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Posted on Mar 22, 2012 in Dear Diary | 42 comments

Girl on Fire


Midnight release, baby! I’m sure you are not surprised, given my past experience with midnight releases, hehe. I’ve been going on and on about the books and this movie for a while now, and it’s finally here! Initial reviews from Rotten Tomatoes are showing really favorable scores (90%!) which makes me incredibly happy. I AM SO EXCITED. (I may not be the best at tempering my expectations.) Let’s be honest though, even if it was of Twilight-level craptasticness, I’d probably still love it. IT’S THE HUNGER GAMES.


I’ve got my Teem Peeta shirt at the ready, have big plans for a pre-movie nap after work, and have even crafted a Katniss-inspired makeup look for tonight that would make The Capitol proud!


I tried really hard to take photos that would allow me to piece together a tutorial for this, but alas, I have no remote for my camera and thus no mad skillz. So forgive the bad lighting and inconsistent shots, haha. Here are the best of my (bad) attempts, nonetheless. You know, just in case anyone else out there is as crazy as I am (unlikely) and wants to try to create something similar for their movie-going experience.

Makeup Forever Yellow Gold #10, Tangerine #18, and Neon Pink #75; Sephora Aspen Summit #23; Urban Decay Primer Potion; Two Faced Lashgasm mascara; Urban Decay 24/7 Liquid Liner in Perversion.


Start by priming your eyes and applying the yellow shade over the entire lid using a flat shadow brush.


Apply the orange shade in an outward “V” shape to the outer corner of your eyelids, winging it out as far as you are comfortable. Blend.


Using a liner brush, trace a line underneath the shadows from the outer corner of your eye with the pink shade. Duplicate on your lower lash line. Line your upper lid with liquid liner (I did a bad job of this here, haha) and apply mascara to top and bottom lashes (curling is optional).


Using a brush or the tip of your pinky, apply the shimmery white shade to the inner corner of your eyes, around your tear duct and blend well. Done!

So let’s move past the facts that A) the lighting is pretty lousy, B) it’s really hard to take pictures of yourself with a DSLR, and C) I am clearly le tired in these photos. As you can see, it’s a flame-inspired eye look that I feel Cinna would wholly approve of. If you’re looking for a wilder look, simply layer on more color and let the shadow reach higher up on your brow line. To tone it down, just don’t wing out the shadow past your eyelid for a look that’s still colorful and fun but much more subtle. Ta-da!


Also, if you haven’t heard this song by my girl T.Swift from the soundtrack, you should give it a listen. It’s soft and eerie and haunting and beautiful. It illuminates a very specific part of the book/movie for me, which I will not reveal (no spoilers!), but just… yes. It’s gorgeous, as is the video for it, so here you go:

You may have to click through to view the video if you’re reading this via email subscription.

AUUUUGH, I AM SO EXCITED. I can’t promise as to whether or not I’ll be conscious enough to write a post in any sort of timely manner tomorrow, so for now I shall simply say: May the odds be EVER in your favor!

So who’s seeing The Hunger Games this weekend? Any fellow midnight-release crazies out there?

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Posted on Mar 7, 2012 in Working Out | 30 comments

Workout Motivation

Yesterday marked my last of three personal training sessions that I purchased when I joined a gym as part of my Lenten resolution. I have actually really enjoyed strength training with my trainer, Jordan, and am a little bit worried about putting in the same effort on my own. There’s no internal argument when I have someone there telling me what to do — I just, I dunno, do it. Ideally, I think I would honestly prefer to work out with a trainer on a permanent, regular basis, but monetarily that’s not very practical for me at this time.

I do know that I want to keep going with weight training, however, because I am actually enjoying it more than I expected. I wouldn’t say I like it, but I decidedly don’t hate it (yet), which is a big step for me! Alas, it will be up to me to (try to) remember all the exercises that Jordan has taught me, and to devise a few workout sets of my own to keep going. I suppose I’ll also be joining the ranks of people who scour the internet for workout plans and inspiration, too. And whaddya know, I’ve already found a few that I am more than happy to get on board with!

katniss and peeta

Theodora‘s company recently sent me a workout plan that was developed by Lisa Wheeler, the Fitness Program Director of DailyBurn. This workout is specifically inspired by The Hunger Games. I know how cheesy it sounds, but honestly the simple act of combining something that I don’t like (exercise) with something that I love (Hunger Games, durr) makes the whole idea of actually, y’know, doing it more exciting. Honestly, I should probably capitalize on this excitement most by taking a full-on archery class (resistance training, whoop whoop!) but we’ll go with what we got for now, haha. And what we got is a free workout that you don’t even need a gym to be able to do!

hunger games banner

Exercise: Single Arm Row with Rotation
Equipment: Resistance Band
Description: A single arm row simulates the upper body action in archery by drawing one elbow back (engaging the deep muscles of the back) and slightly rotating the torso. Hook tubing around a stable pole or door jam and place both handles in your right hand. Step back until the tubing has some tension. Pick up your right foot and balance on your left and then begin to pull the tubing back, right hand moving towards right hip. Add a slight rotation to the right, opening up the shoulder.

Exercise: Bear Squat
Equipment: none, just your body weight
Description: The bear squat combines a full plank, which is fantastic for the core, and an explosive leg press. Begin in plank then bend your knees and send your hips back over your heels keeping the knees off the floor (spine is flexed and arms are extended). With a powerful push from your legs, extend back out to plank and hold.

Exercise: Curtsy Squat Side Lunge
Equipment: Dumbbells
Description: To truly develop strong legs that are functional for running, jumping, leaping and carrying heavy loads, you must train them in all directions. Holding heavy dumbbells in each hand begin with feet together. Step out to the side with your right leg, keeping your left leg straight. Hinge forward slightly but keep chest lifted with the dumbbells on either side of your right leg. Push off your right foot and immediately step back and cross behind the left leg, bending both knees into a curtsy squat.

Exercise: Quick Feet Drill
Equipment: none, just your body weight
Description: To be quick on your feet and have the agility to change direction quickly, you must train the muscles to fire rapidly and with power. This drill is about quickness and endurance and really elevates your heart rate. Begin in the athletic ready stance (feet a little wider than shoulder width with knees slightly bent and a slight hinge forward from the hips) with arms out the side, palms forward. Start moving your feet as fast as you can as if running keeping the feet close to the ground. Keeping your shoulders and torso stable, randomly twist your hips (knees and feet as well!) to the right and quickly back to the center. Repeat to the left continuing to keep your feet moving as quickly as possible.


As you can see, these aren’t exactly as simple or easy as your basic bicep curl. They are much more complex exercise moves that most definitely fall under the category of a “full body workout”. Each move seems to challenge your stability and balance along with the body part they are targeting – more bang for your workout buck! I’m happy because at least for OMGRIGHTNOW, I have some new moves to test out as I figure out how I work solo in the weight room. My legs are crazy sore (again, sigh) from my training session yesterday, but you can bet I’ll be attempting the faux-archery Arm Row exercise tonight!

How do you do your gym workouts? Do you need a gym buddy? Personal trainer? A workout ripped from the pages of a magazine or printed off of a website?

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Posted on Feb 27, 2012 in Dear Diary | 19 comments


I have a bit of an obsessive personality. You are probably not shocked to hear this. Still, it bears noting that I am well-aware of my tendency to throw 110% of myself into something… until my interest suddenly drops out, that is. Then, I have absolutely no problem just, y’know, giving up. In fact, aside from sushi, Harry Potter, and my inexplicable love for stationary shopping, this has held true for pretty much everything I’ve ever claimed interest in: every hobby I’ve attempted taking up (scrapbooking, anyone?), every food I’ve been obsessed with (still waiting for the tide to turn on my love for brussels sprouts), and every fad diet I’ve attempted. In fact, my single-minded focus when it comes to my interest du jour often causes me to forgo other aspects of my life.

Most are relatively harmless. For example, I am super obsessed with the Hunger Games right now (as you all should be, as well). In fact, when I first read the books last October, I ended up spending a large chunk of my trip to Canada finishing all three of them instead of going out and doing Canadian things. Was it stupid to choose to read (an AMAZING set of books, but something I could do anytime nonetheless), over spending time back in my high school stomping grounds? Probably. But ultimately it wasn’t anything unforgivable. Another example: the other day I bought not one, not two, but THREE different pieces of Hunger Games-inspired paraphernalia on Etsy. Perhaps not the best use of my money, but like I said, I’m obsessed.

While I may display my ridiculous fangirl-ness rather proudly, however, I am ashamed to admit that other, far more destructive behaviors that have cropped up in the name of past obsessions. Especially when that obsession manifested itself in ways particular to my self-image… like the very one that sparked the entire creation of this blog: my weight. My obsession with my appearance and weight has always had its ups and down, but it was unsurprisingly at its craziest in high school. At times, either because I was actually content with my looks or simply too lazy to do anything about it, things were fine. Business as usual – eating normal amounts of not-super-healthy-but-not-terrible-for-you foods, not thinking about it too much. But as we very well know, all it takes is one comment from a mean teenager, one side-eye from someone skinnier, one spark of self-hatred and all that normalcy crumbles. And suddenly the only thing that matters is losing weight. Not my family, not my friendships, and certainly not my health.

The first step was always to enter crash diet mode. I would mentally yell obscenities at myself, trying to convince myself that I was too fat to deserve food. I would try to sleep all day so I wouldn’t have to eat anything. But between school, and going to the bathroom, and simply getting bored with that, my plan to, uh, not eat would fail, and I would resort to the latest fad diet. Low carb! No carb! No cheese! Only cheese! Cabbage soup! Fish oil! And when the results didn’t come, or didn’t come fast enough, sometimes I went even further than that. Diet pills. Insane “cleanses” based on information gleaned from the internet. And I know that if my 16-year-old self had been able to get her hands on some fen-phen, she would have had no qualms about it, heart murmurs be damned. Eventually, my fervent obsession with dropping 10 lbs in a week would fizzle out. By the time I got to college, cycles of binge eating had worked their way in there as well, which means that my slow ascent to my highest weight of 246 lbs happened purely because of my vain attempts to lose a quick 5 libbies in high school.

Senior year of college

The worst part, as I see it now (with all my almost-24-years of wisdom, haha), is that I wasn’t really even overweight in high school. Because I was younger than everyone else (I skipped a grade when I was young), it took a little longer for my baby fat to redistribute itself. But by the time I got to the end of my sophomore year, I was strong, tall, and probably around 160 lbs. Totally normal, maybe even svelte, considering that’s right around what my goal weight is now. Of course, since I spent grades 9 – 11 in Taiwan, surrounded by my genetically petite classmates who topped out at 5’2″ and 110 lbs, I thought I was a total whale. I was in the 180s by the time I started my senior year, now living in Ottawa, but given how good I felt when I hit 186 back in the fall, I now know how perfectly NORMAL that was.

Senior year of high school

Stupid teenage me.

Last weekend

Anyway, the point of this long, extremely wordy post is to point out that it’s only now that I’m really starting to understand myself. I’m starting to get how my mind works, how my motivation works, and I keep trying to figure out what it is about this time that’s actually sticking. I mean, I know that I’ve been drifting for a while now, and I haven’t made tons of progress over the past year compared to the beginning, but the fact that I’m still here? That I’m still blogging, still trying, still actively thinking about my health? AND still trying to do it all the right way? It is a significant change from how I used to be. I hope it doesn’t sound conceited or anything, but I think it shows growth. And you might say I’m still pretty obsessed with my weight. I mean, I do still blog about it pretty much every day. But it’s a healthier kind of obsession, if there’s such a thing. It’s a slow burn. Not the kind the consumes you and drives you to do desperate (and dangerous) things. The kind that warms you from the inside, because you know that eventually, even if it does take another year to drop as many pounds as you lost in the first 4 months, you’ll get there.


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