Usher in 2015 this evening with a refreshing cocktail!  We reached out to some of the state's most talented mixologists to create two perfectly delicious drinks for Inspiration Mississippi Magazine:

Created by Chris Robertson, Bar Director at Bravo! Italian Restaurant and Bar

Using local Cathead Vodka and a blend of fall flavors, "The Falling Leaves" is a feminine, well-balanced drink.

1 1/2 oz. Cathead Vodka
1/2 oz. Kraken Black Spiced Rum
1/2 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 oz. Orange Juice
1/2 oz. Cranberry Juice
1/2 oz. Vanilla Syrup
1 dash Hellfire Bitters

Garnish with a lemon twist wrapped around a scored cinnamon stick.  Shake and then double strain into a cocktail glass.

Created by Ranada Cook, Manager and Bartender at World of Wines & Liquors

A delightful, bubbly drink to enjoy during the cold winter months.  The more cranberry juice, the rosier the drink!

Vodka or Rum
Cranberry Juice
Orange Juice

We hope you all enjoyed a wonderfully memorable 2014!  Thank you for your continued support of Inspiration Mississippi and our incredible state. 

Cheers to an extraordinary 2015!
{Blog by Mitchell Walters}
We are thrilled to announce Inspiration Mississippi’s new event series, Get Inspired!  This week we celebrate a brand new year, and we are launching our beautiful new magazine (have you picked up a copy??)
Each month in 2015, we will be hosting an incredible event with extraordinary vendors.  Every unique event offers you an opportunity to experience the best of Mississippi and pick up a copy of Inspiration Mississippi Magazine! 
Please join us for our first Get Inspired event:
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Banner Hall, Jackson, MS
3:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Calling all Mississippi brides-to-be!  Our inaugural event is a wonderful opportunity for brides to interact with some of the premier vendors in the Jackson area, personally speak with each vendor and schedule appointments.   Delicious hors d'oeuvres and champagne will be served!
Vendors involved:
World of Wines and Liquor
SWAG bags will be provided for the first 30 people to register.  Feel free to bring a friend!
To register, please click here!  We look forward to celebrating with you on Sunday, January 11th!
I just don’t have it today, God.  I didn’t excel at anything today.  As a matter of fact, I pretty much failed at everything I summoned up the courage to even attempt and simply cowered away from everything else. 

So here I am, God; painfully reminded of my weakness and immaturity.  I’ve been out and away and I need to come back in.  Will You see me today?  Do You have time for me?  I don’t deserve it, and I know You’ve got a lot going on. 

Then I remember, You’ve given me a standing invitation. 

28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

I feel like I slink away from You in my selfishness and self-absorption. And then, like some lost three-year-old, I wander aimlessly in fear and failure.

All the while, Your throne room is always near.  Your eye was always on me.  Your love always held me.  I realize this, and I crack the door open, peeking through to see Your light.  On my knees I crawl to you.

  16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16

At Your feet I feel safe enough.  I feel privileged and proud to be so close to You.  But there with my head bowed, Your Spirit bathes me in something deeper and more precious.  I look up and I see You’ve left Your throne and You’ve reached out Your nail-scarred hand.  Here’s God, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, and He’s come to meet me where I am.  I feel the burdens of shame and regret fall from my shoulders.  I remember the truth and depth of Your love.  The reality of You and Your grace breaks my heart.  I know I’m loved, and that makes all the difference.  I need You, and You’re here. I’m new and I’m whole, because You first loved me.

I love You, Lord.  Thank You.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.  Ephesians 2:4-10

{Blog by Heath Ferguson}
"When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand."  Henri Nouwen
During the Christmas season, it is easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of the holidays with bountiful meals, endless gifts, and glittering decorations.  We too often forget that many Mississippians are living without food and shelter during the cold winter months.  Both children and adults across the state are in desperate need of supplies this holiday season.  We spoke with two incredible organizations that specialize in giving hope to individuals who need it most:
Back Bay Mission - Biloxi, MS
You can sponsor Christmas for a family or individual this holiday season!  For a mere $25, Christmas baskets and backpacks filled with food and daily living supplies are given to a poor, homeless or at-risk family. 
“Each year, the Mission distributes these to families along the gulf coast.  They have everything for a festive Christmas dinner, as well as daily living supplies.  150 families and individuals have signed up and need these bags,” says Derek Eady, Community Relations Director of Back Bay Mission. 
Simply send a $25 check to Back Bay Mission, 1012 Division St, Biloxi, MS 39530 and write ‘Christmas Baskets’ in the memo line. You can also make a gift the Mission’s website: Just enter ‘Christmas Baskets’ in the comment field.
The Homeless Lodge is in great need of supplies this winter for their occupants!  Here is a list of items that would be greatly appreciated:
Sheets (Twin)
Blankets (Twin)
Items can be dropped off at the 527 Carnation Street location in Tupelo.
“Right now we can house 14 men and 6 women each night in the Lodge.   When it gets under 40 degrees, then we can house more people in the gym,” says a Representative of the Lodge.  “Toiletries, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap and deodorant are always welcome.  Whenever a new occupant arrives, a Care package is given to them with basic necessities.” 
On this beautiful Christmas Eve day, if you are able, we hope you are inspired to reach out and help another person.   Everything from a toothbrush to a caring hug could truly change a life.   
We wish you all a very Merry Christmas.  May you and yours enjoy a holiday full of love, laughter and great joy!  
{Blog by Mitchell Walters}

Local Love! 


Searching for last minute Christmas gifts? These Mississippi-made items will thrill anyone on your list!
We hope you enjoyed meeting the team behind Inspiration Mississippi this week!  We truly love Mississippi and hope you will be inspired by our first print issue.  The magazine will be available at fine businesses around the state throughout 2015!
Our mission is to create inspirational content and photos by celebrating Mississippi's most elite vendors.  Here at Inspiration Mississippi, we are blessed to have the hospitality state and a household of faith at the root of our inspiration.
{Photo by Adam + Alli Photography}
Decorating your home for Christmas can be tricky!  From strands of garland and lights to trees and wreaths, the options are endless and overwhelming.  We turned to the talented staff of SummerHouse in Ridgeland, because we adore their "classic, clean and never fussy" style.   

We are pleased to present a beautiful home today, freshly decorated for Christmas.  Designer Todd Prince of Summerhouse adorned the home in timeless and elegant decor, and graciously shares his design tips and lovely holiday style:
Tell me about the style of the home and how it is currently decorated.  Does this home have interiors designed by Summerhouse? 

"Yes…the entire house has been done by SummerHouse.  The home is a gracious southern home that is very family friendly.  The decoration is traditional with a twist and the clients love it!"
What was your inspiration for decorating this house for Christmas? 

"The clients wanted help decorating for Christmas.  They love this holiday and we have done so much to the house this year that they thought that their current Christmas decorations wouldn’t work with their new look."
Tell us about your favorite details! 

"The study is very masculine and inviting.  The dining room is very southern traditional with a twist on finishes.  They entertain a lot and the dining room was a very important space to them.  We mixed both fine wood finishes along with a beautiful custom painted table to give the room a fresh and updated look."
Do you have a go-to color scheme for holiday decorating?

"Yes…cream, gold and green"
Can these decorations be used year after year by the homeowner?

Any tips/advice for those wanting beautiful holiday decor in their own home? 

"Make sure that you collect decorations that go with the color scheme of your home.  Don’t feel like you have to be bound by red and green!"
Thank you, Todd, for sharing your gorgeous work with us!  For more information on SummerHouse, please visit their website here.  Photography courtesy of Patricia Robbins of SummerHouse. 
{Blog by Mitchell Walters}
Inspiration Mississippi would not exist without the extraordinary talent and creativity possessed by Caitlyn Sullivan and Caroline Jacques.  Today, we are pleased to introduce them to you:
Caitlyn Sullivan, Social Media Director
Hometown:  Jackson
About:  Caitlyn is a junior at the University of Mississippi, double majoring in Chinese and English.  She works part-time as an assistant at Kendall Poole Event Planning in Jackson and is an extremely talented photographer.
Favorite Part of Working on the Magazine:  "With this magazine, we have an opportunity to tell our story, and keep Mississippi's moments from running away."
All About Mississippi:  "I am continuously inspired by the opportunity I am given by living in Mississippi.  Every day is a new adventure, whether it is volunteering at the nearest inner city mentoring program, or exploring the history of those who lived here before me."
Caroline Jacques, Intern
Hometown:  Madison
About:  A senior at St. Andrew's Episcopal School, Caroline is a member of the National Honor Society, Student Alumni Consultant Team, and served as co-editor of last year's high-school yearbook.  Caroline is an avid reader, and adores serving her community.
Inspired By:  "I am inspired every day by the little details that come together to make something extraordinary.  It is in these details that the true essence of an event, outfit, or even a regular day is exemplified.  I love discovering new ways to add personality to whatever I'm doing by paying attention to detail!"
All About Mississippi:  "As cliche as it sounds, my favorite thing about Mississippi has to be the hospitality.  No matter where you go, there is a general sentiment of being welcomed.  This warm environment has really allowed me to grow as a person."
{Photos courtesy of Adam + Alli Photography}
Today we proudly present two exceptional members of the Inspiration Mississippi family!  Mitchell Walters and Sally Black are our newest team members, and we are thrilled to introduce them to you!
Mitchell Walters, Editorial Director
Hometown:  Jackson
About:  Mitchell is married to a handsome and hilarious Alabama boy, and loves spending days with her three children:  a sweet four-year-old girl with a head full of bouncy curls, and wild 1.5-year-old identical twin boys.  Mitchell adores fashion, interior design, reading and writing.
Inspired By:  "My precious little ones amaze me daily.  Seeing the world through their curious eyes makes it an even lovelier place."
All About Mississippi:  "Mississippians are thick as thieves.  I have lived in several different cities, state and even countries, and most of my closest friendships were made through a Mississippi connection.  We all have an underlying bond that comes from growing up in such a wonderful place."
Sally Wells BlackEvents Coordinator/Advertising Associate 
Hometown:  Madison
About:  Sally is grateful to serve an Awesome God.  She is a mom to Ely Reed (a sassy 4-year-old girl) and Miller (a laid back 8-month-old boy).  Sally laughs and says her husband Wayne "kills the food we eat and is a civil engineer."  Sally absolutely adores being a mom, sleeping, running, talking, giving her children machine gun kisses, organizing, making lists, keeping a schedule and being silly!
Inspired By:  "My children inspire me to dig deeper, love unconditionally and get better every day."
All About Mississippi:  "My favorite thing about our state is the Philanthropy...We make a big impact with per capita giving.  It's a great list to lead."
{Photo of Mitchell courtesy of Adam + Alli Photography}
{Photo of Sally courtesy of Christina Foto}
If you are craving a romantic escape this winter, look no further.  With 26 acres of lush gardens, an exceptionally hospitable staff, an award winning restaurant, and 30 luxurious rooms inside a 19th century Antebellum mansion and surrounding buildings, Monmouth Historic Inn is the perfect getaway during the Christmas season.  As owner Nancy Reuther says, “You can’t help but fall in love with Monmouth.”
Monmouth is simply magical during the holidays.  The mansion is draped with wreaths, garland and red bows, and a lovely Christmas tree adorns the grand piano as you enter the Main House.  “Twinkling lights add that final touch to truly make one feel like you’ve just stepped into a Winter Wonderland,” says Carrie Golden Lambert, Marketing and Sales Director at Monmouth. 
The National Historic Landmark was originally built in 1818.  John Hankinson, a postmaster from Monmouth County, New Jersey, came to Natchez and built his stately home.  Hankinson died in 1826, and John Anthony Quitman bought Monmouth for his lovely bride, Eliza.   Quitman served as a U.S. Senator and as the Mississippi Governor twice, and his politically influential family remained at Monmouth for almost a century. 
Unfortunately, the grandeur of the mansion began steadily declining in the 20th century, and just years ago the dilapidated home fell sadly into bankruptcy.  
Thankfully, in March of 2012, Nancy and Warren Reuther purchased Monmouth Historic Inn.  With extensive experience in the Hotel and Tourism Industry, the New Orleans couple began returning this treasured landmark to its former glory. 
Nestled in the heart of Natchez, Monmouth invites guests to come and enjoy a relaxing getaway.  Most of the rooms have a cozy fireplace, perfect for curling up with a good book or a glass of wine.  Guests can also unwind in the gardens, stroll along the pebbled paths that meander throughout the property, fish in the pond, play croquet, or simply enjoy watching the local deer graze and colorful birds flutter among the gardens.    
Monmouth’s Restaurant 1818 is “fine dining at its best,” says Carrie. “It is the only Antebellum home which serves inside the actual mansion in Natchez.”  Restaurant 1818 will be serving a special menu on both Christmas Night and New Year’s Eve, and each evening will surely be a treasured experience to remember. 
Nancy spends much of her time at Monmouth, and has enjoyed getting to know guests of the mansion.  “I recently met a couple who has been coming to Monmouth every year for their anniversary.  This year was their 19th!  We find that over and over.  We have quite a few couples who love Monmouth and return each year.”
Monmouth Historic Inn is having a wonderful Winter Special on rooms, running from December through February (with the exception of Valentine’s Day weekend).  Reserve a room or suite during the week and receive 20% off, or reserve a room or suite and get 20% off the weekend rate! 
Imagine relaxing in a beautiful mansion decorated for Christmas, antique shopping in Natchez, and admiring the magnificent lights twinkling throughout downtown and the bluff.  We cannot think of a better way to spend the holidays!
For more information on Monmouth Historic Inn, please visit their website here