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.

Sleepy

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:

Smashed
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.

Taters

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.

Asparagus
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!

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.

Candy Woman (Giveaway!)

Well, technically in this case, I’m the Chocolate Woman.

Hehe.

The fine people at Adora sent me a couple of bags of their Adora Calcium supplement discs to review. Which I was MORE than happy to do, being as their calcium supplements are essentially just better-for-you chocolate! And you know I’m all about being able to indulge in the sweeter things in life while having a modicum of health sprinkled in.

From the press release that Adora sent me:

“Each indulgent chocolate Adora disk provides up to 50 percent of the daily value of calcium plus vitamin D3 and magnesium for optimal absorption, supporting total body health through a variety of life stages:

Osteoporosis – 44 million Americans, 80 percent of whom are female, are affected by this brittle bone disease. Incorporating calcium, which makes up the majority of bone tissue, and vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium, into a diet is one of the best ways to prevent osteoporosis.

Pregnancy – Calcium is the main component of a growing baby’s tiny bones. It is important for women to meet their daily calcium needs when pregnant and breastfeeding, or else the calcium required to support the baby will be pulled from the mother’s bones and result in bone loss.

Menopause – Rapid bone loss is a side effect of menopause due to a change in hormone balance, specifically the reduction of estrogen production. Calcium taken by women – both young and old – can help bolster bone mass and minimize the loss of bone over time. It’s never too late to start taking calcium regularly.

PMS & Menstrual Cramps – Calcium is an essential component of muscle contraction and, without it, muscles cramp more easily. While calcium can help menstrual cramping, one of the best source of the mineral – dairy foods – may actually cause more menstrual pain. A calcium supplement can help women meet their calcium needs while also alleviating other PMS symptoms.”

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Each disc is only 30 calories, and they come in both milk chocolate and dark chocolate flavors. Both are very good! I’m normally a dark chocolate girl anyway, but the milk chocolate ones are definitely creamier. And I definitely haven’t noticed any weird aftertaste or anything like that (although, the first time Adora tried to send me some samples, they had melted. So when they cooled down and reformed there was some weird chalky texture to them, and they were impossible to peel from their tinfoil. But that’s not like it’s really going to be a big concern for the average purchaser.)

I’m not a pregnant or menopausal woman so I can’t really remark on the benefits in that regard, but in general I do know that women have a hard time meeting their daily calcium requirement. This is definitely something that’s been on my radar, especially considering the fact that I’ve stopped drinking regular milk. I’d like to avoid osteoporosis, thankyouverymuch!

Isn’t it great? With these little chocolate babies, there’s just so much justification for that daily sweet! Adora supplements can be found in CVS and Whole Foods for $8 – $10, but come on, you know I’ve got your backs with a chance to get some for freeeeee! So right here, right now you get your chance to win two bags (one milk, one dark) of Adora calcium chocolates all fo’ yo’self!

Simple enter by doing one, two, or all of the following things!

1. “Like” Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen! on Facebook, and comment back here saying you did.

2. Follow @shrinkinggretch on Twitter, and comment back here saying you did.

3 – 5. Blog, tweet or post a status update about this giveaway linking back to this post (http://honeyishrunkthegretchen.com/2011/08/16/candy-woman/ or http://t.co/HeSnVtC) and –I think you know what’s coming– comment back here letting me know!

That’s FIVE separate ways to win! Easy peasy chocolate pie. I’ll be selecting a winner on Friday (8/19) morning, so be sure to get your entries in.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!