weekend love it

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

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

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

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2. idaho dreaming dream-catcher. Several months ago I had this crazy dream/vision/coming of terms that the boy and I (Maude Pod too of course) needed a huge dream-catcher for above our bed. So for several months I searched high and low for a ginormous dream-catcher with no luck. I did have a few hard to meet specifications though: it had to be literally GINORMOUS (like 3 feet in width), it had to be made with good juju (because being made in a factor somewhere in Asia just doesn’t scream good juju to me, sorry Urban Outfitters) and it had to be ethereal. I was beginning to think my vision may have just been a vision that was never going to be reality until I discovered Idaho Dreaming. My vision came perfectly true so close to home with the lovely dream-catcher that I purchased and is proudly making only good dreams come true above our heads nightly.

A full post to come on this beautiful dream-catcher because it is too pretty and perfect not to share the 150 photos I have taken of it…

all wrapped up - i literally couldn't wait to open it

all wrapped up – i literally couldn’t wait to open it

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perfection <3

perfection ❤

3. m + e = oregon wedding love. It has definitely been a summer full of celebrating love for both Krista and I (the boys too). This past weekend the boy and I celebrated one of my best friends and roommate for several years of college marry her incredible man. They are truly a perfect pair and two of the most loyal, generous and kind-hearted individuals I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

The weekend was literally perfect. It was full of so many good friends, good laughs, giant Oregon skies and non-stop festivities. It was one of those weekends that you never really want to end.

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love these ladies!

love these ladies!

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the best "family" around!

the best “family” around!

morning runs with bae

morning runs with bae

oregon skies

oregon skies

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so much love for these two

so much love for these two

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wooh!!!

wooh!!!

#dynasty

#dynasty

so much wind

so much wind

the best of the best

the best of the best

looking hot at cougar rock

looking hot at cougar rock

photo by gina paulson

photo by gina paulson

4. goat friends. If you ever feel like you are a bit low on friends in life, I have some advice for you. Get baby dwarf goats. Literally everyone loves baby goats and baby goats love everyone! The goats have had oodles of visits this summer and clearly they are just loving it…

goat kisses!

goat kisses!

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goat selfies

goat selfies

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no words...

no words…

more goat selfies

more goat selfies

5. smokey, summer adventures. A few weekends ago my cousin came to visit for the weekend and we had a wonderful weekend full of Idaho adventures. And while it was ridiculously smokey, we didn’t let the haze get to us. When we were growing up we pretty much spent some time every summer together either in Idaho or in Minnesota at the most amazing summer camp. Looking back on it summer camp was pretty much the greatest thing ever…our weekend was like an adult version of summer camp with some lake time, pool time, daily ice-cream and board games each evening. Can’t wait until the next time I see this lovely and hysterical lady again!

best cookie ever at the stanley bakery

best cookie ever at the stanley bakery

redfish lake paradise

redfish lake paradise

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6. pug for pres. Trump or pug? I now know who I am voting for…

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7. forever pug love. This past week we said goodbye to my beautiful pugger, Lizzie. It was a ridiculously hard decision but I know that she is in a better place most likely basking in the sun or in a pug snuggle pile. I will forever miss her love with no boundaries and ear piercing bark that only came out this last year. A life without pugs is truly an incomplete life and I hope to one day (soonish) adopt another pugger lover. I love you forever Liz.

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beautiful flowers, a card and wonderful book from the best friends anyone could ask for

beautiful flowers, a card and wonderful book from the best friends anyone could ask for

I hope you all have a wonderful week and make sure to give lots of love to those that are special to you, furry or not.

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it – inspiring words, ladies & mountain tops

One of the things I love most about blogging (other than randomly sporting the saying “hashtag brass blossom”) is it is an outlet. A creative outlet, an emotional outlet, an “I don’t feel like I’m going anywhere in the world” outlet. It’s no coincidence “The Brass Blossom” started in the month of February in Idaho when it’s cold, the winter is really starting to get to you and according to my Sirius radio it’s the least happy month…

And even though it’s an outlet for both Krista and me, it’s obviously a very public outlet since if you didn’t notice it’s on the Internet and we share it with no shame. But the point being, that even though this blog started as a place to keep us sane and our outlet, I wanted to thank you all for your continued support of our venture. Our last post on Grief and Support blossomed (see what I did there) as an idea from Krista and grew from there. The words, support and love we received were truly beautiful and I wanted to thank you all for that, from the bottom of the #brassblossom heart.

And that support couldn’t have come at a better time, as the last week wasn’t the greatest week, true to the ebb and flow of life.  So when I needed a bit of life inspiration last week I found it (like quite often in recent months) from Cheryl Strayed and thought it was too good not to share:

“You have to pay your own electric bill. You have to be kind. You have to give it all you got. You have to find people who love you truly and love them back with the same truth. But that’s all.”

So with that mushy, gushyness said, here is what I have been loving in recent weeks.

1. torch. I originally had planned to start this book last week on a road trip to Salt Lake City but like always I failed to remember how I literally pass out anytime I am the passenger in the car…so I just started this book at the pool this weekend, and I am hooked. This book is raw and speaks to grief on so many levels. And while I have devoured all of Strayed’s non-fiction works that I have picked up, she proves her writing, her voice and her wisdom has no boundaries. A great read thus far.

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2. astronaut wives. The Astronaut Wives Club is hands down my new favorite show of pretty much all time. Every time the boy and I watch the show I verbalized how much I really love the show. I pretty much check OnDemand daily to see if it is available. The show features a truly challenging time in the world featuring (obv) astronauts and the space race but also the women behind the space race. You know what they say…behind every great man, there is a great woman. And for some reason, I have always felt a bit of a kindred spirit to a 50’s housewife. Maybe it’s the aprons? Maybe it’s the fact it was a huge time for women’s rights? Regardless, if you like me are not a wife, an astronaut or someone really interested in space at all, I still promise you this show will speak to you. Plus I have a huge girl crush on Odette Annable
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3. friends in high (model) places. I know a few pretty cool people who have all recently been blowing up magazine (and internet) spreads with their hot faces. And not only are their hot faces featured, but they are all featured doing something they are passionate about in the outdoors. They are all beautiful, adventurous, Idaho-loving models that I can’t help but share!
that one time the boy was a male model (for beretta)

that one time the boy was a male model (for beretta)

#studmuffin

#studmuffin

SVPN featuring three amazing, local fishing ladies on the latest in fishing fashion

SVPN featuring three amazing, local fishing ladies on the latest in fishing fashion

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love seeing this lady in print!

love seeing this lady in print!

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4. mount borah. #thebrassblossom and our lovely friend Tori almost summited Mount Borah last weekend. Yes Borah, the highest peak in Idaho. And while we didn’t quite make it, it was still an incredible, slightly sunburned and high on lack of oxygen time. Also don’t fret, an “Idaho Adventure” post will be coming soon as it was too incredible not to share (we just had to collect our wits and thoughts).
obvious market necessities for the borah climb

obvious market necessities for the borah climb

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popping a bottle to celebrate!

popping a bottle to celebrate!

5. power house and veggie love. The evening before hiking Mount Borah, I knew I needed to seriously carbo-load, so the boy and I headed to Hailey to the Power House. Two of our favorite people also joined us and we had an amazing time with some amazing beers and delicious food. For anyone that hasn’t been to their new location, it is just as good and I literally wish at least twice a week that this restaurant was in Ketchum. Also huge props to Power House for offering multiple vegetarian options, which just never happens in Idaho. I have been dreaming since of nomming again on those Oat Burger Tacos. Cheers!
a slightly intimidating door

a slightly intimidating door

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truffle fries - so delicious!

truffle fries – so delicious!

oat buger tacos! such a great concept!

oat buger tacos – such a great concept!

6. road trips & seeing eye dogs. I recently read a quote from Heidi Powell that was something along the lines of “it doesn’t need to be romantic to be romantic.” The boy took me to Salt Lake City for my annual eye appointment last week and while it was not in the slightest a typical romantic day (I think I channeled my inner pug with how large my pupils got), but it was still a “romantic” day. We got to spend 10 hours (more like 8 as I slept just a bit…) of uninterrupted car time together and just enjoy a day of him playing my seeing eye dog and chauffeur. It was totes fun had by all. And we even enjoyed pounds of mac-n-cheese for lunch at Whole Foods because there is nothing that their mac-n-cheese can’t make better. Nom nom. On another note, I sadly learned several years ago that careers in public service and even being as astronaut apparently have very strict eye tests to pass and are highly discriminatory against the legally blind, so sadly I will never be an astronaut, police officer, fire-fighter or anything cool like that. So for now, I will live my life vicariously through The Astronaut Wives Club. Also for anyone who feels their eyes need just a bit more attention, the Moran Eye Center is the place to go. I cannot say enough positive things about this institute.
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ermygawd

ermygawd

Hope you all have an amazing week full lots of love. ❤

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it – summer love, letters & luxuries

July was truly a spectacular month. If my life were a country song (in like the sappiest way possible), the theme of the song would be about love (like every country song…). We spent the month of July enjoying the Northwest on a wedding tour and cannot be more thankful than to have been a part of that love. We have also enjoyed our fair share of amazing indulgences (cue the “dad bod”) to go along with all that love…here is a look!

1. northwest wedding tour continued. The boy and I were again lucky enough to be invited to another amazing wedding, this time in McCall, Idaho. And while I completely think that the Wood River Valley is the only place in Idaho worth noting, McCall and it’s people are quite spectacular as well.

Krista’s “sister-in-law” (otherwise known as Chase’s sister) married the love of her life in the most amazing, heartfelt wedding full of a constant stream of simultaneous laughter and tears with a side of the most amazing grilled cheese (I literally ate my weight in cheese). Literally every moment was amazing, but I’ll just give you a sneak peak as Krista spent almost the entire week celebrating their love so deserves the spotlight! Cheers to a life full of love, laughter and happy tears to the Brennans!

big idaho sky

big idaho sky

the boy, his camo tie and the future of randolph

the boy, his camo tie and the future of randolph

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the boys :)

the boys 🙂

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duckkkkksss!!

go duckkkkksss!!

picturesque

picturesque

so much love

so much love for the boy, 70’s cocaine jumpsuits and idaho

lake view

lake view

2. pretty letters. I have always truly enjoyed handwriting and beautifully written letters and words. So I was ecstatic when I was asked to help out with a few chalkboards for the wedding in McCall. I love pretty words, pretty letters and making pretty things for pretty people!

there is no greater sign than an idaho sign

there is no greater sign than an idaho sign (& coffee)

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backwards but the idea is still the same...cheers to the brennans!

backwards but the idea is still the same…cheers to the brennans!

and to top it off...the cutest card i found in mccall

and to top it off…the cutest card i found in mccall

3. new eats & treats. The Warfield recently joined the ranks of Ketchum restaurants. And right now it seems to be sitting pretty high. Warfield definitely hit the mark on a place to go for good food, good drinks and an ahhhhmazing deck. And the service and overall atmosphere was actually incredible for a newly opened restaurant. Go right this second and enjoy the deck and some nommies. You won’t regret it!

love me some brick and gold accents

love me some brick and gold accents

this door handle makes me swoon

this door handle makes me swoon

topo map menus

topo map menus

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the best cocktail (the London Lemonade)

the best, not-too-sweet, cocktail (the London Lemonade)

the veg burger

the veg burger

krista's poutine

krista’s poutine

brussels forever!

brussels forever!

the best deck around

the best deck around

4. i heart lulu x seven billion. A few weeks ago I was very nicely asked by the local Lululemon store to participate in an event. A few other local women who also participate in Crossfit (and are all total badasses) and I were brought into the store to give our opinions, ideas and suggestions for Lululemon gear for Crossfit. We talked about nipping out, some boob chaffing and all those fun things that happen when you work out. And then we were given gift cards to purchase some new Lulu swag! I know, like my dream come true!! Lululemon and Crossfit all wrapped up into one?! Pretty much best night ever.

And now I wasn’t sure anything could top the brainstorming event but the pants I got actually are the MOST amazing pants ever (Street to Studio Pant II…I also sized up for a bit of a looser fit). If you didn’t know by now I would wear yoga pants everyday of my life, for the rest of my life if it were socially acceptable. And guess what!? These pants make it socially acceptable. They can definitely be termed more of a “lifestyle” item and I literally wear them everywhere. A must buy! Even goats love them…

mecca

mecca

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the pants i got...not the best angle but just wait!

the pants i got…not the best angle but just wait!

pretty much the cutest shirt ever...thinking about running back by for it

pretty much the cutest shirt ever…thinking about running back by for it

trying to get the goats to cooperate for a photo: fail. wearing my new pants everyday: success.

trying to get the goats to cooperate for a photo: fail. wearing my new pants everyday: success.

5. we were liars (semi-spoiler alert). I started reading We Were Liars by E. Lockhart in late December and literally pummelled through the first half of the book. (Side note: The fact that the female author goes by E. Lockhart makes her super cool in my book. Total throw back to female authors not being able to be published under feminine names.) Then the boy’s accident happened and reading was the last thing from my mind. I attempted to pick up the book in February but the storyline of the main character having a traumatic brain injury just hit a bit too close to heart.

But I recently picked up the book running out the door on the way to the pool since I had forgotten to download a book. And I loved the rest of the story. There is a reason this book is a “New York Times Bestseller.” It’s a quick read with a twist of an ending. I highly recommend it and if I say more I will spoil it…

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6. sunday night impromptu “family” dinner. The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of wonderful and I desperately needed a relaxing weekend. On Sunday, my Brass Blossom Boyfriend and I went to a Barre class, hung out at the pool and then parted ways only to enjoy a very spontaneous, “family” dinner with the boys and black dogs later in the evening. We had amazing food (with only slightly burnt corn….Cha-seee), a few drinks and a whole lot of laughs playing cornhole (P.S. #thebrassblossom came soooo close to beating the boys in cornhole…we will get them next time!). Summers are definitely for impromptu dinners like these on back porches listening to country music.

(half) of my lovely dinner dates

(half) of my lovely dinner dates

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i just love summer nights

i just love summer nights

idaho pie for dessert (recipe coming soon!)

idaho pie for dessert (recipe coming soon!)

7. i only like pugs. This shirt and card pretty much sum up my life.

 

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Cheers to a week full of recharging!

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it – so many adventures full of love

The past two weeks and weekends have literally been absolutely amazing. They were chuck full of “little things” that make me completely and utterly grateful. It has definitely been a year of highs and lows and right now I am riding a wave of high that I am just hoping continues on for infinity.

Not only were they long weekends and short work weeks, but they were full of so many adventures, celebrations and love. I have been having some pretty serious withdrawals this week but I am looking forward to another weekend full of love!

Here is a look!

1. hiking for life. I spent almost the entirety of the Fourth of July weekend hiking and it just truly amazing. Plus I got new hiking shoes (INOV8, which fit my baby feet so nicely) so that made it even more amazing. Every day I literally (and physically) felt on top of the world from the hiking, views, slightly sore feet, best company around and post-hike snacks and drinks. I am seriously considering a job change to “professional hiker” so if anyone out there has any connections, please throw them my way.

I tipped off the weekend with an amazing Idaho Adventure to what is literally one of Ketchum’s best kept secret hikes with a few amazing lady friends and then followed it up with a hike to Titus Lake with the boy and one of our favorite couples. Lastly, Krista and I did a short hike to detox on Sunday and it was just what I needed to wrap up the amazingly active weekend.

awesome new hiking shoes (i got them from the clymb for a great price)

awesome new hiking shoes (i got them from the clymb for a great price)

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silver lake

idaho friends in idaho places

idaho friends in idaho places

wildflowers for days

wildflowers for days

evenings on silver creek

evenings on silver creek

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fourth of july watermelon, blueberry & feta salad

fourth of july watermelon, blueberry & feta salad

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titus lake

titus lake

love these two!

love these two!

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2. washington love. Ermygawd. Literally the best weekend of my ENTIRE life just happened. I wasn’t sure anything could top my Fourth of July weekend full of Idaho, so much food and amazing company but this last weekend just did. The boy and I were invited to what will likely be the most amazing wedding we will ever go to for two of our dear friends from college. We also did a bit of exploring and I even managed to make it to an early morning Crossfit session for the bride. It was a giant smorgasbord of all of my favorite people and favorite activities all wrapped up into one.

wedding wod

wedding wod

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handstands for love!

handstands for love!

just some crazy chihuly glass

just some crazy chihuly glass

glass bridge

glass bridge

i stole some chalk from some kiddies and got creative

i stole some chalk from some kiddies and got creative

my favorite people!

my favorite people!

the cutest (and best) cookie i think i have ever eaten at 10:00 am on a sunday...

the cutest (and best) cookie i think i have ever eaten at 10:00 am on a sunday…

3. wedding love. Since this last weekend was literally so amazing, it deserves two spots in my Love It. The wedding was truly spectacular. Not that anyone expected anything less as the bride, Gina Paulson (eeekk!), is quite possibly the cutest, most creative and Crossfit, coffee and cat loving person ever. She happens to be the creative genius, manager, owner and soul proprietor (probably?) of Eleven and West. You must check it/her/the website out now.

Since that evening I have been continually flipping back through the photos on my phone in an attempt to relive all the fun, smiles, love, food and hugs. Literally the best night of my life and I didn’t even get married…ahhemm.

gift bags (i know, how cute!!)

gift bags (i might save this paper bag forever…)

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i just cant even…

fairy lights, white chairs and pretty love notes in gina's perfect calligraphy

fairy lights, white chairs and pretty love notes in gina’s perfect calligraphy

so much love for this guy (looking so fresh!)

so much love for this guy (looking so fresh!)

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you cant sit with us...

you cant sit with us…

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so true

so true

is it free advertising if you work for them? coozie and all...

is it free advertising if you work for them? coozie and all…

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i had seconds and then a truck rolled up with these buggers and literally made my life

i had seconds and then a truck rolled up with these buggers and literally made my life

new friend?!

new friend?!

photo booth fun

there is nothing better than a photo booth & sequins

the most amazing couple! so happy for them!

the most amazing couple! so happy for them!

4. national kissing day. National Kissing Day went down on July 6th and there were so many kisses at our house. Goat kisses that is. I captured the boy being loved on / mauled by the goats and thought it was so appropriate as it happened to be National Kissing Day! Too cute not to share!

goat kisses! (please note bernard taking a little tumble in the background)

goat kisses! (please note bernard taking a little tumble in the background)

goat loves <3

goat loves ❤

5. thug kitchen. My aunt originally shared Thug Kitchen  with me and I have been laughing ever sense. I love good clean food and Thug Kitchen is just that mixed with like seventy swearwords and funnies for each recipe. A must read, follow and even cook from for nommy eats and silly times.

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6. pretty presents. By far one of my favorite parts of the holiday season is wrapping presents. I just love creating something just as beautiful as the gift. There have been several recent birthday celebrations in our lives and I am still just loving this recent wrap job topped with a fresh flower.

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7. j.crew jumpsuits. If I was to ever categorize my favorite things in life, J.Crew and jumpsuits would be right up there with coffee, 30 minutes of dead silence in the morning, sunshine, beans, Crossfit, Uggs, Lululemon, wearing leggings every day, pugs and green tea. So the other day when J.Crew was having 50% off their sale items, I literally almost cried of happiness that a J.Crew jumpsuit that I had been eyeing for months was only $40.00. I obviously bought it immediately. It was fate. I absolutely adore the fun colors and slightly too big fit (leaves extra room for summer celebrations…).

On another note, the boy thinks this jumpsuit is pretty radical as well. He advised me at 5 am when we were leaving for Seattle, “wooo that is quite a jumpsuit! It looks like it belongs in the 70’s with cocaine!” Why thank you Mr Boy, I really appreciate your compliment? Whatever. I wore the jumpsuit last weekend and just loved ever minute of it but figured since there weren’t any pictures of me in it on the internet that it’s totally good to go for another weekend! Love when that happens! #internetettiquette

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8. pugs – peanutbutter & instagram. My pug love is never ending so I figured why not keep sharing my recent pugger life highlights…my little pugger Lizzie loves just about anything and everything to do with food. So more often than not when I finish a jar of peanut-butter I pass it off to her. Because when you’re a 13-year-old pug there is no good reason not to lick a jar clean, or as clean as you can when your nose is flat and your tongue is a bit short.

loving on some peanutbutter

loving on some peanutbutter

And speaking of internet etiquette, here is Doug the Pug to teach us 9 things you shouldn’t do on Instagram (unless you’re a pug of course)…take notes!

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taylor brass

brass blossom

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 – life inspiration, soul food & rainbow krispies

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

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

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

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

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

the "creek"

the “creek”

happy birthday abbey!

happy birthday abbey!

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<3

love these two ❤

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

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

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crazy synced pull-ups

crazy synced pull-ups

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

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

goats in bandanas!

goats in bandanas!

z-baby doing crazy goat things

z-baby doing crazy goat things

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

amazing summer salad

amazing summer salad

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

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

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

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

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

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

they are supposed to look like fish...

they are supposed to look like fish…

everyone likes rice krispies

everyone likes rice krispies

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

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

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

Hope you all have a great week!

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it – japan jet lag & indulgences

This past week has been a whirlwind. I got back from Japan (more about that to come) just in time to have one day to get organized and then I was back to work and a busy week full of indulgences. I had family in town and felt a bit insatiable when it came to food and social events this week. I also felt a bit out of it (probably due to jet lag, but I can’t really complain since I was in Japan!) all week so I plan on getting a bit more R&R and healthiness in this week.

Here is everything that I have been loving!

1. japan. My trip to Japan was incredible. But how could it have been anything less than incredible with amazing company, adventuring with no real destination, slight culture shock and a bit of sunshine? As amazing as all of those things were I think the best part about Japan was simply living in the moment of where I was. More about my travels in a post to come.

Here are a few photos as a tease!

new places, new friends

new places, new friends

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handstanding all over the world

handstanding all over the world

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2. orange is the new black. When Season Two of Orange is the New Black came out last summer, I binged watch the entire season in like two days. I saw no sunshine, no social events and pretty much ignored the boy for a solid two days for just one more episode. And it was worth it.

I am ecstatic about Season Three coming out June 12th and have blacked out my calendar for another binge watching extravaganza. Anyone is welcome. Bring snacks. Believe me, if you get past the first episode you will likely give up your first born for just one more episode.

3. beautiful ruins. I received Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter a few months ago when I was pretty much incapable of focusing on anything. I recently got around to picking it up and adored this book. It isn’t really a strenuous read but keeps you engaged with all of the different story lines. It is definitely a good summer read and leaves you with that feel-good feeling.

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4. kentucky derby & hats. I have always genuinely liked the Kentucky Derby. I don’t really like horses or horse racing in general but I do quite like the Kentucky Derby. Maybe it’s the hype of the event and all of those hats or maybe it’s the hope of rooting for the underdog (c’mon, everyone loved Seabuiscuit), but I get giddy for the event each year.

This year, our good friend Abbey hosted a birthday celebration for the main man in her life that coincided with the Kentucky Derby. Derby attire was optional but obviously Krista and I went all out and created some diy derby-inspired hats to wear. Unfortunately I missed the actual derby but celebrated in style and enjoyed some sunshine, a fabulous dinner and birthday cheer. Happy birthday, Zac!

diy derby hats

diy derby hats

sunshine & horses

sunshine & horses

love these ladies

love these ladies

dysfunction

the crowning

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happy birthday zac!

happy birthday, zac!

5. royal baby. Like the Kentucky Derby, I am kinda obsessed with the Royal Family for no particular reason. Everyone needs several guilty pleasures in life. I pretty much think Duchess Kate is the definition of perfect, so her passing-on her perfection essentially ensures I can be obsessed with another generation of royalty and leave the baby making up to William and Kate.

I adored Kate’s going home dress and cannot wait to find out the name of the little Princess (I wrote this before the name was announced and absolutely love Charlotte Elizabeth Diana)! Also the Princess happened to be born on the 17th Anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts. That pretty much puts her at number one in my book.

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perfection

6. hot yoga. In an attempt to get back into somewhat of a routine, I have gotten back into hot yoga the past two weekends. I hadn’t gone to hot yoga for four months (which was far too long) and didn’t necessarily miss it. But the second I got back on the mat in the heat I remembered why I love it and need it. I love the heat, the humidity and the zen. Even though most people look at you with the most uncomfortable look on their face when you invite them to hot yoga, it’s a wonderful place.

I would encourage you all to give it at least a few chances, because the first class is slightly unbearable. But I honestly think it is a state of mind because I have grown to be addicted to practicing while sweating profusely. After each class I feel cleansed, cleared and ready to take on the world (or just about).

you can yoga even in japan

a little yoga in japan

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it – (hoppy) easter

So corny and slightly belated but (hoppy) Easter! We enjoyed a “white” Easter in Idaho this year, as in 6 inches of fresh snow. Wah. While it wasn’t exactly the sight I wanted to wake up to, it was still a wonderful weekend full of fun and a bit of relaxation.

Here is a look!

1. easter. The boy, Miss Maude Pod and I were quite busy bunnies this Easter. We enjoyed a scrumptious brunch and Easter baskets (peeped out by the boy’s mother – so creative! I admire any one who is skilled with a glue gun) at the boy’s parent’s house and then a super simple dinner at our house with Krista and Chase. They brought Par Pars, so her and Maude Pod made sweet wrestling sounds biting each other’s faces while we enjoyed dinner….

We have all been quite busy so we concluded a simple dinner was the way to go. It was a day full of food and “family.”

awkward easter family posing + the most creative "peeped" out baskets around

awkward easter family posing + the most creative “peeped” out baskets around

the greatest easter basket ever

the greatest easter basket ever (so creative!) + a sniff from maude pod

i have to admit peeps are pretty cute

i have to admit peeps are pretty cute

easter brunch table at the boy's parents

easter brunch table at the boy’s parents

succulents & juice

succulents & juice

incredible brunch

incredible brunch

maude pod's new dragon easter toy

maude pod’s new dragon easter toy

easter dinner table

easter dinner table

post coming soon!

post coming soon!

2. maude pod is one! I truly cannot believe that my little Miss Maude Pod turned one yesterday. It seems like just yesterday that the boy and I brought her home and she was just a tiny little blob that looked like a mini platypus. She has grown up a bit and is definitely a big girl now but she will always be a baby to us. Happy birthday Maudy Poddy!

And yes, I am that crazy dog lady that bribes her dog to pose so I can get cute birthday pictures.

birthday hat that she tolerated with some serious bribing

birthday hat that she tolerated with some serious bribing

birthday bone!

birthday bone!

3. unsubscribing. I honestly don’t know why I have never thought of it before but something that has recently made me SO happy is the concept of unsubscribing to emails. I used to wake up to 60+ emails each morning, many of which were just non-sense (my online shopping addiction is probably to blame for this…).

My aunt who is always full of amazing ideas told me that she unsubscribes from 5 e-mails a day = brilliant. I started with a mass unsubscribing effort and have since unsubscribed from several emails every day. It has made my inbox and morning routine so much nicer and less swamped. I highly recommend this habit to anyone and everyone.

unsubscribe!

unsubscribe!

4. orange dress. Don’t get me wrong, I am still loving florals but this super, bright, perfect, orange dress from Bishop + Young just stole my heart. I tried it on at a local boutique Ketchum Flower – Girl Friday and thought I could live without it. Wrong. I ended up thinking about the dress all weekend like a crazy lady and went and bought it first thing Monday morning.

This dress has big plans paired with a tan and some summer weddings…

bishop + young - spaghetti strap dress

bishop + young – spaghetti strap dress

5. spend your money on experiences. I’m pretty much going to contradict everything I just said but this article on the science of why you should spend your money on experiences not things is a must read. I have always had a bit of a travel bug but living in Idaho as a semi-broke post-graduate doesn’t exactly assist in world traveling. However, I recently turned over a new leaf and figured that when life hands you lemons, you better travel.

I have an amazing trip planned for next week with some fabulous ladies and I am literally counting down the days until sunshine! A post will obviously follow…

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And if you need one more reason to travel, here are 5 Reasons Travel is Important for Your Career

6. book. I was kindly given the book Tiny Beautiful Things a few months back and have since turned to it several times when life just seems a bit too hard. Before Cheryl Strayed was Cheryl Strayed, best selling author of Wild, she wrote what was once an anonymous online advise column called “Dear Sugar.” Tiny Beautiful Things is the best of of the best of Sugar’s responses to letters for advice.

What I love about Sugar is she is so honest that she is real. There is no sugar coating anything, which is something that I truly appreciate. Sugar tells it how it is, that life can just really suck. I think it’s this acknowledgement that life can blow that provided me some solace as I read and read. And regardless of if I relate to the problem or the writer for advice, I always get something from Sugar. Sugar is definitely someone who helps you keep going when shit really hits the fan. Even if your life is all rainbows and fairy-tales, I think that everyone can appreciate Sugar and become just a bit wiser from reading Tiny Beautiful Things.

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7. massage. I received a gift certificate for a massage (so amazing!) and figured the hopefully last snowy weekend this Spring would be the perfect time for some relaxation. I enjoyed my massage at Zenergy at Thunder Springs (aka Zenergy) on Easter and spent an amazing hour literally drooling on myself. Thank god those rooms are dark. It was just the perfect amount of relaxation I needed after a few stressful months….thank you First Lite!

the entrance of the spa at zenergy

the entrance of the spa at zenergy

quite possibly the best view in all of town is from zenergy

quite possibly the best view in all of town is from zenergy and i cannot wait to sprawl on one of those lawn chairs come summer

8. pugs. I love pugs. And here are all the recent pug-tastic things that pugs have been doing that I have been loving!

a. 21 Ways You and Your BFF Rule the World – (pug style) obviously a must read (thanks Ali!)

b. Butt Sniffin Pugs – apparently this is a real game. I don’t even know how or why but I like it.

butt sniffin' pugs

butt sniffin’ pugs

c. Pug ride-a-longs are the best rides. I adore my little pugger Lizzie but I will admit she is probably pushing 30+ pounds. Regardless, she is a lovely old lady who just really wants to go on walks. But she can’t quite make it down the driveway…so much to the boy’s dismay I usually tote her along in a baby stroller or backpack.

When we celebrated Maude Pod’s first birthday with a little hike, I loaded Lizzie up in a backpacking backpack (she’s a LOT of pug) and she rode-a-long and basked in the sun. I got a workout and she got a “walk.” Double win!

pug ride-a-long

pug ride-a-long

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

weekend love it – holiday whirl wind

This holiday season has been a whirl wind. Albeit a crazy whirl wind, it has been full of fun, loves and laughs. I generally love a good night in relaxing so I have been trying to temper the nightly holiday gatherings with relaxing “activities” that help the introvert in me recharge.

1. Holiday Parties. Even though I’m definitely more of a home body, I have loved all of the recent holiday gatherings that we have been invited to. A highlight of these gatherings was a “kids” holiday party that two wonderful ladies that I grew up with threw. Everything from the table setting (with touches of gold!), the food and wine were perfect.

We topped off the night playing quite possibly the most dysfunctional game of charades ever. The theme of celebrities was very loosely followed and everything from people at the party to Harry Potter was acted out several times. Charades + “kids” party + bottles of wine + cute dog = amazing time had by all.

Although it sounds corny, I am so thankful to be surrounded by such incredible friends and family!

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holiday alumni party for the school krista & i attended

 

"kids" holiday party table setting

beautiful “kids” holiday party table setting

nom nom dinner

nom nom dinner

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best aeoli maker around and the perfect depiction of the night2

2. Family, Friends & more Friends. The boy’s mother has always said that Thanksgiving is her favorite holiday since it focuses on bringing everyone together. I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment and have loved spending the recently chilly nights with family and friends.

Plus I received an incredible, new camera (from my generous parents), so family and friends have made for the perfect test shots!

love these two!

love these two!

friends & barney

friends & barney

no words

no words

3. Holiday Cards. I love receiving holiday cards from friends near and far. Our fridge is plastered with them along with old wedding invites and save the dates. I love seeing such cheer every time I look at the fridge!

This year I ordered the our holiday card from Shutterfly, which always has amazing holiday coupon codes. Our cards came wrapped up in a bright orange box and were just as I ordered! I wrapped red and white twine around each card (for the hand deliveries) and added a holiday stamp on the back and envelope for a touch of DIY.

Happy holidays from the boy, Miss Maude and I!

essentials

holiday card essentials

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coming soon to a mailbox near you

coming soon to a mailbox near you

4. Freezing Ski Days. Bald Mountain (more commonly known as “Baldy”) is our local ski resort that is quite literally in town. Growing up I took for granted the convenience of the mountain that provided endless days of fun.

This weekend I took advantage of a day pass that I can request from work and headed up to ski with friends. To be perfectly honest, I am much more of a “spring skier” when the weather is around 40 degrees and you can get a tan. So with the recent average of 10 degrees, I bundled up and put hand warmers in every space possible to enjoy a few runs.

I always forget how strenuous and incredible fun skiing is. I am making it a priority to go more often this Winter!

cant beat this view

cant beat this view – it was too cold to be gloveless for any other pictures!

5. Holiday Baking. I love baking but I really love holiday baking. I volunteered to bring dessert to all of our recent holiday gatherings. With so many festivities and Christmas I was limited on time so I made sure to keep the desserts as simple as possible.

A quick look below! Gingerbread brownie recipe coming soon!

apple spice cake with a cream glaze & fresh cranberries

apple spice cake with a cream glaze & fresh cranberries

cranberry-raspberry upside down cake

cranberry-raspberry upside down cake

gingerbread brownies

gingerbread brownies

6. Marathon Movies. Anyone who is a Harry Potter fan already probably knows, but there was an epic Harry Potter marathon on ABC Family this weekend. I happen to think movies are just that much better when they are on TV. I intermittently watched from start to finish and enjoyed every second of the Harry Potter mania!

Even the boy got addicted and refused to unload the dishwasher so he could watch. He is lucky I love Harry Potter…

hogwarts christmas

hogwarts christmas – so magical (pun intended)

taylor brass

brass blossom