Friday, November 09, 2007

The Holidays approach...

and many lucky kids will receive a pet from Santa this year.

There are many dogs & cats at our local shelter that need a warm, safe home this winter. Please take a look through their website, or stop by in person, and see if your special new family member is there right now, waiting for you to come and bring them home.

Here is our rescue:

Our lives would not be the same without her, and I can't even imagine what her fate would've been if we had left her there in that cage 10 years ago. If you have a space in your home, life, and most importantly your heart for one of these little guys, what a wonderful time of year to make it happen!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Tropical Landscaping Hernando Luxury Homes

At the time of year where I still expect to look out at a pile of leaves pushed up against my fence that need to be raked & bagged, I instead look out at...tropical palms & flowers :). Gotta love it.

We have recently added a few more plants to our landscaping, and judging by how busy the plant dept.'s were on all three visits I'm guessing we're not the only ones enjoying planting at this time of year.

I'll start off with our "bad news"...we bought a couple of "black" elephant ear plants. These literally look like black velvet tropical leaves. Gorgeous! Well, we wanted to show them off and planted them in the beds out front. Full sun. Um, good. Even with constant watering they were literally crisping in the sun. I finally dug'm up and ran out back to plant them in the shady bed behind the pool. They're touch & go at this point, and I'm really hoping they make a full recovery. They're just so cool! Here's a
link to someone else's, I'll post a pic of ours if they survive.

On to the "good news". In addition we're attempting a sort of lush privacy screening along our rear retaining wall. We planted 3 oleanders, 4 white fountain grasses, an orange bird of paradise, two variegated white butterfly gingers, and a
firecracker bush. I have been lusting after my neighbor's firecracker bush for a couple years now, and am really excited about this gorgeous plant. All seem to settling in very happily.

We replaced the two elephant ears up front with some really pretty burgandy'sh foliage but I can't remember the name right now, will have to come back to post.

Being out in the yard watering the new plantings is a pleasure as the
"Elle" rose planted in my niece's "Daddy Angel Garden" (in memorium of her Dad) is just flowering and flowering and if your familiar with this plant in any way you'll know just how fragrant these beautiful roses are. The whole back yard smells like them, it is heavenly which is completely appropriate when you take into account it's source. See, the "Daddy Angel Garden" is filled with angels carefully positioned by my niece. It is a wonderful little tribute to her wonderful Daddy, who is now an angel.

As hectic as life can be, especially when dealing with real estate transactions lol!, it is so important to take some time to "smell the roses".


Friday, August 24, 2007

Assistant to the assistant Hernando Luxury Homes

I've decided I need an assistant. I'm pretty slammed all day long. Someone to bring me my coffee, perhaps a few peanuts to snack on now & then, and commiserate with when the *bleeping* MLS e-mail function isn't working right, again!

I had three applicants. Well, they didn't really apply. But honestly, they're always around, loafing, mooching, living the "Florida Lifestyle" which I thought would be my own. In accordance they were volunteered by myself for the position.

I thought I had a front runner initially, after all, every time I get up, I come back to find her in my spot, in MY chair! But her be frank...she's quite nasty. Product of a rough upbringing, prior to my own meeting of her. She just wouldn't do. I needed someone a bit more positive to keep me going.

Well, I'm glad to announce a winner! His upbeat attitude, eager to please way, and always ready to run spirit has made him the clear choice:

Assistant to the Assistant

We're working on the coffee thing.


P.S. The cats aren't disappointed at continuing their current retirement...they seem relieved that the position has been filled, and they can once again return to lounging under a chaise by the pool.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Okay, first off, I need to post a link to our main web site:, because unless Josh has time to help me fix the links over on the right, they won't work anytime soon, lol! Please visit our site, and of course, provide some feedback for us! What can we add or change to make it user friendly for YOU?

Now, back to the business at hand: Kitchens. We redid ours almost 2 years ago, wow! Time flies when your helping people buy and sell homes!!! Well, needless to say we LOVE our kitchen. It was soooo yucky when we bought this place. Back when we were looking for homes in Spring Hill, Hernando County, Florida, there weren't a whole lot to pick from, so waiting for something to come on the market with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, etc., in our price range was not going to happen. Instead my job as the official searcher (Josh was back in MA glued to his laptop & cell phone virtually helping me look!) was to find a house with good bones, in a great neighborhood, with a price that left us some $$$ to make it our own. Oh, and a pool!

Now-a-days, in this Buyer's Market, that is no longer the case with most of the buyers we've worked with. They want move in ready, and with sooooooo many to pick from, they can get it, too. Very few homes are able to scrape by unscathed with their original ( & outdated) interiors! Either you price it accordingly, or eventually a buyer will for you! That's my personal philosophy in any case. And trust me, that $6-10,000 it would have cost you to becomes $30,000k or more once you finally sell. Hmmmmm....I say do it now if you can! But that's just my personal opinion of course, and this is my blog, so there. :)

Well, what I'm trying to get to is that my Mom is going to be updating pretty much her whole house. (She bought a home in Spring Hill, FL first, a couple month later by brother followed, then came little sis, and then me! Within 6 months we were all here.) I've been vicariously helping her design her new kitchen in my mind. I've printed out umpteen million inspiration kitchens I've come across online, and just today I picked up three more kitchen mags. Soooooo beautiful. Here is a link to one of my favorite Kitchen is a MUST SEE: LINK Make sure your granite is sealed before you click! You're sure to do some serious drooling!!!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Outdoor Rooms

I love that concept: a room in the outdoors...creating a little oasis outdoors...outdoor get the picture, lol.

I find it hard knowing where to set up limits, where to splurge, etc., when it comes to making our outdoor lanai and pool area our little oasis. I have to admit that just stepping out there still feels like I've somehow hopped into a magic plane, and am suddenly on vacation. As if my sliders are teleportation devices that instantly take me away from work, chores, stress, and plop me down where an aqua pool is shaded by palm fronds, the air is scented of florals, and I am on a tropical isle...and must've misplaced my Bellini!
We've long thought about adding canvas panels as a sort of curtain turning the raised eating area of the lanai into sort of a cabana. Not knowing how long we'll be in this home has made me uneasy to go that far. I see so many table and chair sets that I absolutely love, but lets be honest, they're not exactly cheap! So we find ourselves still using the set my Mom gifted me about...oh my long now?....oh, at least 7 years ago. Don't get me wrong it's great, it's a Martha Stewart set, I believe...from Kmart...not sure really, but it's comfortable, but the table is a little lopsided at this point, lol. Well, the thing I really want to spend the $$$ on a gorgeous new set? This one's fine, really. Tough call. What would you do???

We were at Disney's Animal Kingdom a while back, and I just LOVED the look of the Balinese, or perhaps Thai structures and gardens they had. Huge patina'd statues surrounded by lush tropical foliage. That is exactly the type of feel I hope to achieve in my own backyard. The thing is how much am I willing to spend on this one? Do you limit yourself when you know chances are this isn't your "forever home". Hmmmmm....
Back to reality...time to go skim the pool so the kids can swim...and where the heck is that Bellini???!!!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

How are you at taking a compliment?

They say "Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery", so I guess we can say that our web site should have a big head. A huge head, really.

We've slowly noticed a constant increase in other websites popping up that are named very similar to our own When we started there wasn't a single site named anything like it. Most real estate sites were named for the agent who owned and operated it as a personal web site, or for whichever Brokerage they operated out of. We thought long and hard about a name that would represent us, and our philosophy regarding Real Estate. We truly feel that every single buyer and seller deserves a higher level of service, and that luxury is not a dollar amount.

A home is a huge investment, whether $100,000.00 or $1,000,000.00, and hence we developed our name, and in turn how we treat EVERY single one of our customers. After starting up our site, and striving hard to advertise it, tie it in closely with Josh himself, establish our brand, and make it a true resource for a buyer looking for the best homes Hernando County has to offer, we have to has worked. We have people nationwide who use our site on a daily basis to preview and search for homes in Hernando County.

In turn, as Josh has worked hard, and succeeded in this very difficult career, and at one of the worst times in it's recent history, we've had the many variations on our name begin to pop up. A few local web sites are now using the terms Hernando Luxury Homes to represent entire pages on their own sites, national web sites where every other county on the site says, for example, Pasco Luxury "Properties", Broward Luxury "Properties" , etc., have just Hernando County's page as Hernando Luxury "Homes". Even a few that are titling their photos (in the sourcing where it's not visible) as Hernando Luxury Homes in order to get picked up by the search engine's crawlers without making it obvious they're trying to, sneaky sneaky! But we take it all in stride, and find it a bit flattering.

Unfortunately, we've also had someone go as far as to flat out copy our URL, and they purchased .info, rather than the .com we own. We had thought about snatching up all those versions way back when, when first choosing our name, and what our business philosophy would be. We felt that as we would work hard to develop a strong "brand", really tying ourselves in with, it would be pretty creepy for anyone else to copy it, with a .net, .info, .whatever they've come up with now. It's unbelievable, but someone has. I should say it's unbelievably sad, to see that someone would take what we have worked so hard to create, copy it (although a lesser version, I guess), and in turn offer it up for "rent" to other agents, or whoever else. I can't imagine their motivation...or actually, I guess I can.

Can you imagine taking the time to do something like that...who has the time, really? Much less the motivation? I would guess that the time and money would've been better spent else where. If that person were my Realtor, I can assure you that I'd much prefer that the time and money have gone towards selling MY home, not holding another agent's Brand out for ransom.

This sincerest of "compliments" is one which is hard to accept, I guess.

As we own Hernando Luxury Homes, LLC, I guess we'll have to wait and see what time will hold for said site.

Now, as for compliments, do I look fat in these jeans?

Don't answer that.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Limitations...knowing them...working around them.

Okay, I know that at this point I'm "limited". But can't a girl dream of redoing the ceilings of her entire house to look like these:

Freaking gorgeous! Found this pic on Lots and lots of great pics that I go back and drool over frequently.

Monday, June 04, 2007

vindi viri vici....left with nothing!

It was pretty much picked over...I'll give it a while and go back through. It was very surreal though, felt like I should be rushing through a frigid parking lot to a frosty car as I was walking out. Can't even begin to explain how much I appreciate walking out of stores into the warm sun down here.

John Mayer will be playing Tampa on 08/07...went on ticketmaster to look for tickets, and the best available stink! Ugh....went on stub hub and while there are some AMAZING seats (if he drops his pick, it might land in my cleavage, we're talking close!), they are soooooooo expensive!

I think I'll set a goal for Josh & myself, and if certain listings sell by certain dates..."waiting for the world to change"!

***UPDATE: Josh and I beat our goals, and yes, he suprised me with tickets to John Mayer! Yay!!! Can't wait :-)***

In the mean time, I've made a selection as to the plants I'd like to use to increase our privacy in the backyard:

Sand Cordgrass

"Sand cordgrass is a large bunch-forming grass (usually without runners) that gets 4-6 ft (1.2-1.8 m) tall. The leaves are rolled, almost wire-like and a little sandpapery (but not sharp) to the touch. The stems and leaves arise in a dense cluster and curve out and down to take up a space equal to the clump's height. The whole plant is brownish-green: more green in summer and more brown in winter, but never as brown as pampas grass gets in winter. "


Sunday, May 20, 2007

4 days left, people.

That's right, the impending doom of our financial security will befall us on May 24th, 2007. Marshall's is holding it's grand opening. They sent out post cards (did everyone get them? or is my paranoia of them stalking me well founded???) with a tempting peek at what will be waiting for me...ugh!

In any case, Josh was so sweet as to get me a belated Mother's Day Gift : A birdbath! It's adorable. I've placed it right outside my office window and look at it every 4.3 seconds (sometimes more) in hopes of spotting a bather. None as of yet, dirty little birds! We ran out to Lowe's yesterday and picked up a gorgeous bird feeder and strategically positioned it in hopes of bringing the birds into my sight line. Still no luck. I now have a trail of bird seed leading from the walk way to under the bird feeder (much like the Hanzel & Gretel but in this case the witch is the one leaving the trail ;-) ). Let's hope this works!

Come on mean BIRDS!


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Interesting Reading

"Must Read"

I found some great info regarding increasing your marketability through staging and I'm posting a link here so that I can find it easy to finish reading through in the near future. Thought others might find it of interest as well:


Friday, March 23, 2007

Is Marshalls stalking me???

Just when I finally stopped jonesing, I see THE sign:

Coming Soon!

ACK!!! Oh, there will never, ever, be a dime left in my checking account once they get here. Did they research the figures at their Raynham location to figure out why their numbers dropped so drastically in May of '05? Did they then ask "Where did she go???". I know what you're thinking "Heck, yes, they did!". Me too. Could TJ Maxx be far behind?


Do not click here!!!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Bargain shopping at Ross, how much is too much?

Oh, my. I have a fetish. Staging supplies. I can't get enough.

I love that you can update the feel of a home with just a few bargain basement, well placed decorative items.

Did you know that you can take a passe' Southwestern style home, change out lighting, a bit of landscaping, update the color scheme, and add a few $9.99-$39.99 pieces and VOILA! A highly desirable Mediterranean home awaits eager buyers. It's as easy as that folks. I was witness to it just this past week. Pretty darn impressive.

Of course I was reinspired today to run to Ross to pic up a couple more staging items.

Here's an example of just a smidge of staging I did to one of Josh's vacant listings to add some interest/contrast/a glimpse of what could be:

Monday, March 05, 2007

The Seven Letter Word


That's right. I said it. Staging.

If it can help sell your home, why in the world wouldn't you? Before ever knowing the term, I staged my condo when I put it on the market 10 years ago. By the time I sold my previous home almost two years ago I had learned that there was a name for what I had done: staging. I love looking at a staged home, if nothing else you get credit for caring and trying in my book.

I say go for it! Put away that clutter, start that packing, neutralize, depersonalize, sanitize your heart out. It just might make that difference, and heck, what harm could it do???

Maybe I should just go whole hog and become a professional stager, that would just be too much fun, I'd feel guilty charging!

Sunday, March 04, 2007


I love houses.

I love everything about them. Buying them, selling them, building them, renovating them, decorating them, you name it. If it's related to a home, I'm interested.

l estate?