love

wednesday ramblings – just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean you can’t be it

It’s been quite a while since I have blogged. I have been busy with school, trying to make the most of my last couple of months in Seattle and in general, just living life. But whenever I feel like everything is starting to spin out of control, I always return to “The Brass Blossom.” I feel like it is a space where I feel safe, but I also feel like I can stretch my wings. Writing a blog post always makes me feel both grounded and empowered all at the same time. So I return to the trust worthy BB this week to share some thoughts….

This week has just been one of those weeks. I have felt like I was just in a funk. Being in Grad School at the ripe age of 27, I feel like I am just in the wrong place, at entirerly the wrong time in my life. Even though I always try to focus on the present and how “comparison is the thief of joy,” sometimes I just want to give into comparison and by like, “you win!” I see everyone else getting married, getting lady boss jobs, having babies and in general, just kicking ass in life, while I am over here like, what pages do I need to read for economics?

To add to this funk, my best of friends from Idaho are all going to the women’s march this weekend in Boise. I just felt left out and sick of being away. It didn’t help that Seattle decided that this week would be the prime time to start torrentially raining again and I just feel stuck. Both physically in the rain and in Seattle but also mentally.

I also happened to actually be stuck on the bus when all of this came crashing down on me. I was talking to my mom and she asked if something “happened.” I couldn’t even say yes. There wasn’t just one thing or even really a thing. It was just a bunch of stuff. So naturally when she asked if I was okay, I started crying and then it got awkward because I was having a minor public meltdown on a very public bus. And the girl behind me wouldn’t stop staring. This was probably due to the fact that I also chose the one sit that is perpendicular to all of the others and is smack dab in the middle of the bus, because apparently it is the safest. So I just rode it out. The tears, the stares, which probably weren’t even stares but just poor bus seating. But hey, at least I was in the safest spot. It was just a no good, very bad, but really in the scheme of things, not so bad moment. Disclaimer: this is why you don’t have personal conversations on the bus, so you don’t appear to be unstable.

But then later, an amazing friend inspired me. She inspired me out of my funk and inspired my weekend. She proposed that this weekend we celebrate all of the things that women can do. Regardless of your political stance, or what you think about e-mails, health insurance or who to tax, one thing that I hope all women can agree on is that this election was discouraging for at least one reason. That one reason alone is that a woman still is not and cannot be the wholly President of the United States of America. You can’t be what you can’t see.

So as someone who is generally pretty lady boss focused and a results oriented person, I think that celebrating all that I can be is a pretty fine way to turn around my week. I can celebrate wanting to be a lady boss and achieving that. I can celebrate buying a tweed blazer with fantastic elbow patches to one day wear to a board meeting to lean in. I can celebrate drinking whiskey. I can celebrate my body for what it can do, not what it looks like. I can celebrate crushing it at Crossfit. I can celebrate being independent but also being encouraged – by a family, a boyfriend and friends that encourage me to my highest potential. I can celebrate growing up in a home that didn’t solely define gender roles and limit that very potential. I can celebrate choosing to have children or not. I can celebrate reading a health law book just before finishing my trashy romance novel. I can celebrate choosing a career, whether it be a CEO or a calligrapher. I can celebrate that I am intelligent, athletic, strong, motivated and maybe, even witty. And I can celebrate me.

So I encourage you this weekend to celebrate the things that you can do, regardless of your gender. Don’t focus on the funk (or the flu as it is going around like wild-fire – stay healthy people!). Focus on the future and what we can do. And as I’m walking my own walk and talking my own talk, remember, especially all you boss ladies out there, that just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean you can’t be it.

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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!)

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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

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my happy place

my happy place

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

before the insanity

selfies

selfies

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❤ my bri bird

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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!

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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 ❤

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sunrise hikes

sunrise hikes with my brass blossom boyfriend

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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!

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my love bugs + morels = perfect day

my love bugs + morels = the perfect day

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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.”

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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

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! 

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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

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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.

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love these ladies!

love these ladies!

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the best "family" around!

the best “family” around!

morning runs with bae

morning runs with bae

oregon skies

oregon skies

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so much love for these two

so much love for these two

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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!

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goat selfies

goat selfies

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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

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

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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.

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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

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the boys :)

the boys 🙂

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duckkkkksss!!

go duckkkkksss!!

picturesque

picturesque

so much love

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

lake view

lake view

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

there is no greater sign than an idaho sign

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

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

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

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

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

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

love me some brick and gold accents

love me some brick and gold accents

this door handle makes me swoon

this door handle makes me swoon

topo map menus

topo map menus

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the best cocktail (the London Lemonade)

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

the veg burger

the veg burger

krista's poutine

krista’s poutine

brussels forever!

brussels forever!

the best deck around

the best deck around

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

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

mecca

mecca

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(half) of my lovely dinner dates

(half) of my lovely dinner dates

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i just love summer nights

i just love summer nights

idaho pie for dessert (recipe coming soon!)

idaho pie for dessert (recipe coming soon!)

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

 

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Cheers to a week full of recharging!

taylor brass

brass blossom

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)

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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

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fourth of july watermelon, blueberry & feta salad

fourth of july watermelon, blueberry & feta salad

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titus lake

titus lake

love these two!

love these two!

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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

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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…)

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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!)

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you cant sit with us...

you cant sit with us…

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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

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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!

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taylor brass

brass blossom

a thousand thank yous

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A thousand thank yous. A million thank yous. A billion thank yous. A thank you from the bottom of my heart, my soul, my wishes and my dreams to each and every one of you for your thoughts, your prayers, your blessings, your support, your metaphysical and medical genius and your unwavering love. A thank you for everything.

I intermittently find time slowing and I relish in those moments, those moments where everything is relatively perfect. Those moments where I am flooded with gratitude, gratitude to be able to take a deep breathe that fills the depths of my lungs, my heart and my soul. To not feel that at any moment I’m on the verge of hyperventilating because it is all just too much.

Because now there are still things that seem like too much, but it is all relative. Life is relative. I hate when people say (usually to me when I’m spinning at 1,000 miles per hour about something incomprehensible to them) to “not sweat the small stuff.” But I encourage you—sweat the small stuff, but keep it relative. Sweat the A- grades, sweat the dirty floors, sweat the spilled milk. Because if you are sweating the small stuff, you are blessed at that moment, blessed that there is no accident, no coma, no pneumonia, no feeding tubes, no hell to sweat. Because the small stuff means you are alive and full of life and love and things are going pretty peachy. Sweat the small stuff and breathe deeply with gratitude and thanks for those little perfect (and sometimes imperfect) moments each day.

Those perfect moments. Those moments when I feel like I am spinning along with the axis of the world, along for the ride again. Those moments like when I am sitting at our dining room table eating a bowl of soup, while the boy is off partaking in outdoor activities and I receive a text from him letting me know he is on his way home and asking if I need anything. It’s perfect. It’s absolutely, scream to the hills, insert swear word for emphasis, perfect that I still receive those texts, those little check-ins, those times when you know there is someone out there thinking of your wants, your needs or the dwindling supply of goat milk.

Those moments like when the boy, our families or I again come across a little card, a sweet note or a message of “keep putting that one foot in front of the other” from the past several months. It is perfect. It is perfect knowing that even in the deepest, darkest of times we are cradled in a ginormous hammock of love from friendship, family and community near, far and long lost. A hammock whose strings stretched further than I ever thought possible and supported the weight of our world.

Those moments like when the boy is driving and Miss Maude Pod has her head resting on the center between the two front seats, music is blasting, the windows are down and we are driving back into the valley. It is perfect. The physical beauty captures us but also the beauty of a community engulfs us. It protects us. A community that never wavered, never faltered and helped put the light back in our eyes and made it all seem doable. Those moments when you know this is home. This is where you are meant to be at that very single moment.

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It was all of you. From the extraction team, to the Emergency Care team, to the life-flight, to the trauma doctors and medical team, to the ICU nurses (especially to that one night nurse), to the hospital employees that became our friends, to our families near and far that were always close to our hearts, to the friend who reached out from elementary school with a book recommendation, to the guy who gave me a box of tissues after passing me several times crying hysterically in the stairwell, to the transport team, to the people who got outdoors for the boy, to the friends that shoveled and made us food, to the Pulmonologist that always just stopped by to say hi and talk, to the best friends that were just there no matter what, to the long term physical therapy team, to the security guard, to the coworkers who are more than just coworkers, to the rehabilitation team (especially to that one therapist who wouldn’t let us rot indoors), to everyone that took care of Maude Pod, to the nurses that put up with the never ending jokes to the brilliant and most importantly caring doctors that aided in every step of the way, to each and every friend, family member, well-wisher and to the Wood River Valley Community, it was you. It was you that cradled us, pushed us and gave us endless love, support and shoulders to cry on and ears to listen to us, it was you that helped us back to a world that has light, that has meaning, that has hopes and wishes and dreams. And there will never be enough thank yous for that.

Now don’t get me wrong. The boy is pretty spectacular to say the least in my likely biased opinion. But in my eyes it wasn’t a miracle. Not one ounce of the strength that bubbles inside him and his indomitable will that was fortified by the overwhelming support he and all of #teamcasey received was sourced from a miracle. He did the work, but you all did the supporting. You supported in a way that I hope to one day spread further and further into the world. Because to me, to us, to #teamcasey that support makes everything okay and doable. And it was you, each and every one, that I thank for allowing me to have gratitude, thanks, laughter, tears, deep breathes, small stuff to sweat in those moments in life when everything slows and you know it, everything, life is relatively perfect.

A thousand thank yous. A million thank yous. A billion thank yous.

all my love

brass blossom

weekend love it – globe trotting & gratitude

I have super exciting news. Like take a seat news. I am off to Okinawa, Japan. Yay!! I slightly hinted about my upcoming travels in my last weekend love it (because I just couldn’t resist) and have pretty much been thinking and talking about Japan since I booked my ticket.

Spontaneous would likely never be a word anyone would use to describe me. But when my aunt invited me to tag along to Okinawa with her and my cousin I just couldn’t say no. One thing that I have come to terms with this year (and not willingly) is that life keeps keeping on regardless of if you are on board. Four months ago I imagined I would be prepping binders and color-coded folders for grad school and not jet setting off to Japan for the vacation of a lifetime. But life happens. I don’t know if I will ever go as far to say I’m blessed to have experienced what has happened thus far in 2015 but I will say that I am gracious. I am gracious for my current status, mindset, physical location and supposed projected course in life.

So with that exciting news out of the bag, here is what I have been loving!

1. globe trotting – okinawa, japan. Japan has not once ever been a destination that I have thought about going to. But after doing a bit of research, I literally cannot wait to touch down in Okinawa. Something else that I am looking forward to is just checking out and enjoying what our travels have to offer. I have downloaded several books, packed my bag and am just along for the ride at this point. Plus sitting on a beach with incredible company and a view that is worthy of a postcard won’t be half bad either.

A post-travel blog post will definitely be in order!

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2. yoga girl. One of my good friends who is not only brilliant but also beautiful on the inside and outside recommended that I read (and stalk) Yoga Girl by Rachel Brathen after reading my last post. This friend has also been dealt her fair share of “wtf life” and come out on the other side with such an amazing soul and outlook on life (and she isn’t just all rainbows and sunshine either, which I just so appreciate, she is real life). So when she recommended this book and that I checkout Rachel Brathen on Instagram, I knew it had to be good. Maybe it’s the yoga and all the gratitude speaking but it felt like one of those signs from the universe pointing me to exactly what I needed.

So after a probably not so healthy stalking of Yoga Girl’s Instagram I ordered her book. I have thus far loved following Rachel Brathen on Instagram and reading her blog and cannot wait to dive into her book on the plane. Go follow her on Instagram (if not only for some amazing pictures) for some self love and restoration because everyone needs it at one time or another.

yoga girl by rachel braken

yoga girl by rachel brathen + white vacation nails

3. bikini. Growing up swimming competitively I have a true appreciation for swimsuits. I searched for the perfect bikini for my travels and at the last minute came across this beautyI had never heard of Khongboon Swimwear before and discovered them on Instagram (by far my favorite form of social media). I was immediately smitten by the style of their suits and the fun patterns. Think Mikoh bikinis + amazing patterns at half the price.

Unfortunately the bikini I ordered didn’t arrive in time for my trip, but a trip to Japan can simply not be ruined by a bikini. And perhaps it was for the best though as I was e-mailed just after my order shipped that the bikinis run about 1/3 size small. An exchange may be in order but I plan to wear this suit (if all goes swimmingly – pun intended!) at the pool and lake this summer.

khongboon swimwear - nerja bikini

khongboon swimwear – nerja bikini

4. four five seconds. I cannot tell you why I really like this song. I cannot even tell if I’m even embarrassed that I listen to it on repeat and don’t even know what the song means. It’s just one of those songs that resonates with me and makes me car dance and sing in a way that I should be embarrassed about. Cheers to having a guilty pleasure every once in a while.

Also I’m still confused about what part Paul McCartney plays in the song…

5. balayage. As a natural brunette I have never felt that there is much I could do with my hair without losing it’s natural color. That is until I heard about balayage. Balayage just confirms that blondes aren’t the only ones that can have fun. So I decided to drink the cool-aid and got the most fantastic, hand-painted color in my hair last week by Danielle at Vertu. For anyone looking for a little change without huge commitment I highly recommend balayage!

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waiting in the chair

balayage

balayage

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so many hair pictures

6. spring time sunny hikes. Most people love Sun Valley, Idaho for the winters. There are literally so many snow-filled activities. But I just love the summers. I would love Sun Valley summer all year long and I understand this probably offends many. One of my favorite parts about Summer is hiking. A dirt trail to somewhere breathtaking (since mostely everywhere in Idaho is breathtaking), some people or dog company and the tranquillity that comes with immersing yourself into full on wilderness (ish) is something that is difficult to beat.

I have enjoyed several hikes recently but perhaps my favorite was one that took us off trail in the general direction that we wanted to go with spectacular views of Baldy. When he summited (makes me feel like a badass to say that) we took a hot second to enjoy the view and snap a few pictures. Channeling my inner yoga girl I decided yoga on a mountain was necessary and took a hand stand. Obviously it went on Instagram and then it was miraculously retweeted by Visit Sun Valley. Cue fifteen minutes of fame.

hiking up the backside of taylor canyon

hiking up the backside of taylor canyon

maude pod posing like a good girl

maude pod posing like a good girl

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love these ladies!

love these ladies!

yoga on a mountain

yoga on a mountain

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my fifteen minutes of instagram fame

pugger walks

pugger walks

proof my pug can actually walk by herself

proof my pug can actually walk by herself

love bugs

love bugs

I am off to enjoy my travels now but I wish you all a wonderful weekend and week!

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.”

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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.

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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

sending love

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Thus far 2015 has been a year (enter choice swear word…). A year full of raw emotions and simultaneous tears and smiles. As some of you may know my “boy” suffered a critical injury at the beginning of January. And while he is doing spectacular, and it will be A Positive Tale, it has needless to say been a rough year.

However in the midst of it all, when the road to recovery began to seem just the more manageable, “The Brass Blossom” officially turned one. So on February 9, Krista and I celebrated. It wasn’t necessarily the popping bottles, dancing on the table type of celebration you might imagine, but it was perfect. We went to a comforting and indulgent lunch at Cristina’s, split a glass of champagne and just talked.

It was a day that obviously marked a milestone for us. Over the last year we have poured our hearts, souls and Martha Stewart crafty selves into this blog. What started as an outlet in the middle of winter to surround ourselves with pretty things has become a part of us. It is something that we genuinely love and keeps us going in the toughest of times.

And during this tough, frustrating, yet remarkably hopeful time, one thing we knew that we wanted to do was send some love. Because regardless if it is two days or 15 days after Valentine’s Day, it is never too late to send a little love. It seemed only fitting that since our first-ever post was about valentines, we should send some again this year. These photos are a part of that effort, no matter the fact that they’re quite belated.

We will be honest. Neither of us are exactly hopeless romantics — we’re more like realists, something we have always related to in the other. But even realists like us know that in the suckiest of times, if nothing else, there is love. And love has gotten us through the last month and a half.

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So we are back. Or as back as we can be for now given the circumstances to send some Brass Blossom love near and far.

Huge special thanks to my mother or my “Craft Minion” as I commonly refer to her as. She got out her needle and thread and hand-stitched the top of our banner at like 9:00 pm one night. No questions asked. She is one devoted lady and simply radiates love.

Also, huge thanks to our friend Rachel who not only took the pictures of us awkwardly posing but also told us when we looked awkward. That’s a true friend, and we love her dearly.

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We love you all.

krista and taylor

 

brass blossom

weekend love it – memorial day weekend

I hope you all had a lovely long weekend. My weekend was full of being a new “mom,” wellness and taking advantage of the gorgeous weather here.

Here are a few things that I am currently loving…more like absolutely obsessed with in the case of our new puppy:

1. Miss Maude. Last Wednesday we brought home Maude (like Harold and Maude). Maude is a female black lab and the newest love in our lives. She is so perfect and adorable and makes getting anything done nearly impossible! Here are only a few of the hundreds of pictures I have taken to give you a daily puppy fix!

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Maude ready to go home!

Maude's first day at work

Maude’s first day at work

too much BBQ fun

too much BBQ fun

helping in the yard

helping in the yard

ready for a nap!

ready for a nap!

2. Sun Valley Wellness Festival. I was fortunate enough to attend the Sun Valley Wellness Festival this year with my wonderful aunt. Every presentation and keynote speaker that I attended was truly amazing and inspirational. From eating to stress to meditation, this festival covers it all.

The presentation that most resonated with me was by Panache Desai titled “Change Your Energy, Change your Life: Fueling Your Thoughts, Shifting Your Resonance, and Creating Your Future.” Panache was everything from profound to hysterical and at multiple points had us practicing a few “Bollywood” dance moves. Not to mention, he has been on Oprah.

Panache Desai

Panache Desai

The ABSOLUTE highlight of my weekend and most likely year was attending a keynote presentation by Kris Carr. I have shared my love for Kris Carr previously as a featured blog on my Love It – Favorite Blogs. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to listen to Kris Carr share her personal story and quest for “wellness” and to meet her. Not to mention she was extremely funny, gracious and humble.

ticket!

ticket ready!

Kris Carr speaking to a packed room

Kris Carr speaking to a packed room

meeting Kris Carr!

meeting Kris Carr!

3. Hiking/Trail Running. One of my favorite forms of exercise and in a way meditation is hiking and trail running. I am extremely fortunate to live in a place that I can literally hike or run for miles out of my back door. I love to take my brother’s black lab if I am going solo or meet up with friends for a bit of social time.

trail for miles

trail for miles

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Memorial Day Hike with snow still in the mountains

Memorial Day Hike with snow still in the mountains

4. Birthday BBQ. It was one of our good friend’s birthday on Saturday night and we helped her celebrate with fun BBQ full of friends and furry friends. Maude soaked up all of the attention and was completely exhausted by the end of the night.

first family photo

first family photo

drink display with a bucket full of koozies for beer (essential party idea)

drink display with a bucket full of koozies for beer (great party idea)

kale, avocado, pear and toasted garbanzo bean salad (recipe coming soon)

kale, avocado, pear and toasted garbanzo bean salad (recipe coming soon)

Pizza bar to cook on the grill - such a simple yet delicious idea for a large party

pizza bar to cook on the grill – such a simple yet delicious idea for a large party

5. The Goldfinch. I recently finished The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and recommend it to anyone. This book perfectly juxtaposes the sadness yet auspicious nature of life through the main character. Throughout the entire book I felt so deeply for the boy but reveled in his coming of age. This is one of the books that you end up reading until odd hours in the morning and make you late for various occasions just to read one more page.

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I cannot wait to get my hands on anything else by Donna Tartt

Here is to all of the men and women who have given their lives for our country. I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day and had a chance to give thanks for everyone that have selflessly devoted themselves to our country.

taylor brass

brass blossom