zeta’s bham favorite places & spaces

Samford’s sweet location is surrounded by fun places and spaces! Here is a list of our favorite things to do around the Magic City. Now, get out there and explore!

1. Pepper Place Farmer’s Market

This spot is without a doubt a Samford favorite. You’re sure to see lots of familiar faces here on a Saturday morning! Pepper Place is packed with local vendors and farmers. Be sure to try Piper & Leaf’s sweet tea and a maple bacon donut from the Heavenly Donuts food truck. Big Spoon Creamery and Steel City Pops are usually there too! The market is open seasonally, so keep up with Pepper Place on Instagram for the latest information. @pepperplacebham

pepper-place-tea pepper-place


2. Red Mountain Park

Red Mountain Park is a short 15 minute drive from Samford. It is a great place to hike (especially for beginners) and it has beautiful views! The tree houses and Grace’s Gap lookout are a few must see stops on the trails. Check out their website for more info! http://redmountainpark.org


Anne Chason Wachter and Ashley Steiner at Red Mountain Park’s tree house

4. Church Street Coffee and Books

If you like chocolate chip cookies and coffee, then this is the place for you! Famous for their “breakup cookies,” Church Street is the place to go for studying and meeting up with friends. It’s located in Mountain Brook’s Crestline Village, which is conveniently located close to Samford. They even have an upstairs study loft!

4. The Birmingham Sign

The Birmingham Sign downtown is a fun photo spot, especially when family and friends come to town. There isn’t an address for the sign, so put John’s City Diner in your GPS and it will take you there! Here’s the address for John’s City Diner: 112 Richard Arrington Jr Blvd N, Birmingham, AL 35203


Courtney Lauria shows a visiting friend our city’s staple sign!

5. Railroad Park & Downtown Birmingham

Railroad Park is located downtown close to Region’s Field. It’s a fun spot for a picnic, and great for photos. During the winter, the park has an outdoor iceskating rink. Be sure to stop in Red Cat coffee shop across the street from the park too (best crepes and coffee)!


6. Concerts at the Alabama Theatre

Seeing a concert at the Alabama Theatre (at LEAST once) is a must. If you’ve been to a concert there before, then you’ll know why. The theatre was built in 1927 by Paramount Studios to showcase their films, but today it has been restored to its original beauty to host concerts and other events. Every year during Christmas, they show Christmas movies too! Here’s the link to their website: http://alabamatheatre.com.


7. Mountain Brook Villages

Mountain Brook has three adorable villages filled with local shops and restaurants. A few of our favorite places from these villages are: Crestline Bagels, Mountain Brook Creamery, Brick & Tin, Olexa’s, Miss Dot’s, and Another Broken Egg. Find more at https://www.welcometomountainbrook.com/villages.php.

8. Downtown Homewood

Downtown Homewood, often called “Soho,” is the heart of this sweet suburb just outside of downtown. There are so many cute shops and restaurants that you’ll want to explore all of them! Be sure to try Dave’s Pizza, O’Henry’s Coffee Shop, O’Carrs, Urban Cookhouse, Edgewood Creamery, and Pasty Arts (the baby cake bites are bomb). Some fun stores include Pink Tulip, Fabrik, Soca, and more!

9. The Color Tunnel

Do you ever feel like going for a drive? Then load up your friends and take a drive downtown to the Color Tunnel! (We suggest going at night because the lights are brighter)


Anamarie Wright at the Color Tunnel | Photo by Preston Little, Southern Shade Photography

10. The Vulcan

The Vulcan is the landmark statue of our city, and it’s definitely worth touring at least once! Even though it can be seen from many areas of the city, nothing is quite like climbing to the top and taking in the sights from the Vulcan’s point of view.


Throwing the crown from the top of the Vulcan!

11. Rotary Trail

This trail is brand new and runs through the heart of downtown Birmingham. Though it’s only about a half a mile long, it links Railroad Park and Sloss Furnaces together.


Alexa Haines at Rotary Trail

We want to hear from you! Comment with your favorite Bham spots below


new semester who dis

how to survive & thrive during spring semester

Let’s face it. By the end of last semester I was SO ready for a break. I think I can speak for anyone when I say that once we get to the end of a semester, we often feel like we’re barely going to make it out alive! But now that we’ve had a five week break, we’re ready to a fresh new start. Wahoo, let’s get this new semester started!!

To help you kick off the semester right, here is a list of Zeta endorsed tips to surviving and thriving all semester long!

1. Find a new study place

There’s no better way to get a fresh start with studying than finding a new place to go! Try finding a different spot in the library (have you tried the tables outside at Einstein’s?) or venture to the business school’s rooftop patio. Going off campus is another great way to get a change of scenery. We recommend checking out Vestavia’s Library in the Forest, O’Henry’s coffee shop, Church Street coffee, and Red Cat.

2. Take a break!

Study hard and do your homework, but don’t forget to take a break! Get outside-go for a hike, walk on the trails, or shop at the Summit. Your brain will thank you for the much needed break, and you’ll be more focused when you get back to studying.

3. Treat yo self

Feed your brain – it’s crucial to have study energy! Get creative in the caf as much as you can but don’t be afraid to branch out even more. Since eating out can get expensive, Pinterest has lots of dorm room healthy food hacks you can make yourself. From avocado toast and apples and peanut butter sandwiches to mug mac & cheese in the microwave, there are plenty of ways to get a good meal without breaking the bank. And when you’re really needing to treat yo self…Urban Cookhouse’s half-baked cookie will definitely do the trick.

4. Get a move on!

Exercise helps get your brain juices flowing! Samford’s on-campus gym is super convenient, and the trails across the street are a great way to get outside and get moving. Taking a 20-30 minute study break each day to exercise can increase productivity and improve your mood. Give it a try-you won’t regret it! Looking for a new workout spot? Check out the Mountain Brook trails or Rotary Trail Downtown. Railroad Park is fun too!

5. A little bit of coffee…

I had never tried coffee until last semester (true story) and now coffee shop hopping has become one of my new favorite hobbies. Nothing goes better with studying than a good cup of coffee! Here are a few Bham coffee shop faves: Red Cat, O’Henry’s, Church Street, Seeds, Octane, Urban Standard…and the list goes on. So wake up & smell the coffee-it’ll help you study!

6. …and a whole lotta Jesus

We. Need. Jesus. Oh. So. Much. College is awesome and fun and exciting, but it can also be hard and stressful and exhausting. We can’t do this alone-we NEED Jesus every day! Making time to be in the Word and drawing closer to God is so important. Get involved in a Bible study, join an on-campus ministry (Delight, Reign, Campus Outreach, etc), get plugged into a local church. ZTA has Bible studies within our sorority too! Our hearts yearn to be in fellowship with others. Take advantage of the awesome opportunities on campus and in the community to get involved! If you don’t know where to start, ZTA’s chaplain, Haley Shrewsbury, is an awesome resource. Also reach out to any of our sisters-we’re here to support and encourage each other 🙂

7. Get into a regular schedule

Getting settled into a routine will improve study habits and organization. There’s nothing more comforting than getting into the groove of a new semester! Planning ahead and setting a schedule will help keep procrastination away too.

8. Sleep!!!

Living the double life of a night owl and early bird only goes so far. Getting enough sleep not only improves your mood and helps you focus, but it also improves your health. Challenge yourself to go to bed earlier if you have morning classes-you’ll be glad you did!

9. Get to know Bham

Samford is nestled in the sweetest spot in all of Birmingham, surrounded by fun places to explore. Get out there and check it out! Here are a few favorite Zeta spots–Pepper Place farmer’s market, Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Railroad Park, downtown Homewood, and Mountain Brook villages. (blog post with more of Zeta’s go-to Bham spots coming soon)

10. Friends are family

“I get by with a little help from my friends” couldn’t be more relevant than it is in college. These people surrounding you 24/7 are not just your friends, they’re your campus family! Spending time with friends in the midst of busy and chaotic times is such a comfort. Having a strong support system of friends – both within the sorority and outside – is so important to surviving a semester!

Let’s kick of the semester strong and stay strong to the end! Spring semester always FLIES by so be sure to savor every moment – even the ones spent buried in the library for hours studying for five tests.

So here we go – let’s do this!


bon voyage! ZTA goes worldwide over jan-term

Our creed begins, “To realize that within our grasp, in Zeta Tau Alpha, lies the opportunity to know those things which will ever enrich and ennoble our lives.” Over Jan-term, our sisters traveled worldwide and lived out this line of the creed.

Samford offers lots of study abroad opportunities, and several of our sisters traveled during the break both with Samford and on their own. Zetas explored London, Paris, Saba, Israel, various U.S. cities, and many other corners of the world!

Aubrey Johnston (pictured above) traveled to London, England through Samford’s study abroad program.

This Jan Term I got to go to London, England for 2 and a half weeks and have the experience of a lifetime. With a travel weekend to Paris, and day trips to places like Oxford, we got the best of so many worlds. For our class we experienced all the museums, shows, and sight seeing we could do in the time we were there. My favorite day was when we went to 3 different types of church services on Sunday to experience the famous cathedrals of Wesminister Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral and then the complete opposite at Hillsong London.
Living in the Daniel House with so many girls was just like living in the zeta house, but maybe a little quieter. It was so fun hanging out with so many sisters and getting to see that my friendships that were in Zeta when across the ocean were the girls I went to. Each of the girls I traveled with that was a Zeta I can now call a dear friend.
Traveling creates wonder and joy in a way nothing else will. You get to experience so many new cultures and types of people. We ate so many new foods and took the Tube, which is public transportation. I feel so blessed to have gotten to study abroad with Samford and with so many dear friends and sisters.
-Aubrey Johnston, senior


After having our sisters spread out all over the world, we can’t wait to be back together in our Samford home. Check out the photos below for more of our travel adventures!


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zeta blog say what?!

So you’re probably wondering… what is a Zeta blog? Why is there a Zeta blog? I mean come on– we already have a website, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter…okay we have pretty much ALL of our social media covered amirite?

BUT, I think the bigger question is why not have a Zeta blog?

Hi, my name is Ashley Steiner and I am Samford ZTA’s historian. (Hi, Ashley). My job is to keep YOU informed about everything going on in our chapter, and so far I have loved every minute of it! I manage Delta Psi’s social media accounts and website, along with other various fun projects. Last year when I was a new member, I had the idea of starting a blog for our chapter (the “zlog” I called it LOL sorry not sorry). Now that I have the honor of serving Delta Psi as historian, I have the perfect opportunity to turn my zlog dreams into a reality! More than anything, my hope for this blog is to share the Zeta we know and love with others. Y’all, these girls are not only my sorority sisters, they have become lifelong friends!

This blog will highlight events, feature sisters, tell stories, share memories, inspire positivity, promote philanthropy, and rave about ZTA’s favorite things. Ultimately, it will give you a glimpse into a day in the life of a Samford Zeta. And you won’t just be hearing from me. Stay tuned for blog posts written by other Delta Psi’s too!

So here we go– I’m oh so excited for this journey to begin!

ZLAM // Ashley


notecard by ashley ink & paperie