Around the House

Basement to Back Yard

We recently decided that it was time to get organized and clear out some of our belongings in the basement. And, since a good chunk of the items stored in the basement are for the yard or garden, we thought, "Why not start there?" Add this to the fact that if I can find an excuse to purchase a new home improvement toy of some kind, I will, and... voila! Next thing you know, we're installing a new little shed in our little back yard. So, we thought we'd share with you our newest addition and show you a few snapshots along the way of the (relatively) easy installation.

The small brick patio for the shed to sit on.

A close up of the brick patio.

The black base of the shed.

The assembly of the shed.

Hayes enjoying the back yard!

The finished shed.

Anybody else have a recent update to their outdoor space? We'd love to hear about your projects too, so feel free to share in the comments!

Operation Renovation... It's Time for a Change!

As Valerie shared in a post a few weeks ago, multiple rooms and floors of our home were damaged due to a drain/roof leak. Since that fateful day, we’ve had men in our house working on the renovation and restoration of our damaged home, and just about two weeks ago, they finally finished up! They did a fine job, but living in a house during renovation definitely proved to be a challenge. There was furniture in our kitchen (in fact, a few randoms times I ate my cereal while sitting on our sofa in the kitchen), a mattress and a shoe rack among other things in our office (which we claimed as our temporary bedroom as well, hence the mattress), clothes in random rooms and places, and one could not keep up with all of the dust that comes along with drywall work. I truly now know why it is called drywall. Living in disarray for two people who usually pride themselves on at least trying to be organized proved to be interesting to say the least. While I’m not necessarily looking forward to this ever happening again, realizing that you have no control over a situation that you might otherwise have, and giving into that, can actually be a bit therapeutic.

Instead of focusing on all that seems “wrong” or out of the ordinary, we chose to take advantage of the fact that everything was out of place and, therefore, had to be put back into place. This provided an opportunity for us to re-evaluate each item in our home and whether we really need it or not. Now that the renovation is complete and we are starting to put our home back together, it is literally like moving back in again. And, that means that we can, in an essence, start fresh. Clean slate.

Speaking of starting fresh, this doesn’t only apply to our home. Valerie and I decided to use the last two months to examine all facets of our lives and how we can improve them. For example, the workers showed up by at least 7:30 every morning, which, in turn, forced us to be up and ready just as early. And while this may not seem early to those of you who start work at that time or earlier, that’s early for us. But getting up earlier and having the opportunity to actually sit down and eat breakfast, do a little cleaning, or run an errand before our crazy work days start, has been a breath of fresh air (luckily our air is much cleaner now without all of the drywall dust!).

The point is, even a seemingly bad situation may have its perks. Don't be afraid to embrace these experiences and make a change! Anyone have a similar story or anecdote to share?

An Unexpected Renovation.. Ahhh!

If you've noticed that we haven't posted too much about our home and our projects around the house lately, you might be wondering why! Well, today, we are finally letting you all in on the craziness of what has been going on around here for the past month or so! Here's the story! It was a rainy Saturday morning, and I was just getting dressed and ready for a baby shower for a friend of mine, when "whoooossshhhh", an unmistakeable sound of rushing water gave us very little warning of the cascade of water that would come pouring into our bedroom moments later. Ahhhhh! Luckily we were still home and began grabbing towels, buckets, etc. to defend our home from whatever was happening!

Check out the picture below to see exactly what was happening!

SIDENOTE: We often have really lovely interior images on our blog, but the images you're about to see are not so lovely! But hey, it documents the experience, right?

The water leak.

More of the water leak.

Well, I could give you the play by play of the next several days and weeks, but I'll spare you all the details and try to make a long story short. Apparently, a drain on our neighbors roof (we live in semi-attached city row homes) had clogged, and standing water was backing up on their roof. Upon their attempt to unclog the drain, the concealed drain pipe must have broke, because all of the standing water, as it flushed down the now unclogged drain, didn't make its way down the down spout as it should, but instead came pouring into our house! The water entered on the ceiling of the second floor and, because of the volume of water, made its way all the way down to our first floor and even into our basement! Ahhhhh! We are thankful, however, that we were able to move most of our personal belongings out of harms way (only a few things were damaged/ruined), but the walls and ceiling didn't fair so well!

The resulting damage!

More resulting damage!

Ceiling damage on the fist floor.

So, with extensive amounts of water damage, we called our insurance company and a restoration company, both of who acted very quickly to remedy the situation. Roofers came to repair the damaged drain pipe, and restoration workers came to tear out our damaged walls and ceilings and take the necessary measures to dry out and sanitize surfaces from potential mold, etc.

The demolition.

More demolition!

Fans drying out the space.

Gutted room with anti-microbial spray.

Obviously, we were very upset at the situation and maybe a bit angry that it had affected us, but the damage was already done! Unfortunately, all we could do is fix the problem and chalk it up to "sometimes in life, things happen beyond your control". But, it didn't help that we were just starting to feel like we had made some progress on the design of our living room. We had just, a week earlier, installed a wall to wall custom built-in unit (that luckily didn't get any water damage) that we hadn't even gotten to share with you yet - more to come on that in the future. Anyway, we were ready to pull together the next layer of the space, when this little set back happened!

So, forgive us if we've been a bit busy with an unexpected renovation!

Drywall in the room.

Well, thanks to everyone who has helped us during this crazy time. We appreciate it!

The painters are here today, so we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel! Hopefully, our home will be back to normal soon. Did I mention that we are basically living in one room of our house during this process. I'm ready for this to be over, hehe!

Wish us luck as this process wraps up. Have any of you ever experienced a similar situation?

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

For most, weekends are great for “getting things done.” And, that is definitely the case around our place. While we also take time out of our weekends to enjoy ourselves and to see friends and family, we always make an effort to cross something off the list… yes, you know, the list. So, last Saturday, we took some time to work on our list while also helping the environment. For some unknown reason, the city of Harrisburg does not offer residential cardboard recycling pick-up. Therefore, instead of just throwing it away, Valerie and I have been saving our cardboard in the basement until we accumulated a large enough pile to merit a trip to the local recycling center. After collecting for a few months, the time had come!

Image showing car with cardboard in trunk

Side note - For any of our Harrisburg resident readers, the closest recycling center is in the parking lot of the Uptown Plaza.

Close up of cardboard packaging in box

Car at the recycling center

Logan putting cardboard in recycling bin

I should also note that, in addition to simply recycling your cardboard, you can also use your acquired cardboard for crafts and other projects. You might recall from a previous post that we made our Christmas cards this year by reusing the cardboard from our everyday household items. Also, check out the recycled cardboard mosaic Valerie has been working on. Don’t be afraid to get crafty, people!

Regardless of whether or not you decide to use your cardboard for any crafts, just remember to reduce, reuse and recycle!