Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekend highlights

Fri evening we met Steven & Thad for dinner at Ruby Tuesday. Its a great place to eat out since all of us are dieting or otherwise trying to lose weight. I always get the salad bar. Its always fresh and has a quite extensive selection of veggies. My salads have more veggies than lettuce. Spouse & Thad like the spaghetti squash entree which is low in fat and calories. In our area Ruby Tuesday is the only restaurant with a salad bar.

Sat I worked, as usual. I met with a couple at a new construction home community I showed them previously, and they wrote a contract on a new home. Score! That evening Steven & Thad and Jason & Kevin came over for dinner. Spouse made a tasty and low fat/low calorie dish: Dijon chicken with mushrooms, steamed veggies, and salad. For dessert we had parfaits made with blueberries, corn flakes, and fat-free cool whip. It was really good! We had a very nice time visiting with our buddies.

I was off on Sun so we met Steven & Thad and Jason & Kevin for breakfast. After returning home I washed some laundry, ironed a few shirts, and vacuumed the house. That afternoon I decided to finally make my way back to the gym. I don't want to reveal how long it had been since the last time I'd gone. But I discarded that thought and decided to move forward. I did about 40 minutes on the treadmill doing cardio and felt proud of myself for returning to the gym. That evening Spouse & I had dinner at home.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday fragments

Welcome to Friday fragments, my weekly recap of topics too big to forget, yet too small to be their own post.

I saw this on facebook and it gave me a chuckle!

We continued with the crazy temperature swings again this week. 60 degrees one day, 40 degrees the next. I swear I don't know how to dress.

Thanks to my facebook friends for sharing this too:
Many of these have been on my grammatical pet peeve list for years, especially #1 and #10. I would just like to add that "realator" is not a word, but "realtor" is.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Stoopid lyrics

Here is another installment of my blog feature "Stoopid lyrics" where I share with you a well-known song with lyrics that don't make sense.

Keep in mind this doesn't mean the song is stoopid or that I don't like the song. In fact, I often like the songs but the lyrics don't make sense.

What do YOU think?

performed by Michael Jackson

Your Butt Is Mine, Gonna Take You Right
Just Show Your Face, In Broad Daylight
I'm Telling You, On How I Feel
Gonna Hurt Your Mind, Don't Shoot To Kill
Come On, Come On, Lay It On Me All Right

I'm Giving You, On Count Of Three
To Show Your Stuff, Or Let It Be
I'm Telling You, Just Watch Your Mouth
I Know Your Game, What You're About

Well They Say The Sky's The Limit
And To Me That's Really True
But My Friend You Have Seen Nothing
Just Wait 'Til I Get Through

Because I'm Bad, I'm Bad, Come On
You Know I'm Bad, I'm Bad, You Know It
You Know I'm Bad, I'm Bad, Come On, You Know
And The Whole World Has To Answer Right Now
Just To Tell You Once Again, Who's Bad?

The Word Is Out, You're Doin' Wrong
Gonna Lock You Up, Before Too Long,
Your Lyin' Eyes, Gonna Take You Right
So Listen Up, Don't Make A Fight,
Your Talk Is Cheap, You're Not A Man
You're Throwin' Stones, To Hide Your Hands

But They Say The Sky's The Limit
And To Me That's Really True
And My Friends You Have Seen Nothin'
Just Wait 'Til I Get Through

(Repeat chorus)

We Can Change The World Tomorrow
This Could Be A Better Place
If You Don't Like What I'm Sayin'
Then Won't You Slap My Face

(Repeat chorus 4 times)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Weekend highlights

Spouse & I had dinner with Steven Fri night at Captains Table. Thad was away visiting his mom.

I worked on Sat, as usual. Spouse & I had dinner Sat night with Steven & Thad at Ruby Tuesday. Love their terrific salad bar!

I worked on Sun too.

There you have it - the highlights of my weekend.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday fragments

Welcome to Friday fragments, my weekly recap of topics too big to forget, yet too small to be their own post.

Here is the painting I made for my client's home:
I saw this on facebook and it gave me a good laugh.I was absolutely amazed by the content of this video!! This is what research funding is for, to invent life-changing things like this.

A friend sent me this and I love it!

Remember the "Leave Brittney Alone!!" video that went viral in 2007? The 'star' of the video, Chris Crocker, has drastically changed his appearance since then. You won't believe what he looks like now! Check out the NEW Chris Crocker:Say whaaaaa??? Dayum, he looks hot! Check out this interview with Chris.

Here's another gem I saw on facebook:

As expected, my 2nd week's weight loss results were far less dramatic than the 1st week. I only lost 3 lbs last week, making my 2 week total 15 lbs. Now, I'm not complaining! I'm just sayin'.

OMG, if only Stephen Colbert would run for President!!

Here's another one that I would LOVE to have made into a t-shirt:

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Second look

Yesterday I got the opportunity to go inside a home that Spouse & I almost bought 6 years ago. Only it didn't look a thing like it did when we were considering it.

When we were looking for a full-time home in DE I knew I'd be working from an office in our home and thought it would be great to have a water view that office/home. Water views don't come cheap so our choices weren't plentiful. We even considered homes that were not 'our style' and that needed updating, with the idea that we could always make the home into what we wanted as long as it had that view.

So we got pretty serious about this contemporary-style home because it backed to a lake and had its own dock. This is the back of the home.
I even drew a floor plan of the home, complete with a 2-story addition on the left side so we could add a proper master suite and use the existing master bedroom (near the kitchen) as a formal dining room. The 2nd floor of the addition would have another guest bedroom and an office that overlooked the lake.

But before we'd made a decision on the home, someone else purchased it. A few months later I felt validated when I saw the new owner was remodeling and adding on, just as we had planned to do. Today, the back of the home looks like this: Another of the remodeling projects we'd planned was to enlarge the kitchen space and put in a completely new kitchen, because the existing kitchen:was not "our taste". Again I felt validate to find that the current owner not only enlarged and replaced the kitchen, they even moved it to a different place in the house. This is what the new kitchen looks like:
The expansion and remodeling of the home made it almost unrecognizable to me. There used to be 3 bedrooms, now there are 5. There used to be 2 bathrooms, now there are 3.5. There used to be a combo living/dining space, now there is a dining area, breakfast area, and living room complete with a beautiful stone fireplace.

Its pretty amazing what you can do with a talented architect and a full wallet.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I feel a real sense of accomplishment tonight. Why? I finished staging my client's home and it looks great!

Keep in mind I had a very small budget to work with, and from this budget I:
  • purchased a gallon of high quality paint with built in primer
  • paid someone to paint 2 walls, 1 of which vaulted to about 20 feet high
  • purchased a chandelier with 7' chain and electrical cable
  • paid someone to change out a chandelier that was hanging from a vaulted ceiling
  • purchased a large 'focal wall' wall hanging and a large piece of art
  • purchased 6 decorative pillows, a dining table runner, 3 lamp shades, and 2 shower curtains

Once the client and I had boxed up their person photos and distracting nicknacks, the painting was done and the new chandelier went up.

Then I went to work, moving furniture, remaking beds, hanging the shower curtains, placing white towels in the baths, arranging glasses on the bar, hanging the art and wall hanging, replacing the lamp shades, and arranging neutral but pleasant accessories that belonged to the client and some on loan from my house. Spouse graciously agreed to help me this evening so it would go more quickly.

I'm extremely pleased with the results! All references to the dated seafoam green and mauve color scheme are gone. Now the seafoam and brown pallette reads as chic and modern. What do you think?





Before...after...I'm really hoping these inexpensive but extremely necessary changes will help the place sell more quickly. Do you want to buy it?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Weekend highlights

As usual I worked on Sat. but it felt like a short day because I was only in the office until 1:30. Then I met a client and we spent a good while at a new home neighborhood pricing out a new home with the sales consultant there. Afterward I stopped in at my client's place to check in on painter. Changing the color from mauve to medium brown made a huge difference. I told the client "Your home is feeling younger by the minute!" That evening we met up with Steven & Thad, Jack, 1 of the Bobs, and Joe P for dinner at Dos Locos.

Sun morning we had breakfast with Steven & Thad at Crystal. It was super cold and windy. Later Spouse & I did some window shopping and then he took a nap while I caught up on some shows on the DVR. I also made a large piece of art. I'd bought a huge painting at a thrift store for $35. that had a hideous 1980s Grace Jones-like print on it. I could never have purchased a blank canvas that large for $35. So, I just painted over top of it.
That evening we went to Steven & Thad's house for dinner and to watch the Golden Globes. We made Weight Watcher-friendly pizzas using Flat Outs (oblong whole wheat flour tortillas), mushrooms, turkey pepperoni, olives, low-fat pizza sauce, and low-fat cheese. They were really good and I didn't feel like I was dieting. Joe P stopped over after dinner to watch some of the awards with us. Like most 'normal' gay men, most of our commentary was about the gowns and hairstyles worn by the nominees.

Spouse had today off since it is MLK day. My office was not closed, but I was not scheduled for phone duty and I had no appointments so I took the day off so we could be together. Hopefully Spouse will help me take the ornaments off the Christmas tree today and pack up the rest of the Christmas decorations. As much as I love Christmas, its time.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday fragments

Welcome to Friday fragments, my weekly recap of topics too big to forget, yet too small to be their own post.

I saw this on facebook, and although it isn't 'new', I think its cute enough to share.
We have been experiencing yoyo weather. That's when the temperature goes up to 65 degrees for a couple days, then plummets to 35 degrees the very next day, then goes back up to 60 and back down to 30-something. Its really freaky! And I literally do not know how to dress from day to day.

I had a settlement today for my client and friend Bob's new home. I like settlement days because I get a check! Oh, and because my clients are happy and excited too.

I want to have this made into a t-shirt and then give them away to people. Powerful message!

The painter is coming tomorrow to paint over the out-dated mauve walls in my client's house. The new color is called Cinnamon Sugar and is a medium brown. Its very modern and I think it will go a long way toward updating the look of the place.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Setting the stage

You may recall from lots of my 'Weekend highlights' posts that I used to love watching back-to-back episodes of "Sell This House" on Sat mornings. "Sell This House" explains and demonstrates home staging, the process of streamlining and neutralizing a home to highlight its attributes and minimize any less desirable features. Its not about redecorating; its about using decor to make a home feel fresh, modern, and as large as possible.

As a realtor I thoroughly endorse home staging. I've shown homes that have that "lived in" look and have heard the negative comments of my clients. I've also shown the same clients the exact same size and floorplan home in the same neighborhood that has been staged and heard the positive comments. When clients tour a staged home they perceive it as bigger, well-maintained, and more valuable. Spouse says that people should be able to look beyond the decor and tidiness, but I ask 'Why should they?' Why not present your home in its best possible condition?

Although I work on Sat mornings now, I still get to watch "Sell This House" because I record it on the DVR. After so many episodes, I feel like I've learned not just the fundamentals of staging, but also more advanced science behind it.

For instance, the fundamentals include removing personal photos and portraits because they are distracting to home buyers who begin thinking about the people in the photos rather than the home.
But an advanced level of staging would also suggest removing a detailed painting for the same reason. Buyers can get distracted on the content of the painting, who painted it, and the subject of the painting and stop thinking about the home. A better option is a simple abstract painting that does not catch a buyer's eye, or a simple geometric wall hanging.The colors in the art should compliment the other furnishings but not be so specific that people want to look more at the art than the room its in.

This week I started staging a client's home in preparation for listing it for sale. Fortunately this client doesn't live in the home full-time so its not cluttered with too much furniture. The home is in very good condition, but it reads as dated due to the current color scheme. It was decorated in 1989 and it shows.

Colors and color combinations go in and out of style over the years. This home's color palette is seafoam green and mauve. If left unchanged I believe buyers will perceive the home to be 'original', possibly neglected, and less valuable, despite the fact that the home was painted a few years ago and has been very well maintained.

So my challenge is to update the home's color scheme to one that is contemporary and fresh to appeal to a wide cross-section of people without spending very much money. Afterall, most sellers don't want to invest a lot of money into a home they want to sell.

I'll take before and after photos of the home and share with you why I changed what I changed. At a minimum I hope you'll find it interesting, and maybe it will help you sell your home quicker and for more money.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Last week I confessed that I had over-indulged over the holidays and needed to lose weight. I shared some of my tried and proven weight loss techniques, in the hopes that they may help some of you. If they have, please leave me a comment to let me know!

So now I want to report on my 1st week's weight loss results.

I lost 10 lbs.

I was pretty strict about staying on my diet and not cheating even though I often felt hungry. But I knew that was just a side effect of starting a diet. Its pretty common to feel like you're starving all the time during the 1st week of a diet while your body is adjusting to the smaller portions and lower level of carbs and sugar. Toward the end of the week that constantly starving feeling had subsided.

So I'm pretty happy with my 1st week's results and hope to do almost as well next week.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Weekend highlights

...because there were no 'highlights' this past weekend. I worked Sat & Sun, and we stayed home for dinner both nights.

That's it. End of weekend.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Friday fragments

Welcome to Friday fragments, my weekly recap of topics too big to forget, yet too small to be their own post. Oh, and sometimes its just funny stuff I've seen on facebook.

I saw this on facebook and it made me laugh!
Many people waste time trying to have the last word with haters and jerks. Why????

I saw this on facebook too and knew I wanted to share it.
I really believe in this! Sure, we all have biological families, some of which love and support us and some of which might not. But our chosen family are those mentioned above. I feel very fortunate to have a loving and supportive chosen family.

I need a t-shirt with this on it!!
Usually I'm not one to be conceited (calling myself fabulous) but I would SOOO love to have a t-shirt of this. Birthday/Christmas gift anyone???

Tonight we had dinner with Deb & Greer and Bob & Michael at Sole. We ordered a bunch of 'small plates' and passed them around, which is a really fun way to try a bunch of different items without eating a TON of food. We had a wonderful meal and a great time with our friends.

Hope everyone has a great weekend. I'll be working both days.