Friday, February 17, 2012

It’s Mardi Gras Time, Y’all

7 months ago, yesterday, I was throwing colorful beads to everyone at my wonderful wedding reception. I could not have imagined how much my life would change when I moved to my new home in Louisiana. This state has a culture unlike anywhere in the world (and by World I mean the few states I have visited, oh and Mexico). There are a few rules I have learned. First, for the most par there is only 1 college people are obsessed with, and that is LSU. Next, food is a lot spicier here, you just have to adjust to the shock. Finally, there are important holidays in this state, Christmas, Easter, New Years and MARDI GRAS. The latter is what brings me here today…

This year is the 32nd Mardi Gras Parade in Bogalusa, my new home town. The official name of the parade is the Music City Carnival Association or MCCA parade. Mardi Gras 2012 will be the maiden voyage for the ladies of Vogue, of which I am honored to be a founding member. Being from Jackson, I did not understand all that went into Mardi Gras. The parties begin before Christmas and are large to-do’s. There are big floats, big beads, and crazy costumes. You might have to take out a loan to pay for your “throws” for the parade, but you do not care as long as the day is sunny and warm!

The King and Queen are chosen from those belonging to a Krewe, and the names are kept closer than your Mimi’s Banana prize winning Pudding recipe. This year our Queen is Carmen Jones and her king is Will Branch. Queen Carmen could be seen at each grand party decked out in a big tiara and sometimes her full-length mink coat. Every mother wishes and prays that her child will be chosen as a young page and a Maid or Royal Guard when they are in high school! Everyone is so lovely!

Our theme this year for the parade is MCCA “Loves A Party.” Our party theme is a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. The 22 Ladies of Vogue will be dressed in corsets, black mesh skirts and black wings!

Another Mardi Gras tradition would be the King Cake. Now everyone has his or her favorite, you can have Paul’s Pastry, Randazzo’s , Gambino’s or make your own…..I personally love one from a local bakery called Big Easy. You haven’t had a true King Cake till you have had one filled with something amazing like cream cheese or even pralines.

We are lucky that we live only about 45 minutes from New Orleans, our parade is nothing in comparison to the full glitz of the parades in the Crescent City. I mean Will Farrell is Bacchus this year!!!

As I leave you, remember a few pearls of wisdom from Sister Belle:

When it comes to parades, Mardi Gras parades offer amazing sights, jazzy music, and plenty of surprises. Many other parades have float riders who throw candy, but how many throw beaded necklaces, cups, and stuffed animals? You never know what you might catch at a Mardi Gras parade. It pays to come prepared with a large, empty bag!


• Arrive early. If you arrive too close to parade time, chances are good that you'll be unable to find a parking space, much less an open spot to stand.

• Pay attention to floats. They have riders who will throw things to the crowds. If you aren't watching, you could get smacked in the face with beads!

• Obey the barricades. They are there to keep you safe, not to spoil your fun.

• Stay put. Chasing after a float to beg for a throw won't get you anything. Riders will ignore you. Stay put and wait for the next float.

• Step on the throws that you want to claim for yourself. Of course, if it's a Moon Pie that was thrown, be careful not to squash it! Placing your foot over items can prevent others from snatching up your treasures. Bending over to grab things in the frenzy could result in crushed fingers or a bumped head. Play it safe and wait.


SHOW YOUR BOOBS! There is never a good time to do this ladies, not even in college…..

Until next time

Hugs & Kisses,

Sister Belle

Monday, April 4, 2011

Wedding Advice From the Future MRS. Sister Belle

It’s been a while since my lost blog….I believe it was when sweet Dixie Carter passed. Y’all so many things have changed, for the better! I have found “THU ONE.” I am getting married in July, and having my dream wedding! I went back and re-read my post, from back in February 2009, called “Yes Blush & Bashful are both PINK, but it’s your day Shelby,” and decided due to my current life path I should write an update.

Show that ring off….you earned it!

Girls we have the ring and we wear it proudly. Don’t go around taking it off for other girls to wear, that just might bring you bad luck. Take a great story from one of my friends, we will call her Agnes, one day Agnes tried on our friend Linda May’s engagement ring, and the ring GOT STUCK. They tried everything they could think of to get it off….but that ring wouldn’t budge. They ended up heading to the local Emergency Room, where they SAWED OFF the ring. Luckily for both girls this was a situation where everyone lived happily ever after.

My favorite bride-to-be was a precious thing who used to walk around holding her drinks with that ring finger prominently poked out for all of the other jealous girls to see. I am proud of my ring, I earned it and I want everyone to know how lucky I am to have a man who knows what I want in jewelry….that will come in handy down the road.

Set the date and get to plannin’

The first and most important thing, after you set the date, is to find “THU DRESS.” I went to a local bridal shop, with 10 people. I look back now and send a big “bless their heart” to that store for putting up with our crazy Southern gab. I finally found a dress, under budget, and amazing! It is EASY…..try on the dress you have been dying to wear, then go completely opposite and there ya go. I didn’t look at price tags, I wasn’t paying for it, but it ended up being perfect in every way!

When purchasing THU DRESS, remember, if you don’t get that weight off like you wanted, do not be the bride that everyone says “bless her heart, there was so much back fat hangin’ out of her dress it was just too tacky to talk about.”

Reality Isn’t Always the Way To Go

I love Reality TV just as much as the next girl, but I do have problems with 2 shows. “Bridalplasty” would be the first. These poor women have gotten engaged, and now they want some FREE plastic surgery. Your future hubby fell in love with you for who you were, not the plastic you. Now I am not saying that a little nip here and tuck there is a sin, but if you return to him looking like Heidi Montag, he might change his mind.

Show #2 is “Say Yes to the Dress.” I love the staff of Kleinfelds, but the Yankee Brides who come in and want SHEER, see through material on their midriff I have to put my foot down. I would like to go up there and be on the show to give hope to girls from Yankee-land that they can have taste, if they let us teach them. A Southern Bride can show the world, how it is done!

Dos & Don’ts…According to Sister Belle

Do give yourself time to plan the perfect wedding; you don’t want to be rushed.

Do have food at the reception that people will eat with their fingers or toothpicks, don’t have messy food for them to mess up their outfits with

Do register at all of the “must” places in your town, but don’t forget that Belk & Target and great too. Remember you don’t want to have to sell a kidney every time you have to replace a piece of your only have 2.

Do give wonderful gifts to your bridesmaids and groomsmen; DON’T give them something with YOUR wedding date on it and YOUR initials….they will NEVER use it!

Do choose your wedding cakes on taste not on how PRETTY they are. You can pay 10K for an amazing cake for the pictures, and it tastes like dirt….then again don’t hire Aunt Kookie to make your cake that looks like “people are hacking in to this poor animal that looks like it’s bleeding to death.”

Do have the wedding of your dreams; DON’T go into debt planning it. I saved money and you can too

Do have your skin glow and look healthy on your big day; DON’T tan so much you look like Snooki

Do invite those who are the dearest to you to share in your special day; don’t invite random people, you barely know just to get a present

Do remember to write Thank You notes for everything you receive and for parties that are thrown for you. You have a year to write notes for wedding gifts and 2 days to get the party notes out.

Do pick out a dress and tux combination that favor each other, DON’T pick out Hunter’s orange bridesmaid dresses and camo tuxes….We love hunting in the South but that is just tacky

Do enjoy your time being engaged, don’t be stressed. This is such a wonderful time, and if you stress to much you will gain weight and your face will break out. If you need to tone up a bit, go purchase a Shakeweight, they are great!

Hugs & Kisses,

Sister Belle

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Farewell to Dixie

     With the Passing of Ms. Dixie Carter, or as y'all may know her "Julia Sugarbaker" from the show Designing Women, I am taken back to the episode when Dash Goff, a character played by Mississippi's own Gerald McRaney visited the women and dedicated his book to them. As they sit around Julia reads the dedication of the book.....a dedication to the women of Sugarbakers, and to all Southern Women......This inspired me many years ago to write a poem.

 Here is the Video...brings a happy tear to my eye:
Julia Sugarbaker Reading the Letter from Dash

Being Belled
Written October 21, 2002
We have time together and time alone
We have time to laugh and time to moan
We have our evening and our day
We have our moments when we like to play
We own the room whenever we enter
We own the hearts where we are the center
We are strong in mind and strong in soul
We are strong in will and always in control
We are those women men dream of at night
We are those women for which men love to fight
We are the subject of many a book
We are the catchers of many a look
We are the sisters and daughters
We are the mothers and lovers
We are the hope and the peace
We are the beauties that tame the beast
We bring laughter and we bring tears
We bring answers to all your fears
We want to love and be loved
We are as delicate as a dove
We are the southern belles living today
In a world where southern is slipping away
The Scarlets are gone slowly with the wind
Fading gently around the Mississippi's bend
Yet when one day in our arms you are held
You will know that you have been belled!

To our beloved firecracker Dixie Carter/Julia Sugarbaker
may you be surrounded by Sweet Tea and Magnolias in Heaven!

~Hugs N Kisses Sister Belle

Sunday, August 23, 2009

It's Football Season in the South!

As I walked outside this morning I was greeted by a breath of cool air. It is nearly September in Mississippi. I can see the leaves changing slowly, and in a month I hope that the burgundy and gold colors of fall will be in my backyard once again. Fall is my favorite time of year because of the cool weather, and because it's football season!

Better Than Ezra has forever immortalized this time in their song “This Time Of Year,” where they sing “Well, there's a feeling in the air, Just like a Friday afternoon. Yeah, you can go there if you want, though it fades too soon...” There isn't a better feeling in the world than sitting in the stands watching a game. When I went to college at Mississippi State, I became friends with the football team. My best friend Brittany and I ended up being the team “big sisters.” We would cook and clean and cheer every game for “our boys.” I love my Bulldogs, and miss those days immensely.
In Mississippi, there may be many colleges, but everyone is either a fan of Mississippi State or the University of Mississippi, Ole Miss. Number one rule of Mississippi football, you cannot pull for both. And another one is that you can’t be a fan of both Ole Miss and LSU!

When Ole Miss and Mississippi State meet, this is called the “Egg Bowl.” The annual meeting between these two Mississippi teams is the 10th longest uninterrupted series in the country. This series began in 1901, but it was not until 1927 that it came known to be the Battle of the Golden Egg, or "Egg Bowl." Ole Miss leads the series. In the past it has been on Thanksgiving Day, but recently switched to the Saturday following the holiday. Another large rivalry is between Ole Miss and a school a little farther south and a state away, Louisiana State University (LSU). Most fans have no idea that there is an official name for this game played between these schools, the Magnolia Bowl. This enmity began in the 1950’s or 60’s when both teams were vying for the national championship, and some consider a match more heated than the Egg Bowl. There is something to be said for placing thousands of drunk Cajuns and Ole Miss "social"-ites in an enclosed space - spicy!

As fun as football season sparing matches may be, Southerner’s are known for their “pre-gaming, “also known as tail-gating. At MS State, the very large Winnebago’s start arriving on Thursday, prior to game day. They line up all over campus and the grills are fired up. People spend tons of money on a vehicle that has everything from a retractable tent off the side, to flat screen TV’s. Pass by and know you will be offered something wonderful to eat. Now if you venture to spend a weekend in Oxford, they tailgate a little differently. Ole Miss is known for “The Grove.” In the Grove you will find a tent city, these aren’t tents bought at Wal-Mart, but rented. These tents have wet-bars, flat screens and yes some have fully functionally chandeliers. Pass by and know you will be offered something cold to drink, “hotty toddy.”
Football season has started for the high schools around here, and soon will be the first SEC game. I can’t wait to wake up on Saturday mornings, pull up the couch with my sister and our pugs, and turn on Lee and Kirk on ESPN College Game Day.

Until Next Time & Go Dawgs!
Hugs & Kisses Sister Belle

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I'm the Pide Piper of The Crazies

If ever there was someone who must wear "ode de insanity," it would be ME! If you hear voices, don't bathe, or want to tell everyone "hell is in the house" whilst waving a Bible....come sit by me.

My current tale....I discovered today that i am indeed allergic to the blessed Patchouli perfume. A dirty hippy artist man, w/ a lovely dread lock mullet thing working, came in while I was working at the front counter at the CL.

He proceeded to lean in to tell me how he was selling all of his worldly possessions to move to New York and pursue a dame who he had fallen in love with 30 years ago, who was recently divorced, and who he had 2 months to convince to fall madly in love with him BEFORE she moved to ALASKA……

He told me how he had lost his parents, siblings and even friends, but that the hardest was losing his beloved DOG. I agreed, and then to top things off he asked my opinion on how he should ship his beloved CAT to New York so she wouldn’t be distressed by the 2 day CAR RIDE. I told him ask the vet if he could give her Benedryl.

He had come in to pay for the ad that stated he was selling all of his worldly possessions and left. The next customer came in and immediately complained about the "dirty hippy who needed to wash his hair, SMELL" I apologized and simply said it was Patchouli!

When Tom who works up front came back about 45 minutes later....the smell was lingering although Mr. Hippy Artist was gone home to pack for the Big Apple....

What? Why me?

Now I am currently nursing an insane headache and swelling of eyes…..thank goodness I have a bottle of benedryl in my purse, for times like these.

Well I do hope that you all take to heart this lesson, and avoid dirty, Patchouli wearing, dread lock hippy artists from Northeast Jackson.....

Hugs & Kisses.....and a bottle of Fabreze later

Sister Belle

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Annoyance That Is the Drive-Thru

  • Make A Decision Already…
    People, Wendy’s has had the same menu w/ few additions for all of time! They even give you the nice mini-menu before you get to the drive-thru so you can see the deals, don’t take 20 minutes deciding if you want chicken or a burger.

  • Count your penny’s before they hatch….
    I love using my card, they swipe it and I move to the next window. But when I do have cash I will be thoughtful and count my change…..because I know it will take a while when I get to the window, I plan ahead.

  • Get your order and get on your way
    I know that you want to check your order, but come on and pull up so I can get mine and I won’t start cussing your ancestors for you being around. Stop wasting my time, I’m in a hurry….hence being in a DRIVE-THRU!

  • Have it YOUR way…..
    This is a genius little phrase by the scary Burger King, but I think it is something that should be used by all fast food restaurants. If I say hold the pickles, mayo, ketchup, bread whatever DO IT. I know that I am just being picky, but some people might have an allergy to something and can’t have it on their sandwich.

  • Salt Salt THERE’S the damn salt….
    I love salt as much as the other guy but when I bite into a yummy French fry I would love to enjoy the taste of the fry not the burning sensation of a salt overload. THANK YOU

  • Ice Ice Baby
    Keeping on the subject of order overage, I would like to discuss the usage of ICE. I love ice, but I would prefer not to have 3 sips of my drink and hit the bottom due to insane amounts of ice. THANK YOU

  • Don’t SQUISH my sandwich
    Mr. fast food worker I know that you are in a rush but your job is to put my sandwich together in some sort of a way that resembles the picture on the sign. I can’t stand when my burger is covered with condiments ON THE OUTSIDE or when it is so squished it may as well have been stepped on.

  • Keep your shoes ON kids…..
    I know that when your kids see the play ground at the Burger doodle they are more excited than a crack-head. They see the slides and tube things and they hate to stop and take their shoes off……and why shoes they. I don’t want my kids playing in a plastic play-land where other kids have done who knows what and my precious germ free angels and stepping all in it. New campaign idea….keep your shoes on and your sneezes covered!

  • You are causing NIGHTMARES...
    I know that from an advertising stand point one must make the company stand out, but I have to discuss when "standing-out" turns bad. Prime example in the fast food industry is the large headed Burger King. This dude gives me dreams involving him chasing people and beating them with a chicken fry. This is also the same restaurant that has the talking Whopper People. These unfortunate examples of advertising make me want to scream, and now I will never eat a Whopper again because I will think they have humans inside!

I am through venting for today!
Hugs & Kisses,
Sister Belle

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Nursery Rhymes…..The truth behind the lines

My sister and I were watching Food Network Challenge on Sunday and they were making cakes that depicted Nursery Rhymes. This brought up an interesting conversation; we were raised on little rhyming tales that made us giggle with glee. Now that we are older and some of us are teaching them our children, should we look deeper into the meaning of these little ditties?

Let’s Get Started….

*Jack Sprat*
Jack Sprat could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean; and so, between them both, they licked the platter clean.

This is a cheerful tale about Jack who some might consider anorexic and his lovely wife who needs to go to Overeaters Anonymous. They both have eating issues and neither one seems to mind… long as the platter is cleaned.
This is really a story about Charles I of England and his greedy wife Henrietta who did not like when Parliament wouldn’t let them go to war, so old Charlie dissolved Parliament and imposed an illegal war tax on the commoners, and “licked” England clean to feed their appetites for war…HAPPY TALE ISN’T IT?

*Humpty Dumpty*
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, all the kings horses and all the kings men couldn’t put Humpty back together again.

I know you are all picturing an egg falling off a brick wall….NOPE “Humpty Dumpty” used to be slang for a nerd, dork or “egghead.” So this is making fun of a simple minded person

*Ring Around The Rosies*
Ring around the rosies, a pocket full of posies, ashes, ashes, we all fall down

I can still remember singing this song and laughing as we all fell down, in all actuality this is about the Great Plague. A rosy rash is the first symptom….and to help the air smell better people carried herbs and spices….and the Ashes are really referring to a cough that also was a symptom. When we “fell down” we were really re-creating the final step of the disease…death…..HAVING FUN YET?

*Little Jack Horner*
Little Jack Horner sat in the corner, eating a Christmas pie; he put in his thumb, and pulled out a plum, and said what a good boy am I!

Little Jack Horner was not a good boy — he was a thief and a scoundrel! According to legend, Jack Horner was sent to King Henry VIII with a Christmas gift — a pie in, which were hidden the title deeds to twelve manorial estates. (Hiding objects in pies was a common practice in those days) On his way to the king, Jack popped open the pie and stole the deed to the Manor of Mells, a real “plum” of an estate. To this day the Horner family resides there.

And finally I will talk about the poor old woman who lived in a shoe…..this will totally shock ya!

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe, She had so many children she didn't know what to do; She gave them some broth without any bread; She whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.

This is somewhat factually based upon a late 18th Century eccentric one parent family, of Margery Buttwhistle, a known village drunk and prostitute. Ms. Buttwhistle is believed to have had over 20 illegitimate children. She was a terrible mother! In an attempt to grab their mother's attention, the children formed the notorious “Shoe Gang” which specifically targeted wealthy aristocrats footwear in exile from revolution-torn Paris. Once thieved, these trophies were presented to Ms. Buttwhistle, who would trade them for alcohol. The local inn keeper who accepted the shoes as payment stored the contraband in the cellar until they could be secretly shipped up to Bristol. Buttwhistle was in a constant inebriated state, and would seldom leave the bar each night, managing only to collapse in the cellar and sleep off her drunkenness — with only the shoes for company.

Now that I have ruined all of your favorite nursery rhymes I do apologize….although the back-story on our favorite tales are not as we pictured. Someone was pretty smart to turn odd and terrible situations in to something of jest.

Until Next Time,
Hugs & Kisses
Sister Belle