love letter to mom

i’m starting this post off with a deep, deep breath. my sweet, darling mother turned SEVENTY years old a few months ago. if you’ve had the pleasure of meeting this firecracker of a woman, you know how smart, generous, kind, funny, etc. she is. she doesn’t look a day over fifty. and she certainly doesn’t act a day over twenty-five (she’s probably more youthful than me, sadly!) but i’ll lose my patience with her sometimes because 1) she’s my mother or 2) maybe she forgot something, or is having trouble understanding technology (wifi is a really sticking point), and will actively have to remind myself, DUDE, she’s not exactly a spring chicken anymore; try to be more patient/understanding. the older i (and my mom) get, the more i appreciate the moments i’m lucky enough to spend with her.

which is why for her birthday this year, i gifted her a trip to the south of france. just the two of us, for a week, drinking wine all day long. in true cristina fashion, no matter how much of a yogi i become, i still found myself losing my cool with mom from time to time. but overall, i’m happy to report that i was able to be in every moment, realizing how fortunate i was to have an entire week of uninterrupted bonding time with my favorite person on the planet. i know that i have been guilty of taking her and her unconditional love and support for granted, but it’s never lost on my that i’ve been blessed with a truly incredible mother.

and i’m inspired by other beautiful parent/child relationships. for example, this one that just made me tear up a little while ago. there’s a life coach of sorts whom i follow, not only because he provides really great insights on life and relationships, but because he’s super charismatic and just seems like a genuinely decent human being. the kind of whom you think, yeah, his parents did something right. sure enough, he created a video for his blog that included footage of a visit from his dad: at one point the videographer asks the dad, so do you ever get extra proud of your son when you see the way his brain works? to which the dad responds: i try to resist being proud of what he does, but instead be proud of who he is. what a beautiful thing to say about someone you love. because a person could achieve all the accolades in the world, but if he/she isn’t a good person deep down, what does it matter? i couldn’t be more proud of who my mom is; i can only hope she feels the same way about me.

i love you, mom.

a guide to pet adoption, courtesy of homeoanimal.com

nearly three years ago now (!!!), i wrote this post about the best friends animal society, whose mission it is to save dogs and cats housed in kill shelters. while i’m sad to report that i haven’t had the pleasure of adopting since (yet!) i still continue to follow the incredible work they do. so when someone at a similarly great organization called homeoanimal reached out and asked me to share some news with my readers, there was only one answer. behold the ultimate guide to pet adoption, a helpful and extremely thorough guide that covers just about every question and concern a person might have about bringing a furry friend into his/her family. if you’re looking to take the leap (which i can assure you will be one of the best decisions of your life), i urge you to peruse the guide. then visit an adoption facility in person to check out some potential new additions to your family and chat with staff members. warning: be prepared to spontaneously adopt on the spot. i did this myself nearly a decade ago and there was no looking back. but that’s a story for another day…

a guide to pet adoption, courtesy of homeoanimal.com

nearly three years ago now (!!!), i wrote this post about the best friends animal society, whose mission it is to save dogs and cats housed in kill shelters. while i’m sad to report that i haven’t had the pleasure of adopting since (yet!) i still continue to follow the incredible work they do. so when someone at a similarly great organization called homeoanimal reached out and asked me to share some news with my readers, there was only one answer. behold the ultimate guide to pet adoption, a helpful and extremely thorough guide that covers just about every question and concern a person might have about bringing a furry friend into his/her family. if you’re looking to take the leap (which i can assure you will be one of the best decisions of your life), i urge you to peruse the guide. then visit an adoption facility in person to check out some potential new additions to your family and chat with staff members. warning: be prepared to spontaneously adopt on the spot. i did this myself nearly a decade ago and there was no looking back. but that’s a story for another day…

c’mon, we’re all “foodies”

one of my pet peeves are those people who call themselves foodies. i mean, who doesn’t love food?! i’ve met one or two people who look at what they consume strictly as fuel for the incredible machine that is the human body, but by and large everyone i know (especially in new york) can appreciate good food. now what constitutes “good food” can differ greatly from person to person. after all, we’re each unique in our likes and dislikes (ah the beauty of individuality). for example, i consider myself a foodie when it comes to 1) sweets 2) plant-based food. two pretty different ends of the spectrum but hey, i like what i like. i can tell you where to get the most delicious brownie (ovenly in greenpoint) or the most buttery, crumbly-topped apple pie (believe it or not, at a chain restaurant called houlihan’s. if you don’t know, now ya know) in all of the land, but i’ve also tried just about every vegan/vegetarian/semi-healthy-but-maybe-not restaurant in manhattan (and most of brooklyn). i’ve been on even more of a food exploration kick as of late, thanks in large part to an awesome lunch program called mealpal (check out the site for details on how it works. but i promise it is super easy and convenient. ain’t nobody got time for unnecessary headaches!) in the past month, i’ve had everything from vegetarian quiche from épicerie boulud, to avocado toast with a side of butternut squash soup from tartinery, to just about every falafel bowl within a mile radius (believe me, there are A LOT). and none has disappointed. i’m a true creature of habit, and if left to my own devices would (and did, before mealpal) eat the same thing for lunch for months at a time. but now i’m trying new things and keeping my tastebuds on their toes. if you find yourself in a lunch rut, consider switching it up and giving mealpal a try.

positive health wellness? yes, please.

my journey to self-improvement is a seemingly endless one, and i welcome any and every opportunity to learn something new, whether that be through podcasts, videos, newsletters, word of mouth, websites, etc. so i was super excited when an email from the folks at positivehealthwellness.com landed in my inbox. i hadn’t heard of the site, but was eager to check out the content based on the name alone. and the site certainly delivered. want some tips on how to boost energy? check. think you may have a glucose sensitivity? check. need some new ideas for quick and easy dinner recipes to add to your repertoire? check. the point is, you can find just about anything you need to help you live a healthier life on positivehealthwellness.com.