Instant Pot Creamy Chicken

I love crock pot meals….but crock pot meals didn’t really work for me when I started working full time and went to the gym after work because I’d be gone for almost 12 hours and my crock pot meals ALWAYS burned! Even on low. So when I saw the Instant Pot I immediately put it on my Christmas list!

Now, if you’re one for easy, quick dinners then you need an Instant Pot. RIGHT NOW! You can buy one here: Instant Pot
This was one of my favorite crock pot meals so I decided to try in my Instant Pot. I usually get home around 8pm so it’s really nice to be able to throw everything in the pot and go shower and come back and have it basically be ready! And there’s little clean up….it’s a win win! 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 frozen or thawed chicken breasts
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 package of dried Italian dressing seasoning
  • 2-4 servings of rice (I used Jasmine rice)

I literally threw all of those ingredients into my Instant Pot and put the lid on.


Make sure the valve is on sealing


Then put it on the meat seating and let it cook for 15-20 minutes if the chicken is thawed and about 30 minutes if it’s still frozen. When that is done turn the valve to venting and let the pressure release…all the way, and then take the lid off and put it on sauté for 10 minutes. This will make the sauce thicken. You will need to stir it occasionally. While it’s finishing up cook your rice on the stove.


I like to have my chicken shredded to put over the rice or you can keep them as breasts and serve over rice also.

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This is one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever made and it’s my favorite! My husband always says how good it is even though he’s had it a thousand times! And we always have left overs!

If you’re wanting to do this in your crock pot first combine the Italian dressing packet, cream of chicken soup and cream cheese for about 30 minutes. Stir it up and then put the chicken in it for 4-6 hours. Then all you have to do is cook the rice and you’re ready to go!

If you’re a busy mama, wife, college student, or really anyone…. the Instant Pot is a must have! It seriously makes life so much easier! After this meal all I had to clean was the pot I made the rice in and the Instant Pot bowl which seems to be easier to clean than my crock pot was.

Instant Pot Creamy Chicken

  • Servings: 2-4 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 2-4 thawed or frozen chicken breasts
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 can of cream of chicken soup
  • 1 package of Italian Dressing seasoning
  • 2-4 servings of rice


  1. Put the chicken and all of the ingredients in the Instant Pot and put the lid on
  2. Turn the valve to sealing
  3. Set it to meat for 20 minutes if thawed, 30 minutes if frozen
  4. Once done turn the valve to venting to release the pressure
  5. Once the pressure is fully released, be careful, and take the lid off and set it to sauté for 10 minutes.
  6. Cook rice
  7. Stir occasionally
  8. Shred chicken if desired
  9. Serve of rice and enjoy!

The Honeymoon

There’s a lot of work that goes into planning your wedding but don’t forget about putting as much effort into planning the honeymoon. The honeymoon is your first big vacation with your SPOUSE! You can never get that feeling back so this is the time to go on your dream vacation and to be overly obnoxious, lovey-dovey, newlyweds!

It can be hard to narrow down your choices and to finally decide on where to go for your honeymoon so I’m going to tell you how we decided where we went and then review it!

So I always knew that I wanted to go to Sandals for my honeymoon because I had gone to Beaches in Turks & Caicos two years before and it was a blast so I knew Sandals would be the perfect all inclusive for our honeymoon. A huge thing that was important was that it was an all-inclusive, adults only resort. I knew that we would never spend that much money on a regular vacation so of course the honeymoon was the perfect time to splurge.

I spent days on the Sandals website looking at every single location and every single resort. I compared prices, activities, rooms, basically everything I could compare. One of the biggest things that determined where we went was the flight; the cost, non-stop flight, and how long it took. We decided Jamaica was the perfect place to go because the flight was only about 3 hours and it was non-stop. There are 7 resorts in Jamaica so I spent another day comparing them until we finally decided on Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay, Jamaica. We chose this resort because it wasn’t too far from the airport but it wasn’t right next to it like the Sandals Montego Bay one was. And we picked it because it had it’s own private island that you could take a boat to and it had the over-the-water bungalows!

We got married on Saturday and flew out on Monday morning. This was really nice because Sunday we we’re able to go back to my parents house for brunch and spend the day on the lake with our bridal party and out of town guests and then we got a hotel room that night by the airport.

When we got to the airport in Jamaica they directed us to a room for all of the Sandals resorts where we could get beer or drinks and snacks while we waited for our shuttle. We had a concierge room so when we got to the resort we were taken to an office where we booked our dinners and got our room keys and taken to our room. The resort was so beautiful. I couldn’t get over the clear blue waters and how relaxing it all was.


We decided that we wanted to spend more money to have an ocean front room and less money on excursions. Here is the view from our room, I miss it everyday and the money was well worth it. It was so nice to wake up every morning and walk outside to such a gorgeous room and we have our own beach out front and a short walk to the main beach and bar.


The one excursion that we did do was the catamaran ride. I would recommend this to EVERYONE, no matter what resort you’re at! Ours was a booze cruise, they took us out and let us snorkel and then they took us to Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville. They opened the bar on the ride back and played music. This was seriously the most fun we had all week and we met three couples that we ended up hanging out with the rest of the week. I kept saying “married Ryan is fun Ryan” because he actually loosened up and was just goofy and fun the whole week. Some people say they wouldn’t want to hangout with other people on their honeymoon but we seriously met so many awesome people and even talked about us all going back together for our 5 year anniversaries which would be awesome if that happened! But it’s your honeymoon so you do what you want, whether that’s meet a lot of new people or avoid everyone, it’s your trip!


We also did the free snorkeling at the resort where they take you out on the boat in front of the resort to snorkel and we tried kayaking, which didn’t go real well because it was super windy that day! We contemplated doing a couple other excursions but after looking at the costs and time it took we decided not to. I absolutely loved waking up, going to breakfast and getting our spot on the beach by 10 am and just relaxing all day! The excursions usually take all day and are exhausting.


The over-the-water bungalows were brand new when we went and we actually met a couple that was staying in one and they invited us over for the day. If you have a couple grand laying around it was only 10 grand for 4 nights! (Pocket change right?! HA!) But it really was amazing, so maybe one day! Here’s a few pictures to just dream about that life.


I’m really glad that we chose Sandals Royal Caribbean for our honeymoon. It really was the best week ever and totally worth the money. If you can’t decide where you want to go for your honeymoon I would recommend a Sandals resort but don’t forget to do your research first! Some resorts are a lot older than others and obviously the newer ones are nicer so research is important! And if Sandals is out of your budget there are plenty of other all-inclusive, adult only resorts that you can go to for less!

I hope your honeymoon is a dream come true!


Winter Decor Ideas

Who else sheds a few tears when you take down you Christmas decorations?

I hate how bare the house looks when the tree and all of the cozy lights come down so this year I’m trying a shot at winter decor. I’ll take my Christmas tree down and all of the red/green decorations but I’m going to leave up my mini trees and flocked trees and maybe some lights to add to the ambiance.

If you need some ideas for some winter decor to keep that coziness alive the rest of these chilly months, keep reading!

I don’t see why you can’t leave up the mini trees flocked or not flocked as long as they don’t have Christmas ornaments on them! Or if you like that you can even leave some neutral ornaments on it and just take out the red and green ones. I have a flocked tree similar to this one and I want to keep it on my fireplace for winter!
Throwing the mini trees or any tree into an olive bucket adds such a cute touch and you can easily find an Olive Bucket on Amazon also! This one is a medium but I have a bigger flocked tree in a smaller olive bucket than this in our bedroom that I think I will move out to the living room to add with my winter decor!

I also have a few other mini trees around my house that are sitting in metal buckets, tins or wire baskets and it’s just so cute so I will probably keep them where they are and just add some more winter decor around them!

Adding Snow Tipped Pinecones to any bowl, dish, or tray on a table adds a nice winter touch! You can get them on Amazon or make your own.

Throw some decorative deer antlers along with some greenery into the bowl of pine cones and you have the perfect winter centerpiece!

This Cuddle Weather pillow case is super cute to add to your couch for the winter time!

Then add a super soft cable knit throw like this one and your couch is as cozy as can be! 

One of my favorite winter decor ideas is throwing some birch wood logs in a large olive bucket on the fireplace! There’s nothing better than the glow of a fire and some decorative logs! You can even throw some greenery, pine cones and a string of lights in there to add to the coziness. 

This White Pom Pom Garland would be a cute touch to your mantle so it’s not so bare after taking down the Christmas garland! You could also add some white lights around the garland if you’re like me and love the glow of white lights year round.

I love adding these Battery String Lights to anything. I’ve put them in lanterns, wrapped them around mini trees, or thrown them in a little bucket. They’re perfect and the battery and timer is easy to use!

This set of Rustic Candle Holders is perfect for winter and you can even use them as part of your Christmas decor next year and then keep them out through out the winter!

These are just a few ideas of some winter decor you can add as you take down your Christmas decor. I for one, hate taking down Christmas decorations and having my house look so bare, so I plan to decorate for winter and I’ll post pictures when I do it! I’m holding on as long as I can to my Christmas decorations because it was our first Christmas together as husband and wife and in our new home, so I hate to see it all go so soon. Plus I might be biased but I believe our Christmas tree is the prettiest one ever so I really don’t want to take it down! (See so for yourself 🙂 )



I hope everyone has a great New Year’s Eve and don’t shed too many tears while taking down your Christmas decorations.

Tag me @countrypinesfarm on Instagram in your winter decor pictures!!!


Deck the Halls with Lots of Shiplap

If you’re a Fixer Upper fan then you probably have some sort of obsession with shiplap. I have dreamed of having shiplap in my house since before we even started looking at houses and if you’re anything like me you love DIY projects and doing things for half the price.

Our house has the perfect brick fireplace. It was the first thing I painted white when we moved in. I was obsessed with how the fireplace turned out but I also knew I wanted to put shiplap on the sides to brighten up the room even more. Our house is kind of dark because of the wood trim, dark floors, and (right now) we have dark wooden cabinets in the kitchen….I plan to paint those white one weekend when Ryan goes out of town 😉

The walls aren’t that big so I thought it was the best place for our first DIY shiplap attempt!


Here’s a list of what you will need:

  • 4″ Paint roller
  • 2″ Angled brush (I just used whatever paint brush I had)
  • Sand paper
  • 1 1/4″ Nail gun nails – make sure they are the correct gauge….I made this mistake
  • 6 inch plywood planks
  • Circular saw – you can rent one or Amazon has one for $40 Black & Decker Circular Saw
  • Nickels
  • Caulk
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Nail gun – you can rent one or Amazon has one for $25 WEN Nail Gun
  • Air compressor – Amazon has one for $72 Portable Air Compressor
  • White paint
  • Stud finder
  • Trim – optional

Step 1: Measure your walls to determine how many 4×8 pieces of plywood you need.

I found that Lowe’s plywood is a lot nicer than Home Depot’s. The left side of the wall is Home Depot’s plywood which splintered when we cut it and it was a lot thinner. The right side is Lowe’s plywood. You can get one 4×8 sheet of plywood for $13.98.

Step 2: Have Lowe’s or Home Depot cut the 4×8 sheets of plywood into 6″ planks.

The way they cut the board depends on how you want your shiplap to be. Since our walls were small we decided to just have one board cover the whole wall instead of having smaller and bigger planks pieced together. If your wall is bigger you will have to piece them together and stagger the pieces.

Step 3: Sand the edges of the plywood until smooth.

Step 4: Mark your studs in the wall

Step 5: Measure your walls and cut the planks to fit the wall. Sand edges until smooth.

Step 6: Line up the first piece to the top of the wall and nail it into the studs.

Step 7: Use the nickels to separate the planks for even spacing.

Step 8: Fill nail holes & let dry (I skipped this step because our caulk wasn’t working and I was impatient. But you really can’t tell unless you get super close!)

Step 9: PAINT!!!!

I first did a coat of KILZ 2 Stain Blocking Latex Primer because I wanted to make sure no stains from the wood came through.

Then I used Behr Brick Paint in white because I had that left over from the fireplace.


I ended up using one coat of the stain blocker and two coats of the white brick paint. Make sure you get in the cracks or as you’re putting up the shiplap you could paint the wall between each plank before adding the next plank. But painting the cracks worked out fine for me!

Step 10: This is optional and we didn’t need it because we already had trim pieces lining the fireplace but you can add trim pieces depending on how you’re wanting it to look.

Here’s some pictures during our process:




Honestly this project could have only taken us a few hours but I didn’t know the nail guns had different gauge sizes so I got the wrong size so our nail gun kept jamming which caused us to take a 3 hour long trip to Lowe’s and Walmart. When we got back and tackled the other side it went super quick!

Here’s the outcome:



I knew the shiplap would look good with our Christmas decorations and the glow of Christmas lights so I had to get it done before we got our Christmas tree and I’m so glad I did!!





We also have enough wood and paint left over to do behind our toilet in our guest bathroom. Now to tackle that and all of the other home projects I want to do! (Like get rid of those awful popcorn ceilings and paint my kitchen cabinets WHITE!!!!)

If you’ve been dying to get some shiplap up I hope this tutorial helps you! Feel free to ask me any questions and send pictures of your own DIY shiplap!!!!

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!!!!



Hearth & Hand With Magnolia


I’m still upset over Fixer Upper being over but at least Chip & Jo are launching a line at Target so I now can feel like I’m in my very own episode of Fixer Upper!

So, Target has previews of all that Hearth & Hand will have in November and I am so excited! Just a heads up….you have 3 weeks to save up money for this. It arrives in stores and online November 5th so mark your calendars!!!

They have things from kitchen and holiday decor all the way to family sleepwear and pets! I don’t even know where to start but I’ll try to show you some of my favorites….


I absolutely love these metal vases. You can use them inside or outside and put basically anything you want in them and they work year round. They range from $6.99 – $29.99.


These glass vases are so neat and you can decorate with them anywhere with anything in them! These cuties range from $16.99 – $29.99!


I love me some trays especially galvanized ones! You can throw it in the middle of your table and add some cute decor or your dishes and serving ware or put it on your coffee table with some cute decorations. The possibilities with a tray like this are endless and it’s only $24.99.


These wreaths are so cute, especially for Christmas time but they can work year round also! They range from $9.99 – $35.99.


My favorite pitcher is the textured one on the left. It would be so pretty to use in the kitchen with some cotton or greenery in it…or maybe for a beverage if you’re into using them the correct way. 😉 These range from $12.99 to $20.99 for the textured one.


This is a cocoa pot and it is adorable! I think it’d be so cute for those cold months or at Christmas time when you like to make hot cocoa with your kids! Or you know, it’ll also just look great sitting on the counter top! It’s $34.99.

(All of their kitchen and dining items are so cute, if I actually posted all of my favorites this blog post would be miles long so you’ll just have to go check it out for yourself!)


Christmas decor makes me so happy!!! I adore these stockings especially the red one and the one on the right. I think I’m going to have to make them mine! And, they’re only $13!


This letters to Santa mailbox is the cutest thing ever especially if you have kids! It also comes in red and it’s $39.99.


Check it out….CHRISTMAS JAMMIES FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY!!!! How cute!!! They range from $6.99 – $34.99. I wonder if my husband would kill me if I bought him Christmas Jammies?


If you have kids I thought these toys for Christmas gifts were super cute! I wish I had a toy cookie set like this when I was little and it’s only $19.99!


And how about this super cute toy hot cocoa set…This one is $39.99 but it’s so cute and switches up the tea game!


Okay y’all, this wooden dollhouse is so stinkin’ cute. If I had a daughter I’d totally buy it! It also says it comes with furniture. There aren’t any other pictures yet but I think it’s the neatest doll house ever. I definitely always liked wooden dollhouses over the plastic ones and who wouldn’t want a Magnolia dollhouse?! It’s on the higher side at $129.99 but it’s adorable!


You didn’t think Chip would forget about the boys did you?! If you want your sons to grow up being a handy man like Chip this toy tool set is so awesome and looks just like the real thing! Every little boy is bound to love this Christmas gift! This is $99.99.


Seriously, everything in their line is so cute. I can’t wait for November 5th! We may have lost our favorite TV show but we’re gaining some super cute inexpensive home decor which is awesome! 

Go check it out yourself and my advice is to keep a list of what you really like and start saving up for it so you don’t break the bank November 5th! Or if you’re a lucky one who doesn’t have to worry about that then go shop your little heart out!!

So what Hearth & Hand pieces will be in your shopping cart on November 5th?!



My Fall Decor

It’s one of my favorite times of year, behind Christmas of course. But I LOVE fall! Especially decorating for it. I’ve had so much fun buying new fall decor especially now that they are making fall decor in neutral colors and my favorite color: teal/blue! Almost everything in our house is neutral with pops of blue/green and teal things.

I was so excited when I found these $1 velvet pumpkins at Target that were in my colors because I’m just not digging the traditional orange pumpkins with my other decor. If you haven’t gotten your hands on some of these pumpkins you need to RUN….not walk to Target! I cleared the shelf when I found them and I still want more.

Aren’t they just so cute?! You can find them in the Target dollar spot for $1! And those little neutral ones in my tier shelf and that white sweater pumpkin are all from Kirklands. That cute little houndstooth pumpkin is one that my mom and I made. (There’s tutorials on how to make fabric pumpkins).

My seafoam green lantern is from Pier One and I bought it for the wedding. I love how I’m able to use my wedding decor in our home. That cute little tin bucket was from a consignment shop in downtown Clover, SC and it came with two bigger ones just like it and I got them all for a whopping $5! One of my favorite pieces in our living room is that green blanket ladder….it’s actually a banister from an old house that I got from an antique shop in Clover as well. I think it’s so much neater than just the usual blanket ladder.

Okay so back to my fall decor…

One of my favorite things to decorate was our front porch. Our front porch is huge so it needed some fall flair anyways!

The first thing I made for the front porch was one of those tall signs that says “Be Thankful” on one side and “Believe” on the other. We had a really neat piece of old barn wood so I painted the sign white for the thankful side and sanded it down to look distressed. You can try to make one of these cool porch signs yourself or you can buy them off of etsy….or from me 🙂 (If you want one just comment or email me!)

Then the next thing to do is go to a pumpkin patch and get you the cutest pumpkins you can find in all shapes, sizes and colors. Here’s my pumpkin haul: (they were only 60 cents a pound!)


I’m loving the green pumpkins and the ones that look squished, they’re just so cute!

I also went to Lowe’s and bought a mini bale of hay for $5. A big bale would work too but I felt like it was going to be too big and in the end the mini one worked perfectly!

I also had these olive buckets from our wedding so I grabbed two of them and some mums from Walmart and they fit in the buckets perfectly! Then just bring it all together and play around with it until you are happy with how it looks! Here’s my finished look:


I’m obsessed with it and I’m really happy with how it turned out! I think it gives our front porch the perfect fall touch.

At our house warming party I got these cute tin pumpkin buckets as a gift so I put them on the other side of the door. I want to put candles in them or maybe some more mums. What do you think would look best?!

(And our wreath was another piece of decor from our wedding!)


I love this time of year because you can have fun with the seasonal decor from fall straight into Christmas. It just adds that extra coziness of the seasons and holidays and it’s my favorite! It also doesn’t cost a lot to add some seasonal decor. You can get some really good deals almost anywhere now. My favorite stores for any decor are Target, Kirklands, Michaels, Hobby Lobby and Home Goods! If you slowly buy a few things here and there it won’t break the bank.

Now to slowly start buying Christmas ornaments and decor……

Thanks for stopping by friends!!!


Wedding Wednesday: THE Dress

Girls dream of their wedding day from a very early age. If you got the chance to be a flower girl I’m sure at the wedding you were wishing about how one day you get to be “the princess”. Then Pinterest came along and I’m pretty sure we all had planned at least 3 different weddings before we we’re even dating someone. And I’m sure you have one whole board dedicated to wedding dresses….don’t lie, I know I did!

There’s no doubt that there is a lot of pressure on the bride about finding the perfect wedding dress. The day you go wedding dress shopping is built up to make it seem like when you walk into that store every dress should fit you perfect and the second you put on “the one” that you’ll bawl your eyes out and have “that feeling”. But not everyone has that kind of experience. There’s a lot of things to know and think about before you go wedding dress shopping so here’s some tips!

  • Don’t expect too much. If you build up the shopping experience in your head there’s a chance you’ll be disappointed. Not all bridal salons give you a gift bag or champagne while trying on your dresses, and unfortunately not every bridal consultant is going to be nice like you would hope. Actually my bridal consultant ended up being kind of rude.
  • Go in open minded. Yes, take ideas of what you like but make sure you also try on the styles you said you hate because you never know until you try it on. Plenty of brides end up in a dress no one expected them to wear and I think that’s the fun of it!
  • Try on multiple dresses, even if the first one you put on you think you love. You never want to regret not trying on any others. And you can always come back and try on the ones you liked again.
  • Most likely the dresses they have to try on won’t fit you perfectly. Don’t let this discourage you; whether it’s too big or too small. Mine literally fell off of me and even clipping them back didn’t work the best. After trying on about 5 dresses that just swallowed me whole I was getting really discouraged to the point I wanted to cry and leave. But then the last dress I tried on fit better than the rest and I could actually tell what it would look like and it was exactly what I was looking for.
  • Not every bridal salon will have what you want. They don’t have every dress a designer has and they don’t have every wedding dress designer. If you are looking for a certain designer’s line or dress you need to do your research before and find the salons that carry that designer.
  • You don’t have to say yes to the dress right away. You can stand in it for the next hour if you want or come back another day. I stood in my dress for I don’t even know how long because I didn’t want to make the decision too quick but I knew when I didn’t want to take it off that it was the one.
  • Don’t let anyone pressure you whether it’s your mom, bridesmaid, mother-in-law or the consultant. If you like how you look in the dress that’s all that matters. It is YOUR day and YOUR dress.
  • If you want to shop at 5 other stores DO IT. Sure, trying on hundreds of dresses might end up making you indecisive but if that’s what you want to do then go for it girl!
  • You might not cry or get that feeling. I didn’t cry, I’m just not a huge cryer. But I didn’t need that to let me know that it was the dress.
  • Don’t take too many people if you don’t want to. I only took my mom and one bridesmaid because we went shopping in Ohio and it was on a whim. I honestly wasn’t even planning on buying a dress that day I still had 4 other salons in Ohio and South Carolina I wanted to go to. I had two Maids of Honor and unfortunately they weren’t there when I bought my dress because we were 8 hours away from each other and I hated it but I couldn’t help it that I found my dress when I did! So if you want to go alone, with only your mom, one bridesmaid or all of them, or on a whim without the people you thought originally would go with you, it is up to you!
  • Have fun! Dress shopping is supposed to be fun and exciting. It’s the beginning of it all and it makes it even more real than before.
  • When you find the dress….CELEBRATE! Go out and get a glass of champagne because you found your wedding dress and you deserve it!!

Here’s a few pictures of my dress. I knew I wanted a lace mermaid style but not a really drastic poof at the bottom. I actually ended up taking out a layer of the tulle at the bottom so that it was a more gradual flair. I also knew I really wanted an open back and the high mesh neck but I liked how it still had the plunging neckline and the mesh made it a little more modest. My dress also ended up being a lot easier to walk and dance in! If I could wear it every day I would 🙂 I plan to put it in a shadow box with my bouquet and other things from our wedding and hang it in our room so I can look at its pretty self every day!

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Wedding Photos by: Anchor & Veil Photography

How to Paint a Brick Fireplace

I’ve always wanted a white fireplace and when we were house hunting nothing we looked at had a brick fireplace. The first two houses we put an offer on fell through. We went a few more weeks of finding nothing we were interested in and we decided we needed to broaden our horizons by looking in different areas than we wanted to at the beginning. The first time we looked where we never thought we would we found a house that we both fell in love with just by looking at the pictures.

Every house we had looked at I would walk around with my arms crossed and our realtor kept saying he knew by my body language that I didn’t like it. When we walked into this house we found on Country Pines Drive I didn’t have my arms crossed at all and I wasn’t nervous, I was actually excited. That’s how I know it was the one!

It had a beautiful brick fireplace and from the moment I saw it I knew I’d paint it white. We put our offer in before leaving and that night found out that it was accepted! While waiting for closing I was dreaming about painting that fireplace, so of course the first weekend after we had moved in that’s exactly what I did! I knew it HAD to be my first project.

I know some of you would love to paint your fireplace but you’re too afraid to do it. Let me tell you…..DO IT. If it’s something you’ve envisioned that you would love and you’ve always wanted, go for it! You won’t regret it!!!

So, here’s how I did it.

I bought a wire brush, KILZ 2 Multi-Surface Stain Blocker, and BEHR Premium White Masonry, Stucco and Brick Paint.

You also will need a small paint brush and a 3/4″ roller. The small paint brush helps to get in the cracks and along the edges. A Paint Kit would be helpful because it will have everything you need.

If the brick on your fireplace is flat and the cracks in between are not deep then you will most likely be able to just use the roller and it will go quick for you. But we learned very quickly that the brick on my fireplace had very deep cracks in between which meant we had to individually paint each crack and each brick with the paint brush. We were able to use the roller some but in the end I used a paint brush and only used the roller for the last coat of paint.

Here is the before picture of my fireplace (ignore all of the wires we still have to hide!)


I was lucky to have my mom help me with this project or it would have taken me forever! First I got a bucket of water and soap and I used the wire brush and a normal brush to scrub the brick. You want to make sure that any dust, dirt or loose stone is off all of the brick. Then we used ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape and taped off the mantle and all of the trim. We also put down plastic on the floor and around the mantle to avoid any drips or spills.

Then you’re ready to go!

First we used the Kilz stain blocker. Brick is very porous so it soaks up a lot of the paint and there are some stains that might come through, this is why you want to use a stain blocker and a paint that is made for brick. I only did one coat of the stain blocker but I do think I should have done two because in the end I had a few stains come through the paint.

(I forgot to take pictures during the process because I was so anxious to get it done!)

Once the stain blocker was dry we tried just rolling on the white paint. We we’re hoping we wouldn’t have to paint the cracks since the stain blocker was also white but I decided I wanted to still paint them. After the first coat of paint was dry I ended up rolling a second coat over the brick and then only touching up areas that looked like it needed it with the paint brush.

After it dried I noticed a few spots where some brown was coming through where it must have reacted with the paint so I went back over it with some stain blocker and then some more paint. I think I may still have a few spots but they aren’t that noticeable so I left them but one day I plan to go back over them again.

I definitely underestimated the amount of time this project was going to take because I didn’t account for having to paint each and every crack. I was hoping I was going to be able to just use the roller and it was going to go super quick. But nothing is as quick and easy as you think it will be! I think it took me about 4 hours to complete the whole process but I know some people have been able to paint theirs a lot quicker. But the time is so worth it!

Here is the finished product….I’m obsessed!


I am super happy about how it turned out, I think it’s my favorite part of the house now. It brightens up the room tremendously! My dad had always said he didn’t like painted brick but he even agreed that it looked better than before.

If you’ve ever thought of painting your fireplace I say go for it!

Here’s the pictures side by side so you can really see the transformation:


My next project for the fireplace is to get Black High Temperature Paint 51Qs3l0DD4L._SL250_and paint the inside of the fireplace because it’s so dirty and it’ll create a good contrast. And then we’re ready to buy some gas logs and have some fires this winter!

I’m loving our new home and how I’m able to do some fun little projects to make it what I’ve always dreamed of. Next I want to add shiplap to the sides of the fireplace with some lights and wooden floating shelves. Now just to find a free weekend to be able to do everything I want to do…

If you have painted your fireplace or plan to do so I’d love to see the transformation pictures. If you have any questions about painting your fireplace feel free to ask me!


Holy Shiplap!


If you love Fixer Upper you’ll be glad to know that Chip & Joanna Gaines are partnering with Target! The line is called Hearth & Hand™ with Magnolia. They’ll have home decor, table top items, gifts, and more!

I’ve dreamed of going to Waco and visiting Magnolia but obviously flying to Texas just to go to one store is kind of out of the question. I’ve window shopped online but I have yet to buy anything….but now that Magnolia will be in Target I can bet you my first Magnolia purchase will be real soon! Time to save up some shopping money!

I’m pretty sure most of us leave Target with more than what we went in for and I have a feeling that problem will be an even bigger one now…but I’m okay with it!

Hearth & Hand™ will be in stores and online November 5th so mark your calendars!!!!

Also what’s really neat is that along with their partnership with Target, Magnolia will be donating time to help local communities and families in need, as well as donate items to organizations that are involved in orphan care, youth development, family housing, and community restoration. Do you need any other reasons why you should shop Magnolia at Target?!

I can’t wait to see what they come out with and get my hands on some of those beautiful things!! I’ll post another blog about items I buy and what they have available once the line is launched!

Check out their video here: Hearth & Hand™





My Farmhouse Favorites

I don’t know about you but I am obsessed with the rustic, farmhouse style! I love shiplap and anything that looks like it came from Chip & Joanna Gaines’ house. I watch Fixer Upper all the time and dream about having a house like the ones they redo.

Since we moved into our house I have been so excited to buy all things rustic! Being on a budget makes it a little hard to afford those things from stores like Magnolia Market so I stick to Hobby Lobby, Kirklands, Target, Michael’s and of course…Amazon!

I thought it would be fun to share with you some of my favorite farmhouse style things from my favorite stores! So enjoy, and maybe even decide to buy a few of them. 🙂


  • I love having a wire basket in the kitchen for my bread and fruit but I also love having wire baskets in other rooms with some decorations thrown in them! This Farmhouse Chic Round Wire Basket is perfect and it’s only $20!basket
  • An old metal Milk Can is a neat way to decorate a fire place with some cotton, greenery, or flowers thrown in it! This one is only $14.9571JS8E42fiL._SL1200_
  • How cute would this  Decorative Metal Basket with Three Glass Bottles be on your kitchen table with some babysbreath in them?! I love jars and metal baskets on a table and these cuties are only $13.95.91gj-ZzXCuL._SL1500_
  • A Farmhouse Styled Windmill is a staple in any farmhouse! They are usually on the more expensive side, this one is $75.61Lh2Ql90wL._SL1000_
  • And of course the farmhouse coat rack we all love! Antique Style Wooden Coat Rack This one is $34.99.51vgbURo6NL._SL1200_


  • This metal scale would be the perfect touch on your kitchen counter! It matches my color scheme so this just might be in my shopping cart soon! It’s on sale for $52.51169435
  • This galvanized metal envelope is the cutest thing to have to hold your mail instead of it being thrown all over the counter! Which is another thing we’ve been needing….looks my shopping cart is filling up fast and it’s only $10! (Hobby Lobby has this same one on sale for $6)14971969
  • I can just picture this cute little tray in the middle of a table with pumpkins in it! Or flowers or other trinkets depending on the season. It’s $14.99.52487587
  • Like I said before, I just LOVE wire baskets. If I had a place to put all of them I’d buy every one I saw! These 3 are only $26.51743337
  • There is limited stock in this adorable two tier serving tray so if you like it you better go buy it now! It’s $46.99 and if I hadn’t just bought one I would have bought this one for sure!51783413

Hobby Lobby:

  • Here’s my cow picture I’m obsessed with!! I originally got him at Kirkland’s but he’s on sale for $20 at Hobby Lobby! Run don’t walk!!!962910_1[5]
  • I love cotton! And this is perfect because it’s both the jar and cotton at once instead of having to buy the cotton stems separate! It’s only $15!1394600-0217[5]
  • Oh how I love me some olive buckets! You can use these inside or outside, for flowers or whatever your heart desires! The tall one is $32 and the other ones are a little less. 1395417-0217[5]
  • Another farmhouse staple is a magnolia wreath. They are usually kind of expensive but this one is $30 at Hobby Lobby right now! 1247311[5].jpg
  • I love this wooden sign (it’s on sale for $11) not only because it’s so cute but because of who makes it! Vine + Branches is Caroline Burchett’s Etsy shop she runs out of her home. I follow her on Instagram and it’s awesome to see that her signs are now being sold in Hobby Lobby’s around the country! Also I love the meaning behind her shop’s name: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:51465889-0817[5]


  • I actually have this key box and I love it! I like how it says mail but when you open it, it has hooks for your keys. Talk about throwing someone off! It’s $23.99.10512042
  • I may have an obsession with pillows, which is probably why I have yet to decide on the ones I want to buy for my couch or bedroom because I like them all! But this one is adorable for fall and it’s $17.99. 10512095.jpg
  • This tin pot wall rack  would be perfect for flowers outside/inside, or for pencils and other small items at your desk, or even for make up brushes! But I picture it hanging on the wall with babysbreath in it or maybe some cotton! It’s $32.50.28775_DA5593
  • I wish I had more wall space in my kitchen so I could hang this metal cow! I think it’s so stinkin’ cute!!! It’s a little more expensive at $68.49, but it’d be worth it.28775_DA2646
  • I’ve been wanting one of these metal pitchers to put in my kitchen with some cotton stems or flowers in it and it’s only $6!10512403_3


(All of Kirklands’ pictures were too small to post so I had to skip what I wanted to share from them)

I’m so glad that the farmhouse style is pretty much every where now! Although…my wallet is not. I feel like I can’t go into any store without finding something I like. But it makes me really excited especially now that I have a house to decorate! It’s also nice that we have stores that offer items like these at a reasonable price so that we all can let our creative juices flow and have fun decorating our homes.

I hope that I linked something you liked or maybe sparked some ideas of things you want to do in your home!

Happy shopping!!