Monday, December 15, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars

Have you seen The Fault in Our Stars? Part of me wondered if it was just going to be another cheesy teen-movie, but I was extremely pleasantly surprised! It was such a quality film - everything from the acting to the writing to the cinematography to the settings to the story to the perfect soundtrack. It tugged at my heartstrings and I was completely captivated from beginning to end. I've upped the ante on which films I'll watch, because I don't want to waste my time with cheesy/dumb ones.. so there have been multiple shows [films or tv shows] where I've stopped watching it part way through if it doesn't wow me. My time is valuable, so if I'm watching something, I want it to be worth my time!

That being said, I couldn't help but draw the cover of this film! I almost exclusively listened to the soundtrack the whole time I was drawing it, which helped set the mood & put my own emotion into the drawing. :)

Thursday, December 11, 2014


I was getting ready one afternoon and thinking about "opposites." Thinking about how there are genuinely happy people out there, and genuinely miserable people out there. I never want to be one of the miserable ones. I believe it's all in how we view things -- easier said than done, but I could use this reminder to find the positive in life, rather than the [easy] negatives.

Life is full of disappointments pleasant surprises.
I can't do it.
It's a mean nice world.
Rainy days and Mondays always get me down are a fresh start.
I don't matter.
That was stressful funny.
I'm so jealous of happy for you.
Life is hard worth it.
I don't have anything something to offer.
That was a waste of time an interesting experience.

Add to the list! Let's be happy/positive/lovin' life together ;)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


-Trader Joe's and I have become best friends here in Miami. There's pretty much nothing I can say against it.. besides the tiny parking lot. But that's overlookable ;) I always feel satisfied & excited about my healthy cart full of produce when we leave! Mmm.

-I think my favorite food is Mexican -- tostados, salsa, guacamole, fajitas, taco salad -- yes yes yes yes yesssss.

-It's both hilarious and curiously strange how often we hear a screeching cat-fight outside our window at night.

-Miami summers are so bizarre. We have "summer" the rest of the year, but June-September is suuuuper rainy. DOWNPOUR-rainy... with loud, end-of-the-world crackling thunder in the sky. Then it eases up and it's blue skies & sunny again. Then it downpours again. And so on & so forth.

-Can we talk about how incredibly good "Friday Night Lights" is?! How have I not seen it until now??? Not even done with the series, and it's already in my top 4 favorite Dramas [with Lost, Breaking Bad, and Downton Abbey mixed in there. Each are quality shows with excellent writing & acting!]

-I have this weird thing where I always like to see if I can just split the deck exactly in half when we play with face cards [without counting 26 cards out first... granted, I have to count the 26 cards out afterward anyway to see if I did it.. but y'know.] There's always such satisfaction when it's exactly in half.

-Random fact about me -- I like laying my head on a cold pillow as I fall asleep. I usually flip the pillow right when I lay down... then if it gets too warm, I flip it again... eventually I stop caring & doze off ;)

-Oh my gosh, it's INSANE how crazy the bugs are here -- example: we walked out to get the mail one night, and I got 13 [T H I R T E E N] bug bites. And we were outside for less than 10 minutes. I literally ran all the way back home, so they'd stop eating me. ((HMPH.))

-I was never a Key Lime Pie fan, but now that I've lived in Miami for almost 2 years... ohhhh sweet-tart-savory goodness, that stuff is guh-HOOD.

-over and out-

Saturday, December 6, 2014


I did a fun project for my cousin recently, of a photo of her husband [who's in the army] fist-bumping an Afghan child. I love the symbolism of unity & one love!

Another piece I just finished with was Scarlett Johansson.

I love doing what I love. It's so fun for me to draw people!

Saturday, November 22, 2014


Let's talk about the transition of Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas. Particularly the whole Thanksgiving-Christmas debacle.

There are so many different opinions as to when to do what. Is it okay to start listening to Christmas music in October? November? The day after Thanksgiving? December 1st? There are the die-hard Christmas lovers that listen to Christmas music & watch Christmas movies whenever they want throughout the year. There are the [Scrooges?] who WILL NOT so much as breathe the word "Christmas" until Thanksgiving has had its day & that holiday is officially over. 

Here are my thoughts. 

First off, I'll admit that I'm a Christmas-addict. I can't help it, I look forward to the magic of Christmas allllll year long. Sometimes I'll buy a Christmas decoration in June, cause, um, hello - wayyy underpriced for its worth. And I'm always up for a steal. 

I fall into the category of barely containing my excitement for Christmas until after Halloween [and even then, my eyes grow about 5 sizes bigger when I see the first sneak-peak of Christmas aisles being decorated at the stores.]... but I'm too much of a Halloween-lover to totally dismiss that holiday. 

Thanksgiving, however, I feel is a terrific segue into the Christmas holiday. People huff & puff when they see others putting up the tree in early November. Or when the stores start playing Christmas music. But to that I have to ask, what is Thanksgiving about? It's about Family. Eating food. Coming together as one, and mainly about being Thankful. What is Christmas about? Well, it's about Christ. It's about Giving. It's about loving others. It's about Family. It's about coming together and showing kindness and gratitude for the people in your lives. Are they so different? 

I get that people argue that Christmas has become "commercialized" and "worldy." ...buuuut... has it really? Sure, there are gifts we give to each other -- but that's just it.. we're GIVING them to each other. And is it so looked down on to accept a gift that someone else has put thought into giving you? You're allowing that person to serve & give, just as you're serving and giving to others. Everyone is different & has their own mindset, every family has their different traditions.. and I highly disbelieve that Christmas has completely lost the heartfelt feeling that makes it so great. 

The magic of Christmas is so big - it isn't just about Santa and gifts, although that is a fun element [and is that really so bad to admit?]. It's about the coziness of Christmas lights dangling on everyone's home that puts smiles on complete strangers' faces as we drive around and gawk at the beautiful lights. It's about the nostalgic feeling of traditions & memories & being with those you love - even if that's the only time you've seen them the entire year. It's about the familiar music that makes our hearts swell with peace & happiness as we sing along to the timeless lyrics. It's about supporting dancers & artists & musicians who've practiced their hearts out for months and are finally sharing their talents with thousands as we attend their performances. It's about the traditional treats we look forward to making and eating and sharing with friends & family. It gives us a reason to do holiday crafts and activities and go out to several events. It's about enjoying the pure joy of selflessly giving to those in need and seeing those we love most feel loved. It's the one time of year that snow is actually welcomed & savored, as opposed to despised & unwanted. It's about so much more than we even give it credit for.

Why then, is it SO bad to welcome the pure magic of Christmas into our hearts and lives before Thanksgiving? Aren't Thanksgiving and Christmas friends? There's no room for hate and disapproval when it comes to Christmas, so to those who shake their heads at us Christmas-lovers for allowing Christmas to come alive again whenever we choose to [whether it be before Thanksgiving or even before Halloween] - I sadly shake my head back that they can't open their minds to the beauty of enjoying all that Christmas encompasses and provides to those who open their arms to it. And it's not that I expect everyone to start celebrating it before Thanksgiving - I say, start celebrating it when you want to celebrate it. But I appreciate those who don't judge me for starting to celebrate it when I choose to celebrate it, just as I don't judge anyone else for celebrating it when they choose to. 

I can agree that stores opening for Black Friday at 6pm ON THANKSGIVING is too much -- give the damn holiday its day. Aside from that, I say, let's just all cool our jets and allow everyone to celebrate and enjoy the beauty of Thanksgiving and Christmas as one perfect time of year where we come together with family and friends & show love and gratitude and kindness toward one another. Cheers!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


My sister got me to love Downton Abbey [what IS it about that show that just REELS. US. IN.!? I want to time travel back to that era & wear the fancy dresses & hats and parade around the giant estate and dress up for dinner time... oh.].

Anyway. Can we all just shake hands on the fact that Maggie Smith plays one of the best characters on that show? I love her. She's witty and strong-willed and sneakily gets what she wants. :) Needless to say, she became my next model. Thanks, Mags!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The guy I met at the mall.

We were at the children's play-area in the mall yesterday, and I got talking with the gentleman next to me. I love how you can always find something in common with people -- in this case, we were chatting about our sons. That led to us talking about where we're both from - he was from NYC [automatic interest for me!], and I told him I'm from Salt Lake... then we started agreeing on several thoughts we had about Miami [the goods & the bads].

He then said, "I'm going to say something that's going to shock you."

What?! Cool, okay, let's hear it!

He says, "I'm a Physician - a Cardiologist."

I was all, "Wow!" -- pretty cool that you can pass or sit by so many people and not know who they are or what they do -- or know anything about them, really.

He continued, "I'm a Heart Surgeon, but I'm also a patient -- I'm waiting for a heart transplant."

WHAT??! I was like, "Oh my gosh, wow!"

Then he keeps talking, "I'm going to shock you again." Again?! Alright, this guy's got my COMPLETE ATTENTION [good thing Nick was there to watch Jaden ;)].

He says, "I'm carrying my 'heart' right here." and taps on a medium-sized black bag next to him. I shook my head, giving a heavy blink, then opened my eyes wide - eyebrows raised above my head - and said, "WHAT!?!?!?!? OH MY GOSH, ARE YOU SERIOUS!?!?! THAT'S CRAZY!" [crazy in a cool way ;)]

He laughed and said, "Bet you didn't notice that I have a wire going under my shirt." Sure enough, I look and see a wire going from the black bag leading to the bottom of his shirt, then disappearing under it.

He says, "Because of my profession, I was able to be a candidate for this new procedure they're trying [developed by NASA]... so I'm one of sixty people in the world walking around without a heart."

He went on to say that he was healthy as can be, that one of the perks of it was that he never got tired -- he felt like he was running full-speed, but without breathing heavily... and he was being monitored all the time, so if he were to get up and do some jumping jacks, someone at the hospital would call and see if he's okay. He'd been carrying it around for a year -- still just waiting for a heart transplant. He was so happy and hopeful, saying, "It's better than just laying in a bed! I still get to go out and live life!" WOW! Consider me shocked!!! I didn't even know that was possible!!!! It was so cool to meet him! Made me miss meeting all sorts of randoms when I used to work [outside the home] full-time. I also just love that we could've both just been sitting there in silence - and nobody [including myself] would've thought twice about it. Instead, we engaged in conversation and I learned the craziest, coolest thing ever about this man! I was sitting next to a guy who was carrying his heart in a bag next to him. WHAT!? Such a mind-blowing moment. Wow. Ah! I love meeting people and hearing about their stories. Definitely one of my favorite things!!

Sunday, June 29, 2014


OKAY. So, we finished watching the Breaking Bad series in mid-May, and OH. MY. GOODNESS. It was the craziest, heaviest, most believable, well-done TV show I've ever seen [next to Lost ;)]. The acting was so believable that I felt like I was spying in on someone's crazy world. And the story... wow. So interesting & deep & twisted, but you buy into it... it's just insanely good! I still miss it -- I don't know how any other show can top it! And I don't know how anyone could see it and NOT love it -- it's just phenomenal! Anyway, because of my Breaking Bad withdrawals, I decided to spend more time with it & draw "Heisenberg." ;) [Nice coping mechanism, right?]
I mean, I know it's kinda creepy, where you wouldn't necessarily want that face hanging in your house... but y'know. Forget about that - HE'S HEISENBERG!

Monday, June 16, 2014


I wanted to draw something for both of my parents for Mothers/Fathers Day, since they've always encouraged my interests and talents... whether or not it was ACTUALLY good or praiseworthy, they've always cheered me on and been my biggest fans. I couldn't ask for better parents! You can see my Mother's Day gift here :) And  for my dad -- well, if you know him, he's THE BIGGEST BEATLES // PAUL MCCARTNEY FAN EVER!!!! I LOVE that about him!! He's read countless books & articles about them, visited their homes in Liverpool, gone to several Paul McCartney concerts [one IN London - wouldn't that be AMAZING!?], owns & knows every Beatles song PLUS all the Paul songs after they split up.. yeah. Needless to say, he's instilled a great love for the Beatles in me. :) Anyway - can you guess who I decided to draw for him? I give you, young Sir Paul!

I had a blast doing this. Drawing faces is my passion!! I love love loooove it & hope to get better and better with each piece :)


Friday, May 30, 2014


Okay, I'm about to share a potentially make-myself-rich idea, but let's face facts -- I don't have money to carry out this plan. So, I'm gonna write it on here, in hopes that some rich billionaire sees this, makes it happen, and invites me to the grand opening.

Check out this pic of Jaden & me:
I was looking at it and -- here's my groundbreaking idea -- wouldn't it be so rad if someone made a museum that made you feel like a midget? And another one that made you feel like a giant? Maybe they're in the same museum?? So the first one is just full of ginormous homes and cars and food and steps and whatever else... the other is full of things big enough to acknowledge and appreciate, but small enough where you obviously don't fit in. WILL SOMEONE PLEASE MAKE THIS FOR ME?!? 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

the mail.

Our mailbox outing is pretty consistent: 

Usually around 6:30 or 7pm, we bring up the idea to go to the mailbox. We all get our shoes on, then Jaden says, "Kehh-eee you?" [Carry you?] and we hold him on the way down the stairs [even though he knows how to walk down them ;)]... we stop at the crosswalk & look both ways -- no cars? Run run run! Then Jaden says, "Walk?" ...we let him down, and he takes off toddling down the sidewalk. Stops to pick up a stick for each of us, then starts running again. [Variations include him walking on the grass, stopping to say hi to a kitty, or saying, "Ew! Yucky bug!" here & there.].. we wave as we pass Georgina & Armando's place - whether or not their blinds are open. Then we walk through the gate & Jaden runs all the way down the line of mailboxes to ours. We check it, then give him the keys, and he grabs the mail key and starts "locking/unlocking" lots of mailboxes. There's one cubby that's always open... he looks in it and chuckles a, "Whoaaa!" then is done peeking in on everyone's mail. Sometimes we go to the clubhouse and have a tea party. Most times, we convince him to come back through the gate to wave at Armando again. 

Sometimes we walk by the bikes or around the pool... we collect rocks - one for each of us - in the lush rock garden in the courtyard, and go to the grassy area and set our rocks on the bench-table. He sits with us for 2 or 3 seconds, then decides we need more rocks & sprints back to the rock garden, then happily comes running back to us waving the new rock around. 

We kick around the chewed-up soccer ball that's taken residence in this grassy patch, then take our rocks back to their home & say "Bye, rocks!" ...we somehow get Jaden to make his way upstairs - whether it's a successful bribe or carrying him. Annnnd we breathe a sigh of relief or wear a smile of satisfaction [depending on J's mood] once we get inside and close the front door behind us.  

Monday, May 26, 2014


I think we can all agree that Halle Berry is one of the most beautiful women alive. Her features are just flawless! That said, I don't know if I totally did her justice, but I had a great time mixing colors & bringing my sketch of her to life. Also - can we just drool over her fabulous hair [in real life ;)] for a sec?! I llllove the short spunky 'do. So unapologetically sassy. Love!!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Stall

It's that time of night when the world is quiet & I know I should be joining them [[especially since the alarm clock -- aka, "MAMA! DADA!" -- is gonna call out too early]]... but after forcing my eyelids to stay shut for 23 minutes, I decided to relax them open, slip out of bed, put my robe on and write. I don't know if it's the high-on-life energy I'm feeling right now [due to chatting with dearly-missed family members + having a bunch of friends over for the funnest game/dessert night] or the two Excedrin I took earlier. I'll say it's the first, cause it was a pretty good day.

One part of today involved me *almost* slipping under an occupied bathroom stall. Let's back up. There are two stalls in the bathroom at church, right? One is the extra large room you lavishly enjoy, while the closer is the itty-bitty one you just squeeze into, do your thing and get out of. Well, I walk in the bathroom and see a couple of friends chatting and waiting for a stall. The large one's door is shut, but I decided to just glance under to see if any shoes are there. Normal, right? Casually lean down & peek under [while wearing my dress] -- nothin'. So I say, "Oh, looks like no one's in there!" They say, "Oh, really? Cause it's locked..." I happily chime in, "Yeah - I can just slip under and unlock it! Wouldn't be the first time!" So, I'm eagerly headed toward the challenge, when my friend says, "Whoa, whoa - hold up - I can just unlock it with this flower!" No idea how she was able to do that, but I was like, A'ight - whatever! So, we go to the locked door, and she starts fidgeting with it, then almost reaches her hand under the stall to jimmy it from the inside. Then we hear a flush. We're like, "Uhhh..." So, we back up and say, "Is someone in there?!" I glance down again. NO FEET. What the heck? Is it a kid in there? We almost attempt to look over, then reconsider. I head into the chokie-stall & glance under. HEELS. So, I fast-track my way outta that stall, wash up, and we sprint the heck outta there. Oh my gosh. CAN YOU IMAGINE IF I HAD POPPED MY HEAD OUT INTO THE STALL!?! Or if my friend's hand had gone under & done whatever magical-thing she was about to do with her flower-stem-thingamajig? What would we say?!


And it's not like I could just disguise myself from the person [had I poked my head into their private moment] -- my face would be staring right at them. Better yet, can you imagine BEING that person -- seeing someone's head arrive under the door of the stall you're using?! Or a random hand slithering up your door, trying to wriggle it open with a flower? Like, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?!?    YEAH.   Catastrophe AVERTED! In our defense, whomever was in there said absolutely nothing the entire time. ................................soooooooooo.

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Life as a stay at home mom of a toddler can sometimes seem like I'm not really doing anything. Not to say that's what I truly believe, cause it can be really busy. But WHAT we're doing can seem almost too simple sometimes -- just let him play with toys? Run around the table with him until I'm too dizzy [4 or 5 times usually does the trick ;)]? Get a bucket of water and draw on the cement? Color? Blow bubbles? Read "Go, Dog. Go!" with him... again? Go for a walk outside? Shouldn't we be doing something more? Then he says things like, "Thank you, mama!" all on his own. Or he'll put something away. Or he'll go to his room and whine when he's upset, cause that's what I've told him to do... and I realize that I am doing something, amidst all the playing. He is listening to my instructions [eventually ;)] and observing my mannerisms/behavior/language/example... and - in his own time - he's responding.

He doesn't need to know all the complicated things in the world yet -- he's not even 2. But he IS learning and growing and understanding things more & more. And there is beauty in keeping things simple & light & fun. I read something somewhere about how "Most things can wait." -- that pops into my head from time to time, especially when Jaden's nagging on my arm to play with him while I'm finishing up this or that. Those things can wait; he is more important. And whether it's playing on the carpet in the living room with all of his toys, or laughing & hiding in all the blankets on my bed, or counting all the parked bikes lining the sidewalk, or going out and exploring different places... these are good days. These days are HIS childhood. I want to make that mean something... and I want to follow his lead & let his creative mind run free.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

moments at the beach.

We tickled our toes in the sand today & breathed in the salty ocean-water air. The ocean floor was covered in seaweed -- too much seaweed. Like, to the point where you almost want to gag. We kept trying to get off of it, but every direction we walked, there was more seaweed! Just when I felt like a mysterious seaweed net was going to rise up from the water and capture us, Nick and I both saw something out of the corner of our eyes... a TINY WHITE SHARK. 10 feet away from us... just right up close to the shoreline. Uhhhhh. ?!?!?! Bee-lined it for the sand, laughing and freaking out all at once... no more ocean-walking for me! Jaws is a movie that can just stay a movie, thanks ;) I also felt a nice dose of relief that I didn't have to brush the soles of my feet against the slimy/patchy/net of seaweed that was dominating the ocean floor. Turned our attention to the world's biggest sandbox and got to building castles & mountains [which were abruptly attacked by the toddler-giant rummaging around sand-town]. Ate some salty pretzels on our red beach chairs, then picnicked on the trunk of our car before heading home. The sun heated our skin so much that we now look like bright tomatoes. Worth it.
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