Taking the Quiz of the Love Languages

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For those of you who know me know that I love the subject, discussion, analysis, concept and complexities of love! Years ago, I heard about the book – The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman – which details the five languages of love, specifically Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time and Physical Touch…. And recently I was reminded of it by my great friend, Laura, who suggested I take the quiz to understand which of the five languages made me feel most loved.

Before we get into the quiz, though, I’d like to relay a sense of each of the love languages for a bit of foundation:

  • Words of Affirmation – For this person, actions don’t necessarily speak louder than words. Saying “I love you” and speaking kind and encouraging words are paramount.

  • Acts of Service – Vacuuming, picking up the kids, cooking dinner – anything you do to lessen the responsibilities for this person means everything,

  • Receiving Gifts – This person sees the thought, care and effort behind a gift and feels completely loved in this way.

  • Quality Time – Nothing says “I love you” like spending time together and giving this person your whole, undivided attention.

  • Physical Touch – A hug, kiss, back rub, touch of the arm – any kind of physicality – makes this person feel loved.

Now back to the quiz…. There were 30 questions asking you to choose your preference between two options. For me, it turned out that quality time was most important (10), followed closely by physical touch (9), and then words of affirmation (6), receiving gifts (4) and acts of service (1). Not only do these results provide valuable information in terms of understanding how you want to be loved in a relationship, they also allow you to communicate this vital information to your significant other.

And on that note, your partner and her/his love language plays an equally important role in this analysis. It’s crucial to understand how to love your partner the way s/he wants to be loved. If your partner hasn’t taken the quiz – and doesn’t want to – her/his love language preferences may be easier to determine than you would think as the signs are probably all there. According to Chapman, “How does your partner normally try to love you? The love shown you is probably how your partner wants to be loved…. What does your partner ask of you most often?  Help around the house?  More physical intimacy? Time together? The love they’re asking for most often is probably how they want to be loved… What aggravates/frustrates/saddens your partner the most in your relationship when it’s missing? The love he or she is missing probably indicates how he or she wants to be loved…”

As I pondered these five languages of love, I wondered if the importance and rankings of the love languages would change as your relationship with your significant other matures and changes over time. And how about as you change individually over the course of your life? I’m thinking at this point that it’s time to read the book because I’m guessing that these questions will be artfully and clearly answered by reading through the pages….

But before I do that, what are your thoughts on the subject? Have you ever taken the love language quiz? If so, did it seem consistent with how you want to be loved? And did it help you in understanding your partner’s love languages? I can’t wait to hear….

For more information on this or about the real estate market in Weston, Wellesley, Wayland and the surrounding towns or if you are considering selling your home, please contact me, Lisa Curlett (www.lisacurlett.com, 781-267-2844 or lisa.curlett@compass.com), to answer any questions or for a complimentary home appraisal.

Do You Bitmoji?

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Do you Bitmoji? Or maybe the question should be, do you have a Bitmoji? Though I really like it as a verb instead of a noun…. Anyway, if the answer is no – and I don’t say these kinds of things often – you most definitely should! Ashley Parker in her New York Times article, “My Bitmoji, My Better Self”,  sums it up perfectly, “Bitmoji is basically a personalized emoticon, designed by you, to look like a more delightful, caricatured version of your actual self…. After choosing everything from face shape and eye color to hairstyle and outfit, you can place your avatar into a range of poses: popping out of a cake to wish a friend happy birthday, say, or dressed as a “Game of Thrones” White Walker, warning that winter is coming.”

Last February, one of my very favorite clients and I were texting, and then all of a sudden, she sent me her Bitmoji with the “Team Awesome” pose. And that was it, I was hooked. I made my own Bitmoji, and I’ve been using it ever since in all kinds of ways – to send smooches to my love (see the “Muah” Bitmoji above), to wish friends a Happy Birthday, to say goodnight to my kids, to let my work associate know that I’m taking care of the situation and so much more. The fun is endless and laugh out loud at times – I kid you not.

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One of my favorites is “Yo” pictured here. This is perfect when you are texting back and forth with someone and then they go MIA. “Yo” says it just right and in a cute, silly way – “Where’d ya go?” My sister and I have a fun exchange in which we poke each other, which only sisters can do. I could go on and on….

What are your thoughts on the Bitmoji subject? Have you ever Bitmojied? Or maybe I should say, do you have a Bitmoji, and if so, do you use it like crazy? I can’t wait to hear….

For more information on this or about the real estate market in Weston, Wellesley, Wayland and the surrounding towns or if you are considering selling your home, please contact me, Lisa Curlett (www.lisacurlett.com, 781-267-2844 or lisa.curlett@compass.com), to answer any questions or for a complimentary home appraisal.

The Enneagram Test: The Fun of Finding Out Who You Are

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You most likely have heard of the Myers-Briggs Personality Test and possibly the DiSC Profile Test, but have you heard of The Enneagram Test? In case you haven’t, let’s start with the Merriam-Webster definition of the Enneagram, It’s “a system of classifying personality types that is based on a nine-pointed starlike figure inscribed within a circle in which each of the nine points represents a personality type and its psychological motivations (such as the need to be right or helpful) influencing a person’s emotions, attitudes, and behavior.” According to The Enneagram Institute, the nine personality types are as follows:

  1. The Reformer – The Rational, Idealistic Type: Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionistic

    1. The Helper – The Caring, Interpersonal Type: Demonstrative, Generous, People-Pleasing, and Possessive

    2. The Achiever – The Success-Oriented, Pragmatic Type: Adaptive, Excelling, Driven, and Image-Conscious

    3. The Individualist – The Sensitive, Withdrawn Type: Expressive, Dramatic, Self-Absorbed, and Temperamental

    4. The Investigator – The Intense, Cerebral Type: Perceptive, Innovative, Secretive, and Isolated

    5. The Loyalist – The Committed, Security-Oriented Type: Engaging, Responsible, Anxious, and Suspicious

    6. The Enthusiast – Spontaneous, Versatile, Distractible, and Scattered

    7. The Challenger – The Powerful, Dominating Type: Self-Confident, Decisive, Willful, and Confrontational

    8. The Peacemaker – The Easygoing, Self-Effacing Type: Receptive, Reassuring, Agreeable, and Complacent

The Enneagram Institute goes on to explain that, furthermore, the nine personality types fall into three Centers – The Instinctive Center (Types 8, 9 and 1), the Feeling Center (Types 2, 3 and 4) and the Thinking Center (Types 5, 6 and 7). “Each Center consists of three personality types that have in common the assets and liabilities of that Center…. For example, personality type Four has unique strengths and liabilities involving its feelings, which is why it is in the Feeling Center…. Most simply, these issues revolve around a powerful, largely unconscious emotional response to the loss of contact with the core of the self. In the Instinctive Center, the emotion is Anger or Rage. In the Feeling Center, the emotion is Shame, and in the Thinking Center, it is Fear. Of course, all nine types contain all three of these emotions, but in each Center, the personalities of the types are particularly affected by that Center’s emotional theme.” And then there are Wings. “No one [type] is a pure personality type: everyone is a unique mixture of his or her basic type and usually one of the two types adjacent to it on the circumference of the Enneagram. One of the two types adjacent to your basic type is called your wing.”

It’s a bit complicated, but I love that it deals with what happens when a person has lost his/her sense of self and thus unconsciously emits an emotional response of anger, shame or fear. So not only does the system deal with the strengths of the person but also his/her weaknesses, and then goes on to explain how those weaknesses are exhibited. The bottom line is that the Enneagram test/system will allies you to better understand yourself from a variety of perspectives so that you can strive to optimize your personal and professional relationships. Although as we know, sometimes even though you know all this, you still can’t help but react.

So….if you haven’t already done so, click here to take the Enneagram Test and see what you find. I took it twice – once for free and once for payment. (As an aside, the test that I paid for had 144 questions that were at times very difficult to answer. The questions ask you to differentiate between two approaches toward a situation, for example, and sometimes I found myself making almost equal arguments for choosing both answers – but I could only choose one. Hmmmm…..) And then let me know what you think…. I can’t wait to hear!

For more information on this or about the real estate market in Weston, Wellesley, Wayland and the surrounding towns or if you are considering selling your home, please contact me, Lisa Curlett (www.lisacurlett.com, 781-267-2844 or lisa.curlett@compass.com), to answer any questions or for a complimentary home appraisal.

The 2018 Oscar Fashionistas

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Oscar Night is always the highest fashion evening of the year, and one of my favorite TV nights of the year. The exciting and fabulous 90th Academy Awards, aka the Oscars, aired Sunday, March 4, 2018 on ABC. Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel for the second year in a row, the evening was incredible – especially the Red Carpet – though viewership faltered a bit. According to Deadline.com, Sunday’s “ceremony which aired live from 8 PM-11:54 PM EST, averaged 26.5 million viewers (Live+same day) . That was down 19% from last year’s 32.9 million viewers, a nine-year low. That, despite the fact that The Shape of Water was the the highest-grossing Best Picture winner in five years.”

But let’s put aside the films for now, and talk about the Fashion! Honestly, this year, I thought everyone looked stunning! There weren’t really many “Could Have Done Better” choices. Because of this and the onslaught of general negativity of late, I decided just to focus on my Fashion Favorites this year. But before I get started on my choices, I wanted to share the thoughts and perspectives of Zanna Roberts Rossi, Senior Fashion Editor of Marie Claire and Judge on Lifetime’s Glam Masters and Brad Goreski, Celebrity Stylist and E! Red Carpet Co-Host. On Monday’s NBC Today Show, they mentioned the vibrant array of color they saw in the fashions as well as the metallics (“almost like head to toe armor”) and “clean and structured” whites. Brad said his favorite was “hand’s down Nicole Kidman in Armani Prive. I said last night, ‘Bow down to Nicole Kidman.’ That gown to me is everything that is chic about the Oscars. It is everything I want from Nicole Kidman.” Zanna said she had two favorites. The first was Margot Robbie in a white Chanel Haute Couture gown. She “loved the beading, [and it] felt a little bit sci-fi with that clear plastic bag – the cheap plastic bag.” And her other favorite was Saoirse Ronan. She looked “absolutely beautiful in Calvin Klein By Appointment … the actual construction on this bow – stunning.”

As I like to mention, I am no fashionista* but just a regular Realtor, Mom, etc. without any training in fashion or award show styling. I just like what I like. And on that note, here are my five favorites of the evening (listed in alphabetical order):

  • Zoey Deutch in Elie Saab Couture and Tiffany & Co. jewelry – I loved her gently curled locks with her neutral beaded, tiered gown. So pretty!

  • Jane Fonda in custom Balmain, Chopard jewelry, Perrin bag and Salvatore Ferragamo shoes – Zanna and Brad summed it up perfectly…. “Jane Fonda shut down the carpet…. She’s 80, and probably still a sample size.” Wow – no words on that one!

  • Eiza Gonzalez in Ralph Lauren, Chopard jewelry and Brian Atwood shoes – another Wow. But this time is what a Hot Wow! She was sizzling in her tight-fitting and breast-hugging dress! And I am not usually a fan of yellow.

  • Taraji P. Henson in custom Vera Wang – her black slit gown was armor-like and free-flowing at the same time. What a great combination of effects!

  • Jennifer Lawrence in Christian Dior – She looked sculpted in her Metallic dress like she was wearing head to toe armor as Zanna and Brad mentioned above. She was warrior-like – strong and yet feminine accentuated by her frizzy blonde locks.

  • Helen Mirren in Reem Acra with a Judith Leiber bag – ok I fibbed…. I have to have six favorites. Helen Mirren was just too classically beautiful and elegant in her blue, tightly fitted gown and gorgeous necklace not to mention.

And of course, the men looked fabulous too, some making serious fashion statements. I particularly loved the look of Ansel Elgort in his velvet Tom Ford tux. And there was quite a buzz around Chadwick Boseman, who looked so handsome in his three-quarter length Givenchy coat and zippered shoes.

All in all, it was a fantastic night with fun, festive and many fabulous fashion choices! What did you think? What were your fashion favorites? Were they similar to mine? I can’t wait to hear….

For more information on this or about the real estate market in Weston, Wellesley, Wayland and the surrounding towns or if you are considering selling your home, please contact me, Lisa Curlett (www.lisacurlett.com, 781-267-2844 or lisa.curlett@compass.com), to answer any questions or for a complimentary home appraisal.

* My other caveat is that unfortunately for me, I wasn’t at the Oscars (but hope to be at some point in the future). And so I didn’t get a chance to see all of the Oscar participants and their fashion choices – only those who were on TV or online – nor did I see them in person with my own eyes.

Today’s Best-Selling, Dream Kitchen

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A client recently asked me what makes for the perfect kitchen today*, and it got me to thinking…and writing. First, the kitchen needs certain elements to maximize re-sale value, hence the “best-selling” element. Second, it needs several features to make it a “dream” kitchen for any homeowner. (And not necessarily in that order as I would personally prioritize my “dream” elements over “best-selling” ones.) From my experience in our neck of the woods (Weston, Wellesley, Wayland, MA and surrounding towns), here are some of the must-haves for today’s best-selling, dream kitchen:

  • White cabinetry – The choice du jour is for white cabinetry giving a light, clean and airy look. There is talk, however, that wood will be coming back one day – and perhaps not too far in the distant future.

  • Light countertops – Similar to the cabinetry, today’s preference is for light countertops and many are using quartz though some still use granite and occasionally marble though the care and maintenance of marble can be a bit of a hassle.

  • Glass backsplash – This is another frequently-used choice for kitchens these days, which makes for a fabulous finishing touch.

  • Stainless appliances – These add to the kitchen’s sleek look, and the higher-end you go, the better (i.e. sub-zero, wolf or viking, etc.).

  • Two ovens (at the least) – If you fancy yourself a chef, you’ll definitely need two ovens. For those who aren’t as cooking inclined but are entertaining wizards, two ovens are essential for all of the holiday celebrations and parties.

  • Sleek hardware and lighting fixtures – Today’s design trend is a transitional, almost contemporary look, one that is minimalist and sleek with clean lines. And for the hardware especially, think satin or brushed nickel and chrome but stay away from brass as it’s considered very passé.

  • Eat-in area – The perfect kitchen has a separate, generously-sized eat-in area where the family can convene and eat together in a less formal space.

  • Island – This is another essential feature of a dream kitchen. And of late, you often see the island’s cabinetry in a darker though complementary color to rest of the kitchen. The island serves as another informal seating area plus it often houses an extra sink or cooktop as well as additional storage.

  • Pantry – No matter if you use the kitchen non-stop or barely ever use it, everyone – and I mean everyone – wants a pantry that’s perfect for Coscto items, large pots and pans, blenders, mixers and more.

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As you can see from above, the trend for today’s kitchen has a look that is sleek and light with clean lines and is combined with features emphasizing functionality and practicality. This list, of course, is not exhaustive nor are all of the elements mandatory by any stretch, but it’s a good guide to help you when formulating your own plan for today’s best-selling, dream kitchen. What are your thoughts? Have you recently designed and/or renovated your kitchen? Did you incorporate some of these features and items? Or were there others that were important to you? I can’t wait to hear…..

For more information on this or about the real estate market in Weston, Wellesley, Wayland and the surrounding towns or if you are considering selling your home, please contact me, Lisa Curlett (www.lisacurlett.com, 781-267-2844 or lisa.curlett@compass.com), to answer any questions or for a complimentary home appraisal.

*Note that these features might change over time; they are written with today’s trends and choices in mind.

How Selling Your House Is Like Dating

 
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Have you ever heard that selling your house is like dating? In my opinion after 15+ years in the real estate business, I can 100% attest to the fact that selling your house is indeed like dating – in more ways than one…. As a professional in the world of real estate and a sometimes practitioner and full-time observer in the world of dating, here are my thoughts on how selling your house is like dating*:

#1. If buyers like your house, you’ll know. This is actually the statement that got me started on the parallelisms between real estate and dating. When buyers are interested in your house, they will come to see it right away and then come back for a second time as soon as they can after the first showing. They will ask how you are handling offers. They will ask for utility costs and other specific information. And then they will put in an offer. Not only will they show their interest by behaving in certain ways, but they will also exude a sense of attraction for your house, and you will feel it. Sounds like dating to me….

#2. Pursuing buyers too aggressively can have the reverse effect. This is Rule #1 in the dating world, and it’s the same when it comes to selling your house. The biggest turnoff to a buyer (and a date) is coming on too strong as it ultimately makes you look desperate. And we all know that looking and acting desperate can be the kiss of death, especially in the world of dating. As mentioned above, when a buyer likes your house, you’ll know. If you don’t hear back from the buyer’s agent after a showing, especially if your agent has already reached out to the buyer’s agent for feedback, the writing is very likely on the wall. Don’t then instruct your agent to keep pursuing the buyer’s agent. S/he will be in touch if there’s interest. I promise! Give the buyers space to formulate their thoughts and interest in your house. Don’t smother them or their potential interest with call after call or email after email just to “check in.” Less is more as they say.

#3. You only have one chance to make a first impression on buyers, and it’s an important one. This is a fact of life in almost any situation, and it couldn’t be more true in the worlds of real estate and dating. First impressions matter! The front yard and entryway are what the buyers initially see when visiting your home, and so you want to make these areas as visually appealing as possible. Make them shine, sparkle and impress because if you don’t, you might not get another chance to do so….

#4. The better the appearance of your home, the more buyers you’ll attract. This is a cold, hard reality in real estate – especially nowadays. Most buyers want to just move right in, set up their furniture and be done with their “newly bought” home. Given our busy and complicated lives these days, buyers don’t want to be saddled with endless, time-consuming and expensive house projects. In other words, condition is king in the current home buying process. Buyers are flocking to – and paying up – for homes with A+ appearances. And although it doesn’t all come down to looks in the world of dating, it is true that an attractive person and one that cares about his/her appearance often ends up enticing many suitors.

#5. Expect buyers to have interest in multiple properties. As you know with dating, especially at the beginning, people often date several people at the same time. Then once they get more serious with one person, they stop dating others and just focus on that one special somebody. It’s the same with home buying and real estate. Buyers often cast a wide net, looking at multiple properties in several towns, and it can take some time before they boil it down to just one house.

#6. If it’s meant to be, it will be. How many times have we heard this saying when it comes to relationships? Well it’s the same thing in real estate. When you’re selling your home, you can’t control the thoughts and decisions of the buyers, you can only control yourself and your actions. Your home has to be the right fit for the buyer, and when it is, “it will be.”

Hmmmm…. What are your thoughts about the parallels between real estate and dating? When selling your home, have you run into similar concepts and behaviors in the worlds of real estate and dating? And did you follow some of the above tips? If so, did they help you during your home selling process, and/or did you experience other dating-type similarities with the sale of your home? I can’t wait to hear….

For more information on this or about the real estate market in Weston, Wellesley, Wayland and the surrounding towns or if you are considering selling your home, please contact me, Lisa Curlett (www.lisacurlett.com, 781-267-2844 or lisa.curlett@compass.com), to answer any questions or for a complimentary home appraisal.

 

Your Favorite Summer Drink

 
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After the long, cold New England winters, which can seem endless at times, we all rejoice when summer finally arrives. And when it does, we find ourselves in the midst of hot, humid and sultry days, searching for ways to cool down. To me, one of the best ways to find relief from the heat is by sipping a cool, thirst-quenching drink….

On that note, the question that quickly and logically follows is what is your favorite summer drink? Is it a chilled iced tea, a bubbly Diet Coke, a classic Arnold Palmer…. Or is it something along the lines of a buttery glass of Chardonnay, a refreshing Rose, a feisty Margarita or a yummy, rummy Goombay Smash? And maybe you have a favorite at different times of the day or depending on your mood?

If you know me at all, you definitely know my favorite summer drink(s) – though they’re not only my favorite in the summer but year-round. In the day, it’s a Starbucks venti black iced tea, and on festive evenings, it’s a glass of Chardonnay or an occasional Margarita. And I must admit, I’m pretty much a creature of habit. These drinks are basically my faves no matter what.

Now it’s your turn…what is your favorite summer drink? Is it different at various times of the day? And is it your favorite drink just in the summer or throughout the year? I can’t wait to hear….

For more information on this or about the real estate market in Weston, Wellesley, Wayland and the surrounding towns or if you are considering selling your home, please contact me, Lisa Curlett (www.lisacurlett.com, 781-267-2844 or lisa.curlett@compass.com), to answer any questions or for a complimentary home appraisal.