July 27, 2023

Life & Real Estate | 7.27.23

I debuted my first blog in 2008. “The Write Stuff” was housed on Blogspot and filled with my 13-year-old thoughts. Whenever I go back to read the posts, I can’t help but laugh, then cringe, then laugh again. This was only the beginning of a lifelong love for blogging, writing, and sharing.

17 years later, I *still* have a blog. But over the last few years of becoming a mom and growing my business, I’ve written less and less on here. And what’s more, the art of blogging has changed, with people favoring an Instagram caption over a long-form post or essay. Instagram is easier, prettier, and quicker: Why continue to keep up the old-fashioned blog? I have spent a lot of time this summer mulling over this question.

Here’s the answer I’ve come up with: I need to keep up my blog because I love having this space. Writing is how I express myself. I am operating at my best when I can carve out alone time, preferably with coffee or wine, and just fill up a page with words.

As a business owner, a mom, a wife, and a friend, I have a lot to say these days. And so, I’m trying something new: Life & Real Estate, a blog series. (This was the title of one of my albums on Facebook many moons ago, and it just fits!)

What will these posts be about? Motherhood and family, city life, our home and neighborhood, Melanie Everett & Company, and anything else that is inspiring me lately. This series is going to be for me. Whether I have one reader or many, I’m excited to begin!

Let’s sit outside: After many, many trips to Home Goods, our little outdoor space is finally finished. I love it! I really love it, and I’m especially proud of how we were able to pull it together without overspending. (The sofa was the only investment item, a white perennial one with black piping from RH that we bought last year.) Our deck is not large, but we worked with what we had, somehow fitting in a bistro table with four chairs, sofa side table, blue-and-white garden stool, and two poufs to use at footrests. Oh! And my favorite find: a black wicker bar cart from Amazon where we have been nurturing flowers and plants and herbs. You will have to come over and see it for yourself!

Growing up: Annie is turning one soon, and right behind her, Holly is turning three a few weeks later. I’ve heard it said that time is a thief, and these words feel truer than ever as the girls’ birthdays approach. Though there are challenges, this is such a fun stage for both of them. At home, Andrew constantly catches my eye and we giggle whenever Holly does something silly or Annie babbles “mamamama” to us. This is a precious stage of life and as tired as I am, I want it to last and last.

We’re on the list: Melanie Everett & Company is in Chicago Magazine! Each year, Chicago Mag publishes the top real estate agents and teams across six counties in Chicagoland. 100 teams were recognized, and what’s incredible is that we are one of only six independent brokerages on the list. Wow.

Garden dreams: Earlier this month, Andrew and I took the girls out for the Sheffield Garden Walk. This annual event began in 1969 — that’s right, the Summer of ’69! — and after taking a few years off, the neighborhood brought it back this July. It did not disappoint! Using a self-guided map, we navigated to the participating homes. Some of them had their lush front gardens on display; others opened up their back patios and private yards to the public. Our favorite was just down the block from us: a hidden paradise, tucked away behind a majestic 1800s Victorian home and filled with boxwoods, trees, hydrangea, and plants galore! Even a trickling fountain that the homeowner invited Holly to turn on.

A night on the town: My best friend, Courtney, is getting married (!!!) next month, and her bachelorette party was a few weeks ago. It was simply the best time! Her sisters and I planned a little cocktail party at my place, followed by dinner and dancing. I think my favorite part was surprising Courtney at the beginning of the evening. Caroline and Nicole came over early, and we got to work covering the walls with photos of Courtney and Shamus, sprinkling every surface with glitter hearts, mixing up the “Courtney Cosmo” cocktail and the “Fizzpatrick” mocktail, and putting the finishes touches on the charcuterie table. I also turned up this playlist, loud enough that I think I blew one of our speakers. Sorry, Andrew!

Taco Tuesday: We are creatures of habit, and very often we find ourselves at one of our beloved Lincoln Park restaurants, Old Pueblo Cantina. We went on Tuesday after a taco craving hit me especially hard. I firmly believe that OPC has the best chips in the city. If you haven’t been, you must make a reservation straight away!

Two kids in love: When my brothers and I were little, my mom had our silhouettes framed in black. I found mine at my parents’ house and brought it home a few months ago. Then, on our trip to Georgia in June, Andrew’s mom gave us his childhood silhouette – also framed in black. Perfect! I hung them in our bedroom, and I feel happy and nostalgic every single time I see our silhouettes together.

Irons sharpens iron: Okay, I stole that subtitle from an IG Story last night, but it’s fitting. Last fall, I joined a group of fellow agents from different brokerages across the city. All of us lead teams, and while we each have our own tried-and-true approaches to real estate, we always learn from one another. We met yesterday in the West Loop over drinks and I walked away with new ideas and inspiration. Collaboration is always, always worth it.