Oh, life.

Hey, world. Is anyone still out there? Doubtful, but I’m doing this thing anyway.

It’s been almost two years since I last posted here. Nine months ago today, my entire life as I knew it changed… without my consent. No need to vomit that crap all over you, but let’s get one thing straight…

It was the best thing that ever could have happened to me!
<< virtual fist bump >>

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Today, I am living with more joy, confidence, love, acceptance (of myself), forgiveness, freedom and excitement than ever before in my entire life. The events leading up to this moment in time were simply the journey I was on. There’s no point in living in those moments anymore. Today, I live in a place of true thankfulness for every single second of life I have lived because without each one of them, I wouldn’t be Whitney. I wouldn’t be this girl. I like this girl. I love this girl. This girl is pretty amazing. Can I say that? Can I be confident and love who I am without sounding like a total jackass? I hope so. I hope you can, too.

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I know it’s not easy, sweet one, but you deserve a life of freedom + this world needs to see that in you. When will we stop dimming our light to make others feel more adequate? That helps NO ONE! Shine brightly, and never cower with insecurity or shame. Live boldly!  Let yourself soar + beam with hope, love and kindness!

You are so insanely amazing, and it is possible to walk through life with graceful boldness. I’m still learning how to. Some days, I want to hide. Some days, I want to curl up in a ball and cry. Some days, I want to believe all the crushing words of others. Some days, I want to laugh until I pee. Some days, I do all of these things and feel like an idiot. However, I’ve never regretted embracing the boldness to be real, transparent, honest, vulnerable and kind to those around me… but… especially to myself. You deserve kindness. You deserve grace. You deserve freedom.

I’m cheering you on. I’m cheering me on. We got this, kids. xo

Want to see what I’ve been up + where I’m living now?
Check out my personal instagram account whitney.rva // Don’t forget to say hi!

 

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Go Easy on Yourself Today

Be Kind to YouI don’t know about you, but I’ve felt a little defeated lately. I’ve set lots of ambitious goals for myself in my creative endeavors, but not seeing as much progress as I’d like due to my own mental battle that never stops. This spaghetti bowl of thoughts and questions that plays on a constant loop to an almost paralyzing degree plagues the brain of this creative soul.

It’s annoying.

And, don’t get me started about the unorganized mess our home is right now! It seems to only grow and morph into this beast rather than go away despite my attempts to clear the clutter (thrift store outings are not helping!) and implement organization which only adds to those feelings of defeat and disappointment in myself. Where are my minions?

Our minds are such powerful tools for growth, but we must reverse our perspective.
We see all we didn’t get done rather than all of the wonderful things we did accomplish. We focus on things we missed rather than all of the amazing things we did experience. We analyze our mistakes rather than our successes. Why are we so hard on ourselves? Stop!

We are phenomenal creatures full of life and love to share in this great big world.
Start spreading that sh*t around like glitter from a unicorn’s butt!

I challenge you (and me) to go easy on yourself today. Be kind to you.
Stop the negative commentary in your head the moment it starts.
Be proud of who you are today! No one else can be you. That’s pretty amazing.

xo whitney

Freshen Up Your Tech!

hwa_desktop_previewWhat are you battling? What is your current struggle? What’s got your panties in a bunch? What resolutions are you failing miserably at? What is just getting you down? Well… you have permission to just shake it off. Do it! Right now. Get up and physically shake it off! Are you doing it yet? I am… which makes typing a bit challenging. Hang on…

(currently shaking it off…)

Ok. I feel better now. How ’bout you? Come on. Don’t be shy! Go into a bathroom if you are afraid of coworkers laughs and sideways glances, but I challenge you to make them join in!

We can’t take life so seriously. Smile. Giggle. Be silly. Shake it off!

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Download this wallpaper to remind yourself to shake off what life throws at you. Freshen up your desktop, laptop or phone now!

Click links below to download the size you need. Enjoy!

2560 x 1600
2560 x 1440
1920 x 1200
1920 x 1080
1440 x 900

iPhone 6
iPhone 6 Plus
iPhone 5s
iPhone 5c
iPhone 5
iPhone 4

Wishing you a happy Tuesday! Now, I’m off to shake some more. xo Whitney
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Energizing Green Smoothie

GojiMacaKale_GreenSmoothie1We are already two weeks into 2015?! I’m in denial… total and complete denial. Where did those two weeks go? Wait… I know exactly where they went. When I haven’t been working, I’ve been seriously binging on Netflix and huddling under blankets drinking copious amounts of delicious hot tea unable to move. Hey! Humans can hibernate, too. Brr!!

Well, I’m breaking up with Netflix. Ok, not completely, but I am ready to move my body, exercise my mind, tap into my creativity, go adventuring, capture photos of the beautiful Pacific Northwest and prepare more vibrant, healthy meals. My body has been feeling more like a marshmallow and my mind like mush than the healthy and clear-headed, creative woman I am. That changed this week with reinstating daily walks and green smoothies. I already feel more energized and clear-headed.

If you are feeling sluggish, down and physically or mentally drained by these dark, cold winter days I challenge you to give this delicious, energizing green smoothie. Even if you changed nothing else in your daily routine, I promise you’ll feel amazing after a green smoothie. Your body craves these beautiful nutrients!

My mind feels clearer, my body more alive and my bladder super full after one of these smoothie bowls! There. I said it. You will have a major PEEmergency about 30 minutes later.

Energizing Baby Kale, Spinach and Maca Green Smoothie
topped with Chia Seeds, Coconut Flakes and Goji Berries

100g banana (1 medium banana)
60g baby kale (2 big handfuls)
20g spinach (1 handful)
7g Maca Powder
60g Medjool dates, pitted (2-3)
1T Pure Vanilla Powder (or to taste)
2T cinnamon (or to taste)
Vanilla Creme Stevia (or to taste)
1 T chia seeds
6-8 ounces filtered water
handful of ice (if you want it cold)

Topped With:
1 tsp chia seeds
1-2 tsp unsweetened coconut flakes
2 tsp goji berries

About 485 calories / 11.5g protein / 8.75g fat / 100g carbs / 20g fiber
About 375 calories / 8.5g protein / 5g fat / 85.5 carbs / 16.5g fiber (without toppings)

GojiMacaKale_GreenSmoothie2Do not be discouraged if you don’t have all the ingredients. Use what you have. Be creative! Green Smoothies are very forgiving.

Basic Green Smoothie = Water + Greens + Banana

Just experiment to figure out what you like. Add herbs like mint or basil. Try different fruits and superfoods. Anything goes… except when it doesn’t. Ha! I have dumped out my fair share of horrendously disgusting smoothies that could not be saved. No shame!

If you are new to a green smoothie then start with just mostly banana/fruit and a handful of spinach. Spinach and kale are the mildest greens in my opinion. Add more as you want. You will quickly develop more of a taste for the greens and their amazing benefits. Enjoy!

 

Hello, 2015!

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I don’t know about you, but I am thankful for the start of a new year. Not that 2014 was all bad, but it was a challenging year for me… make that two years.

We transferred to Seattle exactly two years ago this month. Honestly, it has been the hardest transition for me. During that first week, I doodled this little drawing on a coaster at our hotel. I found it a couple weeks ago, and it has brought me such comfort as I reflect over the good times and more challenging moments I have faced. Growth takes time. Truly.

We have had some amazing adventures here in the Pacific Northwest. It is one of the most beautiful places I’ve had the privilege to live, but I also find myself in these deep, dark holes of depression that I can’t shake. Those moments suck the life out of me and stand in the way of everything. Super frustrating! This Debbie Downer takes over my mind. I dislike that girl. She is not me. Debbie has to go because the creative, joyful, vibrant woman I know that I am is desperate to be present here… now!

The seasons of life are a blessing. We learn from them. We grow from them. We are better for walking through darkness. We are more joyful and appreciative of the light. We adore spring because we have endured the winter season. What appears as a time of death is, in fact, a crucial time of growth that we must embrace if we hope to move forward. For me, the past two years seem to have been that season. A season for which I have not always been grateful for, but a season that was needed for roots to grow stronger. And, one I’m still learning from as I move into this new year.

This next season is the beginning of something incredible. I feel it in my bones! My skin is tingly with anticipation. I can’t help but smile for the potential ahead. This is my year. This is my spring. This is my time to blossom and bloom!

May you find joy and gratitude in whatever season this is for you. If it’s winter, just know that it’s not forever. The sun will shine again. The snow will melt. There is joy ahead! You are stronger already than you were yesterday. And, you are not alone.

xoxo Whitney

Welcome to my dream.

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Today marks Day 1 of seeing a BIG dream become a reality. I’ve been blogging off and on since 2008, but life has maintained a pace of “crazy”  over the years. Since I first started blogging, we’ve lived in 4 states, 7 different apartments/homes all over the US… Honolulu, Maryland, San Diego and now Seattle, Washington. Not to mention, frequent travel by car and plane several times a year to see family and friends all over the country, setting up and tearing down of living spaces over and over, major surgeries and just plain intense life experiences.

Fast forward to 2014, I find myself looking back with regret (and guilt!) at not maintaining my creative blogging for my personal benefit. I love to look back and see my life as I’ve chronicled it through the months and years. Sort of a digital visual journal of all my creative ventures, silly projects, wonderful travels, good eats, etc. Of course, I still have that in the form of the thousands of photos I’ve taken regardless of blogging, but there is a certain joy in scrolling through the highlights of your life in blog/journal form. To see those moments, creations, travels and memories that truly meant the most to you, that you treasured enough to share with the world… that’s special.

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But, as someone who is far too hard on herself constantly, I will not feel regret or guilt, but I will simply start again. Isn’t that the beauty of a new day? Every morning, we humans have the chance to begin again. We get to slough off yesterday and open our eyes to 24 hours of possibility, happiness, joy, newness and freshness. We get to make it the very best day we can!

Today is a good day. Today is when I begin again. Today is when my dreams reboot. Today is when I open my life, my heart and my creative soul to you. Today.

(Original Watercolor/Micron Pen Illustration by Whitney Angel pictured above.)