On the Horizon: Upcoming Trips

Transitioning back to the workweek after a family staycation and a fun birthday weekend is a challenge- as Nutritionella pointed out, ever feel like you need a vacation to recover from vacation?

I thought it would help to remind myself of the fun trips I have on the horizon for the rest of summer and the beginning of fall.

Back to Hollymead

Work & fun trip to DC

Bachelorette party at undisclosed location

First time in Nashville

First time in San Francisco

Thank goodness I have generous family, friends, family friends, and friend’s family in cool places! We’ll be driving to most of these places, so the gas split between multiple people won’t be too expensive. For the other places, I/we have managed to find great deals by browsing Southwest’s fall sales and planning trips around the cheapest dates {hooray for workplace flexibility!}.

Where are you headed this summer/fall? What tips do you have for affordable travel? 

P.S. For more travel inspiration, check out Linnie’s Summer Travel Series!

Staycation with the [Extended] Family

A much overdue recap of my family’s visit to Raleigh! Alternate title: Staycation with the Whole Fam Damily 🙂

Last Sunday morning, my uncle and cousins from Norway arrived in Raleigh for the first time ever! We were on a mission to show them the best of Raleigh without doing too much boring sightseeing  stuff [sightseeing is not terribly interesting to 13 and 15 year olds, apparently!]. The highlight of seeing them is always just hanging out, catching up, and acting like kids, so we wanted to focus on that.

Took them to Cracker Barrel for the first time

Spent the day at pool having raft races & attempting to stand up on our rafts

Enjoyed a mocha coconut Starbucks frappuccino

Had a cook out with several of our close friends

Went back to the pool for boys vs girls pool volleyball

Ate brunch at Flying Biscuit, where we may or may not have filled a glass of water with all the condiments on our table and then dared each other to drink it [we’re a very mature family]

Got ice cream at Yummy Monkey [coffee & rocky road]

Roller skated at Wheels in Durham to Call Me Maybe and Justin Bieber

Ate pork nachos and chicken tacos at Raleigh Times

Spun in our office chairs to make ourselves dizzy

Ate a Grand Slam breakfast at Denny’s [my strawberry banana smoothie was delicious]

Spent the day at Frankie’s Fun Park on the bumper boats, playing laser tag, and doing go-karts

Saw TED at the North Hills movie theatre

Ate brunch at NOFO & explored the cute market

Ate more Yummy Monkey ice cream [mint chocolate chip & coffee]

Unfortunately, they had to leave on Wednesday evening. It was so sad saying goodbye, as it always is.

Love you, Norway fam 🙂 

My Birthday Weekend!

Photo credit

In other news, it’s my birthday weekend! Last year’s birthday was filled with daisies, a new car, a visit from my mom, and a great celebration with local and visiting friends.

This year I’m having a pretty low-key celebration with friends. The weekend includes a dip party, a day by the pool, a girls night out, gluten-free treats, and birthday freebies.

Stay tuned for all the details 🙂

My One Year Anniversary, Part II

July marks my one year anniversary of being in Raleigh, so I’ve decided it’s a perfect time to review the past year. For Part I, click here!

February

  • Took the most amazing cruise to the Bahamas I could possibly have imagined. Four of us spent five days in a lounging by the pool; bonding in our tiny interior room; getting on-stage in front of 200+ people; exploring the Bahamas; and drinking from our secret alcohol stash. What I never would have imagined was that the best part of it all would be coming away with amazing new friends
  • Had an article published on SourceCon, a well-known recruiting resource
  • Organized a wine class and tasting with the blog girls

March

  • Celebrated the six month anniversary of The Raleigh Forum with a happy hour
  • Kicked off my Cristina Chats interview series with an interview with myself!
  • Took another trip to DC and spent two days at the LivingSocial office. It was the first time I met my coworkers in the recruiting department face-to-face
  • Began the process of finding a roommate. Ended up with a few friends and an awesome roommate!
  • Began packing up my first Raleigh apartment
  • Discovered the Wednesday night fajita, margarita, and comedy show special at Goodnights

April

May

June

And then there’s all the things I didn’t write about on the blog because they were private; seemed unimportant at the time; or weren’t measurable in one instance. I didn’t blog about meeting Linnie or Sara D when I met both of them because I didn’t realize we would become good friends. I didn’t blog about all the knowledge I’ve gained in the recruiting field. Or some of the crazy fun times that aren’t suited for a public blog {before you go getting any ideas, I never do anything too bad!}. Or some of the stresses that come with running a business, especially at age 22.

Having a blog is like having an online scrapbook of my life that I can refer to to reminisce, remind myself of what I’ve learned; and look over inspirational mementos. Although it’s certainly not an all-encompassing representation of my life, it’s a piece of my everyday life that I love having!

My One Year Anniversary, Part I

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I randomly thought about my Tuscan zucchini pasta casserole and realized I came up with the recipe almost a year ago. It got me thinking about how we measure time. Do we measure our time in recipes, memories, and friendships? Maybe lifestyle changes {like going gluten-free}, blogiversaries, relationship anniversaries, or moving dates.

I think we measure time in all of the these ways, but maybe some hold more significance for each of us than others do.

This July is my one year anniversary of moving to Raleigh. I graduated from George Washington in May of 2011 and stuck around DC for two months, living up my last days as a college student and DC resident. After an amazing trip to Norway to visit family, I hauled all my earthly belongings out of storage and moved into a one bedroom apartment near downtown Raleigh. This literal and symbolic move marked the beginning of a new chapter of my life {pardon the cheesiness} and one of the craziest, most intense years of my life.

Like the new year, one year anniversaries are the perfect time to reflect on what has happened in the past year and think about what the next year holds.

No words will do justice to the past year and no blog post can completely encompass all the emotions, but here are some highlights {thank goodness I have a blog to document all these memories!}:

July

  • Celebrating my first birthday as a college graduate with best friends in Raleigh {they can’t make it this year unfortunately}
  • Buying Pearl, the first car I’ve ever owned by myself {she’s doing well}
  • Forming Roman Co, LLC, the company my sister and I co-own and realizing that the dream of a coworking space was becoming real!
  • Switching over from research to recruiting at LivingSocial
  • Getting a once-a-week babysitting job with two cute kids {I still babysit them!}
  • Joining the YMCA {a year later I still go regularly!}
  • Attending my first official Change the Triangle event at the Food Bank {I’m now the head of the Membership Committee}

August

September

October

November

December

  • Recorded a rap music video, called #TRFLovesIt for The Raleigh Forum 
  • Flew to NYC for Christmas
January
  • Went “skiing” {aka sitting in a ski lodge} with our stepdad and had the best time
  • Hosted a killer new years party
  • Held A Night in Raleighwood {co-sponsored by Yelp!} at our office
To be continued…

A Day in Lafayette Village

My family from Norway is in town for a few days, which meant I had to buckle down and do work on Saturday. Though I’m a Starbucks fiend, I decided to check out Jubala Village Coffee in Lafayette Village, which is a cute European style village in North Raleigh. I don’t remember the first time I found out about the village, but I know it was online.

Jubala was so cute! I loved the atmosphere and the warm but chic decor. It was pretty quiet most of the afternoon, but around 4pm, it got a bit busier. The girls next to me were chatting about weddings and the people across the way were playing board games. All in all, a fun vibe but quiet enough that one can be productive.

The service was fine but didn’t blow me away. I ordered an iced latte with vanilla and almond flavoring, but it was a bit too sweet for me, even though I asked for light syrup.

I would definitely go back. It’s a bit of a hike for me, so I would only go back to work for several hours. I plan to order a plain iced coffee next time!

After I finished my work, I stepped outside for a quick tour of the rest of the village. Unfortunately, most of the stores closed at 5pm on Sunday and I finished right at 5!

I realized I had heard of a few of the merchants but didn’t connect all the dots until I spent an afternoon wandering around!

  • Vinos Finos: They tweeted me awhile back; still need to check out their free wine tastings on Tuesdays and Saturdays!
  • Savory Spice Shop: I also found out about them on Twitter and added it to my “To Try” list on Foursquare! I didn’t get a chance to go in but I will next time.
  • Mavalios: I hadn’t heard of this tea cafe and gift shop, but I peeked through the window and it looks so cute!
  • Henry’s Gelato: Gelato. Enough said.

I encourage you to spend an afternoon at Lafayette Village {let me know if you need a buddy!}. Follow them on Twitter and check out their event calendar.

I also fortuantely/unfortunately discovered that there is a TJ Maxx nearby. I’m a little Maxxinista so I was in budget heaven 🙂

Weekend & June Recaps

Source: shopruche.com via Ruche on Pinterest

This weekend was full of Magic Mike with a group of girls, 6 hours at the pool (with tons of sunscreen, obviously!), another girls night, watching Paycheck, and lounging with iced coffee and Taco Bell 🙂

Off to sub for a beach volleyball team and possibly hit up the farmers’ market to stock up for the week!

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 Top 5 New Posts in June

1. The Fine Line Between Gossiping and Sharing

2. Week Recap & Weekend Reading

3. An Out-of-Town Birthday Shindig

4. Recap: A Taste of Georgetown

5. Determining Your Workplace Priorities

A Fun Foodie Weekend

Note: Reposted in full because WordPress seems to be having some issues this morning! 

Happy Monday! I’ve been feeling less than 100% at work recently, so I’m determined to make this week uber-productive. That means cutting back on mindless internet surfing and checking my blog stats too often; packing healthy, simple lunches; slowly drinking my home-brewed coffee; and knowing that I’ll feel best on Friday if I kicked butt at work all week! What are your goals for the week?

I had a fun combination weekend- part active, part relaxing- with tons of good food! On Friday evening, I braved the rain and met a few girls out at Calavera for a drink. It’s definitely becoming one of my favorite places, even though I can’t really eat the empanadas. My friend saw my spicy pineapple margarita pin on Pinterest and wanted to check it out!

Orderd a mojito this time around

After one drink, we headed to Chuck’s, which is one of Ashley Christensen’s restaurants. I’ll admit that I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it very much. How exciting can burgers be? But everything changed when my friend asked if they could spike our root beer floats. After contemplating with the other staff members, our waitress decided dark rum would be best and let me tell you- make one immediately! For my burger, I chose the small Big House {oxymoron?}:

Amazing! I didn’t end up eating the sorghum-dijon but I did add a ton of ketchup to my burger 🙂 For my french fries, I chose malted vinegar aioli {SO good!}, roasted garlic aioli {also good}, and sampled my friend’s buttermilk herb dressing {just ranch; also very good}.

Next time I’m planning to be adventurous and try the Dirty South burger:

So apparently the answer to my question of how good can a burger be is VERY good! I loved the atmosphere, the service, and everything I ate, so I would definitely go back again.

The rest of the night consisted of a drink at the Hive {my friend introduced me to cucumber vodka + water} and a rap show at Kings. We may or may not have spent the evening hanging out backstage and buying PBRs for one of the rapper’s parents. Haha!

On Saturday, I played a long session of tennis. When I saw my big toe poking through the front of my sneakers, I decided it was finally time to get some new shoes, so I headed to Dick’s for sneakers, tennis ball shorts, and a new racket grip.

On Saturday night, I headed over to Comedy Worx with a group of friends for the late night improv show. It’s always a super fun time and a great alternative to heading straight to the bars. I was surprised by how appropriate Saturday’s crowd was- it usually gets pretty raunchy!

On Sunday I met up with a group of girls for a trip to Poole’s, another Ashley Christensen restaurant and a Raleigh institution. Despite talking about the restaurant several times on here, I had never actually been! It’s quite an experience- I got in line outside the restaurant at 10:45 since the doors open at 11. I had a thermos of coffee and a novel to keep me company, but the time went by quickly. Right at 11, the doors opened and everyone tumbled inside.

All the newbies were confused when we saw a ton of people hovering around a blackboard snapping cell phone pictures. Turns out, that’s the only place where the menu is posted, so people take pictures to avoid having to stand and look at the menu. Who knew!

I was planning on ordering the eggs benedict but the waitress told us about the shrimp and grits at the last minute, so I went for those. Very good!


Overall, I liked Poole’s. We waited awhile for our food, but I was prepared for that. It was a bit dark inside, but that didn’t bother me too much. Luckily we were seated in the corner, because I think the middle of the restaurant may have been too loud for me.

I’m happy that I finally went and I would go back on a random weekend or special occasion.

I finished off my weekend with a round of kickball practice, grilling, pool time, and watching Gattaca in my sweats!

Week Recap & Weekend Reading

Change the Triangle’s June event- a clean up at Jordan Lake- followed by camping with some friends

A night out with friends at Calavera. I loved the strawberry cilantro jalapeno margarita and the spicy pineapple margarita {above}

VIP box at the J Cole/Drake concert {yes, those sunglasses say “I go hard in the paint”}. The concert was great but the night ended in a pretty crazy way!

And two nights at home cooking food for the week, relaxing, and watching sci-fi movies 🙂

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I found Sarah Findle’s article, Is content conquering the cover?, on IMRE’s blog very interesting. What do you all think? There’s still something about getting my Better Homes and Gardens and Martha Stewart Living in the mail every month!

This week in Lifehacker tips: the fastest way to soften butter and how to find the perfect avocado.

From The Kitchn: salad in a jar, tips for better bean salads, how to prep onions for salads, and my favorite: the #1 multi-tasking kitchen gadget {I’ve been saying it forever!}.

From Sam Davidson’s blog: Clutter is holding you back and the internet is making us dumber.

And from Yes and Yes: how to fight fair and why you need to go the eff to sleep.

And lastly: I love all the quotes in this Lunchbox Diaries post!

week recap & weekend reading

Lewis & Clark: Great Journey West at IMAX {amazing cinematography. And Lewis was hot haha}

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close with pho at home

Get together & trivia with friends

Tennis

Babysitting

First kickball game- a double header followed by team bonding at a bar

Highlights of the week including getting over my fear of kickball, meeting most of my whole kickball team and having a blast playing the Shoulder Game with them, getting back to tennis with my original partner {not that I don’t love doubles!}, earning money to justify my trip to San Francisco, and getting a special delivery to my door 🙂

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My most popular post this week was: An Out-Of-Town Shindig

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This LifeHacker post on how to survive the workday when you’re completely exhausted is pretty basic but has some good reminders.

College Recruiter explores the question “How important are internships?” with an infographic on their website. My answer? Very.

And in food: chickpea veggie burgersthree ingredient peanut butter cookies, shrimp Pad Thai on the lighter side, and gluten-free quinoa carrot and zucchini bread.

On the top of my list of favorite Yes and Yes posts this week: You’re Smart. So What?