Saturday, December 31, 2011

Predictions and Resolutions

As 2011 ends I must say it has been a banner year.  I generally have great years that end in "1".  Liam was born this year, ten years ago Bob proposed, ten years before that I started the process of finding my birthmother (at least conceptually).  I could go on... My business this year was fantastic - thank you all!  It was certainly the year of the referral - I think at least 10 of my deals involved agents sending people to me.  It was also the year of driving, with many thanks to Bob, while negotiating deals.  Thank you iPhone, too - I could not have done it without it!

We fell far short of my predicted 90 single family homes closed in 2011, probably at 70.  I know I have a couple closings coming up early in the year so as always I will think positively that next year will be better.  But I must also be more realistic, so I will predict 80 closed homes in the Skaneateles area next year.

I said SU football would be better than they were in 2010.  Not.  No bowl game for them, not even the late odd ones.  But they did provide a wonderful throwback evening with their win over then-ranked West Virginia in the Dome.  It was like going back in time...but then like all dreams, we had to wake up.  Next year a bowl game, for sure! 

I saw SU basketball going to the Final Four, but that was in my own head admittedly wishful thinking.  This year they will go and they will win it all.  Dion Waiters will be named the MVP of the tournament, even though he will still come off the bench. 

Last year a small notation about not rushing appeared in my blog, a resolution in passing.  I took it to heart though and concentrated on it.  I allowed extra time and really limited that awful rushed feeling by being early.  Alex's introduction to "Words with Friends" this past fall has been a great help.  When I am early, I usually have plays to make thanks to him, Summer, Trish, and someone named Mr. Teach with whom I started playing and who thought I was someone else.  Great way to pass the time - although please, not on an airplane!

This year is the year of organization.  My desk has always been a mess - I tell Jolanta not to attempt to clean it, and she (probably most gratefully) doesn't.  Not at the office - Patti Callahan, when she was the manager of Longley-Jones years ago, put it in my head that desks should be cleared when not in use to give a good impression of the office.  So mine is - there - but at home...So Bob, who shared the drawers of his desk (my parents' old one) bought me a desk for Christmas.  It's lovely! And it has HUGE drawers just ready to be filled with everything that is spread out around the house.  I can see myself writing more because I can enjoy it.

I always talk about de-cluttering, but I will do it this year.  Slowly things will leave - because it is a wonderful thing to give things away.  I see some that will stay, at least a while longer that I can't yet bear to send away - my mother's mug with a photo of her cat Hermione (the Himalayan before Hermes) on it, all things Christmas, favorite books (T.S. Eliot, the J.M. Barrie first editions), that little black dress that I WILL get into again).  But I can let more go.  Bob started the thought process by saying he would give me $1,000 instead of doing more garage sales to try to reach this number.  The Thrifty Shopper over in Auburn will see me weekly - I resolve!

I resolve to do the same amount of business that I did this year but net more money in the end with less stress.  The banks are awful, as I have said, so expectations must be lowered.  Sixty days to closing is a thing of the past.  We all try so hard, and whether it's the bank or the attorneys or other deals very rarely do we hit 60 days any more.  I resolve to find a way to make each and every closing less hectic.

I want to work smarter and by doing so spend more time with friends.  I met a friend for coffee at Creekside before Christmas, and we had six harrowing months to catch up on with each other.  My friends are important, and I want to enjoy them.  Remember "When I Say No I Feel Guilty"?  I do!  But by saying no to some things, I will be saying yes to others.

I did spend more time at the lake (another resolution) and I plan to be there even more this year, thanks to my iPhone.  As technology improves it allows for greater freedom.  But since I love this area so much it makes very little sense for me to travel far and wide.  A new car is coming - wait and see! - and driving that will be my vacation.

As this year ends and another begins, I am so thankful for everyone in my life and I look forward to a spectacular 2012.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Skaneateles Real Estate - Christmas Edition

What a great last two weeks it's been!  Alex, Rachel and Liam came to visit for Christmas.  Before that there were the cookies to make - I am guessing I did somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 dozen.  I had a marvelous time shopping at the mall and in the village, and with the weather cooperating I think it was easy.  Not the same spirit, when snowflakes fall and lights reflect off the snow, but a good time buying gifts that it turned out they actually liked! 

And not much was happening in real estate in Skaneateles.  There are only 110 active listings of which 31 are in the village and 24 are waterfront.  Only two new listings came on in the past two weeks - one is a re-list and the other is a builder's "to-be-built" in Parkside off West Elizabeth Street.  Of the six homes marked contingent, only one is new, a waterfront priced under $350,000.  There are no new additions to the "under contract, do not show" or pending categories.

The real news is the end of year closings.  We have had four - wow! - since December 15th.  Three are in the village, and all took reductions of varying amounts;  two came down in price by 20% and the other two by 10% from their original list prices.  But all closed within eight months of listing, which incudes the 60 to 75 days it generally takes after the offer is made.  We now have 68 sold and closed homes in the Skaneateles area of the multiple listing service for the year.  I am sure there must be one or two others that will show up in the next week or so.  Next year I will provide an analysis and the final closings.

So enjoy the New Year and the celebrations!  Drive carefully, sing loudly, and revel in our lack of snow but look forward to a very snowy January which will find you safe and warm.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Total CHRISTMAS Recap!!

Merry Christmas!!
This past week has been CrAzY for me! Work was nuts, trying to get ready for Christmas, get my house cleaned, presents wrapped, etc I know you know the feelin'... so I had to take a little break from my blog :( I had zero time.
Christmas was awesome! So great! Let's do a recap... lots of pics and it's kind of long so brace yourself or just skim through real quick if you're bored ha!
Friday night we went to church for Christmas was awesome.  
Christmas Eve we went to my mom's house for dinner and presents with my mom, dad, & brother...
It was a haul loading all these presents from our house let me tell you!!

(How cute did all my paper match? :) I love wrapping presents!)

My brother and his dog, aka my nephew, Whiskey ha.

Me, Mom & Chris

Dinner was wonderful and then it was present time...

So fun! Everyone likes to make fun of me, but my tradition is, everyone takes a seat and then I pass out all the presents and then we go one by one and open haha but this way everyone can see what everyone gets! Works much better this way ;)
(Which by the way I hit the jackpot, a KitchenAid Mixer which was a total surprice, a LuLu Christmas extravaganza with lots of new work out clothes, a keyboard for my iPad, & more! So thanksful!

I had to give Chris one of his big presents at my mom's house because they got him some "accessories" and I knew it would give it away... so he got to open a goodie :)

Ta-Da! An iPad 2 :) Merry Christmas! lol
He loved it, duh.

Great night! Love my fam!

Christmas day the kids came over and turned our house into a hurricane zone ;)
But hey, that's what Christmas is for!

Santa had things lookin good :)

This is why Christmas is so fun! Look at these faces... that is sheer excitement LOL

They had a blast!

For literally about the last 6 months I have been working on a special surprise for Ella & Ava. Ella mentioned to me a couple different times that she doesn't have a scrapbook, and she really wanted one... so I decided to start saving stuff and pull some together! I got pics from Chris and his mom when they were babies, saved stuff from their school things, got a million pictures (which is nothing out of the norm) and worked really hard on them! I saved them until everything was opened and they were calmed down... then gave them to them and they LOVED them! I was so happy :)

 Ella couldn't believe it! She literally was so surprised!

 They looked over each page and took their time and laughed and couldn't believe and remember some of the things in there... I can't wait to add to them as they do more fun things!

** If you are thinking of scrapbooking, words from the wise, its is maja time consuming, and if you have OCD like me it is even more time consuiming, and it is a tad on the expensive side... you have no clue how paper and pictures and stickers can add up, let me tell you! But the reactions are worth it all! **

Chris and I exchanged a few more presents too...
So thoughtful he is :) ...

New UGGS! Love them, so comfy and cute! Thank you babe ;)

More LuLu workout clothes... I have no excuse now to not be working out more ha, (Dangit!)

I was a sneaky little elf and made a big production about the only jacket he asked for in his size was gone, and was there anything else he might like, etc etc and he TOTALLY fell for it and then opened it and was super surprised!!! :) Love Christmas tricks!

Chris really stepped it up with my stocking this year bless his heart... he did SUCH a good job!

An Apple TV box! I was so excited! I still can't figure out how to get it to work with my phone though :( So will be making a trip to the Apple store tomorrow I think! And the e-tip gloves that work with iPhones.. they are my new favorite thing! The North Face brand works so good! I love not having to take my gloves off! And word searches and Paula Dean mags, great. A nail gift card... will come in handy since I am there every Friday! ;)

Speaking of stockings... Frankie was so excited he just couldn't stand it...

So Spoiled! Love him!

My cousins came over Christmas night and we ate and opened more presents and celebrated Jesus's birthday with a cake :)

I wanted the kids to all know the real reason we were celebrating... so we baked a cake and sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and had a little mini celebreation :) They loved it and I hope they all remember it. I am officially making that a tradition from this year forward :) Don't know why I didn't think of it before this year!!??

Remember the Fleece Tie Blankets I was working on??
They were very much enjoyed... :)

This was at midnight on Christmas night... still going crazy and playing with toys!

Then yesterday we continued this Christmas extravaganza and went to Chris's parents house... more yummy food and presents galore!

We had such a wonderful Christmas this year!
So blessed with all of our family, friends, and the good things we were able to share and receive.

I still have to do Christmas with sweet Godson, Connor, this week too! ;)

I hope everyone had a great time with your families, and got to experience the joy and peace only HIS love can offer! <3

Back to work for me tomorrow... lots to get done this week for a busy Friday!!

I will leave you with this... Just Dance 3 for Wii has been the 100% cause for my abs being sore from laughing so hard this week! It is seriously hard stuff!
**Please note Jake in this video... HYSTERICAL... poor thing, we need to teach him some moves! Lol**
(Don't forget to pause my playlist at the bottom before you watch!)

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

My Christmas Wishlist

Well with a week left until Christmas... I have finally pulled together my wishlist :)
If for no other reason than just to lust over all these fun/cute things... but also maybe so Chris can finally have ideas without telling me I haven't told him anything LOL
I have been going back to Barre Amped this week and am ready to get back in the swing of things... too much stress and being fat is one less thing to stress about ha! So I am getting my butt back in shape! BUT, I do need some new Lulu to help with that of course ;)

LOVING these Wunder Under Pants that Gather! So cute!

The tanks are my favorite, this one is so cute! I like that it's not super tight! And also this long sleeve shirt would be nice for the winter too!

I think I've wanted these for about two years now lol for some reason have never gotten them, but I looked at them again recently and realized I need them! They are so cozy and comfy!

Ok now don't judge.
But I want both of these books...

I was completely mildy obsessed with the Casey Anothony case. It still sickens me that she walked free. I know I probably shouldn't read it, but I just can't help it. I still want to. And of course I am reading Kris Jenner's book... who isn't obsessed with the Kardashians? That's a no brainer!

I am loving the Apple TV, I am dying to see if it's as cool as it seems! You can link your iPhone, iPad, etc to the Apple TV which will then stream through to your big TV! Really wanting to test this out!

Speaking of iPhone... I am loving this little printer for your phone! Print out your pictures right after you take them! Ahhhhh NEED THIS!! Want this so bad!!

Still haven't seen this movie! I know, I've been under a rock! Want this DVD so I can be a part of the rest of the world haha

LOVE Miranda! This new CD is awesome from what I have previewed! Chris thinks I am last person left in the world who buys CD's still. But I like to listen to them in the car without using my phone! Plus I kind of still like having CD's ... kind of like people who still like to physically write in a planner every day instead of only using their phone calendar ha!

And then of course just for fun...

I am loving this! It would look so cute in my office :)
Does anyone know if they really work??

I think that's all I can think of!
I truly really do love giving more than receiving... I like to watch other people open their presents and enjoy getting things... I like shopping for other people and really trying to think of things they would love or want! I get more out of giving to someone than I do opening something for me!

I am bad about just buying something that I like when I see it, and I honestly really don't NEED one single thing this Christmas... being with family and friends cooking and celebrating is enough for me! These other things are fun though ;) I must admit!

PS. Ladies, you know Lulu will make me work out harder.. I've tried explaining this to Chris... I don't think he understands ha,  a little help would be lovely! Thanks. LOL 

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Skaneateles Real Estate - The Weekly Update

This is the cookie edition.  I started last week for our annual family Christmas, having pulled together my Christmas cards and gotten them out.  I needed to bake, which is my way of relaxing.  Not the eating - just the baking.  The first ones - other than a quick rolled cookie cutter cookie - was a new recipe I wanted to try out.  I had found it in the Post Standard ( on their annual page of contributions of favorite recipes.  It is peppermint - Rachel loves peppermint - and it was great.  They baked up beautifully and, I am told, they taste great.  I will make more and the next time add a chocolate kiss in the middle.  Yum!

There are currently 114 active listings in the Skaneateles area of the multiple listing service, of which 32 are in the village and 26 are considered waterfront.  Three new listings came on - well, two are re-lists but one is a very pretty Village home priced in the mid-$300,000.

There are still six homes marked contingent, and eight marked pending.  In the "under contract, do not show" there is a new waterfront property - excellent!  Maybe a Christmas present?  I have known that to happen.....

We now have 64 sold and closed properties for the year.  Two new ones were just added - both in the Village.  Each started much higher and then came down and finally were sold.  They demonstrate that there are great deals out there, just waiting for your offer.

Enjoy the next week - go see some houses - buy the presents, bake the cookies, enjoy the lack of snow (over 50 inches last year by this time!) and celebrate the holidays in style!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Some Videos for your Tuesday


I recently saw both of these videos and loved them both soooo much that I wanted to share!
The first one they actually showed part of at church several weeks ago and then I saw it again and showed Chris, we cracked up! ... it's great... take a look...
(Don't forget to pause the playlist at the bottom!)

hahahahah that is great. love it.
Second, I have seen some awesome videos of proposals... but Emily (assistant/bff) sent me this one and it is so cute! I cried, laughed, and then watched it again lol it's great.

Ok how creative was he?? Oh my! That took a lot of planning... Love it!

Tonight I am making the crockpot ribs again... we loved them last time... the recipe was so easy!

Ingredients are:
1.5 tbsp sweet paprika (3tbsp)
1 tbsp light brown sugar, lightly packed (2 tbsp)
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (1/4 tsp)
S&P to taste (about 1 tsp each is what I used)
2 lbs pork (baby) back ribs (6 lbs) - leave the membrane on the ribs to help hold them together
1 cup barbecue sauce (3 cups)
Vegetable oil spray.
Click HERE for the full recipe!
I also am doing a little Pinterest surprise for Chris for 12 days of Christmas! :)
I will have to tell after I have already done today's in case he stumbles upon this little bloggy before I get to do it!
Happy Tuesday!

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