Stay glassy, Seattle

This weekend, Cobalt’s sis and her kiddos (actually teenagers … !!!!) came to visit, and we went on a family trip to Seattle! We even met up with my sister so it was epic family time. Great fun. We went to the Space Needle, Pike Place, the Seattle Aquarium, and… the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum.

I went to college in Washington so I am well aware of Chihuly glass. One of the buildings at my school even had some of his artwork hanging in one of the windows! It looks a little like the glass in my photo on top. It’s always fun to see Chihuly glass out of the Pacific Northwest — once we found it on display in an Oklahoma airport! But I was excited to see what Seattle had to offer since Chihuly is actually from Washington (Tacoma, actually). So I went on a mission for some of Chihuly’s artwork that looked different from what I was used to. I was successful in my quest.

Inside the museum, there were some beautiful glass sculptures that looked like baskets, really nice eel and octopus sculptures, and other interesting creations. I really liked the way the art was staged and lit. It made for fun colors and reflections.

Eeeee Octopus!
I like this egg shape, though those yellow things are venturing into the usual Chihuly territory. I like their reflections a lot though.
I couldn’t really see into any of these so I stood on my tiptoes to take a picture of the inside.

Then we headed out into the garden part and I had fun playing with reflections! This museum sits right next to the Space Needle so you could see it reflected in the art. Fun times!

Double Space Needle…..
Let’s end on a romantic self portrait with the Space Needle in the background. <3

That’s all for today. Is there an artist from your state that you can recognize anywhere? How do you feel about the artwork?

Hawaii behind the lens

Never fear science readers… I have some ideas for a new post (think – what kinds of jobs can scientists have?!) coming soon. But for today, let’s put science on hold and talk about something else I am passionate about – photography! I miss my photo blog! The end of the year is coming up really soon and I have been thinking back about everything that happened this year. One really cool part of this year was that Cobalt and I got to go to Hawaii with my family for my parents’ 30th wedding anniversary! My aunt and uncle live there so we stayed with them for a lot of our trip, which was really awesome because I haven’t seen them since I was in high school (or even younger?!). Plus I got to hang out with my cousin, whom I also haven’t seen in forever. Yay family!

My family at my aunt’s and uncle’s farm shortly after we arrived. That’s a pretty good looking family if I do say so myself!

Anyway – so we were in Hawaii surrounded by so much stuff to photograph. Really it was kind of overwhelming for the photographer in me. Part of me just wanted to experience everything not from behind the lens of a camera and part of me wanted to take a picture of everything so I wouldn’t forget it. Also, it was the first time I’d pulled out the DSLR in a while (So sad…) so there was a lot of remembering what to do under various lighting conditions. It was also fun to challenge myself to take unique photos. A photographer once told me that all photographers need to find their own style so I like to take these opportunities to figure out what my photography style is. Today I thought I’d share some of my favorite DSLR pictures with you from our trip.

Some creatures of Hawaii

I really like how this picture turned out even though it was really overexposed. I think it looks a bit like a painting. Look at that happy bee!
In Hawaii, you learn to look closely to find those little geckos hiding in plain sight. This little guy was chilling on the farm.
At one point we went to a park and there were stray cats everywhere! I wanted to take them all home but Tarantula probably wouldn’t be very happy with me… Anyway, I really like the lighting in this picture. I think there was a streetlight or something else orange going on to the left of me and this kitteh?

Playing with lights

You can’t visit Hawaii and not talk about volcanos! This used to be a full lava pool a few months before we got there but by then the lava had flowed elsewhere and all that was left was this creepy glow…
See? Creepy glow!
More fun with lights. This is my sister and my shark Scrarmpl in a lava tube. I like the lighting… it’s so weird and orange. Plus my sis and Scrarmpl look happy.

Plants

Baby fern!
Did you know that orchids have what looks like baby manatees in them?!
See for yourselves! It’s a manatee surrounded by a heart! <3!

That’s all for today but never fear! There are tons of pictures left for me to share with you! We did so much in Hawaii that this first post barely scratches the surface (clearly… as there are no pictures of food in here!)! Be prepared to see more Hawaii sprinkled into my posts soon! Plus Cobalt and I also went to Germany so there will be some Germany pictures sneaking into the mix too!

Now it’s your turn!
What did you guys think of that post? What is your favorite picture? Have you been to Hawaii? Did you like it? What was your favorite part? Where did you go on vacation this year? What are you doing for the holidays? So many questions…

Family trip to the zoo!

Hello everyone! I hope you are all doing well! Last weekend, my sis in law and the kiddos came up to spend their spring break with Cobalt and me! Cobalt and I had to work a lot of the time but on Friday, we both took the day off and everyone went to the Denver zoo! It seems that everyone else in the state of Colorado wanted to go to the zoo on Friday too because it was packed. I think it was because it was one of the first really nice days of spring…

Once we finally made it to the zoo (after parking a half mile away), my SIL and I both broke out the big cameras. It was fun having a camera partner in crime! My niece and nephew kept stealing my phone so they could share in the picture taking fun. Now I have a bunch of phone pictures from the zoo too. Anyway, it was a really fun time, though by the end I think we were all a little dehydrated and over-sunned so a nap was in order by the time we arrived back in Boulder… -_-

Above this text and below are some of my favorite pictures that I took at the zoo. Comments are of course included. :)

I really like this one because of all the reflections off the glass – and yet the kitty is still so in focus. I think it’s kind of artsy.

We have Canadian geese everywhere so this goose isn’t part of any exhibit in the zoo. I just liked that it has a little nest.

Peacocks were everywhere too – I think that is kind of standard in the zoo.

I liked this frog on the glass. Also I like that it looks like it’s saying “wut up?!”

I love cowfish. I also love this picture though I am also kind of mad at myself for cropping the fish’s tail….

I am apparently also obsessed with these cute little sharks. This one was fun to watch and its home is so colorful!

This is quite the orange frog! And it was just sitting there, waiting for my SIL and me to take its picture!

I loved this puffer fish. Such a silly grin on its face! :)

It was fun trying to catch these guys in flight!

More flying…

This bird is eyeing you suspiciously… what did you do?!

Tell me what you think! Do you have a favorite? What is your favorite animal to see in a zoo/aquarium? What is your opinion on zoos in general (this was an epic topic of discussion yesterday during my physical therapy appointment…)? Did anyone stay up late to watch the eclipse last night?

Celestial Seasonings and What Followed


Hello everyone! I hope you had a great MLK weekend! I had a lot of fun with my SIL, her kiddos, and Cobalt. We went to IKEA (I’ve got a plant project… more on that later… like when I actually do the project), Cobalt’s favorite record store, our favorite bookstores, the park (it was so warm this weekend!), the movies and to Celestial Seasonings for a tour of their plant. That is where the above picture comes in: we all had to wear hairnets to go on the tour but Cobalt and the other bearded guys also had to wear beard nets… hahahaha. It was funny. We giggled at him a lot. Regardless, the tour is really cool! You should definitely check it out if you’re ever near Boulder (also, you need to visit me… duh)! After the tour, my niece and I got matching shark and whale finger puppets. :D I named mine Rosabaya and Arpeggio after two of my favorite Nespresso flavors (I know…. super nerdy all of a sudden)!

The shark and whale finger puppets hang out…

Anyway, that’s all for now. Things are busy as usual. At least my niece and nephew got to help me set up for Monday’s experiments Sunday night. We all had gloves on and I taught them how to set up everything. It was kind of amazing. Made Monday’s experiments way happier knowing that we set it all up together…

In other news, I’ve been working on making our lab webpage super awesome so when I finally get time to work on this blog, I am kind of tired of typing… So I apologize for posting lags…

What are you guys up to right now? How are those new years resolutions coming?

Frolicking with Family

C and A are always so good at posing for my SIL and me when we want to play with our cameras together!

This weekend, my sister in law and her kiddos are coming to visit us here in Colorado! So excited to spend time frolicking around and seeing some things Cobalt and I haven’t even seen yet – like Celestial Seasonings! Can’t wait to catch up with my niece and nephew and my SIL! Haven’t seen them since Christmas! :D

Now before I run off to go clean up our house for our guests, I’ll post some pictures of my niece and nephew because they are growing up so fast! I am so proud of them. :)

A in Oklahoma during Thanksgiving

This might be one of my favorite pictures I’ve taken of C. :)

What are you up to for the long weekend? Exciting plans? :)

The world is just a little less puffier today

Potassium and her wee holding Patti and Smokey the day the kittens joined the family.

A long time ago (read: before braces and growing up and all that jazz), Potassium and her family adopted two tiny kittens to befriend their older cat Blackberry. They named the kittens Patti and Smokey. Patti, the runt of the litter, was so tiny that the vet refused to draw her blood for the customary FeLV test at her new cat exam. “She needs all the blood she can get!” the vet commented, adding that Smokey’s test results would be fine for both of them.

In addition to being so tiny, Patti had epically long fluffy fur, she had the tiniest squeak of a meow, and she didn’t even know how to purr (Potassium and her friend G had to teach her). Potassium and her family fell in love with her instantly. Then Patti grew up into an even fluffier little puffball who loved being petted (so much so that she would bite your butt if you were “ignoring her” by petting one of the other cats), thought that cars were her friends (that was scary – she would flop down right in front of people pulling into the driveway so she could get her belly rubbed), and was our adorable little Snowbeast with her little pantaloon pants.

In case you didn’t believe me about her pantaloon pants…

Unfortunately after almost 17 years with our family, Patti succumbed to heart disease earlier this week. We love you and miss you, little puff!

Happy New Year! :D

Helloooo everyone! Happy new year! I hope you guys had a great Christmas and a happy New Year (and other happy holidays too)! Cobalt and I traveled to see both of our families and it was great having time to catch up with everyone. The pictures in this post come from my family’s holiday pictures!

Potassium and Cobalt being photobombed by Finn. Play close attention to Finn’s fin – he’s moving so you can see the books behind it! :)
Fun with my sis! :D

Are you guys excited about 2014?! Any New Years resolutions? Cobalt and I are busy coming up with a name for ours. Last year ours was called “Operation Go for It!” and I think it worked out awesomely! Tune in later to find out all about this year’s soon! It’s going to be an epic year with me hopefully defending in the summer! I wonder where we will be by this time next year… I hope you are excited about all of this because I am… though also pretty scared. This is the first time in my life that I don’t know what I am planning on doing next! Cobalt feels similarly…

Okay, your turns. Tell me about your holidays and new years resolutions!

Artistic sisters

Helllooooo everyone! I hope you are having wonderful Tuesdays! Today’s post is about art and science! Last week when my sister was here, we spent a lot of time driving. We went to Fort Collins, CO to speak to some summer research undergraduate students about grad school. On Wednesday, we participated on an alumni panel and on Thursday, we returned to check out the students’ research posters and hear the keynote address. It was awesome getting to know these students and hearing about the successes and frustrations with their projects this summer. When we were not hanging out with the summer students, we hung out with the other grad/med school students on the panel and the keynote speaker and it was really nice to make new friends (all the alumni had the summer program in common but none of us actually participated in the same year). Everyone was so cool and inspiring! However, by the time we got back to Boulder on Thursday afternoon, we were exhausted/tired of driving. So first we ran around like crazy in a big rain storm and then we settled down in Cobalt’s and my living room to do some art before we had to take my sis back to the airport. This was my creation from our art afternoon. I have to say that I’m pretty proud of it! :D What do you think it should be called? All I can think of is “Whales in the sky keep on turning…” hahahaha…

What were you guys up to this past weekend? Cobalt and I celebrated our anniversary by staying at a lovely bed and breakfast (also in Fort Collins… he drove that time) on Friday night and then spent the rest of the weekend at IKEA/putting various pieces of furniture together. Also we had our neat anniversary party on Sunday! Stay tuned for pictures (but don’t be dismayed if they don’t show up in a timely manner this week; my summer students have their poster session/end of the summer banquet coming up)!

The story of the girl with the yellow hair

So my sister is coming into town today and in her honor, I thought I would post a story about our childhood that recently resurfaced…

A long time ago when we were kids, we had this amazing bathtub toy (the Floating Marina by Fisher-Price) that included a few people, the floating marina, a water plane, and a boat. We loved this toy. It pretty much hung out with us every bathtime for more fun in and around the marina. We especially liked the girl with the yellow hair. We liked her so much, we gave her a special name: “The girl with the yellow hair” (creative, I know…). Anyway, our family used to go stay in a cabin in Yosemite National Park for a week or so every summer and of course, the floating marina had to accompany us on our vacation. So there we were in the bathtub in Yosemite playing with the marina and its accompanying friends. I put the girl with the yellow hair under a bowl (maybe she was in a submarine?) and moved it along the bottom of the bathtub until… oops… she fell down the drain!

Looking back and thinking about the size of the girl with the yellow hair, I am confused about how she even fit down the drain because she is a pretty large toy. Anyway, tragedy struck and my poor parents had two crying children to deal with. They frantically attempted to retrieve her for us, even calling a plumber the next day to see if she was stuck in the pipe… but alas, the girl with the yellow hair was with us no more.

Now you are probably confused because I’ve posted this lovely picture of the girl with the yellow hair in her plane on the top of today’s post. To get to that part of the story we have to fast forward about ….. 20 years from the original incident to a few weeks ago. I was talking to Cobalt because I was upset about a mistake I had made and for some reason, the girl with the yellow hair story resurfaced. As soon as the conversation was over, Cobalt ran upstairs to search for the girl with the yellow hair on ebay and he found her (thank you Cobalt)! I called my sister, who was visiting my parents at the time, and she managed to dig up the sea plane from the marina set within all of our old bathtub stuff (surprised that we still had it actually…). So now the girl and the plane are finally reunited (and my sister and I will also be reunited)!! Happy days. We already decided we’re taking the girl with the yellow hair out to brunch to apologize for throwing her down the bathtub drain all those years ago.

Now it’s your turn. Do you have a “scarring” childhood story about losing one of your favorite toys? Or a story about you and your siblings? Let’s hear it! :D

Look at that family…

This last weekend, Cobalt and I went to visit his family (Success! We saw both families in the same week!). I brought my DSLR so we could take a family picture! We were planning on doing the picture outside but then there was this HUGE thunderstorm so everything outside was soaking wet. The result was that we ended up pushing all the furniture around in the living room to make room for an indoor picture. It turned out to be fun though and I got to use my sweet infrared remote so no one had to run around with the timer on…

In other news, my friends A, J, and I made up an Instagram photo challenge to do together starting today… so exciting!

I’m sorry about the crazy posting schedule lately. There’s a lot going on/coming up (including teaching middle/high school students genetics and running a 5K – The Firefly Run – this Friday). I have a lot of ideas about things that I want to post (especially about France, which was 2 months ago now! :p) but no time to write about them. Boooo… What are you guys up to? Also, how do you make time to do creative things because I have all these projects/creative activities (like photography) that I never have any time for… wah…

Your turn… talk to me! :D Allllllso, leave a comment with your Instagram name if you want to do our photo challenge (and you need to know what “qwrahhhhh” means)!