Monday, December 21, 2015

Opal Coffee is now available on Amazon...

Just have to say I am glad to find Opal Coffee listed on Amazon. 
What is so special? It's a great coffee + convenience. What you need is just a cup and hot water. No special machine washing needed, no special gadget needed, no cleaning needed. 

This is the youtube link on how to use it.

Easy to brew Sumatra Wahana Estate coffee. They have their own plantation where they grow from seed to coffee product.  A coffee worth trying... Wouldn't you agree?

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Boo... Halloween Treats for Coffee Drinkers

This HALOWEEN, when you go out trick or treating with your kids, keep and eye of a 
MEDIEVAL QUEEN in PURPLE, walking up and down Yale, Antora Peak and Wheeler Pt., between 6-7 PM in Anthem, Broomfield.
Ask if her name is Opal...

She has some COFFEE goodies for you... 


Friday, October 9, 2015

Disecting Keurig Cups to find what's inside K-Cup

My daughter, who is very curious, saw a Keurig cup in her orthodontist office. Instead of making hot cocoa for herself and I, we decided to take 2 cups home to see the inside.

We brought home a coffee and a tea cup. Here are the tools we use.

  • Jeweler saw
  • Scissors
  • Scale
  • Measuring cup
  • Paper

I have heard so many news about Keurig cups filling in landfill. I looked closely and it looks like it's made from plastic #15. Not sure what is that mean. 

Using jeweler saw, we cut the cup in half. This is what we found. There is plastic component that is holding a small coffee filter inside. 

Total coffee ground inside the cup is about 10 gram. 

I found no plastic component inside the tea cup

Total tea inside the cup is about 5 gram

I looked on the website to see how Keurig works.
It helps me understand why the have to "hang" the filter as the brewed coffee and tea will come out from the bottom part. After people are done brewing the coffee, they throw away the cups and clean the machine. 

My question is about plastic component with hot water. I am not too keen pouring boiling water in a plastic pot because I am worry it will contaminate the drink. It's just my opinion...

Disclaimer: This activity is just to show kids can explore anything they are curious about. I am not endorsed by any coffee company. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Horse back riding at Rocky Mountain National Park

Sombrero Ranch has been our choice for horse back riding. They have many different stables including one in Rocky Mountain National Park. So when we had a chance to go to RMNP, we had a horse ride in Glacier Creek Stable.

We decided to take a 2 hour ride costs about $55. After we signed our waiver, we waited for a few minutes as they are preparing the horses. My horse name is Virginia and our tour guide is Mary Kay. Each rider is offered a helmet. Every person got a tiny purse for our personal belonging. I was prepared with water, poncho ( I didn't know they prepared rain coat for each rider), cell phone and gum.

It was a perfect weather, not too hot, not too cold, with view of Sprague lake, mountain range and creeks.   At one point we stopped to make sure the sadle are tight. The rider just need to make sure the horse doesn't much on the way.

My horse is very nice. She knows exactly where she is going... Very nice horse that made me think to come back just to visit her...

The guide was nice and I plan to visit Sombrero ranch on a different location...

Monday, September 7, 2015

Outdoor enthusiast coffee drinks

Would like to have a fresh tasting coffee while you are out camping, hiking, skiing or anywhere? Dreaded with the old coffee in your bottle you had it yesterday?

Fear no more... Opal personal drip coffee has come to the rescue... It comes in a personal sized coffee filter bag, filled with Sumatera coffee, vacuum packed and it's ready anytime, anywhere...

No coffee machine needed, no cleaning up needed ( you do need to wash your coffee cup...). Just throw the ground coffee in a composting bean and you are ready for the day. 
Wouldn't you agree?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Extracting DNA from a strawberry

"Mommy, I'm bored..." Yes... you've heard it so many times. Especially during Summer. You've tried your best from Khan academy to making oobleck at home... I found this youtube video about DNA extracting and this one really catches her attention. First... I talked about DNA and chromosome and cell... Then on the day she said I am bored, I was ready with the activity.

She prepared the materials, I helped with the measurements. Following the step by step instructions, she was so excited to be able to extract DNA from a strawberry.

One of the boredom busters you can try this summer... What do you think?

Monday, August 31, 2015

A tour to a coffee processing plant in Sumatera,

On our last trip to Indonesia, we visited Sumatera... The island where you find the famous Sumatera coffee. I was lucky to be able to tour the processing plant, taste and bring some Opal coffee home.
It was pretty an educational tour. First, coffee beans are actually green... not brown like what most people have seen in the grocery stores. It came in variety of size and quality. This picture to show the beans, right from the farmers, the right one is the selected beans.

Beans were selected by machine and by hands. It went through several stages of machine process and hand picking to separate dusts, debris ( = unwanted items ) to the very selected beans.It then collected in a big jute bags for shipping to the coffee roaster

We toured the roasting room where you can smell a very nice ground coffee smell. This is cute, smiley face machine ( that's my daughter thinks) is a coffee roaster. It takes about 20 min each load.

Then it get cooled and ready to ground to make the best coffee drinks. Yum...

Monday, August 24, 2015

Get a chance to win pour over/ drip coffee from Opal Coffee

Opal Coffee, known in Australia and Asia, will be available in the US at the end of the year. Their specialties are personal drip coffee comes in seven varieties

Each box has 5 packets. It is very convenient as you open the coffee bag, put it on top of your mug, pour hot water and voila... you'll get a cup of a fresh tasting coffee

Fill out their survey and get a chance to win a coffee sample...

To learn more, please visit their page, or their tumblr page. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Pantai cermin Sumatera

During our trip to Medan, Indonesia, we decided to visit Pantai Cermin. It's  located about 2-2.5 hours drive from Medan. There is a theme park and there is also a public beach with booths provided for public to rent. For about Rp 450.000, we rented a car from A Phi (0813-5499-6319) which including gas and driver. Yes... you do need local drivers to be able to drive in Medan. 

The weather is hot and humid... plenty of water is recommended. During midday, the temperature could reach in the 90's. If you want to avoid the heat, you may want to plan to arrive after 2-3 ish. The sun usually sets at 6... so you would have a good 2-3 hours to play on the beach. Public bath room and changing rooms are available. 

We went to local seafood restaurant called Inga. We ordered varieties of fresh catch for the day. They gave some recommendation on what to cook... it's either grilled, baked, fried or on a sweet and sour sauce. They all are using local spices. We had sweet and sour flowering crab and that is to die for. We spent about Rp 500.000 for 5 adults and a kid. That is including fresh coconut drinks ( you drink it from a coconut )

I guess the food is the highlights of the trip. Despite the humidity and the heat, the trip was worth going.

Monday, August 10, 2015

What can you do if you have 12 hours in Yogyakarta?

On my last trip to Indonesia, I had about 12 hours I can spend to visit new city. I decided to visit Borobudur in Java.

I booked the plane ticket from I booked the first flight out at around 5 am arrived at about 7 am, and last flight in to Jakarta, at around 8 pm. As for transportation in Yogya, I rented a car including driver and gas for about Rp. 500.000 through Sulistyo (cell phone :081578888168). Driver named is Kresna (081327718700) was waiting for us near BRI booth at Adisucipto airport. 

We had a clean car, I think it's called Avanza?, fits for 4 of us nicely. Our first stop was Kraton. They opened at 8:30 ish so we had to wait for about 30 min. It's OK... while we are waiting, we decided to write a postcard back home and went potty. It's a good idea to bring small change as they charged us to use potty ( around Rp 1000/person).

The ticket to kraton about Rp 15.000/person plus Rp 1000 for each camera you have. If you look Caucasian or from overseas, they charged you more...

We have a tour guide who is pretty fluent in English, Indonesian and Javanese. We spent about 1-1.5 hours at Kraton. Then, we stopped to buy Gudeg ( Yogyakarta authentic food) Mbok Yum to go. We then head to Borobudur, which is about 1.5 drive. We had lunch on the way to Borobodur. For Rp 100.000, you can hire a local guide. 

There are a lot of local vendor who offer you to buy hats, drinks and rent umbrellas. It could get a bit too much if you are not used to it. 
The weather was really hot... if feels like going to Utah in Summer + some humidity. So, do bring a lot of water and sun lotion.

We then decided to go to Prambanan, another temple on the east side of Yogya. The temple is so much smaller compares to Borobudur. There was a guide service offered for Rp. 100.000.

It was already closer to 3-4 pm. We needed to go back to the airport at around 6. On the way back to the airport, we stopped by a batik store, Soga and Ayam Suharti.

We had dinner on the plane... yummy chicken. With some planning, I think we really packed 12 hours in Yogya with new experience...

Saturday, August 1, 2015

"Skyscraper" summer program at Friend's School

Skyscrapers... skyscrapers... yes, we are building skyscrapers... These are not ordinary skyscraper models...  They are all build by summer school students grade 5-8 at Friend's School in Boulder.

The program runs by Conny Karman, from IDEA It Lab, July 20-24, 2015. Students explore how to draw front, side and top view of a structure, basic architecture design and then they design and build their own model. 

In addition to that, these models also pass the "mother nature" test... We provided our cutting edge "shake table" and also the new and improved "wind tunnel" for students to test its model. 

Students have the opportunity to show their models during our "show and tell" session. Parents, grand parents are welcome to the event. It's a great way to spend your Summer... 
Wouldn't you agree?

IDEA it lab programs available through schools. We focus on Summer, after school and GT enrichment program. If you are interested to have IDEA It Lab come to your school, please visit 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Summer Enrichment Program at UNCO - Greeley

Dream it... Build it...! At SEP 2015, you will find models of dream houses. From colorful house including its landscaping design, bubble under water house, hexagon house, to a two story dream house... yes...we have the models. 

These models are created by students grades 5-10 as part of Summer Enrichment Program that runs annually by University of Northern Colorado. Conny Karman, from IDEA It Lab, had the opportunity to share her talent in architectural design.

The program runs July 5-18, 2015. In addition to students from all over the state including Illinois, Wyoming, Texas, Nebraska, Arizona, we have students comes from all over the world including China, Taiwan and France.

Students learned how to draw front, side, top view. They put their new skills to practice to draw the room they are in. Then, students explore the basic architecture skills including exploring geometric shape in architecture and learning to use bubble diagram to organize their design.

Then using all their new skills to work, they design and make their dream house models.

At the end of the program, students share their models to their parents and friends... The best part is, they got to bring their models home...  It's a great place to spend your Summer... Wouldn't you agree?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Religious mommy name necklace

I recently received an order from a mom of 2 sons in Maine. It is inspired by my personalized gift necklace. Instead of a pearl, she would like to have cross on it.

The name of her son is handstamped on the bottom and brushed finish. Since it's only have 7 characters, it is stamped facing outward. All is made of sterling silver. It is great gift for anyone special. Wouldn't you agree?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Confirmation gift

New from Bigib, a confirmation necklace. It is made of sterling silver, hand stamped with confirmandi saint's name. Final product may be different than pictured. This personalized piece is a slightly oval, free form charm with some  coining details to create "old piece" character. Great gift for your special ones.
Please allow 7-10 working days for custom orders. To learn more, please visit

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

10 Strategies to help boost your creativity

Top 10 strategies to help boost your creativity.

10. Work in a peaceful, relaxing  place.
  9. Drinking your favorites drink helps. Margarita makes me dizzy. I'd go with a cup of tea...
  8. Observe... sometimes nature helps with your creativity ( including cloud gazing )
  7. Write down 100 ideas... usually after number 75, your have one of the most greatest ideas.
  6. Visit a museum, gallery, art shows. Do not copy the idea. You are looking for an inspiration...
  5. When you are stuck, do your chores, including laundry or clean up the kitchen.
  4. Talk to other friends.
  3. Doodles... on the napkin, on a piece of toilet paper. Sometimes right after shower would be the
      best time to get creative.
  2. Watch movies.
  1. Experiment with color, texture, shapes.
And don't forget to share some other ideas that works.

PS: I see a flying elephant in the cloud... What do you see?