Tag: homes

Pies, Books, Hair and Chili Lesson

Phew!  What a day! I’m exhausted but it has been tons of fun.   Here it is in pictures.

First of all I had book club in the morning and made these pies
First of all I had book club in the morning and made these pies

me and pie

Blackberry Crumb Pie

Ingredients

1 Pie Crust, refrigerated or from scratch

For the Filling:

3 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
¼ – ½ cup sugar
¾ teaspoons cinnamon

For the Crumble Topping

2/3 cup sugar
1 ½ cups flour
12 tablespoons butter

Instructions

For the Filling:

Toss the berries with the sugar and the cinnamon.

For the Crumble Topping:

Whisk together the flour and the sugar.
Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or fork until mixture is crumbly.

Assemble:

Press the pie crust into a pie dish.
Pour in the berry filling.
Cover with the crumble topping.
Bake at 400° for 1 hour (The recipe only called for 35 minutes but it just wasn’t done)

Book club was neat. I figured out it was our 30th book! Not too shabby.  We read Rebecca by Daphne DuMarier and we all enjoyed it immensely.  While we were talking about the book I had my light fixture and art installed in my room.  I kind of love it!

new light fixture
Isn’t it pretty? I just love it.

Then I met my trainer for a quick session and went to 2 Wallgreens to get an awesome collage poster done for my lesson.  I’m teaching about friendship and so I made a poster of my friends.  Then I came home and had another mini bookclub session with my friend Melissa who couldn’t come earlier but wanted to talk about the book. So fun!

Next, I had to work on my lesson for a bit and do the program for tomorrow’s relief society.  Then it was time to get my hair cut and colored by my friend Rachel.  It’s very similar to what I always get but I like it.

New hair.  Or the same hair again.
New hair. Or the same hair again. What do you think?

Then Taylor and Becca came over and we did another of our cooking lessons.  This time I taught them how to make chili and cornbread.  Everything turned out great especially the chili and it was so much fun to teach them and gab together.  They are such fun friends.

I think they had fun? :)
I think they had fun? 🙂
chili
I’d say it was one of the best chili’s I’ve made. Yum

Chili

1 yellow onion diced

3 red, orange, yellow peppers diced

2 jalapenos seeded, pulp removed, finely diced (less if you don’t want it to be spicy)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 lb ground beef

3 cans diced tomatoes

1 small can of tomato paste

2 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp smashed garlic

1/2 tsp cumin

1 tbsp paprika

1/2 tsp nutmeg

2 tbsp honey

4 cups chicken broth

2 cans black beans (or any kind of beans)

Heat olive oil add diced onion, garlic, peppers.  Sweat vegetables until clear.  Add ground beef until heated through.  Add spices. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken broth, black beans, add honey to taste. Come to a boil and then simmer and it will get thicker. Top with cilantro, green onion, greek yogurt etc. Serve with cornbread.

Taylor learning to cook
Taylor learning to cook
Me and Tayor
Me and Tayor
Becca stirring some chili
Becca stirring some chili

So is that not a super full day? Tomorrow I have to teach my lesson and pick my Dad up from the airport and then its back to work.  Busy, busy, busy but happy.  Life is good. Wish me luck on my lesson.  A little nervous about it because its a little unorthodox but in a good way.  Right now I’m too tired to give it much thought.  What fun day!

More Delays

Some of you that don’t follow me on facebook may be curious to know where my house is at.  Unfortunately I don’t have great news.  The house is done and gorgeous but I can’t go through closing until the FHA on the complex gets approved.  I’m not going to hear anything until Tuesday because of the Monday holiday.  We have no idea if we will even hear anything then. I think I am going to go crazy!

To make matters worse we could go through all of this and get denied for the myriad of reasons FHA has. I’m trying to not think about that because it is highly unlikely but still possible and with so much time to stew on things the mind reels. Yesterday I caused myself to have a mini-panic attack trying to decide between keeping with the FHA loan or abandoning it and going conventional.  In the end, I decided to stick with what I have and not second guess myself.

So now it is just waiting. The house is done.  It’s sitting there and I’m waiting.

In the meantime I’m trying to curtail my anxiety and fears as best I can.  Mostly I’m trying to distract myself from the boxes and the continually rescheduled moves and the looming loan and closure and some moments I do better than others.  A lot of the day my brain feels like it is going to explode.  Like I’m in a big vice and it gets tighter and tighter.  I’m left wondering what I can do and the answer is nothing and that makes things tighter and tighter.

So all there is to do is wait and sigh and try to distract myself.  I wish I could explain it better but the attempt feels totally futile.   I’m not stressed out, I’m not even anxious.  You know that feeling when you are just about to throw up, like your insides are going to pop outside of you?  That’s how I feel all the time. I wish I could help it.  I wish I could make it go away.  I wish I could grow up and deal with things better.  Sorry I’m really trying.

I am trying to make things nice for my tenants by ordering a POD to be delivered at the house on Monday so they can do part of the move on Monday if they wish.  It’s the least I can do with all they have put up with.

And all I can do is wait…

Countertops!

So they finally came!  The countertops were installed yesterday.  So excited!  I think the townhouse looks great.  The tenants are looking at the basement apartment today and I think they will love it.  It’s a small apartment but very classy.  I think they will love it and they’ve been so great to work with that I’m looking forward to the next year!

I can’t wait to move and get in my house.  One step closer with the countertops!  Wahoo!  Tomorrow I am going to my new ward so that should be exciting.  It’s been a hard process since I started in August and I am so ready for it all to be over and done.

Now it is just the final steps, appliance installs, fixtures, carpet etc.  Then there will the loans and FHA to finish.  Can’t wait!

kitchen counters
kitchen countertops in all their glory
me and counters
Finally here!
basement counters
Basement countertops!
bathroom counters
Master bathroom countertop

Successful Renting!

Hurray! Yeah!  Super great! I have a simple post today.  One that doesn’t take too many words.  It is merely an exclamation of gratitude for a little success come my way.

I know I am a successful woman just for being me and living a good life but sometimes it feels good to have real concrete business success.  Today I had some!  As I mentioned in earlier posts I have been working hard lately on a variety of projects including managing 4 vacation rentals, finding long-term rentals for 2 of the homes, receiving training for sales tax work with Grabber, scheduling Grabber events, finding tenants for client with 25 properties, and trying to keep the maintenance and yard work up on the four properties.  Now I have not been alone in these various projects, but in the end the responsibility has been mine.  I have been working every day- even Saturday and Sunday.

It is because I have been working hard that today feels especially great.  It looks like I have found a long-term tenant for two of the homes! The second one has been tentatively reserved, and My dad will be making the contract and finalizing the deal in the next few days.  In addition, we had lowered the price from $2100 to $1950 but seeing the competition this tenant offered the rate of $2100! In this economy to be getting more for anything in real estate is pretty amazing!  This rate does not include utilities which are worked out with my dad.

Both families who are signing long-term contracts with us are fantastic.  They have kids, have good references and experience renting.  I think they will love the neighborhood and be happy in their new homes.  It’s funny because with 7 of my family members living up there (my uncle Jon and Aunt Carol, my uncle Tom and Aunt Jodi, my cousin Anne and her husband, and my Uncle Jim) they will probably hear more about me than I them.  I will certainly be aware quickly if any problem behaviors develop with the tenants.  (I have heard every landlord horror story over the last few weeks).

There is always the potential for problems, but I don’t anticipate any.  I am confident in the character and values of our tenants, and I think  I am doing a good thing finding them a house.  I wish I had houses for everyone who needed them.  I have given tours to at least 1o people in recent weeks and they all seemed very interested. In fact, I had 2 scheduled for tomorrow if things hadn’t come through. Someday I will hopefully be in a position as a property manager to find houses for all of them!

I don’t think there are many people who find 2 tenants for large properties before they even get their real estate license! I plan on taking my real estate classes starting in September, and  I will be able to start my new career as a property manager boasting success others can not match.  Plus, I will have the other work to stabilize my economics as I get things going.

The future looks bright and exciting! I know I will have to keep working hard, but a little success feels good.  With the crazy summer I have had- I need a little success.  The funny thing is I am not making any additional money with this sale, but I don’t really care.   It just makes me happy because I know what the success will do for me later on. The potential is great and thrilling!

In the meantime, I intend to work hard and put my faith in God.  I know any success is truly His and not mine. Hopefully days of success like this will keep coming! For now, I intend to let the little I have soak in.

success_key

Success and Sweat Glands

Zig Zagler the motivational speaker said “success is dependent upon the glands – sweat glands.” I have experienced this type of success this week. As many of you know I have been working hard with my dad to get our vacation rentals ready for the first renters. It was a lot of work and I mean the physically grueling work of lifting, moving, cleaning and organizing (and even shopping can get exhausting).

I wish I could adequately paint a picture of all we have accomplished. Let me just say that on May 31st the current renters came for a tour of the properties. At that time one was mostly finished but the other needed a lot of work. For starters, the basement hadn’t even had sheet rock installed. After their tour I could tell the renters were skeptical that we could get it done on time (and to be honest I was a bit skeptical myself). Since that day we have put in many 10-14 hour days and with the help of a great team we managed to pull it off in a spectacular way. You really wouldn’t believe the transformation if you saw it. Our work included not only the construction but the furnishing, design and organization of the entire house. We had to purchase and clean everything from furniture to plates/pots and pans/TV’s etc. I even learned a lot about home decoration adding plants, flowers and photography to each room. Everything is luxurious and beautiful. The renters couldn’t believe all we had done. It is like a different house. Here are some pictures.

In addition to all the physical work of late there has also been the mental work of marketing the properties and handling new reservations (we are booked for most of July and already getting August!). We had to create a contract, get the contracts out, organize a reservation system, run deposits, set up VRBO.com accounts and more.

With all of this craziness it’s been hard to squeeze in any social time. I hope that in the next few weeks I can do better at that. I miss my friends! I think whenever you start something new (a new job, new move etc) you have to figure out what mixture of work/friends/church etc works for your life and schedule. It takes time.

Anyway, I feel this is a fractured post but I wanted to share with you’all the sense of accomplishment I feel at having gotten renters in the properties. It was a lot of work and sweat but like Zig says that’s what makes success. It certainly feels good to be proud of my work and and to do something I really enjoy (even when it is hard I still like it). I guess Heavenly Father knew what he was doing when he had me quit my job and job hunt for months with no success. He was leading me to these experiences and this growth. I am so grateful for that. Grateful, proud and happy! Here is a picture of how I feel- a self portrait you might say (except I don’t have such large earrings!).