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September 26, 2016

Cyclocross Madness

"It's a great thing when you realize you still have the ability to surprise yourself." 
- Lester, American Beauty

Not sure how familiar you are with cyclocross, but is one hell of sport. It is a true test of endurance, bike handling, agility and perseverance. These races are all full out sprints with hurdles, climbing, stairs and this time around mud... lots of mud.

This weekend Ken and I made our way to Iowa to watch the UCI Cyclocross World Cup, this is the Tour de France of cyclocross (so, it's a pretty big deal). Not only did we have a chance to watch professionals from all over the world but we both raced the same course the pros did.

Here is a peek at the pros race. Watching the video will also give you a little more insight on what cyclocross is and how challenging these races are:

This is my first year racing bikes and I am so proud of myself for pushing myself out of my comfort zone and trying something new. It goes beyond just trying something new to being competitive in a new sport. It has been both challenging and reward taking on a new sport at 29 years old.

What an amazing weekend with my team and being able to explore a bit of Iowa City.

September 19, 2016

These Boots are made for...

 We are days away from fall and already the leaves are changing, the air is crisp and life has started to slow down. With the change of the season comes changes to our wardrobe, and like many, fall is my favorite season to dress for. There is something about boots, layers and a good sweater that make the season comfortable.

Since the launch of Red Wing Heritage's new women's line, I have started reworking outfits from the ground up. I start with a great pair of boots then find an outfit to match. When I started over with my wardrobe, I found solid pieces that I can wear year-round by adding (or removing) articles of clothing to build the perfect outfit. This dress I found at Madewell is simple, classic and great for year-round use. Add a sweater and tights for fall and winter or add a simple summer heel for hot summer days. That's the beauty of the cotton/wool/elastane blend. I am absolutely loving this look!

Head to Toe Style

September 12, 2016

Salsa Ride Camp

Photos by: Scott Haraldson

In the Northwoods of Wisconsin is where I spent my weekend with over 250 other cyclist to get away from our busy lives and connect most with the passion we all had in common, riding. With no distractions, just bikes and the great outdoors, we spent our weekend exploring the north woods the best way possible.

Adventure by Bike, as Salsa's tagline and mission reads, was only the beginning of the journey - with organized group riding options in bikepacking, flyfishing, mountain biking, gravel rides and endless other outdoor activities, we were given the opportunity to choose our own adventure and you better believe I chose mine wisely.

At night, things slowed down a bit as Salsa sponsored riders shared their latest stories of rides, races and adventures. After presentations and photos were shared,  the masses surrounded the fire pits with local brews in our hands, as we shared our own personal stories or cycling.

It was great to be removed from everyday conveniences and 'rough' it for 3 days and 2 nights with tent camping, outhouses, no electricity and 1 barrel of water.

The highlight of my camping experience was riding a fat bike out to the river to learn how to flyfish. With all my gear on my handlebars, I made my way to fresh water, changed shoes and spent hours in the river working the line.

To learn more about Ride Camp and how you can participle next year, visit Salsa Ride Camp.

September 6, 2016

Everyday, You have a choice

Inspiration, one of the greatest feeling in the world. It's the feeling within you that makes you powerful and guides your dreams of only positive futures ahead.

I recently met with a beautiful, brilliant woman who stopped me in my tracks and made me rethink exactly where I am in my life and where I want to be. This woman is influential, successful and has been relentless in chasing her dreams and making everything she wanted possible. As I sat across the table from her, she exuded confidence, poise, success - I want to be that woman!

The conversation meant so much more than the career, self development and even fashion advice that she was providing me and took off into a common theme that everyday, we have a choice to be better than we were yesterday. Everyday, we have the choice to present ourselves, self educate, learn, grow and succeed without relaying on anyone else to push us and by simply telling ourselves, "I can".

I took this conversation to heart and made simple changes in my life that I know will make drastic changes in the near future. It started with an entire wardrobe change and has lead to reading every day, signing up for community organizations and extra-circulars and teaching myself graphic design and code.

Over the next few weeks, I will sharing some of my timeless, capsule wardrobe style with you. I am breaking away from my "trendy" style casual clothes to a more elegant and classic style. The way you present yourself through appearance says a lot about yourself, what are you telling the world? I will also start a segment on Thursdays called, Thursday Thoughts that will recap what I'm reading, what's inspiring me, etc. so you will be able to dive deeper into how I am embracing self development. Hope you follow along!

Thank you, Betsey for being an incredible burst of inspiration and the most influential mentor.

Head to Toe Style

September 4, 2016

Jazz it up a little

Jeans and a Tee Shirt - It's the most simple, approachable, low maintenance outfit we can wear. But that doesn't mean it has to be boring. There are four fundamentals to fashion that I recently developed for myself and I am stickly sticking to it:
  1. High quality pieces
  2. Timeless styles (say no to fast fashion)
  3. Simple Pieces 
  4. Great Shoes
Using these four style principles, I turned a 3 piece outfit into a classic, casual look. Let's break this down:

Now, if you have followed us for sometime now, you've probably noticed we haven't spent much time in the van this summer, luckily there is a good reason. Ken has spent the summer working on the van - the good news is we now have running water, our gas burners work, we have electricity and a sound system! We are getting so close to making the van a live-able home on wheels (you know what happens next!)

This Labor Day weekend, I finally convinced Ken to take me for a van trip since this simple getaway makes me happier than anyone could imagine. We had an awesome day in Stillwater, MN and a great drive in the van. Hope you had a great Labor Day Weekend!  

September 3, 2016

Banks & Steelz

We stumbled across an unexpected duo, Banks snd Steelz. The voices sounded oddly familiar and the music was new and fresh. A quick google searched confirmed the true coolness was unlikely collaborators from two of our favorite groups, Paul Banks (lead singer of Interpol) and RZA (one of the leaders of Wu-Tang Clan).

A poppy beat, moody chorus, and aggressive lyrics proved to be an interesting sound and quickly grabbed our attention. Giant is there major single hitting independent music channels now. My favorite song upon quick scan is Love + War, featuring Ghostface Killah.

Going through other songs by Banks and Steelz, the guest artists they have brought into their mix are: Method Man, Kool Keith, Ghostface Killah, Florence Welsh and more. Keep your eyes (and ears) peeled for these guys. I can't wait to see what they will surprise us with next!