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Scattered Sundays and meal plan for October 10th-16th

Can we just quit it already with the damn fruit flies? My house is coated in them right now. I think a cupboard in my kitchen is black, and then remember, nope, I have (ugly) brown cabinets. It’s just the gross swarm of fruit flies. We have amazing traps for them (shallow dish with water, a few drops of dish soap, and pear vinegar – fruit fly crack), and have the traps all over the house, but still they remain. My mother in law jokes that fruit companies spray fruit fly larva on fruit so that they hatch, it goes bad, and you go buy more fruit. I think she is on to something.


I hate decorating my house. Please do it for me. Troy and I have polar opposite opinions on decor, and yes, he wants a say in everything. Currently, I want to get rid of this here lamp.


We had it in our super tiny (600 sq feet) Los Angeles apartment, and it was one of our only sources of light, and gave us a bit of storage by our front door. In our apartment when we first moved home, it gave us light, and displayed Troy’s antique movie camera collection. Jack oddly never cared much about it, but Bennett is on it like white on rice. And that cord just looks like a pile of crap.

So, here is where you come in. How do I retain light in this space, without having a floor lamp? Do we (Troy) install a hanging lamp? Will the cord look terrible dangling from the ceiling? I think yes. Do I (you) find a gorgeous and super powerful table lamp to go where those flowers are (they’re not always there. In fact, they’re very dead. See all the petals on the DVD player and under the TV stand?) and just hope it gives off enough light? Do I find some sort of bendy table lamp so the light points away from the TV so as to not distract during the 30 minutes a week we are actually sitting and watching TV? Please advise. And by advise, I mean pick out a lamp for me, and put the link in the comments, because I need some serious hand holding with this one. More photos of the room added at your request:




Speaking of hand holding and redecorating, Troy and I have been saving for a wood stove for years now. It’s still definitely not in the budget, but we went and explored our options at a local fire place store. We wanted to know what we could agree on (remember, we have very different versions of taste), and how much it would cost. We had a giant fireplace when we moved in, but it sucked out so much heat, that having a fire actually made the house colder. We want back up heat if the power goes out, and very few things are as lovely as a cozy fire on a gross weather day. But…having the huge space-sucking fireplace out of our living room has been lovely. When we took it down, we found a giant beam behind the fireplace, which screws us up in terms of clearance for the stove. It means we have to have any stove jut out even further in to the room.


So, we laid out a blanket and put the baby jumper on it to mimic the footprint of the potential stove and hearth. We’ve been living with it, walking around it, and trying to decide if we will eventually pull the trigger. Your thoughts?


Jack’s Halloween decorations towards the top of the beam

Do you ever feel like life is really complicated, and some times you just want things to be simple? I keep catching Troy watching a really stupid sitcom from time to time. It is unlike anything he would ever watch, so I always do a double take. He throws up his hands, and says “I feel jealous of people who think this is funny, so I keep watching parts of it to try to understand”. I get that desire for simplicity, but have to think the root of a path to joy is not paved with cheesy Tim Allen comedies.


Meal plan time!

Monday:: Grilled cheese and tomato soup. So perfectly cozy fall fare.

Tuesday:: Pizza and salad. I’ll be gone all day with my mom, so something homemade from freezer makes the most sense.

Wednesday:: Chicken pot pie and salad. This was on the menu last week, but my in-laws took me to dinner for my birthday. Thanks guys!

Thursday:: A new recipe I’m working on for you peeps!

Friday:: Popcorn and movie night

Saturday:: Soup. Of some kind. I made a chicken gnocchi soup last week, and it was so good (everyone’s opinion. I thought it needed something) that it may be on the menu again. And if I can remember how I made it, I’ll share!

Sunday:: Family dinner

What are you having this week? Will you pick out a lamp for me? Please?

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27 comments on “Scattered Sundays and meal plan for October 10th-16th”

  1. I have neither idea nor link for your light problem, but that lamp you have can go, you beared it long enough. The place for the wood burner doesn’t look like sitting cozy in front of a fire because of all the doors, staircase and parts of open plan living. The heat won’ reach you sitting on the sofa but disappear sideways and behind. I wouldn’t invest into a wood burner at that place at all. Perhaps later in your family life rooms will change or you will find another access to the chimney from another room which will than become your livingroom?
    Sorry for my poor explanation and disappointing english, I read your blog from Germany and I’m neither an interior architect nor somebody with a good taste, I just collect my old furniture around me and don’t give away anything, but even I could send that lamp to somebody who likes it more….

  2. If you take pictures of the whole room it may be easier to advise on lamps! It’s hard to get a feel for the space with just one photo. Though my taste in lamps may be way different than what you both are in to! ๐Ÿ˜‰ haha! But it would help for anyone who wants to give advice. The fruit flies are full swing at my house too! S.o.b.’s!!

  3. I sort of agree with Angela about that location not giving you a warm living room as you are imagining, on the other hand if you’ve lost power it will send heat to other parts of the house. Perhaps you might want to consider putting the stereo system there you would have sound all over the house. And don’t forget you can get wood stoves that are wider from side to side rather than deeper from front to back. A different shape might work in that spot.

    • With the blower on the stove (if we’re using it), it will shoot heat all over the space. I don’t need it directed right at us to feel warm. The wall where the fireplace is going just divides the front door from the livingroom; it’s not a separate place.

    • Oh, and we spent almost an hour with the fireplace guy trying to find a stove that would allow us to get closer to the wall. They all basically came out to be with .5 inches of each other. Blah. The code requires if a beam is less than 12 inches (ours is 6), that any stove be 9 inches from it. There were some gorgeous Jotul ones that were small and would take up less of a forward footprint, but their side clearance was bigger, so the hearth would still be large. Sigh.

  4. WBM Himalayan Glow Hand Carved Natural Crystal Himalayan Salt Lamp With Genuine Neem Wood Base, Bulb And Dimmer Control.8 to 9 Inch, 8 to 11 lbs. I have a variety of these salt lamps, different sizes throughout my house. They give off a nice warm glow.

    For hanging lamps, you could go with something traditional like a ceiling fan/light combo in the middle of your ceiling? They will still work on a slanted ceiling. The pole is just longer so the fan can still remain level. And that would help circulate air if you do get that wood stove. If your plan is to heat the house on days when the power is out that spot would be perfect. Sometimes woodstoves suck because the heat gets concentrated in one area, it doesn’t seem like you would have that problem. If you are in to the idea of ceiling fan/lights, lowes and Home Depot have a bunch you can check out in store or online. Having one of those and then smaller lamps around the place for ambiance. If possible a dimmer switch on the ceiling fan light would be good and not using cfls as they give off a nasty harsh light. We have the ceiling fan on our huge slanted ceiling wired into the wall with 2 light switches, one controls the fan and the other controls the light. Makes it easier so you don’t have to have really long cords hanging down to pull on to turn the light and fan on or off..

  5. Like the others, it’s a bit hard to see the whole room….I’m assuming the fireplace/beam photo is of the same room as the tv photo?? The tv is just to the right on the wall with all the photos? (I may be totally off).
    If it is the same, room I’d put a ceiling fan w/ lights and I’d match it to the lights that looks to be on the other beam in the background of the beam photo. Then you won’t need any additional light, and the fan can cool in the summer and move the heat around from the new stove. You could also potentially move the stove location to that right wall (the one I’m assuming the tv is on) cuz that beam is amazing!

    • Updating with more photos now.

      We’ve thought about a ceiling fan, but it would involve going up in to the attic to install, and we had new blown in insulation put in two years ago, and it’s a hot mess up there. It would be Troy doing it of course, but I would still have some guilt. LOL.

      The wall where the stove will be going already has an existing pipe to the chimney in the ceiling. We just put drywall over it. From a cost perspective, we need it to go there. The light on the other beam with the stairs is the most hideous thing you have ever seen. It will eventually be replaced. I’d need to hop in a time machine back to 71 to match it. It really is horrible in person. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. You have a very handy family, what about installing some recessed lighting in the ceiling?

  7. I’ll preface this by saying I have zero interior design style, but I quite like the table lamps at Target! My kind of budget. Like this one:

    Also, the solution to my fruit fly problem has been this:
    I can kill all those mother-hummers in about 3 mins with this thing. The only downside is that it scares the crap out of my dogs. ALSO, it would totally NOT be safe for children, so you’d have to make sure Jack knows that he can’t use it! I keep mine put away in my garage because I have a cheaper version than the one I linked and frankly it scares me.

  8. 1) put the DVD player _in_ the top drawer of the fancy stand. I had a friend do it by using piano hinges to make the drawer front flip down.

    2) get an agreeable etagere to go next to the tv. I’d do wrought iron, but a just about anything not too heavy would work, then put the pictures and a lamp on the shelves. Light and airy to keep the admirable decluttered look you’ve got going.

    3) we have a low clearance Pacific Energy wood stove which has a very small footprint. It’s been rock solid for us, although if I’d been picking it would have been the sister Alderlea with the cooktop. If it sticks out a bit, you can hang the necessary fire tools on the wall behind, maybe stow kindling and matches as well. That stuff can take up a lot of room that isn’t obvious from the schematics from the vendors. I think you should get it installed as soon as funds allow.

  9. I assume the light that is there now is just contributing to the overall general light. It’s not that you do any specific activity next to the TV. I think you should just look at your ceiling and choose a general light. Can lights would be ideal! PS: this is the advice comes from an interior designer, and that mid century sideboard is to for.

  10. I assume the light that is there now is just contributing to the overall general light. It’s not that you do any specific activity next to the TV. I think you should just look at your ceiling and choose a general light. Can lights would be ideal! PS: this is the advice comes from an interior designer, and that mid century sideboard is to die for.

  11. Have you thought about a corn or pellet stove? I loved ours. I don’t know about their footprint.
    As for a lamp do you need a lamp? Maybe a dimmer switch on the ceiling light would work? We just did this in our family room and I am in love with it!

    • We had a pellet stove growing up. I know they’re different than they were back then, but ours caught our house on fire when I was in 7th grade. I just can’t get past that right now.

      We need a lamp because we don’t have overhead lighting in the living room.

  12. You are right. The lamp has gotta go!
    Can’t help with suggestions right now as I’m preparing my Canadian Thanksgiving dinner. Good luck with all the design input. By the way, it may be time for confessions. Just sayin. (My favourite time of the month!)

  13. Have you thought about sconces? (Hate to throw another option out there.) But, if you move the tv a little to the left, and you get matching sconces for each side, it could look cool. Or horrible…depending on your style. If this sounds icky, at least you have something ruled out!

    Emily Henderson generally has a good roundup of lamps with different price points and types. Good luck!

    • Sconces would be great, but we can’t move the TV any more to the left. If we move it any further, it won’t be in front of the couch on the other wall, and Troy is VERY is particular about his TV viewing.

  14. EdiMoM Brand; Simple Style Wooden Base Glass Cap Uplight Desk Lamp, Max 60W

    What about something like this? Clean lines but with an old school nod for the hubby who enjoys antiques. They let off a very pretty light as well.

  15. What about putting a couple of sconces on that wall??

    Too bad we live so far away … we have an extra wood burning stove sitting in our garage that we pulled out of a rental property and plan to sell for a steal. ๐Ÿ™ Don’t think the shipping from Northern Alberta is going to be what you’re looking for though …

    I actually think that space would work fine for a stove – especially with a blower to circulate heat. You’ll also want to get a full stove fence too though I would assume – so you’ll want to take those measurements into consideration as well.

  16. I would buy 2 of this style lamp and put them on either side of the TV, we got them with a more contemporary shade and put them over a dresser in our bedroom. Perfect to brighten up dark walls and the cord all but disappears.