Abby Grind

Not as steep as the famous Grouse Grind, the Abby grind is still indeed a steep hike that gains around 320 meters in 2km, and will end at a gorgeous scenic viewpoint that looks across south west Abbotsford. This 4km hike is a great workout and popular trail. This trail is rated as moderate as it does have some steep spots but it is also pet friendly as long as they’re kept on leash.

Locations: Abbotsford   Difficulty: Intermediate   Time: 1.5 hours  Round Trip: 4km  Elevation Gain: 330m


Bosumarne Falls

A hidden gem! Located near Chilliwack Lake Road, this hiking trail is easy, almost flat 3km hike for all ages. With multiple waterfalls along the way and a stunning view at the end, this hike is a winner. The trail to the upper falls is a bit rough, so wear your hiking boots! Your ankles will thank you.

Locations: Chilliwack    Difficulty: Easy    Time: 1 hour  Round Trip: 3km    Elevation Gain: 75m


Cascade Falls

Located 30 minutes from the heart of Mission, this hike will be one to remember. With it being a short hike at only .75 km, it’s the perfect trail for all ages. Once you arrive at the top you are greeted with a stunning waterfall, which plummets 30 meters into and emerald pool. To top it all off there is a suspension bridge you can walk across, if you’re brave enough, giving you that jaw dropping view.

Locations: Mission     Difficulty: Easy    Time: .5 hours     Round Trip: .75km   Elevation Gain: 40m


Mount Cheam

The best views in the Fraser Valley! The trail to the peak is not difficult so it’s great for all ages and beginner hikers. Mount Cheam peak offers a 360 degree panoramic view from Chilliwack and communities along the Fraser River, Jones Lake, surrounding peaks and Mount Baker. With a 9.5km round trip this hike would be perfect at sunrise or sunset.

Locations: Chilliwack   Difficulty: Intermediate  Time: 4.5 hours   Round Trip: 9.5km Elevation Gain: 700m


Othello Tunnels

History and a hike all in one. This trail offers stunning views of the Coquihalla River, and the old tunnels are a perfect way to learn a bit about the area and how the track was built. The walking loop is 5.5km and rated as easy. When you walk through the flats and the four tunnels you will see stunning views of the canyon and bridges where the Coquihalla River rages through the canyon below. Once you get to the end of the fourth tunnel you have the option to turn around and return to the parking lot or continue on the hike into Hope.

Locations: Hope     Difficulty: Easy    Time: 1 hour     Round Trip: 3.5km    Elevation Gain: Minimal

 

Lindeman Lake

This is a terrific day hike location! A quiet scenic hike in Chilliwack Provincial Park. A short hike at 3.4 km but well worth it. If you’re looking for a more intense hike, it does push on adding another 6km on to it for the more experienced hiker. This hike will take you deep in the forest, and over small bridges. You will be greeted with the beautiful turquoise Lindeman Lake, surrounded by dense forest and mountain peaks. The lake will look extremely inviting for a quick dip after your hike, but be warned its freezing cold year round.

Locations: Chilliwack Difficulty: Intermediate    Time: 2 hours     Round Trip: 3.4km    Elevation Gain: 300m

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Now that the warm weather is finally here, it’s time to make sure your backyard and pool are ready for your abundance of summer guests. The main goal to accomplish when getting your backyard and pool ready is to make sure they are safe. Every year thousands of adults and children are injured in backyard swimming pools; that could mean either slipping, falling and hurting yourself or unfortunately a child falling in the pool un noticed. There’s nothing worse than watching a child accidentally fall into the deep end of the pool. To help that nightmare disappear the following tips will help you achieve ultimate safety.


Fence

Install a self-locking fence around the pool to secure the area. Ensure all the locks and latches are up high and out of reach from curious little hands. Make sure the child can not easily climb over or squeeze through the fence or gate area. This will be your number one safety precaution for children and pets.


Alarms

Technology to the rescue! A pool alarm will notify you, whether you’re in the house or outside, if the surface of the water has been disturbed. You will instantly know if someone has fallen in.  


Swimming Lessons

Before allowing others in your pool, make sure they can swim. If they are a new swimmer or still don’t know how to swim, you can help keep them safe by making them wear a lifejacket. All new swimmers should always have an adult with them at all times. Never allow them to swim alone.


Remember the Rules

Teach everyone who uses your pool the “Pool Rules”. Whether they’re an adult or a child, everyone should be aware. Walk don’t run, no roughhousing, no drinking and swimming, and no glass around the pool are some great starter rules. Every family will adopt their own rules over time.


Be Prepared

Accidents do happen. In case someone does happen to fall in the pool; ensure that at least one adult from the home has their First Aid course up to date, including CPR. Have an area on your pool deck that is easily accessible with lifesaving equipment. Reaching pole, rescue hook, an extra lifejacket, and a lifesaving ring. All these items are good to have on hand in case of an emergency.


Baby Proof

Pools can come with a lot of maintenance work. To ensure everybody’s safety, keep those harmful pool chemicals locked up in the cupboard away from everyone. Even when your pool isn’t in use, remove any ladders or access to the pool if it is above ground.


Supervision

Never leave your children unsupervised, especially around water. Drowning can occur in seconds and in centimetres of water. Always keep your eyes on the pool even when you’re having conversations with others. Common sense: Never turn your back on a child while they are in the water.


Inflatables

Always watch children closely when they are playing with inflatable toys. Kids tend to rough house in the water, and those inflatables are fairly easy to tip over which can trap the child under them. Consider limiting the number of toys and inflatables in the pool during the day. Never forget to remove all of the toys from the pool at the end of your day. They can be an easy temptation for that curious toddler who will try and reach them. This precaution will help prevent curious kids from falling in.


Clean Clean Clean

Dirty pools can be a breeding ground for bacteria and germs. They can also cause infections and sickness if not taken care of properly. Remember to keep up with the maintenance schedule of the pool to avoid these nasty situations. Purchasing a good cover will also help keep any unwanted bugs or debris out of your pool.


Remember, accidents can happen in a blink of an eye. Whether you’re thinking of installing a pool or you have one already, it’s always a good idea to brush up on your pool safety for the summer!

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Can you believe that at today’s date technology can control almost anything? From lights, to blinds to garage door openers and many more. We can control almost anything in our home with a touch of a finger and the help of our trusty Wi-Fi. What if you could have a home that all its devices could connect to the internet, send you information and take your commands? Not just your average computers, laptops and cellphones. I’m talking literally everything: clocks, door bells, appliances you name it! Smart Home Automation does exactly that!  It gives you the ability to remotely control every little aspect of your home from your fingertips or voice command.  Here are the top smart home products for you home in 2018.

 

Speakers

Google Home

This device is your hands free help from the Google Assistant. Google Home, allows you to control your smart home with just your voice. It will learn to recognize your voice and will help you get personalized help with your schedule, reminders, phone calls and much more. It is also equipped with hands free entertainment. It works with Chromecast so you are able to stream movies and music on your TV or speakers. It’s smart enough to answer your questions, diagnose your symptoms when you’re feeling ill, lower the thermostat when you leave or even locate that funny clip from SNL you like and throw it up onto your Chromecast using Google Home’s newest feature Visual responses. Google Home is the center of your smart home.

 

Outdoor Security Camera

Arlo Pro

The world’s first and only 100% wire free, weatherproof, rechargeable HD smart security camera with audio and 130 degree viewing angle! The Arlo Pro allows you to view live at any time and receive instant email or text alerts when audio or motion is detected. If motion or sound is triggered, the Arlo will save the feed in your cloud library to be viewed for 7 days. You have the ability to connect up to 15 cameras per account, making sure your entire home is covered. Arlo Pro has a built in speaker, this allows you to listen in and talk back through the speaker and mic straight from your phone. You can stop crime in its tracks! The Arlo has a 100+ decibel siren that can be controlled remotely. The Arlo Pro gives you the versatility to be 100% wire free or use it plugged in. The choice is up to you.

 

Light Bulbs

Philips LED Hue

This LED light bulb can be controlled in multiple ways and is able to be connected to other smart home products so your options are limitless. This new bulb is designed around you and your home. With 16 million different colors to choose from, you can change the color, brightness and warmth with a simple voice command or touch from your finger. You are able to control the bulb by using the Phillips app, remote light switches, motion sensor, Apple Watch or even your voice. It’s the easiest way to control brightness, set timers, create routine, change colors and so much more. By saying a simple command you are able to turn on and off the lights hassle free along with many other functions listed above. You can even save your favorite settings to reference back to on a different day. With geofencing technology, your lights can turn on when you arrive home or switch off automatically when you leave. It’s about simplifying your life, giving you peace of mind in smart ways.

 

Blinds

Lutron Remote Control Shades

Lutron’s remote controlled shades are available in two styles, honeycomb or roller. They offer a wide variety of fabric and colors to choose from. These blinds are ultra-quiet without any wires. At the simple touch of a button the shades will operate in perfect unison, and can be controlled virtually anywhere in the world using the app. They now work with Apple Home Kit. This essentially means you can ask Siri to open and close your blinds. How cool is that?!

 

Thermostat

Ecobee 4

This thermostat is completely up to date. The Ecobee4 has built in Amazon Alexa into it, which means it can perform all the skills that come with “Alexa.” You can ask it to read the news, order your groceries, find out the weather and much more. The thermostat is Wi-Fi enabled and can be controlled remotely by using phones, tablets or computers. You can create custom schedules for your family. It also learns from you and your home by learning your behaviour and eliminating any unnecessary use, which in the end saves you money as they are Energy Star Certified.  The Ecobee4 comes with room sensors to manage hot and cold spots in your home as well as room occupancy. That’s how it ensures comfort in the rooms that matter.

 

Doorbell

Nest Hello

If you’re thinking of getting a video doorbell, Nest Hello should be at the top of your list. It allows you to replace your existing wired doorbell and will deliver HD video and bright crisp images, even at night. When using Nest Hello during the night, it is sensitive enough to switch to daytime color mode when porch lights or sensor lights come on. It is designed to show you everything at your doorstep, including people head to toe and packages on the ground. Nest Hello is equipped with 24/7 streaming that you can check any time with your phone. It also allows you to look back at a three hour history. When someone rings your doorbell, the app will open to full screen video which will allow you to see and be able to talk to the person at your door. It’s equipped with 3 pre-programmed messages you can play. You are sent notifications to your phone and email when it detects a person, motion or loud noise.

 

Door Locks

August Smart Lock Pro

This door lock is the most advanced Wi-Fi smart lock system on the market. You can lock and unlock your door, control keyless access, and keep track of who comes and goes all from your phone.  The installation is discreet and does not change the exterior hardware and you are still able to use your existing keys are any time. August allows you to send keyless access to family and friends without worrying about lost or copied keys.  Your door will lock automatically when you leave and you are able to check the status when you are away from your home.  When you arrive home, Smart Lock will automatically unlock your door via Bluetooth.  Using your voice you can tell Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant to remotely lock your door.

 

Wall Plug

Wemo Mini Smart Plug

The Wemo allows you to control your electronic devices right from your phone or laptop. It uses the existing Wi-Fi in your home to provide wireless control of lamps, heaters, fans and more. It’s simple! Plug the Wemo into an electrical outlet, plug in a device into the smart plug and voila! You can now control your device using the free Wemo app. You’ll be able to control your lights and appliances from anywhere in the world. With a sleek slim design it will fit into any outlet without obstructing other sockets.  The Wemo app will let you set automatic schedules for any devices that are plugged in. Wemo is equipped with an “Away Mode” when set to this mode, the plug will turn plugged in lights on and off randomly to make it appear like you’re home. Finally, Wemo works seamlessly with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, this gives you hands free voice control over your devices.

 

Smoke Detector

Nest Protect

Nest Protect has been redesigned from the inside out. It has a Split‑Spectrum Sensor, tests itself automatically and lasts up to a decade. It’s also the first home alarm you can hush from your phone without any extra hardware required. Nest Protect will tell you what’s wrong, and locate the problem and will even alert your phone. Nest Protect has a friendly human sounding voice that will give you an early warning before sounding the alarm. That way you can handle the burning toast before it becomes a disaster. One of the many features it has is the Hush alarms. You are able to hush the detector with your phone, not your dish towel. If everything’s under control and there’s only a little smoke, quiet down the alarm from the Nest app. Nest test itself over 400 times a day and it’s the first alarm that uses Sound Check to quietly test its speakers and horn once a month. Nest Protect will even light your way in the dark. It will light up when you walk underneath it in the middle of the night. It is the only alarm with Steam Check. It uses custom algorithms and a humidity sensor to look for steam. You can now enjoy that hot steamy shower without worrying that your alarm will go off.

 

Garage Door Opener

MyQ Smart Garage Hub

Chamberlain’s MyQ Smart Garage Hub, allows you to control your classic garage door opener with your smartphone or tablet. It gives you the ability to check the status of your garage door from virtually anywhere and will send you an alert if your door was left open. You will gain the peace of mind knowing that your home is safe. The MyQ app allows you to control your garage door, get status notifications and set schedules.

 

Vacuum

Botvac D7 Connected

This is the master of all vacuums. With its unique D shape design, you are able to get ten times closer in corners and along walls with a brush that is 70% bigger than the average competition. It is equipped with an ultra-performance filter and an advanced spiral combo brush that will allow it to capture twice as many small particles and pick up more pet hair. One of the most interesting features is the LaserSmart mapping and navigation. The technology does a 360 degree scan and maps the room planning the most efficient course. It sees, senses and responds to furniture, toys and stairs carefully moving around items without missing a spot. The bot is continuously scanning the room while cleaning so it is aware of any changes to assure that it is still cleaning on an efficient path. If your bot runs out of power, or is low it will automatically return to the charging base, power up and then go back to finishing the job. Don’t want the bot going into the kid’s playroom or scared of it eating wires by your office desk? You are now able to set virtual No-Go Lines around places you want your robot to avoid.

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With summer officially here and the temperatures rising many people expect their electricity bill to do the same during the summer months. With your air conditioner on high, making your home the arctic zone, you can almost guarantee that your air conditioner is responsible for almost half of your electric bill. Here are some easy ways to cut your electric bill in half this summer so you can stay cool and still have money left over.

 

Black Out Blinds

Hanging heavy drapes or black out blinds in front of your windows in the summer will not only keep the hot air and sun rays out, it also helps to keep the air conditioned cool air in. It’s a great way to stop the glaring sun from heating up every room in your home.

 

Efficient AC

If you’re really trying to crunch the numbers this summer, limit the use of your air conditioner. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean keep turning it off and on, doing that will unfortunately cause your bill to rise even higher. Every time you turn off your AC, the temperature in your house will rise again, and when you turn the ac back on it will have to work twice as hard to cool your house down. Keep your ac set at a reasonable temperature like 71 degrees. The lower you go the more you are going to have to pay.

 

Fans

Fans are an excellent way to help keep us cool. Remember, fans cool people by creating a wind chill, they don’t rooms. Well placed fans can help keep the air circulating throughout your home and help it keep cool, not like a sweltering sauna. Ceiling Fans are a great investment in the bedrooms to help keep the air moving while you sleep.

 

Open the Windows

One of the great things about night time in the summer is that it normally cools off. To save you some money, turn off your ac and open up your windows to let the cool air in while you sleep. When you wake up in the morning shut the windows and blinds to keep the cool air in.

 

Lights and Appliances Off

On extremely hot days, avoid using the oven. Use alternatives like the stove top, BBQ, or microwave oven. Try and keep your home cool as possible by not turning on the lights if possible. Purchase LED Energy star lighting products, they are much more efficient than the traditional incandescent bulbs. 90% of the energy from traditional bulbs is given off as heat which will result in a temperature increase in your home.

 

Saving money on your electric bill can be fairly easy if you know where to start. The above are some simple, cost-effective ways to reduce your energy use during those hot summer months.

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Your balcony is your summer extension to your family room.  Have some fun dressing it up making it appealing to sit out there on those hot summer days to soak up that summer sun. Small balconies give you the opportunity to jump out of your comfort zone and choose some bright colors and patterns to boost its visual appeal. Here are few ways to brighten up your small balcony designs and turn small spaces into something wonderful and unique.

 

Disguise that drab ugly concrete flooring with a bright & colorful outdoor rug or some stylish inexpensive decking tiles. If you have a wooden patio floor consider painting it for that unique pop of color.

 

   

 

Hang some string lights and place some decorative lanterns with candles on the ground or on tables to create a cozy intimate feeling at night

 

     

 

Add some lush greenery to bring life and to brighten up your balcony. You can use the over the railing planters if you’re tight on space and plant some herbs or flowers that give off a nice scent like lavender or basil.

 

   

 

Ornate screens are a great way to add some privacy to your balcony while keeping it decorative and fun at the same time. They come in all different patterns and designs so the choice is yours!

 

   

Create a nice cozy nook seating area or make your own corner lounge bed with lots of pillows. This will give you your own little space to go to relax and put your feet up. Your own little getaway.

 

   

 

Adding a small bistro table and chairs will give you the opportunity to sit down and enjoy that morning coffee, or enjoy a romantic dinner with your loved one. Select lightweight folding furniture for more room.

 

   

 

Hammocks can be a great piece of furniture to add, especially when you’re working with tight spaces as you can almost hang them anywhere.

 

   

 

Whether you have a small balcony or a large one, you can easily transform it into your dream space by following some of the tips and tricks listed above. 

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