What to Buy when You Move Out on Your Own for the First Time

Moving Day

Congrats, you’re moving out on your own for the first time. Whether you’re headed off to university in a different city, moving out of a house you shared with roommates, or living on your own for the first time as newlyweds, knowing what to buy in order to live comfortably can feel intimidating.

The reality is, over the years, as you live on your own, you’ll accumulate furniture, appliances, décor, and art as you go, but at the same time, there are a couple of essential pieces you’ll need right from the start. So here’s a list of thing you’ll need to buy for your home when you move out on your own.


Walking through the showroom area of Ikea can be overwhelming. Suddenly, you realize that you want that quirky chandelier, that expensive patterned rug, and that decorative mirror. You only need a few pieces in each room to live comfortably for the first few months.

In the bedroom, you’ll need a bed. In the living room, you’ll want a sofa—or at least two chairs—and a coffee table. In the kitchen or dining room, you’ll need a table and a chair or two to eat meals at. Everything else—the bookcases, entertainment consoles, nightstands, area rugs, and decorations—can wait until you’ve saved up some money. If you’ve spent your money wisely, perhaps by buying second-hand furniture, you may have some leftover for lamps…and that decorative mirror.


When you move out on your own, there’s a good chance you’ll be eating a handful of meals alone. Unless you plan on emptying your wallet on take-out meals, you’ll want a few kitchen appliances to help you cook. While a KitchenAid mixer might look stylish on your kitchen counter, it’s probably not a must-have unless you’re planning on doing a lot of baking right off the bat. Assuming that your kitchen comes with a fridge and stove, set yourself up with a toaster (bonus, if it’s a toaster oven, which means not having to turn on your oven to warm up bread rolls or baked fish) and possibly a microwave for everything else.

Kitchen Utensils

Even if you don’t plan on doing a whole lot of cooking, you should probably own at least one frying pan and one pot. The pan will allow you to fry and egg easily, sauté onions, and cook a chicken breast. The pot will help you boil pasta noodles—and trust me, you’ll be eating a lot of pasta—and heat soups. Kettles are often surprisingly expensive, but you can find both the stove-top and electric variety in the Kijiji listings for sale.

The only other thing you’ll need to make sure you buy as soon as you move into your new home? Toilet paper.

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Five Vancouver Cafés with a Taste of Paris


Paris might be a 12-hour flight away, but Vancouver has a growing number of cafes and patisseries that offer a taste of that je ne sais quois. Croissants, macarons, and petits fours are all on the menu, as are proper café au lait. So while you may not remember much from highschool French classes, the only Français you’ll need to know at these shops is “oui” when you’re asked if you’d like more.

Beaucoup Bakery & Café

Owner Jackie Kai Ellis studied pastry in Paris before opening up this French-inspired bakeshop in Vancouver, so it’s no wonder the space feels utterly charming and the treats authentic. The menu includes a daily assortment of croissants, tarts, and cookies, including indulgent pain au chocolat and brioche as well as not-as-common peanut-butter sandwich cookies and yuzu lemon tarts. If you pop by for lunch—market-fresh produce sandwiched between flaky croissants—be sure to save room for a kouign amann. Beaucoup’s miniature version of this cakey pastry from Breton is worth every calorie.

Thierry Chocolaterie and Patisserie

Since 2011, Thierry has been a tucked-away gem amongst the hustle and bustle of downtown’s shopping district. Owned by French-born pastry chef and chocolatier Thierry Busset, the shop and café offers an assortment of authentic French treats, including macarons, pate de fruits, and petits fours such as financiers, madeleines, and tuiles. Flaky croissants and airy brioches provide a more substantial snack, while handmade chocolates and caramels offer just the right finish.

French Made Baking

The couple that bakes together stays together. David and Catherine Introligator moved to Vancouver from France only a few years ago, and in 2011, they decided to open their very own sweet shop in Mount Pleasant. The small, Parisian-style bakery specializes in the likes of macarons, croissants, madeleiens, brioches, and financiers. They also produce a lesser-known pastry called canalé de Bordeaux. It’s an airy cake flavoured with dark rum and vanilla, and if you’re lucky, served warm from the oven when you stop by French Made Baking.

Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie

Thomas Haas is a fourth-generation patissier who has not only mastered the fine art of chocolate, but of French desserts as well. At his Kitsilano shop, treat-seekers will encounter a beautiful assortment of chocolate-covered fruits and nuts, delicate pate de fruit, macarons, tarts, and cakes, as well as freshly-baked croissants, danishes, scones, and cookies. With such a large assortment of pastries and chocolates on the menu, several visits are required to sample a satisfying selection of goodies.


From the marbled floors and cream-coloured décor, it’s not hard to see that Faubourg is deeply inspired by Paris. At three locations across Metro Vancouver, Faubourg offers a large assortment of macarons, viennoiserie, cakes, and dessert. If you’re looking to indulge, the lemon tart with its smooth lemon curd and vanilla milk foam is a showstopper. Eclairs are baked to perfection and the ultimate Parisian indulgence. As a contrast, sacristains, or slightly sweetened swizzle sticks made from puff pastry, are light and airy. Before you leave, pick up a freshly baked baguette or braided brioche loaf to take home.


Top-Five Doughnut Shops in Vancouver


It’s amazing how something so simple—deep-fried dough covered in sugar—can taste so good. For the past year or so, doughnuts have been enjoying a bit a revival here in Vancouver. A handful of shops specializing in doughnuts have emerged onto the food scene, and many restaurants have added the circular sweet-treat back onto dessert menus.

Here is where to find the best doughnuts in town.

Cartems Donuterie

Cartems Donuterie emerged onto the scene in 2012—first as a pop-up shop in the Downtown Eastside, before opening an official retail space (543 West Pender Street) in 2013. These doughnuts are all about gourmet, hard-to-find flavours, from Canadian Whiskey Bacon, to Salted Caramel, Earl Grey, Citrus Dust, and Vegan Gluten-Free. At $3 a pop, Cartems’ doughnuts are on the higher end of the doughnut scale, but one bite and you’ll understand why. These doughnuts are dense and flavourful, ingredients are top-notch, and they’re made fresh daily.

Lee’s Donuts

Lee’s Donuts is one of the oldest doughnut shops in Vancouver. Located inside the Granville Island Public Market (1689 Johnson Street), this tourist attraction that is beloved by locals doesn’t mess with crazy flavours. Lee’s sticks to the classics, including Honey Dip and Chocolate Glazed. If you’re looking for a sharable treat, grab a bag of their doughnut holes—the original Tim-Bit as far as any Vancouverite is concerned.

Lucky’s Doughnuts

Lucky’s is brought to us by Forty Ninth Parallel coffee roasters, and as such, are only available at two of the coffee house’s locations (2902 Main Street and 2198 West 4th Avenue). The doughnuts are based on homemade old-fashion doughnuts, but that doesn’t mean that these doughnuts are predictable or boring. Lucky’s offers an array of unique flavours, including the PB & J, Orange Honey Pistachio, Mango Square, and Apple Bacon Fritter. These unusual flavours sit next to classics, like French Cruller, Chocolate Old Fashioned, and Long Johns. What better snack to enjoy with a cup of good coffee than a well-made doughnut?

Honey Doughnuts & Goodies

Just across Burrard Inlet is a doughnut shop worth traveling for. Honey Doughnuts & Goodies (4373 Gallant Avenue) is located in Deep Cove. While they serve brunch daily, it’s their variety of homemade doughnuts that keep most people returning again and again. Find classics like plain glaze and chocolate, but we hear that their maple-glazed doughnut that is to die for.

Duffin’s Donuts

Duffin’s Donuts (1391 East 41st Avenue) has been serving the Fraserview community for a very long time, and it’s a favourite among locals. Perhaps the best thing about this doughnut shop is that they are open 24-hours a day, every day, making it that much easier to fulfill 3 a.m. doughnut cravings. These doughnuts, which are served alongside Vietnamese food, are of the homemade variety—simple and glazed, fully and fresh.


5 Baby Gear Essentials You Can Buy Used

Image: Matt Grommes

Image: Matt Grommes

You’re overjoyed. You’re glowing. Strangers congratulate you, which is both gratifying and annoying. But somewhere in the midst of nesting, you total up the cost of all at the new baby gear. And it’s daunting.

The good news for new moms: you don’t need to buy all new baby gear. In many instances, gently-used baby gear is sufficient. In fact, some baby gear is essential for such a short window of a baby’s life, that it’s really easy to find quality secondhand baby gear.

5 Baby Gear Essentials You Can Buy Used

1. Strollers
Your choice for a go-to mode of transport for the next couple is high stakes. Strollers come with hefty price tag. There’s a lot of pressure to opt for brand names, like Uppa, Stokke, Bugaboo and Baby Jogger. Each has a cult following and can even influence which parents approach you at playtime. Plus, you may find it makes sense to have more than one stroller: an urban stroller, a jogging/biking stroller, and a travel stroller. But how to choose? Take the pressure off by buying used; you can have a brand name (or maybe two) at a lower price. When buying used strollers, make sure and take your stroller for a spin to determine that it rolls smoothly and it’s sturdy. Ask for the manufacture date and instruction manual (which also usually available online). It goes without saying that you’ll want to be up to date on Canadian government stroller safety requirements. Bonus: most parents toss in the costly accessories (rain covers, sun screens and car seat adapters) free.

2. High chairs
Hand-me-down highchairs are easy to find in good condition because trays are washable as is the detachable seat cushion. They hang out in one spot in the kitchen, so they rarely get banged up. What you’re looking for: something visually appealing to you with a five-point harness to prevent a child from climbing out, and a fixed crotch post.

3. Baby carriers
New baby carriers – think Bjorns, Ergos, Huggaloops and hikers – cost $100-$200. Used cost around $50-$75. Given that these are only good for  about 1.5 years of your kids’ lives and are often washable, going used here is a no brainer. Again, read up on Canadian government safety requirements for baby wearing, and ask for manufacture date and instruction manual.

4. Exersaucers/bouncers
Known (in jest) as the “circle of neglect,” this activity station with jumping capability is a parent’s best friend in the small window before crawling, starting at 4-months. Because baby exersaucers and bouncers are useful for such a short period of time and take up so much space, there’s a big used market.

5. Cribs and other baby furniture
Whether you want the Rolls Royce of baby cribs, the Stokke, or a simple Ikea crib, you must remember: comfort is important, safety is essential. Once you find a crib frame that suits your nursery decor, check product recalls and crib safety guidelines before making your decision. When that’s ticked off, have fun choosing new bedware and possibly a new mattress.


Summer Cinema Series at Stanley Park


The Chevron Summer Cinema Series is returning to Stanley Park this summer. Nine movies will be shown for free at Ceperley Park near Second Beach on Tuesdays from July 8 to September 2.

Since this is an all-ages event, all movies are rated PG and alcohol and smoking are not permitted. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early (up to 5,000 people attend each night) and take transit, walk, or ride their bikes to the event. Movies start at sunset.

Here is a list of this year’s movies:

The Lego Movie (July 8)
The newest movie on this year’s roster, The Lego Movie is a 2014 digitally animated adventure comedy from Warner Bros. The kid-friendly flick follows a Lego construction worker who joins a quest to stop an evil tyrant from gluing every Lego piece in place. The movie features the vocal talents of Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Will Ferrell, and Morgan Freeman.

Pretty in Pink (July 15)
The classic John Hughes rom-com starring Molly Ringwald follows a high school girl, who much choose between two boys: her childhood sweetheart and a rich, popular kid.

Footloose (July 22)
Continuing the ‘80s movie theme, Footloose will be shown in celebration of the movie’s 30th anniversary. The musical and dance-friendly story tells of a rebellious teen in a small, Midwestern town, where rock music and dancing are banned. Footloose stars Kevin Bacon in one is his most iconic roles, as well as Lori Singer, John Lithgow, Dianne West, and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Mean Girls (July 29)
The 10-year-old comedy written by Tina Fey stars Lindsay Lohan in her more innocent days. Mean Girls also marks breakthrough roles for Rachel McAdams and Amanda Seyfried. The classic tale of trying to fit-in in high school also features the comedic talents of Tim Meadows, Amy Poehler, Lacey Chabert, and Lizzy Caplan.

Dumb and Dumber (August 5)
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels portray Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne, a pair of dumb friends who find a briefcase full of cash and set out on a cross-country tour in order to return it to its rightful owner.

Ghost (August 12)
This popular ‘80s romantic-mystery follows romantic couple Sam (Patrick Swayze) and Molly (Demi Moore), whose happiness is disrupted when Sam is murdered. His love for Molly, however, causes him to remain on Earth as a ghost, and he communicates to Molly through a psychic played by Whoopi Goldberg.

The Karate Kid (August 19)
Another movie marking its 30th anniversary, the Karate Kid tells the story of a bullied kid, who learns that there is more to martial arts than fighting from Miyagi, an elderly gardener and martial arts master.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (August 26)
In this chapter of director Steven Spielberg’s adventure series, professor and archeologist Indiana Jones lands in India and is required to retrieve a sacred stone from a temple that has been rigged with booby traps. Harrison Ford stars as the hero.

The Princess Bride (September 2)
The classic storybook tale directed by Rob Reiner tells the story of Princess Buttercup, who has been kidnapped and must be saved by her childhood beau, Westley. The cult movie stars Robin Wright, Cary Elwes, and Mandy Patinkin.