AcroYoga: bat pose

February 2017 Highlights: The Highs + Lows

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I made it a goal for the year to celebrate small victories, and so far, the first two months of 2017 have been far better to us than all of 2016 was.

Let’s take a look back at what happened these past 28 days, shall we?
Celebrating a Birthday in Nashville: Where to Eat

The Highs

My birthday! I’m a bit biased, but I happen to think February is the best month, and I’m one of those people who loves celebrating a birthday. Birth-day? I think you mean birth-month! And I have some awesome friends who celebrated with me in Nashville the night before at Nicky’s Coal Fired before I had a family dinner at my parents’ house on my actual birthday (Feb. 23). 34 is feeling good so far!

Dinner at Nicky's Coal Fired

Dinner at Nicky's Coal Fired in Nashville
Dinner at Nicky's Coal Fired in Nashville
Dinner at Nicky's Coal Fired in Nashville

I’ve upped my running mileage. There was a point a month ago when three miles hurt (and it still does, at points). It felt as if I’d never be able to run anymore than that. And while it’s still not easy to say the least, I’m up to nine miles, so that’s something, right?

We spent a full week in Grenada. I haven’t been this excited about a trip in ages, and I can’t wait to tell you guys all about my new favorite island.

Vacationing in Grenada

Fathom named C&C one of its top reads of 2017. After blogging for 10(!) years, it’s still nice to get a shoutout hear and there. And thanks to Lost in Cheeseland for nominating me!

We saw Little Big Town’s opening show of their Ryman residency. One of my favorite bands kicked off a nine-show, year-long Ryman residency the day after my birthday, and SVV, my mom, my dad and me were at the Mother Church to watch it in person. Want to know who else decided to show up? Sam Hunt and … Chris Stapleton! To say it was an epic night is an understatement. This was my third time to see Stapleton play the historic venue and the best show yet.

My friend Lindsay’s blog turned 10, and she had an epic brunch party. If you’re not reading Love & Olive Oil, you’re missing out. She started her blog exactly six months before I launched Camels & Chocolate, and she really set the bar high for my own blog birthday—a DECADE, y’all!—this summer! I’ve already been brainstorming party ideas … who wants to come?

A Food Blogger Birthday Celebration

A Food Blogger Birthday Celebration
A Food Blogger Birthday Celebration
Seriously, I’m convinced my food blogger friends are more talented than most pastry chefs I know! Well done on the macs, Southern Fatty!
A Food Blogger Birthday Celebration

I guest-blogged for my pals at Hecktic Travels. They’ve had quite a rough six months with Dalene finding out she has cancer, so they’ve been turning over their space to guest writers like myself, and I was humbled to get to share an essay on traveling in the Balkans with their readers.

I’ve acro’d my butt off. I made it to class five out of six weeks at Steadfast & True Yoga, in addition to jamming with my new friend Suzanna and SVV a whole lot at our home gym. We even started weekly jams of our own and are sharing the acro gospel with some fresh blood!

Learning How to Do AcroYoga

I co-hosted a baby shower for my friend Tabitha. There are few friends as loyal as Tabbulous, and I’m just glad we got to celebrate Baby “Otto” Tune (…get it?) in style! (And no, that’s not the baby’s actual name, though I’m still lobbying for it!)

Hosting a Baby Shower

We gained a client. On top of starting to work with the Opry for 2017, we’re also now working with the city of Manchester (Bonnarooooo!) on marketing and branding, and I can’t wait to share some of the things we have in the pipeline.

Upcoming trips with Lemon! Remember my soul mate Lemon, the one who I lived with in college, squatted with when my New York roommate turned out to be a legit psycho, served as matron of honor for in her wedding, visited for a long weekend in Austin last summer and, oh yeah, the very one who married SVV and me off seven years ago? That one. She and I have a Southern road trip from Atlanta to South Carolina scheduled in just a few weeks, then we’ll be back in Charleston together for five days in April with our menfolk for our other college pal Ashley’s wedding and bachelorette.

Road Trips with Lemon

I’m at Universal Orlando Resort! As I mentioned last fall, I’m working with Universal Orlando Resort for a year as a Blog Squad member, which is a whole lot of fun, so SVV and I are in Orlando currently on our second of three trips to the parks to generate content. Anything you really want to hear about while we’re here?

The Lows

We lost a client. It was one of my biggest income generators for the past three years, and as a freelancer, those anchor clients are clutch in continuing to grow your annual income. The company, a major corporation based on the West Coast, revamped their entire content strategy so they killed the component I’d been writing, and while they did ask if we’d be interested in still working with them on a project basis—to which I said yes, of course—it’s kind of a bummer to lose that consistent monthly paycheck. Plus, the editors I worked with there are just so sharp and always on it. Oh well, moving on…

I’m allergic to dogs. If you know me at all, you know this is the saddest, most startling revelation ever. After struggling with respiratory issues for the past six months (see: why it’s been so hard for me to run), I finally went to a doctor of immunology who did chest X-rays, breathing tests, bloodwork, the likes. Surprisingly, I’m not super allergic to many outdoor elements, but I’m highly allergic to dogs, cats and dust mites. Womp womp. I’m about to start bi-weekly allergy shots for 15 weeks, followed by monthly for the next couple years, so if anyone has had any experience with this, please let me know what to expect!

Allergic to Dogs

All in all, not a bad month. And how was your February?

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COMMENTS
  • March 1, 2017

    Can’t. Wait. for your 10 year party. 🙂

    • March 2, 2017

      Start your recipe-testing now 😉

      Theme: tiki!

  • March 1, 2017
    Allie

    I did allergy shots for a year and was part of the 10% of people who they didn’t work for… lucky me. It wasn’t a bad experience though. The most annoying part is having to sit there for 30 minutes after each injection. I never had a systemic reaction, only swelling around the injection sites that went down after 24 hours.

    • March 2, 2017

      Ugh. I so hope this isn’t me, Allie, but it’s been the one thing that’s made me hesitate, as well. I plan to use those 30 minutes weekly to catch up on my reading 😉

  • March 1, 2017

    First of all, I can’t believe that you two have been married seven years!

    Second, are those real donuts on that wall? How did she attach the little rods they hung on? So clever.

    And third, I’m so sorry about your allergies. You’re amazing, though, to keep running through it all!

    • March 2, 2017

      Right? We got legally married in December 2009, married in front of a crowd in May 2010 😉

      Those donuts are indeed real. Crazy, right? Best edible party decor ever!

  • March 1, 2017

    Glad that there were so many highs!

    I have lots of experience with allergy shots. I got them for almost ten years – from age 11 to 21. I was constantly getting sick as a kid, and it turns out it was related to allergies. The shots were life changing to me, and made a massive difference to my quality of life. That being said, I’ve still always been allergic to cats and some dogs, so hopefully you have better success with that than me. I started getting two shots per week for a few years, then it slowed down in every other week, and by the end it was every three weeks. I chose to stop on my own (you are supposed to phase out of them once you build up immunity), and have been mostly OK since then. I really hope they help you – feel free to let me know if you have any questions.

    • March 2, 2017

      These are the kind of stories I’m hoping to hear, Noelle! I don’t think I’m significantly allergic to dogs—we have all hypoallergenic breeds in my family, so at least I don’t have to worry about fur, which is what tends to make me break out in hives/itch when it comes to animals—so I’m really hoping the shots clear out my respiratory system of all the other junk (I blame dust mites, mainly). Thanks so much for weighing in and giving me confidence. I’ve been nervous reading that they don’t always work as it’s a huge time commitment! I believe I start 1-2 x a week beginning next week.

  • March 1, 2017

    Happy Birthday month!! I love Nashville – I haven’t tried Nicky’s yet though! The pizza looks absolutely amazing! It looks like February was a great time with family, friends and healthy living!

    • March 2, 2017

      It just opened in December! It was my first time trying it, too. Soooooo good!

  • March 1, 2017

    Love it all! Also, I so want to hear so much more about acro yoga. So intrigued whenever I see your pics!!! Also, hand raising emoji for this summer, if you need any help! 😉

    • March 2, 2017

      OK! I’ll write an acro-centric post in the future just for you 😉

      And open invite to come hang in TN whenever you’re around!

  • March 1, 2017

    It sucks to hear your allergic to dogs! What a hassle to have to deal with that in order to live with little one! Hopefully the shots will make it better!

    It sounds like you had a great month! My February was spent planning travels for the year. I’ve come quite far, only one major trip is remaining and is still up in the air.

    • March 2, 2017

      Ugh, I know, right? I actually have never felt itchy or stopped up due to her, so I’m thinking a lot of my allergies are more to the dust mites than anything. Regardless, I’ll do the shots and hopefully remedy it!

  • March 1, 2017

    First, I love these monthly high and low recaps. Please keep them coming! I love celebrating the little things in life. 🙂

    Second, I did allergy shots–started them in April/May (I think?) of 2015, and they helped tremendously. (I’m allergic to most things outside, as well as cats and dogs.) (Though NOT allergic to cockroaches. So there’s that.) I stopped them when I was pregnant, however–I had a bad reaction when I went in for my first monthly maintenance shot while preggo, and I couldn’t take my usual Claritin D before. I also had a bad reaction when I had 2 shots in one week, about 4 days apart. Otherwise, they were just fine. My recommendation: Always take an allergy pill before you get the shot, and don’t get two in one week, even though the doc will say it’s fine. 🙂

    • March 2, 2017

      Ahhh, thank you for these tips, Molly! The one time I had the scratch test yeaaaars ago, I had a horrible reaction to the cat dander and had to immediately use cream on my arm and take a super potent pill to make it go down. I didn’t take the scratch test this time (just blood work) but am already anticipating having a similar reaction after the first few shots. I’ll arrive armed and ready =)

  • March 1, 2017

    Fun read! Can’t believe you’re allergic to dogs! And so sorry I missed you AGAIN in Florida but we will make it work one of these days. Can’t you get a Busch Gardens Tampa gig, too?

    • March 2, 2017

      Well, I’m in Florida 4-5 times a year, so we will try! It’s you who’s never there usually 😉

      (And tell Busch Gardens to call me, and I’ll be there, ha!)

  • March 1, 2017

    What a bummer about the dog allergy! I secretly think I’m a little bit allergic to my dog, since I wake up sounding like an 80-year old smoker every morning. Hoping that goes away when we move into a tent 🙂

    • March 2, 2017

      You and me both, Leigh! I wake up with my nose clogged and my throat scratchy every day. I figured it was the down, and then I switched to all down alternative and…nothing changed =/

      I’m sure the tent will help with your cause, though 😉

  • March 1, 2017
    Jessica

    Allergy shot experience here! I am allergic to EVERYTHING- with the largest triggers being cats and dust mites. I started shots 2 years ago this month. I alternate between build-up doses and maintenance doses. I can go as frequently as 3 times a week during maintenance but once a week during build-up (or maybe I have that backwards…regardless, I go once a week). They said it could take 3-5 years to see results…I kind of wonder what I’ve gotten myself into…

    • March 2, 2017

      Oh nooooooo. I hate to hear that, Jessica! Cats and dust mites are my biggest triggers, too—though I’m never around cats, so I’m gonna blame the dust—and I’m hoping the shots really help with those =(

      I think I start 1-2 x a week next week for 15 weeks, then do the monthly regime for the next 3-5 years, as well.

  • March 1, 2017

    Girl, Feb birthdays are THE VERY BEST! (I’m 2/13, and also 34 this year! Whoop!)

    I’m SUPER INTRIGUED about how you went from 3 miles to 9 miles in just a few weeks! TEACH ME YOUR WAYS!

    xox

    • March 2, 2017

      I always forget we are 10 days apart in age! Happy belated birthday, friend =)

      3 to 9 was nothing other than determination and a slower pace! I’m just not feeling motivated to run at ALL, y’know? Ugh.

  • March 1, 2017

    I read your first post on Grenada and I am looking forward to learning more about it. Acro yoga seems like it would be fun to learn. Fun, but hard!

    • March 2, 2017

      So many Grenada photos to come, Kelly! And even some acro in Grenada 😉 It’s not as hard as it looks if you would believe it!

  • March 2, 2017

    I want to try acro yoga one day. I’m still trying to master the headstand so it might be a while. Looking forward to hearing more about your new partnerships! I can’t believe I’ve still never been to Bonaroo.

    • March 2, 2017

      Come down to Nashville, and I’ll go to an acro class with you! I take on Tuesday nights and Wednesday afternoons =) OR kill two birds with one stone—acro at Bonnaroo??

  • March 5, 2017

    Amazing Yoga style ! And I would like to say you Happy Birthday.

  • March 10, 2017

    Firstly, congratulations on your birthday. Yay! I quite understand that February is your favourite month, I feel the same about December…!

    So sorry that you’ve discovered that you’re allergic to cats and dogs. I’m a freak, as I’ve had allergies from birth although at the time they considered me “a sick child” as I’m allergic to most things and I’m asthmatic too so – all nuts, red apples, certain citrus, smoke, smells, pollen, cut grass, dust and heat. Yes, heat! In the winter, our house freezes as I can’t have central heating in certain parts of our home (thank goodness for floor heating). We also don’t have curtains or carpets but wooden floors throughout the house. For the summer, I take medication and wear a hat, and ‘cos of our two lovely cats, as I can’t live without them!

    • March 22, 2017

      I just started allergy shots, Victoria, and have my third round on Friday. First round went off without a hitch. Second round…not so great. My one arm (the one with the cat allergen) swelled up the size of a small apple and only stopped itching 48 hours later. So obviously I’m super excited for rounds three through one thousand, ha.

      Sorry you’ve had to live with this being your norm for so long =/

      • April 15, 2017

        Thanks my lovely!

        It was irritating though as nobody knew what was wrong me. I was the “sick one” in my family, and I wore glasses too! Growing up in cold rainy Northen England certainly didn’t really help either, as Northerners are stoic. We all used to run in the snow in our gym skirts as that was the norm lol!

        Ah well. We know now!

  • April 15, 2017

    ‘Sorry. I meant “Northern England.”

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