Buzz City, Baby!

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

As I dust off the old keyboard, it dawns on me that I haven’t posted on my blog in over a year. That realization is not okay. So much has changed. So much has happened and I have so much to share. Even if my readership is low, this blog has been a great space for me to enhance my writing skills, get my thoughts out there in the universe and run with my ideas.

Let me get you up to speed on the last two months, everything else I will do in a year recap coming next month. Yes, you’ll have to wait a little longer for some huge updates, but in the meantime, I promise, I will give you something now and a few posts until the yearly recap.

Set that clock to September 2017. It’s Labor Day and David (yes, he’s still around) and I are far from laboring. My fiance (David) *squeals* (see I’ll sprinkle some fun facts now and again) and I we’re on the long journey to Charlotte, North Carolina! With job offers in hand, we knew it was the right choice to make the move. We’re 2 hours away from my folks in Asheville. Closer to the mountains, have countless breweries in our backyard and are loving this slower pace of life.

Since starting our new life in Charlotte. I started working at Greater Matthews Habitat for Humanity and I am the newly appointed Director of Development. I build relationships, find sponsorships and advocate and educate our community. It’s so different from the lobbyist life I had in DC, but I love how the impact is true and everlasting.

A little over a month ago, we jumped on another awesome opportunity and got a pup! Jaxx is our new bundle of joy and we couldn’t be more happy with her. Our mornings are consumed by running with her and snuggling up with coffee. Jaxx is so much fun and a ball of energy. She loves being outdoors and she was even featured in our engagement photos!

I’m still teaching spin class and loving it. I found a newly opened studio: Ride or Die and I am teaching every chance I get!

Charlotte has been good to us for our first few months. I can’t wait to see what this new adventure brings us. Stay tuned for more deets and what’s to come. I’m happy to be back, y’all!

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#BlackLivesMatter

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

The world is a scary place right now. It takes courage to turn on the news and open a newspaper. I received an email recently with the subject line: When the news is too much and before opening it, I knew exactly what it was going to be about. Let me share my friend’s words with you.

Friend:

I truly don’t know what to do in a world where every other day there is story of a black person being brutally murdered by the police. Like when will it stop! I feel like I could never have kids bc what might happen to them. It’s not like there aren’t other tragedies in the world that affect me, but Damn this is messed up.

As you all are some of my closest friends who aren’t black, it would really mean a lot to me to know that you aren’t standing in silence in the face of these kinds of racial injustice. Maybe it’s not everyone’s thing to get on Facebook. But I hope you are paying attention to the conversations and actions of non POC I your classrooms, workplaces, neighborhoods and governments. And I pray that you speak and vote against apathy and hate of any kind when you have the opportunity.

Don’t let me being one of your close black friends make you feel that I don’t have any skin in the game. This affects me… Deeply. And I don’t want to pretend it doesn’t any longer with you all. And I don’t want to feel like I need to be silent about these things when we’re together bc I don’t want to offend anyone.

I’m not accusing anyone if not being supportive, I’m just asking for your support. And I’m encouraging you not to just do so behind closed doors.

Maybe this isn’t the most eloquently written email, but I just needed to reach out and get it off my chest. I love you all too much to pretend I don’t need your friendship and support.

Your heart breaks just reading this. How can’t it?  I was crying after reading this, and after writing my respond. It took me so much longer than I wanted to formulate a coherent response. Waking up every morning to see such tragedies at our doorstep is no way to live. We need to find answers.
Response:
It hurts me to see violence and racism are ongoing issues in my backyard and all over the world. It saddens me that every time we take one steps forward it seems that we take three steps back. Like others, I agree that social media can only be pushed so far, but what is there to be done? What can I do that will truly allow my voice to be heard? I want my actions to be seen. I want my voice heard. I want everyone to know that this way of life and cohabiting is not okay, just or the world we came into.

Friend, I have endless conversations with friends, family and coworkers about our on going tragedies and what can be done. Like you, one thing that hurts the most is bringing a child into the world (though it will be years from now) it’s something that affects all of us. How can you bring a child into the world right now? How can you raise a child to understand hate is not the answer? How would anyone not be worried each second apart that they’re from their child?

Dear, I thank you for volunteering and for giving us the opportunity to sign up as well. I did, and I hope this is a start for a great change. We need to create a positive change. We need to show people and not just tell people. After all, actions speak louder than words.

She said it best, I am here for you and sorry I haven’t had these conversations with you. I am standing next to you to fight this fight. Please let me know what I can do. I will be by your side until the end.

All my love.
Friends, I challenge you all to read what is going on in the news. Talk about what is happening in the world. Figure out how you can be the change. Don’t just talk about it, make a plan and follow through. If we want change, we need to be the people acting on it.

wait, that’s not your name?

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

You guessed it, we’re talking about names and getting it correct. This seems to be a boiling point with me. Back in 2013, I dedicated a whole post about spelling my name wrong, and apparently it’s time for a refresher.

I know, I know, it’s like beating a dead horse, but maybe when that faithful day when people finally get it right, I won’t have to bitch anymore, but until then I will give you a crash course. When it comes to my name, no, I don’t have much faith in people, so let’s get on with it.

My name is Kendal Ann, that’s spelled K-e-n-d-a-l with one L and an Ann.

I don’t understand why this is  such a hard concept for people to grasp. My name is not a different variation such as,  Kendall, Kendel, Kendell and my name most certainly is not Kendra. My name is Kendal Ann, and maybe Kendal if that’s how I introduced myself to you.

The issue, of my name is something that I am venting to David about on a weekly bias. Yes, it bothers me. It bothers me so much because this has been going on my entire life. News flash, I like my name. I like my name a lot. You know what, I even  love my name. I  wish people, would call me the right thing; it’s my name. Does it really take that much effort to get my or anyone else’s name right?  I go through all of the trouble (please note that is sarcastic because it’s not trouble at all) to get your name right, so do the same for me. Have some respect. If I introduce myself as Kendal Ann, I expect you to refer to me as that unless I say something else. Maybe that’s rude, but I don’t go around calling my friends who introduce themselves as Michael, Mike, unless they note otherwise.

Earlier this week, I had an email exchange with someone I don’t know about my name.  Keep in mind, I’ve been a part of this organization for seven years. I just received an award form this organization. These people know who I am. I emailed this woman blanking stating my request and adding in, “Additionally, is there anywhere in the database you can note that my preferred name is Kendal Ann, not Kendal?” This woman emails me back a few days later saying: Hi Kendal! …

So, I am sure you can see it. That is the final straw that broke the camel’ s back. I wrote back and at the very end I noted:
Additionally, please note the name preference.
-Kendal Ann
(It’s Kendal with one L and an Ann)

From here on out, this is how I will be signing my name to people who don’t get it right on the first try. Of course it made me feel bad, but I am sick of standing back ideally especially when people don’t have the common decency to spell Kendal right. Hey, bro, look at my email, my signature, the sign off. You have three opportunity to edit before hitting the send button.

David tells me, he’s never seen someone so worked up about this, but when you have a name that isn’t your basic Nicole, Emily, Sarah then what do you expect? And you know, I am beyond happy I have a unique name, I just want people to show a little respect and refer to me as my proper name. It’s really not that hard. Maybe Kendal Ann seems too formal to these folks, but formal or not it’s my name and it’s what I prefer to be called. After all, it’s not like I am asking you something totally absurd and out of the question. I am just asking you to slow down and spell my name correctly and to keep on the Ann, stop dropping it off.

#iamwhole30

I did Whole30 and it was amazing. Even now, a few weeks after completing my first challenge, I’m feeling the effects and reaping the benefits.

Whole30–What is it? Here are the basics:

Over 30 day period, you eat real foods. Fresh is always better. No taking measurements of your body during your Whole30 (W30) journey. You should always shoot for the organic, cage-free, grass fed option. With those as the basics, here is a list of things you cannot have.

Avoid for 30 days
Omitting all of these foods and beverages will help you regain your healthy metabolism, reduce systemic inflammation, and help you discover how these foods are truly impacting your health, fitness and quality of life.

  • Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.

  • Do not consume alcohol in any form, not even for cooking. (And it should go without saying, but no tobacco products of any sort, either.)

  • Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on. Again, read your labels.

  • Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).

  • Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee. (See below for details.)

  • Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.

  • Do not try to re-create baked goods, junk foods, or treats* with “approved” ingredients. Continuing to eat your old, unhealthy foods made with Whole30 ingredients is totally missing the point, and will tank your results faster than you can say “Paleo Pop-Tarts.” Remember, these are the same foods that got you into health-trouble in the first place—and a pancake is still a pancake, regardless of the ingredients.

There are always exceptions to rules. W30 has some, too.

The Fine Print

  • Clarified Butter or Ghee. Clarified butter or ghee is the only source of dairy allowed during your W30. Plain old butter is NOT allowed, as the milk proteins found in non-clarified butter could impact the results of your program. Refer to our Butter Manifesto for more details on the milk proteins found in butter, purchasing high quality butter, and how to clarify it yourself.

  • Fruit juice as a sweetener. Some products or recipes will include fruit as a sweetener, which is fine for the purposes of the W30.

  • Certain legumes. We’re fine with green beans, sugar snap peas and snow peas. While they’re technically a legume, these are far more “pod” than “bean,” and green plant matter is generally good for you.

  • Vinegar. Most forms of vinegar, including white, balsamic, apple cider, red wine, and rice, are allowed during your W30 program. The only exceptions are vinegars with added sugar, or malt vinegar, which generally contains gluten.

Let me explain the two big reasons I wanted to give this a go: I wanted to tackle the W30 plan for quite sometime, but I knew I needed to set myself up for success. The first part, was to con someone into doing this rigorous plan with me and that very lucky person was David.  Let me explain the two big reasons I wanted to give this a go:

  1. After several appointments to the dermatologist, I never got a real answer even after a biopsy. Long story short, I have these red dots all over the back of my hand. Now, when I say all over it’s like five bumps that are in a circle and one or two next to the circle. A lot of people said it would be ringworm, some people said it could be due to diet, etc. Everyone just kept giving me suggestions of what it could be. After my biopsy, I found out that sometimes these just appear and form on the backs of people’s hands or the tops of their feet. This happens for no reason at all. I asked the Dr. if it had anything to do with my diet, i.e., gluten and he said it could but there’s not a true link making that case.  my options were to keep the ugly dots, get shots, or use a steroid cream and even after all that “treatment” the specks would just lessen and would never fully go away.
  2. I felt like I was starting to develop a sensitivity/allergy to dairy after I consumed it.

So, why not give W30 a try?

We finished our first round of W30 April 21st and, boy, was it amazing! There were a lot of days that were insanely hard, but other days were so amazing. I could feel my skin feeling better, the specks on my hand went away (not completely, because they never will disappear, but they weren’t red and I couldn’t really notice them). I felt my workouts more. I was getting stronger and leaner by the day! I had mass amounts of energy and sleeping was uninterrupted most nights, too!

A few thoughts, tips, tricks & takeaways

  • Planning and prepping is key

    • Always know where your next meal is coming from

    • Make a list of meals and snacks

  • Once you have it down, there is so much you can actually eat

  • Always ask questions if you are going out to a restaurant

  • Making homemade mayo is time consuming and really hard the first time, but once you figure it out it’s cake!

  • You will eat eggs ALL THE TIME

  • Larabars are life savers

  • Trader Joe’s has really good Ghee, plantain chips, pre made guac and coconut milk

  • Palm oil- it never says you can’t have it. We probably could have had the chips, but we saved them

    • ALWAYS look at labels. I bought plantain chips at Whole Foods, and checked out without thinking/reading the label and they were compliant.

  • Here’s a list of approved things, but just because it’s on this list doesn’t mean it’s not compliant.

  • It’d hard!

  • You WILL have intense cravings. Get up, walk around, do something.

  • I read an article about hunger v. boredom eating that Melissa (founder) said about this. Bottom line, you need to ask yourself, could I get a salad with chicken, tomatoes and sweet potatoes right now. If the answer is no, then you’re bored. If it’s yes, obvs you are hungry.

    • You aren’t supposed to snack, but if you can’t make it then do it. Just make good choices

  • Due to the sugars, limit fruits especially bananas, apples and pineapple

  • Some meals you try will be weird. The worst one we had was avocado eggs. Basically you heat the oven, half the avo, remove the pit and crack and egg into each of the pit holes…warm avocados with eggs the worst.

  • Your meals will be bigger and you will be fuller longer

    • My plate was ALWAYS full. I didn’t really go off the portion guide, because I knew everything I was eating was good fresh food. Plus I was hungry

  • Cauliflower rice was the only thing we made that was on the “naughty” list. You aren’t supposed to make things that emulate “bad” foods. In this case rice

  • You’re not supposed to have smoothies because different neurons act when drinking something v. when you eat something. Also, I think it’s because you are drinking a lot of fruit and no veggies

    • David and I had smoothies. It might be illegal W30, but we ALWAYS packed them with kale/arugula/spinach and never had them with just berries. I always feel full after having a smoothie so I wasn’t too worried about this from the gecko. Also, we didn’t have these more than 2/week.

  • Ghee- butter substitute, we used once. We made a roast chicken for Easter. We never came across another opportunity/recipe to use it.

  • Sweet potatoes were our saving grace. We ate them ALL the time. The last 10 days we cut ourselves off from potatoes because we thought we had them too much

Day by Day break down

The beginning is hard. Days 1-3 I wanted to gnaw my arm off. I was so hungry all the time. I feel that I was a relatively healthier eater to beginning with and didn’t think I’d have any of these issues or symptoms, but they are pretty spot on. Days 9-12, I was so bloated because everything was finally working out of my system, but by Day 13, I could slap on the same jeans (not washed) from Day 9/10 and they fit even better than before! Day 27-32 (we added on 2 extra days, so it was really W32 for us) was tiring. I was so ready to be done. All I wanted was to have some bbq and it was all I could think about. When you know the end is in sight it’s easy to snap. We stuck with it, but I couldn’t wait for that first meal.

Post W30

  • I felt the best I had ever felt. I always struggled with being really bloated after meals, so far it’s not there
  • I lost weight (16 pounds!), but that was just a perk not the main objective or incentive. They also tell you that you might not lose much weight. It just depends on your body. *Side note, I am sure this has to do with the amount I workout too. It wasn’t all attributed to my W30 expereince, but I won’t discount that it’s not due to it!*

  • I have endless amounts of energy

  • The dots are gone for the most part

  • Sleep—I can sleep a full night without tossing and turning (per my Fitbit)

  • My workouts are awesome and last longer

  • I don’t crave sweet anymore (not yet)

  • I’ve been pinning things like crazy. You’ll see some things that have butter, dairy, etc in it but I know enough to switch those out or omit them.

Overall, I loved it and so did David! It was an awesome experience and for the most part we are going to stick with it. David and I have now transitioned into the Paleo lifestyle, and W30 has only helped us to maintain this new change. I absolutely foresee us doing several rounds of W30 each year.

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!

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
-Wallet
-Tissues
-Sunnies
-Koozie
-Earbuds
-Tervis
-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?

 

 

Reblog: People often assume that as a white female, I don’t have to deal with racism. And they’re right — I don’t.

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

This is a pretty phenomenal thing this young woman did. It takes courage and real character to do what you believe in. Support your soror! Take a read at what Emma has to say. Warning, it’s some powerful stuff.

Passion, caffeinated

IAmTooWakeForest

Somebody recently told me that this picture, originally part of the #ITooAmWakeForest campaign (which you can find here: http://itooamwakeforest.tumblr.com/), was incorporated into an article somebody published on the website Total Sorority Move. I wasn’t able to track down the article myself, so it’s possible that it was moved or deleted. The sign I’m holding in the picture reads, “I’ve been asked: ‘Are you a transfer?’ ‘Are you albino?’ ‘Are you lonely?’ Because it’s ‘crazy’ I would want to join a black sorority instead of a white one.” Yes, I have really been asked those things at Wake Forest.

A year and a half after crossing Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. in spring 2013, it still strikes me as odd how much fascination and interest is generated simply by my membership in a historically black sorority. I knew long before I joined that I would receive a wide variety of responses…

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i’m back!

you heard that right

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

Ah, it feels good to be back! I am back and better than ever — I even have my own domain name. Friends, kendalann.com is the new an improved omg it’s kendal ann. Don’t fret because nothing has changed other than the new level of awesomeness. Just think of it as an upgrade from omg it’s kendal ann to omg it’s kendalann 2.0.

Here’s the background of what’s going on. Last year, I set out to create a blog and to write. I wanted to write about anything and as you know, my topics were broad and covered things from travel to work life situations. My journey began August 20, 2013 and my goal was to post 365 blogs in 365 days; a lofty goal for anyone. If my reached my goal, which I did, I was able to justify buying my domain name.

Now that omg it’s kendal ann is back, I want to hear from you. What do you want me to write? Do you want a feature? Are you interested in guest blogging? I am willing to take on any task, because after all, I thrive on change and facing new challenges.

weekend to dos

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

It’s the weekend! WOOOHOOOO! Let’s have some fun in the sun. The weekend i supposed to be glorious, so get out there and enjoy the weather. This weekend, Matt and I don’t have huge weekend plans, but here are a few ideas for you to fill your weekend with.

Union Market

Eastern Market

Phillips Collection

DC’S BIGGEST OUTDOOR WATER FESTIVAL 

Free Summer Saturdays Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art and Design

Kenny G in Old Town

Ballston Arts & Crafts Market

Arlington Arts Center Events

what to read next?

suggestions?

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

What made you pick up the book you are currently reading? How do you get suggestions and recommendations? If you’re on the hunt for something new and interesting to read, you have plenty of places to turn. Lifehacker put out a blog and  asked you where you went to find something good to read—whether it’s based on the things you’ve already read, someone’s suggestions you trust, a website that lets you build a virtual “shelf” of your favorite titles, or just a discussion group.

Goodreads, Book Bub, LibraryThing, Reddit were the top places to find a new book from the Lifehacker post. I’ve never tried using any of these except Goodreads, and my book turned out to be a good suggestion. Currently, Matt is reading a book that was suggested from a Reddit thread and he seems to be enjoying it so far.

Personally, I still like checking on Amazon and at the bookstore/library for a book. There’s some novelty about it that I can’t explain. When it comes to a niche or specialty books on highly specific topics, I would suggest going to a local bookstore and then a library as well. Looking for books on specifically political topics, or independently published authors whose books are on limited release? Indie bookstores are where you need to go—and the people that work there are likely to have suggestions for you too. I remember my days working in a bookstore: Each of us had a specialty area we were happy to talk about.