magic at magnolia

I’m back with the promised part 2 of my adventures in Texas! As I talked about in myΒ  Adventures in Austin post I spent a majority of my time in Austin but I was fortunate enough that my friend Ryan was willing to hitch me a ride up north to Waco. When I planned my trip to Texas I knew that I wanted to make it to Waco if at all possible so I could spend time in the motherland of all: the Magnolia silos.

I am so thankful that I got to experience this magical little place in Waco and am equally glad I get to share it with all of you. In total, I spent about 2.5 hours there which I found to be a good amount of time. For a frame of reference, I visited on a Monday and it was much busier than I expected it to be. The staff shared that since they are closed on Sundays they tend to see a larger crowd on Mondays (with Tuesday and Wednesday typically being their quieter days!) I also happened to visit the day following the first ever Silo District Marathon so I am assuming some of the crowd was a continuation of that group.

The silos campus includes multiple stops or attractions on the same grounds: The Magnolia Market store, the bakery, a smaller garden shop in the back surrounding by gardens of fresh flowers, a large open turf courtyard with yard games, bean bags, and space to play, and then last (but certainly NOT least) a collection of local food trucks to fill your bellies with delicious food and drinks. { Of note, the Magnolia Table restaurant has recently opened but is not located on the silos grounds so I did not get the chance to check it out}

Out on the grounds they also have plenty of seating and most of it protected from the sun with umbrellas or large overhangs. The grounds are filled with large farmhouse and picnic family-style tables and black & white color schemes. The courtyard where you first enter that serves as a patio for the bakery is filled with sweet black & white patio chairs and offers another place to sit down and relax. And of course it wouldn’t be a true Joanna Gaines space if it wasn’t filled with beautiful plants and greenery. I loved admiring the hanging planters and plants throughout the property to bring lush feeling to the grounds. This big family style table below is where I enjoyed my lunch!

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The food options available were so fun to read about and walk around before deciding. As I mentioned above all of the food trucks located on site are local to Waco and have unique offerings that are outside of the box. There was sweet tea, pizza, smoothies, cold brew coffee, grilled cheese, crepes, burgers, sandwiches, and anything else you can imagine! The day I was there was extremely hot (92 degrees and SUNNY!) so I made a stop at the Luna juice bar food truck A) because I couldn’t not eat at a place that shares a name with my sweet puppy and B) a cold smoothie sounded delicious in the hot weather. I got a smoothie that I won’t soon forget….I took a picture of the contents so that I could list them all for you. It was lifechanging and I really want to try making something similar at home but I’ve already accepted the fact that it would be nowhere near as good:

  • banana
  • peanut butter
  • oatmeal
  • unsweetened cocoa
  • cinnamon
  • maple syrup
  • cold brew coffee
  • cashew milk

Sounds amazing, doesn’t it!? The coffee gave me a good caffeine boost and the taste was so raw and natural. Since that was basically dessert in liquid form I needed to decided what my main course would be. The decision was fairly easy for me since my love of cheese is so apparent: I went with Cheddar Box gourmet grilled cheese. I got “The Boss” which was basil, bacon, and gouda cheese (my absolute favorite cheese) on grilled sourdough. This sandwich was also life changing and really hit the spot. They’re special salad that day was watermelon and mint which sounded refreshing in the heat so I got some of that too which was the perfect natural compliment to the sandwich and smoothie.

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When I first got on the grounds I took my slow stroll through the Magnolia Market store. That was extremely crowded so I didn’t get to enjoy and take my time as much I would have ideally wanted to but I still was able to get through the whole store. They sell more than you would imagine: dΓ©cor of all kinds, cookware, cookbooks, inspiration books, signs, clothing, floral stems, coffee mugs, and the list is endless. I took photos of a few items that inspired me/that I thought would work in my house but since they were larger I knew I didn’t want to purchase as I wouldn’t have been able to take them home with me on the plane.

I didn’t want to leave the silo empty-handed because that didn’t seem right!! So I decided to purchase a cute black and white marble coffee cup to add to my collection at my office as well as a wide strap casual tanktop to wear outside this summer while gardening. I find myself envisioning going back to the silos again someday when it is quieter so that I can spend more quality time in the store and not feel rushed with the masses of people!

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Near the back of the property was this fun vintage style jeep that I had a friendly group of women take my picture in front of! This is near the large gardens I mentioned earlier which lead you in to the sweet small garden store at the back. In this separate “store” are only garden related items and so I decided to make a second purchase when I got back there! They had many different types of flower and food seeds packaged and available so I picked some seeds that I planted in my flower bed this past weekend at home.

No Chip and Joanna sightings happened while I was visiting and I also didn’t get the chance to experience the bakery or the treats because the line to get in was so long!! Even with those downfalls my experience was great and I am looking forward to a day when I can make another trip back and try it all again. As always thanks so much for reading along with me πŸ™‚ I hope you’re having a wonderful week!

#sugarspiceandstylethatsnice

xoxo Jen

Adventures in Austin

I promised I’d be back with the details from the remainder of my vacation I took a couple of weeks ago so here it is! Two of my best friends from college live down in Austin, Texas and I have had it on my radar to visit them. The right time finally presented itself and I hopped on a plane from the St. Louis airport and continued on down south to Austin πŸ™‚

I spent 3 days exploring with my friends and had a fabulous time. Austin really is the fun city that we’ve all heard it to be: filled with unique people, great food, music, and of course some of their famous “weirdness” (keep Austin weird, right!?) Those of you who have followed me for awhile know that when I travel it’s all about the FOOD….so many of my pictures reflect what I ate so I hope that’s ok with all of you!

Our first venture on my first full day was a trip to Oasis Texas Brewing Company, a local brewery that overlooks the manmade Lake Travis. The view was spectacular and only made better by how delicious the beer and food were. It was Cinco de Mayo (woop woop!) so I enjoyed a refreshing and appropriate margarita-inspired beer. The glass was “dressed” with a lime, and cayenne pepper and salt around the rim. We sat at a table closest to the lake and took in the view of the sailboats and yachts.

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We were there during the lunch hour so we shared a couple different appetizers that were to die for. First we tried out the fried green beans with the chipotle mayo dip. Perfectly crispy and the dip had just the right amount of heat. Then we went for round two and ordered the housemade chorizo queso. I can’t even find the right words to describe how delicious it was. I am a big queso fan and THAT was queso done right.

The brewery grounds themselves were a sight to see. You were greeted by a unique water tower with the Oasis name and the inside of the courtyard was old-world feeling with mystical patio lights and Spanish-style buildings.

Saturday night we made a venture downtown and I got to check out the Austin night life. We spent time in two different “districts” – the first is called Rainey Street – and was the most unique string of bars I’ve ever been to. A developer bought single family homes lining the street on both sides and turned all of them in to bars so from the outside it looks like a giant string of house parties. Each of the homes serves drinks/beers inside and then in the backyard of each home is a food truck. Completely GENUIS.

I apologize that I don’t have any good pictures from the place we chose on Rainey Street, but we spent our time at Craft Pride. They serve only beer brewed locally in the Lone Star State (52 – yes, fifty two – different Texas beers on tap) and their backyard food truck serves Detroit style pizza that was two thumbs up.

After Rainey, we headed to the infamous 6th Street. It was PACKED especially with the college crowd so we spent some time people watching and enjoyed another cocktail on a rooftop patio high above all of the craziness. Before heading back to their house we made a pit stop at Voodoo Doughnuts and I’m so glad we did. We each picked two doughnuts – one for a nighttime snack and one for breakfast!! I went with a captain crunch doughnut and a butterfinger doughnut. Both were as incredible as they sound and I’m glad I got to experience a place I’ve seen and heard a lot about from those who have visited the locations in Portland and Denver!

On Sunday we got to experience both of my favorite parts of the trip: wine tasting at a local winery’s tasting room AND spending time at the dog park – and not just a regular old Lincoln park dog park….

Grape Creek winery is a winery that my friends are members of so they took me to a small town near Austin that has a tasting room (versus driving the hour and a half to the actual winery). We were able to choose 6 wines from their selection and taste. It was my first experience with a formal wine tasting and it was really interesting to compare and contrast the offerings. After our tasting we ordered a bottle for the three of us to share and took it out to the beautiful covered patio attached to the tasting room. It was the perfect way to spend an afternoon and enjoy being outside.

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That afternoon we rounded up their sweet pup, Pike, the one year old red lab and took him to their favorite local dog park. As I mentioned above this was no normal dog park….it’s called Dog House Drinkery. The dog park not only serves beer but also employs people who monitor the dogs’ interactions within the park that is comfortable filled with seating options such as lawn chairs, picnic tables, and big shade umbrellas. You can pull up a chair and spend the whole afternoon watching your dog play and enjoying a few cold beers. Truly heaven if I’ve ever experienced it. The cherry on top was the fact that there was a local artist playing guitar and singing just outside the dog park gate so it added even more to the ambience. I now am in the process of thinking how I can bring something similar to Grand Forks because WHY NOT!?

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I was elated to be able to keep the can koozie as a memento of that magical afternoon and will always think of it fondly when I’m enjoying a beer at home on my own patio this summer.

The rest of my time with my dear friends was filled with trivia, pool time, lounging in the backyard, telling stories, reminiscing on our college days at NDSU, and much more. I also took another little side trip – – well more like BIG side trip – – which if you follow me on Instagram (@sugarspiceandstylethatsnice) you already know a little bit about. In the interest of time and because there is so much content from that short side trip I am going to save that for it’s own post that I’ll share this weekend so keep your eyes peeled πŸ™‚

As always, thanks so much for taking the time to read. I love sharing my travels with all of you and I hope if you are planning any time in Austin yourself sometime soon that these recommendations will be helpful to you! I’ll see you this weekend with more Texas adventure details in another post.

#sugarspiceandstylethatsnice

xoxo Jen

blogger adventure (part 1)

Hi, everyone!! First – I apologize for what seems like a lengthy hiatus from an actual blog post for you. I am so happy to be back πŸ˜€ These last few weeks have been a whirlwind and part of it is because of the story behind this post!

I just returned from a week-long vacation and I have SO MUCH fantastic content that I am working on to share with all of you over the next couple of weeks so stay tuned. This post is about my very first blogger adventure that took place last week.

A couple of months ago on my Instagram account I eluded to some exciting news that I had received. Due to confidentiality and some other legalities I am not able to divulge all of the specifics to you but I can share an overall background of the projectΒ that I get to be a part of for the next 8 months. Myself, along with 14 other fantastic Midwest bloggers were selected to serve on a Fashion Panel with a marketing company who is working with a national retailer on their brand, stores, etc.

After a lengthy interview and selection process I was notified in March that I had been chosen as one of the final 15 to be a part of this exciting project. The Fashion Panel entails three separate trips/sessions over the next 8 months that involve detailed focus group work with the other women on the panel as well as executives from the retailer we are working with; all run by the marketing company.

The first of these three trips took place last week and all of us got to meet for the first official session in St. Louis, Missouri! While I can’t share details of the session it was an incredible experience and was made so wonderful by getting to know and work with the other 14 women. I am already so looking forward to our second trip in a few months when we can all work together again. I will be sharing more about these gals on Instagram so that you can get to know them as well πŸ™‚ Below is a group shot of all of us on the final day of session one!

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We stayed at a boutique hotel in STL called the Moonrise Hotel in a neighborhood called the Delmar Loop. It had the ever-popular multicolor lighted staircase that was perfect for photos during the session! Even though I can’t share specifics from inside the session I wanted to share a few other tidbits from my time in general in STL. I had never been there before and the neighborhood we stayed in offered up some great food and the 15 of us were able to make some fun memories over the meals we shared as we got to know one another!

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On the first afternoon I arrived a little bit early and had some down time prior to our first evening meet and greet. I asked the bellman if there was a coffee shop within walking distance where I could sit down and read for awhile. He suggested an Italian pastry and coffee shop a couple of blocks away and he said I wouldn’t be disappointed! I enjoyed my afternoon spent at Piccione Pastry. I indulged in an indescribable cannoli and an iced mocha while soaking in some inspiration from my two favorite sources: HGTV magazine and the Magnolia Journal.

The two evening meals we shared as a group were within our neighborhood of our hotel. The first evening we enjoyed Italian cuisine at Tuvolo and I had a piece of lasagna that I think weighed about 3 pounds and some excellent wine. The second night it was only appropriate that we enjoyed some downhome STL BBQ so we dined at Salt and Smoke for some family style barbeque and the best potato salad I have ever eaten.

 

All in all it was an excellent experience and I’m so excited that the project is only getting started. I will look forward to sharing parts 2 and 3 with all of you as we progress through the remainder of the project and 2 other fun travel destinations together! As I reflect on this trip I am so thankful for the opportunities that sugar, spice, and style that’s nice has brought to me so far and I look forward to hopefully more things in the future! A huge thanks to all of you who take the time to read and follow along with me πŸ™‚ I am certainly grateful for each of you.

Next up: straight from STL I hopped on another jet plane and went even farther south to visit some of my best friends who live down in Austin, Texas. My next post will break down that trip with all the details and of COURSE…more food!!!

Lastly, if you aren’t following along with me yet on Instagram I post daily content there and would love to have you join me – you can find me at @sugarspiceandstylethatsnice

Be back soon,

xoxo Jen