Happy Monday everyone.  Today’s post is from a new member of the VAE team.  Her name is Erynn Edwards, stay tuned to the blog she will be making her formal debut very soon.  I will give you a hint about her, she has a beautiful spirit and its reflected in her post today.

Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther KingSmile! Today is the national holiday honoring the birthday of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The other night, when I was on the phone with my hunny, he told me about one of his coworkers asking him, “Why are we closed on Monday?”.

Listening to this, I realized that many of us forget what today represents or see today only as an “extended weekend”. Between being working women, pleasing our significant other, taking care of our family, and just dealing with life’s drama, we desperately need a vacation!

I admit, I made plans well in advance to attend a midday Detroit Pistons basketball game with my friends.  Not until I began to write this post, did I truly do my own reflecting in honor of MLK Day.  Like the rest of us, I was just happy to switch up my normal routine.

We get so wrapped up in our own lives that we forget to reflect on the impact Dr. King has made on society. I have challenged myself to find my personal beliefs on what signifies the legacy of MLK and share my thoughts with you. I feel this day represents the increase of:







Everyday, I want to work toward improving my approaches to situations through my attitudes and outlook. I am choosing to take this day to perpetuate optimism— as Dr. King has taught us. What will you do today to celebrate the strides of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?

Image credit:  Martin Luther King, March for Equality, Signing of Civil Rights Act, March to end Jim Crow, 1963 March on Washington

WreathAfter the joy of the holidays are over, there’s something about live evergreens that keep my spirit perky during the dreary winter months.  Yes, all the holiday decor is packed away but I am still holding on to the live door wreath.  Although the smell and color has faded, the fullness hasn’t diminished.  Today’s DIY is a quick and simple way to transform a live evergreen wreath.

step 1 wreath

Step 2 wreath

Step 3 wreath

images by Lotoya


Fruit SmootieFor the new year I’ve made a personal vow to eat 5 fruits and vegetables a day.  Beginning my day with a smoothie has helped me honor my commitment. The first time I made a smoothie it was rated NF for nasty fail.  Who knew there was an art to creating smoothie recipes.  Mine always had a thin consistency, and tasted like raw bland vegetables…yes you can imagine YUCK.  Clearly I need to follow a proven recipe.  After months of wasted ingredients, I’ve finally got it.  Today I am sharing with you my favorite morning treat, Dandelion Berry Peach Smoothie recipe.

Fruit Smoothie

Fruit and Vegetable SmootieIngredients

2 cups Dandelion leaves

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/2 cup frozen peaches

1/2 cup frozen mixed berries

1/2 cup water

1 tsp sunflower oil

Cooks Tools


Measuring Cup

Measuring spoon


  1. Add all of the ingredients in the following order; yogurt, water, peaches, berries, dandelion and oil.

  2. Blend on high, until smoothie consistency, pour into glass and serve.

Yields: 1 serving

Images by Lotoya


Snowy Path

Happy Happy New Year!  I am so excited for 2014, even years are super amazing for me.  All the major milestones in my life has happened in even years.  From the year I was born (I won’t reveal just yet), high school graduation  and starting V Agency just to name a few.  Today begins a FRESH start for us all.  Take time today to create your plan for the year.  I believe we all can achieve any goal we set for ourselves.  My motto for the year is to PUSH beyond the challenges and obstacles of achieving our goals.  I look forward to the journey of 2014 for us all.  Have you created your plan for the year?  If so, please leave a comment and share.

Photo credit: Snowy Path

The jefferson house restuarntAs you all know, I am a foodie at heart.  When I think of dinning out, hotel restaurants aren’t on my list of choices.   That’s until; I introduced myself to The Jefferson House in the Crowne Plaza Pontchartrain in downtown Detroit.  Last month I frequented the hotel while planning an event, always exploring to try new Detroit Eats, I had the opportunity to have lunch.  The restaurant style is classic American, with an upscale but casual theme that is captured in the menu selections.  The menu items pay homage to metro Detroit style cuisine from a Michigan Cherry Salad to a Mediterranean Chicken Shawarma sandwich.  My favorite item on the menu is the classic Caesar salad with grilled shrimp.  Not your traditional Caesar, the shredded romaine lettuce is tossed lightly with the creamy house Caesar dressing, then pilled high on a surprise bed of toasted grated Parmesan.  I have never had a Caesar salad with the taste and texture of this salad…toasted Parmesan is just brilliant.  I am so addicted to this salad I haven’t allowed myself to explore the menu any further. The Jefferson House Caesar Salad

Chicken Shawarma sandwich presented on a mini butcher block

The Jefferson House restaurantI am super impressed with The Jefferson House from the atmosphere, quality of food and the presentation is beyond amazing.