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! 

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. 
 

#DrunkInteriors reunion – Manchester edition

Last weekend Maria [of Dinki Dots] and I escaped to Kimberly [of Swoon Worthy]’s house in Manchester for 3 days of absolute nonsense powered by alcohol, pyjamas, way too much food and serious catching up. 

Long ago, the three of us forged an online friendship that has become so close, that I can easily say that Kimberly and Maria are two of my best friends. You name it, we’ve talked about it. No topic is taboo and when one of us is stuck in a situation or just wants to rant [lord, the ranting], we know exactly who to turn to. The whole idea of online friendships has gone completely against what I was told growing up – be careful if you’re chatting with someone online because they’re out to kill you or at the very least, sell your kidneys

Maria and I took the risk and not only met in 2014, but shared a hotel room at Blogtacular and risked the other person possibly being a bit of a Buffalo Bill. But it was a risk that paid off and we had an incredible time. The following year Kimberly and Maria came to Dublin for 3 days of introverted carnage. It was Kimberly’s turn this year and for anyone who follows Kimberly can only guess, it did not disappoint. 

I took loads of sneaky photos of Kimberly’s house [which is mind blowing], but there’s little-to-no need for me to share as her blog is the only way to view her home [plus, her photos vastly outweigh my hungover photography skills]. 

The first night we talked for 10 hours before heading to bed ahead of some Manchester touring the following day. I was lucky enough to stay in the Glam Cave and Maria slept in Kimberly’s office [quite fitting really as each room we stayed in reflected our design styles]. 

The next day we lazily headed into Manchester and stopped by The Refuge for a few drinks … 

I just can’t. 

From there we went to another bar [which I can’t remember the name of], wandered through some shops, and finally headed to the Grand Pacific for dinner and more drinks [this is called #DrunkInteriors, after all] …

We had a fantastic and very posh meal in utterly beautiful surroundings at Grand Pacific, but we knew it was time to go when the out, out [circa Micky Flanagan] people showed up in tiny shorts and giant hair and expensive watches so we headed back to Kimberly’s, got into our pyjamas, watched Bridesmaids and talked more shite. 

To say it was a fantastic weekend is an understatement. I didn’t want to admit it, but I really needed a break to recharge my batteries [mom guilt was telling me not to and I was confusing wanting to have me time with you’re abandoning your child?! I have learned these are two very different things].  

Thank you so much Kimberly, Maria and of course Wayne for putting up with me for 3 days, making me feel more than welcome and showing me a truly fantastic time. I already cannot wait for #DrunkInteriors round 3 when the wolf pack reunites next year 😉 Big feels. Such love.