Hello, Dear Blogosphere!

It has been so quiet on here, I know. A lot has happened since I last posted. For one, I turned 25! Quarter century!

My 25 before 25 list was not quite completed. Like so many other loose ends in my life. But here's a quick reminder of the things I was able to check of my list...

  • Have a gluten-free beer tasting!
  • Paint!
  • Attend Midnight Mass!
  • Sorta pick a pineapple in Hawaii (no one told me this would be dangerous and sorta impossible)!
  • Take a trip along CA-1!
  • Snowshoe!
  • Make my own amazing CrockPot recipe!
  • Camp in Yosemite!
  • Take a wok around Chinatown in Vancouver (went and walked around Vancouver)!

And a few big things that happened while I was 24...

  • Moved in with Sean!
  • Celebrated my grandmother's 90th birthday!
  • Celebrated my niece's 1st birthday!
  • Celebrated FOUR weddings!
  • Went on oodles of trips and adventures!

The past year has involved a lot of growth and change. And I know that I will probably same the same thing next year!

I will post more soon. In the meantime, please feel free to follow me at httpbombdotcom.tumblr.com -- you can find a bunch of fun photos there!



When it Gets Crisp

I'm taking a quick break from working to write a little post. Today was the first day that it actually felt like autumn here. Last night there was definitely some crisp in the air. That fresh, clean sensation that I just crave during the summer. It is here!

Autumn is the most romantic of all seasons. The adventuring of summer is through. The world truly is new with the changing colors, new school schedules, students, and projects. Life is about settling in. Getting cozy. Warm drinks and blankets. Baking cookies and other treats serves a dual purpose: to eat and to warm up the home. I simply can't wait for the temperatures to continue to cool. I long for the first day of long sleeves and sweaters. And all the celebrations: Halloween, birthdays (Sean's, my mom's, my brother's, and mine), and Thanksgiving are coming right up. The season of gift and thanks giving is here.

I have a good feeling about this quarter. I feel refreshed. I haven't felt this good since the spring before prelims. I'm starting to rediscover why I am in graduate school. It seems crazy... but I think maybe it did take a full year to recover from the exam. I feel balanced again.

So... I'm going back to work! Happy Autumn, everyone!

P.S. The above Great Gatsby quote was stolen from the lady script.


This Week!

Howdy, everyone! We've had a great first weekend of autumn here, with temperatures almost reaching 100*F (don't worry, they will tomorrow)! We've done lots of window shopping and pumpkin patching. Sean snapped this great photo of us today at Bishop's Pumpkin Farm...

Other photos from our adventures can be found at the bomb.com!

This week, the quarter really begins. I'm teaching two lab sections. I am so excited to start teaching again. This is my favorite class to TA for. It has insane amounts of grading, but I get to know my students pretty well. Then on Saturday, Sean and I head down to Malibu for the big Nik and Katie wedding! It's going to be amazing, I am sure. I feel so honored to be invited to share in their wedding day! On Sunday, we'll be going to the Book of Mormon Musical in LA with Caitlin and Evan. I cannot wait. Just gotta get through this week!

Hooray for October!


Goodbye Summer!

Fall is knocking at our door and it is hard to say goodbye to the wonderful summer of traveling and adventure Sean and I have had. From Yosemite, to Salt Lake City, to Oahu, to Tahoe, to Seattle, to Salt Lake City once again.

In Yosemite, we vegged on camping classics (I experimented with roasted marshmallows and pineapple!) and hiked ~almost~ to the top of Vernal Falls. Mini adventures and bonding with Sean's siblings ensued. And no, we do not have hantavirus! :-D

Our first trip to Salt Lake included celebrating Daphne's first birthday, spending time with family, and exploring places I haven't been since I was a child, like Kennecott. Sean had Crown Burger for the first time. We went to a Bees game and watched a friend of Sean's play for the Tacoma Rainiers.

We left Salt Lake City one afternoon and arrived in Honolulu in the evening. We stayed with Sean's wonderful aunts and grandma, who stuffed us with amazing food. The colors of Hawaii are unreal! We snorkeled almost everyday. Hit up the touristy spots like Waikiki, Dole Pineapple Plantation, and Germaine's Luau. Hiked Diamond Head. I loved North Shore most, though. A charming surfing community. And sometimes, like right now, I really want a slice of Spam served on top of sushi rice, wrapped with sea weed and a Hawaiian Sun. Yum!

We headed to Lake Tahoe for Caitlin and Evan's wedding. It was simply beautiful. I was so lucky to be able to attend! The ceremony was perfect and the food delicious! And the company was fantastic. We got to chat with Katie and Nik about all sorts of random, wonderful things. We cannot get over the peach sparking wine. It was a very happy occasion -- a celebration of love between two of my favorite friends! Hooray!

Home for only a few weeks, we headed to Seattle to see my dad and Caroline's place, explore Bainbridge Island (and my first ferry ride), Pikes exploration (including some sweet souvenirs from the original Starbucks), and a tour of the Seattle Underground. We spend an evening with my cousins, gossiping and catching up, and playing a few games of poker. We also got to see the Red Sox play the Mariners. It was so much fun. But very sad that we lost. Ouch.

And last weekend we flew to Salt Lake to celebrate my Grandma's 90th birthday. Cousins flew in from across the country. We hadn't had a big family get together in well over 10 years. So it was great to see everyone all at once. The party was heartwarming. My mom and Emily put together a book of all the grandkids' memories and photos of us with Grandma. I love reading my cousins' memories and thinking about all the experiences and conversations I've had with her that really have shaped me. She's more than just a Grandma. I am so thankful for her!

And now, here we are. The fall quarter is just around the corner. Leaves are thinking about turning. And I cannot wait to dive into autumn! Our home is semi-decorated. And our Keurig is serving up Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Hooray for fall!

(click here to see photos from our adventures: bomb.com)



Holy cow! It's been a long time.

Life has been wonderful. Crazy and busy. New projects. Moving. Wrapping up old projects. Gearing up for fall and working this last bit of summer.

Well... today, I officially moved out of my apartment. Goodbye, #16.

Lots of happy memories in the place. I spent long evenings and sometimes the entire night on the couch when Caitlin lived there. I had family visit. I fell in love. I decorated and cooked and grew up. Oh, how I will miss this oven...

I couldn't be happier though to be moving! I am living in a suburb east of Sacramento, in a beautiful home with Sean. It's a wonderful new chapter in my life. Hooray!


It's Summertime!


It's summer! Yesterday, I finished my two big projects of the year/quarter. I got my thesis to my committee! And I submitted a proposal to the Institutional Review Board for our daily study we'll be doing next winter. Ah. Feels so good.

I'm celebrating by taking the day off and catching up on housework and some projects. I'm going to finally finish making my wall hangings, using this fabric:

I think it's going to look great in our living room!

And I'm waiting on pins and needles for this to arrive:

My mom bought me a KitchenAid mixer (in beautiful Cornflower blue) for filing my thesis. Since I am about two months or so from filing, I will be tortured by its presence. Motivation for getting it done stat, once I get feedback! I'm trying to decide what I am going to make with it. I think I want to make a gluten-free lemon meringue pie. Mmm... I'm already salivating!

In one week, I will be in Salt Lake checking out Emily, Taylor, and Daphne's new home! I can't wait to celebrate Daphne's first birthday! Sean is going to come out to Salt Lake for the Fourth, and we'll leave Salt Lake heading to Honolulu. Now that it is so close, I am SO excited!

Happy summer all!


Cruisin' for a Bruisin'

Yesterday, at 83 MPH, I received my first speeding ticket thus joining the ranks of millions of ticketed Americans.

Le sigh.

I calmed myself with a bag of Haribo Gold-Bears. Delicious.

My family was so sweet, letting me know that is wasn't too big a deal. And really, for all the driving (and speeding) I've done, it's been a long time coming. :-)

Sean surprised me with just what a girl with her first speeding ticket needs...

STEAK. He makes the most delicious steak. So juicy, with bits of crispy goodness.

It's all good. But for the next two years, I'm going to be one of those weirdos in the right lane going 60 MPH, poking along. At least I'll be getting better gas mileage!

In other news... yesterday was our lab's celebration for those graduating! Our lab is about to be half the size it was this year. Our awesome people are going on to really cool jobs. It makes me excited and nervous for the future. But mostly I'm just going to miss everyone.

My thesis is in good/ok shape. In just a week and two days, it will be to my committee! That's good news!

And tomorrow, I am heading to Yosemite to set up camp, relax away from everything, and eat delicious camping food. Sean and I tested out our new air mattress and sleeping bags last night. It's going to be so fun! Yay for summer!


Thesis, Wedding, and Point Bonita!

Hello hello! It is feeling like summer here. Upper 90s weather, weddings, and spontaneous mini road trips! Hoorah!

South Lake Tahoe
Yesterday, Sean and I went to his friend's wedding. It was in Tahoe. Beautiful day, beautiful view of the lake. Just doesn't get any better! The food was amazing -- I had a delicious salmon salad with gluten-free crackers! For the cake, Erin had cute gluten-free cake bites. Yum yum! It was so fun and informal and the ceremony was officiated by her brother. It was also nice to get to know some of Sean's friends better and put faces to names. I can't wait to go back to Tahoe for Caitlin and Evan's wedding in August!

Last night I completed a draft of my thesis! FINALLY! Some sections are more polished than others, but it should be in great shape in two weeks. Then, once I get feedback from my committee and my committee members' signatures (if I'm so lucky), I will be done with my Master's. Woohoo!

To celebrate my thesis, I took today off. Sean told me about a beautiful place about a week ago: Point Bonita. We decided to take a day trip to the spot. It was amazing. So special, unique, and romantic.

Point Bonita Lighthouse and Bridge
It was a half-mile hike, including a hand scraped tunnel and two bridges. The bridge above just opened.  It sways in the wind, which was a little scary. While the bridges, lighthouse, and tunnel were scenic enough, there was also an amazing view of my favorite landmark -- the Golden Gate!

Doesn't do it justice!
Such a great weekend. I am so excited for this summer. Camping, bridal showers, weddings, trips to Utah, Hawaii, and Seattle! Lots of fun coming up!



I saw this on NPR:

The logic of science, boiled down to one minute!

A good thing to find on a day of boiling 2-3 years of thinking into a handful of PowerPoint slides. (That's right folks, there's a light at the end of the tunnel! And I can see it!)

I think this pairs well with the Parable of The Tower and The Tree:

The Tree of life represents the actual territory of reality. Each of us builds our own internal Tower, which is a description of that reality. However, the Tower is not the Tree, it is only an artifice which describes the Tree. 
This is what paradigms are like. We build mental constructs to describe reality, but those mental constructs are only as good as our perspective and lucidity and knowledge allow. All it takes is a revolutionary concept or idea with veracity to destroy the Tower. 
The dominant paradigms are a collection of such Towers, each attempting to describe their reality in their field of expertise. Just because these modern Towers have gotten to be enormous behemoths, however, doesn't mean that they are exempt from the evolutionary process. Sooner or later, reality is going to be different enough from the mere description that the descriptions' apparent authority will be destroyed. 
A good scientist welcomes this and a bad scientist fears it. A good scientist looks forward to the destruction of the Tower, because they know that the Tower that will be built in its place based on the new epiphany will be a better Tower. A bad scientist is invested in the paradigm emotionally, and so protects the Tower. He has forgotten that the goal of science is not truth (which is unattainable), but accuracy (which can always be improved upon).
And if you want to read a whole book about it, check out Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

Happy science post!


Yard work and house updates!

Cleaned up!
I know you guys have been waiting for some photos! So voila! Today we did lots of yard work. Trimmed the bush in the front and weeded in the back. Lots more weeding to do (we equate it to, you know, when you haven't played Animal Crossing in a while? Haha) but we made good progress!

Path to the shed (almost) cleared!
Look at Sean's edging work! Very nice.
I loved pulling the weeds in the backyard. It was mindless. So nice to have the sun on my back and be able to focus on, well, nothing.

The flowers in his backyard are fantastic! The roses are so happy. But then again, I'm pretty sure happy flowers come from California. :-)

Roses, a funky bush thing, and blossoms from the grapefruit tree!
We've also done lots inside. Here are just a few examples...

We are loving the canned lighting Sean put in! And the very cool fan.
Here's the master bedroom! We love the furniture and we picked out perfect bedding.
How cool is the headboard?! It's lit!
Just waiting on one more side table.
Also, we love the paint color. Wheat bread. Erm...
And we have our respective desks all set up! Here's Sean's...

And mine (it's cute)...

It's just a wonderful house. Filled with good vibes and simply comfortable.

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!


Hello from Rocklin!

Adorable artwork in the living room!
Hello, Dear Blogosphere!

Long time, no blog as I have been up to my ears in work, thesising, and home improvement projects!

We've done so much. We've painted and painted -- the great room, kitchen, dining room, entry way, and master bedroom. We've installed two complicated ceiling fans with only minor injuries (I'm so sorry, Sean!). We've had carpets cleaned and internet/tv installed. Bought a gorgeous master bedroom set, washer and dryer, lawn mower, weed whacker and leaf blower, shelving, dining table, and bar stools. Sean's parents are so kind and donated two sofas and a refrigerator to the cause!

Pictures will be posted when things are cleaned up a bit. It's simply a wonderful home!

Spring quarter is off to a great start. I'm busy as I'm finishing up my thesis this quarter. I'm a research assistant, too, so I've been doing a lot of work getting a dataset cleaned up. No classes. I will have finished the 2011-2012 school year without taking a single class. First time ever since I was three! I'm starting to feel like a real PhD student.

I'm getting excited for the summer. I'm planning a trip to Salt Lake (it couldn't come soon enough, feeling a little homesick these days) and Sean and I are going to Seattle to see my dad and Caroline's place and go to a Red Sox vs. Mariners game. And, of course, we are going to Hawaii. I've started to browse for a nice swimsuit or two! As the days get longer, I get more and more pumped for summer travels!

So long for now!



It's starting to feel a little like spring here, complete with March showers! And my apartment is all decorated, celebrating my favorite animal and one of my favorite holidays...

Wreath of the season!
New bunnies!
The cutest napkins ever.
I just can't help myself from buying all these Easter things. And if you know me, you'll know that these things won't be put into storage, but will find a home in my home all year long!

Sean's House!

Big news around here! Sean got his house! Signed, sealed and delivered.

This is one stoked fella'!

It's been a crazy week. Trying to strike a balance between working on my thesis, helping Sean out with his house, and trying to squeeze in a little fun too!

I bought him a little housewarming gift; a nifty gadget to make life much simpler. One of these beauties...

His first housewarming gift.
The house is just wonderful and everything we've done so far has really improved the place!

My favorite features of the house are the enormous backyard, complete with a grapefruit tree, a greenhouse, and a huge shed, the fireplace, and nice floor plan. It really doesn't need any updating. Everything we're doing is cosmetic, so that's nice. But we've got a lot of painting to do! :-D

Chocolate Froth.
The delicious paint color!
Anyway, hope everyone is enjoying the beginnings of spring!


Ali's Visit: Days 2, 3, and 4

It has been so fun to have Ali here! On Thursday, she went to a lab meeting with me and we then did some tea tasting and drove to Rocklin to go to the mall and see his new house. When we got home, we made some delicious granola for our trip to San Francisco!

On Friday, we went to the bay area so Ali could meet Sarah and Gloria! We then went to SF to go to the Exploratorium, Palace of Fine Arts, and the de Young museum. The Exploratorium was awesome. Lots of fun, hands-on activities! Here's us inside a giant kaleidoscope, all taking photos:

We then walked around the beautiful (even in the rain!) Palace of Fine Arts and, afterwards, got a quick lunch at Boudin on Pier 39 and headed to the de Young. It was full of beautiful paintings and it's so easy to catch Ali's enthusiasm for art!

Ali and Big Nose Washington!
A painting of John Brown!
Me with a Georgia O'Keeffe!
My favorite! A California piece.
A floral interpretation of my favorite.
We then made a quick stop at the North Face Outlet in Berkeley, and headed back to Davis for pizza.

This morning, we woke up and headed to the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento. A piece we were expecting to see was in storage, but we still saw some neat things!

Awesome painting of the Matterhorn!
A favorite! Sacramento River.
Portrait of Sam Brannan!
Interesting man with a fascinating history.
If you are interested in Californian or Mormon history, look him up!
Part of the museum was the Crocker's gilded age home. It was magnificent.

And at the center of the home was this haunting piece:

Chinese army carrying nuclear war heads.
With infants inside.
On a lighter note, there were some lovely Tiffany pieces on display which belonged to the Crocker ladies...

And one last one of Ali on the steps...

So we have been to four museums/galleries! Pretty impressive, I'd say. After going to the museum, we met up with Sean for sushi, naps, corned beef and cabbage for dinner (so easy and delicious!), and the movie Friends with Benefits. It was a very fun St. Patrick's Day! So sad to be dropping Ali off at the airport tomorrow morning. C'est la vie, I suppose.


Ali's Visit: Day 1

It's awesome to have Ali visiting! We had a fun day. We got Thai for lunch then got pedicures...

Enjoying pop magazines!

My pink toes!
Then we got tea at Tea List...

Borrowing my hat!
Our teas! Green for Ali, black for me. 
We were told to meditate on our steeping teas.
Afterwards, we walked around the Pence Gallery (we were inside a camera obscura!), then went to the Davis Food Co-op to get loose leaf teas for a tea tasting, and finally went to Trader Joe's for snacks and dinner. We made roasted vegetables and polenta and Sean joined us for dinner too! For dessert, Ali made a baked apple (amazing!) and we had TJ's Gateau Concorde, a chocolatey, light, "pie" for pi day treat!

Tomorrow, Ali is accompanying me to a lab meeting then we are going to be off to explore/relax/something. It's so nice to have Ali in town. Sister apartment!