Category Archive for "Living Simply"

Homesteading Win: DIY Lip Balm

When Sean started using the adjective “homesteader” to describe what we want to be someday, it made me feel nervous. Who are we to call ourselves homesteaders compared to people who have bees and chickens and trap their own meat and maintain entire farms supporting their family with veggies and all of life’s growable things? We’re just a pair of fresh, materialistic converts living in a used yurt and driving vegetable oil powered cars and — yeah. Ok. Nevermind. But seriously, homesteading in the traditional, full-blown sense seems far away—so, I’m taking baby steps. My herb garden (with three herbs in…

Soaking up simplicity — One of the best hikes in Whitefish

One of the things that worried me most about moving into an off-the-grid yurt in Montana was time.  It would take us more time to access our home. It would take us more time to do dishes by hand. It would take us more time to bring up water and transfer it into various buckets and bins for usage every week. But as I sit here, savoring a cup of french press coffee that I put time and care into making, I realize that through this yurt, I’m learning to slow down and embrace the pauses — to embrace the…

My Version of Minimalism: How to Edit a Wardrobe

I remember reading books when I was the Style Editor of a women’s magazine about how to edit a wardrobe. In other words, how to minimize the clothes in your closet to be most efficient — quality, not quantity. The photo below was me, at a time in my life when I was NOT embracing the idea of editing my closet. I was more focused on how to emcee a fashion show in harem pants. I was also the girl who’s closet bar collapsed under the weight of her wardrobe. Then slowly, as I moved west and my lifestyle changed,…

Yurt Deck Framing Complete — How to build a yurt deck

About four years ago, I awoke on a Sunday night to a massive crash in my apartment in Madison, Wisconsin. Having lived with roommates my entire college career, I was used to noise… but this one really startled me. I blinked through the darkness in my room, trying to think through my drowsiness. I looked to my left and realized something was exploding through the doors of my closet. You see, that was the day my closet bar collapsed under the weight of my hanging wardrobe; my clothes literally exploded out of the closet doors in the wee hours of…

Life in the Round: Building a Yurt in Montana

After three months of relatively constant travel, life has finally slowed down enough for Sean and I to breathe, ski our local mountain, walk our property with Daisy in tow, and reflect on the next journey we’re about to take. So it’s with great pride that we announce our next adventure: We’re building a yurt! I’m willing to bet you have some questions. Like, what the heck is a yurt and how did you decide to build one? Well. The answer is two-fold. This story starts at the end of 2012. Sean and I had just begun our journey as Greasecar owners with…

Plaid: The Official Uniform of Outdoor-minded Folk

My first memory of my wife (Mollie) before we started dating was the outfit she wore on our first official meet up. We met at a funeral of a young boy named Jesse (full story here); I had flown out to Wisconsin mid-winter to give his eulogy. A day after the funeral, I had a run in with Mollie while I was still in Wisconsin. She was wearing a red plaid shirt that instantly caught my attention. (She tells me now that the pattern is called “gingham.”) I took keen interest to this shirt and of course to Mollie. A…

Fueling Up with Waste Vegetable Oil

For 28 days, I’ve accepted the challenge to write every day. Find more on my motives here. See how far I’ve come here. I’ve been writing every day, but apparently the action of “blog posting” takes a bit more time than I have to spare! Thanks for bearing with me. Well, we finally made it to Waupaca! After about 24 hours drive time across 1450 miles in our trusty VW Golf TDI, we used about 35 gallons of waste vegetable oil and 3/4 of a tank of diesel fuel (which we only used because we ran out of veggie oil on the last leg…

Artistic Expressions in Kyrgyzstan

Every so often, it’s nice to get a good dose of culture shock.  It’s a way to ground my views on life. In the winter sports realm, it’s a way to see mountains with a new perspective. A recent expedition to Kyrgyzstan did just that—and after seeing the country’s newly found/remote skiing subculture firsthand, this trip conjured a few new realizations as Mollie and I immersed ourselves in the Central Asian culture. 12th century Karakhanid Mausoleum Viewpoints of the west/America In the past, my expeditions were focused solely on discovering new lines and riding them in a unique and aesthetic nature. Experiencing…

Living Vertical: Diabetes on the rocks

We all know this: I love rock climbing. A lot. I credit the fit of my wedding dress to a strict regimen of yoga and rock climbing during the month prior to September 24, 2011. But here’s the question: Would I be interested in climbing 365 days of the year? Probably, but lets be honest: I’ve got a motor home to work on. For Steve and Stefanie Richert, rock climbing 365 days of the year is reality. About a month ago, Sean and I were e-introduced to the couple, who together is “Living Vertical,” meaning for one entire year, they will climb…

23 Feet: Banff Film Festival Review

February 8, 2012

On Friday night, Sean and I attended the Banff Mountain Film Festival in Sun Valley. Given the impression I’ve gotten from Sundance Film Festival (crazy, weird, artistic movies that I might not understand), I was a bit skeptical as we grabbed seats in the theater. Then, an amazing thing happened: From the moment the screening began, I could relate to every film, simply because all the films are centered around travel + action sports + mountains. That’s our life. Those are our people. The last time I felt like this was my first day at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I…