summer re-cap.

i went to church on sunday only to discover the average age in the ward dropped to 18; westminster started.

paige became a full-fledged adult today and started teaching english to a bunch of eighth graders.

i added about 5 minutes to my morning commute (as of yesterday) because of the elementary that's located on my street, and because of all the freaking school zones on the the way to work.

summer 2015 is OVER!

for me though, things will pretty much stay the same. i've gotten over that gotta-buy-school-clothes-and-get-back-to-school feeling i grappled with post-graduation. and it's still warm enough to swim. so really, i'm good! it also means that city creek isn't so crowded and that i basically have the food court to myself at lunch. win!

nevertheless, here's a pictorial summer 2015 re-cap for your viewing pleasure:

at the beginning of the summer i went on a architecture tour of salt lake. man, we have some beautiful buildings in this city (see above). 

i continued to love burgers this summer and was ecstatic to find this burger seat at one of my fave spots: red robbin.

i went to a lot of concerts this summer. concerts are kind of my jam lately. here ^^^ is passion pit at red butte. we also saw death cab for cutie, father john misty, and black rebel motorcycle club at twilight. last week i sat on the hill behind red butte to listen to wilco and it was a DREAM! looking forward to a few more really great concerts this fall.  

i didn't hike as much as i wanted to this summer. i did timp last year and was yearning for another 10-hour gig, but didn't get the chance. fingers crossed for some good fall hikes. i did however, do a few short hikes here and there. above ^^^ is on the grandeur peak trail.
 ^^^ here's a view from the trail behind the draper temple ... i don't know what it's called ... bonneville shoreline?? which reminds me of a new bucket list item i have:  hike the entire bonneville shoreline trail, which spans from idaho to santaquin. on the day this was taken, i just hurried up the hill to see the sunset. boy was it worth it!

^^^ this is the desolation trail up millcreek canyon. it's lotr reminiscent no? 

^^^ lastly we have a hike-selfie from donut falls.

of course we participated in our annual moonlight ride on antelope island! this year was the BEST YET because i brought a portable speaker and we JAMMED the whole ride. actually, at one point, i was taking a breather at the top of a hill and led zeppelin's kashmir was playing. a couple people thanked me while they passed and said the song helped them up the hill. long live jimmy page.

many a sunday night (and a few weeknights) were spent out on the front lawn. this is a favorite pass time of mine and paige's. another favorite pass time of mine and paige's is TICKET TO RIDE. the best board game ever to exist (with monopoly taking a close second, obvi). 

a super big giant best highlight of the summer was our quick jaunt to disneyland for a two day spree. we drove from saint george early on a sunday morning and returned late (SUPER late, like we got home at 6am) monday morning. it was all in all a wonderful trip. i'm realizing the more i visit disneyland, the more i love it. the ears, the food, the fun. it really is a magical place.

BEFORE the drop on splash mountain.

and AFTER the drop on splash mountain. somehow paige still looks like a model ... 

this summer was momentous because it was my first time seeing 2001: a space odyssey. loved it! love that stanely kubrick. also a shout out to my uncle for letting us watch it in his theater. so good.

two of my oldest and dearest friends had babies this summer. brooklyn (on the right) is my birthday babe cause she was due on my birthday. although, when it came down to it she couldn't wait to make her entrance and came four days early. still, she's my birthday babe. 

^^^ here's another one of my babes i just couldn't help but include in the post. showing me her smile on a sunday facetime sesh. that face! oh that face!!!

i know this picture is really dark, but it was one of my most favoritest days this summer. it was my birthday week and i did a little ferris buellering (if you know what i mean) and spent the day with my favorite people at lagoon. we did lagoon-a-beach, rode all the rides (well, some of the group rode all the rides), played games, won prizes, and ate something called a "beaver tail" that i've been dreaming about ever since. SUCH good times.  

a couple of weekends ago, me and my two best girls drove up to bear lake on a saturday. we stopped in logan for breakfast at angie's (highly recommended, we loved it!), then made the rest of our way up the canyon to that SO BLUE bear lake. it was crowded, but it's so big it didn't make much of a difference to us. we laid on the beach, tanned, listened to poolside playlist classics, and rented a jet ski for a bit and rode around on the lake. it was such a great day we decided to make it a tradition. 

^^^ dancing AND tanning. best of the best.

last weekend was a last-days-of-summer-celebration of sorts. we did slide the city. please note that, although my burger is so adorable, it is not a tube and therefore, was not ideal for sliding down the three block water slide. 

paige WAS wearing a swimsuit. just fyi. 

after slide the city we had snow cone chasers. interestingly, this was my first of the season and it did not disappoint. please give me coconut ice cream with my snow cone ALL THE TIMES.

in the evening we attended a concert at the sandy amphitheater. which was so delightful. oh! and then we went to bill & teds excellent adventure at the tower. 
perfect way to end the summer.

looking forward to football games, horror movies, pumpkin EVERYTHING, and all else that comes with fall.


28 things to do before i'm 29.

1. take a ceramics class.
2. go to a barre class.
3. take tennis lessons.
4. get a passport.
5. watch all the best picture winners.
6. take a trip via train.
7. stay at a dude ranch, do dude ranch things.
8. make pickles.
9. get acupuncture.
10. visit havasupai.
11. read a book.
12. cross at least one hike off my hiking list.
13. go snow shoeing.
14. surprise someone.
15. help someone in need.
16. run barefoot (preferably on the beach).
17. play matchmaker.
18. go on a completely spontaneous trip.
19. bake a cake for a loved-one.
20. fall asleep on a grassy plain.
21. cook a five-course meal.
22. travel the world through food.
23. learn the art of graffiti.
24. understand the difference between jazz and good jazz.
25. study mormon pioneer women.
26. read the last conference talk of all the prophets.
27. have more technology-free days.
28. throw a dance party.

most of these should look familiar to you if you've followed along for the past four years (24 things, 25 things, 26 things, and 27 things). it's becoming increasingly difficult to come up with things to do and i'm getting up there!

but i guess the most important, number one thing i want to do this year, isn't on the list. it isn't really something i can check off. it's something that has been really hard for me in the past, and maybe is really hard for me currently. but that thing is be happy in the moment. my sister keeps a running list every year of "moments of happiness". things like "this person said something nice to me" or "me and some friends ate out and saw a movie and it was really fun". just simple but, i think, really significant! and the greatest idea.

so here's to another year.
and here's to making this year the happiest.


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.