Archive for September, 2009

What’s in a Name….

September 29th, 2009

DSC_0275If I had a dollar for every time someone either called me Heidi, Patty, or Polly I would be a very rich woman. And YES even once someone called me Potty. {I’m serious! What parent would name their child Potty? Really??}

Growing up having a unique name can be hard especially when all you want to do is fit in with everyone else.  Remember those cool pencils or license plates that you could get in the grocery store?  Yeah..never once did I find one with my name.

But now that I am older and {so} much wiser I appreciate having a unique name.  Now the back story on my name is that it was my Paternal Great-Great-Grandmother’s last name.  She and her family lived in Petersburg, VA and owned a luggage/trunk company called Totty Trunk and Bag Company. {Now I understand why I have such heart palpitations for a Coach or Kate Spade store.  It runs in my blood!}  Back in middle school, when I was helping my grandmother clean out her attic, we found one of the original suitcases from the Totty Trunk and Bag Co.  Clearly stamped by the handle it read TOTTY . Oh how I wish my mom would have let me keep it, but she said no. {feeling guilty yet Mums??!?}

Through the years, the name Totty has been passed from generation to generation.  Both my aunt and uncle have Totty as their middle names, but my aunt actually goes by it. This explains why I have a North Carolina License plate from 1968 with my name on it.  My awesome Aunt Totty has passed all her  “Totty” things down to me.  Which is why I was inspired to do this post in the first place.

{sidenote}- I refer to my aunt as awesome because she is.  I once met a woman very randomly at my old place of employment that knew my aunt back in college.  Her exact words to me were, “Your Aunt helped me to burn my bra.”  That was probably the last thing I expected out of her mouth- but totally summed up my aunt!  I have always felt a very close bond with her and spent the first ten or so years of my life thinking that I was named after her.

So besides the cool license plate, here are some other things that she passed down over the years.

This may look like a regular size matchbook…


But I used the pencil to give you a sense of scale… Monster Matches!


And this is my favorite…I have a feeling that I may finally be able to put it to use this fall.  (Retro is back right?)


It is a hand embroidered purse with the initials T and E on it.  The fabric is a soft khaki felt with a crazy paisley interior lining.

DSC_0269Isn’t that cool? Minor detail that my intials aren’t technically TE anymore…

Now the pressure falls on me to continue the Totty name.  This is the scenario that plays over and over in my head.. I invision Mr. vB and I having 2 kids- of course one boy and one girl.  Mr. vB is actually a 2nd so he would like to pass his name down to his son.  And if I wanted to pass my name down to my daughter, it would go something like this.  Mr. vB would be introducing us to someone and he would say, “My name is David and this is my wife Totty, my son David, and my daughter Totty.”  To which the person we are talking to is going to say, “really- you couldn’t think of any other name to name your kids?!?”

What can I say- I spend a lot of time in my car {alone} and have time to contemplate the really serious things in life.

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Family, Mrs.vB, Uncategorized

I feel inspired….

September 27th, 2009

to paint the inside of my front door.

I was surfing one of my favorite blogs this morning and came across this at Little Green Notebook.

beforeafter{photos courtesy of Little Green Notebook}

It seems easy and the inside of my front door could totally use some TLC.  I even think the black would look great. Hmm…..

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Home Improvement

Girlie Time…

September 21st, 2009

So don’t get me wrong- I love home improvement and all that goes along with it {dirt, sweat and tears} but sometimes I like to be girlie.  And that’s where I was this weekend.. watching E!‘s weekend marathon of Khloe and Kourtney Take Miami not wanting to mess up my manicure.

It all started Friday afternoon when my mums came to town for a Girls Weekend. Our plan was to look for furniture, paint and fabric for her house.  So we started by hitting Williams & Sherrill, a great local fabric house.  We scored some great fabric swatches for windows treatments for her house {and mine} and then we hit our favorite nail salon, ATIR, to get some pedicures.  The nail polish line they carry is called Essie and their Fall colors include a fun gray and brown.  Now normally I am a bright nail polish kinda girl, but I was a sucker for the brown this go round and it looks awesome!

So once our pedi’s were dry we headed back to my house to make a yummy recipe that I had found on  It was a Phyllo Pizza with Feta, Basil, and Tomatoes and it was YUMMO!  Also super easy and quick, I actually impressed myself.

Then on Saturday morning my mums and I got up early and hit the town.  We went to  some local furniture consignment stores and also Lowe’s for some paint samples.  We had no luck at the furniture stores but did get some ideas.  And we took a SLEW of paint chips from Lowe’s and I think we found some winners!  I also made us go back to Atir and get a manicure to match our pedicures from the night before.

For those that were worried that I was neglecting Mr.vB while I was having girl time with my mom- no worries- he was down at the Rivah House doing boy things so he was fine.  But after my mom left I was kinda bored and lonely so I called up my niece Maddy.  I thought it could be fun for her and I to have a Pajama Party Sleep Over.  She agreed, so I was off to pick her up.  I thought I might stay and have dinner with her mom and dad before we came back over to my house, but when I pulled into the their drive way, Maddy was waiting for me at the front door with her bags packed!  She was ready to have fun!

Now fun to a 2.5 year old and fun to a thirty something year old are quite different and considering I have NO toys at at my house we had to get creative.  We first got into our jammie-jams and then turned on Nick Jr..  We painted toenails AND fingernails (no worries it was clear polish) and then drew some pictures for Mr.vB.  By the time all that was done it was bed time for Miss Maddy. (sorry I have no photos of any of this fun- Mr.vB had taken the camera with him to the River.)  She and I both slept in our king size bed.  I slept how most people do, head at pillow, feet at other end.  But Maddy slept side to side.  It’s hard to believe that a little person could take up an entire bed but she managed to do it!

By Sunday morning I figured I had already spent the better portion of the weekend being girlie, so I might as well milk the whole thing for what it was worth.  I will admit that I did want to work on the back yard a bit, so I did break a sweat cutting the grass.  I also dug up all the cucumber and spaghetti squash vines from the garden.  They didn’t appear to be cross pollinating so we weren’t getting any veggies.  Low and behold though, as I was ripping them up, a big fat cucumber fell on my foot! HAHA!  The vB’s are officially farmers!!

But back to my girlie day… Mr. vB came out back as i was putting away the lawn mower and told me he was going to work in the garage a bit and wanted to know if I wanted to help.  I told him I was more in the mood to go shopping and invited him to Jcrew with me… he politely declined and told me I was on my own.  Knowing that I had limited fundage in the old bank account I switched gears away from Jcrew and decided to hit up my local Forever 32 21 store for some fun, new, CHEAP goodies.  How can you say no to a $19 cable knit sweater??  I couldn’t.. it is now in my closet.  I also fell in love with a line of t-shirts they are doing for the World Wildlife Fund. $1 from every shirt purchased goes to the WWF.  Look How cute this panda shirt is…

pandaThey didn’t have any mediums left so I ended up getting a cute shirt with 2 Giraffes on it.  I might buy the panda one online. Depends on how much shipping is…we shall see.

Sorry again for all the text and no photos…I will have a talk with Mr. vB about checking out the camera without asking!

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Baking, Family, Mrs.vB

Last Weekend in photos..

September 20th, 2009

Yard Sale Time…

We made about $175 buck-a-roos! Not shabby!


yard sale 2

yard sale 3

Birthday Party Time…

Baby Travers’s 2nd birthday party at Romp-n-Roll








Baby Shower Time…

We had an Ice Cream Social/TomBoy Party.  Our buddy K-RO is having a baby girl, but NO PINK allowed, hence the tomboy theme.

ice cream social

triplets 2




Congrats Kathryn and Phil on the pending Bundle of Joy!! We can’t wait to meet her!

(but in the meantime we are going to continue to take bets on what her name is going to be!)

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Family, Friends, Mrs.vB, Uncategorized

Shoe of the Month- September

September 18th, 2009

Banana Republic is sporting some really cute shoes for the Fall Season.  And if you saw my Fall Must Have’s Post you know I am digging the patent leather.

So naturally these caught me eye..

renee peep toe wedge

Renee Peep Toe

On Sale for $79.99…

I know.. a bit of an investment, but aren’t they cute?  I am trying to decide if I have anything in my closet that I could wear with them.

{Okay-I’m going to be honest with you guys.  If you looked in my closet you would see about 20 pairs of black/or semi black heels and not a single pair of brown.  Is that weird?  I’ve never been a brown person so most of the dress clothes I wear are black, hence the need for 20 or so black pairs of heels..hehe.. good justification right?  But I am feeling the need to break from this mold.  I’ve already got my brown Frye Boots- they just arrived yesterday- so I am off to a good start.  The only draw back about purchasing brown shoes is that I will now need to go shopping for some brown dress clothes.. oh such dilemmas!!  But just an FYI.. a little birdie told me that Ann Taylor Loft will give you 25% off if you buy a pair of pants and a shirt! I think the stars are aligning and fate is telling me that I need a new BROWN outfit from head to toe!  I mean I do have that $$ we made from the yard sale burning a hole in my pocket. I hope Mr.vB isn’t reading this- if so, just joking honey.  Happy Shopping!}

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Shoe of the Month Club


September 14th, 2009

In the past 4 days I have:

-Had an out-of-town Best Friend crash at my house for the night

-Was involved in a neighborhood Yard Sale along with Anne from A Word from the Worthington’s

-Went to my nephew’s 2nd Birthday Party at Romp and Roll

-Had dinner with my parents and Mr.vB

-Met my College BFF’s out both Friday and Saturday Night for Drinks

-Hosted a buddy’s Baby Shower

-Last but not least, we had Mr. vB’s mom and stepdad come visit for 2 days to get a little Baby Philip Fix

WOW…I am whooped.  Sorry for the lack of posts but I obviously have several good excuses (see above).  I’ve got some good photos of the various events to share so stay tuned!

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I’m in L-O-V-E…

September 9th, 2009

With my new kitchen. {and my awesome husband for making it all happen)

We spent a day or two this long weekend finishing up some loose ends and WOW it has all come together beautifully if I do say so myself!




We still have to finish:

-Painting the walls and cabinet frames

-Purchasing and installing the remainder of the cabinet doors and hardware

-New counter tops??

-Ripping up the old tile floor and laying the new Hardwood floor (definitely a project for next year’s budget)

Doesn’t sound like a lot, but added together it costs A LOT of moolah…and after my visit today with my Tax guy (don’t forget estimated taxes are due on the 15th…) we may just have to do a little at a time.  But that is okay, it is already worlds better than it use to be!

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Home Improvement, Kitchen Makeover

Shopping Spree

September 6th, 2009

Mr. vB and I took advantage of some Labor Day Sales yesterday and bought 2 new goodies for our kitchen.

new appliancesWe got AMAZING deals at the local Scratch and Dent Store that we just couldn’t day no to.  We even saved on delivery as we just borrowed his brother’s truck and strength (thanks Justin!) to get our new goodies home!

Just a little more work to do on the kitchen before I reveal the finished product, but I think you guys will be impressed. We already love it and it’s not even finished!!

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Home Improvement, Kitchen Makeover

Fall MUST Haves..

September 3rd, 2009

Okay I have finally fallen to the pressure of fall clothes.  I haven’t purchased anything yet, but I have started making my list.  How does it compare to yours?

You already know these Frye boots are on the top of my list…

janeand I think they will look great tucked into some Skinny Jeans. (FYI these are on sale at Old Navy for $14.99)

divaI’m also feeling some Off White Corduroys.

cordsand a great Patent Leather Belt! Borden USA has several..Perspex Buckle Belt


And how could I say no to this cute sweater??  JCrew always sucks me in…


I am also debating the Ankle Boot look but I haven’t found a pair that works for me just yet.

Last but not least I am loving this coat.. but it is WAY TOO EXPENSIVE..


Maybe Target will come out with a knock off.  {Ha-Ha} I can always dream right!?!

Happy Shopping!

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Mrs.vB, Uncategorized


September 2nd, 2009

My mom just sent me some updates on the house at Reynolds Drive.

Apparently all the demo is done and the house is down to the bare studs.

foyerHere is the Foyer.

living roomThis is the Living Room and Dining Room.

family roomAnd the Family Room.

living room 2

I believe the next step will be to spray all the studs with some sort of foam that will treat the wood.  Once the foam hardens it creates a fire retardant surface.  It will also help trap any residual smoke/soot odors and make the wood good as new!

My mom will be headed up to Richmond in a few weeks so we can start the fun part…shopping for the new furniture, carpet, paint and wallpaper!  Wonder if I can sneak in some new furniture for my house too!

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Being Thankful, Family, Rebuilding