Archive for December, 2009

Homemade Xmas Gifts

December 17th, 2009

Oh how I wish I could show/tell you guys about the homemade Christmas gifts I am working on.  But two of my loyal readers {that would be you- Mums and Marty} will be the recipient’s of these gifts, so I do not want to spoil the surprise!  Have no fear though, I will give you the full rundown on Dec 26th!

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Deck the halls..

December 14th, 2009

Now that the outside of our house was properly decorated, Mr.vB and I focused on getting the inside up to snuff this past weekend.  We headed out first thing Saturday morning to our favorite Christmas tree lot on the north side of town.  Mr.vB’s dad has gotten us hooked on these super tall, super lanky Charlie Brown Trees and since we have 9′ ceilings I was going for the MAX height this year!!

After a small fight with the xmas tree stand, to which the tree fell over TWICE, we were up and ready to get decorating!


Here’s a close up of my homemade Angel atop the tree.

DSC_0083She still needs a face and some hair, but I think she is pretty cute.  My mom and I made this angel last year out of an old sheet soaked in liquid starch and then molded around a cup until it dried.  We copied the one she and my dad made over 30 years ago.  Thank goodness we did, because my mom’s angel was destroyed in the fire.  She and I were hoping to make her a new one to put on her tree this year, but we have run out of time.  Look for a tutorial after the new year- they are super easy to make!

Here’s the finished product!


DSC_0109I’m in love with Christopher Radko ornaments- a bad habit that my mom has started.  Here is one of my favorite’s- the bride and groom.  Here’s another I grabbed for Mr.vB last year..

DSC_0110And here’s the rest of the house.







I love my view from the sofa.

DSC_0130Why isn’t it acceptable to have Christmas Tree’s up year round??

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BBURP-Outing #1

December 13th, 2009

The Belvidere at Broad and Tarrant’s Cafe

This past Friday night we ventured out for our 1st Burger Tasting with the Mongers.

The game plan was to hit 2 venues an outing and each couple split one burger and side.  (This might sound a bit crazy, but we have a deadline to taste test all the burgers.  The Monger’s are expecting a little bundle of joy in February and Amanda is swearing off burgers after his/her arrival)

First stop was The Belvidere at Broad.

DSC_0051This restaurant is a newbie, so none of us had actually been here before.  I had a great first impression walking in- small but inviting.


The burger that Mr. vB and I chose was the 1/2 pounder with caramelized onions, smoked Gouda, apple wood bacon, mixed greens, avocado, tomato, house aioli, and a side of sweet potato fries.  I believe the Monger’s got the same thing minus the bacon and the fries.


Without going into TOO much detail, as I want to save the final analysis until after we have tested ALL the burgers, we all thought this burger was AMAZING!!!

DSC_0061Here’s our Score Card for The Belvidere at Broad.

scorecard Belvidere

NEXT STOP- Tarrant’s Cafe.


{I have to admit it felt quite odd going from one restaurant to other to eat a SECOND meal.}

I was a bit tipsy by the time we made it to Tarrant’s, so I don’t have as much photo documentation as I did at the first restaurant.  My apologies- I will do better an the next tasting, I promise!

Tarrant’s burger was much more “dinerish” in the sense that your only choices were a hamburger, a cheeseburger, or a bacon cheeseburger.  And the only toppings choices were green leaf lettuce and tomato.  We went for the cheeseburger and the Monger’s chose the bacon cheeseburger.

Here is a photo of what was left of the burger when I realized I hadn’t photographed it yet…


What I lack in photos of the food, I made up for in photos of the fun we were having..


DSC_0070(Mr. vB did this on purpose)

And here is Tarrant’s Scorecard.

scorecard Tarrants

Tasting #2 is scheduled for later this week.  Thanks to the readers who have offered up more suggestions like Caliente and The Forest.  We’ve even discussed adding the “Luther Burger” to our must try list.  Ever heard of it before?  It’s a hamburger patty sandwiched between 2 Krispy Kreme Donuts!! Crazy!

I just hope by the time all this burger eating is over, that I haven’t turned into a burger myself!!!

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1st Annual BBURP

Mixing it up..

December 9th, 2009

When it comes to exterior Christmas decorations, normally Mr. vB and I stick to the basic wreath on the door and white candles in the windows.  This year, however, Mr, vB has decided to mix it up.  This is what I found when I got home from work today.

lights9 boxes of LED rope lights on the counter and 6 more boxes on the floor.

When I asked what exactly we were going to do with all these lights, Mr. vB let me in on his little plan.

Here is the exterior of our house before..


And After 15 boxes of LED lights…


The inspiration came from houses we saw on Monument Ave with similar rope lights spilling over the balconies.

Kinda funky.. kinda fun!

It’s making me rethink my wreath though! I might need to do something a little less traditional than the ornaments that are on my current wreath.  I saw in a magazine yesterday the idea of spray painting a wreath.  Wouldn’t a bright red wreath be cool, or maybe a lime green wreath??

I did also replace my Confederate Jasmine with the cutest little fir tree ever.

DSC_0044Guess I gotta get some funky decorations for this guy too!

I see a busy weekend in my future! Stay Tuned!!

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Christmas, Mr.vB

Christmas Countdown…

December 7th, 2009

Growing up, we counted down the days to xmas with a great felt advent calendar.  It was shaped like an Christmas tree and had 24 “ornaments” to hang on the tree as each day passed.  My mom likes to tell the story of how every year I would entertain myself for hours standing in front of the tree rearranging and organizing all the ornaments.  {it was my A+ Personality already starting to shine at such an early age} My memories are of fighting my brother over which ornament we wanted to hang.  We had to take turns, every other day, of choosing and hanging an ornament and it was pure torture.

As I got older, the arguing over the ornaments got less and less.  But the excitement of getting the advent calendar out every Dec 1st never faded.  My mom had passed the calendar on to me a few years ago, and then I passed it on to my brother for them to start the same traditions with the Baby Bird.  It was hard to give it up, but my mom promised that she was going to make a second one for me and Mr.vB.

Well unfortunately my mom had just gotten the advent calendar back from my brother and had placed it in the spare bedroom at her house for safe keeping, when the house fire happened.  Along with all the things my parents lost that day was my beloved advent calendar.

It took my mom and I several days to remember all the 24 ornaments that adorned the original calendar, but we did it.  It’s amazing how you can look at something for so many years and then have such a hard time remembering everything about it.

So along with working on rebuilding her house, my mom put in time remaking the advent calendar.  Two in fact, one for me and one for my brother.  She ended up purchasing pre-made advent calendars very similar to our original one, and is currently using the ornaments.  But she hand made the felt tree and backdrop for the ornaments to hang on.  The plan for 2010 is to hand-make the ornaments as well.

Here is my NEW Advent Calendar.


Isn’t it cute??  See why I was so upset when we lost the old one?


Some of the pre-made ornaments are cute, like the gingerbread man, but some have got to go.  The original calendar had a Santa Claus ornament that was always last to be hung on Christmas Eve.   My mom agrees that the Santa is the first ornament that we need to hand make!


Thanks Mums.. I love it!

Also wanted to show you guys how big my paper-whites have gotten.  Plus tease you abit with my xmas decorations.


That mirror normally hangs over the mantle, but has been relocated for the holiday season.  No worries though-it won’t be sitting crooked on the console table for 30 days.  Mr. vB and I want to add some picture molding to that section of the wall so it can be properly hung.

We still haven’t picked out our tree yet- that is on the to-do list for this week!  Hopefully by this weekend we will have everything up and decorated! I can’t wait.  Did I mention yet that I love Christmas?!?  ha-ha

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Christmas, Holiday Traditions

Now you see it and now you don’t…

December 3rd, 2009

Have I ever shown you guys the storage areas above the guest room closets?  They are a bit random, but I am not one to turn down extra storage space. (especially in a Fan House that has about zero storage..)

Here is a REALLY BAD before photo of the closets when I had just moved in with Mr.vB.

DSC01134-1See the open cubbies above both closets?

I had left them open because I always envisioned doing something cool with shutters to close them off. But yeah, that never happened.  Instead, my mums had a great idea to just buy a sheet the same color as the newly painted turquoise walls and make curtains!

Bravo Mums- what a simple and easy solution!

So we found a flat sheet at Kmart that was almost the exact color of the walls.  We also picked up 2 tension rods to hang the fabric from.  Then we whipped out the sewing machine, cut the sheet in half, and sewed a pocket at the top of each sheet for the rod to fit through.  All that was left to do was thread the rod through the pocket and voila!


I didn’t even hem the bottom half because I figured I could just tuck it under itself and you would never know! {A little lazy- YES, but a time saver}


Here is the finished product.


Now you almost don’t even know the cubbies are there.  I like how the fabric matches the walls so perfectly.


And here is the sneak peek of all my xmas decorations hiding behind the curtain.  I am going to get Mr. vB to help me get it all down tonight so we can start decorating!!!


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Bedroom Makeover, Home Improvement

Shoe of the Month- December

December 1st, 2009

As promised, I am back- relaxed and refreshed from Thanksgiving Break with a great new shoe that might just need to find a new home in my closest and yours.

Lela Rose for Payless has done it yet again. (You might remember they had the March and May Shoe of the Month too!)


Now I know that not everyone is a fan of the new “bootie” boot style. (everyone means you Rebecca)   But I am!!  I have seen several styles that have caught my eye, these being my latest favorite.

Lela Rose for Payless Lancaster Ankle Bootie- $49.99

I am really digging the purple suede and the zipper detail on the back…

backdecshoeI’m wishing the price tag were a bit cheaper..hmm..maybe they will go on sale before Christmas!  I will keep my eyes peeled and let you know if they do!

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Shoe of the Month Club