Thursday, April 28, 2011

On The Exy Johnson

Thanks to Cubby's 'mentoring' help at QuikSCience, we got an opportunity to go sailing on a seriously impressive ship. 

It was sunshine and sea breezes galore! A perfect way to spend the weekend before a week chalk full of nasty exams. 

Cubs ended up getting a bit sea sick so he decided to take a nap sprawled out on the poop deck (is that really it's name?) while David (our friend) and I ran about the boat in the breezy sunshine looking at all the cool things. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

an unexpected easter basket.

My mom is superwomen disguised in adorable blonde wispy hair, pastel sweaters, short skirts and sandals. She never 'just didn't get around to doing something.' She's one of those people that is extremely busy, finishes everything by it's deadline, makes everything she touches extremely cute, and does it with apparent ease. 

For example? She just sent the Easter Bunny my way via USPS. 
Let me tell you something: there is nothing quite as joyful as receiving a parcel in the mail that has your mothers handwriting on it. Especially when you don't expect it. Especially when it is an island style basket full of Lindt chocolate and candy and your favorite type of pen and a little adorable chick that actually chirps and a plastic egg with $ in it.

I guess a lot of moms are like my mom. But I just get that feeling my mom is so much cooler
No offense to your mother.

Thank you Eater Bunny, you've made this drizzly easter that much brighter!

Friday, April 22, 2011


Somehow ...despite my family's natural tendency to spill the beans all over the place... we managed to surprise my little sister on her 18th birthday. 

I flew out a day before my dad and Leah picked me up at the airport so she could take me back to her apartment to hide out for a few days until Tessa's birthday for the big surprise.


What actually happened was that Leah and I drove directly from the airport to surprise my sister mid-lunch at Genki Sushi. We were too happy/excited that we couldn't bare to hide it [me]! 

...which kind of blew my plan to go jump on Tess while she slept soundly in her bed on her birthday morning. 
Maybe that's a good thing.

As for my Dad... he flew in a day after me and we managed to sneak him into the house at night before Tessa's birthday so she could get a proper surprise from him on her birthday morning. 

It really was quite a beautiful little family birthday, which is exactly what the birthday girl wanted.

The chalkboard wall of celebration!

As per usual... caught in the act.
[Didn't find this until I uploaded it.... sneaky birthday girl!]
The chocolate bunny is a family joke. It also isn't vegan. Opps.

Birthday Cake Pops! Courtesy of her adorable boyfriend, Logan.


For anyone confused about the 'Happy 8th Birthday' signs... let's just say Tessa had a little 'fifth life crisis' before becoming of age. So we let her off the hook and called her 8 years old all day long :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

home sweet away from home.

My family currently lives on the island of Kauai. The house is a run down fixer-upper, bursting with charm and potential. It's on a golf course overlooking a small blue strip of the sea on the horizon.

We call it the Kamehameha House.

Let's just say there are a lot of sea breezes at the Kamehameha House.

My little sister turned 18 on the 27th of March and my dad turned *ahem* on the 3rd of April.
It just so happened that my spring break this year fell beautifully over both of those birthdays.
Before I knew it, my mom rang announcing that she bought both my dad and I island-bound tickets.

So with only a few days notice, I informed my boss and a few professors that I'd be missing some classes (woops) for an urgent trip to celebrate some birthdays in Hawaii. ;)


Every trip to Kauai is unique and special.

Naturally, there's always a lot of catching up to do.
Naturally, it's always an emotional roller coaster with four women under one roof.
Naturally, my mom and sisters and I grow closer every time we're reunited.

But this time it was even more than that. With Tessa (little sis) now an adult, my family seemed really grown up! We're all doing different things and going different places and learning how to function as a grown up family. It feels like we grew up over night and no one saw it coming.

And another thing.

I still find it a little weird to call Kauai 'home.' 

I've always thought of home as a place where I have my roots and nostalgic memories but I was virtually uninvolved with Kamehameha move. My parents bought the house while I was in October of freshman year at UC Davis, a.k.a. the land with no sea breezes.

By the time I returned home to Orange County for December break, all of our belongings were boxed and packed into a giant cargo container for their 2 week passage to the islands. It wasn't until June that I got to meet Kamehameha, my new home sweet away from home.  

And already, we're making nostalgic memories together. 

With over 500 photos and no idea where to begin, I've decided to start with this.

10 things that make Kauai my home sweet away from home.

1. Borrowing my little sister's clothes ...and hats... and purses...
2. My mom's late-night baking habit.
3. That silly laughter that you can only really experience with family because it actually is that embarrassing.
4. After dinner tea and always something sweet.
5. Promenading. 
6. Family breakfasts.
7. Talking/laughing/venting/listening/picnicking with my older sister and best friend. And Ollie, too!
8. Good old-fashioned birthdays.
9. Seeing my mom and dad together and realizing how much I take that for granted.
10. Spending whatever time I could get with my favorite women in the whole wide world.

Weekending at USC

The University of Southern California campus really is exactly what it sounds like it, in case you didn't know.

It is riddled with beautiful people, fancy cars, ethnic food, smoggy gorgeous weather, prestigious brick architecture and that nitty-gritty latin flair that is so classically Los Angeles.

I take a trip up to USC every couple of weeks or so to visit Cubs. Half of the time we spend the weekend cooped up studying at the lab Cubby works at (which isn't so bad... you'll see), but there's always something free and interesting going on to look forward to as well!

 Here's a taste:

Akshai was one of Cub's suite-mates last year. He's always fun to visit because he's basically a walking wikipedia that happens to play a mean piano. This video doesn't do it justice, but I'll try to catch him next time.

Last weekend I drove up to USC with Lauren and Ethan for the school's annual SpringFest.
We roamed the campus, played mad scientist at Cubby's lab (lab coats and goggles included!), stuffed ourselves at Freebirds, and finally got to see Mos Def live.

As always, when you point the camera at Cubby, or Ethan for that matter, they perform. 

Now that these pictures are all caught up I can blog about something I have over 500 photos for... Yikes!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

tacos and pancakes.

we went big one tuesday evening in the midst of march, lauren and i did.
i can always count on her to accompany me in such indulgences:
two restaurants in three hours, back to back.
cheap food is cheap food...
calories be damned.

First: the beloved Taco Tuesday.

i am a devout observer of this southern california ritual. along with practically everyone else i know.

my taco temple of choice? taco surf ...obviously.

rooms [dad], lauren, and i all pilgrimaged there after our long days at school and work to gather in praise mexico for its notoriously cheap, phat grinds.



   $1.50 for blackened tofu and mushroom tacos  
  $1.50 for fried potato tacos
 $0.00 for the best chips and salsa this side of the border
+$0.00 for water 
  $3.00 each! (+tip)

Next: Free Donation Pancakes!

on this particular tuesday, IHOP just happened to be hosting national pancake day in support of Children's Miracle Network of hospitals. 
a shortstack for any nominal donation. can you really turn that down? 

i may have gotten a little carried away with the pancake photos. i was just so happy to be surrounded by warm gooey sweet carbs on a tuesday evening.

these guys are pretty cool to be surrounded with, too...