Ringing in the New Year | Hello, 2016!

Happy New Year

HAPPY (almost) NEW YEAR, Y’ALL!

Oh, my my my! I can hardly believe it–2015 is almost over, and we are all getting ready to ring in 2016! Goodness gracious! It feels like just yesterday we were watching the ball drop for 2015! Hmm…I guess the old cliche is true–time really does fly when you’re having fun! *wink*

2015 has been an awesome year–one for the books! The year has been jam-packed with lots of awesome things (and some not-so-awesome things) that have helped fill the pages of my imaginary scrapbook *wink* From interviewing The Beekman Boys and John & Whitney Spinks to getting accepted (with a transfer scholarship) to Emory & Henry College, I am excited to say that 2015 has been a good year on and off the VIP blog!

Sure–there are always hiccups and bumps in the road, but it’s important not to dwell on the negatives because, after all, it is (almost) a new year! We have new and exciting and positively wonderful things to look forward to, and we don’t need to focus on the not-so-great things like unfortunate fender benders, slacking on social media promotions, and how the weather is like a guy in a Katy Perry song *cue Hot n Cold*

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Now, to ring in the brand new year, what do y’all say we review the most popular and most fabulous VIP posts of 2015?! DJ–hit the music *wink*

Most-viewed posts of 2015–

1. Modeling Shoot: The Modern Day Jack & Diane

(view post here)

2. VIP Interview: John & Whitney Spinks of HGTV’s Flipping the Block

(view post here)

3. VIP Home: Color-Staining Concrete Pavers (DIY Patio Project)

(view post here)

4. Weekly Whistle: Dreaming of a Safari Adventure

(view post here)

5. Weekly Whistle: A Southern Belle in the Snow

(view post here)

In other 2015 news…

 In addition to some awesome blog posts + interviews, I had the opportunity to interview Tracie Potts from NBC on my college’s student-produced television series Direction: Northeast. (I did several more of these interviews, but they are not avaliable on YouTube yet…So y’all will just have to wait to watch until 2016 *wink*)

As mentioned earlier in this re-cap blog post, I was also admitted into Emory & Henry College for my junior year! Goodness–I can’t believe that I will be graduating with my Associate of Science Degree in Broadcasting in May from Northeast State Community College! *happy dance*

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Oh–and how can I forget…I TURNED 20! *I may be two decades old, but I wish I still had the responsibilities of a 10 year old *wink*

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ALSO in 2015, this blonde experimented with hair color! Remember that time I was a temporary ginger *wink*

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AND LAST but definitely not least, in 2015 I started a new creative journey by hand-making bracelets and selling them on Etsy! Please give my shop BlueGrits a view or two and shop around :) Click the banner to shop.

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Now, I will say good-bye until next year *wink* I hope all of you have a fabulously fun and safe New Years celebration! :)

Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

VIP Interview: John and Whitney Spinks of HGTV’s Flipping the Block

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Hello, fabulouses, and welcome back to the blog!

While at the 2015 Birmingham Home & Garden Show, John and Whitney Spinks from HGTV’s Flipping the Block sat down with the VIP to chat about how Whitney’s blog, Drab to Fab Design, changed their lives. In addition, we chatted about the couple’s time on the show + big design must haves + Whitney’s obsession with skinny jeans *wink*

Meeting the Spinks and hearing their story (and not just the one from Flipping the Block) was such a fabulous experience, and now I am ready to share all of the details with y’all, the VIP readers. So, without further ado, I introduce to y’all John and Whitney Spinks! Yay!

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VIP: What was y’all’s experience like on HGTV’s Flipping the Block?

Whitney: Flipping the Block is probably one of the most intense and one of the most rewarding renovation projects that we’ve ever done. The timelines are crazy, the rules of the show are very strict, and you only have a few days to get these major projects done. It was so crazy, but at the same time, it was so much fun. 

John: And the cool part about it is it all came from Whitney’s blog. They [creators of Flipping the Block) sent her an email inviting Whitney and myself to apply to be on the show. Out of all the teams on the show, we were the only ones not to go to a casting call–mainly because we did not even know it was going on! Other people had been interviewing and going to casting calls while Whitney was over there blogging and got an email about it. 

VIP: I think that’s awesome! Such a lucky opportunity!

John: Yeah, we really had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. Almost everything that we learned from the experience was captured on camera, and that’s one thing I think was really great about Flipping the Block. It didn’t just highlight dramatic moments, it also showed the troubles and the good times. 

VIP *to Whitney*: So what is the name of your blog?

Whitney: My blog is called Drab to Fab Design!

VIP: That’s a super cute name! How long had you been blogging when they contacted you about applying for the show?

Whitney: Well, I started the blog in November of 2011, and they contacted us about November 2013–so, I had been blogging for two years.

John: And who knows–we will see you [talking to the VIP] on TV soon! Like Bravo or the Style Network!

VIP: Hey…I would not reject to that at all! I love the Style Network! *giggles*

John: In all seriousness, a lot of people like you, me, and Whitney get the opportunity to be on channels like HGTV because the shows need good talent and good personalities!

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VIP: Y’all have your design company 27 South Design Group–what can y’all tell me about that?

Whitney: Well, 27 South is our design business, and we started it immediately after we were done with Flipping the Block. We always knew that we wanted to open some type of design business, and Flipping the Block was sort of that push to make us actually do it. The show gave us the confidence we needed to start our dream and launch our business….We live and run our business out of Jacksonville Florida.

VIP: Ooo! Warm down there! I live in Northeast Tennessee now, and it has been a bit since I have seen any warm temperatures. 

John: Oh, where at [in Tennessee]?

VIP: Johnson City, Tennessee–up towards the Virginia line. 

John: Johnson City!

VIP: It is warmer here [Birmingham, AL] than when I left Johnson City on Friday. 

John: Well, where we are from in Indiana is about two hours from Nashville, so we go through Tennessee all the time. We take family vacations to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.

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VIP: What color would you say best describes each of you?

Whitney: That’s a great question! I am really into blues in design–

John: *motions to Whitney’s outfit*

Laughter among everyone

Whitney: …but I also love grays too. A big part of me really likes deep, sort of moody blues, but I really love bright greens as well.

John: Man…what color? It is so hard to pick one color because when I think of “color”, I think of pink or other bright colors, but when I work with colors, I think more along the lines of leather or steel.

Whitney: He likes a lot of industrial elements.

John: Yes! Industrial–like deep grays. I also like a lot of natural color or color from nature. 

Whitney: Think of like natural textures and the colors that those textures have.

John: Oh, texture is a great thing from a design standpoint…then add some color. 

VIP: So, what got y’all into doing design?

Whitney: I think it really evolved when John was in the Navy. He was deployed, and I was home by myself. I have always been creative and hands on, so I sort of just dived in with the blog trying new things. And after I started my blog, my love for interior design just sort of blossomed, and I started learning more and more about the processes. I got a lot of inspiration from online and other bloggers, and it all sort of went up from there!

John: Yeah, my thing was like we grew up in a little farm town in Indiana where guys are expected to be a “man’s man”. I was in construction working for a custom-home home builder, but I have always been sketching and designing so the seed was already planted, so to speak. Whitney’s blog and the show just watered it and made it grow. I always felt like designing “wasn’t cool” to do, and as I got older, I realized that I have to do what makes me happy–that is what design does for me. 

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VIP: Whitney, what is one item in your closet you would never toss out and why?

Whitney: I am a huge, huge fan of a good pair of skinny jeans, so I could never toss out my skinnies! If I find a brand or a style that I really love, I will buy two or three pairs of them. Skinnies are pretty much my staple fashion piece–I am almost always in a pair of skinnies!

John: *joking with the VIP* What? You’re not going to ask me about my favorite clothing piece? 

VIP: *joking back* Okay, John–what’s one item in your closet you would never toss out and why? *wink*

John: Well…these worn-out boots I have on right now…and…Ah, who am I kidding. Whitney still dresses me most days.

Whitney: *joking with John and the VIP* It’s true…but his style is evolving haha I don’t care what he wears though. I like him just the way he is. 

*awh moment–John and Whitney are pretty much the most adorable couple ever*

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CONNECT WITH JOHN & WHITNEY:

Facebook | Instagram (John) (Whitney) (27 South) | Blog | Website

Stay tuned to the sister blog for the rest of the interview with John and Whitney coming soon!

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Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

VIP Home: Birmingham Home + Garden Show 2015

I had a lovely time at the Birmingham Home + Garden Show on Saturday, February 14. This particular vendor tugged at my heart strings because it took me back to the days of showing Polled Herefords.
I had a lovely time at the Birmingham Home + Garden Show on Saturday, February 14. This particular vendor tugged at my heart strings because it took me back to the days of showing Polled Herefords.
I just had to show y'all this photo of me with my heifer and Paw Hathorn. Y'all can see why I had to hang out at the beef vendor. Click here for fabulous recipes and more about beef.
I just had to show y’all this photo of me with my heifer and Paw Hathorn. Y’all can see why I had to hang out at the beef vendor. Click here for fabulous recipes and more about beef because “Beef–It’s What’s For Dinner” *smile*

Hello, fabulouses, and welcome back to the blog!

Happy Monday, y’all! Today on the blog, I have a special treat for VIP Home–it is an overview of the Birmingham Home + Garden Show 2015 AND a few sneak peek photos from the interviews I had with John & Whitney Spinks from HGTV’s Flipping the Block + The Fabulous Beekman Boys. I cannot wait to share all the fabulousness with y’all *smile* Did I mention that the sister blogs will also have coverage, exclusive photos, and more from the Birmingham Home + Garden Show? Oh, yes! Be sure to check out Sweet Sorghum Living and Sixteen & Successful all this week–y’all will not want to miss out *wink*

Now, without further ado, let’s take a look at the Birmingham Home + Garden Show 2015!

An impressive crowd at the Birmingham Home + Garden Show on Saturday, February 14.
There was an impressive crowd at the Birmingham Home + Garden Show on Saturday, February 14. I am guessing a few were working on their honey-do lists *wink*

More than 300 companies were represented at the Birmingham Home + Garden Show–many of them offered exclusive show-only deals. There were vendors showcasing everything from home improvement to speciality cookware. From what I witnessed, a lot of folks took home some great deals and ideas!

Hot tubs were a hot item at the Home Show *wink* Hollywood Pools offered up some pretty fabulous deals on their show models. Be sure to head over to their website for not only your hot tub needs, but also outdoor furnishings and more. They can pretty much take care of your outdoor entertaining needs! Hurry up, Spring!
Hot tubs were a hot item at the Home Show *wink*

The Birmingham Home + Garden Show took over the BJCC for four days with nationally renowned experts in landscaping, outdoor living, home improvement, interior design, instructional how-to-seminars, give-aways, and more. The Western Supermarket was on the upper level of the BJCC, and it had some pretty delicious treats–from ice cream to sweet tea. This year the garden portion of the show was held on the upper level of the BJCC, where the garden designs were enhanced by natural light. Local design experts from Southern Botanicals, Trimm Landscape, Backyard Paradise, and Williams Landscape Services created gorgeous yard and garden displays to inspire the visitors. Hurry up, Spring!

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Just enjoying my favorite diet beverage *smile*
Just enjoying my favorite diet beverage *smile*
Lake Guntersville Pool & Patio had some pretty fabulous outdoor furniture and deals at the show.
Lake Guntersville Pool & Patio had some pretty fabulous outdoor furniture and deals at the show. I am pretty sure that the VIP’s mom picked this as a top pick for her blog, but y’all will have to wander over there to find out *wink* A little birdie told me that she will be posting SSL’s Top Picks later on this week.

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What's not to love!
What’s not to love!
I am totally crushing on these tees by Art Wear Tees. Y'all will have to go check out their site! Click here for more info and fabulousness.
I am totally crushing on these tees by ArtWear Tees. Y’all will have to go check out their site! Click here for more info and shopping-in-your-pjs fabulousness. Isn’t is great supporting small and local businesses!

In addition to all of the fabulousness at the Birmingham Home + Garden Show marketplace, I also had the wonderful opportunity to sit down and chat with John and Whitney Spinks from HGTV’s Flipping the Block and the Fabulous Beekman Boys! I am not going to spill the beans just yet–y’all will have to stay tuned to the blog for the interviews *wink* BUT…until then, here are some cute sneak peek photos :)

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OH! And don't forget to stay tuned to the blog for the interview with the Fabulous Beekman Boys to find out why I am taking a selfie--or as they called it a "shelfie"--with tomato sauce...Hm...I wonder why the VIP is going that??? *wink*
OH! And don’t forget to stay tuned to the blog for the interview with the Fabulous Beekman Boys to find out why I am taking a selfie–or as they call it a “shelfie”–with pasta sauce…Hm…I wonder why the VIP is doing that??? *wink*

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Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn