Thursday, June 30, 2011

Just Married Real Estate on News 12 New Jersey!

Hey, Nick here!

Late last year, Marci Rubin from News 12 New Jersey came across a write-up on me from and thought Just Married would make for a great feel-good piece in the midst of all the negative housing news we're used to seeing these days. A few weeks later we shot this spot with a lovely newlywed couple named Sandy & Danny (no, it wasn't Olivia Newton John & John Travolta), and it aired 15 times that weekend.

*Disclaimer: News 12 did not give me a copy of the tape, so I had to film it from the TV using my Flip Cam, hence the shakiness. Hope you enjoy nonetheless :-)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Soon to be Newlywed (again), Nick Lachey's Bach Pad for Sale.

With his wedding to Vanessa Minillo fast approaching, soon to be newlywed (again) Nick Lachey is putting his bachelor pad on the market.

After his split from Jessica Simpson (I am still in mourning from this), Nick bought this 4,722 sqft home with 4 bedrooms in LA for $4 million from Heidi Klum and Seal. Now, 6 years later he is putting it back on the market for just under $6 million.

Do you think the house is worth almost $2 million more than when he originally bought it in 2005?

The swanky outdoor pool and bar area.

Large Living room with wet bar and pool table.

Gorgeous view!

Gourmet kitchen .

All photos from

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Decorate 4 Less: The Wall Collage

A few days ago I decided to finally decorate our very boring, very large dining area wall. We had this wall put up before moving in to create a 2nd bedroom and while it was a great addition to our place, it created a lot more wall space for us to fill up. I wanted something that would showcase photos and other ods and ends but wouldn't be shelving (our cats aren't too bright and would knock everything down). After some googling and bing-ing I came across the oh so popular wall collages.

Like this from Pottery Barn

Or this from Young House Love (awesome blog, go check it out!)

Or this from Darling Savage Blog (another awesome blog)

 Lightbulb went off and I was on a mission to have my very own wall art collection. I already had a lot of photos that I wanted to frame and other odds and ends (like a painting of my home town and a vintage poster). Because I am cheap smart, I wasn't about to spend over $5/photo frame. Seeing as Nick and I love our antiquing and garagesale trips we saw this as the perfect opportunity to help us decorate for less! We hit up 3 garage sales and ended up with 10 mismatched photo frames for $14 total! With the help of my best friend -spray paint and sandpaper, we had matching frames!

 Nick spray painting the old frames

Next, I stuck up newspaper in the same sizes as our frames and mapped out where each frame would go. Once it was perfect, I spent about 20 minutes nailing and hanging and viola, our photo wall was complete!

(Sorry for the awful quality- our Cannon wasn't charged so we used the Flip Cam)

 The finished product!
Here are some details of what is hanging.

Barney shilloutte- I painted this and I will do another DIY on this later one

This was in the fram when we bought it at the garage sale. It is actually the front of an old menu from the 30's!

This is a painting my mom and dad bought me and had framed. It shows the two sides of Main Street in the town I grew up in! I love that it's a little piece of home away from home!

We still have plenty of wall space to fill up- so we will be adding as we go and will be updating the progress!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Real Weddings: Our Wedding Day

Today I finally got around to picking photos for our wedding album (yes, 19 months later...) and it took me back to that wonderful, amazing, fall day a year and a half ago. It then dawned on me that while we talk about being newlyweds on this blog, we haven't actually talked about the day we got married! So here is the short long version...

We got married on November 28, 2009 in Clarkston, MI (my home town). Because I am Catholic and Nick is Jewish, we actually had two ceremonies. We were legally married in the Catholic church, a decision we decided from day one was best for us, and then we had a symbolic Jewish ceremony later in the evening at the reception hall.

The entire week before the wedding I was a mess, the events leading up to the wedding were almost comical at this point and I was ready to just say “screw it” and elope in Las Vegas! I was already very stressed out due to breaking 3 of my toes and having 5" heels to wear on my wedding day, a family friend died the week of the wedding, my mom, sister, and nephew all got sick with the swine flu and my dad had come down with some sort of sickness that kept him in bed until about 30 minutes before the ceremony (little did I know that he would end up in the ER at midnight, but more on that later...).. Somehow, the morning of the wedding, we woke up to clear blue skies and 50 degree weather- at least I had this going for me!! My friend Elisa came over did my hair, and some of the girls in the wedding party, and then I went to get my makeup done. My photographer met us at the salon where I was getting my hair done and that's when it really started to feel real!

After my make up was set we headed home, packed the cars and headed to the church. I got dressed at the church, took some pictures with my girls, and then it was time to go!

The minute my dad walked me to the beginning of the aisle all of my stress melted away. My dad, who you would never know had a 104 degree fever, kept whispering things in my ear like ''let's skip'' and ''don't fall'', and it took everything for me not to crack up.

The ceremony was beautiful and really touching. The priest talked a lot on how to combine our two faiths into one and using that to teach us to listen and learn from one another. We didn't have a full mass as we felt it would be long and awkward being that about 60% of our guests were Jewish, but the ceremony still lasted about 40 minutes.

After the ceremony we headed to our little downtown area and took some photos of the wedding party. 

Cocktail hour started at 6pm at our reception hall, Indianwood Country Club, and at 6:45 our Jewish Ceremony started. It was so amazing to be able to have this ceremony. It was much more personalized than the Catholic ceremony as we got to write our own vows and letters to each other that were then read aloud. I was so happy to be able to incorporate all of Nick's traditions and customs into our wedding day. During this ceremony I had actually changed to wear my mom's wedding dress from 1979. Only my mom knew I was doing this- the look on my dad's face when he realized what I was wearing was priceless. 

 After the Jewish ceremony, the real party started. We danced until midnight and everyone had a great time. Even with all of the stress of our day and worrying about my family, I would still not change a thing about our wedding day. Looking back now, we laugh at everything that went on, but it was such an amazing day filled with love that I would never take back!
***After the reception, my dad got rushed to the ER by my two brother-in-laws and he was there for a week. Turns out he had some sort of infection. The whole night I was so worried about him, but I didn't know just how bad sick he actually was. It really makes me love my dad even more that although all night I told him to leave the reception and go to the Dr's, and that his health was more important than my wedding day, he not only stayed, you would have never, ever known just how sick he was.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Versatile Blogger Award!

Thank you Allison  for nominating us for The Versatile Blogger Award! Allison writes Project Open Hearts about her journey of infertility and the journey to becoming a mom. I have known Allison since 6th grade and she is one of the most loving, caring, and sweetest women you will ever meet! Her blog is so inspiring to remember to love and never give up on your faith!

 For these awards, the blogger must:
1. Thank the person who gave you the award &
link back to their site in your original post.
2. Tell us seven things about yourself.
3. Pass along the award to five newly discovered bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers and let them know they got this award.

A little about US:
1. Nick was born in Brooklyn and Central Park was his playground until he moved to NJ at the age of 6.

2. I was born and raised in MI, but both of my parents grew up in the town Nick and I live in now. We actually are living in the house that my dad grew up in!
3. I am a vegetarian and Nick is probably the biggest carnivore you will ever meet. This makes for some interesting meal preparations!
4.  Nick proposed to me with the NYC skyline as our backdrop and the first words out of my mouth were "You're kidding me right?"
5. Nick is Jewish and I am catholic. We actually had 2 ceremonies on our wedding day. We were legally  married in the Catholic Church and had a symbolic Jewish ceremony before the reception.
6. We have 2 evil cats who plot to kill me on a daily basis.

7. When Nick and I started talking about getting engaged he asked me to show him what kind of rings I liked since he was clueless. I made him a powerpoint. Some think this is crazy, I think this is smart.

Six Blogs that I have tagged :)
1.The Groom Says  - This really funny blog written by Brian out in LA. Basically it's a wedding planning site for the guy. He's proud to be married and isn't afraid to help all those other grooms out there, who actually want to be involved in planning!
2.House of Turquoise- A great home decor blog that is everything turquoise. Erin always has the prettiest pictures up and the best ideas for our home that is slowly, but surely, coming together!
3.Real Life, Real Estate, Real Dana- Dana is a real estate agent in Kentucky. She is super cute and super motivated. It's a great blog with a mix of her work and everyday life!
4.Hooked on Houses- This is one of the coolest blogs out there. Julia writes about every and any house out there. I LOVE her photos of all her celebrity houses that she posts. I can spend hours on this blog drooling over homes that I wish I could live in!
5.Thrifty Decor Chick- An awesome DIY blog written by Sarah. A lot our inspiration has come from her easy DIYs and renovations that she has done in her own home. Many projects are under $40 are easy to do, and look awesome! Plus, she loves NKOTB so that right there makes her awesome.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Newlywed Nutrition #2 - "I Pick Things Up & I Put Them Down: HOW I Lost 50 lbs...Twice!"

Hi, Nick here!

Welcome to another episode of, “Newlywed Nutrition!”

First I would like to thank you all for making our last “Newlywed Nutrition” post our most-read post thus far. I would like to follow that post up with how I dropped the 50 pounds in six months.

My weight has always been an issue for me pretty much my entire adult life. I’m kind of like Oprah, in that I have yo-yo’d so many times. After high school is when my weight really took a turn for the worse. I had always been a bit bigger for my frame, and by the time I was 20 I was at least 50 pounds over weight. I was depressed and didn’t know what to do. In January of 2001, just two months shy of my 21st birthday, I moved to Los Angeles, California: The Land of Skinny People. My father, Neil Baldwin, accompanied me on a road trip across the USA all the way to La La Land.

                         On my way to LA w/ a stop at the Grand Canyon - Pushing 200 lbs.

                                           Looking sexy as usual in this picture ;-)

It was in L.A. where I wanted to pursue my acting career, but in Hollywood I was not going to get the parts I wanted unless I dropped the pounds. I came to the realization that I couldn’t make this change all by myself. I had gym memberships in the past, but let’s face it – unless Jillian Michaels is screaming at me telling me to do another set, I might as well have just flushed that $50 a month down the toilet. So, I went to get a personal trainer. That’s how I met my trainer for the next two years, David Anthonie. To this day, I still attribute my love of health and exercise to him. He knew that in order for me to really drop the weight, I was going to have to make a complete life change. He planned meals for me, and designed a weight training & cardio regimen that I still incorporate into my regular exercise these days. Working with David, I dropped from 200lbs to 150. The thinnest I had ever been, and I felt great about myself. So great, that I got certified to become a personal trainer and got a job training clients in a gym.

                           1/2 the person I was just 6 months with a trainer.

        A year later in London w/ my sister, still keeping the weight off.

Let’s fast-forward about eight years or so…

Living back in New Jersey, I met my lovely wife, Anne, while I was waiting tables at an Irish pub and going to school full time majoring in Exercise Physiology. I was still doing some personal training on the side and had been able to maintain my weight loss over all of these years, but I was 27 at the time and the metabolism was starting to slow down a bit. At this time I decided to go into real estate. I decided it was time for a job change and I wanted to show Anne that I had the motivation and drive to do big things. Real estate took off for me right out of the gate, and I found myself with more responsibility than ever before. Being so busy left much less time for the gym and I had to eat on the go most days. The pounds began to pile on and before I knew it I was back up to 200 pounds again on the day of our wedding.

Wedding day, 11/28/2009, back up to 200 lbs.

Anne, knowing my weight is a sensitive issue for me, was very nervous when one day she decided to talk to me about how I could shed the pounds again. Knowing me very well, she suggested that I needed more structure. The personal training worked 12 years ago because it was a structured plan. When I have a plan, I am great at sticking to it.

She suggested I give Weight Watchers a try. I had really never thought of this before, and I always saw it as a gimmick, but let me tell you that IT REALLY WORKS!!! Without sounding like a straight up commercial for the diet (or should I say, lifestyle), it works because it lets you eat what you want, but it teaches you to make choices. “Do I want another piece of bread, or would I rather have a beer? I don’t need both, so I have to choose.” In the beginning it was really tough for me, but I stuck it out. Once I lost that first 10 pounds I was so motivated to keep going…and going. When I incorporated exercising along with it, the weight started to melt away. 

Anne was worried for me and my health. My family has a history of the big C, and staying healthy and active is important. It’s also important for a marriage. When you’re healthier, you’re happier. You feel better about yourself and life in general. You wake up in the morning ready to make things happen. What I didn’t want was to become another stereotypical newlywed groom that put on 30 pounds in his first year of marriage.  Also, it’s nice to keep lookin’ good for my wife, because…well…she’s so purdy ;-)

                                    Today - 50 lbs lighter...again.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

What Happened to The American Dream?

Think back to the 1950's. Okay, well, if you're like me you weren't born yet, so at least try and imagine what is was like when our parents parents were purchasing their first home. The thought of selling it in 10, 20, or even 50 years, and then making a profit didn't even enter their minds. No, they were buying this new home to start a family, make memories, and to grow old in. Today, the idea of home-buying has changed drastically. The definition of "The American Dream" is not what it once was. But in today's housing market where prices keep falling and buyers are afraid that their home purchase will lose value the way a new car does when you drive it off the lot, has changed the way Americans view their homes.

The reason I decided to write this blog entry is because recently my wife, Anne, and I went to visit my grandmother, Tanya, in Rochester, NY. She has lived in the the same house for over 50 years. She and my grandfather Hyam Plutzik who is no longer with us, were newlyweds when they purchased the 3BR/2 bathroom, California style Ranch home for $17,300. Back then, it was a hefty amount. The California Ranch was the cutting edge of homes in the 1950's. It was new construction, and my grandmother is still, to this day, the very first owner.

                                                            My Grandmothers House

My mother and her brothers and sisters grew up in that house, and the memories are abundant. The memories almost seem to run right in front of your face like in a movie when someone is telling a story of the past and you can see the characters, almost as if they are ghosts. My grandmother tells wonderful stories of my mother playing baseball in the yard with the other children on the street (the yards all intersected with one another, which made it perfect for nine innings of our Country's past time). Or, when the family dog gave birth to 14 puppies and my uncle Jonathan (who was a boy at the time) would come home from school and walk the pups around the basement like a marching band. Or, when my grandfather would wake up at 4am on Saturday to take my mother fishing (my mom was a bit of a tomboy), but she cherished that time with her father.

My grandmother told me that if she sold her house today she would most likely get $150,000 for it if she was lucky. But the thing is, she doesn't care. She cannot put a price tag on the love she has for this home. She is 92 years old (or young, I should say), and refuses to leave until she has to. She could sell it for what she paid for it 50 years back and it would be perfectly alright with her. She has lived in it, and it served more than its purpose. That's what a house is for.

Today, it's a very different mind set. The average newlyweds starting a family will live in a home for seven years. They will fix it up in hopes of a big profit when they go to sell. In today's market, that may not be possible. My mother, Roberta Baldwin, who is now one of the most successful real estate agents in Northern New Jersey with 16 years in the biz, said something very interesting when she was featured on ABC's "Nightline" the other night. She said that...

"We have to go back to the old idea of why you owned a home, for the pleasure and the love of that experience and all of the memories you are going to create, and the friends your going to make, and the happiness your family will have ."

That was what the American dream was to people at that time, like my grandmother & grandfather. While we don't want home buyers to lose money on their homes, the sentimental aspect might have to come back into play...just until things get better. And hey, maybe it will cause us to make memories for a little longer than average seven years we'll be living in the house.