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Posted on Jan 21, 2013 in Pup Posts | 8 comments

They Grow Up So Fast

Happy MLK Jr, Day/Inauguration Day, everyone! I have the day off here in DC for both of those reasons, but if you’re stuck at work today I definitely sympathize. Of course, today is also important to me because it’s a very important day in dog world too: Daxter’s birthday!

Clean Daxter

So yes, feel free to roll your eyes at the fact that I’m the kind of person who celebrates dog birthdays, but also, I mean, you really shouldn’t be surprised, hahaha. My little pupster is a whopping THREE YEARS OLD (sniff, sniff, they grow up so fast!) and it shall be duly celebrated. While Harry rolls his own schnauzer eyes in the background (he turns 9 in April!).

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Hehe. I’ll be back tomorrow with a smorgasbord of pictures from the baby shower that I threw for my sister (it was super adorable and OH SO VERY PINK), but for now, enjoy your day! I know Daxter will definitely be enjoying his. 🙂

Dogs like Yogurt too?

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Posted on Sep 7, 2012 in Food | 6 comments

Pesto Presto

No, my friends. Today’s Friday does not include anything of the fashion persuasion. Though I know how much you were looking forward to me regaling you with my take on sick fashion (which primarily consists of rants against why having to wear a bra sucks so much), I wore pretty much nothing but popsicle-themed PJ-shorts and Hello Kitty t-shirts for the past 3 days. So you’re outta luck.

Instead, I bring you more food! Funny how when I’m stuck at home with nothing to do but whine and sneeze, suddenly all my posts are about cooking again, eh? On today’s menu… pesto!

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I mentioned on Wednesday that I had picked up a GINORMOUS bunch of basil at the Farmer’s Market over the weekend, and unfortunately it was started to turn pretty quickly (as fresh herbs tend to do). Having already exhausted my creativity in the form of caprese salad and tomato basil soup, there was really only one other way I could think of to use up the rest of the basil before it went totally south: the magic that is pesto!

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I’ve made pesto maybe twice before in my life, so I am definitely no pro. I am a true aficionado, however, of EATING the stuff. I loooooove pesto. It’s so, so, so delicious. And for perhaps the first time ever, I just happened to have all the necessary ingredients at home. So there wasn’t even any need for me to go out and infect any of the poor checkout clerks at Giant. Not to mention, my sister also happened to send me a recipe for pesto salmon earlier that very day. Fate, I tell you! Fate!

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For those of you who have never made pesto before, it’s really quite simple. It’s typically made with pine nuts, but raw walnuts or pecans can be used as a substitute. I had the latter on hand, so that’s what I went with. The other ingredients are as follows:

Fresh basil (duh)
Pecans
Garlic
Parmesan reggiano cheese
Extra virgin olive oil
Lemon/lime juice
Salt & pepper

Just toss it all into a food processor (or high speed blender) and go nuts! I don’t have exact measured amounts for you, since I’m a wing-it-in-the-kitch kinda cook, but in my experience the ratio kind of goes like this:

A CRAP TON OF BASIL: smaller amounts of everything else

Hahahahahaha.

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Eventually, with a little tweaking (a little more basil here, a little more oil there, etc, etc), you end up with something that looks moderately passable:

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Then, you spoon it over whatever pesto-carrier you choose (while I would have loved to try the salmon recipe my sister sent me, I opted for the much easier whole wheat pasta option instead):

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And no, your eyes do not deceive about that side dish.

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My beloved roasted brussels sprouts are BACK IN BUSINESS! Huzzah!

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I topped it with a few pieces of leftover chicken from a couple of nights ago, and voila! Now your only job will be to fend off hungry beggars at the feast…

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Mooches.

I was noting as I was nomming gleefully on my meal that pesto pasta is MUCH more filling to me than pasta with marinara. I don’t know if I just wasn’t as hungry, but one portion of pasta (which is usually not enough for me) topped with some pesto totally did me in. I wonder if it’s because of the higher fat content of the pesto (due to the olive oil). Either way, I ended up totally satisfied AND have enough leftovers for lunch today.

On the sickness front: I am back at work today but still relatively miserable. I sneezed approximately 7,000 times on my drive in this AM. Luckily, it’s Friday and it’s DC so there’s basically nobody here today to see my watery-eyed, sniffling, sad-looking self. Here’s hoping that this weekend will finally drive me back over the edge into full health mode!

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Posted on Jun 13, 2012 in Dear Diary | 33 comments

The Good Life

Shocking though this may be, given the amount of complaining I do, I’d say that I’m generally a pretty positive person. I have my fair share of doldrum-dwelling moments, sure, but most of the time I tend to be of the half-full rather than half-empty mentality, more optimist than pessimist, and more happy-go-lucky than down in the dumps. My proclivity for wanting to see the better side of things clearly affects me in lots of positive ways. It allows me to keep my chin up when my weight loss isn’t progressing as planned (speaking of which, I think I’ll stay in denial just a little while longer, kthx). It helps my unfortunately thin skin heal whenever I read or hear something that might hurt my overly-sensitive feelings. It means I am simply terrible at holding grudges.

So, understanding that I grew out of my “I hate everything, the world sucks!” phase when I was 15, I doubt it’s particularly surprising to hear me talking about how good life is or how content I am right now. Nevertheless, I’m going to say it anyway. Life is good right now, and I want to talk about that. Hey, it’s my blog and I can brag if I want to, after all! Think of this as a general life update, because I know you care so very, very much. Hehe.

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(Photo by Ben)

Re: Family.

You guys are probably already well-aware of the fact that I’m kind of ridiculously close with my family. Like, far closer than the average 24-year-old almost-adult should be. I live with my brother, we have dinner with our parents at least once a week, and even though my sister lives in Columbia (near Baltimore), I also see her on an almost weekly-basis. Much to the probable chagrin of my brother-in-law and future sister-in-law (ahahaha), we still love going on family vacations together, going to events together, and just generally hanging out with each other. It’s weird, I know. I love my family — crazy! We’re a Family with a capital F, as my father says. The only unfortunate part of this whole arrangement is that Jenny will be moving to Houston by the end of the month (her hubby’s already there — cry!), a fact which I am begrudgingly beginning to accept.

We do have extended family in Houston (my aunt and grandmother live in the same neighborhood Jenny & Dan will be in), and my BFFFFFFF Bethany lives less than two hours away from there, as I understand it. I haven’t seen her in over TWO years. Omgaaaah. Saying (er, typing) that out loud makes me really upset. Looks like a visit to the Lonestar State will have to be on my agenda soon!


(Photo by Taylor)

Re: Romanticalness.

Teeheehee, blush, blinkblink, etc. Things are still going very well with Sean, the giver of gifts extraordinaire. This month marks FIVE months! Time really flies. We’re like a match made in Whasian Heaven. This weekend we are seeing the Beauty and the Beast musical at the National Theatre on Friday, and then going to see Dave Matthews Band on Saturday. <3.


(Photo by Taylor)

Re: Pups.

Well, they’re still perfect, obviously. I gave them haircuts on Monday. They look very dapper.

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Re: Creative Outlets.

I’ve been getting back to being a little more experimental and creative in the kitchen, which is making me really happy. Last night, I made pizza with barbecue pork and caramelized onions! Nom. I’ve slipped a little on the creative writing side in recent weeks, due to traveling, work, and school (updates on those last two coming up). I started writing a novel a few months ago (nerd alert!) and really want to get back into it. Writing, as you can probably tell from how wordy this post already is, makes me really happy.


(Photo by Taylor)

Re: Weight Loss.

I doubt that it’s been lost on any of you that I haven’t weighed in since before the Reach the Beach relay and my St. Maarten vacation. Well, it hasn’t been lost on me either. I know there’s really no point in me continuing to put it off (especially considering that this is supposed to be a weight loss blog, haha), but… I don’t know. I guess I just haven’t had the willpower or the motivation to actually step on the scale since.

Part of it comes from morbid curiosity: this has been my longest break from the scale since I started losing weight almost 2 years ago, and part of me wants to see what happens. It’s not like I’ve been going crazy or anything. I’m still working out two to three times a week, I’m still tracking (most of) what I’m eating, and I haven’t been backsliding into any dangerous disordered behavior or anything like that. I think honestly, that’s what makes it so scary though. The thought that even though I haven’t been doing anything “bad” (I wasn’t even THAT terrible while on vacation!), I might still have gained weight. I don’t think I want the confirmation that I’m destined for a lifetime of regains and relosses, calorie counting, and the like. I’ll face the music eventually, and sooner rather than later, I’m sure. Just, for now, I’d like to prolong the denial just a smidge. Kthx. 😉

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Re: Work & School.

Work is work, and I don’t really have much to complain about there. I like my office, my coworkers, and I know I have it pretty good in my office. It’s starting to get just the slightest bit more stressful for me (not by much, just a smidge) though, since I’ve taken on a few classes as part of me working towards my eventual Masters of Education. I’m currently taking two classes that I’ll need to obtain my endorsement in English, Grammar and Survey of English Literature. The grammar class has been particularly educational, if only because it’s taught me that I really didn’t know anything about grammar other than semi-proper punctuation, haha. But now? Subordinate clauses are my bitch! Ahahaha.

I’ll be taking two additional endorsement classes in the Fall, Linguistics and Survey of World Literature, and my grad school application is due October 1st. If I’m accepted, grad school will begin in January. Yipes! I know teaching is certainly not the career for everyone, and who knows if I’d really be able to hack it. Either way, though, it feels good to be working toward something. Forward motion, you know? And regardless of how everything turns out in the end, at least I still know that I love writing, reading, and even with my two little classes right now I’m really just enjoying learning again (nerd alert II!).

One thing that I’ve started to really think about lately is how teaching will affect this blog. Am I concerned at the thought of my classroom full of teenagers being able to Google me in a New York minute? Maybe. This isn’t really something I’m going to have to worry about for a while, since once I even start school it’ll be another year until my teaching internship, but I was talking to my friend Aileen yesterday and she helped me realize that it definitely warrants some thought.

It’s not that I’m really that concerned with the content, per se. I consider this blog to be pretty family-friendly, for the most part. It’s just that I don’t hold a lot back here — not only in terms of my weight (what teacher wants all of her students knowing exactly how much she weighs?!), but in terms of my personal history. There’re some intensely personal posts up here… although now that I say that, I question why I would be concerned with a group of teenagers reading about all that when I’m perfectly at ease sharing it with the entire interwebs, hahaha. There are also not a small amount of photos that depict me in my bathing suit, hahaha.

I have coworkers who read my blog, and my boss found it from Googling me before I even got hired here, so it clearly hasn’t been a hindrance to me professionally thus far. In fact, he said that it actually really impressed him. Showed a degree of technical savvy and entrepreneurial spirit, he said. So, who knows? I’ve spoken with a few bloggers who are also teachers, and their opinions seem to range from “Meh, who cares?” to a few of them having proactively shut down their blogs because of it. I’d be REALLY interested to hear your opinions about blogging and teaching!

So there you have it: one long, drawn out, overly verbose post about the general status of my life as it stands right now. My apologies if it all kind of ended up as one big #humblebrag. I guess I’m just in a good mood today… glass-half-full, y’know? 🙂

Happy Wednesday!

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Posted on Jun 6, 2012 in Dear Diary, Pup Posts | 10 comments

CaR(n)age

Yeah, I was trying to do some sort of clever play on the words “Car”, “Rage”, and “Carnage” for the title of this post, but that didn’t really work out as smoothly as I would have hoped. Oh well, since ultimately this will be but a tiny blip on the life-consuming radar of The Internets, I’m not going to sweat it too much.

I originally intended this post to be all about my hoarding ways, and the means in which I intend to rid myself of them. I’m determined to seriously edit the massive vacuum of STUFF that is my bedroom currently, and wanted to talk about that. Alas, I am a little too ragey to go into the specifics of Stuff Purging right now, so that will have to wait.

I’ve been living through a rather unfortunate bit of deja vu since last night. Remember how my car decided to give me a giant middle finger the night before my birthday, and I spent said birthday in the waiting room of a Sears Auto Shop with naught but my iPhone to keep me company? Well, I got to do it ALL over again when my now still-brand new battery decided to die on me last night. 6 jump starts and a totally unsurprising amount of tears later, I got to spend my entire morning waiting around for my sad, old Chrysler to be fixed.

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At least this time I had company. Adorable company.

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I’m looking to get a new (used) car sometime in the not-so-distant future anyway, so my biggest concern was having to dump hundreds and hundreds of dollars into a car that I won’t be driving for long. The mechanics were tossing around concern about the alternator, which I know from past experience (oh, 1987 Honda Prelude, you served me well… kinda) can cost $500+ to replace. Fortunately, the automotive gods took mercy on me this morning and it only ended up being a small post terminal that was all rusted and corroded. $2.99 for the part, $40 for the labor and installation, and I was back on my way. Hopefully this time it sticks!

Okay, thanks for sticking around through my vent sesh, friends. To end on a happy note, here are a couple more pictures of my puppers. They’ve been gracing this blog far too infrequently lately, don’t you think? NEED MOAR SCHNAUZERS!

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Happy Wednesday! We’re halfway there!

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Posted on Nov 28, 2011 in Dear Diary, Pup Posts | 25 comments

Highs and Lows

Happy (?) Monday, everyone! I hope everybody survived their holiday weekend unscathed and with only an extra 10 or 12 pounds around their waists (heh.) Surprisingly, I’m actually glad to get into a bit of normalcy over the next week or so. Until the craziness of the next holiday settles in, that is. Not that this unusual for me, as you are all painfully aware, but even with all of the Thanksgiving festiveness, the past week has been a bit of an emotional roller coaster for me. Ups and downs, highs and lows, it’s been a trip. Here are just some examples of each:

Feast!

High: The socially accepted binge that is Thanksgiving Dinner.

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Low: Not getting to spend Thanksgiving with my family (fur-family excluded).

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High: Completing 7.02 miles in preparation for the 15K coming up on Saturday (!!!)

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Low: How sore I already am, less than 24-hours later. And I only actually ran for half of it. Also a low? Seeing the race course and elevation map:

WHY SO HILLY?! Just kill me now. Ow.

High: The amazingness that is The Muppets Movie. Seriously, go see it right now. Mah-na mah-na.

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Low: Coming home post-movie to a sick puppy. Not that you need the specifics, but let’s just say my night — and day — included more than one messy clean-up. 🙁

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Extra Low: My sick puppy continuing to be sick, waking up every half-hour Saturday night to check for anything that may have spewed from either end, and, after 24+ hours of vomiting and diarrhea, finally making the decision to take him to the emergency vet at 10 PM last night. Prognosis? Undetermined, of course. It could be any number of things: upset stomach, parasites, blockage, gastrosomethingitis… They wanted to keep him overnight and IV-this and X-ray-that but even with my awesome pet insurance my monetary situation forced me to stay on the conservative side here. Which makes me feel like a horrible pet parent just saying so, but you know me: any sign of worsening or further trouble and I’ll be speeding (literally!) straight back to the Hope Center. But for now, at least my $585.00 procured a few meds and instructions for taking care of my little guy. Therefore, I’ll be playing the roll of Doggy Nurse today and hopefully things will go smoothly… for both of us.

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So, yeah… with all that, I’ve been doing some (more) emotional yo-yoing. And while mentally I know that Daxter is going to be okay, it’s still very worrisome. Oh, plus there’s the fact that I’m running on approximately 85 minutes hours of sleep thanks to getting home at 1:45 AM from the Doggy ER and Daxter’s frequent trips outside. I’m sure that my emotional instability will only continue to worsen as time goes on… and as I get closer and closer to Saturday’s race. For the latter, I know I just need to keep telling myself that I just need to FINISH the race: time be damned, pace be damned, other people’s opinions be damned. Right?

…right?

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