Did somebody say candles?

Feeling stressed? Buy a candle!

If you’re anything like me, you’re one candle away from being a full on Bath and Body Works store. But given the current state of the world, I truly believe a bubble bath, a glass of wine and a great smelling candle can cure anything.

However not all candles are made equal. Some are too sweet and smell like Kool-Aid or others have no scent at all. Today I’m here to recommend 5 candles you need in your life for every occasion – sourced from my personal favourite, White Barn by Bath and Body Works.

  1. Mahogany Teakwood – This fragrance will take you back to a 2008 Hollister store, but hey I’m not complaining. I jokingly call this the boyfriend candle because it does have a hint of teenage boy who just took an Axe shower but it’s cologne undertone isn’t too overpowering. The perfect candle for a cozy or romantic night in.
  2. White Tea and Sage – A classic kitchen scent. Fresh herbs make this candle great for a windows open, sunshine filled day of cooking. I like to light this candle and imagine I’m spending the day in the garden or by the sea. How charming!
  3. Fresh Balsam – Smells like a straight up Christmas tree but it’s never too early to get into the holiday spirit! Fresh and woodsy, this candle is the perfect way to transform your home into a cottage in the woods.
  4. Pumpkin Bonfire – My newest favourite! The perfect fall candle. It’s not sickly sweet like some of the other fall classics (pumpkin pecan waffles – no thank you!) but it does have the slight pumpkin-y aroma mixed with the perfect smoky bonfire scent. Here’s to making the days of apple picking, pumpkin patches and fall leaves last forever.
  5. Rose Water and Ivy – A dip in the pool…a trip to the spa…endless days in my chaise…oh wait. But seriously this clean fresh scent of this candle will make you feel like you’re in a 5 star spa being pampered or lounging by the pool. A great choice for truly any occasion.

Ironically, I wrote a blog post a while back talking about how you can’t buy everyone candles for the holidays. While that may still be true, I do strongly support treating yourself to a new candle or two as the seasons change for the perfect way to elevate any date night in, set the mood for a virtual yoga session or complement a bubble bath. A simple way to lift your spirits and brighten up any room.

Happy shopping!

XOXO,

Paige and the Zillennials

6 Totally Random Hobbies for Lockdown 2.0

Banana bread baking is so Spring 2020.

With a possible lockdown 2.0 probably around the corner (or already in action for some), the most wonderful time of the year is going to be a bit different this winter. BUT there is one thing to get excited about – trying some new & totally random lockdown hobbies!! Yes. We are going to TAKE CONTROL of our free time and try something creative and fun! While dabbling in bread baking and TikTok stardom was fun back in Spring 2020, I’m sure we’re all ready for something new and ~outrageous~ to try. Here are some of my very ~zilly~ suggestions:

1. Soup Making

Soup is honestly one of the most underrated foods. It is healthy AND delicious AND versatile. With so many veggies in season right now, you can really get creative. Carrot-ginger soup? Butternut squash-parsnip-pumpkin? The possibilities are truly ENDLESS.

2. Calligraphy & Card Making

Who doesn’t love receiving a handmade card during the holidays?? You can send a little bit of joy to your friends and family this year by sending out some cute little cards. All you need to do is turn on the Christmas tunes, perfect your penmanship, and use as much glitter and as many cut out snowflakes as possible!!

3. Candle Crafting

I did this once at a pioneer village as a child, and oh it is truly riveting. It kills a whole bunch of time, you can customize your scents/colours however you like, and you will have candles that didn’t cost $30 when all is done!

4. Cross Country Skiing or Snowshoeing 

Just because it’s winter, doesn’t mean we can’t have fun outside!! The great thing about cross country skiing or snowshoeing is that you don’t have to buy a ski hill pass to participate in it – all you need is to invest in a couple pieces of equipment. Plus you get to explore nature, and find a fun new way to workout – which isn’t following along to some fitness video on your laptop.

5. Scrapbooking

Aah “our trip to Paris 2018”. Who doesn’t love to look back on the times when we could actually travel to other countries, or live it up with family and friends? Getting ~creative~ with your photos, souvenirs, and a little bit of glitter will leave you with an awesome keepsake you can treasure for YEARS.  Also this requires a lot of time and patience which is ideal for days stuck indoors!

6. Learning an Instrument 

I found out recently that lots of libraries allow you to rent out a variety of instruments, which is pretty neat! Always wanted to pursue your childhood dream of playing the cello? Who knows, maybe you could be the next Yo-Yo Ma! As a music nerd myself, I will be definitely be delving into a learning a new instrument. 

So there you have it – six new hobbies to try out this winter season. Whether you want to keep it safe and stick to candle making, or try your hand at every single one, I guarantee you will enjoy learning something new (or at least kill some time)!! 

XOXO


Olivia and the Zillennials 

Making a Commitment

Let us tell you, being a Zillennial is not easy

Sometimes committing to something can be tough, especially if you are in a time of your life where you are surrounded by so much change. Commitment changes shapes, and sometimes can just be easier to forget than to follow through on your promises – this is what makes it so challenging. Sometimes commitment leads us in over our heads, sometimes it leads to the best thing ever. The fact of the matter is that in life, we are surrounded by hundreds of commitments that we made at one point or other. That utility bill you agreed to? That’s a commitment. The dinner plans you made months that you really want to bail on? That’s (unfortunately) also a commitment.

Where I am going with this long and sad attempt at being ~inspiring~ is that commitment is something that is difficult, and can be something that can be hard to uphold. I mean, I guess that is why it is called a ‘commitment’. I promise you this ramble is going somewhere…

Last October, in what was a very different world (who would’ve thought we’d miss going to the office), we decided we would restart the Zillennial for everyone who had been there along the way through our journey and grow our platform across Zillennials. Well, one blog post and a few sad instagram posts later, we fell short of that promise. Being a Zillennial is TOUGH. We are in the early points of our careers trying to make our mark on the world, all while trying to balance a personal life, find love and somehow fit sleep (among other things) into this equation. This is not easy work (even though I am sure there is a person or two who would tell us otherwise), and with everything we were juggling, we lost touch of our blog and forgot about the commitment we made.

Flash forward to June, our former professor, JP, invited us back to speak as Zoom guest lecturers for the very same class where the Zillennial was born. After speaking to the students about our blog, some of which were well established business people pursuing their MBAs/EMBAs, we were inspired by the love for the Zillennial and realized that it would be too sad to let something as special as this fizzle into the depths of the Google search algorithm – it is time for a rebirth. 

So here we are now telling you we are coming back – but like actually this time. We want the Zillennial to be the place you come to after a long day a work and you just need a fun article to pick you up, we want it to be that mid-day chuckle during a hard day, we want it to be a place where you can get advice. We want the Zillennial be a place for you to come to find a community of like minded people who are somehow stuck between two generations. 

That is our commitment to you, and we can’t wait to see what it brings.

Xoxo

Aidan & the Zillennials

No, You Can’t Buy Everyone Candles For The Holidays

We LOVE candles- but let’s think outside the box this holiday season.

The holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year, right?  Who doesn’t love that festive time of year, filled with snowflakes, tinsel, and cookies. But we’re forgetting one thing. Gift shopping. It is STRESSFUL AF to think of what presents to buy for your family, friends, and colleagues. Seriously, how do you buy that perfect gift for your parents with only $40 on hand, when they have literally invested hundreds of THOUSANDS of dollars into your life?!

Yes, it’s the thought that counts, but real talk: it is no longer acceptable to give your mom a “coupon book” she can redeem for a hug or breakfast in bed, and you’re not little and cute enough anymore to get your face printed onto a mug.

So what can you buy that won’t break the bank, but also isn’t a lame and impersonal gift like a candle (seriously, you can do better than that)? We have put together the ultimate gift guide to help you with all your holiday struggles and to make sure you get the perfect gifts this year!

For Mom

Your mom is probably the easiest person to buy for because you know she will “love” anything you get her. However, she probably is the most deserving of a nice gift – so skip the scarves and candles, and settle for a meaningful gift, or spoil her with something she wouldn’t buy for herself.

1. Alex & Ani Bracelet

 If you’re looking for a sentimental gift, Alex and Ani is an amazing retailers. Not only do they create simple and classy bracelets, but they donate some of their proceeds to charity. Each bracelet can be customized with a charm or symbol to represent something special – such a unique and cute gift!

2. Spa Day

She’ll claim she doesn’t have the time, but if you go the extra step and clear her schedule for some ~relaxation and rejuvenation time~, you’ll definitely be her favourite child. 

For Dad

 Is it just me or are dads the hardest people to buy for? What do you buy for the man that has everything and wants nothing? I refuse to buy my dad more barbecue supplies or another graphic t-shirt, and you should too. Instead, look for “experiential” gifts that allow you to spend time together. 


3. Sports Tickets

If your dad is anything like mine – he’s probably a sports fan. If you can, splurge on some hockey tickets, and buy him some drinks and snacks at the game. A guaranteed successful night. If you can’t get your hands on tickets, treating him to a night out at his favourite sports bar during the game is an equally good alternative. 

4. Alcohol

Dads love drinking! Skip the cheap booze and splurge on some expensive whisky, scotch, or wine. Pair it with a fun beer glass like the ones sold by Ritzenhoff and you’re golden.

Your Besties

The holidays are a time to show your love for the people in your life who always have your back, but what do you buy for your equally broke friends to show them you care?

5. Experiential Gifts

Concert tickets. Plays. Movies. Cooking classes. Anything fun you two can do together is the way to go.

6. Food

If you’re strapped for cash but still want to show your friends some love, home baked goodies are never a bad choice – everyone LOVES Christmas cookies. You can find some easy recipes online for things like mint chocolate cookies or candy cane bark – so festive!


Your Boss

Don’t we all love the obligatory gifts you have to buy for your manager/boss? These can be some of the most stressful gifts to buy. You don’t want to come across as cheap, yet you probably have no clue what they actually would like. 


7. Charitable Donation

Your boss probably receives a lot of the same stuff: chocolate, mugs, and wine. As great as these gifts are, this year blow them out of the water with a donation in their name to their favourite cause. Not only is this unique, but it shows your thoughtful, caring nature (it also will put you in their good books right before holiday bonus time). 

Gift giving can be stressful, but with our guide you can spend less time stressing and more time drinking eggnog and enjoying the holiday cheer!

XOXO

Paige and the Zillennials

Yes, You Can Afford to go on That Vacation – How to Travel on a Budget

Travelling can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be!

In my opinion, travelling is the BEST thing in the world (my insta handle is literally @aidantravels). Although I may be a bit biased, since both of my parents work in the airline industry, travelling has changed my perspective on so many things and has provided me with my most memorable moments.

I mean, even Britney Spears likes to travel:

“The cool thing about being famous is travelling. I have always wanted to travel across seas, like to Canada and stuff”

Britney Spears

All kidding aside, everyone should try to travel more! However, I do recognize that there is one huge barrier which can usually stop people from travelling: money. Unfortunately, there are several costs associated with going ~abroad~ (aka plane, accommodation, food, and leisure costs).

Over my many years of travelling, I have learned some GREAT ways to save money, so listen up for all of my exclusive secrets, so you can go on that trip you have been dreaming about. 

1. Use discount websites

Okay, this may be a very cliché and typical piece of advice, but using discount websites can save you a TON of money. The great part about discount travel websites is that you can compare different dates, destinations, and routes to see which route has the cheapest flight. Seriously, using a discount site helped me book a $280 flight from Toronto to Lisbon. MIND BLOWING. While Google Flights is a great first place to look, my lifesaver has been Skiplagged. Their website finds ~secret~ routes- that may involve strange connections and flights you don’t actually take- but it is dirt cheap. Skiplagged is SO good that United Airlines literally SUED them. The only catch is that sometimes you can’t take any checked luggage. Nonetheless, I love them!

2. Rent out rooms on Airbnb

If you don’t have the budget to book an executive suite, or are a snob like me and don’t like to share a room with 23 other people in a hostel, you’ll definitely like this piece of advice. After my bad hostel experience (I’ll miss you forever Helly Hansen jacket), I turned to booking private rooms through Airbnb as a means of accomodation, without breaking the bank. All across Europe, my friends and I started to rent out rooms when we would travel and boy, am I glad we did. Not only were they DIRT CHEAP, but they always felt safe and secure! Some of the best places I saw while on my academic exchange were based off of advice from Airbnb hosts. Also, the great thing about Airbnb is the countless reviews you get to see beforehand, so you know the host isn’t a creep! Defs a great way to save a few dollars.

3. Travel during the off season

Listen, I wouldn’t recommend going to some places in the middle of winter (trust me, I have made that mistake), but there are definitely some amazing deals and places to go during the off seasons that aren’t too cold! Heading to Europe, for example, in September vs. August can result in HUGE cost savings, because most North Americans go back to work or school. Because of this, many restaurants and tourist attractions lower their prices, and airlines begin to slash their prices to fill their routes during this awkward time period! So not only will travelling in the off season save you some cash, but it will allow you to have a more ~authentic~ experience that isn’t plagued by other tourists. That means you will have more opportunities to meet locals, and truly experience the destination without all the selfie-sticks!

4. Use transport strategically

It is hard to say that there is one best mode of transportation for all cities, but utilizing a bit of thinking and planning can save you a lot of money! For example, splitting an Uber in Poland with my 4 friends was not only 10x faster than utilizing public transport, but it was substantially cheaper. Crazy! Now, Uber will not be the cheapest option in all cities, but make sure to always compare all your transportation options when abroad. However, while public transport and taxis/ubers are great and quick, my favourite way to get from point A-B is by walking. Not only is walking FREE (shocking right?), but it is a great way to see the city you are in. By planning out your days in advance, you can figure out the best walking route to cover all the things you want to see. You may even find some secret gems along the way! Save the other methods for long distances and rainy days. 

5. Skip the tourist traps

While going on a Segway tour of the city may sound tempting, these types of activities are complete rip-offs. Not only that, but sometimes even the most hyped-up attractions in cities can just end up being tourist traps- *cough* *cough* The London Eye. To avoid these, plan in advance and trust the advice of the professionals. Rick Steves’ travel books and blogs will help you avoid every travel cash-grab, and help you to find more authentic and local experiences. For example, if you want to avoid being ripped off, don’t eat in the city center restaurants. He also helped me find a secret way into the Louvre that saved me from waiting in a 2-hour line. He honestly is the best, I’d 10000% recommend getting his books for your trips. 

Well there is all of my advice on how to ball on a budget for your next vacation. Happy travelling!

XOXO

Aidan and the Zillennials

Have any more money-saving travel tips? Post them in the comments below!

Goodbye Crop Tops and Jerseys: Building a Sophisticated Wardrobe

A one stop guide to dressing like a sophisticated individual.

So here’s the sitch: You’ve just started your first real job, meaning that you are ~officially~ an adult. Congratulations. It’s a Friday night and your fellow colleagues have invited you to go with them to the bar to grab a couple cocktails. Woohoo! You love a good gin and tonic! BUT…before you leave, you realize that you have an absolute CONUNDRUM. What are you going to wear?!

You look in your closet and see a few options:

A) Black Crop Top?

B) White Crop Top?

C) Yankees Jersey?

D) Lakers Jersey?

Hmm. Difficult choice…

Well listen up now people, because actually, the answer is E) NONE OF THE ABOVE!

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Unfortunately, you are no longer in #college (sad!) and cannot wear these things out in public. Your reputation is at stake for goodness sake! I mean, you are trying to show people that you are a sophisticated, REAL adult now, right?!

Now for those of you who thought “E is my answer!” then, congrats! You are on the right track and are probably already a classy-looking individual, or at least steps ahead of the rest of us (well, that is assuming you were not thinking that you would prefer a shiny, silver crop top). But for the rest of y’all, oh boy, we have some work to do. Good news though! We are here to help you revisit your poor wardrobe decisions and help you physically look like you have your sh*t together!

So here we go…

1. STOP FALLING FOR FADS

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This is a BIG one. Every year there are those items which suddenly become super trendy for no apparent reason. Would you ever even consider wearing Uggs now? Puffy Pants? Chokers? …No? Well there’s my point. Okay, so technically I wore a choker last week but you get what I am saying. If it seems like a weird trend, it probably is. These “trends” change ALL the time, don’t waste your money or wardrobe space on items which you do not see yourself wearing in the long term. After the fad goes away, those items do nothing for your fashion aesthetic besides collect dust at the back of your closet. So save your money for Sunday brunch. Or an apartment.

2. BASICS ARE NOT BORING

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Basics are your best friend! They are incredibly versatile and wearing them will help you to appear more put-together. And the best part is that you will get SO many compliments on your “new style”. (No seriously,  you will!)  Basics go far beyond a white t-shirt and a pair of jeans. We’re really just talking about having clean lines and minimal designs in your oh-so-beautiful wardrobe essentials here. Investing in high quality basics will help your wardrobe last through the years, and the most bizarre trends that are yet to come.

3. SHOP FOR OUTFITS

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Admit it, you’ve bought a few items which have maybe made it out of your closet once. So, take this from a used-to-be impulse shopper: NEVER make a purchase unless you see yourself making several outfits out of it. That one “must-have piece” will never be worth the hundreds of dollars just to wear it one time. When shopping, mentally go through your wardrobe and think, what can I pair this item with? What else can I pair it with? Will I REALLY wear this on a regular basis? Once you have answered all these questions, and are truly being realistic with yourself, get the piece. Or, if you absolutely must have it because it is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen, make an investment and buy the rest of the outfit to go with it! It will be worth it.

4. SHOES AND ACCESSORIES MATTER TOO

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People don’t want to see your what-may-have-once-been-white Stan Smiths. Make sure your shoes and accessories are up to par with the rest of your outfit. Believe it or not, important people (aka interviewers, bosses) are looking at little details… such as what’s on your feet. As Forrest Gump once said, “my mama always said you can tell a lot about a person by their shoes”. So, invest in a few nice pairs of shoes, and keep them looking nice…do NOT trek through mud, rain, or snow in your shoes. Ever. That’s what a nice pair of Hunter boots are for sweetie. And it doesn’t just stop at shoes. Now that you’re an adult, you can add some nice accessories to your outfit too! Invest in a nice scarf, bag, and pair of sunglasses. Accessories can instantly upgrade your outfit from drab to fab. So be fab. Always.

5. INVEST IN A SPECIALTY ITEM EACH SEASON

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Now, let’s face it, you’re not going to build up your wardrobe in 2 days. None of us have the ability to do that…or the money probably. It takes time. But also, remember that it’s okay to treat yourself! Try to invest in one nice piece for your wardrobe each season- whether it be a nice bag, pair of shoes, or jacket. This will help you to build up your wardrobe over the years, while also being budget friendly.

*BONUS* you don’t have to buy everything at Aritzia or H&M!

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Can you believe that there are some retailers which aren’t Aritzia, Zara, or H&M? Shocking, right? There are a lot of great, smaller retailers which have high quality items at pretty good prices!  Take some time to get familiar with different retailers in your area, or those who offer free shipping!

Here are a couple of my personal favourites to help get you started (PS-both of these retailers sell women’s and men’s clothing!):

Everlane

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Via Everlane.com

This is an amazing retailer that carries lovely, high quality items. They have a revolutionary mission of transparency AND they have free international shipping when you spend $100 or more!!

Kotn

Via Kotn.com

This retailer  has such great casual basics, that come at a great price! They have an amazing ethical story, AND they are a Canadian company!

So there you have it. I hope you have taken some time to reconsider your wardrobe. You are now one step closer to dressing like a sophisticated adult, who didn’t just roll out of a college frat party! Congratulations. Now go treat yourself to a nice scarf.

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XOXO

Olivia & the Zillennials

Yes, You ARE a Hoarder: How to De-clutter Your Space

Your room needs some SERIOUS TLC sweetie. But don’t worry, we’re here to help you sort through your mess!

Admit it: as a kid, you were needy AF. No matter what toys or books your parents bought you, you always wanted the next best thing. You would easily toss aside your perfectly good Barbie Dream House as soon as something better came along, (aka Barbie Fairy Princess Palace). For some reason though, you never seemed to get rid of anything, even if it was older and “boring”. The more things you had, the better.

But let’s face it; now that you’re in your twenties, nobody wants to see that mound of stuffed animals in the corner of your room, or the stack of books which you’ll probably never open again. Moving home after living away at school was an eye-opener for me – why did I have so much stuff in my room, considering I was rarely there? Think you’re immune to hoarding tendencies? Check under your bed – I bet you’ll be surprised at the sh*t you’ll find there!

Being a Zillennial is stressful and the world seems to move a million miles an hour, so coming home to a chaotic, junk filled space is not ideal. The first step to resolving your issue is accepting the fact that yes, you are a hoarder. Then, by following our advice on tackling specific spaces,  you’ll be on track to de-cluttering your space in no time!

1. Closets are NOT where dreams go to die!

The first place to start might be the most frightening. I mean there’s no such thing as too many clothes is there? As much as you’d like to think you’ll fit into those two-sizes-too-small jeans, by the time you do (if you do) ..you’ll probably just want to get new ones anyways. If you haven’t worn it within the last year, pass it on to a better home!

2. It’s time to recycle your old notes

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Is anyone else’s desk constantly covered with paper? Boxes filled with old class notes? Let’s be real – if you ever have an accounting question or forget how to say something in French, you’re going to Google it, not dig through your grade 12 notes. Throw them out and only keep hard copies of things you really need!

3. So long company-branded swag!

There’s something about free stuff that fires everyone up. It doesn’t matter if it’s a pen, fridge magnet, or pack of sticky notes, we’re all guilty of stocking up on the swag. Next time you’re at an event, it’s okay to say no to the free swag because how many pairs of cheap sunglasses, tacky lanyards and pens does one person really need? Sort through your “junk drawer” and get rid of those tacky branded items taking up space!

4. Keep your sanity, sort the vanity

One of my worst habits is starting new products before finishing the old ones. How many bottles of lotion is too many? Cosmetics are one of the easiest things to hoard and hardest to part ways with! If anything is more than two years old…chuck it and limit yourself from buying new ones until you finish up the old!

5. You probably don’t need to keep your old iPod

There’s a famous phrase about “saving for a rainy day” – this may be true when it comes to your money, but it doesn’t have to be true for everything. What if your phone breaks – shouldn’t you keep a backup? It’s likely going to happen to you at some point, but are you really going to pull out your old LG rumor? Of course not – you’ll rush to the Apple store and buy the latest iPhone. Donate your old technology to a good cause and feel good about de-cluttering!

We hope these tips will help you clear the clutter from your life (or at least your bedroom). Woohoo! Now you are one step closer to not being on TLC’S next episode of Hoarders!

XOXO,

Paige & the Zillennials

No, a Futon is not a Couch → 5 Essential Things For Your First Real Home

If you haven’t already done so, it’s high time that you stop passing of your “Friends” poster as “decorating”.

Let’s face it, your house’s current aesthetic looks a conglomeration of seventies couch patterns and trash. And you probably have a tea towel hanging on the wall…or at least I do.

But despite that fact, approximately 99% of my childhood was spent watching HGTV, more specifically House Hunters- I mean, how can you go wrong with a good episode of a couple people trying to find the perfect flat in Paris with a budget that makes literally no sense? All of this HGTV binge-watching, and the fact that the houses I lived in growing up were under constant renovation (thanks Dad), I developed a passion for everything interior design. I don’t know if passion is the right word honestly – it’s more of a religion than anything. So I think it’s high time to get on the right track to creating a “real adult house”, that still reflects who you truly are, and (best of all) at prices that won’t break the bank! Let’s dive right into it, here are five essential things that you need:

1. A Good Couch

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Much like the title of this article states: while functional, a futon is nothing more than the epitome of college living. Futons are NOT visually appealing, they provide little to no support and are overall just horrible (try and change my mind – you won’t be able to). And if you don’t have a futon, I bet you have an old hand-me down couch with a flower pattern and a few tears on it. But I mean, it does the job, right? No, no, NO – it is still not ok, and you should not settle. You see, the couch is the cornerstone of the living room. It is like what the CN Tower (or Drake) is to the 6ix; without it, there really isn’t anything interesting about the place (whoops, sorry TO). Ok, so back on track, rather than splurging on your non-fat, iced americano with one pump of vanilla, invest in a nice couch such as one from the AMAZING selection from Structube. Their couches are trendy, affordable and will suit anyone’s style! Seriously, these couches are amazing – and they are a Canadian brand! Check them out here, I’d seriously recommend it → Structube Couches

2. Framed Prints

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There is nothing more satisfying than hanging up a beautiful photograph in a perfectly fitted frame- literally, nothing (at least in my opinion). In your first ‘real’ home it is so important to decorate your home by showing off your photos in nice frames, rather than your old, dingy university posters that have seen better days. Nobody wants to see the Friends poster on your walls (you know the one). So basic. However, make sure that whatever pictures you frame truly reflect who you are. Your pictures and artwork tell a story, so what you put up will reflect exactly who you are. Also, just because framing something may seem “fancy”, it doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. To stay low cost, I recommend finding vintage prints from a cool store, and then finding an inexpensive frame from Ikea to house it in- it can cost as little as $20 to do this! Framing your photos instantly creates a ‘wow’ factor for your home, and is SO simple to do. Check out some fun prints and frames here → Society6 Prints

3. A Nice Carpet

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Call me crazy, but I consider this another staple of a nice living space. As I mentioned, your home is a reflection of who you are, so it will be worthwhile to cash-out a little on pieces such as this. A carpet will provide a base for the room (literally), and if you have a gross hardwood or old cat-pee covered carpet, this is the perfect thing to cover it up. Further, they are extremely customizable, for all of you worried about the carpet being too “boring”; playing around with different sizes, colours and textures CAN be fun (I promise). Overall, a carpet can tie everything in a room together, immediately taking an extremely mediocre room to that ‘wow’ factor level. Name another piece of furniture/decor that has the power to do that. I’ll be waiting here for your response.  Carpets also DO NOT have to break the bank! Wayfair has some super trendy carpets at some CRAZY low prices. Stay tuned for their sales because that’s when the prices will literally go out of control. Take a look here →  Wayfair Carpets

4. Real Lighting

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We are not talking about string lights here, or as I like to call them, “house fire starters”. Not only are these things DANGEROUS if they aren’t attended to, but they are, to be
quite frank, FUGLY!! Sure, they were fine for your college dorm or student house, but in your first real house, you deserve
real lighting. Seriously. One of the things that has stuck with me the most from taking a few architecture classes is the effect that lighting has on your mood. So, it is beyond important to invest in proper lighting to ensure your space is allowing you to be in the best mood possible, so that you can adult as best as you can. If possible, and your landlord allows you to, hire an electrician (or DIY, if you have that technical ability) to install a dimmer in the main spaces of your home. The right dimmed lighting can set the ~mood~ for the next time you bring your hot date over, or if you just want to watch a movie. Secondly, replace all the ugly blue lighting in your house with bulbs with a nice white/yellow tone. These tones will create a calm mood and won’t make your home feel like a warehouse. Some lighting elements I would personally recommend adding to your home are a nice table and floor lamp. Lamps can help showcase your design flare, and also provide a great alternative to the costs associated with installing overhead lighting. Check out some cool options here: West Elm Lamps

5. Your Personality

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Last but not least, an important staple for your home is a good aesthetic that represents YOU. Regardless of all the advice I gave, your home is a reflection of yourself- so make it look that way. Utilize décor such as throw pillows, succulents, or a coffee table book- whatever will make your place more personable is critical to truly feeling at home. I know that my home is going to look like it came straight out of a 60s Scandinavian Furniture ad, so apologies in advance to my future roommates. At the end of the day, you are going to be the one spending the most time in the space so make sure you don’t just like it. Make sure you LOVE it.

Whether you are already living in your first real home in the city, or are on the last few months in your crummy student home, there you have it, a starting approach towards helping you shape up the best version of your first home from, yours truly, a washed-up Pier 1 Imports employee and HGTV junkie.

XOXO

Aidan & the Zillennials

(PS- If you’re looking for more content, check out my Pinterest board for first apartments!)

How To Grocery Shop on a Budget

But seriously, why is cheese so expensive?

Whether you’re living away from home for the first time at school or just moved into your own apartment, the thought of not having your parents cook for you, and having to do your own grocery shopping can be extremely daunting. Why are there so many choices? What brands should I buy? Where should I shop? And worst of all…WHY IS FOOD SO EXPENSIVE? We feel your struggle, which is why we have created the ultimate guide to grocery shopping on a budget.

1. Buy What’s On Sale

One of the easiest ways to save money is by buying what’s on sale and planning your meals around it. This does require some work on your part to see what’s on sale each week, and where. If the thought of flipping through endless flyers sounds archaic and unappealing, don’t worry- I’m with you. Instead, try downloading a weekly shopping app such as Flipp. Flipp uses your location to gather flyers from stores near you and lets you add items to your electronic shopping list. You can also search by item to see what store has the best price and get alerts when sales are ending – a lifesaver if you’re looking to save some $!

2. Avoid Pre-Made Food

As a busy student or working young adult, the last thing you want to do is think about cooking. It can be tempting to go to the store and pick up a premade salad or pre-cooked pasta dish for a quick meal, but if you are looking to save money, this is one of the easiest ways to waste it! Next time you’re at a grocery store, look at the price of a premixed salad. They can easily be $7+, yet buying a head of lettuce, and a bunch of veggies will almost always come out cheaper and will provide you with many salads – not just one! If you’re looking to save money – don’t be lazy! Skip the premades and make it yourself instead!

3. Grocery Shopping While Hungry = BAD

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Whatever you do – DO NOT GO GROCERY SHOPPING WHILE YOU ARE HUNGRY! Suddenly, that box of Oreos looks good…and so does the package of croissants and the sushi! You’ll probably end of buying a lot of food you don’t really need – not to mention unhealthy items. Save yourself the trouble and eat before you go, or at least pack something to munch on.

4. Be Careful of Bulk Purchases

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If you’re anything like me and you don’t own a car, you probably try to minimize the amount of times you need to go grocery shopping. Costco may seem like your best friend – bulk items at good prices – what more could you want? Just be cautious – buying in bulk may save you some money, but it depends what you are buying. Unless you’re on some crazy protein kick, no one needs 48 eggs, or 8L of milk. If it’s going to go bad before you can finish it, don’t buy it -save the bulk purchases for hoarding snacks and toilet paper instead.

With these tips, we hope you’ll be able to spend a little less cash on groceries and a little bit more on everything else (drinks anyone?).

XOXO

Paige & the Zillennials