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Back to School Tips

September 8, 2015

Back to School TipsThe long and lazy days of summer are coming to an end and autumn is just around the corner. The time has come for your children to go back to school – are you prepared? Heading back to school can be a big transition for little ones, but you can make things a lot easier by being organized and prepared. Here are some back to school tips that will help:

Re-establish a Bedtime Routine
In the summertime your child’s bedtime routine might have adjusted to family events and sleepovers and noBack to School Tipsw your little one is used to staying up later and sleeping in late. Adjust the routine so that your child will be ready to get up on a school morning. Even if there are a few days before school begins, you can get your child up and put them to bed earlier so that the first school morning isn’t such a shock.

Set Up a Homework Spot
Your child should have a clear spot in a quiet area of the house that they can dedicate to doing homework. This will give them their own space to work in peace so that they don’t have to spread their schoolwork out on the kitchen table and be distracted by what everyone else is doing. A desk in their bedroom or a table somewhere in the house is a great solution. Make sure that the lighting is sufficient and that your child has all of the writing and craft supplies that they will need.

Meet Their Teacher
Take a moment to introduce yourself toBack to School Tips your child’s teacher and have a chat with them. Having a good relationship with your child’s teacher is very important, because you can work together to ensure that your little one succeeds as much as possible. You can talk to the teacher about what your child will be learning that year so that you can provide them with supplementary activities at home to improve their learning.

Put Everything on One Calendar
When the school year begins you will be flooded with an abundance of meetings, including orientations, PTA meetings, school functions, extra-curricular lessons and much more. In order to keep these commitments organized you can set up onBack to School Tipse big calendar that includes everything. You can add everything and you will be able to see everything that you need to do all in one glance. If your child comes home with a note about another event or meeting you can add it to the calendar right away so that you don’t forget.

With these back to school tips in mind, you can make the transition to back to school easier for your child and start the school year off on the right foot.

What are your back to school tips that you can share with all the parents to help ease the transition?

Community Events, Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Events, Family Vacations in Toronto, Lifestyle talk, Toronto Family Travel

Labour Day Toronto Guide

September 3, 2015

Labour Day Toronto

Whether you’re staying at home in your furnished apartment in one of our many locations, Labour Day Toronto beckons a few special events. Here are our top five picks to explore the city before the school year kicks off.

The Canadian International Air Show
If you can’t beat the noise of the planes, join ‘em at the Ex, the annual labour day tradition that signals the end of the summer season. Not too far from our downtown properties, this is a great excuse for a picnic and to make the most of the summer sun. Don’t miss the Spitfire planes which will pay tribute to the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

The Oddball Comedy FestLabour Day Toronto
End the last of those languid summer days with a laugh. Aziz Ansari and Amy Schumer headline this comedy festival, held at the outdoor Molson Ampitheatre.

Andy Warhol Revisited
This tribute to the iconic artist of over 120 prints is on display at the pop-up Revolver Gallery at Bay and Bloor. The exhibition ends on December 31 but the long weekend is ideal to wander the gallery and stroll through Yorkville afterwards.

Labour Day TorontoFrida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray
This exhibit at the lesser-known Textile Museum (near the AGO) showcases the 50 photographic portraits of the famous Mexican artist. The photographs were taken by her friend, photographer Nickolas Muray, and showcases her eclectic and colourful wardrobe. If you’re a fan of the artist or fashion, this will be a fun way to spend the afternoon and in exploring the Dundas and Queen West neighbourhood.

Art Fest
Discover the different exhibitors showcasing art, jewellery and more; another way to explore the Historic Distillery District. Fun for the whole family, there’s a free art workshop for the kids and musical performances as well.

What are your plans for Labour Day Toronto this year? Whether you’re at a park or running errands like finding new decor for your place, have a lovely long weekend!

About me, Business Travel, Feedback and Reviews, Lifestyle talk

Sales Techniques for Short Term Rentals Toronto

August 31, 2015

Meet Katharine Weterings, our Account Manager who shares some sales techniques for short term rentals and how she builds relationships with clients. The way she interacts with her clients gives them an impression of not only her, but of DelSuites.

Today, customers want to be able to have a conversation about our product and how we can help.  Katharine focuses not only on this, but also nuturing and building a relationship. With this, she understands her customer better, therefore, its more likely they’re going to want to keep engaging with her.

Do you have any sales techniques for short term rentals?

Fitness and Health, Food & Recipes, Lifestyle talk

Easy Make-Ahead Dinners When You Are On the Go

August 28, 2015

Easy Make-Ahead DinnersOne of the major advantages to staying in a furnished rental in Toronto is that you will be able to use the kitchen to prepare your own meals, which will save you a lot of money because you won’t have to pay restaurant prices for your meals every night. However, making meals when you are travelling will bring with it a unique set of challenges – as you might be short on time and you might not have all of the ingredients that you have at home.
In order to make cooking in your furnished condo as easy as possible, here are some easy make-ahead dinners that you can  heat up when you need them. Some of these recipes require a slow cooker but if you don’t have one where you are staying, you can always let them simmer on the stove for a while instead.

Black Bean and Pumpkin Chili
This is a deliciously creative twist on chili and the flavour of pumpkin really enhances the dish. Start by heating up a pound

Easy Make-Ahead Dinners

of cubed round steak on a large skillet in oil, simply browning the pieces lightly. Transfer the meat to a five quart slow cooker and leave the oil on the skillet. Use the oil to saute onions and yellow peppers until just barely tender. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, then transfer everything to the slow cooker. Add to the slow cooker one can of pumpkin, two cans of black beans, two cups of chicken broth, one can of diced tomatoes, dried parsely flakes, chili powder, dried oregano, ground cumin and salt. Cook on low for five hours.

Spiced Braised Beef Stew with Sweet Potatoes
A comforting stew that freezes well, this delicious dish is easy to make and delicious. Start by combining 1.5 pounds of beef cut into chunks, 2 sweet potatoes cut into half-moons, cumin, onions, apricots, ginger, cayenne and cinnamon and one can of tomatoes in a slow cooker with ¾ teaspoon of salt and a half cup of water. Cook the ingredients on high for 4 hours or on low for 7 hours. Right before serving, add a can of chickpeas to the mix and let them cook until they are heated through, for about 2-3 minutes. Serve the stew along with cuscous and spinach.Easy Make-Ahead Dinners

Chicken, Mushroom and Wild Rice Casserole
This is a tasty kid-friendly favourite that you can make in advance and keep in the fridge or freezer. Start by cooking the rice while also simmering the chicken until it is cooked through. Cook two chopped leeks until they are brown in oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook until the liquid has been released and evaporated. Add sherry and increase the heat to high and cook until most of the liquid has been evaporated. Sprinkle the vegetables with flour, then stir them to coat. Add milk and then simmer the sauce for one minute before adding parsley, sour cream, pepper and salt. Line an old baking dish with cooking spray and cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. Spread the rice in an even layer in the baking dish, then add the chicken and the green beas – pouring the sauce over top and sprinkling with almonds. Bake in the oven until the casserole bubbles and let it stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Do you have favourite easy make-ahead dinners that you turn to? We’d love to hear about them!

Business Travel, Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Food & Recipes, Lifestyle talk

Top Coffee Shops in Toronto

August 25, 2015
Coffee Shops in Toronto

Photo Credit: Sam James Coffee Bar

Sometimes, you need the professionals to take care of your morning pick-me-up, aka that really strong coffee or espresso to get you ready for the day. Even though you have a coffee maker in your furnished rental in Toronto, going out for a coffee is a great way to explore a new neighbourhood or connect with the local community. We’ve rounded up our favourite coffee shops in Toronto –  for both quality of coffee and ambiance.

Coffee Shops in Toronto

Photo Credit: Ryan Fung

1. Odin and Thor Espresso The Scandinavian inspired coffee house, Thor, located at Bathurst and Wellington near many of our downtown properties, serves up strong espresso and treats to go. It recently got a new sibling, Odin, in the developing neighbourhood of Corktown. Odin’s minimalist designed space is a treat for fans of architecture and of course, coffee. The difference at Odin, however, is that there are more food options as well as a chance to have a drink later in the evening. Watch their space for different events throughout the year, check out the new patio, or purchase locally-inspired swag.

2. Boxcar Social Over a year into the game, these coffee experts located in Rosedale have already opened up a second location in Riverside. What’s fun about this place is that their selections change all the time. Don’t know what you want? Try one of their coffee flights. Want to go next level? Try a whiskey and coffee flight. At night, their spaces transform into a wine bar. It’s a great place to work and socialize.

Coffee Shops in Toronto

Photo Credit: Ryan Fung

3. Tandem Michie Yamamoto, who used to work at Rooster Coffeehouse, has opened up this cute cafe with her husband in Corktown, just east of Parliament. For strong espresso shots, you can currently select from suppliers Pig Iron, Cut Coffee, or Detour. It’s a great pitstop to the Distillery District.

4. Fareinheit. Located on the edge of the Financial District, these award-winning baristas know their coffee and if you need to grab and go, they’ll get your expertly pulled americano or cortados with a smile. Try any one of their choices from Pilot like the silky Diablo beans or Ethiopian selection. Stay for the energy-inducing dance music.

Coffee Shops in Toronto

Photo Credit: Sam James Coffee Bar

5. The Common Now with three locations (it’s most central in the Annex), come for the $2 americano. Stay for the rustic atmosphere. Come back for the Rufino and Mountain View beans.

6. Sam James Coffee Bar Back when he was a barista at Hank’s and Dark Horse, Sam James has moved up the ranks as one of Toronto’s best baristas and making a name for himself with his eponymous cafe now with 5 locations. Serving the Cut Coffee brand, SJCB serves up espresso based drinks from macchiatos to mocha lattes. Every shop minus the Coffee Pocket serves rotating single origins as brewed drip coffee. If you’re on the go, this is your daily pick-me-up.

7. Te Aro One of Pilot Cofee Roaster’s cafes, the industrialized garage space serves up some perfectly executed coffee and is now known for Toronto’s best cold coffee. Te Aro is also the only cafe in Toronto that pulls coffee from a tap. Worth the trip to Leslieville to stock up on beans for your furnished rental or to sit with a cup in hand and watch people walking by on their expansive streetside patio.

8. Manic One of the pioneers in Toronto’s coffee scene, Manic still continues to pump out some of the best espresso in the city. They were also one of the first shops to perfect latte art. There’s no wifi here so it’s an ideal place to read a book or catch up with friends. They also serve gelato if you’re looking for something frozen and sweet.

Photo Credit :Rooster Coffee

9. Jimmy’s This tiny spot at Portland and King has become so popular, it now has three locations. It’s the place to get a strong cup of joe quick.

10. Rooster Coffee Not only does Rooster have one of the most scenic spots in the city to get your espresso at their Broadview location, they also have some of the best coffee. If you’re working or living closer to their King Street location, it’s a great place for business meetings or to savour over their custom Pilot blends or single origin beans. Stay tuned for a third location soon!

What are your favourite coffee shops in Toronto?