Monday, August 31, 2015

Fun Weekend and a Fail

Derrick and I had an absolutely fabulous weekend! It started with a trip to Hickory and immediately getting some awesome new clients under contract via facetime. In Hickory we got to catch up with Bruner and Sydney who are getting married in less then two months!! I miss Bruner so much and I was very excited to get to spend some quality time with him and get to know his lovely fiance a bit better. Saturday we went to Charlotte and played in Sectionals with Raleighwood. Since there are only 4 mixed teams in the section that needed to play we had a quick three game round robin before heading to stay with Courtney and Jeff for the night. This was the first time visiting them since they had moved. Their house is GORGEOUS! Seriously...I'm inspired to get ours whipped into shape and they've only been in theirs since May! It was so great getting to see them and spending a whole evening and the following morning with them. We already have plans to visit again in a month and I can't wait!

Then, on Sunday morning, we went to IKEA! I've wanted to go back since we bought the house and we never had a good time to get down there. This one day tournament schedule offered the perfect opportunity and I knew just what I wanted!

Swedish Meatballs!

Ok..and something else.

You see, this is what the normal state of our kitchen/foyer/entry way is.

Shoes! Just keeping it real! We come home through either the front door or the garage door and kick off our shoes right here. About once a week month I pile all of the shoes into my arms (because it's one trip or no trip) and perilously teeter them all upstairs to our closet. Inevitably Derrick then asks "Where are my chacos??"

This is obviously the convenient spot for them so I decided to work with it instead of fight it. We've always said we're going to live in this house. I want our house to look nice but I also want it to work for us and having our shoes here works for us. So...I figured out the perfect solution thanks to Ikea. This shoe cabinet.

And I had the perfect spot! I got this dresser for free off of Craigslist several months ago and plopped it right there between the dining room and kitchen with the intention of refinishing it and moving it. It's currently housing everything that will eventually go in the dining room hutch once we get it up here. In my head it's the perfect spot for the shoe cabinet!

This is where I was expecting to show you our beautifully completed shoe cabinet with gorgeous shoe-free floors. In my mind it is so beautiful. I wish you could see it.

Instead....I show you this.

I. forgot. to. measure.  Smack my head. Seriously???? Measure twice, cut once! omg. I'm embarrassed.

The cabinet is 50 inches tall which is basically the top of the light switches. In order for the cabinet to go there we would either need to move the light switches  (which we briefly considered. I think replacing that switch a few weeks ago went to our head) or we would need to cut off the legs of the cabinet. Cutting off the legs actually seemed like a very feasible option and was considered for a long time. Derrick had the bright idea of googling it first and we realized if we cut off the legs we wouldn't be able to mount it flush to the wall because of the baseboards. Not an option.

We considered the foyer but that wasn't going to work either. I love an open floorplan but the downside is we don't have many walls to work with!

I was pretty discouraged but Derrick came up with an awesome plan B! We can't do it quite yet....I need to paint first but it's going to be awesome! I am very thankful for his patience both at Ikea and tonight when we realized my mistake and had to brainstorm through it. I'm hoping to make progress this weekend!

Monday, August 24, 2015


I was on a roll there for a little while and then google fiber had the ultimate sabotage! They are coming to Morrisville first (because we are the heart of the triangle. obviously) and they started digging everybody's yard up. They sliced right through our cable/internet line last Wednesday and didn't look back. Three of the most productive days later we were finally back to our regularly scheduled lounging.

To catch you up, here's what we've been up to. I added a quirky little touch to the kitchen and I'm still deciding on it. I love the idea of it but I think I want to stain them a little darker so they don't pop quite as much. We have our trashcans hidden in our cabinets for Crosby reasons but no one ever knows where they are and inevitably trash always ends up in the recycling bin so I had these cutouts made and applied them with command strips.

I think they are really cute and add a little humor to the kitchen but again, just a little too poppy. I want to live with them for a while but I think I'll end up staining them darker.

We are also the proud new owners of a real, purchased by us, piece of furniture! We've gotten very lucky to have some great hand-me-downs from our parents and I've also found some great thrift store finds so this is actually the first NEW piece of furniture we bought for this house. It's a new TV stand for the superbowl room. 

The old one was a craigslist find 4 years ago and was a little small for the TV. Plus it wasn't real wood and it was starting to bow in the middle. 

I was at homegoods last week and saw this beauty. Homegoods doesn't always have super high quality furniture. It's not bad...they just aren't a furniture store so it's not always made to last and you always want to push on them and make sure the legs are even and the piece is sturdy. This is real wood and very solidly made. Plus it's at least a foot longer then our old one so it is way more proportional with the giant TV. The TV was as long as the other one and I think it looks way better with this one. 

On Friday night CK and Irene stopped by for dessert and to hang out. Crosby LOVES CK and Irene. Seriously, she adores them. She got a little too excited and sprinted off into the woods for about 5 minutes. It was the first time we had trouble finding her which was a little scary but we knew she would come back. We also knew she was probably ignoring our calls and rolling in something stinky. Man were we right. She came back smelling like a dead animal. I didn't want to take her upstairs for a bath because CK and Irene were there and I wanted to keep visiting so I threw her in the sink and scrubbed her head down. Take that Crosby! She was pretty embarrassed.

On Saturday I finally made it to Lazy Daze! It's a huge art festival in Cary with over 400 vendors. I haven't been able to go the past couple years. Holly went with me and we spent a good 4-5 hours checking out every booth, eating from delicious food trucks, and buying lots of awesome handmade goods.

Finally, most exciting of all, I got my first par!!! Derrick and I went golfing on Sunday morning at the par 3 course in Apex. It was such a gorgeous day and we were behind a slower group which took the pressure off me since it was only my 2nd time. I was able to relax and not worry about holding people up behind me. My goal was a 45 and I think I scored a 49 but I was able to get my first par! A 77 yarder from the women's tees straight onto the green, a 30 foot putt to lay it up next to the hole and a tap in! It was awesome!!! That's my first par hole in the background!


Golf is not one of those sports I ever thought I would enjoy but it's actually pretty fun and low pressure on a par 3 course. We only played 9 holes...I think it will take a few more times to get my stamina up for 18, but it's an awesome way to spend a beautiful morning! Jack is a high school champion golfer. I guess we see where he got that too. Just like his ultimate skills.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Marcey Family Photoshoot

Just as I finished up yesterdays post I got an email saying our Marcey pictures were ready! This one has a little more variety of photos because there are 4 separate families within the one large family unit and also 3 kids. I love how they turned out! Here are a few of my favorites!

Love this four generations shot.

All three kids and their spouses.

I am so happy with how these pics turned out and it's all thanks to Jagg Photography! Can't wait to print some out and put them around the house!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Williams Family Photoshoot

This year for Mother's Day we gifted both of our moms a family photoshoot. We planned for weekends when we could get everybody into town and really do it right and they both turned out awesome! We're still waiting on Derrick's mom's pictures to go through the final edits but I wanted to share some of the favorites from the Williams shoot!


This was the awkward one where Jay had to hold my arm. Obviously it went over well :)

We used Jagg Photography for both of the shoots and they were awesome! They did the wedding photography for two of our good friends and I enjoyed working with them then as a bridesmaid so I knew I'd like working with them for this. It's a husband and wife team, Jamie and Richie, and they are so easy to work with. I would highly recommend them if anyone is looking for any sort of photography! They make it easy, fun, and their shots are beautiful!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Marcey Louvre

I've been thinking about adding a gallery wall up our staircase for a while and when Derrick went to Seattle for a week I got bored and got to work! I was able to use only frames I already had. At first I tried to decide if it would look better if all the frames were the same color but I didn't have enough just dark or just white frames. Also, that's a little too perfect looking for me.

I have a ton of brown craft paper from Thanksgiving so I used a lot of that to make templates of all of the frames I had and tape them on the wall. That way I could figure out placement without putting a lot of unnecessary holes in the wall.

Then it was just as simple as placing the pictures in their right place! I used some nails, a few anchors, but mostly command strips since a lot of the frames are light weight and sometimes we throw Crosby's ball down the stairs :)

I'm thrilled with how it turned out. It's fun and quirky. We have very few photos around the house...not because we don't want them up, but we just really haven't gotten that far in decorating, so I'm glad to have this wall with some personal photos.

This is one of my favorite parts. I had this old piece of scrap wood and we got our free USA Ultimate sticker in the mail (we get one every year) so I just stuck the sticker to the wall and whallah! Instant personal art.

I still have some changes to make. All of the frames have exactly what they had in them already so I need to switch out some pictures. For instance, this 3-frame has a picture of our friend Blue and her dog and a note she wrote to us. It was part of a shower gift and her way of gifting us the frame and it's hilarious. Unfortunately, we'll probably end up switching out the picture for family photos but I think it's hilarious she's on our wall right now.

I'm very happy with how it turned out! Hope you like it!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

30 under 30

I realized I never announced my exciting work news that I alluded to two months ago and I really should because it's very exciting and a huge honor.

Earlier this year my broker in charge (BIC) started asking me a bunch of elusive questions and he told me he couldn't tell me what it was for. He asked about my mom and my business and my client experiences among other things. Then, randomly, I got an email telling me I'd been nominated for one of Coldwell Banker's 30 under 30 and they needed proof of my age.

What??? Is this real? Nominated for 30 under 30?? Needless to say I was completely floored and flattered.

Well....just a week later I got an email "from" the CEO of Coldwell Banker International congratulating me on my selection as one of Coldwell Banker's inaugural 30 under 30 real estate agents.


At first I looked at the email and didn't really know what I was looking at. I got the email in the car on the way to brunch with Jack and Jay. Then I said it out loud to them and they both freaked out which made me realize what a big deal it was. And then I had more time to think about it and continually become stunned, honored, and humbled over and over and over and over again.

This is the first year that CB has given this award so no one really knows what it will entail but one of the perks is a free registration at the huge Coldwell Banker conference in Chicago in September and and entry into the elite invite only portion of the event. I think there will also be a recognition breakfast at the conference.

My firm made a nice announcement here: which made it sink in even more.

I want to say thank you to everybody! This is an incredible honor to be chosen and I have so many people to thank. Derrick for believing in me enough to support me quitting my job 3 years ago and devote full time to RE. My family (immediate and in-law) for the encouragement and support along the way. My Mom for blazing the RE path and always being there for advice or to hear me out and really be able to empathize. My amazing friends and the entire triangle frisbee community who have rallied behind me and gotten my business to where it is today, and my awesome clients who  I have genuinely enjoyed working with and learned so much from. I also can't forget the office management staff, mentors, and colleagues that have helped me along the way!

This is a true honor!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Last Days in London

Can you believe I'm finally wrapping up our vacation? It only took forever! Before we begin our next journey I needed to make sure I shared this gem.

Ok, moving on. After the tournament ended Derrick and stayed in England for a few more days to sight see and make the most of our time across the pond. I had been to London before but Derrick had not so we wanted to make sure he got to see the city while we were so close. It was still super fun for me too because Derrick is an all star trip planner and planned all of these fun activities that I had never done before!

This was our first view after we got off the train.

Our hotel was steps from the tower of London so right when we got there we dropped our bags off and headed over to explore the Tower of London and Tower Bridge.

Pro Tip: Get to the Tower of London right at opening time and immediately get in line for the crown jewels. This happy accident saved Derrick and I about an hour of line standing!

I felt like we spend a lot of time at Tower Bridge. We walked over it a few times and drove over it twice.

These were new since the last time I'd been there. The Tower used to have a ton of live animals that had been gifted throughout the years so they had these cool wire sculptures throughout the grounds.

We grabbed lunch from a street vendor under the bridge and then walked across it. Sausages and mash!!!

One of the fun things Derrick found for us to do was an escape room. They are very popular in London and steadily coming to the states. After a frustrating time finding the location we finally got started and escaped the room with 5 minutes to spare!

We stayed one night near the Tower of London and then we spent the next night next to Russel Square at hotel Russel. It was a great hotel with fantastic service! I would definitely recommend it.

The Hotel Russel was only a couple blocks from the British Museum so that's where we started the day on day two. It's huge and amazing! We did a self guided highlights tour and it still took us a good 2-3 hours.

These two were my favorite things we saw in the museum. They are so cute and I would love to have them in our house!

I took this picture for my Mom...first version of a violin.

To end day two we took the metro around to some of the big sights including Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham palace and the Natural History Museum.

As we were walking to the palace we stopped and listened to a national band practicing outside.

That night Derrick scheduled us for a Jack the Ripper tour. The tour took us walking around to sights and scenes of all the Jack the Ripper murders and important places in the victim's lives. The tour was not quite what we expected it to be....we pictured a little more dramatic flair, but it was interesting. I'm not sure if I buy the royal conspiracy theory though.

Finally, on our last day there Derrick found us a text message scavenger hunt around the city. It was super cool and a fun way to see a new part of the city that we hadn't seen before! Again, we had a frustrating start to the hunt because of cell phone issues but once we got it sorted out it was one of the highlights of the trip!

Solved the first clue!

And 14 clues an 2 baguettes later we finished!

We took a double decker bus back to our hotel before catching a ride to the airport.

Told you....that bridge was everywhere!

Loved this view of the sunset and the clouds!

Overall this was a trip of a lifetime! It was an amazing time to spend with family. Jack's team won the gold, and Derrick and I got our first European trip together under our belt! Can't wait for our next adventure!