18. find the best burger utah has to offer.

i'm nearing the end of my time for 27 things. in which case it's time for me to do a little accounting!

i'm sure i've talked about the mind of a chef here before. it's one of my favorite television shows. i'm SO intrigued by these food-geniuses. oddly enough, you can find me marathoning this documentary/travel/history/science/food series any given friday night. i'm obsessed.

david chang was the show's premier chef. season one encompassed the mind of david chang, founder of the momofuku restaurant group and 2 michelin star holder. needless to say, i'm a big fan. i look forward to the day i dine at one of his establishments.

combine my love of david chang with my love of burgers and imagine my delight upon finding this "burger manifesto" in lucky peach, last month. it's basically just a list of things david chang DOESN'T like about burgers. i similarly tried coming up with things i didn't like about burgers, but could really only come up with one:

a bunch of fancy stuff; arugula and candied bacon confuses my mouth.

really i'm pretty simple. good cheese, good meat, good burger. oh, i guess i have one criteria:  that the burger have a sense of the americana if you will. i'm talking mustard, ketchup, meat and bun, with good fries and a diet coke on the side. this, to me, is the perfect combo. if you can follow it up with a yummy shake, it's the cherry on top. ok so, 

top 3 in utah
1. tony burger - this place is cheap. and if you go in, you will come out smelling like a burger for the rest of the day. which is a good thing i guess. at tony burger, you have lots of options, really good fries, and coke products with crunchy ice. they also have shakes with BIG straws (very important). all i know is that if i'm in the mood for a burger fix, fast, tony burger has my back, EVERY time.

2. salt lake burger company - ok i love this place. and many of my loved ones do, but i have heard some negative reviews. what i like MOST of all about s.l. burger co., is that you have a ton of options here. they have a salad-bar-type jive going on where you can order any burger, specialty or plain-jane, and then add extras at a bar in the restaurant. the bar has veggies and sauces. it just makes me feel like i could have ANY combination on my burger. i usually get my burger with bleu cheese and then add veggies and dijon mustard. i love it. they have good fries too, and yummy fry sauce. and, oh yes, shakes. always shakes.

3. hire's - i grew up going to hire's. it's a salt lake favorite, but more importantly, it's a DAD favorite. whenever we would meet up with my dad for lunch when i was a kid, we'd go to hire's. for YEARS i never ordered burgers at restaurants, because i only liked my dad's home-grilled burgers. i remember going out with some friends in my teen years and having a friend say "you don't get the big h?!?! are you crazy?!?!". at which point, i tried the burgers (cause peer pressure ya know?) and never looked back. for me it's the big h combo with fries (topped with cheese if i'm feeling extra hungry), a large diet coke (hire's has THE best crushed ice in the biz), and the big h burger. it's a down and dirty burger - classic, hole-in-the-wall diner, greasy. the bun is really floury, the meat is ... greasy, there's one piece of iceburg lettuce and a slice of (usually unripened) tomato, american cheese (gross), and for sauce, a heaping tablespoon of frysauce (hire's secret recipe obvi!). so simple and yet, so damn good!

i thought a lot about #18 this year, find the best burger utah has to offer. and i guess what i learned is that i am always in search of the best burger, not only in utah, but in the WORLD! i am currently and will forever more be constantly seeking out the best burger. cause i love burgers



odds/ends, coming to you from boresville, usa (work). this might have been the most boring work week of the whole year ... when does that time come in life where you can take the whole summer off for swimming er whatever? 

without further ado, a list of what i have spent my time doing this week (since WORK wasn't really an option):

- something i've recently picked up on is podcast-listening, while working. it's like i'm learning AND working. or it's like i'm laughing AND working. or it's like i'm bored of music so podcasts are a good alternative. one that i've bookmarked, baconsale. i started listening to this podcast cause i occasionally see movies with one of the hosts, kent. i continued listening to this podcast cause it's really funny. i find myself quiet-work-laughing quite frequently during listening. to start you off, listen to the disney movie ranking episodes [episode 7: ranking disney part 1 (when you wish upon a tier) and episode 13: ranking disney part 2 (tier as old as time)]. they're silly and have a musical element. win win!

- if i want to feel really productive whilst wasting time, i like looking at our freaking budget. i actually went to byu with these two. aren't they adorable? they always have been. and now they're as cool as ever teaching the internet about finances, living in new york, with two darling children. two posts that i really like and are really worthwhile, why you should invest in a 401k and how to save for a home (probably because these two posts are really applicable to me).

- it's been about a year now since my first spa experience. turns out, i'm addicted now. i'm addicted to expensive 90-minute swedish massages. it's KIND of a problem but not really. it is the most pampering, luxurious past-time, which is SO ME! anyway, i'm heading to st. george today with the family. i thought it most fitting to celebrate my year-mark at the place it all started, st. george day spa. really i just wanted to write about it so i could think about it more, daydream if you will. so yeah, i recommend it.

- i can't explain why i've just now started watching comedians in cars getting coffee (i feel like a failure of a seinfeld fan). but i love it! the jim carrey one is a little weird, jimmy fallon is always the best, fred armisen, always funny, but i think my favorites are the sarah jessica parker and jon stewart episodes. check out the latest with stephen colbert. other shows i'm really into right now are the mind of a chef and the bachelorette, obviously.

- looking at pluto.

i also had to study for my real estate license, go to the dentist (NO CAVITIES!!!), and get my oil changed this week, so it's not all fun and games.


pretty print.

wayne thiebaud landscape

at first glance i liked this, but never would have guessed it originated from my long-time favorite sweets artist wayne thiebaud. according to the post from which this came (thisiscolossal):

thiebaud was born in mesa, arizona in 1920 and during his early career spent time in the animation department of walt disney studios (no wonder i love him) ... although thiebaud is often associated with the pop art movement, most of his early works pre-date classic pop pieces and he personally rejects the association. "i don't care for pop art at all," thiebaud told the wall street journal last year.

read more here.


life as of late.

it's friday. for some reason everyone i work with thinks friday is work-optional. therefore, each friday i am left feeling very alone and very bored. the way i normally address these feelings is by doing everything i can imagine to stay active at my desk. eventually this practice leads to blogging. ha!

it seems the last time i wrote about anything other than pretty pictures or movies was in january! so hows about a little catch up?

in january i dropped my phone whilst vacationing in st george. i was DEVASTATED but you know, got it fixed immediately and paid the $100 charge for it. for a brief moment after the repair i thought, perhaps get a better case, but instead opted to "just never take it out while on hard surfaces" ??? i actually said this to people as a solution. COURTNEY?!?!?!?! turns out my plan didn't last, and last month i dropped it again, it shattered again. this time i shelled out the big bucks ($30), put away my minimalism-pride and got a case. not four hours after my second fix, i dropped my phone in the toilet and we could never revive it.

in february i was obsessed with frying things and fancied myself a real colonel sanders, discovered the crazy helium booth app, and most important, experienced movie grille in ogden. for some reason utah is lacking the recliner / food-served-to-you-in-your-seat movie theater options. so when my friends and i discovered movie grille, we were thrilled. it was a beautiful winter day. we rushed straight from work to ogden, nearly a 40 minute drive, to catch the 6pm showing of into the woods. we made it just in time. our waitress took drink orders and emily ordered some popcorn. the word "some" is used loosely here as the popcorn she received could have fed all the hungry in africa. anyway, i got a burger which was great, endless refills of diet coke, and just LOUNGED. actually i almost fell asleep at one point. it was heaven on earth, true american living.

in march, oh blessed march, i got my hair cut after a long stint of NOT getting it cut. that was a highlight. but the most funnest bestest highlight was going to visit ben in LA/disneyland!!!! my benly friend lives in the classiest of lofts in downtown los angeles. paige and i spent two days downtown and two days in disneyland, but all of it was fun city!

also in march i took a harmon's cooking class. it was really the bee's knees. i wrote all about it for paige's magazine. read a copy here. lastly, i found out that they are bringing cubby's to taylorsville and my life was complete.

in april i got a fitbit and became one of those people, crazy about "their steps". i'm so annoying. i also picked up this great lip color at sephora called melted metal by too faced, in violet orchid. it's nice. a couple weekends ago i celebrated a friend's birthday by going on a STAYcation. we all met up at the salt lake city marriott at city center ready to swim. the swimming pool over looks second south, which of course was the best of people watching. after the swim we got dinner at maxwell's and dessert at rubysnap, and rounded out the evening with another swim and producing a music video to uptown funk, as any sleepover should end. the fun wasn't over though cause we had brunch at finn's the next morning. 

last week i accompanied amelia to her boxing class. she helped me wrap my hands and put on my gloves (so bad ass right?) and we got to work. guys, i almost died it was so hard core. when i left the gym i had a big bump on my knee from who knows what! and it turned into a big bruise. i swear i didn't bump my knee. this was a freak thing where my knee was just NOT HAVING my hard work.

you're almost caught up except for last weekend emily, amelia, and i drove to twin falls, idaho to visit shoshone falls. it was delightful. i'll take any excuse to stay in a hotel and sleep in a marriott bed. we mostly hiked, but ended our time at the spa. just how i like it.

i think i've wasted sufficient time now.

thanks for reading. until next time!



pretty prints.

remember when i used to do these? well you're in luck cause today is a GIF PARTY VERSION. 

please enjoy these gifs i recently found/love.

and have a good tuesday.


2014 top ten.

hey! for the past few weeks, little else than movies has been on my mind. it was sundance in utah, one of the best times of year imo. and this year was my biggest movie-watching year yet! i saw five films (mistress america, operation artic, shaun the sheep, don verdean, and the wolfpack). all good things.

movie season continues as the academy awards are just two weeks away. which brings me to another year of the best movies / my favorites / movies to see / my top ten movies of 2014:

10. the babadook
number ten was the hardest spot to fill. 2014 was a great year for movies.*** but i think the babadook won me over cause HORROR! i love this genre and, when done right, it's perfect entertainment. the story, which explores the horror of loss, is just SPOT ON. there are few horror movies these days that can tell such a meaningful and approachable story, while still being able to pack a punch in the scare department. really, this is a rare gem.

9. into the woods
i've just recently been hearing that people didn't like this movie. and i don't really understand why. sondheim is weird, i'll give you that. but i feel like it was a welcomed departure from the classic fairy tale. good lessons there! it had a GREAT cast. probably the best musical cast in recent years (russell crowe singing "stars" #neverforget #can'tforget #hauntsmydreams), it stuck to the original story, yet removed the bits that maybe we didn't even WANT to see. the costumes! meryl! what more could you want?!

8.  magic in the moonlight
there could never be a year that woody allen isn't featured on this list (save 2012, to rome with love). this movie was sadly, very underrated. i saw it opening weekend, friday night, and my companions and i were the only ones in the theater! sad. emma stone is enchanting as always. woody always knows the way to my heart.

7. nightcrawler
ok who's with me that jake gyllenhaal is one of the great actors of our time?! with prisoners last year and nightcrawler this year, he is really making quite the name for himself. this movie was a slow burner? i don't know if that's the right word. SUBTLE. that's it. subtle, but when it comes down to it, TERRIFYING.

6. the lego movie
my interest was first piqued when i read this article on kottke, "the wikipedia page notes the lego movie video game will be released in conjunction with the movie. which, if you're following along, is a video game based on a movie based on stacking toys & figures containing characters based on other movies that are based on comic books. i can't wait for the lego movie videogame comic book movie that comes out in 2019." HA! it was SO much better than i expected it to be. i can't say it better than edgar wright, "what could have been such a shameless, corporate, brand-heavy, cash-grab of a movie becomes a truly inspired comic adventure about individualism, imagination, and the creative spirit. " YES!

5. edge of tomorrow or i guess live, die, repeat:  edge of tomorrow??
i'm not sure and that was the biggest (and only?) problem with this movie. it was marketed completely wrong. the trailer was the WORST and the title, completely forgettable. i even still forget it and it was one of my favorite movies last year. so unexpected, so not-the-normal tom cruise, funny, action oriented, and probably best of all, emily blunt doing that wicked awesome yoga move, which apparently was all her, not a stunt woman. WHATTTT.

4. boyhood
oh boyhood. the opus of richard linklator. i'd seen the before sunrise / sunsetmidnight trilogy, and was quite excited upon the idea of boyhood. can you imagine filming something over a twelve year period? huh! just that feat is worth number four on the list.

3. whiplash
i saw whiplash january 2014 at sundance. it won "best of fest" for the audience favorite. and it darn well deserved it. oh gosh, this film. i was on the edge of my seat the ENTIRE one hundred and seven minutes. from that opening scene of him drumming, to the closing scene of him drumming. and when the end was near, i just remember thinking he was going to drop dead, at any moment. mind you, this movie is about a college jazz band ... yeah. gripping really. and jk simmons. this movie is SO good.

2. interstellar
emily and i saw this mostly blind. well at least on my end. i had seen a couple trailers, but didn't really know what it was about. it turned out to be one of my favorite theater experiences in recent history. loved the cinematography, LOVED the music (or lack-of in some parts), and this is one of very few movies in which i enjoy anne hathaway, so that means something.

1. birdman
birdman was another movie i went in to knowing nothing about (catching the theme here?), so it too was an unexpected gem for me. i sometimes judge movies on how much i'm thinking about them afterwards. i was thinking and talking about birdman for weeks after i saw it. i loved the story, the acting and actors (emma stone and edward norton had SERIOUS chemistry here and zach galifianakis was the best i've seen him). i loved the commentary on what audiences want. on top of it all, i loved the one-take editing and the music. i liked it all. i liked it a lot.

i hope i wasn't premature in making this list. i still need to see foxcatcher, two days one night, and a most violent year.

find my favorites of 2013 here and favorites of 2012 here.

peace and happiness to you this february. and loves!

***runners-up:  the skeleton twins, the theory of everything, and x-men:  days of future past. not on my top ten, but always in my heart.


what i did during christmas break.

1. watched the following movies:
the killers
a place beyond the pines
begin again
the one i love
gone girl
the babadook
big eyes
into the woods
the imitation game
princess diaries
the trip to italy
miss pettigrew lives for a day
left behind

2. played the following games:
ticket to ride
heads up
rock band
karaoke, via comcast on demand

3. ate the following food:
just kidding there is no way i could list everything i ate.

4. attended my second ever basketball game.

5. wore the same clothes for at least half of the time.

6. gel nailed.

7. slept.

8. listened to all of serial and thereby became obsessed with podcasts (here's a goodie on babysitting).

9. rediscovered got beauty.

10. hmm, what else. oh yeah! i finished breaking bad with paige. just as good the second time around.

the best part of the holiday was daily shenanigans with this chic.


top 10 songs of 2014.

i don't know why didn't think of doing a list like this earlier in my listing career, but it came to me last night:  A TOP TEN SONGS OF 2014 LIST!

1. a tie between two alt-j songs. every other freckle and hunger of the pine.

**parental advisory warning:  there's a bare bum in this video, and some other stufffff.**

it was just too hard to choose.  my first experience with alt-j was listening to taro back in 2013. once their new album dropped they had me hooked. the cherry on top of this love affair was seeing them live in november. hands down one of the best concerts i've ever been to. so ethereal, "in a way that seems too perfect for this world".

2. james blake, retrograde.

i feel like i'm coming a little late to the james blake party. but DANG! that voice! i rarely compare musicians to my all-time-fave sufjan, but if anyone deserves it, james blake does. that sweet honey voice combined with "space-blues", rolling stone called it when they said it was "like dawn after a rough night".

3. chvrches, do i wanna know?

should i feel bad that a cover is in my top 10? i don't. lauren mayberry has the cutest, softest, most fragile, weightless voice. the perfect touch for arctic monkeys' tune. i probably listened to this song like, over a hundred times this year. find it on soundcloud.

4. st. vincent, digital witness.

i can't help but bounce and sing along to this tune. i was really into st. vincent this year. mostly though, i just have hair envy.

5. phantogram, fall in love.

i've always been a fan of phantogram and their album this year really set in stone my fandom. well, actually, what set it in stone was her hair flips at in the venue in march.

6. disclosure, latch AND flume, you & me.

**parental advisory warning: there's lots of kissing here, and sometimes between same-sex couples**

disclosure is another band featured twice on my top 10. they have a way with electronic dance music. add the sultry sounds of sam smith and you've got yourself an earth-shattering hit. in pitchfork's words, "if you've heard latch, you already know about that voice:  sam smith posessess one hell of a set of pipes, able to go from a commanding lower register to an inhumanly high squawk in record time." oh, also, THE LYRICS. swoon.

i don't really know how to properly site this song. it's a disclosure song, with eliza doolittle, that flume remixed. i've talked about flume before. wanna get pumped? have a dance off? look no further than flume. i love that aussie.

7. lo-fang, #88.

lo-fang is my most recent discovery. i heard his cover of you're the one that i want in a commercial while waiting for birdman to start. apparently he plays all the instruments on the album, which surprisingly includes the violin, cello, and electronics. very baroque, a mix of "classical symphony and contemporary pop".

8. jefferson airplane, white rabbit.

numbers eight and nine on the list are throw backs and they definitely hold their own against all this new stuff. there's a reason they are classics. in my tenth grade health class, i did a "report" in which i created a mixed-tape of songs about mental illness and/or drug use. white rabbit was on the tape. so i've been keen on this tune since then, but i re-discovered it when an arabic version was featured in american hustle. i feel myself transported back to the 60s, headbanging at woodstock during the last few lines of the song.

9. the beatles, tomorrow never knows.

it's no secret that i've been a mad men fiend this year. and although i consider myself extremely well-versed in the beatles discography, i hadn't heard this song until it was played on "lady lazarus" in the fifth season of mad men. it's a gem, as all beatles songs are.

10. snoop lion, here comes the king.

i just couldn't resist adding this. have i let myself go? putting a snoop LION song on my TOPS list? whatever. i thought snoop's latest album was a good turn of events for the rapper. really, it's a fun song to sing to, and werk it out to. is it the worst thing that i identify as a rastafarian on occasion?

listen to the full set on spotify (with some exceptions).


for everything thy goodness sends.

ralph waldo emerson really knew what life was about. the more i read from him, the more i love him. and love this card from the indigo bunting for paperless post. both great things you should know about.

three things:
first, a short list of things i'm grateful for this thanksgiving, and always:
1. jesus christ, his gospel, and his atonement. 
2. my job and the events that led me here. 
3. my dad and the way he loves me. 
4. my mom and her charity. 
5. my paige and her hilarity.

second, a song that i'm grateful i can listen to now that it's thanksgiving. i'm grateful for sufjan. i'm soso grateful for him.

third, an article from the ny times titled "the united states of thanksgiving" where they catalog thanksgiving recipes that "evoke each of the 50 states".

happy thanksgiving! 

**more from youarewhatyoulove on thanksgiving: