Currently: October 2023

It’s hard to believe that ROCKtober isn’t over yet. Even without the FAFSA, it has been a HARD month. Tom has been gone for most of this month. I gave an important keynote speech at a conference in Dallas. My favorite reporter (and friend) came to visit for the conference. We canceled our “fall break” trip, which was scheduled for last weekend. I’m really sad about that because it’s a trip that we’ve already put off 4 times… but it is what it is. Everything has felt like a lot lately. Ultimately, much of my stress has stemmed from work and first-world problems… which I suppose is why I call it ROCKtober.

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Obsessing Over:

Our anniversary photos from Florence and Tuscany. They came out so much better than I could have ever imagined. I can’t wait to order Christmas cards. Tom wants to keep doing photos when we travel. I’m so, so, so excited. If you’re looking for a photographer in Tuscany, I can’t recommend Cristano enough. GAH. These photos turned out so much better than I could have ever imagined.

We used L’Amour de Paris for honeymoon photos, and I loved those too. Lately I’ve been obsessed with Saul’s night portraits in Paris and these sunset sessions though.

Journey of Doing - Ponte Vecchio anniversary photos

Travel Planning:

We have officially booked all the hotels for our central Italy trip for Thanksgiving with my mother an my sister. It’s going to be mostly places we’ve already been with a few new hotels, tours, and experiences. We decided to book the direct flight into Rome for simplicity’s sake, and we’ll immediately take the train to Bologna for a few days in the foodie capital of Italy. From there, we’ll head to our favorite wine resort near Lake Garda for a few days of R&R. We’ll spend a couple days in Verona, an Italian town that my mom mom hasn’t visited before heading to Florence to meet up with my sister for Thanksgiving.

More than anything, I think we are very excited about sharing some of our favorite restaurants in Florence with my sister and my mom. This Italy trip will primarily focus on food tours and cooking classes. After Florence, my sister will head to Rome for a poetry reading, and we will head to Montalcino for a few days in Tuscany. We’re staying at a winery that has a Brunello di Montalcino that we’ve enjoyed at the Winter Garden at the St. Regis Florence. We will also squeeze in a wine tasting at Castiglion del Bosco while we’re in Tuscany, and we will visit their wine lounge in Florence for a private tasting, too. (On our anniversary trip to Italy, we joined their wine club…. who are we?!)

I’m really excited to get to spend some time with my sister. We really did have a great time on our last trip to Italy in November 2021. I was recently chatting with someone about how your chosen family is the best family, and I am glad that she’s part of mine.

Journey of Doing - Verona in December
Can you name this sneak peek town in Italy that awaits us??


In March 2023, I met with a personal shopper before we took Tom’s parents to Europe. She introduced me to the magic of the Lafayette148 Gramercy pant, L’Agence Selma jeans, and helped me pick out some great blazers. I bought one that I could dress up dress down and waited for the other two to go on sale. Both eventually did, and I bought them. They have served me so well this fall.

What I loved about shopping with Susan is that she found pieces that I could dress up for work – or dress down to look put together. She really worked to supplement pieces that I already had in my wardrobe while also presenting some updated looks as well. Knowing that I travel a lot, she helped me choose fabrics that would hold up well and not require a lot of pressing.

This past weekend, we hosted a big event with UT and I shopped my closet. I found a cream and black Kate Spade skirt that predates my career change (so it’s more than 13 years old), and I paired it with a burnt orange cashmere sweater that I’ve had for several seasons. It never fails to amaze me how long I can make clothes last if I just buy quality pieces from the beginning.

Today the temperature dropped to 47, so it is hopefully the beginning of cape and pants season!! I just need to get my diet back on track so I can feel a bit more sleek.

Journey of Doing - Alexander McQueen dress and L'Agence blazer

I am in love with this basic black Alexander McQueen dress. I bought it on clearance originally, and I’ve purchased additional sizes on TheRealReal because it’s the perfect dress for me. The wool makes it perfect for conference season, and the cream L’Agence blazer that Susan found me elevates the look every time.

Journey of Doing - Currently - October 2023
This Kate Spade polka dot skirt has been a workhorse in my closet.
Journey of Doing - Currently - October 2023

Looking Forward To:

Putting up our Christmas trees. We’re running a little behind on this right now, and I definitely miss the ambiance. This past week was dark and rainy, and it made me wish I had the trees to warm up the room and how I was feeling. I purchased a new Käthe Wohlfahrt ornament to commemorate the time I spent in pastry class in Paris this past summer. It’s literally perfect.

I’m going to miss passing out Halloween candy because I have board meetings that require me to travel this week. Though I am feeling anxious about a lot of work that I need to get done, I am looking forward to seeing some good people. We’ve started trying to work on some new big projects, and I’m excited about what we could make happen.

Last but not least, I’ve started experimenting with the Dyson Airwrap. I bought it on Black Friday last year, and while it’s been a great hair dryer, I have a lot more to learn. The clock app is teaching me some skills, I just need to keep working at it.

Photo Editing:

I’ve finished the post about my birthday weekend in Florence. I love Florence in December. It’s just so beautiful and magical with the Christmas lights. We have been debating between spending Christmas in Venice or Florence this year. Sometimes I always worry that we’ll over do it, but other times I think that I could never tire of Florence. We’ll see.

Once the birthday post is done, I’ll have to figure out what I want to write about next. Anything you’re particularly interested in hearing about??

Journey of Doing - Florence in December
Journey of Doing - Florence in December

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