Happy Homes: Dudley Court Week 1

It’s been a little over a week since purchasing our 6th investment property, Dudley Court, and so far we’ve accomplished a ton! Taking a look at the last week, I’ve felt proud at the amount I’ve been able to dig into and take care of, especially considering I have a full-time job. But in all honesty, it’s a nice change of pace to be able to get up after 8+ hours on the computer to head to a physically demanding second shift. Nothing cures desk jokey syndrome like demolition!

In past Happy Homes investment projects I’ve not documented much in the way of timelines or blogs, so I thought I’d try to chronicle this property so I can look back in future years to see how things flowed. No two investment properties are alike though, so being able to learn something new from each allows for a more informed project on the next. Unless of course there are major issues, in which case you know what to avoid!

So, here’s a list of the things we’ve done to Dudley Court – and things we’ve discovered along the way!

Week 1

1. All closets are empty. This may seem obvious, we bought a house that someone moved out of. Oh no. These closets were full on hangers, clothes, old computer stuff, toys, you name it, we found it in the closet. First few hours of owning the property were spent emptying the things they left behind.

2. All upstairs carpet & tack strips are removed. Mike was at a bachelor party last weekend (yup, first weekend we owned it, he bounced!) so I spent about 5 hours between Saturday & Sunday (June 8 & 9) to rip out the disgusting carpet. Yes, I carried it out myself!

3. Paint, chemicals & gas cans are gathered for disposal. The sheer amount of items we found that we’re not able to dispose of in a dumpster is baffling. The previous family lived in the house for 39 years and must have painted their home 27 times. From the crawl space, to the garage, shed & worship, boxes upon boxes of paint need to be discarded.

4. All furniture has been removed & put in the dumpster. An entertainment center, old mattress, end tables, plastic dressers, all outta there.

5. Kitchen has been completely demoed. Mike removed all upper & lower cabinets, along with dishwasher, microwave & appliances. I helped clean up the mess and removed backsplash. We’ll keep the fridge and stove (both newer, in great shape) so right now they’re sitting in the living room! We hire a demo crew to demo tile & bathrooms, so the kitchen floor was removed Friday, June 14.

6. Two windows are framed out. This is huge due to the fact that the house is brick, the windows were original and the flanges were hidden. Mike had to frame these bad boys just so in order to get the new windows to fit securely.

7. Had the sewer line scoped. Unfortunately, we’ll need to replace a portion of the pipes, but this is a job Mike will be able to tackle himself, just by renting a machine and rolling up his sleeves.

All in all, we did a lot ourselves up to this point and I feel really good about the work, especially due to the fact that the previous owners left so much junk we had to clear out!

Next steps are completely clearing out the shed, attic & garage (we have a Veteran donation place coming next week), setting up a meeting with the structural engineer (this will be pricey I’m afraid!) to ask about removing the additional walls in the kitchen, to open up the layout, finishing demo (our crew is working this weekend!) and ordering new windows. Lots still to do, but on such a good path!

Happy Weekend – and cheers to all the weekend warriors!

Uncle Rico’s Arugula & Sweet Potato Enchiladas

When Mike and I came out to house-hunt from Philly, and looked at our current house, (almost 2 years ago now!) we fell in love with the view immediately. The Grateful Dead Tapastry in our neighbors yard just sealed the deal.

“This is it,” Mike said, pointing to the mountains, then to the tie-dye. And so, we were introduced to Uncle Rico.

We couldn’t love Colorado any more, but our neighbor, Rico, has been the best neighbor. EVER. When we travel, he’ll climb over the fence to watch our Winnie & Haley, so they can stay in the comfort of their own home. And perhaps right up there with loving our dogs, he keeps us in fresh Arugula.

Today, after spotting him at our Farmer’s Market, he dropped off a huge bushel of home grown arugula. The best, freshest, loveliest arugula ya ever did see. So today’s lunch was made in his honor.

Fresh Arugula
Fresh Arugula

Uncle Rico’s Arugula & Sweet Potato Enchiladas with a Roasted Poblano & Carrot Sauce

Enchilada Ingredients

1 large sweet Potato, diced
1 yellow onion sliced in strips
1 green pepper sliced in strips
3 cloves of garlic minced
2 cups fresh arugula
Olive Oil
Tortilla Wrappers (I used organic Purple Maze tortillas)

Prepping the Volcanic Garlic
Prepping the Volcanic Garlic

Add some olive oil to a pan. Saute garlic, onion and pepper for about 6 minutes on medium heat. Add the potato with a tablespoon or two of water to the pan. Mix, then cover with a lid, stirring ever 4 minutes or so. Cook about 10-15 minutes until browned. Top with arugula and mix until a bit withered, turn heat off.

Roasted Poblanos
Roasted Poblanos

Roasted Poblano & Carrot Sauce 

2 medium poblano peppers
2 small green jalepeno
3 whole cloves of garlic
1/2 yellow onion
2 1/2 large carrots
1 1/2 cups of veggie broth
pinch of Himalayan salt

Roast the peppers (brushing them lightly with olive oil) & garlic & onion at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. When done throw carrots in food processor until shredded. Then throw all other ingredients. Blend until smooth.

Assembling Sweet Potato Enchiladas
Assembling Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Spoon enchilada sauce into the bottom of a baking dish. Fill tortillas, wrap up and top with sauce. I baked at 375 for about 15 minutes.


Serve & Enjoy!

Happy Cooking

New Season: No Excuses, No Apologies, No Time Wasted

This summer has literally been a blur, and looking back, seems that I may have been slacking a bit…with blogging, working out, exploring things on my own. I have the best intentions at the beginning of each week: wake up a half an hour earlier, greet the day with yoga, or a run, get out in the evenings to explore my new city (Denver has SO much to do – free stuff, culture, restaurants, art, music, bars, trails, lakes, comedy, the list goes on & on!).

Well, that hasn’t happened as much as I would have liked this summer and I’m pretty disappointed with my efforts. Again, my thirst for drinking in everything in my path exceeds the norm. But if I’m not pouring my self a ‘drink’, putting effort into quenching that thirst, well shame on me, right?

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve not been sitting on the couch eating chips (we don’t have cable anyway!) and I do appreciate those days and nights that are filled with the necessities and nothing else (cleaning, laundry, working, demoing, yard work, emptying the dishwasher.). Life doesn’t need to be one long series of activities without down time built in; it’s what makes you appreciate new experiences.

Spaghetti Squash bowls

The one thing that hasn’t waned: cooking. There is a constant there.

I’ve come to realize I need to stop using excuses though, there aren’t any. I need to stop apologizing for things I want to do but don’t. And I really need to stop wasting time. When you commit to yourself, hold yourself accountable. It’s important to fulfill your own wish lists, even if it’s as small as ‘check out a new hiking trail’ or ‘go to the local farmers market’. Knowing when to give your body, mind and soul a rest is just as important. Finding a quiet, peaceful moment for yourself doesn’t mean you’re wasting the day. Be present with where the day takes you and honor yourself. There are 24 happy hours in a day, so use them wisely. A new season brings with it new chances for new adventures!

Here are a few things I’ve spent my hours on this summer…and this didn’t even scrape the surface!!

Trying two new restaurants in Cherry Creek & two new DOG-Friendly breweries in Edgewater (Hogs Head & Joyride Brewing)

Red Rocks, Denver

Getting back into working out with the help of Pearl Street Fitness & Asana Studio

Demoing our Retaining wallWall demo

Demoing (helping) our outside retaining wall, watched as it was reconstructed, then helped put 4 tons of rock into the side for drainage!

Evergreen Off-Leash Dog Park

Scoping out Evergreen Lake & Elk-Meadow off-leash dog park with the doggies

Zucchini Fritters

Cooking several new recipes (red bean meatballs; citrus & honey brussel sprouts; zucchini, kale & LightLife ground ‘meat’ Stromboli; Tofu fried rice; Zucchini fritters; Spaghetti squash bowls with faux meatballs,  Zucchini ‘lasagna’, Barley veggie soup to name just a few!)

Bird of Paradise on Mt. Sherman

Climbed my first 14’er (Mount Sherman!) and visited Leadville for the first time

Leadville, Colorado

Participated in a 21 day Yoga Challenge – amazing – tomorrow is day 21 so I’ll blog about that experience later this week

Mountain Biked for the first time at Table Mountain

Phish, Dick's Sporting Good Stadium

Went to my first Phish show, did my first public handstand, and visited shakedown street for the first time. Yikes!

Lots more to list….but even more to come. Can’t wait for fall!