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New apartment tour! (aka Lower Town Apartment)

Between paperwork and meetings and trying to get set up on Canadian systems and entertaining Cora and getting furniture and trying to remember to feed ourselves, we've been in Ottawa for 2 weeks already and every day has been full of something. I've been wanting to share photos of our apartment since pretty much the moment we arrived, but only this morning did I finally get around to taking some pictures. 

But don't get too familiar with our apartment as we're moving in 2 weeks! I know, it sounds insane, but another apartment in our block became available and our very sweet landlords offered it to us as it is a bit different and slightly more suitable for us. I still want to share where we're living now and where we've called home for the past two weeks, so here we go ... 

Our landlord [who is very creative, artistic and has a history in design] kindly emailed me sketched plans of the apartment when I first inquired about it in early August. It was a huge help as I couldn't figure out the layout from the photos, so I figured it would be perfect to accompany this post as the layout can be a bit confusing to get your head around going by the photos alone. 

The character and quirkiness of our apartment [and subsequently our next one] is completely what sold me and pushed us to take the leap of leasing an apartment without ever seeing it in person. Or while even being in the same country, for that matter. It was a huge risk but it paid off bigly, as Donald Trump would so eloquently put it.  

Our apartment was completely unfurnished, which is standard in Canada. After sleeping on the floor for close to a week, I caved and one day went to IKEA and bought a mattress [which isn't half bad TBH]. We slept next to the heater on Cora's playmat for a week and while it was kind of rough [especially on my dodgy hips which are still bad since having Cora], as Robert put it, we'll look back on all our floor camping and picnics fondly. I'm not complaining because I was wholly prepared to sleep on the floor, but it's just nice to sleep on something soooooooft again. 

Yes, those are grape vines growing across our bedroom window.

To give you an idea of the scale of our apartment, the dining room is bigger than the living room in our Dublin apartment. Now I understand why everyone's furniture is so much bigger here; because it can be. 

And don't get me started on the kitchen. There's a DISHWASHER and you don't have to crawl on the floor to see into the tiny, non-existant fridge, like standard Irish rental fridges. The fridge is so big that all our food sits on one shelf. I don't know what to do with myself, it's so big [#ThatsWhatSheSaid]. And wait until you see the kitchen in the other apartment. It's even nicer, if you can believe it. 

And last but not least, Cora's room. Which is the most 'together' room so far. I decided months ago that we would be bringing Cora's crib with us on the plane when we travelled, so the moment we arrived she could sleep in her own bed and have something familiar right away. For some people it doesn't sound like something to prioritise, but I'm so damn glad we brought it with us. Even though it was incredibly heavy and nearly destroyed us trying to bring it, but it was just awkward for one day. It was doable. Emotionally detatching yourself from a day like that also helps, but it was so worth it in the end. 

We've picked up some furniture already [an old high chair for Cora and a second hand dining room set], which I'm hoping to share and update as soon as I can, as both need some work done to them. And of course, I can't wait to move into and share our next apartment. 

If you follow me on Instagram, I'll be doing a walk through of our entire apartment on my stories some time within the next 24 hours, so be sure to check them out for more details! 

Last apartment tour

I had this post scheduled for last week, but I never got around to hitting publish because last week ended up being manic ahead of us moving to Canada. So I figured I'd share it today as, better late than never? 

Though most of our apartment is packed into boxes or in a wildly non-baby-friendly disarray on the floor and looks nothing like these pictures anymore, I wanted to share some of my favourite photos of our apartment before we head off on our big adventure in Canada. And I included one last story that made me feel pretty good in the middle of a shit storm of stress this past week ... 

We had an agreement with our landlord that I show the apartment to potential buyers as I had it decorated now, and in turn I didn't have to repaint the apartment back to white or reassemble all the furniture I had disassembled over the years. It was a win-win for everyone. It surprisingly worked to our favour - our apartment sold within a week and the buyers loved the apartment so much that they asked to buy as much of our stuff as they could. It saved me a lot of time and drama as I was planning on selling each piece of furniture, artwork and electronic item online individually. I'm not very good at accepting compliments or accomplishments [I don't feel I'm doing enough of a good job. I think that's imposter syndrome maybe?], but when the agents told our landlord how impressed they were with how the apartment was presented and when the buyers then wanted to buy all our stuff, I felt proud ... 

The only furniture we packed to ship to Canada was our bedside tables, our bar cart, my green foot stool and our curio cabinet [we're bringing Cora's secondhand Stokke crib with us on the plane]. Of everything, those were the things I couldn't be without or replace. The rest of the furniture sold with the apartment. We of course packed all our small things [19 boxes worth] which will be with us around Christmas time. That'll be our Christmas present to ourselves this year - all our own stuff again. 

I didn't have a chance to get emotional about leaving our apartment as we were in such a hurry trying to get packed up and get to the airport on time on the day. Despite having a love / hate relationship with our apartment [there were so many things wrong with it electrically as well as bad building finishes], I know we'll miss it. We lived there through the biggest steps in our lives, it'll be hard not to. 

To see what our apartment looked like when we first moved in over 7 years ago, take a look here

Nobu Hotel Shoreditch, London, with the #NetflixStreamTeam

Last week when we traveled to London as part of the Netflix Stream Team, we [Becky, Nicci, Geraldine, Sinead and I] were treated to a nights stay at the Nobu Hotel in Shoreditch, London, and it was kind of really something else ...  

The hotel was a contrast of dark and light with plenty of gold. Our rooms were beautiful and comfortable. I especially fell in love with the bathroom sink in my room. It was [almost] too beautiful to use, but I did at long last [after taking about 76 photos of it].

The small [mostly gold] details throughout the Nobu Hotel were beautiful. The morning we left, I made sure to give myself some time to take some photos [and was very nearly late because of it - oops].

On the Tuesday night during our stay, we were treated to cocktails in the basement bar [after champagne and Vietnamese food (not at the same time), which by the way, is so good that I want some right now] by Nicola. It was such a great 24 hours and I couldn't have asked for better company or to have spent it in more beautiful surroundings.

If you're ever staying in London and have the opportunity to stay in the Nobu Hotel in Shoreditch, take it. 

#NetflixStreamTeam, London!

Earlier this week I had the rather surreal opportunity to be flown to London as a of new member of the Netflix UK and Ireland Stream Team. Myself and four fellow Irish bloggers [SineadNicciBecky and Geraldine] traveled with Nicola to London on Tuesday afternoon and were treated to a nights stay in the Nobu Hotel in Shoreditch [blog post on that soon!]. Mischief was had that evening and early the next morning we were on our way to the #NetflixStreamTeam event in a London penthouse apartment. As you do. 

We first had a chance to explore the penthouse apartment and meet our fellow UK Stream Teamers. We gathered in the living room and introduced ourselves by saying what we were currently watching on Netflix [The Confession Tapes, Gilmore Girls and Schitts Creek].  

We were then treated to some insider tips and tricks for using Netflix. Like, did you know you can delete a show from your history? Say if your partner or child or friend watched something on your account that messes up your recommendations, you can delete that show from your history. You can also personalise the colour of the subtitle font for each show. And, wait for it, you know how there's a red star rating for every show you click through? That's actually a suggested match for you [1 red star = you probably won't like it and 5 red stars = you'll probably love it]. I always thought the red star rating was other people's ratings! That blew my mind. 

We also talked about some new shows and seasons due to come out in the coming weeks and months [which I hope to be able to tell you soon! One of the returning documentaries I am beyond excited about, but I'm not sure if I can spill the beans on that, so I'll play it safe].

It was then lunch time and we were spoiled. The food was delicious and there was a surprising amount of of vegan options. The catering staff were excellent and I ate my weight in vegetable and noodle spring rolls. What I wouldn't do to have some for my dinner tonight.

From my photos it actually looks like I was there by myself, but I promise, there were a lot more people! After lunch, we broke into three groups and started the activities that were waiting for us ...  

Our first activity was to decorate Puss in Boots themed cookies. It was really fun [and yummy] and I instantly have more respect for anyone who works with icing for a living. That stuff is tough.

We next made a King Julien inspired terrarium, where I learned all about where I've gone wrong with terrariums in the past; take off the rubber seal if there's one on your jar, spritz the inside with water to start, keep the jar closed for 2 weeks at a time and occasionally open it for fresh air. My not very little terrarium actually survived my trip home in my hand luggage! Now if only it can survive living with me. 

And lastly, we did a Project Mc² inspired task where we created our own fragrance with help from The Perfume Studio. When I first saw this activity, I didn't think much of it, but as we got into it, it was actually very interesting how much detail goes into making a perfume. Before long, I was completely into it, making detailed notes and pretending like I knew what I was talking about. We chose 3 scents to have mixed as our own personal perfume and were asked to name our bespoke fragrance. All I could think of was Dark Romantic Luxe! And it oddly fit quite well I think!

After our activities we talked and got to know the other bloggers / fellow Stream Teamers a bit more over a glass of champagne. Sometimes at events like this I can feel a bit overwhelmed, but this was really such a great size [I think it was 22 Stream Teamers altogether]. There were such cute activities and we were kept happily busy that I barely noticed the 6 hours that we were there pass by. And I could have honestly stayed longer. It was such a great atmosphere and I got to know so many lovely like-minded bloggers across the two days. It really was such a treat and I'm so excited to call myself a Netflix Stream Teamer now. Those thousands of hours watching Netflix are finally paying off.  

Image 2 via Cuddle Fairy on Twitter
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