Another Jo Project – A Daughter’s Room Makeover Surprise with Ocean and Beach Themed Design and Decor

***Originally posted on

1hannah after - window and desk - ocean and beach decor IG

I struggle with a tremendous amount of anxiety when my kids are away. It’s a long-standing pattern within my persona, and my therapy of choice for stress relief is to tackle another self-created project. To my husband’s great dismay, it’s an endless task, but I do turn out some fun results at times. So when my children went away to camp this past week, I channeled that nervous energy into decorating my daughter’s room.

She had been asking me to create an ocean and beach themed room for her since we moved into this home several months ago. Her walls remained bare because I had yet to put her room at the top of the design agenda. I didn’t have a design plan in mind, but I typically don’t until I get to work on a specific space. Regardless I was certain that it was going to be a monster project. Consequently it was perpetually hanging at the caboose end of the “Rooms Still Pending Design Work” list.

3hannah before - window wall

Although her room was bland, she kept it lively with random and ever-changing mountains o’ crap. As the mountains weren’t her optimal theme, she patiently waited her turn. To her sincere credit, she never complained nor did she make the slightest fuss when multiple other rooms were completed long before her own. As she had no idea that I was going to do anything to her room (likely because I came up with the plan minutes before her departure), it was a tremendous surprise for her (and an excellent time crunch motivator for me).

1hannah before - bed wall

To put it mildly, this room was a serious beast to knock out in under a week but I had been stockpiling a few ocean and beachy knick-knacks here and there. Thankfully Amazon Prime and Hobby Lobby were able to fill in a substantial amount of the gaping holes of my unplanned approach.

4hannah after - desk wall - ocean and beach decor IG

5hannah after - window wall - ocean and beach decor IG

 We also created several large display pieces with some unused distressed wood that we still had on hand from an office wall project I put together several months ago (that’s a separate post for another day). The pieces included a unique picture frame holder, a wreath display, and a name board. From a skill perspective, these weren’t difficult to complete. However from a time and pain in the butt-ness perspective, they were projects I would not recommend one do in a limited timeframe. I will write a post with DIY tips on how to create these for those who are interested.

Incredibly, we completed the room and put on the finishing touches right before we ran out the door to pick the kids up at the end of their camp week. It was exhausting beyond words, but her wonderfully shocked and ecstatic reaction made it all worth while.

2hannah after - bed and dresser - ocean and beach decor IG

More often than not, my life fails to look like the stuff of Hallmark movies. We mess up constantly. Lose our tempers. Get it wrong and then find a way to make it even worse.

But every now and then, we really get it right. And when that happens, it’s an immense gift to all of us.

I believe strongly in the value of creating a personal space that makes a person feel good, and it is extremely important to me that my family feels that their home is warm, inviting, and special. I love that I was able to create this room for my daughter because her elation with calling it her own is palpable.

Rejoice in the big parenting wins when they happen, but find joy in the smallest of good moments as well. It doesn’t have to be a room redo or a massive surprise. A simple “I love you” in the morning or a sweet note in a lunchbox is a world changer for children.

It’s not about the presents. It’s about your presence. Be there, see them, and let them know that no ocean in the world is anywhere near as deep as your love for them.

If you would like help with your kids’ rooms, drop me a line. If you have fun posts on your child room decor, I would love to hear about that, too!

I wish the very best to you all!  🙂

Jo Price

***Originally posted on

Summer Blowout

In case you missed it, we have had a couple of things going on in Texas over the past few weeks. Consequently, we are starting school a bit later than originally scheduled.

In a strange yet wonderful miracle of the universe, my husband suggested that we go to the beach for the day. He’s an amazing dad without question and will gladly take us wherever we want to go (and if not gladly, we never hesitate to combine our mom and kid superpowers of dramatic pouting and loud endless begging until we irritate him into caving to our whims). He just doesn’t tend to suggest taking day trips. Ever. Even the kids didn’t believe me when I said that it was his idea, but of course, we were all game for the plan.  We just wanted a “normal” day.

Driving down to the coast led us to newly familiar unfamiliar sights. We saw caravans of military trucks. There were mountains of demolition and refuse piles flanking the storefronts. Signs flashed messages of gratitude for volunteers and told us that we were Texas Strong. We didn’t need the reminders, but I appreciated the sentiment. We became a unified front committed to helping each other over the past few weeks, and we will continue to stand together once the evidence of the storm has long faded from view.

When we arrived at the beach, the kids jumped out of the car and dashed for the waves. I’m panicky on a good day and perpetually hear John Williams conducting the theme to “Jaws” in my head whenever my children put a single toe in the water. As a bonus, our beaches are blessed with alligators and rattlesnakes, too. (Given that our backyards already have those, we don’t sweat them too much.) But I wasn’t worried about the sharks (as much) this time around. I was hyper focused on Hurricane Irma’s gift from afar to our local beaches. Rip tides – the treacherous invisible currents that knock you off your feet and carry you helplessly to the ocean away from your mama. Kinda like “Moana” but minus The Rock, the singing, or the happy smiley conclusion.

Anytime the kids would step into water that went above their knees, I would start barking like a madwoman for them to come closer to the shore. My husband thought that I was absolutely bananas (nothing new there). This struck me as bitterly ironic given that he doesn’t like for our daughters to sleep in shirts that have sequins because he feels like they may be choking hazards. Yes. Sequins. He sees them as fashion’s hat tip to danger. But rip tides?  Ah that’s silly child’s play.

I did not like that.

Thankfully, I was not to remain incessantly worried for long. Ok that’s not true. Not in the slightest actually. I worried incessantly, so the crazy woman screaming for them to get back closer to shore never stopped. But I did get moderately distracted.

A nice SUV with out of state plates parked on the sand next to us. I won’t name the state, but I will tell you that it rhymes with Markansaw. A family of forty-five people poured out of the car and ran happily to the water. They loved it! I believe that it was their first time to any beach ever. You could tell by the way they all jumped in the waves with sheer joy and giggled with delight like small children as the spray coated their faces. You could also tell because they went in fully clothed. I’m not talking t-shirts and shorts (although that ensemble was represented). I mean long pants, long skirts, socks, and shoes. Maybe you don’t have a bathing suit with you, or maybe you don’t have one at all.  No judgement. I just thought that maybe you might wanna roll some of that up or possibly remove your socks and shoes before entering the water.

I couldn’t help but watch the show and had to work very hard to suppress my own laughter when they carried their drippy socks and shoes back to the car before heading once more to the waves. As funny as it was to see, it was also wonderful watching them enjoy life fully in their own wacky style.  Some people mystify me, but I can’t help but love them anyway – especially when they just own their oddity completely and totally.

And that brings me to my son. As we were preparing to leave hours later, my husband nudged me in the arm and said, “You wanna talk about that?” while pointing in the direction of our boy.  I glanced his way and immediately noticed his backside staring back at us through the massive ripped hiney of his suit. It was like a hospital gown for the beach. I don’t know how long the moon had been out, but there it was shinin’ away. We wrapped him in a towel and pointed out the end of summer blowout he was sporting. He was about as worried as a pet rock. Boys – argh!!! So we loaded Senor Godiva and his siblings into the truck and headed home.

It wasn’t a fancy day.  Nothing earth shattering happened. No one was gobbled up by sharks or sucked under by rip tides nor were we assaulted by dangerous sequins lurking in the every closet belonging to a female in our home (yet…). I couldn’t help but glance at the weather radar for the hurricanes on the move, and I still worried about those in their paths.  But it sure was nice to feel like life was moving along and that we could end the summer with a smile or two.

I hope that everyone experiences these little moments of magic with those whom they care about. I also hope that all of you come to the beach fully clothed and jump in the water next to our crew.  That s@#& was plain funny.

Best wishes for a beautiful week for all of you.



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