Happy National Coffee Day!

Happy National Coffee Day!! Today many places will be offering free coffee or samples of their new blends. If you’re looking for that Monday afternoon kick try out these four chains to grab your free cup of Joe

  • Dunkin’ Doughnuts
  • McDonald’s McCafe
  • Krispy Kreme
  • WaWa

These companies are adding pictures and to their social media sites and hash tagging “NationalCoffeeDay.” However, I was very surprised we did not see more creativity. For example, why hasn’t anyone thought of brand specific hash-tags?

#FreeDunkin
#FreeDunkin

I’m also surprised we haven’t seen any events or campaigns centered around free coffee, especially being done by companies that primarily focus on coffee such as Dunkin’ Doughnuts or Starbucks (only served free coffee until 12 P.M.). The companies could have sent free coffee to select offices or college campuses around the country. In doing this, the business would have created a buzz about their brand and built stronger relationships with current and potential customers. Yes free coffee to everyone would be extremely expensive, but places like Starbucks could have at least sent out free coffee coupons only to customers who have the reward card. Today is a day dedicated to coffee, it’s pretty much made for places like Dunkin’ Doughnuts and Starbucks. I’m very surprised the celebration wasn’t much bigger.

Ignoring The Real Problem: Putting An End To Domestic Violence

On August 9th, 2014, U.S. District judge Mark Fuller for the middle district of Alabama was arrested for abusing his wife Kelli Fuller in a Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Atlanta. In the report police noted Kelli had lacerations on her forehead and mouth, but according to Fuller he was simply defending himself after his wife threw a glass at him.

Mark was later released from the Fulton County Jail on a $5, 000 bond and is required to complete a counseling program. After Mark’s completion of the program he will have a clean record, but with the recent drama thats surfaced in the NFL some people believe his punishment isn’t enough.

After the Ray Rice and Janay Palmer incident at the hotel in Atlantic City, many people have complained that the punishments for people charged with domestic abuse have not been harsh enough. Public outcries have said if Rice can lose his job then so can Fuller and by not taking immediate action we are simply ignoring an issue that needs to be stopped.

Domestic violence is a huge issue, but taking away someones career does not solve the problem–in fact it creates another. Not having a source of income when you need to support a family adds more stress to a relationship. Taking away someones job is not the way to resolve an issue, it is a way to equally ignore it. If a couple wants to resolve their issues they need to find the route of the problem and fix it.  If the public wants to put an end to domestic violence then we need to take action and create campaigns to raise awareness. Just because the NFL fired Ray Rice doesn’t mean he is going to never lay a finger on his wife again, it means the NFL no longer has to worry about Rice ‘damaging’ its reputation. If you want to put an end to domestic violence then do something about it. Ignoring a problem doesn’t make it go away.

Taking Action Against Ebola

Recently in the news we have seen a lot of stories covering the Ebola epidemic in Liberia. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the crisis in West Africa is the worst it has ever been, and Liberia is still working on creating space to even treat the amount of victims affected.

Starting on Friday this past weekend, Sierra Leone, one of the worst places affected by Ebola, was put on lock down until Sunday at 12 a.m. The country enforced a three-day curfew during which 30, 000 medical volunteers visited homes to treat patients and distribute soap. On September 14th, 2014 WHO declared that 562 people from Sierra Leona have died from the Ebola infection and after this weekend authorities declared the three-day curfew a success.

WHO also declared that 1, 459 people have died in Liberia, and the numbers continue to increase. Liberia can’t seem to treat all of the affected members in the population and it seems maybe Liberia should consider taking similar action as Sierra Leone.  Citizens from all over the world have begun taking action by traveling abroad to help those in need, but it still isn’t enough. I feel like we are all watching this epidemic take place and all we are able to do is worry. I know I worry that the disease won’t spread, but if it does what are we going to do?

WHO must begin working on a public response to this crisis ASAP, because if the Ebola epidemic spreads we need to all be prepared on how to handle such an outbreak.

Two examples for WHO to start with could include the following:

Public Service Announcement (PSA)

School/College/Work Ebola Health Seminars

Against Domestic Violence or Ignoring it?

Copyright: "Ray Rice is shown with daughter Rayven and Janay Palmer at The Lyric in this Sun file photo. (Gene Sweeney Jr. / Baltimore Sun)"

As I’m sure everyone has already heard, professional NFL player, Ray Rice, has recently been fired from the Baltimore, Ravens on account of domestic violence toward his fiancé Janay Palmer. This video was released at 4 a.m. ET by TMZ on September 8th, 2014:

The Associated Press (AP) recently confirmed the NFL received the tape back in April 2014. After officials received the tape, Rice was arrested and charged with aggravated assault. The NFL then suspended Rice for two games.

Many people had already seen the video months ago, but it has recently resurfaced in the media. Many people are criticizing Rice’s punishment as a public relations scandal and wondering why the NFL did not choose to take action sooner.

After the incident between Rihanna and Chris Brown back in 2009 many organizations, such as Do Something (dosomething.org) and No More (nomore.org), have created campaigns to raise awareness and put an end to domestic violence. However, after each of these situations we have yet to see any action from either victim. Both Rihanna and Janay Palmer have gone back to their abusers, setting a terrible example for anyone in an abusive relationship.

The NFL’s delayed response simply overlooks issues of domestic violence, because all they have done is react to a scandal. If the NFL didn’t want to draw negative attention to the situation they should have acted immediately upon Rice’s arrest. Although I do not think firing Rice was the correct decision, because instead of helping the situation they are ignoring it. Since Rice has been fired the focus has shifted from the NFL to Rice and Palmer’s controversial relationship, because Palmer believes Rice did nothing wrong and his punishment is absurd.

In order to maintain a positive reputation the NFL should have been open and honest to the public as soon as the incident occurred. They then could have taken constructive action by helping Rice and Palmer overcome the issues in their relationship and then create a campaign against domestic violence. Through the campaign Rice and Palmer could show the public how they recognized and worked out their problems. From there they could raise awareness about how notice domestic violence as soon as it occurs, how to get out of a dangerous situation, and then how to control your anger and overcome domestic violence. They could have suspended Rice until the problem was resolved and this way people could look up to Rice and Palmer in a positive light, as a couple who realized a problem and fixed it.

It should also be known that Janay Palmer hit Rice as well. Remember that a person who commits acts of domestic violence does not always have to be a male. Please watch the video below, because I want you to look at both sides of the story:

Although Palmer hit Rice first, this do not give Rice the right to hit Palmer back– especially since he is much bigger and stronger than her. I think both Rice and Palmer had their parts in the situation and neither of them handled their anger correctly. With that being said I think the NFL could have been handled the situation much better. Be aware that anyone can commit acts of domestic violence and no matter who it is or what they do, violence is never the answer. For more information visit: http://www.thehotline.org or http://www.ncadv.org.

The Day Our Lives Changed: September 11th, 2001

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I was 8 years old sitting in class when an announcement came on the loud speaker. My teacher turned on the T.V. and my class watched as a plane crashed into a large building. At first the volume wasn’t turned on so I had no idea what we were watching; I thought it was a movie. The screen changed back to the news anchors and the breaking news read something along the lines of Terrorist Attack: Plane Crashes Into Pentagon.

I looked to my best friend and started crying. Both of my parents worked for the government and my Dad had said that morning he had a meeting at the Pentagon. Just as parents started walking into the classroom another announcement came on the loud speaker explaining that school was going to be let out early. Most of my friends were picked up by their parents or took the school bus home. However, I was in an afterschool childcare program since both my parents always worked late. The program I was in only lasted until 6 p.m. and if your parents didn’t show up by 7 p.m. the school was required to call the police. Six o’clock passed and no one had come to get me yet. I called my parents at work and all the phones had been disconnected. I called my mom’s cell phone and it went straight to voicemail. I called my dad’s cell phone and it went straight to voicemail as well. We sat by the phone for another 45 minutes and just as I started crying the phone rang. My dad was calling to let them know he was on his way and would be there soon, but there was a lot of traffic. When he finally got to the school I gave him the tightest hug I could. On the way home my dad further explained what was happening and that my mom was fine. The following week I learned some of my classmates had lost an aunt or uncle and one girl even lost her dad. I remember going to the grocery store and everyday for the next year we would see pictures posted on the community bulletin board of people who lost their lives on 9/11. From that day forward, things were never the same.

9/11 not only affected families who lost the ones they love, but it affected every American citizen and the way we live our lives. I’ve visited the 9/11 memorials and museums in Washington, D.C. and New York, and it’s difficult to hold back the tears. I didn’t directly know anyone who died that day, but the thoughts and feelings of being scared, threatened, and harmed as an innocent bystander are real. It’s hard to believe 9/11 happened 13 years ago…The aftereffects will last forever, but as a nation we have come together to fight for our freedom and safety.

Bless the USA ❤

Cheerleading Is Not A Sport.

     I can’t explain to you how many times I’ve heard people say, “Cheerleading is not a sport.” I do agree with people when they say standing around with pom-poms shouting “Gooooo team!” doesn’t take too much talent. However, that isn’t real cheerleading. When I was four years old I started gymnastics and dance, then by the time I reached middle school I got bored. Cheerleaders were always known as the popular people so I thought, “it’s easy, why not give it a try.”
Cheerleading teams can be either co-ed or all girls, and based on a team’s skills the divisions reach up to level 6. When a team competes they perform a two-minute and 30 second routine for a panel of several judges. The routine is a combination of tumbling, dance, and stunting. To do a stunt you need 1-4 people to act as the bases and one flyer to toss into the air. The tumbling and stunts will vary in each routine based upon the level a team competes in. Still sound easy to you?

Next time you can do this:

1063

This:

1061

This:

1064

Oh and This:

1062 

Let me know.

Swing 46: Dancing, Dinner, and Date Night

            This past weekend my boyfriend and I time travelled to the roaring twenties at Swing 46, a dance and supper club located at 349 W 46th St. New York, NY. We arrived for our dinner reservations for 8:45 PM, which gave us just enough time to order drinks and participate in the swing-dancing lesson at 9 PM. At the door everyone is required to pay a $15 cover fee, and if you are just there to enjoy dancing and cocktails you don’t need a reservation.

            For dinner, the menu includes American dishes such as roasted chicken, steak, mixed vegetables and mashed potatoes. The prices were relatively low for a New York City dinner, but it’s definitely not cheap. I’m a health nut so I ordered the organic mixed field greens salad and added chicken. The salad was good, but there wasn’t anything spectacular about it.  However my boyfriend ordered the roast half chicken and let me taste some mashed potatoes, which we agreed were amazing.

            At the restaurant-club the bar is located in the front room and as you walk to the back you will find the dinner seating, dance floor, and stage. The dance floor was somewhat disappointing though. It was extremely small and I was constantly worried I might dance my way into a table. However, the band that played that evening was fantastic! The music really helped set the tone of the twenties and I was tapping my feet to every tune. I’ve never taken a swing-dancing lesson before so I was somewhat nervous, but the instructors were really willing to help if you fell behind. The lesson lasted about thirty minutes and we learned a routine, which included the rock step, a spin and the sweetheart/cuddle. If you aren’t a confident dancer you can always have a drink at the bar to help yourself loosen up, but they do get expensive so don’t have too much!

            The crowd includes couples of all ages, with various levels of dance experience, from none to professional. So if you’re scared, because you have two left feet don’t worry! Remember that everyone is there to have a good time and no one is there to judge or criticize you. Swing 46 is a fun club and unique restaurant to take your friends, family, and significant other. I highly recommend Swing 46 whether you’re looking to change up your typical dinner date, mix up the club scene, take visiting family for a fun night out, or even if you’re just looking for something new.  Slip on your dancing shoes, let loose, and have a blast!

Before heading home we went Times Square to see the pretty lights and enjoy the energy of the city that never sleeps!
Before heading home we went Times Square to see the pretty lights and enjoy the energy of the city that never sleeps!

Plastics Is A Girls Best Friend

     If someone asks me to choose my favorite brand it’s going to be a hard decision, because these days there are so many out there. It’s as if everything these days is branded or is covered with advertising, all the way from the places you go to your most intimate relationship (a.k.a your cellphone). Now there is one company that I will admit I can never get out of my head and that is American Express.

     Have you ever read their mission statement? “We’re a global services company that provides customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success.” Now if that doesn’t make you want to get a credit card and declare bankruptcy then I don’t know what will. Let me remind you the only thing they sell are pieces of plastic, but for some reason they make $33 billion dollars in annual revenue. So if it’s not the product then what is it?

     It’s the brand personality. When you have an American Express credit card, not only are you able to spend money you don’t have, but also you are given access to amazing opportunities that one could only dream of. At the 2014 U.S. Open, American Express introduced a MyOpen Pass, which used interactive technology and RFID-enabled wristbands to personalize and enhance the fan’s experience.

http://about.americanexpress.com/news/pr/2014/amex-serves-fans-finest-us-open-services.aspx 

     However, it doesn’t stop there. American Express also gives back and shows great efforts in their corporate responsibility. American Express is a founding sponsor of the World Monument Watch Program, which strives to protect key cultural sites and increases the public’s awareness of the importance of culture and heritage in our lives. In August 2014 American Express teamed up with World Monuments Fund to award $1.5 Million in preservation grants to nine internationally recognized at-risk historic sites.

http://about.americanexpress.com/news/pr/2014/amex-wwf-preservation-grants.aspx

     In other words, American Express has an amazing public relations team. It’s not about what they sell, it’s about who they are and what they do. One day when I make enough money I definitely see myself falling head over heals for American Express. When you give back to the public you get rewarded as a company.

 

The Real Rome, Italy

     

     On July 4th, 2014 I departed to the land of romance and art–Rome, Italy. For one whole month I lived at St. John’s University studying with Hofstra University’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communications and exploring the various wonders of the ancient world. I took three semesters of Italian at Hofstra so while studying abroad I thought I would be able to brush up on the language. However, this wasn’t the case. Anytime I would hear “Ciao bella!” or “Come stai” my eyes would grow larger and I would stare like deer in headlights. They would greet me again in English, “Hi,” and I would respond “Ciao!” In other words, I tried my best. In order to get the best experience when you’re traveling, I highly recommend you try to immerse yourself in the culture as much as possible. Part of the journalism class I took required us to speak to Italians and ask them about their culture. Knowing some simple phrases really helped so I’ve listed some below:

Ciao/Prego=Hello/Welcome

Come Stai?= How are you?

Sto bene/male= I’m good/bad.

Parla Inglese?= Do you speak English?

Grazie=Thank you

Our tour guide, Gary, taught us how to make homemade gnocchi!
Our tour guide, Gary, taught us how to make homemade gnocchi!

     Rather then just seeing Italy, I experienced it. I ate Italian food, shopped at Italian stores, drank espresso, took the metro, and I even spoke to Italians. Just as I expected, Italy was majestic and full of history. However, getting to know the people are what made my experience truly beautiful.