Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Yesterday I took my real estate exam to get my license, and today I turned in all my paperwork. In the number of days it takes the state to process my application I will be licensed. Joshua and I are excited about being able to have full access to the MLS so that we can spend endless hours looking at houses online.

Anyway, that is just a little explanation for the lack of posting here this week. My brain can only think of the real estate transactions and I don't think you want me to bore you with that sludge.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Stamp of Approval

Our home has officially been toured and no one fell down our stairs. There were over 200 people through our house on Saturday and the variety of things that people commented on was amazing.

"Oh come look at this thread display. I love that!"
"I can't believe you lucked out with white tile in the bathroom." "No ma'am that's been resurfaced"
"These colors are fabulous"
"Mom, this front door is great."
"Where did you get that fridge?" (keep in mind this is just a regular GE fridge)
"I can't believe how much I like the fireplace painted like this"

Honestly, it was more tiring than we expected and it took a lot of work to get everything ready. However, turns out that three hours of compliments really makes everything worth it.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Now Playing

In case you don't have cable (like me) or you don't have the patience of a 14 year old girl to sit in front of the TV waiting for a certain music video (like me) I don't want you to miss out on the video I worked on.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Family Recipe

I am incredibly blessed to be friends with amazingly talented people. I mean check this stuff out. And this guy. The list could go on. I'm gonna go ahead and give myself 50% credit for picking awesome friends but I'd have to say the other 50% is just dumb luck that they keep me around.

This week our new painting was dropped off and I just can't say enough about the artist. I love her newest round of work and think you should all go out and buy something right now.

Painting-Megan Miller

No seriously, why are you still reading this? If you say the recession, I'm gonna scream!

She also came over last night to help me decorate our bookshelves for the tour of homes. This was by far the coolest idea of the night.


I can take no credit except providing the thread. She says it was the Dr. Pepper flavored margarita, but I think it was just her awesomeness.


Oh, and if you want the recipe for a Dr. Pepper flavored margarita:

1. Remove chilled Dr. Pepper from fridge
2. Pour said Dr. Pepper into a margarita glass.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Refresh, Refresh, Refresh

I finally decided (with prompting from a friend) to sell the Canon XL1 camera I bought back in 2002. It was my first professional purchase and it has served me well. It handled many church camps, depositions, conferences, comedians and interviews. It has even seen a couple of weddings and it TOTALLY agreed with me when I decided we were never doing those again.

For the next 4 hours and 32 minutes I will be sitting right here updating the auction page obsessively. Some people might just check in at the end of the day but that's not how I roll.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Friday I bought a purse. For most girls women that isn't such a big deal. For me, pretty life altering. I can't remember when my purse wasn't a 3" x 4" metal wallet that fit in my back pocket. I decided that as I am quickly approaching an age that can only be described as "adulthood" I need to start taking my femininity seriously. Or maybe its just because I keep losing my keys.

I looked for a purse in New York. I looked for one in Texas. I even drug myself to the mall twice. Then while we were in Target looking for a belt, Joshua appeared from around the corner holding MY purse. It was leather, yellow and not shiny at all. I loved it.

This is where there should be a picture of said purse right?

Yeah, we returned it this morning. The leather turned black in a couple of places the first time I carried it.

Now I'm having to mourn the perfect purse. Also had a friend that stepped on a baby bunny and killed it. Tough Weekend!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sustainable Living - Caveland

Although the idea of living in a cave may not automatically appeal to some or even most people, it definitely embraces the idea of sustainable living. This home built by the Sleeper family in Missouri utilized an existing, and very well known cave that once hosted performances by many well known musicians.

Although not off the grid (energy is supplied by local electrical service) the geothermal and passive solar properties of the cave essentially eliminate the need for any cooling or heating of the living spaces. Utilizing the cave as the shell of the building eliminates a large amount of cost and energy typically expended in manufacturing and transporting of materials and on-site construction. The cave provides the foundation, the exterior walls and the roof, leaving only the interior framing and finish-out. It also eliminates the life of maintenance typically required on the exterior of the home.

As long as you're not claustrophobic, home sweet home!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Collaborative Design

In the past week I started design work on a new house in Austin, TX. Nothing solid yet, just rough sketches at this point. Our friend Kathy's son, Austin (lots of Austins in our life), was sick from school yesterday and she needed to go into work for a while. So to help her out, I made happy little sketches at their place rather than ours. Technically I was also there in the event he started to die.

Little did I know that Austin was going to provide valuable design suggestions. He mentioned his main area of expertise is drawing and locating the pool. However, because this house was not going to have a pool he offered his ideas on another matter: the kids rooms (using his room as reference of course.)

Austin: "You know what you should make? Places to keep stuff."
Me: "Like what?"
Austin: "Uh, Books. Costumes. And collections. Kids collect stuff. I have a rock collection. You should make little places for rocks."

Makes good sense to me.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My New Theory

As I was lying in bed this morning refusing to allow the alarm clock to do its job I decided something. People who work 8 hour days deserve 8 hours of sleep, people who work 10 hour days deserve to sleep a full 10 hours. Makes sense right?

No matter how fun a shoot was and no matter how well it went I am still just beat at the end of it. Yesterday was one of the 10 hour on your feet shoot days that reminds me why I love this work. We worked with a great band, the crew was great and considering the budget the end product will be amazing as well.

Lets see if anyone can name the band based on a couple of my stills from the afternoon.

Steven on Set

video shoot

Friday, April 10, 2009

Yesterday's Find

In my wandering around the internet yesterday I came upon something very interesting. This site lets you sell your attention to advertisers. Its pretty crazy how easy and quick it is. You aren't going to get rich, but I sat down and in under 2 minutes I had $5 in my account. They pay you whatever you earn every Friday so I'm hoping this will fund Joshua and I eating at Chick-fil-a once a week. You just have to look at ads and then you get paid a little more if you click them. Easy. Squeezey. Sign up here to give it a try.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Ooohh! Something Shiny

Today is panning out to be one of the most wasted afternoons in quite sometime. I don't have anything crazy pressing so I'm having a problem focusing. I should be writing and then I find myself googling high school friends. I should be getting stuff lined up for Monday's shoot and then bam! out of nowhere I'm clicking my blog circuit over and over and over again.

By admitting it here, I hope to get my stuff together and get on track for the rest of the afternoon.

Oh look at the time, I have to go read Little House in the Big Woods with the third grader I'm helping. Guess that didn't work!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

By the Fire

Last night we burned all the wood we had gathered. We also found another monster piece in our basement that was dry enough to burn. (FYI Monster=3ft long and 8inches around). I had no idea that was down there and about 9pm Joshua throws it on our fire. Currently the log is still crackling in our fireplace, so you know it was still going strong when we were ready to go to bed.

The dilemna: Our living room is so toasty and our hall and bedroom are luke warm at best. What's the Fykes family to do?

We got out our air mattress and slept on the living room floor by the fire. Not as comfortable as our bed, but absolutely worth it. I didn't want to waste the last of our fire and there's really nothing like sleeping by open flames. Some might call it a fire hazard, I'd call it awesome.

It reminded us of our first 2 months in this house. The upstairs wasn't finished on time so we lived in the basement. We had our bed, our dining room table and a folding table to work on and because it was December we had a fire every night (for warmth, not looks). It got a little claustrophobic but we did get the smell of smoke out of our comforter so nothing is really worse for the wear.

Monday, April 6, 2009

If only I had a Bonnet

Yesterday was a beautiful spring day. Temperature hit 70. Glorious.

Today it is 37. Falling below freezing. 40% chance of flurries/snow.

We knew this was coming. The forecast was taunting us with it for the last five days. So yesterday Joshua and I went hunting for wood to burn. We are all out of dry logs so we decided to go walking through our semi-suburban neighborhood looking for wood.

Lucky for us the city comes by at four random times during the year picking up brush in front of everyone's home which means 361 days a year there are branches and tree debri piled in front of everyone's home. Usually it's an eyesore but yesterday it was a gold mine.

We came back with an armful of wood for tonight's fire. I'm sure it is because I'm reading Little House in the Big Woods with the girl I'm tutoring, but I felt so like a wife in the old west preparing for a coming storm. I know there wouldn't be internet and we'd have to read the clouds or something, but don't ruin it for me.

Friday, April 3, 2009

On my List

For all the Friends lovers: Have you seen my list? It's a piece of paper with Ross' name on it!

I was raised by a woman who has a list. I don't remember the things that led up to businesses being on the list but I do remember the final straw for a few of the companies.

Burlington Coat Factory is on her list. The final straw: they started a policy to not accept returns and there is no exception even for defective items.

Wendy's is on her list. Final Straw: The millionth time my mom asked for lots of extra ketchup and they refused to hand over more than 2 packets. I remember when I made a conscious decision to eat at Wendy's with my friends and thought about throwing away the evidence just so my mom wouldn't know I had broken her boycott. FYI: Ends up it was just the policy of the Wendy's in our home town because at college they gave me all the ketchup I wanted so I ate there everyday (sometimes twice).

She doesn't take lightly to putting a company on the list and they don't get there just because of a rude employee. There has to be a constant, blatant disregard for customers or ridiculous corporate policy.

Today I started MY list. Right now, its a piece of paper with one name on it: CitiMortgage.

I will continue to use their credit cards but I am all done with the Mortgage branch of their business. I will tell every company I ever buy a mortgage from that they are NOT allowed to sell my mortgage to that company (I don't know if that will hold any weight but I will do it). And if there is ever a time that they sell my mortgage to Citi anyway, I will refinance or do what it takes to get out from under them ASAP.

We have done nothing but pay them on time so I would assume they value me as a customer. However, they are impossible to deal with and they don't train their international employees to a high enough level that they can deal with our issues or questions quickly and accurately.

I know no one wants a rant on a Friday but thats part of what the list is all about - not wanting anyone else to have to deal with the mess I've been stuck in. The other part: Tiffany taking on Fortune 500 companies.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Little Whiffs

Today was sunny and warm for most of the afternoon so I decided I was going to drive the scooter to community group tonight. It was my first ride of the season alone. Not being attached to Joshua makes me much more aware of the experience.

People in cars don't get to appreciate the subtle differences there is in the air in all the places you drive. Did you know that at 30 miles an hour you can still smell people's laundry from the street? People in cars are missing out.