A glimpse inside our new house (and life) in Pawhuska, Oklahoma

A glimpse inside our new house (and life) in Pawhuska, Oklahoma

It was two weeks ago yesterday that we moved into our new house in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, and we are so excited to be here! We spent much of the first week unpacking, getting utilities hooked up, and just finding our way around town.

Pawhuska house before bringing boxes in.

A view from the dining room into the living room on move-in day.

We brought a U-Haul full of stuff from Nebraska and are trying our best to fill in with purchases made locally in Pawhuska. We’ve been to four auctions, scavenged the local thrift and consignment stores, and found some things at local places like The Buckin’ Flamingo, Prairie Cottage, The Book Burrow, and The Pioneer Woman Mercantile.

Pawhuska house Buckin' Flamingo window frame

We purchased this window frame at the Buckin’ Flamingo in downtown Pawhuska.

Admittedly, we’ve had to run to nearby Bartlesville for a few items and did some online shopping for things we couldn’t find in town, but the house is really coming together and feeling more like home every day.

Pawhuska house shelves

It has been fun filling book shelves with items found in local shops, like these books from the Book Burrow and the horse head bookend from Sister’s Attic.

The decorating is not complete and we still need to finalize a few details like end tables, lamps, and chairs (ha!), but we wanted to give y’all a little peek inside our place, anyway. So here we go!

First, you must know that the former owners did an amazing job remodeling this 1,500 square foot, 1930’s craftsman house. They stripped all the wood floors, updated the fireplace, took out a wall that separated the kitchen and dining area and gutted both the kitchen and full bath, among other things. Take a look at this entryway.

We love the bright entryway that the front door opens into. Not sure exactly what we're going to do with this space yet, but Ann is already picturing a Christmas tree in the window.

We love the bright entryway that the front door opens up into. Not sure exactly what we’re going to do with this space yet, but Ann is already picturing a Christmas tree in the window.

I love the bright sunlight that fills this space in the morning. Still trying to figure out what to put in this room, but I’m thinking about some kind of cozy chair(s) to curl up in with a cup of coffee or a good book. And aren’t the natural floors just beautiful?

Pawhuska house hardwood floors

The previous owners sanded and refinished the original hardwood floors. They are beautiful and we love that they left blemishes and original nails.

Pawhuska house living room

We love the way the sunlight comes in first thing in the morning.

The entryway opens up into a pretty good-sized living room, which we love. We’re hopeful that the temperatures here in Oklahoma will eventually cool down and we’ll want to use the fireplace.

Pawhuska house antique chair

This antique chair was given to us by Ann’s mom years ago. She had it in her first home when Ann was just a baby and it is so nice to have it with us in Pawhuska.

The bright yellow Tonka truck by the fireplace in the photo below was accidentally purchased at our first auction. I thought we were bidding on two round end tables and alerted Steve to bid. Without hesitation, he quickly raised his paper plate buyer’s number and the auctioneer said, “Sold!” Sadly, we were actually bidding on the truck (which we got for $10) and are still without end tables. Nonetheless, it makes a good conversation piece.

Pawhuska house fireplace

The beautiful fireplace in the living room with a working gas log is one of our favorite parts of the house. The Tonka truck was an accidental purchase at an auction. Long story, but great conversation piece.

Pawhuska house Harp Design candlesticks

We purchased these candlesticks from Harp Design Co., in Waco, Texas, last summer. We visited there two days after our first visit to Pawhuska.

Pawhuska living room

The living room of our Pawhuska home. The blue tape is where we’ll put a really cool map of Oklahoma that we’ve ordered.

We’ve tried to make the living room comfy, cozy and welcoming to friends and visitors. We’ve already had a few people stop by and can’t wait for Steve’s mom and dad to come for a visit in a few weeks.

As you know, we’ve picked up a few things for the house at area auctions, including this cute Crete Carrier collectible semi truck. While this large carrier company is now headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska, it started in nearby Crete, Nebraska, where we have roots. Still need to find a real picture for that crackled frame.

Pawhuska house Crete truck.

We found this Crete Carrier Corp. toy truck at a local auction and thought it would be a great nod to our Nebraska roots. Crete Carrier is now based in Lincoln, but started in our hometown. Oh, and we still need a new photo for that frame.

Another little slice of memorabilia we’ve added to the bookcase in the living room is this selfie from a June 2017 road trip we had with our daughter, Meghan. This was the day after Steve’s last day as middle school principal and was taken just before we rolled into Pawhuska for the first time. We could never have imagined buying a house here just a little more than a year later and this photo is a great reminder that you never know how a new adventure will impact the rest of your life.

Picture entering Pawhuska

We took this picture in the summer of 2017 as we passed the sign coming in to Pawhuska for the first time. We never would have imagined that day that we’d own a house here a year later.

Of course, a postcard jar also made the move and this one is filled with postcards from all over the world sent to us by readers like you. We have been so blessed by your greetings and the opportunities to get to know so many wonderful people through our blog.

Pawhuska house postcard jar

Well, it just wouldn’t be home without a postcard jar.

We’re also getting to know our neighbors here and have visited two different churches. We’ve familiarized ourselves with new aisles at the grocery store and found new shortcuts across town (although you get about anywhere is less than three minutes).

The high school football team debuts on a new turf field this Friday night and we’re looking forward to that. We hope you’ve enjoyed this little peek inside our new home and life here in Oklahoma. We’ll share more later but right now, we need to take a break from blogging and get over to El Vallarta’s for the $4.99 lunch special.


We recently bought 1,500 sq. ft. home in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. Here's a peek inside.

We recently bought 1,500 sq. ft. home in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. Here’s a peek inside.

More than candlesticks: What we found at Clint Harp’s shop

More than candlesticks: What we found at Clint Harp’s shop

No Fixer Upper fan’s trip to Waco, Texas, would be complete without a stop at carpenter extraordinaire Clint Harp’s design company. When we were in Waco last month visit Magnolia Market [read more about that HERE], we took a little jaunt about a mile down the road to get a glimpse of Harp’s white distressed candle sticks and farmhouse tables up close.

Things we loved about the Harp Design Company in Waco, Texas

Hand turned candlesticks are for sale at the Harp Design Co.

Things we loved about the Harp Design Company in Waco, Texas

Beautiful displays of home decor at the Harp Design Co.

We weren’t disappointed. The store was filled with Clint Harp originals, including his signature candlesticks, along with lots of other home decor items curated by Clint’s wife, Kelly. It really was beautiful.

Things we loved about the Harp Design Company in Waco, Texas

There are lots of great decor items for sale at the Harp Design Co.

I loved looking around the small shop at the perfectly-organized displays full of wooden treasures, unique wall decor, and lots of pretty things for the kitchen — like wooden chargers and cutting boards.

Things we loved about the Harp Design Company in Waco, Texas

A slice of a large tree branch serves as a charger for a place setting at the Harp Design Co.

Things we loved about the Harp Design Company in Waco, Texas

Hand made cutting boards at the Harp Design Company

I knew before we went to Harp Design Co. that I wanted to purchase three of the hand turned candlesticks, and it was fun to pick each of them out, as no two pieces were the same. I thought they were reasonably priced ($23-36) and liked that they all had the HDC logo branded into the bottom.

Things we loved about the Harp Design Company in Waco, Texas

Hand turned candlesticks beautifully displayed at Harp Design Co.

One of the displays that really caught my eye was the wall of distressed letters made of reclaimed wood. They were difficult to resist. So I didn’t.

Things we loved about the Harp Design Company in Waco, Texas

These handmade letters at the Harp Design Co. are made with reclaimed wood.

I added the letters “G” and “O” to my pile of candlesticks and looked forward to hanging them on a gallery wall in our new home office. They will be a great addition to the wall, along with lots of other travel memorabilia, maps, and pictures.

After making our purchases, we ventured outside the shop to check out the Harp House next door. The Harp House, is the former home of Clint and Kelly Harp, where they lived for more than two years after the house was renovated by Chip and Joanna Gaines on a season one episode of Fixer Upper. The Harps don’t live there anymore, and we completely understand their desire for a bit more privacy.

Things we loved about the Harp Design Company in Waco, Texas

The Harp House that was featured on Fixer Upper is now available for guest bookings.

Do you remember this house “before?” It was featured in season one, episode five and was titled “The 15th Street Story.” The house had been been abandoned for several years and was filled with trash. The Gaines renovated the house, bringing back amazing wood floors and designing a kitchen in which anyone would love to cook. Clint put his touches on the house by crafting a gorgeous front door, kitchen island, and staircase. You can read more about the renovation and see before and after pictures HERE.

Things we loved about the Harp Design Company in Waco, Texas

The beautiful front door of the Harp House featured on Fixer Upper.

Today, the house is available for people to stay and is perfect for couples, families, or group retreats. The high ceilings, beautiful kitchen, and multiple living spaces make it a great place for visitors to Waco, and it’s right next door to the Harp Design Co.,  just in case you want to shop for candlesticks.

Have you visited Harp Design Co. in Waco, Texas? What did you think? Did you buy anything special? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you.

As always, thanks for sharing (and pinning).

Harp Design Co. in Waco, Texas.

Explaining shiplap and shams to my husband at Magnolia Market

Explaining shiplap and shams to my husband at Magnolia Market

I’m still not quite sure how I convinced Steve to visit The Pioneer Woman Mercantile and lodge as well as Magnolia Market within 24 hours, but I did. After spending two days in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, where he waited in line almost two hours for a taste of Ree Drummond’s chicken fried steak while I shopped for kitchen accessories, Steve drove our daughter, Meghan, and me to Waco, Texas.

Steve: I’d just left my job as a school principal refereeing middle-school girl drama the day before only to find myself surrounded by middle-aged women going crazy for whisks and sprigs. Seriously, what was I thinking? I mean, the chicken fried steak was good, but how much can one man take?

I had wanted to visit Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Market for some time after watching their now Emmy-nominated home renovation and decorating show, Fixer Upper, on HGTV. 

Magnolia Market #milestomagnolia

Meghan, Ann and Steve in front of the silos at Magnolia Market.


I had dreamed of walking into their meticulously organized home decor shop with stacks of wooden candlesticks, vases of flowers, and white washed shiplap walls.

What the heck is shiplap? Is that a word?

When we arrived in Waco, we made our way toward the now famous silos and began to look for a place to park. We found a great spot just a block or two away at the First Baptist Church parking lot. They charged what I thought was a very reasonable $10 for the day.

Magnolia Market Baptist Church parking

First Baptist Church offered $10 parking in the church lot near Magnolia Market.

Ten dollars? It’s not like it’s a Nebraska football game or anything!

Our first stop on the hallowed ground was at the newly renovated Silos Baking Co. building. It was absolutely adorable from the outside and I was so excited to get in line and wait our turn for a glimpse at the interior. I bribed Steve to join me in line with a promise of a cupcake at the end.

Not another line! Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I mean, I like a cupcake, but let’s be honest, it’s not a chicken fried steak.

Despite his reluctance, he agreed to wait in line with me (again) and eventually, we made our way into the sweetest little cupcake shop I’ve ever seen. 

Loved this letter board sign on the wall at Silos Baking Co.

It was just like I remembered on TV — glossy white subway tile, black industrial shelving, and perfectly laid herringbone flooring. It was beautiful.

What did she think I was going to do? I’d already paid the Baptists $10 to park. I was getting a cupcake. And the Prize Pig bacon and cheddar biscuit.

The Silos Baking Co.

Eventually, we did get inside and each of us ordered a cupcake. I selected a Strawberries & Cream cupcake piled high with rich, pink, vanilla buttercream icing. Meg had the Lemon Lavender cupcake while Steve ordered the Silobration cupcake which was a vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting and sprinkles. The Shiplap cupcake and garnish looked amazing, as well. 

The menu at Silos Baking Co.

Magnolia Market silos baking shiplap cupcakes

The shiplap cupcake is vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream icing.

Okay. There is a shiplap flavored cupcake? Now I’m completely confused.

Of course, before we left the bakery, I had to check out the bathroom and see how it compared to the one at the Mercantile back in Pawhuska. It was just as well designed and included gorgeous black and white wallpaper, more white subway tile, and nicely framed inspirational quotes–all the things I love to see in a well decorated bath.

No Charmin toilet paper here, but I was glad to see they had Febreeze on the back of the toilet, if you know what I mean.

Magnolia Market Silos Baking bathroom

The bathroom in the Silos Baking Company.


After finishing our cupcakes on the outside patio, we began our ascent to The. Magnolia. Market. I was like a kid on Christmas morning, anxiously anticipating the wondrous gifts that awaited me inside.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death … 

The front view of Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas.

I had imagined the rich colors and textures of the rugs and blankets as well as the decorative lanterns and wall hangings that would surely adorn the shelves inside. I had my budget and my list and I couldn’t wait to go inside. But two steps into the front door, I found something unexpected.

I totally expected it.

Sadly, ivory colored candles and Clint Harp designed spindles did not immediately come into view. All I saw were women. Lots of women. And they were all frantically looking around, holding up various items and asking each other which would look better on their farmhouse table — the white sugar mold tray or the metal trough with wooden handles? They had armfuls of floral stems and seagrass baskets and Joanna’s leather totes draped over their shoulders.  

And I was thinking, “What fresh hell have I gotten myself into?”

As much as I love home decor, and believe me, I love home decor, it was a lot even for me. However, I was determined to find a few of the items I’d seen on Fixer Upper and spend at least some of the Magnolia Market gift card Steve had gotten me for my birthday the month before.

Magnolia Market store interior

Shoppers seeking that perfect home decor item at Magnolia Market.

Magnolia Market candlesticks

Wooden spindle candlesticks at Magnolia Market.

Staying together was obviously a lost cause, so Steve, Meghan, and I decided to separate and meet back near the front door in 20 minutes. Steve began a search for what he calls a “man chair” where he could sit and wait. Finding none, he ventured over to Chip’s Corner while I began to look around. I admired the handcrafted wooden serving trays, Jimmy Don’s metal signs, and the simplistic colors of all of the throw pillows Joanna had seemingly designed.

Tell me the difference again between a throw pillow and a sham.

It really was a beautiful store. Everything was there … the vintage seltzer crates, dozens of metal baskets, row after row of decorative flowers and all kinds of vintage metal letters that have become a signature design element for Joanna Gaines. I was in home decor heaven. Look at these pictures. Would you look at them?

Magnolia Market decorative sprigs

Some of the many floral stems at Magnolia Market.

Magnolia Market decorative signs


Magnolia Market decorative letters

Decorative lettering at Magnolia Market.

Magnolia Market paint colors

Paint colors are displayed on paintbrushes at Magnolia Market.

I made my way through the crowds of people women and found the items I was hoping to see — the signature Magnolia wreath, wooden pillar candle sticks, and the Aspen leaf stems I’d been unable to find back home.

I found a slingshot!

Steve had a great time playing around in Chip’s Corner

Chip’s Corner at Magnolia Market.

Even though it seemed to be moving quickly, I took one look at the long line at the checkout counter and decided that it might be best to come back later in the day to make our purchases.

Praise the Lord! I didn’t have to stand in another line!

We left the main store and ventured out back to a plaza-like family play area. People were lounging around at picnic tables, playing yard games with their kids, and enjoying the swings under the sunny Texas sky.

And, we were surrounded by food trucks! Things were looking up!

Magnolia Market silos

The iconic silos at Magnolia Market.

We grabbed an iced coffee from the Common Grounds food truck and found a shady spot to people watch for a bit. It was nice to see so many local restaurants have a chance to get in on a piece of the action by bringing their food trucks right onto the site. Club Sandwich, Milos, Co-Town Crepes, and Chuck’s Gourmet Popcorn all had spots near the lawn and visitors were able to enjoy a bite to eat and just chill out. 

Magnolia Market plaza

The plaza area behind the store where families and people could hang out.

After our refreshing beverage, we made our way over to the Magnolia Seed Supply shop where we walked through luscious garden beds filled with flowers, vegetables and herbs and even a fairy garden or two.

Umm …  I’m not even going to ask.

Magnolia Market fairy garden

A fairy garden.

Magnolia Market seed garden

Magnolia Seed and Supply has beautiful gardens with flowers, vegetables and herbs.

Magnolia Market herbs

One of the herb gardens at Magnolia Market

I loved smelling all of the fresh herbs and admiring the succulents which were displayed in such beautiful ways.

Magnolia Market air plants

There are lots of air plants available for sale at Magnolia Seed & Supply.

We purchased a few seed packets and a gift for my sister who has a newly-found love of gardening and then made our way back outside and down the street to the church parking lot.

Magnolia Market seeds

Loved these cute seed packets and plan to plant them in our garden boxes back home.

We spent the afternoon on a fantastic tour of the town with Waco Tours (more about that coming soon) and returned to Magnolia Market an hour or so before closing to make our purchases. I’m so glad we did.

Magnolia Market late in the day

The crowds are far smaller late in the day at Magnolia Market.

By that time, the crowds had dwindled and I was able to walk around the store with ease, oohing and ahhing over floral stems and glass jars, and visiting with several of the sweet employees who now had even more time to make us feel at home.

Magnolia Market helpful employee

One of the friendly, helpful employees at Magnolia Market.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much nicer it was near closing time. It was a much more relaxed atmosphere. And we were able to park on the street for free!

I found just the things I had come there to buy and right as I was about to check out, noticed a standing metal photo and card holder on the sale table! It was perfect for displaying our postcards so I added it to my pile.

Loved this metal card and photo holder we found on the sale table.

I’m pretty sure I’ve also seen a stand like that used by street vendors to display individual size packs of potato chips. Just sayin’.

We left the store just before closing time and took a few minutes to admire the outdoor spaces with far fewer people around. It was nice. We snapped some photos near the Silos and took it all in. 

Mother and daughter.

Our beautiful daughter, Meghan.

I’d had a great day in Waco. I couldn’t help but think about Chip and Joanna Gaines and how their love of family, community, and each other had inspired them build this amazing place that had become a bucket-list destination so many. It reminded me of the love I have for my own family and their continued willingness to do special things for me, like taking me on a pilgrimage across four states to look at home decor.

In the Gaines’ book, The Magnolia Story, they wrote that “there may be nothing greater than a life well loved.” I couldn’t agree more. And even though Steve can be quite a smarty pants at times, I always know how much I am loved.

Can’t argue with that. 

Have you been to Magnolia Market in Waco? What did you think? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you.

As always, thanks for sharing (and pinning)!

She said, he said at Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas.

Decorating our “Travel Tree”

Decorating our “Travel Tree”

Years ago, I started purchasing Christmas tree ornaments when we’d travel. I loved unpacking the ornaments each year and reminiscing about the places we’d been

The Christmas Closet (throwing up, as my husband would say).

The Christmas Closet (throwing up, as my husband would say).

and the things we’d seen. At some point, we collected enough ornaments to decorate an entire tree and I decided that we should have one tree in our house completely dedicated to our travels. This year, the tree is in our basement living room and is a great reminder of the many blessings that travel has brought us over the years.

To decorate the tree, here’s what I did.

I started with a 7′ artificial tree, pre-lit with white lights. And, because I love organization, I pulled out my clear tote (I always use clear totes so I can see what’s in them without removing lots of lids and digging through the box) labeled “Travel Tree.”

You’ll also notice that I put like items (i.e. balls, sprigs, ornaments, etc) in individual small totes or ziplock bags. Packing things this way is much easier to unpack and saves a lot of space, which is great, because I promised my husband I would accumulate as much Christmas decor as would fit in the small “Christmas Closet” we designated when we bought this house.


Next, I attached large mesh ribbon to the branches by just gathering it every 18 inches or so and tying it around a branch with a flexible wire. I try not to “wrap” the ribbon around the tree as if I’ve taken it hostage, but typical start at the top, and work my way down the tree and around the sides.



Next, I start adding the embellishments starting with the largest things. I used big snowflakes, different sized balls (this year, I used mostly blue, silver and white), inexpensive sprigs I picked up at a craft store 75% off last year, and some glittery phrases like “Joy to the World” and “Merry Christmas.”


Next, I added my favorite … the ornaments we’ve collected on our travels through the years and some that were given to us as gifts, such as a little wooden hula dancer my grandparents brought back from Hawaii when I was a little girl. We love collecting ornaments when we travel because they are typically available most places, are inexpensive, and besides, who really needs another t-shirt or key chain? We always hang these ornaments as a family and enjoy talking about where we got each one and sharing memories from those trips. Honestly, it’s probably my favorite part of decorating for Christmas.


These ornaments are from (starting at the top left): Tokyo, New York City, Alaska, Mount Vernon, Big Ben in London, Sri Lanka, USS Constitution in Boston, Dolphin Research Center in the Florida Keys, House on the Rock in the Wisconsin Dells, Canada, Hawaii, and another one from our trip to Alaska in 2013.

Lastly, I add postcards (of course) to the tree by attaching them with a fancy ornament hook I found half price at Hobby Lobby after Christmas last year.


It is so much fun each year to go through our postcard jar and pick out which ones we want to put on the tree. We typically include several from our most recent travels, as well as a few of our favorite places from trips of the past.

In 2014, the year’s travels were represented with postcards from our Nebraska road trip and a visit to Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park; our spur-of-moment stop at the SPAM Museum in Austin, Minnesota; our trip to see Steve’s parents in the Florida Keys at Easter; and our four visits to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota where I was diagnosed and treated for a rare disease call cardiac sarcoidosis.

And, here’s the finished product …


Do you have any special ways you incorporate travel in your holiday decorating? Let us know. We’d love to hear from you.