About Erin

Deputy Editor, Southern Living Magazine. Digital and social media girl who learned everything with a pen and a reporter's notebook. Mom. Florida native celebrating all things kitsch, accidental Birminghamian. Is probably getting back from somewhere or heading somewhere. Knows: Elvis, journalism, pop culture, Southern artisans and emerging neighborhoods, vintage clothes, pugs, Yacht Rock. 


Entries in Shaun Chavis (2)


Getting Energy From Ideas/Behind The Scenes With Momentum

"I like getting my energy from active involvement in events and having a lot of different activities. I’m excited when I’m around people and I like to energize other people. I like moving into action and making things happen. I generally feel at home in the world. I often understand a problem better when I can talk out loud about it and hear what others have to say." --Myers Briggs description of extraversion


I was reminded of how much I'm an extravert last night while standing with a group of people, including those pictured above -- Celine, Shaun, Jamie, and Chris. They were gathered to shoot a pilot for a new project called "Momentum."

It was shot at Salt Fine Catering, an amazing Birmingham business whose owner, Robby Melvin, cooks for small and large parties, using local ingredients. He's a talented chef whose passion for cooking and sharing food shows. Robby joined our porch chat for a few minutes while serving these incredible biscuits with fig spread and olive oil.  



I helped prep for the shoot and had the pleasure of spending time with the participants while they waited for the shoot to begin. The filming is where the big ideas were discussed, and I actually had to duck out before it started.

Being a little part of a project like this gives me energy. And sitting on the porch with these friends for a couple hours prior also did. Shaun, a brilliant foodie and founder of FoodBlog South. Chris, the first person to make me feel welcome at the magazine when I started and a gifted illustrator and comic. Celine, a stylist with a knack for lifting people's spirits as well as putting on the perfect lip gloss. Jamie, one of the bet relationship builders I know (on and offline). Jen, who has so honestly written about her quest to evolve in her blog

Inside, coordinating the shoot, was Scott Pierce, who created WhyBhm and now Momentum. (My video for WhyBhm which also relates to connection and community, is here.) The project is his brainchild and based on the simple concept that great ideas are shared over a meal. Last night there were five people, around a table, talking about ... well, more on that to come. It was a huge undertaking. 

All of these friends are accomplished, and I love hearing about their projects. But I also love knowing them, and feeling comfortable being able to walk up to a porch and start talking -- about silly things, about big things. Some of us have long histories together, other are more recent friends. But we all share this excellent connection based in creativity and community. Extravert or introvert, that's just good stuff. Lucky to be a part of it. 

Related Links:

 al.com: Dishing With Robby Melvin From Salt Fine Catering

The Jen West Quest: Hungry Minds





A Challenge To Food Blog South Attendees 

Today is the day -- more than 125 foodies are gathering at Birmingham's Woodrow Hall for the first ever FoodBlogSouth Conference. I'm honored to be a part of this groundbreaking event, which brings together foodies, bloggers, restaurant owners, and our community.

I have no doubt that great ideas are going to be born today. Major kudos to Shaun Chavis and Jason Horn, who put together this event on their own and grew it beyond even their dreams. 

Before I get ready to head to Woodrow Hall, I'm throwing out a challenge to attendees. Today The Birmingham News featured a story about a North Alabama farmer whose business has been virtually destroyed by the recent ice storm. An excerpt:

"When a crash woke farmer Rod Palmer at 5:20 a.m. on a snowy Jan. 10, he knew exactly what the sound was -- his six greenhouses were collapsing to the ground. So was his livelihood. 
'It was the same feeling I had when my daddy died,' he said. 'Every time I think about it I want to puke.'

Those greenhouses, almost the entirety of his Gadsen farm, Owl's Hollow Farm, did more than sustain the 31 types of produce growing in them -- they provided his income. His troubles are now causing a ripple effect on Birmingham-area restaurants that depend on his organic vegetables and herbs."

According to the story, he lost his crop of 12,600 lettuce heads, more than $200,000 of equipment, and essentially, his livelihood. His produce supplies Birmingham farmer's markets, like Pepper Place, and several restaurants,  including Betolla, Little Savanna, Cafe Dupont and Ocean.

So, here's my challenge to the smart people gathered today at Woodrow Hall, and our foodies friends:

How can we help this farmer? What can we do with our blogs, our brains, and our ingenuity to help this person in need?

Leave your thoughts, pass it along, and let's start talking about reaching out to him today.