores as Walmart and Superstore, without being in the large metropolis of the City of Edmonton. City of Spruce Grove website is

Stony Plain: The Town of Stony Plain is west adjacent to Spruce Grove with a population of over 17,000 which is a 14.2% increase from its 2011 population census. The Town features many beautiful murals throughout as well as several country festivals giving it a vibrant rural town feel. The town website is

Devon: The Town of Devon is located 26 km South West from the City of Edmonton overlooking the North Saskatchewan River and has a population of 6,500. This town has an easy 20 km commute to the Edmonton International Airport and 17 km to Nisku Business Park. Town of Devon website is

Parkland County and Animals

Thinking of buying a home or acreage in Parkland County and wondering what the rules are in regards to how many of what animal you can own? Some subdivisions, however, have Restrictions in regard to animals so always ask the question if you are interested in an acreage located in a subdivision and want specific animals. Take into account they will never allow more then what is listed below.

Cats and dogs

On any residential parcel smaller than 0.81 ha (2 acres) in size, you can have a maximum of four household pets (dogs or cats).

On any residential parcel larger than 0.81 ha (2 acres), you can have a maximum of four dogs. There is no regulation on the number of cats on parcels over 0.81 ha (2 acres), as long as the pet owner complies with the Animal Protection Act.


On residential or agricultural parcels between 0.81 ha (2 acres) and 16.1 ha (39.9 acres), allowable animal/bird units are as follows:

Parcel size # of animal/bird units
0.81 to 1.21 ha (2 to 2.99 acres) 1
1.22 to 1.61 ha (3 to 3.99 acres) 2
1.62 to 2.02 ha (4 to 4.99 acres) 3
2.03 to 2.42 ha (5 to 5.99 acres) 4
2.43 to 4.04 ha (6 to 9.99 acres)


4.05 ha or greater 5*
*Plus the number of animal/bird units permitted for that portion of the parcel in excess of 4.05 ha (10ac) e.g., 5.26 ha (13 acres) = 5 + 2 = 7 animal/bird units

One animal/bird unit means:

  • 2 horses, donkeys, mules or asses
  • 2 llamas, 3 alpacas or guanaco
  • 1 cow, 1 steer (over 1 year old), or 1 swine
  • 2 calves up to 1 year old
  • 15 chickens
  • 10 ducks, turkeys, pheasants, geese or other similar fowl
  • 3 sheep or goats
  • 20 rabbits or similar rodents
  • 2 ostriches, emus or other ratites

*Information provided by Parkland County –

*Animal Protection Act –$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/acts6029