I painted a whole room by myself!! … Plus recipe for Achari Jhinga!

I painted a whole room by myself!! … Plus recipe for Achari Jhinga!

I still cannot believe that I took on the project of painting an entire room by myself!! Who would have thought? And I absolutely don’t have any previous experience, whatsoever! When we moved into the new home, I mentally prepared a list of all that I hoped to do to make the home aesthetically look better and feel more comfortable. So one of the first projects was making more space in the kitchen for a new fridge. Since our home was built in 1929 (I know! That’s like 86 years old!!), the home is in some ways small. Especially the kitchen. The previous owners had a much smaller refrigerator here. So we asked a handyman to come over and remove the cabinets over the fridge, to make space for a bigger, new refrigerator. Over the last four months since my husband and I moved in, we have come across quite a number of experiences as brand new homeowners. As soon as we moved in, in the month of December, a pipe from the heating furnace got a hole and spewed out water, to almost cover our entire first floor!  The plumber who came to our rescue, told us we couldn’t do anything to stop the situation from happening. It was bound to happen as it was an old copper pipe, wearing down with corrosion over time. So one can imagine my plight. I was in simple words, stressed out as I saw the lower level covered with water. But my husband was amazingly calm and soon, the problem was taken care of. From that experience, we learnt that maintenance and regular cleaning of the furnace was required, especially during the colder months. Later around January, a common gutter outside ours and the neighbor’s home, just broke apart and fell down onto our driveway! (Thankfully our car was not parked in the driveway at the time!) That was because the snow had piled up around the bottom of the gutter, and since there was no outlet, the expansion and eventual contraction of the snow buildup, caused damage. So from that experience, we learnt that the gutters always have to be free of anything that might block the outlets, especially ice-rock snow! Another valuable lesson was in the month of February, when the temperatures dipped below zero degrees. One morning, and I remember it was the morning of Valentine’s Day, I went to the bathroom and found out there was no water! Not from the sink, nor the flush, not in the kitchen… Nada! It was a case of the frozen water pipes. Some people have pipes at home that burst with frozen water. Thankfully we didn’t face that tragedy, and we immediately asked a handyman to thaw our main water valves and pipes. It was like witnessing magic in less than half an hour, all thanks to a heating gun! So we learnt that on such cold days and nights, it’s always safe to leave all the taps, hot and cold, just a teeny bit open and running, all around the house. Supposedly this applies to apartments as well…

My husband and I left all those projects for the pros to tackle. But I was quite pumped up to take on painting the walls of our new home. I had two rooms in mind. One is this tiny bedroom on the third floor. And the other is the living room. Since I wanted to ease myself into painting walls for the very first time, I took on the smaller room to begin with. The previous owners had a few things drilled into the walls and the ceiling. So some wall repair was required at first. It was the very first time I used spackle or putty to cover the holes in the walls, and each time the holes would magically disappear, I would be amazed! The walls were initially a bright yellow, and my goal for the décor in this home is to maintain a classic, rustic look with some modern touches. So my husband and I weren’t really feeling the bright yellow walls. We definitely wanted something a bit more luxe, than cute. So my husband and I went to the nearest Home Depot, and we got a gallon of this green semi-gloss paint, that is very soothing to the eyes. Now semi-gloss paint is just fabulous and golden! So easy to use. And if you mess up, which you will, especially if you’re a novice like me, it’s a breeze to clean up right away with rags and a dab of water! Along with the paint, I bought a dozen tools, from an overall suit for the job, to a mask, to goggles, rollers, brushes, and more! The best part, I can reuse most of what I bought for the next painting job. And the quantity of paint was just right. So no waste at all!

Using the roller with the extension pole was easy-peasy. One can cover so much area, quickly, with a roller and an extension pole. The little more difficult areas are the corners, around trimmings and making through angles as perfectly as possible, without going out of the lines. But the most difficult part has to be getting the ceiling right. For starters, the ceiling paint is flat and so you can’t really get away with imperfections as much as paint with gloss. And painting the ceiling can really make your shoulders throb if you strain too much. So I spackled and painted the ceiling, the walls, portions of trimmings and the little closet space. I took a little less than two weeks but it took that long only because I wasn’t painting all throughout the days, and there were a few days when I couldn’t paint much. So putting all the hours together, I would estimate I took about a week to complete the job. And I was so happy with the end product! Felt so accomplished! It was a great feeling that I look forward to having again soon. Next week on, I plan on tackling the living room, which is double the size of the room I painted. So it’s definitely going to take a bit more time, but since I have some experience, I think I would find my way around easier. I get pumped up and think of Judy from the animation Zootopia, and now I feel I have a little contractor inside of me, trying to take on one home project at a time…

On the culinary front, I’m a big fan of shrimp/ prawns, and I really love this recipe from ‘The Spice Adventures’. These are spicy pickled prawns or the famous, Achari Jhinga, and it’s so easy to make. What makes making this easier, is using frozen jumbo shrimp! Initially, I used to buy fresh shrimp from the local shop and go through the hassle of deveining and cleaning each of them myself. Nowadays, I just buy frozen jumbo shrimp from Shoprite, that is already cleaned and deveined. And you don’t even have to pay that much! So convenient! And tastes great too! This recipe is for those who like their seafood, and like it hot and spicy, and like to get their taste buds tingling with each bite. Click here for this easy, delicious recipe. Until then, wishing you a great day and an excellent gastronomic experience!

 

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