earlier this year, some of my work was featured on the southern weddings blog.  {see it here!}   i have followed their blog and have fallen in love with the real weddings they feature… but i had no idea what was in store when a copy of their newly released magazines fell into my hands.

WOW.

my breath was taken away with their beautiful layouts, the incredible photography, the advice & helpful tips they give, and most of all… how true they are to their southern roots!  being a southern lady myself, i can genuinely appreciate every page of this magazine.  i only wish i had a copy when i was engaged!

lara, emily, katharine & whitney are four ladies who, trust me, you want to get to know.  and because i believe in their work SO much, i am giving away 2 copies of their magazines!   how can you win?  simply leave a comment below, describing your favorite southern tradition or what you appreciate most about the south.  i’ll randomly select 2 winners in 1 week and send your copies in the mail… just in time for you to enjoy it through the christmas holiday!

check out the front cover…. isn’t it to die for?!   [photo by jeremy cowart… a photography genius if you ask me!]

2010 SOUTHERN WEDDINGS COVER JEREMY COWART

stay tuned… i was privileged enough to be offered a level 3 VIP pass to their office (ha!).  i’ll be posting photos of their beautiful workspace soon!  and don’t forget to BOOKMARK THEIR BLOG! >>>   http://www.iloveswmag.com

oh, and my favorite southern traditions?

sweet tea.  smelling home made vegetable soup on the stove and freshly baked cornbread come out of the oven.  being a debutante. saying y’all.  talking to strangers as if you’ve been friends forever. and lastly, i loved having my reception in a rustic barn!

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Favorite Southern Tradition… manners! Please, Thank You, How are you, May I help you with that, door opening/holding, ladies first… you get the idea!

hmmm… sweet tea and knowing that I live in the Bible belt.

Let me start off by saying that I am originally from Virginia and true southerners don’t refer to us Virginian’s as the south. I moved to NC for college and feel in love!! I am now back in VA temporarily and I miss NC soooooo much!!! Honestly, it feels like home to me! What I loved most about the “true” south, was honestly, their hospitality! I was always made to feel at home and that would explain my “homesickness.” The food of course is AMAZING!! Who can resist those buttery biscuits with the best Sweet Tea on the face of the earth! The “true” south showed me what life is all about, FAMILY! They know how to cherish one another as a family and that means gathering around a nice “home-cooked” (not take-out) meal. Guess that explains why I snagged a Southern Guy for myself. Nothing like bringing that “Hospitality” home with me every day, no matter where I am at. “YALL” know what Iam talkin bout! :-) Also the Women are not only amazing in their jobs as Mommas, but their able to maintain their beauty amongst it all! They are truly my heros and I hope one day to strive to be that Southern Wife who brings the warmth and comfort of her home, everywhere she goes! Thank you NC for taking me in and turning this gal into a “true” southern gal!

southern traditions in the good ol’ foothills of great NC: sunday lunch after church, front porches, backyard swings, blue jeans, cowboy boots, sweet tea, EVERYTHING buttured, mashed potatoes, family traditions, down home roots, and being proud of where you came from. “you can take the girl out of the south but you can’t take the south out of the girl” :)

I’m not from the South, but I what I love most about the south or southerners is how they are so polite, gratious, courteous and genuine in any situation. It may just be opening or holding the door for you, or you may be a guest in their home. Either way, it’s a different way of living, and it’s one I wish everyone would adhere to.

hmm. definitely my moms sweet tea.. i love a “good ‘ole country boy” you can only find in the south! :) my mother-in-laws fried chicken and fried shrimp! oh and my hubbies rice and gravy- i know people from the north just cant wrap there minds around how good that could be but it is SOOOOO good!! specific to Louisiana- a bowl of hot gumbo and potato salad, boiled crawfish, and you can get away with still wearing flip flops in december! so i do realize most everything in this paragraph is about food but that is what the south is about good food and good family! :)

I love the small town atmosphere. I can go just about anywhere in town and I’ll almost always see someone I know! Driving anywhere, you get a wave from everyone you pass by whether you know them or not.

I also love Sunday afternoon visiting. I can go to Nanny and Pa’s house and be guaranteed to see a few other members of the family there before I leave.

What do I not love about the south? Sweet tea – no doubt. Friendly people – of course. Sundresses and pearls – heck yeah. I just LOVE the south!

My favorite things about the south:

peach cobbler on the fourth of july
people calling you ma’am and men holding the door open for you
the way concrete feels under your bare feet on summer nights
margaritas and queso on the patio (no one does tex mex like we do in the south!)
swimming in the torrid summers
actually getting to experience 4 seasons!
fireflys
seeing a farmer on the side of the road driving a tractor and thinking nothing of it at all
everything IS bigger

sweet tea definitely. but, my favorite tradition is sitting down with my family for a meal…how my grandfather blesses the meal and then we all dig in. i love how when the meal is over, we sit and talk for hours sharing stories that we’ve all heard a hundred times, but still laugh til our tummies hurt. i love how you can find good, rich, genuine conversation in the south.

being one who grew up in the south, left and is now back, i am SO thankful to be a southern lady. i love that in the south kids are raised to show respect to others (something missing in Arizona) and sweet tea is in abundance! i love that i’m not weird when i say y’all or talk with that sweet southern bell twang. i love that pearls are a girls best friend down here, and rooting for your favorite college team (go carolina!) is a way of life. i love as a southern woman we can cook up a storm, feed everybody that walks through our door, and can hunt with the boys and that evening be all gussied up to go out on the town. most of all, i just love being IN the south…the look is unlike any other place in the country and in NC we have all four seasons equally, and i love, love, love that.

SWEET TEA, friendly people, living in the bible belt! :)

i love the south, preferably north carolina because….
you get to pull for the wonderful CAROLINA TARHEELS, say ya’ll, wear pearls, have a great accent, listen to country, be a daddy’s girl and eat fried chicken

I absolutely love going to my Mama’s house in South Carolina. She is the sweetest, most hospitable lady I have ever met! She always makes sure there is a homecooked meal ready for us when we get there.. Her homecooked meals consist of her infamous macaroni and cheese, ham rice, fried chicken, and her delicious SWEET tea. She’s the best cook ever, yet she doesn’t use recipes. We always ask her for her recipes, but she always responds,”you know, I have no idea!” haha she just uses what she’s learned growing up and just knows what ingredients to use!
Going to her house also brings out the Southern in my family…she’s always using funny expressions such as, “your tickle box is turned on!” when we’re laughing hysterically, she calls windows, “winders” and pillows, “pillers”, and she gnaws on chicken bones..haha that’s my Mama! And she is what makes me love the South :)

I enjoy the weather in the SOUTH! Much nicer than here in the midwest. Thanks for offering such a great contest. Best wishes. Have a blessed Thanksgiving. And BTW…I LOVE YOUR NAME :)

Front porches and football Saturdays. There is an empty lot across the street from my house, and it slopes down into a little valley with a stream. I love that each season brings a new reason for me to sit on the porch, drink tea, and take in the flowers blooming, the birds chirping, the leaves falling, or the snow gathering. But on autumn Saturdays, I love that my family always spends the day either watching football on television or at a game (usually at Carolina or NC State, depending upon which family member bought the tickets). We can spend hours just talking about who might make the postseason!

The best part of being a Southern lady is wearing my pearls. They never get old and can NEVER be too big. Earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings…I love them all!

I have to say my favorite thing about the south is good ol’e sweet tea. I’ve lived in Florida (I don’t count that as the real “south”) and New York – & it is nearly impossible to find anywhere. I appreciate it so much more when I am home in North Carolina.

I love waking in my house to the smell of a home cooked breakfast. The sound of sizzling bacon as I walk up the stairs. The first sight as I enter the kitchen is my parents cooking in harmony and unity. Such a smile comes to my face when I hear my dads voice as he hums some melodious hymn, scrabbles the eggs, and kisses my forehead. A joy fills my heart as my mom turns and gives me a good morning smile or the silly look she expresses when I steal a piece of bacon from the plate. When all is prepared and ready, my family gathers at the table for a meal spent together with complete love and laughter.

My favorite southern tradition is a good home cooked southern breakfast! It has to include all of the works…bacon, eggs, grits, hash browns, sausage, scratch made biscuits! Mmm… my mouth just waters at the thought of it! Not to mention, my parents are the reigning masters at the southern breakfast(after my grandmother of course)! My family is far from perfect but when we get together, eat food and just spends time with each other, love just pours out from our hearts. This is a tradition that I will definitely continue with a family of my own someday.

The best part about living in the South is our laid-back nature and medley of different accents. I also love that there are so many rich cultures. Oh yea, and the food…

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