VALENTINE GIFT GUIDE

It’s almost Valentine’s Day!… and I may be even more excited for this gift guide than I am for the actual holiday.  There have been so many amazing brands and companies that I have been checking out lately, I was desperately searching for any excuse possible to share them with you.  I did pick a few of my favorite/most V-Day appropriate items from each company, but I linked all of their sites, because there are just so many unique and beautiful things to pick from!

There are a few girly-centered items on here, but most (okay, possibly just over half) of these sites carry products for men and women.

Mile High Clothing Co.Muir Sweatshirt

Occasionally, I have been known to quote John Muir 1. because I’m a literature nerd/snob 2. because I aspire to be a trendy outdoors woman. Of course, that makes this sweatshirt one of my must-haves.

Nick TerrelMountain Range

I have been eying these signs for quite some time now.  They are rustic, yet polished, and I think that balance makes them fit into just about any home.  And as if you needed any more reason to want to immediately hang this in your bedroom, the artist has an adorable Corgi dog, that can be found all over his Instagram frolicking through the snow.  Which may be unrelated, but not at all unimportant.

The Adventure Project & Co.I’ll Love You To The Mountains & Back Sweater

How adorable is this for Valentine’s Day?  And who doesn’t love a good crew neck sweater?  Of course, if this is just a bit too much for your cheesy-meter The Adventure Project & Co. has so many more products to check out. All equally cool and hike-ready.

Lucca Laser WorkshopWood Bookmarks

These cute little guys are way, way better than flowers or chocolates for any bookworm (well, possibly keep the chocolates). They are so much more personal than those gifts and will last so much longer. Check out the entire shop to add some earrings or home decor to round out the whole gift.

Wild Mountain InkMountain Pendant

I recently discovered this Etsy shop and I have been drooling over it ever since. I have searched, and there’s lots of meh-quality mountain jewelry out there, but this is definitely bam-beautiful-and-top-notch-quality mountain jewelry. Plus, it’s made in my home state of Montana. It really can’t get any better.

Heart MagazineVolume 1

I am going to be gushing even more about this magazine in the near future, so I’ll attempt to keep this short and sweet. Basically, all you need to know is that this magazine belongs on every woman’s nightstand. I promise you. And you can’t beat a name like Heart magazine for Valentine’s Day– it’s just too perfect.

Beauty in the BackcountryReinvigorating Bath Salts

I love the whole concept of embracing the feminine in the outdoors. I mean it is “mountaingirlygirl.” So, I’m pretty obsessed with everything Beauty in the Backcountry does. But these bath salts just scream Valentine’s Day. Pampering should always be involved in Valentine’s Day.

Dolly Varden Outdoor ClothingWasatch Shirt

Winter requires a good flannel. And this one is durable, has pockets, and looks ruggedly cool. That’s the trifecta when looking for a good flannel. And I found it for you. You’re welcome.

My CoffeismCustomizable Monthly Box 

I don’t think it would be a real mountaingirlygirl gift guide without a subscription box.  This one is absolutely perfect for the coffee lover in your life.  Of course, this box  with an Alex Apland mug would pretty much be a coffee addict’s heaven. (I couldn’t not mention Alex’s pottery in a gift guide.)

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I hope everyone has a fantastic Valentine’s Day no matter how you spend it.  Be sure to grab a few of these products for a loved one (or for yourself– which I will definitely be doing with no shame). Let me know what your favorites are from these picks, or if you have another company I should add to my online-shopping-while-drinking-wine-and-rewatching-Parenthood list.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

LETTER TO JANUARY

DSC00513Dear January,
As I was looking back over a few of my other letters, I noticed a definite pattern. It seemed as if one month I was super overwhelmed, then the next I was settled back into routine, then I was overwhelmed, then I was settled, and on and on and on. 2016 will be the year of balancing that out, I hope.

January, you get a lot of pressure put on you with the New Year and all. And I’d be lying if I didn’t say I put a bit of pressure on you, as well. There have been many years where I expected you to magically make me quit eating chocolate in the middle of the night, banish all blemishes from my face, force me to finally finish knitting that one scarf I started, and get me into the gym twice a day everyday.  But, I think I did a better job of keeping it realistic this year. You can’t fix everything I’m unhappy with in my life, and I don’t expect you to. Thankfully, you did bring in a bit of a jolt to help push me through the drag that can come with these last few months of winter.

I made a few positive changes with mountaingirlygirl, where I feel more confident and inspired (for lack of better and/or less cheesy word) with the topics I choose to write about. Of course, I still have lots I want to work on, but I’ve taken steps to make those changes happen– rather than my former preferred method of strictly worrying and hoping. I’ve been working on connecting more with the family and friends that I love. I’m absolutely not perfect with that yet, but I have been improving, and each phone call leaves me with a smile on my face.  I didn’t make any massive, life-changing, earth-shattering resolutions though, January, and you’re welcome for that.

Really, I’m just happy. So I’d say you did a pretty good job, January. I’m a little sad to see you go so quickly, but it’s safe to say I’ll be ready for you again next year.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

JANUARY POPSUGAR MUST HAVE BOX

Another month, another PopSugar Must Have Box! The January box focused on renewal and staying true to those New Years Resolutions. Which was extremely fitting seeing as I forgot what my resolutions even were about 2 and a half weeks ago.

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$39 bucks and here’s the run down of the $121 worth of gear I received.

Pathology FlashMasque Trio ($20)

This was hands down the most exciting item in the package for me. I’ve been wanting to try sheet masks for a long time, but wasn’t sure which ones to go with. This kit gave me the chance to experiment with an exfoliating mask, hydrating mask, and illuminating mask. All things my skin could absolutely use.

I was shocked to find these actually stay in place on my face. And I was still able to drink my morning coffee while the mask was on (I did end up with a slight coffee stain around the mouth area of the sheet, but I’m sure that had some sort of added benefit to my skin– or at least my mood). The whole Hannibal Lecter vibe of the mask was not my fave (seeing as Silence of the Lambs is the only scary movie I’ve seen since a 6th grade sleepover and I definitely cried), but I got over that pretty quickly.

spark joy by Marie Kondo ($19)

My house is about the size of your average tree house and I absolutely hate clutter. Which means a book like this–dedicated solely to tidying up your space and practical organization techniques– is right up my alley. Marie Kondo also wrote the life-changing magic of tidying up and I’ve heard rave reviews about that book. Now, I’ve only flipped through this book so far, but I’m a major fan of the illustrations she has to accompany her tips. It makes it so much easier to visualize what she’s talking about and put it into actual use.

*Note: this book is listed as costing $18.99, but I was able to find it on Amazon for around $12 and linked that product above.

Not Soap, Radio Bath and Shower Gel Gift Set ($22)

More often than not, I use bar soap in the shower. But, I love the scents of these little shower gels! And the cute sayings on the labels definitely don’t hurt.  The description claims that these also work as bubble bath. My easily stressed out and overwhelmed self could certainly benefit from more bubble baths AND scents like calm or clarity.

Blue Sky Day Designer Weekly Planner ($16)

I love making lists and planning and keeping that all together in one, cute space.  And this planner has all of that! It’s super user friendly, without all the unnecessary frills, and it’s a trendy mint blue color. This would have been perfect in the December box. However, getting this at the end of January seems a bit silly for me. But, if you’re still in the market for an everyday planner I do think this one is a good option.

Plus, this brand is great to keep in mind for next year.  I love easy to use and pretty planners, but I’ve noticed some are getting unreasonably pricey.  Looking through the site, I thought lots of their planners looked adorable and wouldn’t break the bank.

Project 7, INC Summer Snow Sugar Free Gum ($2)

Okay, I’m not a big fan of sweet gums and I’m am a BIG fan of eating real food that I crave (replacing food with gum seems very Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory to me and I’m not about to turn into a blueberry), so I wasn’t overly excited about this item. But, I’m absolutely willing to give it a shot.

I do love that PopSugar included this item though, because it introduced me to an awesome new company. Project 7 is dedicated to using their proceeds to help with, what they have called, the 7 areas of need– conservation, homelessness, hunger, thirst, sickness, education, and peace.  And I must say, their Peppermint Vanilla Mints sound right up my alley.

Pehr Designs Pebble Speck Bin ($40)

I hate, hate, hate having loose items just laying around my house. And right now it feels like everywhere I look there is a hat or a pair of gloves or ear muffs. I mean, winter in Wyoming calls for a serious amount of accessories. I will definitely be using this bin to keep all of those items in one place. The added bonus is that it’s a storage bin that actually looks cute, so I don’t feel the need to shove it into my already packed to the brim closet (yes, singular closet– have I mentioned I have a tiny house?).

$40 may seem a bit steep for a storage bin, and I thought so at first, too.  But, this is super high quality.  It’s nice and sturdy, and has already held up to one serious round of Teton pawing.  So, I’m sold.

I also received a Total Hydration 100% Natural Soothing Vanilla ChapStick to try out as our ‘bonus item.’ I’m usually a Burt’s Bees girl, but I’ve really been liking this so far. And seeing as how it’s winter in Wyoming, I need to apply lip balm about every 17 minutes.

Maybe this box will motivate me to make some February resolutions. I’m thinking my first one will be to take more bubble baths.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney 

ADULT HOT CHOCOLATE WITH KAHLUA MARSHMALLOWS

DSC00564Hot chocolate, booze, and marshmallows.  Do I really need to say more?  No.  But, I will share with you how to make them!

Lately, Brady and I have been ending most of our nights drinking hot chocolate and watching Modern Family.  Brady is one of those people that just needs some sort of sweet every night.  I usually attempt to just drink tea while he has hot chocolate, but most nights I get jealous that his treat is so much better than mine and I end up making myself a cup too.

Also, for Christmas I received a KitchenAid Mixer and I am absolutely in love with it.  I’ve been trying to find every possible excuse I can to use it (homemade whipped cream? check. cauliflower pizza crust? check. scones every morning? check.).  So, one day as I was browsing Pinterest I found a recipe for Kahlua Marshmallows and immediately decided I needed to try them out. And I am so glad I did (my waistband is not as thrilled).  They are absolutely delicious and the perfect hot chocolate topper.  I may even throw a few on top of my coffee this weekend.

DSC00563Disclaimer: This recipe is insanely easy if you have a stand mixer.  Without one I’m afraid all of the mixing time may make your arm fall off.  But, I guess you could maybe use this recipe as a replacement for your arms workout… I’m clearly all about a healthy lifestyle in 2016.

Ingredients:

3 Tbs. gelatin (just 3 packets)

1/2 cup Kahlua

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup maple syrup

Parchment paper

Non-stick spray

9×9 pan

DSC00567Directions:

  1. Pour gelatin, Kahlua, and vanilla extract into you mixer bowl and just let it sit.
  2. Line your pan with parchment paper and lightly spray the paper with whatever non-stick spray you have around.
  3. Combine sugar, water, and maple syrup in a medium sized sauce pan and put it on medium heat.
  4. Stir the sugar mixture until all sugar has dissolved.
  5. Then, bring the mixture to a simmer and let it cook without stirring for the next 13 minutes (most of the recipes I looked at for this said to use a candy thermometer and let it simmer until it hit 240 degrees Fahrenheit, but I didn’t have one so I just kept a close eye on the clock).
  6. Pour sugar mixture into the mixing bowl with the gelatin mixture.  Mix on a low speed until everything is combined (and until the sugar mixture has cooled down a bit; you don’t want a steaming hot, sticky mess flying all over the place).
  7. Once both mixtures have combined increase the speed of the mixer to high and let it do its thing for the next 10 minutes. *during this time your mixture will go from a brown gloopy mess to a white fluffy dream– do not be alarmed by the initial gloopiness!*
  8. Using a spatula (lightly coating the spatula with non-stick spray helps here), spoon the mixture of fluffy goodness into the lined pan.  Allow the uncovered pan to set for 8 hours (or overnight).
  9. Using a serrated knife, cut the marshmallows into your desired shape and size.  Keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Note: These are a bit sticky around the edges.  You can dust them with equal parts powdered sugar and cornstarch to combat that.  I chose not to, because I really didn’t mind the sticky and didn’t want to alter the flavor (mostly, I just didn’t want another step/dish to wash)

These are so much easier than I had ever expected.  I mean: Homemade marshmallows?? How trendy and homemaker-y can I be?  But really the mixer does all the work and you have a delicious new treat to top your weekend coffee or nightly hot chocolate with.

DSC00571DSC00577I seriously hope you try these out and enjoy them as much as I have.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

 

BEST FOODIE GIFT EVER

I’m sure Brady and I cannot be the only couple that struggles to decide what to eat for dinner at least a few times a week. Well, really the issue is neither of us wanting to be the one who actually decides what we should make. Luckily, we have found the easiest solution/best date night game/probably will turn into a cut-throat-I-hope-we-get-through-this competition.

Foodie Dice.

Foodie Dice // No. 1 - Seasonal Dinners Pouch
We have the Seasonal Dinners Pouch, but they also have dice for drinks or dessert. Check out this site!

Imagine, if you will, a DIY version of the Chopped cooking competition from Food Network (minus the cringe-worthy and ridiculous ingredients like cotton candy mixed with lamb hooves). It’s just 9 dice that include options for a protein, veggie, starch, side, spice, and cooking method. You only use 6 dice each time you play because some of the dice are seasonal (which is actually very helpful with the shopping list).  You roll them and have to cook a meal using whatever the dice decide. It’s pretty straight forward.

But really how you use them is totally up to you. There are no Foodie Dice police (although I would totally sign up for that job,  if it were available) running around to be sure you never accidentally knock your ‘chicken’ dice over so it reads ‘beef’ instead (seriously there’s no shame in cheating a teeny bit so you get to eat steak instead of  boneless, skinless, happiness-less chicken breast… again).

The plan originated from our family watching Chopped and Stetson suggesting we put Brady through a Chopped-esque challenge.  And that prompted my dad and Stacey to get a bit extra creative with their gift giving.

Brady and I received the dice as a gift while we were in Big Sky, so we rolled one morning after breakfast, game planned our menu as a team (without looking online for any recipes, as we decided that was against our rules), went shopping, then cooked under a–very loose–time constraint for my dad and step-mom. But you could also do it as a competition against one another. You could have different people in charge of the different ingredients. You could roll the dice in the store without any time to game plan. You could put a time constraint on the grocery shopping (I really, really want to try this option because I think that would seriously up the intensity). Really, the possibilities go on and on. Just do whatever works best for the group your with.

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One of our ingredients was dill, and I received my own butter churner for Christmas.  So churning the dill butter became my 'hey, how about you get out of the way and do this SUPER important job' job.
One of our ingredients was dill, and I received my own butter churner for Christmas. So churning the dill butter became my ‘hey, how about you get out of the way and do this SUPER important job’ job.

DSC00482First, this was a nice break for Stacey after cooking for us all week long. But, the most fun part for me was actually getting to cook with Brady. We both live in our own places, so we usually alternate who cooks and the other one just gets to show up and chow down. Then, the next night it flips. Foodie Dice gave us the opportunity to cook as a team. Of course, Brady is definitely the better chef, which means he took the lead and I was 100% the sous chef. And that worked just fine for me: less responsibility and less pressure–my ideal kind of cooking.

Our final dish was: Pan seared steak accompanied by rice and dill stuffed mushrooms with a kale, walnut and cranberry salad tossed in toasted sesame dressing.
Our finished dish: Pan seared steak accompanied by rice and dill stuffed mushrooms with a kale, walnut and cranberry salad tossed in toasted sesame dressing.

If you’re looking for an original Valentine’s Day gift (no sweater for him or last-minute flowers for her) I highly recommend Foodie Dice. Or grab them to use for an upcoming girls’ nights. Or an uncomfortable family function where you would love to have a distraction for everyone. Or even just to get you out of a food rut of eating the same thing every night. I would love to hear what you end up making or what rules you put in place.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS: Alex Apland Pottery

I cannot contain my excitement for this new series any longer! Seriously. I had planned on doing a completely different post today and saving this one for later on in the month. But I’m just too darn excited!
image2This is my first post in my These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things series. And I’m going to be sharing a quick interview I was lucky enough to do with Alex Apland: a wonderfully talented artist and outdoors lover. You absolutely must stop by her online shop alexapland.com.  Like now. Immediately. For real.
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At the very heart of it, I decided to start my These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things series as a way to showcase awesome people and small businesses. It’s honestly that plain and simple.
Through mountaingirlygirl I have just fallen in love with the entire outdoors community. It is made up of the most encouraging, caring, down-to-earth, and pretty bad-ass people around (especially for accepting such an under-skilled, girly enthusiast, like myself) and I wanted a way to share that with you.
Of course, I immediately knew I wanted Alex to be my first’ Favorite.’ I’ve been obsessed with her work for months now (my mug collection is growing at an alarming rate for my teeny house with very limited cupboard space). Plus, I can’t get enough of her Instagram feed (@potterybyalexapland). But, more so than that, Alex just rocks at being an all-around wonderful person.
And she’s so cool you instantly want to have coffee with her, in hopes that some coolness will rub off on you. (No luck yet, but I’m blaming that on geography.)
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How did you get started making your own pottery? And what inspires your designs?
Well I got started with pottery when I started my non profit, Soup For a The Soul. Which is a benefit for my local food pantry. We’ve raised 20,000 so far in the last four events and are a month away from our 5th event. I make 500 plus bowls for that. That was the reason I learned pottery. As for the business I created, my designs are inspired by my love of the outdoors!:)
What is your absolute favorite place to explore?

Definitely Southern Oregon! It’s just unbelievably gorgeous, full of mystery, adventure, inspiration, and wonder. But, all of the Northwest has my heart.
How do you see you work and your obvious love for the outdoors fitting together?
 The crazy outdoor pottery pictures started as me just wanting to have attractive photos for Instagram, I just keep a few mugs in my car and dangerously take them on hikes, climbs, and camping trips. But I think the idea I want to give off is this:  For people like us who are madly in love with the outdoors, we still have to spend time at home, or inside. Morning coffee to me is a sacred time, it’s the beginning of the day where I get my inspiration for the day, a fresh start, I just love it. Having a mountain mug just heightens that experience. I don’t know, it just makes morning coffee more adventurous . . . Maybe you’ll day dream about your next adventure.
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  Any tips for balancing work and play?
This is a hard one for me. My advice, get the hard work in first, then the play is that much better. If I have any kind of stress I can’t enjoy myself. Getting work done is a stress reliever.
What are you hoping 2016 has in store for you?

Just having more great experiences, the last few years in my life I’ve had some struggles and hard times, many I brought upon myself. I hope that I have as many adventures as possible!
I got my whole family custom made Lone Peak mugs for Christmas and we drank our coffee out of the every single morning. And then I made us take pictures with them.
Thank you so much Alex.
Don’t forget to check out alexapland.com! Now.
Thanks for reading,
Sydney

CROSS COUNTRY SKIING

Thank goodness, I found another post idea that I can really just use as an excuse to show off beautiful Montana. Today, I’m basically just going to briefly gush about how much I love cross country skiing and then share some gorgeous pictures of my home state. Or The Last Best Place as we like to call it.

Ok, I absolutely adore the sport, but there really is only so much you can say about cross country skiing. For the level that I am at, it’s pretty much just walk-gliding on skinny skis. Not necessarily a sport I can give you an action-packed play-by-play with. But, it is definitely my favorite way to explore during these frigid, snow-filled months (and if you live somewhere without frigid, snow-filled months feel free to live vicariously through these pictures– without suffering the frozen fingers and runny noses).

DSC00517 Now, I am an incredibly uncoordinated/unathletic person. Truly. Watch me try to catch a basketball or throw a baseball or attempt to swing a golf club and you’ll wonder how on earth I ever managed to put one foot in front of the other. Yet, I  can cross country ski (Of course, I’d never win any races, but I can really rock an intermediate level leisure loop).

DSC00513DSC00442I love how I get to be relaxed and enjoy some insane scenery, while still getting a bit of exercise. Granted, I don’t necessarily ski to help me get that beach-ready bod(or hot-springs-ready because Wyo isn’t exactly known for its beaches). It just helps me feel slightly more balanced after watching 7 episodes of Modern Family (which I bought for Brady/me for Christmas) and eating 4 servings of nachos.

 

We were quite the crew with all 5 of us skiing and the world’s most excited/happy/I-love-everything-about-everything dog (Camden), the world’s largest Bloodhound (Ellie), and the world’s most anxiety-ridden dog (Teton).

 Plus, cross country is so much more affordable than downhill skiing. The skis, boots, and passes are much cheaper, no matter if you are buying or renting. I hate feeling guilty about not ‘getting your money’s worth’ when buying those expensive downhill skiing passes. I feel the need to cram in as many runs as possible (which at my speed and ability is only about 4 runs and 2 slide-down-the-mountain-on-my-butts). That really takes some enjoyment of downhill skiing out for me. I love going out and doing a little hour-long loop, and heading back home for a congrats-on-getting-off-the-couch beer. Then, if I want I can head back out for an afternoon outting or I can hunker in for the night.

DSC00440I’m so glad I got to share a tiny bit of Montana and my love for cross country skiing with you. I would love to hear about your favorite ways to explore.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

PATAGONIA VELOCITY RUNNING TIGHTS: WORTH THE SPLURGE?

DSC00438If 2016 proves to be anything like the last thousand or so years, I’m sure getting into shape is the #1 New Years resolution.  But, seeing as we are already a week into 2016 the motivation to keep that goal is probably starting to fade.  Which is why it’s the perfect time to buy new, cute workout gear to give you that extra little push!  Now, Patagonia may not be the first brand you think of when you are looking for clothes to exercise in (unless you are a resort-town-local-wannabe like myself– then you brain is constantly chanting Patagonia, Patagonia, Patagonia… in the back of your mind).  But, I’m here to review their newest running tights for you and help you decide if these need to be added to your growing collection of legging that are designed for working out, but really worn to watch Netflix.

Price: These bad boys will run you about $79 if you buy them from the Patagonia site. Now, that is not outlandish—in fact it’s right about on par or a bit on the more affordable side—when it comes to high-end running tights.

Style: These may appear to be pretty standard black running tights, but that isn’t really the case.  I love that they have mesh behind the knees (to air out my sweaty-knee-pits).  They also are made with some sort of odor-control material (because I definitely sweat in more areas than just behind my knees).  And they have an invisible elastic waistband (to help keep your pants up, while keeping a smooth appearance).

Plus, they don’t attract every single piece of dog/Sydney hair within a 4 mile radius, like my other leggings do!  If you have any pets (or shed the insane amount that I do), you will know just how important this truly is.  Patagonia was really advertising these for the warmth on trail runs, but I think I may suggest a marketing move to put that on the back-burner and really push the less-dog-hair angle.

Function: Okay, here is where these leggings set themselves apart for me. And believe me, I have invested in quite a few different styles and brands of black running tights/leggings…

They don’t get stretched out and fall down throughout the day!

There is nothing I hate more than hiking my leggings all the way up to where they practically double as a bra, only to have them fall right back down to reveal my undies. That’s a double failure on the undergarment front. But, that never happened with these (even after I wore them 4 days in a row in Big Sky—yes, 4 days: that’s acceptable when you’re on vacation).

They held up great while being worn underneath yoga pants on my Ousel Falls Hike. They survived being worn for 2 separate cross country skiing outings.  They performed wonderfully for sitting on the couch, watching, Bowl games, and eating nachos.  They really can do it all!

Repurchase: Yes, yes, absolutely yes.  I do wish they had more colors (I’m talking grey and maroon, because I’m wild like that, but you may be thinking teal or sparkly magenta), so I could get more pairs without having to admit that I’m buying multiples of the exact same pants. But, I’m always in the market for more black leggings.

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These pants were, obviously, one of my favorite gifts that I received over the holidays.  And have already been put through some serious wear and tear.  I would love to hear about some of your favorite gifts, as well!  I’m always looking for excuses to buy new gear.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

OUSEL FALLS HIKE

DSC00559Happy New Year! I’m officially old and crotchety (yes, I am only 23, but I’m in bed reading by 8:30 and nothing gets my undies in a bunch quite like having to change my dinner plan– so I get to call myself crotchety) enough to remark about how ridiculously fast time flies. However, even I am already sick of hearing people say that, so I’ll stop short of my oh-my-goodness-it’s-already-January rant. It’s 2016. A new year. Which, for me, usually means massively out of reach resolutions. I tend to feel real optimistic at the start of each year.  I’ll work out 3 times a day, write a novel by mid-April, and teach Teton not to jump through windows– pretty lofty goals.  But, I’m not about that this year. Right now, I’m liking small, attainable, yet satisfying goals.

So, in Big Sky, MT over the New Years holiday my only goal was to get outside each day (also, I apparently had a subconscious goal to eat as much as a NFL lineman while washing everything down with various definitely-not-light beers– I was highly successful). Of course, that was a ridiculously easy goal. Mountains, snow, sunshine… no excuses. But, I still considered it my ‘goal’ or mini-resolution, if you will.

Sydney- 1      2016- 0

On one of my mini-excursions Brady and I met up with a few of my closest friends from high school for a short hike. It was literally under 2 miles. Really pushing ourselves, huh?

But, we were outside, it was beautiful, and no one was trying to win any awards that day.

Ousel Falls is a pretty popular area in Big Sky, and even after my dad and step-mom living there full-time, I still hadn’t seen it.  How could I possibly call myself a pretend-wanna-be-local?  And now I can absolutely see why it is so popular.  Even in the winter, the falls are absolutely beautiful.  It’s easy to get drawn into the mountains in Big Sky, but taking the time to hike down into the falls is definitely worth it.

DSC00549DSC00533DSC00523DSC00528I’m a real big fan of these little 2016 goals. I may keep this ‘get outside everyday’ plan going or I may mix it up. Any resolutions– big or small– you have planned? I’d love to hear them.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney