My Country Rustic Pinterest Wedding

After spending time composing an entire post, it was somehow accidentally deleted. So for that reason, I’m going to give you the cliff-notes version of My Country Rustic Pinterest Wedding. Here’s how it turned out:

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DIY Chalkboard Wall

Currently we're renting. And with our rental comes 90's wallpaper from your grandmother's dream house. It's nothing pretty to say the least and it's incredible I've lived here this long without getting rid of it. Must be because the thought of taking down 4 large rooms of wallpaper by myself makes me want to run far far away. But like many other renters, I got fed up and the wallpaper had to go. A DIY Chalkboard wall was my next idea! Our house has a total of 4 rooms with wallpaper - living room, kitchen, master bedroom and hallway. I figured I'd start with the living room and then go from there. If you've ever removed wallpaper before you'd understand why after the living room, the rest of the wallpaper is staying . Our living room has a chair-rail throughout with wallpaper below it (see photo below). The wall by the front door is floor to ceiling with the same wallpaper. It's faux wainscoting. bleh. I love wainscoting, but not faux wainscoting.

chalkboard-paint-wall-oneWho doesn't like chalkboard paint?! It's like the new sponge paint! I did see on Pinterest one woman paint her refrigerator with chalkboard paint. I thought about doing that but then came to the conclusion that that project may be more than I can handle. On top of that, there's no going back once it's done - and it's not our fridge. So a wall it is. But our wall is huge. I searched all over the internet for validation that it would be OK for 2 adults (with no kids) to have a large wall in their home covered in chalkboard paint. I found nada. So I asked my fiance, he said he didn't care what I did with the walls, "so that settles it, wallpaper is coming down and chalkboard paint is going up!"

It took no longer than any other regular paint to finish the wall and didn't cost much more or less either. What I found was that it typically comes in quart size paint cans and a few different colors. I went with black because I figured green would look more like poop on my walls. I found it at Lowes for $15 and Home Depot for $9.99 - bought 2 cans at Home Depot. My entire wall with 2 coats of paint (plus 2 coats of regular paint primer) only used about 1 and 1/4 cans of chalkboard paint. Pretty darn good if I may say so myself.

Once you finish the wall, let it dry for 1-2 days. Then you're going to have to condition the wall by rubbing chalk all over the wall and then rubbing it off with some paper towels or a chalkboard eraser. Don't use water during this step. After that you have to wait at least 3 days before you can write on the wall and another 7 days before you can wash it with a damp towel. Once your wall is done it's awesome! Get creative with your new chalkboard wall - write inspirational quotes or draw pieces of furniture. You get the point. One thing I wish I had done was paint the wall with a coat of magnetic paint before applying the chalkboard paint that way the wall would be magnetic as well. Such is life - I'm super happy with my chalkboard wall the way it is.

I decided to write some "happy birthday" signs on the wall for my 30th birthday, especially since we were hosting a party for me at our house.

chalkboard-paint-wall-twoDuring the party I left out the chalk and my friends all wrote nice comments and birthday wishes for me. It's really a lot of fun and was the biggest hit at the party. chalkboard-paint-wall-with-writing-twoIf you're wondering whether or not adults can have big chalkboard walls - the answer is yes. You don't have to paint an entire wall, you can choose a small portion or frame a square in the kitchen for the perfect place to leave notes for your loved ones. Any way you do it will be a conversation piece and something you can enjoy together. Turns out my sister painted one of the walls in my nephews bedroom with chalkboard paint, so it's great for kids too. Have fun with it!

Have you ever used chalkboard paint before? If so, what's your experience with it?

What I Know About Running for Beginners

running-for-beginnersI’m not a great runner by any means. But what I am is a moderately good runner who only began running somewhat consistently close to 2 years ago. My running technique has gotten better over time, or so I hope it has and I feel like I can provide some insight into running for anyone who is considering getting started. Here is what I know about running for beginners from a beginner (myself). 1.    Embrace the suck. Running sucks. It sure does. Anyone who says running doesn’t suck is some kind of genetic freak. I’ve been running for almost an entire year on the running path around my neighborhood that is 2.5 miles – and that 2.5 miles sucks just as much today as it did a year ago. The hills are not easier and the distance is not closer. The only thing that is awesome about running is how good you feel once you finish it. And that’s not because running feels amazing, that’s because you don’t have to run anymore for the time being. My suggestion is to embrace the suck and remember how good it is for your body to get in a run no matter how long you run for. A great Pinterest quote that comes to mind is “No matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch.” I run to burn calories and for heart health – not because running is thrilling. It’s just not.

Disclaimer: those who love running -  I envy you. If I loved running maybe I'd do it way more often.

What I know about running for beginners2.    Get good gear. Your shoes can make all the difference between a good run and a crappy run. Most avid runners get new shoes every 300-400 miles. My suggestion is to find a great pair of running shoes that fit your foot and your arch. Go to a running store for help – they will measure your foot, analyze your steps and make suggestions.

Other gear you should look into for cold weather are: gloves, beanie cap or headband (to cover your ears), neck warmer or scarf, base layers, compression pants, cold weather tops, tops and pants with pockets (to store a key and some tissues), a windbreaker or other warm coat, etc.

Other gear you should look into for warm weather are: quality sports bras, socks, running shorts and/or spandex shorts to avoid chafing, sweat wicking tops and water bottle holders, clothing with pockets to hold a key.

Having the right gear for running will make your life easier when it comes to getting on the road (or treadmill) for an extended period of time. Plus, if you feel good in your clothes you’re more likely to actually wear them and workout.

3.    Cars do not look out for runners. Ever. Even in my geriatric filled gated community the stop signs are most often ignored and cars have had to be dodged. Then the driver looks at me as if I did something wrong. Your best bet is to assume they are not going to stop and to look out for yourself. Run against traffic and stay on sidewalks as often as possible. Find a route that has little to no blind bends, well lit and one that is not closed off to the public.

4.    Change your attitude and just do it. If you tell yourself that you don't want to go for a run, you won't. But if you just do it without thinking about it you’re more likely to get it done and feel good about it afterward (even in the cold weather). Whether you get up early or run in the afternoon, the key is to put on your gear and go before your brain has time to figure out what you’re doing.

What I know about running for beginners5.    Don’t put so much focus on your breathing. There are plenty of running experts who recommend breathing in on certain steps and exhaling on others. But what I find is that when I consciously think about my breathing, it then goes out of rhythm and I become out of breath. Often times your breathing will naturally fall in line with your gate and it’s at that time you should just let it be. If you do find yourself out of breath or unable to breath well during a run, you can then focus on various breathing techniques like the ones found here and here. My biggest suggestion, don't ever hold your breath - that holds true for any exercise you take part in.

Remember, my tips are for beginners from a beginner. These are all real world experiences and thoughts I have while running. If you want to start running to burn calories and better your health, then just getting out and going is good enough. But if you’re someone who wants to run marathons and compete in races, you will want to do further research in to how to make the most out of your running experience.

What other tips do you have for beginner runners?

How To Make a Wreath With $4 or Less

I've been feeling crafty lately, so I decided to make something to celebrate the holiday season. My budget is small, I mean tiny. I'd prefer to spend as little money as possible on whatever it is I make. Then I remembered back to when I was a kid when I would craft all the time. There was this wreath that I made, it was so simple yet so beautiful. And it was made out of your everyday sandwich baggies. I wanted to make that wreath again.

Here's What You'll Need for This Project:

- 1 box 150 (or more) sandwich baggies - 1 wire hanger - some ribbon (at least 3" inches thick)


1. Start by shaping your hanger in to a circle. Some find it easier to use metal pliers for this, however, I just used my hands. Don't worry if it's not perfectly round, you won't be able to tell when it's complete.

2. Then begin tying the baggies on to the wire one bag at a time. Try to tie them in a knot in the center of the bag so that you have equal parts baggie on each side of the knot.

Finally you'll end up with a full hanger. I used all 150 bags in the box and could have used a handful more. If you have any empty space left on the hanger simply slide down some of the baggies to fill the space. Remember to fluff the baggies as best you can to make your wreath appear as full as possible.

You can decorate your wreath however you like. If your theme is Christmas, try attaching some Christmas tree ornaments or holiday flowers to the wreath using some thin wire. I chose to go with a large bow and because my home is of mixed religion (I'm Jewish and my fiance is Catholic) I decided to go with sparkly silver ribbon for more of a winter theme. For the bow, I followed a tutorial I found on Pinterest called How to Make a Perfect Bow by It was very easy to follow and my bow came out well.

I tied the bow on to the wreath using dental floss. And I bent the top part of the hanger (the part you hang over your closet rail) to fit snugly over my door knocker. Tip: do not use glittery ribbon. I have glitter everywhere. And I mean everywhere. No matter how hard I tried to contain it, the stuff just multiplies and travels like no other.

The total cost of this wreath, which I think turned out very pretty, was about $4. The wire hanger I pulled out of my closet, the box of baggies was $1 at my local grocery store, and the roll of ribbon was $9.99 on sale 70% off, which ended up costing $2.99 at Michael's. It took me about an hour and a half total to make this wreath (60 minutes to make the wreath and 30 minutes to make the bow and successfully hang it on my door).

It looks so cute on our door if I may so so myself.

What kind of creative ways have you used basic kitchen items? Please share your ideas, I love to hear them!