Thursday, March 26, 2015

Making Over My Dining Room and How to Paint Dentil Moulding... the EASY way!

We have completely overhauled our dining room and are so excited to show you the amazing trick we found to paint our dentil moulding, quickly and easily! But first, let's take a look at our starting point.

These doors.

These doors sold me this house. They are the entryway into our dining room and I fell in love with them immediately. They magically blocked out the peach trim, pink carpet and flowery wall paper and called out my name. Okay, not really, but I did swoon quite a bit over these French Doors. 

This is where we started from, before we moved in. It was built in the 80s and stayed in the 80s, but I saw good bones and knew I could make this my own.

Look at that wallpaper and cream trim! 

That's oil paint y'all and that dentil moulding is what made me choose to cover it all with oil.  The prep work for latex over oil is a multi-step process.  Those little grooves would take weeks to prep let alone paint, so we opted for oil and I'm so glad we did.

I love my chandelier that came with this house.  Beautiful vintage antiqued brass with crystals!
*Swoon city*

First we had to strip the wallpaper. I used a steamer I had on hand to heat up the paste.

It took the paper off in clean sheets until....

We found a second layer underneath! It only partially covered the room so our guess is the original owner changed their mind.

This second layer was much more difficult to remove and ended up damaging the drywall paper, which needed repair. We had to skim coat the walls and lightly sand them before we could prime and paint.

Next we worked on Hardwood Floors and opening our wall into the kitchen with a Pass Through.

Click the photos for links on these tutorials!
 How to Save Thousands on Hardwoods - tricks to stretch your dollar to get the floors you want!

 Open up a wall and create a Pass Through

Once it all was removed, we were able to start on the dentil moulding.  I was really stressing about this until I found this genius product that has forever changed my life!

Preval 2 Pack

These little sprayers saved my life!! Trying to get my paint brush into each nook and cranny of the dentil moulding was painstakingly slow. I was instantly discouraged once it dawned on me that not only did our Dining Room have the dentil moulding, but our Den did as well!

I even looked at painters forums for tips and read things like, "Just turn on some music and take your time." "Unless you have a commercial sprayer, you're in for a long haul!" That didn't make me hopeful and I didn't have a commercial sprayer.

We stumbled upon this product at our recent trip to Lowe's and snatched it up right away. I swear the product was spotlighted with angels singing from heaven! We followed the instructions on how to mix the paint for oil using mineral spirits and started spraying.

I did NOT take photos of the during, because working with oil is VERY messy and gets on everything. So let me tell you exactly what we did. We chose to paint over the icky peach with Sherwin Williams Pure White SW 7005.

First, expect a little overspray from working so high if your moulding is attached like ours. We thoroughly covered the floors and used a piece of cardboard as a shield to protect any spot we didn't want the overspray to work.

What is overspray? It's the teeny, tiny little dots that go where you DON'T want your paint to land. We were mainly protecting our ceiling, which we were painting flat Latex. Latex and Oil are sworn enemies and don't mingle well at parties, so we wanted to make sure they were kept separated.

*walls skim coated, primed, and first coat sprayed and then brushed*
Boy! You can really see the peach trim against that primer!

Back to the moulding... This sprayer has a small opening and is different from a traditional paint sprayer.  We made a mistake at first, so please learn from ours.

When we painted the walls and ceiling, we could really see the shy spots from the first coat on the dentil moulding.

That peach is just peeking through! The photo above shows our attempt at spraying it straight on instead of angled. As you can see, the notches did not get full coverage, so we were sure to angle the Preval from this point on.

Our objective was to spray 2 coats on the 'teeth' of the moulding and then follow up with the two coats with the brush.

First we sprayed from the left and followed up brushing the first coat of oil on the remaining trim. Allowed it to dry overnight, and then sprayed from the right and applied the 2nd coat with the brush.

That's it!

We used this same technique in our Den and it made the painting process take hours instead of days with the help of the Preval sprayer!

Had we used Latex here would have been our steps:
 Sand and clean up.
Clean with TSP and allow to dry.
Clean once again to remove traces of TSP and dry overnight.
Then finally paint.

That would have taken us weeks!

Our walls are painted with Sherwin Williams Crushed Ice SW7647.

We painted the lower wainscoting with the same Sherwin Williams Pure White.

Here is how our Dining Room looked for a while, but be sure to check back in a few days as I will be sharing the Vintage Hutch we received as well as how we turned this Dining Table into our dream Farmhouse Table!

Click below to follow me so you don't miss the next post!

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For more details about the links mentioned above, check out these posts:

 Opening up a Wall and adding a Pass Through   Saving Thousands on Hardwood flooring to get the floor of your dreams!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

When Panic Attacks: How I've Learned to Cope

When Panic Attacks: So you've been diagnosed with an Anxiety Disorder? These are steps with how I've learned to cope.

Awoken. again.

Can't breathe.


It's okay. This will pass.

Deep breaths...deep breaths.

Maybe a TV program will get my mind off of it.

Ugh, I feel like I'm breathing in fire.

My heart is racing.

I hear my pulse in my ears.

Could this be a heart attack? I'm not ready to leave my kids! 
Certainly not, I'm so young.

But what if?

When Panic Attacks: So you've been diagnosed with an Anxiety Disorder? These are steps with how I've learned to cope.

It's the unknown. That fear that leeches to your brain and you cannot shake. 

Today I am breaking my silence.

Yesterday I woke up early to head to the hospital where I was hooked up to a machine to make sure my heart was okay. EKGs, stress tests, blood work all comes back fine, just like it has before. It has been a month since my attacks began... again.  You see, this has happened before, just over a year ago. 

They started when my scared husband called paramedics to my house at 2 am to help an even more scared me who thought my heart was exploding. They said I was fine, but should still seek medical care. EKGs, ultrasounds, bloodwork come back normal and the Dr explains that they are panic attacks.  The attacks continued for about a month and then subsided - in and out of my life like a storm.  I thought it was a fluke thing due to some stress I was handling, until recently.  

For the past 2 months, I wake up as I've just fallen asleep, with my heart flipping around in my chest while gasping for breath. I'm able to go back to sleep only to have it happen again and again until I'm in full panic mode. Recently, these attacks had gotten so bad that it began robbing me of sleep and spilling over into my family life. I wasn't myself anymore and I had to do something.

Recently a friend exposed her secret on her blog, and it has inspired me to do the same. I have many friends who suffer from anxiety, and most of them don't want to talk about it or can't begin to discuss it. Talking about it, googling it, reading an article about it - strangely enough, seems to elicit a panic attack! Even typing this post has taken me days because I can only approach this in stages. 

Not only does the panic sink it's talons into your self confidence, but it also jumbles your logic.  I have a another friend who has asked for prayer, but to not ever discuss it face to face because it might unleash the dreaded beast. So what are we to do? Are we to sit silently with fingers crossed hoping that the next attack never comes? It is a cruel reality that many of us face, but are too shamed or scared to address,

but I fear the silence and avoidance is only adding fuel to the fire

In my recent quest to quell the panic inside, I've learned that instead of hiding behind the Iron Curtain, it's best to bring the panic into full spotlight. Stand on the stage, confess your panic, and face it head on. It's not perfect, but here are some ways I have learned to manage your panic attacks. My hope that this is an encouragement for someone struggling.

*Please note, I am NOT a doctor and I DON'T play one on TV, so take this into account. These are my steps that I have found work for me and do not substitute this for seeking medical care.*

Step one, keep a journal. 
Keeping a panic journal that you use when the attack happens, moves the current panic from mental first person victim to 3rd person observer. 

When Panic Attacks: So you've been diagnosed with an Anxiety Disorder? These are steps with how I've learned to cope by using an anxiety journal.

It's best to prep your journal when you are calm. Logic escapes in the midst of a panic attack, and if you have your journal set up, with the questions to ask yourself listed, you can navigate your way through the panic. Trying to set this up in the middle of an attack is like trying to wrestle an alligator. Plan ahead and make a list of things that you want to keep track of.

Step two, find a method of calming that works for you. The Anxiety Coach, Dr. Carbonell, has a great acronym, AWARE, that I have found helps me.

When Panic Attacks: So you've been diagnosed with an Anxiety Disorder? These are steps with how I've learned to cope by using an anxiety journal.

This acronym has helped me immensely! I have also written this in the front jacket of my journal to reference when an attack comes.

You are in the eye of the storm - the worse that will happen. "You are in discomfort, but not in danger." Let yourself know that this is an attack and put on your boxing gloves because the fight has begun.

Don't hide, run away, ignore, flee. Stay in the ring, even though you want to quit. Wait for the relief to come to you. The WATCH is the journaling. One little twist that I do is write from a 3rd person perspective using 'SHE' or 'HER' instead of 'I' or 'ME'. That little shift helps me to get out of my panic fog and respond to my rubric I created.  I make note of the time/date, symptoms, thoughts and actions, etc.

Find things that calm you and do them. Calming tea, diaphragmatic breathing, yoga, music - whatever works for you. Sometimes just pacing has helped me. Even doing a mundane activity, like unloading the dishwasher, can flip that switch in my brain.

Keep it up. Think of Rocky Balboa and get back in the ring. You are in control of this and keep on fighting.  It isn't easy and sometimes I have to wake up Trent to help talk me through the steps, but I don't give up.

Know that the bell WILL RING, the fight will be over, and the symptoms will eventually subside.

Step Three, Talk.
On a calm day, muster the courage to talk to whoever might be with you during an attack. Your spouse, your boss, your children. We are DIY people in this house and all my loving husband wants to do is fix it and help me get through the panic, but his approach wasn't working. Think about what you need (or don't need) and let your support know. 

When Panic Attacks: So you've been diagnosed with an Anxiety Disorder? These are steps with how I've learned to cope by talking to my support.

I LOVE this cartoon from Robot Hugs. I showed this to my husband before I talked with him about what I needed during an attack. It has helped him to see what I need at the moment and to be there for me. One night, I was so scared, he stayed up and watched me fall asleep, because that was what I needed at that moment.

Step Four, Consider Chemical Intervention. 
I was REALLY balking at approaching these panic attacks medically. I had to realize that my attacks are bigger than me and I needed a prescription to help me regulate my serotonin. If I take a pill to get rid of a headache, why wouldn't I take a pill to help me through something as scary as a panic attack? It seems silly now, and I found a wonderful, non-habit forming prescription that works for me. I'm still getting blood work done to rule out any other possible causes, but for now, this is the path I'm on and I'm trusting my physician.

Step Five, Trust. 
Panic. Fear. What ifs. Lack of control. Throw it out the window and Trust. It doesn't take the panic away, but it helps you heal when the storm is at bay.

for god did not give us fear

18% of the US Population, roughly 6 million people, suffer from some kind of Anxiety disorder. That means if 100 of you read this post, almost 20 of you have had a panic attack, and half of you probably know someone who does have them. I hope that this post encourages you to enter the ring and confidently fight the beast. 

If you have any tips that help you, please share. Let's support each other  through these challenges.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Rockin' the Roundup: Blogging Series - Mastering Promotion through Social Media

How to Master Social Media - top tips from Expert Rockstars

We're continuing the Blog Series this week for another "Rockin' the Roundup."  These have been such a hit and I hope you all are enjoying the tips from these Experts! This week, I want to share with you the best of the best on how to navigate Social Media for your blog.

If you find something *swoon* worthy and want to pin or bookmark it, please, please pin from the original source linked below to give the blogger the credit they deserve.  Let's share the bloggy love!

Here are this week's Rockstars that have THE BEST tips on setting up Social Media.


I LOVE this post! I must confess that I am totally addicted to Pinterest and use it all the time promoting my posts. Marijs shares her Blogging Toolkit and how to use Pinterest as a blogging tool to convert fellow pinners to readers of your blog! Be sure to follow her on Instagram, too. I just spent minutes (okay, an hour) traveling vicariously thru her beautiful photos!

how to make your facebook page pretty (via HollyWould)

Facebook is my next blogging tool that I use a lot and Holly has this awesome guide to make your Facebook Page look awesome, that is, if you can get past her gorgeous site! Oh my word - I am totally *swooning*. Be sure to check out her awesome products for bloggers! Just sent this to my husband for gift ideas for moi!

How to Use Google+
How to Use Google+

I'm on Google + and love how it ties in with my blog! Kelly has an awesome blog and she gives a great tutorial on using Google + as a blogger. I have learned so much from this post and it's in my references.  Be sure to follow Kelly because her book is set to release this spring and I cannot wait to see all her ingenious projects in print!
This great guide will help you get started with Twitter - or help you become a power user.
The Beginner's Guide to  Twitter

We've all seen the spoofs of an older generation trying to 'tweak' or 'twit' about something, but the basics of Twitter can be a bit confusing for someone who has never used that type of platform. Here's a great guide from Mashable that will teach you how to get started on Twitter in no time!

Bear & Beagle Creative
Instagram tips for bloggers by Bear & Beagle Creative
Instagram Tips for Bloggers

Kim has been blogging for over a decade and has created a great post of how to use instagram as a blogger. Grab a cup and browse a while because she has oodles of blogging tips that will help build your reference library. She also has a downloadable Editorial Calendar for purchase that I REALLY want! (another link to the hubs for gift ideas!) Plus she hosts courses for Bloggers! 

The Sits Girls
Are you using StumbleUpon? If not, then you need to be! StumbleUpon can do wonders for increasing your blogs readership and driving up your page views. This guide will get you started.
How to Use StumbleUpon

The Sits Girls are Blogging Rockstars. EVERY blogger needs to hit and bookmark their site - you will be educated on each post you click. They have an excellent post about StumbleUpon. I'm still navigating StumbleUpon and I referenced this article to help. This is a must see site - they offer themes, conferences, and are the bloggers with Massive Sway!

Pretty Darn Cute

Source: Flowtown

Pin this, print this, study this - such a great Cheat Sheet from Flowtown. The original link is broken, but want to give credit anyway in case they fix the link. Pretty Darn Cute offers such great Wordpress themes! Check them out!

JC Social Marketing
What Are The Best and Worst Times to Post on Social Media Networks?
What are the best and worst times to post on social media networks?

Julia shares a great infographic from Fannit that gives an outline of the best posting times for social media. When setting up social media - this post will make sure you are using it most effectively to get the best interaction. Julia is also offering a FREE Ebook on creating Great Social Media Graphics.

Mama's Got It Together
5 Social Media Tips to Grow Your Blog or Business + Free Daily Social Media Checklist!
5 Social Media Tips to Grow Your Blog or Business
+ a FREE Social Media Checklist

Sarah has such a great post with tips to use Social Media without getting frustrated! I love her Free checklist she offers, printed it and use it! Check out her etsy shop while you are visiting - she has incredible planners that my my OCD all kinds of tingly!

It's Not Me, You Suck
Hootsuite basic tips for those who want to schedule their social media posts. Lots of options with this free tool/softwrae.
How to use Hootsuite: The Basics

I Heart me some Seriously! She is the queen of Snark and is the Blogging Rockstar equivalent to Spinal Tap. This post had me giggling, but was totally helpful. I was Hootsuite challenged, but am learning thru Seriously's tutorial. Check out her entire "How Not to Suck at Blogging" series. It'll leave you laughing while getting some great tips!

I hope these Rockstar tips help you use Social Media for your own blog! Next week, I'll be sharing THE BEST tricks on how to drive traffic to your blog. Be sure to follow my Pinterest Board where I'm constantly adding new content for bloggers.

Follow Jen @ Noting Grace's board Best Blogging Tips and Tricks on Pinterest.

For More Blogging tips, Check out these Links

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