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
source

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!

Christmas EveIMG_7130Christmas DayIMG_7172

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

source
Advertisements

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!

IMG_6921

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

 

Christmas Countdown Is On

I’m a little concerned it’s already December 18.  This time of year goes the fastest and some people probably like that but I like to savor it all.  But who’s to say I can’t keep celebrating past Christmas?  Maybe it’s not readily available but I can buy peppermint candies all year round and make my own mochas.

I watched a bunch of Christmas movies while wrapping my presents over the weekend.  I can honestly say it took me about 6 hours…not really complaining!

The past week involved tons of great food.  I tried a bunch of new recipes and with a few tiny tweaks, I’d say they were mostly all keepers.

I broke out my Gwyneth cookbook.  Cherry tomatoes and arugula were in my fridge and they needed to be used. It’s full of good, Whole food and love the variety of recipes.)img_6752.jpgI could have ate the entire bowl of them.  I’ve roasted tomatoes before but the ratio of EVOO was just perfect.  I only used the below recipe for them, not the rest that’s mentioned.

IMG_6750Seriously.  Look at them!  Perfectly blistered and browned.IMG_6748I had some smoked salmon so I really wanted to incorporate that as the protein.  For a dressing I used this one just with balsamic vinegar instead of red wine, only because that’s what I had in the house.  It made a lot so I’ve had extra dressing all week!img_6763.jpg

My favorite part might have been the sour cream corn bread.  I used Ina’s recipe from Make it Ahead and fell I love with it.  I substituted coconut palm sugar instead and gluten free flour!img_6772.jpg Forget what you think about dry, crumbly cornbread.  This is not that at all.  It’s moist and soft and did not need any topping to be delicious.  Ina recommends butter and strawberry jam!  She also said you could could toast it but mine fell apart a little.  However, warmed up was amazing.

It was a nice carb addition to the salad.  We all need it.  IMG_6780

A few days later I still had sour cream leftover and needed a reason to use it.  My brilliant idea was to use it in scones.  It’s been awhile.  I was on a huge scone kick awhile back and love the way sour cream or buttermilk change the texture.  This was my one recipe semi-failure… let’s say #Pinterestfail.

I laid out all my ingredients but somehow forgot to add the brown sugar.  Now, if you know scones, they’re not meant to be very sweet so these are still edible but I had planned on giving them as a thank you present.  Yeah, that wasn’t happening.  I have standards.  I did eat one for breakfast with coffee anyway!  I added chopped dates and pecans and will try these again one day.  After Christmas!

After that debacle, I was out of butter so I found an interesting cookie using olive oil.  Now, I really liked these.  I’m not sure what everyone else thinks since they are definitely different.  The fleur del sel and olive oil added a gourmet depth that most cookies don’t have. I think I’d leave about 1/4 cup of sugar out next time.  They were pretty darn sweet.  or maybe use bittersweet chocolate chips!  fimg_6875.jpgMy last little culinary experience involved a greattttt cappuccino and a gluten-free peanut butter chocolate free cake.  As much as I love coffee, I’m a little boring sometimes and stick with black.  This cappuccino was down right wonderful.  The cake was good too, but I totally could have just eaten the peanut butter mousse layer in the middle and I would have been sold! (The capp was much prettier before I took a sip!)IMG_6869

7 Days until Christmas!

~Whitney Victoria

Commitment Issues

It’s not what you think.  Well, maybe a little.  The last month or so I’ve really noticed how much I sign up for, RSVP “yes” to, and overall commit to doing that I just don’t actually want to do.  I’m an over-committer.

I’ve always been reliable and professional.  Committing to things seemed like a perfect way to prove that I was grown-up and trustworthy.  It was like a way to give myself proof  that I was doing the right thing.  Flaky people don’t complete fitness challenges or make plans months in advance, right?  It’s been my goal up until recently to present my best self to everyone at all times. That’s another major issue…but this lead me to care so much what people thought of me that I usually didn’t stop to think why I wanted to do it.

I’ve seen too many people cancel at the last minute or show up late or go from obsessing over the latest trend to forgetting all about it a month later.  For a reason I’m still unsure of, I labeled that kind of behavior “bad” or “wrong.”  Obviously, I didn’t want anyone to think of me that way.

I’m crediting mostly my amazing week in NJ at a Tony Robbins event with finally realizing who I want to be and how much I’m not being that person.  (Also another huge, long story, but truly groundbreaking for me.)

After that moment of seeing it all before me, it dawned on me that so many of my commitments I did in order to feel a certain way.  I’d force myself to go to meetings or show up for a shift of whatever when really I wanted to be at home baking or at the gym in a class. It’s been years since I’ve not had almost every single moment planned out.  I even made (make…I’m a work in progress) lists for my days off.  I’ll write down “watch Grey’s Anatomy, roast vegetables, shower.”  Seriously, I’ve written “shower” on my to-do lists…like I’d forget or something.

What I didn’t realize is that the things I’d forget to do probably weren’t things that got me excited or led me to some kind of joyful outcome.  I’m getting better and letting go and going with my impulses.  They don’t steer me wrong.  I just have to breathe and listen.

Maybe 2 weeks ago I told several people that they shouldn’t allow me to sign up for anything unless it was a one-time thing like one yoga class until the new year.  No going to that class and then buying a 10-class package so I’d pigeon-hole myself into going, thinking it was for my own good when really it would make me miserable.

This week I thought, “wait, me making a pact to not commit to anything is exactly the kind of stupid rules and games I’m trying to quit.”

It’s actually not about never making plans.  It’s about only doing things that make me happy.  That’s what matters.

In lighter news, my pecan pie was made using Pillsbury cinnamon rolls as the crust and this recipe for the filling.  (No corn syrup!)  It was pretty good but I think I’d like more filling next time since the rolls absorbed a lot of the moisture when baking. img_6523.jpgThe outfit.  Simple, festive-enough, and all pieces I already owned.  Weird for me, but I loved it this year. img_6546.jpgIt’s a tradition to go to Murdough’s Christmas Barn after eating Thanksgiving dinner.  This ornament is straight-up Law of Attraction.IMG_6548I appointed myself the table place card maker.  I found these little ornaments and tags.  I kept it simple and wrote each person’s name, after attaching the pinecones.  It was cute and something everyone could take home.img_6140.jpgIMG_5965

IMG_6531My tiny Hello Kitty tree is up at work!  Lucky I have a huge desk to fit all my holiday decorations.img_6561.jpg

Black Friday was goooood to me.  I got this tree for $23.  I’m fine with a semi-straggly tree this year when it’s just me enjoying it.  I’ve always been partial to the Charlie Brown trees of the lot anyway.  It’s clearly still in the works but at least it’s up!

img_6560.jpgOne month exactly until my birthday.  I like to do a little soul-searching this time of year. I’m striving for following my instincts so I can do more of what I love, more of the time.

~Whitney Victoria

cold weather, cozy weather

Hats, scarves,gloves!  Tights, boots, real coats.  I wore it all this week.  I think even if you hate the cold, there is plenty to look forward to once the nip gets in the air.

IMG_6333

I actually went to the mall the other day, mostly to see the Christmas decorations, under the guise of searching for black riding boots.   People might seem more bustling during the holidays but I think it’s a time to slow down.  When the weather turns cold, it’s a sign we should cozy up under blankets, wear thick sweaters, don your long-johns!  It’s my favorite thing in the morning to blast my car heater on the way to work.

I think it’s in my DNA as a winter baby to love it but this is when I feel the most hopeful, like magic can happen.  Christmas miracles and all that.

There’s so much to look forward to!  The best gifts are out starting now-December 24th.   I get sooo excited seeing it all out in stores.  (Online shopping is not fun to me!) Shopping this time of year has a philanthropic feel to me.  I’m getting presents and decorations to share with everyone I love! Like this insanely cute Corgi sweater leggings.

img_6338.jpgAnd I’m convinced I need to buy the two bags of Starbucks coffee just to get this tiny tote bag for myself for free!  I’m obsessed with that quote.  It’s me. img_6347.jpgI saw the bags while getting my first Cranberry Bliss Bar.  I NEED to find a healthy homemade recipe this season.  They’re so good but not really worth the sugar too often for me.  Once in a while is just perfect!img_6330.jpg

This weekend was our big push for the Best Kept Secrets Tour.  I’ll expand on that later.  It’s so fun!

Christmas candy abound at Reppert’s.  I had so many free samples at 10am Saturday that I will legit admit my breakfast was pure chocolate.

The best way to describe me and free samples is this:

My mom picked up raspberry jellies, vanilla caramels, and peanut butter chocolates for Thanksgiving and we’re both anxious to eat them! If anyone wants holiday candy, check it out!  They even had Nittany Lion and cornucopia shaped chocolates.  Surprisingly, I walked away with just a bag of root beer barrels!  They’re delicious and remind me of picking hard candy out of a basket at my grandparents’.IMG_6378I’m an old cat lady, except even sadder because I don’t have a cat at the moment.  Hah!  I loved this sign so much.  I’ll just skip the nap bit.IMG_6353

This is a selfish bonus screenshot for you!  Ina Garten posting about Taylor.  <3 Made my day being reminded how much these two love each other.fullsizeoutput_1fd8.jpeg

I’m making these!  No Bake Peppermint Bark Cookies. How have I missed this recipe previous years??  They’re like 5 minutes.f

No-Bake Peppermint Bark Cookies | The Suburban Soapbox

You guys can have your pumpkin stuff! “Peppermint Everything” is my motto this time of year.   Anyone have favorite seasonal things they love seeing?

Feel the holiday cheer.  It’s out there if you take notice.

~Whitney Victoria