The Riz Team Blog

Archive for May, 2012

Backyard Weddings

Monday, May 28th, 2012

More and more often, couples are turning to backyard weddings as a romantic and intimate way to tie the knot, but it’s the type of in-house celebration that takes some foresight. When it comes to budget, the cost of a backyard wedding can be a shocker. The total tally can be as much or more than the average wedding, which nowadays hovers around $25,000+. Whatever your budget, the idea is to host a soiree you and your guests will enjoy. So before you exchange those vows near your childhood swing set, read the following tips.


Home Improvement

The first thing to consider is whether your home is suited for the wedding, says wedding planner Donna Stasko of R.S.V.P. Party Planners, based in Mississauga, Ontario. That means you must determine early on how many people you’ll invite, as well as suss out the layout of your home and garden. Is your backyard level or is sloping? Is your backyard big enough to comfortably seat your guests for dinner, or will you have to adjust your plans to a cocktail affair? “You’ve got to know your numbers. That will dictate what we can and cannot do,” says Stasko.


Cost Conscious

It’s the golden rule: “Anything can be done if you want to pay the money,” says Stasko. Decide what fits best within your budget, and in your home. Will it be a full dinner or finger foods affair? A casual or a fancy barbeque? Luncheons or afternoon tea parties are popular too, and will certainly bring the price down. You’ll save on liquor and venue prices, but if you envision an elegant, fairy tale wedding it could be very pricey. “It can turn out to be just as much as a banquet facility,” says Stasko. Tents are a must for any outdoor affair, she adds. If you have to cut costs, keep the tent, and cut elsewhere.


Parking Problems

Don’t make your guests walk miles to get to the ceremony. Consider parking issues. Depending on the number of guests, scout your neighbourhood to determine whether there are enough parking spots outside, or near the house. “It depends on the area,” says Stasko. “If it’s normal residential then people can park on the street. We can set up a valet service.” If parking becomes an issue talk to your neighbours and find out if you can negotiate using their spots. The same applies for noise, says Stasko. Advise neighbours of your party plans.


Floral Fun

Depending on when you plan to have your backyard wedding, consider what flowers will be blooming in your garden at the time, if any. Flowers are always a beautiful way to embellish the day of, but with a garden at your disposal the possibilities are endless. “I’ve done it a lot of different ways,” Stasko says of co-ordinating floral arrangements. “A lot of people have baskets on each table with different and brilliant colours.” Not everyone wants the décor to be rustic, though. You might consider simple glass vases with classic flowers such as roses and lilacs. “We can colour scheme anything to the garden,” says Stasko.


Let Caterers Cater to You

Depending on the type of party you’re hosting, plan your menu well in advance. Not just what your guests will be eating, but exactly how the food will be cooked, delivered and stored. If you choose to have a caterer, make sure it’s a reputable one. “A good caterer should always do the rentals because they know what they need,” says Stasko. “And they have their own staff!”


Sinking Heels?

Backyard carpets are available but most couples don’t rent them, says Stasko. “They say guests know it’s an outside wedding, so they won’t wear stiletto heels,” she says. However, a lot of couples go for the dance floors, which are easily accessible. It might be a good idea to remind the style mavens on your wedding guest list that it’s a backyard party! But if it’s really swanky then seriously consider renting carpets.

Control4 Home Automation System Demo of Smart Home Technology

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

It’s technology that links and controls the electronics and systems in your home – through one easy-to-use interface. At Digital Smart Homes, we believe that life’s better when everything works together. Smart Homes start with a few basic categories: One Touch Home Theatre, Multi-room Music & Video, Smart Lighting & Shades, Advanced Temperature Control, Safety and Security.


Control4 offers a complete line of home-automation products that makes sophisticated home-control solutions practical and affordable for every home. With Control4, everything works better because it works together – home theater, multi-room music, lighting, temperature, safety and security systems – are all controlled by a single platform.

We can install full-featured, practical, and reliable home-automation systems that are easy to use and at a price that fits into your budget. Our scalable designs also mean that it’s not an all-or-nothing choice—you can start with a basic system and upgrade over time with solutions that fit your evolving lifestyle.

Imagine Having a Single Remote That Will:
  • Control your home theater
  • Dim the lights as the opening credits roll
  • Turn off all your TVs when your kids should be doing homework
  • Alert you that the garage door is open…and then close it
  • Manage your lights, window coverings, and thermostats
  • Monitor your locks, lighting, and security cameras
  • Allow you to play music in any room of the house
Control4 simplifies the control of audio, video, and home-theater components, eliminating the need for multiple remotes.
Control lighting using timers, motion sensors, and dimmers to create interior ambiance, enhance security, and reduce energy costs.
Enjoy digital music collections – like XM or Sirius, Rhapsody or your personal iPod library – from anywhere in your home.
With Control4, help conserve energy and ensure comfort with pre-programmed temperature controls.
Do more with Control4…
Integrate a wide range of products including door locks, window shades, pool controllers, appliance monitors and much more. If you can imagine a way that home-control would make your life easier, we can probably make it happen!

Bored with your Headboard? Awaken Your Imagination

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

Bored with your  Headboard? Awaken Your Imagination   

The  bed is the centerpiece of almost every bedroom.  It takes up the most  room, it’s where your eye is naturally drawn to, and it’s the place where you  spend a third of your day.  Yet despite all the attention on beds,  headboards are often humdrum, predictable pieces of furniture.  So why not  add some style and personality to your headboard?  All you need is a  little imagination.  Here are a few ideas  to get you thinking:

Fabulous  Fabric
Fabric is a great way to add intrigue to the focal point of your  bedroom.  Instead of a standard headboard, consider hanging a family quilt  on a curtain rod for a quaint, farmhouse effect. Even a striking curtain can  extend the eye upwards and bring your bedroom style to new heights.  Or add  some panache with a few decorative hooks.

Right Frame of Mind
A  framed piece of appealing art can add vertical interest above any bed.   Consider a series of framed photographs to help personalize your bedroom,  and emphasize them with subtle wall lighting.  Go for glamour with a  framed antique mirror that can also help create the impression of extra space.

Shabby Chic
If  you’re going for a look that mixes urban trend with a traditional tone, think  shabby chic. Old doors, window shutters, mantle pieces, and uneven planks of  wood can all be repurposed into vintage-looking headboards.  Either  refinish wood with its natural colour or use light blues, browns, or whites to  create a dreamy combination of rustic and elegance.

Artsy, Optical Illusion
Want  to really think outside the box-spring? Why not create a new headboard right on  the wall?  Great for kids rooms, guest rooms, or just to save space,  simply paint a faux headboard on the wall in a colour that stands out.   Get even more creative with chalk paint and draw yourself a new headboard  whenever you wish!

With  the right mix of imaginative colour, design, and style, you’ll have the bedroom  of your dreams!

Local Events Happening in the Area

Friday, May 25th, 2012

New Hamburg Mennonite Relief Sale

May 26, 2012– 12:00 AM
Fun for the whole family. Enjoy one of Canada’s largest handmade quilt auctions, scrumptious food of Mennonite traditions: fleisch piroschki, verenki, rollkuchen, teaballs, apple fritters, pupusas, spring rolls, pork-on-a-bun, homemade ice-cream, fruit pies. Enjoy our famous strawberry pie. Purchase heritage plants and shrubs. Build a Toonie Tower! Children enjoy the inflatable equipment, mini auction and entertainment. Wheelchair accessible.   All merchandise and services are donated. Over 2000 volunteers donate time, expertise and resources.  All proceeds go to Mennonite Central Committee for world relief. A dollar spent is a dollar sent! Nearly $15 million has been raised since 1967. Admission and parking free.  Buses welcome.   519-745-8458

Event Details:

Fairgrounds, 251 Jacob Street, New Hamburg, ON

Telephone: (519) 745-8458

Waterloo Air Show 2012

June 2, 2012      to June 3, 2012– 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Bring the family out to one of the Region’s best summer events where aviation is showcased both in the air and on the ground. Highlighting the weekend will be a spectacular air show featuring the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, the Canadian Forces CF-18 Demonstration Team, the Canadian Forces SkyHawks Parachute Team (Sat only), aerobatics, historical aircraft and more. On the ground will be additional aircrafts to explore, displays, vendors, activities, performer autographs, food and much more. Bring your chairs and cameras out to the Region of Waterloo International Airport and let your wings soar!

Event Details:

Region of Waterloo International Airport

Telephone: (519)-465-0317

New home for the ‘Bachelorette’ Now On Sale

Thursday, May 24th, 2012


16424 Marvin Rd, Charlotte North Carolina
For sale: $5,899,900

For the first time in “The Bachelor/Bachelorette’s” lengthy span on ABC (since 2002), the popular reality show did not debut at the Spanish-style estate “Villa de la Vina” located in the Santa Monica Mountains of Southern California, but rather in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Why the change in venue? Charlotte is the hometown of new Bachelorette, Emily Maynard.

Since Maynard is a single mom and she didn’t want to take her daughter out of school, the producers were challenged with finding a home in Charlotte that needs to look good on TV and can hold up to the strain of housing a minimum of 25 eligible bachelors.

This season’s Bachelorette home is a $5.89 million dollar estate. Not only is it private, set on five acres, but it has all the trimmings for creating romantic reality show moments.

And, as listing agent Nick Peters of Peters and Associates points out, it has a ballroom.

“There are beautiful houses all over,” Peters said, “but this one has an official grand ballroom with a 20-foot-high fireplace made of solid marble. The room also has gold-glazed mahogany trim, silk window treatments and gorgeous lighting.”

An ideal place, if you watch the show, to host the dramatic rose ceremony in which The Bachelorette eliminates potential suitors.

The Bachelorette home is a European-style mansion with stucco and stone exteriors. Boasting 12,000 square feet of living space, the 6-bedroom, 8.5-bath home has plenty of room for filming the show. The home features high-end finishes, and specifically a two-inch thick marble floor that runs from the home’s entrance down its main hallway.

Although the home’s interiors are spectacular, most of the first episode of the show focused on the grounds of the property — from a lawn enough to land a helicopter, to a slate courtyard with benches, intimate gardens, fountain and fire pit. The home also includes a saltwater pool with mosaic-tiled waterfall.

Before ABC snatched the home for filming purposes, the property was listed for $3.9 million. The house was off the market while ABC filmed, but was recently relisted for a higher price.

The higher price can be explained in the publicity that the house will receive over the course of The Bachelorette show.

And it’s not necessarily just the exposure, says Peters.

“You can’t really showcase a house with photos. I’ll bring in a professional photographer, but the way that it shows on TV… it’s breathtaking,” he said. “You can’t get that from a photo shoot.”

Built in 2006, the house has been on the market since mid-2008, first priced at $7.89 million. The home has had several price cuts, but with its new celebrity real estate status, the homeowners may have better luck selling.

According to Zillow’s mortgage calculator, a monthly payment on the Bachelorette home would be $21,424, assuming a 20 percent down payment on a 30-year-mortgage.


Look familiar? This mansion was the setting for this season of “The Bachelorette.”

The World Partnership Walk 2012 – Sponsor My Son Liam Jadavji

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

To all my fellow friends, collegues and business partners.  I know that there seems to be many charities out there which you may already be apart of and kindly accept my apologies for this email solicitation.
Today, I am personally appealing to you with this email for your generosity to donate funds to help in the fight against Global Poverty.
My 8 year old son Liam has just registered as a Local Ambassador to raise funds at the World Partnership Walk, which was created back in 1985,
this year marking the 28th year of this annual event which has been taking place right here within Kitchener Waterloo and across the Nation in 10 Major Cities within Canada.
In 2011 the Walk raised over $6.8 Million dollars and since 1985 has raised over $70 Million Dollars.  100% of funds raised are used by Aga Khan Foundation Canada to help
alleviate poverty and build sustainable solutions in the poorest regions of the world. not one cent is spent on administration.  The World Partnership Walk is Canada’s largest
annual event dedicated to raising funds and increasing awareness to fight global poverty. The money raised will support Aga Khan Foundation Canada’s programs to end global poverty in the developing world.
These funds support meaningful projects identified and implemented by local communities – projects that revitalize rural economies, ensure clean water and sanitation, strengthen community-based organizations and educate new generations of girls and boys, women and men.
Since Liam was born we have been taking him to the Walk each year, it was just recently that he came to me and said, “Dad, this is something I have been wanting to do and I think I can truly make a difference in helping other people who don’t have the essentials of life that we have here”  It is so wonderful that at a young age our children want to make a huge difference in this World.
I sincerely request you to review the following link and see how many people have been making a difference to fight Global Poverty and I ask that you consider a sponsorship of any kind by clicking on the “sponsor me” link below which will take you through the steps to donate online.  All Donations are Tax Deductable and Charitable Receipts will be issued directly to you through the World Partnership Walk Organization for Donations over $20.00.
A message from Liam:
Thank you for considering to sponsor me in this year’s World Partnership Walk.

Hello friends.  This is Liam Jadavji.

Thank you for visiting my Personal Page for this annual event.   Since its start almost 30 years ago, the Walk has raised over $70 million for international development programs and initiatives, making it the largest and most successful event of its kind in Canada! In 2011, we raised almost $7 million and drew almost 40,000 people to our Walks across 10 cities across the country..

I amm taking steps in this year?s World Partnership Walk; Canada?s largest annual event dedicated to raising  awareness to end global poverty.

The money I raise will support Aga Khan Foundation Canada, an international development agency and registered Canadian charity that supports social and economic development programs in Asia and Africa, literacy classes for women in Afghanistan, better-quality education for girls and boys in East Africa and employment opportunities in Pakistan and Mozambique?these are just a few of the reasons I?m Walking this year!

Please make a donation and support my fundraising efforts!  Thank you to all my friends and family in supporting me for this endeavour.  Your friend Liam J.

Join me and thousands of others for the Kitchener Waterloo Partnership Walk this year:

Date: Sunday, June 10, 2012

Location: Waterloo Public Square

You can click on the link below to visit my personal page and see how close I am to achieving my fundraising goal.  You can also follow links from that page to learn more about the event, and find out how you can get involved as a volunteer or a participant.

Thanks again for your donation. Together we are taking steps to end global poverty.

Liam Jadavji

Once again, I sincerely request you to take this opportunity in sponsoring for a worthwhile cause by clicking on the sponsor tab below and would like to invite you and your families to this year’s walk which will be taking place on Sunday June 10th, 2012 starting at the Waterloo Public Square at 10:00am.  Walk with us in Kitchener-Waterloo and take a significant and positive step towards ending global poverty in the developing world.

Tips for Renovating Your Basement

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Tips for Renovating Your Basement

Want to add more space to your home without  building up or out?  Look no further than  your basement.  According to the  Appraisal Institute of Canada, renovating a basement can give you a 50-75%  return on your investment when it comes to selling your home. Here’s how to get  it done right:

Start with a plan
What type of space does your family require?  Is it an extra living space for your teenager,  a playroom for the little one, or perhaps an entertainment area for all to enjoy?  Once you decide on how you want to utilize  the space, you can layout your design.  If  budget allows, an architect or interior designer could assist you with the  layout design and make valuable suggestions.

Do it  yourself or hire a professional
Depending on your skill set, budget, and time, you  may want to enlist the services of a contractor who has the expertise required  to finish a basement.  If you do it yourself and don’t have the required time or  skill to do the job correctly, you may find yourself looking at a repair bill  far exceeding the amount you originally thought the project would cost.  Make an informed decision.  Be sure to carefully weigh all  factors when deciding which option is right for you, while considering costs, material,  labour, and equipment requirements.

Framing basement walls and ceilings is one of the  most important aspects of any basement renovation. Two popular wall framing options are wood or steel studs. Wood is the classic  choice.  It is versatile, easy to work  with, and cost-effective.  Whereas steel,  although more costly, adds a level of strength, rot resistance and won’t warp  and crack like wood might over time.  Two  popular ceiling framing options are dropped ceiling tiles or drywall. Dropped  ceiling tiles provide easy access to pipes and wires which can be a saviour if a  tub or toilet on the main level floor springs a leak.  Alternatively, dry wall ceilings offer a  smooth finish and require less vertical space – a great option if your basement  ceiling height is already low.

There are  plenty of basement flooring choices to choose from including laminate,  linoleum, vinyl, wood and ceramic tiles.   Be sure to match your flooring choice with the intended use of the space  and your geographic location.  For  example, a game room may require more durable flooring than an office.  Do you live in an area with a tendency for  flooding or is your location dry?  Carpet  with high density under pad will offer cushion and moisture protection from the  typical condensation found in basements.  Engineered hardwood made for below grade  installation will flex and handle moisture better than traditional hardwood. Ceramic  tile is great for bathrooms and laundry rooms and is easy to install on  concrete.

Add a bathroom
Installing a bathroom in the basement is a great  way to add value to your home.  Determine  if you require a full bathroom or if a powder room will suffice.  Powder rooms are relatively simple to  install, easy to keep clean, and won’t take up too much room.  Full three or four piece bathrooms can provide  a comfortable, private, and even luxurious, space for overnight visitors to  enjoy. With either option, time and costs can be reduced if bathroom fixtures  are located near existing plumbing and are arranged in a line on one wall.  Be sure to check local codes for plumbing and  electrical aspects of your project.

Add storage
No matter what kind of plan you come up with for  your basement, remember to factor in plenty of closet or storage space.  This will enable you to de-clutter the rest  of your home to keep it tidy and inviting.   Further, if you ever decide to move, having this extra storage space  should appeal to just about any prospective buyer.

A  finished basement can not only increase your home enjoyment but it can also add  valuable square footage.  From everyday  living to financial value, finished basements provide many benefits to you as a  homeowner.

Welcome to my new Blog!!! Don’t put it on HOLD…Call Riz to get it SOLD!!!

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Welcome to my new Blog… I will be posting things that matter the most to all of us.  Check back often enough and subscribe for many great articles and information yet to come

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