the first of many

Let me start by explaining the name of this blog. Food, Felines, and Formalities. These are a few of my favorite things (alongside alliteration, clearly). I brainstormed countless titles for this blog since I’ve wanted to start one for a long time. I landed on Food, Felines, and Formalities because of the memorable quality alliteration lends AND because so many of my favorite things about life start with the letter ‘f.’ Food, felines, formalities, family, friends, fashion, Frasier, fall, football… I’ll end the list there in the interest of being polite and keeping things PG.

You’ve stumbled upon my inaugural blog post. Chances are, you already know me since I’m guessing only my husband and a handful of kind friends will read this in its entirety. For your time and interest, I thank you! If this post has seeped out into the blogosphere and is being read by a curious stranger, let me tell you a bit about myself.

My name is Ris. It’s actually Marisa, but Ris started as a nickname used primarily by my mother and since has become the single-syllable representation of friendship and closeness for me since nearly all of the people I love most call me Ris. For my late, great mother, Ris was short for Rissy Roo which was far more embarrassing when I was younger, but it’s a nickname that has lived on through several family members to whom I’ll always be Rissy Roo. For that (and for them), I’m grateful.  Plus, people tend to add an extra ‘s’ to Marisa, and the misspelling of my name as MarisSa irrationally makes me want to punch, kick, scream, slap, etc. despite the fact that I know it is in no way meant to offend.

Ari, my KeeshondI am currently 26-years-young [EDIT: 28 now], and I am married to a handsome, brilliant, and humble man named Alex. I’ll call him AB from here on out. He is joy personified. I could gush, but I genuinely want people to keep reading my blog so I’ll save it for later. We are the proud fur parents of three cats named Bean, Lucy, and Tom. Tom is a girl. Our fourth “child” is a beautiful dog named Ari. I do not know much about dog breeds, but Ari is a Keeshond. Keeshond = fur + smiles.

I grew up in a smallish town called Springfield, Ohio. I lived and loved in that town for 24 years. I went to college in that town and experienced my life’s greatest triumphs and tragedies up to this point there. In the most sentimental of senses, it will always be home. I lost my mom to cancer in 2012 and married AB in 2013. I’m no stranger to ups and downs. AB and I built a beautiful house outside of Dayton, Ohio before the wedding, and we lived there blissfully for a little under two years.

Then, we decided to shake things up, packed up our animals, and moved to a fabulous and cozy apartment in Washington, DC. AB had an incredible career opportunity, and I had a mini-epiphany which gave me the courage to recognize that home is wherever he is. It was a difficult decision accompanied by hundreds of discussions, lots of thinking, and the constant weighing of pros and cons. The fact that DC is only a 7-hour drive back to family in Ohio definitely made it easier (we actually love road trips). Ultimately, we decided we have enough confidence in the lasting quality of the relationships that are most important to us, and we made the move. It’s only been a couple of months, but so far the move has treated us very well, indeed. The city life has been suiting us just fine. I recently obtained a new job here as well. My previous professional experience included about a year with a digital marketing company. I enjoyed my time there and met people I will miss working with for a long time. However, I really wanted to get into editing, and somehow, some way, I landed an editorial job here in the city. Yay! [EDIT: LOVED D.C. and our time there so much, but we are now living in Waynesville, Ohio. We built another house, and this one took about a year to build. I still work for the company I joined while living in D.C. and have since grown professionally. We also made two wonderful friends in D.C. who we’re still blessed to have in our lives. We miss D.C. and still enjoy visiting (and always will), but we missed our loved ones in Ohio so much, and we unfortunately lost AB’s mother while we were living in D.C., so we decided Ohio is where we need, want, and love to be for now.]

So that’s some info about me. My blog posts won’t always be me talking about myself, I promise. Just this first one. For a little bit more about me and this blog, click here. To find out why you should come back and read later, click here. To see one of my all-time favorite cat videos ever, click here. Stay tuned, and thanks for reading!


  1. Can’t wait to read more! But…if you end up getting into camp stories, please consider changing our names to protect the….huh….I was going to say “innocent,” but I suppose we wouldn’t need our names changed if that were the case. 😉


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