A Magnolia Moment and Waco Highlights

Is that house one of those “fixer uppers”?
You have heard that before.

So we know the “fixer upper” phrase was around before we knew of Chip and Joanna, but it’s safe to say that this amazing couple can take the credit for making it a household phrase again.

img_5396

I had the pleasure to join my Sister Trina in Dallas this November. That is a whole other blog post on Dallas—we wrapped-up our Texas weekend with a quick trip down to Waco Texas to learn more about the Silos and be up-close with the Fixer Upper phenomenon.

Dallas is about an hour and half South drive on 35W E to the city of Waco which is a town of about 130,000 people.

Trina and I went straight for the Silos where they opened at 9 AM. (Note CLOSED on Sundays)

img_3619 img_0353-2 img_0368-2

The Silos really are huge! Growing-up in Minnesota we see silos from the roadside a lot, and they are usually painted or a boring solid color. The Magnolia silos rusted texture and authentic elements make you feel at home and is even better in person (than the show).

So when do we go inside the silos? You actually don’t go inside the Silos folks. Just for show—at least for now. 

Travel Tip: Bring a small tripod to do your own photo-ops without asking others who can’t focus or don’t understand the rule of thirds. This place is full of places to grab interesting angles and take pictures of you and your crew. (Or bring your talented Sister to take a few pictures of you with her lens)

img_3651 img_3664-2

img_3626

img_3633

img_5304

Magnolia was buzzing by 10:30 AM with crowds appearing from everywhere. Mostly tourists but also saw locals heading towards the Silos Baking Company that was a newer addition the grounds to grab coffee and baked goods.

img_0078 img_0363 img_5336
img_5303

Getting inside the Magnolia Market shop itself, we set aside a good 2 hours to allow for enough time to not feel rushed.

As you see the grounds is mapped in a beautiful way below:

img_4811

A separate paint section in the lower level of the shop showed the details of the unique names of grays and a display that totally makes sense.

Can I bring a gallon of Sunday Stroll with me in my carry-on please?

img_0188
img_7628

img_4175

Purchases included a few branded apparel items for ourselves and to gift, a bracelet and necklace and also a cute tin branded mug. #DemoDay shirt of course!

Travel Tip: Check prices online quick before arriving at the store.

The surprise? We were through the store in less than 35 minutes and that was even taking our time too!

The check-out lines weren’t super long, but can see that on its own on a busier time of day could be another 30 minutes easily. There was Christmas music playing and the start to the Holiday decor in early November when we were there.

We end our Magnolia tour with one more look throughout the gardens.

There are also a dozen or so food trucks that included pastries and sandwiches but we weren’t quite hungry yet, leaving the Silos at 11:30AM.

img_0381-2 img_0378 img_0376

Travel Tip: It seems really kid-friendly to be honest, space to run, things to eat. Bring them if you would like (or leave it adult-only) I didn’t see any wine bars or beer trucks.

img_0447

img_0397And we were off with our smiles and goodies! Thanks Joanna for having us! 
A true success at the Silos! Definitely worth the trip and a great place to go back and see the changes and additions that Joanna Gaines does. Seriously—well done Jo Jo! 

I have seen every episode of the HGTV show Fixer Upper filmed in the Waco area and was confident with my Real Estate navigating skills that we would see a few Fixer Upper Homes…

Travel Tip: Finding the Fixer Upper houses themselves is way harder than imagined. There is a Waco Tour team now to find and point out the show homes and favorites. If you ask shop employees and random people on the streets about any “fixer upper homes” they won’t say a peep! Serious! So Waco Tours it is in 2017!

waco tour vanIn our case we had just 4 hours to see everything so the tour wasn’t quite the right fit. Fun branding though on the tour bus parked outside of the Silos.

While navigating through Waco in our Eco-friendly rental car, snapped a few pictures of a few homes that made sense to be close runner-ups on the show, or are part of Season 4 or 5? Chip what do you think?

img_1527 img_4464

Many small businesses like this around Waco including Jail Bond places next to homes.

img_0966

Cute porch and I can see the potential on that curb appeal.

img_5277 img_5981 img_5770

Below, remember that custom door? Look familiar anyone? This WAS on the HGTV show!

img_1814 img_3212It was our friend Clint from Harp Design’s house and shop! They are right next to each other.
We were impressed by the small unique items and approachable prices on his wooden items. Since we were traveling we didn’t leave with a chair or heavy cutting board, but loved the idea of the store open to the public. We highly recommend a drop by, make sure to check their hours first.
We didn’t see Clint working but for sure a handful of employees in the back.

img_0430-1-2

We headed over to the Findery which has been featured on the show. It’s just a hop away from the Silos. No need to re-park on this one.

Trina and I could have spent another hour at the Findery, that store was a place that just kept on giving, we were also looking for Felix the November Elf on the shelf too for a $20 gift card towards our purchases.

img_0401-1-2
img_7713 img_3852 img_1556

The second level of the Findery picture above.

Now we had an appetite folks! Where we going y’all? 

We did try to get to a few more local favorites but Mondays many restaurants were closed. So we walked across the alley to the Backyard from the Findery. It was fine for a cold brew and some fried food before heading back on the road. Nothing to tweet about but worked for us!

img_0432

img_4809

With only 30 minutes left in Waco (before we had to head back to catch out flights—seriously we had it timed out) we made it to the Magnolia Realty office South West of town. On the way there we found a few more higher-end neighborhoods but didn’t spot a Fixer Upper episode star.

img_5387

img_5389

My impression of the real estate office was under-whelming. I did notice the small design touches that made this very corporate office feel a bit more on-brand.

While visiting the restroom at the real estate office, spotted the Bed and Breakfast friend that was featured on the episode when Joanna and Chip created the Magnolia bed and breakfast. BTW fun fact as of December 2016—The Magnolia House itself has been booked through June 2017 at 1,295 per night with 2 night minimum. #GoodForThem

screen-shot-2016-12-18-at-6-10-52-pm

I also had the pleasure to chat with the Magnolia Realty brand manager and talk shop with a Minnesota img_5393connection, agent and my referral to Waco, Hesper Cordero. Overall the real estate in Waco is booming and the Magnolia Fixer Upper fans do stop-in for homes for sale (not often at the office itself) but there is a bit of science between vetting out real buyers from tourists. People are re-locating to Waco overall though (like Hesper did for her husband’s job) and there are a lot more suburbs that I forgot about, even more than from the show!

As the rain kept coming down, Trina texted we better head back to Dallas to catch our flights.

 

A SUCCESSFUL 5 hours in Waco!
#MilesToMagnolia 1,072 miles for me from Eden Prairie, Minnesota
and 1,474 miles for Trina from LA.

img_0359

Thanks for stopping-by and taking in some Waco and the Silos with me,
Tricia Jo on the Go

img_5256
Credits and links for additional information on travels and sights:

Magnolia Market
Harp Design Co
Magnolia Realty
The Findery Store in Waco
Bed and Breakfast by Joanna
Waco Texas Tourist Guide FAQ
Five O Seven Photo Studio by Trina

 

Drive Your Business Forward

Fast Company is a news source with the following of innovative and creative thought leaders who are actively inventing the future of business. What is happening this month is the judging of their Drive Your Business Forward contest.

drivebusinessforward

The submission process started with seeing the ad for small businesses on a promoted post on Facebook and then taking a look at the past winners on YouTube. My Dad is the sole owner and operator of his vending machine company who works 14+ hour days with a Sprinter van with over 340,000 miles on it. He has never owned a new work van or truck ever.

A Plus Vending

favorite smile

We met Dad at one of his Minneapolis vending stops on a late Thursday night in May and filmed him in action.

After explaining more to him about this mystery contest, he insistented in a follow-up shoot where he would be more prepared with commentary on why he deserves a new Sprinter van. A new Sprinter van or even the $10K would be an unforgettable experience and dream for him and the really-the entire family.

What is the GRAND PRIZE you ask?

The Grand Prize consists of a 2014 (or 2015, if available) Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van together with $10,000 worth of customizations. 
Additional second place is BEST VIDEO: The Readers’ Choice Prize is $10,000 in cash.
 
The eligible entries will be judged on the following criteria: 
1) how the proposed use of Sprinter van will help Entrant’s business grow (50%)
Keith is all about efficiency on his route being the sole owner and operator, the more variety of snacks in his machines and the more stops on his route the more sales will be made. So with the help of Fast Company if he could customize and create the best layout in the Sprinter van, meanwhile drive a new safe and quality vehicle, this would grow his business. 
2) overall business strategy (25%)
– Keith needs to transfer all of his machines to credit card acceptance and that is a huge investment; so his route and sales need to increase by 30% to be able to do this by 2015. With the business strategy to keep his route efficient with the best possible transportation as possible, it will help this sole business owner. 
3) quality of performance on submitted video (25%)
Trina (my younger talented sister) used Final Cut Pro to develop this entertaining and customized video, so the quality is super- just see for yourself!
keithaplus_blkwhite
Taking all this into consideration we went drafted a quick outline for the 60-90 second video submission and used iCloud to quickly upload video clips from iPhones and labeled them in sequential order for efficient editing.
With the deadline being May 30th we had no time for multiple revisions. While Trina found music that wasn’t copyrighted, I created Dad a Google+ Account, YouTube Channel and added photos captioned from the submission video shoot.
Without any further details, please comment, encourage and LIKE our 90-second video submission for the Fast Company’s Drive Your Business to Success starring Keith Severson:

 

Ready for more? Trina made an extended version with an overview of a day in the life of attending to vending with Keith:

Lastly, for Father’s Day we had to make sure to release the uncut version. At the end there is a shout-out to Fast Company and how brilliant of an idea this contest is because not only did we spend time filming our hard-working Dad, but he may the underdog but he’s still the Winner to us!

Cheers to hard-work and stop by after July 7th for the update to the Fast Company contest. We hope our Dad wins because he needs a new Sprinter soon!

Staying creative as the Vending Man’s Daughter,
Tricia jo

pic of this mndesigngal

GoPros Aren’t Just for Pros

GoPros have been around since 2005 and really has become a household name over the last few years.

The company was formed by Nick Woodman. Woodman said he was inspired to start the company following a 2002 Australia surfing trip in which he was hoping to capture quality action photos of his surfing, but could not because amateur photographers could not get close enough, or obtain quality equipment at accessible prices. His desire for a camera system that could capture the professional angles inspired the ‘GoPro‘ name. Learn more from Wiki.

My personal love for the GoPro came when my little brother Troy started in the Air Force as a loadmaster. He filmed his first video and uploaded it to Vimeo to show the family what he on the job. It truly feels like we are on flight with him as he mounted the camera in multiple places to experience the journey.

troy air drop 2Troy air drop

Family and close friends met in Cabo for my wedding and Troy brought 2 GoPros with all the accessories to document the wedding week.

poolgopro

The slightly awkward part about a GoPro is the fact you actually can’t look through the lens to see what your recording. Farmers place it on their tractors, hunters mount them in their hunting shakes, surfers on their boards and they need to use their smartphones to trigger a feed to see what they are recording or just hope it’s capturing what they need.

On the wedding day, Troy mounted both GoPro’s in the palm trees to film the views birds in the trees and a unique perspective to the day.

wedding go pro set up Capture_setup2 gopro


The best part about GoPro’s is the accessories that can go under the water and also be mounted on someone’s head to give a feel of experience. Many videos for brands are being user-generated content and this is an original and real way to connect with the brand advocates.

prices for gopros

Now I’m not getting any product placement from GoPro’s or even Best Buy to write this post- but I wanted to let people know where to buy them and that they aren’t a cheap fun camera. They start at $199.99 with no accessories, but who wants to not have the waterproof case for vacation?

GoPro shows us how you can throw a waterproof GoPro on your head and swim with dolphins.

Let’s dive a bit deeper and see how it works with a shark snack also provided by GoPro’s YouTube Channel.

I recommend the cameras for trips, weddings, family fun and random Saturday days at the park with the kids. Learn more about my lifestyle brand by visiting video playlists on LovinRlife.com. Remember you can also make your own memories with video. I edited my footage in iMovie, which is now free with the latest Mac purchases.

“GoPro” for capturing those memories in the near future – you won’t be disappointed.

your MN Design Gal

mndesigngal

 

 

The Wedding Invites

Some little girls dream of their wedding dress and the flowers while this bride-to-be has been dreaming of her letterpress self-designed invites since she was 12! My letterpress dream came true with the help of Kim from Vandalia Street Press.

Kim rocked her press skills on her 1956 Heidleberg Windmill. This was a referral of referral of a referral (for real). Thanks to Gina Nacey from Adventure Creative Group in St Cloud and Mary from Bruno Press for leading me to Kim.

The planning began one sunny afternoon. As you can see from our tabletop instagram, we meant business.

20130605-133744.jpg

20130605-164034.jpg

20130605-120154.jpg

The color had to be right. The PMS was 485 and we added some transparency and yellow to it to tone it down to ensure it wasn’t a “red” but a watermelon.

The paper I chose was a Pearl White Crane letterpress paper at 220 weight. I actually ended up buying the envelopes online at Amazon because I needed that side open in the same Crane stock and the local paper store only sold it in hundreds and I needed only 40.

20130605-135522.jpg

20130605-162219.jpg

20130605-162255.jpg

20130605-162317.jpg

20130605-162328.jpg

Very excited as we loaded the plates on the press after the final tests. Did you know that simple text outlined PDF’s make the letterpress plates?

20130605-162453.jpg

Thumbs-up for even the groom showing up to participate with this experience. He was the one asking the main questions too. Who knew?!

20130605-162507.jpg

20130605-163149.jpg

20130605-163348.jpg

20130605-163948.jpg

20130605-164009.jpg

Have the professionals cut your invites too. Better then loosing the tip of your finger to your rusty exact knife from college. 20130605-164019.jpg

Invites are sent! What a relief!
It truly was a dream of mine, but feels good to have them out of my hands and into our bestest friends and closest family. The stamps were bought months ago and the coral and white tropical flowers were saved between the others to pull out the tropical theme and oranges and corals.

20130605-164054.jpg

TIP:
Stay away from printing the main invites yourself, between the overall printer maintenance, color correction and ink replacement nightmares and additional stress just let the experts do it. You can stick to making your own mini jars of M&M’s and shopping on Etsy.

The main event:

DSC02252 DSC02253 DSC02257 DSC02258 DSC02260 DSC02283

DSC02274 DSC02275

Copper letterpress plates mounted on wood from Owasso Graphics in Michigan. My design was just outlined and exported to a PDF to make these exact size plates for the press. I paid $20 more for the Copper because Magnesium just wasn’t as cool with the coloring and aging of the metal.

This will be a forever keepsake displayed in my office. Plus the groom’s favorite metal is Copper (wires though).

DSC02276 DSC02303 DSC02304 DSC02307 DSC02313 The Save Our Dates were sent out in April and were just the start to the branding of the wedding. They were printed digitally by Printer Mike Oslund from Daily Printing locally in Minneapolis.DSC02321 To help stay focused with the wedding brand. I created this 1-sheet style guide that outlines the colors, fonts and imagery.

Wedding Brand Sheet DSC02324

[design plug] I’m happy to help personalize your day because everyone deserves a one-of-a-kind invite experience. Remember invites can be printed online (scary but true) on a traditional off-set printer or even-handed-off to your local guy. Letterpress was just my little dream.

Bride-To-Be and Your MN Design Gal

Questions? Ideation? Email me.

My work here is done! Wait- we have wedding day materials now to do...

My work here is done! Wait- we have wedding day materials now to do…