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friendship, home

This just in: It’s okay to wing it – a lesson from my first D.C. dinner party

Welcome!

Welcome!

One of my very dearest friends was in town on Friday. Though I’ve only been in D.C. for a week, I didn’t hesitate to invite her and her boyfriend over for dinner. She’s spending a year abroad and I’ve so missed being in the same city with her.

As soon as I extended the offer and she accepted, I panicked a bit. My place isn’t all set up. Heck, I don’t have any cookware, plates, silverware, glasses. I don’t even have a table. You know, all the things you need to actually cook and host a dinner. On top of that I’m running around trying to get my life set up, and interviewing for jobs. Am I really in a position to host a dinner at my home? Should I just order takeout? Should I email her right back and say we should meet at a local restaurant? What am I doing? These were the thoughts that ran through my mind.

Then I took a deep breath. I decided to improv it. I stacked up a few of my unpacked boxes and threw a cloth down over them. Voilà – end tables! I made some tasty Mexican food – easy to make vegetarian and ready in half an hour. I turned on the jazz station on my TV and we had instant dinner music. We sat on the couches, holding out plates and glasses. It was wonderful—comfy, fun, and relaxing. This is exactly the way I hope everyone feels when they come to my home. As long as hosting is done with love, it doesn’t need to be fancy. Come as you are is the only dress code in my home.

About Christa Avampato

The short of it: Writer. Health, education, and art advocate. Theater and film producer. Visual artist. Product geek. Proud alumnae of the University of Pennsylvania (BA) and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia (MBA). Inspired by ancient wisdom & modern tech. Proliferator of goodness. Opener of doors. Friend to animals. Fan of creative work in all its wondrous forms. I use my business skills to create passion projects that build a better world. I’ve been called the happiest New Yorker, and I try hard to live up to that title every day. The long of it: My career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, entertainment, technology, and financial services. I’ve been a product developer and product manager, theater manager, strategic consultant, marketer, voice over artist, , teacher, and fundraiser. I use my business and storytelling to support and sustain passion projects that build a better world. In every experience, I’ve used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, programs, and events. While building a business career, I also built a strong portfolio as a journalist, novelist, freelance writer, interviewer, presenter, and public speaker. My writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, PBS.org, Boston.com, Royal Media Partners publications, and The Motley Fool on a wide range of topics including business, technology, science, health, education, culture, and lifestyle. I have also been an invited speaker at SXSW, Teach for America, Avon headquarters, Games for Change, NYU, Columbia University, Hunter College, and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. The first book in my young adult book series, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, was acquired by a publisher and launched in November 2017. I’m currently working on the second book in the series. A recovering multi-tasker, I’m equally at home in front of my Mac, on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I also cut up small bits of paper and put them back together as a collage artist. My company: I’m bringing together all of my business and creative career paths as the Founder of Double or Nothing Media: • I craft products, programs, and projects that make a difference; • I build the business plans that make what I craft financially sustainable; • I tell the stories that matter about the people, places, and products that inspire me. Follow my adventures on Twitter at https://twitter.com/christanyc and Instagram at https://instagram.com/christarosenyc.

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