Nom nom

I have 18 days left in Knoxville. In those 18 days I have come up with a bucket list of restaurants I need to eat at before I leave this city for good. Well, except for maybe one game day in the fall. Although it’s not my favorite city in the world I have found Knoxville has some very interesting restaurants that I have become addicted too. I don’t know if it was my immaturity or my lack of food knowledge but within these past four years I can say Knoxville has taught me how to have a sophisticated palette. Here are is a list of my top restaurants I need to go to one last time:

1)   Pres Court Dining Hall- just for the memories and unlimited amount of food

2)   Jai Dee

3)   Wok Chow

4)   El Mezcal (probably will be more than once)

5)   Shuck

6)   Chaiyos

7)   Tomato Head

8)   Cocoa Moon

9)   Café 4

 

I’ll be sad to leave some of my favorite comfort food restaurants where I’ve shared many meals and memories that defined my college career, but I’m hoping this list will bring me the closure I need to depart from my beloved favorites.

My Instagram trend

First I would like to start out saying that I love and always have loved Instagram. I like to think I started the Instagram trend thanks to the app TimeHop, which is an app that ties all of your social media accounts together and alerts you of the horrific things you have tweeted and face-booked in years past. Anyway, I tweeted back in 2011 to “Get the Instagram App!!!” So yes, I take all the credit for it becoming huge….HA I wish. 

Over the past three years I have used the app for different purposes. At first, I loaded any and all pictures I had in my camera roll to test out each filter, luckily no one was really on the app yet because I would post 5 in a row and receive absolutely 0 likes and think this was normal. For example:

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The next stage was when I started getting into the double digits with likes. This feeling was similar to finding out you got your first college acceptance letter…

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And then I eventually moved to where I am now…50 likes or more (Hallelujah) 

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To some this is still a small amount of likes but to me its a success in my Instagram book. 

Some may also think its pathetic I’m sitting here writing a blog post about the number of instagram likes I get, which in a way sort of is, but my point was to show you how far Instagram has come. Now, I don’t necessarily use the app to load pictures of me and my life. I use it to find fitness inspiration, recipes, outfits, news, and so many more things. When I’m bored I’ll search Instagram for fashion tips or when I’m hungry I’ll look up restaurants to see if they post pictures of their food. Instagram has become almost a virtual phone book. I look up all stores and restaurants on the app before going there. So I would say to those who don’t understand the app, it’s much more than a narcissistic app where one just posts good pictures of themselves, its an app that leads you to new and exciting topics that you had no way of accessing before. 

pre grad thoughts

Graduation is quickly approaching which means so is the “real” world. We all know college years are the best years of your life but, like most things, you don’t realize it until it’s over. Well.. this is becoming more and more true as I have less than a month until graduation I am noticing the little things about college that I will never get back.

First, and most important, laying at the pool during the week during working hours. Up until this week I took it for granite but as I am starting to have more and more phone interviews during the week and business hours I’m noticing my pool hours are getting cut into. This is just interviews and I’m already bummed about it, can’t even imagine how I’ll feel when an actual job with no end date gets in the way of my UV rays….but at least I’m realizing now so instead of guzzling one too many beers and missing the moment, I can take five minuted to appreciate the pool thats 30 seconds from my front door and then crack a beer. 

Second, roommates. Not just any roommates, best friends. I have lived with the same girl my entire college career and my other roommate for the past two years. These girls know everything about me and I know everything about them. We have had countless sleepovers, dinners, emotional moments, so much of my life has happened with these girls and its all about to end in less than a month. I can’t talk about it anymore because I will actually start crying…but losing my roommates will be a huge adjustment.

Lastly, free time. This kind of goes with the pool thing but I don’t always appreciate my free time like I do the pool. I used to complain about boredom and how Netflix needs to update their movie and TV selection (then I discovered HBO GO). Now as I realize my four day weekends will turning into two day weekends and I will have to see Friday as a work day and not the start of the weekend.

As the days go by quicker and quicker I appreciate this town more and more. I am confident in saying I will never live in Knoxville again, so as much as I don’t like this place, it groomed me to who I am today.

 

#utsmw

This past week two other girls and I were in charge of running the instagram account for University of Tennessee’s Social Media Week, @utsocialmediaweek. I got a glimpse of what it was like to work in the social media world and I think it helped me figure out what field I want to get a job in!

Here was a schedule of the events:

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Our task, as the Instagram team, was to gain followers, promote social media week and the guest speakers, as well as come up with real-time photos to grab our followers attention. The task was stressful yet exciting. Before the week began we had had to come up with a daily and hourly schedule of what we were going to post to promote the event and speakers. Once, the week started and we attended the events we were allowed to add impromptu photos to the account to show the followers what was currently happening at the sessions. To me, this was the best part because you never knew what was going to happen! We had our number one football recruit give a shout-out to #utsmw on twitter and we got to see Mayor Burchett fist bump Chancellor Jimmy Cheek.

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We also got to hear and meet the infamous Paul Finebaum.

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Overall, the week opened up a new world to me, the world of social. As a student listening to the panelists I learned about the opportunities social can bring to me on the job hunt and how it really is changing the business world. On the Instagram side I learned how to work in real time and how hard it is to actually get people to engage with you.

And since, I know you’ll be reading this eventually…Our teacher, Dr. Childers, did a fabulous job organizing this event! Everything went wonderfully, from the speakers to the audience turn out. It takes a lot of behind the scenes work to organize a week long event, especially a newer one, but she pulled it off!

Be sure to check out all our accounts– @utsocialmediaweek on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook! The official # was #utsmw.

Distractions

I’ve been back for over a week now and I’m still having withdrawals from the European way of life. Iv’e adapted my eating habits to eating a late dinner like they do across the pond and always having a coffee in my hand. I wish I could walk everywhere like I did over there but the knoxville weather and my sleeping habits don’t allow me to do so.

To keep me distracted from processing that my final spring break is over, I have decided to start training for a half-marathon. As of today I have 6 weeks until the race. I’ve been running consistently for the past year. I started out a year ago, spring semester, running 3 miles 4-6 times a week. I did that for most of Spring until I moved home for summer and started my internship and social life. My running schedule went down to three days a week and I was usually just running 1-2 miles on top of going to the gym. When I got back to school in the Fall I started on my 3 mile path again and that continued until one day when I woke up and had a panic attack because I thought I was gaining weight.  Thats when I decided to up my run to 5 miles and eventually got to 7 miles and then 8.

However, after my 2 week hiatus from working out while I was in Spain I have found in extremely difficult to get back up to my high mileage. The most I’ve run has been 4 miles and I’ve already been back for a week! I’m starting to get a little nervous that I won’t get my endurance back but I’m trying to push through it. I found a running routine to train online off pinterest.

On a side note, It’s really amazing what you can find on pinterest. I made an account for the site when I first heard about it 2 years ago but I never really fell in love with it. Now, I go to it for EVERYTHING. Recipes, exercise routines, clothes, gift ideas…its amazing. Its like a personal journal where you can find any ideas, even one’s you didn’t know you were looking for.

I’ll keep you posted on my half marathon training. Doesn’t look like I’ll be getting anything done today considering this monsoon Knoxville is having right now!

Jetlagged

I survived, which according to my mother was a serious concern, but here I am back in the good ole’ USA! My trip was AMAZING. I arrived in Barcelona around 7:30am their time which is 2:30am our time. I was as wide eyed as ever and ready to take on the city. However my boyfriend Max, who was the one picking me up from the airport, was ready to go back to sleep the second we got to his apartment. I guess my body agreed with him because I immediately fell asleep too. Once we woke up, he had to go to class but luckily (or not so luckily as the week goes on and the house gets dirtier) he lives with 5 other boys who I went to high school with who were there to entertain me.

My first purchase in barcelona was a cafe con leche which is a ‘coffee’, term used loosely because its about two sips, with milk. I sat and drank it at a coffee shop across from his apartment. The shop also served Tapas which are little snacks you get that can be a meal or just an appetizer.

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After that, the 12 days flew by from there. The food, the architecture, the shopping, the culture everything was AMAZING. Like they say, “Pictures are worth a thousand words” so I’m just going to post some pics with a little background story.

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This is Parc Guell. Its a huge park designed by the famous Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi. It overlooks all of barcelona and the Mediterranean Sea.

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Above are pictures from the Boqueri Markets. Let me tell you that was some of the freshest fruit I have ever tasted and it was really cheap, usually only 1 euro for a huge bag of grapes or a cup of strawberries; and yes the fish and meat were all out in the open for you to carefully select and watch be cut up right in front of you. Hey, at least you know exactly what you are paying for.

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More famous buildings designed by Antoni Gaudi on the famous Las Rambles street.

The best part of Barcelona is that it is a large city, but it also has a beach. Next to the beach there are plenty of restaurants for you to sit and drink sangria in the warm sun because oh the best part….IT NEVER RAINS IN BARCELONA. It was 75 and Sunny the entire time I was there. <3

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The night life is just as glamourous as you are imagining. We went to three different clubs, all were extremely fun and out of control. We even went to one bar that served flaming shots.

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7 days later I began my next adventure which was to Sevilla, Spain to visit my best friend who is studying abroad there. It was about an hour and a half plane ride to southern Spain.

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Max and I with Sevilla in the background.

Sevilla was a lot different than Barcelona. No one spoke English and the city was smaller and more historic than Barcelona.

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If you are looking for a complete culture shock go to Sevilla. They stay true to there Spanish roots and don’t like if you don’t attempt to speak Spanish to them. Most of the people genuinely could not speak any english so it was difficult, yet fun, to communicate with them.

Over the past 12 days I got to experience the study abroad semester I never got to go on. I loved every second of it and can’t wait to go back to Europe!

 

 

 

return on influence review

Mark Schaefer did it again. Schaefer pointed out yet another new way to become successful via the social media world. Whether we like it or not we are being judged by our online personas. Thanks to Klout, social scoring, and influence marketing a whole new online revolution is beginning but, do not fear, ROI shows you how to tackle your presence and use it to benefit you.

“Creating content is an action. Having a link clicked or a message retweeted is an effect.” Schaefer’s wise words challenge us to take an action online and create content rather than simply ‘like’ and move  other peoples content. Although, that is not a bad thing and you need people to do that for you in order to raise your influence online, it’s crucial you are creating your own content and upping your Klout score. If you don’t know what a Klout score is you are already behind with the latest revolution. Klout uses social media analytics to calculate and rank its users by social media influence with a Klout score. Whether you knew that or not, by being online you have a score. Schaefer gives simple steps to up your Klout score and become an influencer online. These steps are:

1. Build a relevant network

2. Have a strategy to provide compelling content

3. Systematically engage influencers who are most willingly to distribute your content virtually

Schaefer makes a powerful point on authority figures in the networking world. Officially their aren’t any. This is where you have to step in and become an influencer. People look to other people for answers. You should be one of those people. Brands are looking for strong influencers to push their products out to their followers. In today’s fast pace world its crucial to stay ahead and Return On Influence gives you the knowledge to be one step ahead of your competition.

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