June 29, 2015

How we Sold our Home without a Realtor

This is NOT a sponsored post, I wasn't paid to write this post. I wanted to write it to share how 
AWESOME Creekview Realty was with the sale of our Home. We love them that much!
I've been meaning to write this post but life has been crazy since we sold our first home and moved into our current. We sold our house without the use of a realtor. We thought about doing For Sale by Owner but wanted to sell our home as quickly as possible and be able to list it on MLS so we used a flat fee realty service that I HIGHLY recommend. This was the first time we've ever sold a home so naturally we were nervous but we didn't want to pay the full 6% to sell our home.

So I searched online for options and ended up finding Creekview Realty.  Of course purchasing anything online has its risks but I checked out their reviews and we decided to jump in and give them a try. We ended up purchasing their Package B one night. There is A TON of helpful info on their website for those inexperience first time sellers like ourselves. 

We got a call the very next day to confirm our purchase, they explained the process and made sure we understood everything. I printed some paper work, filled it out and scanned it and sent it their way. I also took pictures of our home and sent it to them so that they could list our home on MLS. We received a lockbox and a professional sign a day or two later and we were ready for business! Our home went officially on the market on a Wednesday night and by Saturday we had three asking price offers. We were overwhelmed with Joy! Creekview called/emailed everytime we received an offer and went over each offer with us. They were available 24/7, seriously! We were on the phone with them at 10pm one night going over an offer. Creekview suggested we do a high and best offer and we ended up getting more than asking price for our home. They were EXTREMELY helpful throughout the whole process! We spoke to various different people on their team throughout the whole process but they were all up to date with our situation and they were all extremely helpful and kind. 

We are extremely happy with Creekview! They seriously went above and beyond! If you are in the Texas area and are thinking about using a realtor, do consider Creekview. We are so glad we did, we saved money but felt like we got way more than what we paid. If we ever need any realty services (which I hope we don't because we LOVE it here!) we would use Creekview again and again! 

Again, I wad NOT paid to write this post. I just wanted to share because I know how hard the whole selling process can be but we had such a great experience so I had to share it! :)

June 22, 2015

Decorating on a Thrift Store Budget

My goal this year is to decorate our new (older) home with thrift store finds. We spent a lot of money on remodeling some of our home and appliances already so we can't really afford to spend tons of money on new furniture and home decor. So I've been visiting my local goodwill these past couple of weeks and I've been able to find home decor items for dirt cheap. I want to share some of these finds with you and also offer some tips that have worked for me when it comes to thrifting.

I am very into mid century furniture right now. In fact I would sometimes rather browse through my local craigslist page looking at beautiful credenzas and dressers on my free time than be on netflix and I love netflix! So when I spotted the piece of furniture you see up there, I knew I had to have it. At just $14.99 it was a no brainer. I was debating whether to paint it or not and as much as it would look beautiful painted, I'm scared to mess it up so I am thinking of just changing the hardware for now. 
This vintage trunk is my most recent find. It was dusty and dirty and I didn't really want it at first because I couldn't think of an excuse to buy it a place to put it but I just imagined it all cleaned up and storing all of Joshua's legos and toys and the decision was made. Of course the price made it easy as well at $6.99. 

TIP #1: Make sure you have space and a purpose for what you buy. You don't want to end up with a bunch of thrifty finds in your garage. I should be the one to speak, I've got two items that I've been wanting to make over but haven't had the time. Also don't let a little dust and dirt scare you away from a great find but do make sure to check your piece really well for any chips, tears, or broken pieces. 
Here's another example of taking a chance on dirty items. These glass jars were dirty and the top of one of the jars was starting to accumulate some rust but thankfully my mother in law was with me at the time and told me how she could clean them up really well with some vinegar and I took them home and here they are now, nice and clean! The basket tray I found on another trip. I LOVE baskets but again if I don't think of a place or purpose I don't want to buy it. My mom was with me on this trip and actually gave me this idea to use it for the glass bottles I already had. 

TIP #2: Take a friend/family member with you when you shop! They can offer a different perspective and can help you make those not so tough decisions when it comes to a certain piece. I don't think I would have bought the jars or the tray if it wouldn't have been for my mother in law and my mom with me on those two trips. 
I love white ceramic pieces. These are both meant to be for the kitchen but I decided to use them for my jewelry instead.  They were each $1.99! 

TIP #3: You don't have to use a piece for what it's meant for. Think outside the box! The more uses you can think for a certain piece, the more reason to buy it! I like to move my things around and repurpose them once in a while. 
This frame was a Target clearance frame. It's obviously chipped but at $1 I couldn't leave it behind. I'm going to paint that chip white and it will look good as new. 

TIP #4: Check your local goodwill for those Target clearance items. Our local goodwill gets most of Target's clearance items. I actually went to Target one day and saw a bunch of iphone cases and was thinking of getting one but decided I would come back. Two days later I found them all at Goodwill. It's kind of hard to tell when they donate items to goodwill but chances are if you see something on clearance at Target and it's been sitting there for a while, it will end up at goodwill.
This globe and planter are some of my most favorite finds! I absolutely LOVE globes! I don't know why but it's kind of an obsession that began not too long ago. I see one and I buy it. It's one of those things that it doesn't matter if I have a place for it or not, I will make a place just for it. This globe was in one of those little blue bins, you know the ones that goodwill workers use to bring stuff out from the back to sort into shelves. It was fresh out of the back and I ran (ok I walked fast) to it and put it in my cart. I got a couple stares but I didn't care because I felt like I had found gold. lol 

TIP #5: My most favorite tip of all: Visit often and at the right times. I have visited my local goodwill every week and sometimes 2-3 times a week and every single time I go, I find new things. Summer + Spring are the BEST times to shop. It's when people clean out their homes and donate. It's also garage sale time and what doesn't get sold almost always ends up at goodwill. Out of all of the days of the week I've found Sundays to be the best day to shop, especially early in the morning. 

Do you love to thrift shop? What are some of your favorite finds? Any tips you'd like to share with me?You can follow me on my thrifty journey and check out my finds on instagram with #cinsarahthrifts 

May 19, 2015

Our Kitchen Remodel Plans

Our kitchen layout is one I've always wanted. I have always wanted a kitchen island and having the stove and range hood in the island just makes things even better. Other than that our kitchen is is very outdated. The cabinets are orangey and they smell old. Our counters are tile and our backsplash is some ugly green plastic. We changed a couple things like flooring, popcorn ceilings removed, and updated lighting but we didn't plan on remodeling it until maybe next year. Here is what our kitchen looks like now.  
The flooring and lighting make a big difference, don't they? We removed the old vent hood and I have our new one in the garage along with our new stove top but we haven't had time to install yet. Here is another before shot...
and a currently...
We do plan on keeping the stone wall as is. It is one of my favorite features about this kitchen. You don't find those in new homes anymore. I am both excited and nervous because as you all remember we've already been through one kitchen remodel before with our first home and it was chaotic. I remember having to wash dishes in our bathtub. I'm not looking forward to that but I'm keeping my mind on the outcome because that is what makes the craziness so worth it. 

In our first kitchen we chose maple shaker style cabinets, matching granite countertops, and a tan subway travertine tile. 
I loved our kitchen but I also love white kitchens and I told Omar that if we ever moved our next kitchen would be white. So we are planning on getting white shaker style cabinets with a blue/gray island. Here is my inspiration kitchen (found on pinterest of course). I love it so much, I think I pinned it twice.
I think the white cabinets will make the kitchen look so much brighter. The current cabinets compete with our dark floors and just make everything look dark and dingy. For our backsplash, I really want to do a white subway tile with gray grout. 
 A stainless farmhouse sink so it can stand out from all of the white.
and white/gray granite for our countertops.
I'd also like to extend our island to create a little bar for more sitting/eating area. We are having my husband's cousins (they created our cabinets in our first home) create our new cabinets. They are coming to measure and then we can get rolling on the kitchen remodel. I will be posting updates on instagram so make sure to follow so you can see our progress. 


May 18, 2015

Pizza To The Rescue - Tony's Pizza

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and TONY’S® Pizza, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #BigPizzeriaTaste http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

As you all know we just recently moved in to our new home about three weeks ago. It's been chaotic moving with the kiddos, especially with one of them being a toddler. With all of the work to be done around the house, I haven't been cooking much. I actually like to cook, especially when trying new recipes but lately I've had not time or energy to do it. So the other day I picked up some TONY’S® Pizza at Wal-mart and decided to take a break from unpacking and organizing to just enjoy some good quality family time and have a pizza night. I even made brownies and popped some popcorn. I've never seen my kids more excited about dinner!
I remember eating Tony's pizza growing up but I really hadn't had it since. I do remember it being smaller which basically meant one pizza per person in our home. I was pleasantly surprised to find Tony's pizza to be 30% larger now and it's made with real cheese and sauce from real tomatoes. It is both inexpensive and yummy! We all loved it! For less than $7 (two pizzas) our complete family of five ate! Who doesn't love that? Especially when eating out is so expensive nowadays. I've got a tip for those of you who don't own a pizza cutter (I still haven't found mine): I just used kitchen scissors to cut the pizza, so easy! I don't think I'll ever need a pizza cutter again.
We all loved Tony's pizza so much, I ended up buying more later that week and we had another pizza night. I think we will make this a weekly thing, the kids love it and I get to take a break from cooking and just enjoy spending time with my family. Little man is usually a picky eater but not when it comes to pizza.
I'd love for you to try Tony's pizza for yourself! There's an awesome Wal-mart coupon for Tony's pizza right now. You can SAVE $.75 off of any TWO (2) Tony’s Pizza (14.14 oz. or larger). That is a GREAT deal considering Tony's pizza is already inexpensive! The Walmart digital coupon is available until 6/30/15. So make sure to print it out and plan a pizza night with your family!

May 8, 2015

The Story of our Second Home

On a previous post I had someone ask me about how we came about finding this home. That is a very good question and one I decided to answer in a complete blog post because I want to document this and look back and read it to remind myself how good our God is!

We weren't really planning to sell our first home. We wanted to buy a second home and rent our first home so we were looking at homes that were fairly inexpensive and just a tad bit bigger in size. We began the search and went to look at a couple homes in the same area (near our first home) but nothing really stood out. I've always loved homes in the town that we are living in now (our new home) just by seeing them on my realtor app but it wasn't until we drove around here that we fell in love with the town with it's huge trees and good sized lots. We actually found a house we loved at a price we could afford and we put an offer in and got the process going and then things didn't end up working out with that house. I was super bummed! We decided maybe it wasn't the time for us to move just yet and we stopped looking for a couple days.

Then one day Omar asks me if I want to go take a look at a house. Omar had this house (our new house) saved on his realtor app but we never thought anything of it because it was way out of our price range and the only way we could maybe possibly afford it is if we sold our current house. This house was for sale by owner and was on the market for a while. Well he decided we should go drive by and see it, just to see what it looked like in person. I didn't want to get my hopes up so I didn't really want to go but went anyway. As soon as we entered the neighborhood I fell in love, it felt like we were so far away from everything yet everything was so close by. We drove by some beautiful homes each sitting on 2-3 acres and then we parked in front of this one. Of course I thought it was beautiful but again I didn't want to get my hopes up. As we were driving away Omar decided to call the owner and we were able to see it that weekend. I remember walking through the house that day, we saw tons of potential. It had the exact layout we've been wanting and the big yard we always dreamed of but the only thing holding us back was the price. As Omar and I walked around the back yard....
he said "I really like it, do you like it?" 
I said "yes of course I do, but it's too expensive"
he said "let's pray."
There in the back yard holding hands, we bowed our heads and prayed.

Everything after that went smoother than we ever imagined. The owner brought down the price of the home and was willing to wait for us to sell our home. Everything just fell right into place. Not only that but we felt so much peace throughout the process. Something we didn't feel with the first home we were looking to purchase. With that home we felt like we were forcing it and in the end it didn't even work out. It was completely different with this home. Not only was the buying process smooth but the selling of our first home as well. We feel extremely thankful and overwhelmed with God's goodness!

Our plans were not God's plans and I am thankful for that because His plans were much better and greater for us than we imagined! Thank you Lord! 

April 27, 2015

Vi and Va Dolls - Giveaway

I always loved playing with dolls as a little girl. I played up until I turned twelve, yup I would even beg my younger sister to let me play with her sometimes. Most twelve year old girls nowadays are too grown up to play with dolls. I always looked forward to playing dolls with my daughter one day and when I heard Vi and Va's new fashion dolls launch I knew they would be perfect for Sarah... and me too. 

Vi and Va is a recently launched fashion doll line inspired by Latino cultures. Vi and Va (pronounced like Viva!) are two teenage sisters: Viviana (Vi) and Valentina (Va).  For these girls, every day is an adventure and a reason to celebrate the bonds of family and friendship. Vi and Va, along with their best friends, cousins Felicia and Roxxi, were created to help girls honor and embrace their heritage.  The themes and storytelling within the line focuses on both family and culture.  The 4 main characters are not just friends, they are also family!
Sarah received all four Vi and Va dolls. Two of them are sisters and the other two are their cousins. What I like about these dolls is that they're not just about fashion. They each have a hobby/personal interest and include accessories to match. For example the Felicia doll loves to paint so she has her own set of paints and a little box for art supplies. This gives each doll a personality and gives your child a boost in their imagination as they play. I also love that these dolls are not skinny, they're curvy ;)
Sarah loves that she has dolls that look like her to play with. The Valentina doll is her favorite, she says it looks just like her. 
We love Vi and Va's new line! The full assortment of "Vi and Va" fashion dolls is available at Target stores and on Target.com. One of my lucky readers will get a chance to win one of Vi and Va's new products: The Vi and Va styling head. 
Just enter via Rafflecopter below for a chance to win this for your daughter, niece, neighbor or maybe even yourself. I won't judge ;) Giveaway ends this Friday May 1st, winner will be notified by email.

This is sponsored post in collaboration with Vi and Va Dolls and Latina Bloggers Connect. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

April 24, 2015

Space for Dreams - 2015 Honda CR-V

Dreams, we all have them. We often think about them and wonder if they will ever come true. One of our dreams (prayers) came true just recently. I shared about how we always wanted a house on some land/acreage where our kids could run around and play. Just a few weeks ago I remember talking about it with my kids while driving back from school. Everyday after school they would ask me "when are we moving to the new house?" I would listen to them talk about playing in the yard and what they wanted their new rooms to look like. I love listening to their conversations and their dreams!
When I watched Honda's video on the new 2015 CR-V it reminded me of all of the dreams I would have as a child...
I had the chance to visit my local Honda dealership in Round Rock,TX to check out the new CR-V and it is AMAZING! It's decked out to the max with everything you can ever imagine. 
Let me tell you that we are a Honda family, we've owned a Civic, CR-V, Odyssey, and now we own a Pilot. I already knew I would love the new CR-V but was amazed to find so many awesome new features. I walked in and they helped me right away, explaining all of the new CR-V features. Yamile (the sales consultant) was super nice and helpful, she took time to not only explain the new features but try them out on the CR-V as well. 
I got to see all of the new features in action like the awesome rearview camera...
There's so many cool features but one of favorites is the new smart key system that allows you to lock, unlock and even start your CR-V without taking your keys out of your purse. This was especially appealing to me as a mom, I'm always digging through my purse to get my keys out. This smart system just requires you to have your keys nearby which means you can just keep them in your purse or pocket. The start button won't start unless you put your foot on the breaks, this help keeps kiddos from starting the CR-V themselves.
The other awesome feature that I loved was the cameras. There's not only a rearview camera but also a side camera under the passenger side mirror. This is perfect for those blind spots. It automatically turns one when you hit your right blinker or you can turn it on anytime you click a button at the end of the handle. Loved this feature, I've had too many close ones with my blind spots.

I am actually considering the new 2016 Honda Pilot that is supposed to come out this Summer and was told that many of these features would more than likely be on the Pilot as well. If so, I'm SOLD!

The new CR-V is spacious and perfect for small families, perfect to drive your little dreamers around ;) It's decked out with the latest technology, things we could only dream about a few years ago. Thank you Honda for allowing me to test out the new CR-V features and for reminding me that dreams can come true!
This is sponsored post in collaboration with Honda and Latina Bloggers Connect. However, all opinions expressed and love of Honda are my own.