GretchCannon: 11.2010



Dream by gretchstars featuring a sheer blouse
My style fantasies..

Military Glam

Military Glam
Military Glam by gretchstars featuring a chain handbag
Ooh I like doing this - I might get addicted. Here is another one - Military Glam. Lots of army green, leopard, red, black leather, chunky gold jewelry & browns. Love it.

Romantic Sequins

Romantic Sequins
Romantic Sequins by gretchstars featuring a tube dress
This is my 1st time making an "inspiration collage", like I have seen on many blogs. Makes me feel like I work for Marie Claire magazine (I wish). I did some things I love right now - romantic sequins - a mix of black sequins, gold and pink, and ruffles. The harshness of the black sequins are softened by pink ruffles and gold tones. I love it. Every piece on my collage is $50-$100.

My Thanksgiving Dish!

I had a potluck at my new home this year, and my boyfriend and I were in charge of a turkey, drinks and a yam dish. We made some guacamole and ended up buying a bunch of other stuff - the company was fabulous and I just wanted to share my recipe! It was the 1st time I have ever made a sweet potato dish (besides when I did a couple of figure competitions and ate plain yams every day!) - so I was excited. I actually found a recipe on, then tweaked it to use the healthy ingredients that I already had!

Gretchen's Healthy Turkey Day Yams:
  • 4 1/2 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes (I used canned)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted (I used Smart Balance Light)
  • 1/3 cup milk (I used unsweetened Almond milk)
  • 1 cup white sugar (I used the equivalent in baking Splenda)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup light brown sugar (I used brown sugar Splenda - which smells like rum by the way! Weird!)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (I used Fresh & Easy organic wheat flour)
  • 1/3 cup butter (same as above - Smart Balance Light)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (Yum! I might have added a few extra. Wink Wink!! Love me some Pecans. I WAS born in Georgia!) 
(And my additions were: a little bit of cinnamon for the topping & some shredded coconut, which I got from Fresh & Easy) 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. (I sprayed it all over with olive oil cooking spray)
  2. In a large bowl, mix together mashed sweet potatoes, 1/2 cup butter, milk, sugar, vanilla extract, and eggs. Spread sweet potato mixture into the prepared baking dish. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar and flour. Cut in 1/3 cup butter until mixture is crumbly, then stir in pecans. Sprinkle pecan mixture over the sweet potatoes. (Gretchen note here - my mixture did not really get "crumbly" - so I added a little more flour and a little more brown sugar splenda. I think that normal sugar would be drier - but I spread it out evenly over the top anyways, and it was fine!)
  3. Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown. 
And there you go! The pictures are before the baking - I was so busy, I forgot to take an after-picture, but if scroll to the bottom, you will see how I liked it :)

Here is me --- YUMMY YAMS!! I would definitely make them again. Super easy & delicious. I have had leftovers a few times already. Let me know if any of you bake any up!



Sunday Shoppin'

I didn't do ANY Black Friday shopping! I found a couple cool things on the Bloomie's site today though! 

Top ZIP Medium Brown Bag - $35 

Hue Corduroy "Jeanz" $25.50 (reg. $34) - 

and a fun gift for my boyfriend..master of the grill! A BBQ Branding Iron :) Fun huh? I think the Bloomie's one was $19.99.

and a couple of gift items that I cannot mention on this blog -- just in case the recipients come snoopin (mom & best friends) !!  

They have some really cute Bloomie's ornaments and coffee mugs. I don't NEED them though, so I resisted those. But they are super cute!! 

 Hope everyone had a fabulous Turkey Day! Here is me @ my front door. We had 29 people at our house. It was a fabulous, family & friends-filled day. I do feel blessed!

Joining Bloglovin!


Fight Night!

Sorry this is blurry! Just a fun, relaxed outfit I wore when we hosted fight night at our house this past Saturday. Cute Quicksilver t-shirt I got in Whistler Canada last NYE, some Old Navy Diva black skinny jeans & some comfy furry moccasins from Target!

Mock Potatoes

Tried to whip up some "mock" potatoes I read about using frozen cauliflower, Smart Balance butter and unsweetened almond milk.  I added garlic salt to the recipe. James hated it - I thought it was decent. LOL. I tried to trick him though, his taste buds were probably very confused!

Sephora & Marshall's Finds

While Christmas shopping recently, I founds some fabulous items @ Marshall's and Sephora I had to share! 

Too Faced Pixie Perfect set - $42, $100 value! I loved the bag. Contains an eye shadow quad palette, a blush and bronzer duo, a glamour gloss, a mascara, a shadow primer, and the case. Love it, even just to put out on my bathroom counter to admire. :) 

Michael Kors Sunglasses - These were $15! What is not to like!? AND, I have an old MK sunglasses case I can use for them. Love it! I hate buying expensive sunglasses that I am going to break anyways! :)


Yummy Frozen Lunch

Cedarlane Organic Green Chili and Monterey Cheese Tamales with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce! I paired it with some organic black bean tortilla chips, and YUM!!!


I heart free stuff!

Proctor & Gamble sent free stuff in the mail, cool! Pantene, Always and more! I wonder how many people they send this too-seems expensive! Love it tho.

Happy Wednesday!

Relaxed corporate Fall style in Cali.. :) I love my neon green infinite scarf from Nordy Rack!


Looove this dress!!

Wish I could wear this dress I saw in US Weekly!

Kale Chips! Happy Monday!

I have seen lots of people writing about baking Kale chips as of late and suddenly I got the itch to try some. I actually bought a bunch of Kale at the store last week, but it went bad before I remembered to cook it.  I picked up a fresh bunch the other day and decided to cook it up the other night while I was eating dinner. I was too tired to cook dinner & James was at the gym, so I popped a veggie burger (Gardenburger) in the microwave, ate it with Organic low sugar Ketchup and then ate about 3/4 of a can of Marinated Beans from Trader Joe's.
Got a recipe from - (photo is before cooking)

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a non insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt.
  3. Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.
Per serving: Calories: 58, Fat: 2.8g 
My experience - I don't have a salad spinner, so I washed the Kale and then dried it with paper towels. It probably wasn't as dry as it should be for the recipe.  I had so much kale, that I made one batch with season salt and one batch with normal salt. I didn't really like the season salt - I would rather have it on Fries or a Turkey Burger, so I liked the 2nd batch better. I had plenty of nice & crisp chips when I was done. I felt like it was kind of the phenomenon of cotton candy. You put it in your mouth and it gets small really fast and you can just keep eating it. I ate most of it actually with my dinner, then made a small bowl to take to work the next day as a snack. No bueno - cold lunchbag = soggy Kale.
So, I would make it again, I would dry it better, and I would probably not eat the leftovers!! At least it was a fun healthy crispy snack! Happy Monday! :)


Take me to the Greek!

Yummy mid-morning snack @ work! Plain Greek style nonfat yogurt from Fresh & Easy, with Organic Agave drizzled in, a spoonful of Skippy Naturals chunky peanut butter, and.a dash of salt. Mmm! This cup o yogurt alone has 24 grams of protein! Happy Thursday and Happy Veteran's Day.


Bend it like Bekham?

I used to "celeb-hate" Victoria Bekham. I didn't know her and didn't know much about her - I just knew that she looked like a skinny, plastic b-word.
Until I read her interview with Marie Claire magazine in November the other day! I was surprised, so I decided to blog about it. And, I loved the cover too!
It's one of those covers that I would probably save in a notebook if I worked for a magazine or a fashion company - for future inspiration, or something. I guess now I get to "scrapbook" it here in my blog. I love her recent Glamour cover too. She looks funky and cool.  
Things that made me flip my switch?

- She admits she never smiles but she doesn't know why. She says she is insecure. I found somewhere where she said "people have this impression that I'm a miserable cow that doesn't smile", but I am actually  quiet the opposite. I think she said she just reacts to the paparazzi that way. 

- She looks at her husband after he gets out of the shower and thinks to herself, "You done good, girl!"
- She admits she is not a good singer, and would rather be in fashion than an actress or performer. 
- She actually works out and eats healthy. She doesn't just naturally look that good. 
- She says she read once that "elegance is a privelege of age" and that "you get more comfortable with yourself as you get older". 
- She thinks she is incredibly ordinary looking, so she expresses herself with fashion. 
- I saw her on a show recently too - I think it was The View, showing some of her fashions. She was actually pretty funny and normal. 
And, what is this? A smile!? :)


Pumpkin Fabulousness

Happy Monday, happy Monday! I got to work from home today, so when I woke up this morning, I had time to do a little baking - then at lunch I got to do a little walking! I wish I got to do that every day. My life would rock! lol. I just have to spend so much time commuting every day, that it is hard to squeeze in the healthy part sometimes!

Ok - so I wasn't planning on baking today, but Fitness and Spice, one of my favorite blogs, posted this pumpkin recipe for Pumpkin and Spice Pumpkin Bars - and I had all the ingredients, so when I saw the post in my email inbox, I decided to whip up a batch! For me, a recipe has to look easy and normal, or I won't even read through it. This looked very doable, so I tried it out. Oh, and I am absolutely obsessed with the taste of pumpkin. It is sooo good. :P I had high hopes for this one!

My substitutions = I didn't have cloves, so I used a little shaker I have of "Pumpkin Pie Spice", which I think has cloves in it anyways, along with cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. I even commented on her blog that I thought 1.5 cups of protein powder was a mistake and that she meant 1.5 scoops - but I had some vanilla Designer Whey protein in the pantry, so I threw it in! I threw in probably 1/4 cup more pumpkin too, just in case. My recipe turned out a little moist - this may be why! Also, instead of using Splenda (which I love, but don't have any right now - I do have Stevia in the Raw, but only packets and I didn't want to waste them all) -- so I used Organic Agave Nectar, which I think I got at Henry's or Trader Joe's. This probably contributed to the moistness too. Oh, and I burned my hand on the oven too. I am a terrible klutz, so this happens very often! Boo! Owell.. 

As you can see, mine came out looking not-so-pretty and not so much like I could cut it into bars, but more like a cake! I had to keep testing it to see if the inside was dry yet - hence the fork and knife holes. Next time I will bake longer, or substitute dry sweetener for the Agave Nectar -if I want firmer bars. This works too though! It really did smell fabulous when it was baking. I took it out & let it sit like so this morning... (keep reading to find out how it tasted)!

On my lunch break, I decided to go for a walk (since with this wonderful time change, when I get off work on most days, it will be dark!). I have been wanting a fitness GPS gadget - but found out that my phone pretty much rocks! I turned on Pandora on my phone (Samsung Epic 4G), then turned on the GPS satellite, and opened up this app called Cardio Trainer that I downloaded. I had only manually entered workouts in it before, but found out that you can push "Start Workout" and it tracks everything for you. My town doesn't have a big "walking path", so I like to have a mission in mind when going for a walk (RiteAid for Advil, Grocery Store for Tortillas, etc..) - and I needed to go to the bank - so that was it! I looked on Google Maps and it was about 2 miles away, so 4 miles round trip = bueno! The weather is so nice today, it rained last night, and it is sunny and cool here. Check out what my phone did when I was finished! Cool, huh!? I love it and can't wait to use it again! And the English guy's voice kept telling me how far I had gone, my pace, and my time! It was great. So, go from ipod, phone and GPS on a walk - to just a phone? That is great!! Just gotta make sure it is charged!

So, before heading back to my laptop and my work - I grabbed my reward for getting my exercise done. I sliced off some chunks of that pumpkin heaven in my kitchen, put a couple of spray butter squirts on it, a sprinkle of Stevia - and oh wow.. seriously..HEAVEN! I didn't even heat it up, I ate it cold - it tastes like pumpkin pie. Now, the hard part.. I want more!!! And, I think I will need to bake some more very soon!! Pumpkin Fabulousness!!


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