Popcorn and Market Yumminess

Hey, friends! How did y’all enjoy the weekend? Well, in between unpacking and tidying up our new place (which seems like forever), the sis and I went exploring in Atlanta. I know y’all have heard of a wine tasting or a beer tasting, but we had our own little popcorn tasting.

We found this cool little shop called Popcorn Mania, and a belle was in popcorn heaven! We tasted everything from strawberry lemonade flavored popcorn, to beer, to Snicker’s, to dill pickle and MORE. Talk about variety.

The employees told us the company is based in South America and their first U.S. store is in Atlanta. Well, aren’t we lucky?!

We bought a few bags for some friends, but wanted you to check out a few of the flavors below. Aren’t these some beautiful colors?:

Our sweet friend Brandi also told us about Dekalb Farmer’s Market, which is a foodie’s dream. If you’re looking for the freshest produce, meat, cheese, etc. then you have to check this place out. The drive wasn’t too far, which made us real happy. Let me warn you though if you’re visiting Atlanta–the market is HUGE and packed! I’m talking about buggies colliding with one another, shoppers falling all over each other to get the last bag of grapes. Nah, I’m just kidding, but the market is huge!

There is an expansive selection of nuts, wine, spices, olive oil, seafood, and more. Tamika and I didn’t get a chance to look at everything, which means we have the immense pleasure of going back. If your palette loves international food, then this market is the place to be at. There are all sorts of international foods and spices, and I even saw squid and octopus. It reminded me of our time in Japan when Tamika and I visited the local market.

Along with some fresh collard greens, okra, peaches and more, the sis and I copped some cute bamboo plants. How you like ’em?

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Tasty Weekend with Birmingham Restaurant Week 2012

How was your weekend/start of the week, friends? We had a busy/tasty one, but loved every moment. Saturday we got an early start and headed to Fox 6 to do our monthly segment (we’ll upload the vid soon), then we mapped out our plan of attack for Birmingham Restaurant Week 2012. Have you been yet? If you’ve read our tweets then you know we were excited.

Vanessa is such a sweetie, but we hoped she didn’t hear our tummies growling in prep for BRW 2012!

If you are in B’ham you still have time to check out some of the most fab food the Magic City has to offer. Most of the food we tried was in 5 Points South which is the heartbeat of B’ham’s Southside.

Y’all saw what we tasted last year, right? Check out what we dined on this year–some was amazing, decent, and plain bad. Let a belle tell you about some B’ham food and service!

A very DELISH dish just for all of us BRW 2012 foodies!

Jim ‘N Nicks

This resturaunt is a Southern fave of many locals from B’ham to Altanta and several surrounding areas. If you are looking for portions large enough to feed a hungry man or a small army, then this is the place to try! Though we’ve tried a few Jim ‘N Nicks locations, the Southside restaurant is our fave. The food is much better to us and the service is always superb.

One thing that many people look forward to at Jim ‘N Nicks is the extremely tasty cheese muffins. Oh my goodness! They come with this divine sweet butter and come out of the oven piping hot every time. What we really love is that everything from their sweet/tart lemonade to the mash potatoes is made from scratch. Fab! Check out what else me and the sis had–she LOVED their chicken salad salad:

You CANNOT and we repeat CANNOT go to Jim ‘N Nicks without having the mac ‘n cheese!
Juicy white-meat BBQ chicken with mash potatoes.

Before dessert we had the pleasure of chatting with Leo, the chef, and shared a few laughs after telling him how good their homemade dressings are and how we like that we have enough food to take home for the next day. Now if you aren’t a local, when you do go to check out Jim ‘N Nicks, you have to try dessert. Shermika loves their chocolate pie and I adore the lemon.

Take out goodness!!

*Sorry about the cellphone pics. The Nikon was taking a nap*

Michael’s

This was our 1st stop on our Birmingham Restaurant Week journey: Michael’s. I don’t eat there anymore after getting really sick after dining in, so, here is Shermika’s verdict:

As usual, the wine was good. Y’all know a belle loves some wine!! The service was beyond excellent. I can’t remember the server’s name, but he was so attentive. Michael’s has a 4 course dinner for $30, which isn’t too shabby for what you get. I had crab cakes as an appetizer, a salad with cranberries, shrimp and grits (my fave) and bread pudding.

The crab cakes were well seasoned and made a belle’s tummy very happy. They were topped with a fried green tomato and topped with fried crawfish tails. I’m not a fan of crawfish, so either I was really hungry, or the crawfish were really good and tasted like shrimp. I love Michael’s salads! I always get feta vinagairette, which is so tasty.

The shrimp and grits were okay, but not excellent. The cajun parmesan sauce was so good and sent my tastebuds into an overdrive. However, the grits were VERY THICK and I like my grits creamy. They grits were more like rice, which wasn’t a good thing. Wouldn’t you agree?

Y’all know I love my sweets, so the white chocolate macadamia nut bread pudding that Michael’s is known for came in and saved the day. It was warm. It was gooey. It was delicious. Mmmmmm! It was a perfect ending to the meal.

Irondale Cafe

Also known as The Whistle Stop Cafe, which was made famous in Birmingham native Fannie Flagg’s Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, this restaurant shows you that one can’t go wrong with some good southern cooking. The fried green tomatoes with spicy remoulade sauce were the BEST I ever had! I’m not a big sauce fan, but this remoulade was on point! The tomatoes were fried perfectly, with a crispy coating.

Southern comfort food at its FINEST!

Doesn’t this food make your mouth water. I knew this place was as southern as it gets when it had black eyed peas with fat back. Now, I haven’t had fat back in years mind you, but the peas were excellent, and so was the Cullman County squash. The squash was very fresh and you can tell they added a little sugar in it.

The chicken on the other hand was some of the crispiest I’ve had in my life. Irondale Cafe does cooking right, so definitely make  a stop there on your BRW journey.  I met the owner, Jim Dolan, and he is so personable. He told me how they make one of the hot sauces that is on the table. It has habanero peppers, but doesn’t even taste like it. One look at their menu and you’ll be hooked for life!

The lemon pie was a perfect ending to the meal. I could taste the buttermilk in it and the pie melted in my mouth. All the food was fresh, seasoned perfectly, and the meal was beyond excellent. I will definitely be back to Irondale Cafe again…especially for their world famous green tomatoes.

Dreamland

If you are looking for fast service with a smile, then Dreamland will not disappoint. We had their BRW 2012 special which included a rack of ribs, a side, their famous BBQ sauce, and dessert! They have the best ‘nana budding (2nd to our mom’s) in B’ham! The sweet tea is excellent and a decor that would make any Southern belle happy.

Their ribs are juicy and finger (say it like this: fanga) lickin’ good. Our mom came along and always raves about their mac ‘n cheese that the sis and I don’t fancy. Their bar is filled with license plates and the walls are lined with all sorts of pics and more. Pure fun and great food all around. Check out what your friends had there:

Their BBQ sausage is the truth. Fab, fab, FAB!!!
This Banana pudding includes Bud’s, a local (B’ham) cookie company’s sweet treats!

Cosmo’s

If you are looking for a local spot with plenty of fun characters, then Cosmo’s Pizza is the spot to hit! They sell everything from fresh sandwiches with cute names to pizzas. We had their BRW 2012 dinner that included garlic bread with sun-dried tomatoes, their rock ‘n roll 9-in pizza, and 2 chocolate mousses.

Though I really can’t eat chocolate, I did give it a try and it was really good. Oh yeah, the pizza/bread was soooo good. Fresh ingredients always make a belle shimmy! Our server told us he normally worked in the kitchen for the last year and a half, but we couldn’t tell because he was sweet as pie! Check out the pics:

Fuego Cantina

We had a sweet server and excellent service, but was rubbed the wrong way when one of the managers asked us how we enjoyed everything. Now, y’all know that a belle keeps it real. We wouldn’t have it any other way and told him (with the sweetest smile) that the appetizer and beef nachos were divine, but the chicken burrito was bland and dry.

Guess what he said, y’all? That we were the only ones that didn’t like the chicken burrito and that everyone loves it. What?! Are you serious? Not these belles…next!

Dave’s

A neighborhood pub with plenty of charm is how we would describe Dave’s. From the moment we walked through the doors you feel like you are visiting an old friend. We had the pleasure of attending BRW’s intimate Beer Saturdays. The few lucky guests got to sip on some of the most divese wine selections from local brewery Avondale Brewing Company. Sidebar: We LOVE their cute lil’ logo and you have to stop by to have at least one drink there. Check it here!

Hope y’all can make it this Saturday, Aug. 25th because another local brewery, Good People Brewing Company, will be there to treat guests to more beer. Though we both aren’t “beer” drinkers, I enjoyed trying some of the exotic flavors and thought they weren’t half bad.

Our opinions are a belle’s own.

We had so much fun being BRW 2012 bloggers and hope that you will try these restaurants for yourself. So, what did you do this weekend? Tried any new local spots in your neck of the woods? Follow our Facebook page for a few other BRW 2012 photos soon!

Disclosure: We received ONE free meal at each restaurant we covered. Our opinions are a belle’s own.

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Birmingham Restaurant Week Preview Party 2012

Hey, friends!

A belle has been super busy lately with moving and such. The sis and I packed our bags and are now living in Atlanta. Talk about exciting–if you forget there are boxes everywhere! However, Birmingham has and always will BE our home.

If you’ve never been to our beautiful city, we suggest that you make a trip the week of August 17th-26th during Birmingham Restaurant Week (BRW). Your favorite belles are official bloggers for

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BRW, so that’s reason enough to feed your tummy!

Birmingham is no longer a secret, and is beginning to be known as a foodie city. We couldn’t be more excited that our city is finally getting its shine on. If you can’t wait for BRW, then be sure to pay a visit to the preview party, where you can try all sorts of food from local restaurants.

Tickets will only set you back $25 if you get them in advance and are $30 at the door. The tickets benefit Vulcan’s (our cities protector/mascot) restoration too, so your money is going to a great cause.

Got a taste for food and a brew? Look no further! For the first time ever, BRW will be hosting Beer Saturdays on August 18th and 25th where beer lovers can taste some fine hometown brews.

Not much of a brew fan? No worries, because our friends at BRW have us vino lovers covered. Come out to Wine-ol-ogy on August 21st where you can taste wine, along with food pairings.

Get more deets on this annual foodie fest here.

We are so excited to be eating around town for BRW, and can’t wait to try out some new dishes. Will we see you around town at BRW this year?

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Belktastic Fall 2012 Trends

Where ever they are going we want to go too!

We belles were invited to Belk’s Fall Fashion Preview tour hosted by none other than the super fashionable/fab Arlene Goldstein (this fashion goddess is even more sweet in person than the phone) in Birmingham, AL at the Summit location. Guests were treated to the upcoming trends, cute gift bags, and learned how to coordinate styles for the season like a polished pro.

Just so you know, Belk has the season broken down into four hot “style statements!” We’ve ranked them in the order we adore most, so, we expect y’all to tell us your fave. Ok? The style statements are: Town & Country, My Fair Lady, Vivid, and Mod Modern.

Now, this post will focus on the looks we loved the most and will include some must-have fall items for the fellas. Yep, we are including you guys today. Aren’t you lucky Belk looked out for ya!

In case you ladies are wondering, color-blocking is here to stay! Yay!!! It’s going to be even bigger in the fall with the addition of mixing prints and colors. Y’all ready? Hit the upbeat music because it’s time to party!!

Town & Country

This style is all about being laid back and stylish. Goldstein describes this style statement as: rustic weekend and fine craftsmanship. With town & country you will find attention to detail and fun textures. Check out a few of the looks that will have you feeling like a fierce country belle!

The pieces in this collection won’t leave you feeling unlucky this season. These Lucky Brand pieces range from $18.00-$99.00, so, you are bound to be the hottest belle at any event! Goldstein explained how the statement necklace will be queen this season. Doesn’t this big chunky necklace look lovely?

What she’s rockin’:
Statement Necklace: $65.00
Chandelier Earring:$45.00
Gold Bracelet: $59.00

We didn’t know that Ugg made bags, but we are glad that they do. I don’t need to be persuaded to bring this suede cutie home. You? Didn’t think so. 🙂

Suede hobo in
chestnut: $335.00

The sis and I also discovered that the serpant is in and it doesn’t get any more town and country than this. Check out these snakeskin ankle booties by Sam Edelman that we are swooning over. Oh yeah, you can find these in “gun metal.”

“Stevie” two-tone bootie
in snake: $199.00

My Fair Lady

This style is more polished, but is just as fun. We all like to get dolled up every now and then, don’t we! If you are a fan of the 1920’s art deco look then this is for you. Goldstein says that these pieces are perfect for cafe society! Have a gander at some Anne Klein Jewelry that is just as pleasing to the eye as it is to the body!

 

Collar necklace: $95.00
Jet bracelet: $42.00
Clip earrings:  $22.00

This fall every belle will need a day coat. Belk knows that this Spense coat is to die for. Oh the color! Check out that statement necklace. We love this look. Fab!!!

Day coat: $98.00
Keyhole dress: $78.00

We told y’all that color blocking is creeping into the fall. Here is suede again, but on the shoes. These cuties are from Ivanka Trump‘s fall collection and will make any daytime or nighttime look pop. We really love the magenta/black pair!!

“Gana” two-tone pointy
toe pump in magenta/black
and grey/black: $135.00 ea.

If someone said this lady doesn’t look fierce in this Maggy London dress we would tell you they are lying. Did you peep the suede shoes? A pop of color with all black is always a plus in a belle’s book. It makes the dress more interesting. No?

Black ruched dress with
side bow neck: $142.00

Vivid

Vivid is for you belles that love to stalk color. Goldstein says that this style statement is an “adventurous play of color” and we agree.  She also predits that color from head to toe is going to be long lasting!

This Jones New York Sport‘s vivid look is casual yet still stylish. Who says you can’t be comfy and look cute while doing it?!

Woven button front top: $79.00
Colored jean: $64.00

 

Bold color can be rocked day or night. We adore the color of the Brahmin bag and Vince Camuto dress. We can spot those bags anywhere! See the bold purple shoes? Rockable, right?!

Blouson cap sleeve
sweater dress: $148.00

Art meets fashion! This uber cute Calvin Klein dress is perfect for any night out on the town. The red shoes add a nice touch of color.

Sheer belted dress with
puckered top: $128.00

 Mod Modern

This style statement is all about shapes, angles, glitz, and more. Do you like these pieces?

Goldstein says that this fall “glitz before six” is going to be in and we can never have too much glitz! These lovelies come in 3 colors and will jazz up any outfit. Nine West brought the glitz for us, y’all!!

“Panto” flat in black,
pewter and blue: $69.00

These ladies are hot from their ears to their booties! Sunny Leigh is very mod and stylish, huh? For you Alabama fans will you be getting this houndstooth dress?

Color block blouse: $58.00
Chainlink skirt: $58.00
Houndstooth ponte dress: $78.00

 This ponte dress is just as cute as the houndstooth, but this one is made by Jessica Simpson. Are you feeling the print stockings?

Plaid ponte dropwaist
shift dress: $118.00

 

We already told y’all that the statement necklace will be huge this fall. How do you like this Kenneth Cole set? You can find pieces in this jewelry collection that range from $18-$158.

Collar Necklace: $98.00
Cuff Bracelet: $98.00

The driving moc, casual jacket, knit tie, tailored vest, luxe sportcoat, corduroy pants

Ladies you know we saved the best for last!!!

Boots and booties, cross-body bag, fashion watch, metal collar, shift dress, glitzy top.

Take a look at these suede booties by Sam Edelman. The lace up strings make them incredibly sexy for the fall.

 

Look at the sis sitting with the rest of the guests! We LOVED the outfits the mannequins rocked.

 What will you be wearing for the fall? What are your Belk must-haves for the season?

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KLUTCHclub Review


Hey y’all!

Hope you’re having a darn good Thursday. We had the opportunity a while back to review products from KLUTCHclub, a monthly subscription service that sends boxes geared towards the health conscious. We received the May box, which had these items:

  • Hydroxatone’s Instant Effect 90 Second Wrinkle Reducer as its name implies, it’s a wrinkle reducer. We’re in our 20’s so we didn’t need this. And we’re not Botox gals either It’s supposed to help your skin look radiant, but we didn’t try it since it’s not our thing.
  • ONE coconut water helps replenish electrolytes after workouts. It wasn’t half bad, but is an acquired taste. We’ve had fresh coconuts in Jamaica before and they didn’t suit our fancy then.
  • Moving Comfort sports bras we’ve been so busy that our gift cards expired, so we didn’t get to review these for you. We were really looking forward to these! Maybe next time friends.
  • Yoga Download classes these downloads make working out anywhere a cinch! And a belle has been saying she’s going to get into yoga, so we liked this.
  • Think Thin bars have a ton of protein and no refined sugar. Yay for health! They are pretty tasty too. We had the peanut butter kind and it didn’t have that weird taste a lot of protein bars have.
  • A KLUTCHclub water bottle no explanation is needed. You gotta stay hydrated. This bottle is a nice size for the gym (and is cute).

Prices vary from $16-$18 a box depending on how long your subscription is. It can prove to be a great deal if you get the right goodies in your box. There weren’t any cheapo sample sizes either.

We weren’t huge fans of the coconut water, but the ThinkThin bars and water bottle were nice additions to the box. If you’re into achieving a healthy lifestyle and don’t want to buy a lot of products you may not like, then give KLUTCHclub a try. 

Go here for more information.

Photo via KLUTCHclub

Disclosure: We were provided with a box to sample from KLUTCHclub. Our opinions are a belle’s own.

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