Pursuit one hundred & two: Commitment

photo courtesy of Pinterest

To whatever pursuits you have for this upcoming year, I wish you nothing but the best! This year my focus will be on commitment.  I recently read a great blog post from a co-worker of mine who is currently pursuing getting one of her books published. Her words about commitment and what her priest emphasized in a recent sermon touched me. Throughout life we all have goals and pursuits that we would like to tackle. Some are harder than others to achieve. But it is with an actual deep commitment to these tasks or experiences that we all get something done and move forward and grow as individuals in life.

To us and our commitments in 2012! How ever big or small they may be... let's kick butt!

Following my pursuits,




Pursuit one hundred: The Half Marathon Itch

Hey pals,

Today marks my 100th post on The Pursuits of Price! Virtual party horn blowing and confetti falling from the sky for all!

So for the past several months the little itch inside of me to pursue running a half marathon in the upcoming year has started to become a reality. After seeing countless friends, relatives, and people four times my age accomplish the feat of running half marathons, and even marathons, I have been inspired to achieve this new goal of mine. 

Two years ago, I was probably in the best shape of my life. I exercised regularly, and watched what I ate. After some time I probably became a little too obsessed with being "healthy" and skinny. No longer was working out fun, and I was definitely not seeing the important part of life... actually living, eating food (all kinds in moderation), drinking (in moderation), and socializing with people (not the gym). I ended up letting working out hit the wayside, so I could refocus on what was important... living, enjoying myself, family, friends, and actually making memories.

While I was in my tiptop shape, my mom and I ran the Knoxville Covenant Health 5K in Knoxville, Tennessee. Prior to signing up for this race, I would have never thought that my mom and I would have made the memory of running a 5k together. It was grrreeat (as Tony the Tiger would say)!  My mom and I had prepped for weeks. Weekly recaps of where we had run, how far we had gone, and even what "running outfits" we were going to wear on race day were regular conversation topics that my mom and I had together. My mom and dad came up to Knoxville one chilly winter weekend for the big race day.

On the morning of the race my dad became the unofficial "official" photographer of the event for us. He captured us starting the race (the picture is really blurry, but actually ended up turning out very artsy- ha), each of us at different points during the race, and my mom barreling in towards the finish line. 

I finished a bit earlier than my mom, so I had the opportunity to see her running through the finish line on the jumbotron in Neyland, Stadium. One word...Priceless!

I hope to make another race memory like this again with my mom, and maybe even the BF.

For the past couple of weeks I have been reading up on running half marathons, and how to properly train for one. Most of the free training schedules that I have found online are for a twelve-week training regime. Besides making up a plan specific to my schedule, I am curious if any of you readers out there have suggestions on how to train? 

Ultimately I want to have fun with this goal and be realistic. 

P.S. I discovered RunKeeper.com. It has an awesome free app that you can download to your smart phone. The app syncs to your online profile on the RunKeeper website and saves all of the routes that you have run (GPS tracker fun woot woot), your mileage, calories burned, etc. A sweet little lady even talks to you every mile down and gives you the low down on how you are doing. Maybe I am late to the ball game on this type of app and online site... but I think it is great!

What are some of your pursuits that you know you will have to put some effort into, but know that you are fully capable of doing at the same time?

Following my pursuits,



Pursuit ninety nine: Armas Paintings

As of late I cannot get artist Michelle Armas' work out of my mind. Abstract, whimsical, and fun all wrapped into one. I can picture one of her pieces over my (future) couch. Dreaming about some day is always fun!

She is quite the blogger too... 

Following my pursuits,


Pursuit ninety eight: HAPPY FRIDAY

Following my pursuits,


Pursuit ninety seven: HAPPY HOLIDAYS

I have had a great week in Memphis with family and friends. Relaxing and celebrating the good times with the people you care about most is a great way to rejuvenate the soul! Happy holidays!

P.S. Red Stamp has amazing cards and a great FREE app...you should check it out!

Following my pursuits,


Pursuit ninety six: VCTV - Cracking the Social Recruiting Code

During a recent episode of VMware Careers TV (VCTV), Will Staney and I sat down to discuss the ways in which individuals can utilize social media in order to make real connections and ultimately stand out from the crowd during a job hunt. This was an exciting interview for me as Will has some great pointers in this area. Check out his blog post on the topic here.

Watch live streaming video from vmwarecareers at livestream.com

This was my first live interview, which was really fun, but it sure is funny seeing yourself on camera.

Following my pursuits,



Pursuit ninety three: Learning From the Pursuit of Another ~ Ebony Jones

My name is Ebony Jones and I attended the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with the lovely Price Smith. I do not blog often, but hopefully I can offer some sense of encouragement especially to recent college graduates.

Beginning in October of 2010 I made up my mind that I wanted to leave Tennessee and relocate to the freezing city of Chicago. Everyone always assumed that I wanted to live in New York, where the people aren’t the friendliest and there is no work-life balance. Nope, that was not my idea of the perfect life after college. So, after that was clear and graduation in May came closer and closer throughout the 2011 school year, everyone always managed to ask in candid conversations, “when are you moving to Chicago?”. This became a regularly asked question that drove me completely insane!! I think every college graduate can agree with me when I say the worst questions are, “So what do you plan to do after graduation?” or “What are you doing now?”. Those are definitely personal questions that should only be asked in intimate settings among close friends!

I realized these questions were not going to stop, and that I should really start pursuing this goal of mine to move to Chicago. I began with visiting the city to make some professional contacts by attending an American Advertising Federation career fair. It worked! I met a great lady in human resources, Katie, from OMD media agency who I definitely connected with. I maintained contact with Katie over the course of the 2011 school year, upon graduation, and throughout the summer. Katie then invited me back to visit Chicago for an initial interview and multiple interviews following that. I actually visited Chicago a total of THREE TIMES within FIVE WEEKS and interviewed with three different accounts. Needless to say I gained a large number of miles on Southwest Airlines during that time. Also, while interviewing at OMD I continued to practice interviewing at agencies in Nashville while still staying focused on Chicago. I won’t take you through all of the details of receiving my offer letter because you would start nodding off from boredom, but it was an exciting time in my life.

The interview process was not as glamorous as it sounds; I experienced a lot of disappointments during the three-month period. I was rejected by two accounts that I interviewed for at OMD and also by a number of others from different agencies across the United States. It was a very hard time, but a good time for me to learn about myself and pursing my goals. Now I live in Chicago with a totally different task of making new friends, living in a brand new city along with it being my first time supporting myself. I’m learning about the “work place” and how to continue to make stepping-stones in your career. There’s so much that goes into it! With that said, I must say that I’m very proud of myself, but not because I have a job in Chicago. I’m proud because there were many times that I told myself that this would not happen and that my goal was too big, but it happened!

There are so many recent graduates with stories similar to mine, and others who are still working on securing a job. Not that I’m an expert, but I have five tips of personal advice for recent graduates who looking for jobs months later after graduation.

1. Do not be afraid of the questions “What are you doing now?” or “What’s next?” Try to think of an answer similar to “I’m exploring the endless possibilities I have.” Haha, right? I think this is a great answer to make yourself laugh and others around you.

2. Please note to yourself that you’re not the only one without immediate success of finding a job because you’re not! Also, just because you are looking for a job does not make you a failure.

3. Find a buddy who has similar goals! I had a friend who was looking for jobs like myself and wanted to move to a bigger city. This really can help as you all can use each other for encouragement and advice.

4. Plan as if you know your offer letter is coming tomorrow! My biggest mistake was that I knew I wanted to move to Chicago, but I didn’t exactly have my finances in order. Luckily, I had parents to support me. Also, do the fun stuff of picking out apartments and decorating ideas - it will keep your spirits up :)

5. Have a goal, stick with it, but know that having a job is not everything! I know you’re thinking this girl is crazy. The reality is that six months after having a job you could absolutely hate it! So put your best foot forward with finding one, but do not put all your emotions into securing one where you miss the time to reflect on a graduating as a great achievement and spending time with the people you love while you can!

Good luck to all graduates pursuing their goals!



Pursuit eighty eight: Smells of Holiday Cheer

Every holiday season, there is one tradition that I look forward to in my household. For as long as I can remember, every year when the weather starts to get a little cooler outside, and the days become shorter, my mom always starts putting out her infamous potpourri. This light scent of cinnamon, cloves, and orange enveloping our household has now come to represent the holiday season for me. 

                                                                      -The peelings of 1 orange
                                                                      -2 to 3 cinnamon sticks
                                                                      -A dash of whole cloves 
                                                                      -1.5 to 2 cups of water
                                                                      -Small cooking pot

This smell of holiday cheer has the perfect balance of aroma - a light dash of senseful delight to peak ones fancy. Now you might be asking yourself, "How does one make this holiday cheer?". It is very simple you see. Take one of your small cooking pots and add about roughly 1.5 to 2 cups of water into the pot. Then, peel an orange and place the peelings into the pot. After this take two to three cinnamon sticks and a handful of whole cloves and place them into the pot. Turn the heat on low and let the magical smell of holiday cheer begin to envelope your olfactory senses.

Happy holidays!

Following my pursuits,



Pursuit eighty seven: Design in Progress

 If you have taken away anything about me through this blog, I hope that you have learned that I enjoy design. Whether it is appreciating the design talents of others, or expressing myself through my own attempts of creation, I am all for design. My recent move to Austin has given me a blank canvas to play with- this canvas being my new apartment. Having brought some pieces from school as well as my parents' home, I have had some items to start off my design fun. 

Decorating my apartment will be a work in progress, and is definitely something that will not happen over night. For me this is great because it allows me time to explore the city to find the right stores that will give me design inspiration, and it also allows me time to figure out how it really is that I want my apartment to be decorated. 

Here are some snapshots of my design in progress. 


Following my pursuits,



Pursuit eighty six: Settling in

As you all may have noticed, my "hiatus" from The Pursuits of Price lasted a wee bit longer than two weeks... more like two months. Over the course of these past months I have been settling in to a variety of new environments. The first major change is that I now live in Austin, Texas due to a job that I acquired earlier this fall. I now work for a tech company called VMware as their Social Recruiting Community Manager. My job allows me to oversee the VMware Careers and VMware University Relations social sites. Pretty nifty I must say! 

Moving to Austin and starting a new job has been quite the whirlwind. I hit the nail on the head with my preconceived notions of Austin... it is freaking amazing (yes, freaking amazing)! If I could mold aspects of different cities that I like (i.e. their geographical makeup), this would be it. I have a little bit of the "city vibe", and a little bit of the "outdoor vibe". The best of both worlds for me! 

 "City vibe"

                                                                                "Outdoor vibe"

Starting my job at VMware has changed up the day-to-day schedule that I was rolling with as a youthful student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. No longer am I debating what to do with the copious amounts of time I had between classes (I kid, I kid-You all know I was studying my guts out while I was at college). I am now working (which I like). Adjusting to this change in pace and schedule put a minor halt on The Pursuits of Price. But no more, The Pursuits of Price is back! 

As with all of my pursuits, and my life in general, this pursuit of blogging for me is an evolution (or so I hope). I have many aspirations for this blog. Evolving the design scheme of the blog, expanding the content, and writing more posts of substance are just a few hopes I have for my relationship with The Pursuits of Price

Only time will tell where The Pursuits of Price will go... I hope you will join me to find out.

Following my pursuits,



Pursuit eighty five: Hiatus

Hello blogger pals,

I have decided to take a two week hiatus from The Pursuits of Price to enjoy life, think up some new creative pursuits to discuss, and much more!

Stay tuned :)

P.S. Here is one of my favorite first photos of my booger Smith when I adopted him. If you are a dog lover drool over this until The Pursuits of Price comes back.

Following my pursuits,



Pursuit eighty three: Learning From the Pursuit of Another ~ Thomas Robinson

First of all I want to say thanks to Price for inviting me to share my insights/words/pursuits with her and her readers. Second, I want to apologize in advance for my crazy style of writing/photography/video posting. I just can't help it.

It feels like a big responsibility to share your pursuits with others, especially an audience that you might not be familiar with. But as I thought about this task, I realized that life is about sharing your pursuits with those around you, both known and unknown. This sharing happens all the time.

When I think about the word pursuit, it makes me think of a combination of what I'm doing, where I'm going, and what I'm trying to become. I guess the best pursuits are those that all work in concert, so that what you do and where you go are all part of what you are becoming. So, here’s what mine are all about.

The Pursuit of Happiness

Cudi says he’ll be fine once he gets it, but it is all about the journey.

For me, the best pursuits are those that benefit more than just me. I find that I get great joy by being a part of a team and by helping others. So, I guess where I try to go and what I try to become are the same and that is being a better person that makes things around him better.

The good legit life

Fortunately I have made a couple of choices that have allowed me a lot of opportunity to work on these pursuits every day. Every day I leave a house and a family (1 lady friend, 2 dogs) that I want to come home to everyday. Having a crew like that makes me want to be a better person, both for them and for those around us. For me it is key to have solid people around me (friends and family) that serve as reminders about why we are here. It helps to also have some people that can put up with my mild insanity and insistence on using words like “legit” and “jibberjabber” all the time.

The Pursuit of a Better Memphis

When I go to work at MIFA* in downtown Memphis, every day I get to work for the betterment of the community by serving people that face true need in their lives, something that I have never really faced. I get to be a part of a team that is dedicated to pushing each other to be better, both at what we do and in who we are. It is a pretty awesome experience to look around the table in a meeting and know that everyone may have different specific reasons for being there, but that they are all there to give back in some way.

The Pursuit of Better Food

One of my great hobbies is the blog that I write in my spare time. Eat Local Memphis is my little spot on the internet that allows me to put my mouth where my money is and talk up the people and places that make Memphis a food community that I love. I started this little blog after my lady friend, Kat, started her fantastic business, Muddy's Bake Shop. I watched/listened/experienced (and maybe helped a little) as Muddy's went from a wild idea to a wild reality. In the process of seeing all the work and effort that goes into making a place that values their product, values their employees, values their customers, values their community, I began to realize that most of us normal folks don't value restaurants and their people the way we should. Creating meals and experiences takes the same kind of dedication to excellence that it takes to succeed at anything.


*Just wanted to point out that Price spent a good part of her summer a couple years ago volunteering as an intern in my department at MIFA. That she would give of herself like that shows someone that really cares about giving back.


Pursuit eighty one: Bringing some RED into my life: Bedside table style

As of late I have been on a major design kick. Whether it is because I have an excess amount of free time on my hands, or the anticipation of a future new apartment I am not really sure... However, I love decorating places and spaces. This past weekend, my mom and I went to the fabric store to purchase fabric to make my headboard. Much to our dismay (haha-totally kidding with the use of dismay), the fabric we are using, Crazy Ol Bird-Midnight was sold out! The lady at the store told us that it would be back in stock in about a week, so she would give us a ring when it comes in. Although I was hoping to get a start on the headboard this past weekend, I was all right with waiting because I know that this is the fabric meant for the headboard (haha). 

There is only so much time in a day to entertain dogs, job hunt, exercise, do my "Internet thing" (A.K.A. surf the net for copious amounts of time), mingle with friends, and watch HGTV.... so while perusing the blog, Little Green Notebook, I came upon a post entitled, I heart Oil Based Paints. After reading this post, and knowing that I wanted to revamp or purchase a new side table for my bedroom, the light bulb went off in my head. I wanted to paint my white side table RED!... and not just any red, fire engine red with an oil based finish.

While my parents were on the hunt for some plants for our backyard this past weekend, I tagged along and purchased Rust-Oleum's Safety Red Gloss paint with an oil-based finish (Thanks to Jenny Komenda's post about oil-based paints on Little Green Notebook). Going from a white side table with a shabby chic style room to a bold red color is a drastic change, but a change that I am looking forward to experiencing. 

White side table from the Pottery Barn Outlet

Going for a bold new look with Rust-Oleum's Oil-Based Safety Red.

O la la

It ended up taking three days and three coats of paint to fully get rid of the white paint.

Ta-da, the finished product!! Pretty awesome I must say :) The red ties in perfectly with one of the colors from the Crazy Ol Bird fabric that I am using for my headboard. P.S. Did you recognize that lamp? It is the lamp that I made a couple of months back and wrote a post about the experience entitled,  Pursuit sixty nine: Making a Lamp.

Overall, I am pretty pleased with the outcome of this side table. Onward to the next design project... Will it be making a silhouette photo of my Chocolate lab's head (Silly but totally serious about this one), or waiting for the fabric to make my headboard to come in?? Only time will tell...

Following my pursuits,


Special thanks to:


Pursuit eighty: Inspirt

Today's Inspirit post features one of the many amazing sounds of nature... the sound of rain falling. Yesterday, Memphis had the pleasure of receiving rain all day long. Now I am definitely one who enjoys sunny skies and warm weather. However, I like when it rains because it seems to change the pace of the day. Rain seems to slow things down a bit. 

Yesterday's rain allowed me to rest, reflect on current situations, think about future goals, come up with new decorating ideas (I want to paint my side table RED), attempt to entertain the dogs inside, go running in the rain with my mom, watch a ton of HGTV, and enjoy life in my pj's for the majority of the day.

I often notice that I do not know what to do when the pace slows down a bit in my schedule. I am so used to being busy with work and daily tasks. What I have realized is that it is all right to be bored with nothing to do sometimes. This unscheduled time can allow you to rest, relax, do an activity you would have otherwise not done if you were busy, and make plans for the future.

So enjoy this delightful YouTube video that has the peaceful sounds of rain falling. Sitting back and listening to rain fall is pretty awesome if I must say.

What do you do on a rainy day?

Following my pursuits,



Pursuit seventy nine: A Few Good Reads

Hello Blogger pals!

I am writing today because I need your help. I am on the hunt for a few good reads. There are so many books to choose from out there, and I would love some starting points. Have you enjoyed a certain book lately? If so, what was it? Shout it out from the rooftops because I am on the look out for some literary entertainment in my life! 

Yesterday I found a great article from Time Magazine, which listed their All-TIME 100 Best Non-Fiction reads. I have had the opportunity to read some of the books on the list and have enjoyed them, so maybe I will pick from there... I also stumbled upon the book, ROOM by Emma Donoghue. Maybe I will read that....

But I just wanted to chat with you all first to see if you had any better suggestions.

Following my pursuits,


Special thanks to:
ROOM by Emma Donoghue: http://www.roomthebook.com/


Pursuit seventy eight: Inspirit

Yes, what you see before your eyes is true... the weekly Inspirit post series on The Pursuits of Price is back!! Today's Inspirit post features the creative work of California based DGWB Advertising and Communications. DGWB created an extensive campaign featuring a website, promotional video, posters, themed t-shirts, an onsite custom doggy photo booth, and the "Biggest Littlest Race in History" theme. 

When I stumbled upon an article on the Communications Arts website featuring the DGWB work for the Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals (real event), I knew that I had to check it out. Maybe one day I can make it over to the Los Alamitos Race Course in California to see some wiener dogs race for a good cause! The race benefits the Seal Beach Animal Care Center, a non-profit dedicated to finding homes for stray animals in Orange County, California. The Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals sounds pretty entertaining if I do say so myself :)

Following my pursuits,


Special thanks to:
DGWB Advertising and Communications: http://www.dgwb.com/
The Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals: http://www.thewienernationals.com/#/home
Seal Beach Animal Care Center: http://www.sbacc.org/


Pursuit seventy seven: Making a Headboard Part 1

A couple of posts ago I wrote about how I was on the hunt for fabric because my mom and I are going to make a headboard for my (future) new apartment. Well... a couple of weeks ago, my mom stumbled upon a headboard with an amazing shape (see below) in a not so amazing location. She knew that it would be the perfect headboard base to revamp, and that it would be a lot easier to strip it down to the bare bones than to make a headboard frame out of scratch, so we knew that it had to be ours...

(Smith manages to get a bit of himself into every one of these photos)

Don't be fooled by the stains or peach fabric ruching... this headboard has some great bones and just needs a little TLC to get back into tip top shape :)

With the necessary tools: gloves, standard screwdriver, & eye pin pliers...

and hundreds of staples later, I was starting to make progress with the headboard.

It took roughly two days with several breaks to get all of the fabric off and the majority of the staples out of the frame.

After having taken everything off of the frame, I cannot wait to march ahead with the next step of the headboard-making project. Next stop will be to purchase foam, batting, fabric, and lots of staples for the staple gun!! Woo hoo :)

Following my pursuits,



Pursuit seventy six: A Montage of Travels

Having had the opportunity to study abroad on more than one occasion while in college is something that I will forever be grateful for... My time abroad not only allowed me to travel to places I had never been, but it also forced me to step out of my comfort zone, meet a wide variety of people, and see the beauty in different cultures.

Since I have been back in the U.S., and like most people do, I often get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, and sometimes forget about these great experiences and the exact details of certain events that I had abroad. It is because of this that from time to time I will go through all of my photos to recapture the memories, and thus why I decided to create this short video of some of my favorite snapshots and actual footage that I filmed on my camera.

The opportunity to travel is a gift that I hope everyone has the chance to receive at some point in their lives. Whether it is to a different country, a different state, or even a different city, the experiences and memories made will far outweigh any tangible gift that an individual could receive...

Enjoy- Here is to the pursuit of travel for all!

Following my pursuits,


Special thanks to: Apple Inc.'s Jingle: "Electric Rodeo Long"


Pursuit seventy five: Recap of 'Road trippin it to Texas'

The road trip to Texas started out with a bang! Blue skies and beautiful clouds encompassed me the whole way there. The route was a nice change compared to the normal I-40 drive to Knoxville, so the seven+ hour drive seemed to fly by...

Here are the beautiful skies that I encountered on the road

The Garmin Nuvi GPS became my new best friend on this trip. Although I have traveled on several other occasions with a GPS in the car, this was the first time that I road tripped it alone with a GPS... and it was AWESOME! The GPS allowed me to confidently get lost in Austin and Dallas (getting lost is my expression for touring myself around a new city). I successfully got honked at, was given a hand gesture, and was told by a mall security cop that I failed to completely stop at a stop sign in the parking lot. It sure is hard work being a tourist!

Alas, the beautiful skyline of downtown Austin! I was so excited to learn that Lady Bird Lake runs through downtown Austin. There is an awesome park right beside it as well... great for playing fetch with your dogs (see dogs swimming in pic), running, riding bikes, and whatever other form of exercise tickles your fancy.

'On Your Mark, Get Set, Mooo"
By Dale Whistler

Austin is currently hosting the 2011 CowParade. Cows of all colors, shapes, and sizes have taken over in order to spice up the city, as well as raise money for Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas and Superhero Kids Fund. It sure was fun spotting all of the unique cows around the city!

Something unique about Austin, and that I have seen popping up around several other cities such as Atlanta, Georgia are food trailers. This snapshot of Torchy's Tacos was in a parking lot full of other food trailers. Pretty awesome right?? I had the pleasure of nomming down on a delicious burrito from Torchy's.

A great surprise and unique treat during my visit to Austin was Barton Springs. A natural spring that is smack dab in the middle of the city is a haven for those looking to take a load off from the summer heat. Although the water literally took my breath away for a couple of seconds (seemed like a couple of minutes) when I first jumped in, it was well worth the plunge!

One of the main reasons for my trip down to Texas was to attend the Social Media Club of Austin's monthly meeting. A panel of four speakers answered questions regarding social media business, social media's evolution, and thoughts about the successful implementation of social media into a company's business plan.

I also had the opportunity to finally meet the lovely Stephanie Wonderlin (@swonderlin) in person at the Social Media Club meeting. Check her out on Tweetheart TV!

Besides going down to Austin this past week, I had the opportunity to spend some time with my aunt and uncle in Dallas. I did not really get around to taking photos in Dallas, but the above picture is one of my aunt's photos of me while she was on a solo photo shoot escapade. I like the background in this photo...

Overall, my trip to Texas was quite the success! I was able to catch up with some high school friends, eat lunch with one of my study abroad flat mates, connect with new social media peeps, gain some leads on possible job prospects, hang with family, and tour around two fun cities!

I hope to be back in Texas soon :)

Following my pursuits,


Special thanks to:
Austin's 2011 CowParade: http://cowparadeaustin.com/
Social Media Club of Austin: http://socialmediaclub.org/chapter/austin-tx
Stephanie Wonderlin: http://stephaniewonderlin.com/