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Waco Surprise


Just over 2 weeks ago, Magnolia House was NOT on my radar. I mean, of COURSE I would want to go at some point, but I’ve looked it up. It’s booked. For ages.

And then. Two weeks ago, my sweet Instagram friend Jamie (@threetwentyco) contacted me and said she had unexpectedly been able to book Magnolia House for 1 night, and wondered if I’d like to come down to join the fun. Dilemma. I was already scheduled to be in Texas about a week later for a sweet client’s project. Should I REALLY go twice in a row? Answer: OH HECK YES. Magnolia House? This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. To join 7 other Instagram friends…most of them being girls I had never even met…for an incredible experience.

I knew it would be fun to stay at Magnolia House. I knew it would be fun to shop at Magnolia Market and see the sights. But, SURPRISE. It was so much more than that. What I DIDN’T know, is that God was orchestrating an incredible experience that we would never forget. That He was gathering 8 girls who really needed a time of refreshing. 8 girls who would unexpectedly become friends for life. *Ahem*…pass the tissues!


Here’s the 3 of us that traveled from Oregon. Jayme (@fridleyhomes_design on Instagram), Anne (@anneenash on Instagram) and myself. As we sat in the airport and waited for our flight on Friday morning, the anticipation was killing us. Did we REALLY just drop everything to go on this wild and crazy adventure? Answer: OH HECK YES.

Saturday morning, the 3 of us got up early, checked out of our Dallas, Texas hotel, and drove down to Waco to join the rest of our crew.


And yes. Of COURSE we made a quick stop at McDonald’s for some Egg White Delights and LARGE Diet Cokes. I mean, let’s get this party STARTED, right??


Ahhhh!!! Here we are at Magnolia Market! We arrived just before opening, waited in line, and couldn’t wait to meet up with the other girls.



Can we just stop and talk about Magnolia Market for a sec? Having been before for the grand opening “Silobration”, I wondered how different it would be this time. Ummm…it was amazing. It’s incredible how they continue to grow and change their inventory. The displays are stunning, the merchandise is drool-inducing, and the whole atmosphere is inspiring. We excitedly met up with our travel buddies inside the store, and kicked off our fun weekend with some great shopping.

Thank. You. Joanna. Gaines.


We wandered the grounds, and checked out the soon-to-open Magnolia Seed + Supply. Uhhh, could this place get ANY more dreamy?



Next up, we were treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of Magnolia Market, given by Brock, head of public relations for Magnolia.


One of our first stops on the tour, the conference room. I mean, can you EVEN? The shiplap. The beams. The lighting. The table. The hutch. We couldn’t resist the chance to sit at the table and pretend like we were takin’ care of some BIZ-NASS. Thanks for taking our pic, Brock!



Do you know what this is? Ohhh, it’s Chip’s office. No big deal. 😉


This is the view from Chip’s window…so fun to see lots of families enjoying the grounds.


This is a little staff kitchen…a lunch room with subway tile, concrete counters, and open shelving? Yes, please!


Here we are on the rooftop. By this time, we were all pretty much beside ourselves. So. Fun.


The view from the roof was just…ya. Amazing. We chatted with Brock about how awesome it is to see Chip & Joanna bring new life to this little block of Waco, and to see families enjoying every square inch of the property. We were just so thankful to be standing on this hot rooftop, taking it all in.


We said goodbye to Brock, and headed over to the food trucks for lunch.


Pretty striped shade covers have been added to the picnic tables in preparation for the hot summer, and boy, that was a genius idea. We Oregon girls were melting. 😉


After a delicious lunch, we headed over to check out Harp Design Co. (If you’re a Fixer Upper fan, you already know Clint Harp makes all of Joanna’s beautiful tables on the show). Here I am with my sweet friend Caroline (@vineandbranchestx on Instagram and one of the beautiful ladies in our crew this weekend).


Bonus! The Pokey O’s truck was at Harp Design Co. that afternoon, and we had the MOST delicious ice cream sandwiches! My pick was chocolate chip cookies with a mint chocolate chip ice cream center. To. Die. For.


Next stop, Jimmy Don’s workshop! Jimmy Don makes all of the beautiful custom metal signs for Magnolia Market, and he is just the sweetest. We chatted for quite awhile, and he had us all laughing like crazy.


We were fascinated to see these high-tech machines cutting out gorgeous signs. What a treat to be there. And Jimmy Don, thank you for taking time to chat with us. It was a highlight!


And the moment we’d all been waiting for…we arrived at Magnolia House just after 4pm on Saturday. We literally screamed when we drove around the corner and saw it for the first time. Don’t judge. That’s what a bunch of silly girls do. 🙂 As pretty as it is on the outside, it is a million times prettier on the inside…buckle. up.


Just inside, and tucked under the stairs, is this reading nook…just the beginning of gorgeousness. It was absolutely surreal to step into a real-life Fixer Upper. Watching the episode on TV was one thing. But seeing it in real life, whoa. How. Could. It. Be. So. Much. Better?


The living room is so cozy and inviting. There’s thought in every detail…lots of cozy throws, perfect for those late night chat sessions between friends, extra comfortable furniture, a stunning rug that had us searching for a tag so we’d know where to source it (hey, it was a house-full of designers, after all! Oh, and it’s from West Elm, in case you wondered too!), and shiplap for days. We’re talking shiplap on every wall AND the ceiling. Pretty much perfection.


The main level bathroom is nothing short of dreamy. Gorgeous cement floor tiles, fresh & bright white subway tile in the shower, shiplap, a wood chandelier, and a free-standing tub that will call your name, even if you’re not a bath-taker.


The formal dining room…no words. Just beyond beautiful. (Oh, the gasping and exclaiming that was going on as we toured the house and took pictures!)


The kitchen…Ummm, I’m afraid I’m out of adjectives. So amazing, and stocked with everything you might need. It made me wish we were staying for 2 weeks, not just a night! But hey, no time to be sad about that…there was so much more house to see!



The casual feel of the kitchen table just makes you want to gather with your friends, eat a good meal, and stay up MUCH too late.


A little close-up of the floating shelves in the kitchen, because they’re just SO good.


Here’s a room I never knew about…the laundry room! Complete with stunning floating shelves and phone charging cables. Seriously, they thought of everything. Oh, and good news. If your clothes are wrinkled from travel, there’s an amazing steamer just behind me.


Ok, back through the kitchen, and let’s go see the rest!


The guest rooms are straight from heaven. Not only beautiful, but the beds were ultra-comfy and the linens were giving us heart eyes.


This amazing piece sits in the front master bedroom, the room I shared with my sweet friend Anne.


This little desk area is in the same room…that memo board? I die.


The second floor master is a wow-factor when you come up the stairs, to put it mildly. *gasp* Go ahead, take a second and catch your breath before we continue. 😉


I love this little kitchenette tucked away upstairs…the perfect place to make a cup of coffee (or 4. Right, Caroline?) 😉


Just when we thought our hearts couldn’t take any more, we were invited to tour the beautiful home of the Magnolia House caretakers, Rob & Marianne. You’ll remember this house from the end of season 3, Fixer Upper.




Marianne is a treasure and she definitely has the gift of hospitality. She made us feel so at home.


We decided to stay close-by for dinner so we could enjoy the house as much as possible. We walked a block or two to Luigi’s…the most amazing Italian food, located in good old downtown McGregor. If you go, it’s a MUST. Oh my word. The bread. The alfredo. The pasta. Luigi’s was the backdrop for some amazing conversation. It was such an honor to sit around the table with these amazing women, and hear their hearts. I must say, there wasn’t a SINGLE negative thing about the weekend. These girls uplift, affirm, and cheer for each other. Talk about refreshing. We all talked about how God had blessed our day, from beginning to end, and how we knew He was using it to refresh some weary souls. And man, did He ever.


Sunday morning started with some delicious cinnamon rolls and fresh squeezed orange juice, compliments of Magnolia. I’m not gonna lie, this pastry-loving girl was in her happy place.

After breakfast, we were blessed to have Teresa (@innocencethriving on Instagram) and her beautiful daughter, Tristan, come and share a devotional with us. I’m so thankful for Teresa and her heart for women. We laughed, we cried (like full-on UGLY cried), we shared, and we bonded. God refreshed and uplifted our hearts in an absolutely powerful way. We sat in awe of the way He brought us all together, and cleared each of our calendars to allow us the opportunity to partake in an amazing weekend.


You might recognize Teresa (front row, middle) as Joanna Gaines’ sister. She has an amazing ministry and the second you meet her, you feel like you’ve known her forever. It’s just occurred to me that I don’t think I’ve introduced you to the rest of the crew yet! So here ya go: (back row) Julie (@juliecwarnock), Gwen (@gwen_solis), Tiffany (@joyfully.rooted), (middle row) Jayme (@fridleyhomes_design), Caroline (@vineandbranchestx), Jamie (@threetwentyco), (front row) me, Teresa (@innocencethriving), and Anne (@anneenash). These ladies. Oh, my heart. LOVE YOU GIRLS!!!



Caroline (who also happens to be one of my all-time FAVORITE sign makers) gave us the most beautiful “grateful” signs. The perfect word to capture how we were feeling. So very grateful. For the experience, for the friendships, but most of all, for the work God did in our lives.

Just before check-out, Jamie surprised us with these darling “swag bags”, complete with all kinds of goodies from her favorite Instagram accounts. Jamie, you blessed our socks off. Thank you for dreaming up this weekend, praying over it, preparing for it, and surprising us with so much fun.



After we touched up our makeup from all the happy tears, we took a quick pic with Marianne, the caretaker, on her porch. What a sweet soul! Although our stay at Magnolia House was over, we still had some fun planned for the day!


The very sweet Val (@rubyandlucyframes on Instagram) was on season 3 of Fixer Upper and invited us to come see her gorgeous home! She and her sister, Vanessa, blew us away with their Southern hospitality. They greeted us with warm smiles and open arms on the porch, and welcomed us in like old friends. Side note: just look at our shoes. Are we meant to be friends or WHAT?? #isenseatheme


Oh my. So absolutely beautiful. And Val has a special place in my heart…because, LOOK. Donuts on the counter. Girl, you GET me! 😉


Val is quite the crafty DIY-er herself…just look at this planked headboard she MADE! We were in LOVE!


Best part about hanging with these girls? Always ready to ham it up for the camera.


Last stop of the day, David’s house. You probably remember him as the “Waco Bachelor” from season 3 of Fixer Upper. David was so gracious to invite us over to his home, and to share a little about his upcoming venture, a tour company (you can find him on Instagram @wacotours). The thing that really struck us about David was his love for the Lord, and his love for gathering people. Now, can we just take a minute to ADORE the front of this house?


The two islands, the reclaimed wood, the concrete counters, the sleek backsplash…so perfect.


The master has 2 barn doors, and the same open feel as the rest of the house.


What a way to wrap our adventure. Thanks for having us, David! If you’re ever in Waco, be sure to check out his tour company!


And now, to the sweet friends who shared this experience. Thank you. Your smiles, your laughter, your encouragement…dare I say it was a life-changing weekend? That was the biggest surprise of all. Turns out it wasn’t about the location or the shopping or the decor. God showed up and reminded us that we are His daughters. He knows our hearts, He knows our needs. And He is a good, good Father.

See even more pics from the weekend by searching #magnoliabucketlist on Instagram.

  • May 25, 2016 - 4:44 pm

    Darcy Potter - Holy amaze balls! I am in awe of everything!!! Every single picture and moment of your trip looked absolutely amazing! How awesome you got to see and meet some of the people from Fixer Upper and what a once in a lifetime opportunity to stay at the Magnolia house with such an awesome group of ladies. Thanks for sharing every detail and I will live vicariously through this post until one day maybe I can make my own fabulous trip to Waco 🙂 Have a blessed day…DarcyReplyCancel

  • May 26, 2016 - 2:44 am

    Liz Coulombe - Thank you for sharing your weekend with us! Always awesome to see God at work in the hearts and lives of His kids.ReplyCancel

  • May 26, 2016 - 3:14 am

    Sandy - Amazing is all I can say!! You have been greatly blessed my friend!! OK…. So I guess this was a very good reason for you missing out on our WSFC Spring Fling!!! ?
    Love you friend!! ?ReplyCancel

  • May 26, 2016 - 3:19 am

    Marian - Thank you for all the beautiful pics and sharing it with us..I love your blog and your decorating style beautiful. I appreciate that you include the Lord in everything you do. God blesses you and your family. MarianReplyCancel

  • May 26, 2016 - 3:48 am

    Tiffany Purdue - Oh Janna. I’m sitting here just full of amazement! What an incredible blog post. You captured our weekend so beautifully. It was indeed a “life changing weekend.” But now I miss all of your sweet faces!!???ReplyCancel

  • May 26, 2016 - 5:53 am

    Stephanie - Wow! What an absolutely beautiful post. Thank you so much for sharing your incredible, inspiring experience with us. I loved reading all about it!ReplyCancel

  • May 26, 2016 - 3:47 pm

    allie - Hello amazing!!! Wow, so fun to go behind the scenes like this:) Thanks for taking us all with you;) Although you realize you made quite a few girls jealous!! So well deserved and so glad you girls all had a refreshing weekend. God is good!!ReplyCancel

  • May 26, 2016 - 8:06 pm

    Pam E Price - Such an exciting weekend! Thanks for sharing. You, are my favorite Instagram profile. Be Blessed.ReplyCancel

  • May 26, 2016 - 9:03 pm

    Liz VanKirk - I absolutely loved this post!!! I visited Magnolia Market the end of March. My step mother lives in Hillsboro which is 30 miles North but we live in MIchigan. My daughter and I went to visit along with my new granddaughter. I loved seeing all the pics you posted of inside & outside. There has been so many changes already. I wish we could of had a tour like you had of the behind the scenes area. So pretty. It looked like you all had so much fun at the Magnolia House. Such a dream come true. I’m new to Instagram but am loving it! My account is homedreamer.ReplyCancel

  • May 26, 2016 - 11:41 pm

    Selena Campbell - I absolutely adore Tiffany and Julie. We were instant insta besties. Jayme is such a sweetheart as well. I have followed you for quite sometime. On Pinterest and your blog before joining IG. I am so happy you girls got to experience such an amazing weekend. It joys me even more to hear that The Lord was working through you all and blessed you SO! Great post, Jana! Keep up the good work! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • May 30, 2016 - 3:27 am

    Charmaine McLaughlin - Thank you for sharing all the wonderfulness (is that even a word)!! So happy for you girls and so much fun to see how the Lord blessed you all!! What a great trip!!ReplyCancel