ketchum

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 — saying goodbye, new beginnings & outdoor adventures

The past couple of weeks have been marked by tremendous changes. Like daily kinda have a panic attack and realize you need to breathe so you sit on the couch nursing a La Croix several times a day, tremendous, bittersweet, big, deep breaths in a paper-bag changes. And what could possible sway my ever cool, easy going self, without a touch of OCD and anxiety you might ask? I am officially leaving in less than a week for Graduate School.

That’s right. I am moving solo to Seattle to literally live my dream with the Grad School program that I am attending. I repeat that daily x 50 for a little verbal courage. Leaving Idaho, the boy, Miss Maude Pod, my family, my incredible group of friends and my #brassblossom boyfriend after this year may likely be the hardest thing I have ever done but deep down I know it’s right. I have wrestled back and forth with not going or delaying my start or simply becoming a professional hiker to avoid the real world, but alas I know that it is the right next step for for me . This year has been a hell of a year (and to be honest I am already welcoming 2016 with open arms) but it has also been a year that has taught me probably more than I ever really wanted to know.

So with that happy, sad, why the hell am I moving away from the great state of Idaho and sunshine news, here is what I have been adoring recently!

Disclaimer: There are a lot of emotions below…

1. new beginnings. The boy really boiled it down for me one day when I was sitting on the kitchen floor crying about saying “see you soon” to him and my little Miss Maude Pod when he said point blank that he was glad to see me crying because if I wasn’t crying it would mean I wasn’t going and that would mean I would be angry. Angry about giving up an incredible opportunity that I have worked so hard for and wanted so badly for so long. And while I occasionally question his tact, I never question is support. He is a wise boy. Buddha-like.

Even though I am having a difficult time practicing what I preach currently (aka crying hysterically on the kitchen floor…), the one concrete thing that this year has really taught me is that you have to live your own life, your own dreams and your own path. Earlier this year I was so paralyzed by fear that I felt I couldn’t personally function. And while I had a pretty legit reason, I have very slowly come to the realization that I need to live my own life, my own dreams and my own path in order to fully support anyone else. While the life and little family that the boy and I have made here is beyond incredible and will never be replaced, it’s not where I feel 100% complete. I have a burning desire to learn more, be more and accomplish more. So that is what I will be doing, even if it involves some more kitchen floor tears. So cheers to new beginnings and following your dreams!

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2. goodbye 25. Goodbye forever, 25. I just celebrated by 26th birthday and I am happily welcoming a new year of life and thinking 26 will be a dandy year. The only way I wanted to celebrate the day was with no stress. I just wanted it to be simple and happy and like every other normal day (as I am cherishing every second or normalcy right now). So that is just what it was. The boy and I enjoyed a super simple family dinner (plus goats) on Sunday and then I spent my entire birthday indulging in everything I love: sleeping in snuggling Maude pod, peanut butter toast + coffee, Crossfit, reading for several hours by the pool, cocktail hour at Sun Valley Pond and then a nice mellow night at home making dinner and watching the voice. #bestdayever.

best birthday cake ever from my always amazing mother

best birthday cake ever from my always amazing mother

when you go to crossfit and it's your birthday...

when you go to crossfit and it’s your birthday…

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3. stanley adventures. Last weekend I celebrated my birthday just a bit early with three of the most fabulous Idaho ladies around. I couldn’t have asked for better women to help me celebrate. Earlier this year (like in May) we committed a weekend in September to Meadow Creek Spa for their slack special as we had been talking about it for years. And it was absolutely perfect. We all enjoyed a treatment followed by some amazing hot-spring time and a rowdy night out on the town. Not surprisingly we spent the next day feeling not the greatest but that didn’t deter us from getting out and exploring in the Sawtooth’s at Alice Lake. A post to follow as it was definitely one of the best Idaho Adventures to date!

the view from meadowcreek spa

the view from meadow creek spa

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almost to alice lake...more on that to come

almost to alice lake…more on that to come

love these ladeis!

love these ladeis!

4. hiking all over wyoming. I have taken a few weeks off before starting back to the grind of school and earlier this month I went to visit family in Wyoming. It was the perfect week filled with sunshine, so many miles hiking and quality time with those I don’t get to see often enough. It was an ideal way to decompress after I quit working. Here is a look at my beautiful adventures (if I do say so myself) as well as a pretty strong reminder that Wyoming is also breathtakingly gorgeous…

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mountains for days

sacred rim in the wind river mountains

sacred rim in the wind river mountains

a hike without a yoga pose is not a real hike

a hike without a yoga pose is not a real hike

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quite possibly the prettiest lake ever

quite possibly the prettiest lake ever

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<3

practicing using the bear spray...

practicing using the bear spray…

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handstands…

bow posing...

bow posing…

bird of paradising

bird of paradising

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5. sway steals. And now for some materialism since I appreciate a good shopping find as much as all this lovey-dovey talk. I bought these jeans Labor Day Weekend at SWAY and am literally in love. I was initially in love when I saw they were only $50 (cheers to Labor Day Sales!) and now I’m in love because they fit amazingly and are so soft and comfortable. Plus it’s super hard to find a cute pair of lighter jeans without looking like you have thunder thighs. As someone who is a die-hard yoga pant/legging wearing person, these jeans come close to that feeling you get wearing a nice pair of lulus…

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6. 1989 (aka best year EVER). 1989 happens to be the year both your #thebrassblossom beauties were born. It also happens to be the year Taylor Swift was born. And this remake pretty much sums up how incredible we all are! #poweryear.

7. happy birthday, cheryl strayed. Even though she wasn’t born in 1989, Cheryl Strayed is still one incredible woman who also just recently celebrated her birthday. Strayed’s work has really touched super close to home this year for me and her words, lessons and wisdom are truly transfixing. So in honor of her birthday, 15 of her greatest quotes were gathered together here. And here is one quote that is really speaking to me now:

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8. moments of gratitude. Maybe it’s because I’m ridiculously nostalgic right now and cherishing every moment of Idaho, family, friends, the boy and Maude Pod snuggles but I am continuously overwhelmed with moments of complete gratitude. Before this year I can’t really ever recall having moments when everything seems to slow and I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the simplest things. Gratitude for just those little moments where you feel complete and like you have all these little happy minions dancing inside of you regardless of whatever is a shit show in your life that day. My one goal going into this new year is to try to continue to recognize those moments and not let the hustle and bustle of life overcome those moments of perfect, little infinity.

love these two <3

love these two ❤

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Cheers to an amazing week and new beginnings! Until next time in Seattle…

taylor brass

brass blossom

best of the valley — brass blossom edition

Every year the Wood River Valley votes on the best of — the best food, the best drinks, the best place to gather or hike, the list goes on and on. So we figured just as ‘Best of 2015’ is hitting print we would come out with our own best of the valley with a Brass Blossom twist.

Here is our 20-something, female-influenced best of the valley! 

DINING

 

 

best taco — KBs

  • famous for their fish tacos, KBs is a Ketchum (and Hailey) staple – the staff is super friendly, the food is fresh, and you can always go for a burrito in a bowl or make your own burrito bowl (add everything minus the meat) which is what taylor always goes for as a healthier option.

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best pizza — ENOTECA or WISEGUY

  • go for Enoteca for a more specialty gourmet take on pizza — insanely delicious!
  • wiseguy is your go-to for take-out, delivery, or a quick slice with friends (they also have gluten-free crust!).

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best burger — POWERHOUSE

  • we often complain that Powerhouse isn’t in Ketchum…the food is fresh, homemade, and inventive, and the price point is manageable.
  • krista loves the classic burger, the chili and the fries, while taylor opts for the oat burger tacos with a large side of truffle fries or two

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best cup of coffee — VELOCIO

  • the baristas at Velocio are geniuses — you can’t find better espresso or foam designs anywhere else in Ketchum! taylor’s favorite is their chai latte’s minus the cinnamon
  • Velocio is also a favorite spot for some studying, work, or blogging — the ambiance is awesome with the big garage door, Baldy views, and contemporary but warm feel.

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best locally-sourced dinner — CK’s REAL FOOD

  • everything at CK’s seems to melt in your mouth…in the best way possible. their ingredients are as locally sourced as possible and farm fresh daily.
  • try the gaucho steak as a great go-to. their gluten free bread is also insane…

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best “mom-friendly” brunch — CRISTINA’S

  • Krista worked at Cristina’s for 7 years as a hostess, waitress, and “counter girl,” which would be enough to put anyone off of the food of any restaurant for life…not in the case of Cristina’s — the food is just that good. Cristina is a famous cookbook author, chef to the celebs, and quintessential Italian, and her charming salmon colored house is the place of culinary dreams come true…
  • try the chicken milanese sandwich, the San Francisco airport salad, the burrata caprese, or the super thin crust pizzas…YUM! sunday brunch brings lots of delicious sweet breads and weekly specials.

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best “last night was aggressive” brunch — THE KNEADERY

  • at that moment when you realize, “ugh, I went to the casino last night,” you immediately think of breakfast at the Kneadery. the Kneadery is owned by the same family as The Pioneer, and it shows — it is a well oiled machine, which is great when all you need is coffee, water, sprite with a straw, and corned beef hash in your belly asap…

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best sandwich — BIGWOOD BREAD

  • Bigwood Bread is taking over…in the best sense possible. they have two café locations and ship their delicious breads all over the state of Idaho.
  • krista’s favorite is the Cilantro Lime Salad…if gluten was a better friend, it would be a Reuben every time…Taylor opts for the Baldy Power Bowl every time.

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best bar — THE CELLAR PUB

  • this is the true local watering hole. whether your in the mood for a cold Budweiser or feeling a little classier and hankering for a martini or greyhound, the super freindly and funny staff at The Cellar will take care of you
  • they also serve food later than others in town — up until a shocking 9:30 p.m. the Ahi Tuna Salad features the same sushi grade ahi that the owners provide to their other restaurant, Sushi on Second. Taylor loves the Vegetarian Burger as the non-meat options are slim pickings…

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best wine selection — WINE COMPANY

  • if you’re going for class and want a classy bottle of wine, the Wine Co. is your best friend — sample some for yourself and treat yourself to a delicious antipasto platter. they have a great deck in the Summer or a warm and sunny Winter day and a cozy fireside in the Winter.

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best beer — LEFTY’S

  • when we first moved back here, the boys could be found at Lefty’s essentially every night. they have the tall glass “big beers,” and you know you’re a local when you get your own Lefty’s mug that hangs on a hook form the ceiling.
  • they serve a variety of beers on tap, ciders (Stella’s new cider is a great, gluten-free Summer option), and Omission (the best Gluten Free beer), and check out their monkeys and wings for a great “pairing.”

best cocktail — THE CORNERSTONE 

  • the Cornerstone is where you go for a cocktail that doubles as a work of art…they use inventive ingredients, and the result is always delicious. Cornerstone is the home of the ginger margarita and the best dirty martini in town…

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best caterer — THE HAVEN

  • we clearly love The Haven. my god is it delicious! Kellee will elevate any gathering your have with her homey, delicious catering. during a crazy Christmas season last year, Krista’s family enjoyed mac-n-cheese, winter salad with kale, spinach, brussels, squash, goat cheese, and nuts, pigs in a blanket, chicken, the list goes on…you can’t go wrong with some snack from The Haven!

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best date night — ENOTECA

  • we cannot get enough of Enoteca. it’s always packed, so make a reservation, or try your luck at snagging a couple spots at the bar. the ambiance is amazing — compliments of Jennifer Hoey design and our very own Abbey, and the price point is perfect for a cozy yet affordable date night.
  • definitely taste the burrata, the brussels, the duck confit, the mac-n-cheese if you’re pants are feeling loose and any of the pizzas. for dessert, we recommend the affogato. also, we can’t forget about the wine…their friendly and knowledgable staff will help you make the best choice for your dinner and also taste anything you’d like. and top it off with one of their incredible espressos for post-dinner.

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best slack special — RICO’S AUTHENTIC ITALIAN

  • you may have to ask for the menu and details…but Rico’s has the best slack special in town with a glass of wine or beer, a small salad or cup of soup, and a lasagna, spaghetti, or individual two-topping pizza for just $10. you can’t beat that! definitely the best place for a last minute book club sesh.

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best sushi — ZOU 75

  • you may not think that sushi and a landlocked state would go well together…but in all honesty, Zou 75 has the best sushi we’ve ever tasted, anywhere.
  • try the South Valley roll, “D” style (after our friend Derek, their incredible and inventive executive chef), the tiger rolls, the beef tetaki, and an all-time favorite, the tuna tartar.

best affordable ethnic food — RICKSHAW

  • Rickshaw is best enjoyed family style, and they serve a delicious lunch on Fridays as well. go for the house red for a solid, affordable pour, and order away — you can’t go wrong!
  • we especially love the bok choy, papaya salad, green curry chicken, dan dan noodles, and …everything else!

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best not-so affordable ethnic food — GLOBUS

  • globes offers fantastic asian food in a sophisticated setting. their pad thai and curry dish are classics, the brussels are way too good to be true, and their gluten free calamari is soooo yummy. taylor gets the green thai curry every time despite being slightly allergic to eggplant (a non-substitutable ingredient). it’s that good. this is a great place for family style as well, as there are plenty of small plates to share.

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best “i’m 20-something & semi-broke” dinner — PIONEER

  • the saying is that “if you haven’t been to the Pioneer, then you haven’t been to Ketchum.” we’ll back this up. not only is it a Ketchum establishment, it is an ever-popular and truly delicious steakhouse. the best deal in town is likely the Jim Spud — a fully loaded baked potato with pieces of sirloin inside of it…it’s also about the size of your face.
  • their salads are fresh and satisfying, the artichokes are always tender, and we’re still trying to figure out how to replicate that rice recipe. and don’t forget to try a bar marg (which you apparently get a free one with a Magic Lantern Movie Ticket?), and always go for the baked potato! keep an eye out for great discounts like Pio Days and locals specials during slack. it’s always worth the wait!

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best “i need something green after a weekend binge” — GLOW or NOURISHME

  • we live in a very health-conscious community, and Glow and NourishMe is where the true health freaks flock. while both offer great natural products and vegan fare, we love them for their juices and smoothies.
  • NourishMe also carries fresh fava beans, which are Taylor’s go to protein source at the moment.
  • Krista loves the veggie toast from Glow as a great lunch go-to.

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best “i have to hurry back to work lunch but don’t want something processed or fried” — THE HAVEN FOOD TRUCK

  • if you’re looking for a healthy but filling (and crazy delicious!) lunch, head to the Haven food truck at lunch hour. their falafel is to die for (taylor once ate it for a week straight), and their daily specials keep you interested and constantly coming back for more!

SHOPPING

 

 

best fly-fishing shop — LOST RIVER OUTFITTERS

  • both of the boys are former (slash somewhat current) employees at Lost River Outfitters. this shop is a truly local enterprise that offers great inventory and great fly-fishing trips.

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best “i need a gift” shop —  KETCHUM FLOWER COMPANY or THE GARDENS

  • Ketchum Flower Company never disappoints. you can always go in to find a little or big gift for someone. they have great little books, candles, flip flops, bags, jewelry and clothing galore. plus they are located in the most adorable, shuttered, colonial “house”.
  • The Gardens is a (somewhat) newer establishment to Ketchum but just so happens to be fantastic. whether you are looking for a “garden” type gift or a gift for a mother, this is the place to go. and not to mention everything smells delicious in there!

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best place to buy a present for yourself (affordable) — GIRL FRIDAY

  • not only is it the best place to buy a gift for someone else, but Ketchum Flower Company/Girl Friday is the best place to buy an affordable gift for yourself! we have both gotten several clothing items and Taylor recently scored an amazing sale deal on a dress she had been eyeing for months.

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best place to buy a present for yourself (may break the bank) —  SWAY

  • we love Sway and will likely always love Sway despite their price point, which seems to be gradually rising. when it first opened down the block by Velocio we both scored several closet staples…summer dresses, wedding-guest dresses, lace bralets, leather pants, jewelry.

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best place to buy something a little special for that someone —  MADELINE & OLIVER

  • whether it is a little something, something (aka lingerie) for yourself or your special someone or a gift for a bridal shower, this is the place to go. it is like lace heaven…

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best place to buy workout gear —  SQN

  • SQN is definitely hitting higher on everyone’s radars recently and for good reason. they make fairly affordable, workout gear that easily transitions to the Ketchum dress-code of “lifestyle wear.” there “tunic” style shirts and long sleeve shirts are incredibly soft and easy to solely live in.

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best home décor store —  HUCK & PADDLE

  • rustic, Idaho, outdoorsy yet still classy home decor. need we say more?

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best “lust-over” home décor store —  PICKET FENCE

  • and while we want one of everything, our pocket books need to be just a bit deeper for The Picket Fence. but it is still very worthy of some lusting and a splurge every now and then!

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best paper store —  WILLOW PAPERY

  • Willow Papery is paper, ribbon and little gift heaven. we both absolutely adore this store and usually frequent it weekly.

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best locally made product —  SUN VALLEY MUSTARD

  • mustard is where it is at. and Sun Valley Mustard never disappoints. the flavors are spot on and it’s perfect to keep in your cupboard for so many occasions.

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best grocery store —  ATKINSONS’

  • while a majority of our paychecks goes to this fine establishment we really cannot complain. we have one of the finest grocery stores in probably the world and you can literally buy anything and everything you could ever want in one stop. also true to their family values, they have an incredible return policy.

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best local company —  FIRST LITE

  • we debatably lead quite similar lives as the boys now both work at First Lite, after Cha-se recently joined the man crew there. this company is truly outstanding. their product, their service, their dog policy and the way they take care of their employees (and pseudo-families) is something that every company should strive for. we can’t say enough good things about First Lite. also you will likely see us both sporting some new women’s gear!

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BUSINESSES

 

 

best place to wash your dog —  THE LAUNDROMUTT

  • no one likes a dirty dog and they make the deed so much easier (aka no bathtub, mixing bowls and water all over your house involved).

best veterinary clinic —  SUN VALLEY ANIMAL CENTER

  • another fine family establishment in the Wood River Valley. we cannot give high enough praise to the Sun Valley Animal Center and all of their veterinarians and vet techs. they are like a family and help you through the best and worst of times.
  • plus our lovely friend maggie happens to be a badass vet there!

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best manicure/pedicure —  IN-N-OUT SALON

  •  there are some things in life that just make you feel better. having your nails done is one of them. they will do a fabulous job and you wont regret it. there are just somethings worth it in life and this salon is one of them.

best place for a facial or massageZENERGY SPA

  • this picture says it all…

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best haircut/highlights — JOANN AT THIRD FLOOR SALON OR DANIELLE AT MANE MUSE

  • both of these salons and both of these women are geniuses. neither of us are super fussy about our hair and they manage to wrangle our manes for perfect, everyday hair. and this gives an option in Ketchum & Hailey!

best place to go bare —  BARE WAXING BOUTIQUE

  • when it comes to hot wax near precious (or not so precious) patches of hair, you want someone you trust. and lea is your woman for hot wax without regrets.
  • she just had the most adorable baby but will be back in September and I know we speak for most when we say she cant come back soon enough!

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best nonprofit —  THE ADVOCATES

  • the Advocates mission is to build a community that is free of emotional and physical violence. the organization, the support and annual gala are equally as strong as the mission.

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best place to stock up on crafting materials —  JANE’S and KING’S

  • while we don’t have a “Michael’s” (probably for the best as it would eat us alive), Jane’s and King’s provide pretty much anything you could ever need for crafting! taylor has also pretty much bought out their supply of chalkboard pens. they are game changers!

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best photographer —  RAY GADD

  • ray’s images below speak for themselves. he is an extraordinary lifestyle, outdoors, event and wedding photographer. there is nothing that this man cannot capture!

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best pharmacy —  THE APOTHECARY

  • the ladies (and gentlemen) at the Apothecary will take care of you like you are their own family. this is the place to fill any and every prescription!

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best place to get a deal —  SUN VALLEY REAL DEALS

  • Sun Valley Real Deals is our Idaho version of “Groupon.” it’s fabulous and sends you frequent e-mails with local deals! a must sign up!

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best blog —  the BRASS BLOSSOM…duh

  • obvi! need we say more?

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ENTERTAINMENT

 

 

best annual eventWINE AUCTION, VINE AND DINE

  • you pay your entrance to wine and food heaven. about $100 gets you a glass, unlimited pours and a good wine hangover if you so choose. it’s also the Sun Valley Center for the Arts, another incredibly, local organization. Idaho always needs a bit more art and culture…

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best live musicSUN VALLEY SUMMER SYMPHONY

  • the Symphony is brilliant because it lasts most of the summer and is literally whatever you want to make it. you can simply bring a blanket and go horizontal and zone or you can make it into a picnic, extravaganza. the choice is yours but the music, the atmosphere and the views are always spectacular.

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best idaho musicRECKLESS KELLY and MICKY & THE MOTORCARS

  • clearly we love Idaho boys (they technically claim Texas but that’s just absurd)…look them up, become a fangirl (or fanboy), stare at them absurdly in local bars. do it.

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best aprés ski/any sun valley approved activity spot APPLE’S

  • located at the base of the mountain, Apple’s has it made. after burning all those calories skiing (and let’s be real, having your legs burn like hell), a post-ski beer just hits the spot.

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best place to see a movieMAGIC LANTERN

  • pretty much the only place to see a movie but it still is the best! they obviously have great movie theater popcorn and provide strong pours of wine. a winning combo.

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best season — SUMMER

  • there is no comparison to a Sun Valley Summer – dry heat, sun shine, big thunder-busting rain showers, wildflowers and views like this…

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best place to liveKETCHUM

  • while neither of us have techincally lived “south,” we still vote Ketchum for best 20-something place to live. super easy access to workouts, bars, restaurants and all those fun things! we will likely feel different in a decade….

best place to instagramBALDY or VIEWS OF BALDY

  •  yes, this really is a category and no, you cannot go wrong with a Baldy view. another do it.

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RECREATION

 

 

best winter activitySKIING, closely followed by hot-tubbing or eating a baked potato at SEATTLE RIDGE

  • too many amazing winter activities but the good news is that you can literally do them all in one day!

cant beat this view

best summer activity — HIKING

  • there is no comparison to a Sun Valley Summer and hiking to places like this where you don’t see a soul and are surrounded on all sides by untouched wilderness. it is an experience everyone should experience (like every weekend). hiking definitely keeps us sane and wanderlusting.

the brass blossom + pars does goat lake

best lake sceneREDFISH

  •  redfish lake was a close runner up for “best place to instagram” as demonstrated below. redfish lake is literally Idaho paradise. there is sun, water, and mountains that rise straight up to the sky. the potential sunburn

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best gymZENERGY

  •  Zenergy is likely the nicest gym, spa, pool you will ever go to. and for all you nay sayers, they are really making a good effort to make affordable memberships. another do it. we promise there is nothing about zenergy you will regret.
  • they also have amazing classes. from hot yoga that taylor lives for to a barre class with the most lust worthy instructor ever (with a man bun!), you will leave Zenergy feeling like the 50 year old soccer mom just kicked your ass (and that is because she did).

best place to break a sweatSUN VALLEY CROSSFIT

  • in taylor’s opinion there is no better “i have one hour and need to get shit done” workout than Crossfit. literal game changer. #pumped.

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best place to swim and catch some sun raysZENERGY

  • we already raved about Zenergy and this picture proves why. the Zenergy pool is the place to go when you need some vitamin d and self love.

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best weekend getawaySTANLEY and REDFISH LAKE

  • the Stanley Basin is so close, yet such a different world. it might possibly be the most beautiful (along with coldest) place in the United States. when you need to disconnect and recharge head north.

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best tourist activityGONDOLA TO ROUNDHOUSE

  •  the Gondola up River Run to Roundhouse is a more recent addition of Sun Valley and it is a good one. not only does if offer the perfect amount of time to get your shit together before skiing but it also offers rides straight up to the iconic Roundhouse if you choose to forgo the skis, and boots, and poles, and helmet, and goggles, and mittens and handwarmers.
  • one word: fondue.

best after-work hikePROCTOR

  • Proctor mountain holds a special place in Krista’s heart with a beautiful cairn for her father. the cairn sits at a spot where there is literally no better view of the valley.
  • Proctor is also the perfect, quick hike. it takes just over an hour and offers just enough uphill to make you feel like you’ve done something worthwhile.

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best day hikePIONEER CABIN

  • there was this one time that we were rescued from Taylor’s mother while hiking to Pioneer Cabin from Johnstone Creek but other than that, you literally cannot go wrong with this hike. the pioneers, the cabin and the motto are breathtaking and refreshing.
  • make sure to bring a lot of water and maybe leave your doggie friends at home for this hike as there is no water and it is one of those hikes that is all up and then all down. and no, there is no running water in the cabin…

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best place to take the dogs for a walkWARM SPRINGS DOG PARK

  • the picture says it all…dog heaven. #reincarnation?

best place to take the dogs for a swimSUN VALLEY POND

  • while we frequent the Hulen Meadows Pond quite often and it offers a different vantage of Baldy, the Sun Valley Pond gets our vote for the best doggie swim spot because it is safe and you know what you are going to get. Sun Valley dogs literally have the best life ever…

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best deck — LEFTY’s

  •  maybe the boy’s are onto something always hanging out on the Lefty’s deck…it wins for the best deck in town with plenty of both sunshine and shade, good drinks and amazing friends – and you can usually find one or two every time you go!

krista and taylor

 

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

idaho adventure — majestic summit creek, a dog’s and hiker’s dream

summiting summit creek

summiting summit creek

Taylor and I often wish we could be paid to do the things we love like our fly-fishing guide friends and significant others. While our skills would likely include “drinking wine, reading and yoga,” hiking would undoubtedly be at the top of that list.

While we don’t have any “customers,” the only motivation we need is each other and the great outdoors of Idaho. We never struggle to find another area to explore, and the summit never disappoints.

One challenging combination to find in Idaho is a hike that lasts longer than your post-work grind hike, offers a unique view, won’t result in an ATV rescue, and features water for the smash sisters throughout the trail. Enter Summit Creek (the excellent recommendation of Charlotta Harris, mother of dear friends and die-hard brass blossom supporter).

To access Summit Creek, you drive about 30 miles east of Ketchum to the summit of Trail Creek Pass (a curvy dirt road not meant for the faint of heart or thin-tired vehicles). Park in the first grassy lot on the right side, and head down the only trail in sight.

What follows is a moderate 7-mile hike (there and back) that meanders through meadows, over a creek countless times, across a couple bogs, through an “elephant graveyard” (an avalanche drainage from years ago that makes for an impressive view), and eventually up a grueling .75 mile saddle — trust us, it’s worth it.

The finale is nothing short of majestic. Devil’s Bedstead and the Northern peaks of the Pioneers are all of a sudden directly in front of you, making you feel at once accomplished, intimidated, inspired, and insignificant. Bring a sweater and lots of water for the top. It gets chilly, and you probably haven’t hydrated enough!

We highly recommend this hike. It would make for a great backpacking trail, mountain bike ride (although TBD if mountain bikes are allowed access), and hike with middle school aged kids, as evidenced by Stacey’s notes in Taylor’s hiking book.

The entire trip took us about 4 hours including driving, but Taylor and I feel confident that we could bust this sucker out in about 2 hours (at least the hiking part)…We’ll have to prove that to ourselves at some point.

The adventure ended with two entirely wiped out black dogs (they probably made the hike into a 15-mile hike with their shadowing shenanigans and river otter antics) and the best burger, possibly ever, at Grumpy’s — complete with a gluten free bun and a schooner full of hard cider.

It was a quintessential Ketchum Saturday… Thanks to our dear friend, Cody, and our new friend, Lisa, for accompanying us!

beaver ponds

beaver ponds

dog's dream

dog’s dream

first meadow

first meadow

tay's favorite flower in a pretty purple

tay’s favorite flower in a pretty purple

perfect black dog swimming hole

perfect black dog swimming hole

summit creek

"elephant graveyard"

“elephant graveyard”

the bigger the stick...

the bigger the stick…

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maude pod excited about the summit

maude pod excited about the summit

northern aspect of the pioneers — first glimpse of the fantastic view to come

northern aspect of the pioneers — first glimpse of the fantastic view to come

cody and lisa

cody and lisa

summit creek

summit creek

summit creek

both girls on point

both girls on point

one of many wooden bridges

one of many wooden bridges

bog and a dog

bog and a dog

thank goodness for the creek!

thank goodness for the creek!

the full view

the full view on the way down

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headed back down

the drive back down — beautiful but seemingly treacherous

the drive back down — beautiful but seemingly treacherous

maudey trying to keep her eyes open

maudey trying to keep her eyes open

best burger ever at grumpy's

best burger ever at grumpy’s

schooners full of cider and a radler

schooners full of cider and a radler

krista and taylor

 

brass blossom

weekend love it – eight years, lots of love, summer adventures & kisses

It is officially Summer and I am absolutely loving it. I love the sun, the warmth, the pool days, the tan and the light. To make it even better, the boy and I celebrated a recent big milestone with a fantastic day full of fun Idaho activities and I am lucky enough to be on vacation this week with some fabulous family. So cheers to many more weeks of enjoying the summer sunshine!

1. 8 years. This past weekend the boy and I celebrated eight years of dating. While it has definitely been one of the more testing years of our lives, it has been a year that continually brings us all back to the fact that love (in any and every form), above all else, is what matters. It seems that as life just keeps getting faster and faster and more technologically obsessed, that basic human connection is what actually keeps us alive. So to celebrate, the boy, Miss Maude Pod and I went on an Idaho adventure.

We went on a meandering 11-mile hike to Hell Roaring Lake and enjoyed a picnic, some pictures and a Maude Pod swim or two. We then enjoyed a beer or two at Bridge Street Grill followed by a fantastic evening on Redfish Lake with some incredible friends. Since we played a bit longer than we expected, we ended up eating a bag of Pirate Booty while cooking Annie’s Mac & Cheese for dinner at 10:00 that evening. We were sun burned, bug bitten and starving but it was well worth every second. Nothing says a fantastic and equally romantic day than a box of mac & cheese for a late night dinner. While we were meandering through the woods that day with Maude Pod, the boy told me that he couldn’t think of a more perfect way to spend the day. And I couldn’t have agreed more. It was just us and a sunny day with endless possibilities ahead. It was definitely one of those days when I relished in sweating the small things.

love bugs <3

love bugs ❤ (we happened to find a brilliant photographer along the trail, thank you!)

miss maude pod being such a champion

miss maude pod being a champion

his & hers (aka the boy carried everything...)

his & hers (aka the boy carried everything…)

2. just breathe. Earlier this year a very wise woman, friend and confidant told me that “your feelings are real because you are feeling them.” While this might just seem trivial and basic, her wisdom just hit me profoundly. Needless to say I have had a lot of feelings this year. And at times I thought I was quite possibly crazy for some of my feelings that I was feeling. But this friend helped me in my “grieving” process quite possible more than anything else did with her saying. Because it just means that it’s okay. It’s okay to have feelings and it’s okay whatever they are. Because the fact that they are yours means they are real.

I think that girls quite often get stereotyped for being sensitive or having too many feelings, both of which have negative connotations. When Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls shared this video it reminded me of the fact that “your feelings are real because you are feeling them.” I know that I would (and maybe most everyone would, female or not) do better to just feel my feelings, regardless of what they are and just breathe. And like I was, don’t be ashamed or feel like you are crazy for them, because they are real and they are yours and they deserve to be felt.

3. zinc. Last week Krista and I had a very spontaneous girls night with our friend Rachel. It already seems like the Summer season is in full force with everyone having so many plans so we just made a last minute dinner happen. We went to Zinc, since Rachel and I had never been, and it was fantastic. Everything seemed garden fresh all while being comforting at the same time. And if dinner and the company wasn’t fantastic enough, we discovered the most EPIC camper trailer outside after dinner that we obviously had to take a picture with. I truly admire the individual who totes it along for adventures.

zinc menu - you can't go wrong

zinc menu – you can’t go wrong

salads to share

salads to share

the most incredible flatbread - avocado, cheese & radish

the most incredible flatbread – avocado, cheese & radish

fried chicken - comfort at it's finest

fried chicken – comfort at it’s finest

my favorite lady friends

my favorite lady friends

cutest little notebook i received from rachel

the cutest little notebook i received from rachel – so happy it has my initials as someone already tried to “borrow” it

4. cake. The other weekend I set out to make a raspberry-rhubarb “right-side-up” cake. Essentially I had big ideas of a beautiful layer of cake with a layer of fruit compote on the bottom. Turns out my cake had bigger plans for me and turned itself into an “upside-down” cake while it baked. Regardless of what side up it was, it turned out beautifully and true to rhubarb form, was delicious! Pseudo-recipe coming soon.

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5. the best way to start a week. Krista told me last weekend that the lupine were blooming on Proctor. I literally had instant FOMO (I thank my sorority days for this (Urban Dictionary) vocabulary word). I am such a sucker for when the wildflowers bloom in Idaho. The colors, the smell (even though it leaves me with the runniest nose…so attractive) and the potential Instagram worthiness of the views is just spectacular. So in order to fit in a quick hike on Proctor before I left for the week, both Krista and Rachel joined me for an early, Monday morning hike. Talk about great friends and the perfect way to start a week. We are thinking that this might just become a much needed ritual…

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the biggest mushroom EVER (zoe for perspective)

the biggest mushroom EVER (zoe for perspective)

pretty, pretty lupine

pretty, pretty lupine

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a handstand & a view

a handstand & a view

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6. coocoo for lulu. I recently received two adorable, lust-worthy Lululemon bras from the boy. While he had a bit of direction, he did a fantastic job (like always). While sports bras may not be the most attractive anniversary gift (if you know what I mean…), the boy truly knows the way to my heart. I love Lulu and pretty much think it’s appropriate for almost any and every occasion. Tip for all the man-boys out there, you can never go wrong with Lululemon. Here are the two bras that I will be sporting all summer long.

free to be *wild bra in jazzy white gator green/white/gator green

free to be *wild bra in jazzy white gator green/white/gator green

true self bra in grapefruit/peach fuzz

true self bra in grapefruit/peach fuzz

7. juice. Maybe it’s the summer heat (which I completely adore) or maybe it’s the death cold that I unsuccessfully battled off for weeks and is now full blown and making my whole face hurt but I have just been loving fresh pressed juice. While not the most budget friendly obsession, my body and my mind have definitely been loving the fix. When I am able to sneak away midday for a hot second, I have been getting a fresh pressed “green” juice from Nourish Me that absolutely kicks my fix.

That was until my mom and I stopped by my ever so generous and healthy aunt’s house on our way out of town and she gave us each a to-go juice. Now I wont give away her secret ingredients but it was honestly the best fresh pressed juice I have ever had and I have been craving it since. Getting a juicer, and saying goodbye to my beast of a “Magic Bullet,” is now definitely on my radar.

green juice

the most delicious concoction there ever was

the most delicious concoction there ever was

8. goat kisses. Goat kisses are just about as far up in my book as pugs are. They are fantastic, adorable, much needed and will fill your soul with love, laughter and just plain happiness. There is not much else you need in life.

kisses!

kisses!

Cheers to a sunny week!

taylor brass

brass blossom

oh my, totes ma goats!

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The boy has been wanting goats for quite some time. We happen to live literally in the middle of nowhere and have a lovely barn that usually sits empty (minus all the boats, campers, etc that the boys’ friends drag up to our house for “storage” – I’m still convinced we need to start charging…). So we had what one might call a goat haven. So with the potential of the nicest goat pen that ever existed, the boy’s unrelenting (slightly odd) desire for some goats, the boy’s dad’s helping hand, my mom’s enthusiasm, care and help and my inability to have a backbone, we got goats!

Now let me tell you a few things about goats. Goats are crazy little creatures. Not only do they look kinda funny (hello horizontal pupils?!) they are also so lovable, hysterical, spastic and calming all at the same time. By no means am I a goat expert but after having four little baby goat buggers for a bit over a week, I have concluded that they are wonderful, little, bizarre creatures.

So here is a run down of the newest members of our family and of course a goat load of photos for all of your inquiring minds!

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1. who/what are these goat friends? We purchased our goats from a lovely family in Southern Idaho that we found over the internet quite quickly after inquiring how to buy baby goats. It turns out goats really aren’t hard to come by in Idaho (surprise, surprise). Our goats are Nigerian Dwarf Goat and are bred as milking goats (more on that below). They will get to be about 30-40 pounds of goat fun and hopefully will continue to thrive in the Idaho elements.

Our goat babies are named Lemon, Farrah, Bernard and Zoro. Lemon and Farrah are two girls of triplets and are pretty much like two peas in a pod. That is except for when Lemon is being the head goat and not being so nice. Lemon has definitely been termed the “beez” of the family, while Farrah is quite possible the prettiest and most easy going goat you will ever find.

Bernard was not originally part of our plan, and the boy made another trip just to pick up little Bernard after he wasn’t claimed. We gladly took another boy goat into the pen after falling in love with Lemon, Farrah and Zoro. Bernard got head butted (likely by Lemon) upon his arrival and has a battle wound to show for it. But since then he has fit right in. Word on the street is that he looks a bit like a My Little Pony (future identity crisis?).

And Zoro. Little Z-Man, Z-Baby, Z has become a fan favorite. We suspect Zoro was the runt as he remains tiny. Zoro is such a little lover and the best goat snuggler. He will drink his bottle and then curl right up to you to take a cat nap. We have been nursing Zoro back to life and giving him a ton of TLC. He is starting to show his spunky goat self and can pull off some pretty incredible jumps and goat tail wags for a goat his size.

the goat "trip" our goats came from

the goat “trip” our goats came from

lovely lemon

bossy lemon

pretty farrah

lovely farrah

baby bernard

baby bernard

z-baby, z-man, zoro

z-baby, z-man, zoro

2. what do these goat friends do? Pretty much nothing. We got them with the intention that they really have no purpose other than just being. And it’s amazing. They are just for pure entertainment, companionship and fun. And let me tell you, goats are fun. They jump, play, head butt, snuggle and nibble on anything in sight.

While Nigerian Dwarf Goats are bred for milking, we have decided to likely forgo that whole milking process. Because physiologically there is no goat milk from a female goat (just like cows, male goats don’t produce milk either….) without breeding and without pregnancy (I know, crazy how the world works!). And that just all seems a bit more than we bargained for with our goat friends. So for now they are just goat friends who like to hang out and suck down bottles full of milk.

The boy used to make fun of me for my love, devotion and pure obsession with pugs because he says they have no purpose. But that’s the beauty of a pug. They are just a companion and are there to love you, just like the goats. Now look who has four little baby goats who have no purpose…who is the sucker now?

z-baby playing in the feeder

z-baby playing in the feeder

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mad hops

nibbling on my jacket

nibbling on my jacket

goat versus pug

goat versus pug

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3. how do you get more friends? Get baby goats. No joke we have had so many visitors since getting baby goats. Everyone loves baby goats. We have even contemplated charging a gallon of milk (whole milk please?) to come visit the goats and partake in a bottle feeding.

I mean how can you not love this?

girls love goats

girls love goats

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goat stomping

goat stomping

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goat lover cha-se

goat lover cha-se

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boys love bottle feeding baby goats

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a love affair

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4. do you know what a group of goats is called? No? Neither did we but according to good ole Google, a group of goats is called a herd, a flock or a trip of goats. A trip of goats? Yes, and now we see why they are called a trip of goats because they are just a trip!

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are you my dad?

are you my dad?

5. how the hell do you take care of a goat? To be honest I still don’t really know the best way to take care of a goat. Every time I Google something I think we are doing it all wrong. But let’s be real. Goats have been born since the beginning of time (or almost) outside in the elements without a plush pen with a straw floor, heat lamps, a mineral block, bottles four times a day and nestling cubby and survived. So I figured we can’t go that wrong.

But so far we have been feeding the babies cow’s milk four times a day with homemade bottles made out of soda bottles and a nipple (store bought, people…). And the goats love being fed. They act like crazy, crazy goats and jump everywhere and nibble on your fingers until their bellies are full and they have milk beards. There is nothing cuter than a milk beard on a baby goat. And if you happen to know how to wean a baby goat, I am all ears!

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bernard loving the bottle

bernard loving the bottle

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we might figure out this weaning thing?

we might be figuring out this weaning thing?

6. where do the goats live? Now I might be obsessed and have had a few dreams or two about the goats but they do not and will not come in the house. The baby goats have a lovely barn with a window and a pen inside that has a straw floor and plenty of wood stumps and a nestling cubby to climb on. They seem to love their pen and will sprint back to it. Pretty much every time we go out to see the goats we sneak up on them to spy and they all seem happy as clams. But if you would like to have a goat sleep over you are more than welcome to bring a sleeping bag (and a gallon of milk of course). Think Nativity Scene with an Idaho goat flair.

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7. when is the goat party? As soon as the weather clears up! Come one, come all!

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catching some air

catching some air

i spy baby zoro...

i spy baby zoro…

until next time!

until next time!

Huge thanks to the boy’s dad for helping us create such a lovely little goat haven and a ginormous thanks to my mom for helping our wildest goat dreams come true all while lending the most helping had when it comes to bottle feeding!

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it — summer in full force!

You know it’s a Ketchum summer when it would be more time effective to park at the edge of town and just walk everywhere. Intersections are a joke, and visiting families have officially arrived….with their small children, eagerness and socks with sandals style.

Things are busy busy, but I refuse to miss out — I’ve always had a serious case of FOMO. Here’s what I’ve been loving this last week of June. July, here we come!

1. Giving Back: The Wood River Valley supports more than 150 nonprofits with a combined population of under 20,000 people. That’s pretty incredible, and I’m proud to call this place home. It’s a true community. The Advocates for Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault is one of these nonprofits, and my dear cousin Anna recently chaired their Black and White Soiree fundraiser. I was more than happy to attend and support the worthy cause, and my lovely cousin. She did a fabulous job, and I was so proud of her! The decor was fabulous, the speakers moved everyone to tears and the entertainment was top-notch.

a worthy cause

a worthy cause

the full view at trail creek

the full view at trail creek

my dear aunt and uncle supporting their daughter in style

my dear aunt and uncle supporting their daughter in style

pretty bouquets in bright pink vases

pretty bouquets in bright pink vases

having a little fun...rear view

having a little fun…rear view

keeping with the theme

keeping with the theme

2. Love: I recently had the honor of being a “weekend of” wedding coordinator for a beautiful couple. I’ve always enjoyed event production, and this was a perfect opportunity to “get my feet wet” with a larger scale event (185 people). It was a great learning experience, and the wedding was lovely, rustic, unique, playful,and sincere. Thank you to Ashley and TJ, and congratulations! I can’t wait to see all of the photos of the big day. What a beautiful occasion!

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stunning setting in adam’s gulch

I love this message, their logo, and the overall feel

I love this message, their logo, and the overall feel

3: Big Beers on a Sunny Day on a Shady Deck: With the summer heat wave hitting, nothing sounds better on a summer evening than a cold beer with friends on an awesome deck. One such awesome deck is at Grumpy’s, where you need two hands to drink their trademark schooners a.k.a. “day enders” as the boy likes to call them. We had a great time with family and friends on Sunday. Cheers to many more deck beers to come!

yummy schooner

yummy schooner

goofballs...check out anna's hat

goofballs…check out anna’s hat

4. Cruisin’ through K-Town: I’ve wanted to live in the heart of town ever since I moved back here after college, and that wish finally came true this spring. I purchased this cute Schwinn black and gold cruiser bike probably 6 years ago from PK’s in Ketchum, and maybe had the opportunity to ride it a dozen times between pouring rain in Eugene and too much uphill travel to or from town. Now, I’m making up for lost time in a big way. Every time I get on it, I think of Rachel McAdams in espadrilles in Wedding Crashers, and that sweet “In The Summertime” song chimes in my mind.

my cute cruiser!

my cute cruiser!

5. Fire Pit for Two: Between a hectic, non-stop weekend and anticipation of the even crazier week to come, the boy and I made an effort to have some casual time at home, just the two of us. We mixed some raspberry lemonade margs, cooked some fish tacos, and enjoyed the fire pit in our “side yard.” It was simple, carefree and a perfect way to end the weekend. Also, I am so beyond proud of him for “landing” the cover of The Drake, the most popular fly-fishing magazine.

the boy's photo on the cover!

the boy’s photo on the cover!

fish tacos made with fish caught in Mexico

fish tacos made with fish caught in Mexico

nothing's better than sitting around a fire

nothing’s better than sitting around a fire

go ducks!

go ducks!

s'mores!

s’mores!

6. America and this Flask: I’m so excited to watch the USA vs. Belgium, and I’m so glad Anne Coulter gave us some solid comic material over the weekend. What a crazy, huh? I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN!

'murica!

‘murica!

cheers krista

brass blossom