the thirties grind

get up, go to work, raise kids, pay bills, sleep. repeat.

About & Contact

I am a 34 year old working mother of two.  I live in Vancouver, B.C. – a city which I love but (due to poor weather patterns and crazy real estate prices) am becoming somewhat disdainful of.  My passions are my kids, writing, interior design and food – definitely food!

Life in your thirties is a grind.  It really is.  It was not until recently that I realized that most of us in our thirties are in the same boat…a boat that almost always feels like it is slowly sinking!  We have debts, kids, mortgages…responsibilities!!  It can be overwhelming and hard to find what, exactly, is pleasurable about this stage of life.  The stage we all thought about when we were young as the time when we would “have it all figured out.”  Well, guess what, we don’t!  Times are tough, money is tight and the day to day feels like an uphill climb.

But, there are the little things that seem to make it all worth it!  Things like owning your first (run down, fixer upper) home and welcoming little ones into your (messed up) world.  All sarcasm aside the grind is worth it.  Isn’t it?

Thanks for stopping by to read my blog!

What people are saying about The Thirties Grind:

Melissa Carr and represents the promise of the Internet. Citizens educating citizens about their communities. Online voices, from parents and others, help frame issues for journalists who too often rely on politicians, professional activists and the business elite.  Mark Hasiuk, columnist Vancouver Courier

As a “thirty-something” mother of two little boys, living and working in Vancouver, I have to say catching up on the “The Thirties Grind” is the highlight of my day. I challenge anyone to find a funnier, better researched, topical portrayal of the trials and tribulations of parenting, living and laughing in this city!! Marnie Steele, Executive Recruiter, Search West

I am a big fan of Melissa’s blog The Thirties Grind. It has a unique and engaging tone and is right on speed with how so many of us are feeling at this point in our lives. Melissa writes from a fresh perspective and has experienced much success very early on in her blogging career – this doesn’t come easily and without hard work. On a personal note, I have known Melissa for many years and always impressed how she blends her career, family, entrepreneurial pursuits and community involvement together. It takes a lot of work to do this all very well but Melissa makes it look easy. She’s a dynamo! Jen Schaeffers, Founder Top Vancouver Mom Blogger, 2012!


22 thoughts on “About & Contact

  1. Brettdrc on said:

    Thank you for speaking up about Vancouver Real Estate!

  2. liz362 on said:

    I hear you about the Lower Mainland real estate…I am a Mortgage Broker here in Vancouver…lived here all of my life (40 years this year) and I cannot believe the debt people are getting into to “own a chunk of dirt”. Know this, unless you have recently developed the latest internet fad company, EVERYONE STARTS OFF WITH HELP FROM SOME FAMILY OR FRIEND. Some people may not want to talk about it, but it is a fact.

  3. thanks. Was lead to your site from FB. Economics book I read recently predicted another puff out from Asian markets in Vancouver and then stagflation and big band explosion. Two more years downfall predicted after that. It is a bit like holding on to the tail of a kite, isn’t it?
    I will continue to post your findings. Keep speaking out, stepping up.

  4. I am not a blog reader but could not resist noticing yours by the originality and the wake up call for the insanity many cities in Canada are living thanks to real estate speculation.
    My partner and I moved out of Toronto years ago to the countryside in part for the same reasons.
    The house we bought 70 minutes away from the smog, the walking closets they call condos and the gridlock traffic was well worth. Never goes a day by we regret our decision.
    Thank you for your blog, keep posting.

  5. DORIAN YOUNG on said:

    Hi Melissa

    I learned of your Blog from the interview with Mike Smyth this morning
    on CKNW. Your blog looks great and I have signed on for future “missiles”

    BUT MELISSA . . . . you say ” My passions are my kids, writing, interior design and food – definitely food! ” WHAT ABOUT YOUR POOR HUSBAND ? ? ?

    Just kidding – I am sure he also makes it on your TOP TEN list from time
    to time.

    I look forward to future blog issues.

    DORIAN –

    • LOL, Dorian…the poor old husbands always get the shaft, don’t they??!! My husband is a wonderful, supportive partner and an amazing father…he’s a talented actor and screenwriter and will be featured in the upcoming documentary “DADS”, coming soon to a theatre near you!

  6. J1/2nights on said:

    I heard about this blog on CKNW this morning – keep up the great discussion. As a parent of 2 children in their 20’s and 1 in her 30’s (who lives in Edmonton until they can get back here), family housing in the Vancouver area is an issue about which I care deeply. My husband and I and our friends are among the boomers who are sailing through mid 50’s to early 60’s life now because we were able to buy and pay off the lower mainland homes in which we live(d). I fret about the youngest kid who still lives at home (will he be able to buy in to this market) and the 2 who own homes mortgaged at rates that are historic anomolies (can they shoulder those mortgages if the rates rise). And, I wonder about how we sustain healthy neighbourhoods when, on our small cul-de-sac, 7 or 8 homes are unoccupied for all but a week or two a year when off-shore owners visit.

  7. The cost of buying a house in the Vancouver area floors me! Go a bit north to the Sechelt Penninsula, there are 41 properties with 2 bedrooms or more for $225,000 or less, albeit, most are trailers or condo’s. Go a bit farther north, take another ferry to Powell River (which I consider a “lifestyle”) and there are a whopping 83 properties with 2 bedrooms or more for $225,000 or less. Its crazy! We just bought a 5 bedroom, 2.5 bath house with a huge 30x24ft shop on a large lot for $275,000, in the GVA we would be looking at $500,000 plus. The thought of raising a family and owning a home on $67,5000 with a mortgage payment of $1800/month floors me. How do people live? How do you have a life outside your home? Its crazy! It surprises me that there arent more young families venturing north for smaller communities. If the housing trends continue the way they are, middle class folk will be able to reside, not “live” in the GVA.

  8. Most people in Vancouver know that they are in the middle of a big housing price bubble, and that it will burst or deflate eventually. However human nature being what it is, many prefer to ignore all the warning signs and hope for continued growth.
    Many people, including realtors, speculators and politicans have a strong vested interest in it staying at unsustainable levels or continuing to rise, and they will continue to argue for the continuation of the status quo.
    This web site is a rare gem in that it expresses the real frustration of a significant body of people who are hurting badly from the sustained bubble.
    One hopes that politicans will listen to the voices on this site and others like them, and at least, stop supporting the bubble with a range of market manipulating policies. This is difficult as the “feel-good” factor of high house prices makes the majority happy for a while- and politicans need their votes. However sustained pressure eventually works, especially if more people who are affected keep nagging away at the system
    The good news is that the crash will come and sooner rather than later. My guess is the Fall of this year, 2012. Leading indicators already show a slowdown, if you reads the stats right.
    Till then the best thing you can do is avoid buying and build up your down payment. Live with family, rent, anything but avoid buying an overpriced, depreciating asset. It will pay off very soon. Good luck

  9. OMG!!!! It’s you ….a friend of mine posted on facebook, so I had a look at your hilarious blog and lo and behold it’s the lovely Melissa. You are one funny lady 🙂 I like this a lot 🙂 Well done. PS. your kids are so gorgeous. Hopefully, we will bump into you guys in our v. overpriced neighborhood one of these days….

  10. Chris on said:

    I’d read your blog more if I could subscribe by RSS feed.

  11. you are so right about Vancouver…we have a love and hate relationship with the lower mainland…it’s so costly yet so beautiful. Never seem to catch too much of a break though…difficult to stay on top living in BC! Nice BLOG!

  12. vancouverbubbleman on said:

    you have some great posts-great work. our bubble has finally popped , and in time, this city will return to a more normal environment filled with people who have learned the great lesson – we are not different than the rest of the world where RE bubbles have popped. losing money you thought you had grounds you….makes for a better community when its citizens have a few life scars. people will look back at the past ten crazy years and laugh at how ridiculous it was. BM

  13. Lena on said:

    While I totally agree about the overinflated prices being annoying, I see ‘the thirties grind’ as a lifestyle choice. You chose to have kids, you chose to live in a place that requires a lot of bills. I live in Vancouver too, am 32 – generalising it to ’30s’ makes it sound like you’re too afraid to state a number – and I am easily able to save around $3k/month. I rent at a cost of $725/month (split between my partner and I), all bills included, for a one bedroom+den in a quiet neighbourhood but still close to amenities. It’s only a grind it you want it to be. I have all my evenings in which to do whatever I want, I don’t need to pay any extra bills other than phone and internet, and I can go away whenever I want, wherever I want. I’m not gloating, I’m just saying that people have choices and complaining about the choices they have made just seems a little odd.

    • Lena…good for you – sounds like your choices are working out great for you – that’s awesome. Have to say I am pretty jealous about all those free evenings you have…am I allowed to feel that way though…seeing as it was my decision to have kids?? LOL.

      I get where you’re coming from…however, I don’t think it’s odd for people to feel stressed and frustrated when they have big responsibilities like homeownership and kids. Yes, our lifestyles are a result of choices…and sometimes these choices don’t necessarily make life easy. But as, I said above, it is worth it!! For better or worse, I love my kids, I love my home, and I am, ultimately, very happy with my choices in life.

      Finding a way to articulate your frustrations is healthy and valid – some do yoga, others meditate, many go to therapy – I write!! It’s how I work through these feelings of frustration!! BTW, I’m 34 – and not afraid to state my age!! 🙂

  14. Steve W Oatway on said:

    I am glad found this site. My family goes back to 1889 here, and in my present job as a Tour Driver I share all aspects of this beautiful and painful city. I remember the Socred government back in the 1980s when we were coming out of a bad economic Recession. They thought that by inviting Millionaires to BC, especially Vancouver, they would invest lots of money, create companies and jobs, but it didn’t work and was a major factor in our present dilemma. The rich newcomers only had to invest about $250,000 and then kept their money Overseas due to our heavy tax laws, which we need for a decent society, and our labour laws, where we actually try to treat people decently. Some of these greedy millionaires even left completely saying they couldn’t do business under these harsh restrictions. However they bought much of our land, and now we barely own a foot of Downtown Vancouver. More people followed, since it is a beautiful area, but it was the people with loads of money that have kept prices rising disastrously for the rest of us, since they can, and will, pay any price. A few years ago a Reporter discovered that there were thousands of empty apartments here, owned by these uncaring rich foreigners, but as any Renter knows there are few even half decent places to rent. We need laws to restrict foreign investment like Australia has done. I don’t care if some misguided liberal thinks it’s racist or not. The families that built a wonderful decent society here have been forced out of their own neighbourhoods, or forced into a life of financial slavery. The policy of having people live and work Downtown and reversing the harm of the failed Suburbs concept is now failing itself. (Now that our Film Industry had died, I personally see less reason to live here)

  15. mr.dunbar on said:

    check out this one… right on oak street 7 lanes of traffic right out your window

  16. Love your blog and writing! Thanks for keeping it real…

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