You’ve heard me mention Sara D about 10 million times on my blog (like here,

Last week, the blog girls had another meet-up at a local business. This time we went to Videri, a chocolate factory in The Depot near downtown Raleigh. What better place to hang out with a group of girls than a chocolate factory (as long as it’s not Willy Wonka’s. That place is creepy)?!

Videri is a bean-to-bar factory, meaning they complete the whole process of sorting the beans, roasting them, and making the bars all in one place.

I got there a few minutes early and snapped some pictures of the space. It’s so cool!

I’ve always had a tendency to involve myself with a myriad of activities outside of school and work. In high school, I played volleyball, had an internship, and volunteered regularly; in college, I started The GW Social Enterprise Forum, interned with several organizations, was a mentor for Compass Fellows, and was very involved with a pre-semester volunteer program for freshmen called Community Building Community.

Currently, I am the head of the membership committee for Change the Triangle; I run the Triangle area bloggers group; I am organizing an event for the NC alumni chapter of GW; and I will hopefully be sitting on a regional board for Compass.
Call them extracurriculars or hobbies, but I always find myself busy!

After we saw Cynthia of Ornamentea speak on the panel at the NCMA Pinup Event, Sara D suggested that we host a blog girls event at Ornamentea, a local bead and jewelry store. Located just off Glenwood Avenue, the store offers jewelry making classes, which seemed like a great idea for a group of bloggers!

They graciously offered to let us do an earring making class free of charge, which meant we had more money to spend in the store after :)

My earrings {take 9576- I was so indecisive} and jewelry making tools

Colette, Sara D, me, Linnie, Erica, Jessica, and Elisabeth with our earrings! Our token silly picture didn’t come out very well. Love the lanterns on the ceiling!
Bead options and my sparkly clutch
Cute set-up in the jewelry making room {my birthstone is ruby!}. This table held our Cupcake wine and snacks!
Fabric swatches in the store

Bead wall
Any store with free coffee or tea is guaranteed to have repeat business from me :)

Two sets of earrings for $8 {hooks and charms bought separately}! Continuing my obsession with nautical-themed/starfish jewelry haha

Thank you so much to Ornamentea for hosting us! I’ll definitely be back.

Website//Pinterest//Twitter

I met Linnie of Linnie at Large at our

The idea of public criticism has been tumbling around in my head for many months, but the catalyst for this post was the recent

My friend {not my sister!} Sara of Watermelon Roses has been dominating my blog lately. She designed my new blog header, attended the Around the World blogger potluck with me, and really brightened up my day awhile back. As I mentioned in my Ray of Sunshine post, Sara and I met through Twitter and have been blog friends ever since. When I made over an ugly side table, I immediately texted her because I knew she’d love my DIY skills :)

I was excited when she agreed to be part of my Cristina Chats blogger interview series- I knew I would learn a thing or two about her :)

This picture is from my trip to Italy with my parents after college graduation. I think it shows “me” inside and out – I am quick to laugh, enthusiastic, but also a bit sarcastic (look carefully, you’ll see it). Also despite chopping all that hair off, I still think of myself as the girl with the insane wild and curly hair. It’s part of what makes me, me. Also I love good food and wine, obviously :)

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Last night we had another meeting of the

Finishing up taxes

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In spite of the fact that I hate managing financials {or I suppose because I hate managing financials} I felt incredibly empowered going through the process, learning about income and deductions, and mailing off my forms.

Blog group potluck

The blog girls and I are having a group potluck on Thursday! Laura of Taking Back My Twenties graciously offered to host, so we’re having the potluck in her chic Durham apartment {I know what it looks like from her blog, of course!}. The theme is Around the World, so I’m excited to see what a group that includes a few food bloggers can come up with!

My stepdad’s birthday

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The first time Heather Allen emailed us about coworking space, we knew she was exactly the kind of person we wanted as the first founding member of The Raleigh Forum. Over the past 7 months, we’ve spent countless days in the office together, attended numerous downtown Raleigh networking events, joined the same gym, and drank a glass or two of wine

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+Cristina Roman