Nestled in the woods on the banks of the Locust Fork River north of Birmingham, Alabama, Glenn and Rachel Evans have put their love of the environment and sustainability into everyday practice with their Case Rock Cabin a modern tiny home they built earlier this year as an eco-retreat on their farm in Blount County.
Glenn and Rachel built their tiny home as an eco-retreat on the back-side of their 85-acre farm, a mile and a quarter off of the nearest paved road. The cabin is only accessible by an ATV or four-wheel drive vehicle. Glenn, an electrical engineer, built it himself by hauling materials on top of a Polaris down steep terrain.
“We designed the home together,” said Rachel Evans, an artist and an Alabama teacher who home schools her children. “We wanted the project to be an example and a teachable moment for our children about environmental sustainability.”
Tiny home design
The home was designed with a modern, industrial aesthetic look and feel. It was built out of reclaimed and recycled materials with solar panels, a back-up generator, a water tank, a wood heater and a composting toilet.
After they built it, Rachel and Glenn listed their tiny-home retreat on AirBnB. It’s an off-grid experience for those who want to get away from it all and unplug. When you arrive at this eco-retreat you will park your car, the hosts will check you in and you will then be driven to the cabin by UTV. Once you’re dropped off, it will be up to you to figure out how to get back and forth to your car or the main house. If the hosts are available, they will give you a ride to your car. The hosts also will schedule a checkout and pick up time for you at the end of your stay.
The perfect place to unplug
It has no wifi or TV and cell phone reception is spotty. But don’t fret, there is radio communication in case of an emergency. You’ll also have access to a blue-tooth speaker to play your tunes or podcasts. Once you arrive, you’ll be taught how to use the cabin’s electrical system, water system, and composting toilet. For back-up, there are YouTube videos available to show you as well. One special note is that there is no refrigerator so you’ll have to bring a cooler and ice, or you can purchase ice on site.
A dog friendly retreat
Bring your dog to Case Rock! Glenn and Rachel even provide pet bowls, old towels and pooper scooper bags; all you have to do is bring your dog’s crate, toys and food.
Case Rock sleeps six and has a composting toilet
The cabin sleeps six with two bedrooms, three beds and one bath. It’s stocked with breakfast foods including fresh eggs from Case Rock’s chickens. There is a one burner propane stove, an Instant Pot and gas grill for cooking; however, there is no oven. Shower outside in a shower heated by a propane instant hot water heater. For cooler days and nights there is a wood stove inside and for warmer days there are DC attic fans.
Guests staying at Case Rock also can bring their boats or tubes to use on Locust Fork River. There is only biking and hiking on the trails around the cabin. Guests are not allowed to drive or use motorized vehicles on these trails.
Enjoy fly fishing or the white water rapids on the river
The river is relatively is located at the upper eastern end of the Warrior River Basin. The river is one of three major tributaries of the Black Warrior River that stretches across Blount, Etowah and Marshall counties. The area is very scenic and popular because of its white water and the area is great for hiking. Canoers and kayakers from all over the Southeast flock to the area during the spring and summer to try out the river’s world-class rapids. As far as Case Rock’s availability, Rachel and Glenn say it’s booked all of May and most of June.
Book now on AirBnB
“There are projects ongoing at our farm and we complete them together as a family,” said Rachel. “We love animals, traveling and camping. We meet so many interesting people when we travel. Case Rock is a way for us to combine everything we love about our farm and share it with the world in hopes of teaching people about the environment, sustainability and how to “unplug,” if only for a moment.”
In elementary school Jestina Howard used to do her classmates’ makeup in the bathroom in exchange for snacks. It was pretty lucrative for her, exchanging snacks for doing makeup, until she got in trouble for it. Later when she was in her 20s this childhood business led to a professional career as a makeup artist. That’s when she was invited to do makeup for a photoshoot.
“My friend asked me to do the makeup for the models for a magazine photoshoot,” said Jestina Howard, Founder of Aware Cosmetics and Makeup Services. “After that shoot, I was referred to others to do makeup for companies throughout the Southeast.”
Jestina created her own makeup line after a client suggested it to her. “When a client mentioned that I should develop my own line, a light bulb went off. I started researching how to make it happen,” she added. Now she has a full line of makeup she uses on her clients to enhance their look.
Prior to creating Aware Cosmetics, Jestina worked as a full time makeup artist for M.A.C. Cosmetics after they launched at Parisian at the Riverchase Galleria in Birmingham, Alabama. She also was the staff makeup artist and manager of Deborah Stone Day Spa in the Collonnade.
She has had many opportunities during her career to do makeup for dignitaries, models, celebrities and corporate power players. Her portfolio includes doing makeup for SpikeTV, Nike and The Food Network.
She also has done makeup for CBS Sports anchors and Richard Petty during a Talladega race. A few of her other famous clients include: Coach Nick Saban, baseball great Willie Mays, actress America Fererra, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, musician NeYo, fashion designer Sigrid Olsen, model Emme and actress Nicole Ari Parker.
Now she not only spends time doing makeup, but also taps into other creative passions in fashion and event planning. Exploring other passions makes her feel fulfilled. She also volunteers her time by serving on several boards within the Birmingham community.
One of those events is on Sunday, Feb. 10 where Aware Cosmetics is sponsoring Glow App’s New Year New Year Makeup Lesson event at Innovation Depot. This app helps supports achieving excellence through beauty. Jestina also is sponsoring the You Can Get the Business event that focuses on the makeup industry on March 3 at Birmingham’s Creed Co-Working Space.
“To me beauty and fashion go hand-in-hand. As a makeup artist, working in fashion allows me to have an impact on the latest beauty trends, locally,” she added.
Aware Cosmetics has a wide-range of foundation, eyeshadow, blush and lip color options available. Jestina’s favorite product is the Runway Lip Glosses because of their staying power.
2019 Makeup and Color Trends
According to Jestina, effortless glamour will replace the heavy looks seen on Instagram. Other makeup trends include smoky eyes, red lips, berry stained lips, coral eyes, cheeks and lips. Another big trend will be polished skin with bold pops of color and neutral tones in tans and taupes.
Why Invest in Good Makeup?
Jestina states that investing in a good set of brushes is key to having a flawless look. A good brush set will last 10 years if stored properly. She also recommends investing in a more expensive makeup line also will give your more pigment and staying power.
Jestina gets color inspiration from flowers that bloom in the spring and from leaves that change colors in the fall. Artists use many colors creating their artwork Jestina finds inspiration in Italian, Dutch, African, Native American and Asian contemporary art.
Another passion she has, is advocating to bring awareness about lung disease for the American Lung Association in Alabama. In fact, she donates a portion of her cosmetic sales every year to the organization.
“I have family members who suffer from lung disease and asthma,” she said. “That’s why I give a percentage of my annual sales to the American Lung Association for education and research.”
All photos are by Kassady Gibson, Focus Creative. Special thanks to Ellen Hart for modeling.
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