Whitney Lately Vol. 2

Admiring lately:IMG_8663

Lower Manhattan

This is from a recent Uber ride from Brooklyn to MSG to eat gluten free pizza and have have macaroons from the bus station. This view will be a part of my daily life.  It’s always been in me.

Crushing lately:

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Tone It Up Bikini Series 

“Crushing” might be a little strong but I’m officially on the last day of the TIU Bikini Series.  I gotta say, it’s 8 weeks, but those weeks really did fly by.  There’s an app that has free daily moves every day.  Each day is dedicated to a certain body part you’re working.  You swipe through the moves and then the last screen is this one.  A little encouragement is always welcome.

Seriously check it out.  I’m a TIU girl now for the long run.

Sipping lately:

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Knoebel’s Cookie Nook

All the iced coffee  

I’m loving my coffee cold even more so than usual.  It just tastes sooo good to me this time of year.  Who am I kidding?  It tastes good any time of the year but in winter my hands start to freeze if I don’t get hot drinks.  But then again, that’s what I have gloves for.

Researching lately:

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Summer Events

On July 18 I am going to an event for the Almost 30 podcast  in NYC and I cannot wait.  I took the day off  and the next day just because I’ll get back late on a “school night.”  Even though the event only starts at 6:30 pm, I’m planning on taking some time in the city before it starts.  Right now, my schedule is wide open.  I’m a planner but I’m working on being more flexible with my schedule.  It’s actually way tougher than I thought it would be when I started to work on this trait a few months ago.  I actually feel stress when I have something “fun” planned but I don’t have an entire, completed, highly-detailed itinerary in my possession.  Anyway…I am slowly getting there and am allowing myself to enjoy some true free time.  So, for this day trip I had to at least have some things in mind.  As we speak I have a few options:

  • Catch a matinee show on Broadway (This most def. revolves around finding a good price.)
    • Currently cruising this site right here for tips and tricks – Last Minute Broadway Tickets
    • I’m dying to see Anastasia and Dear Evan Hansen (amazing music that I only know because of my Greatest Showman Pandora station)
  • Find a new cafe and people watch while I enjoy a great coffee and pastry
  • Eat at a top chef restaurant for lunch and take my time enjoying the meal
  • FINAAAALLLY go to a Soul Cycle class
    • I so want to do this eventually but my main reason for most likely striking this one from the docket is that I won’t look super cute for the Almost 30 shindig a few hours later
  • Possibly find a semi-affordable hotel for the night so I can leisurely enjoy myself without rushing home at 9pm

Watching Lately:

Imposters TV show on Bravo: ratings (cancel or season 2?)
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Imposters

This was just recommended to me by a friend and I’m hooked.  A Bravo show that follows a team of con artists and the jilted marks who are trying to catch them.  I”m currently catching up on the first season on Netflix and will probably finish it in a few days.

Tonight I’m heading to see Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and can’t wait.  I haven’t looked at a single review because I want to just go enjoy Chris Pratt, Jeff Goldblum, and some Velociraptors.

 

Whitney Lately Vol. 1

Listening Lately:

Jess Glynne, Ella Henderson, and Leona Lewis

Those empowering girl singers were my music of choice this week.

I love this song.  It makes me want to smile and dance around in the kitchen.

Watching lately:

Grace & Frankie: Binge-watch an old lady show?  Check.  It’s hilarious and I’m sad I’m all caught up and have to wait months for new eps.

Drinking lately:

Mango LaCroix 

Love love love sparkling water for when I need something other than plain water or coffee. I picked up this flavor at Whole Foods.  It’s now my current fave.

Eating lately:

Gluten free Chocolate Molten Lava Cake

This warm, melty chocolate cake was excellent with the cold ice cream from The Peanut Bar. I’m impressed it was gluten free! It would have been a little too sweet all to myself though. It’s meant to be shared!

Wearing lately:

Leather half gloves

I’m obsessed with keeping my hands soft, especially in the winter, but I hate the fact that gloves are either too big for my child-sized hands or they’re bulky and don’t let me pick up anything.  These are so cute.  (Butttt, not warm. I wore them in NYC in December last year and almost got frost bite. I had to buy thicker gloves in Bryant Park because I literally couldn’t use my fingers at that point. Sorry!  Style over comfort every time. )

Mine were from eBay like five years ago. Here is a similar pair.

Loving lately:

2018 Winter Olympics

PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics

The Olympics only happen every 2 years and obviously, the Winter is every 4 years, so this is big!  Closely related to my addiction to sports movies, the Olympics are the best of the best for inspo of all kinds.  Endless motivational stories and competitions and history-in-the-making for 2.5 weeks straight! I’ve been watching them for as long as I can remember.  No lie. Like, probably since Keri Strug stuck her landing. I had a kid’s book about Michelle Kwan and I’m still semi-crushing on Apolo Ohno. Ahh, I can’t wait! Whitney heaven.

Have a lovely weekend!  Do something that lights you up.

~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

 

 

November’s First Wellness Wednesday

Had a free coffee at Barnes and Noble.  My darling mother gave me a coupon! Because it’s delicious and I like plain old iced coffee.  Side note: a few people had subtle Halloween costumes on and I take back what I said about being over it;  I feel a little Scrooge-like not even wearing my black cat earrings.  Oh well.  It doesn’t have to be a recognized holiday for me to celebrate and dress up.  IMG_6187

 

November is here!  I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving and the second best holiday, Black Friday (it’s my shopping Olympics!). The month is a the 11th month on the calendar.  11 is a master number if you know anything about numerology.  I’d like to know more.  I didn’t believe in it until recently when I suddenly realized I really am characteristic of a 5…too much?

Isn’t my cat calendar adorable?  I have it on my shelf at my desk.  I bought it in Bryant Park last year and got my sister a Corgi shaped one too.

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I wanted to throw in a snap of one of my magnets.  Let’s stop waiting for things.  This isn’t a dress rehearsal.

IMG_6196We all know it’s a cliche now, but I truly believe in the Law of Attraction.  Turns out, almost everyone successful, famous, happy, etc. does too.  Einstein, Tesla, Will Smith, Oprah, the list goes on and on.  It doesn’t have to be some hokey principle that you follow like a cult, although you can be as open about it as you wish.  Basically every athlete sees themselves making the shot/goal/play before they do it.  They’re visualizing themselves as a success.  They feel themselves being who they want to be before it happens in real life.

You act how you want to feel.  You follow things that make you happy.  Those actions lead to more joyful things.

That is all.  Simple, right?  You got it?  Oh good.  Tell me how easy it is.

The more you quiet your mind and sit still for a little, the easier it is to hear where you’re being led.  It’s 1000x easier for your inspired thoughts to come through if you practice meditation.  I used to think it was pretentious to say “I practice mediation.  I’ve been neglecting my bikram yoga practice.”  What, can’t I just “do” yoga?? Why is it such an important thing like a medical practice?  But then, i read somewhere why they call it a “practice.”  It’s hard and you are always going to be progressing and gaining strength and mental focus.  Same goes for meditation. (Tomorrow I’m going to tell you about my experiences with meditation.  You know, really dive deep.)

I had a major epiphany a few months ago and can now see the person I want to be.  That sounds silly but it’s true.  Sooo, I’ve been experimenting and asking myself what I’d do as future me before I make a decision.  It’s magic.  Maybe I clearly know myself more than others, so I’m not sure this would work for everyone.  However, it’s pretty simple when my mind is clear to hear my true thoughts.

Back to attracting.  It’s not about changing what you don’t like, it’s about not focusing on it at all.

Yesterday, I went for a run.  I still haven’t been back on track and I decided to take a different mental approach.  I slept in instead of the gym visit I had planned and honestly thought, “What would I do if I was the person who I know I”m supposed to be?”  Oh, I would readjust my schedule and go running after work!  I could see myself being proud and having that great, sweaty, accomplished tiredness.  All that is exactly what prompted me to pack my workout gear and take it along so I could change and head to the trails immediately after work.  It was a hard 3 miles.  I needed to remember this.  Even at the height of working out, it was still difficult! I’ve slacked so much in the last three months and have’t been consistent with any specific exercise for awhile.  But, I started making it a practice of mine to have (mostly) positive thoughts when I run.  Even if it’s tough and I want to stop, I make sure to turn it around and give myself a pep talk.  Sometimes I play games with myself, like I’ll run to the next tree then slow down if I really need it.  Or, I won’t look at my Garmin until the next miles beeps.  I’m not into music when I run outside and it’s funny because every now and then I start singing a song in my head.  It’s a fun thing that passes the time.

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Yes, those are tiny gnats on my face.  P.S. that shirt is from the little boys’ section of Walmart.  It was literally $1.  I wear it more than my expensive Brooks tops.

It’s all about not focusing on the hard stuff.  I could easily think, “oh my god.  It’s cold. I’m done,” the entire time and end up miserable.  But I know how great I feel when it’s over, knowing I persevered.  Today was good for me because it was chilly and I forgot how much breathing in cold air makes it even tougher to breathe.  I had some side stitches because I haven’t stuck to my normal decently healthy diet that I would do when running regularly.  There was a moment when I was mad at myself for letting my fitness level slip.  Right then, I had a small/instrumentally huge thought. Maybe it’s because I’ve gotten good at switching gears to happy thoughts or maybe the universe told me but this is what I thought:

“It never has to be this hard again.”

That’s right.  I could take where I was at that moment and keep moving.

Every time I run I’ll progress.  Even if it feels physical just as tough, my mental state will have improved.

There never has to be a day that I quit.  I always get a second chance to do it again.

~Whitney Victoria

 

Fall Challenges

I did it.  I signed up for another challenge.  I’d say it’s an addiction and it was a little bit but this one is different.  I’ve done it before and I legitimately enjoyed the process.

This is much needed.  Nothing health-related has been exciting to me for quite awhile.  I was, by no means, in tip-top shape a few months ago but I felt great about it.  Exercise 5-6 days a week had become my norm.  I consistently logged what I was eating and if I had treats, I would account for them at other meals.  This worked.  I liked it.  I felt strong and healthier.

But, then I did too much.  I did three halfs with little time in between to rest. The pendulum swung to one end a littler further than I should have let it.  Without fully realizing it, I started to rebel and didn’t want anyone (myself included) telling me what to do. After my last half marathon last October, I took time off from running.  The problem was I decided to listen to myself and figured I would know what I was ready to get back on the road.  That time never came.  I attempted to do easy workouts, like walking or the elliptical and a few weight workouts here and there.   I started sleeping in and skipping them.  I’d go a few days in a row and then decide I’d feel better with one more hour of sleep instead.  Guess what?  I rarely did.

Morning gym sessions are vital to my health success.  I’m for an evening class too but it’s so much easier to talk myself out of them or to be busy with something else.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who normally doesn’t have anything scheduled at 5am!  That time is quiet and my own to do with whatever I please.  There are only a handful of days that I felt more tired after working out in the AM.  (And that was when I’d run 6+ miles to fit into a training schedule.)

My eating went downhill with it.  It’s such a close link. When I run regularly, I naturally eat more whole foods and don’t really get cravings.  It can’t be obsessive with tracing every little thing down to the crumb, but when I reach for snacks mindlessly, I never feel full or satisfied. I’m constantly thinking I need something to fill me up.  IMG_5482

So many positives come out of sticking to healthy habits.  Mentally, I feel more awake.  Emotionally I feel great about myself, knowing what I just did before others even got out of bed. Physically I’m stronger, lighter, and more alive.

I’m worth more than the junk I’ve been feeding myself.  I’m worth more than sitting on the couch night after night.  I’m especially worth more than the excuses I’ve told myself why “tomorrow” I’ll be better.

When you take yourself out of the game for too long, your mind gives you reasons why it’s not worth it to get back out there.  It’s always worth it.

So, what am I doing about it?

My favorite girl trainers from Tone It Up have a 21 Day Fall Challenge that started today.  It’s free!  There are a few workouts that are extra and if you’re not a member you don’t see every single recipe but you can easily do the entire challenge without paying a cent. I enlisted my sister to do this with me.  I’ve actually never done any kind of workout program or training with anyone else!  I think this will help me stay accountable long enough to remember everything I love about fitness.  Muscle memory is a real thing and totally becomes a habit to get up at the crack of dawn, when it’s still dark and freezing.

Here’s the gist:

Workouts: 21 Days of workouts consisting of 21 reps/movement.  At the beginning of each week, you get the workouts you’re supposed to do for each day.  Some days there is 20-30 minutes cardio/HIIT and the your Daily Moves.

Meals: You are given 3 weeks worth of meal plans.  TIU is known for having 5 meals/day. You should limit starches after meal 3. No fried food, artificial ingredients, or added sugar.  It sounds like a lot but it’s actually pretty simple.  If you’re not feeling creative, you can follow the meal calendar to the “T,” but there are so many options you will never run out of combinations.  Meal 1 is oats, protein pancakes, eggs and veggies.  Meal 2 is usually a piece of fruit and maybe some nut butter.  Meal 3 is probably a salad but they have tons of flavor and dressing ideas that I’ve never thought of and every one I’ve made has been great.  Meal 4 is a low carb snack like a clean protein bar or hummus and carrots.  They have recipes for everything!  Peanut butter cookies, pumpkin pie overnight oats, avocado toast, etc.

My new favorite mug ($5.99 at Target) had leftover Starbucks Americano.  I made a quick  snack for meal 1.  Gluten free granola, goji berries, coconut flakes, and dates.  It was really good too.  IMG_5473There’s a free community you can connect with on Facebook, Instagram, or the TIU site.  Anyone doing the workouts and eating the same food, can “check-in” and talk to other members.  Everything i’ve experienced has been positive. I’ve never tried any sort of eating plan that had such range but was also easy and clean.  This is not an infomercial!  I’m just into it.

Today I ran 2 miles and did 3 sets of weighted exercises.  I had trail mix, eggs with veggie sausage and sweet potatoes, a protein bar, green beans with chicken, and an amazing pear and arugula salad with fish on the side.  Doesn’t that sound like a ton of food??  It was.  I wasn’t hungry at all but I wasn’t disgustingly full either.  That’s it.  I meal prepped some things and wrote down what I’m eating.  That little bit of preparation is worth everything.  I made oatmeals, washed lettuce, roasted a mixture of vegetables, and planned out my snacks.

This salad was delicious and I want to eat it all the time!IMG_5485I’m ready to have a go at a new lifestyle instead of a “challenge” with an end date.  Even though this is technically a 21 day feat, the entire premise is for life.  Periodically they do these types group challenges to kickstart your habits and/or get in touch with girls in the same mindset.  It’s not very gimmicky.  It’s more of a way of living.

By me putting it out here, I’m holding myself a little more accountable.  It was not fun knowing most of my jeans are crazy tight right now.  But, it’s a sign I need to get back to my real self.  It’s not telling me to throw in the towel!

It’s only the end of Day 1 but it honestly feels like just a simple, healthy day.  Nothing crazy but everything good.

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Everyone is capable of change, no matter where they are in life.

~Whitney Victoria

Starting Over!

Good morning!

Mondays are my favorite.  I’m crazy.

The weekend was fun!  I did some new things…like making a wreath and eating gourmet tater tots.

I’ve been on a quest to be super cliche and “follow my bliss.”  I don’t think I’m alone in that it’s much harder than it sounds.  Most of us have spent our lives doing things in order to make others happy or to at least appease them.  You say or don’t say this or that because of what someone thinks.  You say “yes” to a party you desperately don’t want to go to just because you feel bad turning down the invite.  Etcetera, Etcetera…

So, I’ve tried to pause and examine “why” I’m doing what I’m doing.   Is it really going to make me happy?

Things that made me happy this weekend to follow.

My Charlotte Olympia knock-off cat flats and my pleather leggings.  😻

IMG_5426Holiday decorating!  Before: It took me 20 minutes holding up flowers and accoutrements together in AC Moore for me to pick out the supplies.  Next time I’m going for the bigger wreath.IMG_5122IMG_8530IMG_5116After!  It’s a little different for “fall” colors but that’s what I was going for.  As much as I love oranges and leaf hues, this season I was ready for something new.img_4756.jpg

Saturday was an open house at Sorrelli to meet the founder, Lisa Oswald.  The brand started in Kutztown in 1983 and is now sold internationally.  I love that she went to KU too!IMG_5431Sorrelli has a jewelry store in Kutztown that all about the glitz.  There’s a reason their instagram handle is @sorrellisparkle.  The whole store glitters and is full of pieces you want to try on and fantasize about wearing to a gala. There are cuter, more dainty collections too if you’re not all shine all the time.  Everything has a unique shape and look that just screams Sorrelli.  You can tell. img_5442.jpg

I was enamored with the jewel tone collection.  I usually don’t even like purple!  But this caught my eye and needed to come home with me.  The combination of purples and blues are magic.  Plus, I can wear each piece separately if I’m not into the matching set.img_5441.jpgThere were snacks!  Free food is always a draw for me.  I had a baby biscotti and a kir Royale…totally never new what it was until I drank it.  Now I think I love them!  It’s champagne and Chambord.  There’s something classy and magnificent about carrying around a champagne glass.  img_5444.jpgIMG_5447If you bought something at the event, you got a signed tote or jewelry role from Lisa.  Obviously, we bought things!  I’m going to use the tote, I’m over that stuff you keep somewhere, because it’s special and then never enjoy.  IMG_5445IMG_6770There just so happens to be a fabulous doughnut shop darn the block from Sorrelli.  IMG_5476IMG_5439We split two so we could both try different flavors.  They’re small but in a good way.

Blueberry Crumbcake!IMG_5477French Toast!IMG_5478Even a plain doughnut would be great because the dough is that flaky, and delightful. Mmmm.IMG_5479

I enjoyed some interesting “tater tots” with crab salad on top here. Hmm, would I order them again?  Possibly.  IMG_5450Sunday morning meal planning at Giant before shopping!  I had an Americano and tiny hits of gluten for breakfast.  Two French Toast Bantam bagels.  They were delicious.  If you look closely, you can see they’re about the size of a golf ball and are closed bagels filled with cream cheese.  It’s a pretty genius idea.  I had no clue they were actually backed by Shark Tank investors!IMG_5462Sunday night meditations.  I mentally prepped for getting back to my healthy status. It’s long overdue and I can trace it back to around January when I stopped being motivated to my natural level.

This candle smells heavenly.IMG_4486Enjoy your Monday everyone!

Follow your happiness.

Do something that excites you today!

~Whitney Victoria