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? 


It’s totally normal to never have time to…

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Do you ever wonder if your daily routine is the norm? Do you ever feel like the 24 hours we have each day just aren’t enough to get things done? Do you cherish the Sunday mornings that you spend in bed doing nothing but relaxing and watching TV? I know that I do. I am the queen of finding anything that will save me 15 minutes in the morning and all my friends know that I am always five to 15 minutes late for everything. Does that sound like you?

Don’t worry I am here to tell you that the hectic lifestyle of a girl who wants to do it all is totally normal.

It’s totally normal to never have time to…

- Leave the house with your hair completely dry and your makeup fully done – that’s what car mirrors are for.

- Eat a proper meal 3 times a day…HELLO protein shakes and snacks.

- Workout five days a week. I think only pro athletes do that, right?

- Get a full eight hours of sleep every single night, even on the weekends.

- Make it to every single family function. Trust me, they will not miss you at your Aunt’s neighbours kids birthday party. Let me know if you need an excuse, I have a black book full of them!

What’s the best excuse you ever used to get out of something?

Love Always,

Photo by gui tavares

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It’s Totally Normal…That It Doesn’t Matter

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I just want to smile when I look at this photo :-) PS I don’t know the kid.

With the recent passing of my boyfriend’s father it is safe to say that I have started to look at both my life and my relationship in very different ways.  So many things in life that used to stress me out just don’t matter to me anymore. It doesn’t matter what happens throughout the day, because at the end of the day all that matters is that I am happy.

I wouldn’t say that I have become a “go with the flow” type of person, because I am way too OCD for that. But it’s safe to say that I am no longer stressing about any of life’s small stuff.  I am also starting to realize that almost everything in life is the small stuff.  The things that matter to me right now in my life are my boyfriend, my friends, and my personal happiness; everything else in my life is just the small stuff and I am not stressing about it anymore.

I am starting to appreciate my life as it is and I am trying to be happy with the things that I have in my life; I am trying not to always want more. I am trying to have a child’s mentality because children only see the good side of everything life.  When we are young we only experience the good things life, we haven’t had time yet to experience any of the bad things in life.  This is why children are always smiling and laughing.

It is an understatement to say that this has been a big adjustment in my personal mentality, but like I said, I am trying to change. Sometimes in life there is so much pressure to have the trendiest clothes, to be the prettiest person, to have the most expensive home furnishings, and to have the most money; but the truth is that none of that stuff matters.

It Totally Doesn’t Matter That:

- My kitchen dishes are chipped and broken and I need a new set.  I rarely use them anyways.

- My black sofa doesn’t match my brown Lazy Boy chair.  They are both very comfy.

- I don’t have a proper home office, even though I work approximately 4-5 hours a day from home.  I am grateful to have a secondary income from my freelance writing jobs.

- I live with my boyfriend and we are not married because at least we have each other.

- Every time I see my boss’ face I want to throw up because he is disgusting.  He doesn’t affect my daily work and I just try to ignore him.

- I live in a small apartment that I hate because at least I have a place to sleep every night.

- My family is not close anymore because I have great friends.  The effort with my family is not worth the stress that it creates.

Love Always,

Photo by davidhorne

It’s Totally Normal…To Want

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Today I am off work, I took a much needed vacation day to relax and catch up on my sleep.  It was nice not to wake up to my alarm clock and it was nice to sit down and eat a proper breakfast, instead of eating on the go as I usually do every morning.

As I sat on my couch this morning to eat my Blueberry Waffles I started thinking about all of the other things that I want in life.  Some of the things that I want to experience in life are on My Bucket List, but I started thinking about all of the other things that I want in life. I really want to be an (Best-Selling) Author, I want to Travel Around the World, and most importantly I want to Be Debt Free.

I am on my way to Becoming Debt Free (by December 31, 2013) and hopefully I will be lucky enough to continue travelling once a year or once every two  years.  I would love to travel more but sometimes we just get caught up in our busy lives and before we know it an entire year has passed and we haven’t even taken a vacation.

Here are some other things that It’s Totally Normal To Want:

- Your Divorced Parents to Kiss and Make Up…Even after 10 years

- More Money but Not More Work

- To Be Rich but not Famous

- To Look Like a Victoria’s Secret Model

- Brad Pitt to come to his senses and break up with Angelina Jolie

It’s Totally Normal and It’s Never Too Late

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As my 31st birthday quickly approaches (on October 9th) I have been thinking a lot about my first 30 years and also about my next 30 years.  I am trying to decide what I want out of life and how I want to live my life.  If I have learned anything over the last few years it’s that not everything can be planned, sometimes change can be good, and sometimes unplanned events can bring pleasent surprises with new beginnings.

Throughout the first 30 years of my life I have experienced some really great things such as my trip to Spain.  Unfortunately I have also experienced some very awful things in my life such as the unnecessary Violence from my Evil Step Witch, aka my Dad’s Girlfriend.

There are definitely still some things that I want to do in my life, such as travel the world (Italy in 2010) and be a contestant on a Game Show.  I can only hope that I will be lucky enough to accomplish everything on my Bucket List.

The dawn of my 31st birthday has made me realize that in life it’s never too late…for anything.  So, just in case you have always wanted to try something new but you are not sure if you should step out of your comfort box and try it, the answer is YES you should.  I know it may be both very scary and kind of exciting to want a new beginning.  The truth is that it’s totally normal to be afraid of change (which is why most people choose to stay the same), but we have to remember that it’s never too late to do anything  in life that we want to do.

It’s Totally Normal to Want New Beginnings and It’s Never Too Late To:

- Start Saving

- Start Over

- Take Your Dream Vacation

- Fall in Love

It’s Totally Normal To Wish…

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For bigger and Better Things.  This is definitely relative to our individual likes and preferences. I wish for a bigger apartment in a better city like New York.  However some people may prefer living in a country cabin rather than downtown in a big city.  I love having big dreams, it gives me something to work towards and look forward too.  Every day that I wake up I am closer to my achieving my dreams.

For Something Bad To Happen.  Almost once a week and sometimes even once a day I wish for something bad to happen.  Sometimes I wish for something bad to happen in general, sometimes I wish for it to happen to me to get me out of an uncomfortable situation, and sometimes I wish for something bad to happen to someone else. I don’t really mean it, but I am only human.  It makes us instantly feel better when we wish for something bad to happen, and it’s a momentary stress relief; almost like a glimpse of hope for something better.  It’s totally normal to wish for something bad to happen as long as we take it back afterwards.

To Be Someone Else. Not a day goes by when I don’t wish for something to be different in my life.  Sometimes I wish that I had another job, sometimes I wish that I had different clothes, sometimes I wish that I had more money, and sometimes I wish to be someone else altogether. It is totally normal to wish to be someone else who appears to have a better life, but remember the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

To Look Differently.  Have you ever seen someone and said “I wish I looked like her”? I know that I have.  I always wish to have a Jennifer Lopez body with Giselle hair and Tyra Banks eyes. The whole point of wishing and wanting new things is to make changes.  I can have a Jennifer Lopez body if I exercise, and I can have Giselle hair with the right stylist and colourist.  It’s totally normal to wish to look differently; we just have to make the wish a reality by making changes.  Instead of saying “I wish I looked like her”, tell yourself “I want to (and will) look like her.”

To Have a Talent.  I often wish that I had the talents of other people, in specific I wish I could sing.  That’s actually not true because I do sing all the time.  I wish that I could sing well and on key.

Photo by Sarah G

It’s Only Two Weeks…Without Sugar!

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I (un) successfully completed my first two weeks of my It’s Only 2 Weeks Weight Loss Plan.  After 15 calendar days, 5 days of being sick, and 2 days of being off work from my new job, I am happy to say that I finally recovered from the flu, and completed the first two weeks of my weight loss plan.

I would describe my first mission as both successful and unsuccessful.  I successfully ate 5 portions of fruits and vegetables every day except for one day when I didn’t do much at all except sleep.  I say that the mission was unsuccessful because I didn’t lose any weight, I am still holding steady at 137 lbs. However, that could also be because I have been sick with the flu for the last 5 days and I haven’t been out of bed since Wednesday.

I learned a lot about portion size during my first weeks and now my eating habits have adjusted to include fruits and vegetables every single time I eat a meal or a snack.  Therefore, I would say that my mission towards healthier eating habits was accomplished.  It was a hard adjustment for the first few days; it is safe to say that I was definitely on fruit and veggie overload.

I learned two very important things about myself during the first two weeks of my It’s Only 2 Weeks Weight Loss Plan.  The first is that I eat a lot more fruits than vegetables, and the second is that I really really like carrots.  I now eat carrots at least once a day, usually for my morning snack.

Two weeks doesn’t seem like a long time, but it is just enough time to form a good habit.  I was not used to eating 5 times a day, and now I eat fruit or vegetables as my morning and afternoon snacks as opposed to eating carbs and sugar.

Speaking of sugar, yesterday marked the beginning of my second mission in the It’s Only 2 Weeks Weight Loss Plan.  Since I have increased my fruit intake substantially, I have decided that my second mission will be to cut out all extra sugar in my daily diet.  This will include cutting out Vanilla Frappuccinos from Starbucks and Iced Cappuccinos from Tim Horton’s. There are 64 grams of Sugar in a Starbucks Vanilla Frappuccino and 33 grams of Sugar in a small Tim Horton’s Iced Cappuccino.  It will also cut out all deserts and chocolate…right before Easter time! This means no more Cadbury Eggs for me!  This mission may be difficult.  Happy Eating Everyone!

Love Always.

It’s Totally Normal During the Holidays…

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To Eat. Forget about your diet for a day. Enjoy cakes, cookies, and anything else that you want to eat during the holidays. 5 days of eating what you want, are not going to hurt all the work that you put into your healthy living during the other 360 days a year.  It’s ok to eat a bit more, just work out a bit more too, and don’t forget to consume a lot of water.  Enjoy and eat during the holidays. You can detoxify after the New Year.

To Drink.  During the holidays Starbucks offers 3 very tasty holiday beverages. I love any excuse to drink hot chocolate every day of the week.  Starbucks has 3 holiday beverages that I can’t resist.  During the holidays, Starbucks offers Gingerbread Lattes, Peppermint Mochas, and Crème Brule Lattes. It’s really strange, I don’t like mint chocolate, but I do love the Starbucks Peppermint Mocha.

To Be Merry…Even if you have to fake it.  I know that the holidays can be hectic, so try to enjoy them as much as you can. Despite the family drama that can come with the holidays, we should be happy that we have family to spend time with.  This year for the first time in my entire life, I will not be with my family during the holidays.  I am trying to focus on the positive of starting new traditions, instead of focusing on the negative. 

(Photo by Ryan Leighty)

It’s Totally Normal in Your 20s…

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 Are you currently where you thought you would be financially or professionally?  Have you ever woke up one morning and thought to yourself…What the hell am I doing wrong? If you have, then don’t worry, it’s totally normal.  Here is a post that I wrote for Green Panda Tree House about Personal Finances for 20 and 30 somethings. 

It’s Totally Normal:

1. To be broke in your 20’s. We may still be in school or paying of student debt.

2. To want bigger and better things.  Focus on the long term, bigger and better, but later.

3. To live in a studio or bachelor apartment

4. To still live at home with your parents. It helps save money. 

5. Not to be married with 2 kids. Maybe later if you choose to, but definitely not in your 20’s.

6. To want the corner office with a view.  Don’t worry, this may come later but our careers will (hopefully) not peak in our 20’s.

Click Here to read the full post.

(Photo ByMarco )

It’s Totally Normal To Cry…

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1. During a movie…Even though you know what happens because you already read the book.  I cried during Romeo & Juliet. I knew they were going to die but I still cried.

2. At the end of a sad movie…And for three days after.

3. When you hear a sad song on the radio…Even if you are on a road trip with your friends.  Although it’s better if you are alone.  I always get choked up when I hear Bye Bye by Mariah Carey; it reminds me of a sad memory.

4. Just Because.  You can cry for no reason, just because you feel like crying.  Sometimes we let things build up inside and we need to release the tension, through our tears.

What Movie or Song or TV Commercial Makes You Cry?

Photo By Wheat in your hair