About Christina Does It All

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Memphis 2015 Highlights


My main man and I recently took a belated anniversary trip to Memphis, Tennessee.

I feel lucky to have traveled all over with this guy. Seeing the world with one’s favorite person is such a special thing. All of the places I’ve visited with Robby leave me with memories that seem to be dusted with extra magic and bliss.memphis2

Memphis was no exception.


  • Beale Street. I had no idea you could walk Beale Street with drink in hand! Like a smaller Bourbon Street, but with a charm all its own. With margaritas in tow, Robby and I found one enchanting store full of eccentricities and a semi-secretive smoke shop in the back. They offered free condoms in a bowl, which hubs and I giggled about before taking two. Because we’re actually fifteen-year-olds trapped in twenty and thirty something year old bodies.


  • The eats in Memphis were not only delicious, but also oh-so-fun. One of my favorites was The Beauty Shop, an actual old school beauty shop turned restaurant that Priscilla Presley once frequented. My food was devoured whilst sitting in an old-school bonnet dryer. How neat is that?! I was sold on the novelty alone, but their salmon sandwich and sangria left me swooning.



Also worth mentioning is the queso and guacamole at Las Delicias (thanks to Memphis pal Rach for taking us here!), donuts at Gibson’s (And also here), the BBQ nachos at Rendezvous, (Thanks to Memphis pal Rach for the recommendation!) breakfast at Bryant’s and fried chicken at Gus’s Fried Chicken (Thanks most people in Memphis for this recommendation!) Robby isn’t a huge fan of fried chicken but said Gus’s was his favorite meal during our visit. The skin is perfectly crispy and just the right amount of seasoned and spicy. I’m salivating while writing this. I have got to cut down on the food porn.

  • Exploring Midtown


After eating at The Beauty Shop, husband and I meandered the Midtown area. We perused through a quaint bookstore and happened upon the most adorable of coffee shops, where Robby attempted to teach me how to play chess. I say attempted because I was more interested in my delicious brown sugar coffee and quickly got my ass handed to me in the form of checkmate.


  • We took the country’s tallest free-standing elevator to catch some pretty awesome views of the city. I’ve never been a big fan of elevators, and considering the record-breaking status of this one, I was feeling a little nervous on the ride up. But getting to the top to smooch with these Memphis views? So worth it.


Chillin’ with cardboard Elvis and our awesome AirBnB host. Traveling just seems all the more authentic when lodging with the locals.

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  • The art and downtown vibes.

They were just my style.

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  • A quick photo taken next to Sun Studio. Downtown trolley rides. Making alcoholic root beer floats at our weekend abode. Listening to live Blues on Beale Street as the air grew colder and we cuddled closer. Walking hand-in-hand, not knowing where exactly we were even heading.
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Having the chance to travel regularly is one of things that makes me feel fortunate. The wonder of exploring new places will always be an absolute favorite of mine. But finding a lifelong someone to hold hands with in new places? That’s my favorite, most fortunate find of all.

Memphis, Part 1

My husband and I recently got back from an anniversary trip to Memphis, and the entire trip of celebrating another year of our love was delightful. I’ll get to said delightfulness on the next post, as this first post is actually not really about my husband at all. Sorry, hubs.


On our very first night in Tennessee, I had the honor of meeting Rach over at This Italian Family.

Rach and I have been blog friends for close to four years, so I was giddy in hopes of meeting her on our trip.


I snapshotted Rach’s Instagram post because I thought she captured the energy of our meet so well. We hugged in random parking lots, laughed a lot and just immediately clicked. That’s the beauty of blogging friendship, isn’t it? Without ever tangibly meeting, you can understand and adore each other just the same. It felt like we were just picking up wherever we had left off, even if where we had left off was exchanged over words on a keyboard.


Her and her hubby Chris(topher) ((I was told I could call him either and couldn’t pick one so this is how I will always see his name now)) picked us up from our AirB&B lodging and took us to their favorite Mexican restaurant, Las Delicias, which definitely lived up to its name. But more on Memphis eats later. I knew I loved Rach almost the moment I met her. It was, in fact, the same moment hubby and I were being scolded. We were unintentionally exiting the wrong door and the homeowner was politely letting us know. Robby was chatting with her at the same time Rach walked up to hug me. I quietly murmured something about us being in trouble when Rach, seconds after I had officially met her, excitedly asked, “Oooooh. Why are you in trouble?!” I’m one to jump past small talk in the first place, and I feel like there’s definitely no need for feigning boundaries when you’ve been reading the other’s blog for years. So I’m glad Rach felt the same and we were able to immediately jump to the good stuff. The good stuff being blatant curiosity and fast friendship.


From there, Rach and Chris(topher) quickly made our first night in Memphis the best first night possible. They paid for our dinner, took us to meander through the aisles of a grocery store and wine shop and even brought us to taste the Memphis-famous Gibson’s donut. Put simply, they were the sweetest. And I say this right after talking about scrumptiously sugar-laden donuts, so y’all know I’m not playing.

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Rach was outgoing and kindhearted and so fun to be around, just as I pictured she’d be, so I’m glad she thought I lived up to my blogging self too. I also appreciate that when mentioning “vivacious, funny and friendly” she left out “scatterbrained” and “slightly awkward”, which, believe me guys, she definitely noticed in the hours we spent together. I may or may not have tried to walk out of the wine shop without my wine, less than five seconds after purchasing it.blogbuds

In reading Rach’s comments on our photo she posted to Instagram, I got happy feels and decided that our little mutual friend blog circle needs to have a meetup in 2016. I also have to be a little sentimental and say that I’m forever thankful for the blogosphere and all of the wonderful things and people it’s brought my way.

Memphis Part 2, coming as soon as I can get past regression analysis in stats class! So probably never! Just kidding. I think. I hope.

(Soon To Be) Walking in Memphis

Tomorrow the husband and I leave on a belated anniversary trip to Memphis, Tennessee.


 I’m so excited to make new memories and adventures with my favorite adult human being and travel buddy. And to eats lots of BBQ. And to explore Beale Street. AND ALL OF THE EXPLORING ETCETERAS!

In the meantime, here are some photos of the little lady that we’ll be missing for the next few days.

I might be a tiny bit biased, but I’m pretty sure she’s the cutest. She’s got a fiery, outgoing little personality and redheaded ringlets and a husky little voice to match. She’s confident and sassy and loves food and birds and dogs and talking to strangers and wearing shoes. She’s got a laugh that can melt a heart and this dance where she sticks one elbow up in the air and just gets DOWN. I feel incredibly lucky to have her for my own. And that daddy of hers too. I’m pretty giddy to start walking in Memphis with him tomorrow.





Oh, and we were totally matching bumblebees for Halloween and it was THE BEST EVER.

Cheers, y’all


Cheers to Oktoberfests and peanut butter stouts and capturing a photo at just the right moment.


Cheers to wineries on rainy days and moonshine served in communion cups and restaurants with the word ‘bacon’ in them.


Cheers to fitness classes in which you awkwardly flail your body around and laughter and friendship and being twenty-something.



Cheers to starting various sentences off with, “My therapist said…..” and realizing what a typical mid-twenty-something that makes you, and being completely okay with that. Cheers to emotional growth and self-awareness and stuff.


Cheers to chillin’ with MBA cohort classmates and strawberry shortcake ale and learning new things.


Cheers to family selfies and kisses from a beautiful one-and-a half-year-old and planning a belated anniversary trip with your main man.


Cheers to life, y’all.

360 Uno Trattoria Tasting

I walked into 360 Uno Trattoria and for a moment I was back at a little café in Italy.


Overflowing with charm and wine, sitting down for a food and vino tasting at this quaint restaurant was an experience to be had. I immediately loved the option of sitting near the wine and coffee bar for a casual feel or of going into the next room for more of a fine dining experience. I chose the casual seating as I figured it would be easier to chat with the staff and write down notes like the nerdy blogger chick that I am. But I’m already planning a return with the hubby, because this is the perfect spot for a romantic date night.


The sous chef at 360 Uno was kind enough to spoil me with a five course tasting, and his tasting portions were generous in that each was actually a full meal. My stomach was ready to explode from overeating and pure joy by the end of said tasting. But I can honestly say that not one bite went into my mouth that wasn’t absolutely phenomenal. I am part Italian, but my taste buds won’t accept that I’m not full-blooded because my mouth just wants all of the Italian foods all of the time. My poor husband is not a huge pasta fan but he married me and thus has to eat spaghetti and meatballs roughly once a week. I would live off of the stuff if it wasn’t for him. So eating pasta in Austin is no new thing for me. That being said, I think I have found my new favorite Italian restaurant. In Austin, definitely. But 360 Uno was also on par with many of the incredible bites that went into my mouth in Milan, Florence and Venice back in 2014. Seriously. It was that good.


Where do I start?

The shrimp scampi appetizer was lemony, buttery goodness and is what food dreams are made of. I wouldn’t let the chef take the leftover sauce away because I just wanted to dip it into all of things. Like I could have dipped it into cardboard and gone to town, y’all. The antipasto misto was a refreshing blend of cheeses, olives, salami, and other goodness. It’s left me constantly longing for the interesting (but incredible) combo of fresh goat cheese, beans and eggs ever since.


The Di-Lisch, deriving from the sous chef’s last name Lischko, was probably the most intriguing pizza I’ve ever tasted. Toppings included fig spread, arugula, prosciutto, crushed red pepper and walnuts. It was spicy, succulent,  sweet and salty all at once. I can’t stop thinking about it because it really blew my mind that much. But in the best way possible. The pepperoni pizza— oh the pepperoni pizza. The pizza of the gods. Soft and cheesy and exploding with flavor and nearly melting in my mouth. If melting in one’s mouth sounds odd for a pizza, you may have just not done pizza right yet. 360 Uno does pizza right.


The pasta didn’t disappoint either. Carbonara is always a classic favorite of mine, and this “breakfast pasta” was a mouth-watering addition to my mind-blowing meal.


For dessert I was given crème brulee and the profiterole. The profiterole was a heavenly combination of chocolate and vanilla laden cream puffs. As for the crème brulee? It was amongst the most divine of desserts my mouth has ever had the honor of devouring. Fresh vanilla bean and caramelized sugar make for a decadent mixture, y’all. To pair with the desserts, I was treated to a white port. I didn’t even know white ports were a thing! It reminded me slightly of Crown, but without the intense aftertaste and oh-so-incredibly smooth.

OH. Did I mention they have wine on tap?! WINE ON TAP. Can I please just live here? I’ll clean up after myself and everything. From buttery chardonnays to rich cabs, I was handed the perfect pairing of wine for each dish. Basically guys, I was in my own personal paradise. I’m head over heels and feeling a little heartsick that I haven’t had the chance to go back yet.


I didn’t have a moment (aka I would have exploded had a drop of any other delicious thing so much as touched my lips) to try their coffee, but I hear it’s superb. And this wouldn’t surprise me. From the super fun and friendly staff to the delectable eats and cozy environment, everything about my night spent at 360 Uno was an experience to remember. And uh, to relive again and again.

So worth the food coma, y’all.

Goals, Changes and L-o-v-e


I recently took myself on a stand up paddleboard date. It was an ideal moment to reflect and to bask in the sunlight, my thoughts and the peacefulness of the lake. I noted feeling so content and joyful for the place I was at, both in that moment and in life in general. It was the perfect time to take a step back from the new hustle and bustle of my world.

  Being busy is no new thing for me. I’m a mom who works full-time and blogs for money, food or fun on the side. I try my best to keep up with my hobbies, volunteering and social life too. I didn’t have much free time before, and I like it that way. I’m sort of like a puppy or a five-year-old, so too much unstructured free time makes me antsy. Still, I now look at my old self with just a smidge of envy for the bit of free time I once had the chance to waste. But that time I don’t have to waste now? I’m using it in ways that make me the happiest. Though I did have to bargain with myself to write this blog post. If I can get to page five of my rough draft, THEN I can have the privilege of writing a blog.


I started my MBA program in August, y’all. That’s still a little surreal to type, and it still makes me giddy too.

I realized all at once about a year ago that I missed academically learning, that I missed the feel of sitting in a classroom with fellow students, that I wanted to further my education and that I was missing my alma mater and the beautiful campus on which it resides.

The fact that I’ve started taking on social media clients and that I could thus benefit from deepening my knowledge of the business world only pushed me more to apply for my MBA at Concordia.

And here I am.


Sitting in a classroom for four hours every Tuesday evening. Sitting with a glass of wine and homework for hours most nights. Having a love hate relationship with stats. Finding things like covariance and the standard deviation of a probability, something that would have sounded like a foreign language to me three months ago and now only sounds like someone trying to speak English to me underwater. I’m getting there. Writing a research paper for Critical Thinking. Cracking jokes and planning happy hours with my already beloved cohort, or as our advisor would put it, “Your family for the next two years.” And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Six years ago I had serious doubts about ever getting my bachelor’s degree. So it feels really, really great to be here right now.

Know what else happened six years ago?

I got hitched to my favorite guy in the world.


I look at this picture and my first inclination is to say that not much has changed. But that wouldn’t be true.

So much has changed since that picture was taken six years ago.

 We have a home. We’ve made a family. We both have careers that we love. We’ve traveled the world together. I’m a college grad working on my master’s. I know who I am now and I’m beginning to understand what I want too. Robby is the best daddy to our little redhead, and coming home to those two makes my heart overflow with the purest kind of glee. We’ve grown up, we’ve grown older and we’ve done it together. Hand in hand, we’ve built a beautiful life that we can call ours. We’ve worked really hard at it, and every year our love has grown stronger and deeper because of it.


But what hasn’t changed one bit?

He still makes me laugh, every single day.

Travels Of Summer 2015


What a joyride summer 2015 has been.

There were wineries in Virginia, beaching the day away in Delaware, and dancing until the wee hours with my best friend in Baltimore. There were bottomless mimosas and Sam Hunt in Louisiana and a cabin and waterfalls for a family retreat in Oklahoma. I’ve brunched in Cleveland, Ohio and made quick pit stops in New York and Pennsylvania. My goal for the year was to visit four new-to-me states, but, by August, Ohio made it five. Road-tripping through states to get to Canada also helped me accomplish the goal of visiting a new-to-me country for 2015.


Speaking of Canada, Niagara Falls was a majestic and mesmerizing addition to my list of travels.


This included gorgeous wineries galore and taking a cable car across the Niagara River. And a wagon ride into a maple forest to create maple candy on a stick. And exploring enchanting old town Niagara-on-the-Lake and, of course, being completely enamored by the Falls. Taking two drives to see them both in day and nighttime still wasn’t quite enough time to take in such beauty. I absolutely loved experiencing all of said beauty with my fellow adventurer Shannon.




Also fun was staying up until after 2 am with my AirB&B host as he made me numerous martinis and we giggled and chatted about boys and love and life. The sweet review he later left me made my heart happy. Always one of my favorite things about traveling is the wonderful people I meet and bond with along the way.


Following Canada was a mini road-trip to Houston to attend my first Taylor Swift concert. I sometimes wonder how teenagers survived their angst before T-Swift. It was 2007 and I was a senior in high school when one of her first singles, “Teardrops on my Guitar” was released. At the time, I had a case of puppy love on my best dude friend, who was in a relationship. The words to Teardrops just got me, besides the small fact that I didn’t have a guitar to cry on. I still remember the country ballad coming on the radio as he and I were driving somewhere. “I love this song.” I said, my words full of deep, dramatic teenage meaning. When the tune ended, best dude friend, always oblivious, commented, “Yeah, that was pretty good.” Nearly nine years later, Bryant and I are still best pals and still occasionally joke about him missing my Swiftie signals. Tim McGraw and its album accompaniments were the soundtrack to my last year of high school. She has gotten me through many a moment since then with those seemingly mind reading lyrics.


So seeing Swift perform live with two of my cousins, who can also vouch that she just somehow KNOWS our whole life stories, was a small dream come true. We belted out “Wildest Dreams” on the drive there, whole-heartedly sang along to “Mean”, and danced our asses off to the encore of “Shake it Off.” We held hands and may have even gotten a little teary-eyed – don’t judge, YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW – at an especially moving Swift speech. They were words that I would have loved to tell my twenty-year old self, and they were exactly what my cousin needed to hear on that very evening. So we squeezed our Meagan a little tighter in those moments. Taylor was awesome, but family bonding time is just the very best.


The summer ended perfectly with a beach trip to Port Aransas with my side of the fam.



This trip included smores, sunset kisses, sunbathing on our own private beach and Bryn’s first time to dig her toes in the sand. Also included was drinking coffee with balcony views of the ocean, family barbeques, getting tipsy off of sake bombs with the hubs and making sand castles with all three of my little siblings. I’m smiling at the memories as I type.


Simply put, the past few months have been beautiful and I’m still basking in the excitement and joy of a whirlwind of adventures. Hands down, the best part is all of the people who I get to share such happiness with.

I think I’ll have a lifelong crush on summer 2015.


“I’m going to tell you right now the things you actually are not. You are not the opinion of somebody who doesn’t know you. You are not ‘damaged goods’ just because you’ve made mistakes in your life. You are not going nowhere just because you haven’t gotten where you want to go yet. Those are the things you actually are not. Now I’m going to tell what you are. You are your own definition of beautiful and worthwhile. That’s what you are.” – T-Swift