Southern Savor: Jim ‘N Nicks

It’s been a pretty slow week around here. Nice weather turned to bad weather turned to cold weather, but that’s just how it is in Alabama.

Earlier in the week, me and Brett enjoyed eating at Jim ‘N Nick’s, a BBQ restaurant with locations throughout Alabama. There are also locations in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Tuscaloosa’s opened a few months ago and we’ve frequented it many times since. Our first trip to the Tuscaloosa location was Brett’s first time ever. Already a BBQ enthusiast, informing him of the endless cheese muffins pushed him over the edge.

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You can even buy the muffin mix for $5.99. Something either of us have yet to do, but one day will.

I’ve never strayed from the Pig in the Potato Patch, a potato filled with goodness. (Goodness=pulled pork, bacon, cheese, butter, scallions.) It also has sour cream, but I nix that one. If you don’t like pulled pork, you can substitute it for brisket, chicken or turkey. Plenty of other BBQ options are available like pulled pork and ribs.

I would post a picture, but I dove into it before I even thought about taking a picture. Sorry.

There are other Southern fixings on the menu including catfish and collards, as well as general menu items like hamburgers, chicken and sandwiches.

While they have appetizers on the menu, we’ve never had them thanks to the muffins and the understanding that there will be dessert.

Dessert at Jim ‘N Nicks isn’t just any dessert, it’s one dessert: pie. But not just any pie, Mable’s Homemade Pies. Each day features different types of pies. There is chocolate, lemon and coconut, but I know I’m missing one or two more.

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It’s a great place to visit for good BBQ with a Southern flair. If you’ve never been, a suggest you stop in if you happen to be near one of their locations.

Hope everyone eats good this weekend, especially if you attend a Super Bowl party.

Happy weekend!

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Hump Day Haziness

It was a sleepless night for me, and I’m sure a lot more, due to the storm system that was moving in overnight. So, excuse me for being lazy today. But, here are a few things catching my interest right now.

A pep talk from Kid President. (video)

Katherine Webb wants AJ McCarron to put a ring on it. They’ve been dating since December. Seriously.

The Boy Meets World spinoff, Girl Meets World, has cast Cory and Topanga’s daughter.

A Chicago school is shooting blanks during its lockdown drill.

Ray Lewis’s legacy continues to be clouded by questions.

Happy Hump Day! It’s time for a nap now…

Silver Linings Playbook

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The world will break your heart ten ways to Sunday. That’s guaranteed. I can’t begin to explain that. Or the craziness inside myself and everyone else. -Pat Solitano

I didn’t know much about “Silver Linings Playbook” before entering the theatre. I knew it had Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, as well as a slew of nominations. It seemed like a good enough reason to give it a try.

As promised, here is my loose review. It’s not streamlined at all, so I apologize in advance. Just try to bear with me. If you can’t make it through my review, then just know the movie is worth a go.

“Silver Linings Playbook” may be created around a mental illness, but everyone can relate to some part in the movie. Job loss, tragedy, discrimination and broken relationships all find their way into the movie.

Cooper has a rawness about him that draws emotions out of the audience. It’s a nice surprise when considering the roles he normally accepts. He draws the audience in immediately in one of the first scenes of the movie. He stares into the camera with such intense feeling I knew immediately this was a good decision. His blue eyes appear haunted, but hopeful.

We meet his character, Pat Solitano, as he is being discharged after eight months at a mental hospital. He has been recently diagnosed as bi-polar, this all comes after finding his wife in the middle of an affair and almost killing the man.

Writer David O. Russell has created a gem through Pat and the many characters that he interacts with in his life. Chris Tucker’s character, a friend from the mental hospital, is only in a few scenes, but is one of the most refreshing characters. His upbeat outlook on life, despite failed attempts to be discharged early, is energetic and refreshing. A silver lining, if you may.

All of Pat’s relationships have their own struggles. His father, played by Robert De Niro, is a gambler who is driven by his extreme superstitions. Both of Pat’s parents are unsure of how to handle Pat and their attempts to keep him on a straight path create a tense household.

His best friend is unhappy in almost every aspect of his life. He dislikes his job and is unhappy in his marriage to a wife who continuously raises her expectations in her husband.

Even Pat’s therapist has a larger role in the movie. He attempts to help Pat learn how to deal with Stevie Wonder’s “My Cherie Amour.” The song was playing when he caught his wife, and was their wedding song. The two grow closer outside the office at a Philadelphia Eagles tailgate when someone speaks racial slurs to the doctor and his other friends.

It is Pat’s relationship with Tiffany, Jennifer Lawrence’s character, which helps Pat the most. Tiffany’s husband has recently died and she has combated her sorrow by having sex with everyone from her workplace.

The two have relied on their physical appearances and abilities to focus. Pat feels that if he can get in shape, his wife Nikki will take him back. But, now that they are spending time together, they begin to bring out the true reality for each of them.

There is a very fine line in how to make a comedy based on a mental illness, but through the story Russell has adapted from the book by Matthew Quick, it is a gripping piece. The writing, the acting and the camera angles all make for a spectacular two hours.

I haven’t enjoyed a movie from beginning to end that much in a long time. If any of you go see it, let me know what you thought of it, or if you have your own movie suggestions for me.

Why are you wearing that garbage bag? It's a sweater.

“Why are you wearing that garbage bag?” “It’s a sweater.”

Happy Friday

It’s Friday and I couldn’t be more excited! It’s been a fun week for me.

We watched Alabama’s basketball team beat Kentucky. Despite the Wildcats’ down year, it’s always nice to get a win against them.

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Thursday night I saw Silver Linings Playbook. I’ll attempt to give you a movie review for that later, but we’ll see how good that is. PS-I loved it.

Tonight is the Power of Pink meet. Alabama’s gymnastics coach Sarah Patterson began the Power of Pink imitative eight years ago. What originated as solely a gymnastics event, the Power of Pink has become a campus wide and town wide event. Everyone is thinking pink. Buildings all over campus have glowed pink this week, including Denny Chimes. The pink meet not only raises awareness, but also money. It also gives attention to breast cancer survivors, many are honored during the meet. While gymnastics is a feel good event anyway, to be a part of the pink meet is truly something special.

Happy weekend!

DIY Nail Art

Between myself and two friends, Tara and Savanna, we have amassed a nice collection of fingernail polish. We’re big fans and constantly change our nail color. I’ve been guilty of changing my polish multiple times within a day.

One of my favorite blogs, Cupcakes and Cashmere, introduced us to the solid color on every nail but the ring finger. While hers was inspired because she was engaged, we simply loved having some sparkle. While it’s still a go-to look for us, we’ve been experimenting with different DIY nail art.

After cutting many small strips of tape and countless Google searches for what to do, we decided to keep it pretty simple. I love to paint their nails, even if it’s just one color. So, while I currently don’t have a journalism job, maybe there’s hope as a nail artist.

Thanks to Savanna for being a hand model. Maybe you can find your identical hand twin. (Everybody got that Friends reference, right?)

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We used Exotic Encounters from China Glaze’s fall 2012 collection (the darker color) and Fast Track from the China Glaze Hunger Games collection (the gold).

China Glaze is a favorite brand. They not only have consistently great colors, but the polish goes on well, dries fast and the brush is the perfect size. Another great blog for nail polish is The PolishAholic. It’s a great site to go to before purchasing any fingernail polishes.

We’ve made it half way through the week, here’s to an enjoyable last half!

Celebrating Good Times

It was a big week and weekend here in Tuscaloosa. Thursday we got snow! It snowed for a few hours and it finally began sticking. The amounts ranged from 1 inch to 3 inches and everyone loved it.

There was even a snowball fight on campus, including a few football players. Unfortunately the snow melted almost as quickly as it came, but we made the most of it while it was here.

Bryant Denny in the snow (Copyright photo by @tifany_nicole)

Bryant Denny in the snow (Copyright photo by @tifany_nicole)

The Roll Tide weekend began on Friday, when Alabama’s gymnastics team hosted its first home meet of the season. The No. 6 Crimson Tide defeated No. 5 LSU 196.575-195.525. Alabama’s on a quest to win three straight national championships, and is so far, so good with a 2-0 start.

Ashley Sledge on the floor rotation

Ashley Sledge on the floor rotation

On Saturday, Alabama celebrated its 15th national championship. For the first time since the 1992 championship, Alabama featured a parade as part of the celebration. Before the parade fans could take their picture with the three national championship trophies. But, the highlight of the event seemed to be after the speeches, when Alabama allowed the massive crowd of people to go onto the field. The entrance was roped off to lead us through the tunnel just like the football team does on Saturdays. I’ve been on the field before, but its always fun to go again.

 

Tara and me on the 50-yard line of Bryant-Denny

Tara and me on the 50-yard line of Bryant-Denny

 

Trophies on trophies on trophies

Trophies on trophies on trophies

 

Obie the Orange joined Big Al in the parade

Obie the Orange joined Big Al in the parade

 

Everyone's favorite strength and conditioning coach, Scott Cochran

Everyone’s favorite strength and conditioning coach, Scott Cochran

 

Heading onto the field

Heading onto the field

It was a great weekend, and its even better knowing we have a short week ahead of us.

Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the full staircase, just take the first step.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.