After ending our stint in Austin with tacos of course, we said goodbye to this city that captured our hearts (and our appetites) and headed north towards Waco. Austin was the perfect way to start our adventure, but my heart was ready to settle into Waco and experience all that is Magnolia. A lover of Joanna's design eye, Chip's humor, and an avid watcher of Fixer Upper since the start, it seemed a bit surreal to be this close to where it all takes place. It was so neat that all four of us, husbands included, had just read Chip and Joanna's first book, The Magnolia Story. Their sweet story of how they fell in love, how they admired and complimented each others' differences in order to build a solid team and marriage, and how they little by little used their gifts to build their family and their dreams, while always staying faithful to God, to each other, and to their community in Waco, was inspiring and accessible. Their success didn't come without its fair share of trials, and their fame wasn't sought after as so many reality stars we see on TV today. They took some risks, invested in their community, and let God take the driver's seat. And His driving took them to a farmhouse outside of Waco that would later introduce millions to a little thing called shiplap, to a pilot episode of a reality show on HGTV that has since shattered any and all ratings for the network, and to an abandoned grain mill now filled with so much life and beauty, not to mention 25,000 visitors a week. And somehow, in the midst of this success story, they have maintained this sweet, simple, and genuine spirit that sings out of every pocket of Magnolia.
It was easy to see Joanna's vision brought to life around every corner of this place. Situated within a city block on what felt like the outside corner of the city, with the two twin grain silos anchoring its Waco roots, I felt as if we had just entered our own little alternate universe in the middle of an otherwise typical Tuesday morning for the rest of the 130,000 or so Waco residents. Joanna's knack for black and white contrasts became the palette for the market, with pretty black iron gates, as well as the smiling faces of so many sweet employees greeting us as we walked into the property. The smell of popcorn and cupcakes filled the air, dads threw footballs to kids on a large green astroturf field, and smiling women carrying simple craft paper bags filed out of the Market, stopping to take a picture on the steps or under the famous "Miles to Magnolia" sign in front of the silos. A line of cute food trucks bordered the premises, as did several arrangements of spring flowers, herbs growing in rusted out eavesdrops and antique chicken coupes, and vegetable gardens with chalkboard markers welcoming visitors to stop and get a bout of spring fever in the sweet Magnolia Seed and Supply. White farmhouse picnic tables with black and white striped awnings, big wooden porch swings, and striped lounge chairs dotted the property, and Johnnyswim filled the sound system, inviting people to relax and stay awhile. It was all pretty magical and I got emotional every time I thought of the sweet vision that brought this all to life.
The inside of the Market was equally as beautiful as the property itself. Every corner was styled to perfection and never have I been in a store where I seriously could have purchased one of everything. From the subway tiled kitchen area, to the flower market, to the sweet Matilda Jane corner with that tea set I knew Mila had to have, I loved it all. Knowing we'd be back in a couple of days, it was fun to just take it all in this first time around.
After a little shopping, and some major garden goal setting after admiring the Seed and Supply store, we claimed a picnic table and decided on soups and gourmet cheese sandwiches at the Cheddar Box food truck. My Sweet Granny grilled cheese, paired with butternut squash and tomato soup, and washed down with a mint and honey Moonshine Sweet Tea was the perfect lunch to enjoy at the Silos. And we made sure to save room for one last stop before making our way on the next leg of our adventure. A stop that was of course, the icing on the cupcake. :)
The Silos Baking Company was not without a line of people at all times during our visits to Magnolia. This line gave us a chance to admire the beauty Joanna put into restoring this building. I loved the subway tile contrasted with the charcoal black painted wood work, the blue ticking stripe aprons on the cupcake bakers and sellers, and the sweet names of all the different choices of perfectly frosted cupcakes. We went with Strawberries and Cream and Lemon Lavender, and the boys found us the perfect spot on the Parisian style outdoor patio. And the cupcakes were sweet and delicious.
It was a morning I won't forget anytime soon. But believe it or not, our Magnolia adventure was just getting started. And next up was a little town called McGregor, Texas.