Winterizing Your Home

Winterizing your home is a very important process you need to make time for. It involves a lot of different things, so to make sure you get everything done, remember that making lists are always your best friend and help ensure you don’t forget anything.

I live alone so this is a big process, thankfully my boyfriend was really helpful with this because it would’ve taken many more days had I been alone. (p.s wasn’t always in a relationship and have done it alone in the past…it’s so long)


I had a leaf blower jet pack…thankfully

I had to get my car shelter up, rake all the leaves (by the way there was like 50 bags of them), close up the pool, pick up a lot of dog poop, put away the outdoor furniture, cut the grass for the last time, etc. You get the point it’s a lot.

Let me tell you though, once it was done, wow did I ever feel great! It’s so fun being a productive homeowner! 🙂

Conclusion: Being a homeowner you will start to take pride in doing things around the house.

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The Survival Guide News Update

Newspaper article

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The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

3 Emotions you might feel when living alone.

I’m just naming a few emotions that I often feel because I have been living alone for almost 5 years now. I like to call them, the good, the bad & the ugly.

When you’re living alone, who knows how you will feel, this changes day-to-day depending on daily situations.

Emotion #1

Feeling Silly

Feeling silly is one of my regular emotions when I am at home. This basically consists of dancing in my underwear, screaming out loud, talking to myself, talking to the dogs, dancing with the dogs oh and the occasional opera concerto, polishing off a bottle of wine and watching funny videos while laughing hysterically by myself. (Were you out of breathe reading that? haha)

No I’m not crazy; I just like to keep myself (and the dogs apparently) entertained.

doggy dancing

It’s important to let lose, it’s no sign that you’re crazy, just get into your undies and dance the night away, put a show on for yourself and the dogs. Feeling silly is totally normal.

Great times dancing with Curtis Mayfield

Emotion #2

Feeling lonely

watching tv alone There’s no doubt that living alone can cause loneliness. Don’t worry, this is also normal. I say don’t panic, embrace it! When you’re young, your friends matter most to you. You spend countless hours with people, at their houses, or them at your house, etc. For me, I needed people around me all the time. Trust me when I say this, because I do speak with experience (not that I’m old…) but your time alone will be extremely appreciated once you learn to accept being alone. This theory also works for relationships FYI… if you cannot be alone, you cannot do a lot of things, but that’s my two cents. Make yourself a martini and just chill.martoiniLove the moment because one day when you have a family that peace and quiet will be gone, or you can get two pitbulls like I did, and that peace & quiet will also be gone. Don’t be afraid to be alone, once you have overcome this fear you will grow so much as a person.


Emotion #3

Feeling overwhelmed

Yes you will feel overwhelmed from time to time, it’s completely normal. How many times do you think you will come home to a messy house, a pile of dishes, a racoon spreading your garbage everywhere, dog puke all over the house, piles of laundry, etc. SHIT HAPPENS! You’re only human and some weeks might be more stressful, or you might be lazy or tired.

It’s okay to feel overwhelmed but what’s important is dealing with it properly. The last thing you want is for your shit to get out of hand. Best thing to do is to breathe and make yourself a to-do list, prioritize what’s important and just get through it. It’s achievable if you want to resolve it.

There is no need to panic about the emotions I mentioned above. Feeling these are quite common, yet people never really talk about it, mind you, it’s not really a conversation starter… ‘’ Hey hey! I sing made up opera songs to my dogs in my underwear’’. Being a homeowner comes with big responsibilities. Organization is very important. Establish times and dedicate specific days for doing chores (it’s called a calendar). You will sometimes fall behind, but it’s important to know how to pick yourself up. My boss once told me that it’s okay to make mistakes or forget something, but you need to make sure that you have a solution in order to resolve the problem.


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5 Tips Young Homeowners Need to Know When Shopping for a House

Ok so most of you can probably relate and others hang on, because it’s probably heading your way eventually. Becoming a homeowner at a young age has its perks, but can also bring you many surprises too. ‘’Oh shoot I forgot to buy dishwasher soap’’ or ‘’Oh yeah, we need a lawnmower to cut the grass…’’. These are just some of the few examples of random thoughts that may run through your head, but there are many more (trust me way more).

Most people generally move into an apartment first and get the ‘’feel’’ for living on their own, which is great, good for you, but what I’m talking about here, is cold turkey move into a house straight from mom’s, oh and to make it more interesting, you’re 19 years old. How is this possible you may ask? I won’t get into all the financial details but with hard work and dedication in life and of ‘course parental guidance, you can achieve anything you set your mind too. Also, my parents helped out with the legal paper work and all that stuff, because let’s face it, at 19, who knows how to buy a house? Mom, dad, help? K thanks.

I’m writing all this wonderful stuff because I want to share my experiences as a young homeowner to everyone! Friends, family and the world. If you’re young and about to buy your first house I’m sure you have many questions and random things you’re wondering about, so hopefully I can get it covered with my Young Homeowners: The Survival Guide. A series of blogs meant to guide all you young Padawans. Wish I had this when I was first getting my house!

Don’t stress it; we will get through this together!

Tip #1: Visiting Houses

dream garage

Dream Garage



When you start visiting houses, you should visit more than one. I visited the garage of my house and was like ‘’K, where do I sign?’’. The car junky in me was happy to live in a garage (also, I had 3 cars, a dirt bike and other garage-needing elements). ‘’There’s a house too…cool, I’m sure it’s fine. This garage though!’’. All my car geeks out there, you can so relate to this. Be wise, visit the entire house.

Tip #2: What can you afford?


This is actually tip #1, seriously. Don’t be visiting million dollar homes your youngster self can’t afford. So ya, check this out first, because you definitely don’t want to be eating Kraft Dinner for the next 10 years. The main purpose of getting the house was to have an investment that could grow over time, if you’re putting yourself into serious debt, this is not recommended.

Tip #3: Old vs. New

rustic living room

Also depending on what you can afford, this will determine if your house will be an older house or a newer one. Mine is old, BUT, I like vintage & ‘’cottage-style’’, cozy homes. It comes down to taste too, but renovations are always an option whether you buy old or new. Just get a place you’ll be happy living in for several years, enough time to make a profit.

Tip #4: Make it your own

Horrible wall paint

Tip #4 sort of relates to number 3. This is where I messed up but it was kind of weird how it all happened and also there’s a good chance this will not happen to you. I moved into a house that was entirely furnished. And by entirely furnished I mean EVERYTHING was there, from furniture and appliances to dishwasher soap and cigarette butts in the ashtray. In case you already guessed it, yes someone died (not in the house in case you’re wondering and I did ask) and I bought their house. Creepy, I know. So all that being said, it was difficult for me to do much personalization at first because the house was decorated (super cheesy by the way, we’ll talk more about the house décor later) from top to bottom. This made it hard for a ‘’fresh start’’, but I didn’t care I was getting my own place, finally (sorry mom). Before moving in, your best bet it to clean and repaint and redecorate with things that define you. I felt like an old man for a few months, we’ll eventually talk about the treasures I found in this house though.

Tip #5: Be excited and proud


It’s your first freakin’ house! Get excited about it; lose your marbles a little. People still can’t believe I was so young and they still can’t believe it today. Best question I get asked all the time is ‘’do you still have your house?’’ I always laugh but proudly say yes, yes I do. The first day I got the keys I was so excited I invited all my best friends over (back then when you’re 19 that’s like 12 people); we had Champaign and partied all night. I totally didn’t apply tip #4 and I moved in right away and slept on the living room floor for an entire week!

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Vanessa Barbeau

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