Localist

western supermarket buggy

An Open Letter to Publix on the Closing of Western Supermarkets

When I found out local Birmingham grocery Western Supermarkets was closing, I was pretty sad — a lot more sad than I would’ve been about another grocery closing. I don’t like when local stores close in general, and I have a lot of good memories involving Western in particular. But […]

Your Guide to Small Business Saturday in Birmingham

Well, it’s finally the most hectic day of the year — Black Friday. That means getting up early and standing in line and spending a lot … or does it? Have you heard of the buy-local alternative, Small Business Saturday? It’s sort of like Black Friday because there are sales […]

girl in book castle

Why I’m Thankful for Small Shops

I do a lot of writing about the benefits of locally owned stores. I write that I appreciate the selection that’s curated by people who are experts in their fields. I write that more tax money goes back into our local economies when we shop locally instead of buying from […]

My Favorite Audiobook App: Libro.fm

I’m more into podcasts than I am into audiobooks these days, but sometimes you want something that has a longer format. Something that helps you power through a long run, or a bunch of knitting, or — in my case this weekend — an eight-hour drive. Lots of people use […]

shopping bags holiday

Small Business Saturday: How to Get Your Business Ready

I wrote a little blog for Infomedia today about getting your website ready for Small Business Saturday. I won’t go into all that because reading it is only a click away, but I focused on ecommerce businesses on that site, and I wanted to share a few ideas for getting […]

mae studio salon in avondale alabama

Today Is Beautiful: A Visit to Mae Salon in Avondale

Yesterday, I was eating lunch at Pizitz when a woman stopped me to tell me she liked my hair. This isn’t that unusual — and it has virtually nothing to do with me. I’m not being self-deprecating here; I’m just really lazy about my hair. I owe a lot to […]

alabama i voted sticker and coffee

Free Coffee (& Tea & Chocolates) for Birmingham Voters

Obviously, we’re voting for the thrill that comes with being good citizens and to make real and lasting change in our country and our world … but when you take a day that’s already a bit overcast and gloomy, add an extra errand into an already busy schedule, and then […]

The Super-Last-Minute Guide to Voting in Alabama

I’m not going to waste your time giving you the “please vote” spiel because you’re already getting it everywhere else. But what if you want to vote, but you’re not actually prepared to vote? Like, you don’t know who’s on the ballot or how to choose between the candidates? I’m […]

Amazon: Bad for Books, Bad for Self-Publishing, Bad for Birmingham

I’ve never wanted to write a blog less than this one. I’ve been avoiding the topic of Amazon — avoiding it on my podcast, and avoiding it on my blog. But with Birmingham falling all over themselves to try to bring Amazon to town (come on, guys — have some […]

everybody hates self publishing sticker

Everybody Hates Self-Publishing (but Everybody Loves Podcasts! I Hope!)

We live in a time when anyone who has a blog or a YouTube channel can be a publisher. If you have an idea and the urge to create, your concept can be in front of anyone with an internet connection in seconds. To paraphrase (sometimes self-published) author Charles Dickens, […]

girl riding amtrak train

How to Travel by Train: My Best Amtrak Tips

A lot of people ask me about train travel, and they usually have stars in their eyes, just like I did. Let’s be honest: When we’re imagining traveling on Amtrak, most of us are really imagining the Hogwarts Express, right? We want to sit in compartments and buy chocolates from […]