one down, one up 21

One Down, One Up 21

It’s Friday again! Thank goodness, right? I feel like I need this weekend in order to catch up on life and my to-do list. My bedroom has been a mess for weeks, I still have approximately a million Christmas cards to write, and I told two friends I would attempt to make them save the dates by next week. So if I could knock all of that off the list tomorrow, that would be great.

one up
My one up this week was definitely getting together with Marie & Jai for our annual Christmas celebration. I think it started 5 years ago. One year we went to afternoon tea, the next we went to afternoon tea again. The year after that we went to a shooting range (these things are very similar), then the next year we went to Moshulu for brunch (& Claire joined us!). This year we stayed in and cooked inner. Jai made ricotta & spinach filled stuffed shells, we made chocolate-covered strawberries, we ate expensive cheese from DiBruno Brothers, they drank mojitos, I drank white wine, and it was delicious. Then we painted our nails, tried on clothes, and talked about boys. It was pretty much the best. This year’ Claire’s in the UK, but hopefully we’ll be seeing her or skyping her in soon!

one down
So it’s not really a down, just kind of a bummer. There’s a package that I’ve been waiting for that was supposed to arrive in Philadelphia on Friday. I have no idea what’s inside the package, but I’m super curious, and you know what? UPS lost it. LOST it. I didn’t even realize that was an option, but apparently it is. My curiosity is driving me slightly bonkers, but that’s okay, because the people who sent it are resending it – and staying on UPS’s case like a hawk, so that’s cool too. Yay for nice awesome on-top-of-everything people.

one random
I’ve been telling a lot of people this in real life, but it’s about time I shared it with the internet. I’m thinking about writing an e-book about how to stay in touch with people. It would give tips and tricks that I’ve learned along the way along with a calendar of how to stay in touch all year without looking like you’re trying too hard. Let me know what you think. I just need to find some free time.

How was your week this week? Any big weekend plans coming up?

PS. The winner of yesterday’s greeting card giveaway is Sarah!  Yay!

PPS. Comment on today’s post before 8:00am tomorrow morning to win this Believe holiday card.  It’s the last giveaway, so make sure you don’t miss your chance to enter!


plus ones

plus ones

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a week, but I haven’t quite figured out how it’s going to go yet. So on this lovely Thursday morning you are getting a stream of consciousness. Averaging about 5.5 hours of sleep a night this week means this should be interesting.

I’ve been thinking about plus ones a lot lately. The plus ones that show up on your dinner party invite that shows up in your inbox or the wedding invitation sent to your front door. At what point do you start always giving somebody a plus one? At what point do you assume you’re getting a plus one? And at what point is it okay for you to start asking for a plus one?

I also want to preface this by saying that this is not a discussion of when you feel comfortable bringing a plus one to an event. For the purposes of the discussion below, it is assumed that your plus one is somebody that you would like to incorporate more into your life.

For the past few years I’ve always put plus ones included on invitations – I’ve prefaced it as boyfriends, girlfriends, fiancés, fiancées, husbands, and wives are all more than welcome to join. More recently, I’ve realized that this should extend to friends as well – just in case it turns out someone doesn’t know anyone at a party because of how the RSVPs fall.

If you’re planning on showing up with a plus one, RSVP-ing is not optional. As far as I’m concerned RSVP-ing is never optional, but especially if you’re showing up with an additional guest. That alone could justify buying an extra bottle of alcohol or extra pound of pasta (depending on the people).

As somebody who’s been single for the majority of her life I definitely understand that there is a time and place to show up to things alone. Everybody doesn’t always want my plus one there – and quite frankly, I don’t always want my plus one there. The question is when is the right time?

I’m sure that the correct answer to this is to ask the host or hostess of the party. “Hey would you mind if I brought so-and-so along?” – but that might only work if you know the host pretty well, and it’s usually the parties that you don’t know the host very well that you probably feel like you need the plus one.

And then there are the couples that start dating where it automatically becomes known that the plus one gets an invite. And in the instance that you were originally friends with both parties, that’s an okay thing, but when you just want to see your friend there’s no real good way to navigate the conversation of “hey, can you come without so-and-so this time?” – I digress.

The same rule probably applies to family holidays. “Hey Aunt so-and-so, would you mind if I brought so-and-so along to the party?” – which I might try next year. In a family that doesn’t actually discuss relationships or real-life at holiday parties, it’s confusing to understand what the right point is to start bringing somebody along. And most of my invitations tend to come through my mother, so I never quite understand the lay of the land because I’m hearing everything third- or fourth-hand. I guess maybe Christmas would be a good time to mention that there is the possibility of me wanting a plus one for the next event.

And then we get to the wedding stuff. I don’t really care if I get a date to a wedding or not, at this point I’ve gone to a good number of them alone. I did, however, run into an awkward situation last year where I RSVPed multiple times with multiple answers about whether or not I was bringing a date based on the other RSVPs for the event. My goal is to never be that guest again.

I’m sure I’m making this more complicated than it needs to be. (Did you see my Circle of Brunch post earlier this week? You should have known it was hopeless from there.) It’s just uncharted territory right now and I’m not exactly sure how I should be navigating it.

I guess maybe this is why making it Facebook official is important, but that’s a story for another day.

So I ask you, when did you start bringing a date to things? Did you have to ask somebody or was it just understood that you would get an invite? Was there different protocol for taking a plus one to a family event vs. a friend event? And no, I won’t be offended if you tell me I’ve completely overthought this. What else is new?


PS. The winner of yesterdays’ greeting card giveaway was Kevin. I’ll send the card your direction tomorrow!

PPS. Enter tomorrow’s card giveaway to win this 2015 card by leaving a comment on this post. And let’s face it, I need the advice.

self portraits

December is a time that I tend to both consciously and subconsciously reassess my life. I figure out what the biggest accomplishments I had were in the past year and I try to decide what I want the biggest accomplishments next year should me. I look back and figure out what days I was at my best and what days I should have been trying a little bit harder. It is both awesome and a huge eye-opener.

I have a handful of posts that have been brewing in my brain about the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015. 2014 was a year for downsizing and building a wardrobe. 2015 will be a year of budgeting. 2014 was as year for talking about life. 2015 will be a year about living life.

In honor of revisitng the past, I decided to finally pull together a top 10 self portraits of myself from high school. I can also 100% assure you the reason I have so many pictures from high school is because I watched too many America’s Next Top Model marathons. I would also like to say that I was doing the selfie thing before it was cool – or a real word. Some of these I can’t quite believe I’m putting on the internet, but I’m going to try not to think too hard about it.  So please enjoy some Lake Street Dive while you visit with 16-year-old Chrystina.

Bad Self Portraits by Lake Street Dive on Grooveshark

High School Portraits_01
High School Portraits_02
High School Portraits_03
High School Portraits_04
High School Portraits_05
High School Portraits_06
High School Portraits_07
High School Portraits_08
High School Portraits_09
High School Portraits_10

Does everybody else have pictures like this of themselves from high school or is this just a me thing? I think that last picture would have gotten lots of points from Mr. & Ms. Jay, right? (Yeah, absolutely not, I know.) Maybe y’all just didn’t watch enough ANTM, you never know when in life you’re going to need to smize.

PS. Comment below for your chance to win a holiday card, the contest is only open today and you will win this You’re My Favorite card.

PPS. The winner of yesterday’s card is JC of Sweet Love & Ginger again. I think y’all are going to need to give her some competition today. (Not that I don’t love you, JC. Just, you know, doing business over here.)


the circle of brunch

Sunday Blogger Brunch

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I hosted a brunch at my house on Sunday for a handful of bloggers in the Philadelphia area. It was a potluck brunch and everybody brought a dish with them. Potlucks are always interesting because not only do you need to think of a dish to bring, but you also need to fit it into the menu that everybody is haphazardly creating as well. It’s up to the organizer to ensure that there’s a good enough variety of food to complete the spread.

Once people started asking what to bring I started brainstorming all of the possible ideas somebody to bring to brunch. There’s an incredible array of sweet to savory and a delicate balance of breads and non-breads. Once I started brainstorming, I started categorizing everything and I was able to develop The Circle of Brunch. That’s right. It’s epic enough that I put it all in capital letters.

Also, I don’t know what it says that I think like this. Don’t think about it too hard.

the circle of brunch

So, what do you think, did I miss anything? Comment below and you have a chance to win the Chrystina Noel Ugly Sweater Christmas Card. All you need to do is comment and you are enterred for a chance to win.


PS. The winner of yesterday’s card giveaway is JC from Sweet Love & Ginger! I’ll put it in the mail today, lady.