Small town feel, big town dreams

Drone View

We just bought our dream home in Peoria. It’s much bigger than our last home and we sold most of our furniture when we moved from St. Louis. Now we know where we’re living, it’s time to pick out some furniture. Check out the pictures from the listing!

Front of house picture
Here is our dream home! I can’t wait until it’s spring and I can see all the great landscaping in bloom!
Second Living room Picture
This room is huge! We are trying to figure out how we want to arrange it.
Kitchen
This is truly my dream kitchen!
Family room picture with fireplace
I can’t wait to have a fire in the fireplace and snuggle up with a good book!
Guest bedroom
One of three guest bedrooms.
Guest bedroom 2 - Pink
Second guest bedroom. There is a third guest bedroom on the upper level too. One of these will inevitably become Kyle’s IU room.
Hall bathroom
I love the decor in this bathroom! The tile in the shower continues the brown and blue theme.
Master bedroom
These rooms are so big! I will probably need a bigger bed!
Master bathroom
The master bathroom has a unique style, and I am all here for it!
Master closet
This closet is a dream!
Laundry Room
A great laundry room with a custom, hand-painted mural. The washer and dryer are practically new!
Basement Bar 2
A shot of the basement bar area. Custom painting, copper sink, mini fridge. A great place for entertaining. The door to the right of the bar holds the utilities and irrigation system controls and a crawl space.
Basement Den Picture
The door at the bottom of the stairs is great unfinished storage with tons of shelves. The den will be a great hangout space. Now we just have to figure out where the foosball table goes.
Basement bedroom
One of many guests bedrooms. There are built-in storage and desk; this room will likely be a guest/craft room.
Basement Bathroom
Elegantly styled basement 3/4 bathroom with custom shower curtain.
Backyard picture 2
Backyard and patio picture. Stunning professionally landscaped backyard. Twinkle lights adorn the pergola with a great wooden swing.
Kitchen Picture 2
Great apron sink, concrete countertops, marble-topped island and a Sub-zero refrigerator.
Kitchen 3
The stove will be my pride and joy! A Viking double oven with a flat top!
Another picture of the kitchen
I am very excited about the Miele coffee system!
Dining room picture
A beautiful chandelier graces the center of the formal dining room.
Study room picture 2
A smaller room which was formerly used as a study or an office. How will we use it?

Let me know if you have any ideas how to arrange the rooms. I am open to suggestions!

White Seabass Tournament Catalina Island, California

The trip started out on Thursday when my Captain, Matt, and I set off to pre-fish the tournament Thursday and Friday. Those two days were your typical Catalina Island fishing. We caught Calico Bass, Barracuda, Halibut, Rock fish, and eventually we found the Seabass.

On Friday night we met up with our two other teammates Steve and Tim. The four of us have a pre-tournament “party” at a bar in Avalon. We talked strategy and where we were going to fish and how we were going to fish. I am awoken by Matt at 2:30 AM to start driving around the island to our fishing spot. The tournament started at 4 am so we wanted to make sure that we were in our spot before anyone else. As we turn the corner around the West-end of the island, the abyss of darkness is erased by the amount of boat lights in front of us. Our first spot had the entire fleet sitting on it. We thought to ourselves “Holy shit! Look at all these boats, what are we gonna do?!”.  Before we even got close to the fleet Matt made an executive decision that we were going to a different spot where we caught the Seabass above. After anchoring and setting up on the spot we had a very slow first couple hours. Right around 6 am Matt hooked up with a Seabass. White Seabass live along thick kelp lines in murky water. They use the thick kelp and churning water to hide themselves from prey. Right after Matt set the hook the fish ran straight into the kelp. We could tell because when Matt lifted up on the fish we continued losing line because he was wrapped in the kelp. Matt was pulling so hard on the fish to get it out of the kelp, that I was watching the rod tip bounce as the line eventually broke through the kelp. With each pop of the kelp I feared that he was going to lose the fish. After about 5 minutes (which really felt like 30) the line was finally free from the kelp and the fish headed out into the open ocean where there is nothing to break off on. As soon as this happened Matt knew that he was going to land the fish. After about another 10 minutes of fighting, Matt got the fish up to the side of the boat and I gaffed it and brought it on deck. The whole fight Matt had been telling me that it was a big fish but I had no idea until it was on the boat. Once it hit the deck all four of us started to freak out. High fives, hugs, screaming everything you could imagine after landing a monster fish in the tournament. The day went on and I also landed a Seabass but nothing close to the monster Matt had landed. We returned to the harbor to weigh in our fish and claim our spot on the leader board. Optimistically we thought but never said out loud that this fish could possibly win the tournament. We pull up to the dock and we are immediately being heckled by some guys on the dock. They were bugging us about what we caught, how big was it, where were we, but they had no affiliation to the tournament. Just two drunk guys on the dock. We decided that it would be easiest to move the fish from the main cooler into its own cooler so we could walk it up the dock to be weighed. As soon as I open the cooler the two guys on the dock utter another “Holy shit!”. We quickly closed the lid and started to transport the fish up the dock. Meanwhile the two drunk guys are spreading the rumor of a giant fish around the harbor. We walk the fish to the weigh-in as a very large crowd starts to assemble. Everyone murmuring wondering how big the fish is. As secretively as I could I wrapped the rope around the fishes tail and awaited instructions from the tournament official.  He asked me to lift the fish up the the scale and hook it on. Immediately as the cooler lid opens and the fish is seen by the crowd everyone starts yelling. “Oh my god that thing is HUGE!” I even heard one kid say “Daddy, daddy that the biggest fish I’ve ever seen!”. It was an amazing sight and feeling hearing the crowd freak out as much as we did. All in all the Seabass weighed in at 57.3 pounds. The largest seabass ever caught in the Catalina White Seabass Tournament.

 

 

 

 

Saturday ended with us on top in the Seabass division. On Sunday the fishing was absolutely terrible. The weather completely changed and nothing was biting. The tournament ended at 4 PM so we made our way into the harbor for the awards ceremony. We didn’t know for sure, but we had a pretty good idea that we had won the tournament. The ceremony started and the winners were called up. The tournament was structured with three different fish. White Seabass was the main one but there was also prize money for Yellowtail and Halibut. The tournament official finally got through the other divisions and was on to the Seabass. The top 3 were announced and we waited patiently to see who won. Finally he arrived at the winners calling out Team Breakaway as the winners and presented us our check. Putting in two days of extra work to find the fish is the only reason we won the tournament. This will be a fishing trip I remember for my entire life.

p.s. sorry for the small photos I could not get them to be large and clear.

A Weekend Guide to Whitefish, Montana in Winter

Wintertime in Whitefish, Montana is one of the most beautiful seasons to enjoy the small ski town and all it has to offer. This town doesn’t slow down after a winter storm, it celebrates it! Are you thinking about exploring this hidden gem for a weekend getaway? This article will give you the perfect weekend itinerary for what to see and do while you’re here.

Saturday

8:30 am – Breakfast at Buffalo Cafe

A local favorite, Buffalo Cafe offers amazing breakfast options to keep you energized for your full day ahead!

10:00 am – Ski on Big Mountain

A trip to Whitefish is never complete without a day at Whitefish Mountain Resort. Endless slopes and an approachable mountain offers a day of fun for all level of skiers and snowboarders.

3:00 pm – Apres Ski at Hellroaring Saloon

After hittin’ the slopes, enjoy an apres-ski drink and nachos at Hellroaring Saloon, located next to the village on the mountain.

5:00 pm – Massage at the Spa at Whitefish Lake

You’re bound to be sore after a day on the mountain, so treat yourself to a massage at the beautiful Spa at Whitefish Lake!

7:00 pm – Dinner at Tupelo Grille

Be sure to book a table here, and be ready for one of the best meals in town. Featuring local cuisine influenced by cajun and southern flavors, the superb service completes a meal here.

Sunday

8:30 am – Breakfast at Loula’s Cafe

Loula’s breakfasts include the standard fare as well as popular originals like Lemon Stuffed French toast with raspberry sauce or Eggs Benedict with white truffle oil.

9:45 am – Pick up a Packed Lunch from Montana Coffee Traders

Before you head off for the day, pick up a packed lunch from Montana Coffee Traders. They offer a variety of sandwiches and snacks that you can bring with you to the park which is helpful because most restaurants in West Glacier are closed in the winter!

10:00 am – Drive to Glacier National Park to snowshoe

The beautiful Glacier National Park is only a 30-minute drive away from Whitefish and offers miles of scenic snowshoeing trails.  You can rent snowshoes from multiple places in town as well as outside of the park.

7:00 pm – Dinner at Abruzzo’s

Finish off your day with a delicious traditional Italian meal at Abruzzo’s. They offer extensive selection of shared plates, grilled steaks, fresh seafood, and a small but decadent dessert list, all prepared in-house and served alongside an Italian-focused cocktail program and an Italian-centric wine list.

 

 

 

 

Ten Interesting Things to Explore in Montana

Glacier National Park, Going to the Sun Road

1. Visit Garnet Ghost Town – Drummond, Montana

Garnet has been named one of “America’s Coolest Ghost Towns” by Travel + Leisure. Garnet is home to a preserved gold rush town. In Garnet, experience the ways of the past, and experience your inner frontier. Experience the real Wild West! Garnet is near Missoula, Montana.

Garnet Ghost Town
Photo Credit: Laura Kelly Information and License

2. Explore the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas – Arlee, Montana

Designed to be a spiritual pilgrimage destination for people of many faiths, the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas is a sight that is sure to bring peace and mindfulness.

The Garden of One Thousand Buddhas
Photo Credit: Flea8888 Information and License

3. Experience the Montana Vortex and House of Mystery – Columbia Falls, Montana

The Montana Vortex and House of Mystery is a place that makes one reorient their understanding of physics and nature. The experience is sure to be mind-blowing! The location is an internationally known sacred site. Native Americans often visit.

Montana Vortex and House of Mystery
Photo Credit: sporst Information and License

4. Travel Glacier National Park and the World-Renowned Going to the Sun Road

Visit the Crown of the Continent and experience nature at its best! Glacier National Park (United States) is one-half of the world’s first international peace park with Waterton Lakes National Park (Canada) being the other-half to form Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. Glacier National Park is designated a Biosphere Reserve by the Man and the Biosphere Programme of the United National Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site by the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. Plus, Glacier National Park and its sister park, Waterton Lakes National Park of Canada, are recognized as an International Dark Sky Park by the International Dark Sky Association (IDA). One can see breathtaking views in Glacier National Park and on the Going-to-the-Sun Road!

Glacier National Park, Going to the Sun Road
Photo Credit: Mountain walrus Information and License

5. Encounter Yellowstone National Park and the Largest Supervolcano on the North American Continent!

Yellowstone National Park is the first national park in the United States of America and widely considered the first national park in the world! The supervolcano located at Yellowstone National Park is one of the few supervolcanoes around the globe. The cornerstone of the Roosevelt Arch at the North Entrance of the Park in Gardiner, Montana, was laid by President Theodore Roosevelt.

Yellowstone National Park Waterfall
Photo Credit: Scott Catron Information and License

6. Discover the Spectacular Great Falls of the Missouri River, known by the Lewis and Clark Expedition to Be a Grand Sight

Visit the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Great Falls, Montana, near the falls to learn more about Lewis and Clark and the falls. Seeing the Great Falls of the Missouri River will connect individuals to history!

Great Falls of the Missouri River
Photo Credit: Tim1965 Information and License

7. Encounter the Ringing Rocks of Montana

The Ringing Rocks of Montana are a natural phenomenon. The rocks will allow you to hear nature! The Ringing Rocks are near Butte, Montana.

Montana Ringing Rocks
Photo Credit: Bureau of Land Management Information and License

8. Voyage to Pompeys Pillar, and See William Clark’s, of Lewis and Clark, Signature

Pompeys Pillar, near Billings, Montana, bears the only remaining evidence of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Visit Pompeys Pillar and experience the Lewis and Clark Expedition!

Pompeys Pillar in Montana
Photo Credit: Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Information and License

9. Take a Scenic Cruise to Wild Horse Island on the Crystal-Clear Flathead Lake

The world-recognized Flathead Lake is home to the Wild Horse Island. Take a relaxing cruise around Flathead Lake and run with the “Wild Horses!”

Flathead Lake
Photo Credit: Paul Frederickson Information and License

10. Visit the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument

The Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument contains a United States National Cemetery, Custer National Cemetery. The Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument includes self-guided tours that have audio.

Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
Photo Credit: Durwood Brandon Information and License

 

Nicolas R. Ream, the author, is studying Marketing, Management, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, and Pre-Law at the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana. Nicolas works at Montana Heritage Home Builders, Inc., a high-performance luxury custom home builder in Columbia Falls, Montana.

Nicolas Ream
Nicolas R. Ream

Connect with Nicolas: Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn

References and Sources: See hyperlinks, also personal experience and knowledge.

This blog post has been created in the BMKT 440: Marketing Analytics class with Professor Mario Schulzke.

The 8 Things I Learned from Kobe

Kobe Bryant was one of the best basketball players the sport has ever seen, and there are a number of lessons we can learn from his Mamba Mentality. For Kobe, life was always bigger than basketball. Here are the lessons I’ve learned that every person should follow day in and day out.

But first to set the stage, let’s take a look back at my favorite Kobe game of all time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyjrgG9MSto

  1. Confidence

The first thing that always stood out to me when I was watching Kobe was his confidence in himself. He always wanted the ball in his hands, and he always wanted to be the one shooting the most important shots. He once famously said, “I would rather go 0-30 before I go 0-9.”  If you’re not confident in yourself, then who can be? Be willing to take chances and believe in yourself.

  1. Work Ethic

You can’t start a conversation about Kobe without talking about his relentless work ethic. This man would spend hours and hours in the gym. Early in the morning when everyone else was sleeping, he was working on his craft. Talent will only get you so far. Hard work and dedication can lead you down the path of success.

  1. Enjoy the Process

Remember a strong foundation is never built in a day. It takes time, but it also takes a person who is passionate about what they do. Kobe genuinely loved the grind because he always thought there was room to improve. The day to day grind can take a toll on some people, but the ones who embrace the process usually reach their goals.

 

  1. Be Detail Oriented

As Bryant started aging, he knew that he couldn’t rely on his athleticism as much like when he was younger. So, he started focusing more on his footwork and the X’s and O’s. Never underestimate what the small details can do for you. They can begin to add up quick. It can be the difference between being a great player and a legend.

 

  1. Set high standards

Don’t be afraid to set high standards for yourself. This sets the path, so you know where you want to go and what it will take. Kobe knew what his expectations were for himself and this helped him block out all the noise. The opinion of others shouldn’t impact you when your standards are already high. Keep your head down and keep working!

  1. Mamba Mindset

Kobe always wanted to go out there and be the best. His thought process was if someone else could do it, so could he. The special part about Bryant’s mindset was how obsessive he would become about a certain thing. He tended to model his game after the greats that came before him. Modeling yourself after someone that you idealize can be a great idea. You may learn a new habit or skill that takes your “game” to the next level.

 

  1. Family

As Kobe grew older, he became known more as being a family man. It was so heartbreaking to hear that Bryant passed away with his daughter during the accident. He described her as being a daddy’s girl. They shared the bond of loving basketball and were even seen at an NBA game sitting courtside a week before the accident. Never take family for granted. They are the people that love you the most and will always be there for you through it all.

  1. You Can’t Play Sports Forever, Find Something You Love

For Kobe, this was writing children’s books and making a short film that won an Oscar. Even though Kobe was done with his basketball career, he still had so much planned, and that was why his death was so sad. Find something that you love to do outside your job. Having a hobby you enjoy can keep some fun in your life and help avoid burnouts.