Mustard Fields in Indiana

April 2018 Highlights: The Highs + Lows

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I think I speak for everyone in the eastern half of the U.S. when I say, “sayonara, April!” and “never come back again!” This winter weather lasting through nearly May just isn’t jiving with me, and I’ll all for having one long, hot, humid summer.

Spring in Tennessee at Cheekwood Botanical Garden

Luckily, it finally warmed up this past weekend, though it’s still sweater weather here in Tennessee in the morning and evening. Still, after the year we’ve had, I’ll take what we can get!

In April, I only went on one trip, and that’s because SVV and I actively turned down a number of assignments and campaigns (including one in Europe!) in favor of getting this investment property done that we began in late January. And, well, it’s been a challenge. Working all day from sun up doing physical labor till sun down then working all night long writing, editing and tending to client work just isn’t something I have a desire to do ever again (you hear that, SVV?).

Home Renovation Project: Ripping Out a Bathroom

The good news is that we’re one month out from our deadline and making good progress. Hopefully, by the time you read this, we’ll have the whole bathroom tiled, leaving just the cabinetry and sheet rock to put up, as well as the kitchenette to install and various bits of finish work to tackle throughout the coming weeks. The bathroom was the source of a lot of my anxiety with this project, so I’m pleased with how far we’ve come! (And if this project is new to you, check out my Instagram Stories—I’ve been recapping it all via the “At Home” highlights album.)

Before I give you a rundown of my past month, I want to tell you about a couple exciting meet-ups this month. If you’re in Virginia Beach, SVV and I will be there this weekend (May 4-6) for an InstaMeet that’s open to the public; full details are available here. If you’re in or near South Dakota, I’ll be in Rapid City the following weekend (May 11-13) for a Badlands/Rushmore/Rapid City smorgasbord, and you can also join me on that adventure. Role call: Who’s in?

Hopscotch Coffee in Bloomington, Indiana

Without further ado, my April highlights….


We went to Bloomington, Indiana! Previously, I’d only been to French Lick to ski and Terra Haute for our conference tennis tournament, so seeing Indiana’s coolest city was a treat. I had no idea how much I’d fall in love with it, but let’s just say: I’m obsessed. We’re going back in the fall, and I cannot wait to see Bloomington during a different season. Stay tuned for plenty of blog content from there coming soon!

Little 500 in Bloomington, Indiana

I spoke at Alabama’s state PR conference, PRCA Distilled, with my pals Matt and Heath. My topic was influencer marketing and I delved into the fakeness of this culture, largely thanks to Instagram, and how to sift out the real deals from the phonies. Our panel was very well-received, so much so that we were asked to repeat it at another conference this summer. I love speaking on subjects that revolve around the media and the ever-changing landscape, and it was a treat to do so in Huntsville with friends. (Bonus: We found beer afterward! You know we did.)

My new AAA Living page came out. I started writing the bimonthly Tennessee pages for AAA Living (non-bylined), and it’s been a fun and different way for me to showcase my home state. This is my fourth piece for the magazine this year, and I’m currently working on the first fall issue (how weird is that to already be thinking about fall when spring has barely peeked its head out?!).

Tennessee in AAA Living
Tennessee in AAA Living

I wrote three stories about Lexington for Marriott Traveler. As we ramp up our work as an agency, I’ve been scaling back on my editorial work for a lot of reasons (mostly: the time factor and the reality that print pays a fraction of what it used to), but I’ve enjoyed writing regular travel pieces for my long-time editor who now spearheads Marriott’s editorial arm. If you’re heading to Lexington, you can read those stories here and here (the third hasn’t gone live yet).

I got to play tour guide to a couple of bad-ass travel bloggers. First, Oneika came to Nashville and we bopped all over the city together; then, Christie came in for four days, and we did a little bit of a rooftop bar hop and even some acro. You should follow both of these traveling ladies if you don’t already. This also gave me a chance to get some content for upcoming Nashville posts as it’s been a hot minute since I blogged about my own city.

Meeting Oneika Raymond

We have some seriously cool passion projects on the horizon. One thing I don’t talk about on here is our community involvement, but we’re in with several different boards and commissions where we live, and two projects we have spearheaded the past 18 months are coming to fruition in May. Sorry to be vague, but I hope to talk about them here when they’re officially out in the public for the world to enjoy! Our free time is so minimal these days because when we’re not working on writing and tourism marketing or our investment properties, we’re volunteering our time and marketing background for a bevy of community projects, and it feels good to get involved at that level (particularly, dare I say, during an election year!).

My niece is still the cutest. Any opportunity to show a picture of Charlotte Rose, I’m in! Though she turns two months this week. Time, where do you go? Josh was out of town this past weekend, so I got to spend the night with Kari and Charlotte, and it was the therapy I needed as I haven’t seen this little gal nearly enough this past crazy month.

Charlotte Rose at 1 Month


I’ve really fallen off the Paleo wagon—like, hard. After four years of being mostly Paleo, SVV and I have gone to a tacos-or-takeout kind of routine every night. But when you’re doing construction work from sun up to sun down, then doing computer work well into the wee hours of the morning, things like food prep and grocery shopping fall by the wayside. I can’t wait until mid-June when the current rental house project is complete and we get back into a more regular routine.

I haven’t had time to train for my half marathon in May—like, at all. I’ve run plenty of races without proper training (I was younger then…), but dang, I’ve maybe done a cumulative 10 runs all year and none more than seven miles, and my race is in two-and-a-half weeks (again, see: decided to renovate an entire house in three months!). Fellow runners, what would you do: Admit defeat and scale back to the 10K or bite the bullet and do the full 13 with scheduled walk breaks (I’ve never done this before)? I can’t decide!

What was new and awesome for you in the month of April?

All of my past monthly highlights can be found here.

  • April 30, 2018

    Ahhh I love Bloomington! That’s where my parents went to college and grad school and it’s such a fun, cool, quirky town.

    • May 31, 2018

      That’s so awesome! I didn’t even know it was an option when I was searching for schools (my search was all centered on Southern colleges), but man, I wish I’d gotten to live there at some point!

  • April 30, 2018

    I have been loving all the Kentucky love and Bloomington love you’ve been dishing out lately! (PS isn’t Bloomington the BEST college town ever?! Go Hoosiers!!) Can’t wait to experience Nashville finally this summer 🙂

    • May 31, 2018

      Oh girl, you KNOW I love me some Southern destinations. And what do you consider Bloomington—Midwest? It seems almost Southern to me, as the people ARE so nice.

  • April 30, 2018

    April flew by like a flash, but I’m ending it in Paris, so how can I complain! I’ve got a super cool (blog) work project come up – a surprise and I can’t wait. I did a fun networking project that helped me feel a little more comfortable in front of the camera. I got a few 100-degree days in Phoenix in April – a little too hot, but I will take it over what everyone else got in terms of weather.

    • May 31, 2018

      May flew by in a flash, too—so much so that I’m JUST now catching up on blog comments (*hides head in shame*).

      100 degrees in April?!? Dang, girl. I love me some dry heat, but that’s pushing even my limits!

  • April 30, 2018

    Running a half with only training up to 7mi is definitely doable. In my opinion, and I am no doctor (nor do I play one on TV) I would try my best to at least fit in regular 3mi run several times, and one or two 5-7mi runs, in your remaining 2.5 weeks. If you do that, go into the Half running, and walk as your body tells you to. If you’re anything like me, by mile 7, I’m feeling it but holding strong; by mile 10, my hips are hurting; and by 11 on, I am ready to just be DONE. But, as I’m sure you know, nothing beats crossing the finish line, having run, walked, or any combo of the two.

    (Just listen to your body!)

    • May 31, 2018

      So I had absolutely NO time to run the four weeks before the race (like, zero runs period) then wound up doing the first seven of the race and feeling GREAT, only I committed to photographing it so I hopped out at mile 7 and grabbed my photo gear, ha. I was a bit bummed I didn’t get to finish it, but I think I’m going to do St. Jude in December to make up for it!

  • April 30, 2018

    Congratulations Kristin, you’ve done awfully well and kept yourself quite busy in April. I like your feature on “Pony Up in Lexington: How to Do a Day at the Races,” and you’ll know why in a few sentences!

    How nice to meet up with other bloggers. I haven’t had the pleasure of being introduced to Christie, so that’s nice as I always enjoy “discovering” another interesting writer. And as for Oneika. Even though we have never met in real life, I consider her (like yourself), a girlfriend in the media world. And she’s doing splendidly.

    April has been mad!

    It snowed twice in one week. Sigh! I just started a new job, as a Training Manager. AND. I’m one of the mighty few who have been invited to attend the Royal Wedding Reception of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, at the British Embassy in Berlin.

    We all have to dress up in our Royal Wedding glad rags (complete with hat or fascinator), and we’ll be following the Royal Entourage every step of the way, from a private seat at the Embassy, albeit with sandwiches and champagne in hand. It’s going to be so much fun!

    • May 31, 2018

      OMG, please tell me you’re going to blog all about that! That sounds like SO MUCH FUN.

  • April 30, 2018

    April is my favourite month of the year. Kind of… I like how April starts with hot weather. I don’t like how that changes towards the end of the month. It’s my birthday at the end of April. I always try to be abroad to celebrate it, but this year I cancelled a trip to Normandy because the weather was looking way too rainy & gloomy for my taste. I celebrated my birthday in my own country instead. That isn’t a bad thing, but you know.. April made me cancel a trip, so I’m happy it’s over 🙂

    • May 31, 2018

      I hope you had an awesome April birthday, Dominique, and that you get to make up that trip sometime really soon!

  • April 30, 2018

    Oh my gosh, cut yourself some slack!! I’ve run many marathons and half-marathons—and skipped some, too, because not everything can take priority. There will always be another race. Do the 10K and skip the stress that would otherwise accompany attempting to train for a half. My two cents ☺️

    • May 31, 2018

      I love you, Melissa! I only ran about seven miles of it, and I actually felt awesome, like I could run the whole thing, but SVV skipped out on me early to fly back to TN, so I wound up having to photograph the rest of it. I’m going to make up for this one by doing a half in December…and if the same thing happens again, well, at least I know I can do the 10K without training 😉

  • April 30, 2018

    You are the second person I’ve heard from recently who recently went to Bloomington…my hometown! Funny, I couldn’t get outta there fast enough (after growing up there, I was so itchy to get away from my parents). I go back frequently as you can imagine, and I do see the charm of the city now…18 years later 🙂 If it makes any difference, I’m obsessed with the area of the country you grew up 🙂

    • May 31, 2018

      I always forget you’re from there! It reminds me a lot of my college town/the city where my grandparents and mom are from: Knoxville. It wasn’t super cool when I lived there 15 years ago, but now it’s super rad with a great dining, brewery and outdoors scene. I’m looking forward to a second visit this fall! 🙂

  • May 1, 2018

    I went to IU for my graduate degree and it is the most gorgeous spot in the fall. When you go back, you have to eat at Farm Bloomington, Irish Lion or Trojan Horse.

    Personally, I was glad to move out of the town because I didn’t care for the party life of the students but it was a great place to live in the summer and the restaurant options abound!

    • May 31, 2018

      You bet I will! We tried to go to the Irish Lion but it was positively packed for the Little 500. I didn’t know of the other too, but I’ll definitely put it on my list for the fall!

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