Happy Spring!  Today we are thrilled to unveil our beautiful spring cover, featuring a lovely carousel horse proudly standing in downtown Meridian, Mississippi!
Spring

"In life, finding a voice is speaking and living the truth.  Each of you is an original.  Each of you has a distinctive voice.  When you find it, your story will be told.  You will be heard."  John Grisham
Meridian’s historical treasure, The Highland Park Dentzel Carousel, is the perfect spot for a birthday party.  Originally built in 1896, the carousel’s exquisite animals, chariots and original oil paintings have been meticulously restored, ensuring the National Landmark will be cherished for generations to come. 

We draped The Carousel House in precious blush, mint and sherbet décor.  Excited guests feasted on the carousel’s famous cotton candy, pastel macarons, iced animal cookies and favors, all topping fluffy pink linens.  Gold and turquoise animals, mirroring the gorgeous hand-carved creatures of the carousel, were wrapped in sweet ribbons and flowers for a soft touch.  The day ended with exhilarating rides around the carousel, leaving the birthday girl and her guests eager for their next trip to Meridian. 

VENDORS:
Venue:  The Highland Park Dentzel Carousel
Serving Pieces:  Modern Revival Rentals
Decor:  Persnickety
Photography:  Adam + Alli Photography
Clothing:  Bows & Arrows
Linens & Rentals:  Pretty Presentations Rentals 
 
 
Photographs courtesy of Visit Columbus!  
 
 
Mississippi Food Network will be hosting their 3rd annual Moonlight Market next Thursday, March 23rd, from 6-8pm at the Farmer's Market on High Street!   Moonlight Market is an incredibly fun evening that raises money for Mississippi Food Network's programs and services, and also help promote farm-to-table and Mississippi farmers. 

Moonlight Market guests will be treated to a feast of fresh produce, honey and meats from local farmers, while sipping on a signature Cathead vodka cocktail!    Chef Nick Wallace and Chef Mark Coblentz will also be preparing three FABULOUS signature dishes for the event!  You will not want to miss this exciting and unique evening with delicious fare, shopping, entertainment and more.  Individual tickets are $40 , or $75 per couple.  They are also offering a special of 10 tickets for $300 for larger groups!

"Mississippi Food Network began in 1983 when a group of citizens realized there was a need for a food bank in Mississippi.  A food bank is a warehouse facility that would accumulate, store and distribute food and household items for charities that made the final distribution to needy people in the community," says Marilyn Blackledge, Director of External Affairs for Mississippi Food Network.  "We began in 1984 distributing 139,000 pounds of food and continue to distribute today with 18 million pounds distributed in 2016." 

As the only food bank located in Mississippi, Mississippi Food Network is a member of Feeding America, the nation’s largest charitable hunger relief organization made up of more than 200 member food banks.  "We have a mission to relieve poverty-related hunger in our service area by distributing donated and purchased food and grocery products through a network of member churches and non-profit organizations.  We provide nutrition education to our needy clients," says Blackledge.  

Through a number of incredible programs, Mississippi Food Network helps people throughout Mississippi by distributing food to more than 430 member agencies operating food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, senior citizen programs, after school programs and other human service programs. 

We hope to see all of you at Moonlight Market!  Let's support Mississippi Food Network in their mission to fight food insecurity and hunger throughout Mississippi! For more information on Mississippi Food Network, please click here!

Photographs courtesy of Mississippi Food Network 
 
 
With Spring officially arriving next week, Easter is just a month away!  Beautiful, breezy days are the perfect time to dress your child in precious clothing and sweet jewelry.  We teamed up with Nursery Rhymes, Albriton's Jewelry and Mary Moment Photography to capture these beautiful Easter photographs.  
A special thank you to our very talented Vendors:

~ For beautiful children's clothing, perfect Easter basket goodies, sweet accessories and more, visit Nursery Rhymes in Jackson!

~ Albriton's Jewelry carries THE most gorgeous jewelry.  From precious pearl bracelets to diamond engagement rings, they have anything and everything you could imagine! 

~ Mary Moment Photography beautifully captures special moments in her photographs.  She continues to wow us with every single image.  Click here to see her incredible array of photographs.  
 
 
Mississippi Museum of Art's Spring Benefit will be a huge celebration for the state of Mississippi and for our extraordinary Art Museum! On Friday, April 7th, from 7-10pm, guests will flock to the museum for Icing on the Cake, an extravagant, elegant evening featuring a seated dinner, birthday revelry and of course, cake!

"Not only are we celebrating the state's birthday, we are celebrating a landmark anniversary of the Museum's building - that's the real icing on the cake," says Anna Burnett, Museum trustee and benefit co-chair.  It is hard to believe the Museum has been in its incredible state-of-the-art location for ten years.  

“We are looking forward to all the fun and frivolity we have in store for this year’s gala,” said Sara Ragsdale, benefit co-chair. “The festivities are sure to please the young and the young-at-heart, all the while helping to support the Museum’s ongoing programs and exhibitions. Make it a special date night, or instead of hosting a dinner party in your home, buy a table and invite your friends; it’s a win-win!  We are sure that a good time will be had by all, and life’s too short to say no to cake!” 

We hope to see you in your festive party attire on April 7th!  Come support our art museum, which continues to share Mississippi's visual art legacy.  Proceeds from the spring benefit fuel a robust schedule of outstanding educational programs and exhibitions throughout the year. 

Tickets are required for Icing on the Cake.  Please click here to learn more about the Mississippi Museum of Art and to purchase tickets for the spring benefit! 
Andrew Bucci (1922-2014), Red Swamp (detail), not dated. oil on canvas. Collection of the Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson. Gift of Marie Hull, 1977.010. © Estate of Andrew Bucci

Glennray Tutor (born 1950), Out of Sight (detail), 2000. oil on canvas. Collection of the Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson. Gift of John and Melody Maxey, 2005.033. © Glennray Tutor

P. Sanders McNeal (born 1949), The Rehearsal (detail)1997. oil on canvas. Collection of the Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson. Gift of John and Melody Maxey, 2005.030. © P. Sanders McNeal
Photographs courtesy of the Mississippi Museum of Art 
 
 
Brown Bottling Group is now offering a delicious and surprisingly nutritious drink for children!  Hog Wash is a low-calorie, vitamin-enriched juice drink that children actually love.  With six delicious flavors, Hog Wash is sweetened with real sugar and Stevia, a natural sweetener.  

"Kids love Hog Wash because there are 6 different flavors that taste great, and parents love Hog Wash because it’s a low-calorie drink with vitamins," smiles Emily Helm, Marketing Manager at Brown Bottling Grown.  "My nephew once asked me if he could get a lifetime supply of Hog Wash from me for Christmas!"

With all of the sweet drinks on the market for children, it can be hard to understand which drink is the healthiest!  Below is a comparison chart, showing the differences between Hog Wash and other kids' drinks on the market:
Would you like to try Hog Wash?  Brown Bottling Group will be serving Hog Wash samples at Sal & Mookie's Annual Street Carnival on Saturday, March 25th from 10am until 2pm!!  Proceeds from this beloved event benefit Batson's Children's Hospital, and we can't think of a better time to enjoy a glass of Hog Wash with your family and friends.  

For more information on Brown Bottling Group, click here!  To learn more about Hog Wash, please visit www.hogwashfun.com 
 
 
{Name}  Laurel Donahoo
{Hometown} Madison, MS 
{Event Site} The Donahoo Home in Madison! :)

{Tell us about the occasion for the event?} 
My baby girl Lily Ryan turned ONE! It was the fastest and hardest year of my life, but the best all at the same time! 

{What inspired your event location and theme?}
Our theme was inspired by Lily Ryan’s name!  She is our flower girl! Lily Ryan’s garden party was actually pretty easy because beautiful floral things are easy to find, and fresh flowers are always just a market run away! We hosted the event at our home since it’s so much easier for me to get set up. Since the weather ended up being so nice the day of the party, we were able to spill into the back yard and enjoy some outdoor time, which made things even more fun! 

{What inspired your color scheme/flowers?}
Our color scheme was simply “colorful!” That made it really easy. I love mixing patterns, so if I saw some floral napkins, I’d grab them. If I saw some plates in a different floral pattern, I’d grab those too! It all just ended up coming together and working out really nicely (and colorfully!)

{What’s your favorite event detail? Is there a story behind it?}
I must say, my favorite detail of this event was the cake. Unfortunately I’ve had bad luck with cakes in the past, but this cake exceeded my expectations! It was exactly what I wanted, it was affordable, and as it turns out, the woman who made it (Krista Renfroe) is an old friend of my parents. What a small world we live in!

{What was your favorite part of the event planning process?}
It was probably the day-of setup. I loved stringing twinkle lights and flower garland around the living room, setting up Lily Ryan’s teepee and all of the mismatched blankets to create a very casual, fun, eclectic secret garden feel, and arranging the food and drink! Doing that sort of thing is very relaxing for me, so it was a fun day from start to finish!

{What was your favorite moment of the event day?}
My favorite moment of the day had to be watching the birthday girl run around the yard just enjoying herself with her cousins in her cute outfit! Funny story: What she ended up wearing was not what I originally had planned for her to wear, but I got so into decorating for the day that I forgot to transfer her outfit from washer to dryer! Since she couldn’t wear wet clothes, we went with plan B and I loved how that dress wound up looking in pictures! 

{Your favorite picture from the event day?}
I adore the picture of Lily Ryan sitting in my husband Price’s lap opening her gifts. They are concentrating so hard! ha! That picture will probably be one of my favorites for a long time to come. That sweet daddy/daughter bond is unbeatable! 

VENDORS:

Photographer: Me! Laurel Donahoo
Event Planner: Me! Laurel :)
Venue: Our home
Florist: Me! Laurel :)
Cake: Krista Renfroe
Cookies: Honeycomb Cookies 

 
 
Pantone's 2017 color of the year is Greenery.  Symbolic of new beginnings, this gorgeous shade has warm undertones, reminiscent of lush, spring foliage.

Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, explained, “While Serenity and Rose Quartz, the Pantone Colors of the Year 2016, expressed the need for harmony in a chaotic world, Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the hope we collectively yearn for amid a complex social and political landscape. Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate, revitalize and unite, Greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose.” 

Fashion and jewelry designers beautifully weave the Pantone color of the year into their designs, and Mississippi's Albriton's Jewelry has an exceptional selection of gorgeous green gems.  Albriton's is a fourth-generation, family-owned jewelry store, founded in 1920.  For almost a century, Albriton's has offered customers the greatest value at the best possible prices.

Lauren Fordice, Sales Associate at Albriton's Jewelry, says, "Examples of Greenery inspired gemstones that we have available at Albritons are Peridot, emerald, Jade, Green Quartz, and Green Tourmaline. Custom design is always a possibility along with access to an endless range of gemstones."

Feast your eyes on these gorgeous jewels!  For more information on Albriton's, please visit their beautiful website here!
 
 
1 Peter 5:6

6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

Without an ongoing appraisal of my own sin condition, I will ignore the grace that liberates my soul.  In this Lenten season, I have decided to know the truth about myself so that I may experience the truth of God’s mercy, grace and love in Christ. 

Joel 2:12-14

 12 “Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”  13 Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.  14 Who knows? He may turn and relent and leave behind a blessing— grain offerings and drink offerings for the LORD your God.

Because of Christ’s atonement for my very real sin, I can enter humbly into the Father’s presence and experience the exchange of love that springs forth in my repentance.  I am His and He is mine.  His Holy Spirit has delivered to me the truth of my sin, and that truth has wrecked me.  I have nowhere to go but to the Father. 

This season, I pray that you feel the Spirit delivering to you the conviction that leads to liberation.  May you know and experience the height and depth of His perfect love which is Jesus Christ, who gave of Himself on the cross so that we may dwell with God forever.

 
 
{Bride}  Christina Cribb 
{Groom} Brian Havard
{Hometowns} Bride: Port Gibson, MS, Groom: Lucedale, MS
{Wedding Site} Fondren Church, Jackson, MS
{Reception Site} The South Warehouse, Jackson, MS
{Bride’s Bouquet} White roses
{Bridesmaid Bouquets} White roses and white hydrangeas

{How did the two of you meet?} Brian had been living in Jackson for a little bit, and was involved in a young professionals ministry, Static, through First Baptist Church Jackson. Christina had been in Jackson for a few years, and was finishing up college at Belhaven College, about to head to graduate school at Reformed Theological Seminary. Christina’s friend, Shruti, who was also involved with Static, would invite Christina to events and functions frequently, and Christina would usually say no. On January 8, 2009, Shruti invited Christina to a National Championship party, but Christina didn’t want to go, but Shruti convinced her. Christina worked at a local gym, and came to the party when she got off. She arrived with a 5 flavored pound cake (because her mama taught her you can’t go to someone’s house empty handed!), and when she got to the party, the only seat available was next to the only person in the room she didn’t know. That person was Brian. They started talking, and immediately hit it off. Christina’s family is from Italy, and Brian had just been to Italy, and drew Christina a picture of his recent travels. Neither remembers who played or won that game. When it was time to go, Christina wanted to give Brian a hug, but he wasn’t going to be so easy! We left without exchanging numbers, but began immediately communicating through Facebook J

{What is your proposal story?} Preface: We both really love being outside and exploring. We had driven up the Trace one weekend, and stopped at the Cypress Swamp. During the walk, Christina mentioned to Brian how beautiful the place was, and that once they got engaged, she wanted to come back out here and take some engagement photos. Christina is a very scheduled and planned person, and we have our routine. And on Wednesday nights, we go to worship at our church, Pinelake. On May 4, 2016, a Wednesday, Brian showed up at Christina’s office after work, and he was wearing a suit, which was way out of the norm and off schedule. Christina immediately knew something was up. He asked if she wanted to go for a drive. She of course said yes. As they were driving, they were talking about their days, just like they normally would. He stopped at the Cypress Swamp, and asked if Christina wanted to go for a walk. She said yes again. About halfway down the boardwalk, he turned to Christina, and said the most beautiful, sweet things, of which she remembers none of. Christina is a crier, but she held it together, and was just so happy! When he was finished talking, he got down on one knee, and told Christina he wanted her to close her eyes for the ring. As soon as she felt the ring slip on her finger, she lost it. When she opened her eyes, she saw the most gorgeous ring, that she couldn’t have picked out any better! She had never tried on or picked out any rings; Brian did this all on his own. We spent the next 30 minutes together, walking through the woods, and just being giddy. We then sat in the parking lot of the Cypress Swamp, and Facetimed our family and friends to tell them the good news! We had a celebratory meal at Seafood Revolution.

{What inspired your wedding and reception locations?} Christina has always loved Wendy Putt, and has dreamed about having her reception at The South for years. It is so gorgeous and rustic, and right up her alley. That was the first thing we booked, the day after we got engaged. The church was a little bit more difficult. We love our church, but it was bigger than what we wanted for our wedding, and was too far from the reception venue. We knew we wanted to get married in a church, and one that was close to our reception venue. Fondren Church was perfect for several reasons. One, it is one of our church’s plants, so it felt like our sister church. Secondly, as soon as we stepped inside and saw the beams in the ceiling and the stained glass, we knew. And last but not least, Laura McAlpin, the church director for weddings was just the best. So easy to talk to, and was just a breeze to work with!

{What inspired your color scheme/theme/flowers?} Christina is not a “color” girl. Her wardrobe has a lot of black, grey, white, etc. She knew she didn’t want a lot of bright colors in the wedding, both with décor, and flowers. She loves the rustic theme, which is why the South fit so perfectly. She gave Wendy Putt free reign, and Wendy created the most beautiful fairy tale!

{How did you pick “the dress?”} Christina and Brian didn’t want a long engagement (they dated for 7.5 years afterall!), so Christina knew she had to get to planning and shopping pretty quickly. The weekend after the engagement, Christina took her mom and best friend down to Brookhaven to Imagination’s. She knew what sort of dress she DIDN’T want, and had a few guidelines for what she did want. The associates at Imaginations were so helpful, and pulled exactly the dresses she was looking for. The first dress she tried on, she cried, and didn’t know if it was because she loved the dress, or if it was because she was just so overwhelmed. She found bits and pieces she liked from several dresses, and wanted to combine those into one dress: lace, a little bling, sleeves, and a gorgeous back. Her best friend actually found “the dress” on the rack. As soon as Christina put it on, everyone knew that was the one. Funny thing is, every other dress fit like a glove. This perfect dress was 3 sizes too small, and we still just knew!

{What’s your favorite unique accessory? Is there a story behind it?} I had several favorites. My best friend and matron of honor showed up on the wedding day with her diamond tennis bracelet for me to wear, which was a complete surprise. Secondly, my cousin allowed me to borrow my deceased grandmother’s ring, to wear on my first finger. My bouquet was wrapped in one of my deceased grandfather’s handkerchiefs, and the ring bearer was to carry my other deceased grandfather’s Bible, instead of a pillow. Finally, an aunt allowed me to borrow a silver dime to put in my shoe. The old saying was originally “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a sixpence in your shoe”. We didn’t have a sixpence, so the dime was the next best thing, and originally belonged to my grandfather, so it was super special!

{What was your favorite part of the wedding planning process?} It was all really fun. I didn’t feel stressed at all. Kendall and all of the vendors we worked with were such a dream. Kendall thought of every detail, and made sure I was completely happy. Brian said his favorite part was cake tasting! I loved giving free reign to the vendors, and just watching them do their creative thing!

{Besides the actual wedding, what was your favorite moment of the wedding day?} All of the bridesmaids, and all of Christina’s aunts gathered at her mom’s house for “Pancakes in Pajamas” before the day started. It was so much fun to start the day being relaxed, and with my best people! I also really loved the first look and letter exchange. It was just tender and sweet, and kicked off the ceremony so perfectly.

{What was your favorite surprise detail/moment about your wedding day?} It was all the biggest surprise, especially since I didn’t necessarily have a “vision”. I really trusted our vendors, and felt like we had picked a dream team. They were all so creative and kind, and just blew me away with their work. I was literally breath-taken when I walked into the sanctuary, and then again when we walked into the South. Both were the most beautiful things I had ever laid my eyeballs on. I had no idea the magic of lighting, and was so overwhelmed with how much it transformed the space. Kendall told me repeatedly during planning “you won’t fully get it until you see it”. And she was right. And it was perfect. My other favorite moment was worshipping with our friends and family in our ceremony, and finally being pronounced husband and wife!

{Your favorite picture from the big day?} Our Veil picture.

{The picture that represents the two of you best?}  Our Cross picture.

VENDORS:

Photographer: Followell Fotography
Event Planner: Kendall Poole Event Planning
Dress: Imaginations Bridal
Bride’s Jewelry: Albriton’s Jewelry, Inc.
Hair & Makeup: Molly Gee Designs
Bridesmaid Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids
Tuxes: Tuxes Too
Videographer: BGP Productions
Venue: Fondren Church and The South Warehouse
Lighting: Davaine Lighting
Rentals: Fresh Cut Catering & Floral
Florist: Fresh Cut Catering & Floral
Catering: Fresh Cut Catering & Floral
Band: The Jason Stogner Band
Bride’s Cake: Cakes by Iris
Groom’s Cake: Cakes by Iris
Print Material: Emily Ferguson for Designs by KPEP
Car Service: Groom’s dad’s Corvette