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If you are anything like me, you like to plan out your week so you can be best efficient with your time and money.  However, this does not always happen, especially when one needs to make a large meal for many guests.  So, this list of ingredients was put together to help you manage your time well over the Thanksgiving week. 

 

The meal:

 

Roast turkey

Homemade dressing

Cranberry sauce

Baked sweet potatoes

Green bean casserole

Cornbread or brown and serve rolls

Pickle and raw veggie tray

Pumpkin pie

Apple crisp

 

The Check-Your-Pantry List (buy if necessary):

 

•  Flour, about 4 cups

•  Sugar, about 2 cups

•  Brown sugar, 2-3 cups

•  Honey, 1 cup and maybe a little more

•  Thyme, dried, around 3 tsp

•  Lemon-pepper seasoning, around 2 tsp

•  Cooking oil, plain, a few tablespoons

•  Cooking spray

•  Pumpkin pie spice around 1 1/2 tsp

•  Salt and pepper

•  Cornmeal, 1 cup (if you’re making cornbread)

•  Baking powder, around 4 tsp (for cornbread)

•  Cinnamon, around 1 tsp

•  Oatmeal, around 1 cup

•  Vegetable or chicken bouillon, 4-5 tsp

 

Groceries:

 

•  Frozen Turkey, 10-12 lbs

•  Onions, around 3 lbs

•  Celery, 1 large bunch

•  Carrots, 1 lb

•  Garlic, 1 head, or 2 if you’re keen on it

•  French or Italian bread, sliced, 1 loaf

•  Eggs (you’ll need 7)

•  Butter, 1 lb

•  Cranberries, fresh, 2 bags

•  Sweet potatoes, large fresh, 1/2 = one serving, so as many as you need

•  Potatoes, large baking, if desired

•  Green beans, regular cut frozen, 2 one-pound packages

•  Mushrooms, 1 pound fresh or 2 8-oz cans

•  Milk, 1 quart

•  French fried onion rings, 1 can

•  Pumpkin, 1 15-oz can (plain pumpkin, not pie filling)

•  Prepared frozen pie crust (if you’re not making your own or lack a pie plate)

•  Evaporated milk, 1 12-oz can

•  Apples, tart baking, 2 pounds

•  Whipped cream, 1 spray can of the real stuff, or Vanilla ice cream

•  Veggie and pickle tray items: pickles, olives, pepperoncini, radishes, green onions, etc. to taste

•  Brown and serve rolls if you opt out of baking your own bread or cornbread

•  Green peas or other frozen veg if desired

 

And, do not forget the beverages of choice: beer, wine, juice, coffee, sweet tea…

 

Article sponsored by Bama Bed and Breakfast.

Find them on the web at: www.bamabedandbreakfast.com

 

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If you are anything like me, you like to plan out your week so you can be best efficient with your time and money.  However, this does not always happen, especially when one needs to make a large meal for many guests.  So, this list of ingredients was put together to help you manage your time well over the Thanksgiving week. 

 

The meal:

 

Roast turkey

Homemade dressing

Cranberry sauce

Baked sweet potatoes

Green bean casserole

Cornbread or brown and serve rolls

Pickle and raw veggie tray

Pumpkin pie

Apple crisp

 

The Check-Your-Pantry List (buy if necessary):

 

•  Flour, about 4 cups

•  Sugar, about 2 cups

•  Brown sugar, 2-3 cups

•  Honey, 1 cup and maybe a little more

•  Thyme, dried, around 3 tsp

•  Lemon-pepper seasoning, around 2 tsp

•  Cooking oil, plain, a few tablespoons

•  Cooking spray

•  Pumpkin pie spice around 1 1/2 tsp

•  Salt and pepper

•  Cornmeal, 1 cup (if you’re making cornbread)

•  Baking powder, around 4 tsp (for cornbread)

•  Cinnamon, around 1 tsp

•  Oatmeal, around 1 cup

•  Vegetable or chicken bouillon, 4-5 tsp

 

Groceries:

 

•  Frozen Turkey, 10-12 lbs

•  Onions, around 3 lbs

•  Celery, 1 large bunch

•  Carrots, 1 lb

•  Garlic, 1 head, or 2 if you’re keen on it

•  French or Italian bread, sliced, 1 loaf

•  Eggs (you’ll need 7)

•  Butter, 1 lb

•  Cranberries, fresh, 2 bags

•  Sweet potatoes, large fresh, 1/2 = one serving, so as many as you need

•  Potatoes, large baking, if desired

•  Green beans, regular cut frozen, 2 one-pound packages

•  Mushrooms, 1 pound fresh or 2 8-oz cans

•  Milk, 1 quart

•  French fried onion rings, 1 can

•  Pumpkin, 1 15-oz can (plain pumpkin, not pie filling)

•  Prepared frozen pie crust (if you’re not making your own or lack a pie plate)

•  Evaporated milk, 1 12-oz can

•  Apples, tart baking, 2 pounds

•  Whipped cream, 1 spray can of the real stuff, or Vanilla ice cream

•  Veggie and pickle tray items: pickles, olives, pepperoncini, radishes, green onions, etc. to taste

•  Brown and serve rolls if you opt out of baking your own bread or cornbread

•  Green peas or other frozen veg if desired

 

And, do not forget the beverages of choice: beer, wine, juice, coffee, sweet tea…

 

Article sponsored by Bama Bed and Breakfast.

Find them on the web at: www.bamabedandbreakfast.com

 

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By Chloe Monte

 

Remember the family that would keep the Christmas tree up all year?  Remember them?  You know the ones!  They were the eccentric family on the block whose sanity you questioned.  You asked yourself, “How could someone have such a continuous celebration spirit?  Does that not take away the essence of what Christmas is?  And what is December 25th to them if July 25th is identical?”  Ultimately, you resigned these thoughts to conclude, “To each his own.  If it makes them happy, then go for it!” 

 

What we, the categorical Christmas celebrators, did not realize was that they were ahead of their time!  They were innovative while we were naysayers.  They were trendy before there was an entire zeitgeist industry.  That’s right, they were simply living in the future! 

 

I write this article from the year 2050.  And in this year, we celebrate Christmas all year round.   We live in a perpetual state of green and red.  Stores have created, to continue increasing sales, virtual environments where you are taken back to your happiest Christmas memory via retail time machines and invented ornaments that give you boosts of endorphins whenever you touch them so to classically condition your opinion toward Christmas and excessive spending. 

 

Also, Christmas is no longer called Christmas.  A decade ago, Congress, after realizing the entire United States economy was built on Christmas revenue and any dip in Christmas revenue would cause a collapse to our economy, decided to call the holiday in perpetuity “Thanksgivmas”.  As well, there has been talk about enacting a flat tax that would automatically deduct 30% of our paycheck every month so to be put toward the Thanksgivmas economy to prevent any dips in consumption.  

 

Families no longer receive December 25th off as a vacation holiday, either.  December 25th no longer means anything; it’s just another Thanskgivmas day.  And what has happened to Black Friday, you ask?  Stores have created sections called the Black Daily where deals are had in rotation.    

 

Where did we go wrong?  How did this begin?  I’ll tell you how it began.  It began when we started trampling one another on Black Friday for a TV that is now obsolete and worth nothing!  That’s right, we are to blame!  The temptation was laid in front of us and we fell for it, Christmas tree hook, garland, and bulb.   

 

But this does not have to be your future.  You can change your habits now!

 

You can use this time to volunteer.  You can spend more time with family and friends.  You can go outside and enjoy the fresh air.  You can take up a painting class or travel.   Do anything but buy Christmas ornaments on October 1st

  

Take back Thanksgivmas season and let Christmas be Christmas and Thanksgiving be Thanksgiving. 

 

Article sponsored by Youth for Christ Tuscaloosa.

Find them on the web at: www.tuscaloosayfc.org

 

 

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By Marlena Rice

 

Fall is finally here: We are all “Roll Tide” – ing, enjoying our riding boots and jeans, and already stressing over who will be hosting Christmas dinner - let alone Thanksgiving dinner. As a mother and a wife, I would especially like to note that I am truly always thankful for my son, my husband, my family, my job, and a multitude of other things. I am really just tickled pink all the time when I think about how God has blessed me. However, today I would like to share with you a list of all the things I am thankful for that only mothers would understand.

 

This Thanksgiving, and all throughout the year:

 

·       I am thankful for the kind lady who works at Chick-fil-a, who remembers me and says, “It’s good to see you, you haven’t been here in a while.” Which leads me to be thankful that I am on time for work that particular morning, despite the fact that I was late the day before, and likely to be running late the next.

·       I am thankful for the fact that my two year old finally believes me when I say that bugs will crawl on his butt if he keeps giving me a hard time getting his underwear/pullups back on as we potty train.

·       I am thankful for the logistics coordinator of the new neighborhood Wal-Mart, who strategically placed a miniature toy aisle with mini racecars in direct view of the meat section (because once we take 30 minutes to pick out yet another car, or two, I am then able to quickly pick up the four items we initially came to buy).

·       I am thankful for my boss, who didn’t make me show him the photograph on my iPhone that details why I was late for work. The situation involved a child in a car seat, covered in the morning’s milk and an unseen prayer that an air freshener would just fall into the backseat like a smoke bomb.

·       I am thankful for Ben and Jerry, for making ice-cream concoctions that are so outrageous (and delicious) that when the family is sitting down to watch television in the evenings no one wants “just a bite.”

·       I am thankful for the couch. The one that handles the weight of all three of us, and our huge Great Dane as he leans against to sit at our feet. You have endured baby shoes, spilled milk, spilled chicken noodle soup, the dreaded orange Cheetos powder smears, and everything else that has once left my kitchen or dining room table. And you’ve endured a family that has to sit all but smack right on each other on your cushions while we argue about what to watch on one of multiple televisions in our home.

 

Happy Holidays, and be Thankful!

 

Marlena Rice is a local mom and author. Her new book, “Pacifiers, Flatbeds and Barn Wood Thingamajigs, a 'Come to Jesus Guide' for the New, Southern Mom,” will be available on Amazon.com this fall. Follow Marlena on Instagram at marlena_rice.

 

Photo: Marlena Rice

 

Caption: Beaux William is in the holiday spirit. He’s thankful for pumpkins, obviously.

 

Article sponsored by Med Center North.

Find them on the web at: www.medcenterurgentcare.com

 

 

Courtesy of Crimson Magazine

By Stan J. Griffin: November 16, 2015

As the No. 2 Alabama football team steps away from conference play this week for a Saturday battle against Big South Conference opponent Charleston Southern, a member of the Football Championship Subdivision, Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban acknowledged Monday that much of the emphasis of this week, as per usual, is improvement in his own team from its last game, a 31-6 win over Mississippi State on Saturday.

"We got off to a little bit of a slow start (against the Bulldogs) in the game and just didn't seem to have the energy, especially offensively, to pay attention to detail and get the kind of execution we needed against a very good defensive team," he said. "We played a lot better in the second half and made some big, explosive plays that made a big difference in the game. Defensively, we did a good job of affecting the quarterback (sacking MSU quarterback Dak Prescott nine times) and played well in the red zone. That was probably the difference in the game. We probably didn't tackle as well in space as we'd like to, and we gave up a few big plays that we probably shouldn't have. Those are things that we definitely need to work on and try to fix."

Saban noted that senior tailback Kenyan Drake, who sustained a fractured arm during Saturday's game, had successful surgery Monday and will likely be out at least a couple of week.


"Then (after that period where he cannot play), it will be, how functional can he be at this position with what he has," he said, also noting that freshman defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick is day-to-day in terms of practice this week, and he will be questionable for Saturday's game.

Fitzpatrick suffered a sprained knee against MSU, and he and Drake both suffered their injuries during second quarter play against the Bulldogs.

This week's contest marks the last game in Bryant-Denny Stadium for Alabama's seniors, and Saban spoke about that fact, and praised the senior players for their representation of UA both on and off the field.
"It's the last game for a lot of our seniors who have had a great career here and contributed and had a lot of success, and I certainly hope that our fans will show the kind of appreciation that we all should have for what their hard work, and their blood, sweat and tears have contributed to the program over the last four or five years," he said. "A lot of good people and a lot of successful guys, and guys that are going to be successful in life. They've been great ambassadors for the University of Alabama and this program. We're just very thankful for them for what they've contributed."

In terms of Saturday's 3 p.m. game (SEC Network) against Charleston Southern, Saban said third-year coach Jamey Chadwell will bring in a very talented Buccaneer team.
"Charleston Southern is 9 and 1, and probably one of the best teams in their FCS division, and they're ranked in the Top 10 in almost every current category, and one of the top defenses in that league, as well as very productive offensively," he said. "A different style of offense than we've played against, a lot of option and split back and a lot of options that we have not played against and their quarterback Austin Brown does a really good job. He's a very athletic guy who can run as well as he is a good passer. So this is going to be a challenging game for us from a preparation standpoint. Their defense has created a lot of negative plays and very quick. They play a 3-4 and they do a good job in their pressure package in creating negative plays, so this is a good team that we're playing, and hopefully our players will have the kind of respect they need to go out and play good, positive and winning football against them."

He said there are similarities between Charleston Southern and the Georgia Southern team that Alabama played in 2011, in terms of the Buccaneer option offense. But he added that Georgia Southern ran more of a Georgia Tech-style true option offense, and that Charleston Southern presents more multiple formations which create adjustment issues for an opposing defense relative to remaining sound on the option.

When asked about the play of junior defensive lineman Jonathan Allen, who was a key  part of Alabama's effective pass rush against MSU Saturday, Saban began his response with a lighthearted reference to the inadvertent hit that he took from the 6-foot-3, 283-pound lineman before that game started, leading to a noticeable abrasion on the coach's cheek.

"The first thing is knocking the hell out of the coach," he said, drawing a big chorus of laughter from the assembled media. "Jonathan was a really good high school on-the-edge pass rush guy, very, very good. I think he has gotten bigger and developed a lot of strength to where now he can rush off the edge, but he's a really effective inside rusher because he's gotten bigger and stronger. Certainly he plays the run a lot better and he's athletic and he can still move. I think that's the biggest difference, he just gotten, each year he's been here, a little bigger and stronger. He's always been very athletic and great first-step quickness. He does a great job of using his hands and moving his feet, which is critical in being a good pass rusher."

Asked about the process that goes into the scheduling of non-conference tilts against opponents such as Charleston Southern, the Tide coach said Alabama is sometimes limited in terms of its option when trying to assemble a schedule.

"We don't have a lot of choices," said Saban. "It's not like when you go into a restaurant and you get the menu and say, 'OK, we can play these 24 different teams, which one do we want to play?' Most of the time we're bargaining and begging to get anybody to play us, and so we don't always have a lot of choice, and especially lately where since we went to 14 teams in the league, it put the SEC schedule back a little bit in terms of when we got it so (the Tide was forced to fill in their schedule as well as it could), so those things have been challenges for us in scheduling, and we're going to continue to do the best we can in trying to get the best opponents, but we always don't have a lot of choice."

Alabama junior running back Derrick Henry and Allen earned SEC Player of the Week recognition following the win at Starkville Saturday, the league office announced on Monday.
Henry was named the Southeastern Conference Offensive Player of the Week for the fourth time this season after rushing for 204 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries against the Bulldogs. He has rushed for more than 200 yards in consecutive games and three of the past four overall, with each coming against teams ranked in the top-20 nationally. Henry broke free for touchdown runs of 74 and 65 yards to extend his school record of consecutive games with a rushing touchdown to 15, the longest such streak by an SEC player in the last 20 seasons.

In his first season as the team’s starting running back, Henry has amassed 1,474 yards and 19 touchdowns on 240 carries for a 6.1 yard average. He is currently the national leader in rushing touchdowns and ranks second overall in yards rushing. The junior tailback has performed his best in the Tide’s six games against ranked opponents, averaging 178.7 yards per game (1,072 yards) and scoring 12 touchdowns.    

Allen was recognized as the Southeastern Conference Defensive Lineman of the Week after a dominant performance in Starkville. The junior defensive end finished the day with seven tackles, including three tackles for loss (-17 yards), to go along with three sacks, one forced fumble, and a quarterback hurry. Allen is the first Alabama player to record three sacks in a game since Courtney Upshaw did it against Auburn in 2010. The Alabama defense collectively totaled nine sacks, representing the most by any unit in a single game under head coach Nick Saban.  

In addition to those honors, Saban and his coaching staff recognized ten Crimson Tide standouts as players of the week following the win against MSU.

Henry, Cam Robinson and ArDarius Stewart were the honorees on offense, while  Allen, Ryan Anderson and Reuben Foster represented the defense. Kenyan Drake, Adam Griffith, Cyrus Jones and Bradley Sylve made the special teams list.

It was announced by the SEC Monday that the Nov. 28 Iron Bowl contest between Alabama and Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium will begin at 2:30 p.m., with CBS televising the game.

Courtesy of Crimson Magazine

 

 

Anyone need some new dishes to enjoy at this year’s Thanksgiving dinner? Both of these dishes are perfect for the occasion. The Pecan Stuffed Acorn Squash looks gorgeous, but it’s fairly simple to make and it takes just a few ingredients. And the Pear Cake offers a delicious alternative to the traditional Thanksgiving desserts (though certainly include them, too).

Enjoy the Thanksgiving holidays, and bon appétit!

 

Pecan Stuffed Acorn Squash

2 acorn squash
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
Salt
Pepper
Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Cut each squash in half lengthwise, scrap out and discard seeds. Place squash, cut side down, in 2 baking dishes.

 

Add 1/2 inch of water to each pan.


Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour.


In a bowl, use a hand mixer (or stand) to beat the cream cheese, brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy.

 

Stir in pecans, reserving a few for garnish.


Carefully remove squash from oven and place cut side up on baking sheet.

(Tip: I trim off a little of the bottom so they will lie flat.)


Season squash with salt and pepper, fill with cream cheese mixture and bake for 15-20 more minutes, until filling is lightly browned and squash is tender.


Sprinkle with cinnamon, brown sugar and reserved pecans.

 

Pear Cake

2 cans pear halves
1 package white cake mix
3 eggs
1 stick butter, melted
Confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Drain pears, reserving 1 can of syrup. Chop pears.


Mix cake mix, butter, eggs and reserved syrup on low for 30 seconds, increase to medium-high for 4 mins.


Pour batter into a greased and floured Bundt pan.


Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.


Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar.

Amy Poore is a new mom, a wife and a foodie. To see more of Amy's delicious recipes, visit her blog, Poore Amy, at www.pooreamy.com.  

Photos: Amy Poore

 

Article sponsored by Willcutt Block.

Find them on the web at: http://www.willcuttblock.com

 

 

 

It’s not what you think

By Amelia Pilsch

In an early Master Gardener class, when the topic was preparing soil for planting, a member asked the speaker about “lasagna gardening.” Now, I had never heard this term before, and it felt a little sketchy when the speaker appeared to brush over the question.  I asked my seat mate about it, and later, "Googled" it to learn more.

Preparing a new garden bed using the lasagna method refers to building a garden by adding layers of organic materials that will “cook down” over time, resulting in rich soil that will help your plants thrive. Also called sheet composting, you don't have to dig at all - you simply layer your materials directly on top of the ground where you’ve planned your new garden, even on top of the grass

Being a single, teacher person, and getting a little long in the tooth, I thought my days of creating a new garden space were over. Honestly, cutting the grass has even become a chore, but I still prefer that chore over the alternate, indoor kind. The idea of creating a new bed without the hours of back breaking labor seemed very appealing to me. Plus, I already had a space in mind and, I’d been saving an inspiration picture...don't judge me. I decided to give it a try.

I started my garden in the fall after a friend built the trellises along the wall. I used my garden hose to outline the new space, then covered the entire area in cardboard and newspaper. Here's a tip: I filled my garden cart with water and soaked the newspaper to keep it from blowing around before I added another layer.

The paper and cardboard are an invitation to earthworms, they love paper and are vital for good soil. Earthworms aerate the soil as they move by burrowing small holes. They process organic matter in their bodies and return vital compounds to the soil, increasing the nutrients available to plants.

The second layer that I added was peat moss. I have learned that using peat moss is environmentally unfriendly and non-sustainable. I'd recommend mulch instead. Sometimes, peat moss can turn into a wet, mushy bog, but not to worry, my bed is fine. I topped the peat with wheat hay, covered the entire concoction with a tarp and left it for several weeks. From time to time, I’d uncover the space, add another layer and wet it with the hose. I used manure, mushroom compost, more hay, grass clippings, and hardwood leaves.

When spring came, I started adding items to my new bed. I decided to experiment with espalier, training a shrub to grow flat against a wall using my trellises. I selected Camellia Sasanqua "October Magic" because I needed something evergreen and loved the idea of having blooms in the fall. I also added three dwarf lorepetulums. Existing plants included a hydrangea, a gardenia, irises and day lilies. Instead of a fountain, I installed a bird bath.

I needed a way in and out so I put in pavers, but hope to replace those with personalized, stepping stones, mementos of my family. It's still a work in progress but that is the beauty of gardening isn't it?

Follow Tuscaloosa County Master Gardeners on Twitter @TuscCoGardeners

Photos: Amelia Pilsch

 

Article sponsored by First South Farm Credit.

Find them on the web at:  http://www.firstsouthfarmcredit.com/home.aspx

 

 

Courtesy of Crimson Magazine

By Stan J. Griffin: November 14, 2015

On a day when the No. 2 Alabama football team seemingly could not find any consistent offensive rhythm for the most part, especially in the early going, Nick Saban's Crimson Tide needed something significant to provide a lift as it found itself involved in a gritty affair against Dan Mullen's feisty No. 17 Mississippi State team in Starkville Saturday.
Alabama finally began to find a bit of that offensively and in the special teams department through big plays from Jake Coker, Calvin Ridley, Derrick Henry and Cyrus Jones.

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By Candice Morris

 

In the South, we don’t see much cold weather during the fall and winter seasons, so we tend be a little more relaxed with our gardening. But just because the leaves on trees are gone and the flowers aren’t blooming doesn’t mean we should neglect our yard and gardens. Check out these tips to help get the yard and garden ready for the colder temps.

Insulate

Just as we flock to scarves and sweaters on cooler days, our plants need a little insulation from the weather too. One of the most cost-effective methods involves spreading mulch around flower beds. Spreading a 1-2 inch layer of mulch around your plants will help to not only keep the cold from getting to the plants but it will also help to retain moisture during drier months.

Fertilize

Fall is also a great time to get the lawn ready for the spring. Be sure to fertilize it well with lawn food and reseed thin spots around the yard. To add some color during the winter seasons, planting annual ryegrass seed on top of the warm-season grass will do the trick. Using a mower to chop fallen leaves can also be beneficial; leaves will break down and add nutrients to the soil. 

Inject Color

If flower beds are looking a little sparse, try planting colorful fall flowers that are perfect for cooler temps. Mums and pansies are a great choice, but also consider fall flowers such as aster, helenium, or goldenrod for a garden bursting with color. For perennial beds, fall is the time to pull those weeds and cut back perennial flowers; this will help to ensure better growth in the spring.

Plant Bulbs

Spring-blooming bulbs should be planted approximately six weeks before the ground freezes, but here in Alabama we often don’t have this worry. Bulbs such as crocuses, tulips, and daffodils can be planted well into November and sometimes December. These hardy bulbs will grow best in well-drained soil. If you’re unsure about your soil’s quality, work in some sand and compost.

Before the weather gets too chilly, be sure to take advantage of the mild fall days to get the yard and garden in shape for the colder temps. With these simple preparation techniques you’ll be able to enjoy a beautiful yard and garden even on the chilliest of days.

Photos (all are stock)

Mulching.png: Spread mulch around flower beds to help keep plants insulated during chilly months.

Mums.png: Mums are a great planting choice for fall to inject color into the landscaping.

 

Article sponsored by Pants Store.

Find them on the web at http://www.pantsstore.com.

 

Courtesy of DCM Fan Zone

By Erik Stinnett

Guess the committee wasn't so crazy after all. 

From Tuesday night through Saturday afternoon last week, the complaining, hand-wringing, chastising and head-shaking came out in force. All from the national media. The supposed experts on the game were incredulous as to why the College Football Playoffs selection committee placed Alabama at No. 4 in the rankings, ahead of a handful of unbeatens and a couple of one-loss teams -- Notre Dame and Florida -- that, despite those defeats, were highly esteemed by the national media.
 
Um, one week later, nobody is screaming at the committee anymore.

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By Chloe Monte

 

Food banks across the state of Alabama are collecting goods and seeking volunteers.  According to the 2010 Government Census, 36% of Alabama’s residents live below the poverty line, which is over 1.6 million people.  Many of these people receive food from food banks to make ends meet. 

 

Hunger often goes unnoticed because it cannot be seen nor touched and many people who cannot feed themselves nor their families have nowhere else to turn for nutritious meals. 

 

If you are interested in donating to a food bank this fall or to volunteer, then click here to find a food bank near you.   As well, there are many other organizations that are involved in fighting against hunger.  The West Alabama Food Bank website has a great list of organizations that help fight hunger. 

 

Let’s work together to affect positive change in the lives of those around us.   Donate today!

 

Article sponsored by Belle Chambre.

Find them on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/BelleChambreTuscaloosa/

 

 

 

 

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By Chloe Monte

 

Painting pumpkins is nothing new, but what is new is using these pumpkins as highly stylized design elements in one’s house.  One of the easiest and most beautiful ways to accomplish a Southern Living type look is to use Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint®, which can be found at various retailers across Alabama. 

 

Chalk Paint® is so easy to use and can be used on practically any surface from glass, metal, wood, or upholstery, without priming, prepping, or sanding.  Equally as great, Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint® comes in beautiful colors.  

 

The blog, Perfectly Imperfect, run by Shaunna West, an Alabama native and star of the HGTV home improvement show Sweet Home Alabama best showcases the beautiful designs one can create this fall.  

 

There are many retailers across Alabama who both sell these paints and offer classes on how to best make your house look beautiful. 

 

An Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint® retailer in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Restoring Piece, for example, offers both introductory and advanced courses that include both written curriculum and hands-on instruction while also teaching techniques that can be applied to any project.  A full schedule of events offered by Restoring Piece can be found on their website: www.restoringpiece.com.   

 

 

An easy way to decorate your holiday table.  

 

Click here for a full list of Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint® retailers in Alabama.

 

Happy designing!

 

Article sponsored by DCH.

Find them on the web at:  https://www.dchsystem.com

 

Courtesy of Crimson Magazine

By Stan J. Griffin: November 8, 2015

Although Saturday's much-hyped Southeastern Conference showdown between No. 2 LSU and No. 4 Alabama was competitive for a half in terms of the scoreboard, there was never any doubt about which team was the dominating force for this evening.

The Crimson Tide used a methodical offensive attack led by junior tailback Derrick Henry to dominate time of possession, pile up yardage and eventually break the game open against a weary Tiger defense. Alabama also rode a smothering defensive effort that held the Tigers' talented sophomore tailback Leonard Fournette to 31 yards while generally stifling the LSU offensive effort overall.

The result was a convincing 30-16 win for the Crimson Tide in front of a capacity crowd of 101,821 in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
The win, Alabama's sixth in a row since a home loss to Ole Miss, and fifth in a row over LSU, improved the Crimson Tide to 8-1 overall and 5-1 in SEC play. LSU, with its first defeat of the season, fell to 7-1 overall and 4-1 in league play.

Most importantly, the big win allowed the Crimson Tide to regain control of its destiny in the SEC West thanks to the 53-52 victory by Arkansas at Ole Miss Saturday.

                                                                                                              Sponsored by: 

By Sherry Holmes

 

A prenuptial discussion is probably not high on any engaged person’s “to do” list. No, it’s most likely down at the bottom, and with good reason: The discussions about prenuptial agreements can be super awkward.


Here’s the thing, though: If you both are entering into a marriage with a lot of assets, having a prenup is necessary. In theory, prenuptial agreements can protect both partners, providing an equitable solution in the event that the marriage doesn’t work out and ends in divorce. No, it’s not something engaged couples like to think about – but they should. Because if you take some steps now to try and work through prenuptial agreement details, it can help protect you in the future if something goes wrong.

 

Pick the right minute to discuss a prenuptial agreement with your future life partner. Try not to spring the idea out of the blue at the last-minute. Be proactive: Broach the subject well in advance of the wedding. This will allow both of you to talk about the subject freely and openly, without so much pre-wedding chaos going on.

 

Test the waters with your partner. Raise the thought of a prenuptial understanding amid easygoing discussion, and give careful consideration to the response you get. Does your future bride or groom bristle at the idea of a prenup? The response will help you gauge future discussions, and how they’ll go.

 

Keep things positive. Approach the discussion about a prenuptial agreement as positively as you can. Be clear when you explain the way you feel, and emphasize to your future mate that a prenup doesn’t mean a lack of commitment or trust from you.

 

Present the idea of a prenup as a collaborative effort. Both partners should be heavily involved in discussions of the details of the agreement. And by all means, if any issues do arise, deal with them together.

 

Article sponsored by Diamonds Direct.

Find them on the web at: https://diamondsdirect.com

 

By Chloe Monte

 

There are some amazing pumpkin spiced recipes out there, but with so many options,  it is hard to find the best ones.  So we put together a list of the top 5 pumpkin spiced foods in Alabama.  Mmmm!  Enjoy!

 

1.) Maple Pumpkin Cupcake, Twist Cupcakes, Mobile

 

These cupcakes are to die for, truly.  They would go perfect with any fall birthday party or even as desserts for Halloween or Thanksgiving.

 

2.) Gingersnap Pumpkin PiePie Lab, Greensboro

 

If you like pumpkin pie, you will not find a better one than at the Pie Lab.  Get there early because they go fast. 

 

3.) Pumpkin Cheesecake, Liger’s Bakery, Montgomery

 

Pumpkin cheesecake is this amazing combination of two really great things.  Give Liger’s Bakery’s pumpkin cheesecake a try.  It will not disappoint. 

 

4.) Pumpkin Spiced Latte CupcakeGigi’s, Tuscaloosa

 

If you are in town for a game, head over to Gigi’s to try this cupcake flavor. In fact, order a bunch for game day parties.  Your guests will be thankful. 

 

 

Article sponsored by PRIDE of Tuscaloosa.

Find them on the web at: http://www.prideoftuscaloosa.org

 

 

 

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By Courtney Corbridge

 

In today’s market, the vast majority of pearls sold by jewelers are not, strictly speaking, natural pearls. They are cultured, which means that the pearl-instigating irritant is actually implanted inside the mollusk’s shell rather than naturally appearing there. Once the pearl is harvested, jewelers often, as they do with other gems, enhance or alter the color in a pearl using various treatments like bleaching (making white pearls whiter), irradiation (turning pearls black, silvery, or bluish-green shades), and dyeing (creating a variety of colors). Though this does not necessarily affect the quality or longevity of the pearl, it will, and should, be reflected in the price. These treated pearls, have likely been treated in order to compensate for a shorter development period, which will affect color, luster, and depth of nacre.

 

While untreated cultured pearls can take years to mature, treated pearls are removed in 8–9 months. The shorter maturation period means a smaller layer of nacre that needs to be artificially enhanced.

 

Nacre, also known as mother of pearl, is the natural substance on the inside of a mollusk’s shell. It is layered on the irritant over and over to create a finished pearl, the color of which is contingent upon the color of the mollusk’s natural nacre. According to the Gemological Institute of America, here are a few naturally colored pearls you can find from around the world:

 

Akoya: Largely produced in China and Japan, these pearls mostly have white and cream body colors with pink or green overtones. Yellow, pink, and blue akoyas can also be found.

 

Tahitian: Home of the famous “black pearl,” Tahiti and other French Polynesian islands traditionally produce darker pearls—grays, browns, blacks, purples, greens, and blues.

 

South Sea: These salt water pearls come from Australia, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Largely pastel in color, they come in whites, creams, yellows, blues, and silvers. The pink, green, and blue overtones can additionally influence the appearance of the pearl.

 

Freshwater: This fairytale color collection of pearls, with its whites, creams, yellows, oranges, pinks, and purples, comes from the fresh waters of China and the United States. Here, you will also find the rainbow-colored orient pearl.  

 

As pearls are quickly coming back in fashion, dive in and find the trendy color for you!

 

Article sponsored by Nancy & Co. Fine Jewelry.

Find them on the web at: http://www.nancyandco.com

 

By: Chloe Monte

 

This fall hike was had at Hurricane Creek Park Trail.  This area is known for its summer splashes in Hurricane Creek where families and friends alike gather in the peaceful flowing water to beat the heat.  The area is also known for its amazing trail system that loops through the cascading hills. 

 

The trails are open to both mountain bikers and hikers; however, the trail system tends to be peaceful and low in traffic.  It’s the perfect trail to hike when one wants to feel in touch with nature and to get away from the noise of town.

 

The trail has both North and South loops.  The North loop is 4.3 miles long and the South loop is an extra 1.1 miles.  This is the perfect length to feel like you’ve gotten away, yet it is short enough that it can be done without giving up your entire day. 

 

During my hike this past weekend, I found myself enjoying the trickling sun that danced upon the colorful fall leaves and beautiful birds that cascaded between the branches.  It was truly a pleasure to experience this. 

 

Hiking during the fall is one of the best times to hike in Alabama because the weather is often dry and temperate.   In other words, Alabama is not making it difficult to have an amazingly relaxing day.   Football season often competes with the call of the trail, but the die-hard outdoorsy people know that this often works to their advantage.   And no worries, though, if game day cannot be missed to enjoy the tranquility of the trails, simply go on another day.   It will be win-win!  (Pun intended.)

 

Happy trailblazing! 

 

Article sponsored by Tuscaloosa Tourism.

Find them on the web at: http://visittuscaloosa.com

 

Courtesy of DCM Fan Zone

By Erik Stinnett

Two longtime SEC East big boys. Now going two entirely different directions.

 
That was the story coming out of Jacksonville, Fla., over the weekend after the latest installment of the Florida-Georgia rivalry ended with Florida winning 27-3. 
 
It was yet another sign this season that the Gators, under first-year head coach Jim McElwain, have become relevant again on the national scene. Very relevant, in fact. Florida, whose lone loss this season came at LSU, is now one SEC win away from punching its ticket to the Georgia Dome to play for an SEC title, and a win there could very well mean a spot in the College Football Playoffs.

Courtesy of Crimson Magazine

By Stan J. Griffin

Although the No. 7 University of Alabama football team was off this past week in terms of an actual game, Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said the week was a productive one, nevertheless, for his team.

"We have been working on a lot of things, and a lot of repetitions for a lot of players, to improve," he said Monday. "But now it's time to sort of refocus on the task at hand. The players had a few days off, and I think the goal is is for us to play our best football of the year. To do that, each individual on the team needs to play their best, and that obviously starts with preparation, and we're going to start our preparation (for Saturday's game against No. 4 LSU) today."

Saban noted the magnitude of the Alabama/LSU rivalry, and how it has grown during the past several years. It will no doubt be a formidable challenge for his Crimson Tide squad once again when Les Miles' Tigers (7-0 overall and 4-0 in SEC play) comes to Tuscaloosa Saturday to battle his Alabama team (7-1, 4-1).

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By Chloe Monte:

 

The website, Influencer, recently surveyed 40,000 influencers to find out what Halloween candies were the most popular in each state.  

 

Most states preferred chocolate goodies, such as, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups or Kit Kats, or surgery delights, such as, Candy Corns. 

 

But those were not the only treats people preferred.  In fact, the list was quite diverse.  Mississippians loved Hershey’s Kisses while Georgians preferred Pixy Stixs. 

 

The people of Alabama, however, preferred AirHeads!  Very interesting. AirHeads are delicious, so I am not surprised to find out that they ranked so highly.  So, Alabamains, if you want to be the popular house on the block, you know what candy to give out! 

 

To find out more about how other states ranked, click here

 

Article sponsored by Pants Store.

Find them on the web at: http://www.pantsstore.com

 

 

 

 

 

Azalea City Living is Mobile, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

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