Archive for December, 2009

HomeMade Gift #1

December 31st, 2009

Remember how I was “tooting my own horn” about some homemade gifts I had created?  I can finally share them with you!

So Gift #1 was something that had caught my eye in a recent issue of Martha Stewart Home.

I immediately thought this would be a great gift for my Mums.  Her mother, Mary Stuart Ransone aka Granny, was an amazing cook and made everything from scratch.  I had casually asked my mom if she had any old recipes of Granny’s that I could borrow.  I think she knew I was up to something, but obliged my request and found several recipe’s for me that Granny had handwritten.


Next step was to acquire some Color Fast Printer Fabric and a white apron.

I scanned each recipe and then printed it on the fabric paper.  After the ink dried, I removed the paper backer and ran the fabric through some cold water. I then laid out each piece of fabric to air dry.

Once dry, I trimmed the edges around each recipe and use my iron to create a finished edge.

“Martha” suggested just putting the recipe directly on the apron, but I thought it needed a little more pizazz.  I found this great fabric at a local quilting store that screamed Vintage to me.  My plan was to sew each recipe to the vintage fabric and then the fabric to the apron.

One on , one to go!

WOO-HOO!! I did it!  I was stressing that I was going to mess something up halfway through.  {Disclaimer- my sewing skills are R-O-U-G-H and I tend to jump in head first without thinking it all out.} But I did it!

I also thought it would be a cute touch to add the same fabric to the strap around the neck.

Here’s a close up detail…

And here it is all folded up ready to wrap up for my Mums!  Pretty cute isn’t it?

My Mums loved it and I couldn’t be happier!

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Baking, Family, Gettin Crafty!, Mrs.vB

My Husband is on Vacation… Can you tell?

December 29th, 2009

I can..

Our Kitchen Floor is halfway ripped up…

and our Basement is under construction (again)…

But these are good things- I think.

Mr. vB started pulling up the kitchen floor late Monday evening.  The good news is that we discovered hardwood floors hiding under that horrible tile.  They definitely look rough now, but after some sanding and stain, they should be beautiful!

And as far as the basement goes, we finally have a plan to make it a finished space.  The picture above is the framing around the furnace and hot water heater.  We are also enclosing Mr. vB’s office area in a really neat way!  Pictures to follow soon- Stay Tuned!

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Basement Makeover, Home Improvement, Kitchen Makeover, Mr.vB

Christmas Tree Pumpkins??

December 28th, 2009

Mr. vB and I were walking the Boots and the Bae this evening and I spotted the cutest thing on a neighbor’s porch!

It took me a minute to figure out what this Christmas Tree was made of.  Can you tell?

The homeowner had painted her Halloween pumpkins green and then stacked them on top of each other.  She also added a gold star.   What a great reuse of pumpkins!

I hated to throw my out pumpkins when Dec 1st rolled around.. too bad I didn’t walk past this house sooner!  I told Mr. vB I definitely wanted to try this out next year.  Will someone remind me of this come October?? {ha-ha}

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Christmas, Mrs.vB

’twas the night before Christmas…

December 27th, 2009

and all through the Edwards house, not a creature was stirring, except for the 2 yr old running around in the cutest smocked outfit ever.

My brother and his wife hosted Mr. vB and myself for xmas this year, along with my parents, and Mr. vB’s brother, his wife and their kids.  {Unfortunately the other vB’s came down with a horrible respiratory virus just days before xmas and they all had to stay quarantined.  Don’t worry- we sent them food and presents!} We normally celebrate Christmas at my parents house in Newport News, but since their house is still under construction from the fire, we decided to switch things up this year!  Thanks so much to Travers and Marty for hosting us!  We had such a great time and your new house was the perfect spot to celebrate Christmas.

Christmas Eve

At least he wasn’t putting the crayon in his mouth!

Baby T was quite excited about his new name puzzle from Cece and Honey.

Honey read Twas the night Before Xmas and then it was time for bed!

Next was the fun part! Putting together Santa’s gifts for Baby Travers.

Everyone was in on the fun!

Christmas Day

After a yummy breakfast we opened our Christmas Stockings.

Then we moved all the presents downstairs and tried to get Baby T to come see what Santa had brought.

He seemed to be in a bit of shock when he saw it all!

Santa was very good to me this year and he apparently read my blog post about my dining room face-lift.  My mums has offered to help me sew new dining room drapes and recover the new dining room chair seats.  I’ve got an idea of what I want- now I just need to find it.  No sweat-right?!

Hope everyone enjoys the last days of 2009!  2010 is going to be here before we know it!!

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Christmas, Family, Holiday Traditions

Merry Merry!

December 25th, 2009

Mr. vB and I have spent a wonderful Christmas Day with both of our families.  We took a slew of photos and are currently uploading them all.

In the meantime, I wanted to tell you guys about the Christmas dinner I had with my girlfriends on the Eve of Christmas Eve.  We have started a great tradition of swapping letters to each other, versus swapping gifts.  The first year, we each drew another person’s name and were in charge of making that person a keepsake box.  Here’s mine…

Every year since, we have added notes and photos to the box.  I cherish looking back through the box and reading all the notes.  These gals and I go all the way back to Freshman Year of College and have been there for each other through the highs and lows of life. I love ‘em like sisters.

So back to dinner.. we all LOVE the restaurant Acacia mid-town.

{from left to right: Jennifer Saval, Sarah Wilson, and Greta Kidd}

We enjoyed some fabulous food and wine, and the amazing company of each other!

Merry Christmas to all! Luh’ you girls!

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Christmas, Mrs.vB

Are you my Homie?

December 23rd, 2009

I got yet another exciting email this week, this time from my buddy Michael Murphy.

Michael emailed to tell me that he had nominated for a Homie award over at

What is a Homie Award you might ask?

Here is a snipet directly from their website.  Click here to see more.

I was so stoked by his email, that if I hadn’t have been driving, I probably would have jumped up and down.  {Yes- I realize I haven’t actually won anything, but I am just excited about the nomination.  I am on the list with the blogs that I drool over- Urban Grace, Pure Style Home, and Young House Love.} Michael did preface in his email, that there was some stiff competition, but heck, just to be nominated is great with me!

If you get a minute, please pop on over to {click here} and give a shout-out as one of your favorite new blogs!  The $50 prize could come in handy finishing the kitchen, the bedroom, the guestroom {you catch my drift} or starting a whole new project all together!

And many thanks to MLM for starting the nominations! Love Ya!

{Me and Michael on my Wedding Day}

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The Totty Trunk Company

December 20th, 2009

I got the coolest email earlier this week.  It was from a woman in Alabama, named Daphney, who had found my blog after doing some online research about The Totty Trunk Company.  Daphney has had one of these trunks in her possession for over 30 years and before that it was owned by a close family friend.  Unfortunately she has run out of room and needs to part with the trunk.  When she read my post about my family name, she immediately contacted me!

Check out this awesome trunk…

totty trunk



I was so excited that I couldn’t wait to call both my grandmother and my Aunt Totty.  My grandmother told me that she vividly remembers her mother having this same style trunk.  Her mother would pack it, instead of a suitcase, to travel cross country.  I find that so cool.  Can you imagine today, showing up at the airport, with a 100 lb trunk??  It would cost you a small fortune to get that sucker on the plane!!

I am still working on the details to see if I can acquire this awesome piece.  I can envision if I ever have a daughter, how fun it would be to have this as her doll trunk!!

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White Christmas

December 19th, 2009

Here is a sight that I have not seen in a long time!!

DSC_0181Christmas Tree + Snow= White Christmas

Virginia is getting slammed with a winter storm this weekend.  I think we currently have 9″-12″ of snow on the ground in Richmond and we are expecting more by afternoon.

Mr.vB and I have not ventured out yet, just the dogs.  And let me tell you, Boots is NOT a fan of this weather.  I couldn’t get him to go out this AM for his morning tinkle.  I swear he kept his back 2 legs in the door as he relieved himself!

Here’s some shots of our backyard from the warmth of our back room.



So much for finishing up any of my xmas shopping today!  I don’t think we will be going anywhere anytime soon, unless it is on foot!

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Christmas, Dogs

BBURP- Outing #2

December 18th, 2009

Delux and Davis & Main

We were back out with the Monger’s last night attempting to find the Best Burger Upon Richmond.

It was a coin toss as to where to start. Heads deLux, Tails Davis & Main.  Heads won.


If you’ve never been to deLux, it has a really great atmosphere.  Funky circular booths, an open stairwell to the 2nd floor, and casual seating around a fireplace makes for a fun place to meet friends.  And a cool place to eat burgers..

DSC_0148Mr. vB and I went for the deLux 1/2 lb. Burger with smoked Gouda and a side of homemade chips.  The Mongers did the same, but with a side salad.

DSC_0149We let our waitress in on our “burger- tasting” and she was quite interested to hear where we thought Delux ranked.  We told her so far they were in second.  She was pumped but then asked how many places we had been so far.  We replied Three. {ha-ha}


After we filled out our score cards, we were out the door and on our way down the street to Davis & Main.

DSC_0163It didn’t feel nearly as strange this time heading to eat a second meal, and I was actually quite excited.  I had heard wonderful things about the burgers here, so I thought there was a chance that The Belvidere at Broad Burger might get unseated as #1.

DSC_0165 Again we went for the 1/2 pounder with Vermont Cheddar and Bacon, side o’ fries.  The Mongers went for the cheddar sans the bacon and the fries too! Funny enough the description of their burger is “One of Richmond Magazine’s 09 Favorites“.  Think if we vote it our favorite too they will add that to the description? Also voted The vB’s and Monger’s BBURP Award 09.

DSC_0171What great presentation- isn’t that a good looking burger?


We topped the night off with a brownie sundae with mint chocolate chip ice cream.  We didn’t let it sway our votes, but man it was good!


Since next week is Christmas, we have decided to take a hiatus from going out to taste the burgers and instead we are going to make the LUTHER BURGER at home!

Remember that is the burger that is sandwiched between 2 Krispee Kreme Donuts!!

Should be quite interesting….

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1st Annual BBURP

Another Face-lift??

December 17th, 2009

Per normal vB style, I have begun to day-dream about another room face-lift without finishing the ones I have already started. {ie. the Kitchen, the Master Bedroom, and the Guestroom.}  Mr. vB’s thought process of “starting new projects is more fun than finishing them”, has certainly worn off on me! ha-ha

But in my defense, there was a catalyst to jumping into this new room redo.  Let me explain..

My good buddy  Sarah “Sauce” Elliott has been doing a little home improvement of her own and was looking for somewhere to store her antique dining room table and 6 shield-back chairs.  She no longer had room for them and wouldn’t need it until they moved into a larger house with a formal dining room.  I casually said to her as my heart was racing, “You can just store it at my house.” {side note- Mr. vB and I have yet to acquire our own dining room set.  We are currently using a friend’s antique round table with 4 chairs.  It has been a great table to us, but doesn’t allow for more then 4 people to sit at it.  Normally Mr. vB and I only use the table when we have family over and that is always 6+ people.  Now you see why my heart was racing as I hear a friend is looking for a home for a great table that can extend up to 8 people!} Without skipping a beat, Sarah said “sure- that would be great!” Now to ensure that Sarah wouldn’t change her mind on me stealing borrowing her dining room table and chairs, I actually took a chair home with me that same day as collateral.  I figured it would be harder for her to change her mind if she knew I already had a chair! {how terrible of me- I know!}

When I spoke with Sarah the next day, she was still quite excited that I was giving her table a new home.  She even helped load the remaining chairs into the back of my SUV.  Now I just need to borrow my brother in law’s pickup and some brute strength to get the table home.

Dining Room Chairs- Back of car

Here’s the breakdown on what I for see happening during the Dining Room Face-Lift of 2010{Again all is based on a tight budget and making “the Benjamins” stretch as far as they can!}

Totty Curtains1. New Window Treatments: I have already asked Santa for money to put towards floor length drapes that look similar to this pattern (Southern Living- November Issue), but maybe in black/cream or red/cream.  Just your basic pinch pleat on a thick drapery rod.

2. A New Rug:  I feel like I have posted before about the pink/navy oriental rug that currently resides in our dining room.  It is another great freebie that was lent to us by Mr. vB’s father who found it for $99 bucks at an Estate Sale.  Great Price- Hideous color combination!  DSC_0131

I am envisioning a basic sea-grass/sisal rug with a colorful border.  I figure the sisal will wear well, won’t show a ton of dog hair, plus won’t fight the living room rug that will just be a few feet away!  Maybe something similar to these.

sisal rugs

3. New Artwork: Mr. vB and I created this sculptural piece when we first moved into the house.  The circles are actually old records that I painted and then drilled holes into to hang.  As you can see we had a causality with one of the records.  Another reason it might be time to move on to something else.


Maybe we could frame up some maps, or print some black and white photos of the monuments around Richmond.  This one I am going to have to think about a little more.

4. New Built In Cabinet/Booksleves: Mr. vB’s original design for the dining room called for 2 alcoves that would house cabinetry/built in bookshelves.

DSC_0142So far we have only filled one of the alcoves with our “bar” area.

DSC_0143We are still debating if we want the other side to match exactly or if it should be more of a bookcase scenario.  Either way, added space to put things in or on is a PLUS!

5. New Wing Chairs:  I have always been a fan of getting 2 wing chairs to use at each end of a dining room table.  Since my dining room is a tad on the small side, I might have to opt for just one, but we shall see.  I have been thinking about searching the local thrift stores/craigslist for a slightly worn chair.  Then I could try my hand at upholstering it myself!  Here is a photo of a house that crashed that has the exact style that I am going for.

wing chairs

But before I get too ahead of myself, how am I gonna get this table home?!?!

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Dining Room Makeover