Fall Happenings in the ‘Ham

Fall is my favorite time of year because there is always something going on and the majority of it is FREE! Who doesn’t love free events? If you’re looking for events for a good old fashioned your family to attend, I’ve compiled a list to help you out! Stay tuned for another list coming of Truck or Treats around the city.

Sept 11 – Oct 4: A musical production of an Alabama-based story, Big Fish, will be on stage at the Red Mountain Theatre Company. Get tickets here.

Sept 26: Irondale’s Whistle Stop Festival in in Historic Downtown Irondale. FREE. More info: click here.

Sept 25 – 27: Homestead Hollow Arts and Crafts Festival in Springville, AL. Get tickets here.

Sun 27: Magic City AIDS Walk & 5K Run at Railroad Park. FREE. Tons of activities. More info: click here.

Sept 26 – Nov 1: Great Pumpkin Patch in Hayden, AL. FREE entry and pumpkin. For attraction tickets, click here.

Oct 2 – 3: Alabama Butterbean Festival in Pinson, AL. FREE. For more info call 205-243-4964.

Oct 3: Oktoberfest at the Moody Chamber of Commerce. FREE. For more info call 205-640-6262.

Oct 3: Bark in the Park (benefiting the Shelby Humane Society) at Veteran’s Park in Alabaster, AL. FREE. For more info visit their website.

Oct 3 – 31 (select days): Boo at the Zoo at the Birmingham Zoo. New Skeleton Ice Rink! Get tickets here.

If you know of something going on that I left off, let me know and I’ll add it to the list! Family friendly activities only.

5 Beach Bags Under $50


I am a bag hoarder. I have so many great tote bags that I use all the time. But hey, you can never go wrong with a great tote bag. Bags are great to have on hand all year long, because you never know when you might need to carry something. I rely heavily on my Vera Bradley straw bag that I got last year on sale. It’s a great size to hold pool supplies such as a towel, a book, a water bottle, and lotions. I love the palm print they have this year! Check out my other picks for a great beach (or all summer long) bag!



Happy Friday, friends! Weekend plans include the Echosmith concert tonight, trying a dish from my new Everyday Detox cookbook, and possibly a little mountain time. Have a great one!

CHS Trip: Day Three

Our third day in the Holy City started out with a walk down the Battery coveting all the gorgeous houses along the way. Of course, we stopped at admired the famous Rainbow Row and learned that these pastel-painted homes were worth around $3mil a piece! My favorite house was the pink house towards the end of the street. So historic, so charming, and so architecturally significant, the sideways mansion has gorgeous Iconic columns and pediments over the windows. We wondered why they were situated perpendicular to the water and were told it was to (1) allow the offshore breeze to run the length of the porches, and (2) to minimize a historic tax that was levied on the street frontage of a building. Interesting, right? The park towards the edge of the water was gorgeous. I stopped a posed for a picture!


Then, we headed to Hominy Grill for lunch. We stood in line for about 45 minutes, but the food was totally worth the rate. We had boiled peanuts as a munch-on appetizer and then the best fried green tomatoes I’d ever eaten. Then, for the main course we split some vegetables and a Charleston Nasty biscuit with sausage gravy for the main course. Man, was it good.

Hominy Grill

We left there and headed to Cypress Gardens, where multiple movies such as The Patriot and The Notebook were filmed. It was as beautiful as I imagined. I felt like we were stars in our own movie! We took a boat tour around the black water swamp and it was simply lovely. We even saw a gator swim about ten feet from us!



We had dinner at Magnolias, which is pretty popular among the residents. We ended up splitting a bunch of stuff including chicken ‘n dumplings and a few homemade sides. It was perfect!


CHS Trip: Day Two

If you are just catching on to my trip posts, you might want to check out these first: CHS Trip: The Holy City and CHS Trip: Day One.

The second day of our trip consisted of the beloved South Carolina Aquarium which was fabulous. The exhibits were designed very nice and the we got to see a few animals that we’d never seen up close before.

Sc Aquarium

Then, we ate lunch at Butcher and Bee, a cute little café-style place with an industrial atmosphere. I got the biggest French toast I’d ever seen with homemade granola and fresh blueberries and Jimmy got a burger that was as big as my face! Their homemade ketchup was amazing, too! I grabbed a coffee at the Daily, right next door, and we walked up and down King Street for a little while.


We ended the afternoon at the hotel which was fine, because the sun wore us out! We swam for a little bit and then called it a day!

CHS Trip: Day One

The first night we were in Charleston, we went to the Rooftop at the Vendue to watch the Cavs game. Definitely a cool place to check out if you’re in the area. I didn’t take any pictures because I didn’t have my camera with me, but you can look it up! Gorgeous views of the city! That night, we grabbed an icecream at Jeni’s on King Street. We had the Darkest Chocolate in a waffle cone. So yummy.


The first full day in Charleston we went to Sullivan’s Island. I was so impressed with the little town. There were tons of restaurants and shops, but it wasn’t a huge touristy area. When we made it to the beach, I was shocked to see not a single hotel or condo. Unfortunately, no white sandy beaches and crystal clear water, either. The Atlantic was dark and the sand was almost black and muddy at parts. The wind was almost unbearable the first day and the sand blew in your face. We only stayed for a little while, but the last day we were in Charleston, we came back and it was much better. We stayed out there for a couple of hours and go super sun-burnt. We even got in the ocean for a little while! Shocker!


We ate lunch at Poe’s Tavern, which was a recommendation from a friend, after author Edgar Allan Poe who was stationed on Sullivan’s Island between the wars. Only nineteen at the time, he left his mark on Sullivan’s Island and the island apparently had quite an effect on him, as well, providing the setting for at least three of his stories.

The atmosphere was really fun and the service was great. We split the chili con queso as an appetizer and the Tell-Tale Heart burger and potato salad as the entre. The burger had a fried egg, slice of bacon, and cheddar cheese on it. It was sooooo delicious. (PS: I found this picture on their website. I forgot to take one! Too hungry, I suppose…)

After Poe’s, we explored Patriot’s Point where we went aboard the USS Yorktown. Such a fascinating experience, I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves.


For dinner we ate at Monza on King Street where we had the most amazing pizza I’ve ever had in my life. We spilt the Caesar salad and the Materassi pizza which had fresh tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil. We added some chicken in there, too. You’ll notice we split everything because we are tiny people.


For desert we grabbed a Death by Chocolate cupcake from Cupcake Downsouth. Nom.


We ended the night by wondering through Marion Square and the College of Charleston, which were absolutely beautiful.

CHS Trip: The Holy City

I am back from one of the best trips of my life. Charleston, you were so good to me. Perfect weather the entire time and the most delicious food I’ve ever tasted. I’m already counting down until my next visit. Over the course of the next few days, I will be posting about my trip: places we ate, visited, and discovered. I’ll show you the meals we ordered, desserts we devoured, and the gorgeous buildings we saw along we way.


The Holy City is just as beautiful as I imagined. The steeple skyline towers proudly over the historic buildings and residences as you enter the city. There’s a least a dozen churches, each one full of character and awe. My favorite, St. Michael’s, is located at the corner of Broad and Meeting streets, on one of the four corners of law. The oldest religious structure in Charleston was a beacon of hope during the revolutionary period. The church tower was a target for British ship gunners. In the hopes of decreasing it’s visibility the white tower was painted black, which sadly made it even more visible against the blue sky.



St. Michael’s is just one of the many awe-inspiring churches around Charleston. St. Matthew’s is another beauty. Beaming Gothic windows and red-painted doors, St. Michael’s possess the tallest spire of any of the buildings in South Carolina (hence why I couldn’t fit it all in one picture!). Resting on King Street and across from Marion Square, St. Matthew’s was fatally destroyed by a fire in 1965. The majority of structure was rebuilt, but the stain-glass windows under the apse and under the balcony as well as the pulpit inside are original to the building.

Other popular churches we did not get a chance to drive by are St. Philip’s and St. John’s, both equally gorgeous. Next time we visit, I’ll make sure to snap a photo of those.