• Unique Housewarming Gifts

    Admission: I’m a terrible gift-giver. It’s something I always vow to get better at, and yet, I am that person who brings a bottle of wine for every occasion. You too? Now, I haven’t heard any complaints because let’s be honest, you can never have too many bottles of wine. The recipient can always regift it store it drink it. But when it comes to your friends or family moving into a new home – this is a big deal. The American Dream. It took a lot of saving and sanity to get there. Let’s really celebrate this milestone with something to make them feel like you put forth a little more effort than stopping at the corner liquor store and oh can you rub the price tag off and put a bow on this so it looks like I tried? Here are a few unique, personalized #NixonPack approved gifts that rise to the occasion:

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  • The roundabout way to let light in

    One of the biggest challenges we’ve found in our current home is adding light, in all forms. I’m talking natural light, actual lighting, and lightness to balance out the wood. Today, we’re tackling natural light. We have a mid-century craftsman style home set on seven acres surrounded by gorgeous pine trees. It’s dreamy. But, it can also be dark, especially on dreary days, and in Central New York, we see a lot of those. When you enter the house through the front door there is a large staircase right in front of you and just beyond that, a long wall separating the front and back of the home. I am all about first impressions and this wasn’t a good one. I lived with it for a few weeks and all of a sudden the aha moment came – let there be light! 

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  • Pack Picks: For the Pups

    We are t-minus 3 days until the big move and I don’t think anyone is more excited than the #NixonPack. It has been five years since they’ve been able to run in a proper yard and I can see their little paws racing in their puppy slumber in anticipation. This next house comes complete with an oversized mudroom, or so Jon tells me, which will be the Pack’s Paradise. Here’s what I’m planning for our four old gals and the sweet Boxer boy:

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  • The most important factor when buying a home

    There are so many factors to consider when buying a home. If you’re like me, you have a list of must-haves and a wish list of bonuses. You have a budget you need to stick to, maybe a school district you’d like to stay in. All of those are important, but there’s one key component that often gets pushed to the back. It gets masked so easily by the trendy new tile in the bathroom or the fancy new refrigerator that cost as much as a car. It’s the biggest non-negotiable factor of all:Read More

  • Surviving a cross-country move with 5 dogs & a baby

    We’ve moved ten times in the course of our relationship, but this one is the most difficult move to date. Not only are we packing up an entire house, two adults, five dogs and moving halfway across the country…this time we’ve added a toddler to the mix. The countdown board says 6 days to go. Here’s what we’ve learned this time around and what hasn’t worked as well as we’d hoped:Read More

  • Tuesday Tip: Become a Stalker

    Do you see that person peering through the bushes? It’s me. I’ll admit it. When we are thinking about buying a home, we set up camp and stalk it – morning, noon and night. Shoot, you’re probably thinking this lady is way too hard core, and maybe a little creepy. OK, I’ll give you that, but here’s why you should be stalking, too.

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  • Sniff, Sniff. Your Kitchen’s Spoiled.

    You know when the milk has gone bad in the fridge. You can smell the sour before you even do the taste test. But it’s not as easy when it comes to your home. When does the kitchen start to spoil? Have the bathrooms gone moldy at the edges? Everything in your home has an expiration date. Here’s when you know it’s time for a refresh:

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  • The crucial design element missing in your space

    Jon and I showed a house last week that felt dead inside. As we toured each room, it was like dementors were sucking the joy from my life. Potterheads, are you with me? This house had been on the market for a while and I could feel why but at first I couldn’t put my finger on it. The style was mid-century modern and it was filled with gorgeous moldings and intricate woodwork. The views of the pine trees and stream running through the backyard were so serene. But something was wrong. Jon commented as we were leaving that it bothered him there weren’t any window treatments. Clearly, the sellers were trying to showcase the picturesque surroundings. Then it hit me. There was absolutely no texture in the home and it was cold. Things like drapes, pillows, rugs, the right fabrics and thoughtful wall hangings are what make a house a home. They weave together to create a sense of belonging, warmth, love. If you’ve been noticing something is missing in your home, I can almost guarantee you don’t have the right balance of textures. Check out our Pack Picks for finding fabrics that fit your space.

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  • Pack Talks Budget: Unexpected Costs of Home Ownership

    When we bought our first home, we were living paycheck to paycheck. I still remember adding up the cost of all the food in our grocery cart before we got to the checkout line to make sure we had enough to cover it. We saved and we saved but it never felt like it was enough to buy a house. It’s daunting, isn’t it? Here’s the thing. When you rent, you’re paying someone else’s mortgage. If you can cut costs and take advantage of all of the first-time homebuyer incentives, you can make your dream a reality. But we don’t want you to go into this blind. Budgeting for home ownership is much more than making sure you can afford the mortgage each month. Here are some costs that come along with that white picket fence that you may not be thinking about:

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  • Pack Picks

    Can you believe it’s Valentine’s weekend already? We’ve never been big on celebrating this holiday because it should be a big ‘ole love fest year-round, amIright? Plus, this chick is not paying $7 for a card. Sorry, Jon! So today, I’m offering some fabulous finds that will help fill your home with love for your better half, your pet, or just for you. You definitely deserve better than a box of chocolates.

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