Skip this if you don't want to hear a proud wife brag. You've been warned.
Nate has officially begun the engineering degree, and the kickoff is calculus. Just spelling out the word makes me gag, let alone looking at the numbers. But the hubs is good at math, and is proving it by being officially an A student.

I really could not be prouder. Bursting!! First assignment: A. Second assignment: A. First exam? A.
After working hard all day he comes home and hits the books for at least 2 hours - Longer on the weekends. The class is a distance course, meaning it's 100% online and is pretty much self-taught. The professor assigns the homework, Nate does it, scans and submits his work, and waits for feedback while starting on the next assignment. He finds lectures and examples by searching YouTube and other internet sources, and takes notes from those and his textbook. The tests are timed, meaning I got to "help" on this first one by firing up the iPhone stopwatch and answering every time I heard a "how much time have I got left?" from the dining room.
His dedication and focus are just amazing to me. Proud, proud, proud of you, babe.

This week's Random Round Up will be coming a little later in the week - Had to mix things up to make room for my pride!


Because You Helped...!

It's coming time for some JDRF fundraising again soon, and as a little warm-fuzzy incentive, I wanted to show you something you helped develop if you've made a donation in the past:
This is incredible, you guys. This little machine called the MiniMed 530G with Enlite acts as - ready for this? - an artificial pancreas. An internal pump, it can figure out when the diabetes patient needs insulin and when they don't, keeping kiddos (starting at age 16) and adults alike running smoothly without shots. How does that happen? Here's a little diagram to give you the gist:
The MiniMed 530G with Enlite just got it's FDA approval, meaning it's ready to hit the market and change some lives pretty close to now.

Here are some of the high points:
*Automatically stops insulin delivery when the sensor glucose values reach a present low level.
*Provides better glucose control compared to multiple daily injections.
*Better detection of low and high glucose values.
*Improved sensor accuracy.
*More comfortable, smaller sensor that is 38% shorter in length.
*Longer sensor life - Enlite can be worn for six days of use.
*Easier insertion.
*I strongly encourage you to read the whole article here - Science is amazing!

Now, some of that might not mean a lot to those of us without diabetes, but to a patient, that list of bullet points could add up to a totally changed existence. So thank you, thank you, thank you if you've donated in the past, and - fair warning - you'll be hearing about a new opportunity to do so in the near future right here from me.
A cure for Ella, a cure for all!

• Automatically stops insulin delivery when sensor glucose values reach a preset low level
• Provides better glucose control compared to multiple daily injections(iv)
• Better detection of low and high glucose values(v)
• Improved sensor accuracy
• More comfortable, smaller sensor(vi)  that is 38% shorter in length
• Longer sensor life- Enlite can be worn for six days of use
• Easier insertion with the new Enlite serter that includes a hidden introducer needle and a one button insertion process - See more at: http://www.loop-blog.com/blog/Introducing-the-MiniMed-530G-with-Enlite#sthash.JWaVwz2x.dpuf
MiniMed 530G® system with Enlite®
MiniMed 530G® system with Enlite®



Can I admit something here guys? I'm stuck.

Work is crazy and exhausting right now, and it's sopping up any creative juices I have. So frusterating! For me, I usually have a fairly steady stream of ideas and inspiration to make and do. So when I hit a creative dry spell, it makes me practically come out of my skin. I want to do things, I just don't have any ideas!
And actually that's a lie - With Pinterest and the web, the ideas come thick and fast. So perhaps it really boils down to a big ol' lack of motivation. Motivation and energy.

My bestie is coming up for the weekend, and one of her requests was that we 'do something crafty'. When she said it, I was inwardly almost a little nervous: Will I come up with anything to do? If I try something will it come out horribly? But the more I think about it, the more I'm excited to force it, as strange as that sounds. Maybe this creative rut has become a little too comfy, and it's time to stretch a little.

After all, what are friends for but to stretch you, support you, and ultimately make you smile. So glad she's coming this weekend, I need it.


Random Round Up: Fandemonium

Autumn officially began this weekend, and it was filled with fresh air, friends, and football... Just like fall should be.
Rain forecasted, but nothing but sun came down.
I got up for a glass of water and lost my spot to the pooch...
Man-ify-ing the guest room for a friend.
A 6am start for tailgating means mimosas and this crazy game.
Siri always offers colorful recaps - Good weekend to  love football in WA!
Happy first official week of fall!


On The Side

It's the upgrade that almost wasn't.

I go through phases where I'll buy just about anything within reason, and then a switch gets flipped and I'm back to my scrimpy-save-y ways, scrutinizing every penny and over-analyzing every purchase for long-term value.

We were in the neighborhood of our local Home Goods store recently and Nate suggested we pop in to look for bar stools for our soon-coming table (next month, eeeee!). We struck out there, but spotted a great side table. Slowly but surely we've been upgrading our Ikea college leftovers, and deep down I knew this was just the thing. But... Sixty dollars? At that moment it felt sickening.
I got over it. And the more minutes it's in our home, the more I love it. Buh-bye black blocky Ikea table, helloooooo weathered, wrought-iron loveliness.
Lesson learned? If I see something I know is perfect, it's a great price for the quality, and it's in a place where they only sell one and it will only be there once.... For heaven's sake, BUY IT. Big ol' shout-out to the hubs for convincing me of my own lunacy and pretty much picking up both the table and I and taking us to the cash register. It's a keeper (and so's he).


Fair Play

The Washington State Fair has always been a pretty big deal in my world - I looked forward to it every year as a kid, and although I don't go every year anymore, I'm pretty much just as excited about it as an adult. The animals, the food, just the whole thing - I love it! Held in Puyallup (say it with me kids: pew-AL-up), it's a bit of a trek to get there, but was totally worth it. Here's a snippet of our day at the fair:
The ferris wheel, of course.
Newly shorn sheep get chilly!
Ridiculous Alert: Apple Fries (pretty much individual apple pies)
Sums it up, eh?
Belgians. I'm so.very.happy when in a barn. Bliss.
Guinea pig judging. Naturally.
Last but not least, a little video dose of the Northwest: Chainsaw carving!
That last photo of the guinea pig judging makes me laugh every time. It was all so serious! Anyway, the rain held off, we ate a few variations of deep-fried-nonsense, and I got to wander around in barns of all kinds. Pretty perfect! Until next year, fair...


Random Round Up: Alive Again!

It's SO GOOD not to be sick anymore. Nothing makes you grateful for the day to day like being able to breathe through your nose again. Ahhhh. Enjoyed every minute of finally being up and running again this weekend:
Well hello, strange, horned caterpillar.
Organized jewelry = Feeling like I'm shopping!
Suddenly realized my entire home gym is royal blue...
Even 'The Big B' was ready for the Seahawks-49ers rivalry game - 12th Man Flag
Washington State Fair!! I was in heaven. More later.
Have a great week!


So, What Sound DOES a Fox Make?

This video has been the highlight of my week - Can't. Stop. Laughing.

Enjoy (and yes, it'll be stuck in your head, well, forever)...
Can't play it from this page? Here it is on YouTube.


Easy Upgrade: Closet Door Hardware

Okay, so it's not edge-of-your-seat riveting content here. But I just have to share it because really: Who doesn't like a cheap upgrade that takes 15 minutes? No one, that's who. Chew on that double negative.

On with the show! Honestly I don't remember picking up this package of closet door replacement hardware, but it's been hanging around for at least a year. It caught my eye this weekend, and grabbing an it-came-with-something-from-Ikea tool that happened to be sitting on the guest room bureau, I knocked this upgrade off the to-do list in about 15 minutes.
1 package = 2 pulls and 4 nails.
Gently loosening the edges...
...which in turn raised the tiny nails. Pry them out and lift out the pull.
 I'm sure there's a chicer, more preferable method for prying these guys out of your sliding doors, but I'm a use what you have kind of gal. Whatever tool you pick up, be very gentle so as not to damage your closet doors. But, ta-da! The before and after:
A subtle, but great, upgrade.
 The installation was a simpler version of the extrication: Pop in the hardware, make sure it's centered in terms of a nail hole level on each side, and push in the nails. I didn't require a hammer at all because the closet door is such a soft material.

Like I said, not a thrilling tale... Not even a huge impact like some other projects. But sometimes it's the little details that add up to making a room look like it has it together. And in turn, you might just look like YOU have it together.

Well... as long as the closet never gets opened anyway.


Random Round Up: Laying Low

It was a weekend-o-sickness at our house, cancelled plans and all. Luckily I'm on the upswing, so hopefully the hubs will be soon. And plans are just shifted to this weekend, so another week to look forward to 'em I guess, right?
Late bloomers.
Getting some extra heat coming off the oven.
Playing with faux leathers - No results yet, but I'll let you know.
Napping boys.
Spotted (ha) an owl on our daily walk - Ran back for pics.
Sorry for the delay in posting - Some strange Blogger glitch this morning. Happy Monday!


Back Yard Yield

It's a backyard mini-harvest 'round here. What is it that's so magical about walking into your own yard and picking a fresh snack? I don't know, but I love it.
The tomatoes I can't keep my hands off of, but there are too many plums to just hork down... What to do? Why, plum coffee cake of course:
It may not look spectacular, but I can't even tell you how good it is. So! Make your own (recipe via BigOven.com - I use the app and use it all. the. time. Go download it immediately.):

1/4C margarine
3/4C sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 1/2C all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2C skim milk
2C halved and pitted ripe plums (that's about 10 plums if they're the small,
                                                            backyard-tree kind I use)

1/2C packed brown sugar (dark is best)
1 tbsp margarine
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°.
Grease a 9 inch pan. Cream together margarine, sugar, and egg yolks until fluffy. Combine flour and baking powder; beat into egg mixture alternately with milk. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry; fold into batter. Turn into prepared pan. Arrange plums over top.
Combine topping ingredients brown sugar, margarine, and cinnamon. Mix well (aka: squish it up with your fingers) and sprinkle over fruit. Bake 35 to 45 minutes until top of cake is lightly browned and fruit is soft.

Delicious warm, cold, or anywhere in between. Have at it, kids. Enjoy!


Random Round Up: Go Team

The last weekend of summer means the kickoff of fall... and fall around here means football season. A home-town college game and a fantasy football draft officially launched autumn at our house!
Football season calls for custom accessories.
Game day, game garb, game face.
Fantasy Football research - I don't mess around.
Seemed like an appropriate shirt for the Fantasy draft.
 It was also 'free access to U.S. immigration records weekend' on Ancestry.com, so I took full advantage of that (and signed up for yet another 14 day free trial...) - I made it all the way back to 1602 with one line from my mom's side. Incredible! Seeing the words "10 times great grandfather" is just mind-blowing to me.
Tracing my lineage.
 Happy fall and happy (short!) week ahead.