Wednesday, February 9, 2011

sombrero dip

On Sunday we went to a Super Bowl party at Kevin & Beth's house and we had so much fun! Beth always outdoes herself and she had so much yummy food! It was a great time with great friends. I made this Sombrero Dip for the first time and brought it to their house - I think it was pretty good!
1 packet taco seasoning
1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
1 can rotel, drained
guacamole (homemade or store bought)
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Mix 1/3 packet taco seasoning with refried beans. Spread the mixture onto a large serving platter as bottom layer. Mix the sour cream and cream cheese together with 1/3 taco seasoning. Spread over the refried beans. Mix guacamole with rest of taco seasoning. Layer rotel on top of guacamole. Top with Cheddar cheese. Easy and delish!


Hey y'all! I hope everyone is staying warm in this crazy weather!

Leslie just finished my new photography website and I would love for everyone to check it out! Just click HERE to take a look!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

home is where the heart is

"You have Mississippi; it never leaves you." - Willie Morris

"To understand the world, you must first understand a place like Mississippi." -William Faulkner

"I talk about all the things that I really needed to make me happy at that point in time were outside of Mississippi, and now all the things that I need to make me happy are back there." -Sela Ward

Growing up I always disliked living here. I tolerated Jackson but also spent my years waiting for my life to really “begin” once I moved away.

Far away.

I dreamed of going to school in New York and becoming famous for my dramatic talents on Broadway. After my adventures in New York, I planned on moving to California and living there forever. My plans to attend Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles were abruptly changed May of my senior year in high school. At the last minute, due to unforeseen circumstances, I decided to attend the University of Alabama. It wasn't California, but in my mind I was at least getting out of Mississippi.

After many years of searching, I found my soulmate while dreaming away my life at Disney World during a college internship. Everything changed. We moved back to Mississippi, and I was still trying to get away.

“Let’s move to Charleston, Nashville…Miami!” I would say.

Anywhere but here....anywhere but Mississippi.

After spending the first few months of marriage trying to get away, I finally accepted that we would be here a little while due to our jobs. We began exploring our town on the weekends. Since Danny had never lived here before, everything was new to him. Seeing everything through his eyes was like seeing it for the first time. We saw places I had never seen before, and being with him made even the most mundane thing seem so exciting. I experienced Mississippi as an adult - not a bratty, entitled teenager.  Everything I used to hate was now so beautiful. 

My love/hate relationship with my home state turned into something very bittersweet. We were married here, we bought our first house here, my parents lived ten minutes away from us. I traveled out of state fairly often for work, and I began to feel a sense of pride overtake me whenever I was asked where I was from. "Mississippi" I would say, a grin slowly forming across my face as I anticipated a response. "Wow. Is there anything to do there?" A few years ago, my answer would have been an immediate no. Now? Now my answer is something like, "Yes, in fact there is."

I now take pride in being from the deep south. I feel blessed to call myself a Mississippian, born and raised. My grandparents lived here. My parents live here. It’s home. I like my southern accent and find southern culture so intriguing.

I've finally realized that it's not about having awesome clubs, cool attractions or world-class shopping. It's about family and friends. It's about relationships. Sure, it would be awesome to live in Miami or Los Angeles for a second. But at the end of the day (as cliche as it may sound) my home is where my heart is. And my heart rests in good ole Mississippi.

Will Danny and I live here forever? Probably not. But she'll always have my heart.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

san francisco

I went to San Francisco for work on January 26th (Wednesday) and was there until Saturday morning. It was our bi-annual brand conference and I had a great time! I didn't want to lug my camera through the airport so all the pics are from my iPhone.
 I'd never been to San Fran before and thought it was such a cool city. My sister is actually living there right now so I was able to get dinner with her one night and she gave me a little tour of the city. You can see the Golden Gate bridge behind her in this picture! We had dinner at a place called the Slanted Door - my sis managed to get us a reservation even though it was packed!
We drove through Haight Ashbury and down the famous Lombard Street. My friend Carmen from Virgina Beach was at the conference and we actually sat next to each other on the flight from Dallas to San Fran. She and I met back in March and I love her!
They kept us SUPER busy during the day with all the seminars/meetings, but the food was delicious and they kept the diet cokes coming all day - haha! Carmen and I walked around downtown when we first got there and had dinner at a cute 50s-themed place!
Everything was at the Hilton San Francisco - the hotel was super nice.
I asked for an upgrade and they actually gave me one (which I couldn't believe!). I was in a suite on the 17th floor and had a great view of downtown.
The first night we were there was the welcome reception at Ghirardelli Square. All the restaurants and bars were opened just for our group! We took a trolley through Union Square to get to the reception and we got to see some of the beautiful architecture!
The last night they had a nice dinner for us and then had the Eagles after dinner as the entertainment!
It was a good trip. I was just SO exhausted when I got back! The stretch from San Fran to Dallas is over 3 hours and that is a long time to be sitting down. It wore me out! I had so much fun with Carmen and we are definitely going to be visiting her in VA beach soon!
We didn't have time to really do any touristy things, so next time I'm there I am definitely touring Alcatraz! I heard it was awesome. :)