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Posted on Jul 9, 2014 in Blogging, Dear Diary | 13 comments

Reset, Refocus, Revitalize

O HAI THERE.

Whaddya know, I still have a blog. Guess I kind of forgot about it in all the post-Yelper Party mayhem, eh? Well, if there is only one person reading this, then I definitely only have myself to blame for that (but thank you to that one person *coughmomcough* for sticking with me!).

I just popped in to say that I know I’ve been a bad, bad blogger recently, but I actually have some fun news to share. See, I think that the time away from the pressures of feeling bad about not blogging (or writing) has given me the break that I needed to recharge my batteries. Work craziness has died down somewhat and I’m returning to a state of normalcy, which means I’m actually itching to get back in the saddle, as it were!

Of course, with the break from blogging and the mental reset also came a few realizations (that tie in pretty well with the content of my last post). See, I think that those of you who suggested I consider rebranding and refocusing this here blog are right! I’ve spent almost four (!!) amazing years with Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen! and I’ve grown up and I’ve lost weight and I’ve learned more about myself than I thought I ever would, but, as you have no doubt noticed, my priorities have definitely changed.

Weight loss itself hasn’t been a priority for me in quite a while — at least not in the same way that it once was. And I’m actually pretty okay with that. I’m actually pretty okay with myself right now… for like, the first time ever, hahahaha. So I’d like this blog to be a bit more reflective of that. Of my new perspective, of my new goals (or my lack of goals), of the fact that I’m a different gal than I was 4 years ago. So I’ll be rebranding this blog to be representative of exactly that!

Nothing has been created just yet, but I just wanted to take this time to update you on what’s going on, and to let you know that I think there are some fun things on the horizon. So stay tuned (hey, if you’ve stuck with me this long, what’s a little while longer, eh?) and, as always, feel free to let me know if you think I’m making a giant mistake… though you know I’m just gonna do it anyway. 😉

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Posted on Dec 31, 2013 in Blogging, Dear Diary | 7 comments

2013 Close Out

Ahoy-hoy, friends!

I hope everyone had a baller Christmas and holiday season! Mine was unsurprisingly awesome, thanks in large part to this little Santa Baby being around this year:

I know I swore that I wouldn’t become one of those aunties that is obsessed with a child that I didn’t even pop out, but, I mean, c’mon! She’s pretty cute, right? And you know what’s even cuter? Stuff like this:

It’s like looking straight into the future if Sean and I ever decide to cook up a (double) Whasian baby of our own, hahahahahahaha.

Yep, Mia’s first Christmas was a rousing success, even if I did go a liiiiittle bit overboard with presents this year (even more so than in years past). But hey, it IS the giving season, after all, isn’t it? Everyone ’round the Powell Family Christmas tree was very generous this year — I got a PS Vita from my brother, amazingly adorable cocktail plates from my sister-in-law Taylor, a bread machine from my sister (IT. IS. AWESOME.) and Sean got me an iPad MINI! Funny story, actually…

So, being the Christmas nutter that I am, I may or may not have been bugging Sean on an almost daily basis as to what he was getting me for Christmas. And, true to his nature, his response each and every time was “Snowman poop.”

For reference, this is what he meant:

Thinking he had, of course, been joking the entire time, I opened my gift from him, eager to see what it was. And it was… snowman poop.

Yep, an entire professionally shrinkwrapped bag full of marshmallows. I was… thrilled. But, of course, since Sean is a trickster of the trickiest kind, he had actually hidden the iPad mini inside the marshmallows. And of course Ben got the whole thing on camera, hahaha. So sneaky…

Anywho! So yes, Christmas was wonderful! My December was also filled with plenty of Yelpy holiday goodness, so, for those who are wondering, the job is absolutely just as awesome as ever.

And tonight, the holiday festivities continue with a classy New Year’s double date with my good friends Lara & her husband Dan! Then tomorrow it’s… 2014! Hot damn, I know how cliche it is to say, but this year REALLY flew. Guess that’s what happens when you have a job you love, eh? Not to mention the constant looming pressure of trying to get a sequel out while people still remember the first book, ahahaha. Either way, 2013 has definitely been good to me (though, granted, not good to this blog… ehehe… sorry).

I hope that you all have an incredible New Year — no matter how you choose to celebrate it — and I can’t wait to see what the next year brings! I have some DEFINITE plans to get back on the health bandwagon (I’ve let loose a bit much over the past few months and I am really feeling it) so hopefully that will help me get back on the blog train, too.

Onward & downward, 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 Jul 2, 2012 in Dear Diary | 12 comments

The (Literal) Light at the End of the Tunnel

As it turns out, my post Friday, suggesting the use of no-cook meals, was rather timely. Because you know that incredible storm that traumatized me against wanting to drive ever ever again? Well, its effects have lasted through the entire weekend! Thankfully we got our power back this morning, hence the hilarious title of this blog post. Huzzah!


(source)

Well, actually, consider that a considerably hushed huzzah, since as you can see from the above picture (of Great Falls street, so scary!), it may still be quite a while until normalcy is resumed. Most of Falls Church (including our parents’ place) is still without power, and a ton of traffic lights throughout all of Northern Virginia are still out too. Hopefully this is the home stretch though, and everyone’s power will be restored before long. It’s going to be another hot day today!

So, aside from the power-induced happiness that I’m feeling on this Monday morning (which is also informed by the fact that my amazing friend Ai Rei is coming to visit me for a WEEK starting today – SQUEEE!!), I have another announcement to make. Most of you probably won’t care about this at all, but I’m finally putting my (lack of) money where my mouth is: I’m done talking (er, typing?) about my love of writing, and I’m both delighted and petrified to announce that I’ve started writing a book. It isn’t the kind of book that means I’ve leveraged my blog into a book deal. Alas, my life is definitely not exciting enough for that. Nope, I’ve begun writing the kind of book that I would want to read. So, basically, one aimed at teenage girls. It’s (going to be) a young adult, science-fiction-esque book that I am kind of crazy excited about, in a totally vain and self-absorbed way. Wheeee!

In addition to the writing of the book itself, I’ve also started a second blog to chronicle my (mis)adventures in writing and, eventually, self-publishing. My plan right now is to dive into the world of self-publishing via Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing once the book is finished (I’m about a quarter of the way there). The new blog is called “Gretchen Writes“, and if you’re moderately interested in following my thoughts over there (though I would completely understand if you couldn’t possibly care less), please feel free to subscribe!

And that’s about all I’ve got for this Monday morning. For those of you affected by the storm and power outage, I hope you get power back soon! For the rest of you, stay cool anyway. 2 days until the Fourth of July!

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Posted on Oct 21, 2011 in Dear Diary, Pup Posts | 27 comments

It’s Friday, Friday

So, somewhere in the blur that was yesterday, I remember getting a really good idea for today’s post. Of course, after my MIND WAS BLOWN by yesterday’s episode of The Vampire Diaries (which I got to watch nearly live for once thanks to a well-timed family dinner and my parents’ DVR), I can’t actually remember WHAT that idea was. Fail. Amazing, heart-stoppingly intense fail.

I’m sure that said brilliant idea will come to me eventually, but in the meantime please enjoy the fact that you probably now have Rebecca Black’s “Friday” stuck in your head after reading the title of this post, bwahaha. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially if for any reason you might have forgotten that yesterday was Thursday, tomorrow is Saturday, or that Sunday comes afterwards.

We so excited

Haaaaahahahaha. Okay, sorry for that. To make it up to you, here’s an incredibly embarrassing picture of me from dinner last night. We had burritos.

BURRITOOO
Can you tell I’m having a little too much fun playing with layout templates?

Urrrrk. I think we’re even.

More of me telling you things I like, under the assumption that you actually care.


1. Vlogging

Still hate the word itself, but I am really digging turning on the video charm (HA!) for you guys. Be sure to let me know if the videos are too much or whatever, but they’re fun for me to make so I’m going to assume they’re fun for at least some of you to watch. Consider this your warning that more will be coming, hahaha.

2. 90s Television

If you are 21 or younger, you might not remember the amazing programming that was available for our impressionable minds to absorb. Boy Meets World, Clarissa Explains It All, Legends of the Hidden Temple, Hey Arnold!, The Secret World of Alex Mack, Pinky & the Brain… the list goes on. When Nickelodeon announced they were bringing back some of my favorite childhood shows, I immediately went to seek them out for myself since we don’t have TV anymore (SOB.) Thank goodness for Netflix and the interwebs!

Butternut Squash
(source)

3. Autumn Vegetables

After yesterday’s post, you are probably well-aware of my current obsession with spaghetti squash, but the truth is that I’m excited for all the autumn vegetables that are hitting the Farmer’s Market! Brussels sprouts on the stalk, butternut squash, carrots, beets… I have all sorts of recipe ideas stirring. I’m trying to put more of an emphasis on seasonal eating, so hopefully this excitement about colder-weather veggies will last through the winter, too!

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4. Canada

Ottawa, specifically! I’ve mentioned a few times now that I’m taking a trip up there soon. Well, by this time next week, I’ll be back in the Great White North (where I graduated from high school). I’m so excited to hit up all my old stomping grounds!

5. Kidney Stones

PSYCH! (Another 90s throwback for you with that particular word, haha.) This week’s kidney stone episode was NOT a pleasant part of my week. Luckily, they passed without issue (y’know, other than the blinding pain and whatnot), and things have turned around quickly since then. I even managed to pound out two excruciatingly slow miles on the tready yesterday! Be proud. Be very proud.

Anything new you’ve been digging on this week? Colder weather sweeping in? Scarves, hats, and boots taking back the streets? Gaddafi’s death? Oh yeah, we just got all political up in hurr. Sidenote: I was going to make Vampire Diaries part of the original list, but then figured it doesn’t really require a mention. I’m pretty sure my obsession there has been made abundantly clear, hahaha.

Have a great weekend!

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