perfect + southern.

I'm joining in the Instagram fun with Ashley at a {little} dash of ash again this week!
This is a pretty packed post, but bear with me--there's lots of goodness for everyone ;)

Thursday night: {cv} and I flew into Raleigh to visit my longtime bff {kj} and her boyfriend {pw} in Durham. She just started business school at Duke and I am SO proud of her :) it was wonderful to get a peek into her fabulous new life in North Carolina! Later that night, we enjoyed a true Southern feast at 
The Q Shack. Since {cv} and I move north, we always seek out great BBQ...
and The Q Shack definitely delivered!

Friday: We set out to explore Durham, starting with a yummy breakfast at a super cute store called Parker & Otis--I couldn't get enough of all their fun paper goods or lovely kitchen goodies. From there, we visited the Duke campus to get a better taste of {kj}'s new digs. We then made the short drive to Chapel Hill to meet up with my sweet friend {ca} for lunch at Milltown in Carrboro--where I enjoyed
a killer avocado grilled cheese {yum!!!}. While {kj} wrapped up her classes for the day, {cv} and I 
then stopped by to see my dear friend {ac} at Bull City Burger and Brewery...another great stop 
on our tour of the Triangle.

Friday night: {kj} embarked upon her first campout for Duke tickets--an annual rite of passage for any Duke student, so we dropped her off so she could get acclimated before we met up with her after a few drinks at Alivia's Durham Bistro with three lovely ladies: {es} from All You Need Is Love and {jm} from Seashells + Southern Belles, and {ca}--who now really wants to start a blog ;) Again, my love of the blogging community was affirmed after meeting these two gals, who are as sweet {and Southern} as I imagined they would be. After we left Alivia's, we headed back to Duke to spend a few hours with {kj} at the campout, which turned into a rainy {yet massively fun!} evening. I love any time I can get with my best girl friends, so even though I'm not a Duke fan, I got to enjoy to hype with her!

Saturday: Our day began all too early with an 8:00am flight up to the DC area, but the upside was getting more time in one of my all-time favorite cities, Alexandria. I lived there from 2008 to 2009 and was excited to explore Old Town again. We stayed at the Hotel Monaco, a Kimpton hotel with lots of eclectic charm. After we got settled, {cv} and I took a stroll, stopping by the brand new paper goods shop, Fifteen Eleven--an impeccably designed storefront which is an absolute must-see for any paper lover. We then bopped in Olio Tasting Room, where we sampled tasty olive oil and balsamic vinegar to our hearts' content. {cv} and I enjoyed some tasty pizzas at Pizzeria Paradiso at their newest outpost in Old Town. We've long been fans of their Georgetown location, so it was exciting to get a taste of it in Alexandria. Before getting gussied up for the wedding, we had a quick cocktail with two of my DC pals, {ms} and {mr} at Jackson 20. It was good to catch up and live vicariously through their DC lives!

Saturday night: {vp}--now {vl} :) married the love of her life, {kl}, in a stunning ceremony and reception at The Carlyle Club. {She's the beauty behind The Wired Bride and now Life as a San Franciscan, who you may have seen on Style Me Pretty and in this past post!} Her wedding was planned to the nth degree and we were so so honored to be guests! {vl} looked stunning {as always!} and they couldn't be a more perfect match. From the mashed potato bar to the flip-flops, I was in heaven. Their celebration was joyous and lively, just like the two of them! {For the wedding, I sported another Rent the Runway ensemble and loved every minute!}

Sunday: After a festive night of dancing and happiness, we woke up to meet my dear friend 
{kh} at Jackson 20 for brunch, with bottomless mimosas and ice cream waffles included ;) 
We then perused Red Barn Mercantile and stopped by her precious apartment before she had to 
head to work. {kh} recommended we stop by Virtue Feed & Grain--a gorgeous new restaurant 
near the waterfront in Old Town. {cv} was happy to see some football and my friend {ar} saw 
my foursquare check-in and stopped by--it was fabulous!

All in all, it was the perfect Southern weekend--which {cv} and I both needed. I so enjoyed
getting some quality time with him, especially since life has been increasingly busy lately.
Exploring with {cv} could be counted as one of my favorite hobbies ;)

How did you spend your almost fall weekend? Did you explore anywhere new?

Cheers to a fabulous week--More from me tomorrow! xoxo {av}

P.S. Thanks to {es} for letting me steal that sweet instagram of us on Friday night :)


  1. LOVE your dress and love rent the runway! i have had such great experiences with them as well! Also that grilled cheese looks like something I need to try and re-create at home ASAP!
    Lila Grace

  2. what a hottie you are in that dress a! :)
    a fabulous weekend, indeed! mmm i wan that waffle asap!

  3. Looks like a delicious weekend to me! And your dress is absolutely gorgeous. Love Rent the Runway :)

  4. How did I not know you were in Durham this weekend?! I was there all weekend, too!!! Agh. Your dress is adorable! I need an excuse to use RTR soon! :) And I LOVE the Q Shack... my family ate there for lunch yesterday. Such good food. Glad you enjoyed your weekend!

  5. visiting from the link up! looks like you had a super fabulous weekend sweetie!!

  6. sounds like a wonderful weekend and i LOVE your RtR dress and those earrings!! yes please :) xoxo jillian:: don't miss my ayofemi jewelry giveaway

  7. "That's why I rent the runway girl!" Looks likes such a fun weekend!

  8. Sounds like such a fun weekend!! That dress looks awesome on you. And that waffle?? Yes, please!

  9. Wow, I'm totally jealous of your weekend. Looks amazing!

  10. sounds like an awesome weekend! All of that food is making my mouth water... especially that waffle.

  11. Sounds like you had an AMAZING weekend!! So jealous of all that food -- and your dress!


  12. Such a fun weekend! Loved all your pics and was extremely jealous of the pastry filled tray ... Yum!

  13. I've been loving following along with you on Instagram...all your pics are GREAT! I especially love those pretty shutters, and the grain chairs. :)

    Sounds like the most wonderful weekend! YAY for happy times!

  14. Aw, I'm from Alexandria but now live in Cali. This post made me nostalgic! I love Old Towne so much.

  15. Great post {av} so glad you had a good time! Love how sweet and in love you are w {cv} and that y'all (how's that for Southern?) had a great weekend! xo

  16. Oh my goodness, what a busy, beautiful weekend! I feel like such a lazy fool compared to the two of you!

  17. I had such a great time! and I LOVE that RTR dress! You picked a good one!

  18. Ah, that food looks seriously delicious! Loving your dress from RTR, too!

  19. What fun you had!! You shoulda stopped in Charlotte! ;)
    Next time for sure!! That ice cream waffle looks yummmmy!

  20. I loooooooove Alexandria! When I lived in DC, The Remix was a fave vintage shop of mine. I heard that it closed though. Boo!

  21. Oh my goodness, this sounds like an amazing weekend. I've never truly experienced the South, but I am dying to!


  22. Isn't instagram so fun? It's like an instant photo editor right on your phone! I love it! And, slightly

  23. come baaaaaaaaack!!! NC misses you!! we had simply the best time ever, and hope the rest of your time in DC was fab. you look gorgeous in that RTR dress -- get it girl!! and all your food pics are making me drooooool. miss you already!! xoxo

  24. Whitney of Cheerios and Beer pointed me in your direction and I love the blog! I just had to comment because I LOVE Rent the Runway, and the dress you're wearing is the one I rented for Labor Day weekend! BUT, the person who rented it before me hadn't returned it on time (grumble), so I got a free upgrade and chose a different Shoshana dress. Looks awesome on you!