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Update

Good morning and Happy Halloween!

Honestly, I’m not too crazy about Halloween. I enjoy seeing the creative costumes people come up with, but I’ve never been one to win a “most creative costume” contest. As a kid, I remember dressing up as everything from Matilda to Pocahontas to Tina Turner. The year I was Tina Turner, I remember repeatedly singing “What’s love got to do with it, Trick or Treat!” hAHA, I was an old soul from a very early age.

Tonight will be pretty low-key. My friend Emily has invited me over to her house for chili that her roommate Luke will be making. Luke is a very good cook and always uses the most fresh and natural ingredients, so I am looking forward to that! Emily lives in a neighborhood where there are quite a few kids, so I’m sure we will be going through lots of candy! I say we take a sip of beer every time Elsa from Frozen comes to door, whose with me?!?

I’m happy to report that my lap top is up and running again!!! A computer consultant who my mom recommended came by my apartment one day and ran all of these diagnostic tests on my lap top. My hard drive was running so slowly, that he had to take it back to his office and run even more tests! He concluded that I had a corrupted hard drive and that I should either get it replaced or buy a new lap top. I discussed this with my mom and we decided that we would just replace the hard drive. This will be an early Christmas present, thanks Santa 🙂

So this being said, with a much more efficient computer, I will be blogging a lot more and I also hope to pick up a few more design clients in 2015!

There will be more of an update on the eating and drinking part of my life this weekend, but that’s all for now, I have to go shower, blow-dry, and straighten my hair in time for work! Everyone stay safe and have fun out there tonight!

XOXO,

Ellen

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Successful Smoothie & Weekend

Good morning!

I am slurping up this delicious spinach, banana smoothie. With my new blender, everything in it pulsed to perfection!

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In the mix:
1 cup spinach
Frozen banana
1 cup almond milk
Full scoop Vegan protein powder
1 T chia seeds

Oh the smoothie possibilities!

The weekend was a good one. I painted again, thanks to a fantastic art lesson from my Aunt. I painted this bouquet, the flowers and background taken from different photographs and paintings that inspired me.

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It was so much fun, and I can’t wait to practice my painting more. One of my friends already wants one for herself!

Saturday night we had a girls’ dinner at my new favorite restaurant in Richmond, Max’s on Broad. I had a delicious plate of bacon wrapped scallops and half of their apple, chicken, and curry salad. The perfect portions and mouth watering!!

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Sunday my friend Emily drove us up to Charlottesville to visit our friend Julie and to go to a couple vineyards. We tasted at Grace Estate and Stinson Vineyard. Stinson was my favorite out of the two. We had a wonderful tasting experience from the owner herself!! I loved almost all of their wines, especially the Rose, so of course I had to buy a bottle! I would go back today, but in the meantime, I will look for their wines at my local Once Upon A Vine 🙂

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Down “fall” Oats

This week’s temperatures are not exactly “Fall” like, but I had this bowl of “fall” oats anyway.

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Oats, raspberries, and half of a Pink Lady apple, topped with a T of Trader Joe’s salted creamy almond butter. I’ve decided that this almond butter is too salty for my palette, but I’m dog sitting and that’s the only nut butter around!

About that almond butter…I unfortunately had a binge with it last night, along with graham crackers and Honey Nut Cheerios.

As I mentioned, I have been dog sitting since last night and through this evening. I’ve known the dog owners since grade school, and although they are empty nesters, they have a pantry full of snacks, as if they had growing hormonal teenagers!

But to my surprise last night, they have significantly pared down the junk food. This is a good thing, but the bad thing is, I managed to find the junk. I went back and forth from Cheerios to almond butter filled graham crackers, and also discovered chocolate covered cherries and sour cherries.

The only explanation for this binge session is that this is a familiar home in the same neighborhood as where I grew up, so having indulging like this is comforting. Also, I could be feeling bad for still having to resort to pet sitting at my age.

BUT I just have to remember that money is money no matter how you make it, whether that be pet sitting or babysitting. I’m so thankful for the opportunities, because otherwise, financials would be very tight!

I also have to remind myself that the job I have now is a step toward something better. Some affirmations: I am loved and people enjoy my presence. There’s a quote that says something like “people might forget what you said, but they’ll never forget how they made you feel.” I like to think that I’m that person who makes people feel good.

So WHY do I continue to break myself down with binging?!?

My journey continues, and thank you for following me as I work through this disorder and get to the root of the behavior.

XOXO,
Ellen

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Reunion Weekend

Hi there!

This weekend was my TENTH High School reunion!! We were blessed with beautiful Fall weather. The football game was a blast, and Varsity won! There was a small keg and also some Angry Orchards!

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I enjoyed a couple beers and caught up with old (and current) friends.

After the game, I was really wanting to buy something new to wear Saturday night, so I popped into Old Navy and bought this super cute and versatile dress. Who knew my friend Charly would show up in the same one?!

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We had a good showing overall, but there were actually more guys than girls!!

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It was really good to catch up with everyone. Two guys in particular I had my eyes on, or rather they had eyes on me 😍. One of whose name I won’t mention, we’ve known each other since Kindergarten, but we are both a little shy and awkward when it comes to dating, so I think we need time to digest. Who am I kidding though, I’ll probably make the first move :).

On the mindful moderation note, I did drink the same drink all night long. I’m not going to lie, I probably had about 8-10 drinks over the course of the night, but I took cabs EVERYWHERE we went. This made me feel good and safe. As expensive as taking a cab can be, it beats shelling out thousands of dollars on a possible DUI. And there really is nothing like waking up knowing YOUR car is parked right outside your house.

So, it was a wonderful weekend!! Sunday was even more picturesque and “Fally”. I indulged in this creamy latte and homemade doughnut at Lamplighter.

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XOXO,

Ellen

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Silver Lining Saturday Morning

I have a love/hate relationship for Saturday mornings. I love that I can usually “sleep in” and make my own schedule, but I do get anxious sometimes when I have a full day ahead and am not able to 100% enjoy the short time of solitude.

I typically work about two Saturdays a month, but today I have the day off because it’s my 10 Year High School Reunion!! I kind of can’t believe it’s been 10 years, although some days, it feels like it has!!

I’m starting off the day by volunteering at an Alumni Prayer Service. Believe it or not, I live in the same neighborhood as where I went to high school, so I plan on walking to and from the prayer service.

After that, I will come home for lunch, which I am whipping up now. Brown rice and lentils and roasted butternut squash! Fall is here!

The varsity football game is also on tap for today, and later, we will all gather at a fun music venue here in RVA, which apparently has an awesome patio!

I promise I will have better pics than just breakfasts!! But here’s one from the other morning. I actually had the same kind of smoothie this morning, but with a new blender! Unfortunately, the engine in my old food processor conked out on me when I was blending some Medjool dates.

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The “silver lining” of this post is from last night when I was babysitting. When I babysit, I tend to snoop around the family’s pantry, and more often than not, I end up in a binge session. It’s gotten a lot better though, and last night was a good example.

I listened to what I was really craving and allowed myself to have it. I did have about a Tablespoon of almond butter, and probably too many Halloween colored tortilla chips, but I know my previous habits, and it could have been A LOT worse!! To help me not go too overboard, I just thought about how I would and WANT to feel the next day. So, I drank some water and had a few mints with Sex and The City episodes, and I was satisfied! The silver lining 😉.

Have a wonderful Saturday!

XOXO,
Ellen

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What’s on This Plate

Good morning! I feel like this week has flown by and am glad tomorrow is Friday!

This morning I woke up not feeling like exercising, so instead I chose to do a quick cleaning of my bathroom and a few yoga poses.

I also wanted to reflect on my behavior last night. I’m not talking about THAT behavior. I’m talking about my behavior with food and drink.

Last night, I had the pleasure of going over to my mom’s cousin’s house in Churchill. When we got there, Betsy offered to make us homemade Manhattans. Made with fresh squeezed orange juice and a generous amount of bourbon and bitters, this drink hit the spot!! It was also an appropriate drink for the night, as my grandmother was with us, so we raised our glasses to her, as well as my late great aunt, Betsy’s mother.

I sipped red wine with a delicious dinner that included poached salmon, kale chips, tortellini, and fresh bread.

Once home, I assessed how I was feeling. I was pleasantly full and tired. I really thought about having one of my decadent Chocolate Date Balls, but I thought since I already had dessert, I didn’t NEED anything else. Plus, I did have the Date Balls later at night on the previous night, which made me feel sluggish the next day, so I chugged some water instead.

As I’ve wrote about this before, every time I have a craving to late-night snack, if I think about how it will make me feel tomorrow, then I am more likely to resist.

So, these are baby steps, and dinner and drinks with my maternal relatives was absolutely not a trigger for giving into “bad habits”, but I am happy with the decisions I made last night, which can only spring me forward into a better me.

Here’s a version of a quote my friend posted on Facebook recently, “In order to be an expert on anything, you must be an expert on yourself.”

For what it’s worth, here’s today’s breakfast:

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