After a fun weekend of weird adventures in Austin, Texas, my friend Leah and I hit the road for a day trip to Waco, home of Chip and Joanna Gaines’s Magnolia Market.
As we were driving up I-35, I received an email from Joanna announcing that the next season would be the last for their HGTV show Fixer Upper. It was an email blast that went to thousands of people at the same time, but I did feel as though she knew we were heading her way.
We had a scheduled stop along the way: the world-famous Buc-ee’s. Along with having the cleanest restrooms in America, Buc-ee’s stores are practically mini-malls. You can buy clothing, home decor, groceries, and the beloved Beaver Nuggets, an addictive snack that’s perfect for road trips.
After marveling at the wide array of merchandise (framed art! wine! shoes! a hundred kinds of beef jerky!) and checking out the country’s cleanest restrooms, I purchased a Willie Nelson t-shirt and an extra-large iced tea, and we were back on the road again.
Our first stop in Waco was Harp Design Co., the handcrafted furniture company belonging to Chip and Joanna’s protege, carpenter Clint Harp.
The shop is in a sweet little house that’s been remade into a retail space, and it’s located next door to the home that was renovated by Chip and Joanna in Season 1, Episode 5 of Fixer Upper. Clint and his wife, Kelly, live elsewhere in Waco now, and you can rent the house on Airbnb for the low, low price of $550 per night during the week and $650 nightly on weekends. You can also take a video tour of the interior for free.
Heading over to the Silos, we encountered a much bigger enterprise than I’d expected. There was a row of food trucks serving lunch and a giant artificial turf lawn where families picnicked along the shaded perimeter while little children played with the toys and games thoughtfully provided by the Gaineses. We visited on a weekday, so it wasn’t terribly crowded, but I’m told it is jam-packed with people on the weekends.
Tucked away in a corner of the complex was Magnolia Seed + Supply, a precious little garden shop with wonderful treasures ranging from live plants, seed packets, and gardening books to plant-based skincare, handmade tools, and rustic garden decor. As a Master Gardener, I was in heaven, and I seriously considered buying an extra suitcase to haul home a load of treasures. I settled instead for a tiny jar of Lavender Citrus Lip Balm from the garden-inspired Magnolia Bath and Beauty Collection.
Magnolia Market itself felt like a homier version of Anthropologie. Every display was oversized and artistic, from the giant whisks in the mock kitchen to the cascading leaves in the holiday decor display. I loved it much more than I thought I would.
The outside spaces may not have been crowded during our weekday visit, but the main store was full of visitors. It took awhile to battle the crowds, peruse the merchandise, and make our purchases, and by this time, Leah and I felt we’d earned a treat.
Conveniently enough, Silos Baking Co. was just next door. Yet more evidence of the fact that Magnolia Market is a well-oiled machine, we were greeted by a friendly bakery associate who provided us with an ordering card we could review and complete as we waited in line. I selected a Lemon Lavender Cupcake for myself and three Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies to carefully wrap and take back to the guys at home.
While Joanna hasn’t shared the official Lemon Lavender Cupcake recipe from Silos Baking Co., Autumn Rose Reo has recreated it and offers a copycat cupcake recipe in case you’d like to whip up a batch at home. You can enjoy them as you say a tearful farewell to Fixer Upper next season.
[…] made it an early night, since we were headed to Waco the next day. It was time for some shiplap with Chip and […]
[…] And with regard to best friends who move away, Angela’s friend, Leah, moved to Austin, Texas, earlier in the year. Austin had long been on our list of U.S. destinations to visit, and Angela thoroughly enjoyed her time in this most hipster of cities. It’s hard not to love time with dear friends, designer doughnuts, and a road trip to the realm of Chip and Joanna Gaines. […]