Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Orange Room | How to Stripe a Wall

I have fallen in love with orange, hard.

When I was asked to reimagine the classroom where our 3 and 4 year olds play at our church I immediately saw orange. I tried to talk myself out of it. I think I read somewhere that orange stimulates activity. I don't know a three year old on the planet that needs that. But I couldn't get away from orange. So I decided I wanted to go for it anyway!

I picked out furniture from IKEA, Wayfair, and Amazon. I will cover furniture in a separate post. This post is about the feature wall I had my heart set on doing. I wanted orange stripes, seven, to be precise. And I was a little scared to do it because I heard horror stories of paint bleeding and all the things you could or should do to prevent sloppy bleeding of the paint through the painters tape.

But I wanted an orange striped wall. So we did it. And you can do it too. Here's how to get the perfect striped wall...

Hire my hubby.

Just kidding. But being married to a guy like my hubby sure could help. But he's taken. So get your own buddy in Carhart overalls and try this.


SUPPLIES: Tape measure, calculator, paper and pencil if you need to see it sketched out (this girl needed that)

Measure your wall. Ours was 91 inches plus the 4 inch base. I already told you I wanted 7 stripes. Odd numbers are best because then you will start and end with the same color which helps to land you visually. I promise you'll like it best with an odd number. So I did a little happy dance when I discovered that 91 divided by 7 is an even 13. So 13 inches was how wide our stripes needed to be. If your number is an inch or two off, I recommend  leaving the extra space at the bottom, added to your last stripe. Visually this works. Notice designers leave slightly more white space at the bottom of the page than the top. This is intentional. Your brain needs more room there for it to look even. I am sure there is science behind it that I can't explain, but someone else could.


SUPPLIES: Painters tape (a quality brand matters and I recommend wider, we had two inch and it worked great), measuring tape, level (we used a laser level because my husband has always wanted one and found an excuse to buy one on another church project), and a buddy

Here's the fancy level.

I wanted the orange on top (and bottom), so we measured 13 inches down and put our tape BELOW the level. Then the next line we put it ABOVE the line. If you are like me you have to stop and think about where you are putting the paint. I even put a big X on the space I am not painting. When you are all done it will look like your spaces are BIG, small, BIG, small, BIG, small, BIG. In truth they are all the same size when you peel off the tape. My two inch tape meant the exposed part of my wall that I wasn't painting really looked like only 9 inches. Confusing if you are tired. But trust me. Two people makes this SO MUCH EASIER. I wouldn't try it alone. My hubby lined it up, my job was keep enough tape unrolled and loose ready for him to adhere. No pictures of this as it was just the two of us working together.

STEP THREE: Paint base coat color.


I know this sounds weird. Let me get to the WHY right out of the gate. You are creating a seal against the paint bleed. Our base color is BEHR White Blush Semi-Gloss. There is just a slight hint of color to it. I love it. The idea is that if any color bleeds through the paint to the other stripe, it's White Blush. You WAIT for it to dry. It's hard to wait, but waiting is super important. Once it's DRY, then you should have a seal and it should be okay to move on. This was way more effective than I thought it would be. I was worried it wouldn't work. You don't have to paint the whole area, just onto the tape and an inch or two onto the wall. You are just sealing the tape.

STEP FOUR: Paint your fun orange color!

Yep, this is the part you have been itching to do, paint the fun color. We picked out Behr Exotic Blossom Semi-Gloss. It was fun to ask my pastor to pick that up for us! I love, love, love the color. When we opened the can I got a little timid and worried it was going to be too much. But it ended up being exactly what I wanted. The hubby did all the cutting in. He has a much steadier hand than I do. He did trust me with a roller. We chose to use a small (four inch I think) roller. I felt like it gave me a little more control when rolling.

We started this project on a Saturday afternoon with the little kiddos needing the room the next day. I wouldn't recommend doing it all in one day. It was a little stressful, especially when it looked like one coat was not enough.

When we got to the bottom we definitely decided one coat was not enough. So we went and picked up our kiddos from my parents (they are awesome about letting the kiddos hang with them when we are in the middle of a late night project). We went and got one of their favorite treats... Midnight Munchies from Jack 'n the Box. So not healthy, but pretty fun.

We didn't have a knife, so the girls were sharing one of the sandwiches and laughing a lot. After the eating was done, we painted the second coat. It was definitely better and enough! Thank you Jesus! If you are doing a lighter color on a darker wall, you might need more coats. But two worked great on the light base.

STEP FIVE: Peel the tape.

This is the most rewarding part of the whole stinking project. Talk about worth it! So, so, so worth it! We started the whole project at about 2PM and were pulling paint at little after 10PM. Not bad.

Pull it off slow and steady while the paint is still wet. We did this together. The hubby pulled the tape and I collected it in the trash. You want to be careful because the tape will have wet paint on it and the last thing you want to do is ruin your hard work by getting that pretty orange on the perfect white stripes from stray wet tape!

Doesn't this just make you wish you were three again?

Friday, August 17, 2018

Project Life | 2017 at a Glance

The boys have been away. They went to South Korea for two weeks. I will post some fun pictures after they get home and I get a chance to go through the photos I hope they took. While they were away, I decided to get caught up on some projects that I have let slip.

Project Life was at the top of my list. I had done a great job the first half of 2017, then stopped. So I decided to try and get the rest of 2017 done while they were gone. And I did!

The kids have been pouring over the most recent book. It made me so happy to get it done. Now I am working on getting caught up on 2018.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

The Tub Stains That Kept My Friends Away

I hate to clean.

Really hate to clean.

You? Big thrill from scrubbing? Love to vacuum straight lines in the carpet? See your reflection in your sink? Take pride when someone stops by and everything is in such great order you know they left thinking you rock at keeping house and are never in danger of becoming a hoarder?

I'm going to be honest, so honest my mother will cringe when she reads this. Not because it's news to her, but because she's a great housekeeper, and I am SO not.

I let me kids' bathroom shower go (among other things, but we are going to talk about the shower right now and see if any other confessions come at another time). We have a well and hard water. The white tub had turned a nasty yellow. I was embarrassed. I stopped inviting people over. For playdates, dinner, or anything else. When someone would drop in I hoped they wouldn't ask to use the bathroom. I tried every last harsh chemical on the market that my google search said would clean the yellow out of a tub. I tried good old fashion elbow grease with a magic eraser (my favorite cleaning product because it worked magic in a LOT of dirty places in my home). Nothing I tried worked.

See how bad it was!

(I hope I just made you feel really, really good about your house.)

Then it happened. I had a situation I couldn't gracefully get out of. A bunch of women and their tweens were meeting at my house for dinner before we carpooled to an event. Someone was going to see my bathroom. I decided to get out in front of the situation. Image management and all that. I showed them the tub and shower and asked them how they would clean it.

One momma had an idea I hadn't tried because I hadn't heard about it. Maybe you have.

Norwex cleaning paste. Said it was a little pricey. But honestly, it couldn't be as expensive as replacing the tub, which is what I was trying to convince my husband we needed to do. So I was all in, ready to give it a try. (I would have tried it at twice the price!)

She talked me through what I'd need to do the job: a Norwex cloth, cleaning paste and maybe a Spirinett pot scrubber.

The day my Norwex stuff arrived I got the kids down for bed and got to work. My squealing got every last kid out of bed. "It's magic! Eric, it's working! Eric you have to come see this! I swear, it's magic!"

I could have cried! I was so happy and relieved. I called my mom right away and told her. I think she was even more relieved than I was (she'd casually brought up that shower in more conversations with me than I cared to count).

Since that tub miracle, I have grown more and more aware of the beauty of Norwex products. The tub isn't the only Norwex miracle I've experienced. But it's the Norwex miracle that made me excited to share Norwex with others. 

I am NOT a sales person. After attending three Norwex parties and hosting a party of my own (and getting lots of amazing stuff for free) I decided it made sense to become a Norwex Independent Sales Consultant.

Truthfully I am not trying to make money (though I have a little dream of replacing our 15 year old carpet that has lived through five cats, someday). But maybe one of you has a cleaning challenge that has been keeping you from being hospitable. If that's you, I hope my vulnerability will help.

If you want to try the cleaning paste I used, you can get it here. (If you use that link to purchase I will be compensated.) And if you want to look at all the great Norwex products, check out my Norwex website here. (And if you use that link to purchase any Norwex products I will be compensated.)

What cleaning challenge are you facing?

Monday, January 29, 2018

Simplify | Dinner

I hate to cook. Some may think that's a strong word to use. But it's mighty close to the honest truth. Cooking brings me no joy. I wish I could just hold it in my hand and say, "This does not bring me joy, it must go." But I cannot. And my amazing hubby, who is actually an outstanding cook works far, far, far more hours a week than I do, so it would be insane for me to expect him to take on the task of cooking for our family too.

Most days I am able to figure out something to do with the meat in the freezer. However, there are two days of the week that are particularly hard and I am more tempted than any other day to say, "Let's just go out to eat." Tuesday and Sunday, every week.

For the last month I have created a rhythm to help me avoid asking if we shouldn't just go out to eat. Every Tuesday we have the same thing. And every Sunday we have the same thing. The key for making this work for us was choosing something that was both sustainable and enjoyable to eat every week. To complicate things, I am back on Weight Watchers to take off the baby weight, again. (I didn't have another baby, I just gained back the baby weight I took off the last time I had a baby... almost ten years ago. Are you laughing? It's not funny. What? I'm not allowed to call it baby weight? But it's almost the same amount of weight I gained with my babies!)

Tuesdays Eric and I both usually walk in from work about the same time, dinner time. So I decided we should do Taco Tuesdays at our house. Tacos are great because they are so easy to pull together and I can turn it into a salad to minimize the Weight Watchers points (when I'm counting, which is every single minute of the week, of course).

Sundays we do homemade pizza. I put the dough together before we leave for church (about 8:45) and it's risen beautifully by the time we get home (1:00). I use The Pioneer Women's Pizza Dough recipe. It has never, ever failed me. Ever! It rolls out so easily and cooks up in ten minutes on my Pampered Chef pizza stone (one of the best small investments ever). We're eating within 30 minutes of getting home, a Sunday miracle. And if I am trying to be good, I mostly eat a salad with just a little pizza. (Who am I kidding, that never happens.)

These meals happen to be our family's favorite meals, so I think we'll be able to go a while without anyone getting sick of Tuesdays and Sundays. But now, even if I don't menu plan the rest of my week, I always, always make sure I have the ingredients on hand for these two meals. It's helped me simplify feeding my family.

And if you feel the need to point out that tacos and pizza are horrible meals to feed a precious family EVERY SINGLE WEEK, feel free. I'd like to point out that if it keeps my family out of a cheap fast food restaurant, we might be making a better choice, even if it isn't the absolute best. Remember I am looking to simplify my life this year, not perfect it. I'll save the word perfect for the year after my death.

The other thing I've done to simplify dinner the past month... I've stopped pinning a thousand recipes I am never every going to make.

What do you do to simplify dinner at your house?


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Becoming a Minimalist

I don't think I will ever be in danger of becoming a true minimalist. Five of us live in a 1400 square foot home and we have stuff. I love our house because it's the space our children are growing up in. We don't need more space, we need less stuff. I am trying my best to discover what stuff we need and what stuff we would live better without. It isn't easy. Maybe you struggle with the same basic dilemma too.

I recently joined a Facebook group called Minimalist Mom. I appreciate scrolling through the posts and conversations. It's fascinating that those attempting go go minimal focus on the purging. Sure some degree of purging should happen, maybe even a lot. But purging usually follows binging. Won't we just continue to binge and purge if we view the solution as continually purging? Maybe. Maybe not. What do you think?

I am wondering if the real solution is to stop buying so much stuff. If I bought less stuff and wore out what I own, wouldn't that minimize the stuff in my house, granted more slowly, but more effectively. I would be learning a new way of consuming. How often do we buy stuff, because we like it better than what we already have? Do minimalists sometimes use minimalisms as an excuse to buy more stuff? Is it the mentality that I am justified in buying a few pieces I totally love (at least in the moment), because I just purged six bags of clothes I didn't really like anymore?

I've just been wondering some of these things as I have been examining ways to simplify my life this year. Downsize my closet, for sure. If I am never going to wear that lime green dress because it was on clearance ten years ago when I had a brave out of character moment and $7 seemed like such a steal. But not so that I can turn around and buy again. Up cycle it into a doll dress or take it to a thrift store so it gets used by someone who will actually wear it.

Just some of my rambling thoughts.

What about you? What do you think about the minimalist journey?