Tuesday, May 24, 2016

{Show & Tell Tuesday: Favorite Vacation - NYC}

Today I am linking up with Andrea at Momfessionals for Show & Tell Tuesday: Favorite Vacations.  If you have been reading my blog or know me, you know my absolute favorite vacation destination is New York City.  I went for the first time in October 2002 & have been back 6 times since.  By far my favorite time to go is at Christmas...there is nothing more magical than Christmas in NYC.  
Unfortunately it's been 2 1/2 years since I have been & I am definitely going through withdrawals.  My last time there was in December 2013 & it involved The Chew, Cinderella & a snow storm!  Below are the links to a day by day recap of my last trip:

If you ever get the opportunity to go, GO!!  You will love it!!

Monday, May 23, 2016

{Magnolia Market...My Day At The Silos}

I finally made my much anticipated trip to Waco on Friday to go to Magnolia Market & y'all - I loved it!  I had heard so many mixed reviews from people who have been so maybe I had lowered my expectations somewhat?!  But I was pleasantly surprised & enjoyed every minute of it!
We had originally planned to go on Thursday, but a 100% chance of rain made us postpone the trip til Friday.  I wanted to go & experience it all {which I knew we couldn't do if it rained}.  Thankfully we only live about 2 hours away so it wasn't an issue.  They began their summer hours last week so they opened at 9am instead of 10am.  We arrived around 9:45 & I was shocked at the number of people already there.  It was super easy to find {you can spot the silos from I-35}, but parking was somewhat of a problem.  There is a church right next to the silos that will let you park there for $10 bucks...pay the money!!  The money is going to a good cause & you are literally one block from the silos. The parking lot is small though & when we got there, there were only 3 or 4 spots left. 
One thing I was surprised about was the overall size of it all.  It's large, don't get me wrong...but I guess I was expecting it to be bigger?!  But oh what a heavenly sight to see. =)

The bakery was the first thing we saw when we walked up.  Unfortunately it was not open yet {darn, because hello?! Cupcakes!!}, but we did get to peak in & grab a quick pic.  It's beautiful & I can't wait to go back when it's open...black, white & wood - perfection!
Before we went inside the Market, we make a quick stop at the ladies room.  And y'all, even those are pretty.  Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of the inside {there was a line & it was close quarters}, but I loved all the white subway tile & black accents. So classic.  One thing I realized on Friday is that I absolutely LOVE the black, white & wood combination Joanna uses throughout...from the bakery to the bathroom to the market.  I will definitely be incorporating more of this at my house very soon.
At this point, there were not many people out & about around the grounds yet...because clearly they were all inside shopping!  It wasn't too bad & we were still able to navigate throughout the store without any problems.
From the moment you walk in, Joanna has every detailed planned out.  From the Welcome on the floor to the gorgeous displays.  It's not just shelves of merchandise, but rather little vignettes everywhere!  So you have to walk around the entire store multiple times in order to take it all in.  Be sure to look on the floor, under tables, on the walls...because there is stuff everywhere!
One thing I knew prior to going is that most of the things she sells there are mass-marketed.  And I was ok with that.  There are antique stores nearby {that she shops at on the show} that you can go to if you are looking for that kind of stuff.  I overheard several people commenting that they could buy the same things at Target or TJMaxx.  True for some of the items, but when there is an average of 25,000 people visiting there a week, there is no way you can have all one of a kind things & keep the store stocked.
Speaking of keeping the store stocked, I was probably most impressed with the amount of staff she had working.  There were associates all throughout the store to answer questions & as soon as the stock depleted, someone was there restocking the shelves.  I was highly impressed.  There are also 2 sets of checkouts - one upstairs & one downstairs - with a cashier & bagger at each register.  That place runs like a well-oiled machine & they get people in & out of there in no time...so don't let a long checkout line discourage you.

I had a hard time deciding what to buy & ultimately settled on a white hobnail jar {which I plan to use for utensils in my kitchen}, a wire & glass tube flower holder centerpiece {which I am thinking I will use on my breakfast room table} & a wooden postcard.  My total was around $45...not too bad I didn't think. Don't get me wrong - I could have easily spent hundreds...those signs were calling my name.  Unfortunately that wasn't in the budget right now. =(
As we were walking out, the lady working the front door told us that if we would like, we could go over to the tables under the silos & Baylor marketing students were there doing a survey.  She said it would take less than 10 minutes & we would get a gift card at the end.  Sure, why not?! My mom & cousin took the kiddos to play and my aunt & I went to do the survey.  They were super nice, asked lots of questions about our expectations prior to coming, our shopping experience, what all we planned to do in Waco, if we thought we would meet Chip & Joanna, etc.  It maybe took 8-10 minutes & when it was over, she said - here is your $25 gift card to Magnolia Market.  What?!  Seriously?!  You are giving me $25 bucks for answering a few questions?!  I was thinking maybe $5 or $10 bucks.  Or it would have some stipulation that you had to come back & use it another day.  But nope, we could go right back in the store & use it that day...and that's just what we did!!
By this point it was around 11:45 & while there was still not a line to get in the store, the inside was C.R.A.Z.Y.  Like - couldn't hear yourself think - crazy.  I will admit that it was a little overwhelming.  Every time I turned around, I would bump into someone.  I couldn't remember what I saw the first time around that I would want to spend my gift certificate on & it wasn't near as easy to navigate the store this time.
Finally after a little thinking, I decided on a metal Gather sign made by Jimmy Don!  It was $29 so my gift certificate almost covered it.  They show it mounted on a wooden tray & then hanging on a wall.  I am thinking I may have to make a little shiplap frame of some sort to hang it on?!  Stay turned to see what I do!  But I love that it's actually something "made" & exclusive to Magnolia Market.
We headed back outside, hung out for a while longer & people watched.  Unfortunately no sighting of Chip & JoJo. =)  I was hoping that we would have stayed a little longer & had lunch at the food trucks, but we ultimately decided to leave around 1:00.  After a trip to Target, lunch & then Kohl's - we headed back home.
Several people have asked me 1) if I was disappointed {Nope} and 2) would I go back {Yep...I'm thinking Christmastime?!}  My only advice would be to go during the middle of the week & get there right when they open if you want to truly enjoy it.  

It's not just about the shopping or the adorable things they sell - it's about the whole experience of just being there.  Chip & Joanna did it right.
 Now excuse me while I go & start on my shiplap wall. =)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

{Weekend Recap}

Hey Y'all!  Can you believe we are into the second week of May already?! I'll be putting up my pumpkins & fall decor before you know it!  I kid...kinda. =)  I do bet it already makes an appearance at Hobby Lobby this month!  

This past weekend was a busy one, but I was able to check some things off my to-do list.  I kicked off the weekend celebrating Cinco de Mayo on Thursday.  We had a party at work with LOTS of yummy food & then I enjoyed a margarita on the patio when I got home.
Friday & Saturday was all Maifest! Maifest! Maifest!  You can read all about my little hometown German festival here.  I am on the board so I spent several hours down there each day working the ticket booth & wine booth.  My niece was the cutest little Maipole dancer ever!
The weather was gorgeous all weekend so we had a great crowd.  And I certainly couldn't go the whole weekend without a funnel cake! =)

Sunday was Mother's Day so I went to church & lunch with my mom...followed by an afternoon of mowing.  My mom sent me with card "from" Nola...isn't she the best?!
Yesterday I celebrated my 15 year {full time} anniversary at Blue Bell!!  It will actually be 20 years in September, but I think both are worth celebrating.  I know the way to my coworkers' hearts...SONIC DRINKS!!  It's our fave so drinks were on me yesterday morning.
Thankfully this week is pretty uneventful.  No meetings, no commitments...nothing.  Just straight home after work every day.  This Friday is the one year anniversary of the Blue Bell layoff so a group of us are going to go out after work to "celebrate" surviving the past year...and what a year it has been!! We definitely need to drink to that.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

{Currently: May}

Today I am linking up with Jenna & Anne...here's what is currently going on in May!
Celebrating: Cinco de Mayo of course!  Any excuse to drink margaritas & eat Mexican food.  I am also celebrating Maifest this weekend.  You can read all about my little hometown celebration here.

Reading: nothing.  Shameful I know.  I want to get back into reading but by the time I crawl in bed at night, I am done. Lights out.

Pondering: what is going to happen to our country.  I am not one to discuss politics {or religion...or college football - ha!} but Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton?!  It's a scary thought.

Sipping: diet green tea citrus.  I am pretty good about drinking water throughout the day at work, but it's not what I want first thing in the morning.  So, rather than reach for a diet coke - I've been drinking these & I actually really like it!

Going:  to Magnolia Market & I CAN'T WAIT!!  2 weeks from today I will be getting my shop on at the silos & I am so excited.  I have been waiting to go for forever & it's finally happening.  

That's what I am currently doing...how about you? 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

{Pantry Makeover}

I have been living in my house for almost 2 years now {I know!  Crazy, right?!} & I am the first to admit that I get bored with things easily. I love to change things, repaint & redecorate.  Every wall in my house has been repainted...except the pantry!  =)

So, a few weeks ago, I decided it was time to change that!  My pantry isn't huge by any means, but it's a nice size walk-in with lots of shelving.  I knew I wanted to keep the shelves white but add some color to the walls...an all white pantry is kinda boring, right?!  Don't get me wrong, the rest of my house is pretty neutral throughout...but it's fun to add pops of color in unexpected places.  I debated back & forth between gray & a light aqua and in the end - aqua won!  It took multiple samples to find the right one & ultimately, I decided on Waterscape {HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams for Lowes HGSW2307}.  The original color was a little too dark so I had them lighten it 25%.

Here is a before picture {and sorry for the poor quality iphone pic}:
And CLEARLY I needed to work on organizing it {& buying healthier food. ha!}.

Rather than take everything out, I just moved it from shelf to shelf to paint.  Getting a ladder in there, getting up said ladder & turning around to paint the inside wall required a few acrobatic moves, but it took me less than 2 hours to finish.  
Next came the fun part of organizing!  I had been looking for baskets & containers for months, but could never find anything I loved.  A little rearranging in the utility room left me with 2 extra baskets & in the end, they worked perfect in the pantry....and didn't cost me any money!

Here is the final result {again, the pictures aren't the best, but it is NOT an easy space to photograph}:
I LOVE how it turned out!  I use the top shelf to store less frequently accessed things like my cake plates & tiered trays.  The next shelf is my cookbooks, pitchers, & koozies {stored in a cute glass jar of course}.  
The next 2 shelves are the things I use the most: cereal, oil, flour/sugar, canned goods, etc.  The glass jars are from Hobby Lobby & the labels are from The House of Smith Designs.  I don't like not having the expiration dates on things {I am a HUGE expiration date fanatic}, but things just look so much better in containers than they do boxes.  The small gray crates used to hold mixes, etc. are from Wal-Mart.

I have 3 glasses containers on the next shelf: one contains sprinkles & food coloring, one contains cookie cutters & the other contains snacks.  And no, I don't make cute cut-out cookies...but cookie cutters in a glass jar look cute! =)
I put my less "pretty" stuff in the 2 baskets on the left & added a chalkboard to them to let me know what's inside.  Unfortunately the chalk board came from the Target Dollar Spot & now they don't have them anymore...so I'm on the lookout for another one that looks similar.  One basket contains all my baking supplies such as cake mixes, chocolate chips, etc. and the other one contains foil and ziploc baggies.  
The bottom shelf has a basket for chips & a basket for Nola's food.

Oh & I can't forget my handy, dandy little wall mounted storage container for plastic bags.
Overall - I love how it turned out!  It's a "fun" space now & organized...which is the best part!  I was able to get everything off the floor & I still have room to spare.  And it looks WAY less cluttered.
Pantry makeover complete! Up next on the to-do list is to finish the 2 guestroom "mini" makeovers...pics coming soon!



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