Monthly Archives: August 2012


(Image via)

My sister and I spent the Civic Holiday Long weekend painting our apartment.  Our apartment is only about 750 square feet, but we painted our entire apartment, including the kitchen/living area and both our bedrooms.  Needless to say, it was a lot of work, but worth it.  I love the way the walls look now, and it feels so much more like our home.

Lessons Learned

Painting isn’t difficult but it’s hard work.  There’s a bit of thinking ahead, a lot of preparation, and a lot of elbow grease.  After our painting fiasco, I’d be open to doing some part-time painting to earn some extra income 🙂

Even in painting our little apartment, I’ve learned some important lessons and thought I’d shared them here, in case any of you are interested.


  • Clean your walls with TSP or alcohol, especially in an area where grease and dirt can build up (i.e., kitchen)
  • Prime your walls even when using Primer + Paint 2-in-1 (Note: a cheap primer and 1 coat of 2-in-1 is cheaper than 2 coats of 2-in-1)
  • Choose a wall colour which will complement the tone of your floors (i.e., warm or cool tone)
  • Make sure the previous coat of paint has dried before applying another coat
  • Soak your paint brushes in Varsol so they stay soft, then rinse paint and dry before next use
  • Tray liners are a life saver and save a lot of time and effort
  • A short step ladder is very useful for reaching the higher areas with a paintbrush


  • Fluffy rollers hold more paint and spreads more evenly
  • Use the good painters tape when painting very contrasting colours (i.e., an accent wall with white trim)
  • Use a wood stick vs a metal stick attachment for roller extension
  • Use a soft bristled 2.5″ – 3″ angled brush for trims and wall edges
  • Use a soft bristled 1″ angled brush for corners
  • Use poly sheets to cover your entire working surface

Unfortunately, I didn’t take “before and after” shots of my little project (my camera was packed away).  I’d like to show some pictures of my room of the completed project, but for now, here is the inspiration for my accent wall.

(Image via)

That’s about it from me.

Readers, do you have any tips to share for painting?  Have you painted an accent wall before?


P.S. Have you ever seen a violinist rock out?  My latest YouTube obsession.  And these are my favourites.  Check her out because her stuff is awesome.


Filed under Random

Moving Expenses and a Blog Update

Thank you for your kind comments regarding my last whining post. You guys really know how make a girl feel better! 🙂

I’m pretty late to posting my budget recap for July, but I can assure you it’s nothing to call home about.  In fact, my net worth decreased by 1%  last month!  😦  Despite having 2 pay cheques, it wasn’t enough to offset my first & last months rent, moving expenses, spending, and the not-so-great economy.

I’m always so disappointed when I don’t see an increase in my net worth, I think the last time this happened was following my 2-week family trip to Hong Kong.   It is what it is, and here’s to a more positive (get it?) August!

Moving Expenses (so far…)

I confess that I did this move in the most unorganized fashion.  Since my new place was a 15 minute walk to (new) work as opposed to my previous 1 hour + commute on the subway and bus, I wanted to move ASAP.  However, I also didn’t really make time to pack and sort through my junk crap things properly.   (And through this process, I realized that I have a lot of junk crap things. )

My entire move spanned 3 weekends.  Ugh.

The first weekend, BF and I move my furniture in the moving van and packed a few boxes of “essentials” for the week.  I thought that the remainder of my things could be moved the following week – I was wrong.  Instead of sorting/tossing and then packing my things, I was putting my junk into whatever boxes would fit them and then moving it.  This took forever and is terribly inefficient.  Please don’t do what I did – take the time to sort through your stuff before moving!

Minimalist: Fail!

I was surprised at how much stuff I accumulated over the years – and here I was calling myself an aspiring minimalist.  Pfffft!!  BF was so patient helping me move all three weekends – He is a keeper! 🙂 I was even fed up with myself moving all my stuff!

Funny thing is I remember last year explaining to BF what a minimalist was…

The New Place

I LOVE living downtown.  Despite the fact I just tripled my rent, it’s completely different living downtown than in the boonies.  I can walk everywhere, and there is so much to see and do.  It’s also really nice not living in a basement – I can see daylight!

Unfortunately, the air conditioning has been out of commission for the last 3 weeks.  The first week (mid July) was awful, as it was almost 40C and super humid in the city.  BF and I would take 3 showers a day just to keep cool (morning, after work, and before bed).  Also, since we sleep with the windows wide open and there are no screens on the window, the mosquitoes have been having a buffet on me every night.  Every. Night.

The AC should be fixed this week, and I CANNOT WAIT.

In order to keep cool, we try to avoid using the stove (I’ve been making a lot of salads), turning on the lights, and even using the computer (can you believe it?).

Housing: Left to Buy/Do

My sister and I are taking advantage of this long weekend to do some painting. We will be painting most of the living area and also both our bedrooms.  This is my first time painting and I am a bit nervous and excited!  I can’t wait to share my final product.  (I was going to share “before” pictures but I had my camera packed away).

I really want my bedroom to be a tranquil and cozy place to relax and rejuvenate.  I don’t want to clutter it with too much stuff (ie., bookshelf, desk, etc).  We have a “library” area in our common space and I want to utilize that as temporary desk/office space instead of having that take up space in my bedroom.

In my bedroom, I want to have my bed/sleeping area, my closet/clothing storage, and a vanity area.  I love the bold statement of a floor length mirror, and also functionality of getting dressed in my room (as opposed to the bathroom).  I’ve always thought a vanity area was so chic and grown up – not to mention I’ll need a place to apply the 20 shades of lipstick I’ve acquired over the summer! 😉

Since I don’t own a dresser, I’ve been using these shelving cubes ever since my university days, and I think it’s time I take the plunge and buy a real dresser.  I’ve been eying the IKEA dressers since they are so easy, but the frugal part of me wants to look for a used one.

I put together a rough budget of the things I still need to finish up my room.

Blog Update

Even though I really enjoy writing about personal finance and money is something that is usually on my mind, I’ve been wanting to expand my blog to explore other things I am passionate about.  Two major topics which come to mind is beauty/fashion and even some DIY decor projects.

I mentioned I switched jobs a few months ago, and the dress code at my new job is more business casual.  My previous work place was very casual, and it was perfectly acceptable (and normal) to wear jeans everyday.  It’s pretty exciting for me to dress more “grown up”, and I am excited to try to put to use all the lessons and inspirations I’ve drawn from the stylish ladies in the fashion blogging community (and do it on a budget!).  So, I was thinking of sharing some of my outfits on this blog as well.

I’m not sure if I will be be able to maintain a regular posting schedule, as I will be taking 2 courses, maintaining a long distance relationship, and get back into swimming/exercising, but I will see how it goes!  Thank you for sticking around and sharing this journey with me! 🙂

That’s about it for now!  Thanks so much for checking back!

Readers, how is your summer going?  Would you be interested in reading about my attempts at personal style blogging, DIY home decor or other topics?



Filed under Budget, Personal