wyoming

weekend love it — saying goodbye, new beginnings & outdoor adventures

The past couple of weeks have been marked by tremendous changes. Like daily kinda have a panic attack and realize you need to breathe so you sit on the couch nursing a La Croix several times a day, tremendous, bittersweet, big, deep breaths in a paper-bag changes. And what could possible sway my ever cool, easy going self, without a touch of OCD and anxiety you might ask? I am officially leaving in less than a week for Graduate School.

That’s right. I am moving solo to Seattle to literally live my dream with the Grad School program that I am attending. I repeat that daily x 50 for a little verbal courage. Leaving Idaho, the boy, Miss Maude Pod, my family, my incredible group of friends and my #brassblossom boyfriend after this year may likely be the hardest thing I have ever done but deep down I know it’s right. I have wrestled back and forth with not going or delaying my start or simply becoming a professional hiker to avoid the real world, but alas I know that it is the right next step for for me . This year has been a hell of a year (and to be honest I am already welcoming 2016 with open arms) but it has also been a year that has taught me probably more than I ever really wanted to know.

So with that happy, sad, why the hell am I moving away from the great state of Idaho and sunshine news, here is what I have been adoring recently!

Disclaimer: There are a lot of emotions below…

1. new beginnings. The boy really boiled it down for me one day when I was sitting on the kitchen floor crying about saying “see you soon” to him and my little Miss Maude Pod when he said point blank that he was glad to see me crying because if I wasn’t crying it would mean I wasn’t going and that would mean I would be angry. Angry about giving up an incredible opportunity that I have worked so hard for and wanted so badly for so long. And while I occasionally question his tact, I never question is support. He is a wise boy. Buddha-like.

Even though I am having a difficult time practicing what I preach currently (aka crying hysterically on the kitchen floor…), the one concrete thing that this year has really taught me is that you have to live your own life, your own dreams and your own path. Earlier this year I was so paralyzed by fear that I felt I couldn’t personally function. And while I had a pretty legit reason, I have very slowly come to the realization that I need to live my own life, my own dreams and my own path in order to fully support anyone else. While the life and little family that the boy and I have made here is beyond incredible and will never be replaced, it’s not where I feel 100% complete. I have a burning desire to learn more, be more and accomplish more. So that is what I will be doing, even if it involves some more kitchen floor tears. So cheers to new beginnings and following your dreams!

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2. goodbye 25. Goodbye forever, 25. I just celebrated by 26th birthday and I am happily welcoming a new year of life and thinking 26 will be a dandy year. The only way I wanted to celebrate the day was with no stress. I just wanted it to be simple and happy and like every other normal day (as I am cherishing every second or normalcy right now). So that is just what it was. The boy and I enjoyed a super simple family dinner (plus goats) on Sunday and then I spent my entire birthday indulging in everything I love: sleeping in snuggling Maude pod, peanut butter toast + coffee, Crossfit, reading for several hours by the pool, cocktail hour at Sun Valley Pond and then a nice mellow night at home making dinner and watching the voice. #bestdayever.

best birthday cake ever from my always amazing mother

best birthday cake ever from my always amazing mother

when you go to crossfit and it's your birthday...

when you go to crossfit and it’s your birthday…

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3. stanley adventures. Last weekend I celebrated my birthday just a bit early with three of the most fabulous Idaho ladies around. I couldn’t have asked for better women to help me celebrate. Earlier this year (like in May) we committed a weekend in September to Meadow Creek Spa for their slack special as we had been talking about it for years. And it was absolutely perfect. We all enjoyed a treatment followed by some amazing hot-spring time and a rowdy night out on the town. Not surprisingly we spent the next day feeling not the greatest but that didn’t deter us from getting out and exploring in the Sawtooth’s at Alice Lake. A post to follow as it was definitely one of the best Idaho Adventures to date!

the view from meadowcreek spa

the view from meadow creek spa

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almost to alice lake...more on that to come

almost to alice lake…more on that to come

love these ladeis!

love these ladeis!

4. hiking all over wyoming. I have taken a few weeks off before starting back to the grind of school and earlier this month I went to visit family in Wyoming. It was the perfect week filled with sunshine, so many miles hiking and quality time with those I don’t get to see often enough. It was an ideal way to decompress after I quit working. Here is a look at my beautiful adventures (if I do say so myself) as well as a pretty strong reminder that Wyoming is also breathtakingly gorgeous…

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mountains for days

sacred rim in the wind river mountains

sacred rim in the wind river mountains

a hike without a yoga pose is not a real hike

a hike without a yoga pose is not a real hike

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quite possibly the prettiest lake ever

quite possibly the prettiest lake ever

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<3

practicing using the bear spray...

practicing using the bear spray…

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handstands…

bow posing...

bow posing…

bird of paradising

bird of paradising

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5. sway steals. And now for some materialism since I appreciate a good shopping find as much as all this lovey-dovey talk. I bought these jeans Labor Day Weekend at SWAY and am literally in love. I was initially in love when I saw they were only $50 (cheers to Labor Day Sales!) and now I’m in love because they fit amazingly and are so soft and comfortable. Plus it’s super hard to find a cute pair of lighter jeans without looking like you have thunder thighs. As someone who is a die-hard yoga pant/legging wearing person, these jeans come close to that feeling you get wearing a nice pair of lulus…

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6. 1989 (aka best year EVER). 1989 happens to be the year both your #thebrassblossom beauties were born. It also happens to be the year Taylor Swift was born. And this remake pretty much sums up how incredible we all are! #poweryear.

7. happy birthday, cheryl strayed. Even though she wasn’t born in 1989, Cheryl Strayed is still one incredible woman who also just recently celebrated her birthday. Strayed’s work has really touched super close to home this year for me and her words, lessons and wisdom are truly transfixing. So in honor of her birthday, 15 of her greatest quotes were gathered together here. And here is one quote that is really speaking to me now:

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8. moments of gratitude. Maybe it’s because I’m ridiculously nostalgic right now and cherishing every moment of Idaho, family, friends, the boy and Maude Pod snuggles but I am continuously overwhelmed with moments of complete gratitude. Before this year I can’t really ever recall having moments when everything seems to slow and I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the simplest things. Gratitude for just those little moments where you feel complete and like you have all these little happy minions dancing inside of you regardless of whatever is a shit show in your life that day. My one goal going into this new year is to try to continue to recognize those moments and not let the hustle and bustle of life overcome those moments of perfect, little infinity.

love these two <3

love these two ❤

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Cheers to an amazing week and new beginnings! Until next time in Seattle…

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it – west coast, best coast, option B & love birds

Summer is officially full force in Idaho. Like most Summers this Summer is off to a busy start with many more plans in the works. I am loving every minute of the sunniness, hotness and busyness and having been in three states in the last couple of weeks, I cant wait to add a few more travels on in upcoming weeks!

Here is what I have been loving all over the west!

1. summer vacation. I spent this past week on a family vacation. It was a wonderful week full of love, sun and a bit (aka a lot) of yard work. My cousin, who was in Wyoming from the very far away state of New York, and I had some wonderful bonding time raking, sunning, handstanding and trying to get in a daily workout. But in true vacation form, we balanced all that work with enough frozen yogurt (some Chocolate, Brownie Ball concoction) for an army. It was a perfectly relaxing week and much needed visit!

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summer running

summer running

standard champion pose

standard champion pose

heaven

heaven

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2. amazing friends & love. Since I was only a hot minute (slash 3.5 hours) away from Boulder, Colorado I was lucky enough to overlap my vacation with one of my dear friend’s engagement parties. This lady is one of the most beautiful people that I know, both inside and out. She has the most wonderful smile that her soul literally shines through. Her man friend isn’t half bad either and they have been sporting their love since Middle School. That’s true love right there people. Congrats Bri and Luke!

And to match such a beautiful couple, the engagement party was spectacular. The décor, the drinks, the food, the fairy lights and the company was amazing. An encompassing look below since I couldn’t only take a few pictures. I topped off my evening with a short night in Boulder with my hilarious and always loving cousin. We had margs at the rio and breakfast at the buff. Literally, all my favorite people, places and food/drinks in less than 24 hours. I think Boulder is the city my soul just may belong in…

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cutest little owl wine stopper for an owl loving girl

cutest little owl wine stopper for an owl loving girl

love these two!

love these two!

love birds <3

love birds ❤

this table was seriously just the cutest

this table was seriously just the cutest

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i ate this handful x a billion

i ate this handful x a billion

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bubbles, sunsets and pretty friends

bubbles, sunsets and pretty friends

best breakfast ever

best breakfast ever

much needed next morning chai

much needed next morning chai

nom nom nom

nom nom nom

some needed greens for the drive home

some needed greens for the drive home

3. kick the shit out of option B. I became a Sheryl Sandberg devotee, admirer and slight stalking after reading “Lean In”. I highly recommend this book (regardless of your gender) as I think that everyone could learn from Sandberg’s wisdom and life, business, sitting at the table advice. I felt that I resonated with most everything in her book and had a bit of an epiphany about being called “bossy” my entire life…

Sandberg’s husband recently passed away suddenly and after a 30 days mourning period of Sheloshim, she shared quite possible the most heartfelt and beautiful reflection to the world on Facebook. And once again, Sandberg’s words deeply resonated with me. Her grit, openness and ability to feel and express her feelings is beautiful. Her letter is a must read for a bit of a reminder of all that life can be (you should likely grab a tissue or two).

Here are my top three take-aways from Sandberg’s letter:

a. “I have learned that I never really knew what to say to others in need. I think I got this all wrong before; I tried to assure people that it would be okay, thinking that hope was the most comforting thing I could offer.”

b. “I have learned that resilience can be learned…Personalization—realizing it is not my fault. He told me to ban the word “sorry.” To tell myself over and over, This is not my fault. Permanence—remembering that I won’t feel like this forever. This will get better. Pervasiveness—this does not have to affect every area of my life; the ability to compartmentalize is healthy.”

c. “Option A is not available. So let’s just kick the shit out of option B.”

4. pretty cards. Since I have recently had quite a bit to celebrate (and more to come!), I have needed several cards, whether they are for thank yous, congratulations or just sending a bit of love. Willow Papery has some of the prettiest cards and I have just been loving sending a bit of snail mail.

how adorable is the antler card?!

how adorable is the antler card?!

5. goats on a tramp. If this doesn’t make you smile, nothing will. After watching this video I have concluded we need a trampoline for our goats and “sproinging” might be my favorite new word ever…

6. pioneer cabin. I convinced Krista that we should summit to Pioneer Cabin from Johnstone Creek this weekend. We have made it an annual hike the past three years so in an effort to switch things up we took another route. And while the Johnstone Creek access to Pioneer Cabin is spectacularly scenic with abundant wildflowers, a waterfall and spectacular views of the Pioneer Mountains, it is steep, long and hotter than Hades in 80+ degrees. Thank god there is an incredible view at the top and we brought a picnic (which consisted mostly of Brie) or we likely would not have made it. It was definitely an adventure (post to come)!

"the higher you get, the higher you get"

“the higher you get, the higher you get”

me & my main squeeze

me & my main squeeze

first view of the pioneers

7. wildflowers & flower crowns. We have written about it several times but the wildflowers in Idaho are just so spectacular. Literally everything is in full bloom (including my allergies) right now. This includes my favorite wildflower, the sego lily (which just so happens to be the state flower of Utah if you were wondering). We have gone on several scampers behind our house to get the dogs a bit of exercise and enjoy the spectacular flowers.

Miss Maude Pod and I also cheered on the boy last week while he was dominating in softball. I literally know negative rules about softball and likely have even less hand-eye-coordination so in my opinion pretty much everyone dominates at the sport…on a side note: it’s really nice to see all the couples that get to play softball together – I’m still waiting on my invite. So while the boy played, Miss Maude Pod and I sat in the grass, made flower crowns and ate a picnic dinner all while sorta watching the game. Romantic date for two. Check.

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crazy lady

crazy lady

pretty sego lilies

pretty sego lilies

softball picnic

softball picnic

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flower crown love

flower crown love

all star

all star

Cheers to wonderful and warm week celebrating America! Be safe!

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it – semi-permanent vacation

For the past three weeks I have been cashing in some much needed vacation time. Here a few things that I have been loving over what has seemed like a recent (much needed) semi-permanent vacation.

1. Family Time.  Two weeks ago I visited my grandparents in Wyoming with my family. I had a wonderful, relaxing time with plenty of naps, good books, chocolate chip cookies and wonderful company. I read three books while I was there, which to be honest about doubles the number of books I have read all year. It was just what I needed to recharge. Along with all of our relaxing, we went to Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo for an action packed western day!

nightly sunsets

nightly sunsets

annual family photo at Lake Marie on the 'Snowy Range Scenic Byway'

annual family photo at Lake Marie on the ‘Snowy Range Scenic Byway’

2. Whitewater Rafting. This weekend, Krista organized an amazing Alumni Reunion for the high school that we both attended. One of the events that she planned was a “whitewater” rafting trip. We went to a not so traditional high school that had an adventurous outdoor program so the rafting trip was quite fitting.

The rafting was a bit less extreme than you might imagine due to a wonderful guide so we all enjoyed a few drinks, a ton of laughs with very little paddling required. It was such a fun day that an obvious Idaho Adventure post is soon to come!

the brass blossom does rafting

the brass blossom does rafting

our crew of boys

our crew of boys

ready to paddle! (sorta)

ready to paddle! (sorta…)

3. Camo. Even though the boy works for an incredible company practically devoted to camouflage, I don’t quite share the love of camo. That was until Lululemon came out with these crops. As a disclaimer, I know that anything and everything from Lululemon is fairly outrageously priced but in my experience all my gear has lasted forever if washed properly. Since my preferred outfit of choice is basically yoga pants these “lulu crops” are my newest fashion obsession.

These have been my go to, dare I say, pants as of recently. The boy even approved, most likely only because they were camo but I’ll call it a win!

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4. Gold Candy Dishes/Jewelry Dishes. While visiting my grandparents we went into town to explore a few stores, including a great antique store where I found these gems. They are technically gold candy dishes, but I immediately fell in love with them as jewelry trays. They were a whopping $4, which furthered my love for them.

gold leaf dishes

gold leaf dishes

gold leaf jewelry dish!

gold leaf jewelry dish!

the quaint town of Saratoga, Wyoming with it's big wyoming sky

the quaint town of Saratoga, Wyoming with it’s big wyoming sky

5. Jackson Hole, Wyoming. For the final part of my prolonged vacation I am venturing off to Jackson Hole, Wyoming this week with Krista and our adventurous, well-traveled friend Melissa for a girl’s trip. We have big plans for a few hikes, wonderful eats and a cowboy bar or two. Post coming soon!

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Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! We will be toasting you from a deck or mountain top somewhere in the mountains!

taylor brass

brass blossom