More news from Toronto! So much has been happening lately but we've finally settled into our new place and are slowly sorting out some finishing touches. I might do some sort of apartment tour in the future if that sounds interesting to you guys? We also squeezed in a trip to Niagara Falls which was awesome. We're hoping to do lots of travelling while we're here but we figured our priority should be getting settled in before we worry about where else we want to go just yet.
Since my last one of these posts we've moved into our beautiful downtown condo and I LOVE IT HERE. We're on the 42nd floor so we have incredible views of the city and CN Tower, floor to ceiling windows and we're walking distance to just about everything. We hadn't moved in yet but we did have the keys by Canada Day so we could watch the fireworks off the tower from our balcony.
It's not very big, because most condos in downtown aren't, but because we only brought our suitcases when we moved the place isn't full of all that stuff that accumulates over time. Everything has its place and I can't tell you how good that feels. Plus it's much easier to stay on top of things when you're essentially starting from a clean slate.
Of course it's not the only reason to do it, and it's not even remotely feasible for everyone, but moving house (or moving overseas) really forces you to prioritise the objects that you actually love and use shows you how easy it is to live without the rest.
Naturally this condo isn't cheap - nor was the move for that matter - but we figured if we're here for 2 years (though who knows after that) why not make the most of our time here and not worry too much about saving every last dollar? My parents moved to England with my brother and I for a couple of years when we were toddlers and my dad said to me, "don't worry too much about money and how much you could be saving, when are you going to be living in Toronto again?" and he's right. I've always been pretty cautious with my money, and although I've travelled quite a bit I'm also really good at saving. I'm fortunate enough to own an apartment in Sydney (that some of my close friends are now renting) which means that intense pressure to get into the property market has been lifted. So as long as we can afford to pay the bills and my mortgage and keep putting some away for a rainy day then why can't we enjoy some of it too? Mark and I know that we definitely don't want kids so it's not like we have to factor that into our future plans.
Anyway, that's enough justification - I shouldn't really be treating myself too much as I don't actually have a job yet. I've been applying for a lot though and hopefully it won't be too much longer. In any case, it's been helpful for me to be around since Mark tore the ligaments in his ankle about a month ago. The doctor said it would have been better if he'd broken his ankle as ligaments take longer to heal, and even now he can still only get around on crutches that are far too short for him because that's all the hospital had. So it's been rough for him because he literally can't even leave the apartment to get himself a coffee because he can't carry it back. And it's been rough for me too because I had to pack and physically move everything by myself and unpack it at the other end. I would have been doing most of that stuff anyway because he has a job and I don't, but all the cooking and cleaning and daily tasks can really add up when your partner isn't able to help you with any of it.
Of course I'm not saying I have it that hard. If you don't have a partner you have to do all of that stuff yourself anyway, but if you're exhausted and just want to be a piece of shit and eat toast for dinner and leave the dishes in the sink it's much easier to get away with that when you're on your own, haha. It's also kind of put a hold on exploring Toronto because he can't get around very easily and it doesn't seem fair that he should be stuck at work while I'm out having lunch and going to museums or whatever without him. We want to do those things together, so unfortunately it means we have to wait until he's better to do them. I did have a lovely day meeting up with Vanessa a few weeks ago though! We had a delicious lunch and wandered around Kensington Markets and popped into the Deciem store and it was really nice to hang out with a new friend.
Speaking of friends, one of ours who moved to San Francisco about 6 months ago came to stay for a weekend and we went down to Niagara Falls for a day.
I also took the opportunity to order from Glossier and have it shipped to a mail holding service just across the border so I could walk over and pick it up. Annoyingly, Glossier started shipping to Canada literally a couple of days after that, but what can you do?
And at least my plan went off without a hitch because you although you have to go through customs because you're entering the US, beyond that it's just a matter of walking across the Rainbow Bridge and I had no trouble at all. I'm working on a post about what I bought so you can expect to see that soon.
The Flying Saucer
While in Niagara we decided to get lunch at a kitschy af diner called the Flying Saucer and it was out of this world (lel).
The food wasn't anything special, but the (onion) Saturn Rings were pretty good, and the menu was space themed, so the novelty alone was enough enjoyment for us.
Other than that it was nice to see a familiar face and to be able to show someone why we love Toronto so much (mostly by eating at all our fave places).
One thing that's awesome about living in North America is that when artists announce tours Toronto is usually included, so there are heaps of bands and artists that we've bought tickets to see. Unfortunately scalping is SO BAD over here, like a lot worse than in Sydney, and we've missed out tickets to a couple of gigs that I absolutely have to go to. I refuse to pay much more than face value for a ticket though so we'll see what happens.
We did manage to get some cheap last minute tickets to see Vince Staples the other week. He was supporting Gorillaz who I've never really taken much notice of, so we just watched his set and went home but it was completely worth it because he's incredible. I also caught a Sydney band called Royal Headache who played at a venue a few minutes walk away from our new place. It's kind of silly that it took me moving to Toronto to see them when they're from my home town, but ever since the gig I've been listening to them all the time.
I've always 100% been an iTunes kind of girl because I don't listen to the radio and I find streaming services like Spotify are always missing things I want to listen to so I could never really rely on them because it would mean never listening to any music that's not on there. Mark's got a Spotify subscription though, so we upgraded to the family plan and I have been loving the convenience of checking out a new release or a new artist with just a few clicks. There's no commitment of having to find the album and download it, you can just check it out and see if you like it so much more easily. When there's been several I've wanted to hear at the same time I can save them to my library and it acts as a reminder to listen to them when I have time. Although I'm never going to switch completely away from iTunes I've really been enjoying having the option.
This article about Leonard Cohen's final touring years made me cry like a baby because I have too many feelings and I just love him so much. :(
I don't think I'd ever listened to a podcast before in my life, but when Anna and Lily launched At Home With... I figured I'd give it a go. I'm only subscribed to about 3-4 podcasts but they're really handy for listening to when you're trying to fall asleep, or if you get motion sickness and can't read on the bus, i.e. me.
Speaking of podcasts, I really enjoyed Estee Lalonde's first episode of The Heart of It which you can listen to here. She interviewed 19 year old Nina Mariah whose incredible poem was read by Ashley Judd at the Women's March earlier this year in Washington. The poem is seriously moving and I think it's a great topic for Estee to have chosen to launch her podcast.
A YouTuber I've really been enjoying is Pick Up Limes who has some great recipe ideas for vegan snacks that aren't terrible for you because I am a snack queen and since I'm at home a lot these days and have more time on my hands I'm attempting to make better choices, so I've been enjoying trying some new things.
Another channel I've just discovered is Violette_fr who is a French makeup artist living in New York. She is also the Global Beauty Director for Estee Lauder and her videos are short and sweet and super beautiful.