Must Do: Visit the Silos

~It is a truth universally acknowledged that all Fixer Upper fans, in possession of transportation, must be in want of a trip to the Silos~

Joanna Gaines.

That chick knows her stuff.

There was a time when I knew nothing about decorating.

I bought my first home when I was 20 years old. I got it into my head that paying rent was just a little bit insane. I asked myself, “Why pour money out when you can put money toward owning; when you can spend less on a mortgage in some circumstances…”

My credit line was good; I had a good job, so I went for it. I bought a townhouse in Charleston, SC for $100,000. I dove right in to my new status as an independent woman/homeowner before my 21st birthday! #superproud

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I had this lovely 2 Bed/2 Bath condo and not the slightest idea how to decorate it. I spent months combing through the homegoods sections at Ross and TJ Maxx. Slowly but surely, I found pieces that felt beautiful to me. I found a supremely comfy Green couch for $53. I shopped sales for pots and pans, cups and plates. I found a table and chairs, even a bedroom set at an estate sale.

I had a blast accumulating mix and match pieces to fill my new house; to make it Feel like home.

I spent time with my grandma, painting furniture, hanging pictures, and cooking. Before long, my home rang out with an eclectic collection of cozy cottage decor that I loved. It had a truly homey vibe!

…And then I got married.

Granted, I lived in that house for 2 years before I even met my husband. But while dating, Dylan I lived 2 hours from one another! He moved in right after the honeymoon.

To combine two different households can be a challenge for any couple. Dylan and I both have strong, opinions and strong independent personalities. It took time (and a lot of “discussions”) to finally create a balance of beauty in our home. We moved a year ago, but our decorating styles (or lack of) went through alterations through our years there. We added a back-splash, a lighted closet under the stairs, we converted a guestroom into a nursery, updated furniture, paint and carpets, and so much more!

It was during that time of change that I discovered an amazing little influence called HGTV.

HGTV has amazing shows. It’s chock full of information and inspiration. Wanna watch a DIY renovation? It’s there. Wanna see some goobers searching for a home in Massapequa? It’s there. Wanna dream about moving to Hawaii? It’s there.

It’s also the home of one of my favorite guilty pleasures… Fixer Upper.

C’mon now. I know you’ve seen it too! But on the off chance you’ve never heard of this TV show, let me give you the skinny:

Chip and Joanna Gaines are a married couple in Waco, TX. They help people hunt for a house in need of renovations. They take over and do a massive overhaul of the property. Jo decorates that bad boy like nobody’s business. They even involve their 4 (almost 5) kids into each episode. Finally, they do a big reveal. The finished house Always knocks my personal socks right off!

It makes me laugh, it makes me cry, and it fills me with the resounding notion that with just a little practice, I could learn to decorate as boldly and beautifully as Joanna Gaines. She’s iconic! She’s graceful and beautiful. She loves the Lord. She’s a mommy with thriving businesses; an empire even! Sadly, they recently aired their final show. The good news? There are 5 seasons for us to look back on for inspiration!

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photo credit: Joanna’s blog at magnolia. com

Speaking of which, a couple seasons ago, the couple opened up a renovated property in the heart of Waco! They took these old, rusty grain silos turned them and the surrounding property into THE destination for decorators, travelers, families… just anyone!

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When we decided to move to TX last year, we absolutely factored in our proximity to the Magnolia Market in Waco! (it’s 2 hours South of us!)

I would love to take you on a little tour of that wonderful {magical} place; from my own, personal perspective!

If you’re planning a trip to the Silos, this should give you a helpful glimpse and possibly, the push you need to get down there!

WHAT TO DO:

The Silos property features a lovely Garden, a Lawn, Food trucks and picnic tables, a Bakery, and of course, the Market store!

WALK THE GARDEN:

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Beautiful flowers have grown along the surrounding gate. Neat little rows of blossoms line the path. In sections, you’ll find seasonal vegetables planted in boxes.  Depending on the season, you may even find roses, bigger than your hands!

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Me and Silas wander the garden

Aesthetically, it’s a work of art! Take a stroll along the paths. Have a seat and chat for a while in the shade. Wander into the Seed and Supply store!

Inside, there is cool air! Shop for wooden and metal containers and flower pots galore! There are seeds for planting, gardening tools, decor, and even graphic tees. You’ll also find an array of succulents for sale!

 

LAWN:

It’s big. It’s green. You can’t miss it! The lawn is a sprawling rectangle in the center of the property. Striped black and white beanbag chairs can be seen scattered throughout this playard.

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Guests can choose from a variety of sports equipment along the wall. Grab a football or soccer ball and start a game! Play Cornhole! Soak up some rays; construct with oversized domino-style wooden blocks. DSC_2304DSC_2353

The lawn is a busy place! It’s meant to be played in; lounged in. Rarely will you find this green space empty!

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It may be time to tell her, that’s not how you play corn-hole!

 

BAKERY

Get in line early! Nearly every day, this bakery has a line out the door and around the corner!

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That’s me with the kiddos!

Is it worth it to wait in line? 20170529_154206

In a word… Yes.

The bakery outside is beautiful, but Inside is an exquisite creation you need to see! (An entire episode of Fixer Upper was dedicated to it if you’d like a behind the scenes look… season 4, episode 10) Even the restroom is an extraordinarily beautiful! 20170528_174604 (2)

Enjoy a tasty treat! {And when they’re available, I highly recommend the gluten free oatmeal cookies!}

 

FOOD:

On any given day, The surrounding fence is lined with food trucks! I encourage you to try something different; something you wouldn’t normally taste. You will Not be disappointed.

DSC_2212From vendor to vendor, you’ll find a variety of options! Popcorn, Burgers, Tacos, Wraps, Sandwiches, Chili and Hotdogs, exquisite coffees and sweet teas can usually be found, just to name a few! DSC_2213

There are many places to sit and eat and soak it all in! There are lovely covered picnic tables throughout the food vendor area. There’s also a large covered picnic deck just off the lawn! DSC_2583.JPG

Do mind your trash. Though they have employees that pick up after guests, remember that Texas can be a windy place! Take care to keep this place beautiful by cleaning up after yourself! (*that was me using my mom voice*)

Outside the Bakery, there is also a beautiful area to sit and enjoy your treats! 20180405_163418

If you can get a seat at Magnolia Table, you Must eat there! The concept restaurant just opened (and they don’t take reservations!). It’s astoundingly beautiful and only a few minutes South of the Silos. (I couldn’t get a seat during my last visit… the wait was 3 hours long!) I did however get to go in and take pictures. I cannot wait to be able to eat there during our next trip!

PHOTO OPS:

Opportunities to take incredible pictures are… Everywhere! The Silos make a wonderful backdrop. The Market has a warm, homey feel. Though it is a store, it’s full of beauty and I couldn’t help but to take This picture during my overwhelming first-visit:

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FYI, this is Not photo-shopped! This is what my face Actually looked like the first time I walked in! #overwhelmed #excited #freakingout

Throughout the property, there are many places to take incredible photos!

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Basically, if the Silos are in your background, you have the makings of a lovely picture! It’s rustic and industrial, and a very special kind of beautiful!
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Swings and Pathways also make excellent photo spots!

 

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This truck also makes for a cute place to pose!

I could go on and on! Photo spots abound at the Silos!

 

SHOPPING:

Magnolia Market draws a huge crowd of people! This store is inspiration central! 20180405_163059

The entrance is right across from the bakery! From morning til lunchtime, this shop is hopping! In the times I’ve visited in later afternoon, (2, 3 or 4 pm) there have been fewer shoppers (and more breathing room!).

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When you first walk into the Market, you are surrounded by beautiful home decor, houseware, inspiring quotes, plenty of florals, and tables and shelves, full of displays.

Kitchen and Dining areas are stacked with dishes and pitchers. Everything seems to have that special “Joanna touch.”

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Take your time!

As you continue through the Market, you will eventually wander through the doors, into the grain barn. This store just keeps going!

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Inside the grain barn, there is a storage area (off limits to guests). There is a little corner next to the stairs full of Chip Gaines’ favorite things (great Father’s Day gifts). You can find wall art such as canvases, clocks, and metal signs.

In the center, you’ll see a canopy with candle decor, hanging planters, more florals, and plenty of aesthetic knick-knacks!

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You may even find the sale section!

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I did say that it was full of inspiration!

When you’re ready, there are 2 check-out areas. One is located right next to the front entrance; the other by the exit.

Right inside the grain barn, they ship your items home to you via FedEx!

And as you’re exiting the Market/Grain Barn… you can’t help but to smell the kettle corn station… right outside the door!

There is so much to take in! When you get the chance to visit, just take your time! Take photos! Soak it all up and let yourself be inspired!

OTHER HELPFUL HINTS:

-Location: This place is easy to get to. It’s in the heart of Waco, right off 35! In my experience, as you drive past Baylor University and the road rises up, you can just see the top of the Silos over the trees. *You’re almost there!*

Don’t be fooled by the businesses and churches nearby. You DON’T need to pay for parking; Magnolia has ample Free parking. They also provide a shuttle service to and from their nearby lot.

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See this street? With the Silos on your right, drive right past them (slowly!) Make a right at the stop sign and they have a parking lot is on the Right!

People from all over come to the Silos. On any given day, it’s hopping! On school holidays… forgettaboutit!

-I recommend one of two things: Go first thing in the morning, when the weather is nice and cool. The crowds gather quickly… treat it like a visit to Disney World! Arrive early for cooler weather and smaller lines!

OR go in the afternoon! Most people try to do the early-bird thing. Why not try a 2 or 3 pm arrival time instead?

-Wear sunblock. Texas is hot, the sun is bright and it really does seem like the sky is bigger here! (Be sure to stay hydrated!)

-Ship things home! You don’t have to buy everything that day, or even carry it around! you can have it shipped to whatever address you like.

-If you buy succulents, water them with icecubes. I still have my 5, purchased a year ago, surviving in the Texas weather. Give your succulents a couple ice cubes every other week! Screenshot (2124)

-Alabama Sweet Tea is not the same thing as South Carolina Sweet Tea. That being said, it IS very good- plus it comes with a super cute giant mason jar! It makes an awesome souvenir!

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A trip to the Silos is a trip worth taking! I hope that this little glimpse has given you insight into the experience! (It certainly made Me wanna go again!)

Until next time!

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**Special thank you to Shari Kasten, who took many of these pictures and helped me watch my kids during one of these trips!

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