November was probably the month I spent the most time at home all year, and yet I got less writing work done than ever. But that’s for good reason—which you’ll have to read below to find out! I’m so ready to get back to writing, back to blogging and back to catching up on all the work that has piled up at a monstrous rate over the past couple months.
Last month, I only spent four nights in a hotel, two nights in an Airstream and three nights at my cousin’s house. I’m not going to lie, it was nice having so much time at home, especially after the jam-packed month that October was. Other than a couple day and overnight work trips to Franklin this month, we’re home until after Christmas when we have a two-one-punch of back-to-back weddings in Florida and Chattanooga.
We rented out the Victorian! I have never in my life been so happy to complete a project. After 7.5 years of working on the Vic, we turned over the keys to its new tenants last week. They’re a great local business who are as excited to inhabit it as we are to have renters for the next three years. Full post coming soon on the before-and-after transformation of our 1899 Queen Anne. Shoutout to our awesome realtor (and friend) Elizabeth Banks of Harton Realty for helping us move this process right along.
We celebrated my mom’s 70th birthday in Bermuda. Bermuda was beautiful, and I’m so glad we went in with zero agenda as we had some crazy tropical storms the first couple days and laid low at the resort. The last two days, however, were perfect. I’d love to go back to Bermuda for longer with SVV and really dive in. It was a quick, cheap flight for us from Tennessee (with a 40-minute stopover in Atlanta) and an impossibly lovely destination, ideal for a girls’ trip. I won’t be blogging this one, so if you want recs, leave a comment and I’ll share what we loved with you personally.
We headed to the Smokies for Grains & Grits. I adore Townsend, Tennessee anytime of year, but it’s particularly magical in the fall—and doubly so when you’re there for Tennessee’s premier whiskey festival. We stayed in one of Little Arrow Resort’s two Airstream trailers, went to our second Grains & Grits, and had late-night hangs with so many of our favorite distillers and tourism industry friends.
We spent three days in Memphis over the holidays. I love getting quality time with my cousin, her husband and their kids—we always have the most fun together. And SVV and I even managed to sneak away for a morning to find some new Memphis murals with our friends Alex and Leah, too!
Friends, friends and more friends. We threw an bourbon-and-BBQ-themed engagement party for one of my childhood best friends, Tracy, for whom I’ll be matron of honor in her February wedding. We also surprised another of my besties, Katy, with a birthday party full of confetti, wine and marshmallow tosses. The best months are the ones filled with best friends.
I turned in a couple BIG print assignments. It’s funny how my priorities as a journalist have changed; I used to chase the glamorous titles like Garden & Gun (to which I now say yawn), but you know what? Those don’t pay the best, and the editors are notoriously snooty. Instead, this past month I landed a couple big writing gigs with some major pubs (one with more than 30 million readers), and it felt good getting back in that mode and working with editors who value my skill and longevity in this industry.
Speaking of writing, SVV and I are new contributors to This Old House! How perfect a writing gig is that for a pair of home-renovating journalists? We’re just in the trial stage now, but I’ll post updates in the future on how that’s going.
This lil ol’ blog was featured in Delta’s Sky magazine. Imagine my surprise while flying Delta back to Bermuda and seeing Camels & Chocolate featured in an article about Nashville murals! I love that, out of our passion, we’ve become go-to mural experts for other journalists. I actually just gave an interview yesterday for a publication writing about the importance of public art and can’t wait to see what that journo writes.
I was interviewed by NBC News. My friend Dana McMahan is one of the most prolific writers I know, and when she asked for stories about moving for love, I couldn’t have hopped on that train quicker. After all, it’s been nearly 12 years since I quit my job in New York City and moved to San Francisco for SVV. I’d say that worked out!
I met Misadventures with Andi! In case you don’t already follow her, Andi Fisher is an amazing human, blogger and cheerleader of others’ successes. We’ve been blog friends for approximately a thousand years and finally met in person over lunch in Murfreesboro last month. I’ve met hundreds of bloggers and blog readers alike over the past decade, and it’s always such a nice treat when they’re every bit as effusive, kind and fun in person as you were expecting them to be.
The sinus infection that won’t go away. I never get sick—like never. So when I started getting stopped up and had a scratchy throat a few weeks ago, I assumed I caught SVV’s man cold and, in true female fashion, would be better the next day. Turns out I have an epic sinus infection instead, and the migraines, pressure and nasal congestion have been lingering for two weeks now. I was pretty miserable over Thanksgiving weekend and hated missing quality time with my cousins, but at least I’m getting a lot of rest and (finally? I hope…) on my way to recovery.