safety first

safetrek

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

I just learned about this App called SafeTrek and the concept of it is awesome. In a real emergency, you don’t always have time to pull out your phone and dial 911. This app allows individuals to be proactive in their safety by bridging the gap between doing nothing and calling 911 in an unsafe situation. It’s really easy to use, too. When you hold down the SafeTrek safe button, a user is able to passively connect to police. If nothing unexpected happens, a user simply inputs their unique 4-digit pin to cancel an alert from being sent (to police). If a situation takes a turn for the worse, a user simply releases the safe button without typing in their pin number and is connected to police.

The concept of SafeTrek is awesome. Having the ability to put safety first in a big metropolitan city is always a plus. Keep in mind you can download this app for Apple or Android.

back to it

TGIM

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Happy Monday, y’all! Monday is not the day to get back to the grindstone. Monday is the day to be back at your passion. If you’re working for the weekend, you’re doing it wrong. With that said, kiss ass every day.

moments

how do you spend them?

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Addicted to your iPhone? Maybe it’s not really a joke anymore. A newly released app called Moment will show us just how true that statement may be. Designed to promote a healthier balance between our real lives and those lived through the small screens of our digital devices, Moment tracks how much you use your phone each day, helps you create daily limits on that usage, and offers “occasional nudges” when you’re approaching those limits.

So what are you thoughts on this app? I feel like my personal limit will be extremely higher than others…but that doesn’t mean I am willing to change. Also consider this, who is this app for? If a twenty-somethings were to download this app, it would be to see how much they are actually on their phone, but we might not be the correct demographic for this app. Last thing I need is an app that runs in the background (draining my battery) to tell me I’m using my phone too much.

At the end of the article on TechCrunch, they put in a quote from the app’s creator, Kevin Holesh who built Moment for himself after realizing how much his digital addictions were affecting his real-world relationships. They go on to say, “for Holesh, the effect has been pronounced. He used to spend 75 minutes per day on his iPhone. Now, he spends just 40.”  Um….75 minutes? Pfft. I don’t know if I should laugh or what, how did you spend 75 minutes on your phone and now just 40 when you are a creator of an app?

 

product review

sure, why not?

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Do you shop at Crate and Barrel? Well, if you don’t, why not? It’s an awesome store and they have an outlet, if you think it’s too pricey. Regardless, Crate and Barrel is having a deal that if you review your recently purchased products from now until June 9th you will be entered to win $100 Crate and Barrel gift card. What’s wrong with that picture? NOTHING. I know you are asking for a catch, but I couldn’t find one either. Like their website states, your opinion matters. Whether you see things in black and white… or every color in between, share your knowledge about your products here. Good luck in winning the $100 gift card!

So, what are you waiting for? Join the conversation.

where everybody knows your name

Sometimes you just need to see a friendly face. Being a regular is an art and something to aim for. Sure, you may have gone into becoming a regular in order to snag a discount here and there, but you’ll come out with much more than that. You’ll have a seat reserved for you every week at the same time, have a butcher who cuts the chops thicker than they normally would, a wine seller eager to tell you what they just got in stock, or have a place of refuge where your drink is waiting and you can relax when you’ve had a hard day—where everybody knows your name. My friends, without further adieu…Patrick Kotary.

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

on being a regular

guest blog presented by: Patrick Kotary
You can find Pat on Twitter: @Kotary; insta: patrickkotary, make sure you follow him!

The TV show Cheers has, in my opinion, one of the best storylines of any sitcom ever on TV. A bunch of people, some working at, some going to, this bar. They share their lives with each other and always have one another’s back. As soon as an episode starts you feel like a regular heading to that same old spot on Beacon Hill. It also has a great opening theme song that is basically the theme song for all the “regulars” at any biz, USA. The kind of place where you can walk in and say, “Hey Joe!” or “Sal! What’s up?” or “You know what I’m having, Mike. Make it a double!” – “Isn’t it always?!” he replies with a chuckle.

Becoming and eventually being a regular somewhere is one of my favorite things. Maybe it’s because I’m a bit of a creature of habit or I like feeling special (who doesn’t?). It’s not an easy task though by any means. You can’t just walk in and get preferential treatment. If you think about it, it’s a lot like falling in love. At first you might not be sold on the person – say they voted for Obama in both elections- it’s a potential deal breaker but you think hey why not at least try to keep this going (okay, both elections is extreme, let’s say just ’08). Then they begin to grow on you – you connect and find a mole hill of common ground that has the power to grow into a mountain – you find out they dislike Maryland and love Virginia as much as you do. Then one day you realize you’re in love and couldn’t imagine leaving – you both watch the sun go down drinking UNsweetened tea on the Veranda.

Take my dry cleaner for example. I went on a “first date” there primarily because the other place I tried was broken down – I wasn’t sold right away because pants cost $2 more than shirts, but the lady was nice and gave me a quick turnaround. Then after a couple visits she says I don’t have to go by the in by 9 out by 5 rule and she knows I like medium starch without my saying so. Finally the unabashed love – I go there almost every week now, we chat about our weekend plans and the weather, and we exchanged Christmas cards. Now I can’t imagine going to a different cleaners!

You have to keep in mind though that also like love, this is a two way street. You have to show that drive to becoming a regular as much as they want you or more. Be friendly, ask how they’re doing, and give them a nice tip once in a while.

Where do you consider yourself a regular? Particular Starbucks? Bar in AdMo that has that certain level of dive bar you’ve been searching for your whole life. Wherever it may be for you, embrace it! And if you don’t have this kind of place, find one. You’ll probably get better service and will definitely walk out with a smile. Who doesn’t want to go where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came?

farmer’s market

tis the season

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

It’s finally Farmer’s Market season and I couldn’t be happier!  There’s something about seeing the first farmer’s market of the season. I love seeing the typical outdoor booths and stands set up with farmers’ selling their fruits, vegetables, meats, and cheeses! 

The coolest thing about farmers’ markets is that no two are alike and they exist worldwide and reflect their local culture and economy. Their size ranges from a few stalls to several city blocks. In some cultures, live animals, imported delicacies unavailable locally, and personal goods and crafts are sold.

For a list of where you can find a market in your DC area, check here.

a new game

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

When given opportunities out of the blue I consider them a blessing and I can’t help but to feel excited and hopeful. My friends, every day is a new opportunity and we always have a reason to say thank you. Today, I have many reasons to be thankful.

Remember this: Every day is a new opportunity. Remember, you can build on yesterday’s success or you can put all your failures behind and start over again. That’s the way life is a new game each day.

 

playing tour guide

Like you’ve always learned in school, you learn something better when you teach it yourself. Personally, I think that is true for anything. Last week, we had two house guests. I proposed the idea to Matt that he play tour guide to get a better feel of the city. Since Matt has been visiting and moved to DC his grasp on the city is great, but you always learn better when you teach someone else.

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

#MinnesotansTakeOnDC follow up

guest blog presented by: Matthew D. Shalbrack
You can find Matt on Twitter: @hamsterjockey; insta: hamsterjockey, make sure you follow him!

 

Last week, two friends came to visit me in DC from the great state of Minnesota. Each of them had previously been to DC, but not for a few years. There was obviously much to see to refresh their memories in terms of sightseeing and much for us to catch up on as well.

In my guest blog post last week, I talked about how it was going to be fun for me to play tour guide instead of tourist. As I said, I was a little nervous and leery about it, but once my friends got here and we started walking around, I really hit my stride as tour guide and got into the groove of things. During the time that they were here (a week), we visited the United States Capitol, the White House, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, saw the Cherry Blossoms, took them to various local spots around DC, woke up early to watch the sun rise with Abe and even made dinner with them one night as well. We walked A LOT. Anywhere from 7-10 miles a day, but that’s one thing that I like about DC.

They fit a lot of sightseeing into only a week in DC. They did even more without me there, but in the end, I really feel like they got a great taste of DC from my point of view. I got to show them the places that I really enjoy and make a habit of going to around town. Another great thing about them visiting was that it let me still be a tourist in terms of trying new places, such as Bull Feathers. This city is bigger than any other city that I’ve lived in before, so I am always hearing about and trying new places.

Overall, I loved playing tour guide and I’m really excited to do it again. Who wants to visit next? Any takers? When you have someone come visit, what are some of the hot spots that you make sure to take them?

visitors

Being a tourist in your own city is never fun unless you have a really good excuse. I used to have a great excuse, Matt, but then he moved here and became a local. This week Matt and I have visitors coming for a week, and this is the perfect opportunity to show them all the tourist places while getting the local flavor. I asked Matt to write a blog about being on the “other side” of the tourism trap in DC. It’s one thing having someone guide you around this city, but it’s another to play the role of tour guide.

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

#MinnesotansTakeOnDC

guest blog presented by: Matthew D. Shalbrack
You can find Matt on Twitter: @hamsterjockey; insta: hamsterjockey, make sure you follow him!

Tonight, and for the next week, two of my friends from Minnesota will be visiting and staying with Kendal Ann and I. I’m pretty excited. Yes, I’ve made some great new friends in my short time living in DC thus far, but it’s always great to see friends from back home who you haven’t seen in a while. I’m really looking forward to spending some quality with friends and exploring this great city even more.

One of the odd things for me will be taking the role of tour guide instead of being a tourist when my friends are here. As I said earlier, I’ve only been living in DC for a short time, but before that, when Kendal Ann and I were doing the long distance thing, I visited quite frequently. Those frequent visits took me to lots of new places that I had never heard of or had been to before. It was great – so many new firsts and I still have new firsts every week! But seeing all these new places and learning more about this city has given me my own view of places I think are interesting, places I’ve seen but have never been to before and places that I won’t ever go back to. I think that happens to everyone though once they start living somewhere new because you really start to try new things and new places, all while figuring out what you like and what you don’t like.

I think that I have a pretty decent grasp on where to go and how to get around in the city. However, I still accidentally walk past the White House and when it finally registers with me I’m like, “Oh hey, Obama” in my head. One interesting thing though that won’t be problematic per say, is the fact that I stick to routes that I trust and routes that I know when getting from Point A to Point B. Like I said, not a bad thing, but it’s something that I should try to work on while being the tour guide, just so my friends get a variety of different views throughout the city.

Overall, I’m looking forward to giving my friends a view of DC through my eyes, focusing on the sights and sounds that I think are important parts of the current city that I live in. It’s going to be a great week with big things on the horizon. I’ll give you an update of how it went next week!

If you’re interested in the things that I’ll be doing and the places that I will be taking my friends, I’ll just leave a link to my Twitter and the hashtag #MinnesotansTakeOnDC.

sundays

they’re meant to be lazy

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Sunday is the perfect day for not doing anything. Sure, there are Sundays when you need to get up and get out of your PJs and greet the world. This happens to be one of them for me, in fact, most of my Sundays aren’t the lazy kind. A lazy Sunday is the perfect way to unwind from a week and to start rein in a new one.

I hope this is a lazy Sunday for you, because you deserve it. If today is your lazy Sunday, sit back relax and enjoy. Read the following tips for a most successful lazy Sunday.

tips

-don’t get out of your pjs-sleep for as long as you can/take a nap
-enjoy your favorite breakfast foods that you can make, blueberry pancakes anyone?
-conjure up a mimosa, heavy on the champagne
-listen to some tunes, I find light tunes the best for easy listening (suggestions, Ben Rector and Maroon 5)
-Netflix, Netflix, Netflix
-read a book

If this isn’t your lazy Sunday, I hope there is one in your near future!