Saturday, January 2, 2016


Whew, only one more year to go. Let's see, let's see, what happened in 2015...

1. The Year Parks and Rec Ended 
Figure from Google Images
This show is legitimately the funniest show I've ever seen and it ended this year. Well, last year now. Parks and Recreation beat How I Met Your Mother for my favorite sitcom ever. This show never fails to deliver. If you haven't checked it out yet, you definitely should. My sister gave me the complete series for Christmas this year so now I can watch it anytime I want! And trust me, I will be watching it all the time! If you have American Netflix, then you can watch it whenever you want! Definitely give it a shot!

I'll probably write a blog post on this show at some point in the near future. It's just too good a show not to share with others!

2. The Year I Bought a Bunch of Games

I got into a serious gaming groove this year. It's probably because I'm surrounded by a bunch of serious gamers now. I have over ten board games now. Considering I started the year with just... 5, I think. I definitely bought a lot of games this year. I think the list goes:

1. Dominion
2. 7 Wonders
3. Star Trek Catan
4. Takenoko
5. Red Dragon Inn 3
6. Sushi Go!
7. Anomia
8. Poo! The Game
9. Tokaido
10. Ascension
11. Tsuro: The Game of the Path
12. Qwirkle
13. Exploding Kittens
14. The Last Banquet
15. Shadows Over Camelot
16. Arkham Horror

Man, I was considering posting pictures of each game, but that was before I realized how many games I had now... Dang...

Anyway, from 6 to 16, I bought in 2015. Dang... I didn't realize I'd bought that much this year... Haha. Okay. I'll make a blog post about each of the games. Or send you to the Table Top episode. For now, I'll tell you the best game I bought ALL year. Drum roll, please! And my favorite game of the year is....

SUSHI GO! (Image from Google)
This is legitimately the best game I bought this year! And I bought some pretty good games! I started a game night for the grad students in my department and this is a favorite with newbies and hardcore gamers alike. This game is played almost every game night. It only takes about 10 to 15 minutes to play a game once you know how to play and it's always a good start to an evening of games. For more information, check out the Tabletop episode featuring it!

Tabletop Sushi Go & Roll For It

Besides, look at those cute sushi faces! How can you pass this game up?! Seriously, here's the link to the American Amazon page Sushi Go!. You should just go ahead and buy it. Trust me, you'll thank me later!

3. The Year of a Billion Weddings 

I feel like every time I turned around this year someone was getting married. Okay okay. It was only two people, but that's a lot of people for me. Especially when it means travelling back and forth from Canada to the States. That was a lot of traveling for me! But it was totally worth it! Congrats, Mom! Also, congratulations to my best friend, Jamie, for getting married too!

4. The Year of a Billion Conferences (Not kidding this time)

Part of grad school is going to conferences, and I feel like I went to a billion last year. Every time I turned around, I was traveling to some other conference. In some cases, I would spend less than a day back in town from a conference before traveling to another conference. It was kind of crazy, but seriously awesome.

I went to the Geoconvention in Calgary where there was a Porsche on the exhibition floor. That was crazy. It was a great experience though. I got to see what a conference in geoscience was like.  Also, it was interesting to see a lot of interactions between the industry and academia.

I also attended a workshop in Edmonton, AB where apparently one of the largest malls in the world is. I looked it up once I want to say it's 16th which seem small but it's bigger than the Mall of America. That was a good workshop too. I got a lot of exposure to other topics in geoscience.

I helped organize a conference for grad students at the University of Calgary. Let me tell you, that is a lot of work! I mainly helped with the grunt work, like extra jobs and the like. I can't imagine what making the big decisions would be like. Whew. Not sure if I really want to do that again. Haha. But it was a good experience

I went to a conference in San Francisco which completed my visiting the East Coast and West Coast all in one year. I got to see the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean in less than 2 months. That was pretty cool. I also visited the Redwood Forests in California. That was AMAZING. I loved it. My favorite place I visited all year!

Muir Woods National Monument
Muir Woods National Monument
There are people at the bottom of this picture for scaling purposes.
You probably hardly notice them. That's how big the trees were! 
People for scaling purposes. These trees were amazing!
This was probably my favorite experience of the year! I would love to go back! The conference was good too! I got to see talks by people famous in the geoscience and mathematics field and also meet people from all over the world. I really enjoyed that conference.

I finished out the summer with a trip to Minnesota for a workshop. This was probably the best workshop I attended all year. It was very informative! Also, a lot of fun. We worked on a project in seismic exploration. Very cool!

 During the school year, I got to go to New Orleans for a conference! The food was soo good and the conference was very educational! Also, beignets!

Finally, I ended the year with a small meeting in Banff. The mountains are pretty all year round but with snow covering them, they are just amazing.

5. The Year I Finished All My Prelims 

I heard back about my last prelim just before I returned to the States for Christmas! I passed! No more prelims for Heather! Also, I just have two more classes to worry about! And then my candidacy exam... Basically, it's a presentation on what I plan to do my dissertation on and then they test me about it. Eek!

6. The Year I Saw Star Wars The Force Awakens Twice

Okay. I'm legitimately going to devote a post to this one, but for a quick comment, IT WAS AWESOME. I knew JJ Abrams would do it justice! Okay. That's it for now. For further comments, see later blog post.

Image from Google Search
Well, looks like I covered everything! You're all caught up! Oh wait! I forgot! My mom got me a LEGO set for my birthday in 2015. It was...

Image from Amazon
I can almost reenact The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with LEGO figures now. One day... One day!!!

I think that's it! I kind of wish I'd finished this post yesterday but hanging out with friends preempted finished blog posts. Oh well. I'll try to do better about writing blog posts in the future... haha. I'm adorable right?

Until next time, happy readings!

Friday, January 1, 2016


I was hoping to post this before 2016 but alas that didn't happen. It was write a blog post or ring in the new year with games. How could I not choose games? Well, better late than never!

Now, we can move on to 2014! A lot happened in 2014...

1. Graduation
I got the thing! 
I gradated from Wake Forest University with my Masters in Mathematics! Very exciting! You can just call me, Master Heather now. Haha. Okay. I'm kidding, but that was a pretty big deal.

2. Moved to Canada 
Having finished up my masters at Wake, I had to move onto bigger and better things. So why not a PhD in another country? Yup, 2014 was the year I started working on my PhD in Mathematics at a university in Canada. I took my car with me so my mom and I made a 3 and a half day road trip across the continental United States. Along the way, we stopped at several national landmarks.
Visited Metropolis, KY and met Superman!
Didn't get to go up in the Arch because roads were blocked
and we couldn't figure out how to get to it. Can't say I'm too terribly
bummed about it given that I probably would have chickened out
because of my intense fear of heights. That thing is bigger than you think it is!
Took the scenic route from St. Louis to stay in Mark Twain's hometown.
Fittingly, this took us by the Mississippi River. It was the first time I'd ever seen it!
Stopped in Marceline, MO to see Walt Disney's hometown.
The museum was closed but how many people can say they've been
to Walt Disney's hometown?
(Given the size of that town, I'd have to say not a lot!) 
Visited the squirrel jail in Iowa. And no, it's not a jail for squirrels.
But to be honest, I don't remember why it was called a squirrel jail...
Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD! I think they were working on the next year's palace.

Badlands in South Dakota. This was a detour, but the pictures do not do it justice! They were beautiful!

The fields in SD were so golden. It was amazing to see. 
Didn't stay long in Glacier National Park, Montana.
I was eager to cross the border.
We were going to stop at Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota and Devil's Tower in Wyoming, but South Dakota just took too dang long to cross. Also, I wish I'd gotten more pictures of Wyoming but we crossed most of it during the night. It was soooo beautiful though. At least at dusk when I saw it. I wouldn't mind going back to Wyoming one day.

Man, that section took forever! There were just so many pictures to share! And more to follow!

3. Rockies 
2014 marked the first time I visited the Rocky Mountains. I got to go to Lake Louise as well as Banff! Both were beautiful but I think Lake Louise was my favorite!

The view from Banff
More from Banff. The water was crazy blue!
This is a Beaver Tail and it's probably the most delicious
thing you will ever eat. It's a fried pastry and you can put
whatever you want on top. My favorite is the chocolate hazelnut
and powdered sugar. Soooooo good!
Ate lunch on Lake Louise. Not sure who the random couple is.
This is the only picture I could get with the fewest people.
Apparently, everyone wanted me to take a picture of them. 
Lake Louise
(I see you there guy-in-the-bushes, trying to be all slick and hide-y. You're still in my picture!!!) 
Well, the people in this picture are too small to see. This is back toward
where I ate lunch. That's a hotel.
Ugh, more people. But it was still pretty! 
The water was SOOOO blue. I really wish the pictures captured it better. I definitely recommend visiting if you get the chance!

4. Drumheller
Royal Tyrell Museum aka DINOSAUR MUSEUM!!!
Drumheller is home to the Royal Tyrell Museum aka one of the biggest dinosaur museums! IT WAS AWESOME! They had ALL the dinosaurs. Okay not all but they had a lot! It was sooooo cool! You should definitely, definitely, DEFINITELY go if you ever get the opportunity!

 (This one is called Black Beauty because the chemicals they used to unearth it stained it black.)

This one asked me to take a picture with it.
It has a great smile!
(Can you tell how excited I am to be there?)
They were all about the gruesome displays.
 I think you got everything on that one, buddy. 
I feel like someone is watching me...
Tallest dinosaur in the world! Yup, those are people in its mouth.
I went up. It was a lot higher than I realized!

5. First Hockey game
Since I'm in Canada, I should probably go to a hockey game. And I did! It was a lot of fun! I really enjoyed it! Definitely a sport I wouldn't mind watching! This was a school match.
I was rooting for the red and white team.
A little hard to see but we actually won! Yay!
6. Olympic Skating
If you haven't guessed by now, I'm attending the University of Calgary for my PhD. In 1988, Calgary hosted the Winter Olympics (check out Cool Runnings if you haven't already). The Olympic Oval is actually located on the University campus and I got to skate on it! It's actually free to students if you have skates! It was a lot of fun! And despite there not being any railings, I didn't fall once!

7. SMAUG!!!!!
Another LEGO set joined my collection in 2014! My sister got me the Desolation of Smaug LEGO set!!!! There's a Smaug in it! IT'S AMAZING! He sits on my desk at school now! He's sooooo cool! I love him! (I legitimately have the best sister ever! Shhh, don't tell her I told you that though!)



There was a lot of crying involved with this finale (I think one of my roommates was a little concerned to be honest), but I absolutely loved it! It was a really great way to end the series. Honestly, the only way to end the series and I don't care who thinks otherwise. It made the whole show make sense. I saw the other ended they'd originally planned and it was stupid. The one they stuck with in the show was SOOOOO much better!

OH! And another big thing that happened in 2014 was that I passed my first prelim! Prelims are big tests based on specific areas related to your research that you have to take during your Math PhD. Very exciting!

Hopefully, I'll be able to put up a summary of 2015 before the end of the day!

Happy readings!

Thursday, December 31, 2015


Hello everyone!

In typical fashion, I've come back to my blog as the year is coming to an end. I noticed that I actually didn't do that for the last two years! It's been almost three years since I last posted and a lot has happened.

Let's see... 2013 was a relative eventful year.

1. Neil Gaiman 

I got to meet Neil Gaiman, one of my favorite authors! I'm sure you haven't guessed that yet. I took my sister to one of his book signings for The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It was a really awesome day! He read a chapter of the book and answered some questions from the audience. If you've never heard him speak, then you should! His voice is basically liquid chocolate. Here's a link to him reading The Graveyard Book: It's similar to The Jungle Book but it takes place in a graveyard. My sister and I listened to The Graveyard Book together. It was her first Neil Gaiman book. So that book kind of has a special place in my heart. I did try to get a picture with him but my sister is not the best photographer. It was still a memorable day. I can't believe it was almost 3 years ago now.

Me with signed copies of The Graveyard Book and The Ocean at the End of the Lane
after a very long day of travel and standing in line. 
I should probably write a post on The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It was a very good book! Maybe if I have time in the near future...

2. New LEGO Set 

I got the LEGO Lord of the Rings and Hobbit: An Unexpected Gathering set!
Picture from Google Images
 Yes, LEGOs make the list of big life moments. Haha. That was a really fun set to put together. Also, it contains a LEGO figure of my favorite dwarf: Bofur! He was the best! I really love the actor who played him too! If you haven't checked out the show Jekyll, then you really should! That guy is a phenomenal actor!

Anyway, the set was fun to put together and I did a series of silly pictures of Bofur doing silly things. I'll have to make a blog post of his silly ramblings and post a link here later. They were pretty amusing.

3. Frozen

Image result for Frozen movie poster
From Google Images
I think Frozen was released in 2013... yeah, it was. Man, I loved that movie! I know, I know, almost EVERYONE loved that movie, but having a sister myself, I could really relate to that movie. Besides, ask anyone, I'm basically Ana.

From Google Images
Haha. Super cute movie. I probably saw it a billion times.

I'll move onto 2014 in the next post. My sis is telling me that 2 and half years of updates should be spread across multiple posts.

Happy readings!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival: The Mad Man's Box, Part II

From Google Images

My entry for the Blogger's Quilt Festival resulted from a friend who spent all of my undergrad telling me to watch Doctor Who. For those of you unfamiliar with the show, it is the longest running sci-fi show and is about an alien who travels through time and space in a Police Public Call Box from the '60s called the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space).
TARDIS (found on Google Images)

For reasons unknown, I continually put off watching it. Honestly, I don't know why because my friend and I have similar tastes in television shows so it wasn't like I didn't trust his opinion. I just waited until this past summer to finally sit down and watched the show. What I really mean by that is marathon all six of the current season in less than 12 days with my younger sister. Yeah, we didn't have much to do that summer.

Anyway, the fact that we ended up watching every episode available in less than 12 days suggests that I kinda became a fan of the show. Well, there's really no "kinda" about it. I'm a huge fan as you've probably guessed from my posts last summer.

As such a huge fan of Doctor Who and a lover of nerdy quilts, I decided to try my hand at making a Doctor Who themed quilt despite only having completed three other quilts previously. After several hours of designing a pattern and some trial and error, the result was:

Isn't it pretty? :) I used Royal Blue Kona Cotton for the main part of the TARDIS, Navy Kona to distinguish the panels, White Kona for the windows, lamp and letters and Black Kona for the sign and first outside border. Legacy Studios fabric was used for the green border and the orange border. 

The design was inspired by the show in several aspects. I chose to have the TARDIS because honestly who doesn't want to own a TARDIS in some way? It can travel through space and time, and it's probably one of my favorite character's in the show. I love it when ships have a personality and let me tell you, she does! I also wanted to capture the idea of the opening sequence from the first four seasons of the show (and my favorite opening sequence for the show so far): 

From Doctor Who Season 1 Episode 1 (I do not own this image)

You can see that the TARDIS is traveling through a tunnel with green and orange-ish clouds over black space. I picked the faded orange Legacy Studios fabric to pick up the orange clouds and the green swirls Legacy Studios fabric to pick up the random bursts of green.

Finally, the quilting was also inspired by the show. This is best scene from the back of the quilt. 

The backing was a faded blue Legacy Studios fabric which I thought best provided the idea of space without stars and galaxies. Then I used gold thread to add in the stars and galaxies as you can see in the image above. While connecting to the idea of the TARDIS traveling through space, it also references one of my favorite Doctor Who episodes, "The Doctor's Wife," written by my favorite living author, Neil Gaiman. Without spoiling too much, this episode produced probably one of the most beautiful scenes in the series (or at least to me it is): 

From Doctor Who Season 6 Episode 4 (I do not own this image.)
Without giving too much away, the gold light flying around the control room of the TARDIS is in essence the TARDIS herself (it's weird but that's Doctor Who for you). Quilting with the gold thread to make stars and galaxies on the back produced an effect on the front which truly captures what I love about "The Doctor's Wife." 

I finally finished this last January, and it has been keeping me warm through the second half of season 7.  I love it so much! 

In fact, for the first few weeks, I walked around wearing it like a cape to show it off...

I mean, keep myself warm. It was a rather cold winter after all. ;) 

Quilt Measurements: 60in by 64 in
Special Techniques used: none
Quilted by: Me! With some help from Aunt with applique and binding.

Thanks for visiting my blog and hope you enjoyed my quilt! Hope you come again!

If you didn't come from the Blogger's Quilt Festival, you should go check out here:
Blogger's Quilt Festival! There are lots of pretty quilts!


In Which I Stumble Upon More Modernized Classics

Okay. So I just finished watching a TV series called Jekyll which first aired on BBC in 2007.
If you're looking for something interesting to watch, you should definitely try it! It was fantastic! It was created by Steven Moffat who also create one of my other favorite shows Sherlock and is also the current head writer for Doctor Who.

Similar to concept of  Sherlock, Moffat set the plot of Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" in present day. James Nesbitt plays the "Jekyll" character. Look familiar?
Well, if you've seen The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey then you might recognize him as Bofur the dwarf.
Now you're probably curious as to whether or not good-guy Bofur can pull off iconic duality of Jekyll and Hyde. Let me tell you, James Nesbitt can! He is fantastic. It's amazing how well he shifts between the two characters and makes you terrified of Hyde while extremely sympathetic to Jekyll. He does a spectacular job. I cannot praise his performance in this show enough. I can't wait to see Nesbitt in other roles. He truly is an amazing actor. 

Overall, Moffat really did a fantastic job with this series. If you are familiar with either his work on Sherlock or Doctor Who, I would say that plot-wise, Jekyll is  a lot more like Sherlock and his earlier two-part episodes of Doctor Who (not his stuff as head writer- honestly I don't think he does nearly as good a job as Davis did), i.e. he does a better job of keeping his plot together and pulling off those usual Moffat-esque surprises. It really is a brilliantly done show.

Most of the actors do a pretty fantastic job. There is the token American who is kind of pathetic, but whatever. Also, if you really enjoy dark humor, this show is definitely for you. There's a scene in Episode 2 that cracks me up just thinking about it.

The only unfortunate thing I can say about this series is that Season 2 is non-existent. It ends on a fairly decent wrap-up but I think Season 2 could have been pretty awesome. According to, Moffat has written Season 2 but BBC refuses to make it which I find really sad because it really is an amazing show!

Hope you have time to check it out and let me know what you think!

Happy readings!


P.S. This show is available on Netflix and Amazon Prime!