Black Friday Deals for the New Homeowner

Disclaimer: I was selected for WDIV/Local 4’s Hank’s Holiday Helpers by Hay There Social Media. 

It’s that time of year again…time for some Black Friday shopping! I was selected by our local NBC affiliate to participate with their Help Me Hank segment for Black Friday shopping tips. Also tune in to Live in the D on Black Friday, to see me along with other bloggers talking about how to find the best deals on Black Friday.


Since we are new homeowners this year, I am looking for some great purchases to furnish our home and Black Friday is a great opportunity to stock up. Head on over to Click on Detroit to see my recommendations.

If you are tuning in to Live in the D on Friday you might see my face along with some Black Friday shopping tips…

Five on Friday: House Wish List

We bought our first home last December and although we have settled in, I am still working on decorating it. I didn’t realize how expensive it could be! We have some holiday visitors coming up and are planning to host Thanksgiving dinner which makes me want to cross off a few more items on the house wish list. I thought I would share the next five big items on my list for this week’s Five on Friday.

1. Artcraft Cascade Chrome Bubble Chandelier ($325)

I saw this in a local boutique and fell in love with it. I was going to save up and get it at the store, but they didn’t keep it in stock long enough. Thank goodness I found it online. This will be SO perfect in our dining room and I can’t wait to get it.


2. Skyline Tufted Storage Bench ($234.99)

This is made by the same company as our tufted headboard so it would match perfectly with our bedroom decor. We wanted a bench at the foot of the bed and this is just the thing!

storage bench

3. Bar Cabinet ($249)

We’ve been on the hunt for a liquor cabinet for the other side of our dining room. We already have a great wine cabinet, but there is no place to store any liquor…a.k.a. all the bourbon we got on our recent vacation. John saw this one in the Art Van catalog and its the best one we’ve seen so far. The picture in the catalog had more detail so you could see how the top opened up and you could set it up to serve drinks or store liquor. And we may as well be honest, I could probably use more wine storage anyways, haha!

bar cabinet

4. Kimaya Navy Area Rug ($750.03)

We need an area rug for the dining room and I am really stuck on our wedding colors, navy, silver and pearl. We painted the room gray and it has white trim so with the chandelier it would look really elegant.


5. Kate Spade Belle Boulevard China

I really want to finish my china place settings. We have a few pieces from our registry, but I would like to finish my set so I could actually entertain with it for the holidays.

belle boulevard

What items are on your house wish list?

For more Five on Friday/Friday Favorites posts, click here.

If you would like to join the Five on Friday with A Liz AdventuresThe Good Life BlogHello Happiness and Carolina Charm just click the button below for more details.

5 on Friday Logo - Final

You can join the Oh Hey Friday Linkup with The Farmer’s Wife and September Farm just click the button below for more details.

I am also participating in the Friday Favorites Linkup with A Little Bit of Everything Blog, Grace and Love Blog and Momfessionals. You can click the button below for more information and to join the linkup.


Santa Brought Us a House!

Santa visited us a little early this year when we closed on our new house! We are thrilled and can’t wait to move in!


After we closed, John and I went over to the new place for some champagne and toasted with our wedding flutes. We are so excited for the next step in our journey!


I wanted to share a few pictures of our new place. These are the photos from the listing, so don’t get too attached to the furniture or the colors – consider these the before pictures.

When we were looking at houses, I kept referring to this one as the Christmas tree house. I love the tree in front of the house and can’t wait to decorate it next year.

New Home

This is the entryway – we are thrilled to finally be getting a coat closet!


The kitchen is amazing! So much counter and cabinet space. Plus this island is awesome! The homeowners left the chairs, so that is one less thing we have to get.



I finally get a dining room! This is a little too red for us so we are going to take it down a notch with the paint.

dining room

dining room2

The living room is big and has a lot of natural light. The previous owners had a thing for accent walls, so you will see a bunch of them throughout the house. We are going to repaint this room too.

living room

living room2

This is the master bedroom and the only room where we are going to keep the accent wall. I can’t wait to finally get a king bed!

master bedroom

master bedroom 2

You can’t see this part, but we already took down the shower doors in the master bath. Next up – repaint this because that mustard yellow is not for me!

master bath

master bath 2

This will be the guest bedroom.

guest bedroom

This room will be the future nursery, but until then it will be a staging room/office. I don’t have a good picture of the basement to share. It is unfinished, so we will eventually finish it and then it will be the man cave/office, etc.

third room

This is the second upstairs bathroom.

guest bath

And this is the power room/half bath.

powder room

So we have been working hard to get things ready to move in and starting to bring some stuff over before our official move date. At this point we just can’t wait to be living there!

We’re Buying Our First House!

So it’s been a year since I last talked about buying a house on the blog, November 2013 to be exact. We have gone through a lot of ups and downs in our home search since then. In April, we thought we were buying a house until the deal fell through and after a number of offers, we were discouraged. The market was so competitive and I felt like we were being pushed into getting something too fast. We had started to send my parents out to look at houses during the week because if we didn’t put offers on them they wouldn’t be available by the weekend when we could go out and look. I also felt that prices were being inflated over what the value of the houses were. So after all that craziness, we decided to take a break.


I am SO glad that we did! When we started looking again, there were so many options at great prices! I am happy to announce that we are finally buying our house!! Everything is moving forward and looking great and we plan to close on December 15. John and I are thrilled that this is actually happening and very excited for the house that we ended up with. It is the perfect first house for us and we can’t wait until the 15th! I’ve created this fun little countdown clock so you can follow along with me:


In the meantime, I wanted to put together a move-in checklist so we can make the most of December before we have to move all of our stuff in. Here are the top items on my list:

  • Get the vents cleaned out
  • Clean the carpet
  • Get the house deep cleaned
  • Change the locks
  • Get new toilet seats
  • Reprogram the garage door opener
  • Test the smoke/carbon monoxide detectors
  • Get fire extinguishers for each level
  • Check light switches and bulbs
  • Change our address at Secretary of State
  • Pick out paint colors and tape the walls
  • Contact the utility companies
  • Stock the house with toilet paper, trash bags, paper towels and water
  • Pop open a bottle of champagne to celebrate!

As we are first time home owners, I would love to get advice and tips from all of you to add to this list. Stay tuned for more details and pictures after we close!

Shopping for a Home is Like Dating

The hubby and I have taken the next step in our house-hunting journey, we’ve met with our realtor and put together a list of houses we want to see in person.

I’ve decided that shopping for a house is a lot like dating. You create a list of qualities that you are looking for and some deal-breakers, then you throw that list out the window once you fall in love.


It’s probably going to be a week or so until we can get out with our realtor to actually start visiting the houses on our list. So in the meantime, I plan to drive by each of the houses and vet the outside and the neighborhoods so we can weed some out. It’s like Facebook stalking your dates before you meet them.

I could get really organized and create a dossier with photos for each of these. I imagine a label maker and color-coding galore!


Just like a first date, there are some basic get-to-know-you questions that I will need to ask:

1. What is the neighborhood like?

I want to check out the position of the house in the neighborhood and what our view will be like. I have also been told to check out the crime rates and sex offender lists for each area. I also want to check out location to freeways, shopping and restaurants.

2. What school district will our future children go to?


3. Is this house part of a homeowner’s association?


4. Is there a garage?

This I can confirm from a quick drive by of the property. We would love an attached 2-3 car garage, so that will bump up a house on our list.

5. What are the neighbors like?

Will we have to fight for street parking? Are we too close to the other houses? Does one of the neighbors have an unkept yard/house?

Are there any other questions or things I should look at? I want to get as much information together in advance so we can really start to narrow down our list before we get to check out the interiors.

For more updates on our house-hunting journey, click here. 

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage, Then Comes House

Let’s say I have a plan for my life or at least a list of things to accomplish in a certain order. Next on that list is to buy a house with my dear husband. I wrote about our decision to start the buying process here and what you can do to prepare. Today I have more exciting news to share today – We were approved for our mortgage and can officially start looking – WOO HOO!!


The mortgage process was fairly easy, we already had a mortgage guy lined up so we sat down with him and talked about what we were looking for, what we wanted our monthly payment to be and what areas we were planning to look. We hashed out some numbers and then we had to provide our W2’s from last year, our last two months worth of bank statements and our last two pay stubs. We were able to do this fairly quickly and it only took about a week to get a final number.

My husband and I are beyond thrilled and immediately contacted our realtor who has been waiting a long time to get us into our dream house. We are going to sit down with him in the next few weeks and start looking through houses.

f417My Dream HouseTo kick this process off, my husband and I had to make a list of some of the things that we really wanted in our home, these include:

  • Four Bedrooms (we need to have room for future kiddos)
  • 2.5 Bathrooms (We need two showers for all of our future kiddos and I want a half bath so guests don’t have to use our bathroom)
  • Full Basement (Finished would be a plus, but this will be John’s Man Cave)
  • Dining Room (I love to entertain and have always wanted a Dining Room so I can host holidays and dinner parties)
  • Attached two car garage (three would be a plus-I can’t wait until we can both park in a garage!)
  • Nice Backyard (I want to get a hot tub in the future and have room for a swingset for future kiddos)
  • NO Bungalows (Been there, done that)
  • Laundry Room/Mud Room
  • Modern Kitchen with an Island and lots of counter space (The hubby likes to cook and I like to bake)
  • One room needs to have a master bath, preferably with two sinks (I can’t wait for two sinks!)
  • A big front porch

I’m sure we will come up with more things to add to the list, but I would love to hear your suggestions on what we should look for in the comments.

Big News and a Giveaway!

My husband and I are finally ready to start the next adventure in our journey…buying our first home! I am really excited that we are finally ready to get a place of our own, but a little overwhelmed with all of the new information we need to know. I thought I would use today’s blog to talk about how to prepare to buy a home and ask all of you to share your tips and tricks for first time home buyers.

Photo Credit: Wikihow

Photo Credit: WikiHow

So before we start actually looking for a house I figured there were a few things that we should do to prepare:

Clean Up Our Credit Report

The first thing we need to do is request copies of our credit reports. This is important so we can know our credit score. The higher the score, the lower our down payment and monthly payments will be. We can also use this time to clean up any errors on our credit report. Starting now we have to make sure not to make any major changes that will affect our credit report like opening or closing credit cards.

Determine How Much House We Can Afford

Most of the sources I have researched say that your monthly home payment shouldn’t exceed 28-31 percent of your monthly income. A great exercise for us now would be to try to start making monthly “house” payments to our savings account. That way we can make sure we can still be comfortable with the payment we decide on.

The other thing to remember is that with a big house utilities will be more expensive and you have the added responsibility of property taxes and home maintenance.

Have Enough Savings to Cover Down Payment and Closing Costs

For a down payment we need to have anywhere from 5-20 percent of the total cost of the house depending on the financing. You also can’t forget closing costs which could be anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000.

We also want to make sure to have some extra cash for furniture, decor and repairs.

Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

We already have a mortgage guy, so it’s important to get pre-approved before we start house hunting. There’s nothing worse than finding the house you love and not being ready to make an offer.

Find a Good Realtor

We have a fantastic realtor and can’t wait to give him the green light to help us start looking.

Over the next few months we will be going through all of these steps and then start house hunting! As we go through this process I would love to hear about any tips you have for buying a new home.

Lately, one of my guilty pleasures has been looking at new home and address change announcements. A few of them have really caught my eye, especially this one from Small Moments:


To celebrate the launch of our house hunting journey, Kimberly at Small Moments has generously offered a giveaway for my readers. She has so many adorable cards and invitations that I can’t wait to use for gatherings at our new place. The giveaway includes an 8×10 “Love is” letterpress print and 12 of her Sweet Like Candy cards. These little cards are so fun and different, I love the humor behind them.


Let me know what your favorites are in the comments section.

To enter you need to fill out the Rafflecopter form below. The giveaway will end on September 30th.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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