Storage Solutions for Small Spaces

Living in a rental comes with its own set of challenges.  And one of the most common complaints that renters have is lack of storage space.  But with a little creative thinking, storage issues can be solved in unexpected and stylish ways.   I pride myself on the fact that I can create storage out of just about anything.  Today I’m going to share a few easy ideas with you.

 

Go vertical.  Using wall space for storage is a great way to combat a lack of square footage.   Compact bookshelves can help create storage while offering visual appeal.  Try using more than one bookshelf to create a wall unit that has the look of built-in furniture.

Hide storage inside design elements.  The “x” detail on this daybed hides deep storage drawers that can hold everything from blankets and beddings to board games.  You can create a similar storage idea by adding deep baskets under benches or tables.

Use unexpected items for creative storage.  Antlers are a popular design element right now and here’s a unique way to use them.  Try hanging necklaces from the antlers for jewelry storage that is both interesting and practical.

Furniture or décor that does double duty is a perfect way to create storage in spaces that are small or simply lacking in storage options.  By using everyday objects in unexpected ways, you can make your space functional and fun at the same time.  Try thinking outside the box and you’re sure to come up with dozens of ideas that will fit the bill perfectly and that can move with  you from one space to the next!


5 First Apartment Essentials You Don't Want To Forget

You’ve packed the entire contents of your room and you’re all ready to move into your first ever apartment! Not so fast, you need more than just your bed, some clothes and a dish set for a successful move-in day. Check out our 5 essential items you might not have thought to pack (or buy!) below:

 

1. Toolkit

You might think that the Allen key that came with your IKEA bookshelf is enough to get you through, but you’ll definitely need some basic supplies to put together the rest of your furniture, including your decorations. Make sure you include a hammer, screwdriver, nails and wall hooks.

2. Shower curtain

Nobody wants to finish a long, sweaty day of moving only to realize they don’t have a shower curtain (or rings to hang it with!). This may seem like an obvious purchase, but definitely not one you want to forget. You should probably pick up a bath mat and some towels too!

3. Toilet paper

Possibly the first thing you’ll ever need in your new apartment and yet somehow still easily forgotten when you’re used to grabbing a new roll from the closet at home. Don’t be that person who has to use pizza napkins on their first night in their new place…

4. First aid kit

Moving can be tough and sometimes accidents happen. Scraped your knee on the stairs? Be prepared with some first aid basics including bandages, antiseptic wipes, antibiotic ointment and anti-inflammatory pills! 

5. Cleaning supplies

Your apartment should already be clean when you move in… but we highly recommend giving everything a fresh scrub just to be sure! You should include a broom, mop and bucket, multi-surface cleaner, toilet brush and cleaner, dish soap and sponge, garbage bags and cans, laundry detergent and hand soap. Feel free to add a vacuum if you have carpets!

 

This is just the tip of the iceberg of what you’ll need to make your apartment feel like home, but with these 5 apartment essentials you’ll be well on your way to a clean and comfortable start in your brand new place. Good luck with your move!


Renter’s Insurance 101

If you're a renter, you may be at risk for loss or liability issues. The easiest preventative measure for these risks is to get renter's insurance. Keep reading to ensure that you're prepared to provide your Ottawa Apartment a strong defense for any potential hazards.

Coverage Inclusions

One of the main questions that you may have when considering getting renter’s insurance is, what does it cover? Every renter should have some type of insurance. Learn what the average plan covers to help you determine if you need any additional coverage. One of the main points of renter’s insurance is to protect your belongings. Basic insurance covers the theft of your belongings and events such as hail, fire, rain, or wind storm - flood and earthquakes can require extra coverage. Additionally, opt for a coverage plan that will pay for lodgings in the event that you are required to leave your apartment. These basic plans also provide coverage for injuries that another person might sustain in your apartment.

Pet Coverage

Renter’s insurance can be very important, particularly if you have a pet. If you’re insured, you’re likely covered for medical payments, legal fees, and any settlement, up to coverage limits. When you search for the best renters insurance, be open about your needs and don’t expect any animal will be covered, as there are some that are generally uninsurable. Some of the blacklisted breeds include Pitbulls, Staffordshire Terriers, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Presa Canarios, Chows chows, Doberman Pinschers, etc.

Cost of Renter’s Insurance

Renter's insurance is generally relatively affordable. The average renter can expect to pay between $100 and $250 per year ($15 to $30 per month), depending on where you live and the coverage amount of your selected insurance policy. You can choose different levels of insurance coverage. If you want insurance for all risks versus specific incidents, your insurance could cost more. Cost depends on many things including how much insurance you need, the location of your apartment, how your unit or apartment was constructed, your insurance company, your claims history, etc. Before settling on an insurance provider, shop around or talk to a professional who can compare prices for you.

How Much Your Stuff is Worth

When registering for renter’s insurance, you’ll need to determine how much the possessions in your apartment are worth. To make it easier, there are inventory apps and sites that will help you log, price and track all of your items. You can also create a spreadsheet with this information. Not having a proper inventory report can hurt you in the long run. This is an important step to do early on as it will dictate how much insurance you need to buy. Having this data on hand is also helpful if you need to file a claim. Don’t forget to keep receipts for big-ticket items, and take photos of all of the possessions you may need to claim.

Ottawa Apartment has connections with over 7,000 apartment locations across the city. With our search tool, all you’ve got to do is tell us what you’re looking for—we’ll take care of the rest. And, it’s 100% free! Click here to find your dream apartment today.


Local Plant Boutiques In Ottawa 🌿

Spring is the perfect time to get your indoor & outdoor spaces ready for the Summer!

Here's our top picks of local plant boutiques you need to visit this spring to add colour to your space:

 

Blumen Studio:

Located at 465 Parkdale Avenue, this florist + cafe creates some of the most beautiful floral arrangements and plants to make your apartment totally Instagram worthy this Spring. Blumen Studio is your go-to for events, weddings and even deliveries! With supreme selectivity, style & elegance, Blumen Studio offers unprecedented floral artistry in each arrangement and a contemporary selection of home & lifestyle items. Alive with heart, modern flair, integrity and a lush juxtaposition of ever-evolving products, owner Kat Kosk's choices reflect an uncompromising sense of refinement evocative fresh, friendly and fulfilling.

For more: www.blumentstudio.ca

 

Plant & Curio:

Located at 173 Preston St, Plant & Curio is Preston's cutest shop of house plants and handmade accessories for the plant obsessed! Owners Leslie and Gen met 8 years ago, but only surfaced their passion and love for house plants in the last year. Occasionally dreaming about how they'd love to have a plant shop of their own, Leslie discovered a spot for rent on Preston that made this dream a now-reality! Plant & Curio also offers a selection of handmade pottery by local artists and is pet-conscious with labeling their plants for what is safe for your fur-babies!

For more, visit www.plantandcurio.com

 

Scrim's Florist:

For over 100 years, Scrim's Florist in Ottawa has been creating elegant flower designs for all occasions. The quality of their hand-selected fresh flowers and plants are sure to please those with the most discriminating tastes. That history doesn't just make them old, it makes them experienced and with that experience comes beautiful arrangements made just for you. Find Scrim's Florist located at 262 Elgin St.

For more: https://www.scrimsflorist.com

 

 


Let's Talk Take Out, Ottawa!

We're approaching a year in life with Covid in Ottawa, and being a local, family-owned business, we know how important it is to support local through these unprecedented times. Below is Ottawa Apartment's top spots for take out that you need to try!

 

EVOO Greek Kitchen

Available on UberEats, SkipTheDishes and for pickup, EVOO Greek Kitchen offers elevated Greek dishes from sharing appetizers like Keftedes & House Spanakopita, to seafood dinners & grilled meat boards. EVOO brings to life authentic Greek cuisine in the heart of the Nation's Capital. Refined to embrace the modern culinary trends in Greece, every plate invites diners to submerge within the taste of the Mediterranean.

www.evoogreekkitchen.ca/

 

The Savoy Brasserie

The Savoy Brasserie is a casual fine dining restaurant located in the heart of Westboro, on the corner of Richmond & Churchill. No matter the occasion, The Savoy Brasserie is a great choice. Get together with friends, celebrate an anniversary or stop by for a quick meal while strolling through one of Ottawa’s trendiest neighbourhoods.

www.savoybrasserie.com

 

Pelican Fishery & Grill

The Pelican remains family owned and operated with multiple generations of fishmongers involved in operations on a day-to-day basis. Today Pelican is the gathering place for Ottawa’s South end community that attracts customers from across the city, and is a destination for tourists seeking Ottawa’s best seafood dining experience. Their fresh fish, excellent fare, warm atmosphere and friendly, personable staff keep ‘em coming back. Check out their online take-out menu which also features the time your order will be ready!

www.pelicanseafood.ca

 

Dal Moro's

The new fast-casual restaurant, Dal Moro’s Fresh Pasta To Go, is the first franchise location outside of Europe. Dal Moro’s Fresh Pasta To Go is one of the first of its kind; a fresh pasta express concept that serves the finest quality traditional fresh pasta dishes, quickly! All freshly made pasta dishes are served in convenient to-go style packaging that can be enjoyed anywhere. Available on UberEats or for pick up in the ByWard Market!

www.dalmoros.ca

 

Gongfu Bao

At Gongfu, Ottawa’s kickass little bao shop, they serve handcrafted steamed buns (bao) & a whole lot more. Chinese & Taiwanese culinary traditions are at the heart of how they craft their bao. The creativity & utility of street food inspire our playful Gongfu creations as well as renditions of the classics. They are dedicated to fair employment practices & responsible sourcing of our ingredients. Order via UberEats, or grab fresh bao to-go from their take-out window.

www.gongfu.ca

 

Casper Kitchen - Viet Fresh, Old's BBQ, Banhmi Bros, Fried Chicken Seoul

Casper Kitchen Co, Ottawa's newest delivery first food experience features 4 takeout options: Viet Fresh, Olds BBQ, Banhmi Bros and Friend Chicken Seoul new to where Tucker's Marketplace once was and available for delivery via UberEats!
Pizza Nerds
Pizza Nerds was actually created as a pizza takeout option during the pandemic, however they're here to stay! "We believe that along with the best ingredients and craaaazy amounts of care, the secret is the dough and the various stages of fermentation it goes through," their site states. "That means it's gonna have little spots of char, maybe a big bubble or two and overall won't look anything like the pizzas we all love from the frozen-food aisle. That's kind of the fun of it though!"
Order via UberEats or at www.pizzanerds.ca

Kitchen Habits To Help You Save Money!

 

Kitchen Habits To Help You Save Money

Whenever we toss food, it's like throwing away money. If you want to become more money and time efficient in the kitchen, we've got some helpful tips to get you started.

 

Save Money:

  1. Don't fill your kettle to max every time you boil. Save time, energy, and water by being mindful of how much water you need and only boiling the correct amount.
  2. Stop using single use products like plastic zip bags and paper towels. Microfiber cloth works better than paper towels when cleaning up messes and can easily be washed and reused. Store food in sealable glass or plastic containers rather than using bags.
  3. Always make a grocery list and never shop on an empty stomach. You'll be tempted to buy just about everything that looks good when you're hungry, and having a list will help keep you on track.

 

Save Food:

  1. A product's "best by" date isn't meant to signal a product's expiry date, but rather lets a store know when it should sell the product by. Many foods are good for a week or more after their expiry date. Before you toss that "expired" food, check Love Food Hate Waste Canada's shelf life list.
  2. Adjust the temperature in your fridge, using the optimal fridge temperature of 4°C or 40°F as a guide. Higher temperatures can prematurely spoil food and a lower temperature can waste energy or cause foods to develop ice. Also, don't open the door too much to ensure your fridge temperature doesn't fluctuate.
  3. Improper storage can lead to a lot of wasted fruits and veggies. Ensure you're well-versed in the optimal way to store your food to keep it fresh longer.

 

Save Time:

  1. Preparing your meals with a slow cooker or an Instant Pot can help cut down on active cooking time.
  2. Adopt a weekly meal plan to help eliminate the what's-for-dinner stress. A meal plan can also help avoid fast food temptations.
  3. Pre-cooking your meat will cut meal prep in half. Cook large quantities of ground beef, multiple chicken breasts, or any other meats you consume frequently, then freeze or refrigerate them to use later.

 


Introducing Ottawa’s Newest Ghost Kitchen: Casper Kitchen

Have you ever heard of a ghost kitchen? 

A ghost kitchen is essentially delivery-first food concept with no brick-and-mortar location.

Casper Kitchen (@casper.kitchen) was recently developed in Ottawa, and it includes a series of different concepts such as Old’s BBQ, Viet Fresh, Banh Mi Bros, and Fried Chicken for the Seoul. Casper Kitchen arose when the founders received the opportunity to take over the old Mother Tucker’s Marketplace space in the Byward Market. Casper Kitchen takes all admin work out of the business for owners and allows chefs to cook their food in a positive environment. 

Through opening, Casper Kitchen has been able to enable chefs to serve good quality food while taking advantage of underutilized kitchen spaces – and with this, Casper Kitchen has empowered chefs and foodies alike to serve and enjoy high quality food! 

Read on for a more in-depth look at each concept. 

Old’s BBQ | @oldsbbq 

Old’s BBQ takes a low and slow Canadian approach to Southern smoked BBQ, using the finest cuts of premium meat. Old’s BBQ is a new concept based on an old restaurant on Preston Street. When Mason-Dixon had to close their doors, Casper Kitchen allowed Chef Henry to continue doing what he loves and creating high-quality meals. 

 

Find Old’s BBQ on Uber Eats to take advantage of some of their delicious menu options such as chicken and waffles (pictured above), Kansas City pork back ribs, and many more! 

View their menu here: bit.ly/3s6xbnJ 

Viet Fresh | @viet.fresh

Viet Fresh offers a new take on Vietnamese cuisine. 

All of their meals are handcrafted from tried-and-true family recipes. Their menu offers a variety of different options such as pho noodles in beef broth (pictured above), spring rolls, vermicelli bowls, and many more! 

To order Viet Fresh, visit Uber Eats today!  

View their menu here: bit.ly/3nwyPMd 

Banh Mi Bros | @banhmi_bros

Banh Mi Bros is Casper Kitchen’s newest concept that is currently available! 

Banh Mi Bros specialize in the Vietnamese craft sandwich, called Banh Mi. Banh Mi is the Vietnamese word for bread, and in Vietnamese cuisine, it refers to a type of short baguette with thin crisp crust, and a soft airy texture inside – often split lengthwise and filled with various ingredients. 

Find Banh Mi Bros on Uber Eats to order and view their menu options such as, grilled beef banh mi, BBQ pork banh mi, and many more! 

Find their menu here: bit.ly/39684ZE 

 

Casper Kitchen also has one concept that will be opening soon called Fried Chicken for the Seoul (@friedchickenseoul), which will serve Korean fried chicken. Keep your eyes on Casper Kitchen’s Instagram (@casper.kitchen) for updates! 

All of the above restaurants can be found on Uber Eats.


Ottawa's Holiday Gift Guide!

A Local Gift Guide 

The busiest shopping season of the year is upon us. 

Small businesses have been hit especially hard by the pandemic, and it is up to us to support within our communities and shop local as much as possible.

Read on for fun gift ideas from five local Ottawa businesses. 

  1. Pot and Pantry @potandpantry613

https://potandpantry.ca/ | 244 Elgin St. 

Pot and Pantry is a curated kitchenware boutique featuring Canadian-made housewares, gourmet grocery, and all your favourite high quality kitchen brands. 

Pair their gourmet peppermint dark hot chocolate ($10.99) with a cute llama mug ($8.99) for a fun and tasty gift!

  1. Victoire @victoirelovesya

https://victoireboutique.com/ |1282 Wellington St. W

Victoire is an independent boutique dedicated to ethical and sustainable clothing & accessories proudly made in Canada. Est. 2006, with shops in Ottawa and Toronto. 

Their Little Gold Airy Hoops ($72.00) are stylish and would look great with any outfit. They are made out of a high-quality gold vermeil, with  a chic square-oval shape and are perfect for everyday wear!

  1. Boogie and Birdie @boogieandbirdie 

https://www.boogieandbirdie.ca/ | 256 Elgin St. 

 

Boogie and Birdie is an independent boutique in the heart of Ottawa with a focus on Canadian-made products. Their shop carries a collection of jewellery, home goods, candles, bath + body, and gifts.

The chic Alicia Tote ($75.00) is vegan and cruelty free. It is a structured bag that easily fits a personal  laptop, and includes a second crossbody purse with an adjustable long strap.

 

  1. Maker House @makerhouseco

https://makerhouse.com/ | 987 Wellington St. W

Maker House is a local shop with a curated collection of locally handcrafted furniture and home items. 

They have a variety of pre-made gift boxes available for this Christmas, like the Cocktail Mix Sour Set ($28.95), as seen on Dragon’s Den! These cocktail syrups are all natural and all delicious. Perfect for some flavour in your favourite cocktail (or mocktail). 

 

  1. A Curated Nest @acuratednest 

https://www.acuratednest.com/ | 1114A Wellington St. W

 A Curated Nest is a local boutique in the heart of Hintonburg with art supplies, vintage finds, and home décor. 

Their Curated Nest custom branded Serendipity Candle in Earl Grey and Lavender ($21.00) would make the perfect gift for someone to use while relaxing after work. 

 


A Fall Weekend Round Up In Ottawa!

All weekend

’Tis the season of holiday fairs! Here are a few that are happening this weekend.

  • Pride, Not Prejudice is a virtual craft and community fair for social justice warriors taking place November 5-8th. The event will feature 35+ local and progressive vendors, community groups and workshops. RSVP on the Facebook event for the latest details, including info about freebies!
  • The Orleans United Church has moved their annual Christmas Bazaar online, with shopping open from October 26-December 5. Everything sold at the market is locally made by talented and dedicated church volunteers. New products are being added daily so check in often.
  • Oh What Fun” is a happy holiday shopping event hosted by Cheerfully Made Goods + Market. In lieu of their annual market, they’ve been busy behind the scenes pulling together some of the best handmade items. Virtual doors open at 6pm on Thursday November 5. Checkout before the event ends at 4pm on Sunday November 8.
  • Home for the Holidays online shopping event is stocked with handmade goods from makers and artisans located within a 100km radius of Ottawa.
  • Not technically a holiday fair, but the final Vintage Pop-up 613 parking lot pop-up is taking place this Sunday from 10am-4pm in the Bread By Us parking lot.
  • Head to Carp for the first of their two “Christmas in November” markets. Follow them on Instagram @carpfarmersmarket for the latest list of vendors.

Thursday

A Thursday activity in Ottawa: exploring the city's museums and galleries. You can find many galleries and museums with free admission on Thursdays and get excited about the upcoming weekend.

  • The Ottawa School of Art is hosting a solo exhibition called “The Impasto series” by Edmond Léger in Little Italy, and a mini print exhibition at their ByWard Market location.
  • Untitled I is a free livestream performance from Andrea Peña and Artists, and is part of the National Arts Centre’s #DanceForth livestream project. Most Thursday evenings at 7 PM local time, live performances will be presented by a variety of Canadian dance artists, both from the NAC Fourth Stage and from various centres across the country. Read more about the performance in our interview with Andrea Peña here.
  • VERSeFEST, Ottawa’s international poetry festival, has gone virtual for 2020. The original 2020 event had to be rescheduled from early this year, and they’ve gone above and beyond. The festival starts Thursday November 6 and continues through to Friday November 20. Get all the details in our interview with Festival Director Monty Reid here.

Friday

  • Pascale’s All Natural Ice Cream is holding an end of season sale—buy one pint, get one at half price! What a sweet deal! Place your orders online for pickup this Friday from 12-4pm. Warm mini doughnuts will also be for sale, in case you needed any extra motivation to go.
  • Marvest music festival moved online this year, with shows being posted every Wednesday and Friday. This week, performances are by Jonathan Pearce of Winchester Warm on Wednesday and Jeff & the Falcons on Friday. You can find the full calendar on the Marvest website.

Saturday

  • Enjoy a drive-in movie Saturday night at the Greely Legion. Saturday night’s show is Honey I Shrunk the Kids, with ET playing on Sunday. Tickets are available online.
  • Wellington West is hosting a game of #WelliWINGO, aka the most delicious game of Bingo you’ll ever play. Place an order from a Wellington West restaurant, snap a photo of your meal, and cross it off you bingo sheet. Entries can be submitted online to their Facebook page. Get the full run down of rules here, including info on how to enter the bonus draw!

Sunday

  • Brew Donkey Tours is celebrating their 7 year anniversary by  hosting a series of virtual beer halls. This Sunday, “travel” via the internet to Stray Dog Brewing. Enjoy the benefits of a tour from the comfort of home. You can purchase a beer hall pack ranging from a pint pack to a barrel pack. Check out their upcoming tours online, including stops at Whiprsnapr on November 15, Broadhead on November 22,  Tooth and Nail on November 29, Dominion City on December 6, and Small Barrel Pony Works on December 13.
  • Round out your weekend by participating in the final moments of the CKCU funding drive. Maybe you’ll help push them over their goal of $150,000? Funds raised support their programs and broadcasters, and tax receipts are issued for donations of $25 or more.
  • Sunday’s forecast looks to be the best of the weekend, so why not head for a walk downtown and take in the Royal Canadian Legion‘s virtual poppy drop? Until Remembrance Day, the Ottawa sign will be lit up in red in support of the poppy campaign. Pause and reflect as 117,000 virtual poppies, representing each of Canada’s fallen since the beginning of the First World War, slowly fall down the Peace Tower and the Senate building. The display runs from October 30-November 11, from 6:30-9:30 pm, including until midnight on the 11th. Virtual poppies will also cascade down the National Art Centre’s “Kipnes Lantern” on November 11 from 7am to midnight.

A Covid-19 Friendly Halloween Guide 

 

Halloween this year is undoubtedly going to be different than previous years with the pandemic. 

Here are some ideas to make the most out of Halloween with your friends and family. 

Get you favourite Halloween playlist ready 

Get in the spirit by starting the night with your favourite playlist, here are some classic Halloween favourites: 

  1. Monster Mash – Bobby Pickett 
  2. Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead – Ella Fitzgerald
  3. Bury A Friend – Billie Eilish 
  4. Stranger Things Theme – Kyle Dixon& Michael Stein 

Dress up! 

Plan or co-ordinate outfits with members of your household! Having an activity to do together like matching costumes will make the holiday even more special. 

Go “Ghosting” 

No, not that kind of ghosting. By Halloween Ghosting, we mean drop packages or fun treats off at your neighbour’s house! 

Abide by social distancing rules by dropping them off and leaving, put a fun little note inside so that they know who it was from. 

Decorate! 

Decorating is a fun way to get into the spirt of Halloween. 

Carving pumpkins is a Halloween classic, even if you don’t put them outside! 

Decorate your lawn – or front door if you live in an apartment. 

Halloween Themed Treats 

Sip on a Halloween-styled cocktail for example, Death in the Afternoon:

Mix ½ oz absinthe with 4oz champagne, and enjoy!

For a more kid-friendly version of Halloween-themed treats, try slimy eyeballs (peeled grapes). 

End the night with a Halloween movie 

End the night with a spooky movie. Here are some suggestions: 

  1. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949) ...
  2. It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966) Best for: Little kids, big kids. ...
  3. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) ...
  4. Poltergeist (1982) Best for: Tweens, teens. ...
  5. Gremlins (1984) Best for: Tweens, teens. ...
  6. Beetlejuice (1988) Best for: Tweens, teens. ...
  7. Edward Sccissorhands (1990) ...
  8. IT (1990)

 

Halloween this year will be different – but that doesn’t mean that you can’t forge new traditions and make it the most memorable one yet! Enjoy.