Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July!

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Hope your day is filled with fun, friends, fireworks, grilling, and maybe a few adult beverages 🙂 Here are a few ideas of things to do if you haven’t decided yet:

P.S. Fourth of July means ten days until my birthday!


the scintillating simplicity calendar

Remember when I said that I’m always on the lookout for exciting events in the Triangle? When I find them, the first thing I do is add them to my Google calendar so I won’t forget about them! I also have my multiple calendars synced to my phone so that I can see my schedule by the day, week, month, or as an agenda view.

Given how important my Google calendars are for organizing my life and contributing to my fun, I thought I’d create a Scintillating Simplicity calendar where I can add interesting local events for you all to see!

On the calendar you’ll find a mix of cultural, foodie, educational, and pure fun events that caught my eye. Inclusion on the calendar doesn’t necessarily mean I will be attending but feel free to contact me if you are going to an event and want a partner-in-crime!

Likewise, please email me at scintillatingsimplicity@gmail.com if you know of an interesting event that is happening in the area!

P.S. Thank you to Katherine of Caroline Gypsy for inspiring this idea! Check out her calendar on the right sidebar of her blog.

#ncmapinup event recap

When I was searching for a roommate on Craigslist, I ended up meeting a few great girls who didn’t end up becoming my roommate for one reason or another. So guess what? I turned them into friends! I realize it sounds very strange to most people, but I do have a history of making friends online 🙂

One girl I met works at the NC Museum of Art and she emailed me an invite to a Pinterest party at the museum. My first reaction was obviously “#Pinning!” {because I refuse to stop saying #Winning even though I know that ship has sailed}. My second reaction was to forward the invite along to a group of random girls in the area- turns out, I wasn’t the only one who was excited. My sister thought it was the nerdiest thing ever, but we ignored her 🙂

First stop: food obviously. We suspected that all the recipes were found on Pinterest. Such a cute set-up!
I’m not usually a fan of goat cheese but I loved these bacon and herb chevre pops! And they were the only gluten-free option so they were my go-to snack!

My beloved chevre pops with the other food in the background- strawberries and angel food shortcake with icing drizzle and ciabatta bread with roasted vegetable and white bean hummus. Since I couldn’t eat the shortcake, Sara and I tag-teamed the dessert- she ate the poundcake and I got the strawberry!

Panel of Pinterest users including Cynthia Deis of Ornamentea, Amanda of Wit & Whistle, Lee Cherry of One Bit Pixel, and moderator Kailee Brown of Ignite Social Media. P.S. Loved the simple yellow flowers in the center of all the tables!

And then of course it was time for dress up! Our fun random group: {Bottom from left to right} Caitlin, Sara, Linnie {Top from left to right} Colette, Erica, me, Linsey, and Lindsey! Some of the girls already knew each other, but it was fun to introduce everyone else to each other 🙂 Nothing makes you bond more than silly pictures {while, maybe waiting in bathroom lines together}.

Pretending to be normal

Biggest takeaways:

  • Best quote: “[Pinterest is like]  window shopping for the soul.” – Lee Cherry
  • Apparently people use Pinterest as a platform to bash others. Keep these thoughts in mind before typing a negative comment.
  • Use water marks to protect your images before they get pinned.
  • Somebody suggested that Pinterest automatically add a water mark to protect the copyrights of contributors whose images get pinned.
  • Pinterest now automatically tells you if an image has been pinned from Flickr {like this image that I used under the Creative Commons licensing for my chicken bacon lentil soup recipe}.
  • Pinterest generates revenue for items purchased through the site if the original site has an affiliate program. I had no idea!  I say good for them for monetizing so early, but disclosure is probably a good policy.
  • Just because it’s on Pinterest doesn’t mean it’s fair game- be sure to take the time to find the original source to give them credit {try Chrome’s Search by Image Extension, which allows you to right-click on an image and find everywhere that the image is housed on the web}.

Thanks so much to the NC Museum of Art, all the panelists, and of course Linsey for inviting us!

raleighwood inspiration

I’m about to hit up the party supply store for decorations, centerpieces, and even a red carpet for our Night in Raleighwood party! Before I head out, I wanted to get some web-based inspiration for our shopping spree 🙂

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I rarely go shopping but the hostess deserves a pretty, sparkly dress, right?! {Photo credit}

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a night in raleighwood giveaway

If you’re not on The Raleigh Forum’s listserve (which you should be!), you may not know that we’re hosting an awesomeee party on January 26!


The Raleigh Forum and iContact will host an Academy Awards-themed cocktail attire party on January 26. Attendees are invited to walk the red carpet, pose in front of the step-and-repeat, vote for the winner of awards categories, and bump elbows with locals during this music-infused awards party.

Beer and wine will be provided at the open bar by The Wine Feed. Appetizers are provided by Gravy, courtesy of Empire Eats. Local singer-songwriter Erik Smallwood will be playing acoustic music throughout the event.

50% of entrance fee proceeds will be donated to Change the Triangle, the Triangle’s young professional volunteer organization.


What’s better than a ticket to this amazing event? A free ticket! Each of the following will give you one entry into a giveaway for a free ticket {which includes an open bar, appetizers, and a raffle ticket!}!

1) Leave a comment on this post with a suggestion for a Raleigh-related award category {like Best in Networking}.

2) Tweet about this giveaway (mention @cmroman and cmroman.com).

3) Mention this giveaway on your blog with a link to this post.

The winner will be chosen on January 19 through Random.org.

**If you have already purchased a ticket, you can either receive another one or have your money refunded 🙂

i’m backkkk

Peppy, enthusiastic, inspired Cristina is back! I had one of those weeks, but now I am just itching to get back to blogging. I have a growing list of blog entries I need to post, which includes several recipes.

During my hiatus, I asked my sister to write a guest post so you all wouldn’t feel too neglected, so she’ll still be doing that. We just came up with the perfect topic- the post is tentatively called “How I Decided To Love Winter.” It is her guide to changing her negative perspective on winter by participating in festive holiday activities!

In the meantime, here is my weekend recap:

  • Both Friday and Saturday were spent at the animal hospital with Fatty Bratty Maddie, who got into the trash and ate chocolate. What a troublemaker
  • Sushi at Mirage with my LivingSocial deal- I liked my rolls, but my sister wasn’t crazy about hers
  • Lunch at Jibarra- sat on the patio and had delicious steak tacos
  • Beer tasting at Tasty Beverage Co- realized I was correct in thinking pale ales are my favorite. We had so much fun and met some great people here. We said we almost felt like tourists exploring the city
  • Dinner at Five Star- crispy sesame beef!
  • Finished a great book
Despite the chaos of spending two nights at the animal hospital (we were there until 3am on Saturday), it was a great weekend- relaxing, beautiful weather, and fun new places!

This week will be a busy one, as usual!

  • Wednesday night casual networking event with Triangle Entrepreneurship Week
  • Babylon with the blog girls!
  • Getting back into tennis + Pilates
  • Friday night food & drinks with FreshBooks at the Forum
  • Visit from my DC besties on Friday!! They haven’t seen Maddie or my finished apartment yet!
P.S. Thank you to Sara (not my sister this time!) for her super sweet comment about our bloggers group!
This Day Last Year: My post was entitled “Doin’ Alright,” which funny enough, is still in the #1 spot on my current playlist. It’s so crazy for me to think back to where I was in terms of job searching last fall and where I am now. Suffice it to say, I never would have thought last November that I would be the co-owner of a coworking space in downtown Raleigh now!

shift series recap

This Saturday, I attended Compass Partners’ Shift Series, a two-day conference on “New Approaches to Social Issues.”

I’ve been out of the networking/conference/event mode for a bit, but being back in it was fantastic. I realized how at ease and in my comfort zone I feel mingling, chatting about people’s ventures and ideas, and sharing my own.


I chose the “Future Innovators” track over the “Educators” track because I thought it would be more pertinent to my interests. We were joined by representatives from some great local organizations.

  • Chat moderated by Philippe Chetrit of Affinity Lab, a “shared office space meets incubator meets entrepreneurial club-house.” Check out their upcoming events page if you’re interested in stopping by!
  • Social innovation session led by two staff members from Community Wealth Ventures, “a management consulting firm that emboldens and equips leadership teams to innovate, grow and sustain organizations that build a better world.” Seeing them reminded me how a presentation that I did sophomore year on founder Bill Shore sparked my interest in social enterprise!
  • Seminar with Christine Schiweitz of Georgetown on building your online identity. This interactive session was both enlightening and slightly scary, given the reality of our omnipresent digital footprints. Being in this dynamic discussion also sparked more ideas for GW Bites and my new blog, Harmonized Living! My biggest takeaway was the importance of being proactive, not reactive, when it comes to establishing a clean online identity. When I was babysitting on Saturday night, the dad made a joke about Googling me (they actually did!) and it made me appreciative that I have been proactive in the past in regards to keeping my online presence clean.
  • Chat with Live in Rhythm founder Kerrie Martin on, well, living in rhythm! It was a great conversation about balanced lifestyles; she provided insightful answers to participants’ nutrition questions. Her use of the phrase “honoring your body wisdom” stuck with me. Through this, she emphasized listening to your mind and body instead of following fad diets or “expert” opinions.

I think it was a tremendously successful conference and I commend the Compass team on their excellent execution!

P.S. Check out this awesome Washington Post article featuring William Huster and Neil Shah!

tip time!

And now for this week’s tip! Don’t burn out on going to cool events. There’s so much in the DC area for social enterprise, entrepreneurship, and professional development that it’s easy to go to several events (or more!) per week. However, be sure to space out these events over the semester so that you don’t get tired of them. There is ALWAYS someone interesting to meet, but there will ALWAYS be another opportunity.