Prepare your Cocktails like a Pro this Holiday season…

Cherry Bellinnis

There is something about drinking champagne before noon that makes me feel a little more classy. Because I know I’m not alone here, I usually have a bottle chilling in the back of the fridge.

This specific recipe shows you how to make your own Cherry Liqueur, however…cards on the table here…I don’t make my own. Ever since I discovered Heering Cherry Liqueur, I doubt I could make an equally delicious version.

Pro-Tip: Heering Cherry Liqueur was purveyor to H.M. Queen Elizabeth II and to the Royal Danish Court, and is the original cherry brandy. (Personally, I like to class up my cocktails with a great conversation starter…and hey…if you can work the Queen into it…that’s a good start!) Ok, enough of the storytelling… HERE is the Recipe!

Ampersand Cocktails

Ampersand Cocktails are the dapper drink of choice for folks trying to add a little bit of bougie pep to their step. It’s simple, delicious and only calls for 3 ingredients. It’s also great for the spontaneuos type who forgot to run to the store.

Here in Victoria, you may know these as a “Negroni”. (Especially if you happen to frequent The Cactus Club!) I actually discovered this drink in the “Old Waldorf Astoria Bar Book” which so eloquently teaches you how to easily prepare pre-Prohibition classics such as the original Manhattan, or daiquiris just as Hemingway preferred them. And I like to think that Hemingway and I would have clinked a glass.
This cocktail guide has helped me when rubbing shoulders with those who fancy the best in cuban cigars, and polish their Aston Martin’s on Sundays. Get the Recipe HERE

Cranberry Margaritas

OK, Gents. I haven’t met a sophisticated lady that doesn’t love to be handed this festive treat for the eyes. You likely already have sugar and limes, just grab a bag of fresh cranberries to polish off this Holiday classic. Here is the recipe I swear by.

Christmas Jones

Some close friends have just returned from the tropics and are still trying to adjust to life as we know it here. But my philosophy is…why adjust? Keep that tropical feeling going! I think I’ll whip up a tropical Christmas Jones for them as any good friend should;) Get the Recipe HERE

Old Fashioned

Every gentleman should know how to make an Old Fashioned. My years of doing business in just about the most “Victorian” place in Canada have taught me to appreciate this no-nonsense drink.
This simple yet sophisticated whisky cocktail should be drank with some serious gravitas.
It’s a pretty facile recipe, but HERE it is

Upgraded Eggnog

If my years in Real Estate have taught me anything, it’s that there’s always room to Upgrade.
This Eggnog recipe just takes the traditional recipe to the next level.
Presentation is important here, so invest in a posh punch bowl, with glass ladle and place the accompaniments as an option on the side. HERE is the recipe.

I hope that some of these recipes make their way into your home this Holiday season. Please share this blog with your family and friends, and remember to mention my name at your Holiday gatherings. Happy Holidays one and all!

-Gautam Arora
Arora Realty

How NOT to kill your partner while in quarantine

While lockdown has been stressful, couples trapped together for all of their waking hours haven’t lost their sense of humor. This collection of advice has been passed on to me by my wise ‘coupled up’ friends who have shared their advice about being in jail, no, sorry…quarantine…with their partner.

This is the relationship Hunger Games… may the odds be forever in your favor!

DO NOT tape a line in the middle of any room to declare your own personal space. They don’t like that. Something about not having anywhere else to go?

DO NOT ask what time dinner is. Nobody knows what day it is or what time it is and it is acceptable to eat cereal for dinner. And Happy Hour? That’s all the time now…no drink shaming allowed. Get used to sipping “Paloma Stay at Homa’s” at noon and a “Dirty Quarantini” after dinner. Don’t worry, I’m your hookup for Quarantine Cocktails…check THESE out

DO the projects that you have been putting off ( Also featured under how to not GET killed by your partner during quarantine ) Get that “Honey-Do” List done that you said you would do 6 months ago. If you don’t….”Honey-Do” somethin you’re gunna regret.

DO NOT fake a virus just to get some space in your own home. “I’m not sure what it is, but you and the kids should all stay 6 feet away from me just to be cautious”

DO create a jar of all the things that you would like to do when quarantine ends. Have everyone in the household write something and put it in the jar every day. When the quarantine ends take one out every weekend and devote yourself to doing those things gratefully. DO NOT write “Get a divorce and move out” and put in jar. Keep those thoughts to yourself.

Do not make dramatic changes to your diet. This is not a good time to inform your wife that you are going keto and passing on spaghetti dinner. Anything that requires additional time spent shopping right now is a hard NO.

Do not get overly excited when your partner leaves for the weekly grocery shopping trip. When they come back with 6 weeks worth of food, that is how your day will be spent now.

Do not stand at the bathroom door counting to 20 Mississippi while they wash their hands.

If your partner sneezes, DO NOT ask them if “in sickness and in health” still applies to this whole pandemic thing.

Be grateful for each other. Thank your wife for finally being appreciative of her collecting that massive Bath and Body works collection of hand soap, and for storing so much Lysol in your home. Apologize for accusing her of hoarding prior to this pandemic.

DO make goals for the future. And it can’t be to “survive corona virus” or to give Tinder a try. Tinderella loses more than just a shoe. Trust me.

DO NOT under any circumstances, at any time, for ANY reason ask, “why are you doing it that way?” After all, Baileys In cereal is delicious.  

DO NOT dig large holes in the backyard in anger, and tell them that you are just gardening. You’re fooling nobody and we know you don’t garden.

This is an important one. DO NOT sneer at them in contempt while they are chewing their food. Now more than ever, the sound of him chewing his food like a camel with a mouth full of rocks will have you shaking and homicidal. Maybe put on some background music.

DO find a hobby each. HERE is a fun variety of projects for the whole family!

DO NOT send your partner on a scavenger hunt with items that they will never find.

“I went to 4 stores and couldn’t find unsour cream or organic pop tarts anywhere?”

Absolutely DO NOT comment on each other’s appearance or weight in any way shape or form. We will all come out of this looking like heavyweight cavemen, and we just have to live with it. Also there shall be zero photographic evidence of 2020. Let’s just forget it ever happened.

DO take a shower. Daily hygiene is mandatory and non-negotiable regardless of the fact that nobody will be stopping by.

DO NOT cut each other’s hair while under the influence of alcohol. Just don’t. If you’re not good at it sober… don’t try it after day drinking.

Take up a hobby that requires the use of headphones for extended periods of time. Have you tried a VR headset? You won’t even know your partners in the room! Here’s a good one that works for several phone types. Quarantine Hack: Kids on VR Headsets don’t see you eating their Easter candy. You’re welcome.

ONE TV or screen per person. Minimum. This is not the time to try to finally watch those shows that your partner loves, that you do not. Many domestic disputes have occured over disagreeing on the appraised prices of absolute junk on the Antiques Roadshow. Get your own TV…and your own Show.

DO NOT walk into your partners home office in your underwear while they are on a work zoom meeting. They have already spent a lot of time staging their environment so that it looks like they live with Marie Kondo and are upset themselves about having to wear pants. That’s enough for one day, don’t you think?

DO be patient with each other. There is no winner for the best Quarantine-r

If your partner is not a skilled chef, try and humor their cooking and provide positive reinforcement. Now that we are all eating at home regularly we’re getting a good insight into our partners culinary skills. Some of which are leaving us pleasantly surprised and excited for dinner time. But then there are others, who question if the real threat here is really their partners cooking. Be kind. Be supportive. Be patient. Order Pizza 😉

I wish you all health and happiness through these tough times. May you enjoy the little things, and delight in this down time.

Stay safe my friends.

-Gautam Arora,

Arora Realty

The Ultimate Valentine’s Day House

Valentine’s day is almost here and it’s time for you to find the perfect house…so that you can also find the perfect girl. 

I’m here to help you find your dream home…for you and your present or future dream girl.

Now, I’m not referring to you purchasing a home with a red room and becoming the West Coast Christian Grey. From what I hear, the ladies find that to be 50 shades of boring. Let’s talk about what they really like. 

I’d like to Thank the incredible women in my circle of influence for contributing to this Blog and helping mankind understand how we can land our dream home…and thus..our dream girl.

Side note: IF you are already happily married and sitting pretty in your own castle…grab a drink and read along anyway, and be sure to share with the bachelors in your life.

First Impressions are everything…

What do you want your first impression to be on your dream girl? 

Are you ok with cramming her in your condo elevator with Mrs. Johnson from apartment 309 as she whitters on about the new condo rules?

Because Mrs. Johnson can also hear everything that you and your dream girl do. 

And a gentleman never asks a lady to be quiet. You know what I mean. 

Scrap the condo with the thin walls…Your dream girl wants a HOUSE.

Your new kitchen

Fellas, did you know that women have a thing for men in the kitchen? 

Opt for an open concept kitchen so that your dream girl can observe your culinary skills. And if you don’t have any culinary skills…somewhere to enjoy your STD.

Skip The Dishes! 

It’s important that the long term goal be for your dream girl to be comfortable in your kitchen, especially if she wants to wear the apron. And if it’s a nice enough kitchen she may even treat you to only wearing the apron;)

Your dream girl is probably social and wants to have friends and family over. And let’s face it you like that…because without the outgoing amazing women in our lives, we may end up as complete hermits. Plan ahead and make sure you have a nice dining space, and open concept kitchen for impressing your dream girl’s family and friends.

Le Boudoir…sponsoring Valentine’s Day since…well, since the dawn of time.

If your dream girl is the West Coast girl, an ocean view bedroom like this is sure to impress.

Your dream girl will Thank You in numerous ways for being able to wake up to this.

Brown Chicken…Brown Cow.

Your new Bathroom…

A seriously classy fella will opt for a Bathtub for two- not saying that it has to be a heart shaped bath tub that are reminiscent of a tacky honeymoon suite that one would find at Motel 6 in the 80’s. But let’s get real here boys… there has to be room for both of you. 

This is a new style of tub out there now called a “Ying Yang Bathtub”. I call it a “Don’t touch me bathtub”. And as a Realtor who cares about his clients, I will always warn you about the demise of your sex life, should you ever own one of these. Keep scrolling…

“The magic is in finding a bathroom that she feels completely pampered and relaxed in…and a tub and shower that fits both of you. Remember…if there’s no room for you…you’re not getting an invite.” 

“Shower” her with love…

Opting for a rainfall shower that’s spacious enough for both of you will be a great way to start your day. Whether you’re hopping in the shower together to save time, or to conserve water (TBT to all those sassy Hollister graphic tees! ) this style of shower gives you the opportunity to start your day off right. Or evening. Whenever the 2 of you “shower”.

Light up the fire of love inside and blaze the thoughts away..

No matter what kind of girl your dream girl is, she loves a good fireplace! 

Create a welcoming place for a romantic West Coast rainy day by adding a plush rug, and bring a whole new meaning to “Shag rug”;)

Besides…No good story ever told finished with anyone ending up on a sofa.   

If you are seriously ready to commit to finding the queen of your castle…you may consider upping your game and splurging on a boujee rooftop pool like this. 

If you find yourself gasping at the price tag, picture this. You’re eating the breakfast…your lady is enjoying her morning swim……that price tag doesn’t look so bad now, does it? 😉

Some girls like their money right where they can see it…hanging in their closet.

PSA: Whether your dream girl sports a baseball hat and ripped jeans, or Manolo Blahniks and the latest Burberry purse…she wants a functional closet.

It’s all about being organized and having their own space. If your dream home doesn’t have an award winning closet….build one! Trust me here. 

If sex and the city taught us anything…it’s that a good closet can save your relationship.

Do girls find guys more attractive if they have a luxury car?

Well…is the pope a catholic? Of course they do.

If you are a total boss, you probably have a collection of cars, and can impress your lady with an option of how to get her to the proverbial ball. Let’s find you a sleek garage to store your shiny chariots.

Let’s head outside…

So you’ve impressed your dream girl with your big boy house, and are now living your dream life with your dream girl. Let’s not forget that the power couples of the world have active social lives. Ladies love entertaining, and damn are they ever good at it. The west coast real estate market boasts many great homes with outside spaces to entertain in. 

This space is perfect for your dream girl and her friends to enjoy the summer weather, while sipping red wine and watching ‘The Bachelor.’ (And on commercial breaks, a whole lot of swooning about how awesome you are)

West Coast Best Coast Girls

Living on the Island, I’ve met my fair share of incredible West Coast girls, and here’s what I’ve found. They are Chill AF and know how to keep it low key. To seriously impress a West Coast girl, your new home should appeal to an outdoorsy girl. And that means an outside bathtub and shower. You’re going to Thank me for this.

Imagine treating your dream girl to an outside bath in your sanctuary in the woods?

With that kind of privacy, you could basically have your own little nudist colony. (If that’s what you’re in to) Ask me about some seriously private properties for you and your dream girl to live a quiet life.

Sexy Staycation anyone?

Now that you have the perfect house…let’s review what your perfect home should have for your special girl on Valentine’s Day (A huge shout out to my trusted tribe of woman in my circle of influence for chiming in on this! 

The Gift

If you find yourself wandering into a London Drugs to grab some clearance Lindor’s, you should plan on having as much action on Valentine’s Day as a nine button on a microwave. 

Try this instead: 

Cartier Tank Solo Watch

You can’t go wrong with the one item beloved by Princess Diana, Jackie O., and Andy Warhol!

You can buy it Here

The Titanic V Day Gift…

If that’s out of your price range, check out this David Yurman Petite Albion Ring With Hampton Blue Topaz.

Get it HERE

Don’t second guess this…she’s worth it.

Add. To. Cart.

It’s V Day. You have to be  A LITTLE BIT kitsch. That means rose petals and candles around a steaming tub of essential oil filled bath. Create a cozy bath for 2, with all the warmth around you, except for the cold champagne for your lady to sip on. 

Fire side picnic

Now that we’ve touched on the benefits of having a fireplace, let’s talk about how to set up the perfect Fireside picnic for V Day.

Soft Music. Soft Lighting. Soft blanket. Stay on the floor…it’s hard to fall off of the floor. 

And I know you’ve read about wax play, but don’t do that. 


This is a day of celebration….so bring your best champagne game. Don’t you dare bring Baby Duck.

The Champers of Champs

Celebrate like a royal with this champagne, which was the official bubbly of Harry and Meghan’s wedding as well as William and Kate’s (it’s also said to have been the top pick of Winston Churchill.) This fruit-forward champagne boasts notes of berries and citrus, with just enough minerality to keep it crisp.

Pro Tip: Pre Chill your Champagne glasses

Bond-ing Time

007 may be British, but his go-to bubbly is decidedly French. In addition to being the official champagne brand of James Bond, this bottle’s notes of red currant, and creme brûlée make it a favourite of ladies with distinctive taste.

Pro Tip: Pre Chill your Champagne glasses

I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog, and found some inspiration to help you land your dream girl…and dream home. If you or someone you know is ready to take that step, here’s how you can reach me: gautam@arorarealty.org or (250) 881-4072

Yes…I welcome texts.

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!

-Gautam Arora
Arora Realty

How to Declutter Like a Boss

Over the holidays, I had the pleasure of speaking to some incredible and ambitious women in my circle of influence, who mentioned how they like to take January as a month to declutter and organize their homes.

I am convinced that tasks like decluttering and organizing is why women are truly undervalued! 

Thankfully as a busy Realtor, I have learned some of my own tips to enjoy a decluttered and organized home…and I’m happy to share with you some of what I know, and to help you declutter and organize your way through January. And…you will get to do a little online shopping along the way!

Let’s start decluttering…

  1. Write down or make a map of all the rooms and ‘clutter hot spots’ you want to tackle.

(HERE is a checklist provided by the queen of decluttering…Marie Kondo)

Create a Sorting System

Try using the “3 Box Method.” This method forces you to make a decision item by item, so you don’t end up with a bigger mess than the one you started with.

Your 3 boxes will read: 

Throw Away, Give Away, Put Away  (Add a 4th for “Take Away” if you need to take some to storage)

Start with the kitchen cupboards & drawers

  1. In your kitchen, go cupboard to cupboard and throw away any expired food, or let’s face it…food that you just won’t eat.
  1. Go drawer to drawer and ask yourself, “When was the last time I used this?” If the answer was over 3 months ago…add to the donate bin! 
  2. Go room to room and clear your countertops and table tops of everything except essentials and things you use EVERY day. Have a blender you haven’t used since jazzercise was all the rage? Put it in the cupboard!

Keep those everyday life sorts of items such as remotes, blankets, books, and kicked-off shoes in simple woven baskets. I found some great cotton rope baskets HERE

Start clearing a starting zone.

  1. What you want to do is clear one area. This is your no-clutter zone. It can be a counter, or your kitchen table, or the three-foot perimeter around your couch. Wherever you start, make a rule: nothing can be placed there that’s not actually in use.
  2. Everything must be put away. Set up some simple folders. Sometimes our papers pile up high because we don’t have good places to put them. Create some simple folders with labels for your major bills and similar paperwork. Put them in one spot and keep some extra folders and labels in case you need to quickly create a new file. 

Head to your paper collection or filing cabinet and start a pile for shredding. You don’t really need those hydro bills from 2017!

Victoria has a great local shredding company. Get in touch with them HERE
 You’re doing good! Let’s keep up the momentum…


Take everything out, empty it into a pile. All of it. Quickly sort into 3 piles. Here are the choices: keep, toss, or maybe. (I know it’s hard to let go of clothes!) The maybe is only if you really have a hard time deciding — you’ll put these in a box and store them for 6 months, getting rid of them after that time if you never needed them. Seasonal clothes (such as winter coats) should be stored in the back of the closet or in storage.

I love THESE under the bed storage bags for seasonal clothes.

How’s your Amazon cart looking? You got distracted and added more items didn’t you? 🙂

Pro-Tip: Have you heard of Oprah’s reverse hanger trick? Take all of your garments on hangers and put them in backward, so that the open end of each hanger now faces you. Set a calendar reminder for six months from now. Then go back to your regular routine: Every time you wear a piece and go to put it back, make sure the hanger faces the usual way (the opening facing away from you). Once six months are up, you’ll know exactly what you haven’t touched. Take out and donate or sell all of those items on backward hangers. Chances are, if you haven’t worn it in the past six months, it’s time to let go.

Medicine Cabinet…

Clear out your medicine cabinet. If you don’t have one spot for medicines, create one now. Go through everything for the outdated medicines, the stuff you’ll never use again, the dirty-looking bandages, the creams that you’ve found you’re allergic to, the ointments that never had an effect on your energy or your eye wrinkles. Simplify to the essential.

(and face it…you never needed that eye cream anyway;)

Doesn’t this feel good?

Cleaning Cupboard…

Head to your cleaning cupboard: Let’s minimize the amount of cleaning products that you have in there. You don’t necessarily need a different cleaner for every little cleaning task.  Look for products that are more versatile so they can be used for multiple tasks. Not only does this take up less space, but it also makes it faster to switch between cleaning tasks.  

Now that you have filled a box to donate…Take a few minutes to box it up and put it in your trunk. Then tomorrow, drop it off.

(Or for most of us…drive around with it in your car for 3 months!) I like to support the WIN (Women In Need) and if you like, you can find their Victoria locations HERE

Well done! Now that you have decluttered, here’s a few organizing “Hacks” that I discovered along the way. If you know of any great ones…I’d be happy to hear them! Send me an email to gautam@arorarealty.org

Put pot lids in a magazine rack.

Pot lids are hard to store since they can’t be stacked. The best way to arrange them in an organized manner is to make use of a magazine rack. Screw the magazine rack inside a cupboard or a similar preferred space.

Tame annoying cords through toilet paper or paper towel rolls

Collect your toilet paper or paper towel rolls. Cover them with colorful paper and store your cords inside the rolls for a more organized look.

Hang ties, belts and scarves in shower hooks

Secure the hooks to the hanger. Hang your scarves on one hanger and put the belts on another. Use individual hooks for bags since they are heavier.

 I even found some fancy chrome ones for you HERE

Store cleaning supplies in a shoe organizer.

Hang the shoe organizer in your cleaning closet, laundry cupboard or wherever you can easily access it when you need to clean the house.

You can buy one for less than $10 HERE! (Try not to get distracted and buy other things…we are trying to DE- clutter here!)

Store sheets inside a matching pillowcase

Store sheets inside a matching pillowcase.

Fold sheets and slide them inside the matching pillow case to keep everything together.

You can buy one for less than $10 HERE! (Try not to get distracted and buy other things…we are trying to DE- clutter here!)

Use stick-on storage containers on your cabinet doors.

These stick-on containers come in various shapes and sizes.

They can be used to store make up, toothbrushes and nail polish.

I found some for you HERE! (See..I told you there would be shopping!:)

You did it! Now pour yourself a cocktail and put your feet up…you’ve earned a rest!

I hope this has helped you to start your year off with a sense of accomplishment…and remember that I’d love to hear your tips on decluttering and organizing. Feel free to reach out to me at gautam@arorarealty.org

-Gautam Arora
Arora Realty