I’m BAAAA-aaaack!


I’m totally back!

And happy to be here!

We got a brand spankin’ new laptop last week and I couldn’t be more stoked to be typing, uploading, and saving at a normal, nay, dare I say… rapid rate thanks to this fine piece of machinery.

It’s been so long since I’ve blogged that I’m almost overwhelmed as to where to start to catch you guys up.    If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you probably have a good general idea of what’s been happening decor-wise, but for the sake of continuity, I decided to take some (waitforit) non-grainy shots with my trusty ole’ camera.  You have no idea how long I’ve waited to type those words.  Wait.  Yes you do.  Two months.  That’s how long since I’ve been able to UPLOAD PICTURES.  All caps really says it all regarding my excitement level here.

So, in organizing my thoughts here, I’ve decided to basically brain-dump all the decor stuff that’s gone on over here lately over the next few posts.   I’m gonna start with a project that I recently finished in the living room.  After that, in no particular order, I’ll be showing y’all some dining/foyer updates as well as our nearly finished breakfast nook.   I just took all the pictures I need and am SUPER excited to show you guys everything.  GIDDY, even.

So, let’s get started, shall we??

It actually took me quite a while to get to this project even though it wasn’t super difficult.   You may remember from my last post that I herniated a disk in my back a few months back, which was a huge reason for my recent break.   For a while, even the easiest of tasks felt insurmountable, but after a few months of physical therapy, I’ve had a pretty decent improvement.   I’m still not running or anything, and I occasionally have exacerbations if I’m not conscious of my movements, but for the most part I’m feeling WAY better.   So, you can say that getting started on this project was like a breath of fresh air (aka. normalcy).

Remember this blank wall over the TV??

blank tv wall

Well this wall stumped me for the longest time.   I had no idea what I wanted to do with it.

Then, one fateful day at Ikea, I spotted the Pugg wall clocks, and it was all over.

I had a plan.  I purchased my clocks and went on my merry way.  See, what I wanted was to hang four clocks to designate each of the time zones that mean something to us.  Oregon (where Joey’s from), Texas (where we live), New York (where I’m from), and Paris (one of the coolest trips we’ve taken).

Now, please excuse the next few progress shots.  They were taken in a rush (and many at dusk) with my phone.

Anyways, once I got started, the key was getting them lined up perfectly.   And I’m proud to say that I managed to do it without punching a single excess hole in the wall.   And here’s how…

First, I traced the clocks on wrapping paper, cut them out, and used these templates to determine roughly where I wanted them above the TV…

Then, I used a laser level and a yard stick to measure the exact center (at the location where the hanging holes in the clocks were).   This is where I would punch my holes.  It turns out that my holes were exactly 18″ apart from each other, so I simply measured and marked along the laser level line every 18″ and marked them on my templates…

Then, I hammered my nail in through the paper.   I tore off the paper and hung my clocks…

They turned out perfectly aligned and straight.   I couldn’t believe I’d actually succeeded in this the first time around.  That almost never happens.   See that blue painter’s tape in the pic above?  This would be the next part of my project.  And this was the part that I had to wait FOREVER to get to because of my back.   It was literally up there for about 6 weeks.  And weirdly enough, it started to grow on me.   Heehee!  So strange.

Anyways, once I felt well enough to go for it, I went to Home Depot and had a 1″ x 4″ cut to the length of my painter’s tape (73.5″).   I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth it out, then gave it 2 coats of white paint. I mounted the wood to the wall using 2 claw hangers.  Then, I waited.

Because this was the point where I needed to print, but we hadn’t replaced our computer yet.  Oy.  So many blogging barriers that I’m happy to have busted through lately.

So, basically that blank piece of white wood hung in place of the painters tape in a state of limbo for another 2 weeks.

But then, BAM….

And it was on.   I’ve seen this technique on many blogs before, and have always wanted to try it, so…

I chose a font that I liked ON MY NEW COMPUTER (:D) and printed my labels on plain computer paper in my preferred color, cut them out, then scribbled lead on the back using a pencil…


I perfected placement of them on my wood with scotch tape, and chose the color of oil-based paint pen that I wanted (as seen in the scribbles above the wood)…


I removed the wood from the wall, then traced the outline of my font with a ball-point pen, giving decent pressure…


Which left this…


Then, I used this navy blue paint pen to fill it in…


And cleaned up the excess lead with a gummy eraser.  Once this was done, I rehung my wood, which left this…


And as per usual, I can’t NOT put a before shot from when we gained possession…


Gosh, I’m a fool for before and afters.   And here’s the other direction…


You can see that I replaced the Fort Worth print above the chair with a vintage painting that I found for $7 at a thrift store.  It’s PERFECT there and helps tie in the hanging planters on the other side of the doorway.   Plus, I love that the vintage style contrasts with the more modern clocks.

A view of that entire side of the room….


And a before…


And a few closer-up shots of that newly revamped corner…


I scored that plaid pouf at Target in clearance for $14.98.   That was a happy day for me. #andcheaposrejoice

Here are some more close-ups of the new clock wall….


I LOVE that technique for transferring font.  Now, I want to monogram everything in my possession.



Now, I just need to actually put batteries in the clocks and set the times.   Joey keeps joking that for a room with so many clocks, we never seem to know what time it is.  Haha!

Anyways, I am super thrilled with how this turned out.   It’s exactly what I wanted.   Something a little different that suits us and is actually meaningful to us.    I think finally deciding on this project as our wall decor was well worth the year long decision-making process.  Yes.  It took a YEAR.  And many, many ideas until this one came about and stole the show.

Oh!  And just to update y’all on the last issue from my last post… The roof patch worked!!!!!!   (fingers crossed that it continues)  AND we had a new drain system with industrial-strength sump pump installed in the backyard, which meant ZERO flash flooding with the last storms we experienced.   So, although our roof is old and will eventually need to be replaced, we’re now hoping that we can hold off for a while (please) and get to some other fun projects instead.  So, it’s good news all around!!!

So, anyways, I hope y’all have had a fabulous holiday weekend!  And thanks for not giving up on me.  🙂


“License (plate) and registration…”

Can you tell I’m married to a police officer? Hehe. And guess what?? I’ve been married to that guy for 7 whole years now!!!  Woot!

 I will never stop laughing at Joey’s face in that picture.  Hahahahahaaa!!!

Well done, Joe.

We celebrated our anniversary this past weekend and it was total a blast.   We didn’t do anything crazy… Just coffee, dinner (really, really delicious dinner actually), and drinks, but it was super fun.  Date nights are just much needed sometimes, ya know? Good times.

Speaking of times, I say we talk about a clock.

That’s where this post all started after all.

With a clock.

A cute little clock that I found for $9.99 at TJ Maxx.

See, Lucas had requested a clock in his room from day one.  He can’t tell time yet, but for some reason was completely enthused about it.   I’d been casually keeping an eye out for a clock that would compliment his room, but up until this point, I hadn’t found one that I liked.   When I saw it, I knew.  It was simple, graphic, and inexpensive.  I brought it home, and propped it up on Lucas’s dresser to surprise him.   I wasn’t sure where I wanted to hang it, so I figured that it’s temporary spot on the dresser would do until I hammered it out.

When he walked into his room, Lucas was absolutely ecstatic about his clock.  It was all he talked about.  “Thank you, Mommy!” “I love my clock, Mommy!”   …And that’s when the nagging began.  You wouldn’t think that a four year old would be so obsessed with a clock.  But, holy moly, y’all.   From the time he first saw it, he wanted it hung on the wall, like, YESTERDAY.  It was every 5 minutes. “Can we hang my clock now?”, “Can we hang my clock now?”.  And oh, the hysterics…  At bedtime, he broke into tears because he didn’t want to go to bed without his clock hung on the wall.  I tried to explain that I was simply trying to decide where to hang it, and once I’d figured it out it’d be done. But, no.  That provided no solace for my clock-loving baby boy.  It wasn’t enough that the clock was sitting, displayed nicely on his dresser.   OH, NO.  It had to be ON the wall.  Yikes.

Now, don’t get me wrong… I totally get it.  I mean, I’ve cried over decor a time or two myself (sortof).   And he IS my son, after all.  And really, his excitement for the clock was pretty awesome. But, dang.  The nagging did not speed my creative process.  Like, at all.  It did, however, make me resolve to always hide the item in question until I know where to hang it next time. Heehee! Duelly noted.   😉

So anyways, after three days of dramatic clock banter, inspiration finally hit.   I knew that I wanted to do something with the license plates that hung in his last bedroom (plus, I have a about 20 more now than I did then).   And although I ultimately want to create a giant statement wall with these license plates, I decided to hang the clock within a smaller grouping of plates for the time being to appease the child and then slowly add more license plates as I decided on how to execute my statement wall.

I started by figuring out the arrangement of the plates with the clock on the floor.   I basically moved them around until I was happy with it, which landed me here…

Then, it was a matter of transferring this arrangement to the wall.   I basically used the above photo as reference the entire time.   I measured the middle of his bed, measured the height of the arrangement, and figured out how high I wanted it to go from his headboard.   Then, I started at the bottom, like so…


I used small finishing nails to hang the license plates and made sure each plate was level before tapping it into place.  I gradually worked my way up…


Until I had everything hung on the wall as it was on the floor…


I’ll admit that the above shot was taken after I raised the entire arrangement a few inches.   The initial starting place ended up being a little low for my taste once I had it all up there.

Here are a few close ups…

I love the thin chrome frame and the white inset.  It’s reminiscent of an old-fashioned wheel in my head which is a great play for his transportation themed room.

Here’s that side of the room now…

The funny thing is that despite Lucas’s persistent nagging for me to hang the clock, he hasn’t seemed to notice that it has no batteries in it.  Lol!  It’s been 10:11 for over a month now and he hasn’t seemed to mind. Oh, four year olds….  🙂

Since it’s been a while, let me show you the other tweaks I’ve added to his room as well…


The painting over the dresser was another TJ Maxx find for $11 on clearance.  I initially purchased it simply for the canvas as boats aren’t really my thing.  But then I realized that it coordinated with Lucas’s room perfectly.  I want to add some lime green accents to the painting modern it up a bit and tie it in even more, but I haven’t gotten around to it.

Last we looked at Lucas’s desk area, it looked like this…

Since then, his desk got a little organization, a lamp (found for $8 at Target on clearance), and some art.  My parents had that “Lucas’s Hot Rod Shop” art made at a car show.   The hot rod in the pic is actually my dad’s car.

Pay no mind to that wood chair.   It’s just there because we had it, but I’m on the hunt for something sleeker.

Straight when you walk in, you see the Rubik’s cube art that I made in memory of my brother, a metal bicycle which I spray painted orange, and his magnet board.


And here’s the rest of the room from the doorway the last time we looked…


And now…

I quickly lost that rug beneath the tent because, well… it looked weird.  I just forgot to snap another pic after the fact.   We had to give the white table that was there before the boot because both chairs broke and then the table started getting wonky thanks to some little 4-year-old-monkey-who-will-remain-nameless using it as a leaning apparatus.   He likes to hang out in his tent, so we figured, why not.   Since taking his pic, I’ve added a blanket “tent floor” that ties into the rest of the room for a bit of color and Lucas seems to love it.  I also cleaned up the hap-hazardly “styled” shelves by using similarly toned baskets that I already had on hand.

And just for fun, here’s a before shot when we first got the keys (before we installed new windows, changed out the stained carpet, and painted the room)…


His ceiling fan light recently went kaput, so that’s next on the agenda.  No overhead lighting = total bummer.   I’m also still tweaking and trying to work out some of the decor/wall art, so I’d say that his room is about 85% done at this point.  Not too shabby.   We’ll definitely get there.   And I’m definitely having fun on the journey…. This is why I love to blog… looking back at previous pics is so rewarding.  Even simple and free tweaking can make such a difference.

***For updated pics of Lucas’s room as it is now, check out this post.***

So, what do y’all think?  Any ideas for my license plate statement wall that you’d like to share??

TDC Before and After