Fixer Upper Season 5 Sneak Peek PLUS DIY Fixer Upper Inspired Ideas AND Create Link Inspire Party

Last week, I opened my inbox and smiled. It was a sly little smile. Sort of validating. You know why? Almost exactly a year ago {September of 2016 to be exact!}, I wrote a post called "Could This Be the Next Fixer Upper on Season 4?" I had just dropped my son off at school in Waco, Texas and was driving around the area. I had heard that Chip and Joanna Gaines had just purchased a 100 year old home known as The Bradshaw Estate. I found the address, set my GPS and stumbled upon this gem set back from a fairly busy road a few miles away from Magnolia Market and downtown Waco. 

Hillcrest estate, house rental, fixer upper, HGTV, before and after

There was a dumpster and a trailer parked in the long driveway giving me every indication that someone was working on the home. I happened to tweet about it with one of the producers on HGTV Fixer Upper about how my guess is that this was the next home on season 4 yet to be aired. He commented back that I had an "interesting theory." 

Fast forward a nearly a year and my theory wasn't too far off. Maybe I'm more of a Fixer Upper Prophetess. 

That e-mail in my inbox? Well, it was an e-mail from Magnolia informing all of their e-mail subscribers that they have a new home for rent in the Waco area. The Bradshaw Estate is now being called Hillcrest Estate, for the street it resides on. 

The exterior got a little bit of an update, though not much of one, but what has really changed is the inside of the home. I've got some first looks with some before and after images you can see before this home airs on season 5 of HGTV Fixer Upper. 
waco, home rental, colonial home


Stop Losing Your Stuff!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pixie. All opinions are 100% my own.

Alki is a beautiful stretch of beach with a long paved sidewalk perfect for viewing the beautiful skyline of Seattle while taking in the bay and on one sunny day a friend told me that she took a group of older kids {OK, maybe you aren't considered a kid in your 20's...whatever} to rent bikes and enjoy the afternoon. One of the out-of-town kids drove up in a car that was borrowed from a host family and several kids hopped on a double Surrey to enjoy the ride and the beautiful summer day we were having. Everyone enjoyed the day together until the girl with the borrowed car realized that she had lost the car keys. The group fanned out to search and couples walked frantically trying to retrace their steps to find the lost keys to no avail. It's one thing to lose something that is yours, but quite another to lose something of someone else's. The rest of the day's plans took a turn and the group separated once again, this time sending a few people on an hour's drive to get the spare set of keys while the others stayed back to watch the car just in case the key finder thought they won the car lottery that day! 

I tell you this story, because we've all been there. We've all misplaced something or tossed things aside frantically searching for something we knew we just had moments ago. I just read a study that said that Americans spend 2.5 days a year looking for lost items. But what if I told you you could get some of that time back? 

photo credit Wheel Fun Rentals

DIY Potting Bench

Sometimes {OK, a lot of times!} I buy things at garage sales just because they are a good deal. I don't always know what I'm going to do with them, but the deal is too good to pass up. Sometimes something will sit around for a bit before it comes into it's own. Kind of like this DIY potting bench. I bought these two pieces during different seasons. I actually purchased the planter box last summer and it sat on the side of my house. The bench was a recent purchase from this summer at least, and after putting the two pieces together, painting them to make them cohesive and then spending some time looking at them, they finally came into their own. I think they work well together and have created the perfect DIY potting bench. Which is perfect, because I spend a lot of time out in the garden during the summer and it's nice to have a place where everything is together. Plus, it kind of looks amazing don't you think? I'm sharing how I made this DIY potting bench today and helping you think out of the box so you can make your own too.

garage sale, paint sprayer, planting, gardening, outside, backyard, porch


DIY Spray Painted Coffee Tumblers

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The J.M. Smucker Company. The opinions and text are all mine.

I've got two things that will sum up my summer so far...iced coffee and a good book. I simply cannot get enough. Last summer, I found some double walled tumblers at my local Walmart and I am obsessed with spray painting them and adding vinyl. Not only do I love personalizing them, I love that they keep cold things cold {like my current favorite, Folgers Simply Gourmet Natural Caramel coffee} and hot things hot. Plus, you can pick up all the supplies you need to make them, including all four great flavors {chocolate, caramel, vanilla and cinnamon} of Folgers new Simply Gourmet coffee while shopping at Walmart. I get compliments all the time on my spray painted coffee tumblers and people are always amazed when I tell them that I made them. Don't miss out, I'm going to show you how you can make your own!

folgers, simply gourmet, caramel coffee, yeti

7 Timeless Kitchen Design Trends

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Sears Home Services. All opinions are 100% my own.

They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home. It's true don't you think? We have many private rooms in our home, but few are shared and used by the whole family on a regular basis the way that the kitchen is. It doesn't matter that each of our kids has their own rooms with desks, they do their homework on the kitchen table. We eat together, cook together, play games together and enjoy each other in our kitchen. It's probably the one room of the home that I spend the most time in.

When I was 22, we bought our first house. We brought home kid number two and kid number three in that home and enjoyed our space until we were bursting at the seams. We had a lot to learn as first time home buyers, but we also made some pretty good choices too. 

One of the updates that we made was probably the smartest thing we could have done. 

10 Wedding Gifts Couples Really Use

My husband and I just celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary. I remember wandering the aisles of a few department stores, having never lived on my own, trying to think of household items we might need. We were in college, so we were having to take into consideration that the majority of our guests were poor college students. We were very practical for the most part {not registering for expensive china or entertaining pieces but sticking to things we thought we would use daily}, and while perusing the wedding registry of a few young 20 somethings recently, I was wondering what gifts would be practical gifts couples really use. You know, the kind of gifts that a couple might not have on their registry, but instead realize after they unwrapped it that this was the best gift they got. So I did what any adult does and I took to Facebook to ask my friends. Many of them have been married for decades and most remembered their favorite gifts from their wedding. I thought I would put the list together for you to use just in case you print off a registry for a wedding and start shaking your head thinking that those young whippersnappers have no clue! It may just give you a good starting point to reference if you are registering for wedding gifts for your upcoming wedding or give you ideas if you are looking for a much-appreciated gift for a young couple.


Taking Time for You Doesn't Mean You're Doing It Wrong

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Activia Probiotic Yogurt. All opinions are 100% mine.

You're doing it wrong. Why is it that those four words play on a loop inside my head? As a kid I could hear those words spoken when I was trying to fit in and as a mom I hear them any time I second guess the decisions that I'm making. I usually feel this way when I put myself first. For years, this was really hard for me as a young mom. I put so many people’s needs before my own that I was used to pushing my needs further and further down. We've heard it said that as moms, we need to remember the mantra that is spoken on the airplane; the one that says to put your oxygen mask on first before helping others. Through the years I have learned that it's true that in order for me to truly mother well, I need to take care of myself first. It's something that I wish I had learned sooner.

It's not easy to come to that realization when we see that society doesn't cut moms a lot of slack. We are bombarded with images of the perfect mom and surrounded by reminders from our friends of their perfect families on social media. But what we are seeing is just a glimpse not reality.


Favorite Summer Recipes Plus Create Link Inspire Party

Summer is in full swing and I am loving everything about it! The long days, the warm sun, the sleeping in! I'm also loving all the get togethers and time spent with friends. Usually because that means yummy food shared together. Which is why I put together some of my favorite summer recipes that are guaranteed crowd pleasers. Come check them out!

I tried some of the recipes from last week's link party and they have become family favorites already. I'm also sharing a few others. So come join the party!


What's In My Beach Bag

Tracking Pixel
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Hyland’s Earache Drops.  The uses for Hyland’s products are based on traditional homeopathic practice. They have not been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration.

I grew up land-locked. If I wanted to go to a beach we had to drive for hours to dip our toes in the sand. Seventeen years ago, we moved to the west coast. The novelty of the beach has not worn off on me. I try to spend as much time as possible there and if the weather report mentions any temperature over 70 degrees, you better believe that I'm thinking about making a beach day out of it! I've gotten to be pretty good at packing a beach bag. I'm sharing some of my beach bag essentials today. I think I've become quite the expert after all my years of practice! You may just find some things you never thought to add to your bag before.


Create a Reading Nook for Kids Using What You Have

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Activate.
I have read to my kids since they were young in an attempt to create life-long readers. It's getting harder and harder now that books have to compete with hand-held screens but I'm doing my best to try! Summer is the perfect time to encourage reading since study after study has shown that children who don't read over the summer decline or stagnate in their reading abilities. You don't want all that hard work during the school year to be undone during those dog days of summer now do you? So I'm sharing how I created a reading nook in my home that is encouraging my kids to pick up a good book and curl up for the afternoon. There is nothing fancy about it and I'm showing you how!

How to Know When to Make Exterior Energy Efficient Home Improvements

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sears Home Services. All opinions are 100% my own.
I love to save money. I cut coupons, shop sales, and delay making purchases to save a few bucks. Heck, I even pick up pennies off the sidewalk because I know the value of a dollar. As Ben Franklin said "A penny saved, is a penny earned." You all probably know how much I love garage sales {I even wrote a book about it!}, I know that I can buy a treasure for just a few quarters. There are some exterior energy-efficient home improvements {roofing, siding, and windows} that you can make that will increase not only your home savings but up your comfort level too. Not to mention, some of these changes will provide you with a huge return on investment when you go to sell. That's money in your pocket! So how do you know when you need to make these investments and what should you do? I'm sharing what I know so that you can make the best decision for you and your family.

FREE Garage Sale Printables

It's my favorite season of all. Nope, not football or hunting season, but garage sale season. The garage sales are in full swing every weekend in my neighborhood and as they say one man's trash is another mans' treasure and I'm going treasure hunting nearly every weekend! I have been shopping garage sales for more than 30 years and it's one of my favorite things about summer. Summer is also a great time to host your own sale and get rid of those things in your home you no longer need. 

Today, I'm actually sharing my tips on how to have a successful garage sale on New Day Northwest in Seattle. If you found me because you watched the show, welcome! You can find me on social media too @msrachelteodoro.


Avocado Bacon Burger

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of BUBBA Burger for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Summer is here and there is no other food that I can think of that screams backyard BBQ like a good juicy burger. Whether you are a vegetarian, a vegan or a meat lover, I've got the perfect recipe for a burger you are going to come back to time and time again this summer and it's got a secret ingredient. You won't believe it when I tell you, but I promise you, it's going to take your summer grilling to a whole new level! 

My kids loved playing with building blocks when they were younger. They would stack the blocks as high as they could and see who could make the tallest tower. My engineer husband used to tell them, the foundation matters. You need to have a strong foundation to hold everything in place.

I have got to say, that advice is good for so many different areas of my life, but would you believe that it pertains to food too?

We eat a lot of hamburgers at our house because it's a meal every single person in our family likes. Moms, you get me right? It's good to have some meals in your back pocket that you know you can get through without complaining.

Well...after serving these burgers the other night to my family, they all declared that they were the best burger they had ever had. Hands down.

Want to know the secret? The foundation. 


Free Summer Printables that Will Inspire you to Create Plus Create Link Inspire Party

Welcome to another week of the create, link, inspire link party. I hope you find inspiration here every week and that you check back often for ideas. I'm always impressed with what gets linked up and I always add a handful of crafts, DIY's and recipes to my to do list.  

This week I'm sharing some of the projects that stuck out to me that were fun projects I would want to make this week. Sometimes we need those projects that inspire us right now to create don't you think?

It's time to party!

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