#thebrassblossom

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

idaho adventures — the “top” of idaho, mount borah

Fun fact. Idaho only has one area code: 208. So there is always a big bonding moment with anyone you meet from Idaho about the 208. But Mount Borah is another story. Mount Borah should have its own area code. Because it is way, way up there and although absolutely magnificent like the rest of Idaho (for the most part), it feels like another world entirely. After a point there is no life: no trees, no water, no signs of animals (minus chipmunks who prosper off snacks from hikers), no shade, no nothing but rocks, maybe some (or a thousand) other hikers and a long ways down. Standing at 12,668 feet high, Mount Borah is no joke.

Conquering Mount Borah has been on Krista’s and my summer bucket list for a while now. So without further delay, here is the story of that one time #thebrassblossom (almost) summitted Mount Borah:

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#thebrassblossom toyed with the idea of climbing Mount Borah for several weeks. But it seemed like every time #thebrassblossom attempted to rally troops (begged, pleaded, attempted to convince them it would be a fun time with strong, independent, Idaho women…) to go with them there was just too much fun and summer activity going on to spare an entire day. So finally #thebrassblossom bucked up and decided they were going, regardless of if anyone else was going to join them. But as fate would have it, #thebrassblossom’s pleading convinced their fine, fair skinned, Washington born, lovely friend with an infectious laugh, Tori to join. #success.

True to form, #thebrassblossom didn’t just go out without doing some research. #thebrassblossom did extensive internet research and asked many “locals” what was really up with climbing Mount Borah. #thebrassblossom got several responses along the lines of: “heal yeah!” or “oh yeah, I did that in college and drank a fifth of whiskey along the way!” or “five hours at a leisurely pace!” or “the downhill is the worst pain you will ever encounter!” With those thoughts/encouragements/atrocities in mind #thebrassblossom made a plan: leave Ketchum at 6:00 am after getting coffee (no sooner – because let’s be honest, Krista’s finest hours are nowhere near the morning…), drive the hour to the base of Mount Borah and embark! #thebrassblossom gathered snacks (brie of course), some pink champagne (obvi!) and made a bandanna prayer flag for the top. Taylor’s boy even outfitted her with his backpack, a whistle, a first aid kit, a pee-pee kit and trekking poles the evening before. #thebrassblossom and Tori were set for adventure.

The drive was comparable to herding cattle but #thebrassblossom and Tori made it to the base in no time and set off at around 8:00 am. Things were going pretty peachy at a nice and easy (slow and steady wins the race people) pace until Krista forgot her sunglasses on a stump and had to turnaround. Lesson #1: always check your surroundings when you leave! The trail continued literally straight up and there were quite a few curse words said about whoever the eff made the trail. At some point, Tori took her pants off (quickly replaced by shorts of course! but by far the best view the side of Borah has seen in a long time…) as the heat of the day was starting to set in. Finally the timber disappeared and the trail continued through rocky-shale and reached LITERALLY the only flat spot on all of Mount Borah. From that point, it was like another world. There were no trees and #thebrassblossom and Tori were surrounded for miles by rock and level with most surrounding peaks. It honestly felt more like the moon than Idaho. It was truly a time and a place in life that cannot be recreated.

At that flat point with Mount Borah looming in the background and “Chickenout Ridge” appearing to go straight up to the sky, #thebrassblossom and Tori decided jumping photos were necessary. Lesson #2: white girls cant jump. From there, #thebrassblossom and Tori forged on steadily until the bottom of “Chickenout Ridge.” Now let us tell you something about that ridge – it is not for the faint at heart, the sensible, the weak or most of the people who were actually on it. It was also at that point that #thebrassblossom and Tori encountered the super-highway of people on the mountain (mostly men in fact who were packing guns and always greeted us with “Hey ladies!” not joking, kinda creepy?). We kid you not, literally there were 100+ other people from Chickenout Ridge on.

#thebrassblossom and Tori got a bit psyched out prior to crossing the ridge by the other “hikers” that were coming down. The remarks ranged from “it’s only worse from here” to “this is God’s mountain and people aren’t meant to be up here!” (again not joking…). #thebrassblossom and Tori were further psyched out by two young (unattended, like with no parents) tween boys who were tornado-ing off the ridge in SKATE SHOES as we were beginning the ridge. Lesson #3: Do not wear skate shoes to climb Mount Borah. Lesson #4: Do not climb Borah if you are under 16 without supervision. Lesson #6: Do not attempt Borah on a weekend as it is a super-highway of hell.

But #thebrassblossom and Tori decided the safest place for us was as far away from the superhighway as possible and that meant up. So #thebrassblossom and Tori scurried (for the most part) up and across approximately 3/4 of Chickenout Ridge, at which point we called it our Summit. We were done. It had been a little over 4 hours, we were a bit scarred by the passings on Chickenout Ridge and needed some Brie and Champagne to calm our nerves. Plus isn’t creating your own summit even cooler! #thebrassblossomsummit

Before heading down, we enjoyed a fine picnic lunch, took so many pictures and “popped” one bottle of champagne. Lesson #6: Make sure if you hike up thousands of feet and risk your life that the bottles of champagne you intend to “pop” actually pop and don’t twist off. Lesson #7: The altitude kinda makes you drunk so you don’t EACH need a mini-bottle. After a bit of refueling and getting our wits together, #thebrassblossom and Tori headed on down from “our” summit (literally). And it was HELL. Literally worst thing ever on your toes, calves, thighs, soul and sense of self. #thebrassblossom and Tori all agreed we would rather hike up twice than ever do that downhill. But it was a probably a character builder in the end. Lesson #8: Don’t get a nice pedicure before you summit Borah because you will ruin it.

Once down, #thebrassblossom and Tori enjoyed sponge baths to rid the caked layers of dirt on our legs, snacked on pounds of chips, hummus and snap peas and enjoyed a pleasant drive back to the Valley. And since those snacks didn’t even come close enough to filling our bellies that just conquered Mount Borah (pretty much, close enough), we drove immediately to Grumpy’s to nom. #thebrassblossom and Tori may have been made fun of for our slight limps and stiff gaits (somewhat similar to that of the Tin Man) and incredibly sun burned legs. Lesson #9: Public humiliation is worth it for Grumpy’s and even if you already applied it, reapply sunscreen when you are way up there in the sky because you will turn into a little tomato with sock tan lines that peel right before a wedding…awk.

And that’s our story. We had an amazing time filled with so much sun, so little shade, lots of laughs, some highs from lack of oxygen, a few sips of champagne, a pound or two of Brie (each) and a glorifying experience at our summit of 11,601 (to be exact) feet. And while we didn’t make the actual summit of Borah, we made it exactly as far as we all needed. We pushed our limits (both mental and physical), enjoyed a full day of each other’s company and had an experience that led to no regrets. Cheers to Mount Borah!

there is nothing to rival a morning in the copper basin

there is nothing to rival a morning in the copper basin

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the beginning...

the beginning…

obvious necessities...thank you mr hawkes!

obvious necessities…thank you mr hawkes! #hydrateordie

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mout borah looming in the background

not quite sure about this…

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this is not on you jump

this is not how you jump…

success

success

chickenout ridge leading straight up to the sky

chickenout ridge leading straight up to the sky

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the only picture i managed to capture going up chickenout ridge (the beginning)

the view from our summit!

the view from our summit!

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cheers!

cheers!

"popping" bottles

“popping” bottles

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we forgot a knife...thank god casey packed us a firstaid kit with scissors!

we forgot a knife…thank god casey packed us a firstaid kit with scissors!

krista in her element

krista in her element

#thebrassblossom

#thebrassblossom

and tori!

and tori!

some "play hard give back" to compliment the brie

some “play hard give back” to compliment the brie

firstlite + pink champagne

firstlite + pink champagne + brie

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tourist photo #1

tourist photo #2

tourist photo #2

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our homemade prayer flag

our homemade prayer flag

#teamcasey

#teamcasey

❤ PBD

grandma gigi

aunt gina / grandma gigi ❤

TR <3

TD ❤

peace out mount borah

peace out mount borah

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going down the final part of chickenout ridge

going down the final part of chickenout ridge

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heart rocks

heart rocks

grumpy's = life complete

the end…

so bad but so good

so bad but so good

until next time mount borah! (or not and that would be okay too...)

until next time mount borah! (or not and that would be okay too…)

krista and taylor

 brass blossom