Archive

Archive for February, 2010

1 Year Blog-a-versary!

February 28th, 2010

Can you believe 1 year ago today Boots and Totty.com posted its very 1st blog entry! It was quite a boring entry if I do say so myself, but none the less it has gotten me where I am today!

So here is the breakdown of what B&T.com has accomplished in the past 365 Days.

{in no particular order}

1. We showcased over 18 pairs of shoes in the Shoe of the Month Club.

2. We showed how to build a raised garden, how to install an in ground sprinkler system, and how to attempt to grow grass.

3. Also showed how to collect and recycle rainwater and how to install energy efficient windows.

4. Don’t forget we also renovated our Bathroom, Basement, and Kitchen.

5. And gave face-lifts to our Guest Room, Master Bedroom, Living Room and Dining Room.

6. We also had Mr. Sanders refinish our Hardwood Floors.

7. Let’s not forget all the holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries.

8. Gave Target plenty of free publicity.

9. Gotten some free publicity ourselves.

10. And continue to search for the Best Burger in Richmond!

With a grand total of 151 posts in 35 categories, I’d say it was a pretty busy year!!  BIG THANKS to the the 16,681 visits to the site and the 352 people that published comments.

It’s a nice treat to read them and know that you guys enjoy my silly stories!

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Mr.vB, Mrs.vB, Wedding/Anniversary

Time to Make the Doughnuts

February 28th, 2010

Have I ever mentioned that I LOVE doughnuts?

I once had a doughnut eating contest with Mr.vB, his brother Justin and my brother Travers.  It was a long hard fought battle, but Travers and I won.  Must run in the family.

The other day I was browsing my favorite blogs and came across this image at The Newlywed Diaries.

EASY HOMEMADE DOUGHNUTS was the caption.

It stopped me dead in my tracks. Could it be true?

I put them to the test this weekend while my Mums was visiting.  Here is the play by play.

Ingredients needed:

A Can of Biscuits, Milk, Confectioner’s Sugar, Vanilla, and Shortening

As instructed by Jennifer at TND, we began by separating the biscuits and used a small cookie cutter to cut out the center of each doughnut.

We also had the oil preheating on the stove.  Jennifer said to heat it to 350 degrees, but since I don’t own a candy thermometer we used her doughnut hole testing method.  We plopped one in to make sure the oil was hot enough.

CHECK.

So it was my job to fry up the doughnuts, while Mums made the icing.

Following Jennifer’s instructions again, Mums filled a bowl with confectioner’s sugar and then added milk slowly while whisking.  I believe she also added a dash of vanilla for flavoring.

Once she had the right consistency Mums poured the icing into a shallow dish to make it easier to “dunk” each doughnut.

The end result was WAY beyond my expectations!!

This could be a bad thing, a very bad thing…

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Baking, Mrs.vB

Thrift-tastic…

February 24th, 2010

So remember me mentioning that I am on the hunt for new living room furniture.  And its only requirement is that it needs to be from a 2nd hand consignment shop or thrift store?? Now don’t get scared like my mums and think that I am buying 2nd hand furniture with cooties… I’m planning on painting and reupholstering the items that walk thru my front door. Just so we are on the same page, here are some inspirational Consignment/Thrift Store before and afters…

A Word from the Worthington’s

AND

Good Bones, Great Pieces

.{pretty freaking awesome, eh?}

I have been stalking scoping out my local thrift stores- Goodwill, Fantastic Thrift, Diversity Thrift and my favorite, The Love of Jesus Thrift Store. (Yes that IS its real name}.  I also know of a fabulous consignment shop named Rooms, Blooms and More located about an hour away in Newport News.  Family friends own this hot-spot and have had ridiculous success selling furniture, accessories, and window treatments- at amazing prices.  Obviously with it being an hour away I don’t get there as often as I like, BUT they do have a facebook page which highlights a new piece of furniture daily.  How awesome is that!!  {If you are on facebook, you gotta friend them!}

But back to my living room plan.  Get excited people- the first purchase has been made!!!

For $35 buck-a-roos I scored this sweet arm chair and ottoman.  Have no fear, the orange velvet is going bye-bye.  I am in-visioning painting the wood frame black or peacock blue, and then maybe use this fabric to recover it.

Won’t that look awesome?!?!

I also scored this cool painting while I was out an about.  Something about it really caught my eye.  I think with a new frame and some matting it will look straight out of an art gallery.

Wanna guess how much that set me back?? $2.80.

{Okay- so Mr. vB just got home and looked at my new fav painting and says- that’s a paint by number kit.  I’m like, WHAT? He says he and his brother use to paint them with his grandmother.  He even showed me one of the numbers that wasn’t fully painted over.  Whah-whah…. Oh well- I still like it!}

So it may be paint by number, but it did come with a bonus.  Hidden under the painting was this engraving.

Not to sure who it is, but thought it could be fun to frame as well.  Heck, maybe it is worth millions and was stashed under the paint by number for safe keeping.  That will stop Mr. vB from laughing at my poor taste in art work.

So one chair & ottoman down, and a sofa, chair and coffee table still to go!  Would love to hear suggestions on other places around town that I should go check out!  Where is your favorite place to find 2nd hand furniture and accessories?

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Home Improvement, Living Room Makeover

It’s All in the Details…

February 22nd, 2010

Mr. vB and I haven’t started any {major} projects since we powered through finishing up the kitchen a few weekends ago.  Instead we have been focusing on finishing all the little details that have sprung up from getting our hardwood floors refinished. {remember that fun experience?  For a reminder click here.}  It’s been a slow process, but we are in no rush.  The living room remains empty, but that’s okay with me- I’m really starting to like the minimalist look! {ha-ha}

Speaking of the empty living room, did I mention that we have decided to leave the big 3 piece sectional sofa in the basement?!  We have gotten quite accustomed to hanging out down there for the past 6 weeks and decided we wanted to make it our den. {more on that later} So we did a bit of rearranging and it actually fits quite nice! BUT, this means we now need to get something to put in the living room.  I’m thinking something very simple- a small sofa, 2 side chairs and an ottoman/coffee table.  Oh and I want to try to find most of these things from a 2nd hand/consignment shop or thrift store.  I have already started looking, but I know it’s going to take awhile to find the right thing.

But back to the details..

We did muster some energy this weekend to start making Radiator Covers for the ugly radiators in the living and dining room.

I found this great DIY tutorial here.  Mr. vB normally likes to build things by the seat of his pants, but I thought these might come in handy. (and they did!)  The covers still aren’t totally finished, but are looking good.

We still need to prime and paint it, but I already am in love.  {I’m hoping once we paint the metal screen the radiator will be less visible.}  The best part of this project was that we had all the wood on hand and only had to buy the metal screen!

And last weekend we finished adding the shoe molding to our base boards and repainted them all with a fresh coat of white paint.

Before

After

Another project that makes my heart go pitter-patter.  So nice and fresh looking!

I also asked Mr. vB if we could add a few pieces of picture molding to the exterior walls of the living room. These walls are a mixture of brick and plaster and nails crumble at the site of them.  Hence the reason we have not hung any artwork in the living room, except for the one piece of artwork on the interior wall.  Hopefully I can get him to hang them at some point this week!  {Pictures to Follow}

So once those are up we will be back in business! I can start to put back the bookcases, console tables, and lamps.  Also hang a picture or two!  Then maybe visitors will stop asking if we just moved in or are moving out!

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Dining Room Makeover, Home Improvement, Living Room Makeover

2 Days Left to Vote!

February 18th, 2010

Just a friendly reminder to spread the word that voting ends tomorrow night for the RVA Internet Awards!

Remember Boots&Totty has been nominated as the Best New Blog in Richmond!

Click Here to cast your Vote!

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Famous

{Another} Shoe of the Month- February

February 15th, 2010

Thanks to my buddy Toni Eubanks for scouting these shoes out for us!

They were just too cute to wait another 15 days to show you guys…

Our friends at Payless continue to design more stunners for Lela Rose.

Ashland Mary Jane Wedge… $34.99

Hampton Woven Bow Pump…$29.99

At these prices I MIGHT have to splurge and get both!

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Shoe of the Month Club

Welcome to the World BBURP Baby!

February 13th, 2010

Remember how I told you that our friends {Amanda and Dave Monger} that were doing the Burger tasting with us were expecting their first child in February?? Well….

They welcomed Edie Kay Monger into the world on Friday, February 12th at 8:45 am.

She weighed in at a healthy 7 lbs 14 ozs.

{guess all those burgers did her good!}

Her Aunt TT {moi} and Uncle DD {Mr.vB} went to meet her today and she is JUST PRECIOUS!

I can’t wait to spoil her rotten!  Congrats Dave and Amanda!!

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1st Annual BBURP, Friends

Cover Girl…

February 11th, 2010

I’ve been keeping a secret from you guys.  About 2 months ago I was interviewed for an article in a local magazine called V Magazine for Women.  I didn’t want to say anything until I was for sure if was going to be published.

Well guess what?! IT’S BEEN PUBLISHED! {insert high-five here}

As soon as I heard this, I ran out and picked up the first copy I saw . As I was knocking people over grabbing for my copy, I thought the girl on the cover looked awfully familiar.

For those readers I have never met in person- THAT IS ME ON THE COVER!!

How crazy is that??  Now I knew there was going to be an article about bootsandtotty.com in the magazine, but I had NO CLUE that I was going to be the cover girl!!  I was so excited!

Click here to see the online article.  It is really good if I do say so myself!  It was written by a great writer {and family friend} named Terri Jones.  When she’s not writing about awesome blogs {oops, did I say that??}, she is a freelance marketing and editorial writer for her company called WordPlay.  {If anyone is looking for a freelance writer drop me an email and I can pass along Terri’s info to you! She’s great!}

I tried to get Boots and Bailey to pose for the photo-shoot picture, but they weren’t so keen on the photographer.  Instead they were sent outside and Milo shared the limelight with me!

I’m just kicking myself that the kitchen wasn’t {one} finished, nor {two} staged for a photo shoot!  We didn’t have a lot of options to choose from though, considering there was no furniture in the living room or dining room {due to the floor refinishing}. I was envisioning thinking that I could be sitting on the stairs with Boots and Bailey lying at my feet- yeah right.  Who was I kidding??

It’s been a very exciting week.  First we were nominated for the Best New Blog in RVA and now our first article in a magazine.  Maybe next week Martha Stewart or Nate Berkus will call and ask me for design advice. {ha-ha}

Seriously though, Mr. vB and I really appreciate all of your support!  We hope you enjoy reading this blog as much as we enjoy telling our story!  xoxo totty

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Famous, Mrs.vB

Best New Blog.. Could it be me??

February 9th, 2010

Hey loyal readers!

Bootsandtotty.com has been nominated as the Best New Blog in the River City!

But, I need your help!  Please click on this link and cast YOUR vote!  {Simply click on the link and then scroll down the page until you see the green writing that says Cast Your Votes for the RVA Internet Awards Now!}

Voting is open until Feb 19th at 10pm!

Thanks for your support!

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Famous, Mrs.vB

Another Check Mark on the To-Do List

February 7th, 2010

I hope everyone is sitting down because I would like to announce that Mr. vB and I have actually, wait for it…FINISHED A PROJECT!  The Kitchen has officially been checked off the To-Do List. {If the mood strikes us we might still upgrade our dishwasher and change up the bar top, but for now we are all good!}

But before I debut our new digs, you know I gotta show you were it all started.  And just to warn you- this is gonna be a long post.  I took us just over 6 months to get it all done.  That is ALOT of projects/photos to recap!

Just like most things in this house, Mr.vB had already renovated this kitchen once when he originally moved in. Here is what it looked like back in Jan ’05.

This is the few from the hall looking into the kitchen and dining room.

And here is looking from the back pantry room into the kitchen. {nice isn’t it?!}

The original plan entailed opening the wall up between the kitchen and dining room and also rearranging the cabinet layout.

Here is the kitchen right before we started taking down the cabinets.  The upper cabinets did have doors, but Mr. vB was working too fast.  By the time I grabbed the camera, half of the doors were already down.

We were never fans of the original cabinet doors as they were very 80′s-ish with the wood accents. Our appliances (which came with the house) also bugged us as they were mismatched- Black Stove, White Hood, White Fridge and Silver/black dishwasher.

We started by rearranging our existing cabinets. Mr. vB took down all the existing cabinets..

And then put them back up in the new layout.

We also added floating shelves beneath. Instead of buying them, Mr. vB attached pieces of re-bar into the brick wall.  Then he built a box that would slide around the pieces of metal and become our shelf.

Once the new layout was in place, we purchased the new fridge, stove and exhaust hood.  To properly exhaust the hood to the outside, it required drilling a BIG MESSY HOLE in the brick wall.  We sealed off the kitchen to hopefully contain the mess.

A few weekends later we decided we had to do something about the back splash.  Previously it had been painted to buy us some time, but we had always envisioned it in tile.  We ended up having some left over tile and grout from the bathroom project, so we decided it was time to take the plunge.

It was actually quite easy and we had that part done in a weekend.

Then month by month we purchased the new cabinet doors and hardware. {As you saw, we reused the existing cabinet boxes as they were in pretty good shape, and once the new doors were on you wouldn’t be able to tell anyways!}

I love how the new doors and hardware make the counter tops look so much better!  I was never a fan of the Formica {especially with the old doors} but now they look so much richer.  I am still thinking about removing the existing Formica bar top and replacing it with a granite slab, but we’ll see.

Another new addition was the hardwood floors.  You might remember me mentioning that we discovered these the week Mr. vB was on vacation. What a difference they make to this room!!  We were never fans of the bright orange tile, but had no clue such a gem was hiding under it.  We might have ripped them up sooner had we have known!

Our final tasks were to add base board and shoe molding, touch up paint, caulk, and clean!!

So one more before shot and then the grand unveiling..

Before

And AFTER!


Dotty and Flo even made it down for the photo shoot!

There you have it!  Was it worth the 6 month wait??

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Home Improvement, Kitchen Makeover