you’re invited: clothing swap

My blog is so funny in that I can go from drug testing for welfare recipients to a clothing swap party. Hey, life’s all about being balanced, right?

This clothing swap is open to young female bloggers in the Triangle. After the event, we’ll have each girl blog about the best item she received ūüôā¬†Haven’t joined the group yet? Contact me!

Updated: The Wine Feed, a Raleigh-based online wine retailer, has offered to sponsor the swap party! Several wine varieties will be available to sip on throughout the evening ūüôā


a retrospect: top + favorite posts from my blog

It’s interesting for me to look at which blog posts of mine get the most traffic vs which ones are my favorite. There is some overlap between the two. ¬†Part of my mission with this post is to bring to light some of my poor neglected posts that I think deserve a spotlight! I put my favorites in bold and added a few others below.

Some of my top posts (in order):

Some of my other favorite posts:

cristina’s weekly lessons

Let go: I made an insensitive comment (completely unintentionally!) the other day and I kept beating myself up about it. What I finally convinced myself of: if you feel you should apologize, do it. If not, let it go. Everyone says and does dumb stuff, and chances are nobody else is still thinking about it.

Unplug: I did the Tir Na Nog run through Historic Oakwood last night and it was so great to run without headphones. I felt like I had discovered a whole new part of the city! The crisp, beautiful fall air and colorful leaves didn’t hurt either.

Don’t do it just because you should: OK, all you North Carolinians, don’t be upset: I don’t like the state fair. I really want to. I want to love the food and the rides and the excitement (like in the picture below) but all I can think is: crowds, lines, tons of money, parking, and stress. So this year my sister and I decided that we were forgoing the fair in lieu of another fall festivity that we’ll actually enjoy, like yoga or a fall walk.

Sometimes it’s okay to have that extra cup of coffee: I’ve been very conscious of my caffeine intake recently and I don’t generally need an afternoon cup of¬†caffeinated¬†coffee. I got 8 hours of sleep last night, I worked out, and I ate a healthy breakfast and lunch. But you know what? I’m enjoying my full-caf mug of coffee right now ūüôā

top 10 lists: songs, recipes, & inspiration!

Here are some funny, intriguing, and creative top 10 lists to start your weekend off on a good note:

10 Words for Intriguing Concepts via Merriam Webster

10 Insights on Rethinking Work via

10 Things to Add to Your Bucket List via

The 10 Hottest Jewish Women Drake Can Take Home To His¬†Momma via {wish I was on that list, he’s my favorite rapper}

10 Young Entrepreneur Blogs you Should be Following

Top 10 Kugel Recipes

My 10 Favorite Songs of the Week

do something nice day

I heard on the radio this morning that today is Do Something Nice Day. While I always try to be nice (as I hope you do!), it’s nice¬†to have a reminder every once in awhile to step outside of ourselves and make a conscious effort to improve someone else’s day.

Some ideas I have (some of which I found here):

  • Pay for the person behind me in line at the coffee shop
  • Bring baked goods in for the construction workers downstairs
  • Treat our coworkers to Krispy Kreme glazed donuts
  • Offer a few free hours of babysitting
  • Tell a friend how they’ve inspired me

The last point brings me to an email I received recently from a friend.

“one of the speakers [at an event] said something that reminded me of you:
someone asked him how they could inspire others, and the speaker said
that to inspire others, you must allow others to inspire you. that
reminded me of your blog post “entrenched in the field.” you were
saying that that you are inspired by [your friends]¬†but i don’t know if you realize that you are one of the people who
inspire me the most, not only because you are going out there and
actively making your goals a reality, but also just because of your
attitude and how you look at the world.”

That one paragraph from one of my best friends meant more to me than any write up in any newspaper. There may or may not have been tears. So I encourage you to do something kind today- tell someone how they inspire you!

wine tasting tips + a review

This morning, it randomly occurred to me that we might have been supposed to tip at our wine tasting the other day. I did a quick google search and found that tips are not expected (whew!). I also came across several websites that list wine tasting etiquette, so I thought I would share some of their dos and don’ts. Shockingly, we didn’t break any of the rules! That might be a first ūüėČ

In general, the rules are: don’t bring loud kids (though we did bring the dogs, which are like children. But quiet ones!). Don’t confuse the palette-cleaning crackers with a buffet. Don’t smoke. Don’t wear perfume. Don’t chew gum. Ask for a spit cup. Don’t complain about the tasting room fees. Don’t get too drunk! Don’t ask for the sweet wine too soon, because it affects the palette.

As I was reading these unofficial rules, I realized how important it is to choose a winery where you will feel comfortable. We called two on the way out to Albemarle and ended up choosing to go to the one with longer hours but also friendlier staff members. In case you don’t know me and my sister in real life, we are very casual and not interested in putting on airs at a pretentious place!

Dennis Vineyards & Winery was exactly what we were looking for. Luckily, we were two of only a few patrons, so we received stellar individualized service. As I mentioned in my last post, I ended up realizing that I like semi-dry wines, not sweet wines. The wine tasting attendant customized our tasting menu to our tastes, choosing each wine based on our reaction to the previous. Because of this, we were able to narrow down our selection as we went.

On October 8, they are holding a Harvest Festival and Grape Stomp, complete with a fall hay ride. I encourage you to make the pretty drive to Albemarle to check it out. And don’t hesitate to contact me if you do decide to go!

frivolous to dos

I’ve been working long, long hours (minus my two day jaunt to DC!), so I think it’s time for some creative self-indulgence.

I want to:

  • Relax with a trashy tabloid while getting a pedicure
  • Find a place in Raleigh for a fancy afternoon tea
  • Read an Emily Giffin book outside
  • Light candles and sip wine
  • Catch up on my blogs on Google Reader
  • Enjoy each and every sip of each and every Pumpkin Spice Latte
  • Make my bed in the morning so that I can sink into it at night
  • Take a yoga class
  • Leave the windows open
  • Pick up fresh hydrangeas or peonies
  • Wear my fun, colorful jewelry that I somehow never wear
  • Browse the books at an outside used book store
  • Find a perfect white couch for our office
  • Revive my basil plant
  • Eat al fresco with friends
  • Walk the dogs to the park

my seven future careers

Someone wise recently told me that research finds that it takes 10 years to become an expert at something. And new studies show that we can live to be about 90. And most people want to try 6-7 careers in their lifetime. Which means we can do it all.

So what would will might I do?

  • Life coach: empower individuals to be happy and fulfilled in all areas of their lives, from fitness to career. Which leads me to…
  • Career counselor: From writing resumes and cover letters to compiling a career portfolio to dressing properly for interviews,¬†self-confidence is an essential trait.¬†I want to empower individuals to feel as confident as I do while job searching because they know¬†that they are equipped with the necessary tools.
  • Business development consultant:¬†My sister and I always speak of how empowering it is to start a business. I would love to share this feeling with other individuals (particularly women). Best of all, I could contribute to the creation and growth of a company (my strength) without having to sustain it (not as much my strength)!
  • Professional blogger: Get paid to write down my random musings? Yes please!
  • Motivational speaker: Get paid to speak about my random musings? Yes please!
  • Women’s entrepreneurship professor: My two entrepreneurship classes were- at the risk of sounding trite- life-changing. A class of just women creates an inspiring, comfortable atmosphere that can be hugely beneficial in sparking creative, innovative ideas.
  • Editor-in-chief of a home magazine: Working at Martha Stewart Living or Better Homes and Gardens would be absolutely incredible. I’ve shared my philosophy on comfortable, welcoming homes and I’m obviously very interested in creating healthy, fresh recipes. Do I sound like a 50s housewife when I say “A happy home makes a happy life”? Well, I believe it ūüôā

The most visible common thread here? Empowering others, especially women.

what a week it promises to be

7am cycling class this morning- in retrospect, I could have pushed myself harder!

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Big mug of decaf toasted almond coffee

Lots of work for LivingSocial and the coworking space

My cozy new couch, which completes my sitting area

Country-style pork ribs rubbed with Memphis BBQ spices slow-roasting in the oven

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Babysitting my new family. The little girl woke up the day after I babysat and said “When is Cristina coming back?! She said she’d come back soon!” SO cute.

Restaurant Week dinner with the girls at Five Star

And that’s just Monday ūüôā¬†