Most popular books in each state

I found this neat blog from March of this year. It lists the most popular book in each state. 

http://parade.condenast.com/266106/viannguyen/the-most-popular-book-in-each-of-the-50-states/

Minnesota
Labor Day
Joyce Maynard

Wisconsin
Neverwhere
Neil Gaiman

North Carolina
Keeping Faith
Jodi Picoult

Maine
Everything and the Moon
Julia Quinn

What I found interesting was the no state has the same book. Fascinating. I wonder why? 

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Let’s go paddle boarding!

Sunday I went paddle boarding with the Athleta girls! I have never been before but it sounded like fun! Definitely something I wanted to try. 

We went out to a lake about 10 minutes from my apartment, it was a beautiful night!! It had rained about a half hour before we were meeting and I was a bit bummed because we had been rained out a week before. But we got there and the weather was beautiful! The day was one of the hottest days of the year so it was rather refreshing to be in the water!

There were about six of us who hadn’t been before and about eight who had. Those of us who hadn’t gone stayed behind for about five minutes for a quick lesson while the others went out. The lesson was pretty simple. How tall your paddle should be, where the best place to stand is, how to get back on if you fall off, etc. 

After a few minutes we were off! There weren’t enough boards so some of us had to share. It was so much fun! We started on our knees and paddled out a ways then tried standing up! Taylor and I were able to stand up but it was quite wobbly 🙂 you can’t lock your knees when standing because it throws off your center of balance when you paddle. But we paddled out and turned around and paddled back a bit, turned around again and back out. 

There were only a few boats out on the lake and we had talked with a guy driving a jet ski to try to make waves for us. He was trying to get off the lake and put his jet ski on a trailer so he was going quite slow. However a pontoon going by made the tiniest of waves and our board happened to be angled just right to really feel the waves. Up and down and up and down. A little bit too much. Taylor lost her balance and I tried to regain mine but after she was off there wasn’t any hope for me. We both went in the lake but it was luckily so refreshing! And it wasn’t cool after we got back on the board either. We paddled around some more and had some fun. Then started heading back in. As we almost pull up to shore a few people are going out again so we went with them. We went almost all the way across the lake before turning around again. As we were on  our way in we could see lightening in the distance. The skyline was absolutely stunning! The sunset and then the lightening in the distance. I really really wish I would have gotten pictures but I left my phone in the car because umm lake water.

Hopefully some pictures will pop up on Facebook and I’ll update this post. 

Corn on the Cobb Fest!

I look forward to this fair every summer! It is one of my favorite things that, in my mind, epitomizes summer. 

We go as a family every year and even and have gone for about the past 13 or 14 years (we were trying to figure out when we started so that’s the best guesstimate)

It’s in a small town about a half hour away from my hometown and it’s a fair. It has little booths set up selling artsy things and foodie things. There is a parade and best of all there is FREE corn on the cobb. 

We try and get there early (one year we got there too late and almost missed the corn!) So this year we got there too early and were just walking around the booths and sat down to play bingo. It was 5 cards for a dollar. So Mom, Ben, and I played a few rounds. On the second round Ben won! On the third round I won! We walked away at that point because the corn had arrived!!

They bring in the corn by truck loads. They steam it before and then when the truck trailer pulls up you reach in and grab a couple ears and move over to the dumpster to shuck ’em. It’s hot! So you have to be careful but it’s so good! After you shuck the corn you move over to the line for the butter. They have the cute little old men from the lions club painting the melted butter from giant crock pots onto your corn. One swipe, twist, and a second swipe. Then you salt it. (no pepper). The next thing is to find a place to sit. They have some picnic tables set up in the area but that’s prime real-estate! This year we found a nice curb to sit on.

Oh this corn is so heavenly!!  It’s sweet and scrumptious! I don’t know the words to convey how delicious this corn is! 

The butter tent

The butter tent

Bingo!

Bingo!

Crowding around the truck

Crowding around the truck

I had to take one bite before I took a picture...

I had to take one bite before I took a picture…

Mom cutting the corn off Ben's cobb because he couldn't eat it with braces.

Mom cutting the corn off Ben’s cobb because he couldn’t eat it with braces.

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Eaten… Delicious!

I don’t know why the pictures are a bit out of order… 

That one time I almost set my apartment on fire…

Um yeah so WHAT NOW?!

Yeah I almost set my apartment on fire… In fact it still smells like smoke 3 hours later and I have 5 fans running as well as all the windows and doors wide open.

So here is what happened: I love potatoes. All shapes and sizes. I don’t discriminate.

When I moved in, my lovely mother bought me a microwave potato baker. (I know you’re thinking what?? Here is a picture of a similar product http://www.inthecountrycollectibles.com/images/pbmary.jpg) So this thing gives you baked potatoes in like 5 minutes in the microwave. My parents have one and we have used it for years. So I was super excited when my mom was able to find one at a crap craft fair. I have used it before just fine! So I washed my potato off, wrapped it in a paper towel (like the directions told me) and stuck it in the microwave for 4-6 minutes. (I did 5 minutes, so in between, like it says) I’m getting together the other things for dinner and holy buckets! My microwave is smoking like a campfire you just threw water on! I immediately open the door to the microwave and holy smokes! It’s on FIRE!!! Legitimately on fire. There were flames (little ones, but still…) My first instinct is to grab my shoe and stomp out the flames. So I do. Then I run and move a fan to the kitchen because again, Holy Smoke! And then I grab another because Holy Smoke.

The thing is still smoking and burning. I grab my State Farm silicone oven mitts (shameless plug for Daddy, you’re welcome) and run the thing outside to the deck. I leave it there and maneuver the fans to blow the smoke out of the apartment. I then realize, as my eyes are watering and I’m coughing smoke, that my darn smoke alarm has not gone off. What the heck? Obviously I’m going to die in my sleep while my apartment goes up in flames sometime in the future. The thoughts that run through my head ladies and gentleman. Anyway, I check the smoke alarm… Yep, they work (my ears still hate me) and I’m like okay what ever, moving on.

I went to check on the burning potato baker on the deck and it’s still burning! Like low coals on a fire. So I run and grab a pitcher and fill it with water and dump it on the thing. (Why I didn’t do that in the beginning you ask? I don’t know. Apparently I don’t think in a completely rational manner under pressure. It finally went out and I stomped on it again just to be safe and what do I find?? A still uncooked potato… WHaaaat gif

Shaking my head as I walk away, my stomach growls reminding me why I wanted the baked potato in the first place.

Whatever. I’m getting take out.

Right after it came out of the microwave... Still on fire.

Right after it came out of the microwave… Still on fire.

Out on the deck, after the water had done it's job.

Out on the deck, after the water had done it’s job.

 

First 5k

Wait, what was that title? Reads title again… Yeah that’s right! I ran a 5k! I know! Who would have thought? Here’s how the craziness happened:

I work part-time at Athleta (amazing store and amazing people and amazing community) anywho… With that, they have perks and whatnot every now and then for events around town. Our store had a few free entries for the Esprit de She 5k that one of the other Athleta store in the area was sponsoring. (Following? Good!)  So I randomly put my name in thinking there’s no way I’ll actually get the free entry. Yep, of course I got it! So I was planning to “train” by, you know, actually running once or twice a week. But funny thing was that I was a nomad at that point in time. Traveling between home, work, my aunt and uncles, other work, and back, and forth. So obviously I had all this extra time and energy. Yeah “training” so did not happen. At all.

July 17th rolls right on up and smacks me in the forehead. Alrighty! It’s fine! I’ll just jog/walk. But no! I’m going to challenge myself and try to run/jog more than I walk! You can do it! And guess what!

I did! 

After the race they had a bunch of booths set up, like free mani’s and massages. Free turkey burger and salad. Oh and free wine. It was set up in a super cute downtown shopping area in Edina so it was fun to walk around a bit. They had shuttles to and from.

The whole event was amazing and so empowering! Such a great event for women all over! I am excited to sign up for another Esprit de She 5k in September!

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And we’re off!

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At the start line!

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After the race with one of my Athleta girls!