28 Years Young

So, I know it’s been a minute since I’ve been back in these parts, and I don’t even have a single excuse (other than, well, y’know, life). I truly, honestly, genuinely meant to get back to blogging much sooner than this, what with all the wedding DIY projects I want to share, various trips I’ve taken, and additional hair colors I’ve gone through.

So I apologize for taking so long to get back to my blogging roots. But today I make my triumphant return to the interwebs and we begin again!

First off, some updates:

  • I chopped off my hair basically the minute I returned from my honeymoon, and have proceeded to dye it varying shades of purple and also shave designs into the back of my head. I’m kind of loving it.

  • I got a new tattoo about a month ago. It’s a vial of Felix Felicis, the liquid luck potion from Harry Potter, and I think it’s pretty rad. I got it done at Patriots Tattoo in Fairfax.

  • Sean’s grandfather sadly passed away at the end of February, so we took a quick trip down to San Antonio to be with his family. We are so grateful that he was able to be at the wedding and that we got as much time with him as we did. <3

  • We had our annual Yelp regional conference a few weeks ago, which not only gave me the opportunity to learn from and be inspired by my coworkers (our team spans from PA to NC), but also to bust out my trusty Pikachu onesie. (#bestjobever)

  • My niece/goddaughter Mia also turned 3 at the end of March! Unghhhh, look how little she used to be…

  • And finally, speaking of birthdays…

Today is mine! Huzzah! I am 28 years young today which means it’s time to update my bio and start thinking about what to put on my before-I-turn-30 bucket list, heh. Fun fact: I don’t know if I’ve already shared this, but Sean’s mom and I actually have the same birthday! So did he luck out or what? He only has to remember the one date for both of us! 😉

I spent this past weekend in Macon, GA with my family for my baby niece Kira’s baptism, but we also snuck in an early birthday celebration while we were all together. We went to Dovetail, this awesome hyper-local farm-to-table concept — my kinda place.

I know I probably say this every year, but I think that 28 is shaping up to be my best year yet! I mean, I’ve already got a blizzard wedding under my belt, so pretty much everything in life seems easy breezy in comparison. I’m still loving my kickass job with Yelp, I’ve got a rad family, a home into which I can pour all my post-wedding extracurricular energy (a post on my obsession with my new bar cart is forthcoming), and my awesome grumpy old man pups (plus I basically timeshare my brother’s dog Pixel).

And as a perfect birthday present, I just received my wedding video! So please, feast your eyes on the wonderful video that the wonderful Doug Stanford created, which really showcases just how awesome and crazy and sentimental and special our wedding day really was.

Those last shots at the end are my favorite. 🙂

With that, I leave you for now — with the promise that much more is to come soon. (Although, I realize that my promises mean essentially nothing to you, since I’ve been promising to blog more for like, a year. Hahahaha…haha…ha.) I fly back to DC tonight (still in Macon for the day), so I’ll catch you on the flip!

Babies, Black Eyes, and Bobs

Hello!

I know, another week+ long blogging hiatus has occurred. My only defense is that I was pretty much permanently camped out at my parents’ house the entire time my sister and niece were visiting, which meant zero access to my desktop, which is where I edit all my DSLR photos.

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The good news there, however, is that this means I actually took a lot of REAL photos over the past week! Which really worked out since, as you already know, Mia is pretty much the best thing to take pictures of ever.

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I rest my case.

Although, I do have to admit now that I have an iPhone 6, my phone photo game has stepped up significantly anyway. Guess that means my excuse really doesn’t fly, ahaha.

So, as tends to happen when life is, well, being lived, lots of stuff happened over the past week. First and most importantly, as you already know,  Jen and Mia came up for a visit. This meant lots of time spent hanging with my family, listening to baby babble (it’s the bessssst!), and emotionally reverting to my sixteen-year-old self. (Oh, and if you were wondering, Mia LOVED the Elsa doll I got her!)

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Also, I managed to slam my eye socket into the corner of a chair and give myself a black eye.

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I actually think it makes a much better story if I just say that Mia punched me in the face, so let’s pretend that’s what happened. You know, instead of me getting into fisticuffs with an inanimate object, mmkay?

All kidding aside, it actually was pretty awful. I’ll spare you some of the much uglier, nastier pictures I took, but suffice it to say that my whole eye was hugely swollen for a couple of days, and the bruise on my eyelid is just finally starting to lighten up now. (Thankfully, it just kinda looks like I’m wearing purple eyeshadow, and also that I must be reeeeeeeeally tired… in one eye.) I definitely realize how lucky I am not to have damaged my actual eye or vision though, especially given the $4K I spent on LASIK not too long ago.

Aaaaanyway, self-inflicted injuries aside, we all tried to cram in lots of hometown nostalgia for my sister while she was here, but I couldn’t let her leave without introducing her to something new, too. Specifically, my absolutely wonderful hair stylist, Linh at Be Scene Studios. I booked her an appointment so Linh and I could both try to convince her to do something fun and fashionable with her hair. And the result of our persuasive effort?

A fabulous, chic bob — Linh’s specialty! And it looks even better in person, and is nice and low-maintenance for someone who doesn’t even own a blowdryer… like Jen.

Sadly, though, ultimately my sister and my beautiful niece did have to return home. How did I soften the blow of their departure?

Why, by volunteering to groom Sully from Monsters, Inc, of course.

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Er, I mean, by hunting down a unicorn and cutting off its tail.

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Jk, jk. Obviously, I went ahead and let my own hair go under the knife, as it were. Yes, merely days after Jen got her rad new ‘do, I headed straight back to Be Scene for some new locks of my own. I guess seeing my sister’s stylin’ new haircut just made me crave one too badly to wait!

For good measure, here are a few final pics to remember my (faded) hair as it once was:

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The during:

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And, the after:

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As it turns out, it is actually really easy being green!

It’s funny, every time I’ve gone to see Linh in the past, I’ve always been that girl, all “Keep the length! Not too much off the bottom!” even though I was more than game for pretty much any color on the rainbow spectrum. Also, it’s a little weird that I was so stubborn about the length for so long, since it’s not like my hair has never been short, right? I mean, my hair’s been everything from pixie-short blonde to super-long rainbow. Oh well, at least I finally got to a place where I was willing to shed more than an inch or two, ’cause I’m loving it!

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Plus, this color, man. It’s beautiful! It’s like a super vibrant emerald green, and I am having SO much fun with it! We’ll have to see how it ends up fading (hopefully it’ll still be pretty), but for now it is so bright, so flouncy, and it actually shimmers in the right light! I’m thinking… Elphaba for Halloween?

Wellps, that about catches us up with what’s been a-going on over the past week or so. While camping at my parents’ place, I did get to do a lot of fun cooking, including a sous vide dinner with Sean that I actually managed to document in photos for once! So keep an (unbruised, unblackened) eye out for that, amongst other things, and I’ll see you on the flip side!

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

I’ve joked in the past that this blog could easily be called “The Many Haircuts and Colors of Gretchen”. I change my hair often and, much of the time, quite drastically. Short, long, brown, red, blonde, bangs, side bangs, no bangs… I’ve pretty much done it all. Here is just a small (ha!) photographic sampling of some of the hairdids I’ve had in the past. Because, you know, really the main point of this blog is to provide catharsis for my vanity. Ahahahaha. 😉


Where my complicated relationship with bangs began… keke


Looooong and au natural


Looooong and definitely NOT au natural (but super fun!)


Chin-length and highlights

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Bangs McCoy

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Blonde!

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Blonde pixie!

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De-blonding

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Red is rad

And so on, and so forth.

I’ve always been of the mindset that hair is the very best thing to fool around with if I’m feeling restless about my appearance. Unlike tattoos and piercings, changes that you make to your hair are still just temporary. I mean, it’s just hair, right? It grows back.

Anyway, all of this is really just a lame build up to announce that I’ve dyed my hair again. I’m pretty sure it’s undeserving of an announcement, actually, but it’s Friday and this is pretty much all I got. I am actively trying NOT to cut my hair (growing it out for my brother’s wedding next Spring!) but I really needed a change up. Plus, the roots situation of my last dyejob was getting kind of out of control.

Before…

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It’s like the ombre roots trend except not well executed and actually awful.

After…

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Pur-poh!

The color is supposed to be a burgundy-ish brown, but looks much more purple right now than I had intended. Not that I mind, since purple is awesome, but it will fade as I wash it anyway. Except for when I went blonde last year, I almost always use at-home coloring kits (I like Garnier Fructis) to dye my hair. Salon coloring is SO expensive for something that I pretty much view as an experiment. I’m probably still going to do something to these weird growy-outty bangs that are happening but perhaps I’ll save that for another day when I need some more blog filler. 😉

I hope everyone has an amazing weekend! Mine includes Miss Anne P.‘s bachelorette party (a wine tour like we did for my sister’s 30th birthday!) as well as her 30th birthday party afterward. Wooo! It’s actually her birthday today, so make sure to pop over to her blog and wish her well!!

Feelgood Friday: Puppies!

It’s been a bit of a heavy week for me thus far, I admit. You know, what with the less than ideal Cherry Blossom 5K, and then a couple of generally melancholy days. So to thank you for sticking with me through my hum-drummery, I’m going to keep it light today. It is Good Friday, after all. So let’s kick off Easter Weekend with some genuine feelgoodery, shall we? 🙂

Someone(s) got a haircut yesterday, and it wasn’t me this time. In order for you to grasp how desperately a haircut was needed, allow me to present the following photos that my brother shot earlier this week:

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What’s that you’re saying? They don’t look so bad? Oh, ho, ho… I cordially disagree:

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LOLOLOLOLOL.

Off to the groomer they went bright and early yesterday, and when I picked them up, they actually looked like real schnauzers again! I took them to Purrfect Grrooming (heh), which is just down the street from my house. I’ve been there before, and recently they had a Living Social deal that I just couldn’t pass up! Coincidentally, Claire had also brought her pupster to the same groomer on the same day! I caught a glimpse of Oscar trying to bite the groomer’s hand off when I picked up my little guys, hahahaha.

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Handsome boys!

Harry never looks quite as hobo-like as Daxter when his hair grows out, he just ends up looking really fat, bahaha. So his haircut makes him look like he lost 5 pounds — which, for a 24-lb schnauzer, is quite a lot! I sure wish it was that easy for me…

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The Mini Schnauzer Weight Loss Plan™: As fast and easy as a hair cut!

This is actually Daxter’s first real schnauzer cut. I’ve kept him in kind of a teddy bear cut since he was a puppy, which has his hair the same length all over. I think he looks rather dapper as a true-blue schnauzer, don’t you?

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Pulling. It. Off.

That said, I probably will go back to the teddy bear cut after this. I just don’t think he pulls off the distinguished old man look quite the same way that Harry does.

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I make this look good.

Anyway, at the rate that their hair grows (which is FAST! The price I pay for having a non-shedding breed, I suppose) he’ll be back to looking like this in no time:

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Photo by Ben

In the meantime, however, they’re all primped and primed for my big birthday bash next weekend! I keep trying to think of how to dress them up for the theme of the party. Labeling Harry as “Padfoot” is easy enough, since he’s already a greyish-black dog, but do you think that if I just wrap Daxter in a feather boa he could pass as Hedwig? My other thought was to dye him Orange and call him “Crookshanks” all night, bahahaha. (Kidding! …Mostly.)

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Help!

Have a great weekend, everyone, and Happy Easter!

Cut (Weigh-in)

So I guess that with all the excitement over pasta and puppies and haircuts (oh my!) this week, not to mention that li’l ol’ Monday holiday that we owe to Dr. King, I kinda forgot that yesterday was Wednesday. Which means I totally forgot that I was supposed to weigh-in. Oops.

Well, never fear! I will be making up for it today and you lurkers will indeed get to see this week’s weighty number. But first, the moment I know you have simply been waiting on pins and needles for…

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Le Before.

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Le After.

It’s not too-too different from how it was before, but I’m really digging it! Sarah, my stylist, brought the back up to my hairline and then just re-layered it all over, just like many of you suggested! I didn’t lose that much length in the front but the mullet-esque look is finito. Huzzah!

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In true fashion, I forced my roommate to take many, many photos of me hamming it up with my new ‘do.

I think it’ll be really fun to experiment with, too! Put in tons of wax and pomade for an edgy, rocker look, or flatten it down and add some shine for a kind of ’20s flapper vibe. Variety is the spice of life, no?

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Okay, okay, last ones, I promise.

Post-haircut, I met up with Reema for dinner at Sweetwater Tavern, one of our favorites! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to fully resist the pull of the Ozzie roll… another whoops to add to yesterday’s list.

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I had a glass of pinot grigio to start, then had a deceptively UNhealthy dinner of soup and salad!

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A delicious crab & corn chowder, and a salad with chicken, goat cheese, grilled corn, dried cranberries, and a champaign vinaigrette. Ah well, at least it was delicious! Let’s see how it affected my belated weigh-in, shall we?

Starting Weight: 246 lbs
Last Weigh-in: 194.2 lbs
This Weigh-in: 193.9 lbs
Difference: -0.3 lbs

Well, given the incredibly 4 libbies I dropped last week, I’m not too surprised by this. Especially given the aforementioned less-than-stellar eats from yesterday. Regardless, I’ll take it! Every tenth of a pound lost is a loss nonetheless, and I’m whittling my way back down towards the 180s week by week. It’s happening! This is definitely going to be my year… she says in the middle of January. Heh.

Onward!