Panda’s Gettin’ Married!

Oh, hey.

This is awkward.

Two weeks, huh? I guess I probably should’ve called. Or at least texted. I mean, it’s OCTOBER already, for cryin’ out loud! My bad.

It’s not you, I swear. It’s all me. After my last long, declarative, overly verbose post, I really did intend to come back to blog again the very next day. And when that didn’t happen, I meant to come back the day after that. And, well, here we are, two weeks later.

But the good news is, that kind of statement USED to be reserved for making excuses as to why I didn’t go to the gym. And for, like, the first time in my life, that hasn’t been necessary. I’ve been maintaining a pretty regular gym schedule for the past couple of weeks actually, and I think it’s already paying off! My clothes are fitting a little bit better and, more importantly, I’m feeling pretty dandy too. So hooray!

Alas, though, the past few days have been woefully absent of any fitness activity. Or any activity at all, really, except for slowly dying in my bed. And sometimes on the couch. I’ve been crazy sick since the weekend, and it hasn’t been fun. My throat feels like I basically swallowed a razor blade, I’ve been running a temperature for the first time since high school, and just the simple act of going up or down the stairs has made me feel totally wiped out.

Soooo yeah, not so great. And since my beautiful sister and Mia are coming up to visit tomorrow (I know, it seems like I I just went to visit them, but this is why life is amazing!) I’ve been trying to get on the fast-track back to health. Lots of green tea, water, drugs, schnauzer cuddles, and REST. I am feeling much improved today (although it does still hurt to swallow), and hopefully this is the last bit of it.

Anyway, so that also has contributed to the distinct lack of blog-age this week, which was especially lame because I actually, miraculously had something to blog about! On Saturday (before I realized I was truly down-and-out sick), I attended my good friend Amanda’s bridal shower.

And because she is already oh-so-aware that I am that friend I took a few obnoxious photos while I was there!

Of course, as with most things, this is mostly a thinly veiled excuse for me to show off my new dress to those of you who don’t follow me on Instagram. Isn’t it pretty? $40 at Nordstrom Rack, baby!


Amanda’s bridesmaids threw a beautiful shower that was perfectly themed around her. Not only were there classic Bridal Shower games like toilet paper bridal gown making and “How Well Do You Know the Groom?” trivia (complete with video-recorded responses from her fiance!), but there was also one that I would ONLY ever get to experience at a party for Amanda, who is a huuuuuge history nerd. I mean, history buff.


Yep, there was Presidential Trivia at this shower. Well, First Lady Trivia, to be specific. Suffice it to say, I did not do great on this challenge. In my defense though, they didn’t exactly make it easy on us! There was not one single “Jacqueline,” “Michelle,” “Hillary,” or “Barbara” on there.

I tried not to be too obnoxious with my camera during present-time, so I only snapped a couple pics as Amanda opened my gift, which was OBVIOUSLY a wok set. I mean, c’mon.

In addition to adorable and delicious-smelling candles (pumpkin-scented!) as our bridal favors, we each got to go home with our own chalkboard champagne glass as well. Such a great idea! I gotta remember to Pin that after this is posted, hahaha.



So there you have it: definitive proof that I still have some semblance of a life outside of Yelp, hahaha. Hopefully by the end of today I’ll be back in tip-top shape health-wise and will have even more fun stuff to report on throughout the next week! And if by some unlucky circumstance another couple of weeks goes by between now and when I see you again, just remember: it’s not you, it’s definitely, definitely me.

And remember: if nothing else, I am almost certain to be back here on Friday, if not solely to express what I’m sure will be CONSIDERABLE FEELINGS after watching the season premiere of Vampire Diaries tomorrow night. OMG I AM SO EXCITED OK BYE.

Bioluminescence

First things first, let me take a hot sec to say CONGRATULATIONS to my friend Holly, who got married yesterday! I unfortunately couldn’t go back to Ottawa to attend the wedding, but hopefully she felt the good vibes I was sending her way all yesterday. 🙂

But okay, back to us non-married folk. Traditionally (er, in college), Thursday were known as a pretty hoppin’ night of the week. It would give Friday a run for its money. And since I’ll be spending the majority of tonight quivering in fear at the thought of tomorrow’s 15K race, I coerced my roommate into doing something fun last night instead!

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And what are two gals-about-town to do on a Thursday night?

Olephant!

Why, head to the Museum of Natural History for food, wine, and an awesome exhibit, of course! I felt so classy, getting all dolled up for a nighttime viewing of the new deep sea-inspired light installation exhibit, “The Bright Beneath“. When my dad suggested this event to me (it’s part of the Smithsonian’s “Mingle at the Museum” series), my roommate Erin and I took one look at each other before declaring that these are exactly the kinds of grown up events we are dying to take part in!

The Bright Beneath

After a bit of a Metro adventure (aren’t they all?) and a museum mix-up (NATURAL history, not AMERICAN history, Gretchen!) we made our way there. I was so excited at the prospect of getting to tour a museum after hours! It felt very elite, hahaha.

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We got to walk around the entire Oceans section of the museum, which the exhibit was part of (the other areas were unfortunately, but understandably, closed off). There were only maybe 40 or 50 people in attendance at the event, so it was very private. As Erin pointed out while we were there, it was extra awesome getting to check out all the displays without worrying about running over (or being run over by) little kids.

Ocean Planet

The event also had little carts set up where we got to talk to field experts about various ocean life and bioluminescence-related things. One of the carts had a (dead) anglerfish for us to check out. Remember what that is?

Yep, it’s the huge scary deep-sea fish monster from Finding Nemo! Well, as it turns out…

In real life? Not so huge. I think they did some serious proportion-tweaking for the sake of the movie, haha. But admittedly, it was still pretty scary. And pretty cool. There really was something for everyone at this event, including specially-themed noms!

Yum?

Bahahahaha. Just kidding. The food was not weird, not themed, but still delicious.

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There was a selection of apps, which included mini chicken cordon bleu bites and an awesome saffron (!) shrimp cocktail, as well as mini cupcakes. Erin got a carrot cake one while I opted for a red velvet. I also got one of their specialty cocktails (a drink ticket was included with admission to the event), which had orange juice, ginger-flavored vodka, and sparkling wine. Delicious!

Tubed

In the same room where they were serving the food and drinks, they had this crazy plastic bag snake-tube thing. We got there too late to hear the schpiel on exactly what it was supposed to represent, but it didn’t take long to figure out how much fun it was!

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Halp?Ack!

A little too much fun, perhaps. What was all that about feeling all classy and grown up? Keke.

Bagged 2.

On to the main event: the actual exhibit we were there to see!

Deep Sea

The artist constructed these awesome mechanical, moving light installations that were equipped with plastic bag “tentacles” to represent the kinds of creatures that are found at deep sea level. The lights simulated the bioluminescence that those creatures use — like in the lure of the anglerfish above!

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The installations spun and rotated as they hung from the ceiling, and displayed different colors and light patterns. They were really very neat! Though the ones that had digital eyes as part of their video display were a little bit creepy. Didn’t get really any photos of those though… possibly on purpose.

I would say that it definitely qualified as a fun and unique way to spend my Thursday. For those of you in the area, I definitely recommend getting down to the Natural History Museum and checking out the exhibit! It runs until January 8th. And, in case you needed a reminder, it’s FREEEEE! Gotta love that Smithsonian!

What’s your favorite kind of museum? Erin is a self-proclaimed lover of art museums (bo-ring!), while I’m an Air & Space gal all the way. Last night’s visit only confirmed that I need to revisit the Natural History museum though. Another thing to add to the list!

Got Merch? (Giveaway!)

Ahoy-hoy, friends! Thanks so much for all of your supportive comments in response to yesterday’s post. It’s certainly a struggle to simultaneously stay motived without getting too hard on myself, and getting to see all sides of the situation reflected through your comments really helped put perspective on it. It’s not about beating myself up, and it’s not about making excuses for myself. So, thank you. And to show my gratitude, I’ve got a treat for you today!

Well, to be honest, it’s really more of a treat for me. But even if you’re not as obsessed with this blog as I am (which, in retrospect, might be kinda weird if you were, haha) you might be able to appreciate it anyway. See, I’m a follower really. I followed the entire world-as-I-now-know-it into the healthy living blogosphere, and now I’ve followed my friends Anne and Tina into the world of totes adorbs blog merch.

Welcome to Honey, I Shrunk the T-Shirt Shop!

Otherwise known as an excuse for me to get stuff with my name plastered all over it.

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Thanks to Taylor for helping model, and Ben for being the photographer (of course!)

I ordered a few items for myself to test out and I honestly will say, I love them. I was really surprised with the quality of the materials and the sleekness of the printing. The slouchy sweatshirt is my favorite of the things I ordered by far – so comfortable!

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The sizing on some of the items (tanks and fitted tees) definitely runs on the small side. The tank may look a little loose on Taylor, but not THAT much considering it’s a size L! As if you couldn’t tell by how amazonian (the nice way of saying, er, big) she makes me look, by the way, she’s teeny. Just giving you fair warning to size up.

The apparel in the shop can be completely customized in terms of color and clothing item. There aren’t a whole lot of men’s items in there right now (I mean, c’mon, I kind of know my audience here, haha) but that can easily be rectified. I had probably a little bit too much fun designing products but hey, everything I’ve learned from the multitude of blog conferences I’ve been to tells me to brand myself. So consider me branded!

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Please ignore my back fat. Awk.

And if for some outlandish reason you aren’t in love with the idea of walking around with my name and silhouette slapped on your chest (I can’t imagine why!), there are a few other things in there that still reflect the true Gretchen spirit, hehe.


Also schnauzers.


Keke.

And because I’m just feeling the love (er, for myself) today, I’m passing the good feelings onto you by giving away an item of YOUR CHOICE from the Honey, I Shrunk the T-Shirt Shop to one VERY (in my opinion) lucky reader! And no, this isn’t a perk’d or sponsored giveaway, just li’l ol’ me spreading the love from the bottom of my heart… and wallet. 😉

Day 241 - I'm Shrinking

Enter by doing any or all of the following — be sure to leave separate comments back here for each thing you do!

1. Leave a comment telling me which item you would want from the shop (or if nothing catches your fancy, tell me what would!)
2. Like Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen! on Facebook and/or follow me on Twitter!
3. Tweet, post, and/or blog about this giveaway, linking back to me in some capacity (blog, Twitter, Facebook, home address, you know, the works!) as well as this post. Here’s a sample Tweet for you to play with:

Got merch? @shrinkinggretch is giving away swag from her new shop! Enter here: http://su.pr/2httfp #giveaway

Multiple entries are definitely allowed! There are up to SIX different ways to win, so have at it! Entries close Monday 9/5 at midnight (EST), and I’ll be drawing the winner randomly on Tuesday morning.

Have an amazing Labor Day weekend! I’m going to be spending the time trying not to go balls to the wall with my eating, while still having a rockin’ time, of course.

PS: Looking for something to fill up your Friday? I’m a guest posting fiend today! Head on over to Beth’s Journey to read up on my methods for weight loss, and check out Healthy Happy Whole for a frank explanation of my past struggles with binge eating.

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I saw this little meme on Beth’s and Katie’s blogs today, and decided that I wanted to do it too (at this point you have to realize how much I love these things.)

But I also decided that this should take the place of a “real” post either, given my current situation in trying not to suck at life to be able to run 5 miles in a row in less than a month. I need the motivation of my daily “Waaaah, running is so hard, sympathize with me!” post (heh.)

So! An oh-so-rare appearance of the two-post day! You are all so very, very welcome.

5 Words to Describe Myself

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Oh gosh, only 5? Let’s see… Gorgeous, athletic, smart, rip-roaringly hilarious, a great kisser, generally just an amazing person… shall I go on?

Bahahaha, okay, okay, for realsies this time:

1. Outgoing
2. Friendly
3. Loud
4. Funny (At least *I* think so.)
5. Lazy

4 Favorite Foods

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1. Sushi
2. Cupcakes
3. Guacamole
4. French Fries (Search your mind, you know it to be true.)

3 Things I’m Most Proud of Accomplishing

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1. Losing 57 pounds off of my original weight of 246 lbs (and still going!)
2. Having the confidence to post the above pictures online, as well as be open about my past struggles with disordered eating.
3. Housebreaking Daxter (well… mostly.)

2 Favorite Workouts That Don’t Make Me Want to Kill Myself

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1. Hot Vinyasa Yoga
2. Zumba

“1” Thing to Expect from my Blog

1. Another 20+ lbs lost and more delicious recipes I’ve discovered on my way there. And, as always, gratuitous pictures of miniature schnauzers.

I believe that the number “1” is rather subjective. 😉

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Don’t say I didn’t warn you.