a cape cod maternity shoot.

a cape cod maternity shoot by Kate Headley

a cape cod maternity shoot by Kate Headley

a cape cod maternity shoot by Kate Headley

a cape cod maternity shoot by Kate Headley

a cape cod maternity shoot by Kate Headley

a cape cod maternity shoot by Kate Headley
{all photos used with permission from Kate Headley  //  outfit details: dress | sweater | necklace}

A few weeks ago, I spent the day on Cape Cod with my dear friend, Kate Headley. We met in DC in 2009 when I started the interview process for wedding photographers. Thankfully, I only had to interview one. She won me over from our first meeting and captured our wedding day perfectly. Kate has taken my photo many times over the years, but this time was a bit different: baby {v} was in the photos with me. Trying to feel comfortable "posing" with my bump was a new phenomenon. I count my blessings that when Kate is behind the lens, I feel completely at ease in front of it. 

During our blustery afternoon in Falmouth, Kate captured this special season of my life in a way no one else could. I am beyond grateful -- and always will be -- for these images. I can't wait to have Kate shoot our growing family in the coming years. Endless thanks to Kate for taking these priceless photos and letting me share them with you. xoxo {av}

P.S. You can see a more images from this shoot here. You can also see a few of our past shoots here, here + here.

eight shades of gray (paint).

eight great shades of gray from @benjamin_moore -- perfect for a neutral color palette.


A few weeks back, I asked for your advice on choosing the right paint for your home. Your responses were incredibly thoughtful and insightful. Not only did your input guide the decisions we made, it allowed me to maintain some shred of sanity in the final days of our build. Though we didn't go with an entirely gray color palette for the #bartonbuild, it is definitely prevalent throughout our home.  I tested these hues in every room and also did a side-by-side comparison (which I tried and failed to capture with my iPhone). After a ton of deliberation, these are the colors we chose for the aforementioned spaces:

Open-Concept Kitchen, Living Room + Foyer: Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter (HC-172) Since this space spans two floors, we needed something that would pop against our trim and this hue did the trick. In person, Revere Pewter shows tan in some lights and gray in others. We were pleased with how it warmed up our home -- without making it too dark.

Guest Bedroom + OfficeBenjamin Moore Gray Owl (OC-52) These two rooms receive the first light in the morning. We went with Gray Owl for these spaces because it is a touch 'cooler' than some of the other grays we tried.

Nursery + Spare BedroomBenjamin Moore Stonington Gray (HC-170) If I'm being honest, we chose Stonington Gray for the nursery because it best matched the swatch for glider we chose. I kept it going in the other (mirrored) bedroom because the glider might one day move to that room. It is also slightly 'warmer; than Gray Owl in person.

Master BedroomBenjamin Moore Horizon (OC-53) Not to be confused with Horizon Gray (2141-50), Horizon was a last-minute addition to my sample options. Since we have a deep gray headboard (almost like the Chelsea Gray seen above), we didn't want anything too dark. Using our fabric swatch as a guide, we agreed this was a light enough hue without being a boring choice.

Master BathroomBenjamin Moore Gray Owl (OC-52) Our master bathroom is outfitted with some beautiful marble. Even in the absence of windows, the Carrara tile just popped next to Gray Owl.

The extras: The other bathrooms, mudroom, laundry room and master closet add a bit of color -- and another paint distributor -- to the mix. (I'll share those in another post soon!) 

Though it may look like it, this post was not sponsored by Benjamin Moore. I simply liked a few of their colors better and invested the majority of my research on their color families. I learned a lot about paint stores in this process. The biggest takeaway? Any paint store can use another distributor's color numbers as guides to create the paint. It may not be exact, but it comes out close. If you're worried about precision, it is best to trust that particular brand's experts. 

I loved nearly every shade of gray we tested, but some had to win. As always, this post isn't one-sided. If you have other grays you love which I missed, be sure to share them in the comments below. Thank you again for all of your wonderful insight in this process -- I can't wait to share some photos with the paint in action! xoxo {av}

how to stay organized during your next move + free printables.

how to stay organized during your next move -- printable moving labels + excel worksheet included!

With our move sneaking up on us, I developed a little system to stay organized (and combat my pregnancy brain). When we moved last summer, I felt like boxes ended up in the wrong corners of our apartment and I was absolutely lost when it came time to unpack. Since we'll be moving from an apartment to a house this time around, we gain a bit more space to keep everything straight. I am trying to pack a few boxes a day in preparation because we don't know when baby {v} will decide to join us. As luck would have it, I will be full-term the week we expect to get possession of the house, so organization during our packing process is absolutely key.

The system I am implementing with this move is simple: I plan to place one of these labels on each box we pack and then add the information collected into one master Excel doc. (I also made this handy door sign to reduce confusion with our movers.) You can see what each of the elements of this system look like below!

how to stay organized during your next move -- printable moving labels + excel worksheet included!


Many of the boxes we've used over the years include a box which captures similar information, but it didn't always give the range of options necessary for our situation. I placed the "room" space at the top (since it is most pertinent to the movers -- or whomever you have carrying your boxes). Directly below it, I included an "instructions" space to capture whether anything was fragile or if the box was extremely heavy. The "contents" space is pretty self-explanatory, but this is essential for keeping your head on straight when you're trying to find an item in a pinch. The "box number" will ensure you have an easy way to identify a box. The packing information is useful if you're not the only one packing up!

A couple of notes: this 8.5" x 11" should be cut in half (down the center) for optimal use. Tape one half of the label to the top of the box and tape the other half to the side of the box. (This will allow you to see what is in the box from the top and side!) When printing the .PDF, I recommend choosing the "fit" to paper option -- if available. It will make the label as large as the margins of your printer allow.

how to stay organized during your next move -- printable moving labels + excel worksheet included!


I know this seems like a simple sheet, but it is an essential one. Whether you hire a moving company or promise your friends a pizza for their help, this door sign will help identify where to place the box they're carrying. This will reduce the number of times you get asked where any particular room is (and serves as your proxy if you have to make a lunch run or need more packing tape).

how to stay organized during your next move -- printable moving labels + excel worksheet included!


This Excel document will help you maintain your sanity in the best way possible. With everything in one place, you will not have to worry about the whereabouts of your favorite sweater or the next book in the series you're reading. I included a couple of example lines (which you can promptly delete) to serve as a guide behind my Type A madness. It may take a couple of minutes on the front end to enter the contents of the box into your spreadsheet, but it will pay dividends later. (There is even an app for Google Drive, if you wanted to add this information using your phone!) 


Of course, no move is foolproof. My hope is that this system provides peace of mind as you prepare for your next move. If you're not moving any day soon, you can always pin this post for future reference when the time does come. Since I know my readers are full of fantastic ideas, please feel free to leave a comment below about your "best practices" for moving. Sharing is caring ;) xoxo {av}

16 apple cider sips.

16 apple cider drinks ideas.

RECIPES: 1) Cider Jack Cocktail via Intoxicology 101 || 2) Mulled Apple Cider via Gardenista || 3) Smoky Apple Cider Cocktail via Tasteseekers Kitchen || 4) Apple Cider Moscow Mules via Sugar and Charm || 5) Spiced Apple Cider Sangria via My Life as a Mrs. || 6) Cider Pumpkin Float via Dine and Dish || 7) Spiced Apple Cider Champagne Cocktail via Dishing Up the Dirt || 8) Fizzy Apple Cider Punch via Just Putzing Around the Kitchen || 9) Caramel Apple Cider via Ciera Design Studio || 10) Homemade Apple Cider via Sugar and Charm || 11) Cider Rum Punch via Emma Dime || 12) Apple Cider Sangria via How Sweet It Is || 13) Apple Cider Mimosa via Style Within Reach || 14) Caramel Apple Cider via Pastry Affair || 15) Ginger, Apple + Bourbon via The Tampopo Post || 16) Bourbon Apple Cider via Set the Table

Though I may not be drinking the "hard stuff" this fall, I am far from immune to the onslaught of apple cider goodness across the blogosphere. After pinning cider-related concoctions like mad this week, I decided to create a little round-up of the best recipes from my research. Most of these recipes involve alcohol, but there are a few which could easily be adapted for those who prefer their cider straight ;) Enjoy! xoxo {av}