Saturday, June 14, 2014

Books On Film | The Snow Queen/Frozen{CKEY}&searchfield1=GENERAL^SUBJECT^GENERAL^^&user_id=WEBSERVER{CKEY}&searchfield1=GENERAL^SUBJECT^GENERAL^^&user_id=WEBSERVER
I think everyone on the planet has seen the Disney animated film Frozen by now. However, many may not know that it's an adaptation of Hans Christen Andersen's The Snow Queen (original/abridged). It's a fairy tale which centers around a young girl named Gerda who goes on a quest save her young male neighbor and friend Kai from the influences of an evil troll's mirror and the clutches of the Snow Queen.

The film adaptation centers around a young woman named Anna who goes on a quest to find and repair her relationship with her estranged sister Elsa who has trapped their kingdom in an eternal winter. It's a musical, as everyone who has heard "Let It Go" knows, which features several fun supporting characters including a talking snowman named Olaf.

If by some chance you haven't seen the movie, you can borrow it from the library and also check out the original tale, the abridged picture book, and/or one of junior easy reader novels inspired by the film.

Covers courtesy of LibraryThing.

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Reader Digests | Clean Eats

It seems like the minute I turned 33, my metabolism decided to punish me.  I used to enjoy eating pretty much whatever I wanted and saw small to moderate weight gains, but nothing too substantial. Apparently, at 33 - for me anyway - it's all over.  Which is really irritating, especially since my blog is all about food! 

So I sought out new diets and eating habits to try and find a good balance that would allow me to eat pancakes, pizza, sushi, and burgers every once in a while, still maintaining a healthy weight. I came across "clean eating."  This diet trend has received much attention in recent years, espoused by
Photo courtesy of
celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Beyonce.  It can go from very extreme liquid diets (juice fasting) to simply adopting an awareness about the content and purpose of the food we enjoy.  I chose the latter, because as is obvious from the title of this blog, I like to eat.  Plus, I work at a library and can't afford a $500 juice cleanse pack (Sorry Gwynnie, it's just not happening) and I hate cleaning my juicer. Also, the idea of detoxification hasn't been scientifically proven.  Mostly though, I really like to eat.  

So what is clean eating?  Here are some very basic principles, which I sometimes try to follow:
  • Eat simply.  Stick to plants, meats, whole grains like rice and whole wheat.  Try not to eat things out of a box.
  • Choose food with a manageable amount of ingredients. If you are eating something with 20 lines of strange ingredients that you cannot identify, that's not so good.
  • Eat smaller meals more frequently.
  • Remove chemicals and processed foods from your diet.
    Photo courtesy of
  • Limit saturated fats.
  • Reduce alcohol (1 drink per day) or eliminate it if you can.
  • Replace coffee with green tea (I don't do this!)
  • Watch sugar intake.  Sometimes even seemingly healthy food like yogurt can contain mostly sugar.
  • Some people supplement with probiotics and extra vitamins, but doctors should always be consulted before adopting a diet like this.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Learning | Engineering Word of the Day

Last month, I had a wonderful time at the Bay Area Maker Faire 2014.  Maker Faire is nicknamed "the biggest show-and-tell on earth" with good reason; wherever one may wander on the site, there will be a person excited to explain whatever you see, like upcycled furniture, or armor for small animals.

I went with my husband (an electrical engineer) and son (an Electrical Engineering major.) This was their fourth year attending, and my third. It's hard to avoid catching their enthusiasm when they spot some cool thing, like a mechanical device for calculating square roots, or some new innovation in three-dimensional printing.

My guys were busy looking at some little teeny tiny thing I didn't understand, so I wandered over to a booth with furniture that was clearly Steampunk-inspired.  I admired the display, and asked a few questions about the uses of various pieces, and how they were made. 

I was surprised when the man in the booth asked if I was an engineer.  I laughed and replied that I was surrounded by engineers, but I was not one. An engineer himself, he told me about his wife's experience working as an office assistant for a bunch of engineers. She has developed a coping mechanism: identifying an "Engineering Word of the Day."

I love the idea so much, I'm tempted to steal it. From time to time (but certainly not every day) I will share an engineering or science word with you, just for fun. You never know when it might be useful.

Here's a word I learned from my father: ullage. Sometimes called headspace, this is the unfilled portion of a container. Some space needs to be there, to allow for expansion of the liquid.

External Tank ET-138 Rolls Out at Michoud Assembly Facility from Marshall Space FlightCenter's photostream on Some rights reserved. 

My father was an aerospace engineer; at one point, his job was calculating precisely how much fuel could be loaded into the enormous external tank used for Space Shuttle launches. He had the responsibility of making sure the ullage was as small as possible.

If you regret missing Maker Faire 2014, try to save time around the third weekend in May...and watch this blog for news.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Just Life | My Favorite Author

One of my favorite authors is Khaled Hosseini.

I am currently reading Khaled Hosseini's new book " And the mountains echoed" for my summer reading. This book has been sitting on my desk for the past few months and I was avoiding it for good reasons.

Khaled Hosseini. Pic from
You see, Hosseini's books are wonderful but heart wrenching. That is why I kept postponing reading his new book. I needed enough courage to handle the human tragedies that come alive in his books.

When you are reading his books, you become part of the story and you suffer along side everybody else in the story.

Don't take his books on your summer vacation since it would make you sad and guilty all at the same time.

So far, I have read about 1/3 of this book and I am eager to see what is going to happen to Pari? Is she going back to Afghanistan? Is she going to learn about her past and her real family? 

If you haven't read any of his books, I recommend you to start with "The Kite Runner" and  "A thousand splendid suns".

I am warning you, get ready for a heck of a journey.

If you would like to learn more about this author, visit his website at:

Signing off until next Monday- Panteha