Life Lately

life lately

It’s been a while since we checked in. And I mean really checked in. What’s been going on? With my own life, sometimes I feel like so much has happened, and at the same time, nothing has happened — know what I mean? At any rate, I was inspired by Erin’s recent post about what’s going on behind the scenes for her and thought I’d share a bit of ‘life lately’ from around these parts, too. Feel free to spill on what’s going on in your life as well! I think it’s just that time of year when we all start to reflect…


Image Credits: Camera and Coffee Images, Death to the Stock Photo | Barn in Snow, Liz West (used under CC2.0, with modifications made by Victoria McGinley | San Francisco arrow and Paris images, Victoria McGinley


  1. 11.6.14

    I love these check ins – and the new design as well!

    I’m all for solo trips. I haven’t taken an entirely solo vacation, but I have done mini trips and absolutley loved the solitude and really being able to unplug and unwind away from any distractions. I’d say go for it – it’s definitely on my personal bucket list too.

    • 11.7.14

      That’s what I’m looking forward to the most — just being alone with my own thoughts and not having to worry about anyone else. Add in a beautiful place, and I’m there!

  2. 11.6.14
    Amanda said:

    I also have recently been having the smallest cup of coffee in the morning! And I also don’t understand how people can drink more than just a few sips :)
    I only like iced coffee, so I started making cold brew using Grady’s Cold Brew Bean Bags from Whole Foods. It’s perfect because I can have as much as I want without wasting any.

    • 11.7.14

      Me either! It’s like rocket fuel in your stomach…even with just a few ounces sometimes it’s too much. I only drink coffee black (I hate drinking anything milky — yuck), so iced coffee has never really been my thing. I envy people who can down it!

  3. 11.6.14

    I love your life updates! I miss Paris – let’s go back. And drink ALL of the caffeine!

    Can’t wait to catch up with you more this weekend. x

    • 11.7.14

      Thanks, love. And ditto to both! I see you’ve caught the Paris bug…it really does put a spell on you.

  4. 11.6.14

    I believe in solo trips!

    One of my very first solo trips was to San Francisco. I was still in college in Georgia at the time, but I fell head over heels in love with this place. I knew I wanted to live here, some day, some how, before I got too settled down. I honestly believe that trip changed me, and from that point I made a lot of subconscious decisions that helped me make my way out here.

    Besides that, I think solo trips are the best kind of trips for the soul. I love traveling with my husband, but like you, I love visiting museums, flea markets and he doesn’t mind tagging along…up to a point. And, if I decide I want to just sit in my hotel room that evening with room service, champagne, and a bath, it’s ok.

    I hope you’ll do it!

    • 11.7.14

      I honestly don’t know why I haven’t done this before, knowing my personality. I guess I never thought about it! I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how many gals I know who have done solo trips and loved them. Thanks for the encouragement!

  5. 11.6.14
    Sonya said:

    I love your life updates. I’ve been reading for a little over a year and forgive me if I just missed the post, but I don’t remember why you moved from SF to NYC in the first place? I can totally see why you miss San Francisco, it is gorgeous and so unique. New York is great but give me the West Coast any day – says the Florida native who has lived her last 11.5 years in Chicago.

    It would be great to read your post on why NYC just isn’t “it” for you two. I also think your solo France trip is a great idea and it is one I am hoping to do next year as well.

    • 11.7.14

      Thank you so much, Sonya! So, we moved to NY for my husband’s work. Now we’re sort of hoping his work would take us back to SF, but we’ll see. For me, since I work from home, I’m pretty mobile so at least we’re fortunate that we ARE able to pick up and move if needed!

      You and a couple other readers below have asked for that essay on why NYC isn’t “it” for us. I have to think about how to write it in such a way that I won’t piss off New Yorkers, ha! :)

      • 11.10.14
        Sonya said:

        I love that you reply to comments individually even though you are such a busy lady.Thanks for answering! Looking forward to that essay once you’re able to make it inoffensive! :)

  6. 11.6.14
    Jenn said:

    Taking a solo trip to France sounds pretty amazing. There was so much I wanted to do when we were there that the hubby had no interest in, and Paris especially keeps pulling on my heartstrings to go back. I’ve never done it, but I kinda see how it could be both empowering and life changing. I’m also drinking coffee since coming back from France! I guess it helps me feel a little extra Parisian every day. :)

    My friend is a bariatric surgeon, and a critical missing piece of the whole process for those going through this life change is how to buy clothes now. So she’s asked me (mind you, no styling background) to help..which sounds amazing. But it’s also a little nerve wracking. I blog about what I wear. I’ve helped friends and family shop, redo their wardrobe, clean out their closet etc. But to help someone going through something so important in their life..I don’t know. It’s a little scary to take a leap like that without more than a site where I post pictures of myself to back that up. #scaredycat

    • 11.7.14

      Agree on the French-ness of drinking a little coffee. But I find I enjoy it even more when I’m actually seated out, with a tiny little cup and saucer, just pausing for a few minutes…less so in a to go cup! ;)

      As to the opportunities that have been presented to you, no change comes from being comfortable. I think that if beyond the fear, the opportunity sounds fun and exciting for you (and you’re just afraid of failing or disappointing your friends/clients), you should absolutely do it. The scarier the leap, the better the reward.

      Unless you’re base jumping or something, that I don’t recommend.

  7. 11.6.14

    I’m so happy your business is going so well that you’re thinking of hiring! go you! The design of your site and your taste is stunning so it’s not even a surprise.
    I’m also taking some steps to grow EmmaKisstina more… going to be launching lots of new exciting products in the coming months woo hoo. But I’m a little scared that it will grow beyond what I can manage. (Hoping it does!) I actually really love doing everything by myself though.

    Probably would be nice to have a gorgeous studio/showroom in Stockholm somewhere and an assistant to deal with shipping and all of the boring tasks, I must say. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

    Love your check ins Victoria. p.s. go to Paris!

    • 11.7.14

      That’s so exciting, Kristina! Also, I can only imagine how gorgeous a Stockholm studio would be…talk about design inspiration.

      If I did the trip to France, I’d probably base myself out of Paris (as at this point I feel like I know it really well) but would like to take a couple day trips too. I really want to go out to Giverny to see Monet’s lily ponds!

      • 11.8.14

        I’ve been to Giverny! it was soooo stunning. Just like stepping into one of Monet’s paintings. Incredibly surreal!

  8. 11.6.14

    Yes! I obviously understand your taking a step back from the blog, but I totally miss reading about you daily! A few things: we totally have the same holiday tradition re: picking up a new ornament to represent a big happening that year. I love it! That’s really the only tradition we have right now, but I’m excited to grow our own as we age/start a family/all that fun stuff.

    Next: travelling on your own. Oh, please, do it! A girlfriend of mine travelled the world for a year on her own and I am always and forever jealous of her experiences as a result. It’s something that’s been on my list ever since! I haven’t done it, but when we went to Scotland there was one day where Justin was golfing the old course in St. Andrews and I was left with a solid 6 hours to do whatever I want, whenever I want. Truth be told, I think I ate ice cream three separate times, and sat on a bench for a solid hour, but it was so powerful and calming all at the same time. It felt really good.

    • 11.7.14

      Thank you, sweet lady! Scotland’s another place I’d love to travel — alone, or with friends!

      Some days I do miss posting more, but I know I would lose my sanity if I was still doing 5 days per week. Honestly, I don’t know how I did it before. How are things going with your new business?

  9. 11.6.14

    Yes to the solo trip! I added a few weeks alone to a trip to China and had the best time. I’ve also tagged along on business trips where my partner worked all day and then I got to go explore all the things he hated (also pottery stores and flea markets).

    • 11.7.14

      Wow, China, solo, that’s awesome! It’s funny — I would be scared to go solo in China, but not scared at all in Europe. Weird.

  10. 11.6.14

    I think this is the same idea that time is passing by slowly during the weeks, but when you look back on the month as a whole, it flew by. It’s such a mind game. My sister just took a solo trip (although, it was just to Colorado). But she said she learned a lot about herself.

    • 11.7.14

      I love the idea of a solo trip to just listen to your own thoughts and BE for a while. I can see how that would lead to you learning about yourself too!

  11. 11.6.14
    Megan said:

    I really enjoyed this post! I follow many blogs daily and find that when they share personal and honest post is when I am most intrigued. I can mostly relate to your comments regarding New York. I just recently moved to NYC just over 2 months ago and have really loved it! But people don’t really tell you how hard it is to live here and while it is fun and action packed it is draining. I also think fellow New Yorkers are afraid to talk negatively about the city. Yes there are a million things to do and world class food, but what about living in a building with a dog that never stops barking? Or being woken up in the middle of the night by your obnoxious radiator? The list can go on and on and I wonder often if I am cut out for this city. Thank you for your post!

    • 11.7.14

      Thank you, Megan! And I totally agree with your assessment of New York. I’ve written about this before, but I think it’s both the most convenient and inconvenient place to live. For me, some times the inconvenience outweighs the convenient aspects, which makes me a little resentful towards it.

      A couple other readers have said I should write a post about why I don’t love it so much. I’m thinking about it!

  12. 11.6.14
    Andy said:

    I LOVE the idea of a solo trip to Europe. To me it feels like a rite of passage. I’ve been playing around with the idea of a 4 week cooking school in Italy – something I would get so much enjoyment from, and my husband would be able to benefit from as well :)

    • 11.7.14

      Ooh, have you done a solo Europe trip before? Where did you go? I LOVE your idea of 4 weeks at a cooking school in Italy. I have brainstormed with my husband about doing a long vacation at an agroturismo in Tuscany, where we’d spend time working the land (probably vines), cooking food, and just enjoying life in the countryside. Such country mice these days!

  13. 11.6.14

    YES. you know how I feel about traveling solo. Do it do it do it!!!! And so proud of you with the biz… you are doing great things! XO

    • 11.7.14

      It’s you who got me thinking about all this in the first place!!

  14. 11.6.14
    Lindsay T said:

    I just found your blog this week and really love it! I feel like I have so much in common with you. I took a solo trip to Paris a few years ago and it was wonderful. You definitely have to be comfortable with being alone a lot but it can be really freeing. Speaking the language is a huge plus.

    I’d love to hear more about your design business and how you got to where you are today. I have dreams of becoming a freelance designer but am super overwhelmed and don’t have the confidence to really commit. How did you teach yourself?! So impressive.

    • 11.7.14

      Hi Lindsay! Thank you so much for your sweet comment. When you did your solo trip to Paris, had you been before? What was your favorite part of it?

      I’m an only child who grew up spending a lot of time alone, and I never mind being by myself or with my own thoughts and feelings. My French was pretty good last time I was in Paris with my husband (this past summer), but now I feel like it’s getting even better so if I did get lonely, it wouldn’t be a big deal to try and communicate with people at a cafe or bar or wherever.

      For design work, I’m totally self taught and just learned by doing over time. Having a blog was a great way to push my skill set and learn new techniques in creative software programs too! LMK if you have other questions!

  15. 11.6.14

    I hope you’ll write a post about your feelings on NYC! I’m so curious to hear. I love it here, personally, but maybe that’s just because I don’t know what I’m missing in other cities! I haven’t traveled much so there’s always a part of me that wonders if there is another city I could love as much as, or more than, New York. I’d even love to see a compare-contrast situation between the two cities, if you ever felt like it!

    • 11.7.14

      I said this to Sonya up above, but I need to find a way to write this essay without pissing off New Yorkers and starting a comment war ;) All I can say is, having lived in Texas, northern and southern California, now the east coast, and visited a lot of places around the US….yeah, New York is just not a long term solution for me!

  16. 11.6.14

    1) thanks for taking the time to share so openly, Victoria
    2) what a BEAUTIFULLY designed post, too, might I add — nicely done!

  17. 11.6.14
    Corinne said:

    It’s funny you mention solo trips. I’ve been contemplating a couple of solo day trips. Seems to good to pass up. I’m not sure I could voluntarily travel abroad without my husband though.

    • 11.7.14

      It’s funny, the more I thought about it, the more I kind of get excited at the thought of doing a trip sans friends or husband. I can wake up when I want, go where I want, and I don’t have to worry about anyone else. For me personally, that’s a rarity — I’m constantly worrying about my loved ones. I think it’ll be nice to just check in with myself for a little while!

  18. 11.6.14

    Beautiful post Victoria and congrats on the redesign, the site looks great!

  19. 11.7.14

    I love this post, and I would love it if you moved back to San Francisco because I live here now! xx

    • 11.7.14

      Yes! You would have to show me all the cool spots, because it’s been long enough that soooo many new restaurants and bars have opened ;)

  20. 11.7.14
    Ella said:

    I would love to see a post about living in SF vs. NYC. I currently live in the PNW (so many acronyms!) but I love love love NYC and am contemplating going there for at least part of college. Obviously SF would be a lot closer to home, and my parents would much rather I move to CA then NY right from high school.
    I’m likely taking my third solo trip later this year and I am so excited! I think there’s something really great about traveling alone, especially because/despite the fact that you have to figure everything out yourself. To me, getting a little lost and having to get yourself together makes everything a little more fun and adventurous.

  21. 11.9.14
    Laurence said:

    I’m late to comment but just read your post. Congratulations on your business, I’m very happy for you.
    If you come for a solo trip to Paris, you know you can ask for anything. I will be very glad to help! Et j’adorerais parler Français avec toi!

    • 11.10.14

      Moi aussi. J’ai besoin du pratique! Si je visite à Paris, on va aller pour une promenade certainement!

  22. 11.13.14
    Rose said:

    I love this post!!

    As a perpetually single person, I travel solo a lot…so far, most of my trips have been to meet up with people once I get there, but there’s something I really like about spending time on my own. I recently (as in last weekend-recently) took a trip to London to visit a friend, but she was working most of the time so I only saw her at night/crashed at her place. Other than that, I was on my own, which included a visit to Oxford for a day, wandering around the city and doing whatever I wanted! It’s really gratifying to not really have a plan and walk by somewhere you want to go in (for me, it’s always beautiful churches in Europe, despite not being religious), or maybe shopping, whatever it may be, and not having to worry about another person. I also love getting a cup of tea or coffee at a cafe and just reading my book for an hour or so when I’m traveling.

    I also need to practice my French—I was just discussing with a co-worker how I need to find someone to practice with! I feel if I were to speak it more frequently it would get better exponentially fast. Also, there’s no shame in admitting NYC is not for you. Despite loving it here, I often miss where I came from, and I learned how much more I loved it once I left it.

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