About Christina Does It All

Doing it all, One blog at a time

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

Medicine Park, Oklahoma 2015


I first visited Oklahoma back in 2012 with my husband. We had a lovely time at a bed and breakfast sporting matching green robes and also made sure to take full advantage of the complimentary hot tub. Everywhere I’ve ever been with Robby eventually leaves me nostalgic for that time and place. Still, I wasn’t absolutely smitten with the town of Stillwater, which is a rarity for me. I’ve never traveled anywhere that I didn’t enjoy, but if I was forced to admit it, I would have probably said Oklahoma was my least favorite state. Until this month, that is.



My husband and I road-tripped it up to Oklahoma once again, this time with our little lady in tow.

And just like that, I simply don’t have a least favorite state.



We stayed in a cabin overlooking the mountains of Medicine Park, Oklahoma. I didn’t know until recently that Oklahoma even had mountains. They’re small, but they’re also surrounded by waterfalls and watering holes and lush greens and the quaintest of small towns.



Spending the weekend with my two favorite people in Grandma’s Cabin was magic. Built in the 1920’s, our cabin was enchantingly rustic and overflowing with trinkets and charm. As my loves dozed late into the morning, I’d make my way to the upstairs patio to read a book, drink a cup of coffee and gaze at a waterfall. Our cabin was in walking distance to everything in town, which meant a quick morning run with plenty of time to come back to lunchtime and a family stroll. Later I might head out for a long dip in the watering hole while Bryn and Robby napped (These two love their sleep), and on my way back grab ice cream over espresso shots from the town coffee shop. For dinner there would be hot dogs at our little abode or heading out to a nearby pizza shop for a half pepperoni, half Hawaiian. The night would end in laughter and yawns, watching our girl stomp around and making sure to hide all the breakables from her chubby little fingers. When the little lady went down for the night, it was time for husband cuddles and, of course, more laughter. I’ve been laughing and traveling with this man for over seven years now, and that makes me feel like the luckiest. Y’all, my heart was continuously bubbling over with love and joy for my tiny tribe and the memories we were making in this gorgeous little town.



After our weekend in Medicine Park, it’s safe to say that the three of us have started one of the first of our many family traditions to come.



My overwhelming love for these two feels like a group hug for three. Like a spontaneous dance party to children’s tunes. Like a traveling love song.

Like a tradition of lifelong adventures, sunsets and cozy cabins.

And of always searching for beauty, everywhere, anywhere. Together.

Hey, Sunshine.

Note: I began this post last Friday night, the last evening of July 2015. A lovely month indeed.

It’s Friday night and I’m on a self-date at Red Horn Coffee and Brewing Company. I’m drinking a coffee stout as we speak, but since it is Friday night I might go a little crazy and drink an actual coffee too. A place that sells both coffee and beer is basically my paradise. The only thing that could top this is if they opened a place next door that sold both books and cabernet by the glass.


Life is sweet right now. July, in all its sweat-inducing humidity, has surprised me by being arguably my favorite month of 2015 thus far. It was fun mixed with a heaping side of self-fulfillment, and the result has me swooning over all of the things.



The month began with travels and my best friend, two of biggest loves. Already a great start, and it was prophetic for the way the rest of July would play out.



I spent my first weekend back in Texas out of town once more, this time at the parent-in-law’s celebrating the 4th of July with my beloved little clan.



I came back to the Austin area and quickly jumped into adventures such as partying in a bathtub with gal pals at Whisler’s, marveling over the stunning views at Driftwood Estate Winery in Wimberley, Texas and face-flopping off of a small cliff into water at Jacob’s Well. My life is a collection of random and sometimes strange thrills. It’s a collection I pride myself on.




July also consisted of a night of laughter on the Riverwalk with two of my best friends, a day of lounging out on the boat with my handsome hubby, and a weekend of poolside beer and margaritas with the cousins.




It’s been bliss, y’all.

But it’s been more than that too. July was also productive and, at times, magnificently inspiring.


I modeled for my first fashion company and covered a cooking class with incredible views and a four-course meal that left me completely mesmerized.


I began volunteering at Dress for Success as an image consultant, which means I get to be a fashion guru for clients and YOU GUYS, IT’S THE BEST EVER. I cannot tell you how happy it made my heart to help dress up and love on the sweetest of ladies for the day. Helping women feel their most beautiful, and as one newly glammed up gal put it, “Like a million bucks” was a feeling that is really hard to top, y’all.


Another recent thing for me? For the first time in my life, I’ve started seeing a therapist. It’s something I should have probably started as a teenager, but nevertheless starting in my mid-twenties has me feeling a new kind of healthy and happy. There’s a lot of feelings I’m coming to terms with and a big amount of self-realization occurring in such a short amount of time. It’s hard and challenging and so wonderful. Vulnerability is something that has terrified me for years, but in allowing myself to be more vulnerable, I have found that I am also allowing myself to feel more alive.


Yesterday I was walking past a manager at work when he greeted me with, “Hey, sunshine!” Not even a handful of minutes later, I walked outside to see another manager who said hello by way of, “What’s up, sunshine?” I informed him that I had just been called sunshine less than five minutes prior to which he responded, “Yeah, you’re sunshine!” Amused by the redundancy, (I wasn’t even wearing yellow!) I texted both my best gal pal and my best dude friend to relay the quick story. Their contrast in responses made me laugh.  Meg replied with a sweet, “You’re bright and light up a room!” Best dude friend’s heartfelt response? “They probably think you’re twelve years old.” Fair enough.

Funny coincidence as it may have been, my new nickname felt fitting just the same. I am visiting pretty places, reading good books and learning and growing in ways that feel monumental. I’m surrounded by adventures and enchanting possibilities and people that I love, and all of this does seem a lot like sunshine. Like a beautiful and radiant summer day. I’m basking in this light for as long as I possibly can.


(Pst – I got that coffee, and it was delicious. If anyone was wondering.)

Hudson’s On The Bend Cooking School

I’ve been lucky enough to have collected a slew of incredible experiences as an Austinite event blogger. In the past few years, I’ve tried ziplining, beekeeping, fly-boarding, indoor skydiving and hot-air ballooning, to name a handful of favorites.


So when I was invited to join a cooking class overlooking a lake in Austin, I wasn’t really expecting this to go on my blogging top five. Don’t get me wrong, I knew I would love it, and who can turn down delicious food? Not me. But I have just been so honored and humbled by the adventures that I’ve been able to join in on in the past few years, that I looked forward to this one in a more absentminded sort of way.

This made the surprise of my Hudson’s on the Bend experience that much more incredible.

hudsons (2)

The event started out at the head chef’s house-mansion-thing-with-views-like-whoa. I turned onto a normal enough looking road and drove for a couple of miles before I then turned onto a gravel road and parked. Nothing out of the ordinary yet. But as I approached the entrance, my breath was nearly taken away. You guys, I have lived in Austin my entire life and have seen some lovely things but this was definitely amongst the most gorgeous of these. The views of Lake Travis paired with the scenery and décor of this abode were bar none. I stood at the entrance, probably with my mouth agape, but was quickly ushered in with a “Go grab a drink and sit down!” I was then promptly handed a vanilla vodka fizz that was always quickly refilled without so much as a request. I sat down to begin watching some pretty extraordinary chefs do their thang, which felt as if I was up close and personal with a comedic yet informative show featured on the Cooking Channel.


After working up an appetite whilst watching this mouthwatering food sizzle, our cooking group headed back to Hudson’s on the Bend. We were more than ready to eat all of the delicious meals that had been whipped up before our wonderstruck eyes.


This four course meal started off with rain forest ceviche, a ceviche made with coconut milk, habanero peppers and fresh ginger root marinade and a shaved coconut and pineapple marinade. This light, fresh and tasty appetizer was a perfect palette-greeter and left me greedy for more.

Next came the hot and crunchy avocado with mango jalapeno aeoli, ancho paint and mango jalapeno slaw. Ancho paint, for anyone curious, is made from ancho peppers soaked in hot water and then pureed with a handful of delectable ingredients like lemon and garlic. It was all just as mouth orgasmic as it sounds, y’all. The fruity and refreshing slaw, ancho and aeoli flavors perfectly complemented the delicately fried avocado. My mind kept telling me to slow down and bring home a bite or two for the hubby but my tastebuds were having none of it. I ate it all. Sorry not sorry.


The main course followed, shrimp and lobster in saffron crepes with a brandied lobster sauce. The phrase in itself is a mouthful with the power to make ones’ mouth water, and you better believe the dish all went into my mouth. This dish was decadent, creamy, buttery and yes, saffrony. I’m making saffrony into a word because the saffron is such a key ingredient here. The most expensive spice in the world added a sophistication and complexity to this dish which left me savoring every last bite.


Last but not least, the chai cheesecake. Oh my. Everyone at the table was oohing and ahing over this. One of my tablemates even commented that, though she doesn’t like cheesecake, she loved this one. The coconut almond crust and the fruit compote topping paired with the chai and cardamom flavors left us all swooning. And possibly drooling. Or maybe the drooling bit was just me. Great cheesecake doesn’t always allow me to be classy.


Paired with great company and endless wine, the dishes served at Hudson’s on the Bend made this experience immediately jump to my top five of blogging adventures. I can’t wait to go back, but in the meantime? All in attendance were given a recipe book of all dishes made in the class. I don’t know that my cooking skills will be able to do these recipes the justice they deserve, but it’s really nice that I have the option to try.


The deets:

Dishes made at Hudson’s on the Bend cooking school vary with each class, and recipes for each meal are given out before the chefs begin. The class, which includes a four course meal and wine, costs $135 per person. Click here to make reservations, y’all!


I was able to attend this class free of charge, but was not obligated to write anything other than my honest thoughts. All opinions expressed are entirely my own!

Best Friendship And State Hopping, 2015


I spent the end of June and the beginning of July in the best of ways — Exploring and traveling with my best friend. We danced the night away in downtown Baltimore, were beach bums for two days in gorgeous Bethany Beach, Delaware and went winery-hopping in lovely little towns of Virginia. Small world as it is, another close friend of mine recently moved from Texas to Virginia. Last summer, Hannah, Meg and I were exploring wineries in Texas. It seemed that we were picking up where we left off, sharing hugs and wine and adventures in just a slightly different location.



Let me backtrack to the year 2001 and explain to you my long-term love for Meg Tucker. She and I have been best friends for fourteen years. We met when she was nine and I was twelve. I had walked around the block with my dog every day for months, praying for a best friend to move into the very house she eventually moved into. I was brokenhearted when I found out she was a measly nine-year-old with a crush on my little brother to boot. Luckily she let go of the infatuation when she heard him tattle on me, and I quickly decided to let go of the age difference. The instant connection we’ve always shared has led us to believe that we are friend soul-mates. Always, we’ve had a lot of qualities in common and a lot definitely not in common. Current examples: She’s very single and I’m very not. I love to travel and she often prefers a staycation. I jump into things and she takes her time. We both have an intense love for people, new experiences and open-mindedness. She’s an ENFJ and I’m an ENFP. Our extreme similarities mixed with our striking differences sometimes make us want to momentarily kill the other, often quickly followed by the next moment when we’re trying to catch our breath from the fits of laughter. We continuously learn from one another and are both more accepting and understanding because of it. I find it liberating that she’s one of the few people that I can freely snap at, and comforting that she knows things about me that I haven’t ever told her.



Briefly back to 2015 now. In between all of our travels, we made our way to Ellicott City, Maryland to BBQ with Meg’s fam. Every time I so much as step inside their doors, I am swept away by a sense of complete comfort and nostalgia. Here is where I spent two weeks after graduating high school, and have come back to often ever since. This is the house I slept in after eighteen-year-old me got my belly button pierced for the first time; Where Mrs. Tucker fretted over what my parents would do to her when I got back to Texas. It’s where Meg woke me up early one morning by jumping on me and I, still half asleep, asked her the now infamous question: “Do you think I am an insect that you can squash beneath your grasp!?” Where Meg’s little brother once played guitar for us after my flight back home was cancelled, and where I giddily spent one more night basking in the glow of my second family. In a world where everything changes, the Tucker residence has been a constant of mine for so long. Where laughter, drinks and good conversation are always shared, where Mrs. Tucker provides the best of home-cooked meals, where Mr. Tucker will always make bad jokes, and where I am affectionately and always referred to as “Tina.”



My evening this time around was spent just like I imagined – Drinking margaritas on the back patio, being in stitches over silly but treasured memories and staying up late chatting with Meg’s mama as Meggie snoozed on the blow-up mattress.




Reminiscing on my week spent state-hopping with my childhood and forever best gal pal has left me with a plethora of new memories and happy feels. When I think of Baltimore, I think of partying until the wee hours of the morning, followed by sleeping on someone’s floor for four hours, as if I was still a twenty-one year old lad. When I think Bethany Beach, I think of a good summer read and mangoritas. I think of an exquisite creamy crab soup at a little patio café, near the beach and on a gloriously perfect day. I think of getting unexpectedly drenched by the waves, shrieking and giggling and frantically trying to save all of our belongings. When I think Virginia, I think of scenic drives, great wine and even better friendships. I think of rooftop bars and heartfelt, honest conversations. And when I think of Ellicott City, Maryland? I think of my northern home.

Soaking Up Summertime

Life is sweet and full of summertime bliss.


On Saturday, I leave to visit my best friend of fourteen years in Virginia. Or, we’re at least starting in Virginia. We’re also planning on partying in Maryland and beaching it up in Delaware. A little state-hopping, if you will. I am so ecstatic to start making new memories traveling and exploring with the lady love of my life.

But really, summer twenty fifteen has me giddy about a lot of things….

  • I bought a hammock. I’m growing partial to time spent between the trees, a pineapple drink in one hand and a book in the other. Or just staring up at the stars and listening to the crickets chirp. Paradise in my own backyard.


  • Adventuring with my little one has taught me that she’s much better at taking selfies than I am.


  • I’ve been occasionally volunteering at my nearby Alzheimer’s Center for a few years now, so I’ve known program director Bernard for a while. I don’t see him much but love catching up every time I do. His combo of good heart and fun personality makes him a winning human being. He also seems to think I’m pretty cool, and since I’m actually a weirdo, I appreciate that.


  • San Antonio is quickly becoming one of my favorite cities in Texas. This is mostly because two of my favorite people in the entire world reside here. Also because the Riverwalk of San Antone is a lovely place to laugh the night away with said favorites.



  • Date nights with the husband always leave me wonderstruck. Whether we’re eating garlic naan in a cozy cellar followed by being photo-bombed by an extremely tan gentleman (see if you can spot him below…) in downtown Austin or drinking beer out of mason jars in New Ulm, Texas, magic is always made when we’re together. Especially magical when we come home sporting matching dinosaur stamps from da club.
  • dinomatch


  • I don’t know how it’s possible, but my job voluntarily pays me for doing things like organizing lip-dubs and dancing like a tune deaf white girl. You can watch the full embarrassing footage here.
  • workdancbelievin
  • Family moments in my household sometimes include squishing ourselves into tiny children’s forts and capturing the moment with a selfie.



Summer 2015 has me smitten. I’m soaking up the sun and as many of these beautiful moments as I possibly can.