goodness galore.

Since I started blogging last November, my world has opened up--in more ways than one. Not only have I discovered this enormously supportive blogosphere, I've also found many people who have become my real life friends. Case in point: I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Marissa from the boot for an absolutely perfect blate {aka a blogger date} on the East Side of Providence {many thanks to Megan for coining the term #blate!}. We chowed down on some Indian fare before toasting the night with a few glasses of prosecco, all while chatting a mile a minute and discovering even more similarities than we already knew about one another. I loved every minute! Here are just a few photos...

I can't thank Marissa enough for making the trip down to Providence--and I can't wait for more blates with her before she leaves New England for her home in Italy this September. If you haven't checked out her blog, you're missing out...she's even more gorgeous and even more inspiring in person! 

The other takeaway? You MUST try your hand at a blogger meet-up...they help bring blogging to life and really help you understand what a phenomenal community we have here! {psst: if you're in New England, you should check out the blogger rendez-vous I'm co-hosting with {jd} at cornflake dreams over the second weekend in September!} 


Last week, I shared a little bit more of myself and many of you also shared fun facts about yourselves. 
I had so much fun getting to know more about you all :) I also asked if you had any burning questions
for me. Here are the answers to two of those questions...

Lindsay asked: what do you put in your hair to make your curls look so good? 
Do tell your secret, because my curls are sort of just a pile of frizz...

The simple fact anyone is asking me about my hair products makes me smile because it was one of those things which I fought for years until I found this solution. I've tried plenty of expensive products {like the Moroccan Curl Cream, etc.}, but none--and I repeat none--work like these Pantene products do. I use a TON of product in my hair, so you can't beat the cost. I know a lot of people hate on Pantene, but I'm a fan for life.

There is a method to my curl madness: I first put my hair in a towel immediately after getting out of the shower and keep it in the towel until I'm ready to do my hair {but I try to keep it to 3 or 4 minutes}. After I take the towel off, I flip my head down and generously spray in the detangler. I then flip my head upright and brush {yes BRUSH} my hair through completely.

From there, I flip my head back down and put in the mousse {it normally takes three handfuls--but I have a lot of hair}. Before bringing my head back up, I put my towel back on my head--and I don't touch my hair at all until right before I leave the house. By keeping the towel on, I keep frizz at bay--and keep my curls looking nice. I hope that helps, Lindsay! :) If you would have seen me in 7th grade, I guarantee you wouldn't have been asking for my advice...but after doing this for ten years, I say it works ;) 
{read more about the detangler and the mousse on the Pantene website!

Here's another question from Mateya:
How do you get your posts with those fun fonts and crazy outlines??

I'm not a trained professional, so when anyone asks about my blog design, I am beyond flattered. {So...thank you Mateya!} Since we moved to Providence, I have taken a few classes at RISD, which helped immensely in improving my skills "behind the scenes". I find all my fonts on Font Squirrel, a free site which has a TON of great fonts you can install directly to your computer. I suggest choosing only two or three fonts and sticking to them. Using more fonts than that can get overwhelming and discombobulating for your readers. As the daughter of a sign maker, I also know simplicity in fonts helps--you want what you're writing to be readable!

When I make my collages, I use Adobe Illustrator. I was able to purchase the Adobe Creative Suite through RISD at a discount, but otherwise, I know it can be quite costly. The outlines around many of my photos and graphics are made with a few clicks of the mouse while in Adobe Illustrator. You can get your own free trial of Adobe Illustrator here, though it  might be a little daunting without any sort of instruction. I would highly suggest trying to find a few classes to help you get the hang of it, if you really want to navigate Adobe with ease.

Phew! Are you tired of me today!? I bet you are...thanks for bearing with me!

I have one question for you: what is one material thing you can't live without on a daily basis?
{Mine would have to be--embarrassingly enough--my hair products...shhh!}
Do you have any other questions for me?! I'm happy to answer them!

Much love to all of you this Wednesday--is it Friday yet?! See you back here tomorrow! xoxo {av}
P.S. If you're a long distance warrior, please email me! You just might appear in a new feature here on {long distance loving} :)


  1. oh my gosh THANK YOU for your sweet, sweet words my dear! it seriously was the best night! :)
    i'm a Pantene curl mousse girl too (well, i was until i found Deva Curl. it's unbelievable!)

  2. What a cute post! Looks like you had a great time! And omg thanks for sharing fontsquirrel my world just got a little bigger ;)
    As for things I can't live without... unfortunately it'd be my eyebrow brush. So sad but these babies need taming! xoxo

    Laura @

  3. thanks for those links! Ill have to check out those fonts!

    As for the material thing I cant live without- I think that would be starbucks coffee!

  4. How fun! I just moved to Chicago, and would love to eventually be able to have a blogger meet-up here. I'm with you on FontSquirrel! It's the best! Loved getting to know more about you, too. Material things I can't live without... I'd have to say my iPhone. It's always in hand!

  5. beyond jealous of your blate w miss marissa :) but SO glad you two had a fun time! counting down till boston!!!! xoxo jillian:: cornflake dreams

  6. Oh I LOVE font squirrel far too much!

    and in answer to your question, I cannot live without lip balm. Any brand is fine, but I love burt's bees the most. It's tiny, but I am lost without it!

  7. I love Pantene too! There is nothing wrong to their products, how can someone not like it? And they smell soooo gooood.
    I'm following Marissa too since a while already - love her blog too

  8. does an iphone count?! Because I would be lost without mine haha!
    If were talking strictly beauty products: red lipstick. Hands down. It is an instant confidence booster and makes you seem both mysterious and poised.

  9. I've just come across your blog via 'Lacey in the city' and I LOVE IT. Mainly because I too am in a long distance relationship of nearly 3 years! I look forward to catching up on your other posts.

    Hope you check out our blog:

    M x

  10. LOVE pantene curling mousse, wear it alot! thanks for the advice :) and I cant live without... MY phone for sure! I feel naked without it hehe

    Lots of love

  11. The blog date sounded like so much fun! I agree...meeting bloggers IRL is such a great experience. Really reinforces what we're all doing here! :)

  12. The fact that you guys drank Prosecco made me love you even more. My. Favorite. Sparkling. Wine. Ever. EVER!

  13. very sweet! I would have to agree with the hair products..confession? when i see mine at a discount stores like marshalls ect i buy in bulk...I have 4 new bottles sitting on my dresser :)

    xo emily

  14. loving the hair routine!! and cute girls on the blate :)
    Sam @ fitness food & faith (giveaway today!)

  15. I've been dying to take an adobe class. I took photoshop class in high school but no longer have it on my computer! Maybe I will look for some classes in Boston..


  16. I can't live without my iPhone. Although, the boyfriend and I are having an "unplugged" saturday where we are turning off our phones, tv's and computers! Sometimes those things are quite the distraction.

  17. So jealous of your blog date!
    New friends are so wonderful!

    I can't live without my numerous Bumble & Bumble products .... Love!


  18. come to LA and have dinner with me? that's not that far, right? (says with sarcasm)

  19. Love your blog!

    I'd have to say, I can't live without my Frederi Fekkai curling cream. It's the one item for my hair that I never change (if I can help it, since they don't sell it everywhere). I've been using it since high school and nothing else seems to work quite as well. When you have curly hair and find something that works, you hold onto it for dear life. haha. :)

  20. *Frederic Fekkai...I can't spell today apparently :)

  21. Thank you for the tips on the hair products! You have no idea how excited it made me to see that you just use Pantene and not some fancy-schmancy expensive stuff that I would never be able to afford. I'm making a Target run tonight and you better believe I'll be checking out these products!

    As for something I can't live without... My phone. And chapstick. I would be lost without my chapstick. Haha

  22. Hello! I hate generic comments, but I wasn't sure what else to do! I noticed that you are following my little bloggy- I just wanted to let you know that I've had a change of URL and can now be found at . I've had a couple people ask me why I deleted myself, and am not sure why blogger doesn't redirect! I promise this is not one of those "follow me and I'll follow you back" comments-haha- just wanted to share :) Happy Wednesday!

  23. awww it looks like you had an amazing blate with Marissa!!!! i echo your sentiments about the blogging community. when i first started blogging, i truly had NO IDEA what i was getting myself into. it's been so much more meaningful than i thought it would be.

    hmmm. the one material thing i couldn't live without is my computer. as sad as that sounds. it's such an extension of who i am, since i'm on it so much haha.

  24. Loved the little peek into your blog's back end-I need to take a trip to Font Squirrel! And an Indian food-prosecco blate sounds perfect!

  25. awe looks like a fun night! And I need illustrator stat!

  26. You make blates look so fun!! Hoping I get to meet you one day and have our very own blate ;)

  27. 1. I love blates! (great word) They have really made all the difference in my life here in France. And actually, my last blog post is about a blate :-)

    2. I've been dying to try out those Pantene products ever since you posted about them last time (the post with the Anne Hathaway photos) but I haven't been able to find them here anywhere. I'm back in the States in two weeks and I'm gonna stock up! x

  28. I find using a t shirt to scrunch my hair reduces frizz.
    And detangler is just conditioner and water. I show how to make it on my blog!

  29. Font squirrel - hooray! That is exciting to discover. The one material thing I can't live without would be my eyebrow makeup and concealor. I can't really go anywhere without it - I hardly have ANY eyebrows!

    And you and Marissa look like you had a wonderful time and I'm happy about it! :)

  30. I totally thought you had some kind of profresh blog design background. Your site looks amazing. I'll definitely have to check this squirrel type place out.

  31. Your graphic design skills constantly have me yearning to take a class. You are tres talented. Hmmm, one material possession--I use a Tervis every morning for coffee and I am a bit of a zombie prior to that. ;)

  32. Awww it looks like you guys had so much fun! I love how the blogging community bring so many people together :)

    I love the graphics on your blog and am dying to take an adobe illustrator class!