Birmingbelles of the Week: 3 Blogging Babes in B’ham

This week we have not one, not two, but three Birmingbelles of the Week. Next week on Thursday, July 28, my organization See Jane Write (a networking group for women writers of Birmingham) will host So You Think You Can Blog, a panel discussion on blogging featuring some of the best female bloggers of the city. The three outstanding women who will be on our panel and this week’s Birmingbelle’s of the Week are: Rachel Callahan, Jennifer West, and Laura Kate Whitney.

Callahan not only writes the creative musings you’ll find at Grasping for Objectivity, but she is also the woman behind Alabama Bloggers, which she started to help bloggers network and share ideas both through the website and monthly social events. Callahan was recently selected as a BlogHer Voice of the Year honoree.

What do you love about Birmingham?
I love its sense of family, its kindness of neighbors, its unwavering commitment to faith, and most of all, I love all of the lifelong roots of relationships that I have planted here.  Also, I love that it is one of the top social media cities in the nation!

What would you change about Birmingham?

I would love to see our urban downtown areas flourish and become a place that is brimming over with culture like Chattanooga’s and Atlanta’s downtowns.  We are definitely getting there, but we still have a long way to go.

What are you doing, be it big or small, to make Birmingham a better place? 
I try to highlight the awesome parts of Birmingham on both my local and national blogs to help local people see the beauty and non-local people desire to come visit – or even move here! I want to do what I can to make the image of our city more accurate.  Also, I am continuing work on tornado relief projects. I am working on organizing a Blogger Relief Day, and I am also excited that my fundraising post, A Tornado Story, just got awarded as a Voices of the Year Honoree by BlogherI will be attending the conference in San Diego in three weeks, and I am looking for ways to use the recognition that the post received and will be receiving to help further the awareness of the needs of the tornado survivors in our state.

Photo by Angela Karen
West launched her blog, The Jen West Quest, on March 30, 2010 and, believe it or not, she’s posted something every day since. Because of her blog West garnered a chance to work with Health magazine and even an appearance on The Rachael Ray Show.

What do you love about Birmingham?
Birmingham is a great place to live for many reasons. It’s not too busy or overcrowded, yet it has all of the benefits of a larger city such as a solid creative community and hot pockets of social happenings.  Our community has also started to really embrace a healthier way of living with the development of several local parks, farmers markets and restaurants offering local food selections. 
What would you change about Birmingham?
This is a hard question to answer since Birmingham has already changed so much, and is continuing to change in so many positive ways.  I guess the one thing I would like to see more of is participation from the outside communities in some of the wonderful programs and events going on in the city.  There is still a fear in some people’s minds about “going downtown”, which is mostly unfounded.  Interest sparks activity, and activity sparks change.  
What are you doing, be it big or small, to make Birmingham a better place? 
I try to eat at local establishments (as opposed to chain restaurants) and buy my gifts and specialty items at places like Naked Art when possible.  It is definitely important to support these independently owned businesses.  I also like to write about health and fitness when applicable on my blog, especially when it’s an activity that anyone can do without having a gym membership.  There are so many places in town that you can run, walk or workout for free outdoors that we all should be taking advantage of!

Whitney started to make a name for herself in Birmingham just a few months after arriving in the city thanks to her blog, Magic City Manifesto.  Whitney’s mission is to find the magic in the Magic City and celebrate the hidden gems of Birmingham. Her blog has led to opportunities for her to work with B-Metro Magazine and got the attention of skirt! magazine. 

What do you love about Birmingham?
I love Birmingham’s hills and curves.  I love her spirit and fiery history.  I adore the skyline, the surplus of green spaces, the people and their stories.  I love Birmingham for who she’s been and who she has the potential to become.

What would you change about Birmingham? 
If I could rip away the tarnish that seems to remain from Birmingham’s past, I would.  This city has a lot of scars for her young age.  But, just like someone once said about our 80-year old bungalow in the 35212, “it’s the patina that makes her so unique and livable.”
What are you doing, be it big or small, to make Birmingham a better place? 
From the moment we arrived in Birmingham I’ve had one main priority – to create and support a community where my sons can grow and flourish.  By looking for the best in Birmingham, her magic, I’m doing my part to ensure that others see the city (and its people) at her best.

Interested in attending So You Think You Can Blog? Click here to sign up for this free event. 



  1. Will check out her blog. Very interesting lady!! Can’t wait to check out.

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