The Best Way to Turn 25! A Visit to Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas – September 6-10 2018

I'm a NC based brand photographer (but I love to travel for work+fun). Joanna Gaines is my spirit animal, and in another life (maybe this one) I'd probably move to Waco, TX!

I'm always down to try a new local coffee shop (even better if they have lavender latte), and working on mastering the perfect at home brew recipe. 

I'M MADALYN!

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The idea behind this trip to Waco was to continue my adventurous journey of finding out who I am and to discover all the things God has made me to be & all the places He’s created for me to explore! You may be curious why in the world did I choose Waco, Texas? Well besides the obvious … Chip & Joanna Gaines, I wanted to go somewhere that had charm and unique treasures that you may not see on a daily basis. As consumers, I feel like we only go to the destinations that are constantly talked about and I feel God created us to be adventurous. So out of a list of a few other places, I choose Waco, Texas!

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As far as what I had planned for the trip, I tried to create a schedule but also wanted to allow myself to be spontaneous too! I also was not intentionally trying to make it a business trip, but low and behold, I made it a photography session trip too! As a photographer, I don’t look at my work as work! I enjoy every session and we have fun! Like this sweet family session below! 🙂

As far as my accommodations in Waco, I found a cute little garage apartment through AirBnb! I love using AirBnb for travels! You can feel at home even when you’re miles away. Autumne, Tyler, & Jameson were the sweetest hosts! When I first reached out to them about staying with them, I offered to to a photo session as a partial trade for my stay. I am so glad they agreed because just look at them!! Their home is very cozy, lots of personal touches, a gorgeous kitchen and a lot of great natural light! So so sweet & so fun! Little Jameson was full of giggles!

A little side note; when we walked into this guest room, I was immediately drawn to the shiplap on the walls and Autumne was like, “Chip actually designed our home before they started the TV show!” I am sure you can imagine my face, but I was like oh my goodness!!! How FUN!

They are about to open up their second AirBnB home, so I took some photos for their listing and y’all it’s a great little gem. So if you’re looking to go to Waco, please check them out! This is their current listing! The home is very close to Magnolia and downtown Waco!


My Dallas airport friends; Darla & her daughters Andrea & Hilary! They were coming from Chicago!

My Dallas airport friends; Darla & her daughters Andrea & Hilary! They were coming from Chicago!

So I arrived late Thursday evening after an exciting time at the Dallas Airport, ha! Due to the rain and thunderstorms, we were delayed two hours on the runway and then they decided to just cancel our flight from Dallas to Waco! At that point, I was like, really?? But, after meeting a sweet family on the flight, they graciously offered to let me join their car ride from Dallas to Waco! We ended up having a great time, lots of laughs, and was reunited on the Waco Tour the next morning, small small world!

On Friday, I woke up, early of course! The time difference didn’t really help even if it was only one hour. I enjoy coffee at my AirBnb, slowly got ready and then called for an Uber to take me to BRU Artisian Coffee for yet another cup of coffee, hehe!

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This coffee shop was so unique! It is inside an old elevator shaft; well, the guts of the coffee shop are at least! The seating was in a space to the side of a paper shop! Loved the different marble walls and the lights draped from the ceiling! My kind of coffee shop 😉 Oh, the coffee was great too!

After the coffee, I walked on over to the Indigo Hotel on Clay Street to meet with Waco Tours! I signed up for a 2.5 hour bus tour of Waco! It was great, the tour guides shared lots of history, shared a lot of jokes about random things, and even treated us to ice cream and coffee!

These are some photos from the tour! We went all around Waco!

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Like I said, Waco Tours treated us to our choice of either ice cream or coffee, so I chose ice cream because I already had two cups of coffee at this point! We went to Heritage Creamery; a gorgeous space and the owners, Blake & Kimberly Batson actually had their home designed my Chip & Jojo! There home is shown here! Gorgeous right? They just welcomed their second little baby too!


Not only do they own Heritage Creamery, they also own Common Grounds which is right next store and is a cute little coffee shop known to host lots of college students since it is on Baylor Universities campus! This photo that Alyssa, one of our tour guides took is at the famous rock in the back yard of Comm0n Grounds! Famous rock? Yeah, Chip & Jo took a selfie on that rock so everyone has to do the same, duh! 😉

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One of the stops on the tour was to Harp Design Co. & if you’re a fan of Fixer Upper you may recognize this shop! Clint Harp is Chip & Jo’s woodworker for the show! He designs and creates coffee tables, shelving, kitchen islands and more! The shop was amazing! Clint and his wife now have a TV show as well called Woodwork! Its on HGTV at 10am & 10:30am! We got to see the home that was designed for him and his wife, sadly the don’t live there anymore but it is on AirBnB!


Friday evening, I went to Downtown Waco for their First Friday! What a quaint little town! There were many shops, art galleries and restaurants that I’d love to go back to visit! But what was really delicious was Pokeyos! Pokeyos is a food truck that serves ice cream sandwiches with homemade cookies! I got a butterfinger ice cream with gluten free chocolate chip cookies! It was scrumptious! I will definitely try making those for my next party!

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Saturday morning I woke up SUPER early, shocker! I was okay with that though because that allowed me to get ready and go to Magnolia Table for an early breakfast! I left my AirBnb around 6:30am, I know I know, EARLY! Ha! But I was told that I needed to get there fairly early to get a spot but luckily, since it was just me, I didn’t have to wait at all! I got a set at the bar top with a view into the Take Away Market! So as I was eating, I watched other people shop for souvenirs and goodies to take home!

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WHAT A GORGEOUS PLACE, AM I RIGHT? When you see something in person and it is equally as beautiful, you know you made the right decision to wake up before sunrise and go! Chip & Jo, you did good! My breakfast was delicious too! What a great start to my Magnolia day!


Magnolia Table - Madalyn Yates Photography

Once I was full of yummy food and a delicious Lavender Latte, I headed out to the Magnolia Silos!!! Y’all. I was not disappointed at ALL! I arrived before the Market opened so I had lots of time to just explore the Silos, photograph EVERYTHING and just enjoy the moment; because it required all the glory and praise!

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From Seed & Supply; the gorgeous garden area to the green truck, everything was perfect. I kept saying, WOW! Everything was clean and crisp, photo ready. Around 8:30, people started lining up in front of the Market, so I joined the heard and patiently waited for the doors to open! I think since it was overcast, less people were there because it wasn’t as crowded as I expected! The Market was filled with all things Jo and so many encouraging signs and home decor. Definitely makes me want to re-do my home, ya know after I win the lottery! 😉

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After exploring every square foot of the Market, I jumped in the line for a cupcake! Yep, at 10:00am I was in a line of probably 50 people waiting to go into the Bakery. I got a Lemon Lavender Cupcake and it was delicious! Around 11:30 I was feeling ready for a nap so I went back to my AirBnb for a little bit and I am glad I did because it started pouring about an hour later!


Well once I got back to my place Saturday afternoon, the weather didn’t stop so I ended up getting dinner from H.E.B which is their Harris Teeter but I think better! I took it back to my place, watched a movie and called it a night!

Sunday I woke up in time to go to church with my AirBnb hosts, Autumne & Tyler! They got to church two blocks from their house and they are committed to walking even in the rain; but I drove since I was going to Austin right after! When I first planned this trip, I wasn’t planning on going outside of Waco but then my friend, Stephanie got engaged! Stephanie and I met when she lived in Greensboro! She and her now fiance both moved to Texas a little over a year ago! So I reached out to her and asked if they’d like to do a engagement session around Austin! So glad she said yes! We adventured all around South Congress and other parts of downtown, it was darling!

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After our session, we ended up grabbing pizza for dinner and then I said goodbye and headed back to Waco for my last evening there! So bittersweet so I had ice cream from Heritage Creamery one last time! 🙂


Waking up on Monday, I was actually kind of sad! I had such amazing past few days and I was sad to see this trip end. BUT to keep the adventure going, I went to a cute little cafe for breakfast called The Olive Branch. I had a delicious veggie omelet and coffee! It was a cute cafe with a wonderful story to the name. See the photo below! 🙂


“But the dove could find nowhere to perch because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark. He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth.”

“But the dove could find nowhere to perch because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark. He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth.”


After breakfast, I walked over to the Waco Suspension Bridge to see the river and the unique bridge! It’s a showstopper thats for sure! Then I went to a roof top to get a neat photo of the Alico Building! By the time I was finished there, I decided to go to Magnolia ONE more time before leaving; had to pick up a few more souvenirs including some delicious cookies for my gal Laney! And secretly was hoping I’d see Chip & Jo but I didn’t but who knows maybe next time!

Well friends! Thats it! I hope I gave you a great recap of my trip! I probably could sit and talk about it for hours and hours so if you want to hear more, let’s grab coffee 😉 I hope you enjoy this though! It was fun to write and show my trip with you! XO, Madalyn

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