Treasure Map to Home: Financially Ready to Buy a House

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Real estate is likely the biggest investment you’ll ever make, but it shouldn’t have to break the bank. This infographic shows how to make financially responsible decisions in the home-buying process. If you’re financially ready to buy a house, you can have a mortgage and still protect your booty!

Treasure-Your-Home

 

1. Save Money

Orient yourself by saving 10% of every paycheck for a house before you start the buying process.

2. Budget

A budget based on income and savings will be your anchor. If possible, pay all cash for real estate.

3. Get Pre-Approved

If you can’t pay cash, find a lender to approve a loan. A 15-year mortgage is more responsible than a 30-year.

4. Find an Agent

Hire someone you can trust and who understands your financial limits.

5. House Hunt

Finally, the fun part! Stay under budget to leave room for closing costs, repairs, etc.

6. Make an Offer

Keep in mind, your down payment should be at least 20% of the cost of the home.

7. Inspections 

You don’t want to purchase a treasure that turns out to be cursed!

8. Insurance

Protecting your new treasure may cost a pretty penny, but it could save a fortune down the road.

This infographic inspired by Dave Ramsey Financial Freedom teachings.

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6 DIY Oscar Party Ideas

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The Academy Awards – taking place Sunday, February 22 – are an elegant night to honor excellence in cinema. They’re also an excuse to throw a party and drink wine and champagne! Here are some creative DIY projects to help you throw the perfect Oscar party! These ideas were accumulated from around the web and feature links to blogs with more details about the project.

 

 1. Paparazzi and Red Carpet

Roll out the red carpet – literally – on the way into the house. Even if it’s just a long strip of cloth, people will feel like Hollywood royalty. Up your game even farther by using craft paper to cut out silhouettes of paparazzi to line the hallways on the way in.

oscar party 1

Pinterest

Picture Courtesy of: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/43417583881886654/

 

2. A-List Popcorn Bar

Popcorn is the official snack of cinemas across the world. For a night as glamorous as the Oscars, it’s only right that you amplify the popcorn bar to include every type of variation on the classic possible. Have some caramel corn, kettle corn, butter and salt. Throw in some peanuts, M&Ms, ranch seasoning, and whatever else someone may want to do to achieve that gourmet snack!

Oscar Party 2

My Boys and Their Toys Blog

For more inspiration, visit: http://www.myboysandtheirtoys.com/2014/02/create-oscars-popcorn-bar-movieloverssweeps/

 

3. Tuxedo Champagne Glass

Your Oscar party needs classy beverages, and they should be served in equally elegant glasses. Dazzle your friends with champagne glasses in little tuxedos.

Oscar Party 3

For a step-by-step instructions on how to make these festive glasses, visit: http://celebrationsathomeblog.com/2014/02/diy-mini-bowties-to-dress-up-the-party.html

 

4. Oscars Photo Booth 

Since you’ve already provided red carpet paparazzi, be sure to snap some fabulous photos of your guests with a festive photo booth. Include props of decadence such as bowties, monocles, and more!

TheManicMoose Etsy

TheManicMoose Etsy

For more ideas on what to include, check out: https://www.etsy.com/listing/89524020/photo-booth-props-the-swanky-collection?ref=exp_listing

 

5. Predictions Ballot

No Oscar party is complete without ballots for each attendee to share their hopes and predictions. Be sure to have a prize ready (see #6) for whoever guesses the most categories correctly.

oscar party 5

Download this year’s printable ballot from Fandango: http://www.fandango.com/movie-news/fandangos-printable-oscar-ballot-748790?wssaffid=11841&wssac=123

 

6. Homemade Oscar Statues

These silly gifts make a great party favor or Oscar predicitions prize. You’ll need time to prepare, so paint those Ken dolls with a few days to spare. Mount them on coasters or some other kind of platform with super glue.

DIY Candy

DIY Candy

To learn more about this silly prize, visit: http://diycandy.com/2014/03/diy-oscars-ken-dolls/

 

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Super Bowl Party Ideas

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If you’re hosting a Super Bowl party this year, you’ll need to do some stuff to make yourself stand out. You don’t want to be just a stop on people’s party-hopping excurision. You want to be the talk of the town (ya know, besides the commercials and the game itself). Here are some fun Super Bowl Party ideas to prepare before the big game!

 

Penalty Flag Snack Bag

Better Homes and Gardens

Better Homes and Gardens

Get some yellow napkins (or cloth squares) and put a small portion of candy, pretzels, etc. inside. To make it clear that these are meant to look like penalty flags, you may also want to get some black and white striped napkins (or cloth squares) to set the referee tone at the table. This treat is good for decoration and portion control!

 

Game Plan Buffet Backboard

HouseHunt

HouseHunt

Just take a large chalkboard or a sheet of wood covered in chalkboard paint, and draw the shapes you’d see on a football game plan. X’s, O’s, and arrows! It doesn’t have to make sense, but the decorative element is simple to make and powerful is setting the Game Day theme of your party! Just prop the board behind your buffet table.

 

Football Brownies

Better Homes and Gardens

Better Homes and Gardens

Listen, there’s about a thousand different foods that can easily be turned into football shapes. We just happen to think brownies are the easiest. They’re already the right color, and are easily cut to the right shape.

 

PomPom Vase

Super Bowl Party Ideas 4

HouseHunt

 

A big beautiful flower boquet will look absolutely ridiculous at Super Bowl party. But a flower vase filled with colorful pom-poms will look fun and creative! You can also use it to show what team you’re pulling rooting for that night!

 

Turf Carpet

Home My Design

Home My Design

Okay, so here’s the thing: You’re having a bunch of friends over to eat food, scream at a TV, and encourage drinking. Don’t think for a second your gorgeous home will go unscathed! Be proactive and get your carpet a defensive line. Lay out a roll or two of fake grass. Besides the practical benefits, it’s a fun and colorful way to make your house look like the field.

 

Good luck with all your food prep and party decorations for the big game! Share any of your own ideas in the comments below!

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First Night in New House Checklist [Infographic]

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Plenty of time and effort has to go into a big move, but you also need to be prepared for that first night in your new home. You won’t want to unpack everything the moment you set foot in the door, so here is a checklist of what to keep accessible for the first night in new house!

First Night in New House

The Basics

Don’t forget to pack bedding, pen and paper, work clothes, basic cleaning supplies, and of course a few nice, soft pillows. You’ll want to relax worry-free after a long day of moving.

Emergency

Be prepared for anything. Have the First Aid kit handy, as well as trash bags, a flashlight, and a few tools.  Don’t forget to pack any medications, too.

Food

Let’s be real: all you really need for food is a take-out menu and some plastic plates and silverware to eat stuff with. You’ll also want a bottle of champagne on hand to celebrate the biggest and best investment you’ve ever made!

Children

Don’t forget to pack your kids! Once you’ve done that, make sure you have easy access to their pajamas, basic clothing, games, and a night light. If you’re moving with an infant, don’t… But if you insist, have all the supplies for your little guy like pacifiers and bottles.

Toiletries

For the bathroom, you’ll need all your personal hygiene items, as well as soaps and shampoos. Don’t forget a shower curtain and towels to make bathing possible. And most importantly, don’t pack that toilet paper too far away.

Documents

Just in case, you’ll want to make sure these files are accessible during you move and that first night in new home: HUD statement, other closing papers, and of course your various forms of identification.

Pets

For the pets in your family, you’ll need their animal food, medications, bowls for food and water, and their leashes and collars. Be sure to have some comfort toys ready for them. Those items will give them a sense of familiarity during the move, which is often very stressful for animals.

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5 DIY Valentine’s Day Decorations

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Whether you’re going for playful or provocative, these DIY Valentine’s Day Decorations will make sure love is in the air February 14th!

 

DIY-Valentine’s-Day-Decorations-3

 

Whether you use this as a silly gift or a table centerpiece, it’ll still send a sweet message. Write a love note on fruits filled with juicy puns. For bananas, “I’m bananas for you,” and “Let’s never split.” For apples, “You’re the apple of my eye.” For oranges, “Orange you glad I’m so funny?” Pears – “You’re pear-fect.” You could make a whole fruit basket of punny snacks!

Image Credit: http://cakewhiz.com/valentines-day-fruits-with-messages/

 

DIY-Valentine’s-Day-Decorations-2

 

Leave Cupid’s arrows scattered around with this easy and adorable craft! Find some sturdy twigs or branches from the back yard, and break a handful off to be similar sizes. Use hot glue (or some kind of super glue) to secure the felt on the branch. Be sure to put matching felt on both sides. Tie a small bow near the feathers of the arrow. Get really creative and make the point part a heart instead of an arrowhead.

Image Credit: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/10836855323707128/

 

DIY-Valentine’s-Day-Decorations-1

 

This is the most time consuming of the DIY crafts on this list, but the result is stunning and romantic. First, take a piece of heart shaped Styrofoam and a couple sheets of felt. Cut the felt into a bunch of circles. Fold each circle in half twice, and use a straight pin to push it into the foam backing. Repeat the process over and over, keeping the felt close enough to cover all the Styromoam. When you’re all done, you’ll have a beautiful heart that looks as fluffy as a pillow and as romantic as Cupid himself.

Click here for more pictures to guide you through your felt heart. 

 

DIY-Valentine’s-Day-Decorations-5

 

These Valentine’s Day Decorations are great to hand on the door or by the window. There’s many ways to go about Valentine’s themed garland, but we’ve chosen one on the simpler side that is easy to customize. Start by cutting seven strips of construction paper (or felt, or similar material): two long, two medium, two short, and one shortest. Place them in this order: short, medium, long, shortest, long, medium, short. Bend the three pieces on either side to form a heart shape. The piece still sticking out in the middle will hang on a string.

Click here for step-by-step instructions to make “heart garland.” 

 

 

DIY-Valentine’s-Day-Decorations-4

 

This super easy decoration adds a surprisingly romantic flare to any candlelit dinner. All you have to do is cut a stencil of a heart shape and drape it around a vase or mason jar. The material can be felt, construction paper, even tissue paper – as long as its sturdy enough to stay stiff and not simply drape over the vase.

Image Credit: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/251568329155031458/

 

 

Whether you’re going for silly or sexy, be sure to have fun getting the house ready for the most romantic day of the year! Share any of your own ideas in the comments below.

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