Fat off the Land: a Blog About Calgary Real Estate, Parenting, and Food

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Rentals: The Good, the Bad, and the Indifferent

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 at 5:47pm. 332 Views, 0 Comments.

Calgary home for rentAs property values in Calgary increase, so too does the need for having mortgage helpers. The main mortgage helper that springs to mind in Calgary is a secondary suite, usually a basement suite. As you may have read in our blog, we've renovated our basement to provide extra room for the kids, and also as a selling feature in the future. However, many homes have suites already built in, or at least the necessary plumbing and electrical has already been roughed in, to make it easier to renovate. When all that work is done, you'll probably want to recoup your funds by renting it out, which opens up a whole kettle of fish. If you're thinking about getting a renter, here are some pros and cons:

Pro: It's relatively easy once you get going. The legalities

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Making Amazing Meals from Stuff You Buy at Costco: Smoked Cheddar Sandwich

Friday, February 15th, 2013 at 11:51am. 491 Views, 0 Comments.

Today I’m going to share a recipe with you that will pretty much make you drop to your knees, either from pleasure or a coronary or both! I love Costco. There’s just no two ways about it. I could write pages about why I love Costco, but chances are, if you are reading this and you have a pulse, you love Costco too, so I won’t spend my blog in redundancy. 

Being that I love Costco so much, I like to find some amazing treasures there, and make something superb. Costco offers high-end products for a cheaper price. Ever wanted to try truffle oil? Costco has it. Etc etc. So my amazing find at Costco today was double-smoked Cheddar. In the Deerfoot Meadows Costco, it’s all the way at the back, on the left-hand side, across from the coffee and juice aisle. I

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Happy Valentine's Day!!

Thursday, February 14th, 2013 at 3:14pm. 651 Views, 0 Comments.

My sincerest apologies to all of you who hate Valentines so much. I LOVE Valentines, maybe because I have a hubby who is thoughtful, romantic, and just generally wonderful. This video is what he made me to mark the day, and it had me in tears. So I love you too, Clint. You make me feel more like who I am every day. Thank you for loving me so well. ♥

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The Village of Prestwick: An Architectural Primer

Monday, February 11th, 2013 at 1:03pm. 340 Views, 0 Comments.

Continuing on in the McKenzie Towne vein (see my previous post in this series here), I'd like to talk a bit about the Village of Prestwick. Now, don't get Prestwick confused with Eastwick- there are no witches here! Au contraire, this McKenzie Towne community (just like the other two) boasts a decidedly inviting atmosphere. People who live here are neighbourly and expect their fellow Prestwickians to follow suit. How could they be unhappy, living in the lovely homes they own? That question brings me to what I want to touch on in this post about Prestwick: architectural style. If you take a look at the McKenzie Towne brochure, you'll see that the house exteriors in Prestwick were styled according to four architectural traditions: Georgian, Craftsman, Queen

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Thursday, February 7th, 2013 at 12:05pm. 474 Views, 0 Comments.

Today, I’m going to share the most amazing recipes with you. It will become your friend and your back-up as it has become mine. It has only FOUR ingredients, and even the frazzled, half-crazy moms of this city can pull it off and look like a genius in less than 2 minutes of prep time. It is real authentic Italian cooking and I think you’ll be impressed with the dimension of flavour with so few ingredients, as I have been. I like to use this recipe in the following situations:


1)      I’ve lost track of reality while cruising Facebook vigorously cleaning my house and taking my children on multiple trips to the library and the dinner hour has crept up out of nowhere.

2)      Fresh groceries are nowhere to be found and company is coming for

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Elgin and Inverness: McKenzie Towne's Book-ends

Monday, February 4th, 2013 at 9:11am. 368 Views, 0 Comments.

This is the third part in the newly-named "Here's Why SE Calgary Rocks!" series. My first and second installments talked about McKenzie Towne. Now I want to get down to the nitty gritty: the smaller parts of McKenzie Towne, specifically Elgin and Inverness.

First, some McKenzie Towne 101: there are four main "villages" in this lovely development: Elgin, Inverness, and Prestwick. There is also a High Street area, which was designed to cater to residents' commercial needs. The residential communities each centre around their own park, a layout which makes for plenty of community interaction and recreational opportunities. McKenzie Towne is popular because of the variety of architectural styles here. The developers have really tried hard to avoid the

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“My Daughter was Almost Taken Yesterday…”

Friday, February 1st, 2013 at 10:37am. 622 Views, 0 Comments.

Here in Auburn Bay we have a Facebook Page called the Auburn Bay Blockwatch. I liked the page a while ago, and I’ve gotten a lot of valuable information from it. Last week, a resident in Auburn Bay posted a warning to the community that started with the titular line of this blog: “My daughter was almost taken yesterday.” She noted in her post that after her daughter got off the bus, a woman grabbed her child’s hand and just started walking away, essentially dragging this young girl with her. Eventually the little girl was able to break free and run home, but the situation was still terrifying to say the least.

The response from the community was overwhelming on the Facebook page. It started out with concerned moms in Auburn Bay, offering words of

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South Calgary Health Campus: Opening in Phases

Thursday, January 31st, 2013 at 6:38am. 618 Views, 0 Comments.

The long-awaited hospital has finally begun to open its doors, but it is not yet a fully functioning hospital. Many programs and services including the wellness centre (which includes a YMCA and resource centre), family clinic, Bone and Joint Cast Clinic and many other clinics, are up and running and serving Calgarians!

South Health Campus: Emergency Department Now Open

On January 14th, 2013 South Health Campus celebrated another major milestone with the opening if the emergency department and other clinics.

The emergency department has 30 treatment spaces and is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Pediatrics emergency department staff will also be on site from 10am-10pm, seven days a week.

In the short term, after patients receive care and

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Channeling Ryan Gosling for Valentines Day

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013 at 1:42pm. 6260 Views, 2 Comments.

Today I am writing a special piece for the men out there who want to hit a home run for Valentine's day this year. I have decided to write it from the perspective of Ryan Gosling to help the guys out there truly channel some hot Notebook -style lovin’. Let it be noted that Valentine’s day is in two weeks, and right about now is the appropriate time to be thinking about what you plan to do on that special day.

And now, here's Ryan:


"Hey, Girl. How about you let me take you down to Cattle Baron in Sundance, and I'll regale you with my knowledge of red wine."


"Hey, Girl. How about I find us a sitter and we'll go see Twilight at Chinook Centre?"


"Hey, Girl. How about you let me clean the house to prep for your Norwex party?"



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How to Flip a House in Calgary: Scheduling Your Flip

Thursday, January 24th, 2013 at 1:14pm. 618 Views, 0 Comments.

flipthishouse_120When you’re doing a flip where you do not live in the property while you renovate, you’re always working against a clock. Every day that you hold the property costs money and eats into your profits. For that reason, it is of vital importance that you create a schedule and follow it closely. Of course we can all make a schedule based on hopes and dreams. It would be nice to have cabinets all in and installed in one day, but realistically, that is very unlikely to be the case. Check with trades, and professionals along the way before you start your flip to make sure your estimates on time are reasonable. I usually tell people to go ahead and add 5% to their best estimate of how long they think it will take from possession to resale, just to make sure they

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