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

The power of the ‘booch’

So, it seems no matter where you turn there is kombucha. There are kombucha bars, grocery stores are putting taps in and even Wal-Mart is carrying bottles of it.

For some, you might be like what is kombucha actually ?!  Well, it’s essentially fermented tea. Which, I know sounds so gross and that is what I always thought too!

Then I got out of my comfort zone and picked up a bottle and just like so many others I was hooked.

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There may be some debate about what health benefits kombucha has, but most makers will tell you that it helps with digestion and inflammation.

This claim comes from the probiotics that are in each glass of ‘booch’. These probiotics give your gut healthy bacteria.

There are many other claims like prevention of liver and heart disease, but of course none of this is proven. As for me since adding some Kombucha to my diet I have noticed the following benefits.

First, I definitely see help with digestion. I have a weak stomach to say the least. I could eat the healthiest meal and if one thing doesn’t agree with me I get stomach pains. On days I drink a glass of Kombucha I don’t have any issues.

I also feel that it gives me a boost of energy. I like to drink a glass in the middle of the day if I start to feel low energy. I have noticed that I will get the perk I need. Plus I love that kombucha has a fizz to it, which I also believe could be beneficial for those who are addicted to Diet Coke ( I used to be guilty of this 😦 ) !!

Now, you may be sold and headed out to the local kombucha bar to get your fix, but there are a few things that I like to pay attention to when I buy mine.

Check the amount of fruit juice. I like to look for ones with as little as possible because then you are just getting an unnecessary sugar fix.

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Also check to make sure there are no artificial sweeteners because again what’s the point of putting artificial stuff in our bodies!

There are a lot of other things that you can look into when purchasing like water filtration and pasteurization. So, I say just do your research before you dive in!

I love trying out different flavors and brands now that I know what to look for and I certainly can not get enough of it!

 

#keepwandering

 

The best ships

“Congrats! You landed your first job and it’s in Great Falls Montana…”

Moving away for your first job can be scary, and it can be even scarier when it’s across the country. Not to mention working in a high stress very low paying job can take a toll on your morale.

However, I am so thankful I took that job in Great Falls because it brought so many great people into my life.

In the world of television news you never know who is going to walk into a newsroom. It’s no secret that it’s an industry full of divas and competitive people who will do anything to get ahead. But then it also has its gems.

My first job gave me a lot of stress, but it also brought me lasting friendships. When work was rough I had these two to help me get through.

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Now 2 years later, we don’t work in the same place, and don’t live in the same cities (or state), but still act like there has been no time away.

It’s pretty awesome being able to pick up a friendship just where you left it even when we are all in different places in life, our careers, and even physically. Being able to reconnect the way I can with these two ladies is something special.

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The best ships truly are friendships.

#keepwandering

 

100 rides and counting

This week I completed my 100th ride at Zephyr, an indoor cycling studio here in Bozeman. It combines an AMAZING workout in a funky cool setting, and some awesome instructors.

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I started riding at Zephyr in the beginning of January and in about 5 and 1/2 months I cycled my 100th class, so I am pretty impressed with myself! 😉

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I want to use this post of finding a fitness routine that I absolutely love to address body image and how just one place really changed the perspective I had about myself.

I have always struggled with body image. I can remember feeling self-conscious in dance class when I was little. Right there that’s a red flag and can not be healthy. My struggles continued through high school, college, and pretty much until about a month ago.

I have done a lot of unhealthy things to be super skinny, which I know in the long term only had a negative effect on my health.

For those who have been keeping up with my blog also know that about a year and a half ago was when my mental health started to shift and I gained weight. I was really feeling bad about myself. There was a point where I felt that everyone was judging me for how I looked and that was not a good feeling on top of all the stress and anxiety I had.

Both men and women struggle with body image, but how can we build ourselves up and just feel good?

Zephyr, quitting my job, and a super supportive boyfriend helped me, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what you need to find. What I do know is that as soon as I started feeling healthy there was a shift in my entire life.

I am no expert, but I do want to share the changes that I made to start feeling good!

First I really looked at who I surrounded myself with and who’s comments to take to heart. My boyfriend was always there to build me up. Whether it was a “you look great today,” or an “I just want you to be healthy,” hearing  those messages is so helpful. Especially when you are having as much self doubt as I was.

Second, I found something that made me feel healthy and good. That was Zephyr. For you it could be yoga or walking your dog. Really anything that gets you moving, because I believe Elle Woods set it best in ‘Legally Blonde’ “Exercise gives you endorphins, and endorphins make you happy….”

The third thing I did was change my diet. Now, I am not going to tell you to give up ice cream or pizza because I certainly did not! However, I do find myself eating healthier and not having a diet super high in processed sugars has actually helped my anxiety. I used to pop a sugar cookie in my mouth or order sugar filled coffee drinks and it used to give me crazy anxiety and I had some bad crashes. Eating foods with actual nutritional value has improved my mood, and cut back cravings. All going back to just feeling healthy!

Just these three things helped me so much! I could bombard you with more, but nobody wants to read that long 😉 !

Let’s just keep building each other up and here’s to the next 100 rides!

#keepwandering

 

Open your heart, mind & soul

It’s amazing what removing the toxic in your life can do for the soul. Over the last two months I have really been trying new things that I know I normally would never have thought about doing before.

 

First, this winter season I decided to learn to snowboard. For me doing something that I know I won’t be good at immediately scares the pants off of me! Yet, at 26 years old I took two snowboarding lessons this winter. One was from my good friend Jake. Seriously, anyone that is thinking about snowboarding for the first time young or old hit this guy up at Showdown. He spent the whole day with me and I somewhat had the hang of it by the end!

Then about 2 months later I decided to put myself in another lesson at Red Lodge Mountain. I totally felt like a goon being an adult that needed a lesson. Still I just told myself to try it and I did! It was awesome too. I was way more confident on the board this time and  was able to get down the learning area by myself (baby steps)!

Finally, the last weekend of the season was here and I find myself at Big Sky Resort (arguably the best skiing in the country).

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I missed all the times for the lessons, but for the first time in a LONG time I felt confident enough to just go and try something on my own. I rented the boots and board and up the magic carpet I went and spent half a day just going over what I was taught. I would say by the end I actually looked like I knew what I was doing and I am so excited to keep going next year!

Another thing I have found myself enjoying so much is riding my bike to work. I don’t consider my self super coordinated, and I have never really rode a bike as a means of transportation. Yet, I have this adorable sand cruiser and it was about time I used it. I figured out my bike route and the hand signaling. Now, I ride my bike as much as I can!

Riding my bike around was something I always thought about, but was too scared to actually do it. It is honestly ridiculous that I didn’t even have the self confidence to ride my bike…thank goodness that is behind me!

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The last thing that I have opened myself up to is being able to get on the river in a boat. Again I know this sounds so strange, but I have been invited by my boyfriend and his friends multiple times to go in their drift boats and fish. In all honesty I don’t like fly fishing that much and it always intimidated me to be out with them when I don’t really like fishing.

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There was no reason to be intimidated or afraid and I finally said I would go with them. I actually had a really great time. I was super relaxed and just hung out and took pictures and chatted with them for the float.

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I know these aren’t huge life altering things that I have been trying, but honestly just opening myself to anything out of my comfort zone has been so hard for me in the past. Now, I realize I was just holding myself back from enjoying life!

I plan on continuing to open myself to new experiences and activities that I am unsure of.  Instagram has been full of ‘living my best life’ captions lately and I know many of you readers can’t stand that. Well I’m sorry, but I finally feel like I am living my best life (don’t hate.)

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If I can inspire just one person to come out of their comfort zone and try something new then I am doing my job. ❤

#keepwandering