Hello, I’m V.

The founder of GRIT & GLAMOUR, a professional web content developer by day, and a die-hard Southerner. I’m a dog-person; a total hedonist and foodie; and when I’m not cooking or scrolling Instagram, you can find me relaxing with my Aussie husband and a dirty martini…bleu cheese olives required.

  • Weekend Reading | 2.22.2019

    Karl Lagerfeld by Stan Honda/AFP

    Hello friends!

    Thank you to those of you who have commented or messaged me in support of my return to the blog. It means a lot because I’m still often on the fence about whether it’s worth the time I put into it. And it’s a LOT of time, believe me…even for what looks like a simple post.

    Now I remember why I abandoned it for so long — any blog you read these days that’s really great is a full-time endeavor. I’m not kidding! The blogs that survive and thrive are the ones that have a full-time person (or team) behind them. Over here at G&G, it’s just little ol’ me, in the hours I’m not working or wife-ing or working out. So when you comment here, especially, it really is a thumbs-up that lets me know I’m doing something you enjoy. 🙂

    Here are this weekend’s suggested reads…

    Everyone is lamenting Kaiser Karl, except me. I give the man credit for his sartorial contributions, but at the end of the day, he was an elitist, pompous you-know-what — talented, but not nice. Just because you think something doesn’t mean you should say it, especially when you have an audience of millions…

    Birkenstock x Valentino is dropping soon. Birkies have come a long way, baby. Do you wear Birks? Still love mine after so many years of loathing them. My post, Tips for Buying and Wearing Birkenstocks, ended up being one of my most popular, with 364,000+ page views, and hundreds of comments. Who knew?!


    I was so restless this week. Perhaps this is why I should have taken some melatonin: More Tired Than Usual? This Is How A Full Moon Can Affect Your Sleep

    I loved the way the fabulously irreverent Annika von Holdt thumbed her nose at the whole “old Celine” phenomenon…

    “I expected sunshine today, but it turned out grey. Here I am to match the colours of Mordor in my oldest outfit, including the glasses (#oldrayban). I see people hashtagging #oldceline like their life depended on it. I guess old is a trend now, and I know a bandwagon when I see one. The biker jacket (#oldrickowens) is running on its 10th year. But I still love it and wear it often. I found the draped t-shirt (#veryoldrickowens) in the basement the other day. I have no idea why I put it there. It’s as good as old. I gave the pants (#oldisabelmarant) to the 15-year old when he was 12 because they were too big and he liked the loose fit. And I got them back today. I think it’s safe to conclude that my arse (#oldarse) got bigger. 😱 Off to the gym, I go.#notoldceline

    Since we’ve definitely worn hygge the hell out…Lykke Is the New Hygge and It’s All We’ve Ever Needed. (What makes you happy?)

    Why do we spend so much at Trader Joe’s? Maybe this is why I love TJs so much?

    I am never without my Fitbit Versa. But every day I’m on the fence about getting an AppleWatch…until I remember the battery life and lack of sleep tracking. One day. Yet this is food for thought, especially if you have a history of disease in your family, or an issue-prone family member: Can smartwatches save lives? Some users say ‘yes’.

    Do you wear a smartwatch? If so, which one? Let me know in the comments, as well as how it has impacted your life.

    Header photo of Karl Lagerfeld by Stan Honda/AFP via Scroll.in.
    This post contains affiliate links.

  • Seven Pillars of Health

    healthy self - heal thy self

    [su_dropcap style=”flat”]D[/su_dropcap]r. Sara Gottfried recently posted this on Instagram, and I found it so informative, I felt compelled to share here. She packed a tremendous amount of info into such a small space…it’s the nitty gritty on how to optimize your health based on the most recent research.

    She actually presented this information at the World Government Summit. I’ve embedded the video below. If you are dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle, you should definitely watch this.

    The Seven Pillars of Health by Sara Gottfried

    1st Pillar: Eat.

    Food is information for the DNA of your human cells, but also for your microbiome. Eat 1 lb of vegetables a day, 20-30 species a week. That’s the way our ancestors ate.  WHEN you eat is as important. Our genome evolved eating during limited daylight hours followed by metabolic rest. An 8-hour eating window followed by 16-hour overnight fast (16:8) is best.

    [This is one I have been experimenting with over the last year. It really works, and it makes you look and feel better. I do 16:8, but on a schedule that works for me, which is eating between 8am and 4pm. I try to stick to this plan Monday through Thursday. Not eating after 4pm has been especially helpful in dealing with my (sucky) silent reflux.]

    2nd Pillar: Move.

    The muscle fibers that you lose first as you get older are the type IIB. They are responsible for the explosive effort needed for actions like box-jumping and burpees. Cultivate IIB today.

    3rd Pillar: Sleep.

    We need 7-8.5 hours of sleep a night. Track your deep sleep. Aim for a minimum of 90 min deep sleep each night. Why? Good sleep is essential to keeping your telomeres long and lovely. Telomeres are our biological aging markers.

    [Got sleep issues? Get a Fitbit and track your sleep, so you can tweak habits as necessary. Luke Storey says you can’t hack it if you don’t track it. He’s right! A Fitbit provides revealing heart rate stats too, aside from helping you be more active.]

    4th Pillar: Think. 

    Gut-brain axis and its integrity is essential to your health. The way we rise above stress is one of the ways to interfere with the thought process. Those with high perceived stress are at greatest risk. It shrinks your telomeres, it shrinks your brain, it pokes holes in your gut lining. This can disrupt your ability to think. 

    5th Pillar: Soothe.

    What can you do to reduce your perceived stress? To buffer the matrix of your body from high cortisol? Exercise is one of the best ways to buffer stress. As is yoga.. The new area of social genomics is very important to health. We are anciently wired to scan our environment for 3 things: social conflict, rejection and social isolation. When you experience any of these 3 things, it triggers your immune system to go into high alert. It triggers an inflammatory cascade and is probably at the root of the epidemic of autoimmune disease. 

    6th Pillar: Connect.

    The new area of social genomics is very important to health. We are anciently wired to scan our environment for 3 things: social conflict, rejection and social isolation. When you experience any of these 3 things, it triggers your immune system to go into high alert. It triggers an inflammatory cascade and is probably at the root of the epidemic of autoimmune disease. 

    7th Pillar: Detox.

    I was taught that detoxification takes place naturally in the body. But that is not my experience over 25 years working with patients. I have found my patients are commonly toxic. From drinking too much alcohol, or from being exposed to pesticides. We have to actively detoxify.

    [If you listen to my podcast, you know that I gave up alcohol last year. It’s been almost five months, and while I miss it, my skin and overall sleep have greatly improved. Remember: alcohol is a toxin we have total control over, unlike many environmental toxins.]

    Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bt_nHIYlvW8/

  • An Ode to the Un-Bathroom

    [su_dropcap style=”flat”]I [/su_dropcap] have an un-bathroom. Well, a half-un-bathroom, which is a half-bath that is decidedly not very bathroom-y. It has a toilet, sure. And a sink. It used to have white wainscoting and horrific red walls (like the cherry on top…ugh), until my husband graciously ripped it all out and rebuilt it to what it is today: smooth, dark grey walls that envelop you, gilded-frame paintings, and moodiness to spare…and though she be but little, she is fierce, to quote The Bard.

    I didn’t even realize it was an un-bathroom until I happened across this post via Alisa Bovino (love her…follow her Insta too), which coined the term (at least for me), and got me thinking. What’s not to love about an un-bathroom? Would that we could make every bathroom an un-bathroom? How I wish.

    What is an un-bathroom?

    It’s a bathroom, yes. But one in which the most prominent definers of the space — sink/toilet/tub — are not the first things you notice, visually. What you notice is decor, not functional elements (with the exception of a grand soaking tub, the only potentially delightful focal point of the latrine).

    For some, the un-bathroom is a little more library than loo. For others, more lounge than lavatory. It’s irreverent and unexpected and totally fantastic. And above all, it’s entertaining. Because isn’t that what we all crave when we have some downtime in the dunny? A little distraction? From the business (ahem) at hand, and life?

    Behold, the un-bathroom:

    Elements of the un-bathroom

    The elements of the un-bathroom are simple: anything that you don’t expect to see in a bathroom. Preferably all at once. Books. Wallpaper. Art. Oriental rugs. Fresh flowers. Proper curtains. A fireplace. A chandelier. It’s basically anarchy in the WC.

    [su_pullquote align=”right”]The un-bathroom is rebellious. There are no rules.[/su_pullquote] And why do we usually not see these things in a bathroom? Practicality, one. Steam, moisture, and wallpaper, art, and books don’t usually mix. Space is the other reason, but it’s not a limiting one. Just because you can’t kit your restroom out with a fireplace doesn’t mean you can’t transform it eight other different ways! If you’ve got walls, you have a gallery in the making.

    The point of the un-bathroom is to treat it like any other space in your home, filling it with the things you love, practicality be damned. Whatever your style, carry it straight into the bathroom as well, or give that space its own unique vibe.

    Half-baths are an ideal place to go bold with wallpaper or hang fine art, since there is no steam or water splashing about. If you’ve always wanted to throw a wildly pattered paper on the wall, but feel like it’s too much in main living areas, or perhaps your partner isn’t game, go for it the half-bath. I bet you — and your guests — will love it.

    Do you have an un-bathroom? What do you think of them? Do tell!

    Photo sources:


  • Weekend Reading | 2.16.2019

    I have been a fan of Grace Atwood’s Weekend Reading lists for a long time — she always shares links to the most interesting articles around the Web. It’s a superb way to aggregate and share all those bits and pieces you stumble upon online throughout the course of the week.

    Waaaaay back in the history of G&G, I used to do the same, but it was called Sunday Coffee. Since I don’t know whether I will share these types of posts on Saturday or Sunday, I wanted a more generic title, and I didn’t want to copy Grace. So I Googled, of course. And you know what? Lots of sites use “Weekend Reading” or “Weekend Reads”…so I decided to go with it. This is weekend reading, isn’t it? Why not just call it what it is.

    Now that that’s out of the way, here is the list.

    Shared these recently on Twitter:

    A faucet that measures the exact amount of water you need? I’ve seen it all now.

    The better best way to cook Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi.

    Speaking of cooking, I made this skillet chicken pot pie with biscuits a few weeks ago and it was a hit. But y’all know I did not make those biscuits from scratch! Annie’s Flaky Organic Biscuits to the rescue.

    A Zara haul for grown women. Love Jess and Charlotte’s channel.

    These look delish: 15 Plant-Forward Meals to Prep This Sunday

    Loved this: I Never Wanted Children. Along Came A Dog Named Sophie.

    Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

  • There is no growth without rain.

    [su_dropcap style=”flat”]I[/su_dropcap] spent much of 2018 soul searching. I didn’t have a mid-life crisis — I’m far too Cancerian for that — but an existential crisis, maybe, likely, yes. Or at the minimum, a deep-seated need to push through creative and spiritual stagnation, if you will.

    I read. I journaled. I prayed. I walked. I did numerology and deciphered my birth chart; placed black tourmaline, pyrite, quartz, and amethyst strategically in my home; and kept my eyes peeled for signs, like the feathers I found in my car and in my garage (sans bird) which happens to be the Helpful People and Travel section of the Feng Shui Bagua of my house). PS: Helpful People can mean spiritual beings.

    I spent countless hours contemplating life, renovations, and the future with my husband and a wine glass in hand. My mind perked up and my brain delighted in connecting some dots between the physical and metaphysical. And while my consciousness expanded, everything stayed almost the same. Including the wine glass in my hand.

    Until it wasn’t.

    Image credit:Unknown. I also shared this on instagram (@gritandglamour)

    In September, after a series of sore throats and some Googling, I realized I had Silent Reflux, which was later officially diagnosed by a doctor. I had to give up coffee, chocolate, everything acidic, and…alcohol. (Listen to Episode 34 of my podcast for more).

    I guess the giant hunk of amethyst I had placed in my living room had done its work, so-to-speak, one way or the other. In Ancient Greek, amethyst (ἀμέθυστος; amethystos) means, “not drunk.” There’s some crystal energy, for ya.

    I knew through all my reading and researching that spiritually-enlightened people don’t tend to imbibe. Consciousness and clarity can’t be found at the bottom of a bottle. You can’t hear if you’re not clear. And while I’ve never had a drinking problem or a drinking “rock-bottom,” I just couldn’t let it go, no matter how hard I tried to moderate it. And yet I still wanted answers. Enlightenment. A sign about what I’m really supposed to be doing with this earthly life.

    Although I still don’t have all my answers (yet), one thing I know is this:[su_highlight background=”#faf0ef”] there is no growth without rain. [/su_highlight] And rained, it has. I am still weathering the storm of my diagnosis, as well as some other health challenges that will require surgery (soon) to assess. But I have learned that instead of asking, Why is this happening to me?, I must ask Why is this happening FOR me? Because:


    [su_quote]This statement might be hard to digest when you feel like you’re stuck in a rut or hitting a rockbottom. The idea that we can be punished is a superstition that can block us from seeing what we are being gifted. Every wave that hits is a gift from the Universe, pushing you back onto your correct path or arriving as a teacher to help you reach a higher state of manifestation. Navigating these lessons can be the hardest part of the experience, yet you will soon find your feet beneath once you realize that whatever you might be going through is truly a gift. Once unwrapped, navigating the gift is what will propel you to UPLEVEL your circumstance and best align your self-worth, deservingness and authentic path.[/su_quote]

    (Quote via https://tobemagnetic.com)