De Rigueur of Kilgore

Style. Are you born with it? Do you acquire it over time? Who inspired your sense of style? For me, I know that I was influenced by my mother. She would never go out of the house without her lipstick. When she wasn't wearing nursing scrubs at my dad's office, she loved to wear suits and dresses. I very rarely saw her in a pair of pants. I also remember being mesmerized by Judy McCracken and  Chris Dukes .  I would see Judy at my friend  Melissa's house. She would have clothes delivered to her by The Toggery which was a local ladies apparel store. She would try on the outfits for us … [Read more...]

There’s No Place Like Home

I just got back from a trip to my hometown of Kilgore, Texas. I was there for a little work and a lot of visiting with my family. It rained most of the week. And I'll never complain about rain after suffering through years of drought but it does put a damper on some things. My sister Kathryn and I spent a lot of the week driving around the back roads and reminiscing about growing up. We had the oldie station blaring on the radio which caused us to bust out in random singing to our favorite tunes. What's not to love about a little Delta Dawn and anything ever recorded by Willie … [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...]

Women Who Inspire

            I often hesitate to use the word "inspiring" as a description of an event. People are inspired by so many different things. Yesterday, at Women in the World Texas, it was very apparent that the entire sold out audience was inspired by what took place in six hours at the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre. One by one they spoke.   There was no big production stage; only words, powerful words.  They came from all walks of life and various backgrounds.  No politics. No hidden agendas. Only words.  Even at the end … [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...]

Women in the World Texas

Can you spare a day out of your busy schedule to be inspired? What if I told you that it is an event that up until now, has only been held in New York City? It is headed down south to Texas. And of all the cities in Texas, San Antonio is the one playing host, or make that hostess! Tina Brown's Women in the World Texas will gather some of the most well-known and powerful women to take the stage at the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre.  Not only will you have the opportunity to hear discussions from the Texas women: Former Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Ambassador Karen Hughes, Eva … [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...]

JackRyan’s in Downtown Kilgore

As we drove through downtown Kilgore a few weeks ago on our way to my brother Jimmy’s house, we saw a huge amount of cars parked near the railroad tracks. (no picture of all the cars since I was driving at the time!) Was there a festival going on? Could it be it be all the people in town for the Shakespeare Festival or the Balloon Races?  When we arrived at out family reunion, which was pretty crowded since all my siblings and their families were there, we got our answer.   According to the resident foodies in our family, we had just witnessed the typical crowd that lines up … [Read more...]

The Element Hotel

Does a weekend trip away with your son's basketball team mean that you have to give up on feeling sassy? Well, not if you stay in a hotel that my husband stumbled upon while surfing the internet! We recently returned home from Houston and our second  stay at the Element Hotel.  Our boy's team played in a tournament at gyms in the Tomball, Spring and Klein areas of Northwest Houston. I normally don't get too excited about staying in a hotel when I am at one of my son's sporting events. We typically aren't in the room long enough for me to even form an opinion. And most of the places we … [Read more...]

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