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Thoughts for a Sunday

As I sit here with a blanket over me because it’s still COLD outside, I’m feeling a little bit anxious about the new week. I’m already devising my To-Do list for Monday and have some big, but exciting projects to follow up with. Tomorrow starts my fifth week there and I have learned A LOT.  Literally learning something new each day, which is awesome because this was the reason why I accepted this seemingly lateral job. It has already been a great environment for me to expand my knowledge of design and cultivate new clients.

It was a quiet Sunday, but such a beautiful day. I took a nice walk by the river while I did my laundry at my parents. Their neighborhood is one of my favorites to walk in. I checked off most on the to-do list below, except for cleaning and creating a new playlist. Actually, I remembered that before I left for my three week marathon of dog/house sitting, I did a pretty thorough cleaning. Very little dust has settled since I left 😉

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So, I don’t have too much to unload for this weekend, except that it’s been nice being home. I am SO SO grateful for any opportunity to make extra money to help pay down the old Visa, but I always love coming home.

-Ellen

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A Perfectly Productive Day

Well hello there! Today was a perfectly productive day with just the right amount of finesse and a bit of “me” time here and there. I’ve been dog-sitting this week and Della, the dog, gets up early for her walk. I’ve found though that my peak productive time is probably from about 7am to 12/2pm. If only that were an entire work day!!

I replied to a bunch of emails, inspected a light fixture for a client, accessorized said client’s entryway, and had a nice visit with my sister and nieces. And had a nice tutorial on measuring for window treatments.

My *treats* were a Fruitless green smoothie from Ginger Juice. The house where I’m dog-sitting is really close to there, so I figured I would treat myself. And it was so good! So flavorful and refreshing. I also bought Gabrielle Bernstein’s ‘The Universe Has Your Back’. I’ve been wanting to read it for months. I was passing by Barnes & Noble on my way to Target today and thought, what the heck, I’ll just run in there real quick and buy it already! I can’t wait to get into it. It’s the first of many self improvement books on my list.

Speaking of self improvement, I’ve been hemming and hawing over creating a second Instagram account for the blog. I thought it would be a good idea to have another digital outlet to share my health and wellness journey. While that is entirely separate content that very well deserves an account all its own, I feel like that would be way too time consuming and added pressure on myself to become the next celebrity blogger 😉

The thing is, I thought that having a separate account on the un-reality/reality that is Instagram would be a great way for me to be vulnerable and share the raw, uncomfortable moments in day to day life. But I decided that I’d rather collect my data and then share it at the appropriate time, i.e., my journey to overcome binge eating/drinking. Maybe in time, I’ll become more confident and not give a shit and share allll of life’s moments, but I’m not ready to declare that to the World Wide Web just yet.

And plus, I think there’s more of an impact on readers and followers when content isn’t in your face all the time. I feel if something is REALLY good, they will read/watch it. So, that’s my tangent on why I’m negating on the decision to open a second Instagram account. Gawwwd. First world problems here.

Here are a few photos that summed up my perfectly productive day:

 

-Ellen

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Life

Two Weeks & Three Days

So, it’s been a little over two weeks living #thedrylife. I prefer calling it the dry life because to me, the phrase “alcohol free” assumes that I have a problem with it or a condition. Other than 80% of the nights that I had too much to drink, I was not dependent on alcohol. I rarely drank alone. On average, I would have drinks 3-4 nights out of the week.  In these two weeks, I have noticed that I am more sincere. Real, natural smiles come over my face, and I’m a little calmer and more confident. I have been quieter with myself and not worrying about sharing too much on social media, even stepping away from it a little bit (ish). I haven’t felt the need to share/post things just because. Just because I need to see the “Likes”.  I’ve been more intentional with my time on social media. Sharing things that I feel will benefit my audience out of love (for family and friends), learning (design, community events), education and inspiration (quotes, art, nature).

I feel more present, alert, clear-headed, and energetic than before. That said, I’ve been binge watching Grace and Frankie on Netflix, and it has cut into my bedtime! But even so, on nights when I’ve only had 7 hours of sleep (I usually strive for 8-8 1/2), I still feel pretty energetic and not irritable the next day.

In these past two weeks, I have also landed a new job! I will be a design consultant at one of Richmond’s best known interior design companies. I am so excited about this opportunity.  This job will be the perfect environment for me to continue learning about the industry and growing my business. But I have to put my best effort into this. And best effort means being focused, motivated, and open to even more creativity. Best effort means few distractions. So with that, booze will not be in the equation.

It’s been a relatively easy two weeks sans booze, but Spring is coming. Everyone will be budding, blooming, and getting out again. Festivals, parties, day drinking, and rose all day…will be splashing all over the city. So, I think it’s been good to have a baseline of 2-3 weeks, so I can go into more fun events that are coming up with confidence, knowing how great I’ve felt without drinking, and that I don’t need to give in just because it’s Spring and the weather is warmer.

So that’s a little check in on my #drylife for now. Will be back in touch sooooon!!

 

-Ellen

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Life

Day 6

Good morning, and happy weekend! I woke up earlyish to one of the dogs I’m dog-sitting for.  I was surprised that I wasn’t groggier than I usually am. Maybe I just slept really well…with just 7 hours of sleep. I usually need 8-8.5. I had a long day yesterday, going from babysitting to coming home and hurriedly packing bags and food for house/dog-sitting this weekend. Then had to race over to another babysitting job. So the deep, hard sleep was probably due to my busy day. At any rate, I’m feeling energized and grateful and clear headed. I was explaining to my sister the other day my decision to be alcohol free and she actually seemed to understand this time. Before, I had been back and forth, usually insistent on giving it all up after a big night or weekend. I would go back to my old ways on the next weekend. But I explained to her that at this point in my life (almost 32!), I need to get un-stuck, and remove the something in my life that has been holding me back from achieving my goals.

OK…now that I’ve been writing this in between pouring more coffee, fixing my oatmeal, and putting a load of laundry in, I’m feeling a liiitle sluggish. But. Sluggish from 7 hours of good sleep, vs. 7 hours of alcohol fueled sleep is better on any day.

So yeah. Day 6. The cloud has been lifted. I’ll report back on my progress again soon! For now, happy weekend loves!

 

-Ellen

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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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