The Rio Olympic Games officially begin next Friday, August 5th!  We had the great privilege of featuring Olympian Kyle Dutiel in the 2016 issue of Inspiration Mississippi Magazine.  Dutiel dazzled at the Special Olympic World Games and brought home the coveted Gold!  We are thrilled to share his incredible story with you today:
For more inspiring stories, photoshoots and events, please pick up a copy of Inspiration Mississippi Magazine today! 
 
 
Two lovely, expectant sisters were showered with bangles, sweet treats and blessings in a traditional South Indian ceremony.  Adorned in exquisite dresses, Neelima Duncan and Vimala Ingram glowed as friends and family celebrated their incredible news.  With Vimala expecting a girl and Neelima a boy, the sisters chose to decorate with traditional pink and blue.  In lieu of pastels, the room was draped in bright jewel tones, beautifully blending with the Indian details. 

Neelima says, “During a Seemantham ceremony, the mother-to-be is adorned with bangles to help stimulate the baby’s development.  The sweet treats are placed in her lap to represent the arrival of a sweet bundle of joy.  All guests attending the event bless the mother and baby for a safe and healthy delivery.” 

“It was a wonderful event with thoughtful details that we will remember forever!” says Vimala. “We are so happy we were able to keep the traditional aspects of the Indian baby shower.  As with any occasion where we gather family and friends in one place, our favorite memories were made spending time with them.”
Vendors:

Photographer: Adam + Alli Photography

Venue:  Fowler Hall at St. James Episcopal Church

Florist and Décor:  William Box Designs

Cupcakes: For Heaven's Cakes

Cookies:  Whimsy Cookie Company

Catering:  Mangia Bene Catering and Spice Avenue

Lighting:  Davaine Lighting
 
 
Great Scott is the ultimate destination for any southern gentleman.  They carry everything from dapper clothing and accessories to the perfect skincare products in The Barber Shop.   We asked Great Scott to share their summer gentlemen grooming tips and we are thrilled to share them with you today! 
For more information on Great Scott and all of their incredible products, please visit their website here

To view more of Adam + Alli Photography's beautiful work, please click here!
 
 
For 127 years people have flocked to Philadelphia for the Neshoba County Fair.  We wanted to discover the charm that is "The Fair" and asked two families to fill us in!

"Family is the number one reason we go back to The Fair every year.  You have every age group under one roof for one week with no TV's!  The Fair offers many activities, including carnival games and rides, a talent show, a beauty pageant, cakewalks, and politicians on the square trying to convince us they are the best for the job.  Also, there are Harness races every afternoon and bands and concerts nightly." Susan McNamara

"Our family love The Fair!  It is a reunion for us with our four adult children and their spouses, and our eleven grandchildren.  We all make it a priority to attend.  My husband, Tag, grew up going to The Fair.  We have been married for forty-nine years and I have only missed one Fair, because I was having a baby!" Dot Gamblin 

Photography by B. Flint Photography 
 
 
The Cases - Aaron and Vanessa Case
{Hometown} Madison, Ms
{Event Site} Northbay Marina and Golf Course - Madison, MS
{Occasion} Baby Case Maternity Pictures

{Inspiration location}  Aaron and I wanted our maternity pictures to really capture us as a family and a couple doing what we love to do! We picked the Marina and Golf Course because we spend most of our time out on the Reservoir or cruising around in the afternoons on our golf cart. We've lived in Northbay for almost 7 years now so it was easy to pick our favorite spots like the gorgeous old oak tree down by the pond on the neighborhood golf course and the channel behind our house that opens to the Reservoir.  

{Theme} We wanted a “Southern Casual” feel to our photos. Our ultimate goal was to stay away from trendy and to be able to look back at these pictures in 20 years and not be get made fun of by our kids or be embarrassed about the crazy outfits or poses we were in. That's exactly why we LOVE Adam + Alli Photography! They are so creative and fun with their shots and style without making the pictures look staged and cheesy. Actually during the shoot Alli just whips out a bouquet of beautiful sunflowers to add a fun pop of color and just the right amount of “Southern” to the some of the canoe shots. It was perfect! We just LOVE A + A!!!

{Inspiration color scheme} I love Aaron in anything seersucker! He just has that sweet southern boy look and seersucker just tops it off, so we went with a couple of pops of seersucker with his outfit and Bird's hair bow and incorporated some timeless neutrals like gray and navy.

{Favorite event details} My favorite memory would be watching Aaron help prepare for the canoe part of the shoot. Aaron has been the best little daddy/husband during this pregnancy. He's so proud to be having a son and is always wanting to do things for me and make me happy- poor thing- whatever that may mean that day. Earlier that week I had mentioned that I thought a canoe for the photo shoot would be so pretty out in the water but we didn't have one. After I said that he pretty much made it his mission to find us a canoe. He stalked the marina and our waterfront neighbors' yards for days until he found the perfect one to ask to borrow. Before everything was said and done he had to outrun a giant snake and if that wasn't enough then he had to paddle the canoe we borrowed with an old wooden oar across the canal in the 100 degree temp twice just to be able to use it. You just had to be there to appreciate it! He worked so hard for that canoe but those are some of his favorite shots so he said it was totally worth it- thank goodness!

My favorite detail was being able to use the quilt my great grandmother made for my mom for her wedding present. She made each grandchild a quilt and gave it to them on their wedding day.  Anybody that knows me knows I am a very sentimental person! Nanny is no longer with us, but I know how excited she would be that Aaron and I were about to have a baby and start our own family, so I wanted to find a way to include her somehow. It meant soooo much to me to be able to capture my family and future family decades later on that beautiful quilt she made because her family meant the world to her! 

{Favorite part of planning} There really wasn't much to plan, Adam and Alli just make it happen! Alli and I talked some about places that were special to us and the “simple southern” look we were going for and they came in and worked their MAGIC like they always do!!!

{Favorite picture} I LOVE them all but I guess if I had to pick, the one of Bird resting her sweet little head on my belly. I can't believe they were able to make that picture happen! It just makes my heart melt because I know she and Baby Case are going to be best friends one day!!!

{Floral Design} Alli Hudson:)

{Photographer} Adam and Alli Photography

{Venue} Northbay Marina and Golf Course - Madison

 

Written by Mitchell Walters 
 
 
“I am a proud Mississippi girl, born and raised, although I am not a country girl.  I prefer the city lights,” smiles photographer Katie Hughes.  “I am self-expressive and tend to march to the beat of my own drum.  I think my eccentric personality is what draws people in and they always stay!”

Katie is the talented, sweet and beautiful photographer behind the highly successful  Mary Moment Photography.  She truly captures life in the dreamiest, most magical photographs.  

Photography was not always Katie's interest.  She laughs, “I connect my love for photography to my mother, but I didn’t realize this until my twenties.  This is funny;  in high school, I worked part-time for a pretty big photographer in Jackson, but I had zero interest in photography as a job.  I lasted a total of four weeks before I was let go due to how terrible I was at cutting proofs!” 

Though it wasn’t her first love, Hughes has always been wildly creative, exploring with paint-based mediums as a child.  “Fast-forward to my twenties and I began using my mother’s first Canon digital camera to take photos of just about anything and anyone.  I fell in love and never looked back.  I thank the big photographer who fired me because it pushed me to want to be amazing,” reflects Katie.

Katie worked part-time as a paralegal and perfected her photography skills on the side.  One day her dear friend, Mary, said, “Katie, you are getting pretty good at this picture-taking thing!”  They began talking about how she could turn it into a business.  Hughes says sadly, “She was a huge part of my life, and ended up no longer being with us in a sudden way.  That in itself made me think that life is way too short.  I quit my job and jumped into photography!” 

Hughes sweetly named her business after Mary, who had wholeheartedly supported her photography career.  Katie says, “When you see ‘Mary’ on my business card, know the namesake is a beautiful person.”

Katie loves to capture weddings, newborn photographs and maternity pictures.  Katie smiles, “I honestly love photographing it all!  I love getting to be a part of such an amazing, life-altering process such as the Union of Marriage!  I love getting to watch two people celebrate their love and pretty much experience their amazing first step into their next phase of life.  I think that’s why I also love capturing newborns.  I love being a part of this other life-altering phase that is so special and emotional.”  Katie often captures a bride and groom and years later, find herself photographing their precious children.  “I love seeing people happy and what days could be happier than your wedding and the birth of your children?”

Katie approaches her photographs with a natural photojournalistic eye.  “I like my images to show movement, such as a child running or playing.  I like to make bridal parties laugh and catching that moment is so real.  I am very informal but my end product is timeless.”

Katie and her husband share five kids together and she laughs, “My family is the real life Brady Bunch!  Memories that I make with my children are what I try to capture in portraits.  My children inspire me every day to pick up my camera and digitally imprint a moment.”  She is also inspired by the vast landscape of Mississippi.  “We have so much beauty.  I can walk into a client’s front yard and photograph toddlers in front of a gorgeous magnolia tree.  Or I can take a client downtown and photograph them in front of a funky mural.  I love having such diversity and also representing Mississippi.”

Her photographs are truly unique and breathtaking.  She smiles, “I have shot photographs all over the world, but I still think the most beautiful sunset can be captured right here in our back yard!”

For more information on Mary Moment Photography, please visit her lovely website here!  All photographs courtesy of Mary Moment Photography.

 
 
Mississippi's blues are once again capturing the heart of the nation.  But this time, the blues are coming to life through a vibrant reality web series.  Moonshine & Mojo Hands is the world's first blues music reality show, now streaming live exclusively at www.moonshineandmojohands.com.

The 10-episode web series was created by Roger Stolle and Jeff Konkel, who collaborated on award-winning documentaries M for Mississippi and We Juke Up in Here.  In their new reality series, Konkel and Stolle travel throughout the Mississippi Delta in search of juke joints, parties, moonshiners, soul food, and of course, the musicians who continue celebrating the blues in its birthplace. "The show will feature a wide range of musicians both celebrated and obscure. Featured artists include James 'Super Chikan' Johnson, Leo Bud Welch, Robert 'Bilbo' Walker, Mark 'Muleman' Massey, Terry 'Harmonica' Bean, Lucious Spiller, Louis 'Gearshifter' Youngblood and many more." 

"The feedback from around the world has been nothing short of amazing," marvels series co-creator/host Konkel. "It seems that our weekly 'reality show' format has really hit home with fans of blues music, Southern culture and good old-fashioned road trips."

The show is a joint production of Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art and Broke & Hungry Records. "Rather than present just blues 'the genre' or blues 'the history,' our show strives to bring viewers on the road with us for a wild, Mississippi blues experience," says Stolle, the show's other creators/host. "Sure, the series has plenty of blues music and musicians, but it also has the people and places that inform the music — the culture that gives the blues its fun and funk."

There is already talk of a Season Two for the acclaimed series, and the hope is to find a permanent home on a cable TV or web streaming service outlet  Stolle says, "The series could easily be expanded to include not only Mississippi but also its neighboring Southern states! There are a lot of stories left to tell."

Let's all celebrate Mississippi's blues!  You can watch the groundbreaking series here!

All photographs courtesy of Lou Bopp
 
 
Modern Revival was created to provide locals with more affordable, "MODERN" day event rental options.  Owner Vanessa Case says, "Southerners love any reason to host a party, especially in Mississippi where spring and summer are booked with showers, weddings, and celebrations galore. After attending and being a part of many social events over the years, I realized people were looking for a larger variety when it came to designing and decorating their events. Traditional is great for some people, but for people like myself who love originality and believe that every event should be a reflection of its maker, I felt our event industry could benefit from a good ole southern 'REVIVAL.' What a better time than now? When everything vintage is in, retro is alive, modern is sleek, and rustic equals true beauty!" 

Modern Revival is the ultimate resource for modern, vintage and rustic furniture and accessories, with products ranging from beautiful antique sofas to chandeliers and modern lounge furniture.  Modern Revival also features incredibly beautiful pieces for smaller parties, such as baby showers and birthday parties!  Vanessa smiles, "We have an amazing website, http://www.modernrevivalrentals.com, that gives our clients access to browse all of our pieces from the comfort of their home! We also have a super convenient Wishlist feature on our website where our clients can look through all of our inventory, pick out what they love, create and submit a Wishlist, and in return get a quote and picture collage of their selection emailed back to them. We created this feature to help with the planning process and to allow our customers to see everything they're interested in renting together as a whole. Their Wishlist ultimately becomes a great planning guide helping them to stay organized and on budget and gives me a better idea of what their overall event style is."

Vanessa is expecting a sweet baby boy, and Modern Revival added the perfect accessories to her recent baby shower.  We are so excited to share more of the lovely event with you today through the eyes of her dear friend, Elisa Oswalt!

{Event Site} Northbay Clubhouse in Madison, Mississippi

{Inspiration location}  "Northbay Clubhouse - It was centrally located for friends and family and right down the street from where she lives so it was convenient for transporting gifts and allowed guests to see Baby Case's nursery progress."

{Theme} "We centered the shower around a 'Babies Make Life Sweeter' theme because it's sooo true and because Vanessa's main cravings throughout her pregnancy have been desserts and sweets - pies, cakes, candy, ANYTHING and EVERYTHING sweet!"

{Inspiration Color Scheme} "We used a variety of fun hues of blues, pops of yellow, and pastels for the shower by incorporating them in the flower arrangements, Modern Revival's vintage mix and match dishes, and other Modern Revival decorative rental pieces. We wanted to keep the colors sweet but not your traditional gender specific. Antlers here and there added the perfect little masculine touch and a eclectic feel to the decor. Just the best way to represent Vanessa's personality and to celebrate her sweet baby boy!" 

{Favorite Event Detail}  "My personal favorite detail was the vintage mix and matched tea cups, saucers, and plates that the guests used to enjoy their dessert themed menu. We styled the collection on Modern Revival's 'Catherine' Antique 3-Tiered Table- It was such a beautiful Southern and fun touch!" 

{Favorite Part of Planning}  "Collaborating shower details with all of Vanessa's shower hosts/closest friends. We always love getting together, especially when it's to celebrate one of our best friends! Everyone works so well with each other which helped keep the baby shower atmosphere very laid back and enjoyable for everybody!"

{Favorite picture}  "My personal favorite picture is of Vanessa opening her gifts with her long time friend Melanie Reed - they are both laughing and smiling so big which is the perfect representation of their friendship. I love that someone was able to capture it! I also loved the dessert table pictures because everything looks so yum and the flower arrangement was gorgeous!"

{Floral Design} "Jan Kilpatrick assisted by Danny Fulton- Vanessa wanted a 'Wild Flower/Boho” look so her mom created gorgeous arrangements with novelty flowers like- Assorted Anemones, Craspedia, Agapanthus, Dahlias, Eucalyptus, Queen Anne's Lace, Larkspur, Delphinium, Scabiosa, Ranunculus, Cornflower, Iris, Forsythia, and Peonies.

{Florist Vendor} Greenleaf Wholesale, Jackson

{Photographer} "A little bit of everyone, but mostly Melanie, Crystal, and Amanda- they each took some great shots!"

{Event Planner} Julie Bratcher, Elizabeth Duffy, Karen Fitzgerald, Dana Gary, Brooke Hayes, Charity Huston, Crystal London, Kim Martin, Anna Rives O'Reilly, Elisa Oswalt, Amanda Polles, Melanie Reed, Celeste Tober, Georgia Trebisky, and Martha Weathers (all of the hostesses) in rental décor collaboration with Modern Revival Rentals

{Rentals} Modern Revival Rentals - “Catherine” Antique 3-Tiered Table, “Sylvie” Settee, “Connie” Vintage Tea Set Collection, “Esther” Vintage Dish Collection, “Sally” Snack Trays, “Mona” Milk Glass Snack Trays, “Collin” Vintage Suitcase, “Issac”Indian Tea Table, “Rose” Vintage Dining Table, “Adam and Alli” Sweetheart Table, “Martha” Accent Table, “Virginia” Antique Mirror, “Mary Madeleine” Iron Garden Chairs, “Penelope” Cake Pedestal, “Esther” Cake Pedestal, “June” Cake Pedestal, & “Helen” Cake Pedestal

{Cake} "Vanessa's favorite- Strawberry Cake from Campbell's Bakery"

{Other Desserts} "Snickers Pie from Olivia's Emporium,  Lemon Icebox Pie (Another Vanessa favorite) from Primos Cafe, Homemade Chocolate Chess Pie - Anna Rives O'Reilly, Macaroons from Michelle Coffee, Nashville"

{Blog by Mitchell Walters}
 
 
Makeup is an incredible tool.  It can boost a woman's confidence, make her skin luminous and most importantly, enhance her natural beauty. 

Amy Head Cosmetics is a beloved Mississippi makeup line, featuring a gorgeous array of products.  "I have known I had a gift for color and a very sharp sensibility for fashion since I was three-years-old," reflects owner Amy Head.  "It wasn't until I began modeling that I really started studying natural makeup.  Through the trial and error of self-study and my husband’s camera, I developed the techniques and concepts that are used today at Amy Head Cosmetics.”

We asked Amy a few of our burning makeup questions and today she graciously shares her expert advice with all of us:

How do I keep my eyes from looking tired? 
"People often ask me, 'How can I make my eyes pop without them looking overdone?'  The word tired is used a lot.  One of the first basic pieces of information is knocking the tired off and being able to build eyes so they look natural and stay on. 

~ First,  you must apply foundation on the entire eye socket first.  Paint on that whole area and set with some powder.  This immediately gives you a clean canvas, your eye color comes out and you will have spark every time. 

~ Next, there must be something that gives color in the face.  And I'm not talking about eye makeup yet.  Sweep some blush on the apples of your cheeks.  It gives spark to eyes and looks really natural and pretty.  You could also add an all over deeper-toned powder or bronzer to add life to your eyes.
 
~ Eyebrows!  If you can't see them very well or they seem kind of vague on the face, give the top edge of the brow a little clarity with some brow shadow.  Not darker, but a little clarity.  Your brow will pop and wake the whole eye socket up! You aren't changing your brows, just giving the illusion of more definition.  I prefer a brow shadow rather than a pencil.  It makes the eyes wake up, look bigger and more lifted.

~ Lastly, mascara, of course!  If you do these other steps, the rest of your makeup can be super minimal.  The result will be a fresh and pretty look!" 

Can I wear top and bottom eyeliner?
"Yes!  But there is a big condition that you have to meet or you run the risk of shrinking the eye.  Use a product along the top lash line that is dark.  It can be black.  BUT, be sure that the bottom liner is at least 50% less intense than the top color.  Your eyes will not look smaller or harsh.  It's all about balance."

I never feel like I put blush on right.   How do you make blush look good and not overdone? 
"There are two important areas for using blush: where it goes and choosing the right color.

~ Where should you apply blush?  You can always trust the journey being from top of the ear sweeping in toward the nostril.  It will never be too high nor too low if you follow that path. 

~ What color should I choose?  At its most most natural, blush should repeat a tone in your body.  So if you have natural pink in your chest, repeat that pink onto your cheeks.  It almost looks like natural skintone - not just blush.   If you want something different and more of a bronze tone, make sure you repeat the color twice in the face.  You can repeat the color onto your lips or in an eye shadow.  That way, you have created a tight connection and the color looks amazing.  The key to blush is repeating the tone - whether it naturally exists in your skin or it is something that you paint on.  It always works and you can always count on it."
Thank you so much, Amy!  For more information on Amy Head Cosmetics, please visit their website here.  

Photographs by Harold Head Photography. 
 
 
Shockingly, there is a staggering number of children in Mississippi without a bed to call their own.  Parkway Hills United Methodist Church is determined to change that.  Bill Flynn says, "My wife and I moved back to Madison about three years ago and we loved Parkway Hills UMC because it is very mission-minded.  I am not a cheerful giver.  I don't want to just throw money at poverty.  I want to see actual results."

Flynn heard about a Bunk Bed Ministry at the church.  He offered the use of his truck and decided to tag along.  MadCAAP (Madison Countians Allied Against Poverty) provided them with a list of children needing beds. Flynn reflects, "There was one little boy who was completely beside himself.  He was so excited.  He was literally sleeping on the floor in a corner.  He was jumping around, squealing and said, 'This is the best day ever!'  He had nothing.  This was the first thing to call his own."

This is truly a church-wide mission. "We build the beds. They are good looking beds, but once we get the comforters and pillows on, they are comfortable and really nice."  Flynn smiles, "We build them as a church.  We set up an assembly line out in the yard, cut out the pieces, and the whole church comes together to sand them, stain them and put them together.  It is amazing."

Last year, the church delivered twenty-five bunk beds, giving fifty children a comfortable, safe place to sleep.  Flynn mentions that many of the individuals who are given beds receive counseling, budgeting and child-rearing classes through MadCAAP.

What an incredible mission.  Thank you, Parkway Hills United Methodist Church, for giving beds to children around the state!  For more information on MadCAAP, please visit their website here.  Also, stay tuned for a blog featuring MadCAAP on Inspiration Mississippi very soon!

Photographs courtesy of Parkway Hills United Methodist Church
{Blog by Mitchell Walters}