Alaskan Malamutes for Dummies

* Be advised this is one person’s opinion and experience of owning an Alaskan Malamute… oh that’s kind of what a blog is.

Like owning a pet of any kind, Alaskan Malamutes are a huge responsibility.  You have to devote a part of every day to exercising, playing with, training, etc.

I got my Malamute, Simba, when he was about 10 weeks old, during winter break.  He’s now 11 months. Was it a smart idea to get a puppy while still in college? Probably not. None the less, I don’t regret my choice. He has changed my life for the better.20160131_141429

When I decided to get a malamute, I did a lot of research on the basics of the breed’s characteristics, personalities and training. Was I prepared to raise a malamute? Hell no.

I now had this little fluff ball in my life who was energetic and adorable. I was clueless to how to raise a dog, even with all of my research. I didn’t know what kind of shots he needed and for how long. It was one of those times when you call your mother to ask how to do your laundry. I did call my mother, got the vet’s number that we’ve used for ages and looked online about puppy kindergarten. I found out to participate in puppy kindergarten he had to have his first set of shots. Simba ended up going it Sit Happens for puppy kindergarten an hour a week. This is crucial for puppies to socialize with other dogs while they are under 5 months.

I also didn’t know how much to feed him, especially when he was rapidly growing until 7 or 8 months.  He gained about 10-12 pounds every 3 weeks when he visited the vet.  Therefore his food amount increased often.  I mainly followed the directions on the back of the food bag regarding how much to feed him.  While observing if he finished all his food, and if he was getting a little too skinny or fat. It was actually very hard to tell when they are still in the growing phase. When he was young I fed him 3 times a day because it was better for his digestive system. Now he has 2 cups of food in the morning and 2 cups in the evening. Furthermore while malamutes are younger, you shouldn’t allow them to jump over anything that is the same height or higher than their shoulders to prevent hip complications since they are more susceptible to hip dysplasia.

Malamutes need exercise. A lot of what I read said Malamutes are energetic and need exercise to the extent that they need work to do – whether it be running, hiking, walking or playing with you or other dogs. An exercised Malamute is a happy Malamute … and owner. That’s the truth. When Simba was younger, I left him while I was in class for 3 hours. When I returned, he’d chewed up the couch cushion and toilet paper is all over the floor. He now stays outside while I am away. Also getting a hike or an hour walk each day.20160722_181211

Malamutes are independent and at times stubborn. I constantly experienced this every single time we did dog training classes. Simba would only follow commands as long as it benefitted him. In other words, as long as you had food to give him.  So don’t be surprised or disappointed if your malamute doesn’t follow your every command. In many instances Simba still won’t come on command.

On hikes, due to being independent, he would wander off by himself for short periods of time. One time on a hike, when he was 4 or 5 months, he disappeared during a walk. I spent 20 minutes calling his name and walking back and forth on the trail. I was in full panic mode. I ended up calling my mother and brother to see if they could come and help me find him. Fortunately, my brother was walking his roommate’s dog in the same area and drove past my car. Sitting by the car was Simba. To say that I was relieved was an understatement.

Malamutes like many artic breeds, are extremely friendly. Therefore they don’t make the best guard dogs. They are more likely to invite an intruder in and ask them for pets. Simba displays this characteristic to a T. He is extremely friendly to everyone he encounters to an extent that he will occasionally jump on them. He doesn’t realize that most people don’t want an almost 100-pound dog in their face. Let’s just say he is still learning not to jump on people

All and all malamutes are  intelligent, energetic, independent breed that requires dedication to raise them.  But once you earn their respect they are a family member for life.20160723_082617

Ballin’ on a Budget

Oh the struggles of wanting to be healthy but not being able to afford it, or having to sacrifice health and fitness goals to be able to eat. Unfortunately, trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle is quite far from being cheap. However, it is possible to keep up your fitness goals while keeping your bank account in the positives. This blog post is aimed at those who want to keep achieving their fitness goals but might not have the cash flow to provide themselves with adequate groceries, or those that would simply like to start saving money at the grocery store.

 

Ballin’ on a Budget:

 

This blog is going to provide you with a scenario that gives a VERY BASIC example of how to ball out on a tight budget.

  • We are going to have a grocery limit of $200
  • This $200 limit is supposed to last an entire month (if not, more)
  • We will balling out at Wal-Mart aka “Ball-Mart”
  • Except our Whey Protein (Syntha-6 5lb jug – 48 servings). We are ordering the protein shake off Amazon for a steal price.
  • There will be examples for both Vegetarian and non-vegetarian situations

 

A few things to keep in mind is that these are not exact prices and each given scenario will be different for different people. These Wal-Mart prices might be different than your Wal-Mart prices, and you might have to use other grocery stores in order to fulfill your list. Also, since this is very basic it is good to know that if you would like to go organic with anything, it is going to cost more. Fruit & Vegetable prices are based off organic prices (since that is the safer and healthier route) but organic dairy and poultry will cost a lot more. There are also a few products like fruit that will probably need to be bought twice in a month, if not more so those have been accounted for. Lastly, using this list month after month gets old quick (trust me) so be ready so season and sauce just about everything.

 

boab

 

Oh yeah I am not a vegetarian so if any of this strays from the guidelines, I apologize, but there are some great sites and professionals that list some amazing healthy vegetarian alternatives. Again, this is extremely basic but can be considered practical as it stays pretty healthy and any health nut or fit freak can still get their “macros”. The totals come within a dollar of each other and there is even enough left over for a little weekend fun money.

 

The beauty about this list is that you can play around with quite a bit, especially since we still have fifty dollars left over. For example, fruits can be switched out or added (like oranges) or the addition of red meats and other fish to get a more diverse diet. Diet and nutrition is truly all about trial and error so my goal for this is to hopefully provide a sense of direction to save money. What works and what doesn’t work will be up to you to decide, but it is nice to know that it is possible to maintain a fit lifestyle at a relatively low cost.

 

Your Complete Instagram Guide to Missoula, MT

In  today’s day in age, any experience (for the most part) is accompanied by sharing that experience on social media. Missoula, Montana is known for it’s beautiful rivers and mountain ranges, however, it is also considered the cultural center of Montana. With an eclectic downtown scene, distinctive dining and strong sense of community, Missoula has a lot to offer as far as experience, both on and offline.

As an Instagram enthusiast myself, and a believer in the #DoItForTheGram mentality, I am all about curating an aesthetic and a strong social media presence. So I present to you your complete Instagram Guide to Missoula, MT to help you navigate the most aesthetically pleasing AND high quality hot spots around town.

Coffee: Black Coffee Roasting Co. 

img_2902img_2903The winner as far as aesthetics and quality coffee in Missoula goes, is definitely Black Coffee Roasting Co. Not only do they provide organic, craft roasted coffee while operating with sustainability, but they’re ambience is seriously on point. With a hipster-chic vibe and insanely good lighting, this is definitely the spot to go if you want some good latte art on your feed.

Walk in the Park: Greenough Park

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Greenough is a true gem, nestled just up the Rattlesnake and covering 42 acres, it is a peaceful place to go on a bike ride, run or, of course, go take photos. In the fall, Greenough is a paradise of colorful trees and crisp autumn air and a complete winter wonderland once the first snow occurs. It’s also just generally beautiful all year round, so if you want to go on a nice walk while taking amazing photos along the way, Greenough is the park for you.

Eats: Caffe Dolce

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As you may be able to tell, I love a good #FoodPorn flatlay. Caffe Dolce is by far the best spot across the board for breakfast, brunch, lunch AND dinner. Not only taste-wise, but to get a gorgeous food pic with minimal effort. Since Caffe Dolce’s establishment is made up of mainly windows, the lighting will always be perfection. Not to mention their tables are the ideal background color and texture, which is essential for any successful flatlay. Oh yeah, and the food looks pretty good too.

On the Town: Plonk

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As a grandma at heart, I’m no expert on the Missoula going out scene. However, I have to say that Plonk scores major points as far as experience, quality and Instagram-ability goes. The classy, big city atmosphere and gorgeous drink presentation are sure to elevate your feed into #InstagramGoals status.

Shopping: The Hip Strip + NOBO 

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Missoula has an awesome local shopping scene. With an array of unique and high quality boutiques, it’s definitely worth exploring when you get the chance, specifically downtown on The Hip Strip and NOBO (aka North of Broadway.) These areas are abundant with quirky shops, gorgeous boutiques, great places to eat and lots of Insta-worthy alleys tucked away perfect for that #ootd!

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Something Sweet: Sweet Peaks Ice Cream

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I know, I’m a true Big Dipper fan at heart too, however, there is no denying that Sweet Peaks brings it in the aesthetics department as well as well as their super unique ice cream flavors that make you go “huh, that sounds weird but also kind of good so I’ll try it.” If you want to capture a cool cone, venture over to Sweet Peaks. Don’t worry, it’s totally okay to cheat on Big Dipper every once in a while, especially if you get a good gram out of it.

Outside: The “M” Trail

img_2993img_2992 Now, I’ll admit I’ve only ever hiked the “M” in high school gym class, and once on a first date when a boy made me, and I was still in the “pretend to not be high maintenance phase” of the relationship. Needless to say, I don’t hike very much. But Missoula is the place for hikes, hiking and hikers so I had to include some kind of hike in this guide, to prevent getting Birkenstocks chucked at my head. All jokes aside the “M” trail is a beautiful hike, which is accessible to all levels of hiking ability and it takes a pretty damn good picture too, I must say.

 

I hope you enjoyed this Instagram Guide. Now you’re all set to go snap some #goals worthy IGs! But don’t forget to put down your phone to really appreciate the wonderful place that is Missoula, Montana. #Blessed, indeed (hate me yet?)

 

Do you have any favorite spots around Montana that didn’t make this list? Leave me a comment to let me know!

 

Photography by Michelle Dufflocq Williams, Aline Dufflocq Williams, McKenna Munden, Cloth & Crown, Betty’s Divine, Our Life Experiments and the University of Montana.

Top five Halloween costume personalities: which one are you?

Below are five different costume personalities that may or may not fit you or your friends. Read through the descriptions and comment which personality best fits you!

(I am a Last Minute Shopper!)

Personality #1: Most Minimal Costume PossibleImage result for halloween costume men

This person is normally above average on the scale of attractiveness and knows it, they want to wear the most skin revealing thing in the room in order to show off their body. Someone that wears a minimal costume almost always has two different costumes each year; one for school or work and one for their Halloween party or night oImage result for halloween costumes 2016 womenut on the town. They are almost never afraid to spend as much money as needed each year for the best costume possible.

 

Examples: Playboy Bunny, sexy version of ANY costume.

 

 

Personality #2: Total Transformation

The total transformation is the person that spends hundreds of dollars on costume material from facial/body makeup to even extravagant wigs. The
extreme version of the total Image result for heidi klum halloweentransformation person
would end up buying a complete
costume from head to toe that is made of high class material. The way to know if Image result for halloween costumesomeone meets the requirements for this personality is that at first glance you will not recognize them.

Examples: Iron Man, Jack Skeleton, the Joker.

 

Personality #3: Super, Super Fan

A super, super fan is a person that dresses up as their favorite character of either a show, book, or movie. The person normally knows not only who and what the Image result for comic con costumescharacter is, but they also know everything there is to know about the character’s personality, history, and world. They are extremely likely to get offended and correct you if you get Image result for comic con costumessomething wrong about the character or anything regarding the character’s world.

 

Examples: Star Wars characters, Harry Potter characters.

Personality #4: Costume with the Least Effort

If someone has a costume with the least effort it means that they normally have
something taped onto their clothing or they grabbed something out of their Image result for Halloween costumes least effortcloset. These are the people that decided at the last second they should probably dress up but didn’t even wantImage result for Halloween costumes least effort to go to the store to buy something official.

These can include people that go dressed up as themselves or even some one that tapes Smarties to their pants and refers to themselves as a “Smarty Pants.”

 

Personality #5: Last Minute Shopper

The last minute shopper is the costume person that normally needs to dress up for work, school, or a party with little to no time or money to run to the store for
Image result for Halloween costumes crappy a decent costume. This person ends up grabbing whatever they can off of the shelf from the costume store. This person is to not be confused with the “Costume with the Least Effort” as the last minute Image result for Halloween costumes crappyshopper at least puts in enough effort to go to the store for a costume.

 

 

Examples: witches, doctor coat, pirate.

 

Thanks for reading, hopefully a description fits your personality and if you didn’t like your description then just think; “what personality do I want to have this Halloween?”