I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. 
Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick ass.

Maya Angelou 
April 1928- May 2014

Alison Powers- 2014 US National Time Trial Champion

Alison Powers on the podium with Specialized-lululemon riders Carmen Smalls and Evelyn Stevens.

I have a major cycling girl crush right now. Ms. Alison Powers- you are a beast! Alison took the one-two punch this weekend at the US National Road Cycling Championship in Chattenooga, Tennessee. She scooped up both the Time Trial and Road Race 2014 national titles, which nicely compliment her 2013 criterium title which she will defend in August. It can't go without mentioning that she is the first professional rider to hold all three titles simultaneously! All bow down to the reigning Queen of American Cycling! #shesparkles
After a year of spending 50% of my time on road, I’ve learned a thing or two about traveling. I breeze through security without violations or pat downs, I never pay for drinks at the airport or on a flight, and I’ve mastered the art of ‘get-shit-done’ while cruising above 10,000 feet. These my friends, are the acquired skills of a road warrior.

Recently I came across a product that I will now never travel without. My Vinyasa Scarf from lululemon. I learned long ago that traveling with some sort of large snuggly scarf was critical. It works as a blanket or pillow when I need to take a nap, it covers the stains on my shirt that I get from trying to consumer beverages on a bumpy plane, and most importantly I still look (ok, maybe just feel) cute when I get off the plane after a 14 hour travel day. All hail the scarf!

While browsing at lululemon at the Mall of America (seriously, that place is overwhelming and ridiculous) my hand brushed across a stack of these scarves. It stopped me in my tracks and I instantly needed whatever I was touching. I’m a sucker for scarves, and once the sales girl wrapped me up in it no less then 10 ways I was sold. As soon as I got home I watched the recommended YouTube video and practiced the art of Vinyasa Scarf origami. Basically, I haven’t taken the thing off since I got it. Please my friends, do yourself a favor and snag yourself one of these oh-so-soft and versatile scarves.

Happy travels to you!    
I hate to admit it, but I don’t cook anymore… or blog for that matter. Two things I wish I had more time for. Event season is in full swing and my travel schedule these days has me home just long enough to do a load of laundry and repack my bag. I love the adventure but I do miss the conveniences of home. Like my slow cooker, soda stream, and juicer.

My last trip took me to Minneapolis for the Esprit de She Lakeville Duathlon- a killer all women’s luxury race series. If any of you ladies are looking for a fun triathlon, duathlon, cycle, or running race this summer check them out they have 15 races across the country! I’ve watched enough Food Network to know better than to lump Minneapolis in with the rest of the Midwestern stereotypes of BBQ and fried food, and sure enough I was not disappointed. Thanks to the recommendation of my food loving sales rep we ended up at the Blackbird Café on Nicollet Ave for dinner Saturday night. I heard someone refer to Nicollet at “food street” so I knew I was going to be in for a treat.

Cathy- Esprit de She Lakeville winner, Lindsey- Brand Director for Esprit de She,
 me, and Patti- my gracious host while in Minneapolis and National Director
of Lifetime Fitness Cycle Clubs. 

Blackbird Café is a hipsters paradise with a quiet and relaxed vibe (until 9pm), which was perfect after a long day of work. My waiter was a man of few words who rocked black nail polish and a tie with the tip cut off, and at 9pm the restaurant turned into a nightclub for “Blackbird Prom.” The menu covered all the trendy favorites including a pickle plate, beet and asparagus salad, Brussels sprout hash, and lamb meatballs. There were lots of things on the menu that caught my eye and I really had a hard time deciding despite my ravenous appetite.

Blackbird Café, Minneapolis, Minnesota. 
We started with the crispy duck rolls, and as with most duck dishes I was delighted. I don’t know what it is about duck but it just doesn’t seem like you can screw it up! I really enjoyed the sweet chili sauce with carrot shaving that accompanied it. For my main dish I had the spicy peanut Udon noodles with braised Berkshire pork, pork belly, and a sunny side up egg with a side of kimchi. I’m really obsessed with kimchi these days. Everything was very fresh, homemade and you could tell that the chefs really loved the food that they produce. If you are ever in the Minneapolis area I hope you check out the Blackbird Café!