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Posted on May 7, 2013 in Blogging, Dear Diary | 5 comments

Hello Stranger

Oh, hey there.

This is awkward.

Cause, y’know, I haven’t really been around lately.

Sorry about that.

Well, not really sorry, per se, since you probably already know my stance on bloggers apologizing for not blogging. I mean, I do know that it’s not like your lives have stopped just because I haven’t been recording mine lately, I really do! Although, let’s be honest, sometimes I like to think I have that kind of affect anyway, just for sake of my ego (it’s quite large, you know).

Anyway, hi. I know that my blog updates as of late have been rather few and far between, but don’t think for one second it’s because I’m phasing blogging out of my life or any such ridiculous nonsense like that. This blog isn’t stopping — I’m far too much of an attention-whore to ever let THAT happen — I’m just taking a little breather. A bit of a break. Because, in all honesty, I know most people don’t think that blogging takes up much time, but it can be really time-consuming. Taking and editing photos, threading words together coherently enough to create a legible post… sure, it ain’t rocket science, but it’s not as wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am as some might think either. And sometimes, rare though these occasions might be, there’s just a bit too much going on in my life for me to actually take the time to stop and write about it.

Life is INDEED happening, and I am so, so, so, so excited to update you on those things soon. There are definitely exciting things in the works, first and foremost being that my big brother is getting MARRIED this weekend!

Take what you know about how much I love weddings, and then add that to how much I love my brother, and you might start to get an idea for how ridonkulously excited I am about this weekend.

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PLUS my perfect niece (and soon to be goddaughter – squee!) Mia is coming back up with my sister and her hubs for the wedding AND for her baptism the following day (on Jenny’s first Mother’s Day! D’awwww…)

Also, in posting both of those pictures above, I’m suddenly made aware of how lucky I am to be able to photograph so many beautifl family moments — Ben and Tay’s engagement shoot in St. Maarten, Mia’s newborn shoot, and I’ll be playing the triple roll of bridesmaid, sister, and photographer at the rehearsal dinner on Friday! Admittedly, I originally got into photography mostly because of this blog — I really just wanted to take nice pictures of my food, and it helped that Ben is a photog so he could help me out. But it has turned out to be so incredibly rewarding.

…Whew! I wasn’t quite expecting to get so sappy this morning! I think that’s quite enough cheesiness for today. Anyway, the bottom line is that I just wanted to let you know I’m still here, and will be back with more regularity soon, I’m sure. In the meantime though, I’m going to keep enjoying some of that life I’ve been living. 😉

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Posted on Apr 15, 2013 in Blogging, Food | 29 comments

The 25th Annual Hunger Games

This past Saturday, the citizens of Panem gathered for a celebration.

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The 25th Annual Hungers Games–my very own Quarter Quell–took place. Needless to say, it was glorious.

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But I figure, why tell you when I can show you?

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May the odds be ever in your favor… to get through the smorgasbord of photos you are about to be subjected to.

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Let the Games begin!

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First up: SUSTENANCE!

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Choose your weapon.

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Georgetown Cupcake!

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Cherry blossom district cupcakes and red velvet mockingjays.

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Lamb stew with dried plums (my own recipe!) and Caesar (Flickerman) salad. Get it? GET IT?!

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Fruit cornucopias and crostini with goat cheese & apples.

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Peeta Pita chips & hummus.

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Next up: LIBATIONS! (Sidebar: My cousin Nicky–Reaping Katniss–hand-drew the mockingjay pins on those shot glasses. Amazing, right?)

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Nightlock punch. Drink at your own risk.

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So. Many. Jello shots. From left to right, those are mosaic jello shots, strawberry champagne, and cupcake jello shots. Yep, you read that correctly. CUPCAKE jello shots. Let’s take a closer look:

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Aaaand one more time:

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So. Effie-ing. Good.

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And finally, the most important part: THE GUESTS! (Or, at least as many photos of the guests as I could take before I got too, ehm, libation…ed. Heh.)

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Katniss Everdeen, the Girl on Fire. 😉

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Reaping Katniss and Seneca Crane(‘s beard).

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TRACKER JACKERS!!

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District 2’s Tribute vs. The Capitol.

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Citizens of the Capitol came out to PLAY.

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(Another sidebar: I would absolutely sacrifice my dignity and become a citizen of the Capitol if it meant I got to wear lashes like Megan’s everyday.)

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Katnisses of the world unite!

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Even the pets of Panem came out to say hi.

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And I could not have done a thing without these two beautiful ladies by my side: Aileen & Ai Rei.

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The Ai’s have it! (That’s never gonna get old, by the way. Nope. Not a chance.)

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Thanks for all the birthday love, super fun times, and, of course, birthday wine, friends! Happy Hunger Games INDEED. <3 <3 <3

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Posted on Apr 11, 2013 in Blogging | 20 comments

My Quarter Quell

Today, I am 25 years old.

Two-five.

A quarter of a century.

Whoa.

Does this mean I’m a grown up yet? 😉

I’ve been sifting through some of the dozens and dozens of old family photos my brother has posted on Flickr, and happened upon a few that are particularly apropos to today’s date. Y’know, the day of my birth and all. So while there will likely be lots of ridonkulous photos and good timery to show you after my Hunger Games-themed party on Saturday (get it? My Quarter Quell birthday? Hunger Games? Eh? Ehhh?), for now, I think I’ll take a stroll down memory lane–a journey through birthdays past. Care to join me?


1996 – My 8th birthday


2000 – My 12th birthday


2001 – My 13th birthday


2006 – My 18th birthday (first in college!)


2009 – My 21st birthday (legal drinking age booyah!)


2010 – The big double-2 (and my last birthday at 246+ lbs)

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2011 – My 23rd (down maybe 40 pounds at this point?)


And of course, last year – My Potterlicious 24th!

Regardless of how far I may have come, how much weight I may have gained or lost throughout the years, and what the state of my health has been at various times throughout my life, one thing had remained the same: I frakkin’ love my birthday. But even more than that, I love that now I get to share this slice of my life with all of you! Thanks for being with me through the past 2 birthdays–here’s looking ahead to the next 25, eh?

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Posted on Nov 27, 2012 in Blogging | 16 comments

Blobby

So I was trying to come up with a clever portmanteau word that combines “blogging” with “hobby”, and I ended up with “blobby.” So even though it’s not clever at all, I’m keeping it because it makes me laugh. Heh.

Anyway, I wanted to talk a little bit about blogging as a whole today. It starts with this epic webcomic from The Oatmeal that my friend Lara alerted me to, and it ends with me finally addressing why my posting to this blog has taken such a backseat in my life lately.

See, in a much more humorous and perfect way than I could, Oatmeal creator Matt Inman explains why it’s both rewarding and challenging to be a web content creator. Now, really, that title could cover any number of things: bloggger, vlogger, Youtube singer/songwriter, writer for an online publication, etc, etc. The actual job itself doesn’t matter so much as the fact that what you’re doing is on and for the Almighty Interwebs. As Oats puts it, “Your career + the internet = sad.” Now, of course, it goes without saying that this little blog is nothing compared to a site like The Oatmeal, and also that this is not my full-time job. So while I do feel pressures to maintain this site, to make sure it’s regularly updated and accessible (been having particular issues with that lately — my apologies!), it’s not quite the same as knowing my income or living standard is dependent on my pageviews.

That said, the pressures are still there. It sounds silly to even admit, but what can I say? I’m a people pleaser, and I love writing this blog, and I love that you guys continue to come back here to read it. But I think it’s probably fairly obvious to most of you that things over here have been a little lax and a little lacking lately, both in my general healthy living efforts, and in my blogging about said efforts. And I feel guilty about that. I feel guilty when I can’t think of anything to write about, when I just don’t feel like taking the time to whip out my camera because I am so hungry can I please just eat already. So, without trying to sound like I’m so egotistical to think that your life is lacking without a daily update from yours truly (even though I totally am), at least I feel kind of bad about it? Hahaha.

I’ve mentioned it before, but the obvious reasoning for that is because almost 100% of my extracurricular (er, extraworkulcar?) time is being devoted to finishing the edits of my book. I am still desperately trying to meet my (self-imposed) deadline of a December release. (Hey, remember when I said that I was looking at a mid-November release? Haaaaaahahahahahaha. That was funny. Cry.) And that’s a whole other layer of pressure and anxiety (again, this is all kind of silly, because I know when push comes to shove, it’s pressure I put on myself, but still) on top of this one. So ultimately, it makes sense that something starts to give. And because, as much as I love this blog, it is still my hobby, whereas I am hoping that someday I can turn fiction writing into my career, it means that this is the thing that has to give a little. It means sometimes, I only update twice a week. And sometimes, my posts are barely more than pictures of my dogs, because they make me happy. And a lot of the time, you’ll find me whining into the great social media void. Heh, sorry about that last one.

Shockingly, this wasn’t actually meant to be one giant apology for not posting as regularly lately, even though that’s kind how it’s sounding, haha. It’s just an update on where things stand. And to say that I–the Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen blogging me–am not going anywhere. It just may take a little bit of time to fully come back around. But hey, job or hobby, that’s how everything is, right? There are bumps and dips, hills and valleys. But I’ve spent 2 1/2 years on this particular blobby of mine (kekeke), and I certainly don’t envision giving up on it for a long, long time.

Aaaaand, to cap things off, especially so there’s something here for you wordy-post-skimmers (I don’t blame you!), here are some picture of festive holiday schnauzers. Well, some holiday schnauzers, at any rate. They probably weren’t feeling particularly festive, but oh well.

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What you looking at, fella?
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Posted on Oct 29, 2012 in Blogging | 14 comments

Frankenstorm

Hello all! I am writing this from the comfort of my own home, whilst still in my pajamas, since Hurricane Sandy is about to wipe through the eastern seaboard. My office (and the federal government) both announced their closures last night, so I’m working from home and trying to make the most of the time I have left with power. Last time anything remotely close to this happened (the derecho that I got caught driving in!), our house lost power for a good 3 or 4 days (though it was worse for a lot of people — including my parents!) I know that the companies are more prepared this time, having heard about the storm for days, but I’m sure we’ll still be without power for a good while.

Guess that means I better get this post out while I can, eh?

Saturday night, we had a Halloween party at the Powell household!

My friend Holly, from Canada, has been visiting this week, thus making this the second Halloween we’ve been able to spend with each other in a row! (I was in Ottawa at this time last year.) The year before was the first Halloween party that my brother, Ben, his fiancee, Taylor, and I were able to throw at our house.

As you may already know from my glorious Harry Potter-themed birthday party this past April, I kind of love throwing parties. We don’t do it craaaazy often (just once or twice a year), but I love being a hostess! Decorating, prepping snacks, making sure that people are having fun (er, I hope they had fun!) and all that good stuff. Holly and I spookified the house just a smidge, made sure there were snacks-a-plenty (including the ah-mazing cupcakes that we decorated, pictured above and below, which I could not stop staring at like a total creeper), and before we knew it… party time!

At our last Halloween party, Ben did a great job of capturing almost all of the guests costumes when they arrived. Unfortunately, there was a bit of a camera mishap pretty early on in the party, so we only snapped pics of a few people. Sad! There were a tons of great costumes that came after, but here is a small sampling of what our awesome friends came dressed as. Can you guess who they all are?






Aileen and Jackie, in the last photo, definitely win in my book for best costumes, as Tweedledee and Tweedledum. Though Tom’s Sean of the Dead costume + accompanying zombie was pretty epic, too. Oh, what was my costume, you ask? Well, first, let me show you my costumed (and reluctant) partners-in-crime.


Yep, Harry and Daxter were buggin’ out… in all senses. But they looked flippin’ adorable, and were, in fact, the inspiration for my own costume!

My costume is actually a reversible ladybug/bumblee costume (the bee print is on the inside), and I had a bit of a hard time deciding which one to be. In the end, though, polka dots always win. But I guess I have a fallback costume for next year?

And Sean was a bugcatcher. Kekeke.

Definitely a fun party! It wrapped up earlier than most of our parties have in the past, but I was actually kind of grateful for that since I was exhaaaausted. I feel like as we get older (I say as if I am so very ancient indeed, haha), parties that last until 4 AM just don’t really happen anymore? I gotta say, I’m kind of okay with that. You still get all the fun, but half of the residual next-day exhaustion/hangovers. At least until next year’s birthday party, that is. (Spoiler alert: it’s going to be Hunger Games-themed! My Quarter Quell!)

I hope that everyone is able to stay safe and dry through the hurricane as it worsens, especially if you’re in a coastal area. Hopefully things will blow over (too soon?) sooner rather than later!

<3

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