3/23/15

Science Experiments {Live on the News}

A few weeks ago the kids and I made an appearance on our local Chanel 4 Morning Show to do some science experiments live on the air.  It was shot in 2 separate segments so you can view our clips here and here.  If you're interested in doing some of your own science experiments you can get the full supply list and instructions over on the Jacksonville Moms Blog.


3/16/15

Spring Cleaning {with a little help from thredUP}


Ahhhhh spring, my favorite time of year.  Not only does it mean beautiful weather and playing outside, but it’s also the time of year I go through and gut my children’s closets.  Since here in Florida our temps can go from cool to down right hot in the matter of a week it seems like by mid March I’m ready to pack away the winter clothes and bring out the bathing suits and shorts for the season.  But once the closets have been cleaned out, what do you do with all the extra clothes?  Since I have a boy and a girl (and no plans of adding any additional kids to the family) I rarely save items to be passed down.  So what do you do with all your outgrown clothes?  That's where thredUP comes in and saves the day!


When you go to thredUP.com and create an account you can request one of their adorable polka dot clean out bags FOR FREE.  I actually keep one in the bottom of my daughter's closet at all times.  Fill it up with all the clothes your kids have outgrown and then drop it off at the post office.  Postage back to the thredUP warehouse is free.  Once thredUP receives and processes your bag (and know that this can take several weeks) they'll offer you a payout which you can use in their online store or you can opt to cash out to paypal.  There you have it… spring cleaning made easy with thredUP.


3/13/15

Disappearing Iodine Water Experiment {as seen on Jacksonville Moms Blog}

Recently I wrote a post for the Jacksonville Moms Blog highlighting some of my favorite science experiments for big kids.  These were all done for the Mad Science Party we threw for Cole's 8th birthday.  Here are the details for the Disappearing Iodine Water Experiment.


Disappearing Iodine Water

Materials: 2 cups of water (about 1/2 way full), Vitamin C, Iodine, Droppers

Directions: Fill 2 plastic cups 1/2 way full with ordinary room temperature water. Crush up 2 vitamin C tablets and stir the powder into one of the cups of water. Add approximately a tablespoon of Iodine to the other cup of water. Use your droppers to carefully mix a few drops of iodine water into the vitamin C water. You’ll see that the dark brown Iodine water “disappears” when it hits the vitamin C water. Be careful with this experiment because Iodine will stain clothes (and lab coats). The good news is that some of that vitamin C water will get it out.

Why it works: When Iodine and vitamin C (ascorbic acid) are combined in solution, a chemical reaction takes place. In this chemical reaction, the vitamin C (ascorbic acid) molecule loses electrons, which are transferred to the Iodine molecule.

3/11/15

Inflate A Balloon Experiment {as seen on Jacksonville Moms Blog}

Recently I wrote a post for the Jacksonville Moms Blog highlighting some of my favorite science experiments for big kids.  These were all done for the Mad Science Party we threw for Cole's 8th birthday.  Here are the details for the Inflate A Balloon Experiment.


Inflate A Balloon

Materials: Small Empty Water Bottle, Baking Soda, Vinegar, Balloon, Funnel

Directions: Use the funnel to fill your balloon with 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda. Fill your small water bottle about ½ full with vinegar. Carefully put the top of your balloon over the mouth of the water bottle. Don’t dump the baking soda in until it is secure. Hold your balloon upright and gently shake it so that all the baking soda falls down into the vinegar.

Why it works: The baking soda and the vinegar create an ACID-BASE reaction and the two chemicals work together to create a gas (carbon dioxide). Gasses need a lot of room to spread out and the carbon dioxide starts to fill the bottle, and then moves into the balloon to inflate it.


3/9/15

Dissolving Styrofoam Experiment {as seen on Jacksonville Moms Blog}

Recently I wrote a post for the Jacksonville Moms Blog highlighting some of my favorite science experiments for big kids.  These were all done for the Mad Science Party we threw for Cole's 8th birthday.  Here are the details for the Dissolving Styrofoam Experiment.


Dissolving Styrofoam

Materials: Styrofoam Cups, Maximum Strength Acetone (nail polish remover), Droppers

Directions: Pour the acetone over the Styrofoam and watch it dissolve (it is dissolving, it is NOT melting).

Why it works: Styrofoam is made up of polystyrene foam. When the polystyrene dissolves in the acetone, the air in the foam is released, causing it to look like you’re dissolving this massive quantity of material into a small volume of liquid.

3/5/15

Exploding Film Canister Science Experiment {as seen on Jacksonville Moms Blog}

Recently I wrote a post for the Jacksonville Moms Blog highlighting some of my favorite science experiments for big kids.  These were all done for the Mad Science Party we threw for Cole's 8th birthday.  Here are the details for the Exploding Film Canister Experiment.


Exploding Film Canister



Directions: Fill the film canister 3/4 full of water. Add Alka-Seltzer (generic brand works just as well) tablet and close the lid tight. Stand back and watch the lid shoot off into the sky.

Why it works: When the tablet hits water, a chemical reaction takes place very quickly. The bubbles are carbon dioxide gas (CO2) and there’s a lot of it! In the closed canister, the CO2 builds up so much pressure that the lid is forcibly removed from the inside.




3/3/15

Elephant Toothpaste Science Experiment {as seen on Jacksonville Moms Blog}

Recently I wrote a post for the Jacksonville Moms Blog highlighting some of my favorite science experiments for big kids.  These were all done for the Mad Science Party we threw for Cole's 8th birthday.  Here are the details for the Elephant Toothpaste Experiment.


Elephant Toothpaste

Materials: Clean & empty soda or water bottle, Yeast, Warm Water, Food Coloring, Dish Soap, 6% Hydrogen Peroxide (you can find this online or at a beauty supply shop)

Directions: In a separate cup mix 1 teaspoon of yeast with 2 tablespoons of warm water. In your soda bottle mix together ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide, a squirt of dish soap and a few drops of food coloring. Swirl the soda bottle to mix slightly. Pour the contents of your yeast & water mixture into the soda bottle and watch your elephant toothpaste erupt.

Why it works: Hydrogen peroxide naturally breaks down into water and oxygen.  It is stored in opaque containers to help slow down this process.  Yeast speeds up the reaction.  Dish soap catches the oxygen and makes bigger bubbles and the food coloring makes it look cool.  The foam and bottle feel warm because the reaction is exothermic–it releases energy as heat.




2/28/15

Mentos & Diet Coke Science Experiment {as seen on Jacksonville Moms Blog}

Recently I wrote a post for the Jacksonville Moms Blog highlighting some of my favorite science experiments for big kids.  These were all done for the Mad Science Party we threw for Cole's 8th birthday.  Here are the details for the Mentos & Diet Coke Experiment.


Mentos & Diet Coke Explosion

Materials: Mentos Candy, Diet Coke (you don’t need to need name brand soda, the generic diet will work but it MUST be diet to create the explosion), Geyser Tube Cap (optional, but it’s really cool)

Directions: This is an easy experiment that the kids can do by themselves. Simply drop the Mentos into the diet soda bottle and watch it erupt. The geyser tube is an awesome addition to the experiment because it makes the stream shoot even higher in the air.

Why it works: It’s due to a process called nucleation, where the carbon dioxide in the soda is attracted to the Mentos. That creates so much pressure that the soda goes flying.



2/18/15

DIY Bathroom Plank Wall

I declared 2015 the year of the bathroom projects around here and I've started off with a bang.  My first DIY project was to install a plank wall in our downstairs bathroom.  I took no pictures during the project, because I wasn't really sure how it was going to turn out.  I'll post my steps down below, but if you want a more in-depth tutorial, I recommend this one from Life, Crafts & Whatever, and this one from This Nest is Blessed.  It was much easier than I expected and turned out phenomenal, in my opinion. 

Start at your local home improvement store (we went to Home Depot).  You'll need some sheets of plywood.  I opted for the "nicer" plywood that was a little more expensive, but in the end I think it turned out better than the cheaper stuff would have.  Ask a nice employee to cut it into strips on their gigantic saw.  I had them do 6 inch strips.  

My next step was to gather up any leftover paint, stain, etc. I could find in the garage.  Every single color you see was created with something I already owned.  I also left a few planks untreated.  My project covered a pretty small area so I painted 2 of each of my 6" strips in each different color.  Then I sanded and distressed the crap out of them.

Then it was time to start installing.  I was originally going to make the studs and nail the board onto the wall.  But I'm lazy so I just went and bought some liquid nails and used that to adhere them.  I started at the bottom, checking every few rows to see if they were level.  If you're off a little, you can use a coin in between rows to prop the boards up a little while the glue dries.  This make it easy to keep working and keep everything looking like it was spaced correctly.

The hardest part of this project was working around the small lip of the sink and cutting an areas for the light fixture.  I had to do all that with a small hacksaw and it took FOREVER.  When I reached the top I had a small section left so I also had to cut my boards length-wise to make them fit.  

I finished it off with a new frame for the mirror.  I made this myself using 4 pieces of wood and adhered it with liquid nails again.  We also sprung for a new industrial looking light fixture that I found on ebay.

Here are some of the side-by-side before and after pics I took so you can get the full effect.





2/16/15

My Favorite Mom Hack Ever {as seen on Jacksonville Moms Blog}


I did a post recently for the Jacksonville Moms Blog with some of our favorite Mom Hacks.  You can read them all over here on the blog, but I wanted to share my absolute favorite.  This hack comes from my sister and it is my all time favorite thing to show new moms.  You can read all about it here.