giving thanks round 3

30 days of thankful, edt. 3

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

As a little recpa, Last November one of my friends was talking about her 30 Days of Thanks project and I wanted to hop on board. Now let me get this out of the way by saying, the idea that being grateful for 30 days is ridiculous; you should be grateful every day, not just for 30 days. That’s the problem though. We know we should be grateful every day, but we aren’t. That’s why 30 Days of Thanks was a project I took under my wing this November.

I understand that you should be grateful every day thing; however, I recognize that doesn’t always happen in my life. I’m working on that. I hope by the end of 30 Days of Thanks project, I will stick to it every day, not just the 30 days that are in November. Alas, every project must start somewhere, so here it goes. Here is a recap of the first 10 days in November.

So here is is friends, these are my last days of  30 Days of Thanks project. I must say, it sounds easy to find one thing to be thankful for everyday, but I wanted to look for more than the easy answers. Every day I am thankful for something and here are some…just to name a few!

11/21- Appreciation

Appreciation goes a long way in the work place. Today, I am thankful for these tiny thank yous and little signs of appreciations from the team I work with. My boss will often go out of her way to show her appreciation or say thank you to me, which is amazing. My team, doesn’t usually do that, but today it was apparent that they were making an effort and wanted to show their gratitude for one another. Seeing these smalls gestures and hearing thank yous gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. Let’s keep these up, team. Today I’m not only thankful for y’all, but the work you do with and for me and he attitudes possessed today. Thanks!

11/22- A Simple Hello

Today I am thankful for simplicity. After leaving the Hoodie Allen concert Zach and I got on the metro to head back home. Zach and I were talking to one another and more people would board the train as we got closer to our destination. A man said a simple hello, which sparked a conversation between us and another person. In that moment four strangers were riding the metro in a deep conversation. Those moments are simple. I am thankful for little things like this. These moments make me see that mankind isn’t totally terrible and there are decent people left in the world, we just need to find them.

11/23- The Badgers & Wisconsin Pride

With a heart that bleeds red and white (blue and gold & green and gold) for the badgers and especially Wisconsin, I will always have state pride. Sure it’s hard to be in dc when my badgers are playing the biggest game (minus the rose bowl) of the season, but I feel right at home when I see badgers walking around town. The bars are filled and people are getting into the game. Every year the badgers fight for the Paul bunion (sp?) axe against the gophers. Honestly, it’s not even a fight anymore, they really just let us have it. I am thankful for Wisconsin state pride and my badgers. Great game and thanks for keeping the axe in Madison!

11/24- Surprises

Today, it’s surprises. I love surprising people, and I love being surprised. For a little background, I was going to stay in DC for thanksgiving, but last minute I found a crazy cheap ticket. My boss told me to take it, fly home and enjoy the holiday with my boyfriend and family (thank you!). Originally I was going to surprise the whole family, but I told my parents and we kept my sister in the dark. After meeting up with my parents and doing a little holiday decorating, we made it over to my sisters new house (congrats) for dinner and (for me) to meet her new boyfriend. She was thrilled, and totally surprised. The best part about a surprise is seeing someone’s face light up with a gorgeous smile. The genius happiness makes the room glow and when you’re in that presences you can help but smile yourself. Today, I have a lot to be thankful for.

11/25- A Classic Date

I am thankful for a boyfriend has an unconditional love. I am thankful for my person to be so good to me. Today was classic date night. Matt and I started dating while he was on a visit from Tennessee, so we never had the chance to do the “classic date”, ie, I will pick you up at 8, talk to my parents while I am finishing getting ready, go to dinner and a movie, but today that changed. When Matt arrived he had gorgeous flowers in-hand when he greeted me. He was a gentleman and opened all my doors, kissed me on the cheek and wouldn’t let me pay for a thing. Today I am not only thankful for the classic date night, but also for Matt. #CTBOT I love you.

11/26- The Ability to Work from Home

This week I am working from home, thanks to my awesome boss. I saw an opportunity for a chance to go home and because I asked here I sit. I sit at my kitchen table with my puppy at my side, the fireplace on working. Working from home is a blessing. I couldn’t be more happy or thankful for this opportunity.

11/27- My Aunt

My Aunt Loy is a remarkable lady. Today I am thankful for her and all the bits of knowledge, wit and life experience she has to share with me.

11/28- Family Traditions

Thanksgiving is always different in my family. Sometimes it’s just the 4 of us, sometimes it is with relatives and other times we open or home to neighbors and friends. This year, it was the four of us and my aunt. We always do a few things on Thanksgiving regardless: a last minute grocery store fun, watch football and the parade, make home made rolls and enjoy a holiday movie. Today I am thankful for my family and our little quirky holiday traditions.

11/29- Family Memories

Today I had the opportunity to not only make memories with my family, but also with Matt’s family. Today I am thankful for the opportunity to remember our memories and to reminisce. I am also thankful to make new memories with another family as well as reminisce on their family traditions and memories.

11/30- Unspeakable Moments with Friends

Today I am thankful for the unspeakable moments that I am thankful for. It’s that text message received, a the way a friend smiles when you are talking, a simple let me get the first round. These are thankful moments. The moments with friends shall never be forgotten during the holiday season. Friends are the family you choose, so choose them wisely and most of all show your appreciation and gratitude. This one for you kiddos and our moments!

giving thanks round 2

30 days of thankful, edt. 2

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

11/11- Veterans

Today I am especially thankful for all of the men and women who serve The United State of America. Without Veterans who knows where we would be. I thank you for protecting our country, democracy and our freedom.

11/12 -Leftovers

Typically when my office has a meeting they will order a few extras so then the staffers can indulge afterwards. To me, a recent college graduate, this is one of the most awesome perks of my job! Not only am I thankful for my team thinking of me and feeding me, but also where they cater from. Post office move, we have started catering with a new restaurant: Pret A Manger. I am beyond thankful that we order through Pret. Check out their motto: Made today, gone tomorrow. In the U.S., all of our shops donate food to local charities working with the hungry. In New York, that’s City Harvest, in Washington, DC it’s Thrive DC, in Chicago it’s The Greater Chicago Food Depository and in Boston it’s The Boston Rescue Mission.  Last year, we donated over 400,000 pounds of top quality food making us one of City Harvest’s top 10 food donors.

11/13- Networking Happy Hours with SMCDC

Such an awesome group of people–SMCDC. I am thankful for being part of a group that is quirky, fun and intelligent beyond words. The opportunity to get together with these kids two or more times a month is awesome. I am thankful for such a fun and accepting group of people to hang out with, bounce ideas off of and put on wicked events with. SMCDC is a stellar group of people, if you don’t know them– you are missing out. Come hang out with us! You’ll be thankful you know them, too!

11/14- Standing Date Nights

I am beyond thankful for standing date nights. No, these date nights don’t involve standing. It’s a standing date– every Tuesday, and now every Wednesday (minus the 3rd Wednesday)– I have date nights with two incredible people. Living in DC we forget that our schedules get booked up and packed with things three weeks in advance. It’s nice to be busy, but it’s not a fun feeling to always be telling your friends “no”. I am thankful that these standing dates exist. I am thankful that my friends squeeze me in, and in turn I can do the same.

11/15- Connections

This one goes out to those long lost friends. I am thankful for the friends that you have an instant connection with. These are the friends that you may not see all the time, but when you do– it’s awesome. Your friendship is so strong that when you see each other, you have that hug and just know. You know that things have changed, but it doesn’t matter because you will pick up exactly where you left off. Ya’ll know what I am talking about. We all have these friends. Show them some appreciation and thanks. I am grateful for these stellar human beings!

11/16- Name Sharing- to All the Kendal’s Out There

I am thankful for my given name: Kendal Ann. I have encountered only a few Kendals in my day. Very rarely does anyone ever spell my name how I do. Today, I was at Vera Bradley and upon checking out I was asked my name, I told the girl and she spelled it K-e-n-d-a-l-l, i politely corrected her saying, only one l. She went on to tell me that her name, too is Kendal, but she spells it with 2 ls. We joked around for a while, but had the understanding that Kendal is a great name no matter how you spell it.

11/17-Lazy Sundays

I am thankful for Sundays filled with laziness. It’s as simple as that. Sometimes, we are so busy we never take me time. We feel guilt saying no, and we burn ourselves out. I’m in that boat right now. I am burning myself out and need some QT with myself. Sundays are a perfect day to hang out and to be lazy. I am thankful for a lazy Sunday every now and again.

11/18- My Boss

My boss is one of the most gracious people I have had the opportunity to work for. She is fantastic. Every day she says thank you to me at least once. She will give me constitutive criticism,  and tell me what I can do to improve. She treats me like an equal. I am thankful for my boss, because she is awesome and more than a boss to me, she’s also a mentor.

11/19- Phone Calls

I love when people pick up the phone and call you. With social media at our finger tips, we think the phone is something “scary”. I don’t like that. I love picking up the phone and calling people. It’s the interaction. A phone call is filled with emotion, and it’s a great connection. If you ever want to talk, feel free to give me a call. I am thankful for my friends who want to talk to me on the phone, and those who call me.

11/20- Deephers!

This one is for the Deephers. I am thankful for a family away from my family. These women will always have my back, no questions asked. It’s great to be part of a community that is so strong and bound together just my tradition. Thanks for all the memories and the ones to come. Here’s to you, Deephers!

in the time being

just crack some jokes

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

The Social Media Club- DC (organization of Social Media Professionals, we reach leading influencers and social media enthusiasts) holds a monthly panel discussion/networking event. Typically, we try to hold this event at a new venue, with a new sponsor and a different topic for the discussion. Wednesday night was originally going to be a panel where some of the funniest voices in DC were brought together in one room. The panel discussion: how do you use humor with digital media to build a personal and professional brand, attract fans and fill seats venues, all while remaining current and funny? From podcast, to Youtube, to Twitter and more, our panels of comedic voices will discuss the ins and outs of what works, and what falls flat.

Wednesday night we had a turn of events. The panel discussion turned into an improv comedy show. Having a comedy show rather than a panel discussion let our audience be more at ease. Though the outcome of the event was less than what we normally generate, it was still nice to see some new faces as well as familiar ones. 

The night was set up for success due to the team members and the comedians who were there. Due to everyone’s flexibility, the night was enjoyed by all. Throughout the room, you could hear chuckling, knee slapping and distant snorting.  Though the event was fun, it was not widely attended and it was unlike most of our events. I think this is a perfect example of how flexibility and planning are strong skills to have. Even though the event was planned, there were still glitches, but because of the flexibility and the relaxed atmosphere, people were willing to try something different and to go with the flow. Somethings just don’t as planned and we have to learn that; that’s just life and we need to roll with the punches. 

There is nothing like a little comedy show to get you through the rest of the week. A huge thanks to Pat Riley, Mike Finazzo, Jenn Tisdale, Greg Roth, and Andrew Bucket. I had a great time Wednesday night, and I hope you all did, too.

games & brews

a review of DC’s Board Room

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

After a long day or week at work I am often finding myself wanting to unwind with my friends. I want to hear about their weeks, relax, indulge and libations. Mostly, I just am looking to shoot the shit with my crew, as I am sure you are.

My first impression and instant was right with The Board Room. This place looks airy and open. From anywhere in the bar you hear laughing roaring and can tell everyone is having a great time.  As the concept is, you rent board games while you drink—how can you not have a laugh or two among friends?

The selection of board games for rent is wonderful. As for the games you have to pay to rent these. The games cost up to $5.00 rent and you will need to provide your ID as collateral to assure that you return the game. Their selection ranges from Mystery Date to Settlers of Catan to Cards Against Humanity to Sorry, in my book these are all classics.

My one qualm with this place is the seating. It is not well managed and essentially a free-for-all. It’s not uncommon to see with several tables without chairs. Though you should know that  you can reserve space for your larger party and you can reserve space for your smaller party at non-peak times (Peak = Thurs/Fri after 7 pm and Sat after 9 pm). With this option it makes things a lot less stressful.

Bottom line is: Board games + libations + friends = a perfect night. This is a perfect place to go that is out of the ordinary. This place isn’t the typical drink-dance-embarrass oneself routine.

Take a peek at the Board Room’s Drink List
Drafts – Glass/Pitcher

Miller Lite(Milwaukee, WI, 4.17% abv) — $4.50/$14.540
Miller High Life (Milwaukee, WI, 5.0% abv) — $3/$10
Yuengling Lager (Pottsville, PA, 4.4% abv) — $5/$16
Guinness Stout (Dublin, Ireland, 4.2% abv) — $7/ no pitchers
Magic Hat #9 (Burlington, VT, 5.1% abv) — $5.50/$17.50
Stella Artois (Leuven, Belgium, 5% abv) — $6.50/$20.50
DC Brau Public Pale Ale (Washington, DC, 6% abv) — $6/$19
Devils Backbone Vienna Lager (Roseland, VA, 4.9% abv) — $6/$19`
Racer 5 IPA (Healdsburg, CA, 7% abv) — $7/$22
Shiner Bock (Shiner, TX, 4.4% abv) — $5.50/$17.50
Dogfish Head 60 Min IPA (Milton, DE, 6% abv) – $6.50/$20.50
Sierra Celebration (Chico, CA, 6.8% abv) — $6.60/$20.5
Sam Adams Boston Lager(Boston, MA, 4.9% abv) — $5/$15
312 Goose Island Wheat (Chicago, IL, 5.3% abv) — $5.50/$17.50
Strongbow Cider (Hereford, UK, 5% abv) — $6.50/$20.50
Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA (Paso Robles, CA, 7.5% abv) — $7/$22
Abita Turbodog Brown Ale (Abita Springs, LA, 5.6% abv) — $5.50/$17.50
Starr Hill Northern Lights IPA (Charlottesville, VA, 6.5% abv) — $6/$19
Ommegang Witte (Cooperstown, NY, 7.7% abv) — $6.50/$20.50
Devils Backbone Kilt Flasher Scotch Ale (Roseland, VA, 7.8% abv) $6/$19
Firestone Walker’s Reserve Porter (Paso Robles, CA, 5.9% abv) — $7/$22

Bottles/Cans

National Bohemian (Baltimore, MD, 4.28%abv) — $3 (12 oz can)
Miller Lite (Milwaukee, WI, 4.2% abv) — $4.50 (12 oz bottle)
Bud Light (St Louis, MO, 4.2% abv) — $4.50 (12 oz bottle)
Budweiser (St Louis, MO, 5.0% abv) — $4.5o (12 oz bottle)
Tecate (Mexico, 4.5% abv) — $5 (12 oz can)
Red Hook Longhammer IPA (Portsmouth, NH, 6.2% abv) — $5 (12 oz can)
Fat Tire (Ft Collins, CO, 5.2% abv) — $6 (12 oz can)
Heineken (Holland, 5% abv) — $6 (16 oz can)
Brunehaut Belgian Blonde (Gluten Free) (Brunehaut, Belgium, 6.5% abv) $8.50 (11.2 oz bottle)
St Martin Belgian Tripel (Brunehaut, Belgium, 9%abv) –$21 (25.4 oz bottle)

Handcrafted Cocktails

The Icebreaker $8
House crafted Hibiscus soda, Stolichnaya, a splash of St. Germaine and a lime
The Clyde $8
Stolichnaya Orange Vodka, Cointreau, Hand-squeezed orange to order, club soda and a lime
The Bionic Woman $8
Ciroc Coconut, caffeinated mango water, and a lime
The Board Room Manhattan $11
Bulleit Rye, Noilly-Pratt sweet vermouth, Regan’s orange bitters and a maraschino
Dark ‘n Stormy $8
Goslings ginger beer, goslings black seal rum, and a lime. Make it a Light n’ Stormy with diet ginger beer
Adult Cherry Cola $8
House crafted old-fashioned cola, Stolichnaya Wild Cherry and a lime

Whites

Domaine De Gournier Viognier (France) House, No Oak, Session Wine — $5.50/glass
Zonin Prosecco (Italy) Bubbly — $7/glass
Hess Chardonnay Silver Label (Napa) Tropical — $7/glass
Crossings Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand) Crisp — $9/glass
Ruffino Pinot Grigio (Italy) Clean & Citrusy — $7/glass
Sonoma Cutrer Chardonnay (Sonoma) Apple-y — $45/bottle
Piper Sonoma (Sonoma) Crisp & Bright — $36/bottle
Veuve Cliquot (France) Fancy & Special Occasion Bubbles — $110/bottle

Reds

Le Clos (France) House — $5.50/glass
Montes Merlot (Chile) Merloty! — $7/glass
Kenwood Russian River Valley Pinot Noir (Sonoma) Jammy — $11/glass
Kaiken Malbec Reserve (Argentina) Warm &Plummy –$9/glass
Joseph Carr Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa) Meium body & Black Currant — $12/glass
Diseno Mendoza Malbec (Argentina) Complex & Fruity — $7/glass
Girard Artistry Red Blend (Napa) –$60/bottle
Laetitia Pinot Noir (California) Rich, Red & Crisp — $45/bottle

government shutdown

what can we do?

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

I leave for vacation and when I come back I hear the government has been shutdown. It looks like I won’t be leaving the country again for a very long time; this place can’t function without me (haha). With the weekend at our fingertips I have been thinking about what to do while the government is shutdown. DC is a stellar place for free activities, alas we cannot participate in those activities. The following are a few suggestions of what to do with the government is shutdown, mind you these activities you can participate in during the week and on the weekends. Enjoy!

Lincoln’s Summer Cottage

Personally, this is what I will be doing over the weekend. As a true lover of Abe and history this has been on my list of must-sees for a while. I am excited that the government shutdown has now given me a reason to make my way to Petworth to check out this awesome piece of history. Though admissions are a little pricey Abe is always worth it.

Check Out a New Neighborhood

I am a huge advocate of checking out new neighborhoods. After all living in DC makes me want to explore. I want to see what is going on and what is new. Get off at a different metro stop and walk around the area. Maybe you just do some window shopping, or walk into a new restaurant. You will be surprise by what you find! DC is changing and what’s a better way to see the changes?

All hour–ALL DAY LONG

Did you know there are government shutdown happy hours going on? I think that’s a little crazy, but whatever–go with it! After all when life gives you lemons! Specifically I would suggest hitting up ChurchKey right on 14th Street it is a sure option!

Walk DC’s Heritage Trails:

DC has heritage walks marked with information-rich placards that teach you about important buildings and the history of different neighborhoods. The Downtown Heritage Trail and Greater U Street Heritage Trail are available through a mobile app, while you can explore DC’s historically African-American neighborhoods through a series of walking tours as well. Getting away from the Mall is one of the best ways to demonstrate that the shutdown isn’t stopping you from enjoying  DC.  DC’s an interesting place and you will learn that through the heritage walks as they take you through neighborhoods and give you a chance to explore the city’s incredible architecture.

Check Out Museums That Are Open:

I know DC is awesome because of all the free museums, but as they are shut down maybe you can head to a private museums. Granted now you will have to pay admissions, it is still something to do and to check out while in DC.  The following museums you can check out: National Geographic Museum. The Corcoran Gallery. The Phillips Collection. The Newseum. The National Building Museum. The Art Museum of the Americas. The DAR Museum. The Folger Shakespeare Library. The Luther W. Brady Art Gallery. The Hillwood Estate. The Historical Society of Washington, DC. The Kreeger Museum. The Textile Museum. Tudor Place.

Visit Eastern Market And Union Market:

Maybe it’s cooking or maybe you just want to pass the time. Maybe you are interested in funky artwork or new jewelry. If you are intrigued by these things you must check out Eastern Market. The Eastern Market is a lovely  place to spend an afternoon. Another market work checking out is the Union Market. This reminds me a lot of the Public Market in Milwaukee (a little MKE love!). There are many options for sitting down and eating on the stop as well as light grocery shopping. Both markets are embedded in awesome neighborhoods–Eastern Market’s just off the Hill, and Union Market lies in between a series of warehouses.