Monday, February 28, 2011

All you have to do is ... click

I know it wasn't long ago that I was asking for your help with something, but today all I'm asking is for you to simply click "like." 

A friend of mine, Maria Orozova, has been nominated for the FedEx + Me pilot program, which rewards small businesses for their innovation and dedication to entrepreneurship.  Maria is a huge success story and she is a former Meridianite.  With our help, she can go to the next level in this contest.  It's so simple for you to help out... all you have to do it click here and click "like."  That's it!!  So easy, so quick and she is very deserving!  Please help me out and click here and "like" her. 

For more information about Maria, click here.


Good Luck Maria!  We are all voting for you!!!

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

At the MSO Gala

 How do you know it's love?  It's love when you know he would rather be in jeans and a t shirt, but instead he is right there with you, by your side looking as hot as ever, decked out for the black tie event.  I love how much this man loves me.  And how he shows his love for me, daily.


 While we were mingling with the other guests, we ran in to LB.


Lindsey, I'm sorry we didn't make it to the JA Ball tonight, but somehow we know your having a blast.  Can't wait to hear all about it over dinner, soon!

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What a day, a mean... what a week!

To say I'm excited this day/week is over just might be an understatement.  It's been an eventful week... literally.  Not only have there been events to cover for the magazine all week that went through today, but life in general has been eventful.    

The week was full of meetings with advertisers and covering events but, Wednesday evening stands out the most for me.  Until Wednesday, no one but Terry knew about a "little" problem I was having with my left foot.  Since the end of October, I've had a lot of pain in my heel and I figured I had a stone bruise.  Only when it didn't seem to ever go away, I did some research online and found out that it can take up to 4 months for it to heal.  Well, as you know February is coming to an end and the pain was still there. Wednesday was the worst day I've ever had with my foot.  I wore some cute heels to visit some advertisers in Philadelphia that morning/afternoon and we basically parked and just walked.  And when I got home, I had to chase Marleigh due to two stray dogs that came in the yard.  So, that evening, I was finally able to sit and relax while watching TV and I went to get up to take her back outside and I couldn't walk.  I'm talking NO weight on my left foot at all.  It was so painful that I wanted to head to the ER but I didn't want to go because there is always something floating around in the waiting room.  So, Terry and I decided that Thursday morning, I would be at the doctors office.  

Thursday morning came after no sleep and I was at the doctors office when the doors opened.  Thankfully, I know all the nurses and Dr. Anderson personally so they let me go on up for an xray while I was waiting to get back for him to see me.  Praise the Lord there weren't any broken bones or a bone spur.  I was told I have Plantar Fasciitis.  Which means, it's an overuse injury affecting the sole of the foot.  A diagnosis of plantar fasciitis means you have inflamed the tough, fibrous band of tissue connecting your heel bone to the base of your toes.  And, I was told that if left untreated could cause major walking problems.  So, I left with a couple of prescriptions to help with the inflammation and three shots.  And let me make this real clear for anyone who has not ever had a shot in their foot.  IT HURTS LIKE HELL!!!  Took 8 minutes for the entire injection in the foot.  I don't think I've ever said some of those words in my life.    

I was told to take it easy and stay off my foot, but have you ever spent a day in the life of Joy?  There is never a dull moment and never time to rest or take it easy.  So after getting the shots and going to MLT that evening, we decided that tonight (Saturday) was going to be a shorter night out than we originally had planned.  We were suppose to go to the JA Ball after the MSO Gala but decided against it after my doctor called yesterday to see how the foot was doing.  

The MSO Gala was wonderful and it was great to see everyone out and about.  I hate we missed the JA Ball this year, but we thought it was best for me to get out of those high heels.  Now, we are sitting at home in jammies watching the UFC fight.  I can't wait for tomorrow:  sleeping in, relaxing and watching movies with my love.  

Hope y'all are having a wonderful weekend! 

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They're big, green & beautiful!

 This is a busy Saturday for us, but we did manage to get out and have lunch at San Marcos with a friend before heading to Lauderdale County Coop to pick up these babies.  They make a wonderful addition to the front porch. 

My purse by Retro Redone

Do you remember a few weeks ago when I posted a blog about me winning something?  If you need a refresher, click here.   This past week, I got to meet my new purse that Jennifer Gordy designed for me.  

I picked black for the overall color with two maroon stripes and a silver stripe in the middle.  



Thank you again Jennifer, for your Valentine's Day contest.  You're an amazing designer and I love my new purse!!

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Friday, February 25, 2011

The Hallelujah Girls

Last night was opening night and First Nighters for The Hallelujah Girls at Meridian Little Theatre.  The show is running tonight (Feb. 25th) through next Wednesday (March 2nd).  If you saw The Dixie Swim Club last year, you will not want to miss this one.  These ladies, and men, did a great job getting this one ready for us to enjoy.  Thank you MLT for bringing us wonderful, talented productions to sit back, relax and enjoy!

Now, if you're not sure if you want to see this show or not... this picture should perk up your interest.  
Where else in the same scene can you see a lady celebrating the Chinese New Year, relaxing in a terry cloth robe and rocking skin tight spandex pants with a sequin top??
And these two men, they "handled" the ladies above, perfectly!
Sidney, your performances never seem to fail me.  If only I had half the talent you have!  Proud of you, and I didn't have to punch Terry one time.  Enjoy the rest of the play and "break a leg."
Terry and I always enjoy getting dressed up for first nighters at Meridian Little Theatre and can't wait to see the next production in May!

If you want information on how to get tickets to see The Hallelujah Girls, call (601) 482-6371 or click here.
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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The best chicken salad, ever!

I've been looking forward to this day all week.  Why?  Because I knew today was my Philadelphia day to meet with our advertisers AND the day I got to eat at my favorite local cafe.
 It's seriously my favorite place to eat on the square!  The atmosphere makes staying to dine in and not just taking it to go, worth while.
It's full of rustic painted doors, exposed brick and foot tapping music.  And after selecting your lunch from the chalkboard menu, you walk away with your choice of drink (of course, mine was sweet tea with lemon) in a mason jar.  
And while sipping from the jar and relaxing, your sure to run into someone that you haven't seen since the other day.  Not long after, your food arrives.
And my lunch selection was (and will probably always be) their amazing chicken salad.  It's not a mayonnaise based chicken salad, instead, it's more of a cream cheese consistency with slivers of almonds, shredded chicken and slices of grapes.  While I don't like grapes, they are colorful enough for me to "pick out" before piling it on a huge croissant.  Of course, the icing on the cake is dipping it in the homemade ranch dressing.  Holy cow, you have got to try it!!
After stuffing our faces, there is always room for one of their homemade desserts.  And today, we shared a chess square.
So, if you happen to be on the square in Philadelphia during lunch, stop in at The Coffee Bean — I promise you will not be disappointed.
And if you have a chance to do a little shopping while there, our advertisers have something for everyone.  Take a stroll around and visit Steve's on the Square, Kademi, Bobbys and The Potting Shed.  We saw lots of things our wallets would have loved to buy.
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Don't lay a finger ...


on my doggie fingers.  

The little attitudes our "babies" have.  Yet, we can't help but love them.
Why?  Cause they are so stinkin cute!! 
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Pancake Jubilee

For many years now, the Meridian Downtown Optimist Club has hosted the Pancake Jubilee as a fundraiser to help out "Friends of Youth."  For $5, you get hot pancakes, yummy sausage and a drink.  Not to mention as much butter and syrup as your heart desires! 

The members of this group are hard at work making pancakes and sausage so they are hot and ready for you when you arrive.
 But, if you can't stay to eat and get a little socializing in while your there — they offer to go plates!!


And, since breakfast food is not only good at breakfast, they are serving until 6 p.m. tonight at the Temple Ballroom.  And I'd like to think the only pancakes better than mine, are made by someone else!  

Enjoy y'all!!
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Monday, February 21, 2011

Problem Solved

I've had this mini palm plant for many years now.  My sweet friend, Angie, sent it (along with other plants) to me in a container garden for my twenty-first birthday.  (I'm turning — shhh, thirty this year!!)  And while the rest of the plants didn't make it through two moves, this one did.  It has tripled in size and has been re-potted, at least, twice.  However, last year during a dinner get together here at the house, the plant was knocked over and the container (cheap, but efficient) broke.


Until a few weeks ago, it wasn't a top priority to replace it.  But, the last time I watered it, the water started running out the sides.  So, I knew it was time to re-pot it, again.

I'm proud to say that I haven't been to Wal-mart since December and I am NOT going back anytime soon.  Something about that place gets my blood pressure pumping!  Now, where to get a new pot?  

I walked into Tuesday Morning this afternoon for another project that I'm working on (I'll blog on it when it's finished), not to buy a pot.  But, to my surprise while browsing for what I was searching for — I found the perfect pot for my special plant.

 
Cute, isn't it?  And I got it for a steal... $22 on sale for $9!!!  The pot was a bit deeper than the container it was currently in so I found these rocks for $.99 per bag.


Of course, they are in the bottom of the pot and no one can see them, but they were big enough to cover the bottom and $.99!  

After re-potting the plant out of the current, damaged container — I used Spanish Moss (which I already had in the storage room) to cover the ugly potting soil.


And here it is, problem solved...


All for the price of $13.87.  I love my little, steal of a find! 
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Sunday, February 20, 2011

His Vday "happy"

I like to be creative when it comes to giving gifts.  Most of the time, I think of the occasion and what that person likes — just like most of you, I'm sure.  And, with that gift I give, I want it to be unique and something they will use.  
(Not something they will re-gift later.  Come on, admit it, we've all done it!

With last Monday being Vday, I wanted to get something for Terry that I knew he would love and for it to be unexpected.  Of course, it was unexpected because we decided our trip was our gift to each other.  But, I'm not one who always abides by those rules.  I LOVE to give.  And I put a lot of thought into his "happy" and he was thrilled to see what he got when he opened it, two days early because he found it.

Tactical Operator (Shooting Times), Guns Magazine, Guns & Ammo, Combat Handguns, Handloader
He LOVES guns.  (What hunter doesn't, right?)  And a few weeks ago, while in line to check out at the grocery store, he was flipping through some gun magazines.  So, I decided I would get him a year subscription to one of them.  Only problem, I had no clue which one he would like better.  Have you seen all the gun magazines they print??  I picked five different ones and got them ready for him to open and told him whichever one he liked best, his gift was the subscription.  Of course, being a man, he can't decide between two of them.  So — I'll probably get both of them for him.  

He loved his gift.  It makes me light up with happiness when I give something that is a complete surprise.  Especially when it's a hit!!

It's been a great weekend, y'all.  Let's get the work week started!
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Saturday, February 19, 2011

1st Cheesecake - Filling & Results

Cooking for me is like therapy.  Take for instance painting — you begin with a blank canvas and the outcome is your masterpiece.  And that is exactly how I feel when I cook. Even if there is a recipe to follow, you have the liberty to change it up and make it your own.  And that's what I did with this recipe for my first cheesecake.  

Right before I put it in the fridge to cool.
Filling and topping recipe for the cheesecake:
If you want the crust recipe, click here.

3 packages (8 ounces, each) cream cheese, softened
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
    1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    3 eggs, lightly beaten
    1/4 cup hot fudge ice cream topping
    6 peanut butter cups, cut into small wedges

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in sour cream and vanilla. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour 1 cup into a bowl; set aside. Pour remaining filling over peanut butter layer.
    
In a microwave, heat 1/4 cup fudge topping on high for 30 seconds or until thin; fold into reserved cream cheese mixture. Carefully pour over filling; cut through with a knife to swirl.
    
Return pan to baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 55-65 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer.
 
After it came out of the oven and spring form pan before garnishing and placing in the fridge.
Garnish with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Refrigerate. Yield: 12-14 servings.





(Side note:  Terry didn't care too much for the peanut butter layer on the crust.  So the next time I make this one, I will leave it off.  Other than that, he said  it was "better than one from the cheesecake factory.")

Do you have a favorite recipe for cheesecake?  If so, I'd love to try it!
Enjoy, y'all!
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1st Cheesecake - Crust

I told you in an earlier post this week that one of my V-Day gifts was a spring form pan to make homemade cheesecakes.  Well, my bloggy friends, today was the day my first homemade cheesecake went in the oven.  It's about half way through baking at this point, but I wanted to give you a little tutorial for the crust.

If you know me, you know I love a challenge.  So, I could have picked a regular, plain jane cheesecake to be my first, but where would the challenge be in that.  And, with our love for Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, I chose a recipe that included them.

Here is the crust recipe...

    1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
    1/4 cup sugar
    1/4 cup crushed cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies
    6 tablespoons butter, melted
    3/4 cup creamy peanut butter 



In a large bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, sugar, cookie crumbs and butter. Press onto the bottom and 1 in. up the sides of a greased 9-in. spring form pan. Place on a baking sheet.


Bake at 350° for 7-9 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat peanut butter on high for 30 seconds or until softened. Spread over crust to within 1 in. of edges.

After the cheesecake is out of the oven and cooled, I'll post the filling and topping recipe and show you the final results.  BTW, it's smelling amazing!!!
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Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Atrium

An exciting new way of shopping is taking place in North Meridian.  The Atrium mini mall opened a few weeks ago and today, I stopped in to see what this new business is all about.  I wasn't sure what I was expecting when I walked through the doors, but my expectations were blown out of the water!  Wayne Wuestefeld and Gale Ray have converted the original Karl's Furniture building (formerly Rush Family Medical Center) into a unique, multi-functional facility.  Located next to The Landing off of Hwy 493.

The building is not only used for storage (A+ Storage) but it is also the home of The Atrium mini mall.  You'll find everything from furniture, antiques, art, collectibles, vintage items, handcrafted glass, crafts and so much more.  

And in case you want a little preview (you know I wouldn't hold out on you) take a look at some of the items I captured to give you an inside look at what looks to become this area's newest favorite place to shop!

Open Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. & Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.


















There is something for everyone and everyone's pocket book!  
Happy shopping, y'all!!
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