it's all rosy.

Happy Wednesday! I have another incredible story of survival in my {distance makes the heart grow fonder} series for you today! Marc and Caley {from Mrs. Rosie Posie} are a South African duo who conquered four years and two continents while they were long distance. Read on to find out how they made it work and what they're doing to celebrate now that they're reunited...and married!

Name: Caley Jade Rosenberg
Significant Other's Name: Marc Rosenberg
When did you start dating? We started dating in September 2006 (the 26th to be exact!). Our relationship began after having a 'virtual' relationship via text and email for 3 months. It is amazing how getting to know each other via lengthy emails and sweet text messages makes such a difference. It sealed the deal before we even spent time in person! This virtual relationship allowed our first date to be that much easier. It all happened a few days after Marc arrived back in the country--and that long awaited kiss was worth the wait!

At what point did you begin dating long distance? Not counting our ‘virtual’ relationship, we dated for six months in the same country before our long distance started again. For four years, we dated long distance between South Africa and the United Kingdom, with swaps along the way.

How did you fill your days when you were apart? I threw myself into my career most of the time--working late nights, early mornings and most weekends, but I also had a great support structure in my friends, family and in-laws. I spent plenty of nights with my special girlfriends, enjoying movies, dinners, picnics, disco dancing and lots more.

What do you find most difficult about being long distance? The intense feelings of heartache! There is nothing worse than the physical pain of missing someone and wanting to be with them so badly. I found it horrible to attend functions and events alone. You crave everyday normality, like watching movies, going for a run, cooking dinner, or washing dishes. It was so difficult trying to argue or work on issues over the phone, skype or texts. There truly was nothing worse than not being able to give Marc a big tight squeeze!

What do you enjoy most about the time you have together? Absolutely everything! We appreciate every moment spend together and we make the most of it. These days, we hate being apart--even day apart is heartbreaking. Above all, I think our best moments are waking up and going to bed at night together.

What sacrifices have you made in order to make things work? Even though we sacrificed four years of being in each other's company, we made a pact in the beginning that we would only make decisions as individuals until the day we got engaged. As difficult as this was at times, we both agree it was definitely the best promise we made. We now know we will never have any regrets or resent each other for any reason. In the end, getting married made us realize every second apart was worth the wait to finally being together!

How has your life changed now that you're in the same place? Life is just so good! We have only been in the same place for a year now, but we have loved and cherished every moment.

Many thanks to Caley and Marc for sharing their story with all of us! Their story truly 
does sound rosy after all their years apart. I hope your Wednesday passes quickly...
we're one day closer to Friday ;)

P.S. Be sure you're ready for this week's Friday's Fancies--email me if you'd like more details!

take a bow.

So glad you're here today! I hope you had a phenomenal start to your week yesterday :) Today, I come clean about a recent obsession: bows. Few things in my fashion "life" make me happier than bows. They have become my go-to flair over the last year or so--aided by Kate Spade and their super cute bow flats from last season! I think bows provide an elegant twist to any plain jane item...take these as examples:

{find these goodies here: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8}

Be it a little sparkle or a pop of color, I can't wait to hear what you consider your fashion flair.
 I'm sure to learn something new from all you savvy ladies ;) All of my love to you today!  

festive fun.

Happy Monday! I can hardly believe Thanksgiving is behind us and December is almost here! I'm enjoying my last week at home in Indiana, helping my mother get back on her feet after her surgery. {cv} sadly headed back to Rhode Island yesterday, but we had a great visit while he was here :) Here are a few photos from the weekend via instagram, which I'm linking up over at a {little} dash of ash!

We watched one of my two favorite holiday movies, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and roared with always ;) {My other favorite is Home Alone...let me indulge my inner eight-year-old!}

{cv} showed me up in the kitchen, yet again, and made an absolutely gorgeous apple pie
for our Thanksgiving feast. I count my blessings for a husband who likes to cook--and accepts
that I'm still learning ;)

My parents' new puppy Cleo made this festive weekend even more fun--I couldn't get over the picture of her smothering {cv} with kisses. We'll get a dog once we're in a house, but until then, my little "sister" Cleo will have to do! 

I don't know about you, but my favorite way to start getting in the holiday spirit is with a I was happy to kick off this year with Christmas Vacation ;) Next up--the tree!

friday's fancies #52.

Happy Friday! I hope each of you had a marvelous Thanksgiving and had some time to rest and recharge :) I am thrilled it's Friday--because that means it's Friday's Fancies time! If there were ever a day when shopping is front of mind, it's today! I like to shop with the best of them, but I won't be going out and making the midnight runs--more power to you if you have the stamina! If budgets were out the window, I'd definitely love to sport an outfit like the one you see below for a day on the {shopping} prowl. 

1) This Rick Owen Lilies Draped Jersey Sweater screams cozy and chic, which is just what I'd love to wear if I were out and about shopping. It's a beauty, if you ask me!
2) How incredible is this Yves Saint Laurent Chic Shopper?! I just love its simplicity!
3) I have been searching for a pair of great grey jeans--and I think these Current/Elliott The Skinny Low-Rise Corduroy Jeans would be the perfect addition to my wardrobe! 
4) When I spied these Lagos Sterling Silver Knot Earrings, I knew they would be a fabulous way to jazz up this outfit without being too "blingy". 
5) If this Marc by Marc Jacobs Large Blade Chrono Watch were on my wrist, I would be one very happy lady. I know this piece would be a "frequent flier" from my jewelry box.
6) These killer Alberto Fermani Leather-Over-The-Knee Boots would add a little edge to this get-up! I don't know if I could totally pull it off, but for Friday's Fancies purposes, I can surely try ;)

Be sure to use your blog name in the title line when you add your link! I want to make sure you get 
all the credit you deserve for your beautiful creations :) I hope you know how much I appreciate 
the time you take week after week to link up with little ol' me. On my list of blessings from yesterday, 
you most certainly were included! Thank you for everything! 

give thanks.

{give thanks graphic via Rifle Paper Co.}

Enjoy each and every minute with your loved ones today--I know I will :)
See you back here tomorrow for a Black Friday edition of Friday's Fancies!

homegrown love.

Happy almost Thanksgiving! I have another sweet installment in the {distance makes your heart grow fonder} series--featuring Robbie and Mateya {of The Best Is Yet to Come}. These high school sweethearts were long distance from the start, as they grew up a few towns apart. I won't steal her thunder, so keep reading to find out how they learned to navigate college and his two deployments before they finally got married last October. They will soon add a new member to their family when Mateya has a baby in May. Yay!

Name: Mateya
Significant Other's Name: Robbie
When did you start dating? We started dating all the way back in high school! He was 15 and I was 16—yes, I am a proud cougar ;) We had a few hiccups over the years, but eight years later, we just celebrated our first wedding anniversary.

At what point did you begin dating long distance? Our relationship has always been some sort of long distance. We grew up in different towns (about 45 minutes apart) and went to different high schools, so our relationship was rooted in phone calls, MSN Messenger (remember that?!), and seeing each other on the weekends. Robbie is in the Air Guard, so he went to Texas for basic training after graduation. I opted to go to college about two hours away from my hometown. When Robbie got home from basic training, he went to school an hour away from me, so the long distance continued. Robbie also did two deployments to Iraq, so long distance has a whole new meaning for us.  Infrequent telephone calls and Skype were our saving grace!

How do you fill your days while you're apart? We spent them with friends and family! While Robbie was in Iraq, I took advantage of the time I had with my girlfriends. I knew when he returned that I would want my time with him! I also went home to visit my parents and siblings, which helped immensely. Sometimes you just need your mama!

{wedding photos taken Matt Lien + used with permission}

What do you find most difficult about being long distance? The thing that I found most difficult was the fact that we would bicker over little things. It was often due to the fact we were just missing each other in some shape or fashion. I could always tell when it had been awhile since we had seen each other because we would sort of get on one another’s nerves. Once we saw each other again, everything was just fine!

How has long distance changed your relationship? Being long distance really helped me to appreciate and savor the time we do have together. It also allows you realize the little petty things don’t matter in the big scheme of things.

What do you enjoy most about the time you have together? When we were dating, we would go out to eat, go to movies, or cook dinner together. We wanted to spend time just us. Now that we are married, I enjoy having him with me at home and just doing “normal” things together, which we waited so long to do!

What sacrifices did you made in order to make things work? I used to live in the city and work in a job I really enjoyed. When Robbie was done with college, his plan had always been to go home to work on the family farm. It helped to know this plan from the start because I knew that if I wanted to be with him forever, I would be moving to the country and living on a farm. I never thought we would actually end up there, but we bought acreage to make our home. I moved out of the city and got a new job. We have cows, turkeys, cats, and a dog--and I spend my evenings riding in the tractor with my husband. I miss the city and all of my girlfriends, but being married and finally getting to be in the same place as Robbie is so worth it!

How has your life changed now that you're back in the same place? It is just so nice to be able to wake up next to him every morning. Cook supper together at night, play with our dog, and work in our garden. All of those little things are really just so fun. 

Be sure to stop by and give Mateya some love today. She and Robbie are definitely a shining example for those of you who still face long distance today. I love how she learned to keep her focus on the big picture--and not worry about the small stuff :) Thanks again for sharing your story, Mateya. I hope you all are able to spend your holidays with the ones you love...and if you can't, just remember: your separation isn't forever. You'll just be one of those lucky couples who really know how to appreciate their time together! Travel safely!

winter's new best friend.

Though the temperatures still feel like fall in Indiana, my dear mom likes to keep the house a little colder than {cv} and I keep our apartment in Rhode Island. To stay warm, I decided that a few cozy accessories were in definitely in order. I haven't take the plunge on any of these "snoods" {aka infinity scarves} just yet, but you better believe I'll be adding one to my wintry wardrobe soon! Since I always wear my scarves looped like a snood, it only makes sense ;) 

1) Tarnish 2-Tone Infinity Scarf = $28  |  2) Club Monaco Emily Snood = $98
3) Steve Madden Aztec Infinity Scarf = $42  |  4) Etro Chunky-Knit Snood = $430
5) veryloveleigh brittni oversized cowl = $42  |  6) Michael Kors Oversized Infinity = $68
7) J.Crew Metallic Snood = $49.50

With winter a month away, I know I have to load up on the cozies. I can't wait to hear about your favorites...I'm always looking for ways to survive the New England winters ;) If you've taken the plunge with a snood, I want your reviews on them too!

For those of you traveling today, be safe! Stay cozy--and I'll see you tomorrow!

for the short term.

I hope your Monday is going swimmingly :) I apologize for the barrage of posts today, but there is oh-so-much to share. I can't thank you enough for all the prayers and well wishes you sent this direction on Friday. My mom made it through surgery without issue--yay!--but the recovery process has now begun. We're taking it one day at a time, but I'm home until early December to help her get settled. 
That being said, this time in Indiana does throw a little long distance back in the mix...

Truth be told, {cv} and I will see each other during my Hoosier stint, but it doesn't make up for the fact that our "normal" isn't so normal right now. He arrives tomorrow from the Ocean State and will be helping me to prepare a Thanksgiving feast since my sweet momma cannot this year. {cv}'s visit to Indiana bridges the weeks I am spending here, so I cannot complain in the slightest. It did rouse a few memories from our years apart and got me thinking about surviving the "short term" long distance stints. 

Back in our true long distance days, I learned to cherish the minutes we had on the phone together. The same holds true in this shorter periods of long distance. I love hearing his voice on the other end of the line and treasure hearing little tidbits about "our" life in Rhode Island. The difference between the longer and the shorter stints is the perspective I have from those years we spent apart. If we can survive those, a few weeks here and there are no match for us. I count my blessings every day for that frame of reference.

It's weird to say, but as I get older {ew?!}, I realize more and more about how your past experiences really shape the person you become. {Note: I didn't say make you the person you become.} Life is truly a series of experiences that mold us into the people we're meant to be. I also think God is up there with His hands in all of it. Regardless of where you stand on that topic, it is incredible to look back and see how far you've come--whether you're 19, 26, or 37 ;) Have a great Monday, everyone--I'll see you back here tomorrow!

P.S. Two of my best friends in the whole world were born within two days of one another.
Crazy right?! Countless happy birthday wishes for {jt} + {ch}! I love you ladies :)

envelope please.

I'm sure this is a post that many of you have been waiting to see! 
Without further ado, here are the winners of my Lilly Pulitzer Jungle Glam Giveaway :)

the BIG winner of a dress + shoes is:

these two lovely ladies won their choice of an accessory:
NOTE: All three winners were chosen via through rafflecopter!

Many thanks to all of you who entered--the volume of entries for this giveaway was unbelievable!
Ally, Elle, and Lindsey--I hope you know just how many jealous ladies there are across the world ;)
I just wish I could give each and every one of you something for the time you took to enter...

Endless gratitude to my incredible sponsor, Lilly Pulitzer, for their overwhelming generosity and support!

P.S. Didn't win this time around?! Don't fret! There is another fabulous giveaway coming next month! 
If you're interested in sponsoring a giveaway here on {long distance loving}, please email me!

let the fun begin.

Happy Monday, all! I know you're all on pins and needles for the winner of the 
Lilly Pulitzer giveaway, but I have to keep you hanging for just a little while longer. 
Until then, I'll appease you with photos from a fabulous evening. Last Sunday, I hosted 
blogger blitz nyc and seriously had one of those nights which reaffirmed why I blog. 
These beautiful ladies are case in point why blogging is the best thing going. 
I simply cannot wait for all the meet-ups to come...

Many thanks to Amy, AnnaAnnie, Ashley, BeeChristin, Christina, Grace
JaclynJennieJuliaKat, Kristin, Lindsay, Melissa, Michelle, RosieShanelé
TamraTaraand Yanil for making the night better than I could have ever imagined! 
Special love also goes out to Lacey who fell and broke her elbow the night before!

A huge shout-out to the Barrel Room crew at City Winery for making 
the night an even bigger success...we can't wait for another round soon!

If you're in Louisville, DC, or Nashville, I'm coming your way, but be sure to register asap.
{You'll have to get on the waitlist for DC, but I'm crossing fingers to release more tickets!} 

I love putting names with blogs. It truly is the best! If you want me to come to your city,
pretty please let me know here--I love to travel! ;)

friday's fancies #51.

A very happy Friday to all of you! This week, Friday's Fancies is all mixing and matching...prints, that is.  When Ashley from a {little} dash of ash and I were together for blogger blitz NYC last Sunday night, she suggested this fun theme...and I loved the idea! My outfit for today is a bit toned down but that's because I'm back in Indiana--and I'll be taking care of my mother after she has surgery this morning. Please say a few prayers for my dear mom...she'll be laid up for a few weeks and I'll be there for the first two to help out. I think this outfit would be perfect for a cozy day in with her :) enjoy!

1) Let's be honest: I'd never buy this Boy. by Band of Outsiders Striped Cotton-Blend Top. I could get a much cheaper version in just about any store these days. In my Friday's Fancies, I can pick a $200+ cotton top, right? ;) 
2) I've added a few pieces of leopard in my wardrobe this fall and I'd love to add this J.Crew Leopard Scarf to the mix. Adding leopard with the stripes is my first foray into the mixing and matching--and I like it!
3) A great, "basic" pair of jeans is always good for the wardrobe {and the soul!}. These 7 for All Mankind High-Rise Straight-Leg Jeans work for every day and for snazzier occasions too.
4) These Kate Spade Putting on the Ritz Large Stud Earrings add a little sparkle to the mix and would be a perfect addition to my jewelry box. 
5) Structured bags have been calling my name all fall--and this Prada Saffiano Framed Tote Bag is currently topping the list. I know it will never be mine, but a girl can dream!
6) Infusing a little red into this outfit would definitely make it pop, so these Tory Burch Carrie Leather and Patent Ballet Flats fit the bill. The touch of patent always gets me!

I can't thank you enough for linking up today--be sure to use your blog name when you link up to get
all the credit you deserve for your post :) If you have any questions at all, please send them my way.
I'm happy to help. 

one year.

{photo by Michael Bullock via Style Me Pretty}

One year ago today, I wrote this post. While plotting out today's post, I realized just how this {nearly} daily exercise of blogging has transformed me in some many ways. I started this blog for a number of reasons: I needed a fresh focus and a creative outlet in a serious way. I knew I couldn't survive another New England winter without some sort of project...little did I know that "project" would become so much more. Over the last 365 days, I discovered a new passion for life which I desperately needed. 

Here's a little review of this year...
My first Friday's Fancies looks quite a bit different than my 50th, not to mention the fact I'd never heard of a link-up back then...but now, I can't imagine a Friday without the nearly 100 lovely ladies who choose to spend their valuable time creating their own posts. {I truly count my blessings every day for all of you!}

I introduced Lucy and Gus, only for us to lose our dear Lucy four months later. {cv}, Gus, and I took a little time before introducing Pinky to our family in June. Pinky is now Mr. Pinky have to love those surprises! Though a little part of our heart is still missing, Mr. Pinky and Gus brighten our days in so many ways.

I took my first design class at RISD in January and have taken three since then, which helped me immensely in improving this blog.

Our wedding lived on here and here {and for those of you who haven't seen it--here!}.

I finally got the courage to share my story, which served as half of the inspiration for sun savvy--a pledge I believe everyone should take. 

I love seeing the conversation around long distance relationships grow, be it through my {distance makes the heart grow fonder} series or some of my favorite posts {see here, here and here}. The time that {cv} and I spent long distance definitely made us the strong couple we are today...and I am beyond grateful for that.

I discovered that years only make friendships stronger--and better. I learned that the miles between us stand between us are no match for us. I have also met lifelong friends through blogging. Those who aren't in the blogging world may think it's strange, but they just don't understand. I truly can't imagine my future without them! I can't wait to meet even more of you as time rolls on...

I still love fashion. I still can't afford it, which is exactly why I'll stick with Friday's Fancies ;)

I adore {cv} today, like I did on November 17th, 2010...just more. I pinch myself every day that God blessed me with him. I also have the best parents in the entire world.

I just want to thank each and every one of you for making the last year the best one yet. My gratitude can't be contained in words. One thing is for sure: I can't wait to see what this year brings...

All of my love!

P.S. Be sure to check out my little snippet on breakfast at toast as part of her week of thanks! :)

taking a twirl.

I'm delighted to share another sweet story of long distance survival this week! Steve and Sydney {from take me for a twirl} are two Canadians in love :) Read on to find out about how these two busy bees make it work amidst school and work... 

Name: Sydney
Significant other’s name: Steve
When did you start dating? We started dating at the beginning of 2010. I was in my fourth year at university, a senior resident advisor in the all women’s dorm and ready to take on the world. I was on a mission: my leadership council, school, friends and family. A boyfriend was definitely not in the plan, but then, there was Steve. He kept popping up all over the place being all nice, considerate and polite--and he listened to me. We started hanging out more and I finally realized we had an amazing connection. I knew something this real didn’t come around often.

At what point did you start dating long distance? During the summer of 2010, he got a job at our school doing summer maintenance (very “manly” things like moving furniture and driving a truck) and I got a job back in Toronto. We were both going to work through the summer and then hit the books for a final year at university. As so often happens with best-laid plans, midway through the summer, Steve got a job offer from the University of Manitoba to be a residence coordinator. It was a sad day when he finally packed his bags and made the move. Before he left, we spent one final weekend together in Niagara Falls, which is the cheesy romance capital of the world. (Our hotel room even had a heart shaped bath tub!) Our current long distance situation began at the end of July this summer.

How do you fill your days when you’re apart? His new job requires all sorts of crazy hours and Steve loves it! As for me, school started back again, which keeps me on my toes and my nose in the books. Despite both of us having full schedules, we are never too busy to text during the day or for a quick five minute phone call at lunch or before bed.

What do you find most difficult about being long distance? I miss the little things the most: making a meal together, watching a movie on the couch, and little kisses on the top of my head. The small meaningful moments that used to fill my days are few and far between these days. As I look back, I appreciate those we do have so much more. I know that even though we can’t share them every day, it doesn’t mean we don’t have something to look forward to soon.

How has long distance changed your relationship? Our relationship has taken on a new dimension since Steve moved away. Our bond as a couple is much stronger. When you begin a long distance relationship, you have a little spot in the back of your mind where you know that your relationship can do one of two things: it can fall apart or it can grow. Ours grew--and still is growing. We don’t get to talk every day, but I know Steve is always thinking about me and he is always on my mind. Every time we get the opportunity to talk on skype, Steve says, without fail that “absence makes the heart grow fonder”. It certainly does. Knowing we can make it through this time together gives me so much hope for our future. I know that we will be a better couple on the other side.

What do you enjoy most about the time you have together? I seriously enjoy hugs the most. It sounds like such a simple thing, but there is something about getting a hug from your partner that nobody else in your life can replace. It doesn’t hurt that Steve gives amazing bear hugs. I can’t wait until the next time I see him to get my hug fix!

Is there any end in sight to your long distance days? Yes! Thankfully! Steve is currently on a two-year contract, so once it is up, he is free to roam. I am applying to Midwifery school for next September. We have agreed to be together based on my choice of school and I couldn’t be happier about it! Going through school is going to be a lot easier with my main man by my side!

Be sure to send some love in Sydney's direction today! I can't thank her enough for sharing their story with all of us is so encouraging to see another long distance couple who has learned to make it work. For those of you out there with miles between you and your significant other, keep the faith! 
I hope you have an incredible Wednesday. Until tomorrow...

my daily routine.

Today, I'm joining in the fun with Marissa at the boot for her winter beauty link-up! I have a few other steps to my daily routine both before {moisturizer and sunscreen!} and after {perfume!}, but I chose to focus on my daily make-up routine. Though I'm no expert, this is how I've learned to "make it work" over the last few years...but my process is always evolving and I love suggestions on how I can improve ;)

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

I would say mine would likely be my full cover concealer--got to love those tired eyes from long 
nights of work and blogging ;) Heredity doesn't help me much on that front either {thanks Dad!}.
Be sure to stop by the boot and check out all the lovely beauty-centric posts from across the world! 
I can't wait to hear what your essential is! Hope your Tuesday is cheery and bright!