Rainy Day Distractions

Are you struggling to stay awake on rainy days?



Here are a few tips to stay productive at work:

• Reorganize

Reorganize your filing cabinets or prioritize your to-do list

• Get up and stretch

Take some time to walk around before the rainy weather lulls your to sleep
• Music

Listen to upbeat music to put a little pep in your step
• Goal set

Get yourself organized for next week and make a list of goals you need or want to accomplish. Your future self will thank you!

Weddings & Things


My name is Kristen and I am the Event Coordinator for Cotton Blues. Before I begin, I would like to thank you for attending the Premier Bridal Show and congratulate you and your fiancé on your engagement. Hopefully, we had the chance to meet and speak for a few moments!

I know this must be an exciting time for the both of you. I’m sure you know by now that along with all of the pre-wedding excitement and jitters comes copious amounts of stress. That’s what I’m here for.

Remember earlier when I said I’m an Event Coordinator? Let me explain that a little better for you: I do everything and I work with everyone. Is your soon-to-be MIL driving you crazy? Is your aunt trying to be your wedding coordinator?

Call me. I can help. Seriously.

Cotton Blues is a family owned restaurant located in Hattiesburg, but don’t let that fool you. We specialize in all the fun stuff – engagement dinners, rehearsal dinners, bridal brunches, reception catering, bartending, cakes and pastries. For all of these events (except cakes and pastries), you would be working with ONE person: me. Being able to tie everything down to working with one person who understands what you are going through definitely lightens the load of stress.

Shaun Davis is the Pastry Chef at Cotton Blues and he makes the most phenomenal desserts (and I’m not just saying that because I work with him.) He attended Le Cordon Bleu in Las Vegas, where he sharpened his culinary skills. He operates our full-service bakery, located in our restaurant. Chef Shaun makes any type of cake or pie you could dream of. Below is a sample of a cake he made for a photo shoot:

Like I said, he’s mega-talented. If you are interested in contacting him, please email him at shaun@cottonblues.com or call us at 601-450-0510.

Back to catering:

We have several different styles of catering to fit different wedding budgets, so if you have any questions about them, let me know! We can be as basic or as over-the-top as you’d like! We are versatile; we know that each wedding is different and we strive to bring to life the vision every bride has created in her mind.

Since we are a southern-style restaurant, we use a lot of cast iron to decorate with. We like the rustic stuff. I’ve included a few really cool pictures of events we’ve catered (as well as a really awesome photo shoot we were part of):



If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact me! My email address is kristen@cottonblues.com or you can call and ask to speak with me at the restaurant: 601-450-0510.

DuBard School for Language Disorders

DuBard School for Language Disorders is a school dedicated to serve children with speech and language disorders.

Each year, it is my pleasure to work with DuBard School for Language Disorders for their Thanksgiving lunch. It is truly a humbling experience to give back to the community and to interact with children who are so polite and thoughtful. These children work so hard and they are more than deserving of this feast. The teachers are incredible and selfless and dedicated to helping the students learn and grow and develop into wonderful individuals.

IMG_1394(2015 Thanksgiving Luncheon) Pictured is Chris Ortego, owner of Cotton Blues, and Kristen Barber, Event Coordinator, with students.


(2016 Thanksgiving Luncheon) Amanda Strange and her daughter, Kylie, enjoying lunch time together. Amanda had just surprised Kylie at the school. In reference to DuBard school, Amanda said, “They are a miracle for children with language disorders. I think it is simply amazing. Kylie went in with a very limited vocabulary with gibberish between words. Now, she speaks and writes in full sentences!”


(2016 Thanksgiving Luncheon) Mr. Ortego is interacting with the Pilgrims and Indians during the luncheon.


For opportunities to give or donate, please visit https://www.usm.edu/dubard/giving-dubard-school



Tales of a Brunch Lover

If you’re like me and you like (love) brunch, do as the Romans do and stop at these incredible brunch places. I promise you won’t regret it.

I travel to Nashville as often as a full-time working 20something Mississippi gal can, which is probably 3 times a year. Two years ago, some friends and I happened to stumble upon a beautiful little gem called Biscuit Love. Let’s just say, I’ve been going ever since.

Last year, my mother, best friend and myself braved the torrential downpour of rain just to go to Biscuit Love. We had to park across the street and run to the restaurant. It was about 9:30 on a Thursday morning and there was a line…..OUT THE DOOR. In. The. Pouring. Rain.
That’s what I call dedication to brunch. That gives you a glimpse of how delicious and perfect Biscuit Love really is.

Not only was there a line, but there was an employee standing outside with waiting guests. He was handing out menus, holding the door, recommending options for guests to try and smiling the entire time. I’m not sure I would have been able to happily stand in the rain and greet customers around 9:30 on a Thursday morning before having, like seven cups of coffee.

Anyway, here is a picture we quickly snapped of myself, the unnamed employee and my best friend Jessica. Whether or not he is still employed there, I’m not sure, but I do know he was a valuable and wonderful employee on that day!

Biscuit Love
If you’re ever in the area, be sure to stop by! You’ll be glad you did.


Kishan Patel has been working in the restaurant industry for years. Aside from being an avid Hattiesburger supporter, he also owns a small company. Some of you may have heard of it:

Conner’s Q Sauce.

Kishan originally opened the business for his son, Conner (pictured below), to build his college fund. He has been in business for nine years. If you ever venture into Cotton Blues, you will have the opportunity to try Kishan’s original BBQ sauce. It is served with several items on the restaurant’s menu; such as the BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich or the Chipotle Rubbed Baby Back Ribs.

Outside of Cotton Blues, you can find Kishan’s homemade sauce at Live @ 5 or at any local cooking competition.

I asked Kishan how he would describe the flavor of his BBQ sauce and he said, “It’s a combination of Carolina, Memphis and Kansas City sauces.” Now, if you don’t know much about the famous BBQ regions, you’re in luck, because I did my homework. Check out this cool link from Huffington Post to learn more about it:

(Spoiler: There are four major BBQ regions in the U.S.)

Kishan sells three different styles of sauce:

• Sweet Fire Roasted Jalapeño

• Texas Black Pepper Heat

• Original

If you’re like me and your job doesn’t allow much time for Live at 5ing or you need to soak up some extra couch potato time, there are other ways to find the best BBQ sauce in Hattiesburg. Conner’s Q Sauce will be hitting grocery stores soon, so keep your eyes peeled and your appetites ready!



“I think the serving size of ice cream is when you hear the spoon hit the bottom of the container.”

– Brian Regan

If you ever find yourself in Starkville, Mississippi do yourself a favor and drop by Strange Brew Coffeehouse. Try one of their fall seasonal coffees, like the Maple Harvest Latte – it’s anything but basic.

There’s also a new store right next to Strange Brew: Churn & Spoon. I’ll have to admit, my expectations were high due to the reputation Strange Brew has built and they didn’t disappoint. They had a lot of house made ice creams, but I decided to go with the nitro ice cream. This is where they make nitrogen ice cream right in front of customers. The mixture freezes at -321 degrees. Wow.

These are not the typical run-of-the-mill flavors, either. Each one is as unique as the name its given. You like the Albino Squirrel coffee? Check out the Albino Squirrel ice cream.



They also have a variety of homemade ice creams. Below is one of their original recipes:
NETFLICKS & CHILL: Caramel ice cream, M&Ms, chocolate, freshly baked popcorn (Just remember that the weirder it sounds, the better it tastes)


I know I blog a lot about ice cream, but it’s near and dear to my heart. By the way, I tried the Bulldog (highly recommended).

If you’re looking for a couple of places full of charm and flavor, here they are!


LEARN MORE AT http://strangebrewcoffeehouse.myshopify.com