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

Reputations

I’m entirely excited and in major anticipation for Reputation.  I have had “Call It What You Want” on repeat for the last week.  One. More. Day. People.  I may have all the songs pre-released already memorized.  I’m planning my concert outfit.  I’m buying a sweatshirt like Taylor’s on the cover. No shame whatsoever.

I realized I never showcased the beautiful architecture in Connecticut, mostly on the Yale campus, so here goes.

This is the The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion  that we just stopped by to check out.  It was closed the only day we could see it but the exterior was so cool to see from the walking trails around it.  It was built in 1864 and has been used for several movie scenes.  Just walking the grounds around it felt eerie to me.  There was definitely some kind of strange presence. IMG_5624IMG_5622IMG_5619

After that, we heading to New Haven to see the Yale campus.  It was better than I imagined.  I expected like 2 buildings to have some cool windows or whatever.  Old Campus was made up almost entirely of Victorian Gothic structures.  So beautiful.

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Sorry I’m wearing the same outfit in every pic.  There was no time or place for a wardrobe change.

You can’t get the whole feel of the campus by the odd angles and view we took.  All in an attempt to capture the enormousness and detail of the buildings.

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Every door was immense and intimidating.  I loved how the student id scanners were placed on the crazy old gates.  Some buildings were built in 1750!

Yes, there was tons of ivy at the ivy league.  This picture doesn’t do it justice.  Some halls had it growing up the entire side of the building and down on the ground floor.

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There was a great street with shops and little restaurants so we had to hit the college bookstore.

IMG_5659IMG_5774IMG_5896I had just grabbed ice cream when we decided it was necessary for one last souvenir.  I bought a mug…it makes me feel super collegiate while drinking my coffee.IMG_5703IMG_5705On the way home we found some cute shops in New Canaan as well.  The fox is my spirit animal.  I had to pose.img_5845.jpg

This was the best!  My own personal store had unique little gifts and table decor.

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Look at the sister store that was next door!

IMG_5926Our night ended in Westport at the prettiest Anthropologie I’ve ever laid eyes on.IMG_5831IMG_5780img_5711.jpgimg_5713.jpg

Anyone else buying Taylor’s album?  You know you want to.

“T” minus 1 day.

~Whitney Victoria

Grocery Love

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My name is Whitney and I’m addicted to grocery stores.  One of my favorite things to do is walk around the grocery store.  Well, I discovered my new fave place.  I went to Connecticut with my mom, on a whim.  I picked a town that was local to a few areas I wanted to hit.  Norwalk fit the bill.  There wasn’t all that much to do there as far as “tourist” attractions go, but I did find Stew Leonard’s on several lists all over the internet.

As much as I like a good food store, I still was a little confused why it made TripAdvisor’s “Things To Do in Norwalk.”  And, then we walked inside.  There was time to kill our first day in town so we thought it was something to check out, even if we just ended up with a snack for later.

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Of course we took pics in a grocery store!  It was totally swarmed with shoppers the first time we went so we actually ended up there our last morning to leisurely walk the aisles.

The floral section was beautiful!  They had fresh lavender which is not all that common to find. IMG_5610img_5612.jpgWe need to talk about the rainbow, unicorn bagels.  I thought they were legend and only existed in a big, fancy city bagelry.  Isn’t that bagel bin a beauty?img_5977.jpgIMG_6018It was even prettier inside!  I’m 100% sure the bagel was amazing and would have been despite it looking like Play-Doh.  Light, fluffy, airy.  Mmmm.IMG_6027Some macarons made their way home with us.  The chocolate one was fudge and creamy.img_6003.jpgDark potato chips are a weakness.  These did not disappoint. IMG_5773The first thing that’s around the corner when you walk in, is the coffee and juice bar!  That made me happy from the first step inside.  IMG_5931I went for a mix of 1/4 hazelnut, 3/4 iced Columbian.  Very excellent.IMG_5864Just a girl among her coffee bean barrels.IMG_5971I’m obsessed with lobster rolls and order them whenever possible.  I LOVE that Connecticut has them to-go!  Seriously, one of my favorite goods and I’ll take them any way I can get them. IMG_5744Since Stew Leonard’s is a “dairy store,” they even had part of the assembly line in the store to watch!  IMG_5812

A sad, unphotographed item was edible cookie dough.  It was a massive chunk that I bought for dessert.  It’s long gone.  There was an ice cream counter attached to the store and they actually serve and ice cream cone with one scoop cookie dough, one scoop ice cream!

There were lots of samples too, which is always good in my eyes.  I had an apple cider doughnut hole and some great sugared pizelle pieces.

I’m a Fuji apple gal but Honeycrisp are my mom’s favorites and they are a pretty close second for me.  Stew’s even had Honeyscrisp apple cider!

img_5996.jpgimg_5826-e1508456178598.jpgAnyone else LOVE grocery stores, food, and shopping for treats?

~Whitney Victoria

Travel Plans

Anticipation is like a drug.  Having anything exciting in the pipeline makes me look forward to each day.

I’m in my best flow when I’m doing!  Talking about fun events and things you love is amazing when you’re getting in the positive zone.  But, it’s even more powerful when you let your thoughts stop racing, listen to your gut, and take action.

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Action doesn’t have to be fast-paced or wide-reaching.  It starts with a single move and ripples out from there.

I have tried to hold myself back from signing up for things and joining new groups and volunteering because I would end up with no free time for myself.

After meditating for the last few months, I can more easily identify my feelings and know what I’ll be excited to do before putting my name on the list.  It’s like my mind is clear or something…hah.  Anyone can do it and sit still for a few minutes.  You can.

Now I’m way more likely to raise my hand for some wonderful opportunity.

Skydiving?  I’m there. Just say when.

An impromptu long weekend road trip?  Hello!  I’m riding shotgun.

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Speaking of trips, I’ve been toying around with the idea of use some of my vacay days (the ones that need to be used by December 31).  I’m a little obsessed with New England.  Maine is a little too far to drive and I didn’t feel like booking a flight.  Connecticut wins!

I was all prepared to go myself since I wasn’t sure I’d find anyone else who had time to kill and who I could stand traveling with….Luckily I enjoy traveling with my mom.  She also thought my idea sounded like a great idea!

Two or three years ago we took a Fall trip to Rehoboth.  It was sooo fun and different being at the beach in not summer.

10733820_10152500404640765_5490963069104671943_oWe’re leaving Sunday morning for Norwalk, CT.  Monday I’m planning a visit to New Haven.  Then Tuesday we’ll explore the town a little bit before leaving of home.  I’m so into making travel plans and have spent the last few days reading Yelp reviews and visitCT.org. I love it all.  This trip is not about planning everything like crazy so I’m leaving my detailed itinerary a little open.  Oxymoron?  Not for me!

I need structured freedom!

I found a decent hotel with vacancy.  There’s a top-rated vegan restaurant in New Haven.  There are several lighthouses and harbors along our route!  Whenever I make the decision to follow my instinct, things magically align and come together.

I can’t wait to share all my pics and moments from the trip!  The anticipation has me all crazy!  That’s a good thing, in my book, people.

Follow your heart and let it lead you to something magical.

~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

Tigers Eye Tuesdays

It’s okay.  I ran today.  That’s what I need to share with you guys.  It’s tough to convince yourself after weeks (possibly months…whoops!) of not running that it’s a good idea again.  I had this moment sitting at my desk that I just knew I needed to get outside. My gear was in my car so I headed to my first choice trail.  I always carry pepper spray on the paths and don’t wear headphones.  I have more control over my thoughts without music blaring in my ears and I like to be aware of my surroundings.  It was just 2 miles but I felt alive and accomplished afterward.  Something that helps me with motivation and protection on a regular basis is tigers eye.  So….IMG_5389.JPG

I’m back with some crystal clarity.

Tigers Eye has been one of my faves when I was little and had a rock collection.  There are a few types but I’m mostly referring to the most common today Golden Tigers Eye.   It’s goldish brown and has a stripe running through it that looks like the “eye of the tiger.”  It’s mystical.  That stripe seems to move with the light.

I wear this bracelet probably 5-7 days a week.  My mom made if for me and I love the energy infused in it.  It’s a little reminder I’m strong and protected everytime I see or feel it.fullsizeoutput_1da7I thought it was a good choice to highlight this stone in October because this month is about stepping into your greatness and getting clear on your true desires.

Tigers Eye

Quick Stats:

  • Element: Fire
  • Astrological association: Capricorn
  • Chakra: Solar Plexus
  • Message: Embrace your personal power
  • Properties:
    • Good luck
    • Protection
    • Clarity and inner focus
    • Courage and determination
    • Prosperity

I love this description.  I want to be a Radiant Warrior.

Lori A Andrus | Step into your sacred Path

Here’s more insight from Energy Muse.

Use Tiger’s Eye healing properties to focus on your prey, form your strategy of attack, and wait for the perfect moment to pounce. Tigers might be the largest feline in the world, but they still allow lions to be kings of the jungle. Channeling a powerful medicine, Tiger’s Eye crystal healing properties teaches us to live with integrity by encouraging the balance of power. Instead of competing with others to stay on top, Tiger’s Eye allows us to climb that career mountain and aim for the stars on our own terms.

This stone is straight up fierce and I need a little of that in my life.  I didn’t realize until doing some research for this post how closely the stone’s name is tied to the animal.  I have gained an even greater appreciation for it now.  Tigers are so mysterious and beautiful, stalking their prey, waiting for the perfect moment to pounce.  They’re rare and terrifying and captivating.  Now, you don’t have to “believe” in crystal healing to get something out if this. Maybe you want some new style ideas.  I picked a few tigers eye pieces that inspire me.

Bracelet 
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Loafers 
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Tank 
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Layered necklacep294117_2
Pendulum necklace

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Bomber Jacket fullsizeoutput_1da1

Be fierce and stand in your power.

~Whitney Victoria

October is Here

It’s started feeling like October…  That means two things: I’m fully embracing Fall even though it’s bright and sunny and not completely sweater weather.  And, I’m reading every horoscope I can find in an effort to know that to expect.  When a wellness obsession meets control issues, this is what happens.  I fully admit I go through times when I’m so desperate to know what the future holds that I grasp at straws to get any kind of insight.  It’s so hard to just “let go” and trust that everything unfolds just as it should.

Anyway, October has been a month I’ve been anxious to arrive basically since January 2017. I’m not entirely sure why.

Libra Season.  My moon is in Libra.  (Your moon sign is about your inner feelings…you know, those things I don’t share with anyone because I’m locked up like a Gringotts bank vault.) Libra is all about creating a space for equal communication so everyone is happy and feels understood. (Balance, people. Libra’s symbol is the scales of justice.)

Sometimes I think I just want to stayed holed up all Sunday but I end up feeling like I’m in the Shining.  I need a few hours to recharge and it’s amazing but too much and it becomes isolating.  So, as I put on some easy listening, I do some self-love practices…which means I’m in the bathroom exfoliating, conditioning, manicuring, and lord knows what else, for approximately 4 hrs.  A girl’s life…Before this went down, I walked to the farmer’s market to get out of the house.  The market was a nice little jaunt in the sun.  It let me enjoy the beautiful weather.  I didn’t come away with much but I’m happy with it all.

Organic raspberries, that are late for the season but I couldn’t resist. I’m thinking about throwing them in a chocolate protein pancake.  IMG_5362

I splurged on a raspberry mocha since i’m usually the black iced coffee kind of girl and I’m happy to report this was delicious!  And, I swear to God, those leaves were there; they were not planted for the photo.  Honest.

IMG_5323Last week I was fantasizing about flowers but couldn’t seem to find what I had in mind.  These were colorful and fall-y enough!  IMG_5308

I thought these sweet potatoes were funny-looking so of course I bought them!  I have a soft-spot for homely things like Charlie Brown Christmas trees.  Underdogs, runts of a litter?  They speak my language.  IMG_5360

Not a farmer’s market find but I like to prep some vegetables for the week on Sundays.  I went green on green.  Broccoli and green beans with diced onions.  I throw them on salads or in eggs for breakfast and sometimes dinner.  It’s worth doing it ahead of time for so many reasons.  Nutritional yeast on broccoli is wonderful.

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Showing off the bright and beautiful wreath made by my mommy that I loved for summer but I’m feeling it’s time for something for autumn inspired!  I think I’m going to try my hand at wreath arranging this go round.  I see burlap and bows…IMG_5302I’m obsessed with this top I bought at Nordstrom Rack like 2 months ago but it hasn’t been cold enough to wear it until now.  It’s soft like wearing pjs.  Bell sleeves are everywhere and I’m all aboard. I would like this one in the other 8 colors.IMG_5255

Moccasins are back with a vengeance for at least the next 6 months of my life.  It’s the ultimate loungey, cool shoe vibe I like to go for.IMG_5270

Welp, I’m all beauty-prepped, food-prepped, and as mentally-prepped as I’d like to be so bring on October.  Look at that sunlighting!IMG_5326

“I’m glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”  -Anne of Green Gables

~Whitney Victoria

 

Red, Why, and Blue.

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It’s pretty much standard motivational talk these days to talk about your “why.”  In certain situations, it’s darn difficult to figure it out.  So much of our daily routine are based on things we don’t remember why we’re doing them.  You know, like how you’re on autopilot so much that you don’t remember driving to work?  There are so many of this little moments that you gloss over throughout your life and pretty soon you are in a place you don’t recognize.

It’s about living with intention when you’re aware of your purpose for going after something. By calling it a “why,” it sounds much less daunting to me.  It’s really more than that but, God, my “purpose?”  My “life’s work?” Come on, I don’t want that kind of pressure.  Who, what, where, why.  Tiny words we learn in elementary school seem easier to swallow.

When you know your “why,” you have major motivation.  It makes whatever you’re doing have an underlying boost.  I feel like it’s that little voice in the back of my mind that tells me not to give up.  It’s that voice that reminds me I’ll feel 1000% better when I get over that hill I’m hoofing up.  That voice has told me that it’s okay that I’m scared to put myself out there because I’m doing something great.  The ends justify the means.

Your “why” is basically what makes all the hard stuff, worth it.

When you know the reason you’re suffering, suddenly you can withstand more than you’ve ever realized.  This has been amazing when I’ve done physical challenges like running races but it’s another frame of mind for emotional tasks.  When I run, I’m literally crossing a finish line.  You see it in the distance after miles of effort.  Then you run under an arch with crowds of people cheering!  Of course, that “why” is easy to see.  Total fanfare.  But when it’s something I’m working on myself, it’s kind of like this , too much questioning.

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My “why” has been evasive lately.  I think it’s wearing camo and hiding in the bushes of my brain, probably doing an army crawl through the mud to get away from me. Or maybe it’s right there in the sun, wearing shades, and I just need to look around and say hey.

I have oodles of pictures from Labor Day so brace yourself for a lot of tomato red.  Me in my tennis outfit, like I just came off the court.  Hey, life is a runway. (Obviously, I just sang that to the tune of “Life is a Highway”)

fullsizeoutput_1b87I needed a seat.  Just so happened the motorized dump truck looked most appealing.

img_4531.jpgThere was some impromptu street hockey so excuse the driveway and camper in the background. I got into it…my competitive spirt came out a little.  Man, I miss field hockey but can’t bring myself to be like the 35-year-old men at the gym playing dodgeball.
IMG_4529Cloey the Corgi, in the patriotic spirit.  What a trooper.  She’s a gem.

img_4522.jpg                    Manning the grill because I think watching Food Network makes me Bobby Flay.
fullsizeoutput_1b8b Final s’mores of the season!  We had square (square!) marshmallows that apparently are specifically for s’more building.  I prefer the real cylindrical ‘mallows.  They just seem right.  Plus, I like to double roast!  You know, set it on fire and then the inner part stays on the stick and then you get to roast that part?  Sitting around a fire is pure nostalgia.  It never gets old.

I like to keep my “why” in mind when I feel dead tired and want to quit but…There comes a time when you should stop asking  why why why, and just live IRL.

~Whitney Victoria

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P.S. There’s a book called Find Your Why by Simon Sinek.  Guess what that’s about?  I haven’t read it but I’ve seen/listened to talks by Simon.  He’s a little cocky and wears glasses he thinks he can pull off, because he’s clearly smart…but I’m sure it’s a good read.