5 easy and natural homemade beauty recipes

For many years now I have been making my own face masks at home – you can make one for dry skin, sensitive skin, tired skin, anything! Most of the ingredients you have in your kitchen, like honey or lemon, have so many healing, moisturizing, and cleansing benefits that they are perfect for skin care.  So, why have I still been spending hundreds of dollars at Ulta on chemical-filled beauty products when I know the magic of natural, homemade products?  These 5 natural and homemade beauty recipes are easy and affordable to make and the best part is they are all great for your skin.  All it takes is a trip to the grocery store, a few essential oils (which are also known to have hundreds of benefits) and a few minutes of your time.

Lavender Eucalyptus Bath Salts

Lavender Eucalyptus Bath Salts


  • 2 cups Epsom salts
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • ¼ cup sea salt (optional)
  • 30 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
  • A few drops food coloring until desired shade (optional)


  1. Mix all ingredients in a medium size bowl
  2. Store in air tight jar and use ¼ cup per bath

Pour in dry ingredients

Pour in dry ingredients

Pour in dry ingredients

Add essential oils

Add essential oils

Add food coloring (optional)

Check consistency


Face Beauty Oil

Face beauty oil


  • 2 drops lavender oil
  • 2 drops frankincense oil
  • 2 drops palmarosa oil
  • 2 drops tea tree oil (optional)
  • 2 – 4 drops vitamin E oil
  • 1 oz almond oil


  1. Add essential oils and other oils to a glass bottle fitted with a glass dropper. Use once in the morning and once at night.

Add lavender

Add frankincense

Add palmarosa

Add tea tree oil

Add vitamin E oil

Add sweet almond oil


Iridescent Hibiscus Blush

Iridescent Hibiscus Blush


  • Arrowroot powder
  • Hibiscus powder
  • Iridescent gold mica powder (optional)
  • Cinnamon (optional)



  1. Use a base of arrowroot powder, approximately 1 TBS.
  2. Add hibiscus powder one teaspoon at a time until you achieve the desired color.
  3. Add a small amount of mica powder for added shimmer.
  4. Add a little cinnamon for a warm glow and depth.

Add arrowroot powder

Add hibiscus powder

Mix to desired color

Add mica powder

Add cinnamon


Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo


  • ¼ cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 2 TBS Cocoa powder
  • 2 – 4 drops of essential oil of choice (optional)



  1. Mix together in a small bowl and store in jar or a clean spice jar.
  2. Apply to the roots of your hair.
  3. If using a blush brush there is less need to comb the excess through your hair. If you lightly sprinkle into hair comb your hair thoroughly.  Style as usual.

Add arrowroot powder or cornstarch

Add cocoa powder

Add essential oil of choice (optional)

Mix together


Foundation Powder

Foundation powder


  • Arrowroot powder
  • Cocoa powder
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground ginger
  • Bentonite clay (absorbs impurities and helps heal the skin)
  • Zinc oxide powder (protects against UVA and UVB rays, natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties) (optional) you can use less arrowroot to allow the use of the zinc oxide powder
  • Vitamin E oil (anti-aging benefits)
  • Lavender essential oil (helps acne and oily skin)
  • Gold mica powder (optional)
  • Iridescent gold mica powder (optional)



  1. Use a non-metallic bowl (bentonite clay should not come in contact with metal) the amount you use of each ingredient will depend on your skin complexion.
  2. Start with arrowroot powder as your base.
  3. Use the main ingredients first before adding the optional ingredients. Remember if you want to use zinc oxide use less arrowroot.
  4. Add each ingredient a little at a time to achieve a desired color. (You can test each color on your hand or arm – I find that with light complexion the foundation looks a little darker in the container, but lighter on the skin.)

Add arrowroot powder

Add cocoa powder

Add nutmeg

Add cinnamon

Add ginger

Add bentonite clay

Add zinc oxide powder

Add vitamin E oil

Add lavender essential oil

Add gold mica powder

Add iridescent gold mica powder

Mix all together





Happily Never After: Montana’s Missed Connections

Welcome to the world of Missed Connections where you can post on Craigslist a short description (or a dramatic poem) about a person you saw and wished you would have “connected with”. And if the majority of the posts weren’t so ridiculously creepy, it could almost be sweet to see how many romantics are out there, tirelessly searching for someone they briefly made eye contact with in line at Taco Bell.

Here’s a few good ones I found in Montana.. And who knows – maybe someone is out there looking for you! You can thank me later when you and your soulmate get connected.

1.The Polygamist.

land and girlfriends montana missed connections

Or do be shy. Unless you’re looking for cheap rent.

2. Connecting on a Connecting Flight.
montana missed connections (2)





You know what else is magnificent? Punctuation.

3. The worst post, ever. 

brown girl montana missed connection

I  have a couple things to say about this one..

1)Brown hair? Brown skin? 2) Were you eating a Crunchwrap Supreme, because those do tend to get messy. 3) I can’t imagine that Razr phone’s photo quality is any good 4)I hope your wife takes that 1994 Vintage Aerostar and drives very quickly and very far away from you. 5) Katy, don’t call him.

4. The Spelling Bee Champion.

spelling issues montana missed connections

couldn’t*, were*, wearing*, and again, were*

5.The Hit and Run.

hit and run love

… so do you want my number to go on a date or to make an insurance claim?

6. Searching for an equally insane counterpart.

zombie apocalypse montana missed connection

Play on playa, play on.

7. The enthusiasm is real.

charter guy montana missed connection

He must have been really cute!!!!!!!!!!!!! n really funny !!!!!!!!!! n like so awesome!!!!!!!!!

8. The Tall Cowboy.VERY montana missed connection



..and this makes us so VERY uncomfortable.

9. Lookin’ Gassy.

Gas Montana Missed Connection

He either bought gasoline or Pepto Bismol.

10. The Hopeless Romantic?

baby jesus Montana missed connection

He’s not just praying to one baby Jesus, he’s praying to ALL of them! aww

If You’re Not Doing This, You Should Be

How To: Never Be Ill

It’s that time of year again where any office space, classroom, or restaurant turns into a battleground between our health and the bugs that cause illness and run rampant through our communities.  If you’re anything like me then you have entirely too much going on and can’t afford to lose the battle to the common cold, seasonal flu, or whatever else they’re calling it these days. I decided after a victory over a sinus infection three years ago that I would do anything it took to not get sick, ever. This is why I have developed a quick and inexpensive regimen to keep myself guarded and armed all year long. I haven’t had even an inkling of illness in three years and think that everyone should benefit from these simple ways to stay healthy. Here is 5 ways to arm your body and never get sick again.


Garlic Bombs

Perhaps the most importangarlict weapon in the arsenal is the garlic bomb. Packed full of fiber, vitamins C and B6 as well as minerals like potassium and calcium, garlic give the immune system a HUGE boost, allowing it to work overtime in destroying any virus or unwanted visitors that may enter your body. While most people like garlic in small amounts and mixed into food, I have found it highly effective to finely chop a clove or two and drop it in about ¼ cup of water and down it quickly to avoid the garlic aftertaste that lingers in the mouth after chewing it. It also reduces blood pressure, cholesterol, prevents dementia, detoxifies heavy metals in your blood and improves athletic performance.  You can’t have too many of these so drop them as often as you’d like!




Raw Apple Cider Vinegar Shots

A shot of this one or twice a day will bring your whole body to the equilibrium that it is constantly working to achieve. This allows for your energy to be used in other ways, like fighting off infection and increasing brain function. It balances the pH levels inside of your body as well as on the outside such as nourishing your skin and hair. It aids in weight loss, removes candida which causes sugar cravings, poor memory and fatigue, and can reduce heartburn. Take a standard sized shot (1 oz) of this with turmeric to reduce the acidity or dilute with water. The ‘raw’ part is imperative because it contains probiotics that help with digestion. I use Bragg’s brand which can be found at any grocery store. If you can take a shot of whiskey, you can take a shot of this!


Turmeric Powder

Bright orange in color, this spice does not try to camouflage it incredible benefits. Turmeric is a root that is harvested and ground into a fine powder. It has anti-inflammatory qualities, fights infection and destroys any free-radicals (cancer-causing organisms) that enter the body. It severely reduces the risk of diabetes, cancer, heart-disease, and contains repairing properties for brain stem cells. The daily recommended amount is 1-2 tablespoons. I get my turmeric fix by mixing 1.5 tablespoons in a standard sized shot glass with apple cider vinegar. Adding ¼ teaspoon of black pepper increases bioavailability of the turmeric so you can reap all the benefits. If the turmeric and ACV is too much for you, try mixing it with ¼ cup water instead. This one is a must not just for fighting off colds but for a long (and cognitive) life!

Hot Lemon & Honey Water

This has not only changed the way I think about coffee, but chalemonnged the way I think about mornings. Drinking this on an empty stomach (before coffee) cleanses and hydrates the lymphatic system which, when dehydrated, is the leading cause of illness. It also cleanses the colon, skin, and digestive system. The enzymes in the lemon give a nice, clean boost of energy first thing in the morning without caffeine. If you’re interested in a beautiful healthy glow outside and highly functioning system inside, then this is drink for you. I use a half a lemon and 1.5 teaspoons of raw, natural honey and look forward to this treat every morning! A must have while fighting a viral invasion.


Ginger Tea

This last one is a bit more time consuming but equally as important. Ginger has been used for centuries for its preventative, healing and aiding properties. It allows for better absorption of vitamins and minerals, cleanses the body of unwanted bacteria and boosts the immune system to fight infection. It is also an anti-inflammatory and reduces risk of colon and stomach cancers and ulcers. Steep 2 tablespoons of shredded ginger in hot water and drink like tea 1-3 times per day. Ginger tea helps pull the rest of the regimen together and keeps you getting the most of everything you put into your body.


There are many other spices, oils and foods you can eat to keep you healthy, but my personal five favorites continue work flawlessly for me. Since I have started this I have been sleeping more soundly, waking up with ease, have increased energy and stamina, clearer thinking, and an overall improved mood. Try one, or all of these amazing weapons and see for yourself the positive effects they can have. Your body will thank you and you will be glad when you are healthy and come out of the battlegrounds unscathed! 


Happy Healthing,

Niki Bates


Missoula Passion Project

Passion Project Missoula

by Kate Trahan

In a world with unlimited options for recreation, it’s fascinating to learn how people develop their unique interests. As humans, we are capable of being passionate about hobbies and how we spend our free time. As Missoula is a real hub for niche hobbies and sports, I ventured across Missoula in search of some passionate folks who would let me in on why they love what they do.

The Axe Thrower  

My first interview was with Kate Page, a member of the UM Woodsmen Team. The team is usually made up of about 15-20 students who participate in Timber sports. For those of you like myself, who don’t know what Timber sports are, they are sports that take the traditional practices of logging and turn them into competitive events. It’s just as crazy as it sounds. The events include the axe throw, pole climb, chopping and birling (an activity where two people run on a log in the water. The goal: get the other person to fall in first).

(Photo by Kaemyn Meagher)





If you’re like me, these activities sound like a slight form of torture. I don’t know if I can even lift an axe above my head; much less hurl it at a target from long distances. So I wondered: why does Kate dedicate her time to this unique sport?

“Honestly I like feeling badass,” Kate said while she cracked a smile. I certainly would use that term as well if I was a female axe thrower. “I also really enjoy the history of it,” she continued. Kate is a forestry major from Oregon. Kate really enjoys that the sport is unique and not a lot of people do it and that it presents a challenge.

“Using a cross cut saw can be challenging and people don’t really understand that. It makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something.”

The UM Woodsmen Team team travels and competes in Colorado, Oregon, Idaho, California and British Columbia, and they do it well. They have a practice arena at Fort Missoula where they can run through obstacle courses and drills to hone their skills. Practices are pretty laid back. But like most things, you get back what you put into it.

“Common interests, such as being outside and doing outdoor activities fills a void. We teach people how to do things outside with their hands, which is why they come to Montana,” said Kate.

This year, Missoula will host the 77th Conclave, a weeklong Timber Sports event sponsored by Stihl. Schools from all over come to compete and are shown on ESPN. The competition starts at Fort Missoula on April 27th.

The Triathlete

My second interview was with Elaine Marshall. Elaine is a triathlete and will be competing in her 4th Grizzly triathlon this April.


The Grizzly Triathlon is a sprint distance triathlon that consists of a 1,000-yard swim, 12-mile bike ride and a 5K run along the Kim Williams trail.

This race is certainly not for the faint of heart. Swimming 1,000 yards sounds like my own personal hell, but Elaine loves it. She started out as a swimmer in high school and got more into running and biking in college.

“I am passionate about it because training can improve your mental and physical health. I like having a goal to work towards,” said Elaine.

Elaine tries to train six days a week, but she makes sure she wants to do it and is not just forcing herself to.

“If I’m going to do it, I have to put it all out there” she said. “At the end of the race, hopefully the time is okay, and you can feel like you accomplished something.”


The Curler


I interviewed Barry Bollenback, the president of the Missoula Curling Club, who lights up when he talks about curling. Organized curling started in Missoula six years ago when a few folks created a Facebook event to come “Learn to Curl”. People instantly got hooked and the rest is history. Barry played hockey all of his life and enjoyed watching his sons play hockey in their youth. Barry says he took up curling because it’s a sport that you can play all of your life.


Curling is a sport that originates in Scotland. It consists of four people on each team and sixteen “stones” per game. Each player throws two stones while the other players use brooms to sweep in front of the stones and direct them to the “house” (a large circle on the ice). The object is to have more stones closer to the house than your opponents.


Though it sounds pretty simple, the sport is very strategic. “It is almost like chess on ice,” said Barry. “You don’t have to be strong but you have to be ready for a mental challenge.”

Barry is passionate about curling because it’s fun, mentally stimulating, unique, something you can play all of your life, and you can drink beer while doing it.

“You congratulate your opponent more than you congratulate yourself. And the winning team always buys the losing team their first beer.”  Now you’re speaking my language, Barry.

The Dancer

My fourth interview was with Kate Tryhas. (Keep in mind that you don’t have to be named Kate to be a part of this project, but it just so happens myself and two girls I interviewed are named Kate)

Kate is an OULA instructor at the Women’s Club.  OULA is a high-tempo dance workout that was started here in Missoula by Kali Linder.

Kate went to her first class four years ago at the YMCA. “You know the Freshman 15? Yeah, I was trying to avoid that, “ she said with a laugh. Kate fell in love OULA because it’s different from a traditional workout and there is a strong sense of community. OULA started in Missoula and has spread across the nation, with hundreds of instructors and even a line of apparel.

I decided to try my hand at OULA, with Kate as my instructor. I felt like I should apologize to everyone around me for having to witness my attempt at rhythm and movement. “The great thing about it is that it’s not about how it looks. It’s about how it feels, “said Kate.
After interviewing a number of people with nontraditional hobbies, I was fascinated. It was cool to catch a little glimpse of what is happening here in Missoula. In most cases what people liked about their particular sport had nothing really to do with the sport itself but with the challenge and the feeling they had from it. The fact that the sport was fun just seemed to be the icing on the cake.

The 10 Foods That You Must Try in Missoula, MT

Missoula, Montana is home to beautiful views, friendly people, and incredible food. Whether you’re just visiting and don’t know where to start, or you live here and want to switch things up, you can’t go wrong with these 10 dishes and drinks!

 Liquid Planet Grille: Biscuits & Gravy

Liquid Planet Grille Biscuits and Gravy

The Liquid Planet Grille sits right across the street from the University of Montana campus, making it a hit with students and faculty alike. Aside from having killer sandwiches, fries and tots, this joint is also home to some of the best breakfast dishes out there. We’re talking about biscuits & gravy. This savory dish is the perfect way to fulfill your growling tummy in the morning (or any time of the day for that matter). Two flakey, buttery biscuits get topped with rich sausage gravy infused with the earthy flavors of sage and rosemary. As if it can’t get any better, the good folks behind this masterpiece top it all off with candied bacon. Yes, candied bacon! You don’t want to miss out on this one. I know you’re drooling just thinking about it. I sure am.

Biga Pizza: Flathead Cherry Pizza

Biga Pizza Flathead Cherry Pizza

If you are a lover of pizza, or just food in general, then Biga Pizza is for you. Aside from tasty salads, antipasto plates, sandwiches and calzones, Biga creates some of the most incredible pizzas out there. From classics like cheese or pepperoni, to more exotic flavors like maple chipotle or fig and prosciutto, there is something for everyone. There is one pizza on the menu, however, that stands out above the rest. The Flathead Cherry Pizza is from another world. The homemade sausage, smoked gouda cheese, fresh mozzarella, and fragrant garlic oil is paired with a sweet cherry chutney to create a mouthwatering combination that is finally cooked to perfection in a brick pizza oven. It might sound unconventional for a pizza, but the juxtaposition of the savory sausage against the sweet cherry chutney, completed with two creamy cheeses is sure to satisfy anyone’s pizza craving!

Jaker’s Bar and Grill: Scones and Honey Butter

Jaker's Bar and Grill Scones and Honey Butter

 Whether you’re looking for a delicious steak dinner, or an endless soup and salad lunch, Jaker’s has it all. The item on the menu that just tops it all off, however, actually comes to your table courtesy of the restaurant. Instead of classic bread and butter with your meal, the fine folks at Jaker’s offer something much more dreamy. Scones and honey butter. It sounds simple, but these aren’t just any scones. Soft, sweet, decadent, and paired with honey butter that melts in your mouth. You might actually find yourself full before your meal comes, because it’s impossible to have just one….or two…. or four.

 Top Hat Lounge: Chicken and Waffles

Top Hat Chicken and Waffles

 The Top Hat Lounge is a special joint located in downtown Missoula. They host a variety of events, concerts and shows. While you’re soaking up some entertainment, don’t forget to check out the menu. From small plates, to burgers with locally sourced meats, the Top Hat offers some tasty combinations with crazy fresh ingredients. If you’re looking for a little snack or flavorful meal, you cannot go wrong with the chicken and waffles. The waffle has a hint of sweetness that comes from a vanilla batter. The chicken comes in the form of perfectly fried little nuggets of heaven. To make this dish even more irresistible, it comes with maple rosemary butter and some maple syrup. The perfect combination of sweet and savory that you’ll come back for time and time again.

 Thomas Meagher Bar: Pub Nachos

Thomas Meagher Bar

 Pronounced “Mahr Bar,” this Irish Pub knows how to satisfy an appetite. Meagher Bar has a wide selection of tantalizingly good dishes, from a range of mac and cheeses, to wings, bruschetta, and pasties. They have a trivia night and a beer bingo night; both offering prizes and drink specials. So why wouldn’t you want to go here? It gets better though. The hidden gem that you MUST try from the menu is the Pub Nachos. The regular nacho toppings are all there, from onions, black beans and tomatoes, to jalapenos, cheese and salsa. But what makes these bad boys really special is the Irish Beer Cheese Sauce. Not to mention, you can switch out the boring tortilla chips for Doritos. Yes, I’m serious. This giant plate of Dorito, Irish Beer Cheese Sauce nachos will give you an entirely new perspective on nachos. So try them.

 Big Dipper Ice Cream: Dusty Dale

Big Dipper Ice Cream

 It’s no secret that Big Dipper Ice Cream is home to some of the best sweet treats in town. With lines flowing all the way to the street, it seems that customers will bear any type of weather to get a taste of the famous ice cream. Have you ever tried cardamom ice cream before? How about El Salvador Coffee ice cream? Big Dipper’s homemade ice cream comes in just about any flavor you can think of, and they’re all incredible. If you’re a fan of chocolate, there is one concoction that you don’t want to miss out on. The Dusty Dale is a combination of chocolate ice cream, chocolate sauce, malt powder and whipped cream. The variety of textures creates a creamy, crunchy, chewy, soft, crazy delicious party in your mouth. It is the perfect way to cool down on a hot summer day, or just to enjoy and rich and sweet treat any time of the year.

 Taco Sano: Breakfast Burrito

Taco Sano Breakfast Burrito

Taco Sano is a locally owned burrito shop that focuses on using fresh and local ingredients, and homemade sauces for a Mexican food experience unlike any other. The breakfast burritos are an item on the mouthwatering menu that can make any Monday morning brighter. Not to mention, they are accompanied by free coffee! The burritos start with scrambled eggs, to which your choice of juicy meat can be added. Choose from BBQ brisket, pulled chicken, ground beef, Pacific salmon, or pulled pork. Next comes the cheese, salsa, your choice of homemade sauce (my favorite is cilantro lime), and finally potatoes and sautéed veggies. This is no ordinary breakfast burrito, so start your day happy and swing by Taco Sano, on the Hip Strip yo.

 James Bar: Sweet Potato Tots

James Bar Sweet Potato Tots

 James Bar is a cool little spot tucked away in the heart of downtown Missoula. Dimly lit, chic, and classy, but with a rustic, friendly and approachable feel, James Bar offers an eclectic menu with some ridiculously flavorful food. From comfort food such as smoked gouda mac and cheese or shepherd’s pie, to quinoa cakes and lobster sliders, James Bar has something for any type of diner. The “Local Legend” on the menu that is a must-try comes in the form of sweet potato tater tots. These babies come piping hot to your table and are crispy and golden on the outside, but unbelievably creamy on the inside. There is no way to do these things justice with words, because they are honestly that good. As if they can get any better, you have the option of dipping sauces, from classic ketchup, to mango ketchup, ancho ketchup or caper tartar sauce. So whether you’re staying for dinner, or just grabbing a drink and a snack, make sure to ask for some sweet potato tots.

 Doc’s Sandwich Shop: Doc Holiday

Doc's Sandwich Shop

 Doc’s Sandwich Shop is located in the Higgins Building in the center of downtown Missoula. Known both for the crazy names of their sandwiches, as well as their genius sandwich creations, Doc’s is the perfect lunch joint. You can try a Doctor Strangelove if you’re in the mood for a meatball and marinara sandwich. Or maybe you’d like a Doctor Doolittle if you like chicken salad with some unique and yummy mix-ins such as apples. If nothing sounds quite right then you can “write your own prescription” and choose all the fixings yourself. But before you dive into that, the sandwich that you MUST try is the Doc Holiday. Referencing the festive Thanksgiving ingredients in the name of the sandwich, the Doc Holiday is the best combination of familiar holiday foods for us all. The multi-grain bread is stacked high with fresh sliced turkey, herby stuffing, cranberry sauce, lettuce and mayo. It is Thanksgiving dinner rolled into one perfect sandwich that can be enjoyed any day of the year, and it never disappoints.

 Montana Distillery: Blood Mary

Montana Distillery Bloody Mary

 After trying all of the incredible food that Missoula has to offer, you’re probably going to be in need of a drink. The Montana Distillery is a unique micro-distillery, bar and tasting room that offers some of the highest quality vodkas out there. A laundry list of flavors is available, from pepper to ginger, and bacon to huckleberry. This isn’t artificial flavoring either. Montana Distillery’s vodka is made from all-natural, fresh ingredients, creating the most authentic flavor possible. The menu of specialty drinks will keep you busy for hours, but the one thing you have to try is a Bloody Mary. This customizable drink allows you to pick your vodka (I like pepper and bacon) to add to their homemade Bloody Mary mix, topped off with a variety of garnishes. This drink is aromatic, so flavorful and truly the perfect way to end a busy week.