Quiet Weekends are for Chumps

Happy Monday! Hope you all had a totally fantastic weekend full of awesomeness.

There was certainly lots of awesomeness over here in NOVA. Do you remember my lofty ambitions to spruce up the living room? And remember when I talked about it again?

Yeah, I know that was months ago. Cut me some slack.

But I finally made some real progress on finishing my coffee tables that have been disassembled and sitting in various places since February! The painting is just about done, all that remains is spraying a clear protective coat to get it nice and glossy.

Blue panels in foreground and white frames in background. Pinterest makes this process sound a lot more fun.
This is a much better view of the blue color I used. Very “rooftops of Santorini,” which this Greek girl is very happy about.

I had originally tried spray-painting everything since I had luck with that technique before, but the cheapo material basically told the spray-paint to eff off and it looked like a cancerous growth. The ugliest tables ever. Manfriend dutifully sanded down a section below the topcoat to see if that would help. It did not. We had to give up on my spray-paint dreams.

Sand-acrylic paint-sand-acrylic paint-sand. Blue for the panels because why not, and white for the frames because white furniture makes me happy. I can’t wait to get these finished up and back in the apartment!

Infinite gratitude to manfriend’s parents, who let me put my crappy tables in their garage for weeks, put up with me blasting movie soundtracks while I painted, and gave me super helpful tips on how to make it turn out the way I wanted. They are the best.

So that was Saturday. I woke up early Sunday morning with aches in weird places from stooping over those tables for hours, and made my way out to the Upperville Colt and Horse Show with D’Arcy (lesson/show/real life bestie) to help the team get set up for the week!

Yes, I woke up at 7am on a Sunday to get prepped for a show I’m not even riding in.

But it was seriously so much fun! We were able to get all the stalls ready for the horses; converted one into a baller grooming stall- complete with rubber mats, shelving units, white board, and tons of hooks; created a dressing room by moving some panels around- complete with mini-fridge and a zippered door; and set up one of those fancy areas that every barn seems to do. Mulch went down, drapes went up, flowers were hung, tables and chairs and chests were places, and it looks AMAZING.

PC: as usual, to @hgielloh. Girl has a talent, what can I say.

You might be able to kinda see the church pew that the rider is sitting on, and that comes from the Clairvaux Abby over in France- cool piece of history we have at the barn! The dressing room is directly next to the seating area on the right, and the grooming stall is first on the left. There were still some plants and trunks to set up, but you get the picture.

I also had the chance to perform some circus acts yesterday. The outlet for the aisle was about 20 feet in the air on one of the tent poles, and no one could reach. So they start looking around for tall and immediately look at me- I’m really not that tall! But apparently not-that-tall was still the tallest person there, so I was volunteered.

We tried putting a step ladder on top of a garbage bin. Still too short. But we did not admit defeat! We simply stacked a hay bale on top of the bin and put the step ladder on top.


I managed to climb my way up, plug in the cord, tie off the baling twine, and make it down in one piece. I was shaking like a leaf and nervous-sweating like a pig, but we have power! I posted a little clip of that adventure on my Instagram, but I’ll be sharing the full spectacle soon if you care to see me risk death.

D’Arcy and I took the scenic route back to the car after everything was set up. There were so many incredible setups under the tents- people put down paving stones, set up fences with gates, planted flowers, and I even saw a fountain. No joke,  a bubbling little fountain. It’s amazing what people put into this week-long show. The showgrounds themselves are obviously stunning- big beautiful rings with trees growing right in the middle, shaded stands for spectators, food and vendor stalls everywhere, and of course GORGEOUS horses. I could’ve watched people go around their warmups all day long. I adore Addy and she is a stunningly beautiful creature, but these horses just floated over the ground.

I’m hoping to head over on Saturday or Sunday for a few hours to watch some classes and cheer on our riders! Of course I would rather go every single day to hang out at the showgrounds, but my boss put the kibosh on that pretty quickly. Heartless.

So excited to ride with D’Arcy tonight on her first day of her half-lease on Gracie. All horses, all the time. Boom.

Have you seen any amazing setups at these big rated shows? And how on earth does everyone manage to re-do furniture and make it look so easy and awesome??

14 thoughts on “Quiet Weekends are for Chumps

  1. Jenn 06/01/2015 / 8:49 am

    That setup looks great! Also, I saw your circus act video on IG…..so scary!!

    Dude, horse show setups are no joke! I remember walking around a 4-day show when I lived in Texas, and seeing things like carpets and paving stones and wicker furniture and giant plants. Horse people are nuts.


    • hellomylivia 06/01/2015 / 8:52 am

      There’s so much that goes into just a few days! Those crazy horse people! Wait a second….ohlordyI’moneofthem


  2. CallyJumps 06/01/2015 / 10:06 am

    Some of those fancy setups are AMAZING. I know the Chronicle had a series of pictures from one of the winter circuits, and they’re nicer than my house!

    If you’re at Upperville on Sunday, let me know. If I’m not too worn out from showing on Saturday at PGEC, I’m going to try to get out and watch a friend’s filly in the HB.


    • hellomylivia 06/01/2015 / 10:38 am

      Commence stalking the Chronicle for said pictures…
      I’m actually really hoping to get out there Sunday to do some cheering, I’ll absolutely let you know! Blogger meetups = favorite.
      Good luck at your show!!!


    • hellomylivia 06/01/2015 / 10:55 am

      I wanted to stay and do a little tour around! It’s amazing all the effort people put in.


  3. Lauren 06/01/2015 / 12:13 pm

    I love the barn setups at A shows like that. That one is really classy!


    • hellomylivia 06/01/2015 / 12:45 pm

      It’s definitely less elaborate than some of the ones I saw, but the riders just cared about shade, lots of waters in the mini-fridge, and the snacks hiding under a table 😉


  4. emma 06/01/2015 / 8:42 pm

    that set up is wild! my friend grooms for a fancy h/j barn in NC and is always sending me pics… definitely drool worthy!


    • hellomylivia 06/03/2015 / 7:10 am

      Ahh I want to see those pics! Love these fancy folk 🙂


  5. Amanda Lee 06/02/2015 / 2:31 pm

    Upperville is an AMAZING horse show, definitely my favourite I’ve ever seen. It’s really special. I can’t recommend going just to watch the classes and wander around the showgrounds enough.


    • hellomylivia 06/03/2015 / 7:10 am

      It was amazing getting to spend Sunday there even before any of the classes were running! I definitely want to go again.


  6. Courtney 06/02/2015 / 2:36 pm

    Very pretty shade of blue for your panel. I look forward to seeing the finished product!
    I think next time you are assigned to climbing duty, maybe you should set up some kind of rock climbing pully system… bit safer haha. The bench is a really cool thing to have there, I assume there’s some kind of story behind it. Hopefully you can tell me sometime!
    I love watching upperville, I’d go every day if it wasn’t for paying for parking. I’m planning to go on Saturday and watch the hunter derby, which is my favorite. If you are still there, we could meet up!


    • hellomylivia 06/03/2015 / 7:12 am

      I’ll for sure let you know about Saturday! And I could regale you with tales of the pew’s journey to us (which will be entirely made up, but full of excitement and adventure).

      Liked by 1 person

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