the pros and cons of living in a basement apartment

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Well its 22 days into 2014 and I will already have to break one my of my new year’s resolutions. Why? Because we are definitely NOT moving.

You may remember from an earlier blog post that I wanted to move this year. I vowed that 2014 would be the year where we would move out of our basement apartment and into an awesome new rental by the ocean. Well, we looked at some awesome apartments near the ocean and we got a HUGE reality check… living near the ocean in Vancouver doesn’t come cheap. Oh, and didn’t you hear? Vancouver’s housing market is the second most expensive in the world! So we decided to tally up the pros and cons of living in our current basement apartment to see if it was worth the move. Continue reading

date night idea: Festival of Lights

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Can’t get enough of the holiday season? Our christmas tree is still up and I am no hurry to take it down yet.  If you’re feeling festive, check out the Festival of Lights at the Van Dusen Botanical Gardens before it ends. The display is breathtaking and fun! We went with our friends Jason and Maryam who go every year.

I can’t believe Andrew and I hadn’t been to it sooner. I can see this being added to our yearly holiday traditions as long as we live in Vancouver. And by added I mean, its the only thing on our list so far… we’ll get there…

Have a great weekend!!

that tricky life work balance thing

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Not going to lie… lately I’ve had a hard time balancing everything on my plate. There were many times these past couple of months when I felt I was juggling too many balls in the air and as result, I let some of them drop, including this blog.

Between a busy and stressful couple of months at work, planning our wedding (which is happening in about a month!) and then trying to fit in time to train for my half marathon, I haven’t had energy to do much else.

When I did get a free moment, the last thing I wanted to do was sit in front of another computer and blog. Blog about what? I thought. I was exhausted! No, my free moments were spent watching Game of Thrones, New Girl and sleeping. But mostly sleeping.

So week after week went by without my presence on the blog, twitter or instagram (facebook was the only form of social media I seemed to be able to keep up with). And the more time went by the more guilty I felt for not being social online. And the more guilty I felt the less I wanted to start blogging again.

I admit, the thought crossed my mind to quit the whole blog all together… I was tired of feeling guilty. Tired of adding the blog to my “to-do” list. And becoming increasingly too tired to care.

The days and weeks seemed to speed by and then before I knew it it was my birthday… And I realized I was too busy to care about it. That was the eye-opener! I don’t ever want to have too many things on the go to not be able to stop and appreciate my life.

Blogging helps me to live in the moment — its a digital scrapbook of fun memories and funny stories that I otherwise wouldn’t remember on account of my “busy” life. Blogging also allows to me to write creatively which has always been something I love to do!

So consider this another entry into the digital scrapbook: a sushi picnic on Kits Beach just for Andrew and I. And I promise to make more regular entries in the days and weeks to come!

Have you ever felt like quitting something you started? What was your motivation to keep going?

on the subject of… RRSPs

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this guy is a pretty smart one…

I have had the great intention of opening an RRSP for the last couple of years, but didn’t do so until a few weekends ago.

Andrew is the savvy saver in our little family and has been wanting me to open up one for quite some time.

So after my appointment at the bank I texted him to tell him I did it! I finally did it!

I took a measly $100 out of my chequeing and put it into an RRSP account and then set up an automatic withdrawal from my bank account every 2 weeks so that I would never have an excuse not to save money for retirement, a house, or going back to school. It was that easy!

I learned I didn’t need a ka-jillion dollars to start saving for long-term goals I just needed to START. And I was so excited to share my new financial knowledge with Andrew!

His response was: “You are so hot right now…”

Who knew?

Vancouver’s Annual Santa Claus Parade

A couple weekends ago, Andrew and I went to the city’s Annual Santa Claus Parade!

Parades are one thing I love about living in a big city! And the bigger the city, the better the parade. One day I’ll have to make it to New York for the creme de la creme of all parades: the Thanksgiving Macy’s Day Parade….

….one day….
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My favorite float– every year they have this gold painted robot looking thing. I have no idea what it has to do with key tags at work, but I love it all the same. genius.

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Once the parade was over Andrew and I stayed downtown to do some Christmas shopping and enjoy a romantic dinner at Chambar — a treat a highly reccommend for your next date night. Sorry for not taking any photos or offering any restaurant review, but Andrew told me it was time to put the camera away and enjoy some quality one on one time (although I will add that if you do go, get the lamb. Simply amazing!).

In other news this is happening… CHIPOTLE! It’s coming to Vancouver… and soon! I will no longer have to wait to go south of the border to feed my addiction. This new is almost better than Christmas. Key word: almost.

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She’s a manrepeller

Holly and I got to meet the lovely and very approachable Leandra Medine, the blogger behind the New York based blog The ManRepeller at the Secret Location in Gastown last week. After waiting in line to meet her, I couldn’t believe how conversational and lovely she was. It’s always weird meeting a blogger you’ve followed for awhile… it’s like meeting a pseudo-celebrity. Although most people might not recognize her on the street, I somehow know what her latest thoughts are on dating, I know what she wore to her wedding and I know what fashion trend she loves right now.

What do you say to someone like that? I thought it might be awkward shaking her hand and saying hi, but her casual approach made the awkward moment dissappear. It felt like we just met at a bar through a friend of a friend of a friend and were hitting it off. She leaned over at one point and joked, let’s be honest we’re here for the free wine… A fellow blogger after my own heart.

It was also my first time to the Secret Location. The concept store is a one stop shop for art, design, craftsmanship, fashion and great tasting tapas all in one. It celebrates the finer things in life while getting quirky, creative and at some points … weird. I have to say after 3 glasses of wine… it all seemed pretty cool to me.

Don’t ask…

I never thought myself a Chanel girl, but this Vintage Chanel was gorgeous!

Holly I think was always a Chanel girl… and she is loving it! Even got to pose with this vintage gold clutch

I feel like if I lived in New York, this is what my friends would look like. 

Thanks to Holly, Leandra and everyone at The Secret Location for such a fun night!