406 contents featured 8. Leather Bound Beargrass Leather 22. Compassion International
14. nuWest Builders 16. Liquor Barn 20. Braeden Schenk Pure West 24. A World of Her Own Jess Owen
business 26. 5 Skills to Keep you Ahead in Social Media
non-profit 38. Changed Lives Not Home For The Holidays
30. No Sugar Coating It KRH Diabetes team 34. Yoga for Core and Emotional Strength 36. Montana to Palau 40. SMILE MONTANA Dr. John F. Miller
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w w w . 4 0 6 W o m a n . c o m Published by Skirts Publishing six times a year 704 C East 13th St. #138 Whitefish, MT 59937 firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright©2019 Skirts Publishing
Leather Bound Sam and Ben Barckholtz on their fortuitous journey from leatherworking hobbyists to professional leather goods artisans. By Shea Swenson Photos courtesy of Beargrass Leather
There is something truly magical about when the beargrass returns to northwestern Montana. The unique blooms seemingly take over the grounds of Glacier National Park overnight, adding perfectlyaccenting pops of bright white and stalks of green to the wooded scenes surrounding Going-to-theSun Road. Beargrass is a one-of-a-kind blossom that can't be found everywhere and adds beauty to everything around it, which is why it is the perfect symbol for local artisans Sam and Ben Barcholtz's leather goods company, Beargrass Leather.
The First Stitch
The husband-wife duo pseudo stubbled into leatherwork while searching for a hobby. Sam had gone from spending five years in the Air Force, headfirst into full-time motherhood. After the family moved from Nebraska to Montana, Ben's days were filled with work as director of academic support at a local college. So, the pair wanted a creative outlet that they could spend time doing together.
"There I was, after having flown in the Air Force, and now I am a mom, and it's a totally different life. We were 1,000 miles away from our friends and family, and I didn't really have anything else," Sam says. "So one day Ben came home and said, 'we need a hobby.'"
Ben suggested they try leatherwork. The couple is creative by nature and had caught themselves on multiple oc-
casions ogling in the windows of Montana Leather Company in downtown Billings, so it seemed like a good fit.
Leatherwork is an expensive pastime, so Sam agreed to start by merely making Christmas gifts for their loved ones.
"We are DIY people, we like to create. So I rolled my eyes, thinking, "Oh, that's an expensive hobby. How about we make everyone Christmas presents, and that way it justifies the cost,'" Sam says.
After buying the necessary materials and doing a fair amount of research, Ben and Sam started by creating a few bags, wallets and even a pair of slippers for themselves and relatives. The more they created, the more curious and experimental they got. When they became more comfortable in their abilities, their hobby started its
slow transition into a business. At first, the pair was crafting baby moccasins, suspenders and bags and selling them in small quantities through an account on Etsy.
"Even that was a slow process. We were learning and figuring things out as we went along," Sam says. "In the early stages, each sale would fund the growth of the business, be it for replenishing our leather supply, or getting new tools."
In 2015, a move from Billings to the Flathead came serendipitously to Sam and Ben after they had already chosen the name, Beargrass, for their business-to-be. "I mocked up probably 20 different logos and names," says Ben, who is behind all of the company's graphic design. Within three months of choosing the name and logo, the family was moving to the Valley. "It was kind of fortuitous that we didn't choose anything that was focused on Yellowstone County, because we ended up here. It was like fate," Ben says.
The business went on hold for a while, as life tends to after a big move. But when the dust and the family had settled into their new Lakeside home, Sam and Ben decided it was time to turn their newfound passion into a business, formally. Beargrass Leather officially came to be.
Now, Sam and Ben have cultivated an impressive array of stunning products, all available on a website that they operate themselves.
Heaven on earth to any handbag lover, their site boast dozens of different styles to choose from, each more gorgeous than the next.
The options vary from simple, classic pieces that would complete any look on any day, to authentic statement pieces with unique coloring and design elements– all crafted out of the most beautiful leather. And the bags are just the beginning.
Along with the totes, clutches, cross bodies, backpacks and briefcases, Sam and Ben also create stately wallets, belts, ponchos and jewelry, all with the same impeccable attention to detail. The huge variety of products stems from their desire to keep learning and trying new things.
where. Be it in a movie she watches, or the world that surrounds her every day.
"Montana is the great, rugged, mountainous west. Out here, there is just something so special," she says. "It's big, and it's beautiful, and I try to replicate that with the designs."
The pair is also inspired by the early 1900's –when people would travel by plane, and it was an extravagance. When train passengers were accompanied by all their cases.
"Travel and bags go hand-in-hand. It's that extravagance that really inspired a lot of the bags," Sam says.
With a clear eye for fashion and commitment to perfection, each piece Sam and Ben create is made to last–both in durability and style.
"Part of it was just figuring out what we liked creating, what we could create." Sam says. "I love the artistic side of it and exploring new designs."
If a customer doesn't find what they are looking for, Beargrass offers customization ranging from leather color and strap size, all the way to fully custom designs, made to order.
In addition to keeping a keen eye on the current fashion trends, Sam says she finds inspiration every-
"Our brand is about slowing down and doing things in a detail-oriented way," Sam says. "We are trying to create modern heirloom pieces out of high-quality products." Making the Cut
All of it starts with the leather.
The pair prioritizes leather that is American made, sourcing both locally and regionally. As true Montanans at heart, the duo's favorite leather, and the leather that began it all is American Bison. Smooth cowhide in almost every color, textured leathers and iconic western hair on hide are among other options Beargrass offers. Recently, they have started sourcing luxurious French and Italian leathers to add to their repertoire.
Each item they craft starts by unrolling the carefully curated leather. Looking at the hide, they then decide what to make out of it, and how to accomplish that with little to no waste.
Then, Sam or Ben (or both) meticulously hand cuts each part of what will soon become a treasured keepsake to a happy customer.
Some pieces are machine sewn, but most are hand-stitched with Beargrass's signature large stitches. The purpose of the eye-catching stitches is not only to set the leather goods apart aesthetically but also to ensure longevity, creating a stronger and more durable bag. "We are not interested in making something quickly for a profit. We are more interested in creating something beautiful that will mean something to somebody because it means something to us when we make it," Sam says. An interest in keeping their passion for the work alive and maintaining the sky-high quality standards has kept Sam and Ben from expanding their business more rapidly.
"We have kept it a little bit of a secret, what we do. We don't want to push it too far too fast," Ben says.
But that hasn't stopped people from taking notice.
Ben and Sam occasionally attend festivals, shows and conferences to show off their work. And it is always a hit.
Beargrass has been awarded "Best of Show in Leather" and "Best in Show in Fashion" at the Western Design Conference in Jackson Hole.
Their work has also been featured in photoshoots in Cowboys and Indians and Mountain Living magazines. For Ben and Sam, it is the joy of making something with their own hands that can become so special to someone else that drives their work.
"Everybody at some point is looking for something special," Ben says. Every item we make is a special thing; handmade, personalized, customizable."
Behind every aspect of Beargrass are Sam and Ben. Along with the hands-on crafting, they run the marketing, customer service, shipping, and more.
And the Flathead Valley has proved to be the perfect place for an artisan-run business like Beargrass.
"One thing I think we value the most is that this particular area has a lot of makers. There are a lot of independent craftspeople that are doing things with their hands, and with their minds, Ben says. "We've been really fortunate to meet and collaborate with so many wonderful makers in the Valley, it's really a special place for people who want to support their neighbors. It's got a great spirit in the Valley, it's been really good for us." To learn more about Beargrass, and see their products visit beargrassleather.com. Beargrass Leathers can also be found in The Village Shoppe in Whitefish.
By Callie Reagan Photos by Cody Payne Photography
It’s very rare in life that you get to have a second time around in making a career and business of a lifetime, but Eric Payne with nuWest Builders is doing just that. Eric sold his previous company Frontier Builders back in 2013 only to decide a few years later that he wanted back in the game. Starting nuWest he decided to do things differently this time around, take a different approach to business and building in general. Eric said that when he started Frontier Builders it was all about being the biggest and the best. Now when he looks at nuWest, he sees not only an opportunity to build another great construction company but instead a company that is an extension of his vision to be passionate about each individual project. He takes great pride in watching other local businesses grow. In his past, tradesmen were brought in to the company as part of the brand’s family. Now, with the desire to keep things small, Eric loves to watch local businesses thrive on their own.
Eric with son Cody, and daughter Aspen
Eric wanted to bring a new view and options to the west that he has come to love and call home. With a focus on modern, they are also focused on creating a timeless look for homes and commercial projects, not just today’s trends.
Eric says, “it’s not about the money or volume anymore,” instead nuWest takes on about 1 out of every 10 projects that they review. The reason, they prefer projects that fit the nuWest vision. Is the project going to fulfill the creative process, will it stretch the boundaries of what has been done before and on its basic level, will it be a fun project to complete? The company is looking for different approaches, new technologies, and finishes that are going to bring their projects to the cutting edge. That’s how they got their name, nuWest. Eric wanted to bring a new view and options to the west that he has come to love and call home. With a focus on modern, they are also focused on creating a timeless look for homes and commercial projects, not just today’s trends. Eric said, “100 years from now, I want every single project we build, to still be amazing.”
What’s Eric’s favorite material to use in design? Concrete. Really for three reasons: One the structural integrity, two the organic feel that it gives to the project and three, that it can really go with any design theme. Concrete can be paired
with metals, stone, and wood. It can be formed into unique designs and used in any design theme. You’ll find concrete mixed throughout all nuWest projects.
nuWest’s focuses primarily on new construction. However, they do a few remodels each year, provided they will be epic remodels, Payne states. When asked what his favorite project that he has done with nuWest, to date, his answer, “without out a doubt, Fresh Life Church Campus, in Kalispell. Not only were they wonderful clients, but they also gave us tremendous creative flexibility, which was critical on this large of a remodel.” He describes it as a blending of new and old construction. One that he said stretched him more than any other project in his career. Their team was able to take two 100-year-old buildings, breath new life into each, thus showcasing the craftsmanship from those early American builders, but in a modern way, one that would appeal today, as well as 100 years from now. His final task, adding a massive new structure that connects all three into a single campus, one that offers the best of both old and new.
The next generation is important to Eric. He is creating a business that he hopes to hand off to his children. Son Cody, 27, currently works with him using his talents in Photo and Video as well as Social Media and web design. Cody is responsible for all facets of marketing for nuWest. Eric credits Cody’s expertise as being a major contributor to the tremendous growth of nuWest in such a short period of time.
The soft opening of the new Fleur Bake Shop In Whitefish. NuWest recently completed a complete rebuild of the bake shop. Aspen, his daughter, at only three years old, is already learning the ropes of the business. She has accompanied her father to nearly every meeting since she was six months old. He uses no babysitters; he prefers to have her with him. Eric says, “I tell all potential clients, if you hire me as your builder, you hire her too”. Most take him up on that offer. It’s no wonder he loves to go to work each day.
Interested in working with nuWest on a project? Visit http://www.nuwestbuilders.com/ or contact them at 406-270-8789.
Customer care is the core of everything we do at the Liquor Barn. Our number one priority is making sure our customers are set up with everything they need for their party, special event or casual night at home by the fire. Getting our customers exactly what they need requires a high level of product and industry knowledge so we pride ourselves on having a top-notch team. The Liquor Barn employs two full-time sommeliers, two full-time former bartenders with 35+ years experience between them – many of those years working out of state in luxury markets. All staff are trained to base recommendations off of customer’s current tastes and preferences, so don’t be
surprised to be asked, “What do you normally drink?” For my staff and I, there’s nothing better than the satisfaction of having customers come back to us raving about how much they liked the bottle we recommended to them. In a nutshell, that’s why we’re here – to help you explore another side of wine and spirits you can’t find everywhere. We’re able to do this by maintaining a 1,000+ label wine inventory and over 1,500 liquor SKU’s. Our selection is constantly evolving to reflect the needs of our customers. We cover almost all grape varieties and growing regions, including an expanding Portuguese and Spanish section plus around twenty Bordeaux’s. You can also find a lovely selection of grower/small production Champagnes, Cremants, Cavas and Proseccos on our shelves and in the cooler. Although we have a large selection, we can’t carry everything, so we welcome special orders and utilize every distribution avenue available to us to track down specific bottles.
Besides carrying a wide array of products, we take pride in offering our customers value through competitive pricing and discounts. In the wine department, we always offer a regular discount of 5% off on 5 bottles and 10% off on 10; in the spirits department, we offer 8% off full cases and generally have rotating sales running with about a dozen items at a time. Half of the retail game happens in the back-of-house or ordering. We take advantage of supplier offers and volume buys so it’s possible to provide big value to customers.
Our goal is to serve the Flathead Valley as your one-stop-shop for a variety of products beyond wine and spirits. We stock fine cigars, drink accessories, glassware, mixers, and Montana-made gifts. Liquor Barn (406) 257-7326 22 Swan Way, Bigfork, MT 59911
Braeden Schenk Pure West
By Callie Reagan Photos by Amanda Wilson Photography
Braeden Schenk of Lethbridge, Alberta came to the valley in 2007, shortly after graduating high school. Knowing that he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his mother he started at Flathead Community College in their Real Estate Specialist program and graduated with his Certificate of Applied Science. Braeden didn’t start his real estate career right after finishing the program, he spent time in the service industry learning to work with people of all walks of life and honing his skills in communication and customer service for his future business. Braeden started his career in real estate four years ago when he came on with Pure West, affiliated with Christie’s International Real Estate. He is located in the office at the beautiful Lodge at Whitefish Lake. Braeden loves all the amenities Pure West has to offer. Pure West has offices all over the valley, state of Montana and with Christie’s, internationally. Braeden’s passion lies in helping people find the home they have been dreaming of. “I’m just here to help,” he said. He wants to help make their dreams and goals a reality. One thing that he loves to do is to show people that they can get into a new home and then seeing how happy they are when the purchase is final. You can tell that the service provided to his clients throughout the entire home purchasing process is where Braeden puts his heart. Each positive review and referral that he receives is the payoff in his mind and where the true satisfaction lies.
Family is important to Braeden and real estate gives him the flexibility to be the husband, father and son that he wants to be. Braeden is married to his amazing wife Loni and has two lovely daughters Markie and Zenah and has a rescue pit bull named Roxy. Braeden is also active in the community by playing in the community hockey league on Thursday nights. Hockey is not his only love, he is a golfer, snowboarder, camper and has a love of music and plays the guitar and bass. Braeden is also expanding his fishing skills to include fly fishing.
Braeden’s passion lies in helping people find the home they have been dreaming of. “I’m just here to help,” he said. He wants to help make their dreams and goals a reality. One thing that he loves to do is to show people that they can get into a new home and then seeing how happy they are when the purchase is final.
When looking to the future Braeden has specific goals for himself personally and with his family. Some of these include the growth of his business with service at the forefront. Another is to open a rescue and shelter for dogs. With the rescue of his dog Roxy and his wife’s passion for saving animals, they want to provide a safe place for rescues. While this is a dream for their future, they are currently partnering with established organizations here in the valley to help where they can. One thing that Braeden is doing differently with his business and personal life is going social media free. While it may be against the norm in society and business today, he is making it work. Braeden says it frees up his time to be present with his family and allows him to concentrate on educating himself more and allows him more communication time with his clients. Braeden wants to be available to his clients, through taking calls on the weekend and spending time answering questions through email. He feels that each client that works with him should benefit from his work ethic and owes them his time and courtesy. There are always going to be firsts in homebuying and he wants those to be positive.
When asked what advice he has for buyers in the market today he said that currently,
the market is a seller’s market with a lower inventory. That being said, buyers need to be patient, finding the right home can be a process, but if you are patient the right place will come along.
One thing that Braeden wants you to know is that he is here for you. He knows the market, what’s available, and how to find you that perfect home, but more importantly, he knows how to best serve his customers. Buying or selling- he is here to help. To work with Braeden contact him at 406-871-9125 or email him at email@example.com.
Compassion International By Callie Reagan
Throughout life, there are experiences that forever change you, that stick with you and this experience for Stacey McGough is one of those. Stacey has always had a dream of hiking the trail to Manchu Picchu, the abandoned Incan citadel located high in the Andes Mountains of Peru. Using her 50th birthday as the perfect occasion to make this happen she was also given another opportunity, that of meeting her sponsor child of three years on the same trip. The combination of the two was the makings of a trip of a lifetime, her dream was about to become a reality.
Stacey started sponsoring children through Compassion International about 15 years ago and three years ago she started sponsoring Jesus from a coastal village in Peru. Every month Stacey contributes $38 to Compassion for Jesus who is now seven years old. He is provided an education center, clean water, medical and dental care, supplements to fight malnutrition and the opportunity for higher education. Communications such as pictures, letters, and drawings are sent back and forth to create a relationship of support for each sponsored child. But there are some that question, are these children real? Stacey was about to travel and find out first hand. Stacey traveled to Peru with 18 other individuals. Of which about six were Compassion International staff to aid in the trek experience. Once in Lima, sponsors, and sponsor children were shuttled to the local Zoo for a meet and greet. Jesus and his mother Rosa had traveled over 10 hours by bus to be there to meet Stacey and her daughter Andrea. While expenses for the travel of the family was
covered by Compassion International, Rosa had to take three days off of work for this meeting. Her sacrifice showed that this meeting was of great importance to her. She also questioned if these sponsors real people?
Across the gap of people, Jesus and Stacey made eye contact and it was an instant connection, both knowing each other from their many communications. With a translator, they were able to learn more about each other and their families. Indeed, both sponsor and sponsor child were real. With the zoo as a great icebreaker, Stacey and Andrea were able to interact and play with a very real and very playful Jesus who loved to race anyone he could. When asked what stuck out about him, Stacey said, â€œHis personality and love of life, he is such a happy boy.â€? While at the zoo, she learned that the lion was his favorite animal, Jean Claude Van Damme was his favorite actor and he wants to be a soccer player when he grows up. Stacey and Andrea were also presented with a hand made poster. Jesus was so concerned about getting it perfect that he enlisted the help of older siblings to get it just right for his visiting sponsor. Rosa also
Everything that came from the Peruvian people was love. They were real, they had struggles and what they emulated was a deep love for others, kindness and demonstrated true service. expressed to Stacey that the letters and pictures that are sent to Jesus are more precious than the monetary aid that is donated. The letters are saved in a treasured location to remain safe and reread many times. The knowledge that someone out there is praying for them and cares for them is the most valuable thing they receive from the sponsorship program.
Stacey and Andrea’s experience continued with their trip to the trailhead of the Inca Trail where they met their hosts for the remainder of their stay all orchestrated by Compassion International. When the group stepped off the bus they were met by their porters and guide’s applause. Applause for them and the support they help give to their country and the work that Compassion International is doing to change lives for the Peruvian poor. Edwin, the three-time winning REI Guide of the Year commented to Stacey that the reason for him guiding for Compassion International each year was due to the improvements he feels they are making to his country. They are helping people get a higher education and allowing people to break out of poverty. This was the first time that Stacey was exposed to true poverty and it was an experience that she wanted. She found deep gratitude for what we have and saw that people, even though they might have very little, are grateful and truly happy.
Each day the hikers returned the applause cheering for their porters that created a fivestar experience for them in the middle of the jungle. The trekking group spent four days hiking the cobblestone and dirt path through the Andes mountains, visiting abandoned ruins along the way. That far away from civilization, they had these centuries-old buildings to themselves to explore. Stacey said that the pictures of these mountains don’t do them justice. The second day of their hike they made their fist summit at 14,000 feet and while standing there on their summit, other mountains towered over them. On the last day of hiking, Stacey and Andrea found themselves overlooking their final destination of Machu Picchu which is made up of over 150 buildings and over 600 terraces once used for farming. While this was the goal of their trip and one that they had worked so hard to get to, the experiences that came before and led to Machu Picchu really are what made the trip one of a lifetime.
Stacey had no expectations for the trip, she was just delighted to have the opportunity to do it. When asked what she got out of it, she said it was overwhelming. She spent 12 days with strangers and left them feeling like she was leaving family. To her, this was a “God Trip” one that spoke to her on her level. Everything that came from the Peruvian people was love. They were real, they had struggles and what they emulated was a deep love for others, kindness and demonstrated true service. When asked if she plans on going back to see Jesus, a smile grew on her face and a nod, “ I plan to in the next three years or at least for his graduation.”
Compassion International has three trek trips coming up in the Dominican Republic, Tanzania, and Peru. Each trip involves a trek of some kind but so much more. You are able to meet real people that benefit from their programs located in over 25 countries where they support over 1.9 million children. Families and children that are selected to be part of this program all fall below the Global Poverty line of living on less than $2 per day. Want to know more about Compassion International and how you can be part of their mission? Visit www.compassion. com/. If you are interested in donating to Compassion International, you may do so online, using www.actforcompassion.donordrive.com/ event/IncaTrail2019
A World of Her Own Jess Owen By Jess E. Owen Photos by Amanda Wilson Photography
"A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction." -Virginia Woolf I have always had triplet loves: theatre, art, and writing. When I toured A Streetcar Named Desire with Montana Rep in the spring of 2004, one of our stops was the weird and beautiful and bustling New Orleans. While in that almost mystical place, I got my cards read, and I told the man about my three passions (though I didn't tell him what they were), and how I struggled to choose between them. He told me they were all important, in this way: one would bring me money, one would bring me happiness, and one would bring me fame. But of course, he didn't know which was which.
The nuts-and-bolts answer, of course, is that it usually takes me a few months for a draft, a year for a book. There are others who write much faster, others who write much slower, and I'm coy in my answering because I don't know if people are merely curious, or comparing their own output to mine. In the game of writing, though, time spent doesn't necessarily equal quality. It's just a meaningless bit of trivia.
And it fluctuates, often, based on whatever else is going on at the time.
So for a long time, I kept doing all three until finally, all I wanted to do was write.
Before I had a room of my own, I wrote at the family computer. Then on my college laptop, and in hotels, when I toured the country with Montana Rep, and in the family den of my parents' house.
And I always answer impishly, "Thirty-seven years." (or however old I may be at the time). Because there is no other way to honestly answer the question of how long it takes to create a thing.
I composed the novel that would become my debut at my sister's kitchen table in North Carolina. I have always had the support of parents whether I wanted to do theatre, or artwork, or writing. They believed in my work and gave me the support (physically, financially, spiritually) to do it.
People approach me when I'm at conventions or peddling my tales at The Bookshelf in Kalispell during the Art Walk and ask, "How long did it take you to write these books?"
Everything creation cumulative.
I tell writers to focus on writing good books. I advise them to write what they want to read, to tell stories they are excited about. I never needed a whole room, in the beginning.
Now married, with a larger circle of friends, family duties, more responsibilities, distractions, stress, jobs, bills to pay, and decisions to make, I understand Ms. Woolf so much more clearly. Now I need a room of my own—with a door. And once that door is closed, I'm in my own world, woven of all the books I've read, all the songs I've heard, and all the things I've ever loved. The doorway to my office is a portal to hallowed ground where I make things. When the door is closed, I am outside of time and I'm not wife, or sister, or daughter, or friend. In my room, I am Author.
And woe to the person who opens that door when I'm walking through my dream.
I have always read fantasy, and loved out-of-this world adventure, animals, and magic. I chose to launch with my series The Summer King Chronicles as a blend of all my original loves. The characters and the world come from my own mind, though they are flowers springing from the compost of books, artwork, music, and movies I've consumed.
They were not the first books I wrote, or finished, or considered for publication. I always think that's important to tell aspiring writers. The first book you finish will always be important, but it might not be the first book you publish. I wrote a few light fantasy tales set in the typical generic medieval setting. As a teenager writing these stories I had ambition, but a limited scope. These stories whomped in at hundreds of pages until I learned what to cut and what to keep, and many of them were simply inspired regurgitations of other things I had read before.
For National Novel Writing Month I exorcised a few more stories inspired by Tamora Pierce, Mercedes Lackey, my own characters created from online gaming—and I call them all practice novels. None of them were, or ever will be, fit for publication. But none of them are wasted, either. By the time I funneled down to Song of the Summer King, I had definitely put in a million words of practice. This was all while I was in school, then working in the theatre, a profession in which I hold my degree.
But at last the ache to write, which has always been in me, began to overpower everything else. Theatre is all consuming, and I knew I couldn't do
both and do them well. In 2009 I worked my last season. Having been an itinerant stage manager, living at Mom and Dad's house between gigs, I accepted my sister's offer to live in her home while she was deployed. So I moved across the country, got a retail job, and sat down to write.
Two things happened in the spring of 2010. First, I shelved a fantasy novel I had submitted to agents (got a few nibbles, but no offers), that I knew needed more work than I wanted to put into it. Second, I chose my new brand.
I knew I wanted to write fantasy. I knew I wanted to be known. And I knew I needed to write something different—but not too different. I needed a brand. I was very purposeful about choosing what to launch with and focus on.
What was a known fantasy creature that might be underserved and have a secret niche audience? Not dragons. Done, done, and done. Unicorns, eh...
I wheeled right back in time to twelve year old me who was drawing, among other things, gryphons. Inspired by Meredith Ann Pierce's Firebringer Trilogy, this mythical blend of eagle and feline snagged my imagination with sharp talons and never let go.
I decided, as I dusted lamps on a dead day at my retail job, I could make something out of an idea I'd had as a tween. And I did.
It was a big idea. It encompassed war, family,
brotherhood, hatred, forgiveness, mercy, compassion. By the time I wrote this book, I'd been around a bit. More so than sixteen-year-old me. I had things to say. And I said them through four books about a young creature who learns, as we all do, that the world he grew up in is not as simple nor easy as he once believed. He grows from arrogant and ignorant wanderer to humble, compassionate warrior and—well, I don't want to spoil it for you. People ask about my success in self publishing, in using Kickstarter, in using Patreon, and other things having to do with money. Those are always important. But at the end of the day I'm a craftsperson, and I tell writers to focus on writing good books. I advise them to write what they want to read, to tell stories they are excited about. That's the only thing that will work. The only joy there is. Because if you do that, you will find your tribe.
I write for young people, but I have gotten emails from readers of all ages, of all backgrounds, of all faiths and political leanings who found themselves in my books, who found a place to escape and then emerge from stronger, sheathed in the power of Story. They found what I always dreamed of giving others, because it was, at a very young age, given to me. In my worlds, they found a world of their own.
Jess's books can be purchased at Bookworks in Whitefish, The Bookshelf in Kalispell, online for Kindle at Amazon, and of course for free in your local library. She be contacted through her website, www.jessowen.com
5 Skills to Keep you Ahead in Social Media
Social Media is one of your connections, a touchpoint to your customers and an effective way to grow your business and awareness. With this being such an important part of marketing today, there are some skills that you need to cultivate and use daily. Here are the top 5:
This is the whole reason for your Social Media campaign. You are trying to build a relationship with your customers. You want them to know you as well as you knowing them. Why is it important for them to know you? First of all, you want them to come to you when they need what you are selling. This brings up another reason you want them to know you, they need to know and trust you. Building that trust relationship with them is going to be something that you do over time, it wonâ€™t immediately be there. This is why you need to be consistent with your message and timing.
Now the other side, why is it important for you to know your customers? In business, you always want to know your customers, the demographics so you can find where they are and target them there. You want to be able to focus your message as much as you can to the audience you are trying to attract. This all centers on if you know your client. Building a relationship with them means that you can find them and they will be listening when you are talking.
Creativity is essential in social media. Being able to stand out and create interesting content is going to keep your customers and followers coming back for more each time. Creating interesting content can be fun, sometimes itâ€™s taking a risk and seeing if it pays off. There are some great things out there that you can try, such as, games, polls, videos, and contests. These are all
By Callie Reagan
things that can be interactive, creative and engaging to your customers. The last thing you want is to be unfollowed because your content is too boring.
Calendaring and organizing your schedules to post is critical to the success of your social media campaigns. Itâ€™s one of the ways that you build relationships with your followers, you want to be reliable and counted on to deliver. There is technology out there that can help you with posting your social media such as, Loomly, Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Tweet Deck, and so many more. One thing that you want to keep in mind when you are posting to different social media platforms is that you want them to have different and unique content. If you post on twitter and on facebook you want the content to be different so followers are not bombarded with the same message over and over. You
Make each communication you have with your followers and customers count. want them to be able to engage with you on multiple platforms with unique postings. This doesnâ€™t mean that you can post the same thing on all platforms, it just means that the additional messaging should be different and unique.
Willingness to Learn
We all know that technology is always changing, this is why you must be willing to learn and take the time to keep up to date with the latest apps, trends, and communication tools. Just recently, Facebook and Instagram released new changes to their platforms. Were you able to adapt your approach to compensate for these changes? Did you know that this happened? Keeping up to date with each platform you use can help you adjust strategy or just help you recognize the changes when you see them. The last thing you want is to be surprised when something is taken away or when a new feature is added but you have no idea how to use it for your business. Having a willingness to learn keeps you resilient in business.
Being creative, posting regularly and staying organized are all great, but one of the greatest skills to learn is analytical skills. This skill is where you are able to find out if all your other skills you have cultivated are working. If you post all the time but no one is listening, commenting or clicking then there needs to be an adjustment. Maybe the creativity needs to go up, maybe you need to post at different times of the day, and tweak your schedules. All this can be found out through analytical analysis. Not your strong suit, well there are ways to track this through individual app analytics, or using other tools such as Sprout Social, Awario, Snaplytics or Google Analytics to track your social presence. Using these tools and tracking your progress is going to be the quickest way for you to make your social media efforts really work for you.
Make each communication you have with your followers and customers count. Donâ€™t just wing it, make sure there is a strategy in place with an end goal in mind. You want those customers to buy from you, to trust in you, to communicate with you. Cultivating and putting to work these five skills will help you reach your social media goals and in turn, help your business grow.
No Sugar Coating It
The staff of KRH Diabetes Education and Prevention (from left to right) Aimee Duncan, Anna Militello, Brittany Schultz, Leslie Coates, Matt Larsen.
KRH Diabetes team marks 18 years of education and prevention The Diabetes Education and Prevention Program at Kalispell Regional Healthcare (KRH) was established in 2001 as a way to provide diabetes care and self-management education to people and those at risk for diabetes living in northwest Montana. Consisting of just two diabetes educators at the time and housed in a small room in the main hospital building at Kalispell Regional Medical Center, the program built a reputation of providing high quality, personalized diabetes care in a friendly, supportive environment. According to the State Department of Public Health and Human Services, 7.9% of Montana adults (about 77,000) have been diagnosed with diabetes. When a person has diabetes, the body either does not produce enough insulin or cannot use insulin correctly. An additional 7.4% of Montanans have prediabetes. Someone with prediabetes is diagnosed with a fasting blood glucose of 100-125 mg/dL, a random glucose of 140-199 mg/dL or a hemoglobin A1c of 5.76.4 percent. At these levels of blood glucose exposure, blood vessels start to become damaged
By Christopher Leopold
and the long-term complications of diabetes may begin to develop.
Whether a patient is looking to manage their existing diabetes or prevent diabetes altogether, KRH Diabetes Education and Prevention offers a variety of services to help educate and guide patients at various different paces. Offering individual and group self-management classes, the team makes it their mission to build meaningful, trusting relationships with their patients. “We value being able to individualize patient self-care goals based on individually assessing each person’s needs,” says Matt Larsen, manager of KRH Diabetes Education and Prevention. “Our role as diabetes educators is to assist patients in identifying areas of their life that they need to change or skills they need to learn in order to achieve success with their diabetes self-management and provide that education and care in an environment that is compassionate and supportive.” There are currently a variety of self-management classes being offered to help patients with specific needs accomplish their goals. The Diabetes Prevention Program is a 12-month lifestyle
balance class for adults who are motivated to increase their activity and improve their eating habits to achieve weight loss and prevent both heart disease and diabetes. Led by a registered dietitian, this fun and informative program features supervised exercise sessions and group education to help participants develop healthy habits. For those who have diabetes, the Living Well with Diabetes program provides education on the skills necessary to take control of their diabetes. These skills include healthy eating, self-monitoring of blood glucose, safe use of medications, being active, healthy coping, problem solving and reducing risks of complications. The class includes four weekly two-hour sessions. Patients can also opt for an Individual Consultation, which allows a oneon-one session with a diabetes educator to assess individual needs, nutrition, medication, self-monitoring of blood glucose, goal setting, sick day management and follow-up support of lifestyle change. Insulin Pump Therapy is also offered to help patients achieve near-normal blood glucose
Dreamy High Pumpkin Pie
Leslie Coates receiving her Diabetes Educator of the Year award earlier this year.
Colleen Karper receives the same award one year earlier.
Whether a patient is looking to manage their existing diabetes or prevent diabetes altogether, KRH Diabetes Education and Prevention offers a variety of services to help educate and guide patients at various different paces.
levels with proper training and guidance. During these education sessions, patients will learn all about insulin pumps, including everything from pump selection to basic or advanced carbohydrate counting. As a way to educate patients on the measurement of blood sugar levels, Continuous Glucose Monitoring is offered as well. These devices measure blood glucose every few minutes using a small sensor inserted under the skin to measure glucose levels in tissue fluid. Additionally, support groups are available at no extra cost for those who seek additional education. Despite being a relatively small program, KRH Diabetes Education and Prevention has proven to be one of the industry’s trail blazers. Each year, the Montana Diabetes Education Network, the state chapter of the American Association of Diabetes Educators, chooses an Educator of the Year amongst the programs across Montana. The past two years’ winners have been KRH educators. Colleen Karper was the winner in 2018 and Leslie Coates took home the award in 2019. “Both of them have really paved the way for diabetes education in the state,” says Larsen. “We are very fortunate to have staff members who are not just dedicated to serving our community, but who also push the boundaries of diabetes education through advocacy.” Earlier this year, the program was also selected by the Centers for Disease Control as one of five programs in the United States for best practices with the delivery of Diabetes Self-Management
Education and the Diabetes Prevention Program via Telehealth. Due to Montana’s remote geography, KRH has invested heavily in telehealth, which allows access to their services from afar. In collaboration with small hospitals and clinics in rural communities such as Plains, Cut Bank, Chester, and Conrad, patients can receive high quality diabetes management and prevention education without leaving their town. In total, the service area ranges over an 18,700 square mile region across five counties. Over the past 18 years, advancements in both medicine and technology have created new opportunities for KRH Diabetes Education and Prevention that has allowed them to offer more advanced care. These changes have allowed them to provide a higher quality of service to more people than ever before. However, one thing won’t ever change. The program’s commitment to being a friendly community resource for patients all across northwest Montana will always remain the same. The team is always looking for ways to be a beacon of hope for those living with diabetes. This holiday season, staff are featuring their favorite diabetes-conscious recipes as a way to be a positive influence. Check out Leslie Coates’ Dreamy High Pumpkin Pie at the side. For more recipes, visit facebook.com/ KalispellRegionalHealthcare For more information regarding KRH Diabetes Education and Prevention, visit https://www.krh.org/ krmc/services/diabetes-education-and-prevention
Recipe by Leslie Coates
1 pie crust shell, baked 2/3 c sugar, separated in half .25 oz (2 Tbl) unflavored gelatin 1 tsp ground cinnamon ¼ tsp nutmeg ½ tsp salt 3 eggs, separated ¾ cup nonfat milk 1 cup canned pumpkin Lite Cool Whip for garnish In large sauce pan combine the 1/3 c sugar, unflavored gelatin, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Combine egg yolks with milk, add to gelatin mixture. Cook stirring constantly until mixture thickens slightly. Stir in pumpkin. Chill until mixture mounds slightly when spooned, stirring often. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/3 c sugar, beating to stiff peaks. Fold chilled pumpkin mixture into egg whites. Pour into pie pan. Chill until firm. Serve with whipped cream; sprinkle with toasted flaked coconut or pecan pieces, if desired. For a lighter version, skip the pie shell. 8 servings Nutrition Facts: 198 Calories, 5 g Protein, 30 g Carbohydrate, 6 g Fat, 1 g Fiber, 248 mg Sodium Without crust: 118 Calories, 4 g Protein, 21 g Carbohydrate, 2 g Fat, 1 g Fiber, 178 mg Sodium
Emotional Strength By Holly Purdy Photos by Jill Jones
What if getting a tight core serves a higher purpose in your life than just changing the way you look? Consider that when you come to your yoga mat, or whatever fitness you love, and put in a sweaty core workout, you are giving yourself the medicine you need to come into a more aligned and centered version of you. Our core, or our gut area, is where we often feel our intution, or “gut feeling,” as well as where a majority of our immune system resides. When we bring our awareness there and then strengthen that area, we’re strengthening our relationship to our feelings and intuition, as well as building functional strength that serves our bodies.
Try this out. For a moment, stop everything you're doing. Sit tall and become grounded. Place your hands on your belly. Take three slow, deep breaths in and out through your nose, consciously sending breath deeply into your lungs and down into the core of your belly. Relax the muscles in your forehead, around your eyebrows, and in your jaw.
Then, inquire about what emotions you're feeling in your belly-core area: physical, mental, and emotional sensations. As you strengthen your core with your fitness practice, breathe into your belly with the intention to heal what needs healing, and to build strength in your life where you need it.
This is the foundation of my yoga practice and teaching: getting clear with what’s present, and looking honestly at how my practice can help to clear my blockages and negative patterning. In fact, my journey to owning my own yoga studio began with... you guessed it...anxiety! Yoga was the first thing that actually worked for me in order to calm the voice in my head that was telling me things were out of control, that I wasn't good enough, and that I needed to have more or do more to be acceptable.
So, is yoga for you? The answer is yes. Yoga is many things, with infinite styles, teaching personalities, and methodologies. At Love Yoga, I seek to bring a wide array of classes and teachers so that our students can try it all and then find the yoga practice that speaks to them. What I want people to understand about yoga, and my studio in particular, is that yoga is literally for everyone! It does not matter your level of proficiency or experience, age, gender, or any other factor. You don't have to be flexible or fit or any THING. Love Yoga is a ZERO judgment zone. Furthermore, I want this studio to be exactly what it needs to be for my community, and I welcome the community to imprint itself here. We exist to grow with our community’s needs and wishes.
What follows here is a 15 minute yoga-based workout that you can do to strengthen your core, bring your attention to your body and breath, and find your center. Other than the obvious reasons we tend to focus on our core strength, such as a smaller midsection and tight abs, the reason I focus so many
of our class offerings around core strength extends far beyond wanting to look hot. Core work increases blood and oxygen circulation throughout the body, which gets endorphins pumping right away. Furthermore, core work connects you to your feelings because you’re bringing your attention to your belly area, where your gut and innate intelligence live. This intelligence is essential in yoga and barre, as you decide how deeply your body can move into more challenging poses in ways that avoid injury. The belly is our confidence hub. If we don't get centered in our core, we’re more likely to get pulled out of alignment, both physically and emotionally. So, if we get strong and centered first, we can more gracefully weather whatever comes our way with more grace and presence.
To get started, roll out your mat, and find or create a good playlist. Music is a huge part of my yoga and fitness practices. I’m a firm believer in its power to shift our moods and help release energy that needs to move. So, find a good playlist you like on whatever music platform you subscribe to, turn it up, and follow this ten minute sequence to get out of your head and into your core.
STRONG CORE SEQUENCE
1. Leg Switch Outs / Hamstring Stretch
Lie on your back and extend both legs on your mat. Extend your right leg up toward the ceiling, bringing your leg perpendicular to the floor. Interlace your hands behind the back of your calf or thigh and pull your leg in toward you. Flex both feet and engage both thigh muscles. Engage your core, draw your navel toward your spine, and keeping your gaze lifted toward the ceiling, peel your shoulder blades off the floor. Hover your left leg above the floor. Draw your lifted leg in more to deepen your hamstring stretch. Hold for 5-8 deep belly breaths and then switch legs.
health} Lift your right leg up behind you toward the ceiling keeping your leg straight and engaged. Tap your toe down to the floor and lift it back up. Do 10-15 reps and then switch to the other side.
2. One Leg Bridge Pulses
Come to bridge position. Plant your feet hip width distance and press your arms and hands into your mat. Lift your hips toward the ceiling. Then, lift your right leg toward the ceiling with your foot flexed. Press your hips toward the ceiling and then lower down a couple inches and begin to pulse up. Keep your pelvis square to the ceiling, strong and engaged through your glute muscles and core. Do this 10 times and then switch to the opposite side. Finish with both feet down in bridge pose, interlace your hands beneath you and roll your shoulder blades in and under. Hold for 5-8 deep belly breaths.
7. Half Bow-Half Locust Pose
5. Downdog- Updog Reps
Come into downward facing dog pose, pressing firmly into your hands shoulder distance apart, fingers spread wide on your mat. On your inhale wave your body forward into plank and from there lower your hips into a modified upward
Lie on your belly and reach one hand back for the same-side foot. Grab onto the top of your foot and begin to kick your foot into your hand, keeping your knees at hip distance. Then, reach the opposite arm forward toward the top edge of your mat, and lift your arm and lift your opposite leg into half locust pose. Stay for 5â€“8 deep belly breaths, then switch sides.
3. Half-Boat Pose Crunches
Sit on the floor and bend your knees, then lift your feet off the floor, so that your shins come parallel to the floor. Lengthen your tailbone into the floor and lift your pubic bone toward your navel. As you do this make sure your back doesn't round. Stretch your arms alongside your legs, parallel to each other and the floor. Straighten your right leg out in front of you, lowering and hovering your leg above the floor as you inhale. Begin to crunch upward as you lift your leg higher and exhale, then lower back down as you inhale. Do 10-15 reps and then switch to the other side.
facing dog position, with your knees and thighs lifted, toes tucked, backbend position. On your exhale press back to downward dog. Do this slowly 10 times really drawing out each cycle of movement and breath.
8. Lizard lunge with twist
6. Dolphin Pose Leg Lifts
4. Plank Pose with Alternating Leg Pulses
Start with your hands under your shoulders in a standard plank pose. Make sure to keep your legs strong and straight and gently tuck in your tailbone to activate your lower belly.
Come onto knees and forearms. Firmly push your forearms and hands into your mat, shoulder distance apart. Tuck your toes under and lift your hips up toward the ceiling. Once in dolphin pose, bring your big toes together and lift one leg up toward the ceiling as high as you can without opening up through your hips. Exhale as you tap your lifted foot down to your mat, and then inhale as you lift it back up. Do 10-15 reps and then switch to the other side.
Come into a high lunge position, right foot forward. From high lunge, place both hands on the floor to the inside of your right foot. Lower your left knee to the floor. Bring your forearms down onto a block or, if it feels accessible, to the floor. Stay for 5 -8 breaths. Then, plant your left hand onto your mat and reach your right arm back as you begin to twist and look over your right shoulder. Bend your left knee and begin to reach for your left foot with your right hand. Grab your left foot if it is accessible and begin to melt your hips toward your mat. Take 5 deep belly breaths and then switch sides and repeat.
Montana to Palau By Jill Jones
The above quote from Emerson is likely not hanging on any walls or gracing the inside covers of many journals, but perhaps it should be. In a culture where we waste so much time moaning about traffic, whining when the internet is slow, and complaining about a litany of first world problems; it is easy to see how our self-focus may have distracted from our bigger purpose. His suggestion of “life’s purpose” might cause us to pause and reflect on what we value and how our lives mirror our priorities. Self-awareness makes many of us very uncomfortable, and while most of us would say that we are compassionate and want to make a difference in the world, our actions are a more accurate reflection of where our hearts are. It is not because we don’t care or that we don’t want to help… it’s just that all too often we allow the busyness of our day-to-day lives to consume us. Or maybe it is simpler than that, perhaps with all the need in the world, we just don’t know where to start. And that first step is certainly the hardest one to take. I had the privilege to sit down with Dr. Gwenda Jonas, a board-certified OB/GYN. Dr. Jonas is a private practice physician and partner and coowner of Kalispell OB/GYN since 2001. Prior to moving to Flathead Valley, she was in private practice for four years in Phoenix, AZ and was an Associate Clinical Professor for the University of Arizona School of Medicine. She has served
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
as Chief of Staff of Kalispell Regional Medical Center, as a Kalispell Regional HealthCare Board member, as well as a number of other committees at KRMC, including Medical Ethics and Mass Casualty. Dr. Jonas recently returned from a medical mission trip to Palau in the Western Pacific. There she had the opportunity to work alongside a team of other health professionals, many from Kalispell to provide gynecology services to the people of Palau. They volunteered not only their skills and time but brought with them their own supplies and medical equipment. They saw hundreds of patients and in a span of eight days the team performed 36 surgeries. Several members of the team from KRMC and Health Center Northwest took part in this medical mission, and many were returning for their 2nd and 3rd time. They have answered a call to serve in an area that has a great need for access to the world of modern medicine. They have found a means to do that through the work of Canvasback Missions.
For almost 38 years, Canvasback Missions has been leading medical missions to help the people of Micronesia. If you need a geography refresher as I did, Micronesia is made up of scattered islands in the Pacific Ocean. They are close to 2,500 miles southwest of Hawaii. Canvasback Missions has just recently gone to the isles of Palau which is in the same region but is a Republic comprised of approximately 340 islands. Canvasback's interest in this area started when with the organization's founders, Jamie and Jacque Spence. For years they sailed in the Pacific and witnessed the need of the people living there. They knew there was a lot that could be done to help and took the steps to do them. Non-communicable diseases like diabetes, diabetes hypertension, obesity, and cancer are very common in this area. In fact, as of 2017, Micronesia had the highest prevalence of diabetes in the world, with around 33 percent
health} of surgeries can easily run thousands of dollars, the medical treatments and surgeries offered by Canvasback might be the only opportunity these people have of being treated. Canvasback's medical specialty teams are gynecology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, dental, ENT, Dermatology, Urology, & Cardiology.
suffering from the disease. There are often no specialty physicians on these islands which means residents can suffer from treatable illnesses much longer than they should. Today, Canvasback annually coordinates five to eight specialty teams consisting of 10-20 doctors, nurses, medical staff, and support people who are sent to conduct life-changing surgeries and treatments. Every service they offer to the islanders during these trips is free, which is vital because the average monthly income is less than $100. Since the cost
Canvasback is often asked about sustainability. On this subject, they write "One of our strongest beliefs is that, when possible, the change should come from within a community. We make donations go as far as possible by having medical team members volunteer their services. We never charge patients for exams, surgeries, or medicines. We only provide specialty medical care that is unavailable, which means we do not take jobs away from local healthcare workers. In addition, our surgery teams often train local doctors, giving them the experience necessary to improve the overall healthcare of Micronesia."
If you would like to help support this mission you can donate at canvasback. org/donate. The organization states that it needs help from anyone with professional skills. If you would like to be involved but aren't sure how you can help, this might be a great “first step.” An opportunity “to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
Canvasback's primary funding comes from individuals and some businesses. They are also able to utilize grant money from governments and world organizations when it is available, but there is always more to be done and always a need to be met.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Changed lives Not Home For The Holidays w
By Mary Wallace
For many of us, this is our favorite season. At Thanksgiving, we recently gathered together to eat a meal that was prepared by the tender hands and hearts of those who love us. Can you still smell the aroma of the golden-brown turkey wafting out of the oven? And, there were the pumpkin spiced lattes and walks down red carpeted trails with friends, as the last leaves drifted down on us like yellow and gold confetti. And the best is ahead of us! A cozy Christmas is planned with more loved ones. Already thinking of wrapping gifts and sipping an eggnog around a crackling fire, while the buttery, spicy scent of the baking gingerbread men creeps out of the oven. We’ll watch our children and grandchildren sled and fort build and make snow angels with their cousins until we are all exhausted. Then we’ll crawl into our deep, downy nests with “visions of sugarplums dancing in our heads.” Beautiful memories are made. Then, there is still more ahead! A New Year…full of promise, hope and celebration!
But somewhere in our town, or very, very near us, there are children spending the most wonderful time of the year in foster care group homes. Children who are in foster care are not there because of anything they’ve done wrong, but rather what’s been done to them usually at the hand of a parent who was chartered to love and protect them. Imagine, not being home for the holidays? Group home workers try their best to make holidays special, but sometimes the memories these children have are anything but celebratory. Some have watched their parents get drunk or high every holiday and they are filled with fear about what will happen again. Some sit by the window waiting for a family member that will never come. They are filled with grief, loss and anger as they are let down once again. At the group home, staff prepare a turkey that was bought by another staff member. There is no special china or family football game. There are no cousins cheering their favorite team in special team jerseys. No goodnatured teasing about the rivalry. No one knows how much you love canned cranberry sauce. No one knows what traditions your birth family had. Although well-intentioned
Children who are in foster care are not there because of anything they’ve done wrong, but rather what’s been done to them usually at the hand of a parent who was chartered to love and protect them. Imagine, not being home for the holidays?
shift workers try to make it special, it’s not family. And, you’re not home for the holidays. And, the consequences of this are dire. Not just for these kids for the holidays, but to the very future of our communities and state. Many Montanan’s believe we live in the most beautiful place in America…maybe even the world. We are surrounded by incredible beauty, kind, generous people and communities that look and feel almost like a storybook. But underneath the beauty, a hidden cancer is growing that over time will devastate the Montana we know today. Could it be that the greatest threat to the future of our state is what happens to these children who have suffered abuse and neglect and never have a family step up to care for them? Between 2010 and 2017, Montana foster care numbers grew by an astonishing 98.9%. (North American Council on Adoptable Children). Today, Montana has the second-highest rate of child removal to foster care in the country. In 2017, over 16.8 of every 1,000 children in the state were in foster care. The national average is 5.8. (Federal data, Chronicle of Social Change and Child Trends.) The problem is real. Children in Montana are hurting.
More foster families are needed to care for these children and the work of Child Bridge is an immediate and ongoing mission to find and equip foster and adoptive families to care for these children who have suffered immense abuse, neglect and trauma. Consider this: In Montana, an average of 54 kids a year “aged out” of the foster care system from 2010 to 2017, according to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. This means they have not been safely reunited with their families and no one else has said yes to caring for them. Statistics for children who “age out” of foster care without a family are staggering.
- 1 in 5 will be homeless after age 18 - Only ½ will be employed at age 24 - 71% of girls will become single mothers by age 21 - 50% will be incarcerated within 2 years of aging out On average, for every young person who ages out, taxpayers and communities pay $300,000 in social costs during their lifetime in services that are generally not required by other citizens. For Montana, at the current rate of 54 kids “aging out” per year, the cumulative burden is $16.2 million. In the next 10 years, that could mean 162 million dollars!
Sadly, it doesn’t end there. Children without families will often continue the cycle of abuse, neglect and poverty and will recreate this in their families. The fiscal impact is significant, but the human capital toll is worse. God created the family unit as the foundational structure for society. As families are broken apart by addiction, poverty, illness, death and violence, children are suffering without the benefit of ongoing relationships with caring adults. This is a crisis that has grave, moral, social and economic consequences. Child Bridge is a growing, faith-based, social impact organization addressing this urgent societal problem. To care for child victims of abuse and neglect, there are no quick, easy or cheap solutions. The investment is high, but the outcome…priceless. Through the work of Child Bridge, hundreds of foster and adoptive families are breaking the devastating cycles for children that they experienced in their family of origin. Lives are being transformed. Every child deserves to be home for the holidays. No less than the future of our state and communities are at stake. To support or be part of this life changing work, contact Mary Bryan, firstname.lastname@example.org, or www.childbrdgemontana.org.
I Invite You To Do Something Different by Dr. John F. Miller DDS
Merry Christmas Everyone. I hope this special season finds you all well and in the service of your neighbors and friends. Isn’t that really what it’s all about? I love it. I recently found myself in a familiar situation in a familiar location. The location being on my back at the Flathead Valley Orthopedic Center. The situation involved taking X-Rays of my left knee. “I can only imagine how much that thing costs,” I mention to the X-Ray technician positioning the sensor underneath my left knee. His sensor was about one square foot while the sensors I use in my patient’s mouths are about one square inch. You see, I’ve been here before. Some time ago I had the displeasure of destroying my Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in the final moments of an intense Rec-League basketball game. No worries however, my kind Doctor in San Francisco gave me
another guy’s ACL and drilled it through my Tibia and into the head of my Femur. After rehab everything felt fantastic. Until I destroyed that one, and the one after that... which happened to be an Achilles Tendon functioning as my new ACL. Now was I frustrated? Absolutely. Was I surprised? No. Was I upset with the doctors that repaired my knee the first 2 times? No way. Was I upset with myself ? Definitely. My second knee injury came at the bottom of a cliff-drop on Big Mountain, and my third knee injury came during a wakeboarding backflip attempt on Echo Lake. I was participating in high risk activities all the while being in denial that I was indeed aging. As I relayed this wakeboarding story to my Knee Doctor he showed no signs of sympathy. “You’re not 20 years old anymore” he exclaimed. He then informed me that I’m at risk of “hollowing” out my femur from all of my prior knee surgeries. Each one requiring a hole to be drilled through the femoral head.
I sheepishly accept responsibility and we exchange the look that lets the other know that we each already know the end of this story. This story ends with me having a full knee replacement at some point in the future. A great comedian started a bit once by saying, “my cholesterol is high...because it was high a year ago when I had it checked and...well...I haven’t done anything different.” Famed German Physicist Albert Einstein has been quoted as defining insanity as “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” This is quite dramatic, my doctor probably doesn’t consider me insane but rather a little nuts, bonkers, bananas, crazy even. If I keep pursuing high risk activities I cannot expect anything different than frequent musculoskeletal injury. I walk a mile in my Doctor’s shoes daily. I stand on the receiving end of watered down dietary habits. I scrape the plaque off of gumlines. I inform my patients that their current habits along with multiple sites of tooth decay place
I’m going to let you all in on a little insider dental secret. We do not want our patients to have poor oral health in order to have some level of job security. Unfortunately, there is more than enough tooth decay to go around. It’s an exhausting, overwhelming, and sad epidemic. them at high risk for caries, the disease that causes tooth decay. My team and I educate them with exasperation the techniques and habits required to tip the scales back towards health. We love our patients, but sometimes we exchange that glance that says we know the end of this story. We can only bail water out of a sinking ship for so long until the patient needs to pick up their bucket and join in on the fun. Otherwise it’s going to go down...slowly. I’m going to let you all in on a little insider dental secret. We do not want our patients to have poor oral health in order to have some level of job security. Unfortunately, there is more than enough tooth decay to go around. It’s an exhausting, overwhelming, and sad epidemic. My favorite exam ends with me saying, “Teeth look great, gums are nice and healthy. Keep doing what you’re doing.” I love seeing a really amazing smile. I tell those patients that I wish I had their smiles. That their smiles are beautiful and they should share them. I’ve put my spin on the popular saying “grin and bear it” by encouraging the friendly folks of the Flathead to GRIN AND SHARE IT.
Were starting a new year and I invite everyone to do something different. I wish I was in better shape. I wish I stayed in closer contact with my siblings. I wish I was a more attentive husband and father to my ever-deserving wife and kids. I wish, I wish, I wish. Christmas is the season for wishing, but come January 1st it’s time to do something different in your life that will bring positive and healthy results. You are all
freaking awesome, but we all have some area where we can improve. Even if it’s just SMILING MORE. 406
406 contents profile 20. Trovare 32. Resort Weddings 52. Mountainside Weddings
food & flavor 14. Seafood Paella Thermador 28. World Spice at Home 44. Ramblings From A Crazy Caterer
design 24. Tablescaping We are all creative 36. New Year, New Favorites
travel 40. CAN I GET AN ENCORE?
54. Taylor & brad
46. The Village Shop
406 w o m a n
Kadie Latimer and Dr. Joel Booth,DDS
Sam and Ben Barckholtz
fro m :
Scout and Gather
Beargrass Leather photos by :
Amanda Wilson Photography ( www . amandawilsonphotos . com )
business manager Daley McDaniel
Published by Skirts Publishing six times a year
creative & social media director
704 C East 13th St. #138 Â Whitefish, MT 59937 email@example.com CopyrightÂŠ2019 Skirts Publishing
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Sara Joy Pinnell
Daley McDaniel Photography Kelly Kirksey Photography Carrie Ann Photography Amanda Wilson Photography Jill Jones Photography
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Callie Reagan editor & contributor, Cindy Gerrity McDaniel Publisher, Amanda Wilson creative director& chief photographer, Jill Jones contributor, photographer & a social media expert
As we enter into the New Year we welcome in a new team at 406 Woman. We hope you will enjoy the beauty and content of the magazine issues in the coming year. As always, we are grateful to our faithful readers who have made this dream of a magazine come true. We are celebrating over 12 years of being in the valley with you and could not be happier with our 406 family. Warm wishes to you this Holiday Season and a Happy New Year. Amanda & Cindy
In this issue you’ll find…. A new unique cooking store has opened it's doors and wealth of knowledge to the city of Whitefish. Trovare, a great place to stumble upon. Learn what changes people from the valley are making in the world through travel and volunteer work across the globe. A new type of builder is in the Flathead Valley, one focused on a modern western approach to design. Travel the open seas on NCL's newest ship, The Encore. See what makes this a ship you can't miss. Enjoy a 15-minute yoga-based workout that you can do to strengthen your core and find your center. Tips to plan your next event from a savvy local caterer. How a trip back to her alma mater ended with a "yes" and a beautiful happily ever after.
Meet Jill Jonesâ€Ś Photographer
Originally from Arkansas, Jill and her husband have lived in the Flathead Valley for over 10 years. In that time they have had three beautiful girls, all born in Whitefish, who love being outside, fishing, and exploring, often in tiaras and princess dresses. Jill attended design school in Florence, Italy and has always used art and creativity as a means to express emotion and tell a story. She is a family and lifestyle photographer who loves capturing authentic moments that reveal a glimpse into the lives of her clients. She loves hiking, cooking, and writing; but spending time with her family is where she finds the most joy and says being a mother is her greatest blessing.
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Billings - Bozeman - Missoula - Kalispell
The Secret Ingredient is w
Thermador Seafood Paella Ingredients
3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided 1/3 pound Spanish Chorizo, sliced into 1/4” slices 1/2 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and de-veined 1 small bell pepper, sliced thin 1 small onion, minced 2 cloves garlic, minced 3 1/2 cups chicken broth 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice 2 cups uncooked long grain white rice 1 cup crushed tomatoes 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, or to taste 1 teaspoon sweet paprika 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 pound mussels 1/2 pound clams about 10 green olives, pitted and halved 1/2 cup green peas additional salt and pepper to taste optional garnish, minced parsley
1. Heat large sauté pan or 13’ paella pan over
medium-high heat. Add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, and then add chorizo, shrimp and bell peppers. Sear until lightly brown on all sides, about 2 minutes. Remove everything from the pan.
2. Add remaining Tablespoon of olive oil and cook onions and garlic until translucent and fragrant.
3. In same pan reduce heat to low heat and add chicken broth, lemon juice, white rice, crushed tomatoes, saffron threads, sweet paprika and salt. Gently stir until well combined and bring to a very low simmer. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes.
4. Stir in mussels, clams, green olives, green peas and the pre-cooked mixture of shrimp, chorizo, and bell peppers. Make sure mussels and clams are nestled down into the rice mixture.
5. Cover pan and cook for an additional 1015 minutes or until rice is tender and fluffy and the shellfish have opened up. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. 6. Garnish with parsley, serve with warm.
Trovare [Trō-vär-ēē] verb: Italian for “to find” or “to stumble upon” Written by Jill Jones
The recurring sentiment from those I’ve visited with about the new cook store Trovare, seems to be “It is about time!” From professional chefs to homecooks, everyone is excited about the new Whitefish establishment which opened its doors last month. The owner of the new store, Julie Hickethier, says she hopes the store will inspire a culinary adventure. Their team of ‘gourmet concierges’ is made up of trained chefs as well as everyday cooks; all of them passionate about cooking and the journey it takes you on. Julie began her career in the healthcare sector as a nurse and later as a consultant. While consulting she came across an article about how Baby Boomers were retiring early and starting their own businesses. Being a self-taught cook, first by necessity from raising children evolving into a passion, this promoted her dream of opening a cooking store. She had always found herself gravitating towards cookbooks and enjoyed watching her kitchen become a gathering place for friends and family. So, with her love of cooking along with the encouragement from her children, she fulfilled her dream of opening a cooking store. She wanted to create an atmosphere where people would have fun and be inspired in their own culinary journey. Before social media and the ‘altar of busyness’ monopolized our time, the kitchen was a gathering place. It was the heart of the home, where stories were shared and memories were made. It is with this in mind that Julie hopes Trovare will motivate others to reconnect with friends and family and remember the joy of cooking. Trovare sources clean high-quality ingredients, from their wide array of vinegars and olive oils to their award-winning cheeses. Both domestic and imported ingredients are thoroughly vetted to provide customers with a top tier experience. Just walking through the store your senses are brought to life with the aroma of spices, walls of colorful cookware, and samples throughout the shop to tease your pallet.
Trovare sources clean high-quality ingredients, from their wide array of vinegars and olive oils to their award-winning cheeses. Both domestic and imported ingredients are thoroughly vetted to provide customers with a top tier experience.
Hearing Julie share about the oil and vinegar that line the front wall of the store, is kindred to listening to a wine expert detailing the method of aging and origin of fruit that makes the wine so unique. From her skilled team members to vendors and most notably her customers, Julie surrounds herself with people of passion and takes every opportunity to learn from them.
“Make the space to taste life once again.” -Shauna Niequist It’s time we slow down and make room for the people and things we love. Maybe there are dishes in the sink because there is laughter in the kitchen and people in our home and around our table. The cultural return to small-batch cooking might just be one of the keys to a well-tended spirit. Taking the time to slow down and reconnect, enjoying not only a meal but the event of cooking together. I know I am not alone when I say, the love I have for cooking got muddled along the way when it became just another chore in my busy day. In the search for quick and easy, we sacrificed the flavor and fun that once made cooking so enjoyable. Lynnette Ludviksen, Elizabeth Walton, Julie Hickethier, Mallory Hickethier, and Antonella LoPresti
Trovare is a space that will reignite the excitement that is meant to accompany cooking. With their top of the line cookware, quality ingredients, and countless colorful cookbooks, you cannot help but be inspired. Trovare will soon be offering cooking classes taught by talented chefs as well as home-cooks famed for their dishes. The long list of those interested in joining a class continues to grow as Julie looks for more opportunities to share her love for cooking with locals and visitors alike.
If you are searching for inspiration or looking to explore more of the world one dish at a time, what better place to start than a store whose namesake means “to find.” Find your way back to the heart of your home and the people who gather there. And find your way back to the joy of cooking.
WE ARE ALL CREATIVE
By June Jeffries for Empress Tents and Events Photographed by Kelly Kirksey Photography
There is no end to what you can do when you’re decorating; it’s true! We are all creative even if the little voice inside our head tells us otherwise because here’s the secret: if you don’t have the image twirling around in your head then be resourceful and copy the creative brilliance of someone else. We are surrounded by inspiration, never before have we had access to so much information and as the old saying goes, “Imitation is the best form of flattery.” If you are the DIY type, it is rewarding to find new ways to repurpose and recreate and it’s not bound to vintage, rustic or farmhouse style. Instead, it is the process of reinvention whereby the finished product is just as easily transformed into something sleek, modern and chic. In the end, it boils down to your vision and style. Be fearless.
design} But if DIY isn’t high on your to do list but you want to find something unique, something a little different then we have the place for you: Scout and Gather, with such a clever name it is obvious its owner Denise Archer is creative. Denise has a passion for scouting out new products, mercantile as she proudly professes on her website; she loves the old, new and unusually unique. (California and Texas are a few of her hunting grounds.) Her family purchased the old farm located between Whitefish and Columbia Falls with a vision in mind. The old barn was rebuilt for a reason: to create a gathering space for the community; a place to showcase artists of all kinds and to create a feel-good place! It is a feel-good place which is why we used it as a backdrop for a tablescape; it was fun collaborating with a local business and a pleasure transporting only a fraction of our usual bag of tricks. Empress Tents (empresstentsevents.com) has a few new ‘items’ featured in the tablescape: new placemats, gunmetal flatware, teal depression glass goblets and a vast collection of mix and match vessels showcasing mini flocked Christmas trees. I love the subtle tones of the Christmas centerpiece once again demonstrating hard and fast rules do not apply to decor instead it comes down to imagination, inspiration and a bag of tricks.
Thanks to Denise for sharing her feel-good place, check out Scout and Gather (scoutandgathermt.com) for something unique; thanks to Lynn (empresstentsevents.com) for always pulling it together and for Kelly’s dedication to our mad dash (kellykirkseyphotography.com). Merry Christmas!
If you are the DIY type, it is rewarding to find new ways to repurpose and recreate and it’s not bound to vintage, rustic or farmhouse style.
World Spice at Home Photography by Charity Burggraaf
Warm Winter Sangria
Baklava is wonderful in any and all forms, but for some of us, it can be too sweet. Sacrilege to sweet-tooth’s everywhere, I know, but when we added our Advieh spice blend to the mix it came out juuuuuust right. It is still a very sweet pastry, but the spice blend combines hints of savory cumin and coriander with roses and true cinnamon to make a well rounded flavor that complements the nuts and plays very well with the honey. Layered in a springform pan and allowed to set overnight, this dazzling dessert is as beautiful as it is delicious.
Ingredients 1 16 oz. package phylloh dough
1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups pistachio nuts
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts 1 cup chopped hazelnuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2 teaspoons ground Advieh 1 cup sugar 1/2 cup honey
6. To finish, add a final 8 sheets of
1. Butter the sides and bottom of phylloh to the top, brushing butter a 9" Springform pan and then melt the remaining butter.
between every 2 sheets.
7. Using a sharp knife, cut the
baklavah into the pattern of your 2. In a medium bowl combine the choice, making sure to score all the chopped nuts with 1 teaspoon of way to the bottom of the dish. the Advieh and set aside.
3. To begin building the baklava, unroll the phylloh dough and cut the stack of sheets in half. Immediately cover it with a damp cloth to prevent it from drying out. Return the damp cloth to the phylloh in between each use.
8. Bake 45-50 minutes until the
baklava is golden on top.
Choose a full bodied wine whose shelf-talker boasts of black or red cherry flavors that will complement the mulling spice, but with a price that won’t break the bank. Mid-shelf Pinot Noir or Cabernet are good choices, and an unfiltered and unsweetened cider is the perfect complement. We were lucky enough to have one straight out of the press and it made this Warm Winter Sangria all the more flavorful. Don’t forget the mulling spice!
Ingredients 1 bottle Pinot Noir or Cabarnet, 750 ml 3-4 cups unfiltered apple cider 2 tablespoons honey 2 tablespoons Mulling Spice 1 orange, zest and juice Cassia-cinnamon sticks, for garnish
Instructions 1. Combine the wine, cider, honey,
mulling spices and orange juice and zest in a non-reactive saucepan.
2. Bring the mixture to the boiling point and immediately lower the
hear. Simmer ever so gently, 10-15 minutes. Strain and serve.
Notes: The sky's the limit on cre-
ativity with this drink! Try blended ciders like cherry, blackberry or pear, or add a splash of brandy to make it extra boozy.
A CONVENIENT WAY TO SHOP LOCAL!
Access our full catalogue... over 300 spices, spice blends and teas!
9. Wile the baklava is baking, make
the syrup. Combine sugar and water in a heavy bottomed pan and heat until the sugar is melted. Add the honey and remaining teaspoon of Advieh. Simmer over very low 4. Place two sheets of dough on heat for 10-15 minutes. the bottom of the pan, trimming corners as needed, and brush with 10. As soon as the baklava comes melted butter. repeat 4 times until out of the oven, drizzle with the syryou have 8 sheets laid as a base with up. Allow to cool completely before serving. butter between every two layers.
5. Add a thin layer of nuts, followed by 2 sheets of phylloh dough topped with butter. Repeat the layers until the baklavah is built nearly to the top of the pan.
Spiced wine? Mulled cider? We say “choose both” with this Warm Winter Sangria. Mulled wine alone can be too harsh, and mulled cider too sweet. Put them together with a touch of honey and orange, and the drink comes out just right.
Notes:You can substitute your fa-
vorite nuts for the ones we chose, and switch up the spices! Cinnamon works well by itself or try Ras el Hanout for another exotic sweetsavory flavor.
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Montana Outpost 62 Arcadia Way, Columbia Falls, MT 59912 Monday-Thursday 9-5, Friday 9-noon
15% off your first pick up order. Code=SPICECLICK 406
Whitefish Mountain Resort Weddings Written by Jill Jones Wedding photos by Carrie Ann Photography
Your wedding day should be a “mountaintop” experience, and for some lucky couples... it literally is. On more than one occasion while making my way back down the Danny On trail, I have looked up and seen men in suits and women in dresses riding the ski lift to the summit. And every time, I think “Wow! What an amazing place to get married.” Forget Cinderella carriages and white horses... I want to attend a wedding where guests are taxied up a mountain on a ski lift and the happy couple makes their reception entrance careening down on an alpine slide! There is no way that that wedding and reception will be anything less than amazing. And with the team at Whitefish Mountain Resort helping make this destination wedding possible, clients can expect to receive a top tier experience at one of the top ski resorts in the country.
Weddings a truly magical experience. From the beginning stages of planning to the day of the ceremony, they are available for consult, guiding couples seamlessly through the wedding planning experience. With the resort’s reputation and connections and their commitment to making every wedding a unique experience, the team works with local vendors to provided the best possible service for their clients.
Jess Smith (Group Sales), Kylene Larson (Food and Beverage Director), and Meghann Porter (Catering Manager) shared with me part of the experience couples can look forward to when they decide to have their wedding at the resort.
One of the many perks of a wedding at the resort is access to on-site lodging. Special Guest rates make staying close to the festivities more affordable. While most choose to stay at the resort, for those wanting to stay in the valley and enjoy the charming town of Whitefish, they are only a short drive from Whitefish Mountain Resort.
The event team all seem to wear several hats while working hard to make Whitefish Mountain Resort
Of course, exclusive use of the summit for the ceremony with a ski lift carrying guests to their
destination is an epic way to begin the celebration. The event team prepares the summit for the ceremony, carrying flowers and decor selected by the couple up in gondolas. When guests arrive they are welcomed not only with stunning mountain views, but an atmosphere chosen by the couple. Following a ceremony with breathtaking views, guests are invited to return to the Base Lodge (via ski lift), for the reception. Couples and their bridal party are given the option for a truly unique entrance by taking advantage of the alpine slides. (I already love the couple who chooses to make their grand entrance as newlyweds by winding down a mountain on a slide, in their wedding attire to a cheering crowd.) Once everyone arrives at the Base Lodge they are treated to an optional cocktail hour outdoors on the patio. For the reception, guests are ushered into a
Married at the summit of Whitefish Mountain Resort in beautiful Montana has got to be one of the most “mountaintop” experiences in a person’s life. profile}
Head Chef Nick Cantoni, photo by Jill Jones
dining area meticulously decorated for the event. This year Whitefish Mountain Resort is offering a new menu with meals available to meet the needs of each individual guest. They offer vegetarian and vegan options as well as different price ranges so they can cater to a wide range of clients and guests.
Head Chef Nick Cantoni and his staff are already famous amongst resort regulars for their delicious menu and have solidified their reputation for fine cuisine in the event arena. They offer a well-rounded menu with an array of amazing dishes and something for everyone. After dinner guests are invited to enjoy drinks and dancing or lounge around the fireplaces. As the celebration continues into the evening, the event team is on site rotating throughout the night making sure everything runs smoothly. “We execute a top tier experience while remaining fun, familiar, and comfortable.” -Jess Smith, Whitefish Mountain Resort
Married at the summit of Whitefish Mountain Resort in beautiful Montana has got to be one of the most “mountaintop” experiences in a person’s life.
From left to right: Meghann Porter, Catering Manager. Jess Smith, Group Sales. Kylene Larson, Food and Beverage Director. Photo by Jill Jones
New Year, New Favorites
home accessories By Wrightâ€™s Furniture
This set of two bookends feature thick, gray marble with raw unfinished edges set atop clear crystal cube bases. Sizes: Sm-4x11x4, Lg-4x13x4
This masculine animal print features a monochromatic, black and white color scheme. A rustic wood and corrugated metal frame with a distressed black finish and gray wash surrounds the artwork and adds to the lodge design. This print framed under protective glass. 57 W X 45 H x 3 D(in)
This frame is made of individual panels of reclaimed old doors fastened to solid mango wood. Colors will vary on each piece. 32 W X 32 H X 4 D (in)
Simple yet sophisticated, this table lamp features a large marble slab with natural striations of grays, beige and ivory, displayed on a thick iron foot finished in a plated oxidized dark bronze. The rectangle hardback shade is a beige linen fabric with natural slubbing. Due to the authentic nature of the stone, each will vary in color and have a presence of multiple cavities that originally housed fossilized shells. 31H, Shade 10H X 18W X 10D (in)
This table lamp showcases clean lines with sophisticated curves featuring an iron base finished in a plated dark bronze, displayed on a thick subtle pink-ivory marble foot. This piece is topped with a rectangular hardback shade in beige linen fabric with defined trim. 29H, Shade 8H X 18W X 10D (in)
Set of two vases with iridescent tan, beige, and cream glass hurricanes and brushed brass accents. Sizes: Sm-6x9x6, Lg-6x14x6
Beautifully handcrafted bowl, finished in a dark, stained exterior and cool burnished silver interior. Each will vary in size due to being uniquely handcrafted. Cracks and variations in grain are normal. Teak bowls are available in a natural wood finish as well as in many stain colors.
This comfort swivel chair is available in many fabrics, leathers and wood finish options. L32” D35” H35” Seat Height 21” Seat Depth 22” Arm Height 26” Width Between Arms 24”
This mountain modern bedding ensemble is sure to impress. It is available in a range of sizes from Twin to Cal King. Custom orders available.
This molded branch bench features a heavily textured antique silver finish, tailored in an off-white polyester fabric. Use a matching pair to add extra seating to a living space or at the end of a bed. Dimensions: 24 W X 20 H X 16 D (in)
-All the featured pieces as well as many other options are available at Wright's Furniture Store in Whitefish6325 HWY 93 South, Whitefish, Montana 59937 | 406.862.2455 | Open Daily |Free Local Delivery | Free Design Services | www.wrightsfurniturestore.com
CAN I GET AN ENCORE? A sneak peak at the newest NCL vessel Written Jaymee Sire Photos by Justin Aharoni
I have a confession to make.
Before this year, I had never been on a cruise. I know this fact may come as a surprise for someone who travels so much, but my mom is claustrophobic so we never went on one as kids. As I transitioned to adulthood and started traveling more, I always preferred to "choose my own adventure," so to speak... plotting my own path wherever my adventures took me. However, much like an all-inclusive resort, there is something to be said for not having to worry about all the planning and guesswork. I think there's definitely an argument for both on your travel bucket list, and Norwegian Cruise Lines is doing its best to turn me into a cruise fan.
Last month, I had the opportunity to check out NCL's newest vessel, The Encore, and let me say it was as sight to see! If you like the idea of high class dining, endless activities and entertainment, while stopping at tropical ports along the way... then you should definitely check it out!
The State Rooms: The accommodations range from interior rooms all the way up to gigantic and lavish suites on the Haven Deck. Our quarters fell somewhere in the middle of that spectrum, with a comfortably sized room, complete with a little balcony for enjoying the fresh ocean breezes. That said, you don't spend too much time in the rooms (unless you're on the Haven Deck with a private pool... at which point, you would have to drag me kicking and screaming out of my room.) We had a queen-sized bed, but you can also request separate, single beds if you are traveling with a friend, as I was back in April on the Norwegian Joy.
The food: Being the foodie I am, I must address the restaurant situation on board the Encore, because it is truly
impressive! I think part of my hesitation for going on a cruise previously was concern over the food quality or predetermined times for eating. Any of those trepidations were erased from the moment I had my first bite of food on board The Norwegian Joy in April and reinforced aboard The Encore. The ship boasts 20 options in all, including nine that are considered specialty eateries, as well as the fullservice Starbucks and dessert shops. We had the chance to visit three of the specialty restaurants for dinner, as well as a sampling of several others at a curated lunch. The specialty restaurants employ a la carte pricing, or you can book the "Free at Sea" promotion and select free specialty dining as one of your options. All of Norwegian's cruises are also considered "freestyle cruising," which means you can pretty much dine whenever and wherever you want (though reservations are recommended for the more popular restaurants).
Onda: Brand new (and currently exclusive) to the Norwegian Encore is Onda, by Scarpetta. Onda means "wave" in Italian, and this is an experience not to be missed. The Scarpetta brand has several locations across the U.S., has been nominated for a James Beard award and received a 3-star rating from the New York Times.
We ordered a little of everything from ricotta-stuffed pizza, grilled octopus, short ribs with farro, and of
course, several of their signature pastas. I ordered the bolognese pappardelle, while Justin got the short rib ravioli. We quickly devoured both and agreed this was our favorite meal of the trip by far. If you like dessert, definitely save room for the tiramisu and chocolate cake. Onda also features waterfront dining.
Q Texas Smokehouse: I would classify myself as somewhat of a BBQ aficionado (I even judged a recent brisket competition back in NYC), so I was both excited and skeptical about a Texas Barbecue restaurant aboard a cruise ship. But again, I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of food available at Q. The atmosphere is very Southern down-home rustic, with large wooden tables, antique looking knick knacks adorning the booths and a stage for music. It's also offered on the Joy and Bliss and is the company's first BBQ concept restaurant.
If you want a good sampling of all of the different smoked meats, go for the Pitmaster Platter, which comes with brisket, spare ribs, chicken and jalapeĂąo cornbread. However, all of the meats are also available as single portions. Make sure to save room for starters and sides, as this menu had several standouts in that department. We quickly devoured the deviled eggs topped with maple bacon, the wavy cheese fries, charcuterie platter and fried okra. The restaurant also features live music and dancing available to all cruise goers each night until midnight. (And make sure you try the smoked peach margarita!)
Food Republic: Food Republic is like a mini trip around the world with a view of the water as you dine. The restaurant is a collaboration with the Pubbelly Restaurant Group out of Miami, which is helmed by 5-time James Beard Award nominee Jose
Mendin, so it comes as no surprise that this is one of the more popular NCL restaurants. The tapas offerings at Food Republic span cuisines from Japan, China, and even Peru. You can also find Food Republic on the Norwegian Joy, Bliss and the Escape.
Other dining options: Cagney's is one of the Hallmarks of Norwegian Cruise Lines, and you will find a version of the classic steakhouse on each ship of the company's fleet. Ocean Blue is the ship's premiere seafood spot if you are more of a Pescatarian or just a seafood lover in general. This ship also features Teppanyaki, Mexican, French and dessert restaurants. If you do not opt for the specialty dining package, you still have plenty of options, including the Garden Cafe, where we ate most of our breakfasts and lunches. There are also several bars and lounges to help you unwind at night, including a whiskey bar, wine bar, and mojito bar! And for your caffeine fix, there are several Starbucks coffee stands on board. Pulse Fitness Center & Mandara Spa: With all that food, you might want to consider checking out the sea-facing fitness center or detox
in the spa. The gym is completely stocked with all of the state of the art equipment you could possibly need. And if classes are more your thing, they offer daily spin sessions, as well as mini-bootcamps. The spa has a full menu of services... including a Thermal Suite which features both a snow room and a salt room, which is great for detoxification.
The Activities: As with The Joy, I was sort of blown away by the sheer number of activities on board. Among some of the offerings: a laser tag course, pool deck with two waterslides, a casino and a virtual reality game pavilion. The Encore also offers plenty of shopping, including high-end retailers like Cartier and Bulgari, all offered duty-free once the ship is out to sea.
But, by far, certainly the star here is the racetrack. The Encore (along with the Joy and Bliss) offer go-kart racing while at sea. The best part is the speedway is located on the top deck, so you get a view of the ocean while you're zooming around the track, trying to outrace your friends and family. While the track pumps in racing sounds like revving engines and screeching tires, the cars are fully electric and can reach speeds of up to 30 mph!
Entertainment: The Encore also features nighttime entertainment options including Kinky Boots, Choir of Man (by far the crowd favorite, which brought everyone to their feet), as well as other nightly music and comedy shows. The quality was about what I would expect on a cruise... nothing compared to Broadway back home in NYC, but still a fun way to spend the evening and let your delicious dinner digest. (And the more I thought about it... I was actually very impressed with the performers' ability to keep composure and time with the periodic rocking from the waves!) Ports of Call & Shore Excursions: Because ours was just an inaugural preview sail, we only stopped at Great Stirrup Cay, Norwe-
gian's private island in the Bahamas. This was essentially a version of the ship transported to land, with several free dining options, activities (think zip-lining, swimming with stingrays and snorkeling), as well as private villas available to relax and enjoy the beach and ocean. We opted for the latter and made several trips to the Moët Chandon bar, where we sipped on champagne and tropical cocktails all day while snacking on fancy canapés. I was tempted to stay forever.
The Norwegian Encore is available for itineraries to the Eastern Caribbean, and will be moving up to New York in the spring for summer trips to Bermuda.
Jaymee grew up in North Central Montana and is an Emmy Award winning sports broadcaster, former ESPN SportsCenter anchor, and occasional Food Network contributor. She also writes a food and travel blog called “e is for eat.” (eisforeat.com)
Ramblings From A Crazy Caterer… Very best discussion points for you and your caterer… By Desoto Grill
As a caterer, I am often asked questions about how best to plan and execute an event. Questions like, given my budget, guest count, and event style, what food choices would you recommend? The first question that I have is, how do you see your event?.. fun, fabulous, fancy or frivolous. This answer starts the planning process and allows for a theme to emerge. Here are some other items and questions that you might want to think about as you are planning your next event. Recognize your personal 3 must-have elements for your event. Here’s an example: We have the venue for a limited amount of time. We want the buffet line to be quick. Let’s do 2 double lines.
Also have 3 things you don’t want at your event, such as: Father of the bride has an extreme nut allergy, therefore we want no nuts or by-products at the wedding.
What is the most important thing your caterer provides for you after the quality of the food? Timing
What helps with timing your event?
Double-sided buffet lines and possibly multiple buffet lines if necessary. A day-of Coordinator or a DJ to keep the event schedule rolling. 86 406
Shawnna Steele owner of Desoto Grill & Amanda Corriher catering manager. Photo by Amanda Wilson Photography.
Desoto Grazing Tables, usually a combo of Charcuterie boards and Antipasti boards. The grazing table works for everyone, vegan to meat lover, gluten-free to bread lover. Establish a timeline for the event.
The First Look!- GET WITH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER
First look photos can not only allow you and your guests to enjoy each other’s company for up to 1 1/2 hour more during the event. It can also allow you to skip appetizers and save you $10-$15 per person…. you only have approx 6 hours to celebrate together, maximize it.
How to calculate the amount of food and the type of food you need?
Know your guest’s food allergies, and dietary restrictions. We can accommodate dietary restrictions of many kinds. Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and celiacs, pescatarians, and most allergies alike!
How many children and/or seniors will be attending?
They tend to eat much less than if you had a group of football players. Once we compile this information, we are able to calculate the right menu and quantity needed for your event. Don’t forget to add your vendors, DJ, band, bartenders, coordinator, and photographer into the food count when you are calculating. While you don’t have to feed them, the gesture is nice and it’s greatly appreciated.
What is extremely helpful for your caterer?
Select a person to be the day of event coordinator.
Venue vendors! Clear communication between you, your venue, your rental company, and your caterer. Establish your event theme, colors and how do you see your event?.. fun, fabulous, fancy or frivolous.
What are our biggest catering hits?
Desoto Grazing Tables, usually a combo of Charcuterie boards and Antipasti boards. The grazing table works for everyone, vegan to meat lover, gluten-free to bread lover. They are each a work of art made specifically with the particular style of event and type of guest expected. You always want a prompt and friendly catering team.
Some of the other biggest catering hits for food selections are, whole hogs for larger parties, elk sausage, bison and huckleberries. Especially for the folks visiting from out of town. As we said before, multiple buffet lines to speed up the dinner process and always make sure you add some variety! Choices make your guests feel more accommodated.
NO NO’s of the Catering World! DON'T RUN OUT OF FOOD
Let us help you with a less expensive menu option within your budget rather than run out. Be realistic with your guest count. One time a family member invited about 100 of their friends to the rehearsal dinner. The person planning the event had no idea they had been invited. Needless to say, many people went hungry that night.
DON’T EAT LATE
This can highly affect the quality of your food and event. People tend to leave if it is hours before the food is served.
APPETIZERS FOR COCKTAIL HOUR
Many of you and your guests have already been “too busy to eat” on event day. They are hungry when they arrive. If it’s a wedding reception and you are doing photos after the ceremony, you run the risk of your guests over-drinking during pictures if apps aren’t ordered! Up-scale menus available as well as our Classic Rockabilly BBQ! And remember, when the food is so delicious and you have a lot of hungry guests, double lines will help speed up the dinner process!
201 Central ave. whitefish Montana 59937 - 406.862.3200
Mountainside Weddings By Jill Jones
Winding our way up the mountain road, fortified by snow-covered timber, and woods brimming with wildlife, it’s hard not to smile and bask in another beautiful Montana moment. When we arrived at Mountainside Weddings my husband and I looked at each other and kind of laughed saying, “This is the dream.” The location is unbelievably gorgeous, and I can easily see why it would be a dream come true for couples looking for the perfect place to say, “I do.” When you think of a mountainside destination wedding, it’s exactly what you’d imagine: twenty acres of lush evergreens and vibrant wildflowers carefully enclosed by the rocky ranges of Montana. The sky showcasing a glorious sunset, warmly painting the luxurious bridal cabin. A rustic pavilion with sheer white drapes tied back and cafe lights strung through the rafters with room for a band, dinner, and dancing making it an ideal reception site. Off to the side is the most adorable wood-planked bridge crossing the stream that feeds a natural pond where a small rowboat is docked (as a photographer my mind was running wild, imagining a bride and groom rowed to the middle for some dreamy ‘Notebook’ shots). There are countless ceremony options and the couple is free to explore and find a location that calls to them, allowing it to truly be an experience all their own. Top and bottom by Aundrea Marie Photography
As amazing as all of this is, and I assure you words cannot do it justice, the best part of Mountainside Weddings is the couple who runs it. Dave and Lorraine Wilson are one of those couples you instantly like. They are both so welcoming that you immediately feel like old friends. That rigid business environment that so often accompanies vendor sourcing, is replaced with familiarity and the understanding that your wedding and experience is paramount and unique to you.
Lorraine and Dave love working with couples and their families to “create an experience.” They work hard to capture whatever vision the couple has and make it a reality. With their focus on giving people an unforgettable experience, Lorraine said she “always wants couples to receive more than they pay for.”
Kelly Kirksey Photography
Aundrea Marie Photography
Dave and Lorraine Wilson. Photo by Jill Jones.
Mountainside weddings is more than just a venue. Dave and Lorraine are onsite the day of the wedding making sure everything runs smoothly, so the couple and their guests can focus on enjoying the event. They coordinate vendors and strive to alleviate pressure points. They provide linens, tables, chairs, a selection of arbors, a variety of wedding decor, lodging (camping, too), vendor recommendations, etc.
Top and bottom by Lindsey Jane Photography
What they consider the bare necessities, which already goes above and beyond your typical wedding venue, is only the beginning. The personalized little extras are one of the many aspects that make the Mountainside Wedding experience stand out.
On the day of the wedding, the bride and bridesmaids receive a complimentary charcuterie board, chocolate-covered strawberries, and mimosas. This is such a great gift in a cabin full of women, that I am half tempted to crash the “before wedding” festivities of some unsuspecting bride so I can partake in the pampering. And don't worry, the men are not forgotten. The groom and groomsmen who are housed in a beautiful tent complete with a living area, are gifted their own charcuterie board, along with cigars, and a bottle of Whiskey. These are not “up-charges” or surprise expenses that the wedding industry is known for. They are all part of the experience and the pride the Wilsons take in delivering value.
As Dave and Lorraine look toward expanding their wedding season to allow more couples the opportunity to be a part of the Mountainside Wedding family, they continue to seek ways to add value to the experience and are committed to making every wedding its own unique event.
Brad July 20th, 2019
Photography by Amanda Wilson Photography Location Family Residence in Kalispell MT
Who are you? We are Brad and Taylor Corntassel and we got married under the beautiful big sky this last July in Kalispell MT.
How did you meet?
We met our sophomore year of college at the University of Montana. Our mutual friends were having a get-together and neither of us really noticed each other at first. Our friends talked us into a few awkward dates that slowly got less and less awkward and then one day everything just fell into place.
We were back in Missoula for Labor Day Weekend 2018. We went back for the first Griz game of the season. On the drive down Brad told me we had to go to campus to pick up a ticket for our friend that he bought on craigslist. I didn’t understand why we got pinned with this task but I didn’t ask a lot of questions at first. Once we got to town I started getting a little more irritable about having to go pick up this ticket. And at one point almost didn’t go, but Brad promised drinks with friends after so I went along for the ride. We arrived on campus, found a parking spot and I think my exact words were, “I am just going to wait in the car, this is sketchy.” And by some miracle, I was persuaded out of the vehicle and to the center of campus in front of the grizzly statue where I immediately pointed out a guy who looked like he was probably selling a Griz ticket on craigslist but Brad assured me that wasn't him. I sat angrily on the ledge looking in the opposite direction trying my hardest to avoid this awkward encounter with the ticket guy. The next thing I know Brad calls my name and I turn around to see him on one knee and the person I thought to be selling us the ticket was taking photos. After all that, there was no ticket to be bought and no one to meet, it had all been a scheme to get me to campus for the proposal. After I gathered my bearings (and said YES!) we went and joined all of our friends to celebrate the engagement. And I almost didn’t get out of the car...
love for both of us is knowing we have a hand to hold during all of our accomplishments, defeats, joys, and heartaches.
love how compassionate she is about others and how she will go out of her way to make someone's day better.
What is love?
Taylor and Brad: We have spent the better part of 5 years together so far and every year we have faced a different obstacle, but we have stuck together and our relationship has continued to flourish even with the ups and downs. Love for both of us is knowing we have a hand to hold during all of our accomplishments, defeats, joys, and heartaches. Knowing that we will always have a safe haven in each other. We are so blessed with the memories we have created so far. We are constantly laughing and celebrating the small things in life. Love is knowing that you have found the one who will forever encourage you to be a happier, healthier and overall better person and that is what we have found in each other.
What do you love most about each other?
Taylor: I love that Brad is such a smart and strong-willed person, sometimes too smart and too strong-willed but that just shows how passionate he is about his values. Every day I have spent with him he has made me feel safe, loved and wanted. He is my home and my whole heart, and I will forever be grateful that our paths crossed at a time when we were both what the other needed.
Brad: Taylor has taken me to places and shown me things I never thought I would do or see. Her adventurous spirit brought me out of my comfort zone and has allowed us to create
memories that will last a lifetime. I love how compassionate she is about others and how she will go out of her way to make someone's day better. Our journey together so far has made me a better person.
Taylor: There was a night where I had received some bad news and was having a tough night. Brad was working at Costco and I knew he had a busy day so I just texted him and asked him to call me on his way home. After he called I got ready for bed and was in my room when there was a knock on my apartment door. My roommate answered and called for me. Brad was standing at the door of my apartment with ice cream and candy and stayed with me for a while just as a source of comfort. After he left, my heart was so full and I knew that things were changed forever.
When did you know you were in love?
Brad: Taylor has always been generous, I knew this from the beginning but on my 21st birthday it was taken to a whole new level. She drove around not only me, but all of my friends from bar to bar even though she couldn’t get in herself. She made sure we all got home safe and took care of me through the night and into the next morning. She stayed by my side even though she didn’t have to and I realized at that point that there was nothing else I would ever need as long as I had her.
Taylor’s little brother was her man of honor
It down poured for a solid 45 minutes right in the middle of the (outdoor) ceremony Brad’s dad officiated the ceremony
We spent an amazing week in Playa Del Carmen Mexico. We went on multiple excursions through the Jungle that included ziplining, snorkeling and swimming in the ocean. It was the perfect ending to our already amazing celebration.
Catering Vista Linda Catering Florals Bloominous Dress Believe Bride Event Rentals Barndoor Event Rentals Photographer Amanda Wilson Photography Hair D’Lon Baeten Makeup Raj Salon
Cory James Mclaughin
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