love it

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

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

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

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

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

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

71brmvoodll-_sx522_

61d-1srrll-_sy679_

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

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

img_1902

(the best pillow cases!)

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

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

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

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

early morning drives

early morning drives

img_4778

img_4788

 

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

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

slightly awkward make a funny face photo

slightly awkward make a funny face photo

img_4876

img_4877

the best viewpoint

the best viewpoint

just a little selfie action!

just a little selfie action!

img_6312

my enthusiasm was a bit out of control...

my enthusiasm was a bit out of control…

thanks to the best roommate / photographer!

thanks to the best roommate / photographer!

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

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

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

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

the BEST find in seattle = juicebox

the BEST find in seattle = juicebox

img_4932

img_4933

the prettiest textures (both new & old)

the prettiest textures (both new & old)

so much wind...

so much wind…

img_4990

view from smith tower

img_4955

img_4968

the most amazing dinner at ernest & agnes

the most amazing dinner at ernest loves agnes

idaho girls love a hemingway inspired anything

idaho girls love a hemingway inspired anything

juicebox round 2

juicebox round 2

discovery park <3

discovery park ❤

kerry park views

kerry park views

img_6523

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

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

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

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

img_6445

img_7237

true love

taylor brass

brass blossom

best of may – mojo, bachelorette mischief, morels & resiliency

May was one of those months where I think I lost my mojo. Jupiter was in retrograde for most of the month but I think it was more than that. All in all it was a fantastic month but nothing quite went as planned…

In the process of tracking down a missing Lululemon Gift Card (for which I probably would have gone to the end of the Earth to find), I managed to lock myself out of my apartment in Seattle wearing nothing but sweat pants and a white tank top and simultaneously kill the battery in my car by leaving a light on (not to be discovered until days later). Thankfully a pizza guy came to my rescue 30 minutes into sitting by the door nipping out with no bra on. And that was just one night.

P.S. You can learn how to jump a car on Google. #modernwoman

Then American Airlines changed my flight suddenly at 11:00 pm the night before I was supposed to fly out and also managed to lose my bag between Seattle and Phoenix. I was on my way to the most fantastic Bachelorette weekend celebrating my favorite dino friend. My bag ended up going all the way to Hawaii without me (seriously sad) leaving me to clothe myself in all of the offered belongings from my very nice friends. And again, naturally I wore yoga pants and a sports bra on the plane so I was pretty defenseless when it came to extra undergarments.

Please learn from my mistakes and make sure when you leave your home to always, always bring keys and wear underwear and a bra and even pack an extra or two in your carry on so you don’t have to nip out to a pizza guy, go commando for several days or borrow what turned out to be a very nice pair of underwear. Also you never give back borrowed underwear. Rule #1 of life.

But enough about my May craziness that seemed to always come back to undergarments and on to the good stuff! Here is what I loved!

1. #dinotribe. Despite not having any luggage for most of the trip and having to deal with American Airlines for too many hours (they were absolute miserable and not at all helpful), the highlight of May was my trip to Phoenix to celebrate one of my greatest friend’s bachelorette party. I also cannot wait to be with her on her wedding day! She was that friend in college who suddenly just appeared like a bright, loving, generous, compassionate, brilliant light and never left (in a good way). She is also my favorite person to snuggle and make pug and dinosaur noises. She is that type of friend.

We spent the weekend enjoying the scorching hot weather, drinking too much alcohol and laughing literally the entire time. Highlights included a run that turned into a two hour adventure lost in the desert, posing with cacti, blowing up giant pool floaties by mouth, strapping down that one friend who had too much to drink on a pool floatie in the middle of the living room to sleep next to a bowl, late night talks, the absurd pictures that were captured and 5 am walks in the sunrise. It was truly one of the greatest weekends where we all fell back into those insanely comfortable relationships we had in college and made some new incredible friends. Love you all!

just the beginning...

just the beginning…

the most beautiful bride to be (& her dino!)

the most beautiful bride to be (& her dino!)

IMG_8703

running with bae

running with bae

we may have been lost but that didn't stop us from impersonating cacti

we may have been lost but that didn’t stop us from impersonating cacti

IMG_8889

my happy place

my happy place

before one of the most fun nights that i have ever had

before the insanity

selfies

selfies

IMG_8924

IMG_8928

❤ my bri bird

IMG_8964

bethhhhhhh

5 am sunrise walks

5 am sunrise walks

2. reading on the bus. I’m not certain how it took me so long to figure this one out. I rode the bus everyday to and from school. I spent anywhere between 20-3o minutes on the bus but never felt like it was enough time one be that one person to dig through their bag and pull out a book and spill the bag’s contents everywhere. But when modern technology meets having a gigantic iPhone 6+ it turns out you can read quite comfortably on your phone!

I ended up reading nine books in May. Yes, nine! One of which was Grey (aka 50 Shades of Grey told by the male character). I figured since I went to Grad School and learned useful and smart things everyday that I could read trashy novels on the bus. And yes, it was fantastic just like the first novels and pretty much word for word the first book. Definitely a great summer read!

41xpSfJm+UL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_

3. home for a break. I started the month off with a fantastic trip home. To maintain my sanity in Seattle I tried to go home at least once a quarter to cram in as many Idaho activities and love as possible. This break topped the charts with lots of friend-time, dog hikes, days of morel mushroom hunting and time spent with the boy and my Maude Pod. It literally couldn’t have been more perfect.

birthday love!

birthday love!

my favorite hiking buddies <3

my favorite hiking buddies ❤

IMG_7115

sunrise hikes

sunrise hikes with my brass blossom boyfriend

IMG_7335

IMG_7338

IMG_7376

a trip home wouldn't be complete without some goat love!

a trip home wouldn’t be complete without some goat love!

4. may morels. During my visit back to Idaho in May, the boy and I spent the majority of two days hunting for morel mushrooms. Other than finding a lone morel hiking last summer I had never gotten into the hunt. But let me tell you, it is one of the most addicting activities that I have ever participated in. The boy and I went with some friends and simply wandered in circles around in the woods for hours and hours with the pups. I now understand the Gold Rush.

The only thing that stopped us both days was when the girls got hangry. Lesson learned boys: always bring snacks for your girlfriends when morel hunting. Wine and cheese would be a great start.

look at this things!

look at this things!

morels!

morels!

IMG_7659

my love bugs + morels = perfect day

my love bugs + morels = the perfect day

IMG_7673

i promise she loves us

i promise she loves us

post-adventures schooners

post-adventures schooners

lovers <3

lovers ❤

5. sheryl sandberg does it again. I was recently asked who I want to be when I grow up? Apparently I’m not grown up but not the point. My first thought was Sheryl Sandberg. Not only because she is a badass COO but also because she seems to just get it. Her recent “getting it” was a Graduation speech she gave to Berkeley. She touched on many things but what got to me most was her note about resiliency:

“And when the challenges come, I hope you remember that anchored deep within you is the ability to learn and grow. You are not born with a fixed amount of resilience. Like a muscle, you can build it up, draw on it when you need it. In that process you will figure out who you really are — and you just might become the very best version of yourself.”

unspecified

6. honey. My one major complaint about Grad School is the fact that it has really cut down on my online shopping. While this is sad and all I think that I will survive, especially after coming across this life changing online shopping app, called Honey. I’ve probably spent a good amount of my precious life searching for promo codes to get discounts or free shipping while online shopping. But when you download Honey it does it all for you! Simply install it to Google Chrome and a little icon will appear when you go to check out! I literally saved 60% off the other day when I ordered some paper invites.

Feel free to use my code to join because it also gives you points to redeem when you share with friends!

Code to Join: joinhoney.com/ref/vloyjc

taylor brass

brass blossom

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

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

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

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

Here is what I have been loving this February!

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

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

poo poo point for some sunshine

poo poo point for some sunshine

early bird gets the sunrise

early bird gets the sunrise

idaho adventure buddy!

idaho adventure buddy!

IMG_2604

IMG_2615

so much snow!

so much snow!

lake serene

lake serene

so excited!

so excited!

IMG_2678

the best way to start the morning

the best way to start the morning

IMG_3341

so much water

so much water

first glimpse of heather lake

first glimpse of heather lake

IMG_3376

hiking selfies!

hiking selfies!

IMG_3427

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!

IMG_0746

IMG_0747

yes!

yes!

IMG_9018

IMG_9019

<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

IMG_2764

casual game of sledge hockey

casual game of sledge hockey

greatest place ever

greatest place ever

IMG_2915

IMG_3047

tricky goats!

IMG_3051

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!

519M5lbusyL._SX344_BO1,204,203,200_

41M6lbNP1wL._SX383_BO1,204,203,200_

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….
Artboard-2@2x

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.

IMG_3493

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the prettiest flowers that i arrived to from my lovely roommate

the prettiest flowers that i arrived to from my lovely roommate

go ducks!

go ducks!

IMG_6856

no lifevest, no ability to steer, no problem

no lifevest, no ability to steer, no problem

IMG_6871

IMG_6893

IMG_6900

new turtle friends

new turtle friends

obviously we went under there

obviously we went under there

IMG_6954

we survived!

we survived!

using the cart escalator!

using the cart escalator!

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

ferry rides & morning light

ferry rides & morning light

new hikes! to poo-poo point...

new hikes! to poo-poo point…

idaho friends in seattle places

idaho friends in seattle places

IMG_7037

the most delicious happy hour

the most delicious happy hour

so much fun!

so much fun!

IMG_7076

i went for the fireworks

i went for the fireworks

IMG_7098

i caught a ball (obvi!)

i caught a ball (obvi!)

hike to rattlesnake ridge

hike to rattlesnake ridge

IMG_7509

IMG_7514

the best friends <3

the best friends ❤

the prettiest bouq

the prettiest bouq

a trip to the seashore

a trip to the seashore

caught it with her bare hands

caught it with her bare hands

seashore selfies in the wind

seashore selfies in the wind

discovery point

discovery point

the best ladies

the best ladies

go ducks!

go ducks!

IMG_7694

loving the scenes out of boys in the boat

loving the scenes out of boys in the boat

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

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

the most wonderful place in the world

the most wonderful place in the world

idaho love <3

idaho love ❤

i couldn't leave without a handstand

i couldn’t leave without a handstand

this lady completes my life

this lady completes my life

IMG_7967

running on water

running on water

IMG_8132

perfection

perfection

IMG_8183

well hello

well hello

i missed you too goats

i missed you too goats

my favorite co-pilot

my favorite co-pilot

afternoon adventures

afternoon adventures

IMG_8242

when you try to clean the car...

when you try to clean the car…

someone loves her goat herd

someone loves her goat herd

my favorite idaho ladies!

pug trumps flamingo (see what i did there…)

#thebrassblossom

#thebrassblossom

last morning walks

last morning walks

my love bugs

my love bugs

<3

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

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

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

the cutest idaho shirt!

the cutest idaho shirt!

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

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

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

IMG_8667

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

IMG_6669

❤ a pug bush

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

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

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

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it – some ups & downs, sweet dreams and forever pug love

The past couple of weeks have truly been a whirlwind of ups and downs and new adventures. I managed to catch a wicked Summer cold that literally flattened me for several days, which was most likely my body telling me I needed to slow down just a bit. So I am definitely welcoming the beginning of Fall and some new and hopefully a bit less hectic adventures.

1. the bouqs. I discovered The Bouqs after reading about it on Carrots n Cake and I am pretty much smitten with their service. The company is an online floral service that delivers eco-friendly farmed flowers within about 48 hours. For anyone that lives in Idaho or any rural area this is huge. And to top it all off, the bouqs are a flat $50 with shipping (or $60 for a large bouq). I just love the idea that the flowers are eco-farmed and they have so much more than just your run of the mill bouquets. Flowers + succulents = winning. Definitely worth checking out if you are needing to send flowers anytime soon or just wanting to treat yourself! 

bqs_nav_logo

IMG_2390

2. idaho dreaming dream-catcher. Several months ago I had this crazy dream/vision/coming of terms that the boy and I (Maude Pod too of course) needed a huge dream-catcher for above our bed. So for several months I searched high and low for a ginormous dream-catcher with no luck. I did have a few hard to meet specifications though: it had to be literally GINORMOUS (like 3 feet in width), it had to be made with good juju (because being made in a factor somewhere in Asia just doesn’t scream good juju to me, sorry Urban Outfitters) and it had to be ethereal. I was beginning to think my vision may have just been a vision that was never going to be reality until I discovered Idaho Dreaming. My vision came perfectly true so close to home with the lovely dream-catcher that I purchased and is proudly making only good dreams come true above our heads nightly.

A full post to come on this beautiful dream-catcher because it is too pretty and perfect not to share the 150 photos I have taken of it…

all wrapped up - i literally couldn't wait to open it

all wrapped up – i literally couldn’t wait to open it

IMG_5103

perfection <3

perfection ❤

3. m + e = oregon wedding love. It has definitely been a summer full of celebrating love for both Krista and I (the boys too). This past weekend the boy and I celebrated one of my best friends and roommate for several years of college marry her incredible man. They are truly a perfect pair and two of the most loyal, generous and kind-hearted individuals I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

The weekend was literally perfect. It was full of so many good friends, good laughs, giant Oregon skies and non-stop festivities. It was one of those weekends that you never really want to end.

IMG_5297

love these ladies!

love these ladies!

IMG_5318

the best "family" around!

the best “family” around!

morning runs with bae

morning runs with bae

oregon skies

oregon skies

IMG_5357

so much love for these two

so much love for these two

IMG_5380

wooh!!!

wooh!!!

#dynasty

#dynasty

so much wind

so much wind

the best of the best

the best of the best

looking hot at cougar rock

looking hot at cougar rock

photo by gina paulson

photo by gina paulson

4. goat friends. If you ever feel like you are a bit low on friends in life, I have some advice for you. Get baby dwarf goats. Literally everyone loves baby goats and baby goats love everyone! The goats have had oodles of visits this summer and clearly they are just loving it…

goat kisses!

goat kisses!

IMG_4866

goat selfies

goat selfies

IMG_4888

no words...

no words…

more goat selfies

more goat selfies

5. smokey, summer adventures. A few weekends ago my cousin came to visit for the weekend and we had a wonderful weekend full of Idaho adventures. And while it was ridiculously smokey, we didn’t let the haze get to us. When we were growing up we pretty much spent some time every summer together either in Idaho or in Minnesota at the most amazing summer camp. Looking back on it summer camp was pretty much the greatest thing ever…our weekend was like an adult version of summer camp with some lake time, pool time, daily ice-cream and board games each evening. Can’t wait until the next time I see this lovely and hysterical lady again!

best cookie ever at the stanley bakery

best cookie ever at the stanley bakery

redfish lake paradise

redfish lake paradise

IMG_4802

6. pug for pres. Trump or pug? I now know who I am voting for…

IMG_4829

7. forever pug love. This past week we said goodbye to my beautiful pugger, Lizzie. It was a ridiculously hard decision but I know that she is in a better place most likely basking in the sun or in a pug snuggle pile. I will forever miss her love with no boundaries and ear piercing bark that only came out this last year. A life without pugs is truly an incomplete life and I hope to one day (soonish) adopt another pugger lover. I love you forever Liz.

IMG_2889

IMG_9495

IMG_3439

IMG_4234

beautiful flowers, a card and wonderful book from the best friends anyone could ask for

beautiful flowers, a card and wonderful book from the best friends anyone could ask for

I hope you all have a wonderful week and make sure to give lots of love to those that are special to you, furry or not.

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it – summer love, letters & luxuries

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

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

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

big idaho sky

big idaho sky

the boy, his camo tie and the future of randolph

the boy, his camo tie and the future of randolph

IMG_3899

the boys :)

the boys 🙂

IMG_3912

duckkkkksss!!

go duckkkkksss!!

picturesque

picturesque

so much love

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

lake view

lake view

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

there is no greater sign than an idaho sign

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

IMG_3931

IMG_3928

IMG_3921

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

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

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

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

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

love me some brick and gold accents

love me some brick and gold accents

this door handle makes me swoon

this door handle makes me swoon

topo map menus

topo map menus

IMG_3956

the best cocktail (the London Lemonade)

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

the veg burger

the veg burger

krista's poutine

krista’s poutine

brussels forever!

brussels forever!

the best deck around

the best deck around

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

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

mecca

mecca

IMG_3788

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2Q==

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

(half) of my lovely dinner dates

(half) of my lovely dinner dates

IMG_4254

IMG_4260

i just love summer nights

i just love summer nights

idaho pie for dessert (recipe coming soon!)

idaho pie for dessert (recipe coming soon!)

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

 

IMG_4268

IMG_3827

Cheers to a week full of recharging!

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it – so many adventures full of love

The past two weeks and weekends have literally been absolutely amazing. They were chuck full of “little things” that make me completely and utterly grateful. It has definitely been a year of highs and lows and right now I am riding a wave of high that I am just hoping continues on for infinity.

Not only were they long weekends and short work weeks, but they were full of so many adventures, celebrations and love. I have been having some pretty serious withdrawals this week but I am looking forward to another weekend full of love!

Here is a look!

1. hiking for life. I spent almost the entirety of the Fourth of July weekend hiking and it just truly amazing. Plus I got new hiking shoes (INOV8, which fit my baby feet so nicely) so that made it even more amazing. Every day I literally (and physically) felt on top of the world from the hiking, views, slightly sore feet, best company around and post-hike snacks and drinks. I am seriously considering a job change to “professional hiker” so if anyone out there has any connections, please throw them my way.

I tipped off the weekend with an amazing Idaho Adventure to what is literally one of Ketchum’s best kept secret hikes with a few amazing lady friends and then followed it up with a hike to Titus Lake with the boy and one of our favorite couples. Lastly, Krista and I did a short hike to detox on Sunday and it was just what I needed to wrap up the amazingly active weekend.

awesome new hiking shoes (i got them from the clymb for a great price)

awesome new hiking shoes (i got them from the clymb for a great price)

IMG_1524

silver lake

idaho friends in idaho places

idaho friends in idaho places

wildflowers for days

wildflowers for days

evenings on silver creek

evenings on silver creek

IMG_3345

fourth of july watermelon, blueberry & feta salad

fourth of july watermelon, blueberry & feta salad

IMG_3387

titus lake

titus lake

love these two!

love these two!

IMG_1563

2. washington love. Ermygawd. Literally the best weekend of my ENTIRE life just happened. I wasn’t sure anything could top my Fourth of July weekend full of Idaho, so much food and amazing company but this last weekend just did. The boy and I were invited to what will likely be the most amazing wedding we will ever go to for two of our dear friends from college. We also did a bit of exploring and I even managed to make it to an early morning Crossfit session for the bride. It was a giant smorgasbord of all of my favorite people and favorite activities all wrapped up into one.

wedding wod

wedding wod

IMG_3620

handstands for love!

handstands for love!

just some crazy chihuly glass

just some crazy chihuly glass

glass bridge

glass bridge

i stole some chalk from some kiddies and got creative

i stole some chalk from some kiddies and got creative

my favorite people!

my favorite people!

the cutest (and best) cookie i think i have ever eaten at 10:00 am on a sunday...

the cutest (and best) cookie i think i have ever eaten at 10:00 am on a sunday…

3. wedding love. Since this last weekend was literally so amazing, it deserves two spots in my Love It. The wedding was truly spectacular. Not that anyone expected anything less as the bride, Gina Paulson (eeekk!), is quite possibly the cutest, most creative and Crossfit, coffee and cat loving person ever. She happens to be the creative genius, manager, owner and soul proprietor (probably?) of Eleven and West. You must check it/her/the website out now.

Since that evening I have been continually flipping back through the photos on my phone in an attempt to relive all the fun, smiles, love, food and hugs. Literally the best night of my life and I didn’t even get married…ahhemm.

gift bags (i know, how cute!!)

gift bags (i might save this paper bag forever…)

IMG_3607

i just cant even…

fairy lights, white chairs and pretty love notes in gina's perfect calligraphy

fairy lights, white chairs and pretty love notes in gina’s perfect calligraphy

so much love for this guy (looking so fresh!)

so much love for this guy (looking so fresh!)

IMG_3666

you cant sit with us...

you cant sit with us…

IMG_3714

so true

so true

is it free advertising if you work for them? coozie and all...

is it free advertising if you work for them? coozie and all…

IMG_3679

i had seconds and then a truck rolled up with these buggers and literally made my life

i had seconds and then a truck rolled up with these buggers and literally made my life

new friend?!

new friend?!

photo booth fun

there is nothing better than a photo booth & sequins

the most amazing couple! so happy for them!

the most amazing couple! so happy for them!

4. national kissing day. National Kissing Day went down on July 6th and there were so many kisses at our house. Goat kisses that is. I captured the boy being loved on / mauled by the goats and thought it was so appropriate as it happened to be National Kissing Day! Too cute not to share!

goat kisses! (please note bernard taking a little tumble in the background)

goat kisses! (please note bernard taking a little tumble in the background)

goat loves <3

goat loves ❤

5. thug kitchen. My aunt originally shared Thug Kitchen  with me and I have been laughing ever sense. I love good clean food and Thug Kitchen is just that mixed with like seventy swearwords and funnies for each recipe. A must read, follow and even cook from for nommy eats and silly times.

51SVCYslQSL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_

6. pretty presents. By far one of my favorite parts of the holiday season is wrapping presents. I just love creating something just as beautiful as the gift. There have been several recent birthday celebrations in our lives and I am still just loving this recent wrap job topped with a fresh flower.

IMG_3505

7. j.crew jumpsuits. If I was to ever categorize my favorite things in life, J.Crew and jumpsuits would be right up there with coffee, 30 minutes of dead silence in the morning, sunshine, beans, Crossfit, Uggs, Lululemon, wearing leggings every day, pugs and green tea. So the other day when J.Crew was having 50% off their sale items, I literally almost cried of happiness that a J.Crew jumpsuit that I had been eyeing for months was only $40.00. I obviously bought it immediately. It was fate. I absolutely adore the fun colors and slightly too big fit (leaves extra room for summer celebrations…).

On another note, the boy thinks this jumpsuit is pretty radical as well. He advised me at 5 am when we were leaving for Seattle, “wooo that is quite a jumpsuit! It looks like it belongs in the 70’s with cocaine!” Why thank you Mr Boy, I really appreciate your compliment? Whatever. I wore the jumpsuit last weekend and just loved ever minute of it but figured since there weren’t any pictures of me in it on the internet that it’s totally good to go for another weekend! Love when that happens! #internetettiquette

c15650c2aca28929f38cf7e7c36d0b48

8. pugs – peanutbutter & instagram. My pug love is never ending so I figured why not keep sharing my recent pugger life highlights…my little pugger Lizzie loves just about anything and everything to do with food. So more often than not when I finish a jar of peanut-butter I pass it off to her. Because when you’re a 13-year-old pug there is no good reason not to lick a jar clean, or as clean as you can when your nose is flat and your tongue is a bit short.

loving on some peanutbutter

loving on some peanutbutter

And speaking of internet etiquette, here is Doug the Pug to teach us 9 things you shouldn’t do on Instagram (unless you’re a pug of course)…take notes!

10300967_700676360017193_8657572330311390442_n

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it – (hoppy) easter

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

Here is a look!

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

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

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

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

the greatest easter basket ever

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

i have to admit peeps are pretty cute

i have to admit peeps are pretty cute

easter brunch table at the boy's parents

easter brunch table at the boy’s parents

succulents & juice

succulents & juice

incredible brunch

incredible brunch

maude pod's new dragon easter toy

maude pod’s new dragon easter toy

easter dinner table

easter dinner table

post coming soon!

post coming soon!

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

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

birthday hat that she tolerated with some serious bribing

birthday hat that she tolerated with some serious bribing

birthday bone!

birthday bone!

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

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

unsubscribe!

unsubscribe!

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

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

bishop + young - spaghetti strap dress

bishop + young – spaghetti strap dress

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

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

map-by-valentina-moriaz

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

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

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

9k=

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

the entrance of the spa at zenergy

the entrance of the spa at zenergy

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

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

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

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

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

butt sniffin' pugs

butt sniffin’ pugs

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

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

pug ride-a-long

pug ride-a-long

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it — the little things

Happy Weekend! It seems like a century since I wrote my last “Weekend Love It.” Something that I love about crafting a ‘love it,’ is collecting tidbits of life that make me happy. So here are just a few things that I have been loving in recent weeks!

1. Being Home. While I’m truly behind the saying “home is where the heart is,” there is something magical about the physicality of “home.” Since the boy came home three weeks ago, thus ending our two month tour of southern Idaho, I have relished just being home. Being home and not being in the midst of the constant fury of packing, unpacking, and traveling has been rejuvenating.

Plus, having the boy home isn’t half bad either. Now our physical home is literally where my heart is…

love being "home"

love being “home”

2. Brain Injury Awareness Month. March is “Brain Injury Awareness Month,” and March 18 was “Brain Injury Awareness Day.” Prior to this year, brain injuries were about the furthest thing from my mind. However, now the growing awareness about brain injuries is something near and dear to my heart. Brain injuries are actually far more prevalent than I could have ever imagined with 1.7 million people in the US sustaining a traumatic brain injury annually.

Kevin Pearce was a professional snowboarder who suffered a near fatal traumatic brain injury in 2010 and he founded LoveYourBrain “to improve the quality of life for people affected by a brain injury.” The foundation has a great Facebook page as well as very “readable” literature on brain injuries. This is just one incredible resource to bring more light to “brain injury prevention, recovery and brain health.”

TBIINFOGRAPHIC-NL

3. Love Has No Label. Every time I watch this video it chokes me up. At first I watched it because I thought it was just skeletons dancing around, which is awesome but it is so much more than that. I encourage you all to watch it and forget about labels in the name of love.

4. Spring Walks. Cheers to the first days of Spring! I am 100% ready for anything but snow and cold. The boy and I have been going on lots of walks, with Maude Pod in tow, negotiating through all of the slush, ice and mud that come with Spring in Idaho. Regardless of the terrain, enjoying the fresh air, sometimes sunshine and Maude Pod going crazy makes these walks quite fantastic. I cannot wait for plenty of Summer hikes.

IMG_8995

IMG_9115

IMG_9252

5. Florals. Maybe it’s because it’s Spring, but I am just loving florals. Apparently Lululemon always has my back because the second I saw the Garden Party High Times Pants I knew that they most definitely had to be my Valentine’s Day present to myself. Hey, sometimes you just need something that makes you really happy. Here are a few other items I am loving (and quite possibility adding to my summer wardrobe):

lululemon - high times pant * full on luon

lululemon – high times pant * full on luon

asos - barely there jumpsuit in floral texture

asos – barely there jumpsuit in floral texture

zara - floral printed t-shirt

zara – floral printed t-shirt

j.crew - spring bikini in floral

j.crew – spring bikini in floral

6. Game Dinner. At the rate I’m going I will most likely be a vegetarian for life. However I have such admiration for those that harvest their own meat. And as winter turns to spring, our freezer is quite full of game meat. So this weekend we had a “Game Dinner” with some sides of greens to welcome Spring and cleaning out our freezers! Obviously a blog post will be coming soon.

romantic floral-themed table

romantic floral-themed table

7. KitchenAid’s New Stand Mixer – Champagne Gold. Along with florals I am just loving gold. Each year, KitchenAid releases new colors for their wonderful stand mixers. This year they released a single color, champagne goldObviously there was no need for any other colors to be released because champagne gold trumps anything and everything. This beautiful mixer tugs on every baking desire I have ever had. I have vowed that I won’t purchase a stand mixer until I have a lovely and perfect fit drawer to store it in, but this mixer just may change my mind…

kitchenaid's champagne gold stand mixer

kitchenaid’s champagne gold stand mixer

8. New Planner. Last year I happened upon a black Leather Desk Datebook from Graphic Image in our local paper store, Willow Papery and fell in love. While I love my iPhone, there is just something about writing in a datebook (a.k.a. planner) that I just can’t give up. I’m a total sucker for “To Do” lists and keeping everything neat and tidy, so my datebook is pretty much my best friend.

Since the beginning of this year was a bit crazy I never got around to purchasing another datebook until like mid-February. I was beginning to feel lost without one so I purchased a random datebook, but it just didn’t live up to loveliness of my previous Graphic Image. Since there are still another 9+ months to go I gave in and ordered this beauty. You can never say no to rose gold, gilded pages and something to keep you sane. I have been happily writing in it each day.

Side note: Graphic Image datebooks are quite spendy for a datebook but apparently if you wait until February they are 50% off. #win.

so pretty & gold

so pretty & gold

love the crisp pages

love the crisp pages

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it – holiday whirl wind

This holiday season has been a whirl wind. Albeit a crazy whirl wind, it has been full of fun, loves and laughs. I generally love a good night in relaxing so I have been trying to temper the nightly holiday gatherings with relaxing “activities” that help the introvert in me recharge.

1. Holiday Parties. Even though I’m definitely more of a home body, I have loved all of the recent holiday gatherings that we have been invited to. A highlight of these gatherings was a “kids” holiday party that two wonderful ladies that I grew up with threw. Everything from the table setting (with touches of gold!), the food and wine were perfect.

We topped off the night playing quite possibly the most dysfunctional game of charades ever. The theme of celebrities was very loosely followed and everything from people at the party to Harry Potter was acted out several times. Charades + “kids” party + bottles of wine + cute dog = amazing time had by all.

Although it sounds corny, I am so thankful to be surrounded by such incredible friends and family!

IMG_7945

holiday alumni party for the school krista & i attended

 

"kids" holiday party table setting

beautiful “kids” holiday party table setting

nom nom dinner

nom nom dinner

IMG_1121

best aeoli maker around and the perfect depiction of the night2

2. Family, Friends & more Friends. The boy’s mother has always said that Thanksgiving is her favorite holiday since it focuses on bringing everyone together. I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment and have loved spending the recently chilly nights with family and friends.

Plus I received an incredible, new camera (from my generous parents), so family and friends have made for the perfect test shots!

love these two!

love these two!

friends & barney

friends & barney

no words

no words

3. Holiday Cards. I love receiving holiday cards from friends near and far. Our fridge is plastered with them along with old wedding invites and save the dates. I love seeing such cheer every time I look at the fridge!

This year I ordered the our holiday card from Shutterfly, which always has amazing holiday coupon codes. Our cards came wrapped up in a bright orange box and were just as I ordered! I wrapped red and white twine around each card (for the hand deliveries) and added a holiday stamp on the back and envelope for a touch of DIY.

Happy holidays from the boy, Miss Maude and I!

essentials

holiday card essentials

IMG_7821

coming soon to a mailbox near you

coming soon to a mailbox near you

4. Freezing Ski Days. Bald Mountain (more commonly known as “Baldy”) is our local ski resort that is quite literally in town. Growing up I took for granted the convenience of the mountain that provided endless days of fun.

This weekend I took advantage of a day pass that I can request from work and headed up to ski with friends. To be perfectly honest, I am much more of a “spring skier” when the weather is around 40 degrees and you can get a tan. So with the recent average of 10 degrees, I bundled up and put hand warmers in every space possible to enjoy a few runs.

I always forget how strenuous and incredible fun skiing is. I am making it a priority to go more often this Winter!

cant beat this view

cant beat this view – it was too cold to be gloveless for any other pictures!

5. Holiday Baking. I love baking but I really love holiday baking. I volunteered to bring dessert to all of our recent holiday gatherings. With so many festivities and Christmas I was limited on time so I made sure to keep the desserts as simple as possible.

A quick look below! Gingerbread brownie recipe coming soon!

apple spice cake with a cream glaze & fresh cranberries

apple spice cake with a cream glaze & fresh cranberries

cranberry-raspberry upside down cake

cranberry-raspberry upside down cake

gingerbread brownies

gingerbread brownies

6. Marathon Movies. Anyone who is a Harry Potter fan already probably knows, but there was an epic Harry Potter marathon on ABC Family this weekend. I happen to think movies are just that much better when they are on TV. I intermittently watched from start to finish and enjoyed every second of the Harry Potter mania!

Even the boy got addicted and refused to unload the dishwasher so he could watch. He is lucky I love Harry Potter…

hogwarts christmas

hogwarts christmas – so magical (pun intended)

taylor brass

brass blossom