Life

Day 1

Good morning!

Shocker – it’s another gloomy morning here in Richmond! I mean, do we live in Seattle or London now?! Maybe mother nature just wants to get all the rain and cloudiness behind us, before Spring arrives 🙂

Ok, now to what you all are probably wondering. What is my title referring to? I’ve gone back and forth about sharing this subject on the blog, but I figure, most bloggers out there have been doing this thing for a decade or more. Their lives have taken twists and turns, but they have been consistent with their blog no matter what. I’m talking about a few long time favorites like Cupcakes & Cashmere, Cup of Jo, Kath Eats, and Oh DearDrea. So, I’m bravely writing my first post, among several more to come, on the subject of living alcohol free. I have more deep thoughts on this, that I will share, but I’m on a bit of a time crunch this morning. I’ll just say that I experimented with life without alcohol on purpose last week. The day after I drank several glasses of wine to ease the disappointment of a breakup, I caught a virus that had me down for the count. It lasted several days and today, two weeks later, I am just getting over it. So, since I felt so bad and didn’t even have a normal appetite for food, much less wine, I took about 11 days off from drinking. At the 6/7 day mark, I felt great. I’ve also been abstaining from cheese and cutting way back on refined sugar for quite a few weeks, to help clear up skin issues, which has left me feeling amazing.

But I caved this past weekend. My aunt is in town and that calls for celebrating, right?!  Without getting into too much detail (saving it for another post) and the mind games I play, I am starting over, and seeing how long I can go this time without a single drop.

So, join me if you’d like on this journey. Today is Day 1. I don’t know if I can post on my progress every day, but on most days I’ll check in.

Have a great day!

-Ellen

 

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Life

The Universe DOES Have Your Back

Ok..It may seem like I’m stealing this title, but it’s true. For the past couple weeks I’ve felt off, like the universe was against me, out of wack, un-easy, restless, etc. Ever since the new year, I haven’t had a day that has been exactly the same. To some that may sound exciting, but for me, I need to be in some sort of routine. In my world of nanny by day/interior design consultant by nights and weekends, no day is ever the same, but at least I know that on certain days I go here and some days I go there…it’s more or less a schedule. But recently, I had an unsettling experience with someone who hired me to tbe their nanny, but then went back on their word and handed me a “no” TWICE.  You would think the third time would be a charm, when the family extended their offer yet again, but no dice. I had this nagging feeling deep in my gut that this was not going to be a good fit. You may think, come on, it’s only nannying. Can’t you work it out for a few months? The answer is no. I have had too many stressful and unsettling work environments where my happiness cannot be sacrificed. I’ve worked with warm, loving families who have had a positive influence in my life, and I have to trust my gut on this.

But alas, another opportunity has come up and I could not be happier about it. AND I still get to take care of two other kids in a family that I just adore. That’s a win, win in my book 🙂

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While everything has lined up nicely in that area of my life, there has been a sudden turn of events in the romantic realm. A guy I have been dating for almost four months, broke up with me yesterday morning. Womp, womp, I know. He had been a little distant leading up to this blow, but I still didn’t see it coming or want to hear it. I’ll spare the details, but basically, he wants to focus more on his career and not be distracted with dating someone seriously. But you know what that’s called? LIFE. It’s called BALANCE. Whatever. He will never find anyone else like me. And this was just a trial run for me, before the next best thing.

With this “loss” in my life, I have yet, another chance to invest more in myself. Continue my personal growth and putting forth my very best effort both professionally and personally. But right now, as I sit here, powering through what I hope is just a 24-hr virus thing, I have plenty of time to reflect, write and aspire.

Have a great weekend! I’ll probably be back on here though, as I feel like I have a lot to get out of me 🙂

 

-Ellen

 

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Food

Vegan Chocolate Recipe

Hi guys! With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I have chocolate on the brain. OK,  I have chocolate on my brain a lot, but particularly this time of year. I’m embarking on a clean eating challenge that may very well end up becoming the better half of a lifestyle and wanted to implement that into sweet treats as well.

By clean, I mean no processed sugar, no dairy, and no soy. A few other no-no’s are thrown in there too, but those are the three ingredients typically found in chocolate that you would buy at the grocery store. Theo chocolate is my favorite kind of vegan chocolate to buy; free of soy, dairy, and refined sugar. But buying chocolate like this all the time can get expensive. SO, I decided to make my own vegan chocolate.

This is no fancy recipe at all. It only takes four ingredients. That’s it! I basically just doubled the Almond Butter frosting recipe from the beautiful Laura Lea Balanced, and filled a 9 x 9 baking dish. You could even fill a loaf pan if you wanted more of a fudge type thickness.

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Keep in an air tight container and freeze. They will act like a “melt-away” if you leave them sitting out for too long. But trust me, these will go quickly at any party or just in your own house. They have for me 🙂 I hope you enjoy this super simple recipe!

Ellen

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Uncategorized

Storage Basket Selections

If you are already cleaning up Christmas or maybe thinking about when you will get the chance to…here are a few storage baskets that I think are both functional for storing your new things and fashionable enough to stay around all year long!

  1. Lonnie Scalloped Bakset – hand woven of thick 100% wool to keep its pretty scalloped shape. The medium size is perfect for office essentials or magazines. Large style holds everything from delicates to crafting supplies.

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2. Olema Seagrass Baskets – Designed to be pretty and practical, these baskets are made of natural seagrass, making them a breeze to tote around. The smallest size is perfect for fire logs, the next size up has fun leather detailing, and the large has a lovely tapered shape.

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3. Huntington Baskets – More than just colorful catchalls, these are vibrant designs with a purpose – they’re woven entirely by hand to support a women’s collective in India. Substantial and sturdy, this collection is available in 3 sizes, all with cutout leather handles and each with a slightly different pattern. We love them grouped together or sprinkled wherever extra storage is needed, from the closet to the playroom.

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4. Petaluma Baskets – Natural bamboo meets a classic chevron pattern. The result? Storage that lets you stow away the clutter while leaving your style in full display. Handles make it easy to tote.

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5. Abaca Fringe Basket – A handwoven abaca basket in a rich, blue hue gives your room an organic update.

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6. Medium White Seagrass Storage Basket – In a sea grass material with a woven geometric white print, this roomy storage basket combines style with function for a chic alternative to disguise clutter. Who knew that storage could look so stylish?

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I hope you enjoyed these finds!

 

Ellen

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Design

Decorative Holiday Accessories: Gift Guide!

The time is now! If you’re like me, you’re waiting until it’s officially December to start shopping for the Holidays. Whether it’s a small token of appreciation for your host, something for your artsy friend, or something for the mom who’s in her sixties and “down sizing” ;), I’ve corralled a few of my favorite decorative accessories for the home, Holiday style!

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  1. Wooden Quirk Hotel ornament by Morris + Norris – I recently discovered these RVA makers while perusing RVA Antiques. At just $10.00, it’s the perfect gift for your girl or boy about town.

2. Geometric Gold Trees – Love these! Glam without screaming Christmas…guys, I’m not a Grinch, but you know what I mean!

3. Majestic Tassels Ornament – OK, 2017 was the year of the tassel earrings and all things unicorn, and this adorable little ornament combines the two!

4. Modern Art Ornament – I know this is the third ornament on this gift guide, but the tree is always the star of the show, and Dana is the best!

5. Yuletide Embroidered Pillow – I love how this pillow is subtly Christmas-y and has that Suzani-boho feel that I love.

6. Fresh Winterberry and Pine Wreath – Wreath’s aren’t only for the front door – hang these pretties over a standing or hanging mirror or even inside, so you can smell that fresh pine all through out the house!

7. Eucalyptus Wood Gold Dipped Candle Holders – these are perfect for your outdoorsy, smoothie drinking, folk loving friend, and you can leave these up all year round!

8. ‘Red Pearl’ Amaryllis – Amaryllis’ makes me think of New Year’s because usually every year, my mom gets gifted amaryllis bulbs or one that has already bloomed. Such an elegant flower to have around during the holidays!

9. Gilded Cafe Mirror Tray – One can never have too many trays, especially during the holiday season! The sky’s the limit with what you can put on them, but I’d say, start with a cocktail 😉

I hope this Gift Guide was helpful and got your wheels are spinning as to what to get that person who has everything. Cheers!

 

Ellen

 

 

 

 

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Life

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s all about gathering with family and friends to celebrate and give thanks. What could be better than that?! 2017 has been the year of the gratitude journal, of which I have sat down first thing on in-consecutive mornings and listed off the many things and people I am grateful for. So on this Thanksgiving morning, here are just a few things I am thankful for:

  1. My family. In times of uncertainty, I am so thankful to have the love and support of my family.
  2. Good friends. My good friends are so important to me. Whether we’re laughing or crying or laughing until we cry, there is nothing better than connecting with friends who will lift you up.
  3. My positivity. Again, in times of uncertainty, I am grateful for my positive outlook and my ability to focus on the things I can do and the tools I have to achieve success, no matter how bumpy the road is getting there.

I hope everyone has a wonderful day celebrating with family and friends!

NOW GET COOKING!!

Love,

Ellen

 

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Life

Gel Manicures Are A Waste of Money

I’m sitting here peeling off every last one of my aqua colored nails from a gel manicure or shellacked manicure? I kind of like peeling them off. It’s the same thing as popping a blister or some other gross habit. It oddly gives me satisfaction when I’ve peeled them off in totality. And then I’m like, why did I spend $30.00 on something that only lasts a week?? And plus, my nails grow out kind of fast, so it’s a lose-lose with the manicures.

Anyway…thought I would check in on this poor blog of mine, ha!

I am having the ultimate “me” night you guys. I cooked a delicious dinner for myself and made a batch of scrumptious peanut butter cookies. Thanks to My Whole Food Life for the idea!

I thought I was going to be in the worst mood ever tonight, because it’s Friday and I’ve had a lackluster social life lately, and on and on and on. But I’m not going down that road.

ANYWAY. Yes. Having a good night. Zero wine involved. Now, onto watching Something’s Gotta Give for the 50th time?? That is probably exaggerated, but I have seen it tons.

Also, I’m just gonna let ya’ll know, that from here on out..I’m just gonna write. Some posts will be beautifully written and well thought out. Some posts will be choppy and random and leaving you like, WTF, Ellen??

The creative in me is longing for this blog to be back up to speed. For me, not for you. Sorry ya’ll. So, please keep following along if you’re curious to see where this is going.

Happy weekend!!!

Ellen

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