12 Things That Successful People Do

Muahahaha!  Happy Halloween my goblins and ghouls, although today is just another work day, there are a lot of fun, festive activities on the horizon…post to come.  Can’t wait for any Halloween goodness?  Here’s a #fbf {Flashback Friday}, Christine and Ryan edition…

Homemade Dalmatian costumes, created by your’s truly, E. Lavery, the best mother in all the land.  I think Ryan was confused by his tail, much like a real dog.  🙂  {also, isn’t that one terrifying Jack-o-lantern bucket?}

Today I wanted to blog about something that I can’t take credit for, but that I really enjoyed.  Hoping that you might get a thing or two from it as well.  So, once the candy coma wears off, and you get that extra hour of sleep {we fallin’ back this weekend y’all!}, take this into consideration- because contrary to popular belief, life goes on the day after Halloween…no matter how much candy you eat.

Of course, I discovered this on the mother ship of electronic knowledge [besides Google}…Pinterest.


Originally found on Savvy Sunah’s blog, I feel like I need to work on keeping a lot of these things in mind.  Like, “they avoid the trap of trying to make things perfect”, or “they keep things simple”.  All great things to keep in mind while on your journey.

What do you guys think of the list?  What strategies do you use to make yourself more successful?

Happy Friday/Happy Halloween!

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Costume Dilemma

Started the morning off with another round of spin class and a smoothie.  I was craving something sweet but I don’t have any berries/sweet fruit on deck…so I settled with this:

1 Banana, 1 cup of almond milk, 2 Tbsp flax seeds, 1-2 handfuls of organic spinach, 1/2 an avocado, 1 Tbsp of raw honey, 1/4 cup of shredded coconut, and a few dashes of cinnamon.  A surprising combination of ingredients that is actually a creamy, dreamy breakfast smoothie.  It almost tastes like a “healthy” batter, if you can believe that.

Now, on to the hard stuff.

I don’t know what to wear for Halloween this year.  Don’t tell anyone….but I was thinking about not dressing up as anything at first {gasp!}.  I absolutely love Halloween and dressing up, but as of last week I didn’t have any set plans so I didn’t know if it was worth it.  Since then plans have been made and one of my best friends from high school, Ali, is coming to town to visit….now making it costume crunch time.

I should mention that I take Halloween Costume-ing very seriously…check out the Christine Halloween Archive…

Street Sign in 2011 {w/ my friend Dem…who was a 10-yd field marker with her boyfriend…he was chained to her ankle about 10 yards away, dressed identically}…and I’m assuming that was a real street marker.  I found it in the attic of my old college house.

Chef Boyardee in 2012 w/ my second Italian Fam…love those guys.  I miss that job every day.  Also, I didn’t tell anyone except for my close friends that I was dressing up like this.  No one recognized me, it was pretty interesting to just roam the streets of Huntington that night incognito.

As Walter White w/ my friend Jess {as Jessie} in 2013 {say my name…}

See.  Christine don’t play when it comes to Halloween.

Ali and I have been going back and forth on what we should do…she sent me this pic last night for a “candy rapper” costume {not sure where she got it from}.

Get it?  Candy…on a rapper?  Candy Rapper?  I still have no props or clothing for a costume yet, but mark my words I will have something by the end of the week.  I had fun browsing the Internet today, and checking out some options.  Are you still short on costume ideas?  Check out these links below:

Her Campus:  16 Funny Halloween Costume Ideas

Refinery 29:  11 Costume Ideas No One Else Will Have

Mental Floss:  55 Awesome Halloween Costume Ideas

What do you guys think of the Candy Rapper idea?  What are you dressing up as for Halloween this year?

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The Gone Girl Workout

Guys.  I cannot stop freaking out right now.

Last night Jimmy and I finally went to go see the movie Gone Girl and my life is complete.  I read the book over a year or two ago and I have been waiting for the day that I could see it in movie form.

In addition to the fact that I have loved Ben Affleck since I was but a wee babe, I think my obsession with both Gillian Flynn and the twisted mind of Amy Dunne rival that of any preteen crush. I have to stop talking about it now or I will give it all away.  It was one of the best adaptations I have ever seen. {and it was extra fun getting to watch the story unfold for Jimmy for the first time, he even said that it was one of the best movies he’s seen in awhile}.

That being said, in honor of the movie I decided to come up with a work out semi-inspired by the movie/book.  Now, when I say inspired by, that is a very loose translation.  I’m more so referring to Amy Dunne’s “work smarter not harder” mentality. With a another new schedule for work I now have to be present, ready to go, fed and exercised by 9 AM. {aka the mornings equal crunch time and farewell Kelly and Michael}.  I will wake up early to exercise, however I will also draw the line at waking up any earlier than 4:45 AM. That being said between getting ready, working out, eating, and driving to work {40min- 1hr commute here people}, in the mornings I only have about an hour that I can work out these days. The 15 to 20 minute circuit below is meant to be completed in any studio or open space when you need to workout but don’t exactly have all morning to do it.

The key is to not stop until all 10 moves have been completed at 30 sec a piece.  Of course take breaks if you need to between the full sets.  Once completing the work out and getting my heart going I went through the main floor and did some isolated leg exercises.  From there, I was good to go for the day. Great news about this workout is that if I don’t have time to make it to the gym I can roll out of bed and complete it right in my living room, as long as it people below me don’t care 🙂

What do you guys think of the quick circuit workout?  Do you love Gone Girl as much as I do? Have you read the book or seen the movie?

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#FiveThings {Oct 26}

The weekend has finally coming to a close.  Got a lot of things done, but also spent a lot of time taking my time.  After being so busy these past couple of weeks/weekends, I can’t complain…ready and refreshed for another week!  Let’s jump in to the week’s #FiveThings…

The Skimm

I understand that I’m a little late jumping on this train…but I’m officially obsessed with The Skimm.  It’s perfect for those on the go, with honest and funny {honestly, it’s funny} recaps of what’s going on in today’s world.  Their tagline?  “We read.  You Skimm”


I read it on breaks at work, and it catches me up on need to know info.  Even election/midterm news, which is extremely important if you’re living in NC…Tillis/Hagan…Hagan/Tillis…things are heatin’ up down in North Cakalacky.

Work Salad

If I said I eat this 4 out of the 5 days of the work week, I’d be telling the truth.  The cafe at my job has a variety of amazingly delicious food {and it’s subsidized…work perk}.  However, since I sit all dang day, I try to be as healthy as I can.  This curried kale salad has been my saving grace…

It’s full to the brim {the salad line people hook me up}.  The ingredients?:  Baby kale, cucumbers, carrots, red onion, real bacon bits, beets, mandarin oranges, blueberries, chopped blackened chicken, almonds and cashews, topped with curried dressing {they still won’t tell me the ‘secret’ ingredients in the dressing}.

After 5+ months, I haven’t gotten tired of it, I’m a creature of habit, what can I say?  If anyone knows any good curry dressing recipes, let me know. 🙂

Nick Jonas

I’m a sucker for bad music.

But really, where did Nick Jonas come from?  Left field, that’s where.  {Almost} completely shaking his Jo-Bro sound, I can’t get enough of his new music.  I love listening to it when I workout.  My current favorite?  “Chains”…

Split Jumps/Jumping Lunges

Call them what you want, but split jumps are in my top five of workout moves…ever.  I’m not sure exactly what it is about them, but I always find myself completing three sets of twenty of these babies before my workout is done, most days of the week.


My New Cooz

Last weekend, when I went to Miami, my brother went home to Durham to participate in the Bull City Racefest.  After the race there were, as always, a variety of vendors and sponsors where you could pick up some free SWAG {or as Michael Scott would say, “Stuff We All Get”}.  Ryan decided to be a nice sibling and bring me back a themed Durham/Running coozie.

Classic.  And extremely fitting for a place like Durham, if you’re not from there you probably won’t understand.  Stay weird, Durham.

So there ya have it, what are your #FiveThings for the week?

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Weekend in the Sunshine State

Throwback Thursday recap time!  As you may already know, I was able to squeeze in some more friend time this past weekend in Miami/South FLA.  Below is a quick recap of the trip…

I got in late Friday night {Jess was already there, the Marshall football team played FIU this past weekend and she was down there for work}.  To Abby’s surprise, I strolled out of Gate D at the airport on Friday {more like jumped out from behind a car}….she was super surprised/happy to see me…success!  I love surprising people.  We had plans to participate in the Susan G. Komen run/walk for Breast Cancer Saturday morning, so we took it easy on Friday night, sipping champagne and catching up.

Here we are after the race!  It was a great way to support an awesome cause, and ensure that we were up and ready for the day.  We then headed over to this adorable restaurant for brunch, the Peacock Garden Cafe {check out there website, and you’ll see what I mean when I say adorable}.  We ordered a round of berry mimosas and cinnamon rolls {hey, it’s vacation…no judgment}.

Awwoooogggggaaaaa!  Yes, I’m pretty sure I stared at this with cartoon-like eyes when it appeared.

I ordered the Monte Cristo breakfast sandwich…basically a breakfast sandwich made with french toast, it was heavenly.

We decided to just soak up some sun until the Marshall game.  Even though we weren’t in Huntington, and didn’t recognize as many people, it was almost comforting to just be in the middle of a Marshall crowd.  Along with the fact that the Herd fans were more than twice as present as the FIU fans, it was a great way to support my alma mater {and we won…We Are…}

We then went out for a little bit on Saturday night, and were excited for what the next day had to bring: Boating!

Getting up around 10am, we headed out to Elliot Key {the northern most Key, about 30 minutes away} and hung out on the water literally all day.

The weather was spectacular.

The water was unreal.  It was the perfect temperature and it was so clear…I couldn’t get out of it.  Even Jess {who is apparently afraid of open water} was having a blast.  There was absolutely nothing else that I would have rather been doing this past Sunday.

Oh yea, and then I had to fly out at 9pm that night…

Overall, the trip was amazing and once again leaving friend time es no bueno.  I want to go back again…tomorrow, actually.  If someone wants to pay for it and work for me that’d be great.  It was so nice to finally get to visit Abby in her new home and check out what she does from day to day.  Hopefully a trip back is in the works soon, since it will start getting “cold” down here in North Carolina, very soon.

Have you guys ever been to Miami?  Any favorite spots to check out next time I visit?

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Build Up Your Blog Inspiration

After another sweaty 5:30am RPM class, I started today off with a little veggie scramble…eggs/egg whites, asparagus, spinach, and red onion with a little bit of the organic seasoning salt that my Aunt Susi sent me.  Would you believe me if I said that this is all I have in my fridge right now?  Weekend trips really cut into my grocery shopping process.

Today I wanted to share a recent motivational step that I’ve taken in a blogging sense.

Recently, I’ve been finding myself at a crossroads for the blog.  I want it to grow and take it further, however I’ve been feeling like I’m on a stationary bike…going through the motions, pedaling, pedaling, pedaling {or in this case, writing, writing, writing}…but where is it exactly that I’m going?  In addition to my crazy schedule and time constraints, I haven’t been able to give it the attention that it deserves, and before I know it, days have gone by before I’ve done anything productive {in a blogging sense, I mean}.

This kills me.  Between spending the past two-ish years building and writing the Marshall Campus Rec Blog, as well as starting my own since moving to Charlotte {heya, Skinny Fingers!}, I know that this is something that I’m passionate about.  The fact that I’ve been unable to focus on something that makes my soul happy has been weighing on me heavily, to the point where I wasn’t sure where to even start anymore.

Enter The Fitnessista’s Build Up Your Blog, ebook.  I first learned about this ebook’s recent release while browsing through one of my personal favorites, Peanut Butter Fingers, blog.  I was hemming and hawing on whether or not I should download it for a few days.  Then I bit the bullet yesterday morning and purchased it, thinking, “if not now, when?”.  It is a 70 page ebook full of great blogging advice, and I’m so glad I got it…I’ve already read it cover to cover!

Small tip:  While I loved this ebook, if you don’t have a blog or no interest in starting one, this might not be the book for you….but who knows, if you’ve been sitting on your hands about the whole thing, maybe this will inspire you to get started!

Check out ‘Build Up Your Blog’ here!

On top of the fact that I love Gina’s blog, I also love the fact that she addresses the book as advice from a friend.  Filling it with tips and tricks that she wishes she would have known from the start/advice from one blogging friend to another.  It has given me so much inspiration, and a better idea of what changes I need to make, that might not only help me feel better in terms of how I’m treating my blog, but how to make it grow.  I have absolutely nothing on the agenda this upcoming weekend, so I plan on relaxing and taking some time to work on my bebe.  After two back to back weekends of traveling, I can’t think of anything more that I would want to do.  {but I do really miss my fraaandss!}

Check it out and let me know what you think!

Have any of you read Gina’s book?  What are some other blog-inspiring sources of info for you all?  {blogs, books, ebooks, newsletters??}  Let’s share the blogging love!

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#FiveThings {Oct. 17}

I’m back.  Full of sadness and jet lag from traveling these past two weekends, causing Five Things to get delayed until tonight.  This past weekend I took a trip down to Miami to visit my friend, Abby, while Jess was also down there.  Friend trips are such a tease, and although I always have an amah-zing time and I’m  thankful to get to have friend time, it goes by so fast and it’s always sooo hard to leave.

Okay, I’m done playing my violin…I really am grateful that I’ve been able to have two back to back friend weekends, it’s just difficult when they end.  So let’s cover my Five Things to boost the mood!

Benviedos a Miami

Had to push the pause button when it came to posting today’s #FiveThings on Friday {it was actually ready to go on a Friday!} as to not ruin a surprise that I had for my friend, Abby {it was me, I was the surprise}.  Like I said, this past weekend rounds out part two of my B2B surprise weekend extravaganza.  Last weekend was Huntington, this weekend, I flew down to Miami to meet up with Jess again {two weekends in a row, woop woop!} to surprise our friend, Abby.  Abby also went to Marshall with us, but she now lives in the sunshine state.  Our other friend,  Liz, unfortunately couldn’t make it this time, but she was there with us in spirit!  Abby had no idea that I was coming, so I legit surprised her at 10pm on Friday night…I was so happy I could pull it off!  Recap post on that trip a little later.

Oh nothing, just a little Sunday Funday in Elliot Key {30 min boat ride from MIA}.  Already miss it.

Bacon Wrapped Dates

If you think this is a Cloverton cheese stuffed date wrapped in bacon…then you’re right.  Since I’ve been gone, the CUTEST paleo-based coffee shop and restaurant opened up in Huntington that goes by the name of Butter It Up.  Of course, Jess, my paleo friend is in love, and it was one of the first places she took me to visit when I got to town the other weekend.  Not only did I scarf down some of the tastiest paleo chicken tortilla soup, but I purchased some of these babies.  They also had bacon wrapped dates stuffed with almond butter….they were a mouthful…but a glorious mouthful.

This Juice

On Friday afternoon I stopped in Whole Foods to grab some grub.  I was also going to buy one of my favorite chia seed drinks- Mama Chia, the cherry lime flavor.  However I couldn’t find it {I’m sure it was there, but I didn’t ask for help and was on a time crunch}.  I quickly browsed the juice section and spotted this girl.  I was intrigued by the ingredients {listed on the front of the bottle}.  It definitely tasted “healthy”, but that’s how I like my green juice…healthy.

This Song

Long live MJ.  I’m not going to lie, I’ve been super stressed about a variety of things lately…but never fear, Michael Jackson is here!  Originally recommended by long time friend, coworker, and La Famiglia pizza extraordinare, Joe, Jess told me to just “listen to this song and jam out”, after a neurotic venting session.  I was cranky and hesitant at first, but I decided to give it a try on my way to work on Wednesday.  My reaction?  Mr. DJ, pon de replay.  I listened to it the whole ride to work {yes, I have a 40 min commute}.  I can’t put my finger on exactly what it was, but by the time I got to work I was 100 times better.  MJ done did it again.  Thanks for the positive vibes Joe!

Place With No Name- Michael Jackson

These Shoes

I don’t know why I go to Nordstrom Rack {or shopping in general} when I aint gots no moneys.  Although I love how tall I am {5’11”}, there are a few sub par qualities that go along with that…like, say, the fact that I have two boats for feet.  Size 11 right here, loud and proud {running shoes size 12 for the space…yeesh}.  Not only do I love shoes, I love heels.  I don’t really care if they make me taller than pretty much everyone on earth {why do you think I keep tall, handsome, Jimmy around?  He’s still taller than I am in heels, a main quality I look for in a man…only kidding…kind of 😉 }.  Friday afternoon, I found these beauties in my size, and they were surprisingly easy to walk in…

However, they were $70, and although everyone I asked for advice via txt told me to get them, I held back…hopefully they will be there once I get paid.  I miss them already.  Molly simply sent me this back when I sent her the picture…and she’s right…

Buy the dang shoes.  Nothing haunts you like the things you didn’t buy {I’m pretty sure that’s a meme too}.

Hopefully everyone got through their Monday, swimingly!  {it’s almost over}

What are your Five Things for this past week?

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{ #FiveThings : #CheckingIn }

Yoohoo!  Hi Skinny Finger-ers!

Sorry I’ve been MIA, life’s been a whirlwind of traveling and working crazy hours {&& if you haven’t noticed- no blogging}.  All work and no blogging makes Christine a dull girl.

While there is a light at the end of the tunnel, it’s not in the immediate future {I couldn’t even list my Five Things for the week!!!}, so I guess I’ll crank that out now, because I am super thankful for a lot of things — {#FiveThings, the abbreviated version}


Got to head down to the field during the fourth quarter

We Are…  25th in the nation!  {ask Siri who her favorite college team is right now}  I spent this past weekend in Huntington, WV with all my fraaands for Marshall’s homecoming.  I was keeping it hush hush because I wanted to surprise a few people.  I took Friday off and spent a weekend reminiscing on my old stomping grounds and soaking it all in with some amazing people.  {maybe shed a tear on my way out of town…man, I love that place}.  It was a weekend to remember for sure, but some things need to just stay in the sanctity of the Hillbilly Vegas that is Huntington, WV.

With Molly && Jess

Ok kewl, so that’s done {told ya, abbreviated…everything about last weekend covers all of my Five Things}

SF is one of my favie things to take the time to do, BUT lately I’ve been running out of time.  I know, I know, take an hour of your day to do “X-Y-Z” each day and you’ll be able to get more done.  {I actually wrote this blog by hand, by the light of my dual screen computer last night}…

But it made me wonder, we all have the same amount of hours in the day, and I still want to make sure I get to do things I enjoy {I’m all about optimizing every hour of every day}, on top of getting some day to day things done as well, I’m starting to even slack in that department {good news is I’ve been showering}.  So I pass the baton to you:

What strategies do you guys have when it comes to keeping your head on straight when life gets busy?

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Make Ahead Experiments

Before we get started today, check out this guilty pleasure that I sprung for at Trader Joe’s.

Not vodka…pumpkin spice coffee.  I’m all out of coconut creamer {apparently everyone is loving it as much as me…it’s always out of stock}.  For now, I’m just using unsweetened vanilla almond milk with my coffee.  I love the Coffeemate Pumpkin Spice Creamer (it’s basically candy), but since it has dairy, I try to avoid it and only use it every now and then.  This coffee still gives me that warm, fuzzy, holiday feeling, sans dairy {doesn’t taste as “candy-like”, just FYI, but it’ll do}.

As my schedule continues to adjust, I am starting to get less and less time in the mornings.  This means less time to take my time cooking breakfast, blogging, and getting other things done before heading to work {like watching Live!  With Kelly and Michael}.  This also means getting home a bit earlier {aka between 8 and 9pm}, which is inconvenient as well because 9pm is not a time to cook dinner.  At the rate I go, it won’t be done until 10, and I don’t want to eat dinner and go straight to bed.  So I decided to test out some make ahead meals a while back and I wanted to let you in on how they went {both recipes from PaleoOMG}.

Action shot

Make ahead meal 1:  Stuffed Acorn Squash {for breakfast…two meals}

Click the link for the full recipe {only 5 ingredients!}

While this one still took a little cooking in the morning, I followed every step except when I had to bake the half of squash with the egg.  When it came time to eat, I pulled out the squash, baked the egg inside it and viola!

Hint:  Since you will be keeping these in the fridge over a period of time, zap the half of the squash in the microwave before cooking {learned that the hard way the first time}.  It will take forever for the egg to cook otherwise because of the “cold” squash.

Make ahead meal 2:  Pumpkin Cashew Coconut Curry over Coconut Rice {4-5 meals}

Sometimes at work they buy us lunch if we’re busy so we can keep working.  Most of the time it’s pizza and pasta {and by the time I get to it, it’s cold}.  On top of the fact that I don’t want to eat it anyway, it also makes me feel like a pile of doodoo for the rest of the day, and counterproductive.  To avoid this, I pack my lunch on the busy days.  This was also nice to have once I got home in case I hadn’t eaten dinner yet.  I could just grab and grub.

Here’s my lunch at work.  Man, does this recipe reaffirm my love for cauliflower rice.  I’ve never really liked rice that much anyway {except for fried rice…doesn’t count}.  But cauliflower rice is something that I can get on board with.

If you’re in a time crunch like me, these make ahead meals are sure to save you on time, your wallet, and the scale.

Have you guys tried these recipes before?  What are some of your favorite make ahead meals?

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NODA Eclectic Marketplace

Back from the gym and ready to rock on this Monday.  To kick off the start to another week, I wanted to tell you guys about this rad little market that Ryan and I stumbled upon Saturday morning- the NODA Eclectic Marketplace.

We first noticed it on our way into another filling edition of Jackbeagles brunch.  You heard it here, maybe not first, but Jackbeagles has one of the best brunches {can that word be plural?} in CLT.  As I said yesterday, I’ve dragged my brother and boyfriend to a few different brunch spots in an attempt to branch out, and nothing beats brunch at Jackbeagles {or NODA in general}.

This is my breakfast guilty pleasure- Shit on A Shingle.  No BS, that’s really what it’s called.  I do really well with eating during the week, but I throw my inhibitions to the wind when it comes to weekend brunch.

Afterwards we went around the corner and I grabbed a red-eye coffee from the Smellycat Coffeehouse while we walked around.

The NODA Eclectic Marketplace is located behind the Smellycat Coffeehouse and the Fire Station, it’s very visible from the street.  There were a variety of local vendors present.  As we looked around and chatted with some of the vendors, we were told that the market has been around for about a month or so.

Each stand had something unique it was bringing to the table, and they were all awesome.  I just wasn’t planning on dropping a bunch of dough at the time {see Dad?  Aren’t you proud of me?}.  I did get a few things that will serve as gifts for people for bdays/Christmas {yes, I just admitted to Christmas shopping in October}.  One stand really caught the fancy of both Ryan and myself, accidentallydesigned.  Click the link to check out her Etsy shop.  On Saturday she had a variety of candles, scarves, jewelry, and pickles…yes, pickles.

She made these pickles, each jar having at least a half of a can of the beer that it was labeled with.  Hop Drop & Roll is a famous and fabulous local NODA Brewery beer, it’s easily one of my favorites.  While she had a variety of accessories that I liked, I decided on this bracelet.

I love the teal/turquoise letter, as well as the saying.  It reminds me of a favorite quote/reminder of mine, “in movement there is life” {Alan Cohen}…it’s important to remember and recognize that the journey is what keeps you alive and fuels your soul.  Never stop growing, moving, learning, thinking, and feeling.

In terms of the market, the vendors told us that they were going to be there every Saturday, weather permitting.  So, head down to NODA and check them out next weekend!

Off to work, let’s get this week started…

Any local shops/markets you’re currently loving right now?

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