Winter at the hot springs

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We all heard of the idiom “early bird gets the worm”, probably from your parent, or someone like my friend Michael! I used to, who am I kidding, still am the one who sleeps in till 10 am and can’t fall asleep before midnight.

When I moved to Missoula, MT to study business at the Uni, I got introduced to a community of fun, down-to-earth and adventures photographers, which became really good friends of mine! At the end of summer 2017, I was invited by the supeeeeer duper talented and the sweetest Michael Graef on a VERY early sunrise exposition (4am kinda early!) somewhere outside of Missoula and as much as I thought I could pull myself out of bed, I simply couldn’t. But, there was a time when I agreed to get myself out of bed one morning and meet with the group that was going. To be completely honest, that was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!

On the day to day basis I love sleeping in as much as I can, but when it comes to getting up to get with a group of creatives, my camera, and explore new areas I am ALWAYS down!

Few nights ago, I got a message from Michael about going to the hot springs in the am with a few other friends, and I will likely never turn down that opportunity, especially on a Wednesday morning when the chances of us getting an empty pool are very high.

Here are a few of my favorite photos of Meghan from that morning, and you can find some behind the scenes in my “Sunrise” highlights on my Instagram @fotografed_ .

Aleksandra Was

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Her name is Cash

Written by: Breanna Harmer

If she were a boy, we’d name her Sue…


“A dog comes to you and lives with you in your own house, but you do not therefore own her, as you do not own the rain, or the trees, or the laws which pertain to them.”

-Mary Oliver

When a puppy naps, it is their gift of gratitude for the day.
A payment to their human for all the chaos they’ve caused.

Cash’s days include sleeping, chasing the cats, licking up anything that hits the floor but, mostly avoiding learning how to be potty trained.

She might be the smallest nugget at puppy kindergarten but she is also the spunkiest.

“Sometimes I am two people. Johnny is the nice one. Cash causes all the trouble. “

Johnny Cash

Thanks for always keeping me on my toes, little monster.

For tips and tricks to keep your dog busy, click here!

Top 5 Foods to ALWAYS Buy Organic

Summer Burlage

The way that your food is grown or raised can have a major impact on your mental and physical health as well as the environment. The Department for Agriculture and Rural Affairs (DERFA) states, “Organic food is the product of a farming system which avoids the use of man-made fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators and livestock feed additives.” Organic produce contains fewer pesticides. Chemicals such as herbicides and insecticides are widely used in conventional agriculture and residues remain in and on the food consumed. Organic food is often fresher because it does not contain preservatives that make it last longer. Organics have more beneficial nutrients, such as antioxidants, than their conventionally-grown counterparts. Below I have listed 5 important foods that you should ALWAYS buy organic.

Meats

If you consume meat regularly, it is important to be aware of the harmful additives that conventional meat contains. Hormones, synthetic fertilizers, antibiotics and pesticides are found in cows, chicken, turkey and pork. Hormones, antibiotics and additives can have negative impacts on your body which makes organic meat worth the extra money.

Organically-raised animals are given more space to move around and have access to the outdoors, which help to keep them healthy. These animals are NOT given antibiotics, growth hormones, or fed animal byproducts. To avoid consumption of harmful additives, always make sure to buy organic meat products.

Popcorn

Popcorn hardly seems harmful as it is a whole grain, high fiber and low calorie snack, but think again. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 92% of corn grown in the U.S. is genetically engineered. Almost all corn is genetically modified to contain insecticides. Chemicals in the lining of microwave popcorn bags and artificial butter flavoring have been linked to lung and Alzheimer’s disease.

My advice: go organic and use an air-popper or the stovetop, then add your own flavor. There are plain, organic options to purchase that offer a decent amount of fiber and manganese within this low calorie snack – just a tip, do not cover it in sugar or pasteurized butter. Instead use coconut oil or organic butter.

Bread

In the most basic form bread is flour, water, yeast and a few pinches of salt. Most bread contains added sugars, artificial colors, GMOs and malathion. Malathion is an ingredient that can be found in shampoo which is designed to kill head lice in humans and fleas in pets. It is hard to find bread at the store that does not contain dough conditioners like the yoga mat chemical, azodicarbonamide (also found in fast food chains such as Subway, Burger King, Wendy’s, etc.). This chemical compound is banned for use as a food additive in the UK, Europe and Australia. US manufacturers use this dough conditioners as a flour bleaching agent. Does this sound appetizing to you?

The chemical used to make plastics foamy does not belong in our food. Instead, stick to organic, sprouted gain breads or gluten free options that are primarily comprised of seeds and healthy grains such as quinoa and millet. Organic breads use organic ingredients and will not contain azodicarbonamide or other questionable food additives.

Coffee

Are you a coffee addict? Conventional coffee is among the most heavily chemically treated foods in the world. It is grown using synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, insecticides and planted in full, direct sunlight. This allows the beans to grow quicker and produce more bean per plant. Not only does the environment suffer from this chemical overload, but so do the people who live in it. These highly toxic chemicals are detrimental to human health.

Organic coffee is far more environmentally sustainable and leaves a smaller carbon footprint. An organic coffee bean prefers the shade to the sun, meaning less coffee can be made. However, it does not contain synthetic fertilizers or chemicals used in growing or production which means cleaner beans, air, land and water. Organic coffee beans are often richer in healthy antioxidants and often taste better.

Spinach

Low in calories and high in vitamins, spinach remains one of the most nutrient-dense foods in existence. The USDA’s samples showed more pesticides by weight on conventional spinach than any other crop.  This superfood tested positive for 48 pesticide residues and 16 different pesticide and breakdowns products on a single sample. One of them being Permethrin which is linked to ADHD in children. Conventionally grown spinach has up to four times more nitrates than organically grown varieties.

Organic spinach has more vitamin C and health-promoting properties. To assure your spinach has no pesticides, purchase organic spinach. Organic produce prohibits the use of super-toxic chemicals, such as the ones found in conventional foods. If you love eating vegetables as much as I do, I recommend to ALWAYS purchase organic no matter what veggie it is.

Final thoughts

Organic foods are often more expensive, but they are worth the extra money spent when it comes to our health. Organics offer more beneficial properties such as packed nutrients and antioxidants, rather than their conventionally-grown counterparts. I hope this post inspires you to choose organic whenever possible as an investment to your health.

Doughnuts Worth the Drive in Montana

Keilan Sayer

Most people wouldn’t think a simple glazed doughnut could be something worth writing about. But those people haven’t tried Windmill Village Bakery doughnuts.

Nestled on highway 93 between Missoula, Montana and Flathead Lake in the small town of Ravalli, the outdated windmill exterior serves as a disguise for the drool-worthy goodies being baked inside.

As soon as you walk through the bakery doors, you feel at home. It’s not flashy by any means, but there is a hum of activity that comes from the tiny kitchen behind the counter. That hum is Nancy Martin, the brains behind the infamous doughnuts. She makes all the doughnuts by hand, sometimes up to several dozen a day depending on the demand. A recipe that was passed down from her mother to her, her doughnuts are something that Nancy’s bakery has become renowned for. And for good reason.


The doughnuts are as big as a softball, but still remain light and fluffy on the inside. They offer the perfect level of sweetness with a gooey center and a crisp crackly exterior. What could possibly make these doughnuts so crazy good? Potatoes. Thats right, POTATOES! The best part? Each doughnut only costs $2.00. Delicious and cheap, what more could you ask for? If doughnuts aren’t your thing, they offer tons of other delicious baked goods, such as huckleberry pie or soft warm melt in your mouth cookies.

If you want to try these out for yourself, better get there early, because they sell out fast. Everybody needs to try a potato doughnut! I promise you, its worth the trip. You’ll be left with sticky fingers and happy stomachs.

Photo credits:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g45322-d2072875-Reviews-Windmill_Village_Bakery-Ravalli_Montana.html