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!
2 Months Later, a Lost Chihuahua Finally Returns Home
Pets are not just animals who live with us. They are considered family members.
Many of us celebrate the birthdays of our pets, take them on vacations, and mourn their passing. They are not just the family pet. They are simply family.
For all those reasons, even just pondering the possibility of your beloved pet going missing must strike fear into the hearts of many families. Unfortunately, that was the reality that Debra Niska and her family had to live with not too long ago.
Pumpkin Goes Missing
Trouble started for Niska and her family when their pet Chihuahua named Pumpkin suddenly went missing. The exact explanation for how Pumpkin somehow escaped from went home and got so far away remains unclear, but Niska knew right away that they were going to have a tough time bringing their pet back.
Aside from the difficulty of trying to find a small dog in a big city, Pumpkin was also lacking a microchip. The lack of a microchip meant that even if someone did find Pumpkin, they would not be able to know right away where she lived and the identity of her owner.
The missing microchip was a huge obstacle to Niska and her family finding their pet, but they would not allow that to keep them from trying.
Bringing Pumpkin Home
Debra and her family knew that it would be incredibly difficult to somehow find and bring Pumpkin back home when there was no microchip for her potential rescuers to scan. Understanding that, Pumpkin’s family went all out in their efforts to bring their pet home so that they could overcome the challenge.
According to this article from Little Things, Niska and her family went about looking for Pumpkin by implementing a multi-pronged approach.
They searched for Pumpkin in their neighborhood, scouring all the possible places where she could have gone. They also made use of social media to inform their friends and other people in their neighborhood that their dog had gone missing.
Lastly, Niska and her family also took the time out to contact rescue organizations in the hopes that maybe one of them somehow found a wandering Pumpkin on the streets.
Days and weeks passed without them knowing exactly where Pumpkin had wandered off to. At long last though, their wishes were finally granted following a two-month wait.
Pumpkin Returns Home
As it turns out, Pumpkin didn’t just stray away from her California home and wander to a different city nearby. She was apparently quite the traveler.
Somehow, Pumpkin managed to go all the way to Phoenix, Arizona. It’s unclear exactly how the miniature dog got that far from home, but it turned out to be a stroke of luck that she ended up in Phoenix as that was where she was found by rescuers.
Not long after she was found by the rescue organization in Phoenix, Pumpkin was put on a plane so that she could travel back to Pasadena, California and be with the family that had been missing her badly for two long months.
The reunion between Pumpkin and her family proved to be a joyful one.
This video shared by Inside Edition shows just how happy Pumpkin and her family were upon seeing one another. Pumpkin simply could not contain her excitement as she ran over to her family and threw her little body at them, with her tail wagging wildly as it all happened. She was also met with smiles by a family that had clearly missed her company.
Few things are worse than not knowing what happened to your missing family member. Thankfully for the Niska family, their adorable little Pumpkin managed to make her way back home.
Animal Services Director Finds Herself in the Worst-Case “Dog in a Hot Car” Scenario
As a New Jersey director of an animal services agency, Deborah Yankow can easily be described as a person far more sensitive than average to the conditions of animals, which is a good thing for 26 puppies one summer afternoon.
Deborah is quite used to emergency calls. As the Director of the Bergen County Animal Services agency she regularly fields calls with her staff from the local SPCA when animals are found in serious distress situations. However, one particular hot day reaching over 90 degrees, Deborah was not prepared for what she was going to face.
As it turned out, when she arrived at the scene, the situation involved a parked van vehicle in the middle of a Walmart asphalt parking lot and 26 puppies jammed into two crates inside the van. Now, as anyone knows, standing in the middle of a black top parking lot in the middle of summer heat is bad enough. The color black absorbs heat, which oftentimes makes the asphalt even hotter than surround areas under the same sun but with vegetation. Worse, locked up cars build up hotter air inside, easily reaching as much as 130 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit inside. The dynamic is driven by the car windows, which let heat in, but nothing is allowed to get out. A 90-degree day is bad enough, but 130 degrees is more than enough put grown adults in the hospital with dehydration and heat distress if left without water immediately available.
Dogs have it worse. They don’t sweat. Dogs release their heat through their hears and through panting and their tongues. This is why folks often see dog panting heavily on a hot day outside or flat as a pancake on tile flooring or wet grass during the summer. Puppies jammed together in a crate were the worst-case scenario in a closed car. As the heat built up inside the car, the puppies were each giving off their own heat, creating a killing dynamic of fast dehydration.
Fortunately, someone was observant enough to see inside the van and realize the condition of the dogs. The van was forced open and the SPCA personnel were immediately called to save the dogs. Deborah and her staff worked feverishly to save the bulldog puppies who were only too happy to slurp up as much as water as they could get. All of the puppies were transferred to a shelter and examined by a vet to insure they weren’t likely to suffer delayed injuries common with heat exposure. All the dogs ultimately were saved and made ready to be placed in caring homes going forward. For Deborah it was these kinds of days that made her job so valuable in her mind and others.
You Want a Capybara as a Pet? Isn’t it a Giant Rat?
What in the world is a Capybara?
Take a small to medium size pig, turn it into a guinea pig with longer legs, give it clawed feet, and add in an absolutely loving attitude towards anything that pays it attention. Technically, the Capybara is a rodent, a very large rodent. These creatures can easily get up to 4 feet in length and up to two feet tall. They range in weight, with various specimens coming in anywhere from 70 lbs to as much as 150 lbs in size. Most folks first faced with one would likely back up from a Capybaras at first, but these creatures are absolutely affectionate regardless of what they are facing.
They Eat a Lot!
In terms of feed, the Capybara counts as an herbivore. It will easily consume up to eight pounds of food and they love to splash around in water, often leaving near creeks and rivers in the wild. And then they have this cuddling thing. They love to get up close with anything that pays them attention and doesn’t try to eat them. The Capybara will do fine with dogs, cats, cattle and they even be seen giving a monkey a ride around the yard. They have a reputation for being used as a couch by a lot of other animals ranging from birds to other rodents, even when walking around.
The Party Hugger
Tame Capybaras will make friends will all kinds of animals most folks would never assume could hang out with these creatures. Rabbits are often seen snoozing with them when saddled in the same pen, and if there’s a kiddie pool made available you can be these oversized rodents are going to play king of the mountain and park themselves right in the center of it. They not only have the ability to function as natural swimmers, a Capybara will frequently be found sleeping in water as well. It’s not uncommon to see one slip underwater asleep and come back up in a splutter. They also have the ability to dive and stay under water up to 5 minutes long, easily getting away from danger on land if needed.
Interestingly, Capybaras are no slow or easy to catch. They can run as fast as 35 kilometers per hour, easily keeping up with a typical horse. They tend to live in herds ranging from 10 to 20 in the wild, and at one point there was a concern they were going to become rare. However, domestic farm-raising of Capybaras solved the problem, and now there are plenty of the rodents available again.
It’s not likely that a Capybara will be allowed as a pet in most jurisdictions in the U.S. Many states have laws barring the entry of non-native species to prevent them from causing environmental damage and wiping out a native species. However, if you ever get a chance, spend some time with these creatures in a tame setting. Their willingness to be friendly and inquisitive makes them absolutely interesting to watch, observe and interact with.
How One Lost, Little Piglet Stole the Hearts of State Troopers in New Jersey
We’ve all heard that nursery rhyme about the little piggies and their different experiences, but they may have been missing a member. Not too long ago, one little piggy got loose in New Jersey and he had one heck of an adventure.
This all happened a while back in Commercial Township, New Jersey.
Some state troopers were just going about their day when they received what was quite the unusual call from one of the township’s residents. The caller reported that a small piglet was apparently on the loose.
Upon receiving the call that a little piglet was wandering around the town, the dedicated state troopers immediately sprang into action.
Tracking Down the Little Piglet
According to this report from FOX 29, Port Norris troopers Bryan Blair, Ray Coleman, and Julio Ferrer were the ones who responded to the call about the wandering piglet. One would be forgiven for thinking that wrangling a little piglet would be an easy job, but it’s apparently easier said than done.
A report from the Philly Voice revealed that the state troopers had a bit of trouble catching the piglet. He apparently led them on a bit of a chase around a couple of houses before finally being caught.
Commenting on the adorable yet unusual situation, the New Jersey State Police said that they did not include catching piglets in the training program for police officers. They did add that it might be “cooler” if they did introduce that program and jokingly said that they would consider the move.
The Piglet at the Police Station
So, what happened after the piglet was caught and the state trooper brought him back to the police station, you ask? Well, he and the police officers apparently had a bit of fun.
Soon after getting back to the station, the little piglet got more comfortable. He felt so at ease that he was even fine with taking part in an impromptu photo shoot.
The state troopers also took quite a shine to the piglet and they even gave him the nickname of Norris.
Comfortable as Norris might have been in the police station, that’s not exactly the most accommodating location for small farm animals. With an owner not emerging in the hours after Norris was caught, state trooper Coleman decided that he would step up to the plate and take the little guy home.
Officer Coleman had no problems volunteering to care for Norris because he already has previous experience caring for farm animals.
The Little Piglet Goes Home
Following a few nights at state trooper Coleman’s home, it was finally time for the little piglet that had stolen the hearts of the police officers to go back home. A farmer nearby noticed that he was a piglet short and got in touch with the police department to see if they could help.
As it turns out, the missing piglet the farmer was looking for was indeed none other than Norris himself. Shortly after the farmer got in touch with the police department, Norris was able to go back home where he belonged.
Piglets can be fascinating creatures, especially if you take the time to observe how they interact with their littermates. According to Farm Health Online, piglets will quickly form relationships with their littermates. It’s also not out of the realm of possibility that a social hierarchy among the piglets can be established right away.
Hopefully, little Norris manages to form great relationships with his brothers and sisters back at the farm. What we can say for sure is that the state troopers nearby will always be his friends.
Are Dogs as Dumb as Cows or are Cows as Smart as Dogs?
Cows don’t typically get a lot of support for their intellectual capacities. In most descriptions and references, bovine cattle frequently tend to be referred to as fat, smelly, not much smarter than a rock, and no visible emotion whatsoever. In other words, just dumb cows. While cows do smell quite a bit (and most other animals would too if they had to stomp around and eat in the same pasture that they go to the bathroom in), those who know them have found cows able to express quite a portfolio of emotional reactions.
There’s Clear Evidence Something is Going On Mentally
First, if anyone takes the time to really observe bovine behavior, he or she is likely to start noticing that cows communicate quite a bit with each via contact. They clearly have and frequently practice the ability to share affection with each other, cozying up and wrapping their necks with each other for no other reason than to share comfort with the other.
Second, cows that are isolated generally tend to exhibit signs of extreme anxiety over time as well. And cows aren’t that dumb after all; they can solve simple puzzles once they are able to realize the connection between an action and the solution that interests them, such as getting to food.
More interestingly, however, cows get quite attached with their human owners, especially if they have been exposed and raised by that person from a young calf stage. In some cases, the calves will literally follow their owners inside homes if allowed and makes themselves at home, even parking on the family room couch if no one is looking just like a dog would.
Then There’s That Dog Behavior Some Cows Practice
No, it’s not likely that a cow will be beating a sheep dog anytime soon through an obstacle course or herding the rest of its fellow bovine creates in and out of the barn on command. However, cows definitely have no problem cozying up to a sleeping farmer and giving him a hug. They actually like having a belly rub (just watch out when they roll over), and they don’t have a problem with a dog well-known to the herd and as familiar as the farmer. They might even give the dog an occasional lick on the face when they think no one is looking!
They Could be Spies!
And with the range of behavior cows do show subtly, they probably end up watching humans quite a bit wondering why in the world the two-legs constantly engage in such silly behavior all day long instead just eating grass like any common-sense animal should. We just don’t “hear” the conversation when cows are talking loudly.
Yes, fundamentally, cows are raised for farm production and food. But once people really start taking notice about how these bovine creatures behave, the willingness to have a hamburger afterwards might trigger a bit of hesitation and a second thought in more than one person.
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