Thursday, August 31, 2017

Free STEAM Lessons for Teachers & Students

Instructables provides free premium memberships for teachers and their students. It's a website that offers a variety of STEAM related classes that you can take at your own pace. Each lesson has a downloadable pdf file. There are contest and competitions for the makers to get excited about creating new projects. 

Lessons for students in grades K-12.

Topics include
Math, Art, Science, Electronics, Engineering, Arduino, Robotics, 3D Printing, & Workshop. 

You can use the Instructables website to learn something new, teach students a new project, compete with other makers, get inspired, and much more. 

Ideal for the regular classroom teacher that is interested in these topics and wants to create something of their own, the Robotics Teacher, Wood Shop Teacher, STEAM classes, and School Maker Workshops. 

To sign-up for a free teacher premium account, click here. If you're wanting to explore the website before signing up, click here

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Avengers Half Spider-Girl Running Costume

runDisney Avengers Half Marathon Weekend is coming up and I'm dressing up as, yep, you guessed it, Spider-Girl. 

I love how the new Marvel super heroes include a female version of all the traditional super heroes. With the exception of Wonder Woman, girls didn't have many options when it came to female super heroes, but now they do, which is awesome. 

Here's the link to my runDisney story, in case you missed it. 

Visor- Made by me. Here's the link to the blog post of how I made it. 

Tank top- Bought on Etsy from iGlowRunning.

Skirt- Bought on Etsy from PrettyPumpkin

Monday, August 28, 2017

How to Teach Grammar and Writing to Students of Today

Grammarly offers Chrome users a free extension in the Chrome web store. Click here to download it. 

As the name suggests, it helps improve your grammar, but also your punctuation and word choice. 

How is this different than spell check, you ask? Well, it seems to do a better job at catching writing errors. It's built into your Chrome browser, if you use the extension, and then anywhere where you need a correction Grammarly will help you. It's almost like it's always looking over your shoulder making sure you don't make any mistakes.

Grammarly sends you a weekly email with your performance with this tool. This notification is called Grammarly Insights. At the end of the email, Grammarly gives you your top two mistakes. So, it's not just fixing mistakes, it's working with you to teach you how to improve your writing. 

You can unsubscribe from Grammarly Insights email and still use the tool.

Grammarly offers achievement digital badges that will motivate users to continue using the tool and write correctly. 

Teacher and student use
Teaching grammar just became much easier and practical. With Common Core Standards, writing is no longer just limited to Language Arts, all teachers should be incorporating writing opportunities in their classes. 

Some suggestions:
  • Have students install the free Chrome extension. 
  • Have students use Grammarly Insights email as a reflective tool. What were some common errors they made this week? How can they improve those errors in the future?
  • Have students keep track and share their digital badges on their digital portfolios. Great way to show parents and loved ones all digital school achievements and progress. 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Free Socks. Just Pay Shipping.

Feat Socks is offering a free pair of socks, valued up to $12. All you have to do is pay the $4.89 shipping. While supplies last. 

1. Click this link to order. 
2. Copy the coupon code: thankshomies
3. Select the claim your socks now button on the bottom of the page.
4. Search for your free socks. 

Hint: If you want to look for socks valued at $12 or under, select All Socks on the top of the search bar and then Singles.  

Walk, Run, Jog and Donate Free Money to Charity With App

The Charity Miles App allows you to exercise and earn money for your charity of choice. It's available for iOS and Android. It's easy to use. You log in. Then, you pick a charity. Next, you pick what you will be doing, whether walking inside, outside, riding your bike, etc. 

It doesn't have to be a separate workout in order to count it on Charity Miles. You can turn on the app when you walk your dog, for example, and have that earn money for your charity.  

Schools, churches, clubs that are always looking for ways to help the community can use Charity Miles to help earn money for several good causes. It doesn't cost anything. The app is free. When you sign-in, the app will tell you who the sponsor will be. It's usually a company that is funding the exercise. Here's an example of one of my tweets. My run was sponsored by All Whites Eggs. 
At the end of your walk, run, bike, the app will allow you to share the info online on social media. I suggest doing this so that the company sponsoring your walk is acknowledged and it also creates more awareness for the cause and the app. 

Here's the link to the app. If you workout with other apps, no worries, you can have multiple apps running at the same time. Charity Miles is now my 3rd app running on my phone when I work out. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Run 8/19/17 2.9 Miles

I was able to improve my pace for this run. Woohoo!

 I wore my limited edition Bambi tank top. It was a special offer that if you bought the movie on Blu-Ray, you could order it online with Disney Movie Rewards. I had posted about it earlier. Click here to view the post.

We did part of the Guadalupe Trail. The trail extends much further. Maybe next time we can try to go further. 

I used the MapMyRun app. I ran as much as I could, then slowed down and walked until I could catch my breath, and then start over again. 

It was hot out. We didn't carry water on the run. We instead had it in the car waiting for us when we came back. 

Another workout in the bag. 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Running Photos Featured on Instagram

I'm pretty happy that two of my running photos got featured this week on Instagram. I'm a new runner and my times are a joke when you compare them to the expert runners. However, I try not to let that discourage me, I'm having fun with it and I'm working on being healthy, so I'm proud of myself for pushing myself to get out there and exercise. 

A post shared by RunnerClick (@runnerclick) on

Friday, August 18, 2017

Journey to Solar Eclipse 2017

The Solar Eclipse 2017 is a big event for many Americans. There are many people are traveling this weekend so they can witness it first-hand.

Jim left on yesterday, Thursday to Madras, Oregon, which is in the path of totality. As he sends me information, I will update this post.

Madras has a population of 6,200 and is expecting 100,000 visitors this weekend. The total eclipse will last 2 minutes. Solar eclipses crossing the US from coast to coast: 1918, 2017, 2045, and 2099.

These are my eclipse glasses. Made by Jim with welding glass #14 darkness. We used them last time there was an eclipse.

Jim was first in line waiting for the campground to open.

Here's an early shot as the first campers come into the campground and set-up their tents.

A neighboring camper forgot to pack the rods for his tent. Oops!

These campgrounds don't have showers available to the guests. In order to shower, you have to take a shuttle to the other side of town and use the showers at the Aquatic Center, and then take another shuttle back. Jim discovered a local gym was offering a weekend pass for showers and it was only a 10-minute walk from camp.

One hour wait for the black line shuttle in Madras.

Campsite view on Saturday morning. It's starting to get packed in.

Sunday morning. Beautiful hot air balloons are flying over the campsite.

What do you do when you're waiting for the eclipse? You go to Solarfest.
Q & A with NASA at SolarFest. The current speaker is Daniel Ryan from NASA.

Daniel shared that the moon and the sun appear to be the same size because the moon is 400 times smaller than the sun, but it is 400 times closer.

SolarFest attire.

This is the line to enter to see the NASA exhibit.

Of course, what natural phenomenon is not complete without lip gloss and a hat. 

The stores in Madras have run out of $1 and $5 bills and are now issuing gold $1 coins. 

Some people fear that there will be a gas shortage, so they are stocking up just in case. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Add Some Free Money To Your Disney Fund Giveaway

All over social media Disney fans are pouring their hearts out over the loss of the Great Movie Ride. It's so sad, but in order for there to be progress, change needs to happen. 

I'm hosting a giveaway where one lucky winner will win a $50 Disney Gift Card! Hopefully, that will turn someone's frown upside down. 

Terms and Conditions: Must live in the U.S or Canada. 

*A Paypal cash option is available if the winner does not want a Disney Gift Card.

Add Some Free Money to Your Disney Fund

Monday, August 14, 2017

Run 8/13/17 4.4 Miles

It's a Sunday and my son has offered to go out and workout with me. Yay! He doesn't offer very often, so I was incredulous and grateful I got to spend some time with him. 

We visited Rancho San Antonio in Los Altos, California. That's one my favorite places to hike or run. It was a little farm inside the park and various elevation paths that you can take. It's the kind of place that you can make the experience as easy or as hard as you want to make it depending on the paths you choose. 

I was hoping to see some California Quails along the trail, but I didn't this time. If you've never seen one, they are a pear shaped bird with two feathers sticking out of its head. 

I had a Bluetooth shutter button that I hadn't tried for running photos, so I took it with me. As long as you are within a Bluetooth range from your phone, you can control when the camera takes a photo, which is nice. 

How to Make a Super Hero Running Visor

Super Hero themed races have become very popular. You shouldn't run with a mask that impedes visibility. Some races even prohibit the use of masks for this same reason. The challenge then is to turn a super hero mask into something that can be part of your running costume. 

Here's what I did:

1. I bought cheap kids sized mask with cape costume the last time I traveled to Mexico. My friend that was with me on that trip, didn't get my vision for a running costume, but I did!

2. I cut off the cape and cut open the mask part. 

3. Then, I bought an inexpensive running visor from Amazon. Click here for the link. It comes in a lot of different colors. I settled on the one that closest matched the mask color. 

4. Cut out white fleece fabric and using a hot glue gun, glued it to the inside of the eyes section. I didn't want for the eyes to look see though. I chose fleece because it's soft and at the same time, thicker than cotton. 

5. Fold the bottom edge of the super hero fabric and glue it onto the visor making sure the eyes were positioned in the middle.

6. Use more glue to secure the remaining edges. 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Tachi Palace Loft Room Tour

Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino is located in a rural area of Central California. We stayed there to break up our trip from Southern California to Northern California and were impressed with the quality of the rooms. They even have a coffee shop in the lobby that makes Starbucks coffee. Score!

Our room, as you will see in the video is a loft room. It, therefore, had two floors with the bed upstairs. Very spacious and comfortable room. It could easily be used for entertaining like a place for bridesmaids to get ready and mingle before a wedding. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

5 Misconceptions of a Black Cat

I adopted my black cat, Nikki from the local Humane Society several years ago. I was told by the volunteers that she was the last one left from her litter to be adopted. She was black and because of that, no one wanted her. 

Black cats tend to be the less likely to be adopted and most likely to be put down. 

1) Black cats bring bad luck

Nikki is my second black cat. The previous one passed away from old age. My cat has not brought me any kind of bad luck. 

My son brought our black cat to school for an event and he wanted to show his cat to his teacher. His teacher wouldn't even get close to it once she knew it was a black cat. It really hurt my son's feelings. He was proud of his pet and wanted to share that with his teacher. He didn't understand the teacher's reaction. I struggled to explain to him that some people don't think of black cats like we do. 

2) Only witches have them

I assure you, I'm not a witch. Neither my cat nor I can cast any spells. I'm a white collar professional and so is my husband. 

3) For Halloween

It's funny to hear the reactions of the trick-or-treaters that knock at my door and find that I have a black cat. The reaction is often, "look, a black cat for Halloween". No, I didn't buy her for Halloween or any other holiday. 

4) Vicious animals

I've been asked if my black cat is vicious. She's not. She's a sweet heart. 

5) Arche their backs

Halloween has popularized images of black cats with their backs arched and in attack mode. The truth is any cat that is scared does that. It's a normal behavioral response. It has nothing to do with the color of the animal. 

Next time you consider adopting a pet, consider the one you choose for their personality, not their color. 

Maker Night Review & Free Scraps for Makers

Disclosure: I received complimentary kits for this event. All opinions are my own.

Owners Greg and Lora offer Maker Nights at various locations in the Bay Area. Click here for their calendar of events. I was able to attend one of the nights that they were at Taplands in San Jose. The project of the day was the Hops Coaster. Each Maker Night features a different one of their laser cut products.

When we arrived we found a nicely arranged kit for each person. Even some of the instructions were laser cut into a small board! 

The first step was coloring the pieces that would be visible on the coaster. We had a variety of Sharpies, Gel Pens, and Paint Markers at our disposal. There were no rules as to how you could color it. 

At this event, there were only adults, but Greg and Lora do allow kids to participate.

Next came assembling some of the initial parts. 

Then we glued several layers, one at a time. 

The Taplands offers a free beer for participants of the Maker Night. I'm not a beer person, but I was able to use the ticket for a discount on some wine. 😀

My husband, the Engineer, was having loads of fun playing with the gears and assembling the pieces. 

The final step was to put on the feet for the bottom and our Hops Coasters were done. 

Great event for date night, a group of engineers, makers, STEAM enthusiasts, kids, etc. Much more interesting than a paint your own pottery night. 

Free Scraps for Makers

Greg shared with me that he has a lot of leftover scraps in his workshop in Santa Clara. He's happy to give those away for free. He asks that if you are interested, to give him a call first, 408-634-MAKE (6253) and bring a bucket with you. 

Steamy Tech offers kits and you can customize them by adding lights and a motor. Click here to view Steamy Tech's website.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Dinner Review: Blue Bayou inside Pirates of the Caribbean Ride in Disneyland, CA

My husband's favorite ride at Disneyland is the Pirate's of the Caribbean. If you've been on that ride, you might have noticed that you sail by next to a restaurant. That restaurant is called the Blue Bayou. On our most recent trip to Disneyland, we decided to have one our meals there so we could experience it. 

I look at dining as an experience. It's not just about the food, but also about the atmosphere. 

We made our reservations online. Good thing we did, because the restaurant gets pretty crowded. We got to the restaurant early, checked in, and patiently waited for our name to be called.

Once we were called in, we were escorted to our table. To our disappointment, we couldn't be any further from the ride. I looked around, in case there was any chance of switching tables, but no, everything was full. So, we took the table we got and made the best out of it. There was no way to pick "a good table", it was just luck. We did get up and walk over to the edge of the restaurant to see the riders pass by. It was kind of awkward because we stood next to a strangers table in order to be able to see beyond it. 

If you've sailed by on the ride, you'll remember that the area is pretty dark. The restaurant is dark as well. 

We noticed that some people had a glowing ice cube in their drink. It turns out that if you order a lemonade, it comes with a glowing ice cube. We asked if we could get a glowing ice cube in our drinks even though we hadn't ordered lemonades, and the waitress was happy to get us some. The only problem with that was that the server that refills drinks thinks that glowing drinks are lemonade, so we had to keep a look out for her a shoo her away from refilling our drink with the wrong beverage. 

The menu had some Cajun dishes, not surprisingly, since the restaurant is called the Blue Bayou and the entrance to it is in New Orleans Square. We had some picky eaters with us. Luckily, there were other not Cajun items too and everyone was happy. 

We were all pleased with the food we ordered. We didn't have dessert, our entrees were plenty filling. 

Overall, it was worth trying out and seeing what it was all about. The food was great, but I felt like the ambiance was lacking. You're basically eating in a dark restaurant. I would like to see it be redesigned to take more advantage of the view of the people passing by and maybe even have a pirate theme. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Run 8/7/17 2.7 Miles

Weather: Sunny and warm, but tolerable. 

Pace or challenges:  Normally, I've been running every other day. I didn't run this weekend, because I was too busy with other things. I could feel the difference. 

I'm proud of myself for just getting out there and trying. I'm not an athlete by any means. 

Running is helping me control my stress level. 

Critters: 2 hares

Days left to race: 93 days