Headed to the Gulf this summer?  Summer on the beach means sun and sun means sunscreen. The best sunscreens come with a combination of ingredients that not only block ultraviolet light, but treat your skin well in the process. Before even thinking about buying a sun block that you think is right for you, check out which ingredients are best for your skin.

With warmer days and the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, the greater outdoors serve many purposes. Fishing, swimming and hiking are just a few, but the best places are those with prime picnicking real estate.  Here are some of those great spaces!

 

Have you ever been to a vacation spot so fast and so beautiful, that you wish it were your home? That’s how I feel anytime I stay along the stunning Gulf Coast. From the shores of Mississippi to the vast, emerald waters of the Florida Panhandle, to the sugar white sands of the Alabama Gulf Coast, the area offers numerous vacation spots boasting genuine, natural beauty.

Farm-to-Table restaurants have become huge across the U.S in recent years, and in Alabama, it is not different. Here are five great farm-to-table restaurants to check out statewide. 


By Amber Bara 

There are some runs that are no longer 5ks, but forms of entertainment.  Here are five runs that you will want to add to your annual list of events. 

Color Me Rad 5K – Mobile, AL – April 18, 2015

Start out as clean as a newborn babe, and throughout the run, volunteers will coat you with liquids, powders, and gels of blue, green, pink, purple, and yellow until your face, shirt, and body come out silkscreened like a tie-dyed hippie on the other side. Each section of the run adds a new explosion of color to your clean, painter’s palate until you cross the finish line into a final blitzkrieg of color.

http://colormerad.com/about/

 

Mud Mania – Auburn, AL – March 21, 2015

Mud Mania is a mud drenched outdoor obstacle adventure race fueled by excessive and unreasonable enthusiasm. Whether competing alone or on a team, ultimately it is a challenge that will pit your raw grit against the notoriously rugged Alabama mud.

Set on the outskirts of Auburn, AL this boot camp style 5K run is embedded with 20+ obstacles. Participants will run in 30-minute heats of 300 participants each. You are guaranteed to get dirty!

 http://www.mud-mania.com

 

ZooRun 5K – Birmingham, AL – May 16, 2015

You may not get dirty on this run, but you will definitely see cool animals. There is no better way to take a tour of the Birmingham Zoo!  The race begins at the entrance of the zoo and ends in Trails of Africa.  Check out the elephants as you cool down!  The ZooRun 5K is definitely one of the coolest runs in Alabama.

http://www.birminghamzoo.com/about-us/aazk/

 

 Back Country Mud Run – Brent, AL - March 14, 2015

At the Back Country Mud Run, Mud is King!  The 3.8 mile obstacle course is jam packed with mud pits, natural creek crossings, mud bogs and up to 16 man-made obstacles! There are plenty of other mud races out there, but none with the amount of mud obstacles per mile. The Back Country Mud Run takes pride in paying attention to Mother Nature’s natural terrain.  You'll spend more time taking on the obstacles and less time running, and even more time getting muddy! IT'S NOT JUST A MUD RUN! The Back Country Mud Run is a music jamming, country style shindig, that is a family friendly event for all ages! 

https://www.backcountrymudrun.com/bcmr.html

 

The Color Run – Birmingham, AL – May 30, 2015

The Color Run, also known as the Happiest 5k on the Planet, is a unique paint race that celebrates healthiness, happiness and individuality. Now the single largest event series in the world, The Color Run has exploded since its debut event.

The Color Run is an un-timed race in which thousands of participants are doused from head to toe in different colors at each kilometer.  With only two rules, the idea is easy to follow: 1. Wear white at the starting line, and 2. Finish plastered in color!

http://thecolorrun.com/birmingham/?gclid=CIS1_aKQi8QCFSRo7AodPB0Abw

 

 

By Stan J. Griffin

Is your NCAA Tournament bracket already busted, even just on life support after just the first day or two of action?

That is the case for millions of Americans, especially with early action from the 2015 "Big Dance" already highlighted by upsets from underdogs such as UAB, Georgia State and UCLA.

The NCAA basketball tourney is one of the most anticipated times of the year for sports fans, even for those who only casually follow college basketball during the regular season.

Millions of dollars will be bet in various bracket pools, and millions of dollars in actual production will be lost by various companies and businesses all over the nation, whose employees are spending more time keeping track of the tourney games instead of their actual jobs.

And if the first couple of days of this year's crazed hoop event are any indication, it will be another memorable event with plenty of close finishes, shocking upsets and heroic individual efforts.

With that being said, I thought I would take a shot a picking my Top 5 players in the history of the NCAA tournament.

This of course, is a difficult task, if not an impossible one, and of course my list is purely subjective as most lists tend to be.

Of course the history of this prestigious tourney includes numerous legends and Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Grant Hill, Larry Johnson, Sam Perkins, Patrick Ewing, Bobby Hurley, Bobby Joe Hill and David Thompson are just a few of those who took the event to the next level.

The following are my Top Five selections, however, when you take into account individual success in the tourney as well as, of course, team championships or big success by their respective squads.

 

By Amber Bara

Silvertron Café, Birmingham (Sunday opens at 11 AM)

Not far from downtown on Clairmont Avenue, Silvertron Café has been a Forest Park fave for several years.  Their Sunday brunch includes out of this world mimosas and Bloody Marys, along with steak with Cajun hollandaise, scrambled eggs, and cheese grits, Huevos Rancheros with black beans and homemade corn bread. 

Five Bar, Tuscaloosa  (Sunday 11 AM - 3 PM)

 It is not long before the gorgeous display of avocado toast, OJ, and chicken and waffles begins to grace tables on Sunday mornings.   The walnuts, powdered sugar, and maple syrup perfect the waffles and fried chicken in a salty sweet symphony.  The atmosphere at Five is also incomparable. 

Mezza Luna, Huntsville (Sunday Brunch 10 AM – 2 PM)

Sunday brunch buffet offerings include amazing fresh seafood, beef, and pasta dishes.  Traditional breakfast items are also found and they include, scrambled eggs and Eggs Benedict.  This Mediterranean style restaurant is a spectacular place with great food. 

Café 615, Mobile (Saturday 11-3)

This restaurant has an amazing spread of gourmet brunch food, from French toast to flatbread pizza, and cocktails, including fabulous bloody marys.  Its indoor /outdoor atmosphere is great for any gathering. 

 

Spring has exploded in Alabama in the form of pastels, pollen and, of course, allergies. Another spring staple, Easter, incorporates the annual Easter egg hunt into everyone’s schedule this weekend. There have already been many Easter egg hunts across Alabama, but for late bloomers, there are still some opportunities to scout some colorful eggs this weekend.

Spring has sprung and May is just around the corner. While children are getting out of school and pollen counts skyrocket, the music festival scene emerges in the background. Check out some of these local festivals to get your music fix as summer approaches.

Hey there, parentals: Are you at the end of your spring break rope yet? You’ve taken the kiddos to the beach, to the zoo, to the aquarium, to the park (multiple times) and zip lining – and you’re out of ideas? Fair enough. It happens. With a chance of showers creeping into the forecast for folks throughout Alabama – from Huntsville to the Gulf Coast, I thought this might be a good time to provide a brief rundown of some movie offerings, specifically some of the best kids movies on Redbox, and more. Because hey, it’ll keep the little ones occupied for a bit, and provide you with some much-needed quiet time. And the disclaimer: Some of these films are better for youngsters, while others are better for the tweens or teens set. Use your finely-honed parental radar to ensure age appropriateness.

 

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Birmingham Post-Herald (BPH) is Birmingham, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

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