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Posted on Sep 21, 2012 in Dear Diary | 21 comments

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

I’ve joked in the past that this blog could easily be called “The Many Haircuts and Colors of Gretchen”. I change my hair often and, much of the time, quite drastically. Short, long, brown, red, blonde, bangs, side bangs, no bangs… I’ve pretty much done it all. Here is just a small (ha!) photographic sampling of some of the hairdids I’ve had in the past. Because, you know, really the main point of this blog is to provide catharsis for my vanity. Ahahahaha. 😉

Where my complicated relationship with bangs began… keke

Looooong and au natural

Looooong and definitely NOT au natural (but super fun!)

Chin-length and highlights

Bangs McCoy


Blonde pixie!


Red is rad

And so on, and so forth.

I’ve always been of the mindset that hair is the very best thing to fool around with if I’m feeling restless about my appearance. Unlike tattoos and piercings, changes that you make to your hair are still just temporary. I mean, it’s just hair, right? It grows back.

Anyway, all of this is really just a lame build up to announce that I’ve dyed my hair again. I’m pretty sure it’s undeserving of an announcement, actually, but it’s Friday and this is pretty much all I got. I am actively trying NOT to cut my hair (growing it out for my brother’s wedding next Spring!) but I really needed a change up. Plus, the roots situation of my last dyejob was getting kind of out of control.


It’s like the ombre roots trend except not well executed and actually awful.



The color is supposed to be a burgundy-ish brown, but looks much more purple right now than I had intended. Not that I mind, since purple is awesome, but it will fade as I wash it anyway. Except for when I went blonde last year, I almost always use at-home coloring kits (I like Garnier Fructis) to dye my hair. Salon coloring is SO expensive for something that I pretty much view as an experiment. I’m probably still going to do something to these weird growy-outty bangs that are happening but perhaps I’ll save that for another day when I need some more blog filler. 😉

I hope everyone has an amazing weekend! Mine includes Miss Anne P.‘s bachelorette party (a wine tour like we did for my sister’s 30th birthday!) as well as her 30th birthday party afterward. Wooo! It’s actually her birthday today, so make sure to pop over to her blog and wish her well!!

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Posted on Mar 30, 2012 in Dear Diary | 16 comments

Feelgood Friday: The Little Things

Happy Friday, friends! For those of you who will be playing the Mega Millions Lottery tonight (estimated jackpot of $540 million!), good luck! I’m playing with a pool started by my office, hehe. I mean, who knows? SOMEBODY’s gotta win eventually, right? Also good luck to those of you who are running the Cherry Blossom Race on Sunday! As you know, I dropped down from the 10 Miler to the 5K, so if you see me chugging along at some point, be sure to come say hi!

Though I have a feeling the race course will be unfortunately blossom-less this year.

I’m actually in a pretty good mood this morning, which is rather novel for this week. Hopefully it hasn’t shown TOO much here, but I’ve been doldrum-dwelling for the better part of this past week. I guess that with all the mental power I’ve been devoting to my career path, I was feeling a little burdened at the end of the day. So I figured that today I should capitalize on this feel-goodery and take a departure from all the big, life-changing decisions I’ve been contemplating and celebrate the little things that have me in such a stellar mood instead!

I took some of your advice from yesterday’s post and whipped up a large batch of awesomeness last night. I made a light pasta salad out of whole wheat angel hair with red peppers, onion, green onion, celery, and just a wee bit o’ bacon. I tossed it all together in a large bowl, then portioned some out and added balsamic vinaigrette to it separately. It was delicious, packed in a bunch of veggies, and was very satisfying. And now, I have a huge bowl of it in the fridge, where it should definitely keep for a little while, and for variety I can simply add whatever dressing or additional toppings to it that I want! I’m thinking I can try peanut sauce for an Asian twist, shake in a little parmesan cheese, or even just do a simple toss with oil and vinegar. I’m excited about the possibilities!

Daxter has been putting the “terror” in “terrier” lately by reigniting his chewing phase. I’ve lost a sports bra, pair of flip flops, and a camera tripod to the little monster so far, and he utterly destroyed Erin’s copy of “A Game of Thrones” (everybody’s a critic). Hopefully he is coming out of this phase though (Please… please let it be over…) with the help of chewable toys and treats that he’s actually ALLOWED to destroy. I submitted a picture of him for a contest by Embrace Pet Insurance (they’re the BEST if you’re thinking about getting pet insurance — and you really should!) and won a little package of stuff including an edible card! Hopefully it will help stave off the little mongrel from attacking any more of my footwear. He’s lucky he’s so cute.

I’ve been getting in some supplies for the EPIC AMAZINGNESS that will be my 24th birthday party. And yes, the rumors are true: It is going to be Harry Potter themed. (NO JUDGING!) I’m trying very hard not to go too-too overboard with the planning, but let’s just say that there most DEFINITELY be some adult Butterbeers served… and if people are really lucky, they might just get their hands on a vial of Felix Felicis as well.

What’s a little thing that’s making you happy today?

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Posted on Feb 10, 2012 in Dear Diary, Vlog | 38 comments

Friday Randomness

Oh hai. Remember like, um, 5 months ago when I said I was obsessed with the song “If I Die Young” by The Band Perry? Well, not a whole lot has changed on that front. I still squeal in delight whenever I hear it on the radio. It’s been my ringtone since October. The gloriously melancholy lyrics are stuck in my head most mornings. So last night I finally decided that if I’m singing it all the time anyway, I might as well make a fool of myself and record it for you all.

Be merciful, please. But do enjoy the hilarious freeze-frame that Youtube chose for the video, hahaha.

(Click through to view the video if you’re reading this via email subscription.)

And for those of you who blessedly aren’t able to watch the video because you’re at work, here’s a picture of a kitten hugging a stuffed sheep:


You’re welcome.

Happy Friday!

PS: I forgot to announce it in a timely manner, but the second issue of my Falls Church News-Press column was published last week. Check it out!

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Posted on Jan 27, 2012 in Dear Diary | 34 comments

5 Things Friday: If I Had a Million Dollars

I believe I have already mentioned that as part of Chinese New Year tradition, we young folk receive red packets (“hong bao” or “lai see”) from our elders. These red packets are filled with money (score!) and are meant to usher in a prosperous new year… or something. Call me shallow, but I don’t think that it’s unreasonable to say that this is one of my favorite parts of the celebration, hehe. I mean, hey, money is money, and given my particular knack for being able to spend it poorly, well… yes. Anyway, now that I am slightly richer, thanks to my parents, aunts, and uncles, it got me thinking. Which we know is always a dangerous thing.

Red Packets for the New Year

What would you do if you somehow got your hands on REAL money? I tried to cleverly name this post after the Barenaked Ladies song, but let’s be honest. These days, a million smackers doesn’t actually get you that far. In fact, technically becoming a millionaire is something that is fairly reasonable for us normal folk if we work, invest, and spend wisely. But that’s not what I’m getting at here. I’m talking about winning-the-lotto, getting-an-inheritance-from-a-secretly-rich-relative, suing-a-company-and-winning money. Big and fast. Boom.

Wi$e-Guy  Money Roll

Aside from all the boring stuff that you should probably do — pay off any debts, hire a financial adviser, invest, give to charity, blahblahblah — what would you do if you found yourself with cash to burn? I’m not even talking dream-scenario stuff: buying an island or an airplane/yacht/submarine-hybrid or whatever other unnecessary things people might do. Just in day-to-day life, if money wasn’t really an object, what would you do with it? Here are my top 5:


1. Buy a nice house with a banging kitchen.

I don’t need crazy extravagance. I don’t want a house so big that walking from the living room to the front door makes me winded. But I would definitely go for something nice, a single-family home big enough to accommodate my someday-family and/or 5 – 10 more schnauzers, with a kitchen that even the stylists at Food Network would be proud of. And darn it all if I don’t finally get my Vitamix!


2. Hire a personal masseuse.

I don’t think that there is anything more beneficial to both your mental and physical well-being than a massage. However, at anywhere from $50 – $150 for a mere hour of blissful relaxation/pummeling (my massage philosophy: no pain, no gain), getting them more than once every few months is unrealistic for me. If I could afford it, I would get weekly massages in the comfort of my own home.

Where to?
From last January’s cruise

3. Travel.

Well this one is kind of a no-brainer. I literally grew up traveling. Every 3 – 4 years on the dot, my family and I would pack up our things and hightail it to a different international locale. Living overseas provided me with the opportunities to visit places that I might never have gotten to see otherwise: Thailand, Palau, Italy… the list goes on. Now that I’m an adult and on my own bankroll, I really miss traveling. My list of places I still want to go to is long (Greece, Australia, and Japan are at the top right now!) and if I didn’t have to, you know, work to have money, I would have been on a plane yesterday. Still though, whether it’ll be via first-class and five-star hotels or economy and youth hostels, I imagine this is one I’ll be crossing off of my bucket list regardless.


4. Get therapy.

So I know this sounds like a joke, but I’m serious. If I had the money, I would absolutely hire a therapist. Not for any particular reason necessarily, but just so that I’d have someone to hash things out with, for catharsis, to give myself some perspective… kind of like what I do in writing this blog, only more private. Because yes, there are things that even I, oversharerer extraordinaire, don’t divulge here, haha. I think that therapy is extremely beneficial, and shouldn’t be stigmatized as only being for those who have “problems” (though if that were a prerequisite, I bet my history and relationship with food could still use a few sessions just on their own). I always say that health is about much more than the physical, right? Of course, even without the stigma, it’s still fracking expensive — anywhere from $100 to $500 an hour.

Christmas Shopping

5. Shop. (Duh.)

Well, c’mon. I’m still ME, after all! If I had disposable income, I would obviously have absolutely no problem disposing of it. I would just be raising the bar in terms of where I was spending all that easily-earned cash, of course! Between Nordstrom, Williams-Sonoma, Kate Spade, Sephora… well, I think you get the idea. And these are just the places that I have at some point bought something (on sale) from in the past! When I start to think about opening the door to all the places that I wish I could shop at but can in NO WAY afford… oy. Louis Vuitton, Saks, Neiman Marcus, Christian Louboutin, Dior, Tiffany… okay, I need to stop. This is just getting depressing now.

So go on, tell me. If you had a million dollars (a couple times over), what would be on your list?

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Posted on Dec 9, 2011 in Food | 16 comments

Mostly Wordless Friday

So instead of regaling you with the tale of how I tried to (semi-drunkenly) cut my bangs last night, I’ve opted to showcase the only true success of the evening: dinner. I tried to find an alliterative synonym for “wordless” to pair with the word “Friday” for the title, but seem to have failed in that as well. As it is, we make due. 🙂








Have a great weekend!

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