Pursuit seven: Puppy LOVE (plus a cat)

Having always grown up with dogs in my house I can say without a doubt that I am a lover of dogs! There is something about the unconditional love that a dog gives to their human family that makes me buckle at the knees. No matter how mischievous they can be, they will always have my heart.

Currently at the Smith household (a.k.a Camp Linden for the grand children animals), we have...

1. Harper (a.k.a. Harper Lee Smith)

Baby Harper

Harper is our family's dog. He is a Shetland sheepdog (however, we think a Collie has gotten in the mix somewhere in there because he is very tall). He is four years old, shy, sweet, and the man of the house.

2. Gracie (a.k.a. Gracie Girl- She is my brother's dog)

Gracie & Cooper graduating from Tulane Law

A younger Harper & Gracie

Gracie is a sweet, tough (for her small size), energetic four-year-old miniature Australian Shepherd. She loves playing fetch (She would play for hours if she could). She and Harper are the same age, so they have grown up with each other by seeing each other so frequently during the holidays. 

3. Smith (a.k.a. Mr. Smith or booger) 

Mr. Smith

Smith being chill

Smith is my Chocolate lab that I adopted this past summer. He is about two years old. He is sweet, playful, very mischievous (he can jump over fences which is not good), loves to swim, and enjoys being glued to a human 24/7.

Although I am a lover of dogs, I have acquired a love for cats, specifically for our family cat, Telly.

5. Telly (a.k.a. Princess Telly Cat)

Telly is our calico princess. She will be six years old in November. She a sweet huntress who enjoys being playful (loves to play with ribbon). Her all time favorite activity is to sleep.

On another note... if you are a lover of dogs, love to look at dog photos, or would like to help out a great cause, you should check out the Orvis Cover Dog Photo Contest!


Every year, the Orvis Company holds a contest for dog lovers to submit the best photos of their canine companions. At the end of the competition a lucky few will be selected to grace the cover of the Orvis dog catalog. Entering your dog's photo is completely free and easy! Also, while having fun selecting dog photos for their catalog covers, Orvis has decided to help fight canine cancer. You too can help out! Either by entering in a photo of your own dog, voting on another dog, or simply making a donation online, you can help find a cure for canine cancer.

Here is the direct link to view photo entries for the 2011 Orvis Cover Dog Photo Contest:

So, if you are like me and like to look at cute pictures of dogs (I spent about 45 minutes last night looking at the photos when I should have been writing a paper), this is a great place to fulfill that desire!

Dogs truly are mans (womans) best friend!

Following my pursuits,


Special thanks to:


Pursuit six: One fine day

I have always enjoyed traveling and have had many great opportunities to do so throughout my life. Being able to travel has allowed me to step outside of my comfort zone, explore new places, and broaden my perspective on life. Recently, I have had the urge to explore the United States more. I am not sure when this will happen, but one fine day I hope to make this pursuit a reality.

The top five places that I am most interested in visiting as of late are as follows:
(Below are pictures that capture the essence of why I want to visit these places)

1. Portland or Augusta, Maine

I have always had the desire to drive through a covered bridge in the fall

2. Seattle, Washington

3. Portland, Oregon

This past weekend my dad went to learn how to fly fish
(This picture would be perfect if it was me, my dad, and my dog Smith)


4. Jackson Hole, Wyoming

The town square during Christmas time in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

5. Savannah, Georgia

A bed & breakfast sounds very relaxing at the moment

I am not sure if it is because of the fall weather, but after viewing these pictures I am getting the vibe that I want to be "one" with nature at the moment (haha).

Where would you like to travel to one fine day?

Following my pursuits,


Special thanks to:


Pursuit five: Music to my ears

In my last lap of college (senior year), I am mostly taking classes that are required for my major (Advertising). One of the classes that I am currently taking is Advertising 350. The purpose of this course is to introduce my fellow students and I to the theory and application of creativity in advertising. It covers a range of topics including the history of advertising creativity, the nature of creativity, and the application of creative strategy to various media.

Our current assignment involves writing a creative platform for a particular vegetable or fruit that is being promoted by a various trade association, and then we are supposed to write a radio advertisement for that particular food. It took me a couple of days to finalize my veggie, but I finally chose broccolini. When I announced to the class that I wanted to do my assignment on broccolini my professor immediately said, "broccawhat??"

BROCCOLINI (n): a hybrid of broccoli and Chinese kale with a peppery sweet taste
(Broccolini is all natural and not genetically modified, so it is safe to eat)

Broccolini = a little bit of broccoli genes + a little bit of Chinese kale genes
                            Broccoli                                              Chinese kale

Until this summer I had never eaten or heard of broccolini. It is my new favorite vegetable at the moment, and I think even picky veggie eaters would enjoy this treat! 

Moving on to the fun part though....

So we have to write a radio spot for our vegetable. Feeling that the target market was probably between the ages of 30-60 (at least a college degree, possibly a masters or doctorate) I wanted to think of something that would actually catch the attention of this target market while they were listening to the radio. There is soo much clutter on the radio these days that it is hard to get people to tune in to your radio ad.

While browsing YouTube for musical inspiration I came upon a set of videos entitled  Kickass Classical Top 100!! Now the name might be deceiving, but these videos hit on all varieties of classical music that are actually good.
                         (This link will take you to Kickass Classical Top 100)

I ended up picking Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik for one of my radio ads. The ad itself is attempting to be humorous at points, but the ad itself is not really the point of this blog. While listening to all 100 (yes, I listened to every "kickass" classical song) songs, I realized that so many of these songs have been integrated into different parts of our culture (whether it be TV commercials, movies, holidays, weddings, funerals, jokes, etc.) without me ever being fully aware of it. So, if you feel the urge to listen to any of these songs you will probably be surprised by how many of them are subconsciously ingrained towards some aspect of life. 

On another note...
So you do not think I am an old fart listening to classical music, knitting away, and going to bridge night with my gal pals here is my new guilty pleasure song: 

Toot it and boot it by YG (first off, I had to Google just now who sang this song, and I have never heard of YG. But go YG for your catchy "Toot it and boot it phrase"!!)

Check out the Toot it and boot it video above! You have to get to point 1:06 in the video to get to the only point in the entire song that I know. 

My definition of a guilty pleasure song: A song that I am currently obsessed with but that I would be too embarrassed for most people to know that I secretly have the beat in my head for a good bit of the day. Also, a song in which I usually have no idea who actually sings it, nor most of the words, except for one particular phrase that will not get out of my head.

Following my pursuits,


Special thanks to:



Pursuit four: The joys of Netflix

If you have ever had the opportunity to experience Netflix, a company that offers online flat rate DVD and Blue-ray Disc rental-by-mail and video streaming in the United States and Canada (streaming only), I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have recently.


My parents subscribed to Netflix a couple of years ago. Although they have similar tastes, I felt that in the beginning of their life with Netflix, the movies that were being selected in their Queue (personal online list of the movies that you are renting) were ultimately different versions of classic British movies (i.e. Jane Eyre, Pride & Prejudice, etc.). Although I like my fair share of British classics... I had had enough, and slowly stopped watching the Netflix DVDs that came in weekly for their weekend movie night.

However, in the past year, I have gotten back into Netflix. While abroad I had a lot of spare time. When I was not going to class or traveling, I spent time catching up on the latest television shows or movies over the Internet since we did not have a television in our flat. Once coming back to the States, I had become accustomed to watching TV shows or movies online. My boyfriend has enjoyed the video streaming that Netflix offers, so I got on the bandwagon too.

Although I do not have my own personal Netflix account, I have enjoyed hacking into my parents Netflix account (not really hacking) to watch movies and documentaries. If you do not have a Netflix account or have never browsed the website, purchasing an account will run you about $4.99 a month for a starter package. This gives you two DVDs per month, an unlimited amount of time that you can keep the DVD, and access to video streaming. Packages with more DVD rental access can range to about $16.99 a month.

Recently, I have been watching documentaries on the Netflix video streaming. This has been great because you can instantly watch the videos (no waiting for a movie to download or come in the mail).

Here are the top five documentaries and movies that I have recently viewed. If you are looking for something to watch, I would highly recommend these.

1. Prodigal Sons

Prodigal Sons, a documentary by Kimberly Reed, follows Kimberly as she goes back to her small town home in Montana for a high school reunion. Kimberly, a magazine editor and filmmaker in New York City, is transgendered. Born as a boy (Paul), Kimberly became who she was meant to be (a female) in her early twenties. During this documentary, viewers will witness Kimberly's relations with her other two brothers (one who she is estranged from), her experiences in Montana, and her overall views on how her life has turned out. Although sad at some points, this documentary is very thought provoking and gave me insight into what life might be like for someone who is transgendered.

2. Babies

A documentary directed by Thomas Balm├Ęs, Babies  follows the first year of four babies lives. Each child is growing up in a completely different part of the world. The first baby, Ponijao is from Opuwo, Nambia. The second baby, Mari is from Tokyo, Japan. The third baby, Bayar is from Bayanchandmani, Mongolia. The fourth baby, Hattie is from San Francisco, California. This film was interesting because I got to see how cultural differences shape a persons life, as well as the universal similarities humans share in life. 

3. National Geographic: Science of Dogs

National Geographic's Science of Dogs is a film directed by Jackie Mow. In this documentary, viewers gain insight into the history of dogs and how humans have taken an active role in shaping their experience and behavior. Being a lover of dogs, I was tuned into this movie the entire time. After watching this documentary, I learned that there are more variety of dogs than any other species on Earth. I was also able to learn about a wide variety of dog breeds that I had never heard about before viewing this film.

4. Bela Fleck: Throw Down Your Heart
Bela Fleck: Thrown Down Your Heart is a documentary that follows around famous musician Bela Fleck during his quest to bring the banjo back to Africa. Believing that the banjo originated in Africa, Bela Fleck along with a couple of banjos (he plays the banjo) and a film crew travel to different countries in Africa to bring the banjo back to Africa. Traveling to Uganda, Tanzania, Gambia, and Mali, Fleck has the opportunity to play music with the locals, enjoy the beauty of the land, and introduce the present day banjo that we have grown up with to many people for the first time. This is a great movie to hear great music, learn about different cultures in Africa, and see some great sights.

5. The Constant Gardener
The Constant Gardener a film by Fernando Meirelles follows Justin Quayle (Ralph Fiennes), a member of the British High Commission based in Africa. During this movie, Quayle launches a quest for the truth and begins his own international investigation when his wife (Rachel Weisz) murdered. This movie is filled with twists and turns involving drugs, rumors of infidelity, and corrupt governmental practices. The only aspect of this film that turned me off was the ending. I would have hoped for a different one, but other than that it was a great view.

So, even if you do not have a Netflix account, or know anyone that does, if you get the chance you should check out these films or some other documentaries/movies that peak your interest!

Following my pursuits,


Special thanks to:
Netflix: http://www.netflix.com
The Prodigal Sons official website: http://www.prodigalsonsfilm.com/
The Babies official website: http://www.focusfeatures.com/babies
The National Geographic website: http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/series/explorer/3093/Overview
Bela Fleck: Throw Down Your Heart: http://www.throwdownyourheart.com/


Pursuit three: Enriching my mind and taste buds

After dating my boyfriend for several years now, I suppose several of his interests have rubbed off on me. One interest of his that has now become somewhat of a hobby for the both of us is trying new and unique beers. While he is more willing to try anything from pale lagers to dark stouts, I am still leaning with the lighter beers. Prior to this hobby, I had the mind set that beer was beer, and that there was really nothing more to it. I have now come to see the craft that it takes to make a good beer (Believe me, I am no expert, I have just gained an appreciation for the trade haha). Until recently, it has been quite hard to find quality beer in Knoxville, and mostly in the state of Tennessee (as my boyfriend says haha). However, a new little gem opened up earlier this year in Knoxville called the Bearden Beer Market.

While driving down Kingston Pike (a main road in Knoxville) in May, I noticed that a recently closed garden center had been turned into a beer market. As I drove past it I was immediately intrigued. This place was the Bearden Beer Market, and I knew that I had to investigate this place. Later that evening my boyfriend and I went to the Beer Market, and it greatly exceeded our expectations. It was amazing! 

Noah Bowman, writer for Metro Pulse hit the nail on the head by saying, "On first entering the newly opened Bearden Beer Market, I had expected to see yet another cramped, heavily postered, and neon-lit package store, peppered with stacks cases of overpriced, slightly above-average beer. Instead I may have actually died and stepped through the gates of beer heaven". The Bearden Beer Market is a mix of quality beers that you can either drink on tap there or purchase to take home, a relaxed seating atmosphere in the once open area of the garden center, and so much more. 

When speaking with the owner, Chris Morton recently while making a purchase, he informed me that the beer on tap changes daily. This means there will always be something new to tickle your fancy. Being a college student I know what it feels like to be tight on cash, and because of this I can honestly say that the Bearden Beer Market has some great deals. 

A most recent favorite purchase of mine that was on tap was the Cottonwood Pumpkin Ale. I had never had pumpkin ale before, and it conquered my initial fears of what one might taste like. I would highly recommend it!

Now you might be asking yourself, what is the demographic of people that gather here. Well, I would say that it is a mix of people (which is a good thing in my opinion). It seems to target more of the older population (rough 25-55 age range), but being a college student I have seen a number of people of my age there as well. Every time I have been there it has never been too crowded that I have immediately thought that I wanted to run for my life. The crowd always seems to be very friendly and laid back (my kind of style). 

Here are some pictures below to give you an idea of what the Bearden Beer Market looks like if you have not experienced it yet.

The Beer Market has beer that is already chilled to go, 
or you can by it at room temp as shown above

Here is a section of the outside seating area. 
There are other areas to sit that are not shown here.
 (corn hole is present and a recently added projector
 has made an appearance featuring football games)

Some examples of beer for purchase

So, if you are ever in Knoxville, Tennessee and you get the chance, stop in to the Bearden Beer Market!

Following my pursuits,


Special thanks to:
The official website of the Bearden Beer Market: http://beardenbeermarket.com/

Pursuit two: Becoming one with nature

After coming back from my study abroad experience in Edinburgh, Scotland this past spring I was highly looking forward to the warm summer weather of Tennessee. I am grateful for my time abroad because I got  to experience new cultures, meet some great people, and travel at a moments notice. But, what I missed the most while abroad was my time outside (Edinburgh is a beautiful city, but it was a wee bit overcast and nippy for me). Since I have gotten back to the States, I have enjoyed becoming "one" with nature again. In the most recent months, one of my pursuits has been The Greenway trails in Knoxville, Tennessee. http://www.ci.knoxville.tn.us/greenways/

 The Sequoyah Greenway which is located in the median of the Cherokee Boulevard in the Sequoyah Hills neighborhood off of Kingston Pike has been my recent greenway of pleasure.

I have been going to this greenway on a regular basis since this summer. It has been a great opportunity to enjoy the weather, take my dog to swim in the Tennessee River, walk, run, bike, people watch, look at the architectural features of the homes, and most recently observe the changing of the seasons.

Here are some personal pictures as well as other great photos of the Sequoyah Hills Greenway:

The length of this trail is 2.6 miles

Smith (my dog) enjoying the summer weather

The trail during the fall

There is always good people watching

A pleasant view of the Tennessee River

One of the main entrances to the trail and neighborhood

Hopefully this has given you the urge to become "one" with nature wherever you might be!

Following my pursuits,  


Special thanks to:
Nostalgiaville: http://travel.nostalgiaville.com/Tennessee/Knox/sequoahhillsgreenway/sequoah%20hills%20greenway.htm


Pursuit one: Discovering blogs

During this first semester of my senior year at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville I found myself having some spare time (I know what you're thinking... I am a senior, I should not have spare time, but whatever the case may be, I do.) Although I love my share of Facebook stalking, I realized that it was not satisfying my curiosity anymore. I have heard people mention how interesting blogs were before, but until recently I assumed they were for people with no life (maybe that is me), but I was wrong. Blogs are very interesting! I did not realize how many blogs were out there. There is such a vast array of blogs that will tickle anyone's fancy. So, as my first blog post, I will let you in on the first couple of blogs that got me hooked on reading blogs.

The first blog I started following was Elements of Style by Erin Gates. 

Elements of Style was like hitting the jackpot of blogs for my current pursuits. Although I am an advertising major, I cannot draw to save my life. I like to think that I have the creative spirit all in my head (hopefully that will get me far). But, this blog has everything anyone interested in design, fashion, photography, travel, and any little tid bit a creative soul my like to learn about. I love this blog! : )

The second blog that I have recently become interested in is THE SARTORIALIST by Jed Root.


THE SARTORIALIST is all about taking notice of the everyday person and the art they create by what they wear. The photographs taken by Jed are from all over the world. From New York City, to Milan, and even good ole Atlanta, Georgia, Jed sees the art in all kinds of people. 

So this is where I am currently with my pursuit of blogs. I like to think they help me relax and stretch my creative imagination. So, next time you are bored and looking for something new and unique to do, check out a blog.

Following my pursuits,


Special thanks to: