go ducks

to love & be loved – glittering gold engagement party

On New Year’s Eve 2015 I co-hosted, along with seven other fabulous women, an engagement party for one of our favorite couples. The happy couple got engaged in early Fall and happens to be comprised of my lovely co-author Krista and her boy, Chase.

We all consider Krista to be one of the loveliest women that we know. She is kind, loyal, a realist and always by our sides. She is the one we can always count on and always the one to celebrate us in her perfect way. So we knew that we needed to go all out, for not only her but Chase too because he is equally special to us and makes Krista oh so happy, which is really what matters….

So here is a look below at our NYE party to celebrate the future Mr and Mrs Millemann!

decor

You know the saying “less is more.” Well in this case we went for “more is more.” More balloons, more glitter, more gold, more flowers, more votives, more candles, more tulle, more golden ducks, more, more, more. It was New Year’s Eve after all and we were celebrating our of our all time favorite couples…

Since this party wasn’t only about Krista with all the gold and glitter, (Chase, you matter too!) I took on the task of making as many gold origami ducks as possible to decorate the room since they are both avid Ducks. Go ducks!

We were fortunate enough to rent out the “back room” at ZINC for the evening (side note: if you are looking for a phenomenal party spot to rent out in Ketchum, this is your room!). We decked out the perfectly neutral room in the following:

  • 150+ handmade gold origami ducks
  • gold origami duck entry
  • gold and white balloons with hanging “goldilocks”
  • gold votives
  • white flowers (hydrangeas and calla lilies)
  • gold glitter tulle
  • NYE party hats
  • homemade shot skis (more details below!)
the gilded room

the gilded room

the entrance to the room

the entrance to the room (huge shout to my always willing mother for stringing the ducks together!)

go ducks!

go ducks!

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obviously more is more

obviously more is more

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you can never have enough ducks

you can never have enough ducks

tulle + ducks + white flowers

tulle + ducks + white flowers

a new year's eve party isn't complete without party hats!

a new year’s eve party isn’t complete without party hats!

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an "M" for the future millemanns

an “M” for the future millemanns

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so much gold, so much glitter, so much tulle

so much gold, so much glitter, so much tulle

custom shot skis

custom family shot skis

Krista’s brother, Drew, and I made these custom shot skis for the happy couple to keep FOREVER! We gathered a retro ski that belonged to both of their fathers and went to work. Drew used a drill press to make custom holes in both of the skis that fit glass shot glasses. I then painted each one with a black rectangle and wrote the family name and their parent’s wedding anniversary. I shed a few tears and essentially Drew did all of the work while I simply played with the puppies…

Cheers to the prettiest shot skis of all time!

tulle makes for the best bows

tulle makes for the best bows

the "detwiler" ski

the “detwiler” ski

the "millemann" ski

the “millemann” ski

all lit up

all lit up & ready to party!

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menu

Since it was NYE and celebrating Chase and Krista, we knew we needed a plethora of delicious food. We decided to go with some healthy, comfort food catering from the Haven as well as order quite a few flat breads from ZINC. We additionally supplemented with a few cheese plates and desserts (since you can’t go wrong with more of either of those!) Our spread included:

  • pigs in a blanket
  • sautéed brussel sprouts
  • chicken skewers
  • antipasto platter
  • crostini platter
  • assorted flatbreads
  • cheese plates
  • homemade popcorn
  • gluten free cookies
  • local beer, red wine, white wine and of course champagne!
the spread

the spread

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copious amounts of cheese & classy pigs in a blanket – what more do you need?

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gluten free cookies (a single cookie monster ate about 85% of them throughout the party…)

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the company

You know a couple is truly loved when you receive a quarter more RSVPs for an event than expected. Friends and family came from near and very far (shout out to Mendoza coming from LA and Chris and Katja from Bend!) to celebrate and smother Chase and Krista with love. The company at this party was truly an outstanding group of brilliant, fun loving and good hearted people. The type of people you want to party with every night.

Cheers to Chase and Krista!

the future mr & mrs millemann

the future mr & mrs millemann ❤

the brass blossom does engagement party

the brass blossom does engagement party

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the skenes + jenna

rach & anders

rach & anders

the bride and two of her maids

the bride and two of her maids

love this guy <3

love this guy ❤

guests from so far!

oregon family! thanks for coming from so far!

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good looking idaho people

brilliant photo angle (cred: casey hawkes)

brilliant photo angle (cred: casey hawkes)

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no words

no words

taggart & kacie

taggart & kacie

the bride and (almost all of her) bridesmaids

the bride and (almost all of her) bridesmaids

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toasts & cheers!

toasts & cheers!

the detwiler clan <3

the detwiler clan ❤

the millemann clan <3

the millemann clan ❤

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when things started to get dicey (aka even more fun)

when things started to get dicey (aka even more fun)

shot ski time!

shot ski time!

clearly i was paying attention & didn't pour the majority of my shot on the ground....

clearly we was paying attention & didn’t pour the majority of our shots on the ground….

#fail

#fail

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for the win!

for the win!

the always classy detwiler women

the always classy detwiler women + the best photobomb

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legs, legs, legs

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how any good party ends....

how any good party ends….

Cheers to the future Mr and Mrs Millemann! We all cannot wait to continue the celebrations!

taylor brass

brass blossom

best of 2015

2015 has been quite the year. There have been ups and downs and some more ups. So in honoring #brassblossom tradition (my Best of 2014) and listening to some very wise words from one of my greatest confidants, here is what I consider to be the best of the best of 2015, because when it is all said and done there were a whole lot of bests!

1. best personal achievement – actually going to grad school. This past year I was going to Graduate School at the University of Washington, then I deferred for a year, then with about two months to figure it all out I decided to go again. This was a very “un-Taylor” thing to do but I managed to throw it all together and make it work. It wasn’t always pretty, involved several frantic calls and quite a few tears but I’m not homeless, I love school and I’m so happy that I have found a new normal. So cheers to being a Ducksky (Duck + Husky = ??) and making it work!

beautiful seattle skyline

beautiful seattle skyline

go ducks!

go ducks!

2. best words of wisdom – do you. I can’t even remember where the wisdom of “do you” actually came to me from. But it’s pretty simple. Just “do you.” When things really suck, or when things are frantic and everything is spinning out of control or when all is peachy remember “do you.” It has been my mantra for most of the year and I constantly remind myself that I can’t be anyone worthwhile to myself or anyone else if I don’t “do” myself first. Especially when you don’t know which way is up, just simply focusing on yourself and how you can serve yourself and make yourself be who YOU want to be gives you a fighting chance. Just do what serves your soul, your needs and our unmet desires at that time. Because no one else can do it for you. At least in my highly valuable opinion….

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3. best recipe – homemade ice-cream cake. There are few ways to describe this homemade ice-cream cake that don’t involve swearing due to shear enthusiasm. Point being this cake is phenomenal, it’s so easy to make and will knock the socks off of everyone who has the pleasure of laying their lusting eyes on it. Make it! I promise you wont regret it!

so nom nom nom

so nom nom nom

4. best book – dear sugar. By far the best book I read this year was Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. It is a book of advice letters and even when you totally cannot in the slightest way relate to the person who is seeking advice, you will get something if not everything out of the stories and advice. Cheryl Strayed speaks directly to your soul in such a frank way. She manages to sum up life, the universe and everything in her words.

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5. best trip – okinawa, japan. Hands down the most fabulous adventure I was lucky enough to take this year was to the Okinawa islands in Japan with my cousin and aunt. We had an incredible time wandering, exploring and not being able to speak or understand a word of Japanese. Plus there were lots of handstands so you cant go wrong with that. There were so many laughs and I cant tell you how happy I am to have such great travel buddies in my life! 

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you can yoga even in japan

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two of the best travel buddies!

two of the best travel buddies!

6. best adventure – mount borah. Hands down, climbing/hiking/scaling the side of the mountain on Mount Borah was my favorite hike of the year. It was humbling, pretty scary at times, incredible to sit at almost the top and enjoy some Bri and champagne and extremely frightening how sunburnt we all got. By far the best #brassblossom adventure in Idaho!

cheers to almost the top!

cheers to almost the top!

so close to the sky

so close to the sky

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7. best clothing buy – j.crew jumpsuit. Once again my favorite purchase of the year was a jumpsuit, this j.crew jumpsuit to be exact. I just love jumpsuits. Like really, really, really love jumpsuits. I keep thinking about branching out from my jumpsuit obsession but I mean you just can’t go wrong with a jumpsuit for any occasion (except if you have to pee really badly…then things get dicey). So I have decided that life is too short so I might as well just continue to adore jumpsuits.

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<3

8. best beauty buy – clarisonic. I was given a Clarisonic by my wonderful aunt (who thus far has made the list twice!) for my birthday and I am obsessed with it. I use it daily in the shower and relish the minute of using it. I was actually disgusted at apparently how bad I am at washing my face after I used the brush after washing my face one night and got so much grossness on it. So if you’re looking for a clean face in 2016 get a Clarisonic.

so fresh and so clean!

so fresh and so clean!

love the color

love the color

9. best local find – idaho dreaming dreamcatcher. I searched high and low for a dream catcher this year to bring only sweet dreams to the boy, Maude Pod and I. And I ironically found the perfect one so close to home. This Idaho Dreaming Dream Catcher was by far my favorite purchase of the year. And since you all need a dream catcher for a stellar 2016, make sure to check out their Etsy Shop for the dream catcher of your dreams!

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love everything about this

love everything about this

10. best party – game dinner 2015. The Game Dinner 2015 that Krista hosted this Spring was my favorite party of the year. There was a TON of game meat, good food and lots of giggles had by all. But really why it was my favorite party (other than the slew of antlers that decorated the table and ribbon chandelier that created the perfect juxtaposition of feminine and masculine) was the fact that it was the first time that life seemed to resemble what it once had been, in a new normal kinda way. We were all surrounded by pure love and it truly brought new meaning to friends that are family. 

the boys <3

the boys ❤

the table

the table

the chandelier

the chandelier

11. best craft – diy wooden banner. I just love a good craft project and this DIY Wooden Banner was by far my favorite project. Perhaps it was because it had a bit of sentimental value to me but making wooden banners to express some love and cheer because one of my favorite things to do. Plus using a wood burner makes you feel like a badass. 

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12. best gift – s’well bottle. I received a s’well bottle as a birthday gift from my mom after lusting over the one that Krista had. This water bottles are pretty much amazing. They are sleek, come in fabulous colors (hello metallics!) and make sure your drink stays fresh. These bottles were definitely #brassblossom’s go to gift this year and for good reason! You won’t even regret buying one for yourself as a much deserved cheers to 2016!

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13. best newest additions – goats! Of course the goats made the list! I think I will forever refer to last summer as “the summer of the goats.” The goats brought so much laughter, snuggles, gallons of milk and love into our lives. So thankful for the craziness, spunk and googling of what to do with goats that they bring to our lives!

crazy goats!

crazy goats!

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goat selfies

goat selfies

someone loves her goat herd

someone loves her goat herd

14. best “i couldn’t live without you people” – each and everyone of you. I admit it, again this is a total stretch of a category but there have been so many friends, confidants and general strangers who give me so much strength, wisdom and room to just let my feelings out this year. I most definitely wouldn’t be standing where I am today without you all. And a very special thank you to all of my lady friends. Those are the fierce ones! So thank you for all the times you all listened, gave me the love I needed, shoveled for us, went on a hike, simply just sat in silence and gave me a push/shove in some direction, regardless of where that might be.

And the biggest best “i couldn’t live without you…” to my wonderful mother who manages to be the most loving and steadfast person I know. She manages the most unlikely of tasks and always puts me back together. I hope to one day be a slightly more organized, half of the woman that she is. ❤

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the hunters do clean up nice
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15. best boy – the boy. Ughhhh, so cheesy but I just have to say it. The boy wins the year for being the most outrageous, stubborn, indomitable, kinda want to sucker punch him sometimes for being crazy, greathearted boy around. I wrote last year that we had an incredible 2014 and little did we know but 2015 was just going to one up us. So cheers to another year of having the boy by my side, healthy and happy new ventures, many more Maude Pod and goat kisses and a fabulous 2016!

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my loves ❤

2016 life goals: 

Like the past couple of years, I continued my 2015 goal list on my iPhone notes. I love the fact that these “notes” go with me everywhere and can be altered, added to or checked off with a selfie high-five at a moments notice. All in all I feel like I did pretty well for my 2015 goals despite the craziness. But moving forward I want to refocus my goal setting…

I heard an amazing sentiment in hot yoga this last week that I want to bring with my into the New Year. It was the idea of using the Winter and Summer equinox as a time to reset. So with the first day of the days growing longer or shorter you begin working towards whatever your heart desires. Then you progressively work more towards whatever that is so it’s a progression. Aka: you don’t have to be perfect at the beginning of your resolution.

But besides reading more books for pleasure and mastering my handstand, what I want to channel in 2016 as the days get longer are the “four agreements”. I heard about the four agreements from a wise soul and feel like they are just what my 2016 “life goals” need. I need to read up more on the agreements but below are the agreements that I hope to continually refocus on in 2016!

  1. Be impeccable with your word.
  2. Don’t take anything personally.
  3. Don’t make assumptions.
  4. Always do your best.

I wish you all a very happy, healthy and joyous New Year. Cheers to 2016!

taylor brass

brass blossom

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

best of october – a new normal, seattle romps, idaho love forever, hearts & souls

The past six weeks have been a whirl wind. The last time I wrote a “love it” I literally couldn’t imagine what the upcoming weeks would have in store for me. I set off for Seattle at the end of September to begin a new chapter and my life pretty much turned upside down. Not necessarily upside down in a bad way but in a new normal way. Nothing was quite like I knew it.

But I have slowly started to settle into this new normal of city life, taking the bus, walking to the grocery store, finding “hikes” in random corners of the city, eating phenomenal food, having Skype sessions, requesting hundreds of selfies of Miss Maude Pod and the boy and my mom and the goats, and following my literal dreams. Although there are definitely the moments when I seriously question what the hell am I doing with my life and completely panic about everything, I am always brought back to the fact that I am living my dream in the program I am attending. I feel engaged, I feel motivated and I feel like for the first time in a while that I am going in a direction of purpose. So whenever I have those inevitable moments of serious self doubt I always remind myself of this quote:

“do not worry that your life is turning upside down. how do you know the side you are used to is better than the one to come?” – rumi

Cheers to a new side of life, wether up or down or all around, and what I have been loving during the crazy month of October! (PS I will now only be doing monthly “love its” like Krista as Grad School can be a bit intense at times…)

1. seattle romps. Thankfully my wonderful mom helped me drive to Seattle, unpack and get organized. We had a ridiculous amount of fun along the way and I am very thankful that she came along for the ride and adventures. And while she is a fabulous copilot, cart pusher and sherpa she is not the most fabulous canoe steerer. Thank you so much mom, I likely couldn’t survive without you. Here is a look at all the fun we had!

the prettiest flowers that i arrived to from my lovely roommate

the prettiest flowers that i arrived to from my lovely roommate

go ducks!

go ducks!

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no lifevest, no ability to steer, no problem

no lifevest, no ability to steer, no problem

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new turtle friends

new turtle friends

obviously we went under there

obviously we went under there

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we survived!

we survived!

using the cart escalator!

using the cart escalator!

2. new PNW adventures. Now let me tell you, I don’t think that I have ever been so busy in all of my life. Grad School is a completely different type of beast. But it’s been a good busy. One of the things I truly love about living in Seattle is there is so much going on day or night. So many new places to go to adventure, to eat, to drink and to see new things. I have tried to make the most of the time that I have had and get out to do as much as possible like ferry rides, new hikes, Mariners games, celebrating the ducks and the most fabulous weekend on the beach with my favorite most outlandish and loving friend Ali and her family. I am incredibly lucky that I already have a few great friends that live in Seattle that have welcomed me to the city with open arms and I have managed to make a few new friends along the way as well (who would have thought?? but actually making friends as an adult is hard people…).

ferry rides & morning light

ferry rides & morning light

new hikes! to poo-poo point...

new hikes! to poo-poo point…

idaho friends in seattle places

idaho friends in seattle places

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the most delicious happy hour

the most delicious happy hour

so much fun!

so much fun!

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i went for the fireworks

i went for the fireworks

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i caught a ball (obvi!)

i caught a ball (obvi!)

hike to rattlesnake ridge

hike to rattlesnake ridge

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the best friends <3

the best friends ❤

the prettiest bouq

the prettiest bouq

a trip to the seashore

a trip to the seashore

caught it with her bare hands

caught it with her bare hands

seashore selfies in the wind

seashore selfies in the wind

discovery point

discovery point

the best ladies

the best ladies

go ducks!

go ducks!

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loving the scenes out of boys in the boat

loving the scenes out of boys in the boat

3. i couldn’t stay away for long. And while my first couple of weeks in Seattle were great, I was ready to return home to everything that I love so much, the fresh air, the mountains, the familiarity, the friends, the Maude Pod, the boy and the family. So I ventured home over Halloween weekend and had truly the most incredible weekend. I only cried like four times but like three of those were just out of pure joy of being home and surrounded by so much good juju and love and Maude Pod kisses. On a side note flights are like super cheap right now if anyone is wanting to go somewhere or come visit me!

On my first day there the boy took the day off and we had a perfectly relaxing Idaho day obviously filled with a few adventures. After sleeping in and so many Maude Pod snuggles we ventured to Stanley for some time in the hot springs and a romp at Redfish Lake that was completely deserted. We played on the beach, on the dock and Maude played in the water and made a good attempt at burying her face in the sand like a crazy dog. It was literally a day that just cleared your mind and left you wanting more of that perfect Idaho solitude. It was one of those days that I wanted to bottle up to save forever. To bottle up that feeling of pure contentment, pure joy and pure nothingness on the mind. The rest of the weekend flew by with lots of amazing food, family dinners, hikes, working out like three times a day and a Halloween Party for the books. Until next time Idaho!

the most wonderful place in the world

the most wonderful place in the world

idaho love <3

idaho love ❤

i couldn't leave without a handstand

i couldn’t leave without a handstand

this lady completes my life

this lady completes my life

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running on water

running on water

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perfection

perfection

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well hello

well hello

i missed you too goats

i missed you too goats

my favorite co-pilot

my favorite co-pilot

afternoon adventures

afternoon adventures

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when you try to clean the car...

when you try to clean the car…

someone loves her goat herd

someone loves her goat herd

my favorite idaho ladies!

pug trumps flamingo (see what i did there…)

#thebrassblossom

#thebrassblossom

last morning walks

last morning walks

my love bugs

my love bugs

<3

4. home is where the heart is. Idaho will always be one of my true loves. Here are a few “pieces” of Idaho that I have been carrying around, sporting and dreaming under to keep my love for Idaho strong while living in the Seattle rain. Also on a somewhat related note, Krista and I decided that the shape of Idaho is pretty much the coolest state shape ever, right?!

the most amazing idaho necklace birthday present from the boy's parents

the most amazing idaho necklace birthday present from the boy’s parents

the cutest idaho shirt!

the cutest idaho shirt!

washington print by the lovely gina hagerty, idaho string art by me

washington print by the lovely gina hagerty, idaho string art by me

5. addicted to water. I am pretty much addicted to water and drink probably far more than anyone actually thinks is necessary in a day but it just makes me feel better. Another thing that I am addicted to is water bottles. And while I will forever have a favorite water bottle that is a sea green Nalgeen that happens to glow in the dark (the boy got it for me so that I could see it at night being legally blind = the sweetest gift ever), this S’well water bottle might go in for the tie. My mom (who is a fabulous gifter) got me this bottle for my birthday and I am in love with it. It might seem ridiculously pricey for a water bottle but I promise you can’t go wrong. Also since it’s almost that time of the year one of these bottles would make a great gift for that special someone in your life…

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6. a pug bush. What is a “pug bush” you might ask? A pug bush is what my mom and I created to honor our dear, sweet pugs. We had to say goodbye to our second pug during late summer and knew that we wanted to bury them together. If you have ever owned a pug or two or a grumble you will know that pugs love to be on top of you, on top of each other or on top of anything and everything while on top of each other. Pugs love to snuggle so we decided we had to bury our pugs together. And to honor them we bought a bush to bury them under. And not just any bush, we bought the shortest, fattest, most misshapen bush we could find that will apparently bloom bright, red flowers in the Spring and Summer. Thus the creation of a pug bush. Now if only the bush will survive until next Spring/Summer to see the flowers bloom if the goats don’t eat it all first…

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❤ a pug bush

7. broken record + quotes to live by. Other than thousands of pages of text books I haven’t had much time to read this past month but I have come across a few must read articles…I have said it before and I will say it again, I love Cheryl Strayed. So when I came across this LA Times article I knew that I had to share it. Strayed pretty much sums up everything and anything stating, “you have to be brave enough to break your own heart.” Aka even in those times that it really sucks and everything is really hard you have to be brave enough to do what is going to make you and your life better. The quote is from her new book of quotes, Brave Enough, which is a collection of her all time best quotes. Strayed has gotten me pretty far this year so I urge you all in those moments of self doubt or hating life or hating your current position in life to stalk Strayed, read her books or watch the beauty of one of her stories unfold. I promise you wont regret it. Plus she is now friends with Reese Witherspoon so she is clearly a genius.

Another must read I happened across was from the NY Times (clearly I’m currently all about the “Times”) when it was shared by a wise friend with an equally incredible soul on Facebook. The article is a very candid interview with Rihanna and other than the random notes about childbirth, it was truly a beautiful article that left me wanting more. It ends with this captivating idea:

“Souls are funny things. They stay constant even when the outside changes, or when the heart makes mistakes. Souls don’t really care about good or bad, right or wrong — they’re just true. Everlasting…A soul just knows a soul.”

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it – summer love, letters & luxuries

July was truly a spectacular month. If my life were a country song (in like the sappiest way possible), the theme of the song would be about love (like every country song…). We spent the month of July enjoying the Northwest on a wedding tour and cannot be more thankful than to have been a part of that love. We have also enjoyed our fair share of amazing indulgences (cue the “dad bod”) to go along with all that love…here is a look!

1. northwest wedding tour continued. The boy and I were again lucky enough to be invited to another amazing wedding, this time in McCall, Idaho. And while I completely think that the Wood River Valley is the only place in Idaho worth noting, McCall and it’s people are quite spectacular as well.

Krista’s “sister-in-law” (otherwise known as Chase’s sister) married the love of her life in the most amazing, heartfelt wedding full of a constant stream of simultaneous laughter and tears with a side of the most amazing grilled cheese (I literally ate my weight in cheese). Literally every moment was amazing, but I’ll just give you a sneak peak as Krista spent almost the entire week celebrating their love so deserves the spotlight! Cheers to a life full of love, laughter and happy tears to the Brennans!

big idaho sky

big idaho sky

the boy, his camo tie and the future of randolph

the boy, his camo tie and the future of randolph

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the boys :)

the boys 🙂

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duckkkkksss!!

go duckkkkksss!!

picturesque

picturesque

so much love

so much love for the boy, 70’s cocaine jumpsuits and idaho

lake view

lake view

2. pretty letters. I have always truly enjoyed handwriting and beautifully written letters and words. So I was ecstatic when I was asked to help out with a few chalkboards for the wedding in McCall. I love pretty words, pretty letters and making pretty things for pretty people!

there is no greater sign than an idaho sign

there is no greater sign than an idaho sign (& coffee)

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backwards but the idea is still the same...cheers to the brennans!

backwards but the idea is still the same…cheers to the brennans!

and to top it off...the cutest card i found in mccall

and to top it off…the cutest card i found in mccall

3. new eats & treats. The Warfield recently joined the ranks of Ketchum restaurants. And right now it seems to be sitting pretty high. Warfield definitely hit the mark on a place to go for good food, good drinks and an ahhhhmazing deck. And the service and overall atmosphere was actually incredible for a newly opened restaurant. Go right this second and enjoy the deck and some nommies. You won’t regret it!

love me some brick and gold accents

love me some brick and gold accents

this door handle makes me swoon

this door handle makes me swoon

topo map menus

topo map menus

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the best cocktail (the London Lemonade)

the best, not-too-sweet, cocktail (the London Lemonade)

the veg burger

the veg burger

krista's poutine

krista’s poutine

brussels forever!

brussels forever!

the best deck around

the best deck around

4. i heart lulu x seven billion. A few weeks ago I was very nicely asked by the local Lululemon store to participate in an event. A few other local women who also participate in Crossfit (and are all total badasses) and I were brought into the store to give our opinions, ideas and suggestions for Lululemon gear for Crossfit. We talked about nipping out, some boob chaffing and all those fun things that happen when you work out. And then we were given gift cards to purchase some new Lulu swag! I know, like my dream come true!! Lululemon and Crossfit all wrapped up into one?! Pretty much best night ever.

And now I wasn’t sure anything could top the brainstorming event but the pants I got actually are the MOST amazing pants ever (Street to Studio Pant II…I also sized up for a bit of a looser fit). If you didn’t know by now I would wear yoga pants everyday of my life, for the rest of my life if it were socially acceptable. And guess what!? These pants make it socially acceptable. They can definitely be termed more of a “lifestyle” item and I literally wear them everywhere. A must buy! Even goats love them…

mecca

mecca

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the pants i got...not the best angle but just wait!

the pants i got…not the best angle but just wait!

pretty much the cutest shirt ever...thinking about running back by for it

pretty much the cutest shirt ever…thinking about running back by for it

trying to get the goats to cooperate for a photo: fail. wearing my new pants everyday: success.

trying to get the goats to cooperate for a photo: fail. wearing my new pants everyday: success.

5. we were liars (semi-spoiler alert). I started reading We Were Liars by E. Lockhart in late December and literally pummelled through the first half of the book. (Side note: The fact that the female author goes by E. Lockhart makes her super cool in my book. Total throw back to female authors not being able to be published under feminine names.) Then the boy’s accident happened and reading was the last thing from my mind. I attempted to pick up the book in February but the storyline of the main character having a traumatic brain injury just hit a bit too close to heart.

But I recently picked up the book running out the door on the way to the pool since I had forgotten to download a book. And I loved the rest of the story. There is a reason this book is a “New York Times Bestseller.” It’s a quick read with a twist of an ending. I highly recommend it and if I say more I will spoil it…

2Q==

6. sunday night impromptu “family” dinner. The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of wonderful and I desperately needed a relaxing weekend. On Sunday, my Brass Blossom Boyfriend and I went to a Barre class, hung out at the pool and then parted ways only to enjoy a very spontaneous, “family” dinner with the boys and black dogs later in the evening. We had amazing food (with only slightly burnt corn….Cha-seee), a few drinks and a whole lot of laughs playing cornhole (P.S. #thebrassblossom came soooo close to beating the boys in cornhole…we will get them next time!). Summers are definitely for impromptu dinners like these on back porches listening to country music.

(half) of my lovely dinner dates

(half) of my lovely dinner dates

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i just love summer nights

i just love summer nights

idaho pie for dessert (recipe coming soon!)

idaho pie for dessert (recipe coming soon!)

7. i only like pugs. This shirt and card pretty much sum up my life.

 

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Cheers to a week full of recharging!

taylor brass

brass blossom

football friendly appetizer — chicken wing dip

spicy chicken wing dip!

spicy chicken wing dip!

While nothing beats a game at Autzen, we certainly do our best. Each Duck game, we bring Eugene to Idaho with an Oregon flag, Oregon apparel, green and yellow bandanas for the dogs, some Budweiser, and of course, some delicious food.

I’ll start with one of our all-time favorites, spicy chicken wing dip. I prefer this dip to actual chicken wings because nothing’s fried, you can control how spicy it is, and the meat is all white and clean.

The original recipe is compliments of my friend Christian’s sister. I’ve tweaked it slightly, and here’s how it goes:

prep:cook time

 

45 minutes

servings

 

8

ingredients

 

  • two chicken breasts
  • Franks’ red hot wings sauce
  • blue cheese dressing
  • cream cheese
  • ranch dressing
  • sliced baguette
  • tortilla chips (optional)
  • celery sticks (optional)

instructions

 

  1. Brown the chicken breasts and cook thoroughly — cut into small pieces
  2. Preheat the oven to 350
  3. spread a thin layer of softened cream cheese into the bottom of a small pyrex dish or similar non-stick, deep baking pan
  4. stir about 2/3 of the bottle of hot sauce, 1/2 cup ranch, and 1/2 cup blue cheese dressing in the pan until they are mixed thoroughly
  5. stir in the chicken breast until it’s evenly coated with the sauce
  6. cover with tin foil, and bake for about 25 minutes until the edges begin to brown and the dip is bubbling
  7. allow to cool slightly, then serve with slices of baguette, tortilla chips and celery sticks
browned chicken breast

browned chicken breast

cut the chicken into small pieces

cut the chicken into small pieces

thin layer of cream cheese in the bottom

thin layer of cream cheese in the bottom

pre-baking — yes, it looks a little radioactive :)

pre-baking — yes, it looks a little radioactive 🙂

stir it again after baking and serve with a spoon to make everything "smoother"

stir it again after baking and serve with a spoon to make everything “smoother”

the perfect bite!

the perfect bite!

cheers krista

 

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