Inspired

Basically as soon as I knew how to screenshot something on my iPhone I was hooked.  I began saving pics of pretty scenery, quotes I loved, outfits I wanted to emulate.  The word “muse” comes to mind but this is not the extent I want to relay.  To me, “muse” is long-term.  It’s someone who serves as constant inspiration for whatever your project maybe. These moments I compile are tiny hits of inspiration that are ever-changing and always being replaced or forgotten.  It’s the things in life that come across my path that cause me to make a certain “small” decision. It’s like this: I see a bright bunch of flowers at the farmer’s market and then choose my outfit based on that combination of vibrant orange and hot pink that I saw in those flowers.  Get it?

Boom.

Inspired.

I am a collector of beautiful things and by “beautiful” I mean something that provokes emotion in me, just as much as something that I see as physically and aesthetically pleasing.   Pinterest and Instagram has made this possible

As we speak, I’m sitting at a Panera drinking iced coffee and I can hear one of the male cashiers tell every customer to “have a beautiful day” at the end of their order.  This is something that inspires me.   The same man let me know he loved my dress while I was getting my coffee.  Some people barely squeeze out a “thank you” or a “bye.”  I always know that I am in that specific place and time because I was meant to witness that kindness and beauty.  (Huge believer in timing right here.)

Anyway, I feel like starting a regular recap of my own inspiring moments I collected with all of you.  Thursday night seemed like a good time to do this.  Right before we head into the weekend, the last night that isn’t particularly joyful for most since we have one more day of work.  Some times I might have lots of quotes, one time I may seem to be drawn toward landscapes, and I just know that my collection will include a lot of style, fashion, and even some gorgeous people.

I’m hoping that by sharing my inspirations, you notice those moments in your own lives and let them inspire you to do something wonderful.

Beauty is all around.

I’ve started here with my Instagram picks from the last few days.

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Umm, hello, I’m going here.  Something for me to reach for.

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This one is all about the caption!

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Every struggle is a chance to grow.

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Seriously.  My astrology sign cat is Indiana.  It’s fate.

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Listen to yourself.  You will hear what you want.

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We can heal ourselves from within.  Oh yes.

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I’m betting on myself.  How about you?

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Yessssss.  No one is telling you what to do, say, think, or believe.  That’s all you.

Yours,

Whitney Victoria

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Joy & Muffins

I decided to bake last night.  I usually don’t bake during the week.  I think I always feel like it will be an all-consuming 4 hour process or something so I push it off until I have “adequate” time on the weekends.  Baking gives me a little jolt of accomplishment so I really need to stop assuming my other to-dos are more important and I don’t have time.  You know what they say when your assume.  The best part is that I had plenty of time to whip up muffins, pack some lunch for tomorrow, and do lift a few weight. Oh, and most importantly, I had time to watch Young and the Restless  #priorities

My point is this: Don’t Postpone Joy.  Chase it now.

Happiness Is Not Something You Postpone For The Future, It Is Something You Design for the Present (by Jim Rohn). -- Do your very best for today but never lose joy over it.

So, what did I bake, you ask?  In my head, you’re asking, ready for the recipe.

I always have criteria for my recipes.  Usually I need to have everything on hand and easily accessible.  No surprise that I couldn’t find something suitable from a quick Pinterest search, so I made up my own recipe.

Enter my Cinnamon Sugar Snacking Muffins.

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They’re semi-healthy.  Recipes like this I consider sorta like half-caff coffee.  You’re still eating a little sugar and gluten but not near as much as in traditional recipes.  The taste is still there and you most likely won’t miss the extra calories.  It’s good when you want to bake something for a person who eschew healthy food.  Most of the time I just can’t bring myself to not do some clean eating swaps.

This muffins are moist and have a cinnamony bite to them.  They  go well with tea as a snack.  Since the batter doesn’t have as much sugar as most muffins, the topping adds a welcome sweet crunch.

Next time I plan on making them in my mini muffin tin.  Like muffin poppers!  Is that a thing?

Cinnamon Sugar Snacking Muffins

makes: 12 standard muffins or 18 mini muffins

Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour (can use Bob’s Red Mill GF too!)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter – melted
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp baking powder
pinch Himalayan salt
1/3 cup milk
1 flax egg (can sub for 1 egg)
Topping:
1/4 cup white sugar mixed
1 tbs cinnamon

Preheat over to 350 degrees.  Sift together dry ingredients.  Whisk all liquids together.  Slowly incorporate liquids into dry ingredient bowl, until just mixed.

Mix topping together.

Spray 12 muffin tins with cooking spray.  (I love this!) Pour batter evenly into muffin tins.  Sprinkle topping onto each muffin. Bake for 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. They should be golden brown with a slightly crisp top.  Don’t over bake!

Tip: You can fill just 8 muffin tins to the top for bakery-style muffins.

Let me know if you whip these up!  I think adding apples would be great.  : )

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Food In Review

First off, let me just say I’m pretty happy the Eagles finally did it again. I heard fireworks and people hooting and hollering in the neighborhood! But….. that doesn’t mean I watched any of it. I was refreshing the score a tad obsessively near the end though…Wait, I lie!  I watched this Chris Pratt commercial…twice, and I’m not apologizing.  He makes me happy.  Just following my bliss…hah.

It’s not news that I’m obsessed with grocery shopping.  The food, the endless new products, the coffee bars, , the mini carts with cupholders to carry the coffee I just bought…The only thing I don’t love is the freezing temperature that somehow is not just in the frozen aisles.  Another recent trip to Whole Foods was as delightful to be expected.

Also unsurprisingly, I love trying new healthy products and want to share whatever I learn.  As much fun as it is to do some testing, it’s not great fun to spend my hard-earned money on something I don’t like and end up ditching.  Thus, I’m a nerd who reads food reviews.  Here are some of my own!  Most of my new purchases are snacks.  You know snacks are the best.

Ripple Half and Half

I’m usually into black coffee but lately I’ve been wanting just little bit of milk to smooth it out.  If I ever add something to my coffee, I prefer real half and half for the richness it adds without the sweetness.  There are a lot non-dairy creamers out there and I am underwhelmed by most of them.  I recently discovered Califia Farms line and enjoy it but I’m not settled enough to stop trying new ones.  I’ve seen Ripple milk for awhile but never saw the half and half until this weekend.  Pleased to say it’s great for a creamy touch with only 1 gram of sugar per tablespoon and clean, pea protein.

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Verdict: Great as a non-dairy sub for half and half. Not so great if you’re into sugary creamers.

Whole Foods Americano 

IMG_7474Wow, I can’t believe I waited this long to get an Americano from the WF coffee bar.  It was delicious just straight up, no cream. I’m still finishing it up cold because I’m weird and drink coffee any way I can get it.

Verdict: Bold.  Yes, please.  Trading it in for the Costa Rican blend I usually go for.

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I love salt.  I used to be a cracker addict.  I could finish half a box of Cheez-Its in one sitting.  The problem with that is it’s all chemicals, gluten, and artificial dyes. These rice snaps are not low sodium but they are gluten-free, crispy, and richly flavorful.  The first word that comes to mind when I try to describe the taste is umami. According to Urban Dictionary, it’s definition is the pretentious way of saying the 5th human taste (salty, sweet, bitter, sour, and savory, aka “umami”) Sorry, I watch a lot of Top Chef…

Verdict: Satisfying as lunch topped with tuna and good with hummus or avocado as a snack.

Hail Merry Sea Salt Caramel Bites

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I am doing a gluten detox for at least three months to get it out of my system and I really wanted something cake-like yesterday.  It’s not that easy to find, even at a Whole Foods.  No, this wasn’t the heavenly WF carrot cake that I was craving but these little, refrigerated cookies were good.  Butttt, these were an impulse buy, fueled by hunger so I didn’t realize they were coconut macaroons.  I was hoping for more of a crumbly/pastry-type cookie.

Verdict: I’d buy them again if I’m looking for a coconut taste and texture.  The sweet caramel flavor was nice and I only needed one to feel like I had dessert.

P.S. This Cookie Dough Is Good Ror You

It’s edible, protein-packed, chickpea-based cookie dough.  Um, duh.  And, it’s in a nice little container for 190 calories.  This is nice because I’ll admit I’ve bought those terrible, break-off pre-made cookie dough packs and popped them like candy…like you haven’t.  I’m glad this is one serving.  No need to have an endless supply of dough in my fridge.

PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE DOUGH

Verdict: Peanut Butter Cookie Dough flavor was pretty amazing. If I didn’t know it was chickpeas, I don’t think I would have guessed it was conventional cookie dough.

Anyone buy any random new foods lately?  Obviously, I’m always open to suggestions!

~Whitney Victoria Eating well is a form of self respect - AZENDA.com

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Underestimating Ourselves

Why do we underestimate ourselves so much?  Is it out of fear?  So we don’t disappoint ourselves?

I was born with a huge imagination and with that came a knowing.  A knowing of just how much I could accomplish.  Lots of things pile on and make it seem impossible but deep down I still have my voice telling me to just do it because I’ll succeed.  So I’m not exactly sure what the answers to my aforementioned questions are.  What do I let stop me from following my dreams? Maybe that’s just fine.  Maybe it’s in the asking that I’ll make a difference in my life or yours.

When I write something here, I like to help.  I like to give some sort of advice or tricks or inspiration.  Me asking a question and not giving an answer used to seem wrong.  Unfinished and unsatisfying.

A wise friend said this the other day and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

“Maybe you’re not supposed to be the one with all the answers, just the questions.”

My favorite uncle, Tony Robbins, says you have to ask quality questions. I agree.

Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers. - Tony Robbins(source)

I don’t need to help everyone all the time, including myself.  Just because I don’t know exactly what needs to be done next doesn’t mean I’m stuck and creating nothing.

I don’t need all the answers.

I don’t need to be perfect to help people.

That’s all.

~Whitney Victoria

Changes Afoot

With the new year comes new moments, new goals, new lives.  Changes can happen any time of the year but something is different when the calendar starts over.

I can feel it this year way more than others.  I remember last year trying so hard to make 2017 begin with some kind of magic that just wasn’t there.  I guess you just can’t force the magical moments.  You gotta just let it flow.

I’ve been on a tiny health kick since January 1 and it feels good.  It was not a big plan I set out to do but it’s been nice eating my vegetables again and not being so quick to add in junk.  (I say this after eating 4 pieces of chocolate but still, that’s better than last week!  Eeeesh!) Basically the whole month of December I had dessert every night, dairy in my coffee, sugar at evvvvery meal in some shape or form.  There was less sleep, more drinks.  Less meditating, more late nights.

Pic from my (free) Shady Maple birthday breakfast.  It was heaven.  Let’s not talk about how many plates I packed away…IMG_7237

It was fun in small doses but I’ve never been one for that lifestyle.  I’ve been going to bed by 9pm for as long as I can remember.  Seriously, my friends made fun of me in high school.  I never cared because sleep makes me feel amazing.

Finally, I feel the tides turning back to my norm.

Along with the healthier meals, I’ve always been reading before bed.  (Real live books!) I’ve missed that and even in just a few days I notice the calmness I feel when falling asleep.

I am completed excited and ready to manifest my goals but I’m only sharing a few here.  No shame whatsoever but I’m still working through the specific on some steps and I’d like to keep ’em close to the chest for now.

A smattering of 2018 #goalsss:

  • Read at least 25 books – self-development, fiction, whatever!
    • So satisfying and I learn massive amounts of great things from reading, no matter the genre.
  • Build my blog – I know it seems simple but I love it.
    • It’s good challenging and I have hundreds of ideas of what I’d like it to become.
  • Meditate and/or journal daily – no matter how little it is.
    • I love a good ritual.
    • I’m allowing even just one sentence jotted down or like 8 minutes of mediation if that’s all that happens one day!
  • Kick-box (and train hard again)
    • I’ve been talking about kickboxing for YEARS and never tried it.  No idea why but it’s time.  I see myself loving it and it fits in with my slightly obsessed Rocky, triumphant underdog fantasies.
    • I also need to get my semi-abs back and stronger than ever.
  • Speak up.  Put my true self out there.  Stand up and be confident.
    • It’s so easy when I stop “trying.” Trying to be perfect, trying to make someone else happy, trying to take care of things.
  • Be debt-free
    • One of those things I took for granted until I realized it was an issue.  I’m ready for financial freedom.  I 100% believe it’s possible because I’ve seen it.
  • Follow a mostly clean diet with indulgences I truly enjoy.
    • How I feel the best.  No time for eating junk that doesn’t thrill me anymore. You know you’ve eaten a cupcake purely because it was there?  It was dry, the icing was too sweet, and all of a sudden you feel gross.  Yeah, not happening.
    • One, amazing slice of peanut butter pie? Baby, it’s worth it.

A super flattering picture of me cradling my new matcha set!  I’m really excited to get into and even, dare I say it, drink a little, tiny bit less coffee this year. img_7249.jpg

  • Do a monthly check-in with myself
    • I’m using my beautiful Desire Map Planner that I highly recommend.  Check it out right here!  (I’m gong to do a detailed post about tit.  It’s not too late to get one for the year!
      • My planner actually has a check-in prompt at the beginning of every month so it makes it super easy for me. I’ve done the overall 2018 pages and obviously the January one.

And a snap of my planner and breakfast (real muffin pieces in this bar, people)!  Weird color, trust me, the actually shades are much prettier and ocean-esque.IMG_7320

Those are the “big goals.”  I have a few random to-dos like go to another Broadway show and learn to roller blade (I know, I’m 29.  I should already know how or I shouldn’t bother.  hah! A girl can dream…and boy, do I. Always have, always will. )

Think big or stay small.

Please share any goal you want to achieve this year with me!  I’m so curious how everyone is feeling about their clean slates, excited, anxious or anywhere in between.

Much love! You deserve it.

~Whitney Victoria

 

 

To Resolve or Not to Resolve

I am all about making resolutions. They keep me on track with what I really want to be doing for the year. It’s actually a comfort thinking about them throughout the months so I don’t end up in October wondering how I got there with nothing to show for it.  It’s easy to slide along every day not working toward anything because you don’t want to put even the tiniest amount of pressure on yourself.

There was a revolt a few years ago that is still continuing.  People seem to think making resolutions is a bad thing because you get disappointed when you fail.  But, I’m sorry, does that mean we should stop trying?  Does that mean we shouldn’t even attempt a turn-around? I see nothing wrong with jotting some things down that you know you want to change.  Sure, if there are things you resolve to quit or start because you think you should do them, well now, that’s when you get into guilt-laden territory.

It’s completely possible to have goals you love all year long and not get discouraged. There are small tweaks I’ve done every time I actually committed to completing a resolution.

My tips for happy goals:

  • Pair a larger goal with a “fun” goal.
  • Make it positive! Add in a healthy habit, instead of kicking a bad one.
    • i.e. Don’t quit sugar cold turkey.  Commit to eating one serving of vegetables with two meals/day.
  • Pick one generic, attainable goal.  This will make you feel great when you can cross it off your list! Plus, it will give you confidence in your greater goals.
    • I.e. Drink 8 glasses of water daily.
  • Choose one daunting goal.  Write out tiny steps that edge you closer.
    • I.e. Pay off credit card debt = Sell one item on eBay/week>Use an extra $50/month towards debt>Pay more than minimum payment/month, etc.
Best New Year Motivational & Inspirational Quotes Collection
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I’m including some revamped printable resolution worksheets I found around.  They aren’t your run-of-the-mill goal sheets.  I love tradition but I also love seeing things from a new perspective or slightly tweaking the original picture.  Kind of like when top chefs do a spin on a classic dish.  I love that.  Sooo, here are a few different ways to write down a few resolutions. (A few sources might ask for your email to get the PDFs sent to you.) Or check out Pinterest for your own ideas!

2018 I Purpose to. via source.

The Ultimate List of 2018 New Year Resolution Ideas

More of This/Less of This worksheet

Family New Year’s Resolutions

Two pics from the holiday weekend to close!

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I am not yet finished making my list.  I’ve had a very low-key New Year’s Eve for the last few years completely by choice.  It’s when I have a drink, sit down, and write from my heart.  I’m able to hear clearly what I’m supposed to be doing.

I would absolutely love to hear your resolutions and goals for 2018!

January 1 or not, remember, you always have a chance to start over.

~Whitney Victoria

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December Daze

Apologies for the semi-cliche alliteration title.   Every December I feel kind of weird like I’m not myself and like I’m just confused about my entire life.  Oh yeah, this is normal for me to not feel normal.  I know it’s because I have an internal clock that tells me it’s almost my birthday.  It’s almost Capricorn season. It’s almost the New Year.  It’s almost my chance for a new start.

I feel weird that I haven’t watched a single Hallmark Christmas movie.  Christmas music hasn’t been played much at all.  I have had a lot of junk food and not the fun holiday-themed kind.  Totally trying to fill a void.  I’m very honest about that.  It’s been a strange ride the last few months because I’ve been so aware of the subtle changes in my daily habits and my desires for my life.  Then I would get annoyed that I wasn’t where I thought I should be.  It takes times to achieve great things.

I’m the girl who needs to figure things out and know “why.”  But, that’s not my job.  I’ve made it my job for 28 years.  That was the actual problem.

I decided to rally and make my list of movies to watch before the holidays are over.  I’m the crazy blend of control and fun traditions so I actually would get a little mad at myself if I didn’t do all the traditional Christmas activities I thought I had to do.   Isn’t that nuts?  I’d get a bit worked up internally thinking I didn’t fulfill my duties as the good little girl I thought I needed to be in order to make the perfect Christmas season.  What if I didn’t watch Christmas Vacation?!?!  That means my holiday will be ruined!  That’s a tad dramatic but that’s where my brain went.  Now I actually think, “It would be nice if I get to watch all the movies on my list, but I know I’ll get to the ones I’m meant to get to!”   That’s how the universe works for us.  If it’s not meant to cross our paths, then we missed  nothing of importance.

Who would have ever thought I’d feel less anxious by dropping the reins and giving up control?  Seriously, major.

Here is my movie list that I’ve yet to watch! Some might not be classics to most, but to me, they’re perfect.

Lightening the mood a little! We go on a “Christmas light tour” every year.  This just us driving around the area to see everyone’s lights, including a drive-by of the Christmas Village.  We wear are pjs, clearly!

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I suggested we stop for peppermint sundaes for the ride!  This was so amazing.  It was candy cane soft serve, brownies, hot fudge, whipped cream, and candy cane pieces!  IMG_6918

 

I’m officially the last person to discover some of the hats, filters, whatever you call them. And…then I sent this pic to my mom.IMG_6871

I’m wishing everyone a relaxed, joyful few days leading up to Christmas.  Enjoy all the little things that come with the rush of the season.

~Whitney Victoria

 

Love Languages

(photo cred:)

Love, a language?  Oh, I am most definitely not fluent.

 I took the love language quiz again…I only remembered half-way.  I needed the full deets on my inner psyche.  It’s free!  You just have to create short profile.

It’s been pretty popular in years past and become a bit of a cliche but….In case you don’t know what a “love language” is, here goes: Your love language is the way someone needs to communicate with you in order for you to feel connected and ultimately loved.  I’m sure there’s someone in your life that just flummoxes you.  You know, like you just don’t know what really makes them happy.  You should take the quiz for yourself and then get them to take it. This is not just for romantic relationships; you can use the language results for children, parents, friends, co-workers, etc.

This is not to say you need to make someone else happy all the time by showering them with gifts (if they’re like me…).  I just think it’s a great tool to understand why someone did not respond the way you assumed they would to your actions and to maybe increase your connections.

Especially with the holidays happening like tomorrow, it’s something that might help you  have a smoother time conversing with relatives…hah!   Hey, you never know.  I found an interesting post about using it romantically if that’s what you’re looking for.

My results:

10 Receiving Gifts
8 Words of Affirmation
7 Quality Time
4 Physical Touch
1 Acts of Service

It’s insanely valid for me.  I know how much I appreciate getting a little note or present because it’s a physical sign that someone cared and was thinking about me.  It’s not about the actual material thing I receive. I’m 100% sure this is why I love giving presents to everyone around me!  I love it so much that I just want to share that good feeling it gives me.

Receiving Gifts

Receiving Gifts

Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures. Gifts are heartfelt symbols to you of someone else’s love and affection for you.
Words of Affirmation

Words of Affirmation

Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important— hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten. You thrive on hearing kind and encouraging words that build you up.
Quality Time

Quality Time

In Quality Time, nothing says “I love you” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes you feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed activities, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful. Whether itʼs spending uninterrupted time talking with someone else or doing activities together, you deepen your connection with others through sharing time.
Physical Touch

Physical Touch

A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, and thoughtful touches on the arm—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive. Appropriate and timely touches communicate warmth, safety, and love to you.
Acts of Service

Acts of Service

Can helping with homework really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most wants to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter. When others serve you out of love (and not obligation), you feel truly valued and loved.
I’d absolutely love to hear if you take the quiz and agree with the results!
~Whitney Victoria

 

Festivities – Food and Facials

Festiveness is everywhere!  In my food and self-care practices…

Festivity Part One: I had a facial today here.  It was heaven.   I chose the spa because they focus on natural ingredients.  I didn’t want harsh products on my poor face.  After my first facial I felt super red and slightly in pain and I’ve never had super bad skin so I can imagine what it’s like for other people.  This time was going to be different.  I had already decided that before booking an appointment.

Other than my skin looking a little lackluster lately, I didn’t have any major concerns to addresss.  I mainly wanted some advice on my type of skin and some sort of cleansing relaxation.  The “seasonal facial” was right up my alley.

This was the description: “A botanical experience perfect for all skin types featuring vitamin-rich holistic products that enhance your skin’s natural balance and vitality.  While your skin absorbs the healing properties of our masques, we’ll delight you with a decollete, full hand & arm exfoliation and body butter application followed by a warm tower hand wrap.”

The esthetician used hot buttered rum exfoliant, peppermint oil in my scalp massage, and some amazing cocoa face mask…yes.  It was like I was getting a facial in Christmas land.  So many hot towels draped over my eyes and my hands wrapped up.  It was so relaxing and my face was a tad red (as to be expected) but it also looked dewy and renewed.

She did tell me that I had small blocks all over and it wasn’t super noticeable to me because I have small pores.  She said that it was most likely caused by something topical.  I literally never wear foundation so I knew it must be my face cream.  Another fact I loved about the process was that I was given a “prescription sheet” of all the products she used on me in case I loved it and wanted to use something at home.  It was completely this brand, Eminence Organic Skincare, which I have never heard of before now.  It’s so tough for me to find something natural that also doesn’t cause any negative reactions or clogged pores.  The “calm” line was recommended since I’m pretty sensitive…of course I am.I’m not one to be talked into a ton of products but I want my skin to be something I’m proud of.  Instead of just choosing say the cleanser, or just the cream, I am trying this starter set so see how I like it.

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Seriously.  I loved every minute of it.  I’m currently working them into my schedule because this needs to happen every six weeks or so.

Festivity Part Two:

Oh man.  I had the best idea yesterday morning.  I had some time to actually use the stove for breakfast.  Normally I prep oatmeal the night before or  so I wanted good pancakes.  You know, with the little crispy edges that show up when you bake something in a pan?  I use coconut oil usually but there’s nothing wrong with real butter!  My stomach does not do well with egg yolks and I’m always on the lookout for something gluten free. My search led me to this easy recipe.  It’s actually a waffle recipe but they’re always the same and I was not dusting my waffle iron off for a batch of 2.

It was so simple yet I was almost out of my regular almond milk and didn’t think I could squeeze a 1/2 cup out of it.  I thought, “Hey!  Who says I can’t substitute that for my beloved Good Karma Holiday Nog?”

Let me tell you.  It’s one of the best “nogs” on the market right now.  I’ve tried most dairy-free kinds so that’s saying something.  It’s great straight up.  I can’t wait to down a glass with a little plateful of gluten-free almond cookies this season.  So…it had to be a great addition to my pancakes, right?

SOOO much better than I expected!  My pancakes tastes like sugar cookies!  I added just a hint of coconut oil at the end and drizzled some maple syrup but next time I wouldn’t even need that! The nog added its own sweetness.

Please try this recipe out!  I got my nog at Wegmans but this time of year it’s usually at Giant and Target too! You can use any kind of dairy-free nog (or any kind of milk, I think) but I think you’ll love the festive feel to this breakfast.

Holiday Nog Pancakes

(Makes 2 large pancakes)

1/2 cup gluten-free flour (I love Bob’s Red Mill gf blend.)

1/2 cup Good Karma Holiday Nog

2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking powder

Mix all ingredients together. Cook on medium heat in pan with melted coconut oil.  Flip once, when you see bubbles on the surface. It will take awhile!  Practice patience.

fullsizeoutput_20c4I’ll be making these all winter long.  Or at least as long as I can find great dairy-free, healthy drinks.

My favorite way to drink “egg” nog of the season.  Christmas Vacation will forever hold a place in my happy holiday heart.

~Whitney Victoria

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Supermoons and Staycays

Crazy lunar happenings this week.  It’s a supermoon (full moon) in Gemini and the first feels of Mercury in retrograde.  don’t worry if you missed the moon last night!  It’s the closest it’s been to Earth for all of 2017 right now so you can still see it in all it’s glory tonight.

The Moon is most powerful when at Full Moon, when her light outshines the light of the Sun and our emotions are stronger than our Solar consciousness. Just look at the Full Moon. The Full Moon is honest, the Full Moon reveals herself entirely. When full, the Moon wants to expose everything, to show things as they really are The Full Moon on the 3rd of December is in Gemini, and will be all about illuminating the truth. (source)

“The full Moon on the Gemini / Sagittarius axis is a quest for the truth.

In a few weeks, it will be Capricorn season-aka Whitney season. I can tell already.  I’ve decided years ago just how intuitive I am and I can honestly say I feel the effects of things like this.  There’s a spark in the air around my birthday.  It’s easier to hear my thoughts and drop facades and let myself have more fun.  I never put two and two together until now actually….that’s probably why I love the holidays!  I just always attributed it to being festive and in the spirit but now it all makes sense that it’s probably closely linked to my time of year.

I finally decided on a new planner from Danielle LaPorte for next year and I’m excited to use that little baby.  It’s beautiful and massive and full of good words.  Check it out!  LOVE the look and feel.

I’m using it this week to remember all the things I want to be and how I stopped myself from fulfilling that potential the past few months.  In a good way.  Nothing too deep…that’s not true.  I want to go real deep and listen to my soul (feel free to insert eye roll).  We teach people how to treat us by how we treat ourselves, which brings me to my second point.

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I have vacation this entire week.  Long story short: I had a trip planned that my inner self was so not feeling so I cancelled. The minute I got my hotel refund, I felt crazy relief.  What I’ve been craving was time away but not away.  You get it? (Staycay?  Yes way!  Hah!) Now I’m doing some major R&R and detoxing in the form of workouts, clean eating, and home organization and cleansing ala Marie Kondo. Attachment gets us nowhere, my friends. I also have scheduled a facial.  It’s literally been years since I had one and I don’t want to wait until my skin hates me to start that pampering.  Lets be proactive. I’m not getting any younger, although it is said to be true that Capricorns age in reverse.  I can attest to the fact that I used to think I was like a 35 year old and serious as a jr. high kid.  Now I think I’m 16.  Don’t hate me when I’m youthfully glowing at age 72.

Anyway, enjoy the holiday vibes going on just about everywhere and take time for YOU in between all that present shopping.

Case in point below.  A wonderful Whole Foods trip that involved lots of gifts for family members also included me finding this (yet-to-be tasted) Mint Cocoa Califia Farms almond milk creamer.  Um yeah, I bought it for myself.  It was a necessity.  All in the name of self-love.  As was posing for a pic in front of the bulk nuts. IMG_6680

Be good to yourself this time of the month!  It’s not just the full moon phase; it’s almost a new calendar year.  2018 is in sight.  This is when you reassess and are able to see things in a new light.  We all have things we want to leave behind. It might have been wonderful once but nothing is meant to last forever and stay the same.

There’s nothing wrong with moving on from what no longer serves us.  Make room for the new surprises.

~Whitney Victoria

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