Our Recommendations

 

Life is stressful…and I always carry my stress in my shoulders and neck. I’m pretty sure my massage therapist wonders what on earth I’ve done to my body this time when I finally get in to see her. Alanna Clark RMT at Village Massage is my favourite person in the world when everything hurts. I’m not sure how someone can be gentle and intense at the same time, but she sure knows how to get the job done. Not to mention there are times when it just feels good to have a massage for no good reason at all…just to pamper myself. Plus she is genuinely a really kind person and a pleasure to spend time with. Alanna’s number at Village Massage is 519 383 1119 if you need someone to look after those aches and pains-)…or just to treat yourself.

Boy, you don’t know you need a chiropractor until you really, really need a chiropractor. Dr. John Vargo and Dr. Jeff Hodgins at the Sarnia Chiropractic and Performance Centre is where my husband and I head when we need help. Last spring my husband hurt his back…got out of bed, turned to pick up his laptop and something snapped. He says he has never been in so much pain ever… in his whole life. I called the clinic and they got us in within 2 hours, then spent time treating and planning a course of action to help. His recovery took months (Garry wasn’t able to sleep in a bed for nearly 5 months) and I’m not sure what we would have done without Dr. Hodgins support. He not only provided top notch treatment, but also interpreted MRI results and followed up regularly to see how Garry was doing between appointments. The neurologist we saw in Windsor says Garry will probably always have to be careful with his back from here on, but knowing that we have Drs. Hodgins and Vargo to call on if he needs help again means a lot.

 
 

One of my favourite foods is pizza…but not just any old pizza. Pizza can be tough, soggy, and too greasy when not done well. But now I’ve found my ‘pizza home’….I love the pizza at Christo’s Pizza on the corner of Capel and Exmouth. Thin crust is the best (and easiest to justify calorie-wise), nice and crispy. At lunch time, they have a quick slice ready to go quickly if you are in a hurry. They also have a full menu of freshly made “build your own” hamburgers and specialty fries…I haven’t tried these. I’m too afraid I will really love them…and that will be the end of staying in control of the weight battle for me! They also have Mike’s Pizza in the Eastland Plaza and the newest Christo’s at 2600 Lakeshore Rd in Bright’s Grove. If you really love good pizza, you might want to stop by and give them a try…I would love to know what you think.

A well-loved place for exceptional coffee and specialty drinks, great sandwiches and yummy dessert…Coffee Lodge is a favourite of mine to meet with friends and clients. Whether a comfy chair by the fire, or around a table… the Coffee Lodge is the place to go for good food and ambiance (and I’m pretty sure there’s free Wi-Fi). I love their summer strawberry salad! As a coffee café, they often have coffee house entertainment…check out their website http://www.coffeelodge.ca for dates and times. They don’t seem to mind when people stay for hours working on their computers or hanging out with friends…

 
 

Spring is here, and I’ve been poring over decorating magazines all winter. It’s time for a change somewhere in my house…just not sure where yet. As a Realtor, I’m conscious of keeping my home nice. I see so many homes stuck in the 1960’s, 1970’s…even the 80’s or ‘90’s. When it’s time to sell, how your home looks makes a huge difference in the selling price and how long it takes to sell. And even if you are staying put, you especially want it nice for yourself! It’s easy to feel overwhelmed at the paint store…where do we start? That’s when it is time to call Darcie Janzen, Interior Designer. Darcie and her young family moved back to Sarnia after several years away… and opened her own business as a fully qualified interior designer. Her prices are reasonable, especially when you consider how annoying (and expensive) it is to repaint a room because you hate the first colour you picked out. I speak from personal experience, believe me. If you talk to me, I can give you a certificate for a one hour consultation for $50 (the price of that wasted gallon of paint-). Give Darcie a call at 226 402 3228!

Most people don’t think of lawyers until they need one and then don’t know where to turn. I’ve have been blessed beyond words to have Francis DeSena as my own lawyer for many years. Francis handled a real estate transaction for us many years ago, went on to do wills and power of attorney documents for ourselves and our kids. If you are my client, you’ve heard me recommend Francis if you don’t already have a lawyer. As a Realtor, Francis is my ‘go to’ person for anything regarding real estate and legal questions in general. It’s lovely when a real estate deal is straight forward, but quite often it’s not…and that’s when it’s vital knowing your lawyer provides patient and meticulous attention to detail. If other expertise is needed, Francis can refer to someone he trusts to look after the situation well. His staff is amazing too…always willing to help in any way they can. As well, he has Martin Riley who will be fully fledged lawyer in July 2015…he has been on staff since 1997. Even if you aren’t planning a move, it’s a good idea to review your will and power of attorney documents every few years…life brings changes, and these documents are too important to ignore.

 
 

It’s not summer without a trip to Ice Cream Galore on St. Clair St. in Point Edward…in fact, that’s the first place my kids and grandkids want to go when they are home. Home of the best waffle cones ever…I kid you not (no one makes them as good as Ice Cream Galore)…yummy frozen yogurt with fruit added…and generous servings too! It’s worth the occasional line ups. Love sitting on the benches outside watching people go by. My personal favourite is Chocolate Peanut Butter. What’s your favourite?

The La Vie en Rose (guys if you have to ask what this is, you haven’t been buying nearly enough lingerie for your sweetheart) in the mall is great, but if you really want to be impressed stop in at the La Vie en Rose Outlet store in London. Located in the Hyde Park/Fanshawe Park Rd mall this place is a total haven for lingerie and swim suit lovers. Buying a bra or swimsuit is usually a real chore…all those 3 way mirrors show cellulite and every bulge, but I always walk out feeling like I’ve scored. All my favourite swim suits have come from this store and I don’t think I’ve paid more than $30 for any one of them. The staff is terrific…quick to help with advice and fitting. Honest opinions abound. They also have a rack with panties often 7 pair for $20…some of their best underwear that is end run or last season. You can’t beat that price. So even though I don’t need a new bathing suit (honestly, I have about 6), I plan to stop in the next time I’m in London just to see if there is a swimsuit that needs a new home!

 
 

Have you visited our local Lambton County Library lately? As a devoted ‘book worm’, I am a familiar face at the downtown branch across from the Post Office on Christina St. Everything from history to good fiction is on my favourites list, but did you know they have movies, magazines…and reading clubs ranging from the Adult Mystery Novel Club to a Science Fiction Club. If you need to research material, the staff is quick to lend a hand and give advice. The children’s section is extensive and has a great play area that includes educational toys. They also host story hour for little ones.

How do you choose a mortgage provider? Is it based on good service and advice…or purely by the best rate? If you want all of the above, I send my clients to Linda Belan at BMO. Linda has over 25 years of award winning experience as a mortgage professional and understands the ‘ins and outs’ of the mortgage world. I know I can trust her to work in the best interests of anyone I send to her. She has the most competitive interest rates at her finger tips…after all, BMO is usually first in line when rates go down. I personally know Linda and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her to those looking to buy a new home. Linda’s number is 519 384 9237. One of the first topics I tackle with my buyer clients is finances. I recommend starting the process of finding your mortgage provider as soon as you begin browsing through listings and going to open houses. Why do I see it as such an immediate need? Because as soon as you find the home that makes your heart skip a beat you want to be able to put an offer in knowing your finances will go through smoothly and quickly. I have a list of financial references that I give my clients and one of my favourite people to work with is Linda Belan at Bank of Montreal in Sarnia. With over 25 years of award winning experience, she’s a mortgage professional I fully trust to look out for the best interest of her clients and to find the best rates available to them. So if you’re thinking of buying a home in the near future give her a call and get the home-buying ball rolling!

 
 

If you have a child (or know a child) with Amblyopia, or lazy eye, you know how hard it is to get the child to wear an eye patch that’s needed to correct the problem. Lisa Smith is a long-time client…who has become a long-time and valued friend. She has a daughter who was diagnosed with Amblyopia at age 4. Eye patches were prescribed, but not embraced by Madie, to say the least. Eye patches are ugly and uncomfortable…and most kids will fight not to wear them. Lisa saw the need for something new, and has built a company called “Eye-Lids”. These are specially designed eye patches for children in funky, cool fabrics that kids love to wear. The patches fit under the child’s glasses, and accomplish what an eye patch would…but with fun. Fabrics vary from princesses to super heroes, and more. Prices are reasonable, and products can be purchased directly from Lisa, or through various optometrists who carry them. As Lisa’s business has grown, she ships her products all over Canada, the US and overseas. Instead of being teased for wearing something different, kids who wear Lisa’s product are envied! If you need to talk to Lisa, give her a call at 519 383 9203.

Who knew? When we were kids, no one knew the dangers of overexposure to the sun, like we do now. So it should come as no surprise when we discover we have sun damage in a big way. Having “keratosis” (big fancy word for sun damage!) removed in years past meant a painful messy treatment that left a scar.
Not any longer….Dr. Lenka Kucerova and her staff at Med Aesthetics are skilled at removing sun damage, fine lines and wrinkles, and those other nasty signs of aging with their BBL Laser. And for those of us who need a little more help (and who doesn’t from time to time?), they also offer Juvederm for lips and lines; skin rejuvenation, permanent laser hair removal, management of acne and other skin problems; treatment for spider and varicose veins, and a full line of personalized skin care. They offer Botox treatments for lines and wrinkles, and also for excessive sweating and migraines.
Dr. Kucerova is a fully qualified medical doctor with well over 20 years’ experience and additional training and certification in cosmetic procedures. Her choice of laser equipment and product was very carefully researched and selected for their effectiveness, quality and ability to deliver an excellent result.
Now a girl has to have some secrets, so I’m not going to tell you what treatments I’ve had, but when I need a lift (no pun intended), I head to Med Aesthetics and ask Dr. Kucerova to make me look young again. I love the comfort and privacy; and the wonderful customer service approach Lenka, Don and the rest of the staff provide their clients.
Give them a call at 519 337-6200.

 
 

If you have a child (or know a child) with Amblyopia, or lazy eye, you know how hard it is to get the child to wear an eye patch that’s needed to correct the problem. Lisa Smith is a long-time client…who has become a long-time and valued friend. She has a daughter who was diagnosed with Amblyopia at age 4. Eye patches were prescribed, but not embraced by Madie, to say the least. Eye patches are ugly and uncomfortable…and most kids will fight not to wear them. Lisa saw the need for something new, and has built a company called “Eye-Lids”. These are specially designed eye patches for children in funky, cool fabrics that kids love to wear. The patches fit under the child’s glasses, and accomplish what an eye patch would…but with fun. Fabrics vary from princesses to super heroes, and more. Prices are reasonable, and products can be purchased directly from Lisa, or through various optometrists who carry them. As Lisa’s business has grown, she ships her products all over Canada, the US and overseas. Instead of being teased for wearing something different, kids who wear Lisa’s product are envied! If you need to talk to Lisa, give her a call at 519 383 9203.

We got a new car! A Mercedes at that…one that can drive itself, has heated everything and more safety features than we could have imagined. We spent a year researching vehicles…we wanted to purchase one this time that we would be able to keep for a long (long, long) time. We narrowed it down to 3 brands that we liked then, then met Charbel Francis at the Mercedes dealership in London. BMW and Audi went straight out the window and we settled on Mercedes purely because of him and his remarkable ability to make us comfortable and looked after. Charbel has infinite patience…it took us months to decide what we wanted and yes, we kept changing our minds. His professionalism and caring that we got the right car for us kept us on track when we were getting frustrated trying to decide. His upbeat attitude and genuine niceness made the whole process a positive one…and we love our new car. Don’t even mind making the payments on it. So if you see a hot blonde (me) driving around town in our new car…honk and wave at me! And if you are in the market for a Mercedes (new or used) or a Smart car (yes, we have one of those too), give Charbel a call…his number is 519 777 5223. Tell him the Price’s still love their car and sent you. …to followup…we were so impressed with our car and Charbel, we went back in 2018 and bought another one! This time was an SUV with only 3500 kms on it…a replacement for our aging pick up truck.

 
 

Planning for retirement and making the most of our assets is a lifelong process…hopefully. It’s always so hard to know where to start and how to prioritize our spending/saving, and it never feels like there is enough extra to spend or save. That’s where Nancy Starek and her team (Tara especially!) at RBC Dominion Securities come in. My husband and I have been working with Nancy and love her approach to the whole process. I understand the day to day part of ‘money’ but that is only part of the picture. Nancy and Tara are so patient navigating us through long term money management, always ready to explain and reassure. There are times when they have worked behind the scenes to solve problems and concerns…which has eased our stress level considerably. It doesn’t matter how much or how little we start out with…what matters is having a plan and someone to help implement the plan. Nancy’s number at RBC is 519 337 3795, give her a call, I know she would love to help you too.

One of my favourite restaurants in Sarnia is Paddy Flaherty’s. Home to more kinds of beer than you can imagine…and top notch food. I often order the grilled chicken sandwich which comes on a ciabatta bun, and a side house salad (not the usual house salad, this one comes with sunflower seeds and a yummy cider vinaigrette dressing). The staff is always friendly with quick and reliable service. Save room for dessert too…I won’t tell you which is my favourite (a girl’s got to have some secrets-)…just try them all and let me know which one you like best.

 
 

Remember the old TV show Cheers song…something about where everyone knows your name? That’s the real benefit in using one of our smaller pharmacies in Sarnia. We recently moved our prescriptions to the Rapids Pharmacy on Pontiac Dr. after becoming patients at the Rapids Family Health Team. We met Karen (their pharmacist back then…she since left and we miss her) and were impressed with her kindness and caring when my husband hurt his back. Her and the staff’s personalized service is exceptional…they not only remember your name, but also ask how you are feeling! If they don’t have what you need in stock, it’s ordered and in quickly. They also deliver…a real bonus with busy lives.

We always have lots (and lots) of beer in our fridge at home and at the cottage. None of it belongs to me…I’m a white wine drinker. But those in my household who love beer are big fans of the Refined Fool Brewery. Refined Fool is a group of teachers, creatives, blue collars, entrepreneurs, musicians and pastors who care about beer, business, Sarnia and each other (that’s how they describe themselves and I can tell you it’s true!). They began by brewing out of their houses in midwinter with propane burners and frozen hoses and have since evolved into a downtown nano-brewery….and now a bigger location on London Rd with a restaurant on the side. They are winning rave reviews by beer lovers everywhere and are a ‘go to’ destination in Sarnia’s down town. Check them out at www.refinedfool.com and at many discerning restaurants in Lambton County. Also available at our LCBO!

 
 

Have you checked out our local farmer’s market lately? There is nothing like fresh fruit and vegetables grown by southwestern Ontario farmers…especially at this time of year. Not only fresh produce, but fresh eggs, organic food, meat, honey…list too long to mention here so check them out. They are open on Wednesday’s and Saturdays 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Enjoy browsing long aisles with the kids…it’s a great education for them to meet the people who provide our food. Located at 110 Proctor St…you can’t miss it.

I had lunch with my good friend Lisa Smith just before Christmas at Scroggies across from the Superstore on Murphy. I sometimes forget about this little neighbourhood bar that has terrific food…best Greek salad in Sarnia. Every time I drop in, I am reminded that bigger isn’t necessarily better and this little restaurant is one of Sarnia’s hidden gems. My husband loves the club sandwich. I always check out the menu, agonize over the calories in their pot roast grilled cheese sandwich (with a side of Greek salad of course)…then order it anyhow. It’s worth every bite!

 
 

Sherwin Williams (Formerly General Paint) is located at 749 Exmouth St. across from the old EB Tech building…and is my favourite go-to place for paint and decorating advice. Ed and his team are experts at colour matching and design challenges. I really appreciate their personalized service and desire to make it ‘just right’. After trying many brands of paint over the years, this is the only paint I use…both at home and the cottage. If you stop in to see them, mention my name and you will get a 30 to 40% discount off most items in the store…it’s a gift to the people in my life who love to redecorate-).