April 30, 2014

First time being a bridesmaid!

Last week, my childhood best friend, Jasmine, called me and asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding this summer! 

Photo of us in elementary school.
I hope we can remake this photo at her wedding :)
I was honored and so excited that Jasmine asked me because I love her. But I was also really thrilled because this will be my first time being a bridesmaid! My classmates are definitely starting to get engaged (and some even having babies!), but Jasmine is my first close friend to get engaged. I'm very excited for her and her future hubby because they're a beautiful couple.

So today I took a break from final exams craziness and went to the store to try on my bridesmaid dress. I love the dress, especially how it's floor length and has a mesh top. 

The color Jasmine picked for us is called Regency (above), but since the store didn't have it I will have to wait a few weeks to get the actual dress I'll wear at her wedding. I am so ready for all of the festivities and the actual wedding, can't wait to share those special moments with Jasmine and her family!

If you've been a bridesmaid or groomsman in a wedding before, please share any advice you have!

April 29, 2014

Atlanta Falcons 2014-2015 schedule

I am a huge Atlanta Falcons football fan. Despite the recent heartbreaking seasons, I have loved this team my entire life and I get so excited when the schedule is released for the upcoming season. I'm hoping to attend a few games, but really looking forward to the Pittsburgh game. My boyfriend is a Steelers fan... I hope we can attend that game together (and watch his team lose) haha! See the full schedule below:

Atlanta Falcons 2014-2015 Game Schedule

What is your favorite NFL team?

April 26, 2014

Goodbye black hair!

I told you how I was challenging myself to 6 months of no heat on my hair. Things were going really well. I'd mastered styles that work on my hair and created a consistent routine. But honestly, I was just so bored/over the color of my hair. Another item on my list of to-do's for year 23 was adding some color to my hair. I haven't done this in years because I've been waiting for my natural hair to be healthy enough and longer. So, I ended my no heat challenge and got my hair colored yesterday by my stylist, Tehira Fitzpatrick, at Too Groovy Salon in Atlanta!

I. Love. It.

Here's a before photo for your reference

My new color turned out as an obre of sorts because it's dark in the front, a red/auburn toward the middle, and gets lighter in the back and at the tips (a blondish color). Since I went to my stylist with some color rinse in my hair already, my hair reacted differently all over. Thankfully it reacted in an organized way!

Change is definitely scary, and we had no idea exactly how my hair would turn out. But I had faith it would be just the change I was looking for, and it was! I will be revisiting my no heat challenge (for at least 3 months) this summer! Thank you, Tehira!

When you visit Too Groovy Salon, tell them Vett Vandiver sent you, and receive $10 off your first service! :)

April 25, 2014

Quick salads

TGIF! This was my last week of classes, and although it was insanely busy, it was a great week! What made this busy week easier was prepping meals throughout the week. I had salmon and catfish ready to pair with veggies for every day this week. But my go-to meal for the week = salads.

I'm currently obsessed with kale, so all of my salads this week were kale salads with broccoli slaw and other add-ons. I love salads as snacks and meals because they are quick, healthy, versatile, and so delicious!

In this salad:
Feta cheese
Broccoli slaw
Raspberry vinaigrette 

My roommate had a similar meal plan this week, and made this quick, unique salad. I would have loved to try it, but I'm allergic to nuts!

In this salad:
Kale spinach
Candied almonds (fried in coconut oil with curry cinnamon and honey)
Salmon (sprinkled with black pepper, cayenne, garlic powder, dried onion)
Salad dressing (freshly squeezed orange, olive oil, apple cider vinegar)

Have a great weekend! I'm making a big change today, can't wait to share :)

April 24, 2014

Spread Positivity {giveaway}

Photo via Pinterest

I've been wanting to do this giveaway for quite sometime now, and I'm excited it's finally happening! Over the past semester, I've met some of the most negative people. I understand being frustrated and sometimes having negative thoughts, but this semester of grad school has shown me just how many people live their lives being negative, thinking negative thoughts, and ultimately having negative outcomes.

When I encounter these people, I let them know the importance of staying positive, despite the situation. A positive mindset and speaking positively (and surrounding yourself with positive people!!) is so important. I've really found this to be true as I work on business ventures and school work.

So, I'm giving away THREE gift cards for three of my favorite places to THREE different people! 

Entering is easy:
Follow the steps on the Rafflecopter widget to earn more chances to win, the only mandatory entry is to leave a comment sharing something that you will think positively about -- your friendships, your school work, your marriage, your finances, yourself, your future, etc.

And be sure to share the giveaway with others using #SpreadPositivity

I hope you have a great day, and good luck! :)

April 23, 2014

Eating in ATL {Aja Restaurant & Bar}

Last Friday, I went to dinner with my friend Norquata at a place neither of us had been to before - Aja Restaurant & Bar. I always pass this place when I'm leaving the Buckhead area, and I have heard good things about it. I'm a big fan of Asian food, and always down to try a popular Asian restaurant. We went on a really rainy night, so it wasn't super crowded, but it typically is and reservations are encouraged.

First of all, the space is ridiculously big. People are always asking me for suggestions on places to have group dinner parties - Aja gets my vote! Not only is there space on the dining room floor for large groups...

But they also have this fancy VIP dining space that overlooks the rest of the restaurant, so cool!

I was starving when we got there, so I ordered veggie spring rolls to start with. These were so tasty, fresh, and light. I love when food tastes delicious and healthy.

Norquata started with an order of crab rangoon, and also agreed that the food tasted very good and light.

For her meal, Norquata ordered chicken fried rice and it came in a GIANT bowl. Seriously this is enough chicken fried rice for four people, so if you order it be aware. And she ordered the surf and turf sushi, which she also said was very good!

I ordered the coconut shrimp with pineapple fried rice because the menu description sounded delicious. And this was SO good! I wanted to eat the entire thing that night, but I forced myself to take some to-go and enjoy it later. The shrimp's flavor was spot on and the fried rice had the same light taste as the other food I had eaten.

We had so much fun and enjoyed our dinner at Aja! I'm loving these Friday nights with friends at new places in Atlanta :)

What's your favorite Asian food dish?

April 21, 2014

Tips for surviving the final weeks of the semester

I have officially reached the last few weeks of school! As exciting as that is, school gets crazier and busier as the time winds down so I am in work mode all week long. And like most college students/grad students, I have other responsibilities to handle these last few weeks as well.

However, after 8+ semesters of college, I've figured out many ways to survive the most hectic weeks of the semester. I want to share 4 of my favorite tips, and I hope they will help you succeed and finish up strong! I am aiming for a 4.0 semester, so I have to do well on these final class assignments.

4 tips I use for surviving the last weeks of the semester (high school, college, grad school, etc.)

1. Organize and plan ahead - I know I mention organization all of the time, but being organized and planning ahead seriously has helped me every semester of college! It's so important to find an organization method that works for you, and to know what your schedule looks like during the final weeks of school. Everything can become really overwhelming if you don't. Check out this post on planning for a busy week of college here.

2. Stay motivated - Confession: last week I was chillin' super hard, as if I was already on summer vacation. My motivation has just plateaued. It was a combination of coming back from Spring Break and very full weeks that just made me want to stop doing work altogether. But that is the best way to ruin all of the hard work that you've already done this semester. I had to find motivation to focus my energies back on my school work and really buckle down. I find motivation in reading articles on inspirational people, reading my gratitude journal, flipping through my agenda and physically seeing how much I've already done in one semester, and by reading the bible and other inspirational messages. 

3. Change your environment - At this point in the semester, my typical work/study space becomes all too comfortable. I usually like to study at my apartment, but during the final weeks of school I have to change my study space to somewhere on campus (where I know I won't fall asleep or start watching Bravo). The library can be a war zone during the last few weeks of school, so I try to avoid that building altogether. But I do find quiet study spaces in random buildings on campus and get lots of work/studying done in that environment.

4. Find an accountability partner - This can be difficult, but extremely helpful. I only have a couple of friends who I know are willing to stay up late or wake up early to study/do work during the final weeks of school. And I appreciate those friends so much. They motivate me to stay focused, stay organized, and stay confident about my abilities. These are also great friends to vent to during these last few weeks because they will totally understand where you're coming from :)

And if it's already final exam week for you -- check out this popular posts:

April 20, 2014

Happy Easter! How do you celebrate?

Easter is one of my absolute favorite holidays! I always spend it with family, at church and then eating a delicious meal. As a Christian, this holiday means so much to me and my faith and I'm very grateful for Jesus.

One of my new favorite Bible verses:

"But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have. But do this with gentleness and respect"
1 Peter 3:15 NIV

Easter means that my fast of giving up meat is also over. It's been a life-changing experience to eat like a pescatarian since March 1. I'm honestly still debating if I will go back to eating meat because I've enjoyed this lifestyle change.

If you participated in Lent, what did you give up? And how are you spending today?

April 18, 2014

Cleaning out my closet

I'm spending most of today on starting a project that will likely take a few months to complete…revamping my wardrobe! This is on my list of things to do during year 23, and I'm excited to take on the first step: cleaning out my closet.

Ok, so technically I haven't really gone through my closet since I moved in (almost two years ago!). I know I have items that I don't wear, don't need, no longer fit right, etc. And today I'm going through those items to clean out my closet and only keep what I want to take with me into this new "grown up" style.

I'll be donating most of the items, and selling some popular items to consignment stores.

Here's how I'm cleaning out my closet:
1. Taking on different parts at different times - Shoes, accessories, tops, bottoms, dresses, coats/jackets/sweaters, t-shirts. I'm doing half of these items today and the other half next week. I think doing it all at once can be overwhelming and you're less likely to get rid of everything you should if you have to do it all at once.

2. Shoes - I'm eliminating shoes if:

- They don't fit
-They're worn out
-I never wear them
-They're uncomfortable
I keep in season shoes out on the floor (see above) and out of season shoes in a large plastic blue box that I got from Target.

3. Accessories and tops - I think accessories are very versatile so I have trouble getting rid of these. But I'm eliminating belts and scarves if they're worn out or if I never wear them. And I'll pack up my winter scarves into a box once Atlanta's weather gets stable!

When it comes to tops, I am separating them into winter and summer tops. I am not going to go through my winter tops right now, but I will toward the end of summer. They will go in a storage box, similar to the shoe box. I am eliminating summer tops if:

-I never wear them
-They don't fit right
-They don't fit the adult wardrobe I'm going for
-I think I can sell them and buy a top I like more

4. T-shirts - Every college student/grad probably has a ridiculous collection of t-shirts, and I'm no outlier! While I do wear t-shirts to sleep in and workout in, there are some shirts that I never wear. I'm packing those up and they will be used in the t-shirt quilt I want to sew with my mom (hopefully this summer!). Here are other fun/interesting things to do with t-shirts.

5. Dresses and skirts - I still have some dresses from high school! And while they may still fit, I know that I should get rid of them because I don't wear them. First, I'm separating my dresses into fall/winter dresses versus spring/summer dresses, and I'm packing up the fall/winter skirts and dresses into a box. Then, I'm going through the spring/summer skirts and dresses and eliminating them if:
-They're too short
-They don't fit right in other areas
-They are out of style
-I never wear them
-They don't go with the new style I'm going for

6. Jackets and coats - These are also difficult to get rid of, but they take up so much space in my closet! I definitely need some new grown up coats and jackets so I know I need to get rid of the ones I have now. I'm making sure to keep a light jacket, heavy jacket, the blazers I wear the most, and a rain jacket. I'm eliminating jackets/coats/sweaters if:

-The arms are too short
-They're too short or too tight overall
-They are worn out
-I never wear them
-They don't go with the new style I'm going for

7. Everything else - if I haven't worn it or even considered wearing it in the past few months, I'm getting rid of it. It feels great to get rid of the old, and make room for the new. I also know that there are people who will appreciate my clothing donations.

Once I'm all finished cleaning and organizing, I'll be sure to share an update!

What are some other tips for cleaning out your closet?

April 17, 2014

Grad photo sessions

Part of starting/running your own business involves making sacrifices. And recently my communications business has been taking up a large portion of my schedule.A Consequently, I haven't been able to blog as often as I would like to blog. But, things are calming down and I have some fun posts scheduled for the rest of the week and the weekend :)

The busiest aspect of my business has been VKV Photography. I've been having tons of fun taking photos of graduating seniors at Georgia Tech! These photo sessions are such a special way for these seniors to celebrate their upcoming graduation and to create lasting photo memories. With multiple photo sessions every week and weekend, I've been spending most of my typical blogging time on photo editing and business. I am beyond grateful that I get to spend my time doing something that I love, and something that makes other people happy. God is good.

Here are a few of my favorites:

April 14, 2014

Kale salad with strawberry stuffed salmon

Mondays are usually my least favorite. But today was pretty great overall. I only had one class this morning and I spent the rest of the day resting, catching up on emails, editing photos from sessions this weekend, and working on some school essays. After all of that, I decided to make a quick healthy meal because my body was craving something nutritious. Kale salad with Strawberry Stuffed Salmon was a great idea.

This meal took me 10 minutes to prep, that's it! And this was the best kale salad I've ever had. As usual, the ingredients were inspired by…whatever I found in my fridge. That always sparks creativity.

I made enough for dinner tonight, lunch & a snack tomorrow.

Salad Ingredients
Kale (half of a bunch, chopped)
Strawberries (4)
White mushrooms (handful, chopped)
Broccoli slaw (1 cup)
Asparagus (5, chopped)
Black pepper (sprinkled)
Basil (sprinkled)
Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing

Salad instructions
Rinse ingredients then add to the bowl
Sprinkle Mozarella cheese on top

Strawberry Stuffed Salmon Ingredients
Salmon (1 fillet)
Strawberries (1 cup)
Black pepper
Lemon pepper
Raspberry Vinaigrette (2 teaspoons)
Worcestershire sauce 

Strawberry Stuffed Salmon instructions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Rinse salmon filet with cool water
3. Place on aluminum foil
4. Rinse and slice up half of the strawberries and smash the other half in a bowl/cup
5. Place the cut strawberries around the salmon on the foil
6. Pour 2 teaspoons of raspberry vinaigrette and 2 teaspoons of worcestershire sauce on the salmon
7. Evenly cover the salmon with seasonings (black pepper, lemon pepper, basil, curry)
8. Bake in the over for 15-20 minutes 
9. Cut into the salmon in different areas to add in smashed strawberries (strawberry filling)
10. Bake for 15 minutes, or until cooked through


This salad was so yummy and just the healthy meal I needed to start the week! If you love kale, strawberries, salmon, or all of the above like I do -- try this!!

April 13, 2014

Skylounge at Glenn Hotel and Glenn's Kitchen in ATL

After being in Boston all last weekend, it's been great to be home in Atlanta this weekend. I spent most of Friday doing work for my communications firm and I had a really fun photo session with two graduating seniors! Then Friday night, I went to dinner (with a view) with one of my best friends, Jade. Once we made dinner plans, I searched for somewhere that neither of us had been and somewhere with a great view of the city.

I thought Glenn's Kitchen and the Skylounge at Glenn Hotel would be the perfect spot to grab dinner then drinks on the rooftop, and Jade agreed! I made reservations (which is always a great idea when dining out in ATL during the weekend).

First we had dinner on the main floor at Glenn's Kitchen.

 Jade ordered a salad with a side of grilled chicken, and she enjoyed all of it!

I ordered the vegetarian risotto with a side of shrimp, and my meal was also really satisfying!

After dinner, we took the elevator upstairs to the Skylounge and ordered Arnold Palmer cocktails while sitting beside very large windows overlooking downtown and midtown Atlanta. #Perfection

The view from all sides of the rooftop = amazingggg. I will definitely be returning to the Skylounge at Glenn Hotel during the summer. Nothing better than good food, great drinks, and a spectacular view of Atlanta.

I'm planning to visit every spot in Atlanta with a view during the summer, so get ready for those posts!


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