And We're In!

Here is an update to the last post about our flood situation:

December 18th - last little comfy night at home...
December 19th - 26th - Colorado
December 27th - Didn't really sleep, sort of napped in our wet home for about 4 hours until Disaster Service came the next morning.
December 28th - Hyatt
December 29th - 31st - Beach House in Ocean Isle for New Year's
January 1st - 3rd -  Hyatt
January 4th - 20th - Hilton
January 21st - FEBRUARY 14th! - Oakbrook Apartments

FEBRUARY 15th - first night at home!

Thank goodness. It has been an ENTIRE weekend of moving stuff out of the POD, trips to Goodwill (they feel so good, don't they?) and unpacking and cleaning and...

We are still not 100% there, but the bulk is done, I can shower in my shower, get dressed from my closet, do laundry in our washer/dryer, cook from my refrigerator. and watch Revenge from my DVR. All is right in the world. :)

It will probably take us the rest of the week since we are back to work this Monday, but I am so happy this part of our lives is over and hopefully we never have to endure that again!

Please, if I have learned anything from this - before any of you head out on a long trip - shut off your water at the main to your house and turn on the faucets to drain all your lines. This will save you the worry and the possibility of anything flooding in your house.

Fun fact: during a normal month we use between 4,000 and 5,000 gallons of water in our household... the month of our leak we used 31,000 gallons! That surprised me so much! The leak was probably for only 4-5 days and only at one spot, that wasn't even that bad. Water travels fast!


Bargain Bedding for a Guest Room

I LOVE finding a bargain. To me, it feels like winning a small lottery or a big game or something. I am not big on coupons because I honestly just don't have the time, but taking bits and pieces from all over the city, found on clearance, and bringing them together to create an amazing design is one of my most favorite things to do, ever.

I found this duvet cover at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and it immediately caught my eye. Not just because it was one the clearance cart, but because I really like the colors and the pattern isn't too froo froo. As I checked it out I realized it was the right size that I needed! (I already have the down comforter that is going inside this cover).
Since I didn't really need it, I just held it in my hand for a while. This is part of my whole process.

As I held it I realized that it was pretty quality and soft and a brand I knew. The design is by Amy Butler and she is well-regarded for her modern fabrics.

Well, now I need to see how much it is since there wasn't a sticker... It was marked to $40.00! Plus I of course had my 20% off coupon with me - this made the duvet $32 and I could only find it online for $100 more than that... essentially like $100 off, like $100 in your pocket - or so I told my husband who was being quite agreeable this particular day. :)

But it was just a duvet and there were no coordinating pieces to be found in the store. Thank God for smart phones because I was immediately able to find the matching shams on amazon.

They were actually more costly than the dang duvet, but the longer I held it in my hand, the more I knew it was going to go home with me, so it did. :)


I can't wait to get my guest room all put together! I don't need a bedskirt because of the type of bed we have. I am going to buy some coordinating sheets and also sew some new coordinating bed pillows and there you have it, bargain bedding for the guest room.


Love Letters to My Honey :)

Happy Valentine's Day Steven! 
I couldn't have said the above better if I tried. I like the "Flip to my Flop." ;)


Hair Bands with a Tie

You may or may not have seen people wearing hair ties with a little knot on the side. If you haven't heard of them by now, you will soon (or will at least notice the little tie). The main brand is Emi Jay and after a little research and my own experience, this is what I have to share:

The company was started by Emily and Julianne, pictured below, and what sets them apart is that each band is made here in the USA and there is a whole philanthropic side to their business.

So many celebrities are wearing their hairbands and they are carried pretty much everywhere in the US, not bad for two fifteen year olds! There are a ton of knockoffs so if you are concerned about buying local (at least made in the US) make sure they are actual Emi-Jays.

 * * *

My personal experience goes like this:

Setting: My swanky salon - It is my one main indulgence..

Stylist: Have you seen the new Emi-Jay hairbands? They would be great in your hair. They don't make a crease in your ponytail and you can wear them on your wrist like this [shows me her wrist].

Me [thinking to myself]: I wear all my hairbands on my wrist... and what is that stupid tail thing? No creases huh? Cool. I will give it a shot.

Me: Oh, cute!

Stylist: Want to pick one out today?

Me: Sure.

Receptionist: I will add it and your total is [three dollars more than it just was! Three dollars for an effing hair tie?!? Don't look cheap, Jo. Just get it.].

The crap I get talked into!

- Not even 24 hours later -

A friend at work: Oh look! You have an Emi-Jay in your hair. I want to get some sooo bad! Where did you get it? Do you love it?

Me: [pretending to be cool] Oh yea, I've had it for a while. It is the best!

* * *

I still don't really get it, but whatever. Sometimes you just do what all the popular kids do. I will say that spending $3.00 on a dang hair tie has made me a hell of a lot more responsible for it! I haven't lost it yet and it has been about 6 months. And 6 months later, it is still the only hair tie I wear... but I honestly don't know if it is because it is that good, if it is because I want to get my money's worth, or if I want someone to notice the stupid little tie.


What To Do If Your House Gets Flooded

Maybe this will happen to you? Hopefully it won't, but here is what I've learned to do if your house gets flooded, from experience.

  • Stay calm, the damage is done, and call your home owners insurance company right away.
    • Your insurance company will more than likely call a disaster recovery company and temporary accommodations for you, if needed. And I hate to say this, but the damage is probably twice as bad as what you see, at least.
  • Now schedule the disaster company to come over and a place to stay with the accommodations people. Think about (and have contact information) for where you would like to stay. 
    • If it is going to be a while, consider getting a hotel room with a kitchenette. Your insurance should take care of any pets too.
  • Take pictures. Overall pictures, pictures of priceless items, damaged items, of anything that may need to be repaired and/or replaced - there is no such thing as too many pictures.
  • Now, start packing a bag. At least enough stuff for the next three days including all clothes, food, personal valuables, etc. 
    • You can always come back to grab more things, but prepare yourself, your house is going to get tore up and there will be people going in and out of your house that you do not know. Box up any personal items (including those in drawers) because if it is in your house, someone is going to see it. 
  • When the disaster relief company comes to clean up the damages, make sure you remove any perishable items out right away. When they crank up those air movers and de-humidifiers, it will get HOT up in there. 
    • Our house was 97 degrees at one point. Luckily, we moved all of our wine and required medications out of there. I do not recommend drinking wine and taking meds, but when your house is flooded a lot of reason goes out the window. :)
  • Once the insurance adjusters come out (you will probably have two people to deal with, one for contents and one for construction damages), you can start moving out your stuff once they've left. We ordered a POD and this seemed like the best way. Once most of your stuff is moved out, cleanup can begin and a list can be created of all your damaged items, their values, and ages.
  • While you are waiting for the quotes from your adjusters, have a couple contractors come over to assess the damage. Let them point out potential problem areas and write up a quote for you.
    • When you get the amounts back from your adjusters, compare them to the quotes you got from your contractors and change as necessary to ensure you get your home back to the way it started. Let your adjuster know of any discrepancies.
  • You will most likely have wall damage, and this means your baseboards will be removed and your sheetrock will be cut back up to about a foot at all affected areas. Sheetrock damage means sheetrock repair. And sheetrock repair means there WILL BE dust on EVERYTHING. 
    • Take all clothes out of your closet (I actually put mine in the back seat of my car - kept it real classy), and remove everything that you don't want the dust on. We had to launder curtains, vacuum blinds... like I said, it gets on EVERYTHING. It not just like dust either, it has to be washed off, not just wiped. Such a mess...
  • Hire a contractor. Someone whom you trust or is highly recommended. They can get started on the cleanup while you start picking out new flooring, etc. and getting that ordered.
    • We had to order all new flooring, vanities in the restrooms, base cabinets in the kitchens, and trim work. Keep in mind you CANNOT patch paint egg shell wall finish or you will see a line where the existing starts and the new begins. If you are going to have to repaint walls anyways, now would be a good time to change colors if you wish.
  • Go shopping. Review the replacement value of items that were listed and keep all receipts for you will need to send the original receipts back to get reimbursed for the full replacement value. Otherwise you will only get repayment for the depreciated value.
  • You will spend more money than you get. Just get used to it and plan for it, because even though we didn't want to spend a dime over what our insurance gave us, it became necessary at some points. 
    • When we removed our base cabinets we had to replace our sink disposal, when we got new vanities, we have to adjust plumbing, and wouldn't this upgraded tile be better than sheet vinyl? Of course it would! We spent over $1,000 of our own money during this process... thank goodness for savings accounts.
  • It will take twice as long as you think. We have been out of our house for almost 2 months. I never dreamed in a million years that it would take longer than a month, but things take time. The flooring alone took two weeks to order, deliver, and install, and that was just by Home Depot. Keep on top of your contractor and if something isn't done right, question it.
  • Most of all, keep a good attitude. This is what insurance is for. It is just stuff, and it will all be fine in the end with a shiny new paint job. I suggest having a "flood is gone" party when it is all over!


Love this Stuff!

I gave up drinking caffeinated beverages in the new year. That doesn't mean I can't eat my caffeine! I love the dark chocolate covered espresso beans and almonds with the cranberries, perfect for a mid morning snack. Delish! :)


The End is in Sight!

So, we have not slept in our own bed for the whole night since December 18th.

December 18th - last little comfy night at home...
December 19th - 26th - Colorado
December 27th - Didn't really sleep, sort of napped in our wet home for about 4 hours until Disaster Service came the next morning.
December 28th - Hyatt
December 29th - 31st - Beach House in Ocean Isle for New Year's
January 1st - 3rd -  Hyatt
January 4th - 20th - Hilton
January 21st - ??? - Oakbrook Apartments

Our carpet gets installed Thursday and wood floors will start acclimating tomorrow before they get installed... kitchen is almost done, bed will be delivered soon... we are getting there! :)


From Charleston, South Carolina to your computer. I hope you enjoy. :)