Montgomery Announces Exciting Event Calendar for 2017 – 2018

With more fun and exciting events planned for 2017-2018 than ever before, Montgomery is adding to its reputation as one of the newest must-see travel destinations in the South. Offering a diverse roster of festivals and events, there is always something to see and do in this dynamic, riverfront city, whether it is listening to national recording artists perform live at the River Jam Music Festival or exploring the booming craft beer scene at the annual River Bend Brew Festival.

Known for its Southern hospitality and its revitalized downtown, Montgomery was the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement and has established itself as a landmark Deep South destination. Montgomery is adding to its events lineup this year, which features concerts, festivals and a wide array of cultural activities.

“We are proud to offer a jam packed schedule of events for visitors to make unforgettable memories,” shares Vice President of Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Dawn Hathcock. “From music festivals to national athletic competitions, there is something for every visitor coming to Montgomery.”

Below is an overview of annual events held in Montgomery:

Montgomery Restaurant Week, August 11-20, 2017

Coinciding with Alabama Restaurant week, this culinary celebration gives visitors the opportunity to discover new restaurants, dishes and drinks. Featuring amazing deals at some of Montgomery’s best restaurants.  For more information, go to

Buckmasters Expo, August 18-20, 2017

The Montgomery Convention Center hosts a 3-day expo for the deer hunting industry with over 300 exhibitors from around the country. Kids activities, live concerts, demonstrations and lots of special guests will be featured. For more information, go to

Montgomery Dragon Boat Festival, August 26, 2017

Over 60 teams from Central Alabama and beyond converge on Riverfront Park in downtown Montgomery to compete in this fundraiser which culminates in a dragon boat race. Off the water, browse various goods from local exhibitors and artists. Live music and food from local vendors will also be featured. Don’t miss the inaugural Gun Island Chute SUP CUP standup paddleboard competition on the Alabama River! For more information, go to

Broadway Under the Stars, September 7, 2017

The 31st annual Broadway Under the Stars concert will be held lakeside at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. The Montgomery Symphony will perform Broadway classics as attendees relax on blankets and lawn chairs at this free yearly concert celebration. For more information, go to

Riverwalk Wine Festival, October 14, 2017

Over 100 wineries offer tastings, making the most of Montgomery’s beautiful riverfront park on an early fall afternoon. The event is made complete with live music, food vendors, and discounts on on-site wine purchases. For more information, go to

Raycom Media Camellia Bowl, December 16, 2017

Named for Alabama’s state flower, this college football bowl game annually features a matchup between top teams from the Sun Belt Conference and the Mid-American Conference at the historic Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Ala. The game is televised live on the ESPN family of networks. For more information, go to

Anniversary of Hank Williams’ Death, January 1, 2018

The native of Montgomery was the first country music superstar and one of the most important songwriters of the 20thcentury. Each year, his grave hosts a ceremony to commemorate his fascinating life on the anniversary of his death. This year will mark the 65th anniversary of the musician’s passing. For more information, go to

Montgomery Half Marathon & 5K, March 10, 2018

This annual race takes runners through some of Montgomery’s most beautiful neighborhoods and past many of the city’s most famous landmarks. Featuring live entertainment for both racers and supporters, the Montgomery Half Marathon is one of the top road races in the South. For more information, go to

Taco Libre sponsored by Modelo, April 2018 

Alabama’s Taco Festival features a wide assortment of tacos of the state’s favorite local taco joints, restaurants and food trucks, along with plenty of refreshing beer and margaritas and live regional bands. The event is held at “The Yards at Western Rail” a 40-acre venue in a reclaimed train shed and yard. For more information, go to

Alabama Book Festival, April 2018

Since 2006 this event has welcomed book lovers to Alabama’s premier literary event. Thousands of people gather for author readings, book signings, writing workshops and more. For more information, go to

Alabama Shakespeare Festival Spring Repertory Season, April 25 –  May 6, 2018
Each spring this surprising theatrical find nestled in the exquisite 300-acre Blount Cultural Park achieves a rarely attempted feat – professional repertory theatre featuring Shakespeare and the classics. This year’s season includes Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and Twelfth Night alongside the classic based on Alabama’s own Helen Keller, The MiracleWorker. For more information, go to

Flimp Festival, May 2017

The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts hosts this family-friendly festival which invites folks to Blount Cultural Park for a wide range of art-related activities. For more information, go to

River Jam, May 2018

Every May, music lovers converge on downtown Montgomery to attend this free two-day event which showcases over 10 live bands. Concerts take place at Riverfront Amphitheatre and Union Station Train Shed. For more information, go to

Riverbend Brew Fest, May 2018

Montgomery‘s Annual Riverbend Brewfest features live music, local food vendors and a large selection of local, regional and nationally renowned craft, seasonal, specialty and micro-brewed beers. For more information, go to

About Montgomery

Situated on the banks of the Alabama River, Montgomery is the capital and the second largest city in the state of Alabama. Established in 1819, Montgomery has been the site of major historic events which have shaped the history of the United States. Emerging from its agricultural roots in the 19th century, Montgomery transformed from the Cradle of the Confederacy to the birth place of the Civil Rights Movement in less than a century. Today, this vibrant river town is experiencing a resurgence which has seen its downtown revitalized and has reestablished itself as a landmark Deep South destination.  Montgomery Regional Airport (MGM) offers non-stop flights on Delta Airlines and American Airlines. For more information, call 334-261-1100 or visit the official website of the Montgomery Convention and Visitor Bureau at  Stay connected with Montgomery on Twitter (@MGMCapitalCool) and Facebook

Celebrate National Lipstick Day with Cargo Cosmetics

Don’t worry about your lipstick wiping off on National Lipstick Day (July 29, 2017) by using Cargo Cosmetics Swimmables Longwear Matte Liquid Lipstick!

 The best-selling lipstick is an ultra-matte liquid mixture that will stay on all day, but will also feel so comfortable on your lips! This lightweight formula will dry fast, leaving a suede like finish without the common drawbacks like flakes or cracks.

If you are looking for a shade to wear during the daytime, check out Cape Town, a nude lipstick with pink undertones that is a best-seller. ($18,

For a more adventurous look for a night on the town, try the shade Sorrento, inspired by the Italian seaside town. No matter the occasion, this dark berry colored lipstick, will last throughout the night! ($18,

Summer Travel and Getaway Essentials

The summer months are all about quick weekend getaways, so it’s best to stock up on the perfect travel essentials! Make sure you pack your bags full of Sun Bum and John Frieda and listen to experts like Umbreen Sheikh and Sophia Gushee on how to make the most of you short vacation!

Sun Bum Original Sunscreen 

Bigger isn’t always better, so breeze through security with serious sun protection stowed away in your carry on. Just like the full-sized versions, these cute little sunscreens deliver the same premium, ultra-lightweight formula and irresistible beachy smell.

John Frieda Hot Air Brush

Dry and style your hair in just one step with this multi-tasking hot air brush, newly redesigned with a sleeker, 1” ceramic titanium-coated barrel.
Ask the Experts:
Umbreen Sheikh, Founder of Wink Brow Bar

When grooming at home, it’s alright to tweeze a couple of hairs from the middle of the brow but do not touch any hairs that are in line with the nose. If you take a pen or a stick and put it vertically up against the side of your nose you can see where the brow should start on both sides.

Sophia Gushee, detox and wellness expert and author of A to Z of D-Toxing

•Broad-spectrum, which will guard against both UVA and UVB rays
• Water-resistant
• Safer key ingredients include zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, preferably without nanoparticles. If they are not available, then select avobenzone at 3 percent.

2018 ESSENCE FESTIVAL – Weekend Getaway

Essence today announced the official dates for the 2018 Essence Festival® presented by Coca-Cola®, which will take place from July 5 – 8, 2018 in New Orleans, LA. Limited advance tickets for the 24th annual event’s nightly concert series will be available starting August 10 at 10:00am ET.

On the heels of a record-breaking 2017 Festival, the highly anticipated event is expected to feature a diverse, all-star roster of musicians and speakers for its nightly concert series and daytime empowerment programming respectively. The 2017 “party with a purpose” drew over 470,000 attendees and featured first-time performances by Diana Ross and Chance The Rapper, plus keynote conversations with Ava Duvernay, Mary J. Blige, the cast of the critically acclaimed film “Girls Trip” – Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall and Tiffany Haddish – and many more.

Festivalgoers can start planning their ‘girl’s trip’ and weekend getaways by visiting Essence Festival for a recap of the 2017 Festival, information about advance ticket sales, the latest news about the Festival and to sign up for Festival-related newsletters.

Join the Essence Festival community by following us on Twitter @essencefest #EssenceFest and become a fan of 2018 Essence Festival on Facebook for additional updates.

Sponsors of the 2018 Essence Festival® include presenting sponsor Coca-Cola® and major sponsor State Farm.

Sweat In Style With DYI – Define Your Inspiration Activewear

We all love being active and exercising, but sometimes it’s easy to make up excuses and say it’s just too hot. DYI, the company that Forbes named the next Lululemon, has your perfect solution to the scorching summer heat!

Everyone has a different way they enjoy being active so DYI- Define Your Inspiration created a line of clothing for any and all athletic endeavours. While they’re known for their leggings, they have created shorts, a skirt and tops that are perfect when it’s just too toasty outside.

The too hot for leggings DYI bottoms include:

  • Active Short: Comfort meets style in our all new summer Active Short! A sporty stretch woven fabric stretches and moves with you. Two invisible zipper pockets allows you to carry a phone hands free while you focus on your workout. Two pockets on the back side give a little style and extra interest to this perfect breathable, lightweight short. The inseam on this short is 4 inches.
  • Relax Ponte Short: LIFESTYLE short for Pre and Post workout. This short is a part of our STREET Collection- made for women who need a comfortable, but polished look this summer. This short has a fold down waist made from our famous BOND fabric. Perfectly comfortable, but can be dressed up for a night time look.
  • Active Skirt: Whether you’re on a hike, a bike or traveling this summer, our Active Skirt is a perfect addition to your Summer workout wardrobe. A lightweight woven, stretch fabric moves with you and keeps you cool during warmer months. Built in short gives coverage and comfort no matter what you plan on doing. Two invisible zipper pockets allow you to carry a phone or other items hands free.

Pair these shorts and skirt with some loose tanks including:

  • Deep Breeze Tank: Get Breezy in our Deep Breeze tank! Our lightweight, breathable tanks is the perfect layering piece to transition from spring to summer.
  • No Sweat T-Shirt: Made for your most intense sweat session. With our super soft and pliant Bond fabric for the body, and our signature power mesh on the back, a staple to have for every workout.
  • Simply Sporty Tank: The tank that is missing from your workout wardrobe. Longer length, all mesh striped back, tencel front, and easy to take on and off. What more could you ask for?
  • Take It Easy Tee: The perfect fit V neck T-shirt! Made for those days you just feel like wearing a t-shirt, but you can still look fabulous!
  • Breathe Tank: Our Breathe Tank is our most popular top this Spring! Whether you wear it loose or tied in the back, this tank will look incredible with every yoga tight in your wardrobe!
  • Balance Tank: This Active Tank is not only beautiful, but also ready for your next sweat session! Made in Tencel fabric, this tank will keep you dry through your workout, but beautiful enough for your night out. Drapes and twists in the back.

Whether you run, yoga, weight train or rock climb, DYI’s apparel is perfect for you to sweat in style!

To learn more about DYI visit


DYI I Define Your Inspiration is an activewear and lifestyle apparel brand with the perfect fusion of fashion, performance and function. What inspires you to move? Whether you’re inspired by a maximum intensity sweat session, strength training, or a rejuvenating yoga class, DYI designs apparel specifically for your state of mind. The DYI brand brings together fashionable clothing and healthy living in a unique way. It isn’t just clothing, but a mindset, a philosophy and a movement! It’s about living a happy, active and balanced life by doing things that inspire you!

Follow DYI:






Sandy Liang FW17 Lookbook: Soft and Subversive Designs

Sandy Liang is a designer based in the Lower East Side of New York City. She started her eponymous brand with her Fall Winter 2014 collection shortly after graduating from Parsons School of Design.

Her first collection was based on her love of outerwear and Chinatown grandmas and has since grown to sell to over forty stockists internationally. Sandy draws inspiration from her personal life and is constantly self-referencing throughout her work, whether it be a childhood memory in Bayside, Queens, the coveted Gap Jeans she wore as a kid, or a movie that left an impression on her. Her woman is not a fictional woman who exists as an aspiration, but real women who she’ll see taking the subway or go grocery shopping at Whole Foods.

There is an ever present sense of humor and duality present throughout the collections – soft, yet subversive. She is playful in the way she uses materials – stainless steel nipple rings adorning a silk dress, a mink coat but with dropped shoulders and elbow patches. She makes sure not to take fashion too seriously as she feels it is there to make all of our lives a little more enjoyable and doesn’t know if it needs to be anything more than that.

Sandy Liang is sold at retailers worldwide including Net-A-Porter, Saks Fifth Avenue, ShopBop, FWRD, Forty Five Ten, Hirshleifers, Kirna Zabete, Need Supply, Shop Super Street, Totokaelo, Asthik (Ukraine), Beams (Japan), Beymen (Turkey), Boon the Shop (S Korea), Browns (GB), Filly’s Stable (Australia), Harvey Nichols (UK), Icon (Belgium), IT (HK), Lane Crawford (HK), Lane Crawford (CN), My Boon (S Korea), Plum (Lebanon), Rare Market (S Korea), Reel Shanghai (CN), Ron Herman (Japan), Stylebop (Germany), The Modern Society (GB), Tuchuzy (Australia) and more

Boho Beach Hair | Thick Braid Headband

Elevate your summer hair styles with these easy to use braid extensions and accessories from Hairdo! From boho beach hair to an updo for a summer night, there’s sure to be a braid for every look!

Slide on the Hairdo Thick Braid Headband to instantly enhance any hairstyle. Wear it with loose hair or throw it up and POP it on for an elegant, effortless updo ($10;

Soft Surroundings Artist Topper | Easy Well-Made Style

Bohemian style is the concept of wearing clothing that’s free with flowing fabrics. It’s the perfect summer option because this style allows one to layer clothing and accessories.

Soft Surroundings is one of my favorite retailers.  The company specializes in soft, luxurious designs.

How does this relate to style bloggers? They have well-made affordable pieces for all age groups.  On-trend shoppers can find a Tie-Dye Jumpsuit while seasoned shoppers can purchase a Terry Pull-Over.

The company collaborated with this post; shipping an Artist Topper.  This versatile piece is lightweight with red tassels and kimono style sleeves.

The topper (in the photo below) was paired with a Felt Hat, Denim Shorts, and Ankle Booties.

Additional style ideas include wearing with High-Waisted Leggings or Jersey Dress. Visit your local Soft Surroundings for more easy, well-made style!


Looking For Florida’s Best, You’ll Find It In Pensacola

The Pensacola Bay Area continues to prove to be a destination vacation through recent accolades. Known most well for its sugar white beaches, voted to the 10 Best Beaches in Florida by Conde Nast to be exact, the coastal city has established itself as an all-encompassing travel and leisure spot for visitors around the country.

Trips to Discover, an online travel publication that reaches over 7 million people, named the area to the 14 Best Day Trips in the Florida Panhandle and to the 12 Best Florida Summer Vacations on a Budget. The Pensacola Bay Area offers a multitude of activities from exploring the Gulf Islands National Seashore and its majestic forts, learning where Don Tristan de Luna landed and established America’s First Settlement over 450 years ago or enjoying the vibrant cultural scene downtown.

The Pensacola Bay area is known for its fresh Gulf Coast seafood, so well-known that Food Networks “Great American Food Truck Race” and host Tyler Florence stopped in to experience it. Business Insider named Taqueria El Asador, a local taco stand, to the 50 best tacos joint in all of America and Southern Living awarded the Flora-Bama the best bar in the entire state of Florida! Speaking of cocktails, locals favorite and owned by one of Visit Pensacola’s celebrity chefs, Skopelos restaurant has been awarded the 2017 Award of Excellence by Wine Spectator magazine!

As Pensacola gears up for the Fall Festival season, it places a significant emphasis on the culinary scene. We encourage foodies to come and experience a vast variety of tastes including gulf coast seafood, Greek, American street food and so much more. Festival season is the prime time to plan a vacation to the area as the official tourism season has come to a close, rates have declined and the weather is mild. You can easily say this is a locals favorite time of year!

Only in your state again named The National Naval Aviation Museum to the Best Free Activities in Florida and the Historic PensacolaVillage to the 13 Unforgettable Tours in Florida. With over 450 years of rich history, Historic Pensacola is a living laboratory that guides guests through 28 properties that have been fully restored. The village is fully operable and includes daily colonial living history demonstrations. The National Naval Aviation Museum is the world’s largest Naval Aviation museum and features more than 150 restored aircraft’s representing Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Aviation. Spanning 37-acres of ground space and 350,000 square feet of exhibit, the museum is open daily and offers free admission.

The US Navy Blue Angels Homecoming Airshow is currently in the running for USA Today’s Reader’s Choice award for top 10 Best Airshows. Be a part of our next accolade by voting daily, visit

For more information about Visit Pensacola, call 1-800-874-1234 (toll-free) or go to

About Visit Pensacola

Visit Pensacola leads the effort of economic development through tourism in Escambia County. Comprised of over 200-member businesses, VisitPensacola’s mission is to position the Pensacola Bay Area as a premier year-round travel destination through tourism marketing, communications, meetings and conventions, reunions and group tour initiatives. For more information about Visit Pensacola, call 1-800-874-1234 (toll-free) or go to

Don’t Skip These Important Health Tests: Expert Advice

With the healthcare system is crisis, tons of red tape and fewer doctors accepting insurance, managing one’s health has become a major challenge. More and more women are skipping key exams simply because getting appointments are a hassle and obtaining coverage isn’t always guaranteed. That said, there are some key tests and exams that ever woman must have at various times of her life. If you’re going to put a preventative care plan together for yourself it’s important to know which tests are necessary to maintain optimal health. Dr. Christopher Calapai, a NYC board certified expert in osteopathic medicine specializing in longevity, recommends these tests.

Featured Photo from The New Potatoe

Blood and blood pressure screening: Starting at age 18, every woman needs to have her blood pressure checked at least every two years. Having annual bloodwork done is the way to tell if organs are functioning properly. Doing the basic blood panel between age 18 and 39 is a great start. After age 40 additional testing for things like fibrinogen which impacts blood clotting and C-Reative Protein which looks at inflammation in the body are key tests to consider. “As a longevity specialist, bloodwork tells a detailed story about health patterns and future predictions that can then be addressed and even reversed with early care,” says Dr. Calapai.

Cholesterol screening/lipid profile:

Cholesterol is a type of fatty protein in your blood that can build up in your arteries, so knowing how much cholesterol is present is a good predictor of your risk for heart disease. It’s important to start monitoring cholesterol starting at age 20 to establish a history. As women age cholesterol levels tend to rise so having a solid basis of comparison decade to decade is helpful in preventing heart disease down the road, explains Dr. Calapai.

Pap smear:

A pap smear is an important test for women to get annually if they are sexually active and over age 21. The test is designed to detect infection, inflammation or cellular abnormalities in the cervix which may lead to cervical cancer. “This is certainly one of those tests that must be done every year. Some women diagnosed with HPV who may have had abnormal results are often monitored even more closely. The more a woman knows about the health of her reproductive organs the better she can integrate foods, vitamins and minerals to keep herself healthy,” advises Dr. Calapai.

Mammograms and breast exams:

Women should begin administering monthly self-breast exams monthly as early as age 18. “It’s so important for women to understand that breast tissue changes during the month. They want to do the self-check in their shower or lying down just after their period ends when breasts are less tender, sore or swollen. This is when to feel around for any lumps, pain, tenderness, inflamed skin, and any issues with the nipple such as blockages or discharge. A mammography is an x-ray of the breasts. As of 2017, the American Cancer Society screening guidelines advises women to begin getting annual mammograms by age 45 and then can go to every other year by age 55. This guideline is for a woman of average risk. Women with a family history of breast cancer or with had cystic breasts with benign cysts should obviously have mammograms at an earlier age. “The self-exam is so important because early detection is key. If a woman is in her 20’s or 30’s and feels a lump she can follow through with her doctor for a closer look. When a woman goes in for a pap smear a breast exam is often done as well. However, you can’t hold off and skip the self-exam, cautions Dr. Calapai.

Skin cancer screening:

Skin cancer, while less deadly than other kinds of cancers, is the number-one cancer diagnosed among Americans; and one type of skin cancer, melanoma, is deadly. The number of women under age 40 with basal cell carcinoma, one type of skin cancer, has more than doubled in the last 30 years and women under 39 are almost twice as likely to develop melanoma as men.

A skin cancer screening involves a full examination of the skin with focused attention on any moles, skin lesions or any other changes to the skin. It is advised to begin skin cancer screenings at any age and the fairer the complexion the more vigilant one must be. Annual screenings are normal and doctors may recommend twice annually if there are more moles and you’re on hypertension medication. “The skin is the largest organ in the body and a great indicator of overall health. Even if you have darker skin any rash, growth or skin issue should be taken seriously so the underlying cause can be determined quickly,” adds Dr. Calapai.

Eye exam and vision screening:

According to the American Optometric Association people with normal, good vision should have their eyes examined every 3 years. For people who needed glasses or contacts at an earlier age an annual exam is recommended. By age 40 those with healthy, strong eyesight will begin to see changes either when driving, reading or watching TV. Women are at a slightly higher risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, one of the most common eye health problems. A vision screening tests how well you can see; an eye exam checks for glaucoma, macular degeneration, retinopathy, and other eye diseases. Make sure you’re having both kinds of exams. If you have diabetes, you’re at much higher risk for eye problems and should be checked more often. “When you get an eye exam and a prescription for glasses is give follow through and get the glasses. It’s amazing how many people put this off which only leads to further eye strain and headaches. Besides, glasses these days are a stylish accessory. There’s no need to compromise eye health for vanity,” says Dr. Calapai.

About the doctor:

Dr. Christopher Calapai, D.O. is an Osteopathic Physician board certified in family medicine, and anti-aging medicine. Proclaimed the “The Stem Cell Guru” by the New York Daily News, Dr. Calapai is a leader in the field of stem cell therapy in the U.S. His stem cell treatments have achieved remarkable results in clinical trials on patients with conditions as varied as Alzheimer’s, arthritis, erectile dysfunction, frailty syndrome, heart, kidney and liver failure, lupus, MS and Parkinson’s. He has worked with Mike Tyson, Mickey Rourke, Steven Seagal, and Gotham’s, Donal Logue; and as a medical consultant for the New York Rangers. Connect with him via twitter @drcalapai or at