cozy + curly.

Happy Monday! I'm linking up with Ashley at a {little} dash of ash today, so here is my weekend recap via Instagram :) After a crazy week of work last week, I made my way to Boston to see my bff {hp}, who was in town from Indianapolis. The best part? We got to toast to a certain little mister who made his way into the world a few weeks early...more after we get clearance from this precious man's parents!

Being on the road makes me relish some cuddle time with my boys, Gus, Mr. Pinky, and {cv}, of course. I got some quality time with all three of them, which was exactly what I needed after last week. The only other real adventure of the weekend was to the hair salon--for my first haircut since early April. I don't think my hair had been this long since third grade! Not only was I happy to shed some of the length, I enjoyed getting the chance to try out a few DevaCurl products which I've heard so much about from Marissa. I loved the results, even I don't look so happy in the picture ;) any tips for me on the DevaCurl line? I haven't bought in totally yet, but I want to know what you think!

Whatever you did, I hope you had a little time to recover for a new week :) We didn't go out for Halloween this year, but I always love seeing the barrage of photos on facebook from everyone's escapades!

If you celebrate Halloween, I hope you enjoy it! I can't believe tomorrow is the first day of November. Where is this year going?! See you back here tomorrow morning with BIG news :) {and no, I'm not pregnant...I always have to preface that when I reference something like this!} Until then...

P.S. Have you registered for blogger blitz yet?!

friday's fancies #48.

It feels like yesterday that we were complaining about the heat, but here we are at the end of October...brainstorming costumes and starting to pull together our holiday gift lists. Where did 2011 go?! {cv} and I still haven't decided if we're going out for Halloween this year, but if my budget could include a costume like the one below...I think that would be an easy decision ;) I can't wait to see what creative ideas you ladies weaved into your Friday's Fancies posts this week! Without further ado, here's my budget-free take on the gold digger Kanye West described in his song a few years back...

1) Let's be honest: I've been looking for a reason to rent this Badgley Mischka Screen Siren Gown since I first saw it on Rent the Runway. I don't know if I could ever pull it off in real life, but this is Friday's Fancies, right?
2) A true dream of mine is to own my own piece of Chanel, so when I saw I could rent this Vintage Gold Coin Quilted Bag, my heart went pitter-patter. Any gold digger would certainly have a bag like this!
3) These Kendra Scott Gwen Lilly Earrings provide even more high octane sparkle to this little costume. They would also translate well into a non-costume too!
{psst: If you'd like to rent any of these beauties, all you need to do is join Rent the Runway! I have rented more dresses than I can count...and all I can say is that Rent the Runway is as amazing as it sounds.}
4) The Ceremonial Shovel is the quintessential accessory for any gold digger--though I would probably make my own if I ever concocted a costume like this one ;)
5) Stuart Weitzman goes glam with these Mischief Glitter-Coated Leather Slingback Sandals...and I'd feel like quite the queen in these gorgeous shoes! 

A few quick notes: if you live in NYC, Indianapolis, Louisville, DC or Nashville and haven't heard the good news, click here! Another exciting week of FF is on the horizon for next week in the Friday's Fancies arena, so be sure to check back on Tuesday--or sign up for the heads-up list by emailing me! It is one week you really won't want to miss. Trust me! As always, endless gratitude from me to you for the time and the creativity you put into your Friday's Fancies posts! It means the world to me :)

P.S. Don't forget to use your BLOG NAME in the "caption/title box" when adding your link 
in the linky tool--it'll help you get all the recognition you deserve for your fabulous posts!

thanks martha.

Happy {almost} Friday! I'm linking up with Danielle at Breakfast at Toast today and sharing a few of my favorite Halloween treats and I knew exactly where to look for inspiration! Every year, I purchase The Best of Martha Stewart Halloween Handbook. Without fail, Martha is on the cover in a magnificent costume and the creative contents make spooky things seem downright dreamy. I love how Martha takes ordinary ideas and exceeds every expectation. See the evidence below...

please note: these are instagram photos I took of Martha's Halloween Handbook 2010...I just wish I was this fabulous in the kitchen!

{find these recipes here: webbed delight - pina ghoulada - sweet bones}

{find these recipes heremarinated moons - witches' fingers}

I made the Marinated Moons last year for a Halloween party--and they were quite the hit!
The party was shortly before my blogger days, so I had to snap a picture of a picture ;)

I'll see you back here tomorrow for a spooky round of Friday's Fancies...
Simply pull together a costume you'd wear if budget weren't an issue! Fun right?
I'm so excited to see what you all create! Have a wonderful Thursday :)

home free.

Happy Wednesday, lovelies! Today, I have another sweet installment for you in the {distance makes the heart grow fonder} series. This story features a pair of high school sweethearts, Aaron and Becca {from A Blonde's Logic}, and proves that college doesn't have to be a hurdle in a relationship when you make time for the one you love. Becca and Aaron are finally "home free"--in other words, done with long distance--and I couldn't be happier for them. Read on to find out more...

Name: Becca
Significant Other's Name: Aaron
When did you start dating? We started dating September 30th, 2005. He asked me to go to homecoming with him!

At what point did you begin dating long distance? We had to start dating long distance in September 2006. I started college about 4 hours away, a distance which continued to separate us for the four years I was away at school. Because we had a year together before the long distance started, we were able to form a strong bond first and saw what our relationship was worth

How did you fill your days while you're apart? Luckily, we both had school which helped keep us busy!

What did you find most difficult about being long distance? Not seeing each other everyday was obviously pretty hard but weekends were the most difficult. It was hard to not be apart of whatever fun the other was having. And Skype wasn't around for most of the long distance so we didn't have that luxury either. The transition to long distance was a big challenge, going from seeing each other every day to maybe every 3 weeks was very hard.

How has long distance changed your relationship? It really has made us stronger as a couple and more secure in our relationship. We learned how to survive not being with each other all the time which helped us not take for granted our time together.

What do you enjoy most about the time you have together? When we are together, we appreciate the simple things like laughter and holding one another's hands. It seems cheesy, but it is just so comforting to be next to each other.

What sacrifices did you made in order to make things work? When we were long distance, we each had to make a lot of sacrifices. We got in the routine of talking each night, which helped us stay up-to-date on each other's lives. I also helped us feel less like we weren't missing out on things. The phone time was our time together! Sometimes, it meant not getting enough sleep, but it was worth it. I would have easily traded an hour of sleep for an hour of talking with him ANY day! We also traded off visiting each other, which helped keep things equal.

How has your life changed now that you're back in the same place? It has been so nice being together in the same town for the past year!! I actually feel like I'm getting pretty spoiled. If I don't see him for two days, I can get bummed, but I have to remind myself that two days is nothing compared to what we have already survived.

I think Becca hit the nail on the head in her last answer: their years apart are an incredible frame of reference in the grand scheme of their current life together. Many thanks to Becca {and Aaron} for sharing their sure to wish her the best on her blog too ;) I hope you have a great Wednesday...and I'll see you back here tomorrow!

psst: if you live in NYC, Indianapolis, Louisville, DC, or Nashville and didn't see my post yesterday: check it out here! You'll want the deets! And for those of you already registered: I am counting down the days!

blogger blitz.

As excited as I am for a spooky round of Friday's Fancies, I have been itching to make this announcement for weeks! If I have been quiet on the comment front, it is because I have been working behind the scenes to make the events in this post possible, so I hope you'll forgive me. In celebration of my first blogiversary on November 17th, I am hosting a series of blogger meet-ups on the East Coast and the Midwest, which I am calling blogger blitz! If you're in NYC, Indianapolis, Louisville, DC, or Nashville, you're in luck :)

These blogger blitz events aren't about my blogiversary--it's really about you! I want to share all the wonderful things blogging allowed me to discover over the past year :) I hope you'll join me if you're close to any of these five cities and learn more about the joys of blogging firsthand. And let's be's hard to meet new people outside of your circle, so a blogger meet-up is the perfect place to find some new pals!

That's right--there are five different cities for this blogger blitz! If your city didn't make the list,
 don't worry...there will be future blitzes if this round goes as planned ;) Click here to give your input! I love visiting new places and would love to see more of the United States...and the world too! {Your locations will also help {jd} and I plan for the next rendez-vous--a weekend full of blogger events!}

New York   -   Indianapolis   -   Louisville   -   Washington, DC   -   Nashville

Tickets cost only $10--a fee which includes your guaranteed entry to a night of blogger mixing and mingling, as well as a blogger directory to help you know who is who at your respective blitz and a nametag {of course!} to keep your head on straight when you meet loads of fabulous folks :)
Please note: tickets are limited--especially in NYC and DC--and once they're gone, they're gone...
so be sure to get your tickets early and spread the word to your favorite local bloggers pronto!

I could say it a million times and it still wouldn't be enough: I seriously cannot WAIT to meet you at these blogger blitz events! If I'm not traveling to your city, I really do value your opinion, so please fill out this form so I can plan the next stops :) If you know any local photographers or potential sponsors of these events, pretty please direct them my way...thank you so much! If you have any other questions, please email me! Many thanks to all the venues for working with me to make these events happen :) Have a wonderful Tuesday--I hope you're as excited as I am for this round of blogger blitz events!

new england jaunts.

Phew! How is it Monday already!? My {long} weekend went all too quickly... I took a vacation day on Friday to enjoy the day with our dear friends, the {d}'s, who made the trip from Denver all the way to New England! We went with them to California earlier this year, so it was fabulous to be reunited again :) {jd}, {rd} and I tooled around Boston a bit on Friday afternoon before hitting the Harpoon Brewery on our way back down to Providence. {cv} joined us after work on Federal Hill for some true Italian fare, including tasty cannolis. We ended the night with some wine from our California trip back at the apartment--a perfect end to a fantastic day!

On Saturday, we made our way down to Newport and finally toured The Breakers. I love history, so I was delighted to see a little BIG glimpse into the Gilded Age close to home. I couldn't believe the incredible copper-filled kitchen! A few of the rooms even transported {cv} and I back to Versailles, one of our favorite stops on our honeymoon. After our tour, we enjoyed a quintessential New England meal at The Black Pearl. Our night ended much like the nights we had in North Carolina with the {d}'s...playing board games with lots of laughter involved. Sunday was a bit more low-key, but our visit ended with a yummy dinner at our apartment before they had to head to Boston for the night. All of these fun little New England jaunts got me thinking about how much more for us to discover here! It also raised this question:

Be sure to check out other fun instagram-filled posts at a {little} dash of ash today :) By the way, you can find me on instagram here! I know I'm already looking forward to next weekend--and our next visit with the {d}'s. {I'm also dreaming of a way to move Denver closer to Providence! sigh.}

P.S. My cobalt arm party was totally J.Crew. I love love love my Timex Traveler watch and its interchangeable straps! 
{The bracelets were from earlier this summer and they're no longer available at J.Crew. BOO!}

friday's fancies #47.

It's a very special Friday here on {long distance loving}! I received a fantastic suggestion from Bethani to use Friday's Fancies to honor breast cancer awareness month. My grandmother survived a battle with breast cancer when I was 15, so this is cause which is very close to my heart. I'm sure each of us has been affected in some way by breast cancer, so it only makes sense to take a week to think pink! In honor of the theme, I dreamed up a pretty pink get-up I would wear to a fundraiser for breast cancer...

1) You know I am a huge fan of Milly, so the moment I spotted this Wool-Blend Bouclé Dress, I knew I had found the anchor piece for this week's Friday's Fancies! Though I'm not normally a pink fan, I'm aching to hang this classic dress in my closet.
2) This Paul & Joe Harlequin Leather-Trimmed Cotton-Blend Jacket has a bit of an edge with its leather trim, which is a stunning juxtaposition against the girly pink. 
3) I loved how Betsey Johnson took something so feminine like a rose and added her personality to create these Girlie Charms Large Rose Earrings. These beauties would get plenty of wear now--and later.
4) What girl can argue with Jimmy Choo? Every girl should have a pair of fabulous Patent Platform Pumps, even if they're not Choo...though I sincerely wish they could be!
5) Typically, I am not a fan of black watches, but I couldn't argue with this Movado Small Bold Breast Cancer Awareness Watch--$50 from every purchase goes straight to breast cancer research! I love the hint of sparkle too :)

If you want to donate to breast cancer research, please click here to visit the American Cancer Society!

I'm so excited to see how each of you run with this theme--or the one you concocted for this week. If you're new to Friday's Fancies and want to receive the weekly heads-up, email me! I'd love for you to join the Friday's Fancies family :) Should you be linking up this week, be sure to use your blog name when you add your link in the linky tool deserve all the credit you can get for your hard work! 

pack a punch.

Happy Thursday! I'll admit--I might not be a pink aficionado, but I have come to admire this cheery color. Pink has an uncanny ability to brighten a room--or even an outfit {like this one worn by Blair on Atlantic-Pacific}. Here are a few pops of pink that really pack a punch, along with a few ways you could incorporate this happy hue the next time you decorate a room.

{rug - chair - flowers | 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6}

I thought it was only appropriate to share a few pops of pink during breast cancer awareness month, which is exactly why we're thinking pink for Friday's Fancies tomorrow :) 
Email me if you want more details!

seeing the sunny side.

I have another special story in the {distance makes the heart grow fonder} series for you today! This one features Sean and Mariel {from Mariel's Window}, a couple learning to navigate the separation created by work and school--one I was all too familiar with when {cv} and I first began our long distance years. This couple has really learned to see on the sunny side of their long distance :) Read on to find out more!

Name: Mariel
Significant Other's Name: Sean
When did you start dating? We started dating in April of 2009.

At what point did you begin dating long distance? Even though Sean and I went to the same boarding school in high school, we didn't start dating until two years after he graduated. By then, I was going to school 241 miles away. After a couple visits from him, a few trips back home by me, and countless hours on the phone, we just knew. Hello long distance!

How do you fill your days while you're apart? Since I've been working on my premed degree for the last three years, school keeps me pretty busy. Sean works full time at the hospital in his city, so work fills most of his days. We always time for late phone calls and Skype dates in our schedules. They are definitely my favorite part of the day!

What do you find most difficult about being long distance? What's really hard for me is not being able experience the "little things" together--like cooking dinner, going to the grocery store, or watching our favorite TV show.  

How has long distance changed your relationship? The distance has taught us not to take a single moment together for granted and to truly listen to one another. 

What do you enjoy most about the time you have together? EVERYTHING. There is always so much catching up to do.

Is there any end in sight to your long distance days? After graduation I will be moving to Madison (Sean's city) for med school and then we will be only minutes away from each other. It is an understatement to say that we’re both extremely excited! :)

I always admire couples who realize that their hard work {in school, at work, and in their relationship!} will eventually pay off. Enjoy your Wednesday--and be sure to send some love Mariel's way! 

it's all black + white.

As long as I can remember, I've had a love for the most basic of all color combinations: black and white. Over the last few months, I can't help but smile as I see this classic combo popping up everywhere. I love that it also serves as a blank canvas, so to speak. You can add a pop of color with any of the pieces below--and it would look perfectly chic and beautiful. 

{find these beauties here: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12}

Truth be told, I don't think I could pick a favorite piece from these black and white stunners. Black and white can stand the test of time, if it's correctly edited, which helps justify any investments ;)

a {winning} new england weekend.

It's Monday again {can you believe it?!}, which means I'm linking up with Ashley at
a {little} dash of ash for her Instagram Mondays :) Most of my photos from this weekend
involve two of my favorite things: tasty food and fun destinations! 

Last week, I finally made the cake batter bark I'd been dying to try since I saw it on pinterest! Not only did it turn out wonderfully, it was a fantastic addition to the late night fare for the girls night I had with my fellow {v}s up in New Hampshire on Friday. The heavenly looking grape tomatoes were in a pasta dish which was perfect for a big group of Italian girls! As for the garlic and lemon, {cv} and I made our favorite {and simple} tilapia dish on Sunday night, complete with these two tasty elements. I don't think fish looks that great in photographs, so I figured I should just snap a photo of the ingredients ;) 

I spent a few hours on the road this weekend--mostly on the trip to and from New Hampshire for girls night. It reminded me of the weekends I would drive to see {cv} in North Carolina. Despite some rain on Friday, I was able to spy some beautiful leaves {which I couldn't snap easily while driving--obviously!}. After a fun night with the fam in New Hampshire on Friday, my lovely cousin {kv} and I headed for a yummy brunch and a little shopping in Portsmouth. I drove back down to Rhode Island on Saturday afternoon to join {cv} for dinner and drinks in Bristol, a charming little town which may be our future home in the Ocean State. From there, we headed to see one of {cv}'s favorite bands from his high school days at The Spot Underground in Providence. It was our first visit to that intimate venue and we'll definitely be back. Sunday consisted of church and football--and catching up on life, which was just what the doctor ordered.

friday's fancies #46.

Happy Friday :) After the Indian summer we had last weekend in Rhode Island, it really is starting to feel like fall in the Northeast. I love this time of year--the yummy smells, the warm colors, the tasty food--I love it all! In the last few weeks, we've explored a few of fall's best fashion features via boots and blazers. This week, we're looking to nature for the color inspiration behind our outfits this week.
{Oh, and if you'd like to get the theme for next week, email me and I'll add you to the list!}

1) I have been dying to try out a bow blouse--and this Rachel Zoe Natalie Plunge Blouse was the ideal choice! The subtle taupe color just screams fall to me.
2) This Marc by Marc Jacobs Running Impala Printed Wool Scarf calls my name every time I scroll by it online. The color palette of this classic scarf could bridge the seasons perfectly.
3) Chocolate is the color of the month over at Kate Spade, which works splendidly for this fall-inspired get-up. I chose these Pavé Accented Stud Earrings because they would add a cozy dose of sparkle!
4) I am a huge fan of anything patent, so when I saw the patent accent in these Gucci Sofia Suede & Patent Ankle Boots, I was smitten. In my book, suede is a distinctively cooler weather material, so these beauties definitely fit the bill.
5) If my love for Nixon watches wasn't already strong enough, I spied this Nixon The Spur Watch--and fell deeper for their fun brand. I would love to sport this watch on my wrist this fall...and all year round.
6) Since I can remember, my mother has always told me that orange is my color. Even though I'm not as tan as I used to be, I still find myself gravitating toward this warm hue. These Stella McCartney Hannah Crepe Straight-Leg Pants helped to feed my orange addiction ;)