Duck, duck, duck, duck…


And horse.

So apparently my little self-imposed Dude Get On That Already challenge is just a sick joke where the universe tells me: “hey crazy lady, stop hoarding animals in the playroom.” But at least I’m getting things off the floor in there and up on the walls of the rest of the house so they can actually be enjoyed (or that’s just the denial talking). So without further ado, two more thrift store finds from here and here. Yes, this week was a double whammy of getting on that, since no painting was required. And they’re both over a year overdue. Another big surprise. So it was time to get these guys up on the wall (especially give the untimely death of our dear friend Ramsey).

I made John hold this so you can see the weird way we hung him up in the right place and at the right angle with just two nail holes (instead of ten while we scooched him around to find the right spot and cursed ourselves for not making some sort of a template). We just stuck some painters tape around him (sticky-side out) and poked holes in it where the hooks for the nails are (just stabbed the tape with a pen there).

Then we held it up about an inch from the wall and moved it around until we liked the placement. I stood back about 8 feet to judge while John did the moving-around thing. Once we liked the placement we shoved him up against the wall so the painters tape stuck…

And then we pressed it against the wall firmly around the back of the ol’ bird to make sure it would stay on the wall.

Then when we pulled our little $8 thrift store duck off.

The tape became a little duck-hanging template. See how our little pre-poked holes are left stuck to the wall to show us exactly where our hanging nails need to go (and on the exact right angle) to hang this guy?

So here I am hammering those babies in (this guy’s really light, so no screws and anchors were required). Once the nails were in I just ripped off the painter’s tape while screaming Kelly Clarkson.


Yes, the concrete greyhound underneath Sir Duck (an old V-day gift from the hubs back in 2008) is further evidence that I have an animal problem.

But seriously, how bad-a$$ is this guy? We love that he’s flying towards the front door. And if the rest of the dining room weren’t full of secret book projects we’d share more panned out pics to show how the dark wood tone picks up on the big chunky dining table nearby. Soon hopefully.

Now onto matters of the iron-horse kind. From the start we had plans to hang this equine delight in our bathroom with a towel through the ring. So a year after adopting him for $7 from a Delaware thrift store I finally did. He looks a bit lackluster now because the room is a big white box, but once we get around to painting and tackling some other updates we think he’ll be downright dapper.

It was fun to keep both of these guys au naturel. I mentioned the possibility of painting them both back when we bought them last year, but I think we’re moving into a phase where sometimes we just like things with some texture and some timeworn “patina” (aka: as they are). But you know I’m still no stranger to the ol’ spray paint can, so I think it’s one of those 50/50 things. Ya never know if I’m going to spray paint you or leave you well enough alone (or hide you in the playroom for a year, apparently).

How have we not had a hand towel hook in the hall bathroom for the last year? That’s the main bathroom that all of our visitors use. Yeesh. Glad we finally got on that. Our towel just used to lay in a heap next to the sink, but now it has presence. It has pizzazz. It has animal magnetism.

In summary: our bathroom has 99 problems, but a towel hook ain’t one.

I’ve actually been thinking a lot about the five million upgrades that we’d like to do to this bathroom, so maybe it’ll be next on the ol’ agenda (after we finally finish off the never-ending kitchen makeover). Oh and since folks have been asking if we’ll have anything left to do once the kitchen is done (ha!), here’s just a smattering of the bigger projects that come to mind (along with about a million smaller upgrades/projects as we go):

  • We have not one, not two, but three full bathrooms that are untouched and in dire need of some upgrades
  • We have a sunroom that has seen zero action since the day we halfheartedly plunked random old furniture in there (aka: move-in day)
  • We have an untouched playroom full of pillows, fabric, more animals (?), and goodness knows what else that we’re planning to turn into a useful kids bedroom/playroom
  • We’re going to convert our carport into a garage
  • We’re going to build a pretty major walk-out deck
  • We’re going to paint the porch, remove the scallops, stain the concrete, and box out the columns for a fresher look
  • We’re going to hang crown molding in a bunch of rooms that don’t have it
  • We’re going to add some wainscoting in the hallway (not the frame hallway, the other one that leads to the three non-master bedrooms)
  • We’re going to refinish our wood floors
  • We have a slew of 30-60%-done rooms that we’d like to someday finish, like the living room, the master bedroom, the guest room, the dining room, etc
  • We have a full-blown front yard, side yard, and backyard makeover on the agenda (we like to tackle those slowly over time, like we did at our first house)
  • We want to build some outside entertainment for beansie, in the form of a sandbox and/or a playhouse or playset
  • We want to double side the fireplace between the kitchen and the living room
  • We even daydream about bigger projects down the line, like changing the roof-line to add some peaks to the front of the house (to match the ones in the back, which were added when they did an addition in the 70s)

So yeah, there’s lots to do! But back to the fact that I need Animals Anonymous. Do you think Animal Hoarders is going to show up at my house? If they do, they’ll just get to chat with our house-sitters since we’re currently on a plane to Portland. Haha. The joke’s on them.

Speaking of our currently-in-flight status, we’re most likely going to post the second post of the day a little early (at noon EST during a plane change) and then won’t be available to approve comments between 1-6 EST while we’re on our second leg of the flight, so bear with us if there are only a few comments for five hours and the rest are hanging out in moderation! We moderate so we don’t miss questions (when thousands of contest comments roll in early in the week, it’s easy to lose them otherwise), but they should pop up eventually!

Have you guys finally hung any art or bathroom accessories that you’ve been meaning to hang for, oh, over twelve months? Let’s commiserate.


  1. Diana says

    Wish I could have met you guys in Portland :) someday…maybe during your book tour. I can’t wait to see those secret projects!

  2. says

    i haven’t purchased any animal figurines lately, but that 40 year old virgin reference was my absolute favorite moment of that movie. so random, yet so hilarious!

    have fun in portland!

  3. says

    The horse towel holder looks great in the bathroom! I can’t get over how you keep pulling these great pieces out of the playroom – it’s like the quintessential clown car of home accessories :-)

    Good luck with your traveling. I hope you (and Clara) have a smooth ride!

  4. Colleen says

    I just wanted to comment first.

    Fake animal hoarding is probably not that bad… maybe you could get a cool HGTV spin off from Animal Planet.

  5. Jen W says

    I like that you didn’t paint the horse. It seems like its details might get lost. I like the veiny stuff it has going on.

  6. says

    I love that you left these unprinted. Especially the goose… It helped make it a focal point on the wall. Seeing all of your animals makes me think of the movie title “We Bought a Zoo.”. Clara can learn all her animals just by walking around the house.

  7. says

    Why do you guys need to publish during a layover when you could schedule the post to publish whenever you want? Have fun on your trip. Fingers crossed that Clara will enjoy the ride.

    • says

      Since we manually approve comments (to keep from losing questions between all the contest entries that come in) we like to post when we can be actively approving comments at the same time!


  8. Jaz says

    I LOVE the goose and the horse! We just hung some very similiar horse heads in our guest bedroom for clothes/towels/etc… AND we ended up buying some sale-priced goose wall decals for the new living room, and I just love them! I wanted some geese on the wall in there somewhere… :-)

    As always, great choices and thanks for sharing!

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