Need Last Minute Costume Inspiration? Just Check Out These Critters

Need a little last minute costume ideas? Let these crazy critters inspire you!

Tonight, I couldn’t help but share the completely fabulamazing composition of cats and horses in costume. I was shown these adorable costumed critters by a friend, and I seriously can’t take the cuteness. I’m set on my halloween costume, but I could easily be persuaded to copycat that little penguin!

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The Bun is Out of the Oven!

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This little cupcake…

Can I get an Amen?

Look at this rosy little thing! You are so much cuter in color!

Just welcome! Just welcome to your life! Ah!

Bless you little one! I just bless you and your Mommy and Daddy all over!

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Congratulations Middlebrooks Family! I love you all! All THREE of you!

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Halloween Shoot: Behind the Scenes

Turns out I make an excellent ghost.
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Here’s a little behind the scenes action from my very first group shoot! I had some photographer friends with new equipment to test, so I got invited to do a theatrical spooky Halloween shoot. Unfortunately, our so called “abandoned factory” wasn’t so abandoned after all. Let’s just say the old owner happened to be in town…
Luckily, we ended up at the neatest old cemetery! (Don’t worry, we prayed first and were very respectful!)

My amazing photographers are hard a work editing this week, so stay tuned! – The Woman In Black

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Little Red borrowing my favorite dress! I can not believe how good she looked! I think her shots will turn out to be some of my favorites!

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Rocky and Stephanie doing their thang. I’ll be sure to introduce them both upon the big reveal!image

We opted out of using the fog machine in the cemetery! If only we had the creepy warehouse. Oh grumpy man – why did you have to run us off?

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The whole night, my legs were shivering but I just ADORED that dress. I’ve never had as use for it!

An Interview with THE Jake From State Farm

Question of the Week:

If You Could Ask Jake From State Farm Anything, What Would You Ask?

Like a good neighbor, State Farm is There. And actually, Jake From State Farm is here on the blog this evening!  Direct from the official Twitter (@JakeStateFarm), he was kind enough to let let us interview him back and forth a little! We asked him the 10 questions we know you’ve been dying to ask! Straight from the keyboard of Jake and myself – here it is!

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Q: Do late shift agents often get mistaken for “other women”?

A. I think that was an isolated incident.

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Q: Do you think you sound hideous?

A: Sometimes

Q: How many Khakis do you own?

A: Too many to count

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Q: What’s your favorite brand of Khakis?

A: I tend to favor Dockers

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Q: What do you wear on Casual Friday?

A: Khakis

Q: What do you do when it’s not 3am? Any hobbies?

A: Lifting and eating Pizza

Q: What is your dream car?

A: Audi r8

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Q: How long have you worked for State Farm?

A: 6 years

Q: What are you dressing up as for Halloween?

A: I am dressing as Cliff Paul 

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Q: What’s the best part about your job?

A: Helping people and making them smile.

Well, Jake! You’ve made your hundreds of fans smile! Thanks so much for taking the time to answer questions for us! You and the whole State Farm Agency never let us down – thanks for taking such good care of your fans and neighbors!

Oh, and Shout out to My awesome State Farm Agent – Mike Davis (TN) for being there almost every time I sang the jingle! Thanks for all the advice, awesome student discounts, and having such a supportive team!  Like a good neighbor (and hilarious twitter to follow!) State Farm is There!

Last Note – This is just a advertising student enthusiastic about commercials – and her excellent experience with State Farm. I was in no way approached by S.F. Also, thanks to everyone who answered my survey!

Ode To My First Flat Tire

Life man.

I couldn’t help but share my oddball of a day. It’s been unusual since I rolled out of bed. It’s rainy day #9 in Knoxville (I’m starting to feel like Portland). I’ve given up on the sun, but I was determined to still have a bright day.

Unfortunately, my lucky stars weren’t so lucky or bright today.

When I got back to my car after class, my rear view mirror had fallen off? What? The attaching glue lost all it’s sticky and so I was driving almost blind. It wasn’t any fun in heavy traffic.

BUT WAIT, somehow despite my extra cautious driving, I managed to blow out my tire. On the interstate, all by myself.

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I could totally change a tire if I ever had needed to in the past. And I was more than prepared to be walked through it. I was ready. But I totally get my dad saying -Um no. I’m not walking you through how to make your rolling death trap roll on a spare – for the first time.” So props to my dad driving 45 minutes to rescue me.

However, let’s discuss the 45 minute wait on a busy interstate with a fleeting cellphone battery. Plus I was extremely late for work. I would just like to say kudos Phoebz, for keeping your shit together.

Of course it wasn’t over. We got back on the main interstate and caught up to about 30495 miles of bad wreck traffic. SUPER Late to work at this point. My sweet father followed me the whole way knowing I would have a panic attack staying at 40 mph (spare tire problems). What a guy.

Anyway, I made it to work, and managed to crank out 7 paragraphs about the time I got a flat tire. What a day what a day!

Moving Back Home: You Don’t Have To Apologize

I really tore myself up over what people might say about me moving back home after 2 measly months on my own. I was afraid I would seem a failure, like I gave up the moment things got tricky. I had 100 different excuses prepared for my formal apology to the world…Apologizing as if my life decisions would actually let someone down…

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I never got to introduce the best room mates on the planet – I hate to leave them but they forgive me!

I missed my family (despite how bat crazy they drive me on a minute-by-minute basis. I still Love Them!)

I’m not actually this Flaky I swear (To be a “Flake” means to make an empty commitment and not follow through. My commitment was 100% real, and I’m following through by finding a sublease.)

The money looked better on paper. (With maximum amount of hours possible and no sick days ever, I would only go into debt $5 a month!)

I’m all out of money  (Possibly because I signed the lease with no job and wasted 2 weeks searching and eating away my savings)

I’ve never been so hungry in my life. (I used to joke about college students being hungry in high school. Ha.)

Living on Campus scared me. (It didn’t bother me the first 5 sexual assaults on campus in 5 weeks, but week 6 with a full fledged rape a few blocks away… C’mon)

I don’t party. (But my neighbors do.)

Work just won’t give me enough hours.(Said everyone ever…but if I took on another job my grades would T-A-N-K)

I just want to get out now before I’m in over my head and before I start using loan money.

Successful world travelers with happy families, great jobs, and stable money didn’t move out at 19 with no job, no money, and no plan. They saved and planned and scraped and worked hard instead of jumping at the first chance at “Freedom”.

And quite frankly folks, I’m dating an American Airlines employee. And I have Marriott hotel benefits now that I work there. Do you see what I’m saying? All I ever wanted for my life is to travel the world and quite frankly, a round trip ticket first class to Italy is under $200…And I’m blowing $800 a month on bills for this place? Really? C’mon.

People. We don’t need to apologize for our life decisions. Unless you screwed up someone else’s life – go live yours! I just beat around the bush for 2 weeks trying to figure out how to ask my Mommy if she would let me come home. You know her answer? Do I need boxes.

Moving out was so so amazing. Turns out I’m REALLY good at taking care of myself. I’m a great room mate, I am responsible. I make the money work. I keep things clean and food in the fridge somehow.

But that “freedom” isn’t worth everything else that matters to me.

Thanks for loving and supporting me y’all! The current news is, we met a girl who is interested in subleasing for me. Once she signs the papers, I’m free to go. We’ll see if she flakes out in the next few weeks. I guess I’ll start boxing up my things soon! I’m pretty excited.

The 100% honest truthful reason why I’m moving home is I miss my kitty baby. Someone must protect her from Dog.

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The Albatross and The Weight of Living

I’ve done it again. I’ve accidentally synchronized my life with another amazing Bastille Song.  I’m still facing Pompeii Moments on a daily basis, and that song helps me pull through every time. As for now, I’m pulling myself out of a slum I’ve been trapped in for a few months.

“When you just can’t shake the heavy weight of living”

I can’t shake it. It’s weighing down on me a lot recently, my mistakes are following me. I’ve been calling it my destructive rampage – I almost screwed up some important relationships, I got behind in classes, I forgot my priorities, all while was I moved out without any money.

The weight of living is never as light as we imagine. We all reach a point when we have to let our Albatross go.

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The Albatross is a legendary sea bird made famous by the poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Coleridge. In the poem, some sailors at stuck at sea forced south into icy waters by a storm. When all hope was lost, the Albatross flew in and perched itself at the helm. As the ice melted the albatross seemed to guide them to salvation.

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Suddenly, one of the mariners shoots the Albatross with a crossbow and it dies. The ship looses it’s good luck omen and the furious crew force the sailor to carry the dead bird around his neck. From this poem comes the metaphor “to have an albatross around the neck”, that means having a burden or an heavy worry.

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“Your Albatross, let it go, let it go,
Your albatross shoot it down, shoot it down
When you just can’t shake
The heavy weight of living”

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We all have to carry our Albatross at one point – the result of our poor judgement. You’ll have burdens, worries, and mistakes that will follow you. In this song, you’re invited to let them go and live free from the anguish. All you have to do is let them go and sail onward.

Hard Resets and Hair Cuts

Well, it’s been a pretty freaking weird past few months. Let’s just say all my big girl endeavors ended up a t-total flop. Long story short, I’m in the process of doing a hard factory reset on my life; Getting back to the way things were a few months ago before my ambition got ahead of me.

Now ask yourself,

What do girls do when life starts to get out of our control to prove (to the world? to ourselves?) that we have a grip on our life (which we totally don’t?)

We cut off all our hair! Hooray!

Fortunately, I had planned a big chop for a while, this was by no means impulsive. Nor was it a checkmate at life. I have no better grasp on what’s coming just because I took some scissors to my head. (If only it were that easy, right?)

The good news is, while I might not know what’s coming, I can say that I feel so much more confident about myself. Despite the thousand people that begged me not to cut it, I was able to stand all by myself and make my own decision. Turns out I look like a doll with cute hair after all – they said that, not me! I feel sassier. I feel like my own person again. cut

Sassy right?

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Talk about a weight lifted off my shoulders!

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My therapist, Krissie at Salon Barnes and Barnes. She was so amazing, went so slow, and talked me through everything. She didn’t let me get nervous once. She knew how to manage my kinky ethnic hair and I’d say she did a lovely job. I’ll probably be going to her for the rest of forever. I tipped her in S’mores Milkshakes from the restaurant next door to seal the deal. Love you Krissie!

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Haircuts are therapeutic dude.

Highly recommended.

Mighter Than The Waves Of The Sea.

If you are anything like me, this is not the first time you find yourself completely trapped.

The truth is, you can look ahead to the future as you walk forward in your life, but if you don’t look down, you’ll miss the hole. Before you know it, you’ve fallen, in too deep, looking up at the sky thinking, how did I get here? Unfortunately, I know exactly how I got here actually. I’ve watched myself the past month through what I’ve been calling my “Destructive Rampage.”

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It’s taken me until recently to realize, I had God beside me all along, and for the longest time, I was afraid to make a single decision without an hour’s worth of prayer beforehand. I couldn’t handle the fear of making the wrong decision. But as we all know too well, the faster life gets, the harder it is to find knee time. Here I am, looking at my handful of mistakes this month, trying to remember the last time I got on my knees and asked God to show me. stc

I’ve run myself off the road guys. I’m alright, I’m happy, I’m safe. But I am entirely too disconnected from my Main Man to be calling these shots. It’s time to do a hard reset on my lifestyle. I’m thankful for a God that won’t abandon me, a Mighty God who loves me for my impulsive, over zealous, self conscious, distractible self.

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I’m not always a billboard for Jesus. I try to put my relationship with him first, before I go spreading the Gospel and preaching the news of my Lord Ah’mighty. I much prefer working on our relationship just me and Him, and not worrying about saving every Jill and Joe on the corner. I do however, like to share as We grow together as Father and child. I appreciate you guys allowing my bloggy to be an outlet now and then.

What must Newspapers Do To Survive in the Digital Age?

What must Newspapers Do To Survive in the Digital Age?

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When you ask the editor of Metro Pulse what the state of crisis is for a newspaper company in the digital age, he will respond “Why should people pay for the print edition for a daily newspaper when most of its stories are already a day old?” They keep this question in mind in all aspects of writing, production, and sales. Newspapers know of the threat that lies within the rapidly growing new era. All newspaper companies must ask themselves what determining factors make a successful publication in the digital age, and what can be applied to their specific title.

There are many factors that determine whether a publication is successful. First, the publication must remember how newspapers began. The daily newspaper used to be “part of the family”. It used to focus more about serving the community than raking in profits (Clark). When they put the emphasis on the community, they are able to develop such a strong readership and relationship with local businesses. “Give up on the idea of being profitable enterprises that make money for investors… Build a strong community of readers who believe in you because of your integrity and accuracy.” says Turczyn from Knoxville’s Metro Pulse (Turczyn). Metro Pulse is one of Knoxville’s beloved local newspapers, a regular accessory in the hands of anyone spotted wandering around downtown.

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Turczyn also suggests writing for the people. With no target demographics, they are able to reach a wider audience, including the younger generation. Newspapers that listen to their audience’s suggestions know what is currently interesting and relevant. Metro Pulse is so successful partially because it utilizes a comprehensive events calendar that can’t be found elsewhere. Even readers that aren’t particularly article readers can find information specifically for them. It provides this go-to resource for free to anyone in Knoxville. The editor says, “This draws in a good number of advertisers as well — they want to connect with the people who like to get out and do things here” (Turczyn).

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Third, one must also know its threat. If a newspaper wants to compete with its digitized counterpart, the company will have to understand how the communication age is changing and adapt to it. Some newspapers are trying to put up paywalls on their websites, but will that compensate enough for the loss of subscribers? Then there is the challenge of website advertising. Why would a business pay for space on a local newspaper’s site when they can stretch their dollar over a wider audience on Facebook? (Turczyn). These are all costly questions newspapers must face balancing in the tech age. A printed newspaper company that understands the transition its competition is going through may be able to adapt. What is your online competition missing that you can provide?

While not all newspapers have the opportunity to serve as a niche publication, this is what makes Metro Pulse thrive. “Our niche is people who like to read about Knoxville — its issues, culture, people, politics, etc. Our goal is to find stories that haven’t already been fully told.” A newspaper company, no matter where they are in the world, has an advantage as long as it a fresh story, or take on a story, or fitting for its audience in general. Newspapers that continue to provide what the big website news companies can’t will always have an advantage and always have a place in our hearts.

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Works Cited

Clark, Tor. “Can Local Newspapers Survive in the Digital Age?” Hold The Front Page. Hold The Front

Page, 20 Aug 2013. Web. 9 September 2014. <http://www.holdthefrontpage.co.uk/author/hold

thefrontpage/>

Turczyn, Coury. Personal interview. 15 September 2014.