The Simmons House: The Ultimate Heirloom

Last week’s episode of Home Town was one for those who yearn to restore what is forgotten and value family and tradition. Robyn and Cassidy, a newly wed couple, were the epitome of sentimental, when they came to Erin and Ben with a daring request that made moving a mountain look easy.      Robyn’s ninety year old farmhouse, built by her great grandparents, was passed down to her but is in desperate need of... Read More

Acts of the Heart

When the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the Manning Family Fund came to me about helping promote their mission, it was a no-brainer: who doesn’t love Archie and Olivia? Some would say they’re the First Family of Mississippi. Their website explains that in Mississippi, giving isn’t just something we do, it’s what makes us who we are. And when you give to the Manning Family Fund, you’re helping find new ways to treat and... Read More

Is Love Worth It?

The start of a new year. For some it’s met with a sense of nostalgia and wonder towards the years we’ve left behind.  Did we give it all we had? Did we make the right decisions, did we spend our time well, invest enough, give enough, love enough...the list goes on.   Often we look back in hopes of gaining insight into what lies ahead. As we glance back, we may begin to question that which... Read More

The Ponder House

Erin and Ben are undoubtedly the most thoughtful people when it comes to design and staying true to the homeowner’s practical needs and individualistic taste— last night’s episode of Home Town proved to be no exception!  Luke Ponder, a local minister in Laurel, expressed how his biggest inspirations are his love for hiking, fly fishing and baseball. He even has an amazing collection of vintage vinyl and an impressive library of books that had never... Read More

A House Painted White

In last week's episode of Home Town, you saw me painting in my studio. What you could not see is my work desk built from all that is left of the demolition of my family's Victorian farmhouse. Today, my mother, Karen Rasberry, will tell you about that house in gorgeous detail. If you want to spend more time in her beautiful writing, you can shop her books by clicking here. – Erin   When remembrances of the old house... Read More

The Smith House

I never imagined I would move to Jones County. I'd told Jordan early in our relationship that I didn't want to stay in Mississippi. I had dreams of moving off and living a life outside of what I'd always known. And we did! We moved to Tennessee and started our life together. So never in my wildest dreams did I think we'd buy our dream house in Laurel, be on a national television show, and... Read More

Old Try

It’s only Tuesday night and I’m already whopped.  Yesterday I had three off-site meetings and then a team outing where we ran around Harvard for a couple of hours. I slept fitfully (too much merriment), then clocked back in today at 8:30am. I didn’t hang up my boots until 6:00 pm. I worked through lunch at my desk. Sent 67 emails. Sat in 4.5 hours of meetings. Blew off another festive gathering (too much merriment).... Read More

Four Small Towns to Visit in 2018

There’s something about small town America. The historic homes and sidewalked streets. The white picket fences and old covered bridges. The general stores brimming with fresh baked goods and friendly locals.  As John Mellencamp would say, I can breathe in a small town.        When I think of travel, I dream of the good ol’ U. S. of A. as seen through the window of our ’87 Grand Wagoneer. Although I’ve yet to make... Read More

Water Valley

For my first entry into the Laurel Mercantile Daily Journal, I thought it seemed fitting to talk about raising my son in a small town. As we welcome Helen, I wanted to share some of my favorite moments from raising Tom Otis, my five year old, in Water Valley, MS. I hope you will follow along monthly as I share here frequently, everything from small town living, running my own business, design, travel and more… ... Read More

Family Photos

There’s a photo that hangs on my office wall that was collected from the local newspaper’s archives during a community history project.  It’s an old black and white, probably taken in the early 70’s of a group of older women, sitting in their lawn chairs, purses in their laps, laughing and waving as they wait for a fall parade to pass by.  Visitors to my office usually look over my shoulder and notice it immediately... Read More