My Seattle Home Buying Experience

Ellen Tailor Home Buying Story

Every time I log on to Facebook, a new article pops up on my timeline about how hard it is to buy a home, especially in Seattle. I’m not just talking about Seattle proper. The ‘burbs are out of control, too! I’ve been a Pacific Northwesterner for almost five years and if I knew then what I know now, I would have bought a home years ago. Here’s my story…

While my mom was visiting last Fall, we started talking about rent and once I added everything up I wanted to vomit. Over the last four years I had spent nearly $80,000 in rent. Granted I wasn’t living in the slums however, I also wasn’t living an overly luxurious life either. At the time I was renting a 500 sq ft apartment that didn’t even have it’s own washer and dryer for $1900 a month. It all clicked. I was at a stable place in my career, had the financial means to do so and Seattle had long felt like home. Now was the time to buy.

As a single woman I never imagined anything to be more torturous than dating but lo and behold, house hunting was it. I went on date after date with homes. Some were an immediate left swipe. Others I saw potential in but I knew I’d have a gut feeling when I found “the one.”

“The One”, or so I thought, was a 3 bedroom / 1 bathroom home that was a mere 900 sq ft. Needless to say, these rooms were not big nor did the home come with a garage. It was a flip so everything was brand spanking new and it even had a fenced in yard which was a deal maker for me and my dog, Charlie. I made myself physically sick and even shed a few tears when giving my realtor the go ahead to submit an offer. (I have commitment issues but that’s a story for another time.)

I pictured how I would set up my first home. I imagined my dog running around in a yard bigger than anything he’d ever known. I planned the house warming party. Then the phone rang. I was outbid. How could that be?! I put in an offer for over asking price! Come to find out that not only did I get outbid but the buyer waived the inspection and bought it for $351,000…CA$H! How was I going to compete with that?

This happened time and time again. I was entering bidding wars I simply couldn’t win. I walked into one particular open house where the listing agents recognized me. I’ve never been one to drop the, “Do you know who I am?” line but selfishly, I thought this would have guaranteed me a bidding war win. I was wrong. Even after offering $40k over asking price, I was still outbid. It’s a sellers market and I was shit out of luck.

Simply put, I needed a place to put my money. It was no longer about finding my perfect first home. The magic was officially gone and replaced with anger and frustration not to mention a sense of urgency. My landlord, understandably, was putting the pressure on me to make a decision within a month on whether I was staying or going. There was no way I wanted to throw away another year of cash towards rent. Do you have any idea how frustrating it is to have thousands of dollars but no one willing to take it?!

I tossed my “want” list out the proverbial window and took a long hard look at what I needed. When my realtor showed me the place I’d eventually buy, I didn’t get butterflies, I didn’t have the “This is it!” feeling, it was just another building. I reluctantly told my realtor to put in yet another offer and prepared myself for disappointment. The home had been on the market for less than 24 hours and I found myself in another bidding war. No surprise. What was surprising was that this was a war I won!

For years I had imagined what it’d feel like to actually own my first home. This was especially sweet because I did it 100% on my own. (Growing up I pictured making such a big purchase with a husband but that wasn’t how my story turned out.) When I signed the closing papers, I wasn’t excited. I was relieved. Thankful that this horrible house hunt was finally over. Now don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love my place. I’ve come to realize it’s the perfect place for me right now. Will it be in 5-10 years? Probably not. But hopefully by then, this crazy housing market will calm down enough to make the second purchase the dream I’d always thought it’d be.

Do you have a similarly frustrating story? Any tips for those on the hunt?

3 Summer Beauty Musts

ellen tailor, quay australia,

A mix of tried and true products and a few new favorites. Here are three products I truly believe everyone needs, or at least should try, to pamper their sun kissed skin (and feet?!) this summer. From blackheads to callused feet, there’s a lot between our head and toes that needs to be taken care of. So let’s start with the top and work our way down.

  1. GLAMGLOW Super-Mud Clearing Treatment
    You will literally see all of the nasty dirt and congestion pulled out of your skin with this mud mask. It’s especially dramatic around my nose and chin. If I posted pictures of this, you’d never visit my blog again. If you’re so inclined, Google it. But you’ve been warned. It’s nasty! What’s even worse is NOT using this and knowing all that gunk is still clogging your pores![show_shopthepost_widget id=”1734775″]
  2. Tony Moly Intense Care Snail Hydro Gel Mask
    While my skin feels baby booty soft after the GLAMGLOW Mud Mask, it’s also understandably quite dehydrated. I like to follow up immediately with a hydrating sheet mask to help bring moisture back to the skin. There are a ton of options when it comes to paper masks but this one by Tony Moly completely WOW’ed me. (Is that even a word?) It contains 10,000 ppm of snail mucus filtrate. I’m not sure exactly what that means but I do know it felt so damn good and I’ll be buying this over and over again.[show_shopthepost_widget id=”1734783″]
  3. Baby Foot Deep Exfoliation for Feet Peel

    After spending countless of hours on YouTube, I stumbled on this video of two girls trying this product. It was just as gross as it was intriguing so I had to try it. Baby Foot has been popular in Japan for over a decade but what exactly does it do? You wear the plastic, gel filled, booties for an hour and after 2-5 days your feet will start to shed leaving behind baby smooth feet. Mine started to peel on day 4 and I’m obsessed![show_shopthepost_widget id=”1734788″]

Have you tried any these things? Did you love them? Hate them? Tell me! I’m always on the hunt for new products that YOU are loving. Leave a comment below and let’s chat!

Give It A Try: Gwynnie Bee

Ellen Tailor Gwynnie Bee

It’s the unofficial start to summer and time to switch out our closets. While I’d like to splurge and buy a crap ton of new clothes, I just bought a house and need to be a little tight with my money. I save money on accessories and makeup with subscription box services and now I found one for clothes!

There are so many clothing subscription services but I’ve always been hesitant to try them because let’s be honest, I’m not built like a model. Gwynnie Bee is the answer for us thicker girls. It’s an online women’s clothing subscription service for sizes 10-32. Start renting your wardrobe today with 30-day free trial and unlimited exchanges.

In my first box, I received five pieces. A chevron dress, a pair of skinny jeans, not one but two tanks, and a ruffled dress that I also wore as a vest. Here’s how I styled my goodies.

Ellen Tailor Gwynnie Bee

Ellen Tailor Gwynnie Bee Ellen Tailor Gwynnie Bee

Want to give Gwynnie Bee a try? Snag a 30-day trial here and let me know what pieces you received in the comment section down below.

Thanks to Gwynnie Bee for collaborating with me on this post. Opinions are 100% mine.

Proving Samantha Wrong

Ellen Tailor

What (I thought) I knew about chemical peels I learned from Samantha on Sex & the City. A medical professional swears by its benefits but you walk out of the office looking like you’ve spent the last 8 hours roasting in the sun. I got a chemical peel and didn’t wind up like Samantha! In fact, don’t ever mention that scene to anyone in the field, they get pretty defensive about it and understandably so!

While that’s what she looked like, my experience at Northwest Aesthetics was nothing less than comfortable, relaxing, and super beneficial! Before I share what really happens during a chemical peel, take a peek at this photo I snapped just minutes after getting it done.

Ellen Tailor Northwest Aesthetics Chemical Peel

Please note, the only editing I’ve done to this photo is blur out my messy ass apartment in the background. 🙂 As you can see, 1) I need a wax and 2) my skin is still intact! So what happens during a chemical peel?

I met with Lucy, the amazing licensed master aesthetician who gave me my first facial back in December. We went over a brief medical history and she explained that she’d be layering products on my face and neck. While she cautioned me it might be uncomfortable, I felt nothing other than a teeny little tingle on my upper lip. The whole process took less than a half hour. Once everything was said and done, Lucy explained that my skin would more than likely start to peel within 2-4 days and might last 7-10 days. Some people peel and some people don’t. I did.

Towards the end of day 4, I noticed a little peeling around my nose. Over the course of the week, my skin peeled a little bit here and there starting from the center of my face and worked it’s way out. Was it painful? No. Was it noticeable? Eh…sometimes. Wearing foundation highlighted the peeling so I opted for a tinted moisturizer instead.

As the days went by, I noticed my skin was becoming more vibrant. More alive! I had a small rash near my lower lip (a bad reaction from a paper mask a few months earlier) that was now gone. My freckles were a lot more noticeable (which I love) and the dark spots on my cheeks were diminishing. It felt so good knowing those dead layers of skin were gone!

Would I do another chemical peel? Absolutely. No one else noticed the peeling but I’ll admit I was a little self conscious about it. I’ll more than likely schedule another one with Northwest Aesthetics during a long weekend or holiday break.

My skin was glowing. My makeup applied easier and even more so, I didn’t feel the need to hide behind it anymore. I find myself going out more sans a full face of makeup because I’m a hell of a lot more confident about my skin! My only regret is that I didn’t do this sooner. Thank you to Lucy, Anna, and everyone at Northwest Aesthetics for the hospitality and teaching me the importance of quality skin care!

Ellen Tailor Raw ExposuresPhoto c/o Raw Exposures

Chicks With Sticks

Announcement! Can I have your attention please! I’ve decided to make a change in my life. I’m currently looking for an agent because I’m quitting my job to become a golf model. 😉 Ok, maybe that’s not 100% true but it sounds tempting, doesn’t it?!

Apparently I’ve kept my golfing skills a well kept secret. So many people lately are surprised when I tell them I’ve been hitting the links for 15 years. I played in school and truth be told, one of the main reasons I wanted to learn the game was to impress boys. It’s worked! A reason a lot less shallow to love golf is that I’ve also had the chance to play some of the country’s most beautiful courses with some amazing friends. Below are some great shots at Arrowhead Golf Club just outside of Denver, Colorado.

Ellen Tailor Golf Red Rocks Denver Colorado Arrowhead 1 Ellen Tailor Golf Red Rocks Denver Colorado Arrowhead 2 Ellen Tailor Golf Red Rocks Denver Colorado Arrowhead 3

My favorite thing about golf is that you don’t need to travel far to find a getaway course. I was fortunate enough to get an invitation to play Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Washington. This course will be home to the 2016 KMPG Women’s PGA Championship in a few short months. I’m not sure how exactly I got lucky enough to play here but you better believe I was going to document it!

And if there was any doubt on whether or not I could hack it as a golf model (see what I did there?), my ridiculously talented friend snapped this picture. It looks like something out of a dream! Note: There’s no sign of my ball. Probably because I shanked the shot out of the frame. 😛

Ellen Tailor Golf

VIDEO: How To Paint Your Own Nails

Painting my own nails is a form of meditation. Silly, I know. I probably paint them 2-3 times a week but I never had the patience to do it before discovering these little tips and tricks. Don’t struggle like I did, watch my how-to tutorial and paint away! I’d also love it if you subscribed to my YouTube channel and shared this video with your fellow polish loving friends. 🙂