Fixer Upper B&B – The Beautiful Hillcrest Estate

Hello to all you ‘Fixer Upper” fans!

In one of my first posts, I gave you a glimpse of our second trip to Waco, Texas in October 2017 and promised to share more photos of the trip. Well, sorting through the pictures, I was reminded that I took quite a few!  So, please sit back, relax and join me as I take you to the amazing Hillcrest Estate.  This is the beautiful entrance to Hillcrest Estate, the second B&B that Chip and Joanna renovated. This one is actually located in Waco, whereas Magnolia House is in McGregor. The Estate opened in 2017 and reservations are available twice a year when they open the reservation lines. Just make sure you pick someone with persistence to dial and redial and redial since fans from all over the country will be trying at the same time to book a stay at Hillcrest Estate. With some luck, and a sister with a quick dialing finger, like I had, hopefully, you will get through before all of the dates are booked.

As soon as you walk in the front door, you know it, you feel it, they’ve done it again and in a big way! You feel welcome and at home immediately. In the foyer, there is a round table with a Guest Log, scented candle, large bottle of water, Magnolia store discount cards for all guests and a note from Chip and Jo.The living room is open and bright but also very cozy & inviting. They’ve built an entertainment center using old doors, covered a wooden chair with soft new fabric (top left) and hung blankets on a ladder for your snuggling pleasure. The dining room (top right) seats 10 at the long, black wooden table. The bookshelves are full of white dishes, pitchers, candlesticks, cake stands and books. I promise, you never get tired of just wandering around this house checking out the details. The middle right picture is the poker room.  It is a dark grayish/blue, has its own fireplace and a large old map framed and hung on the wall. Bottom right is a sitting area in the downstairs master bedroom. Magnolia notepad and pen placed on the table for your convenience, of course.I honestly don’t know how many bedrooms there are. I guess I could count them from my pictures, but anyway, all of the many bedrooms are amazing! The collage above shows the first bedroom to the right as you walk in the front door. It has a fireplace with remote control gas logs, a desk, bookshelves and the coziest bed covers and blankets ever. This is true for all of the beds in Hillcrest Estate!

This is the Master Bedroom, however, it’s really hard not to call all of the bedrooms “Master’s”! A beautiful 4 poster king size bed (OMG, comfy), bottled “Magnolia” water, chocolate truffles, and Wifi password at your fingertips. Then, the master bath… The granite countertop, double sinks, subway tile, two headed shower with bench seating, are all impressive, but THIS tub…It must be three feet deep (middle left).  Again, all the details, towels, shampoo, conditioner, lotion and soap at your fingertips in the glass door linen closet.  The toiletries are Bigelow Peppermint and Lavender. When I smell the leftover lotion I stingily use at home, it brings back that Magnolia ambience all over again.So cute! This is the entrance to the upstairs bathroom. I could get used to seeing that every morning, couldn’t you?More bedroom and bathroom pictures. Are you tired of looking at pictures? I didn’t think so. Lol. So many wonderful nooks and crannies filled with decorating inspiration!Another sitting/reading area, more pics of dining room table and fireplace.Now, this is really a smart use of kitchen space. The oven is located in the brick divider wall, which is cool, but my favorite part is that here are inverted shelves built into the brick wall on both sides of the oven. These hold coffee, flavored syrups, spices, etc…anything you need while you are cooking. I love this!

Then there’s the back yard. Simply peaceful. A fire pit with rocking chairs ready to warm your hands in the evening and a quaint chapel built with old glass windowed doors, complete with a concrete bench where you can sit and watch the birds, think, pray or just be grateful.

And last, little, but not least, is this adorable playhouse. Covered front porch, window boxes planted with trailing greenery, and dinner bell hanging by the door. Walk in and notice a lovely pattern on the ceramic tile floors, wood shelving, and the cutest ceramic sink with actual running water. 
What child, or adult for that matter, wouldn’t love to hang out in this precious little house?  Unless, of course, you have the opportunity to stay in the big house. Lol. 

I just can’t tell you how much we enjoyed our stay at Hillcrest Estate and how much we appreciated all the details that were handled by the wonderful caretakers.  Chip and Jo obviously put their heart into preserving the history of this old house built in 1903 by updating the decor but maintaining the original style of the home, like they do so well!

I hope you enjoyed my little virtual tour of the Hillcrest Estate.  Stay tuned for more pics and info on Magnolia Silos, Waco tours and restaurants that we visited on our trip to Waco, Texas.

Enjoyed having you visit the Hillcrest Estate with me!

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Unique & Quick Ideas for Christmas Decoration Storage

Christmas, Christmas time is here…I just realized this morning when I was singing that old chipmunks song, that I didn’t hear those cute little chipmunks singing on the radio one time this year. My second thought was, “I bet my kids don’t even know who the chipmunks are.” They didn’t know what JibJab was when I suggested we do a JibJab dance on Christmas Eve either. I guess I’m really telling my age. Ugh!

Anyway, back to Christmas, Christmas time is here…and gone. Some of you really efficient people may have already packed up the tree, ornaments, lights and other decorations, but I’m not one of those people. I usually de-decorate my tree on the 26th and re-decorate it for my daughters birthday on Jan. 2nd. However, she has her own house now and wasn’t even going to be here that day, so I packed up those ornaments and took it down the 27th.

As I was taking the ornaments off the tree, I started thinking that one day, those kids of mine would probably take the ornaments they had received every year and use them on their own family tree. So, as I took each one down, my intentions were to sort by child, in order of the year they received them and photograph them as a keepsake. It didn’t take me long to realize that I didn’t have the patience for all that organization. So, I just sorted them by child and took pics! Better than nothing, right?

So, now it was time to take down the rest of the decorations. I won’t bore you with those details, I’m sure you have boring details of your own about doing this. But, I will tell you about a few new things I did this year to help protect my fragile decorations and to make finding those precious ornament boxes easier next year.


First, I have rediscovered shrink wrap!

I wrapped many pallets loaded with cartons of diecast cars using this stuff back in the 90’s, but had not thought about it for years until I saw this idea on Pinterest about shrink wrapping your Christmas tree for storage. Check out this cool tutorial at www.Epbot.com. I bought shrink wrap for the tree, but haven’t gotten that far yet. However, I have used it for several other storage solutions.

  • Wrap up fragile decorations in tissue paper and then shrink wrap for extra protection

  • If you use cardboard boxes and put them in plastic storage totes, fill the cardboard box, then shrink wrap to protect from bugs and dust. We all know those storage totes are not completely airtight.

  • Wrap your Christmas frames in tissue paper and shrink wrap to protect and keep secure. Note to young parents from old parent: Always date the frames if the year is not shown as part of the design. I PROMISE, after 10-15 years, you will not remember which pictures came from which years unless you do this. Alas, the reason I photographed all of my yearly pics before packing this year is to give me time to determine the correct date before unpacking them next year. You better believe, I will add that date as soon as they come out of the box. Lol.

  • Shrink wrap the stack of Christmas cards you received this year so you can save them for that project you have planned to put all of them together from past years. Oh, “so many somedays”!

Second, take a picture of the inside of your storage tote before you seal it up!

Years ago this would have been a pain, but with cell phones and printers at our homes, BOOM! Snap, snap, snap, print, and there you go. I slip mine into a 3 ring plastic sleeve like we used in our “Lifesaving notebook” Time Saving, Life Saving Thanksgiving Notebook, back in November. Slip a piece of ribbon or string through the top hole and tie on your tote! Now, you can easily see what is in the bin without having to lift the lids and dig.

WOW! I wish I had done this in past years and how convenient would it be if we had done this with all of our storage bins, not just Christmas?


Last big idea I have for storing your Christmas treasures this year is to buy these plastic bags at IKEA.

This particular pack has two sizes, but you can also buy them individually. They are very inexpensive and an absolute necessity at my house. You can use these for so many different things like, packing cosmetics for a trip, storing sheets & pillow cases, (yes, they will fit), and packing away children’s clothing. They are sturdy, very large, double locking & inexpensive!

For Christmas, I used them to pack anything that wasn’t so fragile that it had to be shrink wrapped, anything with lots of pieces that need to stay together, books, cookie cutters and linens that need to stay clean and dry. The possibilities for storage are endless with these babies! If you were using regular clear zip bags, which you can if you don’t have an IKEA close by, you would probably go through a whole box and many of your things would not fit. I believe that I used about 5 bags and I had a lot of decorations scattered around the house.

Well, I’ve help you procrastinate long enough. Hopefully, I’ve also given you some inspiration to make your Christmas packing a little easier this year and finding those decorations and unpacking a little easier next year as well.

HAPPY PACKING AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!