By Tori Linville
Apple has come a long way from its origin in Steve Jobs’ parent’s garage. As a leader in consumer electronics, computer software and online services, the company has become a worldwide brand. As of February 10, Apple was reported to be worth over $700 billion.
So what makes Apple so successful?
The easy answer lies with its line of personal computers available for purchase. The software for Apple computers is also updated so often, discouraging viruses and ensuring overall software quality and function. Let’s look at the two most popular models:
MacBook Air 13 inch
The 13 inch LED-backlit display isn’t too small, but it isn’t too big. This formula worked for Goldilocks, and it works for most consumers who prefer something in the middle. It’s 12 hour battery life is also appealing for those who have charger issues.
The processor options come in two options, 1.6 or 2.2 GHz dual-core Intel Core models. The model has up to 512 GB of flash storage, perfect for storing important documents. Plus, the two pound laptop helps to feel like you’re not carrying around a brick.
MacBook Pro 13 inch
This model offers more in terms of storage, up to 1 terabyte (TB) of flash storage. It does weigh a measly pound more and has only ten hours of battery life.
A recently developed function that the MacBook Pros offer is retina display, offering a sharper image resolution and pleasing look to the screen that doesn’t appear in competitor models.
The MacBook Pro comes with three processor options, from 2.7 to 2.9 or event 3.1 GHz dual-core Intel Core models.
Perhaps the cheapest model of computer Apple sells is the Mac mini. The computer doesn’t come with its own display, but has up to 1 TB of storage and has a 3 GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 processor.
These are just a few of the laptops Apple has available, and is only a taste into the world that Apple has created since its inception. The extensive lines of iPhones, iPads, and most recently, televisions, all look to create a sleek look while providing a quality experience that has consumers coming back for more.
Article sponsored by Alabama Power.
Find them on the web at: http://alabamapower.com
If you are anything like me, you like to plan out your week so you can be best efficient with your time and money. However, this does not always happen, especially when one needs to make a large meal for many guests. So, this list of ingredients was put together to help you manage your time well over the Thanksgiving week.
Baked sweet potatoes
Green bean casserole
Cornbread or brown and serve rolls
Pickle and raw veggie tray
The Check-Your-Pantry List (buy if necessary):
• Flour, about 4 cups
• Sugar, about 2 cups
• Brown sugar, 2-3 cups
• Honey, 1 cup and maybe a little more
• Thyme, dried, around 3 tsp
• Lemon-pepper seasoning, around 2 tsp
• Cooking oil, plain, a few tablespoons
• Cooking spray
• Pumpkin pie spice around 1 1/2 tsp
• Salt and pepper
• Cornmeal, 1 cup (if you’re making cornbread)
• Baking powder, around 4 tsp (for cornbread)
• Cinnamon, around 1 tsp
• Oatmeal, around 1 cup
• Vegetable or chicken bouillon, 4-5 tsp
• Frozen Turkey, 10-12 lbs
• Onions, around 3 lbs
• Celery, 1 large bunch
• Carrots, 1 lb
• Garlic, 1 head, or 2 if you’re keen on it
• French or Italian bread, sliced, 1 loaf
• Eggs (you’ll need 7)
• Butter, 1 lb
• Cranberries, fresh, 2 bags
• Sweet potatoes, large fresh, 1/2 = one serving, so as many as you need
• Potatoes, large baking, if desired
• Green beans, regular cut frozen, 2 one-pound packages
• Mushrooms, 1 pound fresh or 2 8-oz cans
• Milk, 1 quart
• French fried onion rings, 1 can
• Pumpkin, 1 15-oz can (plain pumpkin, not pie filling)
• Prepared frozen pie crust (if you’re not making your own or lack a pie plate)
• Evaporated milk, 1 12-oz can
• Apples, tart baking, 2 pounds
• Whipped cream, 1 spray can of the real stuff, or Vanilla ice cream
• Veggie and pickle tray items: pickles, olives, pepperoncini, radishes, green onions, etc. to taste
• Brown and serve rolls if you opt out of baking your own bread or cornbread
• Green peas or other frozen veg if desired
And, do not forget the beverages of choice: beer, wine, juice, coffee, sweet tea…
Article sponsored by Bama Bed and Breakfast.
Find them on the web at: www.bamabedandbreakfast.com
By Courtney Corbridge
In today’s market, the vast majority of pearls sold by jewelers are not, strictly speaking, natural pearls. They are cultured, which means that the pearl-instigating irritant is actually implanted inside the mollusk’s shell rather than naturally appearing there. Once the pearl is harvested, jewelers often, as they do with other gems, enhance or alter the color in a pearl using various treatments like bleaching (making white pearls whiter), irradiation (turning pearls black, silvery, or bluish-green shades), and dyeing (creating a variety of colors). Though this does not necessarily affect the quality or longevity of the pearl, it will, and should, be reflected in the price. These treated pearls, have likely been treated in order to compensate for a shorter development period, which will affect color, luster, and depth of nacre.
While untreated cultured pearls can take years to mature, treated pearls are removed in 8–9 months. The shorter maturation period means a smaller layer of nacre that needs to be artificially enhanced.
Nacre, also known as mother of pearl, is the natural substance on the inside of a mollusk’s shell. It is layered on the irritant over and over to create a finished pearl, the color of which is contingent upon the color of the mollusk’s natural nacre. According to the Gemological Institute of America, here are a few naturally colored pearls you can find from around the world:
Akoya: Largely produced in China and Japan, these pearls mostly have white and cream body colors with pink or green overtones. Yellow, pink, and blue akoyas can also be found.
Tahitian: Home of the famous “black pearl,” Tahiti and other French Polynesian islands traditionally produce darker pearls—grays, browns, blacks, purples, greens, and blues.
South Sea: These salt water pearls come from Australia, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Largely pastel in color, they come in whites, creams, yellows, blues, and silvers. The pink, green, and blue overtones can additionally influence the appearance of the pearl.
Freshwater: This fairytale color collection of pearls, with its whites, creams, yellows, oranges, pinks, and purples, comes from the fresh waters of China and the United States. Here, you will also find the rainbow-colored orient pearl.
As pearls are quickly coming back in fashion, dive in and find the trendy color for you!
Article sponsored by Nancy & Co. Fine Jewelry.
Find them on the web at: http://www.nancyandco.com
Independence Day PUPsicles
16 for small pups
6-8 for large pups
· 1 ripe banana
· 1 cup plain yogurt
· 4 tablespoons peanut butter
· Dash of honey
· 1 cup water\
· 16 dog bones
Blend all ingredients into an electric blender until the texture is consistent. Pour into ice cube trays and place a dog bone in the middle as a handle.
Article Sponsored by Fincher and Ozment.
Find Fincher and Ozment on the web at: http://www.fincherandozment.com
By Tori Linville
Red, white and blue. "The Star-Spangled Banner." It wasn’t said, but you probably thought of the national holiday that is unlike any other of its kind. Millions of Americans celebrate the nations independence with barbeques, fireworks and more. Everyone knows the key to keeping a party going in the summer heat requires hydration. With the help of Pinterest, we’ve picked out some July 4 drinks that scream America while keeping the thirst quenched.
Layered Freedom Colors
The key here is to choose drinks with different sugar contents so they actually layer instead of mixing together. Try this combination to get you started:
Pour in a Sobe Pina Colada, followed by Gatorade Fruit Punch, then G2 Blueberry-Pomegranate for a refreshing taste of freedom.
Fireworks Frenzy (Non-alcoholic) Martini
What you’ll need:
Pop Rocks (blue or red, one pack per glass)
blow pops (blue or red, one per glass)
What you’ll make:
1. To rim the glass with Pop Rocks, pour some corn syrup in a bowl big enough to dip the entire rim. Once dipped in the corn syrup, immediately dip into a bowl or plate of Pop Rocks. You could also just sprinkle the candy as well.
2. Fill a glass with Sprite and unwrap a blue or red Blow Pop to add to the glass. Allow to sit for five to ten minutes to allow the drink to be flavorized.
Red, White and Blue Sangria
What you’ll need:
pineapples (cut into star shapes if you feel like it)
2 bottles of dry white wine
1 cup Triple Sec
1/2 cup berry-flavored vodka
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup simple syrup
What you’ll make:
Combine and stir! Chill in fridge for at least four hours.
Bomb Pop Shots
What you’ll need:
1/3 oz. Sprite
1/3 oz. lemon vodka
2/3 oz. blue curacao
2/3 oz. grenadine
What you’ll make:
1. Mix Sprite and vodka into a shaker with ice, then strain into glass.
2. Use a spoon turned upside down angled into vodka mix to break the surface. Very slowly poor the blue curacao. If not poured slowly, the two will mix instead of layer.
3. Then pour in the grenadine by pouring close to the glass’s edge, in a waterfall effect. Since it’s so thick, it’ll drop to the bottom and your shot will be complete.
Don’t have enough time to mix up a bunch of these ingredients? No problem. Grab some strawberries, blueberries and blackberries and pop a combination of each into an ice tray’s slots. Pour water in each slot and freeze. Add to water or Sprite for a red, white and blue combo that doesn’t take much effort at all.
(See punchbowl.com, thekitchenwhisperer.net and Pinterest for recipes.)
Article Sponsored by Tuscaloosa Tire & Service Center.
Find Tuscaloosa Tire & Service Center on the web: http://tuscaloosatireandservice.com
Independence Day Vanilla Infused Peach White Chocolate Ice Cream
Serves: 2 quarts
· 5 cups fresh peaches, diced
· 2 tablespoons of Vanilla extract
· 1 cup of granulated sugar (you may add instead vanilla flavored sugar)
· 1 cup white chocolate morsels
· 1 (12 ounce) can of evaporated milk
· 1/2 package of instant vanilla pudding
· 1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
· 4 cups of half and half
· Large bag of ice
· Rock salt (for ice cream machine)
· Electric ice cream machine
Note: The ambient air temperature will determine the amount of ice and salt used in the ice cream machine. Be sure to follow instructions on machine.
Place peaches into a bowl, add sugar, stir. Allow mixture to sit for 1 hour.
Place peaches into a food processor and pulse 3 times or until mostly pureed. Set aside.
Whisk the evaporated milk, vanilla extract, and pudding mix. Add the diced peaches, white chocolate morsels, sweetened condensed milk, and half and half, and whisk well.
Pour mixture into the ice cream machine and process. Afterward, transfer to a container of choice and place into freezer.
Article Sponsored by Willcutt Block and Supply.
Find Willcutt Block on the web:http://www.willcuttblock.com
Independence Day Barbecue Burgers
· 2 pounds ground beef
· Dash salt and black pepper
· 4 slices bacon
· 1 onion, cut into 1/4 –inch thick rings
· 4 hamburger buns
· 4 slices cheddar cheese
· ½ cup barbecue sauce of choice
Create 4 evenly shaped burger patties. Light grill and set on high heat.
Place burgers on grill and cook until well charred (about 2 minutes). Flip patties and brush with bbq sauce. Then cook for another 2 minutes and occasionally brushing on sauce.
Brush bacon with bbq sauce and place directly over hot grill, sauce side down. Brush top with bbq sauce. Cook until well charred (about 1 minute). And repeat after flipping.
Place onions on grill for 20 seconds, then flip and repeat.
If you prefer the buns to be toasted, place them on the hot grill until browned.
Article sponsored by Belle Chambre of Tuscaloosa and Lakeside Dental.
Find Belle Chambre of Tuscaloosa on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BelleChambreTuscaloosa/
Find Lakeside Dental on the web: http://www.lakesidedentalsmiles.com
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.”
All Hail Fathers of Greatness
Wives can sometimes be obsessive compulsive.
Husbands can sometimes be obsessively repulsive. Well, because we are men. And some men have a way of not being able to identify the unpleasantness of our own being. In other words, we can’t smell ourselves.
Men are primarily simplistic creatures, practically to a fault. My grandmother used to tell my father that to get by, all men needed was a bunk and a skillet. And that is (almost) true.
Dads are all about priority and contrary to popular belief, dad does have them, although they may not always match those of our superior female counterparts. It’s not that dad can’t remember things. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Dad can remember a plethora of seemingly worthless information that only men can prioritize by order of importance.
For instance, ask dad what team Alabama usually plays on the third Saturday in October? Or who won the National Championship in 1992? Or what time the race starts on Sunday? Or when hunting season begins and ends? Or all of the above.
See? That’s history. That’s current events. That’s relevance.
It’s not that we didn’t remember to fix the doorknob. It’s just that it hasn’t fallen off of the door yet. It’s not that we forgot to clean out the garage. It’s just that there is still adequate space for you to pull your car in. It’s not that we forgot to call the plumber. It’s that the line was busy when we did.
We are the dads of the world. We are the maintainers, the providers. We are the heroes of little girls and the role models of little boys.
We are men. We are fathers. And we are undeniably flawed. But our intentions are good although our execution may lean to the side of procrastination.
And while we may not know anything about some things, we know something about everything.
For that reason, all hail to the good dads of the world: the ones who fight the good fight, the ones who (eventually) finish their work, and the ones who mostly remember to roll the trash out on the correct pick-up days. Unless there’s a holiday during the week which throws everything off by a day. That confuses us.
If you are fortunate enough to be able to hug your dad on Fathers Day, then make sure you do. Everything in life is filled with imperfections, but the love of a man’s family can make our day perfect.
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.
By Tori Linville
Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day was created as a national way to honor fallen service members. Over two dozen cities take credit for creating the national holiday, according to the Memorial Day website. While Waterloo, New York, officially got the credit, every state finds its own way to celebrate. Check out some of the activities we’ve found for this Memorial Day, May 25.
Memorial Day Tribute – Gulf Shores/Fort Morgan
The Memorial Day Tribute in Gulf Shores will host special guided tours throughout Fort Morgan on Saturday, May 23. Historical interpreters will guide the tour dressed in period uniforms of the U.S. Army. Information about artillery and garrison life will also be featured.
Admission for adults will be $7. Senior admission will be $5 and child admission will be $4. For more information, visit fortmorgan.org.
SEC Baseball Championship – Hoover
The championship game falls on May 24 at 3:30 p.m. Memorial Day weekend will already be in full swing by the time the champions are given their trophies. So why not pop over to the Hoover Met and relax while watching America’s favorite past time?
Tournament tickets for all nine sessions are only $120, while tickets for six sessions are only $66. If staying indoors for hot dogs and Cracker Jack popcorn is more up your alley, the championship game will be available on ESPN 2.
To see more information about the tournament and game dates, visit secsports.com/championship/baseball.
Alabama Jubilee – Decatur
Decatur will host its annual Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic on May 24 and 25 at Point Mallard Park. Events including an arts and crafts show, The Southland Flywheelers Antique Tractor show, the Lexi Lee Walk Silent Auction and more will be held during the two day event. Each day will begin at 6 a.m. with a pilot briefing for the key grab race, followed by the race from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
Sixty balloons from around the U.S. will be featured, and the evening Balloon Glow event can’t be missed. The event is free, with the only fees being a $1-2 charge for shuttle bus services for remote parking lots.
To find event rules and more information, visit alabamajubilee.net.
Fallen Heroes Memorial Day Dedication – Mobile
Mobile will hold a Fallen Heroes Memorial Dedication at Battleship Memorial Park on May 25. Former Marine Infantry Officer and Iraq veteran Nathan Cox built the Alabama’s first memorial to honor fallen service members who lost their lives in the War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the event’s website. The memorial will be on permanent display as a reminder of the loss.
The park has memorials honoring Lower Alabama Vietnam Veterans, a War Dog memorial, The Alabama Telephone Pioneers Living Memorial, a Korean War Memorial and more. Jan. 9 marked the park’s 50th year since its opening.
For more information, visit ussalabama.com.
Biscuits Baseball – Montgomery
Nothing says Memorial Day like more baseball. The Montgomery Biscuits will take on the Tennessee Smokies for a Memorial Day showdown at 12:05 p.m. on May 25 at Riverwalk Stadium.
Tickets for lawn, box and super box seats are $9, $11 and $13, respectively. To find out more on how to get your local baseball fix, visit milb.com.
For more history about Memorial Day, and even access Memorial Day resources such as speeches, essays and articles, visit usmemorialday.org.
By Chloe Ballard
Sometimes it is hard to find that perfect gift for mom. Some of us look for months while others know exactly what mom will want. Nevertheless, the gift needs to be perfect, whether it be a spa treatment, a dinner out, or a quiet evening at home. Here are some gift ideas for mom that might help you on your search for the perfect gift.
From spa treatments to popular gifts. https://www.groupon.com/occasion/mothers-day-gifts
Kid created presents. https://www.parentmap.com/article/25-homemade-mothers-day-gifts-that-kids-can-make
Mother’s Day poems. http://www.mothersdaycelebration.com/mothers-day-poems.html
Printable Mother’s Day cards. http://familycrafts.about.com/od/mothersdaycards/a/printmomcards.htm
Free Printable Mother’s Day coupons. http://www.homemade-gifts-made-easy.com/mothers-day-coupons.html
Mother’s Day Breakfast and Brunch recipes. http://www.foodnetwork.com/holidays-and-parties/packages/mothers-day/photos/mothers-day-breakfast-and-brunch-recipes.html