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Katherine Snow Smith, Times Staff Writer

Katherine Snow Smith

Katherine Snow Smith has been at the Times either fulltime or parttime since 1995. She started as a business reporter then spent a decade writing the Rookie Mom column with stories from her own family and advice from other average moms and the experts. She now covers business in south Pinellas County. Katherine has a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina and is married to Times political editor Adam Smith. They have three children, two dogs and still feel like rookie parents much of the time.

Phone: (727) 893-8785


  1. Pinellas social scene

    Human Interest


    They say getting there is half the fun. This certainly was the case for the Museum of Fine Arts' Great Escape party. Guests were picked up at their homes by limousines and taken to an undisclosed destination.

    The Margaret Acheson Stuart Society orchestrated the event, which was part of the Wine, Whiskey & Wonder weekend that also included a Friday night party for sponsors and a Sunday jazz brunch at the museum....

    New curator Jerry N. Smith and his wife, Vickie Hamilton-Smith, met museum patrons.
  2. Free TLC for you and for me


    Stop  byPure Natural Nail Lounge today between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. for some free TLC. In honor if its one-year anniversary the downtown St. Petersburg spa is giving away free spa services. 

    Yes. Free. Spa. Services. I just called over there hear this in person and make sure. Free polish changes, hand massages and foot massages. Products will be $5 off and 20 percent off. ...

    This photo beckons me.
  3. On the town for week of Feb. 5

    Human Interest


    Sister Margaret Freeman was a guiding force at the St. Petersburg Free Clinic for decades. Supporters honored her work and that of another longtime volunteer when the Sister Margaret Freeman Award was presented at the organization's annual donor appreciation reception. Mary Wyatt Allen received the honor.

    Allen is involved in numerous nonprofits throughout the community and was named one the thousand points of light by President George H.W. Bush. She thanked the crowd of 130 people filling the St. Petersburg Museum of History, then shared a favorite story about Sister Margaret. ...

    Mary Wyatt Allen
  4. Real Simple makes recycling old clothes Real Complicated


    As I walked toward the Ann Taylor Loft at International Plaza looking like a bag lady, I promised myself I’d get a wardrobe basic. A cream shirt or black sweater that I could wear with anything. No patterns, Katherine. No patterns. After all I’d just cleaned out two Trader Joe’s bags worth of clothes I hadn’t worn in the past year. Or longer....

    My clothes, after being shunned by Ann Taylor, knew they had better places to go.
  5. Pinellas social scene



    Eyes teared up more than once at the Five Fabulous Females luncheon, which honors community volunteers and raises funds for Academy Prep Center of St. Petersburg.

    The crowd of 440 watched a video with students talking about why they liked the middle school they attend for 11 hours a day, six days a week, eleven months a year.

    The film included students from the past decade discussing what they hoped to do in college and beyond. It ended with the same students in the present talking about their job and college experiences which they largely credit to Academy Prep....

    Student Joslyn Eliga, 14, joins Betty Sembler at the podium during the Academy Prep Center of St. Petersburg’s Five Fabulous Females luncheon at TradeWinds Island Grand Pavilion.
  6. Aquarium food trucks and operatic flamingos



    A relaxed crowed welcomed the weekend at the Secrets of the Sea Marine Exploration Center and Aquarium food truck rally at the port of St. Petersburg. The aquarium is hosting a rally of about a dozen trucks selling everything from tacos to Mediterranean fusion the third Friday of each month to raise awareness about its new home.

    Secrets of the Sea, formerly the Pier Aquarium, is moving to a city-owned building right on Bayboro Harbor that once housed St. Petersburg's cruise terminal. The city is accepting bids for renovations and once construction starts it should take about six months, said Mark Luther, head of the aquarium board. He hopes the aquarium will open before the end of the year....

    Maureen Zilles, left, listens to the entertainment with guest of honor Nancy Preis during the St. Petersburg Opera Company’s celebration on Saturday. Fans, staff, and members of the company honored Preis, their CFO, who was instrumental in the financing of their new home downtown.
  7. On the town: Pinellas County social scene wrapup

    Human Interest


    Members and guests of the Clearwater/Tampa Bay Chapter of the National Society of Arts and Letters recently celebrated the chapter's 50th anniversary with a party hosted by chapter president Gail Van Zanten at the Belleair Country Club. It is one of 17 chapters across the country that raises money to promote the arts and award scholarships.

    The nonprofit National Society of Arts and Letters was established in Washington, D.C., in 1944 by two women who worried Europe was offering much more government assistance to its young artists. They formed the nonprofit volunteer organization devoted to assisting promising young artists by providing scholarships, award competitions and career opportunities. Soon after, actress Shirley MacLaine won a scholarship in 1950....

    Fred Fisher, founder of the Long Center, and his wife, Aleta, celebrate the National Society of Arts and Letters’ anniversary.
  8. Let's talk tassels


    I like the tassel trend. I see them everywhere in stores and on people and there are so many different versions. Beaded tassels, brightley colored thread tassels, gold and silver tassels. 

    My husband walked into Marion's at 1301 4th St. N a while back and asked what would be a good necklae or bracelet for his fabulous, lovely, ravishing wife. They sold him on a long silver chain with a tassel on each end....

    Tassel earrings
  9. Healing hotel opens in long vacant, historic St. Petersburg building



    For the past 15 years, the once-grand Crystal Bay Hotel that hosted Babe Ruth and Marilyn Monroe in its heyday has been an inexpensive stay for seniors, a low-rent flop house, a promised luxury resort that ended in foreclosure, an illegal refuge for the homeless, a training ground for SWAT teams and even a "For Sale" listing on Craigslist.

    But now, after a $1 million renovation, the 98-year-old property at 7401 Central Ave. has a new life as the Crystal Bay Hotel Spiritual Retreat for Wellness and Healing. It will cater largely to cancer patients. For owner Mark Tong, who bought the hotel in 1996 planning an assisted-living facility at first and then spent many years trying to sell it, the timing is finally right....

    The Crystal Bay Hotel
  10. Epilogue: A go-to journalist known for his kindness and skill

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — When the St. Petersburg Times sent reporter David Ballingrud to Panama to cover the attempted coup on Manuel Noriega it was a Tuesday in March 1988. He told his wife, attorney Marion Hale, he'd be home by Friday.

    "He was home by Friday, but it was Friday six weeks later," Hale recounted. "There were no banks open and he had no way to get any money. The Times sent him some money when a photographer went down."...

    He worked for the St. Petersburg Times for 28 years.   [Photo courtesy of Marion Hale.]
  11. Gingerbread house decorating: A fanciful plucking from every shelf in the grocery

    Human Interest

    Gingerbread houses these days involve more than just candy canes and sugarplums. Cheetos, coffee grounds, Tie Dye Fruit Roll-Ups, peanuts, bacon, French bread and myriad other ingredients were used as shingles, windows, stepping stones, curtains and more at the recent Red Cross Gingerbread House Event at the Loews Don CeSar Hotel.

    The fundraiser drew more than 100 people paying $75 each to decorate an assembled house with candy and icing that's provided as well as plenty brought from home. Guests compete to win various categories but mostly enjoy music, champagne, brunch and creativity....

    A gingerbread house gets its finishing touches during the 2015 Gingerbread House Event at the Loews Don Cesar Hotel. Teams were given blank gingerbread houses, candy, icing and free rein with their decorations and themes.
  12. Service sorority celebrates 60 years of promoting academics, health, sisterhood

    Human Interest

    The list of Alpha Kappa Alpha accomplishments and activities in Pinellas County is long. Members of the Zeta Upsilon Omega chapter of the national African-American sorority highlighted many of them during their recent 60th anniversary celebration.

    Hundreds of youths have received college scholarships, tutoring, college tours, ACT and SAT preparation, public speaking practice, homework help and more through the AKAdemy and other programs. The sorority has also hosted many informational speakers, health fairs, career fairs and presented debutantes....

    Delores Whitehead, left, Jean Davies and Myrtle Williams were celebrated as Golden members of the Alpha  Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Zeta Upsilon Omega Chapter during the 60-year anniversary celebration on Dec. 20 at the St. Petersburg Hilton Bayfront.
  13. Mall finds you can sparkle in


    It's too late to order anything online for that party this weekend or even Christmas Eve and Christmas Day festivities. You're going to have to go to the mall.

    I happen to have been there not too long ago (don't tell the indi retailers) and did some window shopping. Here's a look at some of the best options I saw. Prices started at $23 for fab party skirts at Forever 21 and go up to $150 at Banana Republic. The Republic also has some dresses on sale for $60. Things are already getting marked down everywhere in fact so seek and you shall find....

    Charlotte Russe actually has a classic, black dress.
  14. Busy hands and St. Petersburg Free Clinic help feed hungry mouths


    ST. PETERSBURG — Before the Harbordale YMCA started handing out individual bags of nonperishable food on Fridays to 40 students in its before- and after-school program, many children came in Monday morning hungry.

    "They are in a computer lab before school and you used to be able to hear those stomachs growling or they would tell you they were hungry," said Harbordale executive director Elena Stowers. "That has decreased drastically with the addition of the Pack-a-Sacks. It has really cut down on the Monday morning anxiousness or tears because they are so hungry."...

    In front, fourth-graders Jasmine Williams and Campbell Miller, both 9, prepare 500 bags of snacks and drinks at LCC Day School in St. Petersburg for students in need in the Pack-a-Sack program.
  15. Teachers don't want germ-ridden cookies


    I have a past life that I will now share.

    Before I was a Deal Diva I was a Rookie Mom. I wrote a column each week for the paper about finding my way as a new mother. By the time I had three kids and the column had run 10 years the powers-that-be at the newspaper and my bank account decided it was time for me to get a real job and quit using my kids as a meal ticket. 

    But in honor of the gift-giving season I am recycling a Rookie Mom column I wrote on what to give teachers. I remember hearing funny stories about what they don't want but now I see these things didn't appear in the column. Long before the age of blogging, social media and Trump I think my editor thought it might offend someone and cut it out....

    A Spode Christmas mug is a classic gift if teachers celebrate Christmas.