Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Great Trip!

Michael and I had a great extended weekend in Ft Lauderdale. We choose the destination because  it was beachy and you could fly direct there from Richmond via Jet Blue!

View from our balcony

View from my  pool lounge chair

We stayed at the Hilton Ft Lauderdale Beach Resort. It was nice and we liked it because each room had a kitchen. We picked up some beer, wine, waters, breakfast bars etc on our way from the airport which helped cut down on our dining out costs.

Dinner at Saia!
We did manage to have some great dinners there....we dined at Saia at the B Ocean Ft Lauderdale Hotel. And Last night, we ate at Johnny V's on the Las Olas strip....another delicious meal.

Thanks again to my mom, Kate & Anne Hunter for watching Camille and Clyde. I know they had fun and it was great knowing they were in the best hands. It was wonderful to get away but I missed those two...we had a tearful reunion today at the airport!

We have a busy rest of the week....a real estate closing, my first meeting for this year's Jazz Festival at Maymont, and gearing up for a trip to the beach! Woohoo! Summer is in full effect.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Joplin Pic

At church yesterday they mentioned the destruction in Joplin from the terrible storms and tornadoes that hit a few weeks back... and they showed this picture... and I just thought it was so cool... I had to share. You have may have already seen it, but I hadn't, and I loved it!

No buildings left standing in the entire area, everything totally demolished, but the one thing standing firm was the cross in the background that I'm assuming was on a church.

So neat. Reminds me that during storms and trials, no matter what kinds, HE is always there :)
Hope this brightens your day!
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Sunday, 26 June 2011

Rules don't apply

Nine months ago I was telling him housing was in a pickle - huh? Six months ago his ears prick up - oh yeah? Three months ago he acknowledged he'd noticed the same - the market is slow. Today he's telling me the market is falling - but then he tells me his big plans, apparently this falling market thing bears no relation to his own house.

When 'they' say real estate is local, they aren't kidding. It's not the region; the suburb; the street; or even the house - it's the mind. While not medically proven yet, there's a housing gland in everyone's head and some people are unlucky enough to have a tumour grow on that gland. That tumour puts pressure on the housing gland, which then secretes house hormones that endlessly inflate the value of your house - in your own mind.

I couldn't imagine how big his tumour was, but all logic flew out the window. Despite the signs of the housing apocalypse - an apocalypse he readily acknowledged - he intended to renovate a couple of rooms, get the friendly bank manager in to see the obvious value he'd created, then get a re-fi and suck all that money out - oh yeah people are still thinking like this. The wondrous party of wealth over the last decade ain't over, apparently.

He will stick his hand into the watery ice bath left in the esky, dig around and find there's not one bottle of Boags' Premium left to drink, but he'll have to find that one out himself. You can't tell these people, the knife that cuts that tumour out only comes after a healthy dose of radiation - that's time on the market plus discounts.

Then comes the realisation, it's only a house. No more special than the rest and it is indeed subject to gravity. Just like some fellow Tasmanians are finding out...

In Launceston, this 4x2 was snapped up in November 2008 for $378,000. How has it fared in the current market? No bites at $395,000. No bites at $385,000. It's now available at the owner comforting price of $379,000. $1000 above the 2008 sale says they can still cling to the belief they haven't been hosed.

Down Hobart way, this 3x1 sold for $296,000 in June last year. Eleven months later and it was back on the market with the bait asking, "offers in the low $300,000's". Again, no bites and if you're wet enough not to put the pressure on when negotiating, you can currently pay $295,000.

Up in Burnie, this 3x1 was available August last year for $369,000. Months went by and the house disappeared from the market, the owners hoping for the market to turn at a later date, yet it turned on them. Now listed at $320,000, with the desperate tag of "all reasonable offers considered". The benefit of waiting.

In an attempt to look a scholarly gent, I've looked up a few quotes on patience, I hope I've understood this one by a Russian bloke called Tolstoy - "The two most powerful warriors are patience and time." In a real estate market such as this one, you can do two things - take a leaf out of the book of the bogan and have that tattooed on your forearm in Chinese, forget the meaning tomorrow, then buy a house because the media people are telling you affordability is improving . Or print that quote out, sit it on your desk and watch the discounts continue.

I dunno about you, but I'm partial to 'Patience' on one forearm and 'Time' on the other.

Likes/Obsessions & Dislikes

Maybe I have been watching a little too much "Live with Andy Cohen" on Bravo, and his 3 things he is obsessed with each week, lol, but I thought it would be a good idea to do my weekly "3 obsesses/dislikes" too.
Great idea, thanks Andy! ;)

3 Obsessions of the Week:
1. This CRAZY Trial... can't.stop.watching!

Uggghhh she is driving me absolutely crazy. I am not mentioning her name is this post because I don't want google to pick it up and all these crazy's coming to my blog haha. But you know her, who doesn't lets be honest? Just breaks my heart for that poor little girl BUT I still can not stop watching it. I was overly obsessed with it when she went missing and throughout the whole entire things in 2008. I read the court docs online and everything (yes, I am a freak ha). I just got wrapped up in it. So I can't help but follow it now, and I mean it helps a little that it is on HLN 24/7 literally nonstop.

This lady is on my nerves... now she is trying to save her daughter from the death penalty by admitting she was the one who did the chemical searches on the computer. Give.me.a.break. What a joke. Surely the jury is not buying her fabrications.

Now I do feel sorry for him... I mean allegations that he molested his daughter... can't get much worse than that. Poor thing. So Sad.

I heard on HLN a couple of days ago, they were interviewing a lady who has studied all the muscles in a human face and knows what expressions make what muscles move, etc etc. She stated something to the effect of that when you cry, there are particular wrinkles in every person's face and forehead that show up, and also certain veins that you can see ... and when Casey has been crying, none of those facial expression wrinkles or veins were apparent at ALL. She is fake crying. I can tell. I watch Young and the Restless people... you know when someone is fake crying.

Poor little girl... so sad. I pray that justice is served and that her family will have the peace they deserve. :(

2. "My Heart Can't Tell You No" - By Sara Evans
Lovvee this song.. it is a remake of an old song I'm pretty sure... but I love it! Just got tickets to see Rascal Flatts, Sara Evans, Easton Corbin & Justin Moore and I am beyond ecstatic about it! Check out the song...
(Mute the playlist at the bottom of this page before you watch!!)
3. This Post from Don't Waste Your Cancer Blog  
Click Here to Read
This post was awesome, I read every word of it and it is so true. Sometimes blogging feels like you are showing your favorite things, new purchases, best pictures, etc and that life is perfect. Libby did a wonderful job of depicting the truth to "real" life... And she hit the nail on the head IMO. No one's life is perfect, flawless, fight-less, stress-free, happy all the time, you get my drift :) And mine is FAR from that too.... I feel stress every single day, some days so bad I want to stay home and just turn off the phone and lay in bed and watch DVR! But life is about knowing what you can handle and knowing when you need a break and can admit to yourself that everyone has problems, and there is ALWAYS someone who has it way worse than you, and I truly believe that!
 I loved reading this from her, it was refreshing to me. Admitting to anyone, much less thousands of readers, that you are not "perfect" is not an easy thing to do... and I commend and thank Libby for this post!
Love her blog! :)

3 Dislikes of the Week:

1. Jake and Vienna are Back (Heaven help us all!)
Arrrrh! They are so ridiculous! Jake was probably my most least favorite Bachelor EVER... he was annoying the entire season. And Vienna was just as bad. So really you would think they were a match made in heaven... wrong! They were both so fame hungry it was sickening. Well I have just caught wind that they are back... they are appearing on the second season of The Bachelor Pad on ABC on August 8th. They will both be on the show and apparently rekindling their old flame {insert gagging sound here} and trying to work things out. I don't think I will be able to watch so someone please let me know how bad it is! LOL
2. "Ghet-Toes" bahahaha
I got this picture in an email this weekend from some people attending Prom... and this was the last photo... and I couldn't resist sharing with everyone because it is the absolute most ridiculous thing ever (Close 2nd to the "toe shoes" I shared in Gatlinburg post) only this is a little funny and the toe shoes are just pure gross LOL

3. I can't think of a third one... ?? LOL Maybe next time? 

Hope everyone had a nice weekend :)

Time for my New Jersey housewives tonight and to see what craziness they are up to now.....? 

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Friday, 24 June 2011


This past weekend we went to Gatlinburg to just have some relaxing fun time with the kids and go to Dollywood! To make a long story short... it wasn't exactly the trip I had in mind! We went a day early to not be "rushed" because my whole entire life is a big rush ha. We planned on leaving early that day, which of course didn't happen because I had a million things to do before we left. I was really sad about leaving Frankie, so against Chris's will, he finally gave in and let him go! Yayy! :) The ride down was good, we even stopped and got some ice cream...

When we got there we had to find a "pet friendly" hotel until we could check into our cabin the next day. This was a task... finding a pet friendly hotel in Gatlinburg that was NOT on the bed bug registry! This brings me to my next point... if you don't know about the bed bug registry then you need to! It is awesome. You can search any city or hotel and see if it pops up on the registry of any cases of bed bugs and you can read people's reviews. It is awesome. I don't travel without it anymore lol.
Frankie wasn't sure about the hotel, ha this was his special spot...

We rode go carts....

Ate Dinner at Chris's favorite place... it was pretty good I will admit, even though I'm usually not a fan of "country cooking" ha I would recommend going there though if you're in Pigeon Forge.

The next day we shopped at the outlets and messed around for Father's Day! We ate at our favorite pizza place in Gatlinburg for Father's Day dinner... The Best Pizzeria!

Happy Father's Day :)

In the midst of the fun, on this very hot weekend... the AC went out on my car! :( Oh No! If you know me you know I don't do well when I am hot haha (I think I get that from my Mamaw lol) So this was not good. It was Sunday and we were in Gatlinburg... pretty sure there are no dealerships there... so I google and stumble upon what seems to be a well known mechanic and pretty credible auto shop. We call, they are open on Sundays... SCORE! We drive there, it sure seems like its out in the boonies... keep driving... keep driving... pull up and see this....

Not a joke people. This was it. Ha. I mean no dis-respect to these kind gentlemen who were basically wearing Budweiser for cologne ... but this was not going to work lol. We were there all of 10 minutes. Long story short, we toughed out the no AC until we got back to Lex and took it in to get fixed the next day :) 

So our last day we were off to Dollywood!

I am a huge fan of Dolly.... love her.... how could you not? She is amaze. And so was Dollywood. It was so nice, the scenery, the flowers, the grounds were so clean, it was hands down the best park I've ever been to. So much to do, the kids had a blast and so did Chris and I lol.
 Only problemo with this day was we never got our cabin (too long of story to tell ha) so we had to check out of our hotel at 11am that morning... which means... nothing to do with Frankie :( Poor Baby!! Lucky for him his mom is so smart and got online and googled for somewhere to him to stay and look what I found....

Yes that is right friends... Dolly thought of it ALL! They had Doggywood right there in Dollywood, perfect place to leave your fur-kids in their own little cabin while you are enjoying the park!

Here is his sweet little bed in his cabin... :) I left his blankie in case he got sad. But I'm pretty sure he liked it.

So back to the day, we had a blast! We took a million pictures but here are a few of my faves...

These little potted people were sooo cute! Jake loved this one (even though its the wrong team ha) so Whitney... this one is for you ;) hahahaha

I love this! Have never read this before... it was next to a beautiful Dogwood Tree. So good!

I can not begin to tell you how many of these we saw... what are these things? I'm sorry if anyone reading this has these but I just think they are gross haha. They freak me out. Why do you need shoes with toes in them? I don't get it I guess.

Needless to say we came home with this hat and gun ha. How cute is that pic?

We rode the train that went on a 5 mile journey around Dollywood... too fun!

Chris & Ella rode all the crazy rides!

This is funny to me... sorry babe... love you though hahaha.

Loved this old church you could walk in and leave prayer requests...it was so cute :)

Three little owls after getting drenched on a water ride!

This is hysterical. I saw this coffin and said Jake.. go stand next to it and take your picture... he ran over and did this little pose! HAHAHA I was dying, everyone around was cracking up. I said how did you know you're supposed to do that in a coffin? And he said... "from Scooby Doo, silly!" LOL pretty smart.

Love the light in this picture... looks so pretty!

Lastly... the kids all wanted to try the big log, water ride, where you all get in and then it goes up the hill and straight down into water and it splashes everywhere up over a bridge.. do you know what I'm talking about? Well I was a little nervous Jake would get scared but he was so big boy and decided he wanted to do it! We all got in the same log and took off... went through some dark tunnels, around some curves, nothing too crazy... yet! When we got to the top of the hill and started to tip over to plunge down, I literally almost peed my pants! But it was a blast. And they even captured this picture for us... brace yourself... LOL 

Let me give you a closer look ....

Too funny! We laughed so hard when we saw this! Definitely a framer!

Aside from all the cabin/car drama, we had such a good time! We will for sure be going back! :) 
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Happy Weekend!

Look what we pulled from our garden!

So excited and can't wait to see how everything tastes. I have to say the squash is a funky color so not too sure!

Check out those tomato plants. They are now leaning over so I have to figure that out.

Tomorrow, Michael and I are off on a 3 night vacation alone! We haven't done something like this since our honeymoon almost 7 years ago. I can't wait to lay by this pool for the next few days.

Thanks to Gammy,  Kate & Anne Hunter for helping to make this possible! And to all the buglars out there...our home will be fully occupied!