Comfort Food of the South

Maya Angelou once said, “The best comfort food will always be greens, cornbread and fried chicken,” and she wasn’t far off… Southern food comforts you like nothing else. There’s no better way to support a new mom or welcome a new neighbor than a giant southern casserole. Here’s a few of our favorite places for Southern comfort along the Gulf Coast.

NoJa

This Mediterrasian restaurant has some of the most unique dishes that will make your mouth water. Be sure to try the Maple Leaf Duck Breast or the Kansas City Strip! Both will make you fall in love with Noja and the unique experience they provide. The atmosphere, flavors and service will leave you in awe and will make you keep coming back for more. Noja is one of the longest running restaurants in Downtown Mobile and serves food with the freshest ingredients. Check out their website or their Facebook page to find out about their seasonal menus. 

Boudreaux’s

Boudreaux’s is a classic cajun restaurant located in Daphne, AL. While cajun food is very closely associated with New Orleans, now you only have to travel a short trip across Mobile Bay to satisfy your cajun cravings. They have bands playing all week long and a wonderful view of the water to enjoy as you have a Bourbon Street-inspired cocktail. Be sure to try their cheese fries, crawfish and beignets! With family ties from the Bayou and a passion for food done right, this is surely a place to go whenever you crave anything cajun.

Loda Bier Garten

At Loda Bier Garten, you can enjoy a night out on the town! They have two locations that offer a vast selection of beers which will pair perfectly with your burger and leave your mouth watering. Specialty burgers decorate the menu along with classic appetizers that you can not get enough of. They have TVs and a lively staff working open to close. One time my friends started dancing and the staff joined in! There is definitely no place like Loda!

Bozo’s

Bozo’s is a classic seafood restaurant in Pascagoula, MS, that has been around for generations. Bozo’s actually has a seafood market and a restaurant, which are conveniently located right next to each other! You can call and place your order at the market or just walk in. Live music is played outside on the patio for a great open air dining experience. They have a wide variety of seafood at both the market and the restaurant, so stop on by and enjoy everything Bozo’s has to offer!

Briquettes

Briquettes Steakhouse is one of the best steakhouses in the South. They are locally owned and operated, and deliver an amazing experience all around. They have many entrees that are so delicious that is hard to choose just one, but when you order a side I strongly recommend the sweet potato casserole as it is to die for! So next time you want really anything go to Briquettes as they have so much to offer. The South has many options for wonderful comfort food, especially here on the Gulf Coast. Each and every place has a special item that is exclusive to their restaurant, so try anything and everything! The more you try the more you’ll fall in love with every bite.

Business Blessings in Disguise

There’s no doubt that fire is an awful thing. It can cause property damage, burn down homes and ruin businesses. But the truth is that we frequently don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone. The same is true in business. If you’re feeling discouraged about your business or overwhelmed with the challenges of running it, here are some blessings in disguise that might help you reevaluate and see the silver lining:

Fire is an awful thing — whether it’s a home fire, a forest fire or a workplace fire. Smoke can damage just as much as flames.

Whether you’re facing a home fire, a forest fire or a workplace fire, smoke can be just as damaging as flames. Smoke is more than just an annoyance; it can make everything you own smell like a campfire for weeks and cause respiratory problems like coughing and chest pains if you’re exposed to enough of it.

But despite all that damage, there’s one thing about smoke that’ll always leave me thankful: it allows you to see things in a new way. The grayish haze clears up when I look at my life with fresh eyes, giving me a new perspective on what matters most — my family and friends — not the stuff I own, my job title or anything else on earth besides those two things (and maybe God).

But the truth is that we frequently don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone. The same is true in business.

Oftentimes, people will do the bare minimum to make a living and never give themselves permission to live their best life because they’re afraid of losing what they’ve worked hard for. But if you don’t stop and take time every day to be grateful for all that’s good in your life—even if it doesn’t seem that great at the moment—you’ll miss out on some pretty amazing opportunities along the way.

Don’t let your business get away from you by taking things for granted! Take stock of what’s working well in your business and make sure no opportunity goes unnoticed (or underutilized). If something isn’t working, then fix it before moving on.

1) Feeling Burnout

Burnout can be a blessing in disguise.

Burnout is different from being just physically tired. It’s an emotional exhaustion that comes from feeling like you can’t take on any more work. For example, let’s say you’ve been working hard at your job for the past few months and at some point, it feels like things are getting out of control—your to-do list is long, but every time you add something new (or even try to tackle one of those tasks), your brain turns off and tells itself: “I’m done! Why bother?” That’s when burnout happens.

The good news is that this kind of fatigue often causes us to take a step back and look at how our lives are going, which allows us to make changes in the way we live our lives, so that we’re better suited for what we have going on right now—even if those changes involve quitting your job!

2) Overwhelmed by Technology

You’re a small business owner and you want to do more with your time, but technology is not helping. You feel overwhelmed by the constant barrage of new technologies and platforms that are supposed to make life easier, but instead, they just add more steps and layers to everything you do in your business.

3) Frustrated by Marketing

The third blessing in disguise is that you’re frustrated by marketing.

I know it sounds like I’m adding insult to injury, but if you’ve never had to put time and effort into your marketing, then you might not realize how helpful it can be. Marketing is a means of communicating with your target audience; the more effectively you do this, the better able they are to understand what it is that you do and why they should care about it.

The first step in any marketing campaign is knowing who your target audience is. If there’s one thing I have learned, it is that most businesses fail because they don’t have a clear understanding of who their customers are (or worse yet—they think they do!). Knowing who makes up your perfect prospect list will enable every other aspect of your business plan to fall into place once all the pieces start coming together (like puzzle pieces forming a portrait of an old lady eating ice cream on top of Mount Everest, while holding her cat’s tail between her teeth…you get the picture!)

4) Not Generating Enough Leads

When it comes to generating leads and sales, the first thing you need to do is understand where you’re going wrong. There are several reasons why your business might be struggling with this process.

  • You’re not following up with people who don’t respond to your initial contact. For lead generation and sales to work, you must have clear guidelines on what happens when someone doesn’t respond in a certain timeframe (usually 24 hours). If someone isn’t responding within this time frame, likely, they’re not interested or there’s something else going on that’s preventing them from doing so. You can either move on or try again if necessary, but the most important thing is knowing how and when to follow up if they don’t get back to you right away.
  • You’re relying too heavily on one channel for leads instead of spreading them out across all platforms available: social media; email marketing; advertising through Google Search; local newspapers/magazines/radio stations; direct mail campaigns, etc.

5) Stalled Growth

If the business you’re in is growing, congratulations! But if it’s not, that can be a blessing in disguise as well. Growth does not always mean good things for all parts of your business and sometimes—as in the case of too much growth—it can be harmful to your company.

I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to think of a fire as a blessing in disguise, but seeing these obstacles as opportunities to strengthen my company may help me reframe them as something more manageable.

Hey, it’s no secret that the world is full of problems. Many of these problems are disguised as opportunities to grow and improve your business. But when you look at a challenge as something that could have been avoided, you can easily start making excuses instead of taking action.

It’s important to realize that you can’t control everything—and that’s okay! Sometimes things just happen, but they’re not necessarily bad things. You don’t always have control over what happens in your life or in business, but you do have control over how you react to them. If a fire breaks out at your place of work, for example, try focusing on how it could improve safety measures within your company rather than dwelling on the fact that the building was burned down because someone left their phone plugged into an outlet overnight.

When you’re feeling overwhelmed and discouraged, it’s easy to lose sight of the blessings in disguise. But if you look at your challenges as opportunities for growth, these setbacks might turn out to be just what your business needs.

When Life hands you grapes, see the blessing in disguise.

Top 5 Ways to Impress in an Interview

I can tell you everything there is to know about the interview process. How? Because I’ve been on both sides of the table. As an interviewer, I’ve had to find a way to quickly assess candidates and make recommendations that will resonate with my team and the client. And as a candidate, I’ve had to learn how best to sell myself in order to land opportunities that would move me closer toward my career goals.

Now, before we get started on this list of ways you can impress your next interviewer: let’s be clear about something: not all interviews are created equal! So while some tips might apply universally across industries (e.g., “Be yourself”), others may depend on exactly what kind of role you are interviewing for, as well as what type of company it is (e.g., “Do your homework on who will be interviewing).”

Be yourself.

It’s been said before, but it bears repeating: You’re going to be asked about your strengths and weaknesses in the interview. This is not the time to lie about how much you love waking up at 6 am every day for a 3-hour march up a mountain with nothing but your bare hands and a packet of freeze-dried tuna on hand. 

Practice answering questions about what you like doing outside of work and what your career goals are by taking some time beforehand to think over those things so they’re fresh in your mind when the interviewer asks them.

Pay attention to the details.

The first thing you should do is pay attention to the details. This means dressing appropriately, being on time, polite, prepared and friendly. And if you want to truly impress your interviewer (and indeed be invited back for another interview), then show confidence in yourself.

Research the company, industry and role.

You have Google at your fingertips. If you’re going up against other candidates, get ahead of your competition by doing some homework. Make sure that you know more than they do about the role and company before the day of your interview.

Look at their website: What does it tell you about them? Is there a mission statement or core values page? Check out their social media accounts too—how do they interact with customers and potential hires? Do they share photos from events and client meetings on Instagram? Are there videos of employees talking about what it’s like working at this company? All of these things can give insight into how much culture matters to them, which is important information when deciding whether or not to work for someone (or somewhere). 

You can also use Google search operators like “inurl:” or “intitle:” along with keywords related to what skills are needed for this particular job opening; for example, if I’m applying for a position as a content strategist in digital marketing then I might type “intitle:content strategist” into Google; or if I am looking specifically for an entry-level position within digital marketing then instead I might type “entry level intitle:”

Do your homework on the interviewer(s).

It’s always a good idea to do your homework on the company and interviewer(s). The more you know about them, the better prepared you’ll be for the interview. You can find out about a company by looking at recent press releases and other announcements on their website, reading reviews online, or even asking friends or family members who have worked there in the past.

For example, if you’re interviewing with someone from a large corporation like Google or Apple who has had several interviews with other candidates before yours (and thus has many more experiences than anyone else), then it may help to read up on those interviews so that you can bring something new and interesting to the table.

Anticipate tricky questions and have thoughtful answers prepared in advance.

This is where you need to take the time to prepare for what you think will be asked. For example, if you’re applying for an accounting job and they ask you about your weaknesses, don’t say “I’m too controlling” (unless maybe this is a trait that works well for their company). Instead, have some alternative answers ready!

If I were interviewing someone for a position and they told me their weaknesses were that they work too hard and are sometimes impatient, I’d probably hire them on the spot. It shows they’re willing to admit their shortcomings—and it shows me that they care enough about being good at what they do that they want to improve themselves. This is a key part of succeeding in any field: constantly striving towards improvement while still acknowledging your shortcomings.

A great interview can help you land a great job.

A great interview can help you land a great job. An interview is like a first date, but with more opportunities to impress. And if you’re not looking to impress anyone, then why are you even interviewing? If you do your homework and make an effort to impress the interviewer, then you might land the job of your dreams. Good luck!

Why you should become a landlord in lower Alabama

There are many reasons why people choose to become landlords in lower Alabama. For one thing, it’s an investment that has tangible value. You can see and touch the property you own, unlike a stock portfolio or other types of investments. Also, with rentals, there are no strikes or labor problems that might affect your business elsewhere. In addition, if you’re willing to do some work yourself on your rental property, you can significantly reduce expenses while increasing your income at the same time!

Tax Benefits

Landlords get a lot of tax benefits for just being landlords. When you own real estate, it’s usually a better investment than others because your tax rate is usually lower than if you invest in stocks and bonds. However, there are some restrictions that apply to landlords and property owners who use their properties for business purposes or as rental units.

Profits from sales of real estate are usually taxed at a rate of 15 percent. In contrast, ordinary income is taxed at rates as high as 39.6 percent.

  • The tax rate for income from real estate is 15%.
  • The tax rate for ordinary income, such as wages and interest on a savings account, is generally higher. Income from other sources may be taxed at rates as high as 39.6%.
  • Capital gains are taxed at the same rate as ordinary income only if they’re short-term. If they’re long-term, they’re taxed at a lower rate than ordinary income.

Increases in Value

You’ve probably heard that real estate is a great investment. But what does that mean? Why do people invest in real estate? Well, here’s why:

  • It increases in value over time! This is a no-brainer. Every year the value of your property goes up, which means you can either sell it (more on this later) or keep it and have even more money.
  • You can make money by renting out the property! If you have an empty house and need some extra cash, rent out your home or apartment as income to help pay off those pesky student loans or credit card bills. Your tenants will also be happy because they’ll have somewhere nice to live for less money than what they’d spend on rent elsewhere.
  • It’s tangible! This might sound silly but hear me out: unlike other investments like stocks or bonds which are intangible—meaning they’re not actually something physical like gold bullion—real estate can be touched and seen with your eyes; it’s something very tangible that you own outright without having to worry about someone taking away its value through inflation (for example).

Buildings will increase in value over time, partly because of inflation and partly because of improvements to the property. Income from rentals keeps up with inflationary increases.

The value of buildings will increase over time, partly because of inflation and partly because of improvements to the property. Income from rentals keeps up with inflationary increases. Rental income is not affected by inflation in the same way that interest on savings accounts or bond yields is affected—it can only increase!

This means that as long as you don’t take out an equity loan or mortgage (which will be discussed later), your net worth and ability to purchase other properties should grow exponentially.

Freedom to Choose Tenants

As a landlord, you have the freedom to choose your tenants. You can choose who you want to rent to, but not have them live there. This is because people will pay for the privilege of living on your property without actually having to live there.

Owners of rental property are not subject to the same rules and regulations regarding discrimination that apply to other employers. 

As a rental property owner, you are not subject to the same rules and regulations regarding discrimination that apply to other employers. It is important for landlords to understand these legal rights so that they can make informed decisions about who they will allow into their properties.

Unlike in the case of many other businesses, rentals have no labor troubles. Once a leasing agreement is signed, the tenant is obligated to pay rent and the landlord is obligated to make repairs and maintain the premises, regardless of the state of the economy or any other factors. Tenants are also responsible for keeping their unit clean and tidy.

An Investment You Can See and Touch

Real estate is tangible, unlike stocks and bonds. It’s something you can see and touch, which means that it’s more real than other investments. If you want proof of this, just try selling a stock or bond on eBay.

Real estate is also an investment that doesn’t require much maintenance or upkeep. Unlike other types of investments like stocks and bonds that require constant monitoring and maintenance, real estate remains relatively passive because it doesn’t depreciate like most consumable goods do after they’re bought (or “consumed”).

We hope that we’ve made it clear why you should consider becoming a landlord. If you’re looking for an investment that’s safe, reliable and easy to manage, then rentals are definitely worth considering. When Life Hands You Grapes, become a landlord!

How to Avoid Burnout in Your Career

No matter what career field you are in, it is nearly impossible to go through life without experiencing burnout at some point. Whether you’re overwhelmed with your current workload, are feeling less passionate about the path you took or are just feeling unsatisfied with your job, burnout is no joke. We spend much of our lives surrounded by coworkers and our work-life, so having a healthy relationship with your career is vital. Preventing fatigue in the workplace means spotting the symptoms of apathy in your own life and taking active steps to avoid it.

Know the Signs

Burnout is usually a feeling that slowly builds over time. We don’t always wake up passionate one day and feel apathetic the next. Instead, burnout tends to start as a slow flicker before it bursts into the flame that keeps us feeling stagnant. In order to avoid or recover from burnout, you have to know what signs to look out for. A few signs of burnout include fatigue, increased feelings of self-doubt, feeling defeated, disassociation and an overall negative outlook. If you are noticing these signs, it is time to take some steps to move past this block and begin feeling the passion you once did for your career.

Shift Your Perspective

While it is certainly easier said than done, shifting your perspective is crucial to getting over and preventing burnout. Whenever you find yourself in a bout of negative self-talk, be mindful and remind yourself of the positives. Adjusting your mindset and reminding yourself that these negative thoughts are most often your own internal dialogue and do not reflect reality can help keep you grounded. For example, when you are feeling as though your role is unimportant, you can remind yourself of all the ways you assisted others this week or write down praises you have received from other coworkers or superiors. Remembering the good helps put those bad days in perspective, which is essential to creating a more positive outlook.

Step Away

Stepping away may look different depending on the level of burnout and what works best for you, but it is helpful in clearing your mind and reducing overextension. It is important to always have a healthy work-life balance. If you are overextending yourself it is essential that you consider stepping away. This can mean a short break mid-day, not working past your hours or taking a vacation. Whatever you do, make sure you are setting aside time each day to focus on your own wants and desires outside of work.

There are endless ways to recover from and prevent burnout, so if any of these ideas were not the cure for yours, I encourage you to do some research and focus on getting back to feeling the passion you used to feel for your career. Taking care of your mental health and reducing burnout will not only make you feel happier, but it will also make you a better employee overall!

The Importance of Sleep

Did you know that the average person spends at least one-third of their life asleep? (As a mother of three AND a multi-business owner, I think that number is less for me…) But I’m here to tell you and myself that sleep is absolutely vital.

I know what you’re thinking.

Michelle, you will say, eyes wide, when will I find the time?

I will laugh and agree as I take a sip of my first (or second) margarita from Agave Mexican Restaurant in Fairhope, Alabama. I’ll tell you, I know, I know. But you have to MAKE time.

Why? Sleep is an essential part of anybody’s life. After you read this blog, you will want to cancel your afternoon meetings and curl up for a very long, very deep and very restorative nap.

Sleep Can Benefit Your Physical Health

My kids love the Wall-E movie. You know the one–the one with the trash robot that falls in love with the sleek EVE prototype, and they help de-evolved humans rehabilitate planet Earth. Humans in the movie have fewer bones and much larger faces than we do now. I imagine that, if we slept and didn’t move for that long, we would look like that too.

But we don’t! Sleep actually contributes to physical health in so many positive ways. Sleep can help your body heal from any physical trauma, as well as repair blood vessels. If you don’t sleep, or sleep enough, you risk running a higher chance of heart disease, diabetes and other health issues.

Sleep Can Improve Mental Health

Sleep is like turning your computer off and back on. It helps reset your brain for each new day and its adventures. For example, a sufficient amount of sleep can improve productivity, creativity, concentration and so much more. It can also decrease depression. 

So, What is the Magic Number?

Humans need at least 8 hours of sleep per night. Like I said–with three kids, numerous businesses and my own life to enjoy, I understand how difficult it is to get enough sleep. Sleeping helps make you a better person for yourself, for your loved ones and everyone else in your life!

I swear by my planner. If you carve out enough time in the day and deliberately mark it, you are more likely to respect that time. Set a bedtime for yourself, or turn off your phone at least an hour before bed. Setting these intentions will help you improve your nightly routine and accomplish the magic number of hours of sleep.

Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to go take a nap…

The Importance of Taking Vacations

A report by the U.S. Travel Association showed that 4 in 10 Americans do not use their vacation time. Health experts suggest that using vacation time is an important part of one’s overall well-being. We each have our own individual reasons for needing to take a vacation. No matter the reason, the benefits are important.

Here are a few benefits of taking vacations that might surprise you:

Improves your mental health

Life can be demanding and stressful. Taking a break from the neverending cycle of everyday life can be really beneficial in reducing your anxiety and depression. Trying to balance a work-life on top of your daily life can become overwhelming. Vacation days are meant to be used! Use your vacation time to recenter your thoughts. By doing this, you are less likely to burn out on your job, coming back motivated and ready to perform your duties better than ever!

Reconnect with your family

After a long day at work, you may not always be on top of everything in your home. Your mental and physical state might not be at the top of its game, making you push your family and their needs to the side. Your family does not deserve to take the beating from your stressful day at work. Instead, take your family on an enjoyable vacation that everyone would enjoy. Make memories and appreciate the time you have together. Use the vacation to bond, build better communication and spend irreplaceable quality time together. 

Increases your creativity and productivity

Did you know that when your brain is exposed to new sights, sounds and cultures, it revitalizes your mind and makes you more creative? Going on vacation allows you to venture out of your comfort zone, forcing your brain to be more productive in thought. Going on a relaxing vacation will help recharge your batteries and get rid of the tension from your workplace. This will then help you to go back to work with your newfound creativity and productivity at a record high. 

Thinking about a vacation makes you happy 

Your brain is prone to have an increased boost of dopamine by thinking about a vacation up to eight weeks before your vacation starts. Dopamine is the chemical in your brain that makes you feel happy. Just the effects of thinking of having a vacation show to magnify your happiness. Let’s not forget the amount of happiness that you feel during and after your vacation!

The point is, taking a vacation is the key to keeping up with your health, your family, your work ethic and your happiness. Enjoy your vacation time before it expires and soak up relaxing time to help yourself be a better employee.

Books That Every Business Owner Should Read

Starting a business takes time, effort and patience. Unless you are teaming up with a major company, you will not have professional development programs at your disposal to teach you the tips and tricks you may need as a new entrepreneur. 

Now, it’s up to you to do a little extra work to seek out resources and knowledge to help you grow your business. Books are a good way to help you gain business comprehension. With a variety of topics out there, it is hard to know where you should start in finding the best books for your business. The key is that you want to read books with different subject matter to stretch your understanding across multiple areas of expertise.

Here are three books that every business owner should read: 

  1. The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk’s The Thank You Economy explains the importance of one-on-one customer care to have a successful business in your community. He tells a story of why businesses lose money because they do not engage with their customers and build relationships with them. The loyalty of customers is what will keep your business thriving for a lifetime. 

Vaynerchuk continues on describing how customer courtesy, traditions and social media can all be used to grow your business as an entrepreneur. 

  1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

This book is one of the best-selling books of all time, with more than 30 million copies since it was released in 1936! 

What makes Dale Carnegie‘s How to Win Friends and Influence People so special? He explains fellowship in the workplace. As a successful businessman himself, Carnegie can speak wisely on this topic. He gives advice on how to respect the people in your business as well as for them to respect you also. 

An important takeaway from this book is about criticism. He explains how criticism can come across the wrong way and how to hold your workers accountable in the correct manner. 

  1. The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Micheal E. Gerber 

You can be an expert in the industry of your business, but that does not mean that you will be able to have a successful company. It may be easy for you to be proficient in your particular craft, but running a business is a whole different ballfield.

Eighty percent of small businesses fail. In The E-Myth Revisited, Michael E. Gerber explains why many small businesses are unsuccessful and gives pointers for how your business can be one of the ones that prospers. 

Gerber goes on to explain three personalities that are important for running a business. The three personalities a business needs are a technician, entrepreneur and manager. The technician is someone who knows how to do the work. The entrepreneur is someone who is thinking of the bigger picture for the business. The manager is the one focused on the present detail and keeping things in order. 

Books can be very beneficial for growing your business. They can teach you how to thrive when you put their advice into practice. While there are many other wonderful books to help you as an entrepreneur, these three are highly known for success. You’ll be surprised by the professional growth you can experience after reading these books. 

How I Prepare for Hurricane Season on the Gulf Coast

Hurricanes on the Gulf Coast are usually sudden.These sudden storms require preparation at the beginning of the season to ensure your home and business come out on top, and with minimum damage. Whether it is a roof or food, I have collected the master’s list of companies to use in preparing for hurricanes this season.

Roofing Repairs: Azalea City Roofing

Hurricanes here on the Gulf Coast are known for high-speeds winds and heavy rains. That is why it is important to have a trusted roofer on call. Azalea City Roofing takes care of both my home and my business! From small fixes to full roof replacements, Azalea City Roofing offers the best care for my home at any time, not just after a hurricane. The next time you are in desperate need of a roofer, trust Azalea City Roofing to maximize the safety and durability of your roof.

Generator: Professional Electric

When the power goes out, my generator immediately turns on thanks to Professional Electric. Professional Electric checks my generator to make sure it is strong enough to power my house in case of emergency, and repairs the generator when needed! Having trusted electricians ensure my power supply makes me feel ten times more prepared for hurricanes when they hit. Professional Electric is definitely the first person on speed dial when hurricane season begins.

Plumbing: Southeast Plumbing

Southeast Plumbing makes sure my family doesn’t stink and that we can happily flush our toilets during the storm. Before the hurricane, we usually request having someone examine the plumbing to both our home and business to ensure there are no sewer line issues, water heaters are turned off and natural gas is turned off. These simple actions ensure there is no damage to our plumbing, while also lowering the risk of fire.

Storage: Beltline and Security Storalls

Storing outdoor items during hurricane season is a must on the Gulf Coast! Beltline and Security Storalls are the best at helping me store items last minute, and they have given me great advice on how to organize my unit. Whether it be holiday items, camping equipment or baby toys, Storalls has my family’s back. They even help businesses store what they need! When it comes to storing professionals along the Gulf Coast, there is no one like Beltline and Security Storalls.

Food: Boudreauxs

Before the storm, my family likes to stock up on food, but, since we don’t cook, we order in from Boudreauxs! Boudreaux’s Cajun Grill is one of my favorite restaurants; however, when storms strike we are unable to go due to flooded roads. So, we have made it a tradition to order in before the storm. This delicious food gathers our family when times are at the worst, so we can truly appreciate what we have.

Preparing for hurricane season is a key part of living on the Gulf Coast! While it is not fun, it is important to have trusted professionals at your service for when the worst happens.

Things to do on the Eastern Shore This Summer

One of the best parts of summer is attending events on the Eastern Shore! While there was not much to do last summer, due to the pandemic, businesses and committees are coming back stronger than ever with several events to attend this summer. Here are just a few of the events I am looking forward to: 

Malbis Summer Market 

The Malbis summer market is officially back! Open Sunday, July 11th, right off Highway 90, the Malbis summer market is host to a variety of vendors, including artists, boutiques, food trucks, and much more! The vendors will be there from 11am to 5pm and is free to the public. Stop by and support small businesses this summer!

Access 50 Most Beautiful Freedom Bash

The Access 50 Most Beautiful party is one of my favorite traditions! Last year they were unable to celebrate the 2020 50 Most Beautiful, so this year they are celebrating the Hot 100- that’s the 2020 and 2021 50 Most Beautiful. The theme: Rock the Resort! Taking place on July 10, this mind-blowing and surprising night will be topped off with Tito’s airstream bar, which is included in your ticket. Tickets will be $20 and sold at the door. Please RSVP in advance by emailing rsvp.accessmagazine@gmail.com! I cannot wait to see everyone in attendance dressed up in their chic outfits!

Rumours – A Fleetwood Mac Tribute 

The Rumours will take the stage at the Daphne Civic Center on July 23 at 8pm to perform a Fleetwood Mac tribute. The doors will open at 5pm before Dew Pendleton opens at 6:30pm. General admission for this event is $20, and food and drinks will be available for purchase for those in attendance. Tickets are available online and at the door on the day of the events. Come enjoy an amazing night of music by watching the Rumours perform their Fleetwood Mac tribute!

The Best Places to Have Lunch Outside

Lately, the weather along the Gulf Coast has been nothing but clear skies and warm temperatures, which means it is finally summertime! One of my favorite activities to do in the summer is sit outside with my family and friends at local restaurants. Food with a view? Yes, please!

Spot of Tea

Spot of Tea is the go-to place for breakfast on the Gulf Coast! Located across from Cathedral Square, Spot of Tea offers the best outdoor dining for people watching on a Saturday morning. Every Saturday during the summer, Market in the Square takes place in Cathedral Square, meaning after eating and enjoying the view, you can shop from local vendors and get some of the freshest jams, produce, homemade baked goods and even doggy treats! It is a great opportunity to explore what Mobile offers in such a short amount of time! I highly recommend exploring the Cathedral as well after enjoying some of the best french toast you have ever tasted!

Boudreaux’s Cajun Grill

I cannot stop talking about the view at Boudreaux’s! I love to go to Boudreaux’s for a simple date night and sit on their balcony overlooking Mobile Bay. The view is absolutely breathtaking (so is the food), especially as the sun is setting with oranges, blues and pinks mixing together to paint a beautiful sky. Personally, I really enjoy their Plaquemine Parmigiana (the name is fun to say) with my view, but they have a wide variety to choose from. If you are a morning person (I am not), they serve a delicious brunch on Sunday, so guests can watch the rise over the bay!

NoJa

If you know me, you know NoJa has been my favorite local restaurant since it opened in Mobile. They always serve a blend of Mediterranean and Asian flavors that delight your taste buds and your soul, but I highly recommend eating in the courtyard. While the inside of the restaurant is beautifully designed and elegant, the courtyard is dreamy and a must-see on a visit to Mobile. After your meal in the courtyard, I strongly recommend staying for dessert to try the ginger donut (you won’t regret it ;))!

El Papi

El Papi is a new upscale Mexican restaurant located in downtown Mobile! The food derives from locally sourced ingredients and they provide guests with a beautiful view from the patio and courtyard area. While you enjoy the view in the beautifully landscaped area, you will fall in love with their delicious dishes! One of my favorites is the Tatchos, the El Papi spin on the nachos (another fun word to say). Don’t forget to try their specialty cocktails, such as the Top Shelf (it’s an actual drink!), while you are there! 

This summer is the perfect time to sit back and relax while enjoying amazing food outdoors! There are so many local restaurants that provide amazing food with a view, so why not explore them all this summer?