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Posted on Apr 2, 2013 in Uncategorized | 188 comments

I’m Back, Baby! (Giveaway!)

EDIT: This giveaway is now closed. To see if you were one of the winners, click here!

Ohhhhh hey guys. Long time no see/talk/read. Well… I’m back! Yep, back from Houston full of adorable baby memories and a huuuuge backlog of work to sift through, heh. Technically I got back on Saturday, but I’ve pretty much been playing catch-up since then. (Also, there has been some major snuggling with Harry since he didn’t get to make the trip with Daxter and me.)

Getting to spend the week in Texas with my sister, her husband, my parents, and my brand new baby niece was amazing, but it may surprise no one to hear that it wasn’t really a vacation in the traditional sense. Nope, up by 7 every morning, helping to change poopy diapers, and watching a LOT of TLC (okay, well, that part was pretty vacation-y, heh), I almost feel like I need a vacation from my vacation! Alas, that won’t be happening (at least not until Sean’s and my epic Ireland trip in July!) but at least now I’ll be back on a (hopefully) regular blogging schedule.

Part of my going down to Houston was to do a newborn photo shoot with baby Amelia! I’ve only just started editing some of the photos, but in case you haven’t already seen these plastered all over social media (and apologies if you have, hehe), take a look!

mia awake

mia asleep

jen and mia

She is the most alert and curious baby when awake, and soooo freaking adorable when asleep. Of course, not every shot was a winner…

crying mia

I honestly think this one might be my favorite of them all, hahaha. Anyway, like I said, this is only a preview of the gazillion photos I still have yet to edit (seriously, I took almost 300 shots! Hahaha) but I thought you might like to see proof of the one productive thing I managed to do in Houston. 😛

Speaking of Houston… so. My sister, who some of you may already know works for UnderArmour, sent me home with a smorgasbord of UA goodies. One of the things I was sent back with is an exclusive collection of awesome UA headbands!


They look really great AND are super functional for working out. They feel nice but are grippy (without tearing out hair or anything horrible like that). Even though my hair is super straight and sleek, they really don’t slip very much! This particular pack comes in really fun blues and greens. I get compliments on my UA headbands ALL the time when I wear them, and I want you guys to experience the same!

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Giveaway time!

I’ve got FIVE (yes, five!) packs of headbands to give away to you guys! To enter, simply leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite thing about Spring is!

As always, extra entries for those who follow me on Twitter, Like HISTG on Facebook, and tweet/post about this giveaway. Just make you sure you leave separate comments back here for each thing you do! I’ll pick the winners on Friday, April 5th.

Note: This giveaway is not sponsored in any way by UnderAmour. I just have the good fortune to get freebies through my sister, and know I’m not gonna need 20 more headbands to add to my own collection, hahahaha.

Happy April!

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Posted on Nov 12, 2010 in Dear Diary, Working Out | 5 comments

Morning Routines and a Few Lessons Learned

So Anne P. is doing a giveaway on her blog for Quaker’s Amazing Morning Kit, which is a really sweet box of things that are supposed to help you start your day right. I obviously want to win said giveaway because the kit has some really awesome stuff (yoga mat!) in it, but in a bigger-picture sort of way it also just got me started thinking about my morning routine in general.

When I started my weight loss journey back in August, I had established a pretty solid routine. Woke up, showered, took care of the pupsters, got some breakfast in there (even if I had to force myself to eat it, I was still downing some oats or yogurt or something) and was off to the races! Since time has gone on, along with the added influence of shorter, colder, darker days, I’ve been getting admittedly complacent. I do still eat a little something first thing in the morning (most of the time) because otherwise I am ravenous by lunchtime and will make poorer choices. However, I’m not getting the filling, wholesome breakfast that I know I should. You hear that breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal of the day, and that contrary to popular custom, it should also be the biggest meal of the day. I’m not exactly sure what the facts behind that reasoning are, so if you do know something about it feel free to enlighten me. That being said, I do think that it’s an effective way to ensure that you’re able to make better food choices for lunch and dinner if you start off the day satiated.

Yesterday was Veteran’s Day, so I had the day off. As such, I tried to sleep in (as much as Daxter would let me, that little devil) and as such, I ended up with a really wonked out schedule. In fact, I didn’t really get out of bed until 10 AM, and then didn’t eat anything until 1 PM. The Old Gretchen used to have the habit of regularly not eating anything until noon or later, and I don’t know if that was a contributing factor to my weight gain or not, but I just know that I don’t want to slip back into any Old Gretchen habits.

So I’m finding today I’m in a sort of no-man’s land between Old and New Gretchen. This morning when I woke up, I dragged myself out of bed and proceeded to stare into my pantry for a solid 4 minutes while the dogs were, er, taking care of business in the backyard. I finally decided that yes, I would eat something. And just what did I end up consuming for breakfast, the most important meal of the day, you may ask?

One plain Whole Wheat Eggo waffle
One spoonful of mint chocolate chip ice cream
Seven raw almonds
One cup of pumpkin spice coffee from the Keurig at work

Ummmmm… yeah.  Who am I? I bypassed the giant bag of raw oats and english muffins that I have in the pantry, the greek yogurt and almond butter in the fridge for that? Maybe I’m bored with eating the same things now? Maybe it’s the changing of the seasons or Daylight Savings Time messing with me? But if anyone has any suggestions for how to revamp my morning routine so that I’m actually staying on track, I would really appreciate it. I want to be able to do this right, to stay the course, to keep setting myself up for diet success, but I’m not really doing that, am I?

Speaking of staying on track, I’m trying to literally get back on track for the upcoming SOME Thanksgiving Trot for Hunger 5K that I am running on Thanksgiving Day. The whole kidney stones debacle put a serious dent in my training schedule, so I’m just trying to make up some lost time. So Wednesday I went for a run on the treadmill and banged out 1.5 miles nonstop. I was hoping to get up to 2 miles, but I developed a side-stitch pretty early on that was right where my kidney stone pain had been the week before, so I couldn’t will myself to press on after a while. I guess I needed to stretch more? Not really sure, I’m still quite the running neophyte.

Anyway, yesterday I decided to go for a very short run outside because I really need to start accustoming myself to running outdoors (that 5K ain’t gonna be on a treadmill!) It’s only 0.6 miles from my house to my parents’, but in those 0.6 miles I learned a few very valuable lessons:

Lesson #1: I have no idea how to pace myself when running outdoors. I definitely took off way too fast, and wanted to die after like, 2 blocks. Bad, bad Gretchen. On my sister’s recommendation I downloaded the Runkeeper app for my iPhone so hopefully that will give me something to base my pace off of in the future.

Lesson #2: Cold air ruins my life (and my throat.) I went out for my jog around 7 PM, and it was frigid outside. After just a couple minutes, my throat was burning like a brothertrucker from sucking in the cold, winter air. I guess I just need to always breathe through my nose? How do I combat this? I was swallowing mucous for an hour after I got to my parents’ house, too (TMI? Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.)

Lesson #3: Pants falling down makes running even more miserable (as if it were possible.) The UnderArmour capris that my sister got me a couple months ago do NOT want to stay up outside. Even though I wore them the day before in the gym and didn’t have any problems with them slipping down, apparently all bets are off when it comes to running outside. Does my body expand in the gym or something? I don’t get it! Admittedly, they might be a size too big now anyway (though they weren’t when she got them for me – yay for progress!) but since they’re compression capris (read: meant to be super tight) I figured it was okay. Maybe not so much now. Might need to convince sissypoo for another pair ::winkwinknudgenudge:: 😉

Conversely, the UA Escape Longsleeve 1/4 Zip that she got me just last week worked out great. It’s super thin and lightweight, but keeps your surprisingly warm (I layered it over my Victory Burnout T – yes, I was a walking, er, running UnderArmour ad, hahaha.) I’m definitely going to wear it for the 5K. My fingers were freezing though. Is there such a thing as running gloves? Or running mittens? I’m a big mitten fan. 🙂

Okay, enough product placement, hehe. Final lesson that I learned last night: running outside is soooooo hard! I still have high hopes for the 5K, but I’m becoming less confident about it too… well, can’t psych myself out about it. Need to stay positive! I hope everyone has some fun weekend plans (or not! My favorite weekends consist of lounging and laying and dog-park-going.) My friend’s cover band, Flow in the Dark, is playing a show tonight at the Tortoise and Hare bar in Crystal City, so if anybody is looking for some good times tonight, come on out!

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