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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Journey to the Perfect Stripe

My house has never been without some kind of stripes... EVER.  I guess I just love 'em...  Back at our old house I actually used all the old paint samples and leftover colors to do a crazy, random stripe wall in my basement office.  This picture was before the ceiling went in, but in the end, it was pretty crazy and cool. 
We've also done stripes in the same color, with different finishes.  This was flat enamel with eggshell. 
So, since we're in a new house... we needed some stripes... I was feeling lost without them!

Family Room Stripes 
Since we've done stripes many, many times we've learned a few things along the way.  Nothing is more frustrating than crooked stripes or bleeding lines.  I've told you over and over that I can fall into the perfectionist category... bleeding stripes are NOT COOL in the Mangin house.
How to Paint 99 percent Perfect Stripes
(It's 99% because I thought Perfect sounded a little cocky!)
1.  This step is optional, but I highly recommend it... find a handsome helper.  It definitely is a 2 person job. 
2.  Determine the width of your stripes.  For the family room I wanted BIG wide ones, so I did 18 inches
3. On both the left and right side of the wall, use a pencil to mark where your stripes will end. Just a little line will do. 
4. Get a chalkline.  It's the best thing ever for stripes.  Just shake, pull tight, snap, and voila! Perfect guide to tape by. 
Eric just loves when I'm supposed to be holding a chalkline nice and tightly and I have a camera in my hand at the same time!
5.  I'm the taper in the family.  I will ONLY use Scotch blue tape.  Eric like the blue tape with the orange inside because it's extra delicate, but I like blue with the blue inside. 
The key to taping is just making sure the edge of the tape is in a smooth line and not jagged where your pieces start and stop.  I also take a credit card or wooden spoon over the tape when I'm done to seal it.
6.  This is the magic step people...  Take the current wall color paint (the color that your new stripe will touch, not the color of the new stripe) and paint along the edges of your new taped space.  This will ensure that if your paint bleeds (which it will at least a bit no matter what you do) that you won't see it because it's the same color at the wall! It works like a charm!
You can see a difference in the color, but that's because it was still drying.  I'll also add that we just let it dry for like 15 minutes, because it's a nice, thin coat. 
I've also heard of this technique using ModPodge if you don't have leftover paint, but I can't say I've ever tried it.  Let me know if you have and how it turned out!
7.  Roll your main color... this one needs no explanation

8.  Remove the tape.  We always remove the tape before the paint dries.  We wait just long enough to be sure we're done and don't need another coat of paint, then we take it down.  My technique is slow and steady and at a slight angle. 
If you've done step #6 you're guaranteed crisp lines, so this is no longer a stressful "I wonder how it's going to look" moment!
Once the wall is totally dry you might need to take a damp cloth to get some leftover blue chalk off, but otherwise, you're done!

Overall, I'm really in love with my new stripes!

 But... I'm not so in love with the artwork anymore! I can feel my husband rolling his eyes when he reads this post.  I like the shape, but they just don't work anymore... and honestly, I'm not sure I ever LOVED them (and yes, I only bought them 6 months ago!)
The next part of this room re-do is to stripe curtain panels for the opposite wall. I'm excited to try this after my vacation next week!
So, are you a lover of stripes like I am? 
Have you conquered the perfect stripe? 

Linking up to: TatorTots and Jello

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Who are the Real Housewives of Bucks County???

You get to read about our projects, you know what the inside of our houses look like, but who are The Real Housewives of Bucks County?  Well, this must be your lucky day, because today we're sharing a bit of ourselves with you...  (Warning, some of these questions are cheesy, but who doesn't like a little cheese and we like 'em!)

Meet the Real Housewives of BC

  1. Do you have kids?

M- Do we ever! 4 kiddos that either keep me young or make me old, not sure which. Girl, boy, girl, boy (and done!)
J- Yes, I have two adorable, blond-haired, blue eyed kiddos (a girl and a boy) who keep me busy: one who talks my ear off. and one who makes a lot of noise and dives off of furniture head first  

  1. Where is your birth place and are you far from it now?

M- I was born in Massachusetts and lived in Attleboro, MA until I moved to Bucks County, PA when I was 17 years old.  When I first moved, PA seemed like the ends of the earth, but now it’s a simple 5 hour drive “home.”
J- I was born in good old Grandview Hospital in Sellersville, so that makes me oh, um, about 7 miles away from there.

  1. What is one thing you could not do when you were a child, but you can do now?

M- Eat as much uncooked cookie dough as I want to
J- I wasn't allowed to watch Saved by the Bell, but am pretty sure my parents would be ok with me watching it now (totally love that show, by the way)

4. What is your motto?

 M- I’m the anti-motto.  I am too forgetful to even remember my own motto.
J- My motto for this year is "Be Intentional". I tend to be extremely impulsive and all over the place and so I'm working hard at making purposeful choices regarding our weekly menu, the the design of our home, my spiritual life and the work decisions I make.  

  1. What are your hobbies?

M- Photography, blog-stalking, reading & anything involving spray paint.
J- Well, this is a no-brainer: reading design blogs. However, I also LOVE coaching the highschool girls tennis team at my alma mater, Plumstead Christian School. And I adore reading and can easily get sucked into a book which usually leads to me tuning out everything around me. (I was reading when the rest of my neighborhood felt the earthquake last week. And nope, I didn't feel a thing.)

  1. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

M- Chocolate chip cookie dough and Oreo Cookie combined! (Unless I’m at Ben & Jerry’s and then it’s New York Super Fudge Chunk! Unless I’m at Coldstone and then it’s Cake Batter-YUM!)
J- Not a huge icecream fan (gasp!), but if we get icecream as a family, I usually get the mini Reese's Peanutbutter Cup Blizzard from Dairy Queen.

  1. If you could travel anywhere in the world - where would you go and why?

M- A tropical beach… any amazing beach… with the hubs… and a good book… oh, and maybe with Starbucks in hand…
J- . Italy, hands down. I travelled there in college with two great friends (we were studying abroad in Greece at the time) and loved every inch of it. Florence was like heaven for me- great architecture, friendly people and to-die-for foods.

  1. Have you ever met a famous person?

M- We’re spending the day with Nate Berkus on Thursday… does that count? (See more about that here)
J- Well, we'll be meeting Nate Berkus on Thursday, betcha didn't know that, did you? ;) One of my other favorite celebrity encounters was Charles Barkley. He was the biggest human being I've ever seen in person

  1. What is your least favorite thing about yourself?

M- Physically, my ears… everyone denies that their weird, but I know that they don’t point in the right direction.  Ugh! Now stop trying to look at them! Personality-wise, sometimes I fail to think before I talk… ugh!
J- Physically, my nose, although my hubs says he really likes it. (He kind of has to, though.) Personality trait: impulsiveness. Sometimes it works for me, but most of the time I'm left wishing I did a little more research or talked to more people before jumping in head first.

  1. One that describes your BFF and blog partner?

M- One word to describe Jess = determined- she is completely committed to her goals and also growing and changing into the person she wants to be.
J- Extrovert! I've never met anyone who enjoys being with people, or wants to have people around as much as she does. She gathers friends like no one else!

  1. How tall are you?

M- 5 feet 8 inches
J- 5 feet 4 inches

  1. When you were little - What did you want to do "when you grew up?" Are you doing it?

M- I wanted to be a lawyer… I loved to argue.  I’m not a lawyer, but I get some argument practice in with the hubs! J
J- I really wanted to be a veterinarian, but I now can recognize that animals are not my thing. Honestly, what "I want to do when I grow up" is constantly changing. I feel like I'm getting closer though!

  1. How do you spend your free time?

M- What free time?? Although, I love getting so obsessed with a book that my kids eat cookies and poptarts for 24 hours while Mommy finishes reading!
J- Playing with the kiddos, writing this here little blog, coaching tennis and hanging out with the hubs.

  1. Favorite sport you like to watch or participate in?

M- Fav to watch = football.  I LOVE football Sundays! Fav to play = basketball
J- Watch: Basketball, Play: Tennis

  1. What kind of food do you prefer eating when you are out?

M- It’s pathetic, but 90% of the time I order a grilled cheese wherever I am. I long for my kids menu days (who am I kidding, I order from it all the time!)
J- Italian, Mexican & Tapas

  1. Last Movie You Watched?

M- Unknown it was only okay… I’d say a B-.  (Although, I also saw The Help and it was an A++)
J- The Help, with my girlfriends

  1. Would you like to be famous?

M- I have some pretty fancy tastes, but I don’t need tabloid magazines claiming I’m preggo every other week! J
J- I'd like to make the money of a celebrity without worrying about some crazy paparrazzi taking my picture while I'm getting the mail in my jams.

  1. What Book Are You Reading?

M- The Tenth Circle by Jody Picoult
J- I can't believe this, but I'm not currently reading one!

  1. Favorite Bible Verse?

M- John 3:30 “He must became greater, I must become less”… it just reminds me that I’m constantly in progress and that I can continually be growing and changing to be more like Him.
J- Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you; plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Isn't it wonderful knowing someONE else is in charge? 

20.           What’s your favorite DIY project to date?
M- My daughter’s first “big girl” room 8 years ago was my very favorite project.  Checkerboard painted walls, and chalkboard furniture made my day. Sorry, no pics… darn the days of film cameras! A more recent favorite is of course, is my Farmhouse Table Remix.
J- Favorite DIY project to date:  My fav project so far is the reclaimed barnwood art piece I made for Monica's dining room for the Nate Berkus Show. (Sorry, can't show you it yet, but we'll reveal it soon!) I also am pretty in love with my free old door headboard and the family tree mural we painted for our daughter's nursery.

*Photos courtesy of Doug from Candid Moments Photography. Thanks so much, Doug! You did a great job working with some very amateur models. :)

So, it's your turn now. What questions do you have for us? We're game for answering {almost} anything!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Moving Right Along {Bathroom Redesign}

Well, well, look what I found:

Remember my post about the game plan for my bathroom? I really wanted a ladder for the space to as a stylish way to hang a few hand towels and other little things we might need in the bathroom. I found one this weekend while visiting my sister in Lancaster. There is a house that we pass on the way to my sister's that has hundreds (no exaggeration) of old windows and other random junk in their yard. Of course, that's like the jackpot for a cheap DIYer like me, so we stopped by. Lucky for me, they had a few ladders like this one and I was able to buy it for $15! (Talked her down from $20. Oh yeah, I drive a hard bargain.) Out of all the things I've bought for my house, besides my statement piece, this one is my favorite. It captures the feel I'm going for in my home (and no, that feel is not old paint shop in case you were wondering.)
This really tall little beauty needs some loving, as in, a good sanding and maybe a few coats of a water-based polyurethane to bring out the wood tones. There's just one too many different colors of paint on her for my liking, so once they're sanded out, she'll be perfect.

In other news, we bought a mirror at Lowes for the bathroom. Originally, I planned on thrifting a cheap, unique mirror, but we came across this one marked way down on clearance at Lowes, and I'm totally loving the shape of it.

(Yes, that is my garage filled with lots of old barnwood for my various projects. Yes, my husband gives me the stink eye because of it.)

And how do I like the color of this mirror? Umm, not so much. Black with red undertones? I don't think so.

I'm planning on painting the mirror frame and then doing an antique glazing treatment on it to make it look weathered and well, antique. Something like this:

I've finally chosen my paint colors, Olympic Whispering Wind and Quill, which I'll have color-matched in Valspar paint (that covers better with less coats).  You can't tell in this picture, but they are very neutral beiges that are almost gray. LOVE them.

And finally, the lighting. Thanks to some suggestions by our awesome readers (who knew to look at outdoor lighting??!!), I've narrowed down my choices to this large bronze wall-mounted light fixture that is actually meant to be outside. It's from Lowes and costs $39.98. I really adore everything about it, but I'm not sure the color is exactly the feel I'm going for.
Zoomed: Portfolio Bronze Outdoor Wall Light with Metal Shade


My second choice is this Raw Steel outdoor wall sconce from Lowes. It costs a little bit less than the other light $24.95, but is smaller. The color is definitely in the cooler tones.
Zoomed: Portfolio Raw Steel Outdoor Wall Light

So, now, will you help me?  The finish of the light will really direct the direction of the other decorative items in the room (bronze= browns & creams, silver = gray, white and black). It's your chance to tell me what you think would work best in my bathroom redesign.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Thanks so much! My husband tried to sneak his own decorative touch into the bathroom, hoping I wouldn't notice.

Sorry, babe, the Phillies hand towel is oooooutta here!  Nice try.

Happy Monday!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fab Find Friday {B2S & Irene Style}

So, those of us in Bucks County know that we're going to be getting a visit from Hurricane Irene this weekend.  Did you know that earlier in the week, we actually could feel a bit of the VA earthquake as well?  Crazy times here in PA.  Anyhow... today's fab find was going to be lots of fun ideas for going out and having a last hurrah before summer comes to a close (PA schools mainly head back to school this coming Monday)... but, since lil' old Irene decided to cross our path, I kind of changed my plans, because I don't want to be responsible for hundreds of people heading to the beach or something!
So, here's the revised version!

Back to School Family Movie Night
Let's start off the right way... how about a giveaway
Free 1 Night Redbox Rental
Use the code:
Did you know you can go online and reserve your Redbox ahead of time?  I'm a big fan of this because the hubs and I can pick the movie together, rather than it being a total surprise for one of us (which only works out about 50% of the time!).  There's one catch... you can't use a promo code online, so I just go online to see what's available, then send Eric to the kiosk with the code in hand. So, get online and pick a fun movie that the whole family will enjoy!

A Movie Night needs snacks right? 
Well, how cool would you be if you let the kiddos help you make lots of fun varieties of popcorn?  Remember the old school tins of popcorn that you used to get as a kid around Christmas?  My brother always loved having a variety flavors and I always thought the popcorn tasted like cardboard! I promise these recipes will be much yummier!
(Click on the picture below for the recipes)

You can keep this Movie Night simple or go all out with tickets, candy, props etc...

Either way, I'm sure your kids will love it and if Irene is crossing your path, hopefully everyone will be safe and have some fun memories of their Back to School Movie Night celebration!

P.S. Don't forget to VOTE for the CBS Blog of the Year Today!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Something to Celebrate {B2S Day 4}

I don't know about you, but I'm always looking for reasons to have a party, so why not celebrate the return of school?! Whether or not your kids need some encouragement to get back in the swing of things, or you just can't wait to send your kids back to school (hooray for me time!), a party is definitely in order.

Back to School Breakfast Party
You could plan a party just for your kids, or, if you're up for it, invite the neighbors, or the families whose kids ride on the bus with your own kids for a quick and easy breakfast before school,

1. Set the table. Make going back to school something to look forward to with an awesome tablespread. I love the vibrant colors and cute centerpiece with apples, a clipboard and cute printable. So easy!

Go the extra mile for your kids with namecards at their seats, a little gift on their plate, and fun details like this lined-paper utensil holder. Adorable! And there's no way they won't feel special and loved after that!

Source: via Kim on Pinterest

2. Choose your menu wisely. Remember to pick food items that will give them energy to get them through until lunch.

A bagel buffet could include peanut butter and jelly, granola, raisins and banana, just to name a few.

Set out cereal in cute containers (you better believe sand pails and beach accessories are on sale now. Use them!)

Fruit kabobs couldn't be easier and are so healthy!

3. Send them off with a treat and a little encouragement!
This is so cute and you can get the FREE Smartie Pants Printable  to make it even easier.

Source: via Jessica on Pinterest

Brown Baggin’ It

There are a million ways you can spice up your kid's lunch bags to make them a little more fun. How about these adorable School Lunch Labels?

 Or these Back to School Lunch Printables by Little.Lovely.

 And don't just stop at decorating their lunch bags. Actually pack healthy foods in a fun way for them, too. To the Moon and Back has tons of suggestions for Awesome School Lunch Ideas . And how great is that lunch box?

Or simply add a little love note to your kids to tell them how proud you are of them and how much you love them. (Click on the links below each picture to be taken to the site for the free printables.)

Bring on the Dessert!

Spoil your kids with an after-school treat, or wait until after dinner to celebrate the first day of school. It only happens once a year, people, so bring out the big guns! :)

Mmm... cake pops.

Shawni, of the blog 71 Toes, has a Traditional First Day of School Cookie Chat after school where she sits down and talks with each of her five kids (yes, five!) about their first day. It's such a great idea to start this tradition when they are young so it's something they can look forward to each year, and a way you can easily connect with your kids. Because really, who doesn't love cookies?

According to the NY Times, these are the best chocolate chip cookies ever. Sadly, I can't vouch for the validity of this statement, but maybe one of you are willing to put that recipe to the test for an after-school cookie chat. (And please, by all means, feel free to send us a batch so we can "taste-test" these so-called best cookies ever.)

Let your kids know they're special with a little extra love this year.
Back to School never was sweeter!

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