Book Review- Spinster by Kate Bolick

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It has been ages since I’ve had a chance to review a book for any sort of blogging platform. And while I’ve been reading like a crazy person, I haven’t taken to reviewing one in a very long time. But I just finished Spinster by Kate Bolick, and oh. em. gee., I need to talk about it ASAP.

Spinster is about Kate Bolick’s realizations that she will probably never want to get married. Having had that realization at a young age, Bolick talks about her various relationship experiences through the eyes of the people she become to see as those cut from the same cloth, or as she calls them, her “awakeners”. She discusses women such as Edna St. Vincent Millay, Neith Boyce, and Edith Wharton through the eyes of their writing, as well as their personal relationships.

And through this, Kate Bolick has become one of my awakeners. I have never been one to really think too much about marriage. I’ve never necessarily sought out the idea of being married, or having a family (although never say never), and for some reason I always sort of felt like there was something wrong with me for this.

It’s so ingrained within our society to find a partner to share our lives with, and while this is a great idea, it’s nice to know that there are a lot of people out there who don’t see this as a be all and end all of our lives.

Bolick turns the word spinster into a positive term instead of the negative one that it is usually associated with. She discusses the history of the term, and how by accepting and becoming comfortable with the term, we can take it back and own it as one of our own. We can manage to take this idea that has so easily made us social outcasts, and revitalize it into a creation of a life we are comfortable with. A life of our choosing, and of our own.

It’s a book that has resonated with me, and stuck to me like glue. To check it out, pick up a copy here! I’d love to know what you think!

Must Have Summer Accessories for the Great Outdoors

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One thing about moving back to Montana from the city, is that I’m at a great disadvantage when it comes to being well prepared for the great outdoors. I mean, I didn’t exactly need hiking poles, or a tent in the city, and now that I’m back, I’m struggling to catch up.

Goodbye Louboutin Fund, Hello Camping Gear amiright?

But with the few outdoor adventures I’ve had so far this year, I’m quickly learning what I’ll definitely need in the upcoming summer months. Here are my must have accessories for the great outdoors:

  1. A Great Sunhat This one is a no-brainer. Nothing is worse than coming back from a hike or a day out on the boat with a massive sunburn. And maybe it’s the vanity in me, but I’m definitely that girl that always has a sunhat and SPF 50 with her at the lake. Look for one that is lightweight, with a wide brim, and has an under the chin strap. I’ve had the same hat since I was 14 (it’s a hideous late 90s green Roxy thing), and while it may not be the most stylish, that hat has saved me on more than one occasion.
  2. Hiking Poles – I kind of used to think hiking poles were for old people. Yeah, super judgy of me, but after doing a hike to Scalplock Lookout a few weeks ago, hiking poles became my new favorite thing. They are especially useful in the early summer when you might encounter snow or water. Make sure to go for some adjustable, lightweight poles. Bonus if they can be used as snowshoe poles in the winter!
  3. Hiking Sandals Okay, I did not really know these were a thing. I always assumed that I had to be outfitted with some heavy, and hot boots, but the other day on the trail I saw a little awesome woman that must be part mountain goat traversing the trail in sandals. Now I’m desperately hunting down a pair, if for nothing else than a post hike pair of shoes to slip into.
  4. Headlamp I think everyone, whether you live in the city or in the country needs to own at least two of these. I’ve used it more times than I can count, and it pretty much lives in my car.
  5. Camelbak I think Camelbak’s are a blessing and a curse. I mean, I definitely love not having to lug around a water bottle and stop and pull it out every time I’m thirsty, but on the other hand, I’ve had more than one experience with these leaking on the way to the trail, only for me to find my pack is soaked and I don’t have any water. I’m going to chalk that up to bad luck, and invest in one anyway.

Did I miss anything? What are some of your go-to accessories for the great outdoors? 

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Weekend Reading

The summer has caused a bit of a shift in my life. Maybe it’s the new job I just started, or the new workout program I’m on. But suddenly, I just feel like being active, and eating all of the fruits and vegetables. And along with that, for some strange reason I feel like relaxing at home more than ever.

I’m a social butterfly, so naturally, I go out a lot. Living alone means a lot of alone time, and while I can relish in it, once and a while, I gotta go go go. But I feel like more than ever lately that means going on a hike after work as opposed to happy hour. Or kayaking on the weekend instead of day drinking. And on top of everything, it definitely means that I’m reading more than ever. Here are a few articles that will make great weekend reading:

Did I miss anything worth reading this week?

Summer Bucket List

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I know I’ve mentioned it a million times, but I am so lucky to live in Montana. And Montana summers are absolutely the best. Like really, nothing compares.

The sun stays up until 10:30-11, allowing for outdoor recreation to take place after work. The days are beautiful and warm, but not a single drop of humidity. And the nights are still cool enough where you need a sweatshirt. It is a far cry from the stifling heat I put up with in New York. There are lakes everywhere, rivers to float, mountains to climb, and a ton of parks to camp in.

Montana can be a tough place to live in. Cost of living is high, and pay rates are low. But everyone lives here for recreation. We take the bad because the good is so so so good.

So here’s to another summer, three months filled with the great outdoors, getting my sweat on, and enjoying my down time.

What’s on your summer bucket list?

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29 Goals for My 29th Year

Hungry Horse Reservoir

It’s amazing how your location can change your goals. So many of my goals while living in New York were super career oriented. And yes, while my career path is still very important to me, being back in Montana has changed me. I’m a much more relaxed person here, I’m not always searching for my next big project, or a way to make a name for myself. And along with those changes, my goals have changed.

I’ve always been a goal setter. It just is who I am. I like to have a checklist and get enormous satisfaction when checking things off. (Hello, Type A Personality).

And while some of my goals in the past have been a bit more abstract, I’ve been really putting my all into making some concrete goals. Ones that can be easily checked off and followed up on.

Here are 29 things I’m going to get done in the next year:

  1. Read 29 Books.
  2. Visit Oregon.
  3. Run a 1/2 Marathon.
  4. Book an International Trip for my 30th Birthday (I’m desperate to go shark cage diving in South Africa.)
  5. Do a Hike Over the Continental Divide.
  6. Catch a Fish.
  7. Buy a GoPro and Foray Into Vlogging.
  8. Attend a Yoga Retreat.
  9. Start Trail Running.
  10. Take a Self-Defense Course (Krav Maga anyone?)
  11. Find a Local Group and Regularly Volunteer.
  12. Experiment with Learning to Cook Ethnic Foods.
  13. Bike from Avalanche Lake to Logan Pass.
  14. Buy a Stand Up Paddleboard.
  15. Finish Decorating my Apartment.
  16. Starting Painting/Crafting.
  17. Take a Wilderness First Aid Course.
  18. Learn How to Fly Fish.
  19. Snowboard/Cross Country Ski at Least 10 Times.
  20. Pay Off One of my Credit Cards.
  21. Finish a Script.
  22. Have a Stable 9-5 Style Job.
  23. Fit Back Into my Vintage Dresses.
  24. Build a Blog Brand on this Blog.
  25. Learn Adobe Illustrator.
  26. Learn Calligraphy.
  27. Buy Myself a Really Nice Piece of Clothing. #treatyoself
  28. Buy a Piece of Original Artwork.
  29. Start Roller Derby.

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Welcome to the Native Transplant!

Hi! And Welcome to The Native Transplant.

If you’re reading this post, you most likely fit into one of two categories, either you’ve followed my previous blog The Dandy Life, or you’re a newcomer. I’m happy to have you, either way!

If you’ve followed my previous blog, you’ll notice that things got awful quiet around there in February. Here’s a little bit of a lowdown as to why:
I’ve been blogging under various domains for nearly a decade, and as you can imagine, you change in your 20s…a lot. And I ended up changing a lot when I moved back to Montana. I attempted to continue on with The Dandy Life, but something felt off. So I decided to take time time to collect my thoughts, gather some ideas, and figure out if I truly wanted to continue blogging.

The good news? I definitely wanted to continue blogging. The bad news? It was going to take a whole lot of restructuring.

In the past, I had always structured the same types of posts for every week. This worked out great because it ensured that I always had fresh, new content, but on the other hand, I would put so much pressure on myself to meet those deadlines, make sure those posts were perfect, and I ended up losing a lot of not only time, but a lot of myself within that.

And I finally realized…I’m never going to be one of those cool bloggers.

You know the ones, who have the latest updated J.Crew clothing, or make picture perfect food “on a whim”. Yeah, that was never going to be me. So, I decided to stop trying to be something I wasn’t.

So what can you expect from The Native Transplant?

Well, you can expect some more of the same (maybe a style post here and there if I can muster up the energy to put on something other than jeans), definitely some food posts (we have some amazing local ingredients that deserve their time to shine), but this blog is about my reinvention in Montana. So you can expect to see a lot of new content: some of the best hiking in the world, interviews with amazing, local girl guides, and maybe even some fun tips I pick up here or there.

As a nearly native Montanan (been here since age three), I should know how to do all those amazing, badass outdoorsy things. But, I just don’t. And truthfully, I really want to. So The Native Transplant, to me, is my assimilation back into the culture I was raised with. The idea that just because you were raised around something doesn’t mean you’re necessarily any good at it, and that a city girl really can go home again.

I look forward to sharing these experiences with you and thank you for all your support!

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Secretary (2002)

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With 50 Shades of Grey being released tomorrow, I figure it’s only natural that this week’s Fashion in Film be about one of the original BDSM movies, Secretary. Now, having not read the 50 Shades trilogy, I have no basis of comparison, but I absolutely love this movie.

In fact, it’s often listed as one of my favorite love stories. Wait, before you get all “Alex, that’s a bit TMI about your life”, let me make my point. As crazy, and a bit sadistic as this movie is, these two characters are so perfect together. There is no coercion, no forcefulness, and in the end, these two really, really, love each other.

And Gyllenhaal’s style is so great. It’s one part Zooey Deschanel twee, and one part sexretary. While the jury is still out on how I feel about 50 Shades, this BDSM movie is definitely one I can get behind.

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Weekend Reading

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It has been a week, you guys. Nothing in particular about it was bad, or super busy, but it just felt spread to thin and weird. I’m adjusting to only having one job (which, let’s be real, is sort of like torture for me), but I am finally feeling like I’m settling into my life.

I’m trying to enjoy the time between having two jobs. I’m spending more time writing, cooking, exercising, and dreaming up projects that I can’t wait to share with you. Here’s what caught my eye this week!

How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)

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I know this is like super, super cliche, but I totally love Marilyn Monroe. Not in this sorta hero worship type way, but in a legit actress way. And one of my favorite roles is her role as Pola in How to Marry a Millionaire. She’s just so adorable, and truthfully, I totally think it’s the glasses. Like, only Marilyn could make cat-eyes look that chic.

And is it just me or is it that every single time I watch a movie made in the 1950s, I’m totally swooning over their style. Like it all feels just so effortlessly put together, and I stand in front of my walk in closet every morning thinking I have nothing to wear. I swear, I’m going to clean it out and only buy full-on “outfits” from here on out!

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Romantic Accessories for Valentine’s Day

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Heart Sunglasses / From the Heart Earrings / Fancy Meeting You Scarf / Crystal Lip Ring / Santi Flower Clutch / Lip Print Slippers / Crystal Foliage Earrings / Rose Gold Love Ring / Alexa Hearts Nail Polish / Poker Heart Clutch / Jeweled Satin Heels

 

Last week, I put together a roundup of some of my favorite Valentine’s Day Dresses for this year. But, for those of us that might not have any V-Day Plans (#allthechocolate), I wanted to pull together a few cute accessories.

Sometimes, to get in the spirit of the holidays, I don’t feel like getting entirely dolled up. THose are the occasions where a carefully fun, chic, and preferably sparkly accessory come into play. And the best part about accessories? They can more easily be worn time and again without breaking the bank!

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