<![CDATA[I N S P I R A T I O N - HOME]]>Fri, 23 Jun 2017 13:30:50 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[Ice Cream with Friends {Life}]]>Fri, 23 Jun 2017 13:17:31 GMThttp://inspirems.co/home/ice-cream-with-friends-life
For the 2nd year in a row, Inspiration Mississippi, Sal & Mookie’s New York Pizza and Ice Cream Joint, and Brown Bottling have joined together to benefit Friends of Children’s Hospital! During the entire month of July which happens to be National Ice Cream Month, 15% of all ‘Batson Sundae’ sales at Sal & Mookie’s will be donated to Friends of Children’s Hospital benefiting Batson Children’s Hospital.

“Ice Cream with Friends was a great success in 2016 and we hope 2017 is even better,” smiles Kendall Poole Ellis, Founder of Inspiration Mississippi. Not only did patrons of Sal & Mookie’s support this great cause, but our favorite Mississippi sports teams even got involved!  Mississippi State football Coach Dan Mullen and Ole Miss Coach Hugh Freeze both stopped by for a Batson Sundae, and we had a Millsaps College day to support Batson Children's Hospital! 

To wrap up National Ice Cream Month and Ice Cream with Friends, Inspiration Mississippi, along with Sal & Mookie’s, will host an Ice Cream Party for the patients at Batson Children’s Hospital on July 28th. The Ice Cream Party last year was held in Wiser Cafeteria and many of the patients and their families enjoyed yummy ice cream sundaes from Sal & Mookie's, face painting by the spectacular Fancy Faces by Sherry, took silly photos in Mississippi Photo Booths and even danced to music provided by DJ 51-50.   

Elisha Bailey, Director of Giving and Community Partnerships for Friends of Children’s Hospital says,  “We are always excited to join with great community partners that raise not only money for Batson Children’s Hospital but also awareness of all of the great things Batson is doing for the children in our state.” Friends of Children’s Hospital is a nonprofit organization benefiting Batson Children’s Hospital at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.  Founded in 1989, Friends works to support and promote Mississippi’s only hospital designed and equipped specifically for the care and treatment of sick or injured children.  Their goal is to raise money for state-of-the-art equipment, facilities and services for all pediatric patients by building a statewide base of community support. Voluntarism, fundraising events and awareness efforts make it possible for Friends to help Batson Children’s Hospital meet the EXTRAordinary needs of caring for its patients. 

We hope that throughout the month of July you will visit Sal & Mookie’s, enjoy delicious food, and have a ‘Batson Sundae’ to benefit Friends of Children’s Hospital! Not only will your tummy thank you, but the kids at Batson Children’s Hospital thank you too!

For more information about Friends of Children’s Hospital, please visit their website at www.foch.org.
For more information about Sal & Mookie’s, please visit www.salandmookies.com.
For more information about Brown Bottling, please visit www.browngroup.net

A special thank you to Katelyn Anne Photography for capturing these beautiful photographs from Ice Cream with Friends 2016.

<![CDATA[Miss Mississippi Pageant - Celebrating 60 Years {Event}]]>Wed, 21 Jun 2017 14:00:00 GMThttp://inspirems.co/home/miss-mississippi-pageant-celebrating-60-years-event
Style, Service, Scholarship, Success.   These four words represent the glimmering points of Miss America’s coveted crown.  More importantly, they embody the attributes of the national female role model.  “We expect Miss Mississippi to have the same characteristics as Miss America,” says David Blackledge, CEO and Executive Director of the Miss Mississippi Pageant. “Each contestant is expected to serve her community.”
When the glamourous lights of the pageant fade each year, contestants leave Vicksburg teeming with invaluable skills.  They truly emerge as role models.  “They learn incredible interview skills and grow as individuals.  Each contestant is involved in her community and they all raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network,” says Blackledge.   Through their style, service, scholarship and success, each contestant leaves a piece of the Miss Mississippi legacy with every person they encounter.
2017 marks the 60th crowning of Miss Mississippi in the historic city of Vicksburg.  Through Vicksburg’s commitment and generous support, an extraordinary number of scholarships are presented each year, encouraging these young women to pursue higher education and start promising careers.  “We are one of the top cash providers of the entire Miss Mississippi organization year in and year out,” says Blackledge proudly.
This year’s pageant promises to be spectacular.  “We are going to have former Miss Mississippis involved in every aspect of the week.  The show will celebrate Miss Mississippi 2016, Laura Lee Lewis, and all of our past royalty.  They will make up our panel of judges, perform, sign autographs and host the pageant,” smiles Blackledge.  “This will be a special year and the first of its kind for the Miss Mississippi Pageant!”  

The Miss Mississippi Pageant will be held this Saturday, June 24th, at the Vicksburg Convention Center.  For more information on the Miss Mississippi Pageant, please visit www.missmississippipageant.com
{Blog post by Mitchell Walters and Photography by Susan McCarty}
<![CDATA[Curtain of Green: Rehearsal Dinner and Wedding Inspiration {Inspirational Photoshoot}]]>Tue, 20 Jun 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://inspirems.co/home/curtain-of-green-rehearsal-dinner-and-wedding-inspiration-inspirational-photoshootToday is the first official day of summer! We are thrilled to unveil our beautiful summer cover of Inspiration Mississippi Magazine!
“The Mississippi Petrified Forest seems to cast a soothing spell. This place is truly a living, ever-changing wonder, placed as a rare jewel for a man to ponder and enjoy,” raves the Petrified Forest.  This verdant wonderland dates back to the mid-1800’s, and we couldn’t imagine a more romantic setting for a rehearsal dinner and wedding.

This Curtain of Green, an homage to Eudora Welty’s short stories, is a hauntingly beautiful world for a memorable rehearsal dinner and wedding. The wild setting sets the stage for an intimate dinner for the bride, groom and their closest friends. Softly hued florals and flecks of gold simply glow against the lush venue.
For the wedding ceremony, the bride and her attendants shine subtly against the greenery in hues of white, cream and blush.  The bride’s gown is utterly feminine, draping with elegance and ease, and her emerald jewels reflect the lush surroundings.  What an affair to remember.

Throughout the beautiful pictures, you will see glimpses of Mississippi.  The pictures were taken at the Mississippi Petrified Forest in Flora, MS, a privately operated park and museum.  Petrified wood happens to be the state stone of Mississippi.  The guest favors by D’Evereux Foods, includes honey, which is a tribute to the state insect of Mississippi, the Honeybee.  The Mississippi-shaped iced teacakes complete the beautiful place setting.
Venue: The Petrified Forest
Photography: Adam + Alli Photography
Jewelry: Albriton's Jewelry
Catering: 4 Top Catering
Linens & Rentals: Eventful
Cookies and Petit Fours: Campbell's Bakery
Florals: Oxford Floral
Hair & Makeup: Molly Gee Designs
Dresses: The Bridal Path
Tuxes: Tuxes Too
Men's Clothier: Great Scott
Bar: Char Bar
Tea: Brown Bottling Group
Print Material: Designs by KPEP
Guest Favors: D'Evereux Foods
Custom Wire Name Plates: Hannah's Hangers
<![CDATA[Carrie Cole {LIFE}]]>Fri, 16 Jun 2017 05:24:24 GMThttp://inspirems.co/home/carrie-cole-life
“I can do it all by myself!” No truer words have ever been spoken then the first sentence Carrie Cole said. Her life has been defined by these words. Born without her left arm, she entered this world fiercely independent and nothing has slowed her down yet.

Carrie was born and raised in Tupelo. “I was actually supposed to be a Down Syndrome boy, but the sonogram was obviously wrong,” laughs Carrie. Her mom, Carolyn, continues. “We heard the news at 12 weeks that the child I was carrying was a boy that had Down Syndrome. Her medical team never mentioned and never saw that the baby did not have a left arm. We prayed for this baby throughout my pregnancy and had friends pray over the baby also. I like to think that God fixed what needed to be fixed and here we are with a beautiful daughter named Carrie,” Carolyn smiles.

She has been overcoming obstacles since her birth. Her parents never treated her any different than the other kids her age. They allowed her to try out and participate in any sport or extracurricular activity she desired. To say she is a very well-rounded individual is an understatement! “I’ve done swimming, soccer, cross-country and was a cheerleader my junior and senior years of high school,” says Carrie. “I wanted to try it all, but my real passion and love is horses,” she continues. Carrie began riding horses when she was young and has been riding about 10 years. She rides year around and competes in dressage competitions.

One may wonder how life is different for her, but to Carrie, she doesn’t know any different. “My parents are a huge part of who I am. They always taught me that I was just like everyone else. They have always encouraged me to do the best I can at whatever I choose to do,” says Carrie.

Carrie graduated in May from Tupelo Christian Preparatory School. Among her honors in high school, she was a member of the National Honor Society and the Beta Club. Carrie received an honors scholarship to Louisiana State University and will be majoring in Environmental Engineering when she starts school there in the fall. “I’m excited about attending LSU,” she says. She is a life-long LSU Tiger fan. Her dad played football there briefly before sustaining a career-ending injury and her sister Camie is a 2017 graduate of LSU.

“Carrie is an amazing child and we are so proud of her,” smiles Carolyn. “People look at her and think she has a disability, but she really doesn’t. We have always said that God works in mysterious ways and I truly believe that especially when I look at Carrie. We look at where she is today and we are so thankful for her and the blessing that she is to us. We have learned so much from her and from watching her.”

Life is all about perspective. Carrie knows that. She sees the bigger picture and at 18 years old, she views life a little differently than other kids her age.  Having one arm has not slowed her down yet and that first sentence she uttered, “I can do it all by myself” has become her mantra. How often do we embrace the place where God has us and the circumstances he has put us?  We all have a God-given purpose here on this earth. Things may not always work out the way we planned or wanted, but they always work out the way He planned and orchestrated.

{Blog post by Jill Dale and Photography by Stephanie Rae Photography}
<![CDATA[‘sipp Sourced with Chef Nick Wallace {Event}]]>Wed, 14 Jun 2017 04:02:10 GMThttp://inspirems.co/home/sipp-sourced-with-chef-nick-wallace-event
It’s time to celebrate at ‘sipp Sourced with Chef Nick Wallace! Come out this Thursday, June 15, 2017, to the Mississippi Museum of Art and celebrate Chef Nick Wallace’s birthday along with the celebration of the opening of Up in Farms, your source for locally grown produce. The celebration is part of the Third Thursday event each month at the Mississippi Museum of Art. Each month, Chef and Culinary Curator Nick Wallace sets aside the current café menu and conceives a brand new, themed, three-day menu highlighting product from Mississippi farmers and purveyors. With an interesting name like ‘sipp Sourced, many people ask where the name came from. “The name of this series of pop up dining experiences is a nod to Chef Wallace’s own rural upbringing in nearby Edwards, his commitment to innovation in the kitchen using homegrown ingredients, and his love for Mississippi,” says Julian Rankin, Director of Marketing and Communication for the Mississippi Museum of Art.  

The inspiration for this month’s theme was twofold: Chef Wallace celebrates his birthday this week; and the Up in Farms Food Hub celebrates the ribbon-cutting of their new facility in Jackson. “The theme this month, ‘Born to Farm,’ honors Mississippi farming traditions and fuses them with Nick’s own creativity, flair, and technique. It references both those literal and figurative births of Chef Wallace and Up in Farms, as well as the perpetual birth embodied in harvests on the farm,” smiles Rankin.

As part of the ‘sipp Sourced event, the inaugural Museum Kitchen Chef’s Table will kick-off this Thursday. “The Museum Kitchen Chef’s Table is a special dinner service offered on Third Thursdays. This Thursday will be the first time we will be opening it up to the public. It will give diners access to the creative process of a chef,” says Rankin. Diners will get the opportunity to interact with Chef Wallace while he cooks and will learn about his Mississippi farm roots, his approach to great ingredients, and his visions for what food and creativity can do for the state. “In the future, we look forward to using that space not only for dining alone, but for other dynamic programming like panel discussion between chefs and artists, cooking demonstrations, hands-on culinary workshops, cooking competitions, and more,” continues Rankin. Reservations are required for The Museum Kitchen Chef’s Table  and seatings are at 6 and 7:30 p.m.

‘sipp Sourced menus will be available third Thursdays – Third Saturdays (lunch services all three days and a dinner Third Thursday night) in The Palette Café. Regular menu items are offered in The Palette Café Tuesday – Saturday every week.
For more information about the Mississippi Museum of Art, please visit http://msmuseumart.org/index.php/. For more information  about Born to Farm – ‘sipp Sourced with Chef Nick Wallace, please visit http://www.msmuseumart.org/index.php/events/event/born-to-farm-sipp-sourced-with-chef-nick-wallace. For more information about Up in Farms, please visit https://upinfarms.com/

{Blog post by Jill Dale and Photography courtesy of Mississippi Museum of Art}
<![CDATA[The Inn at Ole Miss {Insider Inspiration}]]>Mon, 12 Jun 2017 17:49:02 GMThttp://inspirems.co/home/the-inn-at-ole-miss-insider-inspiration
Adjacent to The Grove, the most beautiful and well-known college tailgating area in the country, The Inn at Ole Miss is the only on-campus, University affiliated hotel. Owned by the Ole Miss Alumni Association, its rich history makes it an ideal location for your next stay in Oxford or even your next event!

Dedicated in 1951, The Alumni House offered public and private meeting space, private offices and a snack bar in its early days. It also included a 35-room hotel. In its first renovation in 1968, an outdoor pool and additional guest rooms were added. In the mid-1980s, The Alumni House began to have guest rooms sponsored by individuals. This allowed alumni and friends the first right of refusal for their room during peak demand times, such as home football games and graduation. The generosity and love for Ole Miss shown by room sponsors allowed the Alumni House to progress. Eventually, a need for luxury accommodations and a demand for room sponsorships, led to a $21 million dollar expansion. The expansion was completed in 2008 and included an eight-story all-suite hotel complete with a new dining area, gift shop and more than 10,000 square feet of meeting space. The Alumni House was renamed The Inn at Ole Miss and was dedicated on August 29, 2008. What was once exclusive to just alumni, is now completely open to the public. “Unlike most hotels, our rooms are sponsored by Ole Miss Alumni and Friends. Each room is slightly different featuring personal touches, such as artwork or pictures, from the sponsor. The success of the room sponsorship program enabled what was once just a small bed and breakfast hotel to become what it is today — a state-of-the-art facility for all of our alumni and friends to use,” smiles Liz Lancaster McIntyre, Marketing Manager at The Inn at Ole Miss.

The Inn at Ole Miss is just a short walk or shuttle ride from the Historic Oxford Square. It features 146 rooms and also has a large ballroom and meeting spaces for everything from weddings to business meetings and everything in-between. “We host everything from on-campus events, like Orientation, to large conferences, to weddings! We can do it all! Our large ballroom with crystal chandeliers is perfect for any large, formal occasion while our board rooms are perfect for intimate meetings,” says McIntyre.

Are you an active alumni member? If so, you could get a discount! Active alumni members receive a 10% discount on Sunday – Thursday stays. For more information about The Inn at Ole Miss or to book your next stay or event, please visit

{Blog post by Jill Dale}
<![CDATA[The Delta Soul Celebrity Golf & Charity Event in Greenville, MS {Event}]]>Thu, 08 Jun 2017 00:03:39 GMThttp://inspirems.co/home/the-delta-soul-celebrity-golf-charity-event-in-greenville-ms-event
A hit songwriter, recording artist and music producer proudly hails from Greenville, Mississippi.  With his unique “delta soul” musical style, Steve Azar’s albums have been topping the charts since 2001.  Steve, dubbed The Delta Man, recently became the first artist to record a full-length studio album at Mississippi’s legendary Club Ebony.
Though Azar resided in Nashville for over twenty years, he remained devoted to his beloved hometown.  Steve and his wife, Gwen, formed The Steve Azar St. Cecilia Foundation in 2006.  Gwen says, “Steve and I are both Catholic and St. Cecilia is the Patron saint of musicians.  We wanted to contribute to the music and arts organizations in the Delta, along with organizations which help sick and disadvantaged youth.”
Steve and Gwen moved back to Greenville a few years ago and wanted to create an annual event to support their foundation.  Steve is an avid golfer, so The Delta Soul Celebrity Golf & Charity Event was born.  Gwen says, “Our mission is to create an extraordinary Delta experience for our participants, sponsors and celebrities by bringing them all together to enjoy golf and other festivities, which will highlight the Delta and her rich musical history, fantastic southern food and superb southern hospitality.”
This year’s Delta Soul Celebrity Golf & Charity Event will be held this weekend!   One of the most extraordinary events is Friday night’s The Big Night Party.  For the past four years, Gwen has turned to Erik Kegler of Eventful to create an unforgettable evening. 
“This year’s party has a vintage industrial feel.  I found a navy geometric sequin cloth and fell in love with it.  I knew it was perfect for The Big Night Party,” reflects Kegler.  “I came across some incredible metal flowers in Las Vegas and everything came together from there!”
With a funky, cool Delta vibe, tonight’s soiree is sure to be a night to remember.  “I am super excited about it,” smiles Kegler.  “It’s always a joy to see the guests at The Big Night Party.  The celebrities are always so shocked and impressed that we pull off such a sophisticated event in Mississippi.” 
Through The Delta Soul Celebrity Golf & Charity Event and Steve Azar St. Cecilia Foundation, Steve and Gwen have proudly donated over $500,000 to organizations throughout the Delta.
For more information on The Delta Soul Celebrity Golf & Charity Event and the Steve Azar St. Cecilia Foundation, please click here
Photographs of 2016’s The Big Night Party courtesy of B. Flint Photography.  View his beautiful website here.

<![CDATA[Graduation Party: Jamie Dodd {Event}]]>Wed, 07 Jun 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://inspirems.co/home/graduation-party-jamie-dodd-event
{Name}  Rebecca Dodd     
{Hometown} Florence, MS
{Event Site} The Evans’ Home
{Tell us about the occasion for the event?}
My daughter, Jamie Dodd, is graduating from high school.

{What inspired your event location and theme?}
We wanted to have it at a house in the Rankin County area for convenience for our guests. We wanted to celebrate the joyous occasion of Jamie graduating from Northwest Rankin High School.

{What inspired your color scheme/flowers?}
We used the Northwest Rankin High School colors of black and gold.

{What’s your favorite event detail? Is there a story behind it?}
I loved the pizza bar we had! It was a special request by Jamie that she thought her friends would really enjoy!

{What was your favorite part of the event planning process?}
I loved all of it! From creating the photo booth props and background to designing the menu and decorations, it was so much fun! I also enjoyed picking out the photos for the slideshow we did.

{What was your favorite moment of the event day?}
I enjoyed watching all of my family and friends coming together to celebrate Jamie and this special and exciting time in her life.

{Your favorite picture from the event day?}
I love the picture of Jamie and me. I am so proud of her and loved being able to celebrate her!

Event Planner: Me, Rebecca Dodd!
Venue: Home of Carl Evans
Cake: Sue Evans
<![CDATA[Groundbreaking Ceremony: Albriton's Jewelry {Insider Inspiration}]]>Mon, 05 Jun 2017 18:45:47 GMThttp://inspirems.co/home/groundbreaking-ceremony-albritons-jewelry-insider-inspiration
Albriton’s Jewelry is moving! A groundbreaking ceremony was held May 26, 2017, at the new location which is located across the street from its existing location in Highland Village. Albriton’s Jewelry, has been Mississippi’s Foremost Diamond Merchant since 1920. In 1972, Albriton’s Jewelry moved from its original location on Capital Street in downtown Jackson to its current location at Highland Village. “We love the city of Jackson and Highland Village and are excited to stay in the area. When the opportunity became available to own our own building, we could not pass it up,” smiles John Albriton, owner of the fourth-generation, family owned and operated store. “The new store will be larger and offer state of the art lighting and showcases for all of our jewelry,” continues Albriton. The new building will also offer “drive up-to-the door parking.”

“We wanted to have a groundbreaking ceremony as a ‘Thank You’ to Jackson and our customers for so many years of business and loyalty. We look forward to many more years of serving you,” says Albriton. The new store is set to open in early 2018. For more information about Albriton’s Jewelry, please visit their website at http://www.albritons.com/ or their Facebook page at Albriton’s Jewelry, Inc.

Photographer: Christina Foto
Florist: Fresh Cut Floral and Catering
Catering: Fresh Cut Floral and Catering

{Blog post by Jill Dale}
<![CDATA[Decoration Day: Columbus, MS {Insider Inspiration}]]>Mon, 29 May 2017 16:23:45 GMThttp://inspirems.co/home/decoration-day-columbus-ms-insider-inspirationColumbus, MS is well-known to many Mississippians and those throughout the south for its beautiful antebellum homes and the Spring Pilgrimage that is held every year showcasing those historic homes. It is also home to Friendship Cemetery, the site of the first Decoration Day in 1866 which led to the modern Memorial Day observance.

During the Civil War, Columbus served as a hospital town where more than 3,000 wounded soldiers – many from the Battle of Shiloh – were brought for recovery. Thousands more suffered mortal wounds and were laid to rest in the town’s Friendship Cemetery.

In 1866, a group of women from Columbus gathered to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers with flowers.  These women made no distinction between Confederate and Union soldiers and, thus, began the nation’s healing process following a divisive Civil War.

A newspaper excerpt from April 26, 1866, recounted the deed, saying: “We are glad to see that no distinction was made between our own Confederate dead and Federal soldiers who slept their last sleep by them. It proved the exalted, unselfish tone of the female character. Confederate and Federal – once enemies, now friends – receiving their tribute of respect.”

Judge F.M. Finch, a poet from New York who happened to be in Columbus that day, immortalized the gesture in a poem called “The Blue and the Gray.” 

Today, poignant images of the mass loss of life during the Civil War are evident in Friendship Cemetery.  Rows and rows of marble stones marking the final resting place of 2,194 Confederate soldiers cover the beautiful landscape. Among the graves is a stone recognizing Mrs. Canant, Vol. Nurse, CSA.  She is the only Confederate nurse officially recognized by the United States government.

Columbus, MS is proud to be remembered as the city “where flowers healed a nation.” To learn more about Columbus, MS and things to do there, please visit  http://visitcolumbusms.org/
{Blog post by Jill Dale}