Posts Categorized: Print Magazine

Read Summer 2019 Inspire(d) Online!

The Summer 2019 Inspire(d) is here to help you Find the Magic! Inside, you’ll find:

Summer Theatre / Storytelling • Highlandville Dances + Foot-Notes • Peak Peaks in the Driftless • Foraging • Glamping • How to Make a Heart Mobile • Summer Music & More!

A note from Aryn:

I still get excited about summer. The many years of childhood anticipation have instilled a sense of hope about this fleeting season, even as a – somewhat– adult 38-year-old.

I grew up in the country just outside of Frankville, Iowa (population 300ish). We had 20 acres of woods that I would run around all season long – I remember hearing the trees creak and groan while exploring on windy days, or flattening a blanket on the ground so I could sit and read by a stream. It all felt pretty magical.

My goal with this Inspire(d) is to bring those vibes to your (and our) lives this summer!

You can start off at a Highlandville Dance with Foot-Notes, a Decorah-based band that has been playing Scandinavian tunes (and more) across the area for nearly 30 years, especially for Highlandville Dances. A true summer institution here in Northeast Iowa, it is virtually impossible to leave a Highlandville Dance with a frown on your face! Read the history of how it all got started in Kristine Jepsen’s story on page 16.

After that, you might want to sit for a bit! There are few things more magical than being transported to another time/place/moment through storytelling. Check out Sara Walters piece on page 34 to learn about some excellent opportunities to hear stories and see shows at world-class theatres and events in the Driftless this summer. P.S. That amazing cover image? It’s from American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wisconsin, and we are definitely putting it on our to-do list this summer!

Looking for a more in-depth adventure? How about glamping? We love how area entrepreneurs are thinking outside the box…er…walls to making some really fun and eclectic spots for folks to stay for the night (or longer!). Maggie Sonnek shares some options on page 54.

Still in the wilderness mood? Try foraging! I’ve pretty much only foraged for morel mushrooms, personally (and I bet I’m not the only one), so I especially loved Sara Friedl-Putnam’s interesting story about foraging in the region. You get to follow along on a walk with Elsa McCargar and Conor Murphy, who run the local business, The Wilder’s Way, plus hear about Decorah’s Peter Kraus’ approach to native plants and Driftless cuisine. Oh, and there’s a recipe for a Wild Salad! Fun!

Now this is the place where I write about how you’ve gotta to make time to stop and find the magic this summer. That is the goal, for sure – but life is busy! Remember, though: You’re making the story of your summer – and your life – right now. Today! Do your best to slow it down and enjoy it! You can find some tips for doing that in my infographic, “Find the Magic,” on page 25.

We’ve filled this Inspire(d) with fun and love and magic so hopefully you can fill your summer with the same.

Big thanks to all of our amazing readers and advertisers – now get out there!

Looking forward,

Aryn Henning Nichols

Click here to read the Summer 2019 Inspire(d) online!

Read Inspire(d) Spring 2019 Online!

The Spring 2019 Inspire(d) is all about planting the seeds of hope for the future!
Here’s what you’ll find:

Puentes/Bridges • La Crosse Promise • Folk Schools in the Driftless • Sum of Your Biz: Night Dive Swim • Q&A with Mollie B. • How to Make Friends as an Adult • Week of the Young Child • & More!

A note from Aryn:

I don’t know about you, but around this time of year (when I’m making the Spring Inspire(d), I suppose), I find myself thinking, “Thank freakin’ goodness; we’ve made it!” Spring!

Of course, there’s currently a blizzard outside. And there could be false spring or third winter or whatever we got last April (let’s hope not)! But I’ve got my fingers crossed for some spring-like weather, crocuses and daffodils, and open windows soon!

In the meantime, enjoy these pages of fun, positivity, and springtime vibes! We’re all about planting seeds of change with this Inspire(d). We hope to teach our kids empathy, kindness, and compassion, for starters, so that they can create a better future for themselves. This is one of the motivators behind Week of the Young Child, a national movement dedicated to spotlighting our youngest learners – learn more about local efforts in Sara Friedl-Putnam’s story on page 54.

In Maggie Sonnek’s piece about Puentes / Bridges, a Wisconsin non-profit that works to bridge the cultural gap between area farmers and their employees from Mexico, compassion and empathy are big components (pg. 34). It’s such a cool program!

Speaking of cool programs, you should definitely check out Sara Walters’ story on La Crosse Promise (pg. 58) – they offer a scholarship – up to $50,000 – to homeowners/buyers who are willing to invest in two challenged neighborhoods in La Crosse. It’s truly an innovative approach to neighborhood revitalization.

And we love the self-love that Heather Caye Brown promotes through her swimwear company, Night Dive Swim, and in this Spring’s Sum of Your Business. What better message to share with our kids than to Love Your Self?!

As for the literal seeds on the cover: You can use those for the Paper Earth Hearts Roxie and I made for this issue’s paper project (pg. 33)! We put them together on one of the many January snow days, and are thinking they’ll make great Earth Day presents for friends and neighbors this April.

Make sure not to miss Benji’s fun Q&A with polka music star Mollie B., my infographic, “How to Make Friends as an Adult” (it’s not as tricky as you think!), and a great line-up of fun events to cure your Spring Fever this year!

Thinking you need something a little more in-depth to get you out of the house? Consider signing up for a class at one of the great Folk Schools in the Driftless! Learn about offerings from Driftless Folk School, Eagle Bluff Skills School, and Vesterheim Folk Art School in Kristine Jepsen’s story on page 19.

We’ve got plenty more, too, to help keep you entertained until the snow melts and the seeds start sprouting!

Happy Spring, friends!

Looking forward,

Aryn Henning Nichols

Click here to read the Spring 2019 Inspire(d) online!

Read Inspire(d) Winter 2018-19 Online!

Inspire(d) Winter 2018-19

The Winter 2018-19 Inspire(d) is all about walking your talk! Here’s what you’ll find:

Female Mayors in the Driftless Region • Mentoring in Northeast Iowa, Burning Bright • Getting in the Spirit – RockFilter Distillery, La Crosse Distilling Co., Harmony Spirits • Sum of Your Biz: David Wadsworth • Snowbird on the Cheap • & More!

A note from Aryn:

Those feet on the cover? They’re mine and Roxie’s, and looking at that picture gives me a sense of pride, excitement, and – I’m finding as I get older – a sense of urgency. I know, I know: I’m only 37! But time keeps on ticking away, and I want to be sure we’ve a.) lived this life well and b.) taken care of this world so our daughter can live her life well, too.

I think about it every day – are we doing enough? What will things be like for Roxie in 10, 20, 30 years? The urgency of it all starts to seep in. But I take a deep breath, and do what I can do. I try to walk our talk within our community by emulating the ideas we write about in this magazine.

Others walk their talks in their own, awesome ways, like Driftless women who have recently pulled a seat up to the political table as mayors. Maggie Sonnek interviewed four such women – some are the first female mayors in the history of their towns. This comes as we celebrate a record number of women elected to congress in November 2018. It’s (beyond) time, and it’s exciting. I applaud and support these women, and I’m happy they’re providing these great examples of female leaders for Roxie.

In a different  – but equally important – role, there are mentors in Northeast Iowa who are directly supporting young people through Helping Services Youth Mentoring. 2018 marked the program’s 20-year anniversary of fostering positive friendships and experiences in the area, and January is National Mentoring Month. I interviewed Mentoring Coordinator Kathy Schwartzhoff, as well as local mentor Paul Bauhs and his mentee, Jake, about the ripple of good impacts that has come from the program (and how you can join in too).

Decorah’s popular winter solstice concert, Burning Bright, has been bringing light in the darkness and giving back to the community… also for two decades! Choir member Kristine Jepsen chats with founding members and directors as they reflect on years past and prepare for this season’s performance.

Along with the work (and joy) of walking our talk, there also has to be time for fun. This day – and every day – is one to be lived well. Winter can be a tough time for remembering that, so we put together some ideas to help you get out – of the doldrums, and out the door, too. Winter challenges, ideas for “Snowbirding on the Cheap,” and more. Plus, don’t miss Sara Walter’s feature on the rise in craft distilling in the Driftless – read about RockFilter Distillery, La Crosse Distilling Co., and Harmony Spirits, then grab your designated driver and head out to explore this new and rising industry in our region. Special shout-out to my good friend and photographer, Jen Opheim, for road tripping with me to Spring Grove – see her beautiful photographs of RockFilter starting on page 44.

Other days, you might want to stay in. We’ve got you covered! Maybe as you make your house extra koselig (remember? If you don’t, check page 32) you can read about David Wadsworth and Wadsworth Construction in this issue’s Sum of Your Business. Making houses cozy and well put together is what he’s all about.

All of us here at Inspire(d) hope you have a great end of 2018, and that you look to 2019 as a year filled with possibilities. You can do anything! Let’s do this!

Happy New Year! Thank you for reading – and being – Inspire(d)!

Looking forward,

Aryn Henning Nichols

Read the Winter 2018-19 Inspire(d) online here!