Weekend fun

This was my first “official” weekend having been back in Vancouver, and it was perfect! Friday started as it should, with drinks after work. We have a boardroom in our office upstairs yah everyone gathers after they’re off to enjoy some drinks. Another perk of the job I found; fully stocked booze fridge! Thank you!
Afterwards I went out for some drinks and oysters at Coast. First experience with oysters = pleasantly surprised.
Coast was followed by Chill Winston with some friends and downstairs to Guilt & Co to finish the night off with some board games.

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Jess, myself and Cayley at Guilt&Co

Saturday was a relativity chill day, shopping for moms birthday gifts followed by dinner with the big brother and his wife.

I clearly reserved Sunday for a baking and cooking day! I made beef stew and pulled BBQ chicken (separately, of course) in the crockpots and finished it all off with some delicious chocolate chips cookies.

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I have arguably the best chocolate chip cookie recipe you will find. I promise! These cookies keep the fresh from the oven feel until they’re gone… Which won’t be long.
The key to this recipe is the butter and … Instant vanilla pudding mix. They are pretty quick and easy to make too. I tried making half the batch with skor pieces as well and it gave it a little something.

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The best chocolate chip cookies ever
1 cup softened butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 white sugar
2 eggs
1.5 tbsp vanilla
2 1/4 cup white flour
1tsp baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips
1 pkg instant vanilla pudding mix

This above ingredients will yield approx 36 cookies. Preheat the Oven to 350 degrees.
I start by sifting the flour and baking soda together and warring aside.
Than, in a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Add in eggs and vanilla, beating till smooth. Add in the pudding mixture.
Slowly add in the flour mixture until the dough is nice and thick. Unless you have a good kitchen aide mixer I would suggest using a spoon/hands as the dough is very thick! Add in the chocolate chips and spoon the cookies onto a non stick cookie sheet and back for 10-12 minutes! The cookies should remain mostly in the shape and size you made and be soft and lightly browned around the edges!

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Give the recipe a try and let me know what you think!

What did you do this weekend?

Surviving the hunt

VanCity Apartment Hunting

I’ll admit, I have never really had to endure the whole apartment hunting saga in all my years. I was fortunate enough to have lived with my parents until I was 22, and when I had finally decided it was time to leave I actually picked up and left to another province.
Again, being fortunate I had a friend who just so happened to have an empty basement suite which she so graciously offered to me.

Now, having moved back to Vancouver, S and I would love to experience downtown living, and so the apartment hunt has begun. Not everyone would be in our considerably lucky situation where we actually have a place to live while searing, therefore allowing us to be picky. And thank goodness for that!!
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In the last week we have viewed 8 or so apartments. There has definitely been some nice places (& possibly a winner!!) but there has also been some real pieces of work… literally. If you want to be living in Vancouver, especially right in the downtown core, you have to keep a few things in mind. First and foremost, you WILL be paying an inflated price. I am talking $1500-$1900 for a 1 bedroom 500 to 600 sq. ft. apartment. The first place we looked at is actually comparable to a shoe box. The layout was horrible, all foot traffic into and out of the bedroom, and the living room and kitchen were smaller than my old bedroom. No thank you. We promptly said our goodbyes and left laughing. We also realized for a $200 difference, which to some could seem like a lot, you can go from the perfect, safe neighborhood of Yaletown, to the scuzzy, sketchy area near the Granville street bridge.

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Some tips if you ever find yourself apartment hunting in the wonderful city of Vancouver!
1) If you can be patient, do it. Look at everything, and still compare. Remember how much money you are paying, and that you have to sign a one year lease. Be happy with the building and the area.
2) In a lot of cases, if you find a place you are happy with, jump on it! There is so much competition for rental units, everyone is wanting exactly what you want as well.
3) Remember if you have a pet, you are going to have a significantly harder time finding a place. Don’t be discouraged though, there are places out there but it will take a little more digging.
4) The place the we found and have fallen inlove with is actually a rental building with property managers. This is actually fantastic, as there is always someone there to help you & their units come available monthly.
5) If you find a rental building, you can always apply and be pre-approved so any of the following months a unit comes available, you are already approved and just tell them if you want that unit.
6) Remember you are in a competitive market, and every second counts! Many applications require a credit report, why not have yours ready to go?
7) Set a budget!! Don’t bankrupt yourself because you found this gorgeous place that is just a measly $500 (?!!??) out of your price range. Please, be smart.
8) Last but not least – Do NOT set unrealistic expectations. I know we all dream of the beautiful penthouse with the closet the size of most of these apartments, or the amazing rooftop patio. Don’t waste your time and be unrealistic. Take a quick step back down to reality with us normal foke and save your dreams for when you are sleeping (atleast for now hehe).

I know it can be easy to be discouraged when looking, but keep your head up! This is an amazing city, and to me [for now, atleast] it is worth the wait and the cost!

Have you ever looked for a place in Vancouver? How long did it take, and do you still love your place now? What are your apartment hunting tips?

Katiexx

Falling into Fall.

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There is something about fall that leaves me feeling happy and renewed. The colours are beautiful, the mornings crisp and cool, yet the afternoons are still comfortable.

Beautiful Fall morning outside my house.

Beautiful Fall morning outside my house.

This morning looks like a gorgeous Autumn day! [Fall officially starts this weekend!]
Orange leaves & blue sky.

Since we are officially moving this weekend [today, actually!] I’ve been packing up like a mad woman, which means I get to transition my wardrobe from summer to fall & winter. Making a big move is so much work, and since we aren’t moving into our apartment right away, its taking some serious thought as to what we need with us while we are looking.

It’s been great living in calgary, I met some amazing people and learned some things along the way. In the end, it worked out and made me better off :) thank for the good times, Calgary. And thanks to all the people who came out to celebrate our last night out in the city!

Has anyone ever had any experience apartment hunting in Vancouver? It is such a competitive market, and so expensive. All the apartments we are looking at are right in the downtown core, preferably Yaletown. Looking for a wonderful 500 sq ft. of apartment living, thank god I love my boyfriend! That right there is some seriously close quarters. I’ll have to post some pointers once I master it myself :)

I can officially see Vancouver! It’s been a long drive and I need a nap. What are your weekend plans?

Mac’s Fall Matte Lip

I never used to be a lipstick person, but in the past few years I’ve really come to appreciate a good lip color.

This fall, it looks like the Matte trend is on, which I couldn’t be more thrilled about. All the beautiful shades can be made even more eye-popping in a matte texture.

Mac has a great matte line called the “MAC Retro Lip”. The colors are bright, it goes on smooth and gives you a great finished look.

MAC Retro Matte Lipsticks

MAC Retro Matte Lipsticks

I never really listened to the advice I was given from makeup artists and friends about proper lip care prior to applying lipstick, but it really does make all the difference in the world. Who wants to be stuck with dry looking lips with the color falling into the cracks? Matte lips can leave you feeling tight and dry, so here’s a quick “how to” guide when it comes to applying the perfect lipstick.

1.Exfoliate – Matte lipstick can be unforgiving when your lips are dry, so make sure to exfoliate!
2. Hydrate – At a light lip balm to the mix. A quick sweep across the lips will do just fine.
3. Line – Seriously, line it, line it, line it. This keeps the look “perfect” and prevents bleeding. You can also try experimenting with darker liners to give a different shade or an “ombre” look.
4. Blot – Blot the color and do a quick reapply, this gets rid of the excess color and oils from your lip.
5. Seal it – If you have a translucent powder, use a large face brush or your fingers and lightly add some powder onto and around the lip.

I find following all these steps gives me a great looking lipstick and saves me from having to reapply every hour!

What is your favorite lip color or product you like to use?

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Adventure Time

The next couple months of my life are going to be fun. Why? Well, for starters after picking myself up and moving 955km from home just a year ago, I am making the move back.
After agonizing over my life for the past few years, trying to figure out work, friends, relationships and life in general, I think I can finally say I’ve got it figured out. Actually, not really. But I’m on the right path.
I like to think I’ve used the first few years of my 20’s wisely. Sure, I’ve made my mistakes, but I have learned a hell of a lot in the process.
So here’s to the start of something great, the creation of a new blog, and starting a life in a new (old) city! I’ll be posting here about anything, and everything a 20 something should and does experience!