Grey Skies, Silver Screens

January and February are often grey and cold here in Utah, but thankfully I often find myself warm and cozy in a movie theater during these winter months. First, the Sundance Film Festival comes to town [I was lucky enough to see four movies this year!] and then before you know it, it’s Oscar season.

This year was no exception and in honor of the Oscars two nights ago I made a few prints to represent the best picture nominees. I wish I could say I have a print for all of them, but I ran out of time before the ceremony. Personally my top two best picture nominees recommendations are LaLa Land and Hidden Figures. Both are movies with a lot of heart that I can’t wait to watch again. I also really loved the selection of live shorts nominated this year.



Arrival is the story of linguistics professor Louise Banks is tasked with interpreting the language of the apparent alien visitors [pictured above, although in the movie it is always black]. It reminded me of Interstellar in the best way possible.


La La Land

If you haven’t heard of this movie, I’m not sure what’s happening and I’m worried about you. Please go watch it. Emma Stone’s character, Mia, makes this logo for Ryan Gosling’s character, Sebastian, who wants to open a Jazz club.


Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures is the story of a team of African-American women mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the US space program. This print was inspired by one of my favorite quotes from the movie. Katherine says this after someone implies they are surprised NASA would let women work there.

“I will have you know, I was the first negro female student at West Virginia university graduate school. On any given day, I analyze the binomial levels air displacement, friction and velocity. And compute over ten thousand calculations by cosine, square root and lately analytic geometry. By hand. There are twenty, bright, highly capable negro women in the west computing group, and we’re proud to be doing our part for the country. So yes, they let women do some things at NASA, Mr. Johnson. And it’s not because we wear skirts. It’s because we wear glasses. Have a good day.”


Hacksaw Ridge

Hacksaw Ridge is the true story of WWII American Army Medic, Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people, and becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot.

Currently: reading Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid. It’s basically a “choose your own adventure” paperback for grownups, which has been really fun.

Favorite Things: Christmas 2016

2017 is officially here, but not before I slipped away for a much needed Christmas break in Texas. We made some usual stops at some of our favorite places:






Caught up with some friends:

Enjoyed the perks of a “green” Christmas. Even if it did mean it was almost 80 degrees the whole visit.


I love our orange tree.


Also this weird fruit tree.

We tried to be a little festive:

If you know us, you know that is definitely not our house, haha. We keep it simple when it comes to Christmas lights. Dad showed us this crazy Christmas house that’s on his usual biking route.

Bella, our dog, had to have surgery recently and to help her not interfere with the healing process she’s been forced to wear turtlenecks. I convinced my mom that she should have  at least have a Christmas one for the holiday season.


This day after Christmas we hit the road and headed to San Antonio. We stayed in a cute little house and had fun playing tourists for a few days.


House fridge magnets.


I loved the decor in this house, it was a colorful, but very clean aesthetic. The spirit of the Mexican influence on San Antonio was well displayed and the owners also seemed very inspired by spiritual elements [there were multiple nativities, a buddha, and some Hindu deities represented]. However they also did not have a tv and said they intentionally do so to encourage people to do things like play boardgames instead … but nobody’s perfect I guess haha.

We visited the mercado where I did some nativity shopping and enjoyed window shopping and churros.


We checked out some bikes and rode the path between the missions. Of course, we also paid a visit to our favorite publication in town, Buena Suerte.

However, we mostly just ate our way through as many tacos as possible.



My mom is obsessed with the taco garage baby.



One of our eating highlights was Maria’s. It’s a small cafe that was right around the corner from the place we stayed [our Airbnb host recommended it]. The BEST brisket nachos ever.



And naturally, we had to take a stop at the Alamo and the Riverwalk. We’ve been to the Riverwalk many times, but this time we decided to do the boat tour and it was a lot of fun.


Boat tour highlights: When they pointed out the bridge where Jennifer Lopez filmed a scene of Selena! Also when they pointed out the stage where they filmed part of Miss Congeniality and no one cared but me. I then unsuccessfully tried to get everyone to watch this movie all weekend.


Mom and I waiting for the boat.

But of course my most favorite thing about visiting Texas is just hanging out with my favorite people. None of which want to be photographed at the same time. Or sometimes at all. BUT I DO IT ANYWAYS.


Hope your Christmas was wonderful and 2017 is treating you well!

Bonus LEAST Favorite thing of Christmas 2016: Getting a stomach flu type bug on Christmas Eve! Thankfully it was a 24 hour thing and I was still able to say hello at Noche Buena that night and enjoy some pie with some of my favorite Nelsons and DelaMares on Christmas Day.

Currently watching: Waking Ned Devine

Happy Christmas Harry

As Christmas draws closer it only seems appropriate to talk about the other happiest place on earth I visited this year: Hogwarts.


LA was uncharacteristically overcast that day, which was perfect for imagining we were in the UK. 


The Hogwarts Express


Don’t forget your luggage. 


Snow-capped rooftops all year long. 


Hogsmeade and Hogwarts street signs



First order of business? Butterbeer, of course. I’d heard a lot of fuss about the butterbeer and it did not disappoint. You could get regular butterbeer, frozen butterbeer, and even a butterbeer cream dessert. I tried all three, you know, purely to be thorough in my comparison and reporting.

There was also gilly water [Which I didn’t sample], pumpkin fizz juice [Which I did, not bad, but not near as good as the butterbeer], and a variety of other wizard beverages to try.

We wandered all around Hogsmeade.


See that little Hermoine with her wand on the right? You could buy wands that interacted with the window displays. I believe in this moment she was trying to summon a chocolate frog.




Owl Post

My favorite was probably Honeydukes [Zonko’s joke shop was nearby and basically a part of this shop as well].



I took home some chocolate frogs and ended up with a Godric Gryffindor card.

I also loved seeing the wands of all the characters at Ollivanders. While we were in there we spotted Angela Kinsey [The actress who play Angela on the office]!



Hermione’s wand


Borrowed Hermione’s wand for a minute. 

You could also buy other wizard items like a rememberall, quill set, quidditch apparel, or even a Weasley sweater.




The infamous monster book occasionally tried to bite people. 

Of course, if you needed money for any of these things, you can always visit Gringotts. My own muggle bank found itself very confused with my visit, which led to me taking a short time out from the merriment to let them know there was no fraudulent charges to my card, I was just on vacation. However, just to be safe they had me verify my last few charges were legitimate. Flitwick’s emporium? Yup, that’s me. Butterbeer cart? Yup, that’s me too.


The Forbidden Journey ride was amazing. The line itself was an attraction. It winded you through Hogwarts, taking you through the outside greenhouse, classrooms, and corridors. Talking portraits and young Hermione, Ron, and Harry greeted you along the way.



Found the Weasley’s car. 

The ride was even better. You glided through a convincing quidditch match, faced real life versions of the Forbidden Forest spiders, dodged the whomping willow, and found yourself up close and personal with dementors.

There was also a second coaster that took you past Buckbeak’s nest and Hagrid’s Cottage. Not nearly as elaborate, but still fun.


Buckbeak coaster cars

Eventually, despite all the butterbeer, we worked up an appetite, so we headed over to the Three Broomsticks. I had the beef stew. We tasted all the desserts. Everything was good, but we especially liked the toffee pudding.

We had a flight to catch so we couldn’t stay too long, but it was a wonderful escape into the world of Harry Potter. I hope I have the opportunity to do it again sometime [Orlando & London, look out].

Thanks Jo, I had the time of my life. And I owe it all to you.



All the staff stayed in character and some congratulated me on winning the last Gryffindor match. This was very cute and not at all awkward and traumatizing. Unlike the time a guy cornered me by the soda machine while interrogating me about quidditch scoring technicalities when I went to see Fantastic Beasts [This was especially traumatzing because they were also out of the diet Dr. Pepper I wanted]. 


No muggles here. 

Currently: Wrapping presents and watching [made for tv] Christmas movies.