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virginia beach

Come Monday

By jimmy buffett is my hero, memories, music, summer, videos, virginia beach One Comment

You didn’t think I’d let the long weekend end without posting an end-of-summer music video, did you? (I’ve probably done this enough times now to make an entire playlist…)

For the record, I think this video is weird. Scroll down and look at some pictures instead. ūüėČ

Some of my favorite memories from this summer:

Hanging out with my brother. Especially the time we managed to fit in kayaking, paddle boarding, and surfing all in one weekend. And the time we spent the afternoon moving his stuff off his ship.

Blackbeard’s Revenge scavenger hunt w/coworkers from 1701.

Tina’s (kind of) annual crab feast.

Hanging w/my parents @ the Jimmy Buffett concert.

Painting the picnic tables @ 1701.

Sunrise bike rides.

Relaxing on the porch. With the dog. And delicious coffee.

Driving out to the beach to snap photos of a lightning storm.

Beach days for days. Especially the ones with all of these super cool neighbors, like Labor Day and the 4th of July.

Riding my bike to go see Wonder Woman in the air conditioned theater on a super hot day.

Celebrating 1701’s first birthday!

Winning this Inside Business Entrepreneurial Excellence Award.

My solo, 29-hour vacation, where I spent the night in Charlottesville and the following day in Shenandoah National Park. Especially my hike down to a waterfall. ūüôā

The weekend Nicole came to visit, which ended with this hilarious dolphin-watching cruise and a trip to Big Sam’s for clam strips…even though they were all out of clam strips. ūüôā

Long, productive work days at 1701…and on the beach.

Breezy evenings by the ocean at sunset. I’ll never get enough of those.

Resolution Update + LDW + 10 Years in VB

By holiday fun, milestones, summer, virginia beach, what have you been doing for the last 10 years? One Comment

I worked too much this summer. I guess I had it coming — I haven’t spent this few summer days at the beach since…well, I don’t know when. I’ve literally only taken one day off all summer, and that was to head up to Michigan for my brother’s wedding! I took it a little bit easy last week though, and I managed to wear every Lilly Pulitzer dress I own “one last time” this summer (until next week?). The past four days have been jam packed with family, friends, food, fun, and lots and lots of music. And even though I’m sad to see the season end and all my out-of-town guests head home…I’m not as sad as I usually am come September.

Labor Day weekend always makes me feel like summer’s over, but I think I’ve been around here long enough to know better by now. Long enough, as in…it has been exactly 10 years since the day I packed up some stuff, drove down here on a Tuesday, and never left. September in Virginia Beach is always gorgeous. All the crazy people are gone, and even though work is extra busy, I always manage to make it out to the beach on the weekends.

So here’s to another summer, another year in VB, and another September. The year is two-thirds over, and I still have lots to get done.

PMP Certification
ITIL Certification
Salesforce Administrator Certification
Salesforce Advanced Administrator Certification Developer Certification
Attend Dreamforce again
Successfully get data governance committee up and running –¬†Launched data governance committee, January 10. Second data governance meeting went really well, February 25.
Develop a new strategy for keeping my email under control –¬†This awesome out-of-office message made it so I didn’t need to worry about drowning in e-mails the entire time I was on vacation:¬†Aloha! I will be on vacation in Hawaii from March 28 through April 5. I will be checking emails intermittently, so if your email is urgent, please write me back and let me know by putting URGENT in the subject line (but keep in mind I’ll be six hours behind EDT). If it can wait until I return, please write me again on or after April 7 because it’s quite possible your original email will be lost in a sea of unread messages in my Inbox by then. ūüôā Pineapples & palm trees, Lisa DeNoia.

Redesign the blog (again) –¬†Redesigned and renamed the blog, January 26.
Post a series of gluten-free recipes (I’m hoping this will motivate me to cook more?)
Participate in¬†Nicole‘s “Finish This” series –¬†Co-hosting¬†Finish This…¬†series. Wrote four posts in January. I haven’t been doing quite as well with this in February — I’m going to catch up, though. I completely failed at this in March. Sorry, Nicole! And continued to do so in April. I posted one of these in May, but I seriously need to get it together. ūüôĀ
Write something hilarious –¬†My out-of-office message above? ūüėČ
Plan a link-up for next year’s resolutions

Plan a girls trip – Girls trip to Disney is planned for October 2-6!
Visit Nicole in Texas
Visit Regina in Colorado
Visit Tara in Ohio (or meet her somewhere cool)
Visit my brother in Jacksonville and take a road trip down the coast of Florida to Key West
Eat pineapples in Hawaii –¬†I ate pineapples¬†every day¬†in Hawaii, March 28-April 5.
Play poker in Las Vegas
Taste wine at some vineyards
Take pictures of the Cape Hatteras lighthouse

New Things to Do
Shoot a gun (well)
Learn to play the guitar ukulele (at least one song)
Eat a clam (because I promised J’s sister I would try one of hers) –¬†Ate a clam @ Metropolitan Oyster Exchange, early April. I didn’t love it, but I ate it.
Acquire some kind of bar cart or wine rack (liquor bottles are taking over my counter) –¬†Acquired wine rack/bar, January 12.
Take a dance class
Start a¬†good things jar¬†(or maybe a virtual one) –¬†Started virtual ‚Äúgood things‚ÄĚ jar in Evernote, January 4.
Get that damn container of books out of the back of my car –¬†Container of books out of car and put away on a new shelf, January 12.

The Usual
Keep up the horseback riding
Go surfing –¬†Surfed in Waikiki, April 1.
Go ice skating
Do yoga
Host a party @ my house
Read at least 10 good books –¬†Crystal Blue¬†by John H. Cunningham,¬†The Wet and the Dry: A Drinker’s Journey¬†by Lawrence Osborne,¬†Another Roadside Attractions¬†by Tom Robbins,¬†Hawaii¬†by James Michener,¬†Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins,¬†Hoot by Carl Hiassen
Attend a few good concerts –¬†Yarn @ The Jewish Mother, January 27. Taimane @ the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, April 3. Frankie Valli @ Chrysler Hall, April 8. Bruce Springsteen @ the Amphitheater, April 12. Jimmy Buffett @ Farm Bureau Live, May 24. Avett Brothers @ Ntelos Pavilion, June 8. Party Fins @ Town Center, August 27. Vertical Horizon @ Neptune’s Park, August 29. Rusted Root @ Neptune’s Park and Cherry Poppin’ Daddies @ 17th Street Stage, August 30. Train @ 5th Street Stage, August 31.
See a few good plays –¬†Vagina Monologues @¬†ODU, February 15.
Publish something I’ve written somewhere other than my own blog

Financial Goals
Put more money in the 529 college savings plans I opened for my BFF’s kids
Increase monthly TD Ameritrade transfer to $325 in January and $350 in June –¬†Increased monthly TD transfer to $325, January 4. I don’t know why I said June here. I meant July. But this is done, July 5.¬†
Start a new business (preferably with another person — I think it would be more fun that way)
Create a 2014 budget and track my progress against it monthly in Mint, Quicken or some other tool
Achieve the savings and net worth goals I wrote down in my budget

For My Well-Being
Get back in the habit of getting regular facials
Have a vegetarian week
Find a new cleaning service – New person has been cleaning my house since early August. ūüôā
Watch less TV –¬†I’ve been watching¬†so¬†much less TV. I don’t have time to watch TV.
Get contacts or prescription sunglasses
Join a gym
Run in the R&R Half Marathon (I said I’d never do it again, but I changed my mind) – Fail. I changed by mind back. ūüôā
Log 3,650,000 steps on my Fitbit (that’s an average of 10,000 per day) –¬†Walked/ran 246,032 steps and 99.56 miles in January. Walked/ran 214,419 steps and 86.76 miles in February.¬†Walked/ran 183,128 steps and 81.32 miles in March (got a little behind while I was sick for a few days). Walked/ran 258,099 steps and 103.10 miles in April. Walked/ran 237,871 steps and 97.05 miles in May (lost one day because my Fitbit’s battery died). Walked/ran 183,714 steps and 73.57 mils in June. Walked/ran 157,811 steps and 62.77 miles in July (lost three days because my Fitbit’s battery died). Walked/ran 209,014 steps and 83.75 miles in August (lost one day because my Fitbit’s battery died).

And, as usual, make one new resolution every month:
January:¬†Get new running shoes –¬†New running shoes¬†arrived, January 8.
February:¬†Complete Salesforce¬†Administrations Essentials for New Admins (ADM201)¬†training online –¬†I’m almost done, but I have about an hour and half left. However, I’ve accomplished more than eight average human beings this month, so I refuse to insinuate that I failed at this. I’m going to get it done as soon as I can.
March:¬†Complete PMP application –¬†Fail.
April:¬†Stop leaving work after the sun goes down –¬†Accomplished. Thank you, DST.
May:¬†Put a bed in my guest room –¬†Bed in the guest room, May 23. Mattress on the bed, May 25.
June:¬†Have the VHS of my high school history project converted to digital media –¬†Failed. I forgot I even wrote this down.
July:¬†Apply to volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters – Kind of. Apparently Big Brothers Big Sisters only exists on the Peninsula, and they don’t accept volunteers from the Southside. Which makes sense — it would be difficult to commit to driving all the way up there at least once per week. I’ll look for something else.
August: Fail because I didn’t post my update.
September: Sign up for the Salesforce Administrator exam (and take it). Also, beach days. As many beach days as possible.

White Hot

By fashion statements, food, hampton roads, outfits, spring, style, summer, virginia beach No Comments

tahari jacket forever 21 dress

Dress: Forever 21 (similar). Jacket: Tahari (thrifted, last seen here, similar). Shoes: BCBG (old, similar). Bag: Tory Burch. Sunglasses: Ray-Ban. Necklaces: Lia Sophia, Max & Chloe. Bracelets: Kate Spade, Alex + Ani, Lia Sophia, Ralph Lauren. Nails: Essie Mod Square.

Virginia Beach is the largest city in Virginia, but it doesn’t have much in common with well-known big cities like New York or San Francisco. That being said, we do have Town Center, which is our little version of a downtown. It’s been around for about 10 years, and it’s grown up a lot since I moved here. It’s even home to the tallest building in the state — the Westin VB Town Center. If I’m craving some city time, I head to Town Center on my lunch break. It’s an easy five-minute drive from my office, parking is free, and while it’s not hustling and bustling 24 hours per day, it does have one important thing that all cities should have — an amazing gelato place.







P.S. Thank you, Michelle, for taking my photos!

Dots on Dots

By fashion statements, outfits, spring, style, virginia beach, weather 3 Comments


Top: Michael Kors (old, similar). Pants: Cynthia Rowley via TJMaxx (a href=””>similar). Cardigan: Tory Burch. Belt: Michael Kors (similar). Shoes: Rockport (similar and another similar style here). Bag: Tory Burch (love this bag in light blue for summer!). Sunglasses: Ray-Ban. Bracelets: Alex + Ani, Lia Sophia, Kate Spade, Swell Caroline. Necklace: Pade Vavra.

It’s easy to complain that the temperatures are still hovering around 60 degrees at the end of April in Virginia Beach. Usually by this time of year, we’ve already squeezed in at one beach day, and we’re riding our bikes to dinner on the weekends. However, as much as I’d love to spend a day relaxing on the sand, I’m looking on the bright side. These precious few mild spring weekends are the perfect excuse to skip the beach scene and spend some time elsewhere in the area — experiencing new things, trying new restaurants, and doing some activities that we just don’t normally do. Over the last few days, I’ve visited Portsmouth, Norfolk, Town Center, and Pungo to see live performances, revisit old favorite spots, eat some delicious meals, do a little shopping, and even pick fresh local strawberries.

Besides, an actual spring means a slower wardrobe transition. Of course I’m ready to pull my Lilly collection out of hibernation, but I’m not going to lie. I was secretly hoping for one last chance to wear this dots-on-dots ensemble this season. =)




You’re Invited

By events, lifestyle, partying like a rock star, virginia beach No Comments


Mom: Oh, so this year’s benefit dinner is the same weekend as the Shamrock Marathon…

Lisa: Oh yeah? So are you running that thing or what? =)

No, seriously though…

Every year, my parents come down, and we attend the annual Hands to Angels Foundation benefit dinner. Some of you have had the pleasure of joining us through the years, and you know it’s so much fun and all for a very worthy cause. This year’s fifth annual benefit dinner will be March 16, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. at the Cavalier Hotel & Beach Club. You’re invited, and you should definitely buy a ticket and come. =)

The Hands to Angels Foundation was founded in 2008 to support the ongoing research of rare genetic disorders and to assist families dealing with mounting medical bills and lost wages due to complications of a genetic disorder. It is a federally-approved non-profit organization, and was created in honor and memory of my friend’s son, Kevin.

The benefit dinner coming up on March 16 in Virginia Beach is the fifth annual fundraiser that’s being held to raise money for this very worthy cause. The dinner is open to anyone, and tickets are $40 in advance (or $50 at the door). Tickets and event details are available here. If you’d like to attend, please buy your tickets as soon as possible!

The night’s festivities will include dinner, dancing, and a silent auction. I’ll be donating a gift basket, and it will be just one of many awesome gifts and prizes raffled and auctioned off at the event!

And now, be sold on attending by imagining yourself in these photos from the last four annual dinners. Go.

First Annual, Valentine’s Day, 2009. Attend with John, Kerri, Dave and my parents. Purchase ridiculous amount of raffle tickets, and take borderline inappropriate photos with them. Win not one, but two gift baskets. Night goes down as one of the best Valentine’s Days in history of Valentine’s Days. #success






Second Annual, February 27, 2010. Donate first gift basket, won by Meagan (see below). Attend with my parents, John, Lauren, Jeremy, Dawn, Tina, Heather, and Heather’s date (who later turns out to be a total weirdo later in the evening…long story). Wear very first Nanette Lepore dress. My mom and Linda do the YMCA while selling raffle tickets. Win a two more sweet gift baskets.








Third Annual, March 12, 2011. Attend with my parents, two Johns, Heather, Jeremy, and Vince. Donate Jimmy Buffett-themed picnic basket (pictured below). My mom donates gift card cookies. Find new and exiting ways to pose with raffle tickets.








Fourth Annual, February 25, 2012. Attend with my parents, John and Jeremy. I truly outdo myself buying raffle tickets to make up for the fact that I didn’t donate a basket. Win season passes to Busch Gardens and a $100 gift card to Terrapin, among other things. I don’t win iPad, but someone does, and that’s what’s important. Mardi Gras theme, so my mom wears a crazy feather headband. My bangs and eyeliner look, quite possibly, their best ever.






Fifth Annual, March 16, 2013. You better be there.