A steak dinner with corn hole games, and a lotta laughter...

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I'm pretty sure the cattlemens association is loving me right now. I've enjoyed steak for the past three nights. It wasn't planned to be that way, but I'm not complaining.

Monday night after work, we hung around to enjoy a steak dinner while all the sales reps were in town. We really only get to see all the guys twice a year, which is a shame because they are always fun to have around.

Somehow I roped myself into being in charge of getting everything ready for the social. Friday I took care of purchasing everything but the steaks. Yep, that's right... they turned me loose with the AMEX card. Ha! Feeding a large group of people can be a task, but I had fun getting everything ready.

After lunch on Monday, I started preparing the food. We had baked beans, baked potaoes, rolls, and salads to prepare. And since we were cooking for a large crowd, I solicated the help of my girl, Tonya!

We washed, rubbed olive oil and wrapped 22 individual potatoes... you could say we put a lot of love into the process.

While we were waiting on everything to finish cooking, and the steaks to come off the grill... we enjoyed destressing from the day with laughter, corn hole games, and some chose to partake in a few beverages. Enjoy the photos from the night...

Heidi, me and Tonya 

Marnie, me and Tonya 

These are the girls who keep me sane throughout the day...

Stiff competition around these parts...

See... I told you they were destressing...

TJ (Memphis), Sean (Pelham) and Chip (Daphne)

Eric and Al

The guys took up eating just about anywhere...

Our main Custom Solution guys,,, 

Lots of conversations happening throughout the night...

While the corn hole game was going on, you had to have protective head gear.

Our newest team member, Tony with Johnny, Jim and Eric

We had a great time socialing with our reps from all three branches, and getting a moment to just relax, and enjoy each other's company. Of course none of this would have been possible without our owner/president, Thomas. He makes working for this company fun, and worth it!

What I'm baking... Brownie Trifle

Monday, April 29, 2013

It's been awhile since I gave y'all one of my favorite recipes, and this is one of my favorite desserts to make. I mean who doesn't love brownies, chocolate pudding, cool whip and toffee bites? Yeah, I didn't think we would have any head shakers!

What you'll need:

brownie mix • 3 small instant chocolate puddings • 1 large cool whip • Heath bar bites

Bake the brownies according to the directions on the box. Let them cool before dividing the brownies into thirds. Start layering a 1/3 of the brownies on the bottom of the triple bowl. Next prepare one package of instant chocolate pudding according to the directions on the box. Pour onto the brownies. Then put a layer of cool whip, and top with heath bits. And repeat, all the layers two more times. Refrigerate a couple of hours before serving, and always keep cold.

And there you have it! Simple, easy and delicious — and perfect for any get together during the spring or summer!

Girl time, rain, and beef...

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Everybody loves a good weekend. Everybody. And sometimes you just need a weekend that has some girl time, husband time, some sun and some rain, and a really good steak! And thankfully this weekend, I had all of the above!

Friday night was a laid back evening. We ordered out, we watched tv, and I passed out at 9 p.m. Such a party animal am I?!

Saturday morning, we took the Mr's truck to get the oil changed, and we stopped by Jack's for some yummy breakfast. YUM! We got back home so I could get ready for a little girl time/blate with Nadine. On my way to meet her, I dropped the Mr back off at his truck and headed over to Ashley Mac's for lunch. We hadn't had a blate since March and I was ready to enjoy some one on one time with my girl Nadine!

We ordered some yummy chicken salad croissants, and immediately started with the conversations. Before we knew it.... three and a half hours had passed. Of course, in the middle of all that talking, we enjoyed some cupcakes as we helped the founder of Alabama Women Bloggers celebrate her birthday. It didn't matter that she was in Arkansas... we still wanted to help celebrate her wonderful day. And who turns down cupcakes?! We figured after almost four hours, that we needed to say our see ya laters, and get back to our husbands. They both called to check on us during our visit because we had been gone so long. Ha!

The rest of the evening was spent at the grocery store, and preparing for our dinner. We split a New York Strip steak because it was sooo massive and we topped our steaks with mushrooms, and the Mr also topped his with blue cheese. So delicious!

Sunday it was touch and go with the rain. Sometimes you just need a really lazy rainy day. Well, part of it was lazy. There was laundry to do, a dessert to make for Monday night's social and serving dishes to get ready to take for the social. And tomorrow on the blog, I'll have the recipe for the Brownie Trifle. Trust me, you'll want to come back for this yummy dessert!

How was your weekend? Anyone else enjoy the rain?!

Weekly Recap...

It's been an enjoyable week y'all. The weather has been really nice, and I'm excited about the downtime we have this weekend. In case you are just now catching up on all the blogging this week... here is our recap.

{Monday} Friendship

{Tuesday} Why I Blog

{Wednesday} Marsie Belle tells it like it is

{Thursday} Confessions and cards

{Friday} the Friday five

Y'all enjoy your Sunday! The last one of April! Wow!

the Sowell life's Friday five — link up #17

Friday, April 26, 2013

Ahhhh, Friday. The day we've been waiting for since Monday!

the Sowell life

the Sowell life's Friday five...

1) {Pizza Review} So you know all those pizza commercials on TV and the minute you see that juicy, steaming pizza, you just know you have to have it? Well, let me help you NOT waste any of your money on Pizza Hut's newest product — Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza. Sorry y'all, but it's just not that good. As a matter of fact, I kinda threw up in my mouth when I tried the crazy cheesy crust part. The pizza itself was great, but I just couldn't eat the crust. Now, let me just say that I LOVE the stuffed crust, and the thin crust. And their pepperoni with extra cheese pizza is the bomb diggity. However, this one didn't get a good score at our house. Sorry Pizza Hut, nice try, but it didn't work for us.

2) {Kraft Fresh Takes} I'm really becoming a huge fan of these. This is the second one that we have tried, and I'm amazed at the flavor this easy "shake and bake" has. And I'm excited to head back to the grocery store soon to try another flavor. The Mr likes the flavors, but also loves the fact that it's cheesy, too. I like the fact that there is little to no clean up, and let's be honest... that makes for one happy cook. I'm not sure where they sell them in your grocery store, but in our Publix that have them near the sausage, packaged deli meats, and the bacon. But I could easily see these in the cheese isle. And yes, you must keep it refrigerated. Have y'all tried any, and if so, what are your favorites?

3) {Music} If you read yesterday's post, you probably already know that music plays a big role in my life. Sometime's you'll catch me with the TV off, and just me in the kitchen cooking to music. So I thought it was only right for me to share with y'all some of my new favorite songs.

• Clarity by Zedd
• Madness by Muse
• The Way by Ariana Grande
• When I Was Your Man by Bruno Mars
• If I Lose Myself by One Republic

4) {Peppermint Oil} Last weekend, I had my second massage that the Mr gave me a gift certificate to for Valentine's Day. Well, Nancy was telling me all the wonderful things peppermint oil can do for you. And that it would relieve headaches. I don't get many headaches, but when I do get them... they take me down for the count. So guess what... Monday, the nastiest, unwelcome, sickening headache struck and I couldn't get rid of it for any reason. And I was emailing back and forth with The Park Wife, and she said the same thing about the oil. Tuesday I ordered some. And it came in yesterday, so I can't wait to try it on the next headache. Naturally I'd prefer to not ever get another headache, but we all know my luck with that. 

5) {Amazon Prime} Well, I put it off for a long time. But, I'm finally trying the amazon prime, and so far, I'm loving it. Not only it is a free trial, but I'm loving all the features it offers. I can borrow books on my kindle, I get free two day shipping, and I'm not sure about all the rest, but I can tell you that we will probably get a membership. We use amazon a lot, and with all the books I'm reading... getting able to borrow them is a very nice feature. Now, here's my question... before we get a membership — do y'all have a membership, and what do you think of it? Any other features that I should know about that I will love?

Now, who's ready to link up?!! Thanks for stopping by, linking up, sharing the link up on your blog and on twitter! I appreciate y'all spreading the word more than you'll ever know!!


Confessions & ecards...

Thursday, April 25, 2013

I must confess that I really just want to crawl back in the bed. I'm ecstatic that it's not Monday, but I really, really wish it was Friday.

I must confess that I'm addicted to music. Seriously, LOVE music. And the highlight of my morning or evening commute is hearing my favorite song and singing it at the top of my lungs. Yes, I might look crazy, but I don't care! Oh, and I tend to do little dance moves in my seat. The best part is the Mr just shakes his head at me. LOL

I must confess that I secretly love reading raunchy books. Yep, I said it. You'd think I'd be ashamed of it, but I'm not. I love a good read with a good plot. And it just so happens that these same books have some rather graphic love scenes. Some more than others, of course. And I'm not the only one who enjoys them. Some of my co-workers read them, and a lot of my friends do, too. That's where I get some of the titles from. Ha! And we aren't freaks of nature, nope, we are just your average southern female who turns beat red when we start talking about the chapters during work. What's even funnier, is that most of the guys join in because their wives are reading them, too. I kid you not! So if you want to know what I've read, or what I'm going to hopefully read in the future... just friend me on goodreads.

I must confess that I really love doing laundry. Some people hate it, but it always makes me feel happy. Not that I want to do laundry every day, but I do love having empty hampers in the house. Nothing gives me more anxiety than seeing piles and piles of dirty laundry.

I must confess that I shave my legs every. single. day. I can't get in the bed without clean shaven legs. I'll even get in the shower or bath tub just to shave my legs if I've showered earlier in the day. I just don't like prickly legs!

Well guys, the good news is tomorrow IS Friday! And as always, I'll have the Friday five live tomorrow morning. Be sure to spread the word, and link up! It's always so much fun seeing everyone's favorites from the week! Y'all have a great Thursday!!

Marsie Belle tells it like it is...

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Hey y'all (mom says I have to use that word cause I'm a southern dachshund) My given name is Marleigh, but you might know me as Marleigh Belle, Mar Belle, MB or my favorite to be called, Marsie Belle. However, my Shannie likes to call me Molly, but I just don't get it.

I'm taking over mom's blog today. She said she didn't mind, so I hope y'all (there's that word again) don't mind either. Mom said she posts picture of me all the time on here for y'all (ahem) to see. And yes, most of the time I don't mind, but I hope she never posts anything embarrassing of me.

A little bit about me... I'm going to be 10 on May 12th! I'm chocolate and tan, and a little pudgy. Mom says I get that from her. I was named Marleigh because my mom thought I looked like a little marble when I was a baby. So she put Marble and her middle name (Leigh) together to come up with my name, Marleigh. And before any of you start to question my name, I made it popular waaay before Marley and Me came out.

I'm a bit spoiled. I might have over 100 toys if you start to count. However, you better not mess with any of them because I just might pout at you. Yes, I play with ALL of them, just not at the same time. My favorite is Humphrey and I love all my little tiny toys. They fit perfectly in my mouth. OH and if you want to get me something for my birthday, please make sure it squeaks. Not that I'm expecting anything. I'm sure my mom and dad, Shannie and Papa will supply more toys and greenies for my big birthday!

Speaking of my Shannie and Papa. I have them wrapped around my little paw. My Shannie will even get up with me early in the morning and feed me turkey. Hmmmm.... turkey. It's my favorite. But I also love jelly beans, and I know where my mommy and daddy keep them at their house.

Shannie doesn't like me to eat a lot of them. And that's when I put on a show with my beggin eyes and my pitiful whine. Hey, it works every. single. time. So why mess with a good thing?

Of course, even though I'm a sweet girl most of the time. I do not like it when someone comes to mess with me while I'm comfortable or sleeping. But even though I make you think I'm going to bite you, have no fear. I'm a little shark with a big overbite. And my teeth don't meet until the very back. Unfortunately, mom said she was going to post a video of me and my attitude when my Shannie was trying to take me to bed last week. Don't let it fool you, I'm as sweet as can be!

Let's see... what else was I going to talk to y'all about? Oh, I love all the nice things y'all say about me. Mom tells me about them sometimes. I don't like to be called a weenie dog, because I'm no weenie. I hate a doorbell, and will tell off a car if it passes by the house. I'm always on the lookout for birds and squirrels. They know they better stay out of my yard! I really love my family, and I shower them with kisses every chance I get. I sometimes even sneak a kiss for my daddy. He doesn't like it, but I do it anyway. Summer might be coming up, but you'll still find me under a blanket. And you better believe I'll get upset with you if my favorite blanket isn't in MY spot!

Well, I guess I better go take a nap. My paws are hurting from all this typing. Time to continue my role as Princess Marsie Belle.

I had fun taking over mom and dad's blog today. And I might just do it again when she's not looking!
Love, MB

Why I blog...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

This question gets asked a lot here in the blog world. And even the question "Why did you start a blog?" Everyone has their own reason, but today I wanted to share with y'all why I blog...

It all started back in 2007, however I didn't publish my first post until January 2009. Maybe I should call it a New Year's resolution, or maybe I shouldn't, but I was determined that year (2009), that I would make use of the blog I had created. I wanted it for a place where I could keep up with the social events I was attending with my job, and for things happening with my every day life. And getting started, yeah, like many new bloggers, I had no clue what I was doing (obviously because it took me two years to get the nerve to publish my first post). I even remember the first blog design I had. It was from one of the free sites offered, and my blog was called Confessions of a Southern Socialite. For those of you who have been with me for a few years, you might remember that name and look.

I back in 2007, I was the editor of a social magazine for my hometown (2007-2012). It's what brought me back to my hometown after a short (2 year) adventure in Jackson, Miss. However, without the love and support of my boss in Jackson (Leilani), I would have never accepted that position to start a social magazine and move back to my hometown. Honestly, I didn't really even know I had it in me. I loved it, and really wanted to have a memory of all the fun I was having on the job attending all the social events in the area. So, blogging wasn't something that was heard of a lot during that time, but I knew a handful of people doing it. And I thought I would give it a try.

Y'all, I realized that blogging was for me. It was the outlet I needed to speak my mind, journal my life, and have a place where my memories would always be near. Little did I know that in May of 2009, my life would forever more be changed. That was the year I met my love, my better half, my soul mate, my now husband. After realizing that this man was the one for me... the blog took a little bit of a different turn. It became "our" blog. Even though we weren't married at the time, I still wanted it to be a place where I could keep our memories of our dating months and years in one place. It's so much fun to go back and reread the posts and see the photos from all the fun we had while dating.

I also started blogging on recipes... why? Because I love to cook, and I wanted to be able to share with y'all the great recipes I was cooking.

So, if you are keeping up with me, I think you might be realizing that this blog was slowly becoming a blog about my life. It wasn't just about the events I was attending, the amazing love I had found, or the food I was cooking... it was those things and so much more!

In March of 2012, our blog became the Sowell life... a glimpse into our sweet southern life.

One thing I think blinds most bloggers or aspiring blogger is the fact that you feel you need to be successful. You want tons of readers, and you want tons of followers. Well, that's not why I blog. Yes, I want people to read it, if they want to. And I want this blog to continue on, but I don't do it for the fame or the money (cause there is no money with this blog, however, my husband wishes it did pay because I spend so much time doing it). I do it because it's our memories in one place. It's a place where I can vent, share in the joys and sorrows, and it's ours. Not anyone else’s.

We don't live in our hometown anymore, and this is a way our family and friends can find out what's going on in our lives. Oh, and we have stalkers to. (Hi, to all the stalkers!) But our life is an open book. I have nothing to hide, so read away.

I've shared many joyous occasions (which ironically my husband calls me joyous occasion), and we've shared with you heartbreak, and even vented about things you could probably care less to read about, but it was important to me (us) at the time. And the reason those posts were published is really not for y'all, but for us, so down the road months and years from now we can look back and see the good and bad times we've experienced and remember how blessed we were then and now.

Whether you are here by chance or here because you love the Mr and I... we are happy that you are here reading about our average, every day life. It's not glamorous, but it is our sweet southern life.


Monday, April 22, 2013

What is the most valuable friendship you have in your life and what makes it so great?

Coffee & Conversation

I don't have just one valuable friendship, I have several...

My Husband — I truly married my best friend. We have no secrets from each other, and have the most fun together. We enjoy talking to each other, and share with each other's love of hobbies and even tv shows. I couldn't image life without having him by my side every day. Sometimes I wonder what I did in life before I met him. But, I'm glad I never have to relive that life again. I can get on his nerves quicker than he gets on mine, but isn't that what friendships are all about? You get the good with the bad, and call each others crap in a heartbeat? Yeah, he still won't let me live down the complete disaster I leave the kitchen in every night after I've been cooking. Oops. Our friendship/love never gets old, and I can't wait to wake up to him everyday and see our love/marriage/friendship in a new light and watch as it continuously grows.

My Girlfriends — One thing I've learned about girlfriends is that you keep some and you lose some. And it's part of life. And you move on happy or not. But there are some of those girlfriends that never leave your side. I'm blessed to have a few of these girls, however, they've really taken on another role — they are my soul sisters. I love these girls like they are my family, and I know no matter how many miles are between us, we are always going to be there for each other. Some people are just meant to be a part of each other's lives and I'm so happy to know that these girls are there for the long haul.

My Family— I love having friendships with some of my family members. My mom and dad, my aunts, and my cousins... I have a special friendship with all of them. Even though we don't see each other all the time... it's like we have never been apart when you bring us together!

My Bloggy Friends — Y'all are the most uplifting, inspirational, and entertaining friends, and I love each of you. It's wonderful to sit and read about each of your lives, recipes, DIYs, and the other things y'all blog about. I love the sweet comments y'all leave here on our blog, and I enjoy keeping up with most of y'all on twitter. Who knew that I would have found some of the sweetest, most genuine friendships of my life here in blogland!

Want to join in our conversation? Just click on the coffee cup above and share your thoughts today.

Our weekend in an instagram...

Sunday, April 21, 2013

1) Friday night take out from O'Charleys... loaded potato soup and pecan chicken salad.

2) New reading material in the form of magazines — Alabama Style... Southern Living and Birmingham.

3) Saturday morning massage with Nancy... the perfect way to start a Saturday, or any day for that matter!

4) A trip to Lowes, deciding what we need to put on our backyard... weed and feed, and seed.

5) I talked him into a Target trip after Lowes.

6) Went to Target so you know I bought some. Came home to find we had plenty, but now we definitely do.

7) Watched BBQ Pitmasters on TV all afternoon and was craving ribs. So we got our fix from Jim N Nicks.

8) Sunday morning breakfast... pigs in a blanket.

9) The Denali getting it's first bath... it had to be documented.

A pretty low key weekend for us, which is what we love. Next weekend, we have more projects to tackle. Let's face it, there will always been something that needs to be done.

How was your weekend? We hope you and yours have enjoyed it to the fullest!!

The Sowell's Friday five — link up #16

Friday, April 19, 2013

Thanks for showing up, Friday.... since you're here, I feel that this ecard is in order...

the Sowell life

the Sowell life's Friday five...

1) {MarBelle Comes To Visit} Well, actually her Shannie and Papa came too, but you know it's always all about Miss MB! Monday night we went to Jim N Nick's for dinner, and she had to come, too. She sits in a chair with her blanket and does her thing... people watch! Of course when we got home, she started begging for jelly beans. And who can say NO to a cute face like hers or to that sweet whine?

2) {Family, Food, Fun} Our visit with MarBelle, Shannie and Papa was a quick one. Dad dropped off mom and MB at our house Monday before he headed to Chattanooga, and then he picked them up on Tuesday evening before heading back to Mississippi. We told MB that Papa was coming and she kept staring out the door looking for him. The Mr and I cooked up dinner before they left, and got some more loving from my girl.

3) {CUPCAKES} We love celebrating birthdays. And Wednesday was one of our employee's birthdays. So we had Blue Eyed Daisy cupcakes from Atlanta. The flavors were Pina Colada, Lemon, Red Velvet, and Chocolate Ganache. I, of course, had a red velvet, and it was DIVINE!

4) {BBQ} Every once in a while, our company will cater in food for us, and yesterday we had Full Moon BBQ, and it was so good. Sometimes we all just need to sit back, relax, and enjoy each other's company. It's funny how you can see all the stress just start to melt away when it happens. 

5) {Dead/Dry Skin} Okay, if you've read any of my posts this week, you probably already know that I got burntt (the Mr added the extra t because he said I'm extra burnt). So I've already started peeling. And it's gross. Off to the store I went to get some exfoliator for my face and body. However, the Mr thinks it's fun to peel the skin off me. I think he is enjoying torturing me. However, by the way my peeling skin feels underneath... I'd say I'm probably going to peel again. =(

Now, who's ready to link up?!! Thanks for stopping by, linking up, sharing the link up on your blog and on twitter! I appreciate y'all spreading the word more than you'll ever know!!


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