A Different Kind of Arborist

"Trees have been around for millions of years, all we have to do is give them what they need"

Kevin has cared for our trees for many years now. In particular, our old crab apple tree. It has become so beautiful under his care – it’s like an art piece

Kevin Lee is a unique kind of arborist. To just call him an arborist is an understatement of his skill, knowledge and passion for trees.

His mission is to help people see through a lot of the tree care rhetoric and teach people how to truly care for their trees, without expensive or unnecessary tree treatments.

His natural tree care approach extends into his consulting services and especially the way he prunes trees.

“Many of my clients are high level executives or intellectuals who take pride in their homes and properties”

Kevin himself is more likely to be found reading a book on philosophy or poetry than swinging a chainsaw around as he specializes in the use of hand tools (including the Japanese handsaw) when pruning.

He Has a Great Love for Working with Fruit Trees.

Unfortunately Kevin has come across many “butchered” trees, which have been over-pruned or poorly pruned by less skilled workers.

While pruning, Kevin strives to preserve the health and beauty of the tree, he is able to visualize different pathways and outcomes of the pruning work, knowing that each action will affect the health and appearance of the tree.

His Clients Gave Him the Nickname “The Tree Whisperer”

Kevin says that his years of experience, study, and intuition are what guides him in diagnosing a tree problem. “I can feel it in my body, pulling me or telling me what to do, or where to look, and every disease, bug, or infection has a specific sign or footprint if you know how to read it”. 

Glowing Reviews on Google

Kevin's reputation stands for itself with over 40 glowing, (I mean glowing!) five star google reviews from exceptionally happy clients. Each review tells of Kevin’s workmanship and passion for trees, which has been demonstrated in Calgary for the past 30 years.

The Tree Whisperer - Arborist Kevin Lee

Kevin Can be Reached via His Website For Consultations and Pruning Services, ​Visit:

Home-Buyers are Nervous, Confused and Frustrated

Many are Renting, or Living at home with Parents, Some are Newly-Wed and Ready to Get a Place of Their Own.

Many are also new to Calgary or simply upsizing. Either way, things can get confusing.
Home-buyers are usually looking for good mortgage rates, house prices, sometimes with “mortgage helpers” like basement suites, or just a worthwhile investment for their future.
We spoke with Calgary Real Estate expert Ali Mawani to get some answers. 

“People Need to Watch Out”

Ali spoke of some red flags for buyers to watch out for:
From Ali, “Trust is very important in this industry, people need to watch out for things like overpriced properties & major unforeseen issues, such as grow-ops, bad resale values, and condos in bad financial positions”.
“The realtor may not tell you about these things, it’s good to have a healthy skepticism and be sure the person you hire has a good reputation”.
Ali also gave us some great advice on which areas of Calgary are underpriced and set to appreciate. 

Smart to Get Pre-Approved First

Ali recommends that before people go house-shopping, it would be smart to get pre-approved for a mortgage first, so you know what is available to you. 

From Ali, "People have so many questions related to mortgages, and unless they get in touch with someone who is willing to come up with creative mortgage solutions, they will get the same old answers". 

Some Common Mortgage Questions are:

When should I Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage?
How long does Pre-Approval Last?
How do I get the Best Interest Rate?
What about Poor Credit?
What are the Mortgage Rules?
What is an Unconventional Mortgage?
What are the Qualifying Factors?
How much can I Qualify for?

Can I do it online?
Yes, you can start the process online and even send documentation via email so you can get set up without an in-person meeting.

To Get in touch with Ali, and
Start Your Pre-Approval Online,
Go to: www.albertahomesbuysell.com

Ali Mawani specializes in foreclosure prevention, bankruptcies, legal real estate solutions, and creative mortgage qualifications, he has been interviewed on CBC Radio Calgary and continues to provide Real Estate Services and Education to Calgarians.

How Middle Class Families Are Avoiding Forclosure

“The Bank has Me Against a Wall and Scared”

The bank tells you if you miss your 5th payment, they will take the house, and your heart drops. This happens every day in Calgary according to Real Estate expert Ali Mawani,  "The bank has them scared, they feel backed up against a wall" says Sony. 

About to Lose Everything

He continues, "Most are afraid that they are about to lose everything. Including their good record."  Sony explains that most of these folks are in desperate situations, the home may be in bad condition, and need a lot of fixing up.  It may feel impossible to get out. 

No Time to Sell, No Money for Realtor Fees

For many of these folks, time is of essence. They don't have time to go through the listing process, and don't have money for realtor fees. 

You Can Avoid Foreclosing

Ali explains that you can avoid foreclosure by speaking with an independent buyer who buys homes quickly, providing families with the cash they need. 

Pay The Bank Back, Have Money Left Over, and Your Good Record

After the home is sold to the buyer, the owner can pay back the bank, still have money left over, and still have their good record. It's a win-win. 

To Learn More, and See if You Qualify,
Visit Ali Mawani's Website at sellyourhousefastcalgary.ca

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What is the Price of Beauty?

Consignment Calgary

Inner Beauty is Priceless, Fashion Doesn't Have to Cost a Lot!

Yes inner beauty is wonderful, but sometimes don't we just want to look great too!?   Unfortunately great fashion can cost a lot of cash, and the planet also takes a hit. Luckily, there is another way. 

Guilt-Free Fashion

Wouldn't it be great if you could really spoil yourself...okay, treat yourself to something nice once in a while, without the guilt or high prices.  We've recently discovered the interesting world of designer consignment shopping

Shopping for a Good Cause

During our interview with Designer Consignment Shop Owner, Jennifer Jensen, we learned that shopping can also be for a good cause. Jennifer says, "Our consignment for a cause partner program allows for 40% of the final selling price to go to local non-profit organizations".  The consigner gets to choose which partner they want the funds to go to. 

This store is set up like a beautiful closet you would want to walk into and just pick up all of the lovely things you want to wear.

Not Just a Shop, it's a Community

It turns out that Thrifty Princess is more than just a shop, it's an active community with recent events such as Wine, Cheese & Shopping Night, Little Black Dress Party, and the 1 Year ANNIVERSARY PARTY. 

This is a hidden gem of a store. Glad I found it. Jennifer and the rest of the ladies here are
great. Amazing quality, tons of selection of clothes, shoes, purses and more!!!!

Great Reviews, Unbelievable Treasures, Strong Social Media Presence.

Thrifty Princess received 18 glowing reviews on Google for a rating of 4.9 stars.  Not to mention the Facebook Reviews and Social Media Presence. If you are looking for great deals keep a close eye on their instagram account too as there are items posted daily. 

Via Instagram

To Discover More About Consignment, and See Their Beautiful Website, Visit thriftyprincess.ca

How to Quit Sugar and Other Addictions with The Power of Your Mind

Quitting a Bad Habit Is Really Hard

You have probably a few bad habits that you have been trying to quit for years.  It's probably one of the hardest things we can do is to quite something.  The habits and motions are so ingrained in us.  The neural pathways are strong.  The triggers are all around us, and it can seem hopeless.  Sure we can start new habits, but how to break old one.  It turns out that our minds are powerful association makers, and we can use this power of association to overcome our deepest cravings. 

There is Hope, Use Psychological Powers to Overcome The Addiction

Our minds are more powerful than we give them credit for.  Millions of years of evolution has shaped and formed our minds into a most powerful tool, if we know how to use it properly.   We are social creatures, our own self concept is strongly influenced by our peers. Therefore, we can use the power of "personification" to deal with our most treacherous addictions. 

Below I demonstrate how I personified my sugar addition as "Mister Sweet", writing a letter to him explaining my gratitude and reasons for saying goodbye.  

“But mister ​sweet, you have a dark side”

My Letter to "Mister Sweet" shown below:

Dear Mr Sweet,
Oh mister sweet we have had some really good times.  I still remember how you helped me through my teenage years of stress and poverty.  You really gave me a relief from the pain.  You also are bonded in my mind with loving memories from my mother who shared her love with me by giving me a treat.  But mister sweet, you have a dark side.  I’ve started to depend on you too much.  I’ve started abusing you and using you everyday to help me feel better.  And you don’t like it when I over use you.  Then you hurt me.  You make me tired.  You make me sleepy.  You prevent me from getting my work done at home and on the job.  Because of this, you frustrate my family too.  They worry about me, my health, my longevity.  My kids are young, but I am old.  I worry that you are stealing time away from my future.  Time spent with my adult children.  Time spent with my grandchildren.  Time spent enjoying my old age, and the freedom that comes with it.  And the money.  You really are expensive to have around.  I spent money on you every week, and you just take things away.  You give a false love.  A comfort that feels like love.  But you betray me every time.  So it’s time to say goodbye.  I want you out of my life.  I will choose to fill my heart with love another way.  I will cherish my memories of my mother without you.  I will cope, breath and exercise to burn off excess energy and stress.  Thank you for everything but it’s time you leave.  Goodbye Mr Sweet.

"Mister Sweet"  

Now, Let's Hear From You...

Now that was intense! I strongly encourage you to write a letter to your personified addiction and please, if you are comfortable, we would love to hear your results in the comments below. Best wishes. 

What If You Get Soaked in Freezing Weather?

Can This Jacket Save Your Life?

Nearly two days ago I fell through the ice while ice fishing attempting to retrieve the boat anchor dug deep in the ice

None of us think it can happen to us....until it does. Soaking wet in the freezing cold. Once we are out of the water, hypothermia is eminent. 

Terrifying thoughts of our loved ones having to go on without us may enter our minds. 

That's why Ralph DiMeo is willing to get into freezing cold water on a Jersey winter's day to test his product. 

Ralph has what he calls, "Advisors" on his website: a collection of outdoorsmen who swear by his products, and are available for consultations on outerwear gear. 

Recommended by Dave Canterbury and tons of other Great Outdoorsmen all over YouTube

Turns out survivalist trainers, hunters and outdoorsmen love to test out WeatherWool and show their results on YouTube

Survivalist Dave Canterbury Testing Out WeatherWool

Extreme Warmth in a Variety of Designs

Image From The Urban Collection

Turns out his wool isn't just for spending time in the woods, his designs are extremely fashionable and you won't get any funny looks from the better half when you go to the restaurant.

“A lot of time and effort goes into choosing the wool, creating the material, the design, and tailor work. It’s unlike anything else on the market”

Not For Cheapskates, But Affordable

Ralph has spent years perfecting his wool. Prices range from $300 - 600 and up. He has a full product line of Jackets, Pants, Vests, Hats and Accessories.

What Makes The Difference?

Ralph's Wool is tested over 20 pa​rameters including  length of fiber, thickness of fiber, tensile strength, presence and placement of weak spots, crimp, presence of paint, presence of polypropylene, and color.

Ralph's WeatherWool graded out the highest!

What does this mean? A tougher, stronger, weather resistant material that still feels great on the skin and has an amazing 50 degree range of comfort from 20F - 70F (7 - 21C).

To Learn More About WeatherWool, Visit Their Website

Meet Calgary’s Tree Whisperer

Tree Whisperer Calgary

"Trees are living beings and deserve respect"

Kevin has cared for our trees for many years now. In particular, our old crab apple tree. It has become so beautiful under his care – it’s like an art piece

After 30 years of tending to trees, Arborist Kevin Lee has earned the title, The Tree Whisperer.

After only a few minutes of speaking to Kevin, his expertise and personal connection with trees becomes immediately apparent.

During our conversation I discovered that Kevin may be the only Arborist in Calgary who doesn't remove or kill trees. Kevin says, "My clients come to me after everyone else has recommended the tree be removed or topped. Most of the time, with careful pruning and educating the owner about watering,  I am able to restore the tree to health".

“they have built their garden sanctuary over the years”

Kevin's clients are mostly gardeners, "They have created a special place, surrounding themselves with flowers, plants and trees". He talks about the grounding power of a backyard garden. 

Be Careful Who You Let Prune Your Trees

He warns that sometimes people make the mistake of not doing their research, trusting a big company, or a referral from a friend. " They don't know, make the wrong call, and the trees get butchered. The tree pays the price. They get home, look at the trees and start crying. They can tell the trees are not happy".

A Specialist at Solving Tough Tree Problems

Kevin says that his years of experience, study, and intuition are what guides him in diagnosing a tree problem. “I can feel it in my body, pulling me or telling me what to do, or where to look, and every disease, bug, or infection has a specific sign or footprint if you know how to read it”. 

Glowing Reviews on Google

Kevin's reputation stands for itself with over 25 glowing, (I mean glowing!) five star google reviews from exceptionally happy clients. Who knew there are so many other tree lovers in Calgary!

The Tree Whisperer - Arborist Kevin Lee

Online Database of Tree Knowledge

Kevin's website contains a huge amount of information for those looking to know more about how to care for their trees. From Proper Pruning to Diseases and Prevention. It's all there!

To Discover More About Kevin and His Tree Philosophy, Tree Care Tips and More, Visit his Website at krltreeservice.com

Control Your Body… and Your Mind Will Follow

Let's face it, sometimes our willpower just isn't enough. Okay, most of the time it really sucks and fails us. And we try over and over to stop those bad habits. 

We try to out power ourselves. Our habits that we have developed over may years. 

What if there was a way to snap ourselves out of these bad habits practically in an instant. 

I promise you if you try what I recommend in the next few paragraphs, you will be surprised at your own reaction. Even though you think you know how you will respond. 

So how do you begin stopping a bad habit?

You use your body to make yourself do something you wouldn't normally do. 

It is much easier for us to control our bodies than our minds. But what we don't always realize is the powerful influence our bodies have over our minds, and therefor, our feelings too. 

I dare you to try this pose and see if you don't feel great after!

Notice the palms facing upwards. The head tilted to the sky. 

This position is like flying free as a bird. 

But what does this have to do with habits?

Victory Pose

Well, let's say you have the bad habit of eating chips in the evening while watching TV.

What do you think would happen if you took a handful and chucked them in the garbage? 

Sure you could still have as many as you like afterwards. Nobody is stopping you from eating them after that. But your mind has witnessed you doing something out of the ordinary.

And your mind wants to know why. 

So what does it do. It starts to create logical justifications for why you just did what you did. You will be shocked and how inventive you mind becomes it telling you why you just did that. 

And those next few bits of chips become a little bit harder to eat. You almost have to use willpower to start eating them again. 

I challenge you to give this a try with any of your vices. Crush a box of cigarettes, throw out half of your chocolate bar, what ever it is, and give yourself permission to have more afterwards if you still want some. It's a small investment to start making positive changes in your life. 

Share your experiences in the comments below. 

How I Stop a Back Spasm in its Tracks with This Household Item

"Will I have to Miss Work Because of This?"

I'm a stay at home dad with a one year old and a three year old. Needless to say, I do a lot of lifting. Mostly of my kids. But I'm on my feet for at least 12 hours each day, running around tending to these little guys, and trying to keep the house in order.

So when a back spasm hits, I start to panic! Oh crap, how will I be able to do anything. Will my wife need to miss work because I'm stuck in bed. The fear kicks in and I need a solution fast.

Luckily I've discovered this sweet little trick to help my muscles relax before things get really bad.

I just use a simple household item that most people have. And if you don't you can buy one for less than $4.

It's really a life saver if you know how to use it.

Self-Massage is a Short-Term Solution

My muscles, hard as ropes, sometimes taking on a life of their own, deciding to contract and start pulling my ribs out of place, leaving me a mess. Luckily I can do self-massage with a baseball.

I typically do it against a wall, starting with the hardest muscles. I like to lean against the wall, pressing on one spot for at least 10 seconds before moving on. Taking a few deep breaths to "let the ball in".

Then I move the ball around, while still against the wall, searching for tender spots, or really hard spots.

Your new best friend in the short term! Keep reading for long term solution.

My goal is to balance out the tension on the left and right sides of my body, and release the muscle. If one side is super tight, I'll focus more on that.

The thing is, the massage works really great for a short term quick fix. But the next day, the tension usually comes back, and I need to massage again.

Will Temporarily Relieve Pain

I have actually massaged every day for months with no permanent changes. But then I figured out how to get rid of the pain inducing tension for good. (I'll talk more about this at the end).

Where to massage?

I like to massage what they call trigger points. These are tender spots of balled up muscle or knots that cause referred pain. Pain coming from a different place than you are feeling it. 

For example, if you think your knee is hurting, the pain could be coming from a trigger point muscle in your thigh. 

Check out these common lower back pain trigger point locations and their referred pain areas. 

Massage the X to Reduce Pain felt at the Red Areas

But What About The Long Term?

What I needed was a good stretching program. Stretching is the long game. It takes longer to see any results (6 weeks), but the results are much better.

Luckily, I discovered that you don't need to hold a stretch much longer than 30 seconds. So I could stretch several muscles a day for 30 seconds each, rather than 1 muscle for 2-3 mins hoping for a result. 

The trick is to do the stretches every day for 6 weeks, to see a cumulative effect. It's about daily stretching, not long holds of stretches. 

With this knowledge, I was armed and ready to take on the day using massage for short term pain relief, and then stretching afterwards as an investment for a better back in the future.

If you are looking for a good stretching routine, I would recommend Emily Larks Program. Click to see a Video of her Story and how she discovered how to heal her back pain.

Learn How Emily Healed Her Back Pain For Good!....

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