Introduction

Hello!!

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Photo: Summer vacation Folly Beach (I’m a Summer girl!)

If you are new here, I’m so happy you stopped by my little space here!  I’d love to connect with you, so please leave a comment!  If you’ve been following for awhile, welcome back.  I’d love to hear from you too!!  I started a blog back in 2011–(feel free to stalk me here, I totally don’t mind; I’d do it too!)

I am a 37 year old woman married to the love of my life.  We have been together 10.5 years, married for 8 and have two kiddos (a 5 year old girl and a 3 year old boy). We also have two crazy dogs!  I stay home and my husband works crazy hours.  We have a very 1950’s style marriage and I couldn’t be happier.  (I’m happiest in the home!)

It wasn’t always this way…back in 2011, I decided that teaching English 7-12 for 8 years was good enough, and I’d give it a go staying home as a housewife.  Boy did that get a lot of looks and comments!

My husband Joe and I decided that he worked enough hours and if anything, it’d make more sense to stay home because my district looked as though there’d be cuts in a year or so anyway.  I had driven about a 45 minute-one hour commute to and then another 45 -1 hour home each day.  It was about 2 hours of my life daily and as much as I loved the students and the school, it was a lot.

How did I spend my time? Well, I certainly enjoyed it! It was a nice buffer for what was to come, I’ll tell ya that much!  I perfected my cooking skills; think Food Network star worthy dinners 4-5x  a week. Yeah, that kind of backfired once I had kids, haha!  Hubby was like, um….and I was like, ya here’s another pasta dish!  I feel like now that we’re into a groove, my oldest is in Kindergarten and I have one in preschool 2 days a week, for 2 hours each, I have my head on a little more straight.

That said, we also decided to change up our side hustle a bit.  We had accumulated some rental properties, but decided to get into the Rent to Own business.  It’s awesome!! It’s also a lot of work; don’t be fooled.

We have a total of 9 properties and some amazing tenant buyers we are able to help out.  They are able to rent out one of our homes until they’re capable of getting a mortgage.  All they really need is a down payment & to afford the monthly rent–it’s so awesome to help people like this!

I still try to cook breakfast, lunch and dinner daily for my family.  It’s not easy, as my husband has Crohn’s, the kids are, well, kids and don’t eat Kale & spinach readily, imagine that!! My diet works best if it’s lean proteins, lots of veggies, some fruit & complex carbs.  I enjoy food, do NOT get me wrong!  I love burgers, tacos, steaks, grits, fries–and a good old mac and cheese!  However, I’ve learned how my body best responds to food and I definitely plan on sharing that in some blogs. Stay tuned!

I am a Stella & Dot Stylist as a very part-time hustle.  I just love the accessories and helping other women feel a little more confident and cute! It’s nice to connect and talk fashion with fabulous ladies.

I absolutely love to dance; it’s probably my favorite thing ever.  I just love moving and grooving to the music. Luckily my hubby and kids love it too. In fact, that’s one of the biggest things I look forward to with the cooler months ahead: Dance parties!

I am not perfect, nor do I try to be.  I make a ton of mistakes, learn as I go and try to enjoy every moment of this crazy ride called life.  Blogging is a way for me to keep my memories alive, share in hopes of helping another, and cherish what I’ve been given.

You may find me all dolled up in red bottoms, rocking an LV, or I may be in days old hair, sweatshirt & walking our land in the country.  We are really hoping to build this coming Spring and I am beyond excited.

As for religion, all I can say is that I am spiritual.  I feel like that’s a whole post/topic in and of itself, but I’m on journey that is for sure! There’s so much ‘wrong vs right’ when it comes to “being a Christian” I honestly find it ridiculous and a bit hypocritical at times.  I do love Gangster rap, I tend to swear from time to time & I love short dresses.  According to some, I can’t love Jesus too, and if that’s true, then okay. (Yes, I love me some Rachel Hollis.)

I have put blogging on the back burner for many reasons/excuses, but here I am ready to rock and roll this October.  Here’s to an awesome week!

Don’t be shy, say hi!  I’d love to read and follow some new blogs.

Real Estate Investing: A Mini Rant

I would like to say that as I get older, I have truly started to mature.  I try to not let things get me all fired up as much as they used to.  I try to think before I speak and not let my emotions cloud my voice.

The more we grow our real estate company,  more people have started to come out of the wood work.  Now, I get it.  Rent-To-Own totally has a bad wrap in some cases.  There are bad people who take advantage of others in difficult situations.  I’ve heard horror story, after horror story, of money taken, houses sold out from under tenants etc.

Well, I’m here to say that our business is nothing like that.  If you know me (or my husband) you know our hearts.  You know we would help anyone in need and go above and beyond to take care of others.  Unfortunately, in this field we really have to state our intentions and prove ourselves, over and over and over again.  It’s okay, we totally get it and understand.

Recently we had a “Team Leader” of a local real estate agency write us.  She was concerned that one of her member’s clients were truly excited about our program and that we would be taking advantage of them.  My husband responded to the message and upon reflection, I can’t help but be disgusted by her tone.

“I sell high end properties. I don’t need to be paid for a client finding their dream home at this level.”

Yes, those are her words exactly.  As if anyone below a $500,000 home isn’t worth her time? Money? I’m not sure, but either way that kind of character is appalling.  I completely understand reaching out, checking in to see what kind of business we run etc, but to use words like that?  I’m sorry but I was raised to treat every human, just that: a human.  I don’t care what you do for a living, but when you start acting like you’re better than others, that is where I have a problem.

Interestingly enough, upon a quick Google search, it wasn’t but 5 years prior this same woman was in fact selling homes in the price ranges that we deal with.

So here’s the thing, every person’s dream home is completely different.  We tend to buy nice homes in nice areas, but are they $200,00+ homes? No.  However, we do our best to ensure that our houses have character, charm, even a cozy factor.  A nice backyard, perhaps a garage.  A fenced in yard.  Good schools. Safe environments. We create visions for families to move from the inner city or apartment buildings, to their very own homes.

While it almost could sound too good to be true, we really are here to help people.  Isn’t that what God put us on this earth to do? At the same time, yes, we are a business not a non-for profit but I can assure you that my hands get dirty, and that mine and my husband’s blood, sweat, and tears go into these homes.  The stress, the frustration, the money aspect, it’s a lot to juggle! Not to mention we do it all while he works 50+ hours, battling Crohn’s disease, and I am home raising a 3 year old and 5 year old, taking care of two dogs all with zero help from family, only paid help from sitters.

So no, maybe our homes aren’t worth a million dollars, but we are certainly making dreams come true.  From the bottom of my heart, I know what we are doing is changing lives.  As my mom put it, we are making magic.

I’d love to ask this lady if she can say that she feels the same?

Wordless Wednesday

March Favorites

Here we are in the beginning of April, so I figured I’d share a few my favorite things from last month!!  March is typically one of my least favorite months.  It’s SUPER long. STILL cold and just overall crazy!  This past March didn’t seem to stray too much from that!

#1 Favorite–

I would say the biggest favorite of the month of March was getting our puppy Bailey.  She is also the biggest adjustment and so much work!  She completes our crazy little family in ways I almost had forgotten about.  When we got Holly, we had Sadie.  For the last 3 years Holly has been an only dog, and honestly I haven’t been the best dog mom.  With two kids, 4 and under, life was nuts!  We are nuts for getting another fur ball, but we love her so much.  My husband and I laugh at how we will look back at these times and just shake our heads.  I need to make sure I keep blogging about all of this beautiful, messy, chaotic life of ours.

Accessories–

LOVE these Rose Chandeliers. Obsessed.  I think because it’s still freezing and grey outside, any pop of color helps beat these Winter blues.  I am all about the statement earring trend these days.  Toss on a black shirt, add a fun pair of earrings & bronzer and go!

Booties-

I ordered a pair from Jane.com but they did not fit.  My friend Shelby swore these pretties from Target were comfy and a must have! She was on the money.  I normally am a solid size 9, but she suggested I go down half a size and I did. 8.5 fits perfectly without any socks.  Score a pair here.

Drink:

This was even more amazing than I anticipated. Joe gave me this for my birthday and I was saving it for a celebration. We had a particular house that was, well, tricky to say the least, with our company, 585 Rent to Own.  I said back in the Summer, that when we sold said house, we’d pop this bottle. I’m not sure if it was the taste of sweet success, or just really good champs.  I’ll sip to both!

Hair:

Two things–One, a high pony.  If I’ve curled my hair (or even if not) I am loving throwing it up in a high pony tail.  I think it still looks chic, but effortless!

Dry Shampoo–

This is THE BOMB.  Seriously, I didn’t understand why girls swore by dry shampoo. I had tried a few different kinds and nothing really did much for me.  My friend Stephanie is a mama whose hair is gorgeous.  I had been wanting to try Monat for awhile and I am so glad I did! The scent of this alone is to die for.  I can go 3 days comfortably…I workout and I hate my hair smelling weird or funky, so I can’t go much over 3 days, unless I wear a hat! I will definitely be ordering more of this no doubt.

Quote:

My phone screen for the month.   I try to stay motivated/inspired and this quote stuck with me.  I find that if I change up my phone screen it helps! It’s not always easy to stay positive.  I had a goal this month for my S&D biz and I knew it wouldn’t happen by itself. I have to wake up and make efforts every single day, if I want my dreams to come true.

Podcast:

I love audiobooks, but sometimes I like a quick little something something to listen to.  I’ve been trying out different podcasts and THIS one speaks to my heart.  I could barely get through my workout because I was SO motivated. I wanted to get right down to work on our Rent to Own Real Estate business when I listened to her the other day.

Day:

As I mentioned, March tends to be a tricky month.  Since we were doing a whole lot of work and not a whole lot of playing, I pulled the plug on the last Friday of the month and made us go to the spa.  We got a couples massage and it was SO beneficial.  As much as we are all about the hustle, man you just need to pump the breaks a bit.  If you don’t take the time to step back, relax, rejuvenate and unwind, you’ll burn out and go crazy. During our quiet massages, we BOTH had experiences where we learned something.  Sometimes the best thing to do is sit in silence and let it work its way out. Running multiple businesses, raising kids, getting a new puppy & Joe working full time doesn’t really allow for much “quiet” time other than us passing out from exhaustion! This is something I will make us do more than once a year.

We didn’t even take the whole day ‘off’ but scheduling this time to feed our souls and physical bodies was worth every penny and moment.

Song:

We are getting ready for the disco, so naturally I am listening to that Pandora station!  It’s really hard to be in a bad mood when you’re listening to this.

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Superhero:

My son.  I was having a rough day and may have teared up a bit.  On one hand, I was mad at myself or letting him see me cry, but then the most beautiful thing happened.

“Don’t cry mommy, I am a super hero.  I can save you!”

My heart is still fluttering from hearing that; he’s a lot of work at 3, as most little tykes are.  I know that I’m doing a lot of things right when I hear and feel compassion like that.  Baby boy, your heart it so sincere.  I know you’re a tough little cookie, but your sweet heart is love. You radiate so much compassion. Stay this way always.

 

Tiny Dancer:

She marches to the beat of her own drum, this one.  It’s hard to tell her what to wear, as she has a style all her own.  She loves dance class, but does think ballet is a tad boring.  Tap is her favorite!  I told her to smile for a picture for daddy, this is what she gave me.  I can’t get over how tall she is!

Brookie, you have grown so much (and not just in height!) Since adding a puppy, you’ve shown so much patience and responsibility.  I thank God you’re so understanding and supportive.  I worry you’re a little too like mommy; I want you to have fun, be little and not try to grow up too fast! I love your creative soul and all the joy you bring to our lives.

Book

I have read my 9th out of 52 books for 2018!  This was FANTASTIC!! I love Oprah.  It reminds me of my childhood, as my mother always watched her.  She is full of wisdom and interviews the best people; this book is life changing.  It has introduced me to new authors and I feel myself growing more spiritually and mentally.  I love that feeling.  Oprah reads it, so you’ll be soothed by her voice too!

Humor.

Laughter will get you through so much; lighten up, take risks and enjoy this crazy ride called life! It’s not always easy, in fact most days it’s downright freaking hard, but always worth it.  I just can’t choose that third row; I was born for the front row.

Open House

Sunday we had our first open house experience, and I think it went quite well!  I channeled my best impression of Christina from the “Flip or Flop” TV Show, and pretty much smiled and greeted as many people as I could!

Considering neither of us had any formal ‘schooling’ in this arena, we were pretty happy with the turnout.  Everything we have learned has been self-taught through lots of reading, videos, and learning from past mistakes.

Friday Joe and Bradley hit up the store for some signs and last minute prep.  I just adored this photo–what memories we are making for our little ones!

Sunday was a beautiful day; it snowed lightly Saturday night but it was in the mid-thirties and partly sunny on Sunday.

This home had a lot of work that needed to be done.  I’m thinking I’ll share some before/after photos in another blog post!  The living room/dining room is open and I just love the high ceilings.

The kitchen needed all new cabinets, flooring, backplash and countertops.

We did not choose to stage the entire house, but I decided to grab a few items I’ve used on past houses to just add a little something extra.

We didn’t want too many scents/plug-ins going, but we did have a little cinnamon candle burning in the kitchen.

I love the white railing leading up the staircase.  It kind of reminds me of my old house; yes I owned my own home before I met Joe!! My walls were blue though.

The bathroom was my favorite renovation!  It was a really dingy pepto-pink and needed a total redo.  I’m obsessed with this granite countertop and vanity.  The mirror is extra large which is always a plus, and the oversized vanity gives lots of storage space below.

We had a little table set up with some water, cookies & hershey kisses…along with our applications and other forms.

It was really cool to meet some new people, get our names out there, discuss our program and explain to folks what it is we do.  It’s so unfortunate that there are illegitimate companies or people out there that take advantage of people in already bad situations.  While rent to own may not be for everyone, for certain folks it provides a really neat option to be living in a home to call your own, until you’re able to transfer the mortgage into your name.

Right after our open house we had to meet up with some prospective buyers for another property.  We met at Starbucks and they are beyond excited to be able to fill out the paperwork, provide a down payment and be able to move into their new home before next weekend.

My favorite part of the day?  Realizing how very much I want to work with my husband.  I’m not sure of how many years we have together on this planet, but I do know that I enjoy very much being by his side.  I lack confidence in this ‘newish’ business venture (we’ve been in the real estate game for awhile, but we continue taking it to new levels!) however, Joe has always been 100% supportive and encouraging.  He pushes me out of my comfort zone and really seemed proud of how we were today.  I know that in a few short years both kids will be in school and I don’t want to go off to another job where I’m away and not in charge of my day.  We are creating a life by design and it’s worth every hardworking second.

It’s not always easy, as I’m typing this I am a little tired and kind of wonder where our weekend went; but I truly believe if we work hard and live like no one else now, we will be able to live like no one else later.