The Original “Rosie the Riveter”, Keefe, Dies at 92

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My heart hurts for the family of Mary Doyle Keefe, who passed on at the age of 92. Keefe was the original model for Norman Rockwell‘s iconic “Rosie The Riveter” painting. She was 19, living in Arlington, Vermont next door to Rockwell. At the time, she was a telephone operator. Rockwell called upon Ms. Keefe to model for the illustration that would later appear on the cover of “The Saturday Evening Post” on May 29, 1943.

Rosie the Riveter, portrayed by Ms. Keefe, became a symbol for millions of women who went to work, many for the first time, during World War II. These jobs that were once for men, such as in factories, assembly lines, welding, as taxicab drivers and business managers, were taken on by these incredible women.

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By 1944, the movement increased the number of women to 20 million. And they weren’t limited to just whites either. Females of all backgrounds including African-American and Latina were among the 6 million Rosies around the country.

This one woman set into motion a revolution that has yet to slow down. It’s so easy today to take for granted our womanhood. Everyone likes to drop the F-word. But you don’t have to be a feminist to stop, look around, and smile with a grateful heart. I want to send my condolences to her family and friends.

Mary Keefe

 The original painting is part of the permanent collection at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

PSA: Nike’s #BetterForIt

Nike thrills and kills with another “it’s funny because it’s true” public service announcement – this time, a powerful statement about our tendency to hold ourselves back. As much as I don’t want to admit this is accurate, I wouldn’t know because I’ve yet to give yoga, the gym, or a marathon an honest try.

We are nothing short of brutal on ourselves sometimes, especially in the genre of getting healthy. Nike reminds us that although you are tough on yourself, you are #BetterForIt.

Take Nothing But Pictures: A Conduct Reminder for Photographers

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One of my outstanding photographers Stephanie was sharing the saddest thing yesterday on Facebook. She was going to the Knoxville Botanical Gardens to renew her photographer’s pass. Seeing as it’s one of our city’s loveliest locations, many local professionals bring their clients here to capture special moments. While Stephanie was there, she got to talking with a groundskeeper.

They discussed the most appalling stories about the conduct of some photographers who had been using the grounds. She could tell they weren’t exactly among her professional colleagues but more the “Oooh, I got a camera for Christmas! I’m going to sell photo sessions!” variety. In my opinion, if you have the tools to do something you love, do it. If you can share your talent and make some money too, do it. But must you be so disrespectful?

The offenses include (quoted right from Miss Steph):

– tearing up flower beds to use the flowers as “props”
– having their subject throw glitter or confetti up in the air – no, the gardens do not have a giant lawn vacuum to clean that up.
– doing a “cake smash” (place birthday cake in front of 1-year-old and let him/her “smash” it) and leaving a mess – oh, and when you use one of the stone benches, the food coloring in the frosting stains it;
– leaving behind balloons, either caught up in the trees or lying deflated/popped along the pathways

It is $100/year to purchase a  photographer’s pass to the gardens. Unfortunately, the gardens can get short staffed on weekends, so it’s hard to police the freeloaders who come in with cameras and shoot as they please. According to Steph, even if they had paid for a photographer’s pass,  that does not give one the right to run around carte blanche and trash the place.”

Stephanie closed with a simple request. Try to be professional, try to be civil. It’s Dogwood season in Knoxville, a sacred time to be a springtime lover. We host festivals, concerts, tours, and galas celebrating Knoxville’s beautiful blossoming Dogwood Trees. Of all seasons, now is the time to treat our parks and gardens with that old cliche, “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints.” And please, keep your balloons secure, your cake cleaned up, and your jumbo glitter at home.

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Love’Em Lady Vols – A Guest Post By John Bohstedt

The following is a guest post from my dear friend John Bohstedt regarding University of Tennessee’s women’s basketball team, the Lady Vols. John sent this into a local paper as a Letter to the Editor. I just wanted to get the conversation going.

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Letter: Fight name change on the national level

Letter to the Editor , Apr 8, 2015

“Bubbas hit Lady Vols!” and “UTK seeks elite status, national recognition.” Do these headlines mesh or clash? We have three months to find out. The University of Tennessee is not listening to its community. We need to reach out to the national media and see how the issue plays on that stage.

UT Athletic Director Dave Hart has decreed, “No more Lady Vols.” Lady Vols basketball has a reprieve, but that’s merely a divide-and-conquer ploy. Next year or the year after, Pat Summitt’s legacy will also be vaporized.

Instead of UT listening to its fan bases, some junior executive at Nike mumbles something about segmenting a brand, and Hart abolishes one of the university’s most successful brands in terms of national titles and fan base. But what if the issue goes national? Can Bubba University get recognition among elite universities while pushing women around?

What if ESPN and the Washington Post, etc., and Facebook and Twitter took up the issue? Is UT an elite university when its clueless men are rolling the clock back 40 years on women’s recognition? That recognition was not granted by men, but won in competitive battles by strong and courageous women. I’m afraid sweeping them into a man-cave does not get you elite status. Rather it’ll likely push UT into good ole Bubba-land.

So let’s reach out to our strong women on the national level, women like Kara Lawson of ESPN, Candace Parker of the WNBA, Nancy-Ann Min DeParle, UT Rhodes Scholar and onetime U.S. Cabinet member, and others. What women and men do you know who could shine some national light on this blunder? What if it went viral on Facebook and Twitter? This slap in the face is so backward, with women making strides across the board, that our larger society will not accept it.

John Bohstedt, Knoxville

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Review: Tours of Pompeii with Lello and Co. (Including Amalfi Coast)

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Friends, promise me you won’t try to go to Pompeii without Lello. I just finished my TripAdvisor Revew for our friends at Tours of Pompeii with Lello and Co. If your going to visit Ancient Pompeii, check them out! For our trip, we chose the private tour of Pompeii including lunch on the Amalfi Coast.

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While I adored Rome, this excursion was definitely THE highlight of our week in Italy. Antonio picked us up in Rome and drive us to Pompeii where we met Lello. He did a phenomenal job showing us what life in Pompeii was like before the eruption. Every story was full of passion, he made our tour feel like he was sharing his home with us. We checked out the daily life, where/how each social class lived, artwork, gladiator history, and other “extracurricular” activities.

Then, we went to Positano, a fantastic little city along the Amalfi Coast. Antonio escorted us to the most romantic restaurant on the beach where my date and I ate lunch, drank wine, and sat along the water finding sea glass.
We had some time to shop around too. High tourism season was just about to arrive, which meant all the locals were our painting their shop fronts – It was awesome to see the bud before the bloom.

I LOVED EVERY SECOND! Highly reccomended.
P.S. Take the shot of the lemoncello? It’s amazing.

Visited March 2015
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Review: Atlantic Luggage Carry-On (Aqua)

Atlantic Luggage Review: Roundtrip 21″ Upright Carry-on Spinner

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This little gem was my 18th Birthday present from my boyfriend’s sweet family. We were planning our first trip together, and my very first flight. Almost 3 years later, the only thing holding up better than my bag is my love for the places I bring it.

It’s toted hand carved gourds from New Mexico, sandy scuba equipment from the U.S. Virgin Islands, little black dresses from our New York Trip (and our reroute to Charlotte), and most recently, Rome and Paris.

Product Details:

• High density polyester fabric
• 4 wheel spinner system provides 360o mobility
• Two easy access zippered front pockets
• Expansion capability for additional packing capacity
• Cushioned top and side carry handles for easy lifting
• Push button retractable handle system
• Rear ID card holder
• Zippered interior lid pocket and multiple accessory pockets for organization
• Skid bar and corner guard protection provide durability

My Proudest Momet:

I especially need to brag on this bag after our recent European mini-tour. First of all, we weren’t supposed to stay 3 extra days, no were they supposed to be in Paris. We had originally planned for 6 days in Rome. Luckily, this bag was made with over packers like me in mind. Should you run out of space, the bag expands with a quick zip, giving you that extra inch you wish you had.  I was also able to keep my things organized in all the compartments, despite our entire itinerary going out the window. (Well, organized for me. My guy might argue whether or not you could call it “organized”)

A mayor's plan to modernize Rome’s cobblestone streets

But Here’s When I Knew What a Gem I Had:

Have you seen the cobblestones of the Roman streets? They make for beautiful scenery and tragic walks from the metro station. We stayed near the Spanish Steps, which is a fair trek from Termini Station, and an unfair trek when it’s raining and getting dark. A few wrong turns and some soaked socks later, we found the hotel. I swore the cobblestones would have tore my wheels to shreds, but No! They held up great, and my belongings weren’t even wet inside! That was just day one. Paris streets were no kinder. My Atlantic bag however was too tough.

I’m so pleased. It was easily one of the best gifts I’d ever gotten, and I love the brand Atlantic. They didn’t even ask me to brag on them – That’s how you know it’s a legit little carry-on. Love you, Little Blue Suitcase! Does anyone else have a favorite brand of luggage? Have you had “Thank-Goodness-For-This-Bag” moment in your travels?

Match That Strange Easter Tradition

Happy Easter, my sweet friends! I hope your newsfeeds are full of brightly colored eggs, newborn relatives in the arms of costumed strangers, and reminders as to why this season is Truly so special. As for my, I have family time, great food, a little prayer to two on my agenda. As for those that need a little something to do while the yeast rolls bake, I have a little game! How well do you know other countries’ Easter traditions? Here are some, silly, sweet, and wacky ways we celebrate this special season!

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1.  In this country, the children wait for the evening of Holy Thursday. All the church bells suddenly grow wings and fly away to Rome to visit the Pope. During their visit, they are blessed by the Pope and collect chocolate goodies to bring back for the children. During this time, all the church bells remain silent because they are “gone”

2.  In this country, Women dressed in traditional garbs while on their way to Sunday mass have men jump out at them and pure buckets of water on them as a “purifying ritual.”

APTOPIX Hungary Easter

3. Instead of being hidden,  Easter eggs are displayed on trees and prominently in  streets. Some of the trees will have thousands of multi color eggs hanged on them.

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4.  Here, they create a strange dinner menu for the Easter day. Instead of chocolates and eggs, they dine on iguana, turtles and big rodents for the feast.

5.  It is an Easter Bilby that brings the eggs in this country. One reason behind this interesting change is to create awareness on Bilby which is an endangered species in this country. Also, bunnies in this country are disliked for destroying crops.

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6.  Here,  It is believed that during the Easter Festival, witches would fly down to Germany to party with the devil. Nowadays children dressed in costumes carrying broomsticks that go door to door and seek candy commemorate this day, much like Halloween. Bonfires are also lit to keep the satanic forces away that supposedly roam around on this day.

7.  On Easter Monday in this section of the world, men take to the streets with sticks decorated with ribbons and whip passing women and girls. The whipping is not intended to be painful, but to encourage “good health and beauty.”

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8.  Instead of eating chocolate bunnies, this country digs into a large piece of butter carved into the shape of a lamb. This tradition is based on the religious idea that lambs are lucky since they were the only animals that Satan could not take a form of.

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9.  In this country,you will find trees outside of churches decorated with sticks of tobacco and cigarettes. Following the Easter Sunday services smokes are handed out and everyone lights up.

10. In this country, the people head out to actually hunt Peter the rabbit with a prize of $NZ 3,500 to whoever kills the most bunnies. Every year as many as 20,000 rabbits are killed.

11. The old wives tale goes that in this country, men are not allowed to cook anything or even stand in the kitchen. It is believed that dough will fall on his moustache making it go grey and the dough will fail.

12. During this Easter festival known as Fassika, people celebrate over a grand feast featuring a large loaf of sourdough bread called “Dabo”. Visitors are greeted with a slice of “Dabo” as a means of honoring the crucifixion of Christ. they also wear white clothing exemplifying purity and display headbands made of palm leaves, symbolizing the actual palm leaves during Jesus’ passage before crucifixion.

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13. This country has old Easter tradition of decorating wells in order to celebrate the gift of water: life. They decorate wells with beautifully painted eggs and spring flowers…

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14.  The idea of Påskekrimmen, or ‘Easter Thriller’ as it translates in English, is that over the five-day holiday you unplug the phone, reach for your book/kindle and work your way through the spookiest, scariest crime thrillers you can find. disappearing off to their holiday cabins to relax, unwind and dive into a murder mystery.

15. In this last country, the eggs are dyed only one color. Red. This is to symbolize Jesus’s blood and is used in the making of bread.

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HAPPY EASTER FRIENDS!

Logo, Logo Anyone?

I am pleased to announce that Rosie of A Red Lip And A Nude Shoe is my first official client! Last week, I designed, pitched, and sold my first official advertisement package.
While I won’t release the price, I will say I’m getting myself a nice congratulatory lunch. I am thrilled to say that some open doors have presented themselves in the time since.

Thank you to everyone supporting me so far, and be sure to check out my work on Rosie’s fabulous blog!
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My (Group) Date With Alex Goldschmidt

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No, he didn’t bring Taylor and Ed, but I’m not complaining.

Alexander Goldschmidt is a personality and a half on his own. Plus, I doubt I could have learned as much from Sweeran (Swift+Sheeran)

It’s Social Media Week at the University of Tennessee and we had the pleasure of hosting many excellent speakers, including Alex. So who is this Alex guy? @AlexanderGold is a pop culture king of social media. Currently, he is working as a Social Media Manager/Strategist at Tiny Horse which serves clients like America’s Got Talent and the Voice. Which means he has connections, like that of the great Taylor Swift. In fact, his talents have brought him into a world were said celebrities might ask him to be in a music video with her. So, basically, we need his talents.

At his speaking engagement, he was addressing, well, social media. You see, Social Media is not just a skill, but a conversation. We touched on all the platforms, from old classics like Facebook to new players like Periscope and Meerkat. Here’s some of my favorite points on how to project the best You online:

1) Make the mundane interesting.
2) Know your voice, your followers, and what interests you have in common.
3) Cross promote your best posts. (but not all of them!)
4) Be Consistent
5) Don’t over post, unless it’s during a major event. In that case, ride the wave.
6) Be on top of trends.
7) Double Check Everything.
8) Know when to go for the selfie.
9) Collaborate, Collaborate, Collaborate.
10) Haters make you relevant.
11) Don’t feed the angry
12) Consider all criticism carefully.

Alex was not only full of excellent advice, he was hilarious. He was full of Taylor anecdotes, sarcastic side remarks, and bluntness. Unfortunately, he had to jet back to LA, so I didn’t get to pick his brains personally. I was just one of thirty in an eager audience. However, I did march myself up there and introduce myself, shake his hand, AND get a selfie. (And an autographed poster, but you know.)

So Alexander. While you’re juggling the digital world of pop culture, try to remember Knoxville, and the ONLY person in the meeting who shook your hand and asked for a selfie. I promised you our paths would cross sometime.

Let’s make that happen, ok?

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Don’t Forget Me Alex!

Veni Vidi Vici – Rome, 2015

Who would have known a series of unfortunate events would have lead to the wildest adventure of my life. I’m officially back in the States after an unexpected 9 day tour of Europe, ready to pin Rome, Pompeii, Positano, and Paris on the map. I promise to make this short and sweet as, my Facebook followers have likely seen 300+ photos already!

Italy definitely won my heart. We spent the majority of our time in Rome. I promise I’ll do another post for Paris, but Rome – Rome was perfect in every way. Definitely my new European home away from home.

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Eats:
I made a point to try all the flavors of the area, including my first glass of wine (ever) which was a local red, choked down in a little seaside town called Positano. Lunch on the Mediterranean was definitely a dream come true. Maybe by next trip, I will have aquired a taste for the stuff. Otherwise, Mr. S and I ate all the things! Pizza, Salami, Spaghetti, more Spaghetti, Cannolis and Tiramisu. I was a little more brave compared to Sam – but then again, he actually enjoyed all his meals. I struggled with food luck, but I made it!

Sights:
Colosseum
Roman Forum
Trajan’s Forum
Arch of Constantine
Arch of Titus
Pantheon
Sistine Chapel
Spanish Steps
Trevi Fountain
Palatine Hill
Piazza Navona
Piazza del Popolo
Piazza di Spagna
Via Veneto
Via Corso
Campo de’ Fiori
Pompeii
City of Positano
Amalfi Coast

Reviews:
Tours of Pompeii with Lello and Co. – Oh My Goodness. Do not go to Pompeii without Lello. If you can’t afford Lello, at least promise me you will find a guide. We were picked up by Antonio at our hotel and he drove us to Pompeii where we were expecting a morbid hike through the ruins of the city. Instead, we met Lello at the gates and proceeded to walk through the daily life of individuals of all social classes. It was incredible to see the remains of such a rich and inventive society. Beautifully restored, Pompeii made it easy to imagine life before the eruption. The private tour also gave us time to ask questions and completely immerse in all that is Pompeii.

HQH Trevi – We fell in love with this hotel the moment we walked in the door. It was ideally placed right at the center of Rome, putting all of our must-see sites within a 30 minute walk. We felt completely safe, and had quiet restful nights. My only advice is, don’t expect a washcloth in ANY hotel in Europe. Between the 3 we stayed in, we never found a washcloth. Otherwise, the staff was so sweet, breakfast was delicious, and everything was clean and high quality.

Rome Marriott Park – This conference was out of the center of town, but if you’re looking to stay near the airport, you won’t find a lovelier hotel. The lobby was huge and gorgeous. Very classy, also with a multilingual staff who was very helpful. The restaurant provided us with a very romantic dinner, and we were relieved to be in such good hands when our plans got stressful.