Saturday, December 31, 2011

American Horror Story

Things have been slow around the Bungalow as far as home improvement or nifty additions go. We got caught up in a way-too-busy schedule of work and holiday grind. But now it is time to show some love to our sweet abode. Before doing that we have to embrace her faults (and ours).

We are messy. Terribly messy. My plan is to corral this mess and make some sense of our house. First on the list are the Guest Room and its closet and the Basement. The closet needs shelves and I need discipline as far as not treating the whole room as my closet. The basement is going to remain ugly for a while, but it doesn't have to be such a mess filled with things we don't use. It is time to clean, purge and organize! With that in mind, the first step to recovery is admitting there is a problem. Well, I admit it:
 Guest room after Christmas. It's a little bit better now. Not much.

This is from a different angle.

Then there is the corner of the stairway to the basement and the basement. Terrible.


But not ALL is terrible. Our living room looked nice for the holidays.

For 2011 I had a mile long list of resolutions for the bungalow's upgrades. That list is still quite long. This year I'm keeping it simple -- Clean up the mess and keep it clean. Fingers crossed. Whatever we get accomplished on top of that (hello, new living room ceiling?) is icing on the cupcake.
Happy New Year!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Art deco

Get it? Art deco ... meaning I acquired more art to decorate with.

Our evolving staircase is still mostly a blank slate for art I want but cannot afford. I did make my yearly trip to WVU's Mountaineer Week craft fair and visited artist Annie Morris Simco. We have prints of her work in the living room and a small original piece, also in the stairwell, I splurged for last year at the fair. And now we have a new print in the stairwell!

 Isn't it lovely? Of course I would love to the have giant original of this, but it is not in our price range.

I also hung up my print taken by my friend, Jill Olexa. It is a shot of the mural painted on the back of the Chic N Bones building in downtown Morgantown. Check out Jill Olexa Photography if you're interested!

I like the two new additions to our gallery. Just gotta keep on movin' up ... the wall.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Not-So-Scary Halloween

I have always wanted to attend Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom. I came close back in 2009, but with a choice between it and Universal Studios' Halloween Horror Nights on a trip with hubby and friends, my choice for Mickey was vetoed.

With the help of deal shopper Courtney, I acquired a few not-so-scary Halloween friends for our porch and brought a little of Mickey's party to Short Street.

Hopefully they make it through the season without walking away.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Four More Years!

Mike and I celebrated our 4th anniversary last week on the 25th. We enjoyed dinner at Lira on High Street where I arrived to meet Mike and was greeted with hot pink roses in our orange vase at our table. Mike was so thoughtful to go to the restaurant early and infuse our dinner with our wedding colors. After dinner we headed to Lake Manor, a bed and breakfast in Cheat Lake where we had a gift certificate. It was a nice retreat complete with a private courtyard and hot tub attached to our room, the Esquire Suite. No, miss Lilo did not join us. Courtney was kind enough to baby sit her.

Mike and I celebrated with traditional 4th anniversary gifts of fruit and flowers. He gave a floral print cover for my new cell phone to me and attempted to gift me with a black pineapple from Antigua (where we honeymooned). Hurricane Irene put a stop to the shipment of the pineapple from Florida, so I missed out on the fruit portion of my gift. It's ok, because I gave Mike two melons for his gift. Why is that so funny? I needed to give him some fruit and melons were on sale. He also received a St. Francis de Sales charm to wear. Years ago I gave him one of St. Peter, a patron saint of writers, and he's worn it ever since. Alas, St. Pete bailed on him recently and is no where to be found. St. Francis stepped up to the challenge of protecting my writer instead.

The bed and breakfast was a welcome break for this busy couple. Things are about to get busier with football season kicking off this weekend (Go 'Eers!). Here's to four more years ... and then some!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Meet Elle Woods

We have been trying to find a piece of furniture for Mike's basement office that is both a comfy seat and a decent place to sleep. We would like to have a double bed/loveseat combo. In the meantime, our friend Courtney offered up a very economical (cough, free, cough) loveseat. It has no pull out bed. But it's comfy.

Meet Elle Woods.

Elle came to us from the Sigma Kappa house, hence her name. She had a good steam cleaning before we acquired her. Just sayin'.

Like her namesake, she makes the best of her situation. Look how cute she is tucked away in the corner of Mike's office. Go, Elle, Go! Bend and snap it, gurl!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

These Are My Confessions -- Part 4

I confess. I was laying on our hammock of yesterday's post and noticed we had some major weed issues.
I confess. I don't know if this is poison ivy or not.

If this is the bad stuff, we have a serious problem.

I confess. That is the guest room window. We need to do something about this before football season.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

These Are My Confessions -- Part 3

Mike should confess this one.

For our 2nd anniversary, which was almost two years ago, I bought Mike a cotton gift in honor of the traditional type of gift given for a 2nd anniversary. The cotton consisted of an Original Pawley's Island cotton hammock.

I confess. No one even removed it from its box until June 2011 ... almost two years later.

Luckily, Mike's parents gave him a stand for the hammock for his birthday this year. And we finally set it up. And we finally get to use it.

I confess. I love it.

It comes in handy when you have to babysit your friend's kid while said friend helps to install a new Mr. and Mrs. Maytag. Four-year-olds can be convinced that this is actually a giant spiderweb created by Spiderman to catch the bad guys in our neighborhood.

Monday, August 1, 2011

These Are My Confessions -- Part 2

Yesterday's post about the new Mr. and Mrs. Maytag has me inspired to confess that I'm horrified by the "Other" side of our basement.

I confess. It's scary. Here's what we're working with.

The water is from when we moved Ancient Maytag.

This is what Mr. and Mrs. Maytag stare at ... there is more in the basement, I just didn't take a picture.

This is the stairway down to the good, bad and ugly parts. Eventually there will be kickplates and a storage closet behind the stairs and accessible from the laundry area. The paint will be stripped and the wood stained. Eventually.

I confess. I hate the "Other" side. But Mr. and Mrs. Maytag inspire me to make it better and this we shall do. Eventually.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

These Are My Confessions ... Part 1

I confess. There are some little adjustments to the Bungalow we probably should have covered here and I haven't gotten around to it. Today's adjustment was so huge I had to blog about it immediately.
I confess. We don't usually talk about the "other" side of our basement. There's the adorable room/hallway dad built with a teensy bit of help from the rest of us. But then there is the "other" side. What is to the left of this picture?

I confess. You don't really want to see it.

We inherited a washer/dryer with our Bungalow. It has served us well, but it probably shouldn't take sometimes three cycles to dry a load of clothes. And our laundry probably shouldn't come out of the washer with black marks and holes.  Say hello to the Hotpoint and the Ancient Maytag.

Also say hello to the new 40 gallon hot water tank to the left of good ol Hotpoint that I don't think we ever addressed. The "Other" side is just too ugly to acknowledge ... but yes. We did score a new tank using our home warranty when the 30-year old 30-gallon tank pooped out on us just before having Mike's parents for Easter. It was a lovely transition that involved entertaining a handy man contracted by the warranty company for a few short hours. Nothing to it. And we sleep better knowing the previous 30 year-old-geyser isn't going to erupt at any given time.

Back to Hotpoint and Ancient Maytag ... We were going to wait until the after Thanksgiving sales to shop around for a new guy and gal. But friends of ours bought a new house and were ridding themselves of an extra set they had because they combined households. Queue me jumping up and down in excitment because they wanted to unload 6-year-old Maytags that were barely used. Yes, please.

A lot of sweating, cursing, and tearing up of our kitchen floor and hallway landing later we introduced our "Other" side to Mr. and Mrs. Maytag.

There are so many controls and settings I don't know what to do with myself.

So we borrowed a friend's truck to get these babies from their former owners. Then it took four of us to load them. Then two of us unloaded them. Then two of us and a dog tried to get the Ancient Maytag out of the basement. That was horrific. Thankfully just when I was giving up hope, our friend Jay came and offered a bit more muscle. I gladly played with his son while the men dealt with Ancient Maytag.  When all was said and done, Mr. and Mrs. Maytag were calling out to me. I had to do some laundry.

People, this is when it gets really interesting. I blissfully figured out what setting I wanted and loaded up Mr. Maytag.


And then I went upstairs. I came back down later to check on our new precious cargo and realized it was no longer running. "Oh no. I broke it" I was heartbroken. I realized I must have crammed too many towels in Mr. Maytag in my ambitious first fling with him. I walked over to him. He wasn't shuddering or shaking like I was accustomed to and he was very quiet. So I opened his lid ... and he was spinning! Good-Glorious-Martha-Stewart, Mr. Maytag was whirring away without a sound or shudder. Could this be real? I gleefully put his top down and admired his silence for a minute. Then the real kicker occurred.

Mr. Maytag is an Energy Star appliance!! In my  haste of snatching up our friends' laundry essentials I didn't even ask or notice this tidbit that was going to be so important to me when we finally purchased a new set. And lo and behold, there it was.

I'm in heaven. If Mike can't find me he should look in the basement where I'll surely be cuddling up next to Mr. Maytag. I'm crushing on him big time right now. (Thank you so much, Tony and Katrina! You have no idea how happy you've made me!)

So you're wondering what happened to Hotpoint and Ancient Maytag, aren't you? They are on their way to scrap metal heaven. Just as soon as Jay's buddy picks them up. In the meantime, they are classin' up the neighborhood.

Now I am inspired to work on the "Other" side a bit more. Mr. and Mrs. Maytag will require a much better residence and I intend to try to give it to them.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Giving Plate

Last weekend was the 6th Semi Annual BYOBBQ here at the Bungalow. We call it semi-annual because we didn't have the event when we moved to the bungalow in 2009. We did have a house warming party, but it wouldn't be right to count that, would it?

Friends and family were in and out all evening. And we acquired the Giving Plate.

Our friend Tara used it carry a batch of brownies to us. I have to blog about it now, just a short week later, because we're headed to another friend's party -- the 9th Annual Cave Seafood Feast/Happy Birthday Mr. Delicious event-- this evening.

Why would I give away such a lovely gift after having it only a week? Read the plate. It speaks for itself.

Doesn't it make you want to cry? I hope I get it back some day. It's such a nice idea. Of course I have to add my own sweet treats to it for today. Every seafood feast needs some home made whoopie pies with peanut butter cream and chocolate chips right? Here they are, recipe courtesy of The Lady.

Sure, they could be a little thicker and fluffier. But this is my first attempt at baking them. They can only get better (not sure how b/c I sampled one and mmmmmmm -mmmmmm!).

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The livin's easy ...

It's Summertime. Yay!

Remember back in December I used a Pier One gift card for some Summertime whimsy ... always looking ahead. I finally cleaned up the front porch a little bit so Mike and I can enjoy our dinner out there when we have the chance. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

My parents and I went to Swan Point, MD last weekend to visit my cousins. They have a beautiful home on the golf course and not far from the laid back Cobb Island. Just because I want you to be as envious as I am, check out this lovely scene from their screened in back porch. Don't you love the table?!

 While there, my mom and I helped Joann pick out  a few hanging pots of flowers for their front porch. I had flower envy. Extreme flower envy. She bought these flowers from her friend who lives on a farm not far from Swan Point. If I thought they would have survived the car ride home with my nephew, I would have purchased some for our porch.

Speaking of nephews, here is the Cutie Patootie hangin' out with cousin Libby on the front porch. Or, as he called her, "that other Erinn."

So I took my flower envy home from Maryland and got to work on our front porch. I picked up some petunias and found my whimsical stars from Pier One.

Then I remembered the pretty hanging candle holder sister-in-law Devon (from More Z's Please fame) gifted me with at Christmas.

But all of this looks so much more inviting on a hot summer night. See?

 Here's Mike taking a brief break from work for a candlelit dinner on the porch.

Also, here's an idea for outdoor candles. Mini citronella oil lamps! These were $1 each at Wal Mart and worked perfectly.

Stop by and have a glass of sweet tea with me sometime!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Like a Tree in the Wind

We came home last Thursday evening (May 26) to find a neighbor's tree partially in our yard. A harsh storm swept through Morgantown and left many trees toppled in its wake. There was even a huge beauty beside Stewart Hall on the main campus that met its maker.

Our little mess is not a big deal really ... except it is completely blocking the alley behind our house.
Lilo was on the scene to try to take care of business.

The job proved to be a little tough for her, so she just ran around and played in the brush instead.

Of course we called and reported it to the city. And of course the tree was still there when we came back to town on Monday evening. Not sure what to do with it now ... we do have a couple of friends with chainsaws. In the meantime, Huck Finn will have some fun with it.