1000 BLEEPING Cycling Miles

It’s no surprise that I LOVE  my bike. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m in a relationship with my bike.  I commute to work everyday on it, choose to ride long distances because it’s just so fun, and prefer to take a ride on my bike rather than use the car. From Memorial Day to Labor Day I managed to hit 1000 miles, despite one nasty crash (sprained the membrane between my ulna and radius), a car wreck, and three flats.  Here are some funny/nice/awesome moments of my first summer cycling in Chicago.


Me and Yoshi right after reaching 1000 miles on 8/29/2014.


That time I wore this white Nike top and there was a surprise downpour on the way home….. AWKWARD.


Giant Bike Packs. Gotta be prepared I guess.


One Year exactly. 8.26.2013 vs 8.26.2014. HUZZAH.


On the ride air pumps. This was the first of 3 flats I encountered – all within the same week too!


Gorgeous view from my long University of Chicago Campus rides – total distance that day 35 miles.


Work is nice enough to have an indoor bike rack. Yoshi never has to brave the elements without me.


The aftermath of Yoshi vs. Car. Twisted handlebars… thank goodness no other damage was done.


Sorry for my butt… about a week after my first crash. It took two months for that bruise to totally disappear.


On the road with Yoshi and Leopold. If only that squirrelly little pug would sit in a basket… sigh.


Here’s to many more 1ks on Yoshi!


Noodles’ Dopesmoker

I got to meet an awesome tattooer and person this past Sunday – Noodles. Alisha Rice introduced me to him via their tattooing relationship and mega cat enthusiast agendas. Since Noodles works in a super successful and busy shop outside the city I didn’t expect to see him until my future appointment around Thanksgiving Day. However, he had a last minute opportunity to work at Chicago Tattooing Company and I figured if anything I’d pop in to say hello. Well it worked out he had time and I was stoked on some “Rollo-esque” flash he had done a while back so I chose a skull Dopesmoker.

Super happy with it. Thanks again Noodles!












It’s Wednesday – BUT instead of feeling like ‘uh it’s half way there.’ Let’s mix it up a bit and get excited about our health instead! My dear friend just started a blog with the most adorable name ever. Bite Sized Twinkie. It’s in the foundational/beginning stages so stay tuned for big great fun things from her!

Also I recently became an admin for a wonderful paleo-inspired facebook page called Cooking Clean. There are four of us gals who contribute with mostly paleo recipes, workout tips, and motivation to eat, live, and love clean.

click on the pic to visit the facebook page!
click on the pic to visit the facebook page!

Since I technically am still doing the February Health Challenge, it is super important to remember that clean eating is key in any healthy lifestyle. We tend as a society to get hung up on calories, but really the most important idea should be quality of nutrients not quantity. No better example of this serves than diet soda vs. all organic fruit smoothie. Believe it or not a low-cal (i.e. not processed) fruit smoothie is easier and better for your body to digest than that evil zero calorie diet soda that actually tricks your body and causes huge disasters in blood sugar levels. (diet soda rant*)

i know a 'paleo' diet of an absolute minimum 1600 calories a day and running 2-3 times a week works for me.
i know a ‘paleo’ diet of at least 1600 calories a day and running 2-3 times a week works for me.

Obviously, everyone has their own preferences and eating styles that makes them feel best. For me, staying away from anything processed and limiting starches/complex carbohydrates is how I stay lean as well as prevent lethargy, bloating (cute!), and mood fluctuation. That means that overall, I do in fact eat a Paleo diet. I really enjoy almond milk as a substitute for traditional milk, and I find myself trying alternative flours all the time in baking. Don’t get me wrong I’ll still sample traditional candies and sweets, but it’s not at the levels/rates I used to. My mind and body mean way too much to me to ruin with overly-processed and refined ‘nutrients.’ It took a long time for me to accept that what I eat really does affect me mentally. Not in a ‘control’ way but in a basic chemical reaction – I still find new things that work and don’t everyday.

my 'shamrock shake' with high protein powder, fage greek yogurt, mint extract, almond milk, and green food coloring.
my ‘shamrock shake’ with high protein powder, fage greek yogurt, mint extract, almond milk, and green food coloring.

One way to get into the habit of food nutrient monitoring is by keeping a good old diary! There are tons of apps that make it easy to count/review nutrients/compositions/calories.

But remember! Quality of nutrients over quantity of calories is ALWAYS BEST.


Blizzards, Tattoos, and Christmas.

Jeez. Let me start by saying sorry that I have been the worst blog owner ever in December. I’ll briefly just mention jet lag, knitting/making holiday gifts, and life as why I’ve been MIA here. I don’t like it. I’m thinking I’ll finish up the November challenge I never finished (because of Thailand) and get back in the daily blogger groove.

Let’s see what’s new? Well I have been knitting like a fool and I have so much to show you all – except it’s all gifts for people who read my blog so…. you’ll have to wait. (*stomps foot*)

I’ll recap the weekend for you a little since I had a wonderful time. Friday afternoon we had our work Holiday party at Maggiano’s Little Italy. The food was alright, the dessert was AMAZING. I decided after the official party to go out with a few co-workers to mingle and be social. It was great getting to talk to some people I don’t get to interact with on a daily basis. Also I really enjoy being sober at social gatherings – I never have that moment of ‘oh shouldn’t have said that’ or ‘wait what???’ I did have a hard time getting home during rush hour on Friday night though – after all that I ended up home at 7:30ish and decided to prep for my BIG DAY on Saturday and knit/cuddle with animals.

My body the animal mattress.
My body the animal mattress.

Saturday: Well a few months ago I scheduled an appointment with Dusty Neal at Black Anvil Tattoo in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Now a few months ago it was not winter, there was no snow, and the mild last winter we had made me forget it even snowed here in Chicago. Fast forward to Saturday December 14th – there is a winter storm warning for my entire drive. Wonderful. I briefly thought about re-scheduling, but I just am stubborn so I pretended like a winter storm was not happening. I left Chicago at 5:30am to moderate flurries/snow fall and proceeded to drive the 208 miles to Ft. Wayne for my 11am appointment. I will say that the snow driving was not ‘that’ bad. However, people in the midwest (forgive me midwest followers) have NO IDEA HOW TO DRIVE IN THE GODFORSAKEN SNOW. Being a Colorado-girl, I guess I was forced to figure out scary snow driving from the start. I also understand my car in the snow and was able to make it to Ft. Wayne only 15 minutes behind schedule. Travel Advised in Case of Emergency? Tattoos by Dusty Neal are emergencies in my life.

Saw this on my phone at 12:30AM as I tossed and turned and knew I had to go to Ft. Wayne Despite the Weather.
Saw this on my phone at 12:30AM as I tossed and turned and knew I had to go to Ft. Wayne Despite the Weather. Copyright @dustyneal

When I got to Black Anvil in Ft. Wayne I can say I was beyond impressed. Dusty Neal is not only an amazing amazing amazing artist and tattooer, but he is a great and inspiring human being. I had a blast being tattooed for about three hours. As time went on more friends of the shop started showing up and the commentary and tom-foolery happening was a hilarious and pleasant distraction. I just can’t say enough wonderful things about Dusty Neal and his shop. The entire experience was professional, relaxed (although I’m hardly intimidated in a shop these days), spacious, clean, gorgeous, and perfect. I will most assuredly go back (in the spring/summer haha).




Right after finishing.
Right after finishing.
Close up - that eye is INSANE! So gorgeous and so much detail.
Close up – that eye is INSANE! So gorgeous and so much detail.


For size reference - also a swollen arm lol.
For size reference – also a swollen arm lol.


I left Ft. Wayne at about 3:30pm and by the time I hit South Bend, Indiana, the roads were no longer wet so the drive home jammed by. Pure stubborn ideals, 6.5 hours of intense snow driving, 3 hours of tattooing and conversation, and one epically beautiful tattoo = the best day.

My lesson this weekend was to value safety and your responsibilities by being prepared, but don’t stop living life because you might have to white knuckle drive for 200+ miles.

Oh and Vladimir helped me Sunday prep to ship gifts to Denver and Friends.