Highlights of November

November 2018 Highlights: The High + Lows

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Heeeeey, November, you’re looking pretty. No actually, you were pretty miserable weather-wise, bringing in a ton of rain, gray and gloom. That’s OK, though, because it meant SVV and I were holed up inside for much of the month, checking off task lists left and right and knocking out both house work and work work.

November saw us home a lot more than usual, and it was nice catching up on some big editing and video projects that have looming deadlines. In fact, we were only at a hotel three nights this month, at a friends’ house in a state park for two nights, then at my mom’s house for two nights over Thanksgiving weekend. I’ve loved the added time at home! Feeling far more zen than I was this time last month.

Zen Baby

As we finalize our 2019 work game plan—a lot of career shifts and big changes on the horizon!—here’s how the last month went down in our little corner of the Interwebs:


I “modeled” in a video ad campaign for Visit Franklin. And when I say “modeled,” I obviously mean that three friends and I drank a lot of cocktails, took a bunch of selfies, did SUP yoga in gale-force winds and sub-40 temps, and had a merry old time while being filmed every step of the way. I’ll post the final version when it’s out, but suffice it to say, we had a blast being trailed by a crew of seven good-looking men with cameras—and a lone hair and makeup artist who put up with our demands. Every girl should be so lucky!

Natchez Trace Parkway

SVV and I went back to Savannah. Four days during the shoulder season when temps are pleasant and crowds are few? Yes, please! Sign up for all the fall trips to Savannah in the future.

Fall Trip to Savannah

I was interviewed by SELF magazine about loving kids but not wanting my own. And Charlotte even got her first magazine shoutout! One thing being around a baby has done is grow my love for babies—I’ve always loved kids but used to not care for them until they were 18 months old, the beginning of the fun age I like to think—but now anytime I see a two- or three-month-old newborn, I’m all “GIMME DAT BABY.” But no, I still don’t want my own, thanks for asking. I will happily hold yours, though. 😉

Baby Unicorn Costume

Baby Unicorn Costume

Baby Unicorn Costume

Speaking of which, my niece is crawling! And actually took her first steps earlier this week—at just 8.5 months old. She’s advanced, that one! But really—where did the time go?

Charlotte Rose crawling

My friend Terry interviewed me for a piece with AFAR magazine and Athleta. Want to know my must-have winter travel accessory? You can read all about it here!

I’ve been working on upping my video game. As we land more and more projects that incorporate video, I want to elevate both my technique and my editing, so I’ve hired my friend Eric Irvin, owner of the Charlotte-based One Eyed Pop, to give me Premiere lessons by Skype, and so far, so good, but it’s a sloooow process (Adobe, why you gotta be so quirky?). Here’s a quick little wakeboarding reel I put together from SVV’s and my last lake day of the year.

My November/December pages for AAA Living are on newsstands. I’ve officially been writing this bimonthly column for a year now, and I truly love getting to research more about every nook and cranny in Tennessee—and work with the awesome magazine team in North Carolina. One day, I’ll go back and retroactively update the past two years of my writing portfolio page (oops … it’s just a very involved process).

AAA Tennessee
AAA Tennessee

We went on a friend getaway to Jamestown. I’ll have a blog post about this magical hidden gem in Tennessee going live next week, but let’s just say that those 48 hours with some of the best people are just what the anxiety doctor ordered to make all my stress melt away!

My cousins came to visit from Memphis. I’m so lucky to have grown up with a girl cousin so close in age—Rebecca and I are just a year apart—and one who is family-centric enough to want to visit us at any chance. She, John and the kids came down the day after Thanksgiving for two nights, and I can’t get enough of their sweet trio. (I used to just say “the girls,” but now that Mason is here—and 2.5 years old, at that—I guess I have to come up with a new way to refer to them!)

McKayla, Margaret & Charlotte

Cousins' Thanksgiving in Tennessee
Cousins' Thanksgiving in Tennessee

Cousins' Thanksgiving in Tennessee

I published my annual gift guide! Looking for present ideas for your kid, husband, wife, sister, brother, friend? Check out my ultimate holiday gift list here.

I wrote more about Nashville for Hertz. If you’re coming for a meeting and have some time for a little “bleisure” (God, I hate that term), here’s how I suggest spending a perfect day in Nashville, from business lunches to cocktail time.

I also wrote about Franklin for Mic. Did you see the Best Places to Travel in 2019, including my piece on Franklin? Well, if not, you might be out of luck as the company announced its immediate closing the same day this went live (who knows if the site will stay up or not!). Sigh.

Best Places to Travel in 2019


It’s a tough time to work in the media. On top of Mic shutting down without warning, both Glamour and Seventeen announced they were halting print production, and American Girl magazine folded entirely. It also appears many of the Conde Nast magazines are eventually going to follow suit. I’m just glad that SVV and I started our own agency nearly seven years ago, and that we don’t rely on magazine work to pay our bills anymore!

Our heater went out on the first day of winter. We had no fall; it went from a blistering 85 degrees to a bone-chilling 30 seemingly overnight—and that’s when we found out we had no heat. That was $5,000 I was not prepared to spend! On the flip side, we got a tax refund check for the first time ever—we overpaid significantly in 2017, which is a side effect of being self-employed and paying quarterly estimates—so a chunk of it went straight to home maintenance, instead of my SEP and SVV’s 401K (womp, womp).

November highlights

That’s about it! December sees us going to Oklahoma City for our last work trip of the year, then heading to Georgia with my parents for four nights in the mountains over Christmas. I’m looking forward to doing nothing but catching up on my reading list and tasting some good local beer!

How did your November shake out?

All of my past monthly highlights can be found here.

  • November 30, 2018

    How are the sabbatical plans going? My November was forcibly quiet. My mother-in-law went back to France this week after a 5-week stay – I am happy to get back to a daily routine that belongs to me 🙂 . I’ve got a few projects in December – ready to get back into it!

    • November 30, 2018

      We’re taking a week off over Christmas to work on some blog stuff in the mountains of Georgia (is it taking time off if you’re technically working, though? ha) and a week in Puerto Rico. I wanted to take a couple months, but we have some big changes on the horizon in 2019, so alas, need to hit the ground hard on some projects.

  • December 1, 2018

    Congrats on the magazine articles you were featured in! That’s super exciting. And your little niece is just too cute! Loving that Halloween costume.

  • December 11, 2018

    December is a great month to catch up on reading & blogging. I’ll do both this month as I’m terrible behind my own schedule 🙂

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