During the past 30 years, Charlsie?s Catering and Cakes' team of gourmet confectioners have funneled their joy of baking into every dessert, crafting handmade cakes, cookie bouquets, and cupcakes with fresh, creative ingredients. Bakers can design custom creations to match any event's theme, allowing newlyweds to dish out pieces of decadent flower-laden tiers or birthday celebrators to share slices of their newfound spirit animals. Skilled confectioners also merge top-quality ingredients into dessert bars and more than 25 flavors of gourmet cupcakes.
Standard Furniture traces its origins back to 1912, when a local family began traveling through Birmingham, peddling fine household furniture out of a wagon. Four generations later, the business has blossomed into 13 retail stores throughout Alabama and Tennessee, and its century-long commitment to quality furniture and customer service won it the Alabama Retail Association’s Silver Award as one of the Retailers of the Year in 2011. Each gallery abounds with bedroom, living-room, and dining-room furniture from top designers such as Lane, along with mattresses in a range of shapes and styles from brands such as Tempur-Pedic, Serta, and Jamison. At each location, a knowledgeable staff awaits to offer design counsel, suggesting pieces that best suit a household’s style or will hold up against a disobedient pet woodchuck.
An affordable and monumental selection of sofas, beds, desks, and sarcophagi mingle good-naturedly in Ashley Furniture’s wondrous warehouse. Sydney accent chairs command shoppers’ attention with woody legwork, while minimalistic Cubit ottoman sets do captivating belly dances to bedazzle bored sultans. Matrix accent chairs, sofas such as the Victory chocolate sectional ($699), and beds including the Keytown panel bed ($499 queen) anticipate increasing the comfort of various human inactivities.
Programs that build character, leadership, and valuable skills for young people are at the heart of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Alabama’s main mission. Today more than 8,000 children and teens count on the four area BGCCA clubs as a place where they can learn to grow and hone their abilities. By providing a safe place where children and teens can both learn and have fun, the centers hope to promote healthy lifestyles, community engagement, and a greater readiness for the working world. That mission is most apparent in the success of program graduates, who graduate from high school at a rate of 90%, compared to 66% nationally.
Dedicated to a next-day turnaround for many assignments, Thompson's encases everything from diplomas to completed jigsaw puzzles within the ornate borders of more than 2,000 customizable frames. Guests can also peruse a collection of 300 ready-made frames that will fit snugly around standard-size pictures, or commission custom tabletop frames to showcase unconventionally sized posters. More than 100 framed, beveled mirrors further populate the store, silently reflecting the reversed T-shirt graphics and snarky grins of each shopper's personal doppelgänger. Frames and mirrors are complemented by a collection of original oil paintings, which help homeowners adorn their walls with a colorful still life, a muted landscape, or an unflinchingly honest portrayal of the human condition.
Spanning 4,000 square feet, the climbing surfaces at First Avenue Rocks mimic the natural textures of the abundant local sandstone boulder terrain. One hundred varied climbing routes up to 17 feet high greet climbers who choose to ascend by bouldering without ropes on angled walls and roofs dotted with challenging foot-and handholds or on the facility?s ropes courses. For safety, the facility positions its vertical terrain above the floor?s 10-inch-deep Asana pads for soft landings in the event of missed holds or misguided urges to fly. Instructors are available to prep students of all ages and ability levels to tackle the gym's terrain, teaching three stages of introductory climbing courses and two advanced lead-climbing courses.