Monday, April 28, 2014

DIY Reclaimed Wood Console Table

Things have changed so much for T and I in the past few months.  Buying a home and getting a dog have been such an adventure, but we now spend our weekends completely differently.  We made three trips to the hardware store and two trips to the pet store.  Something that would have never happened just a few months ago.

One project that I've been eager to get started on was the console table for our den.  The wall you see as soon as you walk through the front door has been bare since we moved in, and it was really starting to bother me.  We didn't have it in our budget to get the Restoration Hardware console table that I'd been eying, so we decided to build one of our own.   A few weeks ago, we picked up a large beam from a salvage yard.  The beam was $5 and came off of a house built in the late 1800's. This weekend we went to home depot and picked up some black pipe, flanges, and end caps for the pipe.

Making this table was quite simple.  T helped me with the sawing part because power tools make me nervous, but everything else was very easy.  The black pipe came from Home Depot, where they cut it down for us and threaded each piece for us.  We wanted the table to be 30" high, so they cut four 10" pieces.  We also picked up four 3" pieces of black pipe that came pre-cut and pre-threaded. Then we cut the beam into thirds and sanded each piece down.  There were a few paint flecks that I wanted to preserve on the wood, so I just sanded around those.

The table has four feet on the bottom, so we started by drilling in 4 flanges on the bottom piece.  Then each 3" piece of pipe was screwed in and an end cap was screwed onto that to make the feet.  From there, we screwed flanges on to the opposite side of that wood, one on each side, centered in the piece of wood.  Then screwed the pipe in, screwed another flange on top of the pipe, and secured that to the next piece of wood with screws. We then repeated that step for the second shelf.

I'm still working on getting some accoutrements together for the table, but that's the fun part.  I've got to get something on the sides to hide those lamp wires soon, because they're really bothering me.  

 If you're interested in making a similar table, I've broken down the materials and instructions for you below.  Its much easier for me to view things in list form, rather than having to scroll through the entire post.


1-12' long piece of wood, 8-12" wide
3/4" diameter black pipe, cut into 6 10" pieces
12 black flanges
4-3" pieces of black pipe
4 black end caps
120 grit sandpaper


Saw the piece of wood in thirds, leaving you with 3 4' long pieces of wood.  Go over the wood with an electric sander, using the 120 grit sandpaper.  Choose which piece will be your bottom piece of wood, and screw 4 flanges into the wood, one in each corner.  Screw each 3" piece of pipe into the flange, and then screw and end cap onto each 3" piece of pipe.  Flip the wood over, and let it sit on its feet.  (if its wobbly, you can adjust the end caps to make it level) Screw one flange into each side of the exposed wood, make sure the flange is centered on the wood and flush to each end.  Screw the 10" pieces of pipe into each flange, and top with another flange on the end of each pipe.  Set your 2nd piece of wood on top of the flanges, and secure them with screws.  Repeat that step for the 3rd piece of wood as well.  And that's it!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Empty Mayo Jar Mexican Slaw

Last night I kind of threw together a dinner that turned out so much better than anticipated.  I planned on us having shrimp tacos of some sort, and I had the ingredients to make a slaw to go over top of them.  I've been hearing about Empty Mayo Jar Salad Dressing recently, and I was so intrigued by the idea.  I always waste so much of the mayonnaise that is stuck in the bottom of the jar, and this is such a great way to use all of it up.  I also like that this recipe uses vegetables that aren't usually added into a slaw.  It's so colorful and the flavors are very unique.


Empty Mayo Jar Mexican Slaw

1/2 orange bell pepper
1 jalapeno
1/8 cup red onion
4 small radishes
handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
2 cups slaw
Using a mandolin on a very thin setting, slice the bell pepper, jalapeno, red onion, and radishes.  Combine with the cilantro and slaw.

empty mayo jar
1/4 lime, juiced
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp honey
1/8 tsp chipotle chili powder
salt and pepper

Pour all of the ingredients into an empty mayonnaise jar. (If you don't have an empty mayo jar on hand, you can use 2 tsp of mayonnaise instead.)  Shake the jar until everything is combined.  Pour over slaw mix and let sit for 15-20 minutes.  Serve over tacos or as a side dish.

**And a quick side note: Once you're done with the mayo jar, save the lid!  They are the perfect size to screw on top of a mason jar.  Now how's that for upcycling?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Old House Salvage

On Saturday morning T and I ventured out to Piedmont, SC to the Old House Salvage yard.  I've been looking for some reclaimed wood for a house project and after doing some research Old House Salvage seemed to have the biggest selection.  I had never been to a salvage yard before, so I had no clue what to expect.  When we pulled up and saw the huge metal structure filled with old wood and flooring, we knew we'd be coming home with something.

There were several different areas to explore at the salvage yard.  There is a main building that looks like an old house that is closest to the parking lot, so we went to that area  first.  Inside the building they have all different kinds of goodies.  There were old columns, hardware, hundreds of old doors, windows, shutters, mantels, etc. Nothing has a price tag on it; everything is up for negotiation.  There is a friendly old man, Joe, who walks around that owns the salvage yard.  When you see something you're interested in you just find Joe, and he'll tell you the price.  He'll usually tell you a story about the particular piece you're looking at, too.  There are thousands of different things in that house, but somehow he knows where just about everything came from.


We then ventured outdoors to look at some of the wood for sale.  We also met Mugsby, the sweetest junkyard dog probably ever.  A HUGE Great Dane that was so kind and gentle.  We told the owner what we were looking for and he directed us to another side of the property where a large pile of old beams were laying.

It was exactly what we needed.  3"x10" beams from a house built in the late 1800's.  We found one that was about 12 feet long, and it was priced at a whopping 5 bucks.  SOLD.

We also walked away with a few rusty metal objects to fill an apothecary jar that we keep on the dining room table. Over the past few years we've found several railroad ties and small metal objects on the Swamp Rabbit Trail.  I had those in the jar, but it didn't take up enough space.  I found an old rusty tin doorknob and an old door slide that filled the jar perfectly.

We'll have to wait for the wood to dry out a bit before we start on our project.  Who knows how long it has been laying out in the grass.  By the looks of the weeds that were growing around it, I'd say quite a while.  I eventually plan to make a small table that looks similar to this one, I hope it's a simple as it looks! T and I had so much fun piddling around there. We will be back again soon, I'm sure of it.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Weekend Recap

 Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had an awesome Easter weekend.  T and I hosted his family at our house this year for Easter.  This is the first time we've ever had a space big enough to host, and it was so nice to have everyone at our house.  Since we're usually the ones traveling to see family, I never get to decorate for the holidays.  I didn't go all out this year for Easter, but I did love having these fresh tulips in the house. 

T's family arrived on Saturday afternoon, and we all met at Brewery 85 for a few beers.   Greenville has recently been inundated with several small breweries, and we were excited to try this one for the first time.  Check back later in the week for a full recap of our experience there.

On Sunday morning, T's mom had grown up Easter baskets waiting out for us, complete with mini bottles and dog and cat treats. Even though we're adults now, it is still so fun to be surprised with a basket full of goodies on Easter morning.

Later that morning we headed to church, and then went to American Grocery Restaurant for Easter brunch. American Grocery (AGR) typically isn't open on Sundays, but they served a great Easter Sunday brunch.  Most restaurants in the area only serve buffet-style on Easter to turn as many tables as they can.  I hate a buffet, and the prices are always astronomical.  I was thrilled when I saw that AGR would be open, serving off of the menu, and that their prices were very reasonable.

I had to include some weekend pictures of George, of course.  He got his first hair cut this weekend and boy does he look handsome.  I feel like he looks so grown up now, and I think he may be feeling it too. We definitely turned a corner this weekend.  He's rarely jumping up, and biting much less.  Hallelujah.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Blueberry Cobbler with Vanilla Ice Cream

I recently made a blueberry cobbler that was so tasty, and incredibly simple.  Blueberry cobbler always reminds me of my childhood.  As a family, we would go to a local blueberry farm every summer and pick tons of blueberries.  Mom would always make a blueberry cobbler and serve it with vanilla ice cream.   She'd freeze the leftover berries so that we could make cobblers throughout the fall, too.

When searching for a recipe, I wanted to find something that  called for ingredients that I already had on hand. I can't stand buying an ingredient for a recipe that I will only use once.   The recipe I found only calls for six ingredients in addition to the fruit, and all of them are things you probably already have in your pantry or refrigerator.


3 to 4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 cup plus one Tbsp sugar  
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cup unsalted butter
1 egg, slightly beaten


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Place berries in the bottom of a greased 8x8 baking dish and sprinkle 1 Tbsp of sugar over them. In medium mixing bowl, sift all dry ingredients. Cut in butter and add beaten egg. (If you don't know how to cut in butter check out a video tutorial here.) Mix until crumbly and sprinkle over the berries, covering all exposed fruit. Bake for 35 minutes until golden.  Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Weekend Recap

This weekend I was on my own.  T went to the NASCAR race in Darlington with a friend, and I stayed in Greenville with George.  On Saturday afternoon I headed to Clemson with some friends to tailgate for the spring game. Although I only live 40 minutes away from my college town, I rarely go there.  If you're not there to see the college, there's really nothing else to do. It was so much fun going back to our old stomping grounds, and eating and drinking in the college bars that we loved.

The tailgating scene is quite different for the spring game.  If you've ever been to Clemson for a football game during its regular season, you know just how crazy it can be.  After all, we were voted The South's Best Tailgate by Southern Living Magazine two years in a row.   But the spring game is much more relaxed and less crowded, which I love.

Sunday was spent doing lots of home improvement projects around the house.  I now know how to re-caulk a bathtub, surprisingly it wasn't that difficult and the bathroom looks so much better.  I also started the process of staining our dining room table.  Stay tuned for an update later on this week with pictures of the finished product.  Hope everyone is having a great week!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Five on Friday

It's seems like its been forever since I've participated in a Five on Friday link up.  There's been a lot going on recently, so I've got some exciting things to share.

1. George is getting so big!  He has officially doubled in size since the day that we picked him up.  We've struggled with him biting, chewing, and jumping up, but I think we finally have turned a corner.  {hope I'm not jinxing this}  T and I have put a lot of work into disciplining him when he's doing bad things and making sure to praise him when he's doing good things.  I think that he just might be getting it, fingers crossed!

2. Our dining room table is finally finished.   I've been nagging asking T to finish this thing for about 4 months now.   It just needs a few coats of  stain and polyurethane now, and that's my project.  I'm hoping to get a good head start on that this weekend.

3. This weekend I'm headed to Clemson's Spring Game.  The weather is going to be perfect, and I'll be back in my college town for the first time since this fall.  I can. not. wait.  I'm looking forward to pulling out my orange clothes to cheer on our tigers.  Luckily, we'll definitely pull out a W at this game.

4. I recently bought my first pair of gladiator sandals, and I love them.  I didn't want to go  Kourtney Kardashian bold with them, but I think I can pull off the calf height ones.  I've worn them a few times around town, and I get compliments on them all the time.  I think these just may be my new favorite summer sandals.

5. Have y'all caught any episodes of Chrisley Knows Best?  If you've read April's Five on Friday today, you probably noticed that she wrote about this very same show!  Its so obvious that we're sisters.  I've had this post written for a few days, and we have never talked about the show together.  We must share the gene for a love of semi-trashy reality TV.

I have loved this show so far.  It follows Todd Chrisley and his family, who live in a suburb of Atlanta.  {They've even ventured into upstate SC a few times to their lake house, which I presume is at Hartwell.}   Todd is an eccentric self-made millionaire in Atlanta, and the patriarch of his oh-so-entertaining family.  The show follows Todd as he tries to keep his teenage children in line, and uses some nontraditional ways to do so. I  love that the show is only 30 minutes.  Its much easier for me to watch a quick 30 minute episode rather than committing to a full hour show.  The show comes on USA on Tuesday nights, and they feature reruns on BRAVO, too.  You must watch this.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Black Pepper Cheese Ball

While I was menu planning for the Carolina Cup, T suggested that I make a Black Ball.  He's been asking me to make one of these for years, and I've just never gotten around to doing it.  T's mom used to always make these and it was one of his favorites.  I never actually knew what it was, "Black Ball" isn't the most appealing recipe name. 

I finally decided to make one, and reached out to his mom to get the recipe.  Had I known the recipe was so simple, I would have made this thing a long time ago.  Three ingredients- that's it.  And it was so yummy!


Black Pepper Cheese Ball

2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 package dry Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix
Course ground black pepper

Mix cream cheese and ranch dressing mix together and form into a ball.  Roll in black pepper until completely coated. Seal in an airtight container until ready to serve.  Serve with raw veggies or crackers.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Suppa Club Y'all

T and I are part of a supper club with all of our friends, quite possibly the biggest supper club this side of the Mississippi.  We have over 30 people that are involved, and it's still growing.  Since there are so many of us, each month we divide into three groups of ten.  This month was our turn to host, so on Sunday night we had everyone over and I made a southern themed meal.

We started off our meal with deviled eggs, I topped some of them with pickled jalapenos for those that like it a little spicy.

 And we sipped on sweet tea vodka with lemonade, and just plain lemonade for the non-drinkers.

For our side dishes I made this rice dish {not pictured} and cucumber salad, one of my summertime favorites.

I also made my mom's recipe for green beans, cooked with a ham hock, of course. 

T manned the frying station and prepared the fried chicken for everyone.  We made one of our favorite fried chicken recipes, Nashville-Style Hot Fried Chicken.

I loved getting to cook for a group.  Usually I just cook for the two of us, and cooking for two isn't as much fun.  We finally got our table finished {stay tuned for an update on that}, so we were able to all sit in our dining room and enjoy the food and conversations together.  What a great way to end our weekend!

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