We’ve been looking for homes for about two months now, and I swear if I say “I’m just looking for something with character” one more time, my husband may leave me for Karen, the girl who thinks HGTV is a medication and is totally OK with a popcorn ceiling (**gasp**). Continue reading “20 Ways To Add Character To Your Home”
Alright, this is a PSA for all you real estate agents out there. As a prospective home buyer, I have some things I’ve observed that I love, and well, some that I think you could improve on. And for what it’s worth, I think you should take some notes.
1. Online pictures
Ok seriously? Put some effort in these. I don’t need to see zoomed in pictures of furniture, I just care about the house. And come on, stop taking pictures of homes at night. I mean, WHY? Open the blinds/curtains, wait for the sun, and show me the house when it’s at it’s best: natural sunlight is your friend!
2. Take a video of the home
This is pretty rare, and I never understood it. I LOVE when you guys post videos of the home. You don’t need a fancy production company to produce one of these, you know that right? You can even do a simple social media post (see #12).
I may be alone on this, but I just want you to know, I throw that brochure away as soon as I get back to my car. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice, but unless it has something that isn’t already on my app (zillow, realtor), I’m tossing that right away. And if you are going to have it available, just leave it on the table. Don’t give it to folks that don’t want it, save yourself some money.
4. Printed Floor plan
For those of you that have floor plans available, I LOVE YOU. I don’t need that fancy brochure with pictures I already see online, I need a floor plan with measurements. Can my couch fit in that living room? Will my bed fit in there? I need measurements!
5. Measuring tape
Look, I keep this in my purse, but I know many shoppers don’t. And if you’re not going to have a floor plan available, I’m sure serious prospects would appreciate some measuring tape available.
6. Put the lights on
I can’t tell you how many open houses I’ve been to with no lights on. Yes, the sunlight is shining through, but for some homes that lack sunlight, those lights would make a world of a difference.
7. Home’s story
I could be alone on this, but I LOVE when the real estate agent shares the story of the home, the age, the previous occupants…etc. With that said, don’t talk my ear off while I’m there. Let me walk around in peace.
8. Stuff for kids
I went to an open house once, and the real estate agent had a “treasure hunt.” I thought it was GENIUS. They had a “map” for my kids (of the house) and it had something my kids needed to find. In that case, it was a parrot. It kept them busy, and at the end, he had a little box of stickers and candy that he gave for finding the “treasure.” I thought this was SUCH A GOOD IDEA!
9. Clean up
I kid you not, I’ve seen open houses with trash on the lawn or on the sidewalk. I’ve also seen cups and all kinds of things scattered around the house. Seriously, declutter as much as you can. Please. Put some effort into it.
10. Ask for feedback
I don’t get this often, but appreciate it when I do. And, I can only imagine it would help you as a real estate agent as well. So ask folks what they think, and ask for any feedback on the house, the neighborhood–what they liked, what they didn’t..etc. Some may not want to say anything, but you’d be surprised what helpful information you may get.
Very few of the open houses I’ve gone to have played music. However, the ones that did, made a HUGE difference for me. It really sets the mood, and in my opinion, changes the ‘feel’ of the home and the experience. It’s such an easy thing to do, and honestly makes such a difference.
12. Utilize Social Media
I’m surprised at how underutilized social media is. Do a “live,” post some pictures, do a story, and create a buzz! I had one agent ask me to post the video I took (I always videotape my viewings) and tag him. I thought that was super smart on his end.
Anyway, I hope you find this helpful, and I hope you forward this to any realtors you may know too. And happy house hunting if you’re not a realtor!
Photo Credit: The Fox Group
If you’re following me on Instagram, you know I’ve been documenting my long painful journey of looking for a home. And when I say long, I mean it’s been about 6 weeks and I’m just being a whiny little brat. Continue reading “10 Things I’ve Learned As A First Time Home Buyer”
It was probably 10pm at night, and I vividly remember a man putting his hand on my back and telling me that it was going to be OK. I was crouched over the side of the hospital bed exhausted, my daughter had finally fallen asleep, and he came in to change out the trash. I don’t know this man’s name, but I will never forget that moment for the rest of my life.
The summer of 2017 is when our daughter showed us just how strong she really is. That week in the hospital, and the following weeks, months, and over a year of steriods, chemo shots, bloodwork, physical therapy, and sudden life changes, my daughter continues to amaze me. Let me tell you something about Zeina, she is one tough cookie.
Zeina was diagnosed with Juvenile Dermatomyositis (JDM) almost 2 years ago. It’s a rare and life threatening autoimmune disease that just 2 to 4 kids in a million get. She pretty much won the disease lottery. Basically the body’s own immune system attacks it’s own cells and tissues. As of now, there is no cure.
Another major life change? UV exposure seems to trigger JDM. Zeina can’t be in the sun for long periods of time. And when she is, she needs full on sun coverage, sunblock, and has to keep taking breaks to go back in the shade every 20 minutes. And while she has her moments of frustration, this little girl is beyond her years. And hey, less wrinkles when she’s older right?
Besides the constant thick layers of sunscreen, she’s pretty much off medication (for now). She never complains about all the breaks in the park to sit in the shade while all the other kids are playing. Doesn’t complain about all the breaks to sit in the shade while we’re on vacation and everyone else is playing in the pool. No complaints about the needles, the doctor visits, or diet changes. Like I said, she continues to amaze me.
With that said, the disease is always there and she could have a ‘flare up’ at any time. But for now, I’m just going to think about that man, that night, in the hospital. I believe it’s really going to be OK.
Please share this post and help us raise awareness. Here’s a link to a video I made for her when she was first diagnosed. If you have a quick minute, please go watch it. And if you’re local here in the Los Angeles area, please come join us for the first walk in Southern California on Saturday, February 23rd at Griffith Park from 10am-12pm There will be food trucks, games, music, and much more.
I’m baacccckkkkk. Did you miss me? I took a little bit of a hiatus from Thanksgiving through the New Year to focus on my Instagram but I’m excited to be back at it. I have a TON to share with you! With that said, if you’re not following me already on Instagram, please do. Please be my friend, please. 🙂 You can check me out HERE. I have a ton of fun DIY’s over there, with some ‘crazy’ mixed in between.
ANYWHO. I’ve always been a neutral girl at heart, but I’ve really been craving some tiny (baby steps here guys) pops of color in my home. My love started when I saw this velvet couch from Anthropologie.
So what do I have now? Tunnel vision. I NEED some super cute velvet chairs to add to my dining room. Clearly Anthropologie, while beautiful, is completely out of my budget. And so I’ve put together a list of my runner ups that won’t break the bank. So here we go…
1. Makenna Armchair
I love this color green, and LOVE the shape of this chair. It’s $183, and that may seem like a lot, but WAY cheaper than other accent chairs, AND I only need two for my dining room. You can check it out HERE.
2. Cora Slipper Chair
Ok so this isn’t exactly a pop of color, but they have many color options. I just loved this one and LOVED the legs. This is $193, and you can check it out HERE.
3. Beatrix Side Chair
Ok this looks almost identical to the one at Anthropologie. I LOVE the back. It comes in multiple colors, and I love both the navy and the green personally. I found the cheapest option for $197 at Bed Bath Beyond (yes I know!) right HERE.
4. Wysocki Armchair
I LOVE the shape of this, and it’s similar to #1. It comes in a beautiful Mauve and a Mustard color. These would look super cute at a desk and not just at a dining table. For all the color options check it out HERE.
5. Paris Velvet Dining chairs
OK, these would look super cute with an unfinished dining table. I LOVE these colors! They come with other colors too, and they come in a set of two already! They are $210 (for both) and you can check them out HERE.
Hope you found these options helpful, I really do love all the colors I’m seeing in the new year! Can you guess which one I picked? Be sure you’re following me on Instagram to find out! Hoping to get it this weekend!
Thanksgiving is literally right around the corner. A time for fat pants, political arguments with distant relatives, and football for those of you that watch that kind of garbage (JK…kind of). And let’s be real, I wear my fat pants all year long. But you know what I’m a sucker for? You guessed it, a pretty table. So let’s get you ready, because a good table display will distract anyone from conversations like who’d you vote for, or when are you having another baby?
So here’s the table I made for Thanksgiving. Let me break it down for you.
If you’re on a budget, you can create your own like I did with my Halloween Tablescape, but if you’re able to throw down some money, you can get some super cute ones for not too much either. AND, unlike the ones you make, you can totally reuse them! I got these from Pier 1, and guys, they are on clearance for $3.38 right now! Here’s the link. And FYI, apparently they’re napkins, but I used them as placemats because they’re HUGE.
2. Cute Napkins
Most napkins are super cheap, and they really add some character to your table. I got mine at Target, and they are so cute. You can’t beat 4 for $9.99. I tend to stick to more neutral colors, but they have a lot of fun ones too. Here’s the link to the one I bought.
3. Charger, huh?
I remember the first time I learned what a charger was. I was so confused, and wondering why a table would need to be charged? Basically it’s like a decorative piece or tray for your plate to sit on and feel super fancy. Do you really need one? No. Do you want one? That’s all up to you. I think they’re super cute, and fun to use for special occasions. I got mine at Pier 1 here, and it’s currently buy one get one 50% off.
Not much to say here, except I really LOVE my Pottery Barn plates. I’ve had these for 8 years now and they’re super lightweight, plastic, and white my favorite color. Sorry, no link, these are super old.
5. Mason Jars (cups)
If you’ve read any of my other posts, you know I LOVE using Mason Jars as cups, and that’s what I used for my Thanksgiving table. The ones pictured here are from Michaels, you can get them here.
6. Utensils (obviously)
Do I really need to say anything here? Unless you were raised by savages, I’m pretty sure we all know what utensils are. I used the ones I’ve had for years, but I’ve actually been eyeing those gold utensils I’ve been seeing everywhere. Maybe I’ll use those for Christmas, stay tuned.
7. Dimension and character!
If you’ve read my other posts, you know there is nothing more I hate than a flat table. I like to add some dimension and character. These candlesticks from Target were only $12.99, and you can get them here.
I also added one of the pumpkins I had laying around the house from HomeGoods, along with a few plastic pumpkins I got from the dollar store. I also threw in one of the cute pitchers I also got at HomeGoods, and my table was pretty much complete.
And hi, there’s me, pretending to set the table after I just yelled at my son for not being patient enough after taking 5,672 takes of this picture.
Alright guys, I hope that was helpful. I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving, eat ungodly amounts of food, and enjoy your family.
So I was challenged to create a Halloween Tablescape for no more than $10. The catch? You can use items you already have in your home too, OR get creative (read on!). Continue reading “Halloween Tablescape Ideas Under $10”
So I’ve been admiring kitchen runner rugs on Instagram for months now. And I’m just like, damnit I want one. I have a long kitchen, and a runner rug would be perfect. My house is mostly neutral colors, but I have to say I’ve been loving the bold colored rugs I’ve seen and kinda want that pop of color. I’ve been on the search for one, and well, that means I’ve created a short list. Below are 6 of my top picks under $100.
Also, I don’t know about you, but I base most of my purchases off of reviews. Especially when it’s a TON of reviews that are good. As opposed to like 3 people that may have given it a glowing review. Therefore, I’ve included that info below too.
1. Darchelle Beige/Pink Rug
You can find this on Joss & Main here. Out of 1249 reviews, this got 4.8 out of 5 stars.
2. Cearbhall Beige Rug
You can find this on Joss & Main here. Out of 68 reviews, it got 4.8 out of 5 stars.
3. Wilcox Orange Rug
You can find this on Joss & Main here. Out of 146 reviews it got 4.7 out of 5 stars.
4. Hillsby Orange/Saffron rug
You can get this on Joss & Main here. Out of 999 reviews, this got 4.8 out of 5 stars.
5. Abbeville Power Loom Dark Blue Rug
You can get this on Joss & Main here. Out of 1,227 reviews, this got 4.7 out of 5 stars.
6. Annabel Light Blue?Fuchsia Area Rug
You can get this on Wayfair here. Out of 1023 reviews, this got 4.7 out of 5 stars.
Alrighty, if you’re in the market for a rug, I hope that was helpful. And if you just like looking at rugs in your free time, that’s cool too, I’m not judging you.
If you follow me on Instagram, you likely didn’t miss my not so subtle excitement over Reese Witherspoon’s new book, Whiskey in a Teacup. And it’s not because I’m obsessed with Reese Witherspoon, or the fact that I love Whiskey, or that I have an obsession with books in general. Because all those things are true, but this book was really special. I couldn’t put it down. And by the time I was finished, I had texted all my girlfriends to go out and buy it. Here’s why you should:
1. You can totally judge this book by it’s cover.
We all know I’m obsessed with coffee table books. And if you’re a Reese Witherspoon fan (I mean, who isn’t?), the cover of this book is super cute and has her right on the cover. It really is a beautiful book (and the pictures inside are beautiful too!).
2. Totally a ‘feel good’ book
You know how when you watch a movie and it makes you feel all good inside? That’s exactly how I felt about this book. I felt like I was sitting at the kitchen table having coffee with Reese as she shared all her stories, traditions, and tips. She really reminds us what’s important about life–family, friends, home, and traditions.
OMG the recipes. And not just the food, but the recipes for drinks! There is some serious good stuff in there.
She even has full menu recommendations for different occasions.
4. Stories + Memories
Hands down my favorite part. Reese shares a TON of memories and stories throughout the book. She shares stories about important life lessons, shopping with her grandma, gardening with her grandpa, catching frogs, and how doing her own lemonade stand taught her a lot about running a business.
And damnit she made me want a dog again! She had me reminiscing about my own grandma and traditions, some of which were so relatable.
And I loved learning about her mom, her incredible laugh, and her love for life and dancing. Her grandma was a beacon of solid wisdom from beauty tips to her wisdom growing up in the civil rights movement, and the importance of love and inclusiveness.
5. Parties and Traditions
I LOVED learning about the dinner parties and different traditions she has and cherishes. From the keepsake books for her kids, to the road trips (I already tried one of the games with my son during our morning car ride!), to the family dinners at the table, to the music, I loved them all.
And look, now I’m convinced I need to host a Kentucky Derby Party of my own. I’m already looking for some super cute hats.
6. Tips, more tips, and then more tips!
I don’t even know where to begin here! She shares full menu ideas, table setting ideas, road trip games, hostess tips, flea market strategies, gift ideas, houseguest etiquette, and even playlists for different occasions.
I mean the list goes on and on. And look, if you want to master the hot hair roller technique, or learn how to make the perfect sweet tea, this book is for you.
7. The South
As an extremely proud Lebanese woman, I LOVE how proud she is of where she came from, and loved learning so much about the South. It was super cute, she even “translated” some of the Southern “language.”
I loved learning about wicker and wallpaper, it totally gave me some ideas for my own home. Reese talks about the music there, the traditions, the love for Monograms, and look, by the time I finished reading the book, I felt like I was about to let a few “y’alls” slip off my tongue. Oh, and now I love Dolly Parton even more.
8. Life Lessons
Reese really hones in on what’s really important in life, from family and friends, to home and traditions. She highlights how important dogs and animals are, and that it’s so important to make an effort in this busy world, to really sit down at the dinner table with your family and have good food and conversation.
She talks about the importance of female friendships, and the importance of community and giving back. I especially loved what she said about having a pretty home, but a welcoming and practical home for your family and your kids. As she said it, “your home is not a museum.” I think I need to remind myself of that sometimes.
9. Book Club
Umm, did you know Reese has a book club? Not only does she share her favorites, but she shares ideas for a Book Club party menu, how she organizes her books, and all kinds of other good stuff…etc. I cannot wait to start on some of her recommendations.
10. Music, dancing, and playlists
One thing I really loved was the theme of how important music was to her. She shares many playlists throughout the book, and I thought that was such a nice touch! She shares a little something about her early aspirations in life, but I’ll let you wait and find out when you read the book.
So go buy it! Whether you need a cute coffee table book, a good read, or looking for a good gift, I promise you will not be disappointed. I know this is definitely going to be my ‘go to’ for gifts for awhile now. And Reese, in the off chance you ever read this, I totally get the sweatpants thing. And thank you for reminding us that you can care about “silly” things like hair, makeup, or fashion, and still be educated, thoughtful, and care about other things like politics, and civic engagement. And, please, write another book.
If you’ve read any of my other posts on cheeky home accents (Part I and Part II), you know that sarcasm fuels my soul. And when I find a new place that feeds my addiction, I get super excited. You love gifting snarky stuff? Or filling your home with cheeky statements? You HAVE to check out Buffalovely. I found them on Instagram, and it was love at first sight. Let me break down some of my favorites.
You can find it here.
If you’re a mom, or know a mom, you can find this here. But seriously, they have a TON of mugs. I had a really hard time picking a few to highlight.
2. Get your drank on..
Technically I would never need one of these, because I’m no quitter. But this would make an awesome gift. Check it out here.
I mean, probably. Check it out here.
3. Kitchen Accessories
This is where I got really excited. These. Were. All. Made. For. Me.
They have WAY more cute stuff, it was impossible to pick just a few. Be sure to check out their website for more under this category.
I don’t have plants, but if I did, I would need this asap. Link here.
Tell me you don’t need this, or don’t know someone that does. Link here.
I mean ya, if we’re being honest. Link here.
Again, more honesty. Link here.
7. Bathroom Accessories
Seriously, wash your damn hands. Link here.
We all have that one friend….Link here.
Because it’s always important to set realistic expectations. Link here.
Annnnd goodnight. Link here.
Alright guys, hope you love this shop as much as I do. For more products, check out their website here.