The Hunt and the Find-where I shop for farmhouse decor

Since moving to our new house in April, I have shopped, decorated and made our house a home, not just four walls. I am enjoying the hunt and the find. I want to share with you where I shop for farmhouse décor.

As much as I like to shop, I like to shop smart, at least I like to think I do. Some of my friends have asked me the same question, over and over, “Where did you get this? It is so cute!” Since we moved in our new house, I have added more farmhouse décor, both modern and vintage. I’ve shopped a bit, both online and in some of Waco’s local shops. Per my husband, too much maybe? I am enjoying filling our new home with items that make me happy and that make our house a home.

The Hunt and the Find-where I shop for farmhouse decor

 

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Wacotown; where you should have a Waco adventure

I live and love in Waco and I occasionally write about my adventures and where you should have a Waco adventure!

Yes,if you know me at all, you know I love Waco and I also love writing about my Waco adventures.  I am a Contributing Writer for a new blog called Waco Moms Blog and my first article I wrote was, of course, about Waco.

Wacotown; where you should have a Waco adventure

The big W has become a tourist attraction, which still amazes most people who are from Texas but if you love Waco and know Waco, you understand and think ‘finally’!

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Magnolia Market at the Silos

If you are a fan of the popular HGTV show that has popularized the term fixer-upper, you probably have a dream of coming to Waco, Texas, to visit Magnolia Market at the Silos.

Magnolia Market at the Silos

If you are dreaming of visiting Magnolia Market at the Silos, in Waco, read my article published in Victoria Lee Magazine.

I started the discussion with Anna Kat, the editor, in October. Began writing the article in January. Visited Magnolia Market at the Silos twice to take pictures. Ate cupcakes once.

Magnolia Market at the Silos

Labor of love? Occupational hazard? The fruits of my labor?

 

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Be a bridge

Bridges are interesting, aren’t they? Some are merely functional, a way to get over a waterway or a road. Concrete passages to the place you are headed.

Still others are architectural masterpieces. A piece of art in the sky, spanning high above a river or bay, and more, much more than a method to get from one place to another.

Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge, at Crissy Beach

These are the bridges I admire. The beauty, the history, the ‘how in the world do they build that?’ bridge.

How do they build them? Especially over large bodies of water? I don’t understand it and my mind can’t comprehend it. I simply like to stare at them. And take pictures of those steel beauties.

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I now see Waco

Who am I? Good question.

One should constantly be growing and learning and I believe I am. I have grown into a person who loves life. I love so many things around me. Waco is one of those things.

Sometimes I feel like I not only have found my words but also my eyes.

Or do I now see Waco for the beauty it is because I now write and I am always looking for stories?

I see beauty all around me in the simplest things. I write about all those things on my blog and also, occasionally I get to write about those Waco things for the paper I write for, The Hometown News and for The Groove Entertainment Magazine.

Waco
On the Suspension Bridge, in Waco, looking at the Washington Bridge

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Stand tall like the Alico

As I was looking through my pictures this morning, preparing to write my continued blog on Waco, I found so many pictures of the Alico Building.

The view from top of Magnolia Market at the Silos
The view from top of Magnolia Market at the Silos

As I have said, I have taken an enormous number of pictures of it because I think it is so interesting looking, peering high over downtown Waco.

When I was a baton photographer for the ilovetexasphotos Instagram account, I did some research on the building.

The Alico Building, a 22-story structure with much character, was constructed in 1910 and completion was exactly 12 months later in 1911.

Waco hasn’t looked the same since.  The Alico is still the tallest building in Waco and because it stands alone, so tall and erect, the building appears to be watching over the city as if it was a soldier standing tall.  (the thought of that makes me happy!)

It is named after the company that was housed in the building, the Amicable Life Insurance Company, which was chartered in 1910.

Known as a tower of strength and stability, I believe it is a metaphor for Waco.  This town has been through a deadly tornado and David Koresh, as well as the Twin Peaks shooting and now the Baylor athletic scandal.  This city has always stood tall just like the Alico Building. Proud and tall.

The Alico, a 22-story structure with much character, was constructed in 1910 and completion was… Click To Tweet

My favorite time to take pictures of this landmark is when there is a gorgeous blue sky above her.

Austin Avenue, headed towards The Alico Building
Austin Avenue, headed towards The Alico Building

Or fall leaves around her.

Austin Avenue, downtown Waco, in the fall
Austin Avenue, downtown Waco, in the fall

Or trees blooming in the spring around her.

The Alico and her March blooms
The Alico and her March blooms

Or when I am headed down Austin Avenue, headed downtown.

Alico Building
Austin Avenue, Waco, Texas

I may or may not be obsessed.

My husband and two kids have an office downtown and those same two kids live downtown. (our third child lives in Austin)

view from downtown Waco apartment, with Luna Juice, my favorite
view from downtown Waco apartment, with Luna Juice, my favorite

This is the view from their office on 6th Street.  (actually this is a reflection of their view)

Alico Building
reflection of the Alico in One Liberty Place, downtown Waco

I write for The Hometown News, a small newspaper in Waco and I also write for The Groove, an entertainment magazine, in Waco. I have written some articles about coffee houses and barbecue spots that might be helpful if you are visiting Wacotown.

Waco is a lovely place with actually quite a lot of activities going on every weekend. There is always something to do or go explore. One just needs to look.

If you can’t find that thing you are looking for, then just look up and stare at her.

The Alico Building, downtown Waco, Texas
The Alico Building

Love and blessings~dd

Waco: Visit Our Waco, a small urban town

Waco. Wacotown. It has a new place on the map. The map of destinations. People are actually traveling here. To see Waco. Visiting our Waco. It is getting recognition. Some good. Some bad. But we, as Wacoans, are getting noticed. And, everyone knows Magnolia is playing a large part. Baylor, good and bad, has also played a part in the notoriety.

Before you visit our Waco, read a few articles, (linked in this blog post originally posted in October 2016), I have written and discover a few hidden gems in our town.

Waco: our small urban town
Austin Avenue in Waco

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Every leaf is a flower

Sadly, in Texas, we don’t see gorgeous fall leaves until deep October and sometimes Thanksgiving.

I have to decorate with the faux ones.

faux from Gable Lane Crates
faux from Gable Lane Crates

I love Texas, born and raised, but as I have traveled and even more so as I have aged, I have realized there are much prettier places. (duh!)

I have tried (and succeeded) to find the beauty in Waco. The downtown area on Austin Avenue and more precise, the Cameron Park and Brazos River area are quite gorgeous. As I state over and over, one must look around them and find the beauty. (more about Waco in tomorrow’s post)

Wacotown
Wacotown

For me, I know it is truly autumn, in Waco, when I am headed home, down Lake Shore Drive. When I see a tree, a specific Oak. When I see that tree has turned the most gorgeous shades of fall, a flutter comes upon me and I truly tear up. Every year. Every time. This may sound really silly. But that is when I know the holidays are upon us and the spirit is within me and I am ready!

I should take a picture of that tree someday.

I did take this magnificent shot of a tree that had turned in Grapevine, two years ago at Thanksgiving.

Lake Grapevine, Thanksgiving 2014
Lake Grapevine, Thanksgiving 2014

I love the falling leaves. Every house we have had, in our 29 years, has mainly had Live Oaks. While pretty in their own way, they do not turn the pretty colors, the oh-my-it-is-fall colors! They do have acorns though-and that is fall.

I love the falling leaves. #write31days Click To Tweet

When Cameron did her study abroad in London two years ago, she was lucky to have experienced autumn in such a lovely place. She had gorgeous leaves falling all around her.

london2
Mayfair, London

She knew how much I love them and she mailed me a leaf all the way from London! (I tried to preserve it but one day, it fell on the floor and Charli destroyed it. She was only six months old and what was on the ground was hers!)

Danni and I were blessed to cross the pond and visit Cameron while she was there studying.

notting-hill
Notting Hill, London

This is in Notting Hill. A dreary, perfect London day! I have a habit of taking pictures of my kids walking in cool cities. (ah ha-blog idea!!)

These beautiful leaves were in Grosvenor Square, in Mayfair, in London. If you travel to London, do so in the fall. It’s so pretty and because they don’t have Thanksgiving, they deck the city in Christmas splendor, in November. Amazing-truly amazing!

fallen leaves
fallen leaves

So basically, if I want to experience autumn in all its glory, I must travel.

And that’s alright.

london
Mayfair, London

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower,” Albert Camus said poetically.

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower,” Albert Camus said poetically. #write31days Click To Tweet

So very true.

love and blessings~dd

I’ve never met a pizza I didn’t like!

I never met a pizza I didn’t like.  I like all pizza–gourmet, from a chain, thin, thick, and even frozen-as long as it has cheese!

Julia Child once said, “People who love to eat are always the best people.”

I believe this to be absolutely true.

I have started writing a monthly article for The Groove, a monthly entertainment magazine in Waco that details the arts, music, nightlife and food in Waco.

coffee house story in The Groove
coffee-house story in The Groove

“We all eat, and it would be a sad waste of opportunity to eat badly,” Anna Thomas voiced.

In my articles, I don’t necessarily do a top five list, I don’t rank the restaurants, on paper anyway, I pick a few choices for you to try so you can decide on your own.

Wacotown
Wacotown

I have had so much fun the last three months researching, taking pictures— and of course eating! After all, one must try the food one is writing about, right?

cold brew from Bru Coffee Bar and a scone from Milo
cold brew from Bru Coffee Bar and a scone from Milo

But more importantly, I have enjoyed the exploration of these foods with the people who go with me-to research.

I have written about barbecue, coffee-houses and this month—pizza.

Frenkie's
Frenkie’s

I’ve never met a pizza I didn’t like!

I’ve never met a pizza I didn’t like! Click To Tweet
Moroso's Wood fire Pizza, in Waco, my new favorite place!
Moroso’s Wood fire Pizza, in Waco, my new favorite place!

I have had the privilege of dragging my husband and daughters with me on these ventures. (and Alex, my son, was along for some pizza research!)

Porofino's, in Waco
Portofino’s, in Waco

Common experience that brings people together is food.

Common experience that brings people together is food. Click To Tweet

Mark and I ate a lot of barbecue in less than a two-week time period in July. It was interesting trying all the different meats and sauces, (and sides!) and comparing them. I enjoyed every brisket, every potato salad and every BBQ sauce the article forced me to try.

Uncle Dan's
Uncle Dan’s

One week, we had barbecue, for lunch and dinner three days in a row. It became comical. We forged through though-all for a story!

To read the barbecue story in the August edition of The Groove, click here

article in The Groove
article in The Groove

My daughter, Danni and I visited a lot of coffee houses, in August, and we loved every one and enjoyed drinking every cup. And I enjoyed being with her and experiencing it all with her.

Pinewood Coffee Bar, in Waco
Pinewood Coffee Bar, in Waco

Waco has many great coffee houses to try. Here is the link to the H.O.T. Coffee story, click here

The coffee house article in The Groove
The coffee-house article in The Groove

Stop and enjoy your food.

enjoying a cup of joe at Dichotomy, in Waco
enjoying a cup of joe at Dichotomy, in Waco

“One of the nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” Luciano Pavarotti said that brilliantly.

“One of the nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and… Click To Tweet

Along the way, Mark and I have decided that every Thursday night will be date night. And of course, many of those Thursdays include trying a restaurant that includes my subject-of-the-month on the menu.

I have not minded this one bit.

After 29 happy years of marriage and three kids, we are alone in the house with two weenie dogs and a weenie dog-wanna be, our Lab. Empty nesters.  We have actually become pretty comfortable at our new stage in life. Mark and I travel alone together, and with friends and family, and we have nights we go out with friends but this is our night and we have both enjoyed it.

July 18, 1987
July 18, 1987

We take turns, every other week, picking where we will go. (Of course it all depends on if I am finished with my story and need more research!)

Thursday night date night is something I look forward to every week. And I am blessed that he wants to go with me.

wine at Moroso's
wine at Moroso’s

The great quote from Virginia Woolf says it all, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”

The great quote from Virginia Woolf says it all, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one… Click To Tweet

What will be next month’s subject? I am thinking cupcakes. Or maybe breakfast spots? Or perhaps Waco dives that serve incredible food??

Let me know what type of food or restaurant you would pick.

Love and blesssings~dd

 

To read my article in The Groove, the first of every month, click here

 

Julia Child once said, “People who love to eat are always the best people.” Read my blog at… Click To Tweet

 

 

a long, communal table

 

A farm-to-table fresh menu, lights strung for atmosphere above a long, communal table, charmingly decorated, and a venue you would never consider dining at, Farm to Table Dinners are all about community, conversation, surprise, and good food and wine.

Farm to Dinner Party at Black Oak Art
Farm to Dinner Party at Black Oak Art

When you go to a restaurant or attend a dinner party, you generally know what to expect and who you will be dining with. These farm to table events are all about getting out of your comfort zone, being brave, trying new things and meeting new people. And garden-fresh meals from local farms and purveyors, prepared by a chef that is known as much for his biscuits as he is for his gourmet meals.

Valley Mills Vineyards dinner on the Suspension Bridge, catered by Milo
Valley Mills Vineyards dinner on the Suspension Bridge, catered by Milo

I have attended several of these in Waco since October and I fall in love with “the dreamy night” every single time.

farm table at World Hunger Farm
farm table at World Hunger Farm

Mark, on the other hand, is still not quite as in love with these events as I am. In fact, he would probably tell you he doesn’t enjoy them at all. But because he loves me, (and I secretly think he does enjoy them- at least the conversation-community-part-of-it), he continues to go with me. Love for me or love for the event, either way, I appreciate him letting me drag him to the dreamy evenings.

Mark and I enjoying the World Hunger Farm in October
Mark and I enjoying the World Hunger Farm in October

I read somewhere about farm to table dinners- “diners to the land and the origins of their food, and to honor the local farmers and food artisans who cultivate it.”

farm tt

It is actually hard to get tickets to these events and perhaps that lends some mystery and suspense. When I see the event posted, I am freaking out, stumbling all over myself, trying to click the right buttons and get the tickets paid for. Several have been sold out before I could purchase.  When I do purchase the tickets- it’s like a score for me!  I become elated!

They are announced on Instagram on the accounts of the hosts and through an email. There are only so many tickets available because each event is intimate.

The actual venue and menu are often announced to the participants the night of the event, all a part of the suspense and magic of the evening. A secret society type of evening. All the secrecy lures you in and is a part of the intrigue.

view from our dinner on the Suspension Bridge, catered by Milo
view from our dinner on the Suspension Bridge, catered by Milo

Described as a restaurant without walls, the Farm to Table Dinner Party, in Waco, are planned by Sara Martin, of Kindred Event Studios and coordinated food and wine are provided by Milo and Waco Wine Shoppe.

table decorated by Sara Martin of Kindred Event Studio
table decorated by Sara Martin of Kindred Event Studio

I would not call the food classic. The menu is definitely different, which is one aspect of the dinner that is so spectacular. It is not just a dinner party. Something magical really.

Sometimes you really don’t know what you are eating. (which is why Mark isn’t so in love!)

Corey McEntyre, chef and owner of Milo Biscuit Company, plans and implements every detail of the menu according to what is available at the farms he sources, locally in Waco.

Corey McEntyre, chef and owner of Milo, discussing the menu
Corey McEntyre, chef and owner of Milo, discussing the menu

Some of the venues that have been used in the past have been outside, among the stars, at the World Hunger Farm and also along the Brazos River. We have even dined on the historic Suspension Bridge. Although it was not a Farm to Table; it was catered by Milo.

Farm to Table Dinner at World Hunger Farm in October
Farm to Table Dinner at World Hunger Farm in October

The last venue we attended was hosted by Jonathon Martin at his studio, Black Oak Art.

 

appetizer and studio wall at Black Oak Art
appetizer and studio wall at Black Oak Art

The event was originally supposed to be at Gather, a new store opening in Waco, that is a combination of Black Oak Art’s pottery and Kindred Event Studio’s love of entertaining. Gather, The Art of Hospitality, will be mixing traditional southern hospitality with a modern aesthetic. The store was not ready for hosting with construction still in progress. Owners of Gather, Jonathon and Sara Martin, were disappointed to not host the Farm to Table Dinner at Gather. As was I, because I wrote a story about the new store and I am very excited to shop there. But Black Oak Art was just as dreamy.

mug hand-thrown by Black Oak Art
mug hand-thrown by Black Oak Art

Black Oak Art was transformed from a dusty, hand-thrown pottery studio into a perfectly quaint dining atmosphere with a lot of hard work within a very few hours.

The meal included a mixture of hors d’oeuvres, family style shared plates, and composed dishes. There was a wine pairing from David Mayfield Selections and also wine was sold by the glass or bottle.

farm tt2
menu at the Black Oak Art Farm to Table

The menu consisted of Shishito peppers, peaches and ricotta cheese served on rye toasted bread, Eggplant Tartines, Gulf Oyster, watermelon with lemon and thyme, and an heirloom tomato salad. And for the main course, Milo served Berkshire pork tenderloin, herbed baby Yukon potatoes, harissa with wilted red cabbage, red onion, feta, mint, dill, parsley. (I don’t know but it was so delicious!)

Milo served Berkshire pork tenderloin, herbed baby Yukon potatoes, harissa with wilted red cabbage, red onion, feta, mint, dill, parsley
the Berkshire pork tenderloin, herbed baby Yukon potatoes, harissa with wilted red cabbage, red onion, feta, mint, dill, parsley served by Milo

The final course, and most beautifully done, was a dessert that consisted of a cheesecake-like Fromage, in a mason jar, overturned with fresh blueberry, Cantaloupe ice and a crunchy topping.

dessert made by Milo!
dessert made by Milo!

Look how dreamy-and it tasted better than it looked. Apparently, Fromage frais is a creamy soft cheese made with whole or skimmed milk and cream. It is similar to some kinds of quark (WHAT???). It has the consistency of cream cheese, but less fat. (so yay!)

This meal was the best yet that Mark and I have had served to us from Milo. And when I say best yet- I mean that we are not used to trying different, gourmet meals-we are a Morton’s steak and potatoes kind of couple!

As I have said, McEntyre is famous for his homemade biscuits. The recipe has been in the family and comes from Georgia by way of his grandparent.

They serve cheeseburgers on biscuits. Fresh chicken, fried and placed on a biscuit. Sausage on biscuits. (duh?) There are other menu items as well– but the biscuits are a must.

You can try these biscuits I speak of at Milo’s food trucks at three locations in Waco, at the Magnolia Silos, on Webster, behind Heritage Creamery, located at 1125 S. 8th Street, across from Baylor, or on Saturday mornings at the Waco Downtown Farmer’s Market, located at 400 S. University Parks Drive. The menu at the food trucks is just as fresh and sourced from local farmers but has more of a downhome feel. Described on the Milo website as “collaboration between southern comfort food and local farmers”, Milo knows how to serve a biscuit.

I asked Corey why he doesn’t serve his biscuits at these fancy dinners and he said he likes to keep it separate, and different. (Sure…but those biscuits!!)

If you have the opportunity to attend a Farm to Table Dinner, in Waco (or anywhere), I highly recommend it. Truly spectacular and a night to remember. Even if you can’t pronounce the menu. Be brave and try it!! (Mark!!)

love and blessings~dd