5 of the Best Coffee Shops in the Flathead Valley

If you don’t already know, coffee is really really important to me. No, not just because it keeps me awake when I’m forced to get up in the mornings (not a morning person).
I LOVE making coffee.
Ever since I got my first coffee job at Green Beans Coffee Co. in Hawaii, I’ve been obsessed with making coffee. It’s truly something you have to work hard at to learn, and I appreciate the process. And seeing as 50% of Americans (equivalent to 150 million peeps) drink espresso, cappuccinos, lattes, or iced/cold coffees, I’d say it’s pretty important to most of you, too.
So let’s talk favorites. I’ll take a sit down shop over the alternative any day. There’s nothing more comforting to me than sitting down in a coffee shop, sipping some fine ass bean juice, and reading or blogging. That is my happy place. But I don’t get to do that nearly as much as I’d like, so I had to throw in some of our lovely drive up shops.

5) Montana Coffee Traders  – Kalispell + More (sit down)
MCT is kind of a staple around here. With FOUR sit down locations around the valley, they better be good at what they do! Their espresso is really good, with a huge selection of bagged coffee to choose from as well. Their locations are warm and inviting, with great gift sections and pretty good food. You can’t go wrong.

coffeetraders
Via Instagram

4) Copper Mountain Coffee – Kalispell + More (drive up)
Copper Mountain is an awesome little “chain” in Montana. They have NINE locations in Northwest Montana, which is pretty dang awesome if you ask me. These small drive up “huts” are not so small when it comes to what they offer. Breakfast burritos, bagels, copper mountain moonshine, and awesome coffee. Fair warning, if you don’t like super sweet drinks, ask for ANY drink you order to be made “half-sweet”.

coppermountain
Via Instagram

3) Odd Fellows Coffee House – Columbia Falls (sit down)
This place is as cute as a damn button. Adorned with little succulents and twinkle lights, it’s a must see in Columbia Falls. They have a fireplace, open mic nights, and play great music on the daily. It’s family owned and operated which is always a perk! Great coffee, yummy baked goods and a lovely atmosphere makes this one of my top 3 faves in the valley.

oddfellows
Via Instagram

PSA: I got up halfway through this blog post to go get a coffee from Mountain Mudd. >
2) Mountain Mudd – Kalispell (drive up)
Oh Mountain Mudd.. My absolute favorite drive up shop in the valley. This is a place that you go because it hits your top three needs for drive up coffees; 1) Speed 2) Amazing Beverages and 3) Awesome Baristas. When you pull up you feel instantly loved and welcomed.. The owner, Kim, has truly set the bar for how a drive up should run. Love her, love the Mudd, love that it’s 1.2 miles from my house. Convenient location and extremely consistent! And come on, look at these girls! You know you want them to make your coffee!

mountainmudd.jpgVia Facebook

1) Colter Coffee Roasting – Kalispell (sit down)
Forever my favorite. Forever and ever and ever. This place is what lovely coffee shop dreams are made of. Brick walls, rustic wood tables & seating, back-room couches & a downstairs “living room”.. This place is where it’s at. Not to mention, it’s open until 8 p.m. which is UNHEARD OF in the valley for a coffee.
Imagine; Sitting in a cozy and dimly lit cafe, the strong smell of coffee and cinnamon fill the air, you’re looking out tall clean windows observing the quiet sleepy main street of downtown Kalispell. Time stands still while you listen to soothing indie folk music and the light chatter of people who like to take their time and escape the worries of real life.. While you take in the subtle beauty happening in front of your very eyes, you take a nibble of your freshly baked scone and a sip of your hot caramel apple cider, and you realize that no place has ever felt more like home.
Sounds nice, right? It is.

coltercoffeeVia Instagram

 

Notable Mentions:
Kalispell Koffee – Kalispell (drive up)
Cere’s Bakery – Kalispell (sit down)
Open Road Coffee Co – Errywhere (van)

Shut Down but Deserve to be Mentioned:
The Red Caboose – Whitefish (insert crying face emoji here for the rest of my life)
The Boiler Room – Kalispell

This list is obviously subject to change. All we can hope is that more and more places like this open. There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing local businesses thrive… and hey, maybe one day I’ll own a coffee shop of my own. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. (;
So who did I miss? What’s YOUR favorite coffee shop in the Flathead? Let me know in the comments!

 

montanalaurasig

 

How to Keep Things Hygge in the Spring

The hygge way of life was invented to combat the notorious depression that comes with winter. Denmark has long, drawn-out winters with scarce amounts of daylight. Therefore, they needed a way (or a feeling, if you will) to not only get through this time, but to embrace it. So hygge was born.
Hygge, when defined simply by the Oxford Dictionary, is : a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.

Note that the dictionary definition doesn’t really state anything specifically about winter. So who’s to say you can’t “hygge” during every season? If anything, hygge is imperative during Spring.
You’ve just hunkered down for 6-8 months and can’t really remember what green grass and daylight look like.. So now’s the time to truly embrace the coziness that comes with sunshine and a completely fresh and new landscape.

Here are a few ways to carry the hygge lifestyle with you throughout Spring:

1

There’s nothing like fresh flowers and precious little succulents to chase off those winter blues. Bring bright colors and fresh pops of green into your home to brighten it up and make it extra cozy. Plus, nothing says “I have my shit together” quite like a vase of flowers or a well-kept succulent garden! That’s right, look at me, keeping plants alive!

If you’re in the Flathead Valley, your best and most delightful place to get either of these pretty little home treats is going to be Mum’s Flowers in Whitefish! Plus, they have a build-your-own succulent garden station and some of the cutest gifts you’ll ever see.


T I P S  F O R  H Y G G E  S U C C E S S :
1. Start small; buy one small succulent garden or one pretty bouquet of flowers, and watch them transform your room
2. If you’re not going to go local on your flower buying, the next best place is Costco (the best bang for your buck!)

2

Natural light is one of the coziest things nature has to offer. Let those bright yellow sun rays dance across your room, or the cool blue hues cast from a rainy day… No matter what type of natural light you’re letting in, it’s going to instantly create a cozier vibe.

T I P S  F O R  H Y G G E  S U C C E S S :
1. Open up those blinds first thing in the morning to take advantage of morning light.
2. Clean windows and windowsills make for a better experience
3. If you have large windowsills, keep some plants in them (pretty for you, good for the plants)

outdoors

Even if this means just hanging out in your back yard, just get out there. Get a little bit of sunshine, get your feet dirty, smell the rain, read a book on the patio.. Just be outside, and disconnect for a little while. Brownie points if you actually make it out on a hike or picnic. But no matter where you go, if you’re outside and your relaxed, you’ve got it all figured out.


T I P S  F O R  H Y G G E  S U C C E S S :
1. Create a back (or front) yard sanctuary. This can always be done on a budget! You just need a chair or two, a small table, a blanket and some candles!
2. Go the extra mile to have a real picnic. I mean those picture perfect picnics you see in the movies. It will make the experience that much more hygge to have everything set up so well! (it’s like ‘plating’ a meal – making it look almost too good to eat!)

candles

Ah, candles. All the candles! You cannot hygge, without the candles. And if we’re being honest with ourselves, candles just make everything better. Having a nice dinner, add candles. Relaxing at home while reading a book? Light some candles! Bubble bath!? Not without the candles! Candles bring instant warmth, glow and coziness into any situation they’re brought into. I mean, even Satan worshipers use candles! (Hah). But seriously, the Danes constantly have candles going, and for good reason; they just make everything better.


T I P S  F O R  H Y G G E  S U C C E S S :
1. Buy UNSCENTED or naturally scented candles made from beeswax or soy! Scented candles and petroleum based candles release toxic chemicals into your home and that is NOT hygge. Plus, if you have a ton of candles going at once, you’re definitely not going to want them all to be scented!
2. Even when doing mundane, day-to-day activities, light a candle or two! You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the atmosphere something as simple as lighting a candle can create!

All of these tips are just little things you can do each day to create a cozy life. It’s about simplicity, togetherness, and comfort. There are many ways to incorporate this amazing way of living into your daily schedule. The Little Book of Hygge is where I discovered it all. I immediately fell in love, began applying these rules to my life, and then wrote my first two posts about it :
Hygge Part 1 : What is Hygge and Why Do You Need It In Your Life?
and
Hygge Part 2 : How to Embrace Hygge In Your Everyday Life

My life has been more cozy, organized, and full since discovering hygge. And I can only hope that it does the same for each and every one of you.

 

I do not own any of the photos above, all can be found in their original form on my Hygge Pinterest Board.

S E P T E M B E R

september

Do you ever have those moments where you find a quote online and you think “holy crap, it’s almost like who ever wrote that can see straight into my soul”?
That’s what happened to me when I found this heavenly little blurb by Peggy Toney Horton.

I don’t want to seem cliche, but for me it feels like while everything begins to die in September, I finally come to life.
I know what you’re thinking, “come to life? In what sense were you NOT alive?”.
The 3 endless months of hot dry weather assassinated my soul, okay?

As the weather cools off, the leaves turn orange, and the clouds finally roll in – I settle into my absolute favorite half of the year: fall & winter.
I simply do not belong in 80 degree weather. I hate being hot, I don’t enjoy sweating,  and I hate the fact that I can’t achieve a comfortable temperature by removing layers in the summer, like I can in the fall by adding them. You can only get SO naked, you know? Yeah, you know. You know exactly what I’m talking about.

What I don’t want happening this fall is for me to spend 3 months gawking at the orange leaves from the mundane comfort of home, and not getting out to truly enjoy them.
So I’m making PLANS; if Montana ever stops being on fire… that is.

My September plans will definitely seep into October and November, seeing as the state of Montana isn’t expected to have it’s wildfires under control for quite some time. So for the sake of the entire North West, you all better be praying to the weather god for rain – or whatever you do. (;

Here’s what I’ve got going on…

Farmers Markets:
I’m mostly interested in the the Kalispell Farmer’s Market. It’s close by, easy to access, and there aren’t a million people there. I look forward to a few brisk Saturday mornings, latte in hand, enjoying the plethora of autumn’s harvest: sunflowers, fresh corn, apples and pumpkins. I intend to get out and enjoy one of Whitefish’s Farmers Markets too. (they’re just a little more hectic).

Sweet Pickins Pumpkin Patch:
Now, apparently this place has been around for a long time. I don’t remember ever going to it, AND it seems fairly aimed at families with kids.. But Paul and I are DEFINITELY going. We usually just buy pumpkins the day before Halloween which is great, but how much more enjoyable would it be to go to a pumpkin patch and pick your own, all while getting to enjoy a fricken Autumn Wonderland. I mean, LOOK at this place! Little slice of autumn heaven.

PicMonkey Collage

Much more sitting at Colter Coffee:
This is one of my favorite past times. I used to come to Colter Coffee after school to “do homework” all the time. (I really just sat around with books in front of me, sipping coffee or chai). The vibe inside Colter is really what people are after though. There isn’t anything else like it (IMO), especially not in Kalispell. Now, if you were to head over to say, Portland or Seattle, there would be something similar on every street corner. But we just have one, which makes it that much more special. Colter Coffee definitely has the hygge factor that I’m constantly seeking out. (Side note: We’ll go over hygge in the near future, promise. Just google it for now.)
(Extra side note: I’m not a Starbucks hang out kind of gal, so don’t even SUGGEST that their atmosphere beats out Colter, don’t you dare).

Lots of reading, hopefully outdoors:
I thoroughly enjoy the idea of laying in a wooded thicket, sipping on hot tea, bundled up in a cable knit throw – reading the afternoon away.. That’s not super realistic though, so I’ll settle for a ton of reading, anywhere, anytime. I have a ton of books on my current lineup, three of which I’ve already started.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – Queen J.K. Rowling
You Are a Badass – Jen Sincero
The Little Book of Hygge – Meik Wiking
You Are a Badass at Making Money – Jane Sincero
And a few others, I wont bore you.
20688686_1513313395402880_6306312047063728128_n

A few fall hikes at GNP:
If the poor park makes it through this damn fire season, I’d love to make it up there for at least a few hikes. It absolutely kills me that it’s on fire. Just one more reason to believe that summer’s the worst. Drought, 80+ degrees every day, & thousands of people crowding our beautiful Glacier National Park = not my idea of a good time. I like to go to the park in the spring and fall. Plus, those mountains are just way prettier when they’re snow capped.

 

So that’s what I have going on for September. Along with the obvious: lot’s of working, sleeping, coffee and studying.
What am I missing? What do you guys do in September?