A weekend away

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

If I could pick a place that is my home away from home, it would be the Van Doren's house in Ala.  These two special friends of ours have been gracious to let us stay the weekend with them, twice.  

They have three beautiful (and hilarious) children all 10 and under.  The stories that we here will make you blush and they are always entertaining.  The accommodations will have you thinking you are at a resort.  The bed, it's my favorite of all beds I have ever slept in.  And the view that you wake up seeing  - it's like you're in a cabin in the woods surrounded by the beauty that God created.  

The food, the food - good grief I love his food.  TVD is the best cook.  I know he is the best male cook I have ever met.  (I can't say he is the best cook out of men and women because I have met Paula Deen and her cooking is FINE.)  And if you go to bed hungry... it's your fault because there is always a plenty.

It is always fine with me if we just stay at home and hang out but there are thousands of shops there that Meridian has not even heard of.  Hello, I'm a girl - I love to shop!  Only one problem... need me some M O N E Y!!!   

It's always hard to leave the good company because we feel like we are at home there.  I've only known the Van Doren's for a little under a year but I feel like they are family.  Can't wait to go back and visit with them again soon!!

LOCALS... Today's Women

I am happy to be the first to show you, my blog followers, the cover for our new magazine... LOCALS.  This issue is all about the women.  And let me tell you - I had so much fun with this issue.  Being a woman, I put a lot of time and energy in this issue.   (Don't know what I'll do if we do a Today's Men. LOL)  
This issue is at the printer as we speak and you'll find stories on beauty, religion, health, fitness and parenting when it comes out next week.  There are also blogs from our "blogging babes" that can be found in the magazine.  And the six ladies that we profiled... they were so much fun to work with.  I would love to have all of them come to my house one evening for dinner.  I can imagine the conversations and laughter we would have.

Look for it in May where you pick up your 393 Magazine.

Yogurt Mountain

Monday, April 26, 2010

There is only one word that can describe this place... unbelievable.  

Yogurt Mountain stores are the ultimate self-serve frozen yogurt experience featuring 16 rotating flavors of delicious, authentic frozen yogurt and over 50 toppings.
That's right - OVER 50 TOPPINGS!  And thanks to all those toppings (to which I only had 4), I felt sick when I left.  That's place is heaven sent! 

Can't wait to go back!

BTW - I went to the one close to the Summit in Birmingham, Ala.

Rain, rain, come my way... leave bad weather to another state.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Call me crazy but I'm looking forward to the rain.  We won't be in the area to see what kind of weather we will get on Saturday but, we will not be too far away to the east.  I'm just hoping for a day of slow, steady rain so we can enjoy a day with friends.  Sleeping in to the sound of rain doesn't sound so bad to me.

I'm praying for a safe weekend enjoying our time with friends.  And I hope you and yours have a wonderful weekend, too.  Look forward to sharing the pictures and stories with you all when I get back.

Preaching to the choir

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

First - let me apologize for not blogging in... A WEEK!  What in the world is wrong with me?  I'll tell you, I have been B U S Y.  But I'm taking the time tonight to blog because what I witnessed today... I feel I need to share.

I had to make the drive to Philly this morning for the magazine to take some pictures.  The gals at The Potting Shed asked me to stick around for lunch.  And who will turn down some Coffee Bean homemade chicken salad?  So after lunch, I made the trek back to Meridian.

I had already seen two highway patrol cars go by me right after leaving the city limits of Philly so I set my cruise and cranked up the radio.  As I was passing through Tucker and singing at the top of my lungs... I'm on a straight away and see a black mini van headed towards Philly.  Right behind it was a gold Taurus.  He whipped out from behind her and gunned it.  Only he found me in the lane he pulled out in.  I slammed on brakes and pulled onto the shoulder to avoid having a head on collision.  (If I would have been 5 seconds fast... I might not be here writing about this now.)  He turned his steering wheel sharp to the right to avoid me and lost control of his car.  He came back in my lane two more times before leaving the road all together and going off the embankment.  The van didn't stop and I was so scared I pulled over a few feet up at the next road.  I looked back and couldn't see the car.  I called 911.  

She asked me to walk down to the accident to check on the driver and passengers.  Once I got down there... I yelled to the driver and I heard him talking and saw him moving.  Thankfully, no one else was in the car.  I told the 911 officer on the phone that he was moving and talking and she said help was on the way.  I had to stay so that the emergency vehicles could find the scene since you couldn't see his car unless you walked down to it.  The young guy was very lucky... just a few scratches and bruises and he will be sore but he is alive.  

The reason I tell you this is - it doesn't have to be bad weather to make driving conditions bad.  Please pay attention to the road and the others around you.  I'm blessed and lucky.  Still a bit shook up from witnessing the accident but so very glad it wasn't any worse than it was.


Lightning Bugs

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

 Lightning Bugs

As I was taking my dog out before bedtime last night, I saw the first lightning bugs of the year.  I stood there in amazement.  I'm not a fan of bugs, especially the ones that bite!  But to stand and look in the woods and see these little bugs lighting up the darkness brought a huge smile to my face.  God knew I was in need of a cheering up from a crazy and rough day.  I think he put those little creatures out there last night so that I could have a peace as I went to bed... knowing that he is there and everything will be ok.

Saltgrass Steakhouse Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Here is the recipe I told you I would give you.... they are so yummy.  Enjoy!

 Saltgrass Steakhouse Garlic Mashed Potatoes
2 medium russet potatoes (each about 8 to 10 ounces)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, brought to room temperature, divided
1 small head of garlic
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chicken stock
1/3 cup milk, plus extra if needed
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat over to 375 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper of aluminum foil.

Wash and dry the potatoes, the rub them with 1 tablespoon of the soften butter.  Place on the baking sheet and bake until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 60 to 75 minutes.

Cut off the top of the garlic head so that all cloves are exposed.  Placed the garlic in an ovenproof baking dish and drizzle with the olive oil and chicken stock.  Cover tightly with aluminum foil and roast in the oven until soft, about 45 minutes.  When cool enough to handle, squeeze out the pulp and smash with a fork;  discard the garlic skins.

Cut the unpeeled potatoes into large chunks, and place in a large mixing bowl.  Add the remaining two tablespoons of butter, milk and 1/2 of the roasted garlic pulp.  Beat with a hand held mixer until just mixed.  Season to taste with salt, pepper and additional garlic.  The beat until the potatoes are thoroughly mixed.  (Note:  Potatoes should not be completely smooth, bits of skin and small lumps of potato give these mashed potatoes an appealing hearty texture.)

Happy Eating!!

Making cooking fun

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

First, let me say this - if you have the chance to go to a Viking Cooking School class... go!  We had so much fun and learned a lot.  And the best part, you get to keep the recipes to use again.  And they aren't too difficult to do in your kitchen at home.  I'll post the Saltgrass Garlic Mashed Potato recipe in the next post.  But here are the pictures from our cooking class.  Enjoy!!

Shula's Steak House's Barbecued Shrimp before it was cooked.

Preparing the ingredients for the salad.

Ruth's Chris Steak House's Warm Peppered Tenderloin Steak Salad.

Sitting down to enjoy our salad.

Our huge steaks ready to go on the grill.

The steaks on the grill... and smelling great!

Ready to let them sit before we dig in!

My plate... steak and garlic mashed potatoes.

Tasting the batter before putting it in the oven.

Morton's of Chicago's World Famous Hot Chocolate Cake

Enjoying the first bites of our yummy dessert!

Before we left for the evening, we had our picture made with our very patience instructor, Sally.

Viking Cooking School

Guess what Terry and I got for Christmas this past year????

That's right... we got a gift card to take a cooking class together at the Viking Cooking School.  Friday night, we were at the Ridgeland location in the hands on class, "Steakhouse Workshop."  The recipes we prepared...

Don't worry - the next blog will have pictures.  And if you are interested in taking a class... click here.  

Makes the shoes fit perfectly

Thursday, April 8, 2010

As many of you know, I have been in a boot because of my cracked foot for two weeks.  Well, today was the first day out of the boot and into a real shoe again.  My mom bought me two pair of flats because I'm not suppose to wear heels for another two weeks (but somehow I don't think that will be possible).  When she bought me the flats... I didn't try on the right shoe because of the brace and boot... but the left one fit.  Well - today I put on both shoes and the right one slips up and down.  Now, I'm sorry - call me picky or bitchy but that is one thing I can not put up with.  Thankfully, Belle G' (a ladies boutique) in North Hills has what are called "heavenly heelz."

I have had these before in a pair of shoes and they worked great.  Can't wait to put these in my new flats to wear.  And what's even better - they are only $6.95!! 

What is a girlie product that you absolutely love and has made your life easier?

Who gave her a microphone?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I had to have a wake up call this morning, at 5:30 a.m.  That's right, EARLY!!!  Why?  Well, I was interviewed on three radio stations this morning for the new April/May 393 Magazine that just came out.  

Usually, I go visit with 97OKK after each issue comes out to let the listeners know what is in the current issue.  It's always fun and usually not too early.  Today was different, I was asked to be there at 7.  Yep, I'm not a morning person so it took a phone call and two alarm clocks to get me going this morning.  Terry even called back at 6:30 to be sure I was up and moving and going to be on time.

97OKK was up first.  Sharkey and the Ken Man are hilarious and we always have a good time.  They ask the questions no one else would ever touch.  Today, it was do I go through the home feature's folks refrigerators.  My reply, "sorry, we aren't MTV cribs."  

Me and Sharkey in the 97OKK booth.

Next was V93.5 with Scott and Lisa.  This was my first time to be on the air with them.  And thankfully, the off air question of "wedding bells" didn't make it on the air.  But Scott did mention a wedding issue coming up soon.  And no, I'm not engaged, yet.  

Me and Scott in the V93.5 booth.

And last, I was interviewed on 910am.  And lets be honest here... I forgot there even was such a station.  Talk radio.  It's not my thing.  I'm a music lovin gal so I had not even heard of Roger, one of the guys interviewing me.  But I did have fun on the thirty minute interview with Roger and Van Mac.  And I even gave them my version of the weather forecast for the day... "warm and yellow."

  Don't worry, I left the microphone there.  I'm going to stick with my 393 Magazine gig... I'm not sure there could ever be a future in radio for me!  Thankfully the ones I talked with today have what it takes to entertain!

Easter 2010 Recap

Monday, April 5, 2010

This was my first year to juggle two families on Easter.  And if I do say so myself, I think we did ok.  Stayed at both houses about the same amount of time and had lunch with one and dessert with the other.  All in all - it was a great day.  Exhausting, but a great day.  Enjoy the pictures...

Me and Terry after church Easter morning.

My mom and dad after church Easter morning.

Mom and Marleigh... she loves her granny.

Hannah and Emma Kate after hunting Easter eggs.

Terry's brother Richie and Cathy at the Sowell house.

Terry and me after the Easter egg hunt at the Sowell house.

The Easter Bunny came...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Your never too old to get an Easter basket.  Especially if it's a grown up Easter basket.

This is our (mine and Terry's) grown up Easter basket.

It's full of all kinds of goodies, adult goodies.  

First of all the basket(s) are laundry baskets because we needed them replaced.  I was getting tired of having a trail of laundry from the bedroom to the washer due to the cracks in the old baskets.  There was also a beach towel for the both of us (we are going to the beach for vacation in July).  My mom bought me two new pair of shoes (flats) and bought Terry a new shirt and tie for church.  There is a DVD for both of us, The Blind Side for me and Sherlock Holmes for him.  And to go with the movies... extra buttered popcorn.  We needed knew tsp and tbsp measuring spoons and some Clorox wipes.  And then.... CANDY!!!!!!!  Lots and lots of it!!!

While I was in Wal-Mart, of all places, buying all of this... I had three people ask me if I was going to raffle it off... I said, "not this year, but that's a thought for next year!"

Happy Easter!!!!

Dyeing Easter Eggs with my nieces

Friday, April 2, 2010

Its been a tradition since Anniston was born that I help dye Easter eggs with them.  The pictures tell the story... and this was the first year I didn't get dye on my shirt, only on my fingers!


The pictures are great but, the memories are priceless.  I hope they never get too old for this tradition.

April/May 2010... From the Editor

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Birds chirping, lawnmowers mowing.  Children playing, couples laughing.  Grills sizillin', dogs barking.  Bats hitting balls, sunbathing in backyards.  Flowers blooming, people smiling... you guessed it, I love spring.

I think the best part of spring is people will stop looking at me funny for wearing flip-flops.  Maybe I should explain.  I wear flip-flops year around.  I love my high heels, tennis shoes and boots but there is something about putting on a pair of flip-flops that makes me feel happy.  It could also be that when I look down, even in the dead of winter, I see red.  That's right, red.  My toenails are always painted red with the exception of football season to which the color is a bit more maroon.  I think it's that little bit of color that makes me happy.  A friend of mine made a statement to me as I was planting flowers at my house.  She said those pots now have their lipstick on.  And it's true; the best part of spring is the beautiful colors.  Green grass, blue skies, and the flowers... the colors are endless.  My favorite, which I'm sure you have already guessed, is red.  I'm waiting a few more weeks before I go get my favorite red statement flower... geraniums.

Another thing I love about spring is that people get out of their houses and do things as a family.  Thankfully, this area is full of things to do in the next few months.  To name a few, we have the Ralph Morgan Rodeo, The Main Event and Relay to Life.  And golf. If you love golf, you will be able to find a golf tournament just about every week.  I have no clue how to play but I have learned some golf etiquette over the past three years of attending them around the area.  Maybe one day someone will offer me some golf lessons so I can play a round instead of riding in a cart all day.  One thing is for sure: some are "pros" and others, not so much. But they are all having a good time and raising money for good causes.  So, if you and your team are playing and see me coming with a camera, smile and remember that no matter how bad your score, I'm sure I'd do worse.

With the warmer months comes the end of the school year.  I can hear your claps, your screams of joys and shear excitement for another summer break.  Summer break means summer vacations.  Where are you going this year?  The beach?  The mountains?  We want to know.  Check our Facebook fan page over the next few weeks to see what our three questions are for the June/July issue.  We had a lot of you give us great feedback on whether you liked Mac or PC better and if the iPhone or the Blackberry was the way to go.  Check out page 61 to see the three questions and which ones scored big time.

I'm looking forward to the warmer months ahead.  Be sure to speak if you see us out and about.  We love hearing how much you enjoy the magazine and we look forward to bringing it to you each issue!
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