2021: My Travels + Living Life to the Fullest

I knew going into 2021, it was going to be another unpredictable year with the pandemic still a big part of all of our lives, but as much as that loomed over us when we rang in the new year, I remember making a very conscious decision that I would not allow that unpredictability to become the trajectory for our year. Rather, I would do everything I could to keep myself and my family healthy and safe, while also living our lives to the very fullest… and for me, that meant loving my family deeply, fulfilling my aspirations professionally and personally, and traveling to capture new, real, memorable, experiences of this life with those I love. Life is short and unpredictable.. if this pandemic has given us any solid perspective, it has been that… and I wasn’t going to waste a day, an opportunity, or an entire year, not living life to it’s fullest. So here is my year of review of some of what I enjoyed and experienced in 2021… followed by what I aspire for in 2022…

Cape Coral Florida – January

My year started out ringing in the 2021 New Year in Cape Coral, Florida, surrounded by my family in a beautiful vacation home we rented for 2 weeks… I remember watching the ball drop from our outdoor patio while the kids swam into the early morning hours. We loved Cape Coral, with the many miles of winding canals leading out to the ocean, while enjoying the tranquil home we stayed in, our evening boat rides, and exploring the peaceful destination town that began to feel like home to us. It was a perfect way to peacefully bring in 2021. You can read more about my trip here in my post…My Trip to Cape Coral Florida.

Magnolia, Waco TX – February

Next up in February, my hubby and I traveled back to our…well my... favorite place, Magnolia in Waco TX! I’d visited once before, but this trip we stayed in Chip and Joanna Gaines’ iconic Magnolia House and it was one of the highlights of my entire year (life!) You can see more about my trip to Magnolia in these four posts recapturing our entire trip… Our Stay at the Magnolia House, Magnolia Table, Spring at the Magnolia Silos, All That’s New at the Silos at Magnolia… If you ever get the opportunity to visit Magnolia, I can not recommend this traveling homebody’s happy place more… go enjoy it and see it all for yourself!

Nashville, TN – March/ April

At the end of March, early April, we took our family on Spring Break to Nashville, TN. What.A.Riot! Warm weather, live music, great food, cowboy boots, and family time all wrapped in one and we had an absolute blast! Hands down, best part of our trip was our time at The Grand Ole Opry seeing new artists, and old including Steve Earle singing Copperhead Road and The Oak Ridge Boys singing Alvira!… it’s those bucket list experiences that never dissapoint and the Opry lived up to all the hype of it’s musical legacy…

Charlevoix, MI – May

In May we stayed in our own beautiful home state of Michigan and visited my favorite place here, Charlevoix. There is something about this Lake Michigan town that resinates with me as I am in love the atmosphere, the dining, shops, views, culture, and the people! We have spent many of our recent summers vacationing here and it was a treat to spend Memorial weekend here kicking off our Summer. You can read more about Charlevoix in my posts…Charlevoix Part 1 and Charlevoix Part 2

Out West Trip – Colorado & Wyoming – June

In June we ventured Out West for a memorable family trip and loved every minute of our travels. Our kids are now at the age that we can get a little more adventurous in our experiences. We enjoyed the Hot Springs of Colorado, the towns of Jacksonhole CO and, Cody Wy, it’s world-renowned famous Cody Rodeo, White water rafting down the Snake River, all of the glory of Yellowstone and the Grand Teton National Parks, and miles upon miles of the most beautiful, breathtaking country we’d ever experienced. We stayed in some pretty cool, (high in the sky…eek) cabins and had a family trip of a lifetime! We will definitely be going back.. again and again!

Chicago – July

Then in July was a Birthday surprise I won’t soon forget, when my hubby and kids surprised me with a private flight to Chicago for my birthday night! We shopped the Magnificent Mile before heading to dinner at the Chicago Cut Steakhouse for a delicious birthday dinner and dessert on the water… we drove back to the airport in a limo and got home late that night.. it wasn’t a long trip, but it was one of the most memorable birthdays I will probably ever have! I have the best hubby and kids who treat me so good… & I can’t wait to see how they top my birthday next year.. 😉

Heirloom Grove – August & September

August and September we stayed close to home as we were very busy for my Heirloom Grove business and school starting for my kids. Heirloom Grove is my specialty farm in Central Michigan where in 2021, we planted over 100 fruit trees, 200 blueberry bushes, 6 acres of sunflowers, 2 acres of hemp, redid an old red barn, bought an old 49′ chevy truck, and put in hours upon hours of hard work, while having a lot of fun! Heirloom Grove is also our homegrown CBD brand that we made great progress in this year as well!… and I have so much planned for 2022!

Napa Valley, CA – October

In October, my hubby and I were able to sneak away for a memorable 20th Anniversary trip to Napa Valley, California! What beautiful country and the wine… yummy! Miles upon miles of rolling hills of vineyards, amazing restaurants, great wines, and we stayed at the breathtaking Carneros Resort and Spa… It was a special and wonderful way to celebrate our 20 years of marriage!…& many more to come!

Washington DC – November

And then in November my hubby and I snuck away again, this time to Washington DC for a work trip… but we always enjoy a little fun everywhere we go, taking in the sites of our country’s capital too. We stayed at the Omni Shoreham hotel and had a fabulous time for our last trip of the year!

Home for the Holidays – December

And to wrap up the year, we’ve stayed close to home, celebrating the holidays. We decorated, shopped, wrapped, celebrated, celebrated some more… and I feel like I am closing out the year with a very happy, fulfilled heart.

2022… I am eager and excited for another new year, another opportunity here on this blessed planet to LIVE and see what it has in store.. even amongst the unknowns that are always reality, I am ready again, to live the year to the fullest. I hope to continue nurturing our relationships, to experience even more new things together, and this year to celebrate one another…my kids have their 18th, sweet 16, 13th, and double-digits #10 – birthdays this year.. and my first born graduates.. so big celebrations! I hope for another year of making long, lasting memories with the ones I love. And I truly hope that for all of you too!

Happy New Year, here’s to 2022 being a healthy, happy, living-life-to-the-fullest year!

New Year Blessings, Jaime Lyn

The Red Lantern, Edmore MI

TGIF! and welcome to the weekend, friends! Today I wanted to share one of the cutest boutique shops I have visited in quite some time… The Red Lantern in Edmore, MI. This shop is located only a few towns away from where I live, but I had never visited before until a few weeks ago… what a treat! My girls and I enjoyed shopping this mother-daughter duo-owned shop, filled to the brim with home decor, gifts, clothing, and accessories… our favorite kind of place to shop!

We spent about an hour browsing every inch of this pretty shop… I snagged some home decor pieces (shocker I know!) and a pretty summer dress, while my girls found some cute things for their rooms, earrings, and a few clothing pieces for their summer wardrobes too.

What I love most about shopping these kinds of stores, is the moments spent there feels more like a relaxing hobby than a stressful shopping trip, as you may feel in a larger store… items are displayed in a creative way, and there is just enough to choose from to have a good selection, without feeling overwhelmed.

Take a peek at a more of their summer displays…soo many cute things!

And here is a sneak peek at one of their Fall displays, and will be part of their Fall Open House this weekend… today and Saturday, August 13th & 14th!… a great time to visit if you’ve never been.. or visit again even if you have!

The Red Lantern – Fall Open House! – August 13th + 14th!

Photo Credit: The Red Lantern (via Facebook)

The Red Lantern is located at 504 E. Main St., Edmore MI, open 10-6pm Tuesday thru Friday, 10-3 on Saturdays, and closed Sundays and Mondays. If you go – tell the ladies I sent ya! 🙂

…. OH and before I wrap… make sure you also visit another quaint shop in Edmore while you are in town, just down the street from The Red Lantern… Gypsy Soul Boutique… loved this shop so much as well!

Happy Friday friends… and remember to support your local, small shops when you can! Thanks again to The Red Lantern for a fun afternoon this Summer, shopping with my girls!

Wishing you a blessed weekend, friends! Until next time…

Jaime Lyn

All That’s New at the Silos at Magnolia!

Well friends, I am back with more Magnolia!… because who can ever get too much Magnolia?… Not this girl! If you’ve been keeping up with my blog posts or my Instagram in recent months, I have been sharing a lot about my February trip to Magnolia; My Stay at the Magnolia House, all the yumminess at the Magnolia Table, the beauty of Spring at the Silos… and today my friends, I am sharing all about what is NEW at Magnolia Silos!

I visited Magnolia once before in the Summer of 2018 and had the time of my life!… but just like with every new Disney attraction that keeps families coming back to Orlando time and time again, Magnolia’s new additions are bringing middle-aged women like me, from all over the country, either there for the first time, or coming back for more!

What can I say… So much has been added! Not only were the original grounds still there in all their beautiful glory… You can see all about these areas of the Magnolia Market, Silos, Magnolia Seed + Supply, the Silos Baking Co, Food Trucks, and more in my Posts: Spring at the Silos and My 2018 Trip to Magnolia Market at the Silos… but today, let’s talk about all that is brand NEW at the Silos at Magnolia!…

The Magnolia Press

The Magnolia Press is the new coffee shop on Magnolia’s grounds… I wish I lived closer because I would vedge out here in this place all the time…it has such a chill vibe and smells delicious! They make any kind of latte you could think of and has such a cozy, peaceful feel… visitors could stay for hours!

The Old Church

This beautiful church was originally built in 1894 in Waco, and the Gaines’ decided to purchase, relocate and restore it for the Magnolia site. They discovered the church was not structurally sound enough to move it in it’s entirety, so they built a new foundation and frame, then relocated piece by piece of what was original to the church, including the interior flooring, wainscoting, corbels, beams, trimwork, pews, exterior siding and lattice work. What they revived is a breathtaking site on the new Magnolia grounds…

The Shops at Magnolia

This area of the Silos is such a treat! A set of 6 cottages were built to house a variety of small shops…everything from books + paper in one shop, to jewelry and bags in another shop, to men’s items, women’s clothing, bath + body, and kids + baby in the other shops… it was such a joy to stroll from shop to shop, taking in a more intimate shopping experience at the Silos…

Magnolia Home

Magnolia Home is the furniture store of all furniture stores… this is where visitors can shop all the larger, Magnolia pieces – staged in real-life living settings, visitors can shop for sofas, dining room sets, area rugs, decor, and more… I could have ordered one of everything, I loved it all so much… all the signature Fixer Upper styles in one place, with helpful staff ready to help you create your own Magnolia style for your home…

The Ball Park

This area is just the coolest! A place for kids and kids-at-heart to relax, run, play and enjoy on this creatively crafted wiffle ball field that connects the original and new areas of Magnolia… just the coolest addition!

So much to see and enjoy at Magnolia in Waco, Texas. If you have not yet went, go!… if you have been there before but have not yet seen all of the new areas, go again! Magnolia is such a great place to experience, I’ve enjoyed every visit so much!

I hope you enjoyed this latest post on Magnolia! Stay tuned as I still have 2 more posts to complete my Magnolia Trip Series… Next up is my post all about The Carriage House, another of Magnolia’s bed & breakfast homes – I didn’t stay there but had a spontaneous opportunity to tour it!! such a treat!… and another post to come is all my Travel Tips to Waco, Texas… where to stay, eat, and shop.. other than Magnolia of course! Stay tuned friends!


Spring at the Magnolia Silos

Hello friends! Happy weekend… and Happy Spring! I have never been more excited for Spring than this year after what has seemed like a really long winter. It feels so good to finally get outside, breath in some fresh air, and be witness to the promises of new beginnings as proven with every new tulip that blooms…

I kicked off my Spring fever in February when I visited Magnolia in Waco, TX and took in all the Spring vibes that Magnolia had on display at the Silos. Even though this was not my first visit to Magnolia, as I visited once before in the Summer of 2018 for my 40th Birthday (my hubby surprised me!.. you can see more of that trip here in this post) I still experienced new firsts.. for one, I stayed at the Magnolia House (see all about that beautiful experience here!)…

I also experienced all of the new, expanded areas of Magnolia that Chip and Joanna Gaines just recently developed (the Shops at Magnolia, Magnolia Press, the new (old) Church, Magnolia Home… there was so much more new to take in!….my next post will include all about these new additions at the Silos, but for the sake of this post becoming too long-winded, let’s focus on the beauty of the original areas and Spring at the Silos!…

Magnolia’s design team always does a spectacular job welcoming in each new season as they transform the Magnolia Market with inventive displays, and share fresh design inspiration and insightful, thought-provoking life perspective. This season, their design theme focused on the definition of time... “believing that it isn’t something to lose, but rather something we get to choose… not a burden, but a gift”…this theme was also carried out in their Spring issue of the Magnolia Journal... believe me, these pages truly came to life as I walked the grounds of Magnolia, and entered the doors of their iconic and beautiful Magnolia Market…

The Magnolia Market is a beautiful shop… I am always taken back by not only what is all uniquely for sale in the market, but how it is all uniquely displayed!… just gorgeous! This season, the market was designed with large (human-size) tulips that welcome guests, along with fresh aromas of Magnolia-scented candles in the air, and a bountiful of Spring florals and fresh, farmhouse-feel pieces adorning every area of the shop… the Magnolia Market is not just a place to shop, it is truly an experience!

I could have shared hundreds of images with you from my visit, but I selected some of my favorites. Keep scrolling to see more of the original areas of the Magnolia Market at the Silos…and I promise, in my next post, I will include all the NEW areas that I so enjoyed! (I mean how long can one post be?!)… So, come along with me!

Another of my favorite areas of the Silos is the gardens at Magnolia Seed + Supply… I love admiring all that is growing and on display in this beautiful area of Magnolia…

And… of course I could not resist the Silos Baking Co! YUM! I was greeted with gourmet cupcakes from the Silos Baking Co. upon my stay at the Magnolia House…I devoured more of these sweet treats than I should probably admit to, but they are just sooo good!

Silos Baking Co.
Silos Baking Co.

The Magnolia grounds are complete with open areas to enjoy with your traveling companions… a large grassy area for kids to run and play, multiple gourmet food trucks to enjoy for lunch and snacking (get the sweet tea!), awning-covered picnic tables, a large pavilion, and more… the entire place makes you want to slow down time, and enjoy an easy day of browsing, shopping, and experiencing all that is Magnolia…

If you ever get a chance to visit Magnolia.. please just GO, and see for yourself how amazing it all is… whether that is in the Winter, Fall, or Spring and Summer seasons as I experienced, it is so worth the trip! I hope this post has given you some insight into the beauty that is Magnolia Market at the Silos, and some Spring inspiration too! More of my visit, including ALL I experienced and seen at the NEW areas of Magnolia, coming to my blog soon! And before you go… Take a peek at my other Posts from my visits to Magnolia in Waco, TX if you missed these before…

My Stay at the Magnolia House… Read here!

My Visit to the Magnolia Table… Read here!

My Summer 18′ trip to Magnolia… Read here!

Thank you so much for visiting my Blog.. I truly love sharing with you here and hope you enjoy your time with me! Until next time friends…


Magnolia Table

Hello all! It has been a minute since I was in Waco, TX staying at the Magnolia House (you can see that post here) and visited all there is to do at Magnolia Market at The Silos (that post coming soon!) but I still have even more to share with you from my trip! Today, let me take you back to my visit to the Magnolia Table!

If you do not yet know the story behind the Magnolia Table, Chip and Joanna Gaines purchased this vacated property previously known as the Elite, an iconic generations-old diner in Waco, and renovated and reopened it as their own in 2018, calling it the Magnolia Table. Chip and Joanna documented the revival of this iconic location’s renovation in one of their Fixer Upper episodes (you can watch here.)

The Magnolia Table has a feel-good, come-on-in-for-breakfast-y’all-feel, designed with the Gaines’ signature farmhouse style of shiplap, subway tile, black accents, farmhouse tables and chairs, and other welcoming touches… and all of this before you even see the menu…

And then onto the menu and the the food.. oh my gawd….. the food is so good! We started out our breakfast with a slider of juices, then we ordered up their lemon sugar doughnut holes.. melt in your mouth good, followed by our breakfast entrees. Both my husband and I’s meals were delicious, generously proportioned, and sooo full(filling!) When you visit, make sure you order some of Joanna’s biscuits.. so delicious covered with sausage gravy or spread with their homemade flavored, whipped butters. Just yum!!

I would recommend making a reservation ahead of time, because especially during their busy months, you may have to wait a bit for a table. The Magnolia Table serves from 7am to 3pm Monday thru Saturday. When you arrive, after putting your name on the wait list or checking in for your reservation, you can enjoy the covered outdoor patio area, and order up a coffee or pastry to enjoy while you wait. For our visit, we stayed at the Magnolia House, so the property manager had already pre-reserved us a 10:00 am reservation so we had our table within minutes (another great perk to staying in one of their properties) but the patio area is so festive and fun, even if you do have to wait, it is a memorable and enjoyable experience.

Before you leave, make sure to visit the Take Away market, a quaint little to-go shop attached right next to the diner.. grab lunch to go, a beverage for the road, or any Magnolia Table merchandise for your memories.

You must include the Magnolia Table in your trip plans when you visit Waco for the full Magnolia experience. They are located at 2132 S. Valley Mills Dr, in Waco… about a 10 minute drive from the Silos. Start your day out here before heading to Magnolia Market, as you’ll need a full belly of food and energy to take in all there is to see and shop at the Silos!

I hope you enjoyed my recap of The Magnolia Table! See more of my trip, first with my stay at the iconic Magnolia House here, and more of my Magnolia trip that I’ll be sharing to my Blog soon!..so keep a look out for those posts!

Almost Up North, Clare MI

Recently my daughters and I had the opportunity to visit the most quaint shop in downtown Clare, Michigan called Almost Up North. This unique shop is filled with local Michigan made products, unique jewelry, home decor, gifts, gourmet goods, fresh succulents, high quality clothing and accessories, and embroidered merchandise created by it’s own sister store located right next door, Stitches for Britches.

Almost Up North opened it’s doors only a couple years ago when owner Stephanie Boudour and her daughter, Shelby, expanded their embroidery and screen printing shop. They renovated the adjacent space next door to create their unique boutique of Michigan made treasures, and other timeless pieces for guests to shop while visiting Clare or just passing through town on their way to further northbound destinations.

Almost Up North has a timeless, welcoming vibe, filled with feel-good items that shoppers can not resist. My daughters ended up snagging some adorable pieces…a couple signature Almost Up North beenie hats, craft made soaps, two adorable potted succulents (they now consider themselves “plant moms”) and I grabbed some gourmet goods… the blueberry salsa is Amazing! We were excited too, to see our very own Michigan-made brand of body and wellness products on display, as Almost Up North is now a new Retailer for our Heirloom Grove CBD brand!

Almost Up North is located at 120 W. 4th St in Clare MI, and is open Monday thru Friday from 9:00am-5:30pm, and on Saturdays from 10:00am to 2:00pm. You can visit and shop their website and learn more about their store & unique story on their website here. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram too, to see all they are currently carrying.

Owner, Shelby of Almost Up North

I recommend you stop by and give this quaint shop and small business owners some love… especially this weekend for the Irish Festival… there may be a little less celebration in town this year, but that doesn’t mean visitors can’t still stop in and support some of these local small businesses who thrive and survive on their annual festival weekends. The Irish Festival runs from March 11 thru March 17th this year, 2021 and you can learn more about this year’s events here.

We just loved our visit to this shop, and made a girls afternoon of it…There are also other desirable boutique shops in town and nice places to eat for lunch or dinner too… Make a day of it and enjoy all there is to offer in Clare! A big thank you to Almost Up North for their hospitality and memorable visit!

Until next time, friends!

Think Spring – Shop my Amazon!

After all of the crazy winter weather our country has been experiencing from Texas to all corners of the US, I think it’s safe to say we are ALL ready for the Spring season! It is this time of year in Michigan when the days seem to be getting a little longer, and the sun is trying so hard to peek out, that I really begin craving Spring… to see the snow begin to melt away, the trees start to bud, and the tulips unearth into to their full glory… Spring will be here before we know it, I can just feel it! In that spirit, I am sharing some pretty Spring items in my Jaime Lyn Amazon Shop today… everything from Spring and Easter home decor, to Spring inspired fashion and accessories, to gardening tools, to other fabulous pretty pastel pieces… all for you to enjoy in this next season. Shop ALL of these items and more at my Amazon Shop, under “Think Spring”…I’m always adding to my shop, so make sure you follow me there on Amazon, so you can always see the latest products I’ve prepared for you to browse and shop…

To easily Shop each item above individually, use the links below…

Hello Sign | Hello Spring Candle | Peep Peep Mug | Hand Wash | Rain Coat | Gel Nails | Sunglasses | Market Tea Towels | Lavender Flowers |Rain Boots | Water Bottles | Cut Flower Garden Book | Yard Tools Organizer | Garden Tools Kit | Rain Gauge

I hope you found some pretty Spring pieces to help your spirit ‘spring’ into the new season! Make sure you are signed up for my Email list here on my website, so you always see my new posts!

And before you go… did you see my last post about my stay at the Magnolia House in Waco, Texas?!… if not, you can read it here.

Also, have you followed me on Instagram?… I share more daily inspiration from my own home, life & style there.. I’d love for you to follow me!

Have a blessed week, friends!


Our Stay at the Magnolia House

Hi all, I hope everyone is staying well and healthy!  I am back home to cold and blustery Michigan from my quick trip to Magnolia in Waco, Texas this last week.  My husband and I went out because I happened to come across availability at The Magnolia House in McGregor, TX… one of Chip & Joanna Gaines’ bed & breakfast homes they filmed on Fixer Upper… they have 3 of these vacation rentals available for guests to stay in, but the Magnolia House has always been by far, my favorite! so when I came upon the 2 nights available in the first week of February, I jumped on it.  I had been wanting to go back to Magnolia since my first trip in 2018, to see all the new & recent additions they have built at the Silos, but I knew I wanted to wait until I had the opportunity to stay at The Magnolia House when I went again.. so all worked out perfectly and it was fate! 😉 Once my trip was booked, I also scheduled a few business meetings for my Heirloom Grove business, so my trip ended up being a little work & a little play vaca!  

We arrived to Waco and the house was not quite ready yet, so we drove around and found where Chip and Joanna and their family live, and also where President George W. Bush is retired, which was not too far away… obviously we could not get too close to either of their homesteads, but it was really fun to see where they each call ‘home.’

When we were finally able to check into the Magnolia House, I was just a little excited…(if you follow me on my Instagram, you can see my reaction in my highlight stories when I walked in the door…) The best way I can describe my experience, is the equivalent if I had told my 8 year old daughter she could sleep in Cinderella’s castle in Disney World for two nights.. this was my Disney World y’all!

Yes, I am a Fixer Upper fan… it comes from my shared love of their cozy, farmhouse, family-oriented, timeless style they bring to their redo’s, and the relate-ability I feel watching their husband/ wife dynamic of not only living and raising a family together, but also working together day in and day out on their shared passions and business. I am always so inspired by their work ethic, creativity, and values, and feel even more inspired when I visit Magnolia!

So… let’s get into the details of this beautiful Magnolia House… first, how do you go about booking it?  I booked right on their Magnolia website… it shows availability and all of the varied rates (weekday, weekends) and the specifics of each of their three vacation homes – how many bathrooms, how many the houses sleep, etc… The whole house was furnished with everything we could possibly need.. from washing machine to coffee creamer and everything in between.  We had a property manager who was an absolute gem to work with… she emailed me a few times before our stay, and texted me throughout our stay, making sure we were accommodated with everything we needed… such hospitality!  

I would love to describe the house in detail, and hopefully you’ve all seen the episode when they fix this house up on the show, and their folks all come over for a holiday dinner… if you haven’t seen that episode, you can download & watch it here (I watched it again, while IN the house….and talk about surreal!!)  Instead of describing the house room by room, in detail, I know pictures are worth a thousand words, and so I literally walked the house for over an hour and took so many pictures for you all… I will just say this quickly to describe the house…. shiplap, shiplap, & more shiplap, natural wood floors, black iron, subway tile, cement countertops, architectural corbels, antique furnishings & light fixtures, textiles, and the most layered compfy bedding you’ll ever sleep in… for the rest, take a look for yourself and oooh and ahhh as you scroll along…  

The house was an absolute joy to stay in… so homey, and I just felt like I should pinch myself the entire time I was there to make sure I was really staying there.  The house had a porch on every side of the house, and the whole property was cared for immaculately.  The house is actually in McGregor, a quiet little town, which is about 25 minutes from Waco.. and actually, one of the other vacation homes they own and rent out, The Carriage House, is a stone’s throw away from the Magnolia House, in it’s backyard… we lucked out royally when the group of ladies who were staying for the same 2 days as us in The Carriage House, happened to arrive at the same time as we did…. so of course, we swapped houses for a half hour or so, so we could each tour both houses.. I will share my glimpse into The Carriage House in a future post… but it was such a sweet surprise to get the chance to see inside The Carriage House as well, what a dream!

You can see The Carriage House in the back…

Our first night, my husband and I were whipped from traveling and I couldn’t bring myself to leave the house, so we went to the local grocery store and picked up some appetizer finger foods and some great wine and made ourselves an easy dinner at home… let me just say, preparing food in Joanna’s kitchen was an experience in and of itself… I think I giggled the whole time…  we then snuggled up in the living room and watched a few episodes of Fixer Upper (because it just seemed appropriate and all their episodes happened to be organized and stored in a digital DVR folder they provide for their guests…seriously, they think of everything!)  

The next day my hubby and I did venture out for the day, starting first at Magnolia Table for a 10 am reservation they provide their house guests (the ‘breakfast’ portion of their bed & breakfast) and then we hit the Silos to check out the Magnolia Market at the Silos, Silos Baking Co, Magnolia Seed & Supply Co., the iconic food trucks, and all that is new at Magnolia… the Shops at Magnolia, the beautiful church, woofle ball field, Magnolia Press Coffee Shop, and the Magnolia Home furniture store (which I completely forgot was new there too… so that was a welcome surprise!)  I will blog about all of these areas to experience at the Silos, in a near future blog post… so stay tuned for that.  I had been to Magnolia before in 2018, so I’d already seen half of the complex… but if you are going for the first time I’d give yourself 2 days at Magnolia so you can really relax and take it all in without feeling rushed… and another day or two as well to take in all else there is to shop and see in Waco.. if I had had another day of my trip, I would have spent an entire day just relaxing at home in the house! I’ll share about all the places to shop, dine, and stay in Waco too, in a future post… soon!

I hope you enjoyed this post about my stay at the Magnolia House, a bucket list experience for me, for sure!!  If you are interested in staying here, or any of their other Magnolia-owned Fixer Upper vacation rentals… check out their booking informations here, and plan your trip!…. a romantic getaway, or split the cost with a group of friends or family for a fun girls trip or couples getaway!!… you will be so glad you did! 

I’ll be in touch with more about Magnolia at the Silos, and other things to do in Waco, and my sneak peek at The Carriage House.. all in future posts…so make sure you are signed up for my Email list so you don’t miss any of my new posts! …. oh 😉 and I am going to be doing some Magnolia Giveaways soon – on my Instagram, and one special one just for my Email list followers! Stay tuned! Until then, message me or comment below if you have any questions about the Magnolia House or my trip.. I’d be so happy to help you as you plan your fun trip to Waco!

Happy Travels, friends!



Planning Tips for the Year

Hi friends, I hope you are enjoying your new year so far! If you were like me, you began making plans for 2021 the minute you watched the ball drop at midnight… travel plans, new year resolutions, personal and professional goals you’ve set for yourself… Having plans is a great thing! They help us focus our time and energy effectively on achieving what we aspire to do, and it give us something to be excited about for all that is to come. I have always found that the more time I allow myself to ‘plan’, the smoother my life goes, the more I achieve, and the more I enjoy my productive time and down time. While no plan is fool-proof and we must stay flexible to change, and open to spontanaety too, I really believe that the mantra (my mom always told me) that”failing to plan, is planning to fail” really does hold true in our day to day lives.

Today I thought I’d share some ways I plan in my own life as we continue moving into this new year… ways that help me to multi-task and manage my family, businesses and home. As we can all relate, the juggle struggle is real… so any ways that we can make life easier on ourselves, the better!

Use a Planner!

I am a huge proponent of using a Planner… and I spend a bit of time each year selecting which planner to use because the book means so dang much to me… it is my bible of sorts as I use it to keep track of literally everything and everyone in my life.. schedules, appointments, work deadlines, special occasions, trip details… everything! When I have a lot going on it can be therapeutic even, to get everything off of my mind and down on paper, organized in one consistent place… my saving grace.

Target has a wide selection of tried-and-true planners I love, and I have used Erin Condren planners as well and love hers! But this year I tried a new planner by Paper Panduh and am loving it! The soft colors, subtle graphics, pretty fonts, and weekly layout design all spoke to me. I like that there is a bit of space next to the typical lines for me to get a little creative if I have time… using stickers or having space to write more notes. I am a visual person and like to pretty things up, plus I keep all my planners for years to come, as I like to think one day I’ll be in my 80s, rocking quietly in my granny chair looking back thru all of my old planners, remembering the years of my life (& wondering how the heck I did it all some 40 years earlier)… and I’ll want the books to be pretty… so I kind of do it for my future 80 year old self too.. 😉


I take list-making to the extreme probably… just ask my husband… he LOVES getting lists from me. But I picked up this trait from my own mom and can say for certain this organizational genetic trait has definitely been passed down to my daughters… as they list out everything!… So let’s break down my list-making habit a bit further…

Daily Lists…

Each morning I start my day either at my work office desk or my home office on the weekends, with a cup of coffee and a blank piece of notepad paper to write out all my list of to-dos for the day… emails and calls I need to make, work-related tasks I have to complete, meetings I may have… all the way through to evening with kids activities, home chores… you get the drift. As the day goes along, I satisfactorally (is that a word?) cross things off…and what is not crossed off, I carry over to the next morning’s list. These daily lists keep me on task with what is priority, and helps me not forget anything major, and stay productive all day long. One word to the wise though… don’t over-list yourself, because it can feel very disappointing when you only complete half a list because what you planned to accomplish in one day would realistically take 3 days to get all done…so be practical and patient with yourself.

These pretty lists are designed by my daughters and I’s company, Kai Kai Brai – you can shop them here!

A Journal of Master Lists…

So this may seem like taking list making to the extreme but I find it really helpful to keep a journal of all my bigger project lists in one centralized notebook. I take a Journal and divide out all of these major parts of my life into ‘categories’ of sorts… so I have a few pages dedicated to each business I own and run, a few pages for family things, a few pages for home projects, etc. Then, when I think of something that needs done…. like, schedule my son’s senior pictures (cue mom’s-ugly-cry)… I write that down under the family pages… if I remember I need to call the pool company to open up the pool in the Spring, I write that under the ‘home project’ pages… that way I don’t have 3000 random things wrote down from work, to kids, to home all mixed in on one overwhelming, never-ending list, but rather strategically placed in their proper categorized lists… (Did I mention I am type-A??… moving on)…

I’ve used plain-jane college-ruled notebooks for this, and I’ve used pretty journals, or even the back notes section of my yearly planner works well too… I do find that the prettier, the better and the more apt I am to use it – kind of like when you have cute work-out clothes, it encourages you to actually want to put them on… and work out… it’s a bit of mind-trickery, but it works!

Set Tasks for Set Days

Another planning strategy that is really helpful for me, is I set certain tasks for certain days each week. For example, I do laundry on Sundays and Monday nights.. I wash my car on Fridays, I have a cleaner who comes to my home every-other Thursday, so I pre-clean my house on Wednesday nights (this… this is something I should work on…why do I pre-clean my house before a cleaner comes?… because I don’t want my cleaner to see my house dirty… everyone has their quirks) 😉 moving on… Planning for the same tasks on the same days/nights (within reason when things come up) is helpful for those of us who are creatures of habit and like schedules.. and it can lessen the burden too as you come upon things that you see needs done… like walking past a huge pile of laundry on a busy Thursday night… instead of feeling overwhelmed that I should be doing that pile of laundry right at that moment… my mind’s eye just remembers – oh, that task isn’t for me to tackle until Sunday…

Meal Planning

If there is one thing I have realized is a never-ending responsibility of mine… is that my family needs fed… like every day… multiple times a day… forever. I decided for my own sanity, to break it down in this way… Sundays is a big family brunch or dinner. Mondays – I cook a meal at home. Tuesdays – I cook another meal at home. Wednesdays – I put dinner in the crock pot in the morning so it’s ready for a busy night. Thursday is leftovers night (or very easy dinner (tomato soup & grilled cheese… cereal… let’s be real.. we all do it!) because by Thursday nights I am tired and over it! Fridays we eat out or order in, to celebrate the week!… and Saturdays are simple Saturdays (or fend-for-yourself… aka – mom’s got the day off!) Each morning before I walk out the door, I look at what I have planned for dinner that night and do any prep that needs done hours beforehand… like get meat out to unthaw, marinate, or prep the crock pot… when I get home that night, I am ready to cook!

I meal plan for 2 weeks worth of dinners and only get groceries every/other week (twice a month), with the occasional stop for bread and milk on the off-weeks… I keep my meal planning lists on my phone’s Notes page, because that’s where I also keep my running grocery list (as my phone is always on me and I remember things we need at the most random times and places.)

A Few Other Tips

Those are the key points of my daily and weekly planning tips. A few other things I do, is in January I make all the annual doctor and dentist appointments for my family for the year, book our travel destinations or at least plan for which weeks we are going to travel, and decide which house projects we are going to tackle for the year.. and then write them all down on their respective lists and in my planner… 😉 My only other recommendation is to have a “command central” space in your home… maybe that is a home office, an area of your bedroom, or a desk space in your kitchen, or even if you are tight on space, a portable canvas tote bin… some place where you can keep all the planning things of your life, together… school calendars, travel confirmations, notes, your lists, planner…

Some of this is pretty standard stuff friends, but sometimes it helps to create a system of sorts that works for you, that you can follow each day, week, and year as a guide to help yourself through life, staying organized, on track, accomplished, and well…sane.

I hope my planning tips were helpful for you! Like I said, I’d love to hear how you plan and organize your day-to-day as well… so comment on this post or feel free to message me!

Wishing you all a happy, fulfilling, beautiful year that energizes your spirit and brings peace to your soul!


My Trip to Cape Coral, FL

Hi friends, I am not sure about you, but I can not believe we are already through half of our first month of 2021! I hope the new year is treating you well and there are days of hope and happiness in your year ahead. I just got home to Michigan on Monday from our two-week vacation to Cape Coral, Florida so this last week has been busy catching up on life. Before I got too far into the new year though, I wanted to share with you about our trip to Cape Coral to celebrate the new year… It proved to be the perfect time for our family to escape to warmer weather for some rest and relaxation as we wrapped up 2020 and welcomed in 2021!

If you have never been to Cape Coral Florida, it is a beautiful area in southwest Florida near Fort Myers with over 400 miles of canals that lead to the big water, allowing for countless beautiful homes to be ‘water-front’ properties. We rented a gorgeous home via VRBO, and stayed for two full weeks, from the end of December thru the first week and a half of January. Our home was a 4 bedroom, 3 bath in a quiet neighborhood with the gorgeous canal to the back of the house, nestled among other beautiful homes in the area. Key features were the screened-in pool, outdoor living and kitchen patio area, game room, office, living, kitchen, dining, and laundry room, and came equipped with every amenity we could possibly need for our stay.

We rented two vehicles (we have quite the crew to cart around) and also a boat so we were able to enjoy traveling the endless canals, do some fishing, and take in some day trips by water to Captiva and Sanibel Island where we watched dolphins, walked the beaches, and collected sea shells.

Our home was actually located very close to the Cape Harbour Marina, Restaurants and Shops so this proved ideal to be in short walking distance to enjoy nice dinners, boutique shopping, and the festive feel of the active marina as boats came in and went. I’d definitely recommend Rumrunners there, Fathoms Restaurant, and The French Press. Cape Harbour also has two towers of condos, so if you are not looking to rent an entire home for your stay, this would be a very nice alternative to enjoy this beautiful area of Cape Coral.

Another condo rental area I would highly recommend is the Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village… this resort is gorgeous and equipped with restaurants and a spa. We enjoyed Pinchers, a lively and festive seafood dinner spot there at the Westin one evening, known for it’s fresh crab dishes… we devoured this appetizer (a whole meal literally!) to start our meal there.. everything was so delicious!

Other Restaurants besides Rumrunners, The French Press, Fathoms, and Pinchers we also dined at (or ordered in) were Duffy’s Sports Grill, Ford’s Garage, and Moretti’s Italian Grill.

I loved the location of Cape Coral, as it was far enough south that we could really embrace the warmest weather of the Florida climate, while nestled in a place that was a bit more low-key in terms of tourism, yet close enough to places like Sanibel and Captiva Islands to enjoy their beautiful waters and beaches, and also near Fort Myers’ busier, more touristy ocean-front appeal during our stay as well. Cape Coral was the perfect place for us to settle in and enjoy ‘life away from life’ for a couple of weeks, trading in our Michigan snow days for Florida’s palm trees, ocean views, and gorgeous sunsets.

Here’s a few more pictures from the home we stayed in and my family’s trip…

If you are thinking of visiting Cape Coral, or have questions on the particular home we rented…message me.. I’d be happy to give you more info, details, and insight!

I hope to share more of my 2021 travels with you on my blog this year…I already have a few more trips planned and I can’t wait! If you haven’t yet followed me on my social medias, or signed up for my newsletter…I’d love for you to do so today (links & sign-up here on my site) so we can stay in touch!

Happy Travels… & New Year, friends!

Xoxo, Jaime Lyn

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