Archives for May 2007

Master of my own Domain – Part 3

I can hardly believe it!  I must admit, I thought this whole transfer business would be harder.  I did not expect SEI to be so quick and hassle free in transferring my domain into my name.  I mean, I knew they should – but it really was seamless.

Then the guys over at BlueHost were fantastic. Helpful and nice.  I love that. They made sure I understood what the first couple of steps should be and I was off.

However, I am running into a bit of “be careful what you ask for…” WordPress is easy enough, but I need more than a blog – I need a webpage. So, I am using Adobe Contribute for my desktop editing.  But, this is the first time I have used it for from scratch creation.  Whew! I finally called it a night at about 1:30 this morning. I am not close to finished, but I am excited about the progress. 

So, I had better get back to it!

Here a Meme, There a Meme

Christine has one. Sellsius has one. The Tomato. Teresa too. Even the newest blog I have happened upon today, Captain Obvious, has one! Darn it!  I want one too.

The Meme – Sellsius says it rhymes with “dream” so I’ll go with that. Christine says it’s five things people don’t know about you – okay, maybe I won’t go that far…but I’ll try to keep it interesting.

1. Children are my passion.  All of them.  Put kids in the mix and I am in.  I believe there are irrefutable truths about children that cannot be ignored and thus gives them the right to demand our attention, affection, and highest priority. They did not ask to be here and when they get here they are unable to care for themselves. They are our future – corny I know, but a fact. Whatever situation your life, your community, your society, your world is in – its not their fault, they just got here. They will be responsible for raising our grandchildren. This is my driving motivation as a parent. These little darlings are not just my kids, they are the parents of my grandchildren. They deserve the best shot we can give then

2. Rocky Balboa is my pop icon hero. I have them all, I love them all – even V. Yes, it is my calltone. I find his simple humanity thought provoking and inspiring. It has all things a great story should – unconditional love and loyalty, heart breaking defeat, fist pumping victories, and an unwavering desire to accomplish your dreams.

3. My husband is my BFF. We are the same in all the ways that are important and different in all the ways that are fun. There is no one on the planet I would rather spend time with.  He is my biggest supporter and my strongest debater. He keeps me sharp and he keeps me safe. I trust him with my life and with the lives of our children.

4. I am addicted to cashews and Webkinz. Not real sure how either happened. The cashews taste good, curb cravings, and right my blood sugar. Webkinz are great for downtime, when baseball games are on TV, and when I am basically ready to veg with something stupid. Oh yeah, they’re cute too – the Webkinz, not the cashews.

5. I am really glad my folks are my folks. They raised their kids different from a lot of people. Even different to certain extent from how I raise their grandchildren. But they are real, they are good, and they love me. My mother is my confidant, and my best girl friend. As far as women go, she is the best. My dad is great. Don’t believe me – he fixed my zipper.

Whew – that was fun…I am suppose to tag some other people now…I guess I had better go figure out who!  I think everybody but me already has one!

Master of my own Domain – Part 2

So far, so good.  Wasn’t sure what to expect in the realm of speediness since it is the Tuesday after Memorial Day weekend.  But, believe it or not, I had reply emails in my inbox by 9:30!  The guys over at SEI have always been on the ball.  They have been great to work with and I am glad they were my first interaction with working on a website.Right now I am just waiting on them to approve the domain registration transfer that I requested.  Doug over at Network Solutions was phenomenal in helping me with that.  The domain, while it is mine, is registered under another guy’s name over at SEI.  But, as I understand it, they are taking care of it.

So close…I am itching with anticipation!  The learning curve is sharp…but, man, it’s a great education!

Organization Tips for the Summer Break

This is so cool…I have my very first guest writer!!  How much fun is that?  Well, with out further ado, I present to you, my dear friend and organizational specialist, Susan Tobelman from Top to Bottom Organizing.

Now that school is out and all the little darlings are home for months, be proactive in making sure you avoid the chaos and stress that can land in your lap during the hot weeks of summer.

  • Create a written plan for every day of the week.  Write it down and stick to it.  By that I mean don’t add activities unless absolutely necessary. 
  • Group activities so that you are taking and dropping off multiple children at the same time.  This will alleviate you spending your day in the car, and it saves on gas.
  • Let them make their own lunches.
  • Make your children, if they are old enough, gather the things they need for day camps and place them next to the door the night before. 
  • Create a check list and post it on the door for review each day. 
  • After camp each day, have them check their bags for any notices that may have been sent home.  Don’t just ask them if they have anything for you, they forget!! This leads to crazy mornings trying to get out the door. 
  • If your child forgets something he/she should have prepared the night before, allow them to own that problem.  Say things like, “I’m so sorry you forgot ____ , I hope you remember next time.  This teaches them to be responsible for their own stuff.  I know some of you just couldn’t bear the idea of your child not getting to swim because they forgot their bathing suit. And most of you would bend over backwards to take the suit to them.  But don’t.  The lesson your child learns, will drastically decrease the chances that they will forget again.
  • Schedule time for yourself by scheduling down time for the children.  They don’t have to be entertained every waking hour of the day.  Establish time when they can read quietly, watch a movie, or just have quiet time in their room, while you have some ME TIME for you.  During these scheduled times, make the rules very clear that you are not to be disturbed unless there is fire, blood, or death involved.  This is probably not a good time for siblings to play together unless they get along very well.  You don’t want to be playing referee during ME TIME.

Plan, Schedule, Delegate…….this will lead to a terrific summer with less stress and chaos in your home.

Master of my own Domain – Part 1

For those of you who just stumbled across this blog, I am a real estate agent. In my market, there are quite a few of us – and we’re good.  Some of us are real good. So, when clients are choosing which Realtor they want to work with, they really can find somebody that suits them.  It’s kinda like dating – there is somebody out there for everybody, you just got to get to know them.  The “get to know them” part is where it gets tricky. How do you do that? Well, it is my personal opinion that the internet is the best way. Many people, whether it is gift shopping, information gathering, dating, searching for real estate, or a multitude of other things, accomplish these tasks at midnight, in their pajamas, on the internet – or at 4 in the morning over coffee, in my case.  Therefore, when I got into the business full time, I knew the first marketing dollar to be spent was not on cute calendars, refrigerator magnets, or property flyers – it was on a webpage.

So, that’s what I did and www.aprilgroves.com was born. It is a nice site, considering it was my first shot. But, it is database driven with templates and limited customization. Some time after, I discovered blogging existed on a larger scale than what I had seen on the myspace pages.  I wanted one of those too, and Making Life Work for You was created. I also started the Musings of Beautiful Chaos. This was a necessary step as I am completely aware of my inability to always write about Making Life Work for You type topics.  Sometimes I want to talk about my family, my friends, and other personal type stuff. Readers of the professional blog are more than welcome on the personal one – in fact, I love that they get to know me in a deeper way – but, they shouldn’t be forced to rummage through my kids’ latest activity to get to what they really want to know about termites and home buying.

Now, I think I have outgrown my template site. I am computer savvy, thanks to the United States Navy, I have am currently managing a domain, thanks to the WBA, and I have great friends and associates (Chris, Lisa, Christina, Athol, Jonathan, Pat and others I am sure I am leaving out) that have been very supportive on this journey and are packed full of great expertise.

Now, here I am. It’s 4 A.M. on a Sunday morning. I have a plan. Who knows how it will turn out, but it will be one heck of a ride.   

  • I just put in a request to transfer my domain from its current home to BlueHost. Why BlueHost? Because their prices are competitive, their services complete, and WordPress likes them (see next bullet).    
  • I am going to transfer my blogs to WordPress. Why WordPress? Because Chris likes them. Really, that’s the only reason. His wife, Gorgeous (that’s how he refers to her – love it!), is one of my great friends and an awesome business woman. I trust her unconditionally. Chris is a phenom blogger and a real nice guy – his recommendation is all I need.    
  • I have to design a new website. While the domain name is mine, the templates are not, so I am sure the current hosters will strip it before they transfer it. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.    

That’s all I know for right now.  After all, it is 4 o’clock Sunday morning on Memorial Day weekend… I have done all I can do – just have to wait for everybody else to get back to work.

Until next time…

The Retreat at Yellow Bluff

I had the opportunity to go out to Yellow Bluff today.  Spending time at this premiere coastal community is always a treat. The cottages are coming along nicely – many are even furnished.

Being Memorial Day weekend, the boaters are out in full force. The weather is beautiful and the breeze coming off the marsh takes my breath away as always.  

I love this place.  Being on the water is one of my favorite things – and Yellow Bluff has always been one of those places that hold some of my fondest memories.

As much as I love the water, the newest phase of Yellow Bluff is a different kind of treat.  The Retreat at Yellow Bluff has been opened up.  Located directly across from the main entrance to Yellow Bluff, it doesn’t have a view of the water, but the majestic nature of the tree line is phenomenal.

 

These custom home lots range from .5 to a full 2 acres.  Lots of care has gone into the grounds.  There is lots of green space for parks and recreational areas. The nature trails are a prefect addition because there is plenty of nature to view.  Living in this new phase includes all the amenities offered to those who live on the water side of Yellow Bluff.

 

Riding through the development, I was near awestruck by the bigness, yet quietness of it all.  I have to say, it’s been the most relaxing 15 minutes I have had in a long time. I can’t wait to watch it grow and see people enjoy it out here as much as I do.

 

I know I say it all the time…

…But it really is true.  I know the neatest people. And the cool part is, I meet more and more everyday. Allow me to introduce you to my newest friend.

So, we know that I rave about the WBA, even though the website tried very hard to kick my butt (I was victorious). Anne-Marie is an unintended consequence of the labors. Because I maintain the WBA website, all the contact forms that are filled out come to me. The other day I received a message from Anne-Marie. She is from Florida, has a honey in Richmond Hill and will be relocating. Would the WBA be right for her? Ha! I think the WBA is right for everybody – but, that’s too forward.  Instead I invite her out to lunch.

We go to 606 – of course – it was Thursday.  606 cafe is the swanky downtown Savannah cafe that Sandy awesomely moved to Richmond Hill.  But, she’s only open on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  Anyway, Heather is our fabulous waitress and she takes good care of us will Anne Marie and I get to know each other.

She is a documentary film maker. Ha! WBA doesn’t have one of those and I am sure we need one.  She explains to me what she does over her veggie wrap (she’s a vegetarian so I couldn’t get her to try Dave’s Salad – yum). I am fascinated – I had never met a real live documentary film maker. She is intriguing and the explanations actually divert my attentions away from my food. This is no small task.

I would love to tell you about her newest project, but I won’t spoil it for her. She doesn’t have a blog and I told her that was an utter shame. It would be madly interesting to watch the creation of a documentary.

So, Anne Marie, I know you are reading this.  You have two choices.

1 – Leave a comment so the readers will know about your project – I don’t want to mess up the explanation (good idea).

2 – Start a blog, send me the link, and let the world know what your doing (better idea).

Home Builders Association of Savannah’s 2007 Parade of Homes

Wanna know why I love being a real estate agent? I knew you did. I LOVE looking at houses.  All kinds of houses – big ones, little ones, new ones, old ones…you get the point.  I’ll stop before I start to sound like a bad Dr. Seuss story.

This being the case, I practically have goose bumps from planning my assault on this year’s Parade of Homes. Home shoppers, sight seers, industry professionals, and noisy neighbors are all gearing up to tour 165 house in three counties.  The Home Builders Association of Greater Savannah presents homes for sale by builders in Chatham, Bryan, and Effingham county.  These guys are swinging their doors open to you, the masses.  And I can’t wait to be there.

One of the distinctive features of The Parade is the installation of the “Street of Dreams.”  In its second year on the Parade, Buckhead, Ridge Crest, The Highlands, and the Parkside at Rice Hope are four developments I won’t miss.

  • The Bluffs at Richmond Hill – better than 3000 square feet and acre sized lots.
  • Sweetwater Station – Fantastic floor plans and great curb appeal.
  • Southbridge – Grandma use to live out there and the golf course is phenomenal. What else could you want?

     

    Gotta go get some work done…Have to be all caught up so I can go look at the houses!

  • Websites, committees, WBA, OH MY!

    Whew!  Has it really been SIX days since my last post? My blogger supporters are gonna hunt me down and string me up. There are rules, you know.

    If it makes anyone feel any better, and I am sure it does not, but I have not been lounging around, twiddling my thumbs while my blogs go untouched. I have actually spent more time on the computer these past six days than in any past six days I can think of…then I remembered…the blog!  Darn it. But, not to worry, I tell myself. My current project is completely blog worthy. It has all the fixings – interesting activity, community resource, and involves lots of neat people. Sounds like a blog entry to me!

    I am a proud member of the Women’s Business Alliance of Richmond Hill (WBA). I sit on the board, chair the education committee, and mange the website (can you guess which one has kept my blog postless?).  It is a wonderful organization. You should check it and its members out. If you are living in the area, we offer some great resources, savvy business women, and pride ourselves on client service. If you are relocating to the area, these are the ladies to know to make your new house a home – and fast!  If you are starting a new business in the area, there are some phenomenal resources to get you off on the right track.  Oh yeah, and we have a lot of fun, too!

     

    The website is hosted by the awesome team of Donna Lynn and company over at Converge FX.  She understands the importance of client service.  She understands the importance of client service and is making some big changes to service her clients better. However, that often has some glitches in the mix.  She and I have been working feverishly to update and recreate a sorely outdated webpage. The road has been long and consuming, but the end result is looking pretty good. I couldn’t have asked for better help – thanks Donna Lynn! Check the website out and let me know what you think. You guys have always been my most honest critics.

    Am I just crazy…

    …or is everybody else?  Sometimes I really don’t know. Is it a “silent majority” thing and I am the only loud mouth, or am I really in the minority? Are my opinions really that out in left field?

    Feels like a rant is coming on and you, my dear friends, will have to excuse me while I try to stay on track.  This frustration is not one thing, but many things…this uniform thing is just the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    The school system here is attempting to implement a uniform policy.  We had this when we lived in Chicago and it was fantastic. Mark and I both felt that if we had uniforms in school, we would have hated it, and our lives would have been much easier. However, some parents don’t feel this way and that’s okay. But, OMG (to use the cool, hip, text abbreviation) can we get over it already! Reading the newspaper, you would think Stalin was running the board and Hitler was poised to take over. I don’t get it. My kids have enough to deal with in their young lives with society being the way it is. Any attempt to remove some of those distractions while they are attempting to get an education is fine by me.

    They say that the problem would be solved if the administration would just enforce the current dress code.  Are you kidding? Have any of you been shopping for school age girls lately? Now, I can’t speak to the boys, because I don’t have any, but girls I got and it is near impossible. What does my 5 year old or my 10 year old need with halter tops, short shorts, and platform shoes to round out the outfit? Sure, you can get them long pants and then contend with the provocative remarks the manufactures insist on pasting across the butt. That’s much better. You are basically limited to jeans, capris, and t-shirts (funny, sounds like a uniform policy). This is fine with me until I am getting the kids ready for school or shopping in the mall and I have to hear for the eleventy billionth time about what so and so’s mom will let them wear, buy, scout around town in.  No thank you. Get up, get breakfast, brush your teeth, and grab one of the approved uniforms that will be very much the same as anything else anybody else has on. Bypass the drama and get on to the job at hand – getting your education.

    Speaking of the job at hand, a lot of jobs require a uniform, or, at the very least, a required manner of dress. Are they oppressive and limiting free expression of their employees?  Are we going to bash the boards of these companies for their abusive practices? No. We are probably working for them, collecting a paycheck, and happy for it.

    I could go on. There are lots of things in the media that are absolutely driving me crazy – taxes, immigration, Iraq, and the list goes on.  But, I won’t. I will say this and be done. Don’t be a shallow thinker. Take opinions out to their logical conclusion. Pay attention to the society around you and compare it to what the media says society is. If you hear it on the news, don’t listen to what they say, figure out what they mean – it is all too often two different things.