I spoke to a realtor (way in advance of buying my first home), and I think you should too (if you aspire to own your own home). #RealEstate #Goals

I believe in the law of attraction.

Basically, the law of attraction it is the idea that you create your own reality through the thoughts that you predominantly have about yourself, your condition, and what you are capable of achieving within your lifetime. So, of course, to make ones dreams of home ownership a reality, one must know what kind of home they want, right?  Yes. So I signed up for a real estate website (where you plug in your name, your email, and your phone number, in order to get access to the available home listings), and before I knew it I received a phone call from a realtor that I am now on a first name basis with. Anytime I have a question, all I have to do is text her. It’s like she’s holding my hand in advance.

Very professionally (thanks to my years of watching Property Virgins, Property Brothers and Property Brothers Buying & Selling, Love it or List it, House Hunters and House Hunters Renovation), I asked her whether it was a buyers or sellers market, I asked how much I would have to put down for a place (within the budget I had set), and I asked her about other things too (like how I would go about getting a mortgage broker and what that process would be like).

Over the phone, in order to send me a fine-tuned list of properties available today via email,  she asked me what my desires for a home were.  Here’s what I said/what I want:

1. A Move in ready condo in a cool neighbourhood in Toronto.

2. Lots of light, big windows, and wall space (for bookshelves – because I have a lot of books).

3. A great and open kitchen (because, as you know, I cook and bake), and an open dining and living area.

4. Two good sized bedrooms.

5. Two decently sized bathrooms.

6. Harwood or laminate floors.

7. A quality gym in the building.

8. Near the bus or subway line.

9. A parking spot (I don’t drive but it’s good to have for a spouse or for re-sale value) and a storage locker.

10. Good security in the building.

And you know what?  I found my dream condo (in my dream starter neighborhood),  I saw the sticker price, I was given a ballpark estimate of what it would cost to carry it each month, and I am taking measurable steps towards making it mine. That’s right folks, I’m gonna buy my first place as soon as possible. I believe it (and I can see how doable it is).

Here’s what I learned from communicating with a realtor (who I have decided to stay in contact with):
1. Have a goal and a vision

You absolutely have to know what your looking for. Do you want a 5 year house, a ten year house, or a forever home? What do you see yourself doing in your home? Do you plan on renovating the home immediately upon taking possession of it, will you live in a fixer-upper for some time before renovating, or do you want a turn-key home? And very simply, do you plan on being alone in your home or do you foresee a partner in your near future?

2. Make sure your goal is measurable

As much as I would immediately like a nice Georgian in a certain neighborhood in Toronto (which I truly believe I will get into one day), I have to take focused and measurable steps towards making my starter home a reality (so that my forever home, that Georgian in a certain neighborhood, can happen too).  Steps, measured monthly and annually, are what I will take.

3. Have a plan

Yea, have a plan. I have been looking for a nice stable job that will allow me to save more aggressively (re: an RRSP and a TFSA) than I have been able to do right now.

4. Be flexible

As much as I would like to buy right in the downtown core, I know that buying in the heart of it all comes at a premium (re: more than I want to spend for a starter home), and I have to give a bit on location. I also know that I have to give on the number of bedrooms, the square footage, and those little or big jiggling things like storage in the unit or how big the kitchen is.

And that’s it! I promise to keep you guys updated on my home buying process (when the time comes), and maybe I’ll do some budget and money saving posts too. This whole accidental process has really lit a fire under my ass, and it has transformed my life trajectory for the better.

Adaora

Top Ten Makeup Loves 

I am a big fan of anything that will enhance what I’ve already got (without changing my face contours). I like bright colours on my lips and wide open eyes. I like lipstick and mascara. The products you see above are what I call my “full face.” I use mascara, my favorite colour corrector (for under my eyes and on top of my lips), my favourite concealer (again, for under my eyes and on top of my lips), my favourite bases (the one by Nars I use more often because it has skin benefits and it includes SPF), a face primer, and several of my favourite lipsticks. No eyeshadow here because, as I said in my last post, I just don’t wear it that often (it comes by invitation only). 

So, without any further commentary, here is a closer look at my top ten favourite makeup products…

1. Nars Tinted Moisturizer (shade “Martinique”) 

Oh my goodness, I can’t tell you how much I love this product. I have been using this for years (by applying it with my hands), and I honestly belive it’s the best face base out there. It photographs well, it goes on smooth, and it’s a perfect colour match for me (though that is not a surprise as Nars is a wonderfully inclusive makeup and skincare brand). 

2. Maybelline Fit Me Foundation (shade “Coconut”)

This product has really been a suprise to me because it’s so hard to find a good drugstore product that works for my skin colour. Well, I found this one (and the concealer pictured down below), and I’m very happy with it. 

3. Maybelline Master Prime Blur + Smooth

I use this primer under my Maybelline foundation stick. It goes on smooth, it helps my foundation last for a very long time, and it feels very light and easy to wear. 

4.Smashbox Color Correcting Stick (shade “Look Less Tired – Dark”)

This is the colour correcting base that I use with my concealer (which I use when I want a glowy and highlighed look). It’s very creamy, it’s easy to apply, it comes with a sharpening pencil (which I have yet to use), and it’s very good.  

5. Revlon PhotoReady Concealer (shade “Deep 006”)

I use this as a highlighter (for the skin above my top lip and for under my eyes). It goes hand-in-hand with my Smashbox colour corrector, and it does such an amazing job brightening my under eye and top lip areas. 

6. Maybelline Color Elixir (shade “Radiant Ruby 530”)

I bought this winner of a lip colour on sale at an I.D.A. very early this year. As a lipstick savant, I can never say that my lipstick collection is complete (because new lipstick is always being released in the beauty world), but I do have my favourites. Overall, I am so happy that I bought this one (for $2.00 or so).

7. YSL Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick (shade 214 – Rouge on Fire)

This terracotta coloured lipstick is one of my favourites because it’s rich, it’s buttery, it stays on, and the colour is like fire on. Even though I wore it in winter, I think it will be ideal when I’m deeper skinned in the summer. 

8. YSL Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick (shade 212 – Alternative Plum)

This is a newer purchase for me. I love purple lipstick (it’s my favourite colour) and this one glides on so easily. It’s as smooth as you can possibly imagine, it’s highly pigmented, and it’s gorgeous on. 

9. NYX Matte Lipstick (shade MLS 30 Aria)

I first bought this lipstick a year or so ago at the NYX store on Queen West. The colour is so highly pigmented, it’s very matte, and it stays on forever. I love this one. 

10. Maybelline The Colossal Volum Express Mascara 

I have been using this mascara for years. I love it because the wand is really good at grabbing my lashes and extending them as high as humanly possible. This stuff really opens my eyes up. 

Blusher & Highlighter Collection 

So, with posts about skincare, lipstick, and all things beauty, it can’t come as a surprise to hear that I am a big fan of blusher and highlighter too. I am! I am!

Because of my skin tone, and because I prefer a bare or natural with lipstick look, I don’t wear blusher or highlighter every day. When I wear a blusher or highligher, together or seperately, I pick a colour that compliments my lipstick and my eyeshadow. It’s like that for me.

My collection is medium sized: I have a manageable number of blushers, perhaps more than average, and I have only a few highlighters. It is absolutely a collection that I feel is complete.

As you can see in the picture, I currently keep all of my blushers and highlighters in an open square container. It keeps everything contained, and when my powders get dusty (I do favour powder blushers and highlighters over liquid or cream) they don’t spill everywhere.

Look on to see my collection…

Highlighters L-R: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector (pressed) in Topaz, Covergirl Cheekers Bronzer in Golden Tan

Shiseido Face Colour Enhancing Trio in RS1

Illamasqua Powder Blusher in Lover

Nars Blusher L-R: Lovejoy, Torrid, and Exhibit A

Nars Blusher L-R: Outlaw, and Amour

And that’s my collection!

What are your favourite blushers?

Adaora

Unseen Beauty Essentials 

We all have routines which get our days started or end them. Between those routines, or right in the middle of them, are products which make those routines. I thought I would share mine with you. Here they are:

#1. Lip balm

I’ve used many lip balms, but none have been as moisturizing  for my lips as this Smith Rosebud Salve has been. I love using this before bed or right before I put on lipstick.

#2. Lip scrub

This lip scrub by Fresh really takes off the dead skin and leaves your lips buttery soft. Bonus: it smells really good.

#3. Deodorant

LaVanilla Healthy Deodorant is the best deodorant that I have ever used. Even though it’s expensive as hell, it works very hard for me, and smells amazing.

#4. Cuticle Oil

Nails Inc Superfood Repair Oil is awesome because it really gets into that skin surrounding your nail bed, and it penetrates it, leaving my cuticles very moisturized.

#5. Nail file

When I first got my nails done I would get bio gel extension tips. However, in spite of how beautiful they were, they got in the way of my being able to take out my contact lenses. So now, instead of extensions, I get shellac manicures. Now, instead of the contact lense problem, my shellac manicures (where your natural nail is painted and treated) break at the tips within a week or two of getting a manicure. I guess you take the good with the bad in everything right? Anyways, I use this very file to smooth out my jagged nails. I’ve had it for years, I love it, and sorry, I have no idea where I bought it.

#6. Serum

I love using serums because they deliver all kinds of skin loving ingredients, they keep my skin hydrated, and they just feel really nice when you put them on. Serums are essential to me.

What are your unseen beauty essentials?

Adaora

Handbag Collection 

You guys, this is a handbag collection post!

Rather than wait till I own all the high-end handbags that I aspire to own, I decided that I would show you what I’m working with right now. This post is up to the minute because it includes new purchases, and it’s a post that I will say I’m happy to share.

I like to make sure that my handbags are a compliment to my dresses and to my shoes. They don’t have to be matchy-matchy (because that would be weird), but they do have to add a little something to what I’m wearing. One thing I don’t do, which might be different or the same as other people, is seasonal handbag changes. I don’t change bags seasonally because I would much rather wear everything I own whether it’s Spring, Summer, or Winter. So, I pick bags that I think work 365 days out of the year. And uh, I have also been gifted with bags that I think work 365 days out of the year.

Although I own a good number of handbags, there are some high-end bags, as I said, that I have both of my eyes on (more on that later). I guess I’ll need a bigger closet to accommodate the collection that I want. And I guess that I might have to give some bags away to make room for new ones (though there are few bags I would never be able to part with) when I reach the pinnacle when it comes to my handbag collection.

Here’s a good look into my handbag collection as it stands now… Continue reading

Personal Style 

 

Personal style is something that is cultivated over time. As for me, I would say that my style, throughout the years, has grown with me. It’s a style that is very logical and effortless (because I wear dresses 95% of the time – a no brainer),  it’s classic in shape, and it’s full of texture, print, and colour. I love things that fit me well, and I love bright colours because they pop against my deeper skin tone.

It is my love of prints, colour, texture, and a classic shape that attracts me to the styles of icons like Diana Ross, Nina Simone, and Josephine Baker. They are, and in the case of Nina and Josephine, were women known for their edgy and unique performances.  Their performance clothing, which was bright, printed, shift-like, glitzy, and fitted, seemed to be an extension of that. Their outfits, when out on the town, were (and still are) something to talk about.

My favorite designers are Prada, Naeem Khan, Elie Saab, Saint Laurent, Erdem, and Duru Olowu. I love Prada, Naeem Khan, and Ellie Saab for their classic silhouettes and use of colour. I love Saint Laurent for its edge and reinvention of the classics, and I love Erdem and Duru Olowu for their use of prints.

When it comes to fashion labels I have my favourites too. Labels, which I feel flatter curves the most, are the following: Vero Moda, Yumi, Smash!, Black Tape (by Dex clothing), Rudsak, Wilfred Free, California Moonrise, Dynamite (a store which has clothing with its name on it), and Chaps. Of course there are names out there that I haven’t yet discovered. And of course there are brands that I’m eager to try (ASOS and Free People leap to mind). However, the brands I mentioned are in my closet, and I would absolutely recommend them to anybody who has a curvy figure and long legs.

I also like vintage dresses. Where I shop, when I buy vintage, is Etsy. Just Etsy. It is the hub for all things vintage and handmade. You might be thinking, why would a tall and curvy woman buy things she can’t try on in advance? To those wondering I say this: when you know your body you can buy just about anything. I measure my waist, hips, leg length, arm length, and bust width because sellers are good enough to post the measurements of their garments in the product information section. So, I’m always comfortable buying dresses online.


As for shoes, I’m very simple: I like clean lines, rich colours (like olive, burgundy, and camel brown), florals and brights (in the Spring and during summertime), and classic shapes. I don’t like buying shoes that often (as I would rather buy a nice dress), but when I do buy a shoe it had better have wearing power (because I wear my shoes to the ground).


I would love to hear about your style! Comment down below an answer to the following questions: Do you prefer to wear dresses or pants (and why)? And what kind of shoes do you like to wear?

Adaora

Ten Things Every Woman Aged 18 -80 Should Have (Including the Trivial, the Controversial, and the Unarguable)…

Happy New Year everyone! 

I hope that this year proves to be prosperous and glorious for you. As we settle into this new year, I couldn’t help but think about the things that I have, the things that I’m thankful for, and the experiences that I intend to have in my lifetime. And I thought, why not share some of the things that I have, the things that I’m grateful for, and the things that I will have (in a roundabout way) with you? You guys are interested, right? So, sit down, grab a glass of wine or a cup of apple cider (both are equally yummy), get some popcorn (and a ketchup shaker from Kernels if you dare), and read on…

1. Hope

hope

Seriously, hope is life sustaining. Life can be rough as hell sometimes (believe me, I’ve been there and bought the t-shirt on tough times and tough circumstances), but what gets you through life is having hope (and even faith) that things will eventually get better. They just have to, right? Things can’t be bad forever, and things are always changing (that’s the ebb and flow of life). There is always the possibility of a series of circumstances coming along to change your life for the better. And just think, especially when things go really sour in your life, the only way to go is up. So, dear readers please have hope; keep it alive, let it have wings, and let it keep you going, because it will.

Continue reading