Everyday I’m Hustlin’

I know I have used this space as a personal blog, but I recently realized that a lot of people are curious about my job at Yelp. While my Instagram may look like it, I promise I don’t eat out every single day. Here’s a few quick facts about what I do for a living so we can get back to what’s really important — Jake or Fitz (And the answer is Jake. Duh!).

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  • As a Community Manager, my job is to be the online and offline face of Yelp here in the DC area.
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  • Yelp’s Headquarters are in San Francisco but we have Community Managers around the world including places like Hong Kong, Tokyo, Paris, São Paulo, and Rotterdam. #WhoRunstheWorld
  • I am not paid to write reviews. The reason I write reviews (and have been doing so for the past seven years) is because I love sharing insider knowledge on my favorite haunts and getting the dish from other locals like myself. Life without reviews would be life without Meat in a Box and that is a very sad life indeed.

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  • Every week I write and publish a newsletter which goes out to subscribers who live in the District! Looking to get your coffee buzz on?  What about having  a little slice of Havana without ever hopping on a plane? My newsletter has got your back!

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  • I also get to plan my own events for the Yelp community as well! They are free to attend and give Yelpers a chance to get up-close and personal with business owners and learn about their craft. Events can range from six-course wine and steak dinners for thirty people to hotel blow outs with over 1,200 people, 50+ vendors, and entertainment. I throw about three or more events a month. Want to learn more? Visit yelp.com/events and yelp.com/elite for more information.10632793_10152182610051533_2991545479005083337_n
  • I train businesses on how to use  Yelp’s free suite of business tools and give them tips and tricks on how to maintain their online presence. I usually meet with businesses on an individual basis but have also gotten the chance to speak at the DC Tourism Board’s public form as well.
  • I help Yelpers give back to the community! Over the past year we adopted DC Central Kitchen as a charity partner and every month we respond to their direct needs such as creating snack packs for their after-school program, preparing meals, and collecting warm winter weather wear. Since 2014, we have collected thousands of dollars for their program!
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  • For those not involved with the Yelp community there is a misconception that Yelpers are a bunch of people hiding behind their computer. That is not the case at all! A majority of Yelpers are just regular folk from all walks of life who love sharing information with others. Even celebrities have gotten on to the Yelp game! Mila Kunis, Jared Leto and Christina Hendrix have publicly said they were fans and Jerry Seinfeld and Wale are actively contributing their thoughts to the site.

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  • I work from home which means on any given day there is a high probability of me wearing yoga pants. When I’m feeling adventurous or social, I work at coffee shops, fancy hotel lobbies, Union Market (my favorite spot), bagel shops, bars, and even my rooftop pool.
  • I love my job because I get to meet and work with a lot of interesting and passionate people and because I get the chance to make the city that I’ve lived in for over 25 years a wonderful place to be.

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Woman Crush Wednesday: Tina Belcher

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During the month of December when Rob and I’s regularly scheduled shows went on break we became obsessed with Bob’s Burgers, a cartoon about the adventures of a man, his family, and his restaurant in a nondescript seaside town.

Watching the show, I especially felt an affinity to Bob’s oldest daughter Tina who pretty much is my 12-year old doppelganger, minus the barrette. I learned early on that I was more Daria than Quinn, Tai than Cher, and Molly than Samantha. Like most girls, I fretted over this fact and tried to fit in. Tina Belcher is  the exact opposite of my adolescent self, she embraces her weirdness and makes no apologies for who she is. She’s fun, fearless and my pick for my first Woman Crush Wednesday Post.

Don’t believe me? The proof is in the pudding.

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This Post is Completely IrrElephant

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Step aside current dream job, when I grow up I want to be a mahout. In between all of the eating and beaching Rob and I did in Thailand, I made sure to schedule a few days at Elephant Hills, a luxury tented camp set in the middle of Khao Sok National Park, the largest jungle in all of Thailand.

At the camp we were able to help out with the elephant preserve’s daily activities such as scrubbing their thick skin with coconut husks, hosing them down, preparing their daily meals and feeding them.

Did you know….
+ Elephants can be picky eaters? We fed the elephants a mixture of sugar cane, palm leaves, bamboo, and tamarind. The elephants immediately went for the sweet stuff and threw their veggies on the ground.
+ If you come across a white elephant in Thailand you must immediately notify the king. White elephants are considered sacred and often live the remainder of their lives at royal palaces and are often given royal titles.

PS: How funny is it that Rob wore a Swedish Tourist Shirt in Thailand?

  

Hola Kimi!

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Like Ma$e said: Welcome Back!

It’s been a long time since I blogged regularly but after a long afternoon reading old Live Journal entries from my 15 -year old self, I decided that sharing my life online is an integral part of who I am. Without my decade and some years long digital footprint there is no way I would remember such gems such as:

+ The time I got my first speeding ticket and then invited the police officer to try the new shrimp promotion at Ruby Tuesdays after his shift. He declined, but I got out of a reckless.
+ When my catchphrase was “Super” and “High Five!” or sometimes both together (it kind of still is)
+ The time I met my future husband because I was having a cough attack at Mason Pond

As time passes through an hour glass….I no longer feel that Suburbanette fits who I am anymore. And let’s be real, pink has not been my favorite color in at least five years (it’s sunshine yellow, coral, turquoise, and green in case you want to know). So I present to you, Hola Kimi!

Stay tuned for future loves, rants, and general ramblings from a slightly manic, 30-year-old girl-not-yet-a-woman. Cheers!

  

A Lesson In Preparing Seafood

Last year, I was invited to participate in the Taste of Georgetown’s Iron Chef Competition with Yelp. I was paired up with a local chef to create a meal using our secret ingredient, red snapper. While we did not win, I was proud of myself for creating a delicious entree and was excited about the possibility of using red snapper in my recipes down the road.

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Fast forward a year later. It was a long summer afternoon and for the first time ever, Rob and I had not committed ourselves to anything. It was time to resurrect my red snapper dreams…and this time I was not going to get some high falootin’ filet at Whole Foods, I was going to do a whole fish bake, Laura Ingalls Wilder style.

I headed out to Grand Mart, a local Asian grocery paradise and found exactly what I was looking for…and for a steal I might add! The eyes were not exactly the clearest, but it was about 9:00 pm (I get most of my weird ideas in the night time) and I didn’t really have any other options. Plus it was already gutted so that was already a plus. I put it in a plastic bag and off we went!

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The recipe was amazingly simple: I stuffed the insides with fresh rosemary and lemons and seasoned the outside with a variety of spices, slammed it in an oven and fifteen minutes later I was rewarded with white flaky, buttery fish perfection.

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Doesn’t this look so freaking rustic? I mean, not to toot my own horn or anything but it is totally Kinfolk worthy. That being said, I neglected one big step in preparing fish. Apparently… you have to scale it first.

What?!!

As a child, I prided myself in being able to gut and scale a whole fish in less than 15 minutes (I was definitely a card carrying member of Club Swanson) but as an adult I have gotten used to the conveniences of frozen, skinless, and deboned fish from Giant. It was a sad day indeed.

The fish was still pretty awesome (scales aside) and the meat was moist and flaky but you bet your bottom dollar that I will be recreating this recipe soon, fish scaler in hand.

  

Everybody Vamanos!

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Last week I went to Mexico and fell hopelessly, deeply in love with a little brown boy named Ronin. You may remember that I mentioned Ronin a few weeks ago and that although he was cute, he was still a baby blob. Well, now at two months old he is a baby blob that can smile and coo and keep eye contact with you. He also loves belly rubs.

We were in Mexico to celebrate our friend Erica’s wedding (Erica also happens to be the sister of Rob’s brother’s wife which is why Ronin was on this trip). This trip was vastly different than my Cancun vacay of years past, but in a good way. Playa Del Carmen is one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen….miles and miles of powder soft white sand and gentle turquoise water. You could see straight through the bottom of the ocean and it was not uncommon to see schools of fish swim by.

We stayed at an eco resort so there were tons of animals that roamed around the grounds. Everything from lizards, iguanas, donkeys, cats, trained birds, and even monkeys were in plain sight at all times. How cool is that?

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While most of our time was spent lounging on the beach (or dancing at la discoteca) we went EXTREME for one of our excursions through Edventure Tours. Our full day tour included an ATV ride and zip line through the jungle, snorkeling in an underground cave (Holy Xanax Batman! I’m not going to lie, I barely saw any fish in here because I was too busy having a panic attack in the dark), swimming in a cenote (beautiful, serene and refreshing) rock climbing, repelling and snorkeling with the sea turtles and a carol reef in Akumal (Rob got nervous because I swam over a sting ray, but luckily I survived).

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The trip was amazing and was a great reminder that I need to go on more vacations.

  

Let Freedom Ring!

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“Mommy! I want to live in an apartment building!” – Kassie

This little one had a blast at Kimi and Uncle Rob’s apartment building this past Fourth of July. She oohed and ahhed over the balloons and red, white, and blue sprinkled cookies at the front desk, got tons of attention from the other residents in the building who probably have not seen a child in years, she explored the spray ground across the street, and even got to watch three fireworks shows (Capitol, National Harbor and Alexandria) right from our rooftop.

There was a buy one, get two free sale at the fireworks stand across the street which also allowed us to expand our nighttime amusement. Luckily, my sister and I were able to get over our childhood fear of holding sparklers just in time to join in on the backyard fun!

 

 

  

A Night Out in Centreville

I grew up in the town of Centreville, Virginia. When I moved there at five years old, it was pretty much a one horse  town. We didn’t even have a Burger King until I was a junior in high school. I lived on five acres of land and one time when I was walking my dog I saw two emu running in the woods. It turns out they had escaped from the emu farm down the street.

A lot of things have changed since my family moved out of the area several years ago, now it is known as Little Korea with attractions such as Spa World (a 24 hour Korean bathhouse) and Bon Chon (Korean Fried Chicken) running the show.

Our friends Timmy and Samantha recently moved out there so when they invited us for a night out it involved three of my favorite Korean things: soju, karaoke and late night barbeque!

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My Family

This holiday weekend meant that I got to spend the week playing with my new camera and photographing the people I love most in the world, my family!

You all know Rob, my husband, who begrudgingly became the subject of many images this weekend while I tested all of the settings out.

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Kat and Kristina are my two sisters and they have been my built in best friends since birth. Kat is a year younger than me so people always confused us twins growing up. Kat is married to Paul and she has a four year old named Kassie who is the spitting image of her. Kristina is my youngest sister. She just graduated from college and just got a job as a nurse at the same hospital where my mom works at (which also happens to be the same hospital Rob’s mom worked at and before we even dated she was a nurse for Rob’s grandma when she was in the hospital….and apparently my dad played tennis with Rob’s dad but that is another story).

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Kevin and Kristopher are my fourteen year old twin brothers and they are the absolute loves of my life. Growing up they were extremely silly, outgoing kids but as they are nearing their teens they have mellowed out to thoughtful and artistic kids. Growing up they had three older sisters so they were conned into doing a lot of girly activities. I think they are thankful to have Rob in their life. Ever since they were six years old they would try to call me in advance of hanging out to see what Rob was wearing so they could dress like him. Now they are schooling him in basketball!

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Kassie is my four year old niece and she is the smartest, sassiest, funniest kid I have ever met. The things that come out of her mouth have us rolling on the floor for hours on end.

Scene: Imaginary Tea Party
Kassie: Here’s some tea Uncle Rob!
Rob: Mmm, what kind of tea is this?
Kassie: It’s a surprise!
Rob: No seriously, what type of tea is this?
Kassie: I told you Uncle Rob’s its a surprise! ::whispers to her bear Rafi:: It’s actually jasmine tea.

Scene: On the Couch after a BBQ
Kat: Kassie, we have to go! Your Dad is getting tired!
Kassie: He wants to leave so he is pretending to be tired!

Scene: One Year Old Birthday Party
Me: Nice hair Paul!|
Kassie: ::loud sigh:: He spends HOURS on his hair!

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Alina and Ronin are the newest additions from Rob’s brother’s side. Alina loves to twerk and vogue.  She loves to eat, and when you feed her she will jump from side and do a little dance. Kassie has nicknamed her Alins. Ronin is only a month old so he is still developing his personality! So far he seems really chill and quiet though!

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Making Love Out Of Nothing At All: Hot Crusty Bread

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I’m not going to lie folks, after making this loaf of bread this afternoon, I have decided to moonlight as an artisan bread baker on the side. This bread is perfect: crusty on the outside and light on the inside with tons of air pockets and cragulations. Rob was the ultimate taste tester because he tries to avoid carbs as much as possible. As he buttered his fifth slice of bread, dreams of my new side hustle filled my head. It’s seriously that good y’all. The best part? It’s so easy that even a Suburbanette can make this bread!

If you have ever purchased a loaf of bread from the supermarket and looked at the ingredient list you will be shocked to see all of the unpronounceable additives that are used to make the item shelf-stable. Not so farm fresh at all! This bread is super simple: add yeast, flour, water, and salt and bam! It’s so rustic, I could picture Jesus breaking bread with something like this back in the day.

I jacked this recipe from Simply So Good, a Grandma from Utah with four kids owns this blog so you KNOW it’s got to be good. Check out her site for more tips…she and her blog following have been perfecting this for years!

Also in between mixing together my ingredients and letting my bread rise I got my very first DSLR camera. So halfway through this post you will have a few lovely photos to accompany this blog post.

1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together 3 cups of all-purpose flour (I use organic, unbleached because I’m high falootin’ like that), 1/2 teaspoon rapid rise yeast, 1 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt.

2. Add 1.5 cup of cold water and mix with a wooden spoon until everything is incorporated.

3. Set aside and put plastic saran wrap over the bowl. Leave out for 12 – 18 hours.

4. Come back to your bowl and gawk at how high the dough has risen! Mine doubled in size. Woop!!!

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8. Put bread on a floured surface and gently form it into a round mound. Add saran wrap and let sit for another thirty minutes.

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9. Heat oven to 450 degrees and add cast iron pot or other oven safe covered dish to oven to pre-heat.

10. When thirty minutes is up, put bread mound on a piece of parchment paper (to prevent sticking) and into the pot it goes.

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11. Cover with lid and bake in oven for 30 minutes. This was my first time using my sunshiney cast iron pot that my aunt got me for the wedding. Look how happy it looks!

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12. It’s time for the big unveiling! Open the pot lid and check out all of your handiwork. The bread should have puffed up as well. Bake uncovered for another 15 minutes to brown the crust.

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13. Ta-da! Your bread is done! Remove from oven and let cool. Or if you are like me burn your fingers while you are cutting into it because you just can’t wait! What’s the point of eating homemade bread if it’s not poppin’ fresh and hot out of the oven?

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14. Share the fruits of your labor with a loved one and pat yourself on the back. Congratulations, you are officially an artisan bread maker!

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