rental

Closet refresh with Le Tote

In my line of work, clothes are a constant battle!  Viewers seem to care more about my wardrobe and hairstyle than just about anything that comes out of my mouth.  So, when I stumbled upon a great clothing rental service, it felt like my prayers had been answered!

Based in San Francisco, Le Tote sends a box of fashion-forward clothing items and accessories.  You wear them as long as you'd like and send them back when you're done.  As soon as Le Tote receives word your items are in the mail, they'll start styling your next box!  If you don't like the items they choose, you can swap them out for anything else on the site.

The "classic box" includes three clothing items and two accessories for $59 per month, however they have plans starting as low as $39.  Moms-to-be... they have maternity plans as well!  You can receive and send back as many boxes as you'd like each month.  Additionally, if you love an item, you also have the option to buy it.

I've found some great pieces to mix up my everyday routine and decided to keep a few of them already.  I look forward to seeing what else Le Tote sends my way!

Historic Rountree house saved by New Orleans renovator

New Orleans Rountree Bland House Courtesy Cygnette

This thing was ugly.  Dangerous too. When we moved into our home, looming behind us was a behemoth of a Gothic New Orleans mansion.  In its day, the Rountree house was a treasure, but through the years it became dilapidated- propped up with 2"x4"s and covered in blue tarp. 

Think I'm exaggerating?  Just read the articles below...

Over time, many people tried purchasing the historic home, designed by famed New Orleans architect James Freret.  However, caught up in a divorce proceeding, the owners were never willing to sell.  That is, until Andrea Bland came along.

Andrea is a true gift to New Orleans.  She's spearheaded incredible Uptown renovations, bringing homes many thought were too far gone back to their original glory.  She's been honored as Preservationist of the Year by the Preservation Resource Center.  It was a hard-earned title.  

When Andrea took on the 4,200 sq ft Rountree house, it was leaning a whopping 13."  A strong wind could have knocked this thing down.  Not to mention one of our famed New Orleans hurricanes.  Andrea straightened the home and stripped it down to the studs.  She then came back, carefully re-crafting every original detail, down to the ornate tin-lattice under the eves and the plaster medallions on the ceilings.

WGNO News reporter Deepak Saini followed her work on television.  Uptown Messenger writer Owen Courreges documented the progress in print.  Their research and storytelling weave an incredible tale.  The images are breathtaking.  Now complete, it's almost impossible to believe just how far Rountree... now Rountree-Bland...  has come.

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Read more (and check out BEFORE pictures) here:

Deepak Saini: Rountree Renovation: Preserving an iconic home

Owen Coureges: The slow, painful death of Josephine's leaning tower

Owen Courreges: The good, the bad and the ugly




1201 Canal: A view from the top

1201 Canal Street rooftop pool

1201 Canal Street rooftop pool

The fifth floor of 1201 Canal Street isn't a bad place to be.  The rooftop isn't either.

Unit 559 is available for rent, furnished, for $2750 per month.  The contemporary condo features soaring ceilings, open concept, two beds, two baths and amenities galore.  If you're not swimming in the rooftop pool, you can work out in the gym, take advantage of the valet or just admire the stunning views of the city.

Contact me for more information.


Blow-In Attic Insulation: READ BEFORE YOU DIY!

DSC04422

Me and the love of my life, the Meyer Model 220 The upstairs of our house has always been terribly hot and a quick peek inside our upper attic explained why.  It barely had any insulation... and between some rafters... it didn't have any at all!  After getting a few astronomical quotes, we decided to tackle the project ourselves.  Of course, Joe decided this on the hottest day of the year.  Fun!

When you buy the eco-friendly cellulose fiber blow-in insulation from Home Depot, they loan you the blower.  I AM WARNING YOU NOW.  WALK AWAY FROM THE BLOWER!!

Unfortunately we didn't do that.

Now may be the time to remind you that it was noon... on the hottest day of the year.  After lugging the machine up to our lower roof and setting everything up, we spent hours upon hours upon hours battling the damn thing.  No matter what we tried, it just wouldn't blow out fast enough.

So we gave up, returned it to Home Depot and got a new one.  With high hopes, we lugged the machine BACK up to our lower roof, set everything BACK up and spent even longer battling the damn thing.  No matter what we tried, it still wouldn't blow out fast enough.

In an effort to save our sanity and marriage, we quit.

A few weekends later with cooler weather and calmer nerves, we rented a professional unit from Sunbelt.  It's called the Meyer Model 220 and it's MAGIC!  It's AMAZING!  It's INCREDIBLE!  It was strong enough to use on the ground, it was easier to operate, and in 2 hours, we blew roughly 35 bags of insulation into the attic.  It took 2 days to blow in just 5 bags with the horrible Home Depot blowers!!!

Our upstairs is now cool, comfortable and more importantly, our marriage is still intact.

So, if you'd like to try it yourself (which I highly recommend), here are a few tips...

  • Make sure your hoses are clamped nice and tight.
  • Give the machine some time to warm up and only start with a handful of insulation.
  • Don't overfill the machine.  One bag at a time.
  • Break up the insulation a bit as you fill the machine.
  • Wear goggles and a mask!  If you're in the attic, wear a full respirator.
  • Avoid any sharp turns in the hose.
  • Fill to at least the top of the rafters, but feel free to add more.
  • Buy more insulation than you think you'll need.  It'll save you a trip to the store if you run out.
  • Start early and pick a cool day.
  • Lay a piece of wood across the rafters to lay on.
  • Wear a headlamp to see what you're doing.

 

Cellulose blow-in insulation in attic

Insulation selfie