What I do for work and why I think it matters.

img_0547I get asked these questions all the time: What is it you do for Actua? What is coding, what is computational thinking and why is it important?

I think Melissa Sariffodeen has done an incredible job summing this up for me in her recent Your Morning Segment on CTV. Thank you, Melissa (and everyone else working in this space)!

Computationally thinking, and scientific literacy more broadly, is so critical for our future and for our kid’s future. Why? Because we need to be better problem solvers, more critical thinkers and more capable and conscious makers. And coding is one way to do that. Increase the diversity of people empowered in this way and I think – scratch that – I know we can make the world a better place.
I encourage you to watch this 5 minute clip and learn a bit more about the issue and consequently, the work I’m doing at Actua.
I’m privileged to develop national programs and projects that help more kids learn these skills (among many others) in empowering, confidence boosting ways so that we can innovate social and economic change and leave a beautiful world and legacy to our grandchildren. This is truly my impetus for going to work every day.
I believe in this work so much I challenged myself to walk the walk. This year I started learning how to code (I built these two websites: jaceactually.com and dadsnaps.com) and explored multiple ways of making.
We are also consciously teaching Charlie to fail, to take risks, to play, to be curious, and when the time is right (which is sooner than you might expect!) we will introduce computationally thinking skills so that she can build/make anything she sets her mind to in the future.
That’s what this whole coding/maker movement means to me. This is what I do for work and why I think it matters. Still have questions? Leave a comment below, I’d love to talk about this issue more.

It Starts: at Home (DIY)

Essentialoils by jaceactuallydotcom

Remember how I was on a mission to make great baby gear? Well, now I’m on a mission to save the planet and make us a healthier home.

On my mission, I’ve fallen in love with essential oils. I’m using them for everything from aromatherapy, to food, to makeup and cleaning products.  Since most of my creative time has been spent in the kitchen  or at my workbench lately,  I’ve decided to start sharing these projects here.

One of my first projects, and perhaps my favourite is when I decided to make my own rose essential oil. I couldn’t afford to purchase high quality fair-trade rose oil so I did some research and made my own. The best part, I made it with the roses I got for my first Mother’s day. (Thank you Charlie!)

While I still have some time to wait before I can put this to use, I am already in the love with the results. Just look at that colour! Ah!

Here’s what I did:

+ Glass Jar
+ Rose Petals (wilted but not dry)

  1. Remove rose petals from the stem and rip into smaller pieces in order to increase the surface area. You can mortar and pestle this if you have it.
  2. Place loosely into a glass jar filling to about 3/4 full.
  3. Cover with extra virgin olive oil being sure to add 1inch more above your rose petals.
    • Use can substitute EVOO for Jojoba oil if you want to turn this into a beauty product.
  4. Secure the lid and shake to coat rose petals.
  5. Leave your jar in a sunny spot for 1 week to help the rose oil incorporate.
    • You can speed this process up by placing your sealed jar in a crockpot of water on low for 4-6 hours.
  6. Strain rose petals from oil with cheese cloth squeezing the petals to save as much oil as possible.
  7. Store in a cool, dark place.

I plan to use my oil in my diffuser as an alternative to candles/room spray. I think I’ll also add a few drops to my Rosemary Epsom salts! How do you use essential oils?





Pull up a Chair

Ikea High Chair Face Lift by Jace

Today marks the first day of our third trimester so it seemed like the perfect time to share my latest baby gear face lift. Today’s project features this Ikea High Chair (tray not shown). This was the quickest project yet. In keeping with our colour scheme I just upgraded the legs with some gold spray paint and applied a darling monogram in royal blue from GardenCityBoutique that I picked up on Etsy for under $3. Beautiful doesn’t need to be expensive. This project comes in under $25 and matches our chairs perfectly.