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!


Vancouver: Days 5 and 6

Blogging from California! On Saturday, I walked around Vancouver a bit with my dad and Caroline and then went to the conference. I went to a friend's talk and then presented this...

My Poster!
Then we went out to celebrate our last night in Vancouver. We got some really strange version of Mexican food but a delicious, huge margarita!

Megan and Michelle enjoying the tasty Strawberry treat.
Yeah, that's feta on those beans...
Then we met up with April, Seth, and Ben at a nice little bar in Gastown.

I'm holding the captain's stache -- spiced rum shot with a root beer chaser.
Gastown was really cute...

I love the lit trees.
The following morning we headed to the airport to go home. Once we were out of customs, we were in the USA!

Oh, and Burger King has poutine...

My layover was in Salt Lake, but I didn't get a chance to see family which sucked. I did take in as much of my rockies as possible. Got into Sacramento in the evening and hung out with Sean. Yesterday was Stephanie's wedding which was a blast. Sean took lots of fantastic pictures. I only snapped one, of her fun, beautiful cake and candy bar!

Congrats, Stephanie and Jake!! So, so happy for you two. :-D


Vancouver: Day 4

It is rainy and cold... very cold. I went to a few talks today and then met up with my dad and Caroline for dinner. It was AMAZING. First though, a photo from last night's cross-lab dinner!

It was great fun! It's nice to hear about what research is being done across our labs! Awesome people.

Anyway, dinner tonight was fantastic. We ordered quite a few tasty things at Tojo's. But my roll was so, so good. Best sushi roll I've ever had (and a delightful cocktail too)!

Celebration 2010 Roll -- for the Olympics
In the roll was crab, pineapple, and asparagus. The pineapple was delightful! What a creative addition. Then on top it had tuna, wild Pacific salmon, red snapper, spinach, and egg. It was amazing.

Last day of the conference tomorrow! I am spending the morning doing some sight-seeing with my dad and Caroline. Then I am going to a talk and finally presenting my poster! YAY! Then I leave Sunday afternoon. I already I know I have to come back (probably in warmer weather though!). Vancouver has so many nooks and crannies, amazing restaurants and shops that I just won't get to see! But I must say that the best sushi I have ever had is in Vancouver (also, Tojo taught Martha Stewart how to make sushi and allegedly created the California roll...).



Vancouver: Day 3

Today I had a delicious afternoon snack with a gorgeous gerbera daisy and a view of the harbour.

It's nice to see some color in a very grey city. I'm leaving in a few minutes for a cross-lab dinner (at Sutra, which looks very gluten-free friendly!) but I wanted to blog a little early. It's been a great day of hearing and sharing ideas. I got a list of references for the discussion section of one of my eventual papers, complained to a new friend I've made about people who standardize their measures and then create groups of people from those measures... can't tell how different the groups really are!, and listened to one talk which had some pretty radical conclusions. Some of it I bought, some of it I absolutely did not. But it's all thought-provoking.

Anyway, I am off! Hope you are all having a wonderful International Women's Day!


Vancouver: Day 2

Hello from chilly Vancouver! It's been a wonderful day of shopping and pre-conferencing.

I feel so far away from my Find My Friends friends!
I woke up this morning, ate breakfast, and explored the waterfront...

Beautiful and grey.
A view of a few, cool high rises!
Then I went shopping. I went to two of my favorite stores on Robson Street.

I made it out alive, with money in my pocket!
And I loved the ivy covered walls...

Here is my loot!

A Vancouver Canucks scarf, a Roots t-shirt for Sean, a maple leaf shot glass,
a puck for Scott, and a Roots shirt (Eat Sleep Hockey) for me!
Souvenir shopping. Check! Then it was off to the conference center...

A pixelated dolphin statue!
Coal Harbour looking down to the conference center.
The conference center! Cool, eh?

Inside, I got this!

The pre-conference was wonderful. Lots of interesting talks about the future of romantic relationship research and a fun "speed-dating" event, where my elevator speech came in handy! I talked with lots of cool grad students and faculty. I was disappointed however that almost all the research presented was about heterosexual dating... 

Anyway, it was a great day! I'm excited for the rest of the conference.

And it's so wonderful to end my day with the magic of Skype to chat with my love!
/end cheesiness.