Infinity Pools

My Dad and I are just about to launch a property to market which has a spectacular pool… an Infinity pool directly on the bush! It’s beautiful :)

I couldn’t remember for the life of me what we called them. Lucky I share a desk with Georgia who pretty much has an answer for every question when it comes to pools. She is a proud pool owner and knows every possible variation. “You know the one where it looks like thd pool goes forever… and it just drops away without an edge and the water goes over the side like a waterfall.” This was my description of the Infinity Edge Pool.

Just to make sure of spelling and details of our Infinity pool, I Googled them. I found this fantastic blog with a list of stunning pools from around the world.

I’m scrolling through the pools ooo’ing and wow’ing with Georgia and stumble across number 3 which was a pool I swam in while I was in Africa in 1997!! We stayed in Serena Lodge’s everywhere we visited when we were on Safari. It started at Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti, Lake Manyara – all stunning!

I couldn’t beleive it! Below is a photo of a photo (and very ordinary quality!), plus it is at a different angle… and maybe that hut isn’t there anymore. Not only is this pool absolutely beautiful, I was told by some of the Lodge staff that they found a  leopard drinking from this pool the following night. Crazy-town.

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Spectacular Sabbath Day

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After one of the best sermons I’ve heard all year at church, I came home and snoozed in Nona’s recliner. In fact, I stayed there all afternoon. The warmth of the sun made it very easy. You see, I really wasn’t feeling the greatest after church but the weather and the view out to our un-kept garden, made the rest of the day spectacular.

David Weslake preached at Churchside today and he had me in tears. I came home wrecked, but in a good way. He really challenged me to think outside the box and reassess how I pray for people in my life. The best way Richie and I could describe the content of his sermon was that it was all “meat”. If you want to know what we mean by “meat” go look up 1 Corinthians 3:2.

I’m so grateful for Sabbath where I can sit in the sun and just relax. What a blessing.

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Terraces of Toulouse

Would you call these terraces?

I don’t know, but “Buildings of Toulouse” doesn’t sound as fancy or romantic.

There’s not a lot to do in Toulouse accept go on the tour of the Airbus Headquarters. Unfortunately, all the English tours are full, so we miss out. So walking around looking at buildings is the next best gig.

I love the iron detail on the balconies, brick detail, the large windows, timber doors – you name it I appreciate it. If you don’t, bypass the slideshow :)

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This Saturday I’m grateful for…

(1) Home cooked meals prepared by my Husbando…

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Yep I got spoilt last night. He cooks a mean roast chook and salad. Yes, we are drinking Creaming Soda, out of the can with a candle-lit dinner. I tasted the food and told him that I didn’t need to go to Candelori’s this weekend. I’ve got it at home.

(2) Opportunities to laugh at work…

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It’s all about thongs and suits, kids! And they ain’t our thongs. This is often what happens when we visit clients/potential clients in their home. You politely take your shoes off at the door and they politely offer you slippers/thongs/inside flip-flops. In the earlier part of our careers, we would always graciously thank them for their hospitality but then say “we don’t mind bare feet.” But now for us old girls, we just say thanks and pop them on. What’s it matter if we share footwear and get foot diseases? Ha! Joking… Guess who has the immaculately pedicured blue toenails – YEP, Georgia. I took this photo right after Georgia accidently stood on the back of my mens size 13 thong as we are walking up the side of the house and I went flying. Ok, so maybe you had to be there. I promise you if you weren’t laughing when I almost fell on my face, you would have laughed at the perfect fitting plastic Burberry flip-flops we put back on to walk back through the home to our own shoes. I love my job!

(3) My legendary Sister drove me to the hairdresser on Thursday night…

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Don’t worry, I got permission to publish this pic. I have to say, my sister was the legend who braved the horrific traffic down to Balmain while Negative Nancy sat Shot-Gun and grumbled the whole way. I almost scratched my face off from the frustration of roads turning into parking lots. I’m also grateful that I live/work in a 5-10km radius. Can I get a witness?

This Saturday I’m Grateful For… is inspired by A Day In The Life Of Us and Maxabella Loves…

SOLD!

Is there a rush in the Sydney Real Estate market before Christmas???

Absolutely YES!

The above picture was taken today at 11:20am.

The below picture was taken today at 11:22am.

I think the above picture shows my OCD in the best shape and form: do you see how similar the angles of the stickers are and where they are positioned on the boards?

Yipppeee for Sold signs!

The God Box

Do you have trouble letting go?

I do.

You know what I mean right?

“Let Go, Let God.”

While looking for vintage christmas images for my 2010 Christmas Project, I stumbled across this cute blog The Bella Life. They had a some great Christmas images which showed up in Google and I followed the links to their blog with a great post that resonated with me.

“Letting Go…with Special Help” hit me like a ton of bricks.

“I don’t know about you but it seems like my life is a constant battle between living life fully and allowing my by anxieties to govern it. But every so often I need to be reminded that there is a higher power who will help me with this struggle-God.”

Well, hello!

I believe in God and talk to him on a very regular basis and I still need reminding.

This started to make me think, what would be in my God Box?

There would be the “Thank you’s”…

“Dear God, thank you that we have a roof over our head, a warm bed to sleep in, and food to eat every day.”

“Dear God, thank you for the gifts and talents you have given me. Help me not waste them, but use them for your glory.”

“Dear God, thank you for our health. There is nothing I love more than feeling the pain of exercise and knowing I am alive.”

“Dear God, thank you for your Son, who came to earth as a baby, and who left the world as our Saviour.”

“Dear God, thank you for family. They are irreplaceable.”

“Dear God, thanks for the babies who have been born in the last 12 months. Thanks for Archie Kewley, Tennesse Akee, Lily Aitken, Emmett Salke, Gavyn Bernhardt-Blackwelder, Sullivan Rajcany, Elise Whale, and Patrick Clarke”

There would be the “Pleases”…

“Dear God, please enrich Richie and my relationship so that this thing called marriage will be forever and ever and ever.” 

“Dear God, please be with Mum and Dad in Africa. Please stop Dad from pretending it is 1974 when he back-packed around the world and help him to treat Mum to a nice dinner and hotel.”

“Dear God, please come back soon, cause I’m over this place called earth. I just want to see you face to face and hang with you in Heaven.”

“Dear God, please send me to speak to the right people who need our help in selling or managing their home.”

“Dear God, please send the summer. We have had a long long long winter and it is reeeeally nice to have the sun shine on your face.”

“Dear God, please stop child-traffiking, stop the sex trade, stop violence, stop sickness, and stop the hatred in this world.”

“Dear God, please help me to emulate the character of your son Jesus Christ, to the people I come in contact with.”

Now what would be in your “God Box”?

Another corker from Pr Rick Warren

 

This morning, I found another corker in my inbox…

Wednesday, October 06, 2010
 

Now you belong to him … in order that you might be useful in the service of God. (Romans 7:4 TEV)

“Anytime you use your God-given abilities to help others, you are fulfilling your calling. “

 

Your call to salvation included your call to service. They are the same. Regardless of your job or career, you are called to full-time Christian service. A “non-serving Christian” is a contradiction in terms.

The Bible says, “He saved us and called us to be his own people, not because of what we have done, but because of his own purpose.” (2 Timothy 1:9 TEV)

Peter adds, “You were chosen to tell about the excellent qualities of God, who called you.” (1 Peter 2:9 GW).

You are called to serve God. Growing up, you may have thought that being “called” by God was something only missionaries, pastors, nuns, and other “full-time” church workers experienced, but the Bible says every Christians is called to service. (Ephesians 4:4 -14; see also Romans 1:6-7; 8:28-30; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 9, 26; 7:17; Philippians 3:14; 1 Peter 2:9; 2 Peter 1:3)

Anytime you use your God-given abilities to help others, you are fulfilling your calling. The Bible says, “Now you belong to him … in order that you might be useful in the service of God.” Romans 7:4 TEV)

How much of the time are you being useful in the service of God? In some churches in China, they welcome new believers by saying “Jesus now has a new pair of eyes to see with, new ears to listen with, new hands to help with, and a new heart to love others with.”

 

So, now I ask you, what are you doing to serve God?

When I finish Oxfam – #3

3. I’m going to hang out more with my girlfriends. 

Like Bronny.

 

I want to have sleepovers and do nothing on Sunday except eat Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon and have plenty of coffee. 

Last weekend, Bronny came down for a sleepover. She lives on the Central Coast and she is definitely one of our favourite people. Simply put, she’s one of those people who makes you want to be a better person. She was one of our two gorgeous ushers at our wedding last year and really is a champion. Richie argues that she is HIS friend and not mine, since they’ve been friends since primary school and have been through heaps together. In reality, we talk more and are great girlfriends. 

Cept the last two weekends she’s been down, I’ve been out the door by 6.30-7am on the Sunday for a full day of bushwalking. 

I feel I ripped her off.

 

The list so far: 

1. I’m going to weed the garden and plant my camellias. 

2. I’m getting a pedicure.

3. I’m going to hang out more with my girlfriends.

My Post-it Note System

  I really love the below email from Rick Warren that arrived in my inbox over the weekend.

Honestly, I am challenged with this exact thing on a daily basis.

Last week I implemented a new system for my self-management at work called the “My Post-it Note System”. Someone else probably invented it and I’ve probably just heard it from some training seminar or training CD and copied it. If I didn’t then I’m copy-writing it! The fact is it has now worked 3 working days in a row.

Each day I have a new post-it note which contains approx. 4-5 key goals to achieve for the day. These are usually large tasks which involve prospect/list/negotiate/sell. Our lives are filled with priorities and often we get so overwhelmed that we don’t know where to start. Of course, reality is that we usually end up doing double of triple the amount of things on the list, but the sense of achievement is way beyond the feeling you get when you get through 4 tasks on your 25 point “To-Do-List”. You are forced to keep the main thing the main thing and analyse what is really important for you to be doing. It comes alongside the whole 80/20 rule.

Maybe after reading Rick’s email below you’ll grab yourself a post-it note and start refining your To-Do-List”.

Choosing a simpler life – by Rick Warren -
Saturday, July 24, 2010
 

 . . . a time to embrace and a time to refrain. Ecclesiastes 3:5 (NIV)

“You are the only one who can assume responsibility for your time and clarify what’s really important to you. “

You’d think that living in Southern California means I’m surrounded by people who live a laid-back lifestyle. The truth is just the opposite: Most of the people I know are trying to cram more and more into each day.

For instance, a couple of years ago, I was with a group of friends driving down the interstate. At one point, I looked around and realized most of us were engaged in some activity other than talking to each other. Two people were on their cell phones; another was working on his BlackBerry; and a fourth was focused on his laptop computer.

As a joke, I declared I felt left out. I called the driver, who was sitting right next to me, and we chatted together on our cell phones for a few minutes! The point of our traveling together in the van was so we could grab time to talk face-to-face! Yet we felt pressed to get it all done.

That’s when I realized the truth – we couldn’t get it all done, and God never intended for us to make completing a to-do list the purpose of our lives.

The fact is, there are many things we think we must do that really are not worth doing. My point is this: You won’t simplify your life by getting an electronic organizer. You won’t even find it by convincing your neighbor, who makes Martha Stewart look like a sloth, to give you tips about coordinating your activities while still wearing a perfect dress and pearls like Beaver Cleaver’s mom.

Simplifying is really about choices – prioritizing what is important – and then sticking to those choices no matter how tempting it is to add more to your to-do list. In fact, take those tempting activities and put them on a list of things not to do.

You are the only one who can assume responsibility for your time and clarify what’s really important to you.

Now maybe you’re thinking, “But I have to take care of the kids,” or “I have to get this report done by Friday.” I’m not naïve about the pressures many people feel today, but it may be that those things – your children, your work – are the priorities you keep on your to-do list, and you move other things to the not-to-do list.

Life is like a box of chocolates…

If you haven’t been to Savannah, Georgia and you live in the USA, shame on Y’all!

Savannah is B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L! Imagine I said that with a Paula Deen drawl – Youtube her.

This place is romantic, stunning, surprising, enchanting and my absolute dream when it comes to strolling streets, and admiring architecture and well-manicured gardens.

Driving through the Historic District is like nothing we have experienced before in the USA. Around every corner there is another perfectly restored home or shop-front where the mid-late 1800’s are showcased beautifully. They have a very strict and thick book rules and regulations to retain the authenticity of the area. Apparently if you own a house or building in the Historic District you have all of 32 colours to choose from to paint the exterior of your home.

We are staying at The Marshall House, the oldest hotel in Savannah which was built in 1851. It is awesome!

The old Oak trees with the hanging Spanish Moss make you feel like you might be close to the Gone With The Wind plantation. This place would be great for a honeymoon. It is also where Forest Gump was filmed.

Goodbye Greenwich Village.

Goodbye Georgetown.

Hello Savannah! (As long as I have air-conditioning.)

To get out to your balcony, you have to climb through the window


On our way to North Carolina…

Last night we stayed in a Bed & Breakfast in Lexington, Virginia.

We googled it the night before by looking for a half-way point between D.C. and Charlotte.

It was a total winner.

Magnolia House was built-in 1868 and is beautifully kept. I think it is going to be a little taste of the architecture that we will see in Georgia.

Check it out…


We love Georgetown!

If Richie and I ever lived in Washington D.C. or near it, we would definitely love to live in a place called Georgetown. It’s just outside of D.C. and it is historical, but best of all it is beautiful!

Here are some pictures of some of my favourite homes and my favourite shop-fronts in Georgetown and some of the shops along the main drag.

How many quotes do I need to get?

My sales partner, GK, is in the throws of getting quotes for the renovation of her en suite and main bathroom. She turns to me today and says “How many bathroom quotes do you think I should get for my renovations?” I can’t exactly remember what I answered her with… but maybe it was something like “However many you want to get”.

The fact is there is no rule for getting quotes. You need to get as many as it takes to make you feel comfortable and confident with your decision. Some people will go with 2 quotes, some will go with 10. My best advice to guarantee to be on the front foot. :

  1. Ask around! Talk to friends/family/neighbours/work-mates to see if there are any good stories of great Reno’s and reliable tradies.
  2. Ask for references! Ask if you can call the last 5 clients they have worked for. Generally you will get a mixed bag of experiences and its a good opportunity to ask the nitty-gritty stuff like, did they turn up when they said they would?
  3. Ask for proof! Get them to show you their “Brag-Book” with photos of their work and other details.

Check out these hot bathrooom:

Imagine soaking in this bathtub. Heck yes!

http://www.macquarieford.com
http://www.macquarieford.com

Love it!!! Love it!!! Love it!!!

http://www.rwbondconstructions.com.au
http://www.rwbondconstructions.com.au

On a side note… My most favourite bathroom in all the world was in the home of my friends Donni & Dave. They lived in a beautiful 150 year young home in Derby, U.K. which they had renovated and respectfully restored from top to toe. When we stayed with them back in 2003, I remember how amazing the intricate Greek blue ceramic wall tiles were. They were similar to the tiles below, minus the animals and birds. Donni, if you are reading this and I am wrong about any of it, amuse us and just play along with my child-like memories! I remember thinking “I wish this was my house!” “I wish I could take a picture in here, but who takes photos of bathroom tiles?”

I wish I had.

Doh.

Keep on trekking...The end.

Bec