birthday party

golden birthday party — pineapples, party hats, “tags” & a cat suit

Mia and Tag on a tag...duh

Mia and Tag on a tag…duh

Meet Mia, my co-conspirator on this lovely affair.

When our best friend, Kacie, moved home after living in Denver and Boulder after college, we had so much to celebrate. Our wolfpack had (at least mostly) reunited, it was her 27th birthday, and Kacie and her boyfriend, Tag, had just gone into contract on their first home.

Kacie turned 27 on the 27th, which if you don’t know, means it’s her golden birthday. Judging from our average readership age, your golden birthday may have come and gone already, but keep this fun excuse to really go for it in mind for your friends and family.

Thankfully, all things gold are Kacie’s favorite, just like mine. We had so much fun hatching this borderline surprise party plan. Here’s a look!

INVITATION

the paperless post invite that we sent the the birthday girl at the last minute

the paperless post invite that we sent the the birthday girl at the last minute

Envelope

decor

  • Gold letter balloons that spelled out “GOLDEN GIRL”
  • 40″ number balloons for a 2-7
  • Regular gold balloons
  • Gilded pineapples, a brilliant idea of Mia’s
  • Glitter champagne bottles, another brain child of Mia’s
  • Gold votives
  • White flowers in gold vases
  • Photos of Kacie and some of her favorite people
  • Gold striped and pineapple straws
  • Gold rimmed cups and plates
  • Tags made of Tags 😉
  • Costumes that also played into the décor
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before and after!

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Conveniently Mia’s aunt is also the very talented lady behind Tara Bella flowers, so the blooms were stunning. I reused a few props from a birthday party last year, including the “k” and a dino friend or two

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These 40″ balloons from “bargainballoons.com” were just that! They were almost more of a rose gold, but that was fine by me!

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dino and polka dots

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the whole décor shebang — balloons, pineapples, votives, photos, and a dino

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more dino

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I found these napkins at local favorite boutique The Gardens…so good

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the company

 

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hostesses and bday girl

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the gang

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#stillgotit

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late night casino love

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the following day included some epic skiing, all decked out in gold.

the following day included some epic skiing, all decked out in gold.

Such a fun couple of days!

cheers krista

 

brass blossom

weekend love it – japan jet lag & indulgences

This past week has been a whirlwind. I got back from Japan (more about that to come) just in time to have one day to get organized and then I was back to work and a busy week full of indulgences. I had family in town and felt a bit insatiable when it came to food and social events this week. I also felt a bit out of it (probably due to jet lag, but I can’t really complain since I was in Japan!) all week so I plan on getting a bit more R&R and healthiness in this week.

Here is everything that I have been loving!

1. japan. My trip to Japan was incredible. But how could it have been anything less than incredible with amazing company, adventuring with no real destination, slight culture shock and a bit of sunshine? As amazing as all of those things were I think the best part about Japan was simply living in the moment of where I was. More about my travels in a post to come.

Here are a few photos as a tease!

new places, new friends

new places, new friends

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handstanding all over the world

handstanding all over the world

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2. orange is the new black. When Season Two of Orange is the New Black came out last summer, I binged watch the entire season in like two days. I saw no sunshine, no social events and pretty much ignored the boy for a solid two days for just one more episode. And it was worth it.

I am ecstatic about Season Three coming out June 12th and have blacked out my calendar for another binge watching extravaganza. Anyone is welcome. Bring snacks. Believe me, if you get past the first episode you will likely give up your first born for just one more episode.

3. beautiful ruins. I received Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter a few months ago when I was pretty much incapable of focusing on anything. I recently got around to picking it up and adored this book. It isn’t really a strenuous read but keeps you engaged with all of the different story lines. It is definitely a good summer read and leaves you with that feel-good feeling.

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4. kentucky derby & hats. I have always genuinely liked the Kentucky Derby. I don’t really like horses or horse racing in general but I do quite like the Kentucky Derby. Maybe it’s the hype of the event and all of those hats or maybe it’s the hope of rooting for the underdog (c’mon, everyone loved Seabuiscuit), but I get giddy for the event each year.

This year, our good friend Abbey hosted a birthday celebration for the main man in her life that coincided with the Kentucky Derby. Derby attire was optional but obviously Krista and I went all out and created some diy derby-inspired hats to wear. Unfortunately I missed the actual derby but celebrated in style and enjoyed some sunshine, a fabulous dinner and birthday cheer. Happy birthday, Zac!

diy derby hats

diy derby hats

sunshine & horses

sunshine & horses

love these ladies

love these ladies

dysfunction

the crowning

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happy birthday zac!

happy birthday, zac!

5. royal baby. Like the Kentucky Derby, I am kinda obsessed with the Royal Family for no particular reason. Everyone needs several guilty pleasures in life. I pretty much think Duchess Kate is the definition of perfect, so her passing-on her perfection essentially ensures I can be obsessed with another generation of royalty and leave the baby making up to William and Kate.

I adored Kate’s going home dress and cannot wait to find out the name of the little Princess (I wrote this before the name was announced and absolutely love Charlotte Elizabeth Diana)! Also the Princess happened to be born on the 17th Anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts. That pretty much puts her at number one in my book.

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perfection

6. hot yoga. In an attempt to get back into somewhat of a routine, I have gotten back into hot yoga the past two weekends. I hadn’t gone to hot yoga for four months (which was far too long) and didn’t necessarily miss it. But the second I got back on the mat in the heat I remembered why I love it and need it. I love the heat, the humidity and the zen. Even though most people look at you with the most uncomfortable look on their face when you invite them to hot yoga, it’s a wonderful place.

I would encourage you all to give it at least a few chances, because the first class is slightly unbearable. But I honestly think it is a state of mind because I have grown to be addicted to practicing while sweating profusely. After each class I feel cleansed, cleared and ready to take on the world (or just about).

you can yoga even in japan

a little yoga in japan

taylor brass

brass blossom

“k” birthday — gold dinos, fondue and g&ts

I saw the following picture on Pinterest about a month ago and totally fell in love with the concept of having gold dinos as a “theme” for a party. I was so in love with this idea that I couldn’t spend the creativity on just anybody. Lucky for me, the end of March brought the perfect occasion.

As I mentioned before, many of my friends celebrate March birthdays. When one great friend came home for her birthday, we hatched a plan to have a co-birthday party with some other birthday girls whose names start with “K.” And so the “K” party, complete with gold dinos, fondue, and some gin and tonics was born. He’s a look!

decor

 

The décor was “fierce” (ha) but feminine:

  • An assortment of plastic dinosaurs spray painted gold. I found the dinos at the drug store after realizing that large replicas of the prehistoric creatures are kind of crazy expensive. I opted for the smaller, cheaper ones and just bought more.
  • A handmade happy birthday sign
  • Big gold and clear balloons
  • Gold letters spelling “YAY, K”
  • Gold votives
  • Tissue paper confetti in blues and pinks
  • Handmade “holey” paper
the scene

the scene

happy birthday sign

late-night dino stacking

late-night dino stacking

it almost spells kayak...but it doesn't.

it almost spells kayak…but it doesn’t.

gold dinos

gold dinos

more gold dinos

more gold dinos

hand-cut tissue paper confetti

hand-cut tissue paper confetti

t-rex was the fan favorite of course.

t-rex was the fan favorite of course.

menu

 

The menu was simple and straightforward and of course featured lots of cheese. We enjoyed:

  • Cheese fondue with apple, bread, sausage, broccoli and roasted potatoes for dipping
  • Arugula salad with strawberries, red onion, and feta
  • An orzo and arugula salad by Kacie
  • Goat cheese toast points from Rachel
  • German chocolate cakes in mason jars with fresh berries and whipped cream
  • Gin and tonics and champagne
fondue circle

fondue circle

bar cart

bar cart

bar cart

t-rex getting in on the g&t action

t-rex getting in on the g&t action

german chocolate cakes in mason jars with fresh berries and whipped cream

german chocolate cakes in mason jars with fresh berries and whipped cream

the birthday girls making a wish...in their birthday crowns

the birthday girls making a wish…in their birthday crowns

the company

 

it was a great mellow night with great friends and of course a little cards against humanity. Happy birthday, ladies! I’m so lucky to have you in my life.

a little march madness in the "background"

a little march madness in the “background”

love the boy's facial expression in the back

love the boy’s facial expression in the back

xole with her party favor dino favorite and a nice tag photo bomb

xole with her party favor dino favorite and a nice tag photo bomb

par par stretching it out

par par stretching it out

"k" ladies

“k” ladies

dinosaur party

the birthday girls got some bubbles and glow sticks — great party gift/immediate favor!

the birthday girls got some bubbles and glow sticks — great party gift/immediate favor!

a little blurry eyed by the end of the night :)

a little blurry eyed by the end of the night 🙂

the dino stacking was actually pretty impressive

the dino stacking was actually pretty impressive

cheers krista

weekend love it — spring break 2015

I miss the days of Spring Break. A lot. However, the spring sunshine and spring break spirit in Sun Valley are infectious right now, and I’ve been taking advantage as much as a can, between work and realizing that I’m not 21 anymore…

It was a great week filled with birthdays, sunshine, spring skiing and benders. Here’s what I’m loving right now:

1. birthdays. Many people in my life celebrate March birthdays, and this week I helped three of them celebrate in unique ways — one with yummy food and some late-night karaoke, one with gold dinos and cheese fondue (blog post coming soon) and one with aprés-ski unicorns and corn hole.

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kacie making her wish

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birthday flowers for tory

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rachel, the hostess unicorn for tory’s aprés ski adventure

trying to outsmart the wind for some candles...to no avail

trying to outsmart the wind for some candles…to no avail

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gold dinos for kacie and katie’s bday celebration at my casa

birthday girls at the gold dino party

birthday girls at the gold dino party

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kyleigh making a wish at knob hill

kyleigh making a wish at knob hill

2. “have courage, be kind.” Anyone who knows me well knows that I love a good fairytale…especially one with a modern twist that departs from a little patriarchy. While I don’t know that I could say that Disney’s live adaptation of Cinderella did just that, it did enough and then a little more. It was beautiful, intentional, and made my heart sing. I watched it with my mother, who certainly made the motif of “have courage, be kind” that much more poignant. I challenge you to not visualize yourself in cinderella’s glass slippers watching this movie.

While I’m not sure the “kindness” part of my #2 applies to House of Cards, courage probably does. I cannot get enough of House of Cards, and I am already counting down the days (but how many?!) until next season. It’s my favorite TV show right now, in a very different way than The Voice or PLL. While Cinderella may be an almost role model, Claire Underwood is one of my favorite characters ever because of her complexity and strength. That walk off at the end of the final episode?! Oh em gee. While I can’t say I agree with all of her fictional decisions, I love her. Claire Underwood for President.

3. sunshine. While I couldn’t join my “spring breaking” (not actually, but it felt that way for awhile there) friends as much on the slopes, I gave my all at the aprés scene and soaked up as much sunshine as possible this weekend.

river run love

river run love

i went down backwards while taggart hauled down the hill like he always does

i went down backwards while taggart hauled down the hill like he always does

tray races

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river run

4. food for thought. I started reading an actual book — not one on my iPad — and there’s really nothing better than curling up in the corner of the couch and flipping actual pages. I’m only half-way through, but I am loving All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

great read!

I stumbled upon this article titled “Why Your Happiness Has Little to Do With Positive Thinking” awhile ago and thought it was very interesting. While I have a hard time nay-saying positive thinking, the messages of this article really resonated me. #2 on the list is my favorite and advice I try to give and follow: “Love and embrace whatever state you are in.”

5. new duds. With wedding season on the horizon, I have had an eye out for great pieces for the last couple months. Using many gift cards that I’ve been hoarding for awhile, I invested in some solid additions to my wardrobe…from Joie to Mossimo, Panache to Nordstrom Rack. Here’s a look:

rebecca taylor onesie

rebecca taylor onesie

bb dakota dress

bb dakota dress

joie romper

joie romper

some steve madden shoes I may not be able to walk in

some steve madden shoes I may not be able to walk in

some fun lace shorts from target

some fun lace shorts from target

top and shorts from a cabi trunk show

top and shorts from a cabi trunk show

6. looking back. As we mentioned repeatedly, it’s been a strange few months, filled with the ultimate highs and lows. It was fun to look back over the past months of photos on my phone today. Life goes on, and I’m more thankful than ever for my friends, family and beautiful surroundings. In many ways, I’m feeling more alive than ever, and I can’t wait for a glorious spring and unforgettable summer. Life is good.

depth-of-winter hike with my cousin

depth-of-winter hike with my cousin

boise escape with rachel before seeing the worst movie of all time

boise escape with rachel before seeing the worst movie of all time

beautiful evening walk in the dog park

beautiful evening walk in the dog park

valentine's day with all kinds of couples

valentine’s day with all kinds of couples

par par and a much bigger stick...just as I slipped and got a concussion

par par and a much bigger stick…just as I slipped and got a concussion

skiing on dollar with isla and drew

skiing on dollar with isla and drew

isla's basketball game

isla’s basketball game

a new cute iPhone case

a new cute iPhone case

a delicious recipe from the book "clean slate" by the editors of Martha Stewart

a delicious recipe from the book “clean slate” by the editors of Martha Stewart

a housewarming gift for jenna and brad

a housewarming gift for jenna and brad

himalayan salt block that we've been grilling on since christmas — they're amazing!

himalayan salt block that we’ve been grilling on since christmas — they’re amazing!

valentines all the way around the world!

valentines all the way around the world!

lovely spring tulips for mom

lovely spring tulips for mom

my mom's new cat, Henry

my mom’s new cat, Henry

a new dedication to eating fresh fruit

a new dedication to eating fresh fruit

I hope you have a wonderful week!

cheers krista

 

brass blossom

 

taylor’s big 2-5 — harvest inspired feast

the birthday girl!

the beautiful birthday girl!

In honor of my dear co-author’s quarter-century birthday, Rachel and I wanted to return the favor of a great dinner party in her honor. Honoring her favorite season and her vegetarianism, we set out to create a heart vegetarian feast, complete with pumpkins, vodka, and gold.

Here’s a look at the night!

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Though it was a small, all-girls gathering, we couldn’t not send a Paperless Post…We went for the ever classic black and gold template that added a little “hunter-gatherer” flair.

paperless post

paperless post

decor

It was perfect autumn weather for a cozy night. Here’s how we decorated:

  • Pumpkins and more pumpkins
  • Sunflowers and mums in mason jars, wrapped with raffia
  • Mason jar cocktail glasses with orange striped straws
  • Lots of candlelight — in our gold glitter mason jar votives, and with tall white column candles
  • A burlap, gold-painted table runner

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menu

I have to say, cooking a vegetarian meal is quite lovely and stress free — no incessant hand-washing, no fat trimming, no gross bloody packaging…That being said, I couldn’t help but slip some bacon in there! Rachel and I must have exchanged about a dozen emails plotting and plan this evening. Here’s what we decided on, and what our dear friends contributed:

  • A vanilla, pear, and vodka cocktail with a rosebud sugar rim — sweet, but very yummy!
  • Burrata (you can never go wrong with burrata) and an antipasto platter with salami, cheese, and olives
  • Homemade bruschetta from homegrown tomatoes from Sara’s garden
  • A whole roasted head of cauliflower — both cool to look at and totally delicious. The marinade was so good that I dipped celery sticks in it for the next couple days
  • An artichoke, green bean, squash, sunflower seed, roasted garlic, and quinoa salad — this provided a nice light balance to our meal, but we added some champagne vinegar to tarten it a bit
  • Brussels sprouts, Enoteca style — thinly shredded and sautéed with goat cheese and (bacon)
  • The main event, butternut squash soup — a delicious concoction that Rachel made from a fax recipe. That’s legit!
  • Mini mason jar pumpkin cheesecakes — also gluten free, the boy has devoured one of these every night for the last week (I made some extras)
delicious butternut squash soup by Rachel and a brilliant fax

delicious butternut squash soup by Rachel and a brilliant fax

a perfect plate!

a perfect plate!

harvest dinner

roasted cauliflower

roasted cauliflower

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vodka and burrata — what more do you need?

vodka and burrata — what more do you need?

mini pumpkin cheesecake (pre-baking)

mini pumpkin cheesecake (pre-baking)

Happy Birthday, Taylor! We love you so much, and we had so much fun celebrating your big birthday!

cheers krista

brass blossom

double weekend love it — rain, nesting and beyoncé

As if September could smell October, it starting raining right on cue this week. While I’ve been known to have freak outs about incessant rain in Eugene (in my defense, it was still pouring in June…beautiful Eugene springs must be a myth), I have to say I love it when it rains here. It’s cozy, our dry climate needs it, and it gives me the excuse to make things like pumpkin muffins and chicken pot pie…and maybe start drinking wine a little earlier…Here’s what I’ve been loving the last two weeks:

1. A new home. I took a little hiatus from the blog because I’ve been moving into a new house. The house is everything I’ve ever wanted and more, and as much as chase likes to remind me that “we’re not birds,” I can’t help but use the term nesting. It’s been so fun to bargain hunt, find furniture, and slowly make the place our own. A huge thank you to Steve, Ingri, and many other friends and family members for helping us get settled! It was dark and rainy when I took these photos, but here’s a peak at some of our progress:

cozy fireplace

cozy fireplace

new dining room table with a bench from Cost Plus World Market

new dining room table with a bench from Cost Plus World Market

our living room with a bargain rug (TJ Max) and chairs (Target), and chase's favorite feature after the garage — a wood burning stove

our living room with a bargain rug (TJ Max) and chairs (Target), and chase’s favorite feature after the garage — a wood burning stove

a cow hair and braided velvet pillow from Pier 1

a cow hair and braided velvet pillow from Pier 1

a new glass top for our coffee table, which was a gift from Ingri

a new glass top for our coffee table, which was a gift from Ingri

our new "wall mount" from Huck and Paddle, a local interior boutique

our new “wall mount” from Huck and Paddle, a local interior boutique

a glimpse at the yard — we love being able to let the dogs out and not worry

a glimpse at the yard — we love being able to let the dogs out and not worry

the second bathroom

the second bathroom

2. Succulent friends. The highlight of going to Twin Falls (a horrible, horrible place)? Finding some succulents at Home Depot! These four little plants caught my eye, and I was thrilled to take them home. I found them some fancy new pots at Bellissimo Gardens, and I can’t wait to watch them grow! They freshen up any home.

four new succulents

four new succulents

little succulents

little succulents

bright green succulent

bright green succulent

the new pot transfer

3. Bey and Jay. A friend passed this on to me while I was at work, and it instantly brightened my day. I’ve often mused that I would only want to be super rich if I was Jay-Z and Beyoncé rich…because they’re just so damn amazing and it seems like most extreme wealth comes at the cost of corruption. This video everything — it’s personal, intimate, and Beyonce’s American flag get-up is just too much, in the best way possible.

4. A birthday celebration. With a (very) crazy work week, Taylor’s birthday celebration was the light at the end of the tunnel — it was a great night filled with fabulous company and vegetarian food (although I couldn’t help but slip a little bacon in there). Full post to come!

pretty autumn table

pretty autumn table

5. Another feel-good movie. Nothing says rainy day like a Sunday matinee. I highly recommend This is Where I Leave You, starring Jason Bateman, Jane Fonda, Tina Fey, and Rose Byrne. It’s funny, has just the right dose of melancholy, and captures the intricacies of love, loss, and family pretty perfectly. I saw it with my mom, and she loved it also.

6. The harvest festival.  I attended my first Ketchum Harvest Festival two weekends ago with Chase, his parents, and a couple friends. It was well worth the $45. We enjoyed a walk through downtown Ketchum on a beautiful fall day as we enjoyed wine and food from our favorite local restaurants including Richshaw, il Naso, the haven, Ketchum Grill, Raspberry’s, Bigwood Bread, Zinc, Cristina’s, and Globus. Needless to say, we were stuffed by the end of the night, but not too stuffed to cap it all off with some cake pops and champagne in the park. I will definitely do this again next year!

sliders from Bigwood Bread

sliders from Bigwood Bread

end of the night — clearly we'd enjoyed some wine!

end of the night — clearly we’d enjoyed some wine!

beautiful cake pop display from Sweet Crumb

beautiful cake pop display from Sweet Crumb

the boys at zinc

the boys at zinc

yummy beef pot pie

yummy beef pot pie

Pablo and Chase

Pablo and Chase

mac and cheese with all the fixings from the haven

mac and cheese with all the fixings from the haven

abbey getting a refill

abbey getting a refill

abbey excited to be at Rickshaw

abbey excited to be at Rickshaw

7. Celebrating a happy marriage. September 17 would have marked my mom and dad’s 37th wedding anniversary. Though he passed away many years ago, it was always evident to me and my brother how wonderful a marriage our mom and dad had. My mom hiked to the top of Proctor to the cairn commemorating my dad to leave some flowers, and I had a good laugh over this classic photo. I can only hope to have a marriage as solid as theirs! Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

mom at the top of Proctor

mom at the top of Proctor

a classic photo from their wedding

a classic photo from their wedding

8. Red wine and awesome people. My friend a former (sob) co-worker, Kate, invited some work friends to  a private wine tasting at Frenchman’s Gulch Winery, a package she purchased at an auction. It was so great to catch up with these amazing gals outside of work, and we shared and a lot of wine, food, and laughs. I highly recommend Frenchman’s Gulch wine — my favorite was the Ketchum Cuvée. Yum!

wine tasting at tapas at Frenchman's Gulch Winery

wine tasting at tapas at Frenchman’s Gulch Winery

9. A fancy new iPhone. I certainly don’t consider myself an “early adopter” of technology, and while I’ll have apple products for probably the rest of my life, I’m not obsessive about having the latest and greatest. Let’s just say I have zero plans to wear one of those goofy watch things. My quest for a new iPhone case for my iPhone 5 turned into “buying” a new iPhone 6. They were offering $200 if I traded in my phone, and there was only one gold one left in the store — it was fate.  I am loving it so far and haven’t had any issues with bugs or bending. Photos taken with the (inferior) iPhone 4.

iPhone 6

iPhone 6

everything is better in gold

everything is better in gold

yay!

yay!

10. A quick read. “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls is one of my all-time favorite books. It’s a stunning, poetic memoir without an ounce of self-pity. “The Silver Star” was a great continuation of Walls’ work, and it was a very quick coming-of-age story about two sisters who take matters into their own hands when their mom doesn’t come home for a couple weeks. I highly recommend it!

the silver star

Have a great week!

cheers krista

brass blossom