Our Story

Hey there!  My name is Jill.  My husband, Jared, and I own this ma-and-pa real estate company.  We are a wonderful team, and I can honestly say I LOVE working with my husband.

For years we spent countless overtime hours building Solis Realty together.  But when our son was born, we decided I would take a break from the day-to-day running of our company to spend time with him.  It was six amazing years making memories with that kid but now he is in kindergarten, and I’m ready to get back to work.

My job is marketing.  I bring in the clients; Jared takes care good of them.  The thing is, I don’t just want to “have a career” again.  I want to do something special, something MONUMENTAL.  That may mean we start flipping and designing houses that people love.  That may mean I take our local brand and make it the talk of the town.  I’m just going to feel my way through this.

I’m giving myself 365 days to do this amazing thing.  Periodically I’ll be posting updates, videos diaries and photos to share my progress.  I hope you can follow along and tell me what you think.  Really and truly, I want your thoughts.  Let’s face it, if you’re planning to do something that could accurately be described as “monumental”, you’re going to need all the help you can get!

Day 1 – My 365 Day Challenge

The video diary that started it all.  Here were my initial thoughts as I was getting back into my career …

Day 27 – Logo, Education & Flip Opportunity

Video Diary #2 is all about starting strategically, studying what the experts say and making sure our branding is the best it can be!

Day 48 – Logo First Draft

Here is our first pass at rethinking our branding.  There’s more discussion on our instagram account but after much consideration I think this is pretty close to the final product.  I plan to change it up with holidays and events such as sock hats at Christmas time and music notes during SXSW.

The bigger idea here is that we are a ma-and-pa shop and our logo is literally a ma and a pa.  So I’m thinking of using our logo to promote the general idea of supporting all Austin area ma-and-pa shops.

IMG_0078

Day 73 – Purging Everything

^^currently featured above^^

more to come …

A Video Tour of What’s Growing in Our Garden

Vegetable gardens are always works in progress.  Experiments.  I’ve found it helpful to hear how other people’s experiments are going – what’s thriving and what’s not – so that I  can add those lessons learned to my own and hopefully produce more food for our table.  In an effort of sharing, here’s the current state of my garden.

Now Eating

  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Summer Squash
  • Banana Peppers
  • Jalapeño Peppers
  • Strawberries (although most are going to the bugs)
  • Basil

coming soon

  • Delicata Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes (grape and cherry)
  • Bell Peppers
  • Blackberries

a ways off

  • Green Beans
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Butternut Squash
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Acorn Squash
  • Raspberries

Done for the season

  • Kale (thanks to a mob of caterpillars)

We were fortunate to have such luck with kale, spinach, and lettuce early this season to have salads almost every day (something that thankfully Jared and Little Guy enjoyed and didn’t get tired of).  It seems we are just around the corner from switching from salads to squash and tomatoes, and I’m feeling the need to expand my recipe repertoire of soups and sauces.

What’s growing in your vegetable garden?  Anyone have tomato or squash recipes to share?

Peacock Mating and Cougars Climbing Cages

The Austin Zoo is anything but glamorous (as discussed here).  But what it lacks in fancy exhibits, it more than makes up for in up-close-and-personal experiences.  Our trip there last week may go down as our favorite adventure this spring.  Here’s why:

1. Peacocks doing mating dances right next to our picnic table (above)

2.  A cougar climbing her cage:

3.  Lions leaning up next to the fence:

Lions

4.  Feeding the deer, goats, and llamas:

Deer

We also loved seeing the ostriches which were so much bigger than we imagined with their huge prehistoric-looking feet.  And couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw a black bear living with chickens and ducks (clearly a well-fed bear).  Throw in a breezy train ride with friends near the end and this outing hit everything my son could have hoped for.

After such a great day at the Austin Zoo, it has us wondering about other zoos in the area.  We haven’t been to the Waco or San Antonio Zoos yet.  Anyone have opinions or recommendations?