Dinner Table Tennis

A few weeks ago, Dave and I took the kids on a family date night downtown. The final destination was a favorite donut shop. It has a cool Austin vibe, and a great outdoor patio with picnic tables, a fire pit, and a ping pong table. While we waited for our donuts, we paddled the balls back and forth and I remembered how much fun it is to play! Growing up, my family had a full ping-pong table in the extra living room for a few years. It was so great, but took up the whole space. It was eventually exiled to the yard, then the garage, then…maybe donated when there just wasn’t anywhere left to put it. Dinner Table Tennis-onelittleminuteblog.com-15 When UncommonGoods invited me to browse through their gift options for the upcoming holiday season, I loved this gardening seat for our endless yard work, and wanted some of these awesome Mr. Food plates for the kids, but this portable table tennis set immediately caught my attention. What a great idea to be able to turn any table into a table tennis court! We definitely don’t have the space (or budget) for a full ping-pong table, but we do have a dining room table!

The whole online marketplace of UncommonGoods is filled with just such unique and interesting items. I could (and do) spend a long time exploring all of the products. I mean, look at is this cool glass ziploc bag (I’ll take it with the jelly beans, please.) And so many of these stocking stuffers would be perfect additions to our Christmas morning. The prices are competitive with other online retailers, with a huge, fun selection of gifts listed here under $50 and here under $25. But more, they curate the collection to include all items made responsibly, most in the USA, and about half by hand. I’m always thrilled to support a company who is consciously supporting artists and small business owners.
Dinner Table Tennis-onelittleminuteblog.com-6 Dinner Table Tennis-onelittleminuteblog.com-1 UncommonGoods was kind to send us a table tennis set to try out at home.  It has been so amazing to easily transform a dinner party into a game night by clearing the dishes and pulling it out! We’ve now played several times, but once last week hosted a tacos and table tennis tournament with some good friends and made great memories. Despite all of the seven kids running wild in the house, the competition was a welcome bit of exhilaration and excitement. I even made a printable tournament bracket to keep track of the double-elimination games (download it for free here). We all had some good laughs, and Dave won (of course! Anyone else’s husband win at everything all the time?!) And when we were finished, the table became our dining room table again.
Dinner Table Tennis-One Little Minute Blog Dinner Table Tennis-onelittleminuteblog.com-19 Dinner-Table-Tennis-onelittleminuteblog The portable table tennis set itself is pretty awesome. It comes all together in a draw-string bag, super compact. The ends of the net are weighted so they sit firmly on the edges of the table without having to clip or fit anything anywhere. The net is wound up inside one side and is a full six feet long at it’s longest, though we only need it about three feet wide for our table. The two included balls sit down inside the other side, and the paddle handles retract so they end up fitting just underneath the net inside the bag. It’s really great design.

We noticed the paddles are quite a bit heavier than traditional ping-pong paddles, but we got used to the different weight in our hands. We are planning on buying a set of four paddles and some extra balls so we are ready to play doubles for the next dinner table tennis tournament.  Dinner Table Tennis-onelittleminuteblog.com-18 Spoiler Alert: we’ve loved the set so much, we’re excited to share the fun with some of our family as Christmas gifts this year. So if we drew your name, get excited!

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Ruffle Caplet DIY

It’s Halloween day and the only thing I have on my schedule this afternoon is doing laundry and preparing donut dough to fry for our first ever trick-or-treaters tonight!! The boys are at school and Plum is taking an afternoon nap and I feel like dusting off the old keyboard and sharing a simple ruffle caplet diy here on the blog. So, here I am! ruffled caplet diy-onelittleminuteblog.com-26 I have actually made about a dozen custom Halloween costumes this season, including several Peaches, an Orphan Annie, some Olivia ears, a (new and improved) Fireman Sam, and three little Austin Bats, complete with the South Congress Bridge–for my own kiddos. This ruffled caplet was made for a photographer friend, Amanda of Pie in the Sky Photography as partial trade for a family portrait session that I am so excited about. She sent me a link to this little caplet, hoping for something similar in nude for photo sessions. After searching briefly online and not finding much guidance, I winged it. As you can see, the results are darling, with the little tulle ruffled caplet I made looking just like the original photo. Want to make one, too? I’ll show you how. You will need about 1/2 yard of woven fabric, 3 yards of tulle, 1.5 yards of coordinating ribbon. Ruffle Caplet Pattern DIY-onelittleminuteblog.com To make the caplet pattern: (1) fold in half a tee shirt of the little (or big) one the caplet will be used for. If you want a versatile size, I’d stick with a basic women’s small tee. The finished caplet is pretty forgiving, on an adult a small one will look like a collar, on a child a bigger one will just be a little longer. (2) using some tracing paper (or a paper bag, or printer paper) trace around the collar, out to the shoulder seam, and complete the 1/4 circle. (3) fold your fabric in half and in half again so that when you cut you will end up with a full circle. (4) Lay the pattern onto your fabric and unfold half way. (5) Round out the bottom edge. (6) unfold, and repeat as you will need two of the same piece. ruffled caplet diy-onelittleminuteblog.com-2 Your finished pattern pieces should look something like this. ruffled caplet diy-onelittleminutblog.com-100 Cut the tulle into 3″ strips. I used 4 layers of tulle for the bottom two ruffles, and one layer for the top two ruffles. Using whatever method you prefer, gather the tulle strips about 1 inch from one of the edges. Pin the first layer of ruffled tulle about 1.5″ from the outer edge of the caplet, pinning every so often to ensure even distribution. Use a small zig-zag stitch to secure in place right along the gathering stitch. Read More »

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Little League Dress Pattern (Rockford Peach Costume Pattern)

 


LLDPP-300 Yipee! Gosh golly gee this has been a long time coming! Three years ago I received a custom order for a Rockford Peach Costume and created a darling version with the original asymmetrical button placket, and authentic patches, but also a full twirly circle skirt, gently puffed sleeves, and simple to make D ring belt. Now you can buy a Rockford Peach Costume pattern so all you crafty mamas to make your own just like it! The PDF pattern is available HERE in my SHOP as an instant download, just in time for Halloween this year!

Rockford Peach Dress PDF Pattern-One Little Minute Blog LLDPP-305 The vintage baseball costume is really fun, and I love the lines of the dress. Mrs. Wrigley and her design team of 1943 deserve kudos for style. Made with a different color fabric or a fun print it would be transformed from costume into a fun dress for any time. In addition, with the Little League Dress Pattern I include Option B as a way to create a really timeless and fun button-up play dress. In this option the button placket is centered, highlighting the unique angled neckline which can be made with or without the collar. Little League Dress PDF Pattern (Rockford Peach Costume!) LLDPP-308 Little League Dress PDF Pattern-One Little Minute Blog I mean, come on. Does it get any better than a twirly skirt? This dress is easy fitting and perfect for frolicking, skipping, and twirling. Click through for more information about the pattern, and to start working on one of your own Little League Dresses! (Huge thank you to my darling little models! It’s sure fun to have friends with really cute kids!) Little League Dress Pattern

 

 

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3 Tips for Learning to Love the Laundry

This post shared in partnership with Steele Canvas, who I absolutely adore. However, all ideas and opinions are my own.

I know what you’re thinking. I’m crazy, right? “Love the Laundry?” That never-ending, unrelenting chore that hangs out in the background of our heads day in and day out? I confess, I’ve been among those many of you who have said, aloud, quite seriously “I wish for one single second we could all just hang out naked together so that I could know what it feels like for every bit of laundry in the house to be clean, dry, and put away at the same time. Sigh.” But we can’t. And we don’t. And the laundry wagon rolls on and on, whether we like it or not. So, rather than continue feeling overwhelmed, annoyed, and disgruntled by the business of laundry, I want to share a couple simple tips I’ve learned make it better. Make it bearable. Enjoyable even! And you know what? I do enjoy it! Not in the way I love going on a Sunday hike with my family or eating a good cheese plate at my favorite restaurant, but I have learned to look forward to the laundry. I’ll bet with a little effort, you can, too.
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Tip One: Make it Pretty and Functional

Do you love the way your laundry room looks and feels? Does the sight of your laundry hampers make you smile? If you answered no, this tip is for you! Make your space pretty, and you’ll enjoy being there! Replace the torn open packages of detergent with cool glass or plastic containers. This immediately cleans up the space and makes it look and feel intentional. I buy my detergents in bulk and simply store the big boxes to the side of the dryer, where I can easily refill the jars, but don’t have to look at them. Try using a piggy bank or a fun bowl to keep that loose laundry change in one place. Wipe down the machines with a baby wipe or wet rag every day or two to keep them clean and looking nice. It takes ten seconds, but makes the whole space feel better.

3 Tips to Love the Laundry, Make it Pretty-One Little Minute Blog 3 Tips to Love the Laundry-One Little Minute Blog-3 Find laundry hampers that you adore, and that will hold up over the years of use and abuse. Steele Canvas is my favorite laundry and storage solution. I found them  years ago while searching for an industrial  hamper option for my tiny DC apartment, and have been totally impressed and in love with their products ever since. The two that I reviewed back then are some of my very favorite household items, and still get their daily use. For our new house, though, I needed a couple more for the space. The laundry room has a funky corner with a super narrow and angled wall, and the only thing I could find to work was the Steele Canvas Large Bag Caddie, which fits like a charm. The baskets and rolling trucks come in every size and shape you can imagine, are high quality, stylish, and have found their way into every bedroom in my home. 3 Tips to Love the Laundry-One Little Minute Blog-6 3 Tips to Love the Laundry-One Little Minute Blog

Tip Two: Schedule a Time Read More »

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Glamping Birthday Dinner Party

Glamping Outdoor Dinner-One Little Minute Blog-18 Ever since Jordan Ferney started posting about her outdoor dinners, I’ve dreamed of hosting a dinner party in the wild. Not the wild of my yard (although after six months of neglect it is pretty much a complete prairie back there…) but a fully out-of-the-way location, with all the magic, intrigue, and charm that unexpected events tend to hold. As the birthday of my dear friend Rachel approached, I decided now was the time, and went to work planning.

Glamping Outdoor Dinner-One Little Minute Blog-1 I recruited another good friend, Lori, to  pull it off with me. I wanted to host it out in the big nature preserve behind my house, which is a beautiful, rugged, section of Texas Hill Country, and we settled on a “Vintage Camping” or “Glamping” theme to guide choices. I designed the invitations based on these  incredible wedding invites. Ours were a simplified version (read–made with my limited illustrator skills) but turned out perfectly for this event. I printed them at home, tied each invite with it’s accompanying map to the table location, and hand delivered them to friends.

Glamping Outdoor Dinner-One Little Minute Blog-20 Glamping Outdoor Dinner-One Little Minute Blog-22 The event was set in in the trees on the left along this cave-access road in the local nature preserve. When we built our house last year, we were told about an endanger beetle that lives in the small, underground caves in this area. Since their discovery here, about eight acres have been set aside as preserve land. It’s amazing, because the land is beautiful, diverse, and readily accessible for trail running, hiking, and mountain biking, but it will never be developed further. And it’s right out our back door! I occasionally run along the trails here, and the location turned out to be ideal. It only took about six trips along the five-minute walk from my house to get out to this spot, but it felt like we were in the middle of the wilderness all evening.

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We wanted maximum impact with minimal effort, so kept things relatively simple with a few fun details. We threw an assortment of fun, bottled sodas from World Market into a cooler, and attached the bottle opener with twine to the handle for easy access. The favors went into a mini picnic basket. The chalkboard fabric pendant was a gift from Rach of Family Ever After, and looked so fun here. This thrifted bar caddie was a lightweight, perfect display for the assortment of camping accouterments we pulled together, as well as the gorgeous layered lemon berry birthday cake, which Lori made.

Glamping Outdoor Dinner-One Little Minute Blog-3 Glamping Outdoor Dinner-One Little Minute Blog-7 Glamping Outdoor Dinner-One Little Minute Blog-6 Glamping Outdoor Dinner-One Little Minute Blog-8 Have you heard of Malvi Marshmallows? I discovered them on Instagram, and knew we had to have them at this party! They are different, delicious, and simply adorable. An open fire for s’mores was out of the question in the nature preserve, but these brought in the classic camping+marshmallow fun, without the illegal fire! I ordered the summer variety pack, then used my Silhouette to design and cut little paper boxes that fit two marshmallow sandwiches exactly, but with a window so the awesomeness was still visible. Then added a little “Hope you had a Marshmavelous time!” which has cracked me up for days. Ha!

Glamping Outdoor Dinner-One Little Minute Blog-12 Glamping Outdoor Dinner-One Little Minute Blog-16 Glamping Outdoor Dinner-One Little Minute Blog-25 copy We used two six-foot folding tables pushed together to make the square, and surrounded it with these awesome wooden folding chairs which we borrowed from a friend. We threw a variety of plaid fabric on as a table cloth, and added clumps of wildflowers (all cut from my backyard…total wilderness, I tell you!) as centerpieces. For dinner, I made one of my favorite pasta dishes from the Favorite’s Cookbook. It’s chicken, bacon, spinach, onions, cheese, pasta, and a dijon balsamic dressing with toasted almonds. The whole thing is delightful hot, warm, or room temperature, which made it a great option for pre packing into tin-foil dishes to set at the table. I renamed it “Backcountry Pasta” for the menu, and served it with foil-wrapped warm ciabatta baguette with butter. At dusk, in the wild, everything hit the spot.

Glamping Dinner PhotoBooth-One Little Minute Blog Glamping Dinner Party-One Little Minute Blog Of course, of course we had a Photo Booth. Because what camping party would be complete without one? Melisa hauled her setup into the wild, and we took turns taking some fun shots and poking each other with roasting sticks. Even got a perfect portrait of the birthday girl!

Glamping Photobooth-OneLittleMinuteBlog DSC_3652 Glamping Photo Booth-One Little Minute BlogWhen the sun went down, I turned out the little battery-powered camping lantern and hung it from the pendant banner, then we stayed out chatting and laughing until long after dark. When we were ready to go, everyone filled their arms and we cleared out our entire little party spot and everything made it home to my house in one trip!

The experience was incredible. I think everyone had a good time, and most importantly, I know the birthday girl felt celebrated and loved, which she is.

Phew! Now I can stop myself from posting every single one of these photos on my instagram feed, and get back to sharing my normal, everyday life and photos of my darling babies.

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