October Journal

shot by Haley Hunt Davis

shot by Haley Hunt Davis


The Highs

October seriously flew by. It was my busiest month of the year so far, and November is continuing in the same vein. Lots of sponsored work and freelance photography work. I finished one of my biggest photography projects to date (for Mozilla Firefox). Then headed straight out of town for a weekend in the Portland, OR countryside with my girl-boss friends. My friend Sasha hosted Laura, Haley, Sarah and myself for a few days of retreat on her mom’s property in Corbett. Horses grazing on apples in the yard, trees in full autumn gold array, big magenta dahlia plots bright against the misty backdrop, mossy hikes in fairy forests. We spent an hour each workshopping blocks we’re having around our businesses, supporting and brainstorming and mind-melding. I’ve never had a weekend quite like it. I left feeling supported and invigorated and seen in a way I haven’t felt in a long time. October is also my anniversary month, which marks 8 years together and 4 years married to Logan! We’re feeling more in love and solid than ever, which is a massive accomplishment in my book. Oh and I had my first acupuncture and physical therapy appointments with new practitioners in October, both of whom I’m really liking. I’m feeling some relief for my TMJD / neck issues already.

my girls! oh how i love them.

my girls! oh how i love them.


The Lows

My biggest challenge this month was staying balanced and organized with my workload and travel schedule. I definitely had a minor freak out about getting a client project done the day before I flew out to Portland for that retreat. I had to deliver some massive client files and do a shoot while I was in Portland, then a few more client projects got all crammed together right when I got home. The retreat was amazing, but the stress of constant deadlines and air travel really took it out of me. Flying is always tough on my body. Not to mention that my work plans have frequently been foiled by elements beyond my control like delayed product shipping schedules and less-than-ideal light on shoot days. Unexpected elements like that made October feel a bit out of control. I’ve had to say no to more social time in lieu of rest — just to keep myself healthy and grounded. But thankfully I’ve been sleeping really well and I’ve had a good amount of down time since I’ve been back in Virginia.

shot by Haley Hunt Davis

shot by Haley Hunt Davis

What I Listened To

Music-wise, I’ve been listening to my October Playlist on repeat. I developed it for ecstatic dance, but it’s also just so fun for walking around cities, exercising or driving. Podcast-wise, I’ve just started listening to the RISE podcast by Rachel Hollis (a business pod) and I find it very inspiring and encouraging. Also been listening to Margaret Glaspy a lot.

What I Read

Women Who Run With The Wolves and American Gods. I’m actually not finished with either, but I’m slowly working through them both at the same time. I also picked up a copy of The Moon Diva’s Guidebook — a fun little self care workbook. Timber Press sent me a copy of their Gather foraging journal and Among Trees a forest bathing mindfulness journal — stoked to play with those.

What I Watched

Maniac and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Both are on Netflix. Things they have in common: dream sequences, hilariously campy moments, a strange sense of nostalgia, impressive camera work, extremely on-genre characters that basically stepped right out of a graphic novel / anime. I loved them both, and now want to dress like a teenage witch every day (cozy crop sweaters, head bands and decorative collars abound).

fall leaves
shot by Sasha Swerdloff

shot by Sasha Swerdloff


What I Ate

On repeat: Sarah Britton’s Four Corners Lentil Soup. Sasha’s amazing vegan chocolate chip cookies. My Harvest Moon Kale Salad. A few notable bites in Portland: a fabulous curry cauliflower lentil bowl with poached egg from Proud Mary’s; Heart Coffee’s vegan hot chocolate with house cashew milk; incredible vegan peach cobbler ice cream from Salt & Straw. Planning to make ASAP: The First Mess cardamom hot cocoa.

Lessons Learned This Month

October was a big learning month. I did a lot of sharing and communing at that Portland retreat. Diving deep into what feels stagnant with my work, my blog life. Getting clear on intentions, soul purpose and profitable work avenues for the future. Honestly, I’ve been feeling sort of pigeon holed as a “food blogger” lately — it’s why I’ve been slowly integrating more lifestyle content and advice for sensitives on this blog for the last year. I’m just as passionate about wellness and mental health as I am about food. It’s only natural that I talk more about that. And I think the world needs more sensitive leaders in that space. After talking with the lady tribe I’m feeling really empowered to continue creating that kind of content. And I’m also feeling excited to engage with my community face-to-face more — through events or youtube. I want to be talking with you all, and having conversations.

Recent Buys

Replaced my broken macro lens with this 50mm f2.8 — used lenses are around $200 right now (major steal!). Got this new overhead arm for my Manfrotto tripod. An older version of this Reformation Barton trench jacket in off-white herringbone, bought on consignment. These East Fork Pottery bread and butter plates in matte grey. These clogs and this dress in red from Free People. Firefly Chai from Mountain Rose Herbs.

That’s all folks… how was your October? xo Renee