Midland, Texas, Here I Come! (Plus a Giveaway!!!)
I recently had the chance to visit Midland, Texas, for the first time! My thoughts were oil rigs and tumbleweeds!! What I found was a charming town with friendly people and a taste of West Texas culture!!
Flying there because it’s about an 8-hour drive from Houston, I snapped a few pics from the plane to show you just how flat Midland is… and boy, is it ever!!! There were also oil wells everywhere, which made Midland live up to its rap as an oil boomtown.
By 1950, 215 oil companies had offices in Midland, and the city has continued to experience growth spurts in the years since. I was surprised at how big and bustling Midland’s downtown is. I know the oil market is down for the moment, but this 2013 National Review article states that “the average rent on an apartment there is nearly twice what it is in nearby cities of comparable size, and rents are up more than 20 percent year over year — if you are lucky enough to get an apartment. Official unemployment is about 3 percent; real unemployment is effectively zero.”
Aside from oil, Midland’s other claim to fame is the George W. Bush Childhood Home. The Bush family lived in Midland from 1951 to 1955. George W. Bush was just a kid, and Jeb Bush was born there! Largely unchanged since 1956, the inside is full of period furnishings that give a great idea of how the Bushes lived way before their presidencies!! Midland is also the hometown of former First Lady, Laura Bush. I didn’t know this!
My good friend Tammy joined me on the trip to visit her son, who has worked in Midland since he graduated from Texas A&M, and her mother-in-law, who lives there. We stayed with sweet Frances, who hosted us and grandson Morgan for dinner.
They took me to the fabulous Racquet Club of Midland for dinner. I was delighted to see how beautiful the interiors were! The color schematics throughout were just wonderful – warm neutrals, perfectly classic yet contemporary. I liked the painted beams mixed with the stained planked ceiling!!
Here I am cozying up to the fire and admiring all the gorgeous decor and beautiful stone walls!
This is the casual dining area where we ate. I loved the drapes, which could be closed for a more private dining space! I have always wanted to create this kind of feel on my outdoor patio!
Everything was so tailored! I’m becoming a big fan of planking for accent walls, which I’ve been seeing in so many Houston interiors these days. There were cozy vignettes everywhere!
Here is another one with bookshelves and antique books, which really made this large dining area feel more like an elegant home setting!
One more shot of the dining room before we see what’s on the menu!
The food was amazing, especially the biscuits!!!! (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself and took a few bites before photographing them!) I’m from Georgia where biscuits are king, but I’ve gotta tell you… these were the best I’ve ever had! And I’m so excited because, my blog friends, I ran into the chef’s son, George, who gave me the recipe!!!
The Racquet Club’s Perfect Drop Biscuits!!!
These are far too good for words! The Club often adds garlic and cheese into the dough (which you can also try!), but here’s their base recipe for utterly delicious, super fluffy biscuits!
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
4 oz cold butter (one stick), cut into 12 1/4 inch pieces
3/4 c whole milk
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking sheet and set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Then, working quickly with a pastry blender or knife, cut in the pieces of butter until you have a crumbly texture with a few small chunks. With a fork, stir in the milk, being careful not to overmix. The dough should be sticky.
Drop balls of dough onto the greased pan using an ice cream scoop. Bake at 450 for 8-12 minutes, until golden brown on top. Serve warm with more butter, and enjoy!!!
I was also introduced to the Chilton, a West Texas drink! It’s vodka mixed with an entire squeezed lemon and soda water. The glass is rimmed with salt like a margarita!! Simple and refreshing!! You must try it!
You could also try to make Chiltons with Prickly Pear Vodka for a touch of pink!!!
The reason I went to Midland was the wonderful Hyacinth for the Home, which invited me up for a book signing! These two design beauties, Margy and Sarah, picked me up the next morning and took me to some jobs to see about Segreto coming back to work! Sarah is actually from Houston and was friends with my daughter. She moved to Midland when her husband got a job there. I was impressed by all the beautiful work they do! Hyacinth has full design services as well as a lovely store!
They did such a wonderful display for Segreto Style!!! Hyacinth has so many gorgeous things!
Here we all are!!! I always love meeting new people, and it was such a pleasure spending time and getting to know everyone at Hyacinth. If you’re ever in Midland, be sure to check them out!! Thanks, Kate and the whole Hyacinth team, for hosting me!!!!
I was so excited for Midland Lifestyles magazine to do a feature on Segreto Style !! The cover shot from A Home Reclaimed, was drawn by Robert Dame Designs, built by Allan Edwards, and the interiors designed by the fab Trisha McGaw! (pages 108-115 in the book) This is one of my favorite homes in the book!!! See the entire article here! Beverly, the editor of Midland Lifestyles, was such a doll to work with!
Lies and Other Acts of Love – A Segreto Giveaway!!!
On the way back home, my flight was canceled, and I was stuck at the airport. Lucky for me, the delay turned into a real delight as I got to read an advance copy of Kristy Woodson Harvey‘s new book, Lies and Other Acts of Love!!! Kristy, of the fab blog Design Chic, is the sweetest friend a great supporter of Segreto!!
She released her first novel, Dear Carolina, a couple years ago, which I also got to review ahead of time. Kristy’s such a talented storyteller, and this book is honestly one of my all-time favorites!! It’s a story that proves that life circumstances shape us but don’t define us – and that families aren’t born, they’re made.
Well, I’m thrilled to say that her second book is just as good as the first! No wonder she’s been called “a major new voice in southern fiction”! To give you an idea of the story, here’s the jacket copy:
Dear Carolina was praised as “Southern fiction at its best.”* Now author Kristy Woodson Harvey presents a new novel about what it really means to tell the truth . . .
After sixty years of marriage and five daughters, Lynn “Lovey” White knows that all of us, from time to time, need to use our little white lies.
Her granddaughter, Annabelle, on the other hand, is as truthful as they come. She always does the right thing – that is, until she dumps her hedge fund manager fiancé and marries a musician she has known for three days. After all, her grandparents, who fell in love at first sight, have shared a lifetime of happiness, even through her grandfather’s declining health.
But when Annabelle’s world starts to collapse around her, she discovers that nothing about her picture-perfect family is as it seems. And Lovey has to decide whether one more lie will make or break the ones she loves . . .
I became so invested in the characters, I couldn’t put the book down!! Kristy certainly has a gift for crafting memorable characters and heartwarming tales. If you’re looking for a new read, you’ve got to grab a copy of Lies and Other Acts of Love!!! It’d be perfect for the summer!
The book will be released tomorrow, April 5th, but you can go ahead and pre-order your copy on Amazon here!
WIN A COPY – How to Enter Our Giveaway!!!
We’re giving away a copy of Lies and Other Acts of Love!!!! All you need to do is follow us on Instagram and then leave a comment below to be entered for a chance to win! Already following us on Instagram? You can also enter by sharing this post on Facebook and then leaving a comment below!
The contest is only open until Sunday, April 10th at noon, and we’ll reveal the winner in next week’s post! Good luck!!!
Hope you all have a wonderful week! Till next time!!!