idaho adventure

best of spring — escapes, endeavors, and improvements

simultaneously sunny and stormy

simultaneously sunny and stormy

I haven’t written a general update post in awhile, and I think they’re important.

I was told recently during an argument that I have a hard time “turning off.” That simple observation stuck with me more than whatever we were fighting about, because it’s true. I think I tend to live my life at such a constant break-neck pace — a pace that ensures distraction — because I’m afraid of what will happen, or what I will feel, when I stop. I find that I’m sometimes scared of unstructured time or absolute silence, unless it’s on my own terms. I suppose that’s because I know what feelings seem to creep in during those times…feelings of loneliness, abandonment, and fear.

This spring season has offered several opportunities to reflect on that simple fact, to act on it, and to work at reversing it. The spring, true to tradition, was a time of new beginnings, cleaning (both literally and figuratively), improvements, and escapes. Here’s a look:

1. méxico escape: We booked incredibly-priced tickets to Cabo Pulmo in early May for a long weekend of vacation with Chase’s family. The trip came at the perfect time — just after a major work event, and in the depths of bipolar spring mountain weather. The trip was rejuvenating, but I also came home with the new realization that I have a hard time fully letting go and relaxing when on a brief trip, which is just not ok with me and something I’m going to work on. Regardless, the trip kicked off with an incredible (although belated after a flight delay, three u-turns and misleading road signs) at Flora Farm in San Jose del Cabo. I think I could move there tomorrow and live a happy life between the gardens, orchards, cottages, wine shop, espresso, boutiques, and crazy delicious restaurant. The rest of our Mexico time was spent fishing (although my fishing experience was hindered a bit by a double dose of dramamine), time on the beach, and great food and company. The other lesson I learned: Put sunscreen on your lips. Always.

happy to have made it on the plane!

happy to have made it on the plane!

first stop, flora farm

first stop, flora farm

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shopping for some mother's day treasures

shopping for some mother’s day treasures

had to make a stop at the wine/espresso bar

had to make a stop at the wine/espresso bar

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i think the chairs suited us well, no?

a brief awake/aware moment

a brief awake/aware moment

jenna committing to the fish

jenna committing to the fish

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cabo pulmo bound

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lighthouse beach

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it was a little too crowded…

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Pablo and Ingri

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the cruiser

2. krista detwiler, Stella & Dot Stylist: In April, I signed up to be a Stella & Dot stylist, and I am having a blast so far. I originally fell in love with their products almost exactly a year ago. I hosted a show at my home a few months later, and my admiration for Stella & Dot’s product line and business philosophy grew — I love that Stella & Dot was founded by women, for women. I work in a full-time job, which I’m very fulfilled by, but Stella & Dot offers a fun and flexible addition. My goal is to put some extra cash in the bank for my honeymoon and home improvement purchases. Check out this interview with the founder with my former classmate, Caroline Fairchild, and if you have your eye on some new jewelry and accessories or need a great gift for someone in your life, here’s my Stella & Dot page. Thank you for your support, and keep an eye out for an invite to my “Launch” show on June 14.

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3. home improvements: True to my original Marie Kondo revelation, I’ve been making an effort to make pointed home improvements. I now always have an eye for de-cluttering, and I’ve been able to better prioritize those home purchases that would, you guessed it, spark the most joy. I’ve been doing my best to pair these purchases with my very best bargain hunting so I can strike when the time is right. I purchased these world market atlantic blue dining chairs for a little drama in the dining room (complete with a feather pillow from The Gardens), as well as this incredible west elm chandelier — let there be light! My wedding registry has also created a fun opportunity to imagine my ideal home. Next up, I’m going to paint some walls! Woohoo!

stella & dot plus chandelier

stella & dot plus chandelier

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4. southfork of the snake float: More to come on this most excellent Idaho Adventure, but a group of us took advantage of the three-day weekend and spent two nights on the Southfork of the Snake River in southeastern Idaho. It was an incredible experience with great friends in a beautiful setting, with plenty of yummy camp food and lots of laughs. We can’t wait to go back again this summer for part 2!

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ultimate relaxation

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camp food done right

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hot potato

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parley’s day in paradise

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baby blue

5. wardrobe updates:  Being engaged has done some crazy things to my online shopping habits…Good thing I gravitate toward those sites that have incredible return policies (ahem, revolve, get out of my head). Here are a few of my absolute favorite purchases of late:

enida schutz heel

enida schutz heel

j brand super skinny floral pant

j brand super skinny floral pant

tularosa x revolve charmer plunge romper

tularosa x revolve charmer plunge romper

alice + olivia jaya top

alice + olivia jaya top

nasty gal carousel embroidered dress

nasty gal carousel embroidered dress

breeze to death floral kimono

breeze to death floral kimono

6. may babies and celebrations: turns out many of my favorite people were born in May. I’ve had so much fun celebrating their big days, along with nothing at all — from a “fish fry” to impromptu late night green chef meals, to hikes and dog walks, I am so thankful to be surrounded by great friends and positive people.

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the fish fry master

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coloring with the coloring master

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tori and some beautiful birthday cupcakes

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7. those brief moments: I had a moment when I was driving home from a movie last Sunday afternoon — I’d just eaten a pound of popcorn, had a movie theatre glass of wine, and laughed until my belly hurt. The sun was shining after two days of frigid snow and rain, the windows were down, and driving home was like an instagram sensation. Spring here is both brief and brilliant — the rapid growth of blossoming trees, bright green leaves, bushy wildflowers, and even weeds is the stuff of emo daydreams. Couldn’t tell you what it was, but the perfect song was playing on the radio, and I was headed home to a man (and two dogs) that love me. And basically, that was all that mattered, and in that moment, I was sublimely happy.

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Wishing you all an amazing summer. I know they can fly by, so I hope you can all pause more — like I am trying to — and enjoy the brief moments of simple perfection.

 

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

idaho adventures — the “top” of idaho, mount borah

Fun fact. Idaho only has one area code: 208. So there is always a big bonding moment with anyone you meet from Idaho about the 208. But Mount Borah is another story. Mount Borah should have its own area code. Because it is way, way up there and although absolutely magnificent like the rest of Idaho (for the most part), it feels like another world entirely. After a point there is no life: no trees, no water, no signs of animals (minus chipmunks who prosper off snacks from hikers), no shade, no nothing but rocks, maybe some (or a thousand) other hikers and a long ways down. Standing at 12,668 feet high, Mount Borah is no joke.

Conquering Mount Borah has been on Krista’s and my summer bucket list for a while now. So without further delay, here is the story of that one time #thebrassblossom (almost) summitted Mount Borah:

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#thebrassblossom toyed with the idea of climbing Mount Borah for several weeks. But it seemed like every time #thebrassblossom attempted to rally troops (begged, pleaded, attempted to convince them it would be a fun time with strong, independent, Idaho women…) to go with them there was just too much fun and summer activity going on to spare an entire day. So finally #thebrassblossom bucked up and decided they were going, regardless of if anyone else was going to join them. But as fate would have it, #thebrassblossom’s pleading convinced their fine, fair skinned, Washington born, lovely friend with an infectious laugh, Tori to join. #success.

True to form, #thebrassblossom didn’t just go out without doing some research. #thebrassblossom did extensive internet research and asked many “locals” what was really up with climbing Mount Borah. #thebrassblossom got several responses along the lines of: “heal yeah!” or “oh yeah, I did that in college and drank a fifth of whiskey along the way!” or “five hours at a leisurely pace!” or “the downhill is the worst pain you will ever encounter!” With those thoughts/encouragements/atrocities in mind #thebrassblossom made a plan: leave Ketchum at 6:00 am after getting coffee (no sooner – because let’s be honest, Krista’s finest hours are nowhere near the morning…), drive the hour to the base of Mount Borah and embark! #thebrassblossom gathered snacks (brie of course), some pink champagne (obvi!) and made a bandanna prayer flag for the top. Taylor’s boy even outfitted her with his backpack, a whistle, a first aid kit, a pee-pee kit and trekking poles the evening before. #thebrassblossom and Tori were set for adventure.

The drive was comparable to herding cattle but #thebrassblossom and Tori made it to the base in no time and set off at around 8:00 am. Things were going pretty peachy at a nice and easy (slow and steady wins the race people) pace until Krista forgot her sunglasses on a stump and had to turnaround. Lesson #1: always check your surroundings when you leave! The trail continued literally straight up and there were quite a few curse words said about whoever the eff made the trail. At some point, Tori took her pants off (quickly replaced by shorts of course! but by far the best view the side of Borah has seen in a long time…) as the heat of the day was starting to set in. Finally the timber disappeared and the trail continued through rocky-shale and reached LITERALLY the only flat spot on all of Mount Borah. From that point, it was like another world. There were no trees and #thebrassblossom and Tori were surrounded for miles by rock and level with most surrounding peaks. It honestly felt more like the moon than Idaho. It was truly a time and a place in life that cannot be recreated.

At that flat point with Mount Borah looming in the background and “Chickenout Ridge” appearing to go straight up to the sky, #thebrassblossom and Tori decided jumping photos were necessary. Lesson #2: white girls cant jump. From there, #thebrassblossom and Tori forged on steadily until the bottom of “Chickenout Ridge.” Now let us tell you something about that ridge – it is not for the faint at heart, the sensible, the weak or most of the people who were actually on it. It was also at that point that #thebrassblossom and Tori encountered the super-highway of people on the mountain (mostly men in fact who were packing guns and always greeted us with “Hey ladies!” not joking, kinda creepy?). We kid you not, literally there were 100+ other people from Chickenout Ridge on.

#thebrassblossom and Tori got a bit psyched out prior to crossing the ridge by the other “hikers” that were coming down. The remarks ranged from “it’s only worse from here” to “this is God’s mountain and people aren’t meant to be up here!” (again not joking…). #thebrassblossom and Tori were further psyched out by two young (unattended, like with no parents) tween boys who were tornado-ing off the ridge in SKATE SHOES as we were beginning the ridge. Lesson #3: Do not wear skate shoes to climb Mount Borah. Lesson #4: Do not climb Borah if you are under 16 without supervision. Lesson #6: Do not attempt Borah on a weekend as it is a super-highway of hell.

But #thebrassblossom and Tori decided the safest place for us was as far away from the superhighway as possible and that meant up. So #thebrassblossom and Tori scurried (for the most part) up and across approximately 3/4 of Chickenout Ridge, at which point we called it our Summit. We were done. It had been a little over 4 hours, we were a bit scarred by the passings on Chickenout Ridge and needed some Brie and Champagne to calm our nerves. Plus isn’t creating your own summit even cooler! #thebrassblossomsummit

Before heading down, we enjoyed a fine picnic lunch, took so many pictures and “popped” one bottle of champagne. Lesson #6: Make sure if you hike up thousands of feet and risk your life that the bottles of champagne you intend to “pop” actually pop and don’t twist off. Lesson #7: The altitude kinda makes you drunk so you don’t EACH need a mini-bottle. After a bit of refueling and getting our wits together, #thebrassblossom and Tori headed on down from “our” summit (literally). And it was HELL. Literally worst thing ever on your toes, calves, thighs, soul and sense of self. #thebrassblossom and Tori all agreed we would rather hike up twice than ever do that downhill. But it was a probably a character builder in the end. Lesson #8: Don’t get a nice pedicure before you summit Borah because you will ruin it.

Once down, #thebrassblossom and Tori enjoyed sponge baths to rid the caked layers of dirt on our legs, snacked on pounds of chips, hummus and snap peas and enjoyed a pleasant drive back to the Valley. And since those snacks didn’t even come close enough to filling our bellies that just conquered Mount Borah (pretty much, close enough), we drove immediately to Grumpy’s to nom. #thebrassblossom and Tori may have been made fun of for our slight limps and stiff gaits (somewhat similar to that of the Tin Man) and incredibly sun burned legs. Lesson #9: Public humiliation is worth it for Grumpy’s and even if you already applied it, reapply sunscreen when you are way up there in the sky because you will turn into a little tomato with sock tan lines that peel right before a wedding…awk.

And that’s our story. We had an amazing time filled with so much sun, so little shade, lots of laughs, some highs from lack of oxygen, a few sips of champagne, a pound or two of Brie (each) and a glorifying experience at our summit of 11,601 (to be exact) feet. And while we didn’t make the actual summit of Borah, we made it exactly as far as we all needed. We pushed our limits (both mental and physical), enjoyed a full day of each other’s company and had an experience that led to no regrets. Cheers to Mount Borah!

there is nothing to rival a morning in the copper basin

there is nothing to rival a morning in the copper basin

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the beginning...

the beginning…

obvious necessities...thank you mr hawkes!

obvious necessities…thank you mr hawkes! #hydrateordie

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mout borah looming in the background

not quite sure about this…

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this is not on you jump

this is not how you jump…

success

success

chickenout ridge leading straight up to the sky

chickenout ridge leading straight up to the sky

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the only picture i managed to capture going up chickenout ridge (the beginning)

the view from our summit!

the view from our summit!

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cheers!

cheers!

"popping" bottles

“popping” bottles

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we forgot a knife...thank god casey packed us a firstaid kit with scissors!

we forgot a knife…thank god casey packed us a firstaid kit with scissors!

krista in her element

krista in her element

#thebrassblossom

#thebrassblossom

and tori!

and tori!

some "play hard give back" to compliment the brie

some “play hard give back” to compliment the brie

firstlite + pink champagne

firstlite + pink champagne + brie

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tourist photo #1

tourist photo #2

tourist photo #2

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our homemade prayer flag

our homemade prayer flag

#teamcasey

#teamcasey

❤ PBD

grandma gigi

aunt gina / grandma gigi ❤

TR <3

TD ❤

peace out mount borah

peace out mount borah

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going down the final part of chickenout ridge

going down the final part of chickenout ridge

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heart rocks

heart rocks

grumpy's = life complete

the end…

so bad but so good

so bad but so good

until next time mount borah! (or not and that would be okay too...)

until next time mount borah! (or not and that would be okay too…)

krista and taylor

 brass blossom

weekend love it – inspiring words, ladies & mountain tops

One of the things I love most about blogging (other than randomly sporting the saying “hashtag brass blossom”) is it is an outlet. A creative outlet, an emotional outlet, an “I don’t feel like I’m going anywhere in the world” outlet. It’s no coincidence “The Brass Blossom” started in the month of February in Idaho when it’s cold, the winter is really starting to get to you and according to my Sirius radio it’s the least happy month…

And even though it’s an outlet for both Krista and me, it’s obviously a very public outlet since if you didn’t notice it’s on the Internet and we share it with no shame. But the point being, that even though this blog started as a place to keep us sane and our outlet, I wanted to thank you all for your continued support of our venture. Our last post on Grief and Support blossomed (see what I did there) as an idea from Krista and grew from there. The words, support and love we received were truly beautiful and I wanted to thank you all for that, from the bottom of the #brassblossom heart.

And that support couldn’t have come at a better time, as the last week wasn’t the greatest week, true to the ebb and flow of life.  So when I needed a bit of life inspiration last week I found it (like quite often in recent months) from Cheryl Strayed and thought it was too good not to share:

“You have to pay your own electric bill. You have to be kind. You have to give it all you got. You have to find people who love you truly and love them back with the same truth. But that’s all.”

So with that mushy, gushyness said, here is what I have been loving in recent weeks.

1. torch. I originally had planned to start this book last week on a road trip to Salt Lake City but like always I failed to remember how I literally pass out anytime I am the passenger in the car…so I just started this book at the pool this weekend, and I am hooked. This book is raw and speaks to grief on so many levels. And while I have devoured all of Strayed’s non-fiction works that I have picked up, she proves her writing, her voice and her wisdom has no boundaries. A great read thus far.

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2. astronaut wives. The Astronaut Wives Club is hands down my new favorite show of pretty much all time. Every time the boy and I watch the show I verbalized how much I really love the show. I pretty much check OnDemand daily to see if it is available. The show features a truly challenging time in the world featuring (obv) astronauts and the space race but also the women behind the space race. You know what they say…behind every great man, there is a great woman. And for some reason, I have always felt a bit of a kindred spirit to a 50’s housewife. Maybe it’s the aprons? Maybe it’s the fact it was a huge time for women’s rights? Regardless, if you like me are not a wife, an astronaut or someone really interested in space at all, I still promise you this show will speak to you. Plus I have a huge girl crush on Odette Annable
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3. friends in high (model) places. I know a few pretty cool people who have all recently been blowing up magazine (and internet) spreads with their hot faces. And not only are their hot faces featured, but they are all featured doing something they are passionate about in the outdoors. They are all beautiful, adventurous, Idaho-loving models that I can’t help but share!
that one time the boy was a male model (for beretta)

that one time the boy was a male model (for beretta)

#studmuffin

#studmuffin

SVPN featuring three amazing, local fishing ladies on the latest in fishing fashion

SVPN featuring three amazing, local fishing ladies on the latest in fishing fashion

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love seeing this lady in print!

love seeing this lady in print!

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4. mount borah. #thebrassblossom and our lovely friend Tori almost summited Mount Borah last weekend. Yes Borah, the highest peak in Idaho. And while we didn’t quite make it, it was still an incredible, slightly sunburned and high on lack of oxygen time. Also don’t fret, an “Idaho Adventure” post will be coming soon as it was too incredible not to share (we just had to collect our wits and thoughts).
obvious market necessities for the borah climb

obvious market necessities for the borah climb

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popping a bottle to celebrate!

popping a bottle to celebrate!

5. power house and veggie love. The evening before hiking Mount Borah, I knew I needed to seriously carbo-load, so the boy and I headed to Hailey to the Power House. Two of our favorite people also joined us and we had an amazing time with some amazing beers and delicious food. For anyone that hasn’t been to their new location, it is just as good and I literally wish at least twice a week that this restaurant was in Ketchum. Also huge props to Power House for offering multiple vegetarian options, which just never happens in Idaho. I have been dreaming since of nomming again on those Oat Burger Tacos. Cheers!
a slightly intimidating door

a slightly intimidating door

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truffle fries - so delicious!

truffle fries – so delicious!

oat buger tacos! such a great concept!

oat buger tacos – such a great concept!

6. road trips & seeing eye dogs. I recently read a quote from Heidi Powell that was something along the lines of “it doesn’t need to be romantic to be romantic.” The boy took me to Salt Lake City for my annual eye appointment last week and while it was not in the slightest a typical romantic day (I think I channeled my inner pug with how large my pupils got), but it was still a “romantic” day. We got to spend 10 hours (more like 8 as I slept just a bit…) of uninterrupted car time together and just enjoy a day of him playing my seeing eye dog and chauffeur. It was totes fun had by all. And we even enjoyed pounds of mac-n-cheese for lunch at Whole Foods because there is nothing that their mac-n-cheese can’t make better. Nom nom. On another note, I sadly learned several years ago that careers in public service and even being as astronaut apparently have very strict eye tests to pass and are highly discriminatory against the legally blind, so sadly I will never be an astronaut, police officer, fire-fighter or anything cool like that. So for now, I will live my life vicariously through The Astronaut Wives Club. Also for anyone who feels their eyes need just a bit more attention, the Moran Eye Center is the place to go. I cannot say enough positive things about this institute.
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ermygawd

ermygawd

Hope you all have an amazing week full lots of love. ❤

taylor brass

brass blossom

idaho adventures – silver lake (idaho’s best kept secret)

This past fourth of July weekend, I literally had just the best weekend. It was all about celebrating the Fourth with hiking followed by copious amounts of food. Some amazing (and originally local, Idaho raised! minus Lizzie who was just an added bonus!) friends were in town from San Francisco so we set out on an Idaho Adventure to Silver Lake. Silver Lake is truly Idaho’s best kept secret. I couldn’t find the directions in my hiking book and it is relatively obscure on the internet, which generally means it is pretty uncharted territory. And there is good reason for that.

The “trailhead,” which doesn’t really exist, starts out at about 8,000 feet after a somewhat treacherous and long drive straight up into the Sawtooth Mountains. We had no directions and thought we were lost several times so the drive took quite a while. But after holding my phone out the window (to find some service), on top of a mountain to call my mom’s friend who had just hiked there (thank you again, Roni!), we were able to find the start of the trail. My friends, if you plan to go to Silver Lake use four wheel drive and make sure you have a friend who is used to driving up the side of mountains with no fear (thanks to a few high school canyon parties).

Between the drive and the trail that literally just runs into a rock face, Silver Lake is a tricky little lake to find. But it is worth it. Luckily, as with most mountain lakes, the lake is in a large basin so after we forged our own trail traversing around the basin we found Silver Lake located snuggly at the base of the basin.

And while the obscurity of this hike helps to keep it as one of Idaho’s best kept secret, I just had to share this hike because of how breathtakingly beautiful it is. There is literally a mountain side full of fresh blooming lupine (think wildflower heaven x Sound of Music x 1000 in amazingness factor), rock slides and scree to scurry, a few rock faces to scramble and crystal clear Silver Lake to swim in that is located at 9,700 feet just about at tree line. The hike is remote (all while being so close) and is one of those hikes that reminds you how vast and magnificent nature really can be. Plus with some fabulous and adventerous company there is oodles of fun, handstands and donkey kicks to be had!

Here is a look! We had some pre and post-hike goat snuggles of course…

goats & girls

goats & girls

jessie & her bff, bernard

jessie & her bff, bernard

the drive up

the drive up

the "woman cruiser" - set your parking brakes people!

the “woman cruiser” – set your parking brakes people!

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wildflower heaven

wildflower heaven

the smells were truly intoxicating

the smells were truly intoxicating

thanks random couple for the picture!

thanks random couple for the picture!

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just a little lost…

a pretty little lake we found (aka not silver lake)

a pretty little lake we found (aka not silver lake)

we found it!

we found it!

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attempt at a timer photo

attempt at a timer photo

cover photo for their new band staring idaho girls + lizzie

cover photo for their new band staring idaho twins + lizzie

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love these two!

love these two!

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new hiking shoes

picnic lunch - brie always wins

picnic lunch of apple & brie – brie always wins

taking the plunge!

taking the plunge!

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cody and her gopro captured me at a slightly more graceful angle

cody and her gopro captured me at the coolest angle

lake handstands

lake handstands

cody too!

cody too!

lizzie felt left out so she showed us her perfected donkey kick

lizzie felt left out so she showed us her perfected donkey kick

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no caption needed

no caption needed

heading home...

heading home…

the craziest plant i have ever seen

the craziest plant i have ever seen

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heading home...

jess pondering life

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wildflower handstands by cody

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idaho friends

idaho friends

present!

present!

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until next time silver lake!

until next time silver lake!

Perhaps the unknown and wandering upped how amazing this hike actually was. But if you are actually itching to go to Silver Lake here are a few quick directions that would have been quite helpful: at the north end of the Baker Creek parking lot cross the bridge and follow the road for several miles. Keep right every time the road forks. You will literally drive straight up mountains. Just keep going. It will likely be okay. Finally the road will run into a grove of Aspen trees and there appears to be somewhat of a parking spot. Make sure to set your parking brake so you will have a ride home. Cross through the trees to find the trail that leads into wildflower heaven and continue on the trail. When the trail ends into a rock face, look to your left and there will be a fragment of a trail that crosses the second waterfall you will see. Scurry across the rocks, stream, boulders and up the rocks that will lead you directly to the base of the lake. If that sounds too intense, do what we did and scurry up the rock wall, then randomly wander in the basin until you find the lake. Good luck!

taylor brass

brass blossom

idaho adventures – pioneer cabin from johnstone creek

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Quite possible one of the more epic local “Idaho Adventures” is hiking to Pioneer Cabin. Krista and I have hiked the daunting 2,500 feet the last three summers and the hike (and subsequent sore feet, legs and pride), the flowers, the Pioneers and the view never disappoints.

This year, I convinced Krista we should tackle Pioneer Cabin from “Johnston Creek.” I had heard it was an incredible hike and the hiking book I have from 1994 made it seem pretty legit.

Now the hike was incredible and so much more scenic than the traditional route. We dragged our bodies straight up the dirt trail through loads of wildflowers (the lupine were breathtaking), saw a waterfall, enjoyed spectacular views of the Pioneer Mountain Range from a different view and got a bit of sunshine. But the hiking book led us seriously astray. There is a pretty good reason very FEW people hike to Pioneer Cabin from Johnstone Creek. It is ridiculously hard, long and fairly shadeless.

It was quite an adventure to say the least. Hiking to Pioneer Cabin is slightly daunting from Corral Creek. However, hiking to Pioneer Cabin from Johnston Creek straight up for 6.5 miles in 80+ degree muggy weather with no cloud cover is recipe for so much boob sweat (yes, that really happens), a fairly gross stinging nettle outbreak, ridiculously sore and shaky legs, hot spots on your feet, a Maude Pod that debatably had a slight anxiety/heat attack about 5 miles in, showing off our pure athleticism in jumping photos and that feeling you get when you could eat an elephant. We also ate our pride and called my mom (huge thank you!) from the top, since one perk of being at 9,000 feet is you have cell service, to come and pick us up from Corral Creek. Only hiking 3.5 miles (and 2,500 feet) down versus 6.5 miles (and 2,800 feet) down was worth being bailed out and the hour shuttle ride. No shame. But it was all still worth it. While we might not be ready to do it again tomorrow, on the right day, and even on the wrong day, it is a very worthy Idaho hike and of course, a must do!

Here is a look (please excuse it if we look like the hot messes that we felt like)…

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before we went straight up a peak

before we went straight up a peak

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posing in the flowers

posing in the lupine

waterfalls are pretty rare in idaho

waterfalls are pretty rare in idaho so we were pretty stoked on this one

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lupine meadows

lupine meadows

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first view of the pioneers

first spectacular view of the pioneers

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where things started to get pretty sketchy...

where things started to get pretty sketchy…

we made it!

we made it!

much needed picnic - nothing tastes better than half a wheel of brie at 9000 feet

much needed picnic – nothing tastes better than half a wheel of brie at 9000 feet

picnic view

picnic view

just a bit of stinging nettle...

just a bit of stinging nettle…so attractive

so hot, so tired - i felt like a horrible mom

so hot, so tired – i felt like a horrible mom

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“the higher you get, the higher you get”

jumping photo? fail (too good not to share)

jumping photo? fail (too good or bad depending on how you look at it not to share)

fail #2

fail #2

fail #3

fail #3

fail #4

fail #4 = go home

ready to hustle down!

ready to hustle down!

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the shuttle back out east fork - beautiful cloudy view of hindman peak

the shuttle back out east fork – beautiful cloudy view of the pioneers

krista and taylor

brass blossom