yelp

elite status!

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

I am proud to announce that yesterday I was invited to be part of the Yelp Elite Squad. I am honored and thrilled! Basically, as you might know Yelping is a way to review businesses and otherwise. You have the ability to rate them 1-5 stars and write comments about your visit while you were there.

Because they can explain it from me, this is what Yelp has to say about their Elite Squad:

  • What is the “Yelp Elite Squad”?

    The Yelp Elite Squad is our way of recognizing and rewarding yelpers who are active evangelists and role models, both on and off the site. Elite-worthiness is based on a number of things, including well-written reviews, great tips on mobile, a fleshed-out personal profile, an active voting and complimenting record, and playing nice with others. Members of the Elite Squad are designated by a shiny Elite badge on their account profile. If you think you or someone you know might be ready to be Yelp Elite, visithttp://www.yelp.com/elite.

So what comes with being Yelp Elite? Sure you get that sparkly badge that you get to rock with pride on your Yelp profile page, but in addition to that you get opportunities to attend exclusive events, meet Yelpers from your community in-person, and discover a variety of local businesses you probably didn’t try previously From what I am told the these exclusive events are types of amazing soirees, bashes, dinner parties, even weddings that are taking place throughout our communities near and far.

I’ve been yelping since January of 2012 and it’s awesome to finally be part of this elite squad of people who love giving their opinions. I can’t wait for my first Yelp event to meet everyone and see what it’s all about. For right now all I can do is prance around and be thankful.

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.

 

an open letter

[insert your name here]

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

Dear You,

As our relationship has progressed you have noticed one motif about my life: go big, or go home. You’re right, I don’t take things lightly and I don’t do them small. If I am going to do something, I commit. With all that being said, my birthday is never a different story. Every few years, the Super Bowl will try to overshadow my special day but I never allow it to do so.

This year, my birthday was wonderful because of you. Celebrating this 24th year is something I will ever forget. Being surrounded by loved ones, receiving phone calls and even the simple smiles truly made the day something special.

Over the years we’ve shared many stories, laughter, drinks and celebrations, but this one was different. This particular birthday celebration encompassed many wonderful aspects of my life. The celebrations this year allowed me to join in all of the tom foolery and showering of love that a birthday should have.

For you, I am grateful. Without you, my birthday would not have been the same. Thank you for the memories we made this weekend. I am looking forward to seeing what my 24th year has in store. I am lucky to have you along for the journey. Once again, thank you. I am so touched and thankful to be blessed by such awesome family and friends!

All My Love,

Kendal Ann

 

 

be thankful

even though it’s not thanksgiving

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

Sure, the month of November reminds us to be thankful for what we have, but being thankful isn’t 111608-thankfula motif that stays with us for the rest of the year. Personally, I believe that every day you should give thanks for one thing. This one thing can be small. Being thankful shouldn’t be a chore; please don’t view it like that. We are all lucky in our own ways and I am certain everyone has just one thing to be thankful for. Today, I challenge you to say thank you to someone or to recognize that one thing which you appreciate.

Today, I am thankful for the nights that turned into mornings. The friends who turned into family and all my dreams that turned into reality.

Remember: it’s not happy people who are thankful, it’s thankful people who are happy.

#givingtuesday

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

This is the first year I have heard about #GivingTuesday (#GT) and I wanted to share with you what I have learned. #GT is an awesome opportunity. First we had Black Friday, then Cyber Monday and now we have #GT— What do you think will be next?

For a little background this is a movement that has created a day of national of giving. Essentially, this day, GT,  is a way to start off the giving season. GT allows us to physically put something on the calendar which follows the mayhem of shopping. 2013 marks the second annual GivingTuesday. Like retail stores take part in Black Friday,  this is one way to allow for a community to come together for #GivingTuesday.

You can find all of this information on the website: http://community.givingtuesday.org/Page/FAQ. As I am sure a link might stop most of you from reading it, read below for the same information and enjoy. Remember, it’s never too little or too late.

Question: What is #GivingTuesday’s mission?

Answer: #GivingTuesday™ is a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support non-profit organizations.

Question: How did #GivingTuesday start?

Answer: New York’s 92nd Street Y was the catalyst and incubator for #GivingTuesday, bringing the expertise of 139 years of community-management to the project and providing #GivingTuesday a home. The United Nations Foundation joined as partners, bringing their strategic and communications clout to the project. An amazing team of influencers then offered their ideas, contacts and wisdom to help shape and improve the concept. A powerful list of corporations and non-profits agreed to be founding partners, helping spread the word and committing to their own #GivingTuesday initiatives. Since then, countless organizations, friends and leaders have all added their support and talents to make #GivingTuesday a reality.

Question: Did #GivingTuesday make a difference last year?

Answer: In 2012, we had more than 2,500 recognized #GivingTuesday™ partners from all 50 states of the United States. The collective efforts of partners, donors and advocates helped fuel a marked increase in charitable giving on GivingTuesday.

Blackbaud processed over $10 million in online donations on 11/27/12 – a 53% increase when compared to the Tuesday after Thanksgiving the previous year. DonorPerfect recorded a 46% increase in online donations and the average gift increased 25%. More than 50 million people worldwide spread the word about GivingTuesday – resulting in milestone trending on Twitter. Not too shabby, right?

Question: Who can participate?

Answer: Everyone! #GivingTuesday is an initiative to start the giving season and we encourage everyone to be involved with it. However, to be an official partner, you must be a registered non-profit [a 501(c)3 in the United States] with a specific #GivingTuesday initiative, or a for-profit business, school, religious or community group who commit to spearhead a project that will benefit at least one registered charity or non-profit. Families and individuals are encouraged to be generous in whatever ways matter to them, whether that means volunteering at a local charity or donating to a favorite cause.

Question: Who can be a partner?

Answer: To be an official partner, you must be a registered non-profit [a 501(c)3 in the United States] with a specific #GivingTuesday initiative, or a for-profit business, school, religious or community group who commit to spearhead a project that will benefit at least one registered charity or non-profit.
 
Question: Can organizations get donations through the #GivingTuesday website?

Answer: No. #GivingTuesday is a movement. We are not an organization and do not accept or distribute donations. All donations need to be made through partner websites. Official partners are responsible for their own fundraising initiatives.
 
Question: I’m a member of the media. How do I connect to someone at #GivingTuesday?

Answer: We’d be happy to speak with you. Please click here to contact us.

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!

give to the max

so much philanthropy

Allow me to introduce you to a dear friend of mine, Stephani Jo. Stephani Jo is chipper, spunky and warmhearted. This woman, is fantastic. I had the opportunity (thank goodness I took it) to become friends with SJ my Freshman year of college. That year, I learned the ins and outs of her that I would need to know for a long lasting friendship. Her morals and ideals match up with mine very closely, which is a huge reason we were inseparable our Freshman year. Take the time to read about this awesome opportunity that she partakes in every year. Thanks to her, I am on a search for something like this as well. I love her for many reasons, and two are: her giving soul and warm heart.

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

the great Minnesota give together

guest blog presented by: Stephani Jo Reding
You can find Stephani on Twitter: @SjReding; insta: SjReding, make sure you follow her!

Yes, I’m talking about Give to the Max Day. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, you should probably read up on it here. And for those of you who have… well, what are you waiting for?! Go make your donation!I have participated in GTMD since 2010 when I accidentally stumbled across it as I was surfing the internet in Mass Media Law (sorry Professor Vivian). I immediately fell in love with GTMD because of the opportunity to make the most of my charitable giving… and let’s face it, as a broke college student I was always looking for the best ways to stretch my dollar.GTMD can be overwhelming because of the thousands of nonprofits participating. If you’re unsure how to decide who to donate to, think of the ones that mean the most to you, family and/or friends. Here are a few I’ve donated to in the past and why:

Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare:
Gillette’s mission is to “improve the lives of children who have disabilities, to help them move forward towards their goals and dreams,” but in all honesty, they do so much more than that. I truly believe Gillette improved the lives of my entire family as they took such careful and special care for my little brother. During a very difficult time, they became an extended support group and for that I am ever thankful.

Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos:
Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos, Spanish for “our little brothers and sisters,” is an organization that has provided a home for thousands of orphans in Central America. I had the privilege of visiting NPH Honduras on a church mission trip in 2007 and it changed my life. Not only did I witness extreme levels of poverty and abandonment, but I also witnessed the hope this organization gives the children. NPH instills values of unconditional love, responsibility, education and volunteerism.

Winona State University:
Lastly, my alma mater, Winona State University. I support education on all levels and while I couldn’t be happier with my education at St. Vincent de Paul and Maple Grove Senior High, Winona was a great time of self-discovery for me. It truly is as our mission states “a community of learners improving our world.”

Just remember, friends, every penny counts!

hello, friday!

cue the music!

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

For some reason this Friday seems so much more glorious than most. For me, it was a short week, but there was still a sigh of relief when Friday finally rolled around. My goal for today, is to get you through the day! Make it to the weekend– you’re only a few hours away.

So, in honor of this #FunFriday let’s listen to some of tunes that come to mind when we think of this special day of the week. In no particular order, check out the songs below– you can thank me later.

If there is a song I missed, let me know and I would be more than happy to add it!

 

 

give thanks round 1

30 days of thankful, edt. 1

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

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.

11/1 – Costume Parties

As Halloween fell in the middle of the week, I choose to celebrate Halloween three times! It was the best decision. Halloween was filled with costume parties, good friends and many memories. I am particularly thankful for friends who dressed up the day after Halloween with me and went out to take on the night.

11/2- Date night, Alexandria

Date night is a strange an interesting thing. I am thankful for a boyfriend who is excited to go on dates. Not only is he excited, but he also suggests them. Today, Matt and I went to Old Town Alexandria for a few surprises. We walked down historic King Street before heading to dinner. Our date night turned into a little adventure filled with new experiences, opportunities and laughter. I am thankful that date night is always on the books and we haven’t turned into some boring/stuffy couple who doesn’t do things.

11/3- My Faith

I am thankful for my faith. This one is unexplainable. After walking into church once, and realizing mass was an hour later– we decided to say a prayer and leave. It all seemed well, but once at Starbucks, it only seemed right to finish the last sip of cider and to head back for mass.

11/4- My Anchor

My dearest friend and anchor: Paul. Paul is a huge constant in my life which I couldn’t be more thankful for.

11/5- election day

Though election day was 11/4, it still happened. Living in a democracy is incredible. This is one thing I believe that most people take for granted. Working in DC, election day is always something that is light up and makes you think. I am thankful for having the opportunity to have my voice heard.

11/6- Coincidences

Today, I learned that a co-worker, who was born and raised in DC, grew up in my current neighborhood. Once we got to talking she was so intrigued to learn about Bloomingdale and what’s going on there now. A little coincidence made me so thankful that I could help put a smile on someone’s face.

11/7- Ann Marie

My mother is single-handily one of the greatest people I have the honor of knowing.  I am grateful to have a miraculous role model and wonderful supporter in my life. Without my mom being my biggest cheerleader I would have missed a lot of opportunities. I couldn’t be more thankful to have her as a shining star in my life.

11/8- My Greek Family

Being Greek, is a huge part of my life– both in college and now today. It’s something that will never change. I am beyond thankful for the bonds I have created and sustained with my Greek family with constitutes to grow. Winona State started me off with a base, but there was no stopping me. Now my Greek family is near and far. It’s an unexplainable love and gratitude that will always be in the air when I think about my Greek family.

11/9- Winona, MN

Winona, MN is a beautiful little college town, tucked in between the Mississippi River and a gorgeous set of bluffs.  I could write this one about anything in Winona, but it’s about how it prepared me. Speaking with a friend about Winona he said, ” I miss that town and it’s comfort and security. It’s like a nice sweater. But I’m happy I’m not there anymore. I’m grateful for what it gave me and how it prepared me.” Honestly, I couldn’t have said it any better myself. I am beyond thankful for Winona and what it gave me, how it prepared me and all the tools I was able to utilize while being there.

11/10-  Snow

You’ll only hear me say it once, I am thankful for snow. I love seeing the seasons change. Now living in DC it is something I crave, it’s something I miss. I miss seeing the first snow fall. I miss the prefect white untouched snow in the treetops and on the road. Seeing snow today was a perfect twist right before I left the Midwest.