Monday, March 21, 2016

Bucket List Trip~ Magnolia Market

Yep. We traveled to Texas JUST to visit Waco and the Magnolia Market. I have been a HUGE fan of the show for over two years and absolutely adore Jo's style--fashion, design-- and her lifestyle--faith and family. The show Fixer Upper is seriously one of the best shows on television for a multitude of reasons...the main one being that Chip and Jo are simple, regular people following God's plan for their life and not making a single excuse or apology about it. Guess what? It's a huge hit which speaks to the fact that maybe, just maybe the majority of us regular folks yearn to do the same and are not represented accurately in today's political and media realms. Chip and Jo get us. I KNOW they do.  Keep reading for TONS of pictures and my top 5 details about the silos.

The sign on the coming soon garden shop!

The silos and the lawn complete with games 

The market!

1. The LINE
We went during what must have been the entire state of Texas' spring break. We arrived at about 9:45 to a line that went from the market, down the block, and up the next block. I was a tad nervous about how long it would take us to actually step foot into the store. Thankfully it was 80 degrees and sunny so standing in line was not too painful. Once the store opened at 10, the line moved very quickly. We were stopped a few times along the way, including right at the entrance as they only could allow so many people inside the market at a time. Shopping was a bit difficult as the store was PACKED and moving around and seeing items was tricky at times. The checkout line was fairly fast and we had our purchases in hand about an hour after entering the store. By the time we exited the store the line was borderline ridiculous. They redirected the line to a tent area at the back of the market and it was at least 200-300 people deep at all times. The employees were stellar about keeping the line moving and providing water for those that were waiting outside for long periods of time. We spoke to several people later who waited in line nearly two hours. I have no idea if this line and wait time is typical...not even sure how they could have enough stock each day to meet the demand of so many people.

The tents set up to shield those in line from the sun

2. The Market
As you would expect if you watch Fixer Upper at all, the market was set up and decorated beautifully. There were so many things to look at beyond the products you could buy. The displays were put together with great care and every detail seemed to be addressed. My purchasing was of course curbed because I FLEW to Texas and could only take so many items back home with me. We did check an EMPTY suitcase to house all of the items we purchased. I got a Magnolia wreath that is currently in the care of my oldest daughter until she comes home for a visit. We bought several t-shirts as souvenirs, a couple of vases, a mug, and a tote bag. The prices were a bit on the high side for some items, but overall most items were reasonable and reflected Jo's style perfectly. 

Gorgeous fireplace and book display as you enter

Checkout line in the warehouse section 

Brand display behind checkout in the main store

floral display

main market floor

ME at the entry!

Gorgeous table display as you enter the store

Jimmy Don signs for sale

Jo's jewelry section of the market

A welcome from Chip and Jo as you many tiny details!
3. The Lawn and Food Trucks

It seems that Chip and Jo's goal was to make visiting the silos an experience. It is not just about the shopping. They have a beautiful set of grounds which include the market, the silos, a game lawn, food trucks, a soon to be garden shop, and a soon to be bakery. We did not take part in any lawn games but we visited two of the food trucks and loved the fare from both. I had a wood fired pizza and a luscious cinnamon and sugar crepe. I hope to return someday when the garden shop and bakery are open.

The line of food trucks

Wood fired pizza...with mushrooms please! yummy almost forgot to take a picture until it was almost gone!
4. Parking

I would say the only negative about the whole Market experience was parking. There is no designated parking lot per-say so all of the cars must park on the streets around the silos. This is a fairly limited amount and the day we visited thousands of people came through the silos and parking was fairly awful. We arrived early and still parked about 5 blocks away and had a decent walk. We witnessed several cars with parking tickets affixed to their windshields as we toured the area around the silos. A few lucky people hit the parking lottery when CHIP came around with an 8 seater golf cart and drove people from their far way parking spots right up to the silos. We watched him make about three trips doing this---very cool. 

Valet Chip!
5. Harp Design Co.
When in Waco one must also visit the store behind some of Jo's most amazing furniture pieces...Clint from Harp Design Co. This shop was located right next to the Harp family home which was a Fixer Upper episode from season 1. Again, the displays and decorating in this shop were so well done and so many details were evident. I ended up purchasing a shiplap A and a metal 6 from Harp Design Co.

That was more than you probably every needed or wanted to know from our trip but I just had to share. Thanks for hanging out in Waco with us for a few minutes!


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Why I'm doing the 21 Day Fix

Click here to check out the 21 Day Fix!

*** A small disclaimer--this is my little blog about fashion and how I dress my body. Please don't assume that I am not grateful for what I have and how I look. This is my journey to better health and fitness from MY starting point. Yours will look different just as your body looks different.*****

Half the battle in finding an outfit to wear is finding something that looks good on your body. How can we diminish certain features and accentuate others? How can we put our best body forward in the clothing we wear? I'll admit that dressing my frame has been fairly simple for the majority of my adult life. I have always been petite and fairly trim which makes clothing easier to try on, buy, and wear. I completely understand that this statement is not true for a lot of people. However, I am sure we can all agree on that no matter our size, when an outfit , shirt, or pant FITs well.....we feel better in it overall.

This past year has presented a battle for me that I have never really encountered but knew was coming (everyone told me so when I was younger and had the metabolism of a racehorse). My weight was slowly but surely climbing(can you say pre-menopausal?) and it all seemed to all want to go to the spot where I am the most self-conscious--my mid section. After four kids, I have a love/hate relationship with my belly. I love that it grew and nurtured our 4 baby girls, but the aftermath is a constant struggle to dress. I know I'm not alone in this and that I am not a worst case scenario-- but it is my battle. For years, I have been able to get away with not eating 'horribly' but not healthy,  and working out 2 times a week.....until now. I have put on an unwanted 10 pounds over the last year that just. won't. budge. Time for a change. Or a fix.

Why the 21 day fix? (and no I get no props from this nor am I a coach)

1. I wanted to make healthier eating choices to help my gut. I tend to get bloated and distended when I eat certain foods. I had already eliminated all fast food from my diet and saw a huge improvement. However, I have a love affair with carbs--especially pastries and bread--and these were definitely contributing to my waistline and my gut ache.

2. I have a chronic illness that is greatly benefited by regular movement and exercise. I'm a die hard Zumba fan and have made it a part of my exercising routine for nearly 5 years. However, I needed strength training in ADDITION to cardio to tone and lift.

3. It is not always about the weight for me as long as I fit into my clothes. Well, the waistbands of many of my pants, skirts, and slacks have become increasingly uncomfortable to wear over the last year. Either buy all new clothes or......

4. I realize that I look "good" for having 4 kids but I feel like my personality is that of a "skinny fat" person. My body is thin but made up  mostly of untoned tissues that tend to squeeze, flap over, and protrude out of clothing. The toning workouts provided by the 21 day fix workouts seemed like a FIX to my skinny fat mindset.

5. I researched the entire Beachbody system and was excited about many of their instructors and workout videos but the 21 Day Fix just seemed like a good starting point and fit for my current fitness level and needs. I plan to add other workouts as I continue doing additional fix rounds.

After one round of the 21 day fix...

1. I followed the eating plan fairly precisely using the containers. The food areas that required the most change for me were the carbs and proteins. I was consuming too many carbs and not enough lean proteins. Carbs are great sources of energy that your body needs, but if you eat too many and don't burn off the excess, your body turns them in to simple sugars that are stored as fat. I added much more fruit into my diet and kept my vegetable consumption at about the same. I treated myself mostly with trail mix and M&M's.

2. The workouts that come with the program are 30 minutes each and there are 7 different workouts ranging from cardio to pilates to yoga. I never missed a single workout over the 21 days. I had some really great accountability in my family as my 2nd oldest and my hubby joined me during the workouts which made it so great. We consistently do each workout at about 8 pm each night--fastest 30 minutes ever.

3. I did not do the Shakeology (meal replacement) component of the fix. It is a pretty expensive addition and I am not a big fan of drinking my calories. My plan is to try it during my third round and keep some pretty specific data on how I feel and what effects it has on my overall energy.

My Results
(putting myself out there with this--be kinder than necessary). 
My total inches on day 1 were 219.25. My total inches on day 21 were 209.75. A loss of 9.5 inches in 21 days!! Success to me!

My second round has started and I am super pumped to keep up the fix and see additional results. If you are looking for body and menu changes....go for it! Check out my 21 Day Fix Pinterest board for meals and ideas! 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Final Installment of #bestnine of 2015

The final installment of my #bestnine of 2015 is here! 

#7 Stitch Fix
Towards the end of 2015 I finally jumped on the Stitch Fix bandwagon. A few of my friends were doing it and I could see them pinning wildly to let their stylists know what kinds of clothing and accessories they enjoyed and would love to have picked out for them. If you are not familiar with the concept or idea behind Stitch Fix it is similar to Birch Box, Ipsy or other home delivery product services. With Stitch Fix you fill out a very detailed personal style profile. You are assigned a stylist and your stylist picks out 5 clothing and/or accessory items that match your style profile in some way. They ship you these 5 items on a schedule which you set. I get my fix every other month but many people have one arrive every month. I'll admit-- I really do enjoy getting my fix each month--I was hesitant at first because I wasn't sure if I trusted someone else picking out shirts, jewelry, and pants for me. Didn't I know my fit, size, and style best? I love fashion and am fine with searching for the perfect blazer or the latest trendy piece to add to my closet. However, if you hate to shop (I do not understand this takes all kinds to make the world spin) this service is for you. You do pay a $20 stylist fee but it goes towards any purchase you make. You can keep all 5 pieces and pay the full amount or you can keep none of it and conveniently send it back in the postage paid, addressed package that comes with your fix. The biggest benefit of my fix is that I am being exposed to styles and fits that I would not normally choose for myself. Two of my favorite shirts currently in my closet were both from recent fixes. Check it out for yourself! 

#8 Investment Pieces

 I am ALWAYS down for a good ol' fashion bargain. I get a thrill when I get a really good deal on an item I have had my eye on. I'm also not one of those that buys something I don't need or want just because it was on a great sale. However, ever since I purged my closet and worked my way through a capsule wardrobe, I have been very selective in what I add to my closet in the form of new purchases. My capsule wardrobe experience helped me see that fewer, high quality pieces are more versatile than many mediocre pieces that don't fit right or are not the right color or fabric. I have decided instead to save up and invest in classic pieces that compliment my wardrobe from season to season and that will become staples for years to come. Here are my favorite items that I have purchased this past year--despite the higher price tag. (My husband would accuse me of employing shopping math here but it really is plain old price per wear math :) 

Michael Kors purses: I have a black, cognac, and gray MK purse in my collection. I am not really a purse person--meaning I don't have a large collection that I trade out regularly. I tend to stick with the same purse for months and months at a time. These three purses take me through each season and go gorgeously with any outfit, coat, and shoes. They are timeless styles that when considering their everyday use, are a great investment. 

Sperry Wedges: I have the Sperry Wedge in gray and it is hands down my favorite shoe of 2015. These were actually a birthday gift from my  hubs ( I know, right?) The wedge gives me height and look great with skinnies and boot cut jeans. The kicker is how comfortable they are! I am desperate to buy them in cognac as well. 

Frye Boots: I very recently added my first pair of Frye boots to my collection.....again thanks to my hubby.  I have pinned, stared at, and coveted these boots for over 3 years, but could not justify their hefty price tag. These are not boots for the faint of heart. The Frye company began making boots for soldiers in the Civil War and have grown into a company known for their amazing leather riding boots. The quality of the boots is really unmatched and I know 2 people who have owned theirs for over 30 years. Each pair molds to each person for a custom fit. I'm not ashamed to say that I have worn them every single chance I get. Investment for sure! 

#9 Our New Home

There will be many posts to come about our new home. It was a years-in-the-making/labor of love process that we could not be more blessed and humbled by. We love our new space and a new chapter for our family. We truly felt that we were able to build the home we have always wanted and that we were able to add in features that are personal and handmade. I can't wait to share the process we went through in designing and creating the ultimate pantry. Also, there will be a tutorial coming soon on how we built a gorgeous barn door from scratch. This home took a lot of our time and energy for most of 2015, but it was so incredibly worth it. Subscribe to the blog to catch all of our new posts!

Comment below with your #bestnine of 2015

Friday, January 15, 2016

#bestnine 2015 Part 2!

Here I am with Part 2 of my #bestnine 2015 post. Last week I shared #1-3 with you and today I'm pumped to tell you about #4-6.

#4 Invisalign

I've had fairly crooked teeth by whole life. When I was younger I had a space between my two front teeth and dentists hoped that that meant plenty of room for my adult teeth. Well....over the years the overcrowding in my upper teeth has caused by eye teeth to overlap my two front teeth. This arrangement makes for a pretty sweet "snaggle" tooth in photographs. Fun times. My bottom row of teeth are much worse than my top. I have a tooth in my bottom row that is almost a row of its own in the back. You may be asking why I didn't get braces as a youth? Well, rumor has it that my parents "asked" if I wanted braces as a teenager and I responded with, "no." Because the phrase "my teen knows what's best for them" is standard operating procedure for parents everywhere. I digress. So here I am as a 30-something woman who hates to smile in pictures. Boo. After my oldest daughter--who had an eerily similar bite and arrangement to my own--got braces and had awesome results, I told my hubs that I wanted straight teeth before I turned 40. One problem--braces are not cheap. Especially when you are already paying for child #2 to get braces. Through lots of consults and deal searching my oldest sister hooked me up with a great deal with Invisalign through the orthodontist she works for. I am currently in week 16 and am head over heels with the results. There have been tough and painful times (dang attachments) and adjustments (no gum, no sipping coffee, no snacking at will, a bit of a lisp, and a few other minor annoyances), but overall the process has been a breeze. The aligners are barely visible and the benefits far out weigh the drawbacks. Find out more here! 

#5 Binge worthy TV
I just had to share with all of you how I've spent some of my "down" time. My husband and I enjoy a good binge worthy show as we rarely can watch TV shows when they air. We are the masters of our DVR and our date nights consist of wine (ooooooh that reminds me of my favorite wine--Red, White, and Blue by Tassle Ridge. If you are ever passing through Iowa--the only place to get it--snag a case) pillows, pups, and our favorite show of the moment. One show I was nervous to watch was the Starz period drama, Outlander. I had read the first book in this mega almost 9 book series and was deeply traumatized by some events in the book. I took a leap and watched the show from the protective arms of my hubby and ended up loving it. Don't get me wrong, the book series and TV show are not for the faint of heart as there is some fairly graphic scenes, some of which are sexual in nature. However, the storyline, romance, and acting are superior and so so enjoyable. Our other guilty pleasure binge watch was the DC Comic show, The Arrow. We were immediately sucked in by the tortured main character and his quest to avenge his father. There is also a spin-off show, The Flash that we love too. What did we ever do without NETFLIX!? Get your binge on!

#6 Plaid
I am not the only one obsessed with plaid these days. It is everywhere. Button ups. Scraves. Pillows. The works. I've tried each and every plaid trend and none have disappointed so far. My favorites tend to be my button up shirts especially those from J. Crew and Old Navy. I dress them up and dress them down and they just plain work. I also have blanket scarves in every plaid configuration and love layering them and experimenting with new ways to wear them. My obsession with all things Outlander (set in Scotland) definitely contributes to my love of all things plaid!

Old Navy Plaid Shirt

 Plaid blanket scarves

Plaid pillows

Friday, January 8, 2016

New Year's Resolution and #bestnine of 2015

New year, new blog goals! The second half of 2015 was a complete whirlwind for my family---Selling our house, being "homeless", building and moving into our new home, unpacking and decorating said new home---whew. I'm just glad I managed to clothe and feed my children in all that chaos. Can I get a holla from some peeps who lived through something similar!? My apologies for not posting the latter half of the year but some things had to be re-prioritized and this girl needed sleep more than she needed to share what was in her closet. However, so many of you sweet, sweet people gently commented here and there about missing my little piece of the internet called Tutor My Style. Soooo.... I resolve (I'm better at following through with resolutions than the average Joe so, have faith) to pick up posting on this blog and sharing little slices of my life with my small and lovely band of followers. In an attempt to recap 2015 and share with you a few things y'all missed due to my crazy circumstances, I am going to steal from the end of the year Instagram trend of #bestnine. If you haven't seen this or don't have Instagram, here's the skinny: A special site gathers together your best nine (most liked) photos of 2015 and puts them in an eye catchy 9 photo grid. Voila! I'm going to recap my 2015 in the same fashion and let you in on my #bestnine/favorites of 2015. I will share all nine here and then blog about three at a time over the next couple of posts. Then we can all start fresh with outfit of the days, pinterest projects, and favorite products here at Tutor My Style! C'mon!!

I don't even know really where to begin about this foundation. I don't even like calling it foundation. It seems like it deserves more of a title. I've followed the lovely Maskcara and her amazing blog for YEARS. This past year she launched her new and improved foundation/contouring system and I am head over heels in love with it. I used to apply a liquid foundation and then add in contour, blush and highlight ON TOP. Maskcara has cleverly put together a system that eliminates steps in the process and provides a beautiful, flawless finish. The palette is magnetic so you only replace each color as needed. I highly recommend purchasing the brushes she sells as they do work perfectly with the texture of the cream products. These are my two favorite tutorials on how to use the stuff.....

Kate from The Small Things Blog has a great post and video about Maskcara foundation.

2. The Giving Key
Some of you may be in tune to the "word of the year" trend. You can go to THIS website and choose a word to inspire you and motivate you for this year (You can do it at Giving Key too!) Last year my word was RESTORE. I desired restoration in several relationships and this word kept me centered and focused on my goal. When I found  The Giving Tree through Fixer Upper's Joanna Gaines (more on that later----trust me) and that they had an actual repurposed key with the word RESTORE stamped into it, I knew it would aid me in keeping restoration at the front of my mind and prayers. I wore my giving key necklace nearly everyday under or over whatever I was wearing. It was and is a constant reminder of my word and my goal. The Giving Tree company also does great, great deeds for those in need. My 2016 word----renew!

#3 Matty B Leggings
I love leggings, but I completely agree with this lady. #sorrynotsorry

Like I said, I enjoy leggings. A lot. They are comfy, stylish, and versatile. I do believe though, that you get what you pay for when it comes to leggings. Buying leggings at Target will most likely not end well for anyone. They tend to be thin and lose their stretch and slimming ability very quickly. Hence, why they cost $5. I've gone the opposite route and spent a pretty penny on leggings and enjoyed how the higher end ones feel like butter, yet still keep all my jiggly bits in their place. These were my favorite leggings by far until I stumbled upon a magical pair at COSTCO. Yes, you read that right. Costco. The brand is Matty B. Costco carried them in 5-6 colors for.....wait for it...... $14.99. I may have even snagged a few towards the end of their run for $10. Let me say I was shocked when these leggings showed amazing stretch and slimming properties. The slam dunk feature is the waistband height. They come up nice and high and tuck in my entire tummy area without letting any of it spill over the edges. Can I get an amen?! The waistband can twist on you a bit but its very easy to get back to its correct spot. Hey, to get high end leggings at a bargain price you might have to give a little!

Follow me to hear when #4-6 is on the blog!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Capsule Wardrobe: {The Why}

What the heck is a capsule wardrobe you say? I stumbled across the idea on one of my Pinterest binges and followed about 20 links to find out the deal. My favorite source and one of the first (I believe) bloggers to suggest a capsule wardrobe was Unfancy.  She does an awesome job giving her rationale and walking you through the process. Another blog that I really enjoyed was Project 333. They have slightly different numbers and rules for your capsule, but the blog is full of great tips and tricks, especially if you are getting bored with your wardrobe. Check out my Pinterest board for more blogs and ideas on creating a capsule wardrobe. I did a ton of weeding through several blogs and came up with my own set of rules and rationale.


1. One capsule per season (Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer)
2. 33-40 items in each capsule
3. Store/Donate/Keep/Purge each season
4. No additional shopping during a capsule unless it is for the next capsule
5. Workout wear, intimate items, and lounge wear do not count in your number.
6. Accessories do not count in your number

Next, I'll share my motivation for looking into capsule wardrobes in the first place.

1. We sold our house and would be homeless for about 6-7 weeks. Wonderful family and friends volunteered to put us up over this time which we are so grateful. However, we did not want to invade their homes and completely take them over with all of our stuff. We are a family of 6 and two dogs which is overwhelming enough without all of our clothes and such. Limiting each of our girls to just one bin of clothing seemed a bit torturous. To be fair my hubby and I put the same limitation on our own clothing. THIS WAS A BIG. HUGE. deal for me. How would I ever choose just one bins worth of clothing??

2. More than once over the years a student or two or three has commented on my wardrobe. How I never seem to wear the same thing twice (I hope this isn't true). How I must have at least 20 different colors of cardigans. How everything matches down to my shoes. I used to take pride in these comments, but as of late they are starting to sting a bit. Do I really need 173 completely different outfits? Would 10 cardigans do as much as 20? How might mixing and matching make less be more? I was also convicted on several of these fronts after reading Jen Hatmaker's book, 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess.  She goes to a bit of an extreme for my taste but her sentiments and observations during her experience hit a bit too close to home.

3. I added an ADDITIONAL closet just for my shoes and accessories. Gulp. Don't get me wrong--it was pretty and functional and just plain awesome. However, I always felt a bit guilty showing it to anyone as I strongly feared their judgement and mental gasping when they laid eyes on it. Shouldn't there be a way for me to get my wardrobe into the closet I have? This was my goal for my new house. Plus, my initial closet was so packed that despite all of my clothes being hung up, they still came out wrinkled because they were so squished together.

TIME. TO. PURGE...Check back to see the purge! FYI.....How my closet started...

Thursday, May 14, 2015

OOTD: Countdown to Capsule Wardrobe

Greetings peeps! Here I am posting nearly a month later! Ugh. Our  move is a mere 14 days away and I promise I'll be a better blogger then! Plus it will be SUMMER. Speaking of summer--our MN weather cannot decide what it wants to do. One day it's 75 and sunny and the next day its 49 with pelt-y rain. I have not fully transitioned my winter clothes over to my spring and summer due to this manic approach to the weather. I am trying to transition from one season to the next by wearing skirts with tights and utilizing layers. In addition, I am just a mere weeks away from implementing my first capsule wardrobe--the packing and moving is my impetus--and am trying to wear a few questionable pieces to see if they make the cut. More on my capsule wardrobe to come!

My go to neutral this winter and now into spring has been NAVY. It simply goes with so so much. I feel like every color I pair it with is an immediate yes. Gray? Yep. Coral? Absolutely. Yellow? Ding!

 I have also worn this exact outfit without the tights and just the boot sox when the weather was nice enough to expose my painfully white knees.

{Shop the Style}
Sweater: The Limited
Skirt: Loft
Tank: Gap
Necklace: Premier (ancient!)
Tights: Target
Boots: Target