Everyone Loves A Freebie…

Ain’t free stuff awesome? If it weren’t, why would Oprah’s audiences blow a gasket on national TV every year when she says “Faaaay-vo-rit thiiiiiings!”

But enough about Ms. Winfrey (Sherry’s perma-smiling over here, because Oprah’s her jam). We’re bringing up freebies because we’re making a swag related declaration. Moving forward, we’re just saying no. We’ll still offer up free house stuff to you guys in the form of our weekly giveaways, but we’re not going to accept products or services for our casa at any special “blogger discount” or for free – even if we genuinely love them.

We have absolutely nothing against other bloggers who do (it’s definitely an obvious perk of the job) but especially since we’re both able to do this full time, we’re appreciative of a few other perks (like working from home with our pooch & our girl by our side). This way it makes it easy to recommend an amazing piece of furniture or a great floor refinisher based on the job that person has done or the item they’ve sold – not based on any special arrangement behind the scenes. We don’t want you guys to ever question our motives for blogging about something. And although we’ve always tried to be totally transparent when we’re writing about an item that was gifted (like this faucet & this lawnmower) and only agreed if it was something we really liked (and always tried to snag a second freebie for a reader, like we did with the faucet & the lawnmower), now no one even has to wonder if we’re endorsing something because we truly love it or because it was free.

Why now? Well, over the next few years, our new house will need lots of stuff. But we want to stalk every single thing down ourselves and buy it (or make it) without any other reason than it’s what we love and it’s actually within our price range. And we don’t want a post about how we need a new dining table to be misconstrued by you guys as “fishing for a freebie” (and we don’t want companies to consider it to be an invitation for them to offer something up in exchange for a post about it). Besides, being constrained by a real budget is when we come up with our most creative ideas.

And although we’re happy to pass on the free stuff from now on, we’ll do our best to pass it onto you guys whenever we can. A lot of our weekly giveaways already come from that technique, so we’ll continue to give away stuff that we think you’ll love. Our little declaration definitely means we’ll be hunting down discounts, sales, and even free stuff on craigslist like it’s our job (oddly enough, it kind of is). As long as it’s a deal that each of you could score too, we’re game (special blogger discounts & freebies are out, but deal hunting in the clearance section & haggling at garage sales are definitely still in).

Oh and this is probably a good time to remind you guys that things in the new home will be happening on a real timeline. No same day 10K makeovers a la HGTV. So we hope you’ll bear with us as we save our pennies and take on Operation New House one project at a time, just as we did when we started this blog during our big kitchen reno three years ago. We’re definitely not high enough rollers to get our new place renovated and decorated anytime soon (remember our current house took 4.5 years to get to where it is today!). So the new one will be a work in progress for a while as we slowly decorate in stages and share diary style updates as they occur. Hopefully you guys are more into the journey than the destination…

Psst- By this time next week we should be settling into the new casa. Just 5 days (!!!) until we get the keys. Can you tell we’re craaaaazy excited? As in Oprah audience excited.


  1. Lindsey d. says

    That’s a great stance and one I’m glad y’all are taking. Since my home renovations are taking place at the speed of molasses (still in the saving and dreaming stage), I like seeing others in the same situation!

  2. Snickrsnack Katie says

    I really respect you guys for this decision. Way too many bloggers endorse crap on their sites just for the sake of endorsing crap and getting money for it. It does make you question their integrity and whether they really like the product. I have never felt that way with you guys, but it is a slippery slope. The more famous you become in the bloggy world, the more these companies will appeal to you to show their products on your site. I have seen really good blogs go down the pooper because of this very reason. You guys are really smart and savvy! I love your site – and I think I love you guys even more now! :)

  3. Beth says

    “…and share dairy style updates as they occur.”

    This made me giggle. Reminds me of the Chinese restaurant scene in A Christmas Story…”Deck the harrs with boughs of horry, fa ra ra ra ra, ra ra ra ra.”

  4. says

    OMG! FIVE days! SO exciting!

    As one who has dutifully combed through many an old post on your beloved blog, I can honestly say that the way you two work–in stages and over time–is never boring, but more so eye opening and refreshing. Looking back on what your home was and comparing it to today is what a lot of people appreciate (in my opinion) about you guys. You’re human just like the rest of us–maybe you have a few better ideas–but hey, once you put them on the blog they’re free game, ya know? I’m really excited to see how things progress in your new home!!

    Question: what the heck are you going to call it?! “Casa Petersik” is already taken… :)

    Lastly, props to you on taking your no freebies stance. I figured you guys were pretty close to feeling that way anyhow since you very rarely do such things. I think it helps keep your site more organic and honest which is what the two of you certainly are.

    • says

      Hey Kari,

      Haha, it’ll probably get dubbed Casa Petersik once we really settle in and feel at home there. Wherever we live seems to get that moniker!


  5. Noelle says

    You mean you don’t have bucket loads of money just waiting to be poured into your huge new abode??!?!?! :-p Who does, right?? LOL Well, I for one, (like most of your readers) am here for the journey (and maybe a liiiitttle bit for the destination) but mostly for the journey and I’m excited to get to share that with you, every step of the way! It’s so cool to be able to have this peek into the lives of very normal, down to earth people, who share the same passion…minus the creepiness!! So, as long as you’re not planning to go anywhere, neither am I! :)

    -Loyal Reader, Noelle

  6. says

    100% appreciated, both your position on freebies, and your project timeline strategy. Not only are ya’ll my favorite blog, but your link-love is my favorite jumping off point for other blog browsing. Thanks, and thanks for the great ideas.
    As my husband and I transition from supervising contractors to moved-in DIY mode, I expect I will be needing more and more YHL support!

    • says

      Hmm, well we have some paneling to paint, some cabinets to stain or paint (haven’t decided), a ton of rooms to paint, a few bathroom vanities to overhaul, and lots of other projects swirling around our heads. Who knows what we’ll actually end up tackling first though. The first thing on the agenda after moving boxes in is to take before pics (and even a video) to share with you guys!


  7. says

    While I like and respect this whole post ha,the thing I like the most about it is that I just realized that it took you 4.5 years to make your house look that great! We bought ours 2 years ago, and while I’ve improved it greatly, I was a little discouraged that I haven’t finished all my projects yet. Thanks for the reminder that diy greatness takes time!

  8. Celestia says

    I’ve only been following this site for about a year so I’m super excited to see this house makeover from the beginning!

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