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A Trip to Waco Part 1

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Y’all, I had the best weekend last week. I got to spend the weekend in the season 1, episode 1 Fixer Upper home. While that was an awesome experience, sleeping for two nights with all of my kids and my sweet granddaughter under one roof along with our dear friends was the BEST part of the weekend.

I hope you don’t mind, but I am going to share my weekend with you along with a few tips in case you head to Waco yourselves.

First of all,

This my friends is the house we stayed in.

It is a beautiful home.

Come on in, I will show you around.

The three stories of stairs are so pretty. They were quite a challenge for our 18 month old granddaughter to navigate. She could not get enough of them.

The first shiplap room on HGTV. Joanna made her mark convincing Charmaine to leave the walls open to reveal the shiplap that traditionally was covered with a “finished” wall in this one small room.

There are the requisite French doors. I just loved this little space.

The kitchen is my favorite room in the home.

I loved the beams, the tile, the vent hood, the lighting, and he countertops. That island, made by Clint Harp from reclaimed shiplap made me swoon.

Something I wasn’t prepared for was the industrial elements. The paper towel dispensers, the exit lights, the pump hand sanitizers on the wall. Charmaine said that at one point she planned a child care center here.

Oh, and Joanna would never approve of the shelves that are in the corners.

The family room was very comfortable.

The front porch was amazing.

You just have to be comfortable sharing it with all the Fixer Upper fans who drive by, stop by, jump out of their cars for pictures, even coming up on the porch, and even the one extremely brave man who asked if he could come in… in case you are wondering the answer was no. I enjoyed it and waved like a fool at all of them until they drove off… except that one.

Also, the neighborhood is rough. It is definitely the best house in the worst neighborhood now.

The house sleeps more than 12, has four full and one half baths. It is close to Magnolia Market, and the homeowner is the same person who was on the show. She checked in on us, brought a Keureg when he one there didn’t work, and was a pleasure to work with.

The home can be rented HERE, if you are interested.

The quality of the construction was apparent, the home was beautiful, and it was a great weekend for us.

This week I am going to show you you our visit to Magnolia Market.

Thanks for following along on our journey,

Blessings,

Karen

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The Guest Shed

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One of the reasons we bought this beautiful property we live on is so that we can share it with our families and friends. We have done what we could with our home to allow for more overnight guests.  We have a sleeper sofa, a Murphy bed in the craft room, a queen bed and a a crib in the guest room.  The house holds a lot of folks.  More than once it has held 20 + young men.  (We stayed with friends those weekends… that was too much of a good thing.)

As our family and friends have come to visit we have realized that we need a separate space for visitors.  I even see us heading out to the guest house when our friends with a lot of kids or when both of our kids come with their families because we are early risers and noisy.  We also have an early riser dog. She is noisier than we are.

 This is my idea for a guest house:

I call her the guest shed.  I have dreamed about redoing her since 2015 although the colors have changed, I still want that mid century vibe.

The previous owner used this space as his woodworking shop and “man cave”.  He installed a sink, hardwood flooring reclaimed from a gymnasium, and cabinets.  He also built a wood burning stove that is the craziest looking thing ever.  


It needs a good coat of high heat paint. ( Can you tell he was a welder? )

 We are going to add a bathroom to the space, move the sink location, set up a kitchenette.   More on the bathroom later.

The vibe is going to be mid century-kitsch. The walls are going to be a really pale turquoise, there will be plenty of red and white.  Think light, bright and airy.  


I have collected some fun mid century furniture and a mint condition chrome UFO light.  The light was still in the original box, unopened.  I am smitten.  When it is on the pin holes look like UFO lights- yay for mid century atomic.  That bulb thing on the light is a pulley to adjust the height of the light.  There is a frosted glass light diffuser that attaches to the bottom of the light. 

I picked the light and two mid century walnut framed low slung chairs up at a garage sale for $2.00 each. No lie.  $6.00 dollars total.   ( Here is the post about the finds at the garage sale.)


At that same garage sale I got a porcelain cast iron sink to use in the kitchen.  ($5.00). The sink is stained and there are a few worn places but overall it is in great shape.  It is getting a coat or three of epoxy.


 I also have picked up a vintage kitchen upper cabinet set that are getting painted white. 


Before I can get started we need to replace the shop board along the back wall that is all full of holes for tools and paint the walls then install a drop ceiling. 


 This is what we are planning to use.


After the dropped ceiling is in, I am going to use the same stuff we used on our garage apartment to restore the floor without making it look brand new.

I have a double modified to be a queen sized iron bed going in along with the funky dresser and a chrome 1950’s table and chairs that are currently kicking my hiney.  Mr. Math did a much better job than me, but the back of them still isn’t done. Soon I will share what we learned from this process.  There were lessons learned!


I am so excited about this fun, funky, kitschy, bright space we plan on working on this summer.   It is going to make me happy to just walk in.  As soon as it is all finished I think we are thinking putting it on air bnb when we don’t need it for guests.  With the huge Houston area Boy Scouts camp going in down the road I think there will be a need for parents who want to stay nearby. 

Plans for the Cabin

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This weekend The Social Planner ( TSP), her hubby Larry, Mr. Math, and I spent the better part of a day cleaning up and making plans for the cabin we are getting.

There were so many more happy surprises on the first “walk through” of this project after the tenants moved out than we did on our Huntsville rental property.   The electrical was done properly.  There is an ingenious system for water in the house even though there is no well or city water. The house is well insulated. The appliances work. They did a good job of moving out without destroying.  Winner, winner chicken dinner.

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(We have a lot of stuff to move along.)

The problems with the interior of the cabin are mainly unfinished projects or space planning issues.

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The kitchen cabinets are unfinished at the bottom.
I would like some that look like this:

Cabinets

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But I wan them washed in barn red.

The top cabinets are warped, laminate-over-particle board office cabinets.  I hate them, but for now we need to make them work.  I will keep an eagle eye out for someone who is getting rid of   real kitchen cabinets and will haunt the ReStore for upper cabinets that will work.  I can be patient.

The wood burning stove sticks out too far from the wall, the cement backer board behind the stove is unfinished, and the stove needs to be painted with high heat black paint.
The dudes are going to move the stove back about six inches and fix the stove-pipe.  We ( The Social Planner and me) are going to paint the stove and I am going to attempt to install plank tile that looks like whitewashed wood vertically over the backer board.  Mr. Math will be my backup in case of disaster.

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(The picture above is of the place with the tenants.  It is cleaned out now, but I did not get a picture that shows the space between the wall and the stove.

Tile


The cabin is not too far from the Alabama Coushatta Reservation, and the area has a strong western cowboy history.  We are going to try our best to honor the area through our decor but with more of a deer camp feel.  We both have quite a bit of western stuff that will be coming in. Our bedding for the six beds will be a mix of plaids, solids, and even  couple of native inspired.  The inspiration from the cabin colors will come from these pictures.

I actually found some bedding really cheap on Amazon.

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A lot of what is going into the house is coming right out of my old lake house “bunk room” and The Social Planner’s stash.  These vintage canisters came from the stash.

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The flowered couch is getting a chocolate-colored slipcover that will make it work for us.  The bonus is that it is washable.  The love seat is going and a vintage vinyl western couch is coming in to join the brown couch. 

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I plan on doing a piece for the wall sort of like this one.

I found this letschipit.com color scheme based on a female cardinal.  It is exactly the colors I see us using.

It is going to be fun making this small space functional and FUN.

The journey continues,

Blessings,

Karen

Belly Up to the Bar

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I know what you are thinking… and by bar I mean taco bar, waffle bar, ice cream sundae bar, salad bar, and grilled cheese bar.

Feeding a crowd is hard. Feeding a bunch of kids who can be potentially a bit picky, even tougher.  Feeding 15 or so people quickly is almost impossible.

That is where a bar saves the day.  The concept is simple; pick a theme, food or holiday then design the meal as a “Build Your Own”.  This past weekend we had a group and had three meals that were build your own with options.

Check out these bars I have saved on my Pinterst board: (kasmithson) How to Feed a Crowd.  The links to each of these bars is located just below each picture.  Check them out.

Your Home Based Mom

Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

We may have a hotdog bar this weekend.  I just have to get someone to come eat them!

By Stephanie Lynn

The taco bar above uses chip bags as bowls.

Celebrations at Home

The spud bar will be a winter meal for our Thursday night group.
Sunday night we had the best bar.  It was a grilled cheese bar.  Gouda, mozzarella, cheddar, colby jack, and American cheeses.were the star along with three types of bread, carmelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, pancetta, homemade macaroni and cheese, and bacon were all options to put on the sandwiches.
The trick to a grilled cheese bar is to have one cook and not to assemble the sandwiches until the cook butters the bread and puts them on the grill.

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Here is my friend, Tina giving instructions before the feeding frenzy.  She manned the griddle until the bitter end.

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Before the hoard descended on the grilled cheese bar I was able to snap a couple of pictures.

The surprise ingredient was macaroni and cheese. It sounds odd but the kids loved it.  Oh, they loved the bacon, too.  The huge griddle came in handy.

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Monday morning (Labor Day) it was a waffle bar.  There were some hiccups… Mainly because this one was mine.  The smoke alarm went off a couple of times, and the breaker was thrown umm… twice.  Note to self.  Have a pile of waffles ready for the kids cooked ahead and ready to pop into a toaster.

The waffle bar consisted of  waffles, regular syrup, blueberry syrup, chocolate sauce, strawberry syrup, whipped cream, peanut butter, chocolate sprinkles, cinnamon, rainbow sprinkles, and more bacon.

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Our late (after boating, tubing, and jet skiing) lunch was a sort of fajita bar.  I say sort of because there weren’t as many options.   It was definitely build your own.  We had chicken fajitas, guacamole, queso with tortilla chips, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pinto beans, and my favorite cilantro rice.  I was way to pooped and overwhelmed to get any photos.  Sorry folks.

After diving in to the bar scene all weekend, I did learn a few things.

There are a couple of tricks to a build your own meal bar.

  • Organize your items so that they make sense when assembling.  Start with the plates, bowls, etc. and end with the silverware  and napkins so they don’t have to be carried from station to station.
  • Prepare as much ahead as possible.  Having things  made ahead made the meals more enjoyable for all.
  • Make sure that whatever you are serving can be assembled quickly.  Everyone is happy when you can keep ’em moving.
  • Have plenty of room for folks to move around.  Our bar is perfect inside for serving.  When the weather is nice, we will be serving outside.
  • Have a plan to keep the hot foods hot and the cold foods cold.

Have you ever had a “build your own” bar?  If you have, I would love to hear from you.  I will bet you have tried things I haven’t even thought about.

I love hearing from you.

Blessings,

Karen

Week 5 Progress

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Knowing company is coming can motivate a person to get busy on their home.  Knowing several of those guests are active elementary and junior high students really motivates me to get the house de cluttered and ready for the crowd.

Here is the weekend progress:

1.  The Guest Room is now presentable.  There are still areas that need touch ups.

  • The walls got painted.
  • A set of donated shuttered got painted and hung on the wall.
  • At
  • Art, a mirror, and a window got hung.
  • New curtain rod.

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2.  This awesome light now hangs where the light I lovingly called the pool table light was over the bar.

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Before

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The awesome after.

3.  A section of the bathroom now is under way.  The mirror will be framed with rustic wood and the bathroom cabinets will be painted white. The rest of the bathroom needs to be painted still.  The color is a pale bluish green.  Never judge a color until the old paint is out of the way.  Look at them together… yuck.

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Before

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During… did you notice the name of the bathroom hardware?  I did not until I edited the picture.

You have to wait to see the bathroom.  Sorry.  I want you to see the full effect once it is done.

We also did some really boring but necessary things like mow, organize closets, and unpack boxes.

Then… the fun started.

5 kids and their parents showed up.  They played, they explored, they fished, they ate s’mores, they went tubing, jet skiing, they threw the frisbee for the dog, they played nines, the ate… A Lot.  Those kids can flat eat.

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We were sad to see them go.

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This week I am going to give you our tricks for feeding a crowd and a few hints for Christmas presents if you have outdoor space.

Happy belated Labor Day to all of us who get up every day and go to work.

Have a great week.

Blessings,

Karen

Making a Bottled Drink Holder

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Want a quick and easy gift to take when you are an invited guest this summer that even the dudes will like? I have just the project thanks to Rogue Engineer.  I love his detailed directions.  Check him out.

Here is the link to his very detailed plans including how to cut and assemble.

Beer Carrier

DIY Beer Tote | Free Plans | Rogue Engineer

Source: Rogue Engineer

Mr. Math cut four of these puppies out in less than an hour.  We used reclaimed scrap wood so we probably had to work a little harder than necessary sanding, and adjusting for the wonky wood sizes but the wood was F-R-E-E.  They were totally out of scrap wood left over from the media console.

reclaimed wood media console

The carrier works great for small bottles of soda as well as for beer and would be a fun host/ hostess gift for outdoor summer parties.

The total cost of the project for us was for the handle (check out ReStore if you have one close by) I paid two dollars fifty cents for my handles only because my hardware is all locked up in storage right now and our nearest Restore is thirty minutes away.

Bottle opener from Hobby Lobby ($1.49 right now.). They are 50% off  at least once a month.

Brown Cast Iron Pop Bottle Opener

The first one is going to the sweet lady who called me to let me know she had cedar siding that she was getting rid of and wanted to know if I needed it.  The wood for the project came off her house.  She will enjoy seeing what we did with it.  I left a lot of the green paint from her lake house on the cedar.

   

We added a lot of poly to the knot hole so that it won’t fall out.   I love that piece of wood best.

          The other three are headed to Charlotte, NC.

I can tell we will be making a few of these in the near future.

Mr. Math has already figured out the dimensions for a four bottle wine holder.  I know I will have some takers on that, too.

I think the wine holders may be made from our red cedar hanging out in storage.

Oh how I long to have our shop up and running again!   July is coming.  Woo Hoo.

July 10 we close on our new spot.

Star Hill Send Off

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This past Saturday we gave Star Hill a proper send off.  There won’t be tons of pictures because I was pretty busy with our guests but we had a crowd.  There was corn hole to play, horse shoes to throw,  catfish to fry, stories to tell, and time to remember.  

It just seemed natural that we should throw one last party for friends to enjoy this place we have loved and where have welcomed family, friends and adventure.  

The weather was too windy to get the boat out, but the rain held off.  We had friends that visited for the first time, those who have visited many times, old friends, new friends, and even the soon to be owner.  Yep.  The guy who is buying our home showed up, hung out, brought his dog, daughter, and girlfriend.  True story.  He is going to love the place and has plans for what Star Hill is going to look like when he is through with her. 

   

 We are blessed.  The sale of our lake house has been quick, if not eventful, up to this point.  We had someone drive up today who wanted to make an offer on the home if you can believe it.  He insisted we take his number in case the sale falls through.  

   
      It is our prayer that our new, unnamed place is a destination for family, friends, and others who need a place to rest, relax, laugh, and unplug.  We are getting excited about the opportunity to share our home and are purposefully trying to figure out a way for more company to stay overnight.  There is a guest house, potentially we are going to have two bunk rooms, and my dream is to convert the barn into a gathering place.

Today we got busy packing.  Four truck loads of stuff was taken to storage. 

By the way, the secret to Mr. Math’s amazing catfish… Yellow mustard in the batter. 

  
I hope your weekend was restful.  Come see us if you are in the area.

Blessings,

Karen

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