January 31, 2012

The Man is our Sugar Daddy

This has come up a few times - so let's go there.... Are we leaving as some kind of counter-culture, anti-establishment sort of thing? Are we doing this to 'Stick it to the Man' and get away from it all?

Ummm... No.

Let's face it, if you've read our Money posts - you know that we both work full time 9-5 jobs. Also, you know that we live/work in Calgary, AB - which means that we both make our money from the Oil & Gas industry. (We're Canada's Houston!). People have differing views on the oil industry.

Ha ha... I'm just being funny. Some people in Calgary hate money - they like camping and not having jobs.

 Sigh, funny again. I'm aware that there are ethical consequences to our industry - but that's not what this blog is about. While I'm not even close to the 1%, I do live in a pretty privileged part of the universe - where White Girl Problems and Starbucks Gold Cards exist. {Yes, I have one - don't judge me!}

We built the fantastic life that we have through education, hard work, and {lucky for us} a friendly economy. When we moved back from Brazil in 2005 we were broke-ass, uneducated and living in my Mom's basement (thanks Mom!). This city has afforded us a lot of opportunities to become successful on our own accord. Several of those opportunities included working for 'The Man'. 

Working for large companies is not always a dream - but it has enabled us to make a life that we've wanted. And now, even as we move towards new goals, the same jobs will help us prepare. We couldn't do what we've done, nor could we do what we are planning without them. Some people have jobs that they love, and are fulfilling on many levels. If that's you - awesome. For us, it's not all sunshine and rainbows - it's often pragmatic verging on opportunistic. Not in pejorative way, just is.

Enjoy your jobs today friends ~ if you love your job, high five. If you love what your job is, high five to you too!

Side Note: If you hate your job everyday and it makes you miserable - no high five for you. You are the architect of your own adversity - make your self or your situation better!

Occupy photos from: Here I Here

January 30, 2012

Scuba Lesson One

Scuba kicked our asses. Seriously people, this is no joke. It's WAY HARDER than we thought! I was all "sure, I can swim - I'm a good swimmer! This will be a cake walk!" Ha.

We had our first Scuba lessons and we're exhausted and exhilarated! I loved it. We spend 4 hours in the pool, swimming around, treading water, equalizing and doing drills. Two of the creepiest:
1. Taking off your mask for a minute and just breathing your regulator. Sounds easy, but I've never worked to co-ordinate my breathing before!

2. SHE SHUT OFFS THE AIR. At the bottom of the pool, to simulate 'running out of air'. It feels like sucking and empty straw. Note to self: Don't run out of air.

I can't wait to go back!

Ps. We're taking our lessons at The Dive Shop Calgary if you're interested - they do a great job!

January 28, 2012

Roughnecks Lacrosse

Yeay - we're back to being Calgary Tourists! Juliano's brother is here for the month, so we've been pulling out all the stops to show him around Calgary [and most of Alberta!]. Next on the 'Canadian Things' list was a Lacrosse game. The Calgary Roughnecks tickets are lots of fun to watch, and the tickets are affordable ($30 ish).

We thought we were getting the best deal ever on front row seats. Buuuttt... we were right behind the home bench (yeay!) and had a BUTT VIEW of the team for the entire game (boo). We did get to see their trainers in full action though - these guys wear NO shin/knee protection.... lots of blood.
 Awesome Side Note: Roberto took a photo with the Drill Crew when we went for burgers after.

January 27, 2012

House Before & Afters

I love home decor. I think I'll miss it when we're away - creating a space that's comfortable and stylish and perfect for us is a great feeling... We've only lived in our house for a bit over a year, but we've made so many changes!

Take a look at some of the work that's gone into it:
Front of the house: Not much change... but this was the actual picture from the MLS listing!

Living Room: Mostly just paint, new window treatments, and some fresh colours... brown's not really my bag.

Fireplace: Another great one! I hate this green marble - and the bronze and oak accents only made it worse. High-Heat black paint toned down the 80s fireplace, and the mantle became glossy white. Yummy.

Front Entry: Less oak! The railings on the stairs were all painted out bright white. Also the house is a nice grey. Blinds were taken off the front door to let some light in, the glass was frosted instead.

 Kitchen:  Paint makes all the difference! We still have the same blah tiles on the floor - but less crap all over the counters and some sunny paint makes a big difference!

Dining Room: This was probably my favorite make over room. I made that chandelier, and I love our photo wall! Don't be confused by the photography... those are the same floors! Also - less furniture and a big mirror add so much space.

Master Bedroom: Paint only! Same drapes, same flooring - just with our stuff. We were lazy here. I had big plans - but no time.

Second Bedroom: And this is why I loooove Behr Paint + Primer. Seriously, who paints a tiny room the darkest brown they can get their hands on? It was a cave - and now it's a bedroom. Done and done.

Bathroom: Yeay!! My other favorite reno! This bathroom is huge, has a jetted tub - and was the ugliest thing to ever creep out of the 90s. Painted the bathroom, painted the cabinets, new mirror, new art. Amazing.

Basement: No change. We work out here too - just with less stuff.

And that's all of our makeovers in a year! We had lots more big plans - but now we're off to other adventures!

January 26, 2012

Hipster Guide to Scuba Studying

I haven't been in school for awhile - so now when I study something, I'm just a pretentious Starbucks hipster. I have to read through this dive manual before my scuba classes starts though. Here's how to do it...

Start out getting your self firmly established in the 'comfy chairs' of a Starbucks, and take up the whole table. Then:

1. Start reading book. There's good info in there, like 'You probably noticed that you can't breathe water'. Thanks, book.
2. Try to teach yourself confusing hand signals while sipping a latte. Practice vigorously.
3. Take a mini-test at the end. Feel smart.
4. Google 'Cozumel Scuba' pictures until your lunch break is over.

And there you have it. You are now a smart, educated Starbucks hipster.

January 25, 2012

Banff & Lake Louise Tourists

Even though we're in the mountains at least a couple of times a month, we rarely go as 'tourists' and see the fun stuff! We were happy to have my wonderful sister-in-law from Ottawa come to town with a friend who'd never been here... I always love seeing people experiencing the mountains for the first time.The super swanky Chateau Lake Louise has outdoor skating, ice castles and winter magic aplenty. Banff Springs Hotel is also amazing [we even got to stumble on a winter wedding!]

In Banff we got to try traditional Bannock, eat loads of candy and relax in the hot springs [if you go, please rent a 'heritage suit' and wear it - you'll make my day].

Happy Winter Tourists! Also, we got to finish the weekend off with a basketball game, huge dinner [16 people!] at my house with family. I love it. I'll miss being close to my extended family when we're away.

January 24, 2012

What do I blog about?

These things apparently. Mostly our house it seems...
Make your own here!

January 23, 2012

Vancouver Riot Picture

This was my favorite picture of 2011. 

I can't stop staring at it! I love year end 'top 10' lists and amazing photography - so this Year in Pictures article was a favorite. Check it out, but know that most of the world has bigger problems than losing a hockey game - some of the pictures are troubling.

Vancouver Picture Source

January 21, 2012

Our House is LISTED!

It's finally time! After LOTS of cleaning and prepping - we're on the market. The contract is signed, the pictures are up and we're ready for our showings... Curious? Here the pictures of our house:

Front of our house:
This post is long and full of pictures - see the rest after the jump!

January 20, 2012


If we took a holiday - Took some time to celebrate - Just one day out of life
It would be, it would be so nice -  Holiday! Celebrate!

Ha! That's going to be stuck in your head all day... Too bad though, because we're going on....
 a Holiday! To Mexico! Arriba!

It is -35 degrees Celsius today. I'm frozen, and I take the train to work in the morning! Brrr....

But lucky for us - We have something to look forward too! I know that it seems crazy for us to go on a holiday in the middle of planning such an adventure - and it is. We have the best deal ever though... My parents are going on a trip through their work, and with a sprinkle of magic and a dash of air miles - we're crashing the second half of their holiday!
UPDATE: My brother's coming too! It's a family party!

We're going to Puerto Morelos, Mexico - about halfway between Cancun and Playa de Carmen. Here:

It's all sunshine, beaches, good food and open bars..countdown is on! We're staying at the super-swanky Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun. We'll tell you all about it when we get back!


Ps. I thing there's a big divide to be made between traveling and vacationing. I'll post more about that later.

January 19, 2012

Opening and Closing a Business

If you know us personally, or if you picked it up in this post, you know that we owned a business. It was an Esfiha shop at a local Farmer's Market. We called it Mr. Esfihas and it was a realization of Juliano's dream.

Juliano has always been an entrepreneur, in the sense that he's never been very settled with the 'rat race'.  Mr. Esfihas started out with an Idea, some inspiration and a LOT of planning. {Not so different in theory that this adventure!}. It was fun to see it come together, to plan and create every element of our our own mini-ecosystem in the market. We joined a new market and the booth was built from the ground up:

We were amazed and appreciated all the support that we received from friends and family! It's so great to see that when you pursue something with passion, people truly want to be a part of it. It was a great experience to see everyone come together for us.

The skeleton crew of Mr. Esfihas {all 4 of us!} worked hard to make it an amazing place that was fun to be around, selling delicious food:

We had a super-delicious and reasonably priced menu! It was also really cute, a graphic designer and very-crafty friend of ours designed it, and did an amazing job! How great are the little faces??

Here's what we had to say about it on our website:
We started out with the idea of providing Calgary with a new and unique food item, a healthy alternative to fast food. We were both born in Brazil, and grew up eating esfihas. 
Now calling Calgary home, we want to introduce our favorite esfiha flavors to you!
There are lots of great flavors, and all the Esfihas are handmade by us!
See you at the Market!

 Owning and operating Mr. Esfihas was something that we did above and beyond our usual M-F/9-5 jobs. {Didn't I say we're not afraid to work hard?} We were open for about a year, and it was a great experience. We learned so much about how business operates, how to prioritize your life/goals, what giving 100% really means, and how to confidently make really tough decisions.

Turns out a mix of following your instincts and thinking it through usually results in the best decisions!

After being open most of 2011, we've sold our space to an awesome couple to start their own new small business dream! Mr. Esfihas is going on the back-burner for now, while we pursue other dreams. I'm sure that being a small business owner will always be a part of Juliano's life - so we'll see where that takes us...

For now, we loved owing a business and including all the ups and downs that come with it, we don't regret doing it for a second. It was an amazing experience!

January 18, 2012

Good Day for Goodwill!

In a mixture of staging the house and downsizing our stuff - I finally went through all of my clothes. Holy Shit - I have WAY TOO MUCH stuff! I'll be glad to give away some great things to someone in need.

I made 4 categories and all my clothes had to fit into one of them:
  1. Bring to Florida - this is still a work in progress... Not sure what I'm going to bring.
  2. Wear for the next 4 months  - mostly work clothes, work out gear, casual stuff
  3. Donate - good quality items that don't fit 1 or 2
  4. Garbage - worn out/torn/paint clothes etc.
This is what I ended up with:

It's a mountain of clothes! Lots of it went to my sister-in-law/friends and the rest will be donated. I can't believe I even owned this much clothes. [In a futile defense, I will say that we have VERY distinct seasons in Calgary! You have to dress for them all!]

It's such a good feeling to downsize and get rid of excess stuff - and now my closets are so tidy and organized, getting ready in the morning is already faster.

House photos are coming soon - the photographer is coming this Thursday! I'll keep you posted :)

January 17, 2012

Want to know what -36 Celsius looks like?

It looks like this. That's Juliano in the blue jacket.
We're like Antarctic penguins cuddling together for warmth on the C-Train. 
Bundled up like Randy in A Christmas Story.

January 16, 2012

State of the Uterus Address

 **NOTE: I'm not actually preggo in this pic. It's the fake belly from a maternity store.**
**I highly suggest this as an activity with preggo friends - it was a good day**

Sigh. Yep, this is conversation that I've had a million times - so here we go again:

You: What are you doing? I thought you'd have babies by now!
Me: Yeah, me too. But I'm not.
You: What?!?! WHYYYY?? Have some BABIES!! Babies are so GREAT!
Me: I know, I generally like babies. But not now, I've got some other stuff on the go. Plus I'm still young!
You: You're not YOUNG! You're TWENTY SEVEN! That's almost THIRTY!
Me: I'm aware of how time works. I will one day... ha ha...
*starts to get awkward*
You:  But you SHOOUULLDD! It will be so FUUN!
Me: Fuck off. No Vacancies in this Uterus!

Okay, so that may be a sliiight exaggeration of the whole thing. But really - people expect us to have babies. And not in a malicious way - I have fully lead them to believe that this is where I'm headed. This is the case I currently present to the world:

Reason I could should would be able to have a Baby:
  1. I have a husband. {Heterosexual monogamy? Double Points!}
  2. I have a house with an additional bedroom. In the 'burbs.
  3. I have a car with 4 doors and some airbags. {Safety first people!}
  4. I am 27 years old - sooooo close to over the hill! My Eggs are OLD!
  5. My friends have babies.
  6. I like babies. {Except on planes - sorry friends with babies!! I don't hate yours! Just other babies on planes. Just the ones that cry. I KNOW it's not your fault, it's a baby... but still. I. Like. To. Sleep.}
  7. I have a job. So does my husband. {Yeay - stability!}
  8. I have a fully functional uterus. {Most people don't really know that, specifically.}
See? I get it why people are all gung-ho about me having babies. I have all the things society tells me I need before I have babies.**  It's the next natural step of life:
And don't get me wrong in all of this, I do love babies and kids.But here's some other things I love right now:
  1. Drinking. Mostly wine. And Champagne. And fancy gin.
  2. Sleeping. In long stretches.Whenever I want.
  3. Eating Sushi!! This is fairly arbitrary, only applies to pregnancy,  not a strong argument.
  4. Traveling recklessly. {Ah, here's a big one.}
  5. Selling everything I own and moving away from my support system. {another solid strike}
  6. Not having babies. {Checkmate my friends, check. mate.}
 But really, I'm not quite ready yet. There were a number of things that Juliano both wanted to do before we officially 'settled down'. One was open a business - check, the others aren't done yet!

When we look at our friends who have kids already, we're overjoyed for them and we LOVE their kids SO MUCH. And we know that we want that eventually - but it just doesn't feel right yet for us.

 My friends who are moms tell me that that all of those things are completely forgotten about when have a baby of your own. A bit tsunami of love comes over you and nothing else matters.
Guess What? I BELIEVE YOU! 
And this is my response:

 But really, this choosing not to have babies business does have some downsides, mostly personal. I was talking to a close friend a few days ago about this - and we were both surprised to discover that we felt the same way about delaying babies. There are a few things about it that affect me:

I'm worried about being an 'old mom'. I know that people have babies at all sorts of ages now, but for some reason - I've always assumed I'd be a 'super-young mom'. As in - babies DONE by 30. This seemed especially possible when I got married at 23! Now at 27 it's still not time. Not a bad thing, just different from what my original plans were, and I have to adjust to that.  

I want Juliano to be a dad. I know that it's cheesy, but I think so many women know that they want to marry someone after seeing them with kids. I know I did. Juliano is SO GREAT with kids - even though his thoughts are exactly on par with mine at the moment, I still feel like I'm potentially 'taking something away' from him - and me!

I do see WHY it's a good idea to wait and WHY it's a good idea to just get on it {ha ha.. no pun intended}. But for now - we delay and do life like we want for a bit. We'll come back for you future mini-deBritos!

** Don't send me cranky email about not needing these thing to have a baby. Yes, you can have a baby without a husband - obviously!! I KNOW!! These are just reason why people think I should have one. Sheesh.

January 13, 2012

Staging our House for Sale

 It's finally time! We're staging our house for sale! I'm so excited because this is a really fun process - and it will force us to get packing... Staging is 'the art of designing your house for sale' and its a big deal now  - There's even a show about it!

Check out this slide show of staged homes sold by our Realtor Anne:

Our stager came over last night and left us with a looong list of things to do, pictures to hang, and mostly - stuff to get rid of! We're cleaning out our stuff and re-organizing furniture like mad!

Also - despite all of our selling posts, she wants us to BUY STUFF! Yep, we need some additional decorations, and touches to make our house look like a show home!

We even had to buy RUGS! I know it sounds counter-intuitive to buy things to sell a house but it makes such an impression on the buyers - you'll more than make your money back (and you can Kijiji everything in the end - making it worth EVEN MORE!).

Here's the guys getting dragged through Costco to buy rugs:

We've got lots of work ahead of us before the house gets photographed - we'll let you know how it goes!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...