September 24, 2014

That Time I Failed At The Easiest Thing

I am not a chef by any sense of the word. I am not particularly gifted in the food preparation department and sometimes I'm grateful for this because people rarely ask me to cook for them. This leaves lots of time for other important things on my to-do list, like Criminal Mind marathons for instance. 

There are occasions when I enjoy cooking, like Thanksgiving, where somehow I magically become capable of timing all the items perfectly so that everything finishes in epic mealtime harmony. But with the exception of holidays and planned get-togethers, cooking tends to be something I loathe the thought of and nightly dinners are the bane of my existence.


I blame this on my lack of creativity in the kitchen and a very picky eater who shall remain nameless. Matt


Lately, we've been trying to eat a little bit healthier - swapping protein shakes for big dinners and choosing chicken over tacos and cheese (sometimes) - and last week we had challenged ourselves to go mostly grain free. Matt doesn't eat vegetables, at least not the ones I cook, and that makes this even more of a evening-time debacle. If you can't have pasta, rice or bread - all staples of his diet - what do you serve with your chicken? More chicken? Ugh.


One night last week, I pulled out a seasoned pork loin which thankfully, requires no effort on my part. I decided that while we were technically going "grain free" we weren't necessarily going "carb free" and some sour cream mashed potatoes had been on my mind lately. Matt did the dinner prep, preheating the over for the loin and cutting the potatoes up for my mashed delights. I had him turn the water on the potatoes down to low so that they would simmer for the full term of the loin's cooking time (around 45-55 minutes). And then... I walked away.


Let me preface this next part by stating something very important that you should know: I have never ever, in all my years of cooking things, messed up mashed potatoes.


However, on this night, I did the unthinkable - something I actually did not know could be done. I messed up the mashed potatoes. I MESSED THEM UP. THE POTATOES. THE THINGS THAT YOU CANNOT MESS UP.


This is worse than the chicken incident.


Because the thing is: all you have to do is boil them! And even though I turned up the temperature on the burner for the last ten minutes of cooking, I somehow misinterpreted the signs of the potatoes' level of done-ness and drained them too early. And before really checking them out, I added (all of) my sour cream to the batch. It wasn't until I started using my beater on them that I realized the catastrophe of my mashed-potato-inspired-hubris.


TLDR ("Too Long, Didn't Read") for those of you that are tired of my ramblings: I messed up the easiest thing you can cook from scratch and ruined an entire batch of potatoes while simultaneously using up all of my sour cream so that I could not have a second go at them. I don't know that I've ever been so embarrassed. Not even more humiliated than the time I tried to be cute by doing Matt's laundry, accidentally bleaching his blue sheets back when we first started dating. Or more than the time I burnt the pancakes AND the bacon. Both were pretty high up on the scale, but this? This tops them all. 


So what did I have with my pork loin you ask? More pork loin. Ugh.

September 22, 2014

Two Minute Scarf Solution

Over the years, through only some fault of my own, I have acquired a scarf collection that numbers in the thousands hundreds (barely) tens. Actually, to my knowledge I have 23 scarves and I am in the process of making one (because I like round numbers...and also because I messed up a sewing project, so "scarf" was deemed the appropriate item to create with my hacked-up-fabric).

Up until yesterday, my scarves sat scrunched up and crammed into a plastic zipper bag and I only ever picked from the top because: lazy. So many scarves left untouched. Poor things. Feeling all left out and what not. 



Recovering from a very trying day. Being adorable is hard work.
Now that I've moved to warmer climates, my scarves get much less wear than they previously did when we all lived in Connecticut. Understandably, they're feeling neglected. So much so in fact, that they ripped the bag they were in, rolled off the shelf in protest and nearly crushed one of the small, devious, fluffy-kids in my house. 


Shower Hooks
$1 = Win
So in an effort to wear more of them in a shorter time span and also because it's the first official week of Fall, I celebrated by making my way over to the dollar store this weekend for supplies for a DIY scarf organization project. If you have an abundance of scarves as I do, I highly recommend this or some version of this. Here's what you need:

What You Need

Scarves (obviously)
Round, plastic shower hooks (the super cheap kind - I bought two sets) 
A hanger or two (wood ones work best, but I used plastic)

What You Do

1. Attach shower hooks to your hangers. Unattached hooks and reattach them a second time when you realize you need more than one hanger to support the weight of your ridiculous scarf collection.

Scarves. And a hat. Perhaps a few fluffy socks and possibly a cat.
2. Gather your scarves in an unsightly heap on the bed and begin stringing them through the hooks.

3. Optional - Fight off helpful disruptive cats with a spray bottle.

4. Hang up and admire your handiwork!  

I used Matt as my display because it was too dark to see in my closet. He's so helpful.
At Matt's suggestion, I looped my shower hooks over two hangers because the weight was more than one sad little hanger could bear. I will probable invest in some wood ones in the future, but for the time being this works just fine.

Now I can see all my scarves and they're all within reach. This project cost me $2 and 2 minutes of my time. Totally worth it.

Happy First Day of Fall, Y'all!

XOXO

September 17, 2014

Ten Things: #1

Those of you who know me personally might know that I have been getting up at the crack of dawn to go to the gym. I've been trying (halfheartedly) to get fit for the last two three years with only marginal success. But I've decided that this time, it's gonna be different! I'm committed! Whole-heartedly! It's not that I want a six (or eight or twelve) pack of abs to shine through like a wash board on my recently oiled and orange, fake-tanned skin, but I do want to be able to hold this pose in my "Body Flow" class for more than half a second:


This is crow pose.
It is a good way to introduce your face to the floor. 
So during the week, I try to get to the gym around 5:30 AM to get in an hour gym session before work. I've only been going to this facility about three weeks and it's been quite an experience. Here are ten things I've observed thus far:

1. It is perfectly acceptable to disrupt those of us who are actually watching the movie in the cardio-cinema by talking. Loudly. You must wave your hands.


2. If you work out for less than ten minutes on a machine, you are not required to wipe it down. Because, you know, germs and/or sweat cannot be spread in ten minutes. And that's a scientific fact.


3. If you are over the age of 65, you must make sure to walk around the locker room totally and completely naked. Please do at least two laps around the area. You are encouraged to bend over whenever potentially necessary. Or not necessary. Just make sure you bend a lot.


4. In the morning, staff are not required to be friendly. It's not in their job description and they do not get paid for that.


5. If you have abs, you are not required to wear a shirt. Ever.


6. The indoor pool is for chatting and faux-sunbathing. It is not to be used for swimming unless you are alone.


7. It is recommended that you tap your foot and cross your arms to indicate that the person on the machine you want has overstayed their welcome. This is not only an effective timer but also a successful means by which to display your gym-rat dominance. 


8. No matter how few people you can see from the front entrance windows, the place will be packed. Guaranteed or your money back. Just kidding - you have to die to get out of your contract.


9. If you are not wearing booty shorts, you are not working hard enough.


And last but certainly not least,


10. If you accidentally walk in on someone in the shower, be prepared to feel terrible despite the fact that the person did not do what is universally accepted as the "occupied" signal by casually tossing an article of clothing over the door. Ma'am.   


-----


Truthfully, I really like the gym and it's layout, most of the staff is decently friendly and the availability of machines is beyond what I expected. I am finding it's difficult for me not to be intimidated by the guys (and girls for that matter) wielding 90 lb barbells around on their little fingers, however.  


But like my buddy I-shan says, it's time to get over it! Today I make myself accountable and I'm turning a new leaf! Watch out, gym-rat royalty. This lady's got 10 lb free weights, and she knows how to use them!

September 15, 2014

For C-Note

I have a friend, very near and dear to my heart, that has a very specific set of likes. He has proclaimed that he is very obviously not the target audience for my blog and is therefore reluctant to read it. Although I am aware of this, particularly because my posts are generally of the "lifestyle" genre, it would be regretful to leave anyone out. Therefore, the following post is for him:


© AP Photo/Paul Spinelli
© 2014 JR Motorsports




 © 2014 WCIV and Worldnow
© WRX STI 2015
© 2014 Turner Field/Atlanta Braves
Here's to you, C-Note. The greatest players rep in history. That is all.

*Disclosure: these pictures are not my own. They are courtesy of Google image search and talented photographers that I do not know but give full credit to. You hear that copyright people? I AM NOT TAKING CREDIT FOR THESE. Just so we're clear.*

September 12, 2014

Vacation - Kind Of

The week of September 1st was supposed to be a relatively relaxing one. My dad was going to fly down on Tuesday, my brother was graduating from basic combat training (BCT), and we were going to take a relaxing drive up to Virginia to deliver him to his advanced individual training (AIT). And the best part? No work! Easy. Perfect. Good times had by all.

And then I blinked and it was over.


I had high hopes to redesign the blog and to put up pictures and develop some of my pages. I was going to prepare loads of posts for future dates when I was either too busy to post or didn't have a whole lot going on. THEN, I was going to clean my house, do all my laundry, wash my car, cut the lawn and take a longgggg soak in my tub.


Needless to say, none of those things happened. I stayed up late the night before my dad's arrival to organize the house and prepare the guest room (semi-reveal to come!). The morning of his arrival, I drove to Charlotte to pick him up at the airport and straight down to Charleston for an afternoon jaunt through town. Dad's never been to Charleston and I thought it would be nice to spend a little father-daughter time exploring a city. I've been once or twice but have never spent a significant amount of time there. 

It turned out to be an absolutely beautiful day. We took a stroll around the Waterfront Park, saw dolphins off the coast and had lunch at AW Shucks (highly recommended). We walked around Market Street and took a trip over to Rainbow Row. All in all, a very successful endeavor for a measly afternoon field trip. 
I couldn't see the screen to take the shot.
I'm surprised our heads are even in it. 


We then drove the 3.5 hours back to my house. All in all, I spent about eight hours in the car on Tuesday and filled my gas tank twice. 


Wednesday morning rolled around and Matt, Dad and I drove to Fort Jackson bright and early for one of the two graduation ceremonies that take place for soldiers upon completion of boot camp. Wednesday is Family Day and on base this means that soldiers with family have free reign of the base (but can't leave to go anywhere else). So after the ceremony we took advantage of the indoor-amenities and bowled, watched a movie at the theater and ate and ate and ate. 


Turns out, I am the best bowler in the family. (But I already knew that. Suckers.)



Photo cred: Matt - this is immediately after I stopped crying. 
I know I'm getting older because even happy occasions make me cry. 
And I am not a pretty crier. 
Russell was required to report back to the barracks at 1930 hours (that's 7:30 PM to "civis" as the army folk like to say) so Matt, Dad and I drove home to relax. We got home at 8:30 and by 9:30 I could no longer keep my eyes open. So I shut them for a second...and then it was Thursday.

Matt worked on Thursday so Dad and I went to graduation together and it took us an hour and a half to get there with the crazy traffic. Once we parked, we sat in the bleachers where ultimately we could not see or hear the going-ons of the ceremony because there were so many people in front of us and because the speakers were pointed away from our seats. So instead of fighting the crowds, we sat around baking in the hot sun until it was over (Dad bought a DVD so that we can relive the experience from the comfort of our air conditioned homes). 


Russell could not WAIT to book it out of training - having spent 10 1/2 weeks under the thumbs of cranky drill sergeants - so as soon as everything was over we hightailed it to the barracks (READ: Sat in traffic some more), picked up the remainder of his stuff and made a B-line back to my place for some R&R. Upon arrival, Russell immediately secluded himself up in the room above the garage with the kitten, where the two of them made video calls to the various friends that Russ had not spoken to in 2.5 months. We missed you too, pal.


Thursday night was dinner with Matt's mom, where we gorged ourselves on the best barbecue pizza I've ever had (the key is a tangy mustard base - Carolina Gold!).



I stole this from my Instagram. When I wasn't driving,
I was creeping on Russell in the back seat.
He was mostly unawares of my mischief.
I had the idea that we would be up and at 'em and out the door by 7 AM on Friday to head to Virginia. Of course, my plans never work, and this was no exception. Dad slept on the couch so that Russell could have the guest bed. He didn't sleep well as a result and was a little late to rise. Russell had promised to finish folding all his laundry that I had washed and dried and pack it before morning. Instead, he stayed on the phone until 2 AM (after having woken up at 4 AM the previous day). So by the time I got around to knocking on his door at 6 blah blah o'clock, he still had to get up, pack, shower, pack, doze, pack and play with the kitten. Long story shortened a little: we didn't leave until 8 AM. 

Virginia is a 7 hour haul from my house and with stops for gas and snacks and stretches, we arrived at base right on time at 3:30. Russell was supposed to check in by 4. I won't bore you with all the details but he did that and we did other stuff and then we left him to play with his friends. Dad and I proceeded to our lousy hotel (very disappointing) and then drove back to base and back to the hotel a second time, where I promptly passed out for 9 hours.

Saturday, we met Russell for breakfast, immediately followed by a trip to Best Buy so that he could purchase some necessary supplies. While he's at AIT, I'll be making him apply to colleges in hopes of enrolling in the Spring Semester. Oh, the essays he'll write! We dropped him back at base to set up and what not and Dad and I spent the afternoon on Virginia Beach. I've never been, but it was really nice! And hot. So hot. But there were more dolphins and luckily the place was not that busy. 



 



We didn't actually walk on the pier. They wanted $2 per person per VIEW. I think not.
I made the mistake of not drinking enough water (I never do) and ended up with a bit of a headache by the time we left. We had intended to take a dip in the [not crowded and less likely to be shark infested] waters of the hotel pool. Which was closed... In the middle of the day... On a weekend... During tourist season and 90 degree heat... Due to "end of season maintenance". *Sigh* 

We picked up Russell for dinner at 6 and made the short drive to Smoky Bones BBQ Grill and let me tell you - it was so, so good. Like, really delicious. A great experience and the highlight meal of our trip.


And then all of a sudden it was Sunday. Russell had to be to base by 12 PM for his first formation and shake down, where they confiscate his civilian clothes and verify that he has all of his army issued equipment and apparel. So we had breakfast at IHop and delivered him (sadly) to base. 
My "little" brother, making me feel short. 

Dad and I then drove alllll the way back down to Charlotte to bring him to the airport (with an hour long detour to JR's. Not sure if any of you are familiar, but it's like a warehouse kind of like.. Big Lots or Job Lot. Everything is discounted or overstock, etc. I was looking for a comforter! And books! Naturally, I found neither). 

I sat with Dad at the airport for about an hour until his flight and no sooner did I watch him walk into the security check point... cue tears. I cried and cried and cried all the way back to my car. And in the garage. And while waiting in line to pay for parking. And at the gas station. And almost all the way home. And a little when I got back to the house (some two hours later). 

I am very unprofessional at goodbyes.

It was a sad end to what felt like a very short week. I miss them already. That being said, however, we had a pretty good time despite the fact that it was essentially a business trip. And I am so very proud of my brother! And so happy to have seen them both! Prepare for a photo dump:






Dad says, "Oh! Are we taking a .. a facey?! Wait,what are they called?"
Insert hysterical laughter from Russell and me *HERE*.


All in all, I drove about 1500 miles over the course of a week, spent more than 25 hours in the car, and filled my gas tank six times. I am still recovering and I'll tell ya, I think I need a vacation to recover from my vacation.

September 9, 2014

How To: Faux Granite Countertops

One project that I knew I wanted to complete in the new house was something I had seen on Pinterest. Amid my DIY endeavors, I stumbled upon this pin in the "Home Decor" section. The post is written by the very lovely Ashleigh over at Live Gorgeously

I really love the look of granite and really hate the price tag. In our attempt to be frugal in home improvements, I started reviewing how to go about accomplishing this grand feat. As it turns out, it's actually quite simple! In total, the project cost me less than $150, much as Ashleigh said it would. And would you look at her countertops? GORGEOUS.


I'm giving you the long version with steps and commentary because I want to cover all the bases. I would hate for your to not LOVE your counter tops as much as I love mine. I hope you're comfy. Here's whatcha need:

What You Need

  • Envirotex Lite (We got it for a steal from Craft Warehouse - $65 for a gallon! But I still had to pick up two 32oz packages from Hobby Lobby - with 40% off coupons - 4oz covers about 1 sqft of counter. Total cost: $107.) You can also buy it in bulk from Amazon
  • Foam craft sponges (large ones)
  • 3" Rollers and handle
  • Small paint trays
  • Paper plates
  • Base coat/color
  • Acrylic craft paints in your accent color choices
  • Natural sponge
  • Newspaper
  • Painters tape
  • Plastic tarps
  • Oil base primer
  • Fine glitter
  • Mineral spirits
  • Paintable caulk
  • Sandpaper
  • At least two plastic buckets (with measuring abilities, like this.)
  • Three days that you can stand to be counter-less
  • A babysitter for your cats
My primer of choice, acrylic paints, "oops" rack items and natural sponge pieces.

What You Do

1. Clear the counters of debris. 
  • Remove the coffee pot and the decorate flowers. They're going to look a whole lot better on your fancy new counters.
2. Wipe down and degrease.
  • Some people recommend buying a degreaser. In this case I just used Dawn dish soap and washed the counters down with warm water. But mine weren't in that bad of shape to begin with (and I use that degreaser for basically everything else  - it works great and on basically everything!). 
3. Lightly scuff with sand paper, prep with caulk and wipe down again.
  • If needed, use caulk/foam/etc. to fill the gaps between the wall and the counters (we had a small one) and also any imperfections/dips. Obviously you want flat counter tops. *Note: if you don't paint the caulk, it will be visible. I'm installing a backsplash sometime in the near future, so I was not worried about this. If you are, pay particular attention to blending this area into your counters.
  • If you have no holes or gaps to fill, sanding isn't necessary if you use an oil based primer like I did (this one). Still, as someone with a history of not taking the time to properly prep my projects, this was not one I was willing to take short cuts on.
4. Tape off your walls and tarp or newspaper over nearby items to catch drips.
  • And anything else you don't want to get paint or varnish on such as electronics, the floor, the cabinets, etc.
5. Remove the sink. 

He's so handy! I highly recommend you get one just like him. 

  • This step is something I have heard mixed reviews about. While researching for this particular project, I noticed that some people use a regular varnish to top coat, like a polycrylic coating such as this one by Minwax. So this step is up to you. Because my kitchen counters are a super high traffic area, I opted for the Envirotex epoxy instead. This required me to remove the sink. But we'll get to that.
This one got comfy in the next room on his own.
6. Secure your cats.
  • Mine were banished to their rooms for several hours or so while I did the next steps two steps and then several days while we let the epoxy cure.
7. Prime and let dry.
  • I used the oil base primer for two reasons: 1) because I wanted to make sure the paint stuck and 2) because the internet told me to. Rather than run the risk of the paint not sticking, I sucked up my fear of oil paint and went for it. I'm a sloppy painter and I tend to get it everywhere. If you've ever worked with oil paint, you know that it's much harder to clean than latex paint and requires the use of mineral spirits (which I didn't buy because I'm cheap). Trust me when I say I went about this step VERY carefully.
8. Lay down your base coat and let dry.
  • I used the same color as my walls to ensure that they would compliment each other and hey - why not? The color I chose for my main living area walls (kitchen, living room and hallways) is called Revere Pewter and it's made by Benjamin Moore. It is the perfect greige if I ever did see one. I love it.
9. Add accent colors using the natural sponge.
  • I chose black, brown and a metallic dark silver. I also threw in a lighter color that I had acquired off the "Oops" rack at Lowe's. It was a yellow gold and when added with brown, made a nice addition. For a more "realistic" looking faux-stone, you're going to want to have a few options. Add the colors in layers, one color at a time. Layer colors in various patterns until you achieve the desired result.

  • I did this for each color and 
    repeated the pattern as necessary.


  • When sponging colors, I recommend changing the direction and shape of the sponge as you go. This gives it a less uniform and more "naturally occurring" look. 
10. Sprinkle the glitter.
  • This is an idea that I borrowed from Ashleigh because I too am a sparkle fanatic. You can put as much as you like, keeping in mind that once you put on the clear coat, everything gets super shiny. (Make sure you do this after the paint is dry to prevent the glitter from standing up.)
11. Mix and pour Envirotex Lite.


The epoxy comes in two parts - resin and hardener.

  •  So here's the thing: this stuff is serious and it is awesome, but follow the directions exactly as they are listed and make sure you have enough to completely cover your counter tops. It's self leveling and and will settle evenly, but move it around with a foam brush to make sure it reaches all areas of the counter (get down to eye level to make sure that you didn't miss anything). For the first 30-60 minutes, make sure to go around the edges smoothing out drips. Also, keep checking for air bubbles. Little bubbles may form and are easily removed by using a lighter or small blow touch and carefully running it just over the surface to heat them up. You can also breathe on them. This works surprisingly well.


  • Popping bubbles.
  • And this is the reason that we Matt removed the sink: if it ever needed to be replaced we would have to break the counter top. This stuff dries hard as rock and I see no easy way to take the sink out if it were sealed in. 
12. Wait three days.
  • The counters will be "dry" after 8 hours, but it takes a total of 72 hours for them to fully cure (at 70 degrees Fahrenheit) - less time if you heat up the house. You're going to want to poke them, to put stuff on them, maybe to rub your face across their shiny surface, and your cats are certainly going to want to jump on them and leave cute little paw prints, but you're not going to let that happen. No sir, no way.

What I Learned

  • I have 44 sqft of counters which requires a lot of epoxy. It helps to have a second person to stir the mixture while you pour and cover the counters. You're going to need a sidekick.
  • Watch for bubbles for a while after you think you need to. After an hour of blowing out bubbles I thought we would be all set but in the morning I found a bubble I missed. It's barely visible, but you can feel it when you run a hand over the surface. It's going to make me nutty.
  • After you're positive it is no longer dripping, remove the tape/paper/plastic while the epoxy is still semi liquid. I didn't do this and spent several hours with a razor blade trying to get it off. 
  • Wear gloves. This stuff is VERY difficult to get off your hands (and other stuff - like door knobs! Not that I would know. I didn't do that. Nope, not me.) if it starts to dry. Have some acetone near by.
Otherwise, the process is pretty easy going and not as terrifying as I anticipated. And look! Beautiful "new" counters at 1/10th the price of real granite. Here's a before and after:



Fake granite counter tops


How to granite counter tops
Look how shiny! Oooh, ahh. 
Ta da! Tell me what you think! 


XOXO

September 4, 2014

Tape Patterns & White Board

If you have not already determined this about me, I have something to share. It isn't exactly breaking news and it's certainly something I am working on...but you should be warned:


I am a control freak.

Which is why when I told Matt that we could paint the his office in whatever color scheme and/or theme he wanted, I had to suppress the urge to hide all the paint swatches at Home Depot in my purse. Matt's innate interior decorator prefers deep, dark colors like garnet red, "dynamic blue", "verona brown" and black. He likes the colors to be bold and statement-y (that's totally a word). I, on the other hand, prefer pastels and earthy tones. I tried to meet in the middle when I painted the bedroom by using a color called "crispy blue" by Valspar. 



This is a fairly close representation of
how it appears on my bedroom walls.
My intention is to pair it with white-everything including blinds, sheer curtains and a clean looking hotel-inspired bedspread to give it a whimsical summery feel, though to be honest, my fears of these things staying clean in my household are almost tangible. 

Matt tossed around a few ideas and ultimately decided he wanted to go with a University of South Carolina Gamecock color scheme: garnet and black (as expected). On one wall, we painted a white board. On the "black" wall, he had hopes of doing a design of some kind. We toyed around with a few 3D designs that we had seen on various websites, but ultimately we decided to go with the simplest of them all and something that I had seen a friend of mine do in her craft room: an abstract made with a several shades and shapes.


We started out by scraping and painting the ceiling, priming the walls and painting the trim. I then let the trim cure for about 24 hours. After the paint had time to fully dry, I taped it off so that I could put up the bright red paint we had planned to slop on the walls. (I've mentioned it before, but I'll mention it again - I am a messy painter by nature. I'm getting better, and I hardly got any on me this time! But it's still a work in progress.)


We marked off an approximate area using a level and painters tape/pencil where we had planned to paint the white board on the wall (it's a rectangle about 5' x 6'). I then cut in the ceiling and the corners of the room with the red paint, and put up a coat on all the walls. The next day, I reapplied paint to the corners and edges and put on a second coat. I waited an hour and put on a third coat and removed the painters tape. I then decided that I never wanted to paint again.



This is how I taped it after I had
painted around the perimeter.
That didn't last of course and after another 24 hours, I painted the white board area using this special paint. The key to this paint is that it must be applied in two or three (or in my case, five) coats 20-30 minutes a part and must be applied within one hour of mixing the two parts. You must use a high density foam roller for flat surfaces and reviewers recommend strongly that you get the "newest" box available to you, because the age of the materials can have a negative effect on the dry erase functionality. 

They also recommend applying this paint on white or light colored surfaces, which is why I left a majority of the area unpainted. However, I did leave a boarder of red so that I could paint over it using new tape and clean lines. I taped off the full size of the area and used newspaper along the bottom in case there were any drips. I then started applying my various coats. I noticed early on that this paint goes on much like a primer in that it is thinner than your typical latex interior. It was not surprising to me that as a result of this, you could clearly see the red boarder underneath the paint. It's less noticeable than I anticipated, but only because I applied a more-than-suggested number of coats.

I didn't drip a drop of this
paint on me. Progress!

The white board takes about 60 minutes to dry and 72 hours to cure, so we left it alone to test out at a later date. We then embarked on the patterned wall. Matt chose to use a thicker painters tape in order to guarantee that the red showed through and tied the walls together. He also decided to use white shapes in addition to the black, to keep the room from being so dark. 


So Matt got to taping:


The quality of these pictures is terrible -
I used my phone. Sorry!



And then to seal the tape and prevent excessive paint-bleed, I painted over the tape with a (FOURTH) coat of red and let it dry.





We chose which color would go where. And then, surprise surprise, we painted some more:




Immediately after we were done with our paint layers, we stripped the tape off the walls. Alas! Pattern:

It came out AWESOME. So happy with the results.
One of the things I learned and can't wait to try again is how effective it is to "seal" the tape with a top coat of the base color. Holy Straight Lines, Batman! With the exception of a few corner and trim areas, the lines are perfect and beautiful and didn't bleed. I can't take credit for that -- Matt did an amazing job.

We're happy with it and it definitely gives this room a cool vibe. Makes me want to try it in another room... Stay tuned for that potential debacle. ;)

XOXO

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