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Posted on Apr 29, 2011 in Dear Diary, Food | 26 comments


I got zapped!

Last week I purchased a Groupon deal for 3 laser hair removal sessions (actually, I bought 2 deals – it was SUCH a ridiculously amazing discount!) and yesterday I went to my first appointment! Though I was totally freaking out about potentially searing off my armpit skin (gross, hahaha!) and being in immense pain, most of the people I talked to about it said that it really wasn’t so bad (my sister got her lower legs and underarms done a couple years ago and raves about it!) Verdict?

It was so not a big deal. Barely hurt at all (my left underarm stung a little for a few minutes afterward but that was it), and the technician, Stacey, who helped me was very knowledgeable and reassuring.

The laser machine is a little daunting to look at, but the only thing that you actually deal with is the little wand thing in the basket on the side of it in the above picture. The Esthetic Laser Clinic was very clean and nice-looking, although the location in an office park off of Gallows Road is a little bit odd. Regardless, it was about 3 minutes from where I work so I’m certainly not complaining! I’ll report in after another session to let you know how the actual hair loss is progressing — Stacey said that it’s normal not to see any change for a few weeks (and sessions are spaced 6 weeks apart) as your old hair is still going to grow out until it’s gone (but you can continue shaving like normal in between, don’t worry!)

Since I had gotten my underarms zapped and was advised by the technician to be aware of heat for the next day or so (just because heat can exasperate any swelling and itchiness that might occur) so i passed on hot yoga and decided to work out at home instead.


I also decided, however, that I wanted to continue on with the trend of beautifying myself and whatnot, and do a few at-home spa treatments. So how, you may ask, did I reconcile these two seemingly-opposite things?


Yes. That is right. I am not ashamed. I did arms, abs, and legs in a face mask. While watching The Secret Life of the American Teenager. And then I gave myself a pedicure. I am basically awesome. Also, please ignore the water marks on my tank top – I promise it isn’t sweat, it’s from washing my face prior to sweating (backwards…?)


Haaaaahahahaha. I’m so weird. But whatever! It worked! And then I felt good about myself when I went down to watch The Vampire Diaries and scream out in shock and amazement and fear every 10 minutes. Jeebus, that show is so awesome. Every episode it slaps you across the face with some kind of shocking revelation or character death or SOMETHING. Be prepared for another ridiculously excited Gretchen come next Thursday.

Moving on! So I am once again super excited about the lunch that I brought to work today. Behold! (Am I overusing the word “behold”?)

Breakfast, which is admittedly much less exciting:

An everything bagel thin (100 calories), some 1/3 less fat chive & onion (!!) cream cheese (70 calories/2 tbsp), and an apple (~80 calories). Delicious AND (sort of) nutritious! And for lunchsies:

Another gorgeous salad with romaine, red onion, avocado, strawberries, cherry flavored craisins, and cheese that is blue. I promise there’s actually a lot of lettuce underneath all that mouth-wateringness. Unpictured is another little container with 2 tbsp of my homemade poppyseed dressing like from last time. One of my tips for packing a salad for lunch, in case you’re interested, is to always pack it in a container that is a little too big. That way you can store your dressing in a baggy or container inside of the larger container, and then just pour it on and shake it all up right before eating!

Along with it I have two strips of mahi mahi that I had cooked up for fish tacos (which I had for lunch yesterday). I love fish! However, I will be honest in saying that this stupidly delicious fish is a main contributer to my ridonkulously high grocery bill from Tuesday, haha.

Plans for this weekend include potentially hitting up Whitlow’s on Wilson for my friend’s cover band Flow in the Dark tonight, then tomorrow is the Great Grapes Festival in Reston! It’s a wine-tasting festival taking place at Reston Town Center and a ton of wineries from all around Virginia come and set up shop for you to sample their vino. There are also a bunch of exhibitors and food stand (including Melting Pot! Eeee!) so you can sample their fare to your heart’s delight. I’m not a huge wine-drinker (not much of a connoisseur, I must admit) but who knows? Maybe that’ll all change after tomorrow afternoon! Now my biggest issue is whether or not to bring Daxter with me… ahahaha.

Have you ever tried laser hair removal? Would you consider it? If you have, what was your experience like? If you haven’t, what’s causing you to hesitate? For me, hesitation always stemmed from cost, because it really can be outrageously expensive. So take advantage of those Groupon and Living Social deals, my friends! You never know what’ll come up! BTW, if you live in the DC metro area, you should also sign up for What’s the Deal. It’s purely local to this area, and I just found out about it and already got a discount ticket to Taste of Arlington next month (the Sunday after Fitbloggin’!) Sign up with that link and we both get a free $5 credit toward a deal – score!

By the way, Harry says thank you for all the wonderful birthday wishes. He feels very loved. 🙂


And PS – How much did you LOVE Kate Middleton’s wedding dress!?! Oh, I guess she’s Katherine, Duchess of Something now, eh? Either way, LOVE.


  1. Duke and Duchess of Canterbury. Boom, English’d. Raise your hand if you’ve been there! [raises both hands]

    Fish rocks; try buying it from an Asian grocery store like Lotte Plaza or H Mart. It’s cheeeeeeeeeap! May not have the superselection that Whole Foods or Wegmans has, and you may still have to prepare it a bit (filet it a bit) but it’s just as fresh and tasty (genearally) and like 1/4-1/2 the price in most cases.

  2. No… wait… NOOOOOOO! I’m an idiot. Why did I have Canterbury in my head? Oh yeah, they were _married_ by the Arch Bishop (is that right? I’m not a religious person) of Canterbury. They’re Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.


  3. I got my armpits done about 7 years ago because I had SO much armpit hair and I was getting annoyed with having to shave daily if not twice a day (in the summer). I went to 3 treatments and it worked really well for me (I’m fair with dark hair, which is best). Although I still have some hair there it’s significantly less than I use to have. I think I could have lasered it all off had I gone to a few more treatments, but the cost was getting out of control so I just stopped.

    I’m pretty happy with them now… less maintenance

    • So would you say that even though you got it done that long ago it’s stayed pretty consistent in terms of how much hair you got rid of?

      • Oh yeah, definitely. What got zapped stayed zapped. I have had the same amount of hair there since a few weeks after my last treatment.

  4. How did you season the mahi? I’m always looking for fresh ways to prepare fish for the hubs.
    ps i just signed up for that DC deal site.

    • I just seasoned it with a chili spice blend that I got (for free!) from Penzey’s Spices (you sign up for their mailing catalogue and each one comes with a coupon for a free spice.) Then just cooked it in a little olive oil on the stove. Let it sit on the one side for a few minutes without touching, then it only needs to be on the other side for like a minute. So fast and so good!

    • Oh and at first I didn’t know if mexican spices would go well with fish but it really worked! (I was going for that flavor profile because the original use was fish tacos, as I mentioned above.)

  5. I’m glad Harry had a nice birthday. What a sweet boy!!!

    I loved Kate’s dress, she looked stunning. I heard that she is a Princess and maybe a Duchess? I don’t understand how she’d get one title over the other. Who knows!

    Love the face mask/weights shot. You are hilarious! I’ve never gotten laser removal before! Too scared.

  6. I’m commenting only because I know it makes you happy. Also its Catherine… with a C. I’m crossing my fingers that the queen ‘allows her’ to be a princess, because isn’t that the whole point of marrying a prince? j/k Also i loooooooooved the dress
    and your salad makes me commitment to actually exercising is awesome.

    • It makes me sooooooooooooo happy that you commented! But why is it Kate Middleton but Catherine with a C? Should it be Cate then? Also, the last sentence I feel like is very complimentary but doesn’t actually make sense… did you start writing one sentence and then finish with another?

      <3 yooooou. Let’s hang out again soon pls! (PS – we’re using your restaurant recommendation for Mother’s Day!!)

      • oh… oops! you are totally right.
        it should say “your salad make me jealous and your commitment to exercising is awesome”and then i thought about adding something about how i hate to sweat… but decided against it since this is a blog about healthy living. and then my browser didn’t want to post the comment…
        etc. etc. I hope the dim sum is as good on the carts as it was when we ordered a la carte!

  7. You are awesome. End of story!!
    I watched Vampire Diaries this morning and didn’t want it to end!! Holy crapcakes, this show is crazy and I love it!
    Ahhhh, absolutely loved the fabulousness of the wedding this morning, I loved her dress and the simple, yet elegant way everything was! Love!!

  8. Who didn’t love that dress? It was a total throw-back to Queen Elizabeth II’s dress in 1947 though less blingy since Kate was a commoner this morning (imagine that, going from a commoner to a Princess in like, an hour!) That is also why she had to have the veil over her face (a royal blood bride would not have one)

    As for the Princess/Duchess thing, she and Will are going to be referred to as the “Their Royal Highnesses Duke and Duchess of Cambridge” until Will becomes next in line for the thrown, then it will be Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall (officially) people will still probably call her “Princess Catherine”). Once he’s King, she’ll be Queen Consort. And there’s your lesson on random Royal titles for the day.

    Was laser hair removal terribly expensive? It sounds convenient.

    PS…random Kate dress detail:
    The flowers engineered into the fabric are the rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock which represent different areas of the UK.
    Keep up the good work!

    • The groupon that I got was 3 sessions for $99 (limited to underarms, face, or bikini line) which is a CRAZY good deal (so I got 2 of them! Haha.) As I understand it, it usually takes between 4 – 8 sessions to fully remove all your hair, and you would normally buy a package of sessions for a discount on the a la cart pricing, but it can still be a lot. Just as a frame of reference, the place that I got the groupon for normally prices underarm sessions at $120 each, or $100/session if you buy a package of 6 sessions. So hold out for the next Groupon!! 😀

  9. Yo let me see those pits! And I liked Kate’s dress but not below the waist-once it started to poof I wasn’t as into it!

    • Aww, really? I love the poof! I’m a ballgown kinda girl though, we all knew that… 😛

  10. I did not watch the wedding at the buttcrack of dawn, but I did watch a ton of coverage later. I am totally okay with admitting this is because I wanted to see some Prince Harry eye candy. 🙂

  11. I was up at 4am watching and Kate looked incredibly gorgeous!

    I’d love to do the laser, though haven’t because of the cost…now I am mad that I missed the groupon!!!

    • Oh, I’m sure there’ll be another similar one out shortly — that’s why you gotta sign up for all the group deal sites possible — that’s my strategy, anyway, ahaha. 🙂

  12. hmmm…i have wondered about the laser removal, and now I’m really curious! I’m dark haired, so even after I shave I have those little dots. Do they say that this is REALLY permanent, or lasts for a few years? By the time you buy razors for life, factor the time it takes, etc it seems worth it with the groupon.

    • As far as I know, it’s really permanent! But the treatments have to be done over a long period of time because your hair grows in cycles apparently, so if you only get a couple treatments, it might seem like the hair is coming back but evidently it’s different hair than the ones that got zapped. I’m like you — my hair is really dark so even if it just lightens things up for me I think it’d be worth it. Definitely keep your eye out for a deal though — it’s expennnnnnnnnnnsive on its own!!

  13. Hello; just stumbled onto your blog and I love how light hearted and personable it is 🙂 Totally chuckled at the facial w/ weights pictures but hey, I’m all about multi-tasking!

  14. Nice!! I started laser hair removal for my underams a while ago which I also bought from Groupon!! 3 treatments for $150, and I got two of them. I’m actually going to my 3rd session on Wednesday! After the first time I noticed a significant difference in the thickeness and amount of hair. But after the second session there’s a bit of difference in the amount of hair, but not so much the thickness… it’s a long process though so I guess we’ll see how it goes! Def don’t has to shave as often tho and I don’t have crazy hair armpits anymore 😛


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