I needed to do this for me

Something is wrong.

Maybe “wrong” is too extreme. Maybe it’s not? I’m not functioning at my best. There. That’s probably a more accurate description. I’m struggling to give a name to what’s going on. Is it Seasonal Affective Disorder? After all, I live in Seattle and we haven’t seen the sun in a record amount of time.

Is it a midlife crisis? 35 hit me hard. I’ve found myself asking where the time has gone more often than not. Also, I’ve been feeling like I’ve missed out on some very important years that are now gone forever. Is my perfectionism getting the best of me? ADHD? I do know my anxiety is in overdrive and that’s definitely leading me to feel more depressed than I, dare I say it, ever have.

I’ve found myself thinking (and probably overanalyzing) every single aspect of my life. From little things like what products to use to wash my face to my apartment, my career, relationships, and deep philosophical things like what will truly make me happy.

Above all else, I’m frustrated. Perhaps if I could put a name to what’s going on, I could fix it. But I’ve wracked my brain for months, yes, months, trying to figure out what it is that I’m feeling and why.

After countless hours on Pinterest, blogs, and against my better judgment, WebMD, I had to find someone to help. Understanding that this isn’t just a physical thing or an emotional one, but rather a combination of everything, I sought the help of Dr. Darvish, a naturopathic doctor.

Yes, she’s a doctor. Yes, she’s smart. But what I was most drawn to was indescribable. This is going to sound so cheesy but Dr. D felt like a soul sister from the moment I met her.

Before we continue, it’s important to note the differences between a licensed Naturopathic Doctor and a naturopath. It’s also important to note that Dr. Darvish’s full title is Dr. Nooshin K Darvish ND, FICT, ABAAHP. With all of those initials, I’m pretty sure that means she knows what she’s doing. 😉

The day of my appointment had come. I was excited and anxious to finally meet with Dr. D and do so without cameras around. As I waited in her perfectly lit room, nerves washed over me. I knew deep down in my gut that I was about to get the help I was so desperately searching for.

Not once did I feel rushed with Dr. Darvish. We talked about my physical health and she dug into my emotional health. The best way for me to describe it is a blend between an appointment with a medical doctor and a talk therapy professional. I felt seen, in a good way, as a whole. In a world where our attention is divided among a million different things, distracted by cell phones and our short attention spans, I felt like Dr. D truly heard me.

Before we can put together a plan, Dr. Darvish ordered a few tests. One of them included figuring out my blood type. Check out the chart. Can you figure out what my blood type is?

Spoiler alert: I’m A+ (and you better believe my inner schoolgirl got giddy about it.)

I hope you’ll understand if I don’t go into details about everything Dr. Darvish and I discussed. Perhaps I will at some point but for now, I need to trust that I’ve found someone who’ll help guide me back to my best self.

I don’t know what the future holds. I also didn’t walk in expecting to have all of the answers. But I do feel like I’ve made a start. What’s the saying? “The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.”

I took my first step.

WATCH: How to easily style dry hair using the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer & Volumizer

I showed you How To Get TV Hair where we went from right out of the shower to TV-ready. Now I’m walking you through, step-by-step, how to easily style your dry hair.

Each morning I use this method and look like I walked straight out of the salon. After months…no…YEARS of studying how hairstylists get the perfect ‘do, I could never manage to figure out how to do it on myself. Then I stumbled on a YouTube hair tutorial using this Revlon magic machine (yes, I believe it possesses some sort of sorcery and I am here for it!)

Announcing my store, Charlie Pete!

It’s something I’ve thought about. It’s something I’d convinced myself I could never do…especially alone. Then I said, “Screw it. I’m doing it anyway!” Thus, my online store, Charlie Pete, was born!

You’ll notice that nearly everything comes in a range of sizes from 1 to 22 and S thru 3XL. This was important to me because I wanted my fellow thique sisters to feel just as fashionable, comfortable, and beautiful as those wonderful ladies who wear smaller sizes.

Charlie Pete was named after my dog and my dad. I don’t know why. I just liked the way it sounded. My dad’s handwriting is even incorporated into the logo. (Charlie’s autograph would have been but you know, he’s a dog, so there’s that.) Charlie Pete was made for those who love shopping without having to put on pants.

I invite you to please pop on over to CharliePete.com because your closet is hungry, feed its craving. Cheers to a new adventure and leaning into being uncomfortable! Holy shit. I’m a business owner?!

Flaunt Your Curves

An email came my way asking if I wanted to collaborate with a bathing suit company. Instantly I thought, “Absolutely not!” As I searched for the “delete” button, the name of the brand caught my attention. I got my ass off the couch, walked into my closet, and dug deep to find the one bathing suit I’ve had for years. I only have one in case of emergencies because there’s no way I’d wear it unless I absolutely had to.

I check the tag and at that moment I realize why the brand sounds so familiar. Coco Reef was the name of the company that wanted to collaborate. Coco Reef was the name of the ONE bathing suit that I owned because I loved the way it fit me. This was fate.

There’s an ever growing movement to embrace body positivity. We come in all shapes and sizes so why not celebrate every body? Truth be told, the thought of getting into a bathing suit was terrifying let alone the idea of having to post pics on the internet where they could haunt me forever. But in honor of the women who flaunt their shape like model Hunter McGrady, I decided to suck it up (both my courage and my gut) and do this.

There’s strength in numbers, right? Cue my dear friend Deanna Cruz. We couldn’t be more different and alike all at the same time. Let’s point out the obvious. I’m roughly 100 pounds heavier than her. Yeah, you read that right. ONE HUNDRED. Why on EARTH would I think asking her to join this campaign would be a good idea?

Deanna’s an avid cross fitter while I’m an avid Netflix watcher. Her go to food is protein peanut butter and I’d happily live on French fries if I could. From the beginning of our friendship, neither of us ever saw size. Maybe it’s because we’re in our thirties? Or maybe it’s because she’s a genuinely amazing human being who spreads nothing but love and kindness to everyone around her.

It took a little convincing though. Imagine that! The thick girl had to twist the fit girl’s arm into posing in a bathing suit. Eventually Deanna agreed and on one of the first sunny summer days in Seattle, we took our imperfect bodies to the beach. As you can imagine we weren’t the only ones with the bright idea to soak up some vitamin D and the place was packed! Add another level of insecurity to the mix but we took off our cover-ups and got to shooting.

I’ll admit. I felt like I had to be the confident one since I knew Deanna was nervous. Eventually, I wasn’t just acting confident…I was confident! I’m imperfect. I’ve got dimples on the backs of my legs and a keg on my waist compared to my friend’s hard earned six pack of abs. Am I happy with the way that my body looks? Nope. But it’s a work in progress and progress won’t be made until I start being kind to myself.

So, this is us. These photos are unedited. Yes, we had a great day and a super talented photographer, but these are raw images. 100% real.

Here’s hoping that more of us feel the courage to flaunt our shapes in public. Ok, maybe not on social media but what about in your own backyard? Do you dare go to the beach with some close gal pals? How about simply sharing this blog post to encourage others to embrace their shape, no matter how big or small. If the size of your clothes bothers you, rip the tag out. Confidence truly is a one-size-fits-all piece that can, and should, be added to everyone’s closet.

Want to add Coco Reef to your bathing suit collection? Snag 20% off with the code Ellen20 at www.cocoreefswim.com
Thank you to Annie B. Stills for the amazing photos.

Your Vote IS Your Choice

I grew up in the swing state of Michigan. I’ll admit that since moving to Washington state, I’ve had feelings that my vote doesn’t matter as much anymore. However I’m also the daughter of Greek immigrants who raised me to respect the rights I was born with. By now, we’re all sick of the political ads and posts on social media so I won’t get on my soapbox. I’ll simply put it this way…I don’t care who you vote for as long as you do it. 🇺🇸

Top // Jean Blue Shirt Co.

Shoes For Days

I made (what should have been an obvious) discovery on Twitter the other night. It started with a plea for help…

Then a revelation…

Truer words were never spoken! I use this justification every single time I shop for shoes. With that said, I’ve been on a recent shoe bender. I can’t stop myself. Who am I to keep these shoe wonders to myself though?! Here are just a few of my favorites. And before you ask, no, I don’t own all of them. But I may or may not have purchased some of these recently. 😉 Any guesses which ones I’ve added to my collection?

Black

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Nude

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Other

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