springtime gardening yellow flower

It’s Spring, so how on earth can I write about anything other than gardening? This is one of my favorite times of year, invoking a sense of new beginnings, as the clouds of winter pass on by, and the summer sun gifts us with light, long into the evenings. Margaret Atwood famously said, “In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” I wholeheartedly agree, as it’s felt long overdue to get my hands back in my gardening beds. There’s nothing like turning the soil, getting creative with what to plant, and turning my country music up loud as I get to work. Gardening is a lot of work, but there is a simplicity to it that brings me to so much joy.

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stay motivated on track terry prep food

As January approaches, many of us set goals, get motivated, and dream big for our new year. Then, as we continue into February, getting up for the gym feels harder and the busyness of life makes our goals feel out of reach. Can you relate? This “slump” – the state of being defeated, discouraged, and without the motivation to do anything about it, well…it’s a dangerous place to be. Unfortunately, we’ve all been there far too many times.

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Planting Seeds (In Life & Real Estate)

planting seeds chard

Gardening, I’ve learned, is a year-long endeavor. There is no summer break, winter holiday, or vacation from it. If I want my garden to remain good ground for all manner of vegetation and floral landscape, I have to work – all – year – long. I make it sound tireless, but honestly, there are few things I love more. Nothing compares to the therapeutic turning of soil, the joy of a long awaited bud, and the satisfaction of cooking a vegetable that was once just a seed. Gardening helps me clear my head, the mechanics of getting your hands dirty does that. The art of it has taught me patience, how to bounce back from a failed crop, and that nothing says, “Welcome to the neighborhood!” like fresh cut flowers & a basket of tomatoes.

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2 Must-Try Lemon DIY’s for January

lemon diy picking

Happy New Year! I can hardly believe the holiday season has come and gone, and yet here we are, beginning the second week of 2018 already! I sincerely hope you all enjoyed some time off with your loved ones, enjoying the festivities, and reflecting on 2017. Last year certainly had its ups and downs (more ups than downs, I am glad to say!), as do most, but I’m feeling extra grateful for family, the countless blessings we have been given, and the opportunity for a fresh start. I love January. I love a clean slate, and how it invites us to begin anew, and take on those goals and hopes we have with a restored sense of motivation.

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Merry Christmas: 2 Easy DIY Gift Ideas

easy diy gift light jars

It is no secret the Christmas season can be an expensive one. Every year, more people seem to be added to your shopping list, and the malls get crazier by the day. If we’re not careful to keep our priorities straight, the hustle and bustle of the season could consume us, and Christmas could disappear as soon as it arrived. This really is one of my favorite times of year, and I just don’t want to miss it! With two sons in the military and kids grown up and in college, Christmas brings them all home, and lots of joy and laughter with them. Being together is what this season is all about, to remember, celebrate, and hang on to the hope we have, no matter our circumstance.

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A Christmas Advent Calendar DIY

advent calendar materials

As a broker and creative, I find joy in bringing new life to something old and turning an ordinary item into a treasure. There isn’t always as much time as I’d like to try my hand at new DIY projects, but as the Real Estate peak season slows, and the holidays near, I do my best to make the time. Crafting or otherwise, we have to make an intentional effort to do the things we love. For me, using the artsy side of my brain not only results in a pretty project, but it truly is self-care. This Christmas, I decided to have a go at making my own Christmas Advent Calendar! The holiday season brings out the inner-child in all of us, so I gave my advent calendar a younger feel, but mixed it with some beautiful vintage finds.

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perfect recipe stirring soup

Something I’ve come to learn over the years, is that a simple, delicious meal is the ultimate gathering tool. As you sit around the table, no frills, no fuss, the warm food is served, the seats become full, and the bellies of those you love are satisfied. Deeper than that, a simple meal around a table can bring connection to a busy family who have been ships passing in the night, can be the avenue through which you show love and care, and can even be a personally soothing task for the chef…as the spoon stirs, the stress of the work day melts away. The kitchen and the table are two of my favorite places to be, and it’s been in those places, where I’ve recycled tried and true recipes that keep my family asking for seconds!

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party planning toppings

Last weekend was a very special one for my family, as we threw my eldest daughter a baby shower! Adrianna and her husband Matt moved to the Bay Area almost a year ago, and Adrianna is a team member here at VAROS. Come early February, they will be bringing their beautiful baby girl into the world! This will make Adrian and I grandparents for the first time, and we are beyond thrilled. We’ve always enjoyed our big family gatherings, and now we are entering into that sweet season of life when our tribe is growing all the more.

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antiques legacy pretties terry store

My daughter Adrianna and I have a word we use to describe things we find lovely and worth having. It isn’t technically a real word, but one we use nonetheless. The word? “Pretties”. Don’t ask me where or how it started, all I know is “pretties” is part of our language, and all the people in our lives know it. Stuff is just stuff, but I’m of the opinion we are allowed to like stuff, and we should only surround ourselves with the kind of stuff (and people!) that add joy and value to our everyday lives. “Pretties” are the little joys in life that come in many forms. Maybe for you, it’s a pair of new gold hoops, or a set of detailed napkin rings. For my friend’s mother in law, it’s salt and pepper shakers! She collects them wherever she goes, to commemorate her travels, and because they make her happy.

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decorate for fall hello banner

October has nearly come and gone, and though the Bay Area weather has not yet brought the crisp, Fall air we were all hoping for…my fingers are crossed for November. There is something about Fall that makes me want to be home more. As these later months arrive, I feel the itch to move furniture around, spruce up little corners, add a few new pieces, and settle into a corner chair with a large cup of coffee. I’ve learned to listen to this longing in doses, because my business is busy as ever. I don’t always have a full weekend or even an afternoon to enjoy my home as I’d like, but little moments of caring for it and savoring it, certainly add up.

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