Katrina crack corn, and she don’t care

Katrina crack corn, and she don’t care 5

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Happy New Year! I hope you all had a blast ringing in 2014 with family, friends, fireworks…and of course…a little bit of bubbly!

I’m currently sitting in the far corner of the SeaTac airport “A” gates, my body still swollen and uncomfortably full from last night’s New Year’s Eve indulgences. Let’s just say there was a moment where I was legitimately afraid my stomach would rupture in my sleep and kill me as a result of being so full. Luckily, being that stuffed means it’s easy to fall asleep really quickly, despite worrying about expiring overnight due to too much crack corn.

That’s right, crack corn. (Named for it’s highly addictive properties.)

While I know today is all about juice cleanses, gym memberships and swearing you’ll never secretly eat an entire fruitcake ever again, I’ve decided to set myself apart from the pack of  “new year, new you!” bloggers by sharing a terrifically unhealthy holiday recipe.  I’d also like to publicly thank my friend Kaitlin for sharing this oh so simple concoction with me–my life has been forever changed for the better, Kaitlin. (My pants also no longer fit…but it was totally worth it.)

Crack corn requires just two ingredients: Almond bark or vanilla candy coating, and a few bags of puff corn.

puff-corn

 

How I’ve existed for nearly 30 years without being aware of puff corn is both a mystery and a tragedy. What is puff corn, you ask? Butter flavored Cheet-ohs that taste like greasy, delicious styrofoam. Admittedly, that might not be the most convincing description…but don’t let my words deter you. You should definitely give puff corn a chance.

So how does puff corn become crack corn? Prepare to be inspired….

Step One:

almond-bark

Melt 24 ounces of almond bark or candy coating in a large pan. The bigger, the better. (If you’ve never melted this stuff before, the key is to do it on super low heat and stir continuously.)

 

Step 2:

mix

Dump two bags of puff corn–not sure how many ounces they are…but use the medium ones marked ‘$2 only!’–into the pot of melted almond bark and stir until coated. You’ll definitely want to remove the pot from the heat before doing this. (Yup. Learned that one the hard way.)

 

Step 3:

cooling

Once the crack corn is fully coated, pour the contents of the pot onto a large sheet of wax paper to cool and harden. You’ll probably eat half of your yield before it cools, which is completely acceptable. It’s part of the process.

 

Step 4:

After 20-30 minutes of cooling, transfer the crack corn into a large bowl. You will most likely have to break some large clusters apart while doing so. Or you could just eat the large clusters, even if you have a difficult time fitting them in your mouth as they are so large. Smacking and chewing with your mouth open is encouraged and scientifically proven to enhance the crack corn’s flavor profile.

(This step is not pictured for what I hope to be obvious reasons.)

*******

I hope you enjoy this simply addictive recipe as much as I have over the past two weeks. Whipping up a batch guarantees your taste buds will love you…and your thighs will hate you. And really, isn’t that what the holidays are all about?

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The mindful, Sporwegian painter who had no cellulite

The mindful, Sporwegian painter who had no cellulite 11

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I’m one of those people who absolutely loves ringing in the new year. It’s not the champagne, the fireworks, or even the sequined cocktail wear and ridiculous head accessories. For this girl, it’s all about the resolutions.

I’m a huge believer in goal setting, and love starting out the month of January with some ambitions I’d like to conquer during the next 365 days. It’s not that I’m unhappy with myself or my life — I just love setting my sights on a target, and chipping away until I hit my mark. Nothing feels better than accomplishing something big — especially when I’m the one reaping the benefits of the achievement.

And so, it is with optimism, drive, and just a pinch of delusion that I present to you my four major resolutions for 2014:

 

Become fluent in Sporwegian

I’ve dreamed of becoming bilingual for as long as I can remember, and have spent the past week debating whether to focus my efforts on learning Norwegian or Spanish. While Old Norse is the native tongue of my ancestors, I must remember it certainly isn’t the most practical dialect in the world. (Even if you do reside in Minnesota.)

I studied Spanish for nearly eight years in school. I’m pretty rusty, but surely I’d remember quite a bit once I started practicing, right? Plus, Spanish would be something I might actually use from time to time–even if it is just to impress my friends on vacation.  Also? Unlike Norwegian, Spanish is offered by Rosetta Stone.

(And yes…I’ve decided to go the RS route. Unless anyone has a better suggestion? I’d love to hear what methods worked best for all the bilingual readers out there.)

 

Focus on “Mindfulness”

At the risk of being one of those people who says things like “An article I read in Women’s Health magazine totally changed my life!”, an article in Women’s Health magazine has kind of changed my life.

This piece on the concept of mindfulness focuses on living in the now. Turns out people who embrace enjoying the moment aren’t only happier, they’re also healthier! I’ve blogged before about how postponing my happiness for perfect circumstances is not how I want to live. And so, in an effort to truly live in the moment, I’m planning on buying a hippie-dippie book like this one and learning to meditate.

(Please feel free to stage an intervention if I start wearing tie-dye and drinking homemade hemp milk.)

 

Start painting again

I studied art in college, and believe it or not, was a fairly skilled abstract painter.  As a senior, I was named art student of the year, which to this very day remains one of my proudest college achievements.

The early apartments Scott and I shared were littered with several of my original pieces. While he loved them, I couldn’t stop critiquing my work and obsessively going over what I would have done differently if I were to paint them again. The small “flaws” that only I noticed slowly began to drive me crazy. In a fit of frustration, I sold every last painting in a yard sale while Scott wasn’t looking. Whoops.

Not only do I miss the process of painting — our new house has blank walls to fill! After researching the price of original artwork, creating my own masterpieces seems like more and more of a viable option. I’m looking forward to creating custom home decorwhile expressing my creative side and making a mess in the garage. Stay tuned for a photo of my first project, which will most likely be a modern, graphic portrait of…you guessed it…the dogs.

 

Achieve a cellulite-free posterior

Given my genetics, age, and love for French macarons, this is basically impossible. But you know what they say: If you shoot for the cellulite-free moon you’ll land among the stars that are slightly less dimpley than whatever you started out with.

Or something like that…?

Seriously, though — I love my body and am comfortable in my skin. Cellulite and all. But it would be kind of awesome to have a booty that doesn’t violently jiggle for 7.4 seconds after it bumps into something. Even if my rock hard backside only lasts for a week. (Let’s face it…giving up macarons isn’t going to be a permanent life change. Duh.)

*****

Anyone out there making resolutions with me? I’d love to know what you’re aspiring to. And hey…maybe we can band together start a motivational group for those of us with jello booties! Strength in numbers, y’all. Strength in numbers.

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Just show up

Just show up 3

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After a nearly a week of wearing ridiculous pajamas, eating various forms of candy for breakfast, and indulging in more than my fair share of fruitcake, I’m back to blogging. While I always enjoy celebrating Christmas with my family, it feels good to return to my everyday routine after six days of sugar, sleeping in and…well…more sugar.

It also felt good to get back to the gym. Let’s just say my “healthy holiday habits” involved swapping the eggnog I typically pour over my Christmas Crunch cereal on the morn of December 25th for a somewhat lighter option.

You may know it as whole milk.

(See why I used “somewhat”?)

And so, when my sister Hayley encouraged me to join her at the gym for a Saturday night workout, I knew I couldn’t (and more importantly, shouldn’t) say no.

I didn’t want to go. I was tired, sluggish and didn’t like the idea of messing up the hairdo I had so painfully styled just a few hours earlier. My exhausted body was yearning for some sleep, but even I realize that that going to bed at six-thirty on a Saturday night is completely effing ridiculous.

“Fine,” I told her, “I’ll come with…but I’m just going to walk on the treadmill. I haven’t worked out in four days, and I need to ease my body back into things. Plus, I don’t want to get my hair sweaty.”

We arrived at Hayley’s training gym (she’s a competitive rower), and were delighted to have the space to ourselves. Hayley plugged in my iPhone and blasted my Spotify workout playlist at full volume. I slowly schlepped over to the treadmill, wishing I had opted to stay home and get some shut eye.

And then I heard it. The song that for some reason I’m still unable to pin point, motivates me unlike anything else.

(“Let’s Get It Started” by The Black Eyed Peas. Please, no judging.)

It’s virtualy impossible for me to “just walk on the treadmill” while that song is playing. I let out a knowing sigh. So much for not getting my weave sweaty.

Sixty minutes, 150 “wall balls” and a whole lotta kettle bell swings later, my hair was a hot mess. But the rest of me? The rest of me felt fantastic. I could practically feel the eggnog draining from body in the form of sweat. I was reminded of that “you never regret a workout” mantra.

I also realized that in life, sometimes the most difficult part of a challenge is simply showing up to face it. How many times have you dreaded going to the gym, only to get a phenomenal workout after forcing yourself to just get it over with? What about not wanting to go into the office, only to have a productive and fulfilling day after you arrived?  And who hasn’t procrastinated on cleaning out the garage or sorting through a messy closet only to realize the process and end-result were enjoyable? I find this concept particularly true in blogging — not all my posts are off-the-walls amazing, but I make a point of posting five days a week, whether I feel like it or not. Ironically, the days I don’t want to write have spawned some of my most popular entries. Go figure.

Success in all areas of life is typically the product of consistency. You don’t always have to be at your best. You don’t always have to feel excited or motivated. You don’t even have to like it. You simply have to show up. Consistency produces momentum that leads to results. Period.

As I think of my New Year’s Resolutions (which I’ll be sharing tomorrow), I’m realizing that every single one of them can be achieved if I “Just Show Up”. I’ve been wanting to learn a new language for years. Yet have I researched tutors or booked any classes? Nope. While becoming fluent in a new tongue isn’t the easiest task in the world, could I do it if I committed to a one-hour class once a week? I’d sure like to think so! If I take the time to book the classes and “Just Show Up” I should be butchering another language with confidence in no time.

It’s incredible the things you can learn about yourself from something as simple as a trip to the gym. In fact, I think “Just Show Up” might just be my new mantra for 2014.

(It’s between that and “Say No to Egg Nog”.)

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For unto us a chihuahua is born?

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Wishing you a blessed holiday season filled with family, friends, and of course, fruitcake! Lots of love from myself, Scott, Penny and…uh…Jolie’s underbelly.

card

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