My Yoga Must-Haves

First of all, happy early Fourth of July, everyone! We’re celebrating both the holiday and our three-year anniversary, and we’re doing so with our usual method of celebration: eating. Mmmm. I’m looking forward to trying out Shucks in Brookhaven. They have a happy hour special in which you can get a dozen oysters for $6. Sign. Me. Up.

I can’t believe it’s been three years since our wedding, and six years since I moved to Atlanta. My time in Georgia has been full of wonderful things, but I must admit, after a long period of drastic change, I find myself wanting to get back to my roots. You know, the things that have made me historically happy. Playing my guitar is one of those things. Yoga is another.

Brad and I have tried a couple generic yoga classes at the various gyms we’ve belonged to since moving to Atlanta, but ashtanga is my true love. Brad likes it, too. So, when we saw that an ashtanga-focused studio called onlYoga was offering a fantastic Groupon deal, we jumped at the chance to sign up. It’s only been a couple weeks, but we’re loving it so far, and I have optimistic dreams of making it my home studio.

Since I’ve got yoga on the brain, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite things. Of course, yoga and materialism aren’t really supposed to go together, but this is me we’re talking about, so clearly, I’ve gotta have the best gear. I have issues.

Glitter and Goat Cheese Yoga Must-Haves List

  1. Manduka PROlite Mat in Quest: When I started yoga in 2006-ish, I had no idea what I was doing, so I bought a super-thin Nike pilates mat. It worked out OK for a while, but now, my bones are getting older, I guess, and the cushioning just isn’t cutting it for me anymore. So, I recently upgraded to a big girl mat by Manduka. I did a lot of research, and I narrowed my choices down to the Manduka Pro (too heavy for walking to class from work), the Jade Harmony (not durable enough), Lululemon’s The Mat (Lulu has enough of my money), and the aforementioned PROlite (the winner!). I read a lot of reviews that said the PROlite could be quite slippery, but I prefer to use a non-slip towel on top of my mat anyway, so stickiness wasn’t a big factor for me. So far, I love it! It wasn’t cheap, but it has a lifetime guarantee, so hopefully, I’ll never have to buy another yoga mat again.
  2. BKR 500mL bottle in Cupcake: I totally fell prey to the marketing of this little guy. It’s all over the internet, and I’ll be honest: I wanted one because of the pretty factor. I got one for my birthday, and thankfully, it totally lives up to the hype! It’s pretty amazing how much better water tastes in a glass bottle, and the BKR has the perfect size and shape. Mine goes with me everywhere – it’s become like a security blanket. If you’re considering getting one, DO IT. You will love it forever and ever.
  3. Lululemon Swiftly Racerback in Heathered Black: As I mentioned before, I don’t love supporting Lululemon. But I have to admit: the products in their Swiftly line are great. You can sweat for hours, and they really do stay dry. And they don’t get smelly! It’s like magic. This particular top is a little too see-through for me to wear by itself, but I love it as my first layer. It’s nice and long, too.
  4. Yogitoes Mat Towel in Lapis: Mat towels are an absolute must for me. There are allegedly mats that keep you from slipping when you sweat, but I feel that I sweat an inordinate amount. We’re talking puddles underneath me (sorry, TMI?). Even if a mat could keep me from slipping in those conditions, I’d still have puddles on my mat, and that’s gross. I have to have a towel to soak up the sweat, and this one is the very best. It has little nubbins on the underside that keep it from moving around. Sadly, I actually don’t have this beautiful tie-dye one – my plain blue and orange towel is on its eighth year and still going strong. But if I ever replace it, you can bet I’ll be going for something with a little more pizazz.
  5. Athleta Relay Capri in Bora Bora Blue: These are technically running capris, which means they have a little zippered pocket on the back that might bother you during yoga. It can’t even feel it, though, and I prefer thicker bottoms – yoga pants tend to be on the thinner side – so these are perfection. They’re super slimming, and so comfortable!
  6. Manduka GO Roam bag in Pewter: When I upgraded my mat, I discovered that it no longer fit in my old Gaiam bag. Oops. Since I’ve been walking to class from the office, I figured another upgrade was in order. I just ordered this, so I can’t really review it quite yet, but I’ll check back in when it’s gotten some use. It has a large compartment in back for the mat, and two separate organized pockets in front for cell phones, keys, wallets, sunglasses, towels, etc. I think my water bottle will fit nicely in the mat compartment, too. I’m so excited! PS: All of Manduka’s yoga mat bags are on sale right now with free shipping, and you can get 15% off with the promo code INDULGE15. Shhh. You didn’t hear it from me.
  7. Lululemon Bang Buster Headband: As much as I want to, I just can’t seem to quit Lulu. This headband is amazing because nobody wants to wear bobby pins or hair clips during yoga. They stab you in the head! Not good. The extra-wide band on top keeps my bangs completely off my face, but the slimmer part underneath means I can still wear a low braid. I can’t find the one I have – “Wamo Camo” in pink and slate – on the site anymore, but I think they still have it in stores. It’s so damn cute, too. Ugh.
  8. Athleta Chi Tank Extra Long in Grey Heather: These are SO GOOD. They’re not too thick and not too thin. They’re not skin-tight (important for those of us who aren’t skinny minnies), but they’re fitted enough that they don’t fall down when you’re doing inversions. They’re the perfect length (make sure you get the Extra Long!). They come in beautiful colors (though they all appear to be sold out in my size), plus a few other patterns on the site. I only have one now, but as soon as my size in back in stock, I plan to stock up. Love ‘em.

So, those are my current favorite items! I already owned a few pieces, but many of them were birthday purchases. Happy birthday to me!

What’s on your favorite workout gear list? Link me – I want to see!

A New Home for My Guitar

I have, in my possession, what I consider to be a very gorgeous guitar.

Ovation Legend in Cherry Burst - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

I decided to take up playing when I was 14 or 15, and on Christmas morning, I came downstairs to find an Ovation sitting on a stand in front of the tree. I thought it was quite possibly the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

I took lessons until I graduated, and while I didn’t possess much natural ability, I loved everything about the culture of acoustic guitar. I had crushes on boys who changed my strings and taught me Copeland songs; I ran in crowds that strummed Dave Matthews and Dispatch around summer campfires; I spent school nights staying up late practicing Dashboard Confessional.

My sophomore year of college, I moved in with my cousin and started spending a lot of time with his friends from Berklee (including my brand-new boyfriend, a certain Brad Fisher). Hanging out with real musicians, I became a little bashful about my own lack of skill, and slowly started playing my guitar less and less. I’m ashamed to say that since then, my beautiful baby has spent most of its time in its case in a closet.

For some reason, though, lately I’ve wanted to play. I’m terribly out of practice and it’s been doing horrible things to my gel manicure, but it feels like I’m getting back to my roots and I love it. And if I want to keep that up, it needs to stay out of the closet. So, it’s time for my guitar to have a better home.

In the corner of our living room, there’s currently a giant bookcase.

Large wood bookcase in living room - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

It’s in decent condition, but it’s not really our style anymore, and it’s just so big. We’ve been trying (unsuccessfully) to get rid of it since we moved in. We even took pictures of it for Craigslist, but for whatever reason, we never posted it. All of our books are on a bookcase in the guest room, so this one just holds random picture frames, vases, and other knick-knacks that could easily be relocated. We have limited floor space downstairs, so when I decided that my guitar needed a new home, the first thing I thought of was hanging it on the wall. And there’s some prime wall space hiding behind that giant bookcase. So it’s time for it to GO.

Once we’ve moved the bookcase, I have big dreams. Brad wants to hang up his bass, too, which I’m completely on board with. When I was growing up, my dad had electric basses scattered all over the house and played them all the time, and I’m eager to hear the familiar sound again.

We want our guitars downstairs so that we’ll play them, not so they’ll look pretty, but since this is a home design blog, let’s look at some of my favorite hanging-guitar inspiration, shall we?

Thomas and Nicole Colbert's living room via Design Sponge

Thomas and Nicole Colbert’s living room via Design*Sponge

Hanging guitars next to navy bookcase by Little Green Notebook

Jenny Komenda‘s old living room

Hanging guitars in Lesley W Graham's bedroom

Lesley W. Graham‘s bedroom

Living room by David Benrud for Pottery Barn - via Apartment Therapy

Design by David Benrud for Pottery Barn, via Apartment Therapy

We don’t have a ton of space to work with now, but ultimately, we plan to replace our couch-end table-chaise situation with one sectional couch which would theoretically not go as close to the wall. And we do need some storage over there. So, we’re thinking of replacing the bookcase with something smaller-scale. We’re toying with the idea of Brad building this piece from The Design Confidential. The guitars would hang over it.

The Design Confidential - Two-door Campaign Side Table

Wouldn’t it be pretty painted white with brass hardware, like this?

So, what do you all think? Since I have an even number of items to hang, I should offset them with some art, right? This is going to be fun!

Lonely Home = House Updates

My husband just returned from a six-week tour, and boy, am I glad to have him back. I didn’t mention this before because I try not to advertise being home alone, but he was out guitar teching and running monitors for our good friends Manchester Orchestra. It was such an amazing opportunity for him and really exciting for both of us, but I have to admit, it was rough for me to spend so much time without my husband. I really, really missed him, and I was just so BORED.

To keep myself distracted (and to take advantage of being completely in charge), I made just a few updates to the house. It cheered me up substantially, and luckily, Brad approves of all the changes. Want to see?

Colorful living room with gold, blue and fuchsia accents - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

The changes might not be super obvious, so for reference, here’s what our living room looked like last fall:

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Colorful living room with framed maps

Some day, we’re going to hide those cables hanging from the TV. I swear.

I finally bit the bullet and picked up the mango wood box frame coffee table I’ve been eyeing at West Elm. I’ve been hoarding gift cards since 2012 (literally) and stalking the table to see if it would go on sale. Finally, there was a 15% off sale for Memorial Day, so I went for it. I picked it up at the store, carried the box inside, and built the thing all by myself. So proud!

Living room with abstract art, West Elm box frame coffee table and Lulu and Georgia Lalita rug - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

You may have noticed that I chose not to keep the overdyed rug I got from Rugs USA. In case you haven’t been keeping up with this saga, here’s the summary: I ordered this rug during a sale, but when it arrived, it was very clearly this rug. I called customer service, and I was informed that Rugs USA’s policy does not allow exchanges – even in the event of company error. Despite the fact that I was sent the wrong product, it was on me to photograph the rug I received, file a formal report, wait for a return shipping label to be emailed to me, and then package and ship back the rug. In the meantime, the company would not be able to send me the correct item. I would need to wait for my return to be processed, and then I would be issued a refund. With said refund, I could decide whether to re-order the original product. What if the rug was no longer available? What if it was no longer on sale? Too bad, they said. I was told on the phone originally that Rugs USA would set up a UPS pickup. When I received my shipping label, I asked about the pickup, and I was told that this wasn’t possible.

Honestly, the whole thing was absolute nonsense. I know a lot of people have been thrilled with their purchases from Rugs USA, and the sales are great, but this company could not care less about their customers. If you get the right rug and you like it, fantastic. If not: Lord help you. Once I started Googling, I found countless examples of other customers who had gone through a similar experience and vowed never to shop at Rugs USA again. I’m joining their numbers. I opted not to re-order the fuchsia rug, and instead, I bought the rug I’d wanted all along: the Lalita rug from Lulu and Georgia. I’d passed on it originally because it was a little bit more expensive, but now that I have it, I can see that it was worth every penny.

Lulu and Georgia Lalita rug and West Elm box frame coffee table - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

The quality is beautiful, and the colors are crazy-vibrant.

Close-up of Lulu and Georgia Lalita rug - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

The 5’3″x7’6″ is obviously a bit on the small side for our living room, but there was no chance I could afford anything bigger (and I think the color would probably be overpowering in a larger size), so once we ditch our wall-to-wall carpeting, I’ll probably layer it over an 8×10 jute rug. By the way, I know the rug is supposed to go underneath the front legs of the sofa, but have you ever tried to lift a sofa and simultaneously move a rug all by yourself? It ain’t easy, my friends. I’ll have to get Brad to help later.

Colorful living room and dining room via Glitter and Goat Cheese

Did you notice the new woven yellow tray? It’s Nate Berkus for Target, and they only have it in pink and green on the website now, but I’m sure they still have the yellow one in stores. The plastic coral one that used to be there wasn’t jiving with the rug, and I’m trying to bring in some more natural textures, anyway. I love it!

I already posted about our new Moroccan end table (also made of mango wood, like the coffee table) from TJ Maxx and the vintage gold mini-cabinet from DuPre’s, but I feel that they deserve better quality photos.

Moroccan mango end table from TJ Maxx - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

I’m not so sure about the shade of orange on that coral lamp anymore. There’s plenty of orange in the new rug, but it’s a bit lighter and brighter. I might need to tape off the base and give the orange part a coat of spray paint. Maybe in a pale yellow?

Our mini-cabinet is currently hanging out by the front door. It looks a little odd, now, but I think it’ll be better when the living room and hallway aren’t separated by different types of floor.

Colorful living room with Lulu and Georgia Lalita rug - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

Vintage gold brass cabinet - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

Don’t mind the mess in my hallway that you can see in the reflection. Yes, I move things out of sight and throw them on the floor when I’m taking pictures. You do the same thing – I know it!

I didn’t change much in the dining room, but I did take the sheepskins off our ghost chairs for summer and bring in a lot of plants from our deck. They looked beautiful out there, but I wanted to have a little more control over the amount of watering the succulents got.

Blue and fuchsia dining room - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

Gray and gold Ikea Rast hacks with succulents - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

I’m a little embarrassed that I forgot to move the paper towel under my succulent bowl before I took this picture. I also haven’t re-glued one of the brass corners that fell off our Rast dressers. Oopsies.

So anyway, that’s about it. I’m really starting to love our downstairs, but I still can’t wait to replace our shlubby old sofa and get some hardwoods in there. Can you picture it?! It’s almost there!

Have you made any late-spring updates to your home? Tell me about ‘em!

The Past Few Weeks, According to My Phone

Oh, hey, everyone. I really hate when I don’t post for a long time, but I’ve been stupid busy, which is partly good and partly just obnoxious. I have a bunch of projects I want to start/finish and a bunch of things I want to take pictures of, but I haven’t had a free second! Boohoo, poor me, etc. So, I figured I’d share a few of the things with iPhone pictures of subpar quality. Please, keep in mind that I took most of these for myself, so the areas of my home you’re about to see are, uh, not styled or cleaned up or prettified. We’re keeping it real today.

I recently took some rough measurements of our downstairs to get an idea of how much it might cost to redo the terrible, tragic floors, and I confirmed what I already knew – that it’s going to be a while before we can afford it. So, I’ve endeavored to cover them up as much as possible so that my hatred for them won’t burn me up inside with QUITE as hot of a fire. I started with this runner from Overstock.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Foyer with gold frames and geometric area rug

I pushed myself out of my gray comfort zone to get the Brown/Bone, and ultimately, I’m glad I did. We needed some warmer shades up in here, and it also should be pretty good at disguising dirt. In the above photo, you can also see that we’ve made some progress on the gold frame collage in the stairway, and you can see my new vintage brass(-ish) mini cabinet thing in the bottom left! I don’t know what time period it’s from or even what to call it, but I just love it. I found it at DuPre’s Antique Market in Marietta Square and felt that I couldn’t live without it, so my mom bought it for me as an early birthday gift. I’ll post better pictures of it some day soon!

I’m still pretending to know how to take care of plants, so I got a few hanging baskets for our porch. I did a fair amount of research on shade-friendly flowers that can handle being neglected, and I came up with lobelia.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Hanging lobelia

Aren’t they pretty? They droop when they’re thirsty, then I water them and they perk back up. I like plants that tell me what they want.

Speaking of plants, I was CRAZY bored the other night, so I said to myself, “Self, you should gold leaf something,” and the first thing that came to mind was terra cotta pots, a la The Hunted Interior. I’m really feeling how they came out.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - DIY gold leafed terra cotta pots

I usually try not to tell the internet if I’m going out of town, but now that I’m back, I can tell you that I spent last weekend in California(!). Brad was there working with our insanely talented friends from Manchester Orchestra, so I got to see them play two nights in a row.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Manchester Orchestra Cope tour

I’ve been to many Manchester shows, but they inexplicably get better every time I see them, and this tour is particularly amazing. If there’s a show near you and it isn’t already sold out, you need to get yourself a ticket.

For another part of my trip, I visited my dear friend Katie in San Francisco.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Steph and Katie in San Francisco

Katie and I met in college, and after graduation, we both scattered across the country, so we don’t get to see each other much. I was really pumped to spend even a couple days with her, and she showed me SUCH a good time. I love San Francisco! I couldn’t believe how GREEN everything was. I know I probably drove everybody nuts by talking about the plant life so much, but it’s just a really beautiful city. And really fun, too.

Another great thing about Katie is that she introduced me to this amazing kale and brussels sprout salad recipe.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Kale and brussels sprout salad

I made it the other night and it was even more delicious than I expected. To counteract the healthy factor, I served it with spinach artichoke grilled cheese sandwiches. Holy moly.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Spinach artichoke grilled cheese

I find food photography to be an extremely intimidating art form, and I’m pretty sure this phone photo hasn’t captured the magic of these sandwiches. But trust me when I tell you that they may be one of the tastiest things I’ve ever put in my mouth. TRY THEM. TODAY.

Jumping back to when I went out of town: My dog, Macy, had a bit of a tough time. She was at the kennel and decided she was just done and wanted out, so she wouldn’t let anyone near her. I had to hire a trainer to go pick her up (PS: Frogs to Dogs is AMAZING) and then our petsitter took care of her the rest of the weekend. She’s a very special creature, and I just want to be with her and protect her at all times.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Steph and Macy

My poor sweet little fool.

Lastly, I ordered this rug during the Rugs USA Mother’s Day sale, and it came today. Imagine my surprise when I unrolled it and instead of being violet, it was hot pink. Of course, I had to lay it out to see how it looked.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Rugs USA Windsor Overdyed Grove Rug in Pink

This is what it was supposed to look like:

Windsor Overdyed Grove Rug in Violet

Ohh, you guys, I don’t know what to do. Fuchsia is my favorite. And I think that would look really good in here. But the pink is so cheerful and warm, and it has less of the distressed white parts, and UGH, I don’t know. I attempted to PhotoShop it into fuchsia to see how it would look.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Living room with Photoshopped rug

I’m very, very torn. I’m not sure I can live with myself if I don’t try the fuchsia, but how much would it stink if I sent the pink back and ended up liking it better? I’m going to call Rugs USA tomorrow and see what my options are.

So, that’s what’s been going on in my neck of the woods. What’s up with all of you?

Keeping Our Home Cohesive

Hello, friends. Is everyone having a nice spring? I’ve been having a lot of fun cooing over all my new plants on the deck (I deadhead my hanging baskets daily and I LOVE it) and actually attempting some gardening in back. Last weekend, I got 300 free ladybugs from Pike Nursery to take care of the aphid problem on my rosebushes and released them at midnight. It was totally cool, and now whenenever I see them (I assume they’re the same ones), I cheer them on. I am a big old dork. Go ladybugs, go!

Another thing I’m having fun with is decorating the final frontier of our house: the two upstairs bathrooms. We painted them and replaced some light switch plates when we moved in, but other than that, they’ve been largely abandoned, and I finally just got sick of it. Since they’re bathrooms (i.e. small and more easily changed), I’m giving myself a little leeway to try new things. I really try to be brave with our home decor, but because I have such design ADD, I worry a lot about our house looking like a crazy person lives in it. I mean, there’s eclectic, and then there’s just whacky.

Lately, I’ve been so inspired by Lesley W. Graham‘s gorgeous home. Her aesthetic is modern farmhouse, and she uses that as a guide to keep things cohesive. I try to use my style as a guide, too, but modern rustic glam doesn’t give me much in terms of parameters. I can’t even really use our house’s architecture style as a guide. I mean, it’s a 1980s … neo colonial? Or something? I love it, but it doesn’t have much character. I know what I can’t do in here (I probably couldn’t pull off formal Hollywood Regency or super-rustic farmhouse, for example), but it doesn’t exactly inspire me, either.

To try and give myself better parameters, I recently made a new Pinterest board called “Rooms I Could Live In.” I’m trying to collect design inspiration that I could really apply in our home, and that I actually have the balls for. I adore things like marble walls and velvet upholstered doors and rose gold bar stools, but let’s be honest: I don’t have the cajones. Or the money.

When I got really honest and selective with my pins, I discovered a few common threads:

  • Warm woods. OK, I knew that one!
    Style by Emily Henderson - Wood and brass dresser

    Design by Emily Henderson

  • Pops of color on accessories and neutrals on the bigger pieces. This one was more of a surprise. I’m crazy into bright colors, but when I look at the rooms I pinned, there isn’t color everywhere. I’ll have to keep that in mind.

  • Brass and gold used semi-sparingly. This house just isn’t fancy enough to have gold everywhere. I know this. I also know that I can’t afford to replace brass faucets and light fixtures and cabinet hardware everywhere when we’re trying to sell this place in the next 5-10 years. Must control the gold, as difficult as that is.
    White campaign dresser by Emily Henderson

    Design by Emily Henderson

  • Mid-century pieces. What?! I’ve been telling myself I don’t like mid-century modern for years. And it’s true that I still don’t like anything shaped like a spaceship, or chrome, or anything too low to the ground. And Eames loungers still aren’t my thing. But I do like tapered legs, and hairpin legs, and straight lines, and warm woods mixed with brass. So I guess I like mid-century. Weird.

  • Chunky, rustic elements. But just a couple pieces mixed with more modern items.
    Rachel Bilson's living room via Lonny

    Via Lonny

  • Plants errywhere. Duh.
    Bri Emery's living room by Emily Henderson

    Design by Emily Henderson

  • Patterned vintage-y rugs. I thought I was into modern, graphic patterns, but not so much when it comes to rugs! I just love the lived-in feeling that a worn-looking rug gives a space. I also inadvertently pinned a ton of off-white souk rugs, but my dog would somehow manage to vomit on one of those and stain it before I could even lay it down, so that’s out of the question.
    Emily Henderson's bedroom with warm woods and teal velvet

    Design by Emily Henderson

  • A lived-in, casual feel. This is key. Nothing tailored, nothing formal, nothing that looks even remotely uncomfortable or too precious.

Here’s a quick little mood board I made on Polyvore (which incidentally, is totally addicting):

Wood, gold and fuchsia


So, uh, with all that said … I still don’t know what our official aesthetic is. But at least I can try to be honest with myself about what I really like, and what I can realistically pull off. That’s better than no guidelines at all.

I recently put together a bunch of pictures of our home for a house tour, and I was pleased to see that the rooms don’t look as scatterbrained together as I thought they would. So, that’s good. Just gotta keep that up and rein in the crazy, I guess.

How do you keep your home cohesive? Have you picked an aesthetic to stick to, or do you fly by the seat of your pants and hope for the best?

PS: Yes, I noticed that the vast majority of the rooms I like are by Emily Henderson. And that my last post about our style was all about her, too. Apparently, I just want to live inside her brain. I bet it’s pretty in there.