Skip to Content

Coffee with Christina (February 2024)

Pour a cup of coffee and let’s dive into some topic requests and answer some fun questions I’ve recently received, as well as some random thoughts I’d share if we were having coffee together!

Corporate Exit Anniversary

This month marks my two year anniversary of me leaving my corporate job and taking Carolina Charm full time. One of the most frequently asked topic requests I receive is to provide an update on how my corporate world exit has been for our family.

First, I am unbelievably grateful that we are able to make this work for our family. It is a huge privilege and continues to be one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. There are many ways in which we’ve felt the impact (and relief) from me being home — one of the biggest being our mornings and evenings run so much smoother.

Without all of us scrambling to get out the door at the same time, I can enjoy slower mornings with the kids — making them breakfast, packing their lunch, staying in my robe just a little bit longer, and walking them (and Mabel) down to the bus stop. Matt can also leave earlier for the office and no longer feels the pressure of getting the kids ready or out the door by a specific time, which gives him more time in his workday.

And when the kids get home from school, I can (usually) be done with work for the day and get the kids where they need to go, whereas previously I would become beyond frustrated and bitter having to juggle the last hour or two of my work day with half my brain in corporate mode and the other half in mom mode. I was just not good at balancing that at all and our entire family could feel it, which made me really sad — and I carried a lot of guilt around this.

Now, I can usually schedule my day around our family schedule, meaning if we have a late night of practice, I’ll prep dinner earlier in the day. If there is a house or kid appointment in the middle of the day, I can adjust my schedule to accommodate it. Note: In full transparency, this is not perfect. While 90% of the time this works really well for us, there have definitely been instances (especially during the holidays which is my busiest work season or when we’re in the middle of a big house project that is very disruptive to our days) I feel like my working hours get shifted or shrink more than usual and my stress builds when I feel very behind.

Lastly, I often look at our life that is so full with many things going on and think to myself “HOW did we EVER make this work with two full time working parents?” To those of you managing this, I just want to say how awesome you are. It’s so hard and you are doing a great job.

If you’re a newer reader, you may want to catch up on these posts first: Resignation Announcement / Q&A: Corporate World Exit (Decision & Transition).

What are your favorite gluten-free snacks?

Here are my top 5 right now!

  1. PopCorners: Walmart carries the 20-count Variety Pack for under $20 and it comes with 6 delicious flavors: White Cheddar, Kettle Corn, Sea Salt, Spicy Queso, Sweet Chili, and Sour Cream & Onion. I eat these every single day for a low-calorie, gluten-free snack and love them so much.
  2. Quest Protein Chips: I love these for crushing on top of salads, eating with taco night, and alongside a sandwich. I purchase mine from Target or sometimes Walmart if they are stocked in-store (hit or miss though). All of the flavors are good, but the Loaded Taco and Spicy Sweet Chili are my favorites!
  3. Protein Powder Cookie Dough Bark: This protein-packed frozen snack is perfect for when I’m craving something sweet after a workout or for a late night treat. It takes 5 minutes to mix together and literally tastes just like a roll of chocolate chip cookie dough!!!
  4. High Protein Greek Yogurt: Perfect for a post workout breakfast or afternoon snack. It’s also a great snack for packing in your lunchbox!
  5. Protein Balls: I make a lot of variations of these but wanted to share my most recent favorite recipe — S’mores Protein Balls! Oh my goodness, these are so good I have to hide them from everyone in my family. They are SO good and only took a few minutes to throw together. I recommend doubling the recipe to get you through the full week — these will go fast!

S’mores Protein Balls

Did you ever wish you had a 3rd kid?

I thought more about this when the kids were really little as I come from a family with 3 kids.

We wanted our kids to be super close in age (Matt and I are both really close in age to our siblings) so if we decided to go for a 3rd, it would have been shortly after having Thomas. Ultimately we decided our family was complete with two kids after Thomas was diagnosed with bilateral congenital cataracts. Any subsequent children were extremely likely to have the same condition. We were VERY lucky Thomas has been the best case scenario, but we knew we weren’t guaranteed that again!

Now that our kids are older (almost 9 and almost 10) I have learned that two is definitely the sweet spot for us. Our kids are super busy…and expensive. Between sports, school activities, play dates, orthodontist/eye doctor appointments, etc., they keep up busy getting everyone where they need to go, and being present at all the things! Also, prior to having kids I never thought about the expense of seasonal wardrobes (they outgrow their clothes SO fast), sports/equipment/uniforms, summer camps, taking 2 kids out of eat, tutoring, etc.

So instead of having a third kid, we got a dog. Ha!

Who is most excited about the pool — you, Matt, or the kids?

Originally — ME!

One of the promises Matt made me when we moved out to the burbs was a swimming pool. Growing up in Florida, we spent SO much time as a family and with our friends in our pool and I’ve so badly wanted our kids to have that same experience! So watching the pool come to life has been so incredibly exciting for me.

Matt grew up in Ohio so a pool wasn’t high on his wish list, but once we moved in to our home, he was excited to design it together (which we did on a piece of paper over our Q1 Family Planning Date Night)! And once he saw a rendering of his backyard design on the TV screen, his excitement level quickly caught up to mine.

As for the kids, they are elated to see the pool finally filled and cannot wait to get IN IT (soon!)!

You can find all my previous Coffee Talk Posts HERE!

You'll also love


Thursday 29th of February 2024

I love these coffee chats!!


Thursday 29th of February 2024

Thank you so much, Barbara!!! xo

Toni :0)

Wednesday 28th of February 2024

Okay this was so fun!! I look back at the days when my kids were younger and my daughter lived at the dance studio while hubby and I juggled full time work out of the house and marvel how we made it all happen. I never had the luxury of working from home until my kids were much older but boy how much this would have helped me balance life a little bit better. It was brutal and I’m just thankful to be on the other side of it. Especially because my employer closed my office bldg. ten minutes from my house and I now have to drive 30-45 min to downtown Detroit but thankfully only one time a week right now. That would have killed me if my kids were younger. I’m certain I would have cried. Love the pool design and I’m way excited for y'all about this. I think the little putting green was just a super cool feature. Also, your flowers in the that photo are gorgeous!! xoxo💝