Happy Labor Day!

I got to announce some fun news this weekend – I was lucky enough to win a finalist slot as best local blog in Birmingham Magazine’s “Best of 2012″ issue!  A big congrats to Trish & Angie over at BirminghamMommy.com for winning the grand prize, they are a fine bunch indeed with lots of great content.  Some of my favorite people in the ‘Ham for sure.  Also, congrats to Alexis at samechicdifferentday.com for also making it as a finalist!

There’s another reason why you should pick up Birmingham Magazine this month – James & his partner Dan have a nice write-up on The Burger Coalition inside as well!  Complete with awesome photographs by the amazing Wes Frazer.  :)  If you live in Birmingham or Atlanta and love a good burger, then you should sign up for one of their coalitions soon.

It was a peaceful few days in Atlanta with James, and I got up bright and early this morning to head back into town for work.  We are taking on a few mini challenges for the month of September…nothing too big and scary, more for well-being purposes than anything else.  Our first challenge is to give up alcohol for 21 days, which should be fairly easy to do.  Within those 21 days we will also be doing 7 days as vegetarian, and 2 as vegan.  I am really excited about that the most, as I’ve never tried to be completely vegan before.  However I do follow a few friends on Instagram who are completely vegan all of the time, so I may be hitting them up soon for meal ideas.  It’s also become a lot easier to get vegetarian and vegan friendly food in general at restaurants, and we have several here in Birmingham that specialize in both.  My favorites are The Golden Temple and Bottletree Cafe.  I love the idea that you can have a well-rounded meal with no meat.  I was a semi-vegetarian for about 2 years (I ate fish on occasion) and it was much easier than you would think.  It was also during a time where I calculated my nutritional intake, and I always got more than enough protein on a daily basis from natural sources.    Our last challenge of the month is to do two days of fruit/vegetable juice, at least 1,200 calories worth.  In fact, we do that this Wednesday & Thursday as a mini-cleanse.  I am looking forward to it!  We’ve already started thinking about doing other fun challenges in the months ahead, just to keep things interesting.  Something I’d like to do is eat purely local food for a certain amount of time, inspired by the film Eating Alabama.  The filmmaker and his wife take on a 360 day challenge of eating nothing but local food, and it turns out to be much harder than anticipated.  You should check the film out if you get the chance, it has a great message and is appropriate for all ages.

I’m just going to make today’s post one big cultural plug and end with Artwalk!! This is my second favorite festival in Birmingham, which just so happens to be this weekend.  It’s in the loft district downtown with more local art than you could ever imagine.  There will also be live music and great food.  Did I mention that it is free??? Pop in and walk around, it won’t disappoint.

Yay!! I made it as a finalist in this year’s Birmingham Best issue of Birmingham Magazine. Congrats to Birmingham Mommy!

Hanging out at a local coffee shop in ATL with James.