21 for Success

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Front Door Trimmings

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Welcome to the Sowell home...

Thanks to Tommie at Lauderdale County Gift Shop, we now have a door ornament to welcome our family and friends.

the Friday five

Friday, April 27, 2012

the Sowell life's Friday five...

• It's been a gorgeous week, and I decided to enjoy these sunny days and soak up some Vitamin D four days this week. Hello summer tan!

• Mar Belle came to play two days this week. I love her riding with me. She sits in my lap while I drive. A few years ago, Terry got me a parrot (hands free system in my car), whenever a call comes in, it interrupts the music and there is a slight moment of silence. She immediately stops looking out the window and looks to the dash. I've always noticed her doing this, but yesterday it was hilarious to me. Now, every time I change the channel on XM there is a slight moment of silence and she thinks it's a call coming in. Silly girl looks every time! =)

• This week, Bravo had new seasons start for some of my favorite shows. Yes, I'm a reality TV junkie and I'm not ashamed to admit it. And since they come on during some of my other favorite shows, thank goodness for DVR!

• I've downloaded quite a few songs this week. Some of my favorites... Fade Into You, If It's Love, The Only Exception, By Your Side and Songbird — you won't be disappointed!

• Since, mom reads my blog posts, daily — this one is for you. I put the Kindle app on her iPad last night, and downloaded her first read, The Help. Now, let's see if she will actually read it. =)

Happy Friday y'all!! I hope it's everything you want it to be! The Mr comes home tonight and I can hardly contain my excitement. I've missed him so much, and I have a wonderful home cooked meal on the agenda for tonight. Sorry baby, you'll have to wait until you walk through the door to know what it is! =)

I've not forgotten, have you?

Remembering a year ago today...
If you drive back through the area, you can't help to still notice all the storm damage. Yes, houses have been repaired, and fences have been replaced — however, you'll still see twisted and snapped off trees. It's been a year today, and no one has forgotten the pain our community felt. 

Here is my post from a year and one day ago... "after the storms."


I want to thank all of you who have commented, sent texts, emails and those of you who have mentioned me in tweets, we are okay and thankful for God's mercy by sparing us from structural damage and loss of life.  However, the same cannot be said for my parents' community were I was raised.  

A short twenty five minute drive to the south, and you will see destruction, heart breaking views of what use to be and a community coming together to clean up the aftermath.     

This was the first site of damage I saw while driving down HWY 145 South — the Yates home, which is less than a mile from my parents' house. I remember driving by this house day after day and I especially remember their house at Christmas — lights strung around the fence which is now torn up from the tornado.  Today, they are trying to pick up the pieces of their home.

Before turning on HWY 514, I went to my folks house, the house where I was raised, to witness for myself that it was safe and sound.  There is no place like home, the home where I was raised to say yes mam and no sir, played in the backyard with the neighbors and the place where I know I'm always welcome because it is still my "home."

After saying a quick prayer thanking God for the safety of not only my parents' home, but also the fact that they weren't there during the storm — I made the  short journey back down the road to turn down HWY 514.

Once turned, I saw the beautiful site of our church, Union Baptist Church, still standing without damage.  It is now the command center and with so many cars and people, I didn't take a picture.  But for those of you who have been asking about our church — it is still as beautiful as ever.  Past the church, you can see the trees twisted and mangled together.  It will remind you of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina only these trees were not bent over or snapped.

Then I turned down County Road 480 where you couldn't tell where the woods end and the road begins.  Clarke County employees were pushing the debris off of the pavement so the road can be a thru road, again.

While watching the trees being pushed out of the way you could hear them snapping in half.  Other workers were using chainsaws to help clear the way.  The smell of the fresh saw dust will stick with me for days, however, these images will stay with me throughout my life.  This was also a road that we traveled often.  Summer days, we turned down this road to head to the pool.  And one summer, I learned to drive on this road.  The first house on the left was my favorite house on the road, the Pogue's house.  

While waiting for the debris to be moved from the road, I talked with Mrs. Barbara Robinson, Ed Pogue's daughter.  She started describing the damage to me and then she said, "well come on, let's cut through the woods so you can see what I'm talking about."  We did.  We climbed up the bank and through the briers and then we got to the clearing to see all the damage.  

 Thankfully no was has been living here for a while which also meant no one was there during the storm.  The windows are all busted out, curtains hanging out blowing with the wind and yet, somehow the house, even with all the damage, is still breathtaking.  The late Ed Pogue built this house with his own two hands.  And I remember visiting with he and his wife, Jimmie many times while growing up.  While talking with Mrs. Barbara, I told her one of my favorite memories of her dad was him giving me my weekly piece of hard candy at church.

We looked at the barns that were moved hundreds of feet to their new location across the road, now in a pile of rubble. As we were staring at the destruction, I mentioned that I was glad he wasn't alive to see this mess.  She said, "if he was — he would say it's all just stuff, nothing that can't be rebuilt."

Walking around the south part of the house, she found pieces of china from the home, unbroken.  Something you wouldn't expect to find with this much damage.  

And as we turned to the back of the house, we found part of a trailer that was once down the hill, up the hill embedded now into the carport of the house. 

Back to the front of the house, we found trees uprooted from somewhere else now resting on their sides where they do not belong.

And the beautiful Magnolia tree which held the Pogue's great granddaughters first swing, ripped in half, blown over and mangled with other debris.

In front of the house in the middle of the road laid a pole and transformer, mashed with wires all around.

And then we found the other half of the trailer — the frame twisted with bed frames mixed in with debris from trees.

With part of the trailer flipped upside down.

And the rest of it flat to the ground with broken glass all around.

As hard as it was for me to see the wrath this storm took on the Pogue residence the hardest part was seeing their great granddaughter, whose swing was in one of the pictures above, see the destruction for the first time.

This area isn't as populated as Tuscaloosa, Ala. and it hasn't been on the national news, however this area still needs your prayers — especially as they begin to pick of the pieces of what once was, remember the good times that were had and the good times that will take place here, again.

While other parts of the south are getting visits from the President, Governors and others, the one thing this community has is the people of this community — coming together to help their neighbors who are in need.

    God is our refuge and strength,
         A very present help in trouble.
    Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
         And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
    Though its waters roar and foam,
         Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.
The LORD of Heaven's Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.
Psalm 46: 1-3, 7


It's OK

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I'm linking up with Amber today! You can get it on the fun, just head over to Amber's blog to see what you need to do.

Its Ok Thursdays

It's OK

... to read the Fifty Shades Trilogy, and go back and reread it over and over again.

... to call your husband, Mr .....

... that I don't sleep well without my husband beside me. It just means we are better together.

... to admit that your husband is your best friend. After all, he should be.

... to have a trio. A husband and two best friends.

... to tell your best friends everything. That's why they are your best friends.

... to soak up as much Vitamin D that you can. It's free, and it's a great way to spend an afternoon.

... to want, but it's comforting to know they are just wants and not necessities.

... to download an entire new playlist and have artists from Mazzy Star to Pearl Jam in the same playlist.

... to paint your nails a different color every day. After all, you change your clothes every day, right?

... to play your music loudly in your car and in your house and sing like you're giving a concert. 

... to take a hot bath every night and just sit and think. The perfect way to wind down in the evening.

Moroccan Oil... a must have!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Last Friday afternoon, I had the pleasure of getting one of the best haircuts of my life. The cut, the color, the service — everything was spectacular! (If you follow me on twitter, you know I'm always talking about the service we've been receiving in our new city.) And this salon held up to the standards we are becoming accustomed to receiving for a few months now.

I'll admit it, I was a nervous wreck walking through the door. I had never met this stylist, just had one of the hubs sweet customers recommend her to me. I think she knew I was nervous and was quick to put me at ease. I won't bore you with all the details of my spa like treatments, but I will tell you that I'll be going back. I felt like a new improved woman walking out their door.

Now, about this product I've grown to love.

She used this product on my hair and I instantly new I had to have it. I love the smell, and especially the way it makes my hair look and feel. For some reason, I have these little baby hairs coming in and they just want to stick up everywhere. Not anymore, thanks to the Moroccan Oil.

Have you ever used this product? Do you love it as much as I do? They have smaller sizes if you want to try it out and if you do, let me know what you think.

(BTW, this product was purchased by me and I'm not receiving any royalties by telling you about this product. I just love telling you about amazing products I come across!)

Happy Wednesday, y'all! Not much longer til the weekend! =)

My Top Ten iPhone Apps

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I know not everyone has an iPhone, but most have some type of phone where you can get apps. Some of these can be used on both types of phones, and others just on the iPhone. Now, please remember, these are just my top ten. I'm sure others have their favorites and you can comment below with yours! =)

This is the phone I have... the iPhone 4

My Top Ten iPhone Apps...
in no particular order

• Instagram (photography)

• Grid Lens (photography)

• Camera + (photography)

• Zip List (recipes & shopping lists)

• Pandora (music)

• Pinterest (diy inspiration)

• Zillow (house shopping)

• Tetris (game)

• Big Oven (recipes)

• Groupon (deals)

My Summer Essentials...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Summer is just around the corner and I'm sharing my must haves over at Fab is the new Black!

What are you waiting for? Go check it out!!! Thanks Maria... I look forward to this series on your blog every Monday!

50 Shades Trilogy

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My mornings start off the same as every weekday with a can of caffeine and Good Morning America. Yesterday morning, E L James was interviewed for her 50 Shades Trilogy. After hearing her interview, while I was out running errands, I purchased her first book 50 Shades of Grey at Barnes and Noble.

I got started on it a little after 7 last night and I couldn't put it down. Should I be embarrassed to admit this, maybe. First of all, it's one of those hot and steamy books (not what I was expecting.) However, the way she writes it has you dying to see what happens next (my kind of book.) So this morning after telling the hubs to have a good day at work, I grabbed the can of caffeine, but kept the TV off. I had better things to do — read!!!

By 2 o'clock I found myself already on...

And by 3, I finished with this book. Yes, I couldn't believe it myself, but I was so sad because I was ready for more. But, have no fear, we are headed out to get 50 Shades Darker AND 50 Shades Freed, right now!

Are you reading this series? If not, you are definitely missing out.

Warning — the F bomb is used a lot and it can be graphic at times. But, if you can get passed that — this book is for you!!

The countdown is on...

til we are greeted by these two...

That's right, Disney World, here comes the Sowell's. Well, in two months! =)
This will be the Mr's first time to go. I've been a few times before, but I'm sure a lot of things have changed.
So, let the countdown begin! Whoo Hoo!!!

The Mr's side of the family

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Our families have been asking when we are going to post our family pictures from the reception. Today, you get to meet the Mr's side of the family.

Johnny (fil), Mr & Mrs and Judy (mil)
Cathy (sil), Emma, fil, Mr & Mrs, mil, Hannah and Richie (bil)
The Huntsville, Ala. crew with the fil and mil and Mr & Mrs, Aunt Barbara and Uncle Ken, Susan and Shannon and their beautiful kids.
Fil and mil, Mr & Mrs and Aunt Rita and Uncle Stevie from Hernado, Miss.

Mr vs. Mrs

Monday, April 16, 2012

In marriage you'll find a lot of things you both like — of course, you'll also find there are those things that you prefer and he prefers the other.

Mr vs. Mrs 

thick crust vs. thin crust

Puff vs. Kleenex

Charmin vs. Cottenelle

Subway vs. Firehouse

thousand island vs. ranch

no lemon vs. lemon

ceiling fan off vs. ceiling fan on

Coke vs. Coke Zero

hamburger vs. cheeseburger

What are things that you and your hubs differ on?? I'm sure this list of things will grown, but right now we think it's funny, especially when we are shopping together. I'm sure other shoppers think we are crazy with my putting one thing in the cart and then he takes it out and puts the "other" brand in. LOL BTW, if you want the score... he is winning with Charmin, Puff and thick crust. I'm okay with Charmin now, but I love my Kleenex with Vicks!!! And we have compromised with the crust... we get hand tossed... not too thick, but it's definitely not thin. 

I'm "official"

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Thursday afternoon UPS tried to deliver our marriage license only no one was there and you have to sign for it. So I didn't sleep hardly at all Thursday night because I wanted to call as soon as they opened to have them pull it from the truck so I could pick it up! The lady who answered the phone at UPS was so sweet to help me out. I told her what was in that package and she told me to come on, she would pull it herself.

I threw on some makeup, put the hair in a ponytail and headed out to pick up our package. There were others there before me, but she said, "you must be Mrs. Sowell — I have what you are looking for!" Then she asked could she see it because she had never seen a Jamaican marriage license before.

After telling me congratulations and wishing us a long and beautiful marriage, I decided to head to the Highway Patrol office and get my new license with my new official name. Now remember, I said "I threw on some makeup, put the hair in a ponytail and headed out." No, I didn't have pjs on, I did have jeans and a cardigan. So when she told me I had to take a new picture, I kinda freaked out. My new license photo is okay except for the crazy ponytail. LOL But, it was my first official thing to have it on with my new name!! Next I headed over to the social security office. In and out in 10 minutes, I was impressed and it was painless!

So even though I have been Mrs. Sowell for over a month — I'm now officially Mrs. Sowell!!

the Friday five

Friday, April 13, 2012

the Sowell life's Friday 5...

I LOVE it when...
• my husband calls me his wife.

• Marleigh plays so hard that she crashes and just wants to be held.

• I wash my face at night — there is nothing like a clean freshly washed face.

• a song I love comes through the speakers. Yes, fellow drivers, I'm singing at the top of my lungs.

• I daydream about my childhood and smile when I remember "back in the day."

Happy Friday y'all!! I hope it's everything you want it to be!

Cakes y'all! & One Happy Month!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

We've been married a month today. How crazy is that??!! And what am I craving today?? Our wedding cake!! Mrs. Carol Fanning made our dream cakes (& cupcakes) for our wedding reception. You have no idea how amazing these cakes were... I'm talking melt-in-your-mouth, make you wanna slap yo mama, nothing could be better... amazing cakes!

The Mrs' cake...

The wedding cake was designed by the me, the Mrs. When my parents told us they were hosting a reception for us once we returned home, I started my search for my perfect wedding cake. The Mr LOVES buttercream icing and this cake is FULL of it! The idea of the cake came from two cakes that I put together to make this one, LARGE, 5 tiered cake. The bottom and middle layers are covered in buttercream icing roses. The top layer has some fondant tiny flowers. The layers between are slick buttercream. I LOVED the look of this cake, and the taste, which is rare these days... usually one or the other is lacking. Mrs. Carol — you nailed it!

The Mr's cake & cupcakes...

Again, Mrs. Carol made the cowbell cake and the cupcakes. The cowbell was chocolate cake and the cupcakes were red velvet. I never got one of the cupcakes to try, but the grooms cake tasted just as good, Terry says "if not better," than the wedding cake! 

We can't wait for our one year anniversary. Not that I'm wishing our life away, but because Mrs. Carol is making us our wedding topper again for our celebration!!! Stop thinking about traditions, y'all — we have our topper in the freezer and we will cut it and take a bite, but nothing and I mean nothing beats a fresh Carol Fanning cake. 

Happy one month of wedded bliss to the Mr. I fall in love with you more and more each and every day!!

Siblings Day, huh?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Let me get this straight — apparently, April 10th is "siblings day." I found this out today by reading my favorite daily book, Facebook. Seriously, is there such a holiday?!?!

If you would have asked me 20 years ago to celebrate this day, I would have put up a fight. Why? Have you ever seen siblings like each other during their pre-teens and teenage years? Especially a brother and sister? Growing up, I was the one who always crashed his all "guy" get togethers and birthday parties. I wanted to be, you know, part of the guys. He would cringe at the sound of my voice as I screamed "go bubba!!!" during his high school baseball games and while I could socialize at his games, he was forced to attend my piano and dance recitals and sit still. Yet somehow, we made it through our childhood alive and with only a few bruises (mainly from him "frogging" me) to become adults who actually like each other now.

The Mrs & her "bubba"...

Both of us now married, he got a new brother and almost 7 years ago, I got a new sister...

The Mr's brother...

Once we married, I got a new brother and "sister"-in-law...

I didn't get any cards from any of my siblings, however, they didn't get one from me either. Hey, I've got it marked on the calendar for next year though — and next year, I'll be expecting gifts from my loving siblings like a "best sister ever mug!!" HA!
CopyRight © | Theme Designed By Hello Manhattan