What I From Learned Driving in the Snow

Caroline Armstrong

Being raised in Seattle, Washington I did not get many opportunities to drive in the snow growing up. When it did snow, usually only 1-2 inches, everything shut down and people just simply stayed home – no need to drive! With the current snow storm hitting the Seattle area, I though I would share the valuable lesson I learned in 2015.

After high school I decided to go to college in Montana, and as most people know it snows quite a bit in Montana. My first year of college, I decided to drive back to Seattle for Thanksgiving with a few of my friends. It had just begun snowing the day before and I had a 4-wheel drive car so I figured everything should be OK.

I began my drive down I-90 West with a car full of gals, the snow was light and everything was going fine… well, for about 50 miles at least.

Coming around a slight curve at about 60 MPH (the Montana speed limit is 80 MPH) I felt my back tires starting to slide and just like that I had lost all control. My car spun around 3 or 4 times before slamming into a ditch and screeching to a stop. Shock. That’s all I felt. Silence. No one had said a word the whole time we were spinning and crashing. Immediately we all got out of the car to make sure everyone was OK and to examine the damage.

The airbags had deployed, I had a broken front axle, completely messed up front and back bumpers, two popped tires and two bent rims. But most importantly, no one was hurt. Luckily, my friends are much better at handling bad situations than I am because that is when it all set it. I could have killed myself and all my friends. Why? Because I was inexperienced. I didn’t know to slow down. I didn’t know to be on the lookout for black ice – what ended by causing the accident. I just didn’t know.

Driving when there is snow and ice on the road is unlike any other driving condition. Yes, you might have 4-wheel drive but that does not mean you have 4-wheel stop. The ice has a mind of its own and once you begin to slide it can be very hard to stop.

This winter, I beg of you to go slow in the snow. If you are an experienced snow driver, slow down. If you have never driven in the snow before, slow down. Even if the roads seem fine, slow down. It could save your life.

Advertisements

How To Make String Art


Are you looking for a cute wall piece to liven up your living room, or a cute meaningful gift for someone that is hard to buy for? Why spend a ton of money at a department stores for decorations or gifts, when you could simply make them yourself!

I have always been one for arts and crafts, and with pinterest constantly filling my head with crafty ideas and do it yourself projects, string art just looked and sounded something cool to do! If you know how to handle a hammer and can tie a knot, this project should be easy and fun.

Here are my steps start to finish to help you to successfully make a beautiful and one of a kind string art project perfect for a gift, or simply as a decoration in your own home. Trust me, people will be asking where you got them.

 

Lets Get Started!

 


Step 1: Tools and Supplies

First you must decide what kind of material you would like to work with( wood, canvas, etc.), and collect all of the supplies you will need. In this project, here is a list of the supplies used:

  • Wood (size is optional, however it must be at least a half inch thick to ensure nails can be        hammered deep enough to prevent them from coming loose)
  • Nails- (16mm-25.4mm long)
  • String (color is optional)
  • Printed string art pattern or stencil
  • Hammer
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Hot glue gun (optional)
  • Wood Stain (optional)
  • Paintbrush (optional)

 

 


Step 2: Hammer Time!

For this project, I chose to print out an outline, and tape it to my surface. If you would rather, you can draw the image straight on the surface, and follow the lines that way. The benefit of taping your outline onto the board is that you can remove the stencil later on and not have unwanted lines left behind. It also makes following the pattern very simple and easy.

As you can see in the pattern above, the lines are quite complex. If this is your first time attempting string art, I would suggest a less intricate stencil, and work your way up to more difficult patterns.

When hammering the nails, space them about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch apart.

Once you have finished hammering, go back through and make sure each nail is secure. This is VERY important to do to ensure that while stringing, the nails will not be pulled out, or loosen. This is also crucial to do before the outline is removed because when pulling the outline off, nails that are not secure will come out.

After removing the outline, I chose to stain the piece of wood in order to create a more bold background for the string to stand out from. This step is optional, however, it definitely adds to the piece.

 


Step 3: Ready, Set, STRING!

For this project, I decided to do a thick cross string pattern.

Essentially, there is no pattern to follow, simply begin by tying a double knot around one nail, this will be your starting point. Be sure to leave a long tail to connect your end piece of string with. From there, create the outline for your pattern by looping the string around the outer points of the pattern.

Once you have the outline strung up, begin crossing the string through out out the nails and fill in the pattern. Decide whether you want your pattern to look more ‘holey’, meaning the board beneath is visible, or more filled in where you cannot see the board.


Step 4: Finishing Touches

This step is just for tying up all the loose ends. (Literally)

Be sure that the string is tight and you have gotten the look you want. For extra securing purposes, use a hot glue gun to glue the two trimmed end pieces that are tied together. This is of course optional, however it does help the piece to last for years to come.

Katie Buckley is a University of Montana Senior in pursuit of a Marketing Degree as well as a certificate in Event Management. She loves Pinterest and gains a lot of her DIY inspiration from the creativity of others and hopes to share her own ideas projects with the world and inspire others.

You Know You’re From A Big Family When…

I’m not really sure what it is like to have a “normal” sized family, and for that I am thankful. I’ve grown up with too many aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, third cousins, great aunts, great-great aunts to count. Growing up in a big family is really wonderful for some reasons, and not so wonderful for other reasons, but it’s all about how you look at it. Here are seventeen things everyone with a big family will understand:

best family ever

ONE: There is no such thing as a small gathering
Oh it’s your birthday?! Once all 65 family members arrive, it’s time to celebrate!

TWO: There’s no difference between your first cousin and your fifth cousin
You know you have 12 first cousins, but you’re not really sure which 12 of the family members labeled “cousin” are those ones. You have so many cousins, and your family is so inclusive and there are so many family members at the gathering that you wonder to yourself, “Am I really even related to this person?”

THREE: Your cousins are your best friends
You met your best friends the day you met your family. Those cousins that you’re always forced to hang out with, you fight with, and you sometimes get annoyed with are actually your favorite people on Earth, and you’re so thankful they’re related to you so that they are forced to be your best friends forever.

FOUR: You know just when to head to the kitchen so you beat the line for dinner
You know exactly which family member is in charge of the last step for the family meal. When you see them walk into the kitchen you strategically place yourself so that when they yell, “Dinner is served!” You can be first to jump in line. With a big family, you don’t want to take your chances being polite, there might not be any food left when you reach the front of the line in an hour!

FIVE: Saying goodbye takes forever
You have to start saying goodbye an hour before you actually want to leave to make sure you have time to say a proper goodbye to all. Often times you forget who you’ve already said goodbye to and end up doing your rounds more than once.

SIX: Gossip
I know, no one likes to admit it, but we all gossip. There’s no such thing as keeping a secret when you have a big family. Gossip spreads like wildfire. If you have some news, you better share with everyone before your mom tells her sisters and her sisters tell your cousins and your cousins tell… You know what I’m talking about.

SEVEN: The kids table
You’re in your 20s but you’re still sitting at the kids table. Yes, you are an adult but there still isn’t room at their table for you. Now your family had to create the “little kids” table for the generation behind you.

EIGHT: Family vacations
Family vacations are a lot of fun and there’s always someone willing to go on whatever adventure you want to go on. But with that big of a group it’s almost impossible to get everyone out the door. You spend more time trying to get everyone on the same page, than you do enjoying your vacation.

NINE: When you hear family picture you run
Taking a nice family picture with that many people is impossible. There are always a few family members missing that will need to be photoshopped in anyway, so you wonder if you can just be added to that list. Someone is bound to have their eyes closed, or not be ready for the photo. But once you do get that perfect picture you all post it as your Facebook cover photo and are happy to have a great photo of your favorite people.

TEN: You’re always shocked when someone’s significant other can actually handle the crazy
Or, the opposite, you cannot understand when they don’t embrace every minute of “family time”.

ELEVEN: You have rehearsed the answers to the questions you will be asked by everyone before gatherings.
Yes, I’m still single. No, I don’t know what I am doing when I graduate. You know exactly what questions you are going to be asked so you prepare. You almost want to just make an announcement when you arrive to avoid the repetition, yet, you ask the same type of questions to everyone else. And everyone is asking because they truly care, so you feel bad if you give a half-assed answer.

TWELVE: Members of the family start to move away and it’s almost impossible to always be together
Every gathering you hope that everyone will be there, but it is so rare that you can have all of your favorite people in the same room at once. You are even that person who has to miss out on the parties now, and you long to be with your family more frequently.

THIRTEEN: You have mastered taking over an entire restaurant… Or even small town.
As soon as you walk into a restaurant everyone knows you are there, and you won’t let them forget it for a second. Thankfully, you have those uncles with the great tricks and jokes that never fail to get the entire restaurant to participate in the family party.

FOURTEEN: The Holidays are never ending
Christmas eve eve, Christmas eve, Christmas, day after Christmas, day after the day after Christmas. You find any and every reason to get together. Some family members try to act like they hate it, but hey, they still show up so you know they secretly love it.

FIFTEEN: You don’t know how your grandparents do it
Your grandparents have seen and heard it all. They have had to put up with all of this craziness for many years and yet they still seem to be sane. You don’t know how they remember every little thing about each member of the family. Your grandparents have so much love to go around, and you want to be just like them when you grow up.

SIXTEEN: You’ve had a lot of really great times and really bad times.
Like any family, in a big family you have some great times together and then you have some really hard times. Your family is who you want to celebrate life’s accomplishments with, and they’re the only people who know just how to comfort you in a hard time. The highs are extremely high with a big family. The lows are a little less low when you have such a big family because you have so many people supporting you.

SEVENTEEN: You secretly wish there was a family gathering 365 days a year
At the end of the day, you miss your family when you’re not with them. You wish you could see all of them everyday.
I wouldn’t trade my big family for anything. I am so thankful I have grown up with all of my crazy, hilarious, and loving family members!IMG_6476

This blog post was written by Anne Hagerty. 

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.