Oct 31, 2012

Make 3 Cool Science Toys!

... in jars

I spend a good amount of my time looking online for sciencey educational and fun activities, to use in my work as an educator. I always end up learning something new, and every now and then I discover a little gem somewhere in the blogosphere that I get really excited about. These are three DIY science toys that I've stumbled upon over the years. They're really cool, I just kinda wanted to make them for myself.

Oct 17, 2012

Days 14-17 (Thirty-Day Vegan): Vegan Grilled Cheese 2 Ways

Up here in the Pacific Northwest, fall/winter is coming on strong - the days are cooler and the nights seem a little bit longer. When it starts to get chilly like this, I start to thinking about soup, a lot...

And soup is great! Amy's Kitchen has a great selection of delicious soups, ranging from No Chicken Chicken Noodle to Thai Coconut Soup in the style of Tom Kha Phak (which is seriously, seriously good), and many of them are vegan (the vegan soups have a big bold VEGAN written at the start of the ingredients list).

But, sometimes I feel like soup needs to go with something in order to be a real meal, like something I would eat for dinner. And then my brain goes back to what I love: cheese. Grilled cheese sandwiches, specifically. Which is unfortunate if you happen to be on a vegan diet...

Well, lucky for us, I worked up an easy vegan grilled cheese that rocked my dinner socks the other night.

Oct 16, 2012

It's a Beautiful Day

Praise in Creation

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Glory be to God for dappled things --
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced -- fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; a dazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

The Rainbow Willem Roelofs (1875)

Enjoy the beautiful day, wherever you are!
<3 Jen

The Ultimate DIY At-Home Spa (for less than $15)

Sometimes I get home from work and all I want to do is take off the heels, put up my feet, and turn off my brain for the next 4 hours. Sometimes I get home from work and all I can think about is settling into a comfy message chair at a spa in town and having all my tiredness and achey-ness scrubbed and polished away so I come out of it refreshed and smelling pretty. All of the time, I am looking for ways to save money and live on the cheap... because I'm broke, what else is new? So naturally, my favorite weekly tradition is the $15 Home Spa, putting together all my best laziness, sweet-smelliness, and cheapiness ideas into a luxury experience I don't have to get in my car and drive to. I do this little spa treatment once a week, and it's the perfect kick in the butt for going from "ugh, I'm so tired and bloated, I hate life" to "gosh I'm cute! and perky! and I smell pretty!"

Oct 15, 2012

Gaming for the Fun of it!

Fair warning: I'm going to get a little newbie gamer nerdy on y'all...

But first I'd like to tell you about how I have been really good at riding my bike to work like almost everyday, and I even rode this morning even though the weather was a little icky. But I forgot to wear a hat or a hood or rain pants, so when it turned into Oregon today (the sky opened up and the heavens let it rip, seriously) I got suuuuuper drenched. So I'd like you to do either or both of the following: a) be impressed by my diligence; b) feel sorry for me and bring me vegan hot coco. Also, is there such a thing? I need there to be such a thing. Oh, look, it's a chai with almond milk... ok I feel better.

Gamer Love will keep me warm
Anyway, I'm home and dry now, and it's time to get me settled in to some games! I'm going to play a bit of Chrono Trigger and stream it live just for you up on Twitch! Let's cross our fingers and hope a) that the stream works; b) that I don't utterly fail at this; and c) that this first storm of the season I am enjoying from inside my apartment does not lead to a power outage right in the middle of my game.

... let's hope.

Oct 14, 2012

DIY Foam Eyeball: Science Project or Creepy Halloween Prop?

Today in science, I am working on this:

I can't tell you too much about it (yet), other than it's an eye... and it's cool. It's also kind of creepy. Right now in other parts in the world of science, eyes are a hot topic, particularly the gigantic softball-sized one that someone found on a beach in Florida O.o

Oct 13, 2012

Day 13 (Thirty-Day Vegan): Fast Food Breakfast

This morning, for reasons that will remain unspoken, I ran out of time and didn't make myself any breakfast :/ Ok, so maybe the reason I ran out of time is because I spent so much of the morning digging through my closet for boots and a cardigan that would go well with my new Shrödinger's Cat shirt... so maybe it's my fault, but come on, it's such a cute shirt*!

Oct 6, 2012

Days 3 - 6 (Thirty-Day Vegan): Super Cheese

It's day 6 in my vegan challenge! What I've discovered so far is that when it comes to new kinds of food, I am very enthusiastic about trying a little bit of everything pretty much right away. I don't know if it was a particularly rough day at work and I am comfort eating, or I just knew that I have vegan cheese at home, but I biked extra fast today and I had a heck of a time not taking a spoon to the vegan soft jalapeño havarti. Ok, maybe I took a teeny tiny nip with a spoon O.o

Oct 2, 2012

Day 2 (Thirty-Day Vegan): Popsicles and Beer

So today was a... difficult day at work :/ Sometimes we just have those days, and it's ok, you just pick yourself up, dust off, and keep on going. And I like the work I do, so I can look forward to having better days ahead. Occasionally, I'll instinctively turn to my good old standby comfort foods to get on the track to happy town, but today I got home and the first thing I went for was a Popsicle Brand ice popsicle. I have a couple in my freezer from recent days, I usually rehydrate with one after riding my bike home from work. Today, however, it occurred to me that I had no idea if these Popsicles were vegan friendly.

Oct 1, 2012

Day 1 (Thirty-Day Vegan): Shopping! and Vegan Flatbread

My 30-Day vegan adventure... vegadeventure?... starts today! And a good place to start is with the basics: to eat vegan, I need FOOD! I very cleverly ate my ate through all my non-vegan foods in my kitchen (or used it up as beauty products, more on that later), so I had a lot of room in the ol' fridge for some vegan-friendly vittles! I worked up a shopping list that was mostly foods I know I like, and everything is double-checked for vegan-approval...