My recent trip to Waco, Texas to visit Magnolia Farms was so fun and a true bucket list adventure!
However, if you have a couple of more days to adventure around the area, here are a few places we found that were almost more fun than Magnolia.
Take the time to visit the Magnolia House B&B.
This house is actually in the town of McGregor, which is about 22 miles from Waco. McGregor has a population around 5000.
My first impression of the B&B was pure joy!
It would fun to stay here in the “winter” because truth be told, there isn’t a whole lot else to do within walking distance of the house.
Not that that is a bad thing. Just being at the Magnolia B&B house with friends or family would be memorable.
Please keep in mind that unless you have reservations, you will not be able to go past the iron gate that encloses the property. (Click here for pictures of the interior.)
And according to the reservation website, all dates are booked for 2017. Keeping my glass half full, that means there is something to look forward to in 2018. 🙂
Since we were already in McGregor, we went to the two antique shops, the Cedar Chest and Cedar Chest too, that Joanna and Chip frequent to find pieces for their homes.
If you want an antique scavenger hunt, walking-down-memory-lane adventure, this is for you.
I don’t know how many times, my parents and I said, “I remember using that!” or “If only I would’ve kept that, we would be rich!”
And after walking around thousands of square feet of goodies, I bought this.
Side story: I actually had an ice cream scoop in my basket when we were at the Magnolia shops. The scoop was $20. I totally justified spending the money on an identical scoop because it made for a great story if people asked me where I got it. And then I realized that it wasn’t that great of a story.
When this scoop found me at Cedar Chest Too, and it was only $2.95, I knew it was meant to be the scoop for the storytelling.
On our way back to Waco, we drove thru Chip and Joanna’s first subdivision. (You can read all about it here.)
According to the article, this is a,
37-home, gated community off Bosque Boulevard called Magnolia Villas. The garden homes will sell for $140,000 to $200,000, which includes the price of the lots.
This subdivision was started in 2011 and as we drove around, none of the homes were for sale and the final two lots were almost completed.
Every single one of the houses was “perfect”.
After driving around and looking at houses, which I could do all day, we stopped by Harp Design Studios.
We spent about fifteen minutes here. I thought this would be a combination of Cedar Crest and Magnolia.
It was not.
Although the items that were available for sale were fun to look at, the studio is located in a residential neighborhood and parking is very limited.
But our day wasn’t over yet.
If you are looking for some local Waco shopping, please make it a point to go to Spice Village. There is a collection of shops with something for everyone.
Here is their website.
Our final adventure on the trip was to Homestead Craft Village.
Here is their website to learn more.
I could write another 1000 words about this village right outside Waco.
This is a community based on:
an agrarian- and craft-based intentional Christian community. Its literature stresses simplicity, sustainability, self-sufficiency, cooperation, service and quality craftsmanship. It also strives to live in peaceful coexistence with the land, other people and other faiths.
This is a taste of what simplicity looks like.
We had our own little private impromptu tour with Colleen who worked at Brazos Walking Sticks. A company that made a large assortment of walking canes that is located behind the Simply Fabric Store.
She shared her personal history with Homestead, the history of Homestead and the process of making walking sticks.
She had the best summation of what the village was all about.
“We are a community that lives simply and are self sufficient. It’s not that we don’t use the technology that is available in society, but we are not a slave to it.”
I love that. Something to think about.
There are so many other things to check out in this area. This is only the tip of the iceberg. 🙂
We found this magazine in our hotel room and used it as our guide.
Thanks for letting me share! I hope this inspires you to head south and visit!
Did you see on Instagram today that Magnolia Farms also owns Magnolia Realty?
Believe it or not, I know this!
But I only know this because when we were in Waco, we stopped for a late lunch at Captain Billy Whizzbangs.
And this best burger and potato fries in the world restaurant, is right across the street from Magnolia Realty!
Click here to look at their website and listings.
I was going to write more about our visit, but I figured that you, like me, once you clicked and went to Magnolia Realty….you wouldn’t come back.
By the way, I want the 2304 Landon Branch house. It was featured on Season Two. 🙂
Catch more of our Waco highlights later this week.
P.S. My Dad and I have the same slightly warped sense of humor. We thought we were hilarious taking a picture of him holding his t-shirt in front of the “Whizzers” (bathrooms).
P.S.S. Even at our mature ages, bathroom humor is always funny. 🙂
Is visiting Magnolia Farms on your bucket list, a potential dream come true or something you would do if you just happened to be in Waco?
Magnolia Farms was on my bucket list.
And last week I checked it off the list.
My Mom and Dad winter in southern Texas. When I visited them last January, we made plans to meet in Waco as they were making their way back home to Wisconsin.
So on Monday evening I flew from the Minneapolis airport on a direct flight to Dallas. After a quick and easy two hour flight, I rented a car and drove an hour and a half down to Waco. The drive was almost a straight shot down I-35. Well marked highways, plus having Siri on my side made for an easy drive.
My Mom was a little bit nervous for me to drive by myself.
Once a Mother, forever a Mother. 🙂
Safely arriving at the hotel, we caught up with each other and then grabbed a good night sleep.
This was my parents fourth trip to Magnolia. They wanted to arrive when the shops opened at 9am, but I am not very good at being productive in the morning.
We arrived at about 10:30. We parked about three blocks away along the street. We had heard a lot of rumors about how terrible parking was, but we did not have a problem.
I found the area to be interesting. It must be from the TV images of the Gaines’ house and other sights, but I thought that Magnolia would cover a more spacious area.
It does not.
We all know that the silos they bought used to be an operating business. Truth be told Chip and Joanna Gaines must be incredible visionaries because I would not have seen the same potential in this area as they did.
I guess that’s why I am here telling you about their place and they own it. Lol
The first thing we did was enter the main Magnolia Shop.
Everything is wonderful.
On a Tuesday morning, there was plenty of room to casually walk around and take your time looking at the items that are so brilliantly staged for sale.
We did chat with some people that said they had been there over the weekend and it was impossible to get around. Tuesday compared to a Saturday at the Silos would be two different experiences.
From the shops, we walked over to the new bakery.
They have a great system set up to move as many people in and out of a small area, very quickly.
My Mom picked out a carrot cake cupcake with yummy frosting, my Dad had two cinnamon rolls and I enjoyed a sugar cookie.
I think we paid around $25 for all four items. A little pricey, but delicious.
After the bakery we walked along the silos where they have a great photo-op set up.
We ventured into the cutest garden area that included a quaint garden shop. In addition to our purchases from the Magnolia shop, I bought a tea towel that has a picture of basil on it and my Mom bought a little tin basket and an airplant to put in it.
Outside of the garden shop, framed out by the Magnolia shop, silos and food trucks is an area for kids to run and play. There were wood blocks, all types of balls and varieties of other games. They had huge black and white striped bean bags along the edge of the astroturfed area for parents to relax.
Every single person that we talked to that worked there was nice and genuinely happy to be there.
These two guys were so excited when I asked them if I could take their picture. I told them that I was going to put their picture on my blog. They knew that this was the beginning of them being “famous”!
We spent about two hours at Magnolia.. But I think that if you plan on going on a weekend, you will probably spend twice that amount of time.
Either way, it was fun and well worth the trip.
P.S. I’ll share some other things we did while in Waco later this week. Our trip only got better from here. 🙂
Welcome to today’s edition of: A little of this and a little of that.
I have handcuffed myself to the desk until I am finished with my 2016 taxes.
This time of year is so “financial” that I haven’t done anything “big” that is blog worthy.
But I do have some little things to share.
First, let’s turn my frown upside down and find a bright spot about doing taxes.
Oh wait, I got this.
This is my view as I sit upstairs in the loft hard at work.
And here is a picture of the lake. Melting snow and ice assures you that Spring is just around the corner.
It will still be another six weeks before the dock goes back into the water, but knowing that we are on the back end of winter makes me smile.
It’s not so bad being stuck in this spot. 🙂
In other news, I have been working on my photography and editing skills.
In fact, next week I am going down to the cities to spend the day with Spencer. We are grabbing our cameras and walking around shooting a kind of “He Sees/She Sees” contest.
Also while I am with Spencer we are going to update the blog by moving some things around, maybe add a current photo of myself and tweaking the layout.
Stay tuned for that.
One last “little” that I can finally share with you.
I am going to WACO!
Waco as in the city of Magnolia Farms! My parents will be on their way home to Wisconsin from southern Texas and they are going to meet me for two days of adventure! I can’t even imagine how I will act if I actually see Chip and Joanna.
I have to wait for 26 more days. Waiting, not my strong suit. 🙂
There have been times in my life when a situation or story has pulled on my heartstrings. Those things typically come out of the blue and stick with me forever.
And It happened again the other day.
I received a custom order request from a potential Etsy customer. This is what she asked:
My father passed away and I have two of his favorite sweaters. I was wondering if I could send them to you and If you can make pillows out of them?
With misty eyes and no hesitation, I immediately responded. I told Dana that I had made pillow covers for this exact reason before. I sent her pricing and details.
I left the return message to her short and sweet because typically customers are shopping around the Etsy world to get the best deal and you don’t hear from them again.
Dana replied instantly.
Twenty-four conversations later, the sweaters were shipped and the transformation began.
Originally, I had offered to return any unused fabric instead of tossing it in the garbage, but Dana felt that she couldn’t handle seeing the leftover pieces.
Heart-strings pulled again.
She wanted 2 covers from her father’s St. Patrick’s Day sweater that he wore every year. There were shamrocks on the sleeves and we decided that coasters would be perfect for these!
I sent Dana a picture of the first finished St. Patrick’s Day pillow and she responded.
OMG Wendy I can’t believe it! I just love it! Can’t stop crying! Thank you.
The other sweater is a Christmas sweater that, again, her father chose as his attire every holiday.
Dana wanted the largest size of pillow cover I could get from this large sized sweater. Making one 20×20 inch cover from the front and one from the back turned out beautifully.
As I sent the finished pillows off into the mail today back to Dana, I must admit that I was kind of emotional.
I was so honored that a complete stranger would allow and trust me to take care of her wonderful memories of her father.
I asked Dana if I could share her story. This is what she said:
Sure you can blog about “Grandpa’s holiday sweaters”. Over the last twenty years my parents came to my home to celebrate the different holidays and never did a year go by that grandpa did not wear his sweater. As the children got older they would kid about the sweaters. “Do you think grandpa will remember to wear his sweater this year or will he forget and wear a different one?”
He never forgot.
And when he passed away I immediately requested those sweaters. I decided to go on Etsy to see how we can all enjoy these precious sweaters and I found your website. It was hard to decide if we should leave the sweaters alone or not but when my son saw that you can make pillows with the sweaters he was sold. He wants to use the pillow after he sprays it with grandpa’s cologne and have sweet dreams of him and his grandpa.
Heartstrings broken. 🙂
I needed to refuel.
Blogging about decorating my home, other people’s homes and running an online business; This is my dream job.
At first it seemed selfish to me that I wanted to take a vacation.
I mean really, I work from home in my pajamas, (don’t judge) and make my own schedule, but quite honestly I work very long hours, seven days a week.
So, last Fall when Nikki and I decided that we wanted to surprise our husbands with a vacation, we couldn’t have picked a better time than this past week.
Jimmy and Nikki are seasoned airbnb.com renters. They knew how this whole online property rental thing worked, and that calmed my nerves about trying something new.
We wanted to do something that the four of us had never done. Using the airbnb website was simple and easy and quickly helped us decide what our vacation would entail.
The boys, as we lovingly call them, had no idea where we were going. Okay, wait…that’s not entirely true.
They knew we were going to the Orlando airport because I used Wade’s frequent flyer points for our flight. Other than that, we told them to pack casually, include swim trunks and keep an open mind.
So early on Wednesday morning, and I mean 4am early, we started a long weekend vacation.
After an uneventful flight, we rented a car and drove an hour north of Orlando to a small town called Sanford.
We directed the boys to Lake Monroe as our final destination and surprised them with a five night stay on this 60 ft. houseboat.
Before you ask, no, we couldn’t take the boat out onto the lake, but we were so busy sightseeing and running around the area, that being out in the middle of the lake would have made for a completely different trip.
After meeting the delightful owners Rebecca and Michael, and receiving a tour of the boat and the ins and outs how everything worked, we were on our own.
The first thing we did was decide who got which bedroom. I wanted to flip a coin for the master, but Nikki said we could have it.
(You can see why we are friends.) 🙂
The master was at the back of the boat.
This is a queen size bed with the greatest mattress and pillows. We had a TV in our room and a patio door too that lead to the ladder for the upstairs living space.
Our master bathroom was right beside our bedroom and had a full shower, whirlpool tub, toilet and sink.
Across from our bathroom was a closet that contained a washer and dryer and next to that was Jimmy and Nikki’s bathroom.
Their bedroom was next and contained a full size bed with the same kind of comfy mattress and pillows.
Now that you have seen the bedrooms, let’s start back at the front of the boat.
When you first stepped on you were greeted by this table and chairs sitting in the sunshine.
Through a sliding glass door is the beautifully decorated main living space, dining area and galley kitchen.
As I already mentioned, we had a sliding glass door in our bedroom that allowed you to go outside and use a ladder to get to the floor above. This is that ladder on the back of the boat.
But wait, see this ladder and hatch inside at the end of the kitchen counter?
This was another way to climb upstairs and relax in this amazing space.
As you pop up from the downstairs this is the area that you see first.
And these are the pictures that were the selling point when deciding which property to rent.
Can you see why 4 Midwesterners in the grips of a dark and gray winter couldn’t turn down this view?
This boat was fully stocked with everything we needed. In fact, Rebecca had even stocked the refrigerator with a dozen eggs, bacon and bagels with cream cheese, not to mention a wonderful bottle of red wine which we thoroughly enjoyed.
We filled our days with trips to Daytona beach and a full day at Universal where Wade was like a kid in a candy store at Harry Potter.
Historic Sanford is a very small town but it did not disappoint. Restaurants, bars, boutique and antique shopping and even a little Mardi Gras parade rounded out our final day in Florida.
It’s amazing how sunshine, relaxation and sometimes pure silliness can refuel a body.
P.S. If you are interested in this airbnb rental, you can find it here. Thank you Rebecca for supplying the photos of your lovely houseboat.
P.S.S. In full disclosure, I was not compensated in any way from airbnb or Rebecca for this fantastic vacation.