I’m a lucky girl who’s photographer husband likes to take pictures of her all the time. Well, actually, it can be a little annoying at times hehe. But for the most part, it’s very flattering and sweet. This one was taken a few weeks ago in a beautiful local park. So hard to believe we were enjoying such warm weather just a few weeks ago. Now I can’t go anywhere without a jacket and a hat!
This however, was not professionally shot of course. And no, this isn’t a picture of a Halloween House of Horror, that is my living room after stripping the walls of 50-year-old wallpaper! Dhiren and I started this project weeks ago, and although we knew it was going to be a difficult job, neither of us anticipated just how difficult it would really be. The wallpaper took off layers of paint along with it, leaving us with a pock-marked mess. The wall pictured was by far the worst, partly because it was the first wall we tackled and we didn’t know what the hell we were doing. Note-to-self: when stripping wallpaper for the first time in one’s life, do not begin with the largest and most prominent room in the house. Lol. You can actually see how the pockmarks are worse at the far left, and gradually get better as you move down to the right end of the wall. That’s me learning what NOT to do. In case you’re interested, here is what I learned:
- DO use a tool to score the paper before doing anything else.
- DON’T bother using a steamer; a bucket of water and a sponge work better and are far easier and cheaper too.
- DO expect the paper to come off in two separate layers. Wet the wall, and peel back the top layer of paper. You will see a thinner layer of paper underneath. LEAVE IT THERE! Now, once the top layer is totally off, get ready for the easy part. Wet the wall again and and wait a mere couple of seconds. It will peel off like nothing. Most of the damage to the wall came from my attempts to take off the paper in one shot. I realized along the way that the water only permeated the first layer of wallpaper the first time, and needed to be reapplied to the layer underneath for it to come off the wall.
Dhiren spent the entire weekend plastering and sanding the entire wall, and also the spots on the other walls that had some minor damage. Boy am I proud of that man! It was back-breaking work and I could not really help at all, so the poor guy was on his own. But his hard work paid off! Just look at how smooth that wall is now!!!
Now we have to deal with the mess left behind from the sanding, and FINALLY get painting. I tell you, when this project is all done, I am going to kick back on the sofa with a giant glass of wine and take it all in like a queen in her palace. Can’t wait! Oh and I’m also going to promptly deck those walls with Christmas decorations because it is never too soon to get in the holiday spirit 😀
On another note, I am proud to announce I’m back in the vegan game! About a year ago, I started to gradually reduce my consumption of meat and dairy. After a lot of research on animal welfare, the effects of animal agriculture on the planet, and also of the health implications involved in eating meat and dairy products, I decided back in October 2015 that I wanted to eventually go vegan. I knew it would not be easy, so I took it slow. This past Spring of 2016 I took the plunge, announced I was going vegan, and went for it full force even though I had some major apprehensions. I still longed for chicken casseroles and cheesy pizza, but I told myself that was part of the process. Well, it took about a month of extreme grumpiness (especially when grocery shopping) for me to realize I wasn’t ready, and tail between my legs, I admitted defeat.
This time around, I truly feel ready. I have come to the point where I only eat chicken about once a week, and dairy even less so. When I do eat those things, I feel physically unwell and also uncomfortable with that choice. I’ve known for a long time in my heart what I wanted to do, so I feel really good about the decision to embrace my inner vegan. Hehe. What is difficult, however, is being vegan in a very non-vegan world. The holidays are certainly a challenge in that respect, and I anticipate having to go to many holiday parties with a little self-care-package of my own food 😛 I dread telling people that I am vegan, as it often feels as though I am being judged for it. I get the “didn’t you try that already?” or “but I saw you eating meat last month” comments. I try to take a deep breath and be confident in my decision. After all, anyone who makes a change in their life has a first day/week/month/year of that new lifestyle during which people could easily say “but you didn’t do that last week/month/whatever.” I’m thinking now of that old cliche, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” Lol.
I know it will get easier with time, for me and for the people around me. And I know that not everyone will understand, and that’s okay too. At the end of the day, we all just have to feel good about our own choices and try not to let outside influences get to us too much.
I plan to convince a few family members this year that vegan is delicious by bringing some fabulous vegan desserts to our holiday dinner!!! I’ve already started my holiday baking trials (Christmas music included!) and I am so excited to share this incredible vegan gingerbread cake with you very soon! It’s moist and fluffy, warmly spiced, and totally tastes like Christmas! Don’t worry, I won’t make you wait for the recipe too long. Check in tomorrow for this yummy little treat 😉 Here is a sneak peak….