Hello Christina! Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview. First off, can you tell us about you and your blog? How did you get started and what are your passions?
This is going to be so much fun! Well, I’m Christina Raquel and I share posts on lifestyle, health, fitness, and productivity over on my blog Christina and Camera. I’ve been blogging for over three years and I love it. Some other things I love are thrifting, beach days, time with friends and rainy days. I’m a teen girl who enjoys journaling, lists, Pinterest, photography, mountains and sunsets. I’m the oldest of five from the lovely sunshine state. My goal is to inspire and motivate teen girls to live out their dream and build a life they love. Career wise I’ve wanted to be a Paediatric Nurse before or an Obgyn! But I would also love to be an Interior Designer, Photographer, Elementary School or Science teacher. I play the piano and violin. I’m learning Spanish one day and hope to be fluent!
Where do you live and what is the best thing about your hometown?
I live in Florida! While it does get pretty hot, especially during the summer, I love living near the beach. This is pretty near to my family and major tourist attractions like Disney World! I was actually a military kid for a while so I’ve moved a lot! I’ve moved five times in total, mostly to different states and cities. I’ve lived in three different states, Alabama, Alaska and now Florida and had six different houses.
What is your philosophy on life and why?
Since I’m a Christian, that certainly shapes my philosophy on life. My goal for my life is to love God and people, however that might be!
What important lessons have you learnt over the past few years?
I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter if everyone likes you and to do what you love even if others don’t understand it + I value being close with a smaller amount of people over having lots of surface level friends.
What does your creative process look like?
I always start by scrolling on Pinterest to get inspiration and then check my list of post ideas to find an idea! I usually don’t write a post in one day unless it’s super short. To prepare for the new year, I made a vision board and filled it with pictures that inspire me. I encourage all of you to do this as well- I also made a private Pinterest board, filled it with all the pictures I wanted to include and then played around with it in canva for a few minutes. I absolutely love it and think it’s full of happy vibes that will inspire me every single day. Recently I’ve been doing a ton of reading, upwards of ten books a week and i’ve been loving it. Without having school i’ve had so much more time and it’s been so nice to just relax with a book. The following books have such summery vibes and are the best to read: The Summer I turned Pretty Trilogy, Love and Gelato, We Were Liars, American Royals series and Ninety Days of Different.
What does a typical day in your life look like? Tell us about your morning and night routine.
It depends on the day but I wake up around nine. I try to start my day with some sort of physical activity, especially when the weather is amazing, as well as time with God. I’m currently doing Chloe Ting’s 5 week summer shred challenge and it’s a great way to get your body motivated and feeling awesome. Another channel I love for workouts is MadFit – her song workouts are so good! moving your body, even if it’s just some light stretching, is super helpful. That doesn’t always happen but I love knocking out important things first thing in the morning! After I get back I ate a quick breakfast and then started planning out my day. Two of my favourite breakfasts are yogurt and granola and eggs in pita. This is your fuel for the day!
I’ve been using notion to write out a to do list and then google calendar to time block when I want to do each activity. I do most of my blog work in the morning as well because I find myself way more focused. I’ve also been trying to stay off social media and my phone until the afternoon. It’s helped my productivity so much. I’ve been doing different devotionals on a bible app every night with friends which is fun. On Mondays I get one dollar coffee from Dunkin Donuts which is amazing for my bank account and my mood. Normally I pick up an iced coffee with oat milk and caramel and it’s so good! I’ve also been doing yoga a lot lately and I’m obsessed. I don’t have a specific video or channel that I love (I normally just search ‘yoga’ on youtube!) but it makes me feel so much better especially when I’m sore from track practice.
What goals did you set for yourself this summer and how far along are you in terms of achieving them? What do you have in mind for next year?
Honestly, I’ve forgotten most of them but I have gotten way better at playing my violin. I know that was one of my goals for this year! My blog has also grown and passed four hundred followers, a blogging goal of mine. My ultimate goal is to be intentional with living out my purpose and to be loving and kind. To pursue my dreams, put God first in my life, act how I say I believe, be confident yet humble in Christ. For His love to abound through me and for me to grow in grace (Philippians 1:9–11) and to have lots of fun and laughs along the way surrounded by those I love.
Here are my goals and bucket list for this summer: Work on my spanish, Earn a hundred dollars with sixty four more to go, have a random acts of kindness day, read five books, memorise the book of Philippians, watch when calls the heart, get together with friends, practice cooking, go camping, have a spa day with friends, bake something yummy, journal, finish couch to 5k, find a sport to work hard and get good at, blog twice a week and create content I’m proud of, sleepover with cousins, go night swimming, go to a movie, have a beach day, build a campfire, no phone for a day, make homemade pizza, have a shopping day, bike ride, pull an all nighter, hehe!
In what ways has your Christian faith influenced and served as a guide for your life? What about as a young blogger?
My faith is so important to me and it influences every part of my life! I’ve always tried to be very open about it on my blog even though I know many of my followers don’t share it. My relationship with God has gotten me through many tough times in my life and He is always there for me! We all have days (or weeks or months) where it feels like our days are crammed full top to bottom. With sports practice, math tests, homework, spending time with family and friends, exercise, and trying to keep our rooms clean (the list goes on and on) our schedules are usually full from top to bottom.
During these seasons, God often gets pushed to the bottom of our priorities. I can’t count the number of times I’ve collapsed into bed at a late hour because of homework and studying and realised I didn’t spend any time with God during the day. After listening to Christian or worship music I always feel so close to God. This one is easy because most (if not all) of us listen to music during the day, whether it’s while you’re in the car on the way to school, work, or sports practice or while you get your workout in. This is a simple switch that will definitely help you fit in more time with God during busy days!
I’ve also been loving sermons and podcasts while I get ready in the mornings and they’ll definitely help you grow in your faith. Here are some Podcast recommendations: Whoa that’s Good with Sadie Robertson, For the Girl, As for me and my house (Milena Ciciotti and her husband’s podcast) Girls Night with Stephanie Mae, Wilson, Daily Grace by the Daily Grace Co and, finally, As He Promised the Podcast by Ariel Alena. Another idea is to write bible verses on notecards and put them on your mirror or inside your locker. This is great especially if you’re looking to memorise scripture or keep it in your heart all day long. Just be sure to keep it somewhere you can see it. You could also make your phone background a bible verse. This way whenever you turn on your phone you get a little reminder of a verse! There are so many cute options on Pinterest so find one you love and make it your lock screen.
What do you believe sets you apart from other lifestyle bloggers? What are your strengths?
I think that I’m pretty open about my life and very real on my blog. Sometimes I only want to share the good things but recently I’ve been trying to be more honest which I think is a different approach than some people take!
How would you describe your style? Who or what are your inspirations?
My style is comfy/cosy/basic/boho but I honestly don’t even know how to describe it! Below is my Pinterest board for outfit inspiration. You’ll see some examples of outfits I love. I would love to have a collection of vans- they are the cutest shoes ever! Bermuda shorts are a staple in my closet because it’s hard to find shorts that are long enough. I’m not much of a dress person but I think I might be changing because I’ve found so many I’d love to wear! As for colours I gravitate to, I love certain shades of green but it’s not my favourite colour. My favorite would definitely have to be a blush pink/peachy shade but I love most bohemian colours.