Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Spring is in the air! Along with the smell of flowers and the chirping robins, comes the need to escape, relax, and just enjoy the weather. Try springtime in Charleston - the city is blossoming with outdoor markets, patio dining, jazz on the porch, and romantic city strolls. The most charming city in the South, you can find the best cuisine, beautiful resorts, great golf, and even fall in love (if not with someone, definitely with the city.)

For accomodations that are charming, elegant, and make you feel like Southern royalty, stay at The Belvidere Club and Resort located on Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant overlooking Charleston Harbor. Just a short 5 minute drive across the Ravenel Bridge from downtown, the service is impeccable at The Belvidere. Enjoy your very own two bedroom cottage with breakfast brought to you every morning in a woven basket, in suite welcome with wine and cheese, state of the art cookware, large screened porched with hammock, breathtaking sunsets, Frette robes and pool. You can even reserve retro Schwinn bikes to ride around the harbor. Don't forget world renowned Patriots Point Links is a 18-hole championship golf course right beside Belvidere Club.

Take a day to just enjoy your accomodations by lounging on the hammock on your screened porch or laying by the pool. Open a copy of Pat Conroy's Beach Music to really get into the spirit of this old South town.

A must read: Pat Conroy's Beach Music

Charleston row houses with side entrance doors stack the streets of downtown. While large Antebellum mansions line The Battery. Even the doors on these homes are elegant.

Charleston's stylish East Bay Street and King Street are two must walks. From the great boutiques to the dessert shops to finding a cozy cafe to grab brunch, put on some comfy shoes because you will want to walk every step to take in this vibrant city.

Here are some suggestions for dining:
1. High Cotton serves the best Sunday brunch. Try the Lobster and Shrimp crepe or Eggs Benedict Charleston style with a biscuit topped with a fried green tomato and lump crab meat on top with a spicy Bloody Marys while listening to the three piece jazz band.
2. For great seafood in a casual environment, The East Bay Crab Shack, is a must located on, you guessed it East Bay.
3. For drinks on the patio visit the Roof Top Bar at the Vendue. This outdoor scene is easy, breezy, and popping with a great crowd.
4. For one of the best meals of your life, The Peninsula Grill is internationally ranked for its cuisine. The four-star menu includes the New Zealand rack of lamb, grilled venison chops, and wild mushroom grits with oysters. There is also a separate but equal menu of lighter fare at the Champagne Bar. The absolute must try is their 7 Layer Coconut Cake - it is to die for! Every bite is sensual and packed with the decadent coconut filling and cake that smells like suntan lotion. The best thing is if you do not finish it they recommend you box it up and take it with you because it will soak up the flavor and be even better the next day!

The Peninsula Grill's famed 7 layer Coconut Cake is a must and if fall in love with it and crave more you can always order it online at, however it will cost you $100 a cake! Visit

Experience Charleston's beauty and charm while touring in a private carriage. Private carriages are available for one hour private historic tours or special events by reservation only. Complimentary pick-up and drop-off at local hotels and restaurants allows you to design your own itinerary. Visit

Although King Street is known for its shopping, don't miss checking out Gwynn's in Mount Pleasant. This boutique has been featured in Southern Living Magazine as one of the top places to shop and rightly so with an incredible selection of men's apparel from Jhane Barnes, Martin Dingmn and Zanella and women's apparel from Catherine Malandrino, Pink Tartan, and Edun. Gwynn's is a small upscale department store carrying furniture, fine gifts, cosmetics and more. Visit for information and directions.
This store is located less than five minutes from Belvidere Club and all guests receive a complimentary coupon.

After touring charming Charleston on foot, indulging in decadent cuisine, and doing a little Southern shopping, it is time to retreat back to your elegant cottage and take in the sunset. Why not pop open a bottle of Moet White Star, relax on your screened porch, and take advantage of the gorgeous kitchen by throwing on a Low Country Boil. Remember to hang the shell on your door, so you and your guests need not worry about being disturbed.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


YP hosted a G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S Oscars Party at swanky downtown venue Steel with Oscars viewing, ballot games and fab prizes, red carpet photos, Oscartinis, and swag bags! Guests enjoyed swagalicious items from: ServisFirst Bank, Blockbuster Movies, Aware Cosmetics, Parisian, Saks, Hair Reflections, Bombshell Photography, Amy Head Studios, Olaria Pottery, and Generation Dog. Sponsored by Aware Cosmetics, Supreme Beverage, Stoli, and Red Bull. Check out some of the fabulous fashions from this glam night in the Ham. Photos by Arden Photography

These chichettes know how to work a red carpet - smiling, blowing kisses, and looking too cute in their party dress! We see your baby Louis Vuitton under your arm!

John David Chambless with the radiant Jessica Hill in a gorgeous tiffany blue colored Kimono style dress by Single Dress available at Parisian.

Emily Peers and Kallie Kruse are all coated up with a fab place to go.

Michael Reuter won big with The Departed Trip Giveaway and by accompanying the beautiful Michelle Le wearing a fabulous necklace she found at a New Orleans flea market.

Dohn Dye and friends look very GQ!

These lovely ladies show off some of this season's must haves: mint green, bright blue, and the MUST MUST have of the season pictured far right on Emily Peers: The Tulip Dress, while filling out their Oscars ballots and sipping on Oscartinis.

Leanne Underwood looking mod in her black and white dress with fashionistas Kristie Haille and Valerie Jordan.

Stylin' and profilin' these ladies got everything right - their clothes are fab, their make up is stunning, and their hair perfectly done.

Phil Harden and Triskin Doyal enjoy a fabulous time and look fabulous in black.

These dapper gentlemen strike a pose for our cameras. Looking sharp in pin stripes!

Courtney Thompson (right) chose the perfect dress a lovely cream and brown while her Kimberly chose a gorgeous brown silk dress.

Dream Girls Michelle Conn and Leigh Ann Nelson make beauty look effortless. Michelle wore this great Kimono style dress while Leigh Ann chose a black dress with a fun blousant sleeve bolero.

UAB Med school students know how to save a life and enjoy a little bubbly in style when not working those long hours.

Leigh Jones and Courtney Gleysteen looking so chic in this jersey dress with single gold chain, someone knows how to accessorize!

The YP Board struts their glam style.


Spring in Birmingham brings a slew of parties and galas. With so many appointments in your date book, the last thing a fashionista needs to worry about is what to wear. Here are the Top 10 Dresses for Top 10 Parties to simplify your shopping for the spring (so you can avoid any last minute frantic sprees)! Afterall, a girl just can't have too many fabulous dresses!

Glenwood's A Night Under The Big Top was Friday, March 9 at B&A Warehouse 7:30-midnight. A fab evening packed with a great crowd, casino tables, music by The Undergrounders, and an incredible silent auction featuring a house in Mexico. Visit for more information. The dress was bold and bright to match the circus theme. Sunny Baby Doll Mini Dress by Dolce and Gabbana at Saks Fifth Avenue at The Summit $495

Channel your inner flapper at The Grape Gatsby benefiting the Women's Fund of Greater Birmingham Saturday, March 17 7:30-midnight at Ted's Garage. Enjoy wine, blackjack, and a chance to dress up 1920's flapper style. Visit the for tickets. Try this Black BCBG Charleston dress $180

Show how much you love being a girl at the Girls Incredible Gala at Park Lane Friday, March 23 at 8pm by wearing this mini Tulip Dress by Diane von Furstenberg available at Saks Fifth Avenue at The Summit $425 For tickets to this fantastic event hosted by the Committee of 25 with a silent auction that is out of this world contact 205.989.7797.

Get hooked on art and the fun crowd that follows the Magic City Art Connection at Art Bash Saturday, March 31 7:30pm at the Former Rogers Army Navy at 1st Avenue and 25th St. The Art Bash is a one-of-a-kind fundraiser, and always fun. Info and RSVP to 205.595.6306. Try this incredibly posh Christopher Deane dress found exclusively at Swank 35223 in Mountain Brook Village (inside Jane Simon) $345

Join Birmingham's savvy young set at the YP vs. Rotaract Challenge at Workplay Thursday, April 5. Enjoy a fierce fundraising competition and great music. Visit for more information. Go casual in this great Michael Stars Bay doll dress available at Private Gallery at The Summit, Betsy Prince at Colonial Brookwood Village, Emma's at The Village at Lee Branch, or $53.

Nature rocks! Celebrate mother earth at The Green Tie Affair and Alabama Environmental Council Birth Bash Friday, April 13 at 8pm kicked off by the Stuart McNair Band at B&A Warehouse. Tickets are $20 for the birthday bash visit Get in touch with your inner earth goddess in this white smock mini by Only Hearts, Only Hearts is available at Lara at Patton Creek $130.

Join the Cornerstone Junior Board for the 2nd Annual Schoolhouse Rock at Workplay Thursday, April 19 6:30-10:00pm. Visit for tickets. This Sweet Chiffon Dress will have everyone hot for teacher available at Francesca's Collection at The Summit $48

Get theatrical in this purple number at the annual Summerfest Gala Saturday April 28 6:30pm at The Harbert Center. Visit for tickets. This gala is so much fun and requires a dress that is show stopping. Ecoganik Pointelle Long Tiered Eggplant dress available at $185.

Mint Juleps anyone? Mark your calendar for Derby Days at Historic Rucker Place May 4 6-10pm for a grand Southern time with mint juleps, hat contest, derby contest, derby photos, and jazz. Tickets at For perfect Derby Dress try the Daisy Dress at Francesca's Collection at The Summit $38!

Join the Birmingham Museum of Art for their Champagne After Party Saturday, May 5 perfect for the young and sophisticated of Birmingham. Visit This glamorous event requires a great dress and why not go long, yet modern with this Red Tie Back dress from Anthropologie $188 and only available online at


With the weather getting warmer it only seems right to want a drink as fresh and fragrant as a spring day. With the aromatic scent and fresh flavor of mint, the mojito is a must sip this Spring.
You can even grow fresh mint in your herb garden so you are able to make this refreshing drink for parties or you can simply enjoy it during a night on the town.

Whether you choose the former or latter, here are the best places to enjoy a mojito in Birmingham and a recipe to have on hand so you can make your own.
1. Jinsei - Birmingham's hottest sushi place located at Soho in Homewood makes a yummy Strawberry mojito - big, fresh, and sweet.
2. Bottega - Refreshing and light enjoy Frank Stitt's version at Bottega Restaurant or Bottega Cafe.
3. Cocina Superior - This frozen concoction comes garnished with a stick of sugar cane and is so sinfully good.

And for all you Martha Stewart's the actual Mojito Recipe:
3 fresh mint sprigs
2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 1/2 oz light rum
splash of club soda

In a tall thin glass, crush part of the mint with a fork to coat the inside. Add the sugar and lime juice and stir thoroughly. Top with ice. Add rum and mix. Top off with *chilled* club soda (or seltzer). Add a lime slice and the remaining mint, and serve.

Tip: When ordering at a restaurant you may want to ask for the simple syrup on the side this way you can add to taste to avoid it being too sweet. Most reputable restaurants understand this request and can do it no problem.

Tip: Experiment with flavors - in the summer try a pineapple mojito, in the winter a cranberry mojito, and for your health a pomegranate mojito.


by Amy Bailey and Ryan Graham

Can you match these chicettes with their hot rides?

1) Krista Conlin, Account Manager Wilbanks Elam Agency

2) Arden Ward, Photographer and Owner Arden Photography

3) Jenifer Wallis, Lawyer Campbell Waller Poer

4) Courtney Gleysteen, Southern Progress Corporation Custom Publishing

5) Jestina Howard, Founder Aware Cosmetics

a) My absolute favorite thing about my Mercedes Kompressor is that it was my first anniversary gift from my husband. My second favorite thing is that it's small enough to handle well and fit in tight parking spots but large enough that I feel safe in it. It's also cool that the rearview mirror dims at night so other cars' headlights don't blind me.
We decided to buy this car after test driving several because it handles so well, gets great gas mileage and is safe. Plus, it is attractive enough while still looking professional so I'll be happy driving it for many years ... at least that's what my husband hopes!

b) Favorite thing about our Range Rover is the heated seats. It has been my husband's dream car all his life but somehow it became my Birthday Present!

c) Here is Sterling my BMW 325. My favorite thing about it is riding around with the top down when its nice outside. College graduation present from my parents, but had to have a convertible!

d) Alex is my SC 400 Lexus' name and he's RITE4ME (personalized tag on the car). The style of the car is still cool even though he's 12 years old.
I dated a guy who owned one and he would let me drive it all the time. I fell in love with the car, dumped the guy and bought my own and we are
still together after all these years (smile).

e) The legendary KCBENZ, a Mercedes SLK hard top convertible. The hard-top convertible is priceless. As soon as I saw the car, I just knew it was fate! Plus I had the need for speed.

a) Jenifer Wallis b) Arden Ward c) Courtney Gleysteen d) Jestina Howard e) Krista Conlin