goal check-in + tad + this day last year

Whew, that’s a lot to cover in one blog post, huh? Here we go!

My goals for the week were:

  • At least one yoga or Pilates class– Didn’t manage this (too busy playing tennis!)
  • Two weight-lifting sessions– Did one at-home session
  • Continuing working on a certain someone’s birthday present (can’t use the actual verb because I don’t want to give it away- could be make, order, buy, rent…)– Woot woot
  • Set up an official referral program for The Raleigh Forum– In progress
  • Bring one more person into the bloggers’ group– More like five or six! So many people have sent me names of awesome local female bloggers!
  • Make one new soup recipe– I tried two! I made roasted pepper potato soup and a spiced tomato potato soup
If you’ve been following my blog since, say, October 12, 2010, you might recall Three A Day (TAD). This was my easy-to-remember phrase for writing down three things each day that I was thankful for. I thought it was a good idea to bring it back given my challenge for next week!

Yesterday’s TAD:
  • Having a dog whisperer for a sister! I was frustrated about Maddie’s behavior, but my sister showed me the benefits of a gentle leader (a miracle worker), as well as some easy tricks for making her tune into me and respond to my commands.
  • Having a nice, spacious apartment. I was overwhelmed by the amount of dishes and cleaning I had to do, but then I reminded myself that not everyone has a kitchen to clean (sorry for being so cheesy).
  • Having the support of an incredible organization like the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, who hosted an event at The Raleigh Forum yesterday. We have over 50 individuals attend, and I would say that it was a stellar success!
This Day Last Year: I was in the midst of the fall of my senior year and actively listing TADs each day! In my post, I recapped the day before, which included a date with one of my (still) best friends, a day of babysitting the baby that I still love and miss, and a lovely note from a GW Bites customer. That was an exciting fall because I had just begun GW Bites!

proactive vs interactive: which is more valuable?

According to my WordPress stats, someone arrived to my blog by googling “entrepreneuring is about being interactive, not being proactive.” 

I’m really curious about this individual now. Were they looking for a famous quote? Do they believe this and want to find someone who agrees with them?

When asked my best professional quality or the top characteristic that I look for in candidates I’m interviewing, I always say “proactivity.” I wholeheartedly believe that it- along with confidence- is one of the most important traits, especially for entrepreneurs.

My computer’s dictionary says that to be proactive means “creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened.”

Without proactivity, I wouldn’t have gotten a job at The Washington Diplomat. I wouldn’t have created GW Bites. My sister and I wouldn’t be in talks with individuals in Raleigh about a co-working space.

Undoubtedly, being interactive is equally as important. I’m the first to speak about the benefits of networking and the importance of fostering community (Community Building Community, The GW Social Enterprise Forum, etc).

I think these values go hand in hand. When I thought more about which one was more important to me, I found that it was nearly impossible for me to separate the two or place one above the other. What are your thoughts? Do you believe that “entrepreneuring is about being interactive, not being proactive”? 

recap: last week of undergrad

Four whole days since my last post! Sorry for slacking; I’ve been busy livin’ up my last few weeks of undergrad!


  • Last exam ever (until grad school), including my last night studying for hours in the on-campus Starbucks
  • Two Nationals game (one with friends, one with co-workers)
  • Cinco de Mayo roof party
  • Washington Diplomat golf tournament (grilling, driving golf carts, delivering beers to ambassadors. You know, the usual)
  • Hours on the roof with friends and/or books!
  • A bajillion emails to potential GW Bites investors
  • Summer trip to Norway booked
Coming up:
  • Patio grilling (today!)
  • Last Arganica produce box AND $25 worth of random, awesome stuff
  • Mothers’ Day (how do I send flowers to Rwanda?!)
  • LivingSocial Adventure- Sunset Kayaking and Tequila Sunrises
  • Babysitting for my two favorite babies
  • Launch party for theStrEATS
  • GRADUATION- a whole weekend with family and friends 🙂
P.S. Did you notice that I added pages to my blog? Check out the “Mentions” tab and the “Connect with Me” tab!

nearing the end of the semester…

…which means:

  • Long nights out on patios with friends, beautiful weather…and Coronas!
  • Camping with frolfing [frisbee golf!], s’mores, campfires, country music, and Bojangle’s
  • Art museum to see the Close to Home: Photographers and Their Families exhibit
  • Long walks through the city
  • Last minute extra credit assignments
  • My first and last afternoon in the library this semester
  • Last day of classes tomorrow!
  • Finishing up my final photo assignment
  • Resolving last minute graduation issues
  • Finally downloading Google Chrome [such an upgrade over Safari!]
  • New recipe inspiration [coming soon!]
  • Awesome multimedia presentation on GW Bites and two other GW-based businesses. Thanks to Andrea, Rachel, and Scott 🙂
To my awesome sister, Miss Sara Rose Roman: kudos for how incredibly strong, proactive, and inspirational you are! Love you so much.

whirlwind of emotions

Wow, the past few days have been a complete whirlwind of emotions. I would say a rollercoaster, but that would imply ups and downs, and this has been just ups!

It started on Monday when my boss sent me an email with the subject “can i sent you to rtp on thurs.” No body of the email, but of course my immediate reaction was a resounding YES.

Late Tuesday night, I managed to book a flight and on Thursday, I high-tailed it to the airport. As I was passing the time before boarding, I browsed the Twitter account of Springwise (highlights cool new business ideas each week) on my phone. I thought it was a mistake when  I saw the name GW Bites! They have an incredibly active following, so it got picked up by a few other websites and dozens of people on Twitter.

The feedback I’ve seen so far has been incredible. I have been questioning the whole concept of GW Bites recently, but this influx of positive feedback has reignited my drive to push forward with the idea.

Work-wise, last night was fantastic! LivingSocial ran a deal for a special showing of Water for Elephants at a Raleigh theater, so almost 500 came out to eat appetizers, sip drinks, and watch the premiere. Everyone was so friendly (typical Raleigh!) and fun. I realized how lit up I am when I get to work events like that. I also met some great co-workers and we all made plans for when I move back!

In addition, I went to look at the apartment that I’m interested in and it seems very promising. I plan to put in an application in the next week or so.

Today it’s back to DC to put in some photography lab hours then out to Maryland for camping tomorrow! Such a good finish to senior year 🙂

P.S. Kudos to my amiga/running buddy Karrie for nailing down an incredible post-graduation job!!

gw bites across the internet

Today GW Bites was featured on Springwise. It was then picked up by TrendHunter.comBusiness Insider, and a whole bunch of folks on Twitter (here and here and here). Check out the links! So so so excited about all this 🙂

the past week: cherry blossoms, life plans, & amazing visits!

Oh my gosh, three whole days without blogging- this is unprecedented! 🙂

Recap of the past week:

  • Wine night with a friend…we had so much to catch up on that we wrote out a post-it note with a “to talk about” list!
  • Delivery, couch, and Bethenny Ever After night with a different friend
  • Several great runs throughout DC
  • Am officially writing a guest post for BGSKCollege
  • Found out on Wednesday at 4pm that I had an exam on Thursday at 9:35am. Whoops!
  • Elaborate home-cooked meal for a friend
  • Discovered The Cookery, a kitchen incubator in Durham, NC! Perhaps it will be the new home of GW Bites (soon to be NCSU Bites as well?) come fall.
  • Put my name on a waiting list for an apartment in Raleigh
  • Am in the process of launching Harmonized Living
  • Weekend with my sister and her friend [Cherry Blossoms, brunch at Luna in Dupont, roof time, MK&A movie night haha, GW regatta at the Waterfront, Nooshi for dinner]. It was great introducing my sister’s friend to the obligatory DC things, but I think we all enjoyed our chill lounging time the most!

After writing all of this, I realized that I never announced my final post-grad plans. I will officially (well, almost officially?) be moving to Raleigh to work virtually and pursue my ventures on the side.

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!

to the end of cupcakes…

And the beginning of even better food trends.

I love researching food trends and trying to ascertain what makes something become a trend, rather than just a fleeting one-hit wonder in the culinary world.

Mason Jar Meals: GW Bites offers Meals in a Jar, which contain the pre-portioned ingredients for specific recipes. There is another kind of Meal in a Jar, which entails serving prepared meals in Mason jars. Check it out on thekitchn.com.

Bento Boxes: A bento box is a “compact, balanced, visually appealing meal packed in a box.” Native to Japan, this form of meal packing has become trendy and hip in the United States. In fact, it is viewed as an art form and source of pride by many! Check it out on lunchinabox.net and justbento.com.

photo credit: themeatloafbakery.com

Meatloaf Cupcakes/Muffins: A fresh spin on sweet cupcakes, these bite-sized creations are savory, unique, and nutritionally balanced. Check it out on The Meatloaf Bakery, buy Trader Joe’s Turkey Meatloaf Muffins, or make your own with a recipe from For the Love of Cooking.

Salted Caramel: Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate from Starbucks. Salted Caramel Brownie Cookies from Kitchenist.com. Maple-Gingerbread Layer Cake with Salted Maple-Caramel Sauce from Epicurious.com

Love trend-following too? Check out Springwise, Trendspotting, & Design Sponge Online, and 2011’s Hottest Food Trends.

a slightly stressful week

This week has been a bit chaotic (what week isn’t?!) and stressful. There’s been TONS of fun stuff too, so I’m trying to keep that in mind as the week dies down and a jam-packed weekend begins.

The less-than-awesome:

  • Constant stomachaches and fatigue
  • Stress over photography (limited open lab hours + 2 assignments due = loads of stress!)
  • Lengthy grant application due for class next week
  • Senioritis and a general lack of motivation
  • Not feeling like my weekends are mine

The awesome:

  • Feasted on amazing fajitas and margaritas at Fiesta in Dupont
  • Wrote a 20 page business plan in 20 hours (woohoo go GW Bites!)
  • Had a great night out with the girls (wine night at home then a few low key bars)
  • A reunion with a friend I haven’t seen in a month
  • Fajita leftovers, more Leek Potato Soup [can’t.stop.eating.it], Ziti with Roasted Zucchini, & Ming’s Chinese
  • A million Friends episodes
  • BGSKCollege article on GW Bites
  • Several great runs around the city