Help REVIVE East Lake this Weekend at Cleanup Day!

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Come out to support the efforts of REV Birmingham this weekend by volunteering your time and muscle at the East Lake Cleanup Day this Saturday!  The REV Street Team needs passionate people like you to help with the Magic City Revitalization movement! Join us Saturday, May 30th from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. to clean, paint, and transform a space in the East Lake area!

REVIVE volunteers will meet bright and early at the East 59 Vintage and Café (located at 7619 1st Avenue North) at 8 a.m. to kick off this effort!  Send an email to Donnell Cole-Price at DCole@REVBirmingham.org to sign up and visit revbirmingham.org for more information. Hopefully, I’ll see you Saturday!

Until the Next Post,

Janece

Weekly Wanderlust in Bham: Event Picks for 4/23/15-4/30/15

Welcome to the Weekly Wanderlust List! It features information about exciting, creative, yummy, and innovative happenings in the Greater Birmingham, Alabama community each week.  This week’s Weekly Wanderlust in Bham spotlights a multitude of events in Birmingham. Each unique event offers an opportunity to make a positive contribution to the community, support a local cause or business, engage with the fabulous citizens of our City, or enjoy an evening of fun. This week features the following events:

  • Magic City Art Connection
  • Ruffner Mountain’s Fourth Friday Music Series: Verdure
  • Corks & Chefs
  • Yoga on the Green
  • Birmingham Get Up!
  • Magic City Sweet Ice: GRAND OPENING!
  • Kreplach & Dim Sum – Yes, There are Jews in China
  • 6th Annual Dining Out For Life® Event

 


 

Magic City Art Connection

 

10154169_10152780143324097_2092605576191814733_nThe Magic City Art Connection will be held between April 24-25 from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m., April 26 from 10 a.m. – 5  p.m. The event spotlights hundreds of artists and offer an opportunity for people to purchase their work. In addition, the following takes place over the course of the event: Corks & Chefs (a food & wine tasting experience), interactive art workshops for children, live music and performances on stage, art installations, pop-up cafes, and much more.

  • Where: Linn Park, at the central entrance points – Rev Abraham Woods, Jr. Blvd (8th Ave N) or at 6th Ave N & 20th Street
  • Cost: Adults $5, Kids 12 & under free (Corks & Chefs requires extra ticket)
  • Website: www.magiccityart.com
  • Contact: (205) 595-6306

 


Ruffner Mountain’s Fourth Friday Music Series: Verdure

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On  Friday, April 24th, Ruffner Mountain’s Fourth Friday Music Series will feature the music of Verdure! Verdure is an eclectic music outfit that the band’s front man, singer-songwriter, Chris K. Davidson describes as , “a layered, harmony-driven collection of songs that combines dashes of Ben Folds, acoustic Guster, and the Head and the Heart while fully maintaining their unique sonic identity.” Check out Verdure on the web at www.verduremusic.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/VerdureMusic. The BYOB show will take place at the Tree House and you can also bring food. Tickets are $10.00.  Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and music begins at 7:00 p.m.

  • When: April 24 at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Ruffner Mountain Preserve, 1214 81st St S, Birmingham, Alabama
  • Cost: $ 10.00
  • Website: Ticket Link
  • Contact: (205) 833-8264

Corks & Chefs

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The 18th annual Corks & Chefs will be presented by Kinetic Communications during the  three day Magic City Art Connection.  Corks & Chefs is the place where art, food, beer + wine meet. the event features delicious cuisine from many of Birmingham’s favorite restaurants. Over 8 talented chefs, 75 wines, craft beers, coffee, and tea are showcased each day of the event. A new tasting BBVA Compass VIP Lounge for VIP ticket holders will have exclusive offerings including a special food tasting with World’s Best Pastry Chef, Jordi Roca of World Famous El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain,  additional select wines, craft beer and champagne to taste, lounge seating, and private al fresco dining.

  • When: April 25-26, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
  • Where: Linn Park, at the central entrance points – Rev Abraham Woods, Jr. Blvd (8th Ave N) or at 6th Ave N & 20th Street
  • Cost: $35.00 – $125.00 in advance
  • Website: www.magiccityart.com/corks-chefs/order-tickets
  • Contact: (205) 595-6306

Birmingham Get Up

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The second annual Birmingham Get Up will take place on April 25 at 5 p.m.The event will be a festive night of music, food, drink, and plenty of  fun to benefit The Red Barn’s programs. There will be food from local vendors and beer from Good People and Druid City. The music line-up includes the following: Dead Fingers at 5 p.m., Trouble the Waters at 6 p.m., The Golden Monica at 7 p.m., and Banditos at 8 p.m.


Yoga on the Green

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This is a beginners friendly Railroad Park Yoga Class sponsored by BlueCross BlueShield of Alabama. The class is free. However, all attendees will need to sign in and complete a wavier with the park staff.  The park also has clean yoga mats for you to borrow if you do not own personal gear. The following other free classes are offered each week at Railroad Park as well: Jazzercise® on Mondays at 6:00 p.m., Bootcamp on Tuesdays at 6:00 p.m., Zumba on Wednesdays at 6:00 p.m., and Happy Feet Fridays on Fridays at 6:00 p.m.


Magic City Sweet Ice: GRAND OPENING!

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Magic City Sweet Ice is inviting the city to celebrate the Grand Opening of their store in West Homewood! The grand opening event will feature food, drinks, and door prizes!  Check out the company’s website magiccitysweetice.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mcsweetice.

  • When: April 25 at 12.00 p.m.
  • Where:  715 Oak Grove Rd, Birmingham, AL
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: RSVP
  • Contact:  (205) 907-2125

Kreplach & Dim Sum – Yes, There are Jews in China

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This event features Robyn Helzner who shares stories, photos, video and music to explore the extraordinary history of the Jewish communities in Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Kaifeng; and traces their emergence as the fastest growing Jewish region in the world. This event is open to the public for free, but RSVP is required. Acclaimed for her concerts and recordings of Jewish music, Helzner officiated at the first Bar Mitzvah celebrated in Beijing, China, and served as the Cantor for the United  Jewish Congregation of Hong Kong. In addition, this event will also feature the Jewish Refugees in Shanghai exhibit.  It tells the stories of the difficulties faced by Jewish refugees on their journey to and from Shanghai in the 1930s and 40s, as well as their adaptation to the city and friendship with the Chinese people.  This exhibit has been put together by the American Jewish Committee and the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum. Reception featuring Jewish and Kosher Chinese including Kreplach, Dim Sum, Rugalach, Burekas, and Egg Rolls.

  • When: April 25-26, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Where: Levite Jewish Community Center of Birmingham, 3960 Montclair Road, Birmingham, AL
  • Cost: This event is free of charge, but registration is required. Please click here to RSVP.
  • Website: www.bic-al.org
  • Contact: 205-252-7652

Hope For Autumn Crawfish Boil
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The Hope for Autumn Foundation Crawfish Boil is an event that features music, food, and fun. In addition, live music will provided by Rollin in the Hay and Downright. Proceeds from the event benefit area families battling childhood cancer and the Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorder’s Developmental Therapeutics Program which seeks to find new treatments for children with difficult to treat cancer. The menu will include crawfish cooked by Louisiana native John Hein, hamburgers and hot dogs for the kids, soda, water, and gives you the option to bring your own adult beverages. The children activities features various games, bounce houses, face painting, and balloon artists.

  • When: April 25, 3 p.m. –  p.m.
  • Where: Main Green of Ross Bridge, 4000 Grand Ave, Birmingham, AL
  • Cost: $30.00 – $35.00
  • Website: www.hopeforautumnfoundation.org
  • Contact: (954) 410-8362

6th Annual Dining Out For Life®

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On Thursday, April 30th, help support AIDS Alabama’s 6th Annual Dining Out For Life event by simply enjoying a meal at one of your favorite local restaurants in Birmingham. Each of the participating restaurants will donate a minimum of 25% (upwards to 100%) of your bill to help fight against HIV and AIDS. Some of these restaurants include: Bottle & Bone, Post Office Pies, The J. Clyde, Urban Standard, The Grill at Iron City, and many more!  To learn more about AIDS Alabama, its mission, and services visit www.aidsalabama.org

  • When: April 30
  • Where: at participating restaurants in Birmingham, AL
  • Cost: Nothing extra, just enjoy a meal at a participating local restaurant
  • Website: Find the complete list of participating restaurants at www.diningoutforlife.com/birmingham/restaurants
  • Contact: (954) 410-8362

 


Until the Next Post,

Janece

Eat Drink Birmingham 2015: Recap

 

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“Wine is wonderful. But let’s be honest – it can’t do everything. Real beer can do everything. Beer has bitterness to slice through fat, carbonation to refresh the palate, carmelized flavors to match those in your food, and sweetness to quench the fire of chilies.” – Garrett Oliver, Brewmaster, Photo Credit: Janece Maze

Last month, I attended Eat Drink Birmingham at Rosewood Hall in Homewood’s SoHo Square on March 12. According to the event’s website, Eat Drink Birmingham is a beer and food pairing experience created by the Alabama Brewers Guild and the Birmingham Originals. The afternoon proved to be a fun and fantastic sampling journey for foodies and brew enthusiasts of all levels. The event was a unique pairing between various Alabama’s craft breweries and many of Birmingham’s best independent restaurants. In a nutshell, Eat Drink Birmingham was a hybrid mix of a traditional beer festival and food fest that featured souvenir sampling glasses, unlimited samples for each attendee, and music from the Steel City Jug Slammers.

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St. Stephens Stout: An Alabama Collaboration aka the prize gem of Eat Drink Birmingham, Photo Credit: Janece Maze

The event allowed attendees to check out the rich culinary flavor of the city by way of expertly curated dish and beer pairings from Alabama breweries and local restaurants. The afternoon was full of many great pairings of craft beers and dishes. I attempted to check out each of them. Honestly, I only sampled about one-third of the event’s menu pairings but enjoyed each sip and bite. The festival was also the first stop of the new limited edition St. Stephens Stout. The St. Stephens Stout is the creation of an Alabama collaboration between of all of the state’s breweries and the Alabama Brewers Guild. I am a huge fan of stouts and it is a phenomenal beer. I was lucky enough to receive a bottle to take home after receiving  the gift from a representative of the Alabama Breweries Guild after chatting about the festival. The crowd of taste-makers were also entertained by the sounds of the Birmingham’s own Steel City Jug Slammers. Make sure you check out this stellar band’s music via their website or on Facebook.

(Ratings of the Craft Beer and Local Dish Pairings)

Bellini’s Filet Fricasse and Fairhope Brewing Co (Take the) Causeway IPA

  • The Filet Fricassse and Fairhope Brewing (Take the) Causeway IPA was oh so good! The filet was tender, juicy, and full of so much flavor. In addition, it was served with savory roasted potatoes and corn. The IPA was delicious although I’m honestly not a fan of this particular type of beer. I am more of a porter and stout kind of gal. The pairing was OK but I felt like the filet would have benefited from another type beer that did not overpower its rich flavor. The IPA was good but the strong complex hoppiness of it felt more like a palate cleanser than a complement to enhance the dish. Overall,  both were great alone and just OK together.
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Bellini’s Filet Fricasse and Fairhope Brewing Co (Take the) Causeway IPA, and a second helping of Silvertron Cafe’s White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Raspberry Coulis, Photo Credit: Janece Maze

Jackson’s White Chicken Chili with Cheaha Brewing Co. Old Reliable Ale 

  • The slightly spicy white bean chili was served with fresh cilantro and paired well with the Old Reliable Ale. The yummy chili was full of spicy notes from jalapeno peppers and cumin seasoning. It is definitely comfort food for a cold day and will leave you satisfied. I was more of a fan of the Old Reliable Ale that is a unique blend of an amber ale and a pale ale.  The ale initially strikes your palate as hoppy but finishes with the smooth subtle flavor of a good standard ale. According to the beer server this is a common California beer blend and I agree that it works well.

Ted’s Restaurant Souvlakia with Greek Slaw with Black Warrior Brewing Co. Black Warrior Blond 

  • The Ted’s Souvlakia and Black Warrior Brewing American Blonde was quite a pair. The subtle sour notes, rich lemon and oregano Greek marinated meat, and juicy flavor of the pork was enhanced by the refreshing and slightly sweet blonde beer in a way that complemented and highlighted both.
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Ted’s Restaurant Souvlakia with Greek Slaw with Black Warrior Brewing Co. Black Warrior Blond, Photo Credit: Janece Maze

The Silvertron Cafe White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Raspberry Coulis with Avondale Brewing Co. Spring Street Saison 

  • I could seriously eat this all day but I am certain it would be a bad idea for my waistline. The white chocolate bread pudding with raspberry coulis was divine. I’m still craving another taste of this sweet pudding along with the refreshing taste of the crisp Spring Street Saison. This was my favorite pairing of Eat Drink Birmingham – hands down!

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Homewood Gourmet Crawfish Tasso with Straight to Ale Monkeynaut IPA, Photo Credit: Janece Maze

Nabeel’s Greek Penne with Vegetables with Back Forty Beer Co. Naked Pig Pale Ale 

  • The Greek penne with vegetables was a tasty bowl of veggies, cheese, and a light sauce that balanced well with the acidic, hoppy, and malty goodness of Naked Pig Pale Ale.

The J. Clyde Fatso Pudding with Good People Brewing Co. El Gordo Imperial Stout 

  • The Fatso pudding and El Gordo paired well.  The nice smokey taste of the stout was full of fruity notes and balanced well with the rich chocolate, honey laced, and slightly nutty flavor of the pudding. I plan to revisit the pair the next time I visit The J. Clyde.
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The J. Clyde Fatso Pudding with Good People Brewing Co. El Gordo Imperial Stout, Photo Credit: Janece Maze

 Festival Verdict: 

  • Eat Drink Birmingham is an outstanding event that features some of the best bites in Birmingham, craft beer in Alabama, and entertainment for its attendees. It is a great way to explore local restaurants and beer for anyone with a passion for food and drink. I had a great time mingling, eating, drinking, chatting, learning more about local restaurants and breweries, and listening to the sounds of the Steel City Jug Slammers. The only suggestion I have is to find a larger space for the event (in the event of rain) so that guests are not constantly bumping shoulders with one another. Other than that, I am looking forward to checking out Eat Drink Birmingham next year and you should too!

Photo Credit: Janece Maze

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Until the Next Post,

Janece

No Plans on 4/11/15? Come Volunteer with Project Homeless Connect

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What are you doing this upcoming Saturday? No plans? Well check out the upcoming Project Homeless Connect service project. Hands On Birmingham and One Roof: Uniting Central Alabama to End Homelessness is seeking additional volunteers for the annual day of service on Saturday, April 11.  This innovative one-day event is about breaking the cycle of homelessness, increasing access to services, and ending chronic homelessness in Central Alabama. I hope each of you consider taking time out of your busy schedules on Saturday, April 11 to support this worthy cause! Visit http://www.handsonbirmingham.org/PHC to sign up and send me an email if you want to learn more about the service project. By the way, I’ll be onsite most of the day with the Hands On Junior Board and would love to see each of you there!

Put Up or Shut Up! – The REVIVE 2.0 Project in BHAM

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to attend the REVIVE 2.0 + STREET TEAM Launch Party at the Stockyard adjacent to Railroad Park alongside other community advocates, revivalists, and yay-sayers. The common trait shared among all of the attendees is an audacious belief in the infinite potential for Birmingham and a willingness to put in the vital work to make it happen for all of its citizens. Currently, the REVIVE 2.0 + STREET TEAM Project is seeking activists, advocates, business owners, creatives, and jack-of-all trades that are excited to assist with various projects in the Magic City revitalization movement for an entire year. The ongoing efforts will focus on neighborhoods in Ensley, Downtown, and East Lake.

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Birmingham Dream Train from various citizens at the Revive 2.0 + Street Team Launch Party! via Instagram @aerialjane

According to REV Birmingham‘s website, ” REV is a private-public partnership that was formed in 2012 by the strategic union of Operation New Birmingham and Main Street Birmingham to revitalize places and energize business to create vibrancy in the City of Birmingham. REV is an economic development organization that stimulates business growth and improves quality of life in Birmingham’s City Center and its Neighborhood Commercial Centers.” Check out the diverse work of REV Birmingham (REV) in detail by visiting revbirmingham.org.

The REVIVE 2.0 Project is an opportunity to be a key player in “something special” for the Magic City. Today, I challenge anyone reading this to put up or shut up! Join the REVIVE 2.0 + STREET TEAM Project or another community effort that strives to build up the greater Birmingham, Alabama area by way of strategic partnerships and collective impact between all of its citizens.

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What is your dream for the Magic City?” via Instagram @aerialjane

Photo via Instagram @aerialjane

“#ReviveOn” via Instagram @aerialjane

Join us and ‪#‎ReviveOn‬ for Birmingham through the REVIVE 2.0 efforts! Visit revbirmingham.org for more information and email the REV team at volunteer@revbirmingham.org for a shot at a spot on the REV 2015 STREET TEAM.

Until the Next Post,

Janece

Make a Commitment to Help Project Homeless Connect

Kit Drive Flyer

It’s almost time for the annual Project Homeless Connect on April 11th and Hands On Birmingham and One Roof: Uniting Central Alabama to End Homelessness needs your help with putting together care kits. This innovative one-day event is about breaking the cycle of homelessness, increasing access to services, and ending chronic homelessness in Central Alabama. Please consider assisting in this effort by donating items such as shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, body wash, socks, hand sanitizers, feminine care products, sun block, etc. Presently, I serve on the Hands On Birmingham Junior Board and would love to answer any questions you have about the event. In addition, consider volunteering for the event by visiting www.handsonbirmingham.org/PHC

 

 

Recap of the Epic Pre-Valentine Knife Party Dinner at Revelator Coffee on 2/7/15

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Last week, I had the opportunity to finally attend a Knife Party dinner after the pop-up returned from a year long hiatus. I got lucky when I noticed that two spots opened up via Instagram early last week. The dinner was hosted on February 7th at Revelator Coffee Company in downtown Birmingham in early celebration of Valentine’s Day.  I have longed to attend a Knife Party ever since I discovered the unique pop-up outfit about a year and a half ago.  Knife Party is a collaborative secret underground pop-up dinner planned, curated, led, and prepared by Wil Drake and Roscoe Hall. Drake and Hall are two young ambitious veterans of the local culinary scene in Birmingham, Alabama with a knack for the unconventional. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to attend due to the limited seat availability and my inability to RSVP quickly for one of the exclusive dinners before the company’s year long hiatus. You might be wondering – What the hell is a Knife Party? And why is it so hard to grab a seat at the event?

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According to a September 2014 Creative Birmingham article, Drake defined Knife Party as, “a supper club for those who like to eat and enjoy a take on deconstructed recipes of old. We use fresh/local/not local/sometimes frozen ingredients. It’s secretive because it’s not legal.” Each dinner is as unique dining experience that includes a drink pairing with the meal. Hall and Drake appear to be on a mission to expose the Birmingham foodie community to unconventional food offerings that highlight strange, eccentric, and often daunting culinary mashups to tantalize the adventurous diner’s taste buds. Personally, I cannot wait to attend another Knife Party after having such a great inaugural experience. I felt that it was important to taste my way through the meal in tiny steps and soak up all of the lively chatter with other diners, the chefs, and servers. The customer service was outstanding and all of the staff was genuinely welcoming and engaging with the diners. Knife Party may sound a little scary on the surface but is well worth the effort to RSVP to take a leap of gastronomical faith. My highlights from the meal include the following: sipping forest leaf tea along with a venison charcuterie plate that featured salty jerky paired with berry preserves and venison baloney and a delicious peanut veloute soup that included chocolate mousse and chicken skin.

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If you are interested in attending the exclusive dining experience head to the Knife Party website and sign up for the mailing list to get a priority notice about new events. Each event only has 20 RSVP slots so nimble fingers are paramount! In addition, you should check out Revelator Coffee Company if you also love great coffee!

Until the Next Post,

Janece

Cultivate Gratitude: Find Joy in All Experiences

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My Grandparents – The late Pauline D. Maze and Deacon William A. Maze in the 1970s

Don’t hurry. Don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way. ~Walter Hagen


Last month, I wrote a post (i.e., All I Really Want for Christmas Is Presence!) prior to the Christmas holiday. It focused on being fully present in life’s moments (both big and small) to create a series of beautiful moments with the people or things you love. At the start of this month, the previous month’s message rings true with a resounding echo. On January 5, 2015, my grandfather made the transition to heaven early in the morning after living nearly 85 full years on this beautiful earth. I got the call from my mother ten minutes after arriving at my office on that Monday morning and all I could say was, “OK and I love you.” I grabbed my bags and exited work before anyone could see me shed a tear. My car was full of plenty of tears by the close of the morning. However, in the midst of my sadness, I found joy because I knew that I was blessed to have my grandfather’s presence from birth until adulthood. His unconditional love, support, gentle nature, loving spirit, and amazing family meals are some of the most vivid experiences that life has afforded me thus far.

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Easter 2007 with my twin sister, Janeka, Grandfather, and cousin Pauline

In many ways, my grandfather and grandmother helped to raise me and all of my siblings with my parents. Every weekend, summer break, and family holiday was spent with Granddad and Grandma Maze. I spent countless hours in their car on the road to visit family all across the country. We traveled to places from St. Louis to Miami to Little Rock to Charlotte to Detroit and numerous places in between. Each road trip was a unique adventure for me and helped to cultivate my restless spirit of adventure at an early age. Two years ago, I decided to relocate back to Alabama from the San Francisco Bay area after my Granddad became increasingly ill. My family comes before anyone and anything so the move back to Alabama was a non-negotiable decision for me.

I was blessed with two more years to spend quality time with him despite the ever present challenge my family faced while caring for my Granddad. I know that I am a lucky because I had the opportunity to know and spend time with him all the way to the end. He was a living example of fortitude – in spirit and action. He grew up through the 1930s in Mississippi and endured difficult circumstances that make any trouble I have experienced seem laughable. Yet, he persevered and made his way through life with intention and purpose. He went on to become a successful career man and business owner in Chicago while balancing family and faithful service to his church and community.

There are many people who talk about what they are going to do but my Granddad was always a man of faith and action despite being a man of few words. He was the first person to receive a call and the first to show up to lend a hand to anyone in need. I am thankful that he always led by example and attended to all the needs of his family and friends. In addition, I am forever in debt to the sacrifices, hard work, faithful service my Granddad provided to my family.  No one will ever replace him and I will continue to honor the his legacy while I’m blessed to live. Although it is difficult, it is imperative to cultivate gratitude and find joy even when dealing with loss. Be thankful for what you have experienced along the way and store those beautiful moments in your heart to carry yourself through the tough days. Likewise, Eat Drink Savor Life is an affirmation of my commitment to celebrating life and cultivating gratitude in all situations – good, bad, sad, and all things in between. I decide to be thankful every day.

Until the Next Post,

Janece

All I Really Want for Christmas Is Presence!

 

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Over the last couple of weeks, I have had countless people ask me what I want for Christmas. My answer has baffled and angered a few of my family members and friends. My response has been direct and simple – nothing but your presence. Even at the present moment, I can think of nothing being more desirable than the present of presence. There are people who lack basic necessities throughout the entire world and I know that I am not lacking a single one. I have a home, clothes on my back, food in my cupboard and refrigerator, a vehicle, and even some luxuries that serve a purpose but are not necessities.

The one thing that I find many people lacking in this technological age is a lack of connection to each present moment that we walk through on a daily basis. How many times have you went out with friends to dinner and discovered that each of you spent a significant portion of the time checking messages and social media on your phone or cool tech gadget? If you are honest with yourself, the answer is yes for most of you. Do not misconstrue my personal affinity for technology. I enjoy it like any twenty-something living in the current era. However, over the last year, I have tried to challenge myself to power off my cell phone, unplug my computer, and shut down my tablet to rest in nothing more than the present moment and in the company of whoever I am with at the time. Unplugging from the technological comfort zone is not an easy feat. Nevertheless, I believe that it is necessary to do so, if we want to retain our collective and individual personal sanity and preserve the sanctity of our human connection to one another.

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Instead of focusing on the accumulation of more things that you do not need for the holiday season, enjoy the mere presence of another human being. Make it a priority to create a series of beautiful moments that you are able to reflect on throughout your life. Trust me; time is not something you can regain. I would rather look back on my youth as older woman and remember great memories of engaging in improvised activities and behaviors with my love ones. Seriously, who wants to look back and realize that precious time was wasted mindlessly scrolling through their Facebook newsfeed, checking out random funny memes on ifunny, or taking Buzzfeed quizzes.


Presence

Suggested List of Holiday Activities that Encourage Presence:

  • Volunteer – Help out a local community organization with a clean-up project, assist with cooking and serving dinner at a local community kitchen, etc.
  • Help Someone You Know – Offer to assist them with a holiday project, dinner, etc.
  • Go Outside Alone or with a Friend– Take a hike at a local park, explore a local farmers market, go on a bike ride through your community, etc.
  • Participate in a Group Activity or Sport – Participate in a holiday potluck, plan a fun group activity such as ice skating or bowling, host a DIY holiday craft party, etc.
  • Engage in Dialogue without Modern Distractions– Have an actual conversation with someone without glancing at your smart phone for a change – including people you know or a friendly stranger at your local coffee shop
  • Spend Quality Time with Your Significant Other – Find time to let your special person know that you value their presence in your life by spending meaningful time around your respective schedules
  • Smile – Seriously, find time to smile just because you are breathing and above the ground. It will influence your outlook and perspective in a positive light.

In the words of The ManKind Project, “Make sure your holiday to-do list puts the important things first!” Above all, eat, drink, and savor life by appreciating the amazing present that is presence over the holiday season.

Until the Next Post,

Janece

Weekly Wanderlust in Bham: My Top Community Event Picks [11/14/14-11/20/14]

This week’s Weekly Wanderlust in Bham spotlights a multitude of service projects, concerts, and events. Each unique event offers an opportunity to make a positive contribution to the community, support a local cause or business, engage with the fabulous citizens of our City, or enjoy an evening of fun.
The Weekly Wanderlust in Bham feature is dedicated to sharing information about exciting, creative, and innovative happenings in the Greater Birmingham, Alabama community. This week, I am featuring the following events:
  • Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey: Art, Beats + Lyrics!
  • Hands On Birmingham Family Volunteer Day
  • Desert Island Supply Co. (DISCO) Grand Opening of Desert Island Supply Store
  • Alvvays at Bottletree
  • National Homeless Awareness Week
  • Stone Brewing’s BADA$$ Beer + Notorious P.I.G. BBQ Food Truck Event!

11/14/14: Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey: Art, Beats + Lyrics!

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Art, Beats + Lyrics! will take place at Workplay on November 14, 2014 between 7 p.m. and midnight. The event is mashup of creativity art forms, features over 30 visual artists, musical performances by Mystikal and G-Side, DJ Rahdu, DJ Wally Sparks, Wolf Pack, and libations from Jack Daniel’s. the event is poised to be full of Art, Beats, and Lyrics!

RSVP at the event page, www.jackhoneyabl.com , for VIP access and two free drink tickets! If you prefer to receive your ticket via SMS, please text BHAMABL to 68405.


11/15/14: Hands On Birmingham Family Volunteer Day

Hands On Birmingham Family Volunteer Day is an annual day of service, held the Saturday before Thanksgiving. The event is powered by Disney Friends for Change. It is designed to demonstrate the power of families who choose to volunteer together to support the communities in which they live and serve.Volunteering as a family provides quality time for busy families and strengthens communication and family bonds that positively impacts local communities across the nation. It’s also a great way to kick off your holiday season.For more information on this event please alindsay@handsonbirmingham.org or visit the event website www.handsonbirmingham.org/FVD The various projects will take place at the following locations:
-Ronald McDonald House
-Moss Rock
-Alabama Wildlife Center
-Zion City
-Sherman Heights
-Limestone Park
-South Hampton
-Maple Grove LYB

11/15/14:  Desert Island Supply Co. (DISCO) Grand Opening of Desert Island Supply Store

The Desert Island Supply Co. (DISCO) is a creative writing center for students in Birmingham, Alabama. We are based in the city’s Woodlawn neighborhood, and our mission is simple: to give kids in the Birmingham area more opportunities to write. The Desert Island Supply Co. and The Southern Letterpress are pleased to announce the grand opening of the Desert Island Supply Store.

Come celebrate our grand opening from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and stock up on message-in-a-bottle bottles, urchin decoys, water finders and other desert island essentials. Check out the DISCO website at  www.desertislandsupplyco.com to find out more information.


11/16/14: Bowe Inc. presents: Alvvays with special guests Absolutely Free and Sister Sniffle at Bottletree


According to Alvvays, the group is a 5 five piece band that consists of two women, three men, a crate of C-86 tapes, and a love of jingle-jangle. Alvvays signature music is marked by sounds of lifting fiddles, folk elements, pop, rock, and noisy melancholy. The Toronto based group’s debut self-titled album has been described as “both sun-splashed and twilit—nine songs concealing drunkenness, defeat and death in tungsten-tinted pop that glitters like sea glass.” The show is poised to be a dynamic experience and has two great opening acts Absolutely Free and Sister Sniffle supporting the band.

Tickets are $ 10 in advance and $ 13 at the door. Purchase your tickets at on Bottletree’s event link. In addition, the venue is permitting entry for the 18+ crowd.


 11/15-23/14: National Homeless Awareness Week

This year, One Roof is organizing several events to honor its first ever National Homeless Awareness Week, which will further their mission of educating the community about homelessness and barriers to housing and offer ways to advocate for those in housing crisis in central Alabama. Homeless Awareness week is held each year the week before Thanksgiving. This year, National Homeless Awareness Week will be held from November 15-23, 2014. Everyone 18 years of age and older is invited to be a part of these events! Snacks and beverages will be provided both evenings. One Roof is partnering with the YWCA of Central Alabama and the Low Income Housing Coalition of Alabama to bring this awareness raising event to the  community. Visit our website to register: http://oneroofonline.org/programs/2014-homeless-awareness-week/

HOMELESS SIMULATION
 
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2014, 6:00 PM
PAVILION @ RAILROAD PARK
1600 1ST AVENUESOUTH, BIRMINGHAM, AL 35233
One Roof will facilitate a community-wide simulation that teaches about the systemic barriers to housing. The simulation will be followed by a community discussion and education about how and why people become homeless. This is a fun, engaging activity for community members ages 18 and older.
DOCUMENTARY SCREENING 
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2014, 6:00 PM
YWCA OF CENTRAL ALABAMA
309 23RD STREET NORTH, BIRMINGHAM, AL 35203
One Roof will host a screening of the documentary Storied Streets, followed by an educational session on smart solutions for what the community can do to end homelessness. This will include opportunities to volunteer and a discussion about how the Alabama Housing Trust Fund can end homelessness by providing safe, supportive places for people to live.

11/20/14: Stone Brewing’s BADA$$ Beer + Notorious P.I.G. BBQ Food Truck Event! at Hop City Birmingham


The Southeast Stone Brewery team will be on site at Hop City Birmingham on Thursday, November 20 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The event will feature awesome Stone beers, bada$$ brewery giveaways, and the Notorious P.I.G. Food Truck will be here with delicious BBQ to eat. Check for more information https://www.facebook.com/events/1463907507216369/