365 Days In Colorado

Jan 08

The Complete Elaine Ellis Guide to Fantasy Football

If you’ve met me at least once, you can stop right here. You’ve heard this story before. If not, I am going to regale you with how I won my 2012 Fantasy Football Championship.

First, I am proof positive that you don’t need to have concrete knowledge to win. Fantasy Football is like being an American, you don’t need actual knowledge to have an opinion.

Now, I will share my three-pronged winning strategy. 

First, I picked felons. When felons weren’t available, I settled for any and all criminal offenses. This strategy was inspired by my friend Dan who told me that he was going to stop picking the good guys that everyone loves because they often did horribly. He told me that he was going to pick the criminals the next year. This seemed like a sound strategy because people who rack up DUIs aren’t likely to be team players. They are out for themselves and thus, are more likely to rack up points. I found a list of football players with criminal recent criminal offenses.

Then I picked good-looking players. Sure, this might seem like your typical female that doesn’t understand football approach. But it’s a fact that everyone likes attractive people more. They earn more, they get promoted faster and they’re more likable. It just seems that people would throw the ball more to them. So I chose players from Cosmo’s hottest player list.

Finally, I picked Pro Bowlers. This just makes sense and tells you who the best players are without having to watch any of the games.

The trifecta for this was Adrian Peterson who managed to have been arrested for resisting arrest, be attractive and a ProBowler. Fantasy GOLD, right there.


(my original picture wasn’t even of Adrien. Amazing) 

Another tip: pick a kicker early in the draft, way before your WR* and RBs are filled because you’ll get the best kicker. As an Irish fan, I contend that it’s important to have a good kicker because if you’re offense (and defense) failed you, at least the kicker hopefully came through.

And thus, my team “Tom Brady and the Felons” was born.

This was pretty awesome because I got to trash talk at work via email using lines like this:

I’ve already picked how I’ll spend my earnings…

A couple of these in aqua verde when I go to Seattle http://glassybaby.com/shop/glassybaby/filter/color#aqua-verde
And every single time I use them, I’ll think about how <redacted> lost to a woman who chose her players based on Cosmo’s hottest football players list. 
Elaine is in the building. 

As for the 2013 season? I don’t want to Taco about it. But I definitely have my eye on Johnny Manziel for 2015. 

*I still can’t remember what WR stands for or really what they do. You don’t need to know shit to play. 

Dec 10

The Most Girly Bedroom Possible

When we first started planning the home renovation, I was really surprised Vikas had opinions on decorating. I mean…he had a beige sectional and hadn’t hung artwork he purchased TWO YEARS later. I figured I got to do exactly what I wanted, and Vikas would just enter one day and be pleasantly surprised. Let’s just say home renovating has been an excellent lesson in compromises. I did ask Vikas if I could have free range on the spare bedroom, and he agreed.

It is going to be glorious! GLORIOUS. I have always loved really girly rooms. My favorite of all time is Jessica Stam’s apartment. Apparently, it was so girly she changed it after a year. Whatever. I don’t have to live in the room. 

(Jessica Stam’s bedroom found via Elle Decor

I really want to use wallpaper and doing it on the back wall of the spare bedroom seems like a natural because eventually we’ll convert it to a kid room. So by the time I’m sick of it, time for kids! I first focused on the peony wallpaper from Anthropologie. Vikas looked at and said, “What about something with birds on it?”

Random but Anthro is happy to accommodate with many bird wallpaper choices including flights of fancy or lear gauker. But I eventually decided on this one:  

Birds? Check. Plus, my current apartment is decorated in a lot of gray and yellow, so I can reuse my furniture. I’ve got a gray velvet headboard, a mirrored side table, a chandelier, a (very!) cute white lamp and a white Ikea bookshelf that I can repurpose in here. Which leaves me with only having to get a bedspread and eventually a rug and curtains. 

More inspiration: 

(Found via House of Turquoise

(Found via Emily Henderson

Dec 09

Obsession: Trophy Cupcakes & Parties


I ordered Trophy Cupcakes & Parties after seeing pictures on Instagram from the bloggers at Hank & Hunt and A Blog Named Scout. If you are thinking the world doesn’t need another cupcake book, you are wrong, so wrong. I’d order it for the prop styling alone. Beautiful, inspiring pictures of parties combined with s’more cupcake recipes. It doesn’t disappoint. 

Dec 08

Bathroom Remodeling



Look at those glorious double sinks! Glorious sinks for him and her. But wait…. notice how they say basement bath? That’s right. We might be sticking our future kids in the basement but they totes get the better sink arrangement. Us? Single sink city. Previously, the bathroom on the first floor was used by everyone. We decided to make room for a powder bathroom, which means we have to give up space. 

We’re going with black cabinets in the master bathroom, gray cabinets in that basement bath and I can’t even remember what we’re doing in the powder room. I wanted exposed piping but that is surprisingly expensive. And likely the same countertops as the kitchen because I can’t handle any more decisions. The good news is that it’s in the master bath, we’ll have a standup shower and a separate bath. Which means a claw foot bathtub. Yesssss…… 

As for color, I think I’m going with all black, gray and white palettes. Inspiration here: 


(Found via - Jantana Interiors)


(Found via - the amazing Peppermint Bliss)


(Found via

Dec 06

House Buying in Boulder

Several of my friends have asked me about my experience shopping for a home in Boulder and whether we liked or realtor. We didn’t like our realtor at all and we were thinking of switching when we found the house we wanted to buy. Anyway, I’ve been sending some of the things I wish I knew about buying a home in Boulder and thought I’d turn it into a blog post.
For being a small town in an affordable state, Boulder is kinda ridiculous (not SF or NYC ridiculous…but still). It was surprisingly competitive. I’ve had friends find a place in a month and people who are still looking after a year. My personal low point was finding a home that we both loved. There were no showings til the open house on Sunday but we walked by it Friday and liked what we saw. When Sunday rolled around, we woke up only to find the house was gone. Three agents asked to see it before the open house and they got into a bidding war, and it was gone by the time of the open house. We clearly didn’t have an aggressive agent, and I totally cried, which is ridiculous.
The best advice I got about buying a home was from my current CEO. “You think home buying should be fun but it’s so depressing. Your money never goes as far as you think it should and you always have to compromise.”
Your realtor should: 

Dec 02

Opinions on Couches…We Have Them

Of all of the things that I didn’t think would be so decisive in our relationship, it was selecting a couch. I mean…how hard can that be? Vikas has the world’s ugliest and most comfortable beige sectional from American Furniture Warehouse. I have a cute modern grey couch that is likely the world’s most uncomfortable couch. Literally, there is nothing enjoyable about my couch except maybe that it photographs well. We agreed that we’d keep his (ugly) sectional for the room in the basement and get a new one for the upstairs. I have my heart set on blue velvet. Vikas hates wide couches. I think we have literally sat on a 100 couches together trying to find a common ground. We finally decided to go with the Davis sectional with blue velvet fabric. Here is my vision…


(Found on Pinterest but I can’t find original source but I think it’s Rue Magazine Jamie from Teeth Bracelet updated me that it was a design from Bailey of Peppermint Bliss)


(Found via


(Minnie Mortimer’s living room found via

As far as the true practicalness of velvet, I will refer you to this post by Peppermint Bliss. Also, we rubbed curry, peanut butter and milk on our fabric swatch. Held up like a motherfu**in champ. Done and done. 

Nov 30

Small Business Saturday in Boulder

Even though I am currently in Detroit this weekend, I wanted to share my favorite small businesses in Boulder for Small Business Saturday in Boulder. One of my favorite thing about Boulder is that it’s a place where small businesses thrive. Chain restaurants are typically only east of Folsom St. These are great stores to support today and the rest of the holiday season. 

Cedar & Hyde Mercantile

2015 10th Street
Boulder, Colorado 80302

This store only opened a short time ago but it’s my favorite. It’s a perfectly curated store owned by two sisters. It has a bit of everything — clothes for men, women and babies, goods for the homes and gorgeous paper goods. I’m trying to watch my spending pre wedding but I picked up a scrub and gorgeous towels. They even do classes on leather making, wreath making, etc. 




(All photos courtesy of Cedar & Hyde Mercantile Facebook)


Cured is everything that is good in life in one convenient store — cheese, chocolate, carbs, wine and coffee from Boxcar Roasters. One of my favorite things about the store is that they’ll make you a cheese plate to snack on while you’re in the store. They also do (free!) wine tastings on Tuesdays. When I am bringing wine to a party where the hostess knows wine, Cured is my go to. 




(Last photo is via Cured’s Facebook Page


2020 11th Street | Boulder, CO 80302

Sometimes when I get sad about life, Vikas will ask, “Do you want to get coffee and go look at chandeliers?” Chantique has all of these chandeliers sourced from cathedrals in Italy and chateaus in France. It’s fancy pants, so for us it’s less of a true shopping destination. Plus, our low ceiling would look rather weird with some of their massive chandeliers.  



1625 Pearl Street Boulder, CO 80302

It’s a fair-trade store that changes out its merchandise to reflect the seasons. Shop small and shop consciously. They have a pair of Fair Isle fingerless gloves that I think are beautiful. Also! They have great garlands that I’ve gotten for party supplies. I also purchased an Indian wood block for our wedding there. Love. 


(Photo via Momentum’s Facebook Page) 

Two Hands Paperie

803 Pearl Street, Boulder Colorado 80302

Walls upon walls of gorgeous paper. Great stationery, beautiful crafting books and a knowledgable staff. You can take classes there as well. They had one on making Polish chandeliers that I really wanted to take. 


(All photos via Two Hands Paperie’s Facebook Page)

Then I would finish it up at my favorite brunch spot in all of Boulder — Cafe Aion. 

Cafe Aion 

1235 Pennsylvania Ave. | Boulder, CO 80302

This is probably my favorite brunch spot in Boulder. Best pastries, never a wait, and eggs on polenta. This donut and a latte are perfect to fuel up after shopping. 



Nov 28

It Was a Good Day

My sister posted this on Facebook today. I love this so much. 

"I remember the year we spent Thanksgiving in NY. The restraunt claimed they had this beautiful music. I think my Dad envisioned dinner like a scene from the Titanic in first class. Upon getting there we found a disco ball, a DJ and bad disco lighting. Elaine and I got up and danced…when in Rome. My father was horrified and sick that this is what his dinner was. To date it is still one of my favorite Thanksgivings. Don’t worry about making the holidays perfect, worry about making them yours! Happy Thanksgiving!”

It was one of my favorite Thanksgivings too. The Macy Parade, shopping in NYC, museums galore, lunch at Le Cirque. It was pretty epic as vacations go. This year has been a great one, and I have so much to be grateful for. 

Nov 26

It’s The Little Things

When Vikas and I were looking at wedding invitations, I found a designer I really liked, we agreed on a price and then she asked me for the wording of the invitation. So I started researching what you put on a wedding invitation. And I didn’t know how to include my parents. So I asked Vikas if we could skip that part but you could tell that bothered them, and he wanted to include his. So I ignored it for a week hoping it would go away. I did some more research and according to proper etiquette you don’t include deceased parents on a wedding invitation. Also, almost all of the scenarios I found were based on having one deceased parent. But, I have for better or worse never been hung up on “proper” etiquette. So I did some more research and decided on this: 

Elaine Elinor Ellis

daughter of the late Del J. Ellis and Maureen Ellis

Which is likely the best way to include your deceased, divorced parents on your wedding invitation. It is often the little things that still hang me up. I dread having people ask me where my parents live, and usually side step it by saying where I grew up. It’s not that I’m not ok with it. It’s been 10 years since they’ve passed so I’ve come to terms with it. It’s that it’s incredibly awkward for other people that have brought up. They feel bad because everyone assumes that when you’re in your twenties or thirties that your parents are living. And they feel like they hurt you by mentioning your parents. Which I actually love talking about my parents because they were hilarious, warm people with a lot of great stories. 

Nov 25

“If you find that one or more of the people you work with are routinely tearing you down, not listening to you, or otherwise damaging your confidence, it may be time to find a different team.” —

~Anne K Halsall  


This is really good advice. I wish I’d listened to it earlier in my career.