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. says

    Wow. I am very impressed. Props to you guys for staying true to your roots and transparent in your “business.”

    You’re right, the freebies are a great perk of the job. But I’ve always liked how you guys were realistic. Realistic in your budgeting, realistic in your renos, realistic in your planning. It takes a lot to do what you do, and I think I speak for all when I say we appreciate it.

    And 5 days! IEEEEEEE!

  2. says

    Thanks for keeping it real! I really respect your integrity. I know what you mean about saving up and going slow. This year was crazy for us with the new home buyer’s tax credit and wedding gifts. We almost won a free bathroom renovation from a contest but when we lost we realized this is finally normal – saving up and doing projects one at a time. We’re with you in the journey!

    5 more days! I’ll be singing Matchbox 20’s “Closing Time” for you :)

  3. Janna says

    Thank you for not going down that giveaway route! It makes your blog really stand out from the rest. I actually just won a giveaway from a pretty big blog and I still get annoyed when I see the latest post is a giveaway! I’m here to get ideas and inspiration, not free necklaces. Hopefully other bloggers will jump on your bandwagon!
    Can’t wait til we (I mean, you) move into the new house!
    Love from Seattle!

  4. says

    So will you guys stick to your new method of not waiting for a project to be done before revealing? It would make me feel better to see it in real-time, since I’ve been in my house for almost 9 months now and haven’t completely ‘finished’ a single room. I have decorating A.D.D.!

  5. says

    Major respect for you guys on being able to just say no! My husband and I are working on our 2nd home renovation as well and going into it we knew we would be sleeping in our formal living room for up to a year as we take our time renovating each room (house is over 100 years old). I’ve been a big fan the past two years – keep up the great work and good luck on the move!!!

  6. Jill Stigs says

    While I appreciate your stance, I feel a bit different on this matter.

    Your career is the blog and getting some freebies along the way, I feel, is in no way indicative of anything other than benefitting from doing your job well. Of course this just shows your integrity for the world to see.

    Of course we are coming along for your ride. Love your blog, it’s addictive!!

    More Clara and Burger pics please.

  7. LauraC says

    I’m confused. I thought you already said this a while back? I knew you had gotten a couple of free things (which I think is great and you totally deserve), but I guess I thought you had already said no to more free stuff. Regardless, I think you’re great! You know your readers love you!

  8. says

    I really appreciate the ethical way you both approach and handle your business. I second the opinion that this stance really adds to your overall credibility and retains the integrity of your blog. BIG UPS to you both!!

    And I love the way yall detail the stages of your projects too! I find it so frustrating when other blogs gloss over projects , even if they are DIY. It really helps to hear the nitty gritty details & advice for those of us who look to the internet for some gentle hand holding.

    All the best with your closing! So excited for yall!! (& us readers, hehe!) YAY for Young House Love!!!

  9. Sarah says

    Kudos! It’s not news that you guys have a great influence on your readers and this announcement, while not shocking [coming from you] just shreds any ounce of doubt when it comes to product placement. No more wondering if something is propaganda or not :)

    Also, re: real-time blogging on your renovations— while I am guilty of loving an HGTV same day makeover or catching instant before/after pics on plenty-a-blog, they certainly scratch the “i just wanna see it now” itch, but for me, they are SO intimidating. It’s like looking at a fashion magazine and loving the pics, but then setting it down and realizing you’re a loooong ways from a body like that. Ha! We crave instant results and quick home makeovers, but in when it comes down to it, real life gets in the way.

    SO— that said, I’m really looking forward to more ‘diary-style’ day by day progress. That is what is truly motivating because it’s essentially how my own house is progressing. It’s definitely an ongoing project!

    Good luck with the packing/move/settling in!!!!

  10. Christin says

    While I have never questioned your credibility or what you endorse and why – I truly admire your ethics and efforts to be as real and transparent as possible. Way to go guys. Congrats again on the new house and looking forward to all the posts to come. Good luck with the big move!

  11. says

    Nice post guys and totally understand your new stance. It’s going to be so much fun following your new journey “from scratch” in the new house. Five days! Holy moly. Will you be changing your banner to the new house eventually? Good luck in the days ahead!!!

  12. says

    That is all very awesome. Good for you guys. I never thought you were shady about anything you got and you always seemed to be real and down to earth about what product you had gotten and tried out. But good for you two for keeping it even more real now.

    I really look forward to your “diary style updates”, I think it’s an awesome way to to blog about your new casa and all it’s projects. I’m super excited to read/see all of your projects from the start this time. I’ve been a fan for about 2 years now, so this is going to be super exciting to watch from the start and watch it evolve over time. You two are always inspiring and we all love to be inspired by others and make our own twist on it. Can’t wait to see your new casa evolve!!! I’m really looking forward to the “before” pics and video, so that I can imagine what you might do and see what you really do. :D

    One off subject questions: I’m helping a friend with their Triplets nursery and I bought them decals for the room. Three different ones, but they compliment each other. Do you know of any good sites that have ideas of how to hang the decals…..meaning I need some inspiration for this sort of thing because I have never done it before. Thanks! :D

    • says

      Hey Jen,

      Maybe check out spearmintbaby.com and ohdeedoh.com? They’re two of my favorite kids blogs and they both have decals pop up every now and then! Good luck!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *