For this week’s installment of Reclamining Thirsty Thursday, Katie sat down with DC bartending legend, Donnavon Lalputan, to chat about being behind the bar from a mental health perspective, what it’s like to go out to dinner and not drink in our alcohol fueled city, and why Sip City is a great solution for bartenders to make both non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks.
“More so than any other profession, bartending leads to a work hard party harder lifestyle. But after 17 years that fun job has become a profession and I'm happily married with a couple of great kids. I've no longer the time or inclination to drink like I once did. Having a great tasting non-alcoholic option is always a plus." - John Pawlak
I linked up with Maddie a few months ago through her work with sweetgreen, and through the Pineapple Collaborative. Her passion for food and community are truly inspiring, and it’s incredible that she holds up both her work and personal life with these pillars. Maddie’s commitment to local producers is unparalleled, and we’re so thankful for it. And on a personal note, she’s so relatable, energetic and kind! We’re so glad to be surrounded by women in food like Maddie!
Introduce yourself! What do you want people to know about you and what you do?!
Hello! My name is Maddie Morales and I spend my days at The Tavern - a local grocery market by sweetgreen. Some of my favorite work tasks as the General Manager are to curate local goods from inspiring local makers (like Sip City!!) and build community around local food in Georgetown around this new market concept!
What does living a balanced lifestyle mean to you?
I am continually on the train to balance, but for me it is about identifying the things that make me feel happy, calm, energized -- and building those things into the everyday. It is about seeing the bigger picture and thriving in the variety of the day to day.
What's your fitness routine?
My latest fitness love is 305 dance fitness classes! It’s a booty shakin, dance-cardio workout class that is just SO fun! I love the body positive environment and full focus that it takes my uncoordinated self to get through the class. I leave feeling happy, exhausted and PUMPED all at the same time.
When not in class, I like to pepper my weeks with a blend of running, strength training of some variety, spinning and a little yoga here and there!
What does eating mindfully mean to you?
Eating mindfully to me is all about taking the time to be thoughtful about where my food is coming from, how it got to my plate and how it actually tastes. While it definitely doesn’t happen every time I put something in my mouth, I always feel like true nourishment is achieved when I know the story behind my food, whether that is about the farmer that grew it or the friend that made it for me.
What do you drink in a normal day? (coffee, tea, water, juice, energy drinks etc)
Lots of agua! And all the bubbly things. When I am feeling fancy I will throw some lemons in my water bottle - gotta love that citrus refresh! I often find myself reaching for a pick me up of kombucha, SWITCHEL!, coffee, bubbly water in the mid afternoons.
How do you cope with stress?
Lacing up the tennies and texting my momma to do the same so we can talk (via phone) + power walk out all the world’s problems. When she doesn’t answer -- baking + cooking for friends / running / dancing also helps.
How do you seek out community?
Building + having a community is my most favorite thing! The cool thing about communities are that they come in SO many different forms and I love seeking them out. I think my best community building tactic currently is to create arbitrary rituals (ie: ladies nights, run for rewards, family dinners…) and Gcal events with the people I want to surround myself with to force them to be part of my life!
What's the hardest part of maintaining a work life balance?
I think the hardest part in achieving a work/ life balance is in the narrative surrounding the black line dividing these two things. Since the work I do is something I am passionate about - I am continually connecting my personal + professional life, often by accident. For me, I think the balance between the two comes in the perspective I take around certain tasks. If I am able to approach work with grace, I find it less stressful and in need of complete separation.
However, I find it equally important to fill my life and brain with a diversity of activities. Trying new things and utilizing other parts of my brain + body is an important way for me to keep a clear perspective on the day to day!
What’s the hardest part of adulthood?
Decision making and insurance! Sometimes I just wish someone would tell me where to go for homeroom, when my next doctor’s appointment is and when I need to come home for bedtime...
Do you live by any mottos or mantras?
I love inspirational quotes! A couple of my current on rotation:
“Let your little light shine” - my mom has been saying it to me since I was a babe so that one is pretty engrained.. a pretty basic sentiment but still proves mighty for me!
“You are stronger than you know.” - because I just recently watched Superwoman and was V inspired.
“I am light” - An India Arie song I put on repeat on those mornings when the doubts have me down!
How do you stay motivated, both at work and in your active life?
Kelly Clarkson Radio, Goal Setting, Planning ahead, Gratitude!
How do you turn around a bad day? Any tips/tricks?
Music that makes me feel good!! I have a playlist on my Spotify that is all the songs that I can’t help but shimmy shake along to.. Pop in my headphones and the world looks a whole lot brighter!
I make time daily for:
there are few things I actually do every single day, EXCEPT brush my teeth. I have inspirational quotes on my mirror and try to spend this 60-120 seconds of teeth cleaning every morning and evening to think about what I have to be grateful for, give myself a little love and recenter. It’s also my favorite hygiene activity - so I never miss out.
At Sip City, we’re on a mission to help you drink mindfully, in the same ways you eat and exercise mindfully. We’ve found that our city takes "work hard play hard" to an extreme: DC is both the “fittest city in America,” and also the state with the highest alcohol consumption per capita second only to New Hampshire. And within the bar and restaurant industry, these habits are taken even further to an extreme due to the late nights, proximity to substances, and high-stress environments. We’re hoping that by opening an honest dialogue around these issues, we can help people reflect on their habits and our drinking culture. With that open dialogue in mind, we’re launching our new blog series called Reclaiming Thirsty Thursday. We’ll be using this platform to converse with industry folks about these topics, and how we can all support each other.
My first impression of Elyse was that she was a presence and a person I had to know. When we met, I was bright eyed bushy tailed college freshman entering pre-orientation, and I was excited but nervous about what was ahead of me. Elyse’s infectious energy and positivity quickly gave me the boost I needed during that lonely right of passage. She’s a radiant human being, a fierce friend, and an incredibly talented writer and communicator. She’s also a stunning Sip City model— you can find her all over our Instagram feed. I’m so grateful to have Elyse in my life, and I’m so excited to introduce her and her depth to all of you! I genuinely learn so much from each of these conversations, and my biggest takeaway from Elyse is to learn to find balance in the imbalances. This is a #girlboss to keep your eye on… she’s on a mission to share her presence for the whole world to see, and we’re excited to there throughout the journey.
For me, the best part of running a small business (and this blog) is the opportunity to connect with the women (and people) who inspire me. I had been an admirer of, and quite frankly in awe of, Maya’s work since I moved to DC, and I knew I had to leverage this business of mine to connect with her somehow. Under the guise of inviting her to a business/collaboration coffee meeting, we met up one day and talked, and talked some more… not at all about working together, which was the original premise of the meeting, but about the commonalities of our journeys and passions and hopes and dreams and fears. From her gorgeous creativity to her ability to bring people together to her unique perspective on the world and her space in it, Maya is truly a magical human being, moving beautifully throughout this world, and I feel so fortunate that she took that random coffee meeting with me.
I hope you all learn something from Maya on how she handles her days as a small business owner and mindful human being. I know I did, and do daily.
We met Kally through the small and integrated DC food community, and we feel so blessed to partner with her and the sweetgreen team on some of our favorite events. Kally is a superstar, and carries herself with such grace and poise. We always have a blast hanging with her at events, and we’re so excited to see what her and her team pull off next!
If you haven’t yet, go check out the sweetgreen Tavern in Georgetown! They’re selling your favorite switchel ;)
In our second installment of this series, we’re featuring Marissa Rubenstein: an all around badass, and event planner extraordinaire. We met Marissa through her work with Brightest Young Things. We’re constantly amazed by what she’s able to pull off, bringing together thousands of people in the coolest, most unexpected, spots in the city. We’re excited to see all the unreal things this girlboss pulls off in the future.
Let’s Be Real: starting a business is hard, running a business is hard, making time to take care of yourself while running a business is hard. So we’re sitting down with some of our favorite female founders to chat about how they cope with the stress and live a balanced life.
Our first feature on the blog is Rebecca Peress, CEO + Founder of @swapples. We met Becca early on in our journey, and she’s been a constant source of positivity, energy, mentorship, and light. When one of us succeeds, we all succeed, and we’re so humbled to see Becca’s plant-based waffles taking off and making waves. (We low-key eat at least one a day).