{Videographer} Revival House {Location} The South {Catering} Fresh Cut Catering and Floral
Have you ever walked into a friend’s Summer BBQ and died a little bit inside as you realized that there was absolutely nothing there that you could eat? If you are gluten intolerant, this has probably happened to you on more than one occasion. And summertime events are the biggest culprits of all when it comes to stealing your poolside snacking fun! Don’t you worry though; there are plenty of delicious (and super easy!) gluten free summer treats that you can enjoy and bring with you to your next get-together. Here are two of my favorite dips and two delicious desserts for you to try:
{Taco Dip}
Love all things Mexican but can’t handle complicated recipes? This dip is perfect for you!
  What you need:
        • 1 8 oz. tub of sour cream
        • 1 stick of cream cheese
        • 1 packet of Taco Seasoning (Gluten Free)
        • Shredded Cheese
        • Salsa
First, melt the cream cheese in the microwave. Then, add the sour cream and taco seasoning, stirring to eliminate any “chunks”. Grab your nearest pie-sized serving dish. Spread the mixture along the bottom of the dish. Pour a layer of
salsa followed by a layer of shredded cheese on top and presto! Your dip is completed! All you need are some gluten
free corn tortilla chips and you are ready to party!
{Bacon Ranch Dip}
When I first discovered this recipe on Pinterest last fall, my heart leapt. Bacon, ranch and cheese combined with sour
cream goodness... Just writing about it makes me hungry!
   What you need:
        • 16 oz sour cream
        • 1 packet Ranch dressing mix
        • 3 oz bacon bits (in the bag – not the jar)
        • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Simply mix all of the ingredients together and refrigerate overnight. It is best served with chips or veggies. Trust me
when I tell you: this dip is so addicting you will not be able to stop eating it.
{Rice Krispie Treats}
This easy, gluten free treat, is so simple that you can quickly whip a batch together for any occasion. Plus, I’ve never met a person who didn’t love Rice Krispies so they are sure to be a hit anywhere you go!
   What You Need:
        • 1 stick of butter
        • 1 bag of jumbo marshmallows
        • Rice Krispies (Gluten Free)
Melt the stick of butter on the stove on low heat. Once it’s completely melted, add in the bag of marshmallows, stirring
until completely melted. Take the pot off the burner before adding in rice krispies. Pour cereal in slowly, stirring as you
go. Once the cereal is completely covered in marshmallowy goodness, you’re done! Spread evenly in 13” x 9” baking pan. Cut when cooled.
{White Chocolate Covered Strawberries}
Even though these are delicious treats year-round, there is something about summertime that makes the combination
of fresh strawberries and white chocolate extra special. Not to mention, they could not be easier to make!
   What you need:
        • 1 bag white chocolate chips (or white chocolate bark)
        • 2 cartons of fresh strawberries
To start, melt your chocolate in the microwave in thirty second intervals, stirring between each interval. Once melted,
dip each strawberry to coat in a glorious layer of white chocolate. Once covered, place on wax paper to dry. Refrigerate
before serving.

Want to mix this classic recipe up a little bit? Instead of covering your strawberries in chocolate, try filling them with
it for a chocolate filled treat! First, cut the stems off your clean strawberries and carefully scoop out the top of the berry. The deeper you scoop the more chocolate it will hold. Melt your chocolate or white chocolate, just as if you were dipping them. Then, to keep your strawberries upright while you fill, place them in an egg carton. Spoon the chocolate into each strawberry. Refrigerate before serving.
Don’t spend your next BBQ wishing there was something there that you could eat. Just whip up a simple snack or tasty
dessert that both you and the other guests will enjoy!
{Guest Blogger} Lindsay Martin-Nez
Positively impacting a child’s life is an incredible gift.  Quite often, a biological parent or lawful guardian becomes unable to care for a child.  When this occurs, a child can be placed in foster care, which is typically intended to be a short-term solution, until a child can be permanently placed.   Thankfully, there are people who are willing to open their homes and share their hearts with these precious children. It can be both challenging and rewarding, and foster parent Kimberly Day says, “The biggest challenge is letting them go once you are attached.  Most of the time you know from the beginning what the plan is (reunification with family or termination of rights).  You love them all, and I think they all take a piece of you when they go home.”  Today, we are delighted to share the stories of two brave women fostering children in Mississippi:

Guest Blogger: Mitchell Walters
{Kate’s Story}

“It can literally change a life.”  Kate and Justin Estess began their fostering journey just a few years ago.  “We had always talked about foster care or adoption.  One year we took some Christmas presents to an emergency shelter in Brandon and we found two children who we immediately fell in love with,” says Kate.  Nine months later, they obtained their license, but they were unable to get the children. 

Another six months passed, and a precious 2-year-old boy with fetal alcohol syndrome graced their doorstep.  Kate says, “He called me ‘mama’ within thirty seconds of getting dropped off.  Foster children are craving stability and do not need anything fancy.  They just need a safe home.”

The sweet boy stayed with Kate, Justin, and their two biological children for about 10.5 months, and his time positively impacted both the child and their family.  “We taught him how to eat, how to talk, how to play, just by existing in our house.  He picked up a lot of life skills.”  He also greatly loved their children and they were crazy about him.  Kate and Justin’s biological son was also 2-years-old at the time, and it gave him a wonderful playmate.  “Having a buddy was life-changing for my son.  He began talking and interacting.  It was also great for Justin and me.  We had to rely on each other; it made us lean on each other in a great way.”
Kate readily admits that fostering a child is not an easy job.  The ultimate goal of foster care is to reunite the child with their biological family.  She says there is danger in getting too attached to a foster child, but it is also dangerous to not get attached at all. 

Kate says there are about 4500 foster children in DHS (Department of Human Services) custody, and they need at least 800 families who are willing to foster a child.  She shares her advice with those who are contemplating foster care:
    -Talk to families who have fostered children.  Kate says, “You do not want to go into it blindly by any stretch!” 
    -If you are considering adoption, fostering is a great way to get your feet wet.  Foster care is typically short-term, and         you have some control over the parameters.

{Kimberly’s Story}

Another inspiring Mississippian, Kimberly Day, began fostering in 2001 as a single woman.  She fostered until she married, and she and her husband, Thomas, continued fostering as a couple.  Kimberly has lovingly welcomed over 30 children to her home, and has adopted three. 

Kimberly says, “You are serving the Lord in a way not many people are willing to do these days…you are teaching your own children to love without boundaries, to care outside your bubble and that ordinary people can make a difference.”
Kimberly notes that foster children do not need a lavish lifestyle filled with material things.  “They want and need love and structure.  I remember a little boy that I had who was turning seven.  The day of his birthday party he just cried and cried, because no one had ever given him a cake before.”

Kimberly’s advises that anyone considering foster care just “do it!  There are plenty of people to help support you along the way.  Yes, it’s scary at first, but so is the decision to have a baby!”

Thank you, Kate and Kimberly, for sharing your stories with us, and for providing loving, stable homes for so many children!
Photos courtesy of Kate Estess and Kimberly Day
{Bride} Anna Blumenfeld
{Groom} Nadav Herman
{Hometowns} Dothan, AL & Golan Heights, Israel
{Wedding Site} URJ Henry S. Jacobs Camp
{Reception Site} URJ Henry S. Jacobs Camp
{Videographer} BGP Wedding Films
{Videographer} BGP Wedding Films {Floral} Au Courant Floral {Catering} Fresh Cut Catering and Floral {Photography} Adam + Alli Photography {Event Planning} Kendall Poole Event Planning {Hair and Makeup} Trim Salon {Cake} Cakes by Iris {Bartending} World of Wine {Lighting} Davaine Lighting {Rentals} Great Southern Events {Band} Almost Famous
26 years ago, the discovery of a handsome back bar from an old barbershop in Yazoo City sparked a dream.  Steve Scott was set to open his new men’s clothing store, Great Scott, in Jackson.  He hoped that one day he would use the antique piece in his own Great Scott Barbershop.    
In September 2013, Steve’s barbershop plans became a reality.  With one visit to Great Scott, gentlemen can become more aware of the benefits of proper grooming and dressing.  Scott’s son Wright says of the new barbershop, “We want to provide a relaxing experience in a masculine setting.  We were inspired by the barbershops we had seen throughout the country that we felt Jackson would embrace.”
Special details came together to create their oasis.  Scott and his son Wright stumbled upon an antique red and white barber pole at market in New York City. Black Great Scott coffee mugs are filled with hot water to dip their badger hair brushes for shaves. And customers cannot miss the original “It pays to look well” stickers emblazoned on the mirrors along the back bar.  They also recruited a friend who designs and builds custom cabinetry to create a partition separating the clothing store and the barbershop, which houses shaving, hair and body products.   
Shortly after its conception, Nic Puckett, a third generation barber, began working inside the Great Scott Barbershop.  “What drew me to the barbershop was its quaint feel, and the simplicity of the cut and shave…women have high end salons and spas all across the Jackson metro area, but we wanted to create an atmosphere of a near spa-like, high-end grooming experience for men, “ says Nic.   “The experience we provide is masculine yet relaxing, and simple yet therapeutic.” 
The barbershop is truly an escape from the busy Jackson streets.  Men can get a haircut, recline and relax, and experience a hot towel shave with a straight razor.  By bringing this traditional barbershop back to Jackson, Nic says it “allows fathers and sons a place to get groomed together and make memories.  We offer haircuts and shaves, and have a father-son package as well as a cut and shave packing, which I would recommend any man try.”
Great Scott is known for their fine gentlemen’s clothing, but maintains wonderful relationships thanks to their impeccable customer service.  Wright says, “Customer service is what being in business is all about.  We want our customers to know that the barbershop experience is no different than what our customers have come to expect from Great Scott.  Looking good is looking good.  Whether you come in to be groomed, dressed, or both, our mission is to make you feel good about it, and we will bend over backwards to provide the best experience in the process.”
To book an appointment at the Great Scott Barbershop, call 601.984.3500, or click here to book online!
Click here to see a menu of services offered in the Great Scott Barbershop
{Bride} Maggie (Giffin) Weir
{Groom} Bowen Weir
{Hometowns} Jackson & Memphis (respectively)
{Wedding Site} Lakeside Presbyterian
{Reception Site} Home of the bride on the Ross Barnett Reservoir
{Floral Bouquets}  The bride carried a bouquet of hydrangeas, peonies, tulips, roses, freesia and ranunculus along with a monogrammed handkerchief sewn by the bride’s aunt.  Bridesmaids each carried antique silver baskets filled with roses, freesia, ivy and ranunculus—created by Oxford Floral
{Videographer} Frameblender Films

{How did the two of you meet?}
Bowen and I met at the Auburn game in Oxford

{What is your proposal story?}
Bowen wanted to catch me in my element—in the kitchen with my apron on cooking. I wasn’t cooking but he definitely surprised me on that Wednesday afternoon. After knocking on the door, he got down on one knee and asked me to spend my life with him.

{What inspired your wedding and reception locations?}

We wanted the wedding to be personal and intimate—nothing fit the bill like having the reception in the home I grew up in..and the water in the background made for a beautiful view!

{What inspired your color scheme/theme/flowers?}

My mother has always said to me, “Maggie you are my heart,” we took the heart theme and ran with it. Every detail was centered around hearts and soft whites and ivories.

{How did you pick “The Dress?”}

My mom and I took a trip to Birmingham to visit the carriage house, when I put on the dress we both looked at each other with tears in our eyes and knew, “this was it!”

{What’s your favorite unique accessory?}
My mother shadow-embroidered a heart with my name and wedding date in my wedding dress—this was such a sweet touch for me

{What was your favorite part of the wedding planning process?}
I got to live at home the six months before the wedding, getting to be involved in every detail and watching it all come together at my home with my family was a time in my life I will forever cherish.

{Besides the actual wedding, what was your favorite moment of the wedding day?}
Seeing Bowen for the first time!

{What was your favorite surprise detail/moment about your wedding day?} Dancing over pool (I’ve swam in my whole life) on a clear acrylic dance floor was a ball!

{Florist} Oxford Floral  {Caterer} Pretty Presentations  {Photographer} Will Jax  {Videographer} Frameblender Films
{Lighting} Davaine Lighting  {Band} Memphis Soul Revue  {Tent & Pool Covering} MaHaffey Tent

Guest Blogger: Mitchell Walters
Kristin, Sidney and Perry Allen
Kristin Allen knows Jackson.  Though she hails from North Carolina, Kristin now calls the capital city her home, and devotes her days to sharing the best of local businesses in The Scout Guide Jackson.

“Jackson has some of the most sophisticated, well-traveled, smartest and sometimes wildest people I've ever met.  I love that I live in a town where I'm constantly learning from the people around me, and am always meeting new people, ” says Kristin.  

With a gorgeous book that is printed annually, insightful blogs and frequent social media posts, The Scout Guide treats both locals and travelers to a taste of the wonderful things Jackson has to offer.  Kristin inspires us to shop, dine, and live locally, with The Scout Guide highlighting the talented and creative people behind Jackson's great businesses.
Kristen in her role of Editor
A colorful array of clothing at Fondren Muse featured in The Scout Guide
We caught up with Kristin, and she indulges us in how she gracefully balances life as a wife and mother, while bringing the best of Jackson to The Scout Guide readers:

{How did you become the Editor of The Scout Guide Jackson? }

I started a little over a year ago. I had been familiar with The Scout Guide in other markets, but on a trip to New Orleans I picked up a copy in a shop on Magazine St. and realized an old friend is the editor of TSG New Orleans. I called her about what she was up to and was told I just HAD to start The Scout Guide in Jackson. The more I learned about Scout, the more I thought it would be a good fit here and could be my way of making a positive contribution in Jackson.

{The Scout Guide highlights the best of local businesses.  What is a typical day like for you?}

I do a lot, but I can't take all the credit! I have an incredibly talented photographer, Tom Beck, who shoots everything you see in The Scout Guide. I also have some great writers contributing to the blog. There's really no typical day for me but everything I do is centered around promoting my businesses and introducing The Scout Guide to people in town... and really all over the state.
A Paige Novick necklace makes a statement at Coattails featured in The Scout Guide
{How often does The Scout Guide Book published?}

The book comes out annually and for the year a volume is out, the businesses inside are promoted via social media, the TSG Jackson Blog and the national Scout Guide Blog. The opportunity to promote Jackson and these businesses on a national level was a big part of what interested me in launching The Scout Guide in Jackson. 

{What do you think makes Jackson so unique?}

Hands-down our people. I'm not from here originally, but I've never been more warmly welcomed somewhere new.

{Do you have any favorite shops or restaurants in Jackson?}

Yes!  Everyone in The Scout Guide, of course. But honestly, I view The Scout Guide Jackson as my personal endorsement of all these businesses. I would never include a business in The Scout Guide that I would not highly recommend to a friend.  There's something special about each of the businesses and business owners in TSG Jackson, and I can literally go through the book and share what I think is amazing about each. These are the places that really make Jackson a wonderful place to live, and live well.

The Chef at Iron Horse Grill featured in The Scout Guide
{How do you balance family life as a wife and mother and work?}

It's hard work but I am very grateful to have an incredibly supportive husband and a three-year-old that is up for anything. We always make a point to have family time. I think all working moms struggle with the work/home balance. I find that being hyper-organized is an absolute must.   

{Any other words of wisdom you want to share?}

Yes! The Scout Guide Jackson is all about supporting local business, so my hope is that people in and around Jackson will make an effort to support TSG Jackson businesses (and all local businesses) when they have a choice. If we could all pledge to choose local over the alternative even once per month, it would have an incredible impact on our local economy and ensure these local institutions are here for years to come.
Amazing artwork by Lynn Sanders at The View Gallery featured in The Scout Guide
Gorgeous jewels at Juniker Jewelry featured in The Scout Guide
Unique furnishings at Interior Spaces featured in The Scout Guide
All photos courtesy of Kristin Allen and The Scout Guide
{Bride} Letty Stricklin
{Groom} Adam Weeks
{Hometowns} Letty - Yazoo City, Mississippi;  Adam - Starkville, Mississippi           
{Wedding & Reception Site} McClain Lodge, Brandon Mississippi
{Videographer} The Film Poets
{How did the two of you meet?}
We lived across the street from each other sophomore year in college.  My house had 6 girls and his house had 4 guys.  We all became best friends and Adam and I decided we liked each other a little more than that about half way through the school year.  We have been together ever since- that was 7 years ago!

{What is your proposal story}

We planned to go on a cruise over Christmas break.  I wasn’t suspecting a thing because he told me we wouldn’t get engaged until he finished school- a year later.  He popped the question on the ship.  It was so much fun to get to come home and tell our friends and family!

{What inspired your wedding and reception locations?}

We wanted something unique that no one we knew had used before.   We also really wanted everything to be in the same location to minimize driving and hassle for everyone involved.  McClain Lodge gave us all of those things.

{What inspired your color scheme/theme/flowers?}

I picked the emerald green because it reminded me of that vibrant vintage green color that I love so much.  We decided on mint green first and I decided to add in the emerald once I found the bridesmaid dresses.  I knew I wanted gold accents because I wanted the wedding to be more vintage and eclectic without being too casual and rustic.  I used lots of greenery and coral accents with the flowers because it paired really well with the emerald and mint.  I also used tons of succulents and air plants because they are my favorite! As far as a theme, I just wanted it to be very eclectic and personal.

{How did you pick “the dress?”}
I went to Lows Bridal in Arkansas.  I picked the dress in one day.  I knew with the wide selection they had I would leave feeling like I had seen just about everything there is to see.  After I chose the dress, I stopped looking because I am the type to change my mind a million times!  My mom and mother in law both 100% knew it was the dress as soon as I walked out too.

{What’s your favorite unique accessory?}
Is there a story behind it?  I wore some earrings made from cufflinks that had been in our family a really long time- that was my something old!

{What was your favorite part of the wedding planning process?}

I styled my own wedding.  Every centerpiece, table, and area of the wedding and reception(aside from the flowers) were things that I had collected at thrift stores, antique malls and estate sales over the 16 months we were engaged ( I had plenty of time!).  I really enjoyed being able to put small touches that were unique to us everywhere during the day.  I also enjoyed going on digging trips with my mom and sister to collect all the items during the engagement- we went all over the state!

{Besides the actual wedding, what was your favorite moment of the wedding day?}
It was definitely when Adam saw me for the first time.  I could tell he was nervous and we had been together so long it was really fun to see him nervous around me again.  We read letters to each other at that point too and I had anticipated what his would say so it was fun to get to hear it for the first time.

{What was your favorite surprise detail/moment about your wedding day?}
We didn’t really have any hiccups or surprises on the day but that was just perfect for me.  The weather was perfect, everything went smoothly and despite my decorating the whole wedding I made it through with minimal stress.  It definitely is a day that I would love to relive over and over!
{Videographer}  The Film Poets  {Catering and Venue}  McClain Lodge  {Florals} Mostly Martha's   {Wedding Cake} That Special Touch  {Hair} Annbri Adams  {Makeup} Nicole Wyatt   {Band} The Flames  {Dress and Bridesmaid Dresses} Low's Bridal {Photographer} Amelia Patterson  {Wedding Styling} Letty Weeks, Style Revel Events  {Programs and Invitations} Letty Weeks
Guest Post: Callie Collins
It was the summer of 2009, in the heart of the Mississippi Delta. We set the date. Our wedding would take place in late July because cotton would be planted but not yet ready for picking, therefore, my Daddy (the money man) would be available and my Mom (the planner and coordinator extraordinaire) would be on summer break from teaching. This was a risky move! A summer wedding in Mississippi? The heat? The Mosquitoes? Yes, they all had their role on our big day, but there are plenty of ways to survive. 
First and foremost, find yourself a fun party dress for your reception. Don't be like me and spend parts of your night in the bathroom taking breathers. No, my dress didn't magically shrink that day, but my body did swell. The Mississippi heat will do that to you. I can't stress the importance of having a fun, comfortable cocktail dress to change into if you want to beat the heat.     
Speaking of mosquitoes! Have a few bottles of bug spray available for your guests, especially if your ceremony and/or reception will be taking place outside. I know the spray will not necessarily coordinate with your otherwise elegant and gorgeous décor, but your guests will thank you. Believe me, it will be of utmost importance. The out of town guests at our wedding lovingly named them mosquito hawks and still talk about them to this day.
Some other simple survival tools to have on hand for your summer wedding are:

Fun Sunglasses! There's no need to spend a lot of money here. Not everything has to be personalized. Keep them simple and help shade everyone from the sun.
Sun Screen! Help out all of your fair skinned guests. Nobody needs to be getting sunburned on your watch.    
Huggies! Or koozies, as the rest of the world calls them. They make for great favors and help keep your drink cool in the heat. Who doesn't love a new huggie?
Paper Fans! So simple and most certainly something that can be a fun DIY project. You can personalize them, have your program printed on them or keep them simple.     
Water! Lots of water... Those out of state guests won't know what hit them when they step out of the car into the Mississippi humidity for the first time.    
A Great Attitude: One of the most important factors to surviving a summer wedding in Mississippi is accepting that it will be HOT! Be prepared to sweat a little on that dance floor and have a blast!
Guest Blogger: Mitchell Walters
As we celebrate our nation's independence this weekend, Mississippians will gather for picnics, neighborhood parades, barbecues and impressive firework displays.  It is the perfect time to relax with friends and family in the middle of a busy summer.

But, let's be honest.  The 4th of July in Mississippi often falls on an uncomfortably hot, sticky day!  The solution?  Indulge in the most delicious ice cream sandwich you could ever imagine.  It is the perfect marriage of cold, smooth ice cream with a rich, decadent cookie.
If you are lucky enough to be near New Albany or Oxford, you can pick up these mouthwatering ice cream sandwiches!  Created by Sugaree's Bakery in New Albany, they are carried in three stores:  Mississippi Madness in Oxford, Holli's Sweet Tooth in Oxford, and Sugaree's Bakery in downtown New Albany.  The sandwiches are available in vanilla, chocolate and cookies and cream.

For those of us who are not so lucky, don't despair!  Though they can't divulge all of their secrets, Sugaree's Bakery graciously shared a few of their tips and tricks for creating a perfect summer treat:

~ Bake or buy several soft chocolate cookies

~ Place one of the chocolate cookies upside down.  Then, fill a round cookie cutter with your favorite ice cream (Sugaree's Bakery recommends Breyers).  Remove the cutter so the ice cream is sitting on the chocolate cookie.

~ Top with your second chewy chocolate cookie and enjoy!

Hungry yet?  What a delicious way to celebrate.  We hope you, your friends and family enjoy a wonderful, safe 4th of July weekend! 

Photos courtesy of Sugaree's Bakery 

To learn more about Sugaree's Bakery, visit www.sugarees.com