Friday, December 31, 2010


Since writing it down might make me actually do it, my resolutions include finishing the small projects I've been putting off. I resolve to finish these Bungalow projects in 2011:

  • Put glass knobs on hallway wall and hang framed monograms with ribbon from them
  • Paint the paneling/hang artwork of some type in the stairwell
  • Paint/fix up the stairwell to the basement. This includes stripping and staining the bottom flight of steps
  • Paint upstairs hall
  • Hang artwork in upstairs hall
  • Find/DIY a piece of furniture for upstairs hall
And now for the big projects we hope to accomplish at some point. 2011 would be nice:
  • Fix our living room ceiling
  • Build a deck
  • Save for/install IKEA wardrobe wall in bedroom
  • Spruce up laundry side of basement
  • Organize gross part of basement
  • Save for/buy new washer and dryer

Not too ambitious, right? C'mon 2011! We're ready!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

100 chapters down ... and Pier One is all around

Oh happy day, it's the 100th post on A Short Story! But who's counting? That doesn't really matter to me right now because I scored some Pier One gift cards!

Back in July I had the urge to buy a particular chest, rug and bowl for the bungalow from Pier One. These urges for things from Pier One happen often and there really is no cash flow in the Bungalow for extraneous beauty from the Pier. But then a little thing called Christmas happened and Devon and Rachel gave Pier One gift cards to me. Thank you ladies!

My gift cards fulfilled one urge and added a little extra bonus. Behold, the bowl I wanted is now sitting right where I wanted it to sit. It currently holds Christmas cards (I'm SO SORRY we didn't send any out this year. New Year's cards may be out soon). I think I can have some fun finding things to brighten up my beloved new bowl. Oh, and big thank yous to Mama Marie for picking out the new placemats and napkins dressing the table.

And here are the added bonuses. Two glass stars that hold candles. These will hang on the front porch in the summer along with the hanging votive holder Devon gifted me with. I want to create a whimsical look with hangy things like these for breezy summer nights on the porch. These stars work just fine in the vision in my head.

I also hit up Pier One's 50% off Christmas items sale. I picked up some fun things for Mike's office decor and for our gold-and-blue-themed upstairs. You'll have to wait until the 2011 holiday season to get a peek!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fine china and Chinese takeout -- holiday must haves

When Mike and I got married we didn't really need/want china. But we decided we would use Christmas china. We (I) envisioned large holiday dinners with family around our table and the perfect place settings and serveware setting the scene (setting, get it?). So we continue to recieve this lovely pattern in various forms and we insist on using it.

I should mention the placemats are from Aunt Pat and Uncle Lou from last year. They match perfectly!

For the past two years, Mike and I have sat down to a fancy meal during the holiday season. I couldn't tell you what we've eaten off our fancy service, but I do remember doing it. He has been out of town a lot and the holidays have flown by, but I insist on keeping the tradition. We travel to parents' houses for holiday meals and I don't transport the china. So I set the table Monday night and put out all the serving dishes for an inpromptu Chinese takeout dinner on the fine china. Courtney, Tara, and Melissa helped and came to eat dinner with me. It was beautiful!

Lennox's "Holiday" is a fine complement to good friends.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Now Dasher, Now Dancer, Now Prancer ... Don't hit Vixen on I-79!

Welcome to Christmas 2010: Part 2, Maysel. Let's house crash MoJo and BG Al's, shall we?
So, first, it was a White Christmas in Clay County. Lovely to see and to have, but wasn't so nice to see when we left Midnight Mass at 1:30 a.m. and found snow raining down on roads that were not going to be plowed/salted anytime soon. The ride home was a white knuckle trek complete with Vixen, or another of Santa's harem, running out in front of us on I-79. Oh, lucky us. Dad has been driving since he was 6 years old. We were good.

BG Al is a Charlie Brown tree enthusiast. He raises the bar every year. Check out his latest after Santa came to visit.

The living room tree is all dad. Mom decorates the rest of the house. Her awesome nativity is made of dolls from the Provence region of France. These "Santons" were all gifts from her friend Susane.

She couldn't find her 3 Wise Men or the baby Jesus. Go figure.

Mom has been building a hodgepodge Christmas Village for years. See the house on the top left knoll? That's Santa's workshop. I think that came from Nashville, TN. I remember when she got it! (Yes, The Grinch was on TV)

I think Mom's pride and joy is her Travel Tree. She and dad collect ornaments from places they visit and they end up here. Mike and I have even contributed with ornaments from Delaware, Antigua, Tybee Island, Corolla, and Williamsburg.
The latest contribution from Mike and me (Tybee Island).

Mom has several knicknacks around the house. Here is a small group of snowmen. I painted the on on the far right in 1992!

What would Christmas in Maysel be without several references to National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation? Here we have Hunter joining in on the fun.

Christmas 2010: Parts 1 and 2 were both glorious occasions. Can't wait til next year!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Oh, the Sweaters Inside were Frightful

Step away from the Bungalow with us for Christmas 2010: Part 1, Manassas. We traveled to Virginia over the weekend to take in Christmas with Mike's fam. They had their home ready for us! Join us in a little Manassas holiday house crashing.

This is the swanky red IKEA dresser Marie picked for her downstairs guest room after a painstaking search. I think it works wonderfully for the holidays (and the rest of the year, too!).

Here's the cheery red dresser with its equally cheery guest room Christmas tree.

Next we have the big Christmas tree and all the goodies piled underneath. Apparently it was supposed to be a light Christmas. I don't think anyone got the memo.

And the stockings were hung on the banister with care.

Have you ever seen so many lights in a ceramic tree?

We all exchanged ugly sweaters for our first (hopefully annual) Ugly Sweater Contest. Mike C. was a clear winner with original couture designed by Mama Marie. We all went bowling in our sweaters after this. They loved us at Bowl America. They really did. They told us so.

(Lilo is not in this picture. She is upstairs eating our cheesecake. For real.)

Stay tuned for Christmas 2010: Part 2, Maysel! We'll have some holiday house crashing from the home of MoJo and BGAl coming your way.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Let's GO .....

Some of the most excitable Mountaineer fans from the other side of the nuthou... er, state line are coming to town for the regular season's last game -- WVU vs Rutgers. Our newly finished basement will get some sleeping hours logged. Maybe. But even more exciting is that there will be way too much food and drink for the bungalow and more laughs than 7 people crammed in it can handle. Hope She's ready. Did I mention there are four Christmas trees to navigate?
Let's Go Mountaineers (and USF Bulls, too!)!!