Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Paint > Wallpaper

I'm participating in a Starter Stories series by Compass. We all know I've got plenty of stories to share about this home-buying business! Compass is a real estate company that focuses on making renting, buying, and selling a home (in the New York and D.C. area) as easy as pie.

The big question: What did our house need after a good 'ol fashioned wallpaper removal? A fresh coat of paint. See what I a mean? We needed to liven up the place!

While we spent entirely too much of our lives taking down wallpaper, we knew (from the start) we would leave the interior painting to the experts. Now, even though you leave it to the experts... they still expect you to make all the decisions. These decisions are not made for the weak or indecisive. It takes a person with brute strength and quick judgement.  That's why I have Scott. However, I volunteered to go to the paint store and pick out samples. 

This, my friends, was a very complicated day in my life. Let's start from the beginning:

There I was just minding my own business at the paint store. I casually walked in expecting to pick up a yellow here, blue there, toss in a gray for good measure, and then skip off on my merry way. 

As I'm walking around the store, I briefly stopped and checked out the books of wallpaper (because I hear it's back in style...) and then laughed as I threw the book down on the ground and reminded myself, "NEVER AGAIN."

^ Also reminded me of one of my favorite SNL Digital Shorts. 

With my casual attitude in tow, I strolled over to the paint chips and stared in amazement at the rainbow before my eyes. I started to sweat a little bit thinking of the paint possibilities. I pulled a few chips of colors I thought I wanted. I requested a few paint samples and sprinted to my car in the pouring rain. Fact: it was actually pouring down rain that day, I felt like it was reflective of my mood after leaving the paint store for the first time.

I took the jugs of paint back to the house and painted a few blocks on the wall. I took a step back and thought, "Ew. What was I thinking?" I asked Scott what he thought and he didn't say much... but his expression said it all. 

It was back to the paint store I went. 

This time, I did some research. We went with a few suggested colors from our contractor and I turned to Pinterest. Anyone who was following me on Pinterest could tell what my focus was that afternoon. Paint colors, Fixer Upper, and more paint. 

I was growing fond of the color "Sea Salt" (possibly influenced by JoAnna) and became so anxious to throw it on the wall. I rushed back to Sherwin Williams and bought samples of Dover White (for our trim), Front Porch (for our upstairs walls), Sea Salt (master bedroom), and Quietude (for our spare room). By this point, I felt pretty confident in my color selection. I even boasted to the Assistant Manager of the store that I had found a great article online informing me that Sea Salt was the new "chameleon" paint color. She looked at my blankly and said, "All colors are chameleon honey." Then she flipped on a switch and cast light on the paint chips. It was like a million chameleons right before my eyes. I didn't say much after that.

Finally, we made decisions and crossed our fingers the colors would look as great as they did in our heads (and on the little tiny parts of the walls we painted). 

Despite all of the back-and-forth with paint colors, it's been quite the treat to pop in the house each evening and watch the house change and become our home. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Livin' Life Half Full

Good morning! Have we met? I'm Jordon, formally known as "The Messy One". Before I continue, I must confess that just because my blog name is changing does not mean my "messy ways" have gone by the wayside. You can still find me happily living a messy life only with more emphasis on a positive attitude.

I knew my blog was in need of a facelift after chatting with my students about blogging. I was sharing with them my personal blog and felt that the name of my blog should do a better job of reflecting who I really am. 

So, allow myself to introduce... myself. 

My name is Richie Cunningham and this is my wife... Oprah.

I'm Jordon. 
I like to enjoy the positive things in life. 
I like to see each opportunity from a "glass is half full" perspective. 
My blog will (continue to) be a journey through life's adventures in the classroom, home, and kitchen. 

Nice to meet you, dear readers.

Have a wonderful Monday!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Advice From a Wannabe-Professional Wallpaper Removal Expert

Before we get into my very passionate post about wallpaper and my plea to rid it from my vocabulary... I must update you on a few things.

We got engaged!

I said YES on October 18, 2014!

We bought a house!

Closing Day! March 4, 2015
 Seriously. We are the happiest two little lovebirds this side of the Mississippi!

Which brings me to wallpaper.

When we bought our house last month, we knew it would need some TLC after sitting on the market for a few years. Walking in the front door was like a blast from the past with wallpaper covering the kitchen, bathroom, and master bedroom. I chuckled when I flipped on the light to the bathroom and saw pheasant-wrapped wallpaper. I giggled some more when I noticed the border lining the master bedroom had gentleman playing cricket.

Cute, huh?
Now, because I feel like a professional-wallpaper-removal expert I think it's only fair to share some tips we have learned along the way. This is no way means I want you to ask me to remove the wallpaper in your house. I'm (again) removing the word "wallpaper" from my vocabulary once this little project is finished.

Tip #1: Convince friends to help. Especially when friends bring popcorn and 90's Pandora stations to the table. Seriously. Nothin' better than munching on some popcorn, belting out your favorite Selena ballad, and chatting it up with great friends... oh, and.... pulling wallpaper down.

Friends in high and low places.

Tip #2: Borrow, invest, or scrounge up some tools. Thanks to some great friends, we were able to borrow a scorer and blades to help peel. We also used a big 'ol bucket of water and sponges to soak the wall after scoring. I also need a manicure after this whole process because my fingers are taking a beating. 

I spy with  my little eye.... a bucket! a scraper! a scorer! a finished wall!

Tip #3: Take dance breaks. Kick the volume up to 11 when "Shake it Off" or "Uptown Funk" come on the radio and get your groove on. Trust me, it helps ease the pain. 


Tip #4: Don't be offended when your dog looks at you with shameful eyes because of the mess you've made. Just remind him that he's not the one climbing on that ladder and he'll be benefiting from this mess as well.

Tip #5: Take before and after pics! It's kind of a no-brainer, but it's really neat to see where you started and the progression of the project. Helps to justify those pats on the back I've been giving myself and Scott.

Before.. Cricket anyone?

Tip #6: Channel your inner Ric Flair and really celebrate those "big ones". You know what I'm talking about. When the strips your pulling off the wall aren't the size of a curly fry... instead they are the size of North America (maybe I'm exaggerating??). 

Tip #7 (this is the mushy one): Find someone really handsome and patient to complete the project with. Tearing down wallpaper in multiple rooms has been a complete team effort.Plus, we are ripping out the wallpaper in our home! What could be more special than that? Sure, it totally stinks while you're doing it... but the end result will be fantastic. 


Enjoy every minute.
Don't call me for help... please.

Wannabe-Professional Wallpaper Removal Expert

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