nigerian dwarf goats

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!

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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 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

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

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

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

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

Here is what I have been loving this February!

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

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

poo poo point for some sunshine

poo poo point for some sunshine

early bird gets the sunrise

early bird gets the sunrise

idaho adventure buddy!

idaho adventure buddy!

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so much snow!

so much snow!

lake serene

lake serene

so excited!

so excited!

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the best way to start the morning

the best way to start the morning

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so much water

so much water

first glimpse of heather lake

first glimpse of heather lake

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hiking selfies!

hiking selfies!

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gas works park while circumnavigating lake union

gas works park while circumnavigating lake union

that skyline!

that skyline!

2. bridemaids x 2. I was asked by two of my very favorite people to stand by their sides during their special days. They are two of the kindest and most loyal friends and I’m soooooo excited! I cannot wait for all the pre-wedding shenanigans and being apart of their big days. Cheers to another Summer on the wedding circuit!

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yes!

yes!

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<3

so pretty!

so pretty!

yes!

yes!

3. love at home. I escaped the wettest winter on record in Seattle early in the month to go home. I happened to get a cold right before leaving but the trek home was well worth it for all the love, sunshine, snuggles and more snuggles. Every time I enter the Wood River Valley I just feel a sense of peace and calm. It continually makes me even more thankful to come from such an amazing place with amazing people. So much love!

morning snuggles with my favorite pirate

morning snuggles with my favorite pirate

when the girls drive the truck

when the girls drive the big truck

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casual game of sledge hockey

casual game of sledge hockey

greatest place ever

greatest place ever

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tricky goats!

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maude pod <3

maude pod ❤

my favorites!

my favorites!

4. good reads. My book choices recently might indicate that the Winter is getting to me a bit more than usual but the Target “self-help” section just really calls my name sometimes. Honestly there have been many times where I have gotten a bit down about living in Seattle by myself and all the stress that comes along with Grad School so I figured a bit of inspiration from Shonda Rhimes and my always favorite Cheryl Strayed couldn’t hurt.

I sped through both of these books and they are staples on my nightstand here for whenever I need a dose of inspiration. I would highly recommend both!

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5. good tv. One name + one word says it all. JoJo + shiplap. For those of you that are similar cult followers you know what I am talking about. For those of you that haven’t been exposed to the greatest show ever let me introduce you to Fixer Upper. It is about a couple who live in Waco, Texas who take the worst house in the best neighborhood and make it into the house of your dreams.

I literally love everything about it, but mostly I just adore JoJo and her love for shiplap, subway tile, distressed wood, white, farm-life and the list goes on and on. I highly recommend a binge watching session right about now. JoJo (yes, we are on a first name basis) also has a blog….
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6. good laughs. For those of you that have Instagram go follow Pumpkin the Raccoon right now. And if you don’t have Instagram, go stalk Pumpkin on whatever form of social media you see fit. You will not regret it.

Pumpkin is a rescued raccoon who lives somewhere tropical where the living is easy. Pumpkin has the best family that consists of two doggie siblings and pretty much just enjoys the finer things in life. If I’m ever having a bad day, Pumpkin cheers me right up!

pumpkin <3

pumpkin ❤

7. pretty blooms. Okay I have to admit that every time I see a tree flower in Seattle I am absolutely amazed. Being from a place where pretty much the only things that really “bloom” are flowers in like July I am constantly amazed that ginormous trees bloom. The current cherry blossoms and other beautiful blossoms in Seattle are literally brightening up the entire city. It makes me so happy every time I see them, rain or shine. And they add to another reason why Seattle is such a gorgeous city.

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so pretty!

so pretty!

inspired by all the florals!

inspired by all the blooms!

the view from my bedroom - so pink!

the view from my bedroom – so pink!

Cheers to March and enjoying most of the month in Idaho for Spring Break! Hope you all are having a fantastic end to your Winter!

taylor brass

brass blossom

best of 2015

2015 has been quite the year. There have been ups and downs and some more ups. So in honoring #brassblossom tradition (my Best of 2014) and listening to some very wise words from one of my greatest confidants, here is what I consider to be the best of the best of 2015, because when it is all said and done there were a whole lot of bests!

1. best personal achievement – actually going to grad school. This past year I was going to Graduate School at the University of Washington, then I deferred for a year, then with about two months to figure it all out I decided to go again. This was a very “un-Taylor” thing to do but I managed to throw it all together and make it work. It wasn’t always pretty, involved several frantic calls and quite a few tears but I’m not homeless, I love school and I’m so happy that I have found a new normal. So cheers to being a Ducksky (Duck + Husky = ??) and making it work!

beautiful seattle skyline

beautiful seattle skyline

go ducks!

go ducks!

2. best words of wisdom – do you. I can’t even remember where the wisdom of “do you” actually came to me from. But it’s pretty simple. Just “do you.” When things really suck, or when things are frantic and everything is spinning out of control or when all is peachy remember “do you.” It has been my mantra for most of the year and I constantly remind myself that I can’t be anyone worthwhile to myself or anyone else if I don’t “do” myself first. Especially when you don’t know which way is up, just simply focusing on yourself and how you can serve yourself and make yourself be who YOU want to be gives you a fighting chance. Just do what serves your soul, your needs and our unmet desires at that time. Because no one else can do it for you. At least in my highly valuable opinion….

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3. best recipe – homemade ice-cream cake. There are few ways to describe this homemade ice-cream cake that don’t involve swearing due to shear enthusiasm. Point being this cake is phenomenal, it’s so easy to make and will knock the socks off of everyone who has the pleasure of laying their lusting eyes on it. Make it! I promise you wont regret it!

so nom nom nom

so nom nom nom

4. best book – dear sugar. By far the best book I read this year was Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. It is a book of advice letters and even when you totally cannot in the slightest way relate to the person who is seeking advice, you will get something if not everything out of the stories and advice. Cheryl Strayed speaks directly to your soul in such a frank way. She manages to sum up life, the universe and everything in her words.

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5. best trip – okinawa, japan. Hands down the most fabulous adventure I was lucky enough to take this year was to the Okinawa islands in Japan with my cousin and aunt. We had an incredible time wandering, exploring and not being able to speak or understand a word of Japanese. Plus there were lots of handstands so you cant go wrong with that. There were so many laughs and I cant tell you how happy I am to have such great travel buddies in my life! 

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you can yoga even in japan

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two of the best travel buddies!

two of the best travel buddies!

6. best adventure – mount borah. Hands down, climbing/hiking/scaling the side of the mountain on Mount Borah was my favorite hike of the year. It was humbling, pretty scary at times, incredible to sit at almost the top and enjoy some Bri and champagne and extremely frightening how sunburnt we all got. By far the best #brassblossom adventure in Idaho!

cheers to almost the top!

cheers to almost the top!

so close to the sky

so close to the sky

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7. best clothing buy – j.crew jumpsuit. Once again my favorite purchase of the year was a jumpsuit, this j.crew jumpsuit to be exact. I just love jumpsuits. Like really, really, really love jumpsuits. I keep thinking about branching out from my jumpsuit obsession but I mean you just can’t go wrong with a jumpsuit for any occasion (except if you have to pee really badly…then things get dicey). So I have decided that life is too short so I might as well just continue to adore jumpsuits.

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<3

8. best beauty buy – clarisonic. I was given a Clarisonic by my wonderful aunt (who thus far has made the list twice!) for my birthday and I am obsessed with it. I use it daily in the shower and relish the minute of using it. I was actually disgusted at apparently how bad I am at washing my face after I used the brush after washing my face one night and got so much grossness on it. So if you’re looking for a clean face in 2016 get a Clarisonic.

so fresh and so clean!

so fresh and so clean!

love the color

love the color

9. best local find – idaho dreaming dreamcatcher. I searched high and low for a dream catcher this year to bring only sweet dreams to the boy, Maude Pod and I. And I ironically found the perfect one so close to home. This Idaho Dreaming Dream Catcher was by far my favorite purchase of the year. And since you all need a dream catcher for a stellar 2016, make sure to check out their Etsy Shop for the dream catcher of your dreams!

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love everything about this

love everything about this

10. best party – game dinner 2015. The Game Dinner 2015 that Krista hosted this Spring was my favorite party of the year. There was a TON of game meat, good food and lots of giggles had by all. But really why it was my favorite party (other than the slew of antlers that decorated the table and ribbon chandelier that created the perfect juxtaposition of feminine and masculine) was the fact that it was the first time that life seemed to resemble what it once had been, in a new normal kinda way. We were all surrounded by pure love and it truly brought new meaning to friends that are family. 

the boys <3

the boys ❤

the table

the table

the chandelier

the chandelier

11. best craft – diy wooden banner. I just love a good craft project and this DIY Wooden Banner was by far my favorite project. Perhaps it was because it had a bit of sentimental value to me but making wooden banners to express some love and cheer because one of my favorite things to do. Plus using a wood burner makes you feel like a badass. 

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12. best gift – s’well bottle. I received a s’well bottle as a birthday gift from my mom after lusting over the one that Krista had. This water bottles are pretty much amazing. They are sleek, come in fabulous colors (hello metallics!) and make sure your drink stays fresh. These bottles were definitely #brassblossom’s go to gift this year and for good reason! You won’t even regret buying one for yourself as a much deserved cheers to 2016!

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13. best newest additions – goats! Of course the goats made the list! I think I will forever refer to last summer as “the summer of the goats.” The goats brought so much laughter, snuggles, gallons of milk and love into our lives. So thankful for the craziness, spunk and googling of what to do with goats that they bring to our lives!

crazy goats!

crazy goats!

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goat selfies

goat selfies

someone loves her goat herd

someone loves her goat herd

14. best “i couldn’t live without you people” – each and everyone of you. I admit it, again this is a total stretch of a category but there have been so many friends, confidants and general strangers who give me so much strength, wisdom and room to just let my feelings out this year. I most definitely wouldn’t be standing where I am today without you all. And a very special thank you to all of my lady friends. Those are the fierce ones! So thank you for all the times you all listened, gave me the love I needed, shoveled for us, went on a hike, simply just sat in silence and gave me a push/shove in some direction, regardless of where that might be.

And the biggest best “i couldn’t live without you…” to my wonderful mother who manages to be the most loving and steadfast person I know. She manages the most unlikely of tasks and always puts me back together. I hope to one day be a slightly more organized, half of the woman that she is. ❤

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the hunters do clean up nice
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15. best boy – the boy. Ughhhh, so cheesy but I just have to say it. The boy wins the year for being the most outrageous, stubborn, indomitable, kinda want to sucker punch him sometimes for being crazy, greathearted boy around. I wrote last year that we had an incredible 2014 and little did we know but 2015 was just going to one up us. So cheers to another year of having the boy by my side, healthy and happy new ventures, many more Maude Pod and goat kisses and a fabulous 2016!

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my loves ❤

2016 life goals: 

Like the past couple of years, I continued my 2015 goal list on my iPhone notes. I love the fact that these “notes” go with me everywhere and can be altered, added to or checked off with a selfie high-five at a moments notice. All in all I feel like I did pretty well for my 2015 goals despite the craziness. But moving forward I want to refocus my goal setting…

I heard an amazing sentiment in hot yoga this last week that I want to bring with my into the New Year. It was the idea of using the Winter and Summer equinox as a time to reset. So with the first day of the days growing longer or shorter you begin working towards whatever your heart desires. Then you progressively work more towards whatever that is so it’s a progression. Aka: you don’t have to be perfect at the beginning of your resolution.

But besides reading more books for pleasure and mastering my handstand, what I want to channel in 2016 as the days get longer are the “four agreements”. I heard about the four agreements from a wise soul and feel like they are just what my 2016 “life goals” need. I need to read up more on the agreements but below are the agreements that I hope to continually refocus on in 2016!

  1. Be impeccable with your word.
  2. Don’t take anything personally.
  3. Don’t make assumptions.
  4. Always do your best.

I wish you all a very happy, healthy and joyous New Year. Cheers to 2016!

taylor brass

brass blossom

giving thanks – what i am thankful for in 2015

This year has gone by ridiculously quickly. For me it has been a year of survival, tremendous changes and pretty much just all around craziness. But it has also been a year where I have felt overwhelming waves of gratitude and thankfulness for what has become.

One of my favorite new Thanksgiving traditions has been at “Friendsgivemas” where we share what we all are thankful for. So I figured I would bring that to life again. So here is I am thankful for this year!

1. dreams for the future. This year has been a ridiculous dichotomy of changing and realizing new dreams. Around this time last year I thought I had everything put together. It seemed the cosmic stars were aligned and it had been a fabulous year of successes and dreams come true. But one thing that I am thankful for is that dreams for the future can evolve. Perspective can change. And life paths can change. So moving forward I’ve decided to dream big in a general direction and accept that the course I may take to follow that dream will not in any form be linear. Keep dreaming big enough and don’t become stagnant. I am also forever thankful that I am in a place in life that I am both physically and emotionally comfortable enough that I have the opportunity to dream big.

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2. strong wills. I don’t believe in miracles. But one thing I do believe in is strong wills and hard work. I am ridiculously thankful for those strong wills to get better and to make you better than surround me. You are the ones who have kept me on course this year and helped me will my current life back into something on that not so linear path to my dreams. So thank you from the bottom of my heart.

3. the cult of crossfit. I come from a long line of phenomenal athletes. Like world-class, they still kick my ass athletes and they have several decades on me. And while I have always been athletic I don’t think I ever really found my calling until Crossfit. I know, I know, it totally is a cult. But it’s a cult for a reason. Crossfit has truly changed my life in a way that I know I can never go back. My body perception has changed. My mind has changed. Each and every day I am enthralled by what my body can actually do. I can do hundreds of pull-ups, handstands, crazy things with like weights and boxes and lift my body weight, which is something I never could have even imagined a few years ago as an extremely uncoordinated person. And I can (most days) push through that point of “I’m going to vomit and pass out right here, right now.” Crossfit has taught me to revel in being strong in both body and mind. And it probably saved my life this year. It was truly my outlet on those days when I needed to put my entire energy into something or I would have gone insane. So thank you Crossfit for making me appreciate me. I will forever be thankful for that.

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 4. life’s absurdities. When the boy and my mom insisted on getting goats this year I finally just gave in. I thought what could a few goats really change? But they changed a lot, including our landscaping and doors as they literally eat everything in site. Point being goats are absolutely absurd and just oh so ridiculous. They are purely for fun and provide so much light. So I’m thankful for the absurdities in life that make everything just that much better and I want to be better at recognizing these absurdities and taking far more pleasure in them. Cheers to goats, pugs, funny YouTube videos and anything and everything that makes you giggle.

goat kisses <3

goat kisses ❤

5. opportunities in education. I honestly love school. I love learning and being accountable and feeling a purpose. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity this year to attend graduate school. I am also incredibly thankful that I come from a family that values education and values me as a independent woman to follow my educational dreams. So far I haven’t for one second regretted further pursuing my education. So cheers to getting smarter!

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go ducks!

6. checks and balances. I think we have all established that life is short and the world is a not so pleasant place, I mean just turn on the news. Or accept it and relish in some indulgences with some checks and balances. I am thankful for days that consist of indulging in lattes, pedicures, sunshine, Bri cheese and a drink or two but also so thankful for the balance of that of green juices, yoga and some me time.

cheers from mt borah!

cheers from mt borah!

a little yoga for balance

a little yoga for balance

7. (no) pants. I secretly really hate “real” pants. This might not really be a secret if you have the opportunity to see my lovely face everyday and I am in yoga pants. But point being I am really thankful that I live in an age where as a woman I am not supposed to wear a certain thing like a ginormous corset and skirt and god knows what else and I can choose to be pretty comfortable in what I wear. So cheers to your version of comfort whether it be yoga pants, leggings or long sweaters! They are revolutionizing the world.

#lululemonforever

#lululemonforever

8. the internet. One word people, Google. I actually do NOT know how people survived Graduate School before the Internet. Probs the library? I Google like at least 43 times a day. Google has the answer to everything. Like how to get places. Moving to a new city is hard. Driving in a new city is even harder especially when you are from a place that no one parallel parks. Praise Idaho for lots of parking. And praise Google and Google maps for teaching me everything and getting me everywhere I need to go. Now if only Google could park my car…

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9. instagram. There has been a lot of negative feedback recently regarding social media and how it only focuses on those “perfect” moments in life. And while most posts might not be an actual reflection of the true shit show that is going on behind the scenes, they represent a celebration in my eyes. The world is like actually a not so nice place but I think one of the true beauties in Instagram and all of social media is that it is remarkable celebration of the good, the pretty, the idealistic life. And while “comparison is the thief of joy,” why not celebrate Instagram for just what it is. Some days there are days when you just need some good. So for that I am especially thankful to Instagram as a place to escape and more often than not, just see beauty.

apparently instagram thinks i only really like pugs and other fuzzy creatures...

apparently instagram thinks i only really like pugs and other fuzzy creatures…

10. support circles. This grouping of “support circles” is all encompassing. I am beyond thankful for all of the circles of support that I have in my life. Friends, family, the boy, my mom, those friends that are family, doggies friends that snuggle you like there is no tomorrow aka my Maude Pod, goat friends and the list goes on and on but I am so thankful for the hammock of support that has held me up this year in both times of sorrow and joy. The boy always tells me that I don’t give myself enough credit. And while I do quite enjoy bragging about myself I truly feel that my support circles have propelled me through this year and helped me to reside in the place that I do. So thank you, forever and always for just being there.

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11. the opportunity to adventure. One thing that I truly love about living in Idaho is the proximity to nature. You can literally step out your door and be on a path to the middle of nowhere in a matter of moments. Unfortunately Seattle doesn’t offer quite that proximity but it’s amazing in other ways. I love the opportunity to be fully engrossed in a slower and more natural world. I am extremely thankful that I had so many opportunities this summer to explore all over Idaho and the west. I semi-joke that a life goal of mine is to become a professional hiker but the idea of being surrounded by wilderness everyday captivates me most days but then my practical side sets in (like how would I pay bills?!). Another adventure opportunity that I am so thankful to have had this year was my trip to Japan with my always lovely and spontaneous aunt and cousin. It was truly the trip of a lifetime and made my remember what it means to adventure. So cheers to many more adventures!

you cant say no to this...

you cant say no to this…

love these ladies!

love these ladies!

❤ idaho

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12. the brass blossom. One true joy that I have found in this year is my love of writing. I am not always the most expressive person when speaking but I have truly found joy, solace and growth this year in sitting down and writing. And “The Brass Blossom” has been a platform for me to share all of that writing. Not only am I thankful for the blog as a platform but I am also so thankful to each and everyone of you that reads and supports our blog because it truly comes from a place of love and passion. #thebrassblossom

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13. realism. One personality trait that I truly appreciate in people is when they are realistic about life. My #brassblossom costar happens to be one of those people and having someone in my life that validates and appreciates my realist view keeps me feeling not so crazy at those crazy times. However even I will admit you need to keep it balanced with a bit of idealism so I also try to surround myself with those fanciful folks as well!

14. not having to date. I straight up would not be able to remotely consider dating in our current day. But really the idea of dating apps, swiping right and the whole shebang literally makes me sweat. So I am utterly thankful that I caught a pretty good one before that all took off. On other note props to everyone that navigates the world wide web of dating!

so thankful for this guy!

so thankful for this guy!

pretty much

pretty much

15. being thankful. Okay hopefully you don’t lose me on this one but I am thankful for having so many things, whether completely ridiculous or not, to be thankful about. From health to education to goats I am thankful. I am thankful that I am in a space in my life where I can be thankful for what I have and even for what I do not have.

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Happy Thanksgiving and I hope you all have a wonderful holiday full of many thanks and gratitude!

taylor brass

brass blossom

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

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

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

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

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

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

the prettiest flowers that i arrived to from my lovely roommate

the prettiest flowers that i arrived to from my lovely roommate

go ducks!

go ducks!

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no lifevest, no ability to steer, no problem

no lifevest, no ability to steer, no problem

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new turtle friends

new turtle friends

obviously we went under there

obviously we went under there

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we survived!

we survived!

using the cart escalator!

using the cart escalator!

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

ferry rides & morning light

ferry rides & morning light

new hikes! to poo-poo point...

new hikes! to poo-poo point…

idaho friends in seattle places

idaho friends in seattle places

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the most delicious happy hour

the most delicious happy hour

so much fun!

so much fun!

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i went for the fireworks

i went for the fireworks

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i caught a ball (obvi!)

i caught a ball (obvi!)

hike to rattlesnake ridge

hike to rattlesnake ridge

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the best friends <3

the best friends ❤

the prettiest bouq

the prettiest bouq

a trip to the seashore

a trip to the seashore

caught it with her bare hands

caught it with her bare hands

seashore selfies in the wind

seashore selfies in the wind

discovery point

discovery point

the best ladies

the best ladies

go ducks!

go ducks!

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loving the scenes out of boys in the boat

loving the scenes out of boys in the boat

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

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

the most wonderful place in the world

the most wonderful place in the world

idaho love <3

idaho love ❤

i couldn't leave without a handstand

i couldn’t leave without a handstand

this lady completes my life

this lady completes my life

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running on water

running on water

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perfection

perfection

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well hello

well hello

i missed you too goats

i missed you too goats

my favorite co-pilot

my favorite co-pilot

afternoon adventures

afternoon adventures

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when you try to clean the car...

when you try to clean the car…

someone loves her goat herd

someone loves her goat herd

my favorite idaho ladies!

pug trumps flamingo (see what i did there…)

#thebrassblossom

#thebrassblossom

last morning walks

last morning walks

my love bugs

my love bugs

<3

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

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

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

the cutest idaho shirt!

the cutest idaho shirt!

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

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

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

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

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❤ a pug bush

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

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

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

taylor brass

brass blossom

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

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

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

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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

idaho pie – raspberry-rhubarb summer pie

A few weekends ago I had a sudden urge to make a pie. I already had some frozen raspberries in the freezer, so I put on my Hunter boots, gathered the grazing goats and Maude Pod and set out for the rhubarb plant. It was pretty much a scene straight out of ‘Little House on the Prairie’ (or so I thought)…

I gathered the last of the rhubarb while the goats chomped on everything in site and we had a nice little moment out in the yard. That was until I decided it was time to make the pie and had to round up all the goats while holding several stalks of rhubarb. It turned into a complete goat rodeo and a few stalks of rhubarb were sadly lost in the process. It was definitely one of those moments that seemed far more idyllic than it was in reality, as displayed by the large cut on my leg from the fence getting the best of me. Goats: 1. Taylor: 0.

Regardless of the ‘Little House on the Prairie’ moment, this pie turned out quite idyllic, pretty much like everything Idaho-related! Also please excuse the copious amounts of flour all over my kitchen…I’m convinced one day my iPhone will die from drowning in flour.

ingredients

  • 5 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 2 cups raspberries
  • 1 cup baking sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • pie crust of your choice

instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare your pie crust. I always have the most success with very cold water and refrigerating (or freezing for a few minutes if your impatient) the pie crust until cold.
  3. Roll out half of the crust on a floured surface for the bottom layer of the pie. I used a 9″ pie pan.
  4. Lay the crust gently over the pie pan and evenly cut around the edges with a sharp knife. Set aside.
  5. Gather, buy or harvest your rhubarb. Wash and cut into small pieces.
  6. Combine 5 cups rhubarb and 2 cups raspberries until well mixed.
  7. Pour sugar, cornstarch and vanilla extract into raspberry-rhubarb mixture and mix until sugar coated.
  8. Transfer raspberry-rhubarb-sugar mixture into the pie pan on top of the bottom layer of the pie crust.
  9. Again, roll out the other half of the crust. Cut out a fun shape or shapes in the center and gently lay the crust on top.
  10. Cut around the edge of the pie pan again and firmly press a border.
  11. Bake the pie for 40-45 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
  12. Enjoy with some ice-cream, wine and fabulous company over a game of cornhole! Or something like that.
raspberries + rhubarb = love

raspberries + rhubarb = love

sugar coated

sugar coated

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hand-cut "idaho"

hand-cut “idaho”

ready to bake!

ready to bake!

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dinner dates! and the only picture of the baked pie i managed to take...

dinner dates! and the only picture of the baked pie i managed to take…

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it – west coast, best coast, option B & love birds

Summer is officially full force in Idaho. Like most Summers this Summer is off to a busy start with many more plans in the works. I am loving every minute of the sunniness, hotness and busyness and having been in three states in the last couple of weeks, I cant wait to add a few more travels on in upcoming weeks!

Here is what I have been loving all over the west!

1. summer vacation. I spent this past week on a family vacation. It was a wonderful week full of love, sun and a bit (aka a lot) of yard work. My cousin, who was in Wyoming from the very far away state of New York, and I had some wonderful bonding time raking, sunning, handstanding and trying to get in a daily workout. But in true vacation form, we balanced all that work with enough frozen yogurt (some Chocolate, Brownie Ball concoction) for an army. It was a perfectly relaxing week and much needed visit!

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summer running

summer running

standard champion pose

standard champion pose

heaven

heaven

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2. amazing friends & love. Since I was only a hot minute (slash 3.5 hours) away from Boulder, Colorado I was lucky enough to overlap my vacation with one of my dear friend’s engagement parties. This lady is one of the most beautiful people that I know, both inside and out. She has the most wonderful smile that her soul literally shines through. Her man friend isn’t half bad either and they have been sporting their love since Middle School. That’s true love right there people. Congrats Bri and Luke!

And to match such a beautiful couple, the engagement party was spectacular. The décor, the drinks, the food, the fairy lights and the company was amazing. An encompassing look below since I couldn’t only take a few pictures. I topped off my evening with a short night in Boulder with my hilarious and always loving cousin. We had margs at the rio and breakfast at the buff. Literally, all my favorite people, places and food/drinks in less than 24 hours. I think Boulder is the city my soul just may belong in…

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cutest little owl wine stopper for an owl loving girl

cutest little owl wine stopper for an owl loving girl

love these two!

love these two!

love birds <3

love birds ❤

this table was seriously just the cutest

this table was seriously just the cutest

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i ate this handful x a billion

i ate this handful x a billion

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bubbles, sunsets and pretty friends

bubbles, sunsets and pretty friends

best breakfast ever

best breakfast ever

much needed next morning chai

much needed next morning chai

nom nom nom

nom nom nom

some needed greens for the drive home

some needed greens for the drive home

3. kick the shit out of option B. I became a Sheryl Sandberg devotee, admirer and slight stalking after reading “Lean In”. I highly recommend this book (regardless of your gender) as I think that everyone could learn from Sandberg’s wisdom and life, business, sitting at the table advice. I felt that I resonated with most everything in her book and had a bit of an epiphany about being called “bossy” my entire life…

Sandberg’s husband recently passed away suddenly and after a 30 days mourning period of Sheloshim, she shared quite possible the most heartfelt and beautiful reflection to the world on Facebook. And once again, Sandberg’s words deeply resonated with me. Her grit, openness and ability to feel and express her feelings is beautiful. Her letter is a must read for a bit of a reminder of all that life can be (you should likely grab a tissue or two).

Here are my top three take-aways from Sandberg’s letter:

a. “I have learned that I never really knew what to say to others in need. I think I got this all wrong before; I tried to assure people that it would be okay, thinking that hope was the most comforting thing I could offer.”

b. “I have learned that resilience can be learned…Personalization—realizing it is not my fault. He told me to ban the word “sorry.” To tell myself over and over, This is not my fault. Permanence—remembering that I won’t feel like this forever. This will get better. Pervasiveness—this does not have to affect every area of my life; the ability to compartmentalize is healthy.”

c. “Option A is not available. So let’s just kick the shit out of option B.”

4. pretty cards. Since I have recently had quite a bit to celebrate (and more to come!), I have needed several cards, whether they are for thank yous, congratulations or just sending a bit of love. Willow Papery has some of the prettiest cards and I have just been loving sending a bit of snail mail.

how adorable is the antler card?!

how adorable is the antler card?!

5. goats on a tramp. If this doesn’t make you smile, nothing will. After watching this video I have concluded we need a trampoline for our goats and “sproinging” might be my favorite new word ever…

6. pioneer cabin. I convinced Krista that we should summit to Pioneer Cabin from Johnstone Creek this weekend. We have made it an annual hike the past three years so in an effort to switch things up we took another route. And while the Johnstone Creek access to Pioneer Cabin is spectacularly scenic with abundant wildflowers, a waterfall and spectacular views of the Pioneer Mountains, it is steep, long and hotter than Hades in 80+ degrees. Thank god there is an incredible view at the top and we brought a picnic (which consisted mostly of Brie) or we likely would not have made it. It was definitely an adventure (post to come)!

"the higher you get, the higher you get"

“the higher you get, the higher you get”

me & my main squeeze

me & my main squeeze

first view of the pioneers

7. wildflowers & flower crowns. We have written about it several times but the wildflowers in Idaho are just so spectacular. Literally everything is in full bloom (including my allergies) right now. This includes my favorite wildflower, the sego lily (which just so happens to be the state flower of Utah if you were wondering). We have gone on several scampers behind our house to get the dogs a bit of exercise and enjoy the spectacular flowers.

Miss Maude Pod and I also cheered on the boy last week while he was dominating in softball. I literally know negative rules about softball and likely have even less hand-eye-coordination so in my opinion pretty much everyone dominates at the sport…on a side note: it’s really nice to see all the couples that get to play softball together – I’m still waiting on my invite. So while the boy played, Miss Maude Pod and I sat in the grass, made flower crowns and ate a picnic dinner all while sorta watching the game. Romantic date for two. Check.

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crazy lady

crazy lady

pretty sego lilies

pretty sego lilies

softball picnic

softball picnic

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flower crown love

flower crown love

all star

all star

Cheers to wonderful and warm week celebrating America! Be safe!

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it – life inspiration, soul food & rainbow krispies

Last week I found myself randomly looking up “life inspiration quotes” on Pinterest. Low point? High point? I’m still not sure but remarkably the plethora of quotes actually gave me a bit of get up and go. I don’t know if has been the not so sunny Sun Valley weather or the fact that my emotions have pretty much flatlined after such an emotional year, but I have just been feeling a bit funky for no particular reason.

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Apparently Lululemon was sensing my funk because they Instagrammed something that just spoke to me (along with the thousands of quotes on Pinterest). Naturally I took a screen-shot and decided that I was on a mission to feed my soul. When life hands you (lulu)lemons, feed your soul. So the past couple of weeks have been full of soul food. Obviously I’m not a “soul-feeding master” but I concluded that feeding my soul means doing just what I feel like I need at that present moment – hiking, binge watching a TV series, lifting weights like a girl, you name it. Namaste.

So here is a look of what I have been loving and what has been feeding my soul!

1. silver creek. One of the reasons that I love living in Idaho is the proximity to the outdoors. Now I wouldn’t call myself an extreme outdoors-woman by any means but even getting out for an hour hike surrounded by vast wilderness makes me feel more complete and grounded. One place that is remarkably soul feeding is Silver Creek, regardless of the recreational activity you choose to partake in (mine happened to be sitting in my camping chair…).

We spent Sunday evening on the creek celebrating a “pop-up birthday” (post on that to come) and it was the perfect Sunday. Being surrounded by a picturesque setting, good food, incredible friends, laughter, love and a whole lot of bugs was the perfect way to end the weekend.

the "creek"

the “creek”

happy birthday abbey!

happy birthday abbey!

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<3

love these two ❤

2. murph. Murph – you’re humbling as always. Each year Crossfitters around the nation, world, universe do the workout MURPH on Memorial Day in remembrance of Lieutenant Michael Patrick “Murph” Murphy who was a United States Navy SEAL officer who died in the War in Afghanistan and received a Medal of Honor for his heroics. Murph was killed on June 28th, 2005 after leaving his position of cover and exposing himself to enemy fire in order to communicate with his headquarters in an attempt to save his team. The movie Lone Survivor is about the SEAL team that Murph was apart of and is an incredible movie. I definitely had my hands covering my eyes for about 50% of the movie, but I promise it’s a great movie.

The workout is a humbling 1 mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 air squats and another 1 mile run, all while wearing a weight vest. This year Sun Valley Crossfit partnered for the workout with another local Crossfit and with Higher Ground to raise funds for the incredible organization. Doing a workout in honor of a Navy SEAL to benefit adaptive sports for people of all abilities, including Veterans, feeds everyone’s soul. It may not feed the body or your bloody hands and burning eyes but it feeds the soul. I really love Hero workouts because whenever I think I’m soft as pudding and just can’t finish, I think of the hero the workout is named after = motivation.

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crazy synced pull-ups

crazy synced pull-ups

3. goats in bandanas. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again but everyone loves baby goats. They are cute, they are cuddly, they are ridiculous and they are just plain old fantastic little creatures. But what would make such a creature even more incredible? A bandana. Not just any bandana but blue and red bandanas (white bandanas are hard to come by people) to celebrate Memorial Day!

The goats were feeling a little left out on the Memorial Day spirit, so I gently slapped a bandana around each goat to spread the cheer. And if these pictures don’t make you happy and feed your soul just a bit, just imagine trying to put a bandana on a goat…

goats in bandanas!

goats in bandanas!

z-baby doing crazy goat things

z-baby doing crazy goat things

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4. cabbage. For our last book club our wonderful, brilliant gardener/farmer friend Sara made a salad that I just cant stop recreating in some form or another. She simply threw together some garden-fresh greens, an ear of corn (cut off of course), red cabbage, carrot, avocado and parmesan. Do it now and you will thank me (or Sara). Since that evening I have been weirdly craving red cabbage. Apparently red cabbage feeds the soul and your hungry tummy all at the same time. Currently it’s the top contender for my favorite summer vegetable so be on the lookout for some cabbage filled recipes (please, hold the applause).

amazing summer salad

amazing summer salad

5. paper towns. I may be one of the last people in the world that still checks out library books but I find reading on an iPad or Kindle slightly painful for my eyeballs. Perhaps it’s because I’m blinder than a bat but it just doesn’t work for me. So I head to the library. Now really my only complaint about the Library in Ketchum is that they have a separate room for all of the Young Adult books. This seems nice and all for all those young adults that visit the library (but really when was the last time you saw a kid pick up an actual book?) but it makes it awkward when you’re technically an adult and feel like a capital C-creeper every time you step foot in the “Young Adult” room.

Point being, all the John Green books are in that room. But I assure you, his books (despite being categorized as “Young Adult”) and usually the tears and box full of tissues you will need are worth those moments when you feel like a huge creeper. I think everyone could learn a thing or two about life inspiration from Green. I finished Paper Towns this week after only picking it up a few times and as always, it was an incredible story. Must summer read before the movie comes out. It will feed your soul in a feel good type of way, I promise.

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6. cheers to no camel toe. This article is so great that it needs to be included in two blog posts. Krista mentioned it last week but the Marten Stuffer, which is a local fabricated satirical newspaper, has really outdone itself this time.

Now I love yoga pants. I would wear them everyday for the rest of my life if it was culturally, socially, work, boyfriend acceptable. But one thing no one loves is a camel toe, which I pray to the Lululemon gods that I never sport. I think pictures speak a thousand words on this one but the gist of the article was that First Lite (the incredible company the boy and now Chase work for) has come out with a yoga pant that erases the dreaded camel toe. Solving world hungry is next on the agenda.

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7. rainbow rice krispie fishies. Oh nom nom nom. I can’t even remember the last time that I had a Rice Krispie treat. They kind of remind me of gross Middle School Bake Sales, which just isn’t a good memory but rest assured the treats I made this weekend are like “Real Adult Bake Sale” status. We celebrated our wonderful friend Abbey’s birthday this weekend on Silver Creek fishing the Brown Drake hatch and I just knew that I needed to make a dessert fit for a fishing queen but also pretty (cue a ton of sprinkles) and able to withstand glamping.  Thus, Rice Krispie Rainbow Fishies were born (and while it’s hard to tell they are fish, they were devoured, which is what counts.)

And while these might not be quite as good as cabbage for your nutritional soul, they are simply splendid for your nom nom, happy soul.

they are supposed to look like fish...

they are supposed to look like fish…

everyone likes rice krispies

everyone likes rice krispies

8. hysterical card. Warning kids: the following is rated R. R for ridiculously funny and not kid rated. When I saw this card I knew that I had to buy it. While this card isn’t intended for any special occasion, it has no limits. I just had to share as it has probably been my favorite purchase in months. Hope you all have a good laugh!

hysterical card & just a little something appropriately wrapped in "fish" paper

hysterical card & just a little something appropriately wrapped in “fish” paper

Hope you all have a great week!

taylor brass

brass blossom