Meet Liz Whitney, a Darien-based mom of three, who is known for the lifestyle blog WHIT & WHIMSY. In between managing the hectic schedules of her children George (17), Helen (15) and Harry (12), she runs her popular blog and is thankful for “wifi and a laptop!” Find out what this literary veteran and former J. Crew catalog editorial manager loves to read, wear and what she can’t live without. (Hint: leopard print is one of them!)
What are your must-have summer fashion staples?
I actually just wrote a blog post about this so my answer is easy! I have five staples for summer: the maxi dress, the white jean, the statement top, jeans shorts and a fun hair accessory. These five items can be mixed and matched for just about every occasion.
Why did you start the WHIT & WHIMSY blog?
As a product junkie and avid reader, I was always offering up recommendations to friends and family. I once spent part of a barre class discussing my favorite face and body bronzers! These moments may seem trivial to some, but it felt good to share with people who were interested in what I had to say.
Who is your fashion inspiration?
Aerin Lauder, no question. She is New England prep meets NYC chic. Her style is sophisticated without being fussy, classic without being plain. And she has great design sense too—she has my favorite wallpaper in her dressing room!
What brought you and your family to Darien?
My husband got a new job in Stamford and we decided to make the move to the ‘burbs. We were considering Greenwich and Westport, but ultimately Darien won us over. We loved the downtown, easy commute for me and proximity to the beach.
What’s your favorite local family activity?
Shakespeare on the Sound. This annual event in Rowayton is one we do not miss. Over the years our kids have grown to love it too. We grab a picnic dinner (usually a little KFC!) and drinks and set up our chairs and blankets. Nothing better than some Shakespeare under the stars (and the kids love the ice cream from 101).
Do you have a personal motto?
Don’t sweat the small stuff. My oldest son is autistic and non-verbal. His special needs help me when dealing with any problems I may face. A dent in the car door or a few wrinkles on my face are not worth worrying about in comparison.
Do your children share ideas for WHIT & WHIMSY?
They don’t give me ideas, but they do help! My daughter Helen taught me how to use photoshop for my product layouts and coding for the initial set-up. I enlist her and her brother Harry as photographers too!
How do you unwind when you need some “me time?”
This is an easy one: relax with a good book and a nice BIG glass of wine. A few years ago we renovated our screened in porch, so I love chilling there, reading and listening to music.
Last book you read?
City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert (look for review on the blog soon!)
Favorite vacation spot?
I have two: Vail, Colorado and Round Hill, Jamaica. My husband Chris and I like to get away without the kids at least once a year. But then hockey came along…
What items are essential for your suitcase?
My Revlon One-Step Volumizer hair dryer. It’s life changing. (Featured on the blog of course!). If I am flying, I like to carry a cashmere wrap to keep warm and a small bottle of face mist to keep my skin hydrated.
Favorite beach book?
Anything by Beatriz Williams. Her latest book The Golden Hour, is next up in my rotation.
What book would you read over and over—and not get tired of reading?
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
When did your obsession with leopard print begin?
Good question—I had to think really hard about this one! It might have been during my years at J.Crew, where I was exposed to fashion for the first time. Possibly from my grandmother who needlepointed a little leopard print pillow for me as a girl. Or, it could have been when I had my first apartment in NYC and was consumed with interiors. Maybe a combination of the three? The obsession is strong and feels ingrained at this point. I love me some leopard!
Do you have any hidden talents?
I can find just about anything. Whether it’s a sold-out dress online or a lost lacrosse glove at home.
Are there any skincare products you can’t live without?
Of course— how much time do we have?? Since I am a product junkie, I love trying new skincare products and routines. Currently I am loving my Maelove Glow Maker (vitamin C serum), Balencium Ceramide Cream (moisturizer), Paula’s Choice Clinical Firming Eye cream and Biologique Recherche P50V lotion (exfoliator). For sunscreen I like anything by Supergoop or La Roche-Posay.
I have a few faves: The Eagles, James Taylor, John Mayer, Kacey Musgraves…
I am a sucker for a good mystery, so I would have to say CSI and Dateline.
I love Lisa Jewell, Jodi Picoult and Agatha Christie.
Do you like audiobooks?
I listen to audiobooks at all times, either in my car or on the go. For our trips to Maine to drop the kids at camp my husband and I have to agree on a book, which can be tricky. The ones we loved were: The Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance and Bad Blood by John Carreyrou. Bad Blood was so engrossing we found ourselves sitting in the garage to finish a chapter. I also loved Educated by Tara Westover. Listening to all of the characters’ voices was a great way to hear the story.
What’s next for you and the blog?
Everything and anything! I feel like WHIT & WHIMSY is constantly evolving—which is what makes it so fun. I love posting about books, beauty and skincare, but have expanded to include more about cooking, lifestyle and of course, AMAZON. Hopefully the feedback I get from my subscribers will help me to shape the future of the blog.
We love to support our local businesses! What are some of your go-to spots in town?
Local dinner with or without kids: Bodega
Grab a drink with friends: 1020 or at the beach
Date night: Uncorked in New Canaan
Spend time together as a family indoors/outdoors: Tokeneke Club
Grab coffee: Neat
Any hidden treasures or other favorites you want to share?
Sipstirs is a great boutique wine and spirits shop. Dave is knowledgeable and friendly!