The Magic of Christmas.

I can still remember hearing a thump on Christmas Eve and bolting out the front door, down the steps, and nearly running backward to catch a glimpse at the roof of my childhood home when I was small. I had missed him, Santa of course. 

Fall Family Fest at the Fort

It was a day for face painting, fall-inspired activities, and education at the 17th annual Fall Family Fest and Kaboom! Families learned how to press cider and play new games, all while enjoying the company of our community. A dollar donation was suggested to benefit youth recreation programming. Photography Chelsea Lyn Agro

December 2017 Around Town

Don't forget that one of our local ski and paddle shops, LB Snow, 802 W. Spruce St., offers a range of services that will get your board or skis ready for the season. A few services they offer are: Full Tune (base grind, edge sharpen, polish, hot wax), Skin Re-Glue, Ski Mount, Base Weld, and Edge Replacement. Also, ask about…

Light It Up

It's Christmas Day and the neighborhood where Marv Horne lives is frozen deep within winter's quiet. Only the occasional crack of river ice popping under the morning sun can be heard. Neighbors stay cozy inside to celebrate, but Marv balances atop his chilled ladder, trying to stay clear of pesky pine needles.

Missoula’s Y

We’re a community who values interacting with one another, sharing great conversation over a local brew, and supporting each other in our various endeavors. It’s no surprise that once we love something, we can expect that thing to defy naysayers and stay in motion forever, like the YMCA celebrating 50 years of business. 

Charitable Giving Tips

As we near the end of 2017, you're surely considering Christmas wishes and a big meal to prep, but you may also be thinking about your year-end charitable giving. After all, charitable giving is a powerful financial tool. You can support a worthy cause of your choice, possibly lower your tax bill at the same time, and end the year on a…

Helping Each Other Up

On the first day, we were asked why we were there: What was it that made us want to give our time to helping this refugee family?

Picture This

The maze of rooms within the Rocky Mountain School of Photography is hurried with footsteps. There is a woman holding a brush to another woman’s face, her eyelashes fanning up toward the ceiling. A few steps away is a man adjusting his tie, his wife cooing to a sleeping baby dressed in a Christmas outfit. Flashes of light come from…

Missoulians in Malawi

After a jet-lagged and harried few days, the first day of camp was upon us. We were situated at the base of the gorgeous Mount Mulanje, using the campus of the local primary school. We spread our classes across classrooms and patches of red earth, our music and poems spilling through the open windows. The village children flooded doorways with their chatter and…

My 30 days of thanks.

Beginning in November, I begin to see a flurry of Facebook posts about the things my friends and family are thankful for. By the second week, it’s less a flurry and more a sprinkling. By the month’s end, I see about three friends who’ve publicly pushed through the “30 Days of Thanks,” or Gratitude or Thankfulness, challenge. I know they…

The Bison Wrangler

It sounds like the noise a dinosaur might make. Or maybe the mix between a walrus and lion, a guttural growling that comes deep from the belly of the animal. It is the warning sound a bull bison makes when it’s breeding season and he sees another bull closing in on the cow the former’s been courting. The bulls exchange…

Christmas Wreaths

For sure, there is no better sign of the coming holidays than Christmas wreaths. They bring the sights, sounds (if you put bells on them), and smells of the holiday season right into our homes. Wreaths look great placed on flat services, with perhaps a candy dish in their center, or hung on walls, doors, mirrors, and windows—reminders to all…

More Than One Way to Earn

Increasing longevity is a practical reason you may want to develop an income plan to cover your expenses. To help you enjoy a long and comfortable retirement, using many different types of income streams can help balance your need for both growth and income while providing options to help minimize taxes throughout your retirement.

The Y Turns 50 and Looks Great

Happy birthday, dear Missoula Y! The Missoula YMCA celebrated 50 years of putting Christian principles into practice through programs 
that build a healthy spirit, mind, and body for all with a party featuring music by the Whizpops, food trucks, and activities for kids and the 
kids at heart. Photography Kat Franchino

Keeping It Wild

Montana Wilderness Association's WildFest had nearly 100 volunteers and was celebrated through hilarious tales of time spent in the 
wilderness, handy tricks when preparing for a packing trip, and the chance to get up, close, and personal with animals found within our sacred woods. It was reason enough to play, learn, and love our great outdoors! Photography Micki Long

November 2017 Around Town

Love the farmhouse style of Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV's Fixer Upper but can't exactly make the trip to Waco for your favorite household items? Worry not, a new line was created exclusively for Target with Magnolia, a home and lifestyle brand. Joanna describes the items customers can expect: tabletop items, home decor, and giftables. Their inspiration for this…

A Ful(l)filled Life

Margaret Baldridge cannot remember a time in her life when she wasn’t playing the violin. It’s been her life, livelihood, passion. Every day since age 5. It’s had company, though. She has a passion for food and cooking, and it’s been with her for as long as she can remember. Food hasn’t been just sustenance; it’s been a creative endeavor…

Perfect Moments

The stones in the piazza set into the mortar look heavy—they’re set deep and worn smooth, shining like burnished silver. Behind me, the town rises onto a steep, narrow peninsula. I can only see the horizon to my left, to the north, where a jagged coastline curls in and out of view and a stone jetty juts out to sea…

Always Honor Yourself

You might recognize her wide red-lipped smile from the fountain drink- and popcorn-laden bleachers of a Saturday night rodeo. She’s the one waving at you while she sits the rhythmic pattern of a galloping horse, carrying the flag of our nation high overhead with its colors like a jet stream steady above. It’s a moment that Sarai McCollaum, Miss Rodeo…

A Meal to Be Thankful For

It’s not intentional, being without our families for the holidays. It’s just something that happens to transplants—the rocketing of flight prices that come complimentary with that pull we feel to be with them. Andrew Martin, executive chef at Finn & Porter, has cured this hunger with a meal to be desired, devoured, and possibly kept secret so we all don’t…

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…