All The Pretty Things

I came away from the Adirondack retreat weekend with two main insights:

  • getting immersed in a story is the best way to get excited about it again, and
  • I really want to make my house prettier

The first one wasn’t really unexpected. At some level I knew that already. But the second caught me by surprise.

I’ve never considered myself incredibly visual, and I know I’m not gifted artistically. But throughout the weekend, I had endless fun looking at the many knick knacks and photos and memorabilia tucked into and on every corner, shelf, and windowsill. Even better was that each piece had a story. I heard about our host’s grandfather, about her brother, about her kids and their adventures. I felt immersed in her family lore and I loved it.

I came home and looked at our bare walls and put on my thinking cap. We have a ton of photos and such. Almost all of them are still in boxes from the Great Move of 2016. And many of them are in frames to stand, not ones to hang, because Casa Chaos had counters and shelves and mantles in abundance.

Casa Kitty has cats that claim every surface as their own.

Some time on Pinterest gave me some ideas for the photos (all hail washi tape and Mod Podge), and I will dive into those soon. But I was able to do some things right away, almost all of which simply involved making better use of some of the treasures we already own.

Our china cabinet was a cluttered mess, jammed with wineglasses and candle holders and vases and serving pieces. Everything could be seen, yes, but seriously, it was such a jumble that no one would want to look at it for longer than it takes to say, “Ick.” SO I got to work. A little while later, I had:


  • a pretty glass bowl holding the potatoes, instead of the pink plastic one we had been using


  • vases and candle holders (instead of lunch boxes and Tupperware)  on display above the microwave


  • a pretty Dollar Store peel-and-stick decal on the bit of wall that’s at eye level when you walk down the stairs


  • a more eye-catching (and organized) display of my husband’s shofars, which had simply been scattered across the cabinet. (Shofars are ram’s horms that are cleaned, polished, and used as musical instruments during Jewish religious ceremonies.)

As for the china cabinet – well –


Yeah. Much better.