Date Night in the Hill Country

Date Night? What's that? I've got too much to do with the kids and all their activities......blah, blah, blah. Let me tell you a little secret. If you don't carve out a little space for each other, you will regret it. And you will be in a better frame of mind and less stressed out! Marriage is hard. You must get away every now and then. Do you really want to wake up one day after the last kid is going off to college and realize you don't even know that person you married  anymore?  If not, you need to get to work and figure out a way to get together! I've been thinking about … [Read more...]

The Mercantile

I took a trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma a couple of weeks ago. I went with my boy to tour the campus of University of Tulsa.  It was on his final list of colleges to attend in the fall. I was looking forward to seeing Tulsa again.  It had probably been about twenty years since I'd been there. And this was going to be my son's first foray into the place with the scissor-tailed flycatcher as their state bird!  Even though he's a senior in high school, I can still teach him so important things like state birds! Anyway, not only did I want to check out the city and the campus, I wanted to … [Read more...]

Malinalli Bakery and Bistro

Malinalli Bakery and Bistro  has been on my list of places to try ever since a friend recommended it to me back in the spring.  When my husband texted me the other day to meet him for lunch, I told him that this might be the perfect spot for our little rendezvous. After 21 years of marriage, a surprise hour alone together is always welcome and necessary to keep that spark alive! The restaurant is located at the corner of NW Military and West Ave. in Castle Hills. It's in the shopping center across the street from Castle Hills Baptist Church. The atmosphere is casual,warm and inviting … [Read more...]

Divine Catering is Truly Divine

When we were spending time with family in East Texas last week, we ate a place that my sister suggested. We had a busy morning of talking and the men had been out golfing in Longview. We knew they were sure to be hungry. And we were sure that we weren't going to cook lunch!  Who wants to turn on the oven in this heat? Not these sassy sisters! Divine Catering has been turning out some serious soul food since 2009. The  restaurant is located in a small building near the LeTourneau University campus. It is very much a family affair. The Hawkins, which consist of numerous aunts, cousins and … [Read more...]

Tacos and Tequilas. Not Just a Bar

I have a guest post today. It is written by my daughter Savannah. We ate at Tacos and Tequilas after our visit to the San Antonio Museum of Art's monthly family fun day. She is quite the budding artist. We stopped for a very late lunch at a restaurant right up the street from the museum. It's never been on our radar because it sounded too much like just a bar. And those days are long gone! Anyway, when I pulled up their menu on my phone, it listed a salad as an option. Well, who knew? We decided to give it try. The following is her take and photos on our experience. I guess I'll … [Read more...]

For the Love of Pancakes

Pancakes. I bet you just smiled. There's just something about pancakes that conjures up happy thoughts!  And this past weekend, we found the happiest pancake place in San Antonio! Pancake Joe's is located near Jefferson High School and close to downtown off of Donaldson Avenue. It's in a strip center that has no signage from the road. It took us awhile to find it but we were determined since it had come highly recommended by friends. I knew it had to be around somewhere because there were so many cars in the parking lot. (directly across from the Dollar General Store) Since the … [Read more...]

Jack Ryan’s is a Gem under the Derricks

If you have never been to Jack Ryan's in downtown Kilgore, you are in for a treat. Not only will you have some incredible views of oil derricks as you drive up to their door, the food is worth every single mile that you drive to get there. I had eaten there this summer for lunch but this was the first time for the dinner service. From the bar staff that attended to us until our entire party arrived, the waiter that served us all night, to the hostess that opened the door for us when we left;  the service was impeccable. I am so excited that a restaurant of this caliber can be found … [Read more...]

A Tiu Steppi Celebration

There is nothing more I love than going out to eat for a celebration. You don't have to cook and someone else does the dishes. And you can usually get some ideas for recipes to try at home, or make that my husband can try at home! Let's just say he's the better cook in our house! When your kids ask when daddy's getting home so he will be the one to make dinner, then you just know! It's OK, I've learned to embrace it! We went out last weekend to celebrate my son's 16th birthday. We had been out all day running errands and ended up at the mall. We wanted to get out of the crowds and go to a … [Read more...]

There’s a Reason It’s Called Comfort

When I was trying to decide where we could go for our 20th wedding anniversary getaway,  the only requirement was that it should be quiet and relaxing. With a very busy house of 3 kids, it's a luxury! In case you haven't been to this little part of the Hill Country in awhile, you will be in for a nice surprise. We found out very soon that Comfort is so much more than their 4th of July parades.    The GPS says that Comfort, Texas is exactly 37 miles from our driveway.  After staying two nights, it felt more like a million miles away! We booked a room at the Hotel Faust after seeing … [Read more...]

Hometown Vacation

When you live in a city of a million people, sometimes spending a little time away in a small town is the perfect summer vacation.  And that's what my family decided to do when we went to my hometown of Kilgore, Texas. We booked four nights at a local hotel and acted like tourists. Can you say free breakfast buffet? It has quickly become a tradition to get our entire Ott family together in the month of July. This summer, it was over the 4th  of July holiday. Instead of my usual vacation planning on sites like Tripadvisor, I simply called my brother John. I consider him to be … [Read more...]

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