REVIEW: Command Strips by 3M

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I decided to use Command Picture Hanging Strips by 3M to install most of my Gallery Wall Project, the few exceptions are the stone pieces and the shelving.  I wanted something easy to change out so that I can swap out the photos whenever the whim strikes me.  Also, confession time, I wanted something easy to hang, because all of my frames had different hanging mechanisms and getting them level was becoming a nightmare (I figured this out 6 holes in my wall later).

Overall Rating: Winner!

I am truly happy with the results if this product, they do exactly what they claim to do and were super easy to install.

Instructions: I followed the instructions to the letter, and I recommend you do too.  They were very clear and easy to follow.

Installation: A breeze!  Holding the level on the photos and pressing on the tabs is defiantly a two man job, but installation was as simple as sticking a piece of tape to the wall.

Tips: Don’t skip sets, especially cleaning the wall and frames with alcohol (Your wall paint may change colors for a minute when you wipe it down with the alcohol, but mine bounced back once it dried).  Speaking of drying, make sure to let the wall and the frames dry completely before putting on the strips.

When placing the strips on the frame, cheat the strips closer to the inside of the frame versus the outer edge, this will help make sure you can’t see the strip once it is on the wall.

The instructions also require that you remove the photos from the wall once installed for about an hour, but I recommend waiting over night just to make sure everything has cured properly.

Last tip, Use four strips per frame as I read reviews online that stated if you use only two the frame’s weight can eventually cause it to slide down the strip and fall off the wall.

Pricing: $$  One package does about 3 frames when you go with the four strip method and it runs about $6.00 per package.  Doing the whole wall got up there in price when a pack of nails that costs less than one package of hanging strips could do the same job, but for my purposes and the convenience, I rate it as totally worth it.

Continued Use:  It has been a few weeks since the first photos went up on the wall, so I will keep you posted on how these hold up, but so far they are all still firmly on the wall.

Have you ever used Command Strips from 3M?  If so, what did you think?  What did you hang up?  Share your project below or with #vintageDIY.  

FTC: This post is not sponsored and all opinions are my own. 

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Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

IMG_3250SPOILER ALERT!  If you intend to read this novel or watch the series, please stop reading.

I really wanted to love this novel, because I am a big fan of the series on STARZ, but about 2/3 of the way through the novel I fell out of love with the story.

The story begins with the tale of a time traveling nurse from the 1950s who finds herself in 18th century Scotland.  Through a series of adventures and bad luck Claire finds herself married to a Scottish outlaw with a stubborn disposition who is laird of some well placed lands.  Although the marriage started out rocky, love grows between the two, but the price on Jamie’s head, the skepticism of Claire’s arrival, and the hatred of Black Jack Randall stand in their way of happiness.  Claire is forced to rescue Jamie from a prison and near death, a near impossible feat.  With this accomplished, the death of Black Jack Randall, and their escape to France, Jamie and Claire finally have a chance at safety and happiness.

The story is exciting and you feel bad for the star-crossed lovers that life just isn’t going their way, but following the epic rescue of Jamie, Diana Gabaldon spends most of the end of the novel rehashing a very uncomfortable rape scene between Jamie and Randall.  I understand needing to go back to the scene to understand the mindset of Jamie at the end of the novel, but the lengthy and dramatic discussion of it are un-nessacary and the recovery of Jamie at the monastery seems to drag out the end of the book.  In my opinion it should have end with the excitement of the rescue and a glimpse at happiness for the couple instead of dragging down the end of the novel.  Not to say I won’t in the future, but I will not be reaching for the second book in the series at this time.

So far, I prefer the TV series to the book (a rare occurrence for me).  In the TV series, Claire’s character is more strong and independent thinking and less whiny and “damsel in distress,” which is how she is portrayed in the book.  The series also condenses the book and makes the series of events flow more naturally.  I am hoping this trend continues, as the series has yet to catch up to my perceived downturn in the book.

Note on the STARZ Series: There is currently only one episode left in the miniseries, but if you have STARZ you can catch up here.

Have you read Outlander?  Will you read the next one?  What do you think of the Mini-Series?

The Accidental Duchess by Madeline Hunter

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I am a fan of Madeline Hunter’s books for a quick easy read, my favorite is By Arrangement.  She has a great ability to create romantic tension between her hero and heroine and usually includes a unique twist or plot line addition that always makes me smile.

The Accidental Duchess was no exception.  I recommend this book if you are looking for a quick read, it would be great for pool side or beach reading this summer!

SPOILER ALERTS…if you intend to read this novel, stop reading here. 

This novel tells the story of a headstrong Lady of the ton, Lydia, in 18th century England.  Lydia has recently discovered a love for gambling and a talent for winning.  To her brother the Earl, her gambling is a nuisance and risk to their family’s reputation, to Lydia her gambling allows her a semblance of happiness in her secret grief and a way to give back to those less fortunate.

Lydia’s luck has run out when she is blackmailed by a ladder climber who a series of unfortunate events lures her into a compromising situation that only one man can save her from, the Duke of Penthurst, the one man she would never want to be saved by.  The compromise forced a marriage between the two, only fueling the blackmailer further now that Lydia can provide more that he originally bargained for.

The mystery of Lydia’s grief and her hatred for her new husband uncover revelations she is not prepared to face disillusioning the young girl she was and allowing the woman she has become to push forward with her life.  Penthurst is vindicated through this disillusionment and their marriage stands a chance to create happiness for them both, despite its rocky beginning.

Have you read any of Madeline Hunter’s books?  If so which was your favorite?  If not, what is your favorite easy beach read for the summer?