All Posts By

Lisa D.

The Year in Review

By year in review No Comments
The first hour of the last day of 2018.

Fifteen years ago, I found this questionnaire, and I’ve been filling it out every December since. 2017, 201620152014, 20132012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004 and 2003. Four years ago, I decided I was going to add a few new questions every year from now on. I’m not really doing that anymore. But the ones I added are still marked with an *asterisk

2018 was an overall amazing year. I accomplished a lot. I minimized my wardrobe; I became super active; I spent more time outdoors than I have since I was a kid! On the other hand, I also struggled with so many bouts of anxiety and depression through most of it. But with the help of some sudoku puzzles, lots of hobbies, so many beautiful sunrises, and a few good friends, it’s been a great year overall.

Anyway, here’s my year in review.

What did you do in 2018 that you’d never done before? Rappelled down a 60-foot tower and shot a gun at Panthera Training Center.

Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I didn’t make any for the first time in 14 years. I might make some for 2019 — haven’t decided quite yet.

Did anyone close to you give birth? No.

Did anyone close to you die? Yes. My cat Kona died in November.

What countries did you visit? None — I hardly did any traveling at all this year.

What would you like to have in 2019 that you lacked in 2018? I can’t think of anything at the moment, honestly.

What date from 2018 will remain etched upon your memory? June 15.

What was your biggest achievement of the year? Exercising every single day after May 24. Passing my first two adult figure skating tests on November 4. Receiving the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year award.

What was your biggest failure? Overthinking a lot of things.

Did you suffer illness or injury? I fell ice skating a whole bunch of times. Mentally, I was kind of an anxious mess most of the time. Oh, and I fell out of my hammock one day over the summer. That was stupid.

What was the best thing you bought? New figure skates and an Apple Watch.

Whose behavior merited celebration? Jeremiah Kille‘s for painting the most amazing mural of all time on the back of 1701. Kate Pittman’s for single-handedly organizing an awesome mural festival this spring. Also, mine for losing 20 pounds. And Jeff’s for inspiring me to be healthier with the Apple Watch plan.

Where did most of your money go? Same as last year — payroll, coffee beans, furniture, rent (business and personal).

What did you get really, really, really excited about? The longest beach day ever on the 4th of July.

What song will always remind you of 2018?Special by Predator Dub Assassins

Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? About the same.
Thinner or fatter? Thinner
Richer or poorer? Richer

What do you wish you’d done more of? Traveling.

What do you wish you’d done less of? Worrying.

How will you be spending Christmas? I headed up to New Jersey for Christmas, as usual. My brother and I went to see Streetlight Manifesto on Friday and Saturday night. I went skating at my old rink three mornings in a row. My mom and I went to Kristy’s for a party on Sunday night. On Christmas Eve, we had dinner at my grandparents’ house with all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins. Then I did my usual last-minute gift-wrapping in my parents’ basement. (I refuse to own my own wrapping paper.) On Christmas morning, I opened gifts with my parents and my brother, and then I went for a three-mile walk. We had dinner at my cousin Alison’s house. Wednesday morning, I left early to drive to Easton, PA to pick up my business partner and come back to VB.

Did you fall in love in 2018? No.

Who were your best friends? In alphabetical order: Kristy, Jeff, John, Vince

What thing did you do that was meaningful to others? I dropped Vince off and picked him up from the airport a bunch of times when it was super early and super late.

What was your favorite TV program? Scandal (mostly because it was so many seasons long and kept me distracted when I couldn’t sleep for a few weeks!)

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? No.

What was the best book you read? Surviving in Spirit by Mélanie Berliet

What was your greatest musical discovery? Predator Dub Assassins

*What was your favorite meal? One night over the summer, we couldn’t decide where to eat, so we went to Pacifica, and then we went to Eat, and then we went to Mojito, and then we went to Chicho’s, and we ate one thing at each place, and it was pretty fun.

What did you want and get? A personal assistant.

What did you want and not get? A quick late-summer/early-autumn weekend trip within driving distance. (Again.)

What was your favorite film of this year? The Spy Who Dumped Me was pretty funny.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I was 37. Went to lunch. Landed my loop jump at the ice skating rink. Had an early appetizer/drink with John, followed by dinner and dessert at the Melting Pot with Amie.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Not owning a cat.

What kept you sane? Riding my bicycle, ice skating, walking, running, sudoku puzzles.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I have no idea.

What political issue stirred you the most? I give up on political issues.

*What mystery from 2018 was never solved? Where did the fleas come from?

Who did you miss? It’s funny, when I have a lot of anxiety, I end up missing the people I see all the time when I’m not around them. I think it’s because they’re great at distracting me from my thoughts, and they make me feel really comfortable even when I’m having bad days.

Who was the best new person you met this year? Alyssa Strackbein, our community manager at 1701.

*Did you start any new traditions this year? Yes. I realized I could watch the oceanfront fireworks every Wednesday and Sunday night out my bedroom window all summer long, so I did.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2018: There is a term for the way I often approach perceived problems by not “doing” anything. It’s called Wu wei.

Quote that sums up your year: “I’m going for a walk.”

One (And Only) Resolution Post of 2017

By resolutions No Comments

Ah, the case of the missing 2017 resolutions. The resolutions that never were. Or were they?

I jotted these down on Post-Its on January 1st and just never got around to posting them. Halfway through the summer, I found them stuck inside the cover of my Sudoku book, and started checking them off.

So, in case you’ve been waiting with baited breath for 365 whole days…here are/were my 2017 resolutions:

Print some photos and hang at 1701ACCOMPLISHED
Hire a person to help with some projects – ACCOMPLISHED – This year, we’ve had employees since May 1. It’s been fun to build a little team and a relief to have some help around the building.
Organize old photos/files on my computer – FAILED? – I don’t even know what files I was talking about
Sell iPhones – ACCOMPLISHED? – I can’t remember if I sold an iPhone. I probably did.
Redesign Fathom Coffee labels – FAILED – But they also look pretty cool, so I’m not sure why I wanted to do this.
Get a dishwasher/counters at 1701 – ACCOMPLISHED
Make it to the final table at poker – ACCOMPLISHED
Go to NJ in the summer – FAILED – My car kept breaking every time I had a trip planned.
Visit a tropical island – FAILED
See Nicole in person – ACCOMPLISHED – Nicole came to visit this summer! We had a blast while she was here.
Visit Joelle or see Joelle on a day that isn’t Christmas Eve – FAILED – But we did see each other on Christmas Eve.
Run in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon – FAILED – I registered, and I started training, but then I tripped, fell, and injured myself for four months. #goodjob
Put some kind of class or training on the calendar at 1701 – ACCOMPLISHED – I planned a Salesforce training back in February or March. The funny thing is, no one really showed up, but my best client found me on Google because of that event, so I’m glad I put it on the calendar!
100 members at 1701 – FAILED – Finishing out the year with about 70 members.
See a few good concerts – ACCOMPLISHED
Read a few good books – ACCOMPLISHED
Take a trip somewhere – ACCOMPLISHED – Went on a southwestern road trip with my mom in March. We hit up a bunch of National Parks, hung around in Palm Springs for a few days, and finished our trip with a sunset at Santa Monica Pier. Took a 29-hour vacation to Charlottesville and Shenandoah National Park by myself in July.
Go kayaking – ACCOMPLISHED – My brother and I went kayaking one day over the summer.
Go paddleboarding – FAILED
Get more stamps in National Park Passport – ACCOMPLISHED – I got Lake Mead NRA, Death Valley NP, Joshua Tree NP, Santa Monica Mountains NRA, Shenandoah NP, Blue Ridge Parkway, and Eastern Shore National Wildlife Refuge
Go for a ride in a seaplane – FAILED
Find the perfect task management system – ACCOMPLISHED (as much as I could)– This is impossible. There is no perfect task management system. But I, myself, am a walking task management system, and I am pretty good at managing tasks in any system.
Help people start and grow businesses – ACCOMPLISHED – A few I can think of off the top of my head: We helped the Eliza Hope Foundation by making their website. We helped Chris Lane Video and Alexanimation by referring lots of business to them. We helped Megan Hogan by giving her free space for workshops. We helped Troopster by connecting her with Xerox, from whom she was able to secure a pretty large donation, and we provided free space for her care package packing parties. We helped Vibrant Shores Brewing by giving them some of the inside scoop on property in the ViBe Creative District. We helped Fika Coffee Bar by providing some input about brewing equipment and becoming her coffee supplier. We helped Prosper Insurance by becoming their trusted technology partner, and implementing Salesforce for them on a pretty tight timeline. And I’d like to think we helped a lot of other businesses just by bringing Founder Institute events to Virginia Beach, connecting lots of interesting people with other interesting people, and providing an inspiring space for everyone to get their work done.
Get bikes for 1701 – ACCOMPLISHED – We got a few bikes in the spring for members to borrow whenever they want to take a break and a ride to lunch or the beach.
Fathom Coffee pop-ups shops – ACCOMPLISHED – We did a bunch of pop-up shops in 2017, including one at Anthropologie last spring and several throughout the holiday season.
Write some actual blog posts – ACCOMPLISHED – I wrote a few here and wrote a few on Port & Starboard‘s blog, too.
Sell all the crap in the pile from my closet – ACCOMPLISHED – I sold and donated countless items this year.
30-Day Yoga ChallengeFAILED – I started it again, but I only made it to day 6 or something.
Get cat under control – ACCOMPLISHED (mostly) – Once I moved, I switched the cat to the Breeze Litter System, which has been so much better than the old box. She’s also been pretty good about staying out of my room, and I haven’t caught her on my new furniture once!
Paint a picture – ACCOMPLISHED – I painted something on a piece of wood during an abstract art workshop at 1701.
Go ice skating – FAILED
Shoot a gun – FAILED
Small Business Saturday – ACCOMPLISHED – We organized the second annual Small Business Saturday event in the ViBe District. We had a pop-up market in our building with about 25 vendors and coordinated a scavenger hunt with about 20 other participating businesses in the neighborhood.
Go hiking – ACCOMPLISHED – Hiked during my trip to the National Parks in the spring with my mom and during my trip to Shenandoah in the summer.
Go on a boat – ACCOMPLISHED – Went on a whale watching cruise and a dolphin watching cruise on the Rudee Flipper.
Get a new waterproof phone case – FAILED
Capsule wardrobe – FAILED – I’ve pared my wardrobe down significantly, but I can’t say I specifically did a capsule wardrobe this year at all.
Organize Evernote notes – ACCOMPLISHED – I’ve been going through them pretty regularly to make sure they’re all in notebooks that make sense and deleting the ones I don’t really need.
Go surfing – ACCOMPLISHED (sort of) – I took my surfboard in the water, but there weren’t any waves. I paddled around for awhile.
Go on a girls trip – ACCOMPLISHED – If you count my vacation with my mom…
Drink more water – ACCOMPLISHED – I don’t really have any statistics for this, but by my estimation, I think I probably drank more water this year than last year.
Less shopping – ACCOMPLISHED – See above. I definitely acquired less items than I have in previous years, that’s for sure.

28 accomplished, 14 failed. Those might be my best numbers ever. 🙂

As for 2018, well…I’ve spent the entire weekend working, cleaning the house, and watching movies, while intermittently snacking on homemade gluten-free cookie dough stowed away in the fridge. So if I wake up tomorrow without salmonella, I think I’ll be heading in the right direction. 😉

Also, my brother is in Japan. He says hello from next year. He says 2018 is pretty chill — you’ll like it.

Happy new year! 🥂

The Year in Review

By year in review No Comments

Fourteen years ago, I found this questionnaire, and I’ve been filling it out every December since. See? 201620152014, 20132012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004 and 2003. Three years ago, I decided I was going to add a few new questions every year from now on. I’m not really doing that anymore. But the ones I added are still marked with an *asterisk

2017 was BUSY. The coworking space, Fathom Coffee, and our technology consulting company are all growing. We have about 70 coworking members, a bigger roaster on order, and some really amazing IT clients who consider us a part of their teams. We’ve accomplished a lot over the last year, and have some even more exciting things up our sleeves for 2018.

Anyway, here’s my year in review.

What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before? Served on a non-profit board, played golf, .

Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I think so. I never posted my resolutions on my blog this year, but I did jot them all down on some post-it notes. I’ll take a look tomorrow and see how I did. I have a feeling I knocked a bunch of them out.

Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes. Tina had a daughter, Essie, on December 21.

Did anyone close to you die? No.

What countries did you visit? A little bit of this one — got six or seven new stamps in my National Park Passport this year! Lake Mead NRA, Death Valley NP, Joshua Tree NP, Santa Monica Mountains NRA, Shenandoah NP, and Eastern Shore National Wildlife Refuge.

What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017? A vehicle with a functioning defroster.

What date from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory? Honestly, this year has been a whirlwind. Been racking my brain, and I can’t come up with one.

What was your biggest achievement of the year? Probably just making it though the entire year without having to go find a job and work for someone else again. 🙂

What was your biggest failure? Failing to recognize when people were taking advantage of my generosity and continuing to help those people at my own expense. Also failing to make it to NJ over the summer because my car is an idiot.

Did you suffer illness or injury? I got sick in late January with a nasty cold that left me with a lingering cough until April. In May, I tripped while I was running, and banged up my knee pretty badly — it wasn’t back to normal until September!

What was the best thing you bought? This sofa and swivel chair from West Elm to decorate my new house!

Whose behavior merited celebration? My brother’s for making some really tricky decisions, landing a sweet new job, and moving to Northern Virginia, without spending too much time worrying, sulking, or generally wasting time.

Where did most of your money go? Payroll, coffee beans, furniture, rent (business and personal).

What did you get really, really, really excited about? Moving into a sweet new house.

What song will always remind you of 2017? Feel It Still by Portugal. The Man.  My brother says listen to this song while watching this video, and tell him it doesn’t look like they’re dancing to it.

Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? About the same.
Thinner or fatter? About the same.
Richer or poorer? Probably richer. I don’t have a lot of accessible cash, but I’ve got it all invested in businesses that are growing, so I’m going with richer.

What do you wish you’d done more of? Traveling.

What do you wish you’d done less of? Giving things away for free.

How will you be spending Christmas? I headed up to New Jersey for Christmas, as usual. I traveled with a coffee grinder and brewing kit, and a whole bunch of Fathom Coffee to brew and give away as gifts. It was a record-breaking 12 hours from the time I left VB until I got to my parents’ house because I took a scenic detour to the Eastern Shore National Wildlife Refuge and I stopped at the Nordstrom in Delaware to do some last-minute shopping on my way up. On Christmas Eve, we did lunch at my grandparents’ house with all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins. I spent about three hours making coffee there. After that, we swung by my Uncle Bobby and Aunt Gail’s house, where they surprised me with a delicious flounder francese and gluten-free pasta! Then I made my fourth annual late-night Christmas Eve drop-in at Regina’s before I went home to open pajamas and go to bed. Oh wait, before I went to bed, I wrapped my parents’ Christmas gifts in the basement. I did manage to work in giving each of them an empty box wrapped in Star Wars paper. Each said (on the inside of the box), “Want to go see Star Wars later?” 🙂 On Christmas morning, I opened gifts with my parents while we talked to my brother in Japan on Facebook Messenger Video. (Fancy.) We had a quiet dinner with my grandparents, and then we went to the movies. Tuesday morning, I had an early breakfast with Kristy, then went back to her house to see Frank and the kids. In lieu of my normal day-after-Christmas shopping, I visited a chilly warehouse full of mid-century furniture I can’t afford, and then I picked up Regina for a coffee adventure to South Plainfield! We visited Royal Coffee New York to pick up 268 pounds of Kenyan and Ethiopian beans for me to bring back to VB. We were treated to a pretty detailed tour of the entire facility, so that was pretty awesome. On the way home, Kerri called me out of the blue — she was in NJ to see her grandmother — and we were able to squeeze in a quick meeting for coffee before I met up with my mom and Ryan for dinner at Taka in Asbury Park. On Wednesday morning, I met up with Ed, Jane and Aidan for breakfast, which was fun and delicious. I love that with my New Jersey friends, we never waste a bunch of time talking about what we did that year — we just pick up old conversations right where we left off even if we haven’t spoken in months or years. My mom and I did a little shopping on Wednesday afternoon. Then Linda and Jimmy arrived, and we went out for Italian food with them and my Aunt Debbie. I left first thing Thursday morning to come home with my coffee delivery. 🙂 That was the longest answer to this question ever.

Did you fall in love in 2017? No.

Who were your best friends? In alphabetical order: Amie, Jeff, John, Stephen, Vince.

What thing did you do that was meaningful to others? I helped a whole lot of people start and grow businesses.

What was your favorite TV program? The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Stranger Things

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Nah. Hate’s a strong word.

What was the best book you read? Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner (Thanks for swapping books with me, Sheena!)

What was your greatest musical discovery? Beta Love by Ra Ra Riot.

*What was your favorite meal? The day we moved into the new house, I discovered we had this really cool griddle on our stove. The next morning — even though we didn’t even have anywhere to sit yet — I invited friends over for breakfast, and we all had pancakes, eggs, bacon, coffee, and mimosas around the counter. We’ve been eating pancakes at least once a week ever since.

What did you want and get? A dishwasher at 1701.

What did you want and not get? A quick late-summer/early-autumn weekend trip within driving distance.

What was your favorite film of this year? The Last Jedi.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I was 36. Drank coffee we roasted from Maui that is the most amazing thing on the planet. Went to lunch outside at Rudee’s. Celebrated at 1701 with a cake. Went to dinner at Jessy’s Taqueria.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Not owning a cat.

What kept you sane? Coffee, ToDoist, Xero, Evernote, good music, YouTube videos about minimalism, moving into a new house and getting rid of a bunch of stuff.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I have no idea.

What political issue stirred you the most? Still sticking with my 2015 answer: Donald Trump is ridiculous. Also, National Parks.

*What mystery from 2017 was never solved? Who is Oceanfront9?

Who did you miss? Grandma Tillie, Courtney, my brother after he moved away, my parents because I didn’t really get to see them much this year.

Who was the best new person you met this year? Drew Monroe at Prosper Insurance.

*Did you start any new traditions this year? We celebrated 1701’s first birthday with lunch and a cake! And hopefully it becomes a tradition going to the Chesapeake Bay Wine Classic Foundation’s Grand Auction because that event was pretty incredible.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017: Don’t run in shoes that are a half size too big. And pick up your feet.

Quote that sums up your year: “So how’s your Salesforce?”

Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale Winter 2017

By shopping No Comments

For some reason, sitting around in New Jersey on a cold winter day makes me feel like shopping. I don’t really need anything, nor do I have a pile of money sitting around to spend. So I’m not really shopping.

But the Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale started today, and it’s been a long time since I did a blog post full of sale picks…so here’s what I’d buy if I did need anything and I did have a pile of money sitting around to spend. 🙂

1. Charles Gray London Wool Blend College Coat
2. Akris Slim Stretch Denim Pants
3. J.Crew Buffalo Check Cotton & Wool Boy Shirt
4. Vince Camuto Fit & Flare Sweater Dress
5. Stella McCartney Faux Leather Gloves
6. Kate Spade ‘Going Places’ Silk Scarf
7. Tory Burch Rope Knot Stud Earrings
8. Frye Melissa Seam Boot
9. J.Crew Anthem Down & Feather Puffer Vest
10. J.Crew Merino Wool Cable Pompom Sweater
11. BP. Stripe Faux Leather Duffel Bag

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! 🎄

Hurricane Preparedness

By cool things i found on the internet, hazards to my well-being, hurricane preparedness, life's a beach, time and luck, weather No Comments

I really only have two plans for this Hurricane Irma.

Plan A: Stay dry and don’t get injured.

Plan B: I’ll be on my roof upstairs balcony in a shark costume, sporting adult swimmies (for extra safety), and carrying a light-up trident (to command the seas). Because I’m pretty sure if given the choice between rescuing an average-looking blonde girl in a flamingo skirt or a shark wearing swimmies holding King Neptune’s spear shining like a beacon of hope in the howling wind, torrential rains, and rising water…you’re coming for the shark every time.

Disclaimer (for those of you with no sense of humor): My actual hurricane preparedness purchases included a vintage-inspired AM/FM radio, a spare battery for my 80s-style floating flashlight from Hurricane Matthew, a full tank of gas, and some water. If you need me before Sunday, I’ll be hiding in a corner, studying for the ham radio exam.