Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Seasonal Tips for Home Owners

Real estate agent and my neighbor, David Durham is here with tips for home owners this fall.

When the fall weather has finally arrived, you know what that means – time for some home maintenance! Maintenance might not be your favorite time of the year, but it is necessary and important to protect your home as much as possible. Incorporate these key maintenance tips for your home.
Seal Windows
Any windows or doorways where there are air leaks and drafts, take the time now to seal up those areas before that cold chill enters your home. There are several ways you can achieve this, depending on the source of the draft. But a few of the most common and simple ways is to apply some weather stripping, rope caulk, and even door snakes that will fit right underneath your doors.
Clear Out the Gutters
This task is best to do once the leaves have mostly fallen off of the trees surrounding your home. And once they have, grab a ladder, a handy friend, and clear out all of that debris. You want to ensure that any extreme moisture won’t end up pooling and causing potential damage come next spring.
Inspect the Roof and Attic
It’s always a good idea to stay on top of roof maintenance by inspecting it and your attic once a year to keep tabs on how it’s holding up against wear and tear. If any moisture is getting through your roof, it could lead to a variety of problems, including weakened insulation. That could result in a cold, drafty home for the wintertime, so get up there or hire someone to do it for you.
Check your Furnace
Before you turn on that heat, hire a HVAC company like SOS Mechanical, to evaluate your system to make sure its in top running condition. 
Fall maintenance is part of what comes with being a homeowner. But that doesn’t mean you have to endure those tasks. If you can’t do it yourself, or simply don’t have the time to, call a local professional. If you would like my Service Directory please let me know. 

If you know anyone wanting to buy, sell or invest please call me. 

David Durham
David Durham Group
Keller Williams Realty 

Ha! Fortunately, I leave all maintenance to my husband. Have you started your fall maintenance yet? 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017


Have you decided on a look for Halloween? No? Or do you need a little help? Yes! Great! Check out this video using all SeneGence products for a long lasting look that doesn't budge and smudge!

Here are a couple tips: (See video demo here)
- Use BlackBerry LipSense or Onyx ShadowSense to create definition and lines for Cats, Sugar Skulls, Skulls... you name It!
- Use different shades of Blushes, Concealers or Shadows for contouring and creating an aged look, or spots like for a deer or cheetah
- Use our bold LipSense colors for fun looks like the scarecrow or mermaid.
Seriously- the options are endless.
P.S. It is good for your skin too.
Xoxo Sara

Come hang out with me at www.facebook.com/groups/sassysmoochesbysara

What will your Halloween look be?

Friday, October 27, 2017

Round Rock Round Up #3 2017

Round Rock Round Up is a listing of fun things going on in our area for the next week. It will be published by Friday of every week. It's by no means exhaustive just things that got my attention. I'll link to a full list at the end of the page.

Round Rock: Peanuts Halloween Event 5pm-7pm Bass Pro Shop

Cedar Park: Halloween Comicfest  10-5 1540 Cypress Creek Rd Ste 108
                       Lula Roe Pop-Up with PRIZES 1-4 550 Discovery Blvd
                       Fable Fest 11-5 1901 Sun Chase Blvd
                       Boo Bash 1-3pm Lakeline Mall

Round Rock: Peanuts Halloween Event 12pm-5pm Bass Pro Shop
                        Teal Pumpkin Trunk or Treat 5-7 Impact Family Chiropractic
Pflugerville:   DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS CELEBRATION 2-3:30 1008 Pfluger St. W
Austin:            FREE legal clinic 10-2 8770 Research Blvd

Round Rock: Peanuts Halloween Event 12pm-5pm Bass Pro Shop
                        Great Pumpkin Festival 2-6 1420 E Palm Valley Blvd
Pflugerville:   Stress Free Holidays Workshop 1-3 Holcomb Family Counseling & Yoga
Austin:            North Austin YMCA Fall Harvest Festival 1:30-3 1000 W Rundberg LN

Round Rock: Peanuts Halloween Event 5pm-7pm Bass Pro Shop

Round Rock: Peanuts Halloween Event 4pm-8pm Bass Pro Shop
                        Hometown Halloween 3-6 221 E Main St
                        Fearless Fest                6-9pm 1000 McNeil Rd
Pflugerville:   Harry Potter & The Murder Mystery Dinner 1008 Pfluger St W
Austin:            Fall Festival of Lights and Balloons 7-8:30 9910 Bilbrook Place

Monday, October 23, 2017

Luba Carlson: Getting Ahead of Your To-Do List

Get Ahead of Your To-Do List

Last week I accepted a part-time position that added about 17 hours to my week. Should I have said, it subtracted the seventeen hours?
It really does not matter, right? What matters is that my family’s routine is totally screwed and now I have to figure out new ways to make everything run smoothly, have meals on the table, make sure everything gets done, and I keep my sanity.
I am one of those people who thrive on busy. The more I have to do, the better I do it. It has nothing to do with the last minute tasks. I just feel like I am able to focus better when I am not scattered all over the place.
Today I am pulling out the old guns, the same techniques I used in college while teaching high school full time and working on my thesis for the Master’s Degree. Same approaches I used while working full time, tutoring, and being in charge of a youth program at church. Very same method that helped me pull it together when I moved continents. And then states.
It all starts with one VERY IMPORTANT STEP.
1. Impeccable self-care.
If you are wondering why in world this is step one when there is so much that needs to be done, let me ask you this. Are you always the one who has to wait? Are your needs the needs that can be taken care of later? Are you tired of pushing yourself in the corner for the greater good?
Just  a few years ago I had pushed myself so deep into that corner that the world started to seem like a never ending list of never ending chores. I was feeling hopeless and my life was starting to feel meaningless. What is the point of doing the dishes if they are going to be messed up the next hour? Why would I keep trying to keep the kids’ room picked up if it all is going to be dumped out in a matter of minutes? Why get dressed? - Nobody is coming to drop by and I will just mess up another set of clothes and make my laundry pile bigger.
I realized then and there that if I didn't start to take better care of myself, I would become a person I never wanted my husband to have for a wife or my kids to have for a mother.
I learned that even though pedicures are delightful, they don’t fill me with the energy and positivity. My impeccable self-care comes from alone time, time I devote to reading, walking outside, dancing.
What activities fill your heart? What makes you let out a satisfied sigh? Do that. Do it often.
If you are taking care of yourself, you will be able to take care of everyone else.
2. Write everything down.
I like to keep a journal or a notebook accessible at all times, use the Notes app on my phone or something similar. The main idea is to keep all the notes in one place and not scattered through the office/house/car on separate sticky notes.
Very soon you will notice that some tasks keep appearing on your list over and over again. Those are the ones that keep sitting in the back of your mind and take the brain power from the work that needs to be done.
Just like a smartphone, the brain collects junk files. Just like the smartphone, if those junk files are not taken care of, they will drain the power from your brain. We don’t want that, do we?
To free the brain from junk files, add them to your list. Once you see which ones keep coming back, spend a couple of minutes deciding if they are really that important or it is something that can be left alone.
For example, if you notice the same “ send the Christmas cards” showing on your list in November/December all you need to do is act on it. If it is still on your list in February, it is time to ditch that idea and free your brain space for something else. Do you see how the same idea can be a VIP file or a JUNK file depending on your own circumstance?
At night before bedtime, go through your list and highlight only the tasks that need to be done tomorrow. I like to ask myself if these activities are urgent. Then, which of the urgent ones are truly important.
Why is it important to have it done the night before? This activity allows you to free up some space and recharge your brain while you are sleeping without those nasty JUNK files in the background.
What is going to happen to all the other urgent or maybe not so important items? They are on your list so they will not perish. The following night, before highlighting, go a few days back on your lists and re-assess their importance. If still important, copy and paste. If not - JUNK file.
Be realistic about what you can do in a day.
It sounds like this piece of advice is applicable to over-achievers only, but the truth is that everyone can benefit from it. Being realistic about your day and allowing yourself to under-set your goals allows your brain to cheer when you those items get checked off your list. The happy hormone, dopamine, is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain's reward and pleasure centers. Dopamine also helps regulate movement and emotional responses, and it enables us not only to see rewards but to take action to move toward them. So once you make your brain happy about crossing something off your list, your brain will start looking for ways to get more items crossed off the same list.
Unfortunately, the opposite is true also. When you lose and don’t get done what was on your list, you feel discouraged and upset, your brain does all in its power to help you avoid those emotions again by steering you clear from any lists and tasks, leading you into a procrastination trap.
In a nutshell, if you think you can get six tasks done, write down four as your primary goal and the other two as your flexible goal. Make sure, though, to not add the VIP tasks to flexibles, yes? This way if the four are done and no time for the other two, you are still golden! If you still have time for the other two, well, you did a fantastic job today!
3. Find a way to celebrate every time you check an item off.
This is a big deal. Only celebrating will tell your brain to release dopamine. That’s how you train your brain to get things done.  
Happy brain equals productive brain. Self-care makes up happy. Using highlighters and bright color coding systems make our brain sing! Crossing things off the above mentioned list, and celebrating each achievement, will make your brain want to get more things done. Because it feels so good!!!
How to celebrate? Great question!
Include as many senses as you can.
Ticking it off on your computer or phone - add a touch tone.
Do a little happy dance.
Reward yourself with a stroll around the office and a friendly chit-chat with a co-worker.
Get a cup of coffee. Or tea. Or a glass of water.
Make sure your celebration is visual (include something you can see, such as a thick line all the way across the goal), auditory (whisper “yeah!” as you are slowly crossing the thing off your list), and tactile (by using a marker that glides over the paper).
Get creative in how you reward your brain and your brain will reward you!
Do you feel like you have been trying your best but the mornings are dragging and it’s so hard to focus on what’s important? In my Spark Your Productivity worksheet I walk you through 7 quick steps to help you reset your expectations, sharpen your focus, and jumpstart your productivity.
You can find the free download here: www.22s.com/lubacarlson/104000
Blog: lubacarlson.com
Bio:Luba has been going through major transformations since before she was a teenager. Change of schools. A father who became addicted to alcohol and took upon abusive ways with his family. Her country that had fallen apart. Becoming a Christian. Rejecting a church that had very little to do with Christianity. Moving to a different country, different continent, all the way across the world.
Finding the new her. Adapting to the new culture. Getting in touch with her root-self instead of conforming to the expectations of others.  Not giving into the pressure but searching, researching, re-inventing and defining who she is. What she is.
She has done this so many times that it started to become a proven step-by-step system.
Luba helps others to connect to their root-self and become the leading force in their life so that they can design the life they want to live.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Round Rock Round Up #2 2017

Round Rock Round Up is a listing of fun things going on in our area for the next week. It will be published by Friday of every week. It's by no means exhaustive just things that got my attention. I'll link to a full list at the end of the page.

Round Rock: Touch A Truck 9-12 700 N Redbud Ln. Old Settler's Park
                        Hairy Man Festival 11-6 Cat Hollow Park
                        Peanuts Halloween Event 12-5 Bass Pro Shop
                        Diwali Festival 3-10 301 W Baghdad
                        Trunk or Treat for Special Needs 5:30-7:30 Seton Medical Center
Pflugerville:    Pflugerville Pfall Chili Pfest 12-5 pm 100 E. Main St
                         Stranger Things Escape Room 1-5 pm 1008 Pfluger St W
Cedear Park: Fairies and Trolls Tea Party 10 am 500 Discovery Blvd
                        Halloween at the Y 3-8 pm 204 E Little Elm Trail
Austin: Monarch Appreciation Day 9-4 Zilker Botanical Garden

Round Rock: Peanuts Halloween Event 12-5 Bass Pro Shop
Austin: Kids Costume Exchange Two (bring a costume, take a costume) 10-2 1107 S 8th St Kids Frolic
             Hope Farmers Market Costume Swap 11-3 412 Comal St Austin Hope Farmers Market
Round Rock: St Richard's Pumpkin Patch 12-8 pm 1420 E Palm Valley Blvd
Cedar Park:  Bow Wow Readers 4:30 pm 500 Discovery Blvd Center Cedar Park

Again this is by no means a comprehensive list. Just some things I thought looked cool. What's the best day trip around the Austin area this week? I'm split between Hairy Man/Peanuts/ and Diwali. Where will we see you this weekend?

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Nerd Girl on Networking

If you've read my "About Jeni Fred," you know it references #NerdGirl glasses. Yeah, that is so totally me. Nerd girl.
Most days I could live without socializing at all, and I always thought that meant I was bad at networking. I watched friends get full requests long before I ever did because their blog reach was like one thousand times mine and they met everyone under the sun at some conference or another. Meanwhile, I went to conferences and took notes. I then went back to my hotel room and wrote. Or to the lobby and wrote. I got fewer requests, but those requests were more solid. My work got requests not my popularity.
I didn't know it but I was networking. Because every time a writer or blogger needed help they would ask. And I would help as much as I could. What I didn't understand is that I built deep connections. I made fewer connections but the people I connected with, I really connected with. While some people had ten thousand connections who would gladly tweet or leave a blog post, I had less than five hundred connections. My connections offered to package my next book for free when they thought I got a bad end of a deal. Read that again. My competitor offered to package my product for free.
When you meet fifty people in a room and swap business cards, you've made a shallow connection. The person who received your card might remember you're name upon seeing it again. (And that does have value. I don't want to suggest it doesn't.) But when you're doing something you love, and supporting people in your industry, you're making deep connections. That person not only knows your name but has told all of their friends about you. Now three or four people know your name. And the deeper your connections, the more likely you are to have a real support network.
What's one instance you can form a deep connection instead of just swapping cards this week?

Monday, October 16, 2017

Miles of Violets Photographer Diane Harvey on A Great Professional Head Shot And Discounted Session

Head shots are an important aspect of self branding. A good head shot conveys your professionalism and trustworthiness. Here are some tips to consider to help you get the most out of your photo session.
Do you want a more tradition
al, corporate feel with a solid color back drop? Or are you looking for
something that tells the viewer more about you as an individual, such as a location outdoors or related to your business? There is no right answer, but it's important to decide and communicate your needs to your photographer.
Try to wear something that you love, but are also comfortable in. If you decide to purchase a new outfit,
take it for a trial run before your photo shoot. Try to avoid stark white because it has a tendency to be
easily overexposed, and it can also bounce unwanted color aberrations onto your skin. Don't be afraid to bring more than one outfit. More options are always a good thing.
Men should shave that day if they want a clean shaven look. Women should avoid shimmery makeup
because it doesn't photograph well. Consider hiring a professional hair and makeup artist for their
expertise (and some welcome pampering!). Do your makeup as you normally would; perhaps as you
would for a special occasion, but not too heavily done. Both men and women should get a good night's rest and drink plenty of water the day before!
Most importantly, relax! This should be a fun experience. If you are comfortable with your photographer and enjoying yourself, your personality will shine through in your images.
Diana is offering head shot sessions for $100. She is also available for beautiful family portraits. Find out more about Miles of Violets Photography here.

Seasonal Tips for Home Owners

Real estate agent and my neighbor, David Durham is here with tips for home owners this fall. When the fall weather has finally arrive...