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Coffee with Christina (June 2023)

Pour a cup of coffee and let’s dive into some questions I received from my coffee talk poll, as well as some random thoughts I’d share if we were having coffee together!

Summer Scale Back

I have been really excited about our summer season and cannot believe it’s finally here. I know summer can feel long and hard, and by the time school rolls back around in late August we’ll all be ready to get back into our routine and structured days, but for now, I’m working to reframe my mindset and adjust my expectations to soak in this season…(with the help of my therapist).

With more time in my days to spend with my kids, my work hours are shrinking and shifting a little bit. So there may be weeks I don’t publish a post every day, and while I’ll still be active on Instagram, you may notice my story replies deactivated from time to time. You can absolutely still message me directly any time, this really just helps me spend less time double-tapping emoji response reactions that sometimes flood my message folder. If you have a question, need a link, or just want to say hi, tap the message button on my Instagram profile anytime to reach me!

Can you share some packing tips for moving?

Yes — check out this post I wrote shortly after we moved: 20 Packing Tips for Moving.

Looking to move to CLT, what neighborhoods should we look at?

I think our recent move sparked a handful of moving questions!

To be honest, I don’t know which neighborhood you should live in! Charlotte is an extremely diverse city in terms of areas and neighborhoods. There are literally hundreds of neighborhood options that each offer different things — bustling and walkable (Uptown), eclectic and artsy (NoDa), waterfront (Lake Norman), mountain views (Gastonia), quirky & lively (Plaza Midwood), historical and charming (Dilworth, Elizabeth), suburban life (Ballantyne, Huntersville, Matthews), lively and youthful (South End), small town feel (Waxhaw, Davidson, Belmont) — just to name a FEW!

We’ve lived in Uptown, Plaza Midwood, Cotswold, and now South Charlotte, and have loved every single one of those neighborhoods immensely for different reasons.

My recommendation would be to make a list of what’s important to you — commute length, safety, schools, neighborhood vibe, convenience, ROI, etc. Then provide your budget and requirements to your real estate agent to help match you with neighborhood(s) and home(s) that are the best fit for you!

A Day In The Life & Guest Writers

When I polled y’all for topics to cover in this month’s coffee talk, the two most popular requests were for home content/home tour and a “Day In The Life.” I’m working on the home content, but our summer schedule is all over the place and each week (and sometimes each day) looks totally different so I’m still trying to figure out how to pen a DITL post without making it a million paragraphs with too many asterisks and caveats. That being said, I think it makes the most sense to wait until the fall to write this!

However, I am still thinking about opening this up for guest writers too after so many of y’all voted YES for this at the beginning of the year. In the 12 years I’ve been blogging, I think I’ve only had ONE guest writer so this sounds like a fun idea.

So I wanted to open up the opportunity for guest posting for late July during the week of our family vacation. If you are interested in contributing a “Day In the Life” post, or have a topic in mind that you’d like to propose/write, shoot me an email: [email protected] by the end of this week!

Share a random fun fact about yourself.

Let’s see…I can no longer watch TV without subtitles. A little over a year ago I turned on the subtitles while we were watching Yellowstone because I could barely understand John Dutton’s mumbling. I liked the subtitles so much that I just kept them on indefinitely. At first, Matt was distracted by the words scrolling across the bottom of the screen, but now he’s gotten used to it and I think he likes it too. I also think it helps me pay closer attention to whatever we’re watching when I follow the subtitles. Anyway, random fun fact about me — I love subtitles.

How do you keep in touch with your older friendships?

Oh man, I am actually not very good at this, especially as my kids have gotten older. The most impactful thing that has helped me keep in touch with long-distance friends is the Marco Polo app. My best friend from high school and I have been using this app to talk to each other almost daily for years.

You do not need to send me an email with your thoughts on this but…I usually listen to/send a Marco Polo when I’m in the car. I set my phone on this magnetic phone mount, hit record while I’m pulling out of my driveway, and talk as if I’m speaking to my friend via speakerphone (I’m not staring at the camera. In fact, sometimes we can’t even see each other’s face, we’re just listening).

I love this app because I can listen to and respond to video messages whenever it’s convenient for me. And since we talk so often, we aren’t catching up from scratch. Instead, it’s more of a daily debrief, which doesn’t take a lot of time and keeps us close. I know what she’s got on deck for work, she knows what I’m cooking for dinner. She fills me in on the top daily TikTok news which is always fun and hilarious (I don’t have TikTok), and I tell her random Amazon products she needs to buy and podcasts to download.

Highly recommend Marco Polo.

Can you share more summer recipes?


One of the things I’m really excited about this summer is cooking for my family! During the school year, we survive off tacos, bagged salads, Chick-fil-A, and pasta. For the record, there is nothing wrong with that! But I LOVE to cook. And with the absence of sports practices every night, I have more margin to cook for my family. I love chopping lots of fresh ingredients, coming up with new recipes, and making things more from scratch.

Anyway, my goal is to create more recipes with local, in-season produce since seasonal produce is fresher and contains more nutrition (because it’s allowed to ripen fully while still in the soil).


Would love some summer date ideas.

Oh, I LOVE this question! If you are local, you have to check out my Charlotte Date Ideas! These are STILL some of my very favorite dates with Matt!

A few super fun things to do together during summer:

  • Go river tubing!! We have done this twice with our kids but also really loved doing this sans kids with other couples!
  • Go to a sports game (football, soccer, baseball, etc.) or play a sport together (Top Golf, Tennis, Pickleball, etc.).
  • Go do something touristy in your area. One of my favorite day dates was going to iFly (indoor skydiving) with Matt!
  • Spend the day at a hotel pool. In Charlotte, some hotels offer a day pass! We’ve done this before at the Omni uptown and had a blast.
  • Go for a hike!
  • Go to a waterpark or ride rollercoasters at a theme park! I think our day date at Volcano Bay in Orlando still takes the cake as a top 3 day date for us of all time.

Alright, I still have a handful of really fun questions that I’m going to answer as a separate blog post or save for next month! THANK YOU all so much for submitting questions.

You can find all my previous Coffee Talk Posts HERE!

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Monday 26th of June 2023

I love your blog and read it all the time. I've never commented before but I loved this coffee chat. I also love "a day in the life..." posts and will look forward to reading it when you post something like that. One mom blogger that I follow puts a random day in her calendar to do a "day in the life" post. Whatever happens on that day is what she posts. She doesn't really comment on how it's different from other days, she just posts what it was. Then she'll put another date in her calendar a few months later to do a different post. That way we see a variety of different days through the year. It often isn't a typical day just because life is different that way. Thanks for writing! I love the variety of your posts.


Monday 26th of June 2023

Amy! Thank you SO much for reading along all this time and for taking the time to drop me this comment. It means so much! I REALLY love that day in the life post idea!!! Thank you so much for sharing!

Eileen in Fla.

Monday 26th of June 2023

I'm so glad you're cutting back and taking it slower for the Summer. You work very hard at making an amazing life for your family and a fun, informative blog for your followers. Take care of you and CHILL. It's gonna be a hot one here in Florida, so lots of cool drinks.


Monday 26th of June 2023

Thank you, Eileen! It's so hard for me to step back, but I'm trying hard to actually do it!!! xo


Monday 26th of June 2023

Does the magnetic phone mount get in the way/negatively affected by the ac/heat vents?


Monday 26th of June 2023

It doesn't block the ac/heat, but it does prevent me from adjusting the vent from left to right once it's locked in. It's easy to remove and adjust though.