Bits & Pieces

Losing Balance

I have lost myself. Not on purpose… but slowly for the last 5 months I have let go of all the things I love and set a few very bad habits.  One of those things being this blog. Most evenings I was finding myself exhausted on the sofa watching a stupid show, with my computer open...  My excuse - being that…

Our First Real Home

After nearly a 5 month search, we bought a loft/condo (i have no idea what to call it).  We didn't tell many people, but Greg and I started looking for a place to buy in Atlanta a month or 2 before Thanksgiving.  Yes, normally one would get engaged or married before purchasing a home together... but the timing was right and everything fell…

2015 New Year’s Resolutions

This has been a very full year. From completing yoga teacher training, traveling to Ireland and Barcelona, to starting an MBA, and starting a new job, it's fair to say 2014 has been one of the most exciting twelve months of my life.  Thank you for all your love, encouragement, and support. See you in 2015! My 2015 New Year's Resolutions…

My 10 Tips Before Looking to Buy a Home

My 10 Tips Before Looking to Buy a Home | Vanilla & Velvet Greg and I have decided to invest in a home. We recently totaled up the money the two of us have spent on rent over the last few years and realized it was an investment we should make. I don't think we are quite ready for all the work that comes along with a house so for now we are in the market for a condo or town home. This is a completely new experience for us and we have already run into several set regulations and processes.  In case you are thinking about doing the same I wanted to share a few of tips we have picked up so far.
  1. Credit Score: This is the reason why you spend years keeping your credit score pristine.  It's never to soon to start working on improving your credit score.  I am fortunate enough to have an amazing father that made sure I was building good credit score by age 18 - thank you dad, you are amazing.
  2. Start Early: Get your ducks in a row early - Don't wait until your lease is up in 2 months.  You will feel rushed and stressed.  And it's not something you want to rush.  Our lease is not up till June so we have given ourselves 8 months.
  3. Lender First: Before you even begin looking at houses - meet with a lender or two.  Don't risk finding a place you love without your financials in order.  Write down a list of questions before you meet - and make sure it is someone you can trust.
  4. Wants List: Sit down and make a list of the "must haves" and "would be nice to haves" for your new place.  If you are purchasing with another person make sure they do the same and talk through your list in detail.  Communication is key.
  5. Identify Areas: Scope out areas and neighborhoods - see what kind of place you can afford in each neighborhood.  Does that make one more appealing than another?  What type of development is happening in the neighborhood in the next few years?
  6. Meet Relators: Similar to a lender, you want to trust this person.  Look online for ratings and review and ask for referrals from family and friends.  Find a relator that specializes in the area you are looking at and who is experienced.  And make sure you like them - you will be spending a lot of time with them.
  7. Scope Out: View a few homes and reevaluate your list of wants.  Has anything changed?  After Greg and I looked at a handful of places we realized that a few of the items on our list changed.  Has your price changed?
  8. Communication: Communicate with your relator - if you change your mind about anything make sure to tell your relator.  If you keep your opinions hidden they will not be able to narrow in on your dream home.
  9. Control Emotions: Don't get overly excited (I am guilty of this one).  If you are searching in a competitive market it is easy to let your emotions grab hold of you.  Don't let this happen or you are just setting yourself up for disappointment and a lot of unneeded stress.
  10. Have fun: Have a positive outlook and enjoy the process.  It's a big purchase!
Let me know in the comments section if you have any other useful tips!

Yoga Teacher Training 11/14

Yoga Teacher Training 11/14 | Vanilla & Velvet Worn: Wunder Under Pant *Full-On Luon, Lululemon.  Cool Racorback, Lululemon. The Matt, Lululemon. Pose: Handstand or Adho Mukha Vrikshasana (sanscrit).  adho= face. mukha = downward. vrksa = tree I was a bit ambitious thinking I could recap yoga teacher training each week while I am in training all weekend and studying/practice takes up 100% of my free time during the week.  The last weekend is here and I have missed several weeks... Hearing all of your stories about how my posts have encouraged you to take up yoga or increase your yoga practice makes me extremely happy (keep sharing!) and has made me realize I need to continue expanding out the yoga section of the blog. Which I am crazy excited about! Because as I continue learning about yoga I want to inspire and educate all of you on the benefits and how developing a practice can change your life. Shall we call it Vanilla, Velvet & Vinyasa? Something to think about... So although my teacher training class ends this Sunday, I plan to build out the blog to cover more yoga topics.  Please let me know if there are any topics you want to see, or if you have any questions about yoga.  Share in the comments section.

One Last Relaxing Beach Weekend

One Last Relaxing Beach Weekend | Vanilla & Velvet I have been trying to enjoy every last moment of the few free weekends I have left before Yoga Teacher Training begins in early September.  I couldn't be more excited to start class and completely immerse myself in yoga, but I am going to miss my lazy weekend mornings and free afternoons to spend walking the Beltline, wondering around farmers markets and soaking up rays at the pool.  Last weekend we decided to advantage of a no plans weekend and  crash Greg's parents vacation in Destin, Florida.  We had a lovely time in Destin at Miramar Beach-  actually I can't believe we haven't made a trip in the summer before.  It was just a quick 5 hour drive,  the ocean was unbelievable clear, the sand was flawless and the water temperature was perfect. I  hope we turn this into a yearly trip! Once September starts I will be opening a new leaf, and a rather busy one at that.  I will be adding my first Emory MBA class to my schedule, one evening a week, and yoga teacher training class at Hotlanta Yoga on Friday evenings,  20 hours of class on the weekend, and I will be required to attend 3 yoga classes a week and assist one of the teachers in one class a week.  See what  I mean? A complete Yoga immersion for 3 months!  I can't wait! One Last Relaxing Beach Weekend | Vanilla & Velvet One Last Relaxing Beach Weekend | Vanilla & Velvet One Last Relaxing Beach Weekend | Vanilla & Velvet After completing Yoga teacher training I will be certified under Yoga Alliance as Registered Yoga Teachers at the 200 hour level. (RYT-200) Yoga Alliance is the largest nonprofit association representing the yoga community. It sets standards and provides credentials that are the premier form of recognition for yoga teachers and teacher-training programs. 

Best Week Ever?

Best Week Ever? | Vanilla & Velvet Yesterday was my 25th birthday and it was the perfect close to one of the best weeks I can ever remember having.  The week was so good I was afraid that if another good thing happened I would explode!  The week just reminds me how fortunate I am and that you can do whatever you want with your life.  You just sometimes have to be persistent and learn to overcome and grow from the set backs.   A few of the highlights:
  • I was accepted into Emory's Evening MBA program on Tuesday-- which starts in 2 weeks!
  • I started my new job and had a great first week.  Same company and boss - just  a shift in responsibilities
  • My blog is gaining in popularity each month and I hit a big milestone last week - hint keep your eyes out for a giveaway!
  • Birthday presents and cards trickled in all week - and the theme to all my birthday cards made me smile: yoga and kittens
  • Greg and I finally went on our first hike in Atlanta - Arabia Mountain Top Trail -- and made the goal of 2 hikes a month, lets see if we can stick to it
  • Greg and I split arguably the best tuna melt ever at Savi Provisions
  • Made our favorite dinner on Friday - Flank Steak & Veggie Stirfry
  • These awesome new birthday  yoga pants that dry crazy fast  - they were drenched when I left the studio and almost completely dry after my 10 minute drive home (Thanks Ellen!)
  • Made it to lots of yoga classes at Hotlanta Yoga and Damien hosted one of the most kick-ass classes ever on Sunday
  • A huge bouquet of fresh Birthday flowers
  • Greg and I stumbled upon the Fever Tree tonic water we fell in love with in London which we couldn't find anywhere in the states - you can buy it here
  • Birthday dinner at Greg and my favorite Atlanta Italian restaurant - La Tavola
  • One of my best friends is visiting next week!
  • Made a pie - my first fresh cherry pie.  Which is hard to believe since cherry pie is my favorite pie! - recipe coming soon


Psssst.  I chopped my hair last week.  I have been scouring the internet for mid length cuts the last few months and fell in love with the " Choppy Lob" cut.  I like it so much that I think I might go even shorten next time! I met my awesome new hair stylist at Yoga class a few weeks back-…