7th Annual Sloss Furnace : Stokin’ the Fire BBQ – Day 2

What a fun weekend. The shot above has to be one of my favorites. It was taken during some of the down time that we had while things were cooking. That was the worse part… the wait. Why is it that Ribs take 4 hours? Oh the anticipation. Look at what our finished product looked like!!

The chicken.

The ribs.

The pork butt.

The man with the plan. And “The Dave” behind him. You see that bear claw he’s holding? Wolverine wanna-be.

The job that gets the most respect because the least amount of people want to do it. Garnish Queen. We were in charge of making everything look beautiful. It’s apart of the scoring process. It’s time consuming, tedious, and requires a lot of patience. Lord, help us.

One of my favorite picture of the boys. [Left] Chicken Cooker [Right] Official Meat Turner-Inner.

And the happy couple. Who’s Dave you ask? Look behind the man with the bear claw. It’s the cookin’ machine! What a great weekend we had. More pics to come of Sloss. And we took some really good ones.

Today I am thankful for: getting to see my dad! We’re in Gulfport. I have an interview tomorrow in Fairhope! Wish me luck!


7th Annual Sloss Furnace : Stokin’ the Fire BBQ

So I took a little break from blogging. It takes a little while for me to readjust to the US when I’ve been out of the country. Until last night, I was happy to report that I was sleeping regularly through the night… until my allergies woke me up at 3 a.m. It’s amazing what you can get done between the hours of 3:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. Anyways… tonight was the kick-off to the 7th Annual Sloss Furnace: Stokin’ the Fire BBQ Festival. Our team: Blue Creek BBQ will be entering in Chicken, Ribs, and Butt. We had a test taste tonight and it was DE-LISH. The day of the competition is always a different story… tension is high and adrenaline is pumpin’. I am, of course, there for moral support. And I do it so well. A longer photo-filled post is to come. I thought I would leave you with a few goodies from the night.

Today I am thankful for: seeing Uncle David. He’s one of my favorite people in the whole wide world. There’s nothing better than a good old Southerner cookin’ you some mighty-fine BBQ. Oh I can’t wait for tomorrow. Come out and see us if you are in the area!

YMCA: Belay

This weekend I came home for a hot second. My BF has started a new job working with Camp Cosby which is affiliated with the YMCA.  This weekend, work brought him and his buds back into town for an exciting Saturday in downtown Birmingham. Organizers there, are attempting to start a program that will incorporate more fruits and vegetables onto school lunch menus AND aid in getting children more exercise. Did you know that kids don’t have P.E. everyday? Shocking, I know. Let me be honest, I remember the days of Jump Rope for Heart, 4 square, wall ball, kickball, and the ROPE (that was my favorite).

So what were we doing there, right? My boyfriend and his friends were belaying kids (and some *ahem, adults) from the rock climbing wall. It was really cool. I’m no climber but I would love to be. It was so encouraging to see these tiny little girls out-climb there male counterparts. They would get so close to the top and then everyone in the room would start watching them and start cheering them and you can just feel their confidence grow – it was really cool.

This little boy has to be the cutest little guy I saw all day. He was precious and he told me that he was going all the way to the top.

What can I say, we were really quite popular…

A girls volleyball team showed up. Goodness, those girls can scream – especially when scared.

These were the Big Kids working the show. They did an awesome job. I just watched and took pictures. I didn’t want to put a harness on backwards.

So the YMCA handed out those Livestrong type bracelets that have Y5210 stamped on them. Me, be a natural lover of bracelets, still have mine on. This is what it means: Y: The Y is meant to incorporate the YMCA into the lives of many people all over Birmingham – people of different race, class, and financial standing , 5: 5 fruits and vegetable A DAY, 2: 2 hours of computer time A DAY, 1: 1 hour of strenuous exercise A DAY, and 0: 0 sugary drinks A DAY.

Today I am thankful for: sleep sometime soon — maybe in my not so distant future. Maybe I’m thankful for stamina. Final Review Boards are due Friday…

Listening to: Rihanna — Good Girl Gone Bad Album — Cry

PLTW — Y5210

A Wonderful Weekend

So, I must apologize for not blogging… life has been hectic — mid-term reviews, and all — and as I’ve always been told, “School comes first”. Anyways, you might remember that sometime last week I had one of the best weekends ever. And it lasted only 24 hours. I came home for a friends 40th birthday party and had so much fun at this totally cool venue and restaurant called the Cantina (where I must go with Food Team). I got to catch up with old friends and coworkers. There was a DJ, awesome food, and an open bar — Need I say more???

Then my Boyfriend and I were invited to a Mountain Bike Race by one of the sponser’s of the race, Red Mountain Rovers (and they are some totally cool guys). The race was at Stoney Lonesome, check it out here.  We had sooo much fun, even if it did involve waking up at 5 a.m. in the morning. I never voluntarily wake up that early — that would be miserable. Here are some pics from the event. I think I might want to give it a try during the next go-round.

By the way, this car is pretty BAD–in a good way – ya know?

Pre-race talk (+/- a few participants). They even had a canon to start the race.

Our new friends, post race, discussing the difficulties of the course. I love that they have beverages 🙂 — but the beverages started shortly after arriving — it was just that kind of day. Hearts of a champion 🙂 After the race and race activities we caught lunch at an awesome place on Highlands called Rojo. Might have to be a new weekend favorite 🙂 Gosh, I sure am happy, look at all of these smiley faces.

After we went to Rojo for 3 hours we were exhausted, water logged from more beverages, full from a delicious lunch, and yet we wanted more… So we went to Railroad Park. It was just such a beautiful day. And the park was packed–it was beautiful–who ever thought that an urban park would be successful–hmmmmm?

You know I had to find some street art.

Then after Railroad Park we went to both our momma’s houses. The first was planting tomatoes for the coming summer! At the second, we met up with neighbors and drank more beverages until it was dark. The neighbor’s girls’ were still playing on the tire swing, the dog still wanted the ball/frisbee to be thrown, and there were still good conversations to be had — and after an hour or so we had to go home and crash. What a good weekend! But alas, it had to come to an end… and I had to go back to Clemson the following day – bright and early.


Today I am thankful for: getting to go by one of my favorite sushi restaurant’s – DOZO.

Birmingham, AL: The Mountain


Y’all. You have to check out this new radio station that’s local to Birmingham, AL. They play some of the best music EVER. Some of it’s underground, some is 90s, some is local stuff, some Indie Rock, and some alternative music. Do you remember Reg’s Coffee House? He’s on there too! Oh, it’s the best EVER!

The Mountain

Birmingham's Best 2010

The Mountain was actually nominated as the BEST radio station in Birmingham. AND they aren’t even on the Radio! They are only online. GENIUS. Check out all of Birmingham’s Best here. I agree with some of the list, not so much with others. Nonetheless… It’s still a pretty good list.


Today I am thankful for: Awesome new music found by my boyfriend.


Sol y Luna — The Best Margarita in Town

This is SOL Y LUNA. It’s the best tapa’s place in town AND the best Margarita Bar in town. If you want to call it a bar. It’s an amazing hole in the wall restaurant. You can find it here at: 2811 7th Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35233. You’ll definitely want to call for reservations.

Sol y Luna: Dinner Menu

Sol y Luna: Tequila Menu

This is the Sol y Luna Margarita. It is sooooooo yummy and it’s spicy. It has this really great heat when you drink it. I could have a dozen of them… but then I definitely wouldn’t be able to walk out of the restaurant. For my 21st birthday I had the tequila sampler. It was sooOOOoo good. Everything here is wonderful. And while I’ve been talking a lot about their top shelf delicious drinks… their food is wonderful too. Apparently there is a list of 100 things you must eat in Alabama, and their Lobster Soft Taco’s are on the list. It’s what I always get and its the best. AND oddly enough…. I don’t like South American food. Or at least I thought I didn’t. Try it. You’ll love it. And get a Margarita!!

p.s. It’s icy cold here.

Shipley Do-Nuts

So we played Mom and Dad for a day and took our friends’ children to their tennis game last Saturday morning. The other parents kept asking me which child is mine… and I said the beautiful blond hair blue eyed children that would be impossible for me to produce. It was funny. After a close game and an unfortunate loss there is nothing better than a doughnut! So we went to one of my favorite doughnut shops: Shipley Do-nuts — Birmingham, AL. I think it’s a chain but it sure doesn’t feel like one. Every one that I have been to feels like a hole-in-the-wall mom and pop kinda shop that has survived the times by the blood, sweat, and delicious tears that go into their remarkable baking. YUMMY.

Now this is what a doughnut shop should look like!

I love doughnuts! I ALWAYS get the doughnut holes!!!! We got three dozen. And this is how the looked only 5 minutes later. It was absolutely delicious. Oh I want more right now!!!

Looks Good!

Yummy doughnuts, awesome kids… sounds like a good day to me!!

Railroad Park: Birmingham, AL

So Birmingham has very recently opened up a new urban park downtown and it is SUPER COOL. “Railroad Park is a 19 acre green space in downtown Birmingham that celebrates the industrial and artistic heritage of our great city. Situated along 1st Avenue South, between 14th and 18th Streets, the park is a joint effort between the City of Birmingham and the Railroad Park Foundation.” Check out more super cool stuff on their website here. Here are some pics from my visit earlier this week with my boyfriend and the dogs. Enjoy!

That’s right, there’s wifi. That’s awesome.
Food and Playgrounds… I’m a happy girl.

It was the first nice day after the storm over the weekend — and more importantly, the first day it actually felt like Fall. It was a beautiful 70 degree’s outside and there was a super blue cloudy sky. It was a perfect day to be outside enjoying the weather.

Cool, right?

Always good. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Detail of one of the park benches.

Between the ponds...

We're all smiles 🙂

Y'all have a great weekend!

Sloss Furnace : Stokin’ the Fire BBQ and Music Festival

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All I can really say about this BBQ competition is that these guys take food and cookin’ seriously. Their cookin’ is a Labor of Love. All the chefs were out in the blazing heat, with temperatures in the high 90s, all day and all night. And I have to say, our team — Blue Creek BBQ — did a mighty fine job. I can’t wait until next year!

Pics are compliments of NR and AC.