It’s time to say good bye

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Good evening Loves.  I always knew this day would come – the day when My Diary will have to say good bye.

Over the last few years I have loved getting to know you and I hope you loved reading My Diary just as much as I loved writing in it.

I started this blog as an emotional (mostly angry and sad) twenty something and now at 33 years old I can finally say that I am in a good place in life.  After suddenly losing my best friend Kevin Michael, hitting a personal rock bottom after the market crash and being betrayed by my family, I can say that My Diary helped me get through the past few years safe and sound…I even lived to tell the story.  If I didn’t have My Diary I don’t know where I would be today – and that’s the truth.

My Diary started as a healthy outlet to express my emotions and find my place in the world; today I feel that I am much better off than I was just a few years ago.

Thank you all for taking this journey with me and I hope that we stay in touch on Twitter and Facebook.

I am starting some new adventures in life – both personal and career – and I hope we continue to stay friends as you join me in this new phase of my life @

If you just aren’t ready to part ways yet than please stay, have a look around and browse through some oldies but goodies.

And who knows, we may just find ourselves back here again someday; but for now this is the last page in My Diary.

Love Always,

Friday Faves: I’m getting my Christmas tree

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Good morning Loves and Happy Friday. It’s the first weekend in December and tomorrow we are getting our Christmas tree.  I am so excited – I love decorating the tree, eating Christmas cookies and listening to Christmas music.  We are getting our tree a bit early this year and I hope it lasts well into January, thanks to my Ukrainian roots we leave our tree up until January 6th.

Oh BTW that’s not my house, or even my neighbourhood up above – it’s the Quincy Market in Boston. Just in case you were wondering.

When do you put up your Christmas tree?

Check out what my friends are writing about this week:

The Bloggess  - Accidently doing good things.

Add Vodka – How to Break Bad Financial Habits and Live Your Ideal Life

Thirty Six Months – Keep Your Skin Looking Great During The Cold Weather

L Bee and the Money Tree – When One Door Closes

Have a great weekend.

Love always,

Use my FREEPhotos on Flickr

Trying to understand depression

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Dear Diary,

On Monday I wrote about admitting I have a problem with depression and today I am trying to find ways to work through my feelings and understand what I need to do to overcome my highs and lows. I have realized that depression doesn’t always equal total sadness, it usually ends up that way but there are a whole slew of other emotions that come with depression – at least there were for me.  Anger, worthlessness, regret, lack of willingness and sadness are all emotions that people feel when they are dealing with situations that are just too much to handle.  The emotional cycle of depression is kind of like dealing with a death – actually it’s exactly like dealing with a death because when you are sad a little part of you dies.

Trying to figure it out

After a short stint of complete and total anger I fell into a deep sadness that had me questioning if my life was a life worth living.  I withdrew from everything and everyone because I thought that being alone would help me avoid disappointment – when in fact all it made me was lonely.

I needed something to bring me out of my sadness and help me start seeing the good in life again.  Binge eating to avoid my emotions was one way to deal with the pain, medication was the second option and excessive drinking to numb the pain was the third.  But considering that I was physically attacked by my Dad’s raging alcoholic girlfriend, drinking didn’t seem like the best option.

Minimize your focus and take it one day at a time

I turned to exercise as a way to deal with my depression because it seemed like the healthiest way to rejoin the world but still keep to myself at the same time.  I didn’t want to jump back into society but I knew that I had to get out of bed and start doing something.

Depression is just like any other disease, you have to hit rock bottom before you can get any better.  If you are not feeling like yourself you may be experiencing a personal depression.  Don’t try to pull yourself out of it too fast. Depression is a self-inflicted disease – and that’s OK.  All it means that is that you know what made you get into depression, and only you can get yourself out of it.

Get help – it’s the best thing you will ever do

My advice is to deal with the issue that is making you sad, go through the emotions and then find something to bring you back to life.  Focus on something you love.  Give yourself something to look forward to and a goal to work towards.  It will help regain focus and the success of achieving your goal – no matter what it is – will help you feel a sense of self worth.

When you feel like your life is once again worth living, you are getting back on track to overcoming your sadness.

Love always,

Photo by me in Las Vegas – Grab them for free

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It’s Totally Normal To Be 27 and…

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As I look back at 2013 I realize that I did a good amount of soul searching and analyzing the details of where I am in my life and while some people are way ahead of me (married, kids, own a home) that doesn’t mean I’m not normal. Really, is there even such a thing as being “normal”? Who do you even compare yourself to in order to determine if you’re normal or not!? Everyone’s life is different and so are the situations that we are presented with on a daily basis.

Hi, I'm Ellen and I'm Normal!!!!!

Hi, I’m Ellen and I’m Normal!!!!!

Sometimes people ask me questions about my life and I automatically get defensive, not because I’m insecure but because I don’t ever need anyone trying to make me second guess my life. Never again will I compare myself to anyone else. Why? Because for me, it’s totally normal to be 27 and…

1. Live at home.
I had to get out of a crappy living situation and I had no other choice. If I wanted to move into an apartment with 4 chihuahuas I would probably only be able to keep 2 of them. Well, I love my dogs like people so that’s not an option, ever. And so what, I may live back with my parents but I can save money quickly now to put a down payment on a house that I really want, instead of just settling on one because I needed to move out of my old place in a hurry.

2. Not be married.
So what, I didn’t settle for the wrong one just because I hadn’t met the right one yet and everyone around me did. A ring and a marriage certificate don’t define me. In fact, I’m pretty proud of myself for having a good job for 8 years now, a successful blog on the side, and no regrets about my past relationships. They didn’t last because they weren’t meant to. I won’t ever commit to someone unless I know it’s right, and obviously I always knew things weren’t right before.

3. Not have or want kids.
Actually, I don’t want kids. I never have. I get tired of explaining it but basically it’s just not something that I ever felt I just HAD to do in my life. I am quite satisfied with having pets and a busy work life. Sure, I might get excluded from playdates with my friends but I’m happy with my decision and I won’t let anyone change my mind.

So what makes you normal at your age? 


Home Is Wherever You Want It To Be

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A little under four months ago, I made a cross country move with my husband from Cleveland to Portland. After spending the first 24 years of my life in Ohio and never having been to the West Coast, I took a leap of faith and moved on my own accord, wanting to make a big move and see more of the U.S. before settling down and having children.

We spent three weeks on the road exploring different places across the country, some of which we liked (all of Colorado) and some of which we hated (Southern California), before we got to our final destination of Portland, Oregon. Four months later, I can say with certainty we picked the right place.

Home Is Not Always Conveniently Located

Portland is everything we want in a city — it has a fabulous food and alcohol scene, it’s extremely accepting, and it has big city amenities, yet a small town feel. What it lacks is both of our families. In fact, it’s about 2,500 miles from my family and about 7,000 miles from his.

While this is certainly a negative, our families’ homes don’t necessarily need to be our home. We have every right to move to a place that makes us happy, even when it isn’t conveniently located.

You have this same right. One of my favorite quotes is this: “If you don’t like where you are, change it. You’re not a tree.” Don’t spend your life complaining about where you are, because you can move.

Create a Home in the Right Place For You

Miles away from our friends and family, we are creating a new home — a place where we can love, work, and thrive. I want you to know you can do the same. Your family has chosen to settle where they are, but you don’t have to. They will still love you, near or far.

Portland is home for me. Where is your home (or “would be” home)?

Peace, Love, and Moving Vans,


P.S. Happy Thanksgiving!

Image from Doug Kerr