Don’t Make Me Over

Just kidding. Please make me over. Always.

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As you guys already know, I love makeup. I am totally that girl. I don’t wear foundation on a daily basis or anything, but I just love the possibilities that makeup provides. With a few dabs here and there, you can hide that zit that’s been plaguing you. You can play up your eyes, or show off your smile, with just a few minutes of work. It boosts confidence, it makes us feel beautiful, and, yes, makeup ALWAYS fits. Regardless of whether all you like to do is brush on a single coat of mascara in the AM, or you’re putting on the whole kit-n-caboodle before work, I am a total makeup advocate.

Which is (part of) the reason I am 100% incapable of not spending money when I walk into Sephora. Anne is getting married this weekend (!!) and I ran over to the mall yesterday after my haircut for what was intended to be a super quick trip. I’m doing the makeup for bridesmaids (including her MOH, my older sister, in case you weren’t aware of that connection) and had to pick up a couple of things. Important things, like waterproof mascara. Because wedding + bridesmaids + non-waterproof mascara = looking like Alice Cooper.

Well, despite having the intention of only walking out of there with 1) Diorshow Waterproof Mascara and 2) a new color-matched foundation for myself now that I’m no longer tan (cry!) I think we all know that didn’t happen.

Sephora is like Target. I can’t walk out of there having spent less than $100.

I blame the fact that you can try pretty much every product out in-store. I can play with a look I wouldn’t normally be able to do myself because it includes ridiculous and impractical colors that normal people don’t just own. And then when I find out that look is totally freaking awesome, of COURSE I have to buy the stuff to recreate it!

Par example:

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Let’s take a closer look.

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This is a peacock-inspired makeup look that utilized Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Creme shadows (#20, #21, and #23). [Sidenote: none of these links are affiliate links or anything, I just wanted to make sure you knew what products I was referring to.]

I obviously couldn’t take step-by-step photos in store (just taking the one self-portrait made me feel awkward enough, haha) but if you’re interested in trying to recreate something similar, its really simple.

Step 1: Turquoise-color over entire lid.
Step 2: Dark blue color in crease, outer corner, and along bottom lash line.
Step 3: Green in interior corner.
Step 4: Blend your little heart out.

I also used a little gold eyeliner on my bottom lash line, but I don’t think it’s super necessary. I put a taupe/neutral color under my brow as well, but that’s something most people probably already have? Also, mascara duhhhhhh.

You guys should be really proud of me though. Even though those are the products I used to create the look IN-store, since EACH pot of creme shadow is $23, I actually walked OUT of the store with Sephora Brand Jumbo Waterproof Liners instead (#10, #11, and #27). They’re half the price and twice as versatile for me, since sticks are easy peasy to use (and I’m not really that familiar with using creme pots anyway). The cremes had wonderful, deep pigment, but I just couldn’t envision being able to make my entire way through an entire pot of electric green in my lifetime.

Lips: NARS Orgasm lip gloss, cheeks: NARS Orgasm blush. (I already own the blush… I bought the gloss. Bad Gretchen!)

Anyway, so that was my Sephorical adventure! A zillion dollars later. Oh, and just as one last note for anyone who IS considering getting the creme pot shadows: their wear-length is outstanding. I didn’t take off my eye makeup before bed last night (but I did wash my face and everything) and the shadow was still basically perfect when I woke up. This is some serious ish.

Fellow makeup fiends, come out of the woodwork! What’s your favorite look? Product? Right now my absolute favorite product I own is Urban Decay’s Naked Palette. I do at least 80% of my eye-looks with it.

Boxing Day

Happy Boxing Day! In celebration of this day of… um… box…ers…?, here’s a song about it that my brother and his friends wrote 3 years ago! (Click through to view the video if you’re reading this via email.)

I have the day off from work today, as many of you probably do as well, so I’ll keep this short. Also, I haven’t dared to try to offload the pics from my camera this weekend out of sheer fear at the number of them. So instead of scarring dazzling you with picture after picture of food and gifts (mostly food. Almost all food.), I decided to take a quick second to check in and announce the winner of the Vera Bradley & V8 giveaway!

I had an awesome Christmas, which I’m sure you’ll all hear about relentlessly throughout the week. My family was once again very generous, and gifted me with some awesome things. You’ll see many of them in use over the next few weeks especially, since my kitchen equipment arsenal has almost doubled overnight, hehe. There will be plenty of time to brag about my rockin’ Christmas swag later though. For now, I need to get down to biz-naz. I can’t believe how many entries there were for this giveaway! I’m just sorry I couldn’t have drawn more than one winner. Can I get a drumroll please?

Congratulations Micky! Email me ([email protected]) and we’ll sort out the details! For those of you who didn’t win, fret not! I have another awesome giveaway coming your way soon. 🙂

free stuffs?

Hoorays!

I might not have had much to say, but I sure have questions for you all today!

Did you have a good Christmas? Do you have off work today? Any big Boxing Day plans? Shopping the post-Christmas sales? Am I the only one who is devastated that Christmas is officially over?

Smooth Operator (Giveaway!)

Ho, ho, ho! There’s a reason my middle name really is “Ho”, y’know.

4 Days!

In honor of the fourth day ’til (of?) Christmas, I have a fun giveaway for you! A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted and asked if I would be willing to review V8’s newest products: V8 V-Fusion Smoothies. I really like regular V8 (despite having a less-than-stellar experience with the low-sodium kind — blech), so I was totally up for it.

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They sent me a bottle of each of the three flavors: mango, strawberry banana, and wild berry. They tasted pretty good! You can’t taste the veggies and the smoothies were very fruity and sweet. Well, okay, I should elaborate: two of the three of them tasted good. I really liked the strawberry nanner, and the mango flavor was my favorite (Ben and Taylor both liked it as well), but I was NOT a fan of the wild berry. Then again, I’m not too into berry-flavored beverages in general. Ick.

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While I do like the fact that these smoothies provide the whole “one full serving of vegetables and one full serving of fruit” thing that V8 offers, the nutritional stats aren’t perfect. There’s no fat, but each 8 oz. serving has 130 calories (Wild Berry has 120), with 21 grams of sugar. So this definitely isn’t the kind of thing that should be consumed with wild abandon. That said, the flavor of two of them was very nice, and the drink itself was substantial enough to take the place of breakfast one day last week when I was running late for work, hahaha.

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Along with the three full-sized (!) containers of the V8 V-Fusion Smoothies, I was also sent a nice “smoothie bottle”, which is a glass bottle with a cute impact cover over it. I really like that it has measurement amounts listed on the side, so you know exactly how many ounces you’ll be drinking — especially since, as I mentioned, one serving is 8 ounces (which is standard), but the bottle holds 16 ounces. In addition to that, I also received…

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A Vera Bradley tote! I was floored when I saw that this was part of the package. Back in college, every girl on campus carried one of these (VB tote + Northface jacket + Uggs = JMU girl uniform) and I swore never to own one… and then promptly bought one within a year of graduating. What can I say? I just couldn’t resist the pull of the paisley.

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The pattern on the bag I was sent is admittedly a little bit flowery (literally, ha!) for my usual tastes, but I’ve been using it for the past week or so, and I love how BIG it is. So now it’s your turn to win one of your very own!

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One reader will win the exact same package from V8: three full bottles of the smoothies (one of each flavor!), a smoothie bottle, and a Vera Bradley tote bag!

How to Enter:

1. Like Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen! on Facebook.
2. Follow @shrinkinggretch on Twitter.
3. Blog, tweet or post on Facebook about this giveaway, mentioning my blog, Twitter handle, or Facebook page depending on the medium. Here’s some sample text for you to play with:

Win a Vera Bradley tote bag + 3 bottles of V8’s new smoothies via @shrinkinggretch/Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen!‘s sweet #giveaway! http://bit.ly/vBqlMJ

That’s up to 5 different ways to enter and win! As always, multiple entries are definitely allowed, just don’t forget to come back here and leave separate comments for each one. A winner will be randomly selected on Monday, December 26th — a belated Christmas present for one of you! 🙂

Homecoming (Giveaway!)

Look who’s back!!

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Daxter is back home after his stay at the hospital and is on the road to recovery!

He’s still sleepy and having some, er, backend issues, but it’s nowhere near as bad as before. In fact, the doctor said that it is normal, and the main thing is to make sure he can eat, drink, and keep his meds down. He actually has a really good appetite, which I am beyond thrilled about since he had lost 2 whole pounds! And while two pounds is not generally a lot for someone like me, to a 17 pound dog it is a big effing deal. As long as that’s the case — and so far so good (knock on wood) — he is definitely on the up and up. $1,800 well spent, and I really do say that without a trace of irony (and luckily, thanks to pet insurance I’ll be getting a large chunk of it back.)

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Phew.

All I can really say is this: you know that emotional roller coaster I am constantly referencing was talking about? Well, hopefully this is the last loop-de-loop on that ride. I am SO ready to get off. And I’m sure that you are all ready to move on to happier things too! Can you tell how much my mood has already improved?

Now, due to the many hours that were spent at the emergency vet clinic, lack of sleep, and dehydration due to crying (don’t bother acting as though you’re shocked), I don’t really have much to talk about today. So for now, let’s just revel in the fact that it looks like Daxy is going to pull through. In fact, let’s revisit all the things that I said I’m thankful for last week, and put Daxter’s recovery as number one with a bullet.

While today’s post might not have too much going on, be forewarned/get excited for all the festiveness that is about to come. It is officially CHRISTMAS SEASON (slash whichever holiday you’ll be celebrating: Hanukkah, Kwanza, Festivus, etc.) and that means cookies will be baked, decorations will be hung, and dogs will be clothed. What, you think a little life-threatening sickness was going to get Daxter out of sweater season? Ha! Think again.

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Oh, and don’t think you’re being spared of this fate either, Harry.

What you looking at, fella?

And okay, so I lied about there being absolutely nothing of interest in this post for you. In fact, if you’ve made it this far there’s something fun, festive, and most importantly (as always) FREE! In order to celebrate Daxter’s momentous-ish homecoming, the impending holiday, and just because I like you, I have a giveaway for you!

My awesome graphic designer Bailey (who designed my logo, header, and sweet business cards!) just launched her new business, think pretty, ink. She has a line of adorable, personalized holiday card designs, and is offering a free holiday card design to one lucky winner!

Ways to enter (leave a separate comment back here for each thing!):

1. Check out think pretty, ink.‘s Etsy page and comment on which design is your favorite (and don’t let the models in the example above bias you, hehe.)

2. Like think pretty, ink. on Facebook!

3. Blog/tweet/facebook about this giveaway! Make sure to reference @shrinkinggretch (Twitter) or my fan page (Facebook) and link back to this post! (Short link: http://bit.ly/sFe0Fu)

I will be randomly drawing a winner on Friday, December 2nd, so get your entries in and your list of holiday-card-worthy recipients ready! It’s going to be a grrrrreat day!

Update: And the winner is…

Sara L.! Congratulations! Email me and I’ll put you in touch with Bailey. Happy Holidays!

Not Too Shabby (Giveaway!)

Wow guys. I really commend you all for sticking with me through these past couple weeks of doldrum-dwelling and Debbie Downer-ness. Seriously, if I had any “I put up with Gretchen!” medals, you would all have earned one. (Sounds like a good idea for my next t-shirt design, eh? Haha.)

I’m finding that continually trying to dig myself out of my cooking rut is a good way to keep my chin up. You know, kitchen therapy and all that. That being said, I still needs my comfort food. Enter last night’s dinner:

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SMASHED POTATOES FTW.

This deliciousness was comprised of baby red potatoes, earth balance (vegan butter), salt, pepper, minced garlic, a wee bit o’ bacon, and a splash of cream — all smashed together. Oh, and dill. Obviously loooots of fresh, flavorful dill. Yum.

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I am not ashamed that I had mashed potatoes for dinner! (Sidenote: I am also not ashamed of my plans to see Twilight tonight with my roomie! SHAZAM.) Even so, I did force myself to have some asparagus as well… which was cooked in the aforementioned garlic and bacon. Heh.

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Proof.

Totes balanced, right? 😉

Anyway, I’m finding that today I’m in a slightly less glum mood, and it is Friday after all! So I’m trying to pass on these moderately elevated feelings to you! Huzzah! I’ve got a fun giveaway for you courtesy of the kind folks at Shabby Apple! After all, we’re all still trying to enjoy the little things, right? And what’s more enjoyable than getting free stuff? Oh yeah, getting super adorable, vintage-inspired free stuff!

The winner will be able to choose one of the following items:

Adelaide Skirt or The Queen’s Rose Cameo Necklace

Pretty, right? Shabby Apple carries a whole line of jewelry inspired by Alice in Wonderland. Love. So, the deets for entry:

Mandatory: “Like” Shabby Apple on Facebook and leave a comment here saying you did so.

Additional Entries: Don’t forget to leave separate comments for each one!

1. “Like” Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen! on Facebook.
2. Follow me on Twitter.
3. Follow Shabby Apple on Twitter.

There you have it: four ways to enter, four ways to win! The winner will be randomly chosen on Tuesday, November 22nd. Apologies to my international friends — Shabby Apple has stipulated that this giveaway is open to US residents only. May the odds be ever in your favor!

Have a great weekend, friends!