Wednesday, December 26, 2012

glazing ham like a boss

Read this list of ingredients and tell me if it doesn't make your mouth water:

*worchestershire sauce
*minced onion
*ground cloves
*orange juice

Yep, Abby, Ryan, and I just came up with this sweet recipe all by our creative selves because we wanted to glaze the ham we just put in the oven. Annie was the taste-tester and gave it two thumbs up. You are reading the blog of the next Paula Dean. NBD. I thought I would blog about it before we tasted it so I can follow up with a raving review later on.

PS - MERRY CHRISTMAS! Despite Abby and I being sick as dogs, it's been a joyful holiday! I'll hopefully blog more about it later, but in the meantime, here was my glorious day: sleeping in (and waking up feeling a little less sick = win), watching Gilmore Girls with the sisters, reading some more of the books I got for Christmas, going to see "Les Miserables" with my aunts/uncles/cousins (it was INCREDIBLE. more about that later too), and now watching the Jazz game while we wait for our glorious ham and funeral potatoes to cook. Today is a success.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Prayer of the children

I just returned from a FABULOUS day in Salt Lake. Annie, Abby, Ryan and I went to the Kurt Bestor concert at Abravanel Hall (we used to go every year when we were young and thought it'd be fun to revive the tradition!), ate dinner at Zupas, and headed to Cummings Trees (once again a tradition! Dad used to get his tree there when he was a little tyke) to pick out our gorgeous Christmas tree!! I must say, today really filled me with the Christmas spirit! We also watched "Scrooge" while we decorated the tree. Favorite. So grateful to have sisters nearby. :)

Honestly, one of the most powerful moments of the day for me was the song "Prayer of the Children" during the concert. He dedicated it to those involved in the shootings in Connecticut. It was really powerful to me. It reminded me that Christmas is all about hope...the hope that comes through Christ and His Atonement. I was hit with the reality of all the heartache that exists in our world. BUT this season we celebrate the miracle that Christ can heal all. My heart and prayers are with the victims and families of victims in Connecticut!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Some days you just need to dress up in a santa suit and run a 5k! ...or at least jog/walk a 5k while stopping often to take fun pictures and eat cookies and milk at every aid station...

Shout out to Tracy for the sweet pics! And shout out to Steph for coming in 5th place overall!! That's right, she is L-E-G-I-T.


2 new check-marks!

This past week I have found myself checking things off my PhD to-do list...

Defend Prospectus....CHECK

Pass Qualifying Exam....CHECK

Complete Teaching Practicum....CHECK!

Complete ALL Coursework....CHECK!

Defend Dissertation....Summer 2013 :)

Let's just saw after about 20 years of homework, I will never again be assigned a project, homework assignment, or test for a class. EVER. From here on out I will be the one assigning things! NBD. Just wanted to share my excitement! Also, after a fun skype with my mom this morning, I find myself very legitimately considering applying to be a professor in Kazakhstan for a year starting next fall. Crazy? Maybe. But I am actually seriously thinking about it! Why not, right?

Also...I just spilled yogurt on my pants...yep I'm still me.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

how cute are they??

My parents wading through the snow in Kazakhstan! Missing them tonight. :)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

last minute girl

If only I wasn't the procrastinator that I am...

If only I could be super productive and focused when working on a big project weeks before it was due instead of at the last minute...

However, I am secretly proud that I do such good work when under pressure.

Confession: I'm totally in the zone and actually LOVING working on this project at 12:42 am.

Maybe it's because I'm a nerd and I love that I get to teach my class about my love for membrane biophysics tomorrow...

Maybe it's because of the twinkle lights behind me...

Maybe it's because Michael Buble is giving me a private concert of Christmas music (and wooing me in the process)...

Maybe it's because it's my LAST homework assignment EVER! My last chance to procrastinate like this...

Whatever the reason, I'm just going to cherish it. :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Today I am grateful for...

*Technology! It connects me to the people I love :)

*FAMILY far and near

*Fantastic Roommates

*Good friends that are always there when I need them...whether it's to fix my car, listen to me, or just enjoy life with me!

*A great ward!

*Prayer, the scriptures, and Latter-day revelation that invite the Holy Spirit and bring peace. Here's my recent fav:

*My best friend and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is as real to me as all of you!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! (or as we say in my family, Happy Thanksgibbons!)

Thursday, October 25, 2012



I've tried analyzing these babies about 10 different ways...

...and I THINK the most recent try is a win! We will know once I try it out on a few more runs. Cross your fingers that this one will be the winner and I can move on to the hard part of the project haha. Oh and for those nerds out there wondering...these are images of F-actin!


I've been team-teaching PDBio 120...

...and LOVING it. For real. I'm all kinds of happy and excited after I teach. Up until now I've taught portions of most classes, but today was my first day teaching the whole 50 minute class! I think it went well! I love getting to know more and more of my 200 students. Yep, definitely thinking I chose the right career. :)


I've been having fun... concerts, Jazz games, BYU football games, hipster photo shoots, family get-togethers, perspective-gaining drives up the mountain, 3D movies, intense workouts (yes that is a cupcake), pumpkin carving parties, haunted forests, etc. 


I caved and bought a cd on itunes...
...and have been listening to it for days! I was doing so good with my resolution not to buy music, but I couldn't help myself. I have a weak spot for music.


I've been learning a lot about how I sleep...
...using this super crazy app on my phone. It lays on the bed and uses my movements to track my sleep cycle. Best part? I give it a 30 min window and it wakes me up at the most ideal time. I honestly feel great when I wake up now because the alarm isn't jolting me out of deep sleep. The future is here, folks.


I've started apply for teaching jobs...
...and I can't believe I'm going to be all grown up with a real job in less than a year! Crossing my fingers somebody will want me!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

not to brag or anything...

Not to brag or anything (who am I kidding? the whole point of this post is to brag), but I have had TWO culinary successes in TWO days' time. Yes, it is true.

Success #1

So we have these tacos that go way back in my family. I'll be honest, I might be making the first part of the history up, but I THINK my mom's mom or grandma learned the recipe from some missionaries way back in the day. My grandma learned how to make them and would make them for my mom and her siblings growing up. She then made them while she and my grandpa were on a mission in Ireland. My mom got the taco-frying genes and I grew up loving them. We started feeding them to the missionaries when I was young and it became a big competition to see who could eat the most. I THINK Elder Falilu (spelling?) holds the record at 32 tacos. The most I have eaten is 14...not too shabby eh? We always have mom's tacos during the Priesthood Session of General Conference while the boys are gone. Annie fried them this time and did a fantastic job. We had leftovers Sunday afternoon, so I thought I should get some good practice in so I can carry on the tradition. Guess what, it was NOT an epic fail...they weren't half bad. :) Pretty proud of myself. 

Success #2

Let's just say Monday was not the best day I've had in my life. In fact, I wasn't a huge fan of Monday. I had the urge to make pumpkin break and got it in my head that if I could successfully make pumpkin bread, all would be right in the world again. Result? Some pretty darn good pumpkin break and and going to sleep Monday night feeling pretty good about life!


Thursday, October 4, 2012

happiest place on earth!!

This post might as well be titled "luckiest girl on earth" because I am! Months ago, Steph started talking about how we needed to go on another epic trip together like we did last year at this time. I replied how fun it would be but that I'm a poor graduate student. :( Next thing I know, Steph is telling me I need to make sure to get September 21st off of school and she and Marissa start plotting a lot behind closed doors. I had no idea what was going on. So for two months, they would talk about the epic trip the three of us were going on, but wouldn't tell me where...not even how we were going to get there. Steph isn't the best about keeping secrets from me, so she almost caved a whole bunch of times. She would even tell EVERYONE I know EXCEPT me haha. Finally about a week before, I got a text from Steph late one night telling me that she couldn't keep the secret anymore and that she was taking me to Reno (her sister lives there) but not to tell Marissa she told! So the next week and a half was full of me pretending I didn't know where I was going around Marissa.

Finally it was September 20th! Marissa and Steph told me that we were going to be flying the next morning so I needed to pack in a carry-on size bag. They gave me a general idea of what to pack, and I was racking my brain trying to figure out what we'd be doing in Reno they they were so excited about. We got up SUPER early on Friday morning to head to the airport. They checked us in without me so I wouldn't see our destination. Finally, right before we got to security, they handed me my boarding pass so I could see where we were going. I mentally prepared myself to pretend to be surprised when I saw it was to Reno. I look down at my ticket and realize it says our final destination is Orange County, CA...wait...WHAT?  I was so surprised!! Then Steph handed me an envelope with some money in it and a disney pin and said, "Girl, we're going to DISNEYLAND!" WHAT???? Reno was a lie all along! I was pretty much freaking out like a 9-year-old in the airport and trying to stop myself from telling all kinds of strangers that I was going to DISNEYLAND!! I had only been twice in my life and not since I was 17.  This was moments after I found out our destination! Note that it was like 5 am so looking cute was not a priority:

It was pretty much a magical weekend. We spent 2 full days in Disneyland, stayed at MarisIsa's parents' place in San Diego, and came home Sunday morning. We played hard core...rode practically every ride, shopped, ate WAY too much food, and just soaked in the magic. My highlights were...

SPLASH MOUNTAIN! It had been closed both times I went to Disneyland before, so I'd ALWAYS wanted to ride it.

It did not disappoint! Favorite.

TOWER OF TERROR. I was seriously terrified.

My yoda shirt.

Spending time with my fabulous roommates...

Eating WAY too much.

And stalking Disney characters.

Biggest regret? Not getting a picture of Flynn Rider's smolder. Life-changing.

No words for how much I love this girl...