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

    Yay for YHL! Way to bring some integrity to the blogosphere w/ your swag-free policy. I just discovered your blog via the Nate show when you were guests. I’m really looking forward to see how the updates/renos for your new house unfold. :)

  2. says

    I’m looking forward to your journey. My DH and I have a blog about our kitchen reno and it is a bit slow b/c we’re like you, taking our time and fitting it in when we can.

    It’s a bit stalled waiting to be done with our final inspections for plumbing and electrical – we passed our 3rd party and waiting on the township (it would be foolish and expensive to put up the back splash and then possibly need to change something, KWIM?)

    Thanks for keeping it real and I look forward to being jealous of your finds but mostly the stuff you create on your own. So many more people are on a budget and we need more blogs like this about things real people can afford.

  3. Bria says

    So happy for you both and delighted to read real-time house projects. You guys make it look so easy & fast – it makes me even more frustrated when it takes a full month to redo the bathroom! ha!

    and hooray for less giveaways, not that free stuff ain’t fab, but your posts are a welcome break in my day-to-day and the giveaways are sort of “un-posts”

    love the blog as usual

  4. Molly says

    You guys are just great. Freebies are great, but as a reader I do appreciate that we’ll get to see how you find great stuff! Also, yeah to taking projects on step by step. 1. can’t wait to see the evolution of your new home and 2. like others have said, it makes me feel better that my house is a work in progress!

  5. April L. says

    Breath of fresh air. I have a friend IRL who has taken to posting about things on her blog that she would never spend her own money on (for health reasons). But they pay her to post about it. I still love my friend, but I hate that it has caused me to question her integrity and lose some respect for her. Kudos to you guys for taking the high road!

    Oh, and if you didn’t save up and take your time on this new renovation, what would you have to blog about? I think we all love the “in-progress” posts!

  6. Robyn says

    I really appreciate the non-tv, non-superfast 10K makeovers. I bought my house 3 years ago, and I personally never had the delusion that I could make it over in a weekend or two. But sometimes HDTV (and the like) can brainwash you into thinking, “Oh, it’s just that simple!” and “Oh, it’s only $1,000. That’s cheap!”, when in reality it’s not that simple and $1,000 is a lot of money when you are having to save it up little by little. Being able to peek in on someone else’s real DIYs is so unbelievably helpful in snapping a single, but handy, girl back to reality.

    My Christmas wish list this year consist of home improvement store gift cards, supplies, or labor to fill in part of my garage for a real laundry room. I am so tired of washing my clothes next to the lawnmower! If I don’t raise enough money this Christmas, I will be asking for the same gift in February for my birthday. Some people in my family don’t feel like this is something I should ask for for Christmas. “But I have to get you a real gift! Dry wall is not a Christmas gift” OH YES IT IS!!!!

  7. TG says

    I always thought this blog and both of you as truly genuine. I appreciate this post and it has been confirmed my thoughts were correct. I look forward to the deals you’ll be looking for on your treasure hunts. With Clara in tow, she’ll be professional at this by age ten. I am excited about the new challenge and your answers to the dilemmas. Thanks for all you do, it is an inspiration.

  8. Ericka says

    I just had to echo everyone else’s sentiments and say how impressed I am with your honesty and integrity – it’s a rare thing these days. That’s one of the reasons I keep coming back to this blog.

  9. Kana says

    I definitely read your blog for the journey! Seeing you guys tackle a project like your full bathroom reno, and showing us every step of the way (even the failures sometimes!) definitely makes me feel like I could tackle something like that myself (with the help of my husband and dads of course!). In fact, we’re thinking of taking on some large projects in our house next summer and where will I start for ideas and help?? Your site of course! Every time you post a blog during a big project, the suspense builds and I get excited and even giddy when my google reader tells me there’s a new post by YHL! I love you guys for all your hard work and amazing blog posts. Good luck on your move!

    If I had a thank you jar, my card would say, “I’m thankful for the Petersiks & YHL!”

  10. Kay says

    It’s all been said but I too commend you guys on your integrity-and am sooo looking forward to the move & new renos to come. Be blessed guys!

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