brunch

best of april – love bugs, sea to pdx, new finds & being better

If April is any indication how this year is going to go then it is all going to just fly by. Quite honestly, I was pretty depressed to return to Seattle at the end of March to begin another quarter of school. Seattle must have sensed my darkness because April was full of so much light, love, sunshine and happiness.

This springtime in Seattle has truly been incredible. But as much as I have been loving the spring washing away the winter blues and wandering around the pacific northwest, I am ecstatic to be returning home this summer to complete an internship in Idaho! Cheers to moving onwards and upwards and to being closer to all of my love bugs.

Here is what I adored this April!

1. love bugs in seattle. The boy and Miss Maude Pod came and visited me for a long weekend and I don’t know if I have ever been quite so excited to have visitors. It was so much fun showing them around the city and we also spent a night on Whidbey Island. The island was fairly deserted and was just the calming atmosphere that we needed.

We explored several beaches and Maude had the best time sniffing new smells, trying to drink the salt water and chasing sea-gulls. It was perfectly relaxing and oh so much fun!

we found a "maude" bench!

we found a “maude” bench!

mornings with bae

mornings with bae

first time beach explorations!

first time beach explorations!

proof casey also came...

proof the boy also came…

my baby forever

my baby forever

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love bugs <3

love bugs ❤

pretty much our life motto

pretty much our life motto

potato tacos!

potato tacos!

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sunset drinks with these two cuties

sunset drinks with these two cuties

when you cant pick just one, or two...

when you cant pick just one, or two…

2. new finds. Don’t get me wrong, I love Grad School but one thing I do not love about Grad School is my negative income. It really doesn’t lend itself well to my slight problem with online shopping. Let’s just say it has effectively put it on hold (for now…). But I did manage to capture two finds in April that I am just loving!

The first is a pair of leggings from Vie Active. The boy got me a few gifts from there a while ago and I have a credit that I have been meaning to use. So when they came out with these leggings I just couldn’t resist! They are now sold out but I have another pair of leggings from them and love both pairs. Truth be told though I haven’t ever really come across a pair of leggings I don’t like…

love the bag they send with the leggings (perfect for sweaty clothes or bathing suits)

love the bag they send with the leggings (perfect for sweaty clothes or bathing suits)

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The second are these perfectly simple gold stud earrings that my mom got for me as a present. She happens to be the best mom on the planet and gave me these as a just because gift. I wear them in my second hole and love that they are simple enough for everyday wear and I can leave them in all the time. And just like leggings, you cannot go wrong with gold!

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perfectly gold and simple

perfectly gold and simple

3. wandering the pacific northwest. April was a month of some serious adventures. It literally was so nice and sunny almost everyday that I felt that I had to get out and enjoy the sunshine and weather. Also chances are I will probably never have mostly three-day weeks ever again so might as well take advantage!

This made for quite a few epic adventures including hiking Mailbox Peak and Lake 22, venturing to gorgeous tulip farms and a trip down to Portland to spend time with some of my favorites! And a huge thank you to Mr and Mrs Howard for hosting us! Pictures pretty much say it all…

mt rainier looming from the top of the peak

mt rainier looming from the top of the peak

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tulips <3

tulips ❤

love the rogue tulip

love the rogue tulip

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the gorgeous lake 22!

the gorgeous lake 22!

it wouldn't be an adventure without a handstand

it wouldn’t be an adventure without a handstand

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portland brunch (so nom)

portland brunch (so nom)

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love these ladies!

love these ladies!

our evening spread

our evening spread

and of course cupcakes to top the night off!

and of course cupcakes to top the night off!

4. crystal lamp. I actually received this Crystal lamp as a Valentine’s gift from the boy’s mom (thank you again!) and was immediately intrigued by it. It is perfectly peachy-pink (great Valentine’s gift) and is made out of Himalayan salt. FYI so you don’t have to, I actually licked it to make sure…it is real salt.

The supposed benefits of the lamp include: cleaner air, reduced allergies and improved mood. And I truly think the lamp works. It emits a soft amber glow and is a perfect soft lighting. I turn it on when I get back to the apartment for the day and love getting into bed to watch a show with it’s glow. I would most definitely recommend one if only for a pretty bed-side table decoration! (Pretty sure they are all over Amazon!)

himalayan crystal salt lamp

himalayan crystal salt lamp

5. it’s a good day to be a good day. Maybe the universe was trying to tell me something but I just felt like I kept running across great articles about “getting better.” I loved this article on focusing on one thing everyday. That one thing being “Get Better Today.” It really resonated with me because I think it’s so hard to really just live in the present and be mindful but if you at least try to focus on getting better today then it brings you back to the present and result in daily improvements.

And to top off that amazing article here is another (mostly pictures) about Marceline. She is a little pugger bugger who has the misfortune of wearing a cone of shame and figures out how to make the best of it and feel better!

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Cheers to (almost) summer and continued sunshine!

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it – vampire weather & goats

The past couple of weeks have been a bit gloomy in Idaho. But unlike the weather my last couple of weeks haven’t been gloomy at all. I recently became a new “mommy” and have loved every hysterical moment so far!

Here is a look at the past couple of weeks!

1. goats. I am in love, head over heals, with our baby goats. We welcomed Lemon, Farrah, Bernard and Zoro into our family last week and are now all suckers for their little goat faces and tail wags. We just got goats for fun and they have been a bundle of fun since day one. Visits are welcome and gallons of milk are appreciated as these little buggers are quite crazy for the bottle!

Here are a few pictures with a post dedicated entirely to the goats and many goat questions to follow ASAP!

baby goats!

baby goats!

the girls (lemon & farrah)

the girls (lemon & farrah)

my babies

my babies

feeding baby bernard

the boy feeding baby bernard

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goat selfies

goat selfies

2. vampire weather. Long ago when the Twilight movies had millions of people waiting in line for the premiers, Krista dubbed “vampire weather.” It’s weather like the Cullen Family would appreciate and not be called out for being vamps (think rainy, overcast, dark, gloomy, perfect to kill something weather). And Idaho has had just that recently. Although we live in sunny Sun Valley we have had about a week of rain and rain is on the forecast for quite some time. Even though I adore sunshine and all things related, I am thankful for the much needed moisture that it provides and the good excuse to curl up with a good book, some tea, a puppy, a pug, the boy and maybe a goat friend or two or four….

rainy day hike

rainy day hike

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how miss maude pod feels about vampire weather

how miss maude pod feels about vampire weather

3. dr pimple popper. Warning this is not for the weak of stomach. Skip ahead if you don’t care for the popping of bodily fluids. I however, just like the sunshine, love popping anything I can get my hands on. Zits, blackheads or whiteheads I am a picker. The boy doesn’t quite share my enthusiasm and looks at me like I’m Darth Vader every time I come at him with my finger nails.

But for those of you who share my appreciate look up Dr Pimple Popper (aka Dr Sandra Lee). She has the most amazing YouTube and Instagram accounts that you will ever find. She is literally changing the lives of her patients and making millions on popping pimples. You will not regret it. Just like I didn’t regret recently admitting that my current favorite Instagram accounts are Dr Pimple Popper and Bird Dog of the Day.

dr pimple popper

dr pimple popper

4. cancer cards. Life kinda sucks some times. Cancer sucks, comas suck, brain diseases suck and these cards are just for that. When life sucks and an “I’m sorry” or “I’m thinking of You” card just doesn’t seem appropriate, these empathy cards have your back. In light of recent events I found these cards quite comforting and humerous and the maker’s story inspiring.

emily mcdowell empathy cards

emily mcdowell empathy cards

5. cupcakes. A bundt cake that was frosted and sprinkled with cereal has been dancing in the back of my mind for weeks. So when I was asked to make birthday cupcakes for our two good friends, who also happen to be the cutest love birds, I knew cereal cupcakes would be perfect. Cereal is light, fun, sometimes colorful and doesn’t scream engagement cupcakes (not what you are going for at a co-birthday party…).

I asked what their favorite cereals were and while I was hoping for some colorful Trix or Fruit Loops they both picked very respectable cereals (however slightly boring but I suppose that is what life comes to after like the age of 7). Thus, “Captain Cody” and “Honey Bunches of Tori” cupcakes were born. I encourage you all to add cereal to your next cupcake as these were all gobbled right up!

cereal birthday cupcakes!

cereal birthday cupcakes!

6. book club. Every so often Krista’s and my group of friends participate in a book club. At the ripe age of 25 I have found that there always just seems to be a bit less time to open a book and get lost in the pages. And that is why I really love book club. Because it’s an easy way to keep reading and keep my brain firing. Although book clubs can by synonymous with wine club, I think it’s wonderful regardless of what actually happens at “book club.” It’s a good excuse to pick up a book, meet with some friends and enjoy a delicious dinner.

So this last week I hosted “book club” for All the Light We Cannot See. And while only two out of the five of us actually finished the book by our meeting date, we still had a great time. We talked about the book themes and title a little, enjoyed tortilla soup and a garden grown salad and played and fed the baby goats. All in all it was a wonderful evening!

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delicious dinner

delicious dinner

girls love goats

girls love goats

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nightly bottle feedings

nightly bottle feedings

7. pug hates kisses. Pugs. I just love pugs. But this pug doesn’t quite feel the love. For those of you that don’t like popping pimples, I hope you enjoy this video. And if you don’t enjoy bodily fluids popping and pugs you are officially on my black list.

8. the stanley baking co. Nom nom nom. Every year I diligently wait for the Stanley Baking Co to reopen it’s doors for the summer. I check their website several times starting in early spring for their open date. And since they opened their doors this weekend I made it a mission to go. The boy happens to be quite agreeable with my missions so we enjoyed a lovely drive and late breakfast this morning.

The food at the was amazing but the views today were breathtaking. You can’t beat a delicious Sunday breakfast with astonishing views!

view from galena pass

view from galena pass

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the BEST chai latte

the BEST chai latte

breakfast for two

breakfast for two

nom nom noms

nom nom noms

"wall street"

“wall street”

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a handstand a day keeps the doctor away

semi-failed post breakfast handstands

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it – labor day

With summer coming to an end, the air is getting crisper, just as the pace of life is seeming to slow. As much as I love the long, sunny days of summer, I love fall. Since I was a little girl, September has always been one of my favorite months. Not only is it my birthday month (hello, dooming quarter life crisis), but also it is the month I associate with the transition to fall.

I get giddy thinking about the crisp morning air, JCrew sweaters and vests, pumpkin patches and curling up with a blanket and a nice cup of tea (even though I do that every night…it’s more satisfying in the fall). Here is what I have been loving recently during the end of summer!

1. Girls Weekend. This weekend was full of girl time, as the boy was off tromping through the woods. Miss Maude, pugger Lizzy and I were like the three best friends anyone could have. We ate plenty of (dog) cookies, cooked up a storm and completed a DIY. Miss Maude was initiated into the Oregon Duck football fan club this weekend, rooting for the Ducks in her green bandana along side Parley in her yellow bandana. Even though they weren’t the best fans and spent most of the evening wrestling with each other in the dirt, they were too cute not to share!

Miss Maude even went for a solo swim or two as Lizzy and I lounged in the sun. FYI, pugs rarely swim, even in times of distress.

miss maude longing for more summer days

miss maude longing for more summer days

ready for the oregon game!

ready for the oregon game!

miss maude & princess parley rooting for the ducks!

miss maude & princess parley rooting for the ducks!

sunshine baths

sunshine baths

2. Virtual Pug Run. “Pug Unicorns…pugicorns. With the magic of unicorns and the adorable ambition of a pug, you can accomplish anything…a personal best at your next race, the ability to jump higher, run farther… or the ability to look at a human and get them to give you whatever nom-noms they currently don’t want to share.  The magic of pugicorns.” Enough said.

I have challenged all of my friends and families who have a special place in their hearts for pugs to compete in the Virtual Pug Run. The run benefits Northern Illinois Pug Rescue. Rumor has it that if $7,860 is raised (enough to save 26.2 pugs), a man will run the Chicago Marathon in a pug singlet. Talk about a visual.

As cool as a man running a marathon in a pug singlet is, this is truly an incredible opportunity to benefit an organization in need. Unfortunately pugs are not the most low maintenance of dogs and are prone to health problems, which is one reason many are given up. I hope to one day (soon) adopt a pug in need. I constantly have my eye on adoptable pugs from Pug Pals – Boise Pug Rescue.

My lovely aunt, who is the proud owner of three wonderful pugs, just competed today with her running group in New York. My mom and I are planning on running later this month. Whoever draws the short straw will be wearing our one piece pug costume. Obviously pictures to come.

virtual pug run!

virtual pug run!

3. Instagram Floral Designers. Leave it to Martha to round up a “bounty of beautiful blooms” on Instagram. Martha recently shared her top 25 Floral Designers to Follow on Instagram. Here are a few of my favorites:

sarah winward - forist who creates natural style flowers for weddings in utah & beyond.

sarah winward – florist who creates natural style flowers for weddings in utah & beyond.

Fleur in Logan Square Antiquing, boutiquing & flowering. Brick & mortar boutique & custom wedding design in Chicago (Moving to 2651 N Milwaukee in early October!)

fleur in logan square — antiquing, boutiquing & flowering. brick & mortar boutique & custom wedding design in chicago (moving to 2651 n milwaukee in early october!)

Moon Canyon -

moon canyon – refreshing and cheerful flowers and arrangements from the los angeles-based duo of kristen and amy.

munsterrose - iPhone-only shots of bright flowers on white backgrounds.

munsterrose — iPhone-only shots of bright flowers on white backgrounds.

shotgun floral studio + design house. floral design, creation + installation for events + accounts in CA. will travel for awesome. SHOP | opening 2015! #shotgunwashere

shotgun floral studio + design house. floral design, creation + installation for events + accounts in CA. will travel for awesome. SHOP | opening 2015! #shotgunwashere

4. Brunching. Breakfast, or rather any form of breakfast, is my favorite meal. The boy respects my daily tradition of 30 minutes of peace, quiet and alone time each morning as I enjoy my breakfast and coffee. I feel like (rather know) that without this time I am not a nice person.

I feel like brunch gets even better in the colder months. This weekend I enjoyed brunch with my aunt and cousin at Java after a Crossfit workout. I went for a Hippie Burrito in a bowl minus the tortilla with a side of Chai Tea. A meal at Java is a must for anyone!

java brunch

java brunch – hippie burrito in a bowl + chai tea

5. Cancer Warrior. Fortune recently highlighted Kathy Giusti as a Cancer Warrior. Not only has Kathy Giusti beat cancer but also she established the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. Kathy Giusti shares about fixing the cancer research system, lessons for leaders and an authentic life lesson.

Kathy’s strength and determination to fix a broken system hit home for me. Not to mention, such an incredible woman in science deserves to be mentioned!

taylor brass

brass blossom