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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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Black and White Memories

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Today we took a trip back to one of the happiest places of my childhood, the east Texas piney woods.  Because I found the trip so nostalgic, I decided to play with black and white for some of my pictures I took.

We enjoyed getting to go by and see the place that I grew up loving.  Our weekend place, The Farm.  The trees my uncle planted now are fully grown and have a rope swing.  The pasture my parents cleared and got poison ivy so bad they had to go to the doctor is still beautiful, the red dirt road is the same.  The house is double the size it was when we lived there.

growing up weekend home

the farm

uncle wendel oak trees

foster hill road

My mom, Memie, and our sweet Lumi are still here with us so I couldn’t make them black and white.

Don’t they both look great?

Memie

lumi

lumi nose

lumi running

 

Enjoy the shots taken at some property I fell in love with today and some shots from Dam-B, the lake I grew up on.

light and dark beautiful weed

blue flower

 

I just had to show you how beautiful this little blue flower is.

old pipe

fence ornament dog on fence

I love these old gate toppers.  I think they are greyhounds but I can’t be sure.

locations sign

 

The property in the woods has some funny signs.

 

pine trees in black and white lucky's fishing hole bw fern bw beautyberry yellow flower rattlebox weed     water lillies water lilly buds

Suitcase Shelf Wall

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When I took the job as principal in the suburban city we moved to there just was not time to do much to my office, which before I came on board was a storage closet.  Yes, I felt pretty special, but in the rapidly growing district I work in, I am thilled to have a space at all.

The “office” was the most awful institutional blue color with very little light. The light situation probably had something to do with the fact it was never designed to have someone working in the space.

I did what I could  (not much) last summer then got busy opening a school.

This summer I had a little more time to work on making the space more inviting. The finished office is coming soon.

Today, it is all about my suitcase wall.

I have wanted to do this wall somewhere since I first spotted it on PInterest two years ago. The long blank wall in my office seemed to be he perfect location.

First, I collected suitcases.

I had the blue suitcase in my stash and planned to use it once day to make another chalkboard. I paid two dollars for it at a thrift store.

I found the dark green travel case at Goodwill for $2.99 a while back, the alligator suitcase was in rough shape. I bought it for $5.00 off Craig’s List. I got impatient to get the wall done so when I spotted two suitcases at a local resale shop, I paid too much. I got the last two suitcases ( a hat box and a leather men’s suitcase) for $50.00. I know what you are thinking. Yes, I did pay too much….but I wanted them and the blank wall was staring at me.

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All in I have $60.00 invested in suitcases. Not bad for a whole wall of joy.

Hubby chopped each suitcase in half on the table saw. No pictures of that part. I was at work when he got that done.

suitcase for wall cut suitcases

I then ripped out all the loose lining.

We cut boards to fit inside the suitcases to make a support frame.

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Here they are all stacked with the wood inside.

I laid them all out on the floor in the office to decide where I wanted them to go, then got busy taping it out on the wall. Toggle bolts went into each wall board. The top board was screwed to the top of each wall board, and then small side pieces were attached with the air nailer.

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bracket for suitcase toggle bolts into brackets

We slid each suitcase over the wooden support then used screws to attach it to the wood. (Air nailing would have been easier and less noticeable but I want to take these puppies with me when I retire in a few short years.)

suitcases on wall suitcase wall

Here it is all finished and dressed up!

I cannot wait to get the office  looking the way I see it in my head.

suitcase wall 1-IMG_7134 close up of suitcase wall

1-IMG_71351-IMG_7126 decorated suitcase wall suitcase wall 1

Let me know what you think of my version of a suitcase  wall.

I hope you have a wonderful day.

Blessings,

Karen

Weekend Finds at Canton

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Saturday could not have been a better day to go to one of the oldest and largest Trade Days in Texas. The sun was shining and it was 62degrees when we pulled up.  We pulled up to the site with about 100,000 others.

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We are parked across the street from that line of cars.  Somewhere in that mass.  I couldn’t pass up showing you that our trees are budding out here.  Spring really is coming.

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Can you imagine living in a sleepy little town about 26 days a month, only to be overrun four days just prior to the first Monday of each month? I am pretty sure we are a mixed blessing to the residents.  These Trade Days are run by the city of Canton and have been since 1850.   They have a web page, a Facebook page, and you can even get an App for your phone to help you while you are there.   The visitors provide jobs, allow the town to have amenities that would not be available otherwise and we pay sales taxes.  We also clog the roads, fill the restaurants to overflowing, walk on the grass, and in general shut down town.  Sorry, Canton.

The official Trade Days site is huge, but there are several other Trade Days sites in Canton too.  We like The Village, too but did not make it this weekend.

Trade Days are generally pet friendly.  You see dogs everywhere in Trade Days.

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The front of the Trade Days site is mostly, but not all, new items and commercial items.  The booths are under cover and are a fun place for me to get ideas.  There was the coolest place with porch swings made out of a twin bed mattress and rope but they would not give me permission to photograph and I don’t take pictures without permission.  Here are a few of the sites that either had signs saying it was okay to photograph or with permission.

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The middle section has a big variety of food booths, garage sale like items, and the unexpected.

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I bought four of these chairs.  They are going to be beautiful.

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There are row upon winding row of booths.  It would take a whole day to just go through this area.

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I look for specific things in this area. I found a window in the site above. I struck out this year on looking for window that is solid glass for a project, but oh well.

The very back of Trade Days is my favorite. Here is a hint. If you like to look for table legs, furniture, industrial lights, and a variety of things “in the raw”… not shined up, cleaned up, or organized, this is your place. The vendors are crusty, the sites are a maze.
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Burlap sacks are $1.00 each in this area.

To go directly to this part of the site enter at the West Gate.

We found this headboard on the last row of the whole place.  It is going to be a bench for a friend.  I just missed the buffet it is leaning against.  It would have been my bathroom vanity.  Someone got this for a steal.  I am jealous.

headboard

We bought a mirror for the vanity, two door knob units and some architectural pieces, too while we were out. You will see them soon.

There are a ton of bed and breakfasts nearby but we decided to go at the last minute and they were full. We stayed at Best Western.
My favorite time of the year to go to Canton is October, November, March, and April. It is BOILING hot in summer and could be rainy or cold in winter. We were lucky because the weather Saturday was beautiful. We got up Sunday to temperatures 30 degrees cooler.
If you ever get the chance to go, wear comfortable shoes, pace yourself and enjoy yourself. Let me know if you get to go. I would love to hear your adventures.
Blessings,
Karen

Great Weekend in North Carolina

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This is mu last post about my trip to see the kids last weekeend so hold on tight!

We had a three day weekend due to Columbus Day. Thank you Christopher Columbus go almost discovering the Americas!

I took an extra day and made it a four day long trip to see the Carolina Kids. I miss them terribly because they live so far from us. They both love the Southeast and have put down roots in Charlotte, North Carolina.
My daughter, the Southern Belle, had quite a weekend planned. I arrived Thursday night just before midnight. I spent the day with my sweet daughter shopping for wedding dresses, but I have already told you that. Friday night we met up with her fella and drove out to Belmont, North Carolina.  I loved this small town and when I come back to visit with Hubby we are going to shop like crazy there.  It really is like Mayberry ( filmed in North Carolina FYI).  There were checker boards set up outside shops, people sitting on benches and kids on bicycles.  The downtown has a restored locomotive and two rail cars restored.  The weather was picture perfect. 

We met up with some of the Southern Belle’s coworkers at Jax. 

The weather was so great that everyone was out on the back deck.  I loved being able to meet some of the people she works with.  It made me feel better that some of them had their parents there too.  I think I could move to Belmont.

 Saturday morning we were up bright and early to volunteer at KIPP Academy, Charlotte. I was very proud of the daughter.  She had arranged this program and was responsible for all the speakers at the Girls Leadership Program that day.   This is her Junior League volunteer project and she loves the girls she works with.  It is great to see her giving back to the community.

Saturday afternoon we went to the Great Grapes Wine, Food and Arts festival.  I got to meet another of Rachel’s friends, Amber along with her husband Allen.  I hear a lot about these new friends so it was great to actually meet them.  We enjoyed the festival a lot.  I love to go to events that showcase local wines. 

Saturday night The Southern Belle and her beau took me to Leroy Fox a local resturant in their neighborhood.  Can you tell I ate well this weekend?  The food was great, but I was so tired I think I went to bed about 9:00.  A storm blew in during the night and dropped the temperature 20 degrees.

Sunday morning we took off for the kids’ church, Hawthorne Lane United Methodist.  The kids will be getting married there.  It is nice to see that they have found a church that they are fitting into.

We rushed home to dress for another volunteering opportunity.  The Southern Belle is a ZTA and it was Think Pink day in the NFL. The ZTA sorority ‘s number one — is the Susan G. Komen foundation.  My daughter volunteered to pass out pink ribbons to fans so her beau and I did too.  We attended the game after volunteering. 

The Southern Belle and her beau before the game.

It was COLD.  I was not dressed very warmly.  I ended up wearing my future son-in-law’s shirt, a long sleeved shirt and the volunteer tshirt  while he just wore the short sleeved volunteer shirt.  (thanks!) The temperature kept dropping.  The clouds moved in… we bailed at half-time.

On the way home we stopped at another local resturant, Krazy Fish . It is a funky little place that has wild art in it and the most unique food.  It is sort of an Asian meets soul food restaurant. I had a Roti for the first time.

Monday morning I enjoyed waking up late and reading while the Southern Belle went to work.  When she got home at 11:00 went shopping. It is those day to day simple things I miss most with my kids so far away from me.

Thank you for letting me share my weekend with you.