Happy Thanksgiving

Hope today finds you happy, reflective, and cozy.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone - I'll be back with a Random Round Up on monday... December 1st. What?!


T1D Tuesday: Get After It

For the month of November - Type 1 Diabetes Awareness Month - my Monday Random Round Up goes on hiatus, making way for T1D Tuesday. 
Let's get educated, motivated, and moving on making Type One, Type None. 
Donate to my cousin Ella's efforts by clicking right here.

I've told you about my reason for promoting research and awareness for Type 1 Diabetes. I've told you about the research being done and the advancements being made. We've talked personal stories and hard science. And it's been great.

But now what? What can you do?

It's not all about dollars (although, super awesome if you want to support that way). There are tons of ways to get involved and create your own network of spreading the word.
There are JDRF support chapters all over the country (and even the world), and you can find your nearest one right here. Your local chapter can offer personal contacts in the area, local activities, and even a brick-and-mortar office if you prefer face to face info gathering.
Ella at the doc
JDRF is all about being active too: Runs, walks, even bike rides, with proceeds going to fund research and development like what I've described this past month.

So many ways to support and get involved on any level you're comfortable with - Check it out.
And just to make sure we're all passing along quality information, take spin through these common myths about Type 1. Some of them SO common, you will be surprised to find they're not actually true!

Thanks for hanging with me every Tuesday in November, guys. Not only is the topic important, but how often these days to we get to say 'a cure is within reach' and mean it. Really mean it. A girl who is now nine could see a day when she wakes up and thinks "remember when I was diabetic...?"

Past tense is a beautiful thing. We can make it happen.
"I'm going to be a Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon when I grow up."


Because, Why Not

How long has it been since you dove headfirst into something brand new? Like, truly never-done-it-before, no-idea-what-you're-doing, new-new.

Putting so much time into slightly mundane house projects (sigh, I love you cabinets, but you sucked out my soul) has left me with a bit of creative stagnation. I needed a jump start.
The inspiration - Which I still like better, but hey. I'm no pro.
Seeing a painting my friend purchased for her home was my inspiration, so one trip to the craft store later I was set up with a giant canvas and six acrylic paint colors to play with. I set up my easel - an old chair on top of a plastic storage bin - my painter's palette - a cookie sheet covered with foil - and of course my artist's brush - an old spackle knife. Nothing but class here, folks.
I spent a couple hours, I left and came back, I added marks as I walked by. There were moments when I hated it and thought I was a fool for trying, and other times when I was pretty sure I should be setting up an Etsy shop immediately so the money could roll in.
End result? I'm pretty happy with my artwork, but trying something new creatively was the best part. So here's what I leave you with this weekend: Try something. Hop on Pinterest or your (other) favorite blog and find a craft, a recipe, a hairstyle, a type of traditional folk dance, what-ev-er, and try it.
Currently living in the guest room, may move down to the powder room... TBD.
Because, why not!


T1D Tuesday: Fake It To Make It

For the month of November - Type 1 Diabetes Awareness Month - my Monday Random Round Up goes on hiatus, making way for T1D Tuesday. 
Let's get educated, motivated, and moving on making Type One, Type None. 
Donate to my cousin Ella's efforts by clicking right here.

Along with filling you in on some incredible new research like encapsulation last week, I want to give you an update on things I told you about last year: Namely, work on the artificial pancreas. If you donated to the cause last year, you've helped advance this crazy-in-the-best-way creation.
Type 1 Diabetes, in it's most basic form, is when the pancreas fails to produce adequate insulin to release into the bloodstream to regulate sugar levels. Right now, the only way to remedy the situation is to monitor blood sugar levels in diabetics, administering insulin doses via shots or an inserted pump, which reduces injections but not monitoring duties. Neither are comfortable, and neither give a diabetic any real peace of mind. They think about their sugar levels all. the. time.

I'm going to let the experts handle the description of the research currently being done, so straight from the American Diabetes Association:
The artificial pancreas system – which includes an insulin pump, software and sensors that track blood glucose levels on a continuous basis – reduced the incidence of nocturnal hypoglycemia events by 32 percent and the duration and severity of those incidents by 38 percent, by shutting off insulin delivery for two hours once glucose levels reached a predefined threshold value (usually 70 mg/dL) the study showed. The threshold suspend feature is part of the MiniMed 530 G system, made by Medtronic and is currently undergoing review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This feature is available internationally in the MiniMed Veo System, where it is called Low Glucose Suspend.
Hypoglycemia is of great concern because it can lead to unconsciousness, seizures and even death. Overnight hypoglycemia is a concern for most patients and family members of those with type 1 diabetes.
The work toward production of the artificial pancreas system is real. Although organ transplants are nothing but serious business, the concept of working around a faulty one with a mechanized version is already in practice. Think artificial heart valves: They replace one part of an organ, becoming a man-made alternative functioning as a part of the internal human body. Living proof? My own mom.

So in the last year, we've gone from working concept to reality-being-reviewed-by-the-FDA. If that's not a happy update, I don't know what is. Again and as always, THANK YOU if you donated last year, and if you haven't yet: What are you waiting for? This stuff is amazing!

Edited to include:
Check out this great article posted on CNN today about what it's like to face the stigma of being diabetic.


Kitchen Kompleted

I can't even tell you how happy it makes me to write this post. No more scrubbing, sanding, priming, painting, drilling, wrangling..... DONE.

I showed you the bottom half completed here, but now: The really big show (thanks, Ed).

Hard at times, dirty often, extremely time consuming work, but totally, completely, entirely worth it.
Top: Move-in day. Bottom: Now.
Purchased this cute contact paper on Amazon.
Of course, my brain goes to 'what's next'... backsplash, for one. But I'm trying to take a minute or two every day just to stand there and realize this portion - this big portion - is DONE. And that's a pretty enjoyable piece of time.


Clean, sand to bare wood, wipe down with liquid deglosser, prime (dry completely), paint - 2 coats (dry completely between each).
Measure, create a jig, measure, measure,... measure, drill, attach handles, re-hang/install.
Put lining in drawers.

Electric sander, stain-blocking primer, liquid deglosser, Benjamin Moore Advance paint (Decorators White).
2" handle angled paint brush, foam roller, vinyl bumpers.
New hardware (from here)

Time frame:
Can you devote all your time? Days.
Do you have things to do? Weeks. Yes, plural.

Absolutely Necessary:


T1D Tuesday: Encapsulation

For the month of November - Type 1 Diabetes Awareness Month - my Monday Random Round Up goes on hiatus, making way for T1D Tuesday. 
Let's get educated, motivated, and moving on making Type One, Type None. 
Donate to my cousin Ella's efforts by clicking right here.

I can't even come up with a cute title for this post, because this concept just blows my mind.
The image above sounds wonderful, right? But the really exciting stuff is in the details: Encapsulation is basically a synthetic material being created to - you guessed it - encapsulate the cells in the body that produce insulin. These cells could then be transplanted into diabetics, allowing them to theoretically live like they are diabetes-free for two years.

Did you hear that? Allowing them to live like they are NO LONGER DIABETIC. Mind: Blown.

Here's a more science-based summation, direct from the JDRF website:
This protective, semi-permeable shielding will be designed to allow beta cells in islets to sense glucose and produce insulin, but be protected from immune destruction by two types of attack-autoimmune attack that caused diabetes in the first place, and the alloimmune rejection of foreign tissue transplanted into the body. 
This incredible step bounding leap of an advancement needs more time and money and brain power put in to make it truly successful, but the science is real and the idea is actively being tested. Last year JDRF was able to fund a 4.3 million dollar research project on encapsulation alone. And if you donated to the cause you were a part of that. Thanks!

Want to be a part this year? Click here to donate to my cousin Ella's fundraising efforts. A nine year old diabetic herself, encapsulation is a real possibility to have an effect on her life. Science is incredible.


Selfish And Proud Of It.

Because sometimes, it really is all about me.

I know how bratty that sounds, but every once in a while you need to focus inward, figure things out, and make some changes. Challenge yourself. Grow. All the Dr. Phil words.
image and ordering
My path was to commit to P90X3, an intense 90 day workout program executed by using a set of DVDs, very little equipment, and an ocean of sweat. And... I did it.

The P90X system also recommends (that's the kindest word I can come up with) that you change your eating plan; a little by eating healthier (good.) and a lot by adding their vitamin-packed blended drinks called Shakeology. I'm all for healthy eating, but in my little world, buying bags of powder and replacing meals with them is not a sustainable program. So my decision was: If I can't continue with it, why start. I've seen others who've gone all-in on the workouts-and-Shakeology program get mind blowing results... Only to come crashing to earth when they start eating real food again. No thanks. I'll take less impactful results I can maintain and improve upon.
And speaking of results, I got some. And I'll be honest: My brain has been swayed by the slick editing of shows like The Biggest Loser and before-and-after snapshots from P90X superstars. I was expecting more. But when I think about it, that's silly. I wasn't in hideous shape before I started, and I'm so. much. stronger now. The difference I feel is incredible. Plus - bonus - I lost 3 pounds and 2.5 inches overall. What, you were expecting 13 pounds? 30? Me too, admittedly, especially after I dropped four in week one. But like I said: Silly. Inches are HARD to lose, and I lost more than 2 of 'em. My clothes fit better, my muscles are considerably more defined, and I have energy for days.
This is the one time you're not going to see me post a before and after on this blog. Here comes that Dr. Phil again, but for me, this ended up being more about the journey and not so much about the end product. Working out for 90 days in a row sucks. There are days when I just flat out wanted to throw a tantrum. But I did it. Every. Damn. Day. And you know what? It was my first day off yesterday and I couldn't wait to come home and jump on the spin bike.

Something changed in me. And isn't that the whole point of a challenge anyway?


T1D Tuesday: My Reason

For the month of November - Type 1 Diabetes Awareness Month - my Monday Random Round Up goes on hiatus, making way for T1D Tuesday. Let's get educated, motivated, and moving on making Type One, Type None. 
Donate to my cousin Ella's efforts by clicking right here.

I don't have Type 1 Diabetes. Neither does my husband. Or my parents, or his parents, or any of my friends.

So why? Why do I care?

My 9 year old cousin Ella was diagnosed with T1D in 2011 as an active, creative, and smart-as-a-whip seven year old. Here's her story, as told by her mom:
When she was diagnosed I realized how little I really knew about diabetes of all sorts. How straight are you on the facts? Take a quick spin through this quiz and find out. I still have so much to learn! Meet me back here next Tuesday and we'll get some insight on some crazy-amazing research happening right now.


T1D Day!

November is Type 1 Diabetes Awareness Month, and today - November 1st - is T1Day across the country.

Depending on how long you've been checking up on this blog, you may or may not know about my cousin Ella, who was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age 7. It gave me insight to a disease I'd hardly paid attention to prior, and the strides being made in research are straight-out-of-science-fiction incredible.

Knowing a cure could come so soon - in Ella's lifetime even - makes me want to spread the word like wildfire. And hey, if I raise a little money along the way to advance the research even more... In the words of Matthew McConaughey: Alright, alright, alright.

Just like last year, my weekly Random Round Up will be replaced with T1D Tuesday for the month of November. Get ready to hear about some incredible and exciting stuff! So shake off that Halloween sugar hangover, and - how appropriate - let's make Type 1 into Type None.

 Already feeling motivated? Give to Ella, walking in the JDRF One Walk: For A World Without Type 1 Diabetes in the Twin Cities right here.