a new kind of Christmas

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

This holiday season a lot of my friends took part in unconventional traditions. You can add me into this group, too. Rather than boarding a plane and heading back to the Motherland (Wisconsin), I found my mom picking me up in Charlotte, North Carolina. Arriving in Charlotte wasn’t even the end of it; from there we drove 2 hours west to their new home in Hendersonville, NC.  After a week with my family in Hendersonville, I can report back saying Christmas wasn’t any different from other years (other than the fact that I didn’t get to see Matt). We still watch an uncountable amount of Christmas movies, drank a great deal of Brandy Old Fashioneds, went to Mass on Christmas Eve and waited to open gifts on Christmas day afternoon.

Growing up you can only imagine Christmas at your house, with that special dinner, opening gifts, etc., but once you hit a certain age that all changes. I now see and understand that it doesn’t matter where I celebrate Christmas as long as family and your loved ones surround you Christmas is the exact same. Do you feel that Christmas can only be special by celebrating it a particular way?

I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas and have a happy New Year!

click here for a laugh

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

If you are a lover of New Girl or not you need to watch this. This is one of those gems that can’t help but bring a smirk to your face. Thanks to Matt for showing me this video. I hope you all enjoy the results of Rihanna + Schmidt!

eaten alive or not

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

So, how many of you watched Discovery’s Eaten Alive two-hour special on Sunday night? As I am sure it was only a handful, I will give you a brief recap. This nature documentary had a  special focused on an expedition by wildlife author and conservationist Paul Rosolie in a remote location of the Amazon rainforest to locate a green anaconda named “Chumama”, which is believed to be the world’s biggest. The special was also to feature Rosolie “entering the body”, hence the name of the show: EATEN ALIVE, of an anaconda by intentionally feeding himself to it—protected with a custom-designed suit.

You might be able to tell through my distressed attitude that Rosolie in fact, was not ingested. Now, I am not saying he didn’t try, it was pretty evident from the footage that he tried, but with a name like Eaten Alive I want to see some action. Myself along with, dare I say it, thousands of people lost total faith in Discovery.

Sorry for the spoiler alert, but there was not eating going on during this series. Rosolie made sure the viewers were invested in the Amazon, his team and the anaconda but I think he forgot about himself. Rosolie took the bullet and didn’t think about his career and what this was going to mean for him once the show aired.

Let me leave you with this quote Rosolie said in an interview with NJ Advance Media, “I don’t care if you’re upset I didn’t get eaten by (an) anaconda. A, I tried, and B, there’s a chance for me to do work with the Discovery Channel and bang my drum about the dangers [to the Amazon], and I’ll do that.” Now knowing that, at the end of the day do you respect Rosolie more for taking this opportunity? Do you have less respect for Discovery for leading us on?

quick news

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

Keeping up with the news is exhausting. I remember taking a few news writing classes in college, and it was our responsibility to be informed and in-the-know. Same with in high school, I had countless pop quizzes in my classes. These quizzes were based on current events. My teachers and professors wanted to know how we were staying informed, how well we digested information and if we deemed “news/current events” important in our daily lives.

I subscribed and read these two emails in the morning and they are great snapshots of the big news that is going on. I usually read TheSkimm first and then Need2Know. Sometimes they have similar stories, but it’s always entertaining. The breakdowns are quick and easy and you won’t feel exhausted after reading these brief snippets of news. The best part about these soruces: they are free and it’s easy to sign up, too! On similar lines, check out Newser they have an app as well and Playbook, by Politico. These four sources have been saying my life. I don’t have to spend 2 hours reading news that I generally would just sift through and I don’t have to go from news source to news source. All of the stories and facts are right there at the touch of a button.

childhood books

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

I remember loving to read when I was a young child. I always had my head buried it some book. I don’t think it mattered what I was reading just as long as it was something. Of course, all love stories come to an end and the end of my love for reading was high school. High school made my busy with sports, a heavy class load, life guarding and a social life, so I broke up with books. Don’t get too depressed though, post college books and I are back together.

I remember it was like a weight off my shoulders once I graduated (college). I could finally read for pleasure again. I had time to read for pleasure again. The year after I graduated, I told myself I wanted to read at least 6 (new) books every year, and so far that has withheld the test of time. Don’t get me wrong, sitting down and finding the perfect book to read is hard, but once I get my hands on the right one be prepared to not see me for two weeks.

All of this reminiscing makes me think back to my favorite book from my childhood and there are two strong contenders that stand out Stella Luna and The Rainbow Fish. Both of these books were read to me multiple times as both bedtime stories and just for fun. When I am looking for a quick flashback to the past, I pull out my copy of Stella Luna or The Rainbow Fish and sit down for a quick read. Did you read these books? After a quick search on Amazon, I was shocked to find out that Stella Luna is only $2 and some odd change! These books are classics! What was your favorite book as a child?

PS. I am ALWAYS looking for book recommendations. Send some to me, if you read a good book recently!

think twice about that #selfie

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

Everyone does it. It doesn’t matter how it’s done either. Do you have a phone, a laptop, iPad, mp3 player? If the answer is yes, then you are good to go.

Selfie Syllabification: sel·fie NOUN (plural selfies), informal
Definition: A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media: occasional selfies are acceptable, but posting a new picture of yourself everyday isn’t necessary.

Selfies are a craze that is taking over the world. Crazes always venture into our lives at inappropriate times, but resist the urge! Just like the Harlem Shake, planking, flash mobs, tombstoning, Tebowing or the cinnamon challenge, there’s a time and place for them, and these certainly were not them. They’re just so ridiculously awkward and for many, just so, so inappropriate. It is one thing to take photos to document places you visit and it’s another to show your respect if those places have a deeper meaning and rank high as an emotional location (graveyard, funerals, weddings, etc.). Are places that have deeper meaning to you or others “deemed” as inappropriate places to snap a selfie? You can of course, argue both sides of the spectrum, but at the end of the day, the untimely selfie is classless.

The topic of public selfies came up when I read the article, Selfies in Auschwitz – And Why It’s Wrong. The writer, from National Memo, takes a deeper look into inappropriately snapped selfies. The article says, “I understand this is not exactly a federal crime. And yes, I get that people take pictures of themselves in order to place themselves in a context. It is a way of saying, ‘I was there.’ Nothing wrong with that. I’ve done it myself.” Are selfies such a craze that it is taking the world by storm? Are selfies a thing to this day and age or do we see them slowly disappearing like Pokemon cards?

I believe snapping a selfie of you happy-go-lucky at some sacred place; it diminishes the place and sends a message that has become the norm “this is all about me.” And you know what? It isn’t. We are in the “selfie era” and we need to teach our peers, parents, grandparents and the next generation the proper etiquette the selfie.

I bet next time you will think before you take a selfie, because there are websites devoted to inappropriate selfies. So, will you have your guar​d up next time you take a selfie in public?

It’s in the Bag

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

TheDCLadies blog prompt – Day 8: It’s in the Bag. Today’s challenge is part writing, part photo Twitter. We all carry about way to much in our bags, ever notice when you stick you hand in you pull out everything but the kitchen sink? Yup, that! So we want to know we aren’t the only ones… What’s in your bag?

Isn’t that true? Ladies, we carry an exorbitance amount with us at all times it’s nuts. Up until recently, I tried to have the smallest bag with me at all times. I liked a wallet satchel, or a small cross body, but nothing crazy. I didn’t need all the extras. I didn’t want the frills. I didn’t what the hassle of a bag.

Now, that has all changed. Bz_ZrT7IgAA_dWLThis is my most recent purchase, and a great one at that. Ladies, this bag is enormous inside, but a small exterior. This is the ultimate Mary Poppins bag. This bag is equip with four inside pockets (no zippers) and two more with zippers. It’s a convertible cross body or a casual handbag, and not to worry there is an exterior zip pocket, too. Now, that you have a sense of how big this bag, I can tell you what is currently in my bag.

Bag contents pictured as of this morning:
-iPhone charger
-The Death Cure (book)
-Make up bag
-Starbucks Gold card (guilty)

I am sure there are other things that can be found in my bag that aren’t pictured, too. I don’t know if the times are changing or if I am. I am constantly on the run. It’s nice to have a bag with such versatility so I can grab it for a night out or for a day at the office. What’s in your bag, ladies?



5 Tips

to Becoming a Better Blogger

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

It’s Blogtober! The DC Ladies have put together blog prompts and other ways to engage the DC Ladies blogging community. I haven’t really been keeping up, but I am now! Monday’s Blogtober prompt  wants us to share tips with fellow bloggers.

1. Engage

It doesn’t matter if it’s on social media, email or otherwise. It’s nice to engage with other people and to have them engage with you. Be proud of your work and share it with others.

2. Share and Comment

Share and comment on other people’s work. If you expect them to engage with you, you need to do the same. Blogging is far from a one way street. Just like social media you need to share content and comment to get results.

3. Ask for ideas

This is one of my favorites! Whenever I need brainstorming I turn to my boyfriend and friends and ask them what I should be blogging about. It’s really helpful and it gets my brain to work in a different way. Sometimes the suggestions I get are out of this world, but it’s fun to look at things in a new light.

4. Be Realistic

When setting goals about your blog be realistic. Your blog should be an outlet for whatever you want it to be RE, creativity, a journal, telling people about your journey or showing people your talents. When I started blogging my goal was INSANE, but after all the hard work I accomplished it.

5. Be Creative

It’s a blog! It’s supposed to be fun! The best part is, too, that it’s your blog. If you want the colors to be purple and goal, or there to be girly polka dots everywhere, awesome! Make that happen. Whatever you want, do it.

I love omg it’s kendal ann, and I hope you love your blog! Remember, don’t be afraid to write a post that doesn’t follow popular trends. Take chances, get out there and try something new.

pancakes + art

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

Question:What do you get when you put pancakes and art together?
Answer: The coolest pancakes ever!

I came across this video yesterday and it made me insanely jealous that I would never get pancake art, and in the mood for pancakes. Nathan began entertaining his kids with silly pancakes during their adventure in Saipan. Now, he serves up new pancake themes for viewers every week. Special thanks to Nathan at saipancakes.com for the use of his video. Visit him on Facebook.

Be sure to watch the embedded video so you can truly appreciate how outstanding these pancakes look!


$1.35, what can that buy you?

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

In July of this year a story broke that a convert cave in France can cost you $1.35. Yup, you heard that right. $1.35 for a home. We are all faced with steep rent rates, and this is the dream. The biggest trend now is that young couples are renovating abandoned troglodyte homes in the French countryside. (From my understanding this is just occurring in France, but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening anywhere else.)  The $1.35 home is an 11th-century structured home that is nestled into the side of a mountain in the Loire Valley. How cool does this sound? Honestly, I am about ready to drop everything and tackle one of these converted cave homes!

Of course there is always a cost with a dream. Finance was a main requirement with involved with huge renovations, which were required to make the cave not only livable but also structurally sound. The article states that there are 10 different banks for a 25,000 euro loan, but they all rejected the owners. You’ll have to read the article to find out how the couple got enough money for the killer renovations.

All in all, this awesome couple not only have a place to live but also a source of income in the home-cave! After purchasing the cave for 1 euro and spending a total of 35,000 euros on renovations, they deliberately built a separate one-bedroom section of the house that they now list on Airbnb for 50 euros a night. Check out the cave’s Facebook page, too.