In Which I Change My Mind

Last September I completely went against my beloved Southern heritage and took an uncharacteristically strong-ish stand against the state of Southern Living magazine, and truth be told I felt a little guilty about taking SL to task. I have loved that magazine since I was about twelve years old, and in retrospect I think that I may have let my emotions get the better of me. SHOCKING, I know. Honestly, though, I was sort of surprised by how strongly I felt about the SL issues at hand (punny lameness, AGAIN – I do apologize). I mean, I’m not usually terribly forceful with my opinions unless I’m saying something along the lines of HEY, BLOG PEOPLE, YOU REALLY NEED TO BE EATING MORE BACON.

Anyway, after I posted about SL last year, one of the SL staff members and I had a really interesting (and very congenial) behind-the-scenes discussion, and she assured me that there were great things ahead for the magazine. So I held on to hope, and earlier this year I did what I’d told her I would do and picked up a copy of Southern Living in a bookstore. I was so encouraged by what I saw that I actually renewed my subscription. And I have to tell you: after getting the last four or five issues in the mail, I really do believe that SL is as good as – if not better than – it’s ever been. I am beyond tickled.

So, just in case some of you who were around for last year’s SL brouhaha haven’t given the magazine a second chance, I thought I’d go on the official bloggy record and tell you why I’m oh-so-glad that I gave it another try. I’m so happy that, in the end, I turned out to be FLAT DEAD WRONG and SL turned out to be, well, Southern again. And I’m not doing this because anybody asked me to write a follow-up post, OH HEAVENS NO. I’m doing this because I want to. Because I mean it. Because I may have jumped the gun a little bit with my criticism back in September. And because when somebody gets Southern right, WE NEED TO AFFIRM THEM.

Here’s what I’m loving about Southern Living (in a handy list format, at that):

– The writing these days is so stinkin’ good. In the July issue there’s a first-person article about Mississippi’s Neshoba County Fair that made me clap my hands. There’s another article about 15 ways guys can charm Southern girls that made me HOWL. There seems to be a renewed emphasis on infusing the written content with lots of personality, and it totally works because it’s so relational. We Southerners like relational, you know. We love to hear other people’s stories. And we love to hear them in a distinct, original voice. Preferably with a “y’all” or nine thrown in for good measure.

– It seems to me that there’s more home-related content than ever. Even better is that there’s a real focus on what makes the interiors and exteriors distinctly Southern. I LOVE THAT. It’s a change that makes the magazine feel like an old friend again. Another thing I’ve noticed is that the featured interiors aren’t just super-traditional – lots of them err on the side of funky and eclectic. It’s a nice, contemporary change-o-pace.

– A few years ago SL started dedicating the first few pages after the table of contents to something called “Inspirations” – and it was fine. But now those pages are called “So Southern,” and they feature three or four super-easy, super-affordable ideas that you can use when you entertain or just want to spruce up your house a little bit. A couple of months ago they showed how to use old coffee cans as flower vases. It was an adorable idea, and it reminded me of something my grandmother would have done when I was a little girl. Line three or five of those down the center of a table, and you’ve got yourself a centerpiece. I bet my friend Lea Margaret has created some coffee can masterpieces already.

– The July issue features recipes for bacon pimento cheese and bacon pimento cheeseburgers. And I think that’s probably all I have to say about that.

– I told somebody the other day that in the last few issues, the word “Southern” appears on the pages of the magazine over and over again. That tells me that the powers-that-be are making an effort to remember their core audience. In July’s Letter from the Editor, I counted the words “South” or “Southern” SEVEN times. She gets it, I thought. And it made me want to go ring my cowbell and watch SEC football and fry up some chicken. With cheese grits on the side.

– My only “however” is that there is still one thing about the “old” SL that I still miss: the stapled binding. I LOVED IT SO.

So. In an effort to BE CONSTRUCTIVE and not divisive and survey the general lay of the Southern Living land, I’m just wondering: have any of y’all noticed SL‘s renewed commitment to All Things Southern these last few months? Have you, like me, had an SL change-o-heart? Or am I the only OBSESSIVE CRAZY Southern Living reader among us?

It’s okay if it’s that last thing. I can handle it. I’ve also been an obsessive crazy person about cream cheese, grilled flank steak, Mississippi State basketball and, well, MY HAIR in days gone by, so I’m perfectly comfortable with the OCP label.

(And if you’ve never read Southern Living in your life, a thousand apologies for this post.)

(I’ll be back to my regular talk of fatty foods and TV tomorrow.)

(Promise.)

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Comments

  1. living up north – SL allows me to get my southern fix!! i just can’t be without it esp. the Christmas issue.

  2. Meredith says:

    I agree they have worked hard to go back to their roots AND I agree that the stapled binding still reigns supreme. I miss it so much! Aesthetic appeal is everything!

  3. Oh my goodness, how I miss the OLD SL. With that said I did recently renew my subscription just because the last couple of issues have been better. Still not the same though.

  4. Lea Margaret says:

    YOU KNOW ME ALL TO WELL!!! I had hydrangeas in an Allen’s Green Bean can just the other day! It was lovely!

    I will tell you that I am impressed with the “new” content of SL, but I do miss the old cover and the staples that held all of those beautiful pages together! THAT set it appart from every other magazine that is on the newstand!

  5. Horrors! I think the children have used my July issue for a collage project! And there was a first person article about The Fair in there? Egads! Who wrote it? I work for the NCF Association. I need to know this.

  6. I think you may have hit the nail on the head here. There were a few months when I, among many others, thought “gee, i don’t like these changes!!!”. However, they have begun to come back around…and like you, I miss the staples and the old look.
    Suzanne

  7. I wholeheartedly agree!!! When I saw they had a new editor I hoped and prayed it would get better. I remember seeing a cover last year and just shaking my head in disappointment. I spent a good 10 minutes explaining to my husband why it was all wrong. He quickly agreed and left the room as soon as possible.

    I live in NYC and used to work for a major publication that is a Yankee version of SL. Being surrounded by all of that made me want to curl up with my SL to get a good dose of home, but it was not happening. I didn’t renew my subscription when it was up this past winter (although I wanted to give the new editor a chance, and had already noticed a few positive changes), but I did renew last month and am awaiting my first issue. I can’t wait to get it and pour over the stories and amazing pictures!! I hope it’s just like old times!

  8. I just happen to have my Southern living subscription renewal sitting on my desk and it will be mailed in before the weekend is over.
    That magazine is as much of my heritage as razorback football and pecan pies are! :-)

  9. I actually agreed with your opinion last year, so I let my subscription run out. I still don’t like the “feel” of the pages. However, I am willing to give the content a second chance…even though I am picky about the look and feel of the pages.

    As an aside: the stuffed jalepenos with cream cheese from Ree? They are haunting my thoughts. I must try them soon!

  10. I’ve only recently started reading SL and I really enjoy it. I don’t have anything to compare it to though. I have one question for you and your readers BooMama…geographically speaking…where do you divide the north from the south? I’ve always considered myself more southern than northern.

  11. Carol from Indian Springs says:

    I had let my subscription run out because SL just didn’t seem “Southern” anymore…I’ve picked up a few issues lately and have renewed. I do prefer the old stapled magazine though. I guess everyone is going to the new glue method to make the pages smaller. I wish it could go back to the larger size but at least the content is heading back in the right direction.

  12. Katherine says:

    I missed your SL stand in the fall – (I had not yet discovered your “bacony goodness”) – but after reading your archive post, I agree with you! As a lifelong Southerner, I have a current subscription, but have gone without it in the past. They wanted me to renew my subscription for 3X THE PRICE they were charging new readers! No Fair! I do miss the stapled binding – it was one of the things that made SL stand out from all the other mags out there….

    Have a lovely weekend, and please post more pics of your sweet-faced young ‘un.

    Yours in “mildly ocd world”

    Katherine

  13. Well, I declare, you know your audience better than you think! :) I completely agree with your recent qualms and recent rectifications with SL.

    Just mailed off my “low rate” renewal coupon yesterday.

    However, I, like you, did enjoy the slightly, ever so minimally even, larger and wider magazine. It just “felt” right in your hands….you know what I mean?

    And it was EXACTLY what made it look and feel different to the consumers eyes and hands while standing at a grocery checkout. It was southern goodness at it’s best. Now, it’s just the same size and shape as the others. Conformity. What is the world coming to?

    But I do SO LOVE MY SOUTHERN LIVING SUBSCRIPTION!! :)

  14. Since leaving my beloved South 11 years ago, I enjoyed staying in touch via SL. Thanks for the renewed interest. I may just have to pick one of ’em up and give it another go myself :)

  15. I, too, was a non-subscription-renewer. But because I trust you in all things, Sophie, I will go to my local bookstore and pick up the latest copy. And we’ll see what happens from there. . . .

  16. Stephanie says:

    Do love magazines and am a southerner myself, but what I REALLY what to share with you is that I am now a convert. It’s important that you know I have been both a Boo- and Big-Mama reader for quite a while, but in the evening. Having read Kelly’s (of KellysKorner fame, of course) admission that she reads you both every morning, I have converted!!! What a grand ole way to start my day! The funniest part about it is I sit here surrounded by my very funny family and cackle alone and I don’t even watch the shows or read the magazines you do!!! Then I try to read what you’ve written to my family (with appropriate Southern drawl and twang, of course) who just sit there as if I have just read an encyclopedia entry on the craft of the blacksmith in Hebrew. Hey, but all that matters is that I am going to now get a daily morning dose of your humor. Which I (alone) will enjoy immensely! Thanks! You are terrific! And I might just start reading SL. And watching The Bachelor.

  17. Huge mistake to leave the stapled binding.

    But, when I saw a recipe a couple months ago for Vidalia Onion Pecan Muffins, I knew they were on the right track.

    And do they have a new editor? I used to get Cottage Living – they tanked – and the subscription was transferred to SL. The editor, Eleanor Griffin, is the same as my beloved CL so I’m wondering if her adorable self is the drive behind all the goodness?

  18. I’ve had a special subscription deal from SL on my desk for a couple of weeks while I debated. I’ll renew now. Thanks for admitting your change of heart.

  19. I LOVE all things Southern and LOVE being a Southern gal!! I was reading a mag from a couple of months ago and they were talking about great Southern getaways. Since when was Maryland Southern?!? I know the whole sides of the war/slavery thing, but to talk about it being a Southern vacation spot? What in the world?!?!? Seriously.

  20. And maybe the fact that Pioneer Woman will have an article in there very soon might be another great selling point!! I’m just sayin’!

  21. What?! Pioneer Woman?! In Southern Living?! Now I KNOW I need to move to the South!

  22. Even though I like the old SL better (can’t help it), I couldn’t give up my subscription if I tried. I think the check would just write itself. I miss the stapled binding and the way it made the pages flop. I get kind of teary-eyed just thinking about it…

    I would love it if the new SL would cut out putting ads on the same page as the articles. I don’t know how to describe it other than to say that it makes me nervous.

    However, perhaps it’s just me, but I think the photography has never been better. And the recipes in July’s issue for tomato pie? Complete redemption.

    Any woman raising a son should tear out the article about how to charm a southern girl and him memorize it!

  23. I grew up reading SL and even subscribed for many years. I did not renew my subscription the past year due to the magazine loosing its “punch” and being repetitive. After reading this post, I will have to check out the new, improved SL. Thanks for sharing the good news.

  24. You had me at bacon pimento cheese. That and the coffee can vases.

  25. I completely agreed with you on the (bad) changes that Southern Living made last year. In fact, I was so disappointed that when my subscription ran out, I did not renew. I have been inspired once again, however, to try it again! I am delighted to know that they have not forgotten their Southern (yes, with a capital S :) roots and their Southern audience.

  26. Samantha says:

    I miss the old binding too. But the reason I don’t subscribe is that I live in Louisiana and we can only get the Texas edition of the magazine. Now, I love Texas in many ways, have great friends there, etc. But I don’t want to decorate and entertain Texas style all the time. I much more identify with Arkansas and Mississippi if there isn’t a Louisiana version. So, while I used to subscribe, I don’t any more. I do pick up an occasional copy and especially will if I’m visiting another state with another edition. When we moved here, I thought SL had gone Texas crazy! LOL Finally someone enlightened me that not all SLs were created equal. They are region specific. If this has changed, enlighten me! I’d love to subscribe again.

  27. You opinion ways heavy.

    I’ve always like Southern Living Magazine, though I never subscribed. And I do recall your post last year. I did take it to heart. But, again, since I never subscribed but only read occasionally I’m pretty sure I did hurt their sales.

    I’m glad you’ve posted on the improvements. You’ve piqued my curiosity. I will say that I’ve been to a Southern Living party and LOVED it. Did you know there was such? YES! And they have some pret-ty amazing things. Some of the items are a little costly, but worth it. Well, I say that because I have all of two of them. BUT, totally enjoying them.

    And the recipes for the July–I thought to myself, they totally had Boo at bacon! ;)

    On another note…
    HOW ‘BOUT THEM TIGERS?

    Rena

  28. This is so funny to read, because my mother and I have had the “what is up with Southern Living?” discussion several times over the last 3 years! When they changed the front cover, everything went downhill, and I am a HARD CORE SL fan! I have really not enjoyed it for a while, to the point of almost canceling a very long held subscription. I’m hoping!

  29. Oh my goodness! I almost let my friends and family subscriptions slide last year at renewal time but after polling the giftees (sorry if that isn’t a word) we all decided to give them another chance and I am so glad we did. I am loving SL once again. I loved the ‘naner puddin’ cover a couple of months ago, it just made me happy. My only real complaint other than the change in binding, and I did love love love the stapled binding, is the price – – there is not another magazine on the planet that refuses to discount the price. If you let your subscription lag for a few months you will get a beautiful little post card in the mail – – please reader, please come back, we’ll give you 12 months and a puppy for $12 – – pretty please. I am relatively new to reading blogs and I love yours BooMama – you can count me as one of the ‘tens’.

  30. I am so glad to hear that Southern Living is improving. I felt like I was finally an adult when I got my first subscription and when I hadn’t touch any of the magazines last year and stopped my subscription. I need to go and look for it in the bookstore now!

  31. Totally agree about the stapled binding. I was annoyed when I received my first one with the new binding – ewww! And I despise the outer cover that they glue on – it usually messes up the cover when I remove it.
    Loved July’s issue! I am going to make my new kitchen look like the two that had white cabinets.

  32. I was given the newest issue recently and I LOVED it. (And I was one who agreed with your dislike of all the changes last summer.) Maybe, just maybe SL is baaaacccckkkk. (PS: Ever considered those bacon recipes were planted to get YOU back?_

  33. I did not like the new changes either! I do still subscribe, but with two little ones at home I haven’t spend much time looking through my new ones. I will have to get started! I too miss the stapled binding.

  34. Miss the staples…

    I totally agreed with your old post, but I still get them every month. Even if I don’t read it, I feel like it should be in the house.

  35. I have noticed that there are many more recipes that I want to try lately. Just seem more “down home” For awhile the recipes were too fancy and not just for dinner.

  36. I have a new subscription that should be starting soon and I’m pumped!

    SL is one of the many reasons I love living way down south in Dixie.

  37. I was ever a subscriber to begin with – but you have convinced me to give the subscription a try. I am new to the South having grown up in Yankee New England, but love all things Southern after a short stint in Louisiana and my newly adopted home state of North Carolina.

  38. I think we ALL remember your rant from last year. Glad things have improved. I haven’t taken the magazine for at least 3 years, but one of my readers graciously gave it to me as a gift recently, so I’m looking forward to my renewed subscription. I’ll let you know!

  39. I had never read your rant before today, but it hit the nail on the head of all the reasons I didn’t renew last year. I just didn’t love SL anymore and that made me so sad. My mother kept it, though, and I could still sneak a peak each month.

    Anyway, I got an email that I could get it for $10 for the year a couple of months ago and I took it. I mean, for $10 a year, a girl can take a chance! I agree that it was much better this month and seems like the “old” version. There are a few things I want to try and that hasn’t happened in a while.

    Oh, and I totally have every issue I’ve received since 1995. 1995 is when I got married and got my own subscription to be a good Southern lady. :)

  40. Being a lady that lives near Burminham (Suthern pronunciation), where Southern Living is published, I would have to say that I do not like it as well as I used to. They have had articles on places and things too far from what I consider “The South”. I have been reading Southern Living for about 35 years, and I do not just “eat it up” like I used to. Y’all know what I mean? I especially do not like the new way of binding – they come apart!
    But I continue to use it as my bible on, what else, suthern livin’! HA!

  41. Well, I tell you not only did I renew my subscription but I bought gift subscriptions as well. I just couldn’t do without it. It’s a part of the family passed down from the generation to generation.

  42. Julie Curtis says:

    I too was terribly upset with the changes. The most recent issue is the first one I’ve actually “liked” since the change. Liked. Not loved. It’s growing on me.

  43. Well, I did not break down and cancel my subscription or not renew with all the changes, but I admit, I didn’t mind chunking any of those issues in the garbage. It has improved in the last couple of months and, amen, they returned Southern Journal to the END of the magazine where it rightly belongs. Whoever decided it should be moved? Despite all this and the fact that I never canceled…I still do not understand why it is that for the last couple of years the new issue is at the grocery store before I get mine in the mail EVERY MONTH? Do you think you can get something done about that? Pretty please?

  44. I admit that I never renewed my subscription after the disaster issues of last year….and I haven’t attempted to even pick up a copy of SL since then (although I read it for something like 35-40 years?) Maybe I need to give the mag another chance??

  45. Angie L says:

    Did not cancel my subscription, but was heartsick. I have to agree it has gotten so much better as of late. And I have to agree with Keely…why do the stores get it before I do each month? And I live in Birmingham for goodness sakes!! You’d think they’d take care of their hometown girls. btw, loved the hydrangeas issue.

  46. I just read your explanation of “boomama” and maybe its because its 12:17am but it tickled me so much I laughed out loud and then tried to stop the laughter so as not to wake the kids.

    Hilarious. Probably because I’m from Texas and can totally hear people that I know talking like that FOR REAL! ;)

    love it!

  47. I missed the original post, but laughed out loud when I read the part about never throwing away a Southern Living – so true! I can’t bring myself to throw them away. And I kept my subscription through the changes, but I’m glad to see them coming back around. I’ve never tried a recipe from SL that I didn’t love. And I actually enjoy the gardening stories – even though I don’t garden – because of that hilarious Steve Bender (oh, I hope he’s still there). He coined a phrase I still use every spring – crape murder – to refer to the inexplicable way some southerners lop off their crape myrtles and end up forming these awful arthritic-looking branches!
    Anyway, your public is obviously benefiting from your commitment to public affairs, so keep up the occasional rant!

  48. I agree with you. I never canceled my subscription but was not happy. Also, have to ask if you have tried the Chicken Potato pancakes with the gravy wine sauce. It is slap your mama good!!! I think it was Jan issue. You make me laugh and want to take you out for Mexican!

  49. Jennifer in CT says:

    You Southern gals have an appreciation for staples that I have never seen! I’m not mocking; it’s adorable.

  50. Have you ever read Southern Lady magazine? I used to love it when it was only published quarterly – it too changed and has a massive amount of advertisements. But the photography is beautiful and what little articles are left are good too. If you haven’t picked up an issue, you should. They too, love all things Southern.

    On a side note, it seems that many in the South live under the impression that they are only region that appreciates their heritage, holds onto to keepsakes for generations, doesn’t wear white after Labor Day, appreciates hospitality and being hospitable…can I just say – NOT TRUE!! I have lived in the Midwest for most of my life and although my Dad’s family is Southern I am not considered a Southerner, we Midwesterners hold many of the same things sacred as you lovable Southerners do too. I’m just sayin’. Stepping off soapbox now. :0)

  51. Come to think of it, you are right! It had begun to migrate! So glad it is getting back to all things Southern. I grew up in Hickville, Midwest, but came to appreciate the gentleness, customs and ingenuity of Southern culture when I went to school in South Carolina. There is much to celebrate! So KUDOS Southern Living! Celebrate THIS culture, and lean away from New York Style!
    Thanks for the post!

    http://walkaschildren.blogspot.com/

  52. Hi, enjoy so much visiting here today. The first time I became acquainted with Southern Living was during the time that Victoria magazine was stopping print. I had a subscription to Victoria at that time and was so disappointed to get the notice in the mail that they were no longer going to be in print, but that the remainder of my subscription would be Southern Living. I really enjoyed it, even though it did not help me get over Victoria {:, however, I never renewed their subscription. Reading your comments about the magazine now has perked my interest in going to pick up the lastest issue. Thanks for the update….love all of your other posts by the way! blessings,Kathleen

  53. Hilarious! I have wondered what was going on with my beloved MS Mag! I miss the staples, too! It is hands down my favorite piece of mail I get all month!! My Arkansas friends always want to peek! There’s just nothin like it.

  54. Dear God in heaven, where have I been? Why have I not been to your blog before?

    You’re a lover of Jesus! You’re a boy’s mother! You’re an eater of fat-laden foods and drinker of sugar-free drinks! You’re a fan of Beth Moore! You’re a Southerner! And you know how to punctuate! Heavenly days–I love you already.

    By the way, I agree with you about SL. Years ago, my husband and I spent seven years in exile (in Michigan). We survived by adopting a Basset hound, spending long vacations back home, and never letting our SL subscription lapse. But for the past few years, it seemed that it had lost its zing. I think you’re right: it had lost its Southern authenticity. I just renewed my subscription a few weeks ago; I’m willing to give it another chance. But I miss the stapled binding.

    Thank you for brightening my day with your words.

  55. I have never read an issue of Southern Living magazine…and I probably never will (nothing against it, it’s just that I live in Iowa and it doesn’t sound like it would really apply…). But I’m so glad that you’re happy, Sophie, because when Boomama is happy, everybody’s happy! :)

  56. Um, I’m now following your blog for MANY reasons, but here are my top 2:

    1. You referred to Wes on the Bachelorette as Snaky McCreeperson. I laughed out loud. So did my 4-month-old.

    2. You referred to Jake as Patty Simcox. Genius. He’s my favorite, but that’s such a solid comparison, I can’t even tell you.

    Love this blog! :o)

  57. The world literally stops when I get my SL in the mail. I read it from cover to cover, then copy most of the recipes! Another favorite is Cook’s Country magazine…anyone who is passionate about Southern food (and/or bacon) should check it out!

  58. I haven’t canceled my subscription b/c I keep hoping for it to return to “normal.” I haven’t liked it since the staples went away….it seems like there’s not hardly any decorating ideas anymore…where are all the beautiful southern rooms they used to give us? :(

  59. Being a midwesterner living in the Pac NW, I’ll have to say, there are many “southern” things I just don’t get. (And that’s all right.) I love me some southerners and the post made me laugh as always.

    You know, I wonder if the whole Reiman Publication magazines are the ‘midwestern farm’ counterpart. (I’m thinking of Country Living and Taste of Home.) That’s more what I’m familiar with. Not that I subscribe anymore. Because I’m cheap. And you can’t eat magazine pages when it’s time to sit down for supper. :)

  60. I gave my subscription up a year or two ago b/c I couldn’t afford it anymore, and it was hard for me (a young wife/mother living on a budget) to relate to all of the expensive resorts, restaurants, designs, etc. that SL created their issues around.

    But… I loved the recipes, and it was sure fun to look at the photos and dream a little. When you mentioned the “So Southern” section, that piqued my interest again. If I could afford the subscription, I’d certainly activate my subscription right away.

  61. I have decided to take your word for it, and restart my subscription. I DO wish they’d rethink the stapled binding, however. I loved that.

  62. I read this after I’d given the July issue a first glance, but before I’d actually read it and without reading this, July would have probably joined its brethren in the always growing “I’m going to read these one day, really I am” pile. But, instead, I grabbed it on my way for a pedicure and was instantly reminded of 1) why I so love being southern; 2) why working at Southern Living is my ultimate dream job; 3) why I need to be independently wealthy (how else can I cook all those recipes, go all those places, grow all those plants, and build all those houses?).

  63. I’ll be honest and admit that I haven’t bought a single solitary issue since last year. Until the other day when I was in Costco and the watermelons filled with the brightly colored fizzy drinks just spoke my name. (And made me thirsty, but that’s neither here nor there.) It felt like the covers of old. So I bought it.

    I haven’t it read it yet with the exception of page 121 that showed a recipe for vanilla ice cream rolled in crushed Lay’s potato chips. (The ulitmate marriage of salty and sweet if I do say so myself. And quite possibly enough of a reason to buy this issue in the first place!) After your glowing review I do, however, plan on reading the old girl from cover to cover.

    My faith is renewed.

  64. i too grew up reading southern living and loved it. i didn’t appreciate the recipes until i graduated from college and got married and suddenly found myself having to cook? yikes. i cooked every recipe in the magazine. then it all changed.

    i am going to buy a copy at books store, in town, tomorrow. thank you for sharing about sl, and i can’t wait to read it again.

  65. txhorns says:

    I grew up LOVING Soithern Living and got a subscription a few years ago, then terminated it and now I subscribe again. I think it is slowly getting better. I especially liked the decorating tips in this month’s magazine. My only issues with this issue: the pimento stuff made me want to gag, GROSS gross gross (Southern, but gross). Also, I found the article about ways to charm a Southern girl fatally flawed in that it said the SEC was the only conference. PLEASE, clearly the better conference is Big 12. No contest.

  66. The girl that wrote that article on the Neshoba County Fair is Jennifer Cole; I went to MS State at the same time her parents did and her younger brother married my daughter! My daughter took the picture that goes with that article. I’ve never quit taking SL but haven’t loved all the changes….it’s a little more fun for me to read now since I know someone writing for them. I miss the stapled bindings!

  67. Here’s my beef…the circulation and billing department. I renewed my subscription last year, on line, and I lost a month. They changed my subscription thru date. I sent them a message and they replied that I get “12 issues” and didn’t address my specific issue. You are talking, in your post, about July’s issue??? I haven’t recieved July yet. However, regarding the changes to the magazine…I didn’t even notice until you pointed it out last year…I need you to give a tour every month through the magazine so I’m sure not to miss anything! A Southern Living re-cap like you do with The Office!

  68. I love Southern Living. It’s the only magazine I couldn’t live without. I just got the July issue in today and the watermelon drink things on the cover made my mouth water.

  69. My mother has given me a subscribtion to SL for my birthday for the past 20 years or so. We have had this same discussion several times recently. I will agree that things are improving some but it is not up to snuff yet! I miss the “feel” of the pages but more importantly there are more ads than content and I miss the decorating artcles….seems they only do “idea houses” now! I do miss what we had before…but let’s hope they are seeing the error of their ways!

  70. YES!!!!!!!!!!!! Years ago, my dearest, most wonderful, extremely Southern “Mamaw” got me a subscription as a wedding present and kept renewing it, too! (My favorite part about it was that she had it sent to “Mrs. Paul Davidson”–because she was ALL about Southern charm and etiquette.) After she died I didn’t keep getting it. It was just not the same. What weird timing that the magazine itself had changed so much. This year for Mother’s Day I ASKED my husband for a subscription, and I’m so glad I did!! Makes me remember her each time I open one.

  71. nlynch says:

    I just read the article about 15 ways a guy can charm a Southern girl to my daughter and she exclaimed……”it sounds like Boomama wrote that”

    Teenagers love you too!

  72. staffer says:

    I would love it if the new SL would cut out putting ads on the same page as the articles. I don’t know how to describe it other than to say that it makes me nervous.

    Here’s why that will never happen: pages without ads = lots and lots of money. Ad revenue drives pages. No ads means SL foots the bill for those pages, to the tune of several hundred thousand dollars. So please understand, the more ads you see, the more pages in your magazine.