Another Beginning, 2023

Yes, another resolution post, like we haven’t all seen enough of them in the last week or so. I know, how cliché, but I love any opportunity to take a look at where I am, where I want to go, and develop a plan on how to get there. I want to share a few of my 2023 goals just for some inspiration because I know I love to hear what everyone is excited by lately even if I don’t want to achieve their same goals.

I like to pick at least one goal for several areas in my life instead of just getting stuck on one type that can seem overwhelming.

  • Fitness: Work up to running 6 miles/5 days a week. It’s been forever since I’ve had a true running plan and I miss the consistency and love how my mental toughness increases when I do a workout no matter my mood. Plus I am working on building muscle through strength training. It’s never been my favorite so I’m making it my mission to commit to it this year and find what I like most. I like pushing myself physically and it’s been awhile.
  • Health: Focus on small habits to up my wellness game. Specifically I want to have protein at each meal, pay more attention to eating intuitively, especially with portions/stopping when full, and delving into personal habits (why I do what I do). Researching wellness/health trends is one of my favorite things so I know what to do.
  • Finances: Create a new income stream. Ideally something I enjoy as a hobby that can be monetized.
  • Adventure: Travel at least once a month. I haven’t been on a plane since December 2019 and I’m going stir crazy, but road trips to little towns not too far away count as well. I want to explore more.
  • Food: Cook more actual recipes. I love to bake and watch cooking shows. I am the master at roasting vegetables and protein and making easy soups but when I follow recipes I’m amazed at how much better my food tastes. I also want to experiment with new techniques, ingredients, and trying classic recipes I’ve never made.
  • Bonus Challenge: Only buy clothes that are thrifted (thrift stores, Poshmark, etc.) as much as possible. This one is part eco, one part finances. It will obviously help me save money if I’m not buying new items but also make me get more creative in “shopping my closet” to create outfits. I’ve felt guilty for quite awhile with being such a consumer of new clothes when most of my favorites are from thrift stores anyway. Obviously I’ll allow myself to buy new undergarments (hah!) and if something is needed out of pure necessity.

Even though I love the goals I’ve chosen to work on I still give myself grace and not make them too absolute. If I slip up a day or even a week, it is my choice to get up again and restart. If I had said on January 1st “I will work out every day” for example, odds are I will screw it up and feel like a failure. However, I made my goal more about the overall process. I used to think the 80/20 rule with wellness was stupid because, what am I supposed to do? Be tracking my meals and calculating if I ate correctly exactly 80% of the time and splurged the other 20? That just never felt doable or sustainable. Lately though I’ve realized that the 80/20 concept is more like a figure of speech to not take literal. It is about sticking to your goals most of the time and allowing yourself that wiggle room for the more fun moments, the treats, and the mistakes. I think many people don’t set “resolutions” because they don’t want to be disappointed when they “fail.” In my opinion, if you are committed to a goal you truly desire you will be motivated to keep going. Make your goals personal. Don’t start January with a typical resolution that you hear everyone and your neighbor making. That will not excite you. And never forget that even the biggest goal you wish for the most will not always sound exciting and you will not always have the motivation. A little bit each day, one step at a time is how we grow and change.

I love this quote when I feel like my daily habits aren’t adding up: “Your days create your weeks. Your weeks create your years and your years create your life.”


P.S. I have other goals that I’m keeping more private. Plus, I realized I was rambling far too long on each of my bulleted goals above when I really wanted to stick to a simple post. I think I’ll go into each one more in depth later on.


You know those things you really want to do but you end up procrastinating or worse, never start? I have a few tips for when this hits me and I need some extra motivation. Trust me, this is for me today just as much as it is for you guys.

  1. Check in with myself. Is this even a goal I still want to achieve? I think a lot of times we get thrown off by what we think we “should” do and then wonder why we aren’t excited about it. A goal set by someone else will rarely excite or inspire me. If I get quiet and decide, yep, this is something I really want, then I proceed to the next step(s).
  2. Start small. Say I am procrastinating doing a workout. I can’t go in telling myself I have to do an hour on the treadmill. If I am not feeling it, I’ll tell myself just do 15 minutes. If it’s miserable, well then I’m done quickly but I almost always go longer. Once I start with just a little the initial hurdle of overwhelm is gone.
  3. Remember why I started. What made me excited do this in the first place? If I’m training for a race it’s impossible to love every single workout so I need to visualize my end goal. I like to see myself showing up as my most authentic self who is vibrant, confident, and works out because she loves the feeling afterward. It’s normal to not always feel motivated!
  4. Focus on gratitude. I GET to do this. I get to put one foot in front of the other and run or lift weights. I get to cook a delicious dinner because, gratefully, I can afford healthy food. I get get into bed early and read because I have an open schedule, etc.
  5. Finally, let it go. I only truly fail when I quit so I stop dwelling and don’t call myself lazy. Start over this afternoon, tomorrow, or this weekend. We always have a choice to change and redo things. I used to get so stuck if I ruined my exercise streak. I thought I had to wait until the next day or the next first of the month or whatever to start again. Nope. No one gets to set the rules but me.

I usually end up using exercise/running as a metaphor because it is one of the easiest to comprehend but these steps can help with any of your goals you keep putting off.

Bonus tip: If all else fails reward yourself! See pic of me with an oat milk cappuccino. Haha, but seriously, as long as the reward is in proportion to the task, I say go for it.

Perfectionism, A Block

A non-curated picture of me in my element, cold-weather outfit, coffee in hand, grocery shopping bag.

I’d like to make a grand gesture post and say “I’m back!,” but it’s not really about that. It’s been months and months of me avoiding any type of writing and most social media for several reasons. When I get honest with myself though it all comes down to perfectionism. There has been a call in me to share all the “wellness-y” things I love and research for quite a long time but every time I begin I start questioning myself so much. “Am I following a niche? Who is my audience? Does anyone care? Are my photos and posts curated enough? Are they too curated? Blah blah blah.”

I don’t know if any of those things are actually important other than being told my so-called experts that it’s what I “should” be doing if I want to gain an audience. When it comes down to it I like sharing because I am passionate about feeling good and I’ve already done so much research on my own that I feel like I might as well share it with others who could be interested in similar things.

Other people are not the problem, it’s me, hi, I’m the problem it’s me. Another big block for me is that I have a lot of interests that are seemingly unrelated. I worry I’ll pigeonhole myself into one area and then get sick of it. For as long as I can remember I am the one who has been trying to put me in a neat, little box so I could label myself as _____. Sustainability is important to me but then I feel guilty I own a large wardrobe and enjoy getting new (usually thrifted) items. How can I post about journaling when I skipped a day?! I absolutely love eating healthy foods but I also have a strange love affair with candy canes, circus peanuts (I might be the only one on Earth who actually likes these!), rainbow sprinkles, and Lindt truffles.

No one needs to be able to figure me out. Perfect is boring. I don’t really want to be someone who is too predictable or I realized lately that I am always allowed to change my mind and also that one little blog or Instagram page or whatever is not ever going to share every aspect as myself, nor should it. Showing up with never be perfect so we cannot wait for that feeling. Showing up is how we grow and how we learn and how we connect.

All I know from hiding away is that it did not work either. Privacy is wonderful and necessary but if it’s done out of fear it will never lead to growth. I’ll probably always have mini moments of fear I am not providing enough value for someone or that the thing I just said is silly. Each time I show up is just a brief slice of time, a tiny piece of me and my personality in that second. Would I expect one puzzle piece to show me the whole picture? Never. Humans are not like that, so I cannot expect that from myself. The people I connect with the most and keep going back to are the real ones and the ones who are honest, imperfect, and themselves.

So here’s to showing up, however that may look. Hopefully something I say inspires you, makes you think, or teaches you anything you didn’t know before. And here’s to trusting the Universe that it is guiding me to show up in the best way, for the highest good.


Tennis Ball Green Trend

I know, I know. Neon green for spring? Groundbreaking. But it’s back you guys! This time they’re calling it tennis ball green. I love to pair a pop of bright color with easy basics. Think a white tank with jean shorts and these cute tennis ball green Birkenstocks. Or this cropped gingham cardigan with a solid colored sundress. You can easily add some pizzazz to any outfit with this fun color. It doesn’t have to be a tough to wear this trend. If you’re the type of person who loved black or darker colors, this is the way to bring Spring to your winter wardrobe without a big commitment.

Color is my favorite way to change up my mood! I’ll throw on a puffy headband in this neon shade and suddenly I’m a little bit happier when I look in the mirror. Don’t worry about feeling like it’s “too much.” Just pair your neon piece with basics and you’ll be all set. Start with accessories and then if you love it, try a dress or pants, something a little more statement-making. You might be surprised how you feel!

Tennis skirt

gingham sweater




bikini top

bikini bottom

Off Duty Look: White Sneakers, Blazer, Hat

With today’s climate and working from home for months and months, my style was feeling a little less than stellar. I always loved making my weekend outfits especially “me” because I could wear more denim, slightly shorter skirts, more casual shoes, etc. and just have more fun with it! But after staying home every week day, the aisles of the grocery store started to feel like a runway. I didn’t actually want to wear high fashion to Whole Foods but I did want to feel my best and like I was expressing my personality out in public, mask and all.

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Today’s look is what I wore to get groceries this weekend. I got these white sneakers a month or two ago because they seemed like the perfect Spring/Summer casual shoe. My hair was not exactly great that day and I like to get going to the store early (less crowds!) so I wasn’t in the mood to fix it.

I’ve been kinda into Hailey Beiber’s street style and remembered her looking cute with a baseball hat and tons of big blazers. It totally fit with my vibe for the day so I went with it and threw on an oversized blazer as my jacket. Base layers were easy basics: medium wash skinny jeans and a black turtleneck (my go-to, always. I swear a black turtleneck is so chic and timeless.) I love a good high/low look like this; the casualness of the hat and sneakers and the tailored blazer with the jewelry

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blazer: American Eagle and thrifted (similar here and here)

hat: Philly Marathon-yes, I ran it…it was horrible, hah. (similar)

turtleneck: J.Crew, brand new from Poshmark (exact) I wear XXS for a slim fit, I can easily tuck in.

Jeans and sneakers: Walmart (similar here and here: ; exact sneakers true to size)

Necklace and earrings: QVC (here and here)

Belt: no brand from Ross (similar)

5 Reasons to Thrift shop:

Just a few outfits made of my thrift store finds!

Do you thrift shop? I’m obsessed with it. It’s like the best fashion treasure hunt to me. I come home with my loot feeling accomplished. I love surprises so I usually in blind and see what the racks hold for me. I know some of you might be new to second-hand shopping or maybe you aren’t really sure you can find anything so I wanted to give you five reasons to thrift shop.

  1. Score fashion finds for super affordable prices!
    • This one is probably obvious but it’s one of the best reasons. I can’t tell you how many time I’ve walked out with multiple overflowing bags of clothes, accessories, and shoes for under $100. I usually go for a big shopping spree once every season where I scour each rack and go home with enough pieces to completely overhaul my closet.
    • I find the cheapest prices at Goodwill and Salvation Army but definitely check out consignment and vintage stores in your area to support local businesses!
    • Don’t forget about online consignment and resale sites like Poshmark, Mercari, etc. (These take a little more effort to get an amazing deal. I think I’ll write a whole post of this!)
  2. You’re saving the environment one vintage dress at a time.
    • It’s becoming more popular to look into where your clothing comes from. There are some great brands out there that use recycled materials (Girlfriend Collective workout wear is great). Some also let your trade in your jeans, etc when you buy a new pair like Madewell and Patagonia.
    • But honestly, doing your research can be a little daunting. When you shop at a thrift store or resale site, you automatically know you’re helping create less pollution and less trash in landfills!
  3. You’re forced to get creative with your wardrobe.
    • I like to go into a store with a general idea of what I’m looking for but stay open to surprises. For example, I might want to find a spring skirt. I won’t be attached to a color or style because every store and every visit is different! I always seem to find a version of what I wanted. Then when I get home, I shop my closet to create the perfect outfit.
  4. Try out a style outside of your comfort zone with little risk.
    • Do you know how fun it is to pick up a crazy ’90s sweater and realize you love it? I really enjoy taking a chance on something a little weird that I would normally not buy full price or brand new. I recently bought some bright camo pants! Not exactly my style but I’m excited to take them for a spin.
  5. Find unique pieces that no one else will have!
    • This is my personal favorite reason to thrift shop! I’ve always been a little annoyed when someone has a shirt or dress that I do because style should be individual. I’m not saying you can’t take inspiration from a celebrity or movie character (I do all the time) but there’s something special about creating an ensemble that expresses your personality. Thrift shops have anywhere from vintage to brand new with tags still on. Pieces from stores you’ve never heard of, handmade items, parts of old costumes, whatever you can think of I’ve probably seen! You can almost guarantee that your “new” purchases won’t also be worn by your neighbor, a co-worker, or a stranger in the grocery store.

Just a few reasons to try out thrift shopping! I hope you give it a shot!


Preppy Spring Style Vibes

spring vibes fashion style pink preppy floral outfit
spring vibes: easy breezy pieces in floral and spring colors!

Who else is ready for preppy Spring style vibes? As much as I love Fall and winter clothing (it will always be my favorite), By March, I’m always ready for the preppy florals, pretty pastels, bright whites, and fresh feel of fashion this time of year. It’s so fun to walk through stores (pre-Covid) and see how seemingly overnight the displays have changed from dark and dreary into Springtime outfits. Seeing the flowers bloom, all the animals running around, experiencing the joy of Easter season, and the longer days just make me feel renewed!

I’m sharing a few pieces that are on my Spring wishlist that get me in the mood.

  1. Pink silky blouse with the cutest mini ruffle bell sleeves! This would go great with white jeans or a denim skirt.

2. Floral lounge shorts in a preppy magnolia print. These are just as easy to style as your sweatpants but way cuter!

3. Fun, translucent pink cross-body bag . What’s not to love about a bright pink mini bag?

4. Pastel pink sunglasses that will add some color to your face. I love to get a new pair of sunnies at least every season and these are super cute.

5. White lettuce edge tee that gives a basic a fun twist. I don’t know about you but I always need white tees and tanks and this one seems so fresh.

6. White jeans, because everyone should have some in their closet! White jeans really do go with everything and it’s not better time to try them out than Spring. I bet you’ll end up wearing them well into summer too.

I can’t wait to put together some new outfits with pieces like these! What are you shopping for this season?

Instant Gratification?

This morning I wanted an apple fritter.  Actually I craved a fritter from Wawa, in all it’s oversized, doughy fabulousness. Like, very specific.  I needed this one.  For an hour or so while I thought about it, no other substitute would do. I also was out of coffee at home and needed to buy some.  Wawa coffee is cheap but oh so wonderful.  As I drove there, wrestling in my mind if I should allow myself a delicious, wheat-filled doughnut, I had so many thoughts.  This quote above came to mind that I just saw on IG last night…now I had a decision to make.

It’s not life and death.  I can have a doughnut if I want to.  No one would care and they would just think it’s pretty normal for someone’s breakfast when stopping at a glorified (i.e. magical) gas station.

This I know.  However, I also know how terrible I felt basically every other time I ate an apple fritter.  At first the taste was incredible. It’s the slightest bit crunchy on the outside, pillowy on the inside, with hints of apple, cinnamon, and the best glaze over it all.  But, within like 15 minutes, my throat hurt; I felt foggy; I was suddenly super lethargic; My eyes felt dryer.  The rest of the day I ate completely gluten free and, even so, the next morning I still felt like I was coming down with something.  I just felt pretty gross, almost like I was fighting off a cold.

As I pulled in to the parking lot, I thought about all of this.  I also thought about the nice pumpkin spice oatmeal and strawberries I had packed for myself for breakfast, sitting in my lunch bag on my front seat.  This moment was such a straightforward lesson in instant gratification and how it (usually) never serves us.

So I walked in, mostly sure I wouldn’t get a fritter, saw the $1 Any Size Coffee sign on the door (bonus!), and just bought my Cuban roast 24 oz.  I did walk into one snack aisle, looked at the bars and cookies, searching for something G-free that might be a meager substitute but left with just the coffee. On the way to work I decided there are plenty of places I could get a gluten free/healthy-ish dessert.  Not to mention just how many recipes I had saved on my Pinterest boards for, you guessed it, gluten free apple fritters.  This is not the end all be all.  There are plenty of other ways to get my fix that won’t leave me with a gluten hangover.

I know in the scheme of things this was not a hard decision but it got me thinking.

How many things do we do just for the instant rush of pleasure?

Then once it’s over, we crash and burn and feel worse off than we did before.

I know that there are many tough situations to navigate out there so why make it harder on myself by choosing the easy route?  This isn’t always bad.  Sometimes it’s nice to have my cup of hot coffee 10 minutes after I roll out of bed.  It makes me happy.  But, I think we all know just how precarious it can be to follow our every whim.  I’m a big believer in following my instincts and all but that’s subtly different.  My gut instinct knew having a doughnut would not make me feel good.  My urge for instant gratification tried to tell me I deserved it, like the little devil on my shoulder waving a processed pastry in my face, saying it would make me feel better.  This has been a long road to self-discovery when I turned to intuitive eating.  It was about so much more than food.  I was either restricting or going off the rails.  And guess what?  Neither made me happy or feel healthier.  And eating “better” or eating “junk food” also doesn’t make me good or bad.  But sometimes, discipline does make you a better person in the long run.

Why yes, the apple fritter is a metaphor.  Hopefully you can relate it to something in your life that seems like the greatest idea of all time and then moments later leaves you sad and broken on the floor.

While I do believe there are things I need to get out of my system, I also know that some things aren’t worth the pain.

Life means I’m learning just how much I truly know what’s best for me, in food, in life, in everything, even if that might mean skipping the doughnut.

~Whitney V.


Why I Eat Gluten Free

Why do I eat gluten free? Should you?

Of course it seems super trendy, and I’ll be the first to admit I jumped on that bandwagon a few years ago.  It promised less inflammation, probably weight loss (less carbs!), and an overall high vibe wellness-y life!  Seemingly so at least.  To be clear, when I “went gluten free” back then, it was with little purpose other than testing it out, hoping it would be the golden ticket to perfect health and my perfect body. I never actually was very strict about it.  I would pretty much get a packaged product and think, “ooo, it’s gluten free!  It must be healthy!”  And, if there was something amazing like say, fried pickles or a delectable cookie, I’d eat it, guiltily. Needless to say, I never noticed a difference.

I was feeling pretty lackluster and very low on important vitamin levels for a few months despite eating very cleanly and (what I thought was) super healthy. I finally got a food sensitivity test done when all my other tests came back negative (thankful) for other major issues.  To the best of my knowledge, I do not have Celiac Disease or an allergy to wheat or gluten.  However, I have a severe sensitivity to gluten, wheat, rye, and soy.  This is actually a lesser-known issue they call Non-Celian Gluten Sensitivity. I truly can tell when I’ve been “glutened.” This is a personal choice of mine to stay away from it as much as possible.  I am far from perfect and thankfully a little bit here and there or cross-contamination will not cause lasting physical effects that I feel.  But I do know, when I knowingly have something with those ingredients in it, I feel tired, sometimes get stomach pains, my throat will hurt, and my eyes feel dry.

It’s really important to keep in mind just how different we all are.  This might not do anything for you!  Or maybe you have it worse than me and have a true allergy or Celiac’ s and need to avoid it completed.

There might not be any reason to avoid gluten/wheat, and you don’t have to!, but if you do want to give it a try it might help if you have an autoimmune disease to lower inflammation, lift brain fog, and help with digestion issues, among other things. Remember, just because something is gluten free does not mean it’s better!  Still focus on whole foods when you can.

Right now I do not worry too much about cross-contamination if I would really like to try something. That might change or it might not.  Plus, I will have something like a cupcake from Magnolia Bakery if I’m in NYC.  I just will try my best the rest of the day to be completely G-free so I don’t end up feeling totally wiped.  Another thing I do is pay close attention to how I feel after eating something new. Sometimes I might eat something with oats (usually have cross-contamination), and will feel some negative effects.  If that happens I probably won’t buy that brand/item again.

*Hot tip: This is controversial but I can tell a big difference taking an activated charcoal pill after I’ve been glutened.  Just don’t rely on it!

This is just one tiny piece of the puzzle when it comes to health and wellness so take it with a grain of salt.  I’ve been testing things out for YEARS and finally feel like I’m more in tune with what makes me feel best.

Something different works for all of us.  Wellness is not one size fits all. I don’t eat like this for any other reason other than I feel my best without these ingredients.

Leave a comment and tell me why or why not you eat gluten free!  Or if you have any questions, I’d love to see if I can answer them.



What’s Your Motivation?

Today I got to thinking about motivation.  It’s billed as this thing you either have or you don’t. He’s a motivated person.  Oh, she’s so driven.

We think to ourselves, “why am I so lazy?” Aka: “why do I have no motivation to do this specific thing I think I should be doing?”

I think we can only have motivation for things we truly want to do. Yes, I know, what does this mean for things  we don’t love, like going to work for some people or exercising?  I’ve been thinking about that too. I think when the money/health benefits/paid vacay days add up to something you appreciate having, the job or workout still motivates you to go and at least do the minimum you need to do to stay in good shape.

Everything we do has a motivator, a reason why we do it. Sometimes that motivator is fun, or pain, or free food.  Who knows?  It’s always something unique to the situation but it’s always there.

Ever since I became acutely aware of this, I’d say maybe 5 years ago, I try my best to not be led by fear or anger or sadness.  No negative emotion, really.  Unless I’m being chased by a bear or something.  Obvi, not life and death situations, people.

It brings to mind the Nelson Mandela quote,

“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”

That’s it.

I want to go toward something exciting.  I do not want to run away because fear is my driving force. I don’t want to be motivated to prove someone wrong. I especially do not want to stay small and quiet because I’m afraid.

I know this is not a new concept, but that doesn’t mean it’s something most of us follow.  This is easy to And in this beautiful but brash world we live in, it’s definitely not easy.

All we can do is be conscious of our actions, and, ultimately, what motivates us.

Our thoughts become things. Maybe not always physical things but they sure do manifest into emotions that directly affect our daily lives. I do not want to be made up of fear or scarcity or anger.

I have no new perspective for you. I’m just saying it because it should be said. Notice your thoughts. Notice what drives you. Even if one person follows their positive instincts for one day, it’s made a difference.