The one.

I knew my husband was the one this past winter when I’d come home a raging mess of snot in snow-caked coveralls—evidence of a long day’s work in subzero temps. I knew he was the one several times throughout our nine years of dating, through silly things like assembling a full-size bed in the oversize closet that was our second…

Happily Ever Hixon!

After five years of dating, Kelly Nelson and Brian Hixon celebrated the beginning of their forever as husband and wife at the Missoula Winery and Event Center. Together with their friends and families, the happy couple arranged their own flowers, visited favorite spots around town, and recuperated at brunch following their big day. Photography ETB Travel Photography

Symphonic Cirque

It was a magical evening at the first collaboration of the Missoula Symphony Association and MASC Artisans. Musicians performed works set to choreography featuring the movement arts of aerial, acrobatics, dance, flow, and fire. Let's hope this is the first of many collaborations! 
Photography Meredith Britt-Z&L Media

Our Pets Are the Best

The 12th annual Pet Fest transformed the Missoula Fairgrounds into an adventureland for our four-legged besties, and their humans were entertained by and educated about the wonderful world of pets. Proceeds from the event were distributed to organizations working to help our furry friends find forever homes. Photography Linda Baumann

October 2017 Around Town

Let's face it, Missoula loves dogs. Celebrate Adopt a Shelter Dog Month with a trip to our local shelters to peruse the kennels in the hope of finding a new addition to the family! The Humane Society of Western Montana has a 98 percent adoption rate and welcomes you to experience behavioral classes, one-on-one time with a trainer, and several…

Love of My Life

Paige Devlin and Nick Littman met eight years ago in spring, among the green wheat fields of Walla Walla, Washington. He was in his last semester of college, she was a sophomore, and they were both on the cycling team. Paige had her eye on him from the time he helped load her bike into the van at the end…

The Core of Our City

The fun in apples begins with their names—Somerset Redstreak, Frequin Rouge, Hudson’s Golden Gem, Ashmead’s Kernel, Cox’s Orange Pippin, Wickson Crab, Harry Masters Jersey, Brown Snout. Taken together they could be a cast of eclectic barnyard characters in a Babe film. For Michael Billingsley, Matthew LaRubbio, and Jon Clarenbach, co-owners of Western Cider, these apple varieties are the basis of…

Pucker Up, Buttercup

Ready to try it for yourself? Most LipSense distributors have samples for new customers to try before they buy (thank you, distributors!). A starter kit will run you $55 and comes with your choice of gloss, color, and the Oops Remover. Lip colors cost $25 and gloss is $20. Go on—eat, drink, and kiss with newly found confidence.

Love and Marriage and Finances

This article is provided by Gary Kiemele, a Financial Advisor at RBC Wealth Management. The information included in this article is not intended to be used as the primary basis for making investment decisions. RBC Wealth Management does not endorse this organization or publication. Consult your investment professional for additional information and guidance.

A Nice Day for a White-Out Wedding!

Dream gown? Check. Persnickety florist? Check. Top-notch wedding planner? Check. Unexpected glitches? Check-Check-Check. I have attended and participated in many weddings. Every blessed event had one thing in common: an unforeseen mishap. Amazingly, not one involved a wacky uncle + booze.

What’s Brewing?

 • Made from fully fermented Camellia sinensis leaves  • Retains its flavor for several years.  • Black tea is processed using either the orthodox method or CTC (crush, tear, curl).  The CTC method involves the mincing of weathered tea leaves.

Something Blue

Clarity, color, cut, carat—these four C words meant little to me as a single woman. They didn’t shine or sparkle or mesmerize me the way the movies or fancy ring shops always let on. I hadn’t known the real, raw beauty of a stone until I held an uncut sapphire in my hand. Its shape and color—the way it looked…

A Gown to Clothe Our Heart

In 2011, my wife and I endured the unthinkable. She was 18 weeks pregnant with our first child and an ultrasound came back with some curious results. Within 36 hours we found out that our unborn baby was not well, and the prognosis was bleak. The following 18 weeks were filled with doctors we didn’t know existed, tests we had…

Polka dots galore.

In my closet, I have no fewer than five shirts, six dresses, and a dozen socks featuring polka dots. I love them—polka dots—mostly in black and white, but I’ll take them in every color combination, except orange and navy blue. Broncos colors, you see.

Revving It Up for Camp-Mak-A-Dream

Car enthusiasts gathered for a good cause: Camp Mak-A-Dream. The fourth annual Benefit Car Show at Fort Missoula, sponsored in part by Montana Rail Link and Garden City Rods & Customs Car Club, brought out the best sets of wheels this side of the Divide to raise funds for the non-profit that provides cost-free Montana experiences to those affected by…

Another Trip Around the Sun

Grizzly Harley-Davidson celebrated their fifth year of business serving the Missoula community and beyond with a biker rodeo, mini-bike 
races, good grub and drinks by UpNSmokin BBQ and the Badlander, and music by the Blue Collar Band. Congratulations, Grizzly HD! 
Photography Denise Russell

A Wheel of a Good Time

Stevensville—the place where Montana began!—was home to the second annual Montana Bike Celebration and Bike & Brew where community members from Missoula to Hamilton biked, swam, ate, and enjoyed lots of biker discounts in support of safe and public use of the Bitterroot Trail. 
Photography Chelsea Lyn Drake

What’s (S)UP?

A crazy good time in a crazy mountain town was had at the fifth annual Windermere SUP Cup, a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) competition on the Clark Fork River. Spectators got a show of elite and recreational paddleboarders as well as enjoyed a Montana luau. The event was hosted by Windermere Real Estate, and proceeds go to the Missoula Food Bank's…

Happy Birthday, America!

The 41st annual Fourth of July Celebration and Pancake Breakfast at Fort Missoula was packed with activities to commemorate America's birthday. Kids and adults learned about Montana and U.S. history, played games, took wagon rides, pet animals, explored model trains and ham radios, watched demos, and so much more, all to a soundtrack provided by the Craicers, McKay and Hospkins,…

September 2017 Around Town

One of Zootown's own made the cover of the Spring 2017 issue of the Journal of the American Orthodontic Society. Congratulations, Dr. Susan B. Tiede! Dr. Tiede is a pediatric dentist who opened Missoula Pediatric Dentistry in 2004. She completed her undergraduate degree in biology at St. Louis University and attended dental school at Creighton University, after which time she…

Seven Wonders of Investment

Staying informed in today’s market sometimes feels like attending a three-ring circus. There is a lot of rapidly changing content to take in among the websites, publications, and broadcasts vying for your attention. But to make smart investment decisions, tune out the white noise and pay attention to the following investment fundamentals that have withstood the test of time:


The winter before she turned 16, Caroline Kiemele had average expectations for a Christmas Eve out with her extended family at the Methodist church in Havre, Montana. A typical Missoula high schooler who enjoyed writing, volleyball, and spending time outside, Caroline had always shrugged off casual suggestions that she try modeling. But that night in church, the teenager was approached…

On the 

Sometimes the most fashionable accessory isn't found on a runway; it's seen on the highways and back roads that surround the hub of five valleys. Check out these wheels from some of our community's biggest motorheads.

Fashion Says

Your style is as unique and free as your spirit. You go through your day with the flow and your clothing and accessories match your easy-going attitude.

Sage Fashion Choices

To get your fall accessories and to see what other fashionable goodies Kristen has, check out Happy shopping! What better time to revamp your personal style than the beginning of a new season. For Sage Accessories' owner Kristen Bowditch, fall is the best time "to bring attention to your personal style" with—what else?—accessories. Here, she shares with us six…

Rocky Mountain Entertainment Agency

The daughter of a musician and a model-actress, Casey Pobran always had entertainment in her blood—so it was no surprise when the SoCal native found herself working in New York in her early 20s as a model, signed with famed agency Eileen Ford. But even though she enjoyed modeling, Casey loved the business development aspect even more. So, when she…

A kid at heart.

My bedtime is early—as in, the same time as my toddler-age nephews, 8 p.m.—and it always has been, even as a teenager and young(er) adult. I suspect this is the reason why I’ve always felt uncool. But when I am listening to the latest albums by the Whizpops and the Salamanders, I feel very cool. These two bands were an…


NamasDay of Yoga was the first of its kind in big sky country. What set this yoga festival apart was its dedication to our community: Only local instructors taught, bringing participants fresh and imaginative yoga. The day's schedule represented the diverse world of today's yoga and gave Missoula an experience as unique as itself. Photography Matthew Roberts

A Ball of Fun

Missoula's first Knockerball competition was a—dare we say it—"ball" of fun! The competition was held at Loyola Sacred Heart's Field as a fundraiser for a December event called KYSSMAS, where underprivileged children and their families can benefit with getting some things they need. Photography Tan Curtis

August 2017 Around Town

Rub elbows with chef and author Mindy Segal and have a s'more, or two or three. Thursday, August 10—National S'mores Day—kicks off a weeklong celebration of all things chocolate, graham cracker, marshmallow and more at The Resort at Paws Up. In traditional glamping style, participants will honor the ooey-gooey deliciousness of this famous campfire treat alongside Mindy Segal, who will…

MOSTAD Makes It Easy

When I first step into the Sentinel floorplan at Valley View Terrace, I’m struck by how much more spacious it feels inside than it looked outside. The hallways are wide, the ceilings are tall, and I can see straight to the back of the house where floor-to-ceiling windows frame the view of the mountains bounding the valley to the east,…

The Whizpops Present…

Even though our son was fast asleep in the backseat, my husband and I kept the music blaring as our truck sped along the Blackfoot River. It was supposed to be a kids album. But the infectious beat had me tapping my foot, and we couldn’t help singing along with the chorus: “Extinction really stinks...forever.”

Kindie Isn’t Just for Kids

They might say it’s music just for kids. I thought it was. Several months back, and still new to the Zoo, my girlfriend and I were browsing the events section of the Missoula Independent in search of something to do or listen to. Listed was a CD release party at Rockin’ Rudy’s for the Salamanders’ latest album Bubbles. “Excellent,” I…

Crown and Sash

Carrie Vreeland graduated with honors from Montana State University with a B.S. in Nursing. As a registered nurse and licensed esthetician, Carrie has a passion for health, beauty, and self-confidence. She volunteers in her community, and her goal is to become a nurse practitioner specializing in women’s health. Diagnosed with lupus, Carrie seeks to find an avenue to educate women…

Express Yourself

Fun back-to-school looks to copy—without getting in trouble!

Down Doesn’t Mean Out

If you’re an active investor, you probably follow the movement of the financial markets at least somewhat regularly. If so, you have no doubt noticed what appears to be considerable fluctuation—in the form of triple-digit movements of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, one of the most widely watched market indices. Should you be concerned about these movements, especially when their…

Keeping Time

Mark Charles Heidinger stomps his foot on a wood board to set time, vibrating the deck beneath us. The strum of the acoustic guitar sets the melody; the twang of the steel-pedal guitar layers the tune. Mark leans back and sings in a bold, clear voice into the brisk, evening air: “Dig down deep, don’t fold…for the faintest wind might…

Getting a Head Start

Students at Garden City Montessori are spread out across the floor holding impromptu photo shoots, earnestly making calculations, and debating the price of a new Casio watch. These students aren’t just here to learn. They are running a vibrant marketplace—and they mean business.

Summertime in the garden.

I wrote this letter from my office at Higgins and Broadway. My view? Snow-capped mountains. The date was May 17. That morning, our community—which had welcomed a few 80-degree days just a week earlier—woke up to find the hills and mountains surrounding us blanketed white. They, too, thought they had said goodbye to a winter that lingered a bit too…

Dog’s Day Out at The Ranch Club

The dog days of summer don't get much better when you're four-legged, with your family, diving into a pond full of toys and flying through an agility course. Dogs and their owners indulged in a day all their own at The Ranch Club and all proceeds went to shelter pets. 
Photography Sitka Tran, Humane Society of Western Montana

‘Rumour’ Has It: We Appreciate Our Customers

Western Rockies Radio, home to The Ranch 107.1/97.9 and The Ride 94.3, and Missoula Valley Lifestyle celebrated the customers who help keep the music blasting and the pages turning at their annual Customer Appreciation Party at Rumour Restaurant. Advertisers and their guests dined, drank, and went home with prizes, thanks to the many companies who support these two local media…

July 2017 Around Town

Author Gary Ferguson will be presenting, reading, and signing his new book Land on Fire at Fact & Fiction, 220 N. Higgins Ave., on Saturday, July 1 at 3 p.m. Ever wonder about how we can get along better with fire and harness its healing power without unleashing unchecked destruction? Gary explores the research to answer this question and in…


Did you just graduate from college? Let us congratulate you: Congratulations! If you’re like many recent graduates, you’re probably excited about the prospect of getting a job and earning a real salary for the first time, but also concerned about paying back the student loan debt you may have accumulated over your years in school. You’re not alone. Today’s college…

Walk for It

Usually, it’s dark and cool, some years it’s very dark and very cool, temperatures even dipping into the 40s. The sun isn’t even fully awake, yet the music is blaring and people are prancing about in an effort to keep warm as they wait. The anticipation grows and then—quite suddenly—fireworks explode overhead, competing with the twinkling stars above. Shortly thereafter,…

What Lies Beneath

Missoula Art Museum’s senior curator Brandon Reintjes begins with a blank canvas. His, however, is an empty room. That gallery space, once empty, is now the temporary home of the quilted pieces of artist Maggy Rozycki Hiltner. Brandon and his staff invited us to photograph the installation of Maggy’s exhibition, What Lies Beneath. What lies beneath are stories told through…

The Tastes and Tunes of Summer

They say, “If you’re lucky enough to live in Montana, you’re lucky enough.” Come to think of it, there are a whole slew of sayings that are particularly true of our region, another being, “Live a life you don’t need a vacation from.” When it’s mid-July and the sky is big and blue and the air is filled with music…

It’s Beer Thirty!

Are you on two or four wheels?


The Mercedes-Benz AMG C43 blends the soul of a sports car with the utility of a sedan, thanks in large measure to its 3.0-liter AMG-enhanced biturbo V-6 that cranks out an impressive 362 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. Get frisky with the throttle it zips to 60 miles per hour in 4.6 seconds and the top speed is electronically…

Summertime Jam

I’m an avid gardener. Avid meaning “enthusiastic,” not “successful.” I shouldn’t say that. I’m great with herbs and this year, my squash and tomatoes are all blooming nicely. The wait for fresh produce became a bit too tiring and I stumbled upon something to make the time pass more quickly.

A Pathway for the People

Between Missoula and Hamilton exists a familiar vein to which we all might’ve felt its pulse sometime in our travels. Just outside the city limits, Highway 93 winds alongside the depths of our forests and whips down into the sprawls of golden-tipped grass ready for a first cutting. For bikers or foot travelers, the sounds of these small communities dotted…