LETTER TO FEBRUARY

IMG_3888Dear February,

You were a bit of a challenge for me. And I don’t really feel like it has ended or I have succeeded. Surprisingly enough though, you weren’t a bad month, February. I’m letting you know that because I am sure you already have some sort of complex being the shortest month, so I don’t want to add to that by making you think you were a “bad” month.

Actually, if I were able to leave out a few things you would have been one of my favorite months ever. Seriously.  I am feeling good about where mountaingirlygirl is going. I feel caught up at work (well, actually just like I am keeping my head solidly above water—so I’ll take it!). I was able to visit Stetson in his new home and spend time with my mom. And I ate a lot of chocolate.  Overall, I’m pretty darn happy.

But, February you were out of control.  And not like my-dance-moves-whenever-Madonna’s-Like a Prayer-comes-on-good-kind-of-out-of-control.  The  stressful whatever-happens-is-out-of-my-hands-out-of-control.  I really hate that kind of out of control.  No matter how much planning I do or work I put into something, I just have to deal with what comes.  The controlling, over-planning, type-A part of me is not a fan of that.

I’m so sure that this is supposed to be a lesson for me, February. Or something to help me grow as a person. Or something else lovely and philosophical like that. But, I’m not quite feeling it yet. Maybe March will help me get there.  Yeah.  Let’s leave that job to March.

February, maybe you treated others like this too.  I know I’m not the only one with ‘stuff.’  The older I get the more I realize everyone has their ‘stuff.’  So, I’ve been trying to think about advice I would give someone if they were ragging on you, because of all the ‘stuff’ (okay, let’s be honest a lot of times the ‘stuff’ feels more like ‘shit’) you dropped on them.  And I would tell them to focus on the positive– because I’m generic like that and get uncomfortable when people ask me for advice.  But, I really think it’s true.

So, I’ll remember you for walks on the beach next to the Golden Gate Bridge.  And discovering my new favorite desert with Brady.  And finally having the time to start my adult coloring book (yes, I am one of those 20-something girls with a blog and an adult coloring book and wine).  And spending time reconnecting with old friends.  And waiting 2 hours to have the best brunch of my life.  February, that’s what I’ll focus on.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’

“Never do anything twice.” Just try it. This post is all about stepping out of your comfort zone and mixing things up. No matter how large or small. Or how hopelessly devoted to your routine you may be (and I am blindly-unabashedly devoted to mine). It’ll do you some good.

IMG_4073(Of course this advice isn’t perfect for every situation. You need to do lots of things more than once, like pay your bills and feed your dog. Please continue to do those things on some sort of schedule.  Though, this is something that can absolutely be applied outside of your necessary daily routine.)

This was pretty much the mantra for my visit to San Fransisco a few weeks ago. Stetson received this advice early on and shared it with me as a challenge for our visit.  And as someone who loves routine (I’m talking same breakfast, lunch, and dinner every single weekday kind of routine), this was a lot to commit to. But I am so thankful I did.

IMG_4066

Oh just enjoying the views Stetson gets to check out each morning on his run. I know my run through West Laramie next to the train tracks and trash cans is pretty impressive, but the Golden Gate Bridge and Coleseum of Fine Arts may have me beat.
Oh just enjoying the views Stetson gets to check out each morning on his run. I know my run through West Laramie next to the train tracks and trash cans is pretty impressive, but the Golden Gate Bridge and Palace of Fine Arts may have me beat.

My brother just moved to San Francisco in January and my mother and I got the chance to go visit him over Valentine’s Day weekend. Now, my brother and I are ridiculously close (not cheesy #nationalsiblingsday close, but talk on the phone each night as Brady patiently watches the TV on mute close). But, the whole How To Survive The Ross to Your Monica Moving Across the Country post will have to wait for another day.

IMG_3925What I love about this mantra is that it can be applied in so many ways.  While we were visiting we didn’t do anything insanely crazy– following that whole YOLO vibe– but we did a new hike each morning, we ate at a new restaurant each day, we tried different kinds of food for each meal, and we did our best to explore something different each day.  By doing this we were able to experience high-end San Fran– drinks at The View Lounge which has floor to ceilings windows and looks right out over the Bay.  And we were able to experience part of Stetson’s daily life– breakfast burritos to-go that are right next to his work.  And we were able to visit casual San Fran– street tacos and margaritas in the Marina. There are so many outstanding food, and drink, and shopping, and outdoor exploring options in SF it would be a shame to limit yourself.

IMG_3872Granted, I live in Laramie, Wyoming and while I do truly love it, I know that there just aren’t near as many options here as there are in SF.  Our downtown is growing and really upping their game, but the fact is I still live in a pretty small town.  So, I totally use that as an excuse to get stuck in a rut.  But, that doesn’t have to be the case.  I can choose to try a new beer at our local brewery (bye-bye to drinking Coaltrain every time…).  I can order something I’ve never tried, or even let the server pick their favorite.  I can fish new spots each week.  I can take the dogs out to explore a new area, rather than walking them along the same path everyday.

Yes, these all may seem like incredibly small things, but it makes a difference.  When I really stopped to think about just how much repetition is in my routine, it blew my mind.  And there’s a good chance you’re in that boat with me.  So, just try little changes to step out of your comfort zone and experience your very own town in a new way.  Brady and I recently tried a primarily vegetarian restaurant in Laramie, that neither of us had really spent much time in because neither of us are vegetarian, and it’s quickly become one of our new favorite spots.

IMG_4071Honestly, while we were visiting I was talking about doing a post on the trip and Stetson kept asking what it would be about. I really had no idea (and he really loves my indecisiveness–so that answer was not welcome).  In my defense though, I was being a little selfish and just focusing on the trip and getting to spend time with Stetson and my mom.  I wanted to see where Stetson worked and lived and happy hour-ed.  I didn’t want to come in with an agenda.  Now, I’ll have plenty of more opportunities to visit and shift more focus to a specific post.  That just wasn’t at the top of my radar for my first visit.

I love reading travel posts, but didn’t feel like I was a credible enough source on SF to do that yet (I’m thinking that will come in time though, now that I have an excuse to visit as often as my bank account allows). I toyed over What’s In My Carry On or Pack With Me posts (because I’m nosy and love to see other people’s posts on that). And the food alone was practically screaming for its’ own post (had I had the self control to snap more than 1 measly, food pic over the entire trip before scarfing down).

Obligatory San Francisco Brunch Photo
Obligatory San Francisco Brunch Photo

But this felt so much better and more relatable. This just fits the mgg vibe of trying new things– and gives me a much needed reminder that this is what I’m about. Hopefully, this is something that you can take and apply to your next trip, or next date night, or even just your next grocery run. I would love to hear about it!

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

TIME SAVING PRODUCTS FOR YOUR MORNING ROUTINE

Mornings are always a rush for me.  It seems like no matter how much preparing I do the night before or how early I get up, I am still rushing to beat the clock and get out the door.  Luckily, I have found a few products that are helping me shave a bit of time off my morning routine.

DSC00644 My mornings are pretty jam-packed.  I need to leave my house by around 7 am (usually I am closer to 7:08 ish, but the goal is 7) to get to work on time.  So, I need to be looking like put-together professional just as the lazy-Wyoming-winter sun has  decided to make it’s way over the mountains.  Plus, I like to squeeze in a workout before I start the whole beautifying process (not because I just loooove rising before the crack of dawn to exercise, but because I know I will make excuses and skip it, if I wait until after work).

I do as many things as I possibly can the night before to help with the mornings.  I lay out every single clothing, jewelery, and footwear item that will be on my body the next day.  I prep my coffee station, so all I have to do is hit one single button in the morning.  I make my breakfast and stick it in the fridge.  I pack anything that I need for the next day and put it next to the door.  Basically, short of me actually sleeping in my work outfit and make-up, I have everything pre-done, pre-packaged, and ready-to-go.

But, I still NEED these following items to help keep me on time and slightly less rushed.

NIVEA In-Shower Nourishing Body Lotion for Very Dry Skin, 13.5 Ounce

Nivea In-Shower Body Lotion

Winter makes my skin dry, dry, dry.  So, I have to moisturize everyday.  But, there is nothing I look forward to less than getting out of my cozy, warm shower and freezing my arse off as I apply lotion.  This product lets me prolong my shower time and skip that unpleasantness all together.

I just apply this “lotion” in the shower, then quickly towel off and bundle up in whatever chunky sweater I may be wearing that day.

I have also tried this Olay version and really liked it.  And I’ve heard good things about the Jergen’s version, but have yet to try it out for myself.

*This does moisturize my skin, but I still like to apply a traditional lotion at nighttime to really help out my scaly, Wyoming-wind-beaten skin.

Batiste Dry Shampoo, Clean and Classic, 6.73 Ounce

Batiste Dry Shampoo

Ok, while I do shower every morning, I definitely do not wash my hair every morning.  The added drying and styling time would just be too much.  So, I am dry shampoo’s number 1 fan.  I have tried a quite a few: high-end brands, drug store brands, and even straight baby powder (which I do actually love, but it leaves more residue than I like– especially if I am rocking day 3 or 4 hair).

Batiste is hands down my favorite.  It doesn’t leave your hair feeling cakey or gross.  It has a pleasant smell.  It blends in really easily.  Plus, it’s super cheap.  That’s probably may favorite part given how much of this stuff I use.

Hair Ties Ponytail Holders - 20 Pack "Silver Peach Chevron" No Crease Ouchless Elastic Styling Accessories Pony Tail Holder Ribbon Bands - By Kenz Laurenz

No Crease Hair Ties

I mentioned that I workout in the morning, and that requires me to put my hair up and out of my face.  However, seeing as I don’t wash my hair everyday I need to try and avoid those hideous ponytail lines on days when I want to wear my hair down for work.  That’s where these adorable little guys come into play.  These hair ties keep my hair out of my face, but leave little to no indentation in my hair.  Plus, they come in really cute patterns and colors, which even neutral-tone-loving me can appreciate.

*These ties do tend to stretch more and not last quite as long as the traditional ponytail holders, so keep in mind that you may be replacing these a bit more often.

DSC00647And of course coffee is a necessary morning item.  That is first and foremost what I need to get my hiney out the door, or at least moving slightly faster towards getting out the door.

What are some of your best products and tips for getting out the door on time?  I love these products, but am always looking to streamline a bit more, so I can hit that snooze button just one extra time.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

 

10 REASONS WHY I LOVE DATING

Alright, this post is a bit out of my comfort zone. I did the traditional Gift Guide for Valentine’s Day (which is one of my favorite posts that you should definitely check out because I feature the coolest brand out there),  and thought I would pretty much leave my Valentine’s Day themed posts at that.  But, as I kept reading more and more V-Day posts I couldn’t shake the idea that I wanted to do one focusing a bit more on the relationship side of the holiday, rather than just the gift side.

IMG_3534I have been pretty open about mentioning Brady casually in quite a few of my posts (usually as my patient-but-less-than-thrilled flyfishing guide or photographer).  MGG is a little peek into my life, so it would be incredibly difficult to keep Brady entirely out of it.  Of course, at the same time I am the one who decided to write a blog and share so much of my personal life– not Brady.  So, I try my best to respect his privacy. I won’t go in depth into anything that really shines the spotlight on Brady (like what I do to annoy him= cram him into the tiniest corner of the couch possible so both Teton and I can smother him; or his favorite things about me= my hilariously witty comments and the fact that my hair looks beautiful even if I haven’t washed it in 4 days– I’m assuming these things would make the list; or any of that other mushy garbage).  I’ll just let you know that we have been dating for about 2 and a half or 3-ish years, and at this point and he claims he’s not sick of me… yet.

It seems as if everyone starts their Valentine’s Day posts or videos with some disclaimer about not needing to be in a relationship to enjoy the holiday.  I absolutely agree.  What I am going to be chatting about here is just a little light-hearted insight into dating, because that’s where I am right now.  But, I was happily single for about 2 full years (I’m talking no casual dinner dates or anything– and it was awesome) before Brady and wouldn’t trade that time at all.

There seems to be a major focus on the next step, no matter where you are in a relationship.  It’s easy to miss out on enjoying whatever stage you’re in. And that’s what I want to concentrate on with this post. I’m not trying to get all bright about my fantastic dating life. I want everyone to just enjoy where they are– whether it’s single or married or somewhere in between. 

What I love about dating:

  • I still get to be a guest at Brady’s house and he gets to be a guest at mine; we alternate nights cooking dinner so when he cooks at his house I have the night totally off from cooking AND clean up
  • Now, I just learned about this from some of our married friends last weekend, but apparently husbands are known sock stealers and wives have to keep a real close eye on their workout socks– this is something I am thrilled I don’t have to deal with
  • We both still get the opportunity to treat each other when we are out (I know every couple handles finances differently during dating AND during marriage, but we still have very separate expenses with a lot less blurred lines)
  • We may be getting peppered with engagement questions, but we don’t have to field many baby questions
  • I get to eat my favorite guilty pleasure foods (I’m talking a tub of Rainbowchip frosting and popcorn with hot sauce) without any questions
  • Brady gets to be shocked at how unbelievably gorgeous I look when he comes to pick me up for dates (without seeing all of the prep-work that went into it)
  • Getting ready for work is so simple– I don’t need to share the sink for brushing teeth or worry about my hairdryer making anyone– but me– sweat
  • If there is an argument we each have space to cool off and usually it becomes pretty clear whatever we were arguing over wasn’t a big deal
  • I have a really handsome boyfriend– that makes dating pretty fun

And the last reason is that I get to date Brady.  I wouldn’t love it with someone else. (Okay, that was just a tiny bit of mush for this post.)

Really, I love dating Brady.  We are at that point where Brady and I are starting to get a lot of engagement type questions, and honestly that doesn’t necessarily bother me.  The people who ask them or joke about it are clearly excited that Brady and I seem to be so happy and they are just looking forward to what’s coming next.

I am too. But, that doesn’t mean I want to rush through this dating phase.  It’s such a short time that we get to enjoy this part of our lives.  I’m not going to waste it by wishing that time away.  My obsessive need to plan every-single-minor-detail in all of the other aspects of my life is already taking up enough of my energy.

What are your thoughts on this?  This topic is so different for everyone, I would love to hear what you have loved about dating or what you’re so ready to be done with when it comes to dating.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

FEBRUARY POPSUGAR MUST HAVE BOX

I just have to start by saying: this is hands down my favorite PopSugar box so far (and that’s including the November one with Mindy Kaling’s book Why Not Me, so this is a real big deal)!

7Ok, so it’s not just the fact that I received just under $280 (seriously!! $280!!) worth of goodies for only $40, although that doesn’t hurt. It’s the fact that every single item in this box is something that I will use.  There were no meh-items this month!

Tilo Heart Print Scarf ($125)

I had to mention this first. This is a beautiful scarf with a subtle heart print. It’s unbelievably soft. It was made exclusively for PopSugar– and the inner snob in me loooves exclusive items. It’s a muted gray color that will match any outfit.

Oh, and it costs more than the rest of my scarves collection combined.

I love it. The pattern isn’t in your face, so you don’t feel like an elementary teacher dressed for a Valentine’s Day party (absolutely no offense there– my mother teaches elementary students, so she has worn some over-the-top themed outfits for the sake of her kids and bless her for it– but it’s not usually the look I’m going for on a day to day basis). And it’s so insanely soft it would be perfect for anyone who struggles with the feeling of bulky scarves around their neck.

Victoria’s Secret Coconut Milk Hydrating Body Lotion ($18)

Everyone could use a bit of extra moisture in the winter, especially me with my scaly elbows and dry patches on the back of my thighs (pretty attractive image, right?). So, I was thrilled to see this in the box. Honestly, I have already put this on my night stand. It’s perfect to apply before bed because it smells sweet, but isn’t overpowering, and it absorbs super quickly so you don’t feel all greasy and sticky.

*We also received some VS sports socks and a $20 VS gift card as our ‘Bonus Items’ in this box. I’m telling you, this just keeps getting better. 

Foodstirs Heart Cookie Mix ($13)

Now, I know I said I didn’t have any items in this box that I wouldn’t use. Well, this may be the only exception. Sure the packaging is adorable. And yes the pink sprinkles are perfect for this time of year. And it’s true that the cookie mix has no artificial ingredients, GMOs, or preservatives. But I just can’t use this.

Because Teton decided to snatch it right off the counter and eat the entire mix– plastic and all– before I had the chance… He felt no remorse. (Of course, I still love him even though is does his best to make it nearly impossible.  I guess this is better than running through a window which he has also done.)

But, I do think these little packages would make a perfectly cute gift for any baker you may know. They also offer a subscription service if you want to sign up for monthly packages.  So be sure to check out their site.

1JewelryStorm Endless Arrow Ring ($28)

Lately, I’ve been branching out of my silver jewelry comfort zone and have been enjoying wearing more gold. But, my gold ring collection was practically non-existent. Thankfully, this cute little guy showed up at just the right time! It’s a dainty ring that can really been thrown on with any look.

Seriously. Any look.

My favorite new gold earrings are tiny gold disks stamped with the outline of a buffalo and I love to pair this ring with them. Most people may not think buffalo and rhinestones are a winning combo, but I have been rocking it.

Fringe Studio Hello Beautiful Square Tray ($14)

I am a person who has to plan ahead for every last, minor detail. Like every  detail. So each night I lay out my outfit for the next day–and I’m talking clothing, shoes, undies, and jewelry. I used to just lay my jewelry at the edge of my dresser, but my Monica-from-Friends-neat-freak personality didn’t really like how messy that looked. And I tend to fixate on any little messes I have in my house as I lay in bed, so that set up wasn’t really working for me. Luckily, this adorable tray will fix that problem and hopefully let me sleep a bit easier.

4Beautycounter Nourishing Cleansing Balm ($80)

I have been obsessed with skin care lately. My skin is finally starting to (almost) consistently look good, and it is starting to feel safe to try new products without the fear of massive breakouts. So, I can’t wait to try this cleansing balm (and for $80 it’s pretty clear that it’s high-end). I have never tried a product like this, but I’ve heard tons about different balms and I can’t wait to test it out.  There are so many beneficial and natural ingredients listed.  I have incredibly high hopes.

2I tend to go in and out of phases with these subscriptions boxes. It seems that after a few months, they can feel a bit repetitive and I’m ready to try a different one. And I was actually feeling that way after January’s box. I wasn’t necessarily disappointed, but it wasn’t my favorite. This month, however, was so, so, so worth it.

Please, let me know any of your favorite items or new boxes I should try out. I’m always looking for an excuse to try more subscriptions.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

BEST WINTER BOOTS

Pretty much from September to April I wear boots. Every. Single. Day. Which means I am a bonafide expert in the area of boots, and would love to pass along my knowledge to you. Or, really, just gush about my two favorite pairs.

DSC00630
Love both boots too much to pick a pair! Oh, and don’t worry: the caved-in ankles are strictly from my insanely flat feet– the boots have nothing to do with it.

I have pretty much been rotating between the Sorel Women’s Slimshortie Chevron Boott and the Chaco Women’s Hopi Boot. And I love, love, love them.

DSC00613Chaco Women’s Hopi Boot

I first mentioned these in my Holiday Gift Guide. But, I just couldn’t wait to see if good ol’ Saint Nick brought these for me and ended up buying them for myself in early December… because I am impatient and all about giving gifts to myself.  And I am so, so glad did. The price tag was a bit steep for my young-professional-with-super-pricey-taste-but-ridiculously-tight-purse-strings budget($160), but because they are Chacos I know they will last forever.  These are perfect to slip on for all of the outdoor exploring (which right now basically consists of freezing my buns off as I walk Teton each day after work—but I’m hoping to add to that as things get a little less busy in the next few weeks), I like to do during this time of year.

*Tip- I would recommend buying these about a half-size larger than you normally wear. I usually pair these with thick, chunky socks and they started out a teeny bit too snug. Now, I’ve worn them in and they are insanely comfy, but I really think that extra half-size would make them perfect.

DSC00624Sorel Women’s Slimshortie Chevron Boot

Now, these bad boys I received as a Christmas gift and have been wearing them non-stop. They are fashionable enough to wear with some of my more casual teaching outfits, but have enough durable tread to keep me from falling straight on my hiney as I walk into work– which is very important considering I teach Junior High students and need to maintain as many kind-of-cool points as I possibly can.

While these do look adorable with tights and a sweater dress, they can definitely hold their own in the outdoors. Granted, these aren’t quite hard-core enough for scaling super intense, snow-covered mountains, but they do keep me from slipping as Teton attempts to drag me through each and every snowy path we find on our walk along the river.

*Get these NOW–they originally cost $130, but are on sale for $90!

***

I highly recommend both of these boots. I mean, I love them enough to carry both pairs with me as we walk Teton and Ellie on a 7° day in Laradise, and force Brady to take pictures of me with his frozen fingers. Yeah, I really love them. Just keep in mind what you are wanting out of your boots: More outdoorsy, but still looking stylish? Chaco Hopi. More stylish, but can still be worn in the outdoors? Sorel Slimshortie Chevron.

Or both. I’m all about rotating between these two.

DSC00608We’ve still got quite a bit of winter ahead of us here in Wyoming, so I’m sure I’ll be putting these to good use. But I’m not opposed to hearing any of your boot suggestions and adding to my collection…

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

 

A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS: An Inspired Collective

Today I get to spotlight an absolutely outstanding brand that you need to be familiar with (I am “familiar” with them in the sense of stalking every one of their blog posts and Instagram pictures): An Inspired Collective.

DSC_1273Honestly, this post I had planned to put up next week.  And if you know anything about me, you know I love a plan and hate changing it for any reason (yes, I am working on this, because I realize it is an insanely annoying and unrealistic trait… but, for now, it’s still a major part of me).  But, I just couldn’t wait any longer to share!

Of course, I already knew An Inspired Collective was a Favorite of mine when I reached out to them for a mini-interview.  However, after I got to emailing and working with the entire team, I was absolutely floored by just how wonderful they all are!

Lauren and Mike started the brand and then Steve and Kursten have joined to create the entire team.  I sent out a few questions and it was decided that each person would answer them.  Then I would pick one person’s answer for each question.  I did not take into account how difficult that would be–everyone had such phenomenal responses for every question!  But, for the sake of saving this post from being 17 pages long, I managed to do it.

DSC_0906For anyone who may not know, could you explain what exactly An Inspired Collective is?

Kursten: At an Inspired Collective our mission is to reach out to as many people as possible and inspire them to GO…  explore, ignite, appreciate, and preserve, because if not now, when?  Life is too short to wait, and we hope and pray to spread the word that they do not need an infinite amount of money….time….nor experience to get out there and adventure.  Follow that feeling, the goosebumps, the sensation that lives just outside of your skin + deep in your gut – that’s your GO! We live in possibility of changing this world through education, travel, community and adventure, even if it’s just one person at a time! We want to help people find their inner passion/purpose/adventurer. We hope people join us to adventure, explore and discover all these breathtaking God-made sceneries and landscapes we have all around us.

And what inspired–yes I’m using that cheesy word play– you two to start An Inspired Collective?

Lauren: Mike and I started An Inspired Collective when we were adventuring through Crater Lake, Oregon. We started talking about how there are so many inspiring and unbelievably beautiful places from the East the West coast that no one really knows about. Everyone gets their two weeks and immediately goes to their go-to spot. We wanted to expose our communities to different places, people and ideas that we were fortunate enough to come across and had a lasting impression on us.

Mike: For me, and I won’t speak for Lauren here, so much of it comes from how I have begun to feel, and how I see others feeling in our typical urban world.  I have friends that don’t know how to start a gas grill, much less how to set up a camp and live for even a few days by what nature provides.  People today struggle to fill their windshield washer fluid, much less clean a spark plug on a snowmobile in a remote area.  I wanted to get back that feeling of adventure and exhilaration from growing up.  (I grew up in a very remote part of the country, where “the outdoors” was an everyday part of being).

*Sidenote: These two are getting married this summer– adorable– and I love seeing Lauren respond to this question as “we” and Mike starting his answer by saying he won’t speak for Lauren… I feel like that is a perfect example of the dynamic in many relationships 🙂

Where is your favorite place to explore?

Mike: Right now it’s the west.  I had never been to the west really until Lauren and I met.  This year we’ve gone to Jackson Hole, Seattle, Widbey Island, Portland, Crater Lake, Vancouver, Porteau Cove and Whistler.  The North American west is definitely my place right now.

Your work seems to be tied so closely to spending time outdoors (which is the absolute best kind of play!), any tips for how you balance work and play?

Steve: Make it happen. Any one of us can come up with a long list of reasons why we shouldn’t, or why we couldn’t…but instead of being flaky just commit to learning a few simple tips that will make your time enjoyable. It’s easier than most folks think. Part of rejuvenation for me involves stepping away from work, regardless of how much I have on my plate. I know a lot of people feel the same way with working out– and yes, it’s that kind of endorphin rush when you scale a mountain trail, or hook up with a monster trout!

Can you share with us any plans that are in the works for 2016 (I’ve definitely been keeping a close on that *shop* tab on your site)?

Steve: We hope to add many more dimensions to our collective, but I think we are all just blessed by one another and the uniqueness of it all, so we are allowing it to grow organically. More joint vacations, more deliberate articles, more productions, and yes…eventually the store!

What made you want to join the An Inspired Collective team?

Lauren: I joined an Inspired Collective because it was something that I had been dreaming of for years and it is truly needed in our communities and across the U.S. I was always waiting for a group of people that loved nature and I could build lasting friendships and memories with. I decided one day I was sick of waiting, so I was going to create it myself. And I have been so blessed to have Steve, Kursten and Mike that all felt the same calling too. People ask us why start something where we don’t know where the end will lead us? Our answer to them, is Why Not? You never know unless you put yourself out there, get vulnerable, and try to make a difference. We are ready to find our Inspired Collective. We know there are people just like us wanting more to their lives all over the country.

IMG_6080I think part of the reason why I love these guys so much is that they believe in the importance of getting outdoors to explore.  And they actually act on it!  They lead by example and truly seem happier for it.

Really, An Inspired Collective is an unbelievably cool group of people who just love the outdoors and have good hearts.  What more can you ask for?  Be sure to swing by their site and check out their amazing work.  The blog posts are so fun to read and always have beautiful pictures to accompany them.  I just cannot say enough wonderful stuff about An Inspired Collective and I am so excited to see what they have in the works for the future.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney