I Believe

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Many of you have seen this quote from the fabulous Audrey Hepburn.  I was showing a beautiful home the other day and in the ladies closet, which was approximately the same size as my daughters bedroom, was this quote. It got me to thinking about what I believe in and that every woman should have her own quote. It stuck with me and one day I decided to sit down and write my own. It was amazing how quickly things came to me and how many there were.  I am going to share mine and encourage you to write your own, in fact, if you share yours I’ll enter your name in a drawing for a SPA GIFT CERTIFICATE, so you can get a little Ms. Hepburn treatment. 

I believe in Fierce. I believe that failure is only failure if you let it keep you down. I believe confidence is all the make-up you need. I believe in love. I believe in spirituality before religion. I believe in my family. I believe in total equality. I believe music and art are what make us a human. I believe in the freedom of speech, even when that speech makes me ill. I believe in the right to love and marry whomever you choose. I believe in giving second chances. I believe in forgiving, not forgetting. I believe that people are kind and good, with a few bad apples thrown in to keep us on our toes. I believe that faith heals. I believe that sometimes there is no answer to the question, why. I believe in timeouts, for everyone. I believe that practice makes us the best person we can be, but not perfect. I believe in respect. I believe in stillness. I believe in honesty, with room for a little white lie every now and then. I believe in telling loved ones, you love them, everyday. I believe in letting kids be kids. I believe in wine, lots of wine, and coffee in the morning. I believe your home is your sanctuary, treat it that way. I believe in new beginnings.  I believe in being kind to yourself.

 I look forward to reading your responses, get them in by April 4th and I’ll enter you in the drawing

Hello Spring!

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By Jenni Lovins

I’m more than happy to say goodbye to snow packed roads and winter coats and hello to Rockies baseball, dinner cooked on the grill, flip flops, beautiful flowers and spring cleaning. Ok maybe not that last one.

Yet, did you know that there are dozens of blogs and websites about spring cleaning? I had my own house cleaning business for over six years and I didn’t get nearly the enjoyment out of scrubbing and polishing as these motivated people seem to get. So I’ll spare you the detailed checklists and how-to guide on the subject and get down to what counts: Getting it over with.

Try starting with one Saturday or Sunday afternoon and assign two chores to each person in your household. (Maybe let your husband pick his own two chores, he’ll do a better job at what he chooses, I’m sure). You know what your children are capable of doing and the things you’ll find yourself going over anyway, so pick carefully. Choose the things that have bothered you most, or are the dirtiest and just need cleaning the most. When your two jobs are over, go back outside and play! You’ll feel productive and you’ll be able to see a difference. If you think there’s more that should be done, take a weekend off and then do two chores each again in two weeks.  Before you know it, your spring cleaning will be complete!

Another option is to create a list of Spring Cleaning Chores, and make it your goal to cross something off your list every week. Not too overwhelming or dreaded by the family, but it does make the tasks drag on for a while I’m afraid.  That being said, our family will probably get our spring cleaning done this way.    Here’s what our list looks like so far:

  1. Wash all the windows and screens we can realistically get to (or hire a professional window washing service)
  2. Clean & touch-up paint the trim throughout the house
  3. Go Geocaching with the boys (A beautiful spring day can be distracting)
  4. Polish stair railing and all the cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms (use Old English Scratch Cover on damaged areas)
  5. Clean out all the sink drains (yuck!)
  6. Go to a Rockies game (it’s possible that a sweep could take place…)
  7. Clean out the garage & put things we don’t want/need any more aside for a garage sale
  8. Organize the basement & put things we don’t want/need any more aside for a garage sale
  9. Have a Garage Sale (and use the money to go to ANOTHER Rockies Game!)

I know if the list is too long or scary looking one of two things will happen; we will accidentally lose the list and everyone will forget it existed, or we will just put it off for way too long and be haunted by our base trim that needs to be painted or the dirty kitchen windows.

While you’re at it, you might want to spruce up your porch and the outside of your house a little. By the way, your neighbors whose homes are for sale will be grateful. Their home will sell at or above asking price because of your help and your own home value will rise.  So go ahead, plant those tulips and marigolds, trim the over-grown shrubs, clear out last winter’s dead branches, find your porch something that’s colorful and inviting, get a new door mat and maybe hose down your porch and siding/brick if it’s needed. You’ll love it and so will your neighbors!

Hopefully, now the task of spring cleaning isn’t too daunting.  I wish you luck in getting it done and over with, and I hope you’ll do something that makes you happier to be spending time in your home.  Then, pour yourself a favorite springtime drink (my favorite recipe is below) and enjoy this beautiful Colorado spring day! (Unless it’s snowing, then pour the drink and turn on a baseball game).

Longs Peak Lemonade!  My favorite springtime Mommy drink.

2 oz. Blueberry Vodka

8 oz. Countrytime (or your favorite) lemonade

Pour it over ice and garnish with just about any type of fruit (my favorite is fresh blueberries). Yum! I’m thirsty, but it’s only 10:00 am…

ROCKIES TICKETS GIVEAWAY! Share what you love about spring AND why in a comment, before April 1, 2014, and you’ll be entered to win two Rockies tickets to an April game!

Happy Days are Here Again

Children Playing

The days are getting longer, the trees are budding and the real estate market is booming!  It’s as if it happened overnight, just a moment ago lenders were not lending and there was not a buyer in sight.  Now we have the exact opposite problem, no one is selling! This topsy turvy market has still got people a bit off kilter and once you sell, you may end up with the same problem others are finding, where are we going to go? It’s a legitimate concern, especially if you are buying and selling under $500,000.  You can’t put an offer in on a house if yours is not at least under contract, because you are competing with 2 or 3 other buyers that do not have a house to sell.  The best advice that I can offer is, have a plan B. Nobody wants to move twice but it is certainly a better option than being forced into buying a house that you do not love and having to suffer through for the next 5-10 years. You can ask the buyers for a long close or best case scenario, do a rent back until you find your replacement property. But if that is not an option you may need to put your things in storage and go into an apartment or (gasp) move in with Mom and Dad, for what is hopefully a short period.  But please! please! do not buy a house that you do not love just so you don’t have to move twice.  I can guarantee you that if you do not love the house on closing day, it’s only going to go down hill from there.  If you are thinking about selling, March and April are the two busiest months in real estate, it’s time to jump in so give me a call, I’ve got buyers that need someplace to go!

What I Love About the Tri-Town Area by Jenni Lovins

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Last week, an out of town client asked me what I love about living in Frederick and specifically what I love about my neighborhood.  I didn’t have to think about my answer very long; I love where we live.  We don’t have the biggest, newest house, but I love our home, and it’s perfect for our family.  Every neighborhood in the Tri-Town area has something great and unique to offer.

I grew up in the country.  Well, not really too country, but we didn’t have sidewalks, neighborhood kids to play with or a park within walking distance.  We had horses, cows and hay stacks to climb on.  My sisters and I would signal for the truck drivers to give us a friendly honk as we waited for the school bus every morning.  I learned how to ride my bike on our long gravel driveway.  My mom had to drive us to our friends’ neighborhoods to go trick-or-treating.  As a child, I wanted so bad to have neighbor kids to play with. 

When my husband and I were looking for our first home, we wanted a place where our kids would have other kids to play with.  I had this image in my head of all the kids playing and growing up together, backyard barbeques, kids playing basketball in the driveway and our son finding his true love in the cute little girl across the street.  When we found our home, it was the best house our Realtor had shown us!  We were sold!  It was brand new and we could make it all ours!  I loved so much about this neighborhood. I love that we have a park right across the street.  We moved in when our son was just six months old and how he loved those baby swings!  We would walk to the park at least twice a day when it was nice out. When he became a big brother, he was eager to push his baby brother in the baby swing and show him how to do everything else at the park.   A few years later we spent a whole morning “saving worms” after the overnight rain had left so many stranded on the sidewalks all around the park.  Now that they’re older, the boys still love climbing the evergreens and playing “groundies” and freeze tag with the neighborhood kids.  (Good, free entertainment is pretty valuable for that “Mom, I’m bored” we hear throughout the summer).  We also have a huge soccer park about two blocks away.  We’ve had a few seasons of tee-ball and football practices there, and it’s perfect for kids to play while mom or dad jogs the perimeter. I love that one of my neighbors is a police officer.  Actually, drive around our neighborhood on any given evening and you’ll see four police cars parked in front of their homes.  I hope it equates to less crime, and it makes us feel a little safer. I love that along with protecting our property values our HOA also puts on events for the neighborhood.  At least once every summer we go to a movie night in the soccer park.  They’ve also thrown a few summer kickoff events that included bounce houses, pony rides, fire trucks, enormous hot dogs and good, loud music! 

 I know that fun, caring people are really what make a community a great place to live.  Of course everyone wants good neighbors, (and we did get that cute little girl across the street).  There has been so much growth and change in the Tri Town area since we moved here nine years ago and we’ve gained so many great neighbors. We’ve also gained a fantastic church and a delicious Mexican food restaurant in walking distance.  I would love if you would share a favorite thing about your neighborhood; what attracted you to that specific community and what you enjoy most about it today?  Your input may just help me find you the perfect neighbor, or new neighborhood someday!