Dancing on the Riverfront Chattanooga

October 2017 Highlights: The Highs + Lows

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Well, the cat’s out of the bag! I’ve known since July that my sister was going to have a baby, but wasn’t allowed to say anything publicly until Kari’s birthday, Oct. 8. Do you know what form of TORTURE that is for a blogger, especially when it’s your only sibling and she’s giving birth to the only Luna grandchild thus far? Big deal over here, huge.

My First Niece!

Baby GIRL Clarey coming in March 2018, and we couldn’t be more excited!

With that said, October was hectic in a different way: We were driving more days than not (16) for our big state tourism project and another side gig or two, though we actually only spent five nights away from our home this month. Crazy, as past Octobers have seen us away from our house for as many as three weeks!


We traveled the entire Tennessee Whiskey Trail (almost!). The Tennessee Distillers Guild hired us to visit all 26 distillery members of the whiskey trail and create content about the experience. I can say with confidence this has been one of our most fun projects to date! We’re headed to the Smokies this weekend for the conclusion of said project, but don’t worry: There’s still plenty of spirited content to come!

We partnered with Hilton for a project. We went to Atlanta for a campaign with Tru by Hilton, and a bonus was that I got to see my friends Team Mayhem and Jade, Bob and Augustine while there.

Mural-hopping with Mayhem in Atlanta
Mural-hopping with Mayhem in Atlanta

I got a couple of last-minute Memphis assignments. I love when I’m already going to a place (in this case, for the Whiskey Trail) and can piggyback some additional work. In case you’re headed that way anytime soon, I wrote about the offbeat attractions and the musical history of Tennessee’s biggest city for Marriott Traveler.

We bought a commercial property. I haven’t really talked about this but we actually closed on the new place in September, and SVV and I have started the renovation process (because we needed another project, right?!) of “Myrtle” in hopes of getting it on the rental market by Jan. 1.

I announced our big Study Abroad Portugal workshop! I’ll be writing more about this in the future, but for those of you writer, editor, photographer, blogger types looking for a fun, educational retreat for next year, this is your ticket.

I just landed two ongoing gigs for two major magazines. We’re talking circulation in the millions. Curious how I did it? Well, guess you’ll just have to attend that workshop I referenced above. 😉

We re-signed a major client. One pivot in our media business the past couple years has been to take on more consulting and strategy clients on annual retainer, and it’s always great to be appreciated for your hard work. We’ve had great success with one of our biggest clients this year and couldn’t be more excited to expand that partnership in the future.

Career Successes

Speaking of which, we’ve already been planning out our 2018 calendar. In our line of work, many budgets are allotted in October for the fiscal year, so we’ve been mapping out a few exciting travel projects (and even one for-fun, non-work trip!) for the first two quarters of 2018. I keep saying “next year, we’re going to slow down a bit,” and yet the following year is always even more insane than the previous one, without fail. I don’t think we’d know what to do if that wasn’t the case.

We’ve gone a month without meat. I know, I know, you didn’t think it possible. Us, either. But we committed to a meatless lifestyle for 30 days (mostly devoid of gluten and dairy, too) and have stuck with it. Will this be a permanent lifestyle? Who knows. But leave me your favorite veggie recipes in the comments if you’re also a vegetarian or vegan, as we’re quickly growing bored with our usual lineup of meals!

I saw several great shows. Alison Krauss and David Gray at the Ryman; Brothers Osborne and Chris Stapleton at Bridgestone; Trisha Yearwood, Brenda Lee and more at the Opry—this was a good month for music (though let’s be honest, every month is a good moth for music in Nashville).


No free time. It’s a good thing, I know, but we’re wearing ourselves thin over here and have so many house projects at both our Victorian and the rental that need to be accomplished before winter truly sets in.


Lack of time to train for my half-marathon. I’ve barely had two to three days a week to escape my office for the trails, so my running has been stagnant at four-milers. I’m scheduled for a half-marathon on Dec. 2, and I think I’m just going to have to come to terms with the fact that there’s no way I’ll be ready to tackle 13 again and scale back and run the 10K instead. Either way, I’ll go to Memphis to see my cousins and my entry fee goes to support my favorite cause, St. Jude, so it’s a win-win, even if I semi-feel like a failure for not training this one out. Sometimes you just have to acknowledge that not all goals are achievable and do what’s best for you.


November kicks off in East Tennessee, then we’re home for a week, then off to Florida for two, for an actual four-day vacation, followed by a project in Orlando. Wish us sunny travels!

What rocked for you in the month of October?

  • November 1, 2017

    It looks that you had an amazing time in past month. Loved your post. Thank you so much for sharing for experiences. Great job!

  • November 1, 2017

    I seriously, seriously don’t know how you do it all, but I’m glad you do because it’s very inspiring! 😍

    • November 29, 2017

      You’re sweet! But it’s because I don’t have kids, ha. I’m inspired by people like you who balance it all while raising small humans!

  • November 1, 2017

    Congrats on your impending Auntie status – it’s the best! I stopped moving around in October and settled into Tucson where I have a whole new area to explore! Yay! (And amazing weather!)

    • November 29, 2017

      Thanks, girl! We are SO excited! Everything is now revolving around baby, and she isn’t even here yet 😉

  • November 4, 2017

    We are mostly meatless (well, not my kids, who are total carnivores!), and we love Cookie & Kate (website and her cookbook) for vegan & vegetarian recipes. My husband is dairy-free, so I’ve appreciated her recommendations for making things dairy-free.

    • November 29, 2017

      Awesome! I’ll add her site into our rotation =)

  • November 5, 2017

    So excited to hear the deets on your new magazine gig — though not in the least surprised. What a month, as usual!

    • November 29, 2017

      Yes! One is CNT and one is AAA. Both TN writing gigs, which you know are my favorites 😉

  • November 10, 2017

    Hey ,ive heard of the Tennessee whiskey hike that must of been fun. I wonder if there was whisky shots along the way lol

  • November 10, 2017

    I’ve just found your blog and I LOVE the design of your website and reading about your adventures! I’ve been following a vegetarian diet for about half a year now, and I’ve gotten most of my recipes from this amazing vegetarian/vegan cooking site called Cookie + Kate. The food recipes are delicious and I would definitely recommend trying them (they’re easy to make too! 🙂 I look forward to exploring more of your blog and reading more posts!

    • November 29, 2017

      Thank you so much, Zoie! I’ll be sure and check yours out as well. Several people have recommended Cookie + Kate, so I’m officially adding that to my recipe roster =)

  • November 11, 2017

    Congratulations on your projects, the magazine gig, and entering the commercial property market. You’ve been very busy, but I’m sure that you’d have it no other way!

    And isn’t it lovely when our siblings get married and or, have children? I always find it a little strange though, as I still see my brothers as football-mad boys with smelly socks and stinky rooms, rather than the professionals and family men that they are today!

    I was supposed to be in Ireland – TBEX for October, but changed it to spend some time with the family, in the UK instead. I’m also in the UK for October / November travelling through Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, Blackpool, Derbyshire and Yorkshire! Good times!

    • November 29, 2017

      Busy is good! We have a couple other rental properties, but none of them required this much work, HA! =)

      Can’t wait to catch up on all your UK adventures! I haven’t been to any of those cities except for Manchester (which I LOVE).

  • November 14, 2017

    Very nice article, I’m so impressed upon your work. Great….Thanks Dear.

  • November 15, 2017

    Congratulations to Kari!! I am so excited for all of you.

    • November 29, 2017

      Thank you, Grace! I’m stoked (no big surprise there) =)

  • November 16, 2017

    It is SO HARD to run when you’re traveling. I didn’t even attempt it when I was in Mexico, even though I’m pretty sure I could have managed a run or two. It’s just not the thing I want to be focused on when I’m exploring the world and since I work out so much when I am home, I feel like I earned the pass.

    Also, congrats on all the kickass work things, lady!

    • November 29, 2017

      SO hard! And I actually just bailed from this week’s half as I’m being sent to DC last minute instead! Oh well 😉

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