I’m Back, Bitches.

When I moved back to Montana from New York, I had big visions of what I was going to do with this blog, and in my life. Well, you know what they say about plans – they often go awry.

I ditched this blog about a year into my life here in Montana in favor of working. I had a full-time job at and office and a part-time job at a restaurant. I worked on developing what I thought would be my career, while setting myself up for financial security. I worked 60+ hours a week – because I thought that’s what I should be doing. I gave up spending time in the outdoors, getting away to enjoy the nature that brought me back to this valley in the first place.

And I was miserable. I didn’t even exactly know how miserable I was until I left my office job, and many people in my life came forward praising that decision, telling me that I never seemed to quite love it. I stuck with it because I’ve been afraid to not have that stability. I stuck with it because it made me feel like I had a direction. I stuck with it because it was what I thought should be my life path, and all of my goals had boiled down to following this job in the direction of a career.

But all of this left me worse off. Not because the job was terrible, but because the job made me terrible. I wasn’t the friend, daughter, or girlfriend I could’ve been in the past two years. My health took a huge sideline, and I had virtually zero creative outlet. A far cry from who I used to be.

I’m not exactly sure what direction I plan on going now. I know that I’m going to create a better work/life balance. I know that I’m going to take some time to work on myself (because let’s face it, we’re all works in progress). I’m going to get all the creative projects that have been floating around in my head for years off the ground. I’m going to explore, and enjoy life. I’m going to stop focusing on making money and focus on making memories.

That being said, I’m not even entirely sure what direction this blog is going to take. I can’t really foresee myself doing style posts, making cocktails, and really much of what I’ve spent the past, I don’t know? 8 years focusing on? But I know that I need it in my life again. I need to put the work in, I need to be writing, I need to be taking pictures, I need to be sharing what I love with the world around me.

So for those of you that have stuck around for these past 2 years, and those of you that may be new to this, thank you for your patience, support, and your time. I can’t wait to see what new direction this all takes

Documentary to Watch : The True Cost

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Anyone who knows me, knows that I love clothes. I collect vintage dresses, love nothing more than a fun pair of shoes, and lately I’ve been shopping for new, low-cost, corporate work clothes.

And I’ve also been pretty vocal about my thoughts on being more green when it comes to fashion as well.

Well, lately, with my career change coming with an unexpected pay cut, I’ve been buying up cheap, poorly made pieces, as a way to build a more office friendly wardrobe.

But as part of my new “watch one documentary a week” goal, this week I picked The True Cost, and guys, I think I messed up somewhere along the way. I used to be an incredibly eco-conscious person, and while I still take several measures to keep a low carbon footprint, I have to admit, sometimes fashion is a last resort.

The True Cost talks about the fashion industry’s impact on the world around us. It discusses everything from advertising used as propaganda, to the effects of cotton chemicals in our environment, to the working conditions of workers in both fair-trade and sweatshop style production. The True Cost aims to help open your eyes to the industry that ranks second in pollution, and one of the top in revenue in the world. 

A blog that discusses a love of fashion might be a weird place to discuss a movie that vehemently opposes the ideals of mass consumption, but I think that one of the messages you can take away from this movie, is that consumption is going to happen regardless. Let’s be real, there will be times when I buy new clothes, and there will be times when I buy cheap, sweatshop labor clothing, but my consumption is going to go from conspicuous to conscious consumption.

I’ll try to choose clothes that are either used (so as not adding to supply and demand), American Made (which will be secondhand most likely), and I won’t shop just for the sake of shopping. 

The True Cost is currently streaming on Netflix. 

Cobalt Lake + Two Medicine Pass

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This past weekend I did the biggest hike I’ve done so far. A whopping 16 miles round trip. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve never been the biggest hiker, but checking a hike this big off my list has definitely given me the bug.

The hike to Cobalt Lake is absolutely gorgeous. Lots of little streams, tons of beautiful Alpine wildflowers, and even Rockwell Falls a mere 2.2 miles in. We made pretty great time to Cobalt Lake, and although there’s a bit of a climb, it’s definitely doable.

Initially, we had only planned on hiking to the lake, located in the Two Medicine area of Glacier Park.  But by the time we got to the lake, and it was still only noon, and after a quick (and absolutely freezing dip), and some lunch, we decided to see how far up the pass we could make it.

I’m not going to lie, those were the slowest and longest 2.2 miles up I’ve ever done in my life. But once you got to the ridge, the views were absolutely spectacular. The trail gets pretty hairy in the last half a mile or so, and when I say hairy, I mean it. There were moments I was literally lifting myself up onto rocks to get through the trail which pretty much dropped off the side of the mountain on one side. We were hiking on shale a big portion of the way, and when storm clouds rolled in, it definitely left us a bit scared.

But hey, I hiked my first pass! This was a definite check off the bucket list, and has made me want to do something crazy….hike a 10,000 foot mountain. I know, I know, that might be childs play for some people, but I definitely have a new goal.

Two Medicine Pass is definitely not for beginners. The elevation picks up quickly, and the weather can turn fast, so I would recommend it for avid hikers only.

DISTANCE: Cobalt Lake/Two Medicine Pass: 5.7/2.2 : 7.9 miles one way
ELEVATION: 7,641ft
ELEVATION GAIN: 2,300ft
DON’T FORGET: Sunscreen if it’s sunny, lots of water, and poles! I’ve been given a hard time when I carry poles, but on a trail like this, believe me, they came in handy, I definitely fell more than once.
WORDS OF ADVICE: Bring rain gear! Up on a high ridge the weather can turn quickly, and you definitely don’t want to be out there if the weather turns

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glacier national park, two medicine, two medicine pass, cobalt lake, hiking, montana, the native transplant

glacier national park, two medicine, two medicine pass, cobalt lake, hiking, montana, the native transplant

glacier national park, two medicine, two medicine pass, cobalt lake, hiking, montana, the native transplant

glacier national park, two medicine, two medicine pass, cobalt lake, hiking, montana, the native transplant

glacier national park, two medicine, two medicine pass, cobalt lake, hiking, montana, the native transplant

glacier national park, two medicine, two medicine pass, cobalt lake, hiking, montana, the native transplant

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The Best Drunk Cell Phone Trick I’ve Ever Heard Of…

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The other morning I woke up to a stream of text messages. And not the good kind you’d like to wake up to, a stream of angry, incoherent, text messages. Initially, I rolled my eyes, turned off my phone and decided to get another forty minutes of sleep. But after that forty minutes, when I reread the messages I was in complete, and utter shock.

What. The. Eff.

I could not believe what I was reading, but then I looked at the time stamps and they started around 2:00AM and ended at about 2:30. Suddenly, it all made sense, I had stood my ground with a friend of mine the night before and after the bar closed and he wasn’t distracted by shots, beers, and his friends, he decided to let me have it.

Needless to say, he was so embarrassed the next day that he didn’t even respond when I told him we needed to talk about this out of line behavior (go figure). And let’s be real, we have all done this. I know I’m totally guilty of it, and in my younger days, many a Saturday morning would be spent scrolling through my phone, completely embarrassed by what I had said the night before.

Luckily, I’ve gotten better at it…..sort of.

When I was discussing this with a couple girlfriends the other night, my friend Rhonda had the greatest piece of advice I had ever heard:

When she’s tipsy and wants to send a text message that might be iffy, she sends it to herself first. She then waits 20-30 minutes, rereads it, and decides whether or not it’s worth sending. 

Is this not the most brilliant idea you’ve ever heard of? The instant gratification of being able to say whatever you want to someone through text message can be soooooooo damaging. Arguments, bloodshed, wars, all over a misread text message after one too many glasses of vino (or tequila shots in my case #sorrynotsorry).

This method definitely takes a bit of patience, which I’m definitely lacking, but I would much rather wait the 20-30 minutes to send a text message than deal with the possibly negative repercussions the next day, amiright? 

Watermelon Mint Refreshers

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The Native Transplant is most definitely not The Dandy Life. While, the focus is different on this blog as opposed to my previous one, there are certain things you can’t really take away from me. And one of those is….a love of cocktails.

What can I say? You can take the girl outta the bar, but you’ll never take the bartender out of the girl.

The other day, I was drifting off to sleep for an after work nap, when it hit me that I had both watermelon and mint that needed to be used up ASAP. So naturally, I thought of adding some vodka (hey, it was a Friday afternoon), for a light and refreshing cocktail.

Needless to say, I’m addicted! And the best part? They’re super low calorie, which means I can have a couple and my bikini body will stay intack (hahahahah, bikini body….right…)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cubed watermelon
  • 5-6 sprigs of mint
  • 1 oz. vodka
  • Soda water
  • Lime for garnish
  1. Blend the watermelon and mint leaves in a blender.
  2. Pour the vodka over ice, top with an equal amount of the watermelon and mint mixture.
  3. Top with soda water and garnish with lime!

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Iceberg Lake

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Can I just take a second and reiterate how happy I am to be back in Montana? Because, the more I get outside and enjoy my time, the happier I am here. And this past weekend, I got to check a bucket list hike off my list.

I’ve been wanting to do Iceberg Lake since I was a kid. I had seen pictures of the floating pieces of ice and it became a must-do. Unfortunately, there are a ton of factors that make this hike a difficult one to do.

First off, I feel like the trail closes every year due to grizzly sightings, and in addition to that, if you go too late in the season, you risk there not being any ice left. So it becomes a bit of a time sensitive issue.

So we decided to get it done nice and early this year. We headed over to Many Glacier nice and early Saturday morning, and took the Going to the Sun Highway over (word of advice: they’re doing some construction in St. Mary’s so make sure you add 20-30 minutes to your travel time).

We ended up not getting on the trail until close to 11. The hike is short, 4.9 miles, and the elevation gain isn’t too bad. We arrived at the lake just before 1 PM, where we enjoyed our lunch and spent some time relaxing next to the water and watching icebergs calve in the water.

The roundtrip was much quicker, but was super busy. Truthfully, I was kind of blown away by the lack of trail etiquette (I’ll be writing a post on this coming up), and it ended up slowing us down a bit more than it should’ve. Luckily, we had some fun and made up some time by doing some light trail running when we could!

If you make it to Glacier Park, and feel like doing a bucket list hike that’s not too strenuous, Iceberg Lake is an awesome choice!

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DISTANCE: 4.9 Miles each way
ELEVATION: 6169 Feet
ELEVATION GAIN: 1275 Feet
DON’T FORGET: Sunscreen and lots of water!!! This hike has hardly any shade, so make sure you beat the heat!
WORDS OF ADVICE: DON’T drink the water. It may seem like awesome, refreshing spring water, but unless it’s properly disinfected, you could get sick…we actually saw tourists doing this. Happy giardia!

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Here’s a fun little video of us doing our own “ice bucket challenge”!

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Summer Reading List

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Ever since I learned that you could borrow ebooks through our local library, I’ve been a reading fiend. Here are a few of the books on my summer reading list!

2015 Best Bathing Suits

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Michael Kors Floral Suit / Moeva London Maillot de Bain / Seafolly Summer Garden Maillot / Beach to Beach Sporty Suit / Patchwork Two Piece / Farrah Maillot / Mara Hoffman Cutout Suit / Frauen Taille Bikini / Ruffle Maillot

One of the best things about online shopping (and the reason I do it so often), is that you can buck the current fashion trends and literally find anything you need. And one of the best aspects of this? You can find a bathing suit in any style you want.

Being big busted (and I cannot lie), finding a bathing suit can be quite the challenge, especially in a small town. So I’ve pulled together some of the best bathing suits of 2015. Whether you’re classic, sporty, or a bit more flirty, there are some amazing suits out there for any style and body type!

Shop the Post! 

Weekend Reading

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This was the first full week at my new job. I’m currently only there part-time, but so far, am loving it. It is a complete 180 from what I’ve spent most of my adulthood doing, but let’s just say that my type-a personality is doing really well there.

One of the best parts about foraying from bartending to a 9-5 style job is that I’ve really gotten into a routine. It’s calmed my life down a bit, and has helped me get into a more normal style of life (well, normal is relative isn’t it?). Here’s what’s on my weekend reading list:

Scalplock Lookout

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I have never been too much of a hiker. I grew up right outside of Glacier Park, and while I grew up hiking, it was sometimes a struggle to get me to go. But I’ve been forcing myself to get out and make that change.

A few weeks ago, we had plans to go hike Mount Aeneas. We had gotten a late start (thank you Whitewater Fest), and figured it would be a good starter hike to the season. Little did we know, the road was snowed in for the last two miles.

Not wanting to waste the day, we started throwing ideas out there. Unfortunately, none of them were very good, so we pulled out the Glacier Park map to see if there was anything at all we might be able to do. I stumbled upon Scalplock Mountain, a hike none of us had ever even heard of.

It seemed like something we could easily do. Only 4.7 miles each way, and 3,000 feet of elevation. Ummm…..was I sniffing glue? Scalplock Mountain was not. easy. at. all.

Truth be told, it was absolutely killer for the first hike of the year. The trail had a lot of downed trees, and the last half a mile was completely snowed over. We had to break our own trail for part of it, and let’s just say, I was really happy to have a set of poles with me for that part of the hike.

In fact, it was so difficult that I gave up early. We came upon a big clearing, and I could see the lookout at the top, and it just seemed impossible. So I sat down, told my mom and our friend Brian to go on without me, I was just done.

But I hate being a quitter.

I ended up eating my sandwich and deciding to press on and finish about ten minutes behind the group. I made it to the top, with a lot of huffing and puffing. Doing the last half mile of the hike alone was reflective, and more of a mental challenge than I could imagine.

This was my first fire lookout hike, and it won’t be my last. Now I want to do all of the lookouts, hello addiction. They are challenging, but the views are amazing and so rewarding.

Scalplock Lookout

Distance: 4.7 Miles
Elevation: 6,919 Feet
Elevation Gain: 3,079 Feet
What to Bring: Water, Good Boots, and Poles if you’re hiking in the late spring/early summer

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