miss maude

summer love it – so many celebrations, spreadsheets & cuddles

This summer was absolutely a whirl-wind. I returned to Idaho just in time for prime hiking season and a summer full of celebrating everyone and everything I adore. While this summer was absolutely delightful and full of so much “love it,” I am now welcoming fall with open arms. I definitely filled my plate with far too many activities, travels, work and obligations, but I just couldn’t say no. It was a summer that just filled my heart with so much of what I feel to be home.

When I left Idaho last fall I knew that I was leaving a truly special place with so many people that I just love. At first I felt like I was abandoning all that I love and care for. Abandoning what I define to be myself and where I feel most at home. However as the year past, I realized that going back to Grad School was truly one of the only decisions I have made for myself. Obviously others were in mind but it is something that I am doing for me, for my passions and for my dreams.

I recently came across a quote that just resonated on every level. It defined the mixed feelings of leaving that I have felt the last year. The quote is that “your growth is not an abandonment of others.” I think that all this time I have felt that by growing and changing that I was abandoning what and where was home for me. So going into this last year of school (ever!), I am going to truly appreciate growth and change for what it is. It isn’t an abandonment of others or those that you love or where you call home, it is just trending in a different yet positive direction.

So without further ado or more sappy thoughts, here is what I just LOVED this summer!

so many snuggles. While I love the boy, love my mother and all my family, and love all of our friends in Idaho, I was probably most excited to have (almost) full access to unlimited Maude Pod snuggles. She is just the apple of my eye, the sweetest little girl ever and kinda a sneaky, spoiled gypsy. There is nothing I love more than her snuggles, sloppy, wet mouth kisses and how much love she truly gives us. But to prove I’m not a crazy dog mom, I also documented people and goat (obvi) snuggles too. So much love this summer!

morning coffee snuggles

morning coffee snuggles

getting out of bed is pretty tough...

getting out of bed is pretty tough…

helping mom with laundry!

helping mom with laundry!

i just cant even!

i just cant even!

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my little lupine lady

my little lupine lady

these two <3

these two ❤

post-wedding naps with the boy

post-wedding naps with the boy

goat snuggles!

goat snuggles!

more goat snuggles!

more goat snuggles + the modern day pioneer woman ❤

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my favorite adventure buddy since day one

my favorite adventure buddy since day one

this guy + idaho <3

this guy + idaho + our friendly photo bomber

being a lady boss. This summer I had two incredible opportunities for internships within the healthcare administration world. I loved both opportunities and couldn’t have asked for a better summer. However doing two internships per week in two different geographic locations probably was a bit much. At times I felt spread way too thin but wouldn’t have changed the opportunities for more sanity. That being said, it wasn’t all work and no play, as displayed by just a few of my lady boss mirror selfies…

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celebrating mrs millemann. To make sure we sent off the, at the time, future Mrs. Millemann off in style, we had her bachelorette party in Austin, Texas. As most of us had never been there and they love country, it was the perfect place to celebrate. While at times it appeared it was a frat party and spray tans were sweating off everywhere as it was SO hot and humid, it was truly so much fun. It was a never ending pool party and the perfect girl’s weekend.

To make sure she was truly going off in style, we surprised Krista with a somewhat last minute weekend before the wedding at the Meadow Creek Inn and Spa in Stanley. We hiked to Heart Lake with a golden pegasus, ate way too much cheese, hot-springed, dinned until we were seriously full and tipsy, danced the night away and stayed up talking until 4:00 am. It was ridiculously fun and exhausting and the perfect final celebration!

Cheers, to the now, Mrs. Millemann! (more on that to come…!)

invitations for austin!

invitations for austin!

the frat crew

the frat crew

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you can never have enough flamingos…

no words

no words

again, no words

again, no words

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love this lady!

love this lady!

floaties are obviously a necessary hike belonging

floaties are obviously a necessary hike belonging

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pretty much my favorite place ever <3

pretty much my favorite place ever ❤

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so pretty!

so pretty!

hindsight is always 20/20

hindsight is always 20/20

idaho galore. Obviously no Idaho summer of mine would be complete without some serious Idaho adventures. While I didn’t get out on as many hikes or adventures as I would have liked, it’s the quality that counts. And since pictures say a thousand words…

hiking selfies!

hiking selfies!

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the lupine <3

the lupine ❤

#whitegirlsjumping

#whitegirlsjumping

point proven...

and again!

baldy hikes + champs for a favorite lady!

baldy hikes + champs for a favorite lady!

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the brass blossom does the squash blossom farm

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love this crew!

love this crew!

more stanley adventures!

more stanley adventures!

sawtooth lake

sawtooth lake

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good morning chase & krista!

good morning chase & krista!

some fish, some take photos

some fish, some take photos

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patriotic pie!

patriotic pie!

symphony picnic nights

symphony picnic nights

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moose lake = beyond gorgeous (& straight up a mountain)

moose lake = beyond gorgeous (& straight up a mountain)

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<3

obvi, no adventure is complete without a jumping photo

obvi, no adventure is complete without a jumping photo

idaho rocky mountain ranch

idaho rocky mountain ranch

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gold + jewels. At the beginning of summer Rocksbox invited me to be a Rocksbox It Girl. I tend to be pretty minimal when it comes to jewelry, mostly because I tend to be allergic to quite a lot of it, so I was a bit skeptical of renting jewelry. However, I have been amazed by my experience with Rocksbox. Essentially you create an account and for $19.00/month you get three pieces to wear and exchange at any time. You can also buy your rentals for a lesser price than retail! Every piece I have received as been in perfect condition and they really pay amazing attention to your style profile.

And while I am not one for sales, if you would like to try a FREE month of Rocksbox you can with the code “taylorsbff8”! It’s a super great deal and you can cancel after your first month at no charge. So if you’re feeling like you need to spice up your fall wardrobe a bit, I would highly recommend it!

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(please excuse my gnarly crossfit callus!)

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#lahmanlovebirds. I liked to joke that I was on the “wedding tour” this summer, which is something I wouldn’t have changed for the world. I was so honored when I was asked by my dear (dino) friend Bri to be in her wedding in Vail. After the most incredible bachelorette party in Phoenix with some amazing girls I knew that it was bound to be a ridiculously precious and fun wedding to follow. So I made sure I was done being a lady boss just in time to trek it to Vail to send Mrs. Lahman off in style!

It was the most perfect weekend surrounded by so many friends, love and laughter, almost all of which was captured! It was one of those weekends where you actually felt the love. Not only do Bri and Luke radiate love off of each other (literally, so cute!), but all of their wedding guests and every detail of the wedding showed the many years of love and devotion these two have shared. There could not have been a more perfect celebration for those two so cheers to Mr and Mrs Lahman and love in Vail! (wedding photography by the amazing Teresa Woodhull Photography)

vail hikes/death marches

vail hikes/death marches

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uber trunk selfies!

uber trunk selfies!

love these ladies!

dynasty

View More: http://teresawoodhull.pass.us/briannaluke

i mean it doesn't get better than these two <3

i mean it doesn’t get better than these two ❤

View More: http://teresawoodhull.pass.us/briannaluke

View More: http://teresawoodhull.pass.us/briannaluke

so much love!

View More: http://teresawoodhull.pass.us/briannaluke

View More: http://teresawoodhull.pass.us/briannaluke

my little dino lady ❤

View More: http://teresawoodhull.pass.us/briannaluke

View More: http://teresawoodhull.pass.us/briannaluke

how every good night should end (please disregard my horrific dance moves...)

how every good night should end (please disregard my horrific dance moves…)

#millemannsIDo. I topped off my wedding tour with my ever so loved, brass blossom boyfriend tying the knot. At one point, someone, somewhere during one of the celebrations asked me if I was going to be sad to be losing my dear friend. This thought had never crossed my mind because even though she may be a “Mrs,” she is still my brass blossom boyfriend and I happen to know that I can find the Mr Millemann all day, every day sitting next to the boy at work. So while everything changed September 17th, nothing really changed at all.

The wedding day was perfect. It was surrounded by days of the most rain Idaho has seen in years, like tsunami style. But the actual day was truly perfect. From the welcome party to the wedding, no detail was left untouched and it was absolutely magnificent. While there is no doubt that all of the details were spectacular, my favorite part of the wedding was how much love and support came from so near and so far to celebrate Mr and Mrs Millemann. There was so much laughter and quite a few tears but it was a day that was truly meant to be. So incredibly grateful and honored to call Mr and Mrs Millemann my friends that are family. (more photos to come!)

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wedding week hikes

no hike is complete without champagne

no hike is complete without champagne

squad goals

squad goals

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morning yoga

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typical

typical

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already smack dab in the middle of their marriage!

already smack dab in the middle of their marriage!

cheers to the amazing couple!

cheers to the amazing couple!

birthday celebrations. After a summer full of so many celebrations and just going full steam, my birthday happened to fall after all of it. All I wanted to do was have a mellow day. And while the actual day wasn’t the best, the night before we crashed the last night of Mr and Mrs Millemann’s “mini-moon” in Stanley for a little bit of celebration. You seriously cannot beat Stanley, Idaho in the fall. We had a casual hot-spring soak for 8, then a delicious soup dinner followed by a roaring game of “Salad Bowl.” Somehow the boys won and it was the perfect way to continue the celebrations of the summer.

cheers to mr and mrs millemann!

cheers to mr and mrs millemann!

the most perfect of birthday celebrations

the most perfect of birthday celebrations

casual din for one!

casual din for one!

So now after the most amazing summer, I am back in Seattle, ready to power through, grow and change, without abandoning all that is wholesome and so full of love in Idaho!

 taylor brass

brass blossom

best of 2014

1. Best Personal Achievement – Graduate School. I am extremely excited to announce that I got into Graduate School at the University of Washington for a Masters of Health Administration!

I had been toying with the idea of going back to school for quite some time and decided to apply for Fall of 2015. I kept this decision fairly private but I am thrilled to have been accepted to my top choice program! Although I cannot say I am thrilled to be a Huskie (go Ducks!), I cannot wait to start a new chapter next Fall!

University-of-Washington-MHA

seattle sky line

seattle sky line

2. Best Personal Endeavor  – The Brass Blossom. The Brass Blossom was born last February after Krista mentioned she needed an outlet (Idaho has really long winters). Our blog has become something that I truly love. The process of creating, writing and publishing keeps me inspired and motivated each day.

Our blog has become so much more than an outlet and I am so happy that we actually made it happen. Cheers to the Brass Blossom and my wonderful coauthor, Krista!

"the brass blossom"

“the brass blossom”

3. Best New Addition – Miss Maude. This year has definitely been a year of juxtaposition. My biggest low of the year was the passing of my beloved pug, Lucy. Lucy was my shadow and canine soul mate and I constantly miss her outrageous ways.

The boy and I got little Miss Maude a few months before Lucy passed and her energy, love and snuggles definitely helped heal pugger Lizzy and my broken hearts. I am so thankful to have this crazy lady in my life as her boundless energy and love make every day better.

pug love <3

pug love ❤

baby maude pod

baby maude pod

big girl maude pod

big girl maude pod

4. Best Book – The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. This book is raved about for a reason. Last summer I blogged about my love of the book and recommend it to anyone. It is a wonderful coming of age story that perfectly outlines the nature of life. Even though it’s about 800 pages it is a must read!

The_goldfinch_by_donna_tart

the goldfinch by donna tartt

5. Best Recipe – Rhubarb Upside Down Cake. This was a tough one. I debated between the Rose Apple Pie I made for our Olympics Party and the Rhubarb Upside Down Cake I made for a house warming. In the end the Rhubarb Upside Down Cake won by a landslide.

It might not be quite as pretty or delicate but this cake was by far one of the most delicious cakes I have ever had. The candied rhubarb topping paired with a light layer of cake is what makes this cake so delicious. I could have literally eaten just the top off this cake!

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rhubarb upside down cake

6. Best Trip – Jackson Hole/Grand Teton, Wyoming. Krista and I went with our friend Melissa to Wyoming this summer to celebrate her graduation from grad school as well as her completion of the California Bar. Although it pretty much rained the entire trip it was an incredible and adventure filled vacation.

Despite the rain our outdoor adventures were still breathtaking and we revitalized ourselves with eating, drinking and shopping around Jackson.

grand tetons

grand tetons

7. Best Adventure – Goat Lake. One of my goals last summer was to go on more hikes. I definitely got out and explored more of the local hiking trails. By far my favorite hike was to Goat Lake in the Stanley Basin. This was not a hike for the weary but was quite possibly one of the most beautiful places that I have ever been. A must hike if you are near and up for a ton of scrambling!

goat lake - stanley basin, idaho

goat lake – stanley basin, idaho

8. Best Clothing Buy – Splendid Jumpsuit. My favorite purchase of this year was by far my Indigo Chambray Jumpsuit by Splendid. It was a bit of a splurge but worth every penny. I have worn it countless times and I love it’s ease and comfort. I can only hope that one day everyone will be a jumpsuit convert!

the boy and i last summer

indigo chaambray jumpsuit by splendid

9. Best Beauty Buy – Rodan and Fields Micro-dermabrasion Paste is a splurge but well worth the money. I do not have the greatest skin. It is a combination of both dry and oily and even being legally blind I can see my large pores and occasional zit. However after using this scrub every other day it has completely evened out my skin and done miracles for my overall complexion. Plus it leaves your face literally softer than a baby’s butt.

If you are looking for one product to add to your routine I guarantee you will not be disappointed!

rodan & fields - micro-dermabrasion paste

rodan & fields – micro-dermabrasion paste

10. Best Gift – Antler Hooks. Antler hooks were my go to gift this year. I originally purchased a large hook set for a wedding gift and have since bought another for a Christmas gift. The hooks are perfectly rustic and fit for any home in Idaho!

antler hooks - my go to gift

antler hooks – my go to gift

11. Best DIY – Hula Hoops. My favorite DIY this year was recovering DIY hula hoops that I made a few years ago. Maude Pod was my right hand gal during this DIY. I find hula-hooping so reminiscent of childhood and more simple times all while being relaxing. It is by far my favorite abdominal exercise, which gives me just one more reason to love it.

diy hula hoops + miss maude pod

diy hula hoops + miss maude pod

missing warm hula-hooping weather

missing warm hula-hooping weather

12. Best Party – Girls Birthday Party. My favorite party that Krista and I threw this year was our dear friend Rachel’s birthday party. Our theme was color and anything and everything girly. Nothing can go wrong with a theme like that. It was colorful, lighthearted and the perfect way to celebrate Rachel and the coming Spring!

girls birthday party

girls birthday party

13. Best Supporter(s) – The Boy & The Mom. Okay, okay I know this is a stretch of a “best of category” but I had to include the boy and my mom in my “Best of 2014.”

For the boy, maybe it’s because it’s our lucky number seven (seven years of dating that is), but I think the incredible year that we have both had is in large part due to the boy. He manages to keep me grounded and is one of my biggest supporters. I am incredibly thankful to have him by my side and couldn’t think of anyone I would rather spend 2015 with!

For the mom, I cannot imagine life without her. Although sometimes I question how I am actually her offspring as she just screams spontaneity, organized chaos and fun loving, I am so thankful to have her in my life. She constantly picks me up when I am down and supports me to the moon and back. She is one incredible, kind, hard-working and beautiful woman who is always up for an adventure.

this guy

this boy 🙂

the best woman i know

the best woman i know

2015 Goals:

Last year I made a 2014 Goal list on my iPhone “notes.” I met most of the goals and unlike what is suggested many of my goals weren’t an exact goal or definite. I like having goals that are more long term and abstract that I can work towards daily, weekly or monthly.

I found the below “this year” list on Pinterest today and it inspired a few more goals to add to my list for 2015:

  1. Read 20+ books
  2. Master a handstand and hold for 60+ seconds
  3. Go on as many Idaho adventures and hikes as possible
  4. Establish a new chapter in Seattle (eeek!)
  5. Learn calligraphy
  6. Pick up the phone and call friends and family more
  7. Remember to take a deep breath and go to yoga (preferably hot) more often
  8. Hug someone daily
  9. Increase my personal savings for graduate school…
  10. Eat/drink more ginger

fc2817741fb384e59cef11a0f461f010 taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it — winter treats to cure a cold

Since Thanksgiving I have been battling quite possibly the worst cold I have ever had. I blame my brother who caught the bug right before I did. The past few weeks have been a roller coaster of getting slightly better to only get worse, which I didn’t think was possible. I literally tried everything to get better to no avail.

I finally caved in and went to see the doctor after two weeks and after a few days on antibiotics things are looking up. My only solace that I am not simply getting extremely weak in my old age is that I know several other people battling the same cold. Needless to say I haven’t been feeling super attractive (I could guide Santa’s sleigh my nose is so bright red….), so the last week I tried to focus on the little things that I knew would at least raise my spirits!

1. Jumpsuits. The first time that I wore a beloved jumpsuit was for our first annual Friendsgiving 2013 where the boy slightly questioned what I was wearing. Regardless, I have been in love with jumpsuits ever since.

They are literally the perfect outfit (except when you have to pee). There is no battling with tights when trying to wear a dress in the winter and you can simply slip on one piece and you are good to go! I obviously included a jumpsuit (or two) in my holiday shopping. Here are a few of my recent purchases!

pretty package from zara!

pretty package from zara!

zara "chain strap long jumpsuit" - this jumpsuit is the prettiest blue around

zara “chain strap long jumpsuit” – this jumpsuit is the prettiest blue around

asos "motel pia jumpsuit with plunge neck" - i think i purchased the last one in stock but cant wait for this to arrive in the mail! it was an incredible deal too!

asos “motel pia jumpsuit with plunge neck” – i think i purchased the last one in stock (at an incredible price) and i cant wait for this to arrive in the mail!

2. Gift Tags. While visiting Krista on her first day on the job at Huck & Paddle, I found these gift tags that I just couldn’t resist. I originally bought them as name tags for Friendsgivemas but have since used them for presents!

I believe they are made out of tin (maybe?) and you can write on them with chalk or a chalk marker. I love that they are reusable and that they add a little rustic touch!

reusable tags - perfect for name tags or gifts!

a pretty tag for a present for maude pod!

reusable tags - perfect for name tags or gifts!

reusable tags – perfect for name tags or gifts!

3. Holiday Lights Around Town. One of my favorite things about the holidays is the lights. I love the sparkle, the shine and the wonderful colors and patterns that pop up everywhere. They simply make me happy.

On Saturday night the boy and I ordered take out and then he nicely participated in one of my favorite winter activities of driving around and looking at holiday lights! We made a quick loop with these lights on the route. There are a ton of more spectacular lights but you can’t beat this view!

view from the town square

view from the ketchum town square

4. Quality time with Maude Pod. This last week little Miss Maude Pod got spayed, which was a semi-traumatic event. I cried (just a tiny bit!) after picking her up because she was just not herself. The poor pup had a really rough first day and night but has since bounced back to her crazy, snuggly self.

"relaxing" afternoon

“relaxing” afternoon making messes

maude loves lululemon

maude loves lululemon christmas shopping

5. Early Christmas Presents. Maude Pod had the first present under the tree and to be honest the only present for quite some time. I have no shame. Since pugger Lizzy only wants cookies for Christmas, she is easy to please.

With Maude Pod’s full recovery from her surgery she has been a maniac. She isn’t allowed to be too active or get into any water, which limits any hunting adventure, so we have had far too much indoor play time. She received an early Christmas present since she desperately needed a new toy to play with and distract her!

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cutest bumper i bought at "huck & paddle" where krista works!

cutest bumper i bought at “huck & paddle” where krista works!

christmas came early!

christmas came early!

6. Pomegranate Seeds & Cute Bowls. Earlier this week the boy suggested a pomegranate might taste good to my never ending cold. We happened to have a few decorating our table from Friendsgivemas and it ended up being the perfect treat! Cold fighting tip: pomegranates contain a ton of antioxidants and approximately 50% of your daily recommended vitamin C. Win, win.

Each night last week the boy dutifully deseeded a pomegranate for me to enjoy (he’s a keeper). I ate the seeds like you would eat cereal out of cute little bowls that I recently bought at our local market, Atkinsons’ Market. They were delicious and about the only thing that tasted good to me. Although they are a delicious winter treat, pomegranates are ridiculously expensive here, so I may have to limit this new daily obsession…

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so delicious!

perfect little bowl

perfect little bowl

7. Mat Kearney – “Coming Home.” To be honest, I’m probably one of the worst Oregon Football Fans. I try to keep up on what is going on (thank god for social media) but football just really isn’t my thing. But even I know that winning the Heisman is a super big deal, which Oregon Duck Marcus Mariota just won!

With this honor, “Coming Home” by Mat Kearney (who was born in Eugene!) kept popping up on my Facebook fed. I’ve heard the song several times now, but I still makes me reminiscent of my college days and leaves me happy every time I hear it!

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it – seattle, ducks, goats & dog sweaters

In the spirit of holiday sharing, I caught the boy’s cold right after Thanksgiving. So I spent most of the weekend sleeping and doing a bit/a lot of online shopping for the holidays. All in all it was a great weekend, just not very inspirational… here is what I have been loving in recent weeks!

1. Seattle. Two weekends ago I jetted off to Seattle for a quick weekend trip. I love living in Idaho but I frequently get cabin fever so it is quite nice to get out of town. I stayed with my wonderful friend Ali, who just happens to be the best tour guide and Idaho loving girl around.

A highlight of the trip was enjoying dinner with friends from college at Barrio Mexican Kitchen & Bar. We enjoyed shots of tequila, rounds of margaritas and some quality Mexican fare (amen for kids quesadillas…Gina Hagerty) all while catching up. Some things just never change. The service was a bit slow and the restaurant was incredibly loud, but the super cool atmosphere and catching up with friends was well worth it!

Highlights from the trip below!

Seattle views

Seattle views

Starbucks & Seattle

Starbucks & Seattle

loved seeing these blonde babes!

loved seeing these blonde babes!

Harry Potter library

Harry Potter library

this fountain was delightful, even in the rain

this fountain was delightful, even in the rain

2. New Thank You Cards. I purchased two identical sets of thank you cards at one of the most incredible paper stores in Seattle, Paper Delights. The antlered and arrowed cards were just too great to not buy out. With the coming holidays I know they will go to good use!

thank you cards from Paper Delights

thank you cards from Paper Delights

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3. Idaho Hunting. While I have been a vegetarian for more than half of my life, I truly have an appreciation for hunting and “harvesting” your own meat. The boy is an AVID hunter and spends a majority of his free waking hours out with Miss Maude exploring Idaho. Here is a great article, appropriately titled Are You Hunting Too Much, that is both endearing and hysterically true to share if you have a special someone who is also addicted to hunting…

I took advantage of a day off to enjoy a day of duck hunting with the boy, my brother and the pups. I have been wanting to see Miss Maude at work with her beloved birds and it was the perfect opportunity to go. Unfortunately I was not feeling very well and literally spent most of the time sleeping in the duck blind but it was still fun to be involved and watch the boys and dogs in action!

gorgeous Idaho view

gorgeous Idaho view

family photo!

family photo!

4. Mini Houses. I have a recent bizarre obsession with mini houses for no particular reason. Maybe it’s the allure of the simplicity and open floor plans that generally incorporate walls of windows that has me captivated. If only I could give up half my closet I might have a chance at living in one of these gorgeous spaces…

Small House Swoon and Small House Bliss are two websites worthy of your next daydream!

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Methow Cabin in Winthrop, Washington

Little Lost Valley Cabin in Summit Springs Ranch, Idaho

Little Lost Valley Cabin in Summit Springs Ranch, Idaho

that wall of windows - Little Lost Valley Cabin

that wall of windows – Little Lost Valley Cabin

5. Inspirational Stories. Recently I have been a sucker for inspirational stories. I generally find myself sniffling alone at home but just cannot stop clicking on the links that follow me on Facebook. I found both of the below stories beyond inspirational and restorative of my faith in the human kind.

Arthur the Adventure Racing Dog joined an adventure racing team and finished a grueling race across Ecuador. Must read for any animal lover! And to calm all of your worries, Arthur was adopted by a member of the team!

stray dog, Arthur, joins adventure racing team

stray dog, Arthur, joins adventure racing team

Coach Catches Teenage Running with Multiple Sclerosis after every race as this teen collapses on the finish line. Regardless of if you are an athlete or not, this young woman’s desire to keep running is incredible.

6. Thanksgiving & Goats. Every year we enjoy Thanksgiving dinner at my aunt and uncle’s home. They have three amazing children who are growing so quickly into young adults. Not only do they have three children but also just about every farm animal you could imagine!

Immediately upon our arrival we went outside to see the goats (obviously). I have to admit, their goats are pretty amazing and make me think about adopting next Spring. We also enjoyed another incredible dinner cooked by my aunt. She is so wonderful and thoughtful that every year she not only prepares a meal that is devoured but also cooks my stuffing outside of the turkey (something vegetarians everywhere can appreciate). Everyone else enjoyed a 37# farm fresh turkey they raised that starting cooking at 8:00 a.m. It was a GIANT bird!

After dinner we played a few games, pet the cat and digested the incredible meal. I didn’t manage to capture a picture of any food, which is just a testament to how delicious it was!

cousins & goats - it doesn't get much cuter than this

cousins & goats – it doesn’t get much cuter than this

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my new friend

my new friend

7. Snow Days. While Miss Maude has been loving the snow, my lovely but old pugger Lizzy isn’t quite as excited about all of the snow. She has to be bribed to leave the porch. So Lizzy and I are pulling on our Christmas sweaters a bit early while Maude is racing around destroying all hopes of shoveling a nice path. I have no shame in dressing my dogs up….

so much energy!

so much energy!

we broke out the christmas sweaters early this year

we broke out the christmas sweaters early this year

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it – indulgences

This past week, the boy and Miss Maude were on a business trip. So I fully indulged in all my guilty pleasures while they were gone. Although the quiet was nice for like a day, I missed the chaos, noise and constant action that generally surrounds the two of them.

Here is what I have been loving, indulging in and looking forward to!

1. CMA Awards. I curled up with a cup of tea and my pug love to watch the CMA’s. With the boy out of town there was no shame. I have a serious, not-so-guilty love for country music. While I loved watching all of the awards and music, I was amazed by Carrie Underwood throughout the entire show.

Carrie Underwood looks phenomenal pregnant. Quick fact, she happens to be a longtime vegetarian (which gives me hope I may one day have legs like hers). She also is also a total badass as demonstrated in her recent collaboration of “Somethin’ Bad” with Miranda Lambert.  Below are a few of Carrie Underwood’s wardrobe changes that I was smitten with!

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2. Pioneer Saloon. Locally known as ‘the Pio,” the Pioneer Saloon is quite possible one of the best meals in Ketchum. Even as a vegetarian, I always manage to fully enjoy my dinner at a restaurant known for the “hearty steaks, prime rib, fresh seafood and meaty ribs.” They also have an incredible margarita, which never hurts.

It is so well known that the Pio was recently featured by the Huffington Post as part of the top 4 reasons to visit Idaho. You seriously cannot go wrong. I had dinner Saturday night with my mom and grandparents and we fully enjoyed the atmosphere, company and food! A great meal for anyone in Idaho!

the pioneer saloon

the pioneer saloon

3. Puzzle. When I was cleaning the other day I came across the most incredible pug puzzle I received as a gift. Unfortunately the pug puzzle is all black and white. Although the idea of doing a puzzle sounded great, I didn’t feel like going crazy doing with what seemed like an impossible puzzle. So my mom and I found another puzzle that looked a bit more promising and spent a cold afternoon going to work.

I forgot how relaxing working on a puzzle can be. Definitely a great gloomy day activity!

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making progress!

4. The most incredible honey. I used to think that I didn’t really like honey. Something about the stickiness and sweetness just didn’t interest me. That was until I received “Le Grand Miel” honey as part of a birthday gift. I am now obsessed and have daily mug of turmeric, ginger tea with a spoonful of honey. It is my new health kick for the winter.

If you are a fan of honey I highly recommend this brand! I may or may not turn into an old maid with my tea, puzzles and books…

delicious honey & tea combo

delicious honey & tea combo

5. “Brain on Fire.” After reading a quick synopsis of the book “Brain on Fire” on theSkimm, I knew that I needed to get my hands on the book. My friend, Rachel, also recently read the book. She told me that she is generally quick to judge a book and knew immediately that she liked the book.

So since I love books in print (mainly because I find it impossible to read books electronically because of my less than 20-20 vision), I headed to our local library to check out the book. I devoured this book in just a couple of days. It is an incredible and inspiring story about a 24-year-old woman who becomes prey to her own autoimmune system attacking her brain. The book captures the symptoms, hospital stay, treatment and recovery of Cahalan in a way that anyone can understand. Another great read!

"brain on fire" by susannah cahalan

“brain on fire” by susannah cahalan

6. Starbucks Red Cups. I know, I know, I am such a sucker. But I just love “red cup season” (obviously not the Solo cup kind). I find the cups festive, cheerful and inspiring of the holidays to come. Even though I never change my drink order, it just tastes better coming from a red cup. Cheers to red cup season!

the return of the red cups!

the return of the red cups!

7. Homecoming. While Miss Maude and the boy were off traveling the country, I spent the week indulging in all my guilty pleasures. As nice as my week was full of tea and honey, reading, puzzles and lots of food, I missed them dearly. Both of them have so much energy and I missed their constant ADD, frenzy of activity. So happy they are home for more crazy moments like these!

missing walks with this crazy little lady!

missing walks with this crazy little lady!

cannot wait for these love bugs to be home!

so happy these love bugs are home!

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it – golden sun, leaves & air

Krista and I may sound like a broken record but I just have to say again that I am loving the Indian Summer we are currently experiencing. It is too amazing not to enjoy and I have been taking full advantage of the golden sun, leaves and air. My Instagram attests to my current obsession with everything golden.

Here are a few things that I have been loving during the end of this Indian Summer!

1. Maude Pod Turns Six Months! It is hard to believe that little Miss Maude is now a big girl. She is no longer little Miss Maude but rather big girl, Maude Pod. My mom crafted the nickname, Maude Pod and it just stuck! It seems like just yesterday the boy and I brought her home and caved almost instantly letting her sleep in bed the first night. Needless to say, she has been running the show ever since.

So like a good, annoying and over zealous mother, I bought a bow with high hopes of taking a few pictures of Maude with a birthday bow on. But Maude managed to wrangle the bow off her head within seconds each time I stuck it onto her, thus no pictures were successfully taken. So disregarding my high hopes and the precious birthday bow we took a few pictures of her six month birthday to remember forever!

maude turns six months!

maude turns six months!

posing

posing like a good girl

fall adventure walks

fall adventure walks

she was born a retriever!

she was born a retriever!

2. J.K. Rowling Anagram. This last week, J.K. Rowling sent out a quizzical tweet about Newt Scamander, which happened to be an anagram hinting at her current project. She tweeted, “Cry, foe! Run amok! Fa awry! My wand won’t tolerate this nonsense.” I amusingly followed the twitter battle through tweets to Rowling guessing at the anagram and wish I was as wise as the winner, Emily Strong. She solved the anagram that “Newt Scamander only meant to stay in New York for a few hours…”

It appears that Rowling is working on the screenplay for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which was a textbook in Harry Potter’s world. Since I am pro-anything related to Harry Potter, I am ecstatic about this new movie delving into the magical world of Potter and cant wait to see some magical creatures in New York.

3. Sarah Kay Ted Talk – If I Should Have a Daughter. I came across Sarah Kay’s Ted Talk through a random Facebook link and was immediately captivated. I simply could not stop listening to Kay. From her voice to her words to her body language, every part of her talk had me fixated.

Kay is a preforming poet and the founder of Project Voice that is an organization that uses spoken word poetry as a tool for literacy and empowerment. Kay’s Ted Talk is worth every second of the eighteen minutes for the beautiful prose. I’m a sucker for poetry but have never had an affection for spoken poetry until listening to Kay.

Perhaps my favorite quote was, “I want her to look at the world through the underside of a glass-bottom boat, to look through a microscope at the galaxies that exist on the pinpoint of a human mind.”  

4. Jimmy Kimmel – What’s a GMO. The answers in this video say everything. Please look up what GMO’s are if you don’t know. And a big thank you to 9th Grade Biology Class and some soybeans for teaching me what GMO’s are so I wouldn’t have been featured on Kimmel…

5. A Featured Sun Valley Wedding. Sun Valley Magazine  recently featured the gorgeous Sun Valley Wedding of Ashley Howe and TJ Lanning in a Q&A and incredible photography. With a theme of rustic/romantic, all of the small touches were incredible. I am smitten with the personalized cow bells featuring the couple’s “brand.”

Another incredible part of the wedding was that my incredibly talented Brass Blossom co-star was the wedding coordinator and is obviously featured as such. Everyone should take a peak to see her name in print and all of her effort that went into coordinating!

branded cow bells at the wedding of ashley howe and tj lanning

branded cow bells at the wedding of ashley howe and tj lanning

6. Squeezing in Final Fall Hikes. It has seemed as though every weekend recently has been an fueled by the impending change of weather. So this weekend, Krista and I thought it may be the final hooray and we decided that we needed to get out for one more Fall Idaho Adventure hike. With our friend, Abbey, we headed off to Stanley, Idaho for breakfast at Stanley Baking Co and a hike to Goat Lake. Here are a few spoilers with an “Idaho Adventure” post to come soon!

abbey & krista taking on 10 foot granite slabs

abbey & krista taking on 10 foot granite slabs

first view of goat lake

first view of goat lake

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the brass blossom + pars does goat lake

the brass blossom + pars does goat lake

7. Mini Galettes. With my baking ADD, I have moved on from donuts to galettes. For any newbs out there, galettes are defined by having a free-form pastry without baking in any sort of dish, pan or mould. The New York Times so adequately states about galettes, “A pie is homey. A tart is fancy. And a galette splits the difference, but is easier than either one.” What could possibly go wrong?

Since everything in mini form is cuter and more practical for celebrations (no sharp knives involved), I made major plans to make mini galettes Sunday afternoon. However, with our hike taking far longer than expected plus the much needed beers and frenchfries after it left little time for baking. So here are just a few inspirations until my next baking excursion!

blueberry cheesecake galette - kitchen meets girl

blueberry cheesecake galette – kitchen meets girl

country apple galette - food & wine

country apple galette – food & wine

mini blueberry galettes

mini blueberry galettes

rustic blackberry & lime galette - hummingbird high

rustic blackberry & lime galette – hummingbird high

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brass blossom

weekend love it – labor day

With summer coming to an end, the air is getting crisper, just as the pace of life is seeming to slow. As much as I love the long, sunny days of summer, I love fall. Since I was a little girl, September has always been one of my favorite months. Not only is it my birthday month (hello, dooming quarter life crisis), but also it is the month I associate with the transition to fall.

I get giddy thinking about the crisp morning air, JCrew sweaters and vests, pumpkin patches and curling up with a blanket and a nice cup of tea (even though I do that every night…it’s more satisfying in the fall). Here is what I have been loving recently during the end of summer!

1. Girls Weekend. This weekend was full of girl time, as the boy was off tromping through the woods. Miss Maude, pugger Lizzy and I were like the three best friends anyone could have. We ate plenty of (dog) cookies, cooked up a storm and completed a DIY. Miss Maude was initiated into the Oregon Duck football fan club this weekend, rooting for the Ducks in her green bandana along side Parley in her yellow bandana. Even though they weren’t the best fans and spent most of the evening wrestling with each other in the dirt, they were too cute not to share!

Miss Maude even went for a solo swim or two as Lizzy and I lounged in the sun. FYI, pugs rarely swim, even in times of distress.

miss maude longing for more summer days

miss maude longing for more summer days

ready for the oregon game!

ready for the oregon game!

miss maude & princess parley rooting for the ducks!

miss maude & princess parley rooting for the ducks!

sunshine baths

sunshine baths

2. Virtual Pug Run. “Pug Unicorns…pugicorns. With the magic of unicorns and the adorable ambition of a pug, you can accomplish anything…a personal best at your next race, the ability to jump higher, run farther… or the ability to look at a human and get them to give you whatever nom-noms they currently don’t want to share.  The magic of pugicorns.” Enough said.

I have challenged all of my friends and families who have a special place in their hearts for pugs to compete in the Virtual Pug Run. The run benefits Northern Illinois Pug Rescue. Rumor has it that if $7,860 is raised (enough to save 26.2 pugs), a man will run the Chicago Marathon in a pug singlet. Talk about a visual.

As cool as a man running a marathon in a pug singlet is, this is truly an incredible opportunity to benefit an organization in need. Unfortunately pugs are not the most low maintenance of dogs and are prone to health problems, which is one reason many are given up. I hope to one day (soon) adopt a pug in need. I constantly have my eye on adoptable pugs from Pug Pals – Boise Pug Rescue.

My lovely aunt, who is the proud owner of three wonderful pugs, just competed today with her running group in New York. My mom and I are planning on running later this month. Whoever draws the short straw will be wearing our one piece pug costume. Obviously pictures to come.

virtual pug run!

virtual pug run!

3. Instagram Floral Designers. Leave it to Martha to round up a “bounty of beautiful blooms” on Instagram. Martha recently shared her top 25 Floral Designers to Follow on Instagram. Here are a few of my favorites:

sarah winward - forist who creates natural style flowers for weddings in utah & beyond.

sarah winward – florist who creates natural style flowers for weddings in utah & beyond.

Fleur in Logan Square Antiquing, boutiquing & flowering. Brick & mortar boutique & custom wedding design in Chicago (Moving to 2651 N Milwaukee in early October!)

fleur in logan square — antiquing, boutiquing & flowering. brick & mortar boutique & custom wedding design in chicago (moving to 2651 n milwaukee in early october!)

Moon Canyon -

moon canyon – refreshing and cheerful flowers and arrangements from the los angeles-based duo of kristen and amy.

munsterrose - iPhone-only shots of bright flowers on white backgrounds.

munsterrose — iPhone-only shots of bright flowers on white backgrounds.

shotgun floral studio + design house. floral design, creation + installation for events + accounts in CA. will travel for awesome. SHOP | opening 2015! #shotgunwashere

shotgun floral studio + design house. floral design, creation + installation for events + accounts in CA. will travel for awesome. SHOP | opening 2015! #shotgunwashere

4. Brunching. Breakfast, or rather any form of breakfast, is my favorite meal. The boy respects my daily tradition of 30 minutes of peace, quiet and alone time each morning as I enjoy my breakfast and coffee. I feel like (rather know) that without this time I am not a nice person.

I feel like brunch gets even better in the colder months. This weekend I enjoyed brunch with my aunt and cousin at Java after a Crossfit workout. I went for a Hippie Burrito in a bowl minus the tortilla with a side of Chai Tea. A meal at Java is a must for anyone!

java brunch

java brunch – hippie burrito in a bowl + chai tea

5. Cancer Warrior. Fortune recently highlighted Kathy Giusti as a Cancer Warrior. Not only has Kathy Giusti beat cancer but also she established the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. Kathy Giusti shares about fixing the cancer research system, lessons for leaders and an authentic life lesson.

Kathy’s strength and determination to fix a broken system hit home for me. Not to mention, such an incredible woman in science deserves to be mentioned!

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brass blossom