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Posted on Nov 18, 2011 in Food, Giveaway | 173 comments

Not Too Shabby (Giveaway!)

Wow guys. I really commend you all for sticking with me through these past couple weeks of doldrum-dwelling and Debbie Downer-ness. Seriously, if I had any “I put up with Gretchen!” medals, you would all have earned one. (Sounds like a good idea for my next t-shirt design, eh? Haha.)

I’m finding that continually trying to dig myself out of my cooking rut is a good way to keep my chin up. You know, kitchen therapy and all that. That being said, I still needs my comfort food. Enter last night’s dinner:

Smashed
SMASHED POTATOES FTW.

This deliciousness was comprised of baby red potatoes, earth balance (vegan butter), salt, pepper, minced garlic, a wee bit o’ bacon, and a splash of cream — all smashed together. Oh, and dill. Obviously loooots of fresh, flavorful dill. Yum.

Taters

I am not ashamed that I had mashed potatoes for dinner! (Sidenote: I am also not ashamed of my plans to see Twilight tonight with my roomie! SHAZAM.) Even so, I did force myself to have some asparagus as well… which was cooked in the aforementioned garlic and bacon. Heh.

Asparagus
Proof.

Totes balanced, right? 😉

Anyway, I’m finding that today I’m in a slightly less glum mood, and it is Friday after all! So I’m trying to pass on these moderately elevated feelings to you! Huzzah! I’ve got a fun giveaway for you courtesy of the kind folks at Shabby Apple! After all, we’re all still trying to enjoy the little things, right? And what’s more enjoyable than getting free stuff? Oh yeah, getting super adorable, vintage-inspired free stuff!

The winner will be able to choose one of the following items:

Adelaide Skirt or The Queen’s Rose Cameo Necklace

Pretty, right? Shabby Apple carries a whole line of jewelry inspired by Alice in Wonderland. Love. So, the deets for entry:

Mandatory: “Like” Shabby Apple on Facebook and leave a comment here saying you did so.

Additional Entries: Don’t forget to leave separate comments for each one!

1. “Like” Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen! on Facebook.
2. Follow me on Twitter.
3. Follow Shabby Apple on Twitter.

There you have it: four ways to enter, four ways to win! The winner will be randomly chosen on Tuesday, November 22nd. Apologies to my international friends — Shabby Apple has stipulated that this giveaway is open to US residents only. May the odds be ever in your favor!

Have a great weekend, friends!

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Posted on Nov 4, 2011 in Fail | 24 comments

New Month, Same Goals

It’s Friday! We made it! It’s time to do a little happy dance, get a hot cup of coffee, and watch this amazing video from Jimmy Kimmel Live re: kids, parents, and halloween candy.

Oh, the lies parents tell their children for the sake of amusement. (The two little boys at the end are the BEST. “She ate it! What the heck!”)

Now I hope you have your happiness force-fields up nice and strong after that, ’cause you’re going to need ’em in order to survive the continued doldrum-dwelling that’s about to follow. That’s right, it’s time to revisit the October goals that I belatedly established halfway through last month. Spoiler alert: There is a lot of failure involved.

Flashback time:

1. Hit 184-point-something pounds.

This did not happen. I gained 2.5 lbs two weeks ago, and I haven’t weighed myself since. Them’s the facts.

2. Complete a long run every weekend.

Now, I will concede to myself that this wasn’t a TOTAL failure, since I did go out and run twice over the weekends, as well as completed smaller runs during the week with uncharacteristic regularity (this week excluded, haha.) But, I didn’t do it every weekend, so technically, this is a wash too.

3. Go shopping.

I didn’t buy any new clothes, so really this was a full fail. But from a debt perspective, not buying clothes is kind of a win. Plus, I did technically shop, just mainly for food. Also, toothpaste.

4. Bring lunch to work everyday.

I have no excuses. Sad trombone.

5. Step up my photography.

My real goal here was to take a class or read up on photography technique, neither of which I did. In fact, most of the latter half of the month was spent with me in Photoshop writing words on pictures of my dogs. So while I do feel that I got some great shots at the various weddings I attended and whatnot, I don’t think that really counts.

So there you have it folks. Not exactly a stellar report card. But since I’m still hell-bent on trying to make this goal thing work, we’re just going to reset for this month instead.

1 – 5: The exact same as October’s goals. Only, y’know, without as much fail. I was going to amend my weight loss goal to make it lower, but then I remembered that Thanksgiving is happening at the end of the month. And since I haven’t gone completely crazy (yet), I do know better than to be that ambitious. I’m also adding an unofficial sixth goal to keep busy, have fun, and stop being sad/angry/lame. Eventually, at least.

What’s one of your November goals?

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Posted on Oct 28, 2011 in Pup Posts, Vlog | 11 comments

Greetings from the Great White North!

Ahoy-hoy, ya hosers! Salutations from America’s friendly upstairs neighbor, Canadia!

Right now, I’m up in Ottawa doing… something. No way of knowing exactly what that is, of course, since I pre-wrote this post before I left. (I’m clearly using the term “post” very loosely here, haha.) Hopefully I’m up to something fun and super Canadian, eh?

I couldn’t just leave you totally hanging. It’s Friday, after all! And between debt confessions and discouraging weight gains, it’s been a bit on the depressing side here this week. So in addition to yesterday’s pumpkin-carving awesomeness, I’ve also cued up a little cuteness for you to make up for it. Hopefully it gets you through to quitting time!

Preface: Daxter actually knows quite a few super adorable tricks. He’s a great little dancer, high-fiver, and roll-over-er. However, getting him to perform them with consistency is the real challenge, as you’ll see.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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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!

IMG_5513.jpg

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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Posted on Oct 14, 2011 in Dear Diary | 40 comments

Freitag Fünf

Yes, I’m a copycat. I fully admit it. Every blogger and her mom does a “Friday Favorites” or “Five for Friday” or some other cleverly alliterative post, and today I am no different. Well, except for the whole thing where the title of my post is in German (literal translation according to Babel Fish: Friday Five.) Hey, I gotta mix it up somehow!

See, my plan was to blog about my first training run (in preparation of the Hot Chocolate 15K that I signed up for in an insomnia-induced stupor Tuesday night.) I was going to have this whole schpiel about how I did it even though I incessantly tried to talk myself out of it and how I managed to complete X amount of miles and blahblahblah. But just as I was tying the laces on my Brooks, the skies opened up. And since I am barely a runner, let alone the kind of hardcore runner that runs in the rain, I kicked off my sneaks and did yoga in my room instead. Let’s just call it “cross-training” and move on.

I like lots of things, but especially these things right now.

Photo on 2011-10-04 at 17.08 #5
1. La Croix Sparkling Water

You guys have known about my sparkling water obsession for a little while now, but I have to say it’s gotten a lot more focused since I’ve been introduced to this amazingness. I foresee many dollars being sacrificed to the La Croix gods in the future. Must… try… raspberry…

IMG_9587.jpg
2. Brussels sprouts.

Sorry Pops, I know these are your least favorite food, but the little green brains are back in my life! These used to be one of my scary foods, but I’ve since learned better. Cook ’em up with some maple syrup and bacon? Man, oh man. Don’t worry, Dad, I’ll eat your share.

Picturesque
3. Weddings!

Tomorrow brings the FOURTH wedding that I will have attended since August. Whew! That being said, I still love weddings, and I am so, so happy to get to share in my friends’ special days. Steve, on the other hand, might be getting a little burnt out on my not-so-subtle bouquet-catching efforts, hahaha.


4. iOS 5

I just downloaded iOS 5 for my iPhone the night before last and I love it. Things are running smoother, faster, and I am OBSESSED with the new Banner notification option. Now when I get text messages they no longer pop up and interrupt whatever I’m doing – a notification simply slides down from the top. I can click it if I want, otherwise it will go away after a few seconds, sans interruptus. The new iMessage feature, where I can now text anyone else with iOS 5 for free (similar to Blackberry’s BBM function) is sweet too. Kinda makes that unlimited texting plan a little useless though, eh?


5. If I Die Young – The Band Perry

I know I’m really, really (um, a year?) late jumping onto this bandwagon but I have been eerily obsessed with this song lately. I literally cannot get it out of my head… and it may or may not be my ringtone as of 5 PM yesterday evening (damn you iTunes!) I’m sure my roommates are probably getting mighty sick of hearing me butcher it as I attempt to learn it on guitar though.

So what if October is already half over?! Better late than never!

IMG_9636.jpg
1. Hit 184-point-something lbs.

I know this might not seem like the loftiest of goals considering I’m sitting at exactly 186.0 lbs (as of my last weigh-in), but with the aforementioned wedding coming at me tomorrow… well, it might not be such a gimme after all.

IMG_7185.jpg
2. Complete a long run every weekend.

At this point, 4 to 5 miles is still a lot for me. I wasn’t able to run the Navy 5 Miler without walking, so I want to master that before trying to tack on any more distance. My goal is to do at least two shorter runs during the week and a longer run on the weekend. This is a really specific goal compared to how I usually plan things, so we’ll have to see how well I stick to it!

Triptych
3. Go Shopping.

The feedback you guys gave me on yesterday’s clothing dilemma helped me decide that I should pick up a few more closet staples in the size I am now. I plan on snagging a couple of fall & winter basics to carry me through this in-between phase before I hit my goal weight. Thanks for giving me an excuse to spend more money, guys!

IMG_1401.jpg
4. Bring lunch to work everyday.

I’ve been shamefully lacking in this area lately (and I was doing so well, too!) so I’m re-resolving to pack my lunch everyday. Bringing my own food is so much better for me, makes calorie counting so much easier, and is so, so, SO much cheaper.

Buncha Monkeys
5. Step up my photography.

Seeing Ben in photog mode (both at the wedding and at various portrait shoots like the one above with our friend’s baby) has made me really want to up the ante with my photography. Seeing him in action made me painfully aware of how much I still have to learn. I want to take a class, or at least spend some real time reading and viewing tutorials on how to master my camera and get to the next level of editing expertise.

And there you have it. Yet another one of my forays into a (hopefully) beloved blog fad. So now it’s your turn!

What’s one thing you’ve been loving lately, and/or one thing you’d like to accomplish before the end of October?

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