EASY, DELICIOUS LOADED SWEET POTATO FRIES

These loaded sweet potato fries have become a quick go-to recipe for me. And I’m sure I’ll be busting them out even more in the next few months. You may already know I love the outdoors and mascara, but baseball is another serious obsession of mine (well mostly the being in the sunshine and greasy food part, but I have my favorite players and am starting to get the hang of all the incredibly specific rules)!

Killer fries deserve to be accompanied by my new Yeti coozie (thanks to the coolest Easter Basket from Brady’s parents) and autographed Boog Powell hat.

It’s f i n a l l y baseball season! That means beers and sunshine and ballpark food. And most importantly it means that summer is right around the corner. And although that corner may be partially blocked by snow, ice and slush here in Laramie, I can at least feel like summer is on the way.
It’s pretty hard to compete with a hot dog served up right at the ball park between innings. But these loaded sweet potato fries can really hold their own when you need to put in a call to the bull pen and make some at-home ballpark grub. (I’m pretty sure was that was my first/last baseball food metaphor.)

 Ingredients:

  • 20 oz frozen sweet potato fries (I used Alexia’s spicy ones and loved them)
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans
  • 3/4 cup frozen sweet corn
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbs red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco cheese
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • 3/4 cup sour cream

Directions:

  1. Bake the sweet potato fries according to their package instructions.
  2. Combine the corn, chili powder, and red pepper flakes into a small skillet. Put it on medium heat and roast until they are golden brown (about 15 minutes).
  3. Drain the black beans and put them in a medium sauce pan on medium low heat. Just let them warm up there while everything cooks.
  4. Once fries are done cooking top them with the black beans and corn.
  5. Add the queso fresco and cilantro.
  6. Mix the juice and the zest of the lime into the sour cream. You can put this on top of the fries or leave it on the side as a dipping sauce.

These are absolutely delicious and super easy to make (and if you read the title of this post I’m sure you’re thinking”duh, that’s exactly what you promised”), plus they look really pretty which I am a big fan of.

Now they may not be the Chesapeake Fries or Boog’s BBQ from Camden Yards– my all time favorite ballpark food– but they will definitely be a staple at my house this season.

Please let me know some of your favorite baseball season recipes. It’s a long season and I have lots of afternoons I plan to fill with ball games, beer, and way too much food.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

1 YEAR GIVEAWAY CELEBRATION

Mountaingirlygirl is a whole year old!  So, I figured the only way to celebrate was by giving some presents to you guys!

IMG_4356Really I thought I knew exactly what I was getting into when I started MGG.  I mean, I follow enough bloggers on Instagram– I knew all I needed to do was drink a lot of coffee, find someone to take pictures of my casually looking stunning next to a brick wall, and post a few inspirational quotes every once and awhile.  If I did all of that my blog would magically grow to 50k readers over night, right?

Okay, sadly that’s not exactly how it’s been working.  There aren’t 50k of you reading this right now.  But, YOU are reading it and I truly appreciate that.

So, let’s reward YOU!  I’m giving away a few of my hands-down favorite items and one of you will be lucky enough to win.

What’s Included:

*These are all items that are absolutely kick-ass and come from kick-ass shops.  I have them.  I use them.  And I really, really love them.  I wouldn’t give away anything less.

How to Enter (each one of these counts as one entry– so you can really enter up to 4 times!):

  • Click the subscribe button for MGG (on the left hand side of your desktop screen or at the bottom of your mobile screen)
  • Follow @mountaingirlygirl on Instagram
  • Like the giveaway photo on Instagram
  • Tag a friend on the Instagram giveaway photo

*You can do just one of these things or you can do all of these things.  However many of these items you complete will each count as an entry. 

This contest will be open for a week (so from March 31st to April 7th).  Then, on April 8th I will randomly select one winner for all of these goodies!

***

This has been a year full of learning, growing, stressing, and enjoying.  I’ve had some posts I absolutely adore.  Taken some pictures I actually think could be frame-worthy.  Shared companies with you that I 100% believe in and support.

I’ve also had some posts seriously flop.  Some pictures that I look back on and cringe.  And a decent amount of tears.

But, that’s what MGG is all about!  Not the crying part (although it does seem to get mentioned with more frequency than I like to admit)– but the trying part.  I’m all about just giving it a shot, which is what I’m continuing to do here.  There’s still a lot of growing to be done, but I’m proud of where I am and am excited to keep learning more.

Seriously, no matter how much stress or inadequacy I have felt in this first year of my #bloglife (yes, I have even had to embrace hashtags despite the fact that they can annoy me just as much as they annoy you), I have absolutely loved it and can’t wait to see what the next year brings.

Don’t forget to enter!

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

LETTER TO MARCH


Dear March,

You kind of came in like a lion, had a bit of that lamb business in the middle, and went out like a lion. And yes, that is pretty fitting for the Wyoming spring/winter we’ve been having (snow up to my knees, then days where I can run with the dogs outside wearing shorts, then snow so heavy I can hardly open my gate–pretty standard spring in Laradise), but it also fits for you in general, March.

It seemed like you started with a real “let’s see how far we can push Sydney” mentality. Attempting to stay positive with standardized testing and kids dying for Spring Break as much as the teachers? Check. Realizing no matter how on top of my debt-management/savings I am, my money still can’t stretch quite enough each month? Done.  Really making the extra effort to stay in touch with old friends, spend time with new ones, have dates with Brady, get up to visit my family, and try to enjoy this unique time of living alone? Got it. Oh, and let’s take away sleep; I love waking up bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed at 2 am a few times a week for no reason at all.  Nailed it.

Yeah, March, I’m not a fan of any of that. In fact, just writing it has my blood boiling. Luckily, with all that insanity you also brought some springtime seasonal brews. So, I’m grabbing one of those to calm down as I finish this letter.

Ok. Slightly better.

And, I guess, new beers weren’t the only bright spot about you March. You did give me a break in the middle. I guess, technically, my job gave me that break with the whole week-off-from-school thing, but I’m not too picky about how it happened. That time off and time with friends allowed me to slow down. To smother Brady with countless hours watching Game Of Thrones. To breathe. To start stressing (and force myself to stop) about planning summer trips to visit my family. To get outside. To play intense wire-balancing-Jenga-type-games with a 4 year old.

All things I desperately needed.

Then, it was back to the grind. But, I’m feeling good about you going out like a lion, March. The exit seems like more of a team thing– as opposed to the beginning which felt like a “bowl Sydney over and watch her try to survive” thing. This time I’m right with you.

I’m ready to tackle April. I’m not going to rush it away in hopes for summer. I’m going to keep this whole lion thing going (and seriously beat this metaphor to death) and really make April a month I’m proud of.

Seems like you lit a fire under me, March. So thanks for that.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney 

HUCKBERRY: Anything & Everything an Outdoors Lover Could Want

Huckberry has quickly become one of my absolute favorite places to visit when I’m stuck inside desperately wishing I was outside on an adventure.  They have everything, and I seriously mean EVERYTHING, someone could want for some time outdoors.

Below, I’ve included a few of my favorite items from Huckberry.  But, it was ridiculously hard to narrow down my favorites– I’m talking 27 pictures cut down to 9 difficult!  But, I love all of these items and hope this will give you just a snippet of an idea about some of products that Huckberry carries.

Wide variety: yes.  High quality: of course.  Ridiculously cool, stylish, and outdoorsy: absolutely.

IMG_4336
From top left to bottom right: Nemo Equipment Backpacking Tent, Huckberry Sunrise Tee, Form Function Form Weekender Watch, Astroflex Boot, Meridian Line American Flag Wood Wall Art, Woolrich x Huckberry Blanket, Bradley Mountain Backpack, East West Bottlers Moonshine Candle, Rifle Paper Co. Floral Planner (this is the planner I am using right now and I love it!)

I love Huckberry because it fits perfectly with the whole MGG vibe.  First and foremost, they love adventures.  That is hands down the most important thing.  But, there is also a serious pride that this company has in offering high-quality, and on-trend items to their customers.  These are products that will last forever and will help me look much, much more stylish as I am huffing and puffing up some switch-backs or attempting to disentangle my fishing line from whatever tree I managed to snag (cool gear is essential to helping me save face in these– very common– situations).

Plus there is something for everyone.

Their candle selection is stunning.  They carry Herbivore which is one of my favorite skincare brands (I love their Charcoal Bar Soap and am dying to try their Jasmine Body Oil).  They have really beautiful wall art and throws for some home decor.  All things that the girly girl inside of me deeply appreciates.

But, they also have a killer shoe collection that any guy would love (I have come to the conclusion that guys are actually more into their shoe game than girls…).  They have watches designed for work, play, or special occasions.  They have sleeping bags and tents for any and all conditions.  All things that the most ruggedly rugged of men can enjoy.

I could honestly go on and on and on for pages (and the overly chatty and ridiculously excited part of me desperately wants to)… but I’ll just let you check out Huckberry for yourself.

Photo Cred: Dylan Gordon

Also, right now, Huckberry is partnering with Outside to give away $2,000 worth of gear (yeah $2,000!!) and a guide on an adventure of your choice!  I absolutely love this because you’ll get an unbelievable trip and you’ll have the gear to take on all of your other adventures.  Be sure to check it out!

One of the adventure options is even fishing right on the Snake River in my home state of beautiful Wyoming, guided by Maddie Brenneman (my biggest fly fishing girl-crush)! Photo Cred: Nick Kelley

I would love to hear some of the items you decide to check out from Huckberry.  Or even items you want me to test out for you– that’s my favorite excuse to buy new gear (“Well, it’s really for the blog…”).  Just let me know!

*This is not a sponsored post, but it does contain affiliate links.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

 

THE BEST STOUT IRISH COFFEE

I think most things in life should be celebrated with coffee, whiskey, or a combo of the two. And this Irish Coffee recipe perfectly mixes the two. Plus, it includes a stout simple syrup that is a serious game changer. 

I don’t have much green, but this Wyoming mug is perfect for today.

Actually, I had a different post all written up and ready to go for today, but after looking at all the snow outside my window this morning I changed my mind. I just had to share the best Irish Coffee recipe with you. It being St. Party’s Day didn’t hurt either. 

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. of your favorite stout beer
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 6 oz. fresh brewed coffee (I like a dark roast to help balance the sweetness)
  • Jameson whiskey and/or Bailey’s Irish cream to taste
  • Heavy cream, cinnamon, nutmeg (optional, but strongly encouraged)

*I love this recipe because I always fill my growler with my favorite stout beer at our local brewery, and it never fails that I’m left with one beer at the bottom I don’t finish that falls flat. Stout simple syrup is the perfect way to put it to use. 

Directions

  1. Combine stout and brown sugar in a sauce pan over medium heat. Let the mixture simmer and reduce for about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. 
  2. Once cooled, stir about 1 oz. of your stout simple syrup in with your coffee. Stir until mixture has totally dissolved. 
  3. Mix in whatever Irish goodness you want. I personally go for Bailey’s and whiskey, but it’s totally personal preference. 
  4. Heat up your desired amount of cream. If I’m feeling fancy I do this with my milk frother, but the microwave works fine as well. You just want to make the consistency a bit thicker.
  5. Add cream, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the top and enjoy!

You never need an excuse for a quality drink recipe (within reason…obviously I’m not suggesting you load this up into your travel mug and head off to work).

Of course if you were looking for a fitting excuse St. Patty’s Day would definitely work. So, enjoy some Irish Coffee this morning, or as an afternoon pick-me-up, or with brunch this weekend. 

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

13 WAYS TO BE HAPPIER NOW

I am constantly trying to do things to help the ‘future me’ (and, let me tell you, that diva better be grateful). Lately though, I’ve been trying to make more of an effort to pay attention to the ‘now me.’

IMG_4304As with everything else on MGG, I am not an expert when it comes to this.  But, I have found that these little steps do honestly help.  And if you’re stressed out or just need pull yourself out of a funk, why not give them a shot?

  1. Power nap.
  2. Color.  Adult coloring books are apparently a thing now.  I recently got my own and– I must admit– it does cheer me up to mindlessly doodle.
  3. Turn off your electronics. 
  4. Exercise.  Granted this inherently is something that will also benefit the ‘future you’, but the ‘now you’ is the one that will get the immediate pay off in endorphins.
  5. Buy flowers. Or anything else that’s beautiful, but usually pushed to the back burner because you know it will only last a few days. You don’t need a reason– they are pretty and that’s all you need to worry about.
  6. Eat cookie dough and/or brownie batter. But, you can’t bake it. That would be for ‘future you’ and that brat is taking a backseat today. Unless you prefer your baked goods actually baked… Then just be sure to eat it all at once.
  7. Call a loved one (or a liked-a-moderate-amount-but-hilariously-chatty one) just to talk.
  8. Pet your dog.  Or cat.  Or hamster.  Or whatever animal buddy you prefer.
  9. Read a book. Not one you want to show off. Not a classic you secretly hate but want people to know you read. Not one that is so hot right now. One that you can get lost in (this is when I like to revisit my ol’ buddy Harry Potter).
  10. Watch your favorite show.
  11. W(h)ine. Drink a glass or let it all out.
  12. Solve a puzzle.  Whether it’s a crossword, or a jig-saw, or a Sudoku, or whatever other puzzles are out there.  You’ll feel accomplished and happier when you get it done (now, you can be one of those people who really challenges themselves with this and constantly finds harder options– or you can be like me and keep it simple for a guaranteed win; both are totally acceptable options).
  13. Get outside. It may be gorgeous out and you can appreciate the sunshine. It may be freezing out and you can appreciate your furnace. Either way, you’re happier. The outdoors really may be the best cure-all.

IMG_4223Of course, I’m not saying to only think of the present and just blow off the future. The control freak inside of me is practically hyperventilating just writing that… But, balance is key.

I worry about the future too much. I constantly plan for it and stress about it and try to change it. And it’s just not worth it. It’s ridiculous to always be looking ahead and preparing for what’s next.  That completely takes away the opportunity to enjoy the now.

I would love to hear any other suggestions to help cheer up the ‘now me’ if you have tips you swear by.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

MARCH POPSUGAR MUST HAVE BOX

It’s that time again! Let’s check out the $142 worth of products I received for my $40 PopSugar Must Have subscription.

The value with this box honestly blows me away each month.


Govino Go-Anywhere Carafe and Water Glass Set ($15)

I have seen Govino all over. And I love, love, love the brand. I mean allowing me to bring my wine to the outdoors without the worry of broken glass? Perfect.

The description of this product says it’s ideal for keeping hydrated and taking your water with you. But I can assure you, my set will be used for wine.

Hello Extra Whitening Fluoride Toothpaste ($5)

This is a product I’ll have to test out and let you know what I think. It’s a toothpaste that’s made with no preservatives and is in all recyclable packaging. Basically better for you and good ol’ Mother Earth. I am just a tiny bit leery because other more-natural toothpastes haven’t worked as well for me. Though, the adorable and trendy packaging does have me feeling pretty optimistic.

Miss Ivy Pearl Five-Tassel Necklace ($38)

Tassels and statement necklaces are pretty in right now. I’m not sure about this piece for my particular style, but I like that it may make me step out of my comfort-zone.

Or… I may pass it along to a much more fashionable friend of mine. Either way, it will be put to good use with the upcoming spring wardrobe change.

Pixi by Petra Book of Beauty, Minimal Makeup ($24)

I am so excited to try out Pixi! This is a brand that I constantly look at, but can never make a decision.

This little book comes with 2 highlighters, 2 cheek tints, and four eyeshadows. It’s designed with a minimal make-up look in mind, so the colors are really natural and right up my alley. I’m hoping this will become a perfect, little travel staple for me.

Nanette Nanette Lepore Classic Rose Gold Watch ($55)

I cannot wait to wear this.

Seriously. This piece is super pretty. The rose gold is right on trend. It’s classy. And it’s neutral enough to dress up or down. I don’t have much else to say. This watch will definitely be a welcome addition in my wardrobe.

*I love that this item is made exclusively for PopSugar, but that does mean it’s a bit hard to find if you want to purchase your own.  eBay has a few listed, as does Poshmark if you want to try your luck on those sites.

Goodie Girl Cookies Toffee Chaos ($5)

Healthy Girl Scout cookies? Uh. Sign me up! These are gluten-free, lower in calories, low fat, and low sugar. And unbelievably enough, they also taste awesome!

As soon as I plow through this bag I think I want to try out their Mint Slims…

***

Another fantastic month from PopSugar! I’m always impressed with the products we receive. I highly, highly recommend this box if you are wanting to venture into the monthly subscription game.

I am a little torn though. My subscription is about up. Do I renew or try out something different (and possibly a little more budget friendly)? What are your thoughts?

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS: Heart Magazine

If you follow me on Instagram you definitely already know about my obsession with Heart magazine.  I mean if I could blow up your Insta with only pictures of me reading this magazine, sitting on top of a mountain, and drinking coffee, I totally would (oh my goodness, I wish I was doing that right now).  So, when Rachel, the editor at Heart, agreed to answer some questions for my A Few Of My Favorite Things series I was ridiculously/unashamedly ecstatic.
IMG_4185First and foremost: I love everything that this magazine represents.  Second: this magazine is based out of Laramie!  Yes, my “you’ve-never-heard-of-it-unless-you’re-a-fellow-Wyomingite” home!  Clearly, I think that is just awesome, because I love Wyoming.  But, I also think that takes a lot of courage and tenacity on Rachel’s part.  Starting a magazine is a daunting task no matter where you live.  But, starting one from a small town with very few connections could easily seem impossible.
I felt that way just starting MGG. Who on earth would want to read a blog written by someone who lives in Laramie, Wyoming? But, Heart took the leap.  And I am so thankful they did.
IMG_3731.JPG
Image not my own. Image from theheartmag.com.
About a month ago, I was lucky enough to get to meet the editor, Rachel, at a #girlsneedgirls night hosted by Heart and my favorite little shop in Laramie, Poppy’s. And I instantly knew Rachel was someone I wanted to grab a glass of wine with and Heart was something I wanted to read as I drank wine.  That’s a serious connection.
Of course, I understand the importance of playing it cool and not coming on too strong.  So, I made the decision to wait a respectable amount of time before asking Rachel if she would be up to answering a few questions for me.
I waited a solid 45 minutes after I got home that night.
Luckily, Rachel didn’t think I was too crazy/over-zealous and she agreed.
IMG_4212***
What inspired you to start Heart?
I started Heart after our son was born and diagnosed with a heart defect. The tumultuous nature of that kind of diagnosis made our family reprioritize without even thinking. We realized how important it is to do the things you’ve always wanted, to say what needs to be said, to eat cookie dough if you want cookie dough. 
So many of us going through life thinking that a) we’re happy closed up in our little shells, never sharing our hearts with anyone and that b) we’ll have time later to do what we want. 
Henry taught me that neither are true, and it’s my mission to help women like me build lives they love and share their hearts NOW, not later.
I have read (both on your site and in the magazine) so many touching stories from women thanks to Heart. How has it impacted you getting to share your work with such strong women?
The women who support and keep Heart going are what it’s all about. Truly, there is nothing like an email submission where the writer says, “Even if this isn’t chosen, I’m so glad you gave me a push to write this down and to tell my story.” Being honest with yourself and what’s in your heart can be life-changing and I’m really glad to provide a platform for women to do that and connect with others in the process.

You recently released Volume 1 of Heart (and I’ve been obsessed with my copy). What are you most proud of in this volume?

I love the diversity of stories in Volume I. There are women from so many different walks of life, with such unique stories, and it’s really cool to see them all fused together in one book. Every single person, whether we relate to them in big ways or not, has something to share and something to teach us– I love that about this book.

What do you hope this year has in store for the magazine?
I hope that this year we are able to continue growing both personally and as a company. We’re all about following dreams but also realizing that we’re doing great right where we are. I hope we can continue to develop that way of living and give ourselves the push to grow and the grace to be OK with staying small. 
Okay, you clearly do amazing work and are practically SuperWoman for creating such a beautiful magazine, but what do you do to relax and unwind?
I’m a couch potato.
Seriously. I love fewer things more than sneaking a piece of cake over to the couch and watching TV in peace and quiet. Especially if the fireplace is on. 
My favorite tip for dealing with acute stress though is to walk outside. I am not a Wyoming native and even after living in Colorado a good part of my life, the weather here is enough to make me a real Scrooge. But, I’ve found over the years that even if I walk to the mailbox, some fresh air on my face can help me to see and think more clearly.
Now, as a fellow Laradise resident, I must ask if you have any favorite places to explore here in Wyo?
My favorite Wyoming gem is the elk refuge in Jackson during the winter. Our anniversary is in December and we often try to make a quick trip to Jackson to celebrate sans kids. There is something absolutely incredible about being surrounded by a sea of majestic animals (even though you’re freezing your butt off)– it almost feels like magic or a Christmas movie or something.
***
I absolutely love what Heart represents.  It encourages women to shoot for the stars, while empowering them to accept where they are in life right now.
As I began putting together this piece, I decided I needed more photos of my copy of the first volume.  However, I was so disappointed because mine is no longer in pristine-perfect-blog-photo-ready condition.  The corners are curled.  The binding is tattered.  The cover is speckled with coffee drips and dog slobber.  And, yes, that combination doesn’t really make for an Instagram worthy shot, but it’s real.  I truly love reading the stories in Heart.  This hasn’t been just a coffee-table-magazine for me (although the beautiful cover and sturdy pages are definitely coffee-table-worthy).  I have read this cover to cover and then some.
IMG_4198If you can get your hands on Heart Volume 1do it! And keep your eye out for Volume 2 this summer.  I’ll be sure to keep you updated.
Thanks for reading,
Sydney

OUTDOOR BLOGS (definitely) WORTH STOPPING BY

IMG_0714Let’s be honest, right now it seems like everyone and their dog has a blog (and of course, since you are reading this you know I am also included in that trendy group).  So, searching through all of the available options to find blogs that really fit your style can be time-consuming.  Luckily, I have done all of that tough work (if you consider reading entertaining articles, looking at beautiful pictures of scenery, and drinking beer on my couch tough work) for you.

Here is a run down of 3 Outdoor Blogs I’m loving right now.

friday inspiration
Image not my own. Image from semi-rad.com

Semi-Rad :for when I need to not take myself so seriously

This is newer discovery of mine, but it is quickly becoming my favorite.  Brendan Leonard presents a mixture of humorous posts, thoughtful essays, and a general love for being outdoors on Semi-Rad.  And it’s awesome!

Of course, I’m not above having a scenic Insta shot of me on top of a mountain staring wistfully at the horizon where the caption reads “The mountains are calling, and I must go,” but the recent post 10 More Useful John Muir Quotes For Your Instagram Caption had me dying.

*Brendan is also a contributing editor at The Dirtbag Diaries which is another incredible and entertainingly different outdoor site to swing by.

Image not my own. Image from brookewillson.com

Fresh Air and Freedom :for when I am missing my friends from home

I discovered this blog the good ol’ fashioned way: stalking all of Brooke Willson’s Instagram pictures late at night while eating ice cream.  At first it was really about some serious hair-envy, but once I move beyond that I just loved her breathtaking shots of the outdoors.  Her pictures don’t seem to be forced or staged, but they are candid and absolutely stunning.  Then, I checked out her post, 10 Drawbacks to Having Caught the Backpackers ‘Travel Bug.’  And I was hooked.

Her posts are from the heart and an easy way to escape reality for awhile. She instantly makes you feel like you’re just chatting with an old friend over coffee (or, let’s be real, wine). Her blog (while still full of  amazing images) has a bit longer write-ups, which I really appreciate.  So many blogs are simply made up of pictures with a sentence here or there–which I love to look at, but I can’t really get lost in it.  Her posts let me embrace my inner bookworm.

*Disclaimer- The only drawback is that she doesn’t post as often as I would like.  It’s only about once or twice a month.  This is possibly because this is a newer blog, but the quality totally makes up for the quantity.

Backcountry skiing Table Mountain Mt. Baker
Image is not my own. Image is from mountainlovely.com

Mountain Lovely : for when I need to feel inspired

Kristan Bauer’s Mountain Lovely is what I like to think of as the more bad-ass-and-skilled version of what I’m trying to do over here at MGG. The real backbone of this blog is to encourage women to get out there and explore, but there is honestly something for everyone on the site.  She includes travel logs, climbing tips, gear review, skiing insight, plus basically anything and everything outdoors related– and she seriously knows her stuff.

It’s really inspiring to see how Kristan dedicates her time to balancing a full work load and making the most of each adventure. In one of her latest posts, 48 Hours in Telluride, CO, she shows how you can make the most of a short weekend getaway.  And it is absolutely worth the read.  These few months of Spring Fever, before summer sets in, definitely call for weekend getaways to keep me sane.

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Be sure to go check these guys out and marvel at how different, but equally awesome each of these blogs are.  Also, please leave me any recommendations you have for outdoor (or any) blogs I need to add to my reading list.  I would love to make these kind of posts a regular thing here on MGG.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

 

FAVORITE SKINCARE: Where to spend and where to save

Skincare can get to be ridiculously expensive. There are products out there that are apparently made with gold and the sweat of Olympic athletes that claim to make you look like a mix of Christie Brinkley and Chrissy Teigen or something. Or at least that is how they are priced. But, not all skincare needs to break the bank. This post will quickly cover a few of my favorite products for my skin– some that were a bit of a splurge and some that helped me save a bit of cash.

IMG_4139As the weather gets warmer I just want to be outside more and wear makeup less. But, I still want that flawless looking skin.

I’ve mentioned before that my skin has had some serious troubles. And while it’s still not perfect, it has definitely improved thanks to my latest skincare routine.

Now, I’ve tried just about everything when it comes to my complexion. Every crazy Pinterest mask. Every “beauty-boosting” tea. Every expensive face cream. All of it. But here’s what I have found that actually makes a difference in my skin.

IMG_4142Orgins High-Potency Night-A-Mins

Nighttime moisturizers are so important in your skincare routine. They stay on your skin for such a long time and they help repair any damage that may have been done during the day. Personally, I do a ton of damage: I touch my face all the time—even though I know you’re not supposed to, I wear makeup for usually about 10 or 11 hours, I sweat like I’m a prize winning fighter in Vegas during my workout, and the harsh Wyoming wind isn’t doing my skin any favors either. So, I need some serious damage control.

I love this moisturizer!  It is a bit pricier than I normally like to spend ($43), but not outrageous like some night creams.  This is super hydrating, but absorbs quickly, so you don’t feel slimy as you go to bed.  My skin doesn’t feel tight or dry at all when I wake up.  And I may be imagining this, but I really think my skin looks more plump and just all around healthier!

Plus, this smells like oranges.  Not in a fake-gross way (like that orange oil cleaner I swear my mom bought by the gallon when I was a kid– I’ve been pretending to be an adult for years now but have yet to oil one single piece of furniture, and I’m doing just fine), but in a fresh-squeezed-orange-juice way.

IMG_4133Radha Beauty Oils

Ok, I know the idea of rubbing oil on your face may be terrifying. But, if you find the right one for you, it can work wonders. So many products designed to treat acne dry out your skin… which makes your skin feel the need to produce more oil… which leads to more breakouts. But, if you apply a small amount of oil, your skin won’t feel the need to produce as much. I’m not a scientist– but I’ve read tons of different articles by people who do actually know what their talking about on this and the logic makes sense to me.

Now, “Beauty Oils” are a major fad right now and they can get to be majorly expensive. I’m such a sucker for fancy packaging and trendy items: I’ve found myself with an overpriced, designer, ‘miracle working’ oil in my late-night-wine-fueled online shopping cart a few times. But don’t fall into that trap!

These Radha Oils sell for about $10-$15 on Amazon (that’s for 4 oz. of product too– not the messily 1 oz. most brands like to sell you) and they are incredible! I have the Jojoba and Rosehip oils, but they have tons of options for your skin needs.

* I must say the Jojoba is my current fav as it is helping clear up my skin and moisturize it. The Rosehip I only use about once a week to help with premature wrinkles (another consequence of dry skin). But the Jojoba I use everyday. 

IMG_4141Here is where I was planning to put a generic disclaimer about everyone’s skin being different and how you should just try different options until you find what works for you. But you already know that.

What I am here to tell you is that nighttime moisturizers are a great area to invest in your skincare. Origins is my favorite brand for this and if the Night-A-Mins isn’t right for you they have other amazing options. Then, you can save a bit with your oils. Radha has tons of options and they are super budget friendly.

I would love to hear your suggestions, too. What skincare is your absolute must have?

Thanks for reading,

Sydney