2016 Among Wildflowers Holiday Gift Guide

Another year has come and passed, too quickly! Here is the 2016 Among Wildflowers Gift Guide, continuing on my theme for the girl who loves the outdoors and traveling. Kept it under $50 (except for the cameras), because you know we gotta save that $$ for all the adventures planned in the year ahead! I've included multiple things that I've bought on my own & tested, that have proved their worth & I can honestly recommend!

1. Juniper Ridge Campfire Incense, $13. 2. Introduction to California Plant Life, $24. Properly identify plants you see on your adventures! Super into this. 3. Fujifilm Instax Wide Camera, $100. Instant memories! This camera is so fun. 4. Hot Hands Hand Warmers, $26. Stay warm during cold weather activities. 5. Poler Stuff Burner Bag, $8. Gets a fire started, guaranteed! These have come in handy more than once while camping. 6. Victorinox Swiss Army Pocket Knife, $38. Never be left stranded without a tool again. 7. LUCI Inflatable Solar Light, $12. We bring this every time we go camping. Packs down nice and small, our first one lasted for years! Our favorite is the multicolor lantern. 8. Pendleton Bath Towel, $40. All the towels from Pendleton are sooo pretty. And a much more affordable way to own something Pendleton until you can save up enough for one of their blankets! 9. Munk Pack snack packs, $16. A little more substantial than honey sticks, these are perfect for hikes and camping trips. 10. Klean Kanteen Insulated 12oz Water Bottle - $25. Keep your hot drinks hot, cold drinks cold, and get refills without having to use paper cups (less waste!)! Win win. 11. Bee Local Honey Sticks, $13. Perfect little on the go snack. 12. Illume Balsam & Cedar Soy Candle, $29. In my top five favorite candles, for sure. Make your home smell like the loveliest forest! 13. Nuun Active Hydrating Electrolyte Tablets, $19. Stay hydrated with something a little more fun than plain ol water! 14. Smartwool Women's socks, $20. Some of the best socks out there! 15. Sony A7 with lens, $1400. Nice little handy digital camera, much better for traveling light than a heavy DSLR. 16. Ursa Major Essential Face Wipes, $24. These are life saving when on the road and camping for keeping your face feeling clean! 17. Black Field Notes, $10. The perfect size to keep one handy on all your travels, write down or draw whatever is inspiring you.

See the Gift Guide from 2015 here.

Monarch Pass

Monarch Pass is a high mountain pass road in Colorado between Gunnison and Buena Vista, and somewhere I was soooo happy I decided to drive through during my road trip earlier this year. I'm sure we drove through this area when I was younger, but I can't recall it so it was a new Colorado experience for me. It was so snowy, I couldn't believe my eyes, I was so so so happy I was able to get some snowy scenery in my life. You just can't take these things for granted when you don't get to experience them whenever you want!

Maybe these are just photos of snow and trees to some, but to me this is my happy place, any time I look at these photos they make me so happy. If you're ever driving from Grand Junction to Denver and time isn't an issue, I definitely recommend taking the long way and driving over Monarch Pass, stopping as many times as necessary to take in all the beautiful scenery.

Happy 100th, National Parks!

100 years of the National Park Service! The Parks service has been around 100 years today, but the first National Park [Yellowstone] was actually established in 1871! So thankful that such beautiful places can be preserved & that we are able to visit them. I thought I'd share some photos from the nine national parks & monuments that I've been able to visit in the past year since getting my own annual National Parks pass! Hopefully one day I will be able to say that I've experienced all 59 of the National Parks :)








Mt Baldy Ski Lifts

Mount Baldy is one of my favorite spots near where we live, because it's a cute little mountain town and only a one hour drive away from Long Beach! Soo nice. We've been up a couple times for hiking, but had never taken the ski lifts to the top before. I bought a living social deal for the lifts + lunch at the lodge at the top, so one Saturday morning this past spring we decided to head up there and try it out! No dogs allowed on the lifts, so we had to leave Lily at home. We decided to do the San Antonio Falls hike before taking the lifts up, we wanted to do it before rather than after so it wouldn't be too crowded when we went. The trails fall is pretty short & not difficult, so the trail can get a little crowded. We got lucky and only ran into two other people on the trail and had the falls to ourself! It's so pretty up there in the springtime, definitely the best time to go.

Life above the clouds, not so bad.

The ride up to the lifts was great, the scenery was nice, it always feels so good to be up in the mountains. Just a heads up, depending on the time of year don't be fooled by the temperatures down in town, because it got cold and windy once we got closer to the top!! I was glad to have hoodie & leather jacket on. Also, be prepared for lodge food true to form from the Notch restaurant! We ordered the chili fries & pastrami sandwich, greasy goodness!!
As always thank you Mt Baldy for the good times away from the beach & city, can't get enough of those times. If you live in the area and haven't been up yet, I recommend giving it a visit!

Snow was scarce :(