There’s this 100 year old house. I saw its pictures online and took a spin to look at it up close, to see if it might be a good investment. I walked in, observing its slanted floors and dated fixtures. Noticing its potential. I envisioned turning that one room into a third bedroom and reconfiguring the kitchen. I imagined people gathering for parties and kids playing in the big yard. Next thing I knew, I envisioned myself there. Continue reading
Last week it happened. I broke down. Like ugly cried all day, waved my hands around in frustration, and complained to my husband about life (and people). Any sane person could see that it was bound to happen. We’re out of our home and routines. We’re rebuilding, which comes with its own headaches. I feel like every other day I’m afraid that I might be homeless again. I’m working like a mad woman, definitely not utilizing my team enough. I’m negotiating what I swear are some of THE hardest deals of my entire career. I put a booth in an antique store and bought an investment property that needs just as much work as our home. Just to name a few.
Clearly after a day of riding that emotional rollercoaster hard and fast, I knew something had to give. I didn’t want to give up any of my projects, so I decided to make a few small changes instead. Here are a few, in case you need to practice better break-taking too:
- I’m not carrying my phone with me to the bathroom. I have quite a habit of carrying my phone everywhere I go. Especially the bathroom. My reasoning is that I can use the time walking back from the bathroom to respond to texts and emails. That might seem like a productivity trait. However, here’s what happens. First, if I’m looking down at my phone as I pass by all of the offices and real people along the way, I miss them. I barely say hello. I don’t ask about their lives. I don’t pause for conversation about new listings or troubleshooting in negotiations. I surely don’t offer help. I’m a busy lady! Secondly, if the phone rings while I’m in the bathroom, I legit try to pee faster so I can answer it before it goes to voicemail. That’s nuts. State labor laws mandate that employees get a certain number of breaks per day as well as a true lunch break. (What?! Is that real?) I don’t even give myself 3 minutes to walk to the bathroom! For now, I’m giving myself that time. I understand that I’ll come back to 25 unanswered text messages. However, I’m gaining 3-5 minutes of peace. Sign me up for that.
- I must find time to relax and hobbies that aren’t directly related to my work. Both fortunately and unfortunately, the things I enjoy doing are very closely related to my “work.” Therefore, during my down time, whatever I find myself doing can easily cross over from down time to work and next thing I know, I didn’t clear my mind or rest at all. I think I’m learning that I don’t actually know how to “rest” at all and that I don’t have any hobbies that allow me to truly relax. Not good. And I don’t even know where to start with figuring that one out. Any help?
- I will take days (or at least half days) off where I transfer my calls and delegate out my texts and emails. Since I use my personal cell for work, my work can easily follow me everywhere. Even to the bathroom (see above). The fact of the matter is, I have a well-trained team of professionals who can troubleshoot and handle business, just as well as I can. I pay two full-time salaried folks to help me. I simply MUST unplug and allow them to do their jobs (and mine) every now and then in order to actually get a break. Otherwise, I eventually become a hot, crazy mess. I finally took an actual day off and it was the most amazing thing ever. Better than my birthday. I feel like a brand new person. I’m inspired, rested, and eager to work. Doesn’t that sound awesome?! It feels awesome.
- I need to set clearer boundaries, both for myself and for others. For example, I’m not available to chat real estate at midnight. I’m not going to answer a contractor’s question at 5:50 am. For most people who only share their office phone number, they would only get these messages between their regular office hours and everything else would just have to wait. They’d be at home watching Game of Thrones, oblivious that their office phone was ringing off the hook. Since I give out all of my contact info, folks can track me down at all times. This means, I never get to turn my work brain off. I don’t get to unplug or rest. I need to practice setting more clear boundaries and holding myself accountable to those. I can be accessible without being a slave to my work and my phone.
As I write this I immediately see 1,000 ways that I’ll cheat. It’s so easy! And most of the time I even want to. I do not, however, want to lose and entire day of productivity recuperating from not taking a break. Seriously guys, I’m the worst boss of myself possible. I’ve written a few things on this topic that I haven’t shared and maybe I should get around to that. Also, something similar here and here.
Clearly, this is an ongoing struggle for me. I’ve read several articles about set break time and rejuvenation. I already understand the importance. I just don’t do it. Anyone else struggle with this? If you have some tips for doing better, I’m all ears. You can leave a comment, email me, or call me after midnight. Kidding. Don’t do that last one. I’m setting boundaries now.
2016 is going to be one of those years that stand out. I just know it. I’m making some major changes in both my personal life and my business and it’s going to either be one of those situations where you look back and say, “what in the hell was I thinking?!” Or I’ll look back and know that the changes were worth the risk. No matter which outcome becomes a reality, I know that I’m practicing my skills as a business owner and living boldly, and I’m thankful that I still have the courage and confidence to do so.
In 2015, I took a leap of faith and hired a full-time assistant. In 2016, I’m transforming that position a bit and hiring another very important member to the team. Both of these plans for the very near future are scary. The reality of them is nothing less than daunting. However, in life and in business, you sometimes have to take leaps of faith. (I talked about how I do that here.) Because of the immediate changes on the horizon, I fully expect for 2016 to look very different than today.
As I think about what’s ahead for my business, I have to remind myself that change is good and that sometimes growth is painful. I remind myself that I want to do big, bold things with my life and to do so, I’m going to have to put myself out there. I have to make myself uncomfortable for a bit in order to truly experience the next level in my career. It makes sense that I’m nervous, scared even, because they always say, “if your dreams don’t scare you, then they’re not big enough.”
Well, I’m going to dream big this year. I’m going to think big this year and imagine all the possibilities. I’m going to learn hard lessons. I’m going to experiences ups and downs, although I hope there are significantly more ups! I’ll either sink or swim. I’m putting in all the chips and my fingers are crossed under the table in hopes that I win big. I’m going to be courageous.
As I set out to accomplish so much this year, I must prepare myself. I must prepare myself to focus and to be determined. I must prepare myself for a new way of thinking. I need to get ready for my life to look much differently, and even possibly be a bit chaotic for a while. How does one fully prepare themselves for so much? I’m not even sure I know. I know that I’ll be setting big and small goals like a boss. I know that I’ll have to hold my team accountable, and expect them to hold me accountable too. I know that I can’t accomplish this alone and that I want success through others to be what in turn makes me successful. Buckle your seat belts, folks. It’s going to be an exciting year!
Most of this post centers around hopes of taking my real estate business to the next level. This is what funds my perfect life and supports my family. If you’re interested in a career in real estate, please reach out. I’d be happy to talk shop. Also, and even more importantly, if you know of someone hoping to buy or sell a home in 2016, please let me know! This is how I keep the doors of my business open. And don’t forget, I can help with someone’s real estate transaction ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD! Don’t be shy…email me at pamela at pamelapetrus dot com!
Trying something new or starting a new adventure can absolutely be one of the scariest tasks ever. Sometimes when we start out on a new path, everything feels so uncertain and frightening. However, if you push through that initial fear, wonderful things are usually right around the corner.
In the last several years of my professional career, I’ve launched multiple new projects and businesses. With each new endeavor, I always feel that tinge of fear. So far, I’ve been able to push myself through that and I’m always glad that I did. As I’m on the verge of doing a few new things, I’ve started thinking about how I handle this uncertainty and what I do to push through that part of the process. If you find yourself getting nervous as new opportunities arise, here are some things to consider:
1. Will you regret NOT doing it more than you’d regret any negative outcome? This is my number one motivator when it comes to new projects. Most of the time, we’re secretly afraid of failure. What if it flops? What if it ends badly? I always imagine myself 30 years down the road. If I don’t attempt this new project, will I regret it later? If I avoid something out of fear, will I look back later and wish I would have just sucked it up? If the answer to either of those is yes (and it usually is), then I know I have to push forward.
2. What is the absolute worst thing that can happen? Go wild with this one. Most of the time, the absolute worst thing really isn’t that daunting. Take real estate for example. When I decided to get my license and change careers, it cost me around $2,500 to get stared. If I was terrible at it or hated it, I had only lost $2,500. In the big scheme of things, that’s not too risky, and I wouldn’t be financially crippled for the rest of my life. Realizing that a $2,500 investment (plus my time) was all that I was risking to go after something I’d always wanted, made the risk seem much less daunting.
3. What could the potential outcome be? Let’s switch gears to the opposite end of the spectrum. If everything goes ideally as planned, what will your life look like? What is the best possible outcome? Are you able to envision a better life? Obviously, there’s a chance that things won’t be as glorious as you’re able to imagine. However, there’s also a chance that they could be even better! Sometimes we’re only able to imagine a small portion of the potential that lies ahead. If you can dream of this new adventure creating a life that you love, it’s definitely worth exploring. On the other hand, if you’re not able to see the positive results very clearly, then maybe it’s not the right option for right now. Either way, dreaming about the potential can make you see things more clearly and guide your decisions.
No matter how scary, no matter how elusive, when we continually think and dream about a particular item, it likely means we need to explore it. When our thoughts tend to gravitate towards the same item, our subconscious is probably telling us to explore it. Sometimes these are large, daunting things. Sometimes they’re small and more manageable. Either way, we never know the outcome of something until we give it a shot.
During this stage of my life, I’m committing to chasing those dreams. I’m taking advantage of this life of mine. I’m learning tennis. I’m starting new businesses. I’m making bold decisions in my home. The way I see it, life is much to short to wonder “what if?”
If you’re toying with the idea of doing something new, I hope these few points provide some enlightenment. Think through them, consider the options, and then just go for it! Starting in the scariest point. After that, you’re just working towards your dreams. What do you really, really want to do? Go do that thing!
There’s no doubt that this is a digital age and in my line of business, technology makes a world of difference. With the exception of actually showing homes, the rest of my job can be done from practically anywhere with cell service and an Internet connection. I’m not going to talk about the actual real estate related technology that I use in this post. However, I thought it would be fun to share some of the more universal products and systems that I use. These items can be translated into almost any industry or lifestyle, and I thought it might be fun to show a bit of how I work/get things done.
The first thing that I absolutely couldn’t live without is my cell phone. I often joke that I wouldn’t have been able to sell real estate in the “old days.” Seriously…having to actually be at the office to take a phone call or driving across town to pick up a house key??! No way. In all seriousness, having the opportunity to communicate remotely makes a world of difference. I am able to take care of business from wherever I am and it saves me a ton of time. (Thinking about buying or selling a house? Text me!) I currently have an iPhone 5, and I could definitely use an update. I’ve been waiting not-so-patiently for the new release and preordered my new one this week. The struggle has been real. There are a few reasons why I love my iPhone for business. It syncs well with my devices and has apps aplenty for the various services I need. Undoubtedly, you could use a different type of phone. For now though, I’m still an Apple girl.
My next favorite item is my Surface Pro 3. (I purchased the i3 processor.) This is my only home computer and it works great for carrying along on trips or to client appointments. The main reason that I love this device is because it’s super thin and lightweight. It’s likely not going to have the capacity to operate larger, more complex systems. However, it works perfectly for a large amount of web work and navigating various files. It can be used in tablet or desktop mode and I love the flexibility it offers. I also added the Surface Pro keyboard which makes it operate much like a desktop computer. If you carry a computer with you frequently, I highly recommend the Surface Pro over a traditional laptop. (Also, I love this new case!) (Link)
This fantastic little mouse. Matthew really wanted this little guy when we were mouse shopping. (That’s a real thing, didn’t you know??) It is most definitely the most expensive mouse I’ve ever purchased. However, it’s also the coolest. My favorite thing about the Flex mouse is that it completely flattens for traveling purposes. How great!
My iPad. I entered iPad land with the original, full-sized iPad. Sometime last year I purchased an iPad mini and I’ve loved it ever since. I like the size of the mini much better for traveling and for leisure use. It also weighs a lot less which is great for sticking in my purse. I use this iPad both in a personal nature (Hello, Pinterest.), as well as for pulling up houses and handling contracts on the go.
At home, I have an Epson Workforce WF-3620 printer. The reason I chose this option for home was because it was the smaller of the versions that offered the features I needed. Primarily, I needed to be able to print on legal paper, and I wanted the option to scan items straight to my email. (I’m looking at you, real estate contracts.) Having this feature makes it much easier for me to handle business from both home and my office. I save tons of time this way.
My office computer is a Dell All-in-One and I also love it. (Although, I don’t remember exactly which one it is.) It moves quickly and I love the lack of space it requires. My office isn’t the largest room of them all, so I’m thankful that this computer takes up less space. I haven’t noticed any difference in its capabilities from a regular desktop, so I’m satisfied. Again though, most of my work is done in basic software programs and online. I can’t guarantee that either the all-in-one or the Surface Pro would work as well for larger programs. You might want to do some more research if that’s what you need it for.
The most important machine of them all is the coffee maker. Actually, it probably makes me the most productive! It doesn’t matter which kind you use, just be sure you have coffee available. Lots and lots of coffee.
These are the basic items that I use on a daily basis. They are what keep things moving along as efficiently as possible. If you’ve been researching new products, these might be a good place to start. I’ve thoroughly been pleased with all of the above.
What items do you use to be most productive? Is there something you couldn’t live without? I’d love to hear details!
There have been a few situations in the past where I’ve waited what would seem like “too late” to start something. There have been deadlines approaching that I’ve been aware of and rather than marching full speed towards them, I’ve waited. On the outside, it looks somewhat like procrastination. However, I’ve recently decided that it’s more like patience.
With practically everything I do in life, I need for it to feel right. Over 90% of the time I operate on my gut feeling. It’s how I opened my first business at 23. In a depression. It didn’t make any sense on paper, yet it felt right. My gut feeling is the same thing I used when getting married in 12 days, selling that first business, and opening another. To the outside world, none of those made much sense. However, my gut said go for it, and I did. I’ve used the same approach for many big and small decisions over the years and it’s working for me. That’s not to say that I have always made the right decisions…that’s a different post entirely.
At first, I myself thought it was procrastination, followed by a bit of luck when things worked out. It seemed like I’d put things off until the last minute and then somehow it would magically come together. I’d feel lucky or that I squeezed right by the doors of doom. Recently though, I started seeing this tendency of mine in a new light. I realized that things did usually come together, even if it happened on a different timeline than I originally deemed appropriate. I learned that I shouldn’t force things to happen, just to make progress early on. Instead, if I’d practice a bit of patience, things would likely still come together in the end. Rather than force myself to do something, I should just have a little bit of faith and wait until it felt right.
I have two recent examples for you. First, I’ve been toying around with the idea of a new business. If I were going to run with this idea as originally planned, I would need to travel out of town during the month of August. I was forcing myself to make a decision and get things in order, so that I would meet this self-imposed deadline. It just didn’t feel quite right though, so I hadn’t bought that plane ticket. It seemed like I needed to, yet something was holding me back. As I waited just a bit longer, things started coming together, although they’re shaping up a bit differently than I originally thought. I didn’t need to “get it together and make a decision” as I had been telling myself. I just needed to wait.
Similarly, I’ve known that I’d need to hire a new assistant since June. My current assistant would be moving in August, and I had a few months to find someone new. I had plans to attend a few trainings, etc. before I started the interviewing process and those didn’t work out like I had planned. I was also considering revamping the position a bit and morphing it into something that would enable my real estate business to grow. Weeks started passing. I went to Alaska. My trainings didn’t work out as planned, and I hadn’t made those decisions on what the position would look like in the future. More weeks passed. I’d sit down to write an email or Facebook post about the fact that I was hiring, and the words just wouldn’t come. No words?? I never have a problem with words! Somehow though, I couldn’t draft a “now hiring” post or a job description to save my life.
Now it’s August, just a few short weeks before I’d be left assistant-less. I felt like I had procrastinated again. I’d waited too long to start looking. Finally though, I started thinking of it differently. I realized that in the past I’ve thought I was procrastinating, and then things fall together at the right time. I realized that I had much more success with waiting until things felt “right” than I did with forcing things along. I even had that conversation with my husband. I said that I didn’t know what this position would look like and that I didn’t have any strong leads. Even though time was seemingly running out, I just needed to wait.
On August 6, just 14 days before my current assistant would be leaving, I received a call that there was a young lady interested in the job. I knew this girl from previous encounters and had always been very impressed with her. As soon as I learned that she was interested, I was immediately excited. We breezed through the interview/hiring process over the next couple of days and by August 10 I had hired a new almost-full-time assistant. I’m thrilled with my decision and I can’t wait to see how my business grows. I’m also looking forward to the opportunity to build and new relationship and I have a distinct feeling that I’m going to learn a lot from her loving, positive attitude.
I’ll spare you the rest of the details for now, as they’re not the true reason for this post. My ultimate point here is that sometimes you just have to wait. If something isn’t feeling right, it might not be the right timing. Rather that force a new idea or plan into action, sometimes you must practice a little patience. I certainly do not mean make a habit of procrastination. (If you find yourself procrastinating often, I talk about that here.) Instead, I’m talking about those times where things feel forced…those times when the right move or decision isn’t clearly obvious. If you’re a person who operates primarily on instinct as I do, you may need to just step back and wait for a bit. To the naked eye, it likely seemed that I was avoiding the search for a new assistant. On the contrary, I finally identified that I shouldn’t force it and the right person for the job was just around the corner. If anything, I’m learning to be patient and to follow my intuition.
I feel like I’ve learned another important detail about myself this month. Identifying these tendencies has taught me how to give myself a bit a grace. I’m learning more about how my own mind and body operates every single day. With this new quality identified, I feel even more in charge of my life. Learning this, coupled with the promise of a very large and very positive change in my business, has given me a new dose of inspiration. I’m feeling recharged and motivated, and I’m more than excited to see what the next several months hold. Here’s to big discoveries and bright futures!
Well, it’s May already. Are you as shocked by that as I am?? I sat down to write my usual monthly goals post and then realized that I just couldn’t do it. I’m not ready to set monthly goals again yet. At first I was all like, “Geez, Pamela. You skipped last month too. You really need to get it together.”
Then I realized something important. I don’t have to set monthly goals. I don’t actually have to set any goals at all. (Although, that would drastically affect my success and productivity.) If you clink on my goal tag you’ll quickly and easily see that setting goals is my jam. It’s likely one of those things that I’ll be known for. It’s how I operate and what I’m good at.
However, sometimes you just gotta take a break from things. Sometimes you have to hit pause on your regular activities and come back to them later when it feels right. That’s what I’m doing here. My work schedule isn’t really conducive to a ton of personal development or house projects right now. Plus, I’m in the middle of BOLD (a very intense real estate class) and working diligently on #the100dayproject. So, rather than feeling guilty for “getting off track,” I’m going to cut myself some slack and not worry too much about ditching the monthly goals for a bit.
Have you ever hit pause on something and came back to it later? If so, I’d love to hear how that worked for you. I’m sure that I’ll pick these monthly goals back up soon. For now, I’ll be selling all of the houses, calling all of the people, and making all of the crafty projects.
If there’s one thing I could talk about all day long besides goal-setting, it’s business. It doesn’t even matter what type of business really. I just love the concept. Looking back, I can see signs that I was destined to be a business owner from day one.
I’ve opened two business so far in my short lifetime. At 23, I opened Salt & Pepper Accessory Boutique with my sister. At this point in my life, I had very little experience in knowing what all was out there in the world. I did have experience in the fashion industry, and this business came from the idea of providing affordable, out-of-the-ordinary fashion accessories to the average woman. The premise was that a shopper would get the service of a boutique store at affordable prices and that absolutely everyone would be welcomed there. Our staff was rigorously trained to make every shopper feel special, important, and wanted. I loved how we were subtlety empowering our shoppers.
After opening in 2009, we added clothing, shoes, vintage furniture/home decor, and various household goods. We also expanded and moved to a newer, larger building. Looking back, my sister and I opened a business that thrived primarily on disposable income right in the middle of a recession. Realistically, that doesn’t seem like a smart business move. However, I’ve always operated on my gut feeling and something said go for it.
Four years after opening Salt & Pepper, I made the oh-so-tough decision to sell the business and move on to new ventures. To this day, I miss searching out the coolest, non-mainstream items for the store. Nonetheless, I love business number two and haven’t looked back.
I became a licensed realtor in June of 2013. At that time, I really had no idea where this career would take me. All I knew was that I’d always had a strong interest in the real estate industry. Shortly after becoming licensed, I created Pamela Petrus, LLC. On the surface, it looks like I show houses for a living. Sometimes my short answer to people when they ask the ever-popular what-do-you-do question is, “I sell real estate.” That’s just the short answer though. In fact, I run a business.
At this time, Pamela Petrus, LLC is a business that focuses primarily on aiding third parties in the sell and purchase of residential properties. I don’t show houses all day, and I’m not a salaried employee of Keller Williams Realty. lnstead, I am an independent contractor (self-employed) and Keller Williams is my broker.
In all honesty, I’m likely selling myself short by saying, “I sell houses.” In reality, I am a business owner. I am a professional marketer and negotiator. I study pages and pages of contracts daily. I manage communication between a host of parties involved in a single real estate transaction…bankers, lawyers, buyers, sellers, contractors, insurance agents…the list goes on and on. I possess a wealth of information, not known by the general public. I protect my clients’ investments and help them make the best decisions during what’s often the largest purchase of their lives. Frequently, I’m a counselor and I help manage emotions.
I don’t just show houses. I do all of the tasks done by the average business owner. I advertise. I pay payroll. I research my market. I study trends and manage finances. I pay lots and lots of taxes. Undoubtedly, my paycheck comes from commission paid on the sale of a home. That’s ultimately how I pay my bills. However, it’s so much more elaborate than selling real estate as a hobby. I didn’t get into this industry to look at pretty houses everyday. I’m a professional, not a hobbyist.
In thinking about what it really means to be a business owner, sometimes I’m taken back. Sometimes, I myself, forget to treat Pamela Petrus, LLC as a business, not a job. Sometimes I’m simply amazed/proud/humbled by the fact that I’ve opened two businesses already, and I’m not even 30 years old. Most of all, I’m thankful for this business mindset that I possess and for the opportunity to do what I do.
This post came to be after a pretty humbling realization I had. I read all of the blog posts on business. Seriously, if one of my favorite bloggers writes anything about their businesses, I’m all ears (or eyes, rather). I’m always a tad jealous of how much control they have and how unapologetic they are for crafting things to be how they want. Then, it dawned on me. I, too, am a business owner with the ability to run my business how I choose. I don’t have to work with mean people. I can manage my schedule so that it provides the best life possible for my husband and I. I get to decide what I will and won’t do and what’s next. The scary truth is, all of the decisions begin and end with me, and I get to decide how this business of mine is ran. That fact is both invigorating and immensely frightening.
What’s next? Something big. Only time will tell. I do have big plans, for sure. I have dreams of investing (rentals and remodels), coaching, and consulting. I’m not sure what each of these items will look like, yet I know they’re on the horizon. Will I open other businesses? Most likely. Will I continue to run a real estate business? Most likely. Will I constantly be looking for the next big thing for me and my family? Definitely. I truly believe that the best lives are lived by always seeking new adventures and by always looking for more. Some ventures may succeed and others may fail. However, you’ll never know which is which without making that first step.
(photo via The Great Discontent)
When I saw details for #the100dayproject (via EliseJoy), I knew I had to participate! I’m always the first to get behind any sort of daily challenge. (I’m also probably the first to fall behind half way through…no judging!)
The premise behind this project is that you make something daily for 100 days. Can you just imagine what all you could get done by making something every day for 100 days?? I wasn’t sure if I wanted to make something or do something…I just knew I wanted to participate somehow.
I actually had quite a bit of trouble deciding which project I wanted to tackle. I made a rather lengthy list and then deliberated for hours on what to do. By deliberated, I mean practically stressed over it and sent waaay too many text messages to Amanda for her opinion.
Nonetheless, I finally made a decision! I decided to go with 100 days of crafty things! I wanted something that had a bit of flexibility, so I left my topic a bit open ended. (I didn’t want to have to work on the same type of project every day.) As of right now, I envision my daily tasks being a variety of things. Some days I’ll paint. Some days I might finish decorating an area of my home, make something new, or learn a new, crafty skill.
Regardless of what actual task I complete each day, my focus is to actually do something fulfilling each day. Most days I am completely exhausted by the time I get home from work, and I tend to put off all of the fun projects I’d like to do. By participating in the 100 days project, I’m hoping to reserve a bit of time each day for creating/doing something fun.
What have I done so far?
Day 1: wrapped a wedding present and made a gift tag for it
Day 2: made a bracelet
Day 3: doodled a quote from Cinderella for my mirror
Day 4: I’m planning to work on some crafty Lovely Lady Letters!
Think you might like to participate? It’s not too late! Go to the site and register. The project continues until July 14, 2015. You can play catch up if you’d like, skip a few of the first days, or continue on past July 14….whatever your heart desires! If you do decide to participate, let me know! I’d love to follow along.
If you’d like to keep up with what I’ll be doing through this project, you can follow #100daysofcraftythings on IG (@pamelapetrus). Happy crafting!
One of my goals for the month was to make a weekend trip over to Dallas and spend a bit of time with the husband. Done! What started as a trip to IKEA, ended up being an excuse to get away and celebrate Matthew’s graduation.
Most of our trips revolve around food. Picking a cool restaurant is of utmost importance. Here’s where we ate on this trip:
The Dairy Palace (Canton, Tx):
This is one of my favorite burger joints of all time. We stopped here on the way to Dallas and on the way back. The burgers are some of the best I’ve ever had. They’re world famous and open 24 hours. If you’re passing through Texas on I-20, make a plan to stop here.
Cane Rosso (Deep Ellum):
This was our first stop when we made it to Dallas, and it did not disappoint. The selection of brick oven pizzas is mouth-watering. No need to order an appetizer here because it only takes 75 seconds to cook a pizza! My favorite thing here was the decor. The restaurant was in an old building that had been very tastefully and eclectically redone. My favorite part was the fringe lights. You better believe that I’ll be purchasing one of these if I ever come across one!
Sol Ilandes (Downtown):
This place was in walking distance from our hotel, which is half of the appeal. What started as just picking a convenient place to eat turned into a fantastic meal! They played old country music and the place was filled to the brim with happy folks and high energy. There was a patio with roll up windows on the side that would be a great place to enjoy in warmer weather. The food was pretty great too. The menu was diverse, and the food was flavorful…something that you don’t always find outside of Louisiana. It’s definitely a place I’d recommend to anyone in Downtown Dallas. After dinner, we walked around the corner to Fluellen Cupcakes. The carrot cake cupcake was amazing and my favorite thing about this place was that they’re open late!
Buzz Brews (Deep Ellum):
This might have been one of my favorite stops on the trip. It was across the street from Cane Rosso and had a very artsy vibe. It featured a self-serve coffee bar. (The peanut butter coffee was a crowd favorite…we even order a 1/2 pound to bring home!) We were also incredibly impressed by the food. My banana nut pancakes were off the charts! I was in love with the old faucets in the bathroom…so cool! The bathroom itself is something to talk about. I heard a girl say, “It’s two doors, but don’t let that confuse you…its one bathroom.” I thought that meant you had to go through two doors to get in. Nope. It’s two doors (one for men and one for women), but they lead into the SAME bathroom. There were individual stalls/rooms on each side with the cool sinks in the middle of the room. I’d never seen anything quite like it!
One of the highlights of this trip was that I got to go ice skating for the first time! Matthew has quite a bit of experience, but I had never been on skates. I’m happy to report that I didn’t fall, not even once! They say that ice skating is a lot like rollerblading, which I can agree with…if you’re roller blading on baby oil!
Another highlight was our visit to the Look Cinemas. This is one of those movie theaters that have recliners, serve food, etc. Actually, they offer four different experiences to chose from. (Check out their website…it’s pretty cool.) Matthew and I chose the Look & Dine experience. My favorite part of this theater was the chairs…they were grouped in sets of two, were incredibly comfortable, and reclined! That only thing missing from this experience was a cozy blanket!
The day we headed home, we spent 7+ hours at IKEA. My birthday present from Matthew was to finish out my closet room, so we ultimately went to get some storage solutions for that. We also bought shelves for my office, a new rug, and several other goodies that you’ll likely see around my house soon. As always, it was a fun (but exhausting) day of shopping. Never ben to IKEA? Go! There’s nothing else like it.
All in all, we had a fun trip. We met up with Amanda and her sister Rachel here and there and enjoyed lots of quality time together. I also got two houses under contract while on the road, which is seriously one of my favorite things about this career.
Want to read more about our travels? Check here! Where shall we go next??