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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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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Life

NYE & How To House Sit Like A Boss

Welcome back guys!! Or really, welcome back me! Since my last post, I kind of checked out in more ways than just getting caught up in the busyness of the holidays. More on that later…but I’m glad now to finally just do it! The voice in my head is like, just do it, even if it’s totally random, just write about ANYTHING. So here I am. Recapping this year’s New Years Eve and some methods I’ve mastered when house sitting.

A small recap of my NYE: spent it third wheelin’ it with my best friend Emily and her boyfriend Brian. We pre-gamed on Emily’s delicious Moscow Mules and a spread of Trader Joe’s little bites of yum, before heading to see my favorite local cover band, Three Sheets to The Wind!! 


The Yacht Rock mates were right on point, disco balls and all.

It was a smashing time, but definitely could have consumed more, er, water?
I woke up New Year’s Day in someone else’s bed…oops…JK JK!! I woke up at the house where I’ve been house sitting for the last few days. The owner has two dogs and a cat and lives in this gorgeous turn-of-the-century home. Very Virginia. Some parts of the house kind of reminded me of how Thomas & Martha Jefferson might have lived. It felt THAT historical. 

I just love an old house with character. There have been some renovations though; including kitchen and bathrooms, a finished third floor, and currently a newly constructed garage, that which my brother is head contractor 🙂

Without being creepy and revealing the entire house, here are a few of my favorite details: 


Where stately meets quaint! 

Now back to the second part of the title of this post. I’ve been house sitting for several years. I’ve mostly held down the fort at a close family friends’ house, but when I’m at new acquaintances homes, the house rules are pretty much the same. Here are some tips I’ve collected over the years. If you’re a frequent house sitter, I hope these are helpful! 

1. The night before I move all my stuff over to the house, I like to clean out my fridge almost completely, as seen below: 

This way, I don’t have to bring everything that was in my fridge with me, and this ensures that almost nothing will spoil.

2. Then I pack a bag full of pantry staples like peanut butter, coconut oil, olive oil, etc. Items that the home owners may not have on hand and things that I don’t want to spend another $10 on when I already have it. 

3. When I arrive at the house, I first unload any food I brought into the fridge, let the pets (usually dogs) out, greet them, give them hugs, treats, snuggles, etc., so that we can all get acquainted. 
4. Then I get settled in which ever room I’m staying in by setting out toiletries, hanging up any clothes if accessible, making up beds, etc. 

5. When I house sit, I treat the time I’m there as if I was going to stay in a beach house or something, so once I’m all settled, I make a run to the nearest grocery store. 

6. I hate the thought of having to buy prepared food every night, even if it’s healthy prepared food from this place,  so I usually do my normal store run for food I can cook at the house. This saves so much money and makes more time spent with the pets! 

7. I treat the house better than my own. This means that after each meal I clean up after myself, clean dishes, wipe counters, etc. As for picking up after pets, I make sure to sweep/wipe up every bit of debris along the way, so as not to have so much to clean on my last day staying there. 

I will also change the sheets and re-make the bed I slept in if neccessary, as well as put any dirty kitchen + bath towels in the hamper. 

Most times I’m pretty excited to go back to my cozy little apartment after staying in someone else’s home for a while, but in my opinion, house sitting is a great way to get out of your comfort zone while staying in your own city. It has definitely helped me become more adaptable and has enhanced my ‘go-with-the-flow’ attitude. 

I hope these tips were helpful for all my fellow house sitters out there! 

Xo,

Ellen

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