funny cards

giving thanks – what i am thankful for in 2015

This year has gone by ridiculously quickly. For me it has been a year of survival, tremendous changes and pretty much just all around craziness. But it has also been a year where I have felt overwhelming waves of gratitude and thankfulness for what has become.

One of my favorite new Thanksgiving traditions has been at “Friendsgivemas” where we share what we all are thankful for. So I figured I would bring that to life again. So here is I am thankful for this year!

1. dreams for the future. This year has been a ridiculous dichotomy of changing and realizing new dreams. Around this time last year I thought I had everything put together. It seemed the cosmic stars were aligned and it had been a fabulous year of successes and dreams come true. But one thing that I am thankful for is that dreams for the future can evolve. Perspective can change. And life paths can change. So moving forward I’ve decided to dream big in a general direction and accept that the course I may take to follow that dream will not in any form be linear. Keep dreaming big enough and don’t become stagnant. I am also forever thankful that I am in a place in life that I am both physically and emotionally comfortable enough that I have the opportunity to dream big.

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2. strong wills. I don’t believe in miracles. But one thing I do believe in is strong wills and hard work. I am ridiculously thankful for those strong wills to get better and to make you better than surround me. You are the ones who have kept me on course this year and helped me will my current life back into something on that not so linear path to my dreams. So thank you from the bottom of my heart.

3. the cult of crossfit. I come from a long line of phenomenal athletes. Like world-class, they still kick my ass athletes and they have several decades on me. And while I have always been athletic I don’t think I ever really found my calling until Crossfit. I know, I know, it totally is a cult. But it’s a cult for a reason. Crossfit has truly changed my life in a way that I know I can never go back. My body perception has changed. My mind has changed. Each and every day I am enthralled by what my body can actually do. I can do hundreds of pull-ups, handstands, crazy things with like weights and boxes and lift my body weight, which is something I never could have even imagined a few years ago as an extremely uncoordinated person. And I can (most days) push through that point of “I’m going to vomit and pass out right here, right now.” Crossfit has taught me to revel in being strong in both body and mind. And it probably saved my life this year. It was truly my outlet on those days when I needed to put my entire energy into something or I would have gone insane. So thank you Crossfit for making me appreciate me. I will forever be thankful for that.

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 4. life’s absurdities. When the boy and my mom insisted on getting goats this year I finally just gave in. I thought what could a few goats really change? But they changed a lot, including our landscaping and doors as they literally eat everything in site. Point being goats are absolutely absurd and just oh so ridiculous. They are purely for fun and provide so much light. So I’m thankful for the absurdities in life that make everything just that much better and I want to be better at recognizing these absurdities and taking far more pleasure in them. Cheers to goats, pugs, funny YouTube videos and anything and everything that makes you giggle.

goat kisses <3

goat kisses ❤

5. opportunities in education. I honestly love school. I love learning and being accountable and feeling a purpose. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity this year to attend graduate school. I am also incredibly thankful that I come from a family that values education and values me as a independent woman to follow my educational dreams. So far I haven’t for one second regretted further pursuing my education. So cheers to getting smarter!

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go ducks!

6. checks and balances. I think we have all established that life is short and the world is a not so pleasant place, I mean just turn on the news. Or accept it and relish in some indulgences with some checks and balances. I am thankful for days that consist of indulging in lattes, pedicures, sunshine, Bri cheese and a drink or two but also so thankful for the balance of that of green juices, yoga and some me time.

cheers from mt borah!

cheers from mt borah!

a little yoga for balance

a little yoga for balance

7. (no) pants. I secretly really hate “real” pants. This might not really be a secret if you have the opportunity to see my lovely face everyday and I am in yoga pants. But point being I am really thankful that I live in an age where as a woman I am not supposed to wear a certain thing like a ginormous corset and skirt and god knows what else and I can choose to be pretty comfortable in what I wear. So cheers to your version of comfort whether it be yoga pants, leggings or long sweaters! They are revolutionizing the world.

#lululemonforever

#lululemonforever

8. the internet. One word people, Google. I actually do NOT know how people survived Graduate School before the Internet. Probs the library? I Google like at least 43 times a day. Google has the answer to everything. Like how to get places. Moving to a new city is hard. Driving in a new city is even harder especially when you are from a place that no one parallel parks. Praise Idaho for lots of parking. And praise Google and Google maps for teaching me everything and getting me everywhere I need to go. Now if only Google could park my car…

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9. instagram. There has been a lot of negative feedback recently regarding social media and how it only focuses on those “perfect” moments in life. And while most posts might not be an actual reflection of the true shit show that is going on behind the scenes, they represent a celebration in my eyes. The world is like actually a not so nice place but I think one of the true beauties in Instagram and all of social media is that it is remarkable celebration of the good, the pretty, the idealistic life. And while “comparison is the thief of joy,” why not celebrate Instagram for just what it is. Some days there are days when you just need some good. So for that I am especially thankful to Instagram as a place to escape and more often than not, just see beauty.

apparently instagram thinks i only really like pugs and other fuzzy creatures...

apparently instagram thinks i only really like pugs and other fuzzy creatures…

10. support circles. This grouping of “support circles” is all encompassing. I am beyond thankful for all of the circles of support that I have in my life. Friends, family, the boy, my mom, those friends that are family, doggies friends that snuggle you like there is no tomorrow aka my Maude Pod, goat friends and the list goes on and on but I am so thankful for the hammock of support that has held me up this year in both times of sorrow and joy. The boy always tells me that I don’t give myself enough credit. And while I do quite enjoy bragging about myself I truly feel that my support circles have propelled me through this year and helped me to reside in the place that I do. So thank you, forever and always for just being there.

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11. the opportunity to adventure. One thing that I truly love about living in Idaho is the proximity to nature. You can literally step out your door and be on a path to the middle of nowhere in a matter of moments. Unfortunately Seattle doesn’t offer quite that proximity but it’s amazing in other ways. I love the opportunity to be fully engrossed in a slower and more natural world. I am extremely thankful that I had so many opportunities this summer to explore all over Idaho and the west. I semi-joke that a life goal of mine is to become a professional hiker but the idea of being surrounded by wilderness everyday captivates me most days but then my practical side sets in (like how would I pay bills?!). Another adventure opportunity that I am so thankful to have had this year was my trip to Japan with my always lovely and spontaneous aunt and cousin. It was truly the trip of a lifetime and made my remember what it means to adventure. So cheers to many more adventures!

you cant say no to this...

you cant say no to this…

love these ladies!

love these ladies!

❤ idaho

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12. the brass blossom. One true joy that I have found in this year is my love of writing. I am not always the most expressive person when speaking but I have truly found joy, solace and growth this year in sitting down and writing. And “The Brass Blossom” has been a platform for me to share all of that writing. Not only am I thankful for the blog as a platform but I am also so thankful to each and everyone of you that reads and supports our blog because it truly comes from a place of love and passion. #thebrassblossom

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13. realism. One personality trait that I truly appreciate in people is when they are realistic about life. My #brassblossom costar happens to be one of those people and having someone in my life that validates and appreciates my realist view keeps me feeling not so crazy at those crazy times. However even I will admit you need to keep it balanced with a bit of idealism so I also try to surround myself with those fanciful folks as well!

14. not having to date. I straight up would not be able to remotely consider dating in our current day. But really the idea of dating apps, swiping right and the whole shebang literally makes me sweat. So I am utterly thankful that I caught a pretty good one before that all took off. On other note props to everyone that navigates the world wide web of dating!

so thankful for this guy!

so thankful for this guy!

pretty much

pretty much

15. being thankful. Okay hopefully you don’t lose me on this one but I am thankful for having so many things, whether completely ridiculous or not, to be thankful about. From health to education to goats I am thankful. I am thankful that I am in a space in my life where I can be thankful for what I have and even for what I do not have.

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Happy Thanksgiving and I hope you all have a wonderful holiday full of many thanks and gratitude!

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it – life inspiration, soul food & rainbow krispies

Last week I found myself randomly looking up “life inspiration quotes” on Pinterest. Low point? High point? I’m still not sure but remarkably the plethora of quotes actually gave me a bit of get up and go. I don’t know if has been the not so sunny Sun Valley weather or the fact that my emotions have pretty much flatlined after such an emotional year, but I have just been feeling a bit funky for no particular reason.

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Apparently Lululemon was sensing my funk because they Instagrammed something that just spoke to me (along with the thousands of quotes on Pinterest). Naturally I took a screen-shot and decided that I was on a mission to feed my soul. When life hands you (lulu)lemons, feed your soul. So the past couple of weeks have been full of soul food. Obviously I’m not a “soul-feeding master” but I concluded that feeding my soul means doing just what I feel like I need at that present moment – hiking, binge watching a TV series, lifting weights like a girl, you name it. Namaste.

So here is a look of what I have been loving and what has been feeding my soul!

1. silver creek. One of the reasons that I love living in Idaho is the proximity to the outdoors. Now I wouldn’t call myself an extreme outdoors-woman by any means but even getting out for an hour hike surrounded by vast wilderness makes me feel more complete and grounded. One place that is remarkably soul feeding is Silver Creek, regardless of the recreational activity you choose to partake in (mine happened to be sitting in my camping chair…).

We spent Sunday evening on the creek celebrating a “pop-up birthday” (post on that to come) and it was the perfect Sunday. Being surrounded by a picturesque setting, good food, incredible friends, laughter, love and a whole lot of bugs was the perfect way to end the weekend.

the "creek"

the “creek”

happy birthday abbey!

happy birthday abbey!

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<3

love these two ❤

2. murph. Murph – you’re humbling as always. Each year Crossfitters around the nation, world, universe do the workout MURPH on Memorial Day in remembrance of Lieutenant Michael Patrick “Murph” Murphy who was a United States Navy SEAL officer who died in the War in Afghanistan and received a Medal of Honor for his heroics. Murph was killed on June 28th, 2005 after leaving his position of cover and exposing himself to enemy fire in order to communicate with his headquarters in an attempt to save his team. The movie Lone Survivor is about the SEAL team that Murph was apart of and is an incredible movie. I definitely had my hands covering my eyes for about 50% of the movie, but I promise it’s a great movie.

The workout is a humbling 1 mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 air squats and another 1 mile run, all while wearing a weight vest. This year Sun Valley Crossfit partnered for the workout with another local Crossfit and with Higher Ground to raise funds for the incredible organization. Doing a workout in honor of a Navy SEAL to benefit adaptive sports for people of all abilities, including Veterans, feeds everyone’s soul. It may not feed the body or your bloody hands and burning eyes but it feeds the soul. I really love Hero workouts because whenever I think I’m soft as pudding and just can’t finish, I think of the hero the workout is named after = motivation.

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crazy synced pull-ups

crazy synced pull-ups

3. goats in bandanas. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again but everyone loves baby goats. They are cute, they are cuddly, they are ridiculous and they are just plain old fantastic little creatures. But what would make such a creature even more incredible? A bandana. Not just any bandana but blue and red bandanas (white bandanas are hard to come by people) to celebrate Memorial Day!

The goats were feeling a little left out on the Memorial Day spirit, so I gently slapped a bandana around each goat to spread the cheer. And if these pictures don’t make you happy and feed your soul just a bit, just imagine trying to put a bandana on a goat…

goats in bandanas!

goats in bandanas!

z-baby doing crazy goat things

z-baby doing crazy goat things

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4. cabbage. For our last book club our wonderful, brilliant gardener/farmer friend Sara made a salad that I just cant stop recreating in some form or another. She simply threw together some garden-fresh greens, an ear of corn (cut off of course), red cabbage, carrot, avocado and parmesan. Do it now and you will thank me (or Sara). Since that evening I have been weirdly craving red cabbage. Apparently red cabbage feeds the soul and your hungry tummy all at the same time. Currently it’s the top contender for my favorite summer vegetable so be on the lookout for some cabbage filled recipes (please, hold the applause).

amazing summer salad

amazing summer salad

5. paper towns. I may be one of the last people in the world that still checks out library books but I find reading on an iPad or Kindle slightly painful for my eyeballs. Perhaps it’s because I’m blinder than a bat but it just doesn’t work for me. So I head to the library. Now really my only complaint about the Library in Ketchum is that they have a separate room for all of the Young Adult books. This seems nice and all for all those young adults that visit the library (but really when was the last time you saw a kid pick up an actual book?) but it makes it awkward when you’re technically an adult and feel like a capital C-creeper every time you step foot in the “Young Adult” room.

Point being, all the John Green books are in that room. But I assure you, his books (despite being categorized as “Young Adult”) and usually the tears and box full of tissues you will need are worth those moments when you feel like a huge creeper. I think everyone could learn a thing or two about life inspiration from Green. I finished Paper Towns this week after only picking it up a few times and as always, it was an incredible story. Must summer read before the movie comes out. It will feed your soul in a feel good type of way, I promise.

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6. cheers to no camel toe. This article is so great that it needs to be included in two blog posts. Krista mentioned it last week but the Marten Stuffer, which is a local fabricated satirical newspaper, has really outdone itself this time.

Now I love yoga pants. I would wear them everyday for the rest of my life if it was culturally, socially, work, boyfriend acceptable. But one thing no one loves is a camel toe, which I pray to the Lululemon gods that I never sport. I think pictures speak a thousand words on this one but the gist of the article was that First Lite (the incredible company the boy and now Chase work for) has come out with a yoga pant that erases the dreaded camel toe. Solving world hungry is next on the agenda.

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7. rainbow rice krispie fishies. Oh nom nom nom. I can’t even remember the last time that I had a Rice Krispie treat. They kind of remind me of gross Middle School Bake Sales, which just isn’t a good memory but rest assured the treats I made this weekend are like “Real Adult Bake Sale” status. We celebrated our wonderful friend Abbey’s birthday this weekend on Silver Creek fishing the Brown Drake hatch and I just knew that I needed to make a dessert fit for a fishing queen but also pretty (cue a ton of sprinkles) and able to withstand glamping.  Thus, Rice Krispie Rainbow Fishies were born (and while it’s hard to tell they are fish, they were devoured, which is what counts.)

And while these might not be quite as good as cabbage for your nutritional soul, they are simply splendid for your nom nom, happy soul.

they are supposed to look like fish...

they are supposed to look like fish…

everyone likes rice krispies

everyone likes rice krispies

8. hysterical card. Warning kids: the following is rated R. R for ridiculously funny and not kid rated. When I saw this card I knew that I had to buy it. While this card isn’t intended for any special occasion, it has no limits. I just had to share as it has probably been my favorite purchase in months. Hope you all have a good laugh!

hysterical card & just a little something appropriately wrapped in "fish" paper

hysterical card & just a little something appropriately wrapped in “fish” paper

Hope you all have a great week!

taylor brass

brass blossom