Design by Mean Mommy Academy
My blogging friend Whitney at Constitution Lane has nominated me for a Liebster blog award! I feel incredibly honored to be recognized by her in this way, and I’m humbled by the nice things she says about me on her Liebster post. I’m mostly a lurker (I hate that term—it sounds so creepy—but I guess it’s pretty accurate) in the blogging world, but I’ve been following Whitney on her blog and Twitter for a while now and love her style and voice. After recently connecting with her on Pinterest, I’ve also learned we have a mutual love of Nutella. It’s like we’re kindred spirits.
It’s tough to track down the origins of the Liebster award, and I kind of think it’s a bit of a meme with no official roots, but basically it seems to be a way for bloggers to honor and recognize fellow bloggers. Liebster apparently means “dearest” or “beloved” in German, so the recognition is given to smaller blogs with smaller numbers of followers as a way to garner interest and encouragement. There might be an official cut-off for number of followers out there, but in my research I saw numbers ranging from 200-2,000. I’m safely below that smallest number, so I guess I count.
This is the first time I’ve been involved in anything like this, so I’m very excited. However, participating in a Liebster award requires some effort: I have to share 11 things about me, answer 11 questions that Whitney prepared for me and the other bloggers she nominated, and then pay it forward by nominating up to 11 other bloggers. This also requires me to step a little outside my comfort zone: as an introvert, it’s a challenge for me to open up and share. Also, thinking of 11 interesting things about me is hard, because I’m kind of boring. But here it goes!
11 Things About Me
- I was on Romper Room twice as a kid (this always leads my “little-known facts about Elisa” lists). True story. I grew up just outside of New York City, where one of the regional shows was filmed. For that region, parents could sign their kids up to be on the show for a day (rather than a few months like other regions apparently did). Being two years older than my only sibling, I was on the show once by myself and again when my sister was old enough to participate.
- I love to clean and organize things. And make lists. I’m a little OCD.
- I’ve just recently revealed this on my blog, but I am a Disney World-aholic.
- I am a morning person. I start work at 6:30 am by choice (I’m fortunate to work for a company that allows us to set our own hours), and even on the weekends I’m usually up before 7. But then I pretty much shut down by 9 pm.
- I’m mostly on track to meet my goal of reading 52 books this year.
- After years of being convinced that running was not for me, making excuses like “I have asthma and don’t breathe right,” I started a couch-to-5K program as a New Year’s resolution this year and never looked back. In fact, I completed my first 5K this September. I was shocked the first time I ran 3 miles without stopping, as it’s something I never imagined I could do.
- As a kid, I grew up watching musicals. To this day, some of my favorite movies are flicks like Singing in the Rain, The Sound of Music, and White Christmas. I can also recite most of Newsies by heart. It was a sad day when Disney stopped making musicals.
- I have autographed books or cookbooks from Anthony Bourdain, Giada De Laurentiis, and Alton Brown, all of whom I’ve met at their book signings.
- My husband and I have two dogs, whippets named Ella and Porter. Both are named after jazz musicians: Ella Fitzgerald and Cole Porter. I may be biased, but they’re the best dogs ever—both are snuggled up next to me on the couch as I write this.
- When I was a kid, I hated having an uncommon first name. I couldn’t find anything prepersonalized with my name on it, no one could pronounce it correctly, and people occasionally called me “Elsa” or “Elsie” by mistake. (It’s just “Lisa” with an “E” in front of it, in case you’re wondering—“Eh-lisa” or “Uh-lisa.”) Now that I’m an adult, I appreciate its distinct and sophisticated sound and feel, and I’m much less shy about correcting people who mispronounce it.
- Up until last week, the best meal I ever had at a restaurant was at Tom Douglas’s Etta restaurant in Seattle. Then I ate at The Purple Pig in Chicago. Ah. May. Zing. (Clearly I’ve run out of interesting things about me. And “interesting” is probably relative. Thank goodness we’re at the end.)
My Answers to Whitney’s 11 Questions
- What makes you happy? So many things! A delicious meal shared with loved ones or friends. A hot cup of tea and a good book, movie, or TV show. Cooking or baking, or dreaming up my next cooking or baking activity. An early morning run, when the sun’s just starting to come up but it’s still quiet and I can be alone with my thoughts.
- What’s your least favorite food? Poorly cooked shrimp. I can’t stand the texture. Or, given the time of year right now, pumpkin pie—both the texture and flavor.
- What keeps you up at night? Literally? My dogs. Whether they’re barking at something outside or just changing positions (yes, they sleep in bed with me), they probably wake me several times per night. Oh, you meant figuratively? I don’t usually let things bother or worry me, at least at night.
- What’s your favorite childhood memory? I could never just pick one thing. Family vacations. Family traditions during the holidays. Laughing, dreaming, or plotting with my sister.
- Why did you start blogging? I mostly edit other people’s writing for my career, but I’m a writer at heart and wanted an outlet to write about things I am passionate about, which right now is food and cooking. As I tried new things or refined loved recipes, I also wanted a place to chronicle my thoughts for future reference. So, here we are.
- What’s your most overused phrase? (in speaking or writing) In speaking: “anyway.” In writing: the em dash (does that count?).
- If you could have dinner with three living people, who would they be and why? (1) Anthony Bourdain. He is what pushed me squarely into the food nerd world. Pre-Tony, I enjoyed food to an extent, but I wouldn’t eat anything out of my comfort zone, which included most meat (I was a flexitarian). After reading Kitchen Confidential, A Cook’s Tour, and The Nasty Bits, I realized I was calling myself a foodie but not actually walking the walk. So I ate my first hamburger in several years, read some other books by food writers, and then got confident enough to start experimenting with my cooking. And here we are today! (2) Adam Rapoport, the editor of Bon Appetit, so I can plead my case for my dream job as an editor/writer for the brand, and (3) my mom and sister (I know that’s more than one person, sorry!), because I don’t get the chance to have dinner with them very often.
- What are you most passionate about? Um, food? More specifically, cooking and enjoying real food that doesn’t come in a box, and preferably local food. But also reading. And proper grammar.
- What’s your favorite book? I could never pick just one book or even one series, but I do adore the Harry Potter series. I first picked it up about three years ago, and I’ve read the entire series through four times already. I get a little obsessive with books I like.
- Where would you like to travel? Anywhere and everywhere! So far in my life, I’ve only visited places in North America, but I’d love to travel to the United Kingdom, Italy, Greece, Croatia, Portugal, Spain, Japan, and the South Pacific.
- What’s your favorite social media tool, and why? Least favorite? My current favorite is Pinterest, which has helped me organize (see 11 things about me, #2) recipe ideas—those I’ve tried and liked as well as those I’d like to make. My least favorite is Facebook. Although I check it every day and occasionally use it to contact friends, I rarely post new statuses.
Joni at Nursetopia: I actually met Joni through work: she was one of the first bloggers for the blog I used to manage. She has such a beautiful outlook on life and a wonderful voice on social media. In fact, she’s my social media hero: she’s the model of a regular blogger, she uses Twitter the way it’s supposed to be used, and she makes an effort to reach out to other bloggers. And she knows the value of a handwritten thank-you note, something that I need to remember more often. I’m pretty sure Joni’s surpassed the upper limit of followers for the Liebster award, but I admire her work so much that I wanted to take the opportunity to recognize her publicly.
Eric at District Avenue Nutrition: I also first met Eric through work; like Joni, he’s an oncology nurse, but he recently went back to school for a degree in nutrition, so he’s a complete food nerd like me. District Avenue Nutrition is a very new endeavor for him, but I love it already. Its purpose is to introduce readers to new foods they haven’t tried before. His criteria for covering a food are that it has to be a real, whole food; easy to find and purchase; and seasonal and local when possible—all things I support whole-heartedly.
Yvonne at Better With Lemons: Yvonne is a great real-life friend who also happens to have a food blog. We’ve sat down to many a fabulous meal together and have similar tastes in food and wine. As her blog name suggests, she clearly knows the value of well-placed lemon in her cooking, and her food always looks amazing.
- Why did you start blogging?
- When you’re not blogging, what else do you do for fun?
- What inspires or motivates you?
- What is the one food that you could never give up eating?
- Do you have a motto, life quote, or “words to live by”?
- What’s the most interesting or unusual food or meal you’ve ever eaten?
- What’s your biggest pet peeve?
- What’s the last book you read that you couldn’t put down?
- What are three things you always have in your refrigerator or pantry?
- What’s your favorite thing to cook or bake?
- Who do you admire?