11 Things

by Lisa on Tuesday: Mar 19, 2013

Some fun blog news: Meagan from Turkey Runner was kind enough to nominate me for a Liebster Award. Thank you Meagan!

liebster_award

The gist of the award is that the previous recipient nominates 11 of their favorite blogs that currently have fewer than 200 readers. The nominated bloggers then posts 11 random facts about themselves, answer 11 questions from the previous blogger, nominate 11 more blogs with less than 200 followers and post 11 questions for them to answer. Sounds like a fun idea, so here we go!

11 Random Facts About Me

1. In college, I majored in journalism because I always loved writing and editing. However, throughout the course of the program I figured out I wouldn’t be happy with journalism as my career because I’m way too shy to do all the interviewing, calling people up, ambushing people on the street for quotes, etc. Instead, I ended up as a computer programmer.

2. While I was in college, I had to awesome internships that I’ll never forget: Junior year I worked for Glamour Magazine (FYI – all the rumors you hear about the fashion industry are true) and senior year I worked for MTV.com. I would have loved to have stayed at MTV after college if I could have afforded to live in NYC on an entry level salary.

3. When I was a kid, I used to put on dancing and singing shows with my brother, and occasionally with a cousin or friend thrown in too. I would spend all summer choreographing and putting together the song list and then we would have a big show. I started this tradition when I was 8.

4. I didn’t have a sip of alcohol in my life until the age of 25.

5. My favorite snack of all time is nachos.

6. Some favorite TV shows: the Sopranos, Gilmore Girls, the Simpsons, Sex and the City, Real Housewives of OC, Seinfeld, the IT Crowd

7. I’ve been living with my boyfriend for 2.5 years.

8. I come from an Italian background, and my family is huge and loves food.

9. I took dance classes all throughout elementary school and high school. I did tap, jazz and ballet, but tap was my favorite.

10. My favorite type of movie to watch is horror. D and I try to marathon as many horror movies as possible during the month of October – it’s our Halloween tradition.

11. I became a vegetarian at the age of 16.

Questions from Meagan

When is your birth date? (you can just do month/day if you want) 8/28
How many siblings do you have? 1 – a brother
What is your favorite color? Purple
How many countries have you been to? Which ones? I’ve only been to one country outside of the US and that was Japan. I loved it there and hope to go back someday.
Do you have any hidden talents? What are they? I’m awesome at organization and planning – does that count??
What is your current TV show addiction? Real Housewives and Dance Moms (yes, I love reality TV).
What is your favorite workout? Dancing and zumba
Who is your celebrity crush? I don’t have one right now, but my biggest of all time were the boys from ‘NSync when I was a teenager.
Do you have a favorite team that you root for? If so, who? I’m not really into sports, but since moving in with my boyfriend, the two of us watch hockey a lot and we root for the Bruins.
Where did you grow up? Right outside of Boston, not far from where I live now.
Why did you start blogging? I’ve been a huge blog reader for years and years and had always wanted to start my own. Finally I just decided to do it!

My Nominations
I’ve got 6 – it was a bit tough to figure out readership counts, but regardless, I enjoy reading all of the blogs below. Here are my nominations!
A Runaround Life
Griselda Mood
Living n Learning by Amy
Healthy Nest
My Raw Recovery
The Fevered Pen

11 Questions for The Nominees
1. How did you meet your spouse/significant other?
2. What’s your favorite place to vacation?
3. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
4. Snow: Love it or hate it?
5. Favorite movie?
6. Favorite TV show?
7. Favorite blog?
8. Where did/do you go to college and what made you decide on that particular school?
9. What do you do for a living?
10. Opinion on reality TV?
11. Do you prefer going to the gym or working out at home?

End of the Year Survey

by Lisa on Monday: Dec 31, 2012

This survey has been floating around in blog land this week, so I thought I’d give it a go. Take it yourself too, if you’re interested!

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
Went on a trip to Vegas!

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I kept my resolution to pay off my debt (this was the biggest one, so it was also the most important), but I failed in losing weight (instead I gained – doh!).

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Blog friends, but not really anyone IRL.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, thankfully.

5. What countries did you visit?
I traveled a lot, but everything took place in the U.S. Nothing international this year!

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you didn’t have in 2012?
By the end of 2013, I’d like to have a house. That’s something I’ve NEVER had (on my own) before!

7. What dates from 2012 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
November 30 – paying off debt

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?
This one is easy, and I bet you’re getting tired of hearing this one, but I paid off my student loans!

9. What was your biggest failure?
My weight/fitness. I worked out a lot all year long, but I ate and drank too much and put on too much weight.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No, thankfully.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
I don’t remember if this actually was purchased at the tail end of 2011 or the beginning of 2012, but my best purchase in recent memory was my roomba! We have 1100 square feet of carpet in our apartment and it used to take forever and ever to vacuum it all. Now I can just push a button and go do something else. So awesome. I highly recommend a roomba to anyone out there who is reading.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
D for getting As in all his classes that he’s taking right now, and my family for working hard all year long.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Pretty much everyone in the news these days – it was a year full of tragedies, wasn’t it?

14. Where did most of your money go?
Loan payments, car payments, vacations.

15. What did you get really excited about?
Vegas was exciting, but I got the most excited about Disney World. There’s just something about going there that fills me with magic and child-like wonder. It will never get old, no matter how many times we go.

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?
Oh boy, there are so many. I will say “Believe” by Arashi.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
Happier, fatter, richer

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Exercising, spending time with friends and family

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Overeating/overdrinking, getting upset over stupid things

20. How will you spend Christmas?
I spent it the way we always do – lots of family time at my mother’s house and my aunt’s house. Also, lots of food.

21. Did you fall in love in 2012?
I’ve been in love for a while, so this is not a new thing for 2012.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
This was the year of trashy reality TV, which helped my mind unwind after frying my brain everyday staring at code at the office. Funny story: on the way home from Vegas, we had TVs because we flew Jetblue. I’ve been developing a fear of flying for some reason over the past few years and the ride home was really turbulent and awful. I was desperately flipping channels and trying to find something, ANYTHING to distract me for the 5+ hours we were in the air and I stumbled on to the Real Housewives of the OC, a show I had never seen before. And I just became hooked! Along with Real Housewives, Dance Moms became another favorite this year.

23. What was the best book you read?
I didn’t read much (though I started many books), but I did just finish “Billions and Billions” by Carl Sagan, and that was pretty great.

24. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I just flipped through all my playlists of the past year, and strangely, all of my favorites were bands I didn’t discover this year, but that have been in my musical repertoire for quite some time. So, I will just tell you my favorites of the past year, even though they’re not new discoveries: Arashi, Owl City, Nicki Minaj

25. What did you want and get?
Vacations

26. What did you want and not get?
More free time

27. What was your favorite film of 2012?
My favorite films of the year did not come out in 2012, but were ones we watched that are somewhat older. I loved all the horror movies from Halloween, and my favorite would probably be Alien.

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Well, it fell on a work day, so I went to work, but afterward, D and I went out to dinner and he showered me with presents. Also, the weekend before we had a party with my family. I was 29.

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Being able to sit back once in a while and stop all the to-do lists.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2012?
I would describe it as “purple” 🙂

31. What kept you sane?
The blog, Just Dance, being able to come home for lunch most days and relax for an hour during my really stressful work days.

32. What political issue stirred you the most?
I try to avoid politics as much as humanly possible because there is nothing but nastiness there. If I had to pick one thing, it would be the election.

33. Who did you miss?
I think I was able to see everyone this year that is important to me.

34. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
Things are not always as bad as they seem – try not to freak out so much.

35. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
This is an old(er) song, but I listened to it a lot this year (especially toward the end of the year) as motivation:

Don’t let nobody tell you
Your life is over
Be every color that you are
Into the rush now
You don’t have to know how
Know it all before you try

Getting to Know the Blogger Challenge

by Lisa on Sunday: Nov 18, 2012

Bonnie from A Little Unhinged is hosting a Getting to Know the Blogger challenge this month, and I figured this would be a great chance to let you guys know a little bit more about myself.

The first question of the month:
1. Introduction to this Challenge and tell us a little about yourself!

Where to begin? Well, as you can probably tell from the title of my blog, my name is Lisa and I’m a vegetarian, but that certainly doesn’t describe everything about me! I’m 29 years old, living in a suburb of Boston. I’ve lived in this general area for the entirety of my life with the exception of the 4 years I spent in college.

I work as a software engineer, which means I write code and lots of it. It’s the type of job where you leave work at the end of the day and your brain hurts. Sometimes I feel like this is what I do all day (except in front of a computer screen):

Because I have a desk job that requires lots of sitting and a good deal of stress, it can be very hard to get in enough physical activity during the day. One of the things that motivated me to start blogging was this fact, and knowing that if I had a blogging audience to hold me accountable, I’d be more likely to eat better and work out more. So far, it’s been great motivation, though I’m still trying to lose about 20 pounds or so that I’ve put on during the past few years.

I became a vegetarian at the age of 16, and if you’re interested in why/where/how, check out this post:
My Vegetarian Journey

Outside of work and the blog, my life includes living with my boyfriend of the past 3.5 years, reading, playing video games, kind of being a nerd and trying to make sure our home keeps running with our incredibly hectic schedules.

I love the idea of this challenge, though I will probably be running a few days behind because I’m getting a late start.

I hope you’re all having a great weekend!

My vegetarian journey

by Lisa on Friday: Jul 27, 2012

I ate my very last cheeseburger in Disney World at the age of 16.

It was somewhat of a big moment for me, since I knew while I was eating it that it would be my last. I was with my family, and we were at one of the stands where you can grab a quick lunch in the Magic Kingdom. I scoured the menu for a salad or something that wasn’t a burger and got supremely frustrated that I couldn’t find anything. Out of anger, I ordered the burger, knowing I wouldn’t enjoy eating it, but also knowing that if I wanted lunch right then, it would have to do.  I’m not sure if I made it known to my family right then and there that I would no longer be consuming meat, but I know for sure that that day I decided to start my new life as a vegetarian.

Don’t get me wrong – it wasn’t a spur of the moment decision. All my life I had been a reluctant consumer of meat. I can’t think of a time that I truly enjoyed eating a piece of chicken, steak, or even a burger, which I did consume very regularly as a kid. The reason I favored burgers over all the other meat choices back then was simply because you could put lots of toppings on it – and if there’s one thing I love even to this day, it’s toppings! Tomatoes, lettuce, onions, pickles, ketchup, mustard, relish… you name it, that was the reason I was eating the burger.

Slowly but surely in the years leading up to that fateful Disney trip, I stopped eating certain types of meat one by one. I believe the first one to go at a very early age was hot dogs. I never really remember eating steak. Chicken soon fell out of favor and soon all that was left was that one burger. I’m sure my parents grew more and more frustrated with trying to find me things to eat at dinner time as the years went on.

After I decided to go completely meatless, I can’t say things were very easy. Absolutely no one I knew was a vegetarian: none of my friends, and certainly no one in my meat-loving family. Shortly after, I went to college where I MET other vegetarians, but none happened to be in my circle of friends, so on I continued as the only vegetarian I knew. I met and dated some very traditional meat-and-potatoes type of guys who were absolutely perplexed by the fact that I liked vegetables to the point where it actually became a relationship issue. Not to mention the fact that I was being pressured by my mother all the time to start eating meat again because there was no way I could possibly be getting “enough” protein. I have to admit, during those college years, there were times when I wondered whether all this trouble was worth it and I even cheated a few times to have pepperoni and salami – the only two meats I have ever found true enjoyment in (funny that I’d choose two of the most unhealthy representations of meat!).

I honestly don’t think I really found my groove with vegetarianism until the past few years, and it’s mostly thanks to the wonderful world of blogs! I started reading all the blogs that now still remain to be some of my favorites and many of them were written by amazing women who were vegetarians, vegans, raw foodies, and then some. I’ve gotten to the point where I love to experiment with different veggie-friendly foods (I don’t think there’s anything in that realm that I’m afraid to try). And you know what? These days it’s not as hard to find other people who are vegetarians in my real life. Sure, I’m still the only one in my immediate family and on my mother’s side. But on my father’s side, I know of several and one of my good friends from college also decided to go veggie in the past few years.

Maybe the times are changing, maybe I’ve opened my eyes some more, but I know one thing is for sure: I believe in my vegetarian ways and that this is the right thing for me in my life. I don’t miss meat at all and my conscience feels better because I’m a true animal lover at heart.

It’s now closing in on 13 years since I made this change in my life, and for the foreseeable future at least, I can’t see wanting to go back and change the decision my 16-year-old self made.

That’s where I stand with vegetarianism. I don’t judge other people for eating meat, it’s just a decision I made for myself. And I have lots of blogging ladies to thank for helping me no longer feel like “the only vegetarian in the world”!

A little more about me

by Lisa on Friday: Nov 04, 2011

I realize that I’ve never actually gone into much detail as far as an introduction to who I am/what I do is concerned, so I figured NaBloPoMo is the perfect opportunity, not to mention I found a great blog hop whose prompt was “It’s all about me” (see banner below). So who am I?

I’m Lisa (I think you already knew that part), a 28 year old girl from just outside of Boston. I live in an apartment with my boyfriend, who I have been co-habitating with for a full year, and dating for almost 2.5 years. I just started a new job in August as a Software Engineer at a company that’s within walking distance to my apartment and it’s been SO nice not to have to commute to work after having many years of horribly long drives to/from the office. I really like my new job, but it’s definitely been an adjustment after spending 6+ years at my last job and knowing EVERYTHING that’s going on. There’s been a ridiculous amount of stuff to learn, and I’m still finding my footing.

I’ve always been a writer in my spare time, though never professionally. I studied journalism in college, but found that my shy personality really didn’t fit with the profession (way too much interviewing, cold calling and the like) even though I did love the writing aspect of it. I’ve kept journals since I was able to write and have a huge lock box full of old notebooks that contain almost every event that ever happened to me while I was growing up. I’ve had some other forays into blogging, but nothing that really stuck until now.

I’m not a huge fan of the Boston area, but my whole family is located here and aside from college, I’ve never really known any other place to be home. I left the Boston area for New York City during college and I really loved being in the middle of the (real) big city during those 4 years. I often miss it, but I don’t think I’d want to go back and live there again. A part of me does crave the (mostly) quiet of the suburbs where I live now, but those 4 years were some of the most exciting of my life.

Coming up soon on this blog, I plan to start blogging about my kitchen adventures (and disasters, as there seem to be a fair amount of those — my food always comes out good, but the process of getting there tends to be messy and/or dangerous), and posting pictures of my more interesting food choices and things that I do during the day.

So, if anyone is reading, I’d love for you to de-lurk and tell me one interesting/offbeat thing about yourself.