donuts

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

So, it is a little late but recognition is always worth it. In lieu of the recent Donut Day, I needed to share so vital information. My college town bakery was just named BEST donut in Minnesota! Yes, you read that right. Bloedows was named the best donuts in Minnesota! What an honor.

Thanks for the LaCrosse Tribune you can read a little more about Bloedow’s and their tradiation. But if you don’t want to click on the link, don’t worry the story is copy and pasted below.

Bloedow Bakery is Winona’s hometown bakery since 1924 featuring their own, very special, original recipes. Step in the door and step back in time to smell the warm, sweet smells of fresh baked donuts, breads and sweets. Step into a time when lives were more relaxed and food was made with pride. Ask any native Winonan and you will find Bloedow’s is a stop not to miss!

The History
In 1924 Ernest Bloedow had a dream to start his own bakery in Winona, MN. Located at 601 Sanborn Street, Ernest and his wife, Mary, started their little bakery which soon became a family affair. In 1925 the bakery moved to the corner of Broadway and Laird into a former saloon, complete with a hitching post outside! The bakery soon became known as Bloedow’s Little Bake Shop on Broadway. There it flourished and was passed down through the family.

By 1941, Ernest and Mary’s daughter, Mildred, and her husband, Julius Gernes, assisted in the bakery operations and eventually purchased the bakery. In 1984, Mildred and Julius’ son, Ernest, and his wife Darlene, took over the Bloedow tradition with its now famous recipes.

On January 1, 2005, the bakery was sold to Hugh and Mary Polus, the first owners outside of the Bloedow family. A baker at Bloedow bakery since the age of 15, Hugh was mentored by Ernie and Darlene for almost 20 years to continue the Bloedow tradition. While some customers may have been skeptical of the change, they were soon relieved to know that nothing would be changed with the Bloedow’s recipes. The Polus’ are both native Winonans and grew up on Bloedow’s treats.

Original Recipes
Many of the Bloedow donuts, rolls, and breads you see in the cases each day are still made with the recipes used on the bakery’s first day of business. Other specialties have been added during the 80+ years of tradition.

The David and Goliath Story…Bakery Style
In December 2005, Winona residents taste-tested and the result was national news.  Less than two years after entering the Winona market, the international doughnut colossus, Krispy Kreme, pulled its products from the store shelves, ceding the territory to locally owned Bloedow Bakery. While their exit started out quietly, a local newspaper ran a story which was quickly picked up by the Associated Press and run all over the country.

Our Customers
All agree, once you’ve had a Bloedow’s donut you will go back for more. Many Bloedow’s fans agree that the first and last stop when coming to Winona is Bloedow Bakery and one donut is not enough. What Bloedow’s fans won’t agree on is which donut is the best. There are just too many “bests” to choose from. Bloedow’s fans are so devoted, they have created a group on Facebook dedicated to sharing Bloedow’s stories and voted Bloedow Bakery the Best Donut Shop in MN in March 2012 WCCO Best of poll.

Our Promise
The employees of Bloedow’s promise to continue the tradition of Bloedow’s by providing high quality baked goods like no others.

Bloedow Bakery was an awesome place to visit on a Sunday morning when most of the town was still sleeping. I can only imagine what press Bloedow’s has received since they’ve been voted best donut. Kudos to them for making the tradition last and a dream come true. Now, only if they delivered then I could get this hankering for a Maple Long John out of my system.

my guest post

Matt asked me to write a blog about how my life was consumed by lifeguarding for six years. He wanted me to get into the details about saving, and trainings, but I spared the boring details and wrote this for his blog instead.

You can find Matt on Twitter: @hamsterjockey; insta: hamsterjockey, make sure you follow him!

My Guest Blog Post: Lifeguarding via Matt’s Blog

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn
It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Life happens I guess. But to get me back in the swing of things, I asked the lovely Kendal Ann to write me a guest blog about her experience lifeguarding. I, myself, have never been a lifeguard (but I did get my Lifesaving merit badge in Boy Scouts), but Kendal Ann was talking about it one day and it really interested me. Check out Kendal Ann’s blog here and I promise you, she’s a hell of a lot better at updating her blog than I am.

In high school and college, I lived for summers. I spent my days stretched out in a chair, slathered in SPF 85 (yes, it’s a thing), occasionally jumping off the dock for a quick dip and always playing with kids.

It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it. For five years, lifeguarding consumed my life. As downfalls of the job, my ginger locks would turn bleach beach blond, and it would always have a slight green tint to it. And I often found myself involuntarily yelling “No running!” at random kids on my days off.

I trained hard at 15 to become a Baywatch wannabe. The Red Cross certifies lifeguards only after an intensive, 30-plus-hour course on CPR, first aid, AED and rescue skills with both a written and physical final exam. (I was through the Red Cross and the YMCA)

Sure as a lifeguard our first priority is safety, but there is so much more to the job than safety, getting awkward tan lines and working 15 hour shifts.

Let’s get back to the trainings. I was originally hired to lifeguard at the YMCA (an indoor pool). After working at the YMCA for a year and a half—I was stolen. My supervisor put in a good word for me at the beach and the next day I was hired. I will always be grateful of her “stealing” me. (Note, I still worked at both the YMCA and the beach—I wasn’t exactly stolen, I was more of a timeshare). Working at the YMCA, we often had a training to refresh our skills. These trainings happened once every quarter (about four times a year). During the trainings, we would go over skills, back boarding, CPR and how to administer Oxygen. More often than not, they ended with the staff gathered in the hot tub.

Working at the beach was a totally different story. Before the season started, we took three days to refresh our skills on back boarding, oxygen administration, AED and first aid.  If that wasn’t enough, we had trainings every Thursday morning for two hours. It would begin with a few jokes and recognition, but beyond that, it was down and dirty—straight to business. We would swim to build our endurance (about a half a mile), and continue the meeting with saves and missing persons drills.

Yes, there are days it’s sunny and no one is at the pool or the beach so you get to work on your tan, read a book or go swimming for fun, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a hard job. I had to go through a 30-plus-hour course and pay money to get certified. My certifications last a year, before I have to get recertified. The money is lifeguarding is good, but everyone doesn’t get hired. So, don’t tell me I am just sitting there looking pretty, and getting paid to tan. Sir, you aren’t watching your 3-year-old in the water, and more than likely—you’ll be thanking me later.

Lifeguarding isn’t as glamorous as a gig as people make it out to be. Even though there are hard days, angry parents, and clingy children, at the end of the day I loved my job. For five years lifeguarding consumed my life, and honestly I wouldn’t change a minute of it. I met some of my best friends through lifeguarding. And thanks to lifeguarding I am not afraid of most situations, I know how to survive in the coldest water conditions and I can swim the “Bermuda Triangle” (it’s a Wisconsin thing)—no sweat.

Next time you’re at the pool and you think the lifeguard is cute and just soaking in the rays—think again. I challenge any of you to take a lifeguarding course, pass the test, get hired and then keep your job.

winona bound, post graduation round 2!

It’s that time of the year! I’m heading back to my Alma Mater and I could not be more excited. Last year, I was asked to reflect on my post-graduation woes and write an article for the University paper, and that is exactly what I did. Take a peek below. Next stop, Winona! See you soon, Minnesota.

visiting the alma mater

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

For the past 18 years August meant, school supplies, a class list, new books and new clothes and being reunited with friends, but not this time. The excitement of August wasn’t the same this time around. For the first time, August, to me, didn’t mean back to school. With the uncertainty and the sudden change of August I felt a void. Now being in the “real world” and having grown into a “real person”.

For the first time, I am truly out on my own, a time zone and a 14-hour car drive from my family who cannot drop everything and come save me when I’m having a subpar day.

December changed everything – that’s when I walked across that stage and became a graduate.As you are aware already everyone has the expectations that once you graduate, you’ll immediately have it all figured out and you have to stick to your plan.

Wrong.

Since graduation, things have stayed the same for me; my love for politics and the fact that I’m pursuing my dreams in Washington, DC. I don’t have a clear path of how I will tackle my dreams, but each night I can rest, knowing I’m on the right path.

Since January there have been many kinks in my plan.

Things haven’t gone exactly as expected. Through these times I have learned with each unexpected change, it will be what you make of it, but most of all it is an opportunity and you must seize it.

It is simple: life is unpredictable.

Just because you are set in your ways and think you have figured out a so-called life plan does not mean someone isn’t going to come throw a wrench into your plans, chances are they will.  For better or worse the only constant is change. Get used to it. Become accustom to it and things will only get easier. You never know where life will take you or where your true passions lie.

Take chances, make the time to connect with new people and your life will unfold beautifully right in front of you, and better yet in your hands.

Know this, before I knew it, August turned into September and September will soon be October.October means my first visit as an Alumnus to Winona. One thing that will never change is that  I cannot wait to see the great things Winona has in store for me. Don’t forgot you do not need to wait to be an Alumni for this incredible journey to start. The sooner your journey starts, the better it will be and the better you will feel.

Whether your journey is in political science like mine, journalism or biology, make sure that you enjoy what you do because you’ll be doing it for many years to come.

The more I reflect back on my time at Winona State, the more I miss it. I love being in Washington, DC, but at the same time I miss the bluffs and I miss the friends I made who are still in school. Washington, DC has taught me to remember not to take the little things for granted; a phone call from a loved one or  a smile from someone as I pass them by on the street. As the time approaches when I make my way back to Winona, I look forward to coming back as an Alumni.

I can’t wait to rehash some of my past memories with students and staff alike. Being in Washington, DC is sometimes hard, but when all is said and done, I’m really happy that I decided to start my career here.

I’m ready for Winona, but the question that remains is this: Is Winona ready for me?