Ellen M. DuBois

Ellen M. DuBois

Fashionista on a Budget? Think Thrift Shops!

by Ellen DuBois on 09/17/16



Today I was determined to find a denim skirt. I haven't had much luck finding one that fits right.

I saw Macys.com was having a sale, so I headed over with one thing in mind: Find a denim skirt. I didn't want to get side tracked. I couldn't afford to.

With the help of some very nice sales clerks, I found a denim skirt. While it's not exactly what I wanted, (I'd like a longer one, too), the one I bought by Style and Co. is great and is a welcome addition to my wardrobe. It'll look super with boots.

Most of my black pants, (a staple in my wardrobe), are either looking pretty worn out, or, thanks to menopause, don't fit right anymore. Some, I accidentally shrank. Others decided not to "change" when my body did. Hmph. The nerve.

I had the afternoon to myself. After leaving Macy's and spending a grand total of $26.77, (thanks to a 50% off sale and a coupon), I headed over to Chic to Charity, now called Addicted to Thrift.

It's a massive store and very well organized. Everything is arranged by color and item. So, if you want a black top, you'll see an expansive rack of them. The same applies to skirts, pants, dresses and more. Find your color and what you're looking for and browse away.

I felt my pulse quicken as I searched isle after isle. I couldn't believe all the fabulous clothes I was looking at. Most were in excellent condition. Some had the tags still on them. I love when that happens!

Bonus! All items were 50% off! Wow. Was I excited! I didn't want to go over twenty-dollars. What? I can imagine what you're thinking. That's right. I had a limit to my spending. Thanks to it being 50% Off Saturday, (every other Saturday), I could buy twice as much. Score! Plus, the highest price on what I was looking for was $5.00, (tops) and $3.00 (pants). Cut that in half and I was looking at $2.50 per top and $1.50 for pants. What?!

If in fact I was looking for a prom gown, (I'm wayyyy past that), it'd be $10.00. Coats are also $10.00. I don't think the prom gowns are included in the 50% Off Saturday Sale. But, to any of you looking for a prom gown, you've got to check these out.

I found Talbots, 100% wool, color-block sweater in my favorite colors, black and red, (with a splash of gray). It zips up the front so I can wear it open or closed. Next, I came across a gorgeous Tahari black, open cardigan in a very airy knit- dressy and elegant. A bright red, Irish knit sweater by Ireland's Eye landed in my basket, (can't resist a good Irish knit), as did an oversized, beige, loose knit, cotton sweater from Old Navy, (a comfy, kicking around sweater). Then, I found a cute, black JJill pullover sweater I just had to have. It'll look great with the denim skirt I bought at Macy's.

I tend to wear black pants, with the exception of jeans, which I actually prefer in black. Today, I wore jeans that are blue, but with black top. I'm assuming you can see a pattern here. I'm stuck in color rut, but hey, that's nothing new.

What pants did I find? Well, the first were Express Design Studio pants, in black. The next were Ann Taylor Loft, also in black and the last pair were by Susan Graver in, you guessed it, black.

There was a dressing room there, but I felt funny and frankly kind of lazy about trying my items on. Plus, I kind of wanted to wash my new fashion treasures, too.

Up to register I went, my cart runneth over. After my five tops and three pairs of pants were rung up the grand total was: (drum roll please...) $17.00!

Yep. You read that right. Not a typo. $17.00! The cashier handed me my big bag of clothes and I left with ZERO guilt and a smile on my face. I held my thrifty head high as I walked with a new spring in my step to my car.

So, my friends. Don't be afraid of thrift shops. You can find amazing bargains on quality, (often times designer), clothing.

Go for it. You'll have fun!



Here's the denim skirt I bought at Macys:



Ellen DuBois: I'm the author of I Never Held You: Miscarriage, Grief, Healing and Recovery and Host of MiscarriageHelp.com. I've also been published with Blue Mountain Arts, and am a contributing author to several books including: Soul Matters for Teens, Sisters, (Blue Mountain Arts gift book), Conquering Panic and Anxiety Disorders- Success Stories, Strategies and other Good News, Romancing the Soul, More God Allows U-Turns. Additionally, I'm also known as "Miss Ellen"- a piano teacher to students from 5 to tween and beyond-
I love it!


Why I Took Two Teaspoons of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar This Morning.

by Ellen DuBois on 09/14/16



This morning I decided to down two teaspoons of Bragg's apple cider vinegar straight from the refrigerator.

It wasn't easy.

"Vinegar, which means "sour wine" in French, can be made from virtually any carbohydrate that can be fermented, including grapes, dates, coconut, potatoes, beets, and, of course, apples."

Wow. It sure is, "sour wine"!

Initially, I had to force it to stay down. No, I had to force it to GO down. My gag reflex was on full throttle. I couldn't wait for my coffee to brew so I could get the taste out of my mouth. Perhaps mixing it with warm water would have been a kinder, gentler way to go. But, I drank it straight and it was quick. Kind of like pulling off a band-aid.

Down the hatches!

But, why did I do it? Believe me, it didn't taste good. But, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Apple cider vinegar is good for me. Those two teaspoons will assist my digestion and help in my journey to lose some weight. I drank the very pungent liquid to boost my immunity, (I'm sleep deprived because my fiance is coughing much of the night), and to help clear my stuffy nose. Oh, and I made myself drink it to give me a much needed boost of energy after the relatively sleepless night I just mentioned.

As reported in Medscape General Medicine:

"The slow methods are generally used for the production of the traditional wine vinegars, and the culture of acetic acid bacteria grows on the surface of the liquid and fermentation proceeds slowly over the course of weeks or months.

The longer fermentation period allows for the accumulation of a non-toxic slime composed of yeast and acetic acid bacteria, known as the mother of vinegar."

Speaking of the mother of vinegar, make sure you consume an organic, unprocessed "mother" vinegar like Bragg's, (my personal choice), and not the clear vinegars you see on the shelf. What is the mother, anyway? What does it mean?

"Distilled white vinegar is excellent for cleaning and laundry, but for health purposes, you'll want to avoid the perfectly clear, "sparkling clean" varieties you commonly see on grocery store shelves. Instead, you want organic, unfiltered, unprocessed vinegar, which is murky. As mentioned, that murkiness is caused by a cobweb-like substance called the "mother," and it is indicative of a high-quality product."- Mercola.com

Well, here's to your health. This post is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the heath benefits of organic, raw apple cider vinegar. It's actually pretty amazing, and very cost effective.

Caveat: If you're going to incorporate apple cider vinegar into your daily health management, check with your doctor first to make sure it doesn't affect any current medications you're taking.

Oh, and if you're going to drink it straight like I did, get ready. You can do it, but do it fast!

Ellen DuBois: I'm the author of I Never Held You: Miscarriage, Grief, Healing and Recovery and Host of MiscarriageHelp.com. I've also been published with Blue Mountain Arts, and am a contributing author to several books including: Soul Matters for Teens, Sisters, (Blue Mountain Arts gift book), Conquering Panic and Anxiety Disorders- Success Stories, Strategies and other Good News, Romancing the Soul, More God Allows U-Turns. Additionally, I'm also known as "Miss Ellen"- a piano teacher to students from 5 to tween and beyond-
I love it!


My Sword the Dove, In Memory of Those Lost On 9/11/2001

by Ellen DuBois on 09/11/16



My Sword the Dove

Never will a day go by
when I will not remember,
the fateful day that changed our lives-
the Eleventh of September.

Never will a moment pass
when my lips won't whisper a prayer,
to God for those left in the wake-
of emptiness and terror.

Never will I take for granted
the precious gift of life,
stripped away one horrific day-
our children, husbands, wives.

Never will I fear those who cast
their evil on our land,
nor will I tremble in their presence-
as my spirit takes a stand.

Never wavering in their midst
I raise my sword of faith-the Dove,
who battles not with weapons-
but with the power of Love.

Never will the moment when
the world cried a storm of tears,
leave my heart, my soul my spirit-
it's forever planted there.

Never will that seed grow into
evil, hate or devastation,
I must water it with Heavenly peace-
for the world and for this nation.

Never will I gaze upon
another sister or brother,
and be blinded to the fact that
we're connected to each other.

Never will acts of hatred
overpower those of Love,
for if they do, I shall not have-
my sword, my weapon- the Dove.

May the Sword of the Dove reach every hand and heart, spreading its love, faith, comfort, hope and light to all who loved, lost and wept. In Memory of September 11, 2001.

Ellen M. DuBois Copyright © 2003

Using the piano as physical therapy after carpal tunnel surgery

by Ellen DuBois on 09/04/16



Well, three days after my carpal tunnel surgery, I decided to use my piano as part of my physical therapy. I'm not a doctor, nor do I recommend anyone do this. It's a decision I made because to me, it made sense.

Keep the fingers moving, but if it hurts, STOP.

I don't think "pushing through the pain" will make me brave. I think it would mean I made a bad decision. So, I listen to my body and again, if it hurts, I stop.

Why not incorporate something I love, (my piano and music), into my healing process? That's what I'm doing, and I'll let you know how it goes.

I hope anyone who is going through post-carpal tunnel surgery is doing well. If you have any stories, comments, tips you'd like to share on your experience, please do!

Have a great day,

Ellen

 

Ellen DuBois: I'm the author of I Never Held You: Miscarriage, Grief, Healing and Recovery and Host of MiscarriageHelp.com. I've also been published with Blue Mountain Arts, and am a contributing author to several books including: Soul Matters for Teens, Sisters, (Blue Mountain Arts gift book), Conquering Panic and Anxiety Disorders- Success Stories, Strategies and other Good News, Romancing the Soul, More God Allows U-Turns. Additionally, I'm also known as "Miss Ellen"- a piano teacher to students from 5 to tween and beyond-
I love it!

Even in Murky Waters, The Lotus Blooms

by Ellen DuBois on 08/30/16



 

I thought of this saying while looking at this picture. I took it a few days ago and as you can see, the water is very murky. We've been in quite a severe drought here in Massachusetts. Actually, I don't recall ever having this little rain.

Look at the beautiful, pink lotus blooming in the midst of all that green, still water. Beauty and life appear where you wouldn't think it possible. As a matter of fact, my eyes were so focused on the color of the water that I only saw the lotus after my best pointed it out.

Life can be a lot like that. We are what we focus on. We see what we focus on. Rather than giving all my attention to the sorry state of the water, I chose to focus my attention, and my camera, on the soft, gentle beauty of that one, pink lotus.

We all have the capacity to bloom, even in troubled times. We all are capable beings able to not only see, but BE the light in the darkness.

Even in Murky Waters, The Lotus Blooms.

Ellen

Ellen DuBois: I'm the author of I Never Held You: Miscarriage, Grief, Healing and Recovery and Host of MiscarriageHelp.com. I've also been published with Blue Mountain Arts, and am a contributing author to several books including: Soul Matters for Teens, Sisters, (Blue Mountain Arts gift book), Conquering Panic and Anxiety Disorders- Success Stories, Strategies and other Good News, Romancing the Soul, More God Allows U-Turns. Additionally, I'm also known as "Miss Ellen"- a piano teacher to students from 5 to tween and beyond-
I love it!

Easter Lilies In August

by Ellen DuBois on 08/22/16





My father donated these lilies at church in my mother's name on Easter Sunday. It's the same church my mother was music director at for over 25 years and he's carried the torch for her since she passed away. A month or so ago, the plant wasn't looking so good. I couldn't bring myself to throw it out. So, I decided to plant it. I now have Easter lilies in August. The first one decided to open today, National Angel Day. I love you, Mom

Ellen DuBois: I'm the author of I Never Held You: Miscarriage, Grief, Healing and Recovery and Host of MiscarriageHelp.com. I've also been published with Blue Mountain Arts, and am a contributing author to several books including: Soul Matters for Teens, Sisters, (Blue Mountain Arts gift book), Conquering Panic and Anxiety Disorders- Success Stories, Strategies and other Good News, Romancing the Soul, More God Allows U-Turns. Additionally, I'm also known as "Miss Ellen"- a piano teacher to students from 5 to tween and beyond-
I love it!

National Angel Day! Finding an angel doll on a clothing donation dumpster gave me hope when I needed it most.

by Ellen DuBois on 08/22/16

Inspiration for Story: Finding an angel doll on a clothing donation dumpster gave me hope when I needed it most.



When both my grandmother and my fiance's mother were in the hospital, I spent the days going from one rehab to another. I was operating on very little sleep and Christmas was approaching. While out doing errands, I had a bag of clothes to drop off in a donation bin. As I pulled into the parking lot, my eyes were filled with tears. I didn't know how much more I could take. I broke down and asked God for help. I asked the angels to give me the strength I needed. I didn't want to lose my Nana or my fiance's mother. I had loads to do before Christmas and I was spent. As I lugged the heavy bag of clothes from my trunk and carried it to the dumpster, I noticed something on top of the handle. It was the cutest stuffed angel doll--made with patchwork wings, a smiling face, yarn hair and a dress. I couldn't believe it. Who would leave such an adorable angel on a dumpster? Why? I gently took her from the handle, opened the bin and donated my clothes. After getting into my warm car, I placed the angel doll on the passenger seat. Then, it hit me. I got my sign from the angels. I felt a warmth inside and smiled as I felt the love and support I needed. The angels carried me through, and I still have the doll they left for me to find. I'll never let her go. That day led to this story being published in a book, (a longer version), to starting Hope Angel Bracelets several years later, and to a constant feeling of love and support from the angels.




Story published on Fire Mountain Gems.


Thanks for visiting Hope Angel Bracelets! Please scroll down this page to see more of my bracelets, (click on any one and it will take you directly to my shop on Etsy!) See something you like? Have a custom order you want to talk about? Stop by Hope Angel Bracelets on Etsy and have a look at ALL the different styles, colors, sizes, designs and charms waiting for you! Click here.


Ellen DuBois: I'm the author of I Never Held You: Miscarriage, Grief, Healing and Recovery and Host of MiscarriageHelp.com. I've also been published with Blue Mountain Arts, and am a contributing author to several books including: Soul Matters for Teens, Sisters, (Blue Mountain Arts gift book), Conquering Panic and Anxiety Disorders- Success Stories, Strategies and other Good News, Romancing the Soul, More God Allows U-Turns. Additionally, I'm also known as "Miss Ellen"- a piano teacher to students from 5 to tween and beyond-
I love it!

Just the Moon, God and Me

by Ellen DuBois on 08/19/16



 

I couldn't sleep Thursday night. I don't know why I felt restless. It could have been the thoughts having a party in my head.

Anyway, I was up and it was late.

On the couch with the dog between my fiance and me, I thought going to bed made sense. It was almost 2 a.m. Waking Cooper, (my dog), from his wonderfully deep slumber, he followed me with groggy steps to go out and pee.

The light the moon cast upon the stone driveway was amazing. There was hardly a need to turn on the outside lights. While Cooper finished up his "business", I felt compelled to run upstairs and grab my camera.

I brought Cooper in and that's exactly what I did.

Remembering to turn off the bright lights when I went out for the second time, I hoped to capture at least one clear shot of the moon. The air was heavy with humidity. It felt tropical. Bullfrogs croaking to their own rhythm was all I heard. The air was extremely still. There were no signs of deer walking the wooded path to my right. Maybe the deer aren't up this late, I thought. The crickets must have been asleep, too. There was nothing except the moon, God and me.

I ventured to the end of the long, semi-circle stone driveway. Because of the towering pines, the light of the moon was blocked just enough to make things a bit scary.

God, please protect me, I silently prayed, just in case there was anything or anyone out there...

After clearing the towering pines, I stood in the bright light of the moon. It cut through the August haze and I took it all in. Bathed in moonlight, I pointed my camera, tried to keep steady, and took a few pictures.

I made my way back to the house feeling cleansed by the moonlight and grateful to have gotten a few pictures.

Spending time with the moon, God and myself was worth staying up for. Maybe that's why I couldn't sleep. I wasn't supposed to.


Ellen DuBois: I'm the author of I Never Held You: Miscarriage, Grief, Healing and Recovery and Host of MiscarriageHelp.com. I've also been published with Blue Mountain Arts, and am a contributing author to several books including: Soul Matters for Teens, Sisters, (Blue Mountain Arts gift book), Conquering Panic and Anxiety Disorders- Success Stories, Strategies and other Good News, Romancing the Soul, More God Allows U-Turns. Additionally, I'm also known as "Miss Ellen"- a piano teacher to students from 5 to tween and beyond-
I love it!

Small Joys In A Big World

by Ellen DuBois on 08/02/16



In all of our lives, we go through times filled with calm and times filled with strife. Sometimes, we feel things are going our way. We breeze through the day with a smile on our face and a spring in our step.

Then, there are times we feel overwhelmed, buried in despair. We wonder when we'll feel like "our old self" again? It can be a scary place. I've been there. We all have.

What I've learned is by appreciating the small joys each day has to offer, I am better carried through the hard times and appreciate the good times more. By taking note of and alllowing myself to be permeated by the beauty of life, I am better able to cope when times get rough. In being aware of the often unseen joys each day hands to me, I've become a more aware person. This awareness has made me into a happier, more grateful person. I believe this has become the foundation I've placed my feet on and in doing so, I'm better able to keep standing when life throws me an unexpected curve ball.

And it does. Doesn't it?

Small joys in a big world = something much larger.

There's more I could easily add to this list, but for the sake of brevity, here are ten of my small joys in a big world:

1. Faith.  Each morning I get up and thank God for the day. It's become more than a "routine". It's part of who I am. It's the fuel that starts my day.

2. Seeing Beauty. Not only seeing, but taking in the beauty nature offers. I allow whatever I'm seeing to reach inside of me. I can't help but smile and feel a calmness sweep through me. This small joy helps.

3. Smile. Smiling at people...just because. Why not? I feel better when I smile at someone and even if they don't smile back, I stay true to myself. Who knows? Maybe I made a positive difference in someone's day.

4. Acts of Kindness. Holding the door. It feels great when someone holds the door for me. I love how I feel when I hold the door for someone else. Yes, it sounds small. But, it's not. Any random act of kindness is good for all.

5. Gratitude. Thanking God for everything as I go throughout my day. Was I spared an accident by the car that just cut me off? Thank you, God. Did the flowers I've been watering suddenly start thriving? Thank you, God. Did I just see a gorgeous, vibrant sunset? Thank you, God. I think you get the picture. It works for me.

6. Counting Blessings. Finding a "lucky penny" and not being afraid to pick it up. I don't care what it looks like to others if I stoop down to pick up a penny! I'm not doing any harm to anyone. I look at a "lucky penny" as a blessing. Hey, it was there and I saw it. (Awareness) Why not pick it up and count my blessings? It's not so much the penny. It's about finding a small joy in a big world and being thankful for it.

7. Love and be Loved.  Loving andfFeeling the love for my family and friends, allowing it to fill my heart and being thankful for it. God knows, we're not on this earth forever. After my mother passed away a year and a half ago, that message was driven home with great force. For a while, I felt like I couldn't breathe. But, I did keep breathing. So did my father, my sisters and those who were touched by my mother's life. I treasure any time spent with my entire family: my father, sisters, nieces, nephews, my fiance, my friends, my dog, (yes, my dog!)- with everyone.

8. Our Connection.  I believe there's a cord that connects me to God, to the angels, to my mother in Heaven, (the other side), and to everyone and everything on this planet. It's just how I roll and I'm thankful for it. In being aware of that cord, I am more aware of others and our global conscio-US-ness.

9. Appreciation.  Appreciating anthing that makes me laugh, smile or feel good in general. When my dog does something silly, gives me a look, wants to play or snuggles up beside me, I am grateful. My heart fills with happiness. It does me good. When one of my piano students makes me smile, makes me a card, has a great lesson, I am grateful for the entire experience. When my best friend makes me see things more clearly or we share a laugh, I know I'm blessed. If my guy says or does something unexpectedly sweet, I am appreciative and feel appreciated. Oh, there's more. There are things in every day life that make me sad. Appreciating the good lifts me up.

10. Prayer. Thanking God every night for the day, praying for blessings for everyone, asking that those who are hungry, cold, hurting in any way are helped and telling my mother, as I do a thousand times a day, I love her- is what I do when I go to bed. I pray in my own way. It's all good. I think prayer is as individual as we are, yet it connects us.

Being thankful, being aware of the small joys in a big world, helps keep the scales balanced and simply makes me a happier person.

So, I guess the small joys in a big world add up to something much larger to me. They build a solid foundation I stand upon when the world often feels like my feet are on shifting sand.


Ellen DuBois: I'm the author of I Never Held You: Miscarriage, Grief, Healing and Recovery and Host of MiscarriageHelp.com. I've also been published with Blue Mountain Arts, and am a contributing author to several books including: Soul Matters for Teens, Sisters, (Blue Mountain Arts gift book), Conquering Panic and Anxiety Disorders- Success Stories, Strategies and other Good News, Romancing the Soul, More God Allows U-Turns. Additionally, I'm also known as "Miss Ellen"- a piano teacher to students from 5 to tween and beyond-
I love it!

A Short Tale of Two Hummingbirds

by Ellen DuBois on 07/20/16



I now have two little hummingbirds visiting me. The first, who I named "Little Friend", is beautiful and has much less color than my new guest, "Little Red". I thought there'd be trouble when I saw Little Friend dive bomb Little Red out of the air and away from the feeder- right in front of me! You could hear the "thud" and I was shocked! I prayed neither one was hurt. However, they now seem to coexist, each taking separate turns at the feeder. Hopefully, they will make amends and both enjoy a sweet drink at the same time. My BFF told me the one with the vibrant, red color around his neck is the male. Love them both and they make me smile.

Ellen DuBois: I'm the author of I Never Held You: Miscarriage, Grief, Healing and Recovery and Host of MiscarriageHelp.com. I've also been published with Blue Mountain Arts, and am a contributing author to several books including: Soul Matters for Teens, Sisters, (Blue Mountain Arts gift book), Conquering Panic and Anxiety Disorders- Success Stories, Strategies and other Good News, Romancing the Soul, More God Allows U-Turns. Additionally, I'm also known as "Miss Ellen"- a piano teacher to students from 5 to tween and beyond-
I love it!



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Hi everyone! Thanks for stopping by my humble abode on the web. My name is Ellen DuBois, Author of I Never Held You, a book about miscarriage, healing and recovery and Host of MiscarriageHelp.com and I love to blog. I am also published with Blue Mountain Arts, and a contributing author to several books including: Soul Matters for Teens, Sisters, (Blue Mountain Arts gift book), Conquering Panic and Anxiety Disorders- Success Stories, Strategies and other Good News, Romancing the Soul, More God Allows U-Turns. I'm also a piano teacher to over 30 students from 6 to tween and beyond-
and love it.


I Never Held You: Miscarriage, Grief, Healing and Recovery

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This is a wonderful CD. It is by Al and Marlane DuBois, (my parents). If you love piano music, both original pieces and those you already know and love, you will enjoy "It's About Piano, It's About Time! . Listen to the samples. This makes a great gift for anyone who loves quality, beautiful piano music. Perfect for adding ambiance to dinner parties and more. Some of the pieces are perfect for meditation, too.






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