Welcome to the new apartment

I’ve been meaning to write about my big move to my first apartment for quite some time now, but I guess three weeks in is as good as a few days.

For quite some time I’d been ready to move out on my own for a number of reasons. I finally decided to do it because I have a solid career, good (enough) savings, and I was ready to have that independence that can only come with moving out – oh and living in Scarborough and working downtown was taking its toll.

For months I’d been searching online for postings and contacting ones that stood out to me the most. Those got nowhere, so one day I went out with the girlfriend to physically look around for vacancies. We spent a few hours combing through midtown Toronto and saw a few places. Most (not surprisingly) were out of my price range, and offered too little in terms of space. Eventually I came upon my eventual apartment and though it was a basement (not my first choice) I really liked the space, location and price – it all worked.

After a bit of discussion I gave the landlord a call a few days later, and eventually that lead to a second, more detailed visit, then eventually me signing the lease and getting the keys. Within about two weeks, I was moving in.

Since this was my first apartment, I clearly had nothing to move, but of course I needed a lot of furniture, appliances, utensils.. the list goes on and on. For those two weeks my credit card got a workout unlike one it’s ever seen before. I’ve never spent so much time shopping than I did for this apartment and I am so happy it’s over.

While I don’t own the place, it’s a great feeling to have something of my own. Living so much closer means I have time to a) sleep, and b) live a little. I spent too much time on transit and it was draining. Now I spend time in the kitchen making food which I didn’t have to do much of before, but it’s much better being at home for so much longer.

Outside of moving out for school, what was it like getting your own place for the first time, and why did you decide to move out?

10 of my must have apps for the iPhone

Apps are what make iPhones, iPads or iPod Touches worth owning. With my iPod Touch I had quite a few, and I’ve been able to add some others that only make sense to have on the iPhone. Here’s my list of apps that I can’t do without:

1. Twitter for iPhone – When this app was first brought to my attention I was skeptical. I use Tweetdeck on my Macbook and I did use it in my iPod Touch, however there was a glitch that prevented horizontal typing, which is my preference. After looking at a few apps I decided on Twitter. I like it because it actually works for me, for starters. It’s simple and I’ve gotten used to the one column, compared to the many on Tweetdeck.

2. Foursquare – Putting a smart phone in my hands means I’ll check-in everywhere. I have no clue why I’m such a fan of Foursquare, and I’m sure many others feel the same. I guess it boils down to it being a fun app. It’s fun to compete with others for mayorships. It’s also fun to get deals at participating retailers from time to time too.

3. TTC Mobile – A simple app that takes the arrival times listed on TTC.ca and allows transit-dependent people like myself to quickly find out when the next bus is coming. I use this one often and now I can check wherever I am.

4. Tim Hortons – I haven’t had to use the locator yet, but if I’m ever in a need when I’m jonesin’ for a Timmies coffee, then I’ll know what app to bust out.

5. Facebook – Even though it’s not the best app, in terms of design, it’d be a lie to say it wasn’t a must to keep Facebook on the list.

6. The Edge – Each morning I like to listen to the Dean Blundell Show, but having the window pop up on my computer screen at work is distracting, especially when I have many others on the go. This app is perfect because now I can listen to the radio from my iPhone 4 without clogging up my workspace.

7. Yelp – The monocle feature makes this app worth downloading on its own. You can turnĀ  in all directions and see where restaurants are, click through, and read/write reviews. So far it’s been a bit more effective in higher density areas like downtown.

8. Maple Leafs – Here I can find the latest on my favourite hockey team, along with other hockey scores.

9. Rogers My Account – From what I’ve been able to see with this app, it looks pretty sleek and it’s definitely something I’ll keep coming back to to check my data usage (though with my 6GB plan I likely won’t come near it.)

10. TD – I hopped on this app as soon as it came out because I really like the chance to find out my account balance and pay bills with the click of a button, should I need to.

I’ll always be picking up newer, fancier apps as they’re released so be sure to watch out for my future recommendations. Also games are something I can also make a list for..

What are some of your favourite apps out there? Paid/Free – doesn’t matter.

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