New Windows 10 Features You May Have Missed

Did you recently upgrade to Windows 10?  

Upgrading to yet another version of Windows can be tedious and understandably it gets old having to readjust to new graphic interfaces every couple of years!   Fortunately, this new operating system is proving to be a vast improvement from Windows 8, and some would even say its becoming their top choice over the beloved Windows 7 Professional!

Here’s some of the new features you may have missed:

The Task View button.

Use the Task View button on the taskbar to see and switch between open apps.  You can still use Alt-Tab on your keyboard, but this little shortcut comes in handy if you are stuck to your mouse movements.

Hooray for Snap Assist.

Windows 10 Snap Assist Gif by Tech2.

Use Snap Assist to display a 50/50 split screen view of two apps. Drag the title bar (the bar at the top of the window) to the right or left until it snaps into place. You can snap up to four apps by dragging their title bars into the corners of your screen. Task view displays a thumbnail—reduced image of a graphic—of each open window.

Pin Apps to the Start Menu…like the Recycle Bin!

In the latest versions of Windows, the recycle bin hasn’t been very easy to access.  Oddly enough, pinning the Recycle Bin to the taskbar was a bit complicated.  Finally in Windows 10, the option is now available with a simple right-click. Open up an Explorer window and, under Favorites, click Desktop. Right-click the icon that says Recycle Bin and you now have the option to Pin to Start.  This will place the Recycle Bin in the Start Menu. You can also put it on the taskbar if you drag from the Start Menu!  You can’t drag the Recycle Bin shortcut directly from the desktop to the Taskbar, but at least its a step in the right direction.

Grab Images with the Snipping Tool.

Technically not new but you may have missed it in Windows 7.  Go to your search bar and type Snipping Tool.  Select New and select any area on your desktop or  application you would like to capture.  

With Cortana Personalizations, Your OS Can Say Your Name.

Cortana was the digital voice for Windows Mobile devices and now has graduated to Windows 10.  To personalize your settings,  type Cortana Settings in the search bar.  Cortana & Search Settings will open up and from here you have a wide variety of personalizations.

Use a pin instead of a password.

Open the Start Menu and access the Settings section. In the left side menu of the Accounts window, choose Sign-in options. Now, if you’ll look in right pane you’ll see a section called PIN.

Advanced Command Prompt.

With the release of Windows 10, Microsoft was very excited to announce that Ctrl-V would work inside the command prompt. . Right-click on the title bar of a command prompt window, select Properties, and click the Experimental tab and there are several other new features you can enable.  You can wrap text to the edge of the window, as well as adjust the width to whatever size you want.

Conclusion

Take some time and get familiar with these features and it will greatly improve your functionality and productivity either at home or at work.  Are you looking to upgrade your home or business to Windows 10?  Contact my friends at Magic City Systems today and they will help make the transition go smoothly and effortlessly.

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Stardew For Realz Homeschool Quest Series: Year 1 Spring 2016

StardewforrealzStardew For Realz Homeschooling Lesson Plan:  Year 1 Spring/June 2016  

Skill Highlights:

  • Solution Creating
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Applied Technology
  • Research
  • Reading & Writing

 

As a homeschooling parent, it often times takes ingenuity to spark your kid’s attention.  In setting upon this quest to be the main leader of my kid’s education, I’ve been looking upon lesson plans in a new light; from a different angle; a perspective outside of the box.  How do you apply mathematics, solution creating, computation and science all into one homeschooling project? Yep, my Geeky Moms friends, you’ve guessed it – by playing games like Star Dew Valley.  Now, taking this a step further, let’s step back into the real world and make our own farming adventure a real life lesson plan.

Which brings me to this new Geeky Moms’ series entitled “Stardew For Realz Homeschool Quests.”  Each week, I will post our updates on the types of activities and lesson plans built around Stardew Valley, real-world farming, computation, mathematics, solution creating, art, reading and science. (more…)

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Zentangle – Homeschool Art Project for Kids

20160302_115953The Zentangle art form and method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. Its an abstract method of drawing with repeated patterns within a pattern.  For example, you can start with a myriad of lines on a page, fill up each block with a different pattern, and you have successfully ‘tangled.’  The great thing about this method of art is that its very meditative and develops focus and creativity.  As tangledpatterns.com highlights: “The Zentangle Method “increases focus and creativity, provides artistic satisfaction along with an increased sense of personal well being. The Zentangle Method is enjoyed all over this world across a wide range of skills, interests and ages.” As CZT Margaret Bremner has written, “One of the lovely things about Zentangle is that it isn’t supposed to BE anything. Even more, it’s SUPPOSED to NOT be a something. … Zentangle is simply beautiful patterns playing harmoniously together. Zentangle-inspired art (ZIA) is another story; it can be Something if you want.”(Read more here from tangledpatterns.com… What is a Zentangle?)

I was so excited to give this method a try with my kids and art students at our local homeschool academy!  We have been going through lessons on patterns, hatching, shading methods and perseption.  Zentangle is a nice segway into colorful design, patterning and shading, and its so much fun.  The added bonus to this artform is the only real rule is to just fill each section with a pattern.  The kids are not limited to anything else, and can let their imagination and mindfulness roam on the page!

For this project, I purchased cardstock paper and colorful sharpies with different types of tips.  Usually a fine tip marker or pen is the chosen method, but you can branch out into different styles of pens.

For the younger students, I drew lines creating triangles and squares on a page for them to start out.  You can find a lot of starting page patterns on the web.  I printed out sample patterns for them to get ideas, and there are a lot of those available online as well.

The result was a lot of fun and stunning artwork!  The classroom was so quiet…it was like they were all in a meditative state! :)  This project is to develop focus and mindfulness in the student, and a also gives them an art method that they can take with them and go as far as they desire.

 

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Heart Sushi

My sushi creations continue – this time with real yummy sushi!  I was inspired to create something extra special for Valentine’s day this year, and what’s more perfect than strawberries, which are naturally a heart shape on the inside.  It was a little tricky to roll, and you have to make sure to set the strawberry correctly in the roll in order for it to cut like a heart.  When I make this again, I will trim off some sides of the strawberry so its not so big, which makes it a little hard to manage during the rolling.

But my kids loved it and at them all!

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How to Make Model Sushi Out of Clay

Model Clay Sushi

Clay Sushi Model made by this Geeky Mom!

I was gifted with some air dry clay to help inspire me for my art class.  I’ve been wanting to make fake food out of clay for awhile, especially sushi!  I was so excited to give this a try.  Next project, I will test my skills to make an earing and necklace set out of clay. 😀

What You Will Need:

airdryclay

  • Air Dry Clay (I used the Crayola brand)
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Paint Brushes
  • Patience and Fun!!

I created the individual pieces for the Nigiri sushi and set them on top of each other to dry together.  The sushi roll is all one piece with the exception of the filling.  For those, I created little pieces of clay and attached to the middle to give it dimension.

Allow to dry for 48 hours, and then paint.

The Internet is full of ideas for using air dry clay.  Explore and enjoy the possibilities!

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MeMe’s Chicken Roll Ups

My children’s grandma (tenderly referred to as MeMe to us :) ) developed this amazing recipe. Its been awhile since we’ve cooked it here in our household, and thankfully a little whisper in my ear said, “hey you are craving chicken roll up filling!” I ‘try’ to eat a more Paleo style diet so the croissant wrap is not on my regime, but the filling is close enough for me.

Chicken filling

Chicken filling

Chicken filling:

Cooked shredded chicken (You can cook a whole chicken, or a pound of chicken breasts.)

8 ounce package of cream cheese

4 Green Onions, chopped

Heat the cream cheese for 30 seconds to make it easier to stir.  Mix the chicken, cream cheese and onions together.

Cream sauce:

1 can of cream of chicken soup

1 cup of sour cream

1/4 cup of white wine (optional)  or 1/4 cup of chicken broth (optional), otherwise reduce with water or milk.

Mix all ingredients in a saucer and heat on the stove on medium heat.  Reduce heat to low.

Now you are ready to make the roll ups!

Preheat the oven based on the croissant dough requirements.

Roll Ups:

2 packages of croissant dough

Chicken filling

Dab of sauce

Take a piece of the croissant dough and add chicken filling.  Dab with a tsp of sauce.  Roll up like the instructions for a croissant.  Place on an ungreased pan.  Continue until all the chicken filling/dough is done.  Back for 15 minutes or until the croissants are golden brown.

Serve on a plate and add more sauce to the top.  Delicious!!

For a more Paleo like roll up, I just eat the chicken filling with some sauce.  Its not completely “Paleo” as there is dairy and the chicken soup, but you do eliminate the bread from the meal.

The Finished Rollups

The Finished Roll Ups

 

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Homeschooling Activity – STEM: Will pumpkin boats float?

If you are familiar with STEM, then you know how much fun it can be for kids to put on their thinking caps, work as a team to tackle a question, and create a solution.  With this project, we had a bunch of little pumpkins left from Halloween and Thanksgiving, so the question came up:  can you make boats out of pumpkins?

The kids came up with the design, and added a sail with a straw and a piece of paper.  After the first test run, it was concluded that a stronger sail was needed for future designs.

 

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Project Happiness

I just discovered the Project Happiness resources. As a parent, homeschooler, professor, and teacher this site is a gift! As a child who grew up shifted towards the negative, and feeling the heavy darkness, I always looked for ways to improve my life via my thoughts and emotions. At the time I was seen as a Pollyanna, but now the world is finally opening up to the wonderful truth – we are alive to feel joy and have fun. :)

Every educator should instill these techniques and help our youth rise up even farther than imagined.

http://www.projecthappiness.org/why-creativity-makes-us-feel-more-alive/

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Super Easy Rice Noodle Soup

This recipe is so super easy and fast, even your children can improvise on this one!  Its fresh and nutritious and tastes so good!

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