blogging

wednesday ramblings – just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean you can’t be it

It’s been quite a while since I have blogged. I have been busy with school, trying to make the most of my last couple of months in Seattle and in general, just living life. But whenever I feel like everything is starting to spin out of control, I always return to “The Brass Blossom.” I feel like it is a space where I feel safe, but I also feel like I can stretch my wings. Writing a blog post always makes me feel both grounded and empowered all at the same time. So I return to the trust worthy BB this week to share some thoughts….

This week has just been one of those weeks. I have felt like I was just in a funk. Being in Grad School at the ripe age of 27, I feel like I am just in the wrong place, at entirerly the wrong time in my life. Even though I always try to focus on the present and how “comparison is the thief of joy,” sometimes I just want to give into comparison and by like, “you win!” I see everyone else getting married, getting lady boss jobs, having babies and in general, just kicking ass in life, while I am over here like, what pages do I need to read for economics?

To add to this funk, my best of friends from Idaho are all going to the women’s march this weekend in Boise. I just felt left out and sick of being away. It didn’t help that Seattle decided that this week would be the prime time to start torrentially raining again and I just feel stuck. Both physically in the rain and in Seattle but also mentally.

I also happened to actually be stuck on the bus when all of this came crashing down on me. I was talking to my mom and she asked if something “happened.” I couldn’t even say yes. There wasn’t just one thing or even really a thing. It was just a bunch of stuff. So naturally when she asked if I was okay, I started crying and then it got awkward because I was having a minor public meltdown on a very public bus. And the girl behind me wouldn’t stop staring. This was probably due to the fact that I also chose the one sit that is perpendicular to all of the others and is smack dab in the middle of the bus, because apparently it is the safest. So I just rode it out. The tears, the stares, which probably weren’t even stares but just poor bus seating. But hey, at least I was in the safest spot. It was just a no good, very bad, but really in the scheme of things, not so bad moment. Disclaimer: this is why you don’t have personal conversations on the bus, so you don’t appear to be unstable.

But then later, an amazing friend inspired me. She inspired me out of my funk and inspired my weekend. She proposed that this weekend we celebrate all of the things that women can do. Regardless of your political stance, or what you think about e-mails, health insurance or who to tax, one thing that I hope all women can agree on is that this election was discouraging for at least one reason. That one reason alone is that a woman still is not and cannot be the wholly President of the United States of America. You can’t be what you can’t see.

So as someone who is generally pretty lady boss focused and a results oriented person, I think that celebrating all that I can be is a pretty fine way to turn around my week. I can celebrate wanting to be a lady boss and achieving that. I can celebrate buying a tweed blazer with fantastic elbow patches to one day wear to a board meeting to lean in. I can celebrate drinking whiskey. I can celebrate my body for what it can do, not what it looks like. I can celebrate crushing it at Crossfit. I can celebrate being independent but also being encouraged – by a family, a boyfriend and friends that encourage me to my highest potential. I can celebrate growing up in a home that didn’t solely define gender roles and limit that very potential. I can celebrate choosing to have children or not. I can celebrate reading a health law book just before finishing my trashy romance novel. I can celebrate choosing a career, whether it be a CEO or a calligrapher. I can celebrate that I am intelligent, athletic, strong, motivated and maybe, even witty. And I can celebrate me.

So I encourage you this weekend to celebrate the things that you can do, regardless of your gender. Don’t focus on the funk (or the flu as it is going around like wild-fire – stay healthy people!). Focus on the future and what we can do. And as I’m walking my own walk and talking my own talk, remember, especially all you boss ladies out there, that just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean you can’t be it.

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taylor brass

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

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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

best of 2014

1. Best Personal Achievement – Graduate School. I am extremely excited to announce that I got into Graduate School at the University of Washington for a Masters of Health Administration!

I had been toying with the idea of going back to school for quite some time and decided to apply for Fall of 2015. I kept this decision fairly private but I am thrilled to have been accepted to my top choice program! Although I cannot say I am thrilled to be a Huskie (go Ducks!), I cannot wait to start a new chapter next Fall!

University-of-Washington-MHA

seattle sky line

seattle sky line

2. Best Personal Endeavor  – The Brass Blossom. The Brass Blossom was born last February after Krista mentioned she needed an outlet (Idaho has really long winters). Our blog has become something that I truly love. The process of creating, writing and publishing keeps me inspired and motivated each day.

Our blog has become so much more than an outlet and I am so happy that we actually made it happen. Cheers to the Brass Blossom and my wonderful coauthor, Krista!

"the brass blossom"

“the brass blossom”

3. Best New Addition – Miss Maude. This year has definitely been a year of juxtaposition. My biggest low of the year was the passing of my beloved pug, Lucy. Lucy was my shadow and canine soul mate and I constantly miss her outrageous ways.

The boy and I got little Miss Maude a few months before Lucy passed and her energy, love and snuggles definitely helped heal pugger Lizzy and my broken hearts. I am so thankful to have this crazy lady in my life as her boundless energy and love make every day better.

pug love <3

pug love ❤

baby maude pod

baby maude pod

big girl maude pod

big girl maude pod

4. Best Book – The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. This book is raved about for a reason. Last summer I blogged about my love of the book and recommend it to anyone. It is a wonderful coming of age story that perfectly outlines the nature of life. Even though it’s about 800 pages it is a must read!

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the goldfinch by donna tartt

5. Best Recipe – Rhubarb Upside Down Cake. This was a tough one. I debated between the Rose Apple Pie I made for our Olympics Party and the Rhubarb Upside Down Cake I made for a house warming. In the end the Rhubarb Upside Down Cake won by a landslide.

It might not be quite as pretty or delicate but this cake was by far one of the most delicious cakes I have ever had. The candied rhubarb topping paired with a light layer of cake is what makes this cake so delicious. I could have literally eaten just the top off this cake!

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rhubarb upside down cake

6. Best Trip – Jackson Hole/Grand Teton, Wyoming. Krista and I went with our friend Melissa to Wyoming this summer to celebrate her graduation from grad school as well as her completion of the California Bar. Although it pretty much rained the entire trip it was an incredible and adventure filled vacation.

Despite the rain our outdoor adventures were still breathtaking and we revitalized ourselves with eating, drinking and shopping around Jackson.

grand tetons

grand tetons

7. Best Adventure – Goat Lake. One of my goals last summer was to go on more hikes. I definitely got out and explored more of the local hiking trails. By far my favorite hike was to Goat Lake in the Stanley Basin. This was not a hike for the weary but was quite possibly one of the most beautiful places that I have ever been. A must hike if you are near and up for a ton of scrambling!

goat lake - stanley basin, idaho

goat lake – stanley basin, idaho

8. Best Clothing Buy – Splendid Jumpsuit. My favorite purchase of this year was by far my Indigo Chambray Jumpsuit by Splendid. It was a bit of a splurge but worth every penny. I have worn it countless times and I love it’s ease and comfort. I can only hope that one day everyone will be a jumpsuit convert!

the boy and i last summer

indigo chaambray jumpsuit by splendid

9. Best Beauty Buy – Rodan and Fields Micro-dermabrasion Paste is a splurge but well worth the money. I do not have the greatest skin. It is a combination of both dry and oily and even being legally blind I can see my large pores and occasional zit. However after using this scrub every other day it has completely evened out my skin and done miracles for my overall complexion. Plus it leaves your face literally softer than a baby’s butt.

If you are looking for one product to add to your routine I guarantee you will not be disappointed!

rodan & fields - micro-dermabrasion paste

rodan & fields – micro-dermabrasion paste

10. Best Gift – Antler Hooks. Antler hooks were my go to gift this year. I originally purchased a large hook set for a wedding gift and have since bought another for a Christmas gift. The hooks are perfectly rustic and fit for any home in Idaho!

antler hooks - my go to gift

antler hooks – my go to gift

11. Best DIY – Hula Hoops. My favorite DIY this year was recovering DIY hula hoops that I made a few years ago. Maude Pod was my right hand gal during this DIY. I find hula-hooping so reminiscent of childhood and more simple times all while being relaxing. It is by far my favorite abdominal exercise, which gives me just one more reason to love it.

diy hula hoops + miss maude pod

diy hula hoops + miss maude pod

missing warm hula-hooping weather

missing warm hula-hooping weather

12. Best Party – Girls Birthday Party. My favorite party that Krista and I threw this year was our dear friend Rachel’s birthday party. Our theme was color and anything and everything girly. Nothing can go wrong with a theme like that. It was colorful, lighthearted and the perfect way to celebrate Rachel and the coming Spring!

girls birthday party

girls birthday party

13. Best Supporter(s) – The Boy & The Mom. Okay, okay I know this is a stretch of a “best of category” but I had to include the boy and my mom in my “Best of 2014.”

For the boy, maybe it’s because it’s our lucky number seven (seven years of dating that is), but I think the incredible year that we have both had is in large part due to the boy. He manages to keep me grounded and is one of my biggest supporters. I am incredibly thankful to have him by my side and couldn’t think of anyone I would rather spend 2015 with!

For the mom, I cannot imagine life without her. Although sometimes I question how I am actually her offspring as she just screams spontaneity, organized chaos and fun loving, I am so thankful to have her in my life. She constantly picks me up when I am down and supports me to the moon and back. She is one incredible, kind, hard-working and beautiful woman who is always up for an adventure.

this guy

this boy 🙂

the best woman i know

the best woman i know

2015 Goals:

Last year I made a 2014 Goal list on my iPhone “notes.” I met most of the goals and unlike what is suggested many of my goals weren’t an exact goal or definite. I like having goals that are more long term and abstract that I can work towards daily, weekly or monthly.

I found the below “this year” list on Pinterest today and it inspired a few more goals to add to my list for 2015:

  1. Read 20+ books
  2. Master a handstand and hold for 60+ seconds
  3. Go on as many Idaho adventures and hikes as possible
  4. Establish a new chapter in Seattle (eeek!)
  5. Learn calligraphy
  6. Pick up the phone and call friends and family more
  7. Remember to take a deep breath and go to yoga (preferably hot) more often
  8. Hug someone daily
  9. Increase my personal savings for graduate school…
  10. Eat/drink more ginger

fc2817741fb384e59cef11a0f461f010 taylor brass

brass blossom