Emma & Audrey's Glam Girls Room

Hope everyone is having a good weekend.
On Saturday we woke up early and went to the Farmers Market
We didn't end up buying anything other than Ice Cream but it was nice to get out for a beautiful day and see a wonderful community gather to support one another and enjoy some live music.
Tonight I am headed downtown for a concert with a friend.
I'm really looking forward to a night out.
The girls and I did some planning for their new room this weekend as well.
Before we moved I had the girls pick their paint colour and they went with a pale aqua colour.
We talked about what sort of things they wanted to see in their room and Emma suggested a
"Glam Room"
She's such a girly girl.
I asked them to give me 1 idea each for their new room, something they really wanted to have in their special space.
Emma said she wanted pictures of her favourite singers - Katy Perry and Sabrina Carpenter.
Audrey said she wanted Christmas Lights in her room.
There shared room is really tiny and we have just enough room to fit their bunk beds and a dresser so it's important we keep their room simple.
Emma asked if she could have a mirror in her room so I think a small round mirror will be perfect.
I'm planning to put a shelf underneath the mirror so she can put her brush and some lipgloss etc. on it.
Target had these adorable knit poufs a while back and I'm hoping I can find the same thing when it comes time to complete their room.
It would be perfect to sit on to read and can tuck away in their closet when not in use.
The girls and I sat together and made up a little Glam Room inspiration board.


Homeowners Club Series - How we got into the housing market before age 25.

I have been asked a lot of questions in the past few weeks about our recent home purchase.
People are curious how we got into this crazy housing market at a young age and what steps they need to take in order to join the homeowners club. I am no expert but I would love to share our experience with other young people hoping to become home owners.
Every Thursday I will write a new post about becoming a homeowner and what life as a homeowner is really all about.
Today I am sharing with you how we managed to get into this housing marking before the age of 25.

Our First Home

When I was the young age of 20 and my husband three years my elder we purchased our first home.
A townhouse that I blogged about here.
When all my friends were making College and University plans in high school I was making plans to save money to buy a house.
I had a goal in mind - I would own a house by age 20.
I planned to work, avoid renting and save up a down payment.
Looking back now dreaming about College and University probably should`ve been my biggest priority but live and learn right?
I never quite understood why my friends were so eager to get out of their parents house and start renting.
Of course I wanted to finally feel like an adult and have my own space but
why would I give away my money to make someone else richer?
I  did end up renting and going to College for about 6 months and I absolutely hated it.
There were bugs in my apartment, the halls smelt like cigarettes, I was terrified in the parking garage at night and I was spending money to live there and making someone else rich.
My rent (although split between a roommate and I) for a 2 bedroom apartment was actually more expensive than our first mortgage.
I quickly decided after my lease was up that I would never ever rent again.
Instead, Louis and I decided we would suck it up and live with family until we were able to save up a down payment for a house.
This was back in 2009.
We lived with my in-laws, then my grandma then my dad.
It wasn`t easy - we were also expecting our first baby and newlyweds.
Of course we wanted our own space but we knew that would come eventually if we just held out for a while longer.
I was constantly looking at the MLS and New Home Section in the local paper and keeping my eye on the market.
This was right around when the recession was going on in the US which made housing prices on new builds drop quite a bit in certain areas to appeal to nervous home buyers who were worried about a possible recession in Canada.
One day while reading through the paper I came across a builder about 20 minutes north of where we currently lived who was slashing their prices in order to bring in new buyers.
They were dropping house prices from the 240s to low 200s and on top of this they offered a 7,000 of the purchase price if you chose to opt out of upgrades.
The house was in a small(ish) town that didn't have the greatest reputation but I knew this would be a great move for us investment wise.
It was in the newest subdivision in the area, with a park and a school and a plan for the highway to extend right up to the neighbourhood.
We made a call to a mortgage broker and let him know that we were hoping to put an offer in on a house for 200,000 we gave him our info and he gave us a pre approval.
We went in that weekend and put a deposit on the house.
This was 5 years ago and looking back now, our financial situation was a joke.
I was on maternity leave when we put the deposit down and my income was under 15,000.
 Louis was only making $16 an hour.
There was no problem getting a pre-approval then and our deposit was only 5% down.
That was then and this is now because my oh my have things changed.
It is not this easy to buy a house now and it takes a lot more hard work and money to get into the housing market 5 years later.
I am so thankful we got into the housing market when we did because I fear that if we didn`t we would be renters right now but I will talk about this in another post.
Next week I will blog about all the steps we had to take the first time around to get our house, get the mortgage, all the associated costs etc.


Moving tips - moving with kids

Moving sucks.
sorting, packing, lifting, Realtor fees, relocating.
None of the above appeals to me.
What sucks even more than moving?
Moving with kids.
Our oldest daughter is 5 years old and in her 5 years of life she has moved with us a total of 6 times.
This past year alone we have moved as a family of five 3 times.
After a long wait we are in the home that we plan on being in for at least the next 5 -10 years.
Moving is hard on adults so naturally it is even harder on kids.
I have had a lot of people asking how we moved and settled so fast with three little ones so I thought Id share a few tips on moving with kids.

Involve your kids 
I cant speak for every ones kids but our kids don't cope well with change.
Change is especially  difficult for our oldest daughter who likes to feel in control.
{not like her mother at all....}
To make things easier on our kids we would drive by our house every week to see how our house was coming along. I remember driving the kids by the day that they had just started breaking ground and explaining to them that in a year our new house would be where this dirt was. They were so excited and they loved seeing our house turn into a home each week we would drive by.
If you aren't buying a brand new home you can still involve your kids by showing MLS listings or driving by the already built house.

Purge Purge Purge
 I actually really enjoy purging and a new house is like a blank canvas, an opportunity to start fresh.
Don't bring the junk with you! Take only what you love.
There is something so liberating about getting rid of crap you don't use or need!
We got the kids involved in this as well and explained to them that there are many people in need that we could donate our stuff to and make really happy.
The kids loved putting bags of their clothes, toys and books for kids in need.
Our oldest daughter actually came up to me about a week after we purged nearly 20 large garbage bags to GoodWill and said
"Mommy, I am so happy we got rid of all our stuff. We had way too much stuff!"
Not only does purging make less for you to physically move but I have found since our purging that our kids play more and fight less with less stuff around. 

Get the kids excited about their new rooms
One of the first things that our kids asked when we told them we were moving was
"What about my room? What will it look like?"
Talk about their new room with them and get them excited!
What colour do they want it to be? Do they have ideas for a theme?

Organized Packing
The key to settling in your new place faster is to be organized.
Pack your moving boxes by room and make sure you label!
I found it was really helpful to make a list of what was in each box and I would label with a number so I could get to what I needed quickly.
For example I would label the box Living Room 1
Then write a list like this:
Living Room 1

Plan for Help
We are fortunate enough that we have amazing family who was willing to help out with the kids while we did most of the moving and unpacking.
This made our move so much easier because we were able to work 12 straight hours moving and unpacking and had everything pretty much unpacked and in place the first day we had the house.
If you don't have anyone to watch the kids have a plan to keep kids occupied.
Coloring sheets, rainbowloom and Ipads are all great but in the chaos of the move the kids will be more interested in "helping" move than playing.
Have a couple of boxes ready for their rooms that they can help unpack too.

Have FunMoving is stressful and exhausting.
At the end of a long day of moving put some pillows and blankets on the floor, order some pizza, pop in a movie and break in the new house pizza party style :)

Balancing Act

 I have a confession to make.
I am 100% overwhelmed lately.
It's amazing how things like Social Media can really fool people because this past week I have received at least 5 texts saying how amazing it is that I have such a beautiful house, and everything so put together with 3 young kids.
Social Media is great for creating illusions my friends.
Moving to a new house, returning to work after maternity leave, dealing with a very anxious and insecure 5 year old (more on this another day) ,a potty training toddler, teething baby, trying to find time for friends, three kids, my husband and if I'm lucky throw in 5 minutes somewhere for myself.
I am exhausted just typing all that out.
I remember after I had just had Emma at age 20 a lot of my friends asking me if it was easy to be a mom.
It is easy to love your child(ren)
It is easy to worry about your child(ren)
It is easy to transform from a totally selfish girl into a selfless mother who would do anything for their child(ren).
But being a mom is not easy.
It is amazing but not easy.
Not at all.
There are many amazing days but today was one of those really rough days.
It started off with our youngest son wheezing from his asthma and miserable from teething.
Followed by a talk from the teacher about concerns of our oldest Daughter.
Which resulted in this mama breaking down and crying right then and there in the kindergarten classroom.
And I had half an hour to get to work.
I ended up calling in sick so I could take Luca to the walk in.
The mommy guilt was really kicking in.
Why hadn't I taken him to the Dr. sooner?
My work is amazing and is so so good with giving time off when needed for my children.
I often wonder how moms do it when there work isn't so flexible.
The day also ended in our oldest falling off the monkey bars and breaking her wrist.
After 4 hours in the Emerg she has a splint on until Friday when  we go back to the fracture clinic for her real cast.
She is already taking reservations for spaces to sign her cast. :)
Today was rough but I have a loving husband and three kids who call me mom and I am so thankful for that.
This post is mostly for a good vent.
And to let other moms out there who are trying there best and feeling absolutely overwhelmed know that they are not alone.


Honey, We're home!

It's been a while since I've posted on this little blog.
Since I last posted we have moved in to our new house and we are almost settled.
In my last post I wrote about living small.
We bought a  1.300 square foot townhouse right off the plans.
This past year we would drive up at least once a week and watch as our house was getting ready to soon become our home.
Truth be told every time we would look in our front windows into our unfinished house I was worried that this house would be too small for us.
I had visions of us tripping over each other on a daily basis.
We have been living in our house nearly 2 weeks now and I am happy to say that we have yet to trip over each other!!
It really is all about planning your space and finding the right pieces of furniture.
Storage is key for us so we made sure we used a lot of multifunction pieces in our house but more on that in another post.
Here are a few sneak peaks of our new home. 

.. checking in on our new house under construction .. 

.. before our counter tops were installed ..
.. loving the neutral builder beige walls, seriously! .. 

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