Thursday, January 31, 2013

{pretty, happy, funny, real} on January 31

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~
Brought to you by Like Mother, Like Daughter


The morning sun, my daughter being creative. . .


Our first try making homemade paint! It wasn't an ideal consistency, but Arden didn't know the difference. (I may have messed it up by adding the dish soap before the cornstarch mixture was cooled down, which made it bubbly instead of smooth.) Anyone have any good recipes for homemade, washable paint?

And here is Jack at 9 months - he is growing fast, and is such a happy little boy. 


Jack and the cats!

We recently acquired two new cats from the humane society. (Our dear Scratchy went to cat heaven back in September, and we figured it was time for a feline presence in the house again.) They pulled on our heartstrings with their "Mommy and Me" program, in which you buy a kitten and get the mother for free!

Arden loves the cats (and they put up with her attentions very well, I might add!), but Jack has also taken a keen interest in them.

Here he is crawling over to the mother cat, Milly.

And here he is  crawling as fast as he can after the kitten, Pickwick!

Pickwick. When I first saw him I thought he looked like he'd had a jar of
black ink spilled on him! I simply had to give him a literary name.

It's so nice to have cats in the house again! Two feels just right, and these are lively without being crazy. They were strays and had been in the pound since November, so I think they were grateful for a home. We are happy to have them!


I am at my wits' end with the living room. Maybe it's cabin fever, I don't know, but I am just so dissatisfied with it. It's never really felt like me. I've been able to arrange second hand furniture and bits and pieces of things in every other room in the house, but this one is just not coming together. (You can see its various versions over the last three years in these posts.)

I moved the furniture last night so that the couch isn't blocking the traffic and view from the main door. But this room has three doors, which makes it quite tricky for furniture arrangement.

This is the view from the door we use to enter the room most often.

The couch is now on the far window wall, instead of facing the window as you come in the room. I like how it opens up the room. That organ, which is currently being used as a tv stand, has to go! It's too dark and big for this room. I have to figure out another tv option that is also babyproof! One of the other issues is that the far corner is the only place we can put the tv (due to the cables and location of power outlets) if we want to keep it in this room.

There are so many doors! Any ideas for furniture placement?

This room, and the adjoining music room, also desperately need a coat of paint. But how do I choose a colour?? I don't want to pick the colour based on these couches. I find them too dark and busy, especially at this time of year, so I am thinking of putting our other old set (currently in the basement) back into the room. But I struggled with finding a paint colour to go with them too.

View into music room. 

Since taking these photos this morning, I went to town and bought a big, neutral drop cloth. I am going to experiment with the drop cloth as a couch cover on our other set of couches. Then I can add colour with other fabrics and cushions, and maybe paint the walls a colour I like! I don't know if it's going to work - it might look a little rumpled. But at this point I am willing to risk rumpled to see if I can get a look that I feel at home in! Any thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions? :)

round button chicken



  1. I think it looks so cozy... maybe scooting the chair closer would make it cozier? i don't know.

    we also have a busy couch that we inherited, but i'm thankful to have two couches. and we like the size so it will have to do until we can afford to re-cover it.

    adorable kiddos:)

  2. Your sun pics with your daughter are wonderful. And we have so many awkward rooms in our hacked together house. The only solution is experimentation, so hard on the back, but worth it when you finally find what feels right.

  3. Get that handy husband of yours to build a corner shelf to hold the TV. He can make another just underneath (or on top) for the DVD player. Go nuts and add another for DVDs. :)

  4. You might just be on to something, Jen! Hmmmn....

  5. What about a slip cover for the couch. I saw some recently in our local craft/homewares shop that looked a lot more fitted than those I have seen in the past. We too have inherited sofas but at least ours are beige - if 80s fabric:)

    Jack looks so much like your husband! I love the photos of him scooting towards the cats. Our 9 month old is driving our dogs nuts chasing them around. Our oldie has taken to hiding under our bed.

  6. Yes -- ditch the organ asap, build a corner shelf and find some shutters at a thrift store to hide the TV behind.

    Then arrange the furniture for talking -- think about people talking to each other comfortably -- and the room will arrange itself. We have a gazillion doors, windows, fireplaces -- no place for furniture!
    But if you think first of how to see each person and hear what he's saying from every piece of furniture, you'll figure it out.
    Also, for future reference, it's hardly ever worth it to get a sofa and loveseat. 2 sofas, 2 loveseats, many chairs -- that works better.
    Good for you to think about it this way -- you'll get the solution, I know it!

  7. Can you mount your television on the wall? Mounting kits are fairly inexpensive, especially if you are willing to order online. That would allow you to move the organ out and not move anything else in.

    Do you have painters tape? Run it from the end of the wide door that goes into the music room to the opposite wall. Consider that the space you have for furniture. Set about making that space cozy and comfortable for talking and tv viewing--maybe bring up the loveseat from the other set and keep both couches downstairs. Center the bookcase on the wall between the loveseats. Using the loveseats will/should give you enough clearance for walking through the doors. The couch and the recliner may have to find a new home in this arrangement.

    You will still have the space from the painters tape to the wall--where the burnt orange chair currently lives. DO you have more bookshelves in the house? Could you create a book nook in that corner? Or maybe a writing area if you've got a little desk or table?

    Extra doorways and windows can be so tough. And sometimes the most pleasing arrangement visually is not the one that works best for the way you live (I find this difficult reality to adjust myself to at times). Best of luck!!


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