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Posted on Mar 21, 2014 in Weigh Ins, Weight Loss | 10 comments

Back to the Grind (Weigh-in)

Well, I know it’s been a minute since I actually last posted about something related to weight loss. Which is no big deal really, except that it’s, oh, you know, just the whole main subject of this very blog. And I’ve really only recently gotten back on the bandwagon, as it were, so it’s pretty bad of me to fall behind already.

That being said, you all already know the reasons why I have fallen behind, so I’m hoping you’re willing to cut me a wee little bit o’ slack. Trips galore, planning gigantic promotions for local businesses, and a mind-boggling sickness (stupid #CMWeekPlague!) that lingers on EVEN TODAY… but whatevs. I’m here now, and that’s all that really matters, ain’t it?

So let’s not dilly dally here. I’m sure it comes as no surprise to you all that I wasn’t exactly on my best, most rigorous weight loss behavior on my various jetsets across the country, so I was pretty much bracing myself for the worst when it came to the scale this morning. Shall we take a look?

(Re)Starting Weight: 236.6 lbs
Last Weigh-in: 226.2
This Weigh-in: 228.7 lbs
Difference: +2.5 lbs

So, I gained a couple of libbies back, surprising nobody. But really, i’s not the WORST thing that could’ve happened. I mean, it’s not great, but if we’re all being honest here, I think we know it could have been waaaaaaay bad. I mean, eating out for literally every single meal while I was in SF with a group of other gorgeous people who are experts on goooood fooood, drinking at night (and I don’t really drink much, so I’m sure that had a big impact) all the cakes and candy and ridonkulous sugar highs that came with planning and executing a one year old’s birthday party… Plus, we all know that I can gain 5 pounds by pretty much just looking at a stack of nachos, so all things considered, I’m actually not that discouraged.

Well, actually, now that I’m really thinking about it, I probably DID gain more than 2.5 pounds back, but since I’ve been back home for almost a week now, maybe I’ve already normalized a bit. Which does make it ever so slightly more depressing, but… meh. What’s done is done, eh?

After all, I’m nothing if not resilient. So I’ll just keep on keeping on (it’s kind of my thing). I’ve got some new inspiration for some awesome recipes, I’m focusing on consuming more protein and healthy fat, and fewer carbs (I’ve given up potatoes for Lent which should help eliminate about 60% of my current carb addiction problem… man, I love potatoes), and in general, I’m feeling pretty good about how things are going. Or, rather, how they will be going, from hereon out.

PLUS, I just got my braces adjusted, which means that I’m pretty much limited to a diet of applesauce, pudding, and mashed avocado for the next few days. I mean, sure, it’s kind of an involuntary diet, but hey, if it works…!

Thanks, as always, for sticking around with me on this crazy ride. And, you know, not judging me toooo harshly on weeks like this. And hey, since I kickstarted this weightloss thing back in January, this is my first weigh-in reporting a gain, so that’s one way to justify look at it, right? #silverlining

PS: There’s still time to enter the AllWhites givewaway for a $100 gift card! Check it out if you haven’t already and get paiiiiiiid, yo!

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Posted on Mar 12, 2014 in Dear Diary, Food | 3 comments

Whirlwind Week

Oh what a week, what a week, what a mighty fine week!

When I last left you, I was on my way to not-quite-sunny-but-wonderfully-temperate San Francisco for a week of Yelptastic shenanigans with the other 150+ Community Managers from ’round the globe. We called it #CMWeek14 and, as you can imagine, it was just as awesome as you’d think.


1. Goodies from the hotel welcome bag; 2. Beer + dark chocolate sea salt popsicle at the welcome party

There was a lot of learning, waaaaayyyy too much eating, a decent amount of me trying not to be the awkward “new kid” in front of so many seasoned Yelp vets (obviously I failed at that one, ahaha), and just generally a whole lot of good times.

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1. Sushiritto: IT EXISTS; 2. Personalized latte from the Yelp barista

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I am extremely blessed to have this job. I mean, to not only be able to do things that I love everyday, but to work with such amazing, talented, creative, and awe-inspiring individuals to boot? Those of you who are Yelp Elite Squad members in other states (maybe even countries?) know exactly what I’m talking about.

My Regional Team: NC, DC, MD, PA, and VA in the hooooouse!

Our days pretty much consisted of nonstop sessions, group lunches and dinners, and then me being dragged into the party hardy fray after all of that. Don’t get me wrong, it was a BLAST, but I rarely go that hard on my own turf, let alone with a wonky time difference thrown into the mix. The night we took over a karaoke bar was 100% worth it alone, but believe you me, I suffered afterwards.


In fact, it seems like the second I set foot back on northern Virginia soil, my body was like, “BWAHAHAHA. AND NOW I SHALL HAVE MY REVENGE.” I got sick, and I got sick harrrrrd. Maybe it’s just the symptoms of CM week withdrawal, but it feels more like bubonic plague.

Of course, the train never stops rolling these days, so I didn’t let a little thing like being on my deathbed stop me from pulling off another swell Yelp Elite Event! On Sunday, just two days after I got back from SF, was Yelp’s Social Petworking!

Since having Daxter at an event has pretty much been my goal from the very beginning, it wasn’t too hard for me to rally for this one. That said, I’ve pretty much spent every other moment — both waking and sleeping — in bed, trying to shake this dang plague.

And why is it so important that I will myself back to health? Because tomorrow I’m off AGAIN! This time, it’s back to Macon, GA for my niece Mia’s FIRST BIRTHDAY! (Do you guys remember when SHE WAS BORN?! Yeah, an entire YEAR HAS PASSED SINCE THEN. Crazy.)

Life, man! It’s happening! Oy!

Anyway, that brings you all back up to speed, and with this next trip being hopefully a little less pedal-to-the-medal (I can’t imagine Mia wanting to go balls to the wall on her first birthday, but you never know…) I’ll be able to get back into the groove with blogging, eating, weight loss, and all that good stuff.

On a related note, I gave up potatoes for Lent this year, so let’s see how that goes, shall we?

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Posted on Dec 31, 2012 in Dear Diary | 15 comments

Preparing for 2013

I know. You’re back to work on this horrible day-before-yet-another-holiday (just like I am) and perusing a few of your favorite blogs, only to find that each one is pretty much focused on the same thing: New Year’s. And, more specifically, New Year’s resolutions. Well, I’m gonna break it to you now, just so you don’t get mad at me later, but this post is also New Year’s themed. But! I also gotta say… I’m kind of over New Year’s resolutions.

Don’t get me wrong, I think they can be great. If there really is one person out of every 100 who sticks to their guns and actually gets back to the gym or quits smoking or finally loses that last XX amount of pounds, then that’s amazing! Champagne for everyone! But. There are still those other 99 people who have made a resolution, broken it by the 3rd day/week/month, and then give up for the rest of the year. And that? Not so bueno.

I mean, you are talking to the queen of resolutions. Every December 31st between 2001 and 2010, I would make sweeping declarations to lose weight, get slim, reprogram my oh-so-horrible life. And what happened? I got fatter and more unhealthy every year. Until, randomly, AUGUST of 2010 — not January — when I started this very blog. And, well, you guys know the rest, hehe.

So instead of focusing on all the things I wish and hope and pray and want to happen in 2013 like, yes, finally losing these last 15 – 20 pounds, getting back to the gym/some kind of regular exercise, reinvigorating my love for cooking at home and healthifying meals, I’m going to focus on all the things that I KNOW are happening in 2013. And that I am so frackin’ excited for, I can’t stand it. (I feel I should state, just so there isn’t any confusion or witch hunting, that I’m not saying I won’t be working towards any of those aforementioned goals — I’m just not going to make some arbitrary date-related proclamation and then pansy out on it if I fail after a few weeks, hahaha.)

2013 is shaping up to the most exciting year for the Powell family yet, because there is a LOT of ish going down. Like, I’m getting a little tired just THINKING about how much stuff there is. So! Let’s start chronologically, shall we?

Anne's Wedding-27

January brings the baby shower for my gorgeous niece-to-be, as well as Sean’s and my 1-year anniversary!

Preggo Jenny!

March brings the BIRTH of said beautiful baby, which is just so exciting I want to die. Judging by the amount of baby crap I’ve already bought the little fetus, I AM GOING TO BE THE BEST AUNT EVER. Bahahaha.

Then, of course, April brings… MY TWENTY-FIFTH BIRTHDAY!! Now, I know that there are probably a lot of you out there rolling your eyes at this, but if you know me at all, you know how much I love my birthday. Chalk it up to years of being the youngest person in my class/grade/school year (I skipped 2nd grade because I was just sooooooooo smart, hahahaha) but I just do. I just love it. Love it, love it, love it. And I like to celebrate in style, as those of you who were here to witness my recap of my Harry Potter-themed birthday party can attest. Of course, 25 is an even bigger deal than 24, and thus needs a theme of its own. So prepare yourselves for…



Yep, my 25th birthday party is going to be Hunger Games-themed and there’s absolutely nuttin’ you can do about it. 😀

Still so proud of myself for taking this shot, hehe.

A-hem. Moving on… May brings another joyous family occasion: my brother’s wedding! I’m a bridesmaid, no big thang ::dusts off shoulder:: and it’s going to be awesome. You guys already know how much I love weddings, and the fact that it’s my own brother’s only means it’s going to be amazing-er.


So I actually just recently learned that June will likely entail a trip to the sprawling green hills of Ireland! Sean’s good friend is getting married in Cork, Ireland, and I am THRILLED because I’ve never been. Squeeee! Not so sure how I’ll feel about the local cuisine, but I do love beer. Beer-y beer beer.

Mom and me in Neskowin, OR, circa 1993-ish?

And then comes July, where a giant, enormous, humongous, gargantuan Powell family reunion is set to take place on the Oregon Coast. This reunion has been in the works for over a year, so I know it’s going to be boss, and I’m really excited to see family members that I literally have not seen in years. The last time I was in Oregon (my dad is from Salem), I think I was… oh man, I don’t even know. 14, maybe? I am the youngest cousin of my generation on my dad’s side, so it’s always fun to see everyone’s eyes bug-out when they realize I’m not 10 anymore, hehehe.


And finally, as if all of what’s listed above wasn’t enough, I have this little thing called a second book to write and publish. Hehehe. Not to worry, I’m already hard at work on book 2, but it still does get just a little overwhelming when I try to think about squeezing in hours of writing between all the other exciting, monumental things happening in two-oh-one-three.

PHEW! See? I wasn’t kidding when I said there was a lot to look forward to… and that only stretches the first half of the year!! But obviously I couldn’t be more thrilled that my family has so much going on, and I am really excited to get 2013 started. Tonight Sean is taking me to The Melting Pot to ring in the end of 2012 with boatloads of melted cheese… a fitting celebration, if I do say so myself.

Happy New Year, friends!

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Posted on Aug 17, 2012 in Dear Diary | 10 comments

And We’re Off!


As you read this I may already be on my way up to Boston for the 2012 Healthy Living Summit! Last year I was fortunate enough to attend HLS in Philadelphia, and I had an amazing time. Check out my recap posts of last year’s summit here and here!

Check out the hair I was rocking last year! Bahaha.

Anne, Theodora, Ashley, and I are recreating our bangin’ room from last year tonight, and I cannot wait to see these girls again (okay, granted, I saw Anne like two weeks ago, but not withstanding… ;))

Without question, getting to go hang out IN PERSON with people that I spend time with every day online is definitely the best part of any blog conference. It often feels like people have this perception of bloggers as being these socially-inept nerds (well, perhaps this is not totally UNtrue in my case), but the truth is that I’ve formed some absolutely incredible friendships with people that I might never, ever have gotten to meet otherwise!


So yes, the social aspect is hands-down my #1 favorite part about these gatherings. Coming in as a close second this year, however, is the fact that I’ll be one of the presenters! Yep, I’m giving a presentation on how to spruce up your blog photography and finally stop using the “Auto” mode on that expensive camera you have.

I’m really excited about speaking about this, because I whole-heartedly believe that having crisp, clean photos on your blog doesn’t need to be this huge production. I feel like there’s a misconception out there: either you can have great photos that you put in hours of time setting up and editing OR you can have mediocre photos that are quick and easy. Not true! While I may not have THE most stunning pictures on the entire interwebs here, I often receive compliments on my blog’s photography (when I’m not being lazy and just using my iPhone, that is), and I literally put ZERO time into props, composition, and the like.

In my presentation I’ll be going over all the basic photog concepts (aperture, ISO, stability) as well as some of my personal tips to make the most of whatever camera you’re working with. In that light, I do include pointers for making the most of your point & shoot cameras and camera-phones as well (although admittedly, the majority of my presentation is geared toward DSLR users). I’m set to start at 10:45 AM on Saturday so if you’ll be at HLS, make sure you stop in! Even if you won’t be there, you can still follow along with attendee’s thoughts in real time by tracking the #HLSblogphotog hashtag on Twitter.

I’m also heading up a photowalk this afternoon at 4 PM with Holly from The Healthy Everythingtarian. Anyone who’s interested in getting some photos in of the beautiful area surrounding our Cambridge Hotel should definitely come out! Holly is a really fantastic photographer, and I’ll be there to give hands-on camera advice as well. It should just be a really nice way to start before the evening cocktail party.

So there you have it! This summit is about to go DOWN. I seriously hope I haven’t forgotten anything. Packing for this thing is a nightmare — laptops and cameras and workout gear, oh my!

Oh, and for reference’ sake, if you’re at the Summit right now and checking out this blog for the first time, I am no longer pulling off the sassy blonde pixie cut. This is what I actually look like presently:

Though perhaps slightly less glamorous-looking on an everyday basis. Ah well.

And awaaaaaaaaaay we go!

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Posted on Jul 9, 2012 in Dear Diary | 15 comments

I Heart DC II

This morning’s drizzly, grey (but blessedly SO much cooler) weather is quite in line with my feelings: today marks my friend Ai Rei‘s last day with me here in DC. I shall now pause for a moment of silence.


While she’s been here, it’s been really fun for me to see the area that I live in with fresh eyes. I think that all people tend to suffer from “local” syndrome, no matter what city or town you live in. Despite the fact that there are so many awesome things about living in the DC area, I rarely take advantage of them because they’re either too touristy or too crowded or I’m simply too cool for that ish (bahaha). Rei’s visit has, as a side-effect of taking her around to see the sights and whatnot, rejuvenated my appreciation for our nation’s capital — which is really cool! Though I am, admittedly, pretty affected by standard Northern Virginian superiority to things that go on in the actual District, but I guess the truth is that I really do <3 DC. 🙂


There’s a reason why things are touristy, after all. It’s because they’re worth seeing! I can tell you that the last time I really ventured into the city to take in the monuments was when my LAST out-of-town guest came to visit… and that was like three years ago (oops!). I want to say that I’ll be making an effort from now on to take better advantage of the cool things my city has to offer, but the truth is that I probably won’t really change things up that much. I will, however, be much looking forward to the next time I get to experience this stuff through the eyes of someone new.


Ai Rei’s trip down here has also brought some hilarious and adorable excitement that I wasn’t actually expecting. Specifically, her raging excitement over things like how many varying flavors of chewing gum we have (Creamsicle! Key Lime Pie! Mint Chocolate Chip!), The Cheesecake Factory (for the cheesecake, not for the food), inexpensive books, Amazon.com (vs. Amazon.ca), and Target. It’s been a long time since I’ve lived in Canada, so I forget that even though our countries are obviously super similar, there are still a lot of things that aren’t quite replicated in either. Neither is better or worse, of course, it just makes me more appreciative of the things that I have access to here that Rei doesn’t. And it’s not just a Canada vs. US thing either; Colorado doesn’t have Trader Joe’s, we don’t have In-n-Out burgers, the list goes on.

What’s one traditionally “touristy” thing you tend to avoid where you live?

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