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Showing posts from 2014

Our First Year Rebranded...

Or alternatively, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services… you had me at "Hello!"

OK, maybe not at "Hello." I was a bit weary after the last time our office had been rebranded (somewhat reluctantly) back in 2005, but as I had stated in a previous post, this transition went SO smoothly.  So to revise my statement, you had me at the transition!


Part of what made it an amazing year has to be how it started with a transition that I would describe as positive energy that was welcoming,  renewing and reigniting even!  Now this may have been specific to my 2 offices, but our theme for the year was the Year of Happiness.  On a larger scale, looking at our year, I think it was also a year of investment in our agents & offices.

People in town (as well as other agents) have asked me what it's been like, becoming BHHS.  From my perspective, I saw big improvements in our technology, training & education, online leads, new agent support, and even office culture.  Briefly, h…

Break Out Stars!

I've been using the term "Break Out Star" lately.  You know, as in, the sweet girl who sang as Mrs. Potts in last week's performance of Beauty & The Beast was (for me) the break out star of the show - I had never heard her sing before and she nailed it - knocked my socks off and made me cry.

The Break Out Star of my early Summer garden is Organic Vates Kale, by High Mowing Organic Seeds in Wolcott, VT!  I've had kale before, but never got terribly excited about it.  Until now.


Is it because I've never grown my own kale before?  Maybe.  Maybe freshly picked is what makes it so much better.  This particular variety of kale is a dwarf curly kale baby leaf with dark blue-green leaves.  It may even overwinter!  I like it so much that I'm on the search for more seeds.  I originally picked these up at Whole Foods and thought I'd give them a try.  Easily my favorite new vegetable in the garden this year.  I tend to prepare it the same ways I use spinach …

Becoming Part of the Community

How I Found "Home" in my Community

As a Realtor® I talk to a lot of people making a move to a new community.  I've been there with big moves as both a child and as an adult.   I know firsthand how intimidating it can be to start over in a town where you don't know anyone.

I moved to our small town 15 years ago, but continued to carry on every aspect of my old life working in a city and spending all of my time still in my old suburb with my friends & family. The move "to the country" where I didn't know anyone other than my husband and his family was an adjustment I wasn't making very well and to be honest I had a hard time at first.  This wasn't home to me.  As a (kind of) Third Culture Kid who had split my childhood between two different countries, I was used to not being sure which place was home, but now I was an adult and looking for something concrete.  I had to jump in head first and discover what would bind me to this town and find m…

Super Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day my Friends!

Things that made me happy this morning:

- Breakfast of crêpes fresh from France with Nutella and coffee!
- 2 out of 3 kids made it to the bus on time after 10 days of Spring vacation!
- Asparagus spears popping out of the ground in my garden!
- A busy real estate work schedule with a "Social Media Roundtable" discussion thrown in the mix!
- Laptoplunches is having a 15% off Earth Day sale (use code ED15) & I need just a few Bento items!
- Remembering I have organic seed packs in my purse!
- These reading materials:


So, how am I celebrating Earth Day 2014 you ask?  Squeezing it in between a full day of work, tennis practice for one kid, play rehearsal and soccer for another, and a Board of Education sub-committee meeting for hubby….this is going to be tricky!  If the rain holds off, the little ones are doing a trash walk, we'll bring out the planters from the basement and put them out to dress up the terrace, and maybe put up the screen ho…

My First High Mowing Seeds

Despite the fact that we still had a good foot of snow on the ground a few weeks ago, I went out in search of garden seeds.  With Spring just around the corner, things have to warm up eventually, right?

I did some research into organic seed companies and found a website that I liked but hadn't ordered from before - High Mowing Seeds, out of Wolcott, VT.  When I searched if I could buy the seeds locally, I found that Whole Foods a few towns over carried them.  They had a nice selection, and these are the ones I brought home:


I also found an article I liked about the company over at a website called A Way To Garden.  The article is really informative and has a Q&A with the founder, Tom Stearns.  I enjoyed it.  You can read it HERE.
Next order of business is getting my onion & shallot sets!  (Even if there's still too much snow in my garden and the ground is frozen because it's 20F out there!)

Earth Day 2014 - Greening Our Communities

This year's Earth Day is only about 6 weeks away.  This year's Earth Day theme is Green Cities, or Greening Our Communities (for those of us non-city dwellers.)   I have to say I really like this theme!  If half of the Earth's population is urban, then it makes sense to focus on improving those areas.



So, do you have plans for any Earth Day-related event?  If you haven't looked into it yet, it's time to find out what's going on in your community... or if there isn't an event planned, you might just have time to head up an event of your own!


Feeling the Love at My GREEN Life and Real Estate

A few days ago I celebrated my 3rd Anniversary writing for REALTOR® Magazine's YPN blog, called YPN Lounge.  (YPN stands for Young Professionals Network.) I can't believe it's been that long already!  Lately I've been feeling a lot of love from the readers there, getting loads of comments, emails,  tweets, Facebook friend requests and most recently, old-fashioned fan mail.  The kind the post office delivers!

The last package contained a really sweet note card with a note about how much this man had enjoyed my last article, and a copy of his book, What'$ Your Rate?, which is a guide to real estate for first-time home buyers!  I've only started reading it, but the thing I like about it is that it's about planning your financial future by building your "Core 7" team.  I am all about planning and I have a few members of my team secured already, but there are a few aspects I hadn't put enough time into.  According to the book, the 7 members of your…

Farm To Table in Winter?

Friends recently called and asked if we wanted to go to dinner downtown.  On a school night.  While my initial reaction was that we're not "cool" enough to go downtown on a school night, I'm really glad we did!

The restaurant they picked was Firebox, a Farm To Table restaurant that uses locally-sourced ingredients and is located adjacent to Hartford's Billings Forge Farmer's Market.  Bonus that they had a parking lot with an attendant.  The restaurant is located in "Frog Hollow" which is considered Hartford's most New York-style urban neighborhood and includes Olmsted-designed Pope Park.

The atmosphere was very hip: exposed brick, interesting light fixtures, wooden beams, candles in small Mason jars, blackboards, and walls of bottles of wine.  There's a tavern room, a small room, and the larger dining room in the back, complete with a fireplace and warm, intimate ambiance.

So what could they offer as Farm To Table on a very cold & dark W…

I Dream of Houses...

I remember my early days in Real Estate, where I was building my business, working 80+  hours per week and showing house after house after house.  My husband would tell me when we woke up in the mornings that I'd been talking in my sleep, giving house tours!  I specifically remember one morning he woke me up laughing, asking me to tell him more about the "cute ranch with the fireplace and the sunroom!"

I can't help it.  I LOVE houses.  I still dream about them.  Only now I sometimes dream about houses I create in my dreams.  There's a beach house that keeps coming back, and recently in my dreams I saw a rustic almost-tree house overlooking water & mountains in the Pacific Northwest.  I can't help but wonder if these places exist and if one day I'll walk in and recognize them…

This is probably one of the many reasons why I love to rent houses, villas, and flats when we travel.  I put a lot of thought & research into what I want in a home, especiall…

31 Things in 31 Days - My New Year's Work Boost!

With this icy, snowy weather we're having at the start of the New Year, it's too easy for me to justify sitting by the fire with a cup of tea and just working my way through my daily work checklist.  I know there is more I could do, and I  know that how I start my year sets the tone for the rest…and with 2 snow days to kick off 2014, I've had time to come up with a revised plan.

Enter a work/productivity booster.  31 Things in 31 Days.  It's not a new or original idea. Trulia is running a challenge/sweepstake on the same subject.  I've used a similar list for things like housework and cooking (and once for exercise, which didn't work out - haha!) but I hadn't formally applied it to to real estate until today.  I read a few different real estate websites to find ideas for new things to supplement my checklist & calendar.  There are so many articles, blogs and websites offering ideas.  Just doing the research inspired me!

There are a lot of great things y…