spring

sparking joy — spring cleaning

“As for you, pour your time and passion into what brings you the most joy, your mission in life.”  – Marie Kondo

As Krista mentioned in her Best of February, she devoured Marie Kondo’s books “spark joy” and “the life-changing magic of tidying up” and subsequently discarded a massive pile or two that didn’t spark joy for her. I also recently devoured “the life-changing magic of tidying up” during a pedicure that took far longer than usual since I still have a massive callous from negotiating down from Mount Borah last year but that is besides the point. That callous sure isn’t sparking joy in anyone’s lives.

The point is, I devoured the book because I felt like Marie Kondo was my soul sister. She spoke about her childhood obsession with organization, tidying up, and the concept of spaces, and it spoke to the little girl in me who loved nothing more to an extreme or point mental breakdown for everything to be clean and organized. But I truly think that Marie Kondo feels like everyone’s soul sister because everyone probably has that one special, OCD, person in their lives that they just can’t not love.

And in true sparking joy fashion, Krista and I recently learned about a brilliant company called MakeSpace who share our love and obsession with Marie Kondo. MakeSpace is essentially a brand new service in an app, that offers self-storage in these locations. The brilliant part about it is that they pick up your stuff, take it away to a storage facility and bring it back whenever you want it. Now if only it was available in Idaho and we could pack all of the boy’s gear for activities to store elsewhere…

I can definitely relate to this phenomenal idea as I will essentially be living out of three separate cities in the upcoming months. For all our friends in New York, Washington, D.C. or Chicago this is your new guide to making space!

Since we have both been particularly inspired with Spring Cleaning this year we thought we would share some inspiration, Krista’s Idaho-inspired cleaning to-do list and my personal cleaning must do’s from Kondo! Enjoy!

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We love Life in the Green House summed up Kondo’s entire book in this perfectly pink graphic:

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Krista’s Idaho Inspired Spring Cleaning To-Do List:

1. Embrace the season. This is where MakeSpace can seriously come in handy, and it’s an absolutely necessity living in the mountains of Idaho. We have very distinct seasons here — think fluctuations of a full 130 degrees between the depths of winter and the peak of summer. When the spring weather hits, like right now, giant puffy coats be gone! Well, into storage at least. We like to keep out a mid-weight puffy for those Sawtooth mountain camping trips, but it brings us great joy to switch out our Uggs for a pair of espadrilles. IMG_2721

2. Embrace your inner adult. After reading Marie Kondo’s book, I finally felt free to get rid of my “college furniture,” a.k.a. a more-than-likely flimsy piece that I wouldn’t be sad about if it crumbled after a late-night coffee table dance party. The same goes for second-hand gifts from parents — there’s a reason they didn’t want it either

3. Invest in accessories. I find that I’m always drawn to the plain black, white, or gray top in my closet. Before you call me boring, let me finish — I love those pieces most because they offer a blank slate to accessorize. Pair your plain tee with an amazing statement necklace, a pop of color scarf, or your best booties. The best part? Accessories are much smaller and easier to store.

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did I mention that I will be a stella & dot stylist starting next month?!

4. One man’s trash. After my latest closet purge, I created 7 bags of clothing. Two of them went to the Goldmine, our favorite local thrift store that benefits the Community Library, and the other five I will bring to a clothing swap this Saturday (for which I have strict personal rules, more coming). Looking in the bags, I’m occasionally gripped with guilt, because there are some very nice brand names in there. However, they no longer sparked joy for me, and I just don’t wear them enough — be it the fit or particular color. For that reason, I invited a couple close girlfriends to take a look first. It brings me joy to know that they might enjoy my nicer clothes, which is just as satisfying!

keep vs. donate

keep vs. donate

5. Be wary of the “swap.” I am going to a clothing swap on Saturday. My goal is to be as true to my self and tastes as possible and only come home with those pieces that are a great fit and spark joy. Future storage situations rejoice!

6. Find your rustic vs. modern balance. If I had a dollar for every time the boy suggests we mount a taxidermied pheasant on my wall, I could buy the couch we actually need by now. Then again, our home is a shared space, and it’s a top priority for us both to feel comfortable. I’ve found that by reducing clutter on all of our surfaces (do we really need those decorative balls and that metal cow?), we can more intentionally decorate our home to reflect both of our tastes. Our engagement party gift shot skis will soon grace our wall, but we’ve also accepted that a new couch is an absolute next purchase.

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7. Go green. Let me tell you, these winters are looong. By clearing the decks a bit, I’ve created space for some new green friends. Meet Alfred, Penelope, and their mini succulent friends. I invested in some pretty pots so they could look fancy all year round, and I set reminders in my phone to water them.

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8. Be nice to your boots. Before packing up my Uggs and Fry boots for summer (in a clear container, that’s a must!), I clean and treat them so their in tip-top shape while they’re away in storage.

9. Windows to your beloved belongings vs. hiding the ugly. Invest in some clear storage bins with effective tops from your area Target — that will make your storage transition that much easier, and they can easily stack on top of each other. One very important exception to this rule? Utilizing solid storage containers to hide the ugly, for example the eye sore that is my fiancé’s fly-tying table. Yes, that’s a thing, and for the record, I will have my own crafting table one day (although I have taken over 2.5 of our three closets, so maybe we’re even for now). To mitigate the piles of feathers sparkly god-knows-what-it-is and googly eyes, I invested in some simple canvas bins in masculine colors from Overstock.com.

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10. Celebrate in style. I cleaned out  my Christmas bin after reading Marie’s book, and good lord…so much of that just needed to go! I’m only 26 and I already had the most random s**t in there. Pair down your holiday décor and keep only the best and most sentimental. Group them by season as you can to make the most of your MakeSpace service.

Taylor’s Cleaning Must-Do’s:

  1. Keep it simple. Although I’m naturally drawn to a very neat and minimal decorating style, I really realized how few possessions I actually need when I moved to Seattle. I only took what I could fit in my car
  2. Color coded. Now this doesn’t necessarily actually make anything actually cleaner but I think that keeping everything color coded just is far more visually pleasing. From your closet to the book shelf it makes a semi-display out of the ordinary. Plus it makes finding that exact sweater you are looking for that much easier!
  3. Find everything a home. Although finding everything a home, from shoes to books to literally cleaning supplies, it makes keeping everything tidy so much easier. All you do is put it back in it’s home after you use it!
  4. Always wipe down the counters. This is one thing that I do daily that I think just makes any space so much nicer. A clean counter or surface makes any room feel so much cleaner. Plus you may be eating food or what have you off of it so shouldn’t it be clean?
  5. Store likes inside of likes. Pretty much anything that can be stored inside of a like frees up so much space. For example, I always store all our bags inside of the biggest bag. It keeps them nice and compact and then you never have to worry about tracking one down.
  6. Fold your underwear.  This might seem trivial in the big scheme of things but opening my underwear drawer to find everything neatly folded and separated makes it seem like there is just a little less chaos in the world. I neatly fold everything from underwear, socks, sports bras, and the list goes on and on and respectively stack everything neatly. At home I went as far as to divide the space with clear bins giving everything a home. Plus it keeps all those lacies wrinkle free and lasting longer!

Cheers to clean spaces and sparking joy everyday!

krista and taylor

brass blossom

weekend love it – globe trotting & gratitude

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

yoga girl by rachel braken

yoga girl by rachel brathen + white vacation nails

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

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

khongboon swimwear - nerja bikini

khongboon swimwear – nerja bikini

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

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

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

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waiting in the chair

balayage

balayage

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so many hair pictures

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

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

hiking up the backside of taylor canyon

hiking up the backside of taylor canyon

maude pod posing like a good girl

maude pod posing like a good girl

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love these ladies!

love these ladies!

yoga on a mountain

yoga on a mountain

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my fifteen minutes of instagram fame

pugger walks

pugger walks

proof my pug can actually walk by herself

proof my pug can actually walk by herself

love bugs

love bugs

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

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it — spring, showers, and simplifying

It’s been a doozy of a couple weeks — and my life will continue to be crazy — as I’m preparing for my biggest work event of the year. For that reason, I have really been a fan of the freshness of spring, healthy habits, new beginnings, keeping it simple, and, as always, celebrating the people I love in my life.

Here’s a look at the last couple of weeks:

1. spring and healthy habits: Spring has sprung! There are shoots of bright green everywhere you turn right now, and it’s so energizing. I have tried to hike at least four times per week, I’m drinking as much water per day as possible, and I’m soaking up every ounce of sun I possibly can between a crazy work schedule.

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2. new beginnings: I started to include this in my love it from two weeks ago, but the cat wasn’t out of the bag yet. I am so excited that the boy started a full-time job as a dealer services representative at hunting apparel company, First Lite. While I love all things furry and feathered, First Lite is a truly awesome company that takes care of its people and is growing like the spring grass in Sun Valley right now. Also, Taylor and I have matching hobbies, matching dogs…so why not add boyfriends with matching jobs to the list? I am so very proud of him and so excited to finally be able to share some incredible Sun Valley summer weekends with him!

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3. keeping it simple: My cousin Anna introduced me to to Blue Apron last week, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. They sent me three meals on Saturday — all three were easy to prepare, super delicious, healthy, and even came in 100% recyclable and compostable packaging materials. I highly recommend Blue Apron fro crazy weeks like I’m having this week!

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4. some love for my favorite ladies: The boy and I ventured to the big city this weekend to celebrate his sister’s engagement. I attended  a beautiful fiesta themed wedding shower that featured some very inspiring event ideas and a classy turned crazy engagement party on the water. It was such a beautiful weekend, and I am so excited for Jenna and Brad to tie the knot this summer!

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My mom celebrated her 64th birthday on Saturday. Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you very much.

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On my way home from San Francisco, I received the absolutely incredible news that Hilary Clinton will run for President of the United States in the 2016 election. This makes my heart pitter patter. It’s about time a woman controlled the Oval Office, and I just couldn’t think more of this incredible woman. This video legitimately brings goosebumps to my arms and tears to my eyes.

As this New York Times article states, “Pay equity is an issue that Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy will take up in earnest, along with others important to many women, like paid family and medical leave, a higher minimum wage and affordable access to child care.” Amen.

I also love this quote from her 2008 concession speech: “Although we weren’t able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it’s got about 18 million cracks in it,” she said. “And the light is shining through like never before, filling us all with the hope and the sure knowledge that the path will be a little easier next time.” Hillz for Prez!

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5. care packages: College = care packages. I am long past college, but this care package from my brother felt college cool…even more cool was that it was addressed to “the brass blossom.” I could get used to that! Thanks for the delicious snacks and tank tops from company 50th State of Mind, brother Drew!

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6. got: There’s really nothing I need to say about this show…you know. I loved hearing some creative takes from people much funnier than me on GOT this week. The first episode was amazing! Can’t wait for an awesome season.

I hope you have a far less hectic week than I will 🙂

cheers krista

 

brass blossom

double chocolate, blood orange tart

double chocolate, blood orange tart

double chocolate, blood orange tart

Baking is one of those things that really grounds me. Meticulously following a recipe or creating a creation of my own just speaks to my soul. So as things are settling down a bit in my life, getting back into the kitchen and feeling inspired to make something beautiful and just with the right amount of sweet is slowly coming back to me.

However after not baking for months, I thought I lost my baking mojo. I’m not kidding. I texted multiple friends in desperation and dispair. I wasn’t sure if I had made a deal with the Devil or what but I had several failed baking attempts in a row. And this like never happens to me. So when the perfectly pressed double chocolate crust for the first attempt at this tart flew out of the oven and splatted on the floor, and I burnt myself on the oven, I was over it.

I threw the first attempt away and (god forbid) bought a store bought dessert for our Game Dinner. Maybe just giving in was all I needed to get my mojo back, but the second attempt the next day went splendidly. Hopefully my mojo hangs around for a bit, because I’m not sure how well received any more manic baking texts will be.

servings

9″ tart

ingredients

Crust:

Curd:

  •  1/2 cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice
  • 1/2 cup bottled orange-mango juice
  • juice from 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup baker’s sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

I slightly adapted a blood orange curd recipe from On A Sweet Sugar Rush. The result was so tasty! Since blood oranges were 2 for $5 at our local market (fresh produce is a definite disadvantage of living through an Idaho Winter), I only bought a few so I had to supplement with some bottled juice…

instructions

  1. Crush the cookies in a plastic bag or food processor until finely ground. Combine with 6 tablespoons melted butter to form the crust.
  2. Press crust into the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan. The 7 ounces of cookies didn’t leave any crust to spare, so using more finely ground cookies wouldn’t hurt!
  3. Bake crust for 10 minutes until slightly hardened and let cool on counter.
  4. In a large saucepan, combine the blood orange juice, orange-mango juice, lime juice, baker’s and brown sugar, eggs, egg yolks and salt, and whisk over low.
  5. When the sauce starts to thicken (to be honest I didn’t see much thickening but figured 10 minutes of whisking was good), add the butter and continue to whisk until the curd thickens (about 15 minutes).
  6. Transfer to another vessel to cool. I didn’t strain my curd but I would definitely recommend it if you don’t prefer a chunkier curd.
  7. Once the curd is cooled, gently poor and spread the curd into the crust. Refrigerate for several hours.
  8. Top with a blood orange slice, and enjoy!
beautiful blood orange

beautiful blood orange

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the fixings

the fixings

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crust pre-baking

crust pre-baking

perhaps the prettiest fruit

perhaps the prettiest fruit

the crust post-baking

the crust post-baking

a twist of blood orange for decoration

a simple twist of blood orange for decoration

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spring floral plates

spring floral plates pair perfectly with the tart

ready to enjoy!

ready to enjoy!

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it — the little things

Happy Weekend! It seems like a century since I wrote my last “Weekend Love It.” Something that I love about crafting a ‘love it,’ is collecting tidbits of life that make me happy. So here are just a few things that I have been loving in recent weeks!

1. Being Home. While I’m truly behind the saying “home is where the heart is,” there is something magical about the physicality of “home.” Since the boy came home three weeks ago, thus ending our two month tour of southern Idaho, I have relished just being home. Being home and not being in the midst of the constant fury of packing, unpacking, and traveling has been rejuvenating.

Plus, having the boy home isn’t half bad either. Now our physical home is literally where my heart is…

love being "home"

love being “home”

2. Brain Injury Awareness Month. March is “Brain Injury Awareness Month,” and March 18 was “Brain Injury Awareness Day.” Prior to this year, brain injuries were about the furthest thing from my mind. However, now the growing awareness about brain injuries is something near and dear to my heart. Brain injuries are actually far more prevalent than I could have ever imagined with 1.7 million people in the US sustaining a traumatic brain injury annually.

Kevin Pearce was a professional snowboarder who suffered a near fatal traumatic brain injury in 2010 and he founded LoveYourBrain “to improve the quality of life for people affected by a brain injury.” The foundation has a great Facebook page as well as very “readable” literature on brain injuries. This is just one incredible resource to bring more light to “brain injury prevention, recovery and brain health.”

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3. Love Has No Label. Every time I watch this video it chokes me up. At first I watched it because I thought it was just skeletons dancing around, which is awesome but it is so much more than that. I encourage you all to watch it and forget about labels in the name of love.

4. Spring Walks. Cheers to the first days of Spring! I am 100% ready for anything but snow and cold. The boy and I have been going on lots of walks, with Maude Pod in tow, negotiating through all of the slush, ice and mud that come with Spring in Idaho. Regardless of the terrain, enjoying the fresh air, sometimes sunshine and Maude Pod going crazy makes these walks quite fantastic. I cannot wait for plenty of Summer hikes.

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5. Florals. Maybe it’s because it’s Spring, but I am just loving florals. Apparently Lululemon always has my back because the second I saw the Garden Party High Times Pants I knew that they most definitely had to be my Valentine’s Day present to myself. Hey, sometimes you just need something that makes you really happy. Here are a few other items I am loving (and quite possibility adding to my summer wardrobe):

lululemon - high times pant * full on luon

lululemon – high times pant * full on luon

asos - barely there jumpsuit in floral texture

asos – barely there jumpsuit in floral texture

zara - floral printed t-shirt

zara – floral printed t-shirt

j.crew - spring bikini in floral

j.crew – spring bikini in floral

6. Game Dinner. At the rate I’m going I will most likely be a vegetarian for life. However I have such admiration for those that harvest their own meat. And as winter turns to spring, our freezer is quite full of game meat. So this weekend we had a “Game Dinner” with some sides of greens to welcome Spring and cleaning out our freezers! Obviously a blog post will be coming soon.

romantic floral-themed table

romantic floral-themed table

7. KitchenAid’s New Stand Mixer – Champagne Gold. Along with florals I am just loving gold. Each year, KitchenAid releases new colors for their wonderful stand mixers. This year they released a single color, champagne goldObviously there was no need for any other colors to be released because champagne gold trumps anything and everything. This beautiful mixer tugs on every baking desire I have ever had. I have vowed that I won’t purchase a stand mixer until I have a lovely and perfect fit drawer to store it in, but this mixer just may change my mind…

kitchenaid's champagne gold stand mixer

kitchenaid’s champagne gold stand mixer

8. New Planner. Last year I happened upon a black Leather Desk Datebook from Graphic Image in our local paper store, Willow Papery and fell in love. While I love my iPhone, there is just something about writing in a datebook (a.k.a. planner) that I just can’t give up. I’m a total sucker for “To Do” lists and keeping everything neat and tidy, so my datebook is pretty much my best friend.

Since the beginning of this year was a bit crazy I never got around to purchasing another datebook until like mid-February. I was beginning to feel lost without one so I purchased a random datebook, but it just didn’t live up to loveliness of my previous Graphic Image. Since there are still another 9+ months to go I gave in and ordered this beauty. You can never say no to rose gold, gilded pages and something to keep you sane. I have been happily writing in it each day.

Side note: Graphic Image datebooks are quite spendy for a datebook but apparently if you wait until February they are 50% off. #win.

so pretty & gold

so pretty & gold

love the crisp pages

love the crisp pages

taylor brass

brass blossom

“good luck and true love” — st. patrick’s day dinner

I’ve come a long way from building complex Leprechaun traps (side note: how creepy is the concept of Leprechauns?!) and drinking green-dyed kid, and then adult, beverages. I can claim no Irish heritage, knowledge, or travel history to the country…But, it’s an understatement to say that we can use all the luck we can get for the rest of 2015. Also, who can possibly resist a holiday marked by gold accents?!

So, we rallied last minute to have an intimate St. Patrick’s Day dinner complete with corned beef, tokens of luck, and other kinds of greens. Here’s a look at the night!

decor

 

We opted for understated green and gold accents, including:

  • Gold tinted burlap runner
  • Arrangements of greenery and baby’s breath in gold vases
  • Gold glitter votives, like always
  • Tokens of good luck with face-up pennies hiding under napkins and face-up horseshoes at every other setting
  • Neutral accents — white plate with no placemats, gray napkins, and white candles
  • Shamrock inspired place cards that were trimmed from the greenery arrangements

st. patrick's day décor

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my handwriting isn't nearly as lovely as Taylor's but the occasion seemed to call for cursive. thank you, third grade

my handwriting isn’t nearly as lovely as Taylor’s but the occasion seemed to call for cursive. thank you, third grade. Each guest was greeted by a hidden penny when they picked up their place setting.

St. Patrick's Day decor

St. Patrick's Day decor

St. Patrick's Day decor

I found the horseshoes, which even said "good luck" on them at Huck and Paddle on Sun Valley Road

I found the horseshoes, which even said “good luck” on them at Huck and Paddle on Sun Valley Road

st patrick's day place setting

menu

 

We enjoyed classic St. Patrick’s Day fare with some corned beef and potatoes, but we spiced it up with some sides, and, of course, greens:

  • Corned beef, cooked two ways according to the same recipes we used at last year’s celebration. I think we’ve finally mastered them, and the baked version seemed to be the favorite. I recommend using Sun Valley Mustard!
  • “Gold coin” potatoes as I will call them from now on. Check out the recipe here. They’re like a cross between french fries and baked potatoes. Yum!
  • A beautiful all-green salad including kale, brussels sprouts, avocado, green apple matchsticks, sunflower seeds and parmesan
  • Sautéed greens including asparagus, zucchini, onion and garlic
  • Adorable and delicious “rainbow” baked chocolate donuts
very green salad — delicious mix of ingredients!

very green salad — delicious mix of ingredients

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sautéed greens by anna

"gold coin" potatoes — definitely serve with sour cream and chives!

“gold coin” potatoes — definitely serve with sour cream and chives

had to boil some cabbage, carrots, and more potatoes with the traditionally prepared corned beef!

had to boil some cabbage, carrots, and more potatoes with the traditionally prepared corned beef

baked corned beef with brown sugar, cloves, and sun valley mustard

the full plate

the full plate

Taylor's vegetarian plate — I love having her over for dinner because I feel like I eat healthier!

Taylor’s vegetarian plate — I love having her over for dinner because I feel like I eat healthier!

delicious rainbow donuts by Taylor

delicious rainbow donuts by Taylor

the company

 

It was a family affair with cousins, moms, caregivers and friends — who may as well be family at this point. Lots of love and good luck to all of you!

st. patrick's day dinner

casey photobombing in a big way

casey photobombing in a big way

In case you didn’t understand the title, check out Reckless Kelly’s  “Good Luck and True Love” — Reckless Kelly is one of our all-time favorite bands!

Here’s to good luck and true love for all of our supporters!

krista and taylor

 

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cornhole and mint – mother’s day dinner

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To celebrate Mother’s Day this year, I hosted a fun party for all of the women who I consider a “mother.” The night started with opening presents so that my mother and my boyfriend’s mother could provided the entertainment for the evening.

My boyfriend and I spent a majority of the weekend making custom cornhole games for our mothers. All of the wood, sanding, wood stain and physical/mental energy that went into these games was so worth it. We bought the cornhole bags from a super cool local cornhole company. Our mothers loved them. Also, I happen to have poor hand-eye coordination but cornhole proves to be a game that anyone can enjoy regardless of your skill. We played a few games of cornhole over drinks and this amazing asparagus and gruyere tart before dinner.

When it became slightly too cold to continue “cornholing,” we enjoyed a wonderful pot-luck style meal including spatchcocked chicken, brown rice and edamame salad, wedge salads, asparagus and beer bread. The entire meal was delicious and the company was even better.

Decor Yellow

My main inspiration behind the décor was mint plants. I wanted to make a little gift for each mother to take home and thought a small mint plant in a pretty pot would be a perfect spring gift. So for my table setting, I went with anything green with pops of yellow and white.

Post coming soon on the pots that I painted and distressed to add a rustic touch!

Here are some close ups of the table setting:

mint plants for the mothers!

mint plants for each mother at their table setting!

I went with simple white daisies to fill the center

I went with simple white daisies and candles to highlight my table

beautiful lime vase filled with fresh flowers

beautiful lime vase filled with fresh flowers

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mother’s day table setting – excuse my toes

Menu Yellow

Everyone brought a dish to contribute to dinner which was perfect and so easy for all.

APPETIZER:

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thanks, martha!

MAIN COURSE:

  • One of my great friends who happens to also be my boyfriend’s sister took on spatchcocked lemon chicken for the main course. Not only did everyone say it was delicious but also it was ridiculous fun to repeatedly say “spatchcock.”
  • We paired the spatchcocked chicken with a brown rice and edamame salad, beer bread, wedge salads and roasted asparagus! Everything was so delicious that I forgot to photograph anything that made it onto my plate…
  • We concluded the evening with a super simple lemon-blackberry bundt cake topped with a fresh-fruit salad and whipped cream. Recipe coming soon!
the professional spatchcocker herself

the professional spatchcocker herself

spatch-cocked chicken!

spatchcocked chicken!

lemon glazed lemon-blackberry bundt cake

lemon glazed lemon-blackberry bundt cake

sliced lemons for decoration

sliced lemons for a natural decoration

fresh fruit salad!

fresh fruit salad!

A few more photos that truly capture the evening:

corn-holing commencing!

cornholing commencing!

beautiful moms playing corn-hole!

beautiful moms playing corn-hole!

we bought these perfect bags from a local corn-hole company

we bought these perfect corn bags from a local cornhole company

sibling love

sibling love

shoulder rides during cornhole!

shoulder rides during cornhole!

homemade cornhole boards with Cornhole E.O. corn bags

homemade cornhole boards with Cornhole E.O. corn bags

Although everyday should really be a day to celebrate our mothers, we had a wonderful time celebrating all of our “mothers.” The night was full of lots of laughs, amazing food that left our bellies stuffed and the irrational desire to play just one more game of cornhole! I hope you all had an amazing Mother’s Day as well and continue to celebrate your mothers every day!

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it

I hope you are enjoying Spring as much as I am! This is a special time of year in Sun Valley because it’s very quiet — no tourists —and it’s the only time of year it’s truly “green.”

Here are some things that I am loving right now:

1. Spring Cleaning. It felt so good to trade in my sweaters and Uggs for sundresses and wedges! With the help of Chase’s dad, Steve, we also buffed out our backyard…You should have seen it before! Nothing’s better than the anticipation of summer BBQs! Colorful flowers and beirut games coming soon…

Parley helping in the yard....we filled five garbage bags with dead leaves and weeds!

Parley helping in the yard….we filled five garbage bags with dead leaves and weeds!

We're lucky that someone planted daffodils, lupine, and columbine in this flower bed

We’re lucky that a former renter planted daffodils, lupine, and columbine in this flower bed

fire pit, beer games, blooms and bbqs coming soon!

fire pit, beer games, blooms and bbqs coming soon!

our sunny, cozy bedroom. cork board art coming soon!

our sunny, cozy bedroom. cork board art coming soon!

summer dresses in every color and a new closet addition (see # 4)

summer dresses in every color and a new closet addition (see # 5)

2. The Absurdity of Idaho Politics. Sometimes I ask myself how I can live here with this kind of thing going on, but then I remember to laugh about it and look around me. No, this is not an SNL skit featuring the cast of Duck Dynasty. Here are some Republican rednecks at their Bible thumping, ranting, very best. Enjoy. This article provides a guide to some true highlights.

3. Young Adult Novel Guilty Pleasures. I delved into the Divergent series while on vacation recently, and they’re really fun, quick reads. Certainly not suitable for book club “higher thinking” (although I do recommend Curtis Sittenfeld’s American Wife), but fun all the same! Can’t wait to watch the movie when it comes out.

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4. The Anticipation of Game of Thrones and a Sunday Night “Family Dinner.” I started watching GOT in the first season when I was a senior at Oregon with a group of friends. We would cook a group dinner every Sunday and some of my favorite college memories are from those nights. I really could have done without the “Red Wedding” episode, but it’s a tradition still…

Tonight, our former roommate and friend Cody will come over (he’s claiming he’s going to dress up like John Snow….I claim Khaleesi…the dogs will be our dire wolves) to enjoy some beef stroganoff (recipe coming soon) and inevitably some raunchy sex scenes and bloody violence. If you are a GOT fan, definitely check out this Rolling Stone article on author George R.R. Martin. Also, how sexy is Kit Harington…?

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5. A Fun Wardrobe Addition. My favorite local boutique, Sway, has this adorable, comfortable dress from Pink Stitch in all colors of the rainbow. I want every single one…They also have a shorter style — I have my eye on the one with polka dots. Get it from Shop Bop for a cool $84 here. I decided on this pretty gray color (good for blondes) in a size 4. You can dress it up (like the model here) or down — I wore it out to dinner here with some gladiator sandals and a simple necklace.

it was so hard to choose just one!

it was so hard to choose just one!

Have a great week! Cork board crafts and beef stroganoff recipe coming soon…

cheers krista

 

brass blossom

fresh cut flowers — pretty and functional

gerber daisies brightening my home

gerber daisies brightening my home

I’ve always been a firm believer that flowers, though impermanent, bring happiness. They truly bring me joy every time I look at them.

I was thrilled to read this article from the Huffington Post titled “The Mental Health Benefits of Flowers.” Check it out. As Augustin writes, “Park and Mattson in 2008 confirmed what visitors to sick people have known intuitively forever. They found that patients in hospital rooms brightened with flowers and potted plants needed less postoperative pain medication, had lower systolic blood pressure and pulse rates, were less anxious and tired, and generally were in a more positive psychological state than patients in rooms without plants.”

The benefits of flowers are surprising, extensive, and powerful. I feel even less guilty now when I consistently purchase fresh flowers at the grocery store. While this may seem like a superfluous, unnecessary cost, it’s one I’m willing to preserve by cutting back on other costs, like a daily Starbucks (as I opt for the faculty lounge pot of drip coffee instead).

The gerber daisies here were $3, and I found these fun vases on clearance at Target. They are directly in my line of sight each time I walk in the door, and they make me happy every time! Here are some more fun pictures of pretty flowers.

happy greeting

happy greeting

peonies are my all-time favorite flower — worth the splurge sometimes!

peonies are my all-time favorite flower — worth the splurge sometimes!

avoid too much of a splurge by purchasing a single statement bloom and accenting it with a small delicate flower sprig

avoid too much of a splurge by purchasing a single statement bloom and accenting it with a small delicate flower sprig

tulips are also a favorite  — they always remind me of my mom!

tulips are also a favorite — they always remind me of my mom!

pretty spring pink and festive daisies

pretty spring pink and festive daisies

cheers krista

 

brass blossom

 

weekend love it – springtime funnies

I have been loving anything remotely related to springtime recently. I just cant get enough of the sun and new buds coming up everywhere. Krista is currently in Hawaii for which I am eternally jealous but here are a few things that are getting me through spring and hopefully into an early summer!

1. Cake Pop Bouquets. Bouquets of cake-pops and flowers!

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I made these cake-pop bouquets for a wedding this weekend

2) New porch additions. New colorful adirondack chairs that my wonderful mother surprised me with this week! pug not included.

these chairs are amazing for enjoying sunday morning coffee & berries. the puggers concur.

these chairs are amazing for enjoying sunday morning coffee & berries. the puggers concur.

3) How you hold your wine glass. This post about how you hold your wine glass got me through hump-day. It left me giggling alone at home…

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4) Everything about Emma Stoe. Emma Stone lip-synching on Jimmy Fallon. It is absolutely hilarious and confirmed my serious girl crush on her.

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend full of sunshine!

taylor brass

brass blossom