Exciting News!

Happy Friday, neighborinos! I don’t know what you all have on the docket for what is supposed to be a truly amazing weekend, weather-wise, but I am totally pumped. While last weekend was gloriously lazy, I have some fun stuff on the horizon.

First up, tonight is the re-return of book club, where we’re having a taco-themed fiesta (ole!), and then I’m going to see Snow White & The Huntsman with my sister. If you’ve already seen the movie and can confirm that it’s totally terrible, well, keep that to yo’self. I just want to see some beautiful Chris Hemsworth, stunning Charlize Theron, and quivering-lipped K.Stew, mmmkay?

And as if those two things weren’t delicious enough (both literally and figuratively), tomorrow night I’m seeing the lovely Kristin Chenoweth in concert! She’s performing at the Hippodrome tomorrow night, and I can’t wait! For those of you who might be less familiar, Kristin Chenoweth is a very famous Broadway actress and absolutely phenomenal singer who has cropped up in plenty of mainstream media lately. In addition to originating the roles of Sally in the revival of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown! and Glinda in Wicked, she has also played April Rhodes on Glee, Olive Snook on Pushing Daisies, had a couple of supporting roles in various movies, and did a stint on the West Wing. She was most recently on that show GCB.

Anyway, she’s obviously fabulous and I’ve had the pleasure of seeing her perform twice now: once as Glinda, during Wicked‘s pre-Broadway run back in 2007, and in the show Promises, Promises a few years ago. She’s basically one of my (many) idols, and I’m really excited for the show.

So actually, as exciting as my weekend plans clearly are (I’m sure you’re all thrilled for me, after all, hehe), the title of this post doesn’t actually refer to my schedule. I actually have an announcement to make!

I’m going to be speaking at this year’s Healthy Living Summit! I went to HLS last year (recaps here and here), and had an absolutely amazing time. I got to bond IRL with friends I only knew through their blogs, see the city of Philadelphia, and learned a surprising amount. This year it’s in Boston, and I’m so excited to be a presenter! The topic of my session?

Love in bloom PizzaPIzza
IMG_0503.jpg IMG_4652

Essential photography basics for blogging! I cannot even tell you how many bloggers I meet who are stuck using the Auto feature on their ridiculously expensive cameras. Hopefully I can provide some tips that embolden them to at least try shooting on Aperture mode, or even — gasp! — Manual. I’m clearly not a professional photographer, but I have had the benefit of having a brother who is, so hopefully I’m in a good position to help bloggers understand that having great photography is not a huge, professional undertaking.

Of course, not everyone has a DSLR, so I’ll definitely be including general tips on how to make the most of your point & shoot or camera phone, too. Here’s the little blurb about my session, as posted on the HLS website:

HLS blurb

I’m super psyched to be able to combine so many things that I love: blogging, photography, and forcing people to pay attention to me. Registration for HLS opens this coming Tuesday, June 12th, at 8 PM (EST) if you’re thinking about attending. Have an awesome weekend, everyone!

Have you been to HLS in the past? Are you considering going this year?


  1. Wow, congrats! That’s a big deal!

  2. Congrats! You are the reason why I have pictures on my blog 🙂

    • Oh, you flatterer. I’m sure that has nothing to do with me! I’ve told you before, your pictures are looking supah fly!!

  3. I love, love, love Kristin Chenoweth. I don’t care what anyone says…Wicked was never (and will never be) as good as it was without her and Idina Menzel. I’m jealous!

    Congrats on speaking at HLS…that’s super exciting!!!!

    • I agree! I feel SO fortunate to have gotten to see the originals — before the play became the phenomenon it is today, even!!

  4. I am so sad to miss boook club tonight. Have fun! and Congrats on speaking at HLS!!

  5. You GO girl! I’m so happy for you!

  6. Yay Gretchen! Even if for some reason I can’t get a ticket to HLS, I live here so we must re-unite team Bretchen haha! You have mad photography skilz and I still want your camera. 🙂

  7. You’re gonna rock! Also, glad our sessions aren’t at the same time 🙂

    • Haha! ME TOO! I’m pretty sure that’s the first thing I checked for, hehe. Which panel are you doing?

  8. That’s awesome! I wish I was going just so I could meet you and see your presentation. I’m sure it will be great! 🙂

  9. occulasays:

    I’m just laughing at “blogging, photography, and forcing people to pay attention to me.” You’re so fun!

    • My #1 rule about being a ham is to fully embrace the fact that you’re a huge, attention-whoring ham. 😉

  10. Very exciting! Good luck 😀

  11. Catesays:

    Thats awesome news about the HLS! I live in Boston and I wanna go!!!

  12. Sarasays:

    I’m hoping to finally make it this year! And I’d really love how to find ways to take good pictures while I’m doing stuff – i.e. horseback riding, walking dogs, running – since right now I just get overwhelmed with it and give up.

  13. Angelasays:

    I’m going to that Kristin Chenoweth concert as well! It is impossible to not love her.

  14. Congrats, Gretchen- how awesome!!
    I’m torn about going. I’ve heard a lot of mixed things about HLS…

    • I mean, I understand that. I had a really great time at it last year, but it was fun for the social aspect far more than for what I learned at the sessions (though there were a couple that were really pretty awesome). But I think if you liked Blend though, where the focus was definitely more on hanging out, having fun, meeting IRL, etc, (based on what I read about it?) then you’d have fun at HLS too!

  15. Keithsays:

    Way to go!! Very impressed!!!

  16. How cool that you are presenting.
    I don’t even have a camera. I’m trying to do it all with my 3 year old iPhone. Yikes. Hence why your blog pics are so much more amazing than mine.
    I’ll get there someday though (I hope).

  17. Congrats on being a presenter!!!
    Let us know what you thought of the movie!

  18. that’s so awesome you’re going to be a presenter! i would love to go to HLS one of these years…

    also, so jealous you got to see kristin chenoweth in wicked! it’s definitely one of my favorite musicals and i can only wish to see it performed by the original cast lol

  19. WOW that is awesome! Congrats!

  20. I’m so excited for HLS and will be patiently waiting for tomorrow night at 8 to buy my tickets! I have a Sony DSLR and could certainly use some tips!!! Can’t wait!

  21. I am going! Can’t wait to meet you and hear you speak! God knows I need help in the photo category! Can it be August already?!?!?!

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