Balcony Garden!!!

*Insert granny scream here*

Since I was a little girl I always wanted to play house and do all the household work that comes along with it. One of my biggest dreams was to own my own garden, since I grew up on an acre’s worth of garden and lawns at my parent’s home. It was marvellous. My parents would pluck produce from their vegetable garden every spring and summer and it would be so delicious – I so looked forward to every spring to pick cherries and such.

Now that I have my own little home, I have my freedom to do whatever I wanted! Unfortunately I don’t have the luxury to have an acre’s worth of yard and gardens (we have a balcony), but I am DETERMINED TO MAKE IT WORK! *fist pump

As stated in my previous blog post, over the past weekend we visited our neighbour’s home next door and he literally built a mini jungle in his home – there were plants everywhere and he even installed a vertical indoor garden – which was GENIUS! He is huge into gardening (not sure about Lisa..!), and it was so amazing. You can’t help but to put a smile on your face when you walk in!

We face North East and get a shot of Vitamin D in the morning. It’s glorious. Except sometimes I would like to sleep in a little longer on the weekends, but it’s still glorious. Sometimes I like to stand on my balcony in my PJ’s and sun my office tan a little before getting ready. We have a decent size balcony, nothing too large (we rather have a larger indoor space), perfect enough for a grill, some patio furniture and a vertical shelf garden with maybe enough room to stretch. We still haven’t purchased any outdoor furniture yet so it’s completely bare (although sometimes I enjoy daydreaming about our furniture layout outside).  I dream of growing two rows of vegetables on the bottom, and two rows of flowers on the top. My boyfriend’s favourite flowers is the Pansy and mine is Lavender, so I’d like to grow lots of those.

Do you have a balcony garden? If so, what kind of goodies do you grow? I’d like to get some tips on growing your FIRST EVER GARDEN!! *continues screaming

Getting to Know Your Neighbours

The boyfriend and I are new to strata living, and have always lived in our parent’s houses where we really only see our neighbours in passing, and not really even knowing their names. Back in my parent’s house, I never really knew anyone who lived on our cul-de-sac, which felt very sad because we have been there for more than 20 years. My boyfriend, although he knows some of the people on his block, again only knows his neighbours by face and not by name and we would just duck into his house after we drove in his garage.

I’m a huge advocate for knowing your neighbours and having a sense of community, because not only can you help them in times of need, but they will most likely be happy enough to help you out when you’re in need!

Take for example just this weekend, we bought some furniture that needed to be transported upstairs. I, being the tiny girl that I am, could barely even lift up the box, let alone carry it to the elevator, and into our unit. We are pretty close with our other corner suite neighbours, Mark and Lisa and after one text from Mark, we met in our hallway and he actually helped out! Of co Not only that, since our layout is pretty much the same but flipped, we gave them a house tour of our place and Lisa invited us over for snacks and their house tour as well. We ended up staying over for two hours – the boys were talking about home renovation projects they’d like to work on and Lisa and I ended up shopping online together LOL. David returned home first and I didn’t leave until it was time for me to cook dinner XD

That made us feel so much better, knowing that we have actual friends on our floor instead of just knowing the person by face. Whenever they need help with something, we’ll also be more than willing to help out.

Do you know your neighbours as well? What is the nicest thing that your neighbours have done for you/ you’ve done for them? =)

Groceries, Lovely Neighbours, New Office!

Groceries and the Never Ending Budget

The boyfriend and I take turn paying for groceries each week. We used to do one big sweep at the local grocery store for the week and call it a day, but lately we’ve been trying to space out our groceries by going to more frequent trips at the market. Our goal for this new plan of attack is to eat fresher foods and create less waste. Of course, we’d like to see our grocery bill lower a bit as well, but we usually average about $70/wk which is pretty good for the two of us.

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This is a general grocery haul full of our regular staples =) We have here:

  • A variety of pasta sauce bases, red and alfredo. We usually like bulking up our sauce bases when we do make pasta to make it extra hearty!
  • Two “fun ” purchases for the boyfriend and I. This week, it’s a pre-canned pasta in Disney Princess shapes for myself (yes, I realize I’m an adult… lol) and some goldfish snacks for my boyfriend.
  • White bread, apple danishes, and pasta noodles (we like capelini!), and this is my first time buying quinoa. I’ve only tried it once a while back, hopefully I can incorporate it more into our daily meals~
  • Strawberries, bananas, grapes and delicious pineapple juice! Essential for surviving a 8 hour work day.
  • Chicken thighs, 2% milk for baking and making omelettes and eggs
  • Bok choy, green beans, lemons, mushrooms, and tomatoes ❤

So far, we’re doing good with using up what we have and eating our old food before buying new produce. But sometimes we forget to do a refrigerator scan before going to the market… lol. Does anyone else have this problem too?

Lovely Neighbours ❤

I’ve been loving living in a strata environment! I’ve always been a people person and I love being able to meet new faces and such in my building community. Recently, one of my neighbours gave us a tupperware full of macaroni and cheese, and it really helped us for a dinner when we were strapped for time! It was such a lovely surprise to get their text on a weekday night. We are definitely friends now and have been for quite some time now, but that just totally brightened our moods ^.^ I just love living next to friendly neighbours.

New Office Space

I’ve been a receptionist my entire life and haven’t really been given the respect that I craved in my career. I quit my last job in a cushy downtown tower for one that’s not in a fancy tower, for a better work environment. Not only was I given a desk away from the reception area, I was given my own personal office today! It’s such a huge change from the day to day noises and I can actually focus on getting work done. This is the job that called me a Thursday for an interview, and I kept debating and only called back on the following Tuesday. Needless to say, I know now never to judge a book by it’s cover. I’m totally enjoying my new office!

 

Small Spaces: Storage Management

This past weekend, the bf and I have been stepping up our game in maximizing the space that we live in (800sqft). In the entrance of our front hallway, we have an amazing storage closet which we converted into sort of a pantry/stock closet. Before we built our shelving unit, we were considering building our own customizable shelving unit from Ikea, but we found this awesome organizational unit that fit like a glove. I will probably do an organization update on this unit a few months later but for now, it does the trick and we’re happy (yes, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you, we splurged on a Dyson and it is our baby!)

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People who know me personally know that I am a highly sentimental person and that I have a large collection of paper memorabilia. Letters and cards are my most prized possession, and instead of having them tucked away, what better way to display it out and remember the love that I’ve received?

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Insert the most talked about Ikea product ever, the Raskog utility cart. I have plans in the future to spray paint it a baby pink, but for now here’s my configuration! The top shelf displays my most sentimental cards (the top left from my mom, and the three others from my best friend), some baby perfumes and my precious Instax polaroid camera. I plan to put a little potted plant in the little corner in front of the camera in the future!

The second shelf serves as a sort of bookshelf for my ever growing collection of notebooks, books, and photo albums where I keep my memorabilia. It’s right next to my office desk so it’s easy for me to grab for when I meal plan for the week. The third shelf is still a work in progress, I do create jewellery on the side so maybe the bottom shelf can be my crafting shelf!

All in all, I am pretty satisfied with the small progress of our new home. I’m excited to blog about the changes in the next few months! Thank you for reading^.^

❤ Jessica

Small Space: Laundry Room Woes

Well well, I’ve run into my first rut from moving out of my parent’s (pretty much mansion) house into a condo without a laundry room with enough space for a linen closet, a drying rack, and other luxury items I didn’t know I took for granted.

What happens if I wanted to hand wash some clothing items and hang dry?!

We were already blessed with our own en-suite washer/dryer unit (I told my boyfriend I sure as hell do NOT want to buy a condo with a shared laundry room) and generously sized storage closet solution. But on those cloudy, wintery days where I still need to hand wash certain garments that I really loved, what would I need to do?

A bit of a background of the characteristics of our condo: we actually don’t have a standing bath tub shower (boo), but a glass shower with two doors connecting his and my private bathrooms. We don’t actually have rings for a shower curtain or that would’ve been an easy solution to hang dry my clothes.

Well, if your boyfriend is as Canadian as mine, you may have a hockey stick (or two or twenty) lying around the house (amirite or amirite, ladies?) I used to abhor seeing these ugly sticks lying around, but since we’ve got a pretty nice sized storage locker, it fits his ginormous hockey bag + sticks (angels are singing!). I thought one day, why don’t I try hanging a hockey stick above the glass shower door for a makeshift rod, and hang the clothes from there?

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First, you’d need a bucket to wash your clothes in. Mine is nothing fancy for now but this will do. You have no idea how much I was praying that I wouldn’t bump into anybody in the building carrying that damn hockey stick up to my floor from the storage room, but thank God, I saw no one.

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Secondly, hang the clothes on the makeshift rack from the good ol’ hockey stick and voila, you have a makeshift laundry rack!!

I was pretty ecstatic to find out that this little hack of mine worked for our tiny space. I hope it helped you with your small space solutions, and if not, I hope it put a smile on your face regardless! The things we ladies think of! We deserve a Grammy!