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Life

Where does your food come from?

While I prefer knowing exactly where my food is coming from sometimes it just isn’t possible to spend your weekends at the farmer’s market or to grow your food. In this fast paced, on the go world I end up having to run to the local grocery store and do my best to make good choices. Having a local grocery store that cares enough to supply local homegrown food choices makes making healthy choices for my family a far easier process.

There are far several benefits to choosing local homegrown food. One of the first that comes to mind are the health benefits. When crops don’t have to travel long distance they can be grown for taste and health, rather than grown specifically with the ability to survive while being transported long distance. Buying and eating locally grown food is also healthy for the economy, instead of purchasing food grown across the country or even in other parts of the world you are able to invest in your local economy.

Get all the health benefits of homegrown produce with Hy-Vee’s Local Homegrown Twitter Party July 22nd at 2pm CST with #WinFreshWinLocal

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A team of Hy-Vee’s in-house health experts will be on-hand and ready to answer all of your fresh, local, homegrown questions at our upcoming Twitter Party!

Whether you’re looking to eat more nutritiously or to support your local growers (or both!) we’ll be tweeting all things FRESH, LOCAL and HOMEGROWN and we want to hear from you! When you share your questions with #WinFreshWinLocal during the Twitter Party you’ll automatically be entered to win 1 of 4 Hy-Vee Gift Cards valued at $250 each! A great opportunity for you and your family to enjoy all the fruits and vegetables grown within 200 miles of Hy-Vee stores across the Midwest!

I am excited to announce our partnership with Hy-Vee for this upcoming Twitter Party on July 23, 2015 at 3:00 CT.

Don’t Forget: keep your eyes out for the Local Homegrown program logo when you’re shopping at Hy-Vee!

 

Do you think about where your food comes from?

Fashion, Life

StitchFix as an “Inbetweenie”

I’ve been seeing StitchFix Blog Reviews and Social Media posts forever but I was always so skeptical about it because finding clothes that fit me is stupid hard. I’m in a weird place size wise. I’m not fully “plus size” and I’m not exactly “straight size” either. I’m what has been labeled an “Inbetweenie” in the fashion world. I’m a pretty solid size 14 in pants, which is the largest size StitchFix currently offers. In most tops I’m a large, unless it has no stretch and then I usually size up to XL. When I go clothes shopping I am one of those people who go in with 9823 pieces and comes out empty handed because nothing fits right. I’m a CrossFit coach and spend the majority of my time in workout clothes, which is awesome. Except for when I actually want to try to look like a grown up who has their act together on occasion and I realize I have no fashionable options because I really don’t know how to dress like a grown up.

Despite my skepticism I signed up for my first fix back in May. I answered the questions in the style quiz, filled out the sizes to the best of my ability, signed up for my first fix with my only hope being that I could at least fit into 1 or 2 of the pieces they sent me. They charge you a $20 Styling Fee, which you can use to put towards your purchase if you decide to keep the items. If you keep all 5 items from the fix you get a 25% discount. The clothing they select is, for me, on the higher end of the price point I usually spend on clothing. Since I don’t buy “grown up” clothes that often I figured it would be worth it to invest in some versatile pieces that would last awhile, even if it was above what I would normally spend for clothes.

After I spent some time making sure my style profile and sizes were right, as well as updating my fashion board on pinterest and writing my stylist a note I scheduled my first fix. It showed up right on time in a beautifully packaged box with a note from my stylist.

Despite the fact I had just gotten home from the gym and looked like a hot mess, I ripped the package open and tried everything on.

 

 

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The first thing I tried on were, of course, the jeans. Ohhhh the jeans. They were buttery soft. They fit over my butt and thighs, but they were AT LEAST 6 inches too long. and they were supposedly a petite cut. They were $78. But they fit over my butt and thighs! Ultimately, I decided I didn’t want to pay $78 for jeans that I would have to pay to hem. Looking back now I kind of wish I had kept them. Lesson Learned!

The top was a fun color and I loved the crochet, but it wasn’t stretchy at all and I felt so constricted in it… if it had been a knit material I would have kept it for sure. But it was a return.

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Next was this adorable tank top. I loved the print and the length, but again, it wasn’t stretchy at all and it was way too tight on my boobs. I felt trapped. Another tank that if it had been in a more flexible fabric would have been a keeper. But I returned it.

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Ah, this dress. I love love love loved the way this dress looked. It was rather formal though. I had asked for a summer dress and this was a bit of a thicker material. It was also $74. And I have no where to wear it. I literally am in workout clothes 80% of the time and the other 20% is casual. I go no where fancy. If I had a special event coming up I would have kept it. But to pay $74 for a dress I would maybe wear… I couldn’t do it. Return.

So – Good news from my first fix is that most of it fit. Bad News is that none of it was something I wanted to keep. Good news – they sent a cute pair of dangly earrings that were $28, I don’t normally buy dangly earrings but since my $20 styling fee would be lost if I returned the entire fix I figured I could make good use of a cute pair of earrings instead of forfeiting $20.

Sometimes all it takes to feel fancy is the right pair of earrings. Thanks @stitchfix #stitchfix #fancy

A post shared by Courtney Norman (@courtnorm) on

After my first fix I had a better idea of what kind of feedback to give my stylist. Stretchy material on everything (I live in Spandex!), more casual dresses, no earrings. I scheduled my second fix for the next month. I have been searching high and low for some cute, casual and stylish tanks to pair with my shorts for a pulled together summer look. Maybe a casual light weight maxi. And jeans that weren’t made for someone with legs as long as Taylor Swift.

My second fix showed up and I was just as excited as when I received the first one. A cute note from my stylist about the things she saw on my pinterest board and tips for styling each of the items included in my fix.

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Of course, the first thing I tried on was the pair of jeans she sent. I wanted them to work, I really loved them… but there was no way they were going to button or cover the top 2″ of my butt #liftingprobs

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The shirt was cute. And comfortable. But not something I felt like I couldn’t get at Target.

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This was a fun option, it was actually a split back tank – which is something I had pinned on my Fashion board on Pinterest.

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I liked it, but it was one of two split back tanks in my fix and I didn’t want to keep both. Oh darn, now I spoiled what the next thing was! Another split back tank!

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This one seemed a bit more grown up. It was a neutral grey, which also was more versatile. I like that I can wear it by itself and it can be a little more fun and sexy, or I can layer it over a cami for a more professional look. Keeper!

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And the grand finale. I loved this dress when I pulled it out of the box. It was soft and I felt like it really complimented my figure. I liked it, I just didn’t like it $58 worth. Maybe I’m just too cheap. Maybe it’s the fact that I wear “real” clothes only 20% of the time. I don’t know. I’m really looking for more versatile pieces that can be mixed and matched for several different looks. And while this was a stellar find, I just couldn’t pull the trigger. Returned.

Overall I’ve really enjoyed my StitchFix experience. I was concerned with fit at first, as I am the largest size they advertise, but I feel like the stuff they sent fit me just as good, if not better, than the stuff I would go try on in a store. I don’t think I’ll keep doing a fix every month because, like I said, I’m cheap. But when I feel like I need to spice up my wardrobe I’ll let StitchFix help me with that. If you want to try it, use my referral link! I get credit for everyone who uses my link and signs up for a fix. So basically you get a fun new wardrobe and it helps me pay for mine. Winning.

Have you tried StitchFix?

Life, Travel

Summer Travels

Traveling is one of my all time favorite things to do. Not only do you get to disconnect from the every day hustle and bustle and recharge, but you also get to experience new things and make memories with your family. We have made travel a priority and have worked hard to make vacations a special experience for our family. Aside from plain old hard work you can also make planning vacations a little easier by using travel rewards Credit Cards, like the Discover It Miles Card. It has no annual fee, the miles never expire, and you can fly any airline at any time! Just use it for regular purchases and you can rack up rewards to use towards your summer travels.

 

Just before summer started we spent a week in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. We stayed at The Gran Porto Real, our first all inclusive!

 

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The pool was by far our favorite place. We had a view of it from the balcony in our room. Payton was in the pool within the first hour we were there and it feels like she didn’t leave for the whole week!

We made it!! #normanfamilyvacation2015 #mexico

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We spent most days hanging out by the pool. Lounging, reading, swimming, napping.

 

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An all inclusive vacation was a bit different than our typical Disney vacation or our previous Costa Rica and Baja trips, we spent more time relaxing and having no plans instead of planning out every detail and adventure. We did a spontaneous bike ride tour of the area one morning and ended up down by the beach and toured some Mayan Ruins.

 

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We also saw these awesome palm trees – they had been blown over by a hurricane but continued to grow even though they were growing sideways!

 

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One of my favorite things about taking vacations is being able to share these experiences with Payton. Growing up with memories of spending quality time together exploring, adventuring, and relaxing is something you can’t buy.

Travel is something that helps keep us focused during the busy seasons. I am so thankful to be able to work hard along side my husband and best friend and know that we are building our dream, working hard so we can play hard. With that hard work and smart planning with rewards card like the Discover It Miles card, nothing seems out of reach. Work hard, plan smart and you can experience the world.

 

Mexico was our one big trip this year, but we also have some travel plans to spend a few days in Minnesota next month and then we are going to Jamaica in September for Chris’ 30th Birthday/Our 8th Anniversary Celebration! For that trip we will be leaving the kiddo with grandma and enjoying ourselves sans kiddo on 7 mile Beach!

 

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I Can’t Wait!

 

What are your Summer Travel plans?

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.