high five for friday!

So glad to be back and blogging. We’ve had a wild few weeks, all fun, but super busy! This is the two-week edition of H54F since I didn’t post last Friday because we had our first house guests!

Are these weeks flying by or what? While I do NOT want summer to end at all, I have a lot to look forward to in the coming months. Trying to soak up these last few weeks of summer, enjoy the hot temps and sunshine and spend as much time outside as possible…even if that means house or yard work!

Happy Friday!

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1. Our niece was in town visiting last weekend and we had the greatest time. It’s been 14 months too long since we saw her last (thank goodness for FaceTime!) and we soaked up every minute. Including pretending we were The Beatles.

2. Love this kid. He’s been working his butt off around the house so when he shows up looking like this I can’t help but burst out laughing.

3. Sometimes you walk into the Goodwill looking for a standing mirror and you find just that in perfect, practically new condition for $7.99. Best thrifting find I’ve scored in a long time!

4. Our laundry machines were delivered this week. We’ve used laundromats and coin operated laundry for a long time. So this was the greatest thing ever to us. We both stood and watched the first load of laundry get started. Who knew it could be so exciting.

5. This is my view every morning. I’ve gotten into a routine of washing dishes in the morning (we also haven’t had a dishwasher for many years) and I watch the sunrise over the water tower right out the kitchen window. It’s so calming to me and makes me not swear the whole time I’m washing the dishes. Dishwasher installation is on the list.

removing window & porch awnings

So we thought it would be nice to make our house look less like a 90-year-old lived here. Which means we removed the awnings. And I won’t lie, our house is much warmer inside with them gone. Which isn’t so great when we’re having a week of 100 degree days. So, maybe the elderly are on to something with their awnings? Either way those things came down.

awnings before

It was actually quite simple to remove these bad boys. They were just screwed into the house, so we simply removed them and tossed them over our heads, because they are quite large. I have limited photo supply of this because it took two of us. Or more like, it took Al and me keeping a close eye to make sure there were no injuries.

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To me it makes a huge difference! The front porch awning we’ll need some helping hands with. It’s much larger and a whole lot more intense with the iron railings. It’s also built into the house so we need a plan in place for fixing up the siding. The back porch one was tricky, but we were able to do it just the two of us. I mean, we almost died a few times but it was fine, all worked out in the end.  I think we high-five every time we accomplish something, which is awesome.

green back awning

 back awning removal

back awning

Next up is to figure out what to do to cover the front porch. We love sitting out there each night but would like to do so without the green plastic covering that leaks, but rather with some other covered something. Right now the plan for the back is to build a pergola from the existing frame, unless of course we expand the deck. There are so many decisions to make!

For now, we’re just happy to have most of the awnings removed and to start putting a plan in place for the back deck and front porch!

gutter cleaning (or a terrifying activity)

When we had our home inspection it was clear that the gutters were not cleaned very often. Or potentially ever.  When Al got up there to inspect the situation it was pretty intense. It was basically a compost pile and there were trees growing. Not little trees, like 18” tall trees!

full gutters

There was solid dirt in the gutters from years of pine needles and leaves piling up. It wasn’t a hard job, just time-consuming. It was just a matter of scooping everything out and tossing it on the ground, which we then later swept up.

gutter filth

There was one point when I needed to get on the roof into one corner where it was tricky to access the gutters. I learned two things about myself that day. First, I’m clearly petrified of ladders that go as high as roofs. Not so much heights, just ladders I think. Second, afraid or not I’m going to accomplish the task at hand. It was kind of hilarious. I climbed all the way up the ladder, freaked out and came right back down saying I couldn’t do it, nearly hyperventilating and needing to take a seat.

terrifying roof

But then I was pissed at myself and was determined to get on that damn roof. And so I did. I climbed it again, got up there, did the job, and then had a mild anxiety attack where for a moment I thought I would be stuck there forever.

gutter cleaning

I came to my senses and realized I needed to just get back on the ladder. I finally did and felt so proud when I got on the ground. I will not lie, I was yelling for a bicycle helmet and for Al to be ready to catch me (he was holding the ladder) because I was convinced in that moment that I was the size of a sumo wrestler and that the ladder would just collapse.

roof

My god, does homeownership test your limits or what? We were able to get all the gutters cleaned out, sprayed them down to ensure they weren’t clogged and were working properly, and hopefully the job will be easier going forward since we won’t have a massive dirt pile with trees growing in them.

gutter plant

How often are you supposed to clean gutters anyway?!

using the Bagster Dumpster in a Bag from Waste Management!

I’m psyched to share that I’ve partnered with Waste Management to bring you guys all the details on their popular product the Bagster Dumpster in a Bag! It’s no secret that we have a LOT of work to do on this new house of ours. We’re going to have a decent amount of waste and want to have the convenience of disposing of it with little to no effort on our part.

Enter the Bagster bag!

the Bagster bag

What is the Bagster Dumpster in a Bag?

The Bagster Bag is a waste removal solution for household renovation projects and home cleanups. In my opinion, it’s the most convenient option! They do all the work. No loading up your vehicle, no trips to the local dump, no filth to deal with and no time wasted on your part.

Bagster unfolded

With capacity to hold up to 3,300 pounds, 900 square feet of carpet, 47 sheets of drywall and more, this thing is a beast! It’s a durable, woven bag (think like a tarp only much, much stronger and more durable) that is capable of holding large and heavy items such as doors, windows, cabinetry, carpeting, bathtubs and more. It’s smaller than a full-sized dumpster, which is incredibly helpful when you’re only renovating a room or two at a time, versus your entire home, and costs significantly less than a dumpster as well.Bagster Bag open

How does the Bagster Dumpster in a Bag work?

There’s a reason Waste Management says BUY. FILL. GONE.®! You can purchase the Bagster bag at local stores in your area for around $30. There are no time constraints, so you can take your time filling it up to its max capacity. When it’s full and you’re ready, you schedule and pay for pick up and it’s gone within three days! Pick up rates vary by location – our area is $99, which is a steal since bringing just the carpet we removed to the local dump would have cost us well over $100.

Bagster bag filling up

We already had a pile of waste collecting in our back shed when the Bagster bag arrived. We got it set up, which was incredibly easy (my 8-year-old niece helped me!), and started adding to the bag. We’re planning a big work weekend around the house and will most definitely be filling that thing up! As of now we primarily have carpet to fill it with, which was a huge undertaking for us.

bagster bag

I’ll be back in the coming weeks to share our experience with actually filling it up, using it to its max capacity and the removal of it by Waste Management. So far I love the convenience and I’m thrilled to be sharing our experience. Because, as you all know, I’m a sucker for convenience. To learn more or find locations to purchase the Bagster bag in your area, visit www.thebagster.com. And don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions should any arise. I’m happy to field those as well!

 

Note: Waste Management provided us with the Bagster bag to review. However, as always, all opinions and thoughts are my own on the product and service. I only recommend products that are truly helpful to us!

removing a whole lot of carpet

The day we closed on the hose we headed right over to begin tearing up the carpets. We knew there were hard woods underneath, but had no clue what the condition of them would be like. I was convinced there was going to be a massive lime green paint spill smack in the middle of one of the rooms. Luckily for everyone, there was not.

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We picked up a carpet knife at Home Depot and got to work. The carpets easily came up when a corner was pulled, but then we did have to cut it into pieces in order to remove it from the house. Carpet is HEAVY!

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What we found was amazing! The floors were in phenomenal condition. We spent two days pulling staples out of the floors where the carpet pad had been stapled in. I seriously think there were about 4,000 staples in all. Once we completed that Al removed all of the tack strips around the perimeter of each room. He used flat bars (a mini pry bar) and a hammer.

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The only area that needed some work initially was in the hallway. There were rubber strips that likely once were non slip, grip like things to hold an area rug in place. Those were tough to remove. We ended up resorting to Goo Gone, salt, the Swiffer and solid elbow grease. I started the process by letting the Goo Gone soak for a few minutes.

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I then scrubbed the best I could and removed the first layer. After that, Al broke out some salt and sprinkled that mixed with Goo Gone. He scrubbed that really well and was able to remove the remaining layer of what ever was on the floor. When we started out it looked like a giant game of tic tac toe.

To finish off we vacuumed all the floors and mopped them with the Swiffer. Down the line they’ll likely need some work, some sanding and refinishing, but the time being they’re better than we could have ever imagined!

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The carpet that was in the house was brand new. They had installed it when they put the house on the market and it was only on the market for about two weeks before we made an offer. So, because the carpet is new and clean we’re going to attempt to salvage it for the basement. We have a lot of work to do on the basement floors before we get to the carpet point, but for now, we’re just psyched for the wood floors on our main level!

high five for friday!

We’ve spent the last week back home in Massachusetts and it’s been a great time! I had plans to post each day this week but the fun got in the way, so I’ll be back next week with house updates!

high five for friday

1. Had a great time seeing my whole family. We haven’t all been together in about two years! Unfortunately, Reese the dog wasn’t as thrilled about the photo.

2. Went to my sisters doctor appointment with her last week and got to see little baby fingers and toes. I’m so glad I got to be here for that!

3. We spent a few hours on the beach which was great, since we don’t see beaches anymore in Colorado. Might try to squeeze one more beach trip in before we head home.

4. Celebrated a friend from high school’s wedding last weekend. Was great to see lots of old friends, many of whom don’t live in the area any longer so we all flew in for the celebration!

5. Yesterday was another birthday for me! 29. One year until the big 3-0. When the hell did I get so old?! I’m so much more content with this birthday than I have been in past years. We celebrated with lobsters for dinner at my parents house and we had forgotten to bring the cake, so we had ice cream cake when we got back to my sister’s. Here’s to another year!

house buying recap

Today I wanted to share our home buying process, the bumps in the road and why we chose this house. Back in May we thought we’d start looking around. We were in a situation where we could be flexible – we didn’t have a lease with our apartment, we were month to month, and we weren’t really looking to buy. At least not right then. We started working with Redfin and began doing some searching. The market in Denver was moving incredibly fast and if you found something you had to act immediately.

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This house was more than we wanted to spend, and a lot more house than we were looking for, but when it was still on the market two weeks later (which was a LONG time in the Denver market) we figured we’d go check it out. We walked in, and I won’t lie it was not love at first sight. But as we walked through Al helped me pull the vision together and by the drive home we thought we should at least make an offer on it.

This house needs work. The bones of it are amazing and the owners took decent care of it, but it still needs a lot. We’re only the second owners, which I think is so cool for a 70-year-old house.

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So we did it. We went in with a low ball offer, both fully expecting them to reject it. But when Al called me at 11am the next morning I knew we were in this. They had countered and after going back and forth a few times we ended up getting the house for a great price.

While we love the house and all the space it has to offer – it’s a mansion to me, compared to our 500 square foot downtown apartment! – we bought for the location. It’s right in the heart of the town. Walking distance to everything – bars, breweries, shops, festivals, restaurants and more.

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It was a long process getting to where we are now, but I know that others have had much longer home buying processes. Because the house is so old it needed repairs and the sellers took a long time to get that work completed, which meant that our closing kept getting pushed back. Which was frustrating because we knew the house was vacant and ready for new owners!

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After about 9 weeks we finally closed on the house. And even up until the drive there I still didn’t believe it was going to happen. But it did. It felt real after I signed my name so much that it became a scribble.

We’ve been in the house for two weeks and while those weeks have NOT been dull at all, we love our new space, our new location and the millions of projects we have ahead of us. Maybe that last part is pushing it? Either way, I’m psyched to have you all joining us for this journey!

high five for friday: new house edition!

This week crept by and flew by at the same time. Is that possible?! Today I thought I’d share some photos of the house that we bought last week! It’s the best kind of ugly and we are loving getting to work on it. We’ve already done a lot and have long list to get through this weekend as well, all which I hope to share next week. These are photos from the previous owners that were used in the listing. I lost all my before photos, more on that below…

PicMonkey Collage

So, funny thing happened the day we closed. Well, not so funny, and I do have two PSA’s for you guys. We closed, we came to the house, tore up carpets for five hours, I took 1 million before photos and left my camera here accidentally - my very expensive DSLR camera (we didn’t move in until Saturday). When we came back on Friday to get more work done my camera and a pack of purple solo cups were gone. We hadn’t changed the locks yet, so I knew someone had come in with a key, because there was no sign of forced entry.

I went to the police station, reported it and provided them with the serial number to my camera. Well, THEY FOUND IT. Within 24 hours they had recovered my camera all because I had the serial number. So PSA #1 – people, keep your serial numbers to high-priced electronics. It’s the only way the police will be able to identify them. Three different cops told me that I would have kissed it goodbye if it weren’t for having that info. Didn’t recover the purple solo cups, but it’s cool, minor detail (sense the sarcasm?). I knew to keep serial numbers from back when this happened, so I always have them.

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PSA #2, don’t wait to change the locks on a new place! We were planning to change them (obviously) when we moved in, but it should have been the first thing we did. Luckily, there was nothing else in the house for anyone to take. The police are investigating as they have identified the person and it was an isolated incident of likely kids that thought they could get into the house one last time and get some quick money out of anything they found. The seller was a 90-year-old woman, so I’m confident it wasn’t her. Truth is, we basically live in an elderly community and cops said they very rarely venture to this area. So here we are, moving in, the young people and causing all the commotion! I’m just glad we got to the bottom of it and can get started on making our house not look like we’re 90.

So much more to share in the coming weeks as we begin to modernize our new, 70 year old house!

high five for friday!

There’s really only two things for us to be high fiving about today. Two HUGE things:

high five for friday

We went and bought a house and move in this weekend. So much more on the whole process and what we have in store next week. We’ve already been in there getting to work and so far it’s amazing!

My sister and brother-in-law found out, on the same day we closed on our house (!), that they’re having a GIRL!! I don’t even think I’ve mentioned on the blog yet that they were expecting. Can’t wait to be an Auntie again! This was a snapshot from a video, so a little blurry, but I love their expressions! They had a gender reveal party last night that we FaceTimed in for. Technology is amazing!

Hope you had a good week and have a great weekend!

weekend feature on knockoffdecor.com!

Over the weekend I got word that my West Elm knock off tray was featured on Knock Off Decor, one of Beckie Farrant’s amazing sites!

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I’ve been following Beckie for years and love her style of writing, creating and connecting with her audience, so when she reached out to let me know she was featuring my project I was just a little excited pretty damn pumped. She writes at the following three sites:

RoadKill Rescue
Knock Off Decor
Infarrantly Creative

knock off decor feature

If you haven’t checked her out yet, I highly recommend you do. Thanks again to Beckie and Knock Off Decor for the feature!