Start a winter tradition that gets you outside

Living in a super cold and snowy place can give you some serious cabin fever during the winter months. Making an effort to get outside can be challenging, but there is plenty you can do to break that ‘fever.’

Of course many people ski or snowboard, which is a great way to get outside, but for those that don’t do either I have another option.

My boyfriend and his friends started a curling tournament last winter that has grown into an annual tradition. We’re outside for hours taking in the cold while still getting to socialize. The curling tournament has turned into about a 20 person event and as long as you have a patch of ice you really can set up anywhere.

We do our tournament at Holter Lake. The boys clear off a patch of ice and spray paint the target or ‘house.’ For the ‘stones’ they freeze colored water in milk jugs. The brooms we use are just from Home Depot. 🙂

The tournament is not difficult to set up and the rules of curling are pretty easy to understand. So, there you go any easy way to get all your friends together and get outside this winter.

In addition to the curling we have a fire going to keep those not playing warm. We are always prepared with plenty of beverages to also keep us warm. That part is of course optional! 😉

In addition to getting outside it’s a great way to always have a weekend with friends, especially ones that don’t live by you. That’s exactly what we use this weekend for and it works great.

Starting a tradition means that everyone knows your event will happen every year and they can plan for it. We all have crazy schedules and it can be hard to connect with people. Especially when it is freezing otuside and roads are bad.

We all love a good tradition (FACT!) and that’s why the annual Holter Lake Curling Tournament has turned into a success! So, what are you waiting for ?! Start planning your winter tradition today!

xx

Keep wandering,

Morgan

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Taking a look at my veganism

Why be vegan?

I get this question a lot and all the vegans I know also get asked this question ALL the time. There is no right or wrong answer to this question and most vegans have different answers, but they usually revolve around animal rights and health.

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Why am I vegan?

I decided to try veganism when I saw I needed a change in my diet. I wanted to cut out dairy for a while, but never had the self-discipline to do it. Then I watched the Netflix documentary “What the Health.” I saw how animals were being treated, how the food I was eating was actually made, and the nasty effects eating animal products could have on my body. That was enough for me. I actually just switched to veganism right away. I know this is not for everyone and some people need to cut out animal products in sections. If you want to be successful in this lifestyle than changing your diet at your own pace is key.

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How’s your vegan diet going?

I want to go back to the above sentence where I say that veganism is a lifestyle. Once changing over to the vegan lifestyle I got a lot of questions about how being on the vegan ‘diet’ is. Veganism is not a diet. It’s a choice to be kind to all things. Of course cutting out cheese and ice cream will help improve your health, but there is plenty of processed vegan food out there that isn’t healthy. After switching to a plant based diet I do feel healthier and I did lose weight, but that was because I am constantly checking ingredients and avoiding anything ( even the vegan ones) that don’t make me feel good. Checking ingredients on everything has become part of my lifestyle, and some may say it’s annoying and an inconvenience, but I am proud be part of a lifestyle that promotes kindness.

 

Why I will never go back?

The answer to this question is in my last paragraph. Be Kind. When I recently traveled to Portland I went to the Vegan Mini Mall. This mini mall consists of an all vegan grocery store, a vegan clothing store ( no leather products, wool etc.),a vegan bakery, and a vegan tattoo shop. The clothing store called Herbivore had stickers, magnets, shirts, literally just about anything with the phrase ‘be kind’ scrolled across it. This resonated with me. I want to be kind and I know sometimes I’m not. However, being part of a community that just wants people to be kind is helping me focus on that. That’s why I love veganism because it is backed by a community of kindness and there is nothing wrong with wanting to be kind.

Keep wandering,

Morgan

A MUCH needed update

Sorry that I have been straight up M.I.A. from my blog it’s been a crazy two months. I had an amazing trip to New York for the holidays where I was able to spend Christmas with my family. This was the first time that all 5 of us have been together for Christmas in YEARS! It was pretty magical! ❤

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To kick off the new year I also took a new job that I am very excited about. If you hear me calling myself the garbage lady it’s only partially true. 😉 I have taken over the public relations, marketing, and events coordinating for Republic Services. I am extremely happy with this decision and ready to help educate communities throughout Montana about waste services.

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Bryn and I also took a trip to Portland and if you couldn’t tell from my Instagram I absolutely thrived there. From all the vegan foods to the super funky furniture stores and every good beer in between, we had the best time! This was the first vacation we have taken just the two of us in over 2 years!

Now, let’s take a moment to really relish in all that Portland had to offer…

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I’m so excited about 2019, it’s already been great to me so far and we are only a month in! I want to continue posting my vegan recipes on here for you all. ( I have a red curry one that is actually THE best!) Of course I will continue to post about Yellowstone too. I promise I will have a winter post for the park soon as well.

I want to know what you all want to see more of this year too! (besides consistency lol) Please feel free to drop me a line  and let me know. I can’t wait to continue on this journey with you!

Keep wandering,

Morgan

Holiday gift guide for National Park Lovers

There are plenty of gift guides out there, but if you have a person in your life that just loves traveling to our National Parks here is some inspo for you!

1. National Park Scented Candles by Parks Project $34
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I absolutely want my home smelling like Yellowstone! These candles are certain to bring back those amazing adventure memories to the home of anyone that has spent time in any of the National Parks. Parks Project scents include Yosemite, Zion, Big Sur, Rocky Mountain, Joshua Tree, Glacier, and of course my favorite Yellowstone. 😉

2. Yoho & Co. Pennants $75- $88

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Add some National Park Decor to your home. These pennants are hand made in Canada and can also be customized to bring the colors and locations you want to life.

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3. Pendleton 3-Pack National Park Socks Gift Box $32.50

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The Pendleton National Park socks pair well with cozy fires or long scenic hikes. The true Park lover in your life will love this gift box. Choose the Acadia/ Olympic/ Yosemite box, the Glacier/ Crater/ Rainier box, or the Yellowstone/ Grand Canyon/ Rocky Mountain box.

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4. American Eagle National Parks Apparel 

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American Eagle has just launched a National Parks line with Tailgate. You can find hoodies, crew necks, and tees all repping your favorite park.

5. National Parks Annual Pass $80

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This maybe the best gift of all. The National Parks Annual Pass gives you unlimited entry to any National Park. The pass is good for a year and if you are planning on three National Park trips it is absolutely worth it!

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Happy Holidays and Happy Wandering,

Morgan

 

 

Packing for your Fall YNP trip

Fall in Yellowstone National Park is amazing. There is so much wildlife to be seen! The Fall colors and the snow on top of the mountains. It is literally perfect ! ❤

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But this time of year means the weather can change in a flash and being prepared is always key.

So, what do I pack for my overnight stay at the Park?

Clothes:

Starting with shoes I will pack 3 pairs. I know this seems excessive, but I wear a comfortable, yet stylish pair of shoes. Ones that I will want to wear out to dinner in Gardiner.  😉  I pack hiking boots, obviously, and my Chacos. The Boiling River is an awesome place to stop and soak in the hot springs. Having sandals with you will come in handy for this! Also for your feet grab enough pairs of socks. I always have 2 pairs of hiking socks with me.

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Pack leggings and jeans. If I am doing activities in the Park leggings are great, but again if you don’t want to wear hiking clothes all weekend having jeans will be nice.

LAYERS! I will wear a t-shirt and then have a flannel over that and pack a Patagonia fleece. Different elevations throughout the Park can be colder, but you may get warm while hiking. You will be happy when you can put on a jacket or remove a flannel. I also always pack a rain coat! Seriously, the weather in the Park is so unpredictable. I have been there in July and it has snowed!

I like to grab a beanie and a ball cap for my head. Ball caps are great for hikes, especially if you like to keep the sun off your face. The beanie is for warmth in the event you do get caught in that late Summer snow storm!  😉

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Cooler:

We invested in a Yeti Cooler pretty much for our Yellowstone trips. We never know how long we will be hiking or fishing so, having provisions is important. Any cooler will do the trick though.

I grab a bunch of Clif Bars before heading out. If you are hiking around you will be happy to have some of those guys. I will also pack hummus and pitas, veggies, fruit, and chips.

There have been many times where we have gotten off the trail and just hung out watching some bison while snacking. World’s best dining view! 🙂

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Packing multiple water bottles is a must! There are plenty of fountains around the Park, but you never know how far away you will be from one. So, having 3 or 4 with you is always a good back up.

Some of the other miscellaneous items you will want to have in the car are portable chargers, bear spray, chap stick, and a back pack.

The more prepared you are the more enjoyable Yellowstone is!

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Happy wandering,

Morgan 

Pumpkin oatmeal mini muffins

I have really been focusing on good breakfast options lately. These mini muffins have all the fall feels. They are vegan and can can be gluten free is you used gluten free oats! I got the recipe from the Tone It Up 31 day challenge and then modified it a little bit.

Recipe:

1 1/2 cups rolled oats

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce

2 tbsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp melted coconut oil

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

Set oven at 350 degrees. Grease muffin tray with coconut oil. Mix all ingredients into a large bowl until it forms a thick batter. Pour batter into muffin tray. I like to fill each tin about half way with batter. Bake for 20 minutes. Then let cool for 10 minutes before removing.

I don’t use cupcake liners or anything and the muffins are perfectly easy to take on the go!

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My favorite vegan granola

If you are buying granola from the store STOP now! Whether you are vegan or not store brought granola is absolutely loaded with sugar.

To avoid the high sugar intake start making your own granola. It seriously cuts the amount of sugar in half.

This granola that I am loving is 100% vegan and can be paired with unsweetened almond milk or just eaten plain.

Recipe:

2 1/2 cups of rolled oats

1 cup unsweetened toasted coconut flakes

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup almond butter

1/4 cup agave or maple syrup

3 Tbsp sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup dairy free chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 340 degrees. In a large bowl mix oats, coconut flakes, sugar, and salt in large bowl.

In a small saucepan heat almond butter, coconut oil, agave, and vanilla extract. Mix until almond butter is melted.

Pour heated mixture over oat mixture and stir until the oats are evenly coated.

Lay wax paper on a cookie sheet and spread granola evenly. Cook for 20-25 minutes.

Remove granola from cookie sheet and mix into a bowl with chocolate chips ( I use Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Morsels. These have the least chalky taste to me).

Enjoy! ❤

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