a lesson in painting.

Being a twenty-something condo owner in downtown Toronto has its ups and downs. Toronto is amazing. Everything is steps from my front door, the people are generally kind and helpful, and I can’t remember the last time I was bored – there is always something going on. I can see the lake from my balcony, which sometimes makes me forget I’m even in Canada’s largest metropolis. But Toronto is also extremely expensive and home ownership comes with many (read: A LOT!) of costs – one time costs and repeating costs that never go away.

I bought a resale condo in a building that is about 10 years old. The building’s interior was in the process of being refreshed (new carpet, wall paper, paint, etc.) and my suite was bright, airy and had a stunning view. But I hated the paint. HATED it.¬†Olive green and yellow were not my cup of tea when it came to paint colours.

I decided that I would roll up my sleeves, grab a brush, and paint the condo all by myself. “It will build character” my Dad said. Character – I should have seen the giant red flag and went running as soon as I heard him say this. Instead, I went to Canadian Tire, picked out a colour I actually liked, and bought a few gallons of paint.

Here are a few things I learned while spending a weekend painting:

  • Lesson one – paint is really heavy. Like really heavy. It took me multiple trips from my car, through the parking garage, up the elevator and finally into my condo, to carry the paint and painting supplies.
  • Lesson two – it will get everywhere. I don’t care what people say, I had drop sheets everywhere and I still got paint all over the place. Maybe that speaks to my inexperience with painting, but five months later and I am still scraping little paint flecks off the floor.
  • Lesson three – it’s really hard work. I painted alone (read more about this is lesson four), and it took me two full days and a lot of Advil. My back and arms were incredibly sore and there was a lot of climbing on furniture and stools to paint the bulk heads and hard to reach places (like around cupboards).
  • Lesson four – have someone help you. Timing was not on my side the weekend I decided to paint. My family was out of town and none of my friends were free. I should have waited for another weekend instead of going at it alone. It was lonely, and took me a really long time.

Final verdict? I will never ever paint again. The amount of effort and time that it took me (inclduing setting up, taping, cutting in, actually painting, doing a second coat, removing tape, touching up, cleaning and cleaning some more) it was not worth it. But hey, it was character building right?

Below are some ‘during’ and ‘after’ photos.

xx jamie.

'during' - yellow & green walls (ew) with some of the light blue on the yellow wall.

‘during’ – yellow & green walls (ew) with some of the light blue on the yellow wall.

'after' - this was only after the first coat.

‘after’ – this was only after the first coat.

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thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is less of a ‘holiday’, and more of a ‘time of year’ for me (although I do love having the day off work). It’s a time to see family, reconnect with friends, and a reminder to enjoy the little moments that otherwise get brushed under the rug. I love that Thanksgiving isn’t as commercialized as other national holidays – there are no presents, no pressure and no high expectations.

Historically, Thanksgiving is a holiday that celebrates the annual harvest and the good things that happened over the past year.¬†While I’m not a farmer, I am thankful for the plentiful amounts of fresh food that is grown right here in Ontario. One of my favourite Thanksgiving activities is going to Farmer’s Markets – whether it be my staple St. Lawrence Market, or markets farther away like St. Jacobs. There is something satisfying about buying your food right from the farmer who grew it – and there is always great flowers at these markets.

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A lovely reminder to be thankful everyday – taken on Queen St. W.

Below are a few (of the many) things I am thankful for this year.

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Friends.

As you get older, making and keeping friends gets harder. The distances grow larger, lives get busier and priorities changes. I always try to prioritize making time for my friends – regardless of how busy other aspects of my life get. Knowing a solid support group is only a phone call or a text away is priceless.

Winston

Winston

This cat.

Right now, I am fostering this little bub. He was abandon outside of an animal services building in Toronto. Since moving downtown alone, I had been wanting to get a pet, but I had never had a cat before and felt my condo was too small for a puppy. So, I decided to foster a kitten through Toronto Cat Rescue. He has brought a lot of smiles to my day – I will be sad to see him eventually leave, but I know he will make a family really happy.

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The Jays.

I love sports. While baseball isn’t my favourite sport (I am a Leafs girl through and through), having a Toronto team finally make the playoffs for something has been amazing. This team has united Toronto in a way that I haven’t seen in a long time.

What are you thankful for this year?

xx jamie.

friday favourites.

Friday. Fri-YAY. End of the work week, beginning of the weekend. Friday is definitely my favourite day of the week.

Unfortunately, this Friday hasn’t been the greatest. Our beloved Toronto Blue Jays lost their second playoff game, and as I write this, the Toronto Maple Leafs (my favourite sports team) are losing 2-0 to the Red Wings. It’s been a sad day for Toronto sports and has left me wondering if Taylor Swift really did curse the Jays.

I’ve decided that it might be nice to do a bit of a weekly roundup on Fridays of things I’ve enjoyed this week for this blog. So without further ado, here are a handful of things that made me smile this week.

Favourite food:

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This artichoke and spinach dip topped my list this week. I love cheese, and this dish had plenty of it. Eating out and trying new restaurants is definitely one of my favourite things to do in the city, and is probably my favourite way to catch up with friends. Nothing beats a nice glass of wine, a yummy meal, and a few hours spent with friends.

Favourite book:

the good girl – mary kubica. click the photo to go the book’s website.

I am about halfway through this book and I CAN’T put it down. It was recommended to me after expressed my love for Gone Girl (and all of Gillian Flynn’s books for that matter) to a friend. She recommended I check out The Good Girl and I am incredibly happy she did. Without wanting to give too much away, the book is a thriller and bounces back and forth in time (before and after a kidnapping takes place). Stay tuned for a short book review on the blog after I finish the novel.

Favourite quote:

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I saw this sign outside of a small shop in Kensington Market and couldn’t help but take a picture. Not only is the calligraphy beautiful (and so Pinterest-worthy), but the quote itself is a lovely daily reminder. Don’t stress, take a breath, and remember that life is an adventure and you’re living just one page at a time.

Happy Friday,

xx jamie

an introduction.

Hey there!

Welcome to my little blog project that has stemmed out of taking a digital education class through the University of Toronto (and just when I thought I was done with school…clearly I am a forever learner).

I’m a twenty-something living in the centre of the universe – Toronto (or the 6ix as my favourite Twitter sensation Norm likes to call it). Everyday is an adventure and I hope to share some of my stories and lessons learned here with you.

When I’m not at work, I can be found reading, enjoying good food and wine, teaching dance, shopping or working out. You can learn more about me on the About page.

xx jamie anne.