Let’s face it: A lot of Tuscaloosa residents have skipped town during spring break. For those of you who haven’t – how can you find fun activities that will entertain the kiddos? A trip to the Children’s Hands-On Museum in downtown Tuscaloosa on St. Patrick’s Day might be just what’s needed.

C.H.O.M. is holding a St. Patrick’s Day Leprechaun Hunt on Tuesday, March 17, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Those of you who are familiar with the Children’s Hands-On Museum know what to expect: Tons of fun activities for children, and all of them related in some way to St. Patrick’s Day.


The day-long activities include Irish river lore by “Riverboat John Ferguson,” a singer, storyteller and musician. In addition, kids will have the chance to find hidden leprechauns for prizes, and they’ll be able to make Over-The-Rainbow crafts.

For more information about St. Patty’s day activities at C.H.O.M., visit www.chomonline.org!

Red River Kennels owner Daniel Bailey started the Fosters HWY Clean Up four years ago to give back to the community he calls home.

By Laurie Mundy Perrigin

Anyone who lives or regularly visits the Fosters area of Tuscaloosa County will tell you: It’s filled with stunning natural beauty. One local business is working hard to ensure that the area remains that way, by sponsoring a special clean-up day. If you’d like to get on board, you’re more than welcome.

Red River Kennels is a facility located on 40 acres off Sylvan Loop Road in Fosters. Owner Daniel Bailey says Red River is committed to the local community, and events such as the upcoming Fosters Clean Up Day on April 18 benefit everyone.

“This is our fourth annual clean up. We’re inviting all to come out with family and friends to support awareness and to help keep our great outdoors clean,” Bailey said. He added that he’s looking forward to meeting new volunteers, and he appreciates all the support Red River has had from the community at past clean up events.

The Fosters HWY Clean Up begins on Saturday, April 18 with a safety meeting at 10 a.m. The clean-up will be from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the gate, and kids get in free. Lunch and bottled water will be provided at 1 p.m., and the fun afternoon includes door prizes, guest speakers, live music, and more. Vendors are also welcome.

“If you’d like to set up at the venue free of charge, just contact us,” Bailey said. “This is open to all businesses, crafts, kennels and organizations.”

At 3 p.m., Red River Kennels will hold a Coon Hound and Deer Dog show that features a tree race and a water race. The cost to enter a dog is $5.

To reach Red River Kennels, and to learn more about the Fosters HWY Clean Up and the services they offer (including training, boarding and breeding), visit the official website, the Red River Kennels Facebook page, or call (205) 292-4115.

Photo: Red River Kennels

By Laurie Mundy Perrigin

Sokol Park will be filled with more than just canines and their owners on April 11. Area runners, take note: The third annual Will May 5K and the inaugural Trails for Tails 10K will get underway at 9:30 a.m. This event coincides with the second annual Bark in the Park Event, ensuring that Sokol will be packed with area residents of the two- and four-legged variety.

Proceeds from the Will May 5K and the Trails for Tails 10K will go towards maintenance and improvements to the Will May Dog Park. Guy May, the father of Will May, said a lot of new and exciting things are on the horizon for the park.

“Our plan for the near future is to build an observation deck in the large dog area as well as splash pads to help keep the dogs cool during the hot weather,” May said.

May added that the community support for the Will May 5K has been outstanding. “The past two years the Will May 5K has raised over $60,000 and we hope to raise another $30,000 this year,” he said.

After the 5K road race and the 10K trail race, everyone can enjoy cold drinks, Moe’s BBQ and live music by Farmer’s Daughter, starting at 10:30 a.m.

For more information and updates about the Will May 5K and the Trails for Tails 10K, follow @WillMay5K on Twitter. To register, visit http://willmay5K.itsyourrace.com. Participants can register on the day of the race beginning at 7:30 a.m., but by registering online a race shirt is guaranteed. Packet pick up will be at Wagner’s Run Walk on Friday, April 10, from noon to 7 p.m.

 Spring has sprung and May is just around the corner. While children are getting out of school and pollen counts skyrocket, the music festival scene emerges in the background. Check out some of these local festivals to get your music fix as summer approaches.

By Stan J. Griffin

Although it is basically a glorified scrimmage in many respects, the University of Alabama's annual spring football game serves a couple of very significant purposes.

First of all, the A-Day contest allows Nick Saban and his staff an opportunity to take a look at many of the Crimson Tide players, especially the younger and less-experienced ones, in a live situation that is as close to an actual game as possible.

Secondly, it allows football-starved Alabama fans a first opportunity to get a first glance at the team that will take the field later in the fall. It offers them a little taste of pigskin action to watch, cheer on and, later, dissect until Saban's team kicks off the season for real on Sept. 5 against Wisconsin in Arlington, Texas.

The 2015 A-Day Game is set for April 18, with the game scheduled to kick off at 2 p.m.

The A-Day game is the culmination of a full day of activities on campus, including 2014 permanent captains Amari Cooper, Blake Sims, Landon Collins and Jalston Fowler putting their hands and cleats in cement outside of Denny Chimes prior to kickoff.

Admission is once again free for the contest, and another large crowd is expected. Last year, an announced crowd of 73,506 attended the game.

As usual, there are several interesting storylines heading into the contest, and several individual players that those attending will be keeping a sharp eye on.

The Crimson Tide enters the season with questions at several spots, including at quarterback, at receiver, and in the secondary.

As usual, the quarterback competition will likely be the most scrutinized position for the 2015 Crimson Tide, and several of those candidates for the position will likely get extended playing time during the spring game, including senior Jake Coker, sophomore David Cornwell, junior Cooper Bateman, senior Alec Morris and perhaps even highly-touted freshman Blake Barnett.

Barnett, from Corona, California, is one of eight freshman (now seven after Jonathan Taylor's dismissal) early enrollees, along with running back DeSherrius Flowers, safety Ronnie Harrison, offensive lineman Brandon Kennedy, running back Bo Scarbrough, safety Deionte Thompson and offensive lineman Dallas Warmack.

Several of those early enrollees may figure prominently into the Tide’s plans for the A-Day game, and also for the 2015 season, including Barnett, and possibly athletes such as Harrison and Thompson in the Tide secondary, as Alabama looks for much improvement in that area.

Although Alabama lost talented offensive contributors such as Cooper and running back T.J. Yeldon, the Tide will be bringing in talented newcomers at those positions, but A-Day will also allow some weapons still on the roster, such as Chris Black, Cam Sims, Ardarius Stewart and Robert Foster a chance to shine and show their abilities.

It will also be interesting to see how much all-purpose threat Kenyan Drake will be allowed to participate in the game, as he continues to get back to speed after suffering a devastating leg injury against Ole Miss last season. Saban has said that Drake continues to recuperate well from the injury, but is still a bit behind in his overall conditioning.

Photo: UA Athletics

Look at this happy woman with her mullet! You throw, girl!

By Raelyn Mae Holmes

Ah, the Mullet Toss: It’s right up there with the Opp Rattlesnake Rodeo when it comes to weird, but somehow intriguing, events and activities. The annual Interstate Mullet Toss and Gulf Coast’s Biggest Beach Party is one of the more legendary, but odd, tourist draws the Gulf Coast has ever seen. On the last full weekend in April each year, the beautiful white sand beaches are positively jam packed – and with good reason. This year it’s the 31st anniversary of the event, and it promises to be great fun April 24-26. Are you going? Good for you!

If you haven’t been to the Mullet Toss, you are missing out: It’s a massive beach party, right behind the famed Flora-Bama Lounge and Package on Perdido Key. Because nothing says “Party!” like people lining up to throw a dead fish over the Alabama/Florida state line to see who can throw it the farthest. This has nothing to do with a really *bad* haircut. It’s about the flying fish. And the party. And yeah, it’s a little gross, but it’s hard not to find yourself caught up in the excitement.

How, exactly, did this bizarre tradition begin?

I mean, I’ve been to the Mullet Toss countless times. I’ve partied, I’ve cheered on the participants with unbridled enthusiasm, though I’ve never flung a fish myself. Too icky. And at each year’s event, I’ve met folks from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and beyond, who pull into town ready for some freaky fish action (seriously, the crowds are insane year after year for the Mullet Toss). But in all this time, until now, I never really stopped to consider how the heck this all got started.

So I did what any naturally curious person would do at 11 p.m. on a random weekday night. I looked it up. Apparently, the Mullet Toss began in 1985 as a really small party out on the beach. Low key, you know? Because that’s just how people roll along the Gulf Coast. “Hey, let’s get some beer and see who can toss this little, relatively insignificant fish, the farthest!” Supposedly the fact that the little mullet has a gizzard adds enough weight to make the thing more aerodynamic than your average fish. Not sure if that’s true, but I’m not about to start throwing dead fish around my backyard to find out.

So that’s that. Now you know. Famous people have participated in the Mullet Toss – including the likes of Kenny Stabler (he tried, unsuccessfully, to throw a perfect spiral mullet) and others. There’s even a special Celebrity Mullet Toss event over the weekend. Oh and lest you think this isn’t a family-friendly event, there are special kids’ Mullet Toss events as well. Everyone can get in on the action, and believe me, they do - the beach is crazy crowded and SO fun!

See? Totally packed with mullet tossing revelers!

It should also be mentioned that proceeds raised from the Interstate Mullet Toss support local charity organizations. The event raises as much as $20,000 annually for local charities. So hey, throw a mullet for a good cause, why don’t you? Put this event on your Bucket List. Last I checked, it only costs about $15 to get a chance to participate in the Mullet Toss. What have you got to lose?

Oh and one last tip if you do go: Parking is a zoo on all three days of Mullet Toss, so consider taking shuttles set up from Orange Beach and/or Perdido Key to the Flora-Bama. It’s worth the $5, trust me.

For more information on the Interstate Mullet Toss, visit http://www.florabama.com.

Photos: PNJ.com and Flora-Bama.com

By Brandie Rickett Bowden

The house looks like it fell right out of the Civil War. In a way, it did. Built in the 1820s, Carson House was quickly approaching 200 years old. The current owners, Kenny Massey and Stephanie Waldrop Massey, have put forth top-notch effort in order to restore the antebellum mansion to its former glory.

Before and after photos show the tremendous amount of work done to Carson Place in recent months.

Carson House sits around the corner from the Country Club of Tuscaloosa near downtown. Located in the west-section of the Historic District, Carson Place takes another 100-year leap into the past from the other homes in this district. Anyone who passes by will see that the restoration efforts have been successful. The before-and-after photos show how far a little TLC can go.

“So far we have replaced the roof, secured the chimneys, and added heating and cooling,” Stephanie Massey said. “We’ve also repaired and painted the plaster and woodwork on the outside of the house and re-built the front porch. Now that we have secured the outside of the house we are able to move inside and start working on it. Every spare hour we can find is spent working on the house.”

In 1985, the National Register of Historic Places added Carson House to its registry because of its architectural significance. The most notable features are the towering columns lining the front of the house. Each of the six columns is made from a single tree trunk. Even those without architectural knowledge can look at this house and appreciate the elegance and beauty of its antebellum features.

“Every crack in the plaster and every uneven spot in the floor tells a piece of this story.” – Stephanie Massey

With any building of this era, one can assume to find some interesting stories in association. Carson Place is no exception. “As we work on the house and see the hand-hewn beams and plaster work I just imagine all the people who have passed through this home over nearly 200 years,” Massey said. “If these walls could talk what would they say? Every crack in the plaster and every uneven spot in the floor tells a piece of this story. We are honored to be able to be just a small part of that.”

When Mary Lynch Horry Carson’s husband, John Haywood Carson, died in 1823, he left much property to his wife and two children. A few years later, Mary married George Cox. They moved to Tuscaloosa, where Mary had the original Carson House built. Cox came to the area 10 years prior after the Navy forced him to resign when he abandoned his ship, declaring it unsafe, even though his mates and crew remained on board.

Carson Place was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985 because of its architectural significance.

When Cox died, Mary married her third husband, William Allen. Allen gambled away most of Mary’s estate, leaving very little for Mary’s son, Thomas Lynch Carson, to inherit on their deaths. Thomas married into another property-owning family. The family of his wife, Sarah Virginia Marr, owned the property on which the University of Alabama now sits. Thomas and Sarah lived in his mother’s house with their 13 children (only six of whom lived to adulthood) until his death in 1867. When Thomas died, Sarah moved to a plantation on the river, but maintained ownership of Carson House, selling it more than 20 years later.

The Massey family hopes turn Carson Place into a bed and breakfast so they can share the grand home with the community.

The home has changed ownership several times over the last 100 years. It has undergone several restorations. Now, thanks to the current owners, it will no longer be just a visual locale. The current plan for the Carson House is that it will become a bed and breakfast upon completion of the current restorations.

Take a quick trip into the past and go see Carson House, and take in a deep breath of local history.

Photos: Carson Place Bed & Breakfast

By Tori Linville

Easter has arrived, and for most people it means ham, family and Easter egg dyeing. After blowing out the egg’s content by making small holes in the tops and bottoms of the shell or boiling eggs, most people dunk the egg in a bowl of food coloring and call it a day. This Easter, we’ve looked up cheap and creative ideas for Easter egg dyeing that allow for some creativity. For best results, don’t rush the process of dyeing the eggs.

Rubber Band Eggs

By adding some rubber bands from your office to the mix, Easter eggs can have a one-of-a-kind look that strays from a simple dye job.


First, bring eggs to a boil in a pot of water. Remove to cool and pat the eggs dry. Next, add the rubber bands. Because of the egg’s round and slick surface, it’s best to use wide rubber bands or multiple skinny rubber bands for best results. Arrange the bands around the egg to your liking.

Dunk egg into dye and keep submerged for at least five minutes. For a darker color, keep egg in the dye longer. Allow egg to air dry. For a mix of colors, re-dip the egg in a different color dye.

Dye ingredients: Three-fourths a cup of warm water, one tablespoon of white vinegar and about 10 drops of food coloring.


Melted Crayon Eggs

Adding an individual and artistic spin to your Easter eggs only takes two steps. Using crayons already laying around the house, children can draw their own Easter egg designs in no time at all.

First, put eggs in a pot of water and bring to a full boil. Remove from heat and cover the pot for 12 minutes to get hard boiled eggs. Taking the eggs from the pot let them stand for one to two minutes.

Add designs to the eggs by drawing on them with crayons. Let children mix and match colors for a creative twist.


Traditional Egg Dyeing with a Twist

If simple food coloring and water is a method that is the most convenient and comfortable, add a twist by mixing ingredients that you already have in your pantry or spice cabinet. This will save time and money, along with providing some Easter entertainment.

Bring water to a boil before adding ingredients. Each recipe calls for four cups of water, two tablespoons of white vinegar and two tablespoons of table salt.

Aqua Green/Teal: Two cups raw Spinach

Dark Blue: One head of cabbage, chopped         

Brown/Burnt Orange: Two tablespoons of coffee

For a marbled effect, leave the eggs in the die for a longer amount of time. For an additional pop of color, add olive oil to the dry shells. To see additional methods for other colors, visit greenthumbwhiteapron.com.

Customers browse among plants offered at the annual Alabama Wildflower Society’s native plant sale. Dozens of different kinds of local plants will be available at the April 4 sale.

By Nancy Campbell


The local chapter of the Alabama Wildflower Society is holding its annual native plant sale on Saturday, April 4 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Kentuck Center courtyard in downtown Northport. Don't be misled by the name of the organization: There will be a lot for sale in addition to wildflowers.


Plants offered will include flowering vines, native ferns, ground covers, and lots of shrubs and trees, such as dogwoods, redbuds, butterfly bushes, blueberry bushes, native hydrangeas, sweet shrub, and several varieties of native azaleas, all with some of the lowest prices to be found in this area. Alice Taylor, past-president of the local non-profit group, notes, "Here is where you can get some real bargains.”



Wildflowers offered for sale typically include columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, Lenten roses, spiderwort, and native irises and violets. Items for sale are obtained from out-of-state nurseries specializing in native plants and from members of the Alabama Wildflower Society who contribute plants from their own gardens and property. While most plants sold are indigenous to the Southeast, a few non-native but traditionally favorite “pass-a-long” plants are also offered.


One local resident, Harris Cornett of Northport, purchased a perennial dark red salvia bush five years ago that has come back every spring and bloomed for four months, attracting numerous butterflies and hummingbirds. He also purchased a perennial blue daisy that same year which blooms for about two months every summer.


Purchases will help further education about and preservation of Alabama’s native plant life. Proceeds from the sale every year go for college scholarships to botany majors in Alabama colleges and universities. Smaller amounts go to the local Arboretum and the Cahaba Lily Society.


 "The sale will take place rain or shine," said Taylor. "However, you should try to get there early for the best selections."  

Druid City Garden Project (DCGP) is hosting a hands-on workshop titled “Organic Gardening 101” to help Tuscaloosa residents learn how to start gardening organically. It will be held on Saturday morning, April 11th from 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. at University Place Elementary School.

Participants will join DCGP Garden Manager, Josalyn Randall, to learn how the basics of organic gardening including composting, soil amendments, soil preparation, seed starting techniques, transplanting, planting schedules, mulching and more.


“Organic Gardening 101 is a great resource for those just starting out in gardening and those who want to brush up on their skills before planting their summer gardens,” says Lindsay Turner, Druid City Garden Project’s executive director.


Turner says that the workshop will be appropriate for all experience levels.

Common summer favorites, such as tomatoes, peppers, and herbs will be featured.

There is a suggested donation of $20 for individuals and $10 for students. Contributions benefit Druid City Garden Project’s efforts to help diverse communities of Alabama build vibrant food systems.

A second part to this workshop, “Organic Gardening 102,” will be held on May 16, all from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.

Interested community members and students are encouraged to reserve their spots in advance by emailingThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Assorted sizes of colorful, decorative pots in Alice’s Garden will bear ancestors’ names.

By Octavia Miles


The life of a master gardener is never dull or stagnant, and we are never far away from pen and paper to make a project “to do” list.

While our mission is to increase the availability of horticultural information to Alabama’s gardeners and home owners, in reality, we are much more than that. We play very active roles in our communities – from coordinating plant sales and other events, to seminars, to community service projects. Kindred   spirits join together to complete a goal and to spread the message of enjoying the bounty of our gardens.

Often, the joy of these projects comes in preparation. Friendships sprout up and memories are created, all while completing a gardening task.

Speaking of that “to do” list, I recently made one for my 2015 project called “Alice’s Garden” (in memory of my late mother who, during the last eight of her 91 years on earth, was afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease). The chosen area in my backyard was once a bright, sunny spot, but now the trees from my neighbors’ yards have turned it into a location that only receives four hours of sunlight (10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) with a slow progression from southeast to northwest.

The middle portion of the site gets the best sun. I’ve labeled the site as “partial sun with a side dressing of shade.” This isn’t quite what I envisioned for Alice’s Garden, so now I have to revise my graph drawings and my wish list.

The proposed site for Alice’s Garden.


With revisions comes research, and I have to admit: the more pictures in a gardening book, the better. One of my favorites isEdible Landscaping by Rosalind Creasy, along with Shade: Ideas and Inspiration for Shady Gardens by Keith Wiley.


I also know that my project will require visits to my family’s homestead in Troy, along with visits to the Petals from the Past nursery in Jemison. So far, I’ve added these items to my project’s wish list:


  • A garden bench (mom’s porch glider, which I’ll paint pale pink)
  • An arbor (test red cascade and Peggy Martin roses)
  • A pathway (pine straw for this first year)
  • Containers (mom’s four large flower pots from pillars in the front yard’s drive and walkways)
  • Decoration (ironwork from mom’s backyard fence, to add architectural interest and a bit of Troy history)
  • Plants (everything still living in mom’s flowerbeds, supplemented by additional ones I’ll research and purchase)


Next on the list? Functional analysis. What did I want my four siblings, my two children, my three grandchildren, my 12 nieces and nephews, and my 16 great nieces and nephews to experience when they visited my home and walked outside to see Alice’s Garden?


I concluded that those who experienced mom’s flowers through the years in her own gardens would be touched with precious memories, while those who were born long after mom left Troy and came to live with me in Tuscaloosa would be far removed from my nostalgic gesture. Therefore, I will have to be certain that Alice’s Garden has something for everyone. Because of the variation in age groups, I have decided to reserve a special section of the Garden for assorted sizes of colorful and decorative pots bearing all of our ancestors’ names. It will be called “Flower Pot People” in Alice’s Garden.


Do you have a special project you’re working on this spring? Would you like the Tuscaloosa County Master Gardeners to contribute our efforts? If so, contact Neal Hargle, County Extension Agent at (205) 349-4630 or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. He and I will get our many knowledgeable master gardeners organized to assist you.


For inspiration in planting this season, why not visit the Tuscaloosa County Master Gardeners Association’s annual plant sale? The sale will be held on Saturday, April 25, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the auditorium of the Extension Office. Please come by to see the many plants that we will have for sale.


Octavia Miles is the president of the Tuscaloosa County Master Gardeners’ Association (Class of 2010).

By Amy Poore

Well, guess what? Spring is almost here - though I'm sure after the recent wintry weather it's hard to believe it. But look at the calendar - see? It IS going to happen, and that means now is the time to start thinking about swimsuit season. That means, of course, that healthy recipes are in order.

It’s tough to keep up a healthy eating regimen, but it’s mucheasier if you have recipes that are also really, really good. Honestly, up until this past year, I haven’t found many recipes that were both healthy and delicious. But I did find a few, and I’m sharing one with you this month! This chopped kale salad is satisfying and nutritious.

Bon appétit!


Chopped Kale Salad

  • 6 cups of chopped kale (chopped into small bites)
  • ½ cup toasted almonds
  • ½ cup Craisins
  • 1½ cup cooked, whole grain quinoa
  • Dijon vinaigrette (recipe below)

Dijon Vinaigrette

  • 2 teaspoons prepared Dijon mustard (store bought is great)
  • 3 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the salad: In a large bowl, toss together the kale, almonds, Craisins and quinoa. Stir in dressing.

For the vinaigrette: Whisk together the mustard and the vinegar, slowly whisk in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve alone or with a protein of your choice.

Amy Poore is a new mom, a wife and a foodie. To see more of Amy's delicious recipes, visit her blog, Poore Amy, at www.pooreamy.com

Photo: Amy Poore

FIVE’s brunch offers area diners a fresh, hip Sunday dining experience in downtown Tuscaloosa.

By Sheena Gregg

According to Webster’s Dictionary, brunch is defined as a meal that combines breakfast and lunch that is usually eaten in late morning. However, at FIVE Bar and Restaurant in Tuscaloosa, brunch is a Sunday experience that brings together old friends, good music, and great food and drinks. With a high reputation among foodies in Tuscaloosa, FIVE Bar and Restaurant has been no stranger to providing T-town folks with a memorable dining experience. Known for their signature dinner entrees and coffee/juice bar, FIVE has now expanded to providing a Jazz Brunch for all to enjoy.

If you’re planning the perfect spring dinner at your house this year, I’ve got a recipe for you: the best ham ever. I’m serious, the orange slices and the Coke and the mustard just give this ham the most incredible flavor. You’ll be glad you made this one – and your guests will too.

By Amy Poore

Here's a dessert option that's sure to please, and best of all? It's easy. What spring gathering would be complete without carrot cake? This  super moist carrot pineapple cake is a new twist on an old favorite. It’s packed with flavor and yes, I use baby food to make it so moist (it absolutely works).

Bon appétit!



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cups vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 jars (6 oz each) carrot baby food
  • 1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple, drained
  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts


  • 1 block cream cheese (8 oz.), softened
  • ½ butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 box (1 lb) confectioners’ sugar
  • Chopped walnuts (optional)

In a large bowl, stir to combine the dry ingredients.

Add the oil, eggs and baby food and mix on low speed with a hand mixer until well blended.

Stir in pineapple and nuts.

Pour into a greased and floured 9x13 pan. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to wire racks to cool completely.


For frosting, in a bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in vanilla and confectioners' sugar until the mixture reaches spreading consistency.

Remove the cake from the pan, frost top and sides. Garnish with nuts if desired.

Store in the refrigerator.


Amy Poore is a new mom, a wife and a foodie. To see more of Amy's delicious recipes, visit her blog, Poore Amy, at www.pooreamy.com

Photo: Amy Poore

Spring has finally arrived, and it’s the perfect time of year to sit outside on the porch in the morning, enjoying a cup of coffee and one of these fabulous blueberry streusel muffins. Grab a few quiet moments of solitude and treat yourself – it’s worth it. This recipe is one you'll enjoy making for years to come.

Enjoy the spring, and bon appétit!


Blueberry Streusel Muffins


  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour


  • 1 cup fresh blueberries (or frozen, thawed)
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

For topping:

Mix sugars, flour and melted butter with fork until crumbly, set aside.

For muffins:

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt.

In a mixer, use whisk attachment to mix sugar and eggs. Continue until completely mixed.

Slowly add in the butter and oil until combined. Followed by buttermilk and vanilla.

Remove bowl from mixer and fold in the flour mixture and blueberries. Do not over mix (it’s ok if it’s a little lumpy).

Fill a muffin tin lined with muffin cups (12 muffins) to the top.

Now, crumble the streusel topping on each muffin.

Bake for 17-20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.

Cool muffins for about 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack to continue to cool before serving.

Amy Poore is a new mom, a wife and a foodie. To see more of Amy's delicious recipes, visit her blog, Poore Amy, at www.pooreamy.com


By Raelyn Mae Holmes

Hey there, parentals: Are you at the end of your spring break rope yet? You’ve taken the kiddos to the beach, to the zoo, to the aquarium, to the park (multiple times) and zip lining – and you’re out of ideas? Fair enough. It happens. With a chance of showers creeping into the forecast for folks throughout Alabama – from Huntsville to the Gulf Coast, I thought this might be a good time to provide a brief rundown of some movie offerings, specifically some of the best kids movies on Redbox, and more. Because hey, it’ll keep the little ones occupied for a bit, and provide you with some much-needed quiet time. And the disclaimer: Some of these films are better for youngsters, while others are better for the tweens or teens set. Use your finely-honed parental radar to ensure age appropriateness.

Here's a wrap up of a few of the biggest and best Easter egg hunts coming up in the Tuscaloosa area. Time to grab those Easter baskets and get out to enjoy these events!

UA Panhellenic Association Egg Hunt

The UA Panhellenic Association will be hosting their annual Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday, March 29, from 2:00-4:00 p.m. at the President’s mansion.

Children ages 12 and under are invited to come out and hunt for Easter eggs this coming Sunday. There will be plenty of photo ops with a visit from the Easter bunny and face painting stations. Refreshments will be provided by Bama Dining, the event will go until 4:00 pm or until the last egg is found. Parking is available behind sorority row, for more information visit www.uapanhellenic.com.


Junior Belles Easter Egg Hunt

The Junior Tuscaloosa Belles are proud to announce the return of the annual Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday, March 29 from 3-5 p.m. at the Battle-Friedman House and Gardens. This is a wonderful opportunity for the whole family to spend time with old and new friends and neighbors at one of Tuscaloosa's premiere historic houses.

This year our Easter Egg Hunt features games and prizes, visits with the Easter Bunny, refreshments, and a petting zoo from Tuscaloosa Barnyard. Following the Hunt, we will have a raffle for the adults.  It's fun for the whole family! Please bring your own basket. Admission is $5 per adult; the first two children are free – and it’s $2 for every child after.



First Wesleyan Church presents EasterFest, a city-wide celebration on April 4 from 10 a.m. to noon at Snow Hinton Park. Each year, this event has grown – and now, thousands participate. People from all walks of life, from all over Tuscaloosa can come enjoy all sorts of fun activities for free. 

Now in its seventh year, EasterFest is are once again expecting around 4000 people to come and enjoy free family fun. Well over 300 volunteers work to make this day happen. More than 25,000 eggs will be a part of the largest Easter egg hunt in Tuscaloosa. There will also be games, inflatables, a rock climbing wall, live music, free food, a petting zoo and more.

The Easter egg hunt begins promptly at 10:30 a.m., and parental supervision is required.

Earlier this month, Red River Kennels held a special clean-up day in the Fosters area. This marked the fourth year for this particular event, and Red River owner Daniel Bailey said it was a huge success.

“We worked together towards a clean community. We certainly want to preserve our great outdoors for generations to come.”

On the morning of April 18, volunteers got to work early, cleaning up trash and other items along the highway in Fosters. The group managed to clear a large swath, picking up huge items like old tires, and smaller things, like pieces of paper and wrappers.

By Allison Adams


Ah, the sounds: buzzing bees, boats in high gear across the glassy water working hard to warm itself in the sun. And as I write this, a different buzz of the Blue Angels as they prepare for their weekend show. ​

Spring brings with it thoughts of hope, revival, and change. 

The bulbs I planted in the dead of winter are now peeping their way through the still-cold soil. They didn't wait to see what the weather was going to do. They knew, as designed, that it was time for them to burst forth and push their flowers to the surface.

Perhaps God knew how these cold winters might drive us nearly to the breaking point, offering little hints of life throughout the trees so that we might "hang on" for warmer weather. 

Rooted trees planted deeply into the soil are now displaying tiny caterpillar-like buds of color on the once smooth, ice-like limbs. 

Spring is upon us, and after the winter we have had, I too am relieved that I can get outside more and spend less time in front of the fireplace (although that has its perks too). I pull out my Pinterest boards, which I notice, even when perused during winter, share ideas for open, cool, spring-like spaces. Hours of daydreaming in front of my iPad of colorful changes I might add to our decor are evident - and inspiring. 

It is spring when we put away the heavy, furry blankets. It is also the time "spring fever" occurs, making us ready to go, to do, to make a move, and to splurge! I, as a Realtor, have been eagerly working to help change-seekers find their match.

Spring is when I get most inspired to write and paint. The same scenes of winter begin to change; They take on a new life, color, and movement. 

Spring is when we start making plans to hit the lake, a beach, a park. It’s also the time we possibly panic about the quickly approaching bathing suit weather, spurring us to hit the outdoor running trails in addition to the gym.

Spring is when festivals beacon us to enrich our minds, our walls, our stomachs with new things. 

On April 11, there are a number of great excuses to get out and proclaim your stake in spring. Runners: Join the Will May 5K Run, which this year will be at Sokol Park in conjunction with The Tuscaloosa Association of REALTORS Bark in The Park at the Will May Dog Park. 

On that same day, The Druid City Arts Festival is going to be in full swing, with art, music, food and plenty to get you inspired for spring.

Get your shorts out of the bottom of the drawer, pull out your flip flops, grab your dog (they’re washing dogs for a world record at Bark in the Park, and couldn’t “Fido” use a good bath?) and get ready to have some spring fun.

Be sure to open your windows all the way down and celebrate life, spring and creativity before the April rains begin to fall.

And I hope you will come see me at the DCAF and see what spring has inspired me to create! 

Blessings from Lake Tuscaloosa,

Allison Adams


Photo: Allison Adams

Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.


Most Popular