Celebrity Sightings, Girls' Night, & A Great Cause

This past week I have had the luxury of having no obligations since it's my off week. I decided to start it off in Nashville, TN with my best friend Elizabeth. While my previous Nashville trips have been packed with events and sight seeing, the intent of this past trip was to relax with friends. So, that's exactly what I did. We crafted (I made a Fall wreath that I will post later), drank wine, laughed and just caught up. We also went out for a delicious meal at Taco Mamacita- a "fresh mex" restaurant in Edgehill that has an interesting array of gourmet tacos, margaritas, and salsas. It was delicious and I thoroughly enjoyed my Sloppy Jose taco (spicy ground beef, jalapenos, monterrey jack, sour cream and Fritos) and housemade Elvez margarita. The restaurant's happy hour specials were even featured in Southern Living's Nashville Summer Guide! We also had a very first celebrity siting when we spotted Nicole Kidman & Keith Urban  shopping with their children in Green Hills. It was pretty surreal.  I'm still getting over the fact that Nicole Kidman smiled at us while we stood there starstruck. Since it's Nashville etiquette to not bother celebrities, I waited until they were walking away to snap a picture.

As soon as I drove back into town on Wednesday, I hit up Lucy's, a UAB favorite for lunch, with a friend. I had only been once before for coffee. So, it was my first time eating their food. While their menus are nothing out of the ordinary- the vegetable panini was ooey, gooey, cheesy and warm. So, who can complain about that? That evening, I headed to Homewood to meet up with two of my sorority sisters for a girl's night in. My friend Jenny just moved into a cute house and I was delighted to be one of her first dinner guests. We had chicken gyros (click the link for recipe), saffron rice, wine, and chocolate chip biscuit cookies (my contribution for the night). Even though we all live in the same town and manage to see each other once or twice a month- we still never run out of things to talk about.

Thursday was time for some retail therapy. So, I started the day by going to my favorite consignment store (yes, I'm still selfishly keeping its name a secret) and picked up some fall wardrobe essentials. Then I had lunch at a place I had been dying to try-Cafe Iz in Vestavia. Since I had heard rave reviews on their homemade chicken salad and pimento cheese, I was happy to find the 1/2 and 1/2 on the menu which lets you pick two different sandwiches to try. Usually, I'm very uncomfortable eating alone- but when the food is as good as theirs and you have the Southern Living Slow Cooker cookbook in hand- it's pretty pleasant. The light summer shower that passed over as I sat on the covered patio added to the peacefulness.

After my meal, I headed to one of my favorite Birmingham spots-downtown Homewood. My first stop was Penzey's Spices. The smell of the store is reason enough to stop by, but their wide variety of cooking and baking spices never ceases to amaze me. Plus, since I'm on their monthly mailing list I receive a free spice of Penzey's choosing when I buy something that's at least $3. Such a deal!  While there I ran into two people who worked at Steel City. They purchased 4 whole pounds of Ancho-chili powder for their chocolate chili pop. That's a ton of chili powder! After picking up my spices for the month I headed over to Alabama Goods, a store that sells variety of goods all made in Alabama, and bought a High Cotton candle that I have had my eye on for weeks. Then, it was off to Steel City Pops. I had already planned the to visit there with a friend, but since I had run into the Steel City workers earlier in the day- my craving for their pops had intensified. Instead of getting the chocolate chili, I opted for the orange cream which was nothing short of heavenly.

That evening, John I attended Fenders and Fireflies at Old Car Heaven- a philanthropy event benefiting Easters Seals of Birmingham, a nonprofit who strives to "create solutions that change the lives of children and adults with disabilities or other special needs and their families." The event was catered by Cocina Superior and featured the music of one of our favorite bands- Act of Congress. We had a blast and it made for the perfect week date night plus it was all for a great cause!


  1. LOVED Taco Mamacita!! And so jealous you saw Keith Urban + Nicole Kidman. I lived there almost two years and never saw a celebrity.