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By Candice Morris

 

As a new homeowner, one of the first things I wanted to purchase was something for my front door. I love the look of monogrammed door décor, but wanted mine to be special, something that was uniquely “me.”

With most of my new home budget going towards things like paint and home-repair supplies, I knew I needed something for my door that was inexpensive and could easily be updated each season. I loved this rustic frame I found at Hobby Lobby. Between hitting Hobby Lobby on the right sales day and a having a digital coupon, I managed to get all of my supplies, which included burlap ribbon, some fall décor, and a wooden “M,” for around $20.

The trickiest part of this project was fashioning the bow. If you’re unsure how to make one, a pre-made bow would be perfect for this project. You could also tie your ribbon into a simple bow. I attached the bow to the top of the frame by using the ends of the bow to tie it on. I then tied the fall décor, which were fall-colored jingle bells, to a smaller ribbon and attached to the back of the frame. I left the letter unpainted and glued it onto the frame using small dots of wood glue. After adding a loop of ribbon on the back, it was ready to be hung!

This versatile door décor is a simple afternoon project that is sure to look great on your front door. You can always put your own personal touches on it, too – paint the letter your favorite color and voila!

Happy Fall, Y’all.

 

Article sponsored by Russell Lee Flooring.

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

 

By Joshua Watkins

Walk into Mugshots Grill & Bar and you will be greeted by images of many patrons (and a few famous individuals) all over the walls of an upscale rustic décor befitting a southern favorite. It’s a comfortable atmosphere and server, Kristin Beach, was most gracious as I looked over the extensive menu. Ultimately, Kristin recommended the “Come-back Burger” and it did not disappoint.  

Courtesy of Crimson Magazine

By Stan J. Griffin: October 24, 2015

Nick Saban's No. 8 University of Alabama football team struggled offensively and defensively throughout the course of Saturday's contest against rival Tennessee at Bryant-Denny Stadium, and it appeared late in the contest that a physically-spent Crimson Tide team was in dire jeopardy of having its Southeastern Conference and national title hopes squashed by Butch Jones' Volunteer team.

But in a game mainly defined by the sluggishness of the Tide and the stubborn resolve of the visitors from Knoxville, a resilient and gritty Alabama team used big plays by Jake Coker, Derrick Henry, ArDarius Stewart, Ryan Anderson and A'Shawn Robinson among others in the last five minutes or so to avoid the huge home upset, while also keeping its win streak alive against the Volunteers.

(Courtesy of DCMFanZone)

By Erik Stinnett

If ever a team needed to be on upset alert, this weekend is most certainly it for Alabama.

Since self-imploding against Ole Miss on Sept. 19, the Crimson Tide have been rolling. And picking up steam fast. Alabama has gone 4-0 the past four weeks with its most impressive, dominating victories coming on the road against undefeated, top 10 competition.
 
Alabama upset (yes, it did classify as an upset) Georgia, 38-10, on Oct. 3. Two weeks later it went back on the road and walloped Texas A&M, 41-23. The other two wins in the last month were home wins over not-as-imposing competition -- 34-0 over Louisiana-Monroe and 27-14 over Arkansas.

(Courtesy of Crimson Magazine)

By Stan J. Griffin: October 23, 2015

A few years back there was a bit of scuttlebutt regarding the Alabama-Tennessee game, and whether it should be played every year in the SEC rotational system, as some outsiders felt that perhaps the Crimson Tide had an advantage by getting to play a downtrodden Vols program every year instead of, say, a Georgia or Florida, or even South Carolina.

Fortunately the powers that be in the conference used good judgment and opted to continue the yearly battle between Alabama and Tennessee, realizing how big of a rivalry the game still is for many, while also realizing that it's not exactly the Crimson Tide's fault that the Tennessee program had fallen into hard times over the past few years.

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By Courtney Corbridge

 

When you think of your dogs or your neighbors dogs, you are likely aware of how obedient, affectionate, fun, soft, cute, funny, entertaining, or protective they are. As long as any of us can remember, and certainly much longer than that, dogs have been considered man’s best friend. That’s true right here in Alabama, and it is true pretty much anywhere you go.

 

But this relationship wasn’t always just the recreational one it largely is now. Dogs became man’s best friend when they banded together for survival. Man protected dogs, and dogs helped man find food. Though hunting dogs have mostly become family dogs in our day, here are a few dogs that are still used for hunting today – especially in Alabama.

 

The best way to tackle the expansive list of hunting dogs is to first break them down into types. For our purposes, we’ll just look at the two main types—hounds and gun dogs. Some dog experts break this down further to include curs, terriers, feists etc. But the two most common dog types today are hounds and gun dogs.

 

Hounds are land trackers. They are best for hunting raccoons, jackrabbits, coyotes, and similar animals. Some hounds track using their developed sense of smell, and some track with their acute sight. The more familiar hounds, the scent trackers, will go on long chases as they hunt their prey, and they’ll often chase the target into a tree, where the dog will patrol until the hunter catches up by following the dog’s bellowing barks. A few great hound breeds are American Foxhounds, Basset Hounds, Beagles, Bloodhounds, Coonhounds, and Greyhounds.

 

Gun dogs are better for hunting prey that cannot climb trees. These game dogs are more tactful for hunting deer and birds, and typically the hunters that use them are armed with shotguns—hence the name gun dogs.

 

Retrievers, one variety of gun dogs, locate prey once they have been shot down, and they quickly retrieve it for the hunter.  The Labrador Retriever, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, and Golden Retriever are three of the most loved retrieving gun dogs.

 

Flushing dogs, yet another type of gun dog, are trained to locate hiding prey and then force them into the open. Common flushing dogs are spaniels like the Blue Picardy Spaniel, the American Water Spaniel, and the Welsh Springer Spaniel.

 

Unlike flushing dogs, setters and pointers locate their prey and then freeze on the spot for the hunter to come with a net or gun. Common pointing dogs are Gordon Setters, Irish Setters, and the German Shorthaired Pointer.

 

For a more complete hunting dog list, check out http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/huntingdogs.htm.

 

Article sponsored by First South Farm Credit.

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

 

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By Chloe Monte

Haunted houses are everywhere in Alabama and we put together a list of ones to visit if you dare!

 

Atrox Factory

 

Columbia Manor

 

Haunted House of Horrors

 

Haunted Lester Hospital

 

Hollis Haunted Chicken House

  • 7522 Hwy 431, Heflin, Alabama 36264
  • $15 1 Token / $25 2 Tokens / $40 3 Tokens
  • Open every Friday and Saturday from 7pm – 12am.
  • http://hauntedchickenhouse.net

 

Insanitarium

 

Popes Haunted Farm

 

Sloss Fright Furnace

  • 20 32nd Street North, Birmingham, AL 35222
  • $20 - $24 general admissions
  • All ages can take the furnace tour.  The trail tour is restricted to age 14 and up unless accompanied by adults
  • Open every day of the week
  • http://www.frightfurnace.com/index.asp

 

Spook Trail Maze of Monsters & Mayhem

  • 17347 Highway 269, Quinton, Alabama
  • $15 general admission or $10 with a canned food item
  • The trail is open every Friday and Saturday night.  It opens at 7pm and closes at 12am.
  • http://spooktrail.tripod.com/spooktrail2.html

  

Terrortorium

 

Twysted Souls Haunted Trail

 

Warehouse 31

  • 3150 Lee Street, Pelham, Alabama 35124
  • VIP pass $49.95
  • Gates are open 6:30 pm to midnight on Friday and Saturday and until 11 pm on other nights.
  • Free parking is available.
  • http://warehouse31.com

 

 

This article is sponsored by Morning Pointe.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A monthly editorial piece of masterful opinionated writing (insert joke here) regarding life and times in the big town of Tuscaloosa coupled with the musings of a guy nicknamed “Oz.”

 

There’s already a conflict. 

 

How on earth does this happen? Dost the masses not understand the unwritten rule of the south - the rule that states, and I quote, “Thou shall not schedule important and/or life-altering events during any given Saturday for the duration of the fall season?”

 

Yet somehow, it occurs. A blind eye is turned. The rule overlooked. The statute ignored. The priorities flushed.

 

In the college football fan attendance and viewing playbook for the upcoming season, November 7, 2015, looked to be one of those days of perfect gridiron engagement bliss.  Alabama vs. LSU. Auburn vs. Texas A&M. Tennessee vs. South Carolina. Arkansas vs. Ole Miss. The list goes on…

 

The football scheduling brass looked down upon their work. They savored their craftsmanship, as they had created a gift to all SEC college football fans of the world. They celebrated their achievement with high-fives and self-adoration, while visions of advertising dollars danced in their heads. The people approved. And they were pleased.

 

Harmonious celebration was sure to ensue. Birds chirping. Children laughing. Fathers rejoicing.

 

But in the distance, a thunderstorm was evolving, in the form of an intrusive, upper-level low made up of everlasting commitment and impending nuptials - a disturbance caused by a jet stream of affection; a cold front of love.

 

Indeed, a friend scheduled his wedding on Nov. 7, and out of state to boot.

 

Suddenly, the vision of tailgating and grilling and chips and dips became blurry. The glory of the first game starting at 11 and the last game ending at 11 and never missing a moment of it became distorted. The outlook was grim, and the future uncertain. Gloom, despair and agony were soon to be followed by deep dark depression and excessive misery. If it weren’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all.

 

After coming to grips with the certain doom, the football Gods smiled, and as luck would have it… the happy couple changed their wedding date. But there is no way I was going to erase all of this and start over.

 

Rest assured, something will come up. It always does, just like it did 10 years ago. And sometimes, certain events trump (not an endorsement) other events.

 

To be fair, and for all of those keeping score at home, yours truly got married in the month of October which, of course, is smack-dab in the middle of football season. It was a gorgeous day, with lovely weather and low humidity. But most importantly, it was to a beautiful woman who has managed to put up with my eccentricities for almost 10 years. She deserves an award, and she most definitely deserved her wedding day whenever and wherever she wanted it. And she got it.

 

That’s how it happens. And that, my friends, is priority.

 

Happy Anniversary, Honey.

 

I tweet insignificant things @ozborn34.          

 

Derek Osborn is the Executive Director of PRIDE of Tuscaloosa by trade and writer by hobby. He lives in Tuscaloosa with his wife, Lynn, and daughters Savannah and Anica. 

 

Article sponsored by Bradford Health Services.

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

 

By Courtney Corbridge

 

Let’s face it: competition for jobs continues to be challenging for everyone. And it works both ways, as employers struggle to attract sustainable employees. For potential employees, a spiffy résumé is a must –but there are a number of other factors that can help someone land a dream job.

That’s where workforce development comes in, and it’s happening right here in T-Town.

Shaunee Lynch, manager at the Tuscaloosa branch of PSI (Personnel Staffing, Inc.), gives a few tips on how to get the job your dreams—even if you only have limited experience.

But first, what are the biggest challenges potential employees face in today’s job market?

Surprisingly, it’s not a matter of being under-qualified. In fact, Lynch says it’s actually a weakness in “selling [your] skilled contributions to a company.” Often what a job-seeker might write off as being unimportant, employers see as assets. This is why having contacts for previous employers is so valuable; they can vouch for your character and work ethic. As Lynch describes, “When employers call an applicant’s previous employers for a reference, the response can be the difference between being hired or not considered”—even if you are the most qualified applicant.

Since the reports of previous employers can be so vital, it is important to remember that no matter who you work for—or for how much—you need to, as Lynch says, “display professionalism and an eagerness to benefit [your] employer.” Their reports become one of the best return-of-investments for you, since they will continue to build and strengthen your résumé over time.

Another challenge for new job seekers is knowing the unwritten rules of the interview process. A few to remember are dressing appropriately, not exposing personal information during the interview process, arriving at the right time, and learning to transform your paper résumé into a verbal platform in person.

At PSI this is exactly what Lynch helps a variety of people to do every day. In her words, they “transition their employees from the ‘I just want a job’ attitude to an ‘I want to be an asset’ attitude.” PSI helps clients create a sustainable and qualified workforce by educating employees and helping them to maximize their employability.

Lynch told of one recent success story:

“We had two very persistent young men, who are related, and had no work experience come to our office looking for a job. Over the course of two weeks, we taught them how to write a ‘no-experience’ résumé, sent them on a short assignment to experience the value of employment, and the importance of identifying self-value. After a few conversations, I learned that they both had great skill and gifts that can be transferred to a degree in higher education. They are both now working full-time for one of our clients and are enrolling in school. When I called to deliver the news about their hiring the grandmother’s response was priceless!”

Regardless of your current employment status, a great job worthy of your talents can be available to you.

 

Article sponsored by Interlinc Mortgage Services.

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

By Tori Linville

 

Maybe it’s a silhouette out of the corner of your eye. It could be hushed voices when no one’s around. Maybe something falls off a shelf unexpectedly. Or a cold rush overcomes you and the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

 

These are just a few experiences you could have in some of Alabama’s haunted places – some people have already had them. We’ve listed some places around your area that are known for their supernatural residents. Feel free to visit – if you dare.

 

BIRMINGHAM

 

Sloss Furnaces

 

There’s a reason both paranormal reality shows “Ghost Adventures” and “Ghost Hunters” have investigated the happenings at Sloss Furnaces. Creepy stories and legends practically hold up the walls to Sloss Furnaces, the old pig iron manufacturer. More than 60 workers died during the furnace’s heyday. The deaths were nasty accidents, though some contest that some were murdered. Here’s what has been experienced:

·      apparitions of figures throughout the furnaces

·      sounds of workers moving behind/beside visitors

·      pipes banging and other residual noises

·      two investigators reported having been slapped in the face

 

Hotel Highland/Pickwick Hotel

 

The Hotel Highland features many unexplained events that leave visitors scratching their heads. Known also as the Pickwick Hotel in the 1950s, the building used to be known as The Pickwick Club before that. It was also once a medical building. Some say a nurse still roams the halls of the hotel. Here’s what’s floating around:

·      ghostly figures sighted frequently, including a little girl, a man in a suit in the dining room and a woman in a long dress entering the elevator

·      eerie, cold feeling in basement gym, which used to be a morgue, along with strange smells

·      feeling of being touched

·      feeling of being watched

 

TUSCALOOSA

 

The Jemison Center at Old Bryce Mental Hospital

 

There are several things said about “Old Bryce,” and most is usually fiction. Some claim that former slaves were forced back into slavery at the facility. Since it wasn’t founded as a health care provider until the 1920s, the slave theory doesn’t make much sense. Regardless, the patients who lived in the facility most likely did live through the abuse that occurred for many mental patients during the time. Here’s what people have recorded from their visits:

·      unexplained voices, footsteps

·      unexplained slamming doors

·      unexplained hair pulling

·      sensation of being hit or kicked

 

If visiting Old Bryce sounds like fun to you, we wouldn’t advise it. Trespassers caught on the grounds will be prosecuted for breaking the law.

 

Moundville Archeological Park

 

Down the road in Moundville, the Moundville Archeological Park is home to the remains of a large settlement created by the native peoples who lived in the area beside the Black Warrior River. The mounds in the settlement helped support residences, were used for a mortuary and had other uses. It’s said the spirits of the Moundville natives can still be felt among the grounds. Here’s the spooky run-down of what’s been seen and heard:

·      faint drumming heard at night

·      light coming from one of the larger mounds, taking the shape of a pyramid

 

 

MOBILE

 

Kate Shepard House Bed and Breakfast

 

The gorgeously decorated bed and breakfast has said to have visitors that are always checked in. Run by friendly staff and teaming with Southern charm and history, there’s no questioning why the masses flock to the breathtaking home. Here’s what those who got to check out have reported:

·      an apparition of an elderly woman seen in guest rooms

·      strange presence felt by staff and customers

 

Battle House Renaissance Hotel

 

A member of the Historic Hotels of America, the Battle House Renaissance Hotel is known for its luxurious ways. The hotel regularly aces customer reviews, and lists a 4.8 for service and cleanliness via a 5.0 scale on its website. While the hotel has been renovated, history can’t be removed like drywall. Here’s what’s been reported:

·      unexplained voices and apparitions

·      faucets turning on and off by themselves

·      unexplained photo evidence of apparitions

 

BONUS: CAHABA

 

Once known as the state’s capital, Cahaba, Alabama is now a certified ghost town. Eerie, empty buildings are only maintained by the Alabama Historical Commission. Abandoned streets, cemeteries and ruins are the only markers that anyone ever lived in the town.

 

Check out hauntedplaces.org for more ghostie fun.

 

Article sponsored by Alabama Power.

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

 

No matter where you live in Alabama, you are close to something fun to do this fall. And since the weather is so nice, it’s hard not to get out of the house and join up with the community. Here are a few of our favorite seasonal activities for each of the big areas of the state.

 

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By Courtney Corbridge

 

If it’s one thing true Southern women know, it’s fashion. And while pearls are always in style for women from Huntsville to Tuscaloosa to Mobile, why not consider adding a little extra flair? This fall mix up your look with bold pieces, simple pieces, or both!

 

For the bold:

·      Big and Bright

While the rich colors of the harvest may be just around the corner, the vibrant colors of summer still reign in the world of jewelry. Trending now are large multi-colored crystals paired against each other or with vibrant contrast bands.

 

 JCrew’s ombre crystal statement necklace features clusters of crystals that gradually move from creams to teals then pinks to greens and deep blues.

 

For even greater pop, the JCrew leather brulé bracelet showcases a host of rainbow sheen crystals on the backdrop of a fluorescent yellow leather band.

 

·      One-Sided

If you’re feeling extra daring, ditch the “pair” and go with a now-trending runway look of a solo stud or drop earring.

 

For the understated:

 

·      Bunches of Bangles

Another trend making it big is the bangle. Wear one simple bangle or load up and mix and match them. Find Kendra Scott’s cuff bracelet series at Nordstrom, or for a finer piece, check out Tiffany’s infinity knot cuff.

 

·      Long Pendant Chains

The retro long chain and pendant are big this fall. Get out an old thin chain or check out the y-chains at Nordstrom. Chan Luu’s beaded double strand is a favorite.

 

For the classical:

·      Pearly Whites

The surge in pearl popularity (finally the rest of the world gets it!) lets you break out your strands in grand fashion. Twist them together to wear them in new ways or find a pearl brooch or hair piece to accessorize with.

 

·      Bring the Brooch

Brooches are not just what you found in your grandmother’s jewelry box. They are coming back full force with Prada, Chanel, and Calvin Klein—in metals, flowerets, and organic shapes. Find one to dress up your fall cardigans, jackets and sweaters. And really, let’s face it: Women of Alabama, we almost all have a special family heirloom brooch tucked away in our lovely, monogrammed jewelry boxes, do we not? Time to show it off!

 

Article sponsored by Nancy and Co.

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

 

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By Courtney Corbridge

 

Fall isn’t fall without a good corn maze or pumpkin patch. But finding the best one online can prove a challenge. So we’ve done the hard work for you. Here are some of the best pumpkin patches in the state—complete with addresses, phone numbers, activities, fees, and hours of operation. It’s all of what you need and none of what you don’t. Find the best one near you!

 

Birmingham

 

The Great Pumpkin Patch

39min north of Birmingham

1hr 20min from Huntsville

 

288 Co Rd. 45, Hayden, Al 35079

205-616-6431

http://greatpumpkinpatch.com/

 

Open from Sept. 26–Nov. 1, Birmingham’s Great Pumpkin Patch is the image in your head when you think, “take me to a pumpkin patch.” Here you can take your celebrations to the next level with extreme bungee jumping, an inflatable park, pony rides, and train rides. Admission is free, so any charges are just for what you choose to do.

 

Mon–Thu, 8am–4pm

Fri and Sat, 8am–6pm

Sun, 1–6pm

 

Admission

FREE

$7–9 wagon rides (pumpkin included)

$3–5 inflatable park

$1–3 pony rides

$1–3 train rides

$1–2 petting zoo

 

Bennett Farms

1hr 8min east of Birmingham

2hrs 5 min from Montgomery

 

1073 County Road 13

Heflin, AL 36264

http://www.bennettfarms.com/

 

 

Each weekend in October, take your kids for some fun at Bennett Farms. They are complete with hayrides, petting zoos, corn cribs, a hay maze, pipe slide, tire crawl, and wagon train. To top it off, on Saturdays from 11am–1pm, there is live music from guys like John Howle, Russell Blanton, or the David Winkle Band. Don’t miss it.

 

Fri, 2–5pm

Sat, 9am–5pm

Sun, 1–5pm

 

Admission

$10 child admission (kids younger than 1 are free)

$5 adult admission

$3–20 pumpkins are an additional fee

 

 

4D Farm

55min north of Birmingham

1hr 6min from Huntsville

http://www.4dfamilyfarm.com/

 

7066 County Road 703

Cullman, Alabama 35055

256-775-2924

 

If there’s a place that has it all, it’s 4D farm. The usual corn box, hayride, pillow jump, petting zoo, hay jump, corn maze, and pumpkin patch are all here. But then there are duck races, pig races, cow trains, and horse swings. And even that’s not all. You still have to add in the massive spider web, 200ft kid’s zipline, corn cannons, pumpkin slingshots, two-story play barn, and the 80ft black mamba slide! Close to both Birmingham and Huntsville, this place is practically an amusement park, and it’s open from Sept. 26–Oct. 31.

 

Fri, 2–6pm

Sat, 10am–6pm

Sun, 12:30–6pm

 

 

Admission

Fri

$9.95 general admission

$7.95 admission for 65+

 

Sat & Sun

$10.95 general admission

$7.95 admission for 65+

 

 

Pumpkins are an additional fee

$2–4 corn cannon

$2–4 pumpkin slingshots

$4 pony rides 

 

 

Pumpkin Patch Express

35min south of Birmingham

53min from Montgomery

 

1919 9th St

Calera, AL 35040

205-668-3435

http://www.hodrrm.org/body.cfm?id=231

 

Combine your pumpkin search with the love of trains! The Pumpkin Patch Express takes you on a 1 1/2 hour ride through the forests of Shelby County, and at the end, you get to pick a pumpkin, jump on the bounce house, and more! It’s a new way to experience the joy of finding your perfect pumpkin every weekend in October.

 

Train Ride Schedule:

Sat—10am, 1pm, and 3pm (3pm excluded on Oct. 31)

Sun—1pm and 3pm

 

Admission

$14–17 coach

$25 caboose

$35 locomotive

Children under 2 are free

 

 

Faye Whittemore Farms

51min northwest of Birmingham

1hr 21min from Huntsville

2hr 18min from Montgomery

 

1335 Forrester Rd.

Jasper, AL 35504

205-522-4137

http://fayewhittemorefarms.com/

 

Put a spin on your pumpkin patch adventures with a pirate-ship playground. Faye Whittmore Farms also has a petting zoo, moonwalk, inflatable slide, fishing, and face painting. It’s a great place for the whole family.

 

Sat, 10am–5pm

Sun, 1pm–5pm

 

Admission

$10 general admission

Pumpkins are 30 cents per pound.

 

 

Old Baker Farm

41 min southeast of Birmingham

1hr 17 min from Montgomery

 

184 Furrow Lane,

Harpersville, Al 35078

205-672-7209

http://www.oldbakerfarm.com/

 

Old Baker Farm goes beyond the regular pumpkin patch with a cotton bounce, civil war reenactment, a cotton patch, hay maze, hay mountain, Indian festival dances, and horseback rides. Everything except food, horseback rides, and the crafts are included in the admission price.

 

Pumpkin Patch 9/26–10/31

Cotton Picking Celebration 10/24–25

 

Weekdays (3pm–dark)

Sat. (9am–dark)

Sun. (1pm–dark)

 

Admission

$10 general admission (pumpkin included)

 

Griffin Farms Pumpkin Patch

46 min southwest of Birmingham

 

826 Griffin Rd

West Blocton, Alabama

205-535-0552

http://www.griffinfarmsal.com/

 

Open from September 26 to October 31, Griffin Farms Pumpkin Patch has hayrides, corn cribs, a corn maze, petting zoo, swings, bouncy obstacle course, tire mountain, culvert slide, hay mountain, 450-foot zip line, 18-foot rock climbing wall, and 7-foot kids climbing wall. With an extra fee, you can also get your face painted and take a pony ride.

 

Sat, 9am–6pm

Sun, 12–6pm

 

Admission

$10 general admission (pumpkin included)

$5 pony rides

$5–10 face painting

 

Article sponsored by Diamonds Direct.

Find them on the web at: http://www.diamonds-direct.com

 

 

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S’mores in a Skillet? Yes, Please

By Amy Poore

 

If your idea of a perfect fall evening involves hanging out in the backyard with friends and family cheering on your favorite teams and enjoying tasty treats, this is a recipe just for you. Did you know that you can make S’mores at home, without a campfire? Yep, you can. You can make them in a skillet! Enjoy this recipe – it is always a huge hit.

 

Happy fall, y’all, and bon appétit!

 

Skillet S'mores

1/2 Tablespoon melted butter
1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
7-10 jumbo marshmallows, cut in half
Box of graham crackers

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Swirl butter around the bottom and sides of an 8 inch iron skillet.
Evenly spread chocolate chips in the bottom of skillet.
Arrange marshmallow halves on top of chocolate chips (cut side down).
Place on middle rack and back 6-10 minutes or until the tops of marshmallows are browned.
Let sit for five minutes; serve immediately with graham crackers.

*Caution - skillet and dip will be hot.

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.  

Photo: Amy Poore

 

Article sponsored by A Touch of Love.

 

 

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Art lovers will descend on Kentuck Park this weekend to enjoy one of the premiere art festivals in the country. The 44th annual Kentuck Festival of the Arts will be held this Saturday and Sunday, October 17 and 18. More than 270 diverse artists will present their work and interact with festival-goers at Kentuck this year.

Nationally recognized for its quality and diversity, a stroll through the Kentuck Festival brings visitors eye-to-art with a variety of artistic styles ranging from folk to contemporary art and craft. Traditional and heritage craft artists such as basket weavers, blacksmiths, potters and quilters invite visitors to watch them demonstrate their skills and share the secrets of their craft. 

Kentuck will feature a variety of live music and spoken word performances on two stages. This year’s lineup includes Debbie Bond and the Trudats, the Steel City Jug Slammers, The Bear and The Mulligan Brothers.

An interactive art environment in the center of the Festival entertains both young and old with an invitation to befriend a tuba at the musical petting zoo, squish clay, or indulge in fabric fantasies at the tie-dye area. 

Free, continuous shuttles provide transportation to the park from downtown Northport. Advance purchase only weekend tickets are available online through Oct. 17 for $15 for ages 12 and up. Children under 12 are admitted free. Daily tickets are $10 per person per day. Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate. No pets, alcohol or smoking are allowed in the park.

The 44th annual Kentuck Festival of the Arts hours are Saturday and Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For additional information on the 2015 festival, including the full artist lineup and the schedule for each day, visit www.kentuck.org or call (205) 758-1257.

 

Article sponsored by Hudson Poole.

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By Tori Linville

 

The DCH Foundation will host its three PINK events to raise awareness for breast cancer, with all proceeds benefiting The DCH Foundation’s Breast Cancer Fund. There are several opportunities to get involved in this week's fun activities.

 

To kick off the fundraising festivities, the foundation will host its Day on the Courts Ladies Tennis event this Tuesday, Oct. 13. A Nite on the Green and The DCH Foundation Golf Classic will follow, on Thursday, Oct. 15 and Friday, Oct. 16, respectively. Each event will be held at the Indian Hills Country Club.

 

Former Alabama Gymnastics coach Sarah Patterson was key in helping make the breast cancer fund a reality. Casey Johnson, the foundation’s director of development, said it was then that the breast cancer awareness events began to form.

 

“Back in 2004, The DCH Foundation was approached by Sarah Patterson to help uninsured and underinsured women with assistance in getting mammograms and needs associated with diagnosis and treatment,” Johnson said. “Because of her own struggle to get a clear mammogram, she had encountered many women who had shared their struggles while sitting together in doctors’ waiting rooms. Coach Patterson knew that together, we could put together a program to make a difference in the lives of women in need in our community.”

 

The “Day on the Courts” was added four years ago to the event lineup, providing a tennis mixer that allows for breakfast, doubles play, lunch, gifts for players and prizes for winners, Johnson said.

 

“A Nite on the Green” includes music by Fast Lane Melvin, a band formed by Luke Standeffer, Scott Donaldson, Bob Falls, Stuart Falls and John Voltz. While the events make fun a priority, they also serve to create a better quality of life for breast cancer patients and their families, Johnson said.

 

“Participation ensures uninsured women in our community will have the opportunity to have proper mammograms, further testing if needed, and wigs, prostheses and more if they are diagnosed with breast cancer,” she said.

 

For more information on how to get involved, call The DCH Foundation at (205)-759-7349 or visit dchfoundation.org. to book a team or to purchase tickets.

 

“The color pink is known everywhere as the ‘color’ for breast cancer awareness,” Johnson said. “The important thing is not the actual color, but the faces behind it. Far too many women (and men) are being diagnosed with breast cancer. Early detection is so important. Treated early, they are living longer, happy, healthy lives.”

 

Photo: The DCH Foundation

 

Article sponsored by DCH Health System.

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By Courtney Corbridge

 

By the time summer rolled around each year, the only things left in my trick-or-treat pillowcase at the base of my closet were a few rolls of Smarties and a bunch of empty wrappers. Summer popsicles and ice cream cones set my sweet tooth at bay, but by September, when I found myself back in school, I often had one thing on the edge of my mind—Halloween. I dreamed of dressing up, bringing home my weight in chocolate, and then trading out treats with my siblings on the living room floor. It was one of the great meccas of childhood.

 

But not for everyone. In fact, while almost all of my friends loved dressing up and going from house to house, a few of them got the short end of the stick when it came to trick or treating. And the biggest setback was typically allergies! One of my closest friends was actually allergic to chocolate! Can you imagine? Others had peanut allergies, and others weren’t allowed to have sugar. Unfortunately, this is a fairly common thing for a lot of kids. The most common kid allergies include milk, eggs, nuts, and wheat. So how can we help those deserving kids find the magic in Halloween and trick or treating as well? Here are a few alternatives you can consider to your typical candy-in-a-bowl routine.

 

--Mini Nail Polish

--Spider Stamps

--Hair Accessories

--Crazy Straws

--Small Bags of Legos

--Mini Whistles

--Mini Bubbles Bottles

--Foam Masks

--Yoyos

--Halloween Cookie Cutters

--Finger Puppets

--Mini Notepads or Coloring Books

--Temporary Tattoos

--Bouncy Balls

--Mini Slinkys

--Halloween Rings

--Halloween Erasers

--Mini Playdoughs

--Glowsticks

--Sticky Hands

--Stickers

--Fake Dracula Teeth

--Mini Flash Lights

 

Last year Food Allergy Research and Education, Inc. (FARE) started an awareness program for kids with allergies called The Teal Pumpkin Project. Families who are committed to giving healthy alternatives on Halloween can put a teal pumpkin by their doorstep so that trick or treaters and their parents can identify allergy-friendly homes. If you would like to join in, please visit http://www.foodallergy.org/teal-pumpkin-project#.VfhBtxFVikp to learn more. 

 

Article sponsored by Lakeside Dental.

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 By Stan J. Griffin

The recently-released biography written by Monte Burke about University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban, titled Saban, The Making of a Coach, has received a host of positive reviews, and is no doubt a huge seller, especially in Tuscaloosa with the college football season now underway.

Saban himself, however, expressed displeasure with the book during the Crimson Tide's fall camp, especially with the timing of the release of the 324-page book that basically chronicles his coaching career and how he was shaped by his relentless and demanding father, among others.

"I just want everybody to know that I'm opposed to an unauthorized biography for anybody," he said. "I think that is some person you don't even know trying to profit by your story, or someone else's story. One of these days when I'm finished coaching at Alabama, I'll write an authorized book, because, you know, there's really only one expert on my life, and guess who that is, me. There won't be any misinformation, there won't be any false statements, there won't be any hearsay and there won't be any expert analysis from somebody else."

Despite the objections from the ninth-year Alabama coach, who did not participate in the work at all, Burke's tome is, nevertheless, engaging, and, at times, very engrossing.

While the book rehashes many of the stories that anybody who follows Alabama football, or college football in general, has heard many times before, such as the chain of events that allowed late former Alabama athletic director Mal Moore to lure Saban to the Crimson Tide program and away from the NFL's Miami Dolphins, it is well-researched. It is also enhanced throughout by revealing quotes from numerous former coaches and players.

Many of these quotes are blunt, and, at times, critical - especially regarding Saban's demanding and often profane nature on the field and his tendency, especially early in his coaching career, to quickly jump from job to job.

“He wasn’t very personable, which is okay because he wasn’t paid to be personable,” former Cleveland Browns linebacker Ed Sutter noted about Saban during his tenure as an assistant coach with the Browns under Bill Belichick. “But he tried to intimidate and threaten players, even vets like Clay Matthews. That works in college, but not in the pros. He was kind of a little tyrant walking around out there. And because he was just a coordinator, you could blow him off, and sometimes guys did just that.”

Despite a few unsavory comments, no doubt made by players and coaches whom Saban rubbed the wrong way on his journey to the top of the college football coaching ranks, the numerous anecdotes and stories by individuals who have known the Tide coach on an intimate basis make the book a must read.

Many of those experiences related by numerous friends and acquaintances in Burke’s book no doubt helped shape Saban into the energetic, relentless, demanding, non-frivolous and often short-tempered individual he is today.

 

Article sponsored by State Farm.

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By: Zani Polk

October:

 

Pan (releases October 9, 2015): No one wants to grow up, which is why the Peter Pan story never gets old. In this new movie, learn about the origins of Peter Pan and how he became the legend we know him to be today.

 

Jem and the Holograms (releases October 23, 2015): Four sisters are flung into fame after a video of their music is posted on the internet. But with the fame, the bonds and relationships  they hold closest are tested. This movie takes you on a journey that will make you rethink who you are and what you choose to be.

 

Goosebumps (releases October 16, 2015): Back in the early ‘90s R.L. Stein’sGoosebumps series was the biggest thing at school book fairs and library trips. Maybe you read some, maybe you remember reading them to your siblings, or maybe you helped your kids pick them out. Regardless, this Halloween season, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Jack Black bring the spookiness ofGoosebumps to life. It’s a great alternative to a scarier movie on Halloween night.

 

 

November:

 

The Peanuts Movie (releases November 6, 2015): For Thanksgiving you may be ripping out the old classic, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, but you don’t have to wait that long to see Charlie Brown in action. In this 3D film, a new kid moves to town and Charlie Brown gets another chance to prove he’s a winner. Join in to watch all of your favorites—from Lucy and Snoopy to Peppermint Patty.

 

My All American (releases November 13, 2015): It may not be the Crimson Tide, but it is football. Catch this heartwarming movie about sportsmanship and determination, as a young athlete—seemingly too small to compete—makes it in college football.  

 

The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay—Part II (releases November 20, 2015): In the fourth and final movie of the series, Katniss Everdeen brings her fight to the Capitol. Finally she must take on President Snow and defend the current and future freedoms of the people of Panem.

 

The Good Dinosaur (releases November 25, 2015): Pixar has done it again! Imagine a world where humans and dinosaurs existed together. Imagine dinosaurs replacing dogs as man’s best friend. In this heartwarming tale, see a young boy bond in friendship with a good dinosaur and combat the elements of earth’s earliest periods.

 

Article sponsored by Belle Chambre.

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

 

 

Moundville Archaeological Park is celebrating its annual Native American Festival this weekend, and if you’re looking for something exciting and unique to do with the whole family in our area, this is it. The four-day event, which begins on Oct. 8, is one of the premiere tourism events in the state of Alabama, drawing thousands to the Park in Moundville each and every year.

Visitors to this year’s Moundville Native American Festival can enjoy performances, browse wonderful arts and crafts displays and watch great demonstrations designed to entertain and educate everyone about the rich culture and heritage of Southeastern Indians. Children are invited to get hands-on by playing native games and making crafts in the special Children's area.

“Moundville Archaeological Park is undoubtedly the most important prehistoric site in Alabama,” said Betsy Irwin, education outreach coordinator for the park. “The massive amount of labor and skill involved in leveling the plaza and constructing the mounds reflects the sophistication of the ancient people who once lived here. Less than 15 percent of the site has been excavated, making Moundville the best preserved site of its kind.”

One of the highlights of any visit to Moundville Archaeological Park is the University of Alabama’s Jones Museum.

“This is very important to Native Americans, many of whom consider these mounds to be sacred,” Irwin said. “In close consultation with Southeastern Indian tribes, we developed the Jones Museum exhibits to reflect their culture from the past as accurately as possible. Moundville and the Jones Archaeological Museum are both treasures that belong to everyone.”

Festival admission is $10 for adults and $8 for children.

 

The Festival will take place October 8 and 9 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and October 10 and 11 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

 

For more information on the Moundville Archaeological Park, including more information about the 2014 Moundville Native American Festival, visit www.moundville.ua.edu

Photo: Jeff Perrigin

 

Article sponsored by Trade Partners Exchange.

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

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