NY Times

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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(the best pillow cases!)

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

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

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

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

early morning drives

early morning drives

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

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

slightly awkward make a funny face photo

slightly awkward make a funny face photo

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the best viewpoint

the best viewpoint

just a little selfie action!

just a little selfie action!

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my enthusiasm was a bit out of control...

my enthusiasm was a bit out of control…

thanks to the best roommate / photographer!

thanks to the best roommate / photographer!

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

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

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

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

the BEST find in seattle = juicebox

the BEST find in seattle = juicebox

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the prettiest textures (both new & old)

the prettiest textures (both new & old)

so much wind...

so much wind…

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view from smith tower

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the most amazing dinner at ernest & agnes

the most amazing dinner at ernest loves agnes

idaho girls love a hemingway inspired anything

idaho girls love a hemingway inspired anything

juicebox round 2

juicebox round 2

discovery park <3

discovery park ❤

kerry park views

kerry park views

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

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

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

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

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true love

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 — lazy weekend

This weekend was all about relaxing. One of the best investments that the boy and I have made is a ginormous L-shaped couch that intermittently functions as a small island. I am a firm believer that some weekends are just meant for being lazy. So we made the best of our couch this weekend with the colder weather and indulged in a wonderful homemade dinner, lots of baseball and some reading.

Here are a few things that I have been loving, especially during this lazy weekend!

1. Vie Activewear Instagram. This week VIE ACTIVE featured a photo of mine on their instagram as I was wearing their super awesome leggings in Urban Warrior. The boy got me these (as well as a few other awesome pieces) for my birthday and I have been obsessively wearing them since. I wore them on our recent Goat Lake adventure and took a zen yogi photo that I obviously instagrammed. I was incredibly excited and humbled to be ‘regrammed’! Thanks Vie Active!

A look below at my 15 minutes of fame!

featured on @vieactivewear

featured on @vieactivewear

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2. Siri as a BFF. My incredible aunt Kory, who is the most patient and loving mother to her three kids, recently posted an article on Facebook that I found wonderful and endearing. The NY Times Article is essentially a love letter to Apple’s Siri from the mother of a boy with autism. The article is at times hysterical while being both comforting and optimistic in a technology obsessed world. A great read for anyone.

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3. Comfort Food Dinner. The boy and I enjoyed the most comforting meal at his parent’s house this weekend. It was the perfect way to end the work week and set the tone for the rest of the weekend. We enjoyed a cheese plate (which I ate about 75% of…no shame), a pear and toasted nut salad, homemade chicken/veggie pot pie and gelato for dessert.

The boy’s mom is an overall superb cook/baker/lady who manages to throw a meal together without any apparent effort. I am constantly baffled at her ease and creativity in the kitchen. She topped the homemade chicken/veggie pot pies with cut up Pillsbury Rolls, which she browned to perfection. They were obviously delicious!

I was in heaven. Food porn below of the delicious meal!

creamiest cheese ever

creamiest cheese ever

so creative!

so creative!

browned to perfection

browned to perfection

pear and toasted nut salad

pear and toasted nut salad

before i ate the entire ramekin

before i ate the entire ramekin…

the best gelato

the best gelato

4. Final Fall Walks. The boy and I have been taking full advantage of what has seemed like a never ending Indian Summer with fall walks on a trail near our house. We pack the stroller into the truck (obviously for the pug and not a baby…) and set off in hopes of wearing Maude Pod out. Even when I’m in a horrible mood, walks like these cheer me up with the fresh air, crazy puppy and beautiful scenery.

the harriman trail

the harriman trail

the boy and maude

the boy and maude

pugger lizzie living the life

pugger lizzie living the life

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no words to describe her happiness

no words to describe her happiness

love these two (even though i'm generally the third wheel)

love these two (even though i’m generally the third wheel)

5. Oregon Students Play Beer Pong in Student Section at Oregon Game. Oregon football is no joke. And the student section at Oregon football is serious. There are guards at the entrance blocking the section and I always found it a win to make it in and out in one piece. Even though I enjoyed many a game in this section, I always felt like a slight impostor. I love the social aspect of football but cant quite say that I LOVE football.

But these fans LOVE Oregon football and obviously America. They inspire me to be a better Oregon fan. A high five is in order for these lads.

photo by

photo by @JeffWhitee/Twitter

6. “The Husband’s Secret” by Liane Moriarty. After reading “Big, Little Lies” by Moriarty I was excited to begin another book by the author for our upcoming book club, which could also be termed a wine/social club. Regardless of what really occurs at “book club,” it pushes me to read a bit more, which is always a good thing. I truly appreciate Moriarty’s writing style. Her books are easy reads yet captivating and page turners. I loved reading “Big, Little Lies” and didn’t see the twist in the book coming at all. Great reads for anyone looking for their next book!

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7. Pretty Pies. Food52 recently featured 9 Ways to Fancy Up Your Pies to help you up your game for the upcoming Holiday Season. I am constantly looking for baking inspiration and easy ways to up my game for the Holiday Season (who isn’t?). So I am now inspired and on a mission to make a leaf lattice pie if only to take beautiful pictures of it. Inspiration pictures below!

this marshmellow topping is beutiful and would give me good reason to use a torch in baking again

the leaf lattice pie is my favorite

this marshmellow topping is beutiful and would give me good reason to use a torch in baking again

this marshmellow topping is beautiful and would give me good reason to use the torch again

taylor brass

brass blossom