A few weeks ago we went to a friend’s beach themed wedding.  She had EVERY detail covered.  Knowing the amount of time and effort even small details take I can’t even imagine how many hours my friend put into everything for her wedding.

At her bachelorette party she mentioned they were going to have a Photo Booth at the wedding.  I had been to a wedding last year with a photo booth and loved it. At the last wedding I had taken pictures with friends, but by the time the husband and I made it to the booth it was closed.  Total pout! So this time I was determined to get a photo booth picture with my lovely husband.

After quickly locating the photo booth during cocktail hour I noticed a poster board.  On the posterboard there were a few photobooth pictures of my friend and (now) husband from other weddings.  She had the photo booth picture strip size increased and then added some cute text about taking pictures in the booth. I wish I had taken a picture of the poster board to show you exactly what it looked liked.

It took us the first two shots to understand where to look and how the booth worked. You would think two grown adults could successfully take pictures, but I guess we aren’t coordinated enough hahaha.  Here’s how our pictures came out:

See what I mean? The first two we are a little caught off guard.  When we sat down at the table in the reception room we found these cute frames to put our photobooth picture into.

Each frame had a message from the bride and groom.  On the back there was a clear label with our name on it so we knew which frame was ours.Such a cute detail! I just love the message and idea to send each guest home with a frame.  Check it out!

And can you believe it … each one was hand signed by the bride and groom!  I told you this bride had every detail covered! :)

The cost of the frames seem pretty reasonable. I did a little Googling and found a number of places like this one.  There are many places that sell the perfect size frames for photobooth picture strips.

Have you seen this tidbit at a wedding before?

Happy wedding planning!!

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I really like watching the Food Network cooking shows.  One of the chefs I really like is Anne Burrell.  She make some great recipes, but also I just love her level on energy on the show.  In any event, a while a go I watched the show where she makes garlic chicken with Israeli couscous.  Last night I was craving Israeli couscous so I looked up Chef Burrell’s recipe for inspiration.  Israeli couscous is more fluffy and pasta like than “regular” couscous.  If you’ve never had it before it’s definitely worth a try.

After figuring out what I had in the house I decided to make a simpler version of the recipe while trying to get the same type of flavors in my chicken breasts.  I am happy with how it came out and will be adding this recipe to the dinner rotation.

Garlic Chicken Ingredients:

~ 1 lb Chicken Breasts
1 whole garlic bulb
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
1/4 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp ground cumin seeds
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
Extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put the garlic bulb straight on the oven rack and roast it is soft when squeezed, about 30 minutes. Remove them from the oven and let cool.

While garlic is roasting, prep the chicken by removing any fat and cutting into large chunks (about 6).

In a bowl combine the lemon zest, juice, thyme, cumin, red pepper flakes and salt then set aside.

When the garlic bulbs are cool, slice the tops off.

Squeeze out the roasted garlic into the bowl.  Add a little olive oil and mash the mixture into a loose paste. Combine with the chicken pieces and let sit for at least 1 hour.

Once the chicken has marinated grill, bake or stove top cook it.

Couscous Ingredients: 

1 cup of Israeli Couscous
1 and 1/4 cups of Chicken Broth
2 Scallions/Green Onions

Bring a chicken broth to a boil over.  Add the couscous, reduce to a simmer and cover for about 8-10 minutes.  watch the couscous closely as sometimes the water boils out too quickly.  You can also completely shut the heat off and cover it.

Cut all of the green onion into thin slices.  Once the couscous is cooked mix in the green onions.

I like to serve it in shallow bowl. Add the couscous/onion mixture and then place the cooked chicken on top.  This recipe makes 3-4 servings.

Looks so pretty and it’s yummy too!

Happy Cooking!

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I have already told you about painting a red accent wall in our bedroom.  There were a few pieces of trim to fix, but all in all the accent wall in the bedroom is complete.  Because we had painted some sample paints on two of the three other walls in the room we had to paint the three other walls so they would all be the same color.  Why we didn’t put all samples on one wall to start is beyond me. It would have saved us some serious time to have left those walls as is.  There was builders grade paint already on the walls so we considered doing touch ups to the walls instead of picking a brand new color.  When we went to the Duron store to buy the paint and they told us that color/style only comes in a 5 gallon bucket. That was WAY too much paint and the cost wasn’t so pretty.  Back to the drawing board we went.

While searching for a shade of gray for the living room I had picked up a Sherwin Williams color wheel.  We decided it was as good a place as any to start the search for a white/cream color for the bedroom.  Quickly we realized Origami White (7636) was very similar to the color already on the wall.  It was slightly lighter and had more gray/brown tones and less yellow in it.  We taped the swatch up on the wall for a few days to make sure we liked it.

As the designated paint runner I was off to Sherwin Williams to pick up the paint once we decided to go with Origami White.  I was concerned one gallon wouldn’t be enough paint for the three wall and inside of the closet and the husband was convinced 1 gallon was plenty.  He could tell it was making me nervous so we agreed on buying a gallon and a quart.  This way we had a quart of paint as back up for the closets OR if we mark up the walls while moving in.

I purchased the paint in satin, which is pretty much the same finish as eggshell.  After my last mix up with paint finish I looked up satin vs. eggshell before allowing the SW employee to place my order.  It took me about two hours to paint the edges and three walls in the bedroom. I also managed to put about 3-4 spots on the ceiling when using the roller extension.  Oopsies!

But that wasn’t the only oops that happened while painting the bedroom.  Sophi backed onto the lid of a paint can while trying to rescue her ball from the plastic wrap.  Before I could grab her she promptly ran onto the small patch of hardwood floor that wasn’t covered in plastic.  So we had three little white paw prints on the floor to deal with.

Luckily after allowing the paint to dry on the floor we were able to scratch it off with finger nails.  Looked like nothing had ever happened.  As I pulled off all the tape and threw the plastic on the floor away I started to realize our bedroom was 95% completed!  I grabbed the can of ceiling paint and touched up the couple of spots I had inadvertently painted.  Then I screwed the light switch and outlet plates back on and what do you know it looked like a real room again!!

Here’s the before, during and after:

Although I would like to call the bedroom a wrap we still have a few things left to do.

1.  Remove existing closet shelf/poll, putty/paint sed closet and then install the new closet organizers

2.  Decided upon, purchase and install blinds.

At this point we are 4 days away from move in. I am not convinced we are going to be able to get all that completed before we move in.  Our currently place is only 1/2 packed and the movers arrive Saturday morning at 8am.  We better get a packin’ don’t you think?!?!?!  We are hoping to at least complete demolition on the closets so the dust doesn’t get all over our furniture.  Cross your fingers for us!!

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Chugga chugga Chugga chugga CHOOO CHOOOO!!!! Sorry couldn’t help myself LOL. :)

My initial plan for the bedroom was to have a dark gray accent wall with light gray side walls. I really liked the mock up I did and so did our friends and family.  We went to Home Depot and purchased a few different samples of Glidden paint.  All I can say is paint color looks WAY different on the walls than it does on the sample card or online.

Here is the room mock up I created using Glidden’s website to paint the walls and then I used PhotoShop-ed in add the bedding and my photo from Mexico:

The silver dust color on the side walls turned out to look super purple in the room.  The Seal Gray was pretty, but just not what I was looking for.  I’m not sure what the lighter gray/silver color is on the wall (in the picture below), because the husband chose it at random and we have since thrown the paint card and sample away.  Sorry for the horrible picture. This is what I get for using my old crappy camera.

Feeling discouraged that my gray accent wall wasn’t turning out as I had hoped a friend offered to help us narrow down color choices.  We got a gray duvet cover for our wedding and considering it is the ONLY duvet cover we have agreed upon in 2 years we weren’t willing to part with it.  Therefore the bedroom color had to compliment gray. Lucky for us gray is pretty neutral! Our friend suggested we do a red wall instead of the gray. I was sold on the idea pretty quickly.

The husband and I had been considering red as our accent color in the living/dining room after finding this Pottery Barn rug.  Luckily my husband has purchased a rug sample so it was easy to find a red paint swatch that closely matched the rug, BM Confederate Red (2090-20).  During one of my many trips to the paint store I purchased a sample of this paint.  It looked nice on the wall, but felt like it had too many pink undertones.  I remember my mother had said her friend had recently done a red accent wall in her living room and decided to ask my mom to ask her friend for the paint color.  Enter HOT TAMALE! It’s a C2 paint, which is suppose to be thick enough to only have to do one coat of paint.

Anyways we slapped C052, aka hot tamale, paint sample up on the wall and we had a winner!  Since the red rug didn’t match the red paint we decided to say goodbye to rug.  We are now thinking a gray rug with red accents around the room to tie everything together.  Hopefully it turns out well!

With the walls taped and the floors covered I was ready to begin painting.  Sophi supervised the whole thing. :)

I’m proud to say I pretty much painted this whole wall myself.  One thing I quickly learned while painting the red wall was to do the trim first.  Painting the trim first with a brush and then going over it (or close to it) with the roller made it blend better. When I rolled and then did the trip the brush strokes stood out more.

Although C2 paint is supposed to only need one coat we decided to do two. As it was my first time really painting as well as wanting it to look perfect the second coat made a world of difference.  I was very methodical about the second coat too and started at the left and worked my way right instead of starting in the middle as I did with the first coat.

When I removed the tape I noticed the window frame had some red on it … oops. I also noticed the tape pulled up a few small pieces of the paint around the edges.

Luckily my husband has a steady hand and went ahead and touched up the places where the paint lifted from the wall.  Now all I need to do is touch up the window frame.  Two mistakes, not too bad if I do say so myself.

Here’s the before and after of our red hot tamale wall:

I can’t wait to paint the other three walls a creamy white and then we can call the master bedroom a wrap on the painting front.  I’m on the hunt for some nice little red accents to put in the room.

What do you think of our red wall?

Happy painting!

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Before buying our condo I had never painted any of the places I had rented.  The only thing I remember painting was a fake wall my roommate and I had (frat boys) put up in the living room of our one bedroom apartment to make it into a two bedroom.  Funny thing about that, my friend and I only painted the part of the wall that wasn’t covered by the couch … can you say college standards?! :)

My husband on the other hand has painted before and was good about giving me tips.  He said to only put about an inch of paint into the pan and to make sure the whole roller has paint on it before painting the wall.  Then there was the tip to roll slowly at first to avoid excess paint spraying on things not covered or taped.  These were all great tips!  The one thing neither of us knew was what kind of paint finish is suggested for different rooms.

The counter top in the bathroom has green tones to it so I knew I wanted to go with a green paint in the guest bathroom.  Here’s the first green we considered, but it was too bright for the bathroom:

After slapping two more greens up on the wall there was a clear winner.  I seemed to have missed taking a picture of the other two colors we put on the wall.  We decided on Benjamin Moore Old Prairie (2143-50).  A whole gallon wasn’t necessary for a small bathroom so I was to buy a half gallon (two quarts really since a half gallon wasn’t an option at this particular store).  The first Saturday after becoming homeowners my husband was busy taping and prepping the condo to be painted.  Therefore I was on go to the store/run errands duty. Off I went to the store feeling really good about what I needed to buy.

The man at the store was less than helpful. He started by trying to up-sell me and I got completely confused on what I needed/wanted.  Eventually he took my order for the paint and then asked what finish I wanted. I said “ummmm well ….” to which he handed me a finish card to look at. I immediately remembered my friend saying samples come in flat, but get eggshell when you actually paint.  Done and done, paint mixed and purchased.

While I was gone my husband taped the bathroom and got it ready to be painted.

When I got home we painted the bathroom our new light green color.  On my next trip that same day to the same paint store to buy paint for the master bedroom, I overheard someone talking about which finish to use for the different rooms.  Keep in mind this information wasn’t on the finish card and the guy helping me didn’t offer up any narrative as to what finish to use.  As I hear the words bathroom and semi-gloss in the same sentence I start to freak out.  Have we just painted the bathroom the with the wrong finish??

When I got back to the new place I shared this tidbit with my husband. Out comes the iphone and Googling begins. Sure enough we painted the bathroom with the wrong finish.  We debated if we should spend the money and the time to repaint the bathroom the same color but in semi-gloss or just go with what we already had on the wall.

In the end back to the paint store we went to purchase a quart of the semi-gloss.  Apparently even a 1/2 gallon was too much paint for the guest bathroom.  Since the bathroom was still taped we decided it was best to repaint the room now.  Doing it right now would save us the hassle of repainting the room in 6 months if the eggshell wasn’t holding up well.

The repainting took less time since there was already a base coat on the walls.  In the end I actually liked the look of the semi-gloss better than the eggshell in the bathroom.  I’m SOOO glad we took the time (and money) to correct the painting finish error.

The husband did a great job on the taping and when we pulled the tap off the lines looked fantastic!

Interested in learning about what paint finish is suggested for each room? Click here for details about paint finishes. This website would have come in handy if we had done some research before slapping paint up on the wall!!  Lesson learned. :)

Guest bathroom painting completed … master bedroom, master bathroom and living/dining room as well as hallways to go.  Painting is time consuming, but the place is starting to have a more homey feel to it!!  Now we just need a shower curtain, mat and accessories and the guest bath will be complete.

Happy painting!

Have you had any similar painting mishaps?

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