The star of Flip or Flop breaks down what makes her new show Christina on the Coast different from anything she's done before

Christina Anstead is keeping it real on her new HGTV series.

The Flip or Flop star’s new show Christina on the Coast premieres May 23, and her first solo venture has a completely different vibe from her previous house-flipping forays.

“This is the authentic me, unfiltered, just how I want to do a show,” Anstead tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week’s issue. “I’m an executive producer. I help write every script. I approve everything. It’s just been an incredible experience.”

The show, which features the pregnant 35-year-old, her new husband Ant Anstead, and their blended family (Christina shares children Taylor, 8, and Brayden, 3, with ex Tarek El Moussa and Ant has Amelie, 15, and Archie, 12, from a previous marriage), is more personal than Flip or Flop, showing the family at home and hunting for a new place to call their own.

Christina Anstead
Credit: Justin Coit

“My 2018 journey is wrapped up amongst the episodes of amazing [design] transformations [for clients],” she says. “So basically, the viewers are gonna follow along with everything I was doing — selling my house in Yorba Linda, on a house hunt in Newport Beach, getting engaged, my wedding will be the finale.”

Ant gives his new wife major credit as well. “My thing is I’ve seen how hard she’s worked and the crew’s worked,” he says. “[The show] deserves to do well.”

And it’s not just a new chapter for Christina, she notes, “It’s totally different for HGTV.”

“I just feel lucky that I even got to do it, because it’s not work,” she says. “It’s just fun.

For more on Christina’s fresh start pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

Christina on the Coast premieres Thursday, May 23 on HGTV. Flip or Flop returns in August.