good reads

best of october – unwinding, detox & retox & PNW love

After an incredibly busy summer, I was looking forward to this October. And although the summer was truly amazing, I think I managed to cram about 25 too many activities into each day and was just pooped by the final weeks of September. While my cry count before going back to Seattle was significantly, significantly less that last year, I had a few bouts of hysteria in those finals days, so I knew I was ready for a change.

My body finally decided that after four months of insanity, it was no longer going to continue to function on just fun, so the day I made the trek back to Seattle on October 1st, I got a wicked cold. Like one of those colds you continually stuff tissues up your nose and have to force yourself to pound coconut water and tylenol because your entire body just hurts. Let me just say, it was not a pretty drive.

Along with my body forcing me to slow down a bit, I was ready to return to school just to have a schedule (and to get this last year started!). I was again devastated to leave the boy, my little miss Maude Pod and everyone who I just adore and love in Idaho but I was ready to return to Seattle to crush one more year with the end in sight. I’ve long known that I am a creature of habit and crave schedules, organization and writing it all down. So while this October wasn’t as fancy-filled as any of the summer months, it did hold some incredible “love its,” even if they were a bit more relaxing and kind on the body. Here is what I loved this October!

1. rest & relaxation. I think that the amount of snot and other not appropriate for the internet bodily functions that my body put out at the beginning of October was my way of purging the summer months. All of October I have been back to pounding vitamin C, ginger tea, green tea, as much water as possible and trying to eat everything green in sight. Additionally I attempted to hydrate every ounce of my skin with some fun new products and get back into a Crossfit regimen. Needless to say, this month has been a bit of a painful detox but just what I needed to get my mind and body back to baseline.

I have fallen in love with Aria Starr Beauty. The products smell amazing, work wonders and happen to be within my grad school budget. Win win! I religiously use the Dead Sea Mud Mask two times a week and the Super Vitamin C Serum twice daily! Plus you can get a coupon code for $10.00 off on Amazon by going to their website.

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2. madison & white. I initially started following Madison & White on Instagram for their drool worthy hair photos. But after a while, I got connected with Kamela and quickly fell in love with everything Madison & White. Their brand is all about protecting your locks and they sell the most amazing vegan satin pillow-cases and hair towels. As a HUGE fan of hair towels (I cannot stand water dripping down my back after I shower), I have always used cotton-fiber wrap towels. But after trying one of their t-shirt hair towels, I am officially a convert. It takes a bit of getting used to in order to figure out the best way to secure it to your head but it seriously reduces the frizz by 100%. And when living in Seattle, this is a must!

I cannot say enough great things about this brand and highly recommend every lady out there try testing out their pillow-cases and/or towels to protect not only your head of hair but also your skin at night! No one wants wrinkles either! And the proof is in the pudding, as even Maude Pod is obsessed with sneaking her head onto our pillows with the satin pillow cases.

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(the best pillow cases!)

always trying to sneak her pretty face onto the pillows! <3

always trying to sneak her pretty face onto the pillows! ❤

3. (new) washington adventures. Other than returning to more of a schedule, another reason that I was excited to return to Seattle was the countless adventures I already had planned. Last April, I helped plan a girls day trip to Goldmyer Hot Springs. I thought it was absolutely crazy that I was making a reservation for a hike to a hot springs in April for October but the pictures and stories from a friend who had visited made the effort seem well worth it. And it was! Goldmyer Hot Springs is truly a magical, fairy land. It is one of those places that the trek is worth it ten times over for the experience of soaking in an extremely remote, hot springs with 20 other strangers. It was that magical.

Another amazing adventure I took with my roommate Whitney, who is always up for an adventure, near or far, no matter how crazy it may seem. Whitney and I took to the roads and headed up to the North Cascades along Highway 20. We literally stopped anywhere we felt like sounded remotely cool and spent the day enjoying the sunshine and adventures to be had. Our final stop was Lake Diablo and it didn’t disappoint. We topped off the evening with a late night Chipotle dinner and a quick stop at Nordstrom Rack. It was truly one of those perfect days that could never be replicated again. Cheers to another month of fabulous adventures!

early morning drives

early morning drives

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the entrance to the most magical place in the world (or washington!)

the entrance to the most magical place in the world (or washington!)

slightly awkward make a funny face photo

slightly awkward make a funny face photo

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the best viewpoint

the best viewpoint

just a little selfie action!

just a little selfie action!

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my enthusiasm was a bit out of control...

my enthusiasm was a bit out of control…

thanks to the best roommate / photographer!

thanks to the best roommate / photographer!

4. visits from my favs. Two of my absolute favorites visited me in Seattle this October. Having visitors this year is incredible fun because I feel like I finally know the city of Seattle enough to take them a bit off the beaten path to explore all of Seattle’s gems. Krista visited early in the month during the weekend that was supposedly going to be Seattle Tsunami 2016 so in preparation for bad weather we planned to eat/drink our way around the city. We did just that and topped most nights off with some wine and movies like Pitch Perfect 2. You can’t beat a good girls weekend! Some of the highlights of her trip were: Juicebox for the most amazing juice and toast ever, an incredible Hemingway inspired dinner at Ernest Loves Agnes and a trip up to the Smith Tower.

My mom then visited towards the end of the month and it was so much fun to have her around. We frequented Juicebox (again), did a bit of shopping and took a fabulous afternoon walk at Discovery Park. We also took in all that a morning in Ballard has to offer and explored the locks and spent far too much time watching fish in the fish ladder! There is truly nothing a mom can’t fix!

hot yoga detox (before eating and drinking all of seattle)

hot yoga detox (before eating and drinking all of seattle)

the BEST find in seattle = juicebox

the BEST find in seattle = juicebox

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the prettiest textures (both new & old)

the prettiest textures (both new & old)

so much wind...

so much wind…

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view from smith tower

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the most amazing dinner at ernest & agnes

the most amazing dinner at ernest loves agnes

idaho girls love a hemingway inspired anything

idaho girls love a hemingway inspired anything

juicebox round 2

juicebox round 2

discovery park <3

discovery park ❤

kerry park views

kerry park views

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5. good reads. I read somewhere that Amazon was offering a free month of Kindle Unlimited to anyone with an Amazon Prime account. I manage to do an incredible amount of reading in Seattle thanks to my relatively short bus commute and it has become something that I truly enjoy. Even if I only get in a chapter or two each way and while waiting for the bus or during an hour before bed, I have flown through a crazy number of books this year. And while, Kindle Unlimited doesn’t have the most fabulous book selection, it has a plethora of magazines to choose from. My commute has literally become SO much more enjoyable by having something fun to read. I highly recommend it for anyone who has a bit of extra reading time in their day!

Another great read that I stumbled upon this month was A Letter to the Doctors and Nurses Who Cared for My Wife. This read is a gut-wrencher but truly an amazing read.

6. a little retail therapy. To say I’m obsessed with my October purchase of the month would be putting it lightly. I first saw Dolce Vita’s Shiloh Nubuck Mules last spring and immediately fell in love with them. However, living in Seattle where it is constantly wet meant they weren’t the most practical shoes to dream about. But then I not so casually bumped into them at Nordstrom Rack and was delighted to find them in my size. I once again decided they were so unpractical for my current life and left them behind. #biggestmistakeever

So after days of literally dreaming about them, I raced back to Nordstrom Rack and it was meant to be. They were still there. It was like a long lost love. And while I haven’t had the chance to take this bad boys out for a spin, it hasn’t stopped me from casually wearing them around my apartment in sweat pants.

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true love

taylor brass

brass blossom

best of february — comparison is the thief of joy, wettest winter & goodness

All in all February was a fantastic month. To be honest though, Grad School is a bit of a roller-coaster with all of the work, emotions and just being at a different point in life than so many of my friends. There are many times when I just feel like I am going nowhere and so far behind in life. It’s especially hard when almost every day your focus is on where you will be in the future and you don’t even have a sense of an answer to this question.

But my mantra of recent months has been that “comparison is the thief of joy.” I tend to get really swept up in where I think I should be in life, rather than just focusing on the present. So I have made it my resolution this year live not comparing and just focus in on what makes me happy and “do me.” So with that in mind I have been loving going out to escape the city on a hiking adventures, enjoying the sunshine or going to yoga or just staying in to binge watch a TV show or just relax!

Also apparently this year has been the wettest Winter on record in Seattle. While the rain hasn’t gotten to me that much, I am so excited to go home for a few weeks this month for Spring Break for some Idaho sunshine and love!

Here is what I have been loving this February!

1. seattle explored. To escape the wettest winter on record I have made sure to take full advantage of any day that looks like it could be remotely sunny. I am very fortunate to have another Idaho partner-in-crime living in Seattle who also enjoys getting up early on weekends to go on an adventure and escape the city for a few hours. We always make sure to pack coffee, snacks, detox ginger tea and beer, our yak tracks (must have Winter hiking accessory!), extra socks and so many layers! So far we have ventured to Lake Serene, Discovery Park and Heather Lake. We ran into oodles of snow at both Lake Serene and Heather Lake. I love being able to hike in the Winter where you start on “dry” ground and end up just a couple thousand feet up surrounded by snow!

Another amazing adventure I went on recently was with a great friend from Grad School where we circumnavigated Lake Union. It ended up being about a half marathon work of walking but was the perfect way to spend an amazingly sunny Thursday afternoon. Seattle is quite possibly the most beautiful city when the sun is shining!

poo poo point for some sunshine

poo poo point for some sunshine

early bird gets the sunrise

early bird gets the sunrise

idaho adventure buddy!

idaho adventure buddy!

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so much snow!

so much snow!

lake serene

lake serene

so excited!

so excited!

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the best way to start the morning

the best way to start the morning

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so much water

so much water

first glimpse of heather lake

first glimpse of heather lake

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hiking selfies!

hiking selfies!

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gas works park while circumnavigating lake union

gas works park while circumnavigating lake union

that skyline!

that skyline!

2. bridemaids x 2. I was asked by two of my very favorite people to stand by their sides during their special days. They are two of the kindest and most loyal friends and I’m soooooo excited! I cannot wait for all the pre-wedding shenanigans and being apart of their big days. Cheers to another Summer on the wedding circuit!

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yes!

yes!

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<3

so pretty!

so pretty!

yes!

yes!

3. love at home. I escaped the wettest winter on record in Seattle early in the month to go home. I happened to get a cold right before leaving but the trek home was well worth it for all the love, sunshine, snuggles and more snuggles. Every time I enter the Wood River Valley I just feel a sense of peace and calm. It continually makes me even more thankful to come from such an amazing place with amazing people. So much love!

morning snuggles with my favorite pirate

morning snuggles with my favorite pirate

when the girls drive the truck

when the girls drive the big truck

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casual game of sledge hockey

casual game of sledge hockey

greatest place ever

greatest place ever

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tricky goats!

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maude pod <3

maude pod ❤

my favorites!

my favorites!

4. good reads. My book choices recently might indicate that the Winter is getting to me a bit more than usual but the Target “self-help” section just really calls my name sometimes. Honestly there have been many times where I have gotten a bit down about living in Seattle by myself and all the stress that comes along with Grad School so I figured a bit of inspiration from Shonda Rhimes and my always favorite Cheryl Strayed couldn’t hurt.

I sped through both of these books and they are staples on my nightstand here for whenever I need a dose of inspiration. I would highly recommend both!

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5. good tv. One name + one word says it all. JoJo + shiplap. For those of you that are similar cult followers you know what I am talking about. For those of you that haven’t been exposed to the greatest show ever let me introduce you to Fixer Upper. It is about a couple who live in Waco, Texas who take the worst house in the best neighborhood and make it into the house of your dreams.

I literally love everything about it, but mostly I just adore JoJo and her love for shiplap, subway tile, distressed wood, white, farm-life and the list goes on and on. I highly recommend a binge watching session right about now. JoJo (yes, we are on a first name basis) also has a blog….
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6. good laughs. For those of you that have Instagram go follow Pumpkin the Raccoon right now. And if you don’t have Instagram, go stalk Pumpkin on whatever form of social media you see fit. You will not regret it.

Pumpkin is a rescued raccoon who lives somewhere tropical where the living is easy. Pumpkin has the best family that consists of two doggie siblings and pretty much just enjoys the finer things in life. If I’m ever having a bad day, Pumpkin cheers me right up!

pumpkin <3

pumpkin ❤

7. pretty blooms. Okay I have to admit that every time I see a tree flower in Seattle I am absolutely amazed. Being from a place where pretty much the only things that really “bloom” are flowers in like July I am constantly amazed that ginormous trees bloom. The current cherry blossoms and other beautiful blossoms in Seattle are literally brightening up the entire city. It makes me so happy every time I see them, rain or shine. And they add to another reason why Seattle is such a gorgeous city.

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so pretty!

so pretty!

inspired by all the florals!

inspired by all the blooms!

the view from my bedroom - so pink!

the view from my bedroom – so pink!

Cheers to March and enjoying most of the month in Idaho for Spring Break! Hope you all are having a fantastic end to your Winter!

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it – (hoppy) easter

So corny and slightly belated but (hoppy) Easter! We enjoyed a “white” Easter in Idaho this year, as in 6 inches of fresh snow. Wah. While it wasn’t exactly the sight I wanted to wake up to, it was still a wonderful weekend full of fun and a bit of relaxation.

Here is a look!

1. easter. The boy, Miss Maude Pod and I were quite busy bunnies this Easter. We enjoyed a scrumptious brunch and Easter baskets (peeped out by the boy’s mother – so creative! I admire any one who is skilled with a glue gun) at the boy’s parent’s house and then a super simple dinner at our house with Krista and Chase. They brought Par Pars, so her and Maude Pod made sweet wrestling sounds biting each other’s faces while we enjoyed dinner….

We have all been quite busy so we concluded a simple dinner was the way to go. It was a day full of food and “family.”

awkward easter family posing + the most creative "peeped" out baskets around

awkward easter family posing + the most creative “peeped” out baskets around

the greatest easter basket ever

the greatest easter basket ever (so creative!) + a sniff from maude pod

i have to admit peeps are pretty cute

i have to admit peeps are pretty cute

easter brunch table at the boy's parents

easter brunch table at the boy’s parents

succulents & juice

succulents & juice

incredible brunch

incredible brunch

maude pod's new dragon easter toy

maude pod’s new dragon easter toy

easter dinner table

easter dinner table

post coming soon!

post coming soon!

2. maude pod is one! I truly cannot believe that my little Miss Maude Pod turned one yesterday. It seems like just yesterday that the boy and I brought her home and she was just a tiny little blob that looked like a mini platypus. She has grown up a bit and is definitely a big girl now but she will always be a baby to us. Happy birthday Maudy Poddy!

And yes, I am that crazy dog lady that bribes her dog to pose so I can get cute birthday pictures.

birthday hat that she tolerated with some serious bribing

birthday hat that she tolerated with some serious bribing

birthday bone!

birthday bone!

3. unsubscribing. I honestly don’t know why I have never thought of it before but something that has recently made me SO happy is the concept of unsubscribing to emails. I used to wake up to 60+ emails each morning, many of which were just non-sense (my online shopping addiction is probably to blame for this…).

My aunt who is always full of amazing ideas told me that she unsubscribes from 5 e-mails a day = brilliant. I started with a mass unsubscribing effort and have since unsubscribed from several emails every day. It has made my inbox and morning routine so much nicer and less swamped. I highly recommend this habit to anyone and everyone.

unsubscribe!

unsubscribe!

4. orange dress. Don’t get me wrong, I am still loving florals but this super, bright, perfect, orange dress from Bishop + Young just stole my heart. I tried it on at a local boutique Ketchum Flower – Girl Friday and thought I could live without it. Wrong. I ended up thinking about the dress all weekend like a crazy lady and went and bought it first thing Monday morning.

This dress has big plans paired with a tan and some summer weddings…

bishop + young - spaghetti strap dress

bishop + young – spaghetti strap dress

5. spend your money on experiences. I’m pretty much going to contradict everything I just said but this article on the science of why you should spend your money on experiences not things is a must read. I have always had a bit of a travel bug but living in Idaho as a semi-broke post-graduate doesn’t exactly assist in world traveling. However, I recently turned over a new leaf and figured that when life hands you lemons, you better travel.

I have an amazing trip planned for next week with some fabulous ladies and I am literally counting down the days until sunshine! A post will obviously follow…

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And if you need one more reason to travel, here are 5 Reasons Travel is Important for Your Career

6. book. I was kindly given the book Tiny Beautiful Things a few months back and have since turned to it several times when life just seems a bit too hard. Before Cheryl Strayed was Cheryl Strayed, best selling author of Wild, she wrote what was once an anonymous online advise column called “Dear Sugar.” Tiny Beautiful Things is the best of of the best of Sugar’s responses to letters for advice.

What I love about Sugar is she is so honest that she is real. There is no sugar coating anything, which is something that I truly appreciate. Sugar tells it how it is, that life can just really suck. I think it’s this acknowledgement that life can blow that provided me some solace as I read and read. And regardless of if I relate to the problem or the writer for advice, I always get something from Sugar. Sugar is definitely someone who helps you keep going when shit really hits the fan. Even if your life is all rainbows and fairy-tales, I think that everyone can appreciate Sugar and become just a bit wiser from reading Tiny Beautiful Things.

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7. massage. I received a gift certificate for a massage (so amazing!) and figured the hopefully last snowy weekend this Spring would be the perfect time for some relaxation. I enjoyed my massage at Zenergy at Thunder Springs (aka Zenergy) on Easter and spent an amazing hour literally drooling on myself. Thank god those rooms are dark. It was just the perfect amount of relaxation I needed after a few stressful months….thank you First Lite!

the entrance of the spa at zenergy

the entrance of the spa at zenergy

quite possibly the best view in all of town is from zenergy

quite possibly the best view in all of town is from zenergy and i cannot wait to sprawl on one of those lawn chairs come summer

8. pugs. I love pugs. And here are all the recent pug-tastic things that pugs have been doing that I have been loving!

a. 21 Ways You and Your BFF Rule the World – (pug style) obviously a must read (thanks Ali!)

b. Butt Sniffin Pugs – apparently this is a real game. I don’t even know how or why but I like it.

butt sniffin' pugs

butt sniffin’ pugs

c. Pug ride-a-longs are the best rides. I adore my little pugger Lizzie but I will admit she is probably pushing 30+ pounds. Regardless, she is a lovely old lady who just really wants to go on walks. But she can’t quite make it down the driveway…so much to the boy’s dismay I usually tote her along in a baby stroller or backpack.

When we celebrated Maude Pod’s first birthday with a little hike, I loaded Lizzie up in a backpacking backpack (she’s a LOT of pug) and she rode-a-long and basked in the sun. I got a workout and she got a “walk.” Double win!

pug ride-a-long

pug ride-a-long

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it – scaling mountains and eating cake

After a couple of extremely busy weeks, this past weekend was suddenly here and I realized that I didn’t have a plethora of obligations or plans. So I spent the weekend enjoying the beautiful Idaho sunshine, mountains and an abundance of food and drinks! Here is what I have been loving during this whirlwind of a summer:

1. Hiking Baldy. Each summer I try make it a goal to hike our local ski mountain, Baldy. Baldy is 3,400 vertical feet and obviously a feat. The top elevation is 9,150 feet with breathtaking views. I chose to play catch-up to three of my favorite women and started a bit after them so I scurried straight up about 3/4 of the mountain. It was a challenge and I was incredibly excited to see happy, friendly faces on the side of the mountain to join for the final ascent.

Rather than hike down, we took the lift and gondola down to further enjoy the 360 degree views. Unfortunately it was a bit hazy out yesterday due to forest fire smoke. Regardless, the views were incredible!

Even if your lungs and legs give out, hiking Baldy is totally worth the trek. And believe me, you will definitely feel accomplished by the end!

the "trail" straight up River Run

the “trail” straight up River Run

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meeting up with the group!

a quick break right before the top

my hiking buddy taking a quick break right before the top!

view from the top!

view from the top! (the town of Ketchum below)

2. Easy (Peasy Lemon Squeezy) Summer Cake. Saturday night I had the pleasure of enjoying a few games of cornhole, drinks and dinner at the boy’s parents house. It was not so subtly requested that I bring a dessert. However, after scaling Baldy the last thing I wanted to do was spend much time in the kitchen. So, I made the executive decision to spend the afternoon at the pool and whip up a quick cake while I got ready for dinner.

I entrusted my good friend Betty Crocker and purchased her Lemon Cake Mix which I complemented with some fresh blackberries, whipped cream and a few lemon slices on top. I’m still uncertain if Martha would be proud or ashamed?

the simplest Lemon-Blackberry Cake (directions coming soon!)

the simplest Lemon-Blackberry Cake (directions coming soon!)

such a beautiful, summer table setting!

such a beautiful summer table setting!

3. The Magicians by Lev Grossman. One of the things that I love about the summer is that I find a bit more time to read. Perhaps it is the hours I spend lounging at the pool or in my adirondack chairs on the deck but summer inspires me to turn pages. I am extremely thankful for my love of reading and have full faith that reading anything non-electronic will help keep my brain from turning to technology mush in the near future.

Recently I asked my extremely talented and well-read friend, Jessie, if she had any book recommendations. She recommended The Magicians by Lev Grossman. At first I was doubtful but was hooked by about page 12. This book is like the illegitimate ,PG-13 rated, offspring of Harry Potter and Narnia. For anyone that loves a bit of fantasy with a healthy dose of reality this is the book for you. Plus there is a sequel so what more could you ask for?

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4. Crossfit Parody. I found this video hysterical. Even if you haven’t drunk the Crossfit Kool-Aid, please watch this video if only for the short shorts. You will learn some quality movements, perfect technique and safe practices….

Also for all you Crossfitters or really just anyone interested, take this quiz to find out what your Crossfit Spirit Animal is. My spirit animal is a cheetah, which I thought was pretty awesome until my lovely friend who is a super Crossfitter, Gina, took the quiz and was a Unicorn. Yeah, Unicorn trumps cheetah any day.

taylor brass

brass blossom

love it friday — favorite books

krista's favorite titles

krista’s favorite titles

I am a bookworm and have been ever since I learned how to read. My all-time favorite activity is to sit on the beach and get lost in a good book.

I will always hold Harry Potter at # 1 (I’m still waiting for my letter via owl), and  I love a good “beach read” (one I can rip through in about a day). However, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of finishing a book and knowing that it’s changed you.

I’ll admit, I’ve cried more than once at simply the satisfaction of a fabulous ending…one that leaves me wanting more, but one that makes me feel like I’ve learned something, that my soul has been fed, and that I have a more complete view of the world, of myself, and of the human experience.

I can’t imagine the number of books I’ve read over the years, and I’m sure I’m forgetting some, but here’s a rough top fifteen (that started as a top ten), in no particular order. I’ve included three descriptors or phrases for each one — there’s something on this list for everyone!

  1. Freedom, Jonathan Franzen
    • complex, intelligent, modern
  2. Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides
    • storytelling, historic, self-discovery
  3. A Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing, Melissa Bank
    • coming of age, honest, heartfelt
  4. The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
    • historic, healing, beautiful
  5. Beloved, Toni Morrison
    • poetic, haunting, unforgettable
  6. The Glass Castle, Jeanette Walls
    • grit, hardship, lovely
  7. Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea, Chelsea Handler
    • laugh out loud funny, brutally honest, silly
  8. The River Why, David James Duncan
    • sustainability, revelation, romanticism
  9. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
    • the only movie adaptation that soothes me to sleep, funny, inspiring
  10. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
    • epic,  classic, romantic
  11. The Bloody Chamber, Angela Carter
    • post-modern fairytales, gripping, empowering
  12. One Day, David Nicholls
    • funny, romantic, witty
  13. A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
    • stark, poignant, stirring
  14. Magical Thinking, Augusten Burroughs
    • sarcastic, empathetic, engaging
  15. Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut
    • bizarre, imaginative, inspiring

Don’t let the bore of assigned reading and work overload keep you from expanding your mind in a book! Then again, thank you to many of my English teachers who assigned some of my favorite books.

Taylor and I have found that a great way to make sure you’re always reading is to create a book group. It sounds silly, but it’s a great excuse to read something new and get together with friends for food and wine.

 

cheers krista

brass blossom

 

 

love it friday — billy collins

I’m a bit of a sucker for poetry, musical language, and melancholy.

I credit my love for Billy Collins’ poetry to my favorite high school English teacher, who assigned his book of poems “Sailing Alone Around the Room” for summer reading. He was the poet laureate from 2001 to 2003, and I was lucky enough to have him speak at my high school graduation, where he gave a funny and heartfelt list of ten life suggestions.

His poems are approachable, but so, so lovely. Here are two that speak to love, but not in the cheesy way you might think.

The first he also recited at my graduation, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house:

THE LANYARD

by Billy Collins

The other day I was ricocheting slowly
off the blue walls of this room,
moving as if underwater from typewriter to piano,
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
when I found myself in the L section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.

No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one into the past more suddenly—
a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp
by a deep Adirondack lake
learning how to braid long thin plastic strips
into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.

I had never seen anyone use a lanyard
or wear one, if that’s what you did with them,
but that did not keep me from crossing
strand over strand again and again
until I had made a boxy
red and white lanyard for my mother.

She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sick room,
lifted spoons of medicine to my lips,
laid cold face-cloths on my forehead,
and then led me out into the airy light

and taught me to walk and swim,
and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.

Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth,
and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.
And here, I wish to say to her now,
is a smaller gift—not the worn truth

that you can never repay your mother,
but the rueful admission that when she took
the two-tone lanyard from my hand,
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless, worthless thing I wove
out of boredom would be enough to make us even.

I like his page on Facebook, and that’s how I discovered this one:

AIMLESS LOVE

by Billy Collins

This morning as I walked along the lakeshore,
I fell in love with a wren
and later in the day with a mouse
the cat had dropped under the dining room table.

In the shadows of an autumn evening,
I fell for a seamstress
still at her machine in the tailor’s window,
and later for a bowl of broth,
steam rising like smoke from a naval battle.

This is the best kind of love, I thought,
without recompense, without gifts,
or unkind words, without suspicion,
or silence on the telephone.

The love of the chestnut,
the jazz cap and one hand on the wheel.

No lust, no slam of the door –
the love of the miniature orange tree,
the clean white shirt, the hot evening shower,
the highway that cuts across Florida.

No waiting, no huffiness, or rancor –
just a twinge every now and then

for the wren who had built her nest
on a low branch overhanging the water
and for the dead mouse,
still dressed in its light brown suit.

But my heart is always propped up
in a field on its tripod,
ready for the next arrow.

After I carried the mouse by the tail
to a pile of leaves in the woods,
I found myself standing at the bathroom sink
gazing down affectionately at the soap,

so patient and soluble,
so at home in its pale green soap dish.
I could feel myself falling again
as I felt its turning in my wet hands
and caught the scent of lavender and stone.

have a wonderful weekend filled with all kinds of love…

cheers krista

brass blossom