My Gym Music Playlist | Fall 2017

What to listen to in the gym


What I’m Currently Listening To…

If you’re anything like me – music totally dictates how I perform in the gym. So, today I am sharing my gym music playlist for Fall 2017. When I go out on a run I listen to completely different music than when I am doing circuit training, sprints, or when I am lifting heavy in the gym. This list is perfect if you are doing timed circuit training. There’s a little bit of old school music (hello Beyonce!) with some current songs on the radio (I didn’t forget about you Biebs).

What are you guys listening to this Fall? Share with me below. I’m also looking for some dope Christmas playlists to get in the mood for the holiday season.

My Gym Playlist For Fall 2017

 

 

 

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I Visited Chip and Joanna Gaines Magnolia Market | 5 Things You Need to Know

Chip and Joanna Gaines Magnolia Market


My husband makes fun of me for my obsession with HGTV. To be fair –  my father is a custom home builder and I was raised with an eye for design. Fast forward to like 4 years ago and my love for Fixer Upper emerged. If you don’t watch Fixer Upper (Hello! Are you living under a rock?!) – it’s HGTV’s number 1 ranked home design show. It features the married couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines, and their experiences flipping homes in Waco, Texas. I’d say that their style is an eclectic industrial farmhouse vibe. They pretty much made shiplap stylish again.

So, when me and my bestie Lauren (she blogs over at Sips + Sequins) got an invite from the Texas Tourism Bureau to travel to Waco (check out an overview of my whole Texas trip HERE), I KNEW one of my first stops had to be the Magnolia Silos and market. We actually visited Waco during Silobration which is a huge event that Magnolia Market at the Silos puts on in October. From what I understand after talking to staffers, they’ve been holding this event for 3 years now and this year by FAR exceeded all of the other years attendance. I’m not joking – it was like a sea of shiplap loving people. So while we didn’t get to actually step foot in the Magnolia Market or bakery (I know – I was a little bummed too but the lines for each were about 2 hours), we did have plenty of fun exploring the Silos area. So I decided to put together 5 things you need to know before planning your travel to the market.

1. COME HUNGRY

Although you might have a hard time grabbing food and coffee from Silos Bakery – there’s also a food truck where you can snag one of their famous cupcakes. I had the campfire cupcake and Lauren ate the pumpkin spice cupcake. No joke – the BEST cupcake I’ve ever had in my entire life. Speaking of food trucks, there are food trucks surrounding the entire Silos compound. Everything from coffee, to gourmet loaded hot dogs, juices, and asian food. We ate at a truck called Club Sandwich which weirdly had nothing to do with sandwiches and everything to do with Asian fusion. Either way – it was ah-mazing.

2. DRESS IN LIGHT LAYERS

No joke it was 95 and sunny when we visited the Silos. Since we went during Silobration, most lines ranged from 20 minutes – 2 hours and when you’re standing in line (for food or to peek inside their home decor store) there is literally no shade. The good news is there are plenty of vendors selling water bottles (I think we went through 4 each) and cute little places to plop down and take in the area that provide shade. I saw some super smartie pants people walking around with hand and neck fans and I totally wish I would have brought one. Anyway – you’ve been warned. The Texas heat is no joke.

3. BRING YOUR CAMERA

There are seriously like one billion Instagrammable moments around the Silos. Everything in the area is stylish and trendy and you can tell that Joanna Gaines really had her hands on everything. Their branding is downright amazing. You’ll see a lot of repeating black, white, and greens all over with fun signs to take pictures, food trucks to lean on, and of course you’ll want to take a picture of the silos.

4. AVOID THE WEEKENDS

It’s hard for me to get a good grasp about how busy the Magnolia Silos are on a day to day basis, but when we went it was a madhouse. We did speak to a police officer who told us that the bakery usually has a line every morning – in fact people start to line up an hour before the doors open. She also mentioned that the best time to go would be during the week like a Tuesday or Wednesday. So, if you have flexibility with your travel, I’d leave the weekend to exploring elsewhere in Waco.

5. YOU PROBABLY WON’T SEE CHIP AND JOANNA GAINES

When I got back from my trip I had almost every family member and friend ask if we saw Chip and Joanna Gaines. The answer, sadly, is no. I don’t think it would be super far fetched to see them as they are VERY active in their community (seriously every person in Waco is so proud to have them in their town – just ask any Uber driver that picks you up), but we did not see them. A staffer actually told me that if they were to appear during Silobration that they would probably get mobbed. See – shiplap loving is a real thing you guys.

The Joanna Gaines StoreWaco Made Ice Cream

Let me know if you end up visiting the Magnolia Market at the Silos. It was such a cute place and I would definitely come back (this time, on a Tuesday).
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2 Small Texas Towns You Probably Haven’t Visited – But Should ASAP

Getaway weekend in Texas


Special thanks to Texas Tourism, Waco Convention & Visitors Bureau, & Fredericksburg Convention & Visitors Bureau for hosting us for a weekend trip. All opinions and experiences are my own.


Me and my bestie, Lauren (she blogs over at Sips and Sequins) were long overdue for a quality girls getaway weekend. The last one we took was circa 2012 and it was in Las Vegas (think pool parties, bottle service, and late night dancing). We were craving something a little less rowdy and much more homey this time. By chance, we were both invited to a Texas Tourism mixer downtown Chicago this summer where we were able to network with plenty of tourism bureaus all looking for influencers to visit the great state of Texas. Knowing that life will only get busier from here on out – we jumped at the chance to getaway for a few days. After months of planning and figuring out exactly where we wanted to go (Lauren is seriously a pro at this and even creates itineraries that you can download) – we settled on Waco and Fredericksburg.

You’ve probably heard of Waco from HGTV’s hit show Fixer Upper. The town is seeing a huge boom of growing business and tourism since the show topped HGTV’s #1 charts. I personally had never heard of Fredericksburg before it landed on my itinerary,  but most people know it for it’s wineries (yes, Texas has wineries… more on that in a minute). Anyway, both destinations completely blew my mind. I don’t know what is in the Texas water but everyone (and I mean everyone), is kind and wants to chat. We had several instances where we were pulled into full conversations by nearby tables of complete strangers where we shared stories of children, travel, food, careers, and more. I was also really shocked by the Texas scenery. The drive between Waco and Fredericksburg is just under 3 hours – but it goes by fast! We were greeted with beautiful ranches dotting winding roads and little quaint towns. What I thought would be a dessert trip turned out to be much more lush with trees and greenery than I ever expected.

So without further ado – I am going to share some of my favorite things about each place and why you need to grab your bestie, a plane ticket, and book it to Texas ASAP.

WACO, TEXAS

What you need to know:

Waco is about an hour and a half drive from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. We rented a car before our trip and we were on the road quickly. The speed limit is 80 miles per hour, so if you’re not comfortable driving fast then I’d either hire a service to take you to Waco or have your friend drive. Everyone in Waco is EXTREMELY proud of their city. They all spoke highly about the new developments going on in the city (new restaurants, new homes, new shopping centers) and it seemed like everyone knew everything. Most people dressed really casually and a majority of restaurants did not have a dress code. Plan for 3 days in Waco. There was PLENTY to do and I wish we would have been able to fit in one more day (we only stayed 2 nights). Bring your sneakers or comfortable shoes because a ton of walking is involved.

What to do:

Seriously there is SO much to do in Waco. Here is a quick list of things I enjoyed and definitely recommend checking out.

  1. Visit the Magnolia Market at the Silos: Try to go during the week as the weekend gets pretty busy. Plan to eat at one of the many food trucks that line the property.
  2. Have an Uber driver show you around the city – they’ll even take you to some of the Fixer Upper homes (we saw the Shotgun house – gorgeous).
  3. Get active at Cameron Park! This 416 acre urban park has plenty to offer – including an awesome staircase called Jacobs Ladder that you can run, walk, or climb. My legs were burning after one trip up! There’s also gorgeous winding roads leading in and out of the park and plenty of picturesque landscapes to take in. You can also rent a bike or kayak to really explore.
  4. Get historic at the Waco Mammoth National Monument. You know those huge prehistoric animals with enormous tusks? Yeah – they happen to be in Waco, Texas. There’s actually fossils of 24 Columbian mammoths and other mammals at the park – pretty cool to see and hear how the first fossils were found.
  5. Go shopping! Okay – this was one of my favorite things to do in Waco. The home decor stores in Waco are superb. Like literally if you are trying to furnish your home, head to Waco for inspiration and unique finds. Most of the style is a mix of eclectic industrial pieces mixed with farmhouse influence. Everything is cute. Like seriously – everything. I purchased a custom wall measuring stick from Good Timber Furnishings (near the silos) and adored every piece of clothing that Fox and Gray had to offer.
  6. Try different restaurants – there’s WAY more food than BBQ. Actually, I didn’t even have BBQ once in Waco. Thursday night we ate at Hecho en Waco – a really cute Mexican restaurant (get the fajitas – pass on the bean dip). Friday for lunch we ate at the Magnolia food trucks and Friday night we ate at Diamondbacks (an upscale steak and sushi restaurant with the cutest decor). Make sure you dress up to eat at Diamondbacks and do NOT refuse the rosemary turnover bread that comes complimentary with dinner. I don’t care what kind of diet you are on – you’ll be denying yourself the BEST bread I’ve ever had in my life.
  7. Visit the animals at Cameron Park Zoo. This is a good option if you have some extra time. What struck me the most about this zoo is that it seems to be built into the natural landscape of Waco rather than manmade. There are trails and tons of trees around. Good to go on a super hot day as there is plenty of shade and things to do with kids.
  8. Take pictures! Waco has adorable architecture and plenty of colorful doors and murals to admire. I specifically really like Austin Street. The silos and Cameron Park are great too for pictures either early in the morning or later in the day to avoid crowds and random people being in your pictures.

What to do in Waco Texas

Instagram Pictures Waco

FREDERICKSBURG, TEXAS

What you need to know:

Fredericksburg is a 3 hour drive from Waco and an hour and a half drive from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The town is part of an area called the Texas Hill Country and is lined with about 30 miles of wineries and peach farms. You will definitely want to look out your car window to soak in the scenery. The town has a bed and breakfast – small quaint town feel but don’t let it fool you. There’s a ton of shopping, amazing food, and places to visit. Stay for at least 2 nights to really be able to truly explore the area.

What to do:

  1. Visit one of the many wineries. So, I don’t know about you but I had NO idea that Texas has wineries. They are actually REALLY popular with people in the area and it’s the perfect thing to do with your bestie, bachelorette party, or to visit with your significant other. Get tickets for the 290 Wine Shuttle (they’re $24.99) and hop on and off all day at 14 of the wineries. My favorite winery is 4.0 Wine Cellars. It’s more of a tasting winery as they stock wines from 3 different wineries in Texas. For the best pictures – head to Wild Seed Farms and stand in the zinnia fields where there’s thousands of flowers and butterflies!
  2. Hike Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. It’s about a 20 minute drive from downtown but it’s totally worth it. It takes about 40 minutes to hike to the top. Pink granite makes up the entire climb (it’s really pretty) so make sure to wear appropriate footwear so that you do not slip. I will mention that this is good for all ages and fitness levels. I saw a good mix of everyone hiking (including a guy who had been up and down 4 times already that day!!!).
  3. Grab some food. Being from Chicago I totally appreciate a good meal. Fredericksburg does NOT disappoint. For a quick bite to eat check out Tubby’s Ice House (get their chicken kale salad – it’s mind blowing). You order from a walk up window and eat outside. Food is quick and delicious. We tried Otto’s for dinner (owned by the same people that run Tubby’s). You definitely will wait about an hour to eat here on the weekends so put your name in and go get a drink elsewhere. Decor and company was amazing – food was too salty for me (I had a steak) but my friend Lauren had the scallops and loved her meal. The BEST food we had (probably the whole trip) was at a Vaudeville’s. Everything is made from scratch and is simply divine. Upstairs is the cutest home decor store and the bistro is in the basement. The decor is phenomenal (marble top dining tables, leather banquettes). We each got sandwiches (The reuben is out of this WORLD) and we split the buttermilk chicken – only available on Sundays. At the back of the restaurant there is an indoor outdoor ticketed supper club – totally worth checking out if you like more exclusive eating events.
  4. Go shopping. Lining the downtown area are tons of shops. There’s a good mix of home decor, little gift shops, and true Texas stores (one in specific sells hundreds of cowboy boots).
  5. Listen to music. We didn’t get a chance to do this even though it was on our itinerary (we were seriously so exhausted). We had plenty of locals tell us that the music is amazing and there is a huge variety of live bands including bluegrass, country, and more!

Enchanted Rock Fredericksburg TexasFredericksburg Texas girls tripFredericksburg bachelorette party

I seriously cannot wait to go back to Texas (I’m thinking a mom/daughter trip next?) and see what else the state has to offer. My biggest takeaway from my 4 days there is that everyone we encountered were so kind and I wish I had more time to explore everything that makes Waco and Fredericksburg such unique locations.

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