We bought our first home

Grab your cup of *insert preferred beverage here* Lets get back on this grind.

I started writing this post over 3 weeks ago and life literally flew by and I wasn’t able to get it up for you guys – I’m so sorry. I have two more posts coming soon after this too! But now that I’m sitting on my deck taking in our undone backyard, there is nothing that should stop me from getting this post up.  No our place isn’t ready, but we’re settled enough to finally be able to call this place home ❤ and we’re more than ready to get back to a normal routine, of cooking dinner and catching up on all our favorite shows.

Buying our first home together was nothing short of an emotional roller coaster.  With boxes covering our entire apartment and then our house, it felt extremely overwhelming.   I sit here trying to gather all the sweet memories we’ve created in our apartment.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m super excited to grow into our knew home and start a new phase in our lives, but I’m an emotional/get-attached-to-everything type of person… so you know I was crying on my last day there & happy tears on our first night in our new bed. Since I announced the big move on Instagram, I was surprised to hear how many of you had terrible home-buying experiences that you gave up or the number of those that didn’t even want to shop around because the process was so daunting. We definitely hit some obstacles along the way as well… As a first-time-home-buyer we walked into the process so spontaneously and it probably wasn’t the smartest idea – so here are a few pieces of advice for those in the process or one-day-hoping to be…

1.        Do your research.

A.        Know your housing market – are homes selling for over or under asking price? In our case it was well over! And after putting down our first offer, we were shocked.  Offering $20K over asking – we thought we were doing well but the property sold for $65K over asking.  This gave us a reality check – are we really ready to buy a house? Fast forward 6 months and we were in a bidding war – we got lucky and settled on $40K over asking.

B.       Seriously look at your finances – if you have a pre-approval for $600K – it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should necessarily go buy a house for that price.  Work backwards – figure out what your ideal monthly payment would be and then look at homes in that price range.  If you’re married look at your combined income vs. expenses look like, with room for contingencies.  Also, take a look at all your mortgage options and first time home-buyer credits.  If you had a hiccup along the way with your credit score, talk to a mortgage officer – they can guide you and break down numbers for you so you know exactly what you’re monthly payment will be with a conventional vs. FHA mortgage.

C.       Have trusted resources – are your parents’ home-owners? They were my biggest resource – my dad was able to give us a solid idea of what kinds of things we’d have to do once we bought the house. I had no clue there was a difference between home-owners insurance and a home warranty… how often do ducts need to be cleaned, but really though, what are ducts?  We relied on our trusted family to give us referrals to their landscapers, contractors, and other services.  We’re so grateful! However if you don’t have access to these resources – become friendly with your neighbors quickly they may be able to give you list of their contacts, (i.e.- landscapers that visit the neighborhood biweekly)  Home Advisor was our other handy tool for all questions left unanswered!

D.       Buying a house is EXPENSIVE. Know what kind of funds you’ll be left with at the end of the move and what kind of costs you’re looking at for either renovations, additions, or in-home décor.  We were extremely lucky and only had minor updates and some larger purchases –  PC Richard was extremely helpful and the most budget friendly! While the mortgage process was having its ups and downs – I spent my time online shopping comparing washer/dryer models so I knew exactly what I wanted lol #adulting  Don’t’ worry a separate post on a home tour will follow soon – I’m so excited to share that with you!

2.        Before you move…

Reality honestly didn’t hit us until the night before closing.  I packed a couple of seasonal boxes in the very beginning of  being in escrow and then was so overwhelmed with all my clutter that I stopped.  Flash forward a week after closing day and I’m still not packed – because I just didn’t know where to start..  Renovations are about to be over and its crunch time.  My honest desire was to leave the apartment and few personal belongings and start brand new but we had invested 4 years of our lives in making our apartment our home, how could I part with these things?  This honestly was the hardest part for me.  One of the biggest recommendations given to me was the Marie Kondo book.  De-clutter your life before you get into the place and leave the junk behind.  We made 2 piles of our stuff initially – take/discard.  Once our “take” boxes arrived at our new home, we went back to the apartment and went through the discard pile – either gave it away or threw it away.

3.        Moving/moved in.

a.        We had a months’ time to move out of our apartment, luckily that was  plenty of time to get everything out of the old place and into the
new.  We decided against hiring movers, because the new place was only a quick 10 minute ride away.  And, instead of rushing the move – it was important for me to declutter and rid of the all stuff.

b.       Don’t feel pressured to furnish your place because X,Y, and Z were settled in a few weeks. We really wanted to love our place and not get bored 6 months in.  I felt the anxiety of everyone wanting to come over and check out our new place, which came from all the right places of genuine love and excitement but to me it felt like I was displaying something incomplete… and realized later that – that’s okay.

c.        This checklist really helped me get organized and make my first few trips to the grocery store and put together some quick home-made meals. We were extremely sick of eating takeout.

I hope this helped some of you organize your thoughts and prepare for this wonderful yet HUGE decision in your life.  Have any other specific questions – let me know in the comments below.  I can’t wait to share the decor process with you guys.

Stay Blessed & Happy Lovies.

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30th Birthday -OOTD

I said goodbye to an entire decade a couple of weeks ago.  And although I didn’t wake up a different person I somehow know things are going to be forever different.  This past decade brought so much pain but an equal amount of joy.  And the raw truth is that life is a never-ending balancing act of these two parallels. Not to say that this decade may not bring with it some testing times, here’s hoping that I’m slightly better at handling them.

The initial plan was to do three separate OOTD posts for my birthday since I’ve had a few different celebrations and since life has just been so hectic this month, I’m combining all three for your viewing pleasure.  I’m going to try not to ramble on this post but grab your preferred choice of drink and get comfy loves it’s going to be a long one.

Birthday Day 1: (Dinner with the Hubs)

The initially planned birthday outfit was a gorgeous red midi dress with my Louboutin pumps that were an amazing present from my fam. ❤ but it was WAY too cold and windy to even bother. The 17 year old girl inside me wanted to wear the comfiest sweats and hoodie but I’m not about that life anymore. I threw on a pair of dark wash skinny jeans with a bright red silk top I found on sale at Nordstrom Rack.  The top had fine little gold stud details on the shoulders that went perfectly with the gorgeous studs on the back of my heels.

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At my wedding my amazing makeup artist was sweet enough to gift me with the perfect red she had used on my wedding day, Ruby Woo by Mac.  It’s been a staple red in my makeup collection since!

Birthday Day 2: (Brunch with my parents)

If you don’t already know this, I co-own a business with my hot mamma.  We design and sell bespoke designer Indian clothing. Owning this creative business has me on a whole new high and the need for 7 more closets in my house because I find myself designing more and more outfits for  myself but really no-where to where them to…  I decided to be my usual extra self and rock this dress inspired by Sabyasachi and Deepika Padukone with the perfect white jutti’s & silver jhumkis.  Shop @KouturebyKiran for all your designer desi needs. {Separate post on my obsession with Sabyasachi and Deepika Padukone coming soon!}

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Inspired by this beauty!

Birthday Day 3: (High tea with my bff)

Alveena and I met in college and have no clue when we became inseparable. Over the years, we’ve grown up a ton but never let go of the tradition of celebrating our birthdays together.  We’ve done a fair share of high-tea afternoons at all the cute mom&pop shops but this year we knew we had to do something just as extra as us!  The plaza has always been on our list of places to eat/visit and we’re so glad we finally did it.  Way back when we initially made this plan, the thought of a cute spring dress was perfect but traveling through the city on public transportation in heels or a dress in the windy weather was not a thought neither of us was going to entertain.  #laughing at ourselves for when we were young twenty somethings and would bear foot pain/frostbite to rock a cute outfit –haha- what were we thinking but we’re old and mature now, please  let me hold your coffee as you laugh.

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I picked up this white shift dress from a cute boutique in Italy back in October and finally had the opportunity to wear it and styled it with all of my all-time classy pieces. There no other way to dress for The Plaza and its sophisticated ambience. I pulled out my fresh-water Hyderabadi pearls, Go ahead, tell me something classier that pearls?  I recently picked up this gorgeous Halogen blazer I found at Nordstrom Rack.  I am such a nordie girl.  As much as I wanted to rock my new white Louboutin pumps, there was no way it was gonna happen; so I opted for my favorite pair of black Louboutin flats instead.  As well as one of my favorite bags, this white Tory Burch cross body.  I mean anything white ends up being my favorite but it always just sits so well with a casual or fancy outfit. The last accessory I grabbed on my way out was my mustard yellow Gucci scarf, also another favorite, I probably wear this statement piece at least a couple times a week.  It was a chilly day and the perfect accent color for my classy and fancy, black and white outfit.

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I love rocking a great lip color, here I’m wearing, Anastasia Beverly Hills -Catnip.

I always get questions and compliments about my lip color and have realized that lipstick details should be included in all my OOTD posts going forward because they tie your whole look together.  I’ve been super obsessed with lip stains, Huda Beauty and Anastasia Beverly Hills being my absolute favorite. And I’m not a huge makeup fanatic, the basic “no-make up make-up” look is my jam but lipsticks were something I’d watch my mom wear and glam her up instantly.. they have a special place in my life because now my mamma and I lipstick shop together. #sephoravib

This year has been a stressful year with losing loved ones and a hectic life schedule that doesn’t seem to want a break but it was important to me and my loved ones to celebrate this day even if it wasn’t as extravagant as we wanted.  It’s not about what you do – it’s about who you’re with and the love you share.

For the last few years I’ve been investing in myself most of which consists of reading inspirational/self-help books and indulging in quite a bit of self-care/me time.  One of my recent favorites is, Year of Yes.   The desire for change in my lifestyle and outlook on life has come from within, with age I believe.  It’s basically the need for the life I’ve created around me to keep up with the yearn inside me.   And so every morning I wake up and I chose myself.

Hope this year is our year! | Stay blessed and happy my lovies.