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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 the valley — brass blossom edition

Every year the Wood River Valley votes on the best of — the best food, the best drinks, the best place to gather or hike, the list goes on and on. So we figured just as ‘Best of 2015’ is hitting print we would come out with our own best of the valley with a Brass Blossom twist.

Here is our 20-something, female-influenced best of the valley! 

DINING

 

 

best taco — KBs

  • famous for their fish tacos, KBs is a Ketchum (and Hailey) staple – the staff is super friendly, the food is fresh, and you can always go for a burrito in a bowl or make your own burrito bowl (add everything minus the meat) which is what taylor always goes for as a healthier option.

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best pizza — ENOTECA or WISEGUY

  • go for Enoteca for a more specialty gourmet take on pizza — insanely delicious!
  • wiseguy is your go-to for take-out, delivery, or a quick slice with friends (they also have gluten-free crust!).

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best burger — POWERHOUSE

  • we often complain that Powerhouse isn’t in Ketchum…the food is fresh, homemade, and inventive, and the price point is manageable.
  • krista loves the classic burger, the chili and the fries, while taylor opts for the oat burger tacos with a large side of truffle fries or two

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best cup of coffee — VELOCIO

  • the baristas at Velocio are geniuses — you can’t find better espresso or foam designs anywhere else in Ketchum! taylor’s favorite is their chai latte’s minus the cinnamon
  • Velocio is also a favorite spot for some studying, work, or blogging — the ambiance is awesome with the big garage door, Baldy views, and contemporary but warm feel.

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best locally-sourced dinner — CK’s REAL FOOD

  • everything at CK’s seems to melt in your mouth…in the best way possible. their ingredients are as locally sourced as possible and farm fresh daily.
  • try the gaucho steak as a great go-to. their gluten free bread is also insane…

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best “mom-friendly” brunch — CRISTINA’S

  • Krista worked at Cristina’s for 7 years as a hostess, waitress, and “counter girl,” which would be enough to put anyone off of the food of any restaurant for life…not in the case of Cristina’s — the food is just that good. Cristina is a famous cookbook author, chef to the celebs, and quintessential Italian, and her charming salmon colored house is the place of culinary dreams come true…
  • try the chicken milanese sandwich, the San Francisco airport salad, the burrata caprese, or the super thin crust pizzas…YUM! sunday brunch brings lots of delicious sweet breads and weekly specials.

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best “last night was aggressive” brunch — THE KNEADERY

  • at that moment when you realize, “ugh, I went to the casino last night,” you immediately think of breakfast at the Kneadery. the Kneadery is owned by the same family as The Pioneer, and it shows — it is a well oiled machine, which is great when all you need is coffee, water, sprite with a straw, and corned beef hash in your belly asap…

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best sandwich — BIGWOOD BREAD

  • Bigwood Bread is taking over…in the best sense possible. they have two café locations and ship their delicious breads all over the state of Idaho.
  • krista’s favorite is the Cilantro Lime Salad…if gluten was a better friend, it would be a Reuben every time…Taylor opts for the Baldy Power Bowl every time.

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best bar — THE CELLAR PUB

  • this is the true local watering hole. whether your in the mood for a cold Budweiser or feeling a little classier and hankering for a martini or greyhound, the super freindly and funny staff at The Cellar will take care of you
  • they also serve food later than others in town — up until a shocking 9:30 p.m. the Ahi Tuna Salad features the same sushi grade ahi that the owners provide to their other restaurant, Sushi on Second. Taylor loves the Vegetarian Burger as the non-meat options are slim pickings…

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best wine selection — WINE COMPANY

  • if you’re going for class and want a classy bottle of wine, the Wine Co. is your best friend — sample some for yourself and treat yourself to a delicious antipasto platter. they have a great deck in the Summer or a warm and sunny Winter day and a cozy fireside in the Winter.

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best beer — LEFTY’S

  • when we first moved back here, the boys could be found at Lefty’s essentially every night. they have the tall glass “big beers,” and you know you’re a local when you get your own Lefty’s mug that hangs on a hook form the ceiling.
  • they serve a variety of beers on tap, ciders (Stella’s new cider is a great, gluten-free Summer option), and Omission (the best Gluten Free beer), and check out their monkeys and wings for a great “pairing.”

best cocktail — THE CORNERSTONE 

  • the Cornerstone is where you go for a cocktail that doubles as a work of art…they use inventive ingredients, and the result is always delicious. Cornerstone is the home of the ginger margarita and the best dirty martini in town…

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best caterer — THE HAVEN

  • we clearly love The Haven. my god is it delicious! Kellee will elevate any gathering your have with her homey, delicious catering. during a crazy Christmas season last year, Krista’s family enjoyed mac-n-cheese, winter salad with kale, spinach, brussels, squash, goat cheese, and nuts, pigs in a blanket, chicken, the list goes on…you can’t go wrong with some snack from The Haven!

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best date night — ENOTECA

  • we cannot get enough of Enoteca. it’s always packed, so make a reservation, or try your luck at snagging a couple spots at the bar. the ambiance is amazing — compliments of Jennifer Hoey design and our very own Abbey, and the price point is perfect for a cozy yet affordable date night.
  • definitely taste the burrata, the brussels, the duck confit, the mac-n-cheese if you’re pants are feeling loose and any of the pizzas. for dessert, we recommend the affogato. also, we can’t forget about the wine…their friendly and knowledgable staff will help you make the best choice for your dinner and also taste anything you’d like. and top it off with one of their incredible espressos for post-dinner.

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best slack special — RICO’S AUTHENTIC ITALIAN

  • you may have to ask for the menu and details…but Rico’s has the best slack special in town with a glass of wine or beer, a small salad or cup of soup, and a lasagna, spaghetti, or individual two-topping pizza for just $10. you can’t beat that! definitely the best place for a last minute book club sesh.

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best sushi — ZOU 75

  • you may not think that sushi and a landlocked state would go well together…but in all honesty, Zou 75 has the best sushi we’ve ever tasted, anywhere.
  • try the South Valley roll, “D” style (after our friend Derek, their incredible and inventive executive chef), the tiger rolls, the beef tetaki, and an all-time favorite, the tuna tartar.

best affordable ethnic food — RICKSHAW

  • Rickshaw is best enjoyed family style, and they serve a delicious lunch on Fridays as well. go for the house red for a solid, affordable pour, and order away — you can’t go wrong!
  • we especially love the bok choy, papaya salad, green curry chicken, dan dan noodles, and …everything else!

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best not-so affordable ethnic food — GLOBUS

  • globes offers fantastic asian food in a sophisticated setting. their pad thai and curry dish are classics, the brussels are way too good to be true, and their gluten free calamari is soooo yummy. taylor gets the green thai curry every time despite being slightly allergic to eggplant (a non-substitutable ingredient). it’s that good. this is a great place for family style as well, as there are plenty of small plates to share.

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best “i’m 20-something & semi-broke” dinner — PIONEER

  • the saying is that “if you haven’t been to the Pioneer, then you haven’t been to Ketchum.” we’ll back this up. not only is it a Ketchum establishment, it is an ever-popular and truly delicious steakhouse. the best deal in town is likely the Jim Spud — a fully loaded baked potato with pieces of sirloin inside of it…it’s also about the size of your face.
  • their salads are fresh and satisfying, the artichokes are always tender, and we’re still trying to figure out how to replicate that rice recipe. and don’t forget to try a bar marg (which you apparently get a free one with a Magic Lantern Movie Ticket?), and always go for the baked potato! keep an eye out for great discounts like Pio Days and locals specials during slack. it’s always worth the wait!

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best “i need something green after a weekend binge” — GLOW or NOURISHME

  • we live in a very health-conscious community, and Glow and NourishMe is where the true health freaks flock. while both offer great natural products and vegan fare, we love them for their juices and smoothies.
  • NourishMe also carries fresh fava beans, which are Taylor’s go to protein source at the moment.
  • Krista loves the veggie toast from Glow as a great lunch go-to.

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best “i have to hurry back to work lunch but don’t want something processed or fried” — THE HAVEN FOOD TRUCK

  • if you’re looking for a healthy but filling (and crazy delicious!) lunch, head to the Haven food truck at lunch hour. their falafel is to die for (taylor once ate it for a week straight), and their daily specials keep you interested and constantly coming back for more!

SHOPPING

 

 

best fly-fishing shop — LOST RIVER OUTFITTERS

  • both of the boys are former (slash somewhat current) employees at Lost River Outfitters. this shop is a truly local enterprise that offers great inventory and great fly-fishing trips.

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best “i need a gift” shop —  KETCHUM FLOWER COMPANY or THE GARDENS

  • Ketchum Flower Company never disappoints. you can always go in to find a little or big gift for someone. they have great little books, candles, flip flops, bags, jewelry and clothing galore. plus they are located in the most adorable, shuttered, colonial “house”.
  • The Gardens is a (somewhat) newer establishment to Ketchum but just so happens to be fantastic. whether you are looking for a “garden” type gift or a gift for a mother, this is the place to go. and not to mention everything smells delicious in there!

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best place to buy a present for yourself (affordable) — GIRL FRIDAY

  • not only is it the best place to buy a gift for someone else, but Ketchum Flower Company/Girl Friday is the best place to buy an affordable gift for yourself! we have both gotten several clothing items and Taylor recently scored an amazing sale deal on a dress she had been eyeing for months.

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best place to buy a present for yourself (may break the bank) —  SWAY

  • we love Sway and will likely always love Sway despite their price point, which seems to be gradually rising. when it first opened down the block by Velocio we both scored several closet staples…summer dresses, wedding-guest dresses, lace bralets, leather pants, jewelry.

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best place to buy something a little special for that someone —  MADELINE & OLIVER

  • whether it is a little something, something (aka lingerie) for yourself or your special someone or a gift for a bridal shower, this is the place to go. it is like lace heaven…

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best place to buy workout gear —  SQN

  • SQN is definitely hitting higher on everyone’s radars recently and for good reason. they make fairly affordable, workout gear that easily transitions to the Ketchum dress-code of “lifestyle wear.” there “tunic” style shirts and long sleeve shirts are incredibly soft and easy to solely live in.

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best home décor store —  HUCK & PADDLE

  • rustic, Idaho, outdoorsy yet still classy home decor. need we say more?

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best “lust-over” home décor store —  PICKET FENCE

  • and while we want one of everything, our pocket books need to be just a bit deeper for The Picket Fence. but it is still very worthy of some lusting and a splurge every now and then!

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best paper store —  WILLOW PAPERY

  • Willow Papery is paper, ribbon and little gift heaven. we both absolutely adore this store and usually frequent it weekly.

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best locally made product —  SUN VALLEY MUSTARD

  • mustard is where it is at. and Sun Valley Mustard never disappoints. the flavors are spot on and it’s perfect to keep in your cupboard for so many occasions.

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best grocery store —  ATKINSONS’

  • while a majority of our paychecks goes to this fine establishment we really cannot complain. we have one of the finest grocery stores in probably the world and you can literally buy anything and everything you could ever want in one stop. also true to their family values, they have an incredible return policy.

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best local company —  FIRST LITE

  • we debatably lead quite similar lives as the boys now both work at First Lite, after Cha-se recently joined the man crew there. this company is truly outstanding. their product, their service, their dog policy and the way they take care of their employees (and pseudo-families) is something that every company should strive for. we can’t say enough good things about First Lite. also you will likely see us both sporting some new women’s gear!

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BUSINESSES

 

 

best place to wash your dog —  THE LAUNDROMUTT

  • no one likes a dirty dog and they make the deed so much easier (aka no bathtub, mixing bowls and water all over your house involved).

best veterinary clinic —  SUN VALLEY ANIMAL CENTER

  • another fine family establishment in the Wood River Valley. we cannot give high enough praise to the Sun Valley Animal Center and all of their veterinarians and vet techs. they are like a family and help you through the best and worst of times.
  • plus our lovely friend maggie happens to be a badass vet there!

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best manicure/pedicure —  IN-N-OUT SALON

  •  there are some things in life that just make you feel better. having your nails done is one of them. they will do a fabulous job and you wont regret it. there are just somethings worth it in life and this salon is one of them.

best place for a facial or massageZENERGY SPA

  • this picture says it all…

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best haircut/highlights — JOANN AT THIRD FLOOR SALON OR DANIELLE AT MANE MUSE

  • both of these salons and both of these women are geniuses. neither of us are super fussy about our hair and they manage to wrangle our manes for perfect, everyday hair. and this gives an option in Ketchum & Hailey!

best place to go bare —  BARE WAXING BOUTIQUE

  • when it comes to hot wax near precious (or not so precious) patches of hair, you want someone you trust. and lea is your woman for hot wax without regrets.
  • she just had the most adorable baby but will be back in September and I know we speak for most when we say she cant come back soon enough!

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best nonprofit —  THE ADVOCATES

  • the Advocates mission is to build a community that is free of emotional and physical violence. the organization, the support and annual gala are equally as strong as the mission.

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best place to stock up on crafting materials —  JANE’S and KING’S

  • while we don’t have a “Michael’s” (probably for the best as it would eat us alive), Jane’s and King’s provide pretty much anything you could ever need for crafting! taylor has also pretty much bought out their supply of chalkboard pens. they are game changers!

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best photographer —  RAY GADD

  • ray’s images below speak for themselves. he is an extraordinary lifestyle, outdoors, event and wedding photographer. there is nothing that this man cannot capture!

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best pharmacy —  THE APOTHECARY

  • the ladies (and gentlemen) at the Apothecary will take care of you like you are their own family. this is the place to fill any and every prescription!

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best place to get a deal —  SUN VALLEY REAL DEALS

  • Sun Valley Real Deals is our Idaho version of “Groupon.” it’s fabulous and sends you frequent e-mails with local deals! a must sign up!

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best blog —  the BRASS BLOSSOM…duh

  • obvi! need we say more?

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ENTERTAINMENT

 

 

best annual eventWINE AUCTION, VINE AND DINE

  • you pay your entrance to wine and food heaven. about $100 gets you a glass, unlimited pours and a good wine hangover if you so choose. it’s also the Sun Valley Center for the Arts, another incredibly, local organization. Idaho always needs a bit more art and culture…

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best live musicSUN VALLEY SUMMER SYMPHONY

  • the Symphony is brilliant because it lasts most of the summer and is literally whatever you want to make it. you can simply bring a blanket and go horizontal and zone or you can make it into a picnic, extravaganza. the choice is yours but the music, the atmosphere and the views are always spectacular.

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best idaho musicRECKLESS KELLY and MICKY & THE MOTORCARS

  • clearly we love Idaho boys (they technically claim Texas but that’s just absurd)…look them up, become a fangirl (or fanboy), stare at them absurdly in local bars. do it.

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best aprés ski/any sun valley approved activity spot APPLE’S

  • located at the base of the mountain, Apple’s has it made. after burning all those calories skiing (and let’s be real, having your legs burn like hell), a post-ski beer just hits the spot.

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best place to see a movieMAGIC LANTERN

  • pretty much the only place to see a movie but it still is the best! they obviously have great movie theater popcorn and provide strong pours of wine. a winning combo.

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best season — SUMMER

  • there is no comparison to a Sun Valley Summer – dry heat, sun shine, big thunder-busting rain showers, wildflowers and views like this…

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best place to liveKETCHUM

  • while neither of us have techincally lived “south,” we still vote Ketchum for best 20-something place to live. super easy access to workouts, bars, restaurants and all those fun things! we will likely feel different in a decade….

best place to instagramBALDY or VIEWS OF BALDY

  •  yes, this really is a category and no, you cannot go wrong with a Baldy view. another do it.

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RECREATION

 

 

best winter activitySKIING, closely followed by hot-tubbing or eating a baked potato at SEATTLE RIDGE

  • too many amazing winter activities but the good news is that you can literally do them all in one day!

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best summer activity — HIKING

  • there is no comparison to a Sun Valley Summer and hiking to places like this where you don’t see a soul and are surrounded on all sides by untouched wilderness. it is an experience everyone should experience (like every weekend). hiking definitely keeps us sane and wanderlusting.

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best lake sceneREDFISH

  •  redfish lake was a close runner up for “best place to instagram” as demonstrated below. redfish lake is literally Idaho paradise. there is sun, water, and mountains that rise straight up to the sky. the potential sunburn

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best gymZENERGY

  •  Zenergy is likely the nicest gym, spa, pool you will ever go to. and for all you nay sayers, they are really making a good effort to make affordable memberships. another do it. we promise there is nothing about zenergy you will regret.
  • they also have amazing classes. from hot yoga that taylor lives for to a barre class with the most lust worthy instructor ever (with a man bun!), you will leave Zenergy feeling like the 50 year old soccer mom just kicked your ass (and that is because she did).

best place to break a sweatSUN VALLEY CROSSFIT

  • in taylor’s opinion there is no better “i have one hour and need to get shit done” workout than Crossfit. literal game changer. #pumped.

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best place to swim and catch some sun raysZENERGY

  • we already raved about Zenergy and this picture proves why. the Zenergy pool is the place to go when you need some vitamin d and self love.

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best weekend getawaySTANLEY and REDFISH LAKE

  • the Stanley Basin is so close, yet such a different world. it might possibly be the most beautiful (along with coldest) place in the United States. when you need to disconnect and recharge head north.

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best tourist activityGONDOLA TO ROUNDHOUSE

  •  the Gondola up River Run to Roundhouse is a more recent addition of Sun Valley and it is a good one. not only does if offer the perfect amount of time to get your shit together before skiing but it also offers rides straight up to the iconic Roundhouse if you choose to forgo the skis, and boots, and poles, and helmet, and goggles, and mittens and handwarmers.
  • one word: fondue.

best after-work hikePROCTOR

  • Proctor mountain holds a special place in Krista’s heart with a beautiful cairn for her father. the cairn sits at a spot where there is literally no better view of the valley.
  • Proctor is also the perfect, quick hike. it takes just over an hour and offers just enough uphill to make you feel like you’ve done something worthwhile.

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best day hikePIONEER CABIN

  • there was this one time that we were rescued from Taylor’s mother while hiking to Pioneer Cabin from Johnstone Creek but other than that, you literally cannot go wrong with this hike. the pioneers, the cabin and the motto are breathtaking and refreshing.
  • make sure to bring a lot of water and maybe leave your doggie friends at home for this hike as there is no water and it is one of those hikes that is all up and then all down. and no, there is no running water in the cabin…

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best place to take the dogs for a walkWARM SPRINGS DOG PARK

  • the picture says it all…dog heaven. #reincarnation?

best place to take the dogs for a swimSUN VALLEY POND

  • while we frequent the Hulen Meadows Pond quite often and it offers a different vantage of Baldy, the Sun Valley Pond gets our vote for the best doggie swim spot because it is safe and you know what you are going to get. Sun Valley dogs literally have the best life ever…

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best deck — LEFTY’s

  •  maybe the boy’s are onto something always hanging out on the Lefty’s deck…it wins for the best deck in town with plenty of both sunshine and shade, good drinks and amazing friends – and you can usually find one or two every time you go!

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weekend love it – eight years, lots of love, summer adventures & kisses

It is officially Summer and I am absolutely loving it. I love the sun, the warmth, the pool days, the tan and the light. To make it even better, the boy and I celebrated a recent big milestone with a fantastic day full of fun Idaho activities and I am lucky enough to be on vacation this week with some fabulous family. So cheers to many more weeks of enjoying the summer sunshine!

1. 8 years. This past weekend the boy and I celebrated eight years of dating. While it has definitely been one of the more testing years of our lives, it has been a year that continually brings us all back to the fact that love (in any and every form), above all else, is what matters. It seems that as life just keeps getting faster and faster and more technologically obsessed, that basic human connection is what actually keeps us alive. So to celebrate, the boy, Miss Maude Pod and I went on an Idaho adventure.

We went on a meandering 11-mile hike to Hell Roaring Lake and enjoyed a picnic, some pictures and a Maude Pod swim or two. We then enjoyed a beer or two at Bridge Street Grill followed by a fantastic evening on Redfish Lake with some incredible friends. Since we played a bit longer than we expected, we ended up eating a bag of Pirate Booty while cooking Annie’s Mac & Cheese for dinner at 10:00 that evening. We were sun burned, bug bitten and starving but it was well worth every second. Nothing says a fantastic and equally romantic day than a box of mac & cheese for a late night dinner. While we were meandering through the woods that day with Maude Pod, the boy told me that he couldn’t think of a more perfect way to spend the day. And I couldn’t have agreed more. It was just us and a sunny day with endless possibilities ahead. It was definitely one of those days when I relished in sweating the small things.

love bugs <3

love bugs ❤ (we happened to find a brilliant photographer along the trail, thank you!)

miss maude pod being such a champion

miss maude pod being a champion

his & hers (aka the boy carried everything...)

his & hers (aka the boy carried everything…)

2. just breathe. Earlier this year a very wise woman, friend and confidant told me that “your feelings are real because you are feeling them.” While this might just seem trivial and basic, her wisdom just hit me profoundly. Needless to say I have had a lot of feelings this year. And at times I thought I was quite possibly crazy for some of my feelings that I was feeling. But this friend helped me in my “grieving” process quite possible more than anything else did with her saying. Because it just means that it’s okay. It’s okay to have feelings and it’s okay whatever they are. Because the fact that they are yours means they are real.

I think that girls quite often get stereotyped for being sensitive or having too many feelings, both of which have negative connotations. When Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls shared this video it reminded me of the fact that “your feelings are real because you are feeling them.” I know that I would (and maybe most everyone would, female or not) do better to just feel my feelings, regardless of what they are and just breathe. And like I was, don’t be ashamed or feel like you are crazy for them, because they are real and they are yours and they deserve to be felt.

3. zinc. Last week Krista and I had a very spontaneous girls night with our friend Rachel. It already seems like the Summer season is in full force with everyone having so many plans so we just made a last minute dinner happen. We went to Zinc, since Rachel and I had never been, and it was fantastic. Everything seemed garden fresh all while being comforting at the same time. And if dinner and the company wasn’t fantastic enough, we discovered the most EPIC camper trailer outside after dinner that we obviously had to take a picture with. I truly admire the individual who totes it along for adventures.

zinc menu - you can't go wrong

zinc menu – you can’t go wrong

salads to share

salads to share

the most incredible flatbread - avocado, cheese & radish

the most incredible flatbread – avocado, cheese & radish

fried chicken - comfort at it's finest

fried chicken – comfort at it’s finest

my favorite lady friends

my favorite lady friends

cutest little notebook i received from rachel

the cutest little notebook i received from rachel – so happy it has my initials as someone already tried to “borrow” it

4. cake. The other weekend I set out to make a raspberry-rhubarb “right-side-up” cake. Essentially I had big ideas of a beautiful layer of cake with a layer of fruit compote on the bottom. Turns out my cake had bigger plans for me and turned itself into an “upside-down” cake while it baked. Regardless of what side up it was, it turned out beautifully and true to rhubarb form, was delicious! Pseudo-recipe coming soon.

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5. the best way to start a week. Krista told me last weekend that the lupine were blooming on Proctor. I literally had instant FOMO (I thank my sorority days for this (Urban Dictionary) vocabulary word). I am such a sucker for when the wildflowers bloom in Idaho. The colors, the smell (even though it leaves me with the runniest nose…so attractive) and the potential Instagram worthiness of the views is just spectacular. So in order to fit in a quick hike on Proctor before I left for the week, both Krista and Rachel joined me for an early, Monday morning hike. Talk about great friends and the perfect way to start a week. We are thinking that this might just become a much needed ritual…

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the biggest mushroom EVER (zoe for perspective)

the biggest mushroom EVER (zoe for perspective)

pretty, pretty lupine

pretty, pretty lupine

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a handstand & a view

a handstand & a view

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6. coocoo for lulu. I recently received two adorable, lust-worthy Lululemon bras from the boy. While he had a bit of direction, he did a fantastic job (like always). While sports bras may not be the most attractive anniversary gift (if you know what I mean…), the boy truly knows the way to my heart. I love Lulu and pretty much think it’s appropriate for almost any and every occasion. Tip for all the man-boys out there, you can never go wrong with Lululemon. Here are the two bras that I will be sporting all summer long.

free to be *wild bra in jazzy white gator green/white/gator green

free to be *wild bra in jazzy white gator green/white/gator green

true self bra in grapefruit/peach fuzz

true self bra in grapefruit/peach fuzz

7. juice. Maybe it’s the summer heat (which I completely adore) or maybe it’s the death cold that I unsuccessfully battled off for weeks and is now full blown and making my whole face hurt but I have just been loving fresh pressed juice. While not the most budget friendly obsession, my body and my mind have definitely been loving the fix. When I am able to sneak away midday for a hot second, I have been getting a fresh pressed “green” juice from Nourish Me that absolutely kicks my fix.

That was until my mom and I stopped by my ever so generous and healthy aunt’s house on our way out of town and she gave us each a to-go juice. Now I wont give away her secret ingredients but it was honestly the best fresh pressed juice I have ever had and I have been craving it since. Getting a juicer, and saying goodbye to my beast of a “Magic Bullet,” is now definitely on my radar.

green juice

the most delicious concoction there ever was

the most delicious concoction there ever was

8. goat kisses. Goat kisses are just about as far up in my book as pugs are. They are fantastic, adorable, much needed and will fill your soul with love, laughter and just plain happiness. There is not much else you need in life.

kisses!

kisses!

Cheers to a sunny week!

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it — savoring the sun

It has been a long, hard week, but it’s impossible to not feel like the luckiest girl in the world when you live in the most beautiful place in the world…and when you have the most supportive friends and family in the world.

Here’s what I’m loving this week:

1. Indian Sun Valley summer. My preparation for fall may have been a bit premature. It has been so crazy beautiful here lately. As a mountain biker said on a recent hike, “The sky here is always blue, but sometimes it is BLUE.” As in the most beautiful, pure, and potent blue you’ve ever seen. Pair that with gold speckled aspen trees, and you have a colliding horizon that makes even the simplest tasks take that much longer, because you want to take a picture of every view. Here are some photos of the lovely scenery:

new neighborhood hike

new neighborhood hike

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trail creek at work

dr. suess tree

dr. suess tree

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failed selfie on proctor with par par

failed selfie on proctor with par par

fun hike with aunt gina, uncle tom, and mom!

fun hike with aunt gina, uncle tom, and mom!

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2. LC’s wedding. I have always admired this lovely lady. Sure, reality TV is silly, but she has always struck me as someone who is composed, graceful, creative, and even genuine and modest. Her wedding, and her as a bride, from what I can tell from these photos was all of those things. I especially love this photo by Elizabeth Messina of Kiss the Groom (which is on my bookmarks bar, check it out for an onslaught of swoon-worthy photos) of their engagement.

Elizabeth Messina's photo

Elizabeth Messina’s photo

3. Gone Girl. This book was upsetting to me — it was great, thrilling, twisted, well-written, and I would recommend it, but it also infuriated me for the way it represented gender relations. The main characters, Nick and Amy, are equally horrible. You hate them both enough to agree that they deserve each other. I loved the movie — I thought it was perfectly cast — but both Taylor and I left feeling like something was slightly off. We didn’t hate Nick nearly as much as we hated Amy in the movie which wasn’t the case in the book. There are many more themes and undertones and a level of complexity in the book that were missing from the movie. This article puts it perfectly. Good find, Taylor. That being said, go see it. When has the movie ever been as good as the book?

4. Yoga pants.  Yes, I’m wearing some right now. The recent coverage of dress codes and their connection with slut-shaming has certainly caught my, and any self-respecting woman’s, attention. The fact that these girls are being forced to alter their behavior and compromise their comfort all because “the boys can’t help themselves” is a great example of a lot that’s wrong with society. Here’s a great article that says it better than I can. Also, this makes me laugh…and is also relevant to my point.

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5. Neighbors and baked goods. Moving into a new house brings a new awareness and investment in your new neighborhood. I’m having fun getting to know our neighbors and have been so pleasantly surprised by gestures like this one from our neighbors Liz and Josh. Cookies were inside of this tuperware, and they are insanely delicious. I also made some tasty treats this week, which I’ll post about soon.

thoughtful housewarming gift

thoughtful housewarming gift

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chase’s favorite fall recipe, pumpkin muffins. recipe coming soon!

Have a great week!

cheers krista

brass blossom