Category Archives: Life

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

Shows I Binge Watch in the Winter

Happy Winter everyone (and Merry Christmas – it’s almost time)! On the first day of  winter I’m bringing you a post that speaks to my semi-quasi-sometimes couch-potato-y ways. As much as I like to go out, there are days where I like to sit on the couch, grab a drink and some popcorn, and listen to some music or watch T.V. There are a lot of great things about winter (in spite of how cold it is), such as turtleneck sweaters, blankets, warm coats, and comfort food, but being chained to the sofa and the T.V. is really something special.

So when I’m parked on the couch – wearing a sweater, sweats, and my warmest socks –  with a cup of tea in one hand and popcorn in the other, here are the shows that I’m watching:

#1. Murder She Wrote

murder-she-wrote

[Image credit]

I love Angela Lansbury. I think she’s a brilliant actress (one of the best of all time), but I confess that I haven’t seen a lot of her earlier – old Hollywood – work. What I’ve seen, and ultimately what I love fiercely, is Murder She Wrote. My sister and I are obsessed with this show. We wish it was on over the weekend. It’s about a writer who doesn’t drive (like me, she bikes, walks, or takes the bus everywhere), and she ends up solving murder cases at home (in Cabot Cove), in other parts of U.S (particularly in New York City where she spends a lot of her time), and internationally. Unrealistically, detectives and police chiefs let her in on murder investigations (something that makes no sense in real life  but works for T.V.), or she pushes her way in to solve the hell out of cases for them. She also narrates some episodes (as if its a story of murder within one of her books or a murder story a friend told her). Its so good.

#2. Sex and the City

sexcity_01

[Image Credit]

I love Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, and Cynthia Nixon. Yes, I love them all! This is, for me, one of the best shows of all time. Not only do they normalize women having a sex life and sexual needs, this show is also, at its heart, a show about friendship. The women are there for each other, no matter what, and I honestly feel like they’re all still in their Manhattan/Brooklyn spots drinking cosmos and talking about the innermost details of their lives.

#3. Girlfriends

girlfriends

[Image Credit]

Yea, I also love  Jill Marie Jones, Persia White, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Golden Brooks. What I love about this show, aside from the obvious – a show about girlfriends which normalizes professional women who support each other and try to find love in the world – is that it features  professional black women. I love watching a show where the women look like me. Its always nice to see representation in the entertainment industry, and its nice when the representation is so positive. Another good thing about this show is that it has heart: the women go through things in life that a lot of people go through – the tough stuff – but they keep trying to find joy in every area of their lives. I honestly think its one of the best shows of all time. Its so good.

#4. Archer

archer

[Image Credit]

This is pure – outlandish and wacky- entertainment for me. This is a show that stars a spy called Sterling Archer who works (badly and without any shame) in the world of international espionage as a spy. He’s the most sloppy and reckless individual to hold such an important job, and he often screws things up for his team. It completely turns on its head all the serious stories and tropes that surround spy shows and movies. Its fantastic. I laugh and cringe every time.

What shows do you binge watch? Any shows you’d recommend?

Adaora

If You Care About Growth & Family


Marianna, Kahlil’s Sister (by Kahlil Gibran)

Recently I dived into the very important discussion of love, human error, and communication. I focused on the need for continued growth throughout our lifetime, and my choice to associate with other people who can acknowledge their humanity. But what about being human while growing up as a child or adolescent?

Continue reading

If You Love Somebody

truth

I’m always thinking about what makes someone the kind of person that you want to share your life with (as a partner), or generally share collective memories with (in the case of family and friends).  After much deliberation, I have come to the conclusion that I only want anything to do with people who know that they are imperfect human beings (who will always be willing and able to grow and learn with me).  If you see yourself as a man or woman without any faults, you better patent what it is that you do, so all of us human error rich people can make ourselves as perfect as you are.

Continue reading