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Archive for July, 2009

Frostings..

July 31st, 2009

I had heard rumblings that a CUPCAKE store opened in Richmond and I decided that it was my job to find it.  But I needed a partner in crime.. enter my 2.5 year old niece.

The adventure started when I surprised Miss M today by picking her up from school.  I had to show my license proving that I was indeed her aunt, but I figured the 2.5 year old that was wrapped around my leg yelling AUNT TT was proof enough.  When I explained to Miss M that we were on a cupcake mission she said she was all in.  Actually what she said was more like CUPCAKE!! But I took it to mean she was down for the job.

So 20 minutes later and several discussions about what color cupcake we were each going to get, we arrived at Frostings. It was like we walked into heaven.  There must have been over 7 different types of cupcakes to choose from.  And that was just what they offered on Fridays.  Each day they have a different set of daily flavors.

It took Miss M awhile to tell the baker what she wanted, even though we planned it all out in the car.  It think she was as overwhelmed with all the choices as I was.  But the woman was so nice and patient with her.  She even offered Miss M some of the cute little flower toppers to eat on the ride home.

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Here’s the happy 2.5 year old!  Can you tell her lips and tongue are blue?  Wonder which flower she picked??

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And here are the cutie cupcakes..Don’t worry they weren’t all just for me and Miss M.  We got one for her mommy, one for her daddy, one for her uncle DD, one for her aunt TT and one for herself.

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It’s such a fancy setup- the TO-GO box even comes with a divider unit so your ‘cakes won’t flip over!  I unfortunately do not have any photos of the cupcakes out of the box.  I was too busy eating mine to take a photo.  You will have to go get your own to get a closer view.

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Baking, Family

Nikit

July 29th, 2009

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Nikit (nih-kit) -noun.

Origin- 1981.  My dad thought he could take away my blankie and I wouldn’t find a substitute.  He severely underestimated a 5 year old.

You are probably a bit confused so let me back up a few steps.  My mums and I had a nice impromptu lunch yesterday and when she arrived she had a gift in her hand.  I didn’t want to immediately think it was for me, but I do love receiving unexpected gifts.  After we were seated she handed it over and said, “I don’t know if you want to read the card first or open the gift.”  I figured it would be rude not to open the card first, but it was a dead give away as soon as I did.

It read,” A little treasure I found for you.  You would twirl it above your head as you said it was hot!”

I immediately ripped into the tissue paper and found my beloved Nikit.  Apparently when I was 5 my dad decided it was time to get rid of my blankie and become a “big girl”.  I didn’t take this news so well and my mom said I moped around the house for days. Then one night it was like a light bulb went off.  I ran to my room and came back minutes later with this little doll sweater.  Both the sweater and my blankie were hand knit by my Granny using the same wool, so it was just like having my blankie back, but on a smaller scale.  I can fondly remember sucking my thumb and rubbing Nikit against my nose.  And when “she” got too hot, i would twirl it above my head to cool it off, then back to rubbing it on my nose.  How funny is that!!  And you can see that apparently all that rubbing and twirling put a bit of stress on Nikit.  At some point my mom had to sew the back and front together so she wouldn’t fall apart.

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I was so happy to see that Nikit had made it through the fire unharmed.  It was apparently wrapped up for safe keeping in the sewing room.  I asked my mom if she thought Mr.vB would think I was crazy if he came to bed and saw me twirling Nikit around my head.  She just kinda stared at me so i took that as a yes.  Oh well, some things are better left to memory!

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Mrs.vB

DEMO has begun!

July 28th, 2009

So I talked to my parents this weekend and demo work officially began on the house at Reynolds Drive last week.  The Fire Inspectors came to a decision that the fire WAS NOT due to faulty equipment, i.e. the furnace or the hot-water heater, as earlier suspected.  So the official cause of the fire is listed as SOURCE UNKNOWN.  Comforting eh?

On a lighter note, my mom stopped by the house this weekend and was able to snap some photos of the work done outside. She said it was too dark in the house to get any good interior shots, but that they have ripped out all the carpet and drywall on the 2nd floor.  Sounds like a good start!

I’m going to post some before and after shots so you can see the progress..

BEFORE

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AFTER

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You can see that the doorways/walls have finally been boarded up and all the extra debris removed, including the exterior brick wall.

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AFTER

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The large pile of debris that the fireman pulled from the garage to fight the fire is now gone.  It’s sad to think of all the things that were buried in that pile, but at least the constant reminder of what was lost is now gone.

BEFORE

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AFTER

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Here the front exterior brick wall of the garage has been removed along with several boxwood bushes.

My mom always kept her yard in such great shape, that I know it is just killing her that all her plants are slowly withering away.  I wonder if she had a mild heart attack when she was pulled in to the drive-way to see this.

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That Port-a-Potty is SMACK-DAB in the middle of her favorite flower bed!!!  But she admitted that she is keeping a good sense of humor about it all… am I am proud of her for that!

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Being Thankful, Family, Rebuilding

Shoe of the Month- July

July 26th, 2009

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that it appears that most retail clothing stores are ditching their summer clothes and rushing us into the days of blue jeans and long sleeves again.  Where as I am not ready to give up my flip flops and tank tops just yet, I am thinking about budgeting for some shoes come fall. (yes to everyone whose jaw just dropped to the floor- I do know how to budget and don’t always make impulse purchases- thank you very much)

With that being said, I was introduced to the line of Frye Boots last year from my best bud Reba and haven’t stopped thinking of them since.  I’m even thinking of copying her with the same exact boot. (sorry Reba, but at least we live in different cities so no one will know!)  The only catch is that these boots are SUPER expensive, but SUPER cute.  That makes all the difference right?  I figure if I start saving now, it won’t hurt my wallet so bad come fall when I actually purchase them.

Here are the three pairs that I am debating between.  I thought I was sold on the first pair, but the other two are pretty darn cute too!  Heck maybe one of the pairs will go on sale between now and when I want to purchase them. And then I would have enough money left over to get a new purse too.. ha-ha.. YEAH RIGHT- a girl can always dream can’t she??

frye boot

The Jane Stitch…. $298

frye boot 2The Cindy Pull On…. $328

AND

The Caroline Campus….$398

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Shoe of the Month Club

A nice little addition…

July 24th, 2009

So remember how I was saying I was looking to freshen up the living room a bit?  Well I hit Mr.vB with some of my ideas this past weekend and he was in!.. What a nice surprise!  (disclaimer- both Mr.vB and I have design backgrounds and sometimes we can butt heads about the look we want for the house)

new rugI had been eyeballing this rug at Target the past couple of months, but was never ready to take the plunge.  Well this weekend we took a joint visit trip and when I showed it to Mr. vB he said he liked it too.   We thought the colors in the rug would complement the walls in the living room perfectly.  But instead of buying it right away we came home and took some measurements.  Our row-home is long and narrow, and with the way we have our living room set up we weren’t sure what size rug we were going to need.  The largest size available in the store was a 7 x 10, anything larger we had to buy online.  We decided the 7 X 10 would fit the best, luckily.  I mean doesn’t everyone like immediate gratification?  Who wants to wait for it to arrive via snail mail?

So here is a reminder of what the living room looked like before..

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And here it is with the new addition..

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I really like how the rug seems to warm up the room and tie everything together.  Our wood floors are so worn and rough, the rug helps mask them abit until we can get to refinishing them.  The bad thing about the new rug, is that I now want to get new window treatments, new accent pillows (as previously stated) and maybe even a new coffee table/ottoman.  The design wheels are a turning..Mr. vB better watch out!

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Home Improvement, Target

Steals and Deals-Week 4

July 24th, 2009

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bananaNeed I say more??

You know retail stores love to get rid of seasonal clothes smack dab in the middle of that specific season.  I see this as an opportunity to stock up on some cute work essentials that I can wear for atleast another 3-4 months.  Let’s hope my wallet feels the same!  Happy Shopping!

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Steal and Deal of the Week

Their Home Away from Home

July 22nd, 2009

So my parents finally received a new cable cord for their camera and were able to download some photos of their Home Away from Home.

Here’s the Tour as narrated by Carter..

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Our new home until ours is rebuilt – hopefully only 6 months.  The rebuilding could take longer, but we are optimistic.  The new house is very comfortable and has lots of space which we will use to store our furniture and belongings as they are returned to us.

flowers front porch

The pots of geraniums that provided a little color at the old house are now sitting on the porch of Jonquil Road.  They make it seem a little more like home.

foyer

Foyer is decorated with a borrowed table and borrowed lamp.  They look great and give us a place to put our keys and stuff. It is a beautiful foyer with lots of space.

living room

Large Living Room with lone chair.  I think that I will store the boxes in here as I want to use the Dining Room for my table and chairs.  Who knows, I may want to have a dinner party soon.

blue room

Family Room- The BLUE Room. When I rented the sofa and love seat, I could only choose the style, but not the color.  We had to accept whatever was available. I was just a little concerned about what color they would be.  We lucked out to get them in blue to match the blue carpet.

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We also have a blue recliner that matches the rest of the blue items. (Apparently my dad has started color coordinating to the furniture and carpet too!)

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The Breakfast Nook and more Borrowed Furniture.  The fabric on the chairs looks like it was meant to match the wallpaper.

kitchen

Here’s the Kitchen.  Its got lots of cabinet space and looks out into a large backyard.  And here are some flowers from my old yard.  I love zinnias and lemon basil together.   The zinnias are in pots which I have moved here.  I am debating moving the lemon basil also. (Wonder who Totty gets her love of flowers from?)

essentials

But who needs cabinet space with this is all the kitchen gear that you have??

boxes

Finally, some of my old kitchen ware arrived in 14 boxes which are currently residing in the dining room.  But this is just the beginning of the boxes. I was told that they used over 200 to pack our things.  Where will I put all of them?

craft paper

They do pack things well.  Each item is wrapped in a large piece of craft paper.
I had to go through each box to identify the contents.  Many of them I just reorganized and labeled better and then resealed.  Who needs to use 2 sets of china?

radko

These are just a few of my treasured Christoper Radko ornaments which the wonderful firemen rescued. I have been collecting them for years and each one has a special story.  I lost all of my other Christmas decorations, so I was thrilled to save these.

nursery

Travers, IV, came for a visit this past week-end. (hence his modeling of the blue recliner with Honey)  He stayed in a very basic nursery – a Pac-N-Play and a rocker.  I changed and dressed him on the floor.  It worked out fine and he had lots of space to run around and play.

frame

This is the last treasure found in the pile of debris. Travers found it as the inspectors were sifting through the rubble.  It is part of a group of pics of Trav and Totty that were hanging on her wall. The frame will need to be replaced, but the pics are fine. Wish I could have found the rest of them or the picture albums were in the closet of Totty’s room.  The wall with the closet was destroyed.  Each day I think of something else that we lost, but we will just create new memories.

**Before this post went to press, bootsandtotty.com learned that the contractors had started demolition in the old house.  Our on site reporters promise to send photos as soon as they are able.**

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Being Thankful, Family, Rebuilding

IT’S FINISHED!!

July 20th, 2009

Can you hear me shouting from the rooftops?? I am so happy to announce that the bathroom is FINISHED!  The bad news is that Mr.vB has the camera with him, so until he returns from his road trip I can’t take any photos to brag show you the finished product.  Instead I am going to show you all the photos I took during the 3 month renovation- start to finish. There are a ton, so hope you don’t get bored.   It’s an amazing transformation.  I hope you will feel the same by the time of the big reveal.  Here we go!

Pre-Renovation (seeing these photos again makes me realize how bad it really looked- I was in denial!)

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Week One

All clean and ready for demo

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Remember how we mentioned that we were worried that the original contractor had not properly sealed the floor of the shower?  This is what our new contractor found when they ripped up the existing floor.  Absolutely nothing.  The original dude had tiled right on top of the old hard wood floor.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME??

Week Two

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This time we are making sure we have the proper moisture barrier!  The guys took down all the existing wall board and then hung this vinyl wrap between the new wall board and the studs.  Then they were going to install a proper shower pan and liner.  Plus a proper curb!

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Week Three

Now let the tiling begin!

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So while they tiled, we primed and finally framed in that window.  We also contemplated some wall paper.

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Week Four

Still tiling…

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Week Five-Twelve

During this 2 month period Mr. vB and I painted, and painted and then painted some more!  Those darn stripes were going to be the death of me.  Every time I thought I had enough coverage so you couldn’t see them, they would seep through again.  We also got the wall paper hung, the counter-top refinished, crown molding and shoe molding installed, new electrical outlets and face-plates, and all those other little accessories you’ve seen the teaser photos of.

As you can see A LOT of hard work has gone into this renovation/transformation.  I must say I am quite proud of how it has all come together.  And I’m really excited to show you guys the grand unveiling so stay tuned!

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Bathroom Makeover, Home Improvement

Have you seen this guy around town??

July 19th, 2009

Mr. vB is riding in style these days..  Check out his new mobile.

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What? Can’t read the logo??  Let me give you a closer look…

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Yes- you read correctly. The peeps at Getloaded.com are going on a road trip this week and Mr.vB is the chauffeur.  They are hitting up several truck stops between here and Ohio to promote their website. Ironically I will be out in Lexington one day when they hit that truck stop.  I told Mr. vB I was going to swing by and say hi.  The look on his face was priceless.

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So if you see this truck out on the highway this week PLEASE honk!!  I have a give away for the first person that tells me that they see him! Write in on the comments and tell me when and where!

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Mr.vB

I need a little help..

July 19th, 2009

Mr.vB and I worked hard in the yard yesterday.  The garden is finished and we are anxiously awaiting to see if anything grows.  We also planted grass seed in the bed that use to run along the fence.  Hoepfully soon we will have new grass too!

Here is the finished product!

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We divided the beds into different sections for the various veggies.  We planted lettuce, mesculin, cucumbers, basil, cilantro, and come spaghetti squash.  I also moved some flowers from the main back border to create a new little area between the garden and the grill.  The plants don’t seem to be taking the transplant too well, but I have been giving them plenty of water from the rain barrel.  Let’s hope they perk up soon!  OH- and you might also notice the little fences we put up.  Gotta keep Boots and Bailey out of the beds.  Mr. vB had the good idea to drill little holes directly into the wood to mount the wire fence.  That way we can easily remove the fencing when we need to get to our veggies!

But what I need help on is the other corner of our yard…I like to refer to it as no-man’s land.  Here are a few shots….

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You can see this is where the gas, power and fios meters are.  It is also where the stairs go down to the basement.  I feel like the rest of the yard is somewhat manicured and this section is so BLAH.  I am trying to think of what I can do to jazz it up a bit.  My first thought was to take the large flower pot off the deck and put it right in-front of that basement window.  Then I can get some trellis and try to grow something to hide all the meters.  I was also contemplating painting the concrete.  What do you think?  Have you guys seen anything cool that you can recommend??

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Yard/Garden