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Posted on Feb 17, 2011 in Dear Diary, Pup Posts | 8 comments

Leavin’ on a Jetplane

Hi-dee-ho Neighborinos! If you’re taking a gander around the site, you might notice that a few things (okay, everything) has changed! That’s right, I’m trying to a little lighter and brighter with my blog layout and theme. What do you think so far? I have plans to create a new banner for the blog (as much as I love my little Daxter-poo, I’m not sure I want my blog and weight loss to be forever associated with dog food) and I’m sure I’ll continue to move things around, so be prepared for some more ch-ch-ch-chaaaanges (oh yeah, that’s meant to be sung aloud.)

Anyway, as this post title implies, I am headed out on an aeroplane to visit my friends in the Great White North – Canada! For those of you just joining me, I spent my senior year of high school in Ottawa, Ontario before coming back to the states for college. Just for comparison’s sake, I will now allow you all to have a glimpse of high school Gretchen (she’s the one in the middle):

Hot damn, look at how skinny she was! Sigh, if only I knew then what I know now… I wouldn’t have wasted so much precious time and self-esteem berating myself for being “fat”. Anyway! That’s my prom pic (well, the Canadian equivalent of prom… called the “Grad Dance”… and our families were invited… yeeeeah. Canada, go figure. Hahahaha, I kid, I kid!) and I’m going to be hanging out with most of those cool cats again come this weekend! I haven’t seen most of my friends up there in over two years, so I am soooo excited to finally be visiting. My flight leaves this evening, so I worked on packing up my things last night:


And, of course, by packing my things I really mean hastily throwing my crap into a bag because I wasted my entire night on my blog theme revamp, hahaha.

Somehow, I feel as though the pupsters know that I am abandoning them. They were simply not having it last night:


Look at how angry little Daxy looks, and Harry wouldn’t even look at me! He did, however, go rooting through Erin’s bathroom trash, a pasttime he hasn’t engaged in since forever, so I think he knows something’s up. I don’t know what they’re so upset about though, they’re headed for a luxury stay at Hotel Grandma & Grandpa (aka my parents’ house) where I’m sure they will be treated to four full days of being fed from the table (tsk, tsk, Mama! Hahahahaha.)

Anyway, that’s my big news for the day. I cannot WAIT to see my friends again — I am literally counting the hours (and thus, this day is going by soooooooooooooooooooooooo slowly. OMGIDIE.) I’m not sure how much blogging I’ll be able to do from there, but I have already packed my camera so be on the alert for some sweeeeet recap posts when I get back, including food pics from my favorite Ottawan restaurant! And Beavertails! And Nanaimo Bars (well, I won’t be eating any of those, but I’ll try to take a picture at least, hahaha.) You get the general Canadian picture.

If you were wondering, I’m still planning on staying the course in terms of the diet while I’m gone. Since this is a trip (as opposed to a vacation), I will still try my best to be diligent about watching what I eat and making sure I’m not going overboard (Ai Rei – I’m counting on you to keep me on track!) I’m sure I’ll be freezing my tail off, but I guess that’s a good thing (shivering = burning calories, right?) That’s why my suitcase is so heavy though – lots of layering clothes! Also, I definitely overpacked on the underwear front. Which brings us to our Question o’ the Day:

When you go on a trip, what is your stance on underwear? Do you pack just enough, an extra pair or two, or have an extreme surplus? I definitely subscribe to the pack-as-many-pairs-as-you-can-fit mentality — better safe than sorry!

Oh, and before I forget: I gots my hair did yesterday, too. Just got it re-highlighted and trimmed up, and because of my extreme vanity I even took pictures for you all!




And yes. I felt like a loony bin taking pictures of myself inside Bubbles, haha. Ok, that’s all for now. If I don’t get to blog before then, see you all Stateside!

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Posted on Jan 4, 2011 in Dear Diary | 4 comments

Time for a trim!

The cruise countdown continues! Today’s preparations featured getting my hair cut (I looooove Aleese at Bubbles Tysons Corner – if you’re looking for a stylist, try her out! She’s awesome!) in a snazzy new cruisin’ ‘do!

The Before:

The After:

What do you guys think? Success?

My mall trip also included a stopover at Sephora to spend the giftcard my Aunt Martha & Uncle Tommy gave me for Christmas (thanks!) I got a little carried away with trying on looks in the store, so much so that someone came up to me and asked me if I worked there!! I guess that’s what I get for rocking awesome eye makeup and wearing black, hahahahaha.

I hope everyone had a fruitful day! Tomorrow’s scheduled cruise preparations include pedicures and some Mommy-Daughter bonding time. 🙂 ‘Til next time!

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Posted on Nov 14, 2010 in Dear Diary, Working Out | 3 comments

Weekend Update

Sorry, I can guarantee that this won’t be as hilarious as the SNL version. I do crack myself up, but even I can admit that I’m no Seth Myers. 🙂 I figured I’d try to catch you up on the weekend hijinks anyway. Away we goooo!

Friday after work, I had a doctor’s appointment to follow up about my kidney stone, and then I spontaneously decided to get my hair cut. Instead of going to my usual hairdresser at Bubbles in Tysons (Aleese, I’m sorry! Forgive my traitorous haircutting ways!) I popped into the Hair Cuttery in Falls Church (walk-ins welcome, after all! Haha.) I’ll definitely be going back to Aleese next time, since the elderly Ukranian woman who ended up cutting my hair didn’t really know what I was asking for, but I mostly just wanted to get it cleaned up – I was looking a li’l scruffy, hehe. I wasn’t too thrilled with my experience there, but I think the cut turned out okay in the end! You be the judge:


Er, still before. I had a little too much fun.


I took the “After” picture awkwardly inside Chipotle so I was trying to be inconspicuous by not smiling, hahaha. Anyway, I think in the end it’s not too shabby. I think I’m going to grow my hair out a bit and get an A-line bob (reverse bob, concave bob, whatever you call it) next time so I can try my hand at being super trendy.

Friday night a whole bunch of my friends and I ventured out to the Tortoise & Hare bar in Crystal City to see my friend’s band Flow in the Dark. It was a lot of fun! I had a couple of drinks, which probably wasn’t great for my weekly caloric totals (not to mention the waffle fries I split with Taylor and Ben… oops.) but I did stick to shooters as opposed to full on drink-drinks so I think I saved myself a few unnecessary ones there… small victories, hahaha.

Me, Erin, and Taylor out for the night!

Steve and his friend Jordan even came down from Delawhere? for the show, and I got to see some friends I hadn’t seen in a while. Doubleplusbonus? Lots of people told me that I looked noticeably thinner, which is always nice to hear. 😛 It was a good night, but I was POOPED by the end of it (I don’t have the stamina to go out after working an entire day – don’t know how you people do it!)

Saturday I lounged around for a while before heading over to my parents’ house to embark on my greatest training challenge yet: Attempting to run 2 miles outside. My fitness coach and sister extraordinaire was there right alongside me as we ran, jogged, and shuffled (but never walked!) through the super-dee-duper hilly terrain of Falls Church. Verdict?

2.15 total miles! I had a super slow pace, but I don’t care – I didn’t walk at all, and there were a LOT of hills. I feel so accomplished! I know that 2 miles isn’t THAT much, but it’s definitely the most that I’ve ever run at all, let alone outside. It makes me feel like maybe running this 5K isn’t totally unrealistic (it’s a flat course, so I hear that alone makes a huge difference, haha.)

I definitely feel a little sore today, but it’s actually not as bad as I thought it would be. And to boot, while we were running, I definitely felt like running the first mile was, well, easy. Who would have EVER thought that I would use the words “run a mile” and “easy” in the same sentence?! Three and a half months ago, this would have been a crazy pipe dream. I really feel like I’m making progress here, in more than just the numbers way.

Saturday night I went to a Thanksgiving Potluck Dinner at my brother’s friend Lauren’s house. She and her husband John have an annual Thanksgiving potluck, and this year she was nice enough to invite me, too! It was a lot of fun, although I really wasn’t as good as I should have been. I tried to load up on salad and turkey first, but there was definitely some stuffing and mashed potatoes that slipped in there too. Sigh. I’m trying to view this whole week as a fitness victory, rather than a food victory though. I lost 4.6 pounds last week, so I was never counting on losing a lot, if anything, this week. I just wanted to get back on form, and ramp up my 5K training, which I think I’ve done. We’ll see how tomorrow’s weigh-in pans out, but in the meantime, I’m feeling pretty good about myself. 🙂

Alright, that about sums up the major points of the weekend, plan for the day is to do a whole lot of lounging. Hopping back on the treadmill tomorrow and continuing on training for the 5K, which is soooooooo close I’m starting to freak out just a little bit more. Weigh-in tomorrow!

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