I’m so happy the holiday season is over because it means I can finally stop the marathon I’ve been trekking through since early October. Now don’t be mistaken, it’s not a running marathon or anything of that nature, it’s purely a marathon of eating as many disgusting, fattening, unhealthy foods as I can possibly squeeze into my chocolate-encrusted mouth with my potato chip-greased fingers.
Two days ago, I went to put on my favorite pair of pajama pants and was horrified when they wouldn’t fit. I had to shamefully put them back in my drawer to save for another less-bloated day, they were way too tight. Pajama pants! the pants that are baggy and comfy and always a little too long WERE TOO TIGHT TO WEAR. I didn’t beat myself up, though. I actually laughed at the situation because I have thoroughly enjoyed my past few weeks (okay, months) of eating and not exercising. I’ve been a lazy, gluttonous piece of filth (who still showers daily, don’t worry) and I have decided to not feel guilty about it. There’s no point, the guilt isn’t going to undo the copious amounts of junk food I have eaten, so I may as well enjoy the extra body fluff I have picked up along the way. But now? It’s time to reel it in. My sister’s wedding is in 5 months and small, strapless dresses tend to look best without extra skin exploding from the top of the too-tight bust line.
In addition to some delicious food, I had a great Christmas with my husband’s family. We exchanged gifts, watched my nephew squeal and dance with excitement over his gifts, and spent some good quality time together. Thanks to Amazon wishlists, gift giving has become so much easier than it used to be. And the best part? If you are like me and have 85 items on your Amazon Wishlist, you will still be completely surprised by what you are given! My sister-in-law gave me a book and upon opening it I said “oh cool!! I didn’t even know this book existed!” She laughed and said “ummm, you had it on your wishlist.” It’s the perfect gift, something I forgot I wanted.
I have to say though, I am a little bit bummed that nobody got me the pack of peel and stick wiggly eyes, 96-pack of tampons, set of plastic hangers, nighttime mouth guard, dog treats, or asthma peak flow meter from my wishlist. In a related note, it has been brought to my attention that I might have the worst Amazon Wishlist of all time. I use my wishlist as a place to go when I feel the need to buy something for myself, so I hadn’t really thought about my Secret Santa family members at Christmas time having a difficult time with my requests. Sorry, ya’ll.
I love this time of year because it’s a fresh start, a chance to reboot and get off on the right foot. I am not one to make New Years resolutions, but this year I do have a few goals I’m going to work towards. I saw a short goal list on Pinterest that I liked. It’s not too intimidating, and I can make the goals as big or small as I want. So here we go.
A bad habit I’m going to break: Spending money unnecessarily. I have a hard time with money, if it’s in my account I want to spend it. And it’s not even a selfish thing most of the time (except for the hundreds of dollars I spend on who knows what at CVS)! I love to buy things for other people. I need to look into ways to give without breaking my own bank account. Also, I need to stay away from CVS and Target. And Amazon. And Ann Taylor. I just need to be better with money.
A new skill I’d like to learn: I used to be fluent in American Sign Language, and I’d like to learn it again. I can still do basic signs and know the alphabet and such, but I really miss knowing the whole language. I would love to even use it in a professional medium someday, so this year I’d like to learn ASL again. Also, another new skill I’d like to learn this year is being a homeowner! I’ve been renting my whole life, but Isaac and I are house hunting right now so we are hoping to find something semi-soon. We will see!
A person I hope to be more like: Jesus. This may sound cheesy and cliche to you, but it’s true. Even if you don’t believe that Jesus was a real person, I’m sure you’ve heard the stories about him. He was selfless, always looking to help others, generous, understanding, non-judgmental, and I’m pretty sure he didn’t have road rage and mouth curse words at terrible drivers. He also probably didn’t brake check people riding his bumper on busy roads. Basically what I’m saying is I could use a little more patience, love, and peace in my life, so I’m going to strive to be more like Jesus every single day, no matter how many idiot drivers are around me. 😉
A good deed I’m going to do: Volunteer more. I always have grand plans of volunteering to help those in need, and I just don’t do it for one reason or another. There’s always a million reasons to not do something, so this year I’m going to focus on the one important reason to do it instead.
A place I’d like to visit: 2014 is jam packed already with weddings, so I don’t know that there is a chance of Isaac and I taking a trip outside of traveling to wedding destinations! On my “to visit” list is Utah, Montana, New Mexico, Arizona, Washington, and Oregon, so if I can make one of these trips happen this year, I would be ecstatic.
A book I’d like to read: How about just finishing one book I’ve started? That would be killer. I have a horrible habit of starting several books and not finishing them because I get bored of them. Maybe if I stuck to reading just one book, I wouldn’t get bored. Here are a few books on my to-read list this year:
1. The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves
2. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir
3. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
4. A Dog’s Purpose
5. Gone Girl
6. The Snow Child
7. A Thousand Mornings
8. The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains
9. Memoirs of a Violent Sleeper (Maybe I could have co-authored this??)
10. Soul Survivor: The Reincarnation of a World War II Fighter Pilot
A letter I’m going to write: I actually do a pretty good job of writing letters, sending cards, and maintaining contact through snail mail, it’s one of my favorite ways to stay in touch with people. But this year, I’m going to do it more. I’m going to try to send a letter to someone once a week, that’s my goal.
A new food I’d like to try: I’m cheating on this one. I don’t try many new foods because of my allergies, so instead I’ll say that I’m going to just eat healthier and cut down the binge eating a bit.
I’m going to do better at: Keeping our house clean and organized. I promise, Isaac. I’m the worst when it comes to our house. At work I’m incredibly organized and my papers and belongings are never out of place. At home? I like to leave all of the kitchen cabinets open, milk on the counter, cheese sitting out, and trash cans full. I take off a shirt and throw it on my floor, I leave makeup smeared across my bathroom sink. It’s horrifying. There is a running joke between Isaac and I that I only clean on Sundays, because it’s pretty much true. If I empty the dishwasher on a Tuesday evening, he will gasp and say “what are you doing???? It’s not Sunday!!!!???!” He is being dramatic, I do keep up with general housework during the week, but not as much as I should be. We aren’t anywhere close to living in filth, but it ain’t sparkling in our house. Every Sunday I spend about 4 or 5 hours cleaning the entire house from top to bottom, making it look damn near perfect. If I could just start cleaning up after myself more during the week, I wouldn’t have to use my entire Sunday cleaning. I know that this it’s the logical way of doing things, but so far I can’t seem to do it. This year! This will be the year!
I hope everyone had a wonderful 2013 and Christmas with your families and friends! If any of you are still trekking the eating marathon (go you! Finish strong!), I definitely recommend making this homemade toffee recipe. It’s the reason my pajama pants don’t fit right now– need I say more?
- 1.5 sleeves of saltine crackers
- 1 stick (4 oz) butter
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 cups chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Arrange the crackers in a single layer on the baking sheet so that there are no empty spaces in between them. Crush any remaining crackers into small crumbs and set aside for now.
3. Place the butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir while the butter melts, and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Once boiling, carefully pour the sugar-butter mixture over the crackers on the baking sheet in an even layer, trying to cover most of the crackers. If you miss some spots, don’t worry as the toffee will spread in the oven.
4. Bake the toffee crackers at 350 degrees for five minutes, until the toffee is bubbling all over. Carefully remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for one minute.
5. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of the hot toffee, and allow them to sit for one minute to soften and melt. Once softened, use an offset spatula or knife to spread the melted chocolate over the entire surface of the toffee in an even layer. While the chocolate is still sticky, sprinkle the top with the reserved crushed crackers (I sprinkled Andes mints on top instead and it was AMAZING).
6. Refrigerate the pan to set the toffee and chocolate for about 30 minutes. Once set, break into small uneven pieces by hand, and enjoy! Store uneaten saltine toffee in an airtight container for up to a week.