Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Home, Sweet, Sweet Home! We're Back From Europe!

Hello blog friends, we are back!!!  Did you even know we were gone?!?!

We just got back from our European Adventure and boy it feels good to be home!  I tried to schedule some posts during the time we were gone, so hopefully you didn't have to miss us much :) and goodness knows I couldn't let the blog come to a halt for that long!

I am hoping to post a few updates this week on our home repairs (click here for the last roof update). We finally have a whole roof and new gutters!  The house looked fabulous when we got home!  I also want to post a little recap of our trip and how we planned it all DIY style. It went by so fast but I loved every second of it!  It was the perfect way to celebrate our second wedding anniversary.

I can't lie though, touring 3 cities in Europe was great but really exhausting.  We started out like this before heading to London....

And then ended up more like this after seeing Paris and Croatia...
Yep, that's me under there, things got less glamorous later in the trip, ha!

Anyway, I can't wait to get back to writing some posts and catching up on my favorite blogs!  We're trying to get back into the swing of things at home and at work (it's a rough transition)!  But I hope to have something ready in a couple days!

Hope you'll stop by then!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Head Over Heels Friday: Vintage Finds from Art and Architecture in St. Paul

I have a new favorite spot for vintage finds in the Twin Cities, Art and Architecture in St. Paul!  So many glorious, gorgeous piles of vintage goods... heaven! I am totally Head Over Heels!

~scroll to the bottom to see what I took home!~
I found out about this wonderful place from Megan over at Nomi Passenger.  She mentioned it during our National I Heart Thrifting Day adventure.  So glad we finally got a chance to get together and check it out!  They have just about everything you could want when it comes to vintage decor.  The prices are great (you can even bargain) and it is a bit neater than my other favorite spot Bauer Brothers Salvage.

I couldn't believe this mountain of crates!  Reasonably priced as well!  I wish I knew about this when I was searching for crates for my Dressing Room!
They also had TONS of maps!  Some were antique maps of the Twin Cities.  I was able to find one of our neighborhood from the early 1900's even before our home existed, it was pretty neat.
Here are a few other pictures of the shop...
(Pardon the blurriness- I didn't have the fancy pants camera with me...boo!)
We even found an old fencing mask mixed in with all the merchandise.  Megan and I couldn't pass up taking a goofy photo of me with the fencing mask on... On Guard!

Also a bonus, next door is Cupcake!  You can grab coffee, a treat, and head over to start thrifting!  It made for a perfect Saturday morning!

So what did I get???
This old wood crate/ caddy for bottles or kitchen storage
I'm thinking I might have to paint something fun on this, maybe a number or an old sign type thing?
An old metal crate to hold bottles
Sort of like this...
Did you notice a theme with those 2 items?  Both are for holding bottles... I might have mentioned before that Alex is into home brewing beer.  That means there are always empty bottles around because he needs to clean and reuse them for new batches of beer.  I thought it would be fun to get him a couple crates/ caddies for his bottles so they don't look quite as messy and can also help him transport bottles from the kitchen to his 'brewing lab'.

Lastly, I got this cute vintage wire basket.  I thought it would fit perfect on that old stool from Bauer Brothers that I refurbished.  We have been keeping the stool in our dining room and for now we placed the numbered chair covers I made in the wire basket.
We don't always have the covers on the chairs so I think this is a nice way to still enjoy them.

Are you Head Over Heels for Art and Architecture?  What about my vintage finds?

 Hope to get going on a project for the wood caddy soon!  Have a great weekend everybody!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Roof Repair Part III: Tearing Off The Old Stuff...and Finding Some Problems

Last week, we thankfully got that hole in our roof reframed and closed up.  Next up in our roof repair list was tearing off the old roofing in order to put up the new roofing we picked out.  In any situation when even a small portion of your roof is damaged the WHOLE thing has to be redone. 

I guess it is a nice deal that we get out of this situation, especially after seeing this picture Alex took while up on our roof.  Hmmm, those shingles appear to be in really bad shape up close, right?  Which I guess made me a little shocked considering the Truth In Housing information listed the roof being "aged 8 years or less".  Weird, but at least it is all coming off now!  Let the tear down action begin!
As the crew from Dry Tech continued to tear away at the old roof, they began to discover a new issue that would need to be addressed before continuing with the roof.
Given the age of our home and large number of repairs it needs, we knew that we might run into a lot of things that would need to be brought up to code.  For instance, our roof's decking...
The guys from Dry Tech knew right away that our decking was not up to code.  The gapping on the original decking was too large, current building codes require that spacing on decking must not exceed 0.5".  Those spaces are WAY larger than 0.5"  They also informed us that some of our 1924 decking had evidence of water intrusion.

In super speedy fashion, they were able to get some new lumber delivered and started to redo the decking. It had to be brought up to code before they could starting installing the new roofing.

The crew also had to remove our soffit, fascia, and gutters before we get the new ones installed.  Here is where they discovered another isssue. When they pulled away the aluminum surfaces, they discovered that it was covering a LOT of woodwork that was completely rotted through. Yuck! Did we buy a haunted house?!?!
It was a real bummer for Alex and I to see this :(

I guess that's the reality of owning an older home though.  You might never really know the complete inner workings until something needs to be taken apart.  Who knows if it was rotting when the current soffit and fascia was put on or if it happened while it was covered over time?

Thankfully, this also needs to be addressed now.  There is no way they can install new soffit and fascia into rotted wood, so we will be seeing their carpenter out at our house.  Which also means we need to put in a call to our insurance adjuster...boo! At least I feel like after all this our house will really be better and safer for us and who ever might live here after us.

On the bright side, the Dry Tech crew kept working throughout the day on the roof after they got the new decking installed.
They were able to get all of the ice and water shield up and most of the roofing done.  It is fun seeing the new look of our roof (and house) starting to take shape!  I think I can hear a roofing stapler in my sleep now too, ha!

Well, the repair adventure continues on!

Has anyone else out there made some scary/ sad discoveries when owning an older home?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Two Years Ago Today...

We said, "I do"
I'm thankful to continue life's journey with my love and best friend by my side.
I still "do"!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Head Over Heels Friday: SkyRobics...The Most Fun Calorie Burn Ever!

Happy Friday Everyone!  My newest obsession this week is a bit off topic from the usual Head Over Heels posts, but totally worth sharing!  Break out your workout duds, we're talking fitness and exercise because I am Head Over Heels for SkyRobics!!! 
That's me furthest to the left getting some air!

Wondering what the heck SkyRobics is?  Or where I found a 'trampoline park'?  A couple months ago I discovered that Minneapolis was the newest city to open a Trampoline Park called Skyzone.  Upon this discovered I squealed with excitement (probably just like a 5 year old kid would)! 
 As much as I wanted to hit up their 'Open Jump' hours, I reminded myself that I am probably too old to jump around with kids.  So I was geeked when I read that they offered a fitness class for adults called SkyRobics!  I was able to rope in a couple gals from work to try out the class with me and we LOVED IT!

SkyRobics combines advanced calisthenics, core exercises and strength building aerobics, all done on an all-trampoline walled training surface (check out this You Tube video to see part of a class).  The class was pretty hardcore, I definitely felt like I got a great workout and I had so much fun!  At the beginning we spent probably the ten minutes just laughing (maybe that is part of the workout?).  They say you can burn 600 to 1,000 calories in the class depending on the intensity of your workout- which is awesome considering that is a great calorie burn while disguised as just a fun time.

I didn't get photos of the actual workout, just a few of us at the end of the class jumping around like idiots.

 Totally blurry, but it was awesome, I didn't want to leave!
As an added bonus our class instructor even let us do one jump in the foam pit for fun.  Getting out of the foam pit also felt like a workout! Ha!

So there you have SkyRobics!  Currently there are only 7 Skyzone Parks in the United States, but there are a handful that will be opening soon (check the list here to see where).  I highly recommend checking out this class if you can, it is a blast!  Totally Head Over Heels and I can't wait to go again!

What did you think of SkyRobics?  Would you attend a class?  Have you been before?  I'd love to hear what you think!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Roof Repair Part II: Adios Hole!

Attention Ladies and Gentlemen...
I am pleased to finally announce that we no longer have a hole in our roof!  Yippeeee!

Thankfully over those 3 months, that tarp did serve it's duty to protect our home from further damages, even after all the severe storms we've had this summer.  So yes, I hated that thing, but Dry Tech certainly did a nice job securing it on our roof!

Wednesday morning, it was time to remove that tarp and close up that hole! Just the day before we had had all the attic insulation removed before this step could take place. 
I forgot how awful that hole looked after we had the tree removed from of our house. Sort of thought to myself, "Wow, that is what we were living under each day for nearly 3 months?!?!"

The guys from Dry Tech got to work bright and early on a beautiful, sunny day (thankful for the nice weather too!).  They needed to tear out all the damaged rafters and decking in order to replace them.
Just in case, here is an illustration of rafting (also called trusses) and decking.  I really had no idea what these were until that tree fell on our house, now I feel like I've learned a lot since then!
The trusses/ rafters form the triangular shape of a roof.  The decking is what lays over top of those wood beams (rafters/ trusses).  Got it?  Okay...

So, the guys cleared the affected area and then with a lot of big saws and tools cut open a large section of our roof.  They next removed any sections that were damaged and got ready to re-frame this section of our roof.
Up went the new rafters...
You can see the crossbeams in place in this photo.  They also had to cut open a new section of roofing during this step.
Then the decking started to go up!
Looking better!
Once all the decking was in place it was covered with ice and water shield.  No more hole!!!!  That tarp is covering some of the roofing that was only damaged on the surface and side trim which will be addressed when the new roofing is installed.
Our roofing is scheduled to be done next (check this blog post for the shingles we picked out!).  After the roofing is done we won't have ANY blue tarps around at all! 

I have to say, it is a huge relief to not have a hole in our roof anymore.  I think it weighed on my mind a lot, especially if it rained.  Very excited to get started on the brand new roof!

Stop by tomorrow for a goofy Head Over Heels post!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Roof Repair Part I: Attic Insulation Removal

Today marked the first day of work at our house since the May 22nd tornado damaged our home and property.  I was sooooo overjoyed to see some progress starting!

As I have said many times before, the damage in our Guest Room was the worst!  It was truly sad because this is the room that Kevin and Layla from The Lettered Cottage came and redid for us last September (also check out our Junk Bonanza & filming experience with Kevin & Layla!).  The tornado sent part of a large silver maple tree through our roof and into the Guest Room.
Having a big hole in your house = not good; having a hole in your house for 3 months = very not good and unsettling.  So, our contractor's first order of business for repair out of all the damages is obviously the roof. 

So, welcome to Part I of our Roof Rebuild!
Here is how our once beautiful Guest Room is looking today, sad right?

Before they can tear off our roof and framing to rebuild it, they need to suck out all of the old attic insulation.  Here's a look at the blown insulation that exists today (broken rafters too)...
 Most of the insulation got pretty wet when the storm rolled through after the tree punched through our roof.  So aside from the need to remove it for a complete rebuild the moisture was also a concern.

Now, how do you remove tons of loose blown insulation?  A giant vacuum of course!  Our Project Manager from Dry Tech came by with St Croix Insulation to start sucking out all the insulation.
Those big vacuum tubes went up into the attic...
Down and out of the closet...
 Out the window...
 And finally out to a big contained dumpster.  Can you imagine the mess if that blown insulation was flying around outside?  Ick!
It took about 4 hours to complete, apparently the tubes kept getting clogged by chunks of debris from our roof and the tree.  But finally, the insulation has been removed!  Here's a look of the attic space now (the blue-ish tint of color is from that lovely blue tarp that has been covering the hole).

Part I complete! 

Tomorrow is going to be a BIG day!  Weather permitting the roof will be torn off and re-framed.  The lumber was just dropped off for the framing!  Eeeeek!  It is so exciting!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Shingle Samples and a Start Date!?! Oh Boy!

Guess what?!?!  Our Project Manager Curt from Dry Tech gave us the news that our building permits have been approved from the city!  Finally, we have a start date for our home repairs!!! Yessssss!!!

This Tuesday, the action is scheduled to begin in our sunroom attic. All of the insulation has to go before they start tearing things apart.  Which made complete sense to us, that blown insulation is messy stuff!  Cleaning this up after the tornado sent a tree through the roof and ceiling wasn't fun at all.
That blown insulation might as well be piles of dust, it took 3 shop vacs and killed 2 of them!!!

With a construction plan in place, our contractor informed us we needed to make a decision about the shingles for our new roof.   Then we got something fun... SHINGLE SAMPLES!!!!  Who the heck knew that would ever be fun (or that I would get so excited about it)?
The shingles we are choosing from are from Timberline- a line from GAF Roofing.  As we researched the brand we found that they have quite a few awards for their quality, look and value.  I was most impressed when I read that it won't need replacement for 30 or 40 years!!!  The product also comes with a nice warranty that can be transferred over to the next owner. 

I've never really thought about the look of our roof really.  I mean it is gray and looks like a roof, big whoop right?  Now that practically all of my neighbors have been getting new roofs I have started to notice their differences as far as shape, style and color. 

Here's the shape and style that is currently on our roof.  This was take just after the tornado with the tree still on our house, but you get the idea.
Pretty basic plain gray rectangles, right?  Again, never thought about it much before, but this is pretty darn boring looking when it comes to the new roofs I have been seeing up all around the neighborhood.

So we are pretty excited to be going with something that looks like this:
It is an "Ultra-Dimensional Wood Shake Look"- I'm loving it!
Since it imitates a 'wood shake' look I think it will give our home an extra touch of 'old' style that will fit our little 1924 Dutch Colonial much nicer than what is up there now.  We're going with Pewter Gray (the sample on the right in the 2nd photo in the post).

So there you have it, we start Tuesday and I hope to have some crazy pants demolition pictures to share next week!  I think Tuesday is going to feel as exciting as Christmas morning for us!  I can't wait, WOO-HOO!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Head Over Heels Friday: On Solid Ground Vintage Rentals and Sarah's Story

Happy Friday everyone!  It's Head Over Heels time!  I am really excited about this week's post, it has a little extra something special to it!

Photo from their Wedding Day via their website
Sarah is in the middle of an entire home redo project, not by choice though. Just over a month ago, the cute bungalow where she, her husband and two year old daughter Lucy lived fell victim to a house fire that destroyed their home and everything they owned. These pictures made me so sad!
The fire started in their basement due to a punctured aerosol spray paint can that ignited the flame from their water heater. The flames spread quickly through the rest of their home in a matter of minutes.

I just can't imagine seeing this happen to the home you live and build memories in, it's just awful.

I have written probably too many posts about dealing with the insurance process when you have home damages. As it turns out, I have met and connected with several people (including Sarah) dealing with the same issues because of our blog... which I have felt very grateful for!.  Most folks are victims from the tornado damage, but Sarah's was completely different with fire damage. It reminded me that the damage we are dealing with is so minimal in comparison to their situation. It broke my heart when Sarah explained that her toddler Lucy doesn't understand that when she goes home again all of her toys and things she loved won't be there.
After a few email conversations - as fate would have it - I discovered that Sarah and I work for the same company.  So it was only a few days later that we got to sit down and talk about our experiences with insurance, contractors, rebuilding and design decisions. Turns out we have a lot more in common than just our houses being busted up :) 

We both live in the same area (she's a NOMI gal too!), both work in a design related field, both are bloggers (check out the pretty pics on their blog!), and have a LOVE for vintage style!  When Sarah sent me a link to their rental business On Solid Grounds Vintage Rentals I was instantly Head Over Heels!  Anyone can rent from their collection for special events (perfect for weddings) or photo shoots. Take a look at some of these gorgeous items...
All items available on their "Collection" tab; photos via On Solid Ground Vintage Rentals

I don't know how she lets these go for rental?!?  I'd be hoarding them :) JK

Are you Head Over Heels for On Solid Ground Vintage Rentals?!?!

I hope you enjoyed meeting Sarah and learning about their story.  She has a lot of design decisions to make as they rebuild their entire home as well as replacing personal items they lost in the fire.  That is a WHOLE LOT of stuff to have on your mind!  I hope her story has a happy ending soon!

 If you have a moment please send some encouraging comments their way :) I am sure it will make her day a bit brighter!

Special thanks to Sarah for letting me share her story and On Solid Grounds Vintage Rentals!