Our June 2018 Updates! Sharing 15 things I’m loving lately around Bozeman Montana, including hiking, books, Yellowstone, games, etc.
Summer kick-off has officially begun and I thought I’d pop in with some behind-the-scenes updates and things I’m loving. I haven’t been posting as much, but I’ve been recipe testing and am excited to share some new ideas soon.
But first, a few thoughts on my mind: I’ve dedicated the past couple years to a more consciously-driven journey. For me, that means less screen time. More reading and expanding the mind. Finding awareness behind my thoughts & emotions. Questioning things and approaching them with curiosity. Slowing down to live in the present. Practicing mindful consumption in all aspects – with purchases, what I eat, and what I allow my brain to consume (reading, watching, social media, etc.) I’ve been striving to fill my days with meaningful, authentic, and gratitude-filled moments. Of course I’m human, so I make mistakes and there’s always more progress to be made. But it feels like a worthwhile journey that can always be continued & improved upon every single day. I’m curious to hear your thoughts on this and what it means to you to live consciously. Now onward to 15 things I’m loving lately!
There’s so much beauty in this world and I’ve been nose-deep in lilacs smelling all the smells. One of my favorite scents! (And not too shabby on the eyes either.)
2. Old Faithful Inn (Yellowstone National Park)
The Old Faithful geyser puts on quite a show just steps from this inn, but I adore this building just as much. It was built in 1904 with local logs & stone and is said to be the largest log hotel in the world. I can just feel the 100+ years of history when I walk in this place and it takes my breath away. I haven’t spent the night here (yet) but it’s on my bucket list. Has anyone else ever visited the inn? (Read more about it on the Old Faithful Inn Wikipedia page.)
3. “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson
One of the most powerful books I’ve read in a while. Mr. Stevenson challenges and urges the reform of our criminal justice system in the United States by fighting for fair & equal treatment for all. (He is also the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative based in Montgomery, Alabama.)
4. Kindergarten Hike
My daughter finished up her kindergarten year with a class trip to a local hiking trail here in Bozeman, Montana. A fun day of sunshine, wildflowers, and happy kids!
5. Lost Cities Card Game
I bought this game for my husband for Christmas and we’re fairly obsessed. It’s a two person game with a simple concept but intriguing strategy – it plays a little different every time. I love that it’s quick and easy to set up, plus one round only takes about 10-15 minutes, so you can string together however many you want.
(There’s also a Lost Cities board game but I’m not familiar with that version – would love to hear if anyone’s played it!)
I just started learning ukulele and am really enjoying it so far. I played cornet in jr. high & high school and piano a bit as a kid (trying to brush up those skills as well) but was looking for a fun new challenge and ukulele called out to me.
7. Herb Garden
Trying my hand at a wee little herb garden out on our front porch this year with basil, cilantro, and parsley. I love being able to just walk outside and take what I need (or sometimes just to smell the basil) as opposed to buying big bundles that I have trouble using up.
The past few months I’ve upped my Sudoku (and crossword puzzles) in an effort to sharpen my brain. I’ve been trying to swap the time I used to spend consuming things with doing things instead. (Puzzles, learning new skills, music, etc.) Any other Sudoku or crossword fanatics out there?
9. City of Asheville’s Vegan Challenge
I recently came across this article and I’m pretty sure it’s the coolest thing I’ve seen in a while. Apparently the city of Asheville, NC declared the first-ever city wide vegan challenge week (complete with a proclamation signed by the mayor.) They’re raising awareness about animal justice, environmental/climate justice, and plant-based nutrition to improve health. Even restaurants and businesses are getting involved. Great & inspiring things happening in the city of Asheville, I love it.
PS – check out the “City Vegan Challenge” website and see how you can encourage your own city to try it too!
10. “Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah
I admit I don’t watch The Daily Show but I’ve been intrigued by Trevor’s story & background for a while. This book was a fantastic read about his experiences growing up in apartheid South Africa. It was an awesome recommendation from someone on Instagram – I love hearing your recommendations, so keep them coming!
11. Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies
The lovely Ashley from Blissful Basil is the mastermind behind these delicious (vegan & gluten-free) peanut butter cookies. My daughter loves helping with the criss-cross before baking and I love the simple ingredients. We’re at a higher altitude so I usually cook ours a bit longer (about 15-18 minutes typically.) Huge thanks to Ashley for posting them! See the recipe from Blissful Basil here
12. House Plants
I’m a semi-minimalist at heart, but in the case of plants… more = better. This is our newest friend (a variegated snake plant) which, as a bonus, is also on NASA’s Clean Air Study list. One plant closer to jungle-izing our home!
13. Mumford & Sons
I’ve been diving into the wonderful world of Ayurvedic medicine & lifestyle for a few months and love the knowledge packed into these books. Ayurveda is the world’s oldest healing system that originated in India over 5,000 years ago. The word Ayurveda literally means “the knowledge or study of life”. It addresses the root causes of our health challenges at all levels (body, mind, and spirit) and empowers us to take control of our whole-body health through natural methods. I’ve really enjoyed trying out several of the practices (like adding in more beneficial spices, seasonal eating, striving to wake up at 6 AM every day, etc.) Many of the recipes/tips in Ayurveda include dairy and some meat, but I alter the methods to stay aligned with my plant-based lifestyle.
“Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom” is a bit more in-depth and full of wonderful knowledge (more textbook-like), and “The Ayurveda Way” is a simplified version of 108 practices you can put into use – both are lovely books.
15. Zero Waste Journey… Continued
The past several months I’ve been going through our home, lifestyle, and diet to basically question everything and refine our habits in striving for the lowest ecological footprint. It’s sort of a fun game seeing what changes you can make to refuse, reduce, reuse as much as possible. I’ve been fascinated with this topic for a while, but the book “Zero Waste Home” by Bea Johnson inspired me even more to expand my efforts.
That’s a wrap on things I’m loving! What have you been enjoying lately? Share below in the comments or come join The Garden Grazer on Instagram! I love connecting with you all. Wishing everyone a lovely start to summer! -Kaitlin
PS – also check out the “Vegan Salad” archives on the site for some summer recipe inspiration!