Oct 17, 2017

Y'all, as I sit here typing these words to you, I need someone to pinch me. The last week feels like it was a total dream! Joe, completely surprised me two weeks ago with an impromptu trip to Waco, Texas for the Silobration. In case you live under a rock…I don't judge you if you are a rock dweller, I just want you to come out, and learn so we can talk about it! Chip and Joanna Gaines, of Fixer Upper on HGTV, host an annual celebration at their Silo's. It's kinda a homecoming of sorts, since they opened the Silos three years ago. Hence, Silo-bration. It's a three day festival, with food trucks, vendors from all over the country, a concert and the literal magic that comes with being at the Silos. I wanted to give you guys the low down on Waco, what to do, where to eat and what makes the Silos so special. So, buckle up, here we go!

First, we D-R-O-V-E to Texas. It's an 18 hour drive y'all 😴. I'm not a huge road tripper, but on the way down, we broke it up into two and half days, so it wasn't' terrible. The fact is, driving was way cheaper than flying and renting a car. Thus, saver Joe, deemed it best to drive. We drove to Nashville, stopped. Then we went through Memphis, and on to Texarkana, Texas and spent the night there. From Texarkana, we made it to Waco by lunch on Wednesday. It was fun to see lots of landmarks and parts of the country I've never seen. I'd do it again, just maybe not tomorrow, gotta stretch my legs first πŸ˜‰.

When we first arrived in Waco, I wanted to scope out the Magnolia market and silos first, because duh. All I knew about Waco before we went, was that Baylor University was there and Chip and Joanna were there. That was pretty much it. I didn't have a clue how big Waco actually is. Update: Waco is big y'all! I'd compare it to Durham, or Greensboro maybe in size and style. There's a thriving and vibrant downtown area, but two streets over it's G-H-E-T-T-O. It also has a young, eccentric vibe because it's a college town, much like Durham and Chapel Hill. It's spread out, and has rich history, really a great city, even without Chip and Jo.

I'm so glad we went on Wednesday to the Silos when we first arrived. It was a small crowd and it gave us a chance to check out every inch of the grounds and really take in the vibe without tons of people. Below, is a map of Waco.

There's lots of parking downtown, and theres a free lot right behind the back entrance to the silos. Almost all weekend, we were able to find a parking spot here. We entered on the backside of the Silos where the food trucks were. There was a good variety of food, desserts and coffee and local eats all absolutely delicious. From this vantage point, you have the Seed and Garden store, along with the gardens straight ahead. In the middle of the grounds, was the turf area where kids were frolicking idyllically, people were playing corn hole and folks were just hanging out in bean bag chairs. The actual, rusty, big, hunky Silos were in front of this. The Silos don't have anything inside, there's a stage out in front of them, and this was where the concert took place on Friday and Saturday night. Directly in front of the Silos, was the bakery. To the right of the stage and the turf area was the market. 

With all that said, every inch of this place was thoughtfully designed. There were plenty of spaces for people to sit and gather. There were tons of staff members, all cheery and glad to help. They were proactive in regenerating stock, assisting anyone that had a question or needed help. If there were lines at the bakery they had a staff member handing out menu cards so when you entered the bakery, you could have your order ready. They had a different person, regulating how many people could enter the bakery since it was so small, to make sure it didn't get overcrowded. Once you gave your order to one of the multiple clerks, you slid over, waiting for another staff member to call your name and confirm your order. Every part of the Silos was like this, thought out, well orchestrated and clean. I never saw a trashcan overflowing, the restrooms were always spotless and stocked. If the picnic tables were dusty, someone was coming to wipe them down. It was beyond beautiful, plants were lush, there were pumpkins, flowers and manicured raised beds around every turn. It was a feast for all the senses. 
Along with the organizational mastery of the Silos, was the presence of Christ. I know that may seem weird to some. But to me, it was so evident, you could feel it. Over the sound system, christian music was playing. In the market, there were scriptures on items begin sold. The staff was accommodating and friendly. Even other visitors, were kind and reciprocal to us. Never once did I see anyone frustrated or annoyed by crowds or anything, really. There was very much, a sense of, "God is blessing this place" in my heart, as I walked around. 

All these photos were taken in front of and inside the market. 

This next photo, is the grain barn, it's the next room of the market, that housed Jimmy Don signs, shirts, Chip's corner and a few Christmas items. 

Next, we visited the seed and garden shop. They had flower pots, garden supplies, along with raised flower beds and vegetable garden. Along with plenty of spots to take pictures for da gram'.

We hit the bakery next! The line was long, but it moved super quick. Like I said earlier, they had so many staff members it moved efficiently and fast. It was of course, gorgeous inside, but small. You could only fit 20-25 people in there comfortably. To the side of the bakery was a patio, which looked like it could have been a cafe in Paris! I only imagine it looks like a cafe in Paris, I've never actually been to Paris, #salty.  There's also a mural to the side of the bakery, you've probably seen 1,000 times on social media. 

All the cupcakes were beautifully displayed and looked delish. I got the Cup o' Jo, a coffee and chocolate flavored cupcake and a Red Velvet cupcake. Joe got a cinnamon bun. Truth talk here, was this the most delectable cupcake I've ever had? No Was it good? Yes! It had great cake, usually, with most bakeries, the cake is too dry. This cake was very tasty and moist (side note, I HATE that word). The icing was just too much for me, there was tons of it and it was VERY rich. Overall, it was good but not great. 

On Thursday, we got up and went to the market first thing, checking out all the vendors. The vendors were legit, y'all. The list is linked here. I got the cutest bracelets from Laurel Denise, for Christmas presents. They have scriptures on them, the business is based out of Charlottesville, VA, such a sweet girl! I also got a golden retriever print from an artist, her company is called Marry Me in Spring, she can also do custom art for families, pets and homes too, she was precious. Her site, is linked here. I got another print from an artist that does farm animals, plants, herbs, super cute, linked here. I also got some cutie earrings from this girl, linked here

As far as what we got from the actual market, I got A LOT of shirts but no home goods. I know it may sound crazy. But for what was there, I felt like it was over priced. I can't bring myself to pay $100 for a magnolia wreath, just because it has Joanna Gaines name on it, when I can make one for under $20. Anybody else feel me? I'm not about that life, paying for something that I can make myself. Just speaking truth to my peeps. 

Now for what else to do in Waco. There's LOTS to do! 
  • Did you know, Dr. Pepper was invented in Waco? Me either. The Dr. Pepper museum is right in downtown Waco and is a fun stop full of history and duh Dr. Pepper. I actually despise Dr. Pepper, but I love Sunkist, which is a product of Dr. Pepper. I got it in a glass bottle, which equals happy Kate. 
  • The Cameron Park Zoo, was also really fun. It's a small zoo, put it's really well planned out. Every few exhibits, there's restrooms and an air conditioned exhibit. Smart folks, those zoo people are. They knew when you're out in the Texas sun for more than ten minutes you need an AC break! That Texas heat is no joke. It was a fun stop for sure, and there was hardly anyone there on a Friday morning, other than scads of kindergarteners. 
  • The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum. Like actual, real life, Chuck Norris'. Joe was really hoping they would appoint him as an honorary Ranger for the three day span we were there. Update: they didn't. However, it was very informative and interesting to see how Texas Rangers have played a pivotal role in the history of Texas and still help protect and serve the Lone Star State. 
  • Visit Jimmy Don in Valley Mills. It's about a 30 minute drive outside of Waco, but so worth it! Jimmy Don's showroom has all his items he sells at the market along with the chance to place a custom order. Which I totally did 😏. I'll keep you updated on that, once it arrives. Jimmy Don was there, and he comes out shakes your hand and shoots the bull with you. He's such a friendly, gentle, down to earth soul. He also loves instagram! He was so thrilled to know I already followed him, He told me to tag him in my pic and he'd follow me back, he did :). Joe wanted a particular hat they didn't have out on the show room floor, but the staff we're wearing them. The guys said to wait a sec, and he came out with one and gave it to Joe for F-R-E-E, sweet right?! Just a normal, average guy, humbled by the opportunity he's been given with Chip and Jo. 
Me, Jimmy Don & Joe with his hands on his hips? Don't ask me why he chose this pose πŸ’ƒ

  • Visit Clint Harp, Harp Design Co. Is just a hop, skip and a jump from the Silos. It's a great little shop, with tons of stuff he's made on the show, along with other original pieces. We didn't get to meet Clint or his wife, they were out shooting for their own show, Woodwork that airs sometime next year on the DIY channel. Again, I grabbed a shirt for prosperity, but we didn't buy anything, it was overpriced for what they were selling. I can't bring myself to pay $20 for a wood slice charger, when I can cut a tree down in my back yard, ya know? But it was cool to see Clint's spot and his house that was on Fixer Upper, now turned B&B. 

Last, but most certainly not least, where to eat! 

  • Vitek's Barbeque, Oh Vitek's, how I wish you were closer to me. We loved Vitek's so much, we ate there twice in the three day span we were there. It's an institution in Waco, that's been around for 100 years! Menu is linked here. I got the brisket tacos, they were amaze balls. Joe got the regular sliced brisket. They have a location at the Silos, but we went to the storefront both times. Highly recommend, y'all. 
  • Torchy's Tacos, menu linked here . Super cool vibe, with freakin' delicious tacos. You won't regret it if you go, I pinky promise. 
  • Twisted Root, trippy decor but slammin' burgers. Joe's a meat connoisseur, so for him to approve is a big deal. I don't eat red meat a ton, but I thought they were great burgers with quality ingredients. Menu linked here.
  • Coffee: Common Grounds was my jam, I got the iced, cowboy coffee 5 times. Not an exaggeration, it's cold brew and a concoction they call secret sauce. Whatever it is, it's delicious and I couldn't get enough of it. They had a Silos location and a stand alone near Baylor's campus. We went to both, locations. The brick and mortar store was crazy crowded, but significantly cheaper than the Silos location. However, the Silos location only allowed 2 people in at a time, but rarely did I have to wait longer than five minutes. Go get ya' some iced cowboy coffee when you go. It will be ever so refreshing in the Texas heat. 

The concert on Friday was sooo good. There was general admission, everyone wore wristbands and to enter you had to hold up you arm, showing the staff you had your wristband on, super fancy. And if you're thinking, what about security at a place like that? They had bomb dogs at all the entrances, Police stationed everywhere. I felt super safe. 

There were three performers, The band Castro, remember Jason Castro from American Idol? Me too! He and his siblings formed a band, and were really good. The second act, was the lead singer of Switchfoot, Jon Foreman. He's one of those 'really good live' performers. He played a good mix of old and new, super talented dude. The last performers were JohnnySwim, if you're not familiar, they are a folk-y type band, and they actually sing the intro song to Fixer Upper! They're a husband/wife duo that are amaze balls talented. You should definitely check em' out! 

Right before JohnnySwim came out to perform, Chip and Joanna came out. The crowd erupted in cheers. They welcomed everyone and thanked them for being there. They both talked about the show ending and prioritizing their growing, small family over the fame. They previewed season 5, SO GOOD BTW. Chip talked about his new Book, Capital Gaines, he's had a promotion going, called the Chip Starter, where people submitted videos telling Chip their crazy dream. They picked three finalists, a missionary couple in Katmandu, Nepal who wanted to adopt, a middle aged man who wanted to climb Mt. Kilamanjaro and a young lady, affiliated with the Tim Tebow foundation, who wanted to climb a mountain to raise funds for kids overseas. Chip asked each finalist to sum up in 60 seconds why they deserved to win. After each person had gone, he said they had to narrow it down to one….then, Joanna came out with a giant check, that turned out to be 3! They funded all 3 people's dreams!! 

From the Chip starter, concert, the festival, Chip and Jo speaking, it was all so…inspiring. They are such propellers of dreams. They radiate the love of Christ, it's in and around everything they do, and it's just so incredibly refreshing. At the end of the night, as the last song finished from the concert, confetti exploded into the sky, and it was as if I was in the midst of some alternate reality. But that's what they strive to do at the Silos. They strive to encourage, inspire and transport you to a place of magic. And they did, y'all. I left so determined to tackle my dream, and let me tell you, It's a big un', a God sized dream that only he could place in my heart and see through. If you're contemplating going yourself, I'll I can say is GO, you won't be sorry. It's one of the best trips I've ever taken, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I'd love to chat more if you have any questions on what else we did and where we stayed. I'm ready for all of my buddies to have confetti falling from the sky, ready to tackle your dreams.πŸŽ‰πŸŽŠ

Medusa & dry shampoo

Oct 8, 2017

Guys, I know my last two posts have been consecutive fashion ones, but the creative well is kinda dry for fall. I'm pretty tapped out of newness and inspiration for autumn. All my energy and thoughts are starting to shift towards Christmas. πŸŽ„*gasp* I'm not actually going to decorate till mid November, at the earliest, I'm not an animal, y'all. But what i'm scheming is rolling around in the ol' noggin' and I gotta map it out in advance so everybody will be all ooh and aaah. Y'all are setting my bar high for me, I can't let the fans, I mean, 1 solitary fan, down. I will say, it does involve something called 'flock in a box' and twine. But that's all, no more hints til November! mums the word. Also, don't confuse me planning how to decorate for Christmas with me dismissing Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving, is probably my second favorite holiday other than Christmas. I love that there's no expectation for presents, I love that the sole existence in our modern day for this holiday, is to spend time with family and eat. It's pretty much the best. I also love traditions we've started with friends that are like family over the last 12-13 years. We run a 5K in Greensboro on Thanksgiving morning, sometimes we dress up, sometimes we walk with our dogs, but over the last 12 or 13 years, we've always done it, and it's something we always look forward to, we start the morning together, then we go to our separate families and spend the days with our loved ones.

This next week, Joe and I are embarking on an adventure. He surprised me with this trip, I never saw it coming. It was shock and awe for sure. And when you find out where he's taking me, you'll all be like awww, that Joe, he's a keeper. And i'm all like, heck yeah he is! Stay tuned for it… you won't be sorry. I don't think.

For today, let's talk about this dress! I found this dress on Amazon, linked here for $19.99. It has pockets, it meets the 30 year old, modesty standards and it's comfy. We are #winning people. It also comes in several other color options, I liked the olive option myself, it screamed autumn to me more than the other colors. It has a tulip hemline so it's a little longer in the back than it is in the front, kiiinda like a mullet, there I said it.  I ordered a medium, the sleeves are a leeetle short, but if you don't have man shoulders, you'll probably be just fine. I paired it with this long boyfriend, camel cardigan I got from Old Navy last year, I'll link a similar option here. My shoes, I bought from TJ Maxx online last year, I had a gift card and you get free shipping with your first order, so I got these UGG booties for around $45. They are currently unavailable on the TJ Maxx website, but I found them on Amazon they are a bit more, but I'll link them here. My necklace and earrings are also from Amazon linked here and here

I bet y'all didn't know I was part medusa did ya? Well, I am, ol' snake hair here, has always had naturally curly hair. More often than not, I usually wear it like this because it's the path of least resistance. But after I had chemo and my hair came back, it was finer and A LOT curlier. I actually burnt my scalp when it was first growing back because I tried to straighten it because I hated how curly it was. It was short and a literal afro. I was 22 and insecure. 30 year old me, would tell 22 year old me to not fret and it would come back in droves and be like the mythical snake headed, goddess. But 22 year old, afro hair Kate wouldn't hear it. Live and learn, and we all see hair comes back, with a vengeance. Anywhosers, I just discovered dry shampoo…WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME ABOUT IT?!?! I can go more than 3 days without washing it. Did you know this? Dry shampoo is a miracle invention. You just spray it on your grease ball, comb it through and KABLAMπŸ’₯ no more grease pit. It's miraculous. For eons and eons, I've been told by hair professionals NOT to wash my hair everyday to save my hair from breakage and split ends. But I couldn't do it, I just couldn't, when every night my hair transformed into a great pit from whence you could cook fries with. Ok, maybe that's an exaggeration, but I couldn't just go walking around in the civilized world with hair that looked like it hadn't been tended to in days. Dry shampoo to the rescue πŸš‘. It smells heavenly, and I'll do just about anything to get my hands on a deliciously smelling hair product, so win win. I got the miracle spray from ULTA, it's linked here and only $7 a can. You're welcome, go now. Don't even finish reading this, go and thank me later.

One other discovery I made this week, was, the Essie gel nail polish, linked here. Who loves freshly manicured nails? πŸ’…πŸ’ I know I do! But for whatever reason, within, moments of leaving the nail salon, which typically takes an eternity for me. I knick my nails on something. Which infuriates me, because i've just spent hours and $30 plus tip, plus gas on nails that should last two weeks. When in reality, after two days, it looks like I scale barbed wire and use a jack hammer for a living. Now, if you love getting your nails done and it's one of those things you do to "unwind" or "treat yo self" keep on doin' you girl. But for me, going to the nail salon is stressful, my hands get all sweaty, I feel like it takes forever and it seems expensive for what you get. Aaaand i'm pretty sure the technicians, talk smack in Vietnamese about me while i'm there, *in my mind*, it goes something like "look at this girls cuticles, they're crap and why do her hands sweat so much?". Maybe not, but in my mind that's what they're saying. I said all that to say, I found an alternative! I got the Essie kit for $18, it includes the color and top coat. You put two coats and a top coat on, it takes a while for it to dry, but once it does, you've got salon-ish nails for a fraction of the price! And the best part , is you can use it multiple times so you feel like you're getting your πŸ’° worth. 

I hope you guys have a great week! Stay on the lookout for where we're headed and once we get back, I'll do a full review of where we visit! Happy Sunday buds! 

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