spent the weekend in birmingham. love that place, especially the people. it’s a very underrated city in my opinion. they have a ton of great things going on there – markets, eateries, coffeeshops, shows.

i stayed with one of my very best friends, ali tyler, who i had not seen in two years!! two years too long. i could see that girl everyday of my life and i would be better for it. her house is a beautiful, spacious old house with a very antiquated kitchen, porcelain sink, and old fashioned tiles in the bathrooms. it reminded me of her house in auburn. she is someone who always creates beautiful, comfortable spaces full of life and sunshine and it makes me love being with her even more. it was great to be near her and to see familiar faces and make new acquaintances.

one of several vendors

arrived saturday morning and then headed to the Pepper Place Farmers Market near downtown. ali knows about several of the local farms through some friends who have worked on some and have connections to others. she told me about Petals from the Past; Arley Powell used to be a professor at Auburn University (where ali and i met and became friends) and now he and his wife own a farm that his kids run.

built by Rural Studio friends for Jones Valley- Mary, Michael, Franklin, Will

set up next to them was Jones Valley Teaching Farm. they used to be called Jones Valley Urban Farm, but recently changed their name to better describe their focus. they are still in the midst of their transition as far as the website is concerned, but they had a beautiful array of vegetables and flowers. ali introduced me to Charlie who works on the farm and also happens to know of my friends Jubal’s Kin. they’ll all be at the Appalachian String Band Festival in Clifftop, WV this weekend. #wishiwerethere

arrived late to brunch at V. Richards – a cafe within a speciality grocery store that carries produce, meats and cheeses, wine, seafood and a bakery. they also have catering. and really delicious hash browns and cheese grits! met ali’s beau, Eli, and some new friends Keith & Elayne. then went to Urban Standard, only one of my favorite places. old warehouse space retro-fitted into a coffeeshop in downtown birmingham. i made a list with ali of all the kitchy things sitting around, most of which i cannot remember now.

mostly it was great catching up with such a dear friend. we’ve been through a lot together and my life would not be the same without her. so thankful for the way that iron sharpens iron.

my old typewriter.

spent the evening cooking a delicious dinner, being girls getting ready for a Classy and Sassy cocktail party, dancing around the house and teaching Jennifer basic salsa steps, talking about belts and 90’s looks, enjoying this lovely household. off to the cocktail party, to end the night deciding that we want to be less fancy adults, but the party was really well done and the food delicious.

p.s. happy birthday justin 2.0