Category: Life Lessons

You Won’t Believe It Until You’ve Been There

Destiny's AdventureLife. She definitely has a sense of humor. She holds universal truths that remain secret until you’ve experienced them for yourself. Generally these truths are foretold to you by your elders. I remember thinking to myself, “Oh that’s not true, you’re exaggerating. Sure, that’s how it was for you but it won’t be that way for me”. Almost everyone of these ideas were told to me by my parents, grandparents, or teachers and for some reason, I never believed them! As I grow up, life has revealed some of her truths to me one by one. Every time I experience another, I laugh and remember the time it was told to me long ago. Here are some of my favorites that are truer than true:

  1. Don’t rush to grow up, you’ll miss being a kid when you’re older.
  2. School is better than work. Enjoy school while you can. 
  3. Don’t eat too much cookie dough, it will give you a stomachache.
  4. Be nice to everyone, you never know when you will cross paths again. 
  5. Everything you’re stressed about now won’t matter years from now.
  6. You can’t eat pasta by the plate your whole life without getting fat. 
  7. Marriage takes work, it’s not as easy as you think. 
  8. Getting fired isn’t always a bad thing.
  9. Friends will disappoint you but don’t give up on them.
  10. Time goes by exponentially faster with age. 

Have any truths of your own you care to share? Spare me the experience. Please, do tell.

Why I Quit My Day Job

Lots of people have been asking me why I quit my successful social media job to go into real estate. For your reading enjoyment, my explanation for the big decision is depicted in giphs.

Anyone that has worked at an agency will tell you it is tuff. I dreaded every Monday and would walk into work unenthusiastic like…

You are always expected to be the first one there, and the last to leave, there is no such thing as turning off your cell phone or computer, and the clients always come first. That’s why I left all of that agency life drama to go into real estate….where the client always comes first, there is no such thing as turning of your cell phone, and you work almost every weekend. Irony at it’s finest, cue the Alanis Morissette …

My 9-5 taught me about time management, team work, and taking criticism which is essential in any work environment. I love social media marketing and still plan to pursue it, just on my own creative time schedule, like 10pm-3am instead of being in my office all day like….

On a side note, its really funny that there are two popular songs about work right now.
My life felt like Rihanna…

But now I’m feeling like 5th Harmony….

Anyway, the decision to go back into real estate was a topic of prayer for a long time and I knew it was what I needed to do. When I envision my life 5 years from now, I see myself in a lifelong career instead of being a slave to my boss, my desk, and my computer.  Working with people and helping others is the best part of real estate and finally my everyday job. So if you are looking for a great real estate agent and wanting to buy/sell a house in Las Vegas, you know who to call!

How to Refinance to a 15 Year Mortgage

Adulthood has taught me many things, like the importance of good friends, good health, and great credit. Since I am always looking for ways to save money, I decided to investigate my options in real estate. My husband and I bought our first house together in November of 2014 when interest rates were slightly higher and we were just starting our new jobs in Las Vegas. Fast forward one year later, we are now in the position to refinance our home to a lower interest rate, get rid of our private mortgage insurance (PMI), and cut our mortgage down from a 30 year to a 15 year mortgage. Saving money is on our house means more vacations to Harry Potter World….and other fabulous places!Destiny Knocking on DoorRefinancing to a 15 year fixed mortgage can save you thousands of dollars in interest. For us, it will save us over 80k in interest and our house will be paid off in 15 years! Although our payment will be higher, more of our money will be going towards the principal of our loan. Here are the steps you should take if you are looking to refinance to a 15 year mortgage.

How to Refinance to a 15 Year Mortgage

1. Don’t Take Out Credit

Before you have a lender pull your credit make sure you have not gotten any new credit cards, car loans, or personal loans in the last three months. This could hurt your credit and hinder you from qualifying for the best 15 year mortgage rates available.

2. Gather Information on Your Current Mortgage

You will need to know how much you owe on your current mortgage, how much your annual taxes are on you house, and how much you pay for home insurance each month.

3. Shop Around for The Best 15 Year Fixed Mortgage

Once your credit has been checked by the first lender, you can have it pulled by others for the next 14 days without it hurting your score. Get at least three different quotes for your 15 year mortgage so you can see all of your options and pick the best option possible. We ended up using Quicken Loans and we were extremely happy with their service and it cost us little to nothing to refinance.

4. Know What Your Paying For

When your looking for a mortgage, there are three things to consider: interest rates, fees, and hidden costs. You want the lowest interest rate available without having to pay any “points” or “discount fees”. A lot of lenders will offer lower rates if you buy them down, but this is typically not the smartest decision. Most lenders charge fees for refinancing and wrap up all of those fees into the new mortgage amount. Make sure to have every cost and third party fee broken down. Also make sure to ask about closing costs, title insurance fees, and other fees that are not always in the original rate quote.

5.Don’t Lock In A Rate Until Your 100%

After you’ve gotten full estimates from three different lenders, you will want to look at all of your options and choose the best one before locking in your 15 year fixed interest rate and moving forward with your refinance.

I am so happy we made the decision to refinance and learned a lot in the process. I know this topic isn’t super exciting but if you have any questions feel free to post in the comments below!

Dealing with Envy

Hidden BeachSocial media is both a blessing and a curse. Images of beautiful places, friends, family, and even celebrities fill our feeds daily. We stay connected to people through their posts, videos, quotes, and dog photos, but we can easily slip into the treacherous trap of comparison. I often find myself thinking, “I wish my hair was as pretty as her’s” or “I wish I lived in New York like he does” or ” Why can’t I be the next 25 year old millionaire like the owner of Snapchat?”.

As a Social Media Manager, I spend an unusual amount of time on social media. 8+ hours every day on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest can make you green with envy without even realizing its happening. It’s hard not to compare yourself to the celebrities on Instagram or the bloggers on Pinterest, but it is important to be conscious of how comparison is stealing your happiness.

Since I never take a break from social media, here are a few tips I’ve gathered to choose happiness and deal with envy:

Start Your Day With Gratitude

Before you pick up your cell phone in the morning, acknowledge 5 things you are thankful for in your life. I like to spend my drive to work meditating on my blessings and thanking God for the gifts he has already given me. Dealing with envy is easier if you are mindful of your blessings.

Dismiss Unhealthy Friendships

Take a moment to rid your social media channels of people who make you feel less about yourself. This may be celebrities that always look perfect (because they have a team of people to make them up and the magic of photoshop) or a friend who doesn’t add meaning to your life.

Realize You’re Green

Be conscious of thoughts that start of with, “I wish” or “Why can’t”. When you have moments where you turn green with envy, disconnect and go back to your list of what you are thankful for. Don’t forget about what you have, because I can guarantee someone is wishing they had the things you take for granted each day.

Hold On to Truth

Find a saying, mantra or quote that reminds you to refocus on truth. For me, I remind myself that my worth is not based off of my looks or achievements but instead the fact that I am loved by a God who has given me so much. Focusing on loving yourself as you are and others isn’t easy, but it’s rewarding. If you don’t have a quote or saying, you can borrow mine:
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves ” -Philippians 2:3.

At the end of the day social media isn’t the problem, envy is an emotion that can pop up anytime. Having control over your thought-life and being aware of how your feelings are affecting you is key to choosing happiness. And remember, you are not alone. Someone, somewhere is looking at your Facebook post and wishing they were as beautiful and amazing as you are!

Creative Valentine’s Day Gifts

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and it’s one of my favorite holidays. Flowers, chocolates, and kisses…how can you not adore this romantic holiday! Most guys think of Valentine’s Day as they would a chore, but I like to think of it as a way to really think outside the box and show the one you love how much you care. Here are some of my favorite creative Valentine’s Day gifts and date ideas to help you do something unique this year for your significant other.

Custom Photo Gifts

There is nothing more unique than a custom photo gift from Shutterfly, like a coffee mug or photo frame with a touch of personalization. These gifts are easy, inexpensive, and they show thought and effort went into Valentine’s Day this year.
Use code SHIP39 for free shipping over $39 per order.

Shutterfly I Love You Mug

Handwritten Love Letters or Poems

Some of my most cherished gifts are love letters or poems my husband has written for me. I keep every single hand written note he has ever left me and I have an entire file on my computer of encouraging emails, notes, etc. that I love to look back at and read. If you consider yourself a talented writer, devote some time to your love and write down your feelings on paper that can be kept forever. The poem below is one of the most amazing gifts I have ever received that my husband sent me from his study abroad in Italy, when we first started dating.

Lucky Go Lucky

So Love… Like letters held on four giant pedestals? No…. love like a million moments of pure completeness.
She is to me the loveliest of things. She is to me living flowing art. She is to me an exquisite lullaby.
Adoration like rain soaks me to the bone. Admiration like creation steals my breath.
No modern day romance cliches
No bloated self indulgences
No expectations, No speculations
She is the setting sun set to a faint and glorious hymn
She is perfectly imperfect, and horribly wrong in the most sincere ways
She is the fire, she is…. simply is
There is no shame in presentation, There are no lies in wandering eyes, There is no BOLD print for the world to read…no headlines… no proclamation of something fake
And the song plays on and you never expect it to end for each note is followed by a sweeter one, and each verse more profound, and each chorus sung a little louder
And of this im sure… There are more brilliant men, more graceful poets, and more passionate persons. But no man living or dead will ever strive harder to budge a smile
For what is man without woman?
Only a wandering shadow, only a shifting phantom
Nessuna materia la distanza lo amerò sempre…
And so the muses will tell of a man who gave his soul to complete another.
-Kyle Johnson 2009

Candlelit Quiet Time

Candlelit Quiet Time

Women love to share quality time with their significant others. This Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be showy or expensive. Instead set up a romantic candlelit or fireside area with a cozy blanket, and some of their favorite snacks like chocolates, strawberries, and popcorn. Skip the movie and actually spend time in conversation. Write down things you love about your significant other and read them aloud. So often we forget to go back to the things we enjoyed while we were just getting to know each other.

Make a Meal Together

Pasta 2If your significant other is the one that usually does all of the cooking, an easy way to spoil them is to make a homemade recipe or even better, plan a fun recipe to make together! Try things like cheese fondue, homemade pizzas, or even my easy homemade pasta recipe for a fun dinner you can cook together. Quality time is the most precious thing you can give your significant other.

No matter what the gift, if you put time, energy, and thought into the making of the gift it shows you genuinely care and didn’t just run out to Walgreens to buy whatever they had on the shelf. Sometimes the simplest things can be the most meaningful when they are hand crafted and well thought out.

Share your favorite Valentine’s Day gifts you’ve ever received in a comment below! I would love to hear what makes you feel special and things you enjoy giving.

Note: This post contains affiliate links but as always I only support products I truly love and buy myself.