$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.

embrace it

& be proud

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

I bleed red and white, green and gold, and blue and gold. I will never be able to shake those long “O’s.” Despite the season, the Badgers, Brewers and Packers are always on my radar. I can never get enough cheese, and PBR is my kind of beer. I can pronounce any place you point to on the map, and I will argue that we have more lakes than Minnesotawisconsin pride.

Folks, Wisconsin is my home and it always will be. For the past three years, I have lived in DC and I still get butterflies when I land in the motherland. I still get excited when I see a fellow Wisconsinite walking around DC repping my state. Wisconsin has state pride like I’ve never seen or experienced before. I know Texas would argue they have the most state pride, but I respectfully disagree. Wisconsin has camaraderie.

I’m sure it’s evident that I have undying state pride and love for Wisconsin, and frankly, that’s a burning passion that I will always have.

Over the weekend, I got in a heated argument with a friends’ friend I met. As we were making introductions and creating small talk, (let’s call him) Bill asked me where I was from and I proudly exclaimed, “WISCONSIN!” I countered and asked him where he was from. After much hesitation he answered, “New York…City.” With his response, this was something I was not pleased with or something that I was going to let stand by the wayside, I again asked again, “No, where are you really from?” Bill again hesitated and finally responded, “Chicago.” The conversation goes like this for a while and I finally get Bill to tell me where he is from after I told him I was very familiar with the “Chicago-area.”

I will give you the same talk that I dished out to Bill on Saturday night. Be proud of where you are from. Take pride in your upbringing and where you came from. Where you are from has a lot to do with who you are now. And truth be told, being a coward about your roots is almost an insult to your parents and how they raised you.

When you think of Wisconsin, what comes to mind? Probably the Green Bay Packers and cheese, and with good reason. The Packers are a storied NFL franchise, but as the foam cheese hats the Packers fans wear indicate, the real pride of Wisconsin are the people, the sports, the seasons, the beer, the cheese and the list will only continue.

Until the day I die, I bleed Wisconsin through and through. If it wasn’t for my Wisconsin and Midwestern upbringing, a lot would be different and I sincerely take pride in being from the great state of Wisconsin and being a true Midwestern.

holiday travel

a short survival guide

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

If you know me at all you know that I absolutely LOVE being a holiday traveler. When people learn that about me, I get the look. It’s the same look every time. As this happens all the time, I’ve become accustom to it. This is a specific look, let me tell you about it. There comes a head tilt, mouth open, eyes squinted and a deep stare into your soul (luck for me, being a ginger they are looking at nothing!). When people give me this look it’s like I have three heads or just said the most crude thing they have ever heard.  With the love of holiday traveling you learn a thing or two. Before you go out on your big holiday adventure take some of these tips and tricks into consideration.

Don’t Drive Yourself to the Airport

Arrive in style of course. But seriously, don’t drive yourself to the airport or the train station. This will be an added stress to your life. You want your holiday travel to be as smooth as possible.

Get There Early

This seems like a no-brainer, but get to the airport or train station early. I don’t know what it is but around the holidays there are more delays than not, which is totally ironic considering everyone cannot wait to get to where they are going. Anyway, get there early. It’s better to be early and on time, than late.

Do Research

Make alternative  plans, trips if traffic makes your way home too overwhelming.  Is there a scenic route? Maybe this will make the trip a little longer, but there won’t be as much traffic.  Break up a long drive by finding a few places to stop.  And as always, when flying, make sure you check the airline’s restrictions ahead of time on carry-on luggage and fees for checked bags.

Ship Gifts

TSA suggests to ship wrapped gifts or wait until you reach your destination to wrap them. I’ve been in a situation before where TSA had to unwrap a present to inspect it. Ship gifts ahead of time.

Travel Early/Late in the Day

Flight statistics show that planes traveling earlier in the day have a better on-time performance. And if your flight is cancelled, you will have the option of taking a flight later in the day. As a perk, there will be fewer lines at security. If you are driving, hit the road when every one else is asleep — early morning or late at night. You can always take a nap when you arrive at your destination.

Expect the Unexpected

Only a half hour before connecting to another flight? Traveling to Rochester, MN, during snow season? Think ahead! Plan accordingly. Leave extra time before flights to deal with security, extra time between connections and, for road trips, pack tire chains for snowy conditions, flashlights, and of course, a few band-aids never hurt either. But as a positive, expect holiday cheer and excitement from everyone as well. Remember if you have a smile on your face– they will too!

telecommuting

womp

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

Telecommuting is both a blessing and a curse. As you may know, most telecommuters work from home while others use mobile telecommunications technology to work from coffee shops or other locations.  Reuters recently released a poll stating, “approximately one in five workers around the globe, particularly employees in the Middle East, Latin America and Asia, telecommute frequently and nearly 10 percent work from home every day”. That is a mind blowing statistic.

Lately, I’ve had many opportunities to work remotely and I’ve taken them with a happy heart. Telecommuting always seems like a novel idea in the hype, but honestly it is not all the rage. When it comes to telecommuting, I have the worst time focusing, like a college kid trying to write a 20-page paper–the work is always left to the last minute, but on a positive note, working under pressure is a key ingredient in allowing me to accomplish many tasks.

I commend others who are able to do work from home or a coffee shop. Give me a few tips and tricks–how do you set yourself up for success when you aren’t in an office? Without a work atmosphere, terrible drip coffee and face-to-face interaction, my production level plummets. Shoot some ideas over to me so I can turn these next two weeks into a huge success.

midwest charm

“When hospotality becomes and art it loses it’s very soul.”-Max Beerbohm

finally home

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

It absolutely blows my mind with how nice people are here. It jut feels like home. Every place has it, except the East Coast and I have no idea how I fit in there. Let’s face it my Midwest nice will always come out, and I love helping tourists.

When getting on that plane in Cleveland, it was more evident than ever that I truly fit in. I was on a plane with all Midwesterners, specially Wisconsinites. Wisconsinites want to make sure you’re okay, adjusted, feel settled and comfortable before they are. In the Midwest, your needs and wants always come in second to an another’s. This is one of the most magical things about the place that I am lucky to call home. It is also the thing that makes me yearn for it the most. The true thoughtfulness and comforting atmosphere makes me nostalgic for the Midwest.

After a trip to see my family or friends, I make it a point to not lose touch with my inner (who are we kidding) Wisconsin roots. I make it a point to stop and ask tourists, who look perplexed and analyzing maps if I can help them. I make it a point to say hello to hostesses, servers, cashiers and coworkers. Now these people don’t always say hello back and most often they don’t. More often than not, when I ask how a cashier or server’s day is they stand there fully besides themselves because they cannot believe someone is asking them a question. I like to instill that shock in people’s lives.

Unfortunately, living in a a city like DC that has an unnecessary amount of tourists (at all times) and is full of transplants, we often forget our roots. Don’t forget where you came from and take pride in that, I know I will never forget where I came from and what got to where I am today!

I challenge you to go out and say hello to someone in your neighborhood, ask your bartender how their day is, strike up a friendly conversation with a coworker. 1. You will find out how truly easy it is, and 2. It will feel good—trust me.

I wish you the best of luck and tell me go it goes!

sconnie native

“Home interprets heaven. Home is heaven for beginners.”-Charles Henry Parkhurst

when referring to the Packers, you say “we.”

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

*squeals* in less than twenty long minutes, I will be boarding a flight that [unfortunately takes me to Ohio, first–SNORE–the second worst state] will take me to the most majestic state; HELLO, WISCONSIN! I absolutely cannot wait to get off of that plane and breathe in my first breath of that fresh Wisconsin air. If you couldn’t have guessed, I’m a full-breed, born and raised Wisconsinite. Wisconsin is home for me. No matter where I have lived, live and will live–Wisconsin and the Midwest will always be home.

You asked what a Sconnie is

You asked what a Sconnie is

There are so many weird little things I am excited for about this trip. Obviously the usuals and the reason I go home, to see my family but beyond that there is more. Let me give you a breakdown of the simple joys I cannot wait to encounter

  1. a squeaky cheese curd- when a cheese curd is fresh is squeaks on your teeth
  2. the Brewers game
  3. Miller Park
  4. tailgating–I’m sorry Nats I love y’all, but shoot, you have to get it together with tailgating
  5. sipping on coffee on the front porch in the morning
  6. hanging out by the bonfire at night
  7. listening to the crickets and frogs as I fall asleep
  8. sleeping with my windows open
  9. wearing that perfect summer outfit: a long sleeve and shorts
  10. enjoying a Spotted Cow
  11. kayaking to on the lake
  12. the local coffee shop where everyone knows your name
  13. seeing familiar faces at church
  14. a fish fry
  15. the back country roads

Being back in Wisconsin at my parent’s house is always surreal, but this time is going to be better than ever. I cannot wait to get back there and to be greeted by the warm embrace of my loved ones. I cannot wait to get a thousand kisses from my pup and I cannot wait to sleep in a twin bed. So, here’s to you Wisconsin! I’ll be seeing you!

*oh and as soon as I land, I get to experience why airports are the best places on earth (wait for another post on that). Waiting for me at the security check-in will be Matt, yup you guessed it: the boyfriend. What are we waiting for let’s get this show on the road, plane!