Monday, March 31, 2014

Update!

Hello loves. We're been homeowners for over a month now, and as you can tell, the blog has suffered.  It's a terrible thing because I have so much I want to share, from exploring our neighborhood, to snowboarding feats and then on to several home projects that have already taken place (mainly lots of painting: trim, ceiling, cabinets and even tile!).

I promise I'll be back to share all of the stores; but in the meantime, you can see what I'm up to on my instagram (@justcallmehaha) and figure out what I'm planning next by checking out my Pinterest!

Miss you lots!
XO

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Hello There.

Give me a little more time and I'll finally have some more time to dedicate to you (and a real space to use for the computer instead of our little bistro table, yeesh!).  Yep, tomorrow is closing day. As you can imagine, we are thrilled, although it still seems unfathomable that tomorrow we officially become home owners.  All of our searching and budgeting has paid off. We found an amazing house AND will still have a comfortable savings after tomorrow's hefty check is handed over.

We lucked out and have a week overlap of owning the house (ah!) and our apartment lease; which means this weekend we'll be rolling up our sleeves and getting to work. The first major projects to tackle are the scraping of our living/dining room popcorn ceiling (after much debate about paying someone, we decided we'll take a whack at it first) and painting our woodwork trim white (I know, I know, some people, my mother-in-law included, think it's a sin. But it's our house and we'll do what we want). Wish us luck!
 
In the meantime, I'll live vicariously through you. Go out and shop these deals, will ya?
  • Banana Republic: 40% off in stores and online with code BRTUNEIN through 3/2 (2% back via ebates.com)
  • Gap:
    • 20% off women's and men's online purchases and 10% donation to your choice non-profit online with code DOGOOD
    • Semi-annual kids and baby sale; up to 40% off in store and online
    • 2% back via ebates.com
  • H&M: $4.95 sweatshirt today

  • Old Navy: 25% off women's styles online with code ONSAVENOW and up to 75% off clearance sale in stores (2% back via ebates.com)
  • Nike: Extra 20% off clearance items with code BESTINGAME through 3/6 (6% back via ebates.com)
  • Piperlime: Extra 40% off final sale items today with code FINAL (2% back via ebates.com)
  • Shutterfly: 50% off 10"x10" or larger photobooks with code BOOKSMART through 3/5
  • Starbucks: Now through 3/4, receive a bonus star for every purchase with your Starbucks card (that's 6 purchases for a free item!)
  • West Elm: Up to 70% off newly added clearance items

Monday, February 17, 2014

President's Day Deals and Steals

Good morning.  Happy President's Day! I figured with all of the sales, today is a good day to get back to my ole' deals and steals posts.  Happy shopping!
  • Barnes and Noble: 15% off one item with coupon today
  • Bloomingdales: Big Brown Bag sale ends today (3% back via ebates.com)
  • CB2: Free shipping today
  • Francescas: $25 denim and 25% off booties and bags (in store and online)
  • Kohls: 20% off with Kohls' card and code HEART20 (6% back via ebates.com)
  • H&M: 50% off select styles today
  • JCPenney: 20% off with JCP card or 15% off without; THANKS15 (6% back via  ebates.com)
  • J. Crew: extra 50% off final sale items with code EXTRA50 (3% back via  ebates.com)
  • J. Crew Factory: Up to 60% off (prices marked) and free shipping today with code HAPPYDAY (1.5% back via  ebates.com)
  • Macy's: Extra 20% off with code PRES (6% back via  ebates.com)
  • Old Navy: In store only: 50% off women's dresses; 30% off entire purchase or 35% off with store card
  • Puma: Extra 25% off sale items and free shipping (4.5% back via ebates.com)
  • Sports Authority: 15% off entire online purchase (3% back via ebates.com)
  • Victoria's Secret: 20% off a single item with code ITEM20 (2% back via ebates.com)
  • Ulta: 20% off one item through 2/22 (exclusions apply)
  • West Elm: Extra 15% off markdowns and free shipping (exclusion apply) with code FREE15 today

Friday, February 14, 2014

V-day

Hello there Valentines! Thought I forgot about'cha, did ya?  It's been a busy week with work and gathering documents for our mortgage lender...but the big news is, we have a closing date and time!  Two weeks from today, this will officially be ours (and two weeks and a day from now we'll be busting our booties to get all of this trim painting white; is that a sin?)
Given the major purchase, we agreed to forgo gifts and dinner this year.  This weekend we'll be headed up to Summit County to stay at our family friend's condo (the owner happens to be our realtor's daughter) and spend the weekend snowboarding prior to all of this homeowner business. 
 
Denver Restaurant Week is Feb 22-28; so we agreed we'll do a nice meal out (at a discounted price) as a Valentines/Home celebration. Yesterday Ben sent an email along the lines of "just checking, we're not doing gifts or cards tomorrow, right? I'll buy you some flowers once we're in the house". I agreed and low and behold this morning I woke up to this, jerk (I mean that in the most loving way).
Although...that really does say a lot! Happy Valentine's Day!
 


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Belay On

Yea, so the house inspection came up with some little items and major repair items.  We heard from the seller that they were willing to fix the little items but not the large yesterday.  All afternoon I was ready to burst into tears (this is probably a good reminder why you shouldn't check personal email at work!).

The seller claimed that from the inspection report, the items deemed as needing "attention" did not warrant necessary repair or maintenance for function or safety reasons; thus, they weren't interested.  Our realtor tried to reason that these items would come up with any potential buyer and the seller came back with, that's part of the reason the house is priced what it is.

I called our inspector and walked through the list again. I was happy to learn that he truly doesn't not think the roof needs replacing, rather there are a few shingles that need repair.  The other large issue is the sewer line is close to one hundred years old and that definitely needs repair, if not replacement. But given the neighborhoods we want to be in and knowing the majority of the homes are the same age; this issue could come up anywhere. My dad has worked in the water industry for years and cautioned that yes, we need to get on that. We'll have another sewer scope done when he's out here to get more important and understanding on it's condition.

Otherwise, the last major issue is the A/C. We decided we can try living without central air and see how it goes.  There are always window units until we decide to bite the bullet. Plus, so many have reached out to us to say that they've lived in houses without central air and that summer heat here is dry; unlike the humid mess in the Midwest; so we're taking our chances.

Back to yesterday, pretty much as soon as I got in my car, the tears started flowing. I tried to place the emotion and reason for the tears, but couldn't. I couldn't decide if it was the fear of walking away or something else.  Now looking back, I think it was the fear of how much I wanted the house and worrying Ben wouldn't feel the same.

Good ole Dad called to talk through some items and the biggest one that stuck was, okay, adding on the worst-case costs for sewer, air conditioning and roof repairs, to the sale price of the house; how does that pricing compare to other listings? Thinking of it in that light, even with the add-ons (which we'll take care of as we need to and won't impact our monthly mortgage, which is comfortably what we budgeted for), the house is still a fair, if not good, price, given what the house has to offer and the location.

I was pretty shocked when I sat down on the couch and said to Ben, "so....", and he said, "well, we love it...and I think we should do it". Relief rushed over me and I was thrilled we were on the same page!

So there you have it! We ARE buying our current dream house and closing on the 28th!

Now to get onto the fun things; like decorating and I'm already on top of that (although I'll take your ideas too!)


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Crockpot Asian Wings

How many of us our guilty of pinning countless DIYs, recipes, and exercise moves from Pinterest never to put them to use? I found this recipe via a link-up back in September, pinned it, and forgot. After recently realizing I had over 300 repins, I decided it was time to put the recipe in to action. It's simple but delicious. The sauce is a bit spicy but savory.
 
Ingredients:
(Serves 2-3)
  • Chicken wings (I used 5; we had enough sauce to cover up to 8)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 4 tsp sriracha sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp cold water
  • 2 tsp corn starch
 
Directions:
  • Start off by creating your sauce. Combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, sriracha, brown sugar, pepper flakes, and minced garlic in your slow cooker. Stir together.
 
  • Place chicken wings in crockpot and use a spoon to ladle sauce over wings.
  • Note: I peeled the skin off my wings (which was disgusting), because I knew it'd be a healthier option. Leaving the skin on will help the meat stay together easier, but I had no issues with meat filling off. I carefully used tongs when moving meat.
 
  • Cook on low for approximately six hours.
 
Now that the chicken is cooked, the next step is to thicken the sauce.
  • Carefully pour sauce into a medium sized frying pan (leaving chicken in slow cooker) over medium heat.
  • In a small bowl, stir corn starch into water.
  • Slowly stir into sauce and let cook approximately 7 minutes or until thickened
 
  • Pour sauce back over top wings
 
  • Add sliced green onion if desired and enjoy!
 
Next time we're doing to try make it for chicken breast instead of wings.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Home Inspection

Whomp. Whomp. While I've been busy on Pinterest planning out the living and dining color scheme and how to paint the guest bathroom tiles, Ben's been hesitant to act like we have some type of major commitment here.

Enter Saturday.  Inspection starts off well enough, a lot of "oh, I like this!" from Mr. Inspector...but then he asks if there is central air conditioning.  We say yes and he says no. No, there's not. It's listed as having it, but unless fans count, there is definitely NO central air. We could probably tolerate it; but when we're spending at the top of our budget and we have an English bulldog who doesn't tolerate heat well, well ya know, we want the AC as listed!

In addition to that, being an old home we were advised to get the sewer lines inspected. They need farther inspection to guarantee at $10K+ repair isn't required.  Oh yea, and several shingles on the roof are damaged. So a roof replacement may be in there the near future.

Our realtor will send our objections and requests to the seller tomorrow and let's hope they are willing to work with us on repairs and/or price. After being in the house again, we really do adore it; although we're prepared to walk if they're not willing to budget. It would be stupid of us to spend this much on a house knowing there's a potential of $30K more in possible future repairs.

But it's kind of hard not to love it, right?
Oh we have so many plans for this house! Please send us your happy thoughts! (and prove Ben wrong ;)
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