Two Inspiring Hearts !

“I believe in the hands that work, in the brains that think, and in the hearts that love…I believe in sunshine,  fresh air,  friendship, calm sleep, beautiful thoughts.” – Elizabeth Hubbard


Have you met Ben and Erin Napier?  Oh my gosh, I do hope so.  They are a lovely and delightful young couple, who host the HGTV show, “Home Town.”  Along with being lovely and delightful, they are both extremely talented.  And they share their gifts with us every Monday evening, so by chance if you haven’t met them, be sure to tune in.  I believe you will be happy you did.

Perhaps you are wondering, “Why is she writing a post about this show?” There are many reasons.  But the first is:  These young people are working desperately hard to restore and revitalize their charming home town of Laurel, Mississippi.  Laurel, Mississippi is the key here.  You see, Laurel, as the crow flies, is roughly 24 miles from Collins, Mississippi. Collins is where my mom was from and where I spent my childhood summers with my grandmother.  My grandmother had a sister (Aunt Tommy) who lived in Laurel and at that point in time, it was also home to a little restaurant known for their shrimp po’ boy sandwiches (an explanation of a po’ boy and a recipe are at the end of this post).  So needless to say, I have been to Laurel, Mississippi many times.

Laurel, Mississippi, much like many small Mississippi towns, is a beautiful little spot on this earth.  The one thing I remember most are the trees, and of course the hydrangeas.  But the trees in Collins and in Laurel are huge and old.  They form canapes over the wide streets.

I have such wonderful memories of being on my bicycle on a summer morning, riding along under the shade of those magnificent trees, enjoying the damp coolness, the smell of the gardenias and admiring the beauty of the heavenly blue hydrangeas.  That was too many moons ago, but to this day, I still remember the beauty and the smell of those gardenias.

Laurel, Mississippi is no different from many small towns all across our country.  Laurel was a mill town, lumber and cotton.  When the mills closed, Laurel fell on hard times. However, Ben and Erin are working hard to revitalize their dear town.  And for those of us who may be living in a small towns with similar issues, we should sit up and take notice.  Many small towns have been “loved back to life.”  It takes people and community leaders with a vision.  People just like Ben and Erin. 

On their show, “Home Town,” you will watch them restore old homes in Laurel.  Here is where they receive my highest possible award.  They restore, they don’t destroy.  They do all they can to save the integrity and character of a home.  Including the basic floor plan, flooring, mill work, cabinets, walls and windows.  Truly, they have a complete understanding of the word restore,  an educated knowledge of architectural periods, and style of homes.  And they well know the history of their immediate area and state.  All their knowledge and work is further enhanced by their love of their “Home Town.”  Every bit of this, along with the fact they both ooze southern charm and hospitality, makes them remarkably special.

Additionally, Erin writes a blog, “The Daily Journal ~ Erin’s Journal,”  you will want to visit here.  Although, since she and Ben have just recently welcomed their precious Helen to the world, she is taking a little time away from her blog.  But she has promised to return, so do visit her.  The blog is as lovely as she is.  

In closing, for me, often it is something simple, a phrase or a pretty photo that will switch on my lights.  Therefore, inspiring me toward thoughts of improving our own home and community.  Such is the case with Erin’s words:  “Use the gift you have to make your place better wherever that place may be ~ get up and do it!”  I do love the simple truth of  ~ “get up and do it.”  Perhaps if  we all follow her words, we will improve our own home towns.  We all have gifts, we simply need to use them.


So, I hope you may have found a little inspiration to “get up and do” whatever it is you may be wanting to do or need to do.  If not, tune in on an episode or two of Home Town ~ Monday evenings, 9:00 EST/8:00 CST, you will be sure to find inspiration there.


Wishing you a most beautiful week!


Au Revoir,



Don’t Miss:  Recipe for Shrimp Po’Boy, visit here.


Photos:  Pinterest and The Laurel Mercantile Co. Facebook page.

“loved back to life” ~ words of Erin Napier

7 thoughts on “Two Inspiring Hearts !

  1. I really do enjoy their show. I grew up in a small town in Michigan about an hour from Detroit. Small towns are the best and it is sad to see them decline because of the economy.

    1. You are right, Penny. Small towns are great. Our home town here in West Virginia declined when the glass factories closed. There is a move about to revitalize – but it is hard work. Glad you stopped by and also that you enjoy their show. Young, talented people are always great inspiration.

  2. Sandra, what a delightful post. I haven’t watched HGTV in a long time. But this show sounds like I would enjoy. I love small town America and can identify riding my bike as a child and the smell of honeysuckle! Let’s all do our part! My small town has worked very hard to revitalize our downtown area and it looks amazing. Many old homes have been restored along our historical district! Who doesn’t like a shrimp po’ boy?

    1. Ah, Pam – thank you. I hadn’t watched HGTV in a long time either. I missed the lovely decorators and good designs of a few years ago. However, “Home Town” is a breath of fresh air. And, with the historic district in your town, I think you would enjoy the show. And, for the shrimp po’boys – well in Mississippi they would be a post by themselves. My family always said, “The magic was in the sauce.”

  3. I have not seen their show but certainly will check it out. It is rewarding to see and hear the younger generation has good values and are using their talents to help their home town.

    1. Bonnie: Thanks so much for visiting and I do think you would enjoy their show. The have a deep respect for their town and historic homes. And, they are quite talented.

  4. This sounds like a wonderful show! I will tune in on Monday! Thanks for letting us know. I grew up in my Grandmothers house, a beautiful, large (well it seemed large at the time), old house that my grandparents built. I still have the original deed. Sadly you wouldn’t recognize the house now. It breaks my heart. I would LOVE for someone to revitalize it but doubt that will happen. You always bring us such beauty, so I think you for that!

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