Sunday, October 31, 2010

Good Little Witches

Last night was trick or treat night in our area.  And we had two good little witches come to the house to trick or treat.  So needless to say, we loaded them up with candy!  



Ava, me and Anniston





Friday, October 29, 2010

You're gonna "hoot" over these

The Sowell's always have a Halloween party on trick or treat night and I thought I would make some Hoot-alicious cupcakes this year.


Recipe for cupcakes:

Box yellow cake mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 small box instant vanilla pudding mix
1/2 cup sour cream
8 drops yellow food coloring/ 3 drops of red food coloring

Recipe for cream cheese icing:

8 oz softened cream cheese
1 stick softened butter
1 lb powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a stand or electric mixer, add cake mix, eggs, water, oil, pudding, and sour cream.  Beat on medium for 1 1/2 minutes.  Slowly beat in drops of food coloring.  Scoop batter into paper lined cupcake tins.  Bake for 15-18 minutes or until cooked through.  Let cool completely.
To prepare frosting, beat cream cheese and butter until creamy.  Slowly add powdered sugar until creamy and thick.  And frost cupcakes. 
Makes 24 regular cupcakes

You can add sprinkles or add some kind of candy cake decorations like the owls and pumpkins that I'm using.

Remember to not over fill the cupcake liners or you will end up with "mushrooms" like I did the first time.  LOL


These are easy to make and they taste like heaven.
ENJOY!!!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! ... 2 Cor 9:15.

Thank you Lord for sending us some rain!!

Rain drops from our recent showers

Recipe Wednesday


Baked Ziti

example of ziti noodles
  • 1/2 pound ziti
  • 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided  (I do 4 cups)
  • 3 cups spaghetti sauce, divided
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
     
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook ziti until just barely tender; drain and place in a large bowl.
     
    Mix ricotta cheese and half the mozzarella cheese with the ziti. Coat a 9" x 13" baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; cover bottom of pan with half the spaghetti sauce. Spoon ziti mixture into pan; cover with remaining spaghetti sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and top with remaining mozzarella cheese.
     
    Bake 20 to 30 minutes, or until cheese melts and is light golden.

    ENJOY!!
     

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Nieces modeling spooky glasses

My nieces got their Halloween Happies today. 
And I was just emailed this picture...

Anniston and Ava with their "Spooky Glasses"
I think they were a hit.  What do you think??

The colors of fall

This past weekend, I took some random photos of the colors of fall.  
Hope you enjoy them! 

Driving down a county road in Clarke County, Miss

Looking towards HWY 145 at mom and dads
Another view like the photo above

A bush just starting to change colors

A few of the leftover rain drops from the previous nights heavenly showers

Wonderful hues of orange and yellow on this mum


It's amazing the beauty that God shows us everyday!


Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween Happies

Terry and I have four nieces between the two of us and we love to make them feel special.  They always get cards for each holiday but they also, usually get a happy.  And since they always rack up on candy at Halloween, I wanted to do something different for them but, of course, add some candy.  Last year, they got a cup full of candy.  This year, we stepped it up a notch.  

Their own little bowl of goodies

Start out with a cute bowl or basket and candy...

Don't forget to add some festive things with the candy.  Scary glasses, activity books, etc.

The finished products. 
Our nieces are 2, 4, 5 & 8 and the items in the bowl works for all of them.  All of the items including the bowls were purchased at, gasp, WALMART.  They better know how much they are loved considering how much I dislike that place!!  Can't wait for them to each get their Halloween Happy!!!

Happy Halloween, y'all!!  

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tonight's dinner recap...

While we are waiting on the rain to show itself at the house, I cooked dinner.  And not just any dinner, everyone's favorite - chicken spaghetti.  (My recipe includes English peas but we didn't have any in the pantry tonight, so I made it without and, of course, it was still delicious!!) 

Doesn't it look yummy?!!?
And as I'm finishing this blog - I just heard the first drop of rain.  We looked at the radar and it doesn't look like it's gonna last long but, I'm hoping for more long showers of rain all night, tomorrow, the next day and the next!  I love rainy days!!    Enjoy the rain, y'all!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Your second sneak peek!!

This is "from the editor" in the Holiday issue of 393 which comes out the first week of November!!  Your the first to see if before it hits stands! 

If you can't read what is in quotes... it says,  "The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree:  the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other." I love this quote because Terry and I both are very close with our families and Christmas isn't about the gifts.  It's about the birth of Jesus Christ and celebrating his birth with the ones we love.

This picture is a tie with another one of Wayne's photos that is my favorite.  The other favorite will be used in our Christmas card with this picture and one more.  I'll save those and let them be a surprise!

The photo by itself... don't you LOVE it!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Thanks for trying my recipes!

I love it when I share recipes and then people try them.  Or if they have had my cooking and then they ask how I made it and go home and put it on their weekly menus.

Some of my originals that people have started incorporating in their weekly menus:

Baked Beans (look at 3rd comment for recipe)

Let me know if you try one and how you like it... 
The links are from previous posts I've made with the recipes in them.

Tonight's view

Looking out from the inside on a Friday night...


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Happy Birthday LB

Tonight, we celebrated Lindsey Brown's birthday.  It was last Friday but she was living it up in Boston visiting a high school friend... so that meant we got to keep on celebrating a few days later for her Meridian party.  And tonight was her night.  She picked the menu, I cooked, we ate, we laughed, we ate, we laughed... so much fun!

I searched long and hard to find the perfect birthday card for her and I think I did!!  Here is what it said:

"Birthdays celebrate all those places you want to travel,
all the things you long to do...
And the person you want to be many birthdays down the road...
Birthdays aren't about the destination, they're about the journey.
We wish you big adventures, and special moments along the way.
Happy Birthday!"

LB with her cake & gift

Happiest of all birthdays Lindsey Brown! 
We Love You!!
Joy & Terry

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A sneak peek

This is one of the photos from our recent photo shoot with Portraits by Wayne.


I can't show you the others just yet but, you'll see them, soon!
Stay tuned! 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Let me introduce...

Rebel and Jug, the neighborhood pups.


And they are loving this fall weather, too. 


We've never seen them having this much fun playing in the yard.


There is nothing like a peaceful Sunday afternoon sitting outside enjoying the beautiful weather and watching some of God's cutest creations enjoying it, too!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday Morning Breakfast

I always talk about my breakfast cooking but have never actually taken a picture of it... until this morning.

Don't you love our "fine china?"  =)

Cheesy browns, sausage, bacon and toast.  If your wondering what cheesy browns are - it's hashbrowns smothered in cheese.  I had never heard of it until I met Terry.  It's his favorite breakfast meal and I make it for him every weekend.  Yeah, it is oh so good!! 

Happy 8th Birthday, Hannah Mae!

Terry's niece, Hannah is 8 today!!  
We celebrated with her and the rest of the Sowell family last night.
And just in case you are wondering... yes, the cake and the icing was DIVINE!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A nail biter...


Mississippi State vs. Florida

10 - 7

That's right... the bulldogs win!!!
And now, I'll be nursing a hoarse and sore throat from yelling so much.  But it was very much worth it.  
Go State, GO STATE!!!

For FREE?!?!

Now that I have your attention, yes, for FREE!


At CVS, they are offering candy corn for $.99.  AND if you go to the red coupon scan center in CVS, scan your CVS card, it will print you out a $1 off coupon off candy corn.  So... that means it is FREE!!  I've had two people tell me this works and we are going to try it out today.  If you know of any more deals like this, let me know!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

She's a beauty ...

... She's one in a million Hobos.

Let me introduce you to my new Hobo purse.  I fell in love with this baby at The Potting Shed in Philadelphia.  I love the hardware they used, I love the color of it and I love the fact that it is now all mine.  This is the second Hobo purse I have been surprised with.  I opened the first one from my love on my birthday this year and this week, I was surprised again with this beautiful, unique accessory.  I love little/big surprises!!!      

Monday, October 11, 2010

New MSU Art

I love my job.  And today, while out taking pictures for the Holiday issue, I got a new piece of MSU art.


This area is full of talented artists, musicians, etc. and I got to spend the morning with one talented metal artist.  We are featuring some of her Christmas metal art in our Holiday issue and while I'm not going to post pictures just yet of the Christmas art we will be featuring, I did want to show you my new MSU metal paw.  I LOVE it!  If you are interested in some of her art, you can purchase it here in town at Southern Accents and in Philadelphia at Oddlee Unik.  Just ask to see their "Freckles" pieces.  Stay tuned for more places carrying her awesome, creative pieces!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Happy 81st Birthday, Papaw!

Today, we celebrated my Papaw's 81st birthday.  (It was actually Friday but, this was the first day we could all get together.)  I'm blessed to still have this wonderful and caring grandfather around.  I never miss a chance to spend time with him and since today was his birthday celebration - we were there to party.

We drove up to the camp house and cooked out with the family.  I love getting together with them because when food is involved - it's always DIVINE!  After stuffing our faces, we went outside to enjoy the beautiful weather.  (Of course, it could have been cooler.)  There is something about family and spending time with them... it's always fun to catch up!

Happy 81st Birthday Papaw!  Hope the next year brings more exciting fun for you and Mrs. Betty!!

Terry, me, Papaw & Mrs. Betty

Terry and me enjoying the gorgeous day

Saturday, October 9, 2010

8 going on 18

Yesterday afternoon, we picked up Terry's oldest niece, Hannah, to celebrate her birthday.  Since she is turning 8, we decided to let her spend the night with us.  So, we let her go shopping and pick out her own gift, went to Outback for dinner and then came home for the night.  We had in mind to buy her some clothes for her birthday but she had other ideas.  We went to Geoffrey's to buy a 1st birthday gift for our friend's little boy, Wyatt, and she found what she wanted.
And let me tell you - this little camera is so neat.  We played with it all night.  It's a 5 mega pixel digital twist camera that comes with a Disney program to make boarders and fun images on the photo.  The twist is so they can take pictures of them self.  And we got it for a steal.  It was on clearance for $30 at our local Geoffrey's.  They also had it for icarly and Hannah Montana.   SO - if your needing something for a girl that is around the 7- 10 age group... this is something that I would suggest.  She told us it was her favorite gift, ever.  Score for Uncle Terry and Joy!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Getting the hair "did"

There is nothing better than having your hair cut and colored, especially when you trust her enough to walk in, sit and let her do her thing.  Stephanie at Twisted Scissors has been doing my hair since 2004.  And for six years, I have never walked in and told her how to do my hair.  She knows what it needs and I always walk out feeling great about my hair and myself.  

Yesterday, was the day to get the hair "did."  We have pictures being made Saturday so, we both decided to schedule hair appointments so we are looking our best - or at least our hair will be.  When I walked in yesterday, she informed me of a new service she is providing... Redken Chemistry.  So, after she colored my hair she applied the treatments to my hair.






I was the first person she had used it on and let me tell you - I will be having this done every time I go from now on!  My hair has never looked more healthier and full of life as it does right now.  I had tons of compliments on it at MLT last night.  I'm not sure who all is offering it in Meridian or the surrounding areas but, if you want to try it... give Stephanie a call at Twisted Scissors Salon.  And if you do get the treatment or have had the treatment before, let me know what you think. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

MLT presents...

Photo by Reggie Thomas

Tonight kicks off the start of the 2010 - 2011 season at the Meridian Little Theatre.  To start off the season, tonight is First Nighters for The Music Man.  I've been attending "first nighters" for 3 years now and it's definitely an experience in itself.  It's a dressy occasion and there is a wonderful party afterward where you can interact with the cast.  Meridian and the surrounding counties have a lot of talent and if you can't hop on a plane to visit Broadway, this is the next best thing!

About The Music Man:
Confidence man Harold Hill arrives at River City intending to cheat the community with his standard scam to equip and train a boy's marching band, then skip town with the money since he has no music skill anyway! Things go awry when he falls for a librarian he tries to divert from exposing him while he inadvertently enriches the town with a love of music. This classic of flag-waving, feel good, musical comedic Americana, based on the hit Broadway show, will have you singing the praises of “76 Trombones!”

Photo by Reggie Thomas
Some of the cast for MLT's The Music Man

If you haven't bought your tickets for this musical, call the box off at the Meridian Little Theatre.  I'm sure this is a show you will not want to miss.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Loaded Potato Soup

Eating out can get very expensive but there is something about their food that keeps us coming back.  At least, that is the case for me and O'Charleys loaded potato soup.  Let's be honest here - it's one of a kind.  And you can make a meal on a bowl of it and a few of their homemade yeast rolls (or at least I can).

Now that the weather is turning cooler at night, I'm ready to start eating soups, stews and warm your soul kinda foods.  And I'm happy to say, I think I just might have found a recipe that is very similar to O'Charleys loaded potato soup.  We will be making this for trick or treat night.  Now, if we can just figure out how to make their rolls.   
Hmmm...
 
 
3 pounds red potatoes
1/4 cup margarine, melted
1/4 cup flour
8 cups half-and-half
1 (16-ounce) block Velveeta cheese, melted
White pepper, to taste
Garlic powder, to taste
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 pound bacon, fried crisply
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Dice unpeeled red potatoes into 1/2" cubes. Place in a large Dutch oven, cover with water and bring to a boil. Let boil for 10 minutes or until 3/4 cooked.

In a separate large Dutch oven, combine melted margarine and flour, mixing until smooth. Place over low heat and gradually add half-and-half, stirring constantly. Continue to stir until smooth and liquid begins to thicken.

Add melted Velveeta. Stir well. Drain potatoes and add to cream mixture. Stir in pepper, garlic powder and hot pepper sauce.

Cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Place soup into individual serving bowls and top with crumbled bacon & shredded cheese.
 
Enjoy! 

It's here...

The October/November issue of 393 Magazine!

BTW - one of my favorites!

We start to deliver magazines to businesses and racks this afternoon.  So, don't forget to head out and get your copy!  Later today you'll be able to visit 393's website to view the entire magazine online.  Enjoy!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

And no, I'm not talking about football season - although it's a close second.  And, of course, it's not here for most.  However, my job has me working a good two months ahead which means - it's DECEMBER for me!  

What have I been doing today?  Looking at Christmas trees, decorations and I even heard the first Christmas song of the season - Alabama's Christmas in Dixie.  


You see, we upload the Holiday issue of 393 to the printer before Halloween.  So, I'm in full Christmas mode.  Can't you hear me singing,  "Fa la la la la... la la la la."  Fortunately, I got the house semi decorated for fall before today and the Christmas schedule.  But, if you are in the mood to go see Christmas trees big, little, white, green, and even flocked... drive on over to the Lauderdale County Co-Op Gift Shop - they will put you in the Christmas spirit, quick.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Honey Mustard Dressing

Last week, I asked a question on facebook.  The question was, "I'm needing a homemade recipe for honey mustard dressing.  Does anyone have one that tastes like McAlister's Deli's honey mustard?"  I got a couple of great recipes but none looked like they would compare to my favorite dressing from McAlisters.  That is until I received one last recipe last night from my friend Enley.  I'm including the recipe below.  And in everyone's response to my facebook status, they all said use fresh honey.  Well, I'm proud to say that my sister-in-law is bringing me some from Jackson that she bought at the farmer's market today.  So I'll be making this recipe very soon.  =)


2c Hellmann's mayonnaise

1/2c honey

1/2c mustard

splash of cider vinegar

onion salt to taste

red pepper flakes to taste

Mix together mayo, honey, and mustard. Splash in vinegar and sprinkle in onion salt and red pepper flakes. Refriferate and serve cold.