Outdoor Snapshots


I have a had some kind of week. As you know, we had a quiet day on the blog, but the rest of the week was full of love and good memories, and thankfulness and joy. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so sad, blessed, and grateful all at once. Many of those special moments were outside  between trying to work, family time, and just me time. And being the photo-op hunter I am, I made a collection of those moments! I thought, what better place to dump all my pretty pictures? So here are some of my favorite things I’ve seen outside in the past few days!

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Meet Zoe. She’s the darling little sausage dog that kept me company a lot this week while visiting the Hill. The Hill is a gorgeous little hilltop owned by some folks that basically adopted me into the family. Zoe is the newest addition. When she’s not happy-tinkling, she’s a dollface. I’m so happy she’s able to keep the sweet old ladies occupied when the grandkids aren’t around.

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Of course, where there are lots of sweet country folk, there are lots of pretty gardens in the works. I especially love the boots… C’mon. That’s adorable. I would steal that idea, but I couldn’t recreate the cuteness. I would do it all wrong. I’ll leave it to the masters and just admire.

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It’s officially Dogwood Season in Knoxville, Tennessee! It’s basically the city’s official flower, as there is literally a tree in every yard. Every. Yard. You legitimately can not drive down a single street in Knoxville without seeing it lined with pink and white blossoms. Actually, when I was younger, my sister tricked me into believing if you cut down a Dogwood Tree, you will be put in jail because they are Knoxville’s special tree. I think they should make that a real law, don’t you?

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Here again we see my own little Dogwood Tree. It used to be bigger, but it tried to grow into the living room window so we had to trim her down. Bless her heart, she’s just growing like a weed again. The actual feature is the teacup though. That is my most favorite teacup in the world. (Probably because it is the only non-ugly-coffee-cup in the house). It makes me want to smile in the mornings (when I wake up early enough to enjoy a cup of tea.) This sweet coffee cup helped me get up and be ready for those more difficult mornings. Gotta love Me Time.

That’s really all I have for tonight. It’s been the first almost-normal day I’ve had in a week. Let’s cheers to another good one tomorrow. Don’t forget to like/follow/share via Email, Facebook (/takenbythelapels) and Twitter (@vivalaphoebz)












It’s a Big Girl Panty Kind of Day.


Sometimes, the world just needs you to be a grown up. All of a sudden it’s time to get a grip, be tough, and support the ones you love. It is definitely one of those days.

There’s a lot circulating in the world, and it can’t all be tidings of comfort and joy. It’s just difficult when it lands on you all at once. I’m holding up just fine, but I’m watching the ones I love struggle. You can fight, you can smile, you can shoot a little prayer to Heaven if you’re the praying type.  When it comes down to it, we can only do the best we can to support them and love them. Even if that means pulling your Big Girl panties way up.


Yes, it is definitely a Grown Up week for me.

And I know. Could I be any more vague? The problem is that old people keep getting old. And it seems as though the old people I love the very most in the world are the ones that are struggling. Old people are frail. They get injured and sick easier, and recuperate much slower.  It’s difficult seeing the ones we love in pain. It’s also difficult to see the ones we love unable to help the ones in pain. My family, close friends’ family, maybe even your family. It’s just a rough patch for everyone I’m sure.

But there’s no time to be the little kid that needs the hug, when you’re able to give that to someone else. You just have to put on your Big Girl panties and be the Grown up they need you to be. Don’t worry, I’m good at taking care of myself first. I’m pretty strong. I shouldn’t keep that to myself, especially when someone could use a good rock. And I am more than happy to be. I’m just gonna keep being tough and trying that, Giving it to God thing. What’s that important verse? Thy Will Be Done? God, You just take care of them, alright? Shoot, use me! I’ll be a strong little rock.

With my Big Girl Panties pulled way up.



Rossini Festival Knoxville #RossiniRocks

Ain’t No Party Like a Knoxville Party, Cause A Knoxville Party Don’t Stop.

Luckily, working in Market Square gives me a front row seat to the biggest events in Knoxville. Legitimately, all I have to do is walk out my shop door and I’m in the center of the chaos. Beautiful wonderful chaos. Today’s chaos happened to be the biggest festival of the year, the Rossini Festival. It’s just a gigantic street fair down the 2 busiest blocks in the city. The good news is, most of the money goes to support the Opera. How classy are we? The bad news is, that’s a TON of people, so it’s not for the faint of heart or the claustrophobic.

So after work, I elbowed my way through the crowd playing blogger so I could snag some pictures for you guys! It was 800 degrees though, so I only snapped enough on the way to my car… (yes, I did have to fight that to get to my car, but I’d say it was worth it don’t you?)

The Crowd:

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A few performers:

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A few vendors:

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Dive Training Shots

To be so honest, I just wanted to brag about how much cooler I am than you. Scuba Training was one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had! I could write all day about it, but I thought I would just share pictures instead! But feel free to ask questions! I’m trying to hard not to be like Howard from Big Bang when he came back from space. I literally have made every sentence for the past 2 days about how I can breathe underwater now… So I’m sparing you, trust me! Instead, Just look with your special eyes.


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All these were taken by my Pentax Optio-wg1 Camera. It’s basically Phoebe-Proof. Water, Shock, Dust, and Freeze Proof! So far it’s living up to my expectations! Plus it’s so stinking cool looking! Gotta l0ve Pentax for making a camera that can handle this life!


11 Foolproof Steps To Writing a Great Paper

Papers suck. Research Papers. Essays. Reports. Anything that requires 5 paragraphs and sources sucks. That is, unless you have developed a foolproof method to writing an A Paper.

I was blessed by the knowledge Gods to have developed these 11 steps to a great paper, and this method has yet to disappoint me. Regardless of how well I knew my topic before sitting down, I was able to crank out paragraphs in no time. I don’t think I’ve gotten less than 85 on any papers since junior year of high school, and I don’t think I’ve spent more than 3 days on one either.

Like I said. Foolproof. Are you ready?


Step One:

Know your topic. I know, such a Gimmie. But before this system, I was guilty of taking my papers in the wrong direction and missing the topic/purpose.

Step Two:

Find your sources. Make sure you meet the total number of sources as required, and make sure they are legitimate. That will bite you in the butt. Teachers watch that stuff.

Step Three:

Skim through each document for important paragraphs on topic. I generally use entire document, and keep this first level very broad. Copy/Paste them into a single Word Document. Add all sources to this single document. Don’t forget to color coordinate them and divide them with the URL at the end. Keeping sources with their information will be crucial when you begin breaking this information apart.

Step Four:

Safe and Print. Are you breaking a sweat yet? You should have a pretty good sized stack of information.

Step 5:

Read through each paragraph on your hard copy. Highlight anything you might use. It really won’t take up too much time if you don’t waste time reading details that are off topic.


Step 6:

Back on the Word Document, cut all the information you didn’t highlight on your hard copy. You should be left with only information you are considering using. Save and Reprint.

Step 7:

On this Shorter hard copy, read through again and highlight information you know you want. Go through with a pen in the margins and label what each paragraph is about.


Step 8:

On a separate piece of paper, write down these labels. These become your main points. Organize them into an order that makes sense, and assign numbers. Go back through and assign the paragraph’s their matching number. If you haven’t developed a thesis or general statement yet, here is the time. Don’t forget that these points should support the thesis.


Step 9:

On the saved document, Copy/Paste the paragraphs into their new order, according to the numbers you assigned them. The color coordinating helps keep information with its source. You can also number your sources and make sure each paragraph/chunk of information has its appropriate number at the end. Save and Reprint for copy #3.


Step 10:

Under each paragraph, (and by this point, you may have cut down/combined things, and you’re down to just sentences) rewrite the information in your own words. Remember to transition between paragraphs. Make sure every point has enough detail and that it is on track with the thesis.

Step 11:

Look at your paper with your eyeballs. Aren’t you missing some things? If you haven’t used your thesis and details to build an introduction, make sure you add that! Remember to make it flow and adjust accordingly. Also add a conclusion. And a works cited sheet.

You are also missing in text citations. Fortunately, you have all your information saved on your computer in source order, and you’re probably still looking at your works cited sheet. Plus you wrote down each slice of information’s source number (which probably will not match the works cited sheet order. Don’t get confused.)


I always run a spell check and a plagiarism check. I’ve never plagiarized, or been suspected of it. But when you’re rewording another author’s information too closely, it may overlap. Just Copy/Paste your paper into a program like http://smallseotools.com/plagiarism-checker/ . It will run a sentence by sentence scan to make sure you’re good to go.


The paper I used for my examples, I had zero understanding of the topic. Everything I know about Ezra Pound’s Fascism, I learned writing this paper. It was 20% of my course grade, and I got a 93 on it. Yeah. Man.

Do you have any tricks to writing strong papers? You should really give this a try. Let me know how it goes! Don’t forget to share/follow me on Facebook (/takenbythelapels) and Twitter (@vivalaphoebz)








Spring Blooms & Week Recap


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Let me begin by saying, What’s up, blog world! Long time, no see!

I was wandering around before work enjoying the warmth before the rain started back up. The Square was full of blossoming flowers and bright colors. I couldn’t help but snap a few quicksters. Aren’t these yellow blooms to die for? I’m excited to start gardening soon. I’m hoping to try a window flower box this year! We’ll see how it goes, since I’ve never been much of a gardener. If not a window box, definitely some small plants. I’ve been eyeballing these white polkadotted vases for a while. Someone remind me to snap a picture next time I see one!

Besides these lovely Blooms, what else is new with me? Hmm. How about a quick week recap!

I spent last weekend in Scuba Diving Training, which is 10 times more amazing than you realize. It’s worth every penny, I promise. I was breathing. Under. Water. It was kind of an out of body experience, just suspended in the water for hours. I will be taking my final tests at the end of the month when we leave the comfort of our pool and venture out into the quarry a few miles out of town. The next city over has a diver’s favorite set up, with clear blue temperature controlled beautiful water. I can’t wait to dive in. Literally. I’ll be posting pictures from training very soon.

Oh! I’m kicking butt in my classes. I’m at the 30 day countdown until my Freshman year is officially over. I’m ending it with a bang! I’ve gotten test grades of 89, 96 and 106. Then I got a 90 on an essay grade worth 20% of course grade. So that rocks. Also working on a “Foolproof Process to an A+ Paper” tutoring sesh. I’ve mastered the Research paper process, so I’m looking forward to sharing my secrets!

Hmm, what else. Oh! I’ve developed an addiction to Tupelo Honey Cafe’s biscuits and blueberry jam. I was running short on cash and forgot to pack some dinner the other day at work, so fortunately THC is just across the Square, so I loaded up on biscuits that day…. I know, a box of bread. But I don’t care. I would do it all over again. I took tons of pictures in the restaurant that day, just for one. Once I get caught up on the important stuff, maybe I’ll share! Love me some THC

Oh! I’ve been neglecting my bathroom lately. I’ve been using my parent’s bathroom despite the fact that I have my very own just outside my door. Mine is just too depressing. Fortunately, my parents gave me the “OK” to remodel a little! I’m going to add a shower head and paint over the “Noah’s Arc” animals we painted on the walls  in kindergarten. I’m considering different color pallets. Hopefully I’ll be able to transform it into a college student’s perfect prep room. All this time I’ve been darting through the entire house just getting ready. So you’ll be seeing Makeover Details soon!

By the way, what do you think of this look? I adore this shot by Rocky Caughron! I would tell you all about the details of this look, like the other fashion bloggers do. But with this dress, I honestly can’t remember where I found it. All I can say is, sometimes, basic is better. This basic black slink dress is one of my go-to’s for quick glamour.

I think you are officially caught up, blog world! Hope it wasn’t too much of a SnoozeFest! As for me, it was literally a snooze fest. I am falling asleep here at my desk! Everyone hang in there! – Kisses!

Oh and don’t forget to follow us on the Facebook(/takenbythelapels) and the Twitter Machine(@vivalaphoebz)

Scuba Training Day!

Posting from the smartphone today because I’m entirely too busy to grab the laptop!
I’m also too busy to do better than a stoplight seflie, so 1,000 pardons!


See I am up this beautiful crack of dawn because I have Scuba Diving Training today! 10 hours worth! (I should have waited for lunchbreak to post…but that’s too darn bad!) I am beyond pumped. It took two years worth of tax refunds and it is so worth it. Bucket list items are priceless, no?

Have a fabulous day every one! Kisses!

Scuba Training Day!

Posting from the smartphone today because I’m entirely too busy to grab the laptop!
I’m also too busy to do better than a stoplight seflie, so 1,000 pardons!


See I am up this beautiful crack of dawn because I have Scuba Diving Training today! 10 hours worth! (I should have waited for lunchbreak to post…but that’s too darn bad!) I am beyond pumped. It took two years worth of tax refunds and it is so worth it. Bucket list items are priceless, no?

Have a fabulous day every one! Kisses!

Ad Of The Week: Taco Bell & the Ronalds.

Shut the Front Door.
If you follow me on Facebook you know I completely flipped my lid last week seeing the new Taco Bell commercial! That’s right kids. It’s the Ad of the Week!

Let me first remind you all, I am a budding advertising student who’s entirely to passionate for her own good. I am a self proclaimed commercial fanatic. There’s nothing like being passionate about your future and knowing it’s exactly where you belong. I don’t know when I developed an eye for marketing details, but I’ve always been amazed. I know I’m a freak, but I’m the freak that will talk you into buying that brand of Dog food. (Funny story for another day!)

But on to the Commercial of the Week. Taco Bell teamed up with a ballsy Ad Company for their launch of their morning menu. The only two I’m familiar with are the AM Crunchwrap and the Waffle Taco. (‘Merica… Truck Yeah…)
In the ad, they ask various Ronald McDonalds across the country about the new menu.

Just stop and absorb the awesome. That takes some guts. I especially love how McDonald’s couldn’t do ANYTHING about it except give us free coffee for a few weeks. Thanks guys!