Monday, July 28, 2014

Crashing My Brother and Sister-in-Law's New House

Today I want to give you a little glimpse into my brother and sister-in-law's new "old" house. They just moved in this year and have a lot of plans with the place. I love this charming house as much as they do.

If you missed reading about their last "old" home, then you can catch up by clicking HERE.

The previous owner won an award from the city for the restoration 
and modern renovation of this old home:

They have a courtyard which is secured and surrounded by high walls 
and this is the front door to the courtyard entrance that my son is trying to open:

There is a nice wooden patio and fire pit in the front courtyard:

The front entrance door:

My grandfather's dueling fraternity chair which is standing in my brother's office.

The former nunnery dining hall which is now their dining room has beautiful arched windows and the door you can see in the photo below lead to the chapel which is now their living room:

The original and former chapel ceiling:

The dining room ceiling:

To the left of the above photo is a floor door to a cellar which was most likely used by the nuns to keep food cooled and stored and they are hoping to use it as a wine cellar one day:

And then they have a second  spooky descend to another basement area. 
My kids love it and call it very creepy:

Their kitchen is very modern and the dining room and kitchen are heated with radiant heat floors:

Do you recognize the horse fruit bowl that I have on our coffee table? I found another one and brought them one.

The staircase to the former sleeping quarters of the nuns:

The sleeping quarters are now their bathroom, sauna and bedrooms:

Their walk-in closet which still needs a ceiling light:

A gorgeous free standing bathtub: 

Staircase looking down:

The neighboring rooftops and vegetable gardens:

They don't know that much about the history of the building. They are actually still researching it. All they do know is that it was once owned by a Franciscan nunnery called St. Josefskongregation who dedicated their lives' work to taking care of people with disabilities. Seven of their nuns were able to live here.

The property had a devastating house fire and the previous owners restored the property lovingly which earned them the above mentioned award from the city.

Here are some of the old photos to show you how bad it was:

I didn't take the photo from far enough to show you the little bell tower on the left.

I'd love to find out who owned the property before the nuns. I think my brother will write to them to see if they have any more information. I'll keep you posted.

I hope you enjoyed this little house crash as much as I did.



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Friday, July 25, 2014

Living Pretty With Your Pets: Our Fifth House

Even from Germany I'm still having my pet series Friday and I'm so happy to have gorgeous Carmel from Our Fifth House with you today.  Her blog was one of the first blogs I ever read and while I have read about her dog stories before, I thought that you guys might enjoy it too.

Hey there, I'm Carmel from Our Fifth House.  I blog about diy projects, my passion for interior design and the stories that make our house a home.  Today, I'm thrilled to be here to talk about my fur babies.  I didn't grow up with pets.  My parents aren't big pet people, and it honestly never really bothered me.  I think probably because I didn't know what I was missing!  My husband, however, is a huge dog lover, and so when I married him I married into pet motherhood-ha!

We've been married for almost 14 years, and our first baby (Jake - the black dog pictured below) is still with us!  He's 15 now!  

Jake was just barely a year old when Brad and I got married, and with us both working full time we thought getting him a companion would make-up for the time we were gone at work.  So we adopted that blondie you see in the photo above from the humane society.  I named him Prince after my favorite artist of all time. ;)   

Prince had loads of personality.  Seriously, when I read the book Marley & Me I thought for sure Prince had to be related.  He was always in some kind of trouble.  He was the crazy to Jake's calm.  Those two were quite the duo. 

Sadly, we said goodbye to our beloved Prince in December of 2012, and it was one of the roughest experiences I've had in my adulthood.  Being that I never had a pet growing up, I had never experienced what it feels like to lose one.  I was surprised by the grief.  

I was so sad after losing Prince.  We all were.  We spent a lot of time comforting his best friend who was also grief stricken. 

I thought for sure I'd never ever get another dog ever again.........why sign yourself up to go through that again?!.................but never say never.  ;)  

In the fall of last year we welcomed a scruffy, little standard schnauzer puppy into our lives. 

His name is Gandalf; we're big Lord of the Rings nerds fans.  ;)

It was good for our family to take some to heal before getting another dog, but it's been wonderful, especially for the kids, to welcome this new bundle of energy into our lives. 

The kids adore him!  He keeps us all on our toes, and he's really lifted old Jake's spirits.  With Jake being 15 we know our time with him is fleeting, but I think having Gandalf around will help to ease that sadness when the time comes. 

I've been blessed to be the mother to 3 fur babies now, and each one holds a very special place in my heart.  I can't imagine a life without a furry friend.............all the work is so very worthwhile! 

And it's moments like these that stay with you forever. 

Thanks for having me over to share my furry loves!   They are rarely seen on my blog because Jake is camera shy and Gandalf moves at the speed of light- ha!  But if you follow me on Instagram you might get to see a few pics of them. 

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To read more animal posts you can click HERE.

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Such a sweet story! And I always love when people who have never had pets discover their love for them and realize what they have missed. Don't you think so?

Make sure to pay Carmel a visit (click HERE). By the way you can see how she made the pallet bed that her dogs are lying on by clicking HERE.

Come back on Monday because I'll give you a glimpse into my brother and sister-in-law's new home.



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