Friday, December 31, 2010

Toffee Coffee Cake Muffins


Muffin Mix 
(Note:  you can put these ingredients in a jar and give as a gift... or keep in a jar and pull out when your ready to make these delicious muffins!!) 
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup toffee bits
1/2 cup white baking chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans


To Bake
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
extra sugar


To bake muffins, preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Beat 2 eggs with a whisk in a large mixing bowl.  Mix in 1/2 cup cooled melted butter, 1 cup of sour cream and 1 tsp vanilla.  Stir in muffin mix until combined well.  (Batter will be thick.)  Fill 12 greased regular size muffin cups with batter and top with extra sugar.  Bake about 20 minutes until done.

I promise you - these will be the best muffins you've ever made and tasted!!

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New Years Eve change of plans

Tonight had big plans for us but since mother nature has taken a turn for the worse, we are moving the activities to tomorrow night. We did manage to make it to Outback and enjoy a nice meal before driving home in the pouring down rain.  

I have checked in with my renters in Jackson and they say the house is fine but much of the area has damage.  Some of my friends in the Pearl and Flowood area are without power and have no idea what is to be seen when the power comes back on and when daylight hits tomorrow.  Please say a prayer for them tonight... 

We are saving our fireworks party for tomorrow night.  God will be supplying the light show tonight!!

Hope you and yours have a safe and Happy New Year's Eve.  2011 is almost here and it promises to be better than ever my friends!  Enjoy celebrating, y'all!!!

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Well, it's over...

The Christmas tree is down and all the ornaments, mesh and ribbon have been packed away.  All the ninety-six beautiful Christmas cards we received have been taken off the garland and placed in a pile on the bar and the furniture has been put back where it belongs.  And I'm sure I'll be getting use to everything getting back to normal, soon, right?

I love Christmas time and the things that it brings.  The sweet sounds of Christmas carols, all the Christmas movies with no one Santa looking the same, all the get togethers with friends and family and of course, the Christmas decor.  But there is something about the day after Christmas.  The day when you have to start thinking about taking all the decor down, seeing no more presents under the tree, wondering when the movies and music of the season will be no more til next year and dealing with the post Christmas blues.  

I seem to get them every year and this year I was hit hard with it.  I have been on vacation since December 8th and have had something to do EVERY SINGLE DAY since that day came.  And this past Monday, there was nothing on my calendar.  Did I enjoy sleeping late, you better believe it but I found myself wanting something to do.  I kept telling myself that next Monday you will give anything to not have anything to do but nevertheless, I had the blues.  

The blues quickly left me yesterday as I became ill with a nightmare of a migraine.  I hate being sick and this put me on my back and sick as a dog.  Thankfully after a semi good night's sleep I got up and made it to the appointment Terry had set up for me to have my new bluetooth for the car set up and professionally installed.  He went back to work and I took his truck for the day so I could spend time with my nieces in town.  We had a blast eating out, shopping and yes, they even made WalMart fun!  But then came time for their nap... which meant going home to un-decorate the house.  

About thirty minutes into it Terry called to tell me my car was ready.  We went to get it and I LOVE this bluetooth system for my car.  I can't wait to play with it more when I'm on the road.  But of course, the time came again, for me to head back home.  

And now, I sit here blogging with the house no longer decorated for Christmas.  The furniture back in it's place, the tree packed in it's bags out in the garage (thanks to Terry) and it's not the same as it was last night.  No twinkling of the lights, no Christmas music or Christmas movie on TV but one thing is for sure... if Christmas were all year long, it wouldn't be as special as it is!  So, til next year!!

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas 2010


Christmas 2010 was a great Christmas.  We are so blessed with wonderful family and friends who love us so much.  Enjoy the pictures from our Christmas celebrations in 2010.  Although, the camera never left the truck at our Christmas celebration at grannys or my parents on Christmas Eve.  But there are still lots of pictures to share!  =)

Enjoy!

Me and Terry on Christmas day 2010
Papaw and me on Christmas day 2010
Brian and Mary Martha on Christmas day at Papaws 2010
Hannah and Emma at the Sowell Family Christmas on Chrismas day 2010
Again, posing on Christmas day 2010
The girls opening their gifts from Uncle Terry and me
YAY!!  Not a "lame" gift!  lol  She got a MobiGo game case.
Her DSi game case.
I never knew what a "pillow pet" was until Christmas day.  Emma got one and so did my cousins.

It was a great Christmas!  Hope you and yours had a memorable Christmas, too!
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A little "before" Christmas pampering

The Wednesday before Christmas, my sister-in-law and I decided to take my grandmother to do something she had never had done before... get a mani and pedi!

It's always hard to figure out what to get her for Christmas and this year, with the addition of the other gifts we got her for Christmas, we took her to be pampered.  I think she loved it.

We picked her up a little after 9 a.m. and off to Meridian we went.  She told us stories of how she and granddaddy met (he died when I was one) and how things have changed since the "good ole days."  After we got to Meridian, I think she got a bit nervous.  You see, she has NEVER had a pedicure so the chair contraption kinda scared her.  But once we got her settled in I think she really started to enjoy it. 

Her first pedicure in her 76 years on this Earth.
Mary Martha and granny
Granny and me (yes, my hair is naturally curly)
After the pedicures, we all got manicures and went to O'Charleys for soup and salad before taking her back home.  It was a great day to get her out of the house and let her enjoy a day of pampering.  And, I think Mary Martha and I had a great time seeing her so happy!!

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Annual Christmas Party

Since 2007 (when I moved back to Meridian from Jackson), I have hosted a Christmas party at my house.  And this year was no different.  Back in November we decided on a date that would work with everyone and it turned out to be the Monday before Christmas.  

I've been off work since December 8th and have been able to bake, clean and get things ready for that day.  We decided on finger foods this year which worked perfectly!  Everyone brought a dish and we had everything from shrimp and crab dip, chicken nuggets, sausage balls, dips and SWEETS!  Boy oh boy did we have sweets!  I made homemade fudge, chocolate covered pretzels, my homemade chocolate chip and peanut butter chip cookies and SO much more!!  And our sweet friend Elizabeth made her wonderful chocolate chip pound cake.  (No worries, I'm getting the recipe soon and will be sharing with you.)

After everyone stuffed their faces, twice, we all sat around and enjoyed laughing and catching up as it was our last party of 2010 together.  Of course, during that time, we planned three parties in 2011!!!  Hey, what can I say, we LOVE to have fun!!  Before everyone left, each couple got a "GO DAWGS" ornament from Terry and me!  (I hate we never broke out the camera!  This is the first year of no incriminating photos!!)

We are so blessed with the wonderful friends we have in our life and enjoyed spending time with them a few days before Christmas!  Who knew we could fit all 16 of us in the living room at one time!!  

Can't wait for our 2011 parties!!
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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Laughter on this Tuesday night

A friend told me I should go to this website and I literally just laughed my head off!!!!

Enjoy laughing at these pregnancy photos... I know I sure did!!

And note to self... NO PREGNANCY PHOTOS for me whenever that time comes!!!
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Reindeer Cookie Recipe

I got the reindeer cookie recipe and thought I would share it with you.  
(NOTE: If you want to save time, just use ready to bake sugar cookies instead.  Then use the extra ingredients for decorating.)


 Ingredients/directions for cookies (Basic recipe for peanut butter cookies):
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter

Beat until creamy.

Stir in:
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda

Extra ingredients for decorating:
Chocolate covered pretzels (can use regular), chocolate chips, and red hots.

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Cookie Exchange Christmas Party


We've all heard about and played "dirty santa" at Christmastime but, have you ever heard of a cookie exchange party?  The first weekend of December, my sister-in-law hosted a cookie exchange party for her Sunday School class moms and their kids.  The decor theme was Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and each child was asked to bring a dozen cookies (there were twelve kids) to exchange with the other children.  I put boxes together for each child to hold the cookies they exchanged with.

After the kids exchanged cookies, they made Christmas cards for the shut ins that are members of the church.  

I think the kids had a great time and this is now an annual event.  Hope you enjoy the pictures. 

Some of the Willy Wonka decor
Another view of the decor with two plates of cookies
I love these reindeer cookies that someone brought. She said they were very easy to make.   
The Christmas tree cake my sister-in-law's sister had made for the party.
All the cookies before the exchange began
They were having so much fun!
Young and old, they all loved picking out their cookies and taking them home.

So, if you're looking for a unique party for kids... this one was easy to put on and everyone seemed to have a great time!!
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Adult Truths

One of my best friends sent this to me last night and I thought I would share with everyone.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

 
1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on # 5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

10. Bad decisions make good stories.

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.

13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.

14. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

15. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

16. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.

17. I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

18. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

19. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?

20. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

21. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

22. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

23. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time.

24. The first testicular guard, the "Cup," was used in Hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974. That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain is also important.

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Can't feel my toes


Today I was asked to help judge the Philadelphia Christmas parade that was held tonight.  I had the best time and enjoying the yummy hot chocolate but just about froze.  We loved the overall float by Neshoba Hospital! Thanks Philly for inviting me, Angie and Janie to come and judge your wonderful parade! 

Boy, do I have a lot to blog about.  Hope to get caught up tomorrow...  

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Maybe a little girl could be nice...

 I love my nieces to death, even Terry's, too.  But, we have always said we just want boys.  Well, a few days ago I went to see my nieces after work.  It seems like ages since I just went and spent some time with them at their house to play.  We normally meet up for lunch one a week and I talk to them on the phone all the time but it was time for some one on one time with them.  And that is exactly what I got.

When I got there, Ava was still napping so I asked Anniston what she wanted to do.  She wanted to play princess and drags me into the bathroom.  She said, "make me into a princess Auntie Joy."  So her wish was granted.  Put on a very tiny bit of makeup and curled her hair and put her "crown" on.  

Sorry the pictures aren't good quality... they were taken with my blackberry.  But, enjoy the pictures!!

With the rollers in her hair!!  Getting ready to be a princess!
Curly Sue Princess with her "crown"
The princess and her pony.
Oh the fun that was had!  So maybe, just maybe, a girl wouldn't be sooooo bad!  =)
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To get you in the Christmas spirit


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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Merry Christmas Y'all

By now most everyone has received their Christmas card from us in the mail, if we had your address.  So, I thought I would share our 2010 Christmas card with y'all!

Click on the picture to view it full size.
May you and yours have a wonderful, joyous Christmas this year!!
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Monday, November 29, 2010

From the Editor (Dec/Jan issue)

‘Tis the season to be jolly for the holidays are upon us and a new year is on its way.  It's hard to believe that another year has come and gone.  Didn't we just celebrate Christmas and break all of our New Year's resolutions?  I have to admit, I don't make a resolution anymore.  By the time we get near the end of January, it has already been broken.  Maybe if I don't make them, I can keep them.

Last year on New Year's Eve, Terry and I were under the weather so we didn't attend any parties or even stay up to watch the ball drop.  This year, I have high hopes that we can at least celebrate the countdown of the New Year, healthy.

If you ask any medical personnel, they will tell you that the flu season is here.  And it's not discriminating.  From the youngest to the oldest, I know a lot of people who have had it.  And it seems to be worse this year than others in the past.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it stays away from our home and office. 

The next year has many possibilities for a wonderful year.  Here at the magazine, we are working on not only bringing you the ever so loved 393, but we are also looking at what makes this town a place where you and I want to work and live.  The community has something for everyone and we hope to show you throughout 2011 what those things are.  We have also started getting invitations for many events already scheduled for 2011 and I hope to see all of you out there supporting our community and surrounding areas.  You can sit at home and say there is nothing to do, or get out there and see what this area has to offer. 

And if you do get out and about, you may just end up in the next issue of 393. Happy Holidays.

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Recap

To say we are blessed is an understatement.  And this Thanksgiving was just another reminder.  

Thursday, we went to my grandmother's house to celebrate with my side of the family.  We enjoyed the traditional smoked turkey and dressing (mom's secret recipe), peas, butter beans, corn, sweet potato casserole, chicken spaghetti (supplied by me), fried okra, and oh the list could go on and on.  We all gathered in the same room (for the first time in years) to enjoy our Thanksgiving day meal.  Yes, there was football on the tv and yes, we all didn't fit at the table but for the first time in years, we were all in the room eating, together!  After we cleaned up lunch, we rode with the guys to see if there was a new baby calf.  She looks like she is about to pop but she still hanging on.  The guys dropped us back off at grandmothers house and they went to hunt.  No luck because it was so hot.  But we got a lot accomplished inside cleaning out granny's house.  There is a lot more to do but we put a dent in it.  We all gathered back at the house before leaving for the evening to finally have dessert.  Carrot cake, homemade apple pie (made especially for Terry), sweet potato pie and pecan pie.  Oh boy oh boy, sugar highs all night long.

Friday was Thanksgiving at the Sowell's.  I was asked to bring my loaded mashed potatoes to go with all the wonderfully prepared food by Judy, Betty and Rita.  We ate until we couldn't eat anymore and enjoyed catching up with the family that we hadn't seen in eleven months.  Football and more football watching took place all afternoon.  And what a game the Iron Bowl had.  There was no upset since we all knew Auburn had it in them.  After all, they hadn't lost a game all season.  But you never know about these "local" bowl games.  Sometimes there are surprises during these games.  But this year there wasn't.

Saturday proved to be the laziest day of the week.  Pajamas til mid afternoon and then it was time for showers and to get ready for the Egg Bowl Party.  We had a wonderful time cheering on our bulldawgs to their victory.

Which leads to today... laying around watching movies on the couch with my love.  And there is also a nice big roast in the crockpot just slow cooking away.  What a wonderful day... what a GREAT week!!!

Only five more days of work and then it's off for the holidays for me!  I can't wait to enjoy this holiday season!  Happy Holidays! 

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HAIL STATE

 Cowbells ring, are you listening??
Down the field, the dawgs are sprinting!!
A beautiful site, the carebears crying tonight!!
Walking with the trophy in our hands!! 

My voice is not as strong as it was yesterday at this time.  Why?  We were screaming and cheering for our dawgs all night!!  Our cowbells were ringing (which I'm sure scared every deer off for miles) and you still can't get the smile off our faces!  We had my brother and sister in law over to the house to watch the game.  Lit the grill for some burgers, fried some homemade french fries, baked some beans and enjoyed these for our dessert celebration!
MSU cupcakes from Gigi's in Flowood
And in addition to celebrate our win, we rolled the neighbor's yard.  Can't wait to see his Ole Miss face when he gets home from Oxford today!  And yes, we plan to help clean it up after he sees it.  We had so much fun rolling it, like we were teenagers again!

Hail dear 'ole State,
Fight for that victory today;
Hit that line and 'tote that ball;
Cross the goal before you fall,
And then we'll yell, yell, yell, yell!
For dear 'ole State we'll yell like hell!
Fight for Mis-sis-sip-pi State,
Win that game today.
GO STATE!!! 

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

GAME DAY

Tonight is the night.  Who will take home the trophy?


The EGG BOWL TROPHY!
Mississippi State or the school up north?


GO DAWGS!!!

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Thankful during Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas just as much as the next person but, there is something about Thanksgiving week that makes me all giddy with excitement.  There is nothing better than having family gathered around the table laughing and talking about the holidays in the past.  And now that us kids are all grown, we contribute to the meal.  I'm always asked to bring my now famous, chicken spaghetti and a dessert, too.  Mom will always make the turkey and dressing because she is the only one who can make it like she does.  Trust me, I've tried.  Football will be blaring from the den because no one wants to miss a play.  And after lunch, we all find a bed, couch or recliner and enjoy our turkey induced coma. 

But, there is a lot more to like about Thanksgiving than family, food and the festivities.  For me, it's also a time to start looking back at the year and realizing how thankful I am for everything God has given me.  I can't list everything but, I will tell you a few...

• Over a year and a half ago, I was blessed by being introduced to my soul-mate, best friend and the love of my life.  I never knew that this kind of love existed or that I would ever be lucky enough to experience it.  But, I was and it changed my life forever.  The love we have for one another can not be explained in a small paragraph but if you see us together you know that this love is real and will last forever.  This is our second Thanksgiving to spend together and not only are we thankful to be celebrating again with both families but, also, thankful for our love that continues to grow everyday. 

• Family is a big part of both of our lives and we are blessed with two wonderful sets of parents.  They love us unconditionally and have set wonderful examples for our relationship and what it should be like.  His parents have been married for 47 years and mine 39 years.  They support us and our decisions and my family is happy to have another son and his family is happy to have another daughter.  We spend as much time as we can with them not because it's a have to, it's because it's a want to.

• We have four nieces between the two of us.  And the joy they bring to our lives makes us excited about our future children.  It's amazing the amount of love children have for their aunts and uncles and the love uncles and aunts have for their nieces.  And their energy, where does it come from?  But, it keeps us going strong and that we are thankful for.

• Friendships come and go but those that stand the tests of time are the ones that are really meant to be.  Isn't it funny how those people who aren't meant to be in your life are one day, finally gone?  I'm thankful for the ones who are in my life for they are the ones who are meant to be in it.  We share a friendship that is more like a sisterhood.  We share in the joys and sorrows of each others lives, we lend support and cheer on each other through the different tests of our lives and most importantly, we don't take advantage of each other.  Through the laughter and tears, good times and bad our friendship is the real deal.  And best of all, my better half loves them like sisters, too. 

• A brother and sister-in-law is shared by each of us.  My brother is someone I admire for all the hard work he does in his everyday job, for his dry, yet, hilarious humor and how he still to this day feels the need to protect me.  Growing up, I never figured we would be close but we are and somehow I have deemed to forgive him for all the bruises he gave me growing up.  His wife of five years has been someone I can talk to about life, work and the future.  I'm happy she is back in town and we are able to spend more time together.  She makes my brother happy and in return, that makes me happy and thankful.

• And to keep it short, I'm thankful for my religion, freedom and job.  I'm thankful to be able to worship and pray to the big man upstairs for all he has and continues to give me.  I'm thankful for having a saved soul and an eternal life waiting for me after my life on earth is no more.  I'm thankful for the freedom we have in this country and for all the men and women who have fought for us to have and keep it.  I know many who are still in the service and tell them often how proud I am of what they do for our country.  Last but not least, I'm thankful for my job.  A job that pays the house note and the rest of the bills that come with it, that pays for entertainment on the weekends and that pays for the Christmas gifts that I'm out buying.  =)  I love my job and the people I get to encounter while doing my job. 

Most importantly, I'm thankful to remember to be thankful.  Most people go about their daily business and forget that everything we have can be taken away from us in a second.  This Thanksgiving, I hope everyone remembers to be thankful.  But not just this time of year but every day and in every way.

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!
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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sausage Balls

Now that deer season is here, Saturday morning breakfast will not be the same.  This means no cheesy browns, bacon, eggs and biscuits.  I simply cannot wake up at 4 a.m. and cook.  I can just see me making homemade biscuits and forgetting an ingredient.  It definitely wouldn't taste the same.  =) 

So, I'm making things the night before for Terry to take to the woods with him.  This weekend, it was sausage balls.  YUM - YUM!!!  This is a holiday tradition to have these present throughout the season but I thought they would also work good to prepare for an early morning breakfast for my hunter, too!

SAUSAGE BALLS
10 oz. Extra sharp cheddar cheese
1cup self rising flour
2 cups of rice krispies
1 lb. Sausage (we like the hot sausage)

Melt cheese over low heat or microwave until melted.  Remove from heat. Add flour and cereal.  Break sausage into small pieces. Mix sausage and cheese mixture with hands. Roll into 1 inch balls.  Place on ungreased baking sheet. (I bake mine on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.) Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.

Balls ready to go in the oven...

Some of the first sausage balls out of the oven...

They are so yummy and the recipe makes 55 medium size balls!

Enjoy the recipe, y'all!
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