10 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Me

gretchen holzgang, social media

gretchen holzgang, social media

Hello again. If you've been following my blog for a while, you'll likely notice that I took about a month (or two) off from writing. If you're here for the first time, welcome! I'm also rolling out another bit of a design update and a new, simplified category list. I'm a tinkerer! I like to make little changes until my site feels just right. I'm really enjoying the changes I made so far (feel free to ask me why or let me know what you think of the updates down below in the comments section).

Why the break?

 Honestly, because life kind of demanded I pay attention to a few other things that were happening. I'll update more on that later. While I say I took the past month off from writing, what I actually mean is I took time off from publishing. I have a few blog post I've been stacking up, so get ready to enjoy me publishing on my regular schedule again.

Before I launch into some of the content I'll be bring to the blog in the coming months (all of which I'm pretty excited for), I thought it would be fun to do a little "about me." I talk about myself pretty often, but I've never done a casual roundup of random "fun facts" before. So here we go!

Gretchen, Portland, Meat Cheese Bread

Gretchen, Portland, Meat Cheese Bread

10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Me

harry potter, book, gretchen

harry potter, book, gretchen

I LOVE PINEAPPLE. Like a lot! I'll eat pineapple on almost anything: On pancakes, in my fried rice, and yes, even on my pizza. Actually, especially on my pizza! Probably my favorite pizza topping, which I know is a pretty controversial take. Similarly, I also tend to favor mango, coconut and papaya over other fruits when it comes to my shopping. Pineapple is my third favorite food (the second being olives and the first being raspberries).I HATED COCONUT AS A KID. I wanted to like it so badly, though. I would constantly ask my mom to buy coconuts when they showed up at the local grocery store because I thought they were so cool, but really never cared for the taste until I was about 25-years-old. It was a struggle. Me whining to my mom to buy them, her reminding me that I don't like to eat them, and me not seeing how that was important at all. Can't we just enjoy the way it looks in the fruit bowl? Now I add coconut to quite a lot of my recipes. I usually have coconut milk in my fridge for smoothies, canned coconut milk for cooking, and a large jar of dried coconut flakes in my cupboard at all times.MY FAVORITE NUT IS THE MACADAMIA. Since I was already talking about it, let's just round out my weirdo food preferences now. Get it all out of the way while you're already judging my shopping list. Macadamia nuts are my favorite nut and one of the only ones I enjoy eating just as is. Hazelnuts are also awesome. I love eating macadamia nuts so much, I'll eat them 'till my jaw hurts from chewing. No joke. I know this because I did on a daily bases the last time I was in London. There is this chain/stand in London where you can buy dried fruit and nuts, mixing and matching to create your own snack bag. It's kind of like going to a candy shop but healthier. I shopped there every day.MY FAVORITE SEASON IS FALL. It has the best holidays. End of argument.MY FAVORITE THING TO WEAR is shorts and flip flops. This has been true since I was a kid and remains my go-to style still. I am wearing shorts and flip flops right now, as I'm writing this sentence.MY CHILDHOOD DREAMS INCLUDED working for the Walt Disney Company, living abroad, going to Hawaii, traveling internationally, and accomplishing something that would make a difference in the world. (I never dreamed specifically of growing up to be a mom. I just kind of assumed I'd get married, etc., thus it didn't need to be on an official to-do list.) I've accomplish many things that would make my younger self proud. I worked for Disney while living abroad (two birds), and have traveled around Asia and Europe. I also finally went to Hawaii as an adult. It made my bucket list as a kid because it was a popular vacation destination among my friends but my family never went. My mom said laying on a crowded beach wasn't her idea of a vacation. Turns out I, however, love it. Hawaii is one of my favorite places on the planet. Here are a few photos from my trip to Hawaii (just because).I'VE NEVER NOT HAD A PET. I love animals and if I had to go back and redo college, I'd probably major in something that would let me work with animals. My family always had pets, so when I left for college it felt weird to be pet-less. I got a fish for my dorm, had a rabbit for a couple years in college and often lived with roommates who had a cat. After college, I continued to always lived with pets. Even when I lived in China. I once again got a fish and also dog sat my friend's dog for months while he traveled. I currently own a cat named Wilma who was a rescue.I'M A RAVENCLAW. You might have already known or guessed this. MY DESIGN TASTES ARE SEASONAL. I'm sure I'm not alone in this. Around the end of January—when the grey of winter is really settled in and the excitement of the holiday season has passed—I get super into anything boho, tropical, colorful, Southern Californian, desert inspired, mid-century modern and 60s-ish. I get a need to fill my indoor space with color and life to make up for the dreariness of winter. I'll stay really into this until about the end of July/August when I start really craving fall. Fall and winter I'm really into cleaner Scandinavian interior design with different holiday accents. I go all out for the holidays and my house usually looks like it barfed up holiday cheer for the whole month of December.MY FEARS INCLUDE (but are not limited to):

  • Spiders (particularly these black house spiders we get which run across the floor super fast and startle the shit out of me... every time!). I have never been okay with spiders and have developed some weird habits from this fear: Shaking out my towels before getting in the shower, avoiding all lamps where the switch to turn it on/off is hidden behind the lamp shade, shaking out all shoes that have not been recently worn before sticking my foot in them, and an avoidance of basements. The house I currently live in has an unfinished basement and while it is fantastic for storage, it is also home to a lot of spiders. Unfinished basements in general seem like a bad idea, just saying.

    1. Spray Tan Stains. I have never gotten a spay tan. I actually tan fairly easily pretty much anywhere but the city I live in. I'm not sure what it is about Portland sun, but I could lay in it for hours and have zero pigment change. My favorite way to "get tan" is to spend a weekend in Southern California or take a vacation somewhere tropical like Hawaii. Since it isn't practical to just travel anytime I think I'm getting "a bit paler than normal," spray tans seem like a really great option. Portland has many highly reviewed tanning places that even offer organic spray tans. Alas, I have never tried this because I have a deep routed fear of staining my clothing and sheets with spray tan residue as it finishes developing. I am forever pale.

    2. Failure. Like many people in life, I am afraid of failure. Not so much in failing at individual things, more like I'm afraid of never accomplishing anything I can be proud of. Or never accomplishing anything that feels like it truly mattered in life. Sometimes this fear causes me anxiety. Other times this fear serves as a good motivator to continue trying and to get back up when I fall. The biggest problem with this fear is that "accomplishing something I can be proud of" is subjective, and I hold myself to very high standards.