friday's fancies #22.

We made it to Friday! It's the most wedding-obsessed day this generation has ever seen! To get swept up in the hype, I hope you'll join me in dreaming up your British best by creating your look for the Royal Wedding :) This could mean what you wear as a guest, what you dream the bride will wear, or even what you'll be wearing as you watch it at home. {If you don't have the Royal Wedding fever, don't sweat! You can still dream to your heart's content with your Friday's Fancies!}

If I had received an invitation to the Royal Wedding, you'd likely find me in a get-up like this:
{all images are screenshots of the corresponding links below}
1) Since Kate is the future queen of England, it's fair to say she's also the queen of hats! This Philip Treacy Small Disc Hat gives some height and texture to the look I pulled together :) He's also rumored to be the millinier for the Royal Wedding!
2) While scouring a few new British websites, I eyed this Agnona Pleated Dress. The designer was new to me, but I loved the soft pleating and thought this would make for a very appropriate and not-too-overstated dress. I wouldn't want to take away from the bride--though I think that might be impossible ;)
3) Everything I read about Royal Wedding fashion called for understated earrings, so I decided these Mikimoto Stud Earrings with Diamonds would do the trick. They are elegant and don't take anything away from the fun brooch I chose!
4) This Adriana Orsini Medallion Brooch might normally be spotted on a woman three times my age, but for today, I decided it would work splendidly! I wanted a little flair and a lot of pizzazz without adding bold colors. This starburst pattern does just that.
5) I know I've previously shared my love of Judith Leiber, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that I chose another of her masterpieces in the form of the Rope-Motif Minaudiere. It felt regal and nautical, all at the same time. I couldn't help myself!
6) Whenever I see the name McCartney, I think of the British Invasion in the form of the Beatles. It's only appropriate to pick a jacket by the daughter of a Beatle, Stella McCartney. Though it's not my style completely, I needed to cover my shoulders, so I thought this Duchess Satin Collarless Jacket would help me fulfill that need.
7) A British brand that I wish would jump the pond is the L.K. Bennett. These Selina Shoes made me think they could be the brainchild of Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman! I love them!

Will you be watching the royal nuptials today? If you are, how are you celebrating?

Now it's your turn to share your dream outfit for this Friday, be it your attire for the Royal Wedding or for whatever your weekend has in store! Remember--the great thing about Friday's Fancies is that you can dream up whatever your heart desires without worrying about the pricetag! Want more information on how to create your own Friday's Fancies? Read this post or email me!

I simply cannot wait to see your looks this week! This weekend, I'll be in NYC enjoying a weekend with my girlfriends, where we will definitely be watching as Will and Kate make it official :) I'm also SO excited to meet a few of you on Sunday morning at the NYC Blogger Meet-up {shoot us an email if you want more information}!  Have a great weekend--and as always, thank you so so much for all the time you put into your Friday's Fancies :) I love seeing the creative ways you rock out your style!

Have a fabulous weekend! xoxo {av}

P.S. I have a double dose of "regality" on tap for you today! I'm guest-posting at a little bit of this + that!



NOTE: When you post your link, use your blog name in the second box--it'll help give your blog some much-deserved recognition! 

your royal invitation.

Imagine it: you open your mailbox a few weeks ago and find this glorious invitation inside...

{via}
The first question which would then come to my mind is: 
what in the world do you wear to a Royal Wedding?

Unless you've been raised in high society, the idea of a "lounge suit" could be pretty daunting. I went on a hunt to find out exactly what that meant...and found this helpful article via the BBC. When it mentioned a "smart" day dress, it diminished the idea of wearing a cocktail dress--though I am sure fabulous yet tasteful cocktail dress could apply ;)  Extensive research helped me discover that a Royal Wedding outfit is a conservative, yet thoughtful get-up. A lot of attention must be paid to the details! 

For tomorrow's Royal Wedding-themed Friday's Fancies
I thought I'd give you a few tips on what I deemed as essential accessories...

As a fair disclaimer, not all of my research pointed to hats. There was actually quite a bit of buzz around the fascinator...that lovely headband-esque item you see Kate Middleton sporting frequently. Besides the perfect pumps, a pretty purse, and a fancy hat, one must also keep in mind tasteful jewelry...which means different things to every person, but I think you all have that sense about you ;)

If you're feeding into the Royal Wedding hype...
besides the bride, who are you most excited to see tomorrow?


The players I'm looking forward to watching tomorrow are the princes. Back in the late '90s, I was borderline obsessed with Prince William. I must admit that these days I'm now quite the Prince Harry fan {who would have imagined that back in those awkward teen years?!}. I am also intrigued to see what  Chelsy Davy wears to the wedding. There have been plenty of rumors swirling that her dress choices may be on the {how shall we say} not-so-conservative side.

All in all, I'm just thrilled to have some "good" TV to watch with a few of my best girl friends. It is sure to be a day we won't ever forget! Though I can't give you an invitation to the royal celebration, you are always invited to join in the Friday's Fancies fun. I am just crossing fingers that today passes quickly--because I know I cannot wait for tomorrow morning {for the Royal Wedding or for your
Royal Friday's Fancies!}!  Happy Thursday! xoxo {av}


P.S. Don't forget about our NYC Blogger Meet-up this weekend!
It is certainly not too late to RSVP--just send an email to nycbloggermeetup{at}gmail{dot}com! We got quite the group of talented ladies already joining us :) if you're in the NYC area on Sunday morning, it'd be a shame for you to miss out! Once you email us, we'll send along the final details!

And for those of you in other parts of the US, don't fret! 
I want to meet you on my next visit to your town!

a different kind of home.


WARNING: long, wordy post ahead...bear with me ;)

From June 2006 until June 2009, {cv} resided in the office building on the left. Though he paid rent on an apartment, his office was really the place he called home. Most know that offices are far from cozy, which makes the concept of calling it "home" pretty miserable. His cube was filled to the brim with papers, a football, and one small picture frame of us on the beach {which I gave to him after my one trip to his office when I saw his desk was barren otherwise}. 

Ironically, his new "home" in Providence looks somewhat similar to his old one. {See the jukebox-shaped building on the right?} He has called this office "home" for just under two years. I have only been invited up once--to share Thai take-out on a particularly long weekend stay in the office. In my opinion, it looks exactly the same as his former cube. Some days, I just want to come in there and slather it in a happy yellow, but it probably wouldn't go over so well--but I digress! 

The years of long distance only allowed me small glimpses into this life he led in the cubicle. His blackberry buzzing at 1:00am was my worst nightmare in those days. To his credit, {cv} would do a great job at trying to clear his plate {when he could!} when I would be in town. Sure, there were plenty of occasions where he was absent because of the hours logged in his cube, but I knew he would be there if he could be. It wasn't a choice he was making--it was a choice being made for him.

In an odd way, I am thankful I didn't bear witness {firsthand} to those years he logged at his "home" in North Carolina. I almost think of it as a blessing because our weekends together were an opportunity for him to {try to} step away from the desk which held him hostage seven days a week. Now that we're in the same place, I look back on those years and wonder how I survived without seeing him for a few weeks or months. The irony in that statement is that there are some days I just get a glimpse  of {cv} through shaded eyes when he crawls into bed after a 17-hour day.

I know the tone of this post isn't, how shall we say, complimentary of {cv}'s line of work. Just to be very clear, I love my husband dearly. I admire his drive, his brilliance, and his stick-to-itiveness. He is a problem-solver, an innovator, and, quite possibly, the hardest worker you'll ever meet. I'm forever grateful to call him my own because I know all of these qualities will translate elsewhere in our lives in the years to come. Whenever a baby {v} enters this world, I know that he will be an incredible father and will stop at nothing to provide the best for our family.

So, when {cv} works a long day {or 20}, I find myself thankful for those years we spent apart. At my core, I know the memories of those years help me get through the lonely days we are spending in Rhode Island. Our time here simply makes me look forward to the years when we can try to carve out a more "normal" schedule, because I know he will eventually earn his place further up the corporate ladder.  

There is a strange comfort in discovering the years of long distance were worthwhile. Those years apart certainly prepared us for this period in our lives and I will always be grateful for that. I will always have a love-hate relationship with his "home" at the office. I only recently made the decision to understand why he works so hard--and not to resent him for it. He does it for us--and our future clan of baby {v}'s.

How have your past experiences shaped your present ones? {loaded question--I know!}
What love-hate relationships do you have? 

For those of you who made it to this point in the post, thank you...I can honestly say that blogging has made me feel at home in a place where I know a sum total of maybe 5 people I could call to grab dinner. I count my blessings for each of you :) I'm here for you too! Remember: I have an open line, just for you. Have a great Wednesday--and thanks again for reading! xoxo {av}

P.S. I hope you're pulling together some fabulous Royal Wedding-themed Friday's Fancies! And if the Royal Wedding isn't your thing--don't worry: "normal" Friday's Fancies won't be denied! :) 

april showers.

With rain on the docket this week in New England, I find myself struggling to feel "cute" in spring downpours. I wear my Hunters, but often just make the run for it--without an umbrella in hand. My curly hair may frizz slightly with the rain {ok, I lie--it frizzes a LOT in the rain}, though it's somehow never quite enough to get me to change my umbrella-wielding habits. 

This umbrella conundrum got me thinking: if I had a cute umbrella {like I have fabulous boots!}, wouldn't I want to carry it? Using this rationale, I decided to find a few which caught my fancy...

{images: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7}

So tell me: what are your spring weather survival tips? 
How do you stay chic in the rain? 

Can't wait to hear your tips! Stay dry today--and if you're lucky enough to be 
seeing the sunshine, don't gloat too much ;) Happy Tuesday! xoxo {av}

california dreaming.

In a day of fun news {like giveaway winners}, I wanted to share another bit of excitement on the horizon in the {v} household...We're going to CALIFORNIA for one whole glorious week in May! We're on a bit of a tight turnaround in the planning department, but I won't complain--it's v.a.c.a.t.i.o.n. :)

Here's a glimpse at our {very barebones} itinerary...


After soliciting your help for my trip to New Orleans with my girlfriends and our anniversary trip to Charleston, I couldn't think about going on a vacation without asking for your wonderful suggestions! We have booked our hotels for all of these stops, but that's where the planning stops...

So, if you're lucky enough to call any of these places home--or if you've visited recently,
where should we explore?!

An enormous thank you in advance for all your help :) I truly don't know what I would do without all of you! Ok, maybe I do...we might end up at chain restaurants and awful vineyards. This is why your help is SO important! I can't wait to hear your suggestions! Thank you again! xoxo {av}

P.S. To the 52 incredible bloggers who joined in the Friday's Fancies fun last week, thank you soooo much! I hope you'll 
all be back this week for the Royal Wedding-themed posts! Didn't join in? You're always welcome! Email me with questions!

the lucky ones.


Congratulations to Whitney from cheerios and beer on her big win! She's taking home a print from LilyGene, the book Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, and the cobalt Le Creuset utensil holder!
{Her big win is a result of the extra entry she submitted through her Friday's Fancies post on April 15th!}

Because of the stellar response from this giveaway, LilyGene Prints was so kind to 
offer a {surprise!} second print for another {long distance loving} reader! 

This second lucky lady is Katie from The Southland Life
She'll get a print of her choice from LilyGene Prints :)
{She went to Paris on her honeymoon too! Crazy!}


 Five months into this blogging adventure, I count myself blessed each and every day that 
you choose to spend a few moments at {long distance loving}. An enormous thank you to 
each and every one of you who entered--I seriously wish I could give you ALL a prize! 
Endless love to you this Monday! xoxo {av}

friday's fancies #21

A very happy Friday to you! At the end of a long work week, I always look forward to seeing all of your fabulous Friday's Fancies posts! It's such a treat :) Tonight, I have a work happy hour to cap off the week, but since I pulled together a post-work preppy concoction a few weeks ago, I decided to craft my dream Easter outfit instead! We'll be heading to our church for the Easter service on Sunday before bopping up to Boston to see my bff {ch} and her family, who have so kindly invited us for brunch. 

As a kiddo, I loved getting an "Easter" outfit. Back in the day, the dresses were often floral and included a hat. I've evolved a bit-- so here's what I would be wearing if money grew on trees:
{all images are screenshots from the corresponding links below}
1) Tory Burch plays to my weaknesses yet again. This Louisa Shoulder Bag positions itself as the newest bag on my wishlist as a multi-seasonal player that could work as a pop of winter white or a sweet dose of ivory in the springtime. Though I can't make the splurge in the foreseeable future, I can certainly keep admiring it through Friday's Fancies!
2) Perfectly preppy and super springy, this Lotusgrace Pleated Taffeta Dress was an instant winner in my book. I just cannot get enough of the sweet bow and the gorgeous texture of this dress!
3 + 4) When I happened upon the Lulu Frost for J.Crew collection, I fell head over heels for the "emerald" touches in the Bohemian Lattice Bracelet and the Heirloom Crystal Lattice Earrings. These beautiful pieces would certainly become heirlooms for my future baby {v}'s.
5) Full disclosure: this isn't the first time these Kate Spade Maribeth Heels have appeared on {long distance loving}...you probably spotted them in my post a few weeks ago on the new Kate Spade Wedding Belles collection. Since they've been on my mind for almost three weeks, I decided it was fair game to use them ;)

If you celebrate Easter, what are you dreaming of wearing this year?
Do you have one Easter dress which stands out in your memory bank?
{I definitely remember the year my mom and I wore matching Easter dresses :) !!}



Since I started hosting the Friday's Fancies link-ups fourteen weeks ago, more than 350 posts have graced the pages of {long distance loving}! I count my blessings every Friday that so many of you have latched onto this fun idea of dreaming big and sharing it with the world :) I know the effort each one of you puts into your posts--and it is such an honor that you take that time to make them!

Take some time to admire your fellow Friday's Fancies faithful this week--you each deserve a round of applause for the lustworthy outfits you'll be posting this week. I cannot WAIT for the Royal wedding edition of Friday's Fancies next week :) 

Have a very happy Easter! xoxo {av}


P.S. To me, Easter epitomizes the promise of a life infinitely greater than this one. Though I'm going to make the most of the life I've been given on this earth, I'm looking forward to the days I'll spend with the One who sacrificed so much for me!

final assignment.

A couple of weeks ago, I took my final photographs for my introduction to photography class at RISD. {Fun aside: I took with the lovely Kristen from A Kapple A Day!} We had to take self-portraits--and our only instruction was to avoid taking photos of ourselves in mirrors. Since I currently lack a tripod, I had to get a little creative. This is  just a little sampling of what I submitted at the final class...


No, I don't have a foot fetish. I just thought it could be a fun perspective. Gus was happy to 
pose in that first photo because I was giving him a treat. He's such a dog-cat.

How do you think they turned out!? 
How else might you capture your self-portrait without a tripod?
psst: Do you see some initials you recognize? ;)

Have a great Thursday, blog buddies!
xoxo {av}

P.S. I doubt you could forget, but tomorrow is Friday--which means it's almost Friday's Fancies time! Can you believe it's the fourteenth week of FF fun?! After the stellar turnout last week, I can't wait to see what all of you fashionable ladies have in store for the blogosphere this week. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to reach out to me! As always, it's no holds-barred fashion: dream to your heart's content and share it with the world!

Remember: the Royal Wedding Guest Attire edition of Friday's Fancies is next week (not this week!)
I certainly won't stop anyone from posting them this week, I just wanted to offer that little reminder ;)

extra helping of southern charm.

I hope you all had a great start to the week! As promised yesterday, here is an extra helping 
of southern charm to help you get through this Wednesday!

After the meet-up on Saturday morning, I roamed the city for a few hours solo...yes, solo. {cv} was slaving away back at the hotel and I decided to make the most of it. With my photography class under my belt, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try out a few of my new skills. {You saw some of the pictures from that walk in my windowboxes post last Thursday!} At the suggestion of {jt}, I grabbed lunch at Fast & French {otherwise known as Gaulart & Maliclet}--satisfying an undying craving of mine in the form of a delicious croque monsieur.

I headed back to the hotel around three, with cupcakes in hand, to give {cv} a little celebratory boost before we gussied up for the wedding. I dragged my Nikon D5000 to the wedding--and I'm so happy I did! {lh} and {bh} got married in the stunning French Huguenot Church in downtown Charleston. Their celebration continued at the Old Rice Mill, just a short trolley ride from the church. 


Their venue exuded Southern charm from the first moment we arrived. {I sported my Rent The Runway dress and I couldn't have been happier with this Shoshanna rental! Though I'd never buy a pink dress, it was fun to sport one for a night!}


{lh} and {bh} threw a spectacular party, complete with a killer band, off-the-charts food stations, and two very tasty cakes. {lh} looked positively gorgeous! My favorite part of the night? Seeing {bh} so enthralled with his brand-new wife that he never took his eyes off of her! {cv} and I were so honored to be guests at such a fabulous celebration :)

Have you ever been to a wedding in Charleston? 
What are your favorite "southern" wedding touches?

Endless love to the {h}'s! You deserve a lifetime of happiness and we can't wait to see that come to fruition! Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone! xoxo {av}


P.S. Yours truly will be making a trip to NYC for the Royal Wedding! {more on that next week!}

Over that weekend, I have lots of fun plans with my girlfriends, but one that involves a few new friends too! I'll be joining a few other lovely {actual NYC} bloggers in hosting a little New York City blogger meet-up!

If you're in the City that weekend and would like to join in the fun, send over your email RSVP! The meet-up will be on Sunday morning, May 1st--and we would love to put a face with your blog :) More details will be emailed to you before the event! YAY!


the long and short of it.

In May 2007, I found a phenomenal pair of shorts at Old Navy {yes, Old Navy} that lasted me four summers. I got compliments almost every time I wore them and it broke my heart to retire them at the end of last year. They weren't anything special to look at but they certainly did the trick. Those khaki linen-esque shorts changed my opinion of that whole genre of pants. 

Prior to that summer, I always had a little thing against  my legs. I don't know what it was, but I just didn't like seeing them. I would wear jeans at the heights of DC and Indiana summers, just so I wouldn't have to wear shorts. Thankfully, on that fateful trip to Old Navy, my eyes were opened. Now, I'm a HUGE fan. Judging by my loot from a recent trip to J.Crew, one might deem me borderline obsessed. Here's where I need your help though...

How do you bring bolder patterned shorts into your every day rotation?
How short is too short? What's your guideline?
Are there any places you won't wear shorts?

Yes, that was a barrage of questions. Feel free to answer as many {or as few} as you wish. I'm just wanting the new standard of short acceptability. Back in high school, we had the "fingertip" length rule, so now I'm wondering if such a rule exists in "real" life.

Can't wait to hear your opinions! In the few short {pardon the pun!} months I've had this blog, I've learned so much from each and every one of you that I knew you all were the perfect people to ask!

Get excited for another post from the Holy City tomorrow--until then, don't forget to grab all the entries you can for my lovely french-inspired giveaway! It ends in less than a week! Have a great Tuesday--and thanks in advance for all of your help :) xoxo {av}


{first row: left middle right | second row: left middle right | third row: left middle right | fourth row: left middle right}

holy city hospitality.


{top photo: the lovely ladies behind The Perks, Soulshine, Cheerful Carolina, Fried Green Pickles, & me}
{bottom photo: the sweet girl behind JenyPenny & me}

After a few folks suggested the farmers market would be a fun place to visit, I threw that idea out to the girls and they were totally on board :) Happily enough, this was the inaugural market of this year--and it was swarming with serious shoppers and incredible smells. I was able to try boiled peanuts {or as they say in South Carolina boyleddd peanuts}--and they were quite tasty!

Here are just a few photos from our walk around the Marion Square Farmers Market...

I was so glad to be able to spend a few hours with these fabulous bloggers--a big thank you to each of the ladies who made the trip into town to spend a few hours with little ol' me :) It definitely proved just how hospitable {and wonderful} the South can be! Not only that, I'm rather certain that the blogosphere is one of the friendliest and most wonderful places to be. I only wish I lived in Charleston to enjoy them on a regular basis!

Are you a farmers market regular?
If so, what is your favorite thing to pick up when you're there?

Much love to my Charleston blogger ladies--and to all of you!  Have a fantastic Monday! xoxo {av}


psst: here's some happy news for this Monday...my lovely giveaway sponsor, LilyGene Prints, is having a spring break sale! Now through Sunday, April 24th, you can get 20% off all items in her etsy shop! 
Just use the code: SPRINGBREAK20 at checkout! 




So, what does that mean? You can make your own dreams come true and buy a few of your favorite prints if you can't wait to find out who wins the {ode to france} giveaway on Monday, April 25th!

friday's fancies #20.

Happy Friday! I'm reminiscing today for Friday's Fancies :) I'll simply be remembering what we were doing a year ago today while on our Parisian honeymoon. {cv} and I strolled the streets of Montmartre and had our silhouettes cut by a street artist. We walked from that corner of the city all the way back to our hotel near the Arc de Triomphe. We stopped for crêpes along the way {something which became a daily occurrence during our honeymoon!} and started dreaming about what we'd do with a few extra days in Paris if the volcanic ash affected our travel plans...which it so conveniently did :)

This would be an outfit I would love to wear on a dreamy Parisian day, strolling 
the streets and exploring quiet cafés, though I'll admit I would probably pack a 
pair of flats in that dreamy YSL bag to save my feet from ruin after a few hours...
all images are screenshots from the corresponding links below, excluding the Eiffel Tower shot by {av}
1) This dress may be a little fancy for walking the streets of Paris, but French women always look so fabulously put together...and this is a Friday's Fancies post--so I think I'm allowed ;) I adore the colors in this Dior Cotton Poplin Mini Dress. The ivory and navy twisted in a gorgeous dye look almost like a work of art and the pricetag would hold up that idea too!
2) {cv} and I wandered into Hermès one afternoon during our stay--and let's just say we didn't quite look the part of an Hermès customers in our jeans and New Balances. Even still, I have a dream to own one of their quintessential enameled pieces, like this Narrow Printed Enamel Bracelet.
3) While not the most comfortable of options, I had to chose these Christian Louboutin Ankle Wrap Platform Sandals. Their navy color and general gorgeousness would make me feel like a million euros walking down Rue Rivoli.
4) This Yves Saint Laurent Roady Shoulder Bag would allow me to carry my Nikon, a pair of flats, and even a map without any fuss. It may not have much detail, but it certainly plays the part in that rich navy hue.
Do you gravitate toward any one city's style?


Need some fun inspiration for your Friday's Fancies post on Friday, April 29th?

I'll be pulling together what I would be wearing to the Royal Wedding, if I were lucky enough to attend! If you'd rather, you could also pull together what your dream look for your viewing party ;) Non-themed Friday's Fancies are certainly welcome on that Friday, but I thought I'd take a spin on the Royal Wedding like I did for the Oscars!

If you're new to Friday's Fancies, have no fear! Check out this post for some helpful hints and feel free to email me for more information :) Remember--the main goal is to dream big and forget about pricetags! Anything goes for Friday's Fancies!

Many thanks to the Friday's Fancies faithful and to the newbies who post this week! I cannot wait to see what you all create :) Remember that you can claim an extra entry in my {ode to france giveaway} for your post today...just make sure you leave a comment on that post to make it count! Have a phenomenal weekend, everyone! xoxo {av}


charleston window{boxes}.


On Monday, {cv} and I got back from a whirlwind weekend in Charleston, South Carolina. I have so much to share from our jaunt in the Holy City, so I thought I'd start out with a few pictures which I hope will one day serve as inspiration for our future home.

This wasn't my first visit to Charleston--and I'm sure it won't be my last. I grew up going to this beautiful and historic city while on visits to my grandparents who lived elsewhere in South Carolina. I am pretty certain my love for all things American {and the reason why I eventually became an American Studies major} stemmed from our day trips to Charleston. Coincidentally, the 150th anniversary of the first shot of the Civil War {at Fort Sumter in Charleston!} was on April 12th, the day after we left. Suffice it to say that when we rolled onto Meeting Street on Friday night, I was in heaven.

To bring this post full circle, I'm linking up with Jillian over at cornflake dreams for her weeklong decorate this space blog crawl! These photos are absolutely inspiration for the home I dream {cv} and I will own one day down the line--with gorgeous shutters, flower-filled window boxes, and absolute southern charm. My dream doesn't stop there! Keep your eyes peeled in the next few weeks for more of my southern inspiration in the form of side porches, palm trees, and sunshine. This trip was just what my cold New England soul needed after a long, brutal winter :)


Be sure to stop by cornflake dreams for other stunning examples from fantastic bloggers with their home decor dreams!

Before I go, I'm sure you are acutely aware of the fact tomorrow is Friday! Don't forget about the lovely link-up, Friday's Fancies, here on {long distance loving}! It's your chance to dream big and forget about the pricetags. You have absolute freedom to create what your heart would desire for your weekend activities :) Almost 300 Friday's Fancies have appeared in the link-up over the last few months, so be sure to check back here tomorrow for lots of eye candy and for the opportunity to discover a few new blogs!


I cannot wait to see what you all create for tomorrow! If you have any questions or want to know more, feel free to email me or check out this helpful post :) Until tomorrow! xoxo {av}

psst: Don't forget to enter my {ode to france giveaway}! Creating a Friday's Fancies look counts as an extra entry...
so increase your odds at winning the big prize by linking up tomorrow!

pitter patter.

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon LilyGene Prints on etsy. Suffice it to say, my heart {immediately!} went pitter patter. I would love to plaster our apartment walls with these prints. With total freedom to pick the color scheme for the print you choose, you can easily match the print to your decor, which is exactly what I plan to do ;) I'm super excited to be offering one of LilyGene's prints as a part of my {ode to france giveaway}--but my love of her shop is much deeper than just the country prints!
Here are just a few of my favorites from her shop...

{LilyGene Prints: Beatles Collection}
{LilyGene Prints: Bicycle}
{LilyGene Prints: Japan Earthquake Relief -- all proceeds go to Japan relief}

{LilyGene Prints: Color Scheme}


What are your favorite prints from LilyGene?  

I'm so blessed to have LilyGene Prints sponsoring the giveaway running right now at {long distance loving}! I was absolutely overwhelmed at the response from the first day of the giveaway--and trust me, if I were a rich woman, I'd give you all these goodies. For as much love and support as each of you give me daily, you certainly deserve it!  

{By the way, be sure to leave a comment for each entry--I noticed a few people were missing out on a few entries yesterday! I want to give you every opportunity to win!} 

Have a phenomenal Wednesday and keep those entries coming! Can't wait to share a few pics from
Charleston tomorrow! xoxo {av}

an ode to france giveaway.

A year ago today, {cv} and I landed in France to begin what was an absolutely magical honeymoon. 
I knew a French-inspired giveaway was the perfect way to remember that wonderful journey! I also am lucky enough to have the world's best followers--and I wish I could give each and every one of you these fun treats!

One winner will receive these three fabulous goodies:
one LilyGene print {either of France or a country/state of your choice--provided by LilyGene Prints}
one copy of Lunch in Paris: A Love Story by Elizabeth Bard {filled with beautiful images + great recipes}
one Le Creuset utensil holder in cobalt blue {for the perfect pop of color in your kitchen!}

Want this big dose of French loveliness in your life? There are EIGHT chances for you to win!

MANDATORY ENTRY
{1} follow {long distance loving} on Google Friend Connect or Bloglovin and leave a comment below describing your dream vacation destination {I'm currently dreaming of Thailand and Argentina!}

EXTRA ENTRIES:
{2} favorite LilyGene Prints on etsy
{3} follow LilyGene Prints on blogger
{4} like LilyGene Prints on facebook
{5} follow @luvfromfar on Twitter
{6} tweet about this giveaway: enter to win a lovely french-inspired giveaway 
at {long distance loving} http://tinyurl.com/ldlaotfg via @luvfromafar
{7 + 8} participate in Friday's Fancies on April 15th or April 22nd

Please leave a comment for each entry!

The giveaway will run until 8:00pm on Sunday, April 24th. It is open to all followers of {long distance loving}, regardless of location. A winner will be announced at 7:00am on Monday, April 25th. The lucky reader who wins will then receive an email from me about details on how to choose your print from LilyGene Prints. If you have any other questions, please email me!

A tremendous debt of gratitude to LilyGene Prints for being such a fabulous sponsor! Be sure to check out her etsy shop...your walls are clamoring for one of her perfectly wonderful prints :)

Much love to each and every one of you--you have made my world much brighter and I only hope I can do the same for you! Can't wait to see who wins--bonne chance! xoxo {av}

love love love.



{Alison and Chris from Kate Headley on Vimeo}

366 days ago, I became {av}. This is a little peek into that special day, 
as captured by the incomparable Kate Headley. Make sure your volume is on...
the music should help make your Monday a little bit brighter!

I'll be back tomorrow :)
Hope you enjoy! xoxo {av}

P.S. Want to see more of our wedding? Click here and here.

friday's fancies #19.

I'm SO excited for Friday to be here and to see the Friday's Fancies posts pour in from across the world! I adore creating these dreamy outfits and not having to worry about the pricetags--and this week was no exception! Our weekend plans include an anniversary dinner in lovely Charleston, South Carolina. If money were no object, I'd be wearing this little get-up:

{all images are screenshots from the corresponding links below}
1) These Tiffany & Co. Legacy Sapphire Earrings reminded me of the earrings I rented {yes, rented!} on my wedding day. After April 10th, 2010, sapphires have taken a new place in my heart...and these stunners from Tiffany would be the absolute end-all-be-all of sapphire earrings for little ol' me!
2) I can spot cobalt blue from a mile away, so this Joseph Carmen One-Shoulder Dress immediately played with my heartstrings. The best part? Cobalt blue looks good even against my pasty skin!
3) You can't celebrate an anniversary without a little bubbly in the form of Veuve Cliquot. Right? Right :)
4) I spied these Jimmy Choo Lancer Crystal Collection Sandals after I'd already made my clutch choice. Sure, the shoes and the clutch may be a tad matchy-matchy, but I think I'm allowed some bling in an anniversary fantasy!
5) Owning a Judith Leiber clutch, like this Large Airstream Minaudiere, is a longtime dream of mine. I think this is the perfect Friday's Fancies for such glorious to make its "debut."

Be sure to stop by Schue Love today too! Not only is her blog chock full of fabulous inspiration, you'll also see a guest post from yours truly on my dreamy southwestern getaway get-up...

New to Friday's Fancies? Check out this post for more about how to create your own or feel free to email me! I'd love to have you among the Friday's Fancies faithful!

A tremendous debt of gratitude to those fo you linking up today--I can't wait to see what you create! I know it's not easy to create such fabulous outfits, so thank you for taking the time :) Have a fantastic weekend, everyone! Can't wait to share more about our weekend celebrating in the sunshine! 
xoxo {av}


P.S. Have you seen this new facebook feature? I spotted this timely little reminder this week. Thank goodness our wedding anniversary constitutes a "big event." It even made my upcoming events. I found this hysterical. Thanks for indulging me here ;)


P.P.S. Haven't had enough of me today? I've also got a fun Georgetown post over 
at Krystal Schlegel's beautiful blog...check it out here!

we're heading south.

A few weeks ago, I solicited your help for a trip which seemed so far away...
but now it's almost here! {cv} and I leave tomorrow for:


We're heading to Charleston this weekend for what is sure to be a fantastic celebration:
my dear friend {lh} is getting married! We met post-college in DC and I'm so blessed we did.
We have relied a lot on each other over the years because she and her {almost husband} survived multiple years of long distance too! I'm so honored we're included on their guest list...
and I can't wait to see {lh} walking down that aisle on Saturday :)


This weekend is full of excitement: we'll be toasting to {cv}'s 27th on {lh}'s wedding day--and to our first wedding anniversary on April 10th. Get excited for plenty of wedding memories in the coming weeks!

Have any last minute suggestions for our Charleston adventure? I'd love to hear them!

This post wouldn't be complete without mentioning another fun weekend activity I have on the docket! I'm thrilled to be getting together with a few of my favorite bloggers in the city this Saturday. If you're a Charleston-area blogger, I'd love to meet you! Email me for details about a meet-up earlier in the day on April 9th! We have fantastic group of girls already assembled and we'd love to include you in the fun :)

I have a super fun anniversary-themed Friday's Fancies outfit for tomorrow! The Friday's Fancies post will be live at 12:00AM--so I hope you'll join in the link-up fun. I am still pinching myself to think 43 of you wonderful {and stylish!} ladies linked up last week :) If you have any Friday's Fancies questions {or questions about the meet-up this weekend}, please feel free to email me!


Enjoy your Thursday! Can't wait for tomorrow
{or this weekend for that matter!}
All of my love to {lh} and {bh} :) xoxo {av}

rainbow brights.

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 }

Brights seem to be everywhere these days...and with the cold months {hopefully} behind us, I'm excited to find a few of these rainbow brights to wear this year. I have a feeling you'll be seeing some of these bursts of color in future Friday's Fancies ;)

How are you putting a pop of color in your outfits this spring?
Do you think brights are worth the splurge?

Make sure to check out my guest post on the fun and colorful blog, Daily Crush!
Have a fantastic Wednesday! xoxo {av}

blossoms aplenty.

I lived in DC for six glorious years. When {cv} and I finally landed jobs in the same state, it meant I had to say goodbye to the city I knew so well. This is the first year since 2004 that I haven't seen the cherry blossoms in their full glory. I'm aching to see those gorgeous blooms--especially on a bright sunny morning when they reflect on the Tidal Basin. sigh.

Last year, we got married during the last weekend of the Cherry Blossom Festival. Though the blooms were a bit past their prime by April 10th, I blame it on the ridiculously hot weather the weekend before our wedding. No complaints from this bride though: I was happy to have a sunny day in the mid-60s rather than a sweaty day in the 90s!


With the disaster in Japan, the cherry blossoms are a fabulous reminder of what beautiful things their country has to share to share with the world. In keeping with that idea, I remembered the beautiful paper I always enjoyed seeing in the windows at Paper Source in Georgetown. When I hopped on their website, I was happy to see they were holding a fabulous promotion for the relief efforts in Japan:
{image sources: top row: left - right ~ bottom row: left - right}
Aren't those papers gorgeous? If you purchased a few sheets, how would you use them?


If you've never had the chance to see DC in full bloom, try to make the visit at least once in your lifetime. It's worth the trip! I'll just keep dreaming of our next spring visit to Washington...and living vicariously through my DC friends and bloggers! Happy Tuesday! xoxo {av}