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?

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!

I'm Engaged!

Yay! I've finally emerged from the abyss formerly known as getting a Pneumonia vaccine then having a bad reaction to it. Since being diagnosed with Asthma (you can read that full story here) my doctor insisted that I get the Pneumonia vaccine. So I let him stick me in the back of the arm last week (Wednesday) with a needle. Lucky for me, my arm blew up and turned bright red (can you sense the sarcasm?). What's worse, it felt like someone had stabbed me in the arm and the pain lasted for days. By Thursday night I had the sweats and the chills, nausea, dehydration, muscle and joint aches, fever, fatigue, and loss of appetite. It.was.awful. Doc gave me a prescription and advised me to take Advil and Benadryl. After 4 days in bed I feel so much better! And you'll never guess, I don't have to get another pneumonia vaccine until I'm 65. That means I'm good for another 36 years - phew! And now for the big announcement - I'm engaged! Woot woot!

I'm so excited. I for one, never thought I'd meet anyone I liked enough to have a relationship with let alone get engaged to be married. My new fiance Rich says the same thing - maybe we're meant to be (lol - the cheese meter is on high today).

The real story is that we got engaged a month ago on October 27th, the Saturday before Hurricane Sandy the calm before the storm. It was such an exciting weekend - Rich and I could not stop smiling even with Sandy in the loom. It was kinda crappy though, our engagement was on Saturday and the storm hit Monday. We had no chance to tell anyone or announce our engagement on Facebook. Most of our friends and family here in New York lost power so nobody would know even if we had posted it online at that time.

Ultimately I decided to wait until now to share the news to make sure we told our immediate family members in person before they heard it from someone else or saw it online first. On top of that, I wanted to share with you the photos that captured our day!

That's right, Rich hired a photographer! Do you believe that?! I admit, I was impressed that Rich thought to have someone there to document our engagement.

He took me to go pumpkin picking at the patch he took me to last year, sort of creating our own tradition. He insisted we get there when they open at 9am on a Saturday. I thought we were going early to avoid traffic, but really, we went early because that is when he scheduled the photographer to be there.

Before we had a chance to pick out a pumpkin Rich was on his knee asking if I would marry him.

The photographer brought a few of her friends to appear as though it was just some women taking photos of pumpkins on a Saturday morning. But as soon as Rich was on his knee, they turned their lenses toward us. After the excitement settled and I showed all the women my gorgeous ring, we had a short engagement shoot around the pumpkin patch that Rich had arranged.

The rest of the day we spent out on the east end of Long Island apple picking and enjoying a light lunch before celebrating with a homemade apple pie from the apple orchard we stopped at.

Thank you to Krupski's farm for having us every year from here on out to pick pumpkins and for hosting our engagement at your lovely farm. And also to Judy from Vivid-Visions Photo and Graphics for the wonderful photos provided for this post and for documenting our day leaving us with lasting memories.

Here are some of the sweet photos from our day.

It's going to be an emotional experience to head back to Krupski's next year to pick some pumpkins. It'd be fun to take a photo on their bench every year. Creating traditions with Rich is exciting and I can't wait to see what others we come up with.

What kind of traditions do you have? Have any advice for me as I embark on the wedding planning process?

Fall Fun: Apple Picking!

Whoddathunkit - you can pick your own apples! I guess I should have known better considering I grew up in Florida where you can pick Oranges and other citrus fruits. Since moving to Long Island I've discovered so many cultural outdoor activities you'd never find in Florida and apple picking is one of them. After missing out last fall, I made sure this year was different. I look forward to fall activities all summer and I was not going to miss out again. If you get the chance to make it out to Long Island's East End in the fall, I recommend you visit are as many of the vineyards as possible, a pumpkin farm (where you can pick your pumpkin straight off the vine) and of course - an apple orchard. And Woodside Orchards in Jamesport, NY is the perfect place to start.

Driving down the residential roads leading to the Orchards, you'd never know a delicious treasure was hidden within. The pebbled driveway leads you directly to the Apple Shed.

Once inside you're overwhelmed with the aroma of fresh baked apple pies and breads straight out of the oven. Of course we had to splurge and walk away with a homemade pie made with homegrown Idared apples.

You could choose either crumb or regular. We chose crumb. It.was.sinful.

Ok back to apple picking. There were 3 types of apples you could pick off the trees at Woodside - Red Delicious, Mutsu, and Idared (great for baking). I wasn't planning on baking anything with the apples, just eating them so we opted to only pick Red Delicious and Mutsu. For $15 you get a paper bag to fill to the brim with apples. The only rules: no throwing apples, no climbing trees, and you go anywhere you want.

Apples look so delicious and crisp! Rich and I had a lot of fun picking apples - it was our very first time apple picking together. Sorry for cutting off your head babe.

On to some Mutsu apples! These were my absolute favorite. They came in small, large and on steroids!

Mutsu apples are crisp, juicy and slightly tart. They are on the verge of being my favorite apple  - definitely a tough call between Mutsu and Honeycrisp.

Hey look - I got one!

We had such a great time picking apples last weekend. If you've never been you're definitely missing out. Next year I think I'm going to pick a few of the Idared apples and give baking with apples a try. I also plan to purchase a bag strictly for Mutsu apples. We've got only 1 left - I might have to hide it somewhere before Rich eats it.

Have you ever been apple picking? What are your favorite apples to eat and for baking? Leave a comment below.