Dianne's Blog

"My Thoughts & passions to share with you"



Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2020

I'm sending out happy thoughts to the 'Child' in all of us!


My brothers and I always had such fun Halloween times, when Mom would dress her  3 kids up, in very creative costumes & we'd trick or treat down Sunset Lane, in West Vancouver, BC where we grew up.  All of our neighbours greeted us with lots of candy loot - great memories to hold on to. 


Even thought this Covid Halloween is like no other - we can all enjoy the good feelings and eat lots of goodies in our homes!


I'm sorry that the little children are deprived from many of the usual festivities - but I'm sure that parents are providing lots of fun, safely at home where they can still dress up and get lots of treats!


Enjoy everyone - next year will be back to normal again.

Banana Pineapple Muffins

October 22, 2020

Preheat Oven to 400 F (200 C)            Greased or Paper Lined Muffin Tin(s)

Anytime is Muffin time and the great thing is that you can whip them up in no time!  They're also one of the most forgiving treats you can bake.  I thought I'd share with you, a recipe for Banana Pineapple Muffins that are simple to make, yet delicious.


So put on your apron, use up those overripe bananas and give this recipe a try.  Like most muffins, these freeze well so they stay fresh.  I always double the recipe!


1/2  C white sugar

1/2  C softened butter

1/2  C mashed, overripe bananas

1/2  C crushed,  pineapple with juice

1  egg, beaten

1  tsp baking soda

1  tsp baking powder

1 1/2  C all purpose flour

Pinch of salt


1.  In a bowl, cream together the sugar and softened butter.  Add the mashed bananas and pineapple; mix well.  Add the beaten egg (batter will look curdled).  Add baking soda, baking powder, flour and salt; blend well.


2. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin(s) dividing evenly.  Bake in preheated oven (middle rack) for 15 - 20 minutes depending on your oven.  Test with a toothpick or sharp, small knife to make sure the muffins are cooked in the middle but still moist.


Enjoy!  If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me.


Patio Heater Appeal as the Weather Turns Chilly!​

​October 20, 2020

I don't know how you feel, but we seemed short changed with Summer this year.  I love working/eating on the patio with the kitties in their safe playpen. 


I've been thinking lately that I might get a Patio Heater so I can enjoy my patio - year round, as many Restaurants are using to increase and expand their customers during this Covid 19 time, when dining indoors isn't very appealing if one wants to stay healthy!  You can always order 'Take Out' and eat your private patio!


A little research produced  good suggestions on popular Patio Heaters that you, also, might find helpful!  Please click the buttons to motivate you towards extended enjoyment of your Patios as the snow falls!


If you have already purchased a Patio Heater, I'd appreciate hearing your feedback and recommendations via my Contact Page.  Thanks in advance!

PATIO HEATERS

HOME DEPOT PATIO HEATERS

(CANADA)

 Happy Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend!

October 10, 2020

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend!  Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and feel grateful for all of the blessings each of us have in our lives - despite the hurdles that we all inevitably face!


Wow - what a year 2020 has been - Covid challenges all so unexpected - but that's life, right; we never know what's around the bend on our Journeys.  Its hard to grasp how fast this year is evaporating - one day seems to melt into the next - keeping us all wondering what each day will bring.  I believe a positive, but realistic mindset is the best way to navigate.


It's all too easy to allow ourselves to focus on negatives that affect ourselves and our loved ones.  A slight shift in our thoughts and perspectives can be great 'mind medicine' which is connected our both our mental and physical health. The mind/body connection is powerful and can literally change your life and well being. 


I've become very aware of finding happiness in each day and grateful over small things in between the frustrations:  like that first cup of coffee in the morning; seeing my kitties happy being loved/fed and protected and enjoying my Profession interacting with people from all walks of life; always looking forward to open doors and new Clients!  Of course, I'm always delighted and very grateful for big gifts that land in life, too!  


This Thanksgiving I'm feeling contented and very GRATEFUL:  especially for the love of my family (albeit not a family gathering this year due to Covid 19);  for the care and love our Mom gifted her children through life (who I know is close at hand in spirit)  my beloved pets; 'true-blue' friends; all with good health and enjoying life, each in their own ways - SAFELY with masks and consideration of others!  I also feel so fortunate to live in West Vancouver, British Columbia - my Lifetime Hometown.


Filled with all of this happy, positive energy - I'm sending it out to the World - whether it's your Thanksgiving or not!  Enjoy your weekend - rain or shine - because there are better times ahead - soon!


(Please click video for music!)


Indoor Plants Yearning for Light?

September 21, 2020

When I moved to my new home last year, I was delighted but concerned about the lack of sunlight for my Weeping Fig (Ficus) Trees, in particular, as they were used to living in a very bright, ocean front environment!  I love my plants indoors and outside.  Figs are very temperamental and the slightest change can cause them to drop all their leaves.  My concerns were well founded:  My much loved, sizeable, Ficus Trees were dropping leaves and becoming sparse; horrors!  I tried putting a regular light on them and some little leaves had grown but with weak branches etc.


Yesterday, I'd had enough and decided to hang a grow light over them in a dark corner of my living room.  I got a Full Spectrum, Feit LED, blue light fixture that I believe will be their savoir:  very easy to attach to the ceiling (I used the stick on hooks so as not to damage my ceiling); light weight and around $60 Cnd.  It's is a pleasant sunlit effect being blue light vs the rose or purple grow lights that look like you live in Dracula's house!  


After I had tidied up the dead leaves and pruned a bit, I felt so much better, knowing I was giving my trees (one that I'd had for decades!) the necessary care they required.  I have every belief that they will return to their glorious beauty.  Stay tuned! 


UPDATE:  OCTOBER 23/20


I'm delighted to report that my much loved Weeping Figs, are reviving with the Led Grow Light growing fresh green leaves.  After I brought in my Orchids from the patio over the summer, I placed them at the bottom of the Fig trees and now they will benefit from the extra light!

Dream of a Tiny House?  ​​

August 23, 2020


There's just something so appealling about Tiny Houses.  These little homes are packed full of coziness and offer so much for so little cost, in comparison to full sized homes.  


You have all the privacy and comfort of a detached home - just in a well designed structure that also forces you to declutter, which we all can do if we try!  


In Vancouver, BC, there has been a trend towards Coach & Laneway Homes that are very similar; constructed on the same property as a larger home that be either rented out for a mortgage helper; used for Guests or family that wish to live close by, yet have their own privacy. 

 

I recently took a Buyer to see such a property with a darling Coach House  in Horseshoe Bay.  It was used an AirBnB with substantial potential for income - designed with a loft, kitchenette, bedroom/washroom etc.


Here's a few examples of Tiny Homes that will spark your imagination:   The Spruce


If you are interested in viewing this wonderful home with it's oh so lovely Coach House, I'd be delighted to book an appointment for you!   

Call for a Private Appointment

"We Will Meet Again, 'Uncle Allan'​ Fotheringham"

August 19, 2020


It's always heartbreaking when a dear friend journeys on to the next adventure, but I have no doubt that after Allan Fotheringham's wonderfully full, life here, he will be be picking up his pen and overseeing with 'wit and wisdom' like no other journalist of his era, the politics of 'the other side' (smile) - always with that twinkle in his eyes!  I am honoured to say, he is sincerely a close, dear friend of ours. 

 

Beginning as a young girl, I had the great, good fortune beside Mom (we were joined at the hip - mother and daugnter - soulmates) in her political involvements with the BC Socred Party; all due to her growing up close to the Hon. WAC Bennett (Cecil) and his wife, May, who was Mom's CGIT Leader in Kelowna: the heart connection to our years of political involvement in British Columbia; they were like family. Those WERE the 'Good old Days'.


A large part of that history was Dr Foth or to us: 'Uncle Allan' Fotheringham, who became a dear friend that we shared tons of wonderful times together, during political campaigns, conventions which soon morphed into a ton of personal times we all shared together, including many of his close friends: eg Majorie Nichols & Jack Webster. His nickname for us was: 'The Dolly Sisters'!  I was looking forward to calling 'Uncle Allan' on August 31st, his Birthday, as I always did in recent years.  Previously, Mom, my older Brother and I would be having a ball celebrating his Birthday with other friends on Bowen Is - memories to treasure in warm company. 

 

There were many lunches, dinners and personal invites to Allan's many Book Launches holding such lovely memories.


What mattered most to Mom and me, is your true friendship, loyalty and honesty - always empathetic and there in times of trouble and heartache, too.  You are loved like a member of our family - always.

  

Here's to many more great adventures 'Uncle Allan' - we WILL meet again!  I know Mom will warmly welcome you in that great unknown - unseen but a breath away.   

Remembering Allan Fotheringham (Dr Foth)

BOUNTIFUL BLUEBERRIES!​​​  

July 20, 2020

We may not have had a warm start to our summer, here in Vancouver, BC but it sure produced plump, sweet Blueberries.  For a simple treat, I've been enjoying Vanilla Bean Ice Cream topped with these scrumptious berries

Today, I'm going to share Mom's decadently, delish Blueberry Pie with a Gingersnap Pie Crust - topped, of course, with Vanilla Ice Cream! 

 

MOM'S DECANDENT BLUEBERRY PIE


Gingersnap Pie Crust:

2    C of coarse Gingersnap Cooke Crumbs

1/2   C light brown sugar

1/2   C of melted butter

Combine and press into a 9" pie plate. Bake at 350 F (middle oven rack) for 3 or 4 minutes then cool.  Be careful not to overcook or the crust will harden too much.

-------------------------

Blueberry Filling:

2 1/2  Tblsps cornstarch

2      Tblsps cold water

1/2    C granulated white sugar

4     C fresh Blueberries (or frozen Blueberries)*

1       Tblsp Lemon juice

In a medium saucepan, mix cornstarch with water*  Add sugar and 1 1/2 C of Blueberries; bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly.

Boil 1 to 2 minutes, stirring, until very thick and clear.

Remove from the heat; stir in remiaining Blueberries and Lemon juice.  Pour into the pie crust and refridgerate until set.

Serve with Vanilla Ice Cream.

*When using frozen berries, drain off the juice and use this in place of cold water.

Note:  You can double the cornstarch, liquid and sugar and use 6 C of Blueberries.

A PASSION FOR ASIAN DECOR/DESIGN

June 27, 2020

Our Mom, Nan Hartwick, was a great Real Estate Agent with a keen eye for design,  a winning personality and thus a highly successful career meeting her many Clients' wishes for their desired properties.  She used Asian style throughout our welcoming yet stunning decor in our West Vancouver family home.


A few decades ago, Mom happened to find, hidden in a West Van antique shop, a couple of hand carved, Teak Dragon chairs:  A Love Seat & the matching single chair; immediately falling in love with them. and bringing them home, adding to Mom's elegant, eye catching Asian interior decor.  They were so uniquely dramatic!


A few years later, when in Hawaii, we saw almost the exact chair in a store window - apparently having belonged to a Hawaiian King!


In 2000, Mom saw and saved a copy of Metropolitan Home Magazine with our single Asian chair featured on the front cover and in 2003 I spotted the same chair in a fashion magazine I was reading.  These amazing furniture pieces are rare and always appreciated for their workmanship and beauty.

They are now lovingly located in my home - always holding wonderful energy and memories.  



A HOUSE ISN'T RIGHT FOR YOU UNLESS .  .  .  .

June 27, 2020 

​A house isn't right for you, unless it feels safe and comfortable - trusting your instincts is a good start! Does your, or future living space, location and surroundings feel good/comfortable to you?  Are there simple things you can change to increase feelings of safety and happiness so you resonate with your future or present residence/property?  Is it time to move to a new home that IS right for you and your family?


I'm a great believer in surrounding oneself with good energy for good health and living enjoyment.  I use it in my own home.  I'm intuitive by nature and by learning how to do healing Reiki, (please click for description) over 15 yrs ago, it has certainly increased that ability to discern energies.  It's helpful to be able to guide my Clients:  for Sellers to suggest making a few simple changes to their homes prior to listing or my Buyers when considering properties they want to purchase. 


You don't need to be a Feng Shui expert to follow some of the basic ideas.  This article in  The Spruce:  "How to Tell If a Home Has Good Feng Shui" (please click for link) has some great beginner ideas for you to consider in your present or future residence.  I will be posting more content on Feng Shui in the future - stay tuned!


Actually, once you get into testing Feng Shui in your present space, you'll find it fun; then watch how you feel with the changes and direct affect it has in your own life!  Think of it this way:  It can't hurt and it may help with reaching your property wishes and adding the flow of prosperity, happiness, better health and relationship fixes to your life!  Give it a whirl and I look forward to hearing your opinions/results using Feng Shui:   CONTACT DIANNE! 

A HOUSE IS NOT A HOME UNTIL .  .  .  .  .

JUNE 24, 2020


A house isn't a home until there are delicious aromas coming from the kitchen!  Of course, a great kitchen is one of the most key selling or buying features of a HOME.


Our Mom was an fabulous cook, always making sure her kids ate nourishing, tasty meals with delicious home made desserts!  Mom became famous for these treats & very popular with, our friends who gathered at our house. So, every so often I'm going to share Mom's original, delectable recipes so  you, too can enjoy them.  


To begin, today I was yearning for Mom's Lemon Fluff Pudding, so I just baked it!   Best served fresh out of the oven and guaranteed addicting!  Lemon Lovers delight!  


I'd love your comments or questions via my Contact page.


LEMON FLUFF PUDDING (Self Saucing)

Serves 4     

Preheat Oven to 350 F - Bake for Approx. 45 mins



    2 Tblsp of Butter

    1   C Sugar (fine Berry Sugar preferably)

    4  Eggs - yolks & whites, separated

    1  C Milk

    4  Tblsp Flour

    2  large Lemons - juiced 

    Pinch of Salt


    Cream together the butter and sugar.   

    Add the 4 separated egg yolks, milk, flour, lemon juice and salt - mixing well.

    Whip the 4 egg whites till they hold peaks and fold into the mixture.

    Bake in casserole dish placed in a pan of hot water, big enough to remove easily, 

    in a moderate oven (350  F).  

    

    The bottom of the dessert becomes the lemon sauce while the top becomes a fluffy lemon cake!

    Best served freshly baked and warm.  Don't feel ashamed if you have 2 Servings!   ENJOY!


    P.S.  If you need  a 'great kitchen in a beautiful, new home:  call me and I'll find you one!


IT'S A PLEASURE WORKING BESIDE 

THE CO-OWNER OF ANGELL HASMAN & ASSOC RLTY LTD - ALLAN ANGELL

JUNE 9, 2020


Allan Angell, is a delight to work beside!  I am proud to offer my Client's, the combined benefit of his over 40 yrs., highly successful  Real Estate experience (#1 in Canada - 2 times) in addition to my professional skills honed in a Government Executive position & a solid business background working beside my Mom in her private, ski resort company.


The synergy of our personalities, skills & personal strengths, produces excellent results, offering Buyers & Sellers superb professional Real Estate Services.


YOUR Real Estate requirements come first, when we  combine our experience & effective professional abilities for YOUR best interests - we make it all work for YOU, with clear, honest communication and delivering YOUR property requests.


It's not an exaggeration to say that no other REALTOR® understands and has a current of the Market Stats, as Allan does & is a 'Deal Closer' par excellence! We both have substantial base networks from our life experiences.  I'm proficiently creative with marketing on social media and print; designing eye catching advertising. 


We both understand and love Vancouver's Real Estate Properties & all the various assets they offer. Our focus is specializing in West and North Vancouver properties, both for Condos & Detached Homes located in the various community 'pockets' from Waterfront to Mountainside Estates & cozy garden cottages.  

 

I would be pleased to set up a your consultation with Allan and myself, at your convenience.   No question: we are both 'People Persons' with ample humor & PET FRIENDLY!  

 

Please use the Contact Page on my Website, or Call/Text: 604.783.6433 



WATERFRONT: FALL IN LOVE WITH WEST VANCOUVER'S 'JEWEL' ASSET! 

June 9, 2020

I am delighted to introduce Buyers to variety of waterfront properties available!  The ocean surrounding West Vancouver offers incredible boating access to so many wonderful destinations and it's my property PASSION!


In the summertime, when we weren't boating, we enjoyed the waterfront at home.  Growing up across from the oceanfront, not only was our view spectacular, but we loved summer days when Mom would pack a picnic & we'd head down to 'The Rocks' as seen in this video.  Swimming was always fun, especially as the ocean came up over the hot rocks that flowed into the water.  I treasure those memories!  

There are many luxury residences built on the rocks that etch some of the shoreline, or those that enjoy beachfront access and low bank.  Perhaps, you'd like to dock your yacht right at your home . . . . I can show you where you can do that, too!  


My lifetime in West Vancouver, BC offers my Clients, both Sellers & Buyers, the added advantage of a deep understanding of the lifestyle is all about, how where in West Van, suits your needs the best - it's in my 'being'.


REPAIRING SCRATCHES ON HARDWOOD FLOORS

April 30, 2020   


Here's some great advice for taking care of scratches, perhaps from those playful pooches of yours, on hardwood flooring.  The Spruce, is a very helpful resource online, that I subscribe to, for natural cleaning ideas, Decor, Gardening etc.  Their over 45 writers with expertise in contracting, remodeling, cooking, crafts, landscaping etc, is a helpful, creatively practical  'go to' for Homeowners. 

 

If you are renovating and wish to upgrade your flooring but don't wish to do a full floor sanding job, try this easy to follow scratch repair procedure - even if you're a 'beginner'!

EARTH DAY REFLECTIONS

April 22, ​2020


Today, being a gorgeous sunny Spring Earth Day, I knew it was a perfect time to take a walk in my neighborhood, of Upper Caulfeild, West Vancouver armed with my camera.  As I sauntered down the mountainside, being serenaded by birdsong much louder than usual, I reflected on all the astounding beauty. It was quieter than normal, due to the Global Pandemic, but oh so rewarding!  


The flowers were flourishing, as if to give hope:  "There is a fresh beginning post this 'Stay-at-Home' period but enjoy the best out of everyday in the meantime!"  It was a gift to myself, that cost nothing. but re-energized my spirit - sparked my creativity!


All too often, in the midst of our hectic lives, we forget to appreciate the simple 'Gifts' that are right in front of us, if we only became more aware; outside of 'Selves'.

Perhaps a huge positive that has been born out of this challenging, Pandemic, is that we were forced to slow down and reflect on what is REALLY important in LIFE.


Another positive globally is that our environment is showing signs of cleaning up from the thoughtless damage we have done to our EARTH: waters globally are clearing:  e.g. the residents in Venice, Italy, miraculously see the bottom of their Canals, instead of the murky pollution; the air we breathe is clearing; the noise levels have decreased . . . . surely this is a message to mankind to treat Mother Earth more with more conscious kindness - A badly needed WAKE-UP CALL.



PERFECT PROPERTIES for PET LOVERS! 

November 14/19 ​

Having LOVED pups and kitties all my life, I think of them as members of our family, as I'm sure all 'Pet Lovers' do! 


With that in mind, when assisting you to search for your new home, I will always be sensitive to the needs of your Pets, too; whether you are  downsizing to a Condo or purchasing a new, detached home with requiring a protectively, fenced yard!  Both of our Condo listings under 'FEATURED RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES ARE 'PET FRIENDLY.


'Expect the Best' with focused caring about ALL of your family's needs.


ELEMENTARY SCHOOL RATINGS FOR PROSPECTIVE HOME BUYERS

November 18, 2019​


When showing Properties to families with young children, I often get asked which school catchment applies to the area they are interested in?  It's a key factor to know how the Elementary Schools are rated and their locations.


Growing up in Beautiful West Bay, West Vancouver, BC, we attended West Bay Elementary School - one of the top rated schools in British Columbia (pictured to the left).  The woods I used to pay house in and the play field are still the same - comforting!


There are beautiful residential homes in the West Bay/Westmount  community, including the listing shown under the sub heading: 'Spectacular Detached Homes'. 


I have two prospective Listings coming up very close to West Bay Elementary.  If you would like to have a tour of homes in this area, I'd be very pleased to show you one of my favourite communities!

Please click on Button below for the ratings of British Columbia Elementary and Secondary Schools

SCHOOL RATINGS

IN BRITISH COLUMBIA