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:


currently loving ...

first off, i'm sorry. i know i've been absent for the last ... 2 MONTHS! i do, however, have a fairly valid excuse. i got a new job! no more bore! just FUN! because of all the fun i'm having, i have less time to blog.

the NEW JOB i speak of is still with the lds church, and still on the temporal/physical facilities side. i now work in real estate, dealing with transactions on church property. this new gig includes my obtaining a real estate license. so many terms, so little a brain.

to catch you up on yours truly, i thought it most efficient to tell you what i'm


- post-it notes
- the uni-ball signo dx, .28 point.
- mcdonald's diet coke. i've always loved this but just recently i re-recognized that it's the best of the best because the mcdonald's on my way to work just reopened after a remodel.
- top knots and not washing my hair.
- in the same vein (the hair vein), the wet brush, moroccan oil, and coconut oil.
- baked potatoes from great steak for lunch.
- brooklyn 99 (new season, just as funny).
- ankle boots.
- alt-j.

i'll be spending this weekend at the temple with my family. we are hitting the newly remodeled ogden temple, and brigham city. temples are great, but i'm most looking forward to eating at my favorite thing that has ever come out of ogden: SONORA GRILL

happy weekend!


checking things off.

guys! i finally did my triathlon! the goal first crossed my mind while watching my 80 year old grandpa compete in the st. george senior games. it was so inspiring to watch him, in his frail state, swim, bike, and then finally cross the finish line running. AT 80!!!

... that was in 2007. 

HA! so yes, this has been on my to-do list for 7 years. and on labour day, i finally finished. 350 yards swimming, 12.5 miles biking, and a 5k. woo!

we're all so happy to be posing in our swim-wear. 

here i am, waiting to start. i was mainly thinking, will everyone laugh at me if i plug my nose when i jump in?

then at the end of the bike and run. if you think i look extraordinarily happy it's cause I WAS! i felt so happy and accomplished. you know sometimes, in special moments, when you feel like you're really living life to the fullest, getting the most out of what heavenly father has given you? this was one of those moments. i'm so grateful for my healthy body, and for my recent desires to be active. for this time of my life where i've had the chance to cultivate new hobbies and talents. i'm grateful to have the opportunity to compete in these kinds of races and to live in a place that offers them, that i was born into a family of adventures/lovers of life, for good weather, for swimming pools, my blue bike, for music that pumps me up. i'm grateful for it all and i know to whom i should offer my thanks.

i did the race with a bunch of extended family, and my dad and sister. it was a blessing training and racing with them. my family has always been my biggest cheerleaders. part of my joy upon finishing was brought by seeing my dad and sister finish.

and here's the whole tri crowd. from left to right, my uncle, me, cousin kenzie (whose influence helped me to sign up, train, and actually DO the race, thanks kenz), sister paige, dad (or roy orbison?) cousin davis, and cousin maddy.

some other things i've been checking off:
- conquering a headstand
- getting a NEW JOB!!! (more information forthcoming) 
- hiking "the living room"
- eating at spitz (a new salt lake city favorite)
- trying a fried oreo (A+++++)


27 things to do before i turn 28.

dark constellation by christine tillman.

another year, another list of things i wanna do.

1. read the new testament.
2. take an art class.
3. do more things by myself.
4. go to a barre class.
5. yoga once/week.
6. visit versailles.
7. eat gelato in italy.
8. meet moses.
9. cross at least one hike off my hiking list.
10. do time magazine's 20-minute rule.
11. discover the best candy to popcorn combination.
12. learn how to golf and/or play tennis.
13. go camping 3 times.
14. get a passport.
15. do something i don't want to do.
16. brunch more.
17. cook all the things on this list, and cook them well.
18. find the best burger utah has to offer.
19. throw a party.
20. watch all the oscar best picture winners.
21. make chocolate croissants.
22. swim in a natural body of water.
23. go to three movies in one day.
24. stay at a dude ranch, do dude ranch things.
25. take a trip via train.
26. solve a mystery.
27. find a good luck charm.

i wonder how long i'll keep this gig up ...
(here are 24 things, 25 things, and 26 things)

wish me luck!


who to follow on instagram.

instagram is my social media outlet of choice. i often find myself as a missionary for the church of instagram; will you follow the example of (insert person they admire) and get an instagram account?

anyway, i feel like a subject matter expert when it comes to this mobile photo-sharing service. because of that, i give you who to follow on instagram (sparked by my discovery of the @arthistorysnap account):

what first brought me to hiroaki were his cityscapes of tokyo. but i've recently felt as though i'm travelling the world via his lens.

brought to you courtesy of  amelia, gray (great name right?) is known for his aerial beach shots. but really everything he puts out is a DREAM. i imagine i'll find myself escaping through his images this winter.

dis guy! he's my favorite, a genius in my book. his feed is filled with ordinary objects transformed into quirky, clever, and often humorous art. one of my favorites:  funeral for a week-old egg roll with the styrofoam box styled like a coffin, and the egg roll as the deceased. check him out on vine as well. 

jen's feed is a winner for several reasons:  1) she's a photographer so everything she posts is pretty, 2) i think she may have the very best #throwbackthursdays the app has to offer, all with the greatest of captions, 3) lastly, and i think most importantly, she's a cat-lover and every so often she rescues kittens, which then leads to all posts revolving around wittle baby kitties. 

who wouldn't like pictures from the happiest place on earth to brighten their days? 

oh these images! ethereal in every sense of the word. most recently loving his shoe shots and his window seat series.  

i feel like i kind of relate with solange knowles. my sister runs the world (who run the world? PAIGE!), can get down, and has millions of admirers; while i just sing little ditties, wear cool shaped sunglasses, and take pictures in front of colored walls. i don't know.

i found katie through bri at designlovefest. her illustrations were so amusing that i decided to follow her on instagram. she has not disappointed. she has that real minimal, colorful, kate-spade-esque style i love, lives in brooklyn, and grams her french bulldog. what can i say? i love her!

first and foremost, tim introduced me to flume, which i will forever grateful for. other than that i go to tim for shots round the world, but what really gets me are photos of his family (see this sweet shot). 


9. hike mount timpanogos and/or the narrows.

16 miles, 11,749 feet, second highest summit in the wasatch range, 10 hours. i did it! i finally did it! i hiked mount timpanogos!

this item has been on my to-do list for years. i first wanted to do it when i heard about hiking up to the top and sliding a glacier down to the bottom. sounds like a blast but actually it's really dangerous. instead we chose the fail-safe hike-on-foot method and came out (nearly) unscathed.

i say nearly because really i WAS SCATHED. i thought my knee caps would burst while hiking 5 hours down the mountain. then my feet! ouch. the day after, the calf, quad, hip, groin, and shin pain set in. i'm recovering, but my hot yoga class will be wholly welcomed this evening.

ok but guys, the scenery! oh man, i didn't even know! just the view from aspen grove is breath-taking. we did the aspen grove trail and went through pines, aspens, rock fields, and snow; passed a few waterfalls, fields of wild flowers, un-touched streams and lakes, then to beautiful emerald lake. we saw pheasants, mountain goats, and moose. it was all SO beautiful.

next time around i'd like to hike to emerald lake, camp, wake up the next morning and hike to the summit then back down. sounds like the dream backpacking trip to me!

all in all, SO glad i did it. big shout out to my hiking companions steven and tiffany. you guys are the best.

we started hiking when the sun was just coming up. this is the first waterfall you come to.

you see vast landscapes on the hike. there are areas that the snow never melts. and it's just so green! 

i loved this little area that looks almost untouched by mankind.

emerald lake was one of my favorite parts. it's about 5 miles up, surrounded by fields of wild flowers and has some of the bluest water i've seen. 

this is looking down on emerald lake from the top. you can see how blue it is from here. to the right you can see the glacier slide that you can ride down from the top.

on the way back we took a good rest on the banks of the lake. so serene.

steven taking in the view from the top.

it was SUPER crowded the day we went. i'd say anywhere from 100 to 150 people were hiking it with us. while doing some research after the hike i learned that prior to 1970, provo held an annual event called the "timp hike" that sent thousands of people up the mountain's slopes. it generally took place on the third or fourth weekend in july (we did it saturday the 26th, the fourth weekend). i take that to mean we chose the best, most historic weekend to hike.
the three of us at the top. look at that view!
looking south.
and here's the finished product, us at the end of the hike. all i wanted to do at this point was take off my shoes and sleep for two days (which is pretty much what i did).

HAPPY! hooray for accomplishing goals! WOO!


welcome summer.

summer is now a week old! can you believe it? it all goes by so fast. i spent the summer solstice serving the homeless, showering a friend with baby gifts, but best of all, at a "mid-summer mingle". check out #amidsummermingle on instagram, but basically all these gals (and a few men) got together in their whites to sip on pressed juice, munch on fancy cucumber open-faced sandwiches, and chit-chat the night away. it was so delightful. new life goal:  move to a house near rock canyon park, have a pool and tennis court in your back yard.

if all my summer nights are like last saturday's, i'm good. but here's a list of some other things to look forward to this summer:

eating/lots of caprese salads. amelia bought a big tub of mozarella and grape tomatoes from costco ... i been on it ever since.
drinking/sonic diet cokes, filled to the brim with ice (but mostly just eating the ice).
practicing/my hot yoga. i leveled up after learning hydration is the key, DUH!
learning/how important it is to be compassionate. how great is this verse of scripture? <true charity.
trying/to keep my plants alive.
hiking/mount timpanogos and lone peak.
watching/mad men, and every outdoor movie this city has to offer.
finishing/my 26 things list. i've got a lot to do.
reading/the continuous conversion, a follow up to this book, which i finished is RECORD time.
remembering/what it was like without paige last summer and being SO happy she's here to keep me company this summer.
wearing/my swimsuit under my clothes MOST of the time.
cooking/home-made ice cream and gelato. <what summers are made of.
working/on my triathlon muscles. how come no body ever told me swimming was the HARDEST?
traveling/to washington state in august! what recommendations do you have for me? i'm most looking forward to biking the hiawatha trail. seems like a dream!
wanting/a new swim suit but i can't justify buying one every year ...

**thanks to bleubird for the inspiration for this post.


my go-to meals.

i'm trying to be better about eating out ... meaning i'm trying not to eat out as much. guys, you know me. you know this is gonna be REAL hard for me. is a week without habit burger a week worth living??? i'll find out.

to aid in my addiction recovery, i'm making a list of my favorite go-to meals, quick, easy, and delicious.

1. baked macaroni and cheese
i CRAVE this recipe. it has a crispy top made of breadcrumbs and cheese. i use the giant elbow macaroni and eat it leftover for daysss after.

2. blackened chicken with avocado
i'm always amazed how easy this is and then how GOOD it is. follow the link to the recipe if you'd like, but the steps are so simple. just get some cajun seasoning, throw a breast of chicken in a skillet with oil and blacken it with the seasoning. while the chicken is cooking, dice an avocado, mix it with some chopped cilantro and stir together with a bit of lime juice. when the chicken's done put the mix on top and enjoy. if i'm REALLY fancy i will also make some cilantro rice to go with. this is the perfect meal for a single gal. all you need is an avocado, some frozen chicken, cilantro, the seasoning, and some rice. it all stays fresh in your fridge while you accidentally are eating at in and out and forget to cook.

3. cowboy caviar (or any bean salad) in an avocado
this is my newest discovery. i bought a jar of cowboy caviar salsa at tj's and put it in one half of an avocado and enjoyed! it would be better though if you made your own cowboy caviar, or any bean salad (think kidney, black, garbanzo, with tomato, onion, and garlic) ... let's be honest, any lunch served in an avocado is bound to be delicious.

4. nachos! (with avocado obvi!)
so, i make this like ... on the weekly. sometimes i think to myself how much of what i'm eating would be shown on an illustration of junk food? and then i feel bad for myself cause i'm usually eating junk. but forgo the junk food nacho image you have in your head currently and think about this instead:  first the chips, then a layer of  black beans, then the cheese, put it in the oven on broil so everything gets really crispy and delish. then add tomatoes, guacamole, lettuce, salsa, olives, etc, etc, etc. to your heart's content.

5. tater tot casserole
this is a wightman family classic. perhaps not the healthiest of meals, but easy and good for leftover purposes (most of what i eat is put to the test:  will it still be good for tomorrow's lunch?) well the answer to that with tater tot casserole is YES. some might argue that it's BETTER the next day.

1 large pkg of tater-tots
1 lb hamburger
1 onion, chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup (cream of mushroom is ok too)
1 can evaporated milk
1/2 can milk
grated cheddar cheese

put frozen tater-tots in a 9x13 casserole dish. fry hamburger with onion until brown and season to taste. drain off any fat and layer meat on top of the tater-tots. mix soup, evaporated milk and regular milk together and pout over the meat and potatoes. top with grated cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

6. pizza with black beans
i don't know if you are catching on to the themes of my meals, but i mostly love two things:  black beans, and avocado. they make the food world go round. for this courtney specialty, get a plain cheese or pepperoni pizza. it can even be frozen, but something like a take-and-bake costco one is best. take that sucker home and spice it up with more meat, veggies, and black beans. then you're not eating empty calories and it fills you right up. supes easy.

7. veggie sandwich
i think i ate this for a solid week, lunch and dinner once. the great thing about this is you can chop all the veggies beforehand and have the ingredients all ready to go. get a pita (the pocket kind is best), use hummus and garden veggie cream cheese as the spread and go crazy with veggies. avocado, cucumber, red bell pepper, etc. mmm.

8. chicken cass (this isn't the quickest of the bunch ... but it's good)
i love this recipe and it's great as leftovers. i feel like anything with ritz crackers is a yes for me. they should call them crack crackers.

9. spaghetti pie
this was one of my mom's go-to meals while i was growing up. it's so good that it crosses generations folks!

4 ounces spaghetti - cooked
1 egg
1/3 cup parmesan
1 tablespoon butter
mix all this ^^^ together with the hot spaghetti and put in the bottom of a pie tin. top with 1 cup cottage cheese mixed with 1 egg, 1/2 pound of hamburger, 3/4 cup of spaghetti sauce and top all this off with mozzarella cheese. bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

10. mashed potatoessss
uh, when i have nothing else to eat in the house, i usually go for mashed potatoes. has anyone ever realized how easy this is? why would you ever EVER buy dehydrated mashed potatoes? STOP! me eating this for a meal is usually synonymous with being home alone with netflix ... i just realized that. it's called comfort food for a reason people. so i just take that potato and boil it with salt. while it's boiling i put sour cream, cheese, salt and pepper, and milk in a bowl big enough to mix it all in, but small enough to eat it in after it's all done. conservation. the potato only takes what, like 15-20 minutes? when it's done mash that sucker with the other goods (using an electric beater works magic). bon appetit! oh, and i ALWAYS make sure to bring the salt and pepper with me to the couch. don't want to have to take extra steps for extra sodium.

11. pb and chocolate smoothie
pretty sure i talked about this a couple weeks ago. this is the perfect after-workout meal. not too heavy and just filling enough.

12. chicken enchiladas
i love this because it's so easy and so good and still so good when it's a couple days old. what more could you want out of food?

3 cups cooked chicken, shredded
1 onion, chopped
1 (7 ounce) can chopped green chiles
1 1/2 cups grated cheese (half monterrey jack, half cheddar)
1 can black olives, sliced
1 package flour tortillas

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
milk to dilute

combine chicken, onion, chiles, cheeses, and olives. save some of the cheese mix to put on top. spoon in some of the sauce to bind. spoon chicken mixture into tortillas. roll, seam side down in greased 9x13 inch pan. top with remaining sauce and saved cheese. back and 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.

there you have it. my life in 12 recipes.
wish me luck with the whole not eating out thing ... i need it.

**i remembered one more that is an old time fave - spinach, feta, strawberries, and brianna's blush wine vinaigrette ... to die for.