enjoy life guest post: ellen andrades

I really LOVE thrifting

I have another guest on the blog this month! I have known Ellen Andrades since we were little kids. We have moved multiple times and hadn’t spoken for years but thanks to Facebook, we have been able to reconnect and keep in touch. Ellen recently launched, Thrifty Ells, her wardrobe consulting business. I will let her tell you all about how she enjoys life, specifically through her passion, thrifting.

Ellen AndradesI am so thrilled to be a guest writer on Shannan’s blog and thankful for the opportunity to share the ways I enjoy my life. I would describe myself as very outgoing, family oriented, and a fashion enthusiast.   I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, listening to live music, dining at cool restaurants, and THRIFTING!

Thrifting has become one of the latest trend in fashion,however, I’ve been thrifting for years; including back when it was taboo to tell someone you were wearing second-hand clothing. Some find peace and relaxation through reading, exercising, or golfing, whereas my happy place is found walking up and down the aisles of thrift stores, digging for that one eye catching garment AKA the “Thrill of the Hunt.”

I can shop on a small budget and hit the jackpot by finding high quality pieces for a fraction of the cost in regular retail stores. There is such a diverse assortment of clothing at thrift stores, I’m less likely to find myself wearing the same top or dress as a friend or co-worker and I love the fact that I can always find one-of-a-kind pieces that compliment my unique style and personality. It allows me to tap into my creative side by pairing different patterns and colors together.

My favorite thrifted find is a 100% rabbit fur vintage coat for $8 that I found shopping on my lunch break at a local thrift store. When I tried it on, I immediately felt like a million bucks and ready to step on the red carpet! Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to wear it because we didn’t have much of a winter here in Atlanta, but next winter I’m definitely wearing it, even if I have to travel to New York to do it. LOL!

There’s a familiar saying: “It’s not about what you wear, but about how you wear it.” Thrifting gives me that WOW-factor! So many times people come up to me and ask me where I got a certain outfit, and when I proudly tell them it was purchased at a thrift store, their response is always, “WOW!”   And normally this starts dialogue where I share the places that I go and my tips on how to find the best deals.

If you’re a interested in thrifting, here are two tips to begin: (1) Do a full inventory of your closet and create a thrift store wish list to take with you and then set your budget. (2) Take your time. Go on a day when you have a few hours to spend sifting through the racks for those items on your wish list. This will help you feel less overwhelmed and your money will be spent wisely.

Thrifting is my passion and that’s why I started Thrifty Ells, a wardrobe consulting company designed to educate women on how to save tons of money and how to break out of the ordinary by mixing patterns, textures, and colors to create stylish and chic looks. I want to help women discover a new lifestyle of saving money, recycling, and being bold in the way they express themselves through fashion. Yes, I love to go out and hunt for the best thrifted pieces, but I find even more enjoyment when I can show others how to do the same and get that WOW-factor, while thrifting their way to a debt-free lifestyle.

Why spend hundreds of dollars on clothing when you can shop at thrift stores and look fashionable all while saving money that can be put towards enjoying life: traveling, catching up on bills, or putting extra money in your savings account? Without saying a word, your clothes tell a story of who you are. Say something interesting.

You can see more of Ellen’s awesome thrift finds on Facebook and Instagram. Make contact to start your journey of breaking out of the ordinary without breaking the bank and finding that WOW-factor!







enjoy life guest post: paula sexton


I am thrilled to feature my second guest post on the blog today (Read the first here). May I present to you, Paula from The Geeky Shopaholic! I met Paula through Leigh Kramer‘s What I’m Into Link-Up. I liked her blog and listed her as one of my best blogs of 2015 and I am beyond thrilled that she consented to guest post today.

geeky_shopaholicPaula is a fellow geek and lifestyle blogger who loves to read, shop, travel, and obsess about SuperWhoLock (the television shows: Supernatural, Dr. Who, and Sherlock). She is Mom to a Chihuahua named Buffy. And would most likely be sorted into Hufflepuff (a Harry Potter reference). You can find her on her blog, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Take it away, Paula!

I am honored to be guest posting at Shannan Enjoys Life today! She asked me to give a few tips on how I enjoy my life. So, here are five ways that I’ve made my life more enjoyable.

Strive for a work/life balance

I am going into my third year as the third shift manager for my store. Most people only last a year. Why have I stayed? Third shift allows me to have a good work/life balance. I work four nights on, and then I have four nights off. It’s long hours, but it’s worth it to have four days to live my life. Because I’m not someone who lives to work. I work so that I can live.

I know that it’s not easy to find a work/life balance. There are times in life when the balance will shift one way or the other. But I believe that striving for that balance is one of the first steps in enjoying your own life.

Know what is important to you

For me, the most important thing in my life are the people in my life. My boyfriend and I both work in retail, so we have crazy schedules, but we always find a way to make time for each other. I live in a different city than my family, but I go home to visit as often as possible. My friends are all married and most have children, but we still get together several times a year. We go to lunch, or on a shopping trip, or spend a day at the water park. Making time for those you love is one of the best ways to enjoy your life.

I also make time for the things that I love. Like writing for my blog, and reading. When I make these two activities a priority, I feel more like myself, and that makes me a happier person. What is something that you love to do? Drawing? Writing? Hiking? Whatever it is, be sure that you make time for it.

Make your home a refuge

buffy_geeky_shopaholicI’ve always believed that a person’s home should be their refuge from the world. It should be calm and peaceful. For me that means, having as little clutter as possible. I feel more focused, and I’m better able to enjoy my home when it is neat and in order.

Something else that helps make my home a refuge is having a dog. Not everyone likes pets, but I believe that they truly make a house a home. At least, that is what Buffy did for me.


A few years ago I was asked to be Captain of my store’s Relay for Life Team. Immediately I said yes, because Cancer has touched my family and I wanted to help in the fight against it.

Volunteering was one of the best decisions I ever made. It was fun! It was a great way to connect with the people I work with outside of work. I learned their stories and why the Relay was so important to them.

Find a cause that you believe in and volunteer to help. I guarantee that it will make your life brighter!

Say yes more than no

I always said no to things. I was too shy. But around my mid-twenties I started to say yes. It started with a trip to Greece. Everyone told me I would back out, but all their doubts did was make me more determined to go. And I did! It was amazing! It changed my perspective about myself. I am now an adventurer!

You don’t have to say yes to everything. I have no desire to bungee jump or sky dive. (If you do – go for it!) But when opportunities come your way to do something that you’ve always dreamed of, say yes!

This is what I do to enjoy my life. Tell me about yourself, what do you do to enjoy life?

enjoy life guest post: joy anderson

I am so excited to feature my first guest post on the blog today. Joy is one of my external motivators on Fitbit. She is always initiating Challenges which help keep me moving throughout the day.  She also introduced me and encouraged me to listen to what has become one of my favorite podcasts, Happier with Gretchen Rubin. And finally she is my sister-in-law-in-law. Is that a thing? But we were friends long before my sister and her brother decided to be together.

This is how she enjoys life.

Joy Anderson and Quabbin

Joy Anderson and The Quabbin

Two of my personal commandments (Another Gretchen Rubin fan here. Hello!) directly relate to enjoying life: (1) Treat yourself and (2) do more of what makes you happy. In my sometimes successful pursuit of following these commandments, I’ve combined two of my favorite things: listening to podcasts (treat) while walking outside (doing what makes me happy).

My spot to walk (sometimes hike) is the Quabbin Reservoir. Whether it’s sunny or overcast, the Quabbin is gorgeous. After being cooped up all week at work, in my car, or my apartment, it’s glorious to be outside. The Quabbin, the largest inland body of water in Massachusetts, also has an interesting history. In the 1930s, four towns were disincorporated – homes, businesses, and cemeteries were all relocated – and the area was flooded to become the primary water supply source for Boston as well as 40 other communities in Greater Boston. The Quabbin covers 38.6 square miles, and has several park/recreation areas like the one near my home. While working out in my tiny studio gives me a mood boost, it’s nothing compared to walking/hiking in the fresh air. Last Sunday was warm and sunny and I conquered the Visitor Center Loop Trail. I got lost last time; need to work on that sense of direction!

And why not make a good thing even better? I love listening to podcasts, but I have trouble finding the time to listen to a whole episode without interruption. It’s such a treat to listen to my favorites all the way through while walking the Quabbin. Listening to Happier inspires me to try new things, or I can learn something new on Hidden Brain, and even get in a core workout by laughing along with the hosts of Another Round. I ignore texts and phone calls and just enjoy life outside – away from walls, work, and worries beyond how I can incorporate Happier’s Try This at Home Tip into my week.

 I definitely enjoy life more when I have me time (even if you live alone, you still need “me time”) and the Quabbin is my spot. If it’s not snowing this weekend I might consider exploring another trail or maybe I’ll stick to something familiar. We’ll see 🙂

If you don’t already have a favorite spot of your own, I hope you find one.

You can keep up with Joy on Pinterest and on Tumblr.

enjoy life…