Pursuit sixteen: Traditions

Tradition: an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (as a religious practice or a social custom)

It is always around the holiday season that I become aware once again of the traditions that have become important to me in my life. Over the years it has become a custom of mine to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on television on Thanksgiving morning while my mom is getting the house ready for the family.

I have never watched the parade all the way through, and it is not really a tradition of my family's, but for some reason every year I feel the need to watch at least a portion of the parade. I suppose it is because it is something that I started watching as a child, so I have fond memories of viewing it every Thanksgiving.  

Whether you have traditions of large family gatherings with stuffing...

trying to beat the holiday rush on Black Friday...


or enjoying some much needed rest...

enjoy whatever traditions you have because they sure do make for some fun and interesting memories!

Following my pursuits,


Special thanks to:
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary: http://www.merriam-webster.com/


Pursuit fifteen: Putting the pedal to the metal

Bicycles have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Although throughout the years I have not ridden on a consistent basis, I have always found my way back to riding. I remember the first time that I rode a bike without training wheels. I was in Nashville, Tennessee, without parental supervision, and I surprisingly made it down the driveway in one piece. Although the actual event is a bit blurry, I have always told myself that that was the first time I rode a bicycle without training wheels.

When I was between the ages of seven to ten (roughly) I had the coolest bike EVER! It was a youth mountain bike from Target. It had both hot pink and a cool mellow green on it. I had many great moments riding that bike with friends during the afternoons and summertime. Unfortunately... that bike met its demise after it was stolen out of my garage one evening.

My next bike was another wonderful purchase from Target. It was a hunter green color. Although I had many cruises on this ride during my preteen years and early teen years, it was during this period of my life that biking became "uncool". Around the age of 14 or 15, I remember thinking that riding bikes was for people who did not have their permit or license (haha). So, for a long span of time bike riding ceased for me.

However, two summers ago I started to have the itch to ride bikes again. I have always thought that beach cruisers were pretty neat bikes, so during the summer of 2009 I purchased a mint green beach cruiser from a California based company called Beach Bikes.

Here is the model shot of my bike from the website

Here is my bike in real life parked in its garage (haha)

It also has a lovely bell on it (notice the mud marks from my "intense" cruising)

Getting this bike was a great decision. After my purchase, both of my parents wanted to join in on the biking bandwagon. My mom went and got a used 1970's Schwinn road bike, and my dad modified my old mountain bike with an "extra large" comfy seat.

Having this bike has made for some fun memories with my family, boyfriend, and with myself on my solo cruises. I have experienced flat tires miles from home, riding up hill on a one speed beach cruiser (interesting to say the least), having a bell that likes to ring on its own (makes for awkward glances from people passing by), and fun explorations around parts of town that I have never been through before.

I must say that I have not ridden my bike as much as I could lately, but riding is one pursuit that I am currently enjoying in this part of my life.

Here are some other types of bikes!

BMX bike

Unicycle (I suppose not officially a bicycle, but still cool)

Mountain bike

Recumbent Bicycle
Tandem bicycle

Road bike

Bicycle of the "future" (ooh!)

Interested to see how one might sit on this bicycle of the "future"

Bicycle of the future (love the mint blue/green color)

Which bicycle style are you?

Following my pursuits,


Special thanks to:


Pursuit fourteen: For the love of Lilly

The first time that I was introduced to the fashions of Lilly Pulitzer was during the summer after sixth grade. My family had gone to New Orleans, Louisiana to drop my brother off at his first year of college at Tulane University. While my dad and brother were out running errands of their own, my mom and I decided to go browse the shops of downtown NOLA. While looking around one of the shops I remember my mom coming upon a rack of clothes with bright colors and bold patterns. Having never heard of Lilly Pulitzer prior to this, my mom began to go on a spiel about how when she was in high school she worked at a store that sold Malia dresses (a brand that was very fashionable at the time in her opinion) and how they were very similar to the Lilly Pulitzer brand of clothing.

Vintage Malia maxi dress

Vintage Malia logo

On that first encounter with the Lilly Pulitzer brand, I came out with a patchwork printed skirt that I still own to this day. From that day on I was hooked to the Lilly Pulitzer brand. It is the only brand of clothing that I consistently check the website, Facebook page, or stores to see if they have any new lines of clothing out. While the actual price of the clothing is a bit steep, in recent years they have substantially reduced the prices of some of their pieces.

I think the reason that I like the brand so much is that the clothes are bright and cheery. These clothes are one of the few material items that bring a smile to my face. They have unique prints that almost always bring up a conversation while out in public (sounds really cheesy). Presently, the Fall 2010 and Resort 2010 collections are out. Some of my favorite pieces of these two collections are below.
Gisele Dress

Sondra dress

Abella dress

Murfee Scarf- Booty caw

So whatever styles of clothing you like to rep, rep them hard (That is if you want to... haha)

Following my pursuits,


Special thanks to:
Lilly Pulitzer Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/lillypulitzer
Lilly Pulitzer blog: http://blog.lillypulitzer.com/


Pursuit thirteen: A melody in my mind

Next Tuesday, November 16th, the boyfriend and I are going to the Punch Brothers concert at the Bijou Theater in Knoxville, Tennessee. Newly acquainted with the band, I am highly looking forward to the concert. As of late I have also discovered that Steve Martin (actor, comedian, author) is also a musician. He plays the banjo, and is quite good! On Friday, November 5th Martin played with the Punch Brothers on The Late Show with David Letterman.

Below is a YouTube clip of their performance together on The Late Show! The song is entitled Rye Whisky, and is off the Punch Brothers latest album, Antifogmatic.


Chris Thile, the Punch Brothers founder has described the Antifogmatic album as, "intimate to boisterous and back; genre-wise". Released on June 10, 2010, the album consists of ten songs.

Punch Brothers- Antifogmatic album

On the band's website, Thile describes how they came upon the album name and what it means for this batch of music. Antifogmatic, Thile states, "is an old term for a bracing beverage, rum or whisky, that one would have in the morning before going out to work in the rough weather, to stave off any ill effects". Feeling that this word easily applied to the work in this album the name stuck. The Antifogmatic album is one that the Punch Brothers want their listeners to be able to sink their teeth into, help them make sense of all the various things happening to them in their lives, and to basically tell them everything is going to be okay.

On the other hand, every time I listen to Steve Martin's music it gives me the urge to get up and do a hoedown jig (haha).

Steve Martin's latest album entitled The Crow

Check out some other great performances by the Punch Brothers and Steve Martin at these links below!

In this second video, the Punch Brothers are performing a cover of Bach's 3rd Brandenburg Concerto.

Steve Martin playing at the Grand Ole Opry.

In the end no matter what genre of music it is, I always have a melody in my mind.

Following my pursuits,


Special thanks to:
The Punch Brothers' official website: http://www.punchbrothers.com/
Steve Martin's official website: http://www.stevemartin.com/


Pursuit twelve: Happy weaving

This past summer I lived in Knoxville, Tennessee. This is the first summer that I have not lived at home, and I must say that I was very excited about it (not that I don't enjoy my fair share of family time). However, my parents gave me one stipulation... If I was going to live in Knoxville for the summer, I must (absolutely no ifs, ands, or buts about it) find a summer job. So, the moment I came back up to Knoxville in May I was on the hunt. I did not realize how hard it would be to find a summer job. I applied everywhere. No job was "too good" for me at that point haha

Some of the more comical jobs that I applied for were at the Home Depot and Taco Bell.

Unfortunately, I never heard back from those places.

However, one day while looking through The Daily Beacon, (the school newspaper for the University of Tennessee, Knoxville) I stumbled upon a job listing for a part-time assistant for a company called Way To Weave! (No it is not a place to get your hair done). Way To Weave! sells dog agility equipment (weave polls).

Prior to obtaining this job, I really had no idea what went on in dog competitions, let alone what an actual weave poll was, but let me just say that I sure have learned a lot!

Out of all the jobs that I have had throughout the years to earn a little extra cash, this has been by far the most entertaining and unique! I get to see dogs every time I go in to work, which is pretty fun because I love dogs (if you did not know that).

My main tasks are to keep the website orders up to date. But as of late I have filmed and edited a video of dogs using the Way To Weave! polls at a local trial, helped my boss create a Facebook page for the company, and am in the process of helping revamp the company website.

This dog is using Way To Weave! polls all the way in Uruguay!

Below is the link to the video that I created entitled Happy Weaving!

With all of the jobs that I have had, no matter how random they might have been I have found benefits from each which have ultimately given me insight into what I actually want to do with my life and career.

Hopefully this post will at least put a smile on your face or a little chuckle after watching some dogs weave!

AND... of course, if you or anyone else you know enjoys dog agility equipment, you should take a moment to check out the Way To Weave! website. They have some great high quality products that cater to any weaving ability!

Following my pursuits,


Special thanks to:
Way To Weave! http://www.waytoweave.com/default.asp
The Facebook page for Way To Weave!

Pursuit eleven: Bon appétit!

While abroad this past spring, I had the opportunity to visit Paris, France. I was able to see a wide array of historic buildings such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Museum.

Prior to seeing the Eiffel Tower, I had never had such a strange sensation of awe and awesomeness from viewing an architectural structure. My breath was literally taken away when my friends and I came upon the Eiffel Tower.

But besides, the great architectural features of Paris, I discovered that they had sensational, utterly delicious, deadly desserts and pastries. While visiting this lovely city, I had the opportunity to enjoy a crêpe for the first time. 

For those of you who don't know, a crêpe is a type of very thin pancake that is usually made of wheat flower. Crêpes are served with a variety of fillings, from the most simple with only sugar, or a flambéed crêpes Suzette as Wikipedia states (such a scholarly source). 

The crêpe I ate had Nutella and banana slices in it. It was simple divine (haha)! 

  HEAVEN (but deadly)

After returning back to the States in May, I told myself that I was going to have a sabbatical from eating Nutella. I lasted for quite some time. However, upon returning to Knoxville during the summer, I noticed that a French restaurant called The French Market Creperie had opened up in downtown Knoxville. I knew that I was going to have to make a pit stop in there one day.

Well, a couple of weekends ago when a friend was in town for the UT/Alabama game, we went and had breakfast at The French Market Creperie. It exceeded my expectations. I must say (trying not to offend the real French crêpes), that my crêpe in Knoxville, Tennessee knocked my socks off! 

 The inside of the restaurant (very cute!)

The restaurant is not very big, but it has outdoor setting, which makes for a cozy/relaxing environment. The French Market Creperie serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner (only Thursday through Saturday). Ingredients such as premium Cheddar or Swiss and Gruyere Cheese, imported ham, all natural turkey, goat cheese, and even eggs can be added to your crêpe. The French Market Creperie's most popular crêpe happens to be one filled with Nutella and strawberries or bananas (my favorite!). There is also a unique line of French products sold at the French Market Creperie.

For anyone who is in the Knoxville area and is now craving a delicious crêpe, the French Market Creperie is located at:  
526 South Gay Street
Knoxville, TN, 37902

Store hours are:
Monday-Wednesday: 9am-4pm
Thursday-Saturday: 9am-9pm
Sunday: Closed

For those of you not in the Knoxville area, and are more industrious than me (I am not the best cook), you can try and make your own crêpe.

Here is a recipe for crêpes by Mark Bittman:

From How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman

The best basic crepe recipe I've used and they cook up fine without having to use a nonstick pan.  

 12-16 crepes

1 C all purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 T sugar (optional)
1-1/4 C milk
2 eggs
2 T butter, melted and cooled plus butter (or ghee) for cooking

Whisk together all ingredients except butter for cooking until smooth.  You can do this in the blender.  If time allows, let batter rest for an hour or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.

(I didn't let me batter rest and it was fine)

Heat an 8-10" nonstick skillet over medium heat.

(I won't use nonstick but my 8" stainless steel skillet was just fine, without chemicals)

Add a bit of butter or ghee.  Stir the batter and pour in about 2 T per crepe.  Swirl the batter around in the pan to get a thin layer.

When the top of the crepe is dry, after about a minute, flip and cook the other side for 30 seconds or so.  

Bear in mind that the first crepe almost never works, even for professionals, so discard if necessary; there is plenty of batter.

Stack the crepes on a plate as you make them and keep warm in the oven (or do as I do and hand them out to anxiously waiting children immediately and let them do the filling).

So whether you are a lover of tasty treats, want to venture out for a crêpe, or actually hate sweets... I must say Bon appétit!

Following my pursuits,


Special thanks to:

The French Market Creperie: http://www.thefrenchmarketknoxville.com/
Recipe from Mark Bittman's book How to Cook Everything Vegetarianhttp://sites.google.com/site/magpieeatsrecipes/Home/crepes


Pursuit ten: Thinking outside of the box

Recently, in both my Advertising 350 and 360 classes we have been discussing outdoor advertisements. This is the first time that I have had to create an outdoor ad, and I must admit it was a little hard. An outdoor ad needs to be even more eye catching since you are ultimately trying to get someone to stop focusing on where they are going and take a moment to look at your ad.

Below are some eye catching advertisements that we discussed in class that I thought were pretty unique!

An ad on a cross walk for Mr. Clean 

An ad making use of the sewer grate

A McDonalds ad making use of an aerial view

A National Geographic Channel ad 
(Notice how the lady is walking through the mouth of the shark)

An ad for The Simpsons movie
 (The escalator makes it look like Homer is eating a ton of donuts)

I thought the Kit Kat ad was pretty genius

An ad for The Economist magazine 
(A motion sensor turns on the light when someone walks under it)

A Cingular ad for dropped calls

A public safety ad

I now find myself always on the lookout for new and unique outdoor advertisements when I am out and about!

Have you seen any cool outdoor ads lately?

Following my pursuits,


Special thanks to: 


Pursuit nine: Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic

Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic design is one of my favorite interior/exterior decorating styles. I love how her designs can exude simplicity and eloquence at the same time. She is great at taking an unwanted piece of furniture and turning it into a new eye catching piece. Her style makes a room feel cozy and inviting which is something I personally enjoy!

Below are some photos of Rachel Ashwell's work:

You can follow Rachel Ashwell's blog to get the inside scoop on her latest work at: 

Following my pursuits,


Special thanks to: