over the last few years, one of my favourite things about sister coming to visit – besides seeing her, duh – is getting to explore a new part of the north west. we’ve driven out to vancouver island, stopping along the way. we’ve gone car camping, and birthday hiking, and mountain exploring.

this year we headed south and across the border for our first visit to montana.

we started on a high note with the sweetest border guard at chief mountain crossing, who chatted with us and gave us a passport stamp in the shape of a bear. a bear! there were so many smiles and giggles following that. bear stamp!

gtsr

i was most excited to experience going to the sun road and glacier national park. i have heard such magical things about it, but for some reason didn’t have much of an expectation for montana. i had thought, “sure i’ll go once to cross it off the list, but doubt i’ll ever go back.” boy was i wrong! plus, it houses the closest target! god bless target.

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the fantastic people at ford canada have always been excited to travel along on our sister trips, too. and this time we were able to explore in a 2016 C-MAX hybrid.

shaped like a miniature/small ford explorer, the hatchback and large back seat fit two suitcases, two purses, a backpack, many pairs of shoes, and groceries with plenty of room to spare. (and on the return trip, many things from target, and tj maxx.)

the hybrid functionality, made it super fuel efficient and we drove from calgary to whitefish, crossing the whole distance of going to the sun road, as well as into glacier national park two more times, plus two trips to target, and part of the way back to canada on one tank of gas.

if you’ve never driven a hybrid, i’d definitely suggest it. it teaches you how to drive more economically because you learn how to break to recharge the battery and how fast breaking or too quick accelerating uses all gas and no electricity. when you’re in charge of paying for gas, you’ll gladly break properly and be thrilled to use the battery power.

snow

we lucked out, arriving just two days after going to the sun road fully opened. when we got to the highest point at logan pass, we found out why. after putting on five layers of clothes, we were greeted with close to zero-degree temperatures and many feet of snow. knowing we didn’t have to stay too long, it was fun to play in it and throw snowballs in june.

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a few miles down the road, at a lower altitude, the snow had melted and we were back to clear blue skies and warm temperatures. i fully know why montana is called ‘big sky country’. when you’re out of the mountains, the ranch fields are vast and flat leaving the horizon clear and open.

going to the sun road, with all of it’s twists and turns, mountain views and flowing emerald lakes, is more stunning than you could imagine. i suggest that everyone put that drive on their checklist. and make sure you stop at a lookout or two on the drive, too. you’ll want the photos, even though they don’t do the memories justice.

i can’t even count the amount of times i’d stretch out a hand to hit sister in the arm (lightly) and exclaim, “shut up!” it was too beautiful to believe.


have you ever driven a hybrid? have you ever been to montana?

our noses play such a huge role in so much: what we want to eat, our moods, and how we experience things around us. there aren’t too many things better than sense-arousing smells.

essential oils seem to be a fad right now – no i’m not mlm’ing anything. but i started learning more how oils can benefit us in different ways. my number one interest is always how natural outlets can help improve mental health. smell and oils really do work wonders in this category.

oils can be quite concentrated and need to be diluted before use. for this reason, i don’t want to put any directly on my skin, instead i’ve been looking into diffusers.

organic-aromas

i recently got sent the exquisite essential oil diffuser for aromatherapy from organic aromas. i chose it because of it’s sleek and slender design; it’s tiny frame blends in elegantly to my existing living room decor. it was specifically designed and developed for modern, fashion-minded individuals who desire something fresh, exciting and unique. now, if that doesn’t sound like me, i don’t know what does. *humble brag*

unlike many nebulizers, it uses no heat or water to diffuse, which maintains the holistic and therapeutic properties of essential oils.

maybe it’s because the oils are not diluted, or maybe because it’s so easy to use often since you don’t have to fill the body with water, i feel like i’m going through oils a bit faster. at the same time, it’s the purest and most intense i’ve ever smelled any oil i’ve diffused, and my apartment lingers of the scents for many hours after i’ve turned it off.

you may also forget that it’s on, because it is completely quiet.

not to worry, it automatically turns off after two hours. for this reason, i’m also contemplating putting it in my bedroom to defuse sleepy-time scents like lavender. i’ve never used essential oils to aid sleep, but i’ve heard it works wonders and i need as much help as i can get in that department.

currently my favourite scents to diffuse are: organic aroma’s signature blend, liquid sunshine and mountain high from saje wellness, and elevation from doterra.


do you diffuse? what are some of your favourite blends?

since i’ve become much more serious about my PCOS diagnosis, i feel that all my spare time is spent at the grocery store or cooking. i’ve never been a fan of grocery shopping, so if i could find a super affordable way to replace that, i would. sadly, most deliveries have a markup, so for now i’m stuck wandering the aisles.

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side note: if your avocados, pepper and onion, go on a field trip without you. call the grocery store. they’ll most likely return the rebellious bunch to you.

one of my favourite recipes from the plan is the breakfast frittata. it’s now a regular around here for any meal. it keeps really well in the fridge, so i make a double batch and portion it out for the week.

taking the time to prep my breakfasts and lunches keeps me on track. i don’t like to wake up earlier than i need to in the morning, so pulling a few pre-portioned containers from the fridge on my way to work makes things easy. easy = successful.

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breakfast frittata
(makes two large servings)

ingredients:

  • 2 fresh italian sausages/patties – gluten free, sugar free (i use lean ground pork or turkey because i couldn’t find the g/s free type)
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 4 oz sweet potato, peeled, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened along milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • himalayan salt and ground black pepper to taste

preheat over to 350 degrees.
in a large fry pan, cook sausage. transfer to a large bowl once browned, keeping fat in the pan.
sauté sweet potato cubes until soft, then transfer into bowl.
cook the red onion and red pepper next, then transfer into bowl.
wilt spinach in the pan last, then add to bowl.
in a separate bowl, beat eggs, almond milk and garlic powder together.
mix into the bowl containing the sausage, sweet potato, etc.
pour all contents into a greased 8×8 pan.
bake for 30 minutes.
let cool and portion into two.

the portions are pretty large, so it’s perfect if you’re ravenous in the morning. if not, save the leftovers for a mid-morning snack that will tide you over until lunch so you don’t end up with onset cravings or intense hunger.

recipe posted with permission from Kym Campbell. the next 30-day pcos diet challenge begins july 1. sign up here.


what’s your favourite breakfast?