Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Eleven Things

Sometimes Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles make queso with their swords.

I was tagged by the always amazing Stephanie over at Mrs. Stephanie T for an 11 things post.

1. Post these rules.
2. Post a photo of yourself and 11 random things.
3. Answer the questions set for you in the original post.
4. Create 11 new questions and tag people to answer them.
5. Go to their blog/twitter and tell them that you've tagged them.

1. You probably already know this about me, but I am one of the most un-shy people you will ever meet. I would feel comfortable in a room with 500 strangers.
2. I'll try any food once. I grew up eating whatever my parents handed to me. Escargot (snails), calamari (squid), you name it I ate it. 
3. I would eat sushi every single day if I could.
4. I tell Andy that Justin Timberlake is my real boyfriend. I have been obsessed with him since I was a small person.
5. I pop my neck all the time. It drives people crazy.
6. I love organizing things. My desk is always clean and in order.
7. We have a one eyed cat that has taken up residence in the Bungalow's backyard lately. It scares the crap out of me.
8. I read a crazy amount of books. If you ever want to know what I'm currently reading, look on my left side bar.
9. Andy's nickname for me is Shan Shan Minivan. I hate minivans so he does it to irritate me.
10. I am saving up for a nice camera so that I can post better pictures on my blog. I don't have much saved because I just blew it all on a new purse. Oops.
11. I am 5 foot 11 and a half. That's kinda tall.

1. What is the one thing that makes you the happiest?
Andy. I can always count on him to make me laugh.
2. What are your favorite names for little girls? Boys?
I used my two good girl names on my cats, Bella and Abby. I love the name Bennett for a little boy, but my cousin just used that name. It's going to be tough when that time comes!
3. If you had one day completely to yourself and money was no obstacle, what would you do?
I would go on a shopping spree, because duh, clothes and shoes are awesome. And, I hate shopping with other people so I would have to do it by myself.
4. Tell me something that I (and your readers) may now know about you!
I have a birthmark on my right calf that looks kind of looks like the state of Florida.
5. What's your favorite color?
Right now it's a tie between teal and lime green. It changes often.
6. What is one thing that you absolutely love about yourself?
My way with words. I can talk my way into or out of most situations. I also think it makes me an okay writer.
7. What's your all-time favorite blog?
Young House Love. Hands down.
8. What would your "last meal" be?
Deep dish Chicago style pizza. You can find my recipe here.
9. What would be your ideal state to live in?
Easy. Hawaii.
10. What's your biggest online pet peeve?
People that don't credit where they got their ideas from. If you felt inspired enough by a post to write something similar, please credit where you got that inspiration!
11. Anything else you'd like to share?! :) 
I just want to say that I am so thankful for my blog readers and friends. You guys make my days so much better.

1. Who inspires you?
2. What is your favorite book that you've ever read?
3. Who is your biggest celebrity crush?
4. If money was no object, what would your dream profession be?
5. Do you have any habits that annoy others?
6. What's your favorite thing to cook?
7. Are you a morning or a night person?
8. What is the first blog your ever read?
9. Do you like road trips or would you prefer to fly?
10. Do you prefer salty or sweet things?
11. If you were an animal, what animal would you be?


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Decisions, Descisions

Have you ever had to make a tough decision? One that you knew that would shape your life? I have. But, the biggest life shaping decision I have made in recent years didn't present itself as being all too important, or really all that tough. Funny how things like that happen.

A few years back, I was on a vigorous job hunt. I started in October and went after every open position that came my way. I was lucky enough to be employed during my hunt, many others were not so lucky. I went to interview after interview, many with 250 applicants for one open position. It was a nightmare. Finally, I was given an interview in a dermatology office that seemed promising. It went well and I was called back for a second interview. Only an hour after that second interview, they offered me the job and I accepted.

I received a phone call at about 9 pm on the following Tuesday. It was the owner of a company I applied at over a month ago. One of those, "well I obviously didn't get the job because I haven't heard anything in a month" kind of situations, so it kind of shocked me to get the call. He proceeded to give me a phone interview, right then and there. I had already accepted the other position, but I figured that all interview experience is good experience, so I agreed to meet with him on Thursday morning.

As I pulled up to the building that Thursday morning, I was shocked at how beautiful it was. Set on a pond with two fountains and a wall of two story glass windows, it was unlike any other building I had ever been in. When I walked into the lobby, you could tell it was professionally decorated and sunshine streamed from every direction. All of a sudden, I really wanted this job. I had been stuck in a windowless office shared with 3 other people under the steady flicker of fluorescent lights for the past year, so even at the bare minimum, I was in it for the sunlight.

The interview went well, and I was called back for another. Then the waiting game commenced. I waited a week and heard nothing. My heart sank, I was starting the job at the dermatology office on Monday, and I really didn't want to work there now. Finally, I decided to be proactive and just call to see if they had made a decision. I called, and they essentially told me that I had got the job and were just waiting on the official paperwork to be drawn up for my offer. I may or may not have screamed in my living room and jumped around after that phone call. No judging.

A few weeks after I started, my life got turned upside down. My then boyfriend and I broke up. We had been living together, and suddenly I was without a place to call home. I packed up my stuff and my beloved cats and headed to my parents for a few days while I figured my life out. I moved into a wonderful one bedroom apartment and began on one of the greatest journeys I have ever been on.

I knew Andy from work. He was always so nice and he had these really cool sunglasses I liked. We started seeing each other outside of work. A text here and there turned into calls just to say hi. We met each others families. We told our bosses at work about us seeing each other. I cooked for him (I didn't really know how to cook at that point). He took me to places for dinner that I had never been. He became my best friend. Last August, we bought the Bungalow together.

We still work together. At our jobs and at home. Every day we work. Some days it's fun, some days it's not. But you would be hard pressed to find many couples stronger than us. We've been through a lot together.

I probably would have never met Andy if I wouldn't have taken this job. I have my entire wonderful life thanks to my vain decision to want to work in a pretty building. How crazy is that?

Monday, February 27, 2012

I'm Sick of Paint Samples

We have a stack of paint samples on our kitchen counter right now that doesn't seem to be stopping growing any time soon. We chose two new shades of green Friday night to try.

From left to right: Brush Meadow by Valspar | Heath Green 3 by Valspar Laura Ashley Home | Guacamole by Olympic | Olive Martini by Valspar

I liked Brush Meadow, but it was too bright. Andy liked Heath Green, but it was too pastel. Then I was back to liking the Guacamole color. I sat looking at them for probably an hour. Then we both decided we didn't like green anymore.


So it was back to drawing board. Our dining room is a darker gray (seen here), so I was afraid to go too dark in the living room. And then I had a brilliant (well at least I thought so) idea. Ever since I laid eyes on Plumage by Martha Stewart (I was just talking about it on Friday!) I have been obsessed. I have been thinking about what room I could put it in. It was too dark to do the entire living room, but what if I just painted one statement wall with that color and put something lighter on the other three walls?

Left, Plumage by Martha Stewart (see below for better picture of the color). Right, Winter's Day by Martha Stewart (it's a little darker in person)

Plumage, up close and personal. It's more of a dark teal.

I want to put Plumage on the wall behind our TV and then the gray on the other three walls (see here for a tour of the living room to understand the layout). It will coordinate with our dining room without being too matchy.

So that's where I'm currently at today with the paint samples. I'm still obsessed with the Plumage, so this might be the final answer (after Andy's approval, of course).

We weren't all work and no play this weekend though. Andy and I had not one, but TWO date nights. You can be jealous, it's okay. We went to one of our favorite restaurants on Friday night (yay for gift certificates!) and then to a new bar we have been wanting to try afterwards. Saturday we watched Creighton barely squeak another win in at the new sports bar in a cool newly renovated building in our neighborhood. After that we treated ourselves to our favorite pizza place in our 'hood and then home to watch our favorite TV show, An Idiot Abroad 2: The Bucket List. If you haven't seen it, you need to. We laugh so hard.

What did you do this weekend? Do you have any input on my paint sample debacle? I need your help bloggy friends!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Blogs I'm Lovin'

What I'm planning on doing this weekend.

In conjunction with yesterday's post about the blogosphere, I thought that for this week's Links I'm Lovin' I would share 10 "big" blogs that I love reading. Deal? Deal.

Harper's Happenings
I love this blog so much. So much that I've sponsored Mandy for the past two months. Her daughter Harper is the cutest thing ever. Mandy is hilarious, and most importantly real. She isn't the kind of mommy blogger that only shows the part of her life that is sunshine and rainbows. Yesterday, she said Harper tried to kill her. Sometimes toddlers do that.

Hairdresser on Fire
Reagan is everything I wish I was and more. She lives in NYC, has totally fabulous hair and an even better wardrobe. She is a hairstylist at a super cool salon has the best tutorials. Her hair is everything I wish mine was. Her personal blog is also worth a look. Her daughter was born with Cerebro Costo Mandibular Syndrome and has to live in a hospital. As heartbreaking as that sounds, they make it work and look amazing while doing it.

Rockstar Diaries
I'm totally bandwagoning this one, but Naomi is just too awesome to skip. Her style is amazing, her daughter is beautiful, and they have the cutest English bulldog, Kingston. They have baby #2 approaching, and I don't think I've ever seen a more beautiful pregnant lady in my life.

Flourish in Progress
Where do I even start with this one? Elizabeth is one of the most hilarious people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting on the internet. So many times I catch myself with the giggles at my desk when I am reading her Monday Dares. You also need to follow her on Twitter @NoShoppingLiz. You won't regret it.

The Paper Mama
I found Chelsey through Mandy at Harper's Happenings. She posts really cool tutorials for everything ranging from hair to faux terrariums. Her daughter Ruari is adorable and says the funniest things. Chelsey also is a very talented artist. You can check out her Etsy shop here.

Young House Love
There is only one word I can use to describe this blog. OBSESSED. Everything they do is magical to me. Yesterday they managed to convince me that I need to paint a room in my house Martha Stewart's Plumage. John and Sherry are just so gosh darn likable too! And Clara and Burger round out the cast of characters with their cuteness. If you haven't been to their blog before, prepare to be amazed.

The Small Things Blog
Kate blew up on Pinterest last year. You couldn't log on without seeing one of her hair tutorials. I've used quite a few of them before, but I prefer my hair to look messier and not so polished so I always rough it up a bit. She also has great makeup and accessory tutorials.

Hudson's Happenings
Ashley is an awesome blog friend of mine. I love the design of her blog and her son Hudson is so dang cute and has the best insights on life. The pictures of her family that she posts are gorgeous. I would take tons of pictures too if my family was that beautiful!

The Bloggess
Jenny is so many things. Hilarious, inspirational, strong, and beautiful are just the few that come to mind. Have you heard about Beyonce? It is my favorite blog post that has ever been written. A close second is Juanita. Also, you need to check out the Red Dress Project that she started. It's so amazing.

Nat the Fat Rat
I talked about Natalie yesterday, but this list isn't complete without her. I love her style of writing. It's conversational yet poignant. Whenever I read her blog, it makes me want to move to NYC. It's been photo heavy since she moved back to NYC, but every once and awhile her old word filled posts will return.

So there you have it! My favorite "big" blogs. What are your favorites?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Blogosphere

I distinctly remember the first blog I ever came across. It was The Itty Bitty Kitty Committee, which I found through the website Cute Overload (I dare you to go there and not make the "eeee!" noise that I make when I see cute things). On the sidebar of her blog, there was a section that said "More From BlogHer", and one day I clicked on one of the links listed. It was Nat The Fat Rat (pre-famousness, this was years ago). As I read about her life, her fertility struggles, and her Holbshusband, I felt like I knew her. I felt like we could be friends. I wondered, are all blogs like this? People write about their lives and people care? Heck, I totally care about her life!

The next blog I found through that little "More From BlogHer" link list was Veronica M.D. (formerly known as Chunky Monkey). I followed along with her pregnancy, her hilarious posts about the funny things her husband says, and her penchant for spying on her neighbors from her 3 season porch. When it got close to her due date and her posts stopped, I NEEDED to know if she had her baby! I was emotionally invested in a blogger's life? What had I become?

Then I found Sara's Organized Chaos. Holy cow is this chick a bad ass. She manages to maintain a home, children, a husband, a job, two cats, an etsy shop, and so much more while being utterly hilarious. Once again, I found myself thinking, "I could totally be this girl's friend".

But I was a lurker. I never left comments. I read these people's blogs (and many more) for YEARS without leaving a single comment. There were multiple times where I wrote a comment, just to erase it and leave the page. I'm not sure what I was so afraid of. That they wouldn't like me? That they would think I was weird? I don't know.

Little by little, I started feeling the urge to become a blogger myself. I have always loved writing, so what better way to do that then to blog, right? But I was crippled by the fact that I thought my life was uninteresting. That no one would read my blog. I was nowhere near as fashionable as Nat the Fat Rat or Naomi of Rockstar Diaries. I didn't live somewhere cool and exciting like New York City or San Francisco. I didn't have a cute baby or a high powered career.

But do those things really matter? I buy my clothes at Target like the rest of the general population, and I'm not ashamed. I live in an awesome city that is often overlooked. I have a wonderful boyfriend and an amazing family (and two crazy cats). That's enough to write about on it's own, right?

Then we moved into the Bungalow. Things got busy/crazy/hectic for a few months and I forgot about my blogging dreams when I was up to my ears in brush and weeds from the yard. Right before we started our dining room update in November, I decided I was going to finally do it. I was going to blog. And I was going to blog for me, even if no one reads it. And thus, Bungalow960 was born.

I am often shocked at how welcoming the blogosphere is. I correspond with Veronica from Veronica M.D. and Sara from Sara's Organized Chaos now, and I think of them as my first blog friends. I still hold them on a celebrity-like pedestal that I reserve for my favorite bloggers, and feel so lucky to have met them. I have made so many friends from blogging and I no longer feel like my life isn't interesting or fashionable enough to write about.

So this is my challenge to you. Lurkers... leave a comment on the blogs you read daily. I read and respond to every single comment I get. Your comments make my day. If I would have known that years ago, I would have be commenting on blogs all the time. I won't think you're weird and I will like you. Email me, follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook. Let's be buddies, okay?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Here's to Healthy

We've turned a corner at the Bungalow. Fast food wrappers have been replaced with free range chicken. Bags of delicious, salty kettle chips have been replaced with sweet potato chips. Ice cream has been replaced with frozen yogurt. You get the picture, we've made some eating changes in the past few weeks.

After a visit with the acupuncturist a few weeks ago, I reevaluated the things I was putting into my body. Was eating cheese with every meal REALLY necessary? Delicious, yes, but necessary, no. Fast food burritos are not your friend, no matter how amazing they taste. So here are some things we have been changing around the Bungalow:

Less dairy products (for me, I have cut my dairy consumption by about 3/4)
Less products with gluten in them
Replace red meat with chicken or turkey
More fresh vegetables (we both already ate a lot of fresh fruit)
Limit the snacking
No eating items you can't pronounce/don't know what they are (ie. no chemical ingredients or fillers)

Did you know that most fast food fries are cooked in some sort of silicone oil to keep the oil from foaming? The same kind of silicone they put in breast implants? Gross! Eating healthy does require more planning, but I feel 100 times better. I don't wake up in the middle of the night with a stomachache anymore and I have a ton more energy. Plus, we are honing our skills in the kitchen. Andy makes some killer stir fry and Monday night I whipped up a healthier version of my famous chili. Just because we're friends, I'll give you the recipe (pictured above):

Shannon's Famous Chili - Healthy Style
(probably only famous to Andy because he really likes it)

1 lb ground turkey
1/2 medium onion chopped (we substitute onion powder at the Bungalow because Andy refuses to eat onions)
2 cloves minced garlic (I usually do a heaping teaspoon of the minced garlic in a jar)
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes (we try to choose organic for our canned products)
1 can (24 oz) tomato sauce
2 cans (14.5 oz) dark red kidney beans
1 1/2 cup chopped celery
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
dash or two red pepper flakes
dash (or ten, depending on how hot you like it) Frank's Red Hot
cheddar cheese to top (I skip that part)

Pair with your favorite cornbread recipe. I used Bob's Red Mill gluten-free cornbread mix, it was delicious!

I've also been digging EVOLfoods' frozen meals. Their bowls are all gluten free, and last night I tried one of their flatbreads (chicken and grilled vegetable) and it was SO GOOD. Like I would order it at a restaurant good. They also have burritos and pizzas. It's the perfect solution to on the go but still healthy meals.

Have you been stepping up your nutrition game? What's your favorite healthy recipe? Eating healthy can taste just as good (if not better!) than eating junk food.

P.S... Do you want to sponsor Bungalow960 in March? Click here!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Bungalow Tour: The Before

I finally got around to saving all the listing photos of the Bungalow. Looking at them now seems surreal. Everything looks so different in the 6+ months that have passed! I am trying to take some after shots, but it's hard to find a room that is "photo worthy" lately. But, you can find a tour of our living room here. Keep in mind... none of this is our stuff, the house was staged when these were taken and when we looked at it.

Welcome to the jungle, we've got fun and games... This picture hurts me inside. Our poor Bungalow was neglected on the outside. The previous owner did not do any yard work in the 5 years she lived there besides cutting the grass (in which she left the clippings in the bushes...). You can see what the house looked like after we tackled the bushes in front of the house here, but I don't have any pictures of the house with the front yard done from the fall last year. It looks so much better.

Another shot of the overgrown mess. Andy also wants to take out the windows on the screened in porch. I agree, but the idea terrifies me. Who knows what we'll find. But, it would increase the curb appeal of the Bungalow.

We have a tiny little garage in the back of our house. Just enough space to store all of our junk and neither of our cars.

More jungle in the backyard. Ugh. We were able to get a handle on a lot of this last fall. The tree is a peach tree... I'm so excited for it to bloom this year! The previous owner left us that little rusted out patio set (how nice of her...). We scrubbed that baby down and put a couple coats of oil rubbed bronze spray paint on it (a la Young House Love) and it was as good as new. You can check it out here.

And here is the living room, with the rug that so cleverly hid the scratches in my beautiful wood floors (someone cut the carpet for the stairs in the living room and left a row of symmetrical scratches in my oak floors... ugh). 
Another shot of the living room, facing the front of the house.

I was fooled in these pictures big time before we looked at the house. I thought the counters were granite! They're not, but the laminate mimics it nicely.

We are lucky enough to have all new stainless steel appliances.

I hate you red dining room! This was the first room to be redone. You can read about it here, here, here, and here.

The downstairs bath. It looks so yellow in this picture. It's definitely not that yellow. And it looks exactly the same now as in this picture, minus the shower curtain and the bath mat. I need to get a close up of the gorgeous original honeycomb tile in there. The wallpaper in there is not too obnoxious, but I would like to change it.

My glorious nap room. Also known as the guest room. It is still the green color, but it's on my list of things to paint.

The third bedroom. We use it as an office as well. This picture makes it look tiny. It's really not that small.

My favorite place. The master bedroom. It's located in the half story that used to be the attic. I love it so much. What's funny is that we have that exact same bed frame as the staged bed but in a king.

More of my pretty bedroom. I want to change out the chandelier, so that's on the list as well.

Master closet! They took the "unusable" space on the side of the bedroom and turned it into a house length walk in closet. Here's what my half looks like on any given day.

The master bath. Not much has changed in here either. We had to move the mirror up (we are very tall people) and added a bath mat and some coordinating towels, but that's it.

Scary old basement. I hate it down there. This picture shows off the brand new furnace and water heater. You can see the nasty floor drain in the bottom right corner. See here if you want to know why I hate it so much. You can also see how there is absolutely no sound barrier in our old house. Andy can be in the basement doing laundry and I can be in the living room upstairs and we can have a conversation without raising our voices.

These are what you would call antiques. They still work and we do use them, but we have space set aside on our Nebraska Furniture Mart card for if and when they crap out on us. The table on the left has been in the house for who knows how long, it appears to have been made in the 40's or 50's. It's been passed down from owner to owner, and is now ours to smear with laundry soap.

So there you have it. A Bungalow tour before it was ours. Thoughts?

March Sponsors

Is it already the end of February? That means it's time to round up my March sponsors!

It's super simple and super FREE! You put my blog button on your blog, and I put yours on mine. Send me a little info on yourself (including a picture!), and I will introduce you to my readers in a dedicated sponsor post.

Want to join in on the fun? Email me at bungalow960 {at} gmail {dot} com!

Monday, February 20, 2012


Make sure you check out my guest post over at Crescendo today! I'm kicking off Midwest Blogger Week!

This weekend was all about teamwork. Andy and I make a pretty good team. I think working together in our jobs helps us work together better at home. I know a lot of guys complain that their wife/girlfriend/significant other is no help with home repair, but I like to think that I do a pretty good job. He tells me to hold the door perfectly still, I hold the door perfectly still. He needs a different size screwdriver, I go get it. He needs screws removed, I use the drill to get them out. I may not know as much as he does about home repair, but I'm a good helper and I'm learning.

This weekend we tackled a project we had been putting off for months. The door to the master bedroom had loosened itself from the jamb and was on it's way to falling on one of us at any moment. The wood in the jamb is as old as our house (88 years) and is a little rotted and splintered. We had tried to repair it once, and it didn't work so great. So this weekend we did a last attempt at repair before we have to replace the jamb.

First we removed the door.

See all the nasty old wood? No wonder the door was falling out. Also, some idiot painted all our white oak trim white years back and the owners after that didn't take care of it, so now it's chipped everywhere. It's on my to do list...

Andy drilled some half inch holes into where the screws needed to go.

And we cut down some dowels to insert.

Popped those suckers in with some wood glue and let it set for 24 hours.

5 out of the 6 worked really well, but it's most likely a temporary fix. We will need to replace the jamb eventually, it's too far gone to repair well. Andy also replaced the valves to the washing machine in the basement and I managed to finally clear the main floor bathtub drain (it drained painfully slow). We also hooked up a dehumidifier in the basement to get rid of some of that "old house" smell.

Then I had the wonderful idea to get some paint samples for our living room. 

The right two are the same color, just one with primer and one without. Left is Guacamole by Olympic and right is Olive Martini by Valspar.

We're leaning towards the one on the left but I am having a hard time making a decision. I might go get some more samples to try tonight. I wanted to mimic some of the golden tones in our floor, but I think the Olive Martini color is too yellow. 

We ended our teamwork weekend with cooking some stir fry together.

What did you do this weekend? Did you do anything that involved teamwork? Also, what paint color should I choose? I'm so dang indecisive. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Everybody's Workin' for the Weekend

Hi friends! It's Friday! The first part of this week drug by slooooowwwwly, but the second half flew by. The fact that it is actually light when I drive to work in the morning and is still light when I drive home makes me a little happier during this cold February. I've got some real winners for you this week for my links that I was lovin'!

HelloGiggles is hilarious. I always find the best stuff on their website. This photo gallery is no exception.

These nails are so cute. They reminded me of my sister instantly. She loves herself some leopard print. (Hi Al!)

As if I wasn't already obsessed with Harper enough... she sang this gem this week. I love Foster the People, so that makes this ever better. "With the redneck kisses, with the one-eyed rum, faster than my pockets..."

Andy and I are currently drooling over this house. It's in our ideal school district, which just puts the icing on the cake. We love cool architecture and living in a house like that would be a dream. Even if it isn't as old as my beloved Bungalow.

This nail polish is my spring/summer go to. I don't know why they describe it as a red... it's definitely the perfect shade of pink. Not too bright, not too dark.

These mixer decals are way too cute. I think I am going to order the "Subway" style in white. It will be the perfect addition to my pride and joy of the kitchen!

Andy made me this Chicken Stir Fry for dinner the other night. Holy cow was it good! It tasted just like real Chinese food, but way healthier. We threw in a ton of fresh vegetables and chowed down.

If you haven't heard of Revlon's Lip Butter yet, you need to go get some. Like now. Hurry! I saw it on a ton of blogs this week, but Kate at The Small Things Blog wrote about it here. I may or may not have went out and bought four shades...

Andy bought me a late Valentine's Day present to go see Fun. in April. I am so excited. Their song "We Are Young" was featured in a Super Bowl commercial, so expect to see and hear them everywhere real soon.

This Reader Redesign that Young House Love posted is amazing. So simple, so beautiful, so FREE. I'm trying to come up with a place that I can do it in my house with our leftover paint.

So what links were you lovin' this week? Any big plans for the weekend? We are repairing our master bedroom door jamb and replacing the water valves to our washer and drier tonight. Being a homeowner means working on the weekends! I am trying to convince Andy that I need a pink tool belt in order to work on the house. It's necessary, right?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Winter Survival Kit

It is cold here in Omaha. We were spoiled rotten most of the winter with unseasonably high temperatures (70° in the beginning of February!) but now reality has set in. We have weeks old snow still on the ground, melting during the day and freezing to sheets of ice at night. So, I have put together a list of things that help me get through the winter slump and into spring.
Ugg Ansley Slippers via Zappos

SO worth the hefty price tag. I bought these last fall when Andy and I had a particularly heated discussion over the set point of the thermostat. My feet are so happy whenever I wear them. Andy had the matching men's pair before I got mine, so when we're both wearing them, I like to yell "MATCHING!" He appreciates it. Really.

Notre Dame Sweatshirt Blanket via Amazon

It's no secret that we are big Notre Dame fans at the Bungalow. It is also no secret that I have an obsession with sweatshirt blankets. I have a Creighton sweatshirt blanket that is used daily, so today I bought this Notre Dame one so we can both have one on those chilly nights. Sweatshirt blankets = best blankets ever.

via via via

Sometimes you need to put on your slippers, cover up with your blanket, and watch some trashy TV. Gossip Girl, Glee, and Grey's Anatomy are the three that I just can't miss. I've been watching all three since they first started. I'm emotionally invested now. Andy can tolerate Grey's Anatomy, but he can't stand the other two. That's fine. I can't stand watching Top Gear.

MacBook Pro 13 inch from Apple

What CAN'T you do on the internet? I love my MPB more than words can describe. It can entertain me for hours on a blustery day.

These snuggle buddies are the perfect companions for a cold day. They're like purring heating pads! Plus they're really stinking cute. 

What is in your winter survival kit? Are you as excited for spring as I am? I have a fresh pair of TOMS waiting in the box for when all this snow melts. They're too pretty to get dirty.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I live under that blue little dot in Omaha, Nebraska. Omaha is the 42nd largest city in the United States. Our metropolitan area includes about 1.2 million people. You CAN live in Nebraska and not live on a farm, people. In fact, I've only been on a farm once in my entire life. I was born and raised here, and I will most likely never leave. I wanted to share some of my favorite things about where I live.

Downtown Omaha at night.

The Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo is one of the best zoos in the world. It is also probably my favorite place in the world. It's landmark is the Desert Dome, which is the world's largest glazed geodesic dome. Also, the Lied Jungle is the largest indoor rain forest in the world. Last year I had the opportunity to go inside the giraffe exhibit and meet some of my favorite animals. It was one of the best days of my life.

My giraffe friend and I.
More giraffe friends.

Another of my favorite parts of Omaha is the Dundee neighborhood. The Bungalow is right outside Dundee (less than a mile from Warren Buffett's house!). There are so many awesome restaurants, bars, and shops in Dundee that are unique to Omaha. You'll often find us here:

The Old Market is also another awesome area of Omaha. Like Dundee, there are restaurants, bars, and shops that line the old brick streets along with street performers. Andy lived in the Old Market before we bought the Bungalow, so we have spent a lot of time there.

One of my favorite corners of the Old Market.

Here are some trivia facts about Omaha:
  • We are home to the College World Series.
  • Five Fortune 500 companies are based out of Omaha.
  • Marlon Brando's mother gave Henry Fonda acting lessons at the Omaha Community Playhouse.
  • Director Alexander Payne was born and raised in Omaha, and continues to shoot scenes for his movies here (Election, About Schmidt, Citizen Ruth).
  • President Gerald Ford, Malcom X, Fred Astaire, Nick Nolte, Gabrielle Union, and Andy Roddick were born here. Warren Buffett was born in Omaha and continues to live and work here.
  • Notable bands 311 and Bright Eyes are from Omaha, along with the Saddlecreek Records Label. There is a style of music called the "Omaha Sound".
  • The Counting Crows have a song named "Omaha". I rather like it.

So, when are you coming to visit me in wonderful Omaha, NE?