A Time to Sell

July 19, 2011

Have you ever tried to sell something that you absolutely loved? It’s bittersweet really. My townhouse in Alabama is on the market and has been for quite some time. I love that house. It was my home. The cozy 2 bedroom, 2 bath place served me well for the years I spent in it. My master bedroom was enormous – at least to me – with room for a king size bed if I had wanted. I had it set up with a queen size bed with a sleek black comforter, white shams, and zebra print blanket. I had a walk-in closet full of clothes, shoes, and bags that puts my current 1920s bungalow-sized closet to shame (no offense, Hubs). The attached bath and linen closet provided more than enough room for my super soft pink towels and bath salts. And that was just bedroom 1!

From the minute I walked in, the whole house knocked my socks off. It was deceptively large, had a decent sized yard, and was in an extremely safe area. I was in love.

The problem?

Then, I fell in love.

With my husband.

In Chicago.

I had to leave my perfect home!

And it was worth it.

But now, it’s still on the market in Alabama, and it’s time to sell.

Everyone has been talking about how tough the market is right now. I’ve heard it compared to the market during the Great Depression. It’s sad really because low prices should make it a buyer’s market…so why aren’t people buying?

I don’t have the answer to that.

But since it’s time to sell, my husband, realtor, and I (we’re quite the team) have developed a sales plan for the place, and we’re looking for other ideas!

What strategies have you used to sell a house in this market?

What words of advice do you have to offer?

Say a prayer and spread the word – It’s Time to Sell!

Find the house here.

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Get Inspired

July 10, 2011

I don’t know about you, but I need to get inspired. The problem is, a word that rhymes with inspired is usually a better descriptor of me…tired!  I’m busy. I work a lot. I get home from work and cook dinner, eat dinner, make lunches, take a shower, and go to bed so my day can start over in less than 8 hours. I have so many ideas that shoot across my mind each day, but I don’t always have the time to bring life to them.

I’ve read that writers should write in the mornings. You should know, if you don’t already, that I’m NOT a morning person. I will convince myself in the mornings that there is no one else in the entire world awake, and therefore, I should not be awake either. Nevermind that hubs is already at work. I am very good at ignoring that fact. 🙂

So, write at night, you say. The thing is, I’m not really a night person either. I’m tired at night, and I want to sleep!

You may be assuming at this point that I fill my evenings with television, games, or reading, but if you are, you’d be wrong. I rarely watch t.v. I have one show that I’m keeping up with right now, and I have to record it just to see it every week. I’m not much of a gamer, and I do all of my reading during my 1 hour commute to and from work.

I’m really just. that. busy.

And tired.

So I’m reaching out to y’all (that’s southern for you guys) for inspiration.

What do you do to motivate yourself? What plans have you made or goals have you set to make sure you achieve your dreams? How do you get inspired?

You should know – just because it may be humorous to those of you who know me – I’m multitasking at the moment, and I may or may not be blogging in an apron. But it’s okay. I’m southern.

Top Five Talents

July 3, 2011

I’m currently reading Talent Is Never Enough by John Maxwell. One of the things he asks of the reader is to identify your top 5 talents. I feel like I have a few talents, but I also feel like there are some talents that we have that we don’t even know we have because they come that naturally. So, I’m asking you – what do you think my top 5 talents are? (and if you say cooking, I’ll know you’re lying. following a recipe does not equal a cooking talent.)

I know this is a tough question, so know that you can take a few days to think about it before you respond. I asked the hubs about 3 or 4 days ago and told him he could think about it…I’m waiting on the full answer. So far, his responses were writing and talking. (It’s possible he was implying I talk too much…oops!)

So what do you think?

What do you consider to be your talents? How do you use them?

 

So last week I started this series on how to make friends in a new place. You’ve probably all been there – a new environment of some sort or another. It can be challenging to meet and get to know new people. I’ve been in this situation for the past year. I picked up and moved my life from Alabama to Chicago. I left my family and my friends there, and I had to find a way to make new friends here. These tips are based on my experience.

Tip #2:  Take advantage of the local flavor.

This weekend I went to a local farmer’s market. (see my fresh strawberries below.)

Fresh Strawberries

I have a wonderful friend who already knew about this special event, and she allowed me to tag along with her and her twin daughters. We walked around, ate free popcorn and sampled other goodies, and bought some fresh produce for the week. (In case you were wondering, I bought spinach, asparagus, a bell pepper, and strawberries.) It was so good to get out and enjoy something this area has to offer with a good friend.

I also went with the same friend to a local park so her twins could run around and release some energy. I took my oversized puppy with us and we snacked on some fresh veggies, potato chips, and yummy dip.

Later that same day, my husband and I met two other couples downtown at Millennium Park for a free concert. We took a picnic and enjoyed each others company for a few hours. It was perfect weather for a picnic in the park!

So this week’s tip is to look up fun things to do in your area and make plans! What a wonderful way to learn more about your town and meet or get to know new people!

Word of the Week:  New

Word to the Wise:  “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God….”  Psalm 40:1-3

Disclaimer:  As I said previously, these tips are based on my own experiences. Take them for what they’re worth.

What fun events are planned in your area?

Moving to a new place (city, church, school, job, etc.) can be hard. You have to leave much of what you know behind and basically start over. For me, moving to Chicago, I left a lot of friends behind, and while I kept (and continue to keep) in touch with them as much as possible, I missed having friends nearby.

This weekend, I spent time with good friends, and I started thinking that really everyone has been through what I’ve gone through over the last year. Everyone has been in a situation where they needed to make new friends. So here is the first of my Making Friends tips.

Tip #1:  Spend quality time with quality people.

This weekend was great. It was filled with fun and sun, and while having plans for hanging out on the lake all day on Saturday was exciting, one of the best parts of the weekend was sitting outside on the deck talking about life, love, and friends. Quality time. Quality conversation.

A new friend.

It leaves me longing for more.

Word of the Week:  Quality

Word to the Wise:  “A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul…”  Proverbs 13:19

Disclaimer:  I am pretty sure this will be the first of many tips. I am also pretty sure that the order in which they are given may not make much sense. What can I say? Life works that way.

Have you ever felt anxious about making new friends in a new place? What did you do about it?

You’re not going to believe this…but…I MET MY RUNNING GOAL!

These were my Week 4 Workout Goals:

  • take 1 dance class
  • complete 1 Bosu workout
  • take 1 Pilates class
  • run 5 miles
  • walk 10,000 steps per day

and I pretty much rock.

I also did pretty good with my Week 4 Food Goals:

  • eat 2 types of fruit or veggies a day

I was really committed this week. I even got up early while on vacation to run my last 1.5 miles. Rock on!

How do you celebrate when you meet your workout goals?

Note: I am not a workout guru, personal trainer, or anything of the like. I am not recommending this workout for you. I am simply tracking my own goals and results.

Countdown to Beach: approximately 2 months

Here are my week 4 workout goals…wish me luck!

Week 4 Workout Goals:

  • take 1 dance class
  • complete 1 Bosu workout
  • take 1 Pilates class
  • run 5 miles
  • walk 10,000 steps per day

Week 4 Food Goals:

  • eat 2 types of fruit or veggies a day

I’m rewarding myself this weekend with a trip to the lake! Pontoon boat, here I come!

How do you make sure you eat your fruits and veggies?