Favorite Fixer Upper

Of course I love the episodes of HGTV’s Fixer Upper that feature my funny brother Jimmy Don BUT last night’s episode has to be one of my all time faves because it features the home of my precious friends Cameron and Jessie Bell.  Jessie is actually the daughter of my son’s second grade teacher and over the years her parents have become wonderful friends to the boys and I! We adore the entire clan!

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I adore this house because it has such a neat history and story. AND IT IS SO SMALL (around 700 sq feet!). I love the concept of small space living and this is it y’all.  I think this may be the smallest house they have ever done on the show! This is an original “shotgun” house moved from the other side of the interstate in Waco, Texas, near Baylor University.  So many of these old homes have been demolished over the years but Cameron and Jessie saw potential and this one has been saved! The entire roof had to be removed to transport the structure. These houses were called “shotgun” houses because they were long narrow structures usually no more than 12-15 feet wide..I believe this one is 15′? One room opens into another with no hallway which helps breezes in the warm climate. There were many many of these homes in the working class area of Waco that is now home to Baylor. And now this one has new life!

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You can see Nana was a little nervous about Henry touching the crank down stairs.  The unique stairs are on a pulley system make way for use of more space above without taking space below! And yes Nana and Drew and I were on this trip to but you see who jumped in all of the photos..yep HENRY! It’s like Vanna White meets “where’s Waldo” with the showing off of every feature in the house from the crank down stairs to the SMEG fridge! (which he is nearly as big in size!).  He had fun! I love seeing my kiddos getting excited about houses and creativity! Thank you Cameron and Jessie for letting us visit!

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OK so when they placed the house in its new location (just blocks from Magnolia’s Silos) they used amazing historic brick to set it higher off the ground than before and added modern touches. I love that the house has old style windows left natural and original pine floors and traditional touches like the Bevelo gas lanterns but also modern touches like the metal rails and crank down stairs inside.

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Good job Chip and Joanna! Those white oak cabinet WOW!~

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The finishes are so good!  The counters are actually honed granite but they are so matte like I have never seen before and I really like the square tile trend! Love that Waco Civic Theatre sign!

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Look at those windows! They make the entire space!

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And that cute SMEG fridge I just adore! Even though its not much larger than Henry! Little fridge BIG FAN did you see  THE FAN on the show?

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And while I love the SMEG and windows, my fave I think has to be the bathroom and the concrete tile floor and concrete counter! It was just such a surprise that they tucked such an amazing bathroom into such a tiny house!

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#ihavethisthingwithfloors

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Even my oldest Drew age 11 was like “WOW THE SHOWER”…in fact he noticed how the house was old but “modern” and “different”..very interesting to hear his take on the house and restoration.

Excuse the phone cord below but the bedroom walls tied in with the floors, so pretty…I didn’t get good shots of the bedroom or upstairs loft but trust me it is really pretty! Love that floating shelf! And there are some salvaged pieces of wallpaper from the original structure that Joanna had framed and gifted to the Bells… these are hanging in this bedroom, love that sentiment. Wish I had snapped a photo, such a great idea!

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Congratulations Jessie and Cameron on your amazing renovation and saving this piece of Waco history! And kudos to Chip and Joanna for another great reno in Wacotown!

And y’all keep a look out on Air BnB they may be sharing this property some weekends.  As you can see Henry was quite smitten…we ALL enjoyed staying in this Fixer Upper so much!!

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You can also read more about Cameron and Jessie’s adventures here!  and on instagram at KORONGO!

Our doggie update

Just a few pictures of the boys with our beloved Hunter!

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 {Photo taken by my amazing assistant Jenn last month, thanks Jenn for capturing this moment}

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{Henry gets so excited when Hunter actually “sits” for him when he says!}

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A dog is a friend. An unconditional friend.  Dog’s don’t say rude things to you or misunderstand anything, they don’t have bad moods even, they are just there and kind and love you and your kids.  I did this for Drew, but in doing so Hunter has blessed Henry and even me (except for the night he had an accident on one of my fave rugs, yes know i should have rolled them up but little rugs can easily be cleaned).

So here is what we do with Hunter:

  • we have a great groomer and trainer nearby (walking distance) that does the “fulminator treatment” with him shampoo and comb and it reduces his shedding I think, he is SO blonde and it gets everywhere but oh well we have swifter and lint rollers..and they have trained him a bit..he is part Lab and mouthy and rowdy but the boys tumble and play with him and he is so much happier inside with his pack!
  • Bones and toys to keep him from getting bored and chewing on fabrics!
  • Clipping nails and murphys oil really does help with any scratches on floors…and teach your kids to swifter swifter
  • we crate him when gone or at night and Texas has sunny days so he can still go outside for play time a lot even in winter, I do still believe that animals want to be outside in gorgeous weather especially a rowdy lab like Hunter
  • what I do struggle with is enough time to walk him..my oldest isn’t old enough to walk him alone so we do struggle to get enough exercise time in….

But he has lots of toys and we have a long hall and open space and we play a lot.  And its working (knock on wood) he is doing so good with “going” outside (though he seems to want privacy and won’t go quickly, drives me nuts  i have to leave him out alone to “go” and I never know for sure if he did…he has a huge bladder apparently.)

So any tips or thoughts on our Hunter….any doggies treats you think he might love..i am looking for the exact name of the one known on the streets as “doggie crack” to help with his fetching.  I did find the “Call of the Wild” food at Tractor Supply he seems to love.

So this year Hunter and a new normal are what our Christmas are about more than perfect decorations and wreaths on every window.

 I WILL be posting more photos of the True Blue Home Show Cottage, my creative Christmas energy and joy  have gone more there than in our home this year and that is okay.  Each year is different and its okay to just use a few “happy” decorations one year and not so much stuff.

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Honestly, I struggled with using my silhouette ornaments this year but they finally went on, didn’t feel like Christmas without them..yes Hunter needs one now!;;;And I love that this house has these natural columns and ledges and spots for the nativity  and little trees that are a bit out of reach but easy to see and enjoy! (Yes that is a toy soldier in the nativity, courtesy of my oldest)

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Bottom line…God is faithful, life throws us lots of curveballs, lots of storms brew and take us by surprise, but he is the SAME..yesterday, today and tomorrow and He loves us and our families, even via a dog! But most important, He sent a baby into the world, the Christ child, BECAUSE of these very storms whatever they may be.  He knew storms would come, he never promised EASY and he knew we needed (need) a Savior so he sent us one and that is why we celebrate Christmas! Pretty trees and wreaths commemorate THAT but of course they are not the source.  And the best part, when His son died and rose and went to be with the Father, God left his Holy Spirit to comfort us. So we have him here with us, Emmanuel “God with us!” Best story ever.

          In some ways this is the worst Christmas ever for ‘decorating Holly’ and there other deeper areas I can’t even cover here but for ‘soul Holly’ I will say I have never anticipated the Advent of our Lord more or understood it more or NEEDED it more. A WEARY WORLD REJOICES INDEED.

Do you feel weary?? Rest in the coming of our King, the birth of our Savior and THE HOPE OF GLORY!

We have a hope and a comforter y’all, lean in! 

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