Missouri Summer Road Trip: Idaho & Montana

Our first road trip is in the books. We pulled back into our driveway this morning at 8:45am (yeah… AM) and immediately wanted to turn around and leave again. I’ll take that as a good sign.

5,000 miles.

13 states.

Zero blown tires or roadside assistance.

Zero ticks.

Zero panic attacks.

Zero mom chill.

I’m going to work my way through the trip and recap in segments, so we don’t forget all the fun details and you don’t get bored reading about our adventures.

First, let me just say, that if you’re looking for a aesthetically pleasing PDF download of all the top tips, tricks, hacks and must-know-tibits for brand new Rv’ers… you’re not going to find that here. I am not that organized or cool.

Day 1

We pulled out of town on Thursday evening, blasting Dave Matthews after an enthusiastic family prayer for safe travels and listening ears, and made our way to our first stop: a gorgeous parking lot at a resort called Cabela’s, in Post Falls, Idaho. 

Lol. 

We discovered this is a thing when it started to get dark and we realized we were already exhausted. So, we searched rest stops/overnight camping as we flew down the freeway at 65mph, wanting to stop for the night and gear up for our first full day of travel.

Day 1 came to an end quick.

All the truck stops were JAM PACKED, and although my dad is a truck driver, it was super intimidating. They’ve gotta haaaate RV’ers, right? So we kept looking – Paul, at nearby truck stops, and me on trusty Facebook groups for brand new travelers. But semis are menacing in the dark, idling loudly with their lights off. All I kept thinking about was Paul Walker in Joy Ride, and I was not in the mood for anyone to call me “Candy Cane”, so we moved on to Plan B.

Plan B: Parking Lot Party

Apparently, Walmart, Bass Pro, Cabelas, and Cracker Barrell mostly all allow overnight camping for travelers and truckers – for free! We started by stopping at a Post Falls Walmart, but the crowd there looked… fun. So, we went to Cabela’s, and found a quiet little lineup of good looking RVs with not a creature stirring. So, we fell in line nearest to a parking lot light, and jumped into our trailer before anyone could murder us.

It was great! Peaceful, despite my crippling anxiety that someone was gonna smash in our window and rob us in the middle of the night… but ya know, that’s just life.

Survive the Night

We woke up – yay! Porter gets nauseous if we wake him up before the sun, so he shoved a Z Bar into his mouth and we piled into the truck in search of coffee and an open road. Montana, here we come.

Montana

We pulled into Montana and stopped for diesel at a little roadside convenience store/coffee shop/bakery, and struck gold. This place was the cutest, and had local, handmade gifts and fresh fudge. The boys wanted treats, so they grabbed neck pillows and candy that we’d never allow them to buy at home. The tidal wave of Yellowstone gear began, and we continued on.

We stopped for lunch in Bozeman at a great Brewery called Nordic BeerWorks, Porter hauled me into a reptile shop, I promptly hauled him out, and we continued on to Billings. 

It was about 5pm when we decided to see about KOAs, so the kids could get out and run around, ride their bikes, and explore a bit. Turns out, the Billings KOA is the first ever KOA, and it’s incredible. Putt putt, an awesome playground, with the whole property backing right up to the river. We were there for less than 12 hours, but it was clean and I would go back in a heartbeat. 

The boys got to play, and Paul and I got in a couple rounds of dice before the rain began…

…and didn’t let up until we pulled into Missouri. Lol

More to come!

Get Well, Be Well, Stay Well

Since being and staying well is what everyone is thinking about, and what I’ve been sharing about most often in my day to day life, I thought I would go through my list of must haves, routines, tips, and must dos for getting/being/staying as healthy as can be.

I’m gonna keep it super simple, and include links, and brief explanations of why/how. Please feel free to leave comments, or share with friends and family. Also, an important note: I am not a doctor and am not telling you to take these products or giving any semblance of medical advice. This is my routine. My research. My decisions. My products. What you do is completely up to you.

Most of the products I use, especially the supplements and antioxidant drink, are from Young Living. My shipments show up at my doorstep every month, and are full of incredible, plant-based products. If you want your own membership, click here

  1. Find a good Vitamin D. I take this one, which I get from my chiropractor. Most of us, especially those of us in the beautiful PNW, don’t get enough vitamin d. This is a daily supplement. I have this liquid vitamin d for my kids, and they don’t mind it at all!

  2. Schedule regular chiropractic visits. We try to go twice a month, but we go 1-2x a week if we’re under the weather. A body in alignment is much more likely to be strong and healthy – when everything is in place, everything can function as it’s supposed to.

  3. Vitamin C. Our bodies don’t produce it, so you have to find a good supplement. I take this one for daily dose, but I’m ordering this one to do a vitamin c flush very soon. There is vast research pointing to vitamin c as an incredibly important and beneficial nutrient; the more its studied, the more we understand how diverse it is in protecting our immune systems, cardiovascular health, eye health and more! Vitamin C is necessary for growth, development and repair of all body tissues. It’s involved in the formation of collagen, absorption of iron, immune system function, wound healing, and the maintenance of bone, cartilage and teeth. It’s also water soluble. This means that excess amounts are not stored in the body – so you need to replace it daily. In times where your body is under stress and/or your immune system is weakened, your body will use up vitamin C quickly. Vitamin C helps stimulate both production and function of your white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting off infection. (Our Vit C is formulated with camu camu, acerola, cherry and rose hips fruit powder).

  4. Elderberry. I make my own, with raw honey and my favorite essential oils. We take this if we come into contact with someone that is sick, just to give our bodies a little bit more fighting power. The frequency that you take your elderberry is THE most important – I take 1 tablespoon hourly, until symptoms subside. This elixir has severely reduced the length of my sickness (coming from someone that used to be sick for weeks on end).

  5. Inner Defense. This supplement is magic. We take this once every few days, and more often if we’re run down or fighting something. IT WORKS. I’ve got nothing else to say about this, except to get it. The website says: reinforces systemic defenses, creates unfriendly terrain for yeast/fungus, promotes healthy respiratory function, and contains potent essential oils like oregano, thyme, and Thieves® which are rich in thymol, carvacrol, and eugenol for immune support. Yes, please!



  6. Probiotic. Health begins in the gut, so getchu a good probiotic ASAP. Your gut is an area of your body that is highly concentrated (or should be) with bacteria – about 100 TRILLION – thats more than the entire amount of cells in your body (by about tenfold). You need that bacteria for digestion, absorption of nutrients, immune system function, mental health, neurological health. Our probiotic has 17 billion active cultures from 9 different strains of bacteria (Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus salivarius, Streptococcus thermophilus, Bifidobacterium breve, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium longum).

  7. Ningxia Red. There’s so much I could say about NR, but I’ll just say that this drink is something that everyone should be drinking — it’s a wolfberry (aka goji berry) puree, and it’s just magical. I take 2-4oz of this daily; my favorite way to drink it is in a little cocktail with a Bubly water of choice (cherry or lemoncello). I have people on my team that order JUST this, every single month, and would never miss a day. You can check out the starter kits here (spoiler: you get a LOT of bang for your buck!)



  8. Ditch ingredients that make it harder for your body to operate at full capacity. Some of those things: fragrance. Sugar. Food dyes. You don’t have to be perfect, but choose 1-2 things in your life that you can swap out or eliminate this month. Two easy ones: your household cleaner (especially if it says “fragrance” in the ingredient list), and a food item you buy often that might have added sugar in it (swap it out for one that doesn’t). For us, it was peanut butter. It’s important for me now to read labels and find one that doesn’t have the added sugar content (especially with the amount of peanut butter and honey sandwiches my kids eat, holy wow). It’s worth it, ok?



  9. Diffuse essential oils! We keep them pumpin’ in our house daily. I love Thieves + orange in the diffuser (which, coincidentally, is also the blend I add to my elderberry syrup).

  10. Other supplements I take/need to order: this mushroom blend, glutathione, and a good zinc!

What are some of your favorite items in your wellness routine?

Effortless.

I’m getting to that age (ew, that just sounds old) where I’m appreciating things in my life that don’t require a lot of extra effort.

Effortless is not to be confused with laziness – that’s the tricky part. Relationships, motherhood, family, church – they all deserve 100% of me. Effortless doesn’t mean to not be fully invested, because there’s nothing worse than sitting back and letting life happen to you. But when you walk the path that God sets before you, things are just easier. Things fall into place. Things make you smile. There’s less heartache, less sadness, less confusion… it doesn’t take a lot of extra work to be happy. Things get messy when you complicate your life.

Sure, there are tough days. Sure, there are bad decisions. Sure, there are difficult scenarios that are unavoidable. In fact, there are going to be times I have to make three times the amount of effort in any given situation, because that’s what it deserves. I’m ok with that. But as an all-encompassing rule of thumb: I’m trying to keep my life effortless.

A Boring Girl’s Guide To Vegas

We recently returned from a weeklong trip to Vegas. Some of you might be thinking: Oy. A week? Way too long, Corianne. Way too long.

But it’s really not, not when you do Vegas like we do Vegas. The only reason it might be too long is because our wallets couldn’t possibly handle another meal (or our waists, for that matter) or another trip to Sephora.

Yes, Sephora. Did you think I was going to say the club?

First of all, we went to Vegas with our best friends Davey & Jess. They have the same goals as we do when we go on vacation: good food and drinks. Good pool. Good sleep. And that’s about it.

The Official Boring Girl’s Guide To Vegas

1) Yelp
Jess and I were on Yelp from the minute we stepped off the plane. We started out trying to find new places to eat, and we ended up trying to beat each other by attaining new badges checking into places we never actually stepped foot in. Oh, you actually thought I went to Hakkasaan, the night club? HAHA. No. We walked by on our way to the room at 9pm, checked-in, and got the “First To The Club” badge. Who’s the loser now, Yelp? It’s a great way for your friends and social media following to think you’re cooler than you actually are.

2) Selfie Sticks
You guys. EVERYONE has them in Vegas. Like, everyone. They sell them at the ABC Store, for goodness sake. When they started coming about a couple years ago, I was so embarrassed for the people that whipped them out, but now you’re actually a loser if you DON’T have a Selfie Stick. So, we bought one in Vegas and used that bad boy until we got on the plane to head home.

3) THAT SCENT.
You know how amazing the hotels smell in Vegas? We found the spot to really BASK in the glory that is “hotel perfume” (it’s a thing, guys, look it up). When we stepped off the elevator and into the hallway to head to our room, there was a particular air-conditioning vent that pumped out the scent so strongly… It may or may not have been the single source for the monstrosity that is the MGM Grand. And we may or may not have stood there like idiots, just breathing in the smell and trying to memorize it. Go to the 4th floor of the MGM, and take an immediate left down the hallway for room 414. You’ll know when you’re there. That glorious smell hits you like a brick wall.

4) Coffee, Breakfast, Pre-Lunch, Lunch, Snack, Pre-Dinner, Dinner, Post-Dinner, Late Night Snack. This was the meal schedule each day, and y’all… We learned how to do it right. He’s a sample of our daily menu. And we walked it off each day, so – no guilt. (We probably should have had some guilt, but you know… Vacation).

Coffee: Grande iced coffee from Starbucks on the way to the pool
Breakfast: Fries
Pre-Lunch: Sushi on the way back to the room
Lunch: A salad or a sandwich or pizza, usually once BACK at the room
Snack: More fries
Pre-Dinner: Lobster Rolls from Todd English PUB
Dinner: Brisket Nachos from Guy Fieri’s
Post-Dinner: Cupcake from Sprinkles or a burger from Shake Shack
Late Night Snack: Sushi, again
5) Buffet
This one is self-explanatory. But do your research… Only rookies go to the first buffet they come across, or the one at their hotel by default.
6) Solicitors
Have some fun. You know those people that try to sell you on a “free show”, and you only need to sign over a promissory note to give them your first born? Try telling them you’re not interested because you have IBS and can’t sit through a full show. Or that you have Tourettes and are currently banned from the theatre at the MGM because of the last time you went. It’s fun – the more inappropriate you get, the more exciting it is. One lady literally stopped her pitch to say: “EW!” to Jessica. I can’t even repeat what Jessica’s excuse was, but it was gross and that lady literally turned away from us and onto her next prey. We got snubbed by a Vegas solicitor.
7) Sephora
Ladies, go buy a new lipstick or 10. Because it’s Vegas, and everyone needs to try colors they probably couldn’t pull off at home when they’re on vacation.
8) Midnight Sushi
Wash off your makeup, put on sweats, leave your husbands in the room watching Sportscenter, and run across the strip to the only sushi joint open at that hour. Make friends with the Sushimaster (?) and the bartender, eat your Spider Roll after the Sushimaster shows your Asian friend how to use chopsticks, and talk about the Seahawks (because evvvvvveryone in Vegas wants to talk about the Seahawks when you’re also wearing a Seattle hat).
9) Penny Slots
Take $20 and GO TO TOWN. Jess and I found that the candy, jewel, and Superwoman-themed machines did the best. Don’t do the Ellen Degeneres machines, they are terrible. And don’t get mad when a little old lady runs over and yells at you for taking her machine when there is literally nothing of hers on said machine. Just move to the machine next to her, win the jackpot, and gloat silently.
10) Get To Know Your Cab Drivers
Unless they try to kill you coming home from Old Town, taking corners at 70 MPH and tailgating all the cars on the freeway. Then you should probably report them.
BONUS TIP:
11) The Laundry Room
In Old Town, there is a bar named Commonwealth that is way too young for us. I’m talking loud rap music and omg the headache. But we went there because someone told us about a super-secret hidden spot called The Laundry Room that is only available by physical request… you ask the bartender at Commonwealth, and they give you a clothespin with a phone number on it, without saying a word. You’re to text the number and if they have a spot, they will get you in. You wait in a designated area, and they come out to get you. If not, you’re out of luck. The phone number changes all the time, and if you are lucky enough to get a reservation, don’t you dare be late. We got in, and it was amazing. They read you the rules before you enter (no photos, no phone calls, no loud conversations). It’s a prohibition-style speakeasy, and it’s fun and glam and SO different from what you’d expect out of Vegas. I soaked it in, and then made a vow to blog about it… so, go visit. And have some of the jalapeno popcorn for me.

Professional Winery Concert Goers Are a Real Thing | Chateau St Michelle

Glory, glory, hallelujah! I finally made it to a winery.

Apparently, we have wine country in our backyard. Who knew? My husband is a music freak, and one of his favorites is Harry Connick Jr. So, for Father’s Day this year, I bought him tickets to see Harry Connick Jr in the Summer Concert Series at the Chateau St Michelle winery, in Kirkland. Our friends Jen and Andy had previously gotten tickets for their anniversary at the end of May, so we decided to make it a double date night.

Jen found out that they welcome picnic baskets, so we stopped at Trader Joe’s and loaded up on all the essentials [all the essentials = unnecessary amounts of snacky foods]. We got cantaloupe, prosciutto to wrap around the cantaloupe [I know, how classy are we?!], chocolates, salads, a fresh wrap, some sushi, fresh blackberries, cheese, rosemary crackers, stuffed olives, strawberries, and chips/salsa. We didn’t think to actually buy a picnic basket, so we toted it all in in our super classy Trader Joe’s bags.

Turns out, people are professional winery concert-goers. I think they actually study and prep for these concerts for weeks in advance. Almost everyone had the same Crate & Barrel table [did I miss this memo on the ticket, or something?] but it didn’t stop there… they had tablecloths, you guys. And salt and pepper shakers. And wine holders so you didn’t have to set you glass down on the grass. One couple even had a full-sized, freshly roasted turkey!

Ok, I’m kidding about the turkey, but geez. These people are serious about their winery concerts.