If you’ve ever tuned into the HGTV channel, you know that their priority is reality television. At HGTV, there is no show bigger than Fixer Upper. Led by hosts Joanna and Chip Gaines, Fixer Upper is all about following one family as they revitalize homes with glamorous and trendy makeovers. Of course, the show is really about how the husband-wife duo works together, and they’ve cultivated quite the following as a result. Now, in the ultimate Fixer Upper twist, we are going to head into the home that Chip and Joanna fixed for themselves!
Meet Joanna and Chip
If you don’t know Chip or Joanna, you’ve come to the right place! The television co-hosts first met each other back in Waco, TX, in 2001. They were both attending the same high-school when they became aware of one another. Chip saw Joanna in a fancy portrait while visiting Joanna’s family business. Two years later, Chip and Joanna would tie the knot. Talk about a romantic story!
Property Loving Family
Being in the fixin’ business, it only makes sense that the Gaines would live in many different homes throughout their life. After Joanna and Chip got married, they would end up living in nine different houses. While they no doubt loved exploring all of these properties, the Gaines always promised to settle down one day. It was this mindset that got them to begin working on their own fixer-upper!
Renovating Their Dream Home
Suffice to say, Joanna and Chip are definitely no strangers to renovating homes. So, when they set their eyes on this decrepit looking farmhouse, they saw the end-product rather than what currently stood before them. It’s the ability to see the potential in a piece of property that has made the stars of Fixer Upper so popular among their fans.
Wide Angle of the Property
Here’s another look at the property before the Gaines family began to work on it. As you can see, there was quite a bit of work to do. Without their television production team behind them, Chip and Joanna would be on their own. Can you imagine what they turned this lunk of wood into? By the end of today’s conversation, you’ll have your mind blown by their fixer-upper skills!
Successful Television Career
Before we dive wholesale into the renovation, let’s take a moment to look back at the careers of Chip and Joanna. Fixer Upper officially premiered in 2013. Since then, the series has gone on for five seasons and 56 episodes. More than just a family entertainment show, Fixer Upper has also scored two Primetime Emmy Award nominations for their work. The show officially went off of the air in 2018, but we’ll explore that topic more at a later time.
Meet The Farmhouse
While it may seem sudden, their renovation took nearly 18 months to complete. Here we can see that the Gaines did as much work on the outside of the home as they did on the inside of the property. When they first purchased the farmhouse in 2012, right before they made it big on HGTV, the place barely looked livable. Now, the farmhouse looks like a miniature mansion!
A Long Journey
While Chip and Joanna can renovate a guest’s property in the space of a single episode, doing the job in real life is a whole heck of a lot tougher. It took a full 18 months in order to turn this property into somewhere that they would want to raise their family. Of course, Chip and Joanna were totally fine taking their time. As you’ll see, the land that the property sits on is just as beautiful.
Finally Moving In
While you might expect Joanna and Chip to go crazy renovating their own house, they were actually relatively constrained. By the end of their renovation, the reality television stars had only added a single extension to the home, and that for the master bedroom. It turns out that the famous couple wanted to retain as much old school charm as possible. Who can blame them?
Perfecting the Color
In order to really perfect the look of the home, Joanna wanted something that was soft and elegant. Joanna decided that they needed to lean into white as one of their core color elements. As you’ll soon see, the gentle white color has helped to totally transform the interior of the house. While a slightly controversial decision, Joanna definitely made the most out of her choice.
Rejuvenating the Kitchen
The kitchen is the beating heart of most homes, so it stands to reason that Chip and Joanna would want a nice kitchen of their own. With a gaggle of children to take care of, Joanna and Chip wanted something functional and aesthetically pleasing. This kitchen incorporates a stainless steel island, a hanging wooden rafter, and stark modern lines. Can you imagine having breakfast here?
A Cozy Entrance
When you walk into the home, you instantly feel at ease. With a ‘G’ adorning the wall, it is hard to forget who owns this house! Again, the Gaines paid a lot of attention to functionality while designing their dream home. You can see the hooks and cubbies for stashing supplies when coming inside. You got to do what you can in order to motivate your children to be clean!
Attending to Little Details
What sets Joanna and Chip apart as designers is their ability to notice the little things. It makes total sense that they would remember to add beautiful little touches to their own home. Here you can see a few of the little design and decor decisions that Chip and Joanna made before finishing their renovation.
Gorgeous Living Room
This is the perfect living room for any family that is always on the go. There’s enough comfortable seating for the family to relax, but nothing feels overwhelming. This living room is beautifully designed, and we love the mixed textures that they chose to pursue. The white board set against the faux wooden windows is just a great look.
Sense of Refined Charm
From a decrepit old building to a refined and upscale farmhouse, Chip and Joanna did one heck of a job. We love the rustic-industrial look that the Gaines family managed to pull off for this renovation. You can see that they care deeply about blending both function and fashion into a cohesive space. With a large dining room table and plenty of space for relaxing, this is a great family area!
Now, this looks like the perfect bedroom to pass out in. We love the windows that straddle the bed as well as all of the delicate decors that they incorporated. The white walls mixed with the natural earthen tones combine to make this a bedroom to dream of. What makes this bedroom even cooler is how much it sprawls, but we’ll get to that in a little bit.
Before we move on, let’s take a moment to peek into the master bathroom. This is the extension that we had mentioned earlier. This free-standing en-suite has its own bathtub as well as white tiling. We love how the old door makes the room more inviting than ever. We almost feel like this is a room pulled straight from The Hobbit.
Turn just to the left of the bed and you’ll find yourself staring at what makes this bedroom truly special. A beautiful fireplace is adorned by two chairs and an antique desk. The windows add a ton of light and the white lace curtains create a sense of vulnerable elegance. With a house full of kids, it can be nice to have an adults’ only escape.
Now that we’ve seen where Chip and Joanna sleep, it’s only fair to check out the boys’ room. You can tell right away that the family wanted a clean and open space for their boys to roughhouse. Two bunk beds set the tone and the steel ladders and rails make them pop off of the walls. We continue to love how the wooden floor and white wooden walls blend together.
In the Girls Room
In the girls’ room, things look just a little bit different. For one, this is probably the softest and most delicate looking bedroom to ever exist. This is where Emmie Kay and Ella Rose sleep. They have their own chandelier as well as, probably, the coolest looking dollhouse in the world. While this is smaller than the boys’ room, it certainly feels complete and cozy.
Master Bathroom Interior
Let’s swing back to the master bathroom for a close-up view of the interior. Once you step through the delightfully Hobbit-esque door, you’ll find yourself in a bathroom that blends class with antique appeal. We absolutely adore the hanging chandelier as well as the free-standing tub. The his-and-her sinks are also a phenomenal choice. What do you think of the way that the tiling blends with the wooden ceiling?
Boys Bedroom Layout
Here’s a wider view of the boy’s bedroom. Your eyes will immediately be drawn to the giant map hanging above the bar. On the far wall, you’ll find an exercise ladder and a pair of pinboards that are perfect for adding family photos. While the Gaines are focused on fancy renovations, they make sure to never leave out what is truly important to them, family.
Remember the Family
Speaking of the family, you can’t walk up or down a flight of steps in this house without being reminded of who lives there. The stairwell has been adorned with family photos set inside of dark black frames. The black frames really help to pop off of the wall. We also love the little light bulb sconces that seem to be all over the house.
Adult Business Room
Considering the fact that Joanna and Chip are two television stars with plenty of work to do, it makes sense that they’d have a meeting room. This giant space has been designed for a number of different tasks. The primary table is great for business meetings while the cabinets and side tables are perfect for storing and working on crafts.
Adorable Coffee Bar
Many people don’t understand what makes an interior designer good at what they do. Here, we can see a clear example as to why Chip and Joanna are the best in the business. This nifty little coffee bar is functional, adorable, and completely effective at filling in this awkward room. Knowing how to work with space is so important when you are a designer.
Kids Crafting Room
When the kids want to flex their creative skills, they are sent to the crafting room. With a gorgeous window, a hanging chandelier, and two mounted baskets, we couldn’t find a more inviting room to relax in. What do you think of the stools that are attached to the table? We thought that was a rather inspired decision!
When you have a house filled with children, you have to make a space outside for them to enjoy. We can see the sprawling yard that encapsulates their property, just beyond the fence line. We can also see what appears to be a brick oven stove, a barbecue, and the cutest outdoor picnic table of all time. Could you waste an afternoon in this yard?
View of the Land
Here is another angle of the land encircling the farmhouse. Apparently, their farmhouse came with 40 acres of land that is filled with trees, shrubs, and other plants. While renovating 40 acres of land is tough, Chip and Joanna got right to work on a few of their favorite little passion projects. Let’s take a trip around the property in order to see what our favorite Fixer Uppers stars have been up to.
The PERFECT Greenhouse
Let’s take our first stop at the Greenhouse. Joanna is a pretty big gardening fan, and this greenhouse means that she can tend to her plants no matter the time of the year. This greenhouse is more than just functional, it is absolutely breathtaking. Seriously, look at the refined angles of the building itself. This isn’t a prefabricated greenhouse!
Laid Back Afternoon
A home isn’t really a home when you can’t relax in it. Fortunately, the Gaines family doesn’t have any trouble sitting back and letting peace overwhelm them. The deck is just as pretty as the rest of the house, but with a better view for the family dog. Here we see Joanna and Crew taking a moment to admire the life that they have built.
The Home Office
In some ways, this home office is a little bit upsetting. With that being said, the reason that Chip and Joanna don’t need a home office is simple, they are always on the go and working! On the rare occasion that they get to relax at home, this desk looks perfect for grinding out a few emails while taking in the nearby view.
The Family Room
The family room is probably the most important part of the house. When you have as many kids as Chip and Joanna, you want to have a place where everyone can gather. What picture would be more symbolic of a family gathering than this one? Here, we see everyone doing their own thing while the beauty of the house looms over all.
Enjoying the Fireplace
You aren’t often going to be starting up your fireplace in Texas, but on the rare occasion that you want to, it’s nice to have the option! This fireplace is situated right in the heart of the family room. This would be a great view to take in on a cold, wintry morning. We also have to compliment how much green the Gaines managed to showcase in their home!
Before and After
This incredible before and after picture really shows you how far Chip and Joanna have come. Remember, they purchased this home in 2012, before their show had even gone on the air. For seven years, Chip and Joanna have owned this property. They’ve watched their children grow up while renovating the building. While the actual work only took 18 months, the house has cemented itself as a major part of their life.
Excited for the Future
When Fixer Uppers was pulled off of the air in 2018, fans all over the country reacted with concern. After all, Chip and Joanna didn’t have any new show in development when Fixer Uppers came to a close. Would this be it for our favorite remodeling professionals? Well, if you are reading this paragraph right now, you probably already know that this isn’t where their story ends! Instead, they are moving onto something even bigger and more exciting!
Making Big Moves
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Chip and Joanna have partnered with the Discovery Network in order to take over the DIY Network. Chip, Joanna, and Discovery will work together in order to renovate the DIY Network into the television channel of their dreams. We have a feeling that you’ll be seeing much more of Chip and Joanna in the coming months!
Zookeepers Set Up Camera And Capture Pregnant Rhino Giving Birth Without Any Assistance
For a whopping sixteen months, Asha carried her baby in her womb. Asha, a rare greater one-horned rhinoceros, lives at the Chester Zoo in Cheshire, England. Luckily, her labor and delivery were much quicker than the gestational period was for her baby Rhino to come into the world.
After only about 20 minutes of labor, Asha successfully delivered a healthy male calf in the early morning hours on May 3, 2018, at her home at the Chester Zoo. The staff at the zoo were able to capture Asha’s labor and delivery on video. The mama had an easy delivery on the floor of her enclosure and did not require assistance from the staff as she labored and brought her 132-pound baby boy. Once he is fully grown, Asha’s son will balloon to an eye-popping two tons plus in weight!
Guests of the Chester Zoo were excited to visit the little rhino and his mama in their exhibit. Asha’s baby is named Akeno which means “beautiful sunrise.” Along with his birth, Akeno’s first steps were also caught on tape along with snuggles with his 11-year-old mother Asha. They are a hit at the zoo and seem to be getting along well.
The staff at the well-visited zoo have been working towards keeping beautiful animals like Asha and baby Akeno together and better protected. One-horned rhinos are one-horned rhinos that are endangered at this point in a critical way and the staff is hoping the miraculous birth will not only attract visitors to the zoo but will draw attention to their work on this front. Animals like Asha and baby Akeno are the object of hunters who illegally poach them to be able to obtain their horns and sell them. There is a market for them as they are used in traditional Chinese medicine. A hunter can sell a single horn on the Asian black market for around $65,000 United States dollars. Even more offensive is the fact that wealthy hunters simply want the horns to hang on their walls and show off to friends as a status symbol of wealth and popularity.
According to a staff member of the Chester Zoo, not long ago there were less than 200 greater one-horned rhinoceros in the wild.
“They were hunted almost to extinction. Just in time steps were taken to protect them. Now there are about 2,600, but they still face threats in India and Nepal… it’s important we do all we can to stop their numbers going down to critical levels again.”
As the staff and many others work hard to fight against the illegally poaching of these beautiful animals, Asha and Akeno, who appears like he is dressed in a dark gray suit of armor, are enjoying their stay at the zoo and the many delighted visitors they come into contact with each day. The birth of Akeno on video has drawn more new visitors to the Chester Zoo and everyone seems to be happy with this new situation.
A Successful Dinner Party is Brought Together by a Garfield Cat
When it comes to throwing a party, there is a lot to keep in mind. While most people like to think about the food, the guests, and the setting, there are several other key issues to address as well. This story comes from a land were cat lovers are trying to throw the ultimate dinner party. Sure, there are plenty of people out there who love cats. Cats are meant to be pets and they are incredibly popular, just like dogs. On the other hand, this mother was looking for a very specific type of cat.
This mother has two young children who are absolutely obsessed with the cat known as Garfield. This cat is known for his mysterious stories and has been the focus of books, movies, and TV shows. One of the best-known facts about Garfield is that he has an innate love for all things lasagna. Therefore, this mother decided to go the extra mile for her children. She went out looking for a cat who looked like Garfield to complete the dinner party. Of course, the focus of the party was going to be lasagna; however, a cat that looked like Garfield would help to bring everything together. In the eyes of many, this could end up being the best Saturday night ever.
The mother went out on her search. She posted about her search for Garfield on International Cat Day. She tried to search everywhere looking for an orange cat that would suit her purposes. It turns out that a cat who looks like Garfield is a bit hard to find. Therefore, she became desperate. She decided to make a public sign that would announce her intent to the world.
On the sign, she wrote that she would only need to borrow the cat for a day or two at most. She knew that many cats already had owners and expressed her intent to bring the cat back after the party was finished. She probably didn’t know the attention the post was going to receive when she first put up the flyer about Garfield. The flyer read like a “help wanted” sign! She stated clearly that she only wanted to borrow an orange cat for a day or two at most. She mentioned the need to have a Garfield cat to eat lasagna with her family, including her children. She stated that she would make sure the cat was healthy and not require the cat to eat the lasagna if not desired.
She even mentioned that she did NOT want to keep the cat! She mentioned that she even might sound a bit crazy but was really only desperate! The post was so funny and heartwarming that it was shared online. For sure, the post ended up going viral. Suddenly, it worked! There was a great Garfield cat that showed up to the house on Saturday night. This Garfield even brought along some cupcakes with orange icing! Without a doubt, the kids were thrilled. They all sat down for dinner and Garfield ate his own food instead. The family got time to play with Garfield after dinner until it was time for him to go home. It turns out, this Garfield already has a happy home.
This Garfield belongs to a medical student located in Oklahoma City. His willingness to donate Garfield certainly deserves to be praised. What a heartwarming story about someone who was willing to go the extra mile to make a family happy on a Saturday evening. Isn’t Garfield the best?
Why More People Are Finding Snakes Hiding in Their Toilet
Sitting down on the toilet and then realizing there is a snake in there. It’s a scene from a horror movie and can be anyone’s worst fear. Snakes hiding in toilets are becoming more and more common.
The latest story making the headlines is from Mike Green in North Carolina, who says he has pulled six snakes out of his toilet in the past four years. This is not the only example. Country singer Brett Eldredge recently shared that he walked in the bathroom where he was staying on vacation in the Bahamas and found a snake in the toilet bowl. There are plenty of stories of pythons hiding out in toilets in Australia.
There is a reason why this is happening. A former plumber and curator of reptiles at the Los Angeles Zoo is sharing the reason. He says that snakes are sleek animals and it’s easy for them to fit into tight spaces in their current environment. Snakes feel more at home when they are in a dark, tight space. When they get into a pipe, they feel good about it and it’s easy to navigate through the sewer system and then find their way up the pipes into someone’s toilet. Snakes get in through the ventilation pipes on the roof. Since the bathroom plumbing is usually connected through the ventilation pipes the snake slithers its way through the system and into the bathroom. It’s easy for snakes to slither up anything that will lead them to the roof, such as a tree. If you have a tree that is close to your roof and the ventilation pipe then it can increase your chances of having a snake in the bathroom
If you are wondering what to do if a snake gets in your toilet, know that flushing it away won’t work. If you do find a snake in your toilet then call animal control. Animal control can help you get rid of the snake but can also identify the snake. While the good news is that most snakes are harmless, there is a chance you could have a dangerous one. Don’t be a hero and handle it yourself, just in case it is dangerous.
If you want to avoid snakes in your toilet, there are simple things you can do. Find a way to make sure the ventilation is covered but that it is still able to do the job it is intended to do. By having some sort of block, such as wire covering and mesh, it not only prevents snakes from getting in but also other pests, like rats. You can also install a roof vent hood. These hoods help protect the venting and keep any creepy pests out. Who would have thought that you actually needed to take care of issues on the roof in order to prevent snakes from slithering through the pipes? If you are truly worried then you can invest in a multi-flap that fits over the toilet pipe and allows waste and water to exit but keeps critters out.
Keep in mind if you live in an area that is prone to snakes then this issue may be more common and you may already know how to deal with it. Many snakes that find their way into a toilet are not native to the area where they were found. It’s likely they escaped or were let free by their owners that no longer wanted them and they choose your pipes as a nest. Many snakes aren’t able to survive in the main sewer pipe for very long since there can be relatively low temperatures below the ground where pipes are located, making it unlikely that they actually set up their home in a main sewer line.
Pigeons With Small Hats are Showing up in Nevada
It’s not uncommon to see a lot of weird things walking down some streets in Nevada. However, you may have thought your eyes were playing a trick on you when you saw a pigeon that was wearing a small sombrero or cowboy hat. While you may think it was just one of those dessert mirages, it’s not.
There have been sightings of a pigeon wearing a sombrero in Reno and then a number of pigeons in Las Vegas wearing cowboy hats. The city manager of Reno thought it was just adorable and funny. However, she was in for a rude awakening when she shared the pigeons on social media and then was attacked by animal rights activists. One of the Las Vegas pigeons that had a tiny hat glued to its head died. Activists are working to get the word out that regardless of how cute a pigeon with a hat on his head looks, it’s not a laughing matter.
The pigeons in Las Vegas were being spotted in mid-December. While the pigeons weren’t all wearing the same hat, the proximity of the sightings had many people believing it was the same group of people or one person that was responsible. The Internet was exploding with these pictures and there were even people getting tattoos of the cowboy pigeon. These people had a serious commitment to something funny but may be feeling a bit of regret when they learn the practice of gluing hats on pigeons is cruel.
When the pigeons were first spotted, the staff at Lofty Hopes, an animal rescue, wanted to track down the pigeons in order to try and remove the hats. Since the pigeons were all spotted wearing the hats for several days, the staff determined the hats were glued to their heads. The staff then worked on trapping the pigeons but it wasn’t an easy task. The staff named the pigeons in order for them to be easy to track. They went by Cluck Norris, CoolamityJane, and Billie the Pidge. Eventually, Cluck Norris and Billie the Pidge were caught and the volunteers and staff members could take a look at the damage that was done. At first, Billie allowed them to work on removing the hat. As the volunteers got to work, it was clear how much glue there was and how much damage was caused to the bird. Cluck allowed them to do the same thing and for him, the damage was even worse. The staff at Lofty Hopes later shared on Instagram that Billie the Pidge had died from an undetected illness. The staff shared that the hat could have interfered with the pigeon being able to dislodge small insects that gathered under it. Pigeons are active groomers and they don’t just groom themselves but also others in the flocks. Since pigeons have an extremely fragile respiratory system, the fumes from the glue could have contributed to slowly poisoning the bird. There are a number of things that could have gone wrong thanks to this prank.
Lofty Hopes is now working on tracking down the sombrero bird in Reno. The city manager is also doing her part to spread the word about the birds. She said while it is fun, it’s still inhumane and the birds are suffering. She said she doesn’t want the same thing to happen here with Billie dying. In the meantime, Lofty Hopes is still working on finding Coolamity Jane. They have kept a close eye on her but haven’t been able to trap her. The goal is to get the hat off as quickly as possible.
A Florida High School First: Dissecting Synthetic Frogs
Dissecting frogs has been part of the curriculum for high school students in the United States since the 1920’s. It’s an essential part of a Biology requirement because it offers a hands-on learning experience for students in animal anatomy. J.W. Mitchell High School in New Port Richey, Florida has just tapped into a new synthetic option that might just save students from the dubious and grossly controversial dissecting practice.
Why Dissecting is Controversial?
Dissecting animals in the classroom is controversial for a number of reasons, but the education validity of this practice is what is being called into question more than anything else. If it is really important for educational purposes, why have so many schools already chosen to rely on alternative methods to fulfill the requirements?
Here’s an overview of the key points to consider.
Dissecting frogs and other animals is controversial because of animal welfare concerns. Students are uncomfortable with the requirement, but the process has caused concerns that it encourages callousness toward animals. An estimated 20 million animals are used for dissection every year in the United States. Those are animals that are used once in a classroom setting and then discarded as waste.
Eighteen states now allow students to choose dissection alternatives without penalty. The earliest forms of alternative legislation date to 2000 with the Illinois’ Dissection Alternatives Act, but there are other laws on the books that allow alternatives. Dissecting alternatives now include computer programs, life-life models, and high-quality videos. So, it’s no longer strictly essential for students to dissect animals.
The cost of dissecting “real” animal cadavers is much higher than alternative options. The cost for animal dissection has been estimated at $6,850 over five years, compared with the $900 for a site license for Digital Frog 2.5. For those schools and teachers who still prefer a more “real-life” experience for students, there’s now the SynFrog, a synthetic frog that was designed by SynDaver as an alternative to dissecting “real” animals.
What About the SynFrog?
The SynFrog is the latest synthetic alternative to frog dissection, spearheaded by PETA in partnership with SynDaver. These synthetic frogs are priced at $150 per frog, and they are reusable. The students at J.W. Mitchell High School in New Port Richey, Florida became the first students to use the synthetic frogs as a viable solution to the gross and controversial “real” frogs. The high school students have been offered this opportunity through a partnership with SynDaver.
Education is always important, but the SynFrog demonstrates that there are ways to accomplish the goals of education without unnecessary destruction and cruelty to animals. These synthetic frogs are designed to be as “life-like” as possible, with a synthetic skeleton, organs, skin, muscles, and even a reproductive system to mimic the real deal—minus the gore, guts, and discarded critters at the end of the lesson.
Perhaps instead, teachers can reiterate the Hippocratic Oath: “First, do no harm,” as they offer alternatives for learning with synthetic learning options.
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