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.

How many road signs can you guess right?

When did you get a driver’s license? I assume that it was a long time ago and you are an expert of the road signs in the United States. What if it’s road signs from other countries? I found some unique road signs around the world! Let’s try to figure out what they say so you can drive in foreign countries 🙂  The answers will be at the end of these signs.

 

  1.  What does this sign mean?

 

Road sign in New Zealand

HINT: This is a road sign from New Zealand.

 

 

2.  The sign says “_____” in Japanese.

Road sign in Japan

HINT: It’s a hexagon in America.

 

 

3.  What does this sign mean?

Road sign in China

HINT: Explosion! This is in China.

 

 

4.  What does this sign mean?
UK sing

HINT: What is the red car trying to do?

 

5.  This is an exaggerated depiction of ______.

Road sign in UK

HINT: The car is not in a gymnastic class.

 

 

6.  What does this sign mean?

Road sign of school ahead

HINT: It’s not a giant lollipop.

 

 

7.   Can you guess what country this sign is in?

Road sign in South Africa

HINT: It’s not in America.

 

 

The answers are here:

  1. “Kiwis are crossing the street so be cautious.” (New Zealand)
  2. ”Stop” (Japan)
  3. “Do not load explosives in your car and drive” (China)
  4. “Do not pass” (United Kingdom)
  5. “Accident Ahead” (United Kingdom)
  6. “School Ahead”
  7. “High-Jacking hot spot” (South Africa)

 

 

How did you do? Did you guess all the road signs correct? I hope you enjoyed these quizzes!

 

 

The Dad Bod and Me

With all the “fads” that have happened over the last 5 years its hard to keep track of them all. From Man Buns to Flash Mobs, and the Harlem Shake to Tebowing, there have been a lot of fads, and like all fads, they peaked, and then faded out (thank god). However, the Dad Bod was arguably one of the most interesting fads we have ever experienced. Anyone that knows me at all knows that I jumped all over the Dad Bod.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. First we need to talk about what the Dad Bod is. The Dad Bod really hit its stride when a sorority girl from Clemson wrote an article for a class (literally exactly what I am doing now) about how this new phase of male physical appearance. The “official” definition of a Dad Bod is “a nice balance between a beer gut and working out. The dad bod says, I go to the gym occasionally, but I also drink heavily on the weekends and enjoy eating eight slices of pizza at a time. It’s not an overweight guy, but it isn’t one with washboard abs, either”.

When I first saw the article I was thrilled. First of all, I saw that the trend was taking the nation by storm, so naturally that made me feel comfortable. Secondly, girls liked it? Apparently girls no longer wanted wash board abs and ripped biceps, they wanted someone fun, someone who didn’t take them self too seriously, and someone who would go to Taco Tuesday or $4 pitcher Wednesday  (Missoula, we could really use a bar that does this).

During the peak of the Dad Bod phase many celebrities also joined in, including:

Leo

Seth Rogen

Chris Pratt

Jason Segal

Robert downy Jr.

 

Obviously with all these A list celebrities embracing the Dad Bod, I figured I needed to as well. When I came to college I was relatively fit. I played competitive soccer 4 nights a week, ran track and cross country. I generally respected my body and my physical appearance. My first year of college I did a good job of working out and trying to eat right. I gained a little weight, which was to be expected. The next two years however, that’s a different story. My Liam Hemsworth esque physique quickly turned to an Owen Wilson esque physique. I traded in my 24 pound dumbbell curls at the gym for 24 ounce IPA curls downtown (that a type of beer for those of you that don’t know). Just like the definition says, I started working out less and enjoying adult beverages and pizza more. By the second semester of my Junior year the trend was in full swing and when people thought of the dad bod, they thought of me……… the following are all from my personal Facebook page

dad bod is dead dad bod 1 dad bod workout my post

I was so into the Dad Bod that I even bought a shirt, and people posted pictures of me in that shirt on my birthday

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But like every other fad, the Dad Bod inevitably died. However, I did try to ride it out as long as I could. I even wrote a speech for my Public Speaking class titled, An Ode to the Dad Bod. I would wear my Dad Bod shirt and embrace the Dad Bod mentality for an entire semester in the Fall. I did finally give up on the Dad Bod and decided to get my life back in order. I cut down on my beverage intake, watched my diet, and lost 25 pounds (shout out to Pneumonia). Unfortunately for now the Dad Bod seems to be dead, and that truly is a shame. I am fully prepared for its return, and hopefully this blog post can jump start that. I know that I will gladly lead the comeback tour of the Dad Bod.

The Value of Deep Work

 

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What a time to be alive, am I right? We live in an incredible day and age where unlimited information is at our very fingertips, billions of people are connected through the internet and innovative technologies are advancing at an unprecedented rate. Technology has truly affected every corner the world, and has drastically impacted life as we’ve all come to understand it.

With great access to information and the age of global connectivity, humans are bombarded with more stimuli and information that we could ever hope to process and make sense of. It is for this reason that so many of us find ourselves constantly distracted and engaging in multiple technologies at once. Think about it: how often do you find yourself studying with multiple entertainment browsers open and periodically flipping through various social media platforms? How about listening to music or absentmindedly watching Netflix while studying? Sure, we still get work done, but is it truly our best work? Are we maximizing our time and productivity? Most likely not, and there’s a lot of research that proves quite the opposite.

There’s a whole science of learning, concentration and productivity that seeks to prove that humans fundamentally are not built to multitask, and cannot maximize efficiency while doing so. And in a world filled with distractions and noise, the reality is that we live in a time where it is harder to focus now than perhaps ever before. Which is why I’d like to write about the true value of deep work –  the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. With graduation just around the corner in a few weeks, I couldn’t think of a better time to write about the value of working in a deep state of concentration. I believe everyone should take steps to learn this skill, because no matter who you are, you’ll benefit from it. I promise.

Deep work is, fundamentally, a very valuable skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time. Working in a state of deep mental focus free of distraction helps cultivate many of the core capabilities that we need to survive in the world today. So why is this important? Why is working in this deep state of mental concentration more valuable than working in a state of constant noise and distraction? Because people who possess certain skills and characteristics in this new digital age are fundamentally more equipped for success and prosperity

What does it take to be successful? The theory of deep work outlines two core abilities that people need in order to thrive in our new economy.

  1. The ability to quickly master hard things.
  2. The ability to produce at an elite level, in terms of both quality and speed.

Let’s face it, our world is getting damn competitive. Where many technologies used to provide a competitive advantage to organizations and individuals who possessed them, we’re steadily moving in a direction where they playing field is leveling and ultimately the world is demanding other sources of differentiation and value. And where is the world demanding this added value from? That’s right, the individual. It is more important than ever to build our personal skill sets, work habits and abilities as we enter a world that puts a tremendous pressure on us to be outstanding performers in everything we do. So how does this relate to deep work?

There is a lot of research that shows that when we work in a deep, uninterrupted state, we are more likely to optimize our time and productivity. When we are 100% mentally engaged and focused, we are able to more quickly learn and master harder tasks. When we are completely mentally engaged, we are able to produce higher quality work, faster.

 

 

10 Ideas for Graduation Cap Decoration

 

  1. Your Name

NameName

 

 

Putting our names on our possessions is what we have been doing since kindergarten. Now you are graduating and it’s time to decorate your mortarboard. You can use your first name only or last name as well. Style your name in a fancy way to let the audience know who is graduating 🙂

 

 

  1. Something related to your major

Major (math)Major (accounting)

If you have something that you repeatedly learn in your major or something that is very important in your major such as an equation, show it on your graduation cap. It represents what you got from school.

 

 

  1. School theme

School ThemeWhat about adding your school’s mascot?

 

 

  1. Future

FutureAdventure Is Out There

 

Tell the audience where you are going after you graduate from college! Make them excited as well by letting them know what is waiting for you in the future.

 

 

  1. Memory from college

Memory

Add something special to remind you of your college career. This could be some study buddies who you always studied with or with others whom you had the most precious time during school.

 

 

  1. Character

Captain AmericaAriel

 

Take your favorite character to your graduation. Be creative by using quotes from them! It will be entertaining for everyone at the graduation!

 

 

  1. Quotes and Phrase

Just did itBye Felicia

If you have any favorite quotes or phrases that are always in your mind, you could use them as a decoration to deliver your message to the audience. Some suggestions would be favorite quotes from a movie you always watch or a phrase that a famous company uses as their slogan.

 

 

  1. Thank Something

Thanks Mom And Dad And Coffee

Graduation is a great opportunity to say “Thank you”: thank someone who supported you through your college life; thank somewhere you always went during exam weeks; thank something that helped you keep energized when you took down your enemy aka homework.

 

 

  1. Confess Something

Btw i have a tatoo momThis is a great time to confess something. Tell your friends or family something you have kept secret. Surprise!

 

 

  1. 3D decoration

Beer PongBooks and Horse

 

I was impressed how creative people are when I was searching these images. Express what you liked from your school life with a miniature figure of it such as beer pong on your graduation cap. Cool!

 

 

 

 

 

Now what?

 

Did you find any good ideas for your graduation cap? I think it will be fun to decorate your cap because it becomes a memory of the last moments of your college life. It could be your last study break after you have all of your final project done. I hope this article helped you come up with a unique idea and was entertaining for you.