Local recommendations

As you all know, my fiancé and I recently bought our first home, so life has been crazy-busy to say the least.

Every weekend is spent at Lowe’s and Hobby Lobby — and I ain’t even mad about it.

I’ve had a few lovely readers reach out recently and ask me for local recommendations around the Boise area.

Like, where do I even start?!

 

Beer, cider and bars

Payette Brewing: probably one of the most fun spots to hit up downtown. Tons of outdoor space, corn hole, food vendors, really good beers and it’s pet friendly. Like, so. many. dogs. Definitely one of my favorite spots.

Powderhaus Brewing: on Chinden in Garden City has a great outdoor area and is also pet friendly.

Barbarian Brewing: in Garden City and downtown Boise. Has SO.MANY.SOUR.BEERS. The Garden City taproom has a outdoor seating area and is pet friendly! Plus, you’re right next to Meriwether cider!

Pre Funk: amazing patio area, so many beers to try, pet friendly and good vibes.

Yardarm: is my little secret. I actually can’t believe I am telling everyone this. Yardarm is a hidden gem in Garden city. There’s a food truck and is pet friendly. The best part? It’s a sand bar so you feel like you’re on the beach in Hawaii.

Heritage Hop Haus: in Meridian.

Sockeye Brewing: good sour beer and really good food!

Boise Brewing.

Mad Swede: pet friendly and has a good selection of beers.

Lost Grove Brewing: a new little spot and great outdoor space. Pet friendly.

White Dog Brewing.

Meriwether Cider: in Garden City

Long Drop Cider: downtown right by White Dog Brewing.

Gas Lantern: good cocktails and even better atmosphere.

The Whiskey Bar: just as you’d expect. A bar dedicated to whiskey! But for those of you who might not like whiskey, they also have gin and vodka drinks that are just as good!

The Handlebar: another favorite spot! They have Farkle tournaments on some weekends and events always going on. Such a fun tap room!

 

Wineries and tasting rooms

Ste. Chapelle Winery.

Sawtooth Winery.

Telaya: right in Garden City. Telaya has an AMAZING outdoor patio with live music and events — pet friendly.

Cinder: has my favorite Tempernillo wine, art shows, music events plus is pet friendly.

Coiled.

Split Rail: has a big garage door that opens and is pet friendly. Plus their tasting trays come in little science test tubes. Fun.

 

Coffee shops

District Coffee House.

Slow By Slow Coffee Bar.

Hyde Perk.

Push & Pour.

 

Brunch

Fork: good brunch, even better build it yourself bloody mary bar.

Bardenay.

Homestead: you’ve gotta try the mega bloody mary. So worth it.

Moe Joe’s: hands down the best eggs benedict I’ve ever had in my life.

Le Peep: really, really good food and good bloody mary’s!

Goldy’s.

The Egg Factory: the best Hawaiian pancakes!

Bacon: one of the best bloody mary’s downtown.

The Griddle.

Sunrise Cafe.

 

Dinner

Boise Fry Company: I mean, you have to go to Boise Fry Company when in Boise. Amirite?

The Shed: good burgers.

Flat Bread: gotta hit up their happy hour for good appetizers and drinks.

Dharma sushi: or as I like to call it, Hipster sushi. So good though.

The STIL: ice cream and wine (or beer) flights. Does it get any better than that?!

Reef: my favorite dinner spot in Boise. You’ve gotta try the coconut chicken!

Paddles up Poke: ahhhhh-mazing poke.

10 Barrel Brewing: really good pub food. Like, the best.

YoTimo Sushi: all you can eat sushi on Saturday. You’ve been warned.

Bittercreek Alehouse.

 

Outdoor Activities 

Boise Farmer’s Market on Saturday.

The Village at Meridian: cool shops, a water feature and good restaurants. Our favorites are Kona Grill, The Matador and Bodovino (pour it yourself wine taps).

Flea markets on the weekend.

The Springs: hot springs in Idaho City.

Hulls Gulch: hiking.

Hyde Park.

Camel’s Back: hiking.

Table Rock: hiking.

Seaman’s Gulch: hiking.

Meridian Dog Park.

Jump Creek Falls: my favorite place ever. It’s where Bryant proposed to me!

 

I’m sure there’s some places I’ve forgot to add to the list — although I hope I didn’t!

Hope that this list will help you navigate through the best of Boise when you visit!

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We bought a home!

A huge milestone in our lives and we couldn’t be more excited and ready for this.

The process of buying a home is no joke.

We were referred by our close friends to Tara Heinz from City of Trees Real Estate. We met with her early February and right of the bat we could tell she had that go-getter attitude and was gonna work her ass off to find us the home of our dreams. We signed with her the day we met and we started looking at houses that following week!

We looked at a few houses but none of them gave us “that feeling.” When I say “that feeling” it’s something that I’ve only felt a few times in my life.

The first time I got “that feeling” was when I met Bryant. It was like part of me knew right then he would be the man I was going to spend the rest of my life with.

The next time I got “that feeling” was when he proposed to me last summer.

When we were looking at the barn in Chehalis, WA — a potential wedding venue — I got it again. I was standing out in the field looking at this giant barn. Right then I saw myself walking down the aisle to marry Bryant. I got “that feeling,” cried and we booked it that day.

The only other time I’ve got “that feeling” was the moment I found my wedding dress. It’s an overwhelming feeling that brings you to tears but it’s also calming because you know for certain it is the right decision and was meant to be.

There were a ton of houses we looked at over a couple weeks and none gave us “that feeling.”

That was until we saw the “purple house.” The “purple house” wasn’t really purple, more like a weird blue color but it was the most stunning house we had ever saw. We went to the open house — along with half of Boise — and fell in love.

We put in an offer, knowing that half of Boise was as well, but wished for the best. Unfortunately, there were 9 other offers that day and the house sold for like, 25K over listing price. It just wasn’t meant to be. And we were okay with that.

Sure, we were bummed out, but we knew that something better would come along. We prayed a lot about this decision. Asking that we would be led in the right direction and that we would know when we found “the one.”

While Tara was out of town, Brian (her right-hand man) took us to two more houses. One house was super cute, but kinda small at sat close enough to the freeway that you could hear it. NOPE.

On to the next.

We looked at this older home that had been remodled. We called it the “mint chocolate chip house.” Literally everything was a mint color. EVERYTHING.

It was a nice house though. It was newly remodled and looked really nice. Plus, it was pretty big. Although there wasn’t a huge backyard, we really liked it. We put in an offer knowing there would be a few things we needed to fix before we moved in.

After we put an offer in, I had these thoughts and feelings like maybe it wasn’t the right decision. It worried me that it was an older home. It worried me that we would have to put in a ton of money to paint the inside and outside. There were just some concerns.

The people selling the home had close to two days to accept the offer and we hadn’t heard anything.

So, the morning of Saturday, February 24th, a couple days after we put in an offer on the “mint chocolate chip house” I might have been looking on Realtor.com again.

Now, if you put an offer in on a home, you probably should stop looking online for new listings. But that morning I got on. I believe I was led to do that because this navy blue, newly remodeled home, under our budget popped up.

Now if you know me, you know that I want a navy blue home. It’s my drea.

I’ve always wanted a navy blue home with some white brick accents on the outside. I love hardwood floors, white cabinets, white subway tile and an open concept.

This house that I found on Realtor that morning fit every criteria I had for a dream home. Seriously.

It was about 8am when I emailed Brain. I told him we needed to look at this house. And not even an hour later, we met him there.

We walked in and the space was absolutely stunning. Like, incredible.

I was left speechless.

As we got into the car I teared up and told Bryant that this was it. I had finally got “that feeling” with this home.

In that home, I could picture it all. I saw us having friends and family over. I saw us sitting around the fire pit in the summer. I saw us raising our family here. I saw our kids running around the backyard. I saw the trees in bloom.

It was everything.

We made the decision to pull our other offer out and put an offer on this home that day.

I honestly believe that we were meant to see that house on Park Stone. We were meant to be there.

Unfortunately, there were a few other offers on this house. And I got absolutely sick to my stomach knowing that we could lose it. It was our dream home!

I decided to get out of the house with some girlfriends so I’d stop thinking about losing the house. I was driving myself and probably Bryant crazy too.

While I was gone, Bryant wrote a letter to the sellers of the home. Let’s just say without that letter, we wouldn’t have got this house.

His letter brought me to tears when he showed me what he had sent. His letter read:

Good afternoon!

My fiancé Mariyah was in contact with you all this morning about us going to look at
the Parkstone house and watching her light up after she saw the pictures made me realize we needed to contact our agent quickly. As we drove to the property I glanced at her and she had a smile that I could never forget.

The reason that smile is so engrained in my memory is because it’s the same smile that
made me fall in love with her, the same one that she had when I proposed and the same one that gets me through my hardest days. On the day I proposed I made a commitment to her to provide her with that smile until our last days.

Naturally, we have looked at many homes in our search, but have yet to see one that took our breath away. The house on Parkstone not only did that, it brought Mariyah to tears. As I looked around the house and yard I finally felt a personal connection with what was around me and it much more than a house, it was a home.

When we left this morning, Mariyah described to me her love for the home and how it was a perfect place for our family one day. She told me that the feeling she had when she walked into the home today has only happened a few times in her life and that is why it was so special to her.

I love her dearly and this is why I wanted to reach out to you as you review our offer. Currently she is out of the house to get her mind off potentially not getting it and has no idea I’m writing you.

We are both believers in things happening in our lives that are meant to be, so we understand if this is or is not one of those moments. I ultimately hope this letter shows an appreciation for the detail and work you all have done and the impact it can have on one couples lives.

I know that there are plenty of offers and whoever you choose will have that same connection and with that your craft is recognized.

I thank you for the time and wish you all the best in your decision.

-Bryant

And guess what…

They accepted our offer!!!

After the offer was accepted, we got an inspector and appraisal. It seems like this should be the easy part, but I think this by far was the most stressful part of the entire process.

On Friday, April 23rd (the day after Bry’s 28th birthday) we signed closing documents and got he keys to our dream home!

What an incredible and humbling experience.

Tara met us at the house and gave us our keys. She even had birthday balloons for Bryant set up and a gift basket with champagne and goodies. So thoughtful and sweet.

As stressful and crazy as buying your first home is, I wouldn’t have traded it for the world. Bryant and I were able to grow together, make decisions together and do this all on our own (with a little help from our parents too).

We truly wouldn’t have been able to buy our dream home without the help of Tara Heinz, Brain Soucy and Kim Bailey from City of Trees Real Estate and our loan officer, Mark Givens from ICCU.

This is one kick-ass team and we are forever grateful for them.

Here’s to the beginning! #SeclsOnParkStone

Principia CrossFit

As I type this — every muscle in my body is SORE. But it’s #WorthIt.

With about 8 months to go until our wedding day, Bryant and I decided we needed a lifestyle change.

Before I ever started CrossFit, I had an idea of what I thought it was.

I thought I’d be judged for not being in shape. I thought girls wore short booty shorts and sports bras to show off their perfectly toned bodies. I thought that I’d feel intimidated. I thought that I’d feel stupid doing the exercises. I thought I wouldn’t be good enough or athletic enough. And so on.

Sure, I’d say I’m somewhat athletic (Bry would beg to differ) but I always felt scared to walk into a CrossFit gym for whatever reason.

Man… I was I wrong.

At Principia CrossFit, I’ve never once felt intimidated in the class. This gym is made up of people of all shapes and sizes and athletic levels. Any workout can be scaled to your fitness level. THANK GOD.

Plus, everyone is extremely encouraging, supportive and kind. You’ll feel welcome the first time you join a class.

We started out with a Laws of Motion class at Principia CrossFit to learn the correct techniques and movements so we wouldn’t hurt ourselves when lifting in class.

Who knew that we’d been squatting or doing lunges the incorrect way for so many years?!

I’ve had knee pain in both my knees from many years playing select soccer growing up. So when I’d go to the gym to do squats or lunges — I couldn’t. My knee pain would be so bad that I couldn’t do more than 10 reps.

Through this class, we learned the proper techniques for lifting and I am so thankful for our coach Chris. Now, I don’t have knee pain when doing lunges or squats.

Heck — just the other day I did 60 squats in a row and had zero knee pain. #Score

It’s a small group setting and it’s a great way to meet people who are new to CrossFit and are at the same starting point you’re at. I highly recommend taking this class before diving straight into CrossFit (you can thank me later).

The Laws of Motion class is five one-hour sessions in a two week period.

Mitch, the owner and coach is not only super knowledgeable — but he gives you one-on-one attention and training almost every day. He’s the man.

I am now proud to say that I do CrossFit and I love it!

It’s worth every early morning — waking up at 5:30am to make it to the 6am class.

Why?

Because we both already see results. Not just physical results but mental and emotional results as well.

There’s classes all day so there’s literally no excuse for not getting your workout in. If you ever wanna come take a class, let me know! You can try out a class completely free.

I’d love to meet you and show you the best CrossFit gym in the Treasure Valley.

Check out Principia on Instagram, Facebook or their website and blog!

Engagement Photos By: Victoria Davidson

I’m (still) obsessing over our engagement photos. The beautiful, talented and kind-hearted Victoria Davidson took our photos on the Bogus Basin hillside.

She is the sweetest soul you’ll ever meet and instantly made Bryant and I feel comfortable in front of the camera. We get camera shy (and super awkward) most of the time, but she has a way of making you feel relaxed and confident.

I mean… sometimes forgot she was even there. It was if Bryant and I were in our own world and that’s exactly what she captured.

If you want portraits, family photos, engagement photos… you name it — she’s your girl.

We are super excited to do another session with her in the snow (if we get any) and I’ll be sure to share those photos with you guys!

Give her a follow.

Instagram: @victoriadavidson.co

Website: victoriadavidson.co/

You know I love local businesses so I wanted to give a shoutout to Böhme where I got this GORGEOUS dress and Rachelle who did my spray tan! If you’re looking for a perfect spray tan for any occasion, you gotta get Sun Kissed By Rachelle. She’s amaze.

Dress: Böhme

Spray Tan: Sun Kissed By Rachelle

 

The Best Day of My Life

8.25.2017

I was packing up all our camping gear for the weekend. Bry had this camping trip to Red Fish planned for a few months with a group of our friends.

We were all packed up and ready to go. Then, someone decided we needed to make a pit stop at Jump Creek Falls. Thinking nothing of it, we hiked right into Jump Creek Falls with our friends who “had never been there.”

A little back story… Jump Creek Falls is the first place Bry took me the first time I flew in from Seattle to Boise to see him. And it also happens to be the place where I realized that I loved him (but never told him or anyone else for that matter).

As I was looking at the waterfall, he tells me that this spot is where he fell in love with me and knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. I kinda rolled my eyes at him and was like “uh-huh.”

Just as I turned to look at him to give him a kiss, he dropped to one knee and the man of my dreams asked me to marry him.

It felt as if I blacked out for a hot second and it was just him and I alone in that moment. I was in shock! I had NO IDEA that he was planning on proposing or even thinking about it for that matter. To no surprise, I obviously said YES!

As if a perfectly executed surprise proposal wasn’t enough… I got to our friends house only to be surprised (yet again) by my mom and dad, his dad and stepmom, his mom, his sister and her boyfriend and his half brother — along with all of our Boise friends for an engagement party!

He pulled off this entire weekend that he’d been planning for months — flying everyone in from Washington and Oregon for a surprise engagement party. I couldn’t believe it. How did I not know about any of this?! Apparently, I’m an easy person to surprise.

We laughed, we cried and had a wonderful time that night.

Just to top off the weekend, my dad rented a pontoon boat for us all to go out on Lucky Peak lake all day. It was a day spent celebrating, swimming, BBQ-ing and drinking… it was hands down the best weekend of my entire life.

Oh, and the ring he had custom made from Diamonds Fine Jewelry here in Boise was simply stunning. He did (real) good.

It’s still setting in that we are actually engaged and planning a wedding! But I am so blessed and so thankful that I get to spend the rest of my life with my person.

Cheers!

I’m Back!

Worst blogger ever. I know.

It’s been a while since I’ve sat down to write a new post. Why — you may ask?

As you all know, I started this blog when I moved from Seattle to Boise and was unemployed. I literally had nothing else to do, so I started writing about experiences and adventures in this new town.

Well since then…

1. I became a full-time Editorial Content Writer (along with Social Media planning and moderating) at the Krazy Coupon Lady in April. I literally write all.damn.day. EVERYDAY. So when I come home at night, the last thing I really want to do is sit and write more. I prefer a little Netflix & Wine to unwind from my day.

2. We’ve traveled out of state to 8 weddings this past summer. I swear we were gone every single weekend for like four months.

3. I am in the middle of planning my own wedding (YAY!) that’s also out of state.

It’s been a pretty hectic year to say the least. The next few posts are going to just update you on everything that’s been going on. Starting with… MY ENGAGEMENT!

 

Obsessing over Perfectly Whipped

Guys — I have an addiction and it’s called Perfectly Whipped.

I’ve shared this local gem with you before, but my love is stronger than ever. If you want Lush quality without paying their outrageous prices, you’ve gotta try these bath bombs out.

These bath bombs cost anywhere from $2 to $4 and the most expensive (and HUGE) bath bomb is $6. Not too shabby, eh?

Oh — and if you live in the area, she will hand deliver it to your doorstep for free! Your wallet and skin will thank you.

Anyways, I’m about to hop in the bath to enjoy my rose bath bomb.

 

Make sure to check out my Instagram page for pictures!

Perfectly Whipped website: www.perfectlywhipped.com

Exploring Idaho Blog Instagram: @exploringidahoblog