Deen Team Blogger

I have to be honest about something I've been fantasizing and agonizing (in a good way) over...

Y'all, this is my "audition" post to potentially join the next team of bloggers for PAULA DEEN!!!
So, to the Deen Team readers: Welcome!! I'm Cherish and I'm beyond thrilled you've stopped by to visit!
Okay, so if you've been a reader here for any length of time then you're probably not even remotely shocked because you know that I've been a huge Paula Deen fan from day one.
I'll never forget watching her very first "Cooking with Paula Deen" episode on the Food Network when I was in high school.
I remember watching her and thinking, "She is just like family. She just gets it. She is like home. I wish she were my Grandma. Maybe we are related..."
You get the idea.
I was never more thrilled to get a copy of her memoir the day it hit the stands.
I read the book from cover to cover in one afternoon.
I was in college and I was too busy laughing through my tears at how much I could relate to Paula's early life, at how much it mirrored my own mother's.
Down from working at Kroger to selling real estate and insurance.
My mother to a T.
One of the primary reasons I feel such a strong tie to Paula is that I, too, hail from the Peach State.
I am passionate about Georgia history and travel, Southern culture and food.
I'm from Dahlonega, attended college and lived in Athens for 4 years, and lived in Daisy (45 min. west of Savannah) for 2 years before my husband and I purchased a veterinary practice in Forsyth (the city, not the county) in February.
While we lived near Savannah we spent every weekend walking around Savannah or spending time on the Georgia Coast.
We were frequent customers at the Lady & Sons and Uncle Bubba's.
We come from huge families and I think we took everyone to both restaurants at some point or another when they visited us.
 We even participated in the Blood Drive in Savannah!
One of the things I admire about Paula is her willingness to serve others.
Having lived near Savannah, we had the opportunity to see just how much she gives back to the Savannah community.
From blood drives and coat drives to turkey giveaways and Extreme Home Makeovers, Paula gives her all and that says a tremendous amount about her character.
I feel like I would be a great fit for the Paula Deen blogging team because I understand the identity of Paula Deen.
She is funny, intelligent, creative, strong, and she loves family, friends, and great food.
I grew up on the same Southern staples that she is famous for, but I've also learned how to make healthier versions for my own family.
 This is me canning tomatoes and this is my peach-blackberry-raspberry cobbler.
I earned degrees in Business and Fashion Merchandising/Apparel Design and I've always admired whomever styles Paula Deen-that would be a dream job!
I've been blogging for over six years now, primarily because I love writing, photography, and cementing our life experiences as much as I possibly can.
The bottom line is that what I love most about Paula is that she inspires me.
She inspires me to be a better person, to try new things in the kitchen, and to make my house a home.
She inspires me to live life to the fullest and to embrace change and opportunity.
She inspires me to reach out and help others and be the change I want to see.
I love that she is not ashamed of where she came from.
She is living proof of what my own mama has always instilled in me, 
"You can have roots and you can have wings."
So, Paula, if you're reading this, Thank You! 
So, I hope that you will make yourselves at home here at Southern Soul Mates.
Please look around and read posts to learn more about who I am and to get a feel for my writing style.
I can promise you that if I am chosen to join the Deen Team of bloggers that I will write my heart out to the very best of my ability for y'all!
I really, really want this from the depths of my soul!
Thank you for reading and for considering my entry!!
 Much love and lots of blessings from my husband and me!


  1. Cherish,
    I am so excited for you!
    I love your blog and know that you would be a wonderful asset and blessing to the Deen Team!
    My encouragement and prayers are with you.
    Many Blessings!

  2. That is so exciting, You would be such a great part of Paula's team! Love her and your blog!

  3. I agree, you would be great. Love, Love your blog. Hope to be planing a trip to GA in may and Paula is om list. Good luck!

  4. Yay! Good luck to you! I love love love your style and your sweet heart. I hope you winnnnn!!

  5. This is great, Cherish!! You have to win...there is no one that blogs about Georgia and the South better than you!


  6. Cherish! O. My. Goodness!!!! This is just PERFECT for you!!!! This is exactly what you were born to do!!! I could not imagine anyone in Georgia or the entire world that would put more heart and sole into this than you! We will keep our thoughts and prayers with you while they are choosing their bloggers, although they would be CRAZY not to chose you!!! ;) xoxox

  7. Sweetpea- I'm so happy to hear that you are auditioning to be on the Deen Team. I've known you since you were a tiny little girl. You have always lived your life full of love and dreams and with the appreciation of what you could learn from others. You have learned even more since you have been married and expanded your knowledge of decorating, cooking, canning, baking, and writing very beautifully. You have a southern charm that can only be gleaned from living and being raised in the south. You have a strong Christian Faith that comes from many areas in your life. And, you have the magic touch and ability to imagine what something can look like way before you ever begin.... That, you got from your mom! If you are chosen for this, I'm sure that Paula will realize what a valuable asset you could be and will be for her. I wish you all the Blessings possible and good luck with this endeavor. No doubt you would be AWESOME.. Love you- Shari

  8. W.O.W.... I must say this couldn't be more you!!!! You have always had such a way with writing, a way that I never caught up with. You have a talent for making everything seem so magical, even when I experience something with you, it's always better reading the way you write about it. It's just like book vs. movie thing...yours is so rich! Marrying your writing skills to your passion--the South, Paula Deen and blogging couldn't possibly spell you out any more specific! I hope and pray that this opens a huge door for others to experience your world with words. I agree that no other person would hold a candle to what you would pour in to this opportunity. I love you and expect to see you in the P.D. press! PICK CHERISH!!!!!!

  9. I recently discovered Cherish's blog and I am just in love with her style, her sweetness, and her love for all things SOUTHERN! I'm a born and bred southern girl too and trust me, she is the real deal. I think Cherish is the younger new generation of Paula Deen southern cooks. I sincerely hope she is picked! xoxo

  10. Cherish, This is a great post. I'm confident that you would make a great addition to Paula Deen's blogging team. Your interests certainly align with hers, which I think will help others to understand not only the content of what Paula wants to communicate but also the manner in which she wants to do so. All the best!

  11. I stumbled upon your blog via Kelly's Korner a couple of weeks ago and I've been hooked! As a Canadian who loves visiting the southern US, your blog reminds me of all the wonderful things I just love about the south! From your receipes, decor, love of all things monogrammed and classy style- I just love it all! You'd be a perfect fit for the Paula Deen Team! Good luck :)

  12. LOVE it! You'd be great at this! Good luck :)

  13. Cherish,

    This opportunity is right up your alley. If I could pick one person who represents and embodies what it means to be a "good Southerner," it would be you. It's my sincerest hope the Deen Team recognizes what a dedicated and valuable addition you would be to their blog. Your ability to contribute to their readership would be unmatched.

    Best of luck!


  14. You would be perfect for this! Perfect! I'll be praying for ya ;)

    XO Lori

  15. This is a dream of a lifetime for Cherish! Cherish and my wonderful son-in-law, Brandon graduated from UGA and own a veterinary practice in Forsyth, GA. She has loved Paula Deen from the start. She has always admired that Paula did not let
    anything hold her down and she remained true to her Southern Roots and
    chased her dream.She has every issue of Paula Deen magazine and has all of her books (signed)! She always has the latest magazine on display on her kitchen counter. For every special occasion, Cherish has brought a Paula Deen dish or we
    have gone to The Lady and Sons or Uncle Bubba's. She admired that in
    time Paula told her story. In so many ways it has mirrored my life,
    single mom 2 girls, Kroger, Real Estate, and Insurance and I feel like
    my girls are my right and left arms. Paula has also given me
    inspiration to follow my dream, and that its not ever too late for a
    2nd chance. While raising the girls and working 2 jobs I tried to
    instill in them my passion for Southern History. Every chance I had we
    would take road trips and enjoy simple things....I pointed out every
    old house, cow, barn, the sky, lakes, trees, flowers, creeks,
    clotheslines, old stores, etc. Now she is capturing all these
    Southern country places and traditions in photos and words on her blog. I am so
    proud of Cherish for always being strong and true to her beliefs. She
    has such an amazing SOUTHERN PASSION. I've encouraged her to pursue
    writing and photography. She captivates the "Vanishing South" and
    paints beautiful pictures with her words. Her "Southern Voice" is
    heard through her Southern Soul Mates Blog. She is truly beautiful inside and out. She loves God, family, friends, animals, cooking, writing, photography, gardening,
    road trips, Savannah, the Georgia Coast, cotton fields, farms, The Lady
    & Sons, UGA, pearls and Paula Deen!!!!. Cherish would be "living her
    dream" to be on the Deen Team!! She truly loves you and your family
    and carries on "ALL THINGS SOUTHERN!"!!!! I am so proud and blessed.

  16. Cherish is an amazing writer! I always look forward to reading her posts. She is southern through & through, and she inspires me!

  17. Cherish, you would be perfect for the Paula Deen team! I have enjoyed reading your blog for almost 3 years now--I love how honest you are and I love all of the pictures you share from your daily adventures! I'll be crossing my fingers for you! Xoxo


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