Sugru it!

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Have you guys heard of Sugru? I first saw it at Maker Faire several years ago and FINALLY bought some to play with because I had a sad iPhone charger in need of repair. The wires were fraying and detaching from each end of the cord. All my effort to cover the mess with white electrical tape did was make it a sticky, dirty mess 

Sugru is basically a moldable silicon-based glue. It comes in lovely colors that you can mix if desired. You knead the Sugru and shape it for whatever task (fix/attach/create) and then let it cure for 24 hours. When it dries it's smooth, soft, and flexible. It's kind of magic. I don't have to be delicate with my charger anymore. I'm able to plug it in right side up even in the dark, and I made a little handle for unplugging it.

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I have more packs and am contemplating my next move. It feels like one of those things I will soon wonder how I lived without. If you poke around the Sugru website you can see truly amazing projects other people have completed, from simple repairs like mine to ingenious modifications of gadgets, to improving & customizing outdoor gear, to making art. Scott is going to use some to modify his hiking shoes to help his gaiters stay attached. 

Sugru did not sponsor this post or send me any freebies...but they DO have great, fast, friendly customer service. I'm honestly impressed with the product and the company.

Do YOU have any DIY projects that need extra groovy ingredients? 

Newish Year

Larrabee State Park, WA

Larrabee State Park, WA

It's halfway through February, and I think I am finally ready to say Happy New Year and make some goals and plans for 2015. There have already been so many lovely moments: a lot of giggles, hugs, sights, good food, and important time with family & friends. I've made an effort to exercise, read, and spend time outdoors. But there have also been illnesses, uncertainty about if, when, and where we might settle, financial questions, and just general overthinking and stressing out about all the everything. The ups and downs have challenged my brain and body the last two months, culminating in a big, fat, 2-year-old-style, all-day, crying tantrum last week. For real. I couldn't pull it together that day. I can't change what happened, but it was another 'woah' moment that tells me (again) I need to take better care of myself. 

With that in mind, I feel I can't quite get a grasp on how to "do" this year, whether to make ambitious goals and plans, or just continue quietly and somewhat safely moment to moment. Be satisfied with things as they are, or make big changes? Or should I aim somewhere in between? 

I'm curious, what are your top goals for the year? Are they bold or gentle? Complicated or basic?

 

Austin is for friends.

Texas state capitol dome

Texas state capitol dome

We recently went to Austin, Texas to visit friends we hadn't seen in awhile. It was our first visit to Texas. We consciously decided to do no research and make no to-do lists....well other than eat BBQ. It was refreshing to have no other agenda but spending time with good people. And I think that's exactly what Austin is good for. It's got the quirkiness of Portland mixed with Southern hospitality, so everyone can feel at home...everyone is nice. There are a lot of outdoor spaces at restaurants, a river to play in and walk along right thru downtown. I get the feeling that early summer would be a great time to go...play outside, swim, see a million bats, eat outside, hear good music, and hang out with friends. 

Some highlights from our trip that you may enjoy: 

  • Dahlias Cafe for crazy good breakfast (this is actually 35 miles away in Liberty Hill...I would say it was worth the drive. They also have a playground for the kiddos).
  • Texas State Capitol for history and architecture and a reminder that Texas was a Confederate state
  • South Congress neighborhood to wander around for quirkiness, shopping, and food
  • BBQ, preferably at Matt's house (invitation only)

It does feel like you need a specific reason to go to Austin...a festival, friends, college, a job, or that sort of thing. Will we go again? Probably...we really like the people we know who live there (they all petitioned us to move there, but...no). Next time? There were vague mentions of caverns and "mountains" and lakes that would be fun to explore. I would love to see the bats fly out of the bridge. Maybe take a side trip to NASA in Houston.

opie's bbq, spicewood, tx

opie's bbq, spicewood, tx

Distractions

Inside 'Three Gems, 2005' by James Turrell @ the DeYoung Museum

Inside 'Three Gems, 2005' by James Turrell @ the DeYoung Museum

Two Dots -- I am completely addicted to this puzzle game on my iPhone. I honestly don't know whether to tell you to clear your schedule and start playing, or run screaming for the hills. The game is free, but there are in-app purchases that can help you through frustrating levels...thus, I have spent more money on this game than I care to admit to anyone. The sound and graphics are great, too.

Humans of New York -- A collection of real stories from real people seen on the streets of New York. If you've never looked at HONY, as it's known, you'll end up binging on it for a couple of hours. The stories can be funny, heartbreaking, and unbelievable. I very highly recommend scrolling through the archives to August/September when the photographer went on a trip with the United Nations.

Making Wax Food (via Colossal) -- I appreciate restaurant's fake window food a lot more now. What a strange and specialized craft. Fast forward the video to 3:31 for the magic cabbage.