December officially starts tomorrow, and the anticipation of Christmas is already filling the air!  It is the perfect season for enjoying hearty dishes, like the Skillet Seasonal Vegetables with Fresh Farm Egg, created by Nick Wallace at the Mississippi Museum of Art!  We highly recommend a visit to the Museum; not only for the incredible artwork, but for the delectable fare.  Your tastebuds will thank you!

Mississippi is also home to dozens of pick-your-own farms!  Start a new tradition with your friends and family and visit a Christmas Tree Farm!  Local farms also offer fresh eggs and milk.  We hope you enjoy this beautiful season!
Photography by the talented Mary Moment Photography! 
 
 
 
 
Who is ready for The Battle for the Golden Egg?  It is finally time for the infamous Egg Bowl, when Ole Miss and Mississippi State go head-to-head in the most anticipated football game of the season!  

Whether you root for the Rebels or the Bulldogs, here are a few fun facts about the Egg Bowl you need to know:

  • The Egg Bowl is the 10th longest uninterrupted series in the USA!
  • In the early 1900's, Ole Miss was known as the Red and the Blue and MSU as the Mississippi A&M College Aggies
  • The first Egg Bowl game was played in 1901.  The game started 40 minutes late because of a dispute over the eligibility of A&M's Norvin E. Green, who had played for Ole Miss the previous year.  In the end, it was decided Green could not play in the game! 
  • Since 1927, the winning team has been presented with the Egg Bowl Trophy!
  • Ole Miss adopted the nickname the Rebels in 1936 and MSU the Bulldogs in 1961
  • The 2013 game was the first EVER Egg bowl to go into overtime!
  • This year's game will be the 113th meeting between the two schools and the 87th Egg Bowl.

Hotty Toddy and Hail State!  Good luck to both of Mississippi's fine teams! 

Photograph courtesy of Athlonsports.com 
 
 
From our homes to yours, we wish you and your families a joyful Thanksgiving!  Thursday is a great day of traditions, and we are thrilled to share our favorite Thanksgiving traditions with you today! 
"Philippians 4 6-76 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

In the hustle and bustle of daily life I love that Thanksgiving reminds us to stop and be thankful.  This is my favorite holiday. It's all about food, family, and football. Other than spending time with family and eating so much you need a great nap, watching Ole Miss beat Mississippi State in the egg bowl is my favorite thing about Thanksgiving. Gobble gobble y'all!"
 
Kendall Poole Ellis, Founder of Inspiration Mississippi 
"Growing up, we always spent Thanksgiving in Macon, Mississippi with my grandparents.  All of my dad's family would gather - 23 of us!  My grandmother's family owned a bakery in Boston, so she made the most delicious homemade pies.  She would have us out in the yard picking pecans for her.  I still remember the year they gave us a metal stick with a cage on the end.  The pecan picker was a game changer!  I think she made 3 pies that year!  She would make the homemade crust and would always let me make mini pies with the excess.  My dad would always make us Chex Mix for the road trip, so now Chex Mix is just as much a part of our Thanksgiving as the turkey!  

Now that we are grown and have kids of our own we get together at my mom's.  We try to help out by bringing different sides, but no one makes a Thanksgiving spread like my mom!  You can guarantee there will be pie, Chex Mix, crafts for the kids, food galore and a few extra guests.  My mom invites anyone and everyone she sees - check out ladies in the grocery store, neighbors whose family is somewhere else or people who don't have family to celebrate with.  She always says if you leave her house hungry it's your own fault!"

Emily Ferguson, Creative Director 
"Every year my mom's side of the family gathers in Gore Springs, Mississippi, at my Aunt and Uncle's house that is surrounded by land, a large pond, and a huge front porch lined with rocking chairs and a swing. Thirty family members pile into one house and stay for two nights (Crazy, right?). Everyone arrives on Thursday evening and we have our big Thanksgiving meal together. While we always enjoy a big meal together, the best part is the rest of the weekend, filled with fun activities that my aunt and uncle plan and have previously sent out an agenda to all the family members who will be there. Each year everyday offers something different. Our family has a strong Irish heritage, so two years ago, on the agenda was a night where everyone wore green, spoke with an Irish accent, and we had an authentic Irish meal. We will also fill the weekend with things like a zumba class, four wheeler riding, hunting, crafts, talent shows, etc. This year our biggest event on the agenda will be the making of a family movie. It is a weekend that the whole family looks forward to all year. We love to be together, relax, and have a really great time. This special weekend reminds us of the sweet blessing of family." 
Aimee Sanford, Client Relations and Advertising Director  
"As a child, we spent many Thanksgivings in the gorgeous mountain town of Highlands, North Carolina.  My grandparents have had a home there since I can remember, and I have so many fond memories from each and every year.  Hiking with cousins, drinking hot chocolate on main street and watching the tree lighting were always favorites.  The meal was also amazing.  From my grandmother's delicious, buttery rolls, to my mama's dressing and my daddy's pumpkin pies, we always over-indulged!  On Thanksgiving afternoons, we walked off our turkey and dressing with a beautiful hike, laughing and sharing stories with family. 


My grandmother passed away last year, but we will continue our Thanksgiving tradition and spend the holiday in her beloved mountain home.  She will be greatly missed, but I know she would be tickled to know that her great-grandchildren will be enjoying Highlands as much as we did as children.  I wish you all a wonderful, happy and healthy Thanksgiving!"
Mitchell Walters, Editorial Director
 
 
Happy Thanksgiving week!  With Christmas just around the corner, it is time to ponder the perfect gifts for your friends and family.  Why not create memories and take an unforgettable trip!  We reached out to Jill Hiers, Owner of Custom Travel Professionals, LLC, to share ideas for the ultimate holiday present! 
CANCUN

Jill says, "Cancun has amazing all inclusive resorts, easy flights, amazing Mayan Ruins and Cenotes, as well as Mexican culture." 
ASHEVILLE

"Asheville is nestled in the mountains with incredible art and shopping.  It is also home to the Biltmore Estate with its winery and gorgeous surroundings," says Jill.

JAMAICA

"Visit Montego Bay!   Easy flights, beautiful beaches, Hip Strip, and Jerk Chicken!"
NASHVILLE

"Nashville is a great weekend getaway with both musical and historic things to see such as the Ryman, Country Music Hall of Fame, and the Hermitage," smiles Jill.

Thank you, Jill, for these amazing ideas!  We hope to find a surprise trip wrapped beneath our tree this Christmas!  For more information on Custom Travel Professions, Inc., please visit their website here!

Asheville photographs courtesy of Asheville.com
Nashville photographs courtesy of visitmusiccity.com
Jamaica and Cancun photographs courtesy of Custom Travel Professionals, LLC
 
 
“I grew up in New Albany, Mississippi, surrounded by a lot of family.  I had the perfect small town childhood,” reflects Catherine Ann Herrington Davis, Owner of Hi Y’all! Made In The South.  Catherine Ann and her husband, Parker Davis, design and sell custom artwork, apparel and pillows, inspired by the colorful people, beautiful places and traditions in the South that have influenced their lives.  Catherine Ann says, “Southerners are confident, excellent cooks, and know how to have a good time.” 

Catherine Ann is gorgeous, humble and sweet, and has an infectious passion for Mississippi.  As a graphic design student at the University of Mississippi, Catherine Ann started making pillows for her graduation thesis project.  She laughs, “It is hard to believe I am still making pillows today!” 

The Hi Y’all! Brand has completely exploded, and it all started at the kitchen table.  In the spring of 2012, Catherine Ann was brainstorming ideas for a business name, and Hi Y’all! Just clicked.  She smiles, “Little did my husband know, that one day we would be building a brand together under the same roof.” 

Catherine Ann says, “My artwork and love for the South are tightly interwoven.  My past experiences and the memories from growing up in Mississippi create the imagery for my artwork.”  Inspiration abounds in Mississippi, and Catherine Ann designs each piece with its own story.  She says, “One of my favorite paintings was inspired while stopped at a stop sign.  I saw children playing in a church playground and was reminded of my summers at vacation Bible school.  ‘Jesus Loves the Little Children’ is one of the first songs I learned, and it reminds me today to love others and have faith like a child.”

Many of her pieces feature quintessential southern sayings, guaranteed to make you smile.  She says, “When I was a child, I loved listening to my mother talk on the phone.  Southern conversations are the best.  My favorite sayings are ‘Bless your heart!’ and ‘My mama said.’”

Catherine Ann and Parker proudly make all of their Hi Y’all! products by hand in their studio garage in Starkville.  With their business growing rapidly, they hope to one day expand into a studio space with a storefront.  Catherine Ann smiles, “The Southerner in me enjoys meeting new people and making those Mississippi connections!”

She reflects, “Parker and I feel so blessed to call Mississippi home.  My dad gave me the best advice for owning your own business.  He said, ‘Always work hard and remember who you are.’  This is the official Hi Y’all! Motto.” 

For more information on Hi Y'all, please visit their website here.  Photography courtesy of Stephanie Rhea Photography

 
 
AliceClaire Thompson and Jason Scott were united in a beautiful church ceremony surrounded by the bride’s favorite flowers, white orchids.  Following the sweet vows, guests flocked to The South in downtown Jackson for a colorful affair.  The venue was transformed into a completely magical space, draped in orchids and décor in brilliant shades of purple. 
LOVE STORY

One frigid December evening, AliceClaire met Jason and sparks immediately flew.  Just days later, the two shared their first date and talked for a remarkable eight hours!  “That was without question the moment we fell in love,” smiles AliceClaire.  Jason proposed two years later, and AliceClaire eagerly began planning their wedding.  In the midst of the excitement, her family suffered a shocking loss when her childhood home burned in a devastating fire.  Miraculously, her mother’s wedding gown was found amongst the rubble.  As a sweet nod to her loving parents, AliceClaire wore a custom veil on her wedding day, delicately sewn with lace from her mother’s beloved gown, as well as her own.  The veil became a beautiful reminder of family, love and faith; one that AliceClaire hopes will be worn for generations to come.



VENDORS:
Photographer: Followell Fotography
Event Planner: Kendall Poole Event Planning
Dress: The Bridal Path
Hair: William Wallace Salon
Bridesmaid Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids
Tuxes: Tuxes Too
Videographer: Nathan Willis
Venue: The South Warehouse
Lighting: Davaine Lighting
Florist: Fresh Cut Catering & Floral
Catering: Fresh Cut Catering & Floral
Band: Az-Izz
Bride’s Cake: Cakes by Iris
Groom’s Cake: Cakes by Iris
Print Material: Emily Ferguson of Designs for KPEP 

 
 
When the air turns crisp and rich colors paint the trees, it is time to pack up and head for Mississippi’s most charming town – Oxford.  We teamed with Jill Hiers, owner of Custom Travel Professionals, LLC, to reveal our favorite gems in the quaint college town.

STAY
The Chancellor’s House – This brand new boutique hotel has luxurious rooms, fine dining and spa service options, nestled on the edge of the Square.

The Graduate Oxford’s coolest hotel.  Sip cocktails at The Coop, an amazing rooftop terrace bar, while overlooking downtown Oxford.

The Z Bed & Breakfast – A charming B&B!  Services include a full homemade breakfast, wine in the evenings, a backyard fire pit and cozy porch swings. 

Ravine Restaurant and Inn - Stay and Dine! Jill says, “They grow some of the restaurant’s food in personal gardens.  Their focus is on fresh, local foods.”

EAT
Ajax – Jill says, “Ajax was voted ‘Best Downhome Soul food’ by Mississippi Magazine!”  We highly recommend the fried pickles.

City Grocery – This restaurant boasts beautiful exposed brick and pine.  Enjoy delicious fare in a candlelight setting on the Square.

Snackbar  - Jill says, “Don’t miss this really neat Bistro & Oyster Bar.”

Neon Pig  - Old school butcher shop, restaurant and food bar with local meat and farm foods.

EXPLORE
Rowan Oak – Walk the gorgeous grounds of William Faulkner’s home.  

The Square  - Stroll the historic Square and shop for all types of apparel, books, home décor, and makeup, wedding and bridal party dresses.

Events – Jill says, “Year-round variety of events such as Double Decker Arts Festival, The Oxford Film Festival, and Thacker Mountain Radio Show are can’t-miss attractions.”

Fitness - Yoga, TRX and Crossfit classes are available just off the Square at Oxford Crossfit.

If you have a few extra days, Jill says, “Another amazing place to tag on to Oxford would be a day or two at Tishomingo State Park, about an hour and a half from Oxford.  It has AMAZING hiking, cabins, climbing, canoeing and fishing.  It has been voted as one of the top parks for hiking in the country and is stunning in the fall when leaves are changing.”  We can only imagine the breathtaking photographs you will capture!

You can learn more about Custom Travel Professionals, LLC, at www.customtravelprofessionals.com

 
 
{Name}  Molly Murrell
{Hometown} Starkville, Mississippi
{Event Site} Fox Bay Clubhouse, Brandon, MS

{Tell us about the occasion for the event?} Winter ONEderland for boy/girl twins' 1st birthday party!

{What inspired your event location and theme?} I love winter.  The twins’ birthday is January 17th.  It is difficult to find a theme that can be used for both boys and girls.  Winter seemed like a perfect fit!

{What inspired your color scheme/flowers?} Winter with a touch of glam!  Gold, silver, glitter, snowflakes and snowmen.

{What’s your favorite event detail? Is there a story behind it?} My favorite details were the party favors and food labels!
  • Silver dipped glitter pretzels = snowman skis
  • Chicken minis = fried snowmen
  • Donut holes = snowballs
  • Squeezable applesauce = winter slush
  • Party favors = snowman soup (hot chocolate)

{What was your favorite part of the event planning process?} Making a Winter ONEderland come to life and decorating!

{What was your favorite moment of the event day?} The twins smashing their smash cake!

VENDORS:
Venue: Fox Bay Clubhouse, Brandon, MS
Cake: Donalda Parker
 
 
We are thrilled to announce that our favorite interior design showroom is opening a second location in Oxford, Mississippi!  SummerHouse has been creating gorgeous spaces from their Township location since 2005, and the new SummerHouse will be located at 405 South Lamar Boulevard in Oxford.  

Lisa Palmer, Owner and Principal Designer, says,  "We looked at several locations for a second store such as Nashville and Memphis but landed on Oxford due to our ties to the area, the demographics studied, and the client base we already have in the area. We adore the town, the people, the school, and the atmosphere!"  She adds, "We have been working in the Oxford area for many years now. Our client base has 2nd homes, condos, as well as permanent homes there. The shopping and the culture of Oxford is like none other on our state and it draws a population from all over, not only north Mississippi but Tennessee, Arkansas and Alabama."

The Oxford location has a prime storefront on the historic Oxford square, next to the luxurious Chancellors House Hotel and Spa.  It promises to be beautiful.  Lisa says, "The South Lamar street level is 3800 square feet.  We opened up the front stairwell with beautiful iron railing and that will lead to our resource library, back stock room and an office in the basement level, with is approximately 500 square feet."  It will be a smaller version of the Ridgeland store, featuring the same lines of furniture, accessories, gifts and lighting, but will be adding more tabletop and linens to accommodate shoppers in the market.  

SummerHouse will continue offering full service design, and will have a very talented, capable team of designers in Oxford.  Lisa says, "We are hoping for a soft opening in early December, but as we all know, construction timelines are a little bit hit or miss!  We are keeping our fingers crossed!"

"Operating a second location won’t be an easy task.  I had to wait until our store in Ridgeland was running like a well oiled machine before even considering it," reflects Palmer.  "I am so fortunate that all of this came into place so beautifully. I am a firm believer in the verse,  'For everything there is a season and a time for every purpose…' I believe now is the time for our expansion and we couldn’t be more excited!"

We cannot wait to visit the spectacular new SummerHouse in Oxford!  For more information on SummerHouse, visit their website here
Blog by Mitchell Walters and Photographs courtesy of SummerHouse