4.15.2015

Changes Around the House - Ping Pong and White Boards

We recently made a big, super fun change to my home office. Basically it's no longer a home office; it's the world's most artistic game room.


That's right - my super cute desk has been turned into a ping pong table. I'm not even mad about it... I'm having so much fun playing ping pong that I don't have time to miss my workspace!

This project happened while I was out of town, so unfortunately I have no photos of the process. I'll just walk you through it. It's fairly simple, actually.

The husband bought a $25 ping pong table on Craigslist. It had seen better days. First, he removed the table from its metal stand. There were scratches in the surface, so he patched those up with wood filler. Once the wood filler was dry, he gave the surface a light sanding and rolled on three coats of dark gray paint with a smooth, cabinet-grade paint roller. (It was previously an obnoxiously bright royal blue.)

We had to make some tweaks to use my desk as the platform. He cut 1x4 white pine studs to screw into the underside of the table so it would be a level playing surface. (The surface was slightly warped before - like I said, it had seen better days.) There are four total wood runners, two in the center and one on each side.


We needed some sort of padding between the wood runners and the wood table so that we weren't scratching my precious table, so he used some rubber mats (an exercise/yoga mat, to be exact) to pad the runners. It worked perfectly! He's a genius sometimes.


In case you are wondering, we have only hit the chandelier with the ball a few times. Every time we do, it's a do-over. Other than that, we have plenty of space to play. Of course we aren't Olympic-level table tennis players who stand 10 feet behind the table - that definitely wouldn't work in this room.
 

I promise this project isn't really as random as it looks. We both have always loved playing ping pong, so we have been talking about getting a table for a while. We knew we would play each other all the time and thought it would be fun to have when our friends and Scott's players come over to the house.

It's been four days, and we're officially addicted. One day we'll be those elderly people playing ping pong instead of bridge or golf. We have starting an ongoing win/loss tally, and as I write this we are tied at 10 wins a piece. I'm sure the tie will be broken by the time we go to bed tonight...

One room over is Scott's office/my workout room, which we've been gradually changing. We scored this giant white board at a local office store that was going out of business, and Scott replaced the flimsy metal frame with cedar 2x3 studs. It looks great! He loves having it for planning out practice and doing all of his football X's and O's.


He even added a little tray for the markers! He's so detail-oriented. Sometimes we're such opposites that it really makes me laugh.


Anyway, those are just a couple of the random projects we have going on over here.

What do you think - am I crazy to let my adorable home office be overtaken by the madness that is competitive table tennis? Is my husband crazy for creating his own custom white board frame, completely with special marker tray? Maybe we're both a little bonkers?


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4.06.2015

Recap: Round Top Antique Weekend

We had so much fun at the Round Top Antique Weekend this past Friday and Saturday. Round Top is something I've heard about it for a few years now - actually for the first time when HGTV sent Emily Henderson to shop there just for fun - but I've never been able to go. I finally decided that we would make a point to go this spring, planning the trip to celebrate my parents' birthdays.

Here's my basic summary of Round Top Antique Weekend: More than 100,000 people descend upon a very tiny town in Texas (Round Top has a population of 90 people) for the shared experience of hunting for treasure within the miles and miles of vendors set up along a quiet road in hill country. There are venues with elite antiques that I could never dream of buying in my lifetime, but there are also booths full of musty old china dolls and empty wine bottles. There is a little bit of everything, which is why it is so fun.

Scott ended up not being able to go at the last minute because he had to work, but it was probably the best thing that ever happened to him. Instead I was joined by my best friend, who happens to be a hardcore shopper like me. We logged more than 15,000 steps during our 1.5 days in Round Top, determined to see as much as possible. Scott probably would have been completely over it after two hours, so I think it was for the best that he sat this one out. My poor dad was stuck without a wingman, but he was a trooper.

Of course I took a million photos so I could share the entire experience with you, so without further ado...

We spent our first day in Warrenton, which is where there are miles of flea markets filled with all sorts of goodies, both affordable and expensive. As you can imagine, traffic is an interesting predicament when you fill a town of 90 with thousands of shoppers. You can expect to wait in line for a little while, but it's really not too bad. We jammed out to Taylor Swift, so we were happy campers.


It was typical Texas spring weather. The first day we were melting. We even contemplated buying shorts from a vendor that we could wear the next day. Luckily we didn't because the next day the temperature dropped 30 degrees and we were freezing!

Comfortable shoes are a must. The first day I tried the wear a cute outfit with my little cowboy boots, but those shoes are not meant to walk 15,000 steps. By day two I was wearing a baggy sweatshirt, khaki pants, sneakers, a baseball cap and no makeup. Let's just say looking cute went out the window.


What do you do while waiting in traffic? Take a selfie, of course. Duh.


We changed things up a little on day two, parking in Carmine so we could visit the Original Round Top Antique Fair. This show has a completely different vibe from Warrenton: It consists of four different buildings or tents (climate-controlled!) filled with pristine antiques. Let's just say the prices were WAY out of my budget, but it was still very fun to admire everything.


We hopped in the car and headed toward Round Top, pausing to stop at the Blue Hills show along the way.


Coffee in hand, we hopped back in the truck and finally made it to Round Top. (Keep in mind that these "towns" and "shows" are all within 10 miles of each other, so it's not a long drive between them all. We just call the entire thing "Round Top," but the other shows are in Carmine, Warrenton, etc.)


Along the way we saw the good, the bad and the just plain weird, like these creepy doll heads.


Three doll heads for $20? What a steal! Haha.

It was so much fun. We all enjoyed the experience - even my dad - and we're planning to go again in the fall. (They have two shows per year, one in the fall and one in the spring.) My dad said the people watching alone was worth making the trip. We learned a lot this trip and got the lay of the land, so we'll plan it out even better next time.

So, what did I buy?

Purchase #1: 6 yards of this yummy upholstery fabric for $10/yard


I'm planning to use it to recover this flea market chair we bought a couple of years ago.


Purchase #2: $30 authentic Turkish kilim pillow 


We all fell in love with these pillows. Well, we really wanted the gorgeous rugs, but we couldn't afford them. Instead we each bought a special pillow to spice up our sofas!


Purchase #3: Antique window with pear design ($90)


My mom knows I collect pears, so she insisted on buying me this one of a kind "pear window" for my birthday (which isn't for another two months, but that's beside the point). I have some fun plans for this mirror, so stay tuned!

Purchase #4: new napkins and place mats ($15 for a set of 8)

The floral ones are place mats, and the striped are napkins. Don't they go well together?


I also bought these cheery green buffalo check place mats ($15/set of 8) because I never met a buffalo check I didn't like. They can be a spring/summer place mat, but they'll also work for holiday tables. I'm excited to see what I can do with them!


Purchase #5: two down-filled pillows ($5/each)

How cute is this dog pillow? It was such a steal for $5. It's made from a heavy linen and unzips so you can wash it. The inserts are made with down feathers. Love!


I thought this basketball pillow was perfect for my parents (who had already left by the time I bought it) because my mom loves black and white while my dad loves basketball. At $5, I couldn't resist.


When I got it back home and looked at it more closely, I started thinking about how rare it must have been to have a racially mixed basketball team in 1944. I did some Googling and learned that this was the Naval Ammunition Depot's basketball team. The N.A.D., as it was known, was the Navy’s largest inland munitions plant during World War II.  At its peak in 1943, the N.A.D. employed nearly 10,000 military and civilian personnel making bombs, torpedoes, mines, and small caliber ammunition. Apparently the living and training quarters were segregated, but the basketball team was not. 

It's quite possibly the most interesting pillow I've ever bought in my life. Not many cushions come with such an interesting backstory!

Purchase #6: cute ornament for my boss, who collects vintage Christmas ornaments ($2)


Purchase #7: pink "fiesta" blouse ($26)

Perfect summer top, am I right? It wasn't really a deal or anything, but I really liked it. So sue me!


Purchase #8: two counter-height bar stools ($40/each)

I've been casually looking for new bar stools for our kitchen for a while now. My requirements were that they must have a back, an upholstered seat and a foot rest so that your legs don't just dangle there. These are really nice, solid chairs with a classic design. I'm looking forward to refinishing and reupholstering them so that they fit perfectly with our kitchen.


So, what do you think? Do you want to plan a trip to Round Top in the fall? Let's go!


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3.29.2015

Easy Easter Table, Two Ways

I don't know about you, but Easter snuck up on me this year. Maybe it's the fact that we didn't have our first legitimate winter storm until the last week of February, which was followed by a random snowstorm the first week of March. Snow in March in Texas? So it wasn't really feeling very spring-like around here.

In the past two weeks, the weather has warmed up. The trees are blooming. There is a lovely yellow layer of pollen everywhere, and that can only mean one thing: spring! Which also means one of my favorite holidays, Easter, is upon us.

As I set out to decorate our dining table for Easter, I gave myself one restriction: I had to use stuff that I already had. No new purchases! This is when my small hoard of thrifted dishes and random props really comes in handy.

For this first look, I kept things very simple.


The centerpiece is a thrifted brass tray filled with garland (Hobby Lobby) and my DIY painted Robins eggs from last year.


The chargers are from Hobby Lobby, and I taught myself how to do a napkin rose (thanks to Pinterest).


The second look was inspired by my DIY watercolor eggs from last year. The coordinated well with these colorful melamine plates I've had for a million years. I only have four sets, so this table setting is for a small group!


I think the first one is my favorite because I love the little eggs hidden in the centerpiece, but I also like the spring-like colors in the second option. Which one do you like best?

This weekend we are going to the Round Top Antique Fair! I'm so excited. Have you ever heard of it? We will be some of the 100,000 people heading to Round Top, Texas for a huge antique, vintage, craft fair that spans 15 rural communities and has more than 50 different sites. I've always wanted to check it out, so we are taking my parents to celebrate their birthdays. I'll make sure to take plenty of photos and recap it here on the blog next week!

 

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