I’ve never been great at seeing goals all the way through. Prime example, if you look back at my blog I was planning on running 27 miles on my 27th birthday this year. Due to physical set backs I didn’t accomplish that goal. This year instead of making “goals” I thought of fun things I’ve always wanted to do, or enjoy doing and came up with a list of 6 things I want to try to do this year! We have a trip planned with some friends to Thailand in January so that already is a step towards number 4 on my list!
Holiday season is upon us and with that comes decorating, cooking, and cleaning! This time of year can end up seeming so overwhelming that we miss out on the reason for the season. Hopefully these few easy steps can help lend itself to be an enjoyable time of year with the people you love!
This isn’t time to completely clean out & reorganize your house. I repeat: DO NOT try to clean out your entire house before Thanksgiving! It is however, the perfect time to give away old decorations that you don’t want anymore. Time to throw away old ornaments that are broken or you’ve been meaning to fix. So before you start decorating grab an old Amazon box that’s lying around. As you unpack decorations/move items to decorate set aside items you want to donate or sell. A good question to ask is "will I be excited to put these decorations back up in the spring?"
Before family and/or friends come over for dinner or to stay for a few nights, this is a great time to check on a few items around the house. Are all your light fixtures/lamps working in your guest rooms? Do you have a fire extinguisher in each room? Are your smoke & carbon monoxide detectors working? If you live up north do you have salt/shovels ready for snowy walkways?
Check on the bedrooms and bathrooms now so you aren’t stressed the day before everyone gets there! Do you have a clean set of sheets for each bed? A towel & washcloth for each guest? Is each bathroom stocked up on toilet paper? Do you have a little tray of items guests might need (ie. Cotton balls, q-tips, and extra toothbrushes)?
Enjoy this time with family and friends. It is such a gift to be around all the people you love for a while! If hosting is going to be overwhelming and you feel like life is in disarray then what can you do to mentally prepare? Do you need to get a massage? Hire a professional cleaner to clean so you can enjoy being with people? Have your spouse, child, or friend help with wrapping presents? Listen to your body and take those steps ahead of time so that you’re an enjoyable family member/friend/spouse to be around this time of year!
If you need other organizing/cleaning tips for this time of year feel free to reach out through the contact tab and I’d love to help any way I can!
Dear New Agent,
Congratulations you’ve started a new career in Real Estate! You’ve already taken a HUGE leap of faith and for that I commend your courage. This might not be the easiest job, but man it can be rewarding!
There are a few things I wish I would have known before I started-
First, make sure you have money saved. The amount depends on where you are in life and where you live when starting your new career in Real Estate. I would encourage you to reach out to your Broker or another agent who is a little ahead of you to help you figure out the amount of money you need to have tucked away. I would ball park at least 2-4 months income and then around $2000 for classes, licensing, dues for REALTOR association, etc. Again, it all depends on your specific situation but there are upfront costs to getting started and then it will take a while until the first paycheck is in your pocket.
Second, choose the agency you will work for VERY wisely! It is so important to have a strong support system and training program in place when you first get started. This business is a lot of learning on the job, but if you are learning from people who do their job poorly or unethically then you’re already starting on the wrong foot.
Third, I would encourage you to ALWAYS think about people and how you are affecting others around you from day ONE. Notice that I didn’t say always put other people first, but just think about how you are affecting others around you. If you start getting greedy with clients or worried about how you can make the most money you will bulldoze right through friends, colleagues, clients, etc.
Fourth, ask questions and learn as much as you can right away. If there is another agent who has been doing this longer than you that you can learn from, don’t hesitate to ask if you can shadow him/her as they interact with clients and other agents. You can learn so much from observing how experienced agents handle situations.
Lastly, don’t get easily discouraged! There will be times this new job feels like you’re trying to run through mud and you’re getting no where. But if you took my second piece of advice then you have a fabulous team around you, ready to step in when it gets tough. If you can find a way to reward yourself with little victories to encourage yourself to keep working hard.
You WILL be able to make it! Try giving Real Estate at least 2 years before you decide if it’s the right career for you. It will feel tough or slow during that first year/going into the second year but find a way to push through and persevere before you throw your hands up because it’s “too hard”. Find a way to reward yourself for your accomplishments. (My husband and I pop a bottle of champagne every time I have a closing). And if you can surround yourself with a support system of friends/family that will be there for you when work feels overwhelming!
These are 4 things that I use every single day and they have been total game changers in my daily routine!
1: French Press
Every morning when I wake up I make a fresh cup(s) of coffee! It’s a part of my morning ritual and helps set the tone of my day. We don’t have a regular coffee maker because my husband doesn’t drink coffee so I can make it as strong as I would like. Kit got me this beautiful copper French press last year because I broke my previous small one. If you’re dying to have your own try this one or maybe this one. Since I have to take the time to make my coffee with a french press versus a regular drip coffee maker, it makes me slow down and wake up a little earlier. And I always enjoy my coffee because I made it exactly the way I wanted!
2: Facial Toner Spray
I started using this facial toner about 6 months ago and it has been a refreshing change to my face care regime (and it smells AWESOME). Everyone and their mother is talking about all the chemicals/etc. that are in the skincare products we use. I definitely haven’t done a ton of research....but I did see this has red tea extracts and rose flower water so it can’t be as bad for me as my old Neutrogena harsh facial toner, right? I stumbled across this spray on Grove Collaborative, a small website that sells products that they back. What makes Grove Collaborative unique is that you can sign up for monthly subscriptions to items (similar to Amazon subscribe and save) and you get a discount on organic/safer products that end up being crazy expensive at Target. They also offer free shipping, so how could you not give it a shot!? Shoutout to my friend Anne White who introduced me to them! Here is where you can get yours!
3: G-2 0.38
WOW. This pen is the best and only pen I use. I know lots of people who have their favorite pens. I was a G-2 0.5 user for the longest time and then some of my friends convinced me to try the 0.38 a few years ago and I’ve never looked back. It writes with the cleanest, smallest, most perfect lines and I won’t ever go back to anything thicker. Enough said. They are really hard to find at Target so I order mine here on Amazon.
This is a LIFE changer my friends. Talk about making everything 3 steps easier. No more searching for your keys through your purse, pockets, or desk. The O-Ring acts as a bracelet and your keys/store tags are all attached! I am a Real Estate agent so I always found myself digging through my purse for a ridiculous amount of time after I would come out of a house while showing clients. Now I just wear my keys and it cuts down our time between showings! Now I can run into the grocery store purse free-I wear my keys on my wrist and credit card in my back pocket. It's also funny to watch Kit try to stuff the whole key contraption into his pocket when were on a date! Here is where you can get one!
Why not give one of these a shot if you haven't already!?
With the warmer weather comes dinner on our back porch, weekly trips to the Soda City Farmers Market, and housework….lots of it! I’m not sure if anyone else is like this, but spring brings me the incessant need to clean and spruce things up around my yard and home.
As a homeowner myself, I know that thinking about everything that needs to be done around the house can become overwhelming. The first piece of advice I can give you is DON'T try to do everything in one weekend or even in one week. You will become burned out!
This is part one of a three-part series about Spring Home Maintenance that will help keep your home up-to-date so you can avoid feeling overwhelmed trying to tackle big ticket items every few years!
Think through your YARD maintenance first. South Carolina gets warm early in the spring, and before it’s too hot to be outside for very long, give your yard some attention. Every April in Columbia, SC we have the Plant and Flower Festival at the State Fairgrounds! This is also an awesome place to get flowers, plants, shrubs, trees, fertilizer, seed, etc.
Every Spring, I suggest going through this list (in order) to make sure your yard is ready before the blazing heat of the summer!
- Check all your equipment before breaking it out to do yard work.
- Make sure all lawn equipment has the correct gas/oil and is working properly. (ie. lawn mower, trimmers, weed wackers)
- Check your all your handheld tools like shovels, rakes, and gardening tools to make sure nothing has rotted or rusted. The last thing you want is to be digging up a root and your shovel snaps.
- First check for any holes in your yard, fill them in with dirt. (I use dirt from digging holes for new bushes and plants to fill in holes our dogs dig)
- Pull and spray weeds. Make sure if you’re going to spray them with some type of weed killer that it isn’t going to rain within 24 hours. Also make sure that you’re using pet-friendly spray or that your animals are out of the yard.
- Early spring is a good time to aerate and seed your yard.
- Trim all your bushes and hedges.
- Clip back dead limbs or overhanging tree branches.
4. Yard Plants:
- Add fertilizer to any flowering bushes/trees.
- If you’re going to add new landscaping, make sure you do it before it gets too hot so the plants can adjust and don’t go into shock. Using a little soil conditioner around the new plant helps with the shock as well.
- Plan ahead when it comes to adding new plants to your yard. (Look at where the yard gets sun throughout the day, the layout of plants based on height and color)
- Spruce up your beds with a fresh layer of mulch and/or pine straw. This will help with watering and it gives the yard a fresh look. If you have pine trees (like we do), I rake all our pine needles into our beds in the fall/winter so that it just needs a little fresh pine straw and some fluffing in the spring.
6. Pot Plants:
- Time to get rid of your winter flowers and plant new flowers and/or herbs in your pots/window boxes/planters/etc.
- If you have a bug treatment or contract get them to come check it and spray before the little clover-mites come out.
- Have your yard sprayed for mosquitoes or plant a few citronella plants around the area you’re in the most.
These are the steps that I take when I’m getting my yard spruced up for the spring. Keep an eye out in the next few days for my second post, continuing on with spring cleaning and home maintenance tips!