May 30, 2014

5 delicious salmon recipes

I'm heading on a family trip this weekend and I am very excited for a break after a busy work week. I also got lots of emails this week about clean meals, clean eating tips, and other food topics. One of my favorite emails started with "you seem to be crazy about salmon, like me" and I thought that was so funny! I definitely like to get creative with my salmon and since starting my Pescatarian diet, I eat salmon more than any other fish - so I have to keep it interesting! Here are 4 of my favorite recipes that I've shared on the blog and a new recipe by another chef ;)

Red and Black Pepper Salmon

OK, so my boyfriend actually made this and sent me a photo. I was so impressed and jealous that I didn't get to try it! He said it was fantastic, so I'm sharing this quick recipe with you.

Sprinkle the salmon with red pepper flakes, black pepper, and salt.
Pan sear the salmon in olive oil and cook the side with the skin last.

Arugula with Sweet Vidalia Onion Dressing, Gorgonzola Cheese, and Blueberries

Which recipe looks the best to you? 
Yes, I am crazy about salmon :)

May 29, 2014

Style inspirations

My closet transformation is halfway complete! I've cleaned it out and sold/donated old clothes in preparation for my new wardrobe. I've been browsing the web for style inspiration and here are a few of my favorites! These photos and these women embody the style I am going for as I transition from college style to adult working woman style.

Tracee Ellis Ross
Photo via Southern Grace and Sunshine
Lana del Rey
Tami of Talking with Tami
Photo via Classy Girls Wear Pearls
Photo via Pinterest
Kerry Washington

Who are some of your style inspirations? 
If you have a great fashion blog or website, please share!

May 27, 2014

Veggie Fried Brown Rice

I'm approaching the three-month mark of eating like a Pescatarian. How long does one have to go before being able to call themselves a Pescatarian?? I've been around chicken and other meats at parties and cookouts and I just haven't had a desire to go back to eating red meats. This new lifestyle has inspired some creative meals, and has actually decreased the amount I spend at the grocery store.

I've been craving fried rice, so I decided to make my own veggie version and used brown rice to make it a healthy recipe. This Veggie Fried Brown Rice was so great and so simple. And the best part…the ingredients for this meal (4-6 servings) was under $5!

Brown Rice (1 bag)
Olive Oil (dime-sized amount)
Frozen Mixed Veggies (1 bag)
Fresh Cilantro
Eggs (2)
Black Pepper
Red Pepper
Lemon or lemon juice (2 teaspoons)
Brown sugar (1 teaspoon)


1.  Heat skillet and add olive oil

2. Beat eggs in separate bowl, then add to skillet and fry. Then cut up egg into small pieces using a spoon. (Fun fact: I typically hate eggs, but love them in fried rice).

3. Add in pre-cooked brown rice.

4. Add in frozen vegetables. Then add chopped fresh parsley.

5. Sprinkle on black pepper, red pepper, brown sugar, and add lemon juice.

6. Stir around as desired.


I think this would also taste great with some soy sauce or yum yum sauce! But I didn't add any sauce to keep this a healthy meal.

May 26, 2014

Obsessed with these {Target wedges}

So, these are my summer staple shoes. 

I spotted these wedges one day while browsing in Target and I thought they were so cute and comfy looking. I tried them on and knew these would be perfect for every summer occasion. First, I bought this black pair and I quickly went back and got the same shoe in brown.

I've been wearing these with dresses, shorts, skirts, and cropped pants!

Happy Memorial Day! 
A special thank you to all of the women and men who have served our country. My dad is a veteran and I know what a sacrifice it is to serve and to be a family member of a servicewoman or serviceman. God bless you all!

May 24, 2014

1 month of no heat {natural hair styles}

Let's try this again. You may remember me working on going 6 months without putting heat on my hair…but then I got bored of my hair color and did this:

I also lowered that time back down to 3 months (way more realistic, and it was my original goal). So, now it's been a month since I got my hair colored/straightened, and here are some styles I've been rocking:

Front twist & foam roller set
Roller set on dry hair
High bun
Stretched wash and go
Braid out with rollers on the ends

I'm excited for these new two months of no heat so that my hair can grow and get healthier and so that I can cross another item off my 23 to-do's in year 23!

May 22, 2014

Eating in ATL {6 ft. Under}

Yesterday's weather was  p e r f e c t i o n. After work, I met up with my friend Quirtina for dinner at Six Feet Under on the Westside. Since shifting to a pescatarian diet, I try and suggest restaurants that offer a great variety of seafood. And we both love Six Feet Under. I ordered the blackened catfish with french fries and sautéed spinach (above). I also got an order of their jalapeño hush puppies that I love so much. I love this place because of their atmosphere, free or valet parking, great location and views, incredible food, and affordable pricing. I've been four or five times and it's always been a good experience.

Quirtina ordered their cajun salmon salad that looked so delicious.

It had avocado, bacon, peppers, and more goodies, yum!

Oh, and did I mention we ate on their awesome rooftop deck? They have a bar and plenty of seating up there with great Midtown and Downtown views. And, that's another item checked off my #ATLSummerBucketList :)

May 21, 2014

5 tips for your first day of work

Long time no post…I've been very busy these past few days! This past weekend I spent really unplugging and relaxing, but also working on some projects for my company & doing some bucket list items. And Sunday night, I was getting prepared to start my new internship on Monday! In my grad program, all students are required to have a summer internship, and I am so excited about mine. 

The job combines government, education, policy, and communications - all of my passions! I'm grateful for this new experience, but of course starting anything new is a challenge. My first day of work was great and I wanted to share a few of the things I remember when starting a new job. I also did these when I started my job in the governor's office last year; they really do make a difference!

5 things to remember on your first day of work

1. Arrive early | I cannot stress this one enough! Being late on your first day is the worst first impression. Being on time is expected. And being early makes a statement. I typically aim to arrive 30 minutes early on my first day because I never know if traffic will be awful, if I will get lost, or if some random obstacle will pop up and slow me down. I walked into my new job about 10-15 minutes early and got to get acquainted with the office and chat with some staff members before my supervisor arrived.

2. Introduce yourself in a friendly, yet confident way | On your first day you will stick out because no one in the office knows you. Use this to your advantage and as a talking point as you interact with people throughout the day. It's great if you know your position and department so that you can include that in your introduction. For example, "Hi, I'm Vett and I'm the new X Position in the X Department." People usually appreciate a new face in the office and may have a pearl of wisdom to share.

3. Be an active learner/ if you have a question, ask | Whenever I start a new job, the first day is a flood of new information. It's almost impossible to process all of it during the first day, so I take in as much as I can and find ways to break down the information. On my first day, I read through the provided materials, but I also went to my new company's website and read the information there as well to make more sense of the work I will be doing. Being an active learner also means asking questions when you have them. I've learned that your boss/co-workers prefer you asking a question and doing it right instead of making a huge mistake. And once you observe and learn how things work, take initiative to apply your knowledge and show what you've learned!

4. Stay on task | It's very tempting to want to tweet/insta/etc. about your new job while you're at your new job, but this is a big mistake…especially on day 1! It's much better to get your social media and internet browsing out of the way before work, on your lunch break, and once you're off work. Stay focused and on task while you're at work. It helps to put your cell phone on silent and stay off non-work websites, including your personal email. More than likely, someone will check on you to see how your day is going and it's an awful first impression to be caught texting/surfing the web instead of working.

5. Dress appropriately | Until you know the company's culture and dress code, play it safe and wear business casual or professional clothing. I wore a nice top, a matching sweater, black slacks and black flats on my first day. And I was happy to see others wearing similar outfits. As time progresses, you'll be able to add more of your personal style to your work wardrobe, but on day 1, let your work make the greatest statement.

Interviewing for a job soon? Check out my popular interviewing tips!

If you have a good tip for the first day of work, leave a comment below!

May 17, 2014

Buffalo cauliflower & the best brussels sprouts

Back-to-back food/cooking posts, sorry I'm not sorry. This weekend is all about staying in and relaxing. And cooking is one of my favorite "unplugging" activities. I'm cooking this weekend so I will have meals and snacks for next week (when I start working two internships). I've been browsing cauliflower recipes on Pinterest and combined a few that I saw to create Buffalo and Cilantro Cauliflower. Best cauliflower I've ever had…so I had to share with y'all!

Total meal prep time: 2 min. Cook time, 5-7 minutes - doesn't get much better than that!

Cauliflower (I used a bag of frozen florets, just $.99!)
Buffalo/Wing sauce (I used the Mild flavor) (1/2 cup)
Red pepper (1 teaspoon)
Black pepper
Fresh cilantro
Olive oil (quarter-sized amount)

1. Rinse cauliflower
2. Put cauliflower in bowl and add buffalo/wing sauce; sprinkle on red pepper, black pepper and basil
3. Use a spoon to evenly coat all of the cauliflower with sauce and seasoning
4. Put olive oil in skillet and allow to get hot
5. Add cauliflower to skillet and cook for 5-7 minutes or until browned
6. Add in fresh cilantro, as desired

I also boiled some brown rice to add to some of the cauliflower for lunch next week, looks like it will be very tasty!

And yesterday I cooked up these brussels sprouts to go with some left over blackened tilapia and rice, also a great meal. These are also really easy to make:

Rinse the brussels sprouts with water then rub olive oil on them. Season with black pepper, lemon pepper, red pepper and basil. Then add a quarter-sized amount of olive oil to a pan. Add the brussels sprouts to the pan and let them cook until browned. I like to top mine with either brown sugar or honey, so good!

These are also great with some mozzarella cheese on top, yum!

May 16, 2014

Classic salmon & feta salad

Typically, I make my salads as outlandish as possible, but every now and then I love a tasty, simple, and classic salad. I recently made this quick salad using spring mix lettuce, herb crusted salmon, feta cheese crumbles, tomatoes, black pepper, and raspberry vinaigrette. 

I loved every bite and wanted more when it was all gone!

Another recent, more indulging meal: herbed cheese ravioli baked with brussels sprouts and cream of mushroom. And I drizzled a little raspberry vinaigrette for a light, sweet addition. This was also very tasty and a great warm, meal.

May 15, 2014

Coffee in ATL {Octane Coffee}

One item on my ATL Summer Bucket List was to visit Octane Coffee, a well-known and quaint coffee shop with several locations in Atlanta. Check! I met up with my friend Averil yesterday for coffee and catch up at the Westside Octane location. This is their original location, and the decorations reflect the spirit of the Westside/Georgia Tech neighborhood. 

Photo via Octane Westside Website
Although they currently have construction going on, I could still see why people love this place so much. It's a great atmosphere with a variety of workspaces. Averil suggested I order Octane's Iced Soy Mocha drink, and I did. We both ordered this and agreed that it tastes like a fudge popsicle, yum!

Oh, and did I mention they have food? Real food. Such a plus for a coffee shop where you're bound to spend hours working away.

I love that they are eco-friendly, offering coffee in mugs instead of paper/plastic products.

Are you a loyal Starbucks/Dunkin' Donuts drinker or do you visit local coffee shops sometimes?

May 14, 2014

Rock climbing in ATL {Atlanta Rocks}

Yesterday, for the first time in a long time, I went rock climbing! I went with my boyfriend as a fitness & fun date night, and we used a Groupon (my favorite). 

Atlanta Rocks is a hidden gem in West Midtown, and we had such a great first experience with this rock climbing gym. We registered for an introductory course which included about an hour of instruction and an hour or more of climbing. 

The gym has a great set up with lots of unique walls, some roof climbing options, and a boulder rock! They also have a "party room" space for events. I did make it to the very top on my first climb :)

Our instructor, Jason, was fantastic! He was very friendly, funny, and made the instruction portion interesting and fun. After his training, we had the climbing rules and belaying process down. If you go, see if he's available! I did a yoga class the day before this so my body was already a little tired. Climbing is such an intense activity and it really works all areas of your body. But, it's the kind of workout that doesn't seem like a workout when you're doing it, so I loved it!

We got to leave with a rope to practice our tying, and I thought that was the cutest souvenir! We can't wait to go back and rock climb again :)

Have you ever been rock climbing?


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