House Update Part 2

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Our floors in the process of being sanded (before)

Hiiii. So we’re just about ready to move into our house. Hard to believe it but after nearly three months of deliberations followed by work — we’re nearing the finish line. Right now our marble floors are being polished, and tomorrow interior painting begins. We’re painting the interior in Benjamin Moore White Heron with the exception of  one wall in our media room which will be a dark navy called Deep Royal.

Following the painting,  wallpaper will be applied in the powder room and the master bedroom (the wall the bed will be on), and then we can move in! I’ve had a toilet in my living room for the past month so I’m especially excited about getting the powder room ready so said toilet can go back to its rightful place. Believe it or not, picking the right wallpaper for the space proved to be quite the challenge despite the myriad options out there. Wallpaper, I’ve also learned is very pricey which makes the decision that much more difficult.

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House Update Part 1

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The tile and the sink are going. We’re keeping the faucets though.  

In the two weeks since I first wrote about us buying a house we’ve managed to get a lot done. The problem is you can’t see any of it because we haven’t started any of the physical work just yet. So far it’s all been behind-the-scenes stuff. We’ve been working hard to get as many quotes as possible for the various projects we want to do and doing our own research on virtually everything. This is crucial when you’re trying to stick to a  budget because the sky is truly the limit when it comes to home renos.

Last week,  Scott Yetman, a family friend and an incredibly talented interior designer spent four hours with us inside our home. He’s out of our price range but we really wanted him to help get us started on the right foot. He designed my room when I was five! Together we picked window treatments, as well as a paint color for the interior (Benjamin Moore White Heron). We also decided to make an entrance from the office into the living room because the office is right off the kitchen and this door will create a better flow when we’re entertaining (how grown-up sounding!).

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We Bought a House

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Our new home

Yup, we bought a house! Holy sh*t is right. Even though we closed about three weeks ago, the fact we’re actually homeowners only started to feel real when we went for an inaugural swim in our pool this past weekend.

David and I are so excited, especially because we’re moving into the neighborhood he grew up in and has wanted to own a home in since he went off to college. It’s a safe place where neighbors act neighborly and kids play in the streets, or drive golf carts if they’re lazy.

I’ve loved our house since I first stepped into it during an open house over a year ago. You can’t always explain why you like something, but I could just imagine us and our future children living happily there. It’s full of natural light and you can see the serene pool from almost every room. The house is one story and it’s so very Miami which I find quite  amusing being from the great North and all. The architecture definitely has a modern element to it, and we want the interior to reflect that. I like modern design, however,  I also see our home having some classic elements mixed in, and it absolutely has to feel inviting and cozy, and not austere. David and I are thinking blues, grays and whites, with lots of natural wood pieces to warm up the space.

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Babies on the brain? Read this

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My nieces and nephew four years ago.

Happy New Year dear readers! As I’ve said before, my life is essentially an open “blog” because I find the act of sharing to be quite therapeutic. So here goes: I’ve got babies on the brain. Perhaps it’s because I’m surrounded by the most adorable little ones (thank you friends), or because my clock has started to tick (thank you mother nature), or because my husband is so freakin’ amazing around little kids that it fills my heart with glee (thank you husband).

It’s probably a combination of all the above, plus the fact I’ve always loved babies and have wanted to have children since before I even knew where they came from. You know those people that stop to ooh and aah at every puppy they come across? Well, that’s me except with babies. Once they hit five I start to lose interest (unless they’re related to me like my nieces and nephew, and obviously if they’re mine, or at least I hope so). All this to say that I’m praying 2017 will be the year I get pregnant. Holy sh*t — just writing this makes me extremely happy and terrified all at once. #overwhelmed. Continue reading

Nosing around: why I haven’t had my nose “fixed”

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Photo by de Belle Photography 

I recently saw Barbra Streisand in concert, and since then I haven’t been able to get an anecdote she recounted out of my head. Mrs. Streisand told the audience how one of her album covers was retouched to remove the bump from her nose. She was infuriated she said, because, ” this nose and I have been through a lot together”. I’ve always admired Streisand’s career (she’s one of the few to have an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a Tony!), but more than that — I’ve admired the fact she’s gotten to where she is without succumbing to the pressure to change how she looks.

There have been moments in my life when I’ve considered eliminating the bump in my nose only to decide against it. Each of those times I’ve reminded myself that it’s this very nose that’s gotten me to where I am today. I remind myself that I personally don’t have an issue with my nose but I’m sometimes fooled into disliking it because I realize it doesn’t conform to society’s so-called standards of beauty. I see images of  “beautiful” women with their small, smooth noses, only to look at myself in the mirror and notice my own nose looks nothing like theirs. This in turn makes me insecure.

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How much sleep do you need? And how do you get get a better night’s rest?

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Sleep is so hot right now, and it’s a good thing. Did you know sleep deprivation is linked to myriad health problems including depression, obesity, and cardiovascular disease? Not to mention bad decisions and regrettable text messages.

I recently delved deep into the subject of sleep while researching an article for LOLA’s the Broadcast. I spoke with Dr. Jamie Cassoff, a sleep consultant and founder of Sleep Smartzzz, as well as Dr. Terry Smith, a pulmonologist and US board certified sleep specialist. Turns out, the reason I feel tired even after snoozing for nine hours is because I’m a fragmented sleeper, i.e, I wake up throughout the night which means I’m not going through all the sleep cycles required for a good night’s snooze. I also learnt that being a night owl or an early bird is a legitimate thing that’s determined by our chronotype (body clock).

Check out my article to learn more about how to determine your sleep needs and how to get a better night’s rest.

xoxo

Val

 

Wedding Words of Wisdom from a 29-year-old

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The party’s just getting started. Photo by Jeffrey de Belle Photography

Last week was my 29th birthday (final year as a twenty something!) which means it’s time for my annual words of wisdom post. Having recently planned and celebrated my wedding (July 3), I’ve decided to dedicate this years’ write-up to sharing some of the knowledge I acquired along the way. My wedding in Montreal was everything I hoped it would be, and I hope you’ll find what I have to share helpful. As always, I’d love to hear your feedback.

You WILL doubt your wedding dress choice and it’s totally okay. I purchased my gown a year before my wedding, and because of Instagram, Pinterest and the entire Internet, throughout those 365 days I was inundated with images of beautiful dresses that made me question my own decision. It’s not that I began to dislike my dress, it’s that  I couldn’t stop wondering if I could’ve picked a better one. Should I have gone with tulle instead of satin? No train instead of a massively long one? During this time, I wish someone would’ve said to me:

Val, as you wait for your dress, you are going to see tons of gorgeous dresses, because guess what? There’s a lot of great stuff out there. Remember, you made the choice you did for a reason, so for god’s sake have some confidence.

In the end I was 100% satisfied with my dress (a good tailor goes a looong way) and I regretted the time I wasted wallowing in self doubt. Could I have picked an even better wedding gown? Maybe. Probably. But bottom line is I loved mine and that’s what my counts.

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I had a Second Wedding and it was the Best Decision

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Our celebrity moment walking into a room filled with our family and friends. Photo by Jeffrey de Belle photography.

There are so many reasons not to have a wedding. Weddings tend to bring up otherwise dormant family issues, and they’re ridiculously expensive, not to mention time consuming and stressful. So then why did I disregard all the naysayers, including my very own husband, and willingly choose to have a second wedding?

To understand my decision, allow me to explain the circumstances surrounding my first wedding. It was an eight-person affair that took place at sunset, on the beach in Miami, where we live. I wore a knee-length Elizabeth and James white dress sans shoes, while my fiancé sported khakis and a linen button-down. I carried a pretty bouquet and we said “I do” in front of a notary and our close relatives. It was magical and beautiful, but it wasn’t how I pictured my wedding day.

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Welcome Back!

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Dear Readers,

After a two-year hiatus (what was I thinking?!) I’ve decided to bring back Val’s Bits and Bites. I’m using a new platform and I have a much better URL. I’ve really come to miss having this blog as an outlet where I can share my personal musings and experiences. I miss engaging in conversations with you dear readers (either on or offline) about topics that are relevant for many of us twenty/thirty somethings. I hope you’ll enjoy the new content, and, as always – please share your thoughts with me whenever you can.

xoxox

Val