Category Archives: Southern Living

One Year in Columbus – DONE.

It’s hard to believe that one year ago, this weekend, Nick and I made the two day drive from Omaha, NE to good ol’ Columbus, Mississippi.

Well, it’s not all that hard to believe…

For the most part, the year has FLOWN by. I’ve been busy with work, travel, random stuff and weddings. And Nick’s obviously been busy with flying and studying.

We’ve made some great friends while here and have learned, um, a lot about “southern culture.” We’ve also spent A LOT of time with each other–which I’ve absolutely LOVED. In fact, I think it’s going to be tough getting back into the swing of things again with deployments and “real” Air Force life. It’s not that training isn’t “real Air Force,” I just think it’s a totally different experience than what you get used to outside of the training world.

We’ve also experimented with lots of recipes and tried growing our own herb garden (which is now dying). We also found ample time to get caught up on our HBO and Showtime favorites (Dexter, True Blood, Mad Men, 24, Sopranos, and I’m sure there were others).

Finally, though, I’m excited to say that in ONE month from now, we’ll know the location of where we’ll be moving and in two months we could very well be OUTTA HERE!

Overall, it’s been a great year, but I’m ready for our next chapter to begin–regardless of where it may take us.


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Southern Living & Frizzy Hair

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We’re officially six days into Summer and I feel as though it has already taken its toll on me (though to be fair, it has felt like Summer for the last two months now).

While I love how curly my hair is in the South because of the crazy amount of humidity, part of me wonders just how I can better contain this mess. There’s got to be a better solution than just letting it go ‘au-naturel.’

I’ve tried serum and some other random oils, but I don’t feel like any of them really work. So, for the most part, I’ve been sticking with the ever-trusted ponytail.

My goal however, is to find an AWESOME solution for taming my mane by August. We’ve got lots going on that month and I’d like to look somewhat polished by then…

So to get this process moving along, I did some (online) research and found the following products and ideas–many of which aren’t all that revolutionary, but are worth a shot.

  • Rinse with cold water OR try leaving hair a “little damp”–it will help to “seal” the cuticle–Pretty sure I’ve done this and it makes no difference…
  • Aveda Brilliant Anti-Humectant Pomade ($19)
  • Paul Mitchell Gloss Drops ($15)–This is my current “solution” though I’m not sure it’s working well enough for this humidity and heat (Seattle weather would likely be A-Okay)
  • Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Anti-Frizz Serum ($7)
  • John Freida Collection Frizz-Ease Hair Serum ($9.99)–with the Extra Strength Forumla
  • Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum ($24)–I’m thinking this is the “next level up” for me in the Paul M. line, but have no idea if it’s worth the money
  • Stop swimming in the cholrine (or get a filter for my shower to help keep the exposure chlorine minimized)– Our water here is horrible and I’m just guessing that is a great contributing factor to my unhealthy mass of hair; I’ve also noticed it’s much worse since the outdoor pool opened up last month
  • In a nutshell, wear it in a ponytail–a tip from our very own Southern Living magazine (Um, thanks, hadn’t thought of that one…)

I’m guessing that none of these will create a miracle, but will keep you posted if something works well.

Let me know if you’ve had any experiences with any of the above products or techniques or if you have a trick or two of your own that might work better. I’d love to hear about it.


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True Southern Belle Style: Spring Pilgrimage

Every year in Columbus, the town hosts an event called the Spring Pilgrimage — which is a series of activities and tours around the little town that we live in.  Here’s some information about the tradition.

The main features of this annual event, though are tours of the historic antebellum homes throughout the city. There are some really gorgeous, old houses here in town and this is really one of the only chances to go inside them and see the deep history that’s there. Here’s a look at some of the houses (and they are even more impressive when you get up close and personal with them).

The best part of these tours? They are led by “hostesses” in fancy-schmancy, southern belle attire. This means lace, ruffles, poofy sleeves, hoop skirts and very “colorful” fabric – the wh0le nine yards!

This year, the wives of the Columbus Air Force base really got involved and volunteered to hostess during the tours. While this is not something I normally would get excited about, I decided to really EMBRACE this little town for a few hours and put on a dress. Why? Primarily for the photos and to be able to wear a big hoop skirt.

I was assigned to the Rosewood Manor (this woman still lives there) and had the opportunity to tour guests through the garden and gazebo area.

And, at last, here are some of the pictures of the dress, the house and some of the other wives I played “hostess” with.

In general, it was a fun experience to wear the dress, though in all honesty, I’m not so sure I would do this again. We’ll chalk it up to good Facebook photos and a bit of “culturing.”


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The DMV Blows My Mind

This morning, I decided to become a Mississippi resident by finally applying for a Mississippi drivers license. This is something I’ve been putting off for quite some time now, (I think the reasons why are obvious) and my experience this morning just reiterated that procrastinating on these endeavorers are well worth it and should become indefinite.

Leading up to this day, I spent time finding the right location, cost, what forms I would need, etc. Only none of this information was correct. I drove around for a good 15 minutes (which is a lot in Columbus) before locating the place.

Upon arrival and after taking my number from the very pleasant staff (unpleasant, actually), I was notified that their “systems” were down and that it would take a “few minutes” to get it back up.

At this point, I should have left.

However, I stayed and continued working through my application to become an official southern belle.

Sitting there for a few hours with my Smartphone got me to thinking. Why hasn’t anyone tried to make this experience just a bit better since almost EVERYONE has to do it?

Why can’t I simply transfer my license from one state to another and have it mailed to me?  Isn’t this government database online somewhere?

Why can’t I just do this at home if I have a webcam and a scanner?

Even better, why can’t I get something sent to me to make this quicker when I change my address with the USPS?

Those are just the logistical questions – there are by far more that come up when we talk about the technology and aesthetic advancements that could be made to make this process a little more enjoyable.

I’m not saying it needs to feel like a spa, but even starting with the people working there – you would think they could be just a tad more friendly.

Enough with my rant… it might just be me that feels this way anyway. (Is it?)

Anyway, after all of that, I’m finally a Mississippi resident!

And the first true test of my skills will be during the upcoming Columbus Pilgrimage event where I will sport a hot-pink southern belle costume (mine isn’t as cute as this, ha) and guide visitors/tourists through an old Civil War house in town.

Now, who’s excited for pictures of that!?

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I know, it’s been a while since my last post. I promised in the previous one that I wouldn’t do this again and I really believed myself. I would like to now apologize to those of you that live and breathe to read my blog posts (not many).

AND now that that’s out-of-the-way…

The last few weeks have just been nuts here in Mississippi! We finally hit the halfway point of pilot training and Nick is just about to start flying his new plane. For the aviation fans I know, it’s a T-1 (I think this is the right info on it). T-minus six months and counting!

Also, in the last month, I decided to change career paths a bit. I quit my job to go the “freelance” route and have to say it’s been an interesting and exciting last few weeks as an entrepreneur (more to come on this)!

We also recently visited Birmingham for some shopping, food and friends, as well as New Orleans for the first time. There we experienced some of the finest food and drink the city has to offer and saw quite a few crazies to kick-off the beginning of Mardis Gras season!

I’ll be recapping some of our recent excursions over the next few posts so stay tuned for that! In the meantime, leave a comment here or on Facebook to let me know what is happening in your lives!

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Back at it.

It’s 2011 and it’s time to get my stuff together. I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything and for that I’m sorry to those of you that have been reading this blog. It’s been a pretty busy fall and holiday season – but I’m ready to get back to my blogging. I also want to send thanks to all of my friends and family that have said such great things about this blog.

2011 is going to be a crazy year. I can tell already. We’re going to be in Mississippi for quite a bit longer, which will hopefully bring many more adventures and some good BBQ. We’re also going to learn what plane Nick will be flying – that’s going to be a big one for us. 2011 will also bring a few weddings along the way (May is going to be busy) and we couldn’t be more excited!!

Most of all, I’m looking forward to some changes. I think I need something new, exciting and different in my life (besides the city of Columbus) — and my mission is going to be finding that source of change and excitement.

What’s in store for you this new year?

I know many of you have lots going on — I’m excited to hear about it!


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Nick’s Solo Flight

It’s been over a week, but I’ve finally gotten to posting about Nick’s solo flight. This means it was his first flight in the T-6 plane flying without an instructor.

I was able to hear a bit of him on the radio during the flight and tried to watch him fly over the building (I have no idea if I actually saw his plane).

Overall he did great and landed safely.

Tradition is that after your first solo here at Columbus AF base, you’re thrown into a dunk tank.

There’s also a tradition that if you make it back to the flight room before they can throw you in, each member of the flight has to buy you a case of beer… Nick went ran for the room and made it! (I’ll try to track down the video, it’s hilarious). We’re still waiting for the beer though!

Here are some pics from right after his flight. So proud!


Done with the solo and on his way back to the flight room.

Gettin' ready to be thrown into the dunk tank.

Being thrown in

Finally done!


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Dining with the Cenci’s

Nick and I cook together a lot. We try to make things for dinner that we’ve never made before. We typically try at least three new recipes a week from our cooking magazines — Cooking Light and Food & Wine.

We typically make homemade pizza on the Webber once a week. Every time, it’s an adventure. We don’t have a pizza peel just yet so it’s a bit rough to pull the 12″ dough off the hot charcoal grill without tearing it up.

Today we made one with pepperoni, banana peppers, mozzarella, basil, garlic, green onions and mushrooms. SO. GOOD.

We also made some cinnamon rolls today – Nick had a craving for them around 10 a.m. Aspiring to make them from scratch, we got started…They only had to rise for 3 hours total…

All-in-all, it went pretty well, the sun was out so we were able to speed up the “rising process” just a tad.

And finally at 3 p.m. we were able to eat!

Nothing like breakfast in the late-afternoon with an adventure to go along with it!

I’m sure there will be more to share on our upcoming cooking experiences! Stay tuned!

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We’ve Got Football!

It’s been quite the effort to get some HD and cable in our house since the move. Last year, we cut our cable down to the basics to save on costs and because we weren’t really watching it. We thought we’d continue that streak here in Columbus. Only, we didn’t realize that 1) there wouldn’t be anything else to do and 2) we had never tried this experiment during football season. Not being able to watch College GameDay, Michigan football or Mad Men, just wasn’t cutting it for us.

It only took three visits from the cable guys and two calls to Tivo to make it happen, but finally, we’re all systems go and the right is speaking to the left.

It really does amaze me that the cable company here has to physically come to your house to make any changes to your TV channel line-up or even to add HD. They even stayed to set-up the Tivo because they didn’t want me to enter the codes for the CableCard myself. AND if you’ve never set-up a Tivo, it takes about an hour. The last guy was here so long, Penny became best friends with him and I felt the need to offer water and a spot on the couch. STRANGE.

At last, though, we’re all set up and all is well in the house. Now, as soon as we get through the weekend filled with football, I will promptly be unavailable for six hours to catch up on my Mad Men.

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More on Stella

A few weeks ago I wrote about my excitement for the Tennessee Williams Stella Shouting contest, taking place here in Columbus, Mississippi.

Unfortunately, I had to miss this event due to traveling, but I’ve got the goods for you to see.

According to the local paper, the Columbus Dispatch,  Thomas Easterling, an English teacher at Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, won first place in the Tennessee Williams Stella Shouting Contest.

Here’s a look at the contest and the winner (I think last year’s were better, but that’s just me).

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