Family trip to the zoo!

Published April 15, 2014 by iampotassium

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?

Mmmmm macarons…

Published April 8, 2014 by iampotassium

A few weeks ago, our lab made cookies for our floor’s cookie hour. I decided to attempt to make macarons which are a delicious cookie I discovered when I was in France (note: because they are made with ground almonds, egg whites, and powdered sugar, they are gluten free! Yum!). A few weeks before cookie hour, I found a recipe book for macarons so I flipped through the book and decided to attempt chocolate macarons and raspberry macarons. The weekend before cookie hour, I made a test batch of the chocolate ones. My first attempt made for some crunchy macarons…

I think that I overcooked the shells a little. Also it turns out that recipe has you add a lot of coccoa powder to the shells and I think that crushes the fluffiness of the egg whites that make up the shell.

Fast forward to the day before cookie hour – Potassium running around the kitchen covered in chocolate and raspberries. The raspberry shells turned out really pretty and much fluffier than the chocolate shells. Look at them!!!

Anyway, I was so excited for these shells that I might not have let them cool enough. They were so fluffy that they were really fragile and I had a lot of trouble getting them off the parchment paper. On the other hand, the raspberry jam I made for the inside turned out great! :) My second attempt at the chocolate turned out really well I think, though I can’t tell you for sure because they were gone before I had a chance to try them… oh well… I guess that means I should make another batch!

Next thing to try: maybe alter ground almond to egg white ratio. I still want fluffy shells but maybe slightly more ground almond would help them not be as fragile. (heads off to the kitchen to try this out!)

Now it’s your turn. What have you been up to while I’ve been slaving away in lab? Maybe one day I’ll finally have a degree to show for all this work but for now, I need to go. There are cells and a microscope and a lot of data analysis that need my attention RIGHT NOW. :-/

Oh wait… I have more questions for you. What is something you have spent a lot of time perfecting? A delicious dessert? A tasty snack? Something totally unrelated to food?


Published March 25, 2014 by iampotassium

Wow! It’s been forever since I posted again… Sorry you guys… this semester has been really busy what with trying to graduate and the hurt ankles and all… It’s been a rough month for this Potassium, that’s for sure.

Anyway, there have been some good things that I’ve been photographing and not posting so let’s talk about that! Last weekend, Cobalt and I went camping with our friends The Chocolate Pudding and her husband the Millionaire Space Accountant and J and her husband K for K’s birthday. Before you freak out about what kind of people would go camping in Colorado in March, let me tell you that by camping I mean sleeping in a warm cabin while it snows outside. Yay! So yeah, we drove up to the cabin on Friday evening and settled in for the night. The cabin had a firepit and a picnic table in front of it so we set about making delicious hobo packs for dinner. Yum!

Now the thing about TCP, MSA, J, K, and Cobalt and me is that we are pretty much the best of friends. We can talk forever! So we brought games and other activities but did we do any of them? Nope. Suddenly it was really late and J and I were falling asleep sitting up. So we went off to sleep in the comfy beds in our cabin! In the morning we were going to do some hiking/walking around for Potassium and her messed-up ankles but it started snowing like crazy right as we were packing up the cars (see that top picture!) so we ended up just leaving. Still it was a fun weekend and I can’t wait for more cabin/camping adventures as this year finally warms up a little.

Below are some of the pictures I took while everyone else was toasting marshmallows!

First up, we have K and J looking awesome with their headlights!

Now we have MSA roasting a marshmallow while TCP supervises. I like the way the fire illuminates their faces.

For this picture and the following two pictures we were playing with “light painting.” I put my camera on a tripod and then put the shutter on the “bulb” setting. With this setting, I tell the camera when to open and close the shutter so it’s really good for night time photography (especially star pictures… too bad it was cloudy for us…). Anyway, then we took K’s headlight and “painted” J and K with it while I had the camera shutter open. I think it has a really neat lighting effect. Also it’s a bit like taking pictures a long time ago because you can’t move while you are getting painted or you will be blurry…

After J and K’s picture turned out so well, we all wanted to try it!

MSA and TCP. :D

Now it’s your turn. Tell me about an adventure with your friends. Doesn’t have to be camping related though. I’m excited to hear your stories! Also, tell me what you want to hear me talk about! It’s been hard coming up with ideas lately when I am so busy/stressed out. Maybe we should have a “blast from the past” and I can talk more about my trips out of the country (France, Germany) last year? Let me know! :D

Congratulations L and J! :D

Published March 4, 2014 by iampotassium

The signing of the marriage license

Cobalt and I have been having a bit of a hard time these past few weeks (and not just because of my super sprained ankles so we were overjoyed to be part of something awesome last weekend: my friend L got married!

For the record, I am pretty sure that L was the second person I met here in Colorado because we were roommates during the biochemistry department recruitment weekend here at CU! My other friend LJ beat L only because I met her two weeks earlier at the UW recruitment weekend.

Geez stop reminiscing Potassium and get on with the pictures story already. So Friday was a beautiful day for a wedding! It was so warm outside that Cobalt and I didn’t have to put on jackets as we drove across town to the Boulder County Justice Center. There we met up with some of our other friends and L and her soon-to-be-husband J. We had some photo time in the courtroom before the judge came in so I hobbled around on my poor little ankles and got pictures of everyone pre ceremony. The ceremony was short but sweet and then we all got to sign the marriage license as witnesses! Talk about a special marriage license – clearly their marriage is highly approved of because it has not one, not two, but seven witness signatures. When Cobalt and I got married in California, there were some ridiculous rules about marriage license signatures (all of the signature must fit IN THE LINES OF THE BOX OR YOUR MARRIAGE LICENSE IS NOT VALID!). Yikes! So this was much better. :) After the ceremony and license signing we all braved the crazy rush hour traffic to go out for Korean BBQ. It was delicious and a really fun evening! Cobalt and I left full of food and really happy to have spent such a good evening with friends. Thanks L and J for letting us be a part of your special day. :D

One more thing I have to say before we get to more pictures: trying to hobble around on sprained ankles and get nice pictures without falling over/distracting from the ceremony was hard work. I was sad that I couldn’t put as much focus on the photo settings that I wanted to use as I usually do but I think the pictures turned out good anyway. See for yourselves!

L and the girls

J and the boys

So serious during the ceremony…

Except here when they are giggling because we made them kiss again… :D

And now it’s your turn: During dinner, L asked me “Potassium, when do you start to feel married?!” and I said it took a bit. Not that I didn’t want to be married to Cobalt or wasn’t ready for it – mostly it was just so crazy how one day I woke up and wasn’t married but then I went to bed married. How did that happen so quickly?! My brain took a while to adjust to the rapid change! Now I am asking you! When did you start to feel “married?” Was it immediate or gradual? Did something happen (i.e. filing taxes jointly for the first time, moving in together, etc) or did you just wake up one day and feel married? :)

Everything is tired!

Published February 25, 2014 by iampotassium

Cobalt and his Andy Warhol Campbells Soup can puzzle from the Andy Warhol exhibit

Hey everyone! How are you? Sorry it’s been forever since I posted on here. Hopefully the following will help explain some of my absence. Two weekends ago, Cobalt and I went to Fort Collins, CO for a date day. It was a lot of fun! First we went to my favorite French restaurant for brunch. Mmmmm crêpes and macarons… Then we headed to the Fort Collins Museum of Art to see the Warhol Exhibit. Cobalt loves Andy Warhol’s art and it was cool to have him teach me all about screen printing! Later, I found a recipe book for making a variety of macarons. Mmmmm so excited to try those out! When we got back into town, we decided to do some bouldering at the climbing gym. That’s when the day took a tragic turn because on the last climb, I fell off the wall and ended up spraining not one, but both my ankles!

Ankles getting iced the night of the fall…

All last week was spent figuring out how to use crutches and getting over some serious pain (and a cold). The pain is a little better now but my ankles are still pretty swollen. Yesterday was my first day back in lab and it was epic. Just getting to the bus stop made me exhausted… Then we had a fire alarm in the middle of the day (my lab is on the 3rd floor…)! We’re supposed to have snow this afternoon so that should be interesting. Hopefully the swelling goes down soon so that my life can get back to normal… :(

Now it’s your turn. Tell me about a time you were injured. Did you ever sprain an ankle?! How did you deal with the pain? It’s funny, ever since I fell and hurt my ankles, all I have wanted to do was go for a run. Booo…

PS: In case you couldn’t tell, my post title is a play on the “Everything is Awesome!” song from the Lego Movie except it describes how I felt when Cobalt picked me up from lab yesterday…

Horses, plant homes, and more!

Published February 5, 2014 by iampotassium

This poor plant still isn’t doing so well but I really like this one flower…

Hey everyone! Looks like I’m sticking to this once a week on Wednesdays post schedule for a little bit. Life is crazy with trying to graduate and all…

A lot of stuff has been happening though so I’ll give you a mini update!

So first of all, two weeks ago, Cobalt and I made a plant home in our office! Look at those happy plantys!

Plants enjoying the last of a sunny day. Also pictured: a buffalo and Jörg the German sheep

Second of all, it’s been snowing a lot…. Not a fan. But at least this picture is pretty.

I’ll admit it. When the snowflakes look like this, I am still a little mesmerized by them. Even when I am grumpy about having to clean off my car to go to work…

Finally, last weekend, we made dumplings with some of our friends for the Chinese New Year! :D This year I got to learn how to make the wrappers too. It was fun rolling them out into perfect circles. I also love folding the dumplings into these cool shapes. This year we put almonds into a few for good luck. Because four of us making/eating the dumplings are hoping to graduate from grad school this year, we decided that eating a dumpling with an almond in it meant that we would definitely graduate this year. We all got almond-filled dumplings so hopefully we will all graduate! :D

Happy year of the horse!

Anyway, in science news, yesterday I finished the last of my repeats for the first part of my project! So minus a few tweaks or running the assays I designed for other people’s experiments, that means I am done with the first part. Now I finally get to focus on the more nebulous and less thought out second part of my project! Things are coming along (even though they are slow)!

Your turn. Tell me about life. It’s February! Is the weather looking any better there because it’s cold and snowy here… Did you watch the Superbowl last weekend? Got any Valentine’s Day plans for next week? Let’s discuss! :D

Exercising with the president

Published January 29, 2014 by iampotassium

Cobalt’s mii leading a band where Potassium plays the tuba and President Obama plays the drums!

I’ve been planning this post for a while now but it seems fitting to post it now after the State of the Union last night! So when Cobalt and I got our wii a few years ago, we stayed up really late that night making a ton of miis. First we made Potassium and a Cobalt miis, then evil Potassium and Cobalt miis, and then Cobalt made a baristo mii and I made a scientist mii. Then we got really creative and decided to throw in a few presidents + film directors too. It was really fun at the time but I had no idea how much more fun it would be when the miis showed up in our various games – specifically our Wii Fit games. It’s hilarious to be running and have President Obama run past you… Also he looks so happy as he runs past you, you can’t help but enjoy your workout a little more! Well if the president is having fun, maybe this workout can’t be so bad…

Hehehe… Seriously though, I’ve been working on staying in shape more this winter. Generally, I am a summer sports girl – I love swimming and soccer and running on trails in the sun. Sure I go cross country skiing a few times in the winter but for the most part I just sit in my house feeling sad and cold. So this year, I joined a bouldering gym (that’s climbing but without the top ropes). It cost money so I have to go to make it worth it. I was worried I would be dragging my feet about going but it’s turned out to be so easy! It’s so fun to go climbing whenever I want to (instead of maaaaaaybe once a week) and it’s great to leave early if I am tired (because I can always go back tomorrow!). Plus I get really competitive with myself about various climbing problems that are hard for me (Come on Potassium, let’s go climbing and lick that purple one!) In addition to the climbing, I’ve been trying to bike to work (on non icy/snowy days of course). I got some pretty sweet winter biking gloves from my parents this Christmas so it’s been a much more comfortable ride.

It’s only January and we’ve started to get a lot more snow/cold weather but for right now, I think it’s working – I’m still cold but I am feeling much happier! I feel much more like myself and less of a tired, sad version of Potassium, which is awesome because I have been working some loooooooong hours in the lab.

Tell me: what do you do for exercise? Do you have winter sports in addition to summer sports? Also tell me about your weather right now! We went from 50 degrees and sunny on Sunday to 28 degrees and snowing on Monday and then when I woke up on Tuesday morning it was -4. Yikes! Luckily it’s supposed to be back up in the 50s tomorrow…


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