down the cape.

In honor of tomorrow's patriotic-inspired Friday's Fancies, I thought it was the perfect time to share a few photos from Memorial Day + my birthday! We spent the long weekend on the Cape in lovely Osterville, Massachusetts. My best friend, {ch}, and her family were so kind to host us for the second year in a row :) 

Every time we head out to the Cape, I find myself wishing I could stay just a little longer. 
The views are spectacular and the environment is as quintessentially New England as you can get. During our Memorial Day visit, we cherished some much needed R&R, spent some time whipping 
up some fun recipes {which I'll be sharing over the course of the summer}, and enjoyed some 
wonderful time with the two friends who stood right next to us on our wedding day, {ch} and {ao}. 
We even toasted to my 26th year, complete with a candle holder from my first birthday party! 

Reminiscing about the Cape has me longing for the weekend! Over this holiday, we'll be traveling 
to Blacksburg, Virginia for a wedding :) I've never been to this corner of the world--and I'm so 
excited to see my friend {cc} become {ca}! We're hoping to catch some fireworks once we land
back in the Ocean State!

What is on your docket for the Fourth of July? 
How are you doing on your summer bucket list?

Can't wait to hear about your plans--or see your festive Friday's Fancies tomorrow!
Have a lovely Thursday! xoxo {av}

pick + choose.

Wednesday is here! I've been facing a conundrum as of choosing between two of
my absolute favorite colors. Coral and turquoise always add another dimension to an outfit.
I love them together or separately, it doesn't matter. Though I love the brighter pops of color
 this summer, turquoise and coral are perennial favorites of mine.

I thought these goodies could jazz up this basic but fab maxi from James Perse...what do you think?

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

Would you pick turquoise or choose coral?
What is your favorite summertime accessory?

It's a tough choice, I know, but I can't wait to hear your opinion :)

Many thanks to those of you who have taken the sun savvy pledge this week! If you haven't already signed the pledge, please consider taking a step toward healthier skin for a lifetime :)

For those of you just as excited for Friday as I am {hello Friday's Fancies + a LONG weekend!}, 
I'm dreaming of a perfect cookout get-up, so feel free to dream right along with me.
You better believe it will be red, white, and blue too--I was an American Studies major after all!

Happy Wednesday, everyone! All of my love--xoxo {av}

my {r}evolution.

Happy Tuesday! I am still reeling over the fantastic response to our sun savvy pledge!

With my bestie {ah}'s birthday in mind, I thought the easiest way to see how I've changed over
the years is to share some photos from my own sun savvy {r}evolution. You'll see the rapid uptick
in my tan in 2007 when I bought a tanning membership--and then the gradual decline after my melanoma diagnosis in mid-2008. It was my wake-up call to stop damaging my body and wasting my money in the tanning bed...and channel those funds into better things, like visiting {ah} in Texas and now in NYC.
In the first picture, I'm on the left, {ah} is in the middle, + {ch} on the right on the night {ah} first introduced me to {ch}!

Spanning seven years, these photos show my gradual change from "too tan" to healthy.
{These photos are also a disturbing reminder of what I used to consider fashion. OY!}
I definitely am learning to embrace my natural color...which isn't so bad after all ;)

All these things aside, it's also a fabulous reminder of my beautiful friend {ah}'s presence in my life in the last 84+ months. I'm so grateful to have friends like {ah} who stand by me in the happiest {and the hardest} of times. I look forward to adding photos from 2054 and beyond because my diagnosis in 2008 opened my eyes to sun safety. 

I'm definitely happier in my paler skin because I know that {God-willing} I'll be around to see
that 50th anniversary of our friendship. Join me in taking the sun savvy you can
keep making memories with your own friends and families many years into the future,
without the ever present worry of skin cancer because you have better sun safe habits.

What are you doing to change your skin care routine?
Can you identify when your skin consciousness shifted?

Thank you again for all of your support and encouragement!
Each and every day is a blessing...and we should all live with that in mind :)
Until tomorrow! xoxo {av}

P.S. And {ah}--thank you for being an unending source of love and support. Your friendship means the world to me and it always will! You deserve every happiness in the world for the kindness you always show to those around you. I love you for always!

P.P.S. Peek at my travel-inspired guest post on Bloom!

sun savvy.

I promised big news on Friday--and I meant it. Today marks a big day for the blogosphere...
Along with Danielle from {breakfast at toast}, I am pleased to introduce:

Many of you read my skin story back in May. I am so glad I finally shared my story because it
helped me really come to terms with the changes I have made in caring for my skin in the last
three years. When I read Danielle's story a few weeks later, I commented on her post...
and a few short days later, an idea was born.

Sun Savvy is all about changing the mindset of a "tanner is better" generation. When I was 16, I started going to the tanning bed. Growing up, I never burned and I never thought about the repercussions of those ten minute bursts of "sun". When I was 19, I first noticed the mole which the dermatologist identified four years later as melanoma. That was my wake-up call. I cancelled my tanning membership and decided to embrace the olive skin my father gave me...without a tan.

Today, I'm having another suspicious mole removed. Though it isn't a melanoma yet, it has all the same characteristics my first melanoma did. I now know I'm at risk for the rest of my life.

Once every six months, you'll find me in my dermatologist's office for a check-up.
Every day, you'll find me applying sunscreen--even if it's raining.
This year, I finally decided to buy one pieces {since all of my suspicious moles have been on my belly}. Today, I'm hoping you'll join me in making changes in your sun habits and sign our pledge for safe sun.

Trust me: I didn't share my story to scare you. I shared my story to empower you.
Danielle and I are just hoping to encourage those around us to make smarter choices.
We're only given one body--and we should definitely respect that gift!

Remember: being sun savvy doesn't mean wearing long sleeves in the summer time...
it simply means that you're taking a moment every day to be aware of your skin.

Thank you all for taking a moment to sign the pledge over on Sun Savvy and for spreading the news about this sun safe revolution! Even if you're just an avid blog reader {and not a blogger yourself}, we want you to kickstart this movement in your own circle. Thank you so much for your support!
Have a very happy Monday! xoxo {av}

P.S. We're also on twitter and facebook!

friday's fancies #30.

Howdy folks! Happy Friday :) I'm so excited for this day to finally roll around--{cv} and I are headed back to my hometown in Indiana this weekend. It's our first trip back since our reception last July. We're going back to celebrate the wedding of a dear family friend and I couldn't be more excited! The outfit I've pulled together for my Friday's Fancies is inspired by the fact that I'll be heading straight from work to the airport. I would certainly rock this little get-up, if money were no object...

1) These Elizabeth and James Park Sunglasses are super classic with a touch of femininity. They are also a bit more substantial the Wayfarers we all know and love.
2) Perfect for a summer Friday in the office, this Marc by Marc Jacobs Smudge Dot Jersey Dress is both playful and colorful. I'm in love.
3) Any of you who know me outside of the blog know this about me: I adore JIF Peanut Butter sandwiches. {My blogger profile even says so!} When I spotted this Kenneth Jay Lane Peanut Necklace, I thought it would make for a fun conversation piece at work and at the airport ;)
4) I would take a pair of these Kenneth Jay Lane Award Winning Earrings in every color if I could. They would most definitely make a beautiful statement with each wear.
5) Big enough to hold {cv}'s iPad and my book, this Chloe Paraty Medium leather bag would make for one stylish "personal item". I love the soft caramel color. It's simply stunning.
6) It's cheesy but true, these Repetto Leather Ballerinas remind me of a sparkle-less pair of Dorothy's ruby slippers, so it's only appropriate to include them in a post about a trip home. They also work perfectly with the fun colors in that fab Marc by Marc Jacobs dress!

I hope you like this outfit which translates from work to jetset in a click of those red flats! I can't wait to see your Friday's Fancies this week! The whole point of FF is to dream BIG and create an outfit {or inspiration board} that you'd use for the weekend ahead if money were no object. Don't worry about pricetags--just have some fun!

Last week, I introduced a new feature for Friday's Fancies--the "like" champion :)
Everyone give a round of applause to the first champ, Amanda! 

If you missed last week's post, here's a little something to help you understand 
how to make sure you're the next "like" champ...

Promote your Friday's Fancies post to your readers on your post, over twitter, or with this button!
{The code is included below for those of you who need it!}

<a href="" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="" /></a>

Last but certainly far from least, I want to make sure you all tune back in on Monday for a very important post! I'm teaming up with Danielle, the beautiful blogger behind breakfast at toast--and we've got something BIG to share. This little logo is a little sneak peek into what is coming in a few short sure to come back in a few days to find out what's behind the S.

Until then, have a fantastic weekend--and I cannot wait to see your Friday's Fancies! So much love to all of you! xoxo {av}

au naturel.

One of the highlights of the 2011 awards season was Mila Kunis on the Oscars red carpet in Elie Saab. She played up the lacy details of the dress and rocked  the color lavender. This ensemble inspired my inspiration board for did a few photos appearing recently on Style Me Pretty.

If I was planning a wedding again, this soft and natural purple+green color palette is one I would certainly explore. It's about as natural as natural can get {hello, lavender and herbs!}. One of the most redeeming qualities of this color combination? It works for at least five months out of the year in New England...from April all the away through August. So many of the "en vogue" combinations are super seasonal, but this combo is in a league of its own.

I appreciate the organic--or "au naturel" feel--of this color palette. I was big on using herbs in my own bridal bouquet and arrangements...the final product was super thoughtful and positively gorgeous. The natural feel took the purple+green combo from typical to absolutely unique. Many herbs have meanings too, so it makes for another interesting twist...rosemary, for example, is for remembrance. Since my grandmother, Rosemarie, passed almost 15 years before our wedding, I honored her by carrying rosemary in my bridal bouquet. It smelled wonderful and kept me smiling all day!

If you're planning an event, what color combination is catching your eye this season?

Can't wait for Friday's Fancies tomorrow! Maybe this post can help inspire your outfit--though there isn't an official theme this week! {Have an idea for a theme?! Email me!!} I can't wait to "feature" the winner of the most "likes" this week :) Have a wonderful Friday--and I'll see you all back for Friday's Fancies! xoxo {av}

P.S. A very happy birthday to my bloggie bestie + dear friend, {jd}

a new hybrid.

Last week, one of my oldest and dearest friends, {kp}, sent me an email. She married her college sweetheart, {rp}, six months before I married mine. I've been blessed to have {kp} in my life since the ripe old age of 14. We have seen each other through many different periods of our life--and no matter how long it's been since we last chatted, we always pick up right where we left off. To me, that ability is what embodies a lifelong friendship :)

As always, her email brightened my day. She is one of the small handful of people in my life who actually know about my blog {since I'm choosing only to share it with those who might somehow appreciate it!} She mentioned how she and {rp} are in a new hybrid of a long distance relationship, very common in this day and age. Because of their work schedules, they will be spending Monday through Thursday apart for the next four months. In the seven years they've been a couple, their time together greatly outweighs their time apart. {rp} spent some time studying abroad during business school, but on the whole, they have always had one another to come home to at the end of the night.

The topic of work affecting time spent together is one which isn't foreign to me. {cv} works hours that rival doctors, though he spends his time with numbers--not patients. When we were long distance and he was working 80-100 hour weeks, it was far from easy. I learned to value the few minutes of his undivided attention at the end of a long day. I also learned to keep myself busy to help distract from the fact {cv} wasn't with me.

For me, one such "distraction" was and is running. Conveniently, {kp} and I both share a major passion for this sport. {She could kick my behind any day though!} Thinking about the time she and {rp} will be spending apart in the next few months, the best advice though that I could give to her {or to any of you} who are facing time apart from your significant other {or even a best friend!} would be to find some healthy distractions. For {kp}, this will likely be training for the many races she has on the horizon. For you, this could mean investing time in your blog, your church, your local animal shelter...or whatever gets you passionate.

Having time apart is never easy, but for me, it sheds light on all the things I miss and love about {cv}. It also helps me to appreciate the time we do have together even more. As difficult as our long distance years were, I would repeat them again...if only to have the same appreciation for my husband and what all he brings to my life. {I still shake my head when I realize I'm thankful for our years apart...I don't think I would have ever said that in the midst of them!}

So, to {kp} and to those of you who are currently spending more of the week apart than together, stay strong. Devote some of your free time to enriching your life {or the lives of others!} You'll become a better person and be on your way to learning one of the toughest skills in life: patience. Good Fabulous things come to those who wait!

If you've gotten this far, thanks for reading along ;)

Can you speak from experience on this topic? 
How do you {or did you} "distract" from long distance?

To those of you who have your +1 close by on a regular basis--give them 
an extra squeeze for those who don't. Much love to {kp}--and to all of you who
are braving long distance in one form or another! xoxo {av}

P.S. One day closer to Friday...and you know what that means :)

white hot.

Happy summer! I may not be accepting the fact days are actually getting shorter,
I am fully embracing the color white. I spotted this photo on pinterest last week...
and it got me dreaming of fun ways to take an outfit from so-so to white hot.

 {1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7}

Though my tanner days are over, I'm not scared to rock the white! In my
opinion, it's all about rocking the right accessories and oozing confidence.

What color are you lusting after this summer?

Enjoy the first official day of summer :) have a very happy Tuesday!
xoxo {av}

pass the wine.

I hope each and every one of you had a fabulous weekend! I still can't believe it's over... 
To help distract you from the inevitable Monday blues, I thought I'd share the fifth day of photos 
from our trip out west. These photos show the first glimpses of the {d}s who joined us from 
Denver for the wine country leg of our trip. 

{jd} and {cv} were roommates in Charlotte during two of the three years {cv} and 
I were long distance. I shared many a weekend visiting {cv} hanging with {jd} too. Thankfully, 
he met {rt} and then introduced me to this vivacious redhead who is now one of my closest friends. 
{cv} and I were both honored to be a part of their big day in 2009...when {rt} became {rd} :) 
It was easy to travel with this pair because they're always up for an adventure--and we're 
always laughing! These are a few snapshots from the first full day of our reunion...

The pictures should reveal that we ate AND drank very, very well during our time in wine country. Bouchon Bistro made the perfect lunch stop in Yountville! We got a little taste of Thomas Keller 
through a perfect lobster bisque and an incredible croque madame. It made for a great start to our 
time in the Napa Valley. From Bouchon, we headed for V. Sattui on the recommendation of {rd}'s coworker and got a taste for a bustling family vineyard, swarming with visitors. 

As a complete contrast, we then headed to Newton Vineyard for a "semi" private tour. It was just the four of us until a few more straggled in 20 minutes into the tour. {cv} and I had first tasted a Newton
wine at the winestore in Charlotte--and wanted to see just where these tasty vintages were made. We're so glad we made the trip to this secluded and spectacular estate....the staff was outstanding and the views were even better. Though it was one of our more expensive tastings, it was worth every penny.

 Before dinner at Morimoto, we checked into our two bedroom suite at the Silverado Resort
This set-up worked splendidly for us because we were able to get two bedrooms and two 
bathrooms with some common living space, so we could maximize our time with the {d}s :) 
The Silverado was one of those decisions which made our reunion that much better!

The fantastic fare and the stellar service at Morimoto capped off our first day in Napa. We cabbed 
to the restaurant so we could fully enjoy our dinner, which ended up being a great decision. I don't 
think I could pick a favorite dish, though the rock shrimp tempura {not pictured sadly} and the donuts were absurdly good. If you're not hungry reading this, I'm impressed ;) I am just writing about it!

Do you make time for reunions with friends?
How do you maximize your time together?

Hope these photos helped to make your Monday a little brighter!
Thanks again to all the lovely ladies who linked up for Friday's Fancies :) 
I'm already looking forward to this Friday! See you tomorrow...xoxo {av}

P.S. Keep your eyes peeled for a few more doses of wine country--including our hot air balloon ride!

friday's fancies #29.

It's hard to resist a little smile when you wake up on a Friday and realize it's the last day of the work week {unless of course you're a nurse, a student, a mom, etc. who has a crazy schedule!}. Since the Friday's Fancies link-ups began back in early January, I've come to anticipate Fridays even more :)

Tonight, {cv} and I will be headed to Federal Hill, a neighborhood in Providence known for exquisite Italian food :) We'll be attending a work dinner of sorts, but it's sure to be a fun meal--not a boring, nod-your-head kind of dinner. Since it's a mix of people at his level, I could definitely wear this get-up I pulled's summery but not too showy {if you catch my drift!}. I hope you like it...

1) Simple and feminine, I think everyone needs a piece like this J.Crew Cotton Blend Lace Top in their summer wardrobe. I am in love. sigh.
2) I needed a statement piece and these Kendra Scott Kingston Earrings fit the bill just perfectly :) I'm imagining that I'd have my hair pulled back in a cute little bun {if I could ever make a cute little bun with my big hair} and these beauties would be shining bright.
3) These Cara Accessories Crystal & Patina Metal Finish Bangles added a little pizzazz to this outfit--and take this get-up from day-time to night-time faster than I can type "lickety split".
4) Ok. I said I was in love with the J.Crew top and that was no lie. I have to admit though, I'm also very in love with these Tibi Pleat-Front Silk Shorts. The color, the cut, the everything. sigh {again}.
5) I simply adore this Proenza Schouler Medium Leather Satchel. I've seen this beauty in the blogosphere and had to include it with this outfit. I love how it pulls out the coral in both the bracelets and the sandals.
6) Speaking of footwear, I spied these Pelle Moda Bellum Sandals at Nordstrom last week and knew they needed to grace a Friday's Fancies post one week. They scream "happy shoes" to me. 

I sure hope you liked my "almost" summer night out get-up...I'm so excited to see what you 
pull together for your own Friday's Fancies! Remember: the goal is to dream BIG and create 
an outfit {or inspiration board} that you'd use for the weekend ahead if money were no object. 
Don't worry about pricetags--just have fun :) 

For those seasoned Friday's Fancies veterans {aka my Friday's Fancies faithful!}, I have a fab new feature for all of you. The hard work for your posts deserves some recognition, so you can now have people "like" your post--and get something in return. I'll do a little blurb in my post next Friday if you're the person with the most "likes". Here's the rundown...

So, {long distance loving} readers, pretty please vote for your favorite outfit of the week by 
"liking" it below! There's no way I could ever pick a winner, hence why I'm enlisting your help :) 

Hope you like this fun new feature of Friday's Fancies! As always, thank you for all the time and effort you put into your posts. You all ROCK, in every sense of the word. And don't forget: if you have a bright idea for a future Friday's Fancies theme, pretty please email me! Have a great day! xoxo {av}

P.S. If you want a "button" to use, here's a little something I created for you ;)

what to wear #1.

Over the weekend, we received a formal invitation to our first Indian wedding! We're thrilled to be invited and excited to experience how another culture celebrates their big day. Growing up in the cornfields of Indiana, I never dreamed of the day I'd be invited to such an affair. 

This raises one very important question: what in the world am I supposed to wear?

{links: Tibi - Robert Rodriguez - Mark & James - Chamak by Priya Kakkar Earrings + Bangles}

When I last spoke with the groom, he assured me I could wear a cocktail dress, but I certainly 
don't want to feel out of place! Rent the Runway has lots of options, but sadly, those options 
don't include any traditional Indian wear. 

So, here's my question: which dress do you think is most appropriate?
Do you think some combination of the accessories would also work?

I can't wait to get your opinion on this! The wedding may be two months away, but I like to plan ahead ;)
{New to the idea of Rent the Runway? Read this post for more info...I'm an avid renter and swear by it!}

Have a fantastic Thursday--I can't wait to see you back here tomorrow for Friday's Fancies!
The link-up begins at midnight :) As always, thanks for all input! xoxo {av}

summer bucket list.

When I saw {jcd}'s prompt last week, I decided to join in the fun and create my summer bucket list!
This is my comprehensive list of my to-dos for the summer months. I'm excited to finally get back 
in the groove with running, after almost five months off the road because of my stress fracture. 
{If my physical therapist allows it, I would love to do this half marathon in Providence on August 7th!}
Taking photography and cooking classes will definitely help in fine tuning my skills with a camera 
and a mixing bowl. The other items on my bucket list require some extra TLC, but I'm absolutely 
willing to make that happen!

Do you have any of the same goals for the next few months?
What else are you dreaming of this summer?

Link up your own bucket list at cornflake dreams!
Can't wait to hear more about your summer plans :)
Have a great Wednesday! xoxo {av}
{image sources: ocean - run - camera - cook}

city by the bay.

Even though we've been home for roughly three weeks, I am still sorting through photos from our California trip. {When you take 1750 photos, this volume of photos might help to explain the delay!} This is a little peek into our fourth day in the Golden State spent in the city by the bay...

{The last photo of me staring at my phone was a hidden gem, courtesy of {cv}. We were back at SFO, waiting for our partners in crime, the {d}'s, to fly in from Denver and join us for the second half of our Californian adventure. I think he caught the precise moment I realized that grey weather was delaying them again :( Happily, they did make it in late that night--and it was so wonderful to finally be reunited!}

I think the photos speak for themselves, but {cv} and I really did make the most of our rainy Tuesday in San Francisco. We walked everywhere, which was nice after being in car for much of the day before. Each neighborhood in San Francisco certainly has a charm all its own!

If you've been to {or live in!} the city by the bay, what's your favorite neighborhood?

I hope you enjoyed this set of photos! In the next recap, you'll get a taste of wine country :)
Have a fantastic Tuesday! xoxo {av}

P.S. There is no official theme for this week's Friday's Fancies, but I've heard rumors over twitter that some folks
are creating fabulous jetsetting looks and killer office get-ups. I can't wait to see what you dream up this week!
{We'll have another themed week soon, I promise!}

it's a happy day.

It may be just another Monday, but for one of my readers, it's going to be a fabulous one...

Bailey from Traveling Anchor is the lucky gal who gets her choice of any bag from the 
Whiting & Davis collection...I don't really know how she'll ever chose from her favorites 
{either the Gattopardo or one of the Crystal Classics!}.

An enormous debt of gratitude to my wonderful sponsor, Whiting & Davis
Thank you so much to all those who entered...I just wish you could all win!

If you didn't win, I thought I could give these photos as a consolation prize of sorts ;) 
{I know it doesn't equate, but it could at least bring you a smile today!}

Pinky has been making herself at home in our humble abode and Gus is happy to have her :)
We spent most of the weekend laying low, which was perfectly welcome after six straight weekends away. {cv} and I stayed close to home, which is abnormal for us during the summer. We were able to run outside a couple of times {which is HUGE for me since I was only released to run on Monday after four months off the road!}. We made some basic yet yummy dinners at home on Friday and Saturday. Another bright point of the weekend was sharing brunch with one of my blogger besties, Kristen, on Sunday after church in my neck of the woods at Nick's on Broadway. We also had a lovely dinner last night with our pals at Julian's, another of our Providence favorites. Other than that, I had some more fun on pinterest {how could I not?} and just enjoyed the down time with {cv}. 

This week looks a little crazy, but I'm not complaining. I'm taking a new photography class this summer at RISD and it starts tonight! I can't wait :) 

How did you spend your weekend? What are you looking forward to this week?!

Thanks again to all who entered this giveaway--and to the growing number of Friday's Fancies faithfuls :) I'm so grateful for each and every one of you! Have a fabulous Monday! xoxo {av}

friday's fancies #28.

So happy it's Friday! I'll bet you are too. In the midst of a crazy week, I always look forward to creating my Friday's Fancies post and anxiously awaiting all the gorgeous looks from each of you! Getting to dream big and forget about pricetags is a nice break from reality too, I must say ;)

The theme for this week comes from {jm} at Seashells + Southern Belles, a longtime Friday's Fancies Faithful and a big beach lover. She's also one of the sweetest bloggers I've come to know! Don't worry if you created another fun look for your weekend plans--I'm just throwing out a theme to help get the creative juices flowing this late in the week for those of you who need it...

As promised, this is my "nautical by nature" look...hope you enjoy!

1) I've loved this dress for months now...and I finally have a good excuse to use it! Milly does it again with their Sailboats Lily Sundress, an easy dress which plays right along with the nautical theme. It also looks like it hits a bit higher, which I love!
2) I feel like everyone should own a pair of Ray-Ban Aviators and a pair of their Wayfarers. Too bad I look like a complete goofball in Aviators though ;) Since this is my Friday's Fancies, I'll pretend they look fab. I can do that, right?
3) Against a very feminine dress, I thought this Michael Kors Gold-Plated Wrap Chronograph Watch created a nice contrast. My teeny tiny wrists aside, I'd love to have this beauty in my jewelry box.
4) Since I'm trying to be slightly realistic about my weekend here, I know I'd need to toss in a scarf like this Cashmere Weave Scarf from Yves Saint Laurent. After a crazy hot week, I'm not complaining about some slightly cooler temps for the weekend!
5) Not only am I loving their handbag line, I'm also loving the accessories from Whiting & Davis. This Jailer Key Ring would make a great gift--and would serve as the perfect place to put the keys to my beautiful yacht. Yes. I went there ;)
6) Though my klutzy self could not rock these on a boat, I would certainly throw these Stuart Weitzman Crocheted Crisscross Espadrilles on to take a stroll on solid ground. I love the crocheted straps. They just feel right.
7) The ultimate accessory in a nautical Friday's Fancies has to be this "little" yacht. A girl can dream!

Any fun ideas for future Friday's Fancies themes? 
{Comment below or shoot me an email: I'm all ears!}

Super excited to see what you all create this week! If you're new to the Friday's Fancies phenomenon, don't fret--check out this post for a little guidance or email me. All it really takes is a little imagination. 

Don't forget to get your last minute entries in for my 
Whiting & Davis giveaway! You have until Sunday at 
8:00pm EST to enter! Have a fantastic weekend--and 
thanks again for taking the time to link up! 
You fill my heart so, so much! xoxo {av}
psst: if you want a button for your post, click here!

**make sure to include your blog name when adding your link**

special delivery.

Yesterday, I hinted at some big news at the {v} household...
Gus has a new little sister named Pinky!!

{cv} and I are totally in love...and happily, so is Gus. Though we miss Lucy every day, this new bundle of joy has been bringing us plenty of smiles. We knew it was time to get Gus a new buddy--but since we'd been traveling so much, we didn't want to take on a little kitten until we were back in Rhode Island for a good chunk of time. I surveyed petfinder ads for weeks--and finally stumbled on Pinky. It was love at first sight! We adopted Pinky through PawsWatch, an organization in Rhode Island that provides foster homes for unowned cats. Pinky is another special kitty--she's got one extra "finger" {not sure of the technical term!} on each paw, which prompted {cv} to craft her name ;)

The vet okayed us to allow some play time now that we know she's a healthy kitten--and Gus and Pinky are already pals. Pinky is a bold little kitty, not shying away from batting at Gus. He takes it like a champ though...just like we knew he would. Pinky is still spending the nights in her quiet place, otherwise known as our guest bathroom. I can't wait to see their new relationship bloom--and watch Pinky blossom into a beautiful kitty, just like our Lucy.

Any tips on introducing a new pet to your current pet family?

I'll say it once and I'll say it again: I have the best readership in the world. When we lost Lucy, 
you were there to offer comfort...and though I may be biased, I'm pretty certain you're going to 
love Pinky as much as we do ;) Your love and support means the world to {cv} and to me. 
Thanks for celebrating Gus' new pal with us! 

Can't wait for tomorrow's nautical Friday's Fancies--the link-up starts at midnight!!! 
Get excited! xoxo {av}

P.S. Don't forget: you have less than four days to enter my bigger than big Whiting & Davis giveaway!

a full day's drive.

Hello blogosphere! I sure hope these California recaps are keeping your interest ;) They're fun to pull together because I can relive the trip right along with you! The third day of our trip included the longest drive--all the way from Cambria to Sausalito. We spent almost six hours rocking down the highway, literally and figuratively {we were loving the tunes!}. Though the weather wasn't exactly beautiful, the drive was peaceful--and {cv} was great company! Here's a peek at our day...

After tooling around in a wet Sausalito for a bit, we decided to take a night in. Neither one of us objected. We grabbed some wine and cheese to take back for a picnic of sorts in our room at Cavallo Point, another beautiful hotel we found via Jetsetter. {We used Jetsetter to book the planned portion of our Parisian honeymoon last April before the volcanic eruption so kindly extended our stay. Their recommendations and their customer service in the craziness made them easy to use again!}

We capped off our quiet night at the bar on the hotel property. The night in Sausalito was really a dream. {cv} and I got to just be--and with both of our crazy schedules, that doesn't happen very frequently. Thank goodness for vacations! 

Do you ever take time for a quiet night when you're away?

And before I go for the day, I wanted to pass along a little graphic I made for the nautical-themed Friday's Fancies this week! If the nautical thing isn't up your alley, don't can create a Friday's Fancies post that suits your fancy! I just know many of you like some prompts to help get your creative juices flowing. As always, if you have any questions, please email me! I promise to be back on top of things after I get through this big day at work :) {prayers welcome!} I also have a fun news item to share with all of you tomorrow..and just to hold off any rumors, I'm not pregnant!

Have a happy Wednesday everyone--and thanks for taking another day trip with me today! xoxo {av}

P.S. If you're having trouble commenting on my blog, could you pretty please send me an email or a tweet? I'm trying to gauge just how pervasive the problem is :/ thanks for helping this blogger out!
To those of you who have already alerted me, thank you!!

india's initials.

When I was flying back from DC on Sunday, I had a stack of magazines to keep me company. I've come to love Marie Claire and count it among my monthly favorites. In their "fashion alert" in the June issue, they featured the beautiful new jewelry line from India Hicks. If you're not familiar with this beauty, India is the god-daughter of Prince Charles. She booked her first modeling job with Ralph Lauren and has plenty to boast about in addition to her pretty face. 

It's no secret that I'm a fan of sporting monograms and initials. If my jewelry budget were a bit larger, {ok, a lot larger!}, I'd love to don one of these beautiful creations. Inspired by her father and famous interior designer, David Hicks, her pieces are sure to be instant classics. 

 {image sources: logo | concept drawings | example pieces | second logo | headshot}

I may be partial, but I positively adore the A necklace {just under the word reality by the arrow} and the V necklace {seen in the top middle of the picture}. I also love the tiny touch of diamonds in the gold necklace...see them?!

So, do these necklaces get your yay or nay?

If you ever read this, India, you get a HUGE yay from little ol' me :) I love the idea of 
tying family history into a product you put your whole heart behind. The results are gorgeous! 
Have a fantastic Tuesday, all! xoxo {av}

P.S. Don't forget to get all your entries in for my HUGE Whiting & Davis giveaway--a big prize is at stake! And if you like to plan ahead, the nautical nature behind Friday's Fancies this week can get you inspired!

subway love.

I don't know when it happened, but in the last year, I've fallen deeply in love with subway tiles. Though {cv} and I are years away from owning our own home, it's great to dream about what might grace the walls of our bathrooms and our kitchen. I love subway tiles in all colors...I don't discriminate ;)

Here are a few of the photos inspiring my dreams of our future home today:

{1st row: left - right | 2nd row: left - right | 3rd row: left - right | 4th row: left - right}
Thanks to pinterest, it's easy to find great inspiration photos! :) 

What home feature have you fallen in love with this year?
Are you head over heels for subway tiles like me?

Can't wait to hear what's inspiring you today! I hope you had a fabulous weekend! {cv} and I 
had a great time down in DC for his reunion, but I'm excited to have a few weeks at home 
after over a month of weekends away. 

As always, I absolutely adored all the gorgeous Friday's Fancies which streamed in last week...
if you're looking for a theme for this coming Friday, you've got one: dream up a nautically nice outfit! 
In honor of the impending summer, I thought this would be a great way to keep the sunshine coming :)

Have a great Monday--and don't forget to enter my HUGE Whiting & Davis giveaway
Your odds look great and your potential winnings are even better! xoxo {av}

P.S. A very happy birthday to my bestie, {eb}! Welcome to the 26 club :) Love you so much!

friday's fancies #27.

Happy Friday, everyone! I don't know about you, but this week has flown by for me...and I'm not complaining one bit. I'm always happy to see Friday roll around thanks to Friday's Fancies :) It's hard for me to believe this is the 20th link-up! I'm so grateful to have a slew of you who love this idea as much as I do and I'll be forever grateful for your blog love...I truly have the best readers ever!

Tonight, {cv} and I will be hopping a plane to DC. {DC bloggers: I wanted to host a meet-up this time around, but I'm at the mercy of {cv}'s I promise a rendez-vous on my next trip!} We're heading to Georgetown to celebrate {cv}'s fifth college reunion--and of course, I have to be pulled-together and styled arm candy ;) If money were no object, you'd find me in this get-up below...

1) When planning an outfit for a big function, you have two choices: you can be demure or you can stand out. This Tibi One-Shoulder Silk-Habotai Dress would certainly stand out. The bold color and the flowy feel have me itching to hang this in my closet.
2) There is something about a classic clutch which will always call my name. Whiting & Davis does it again with this Crystal Accent Minaudiere--it has delicate detail on the edges and it would certainly up the elegance factor in this outfit!
3) Being a May baby, I'll always be a fan of green gems, so these Bounkit Green Onyx Drop Earrings provided a great contrast {at least in my opinion!} against the vibrant yellow.
4) Though I certainly love Christian Louboutin, I wanted to go a different route this time. I spied these Rupert Sanderson Chastity Nude Patent Peep Toe Pumps and loved the slightly lower sides, which made them just a touch sexy without going over the top.
5) Tying it all together, this Rodrigo Otazu Yellow Moonstone Colored Stone Cuff provided that statement piece which really stole the show. I love how it works perfectly with the earrings and the dress!

In the summer, do you wear nude pumps as a universal shoe like me? 
What bold color combinations have you been longing to try?

Thrilled as always to see what you lovely ladies create for today! Be sure to add a comment to the Whiting & Davis giveaway post if you add one of their handbags in your Friday's Fancies. Winning a handbag {without limits on price} is totally in line with the goal of Friday's Fancies! You can dream big and not worry about pricetags :) If you have any questions {or are having trouble commenting--thanks blogger}, please feel free to email me! And to the Friday's Fancies faithful, thanks again for taking the time to dream up your post this week! Happy weekend :) xoxo {av}

P.S. When you link up your Friday's Fancies, be sure to use your blog name to give you much-deserved credit for your post!

down the coast.

 Though the pictures say much of the story, it's important to elaborate on a few things: 
1) Paying to drive down 17 Mile Drive is worth every penny, even when it rains!
2) The drive down US Highway 1 is one of the most beautiful scenes in America. Hands down.
3) Roadtrips. are. the. best. With as little as I get to see {cv} on a daily basis because of his job, we were thrilled to finally get some time for us. We didn't have distractions {thanks to a poor cell signal--no complaints from me!} and just got to admire the scenery, listen to great music, and enjoy each other.
4) Sometimes the best memories from vacations are the unanticipated ones, as in the time we took a mountain pass because Highway 1 was blocked. We'll never forget that trek!

Do you have any favorite roadtrip memories?
What are your go-to roadtripping tunes?
I hope you enjoyed these photos--I have a few more posts dedicated to our trip west. Speaking of posts, I have another fabulous Friday's Fancies post coming tomorrow! I'm hoping you'll all join me in dreaming again this week. The link-up will open up at 12:00AM EST, so get your posts ready! This week, I'll be sharing my dream knock-'em-dead reunion outfit since we're heading to celebrate {cv}'s fifth college reunion. We'll have another themed post next week, but if you want to pull together your best strut-your-stuff outfit, be my guest :) Can't wait to see what you all create--Friday is always my favorite day of the week! xoxo {av}

P.S. Be sure to get your entries in for the Whiting & Davis giveaway! Remember: if you create a Friday's Fancies post featuring a W&D handbag, you earn yourself an extra entry :) Just be sure to include a comment on the post once you've linked up!

lapis lust.

After discovering a dream pair of lapis earrings last week from Kate Spade, I fell a little deeper in love with this gorgeous gemstone. Since I adore the color cobalt blue, it's really no surprise why I adore this stone. If I had unlimited funds, you might find me wearing a few of the pieces below...

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

Though I've been a perennial lover of coral and turquoise, I have a feeling this blue lapis stone will be on my list for many years to come.

So, this begs the question: what gemstones have been calling your name this season?

Don't forget to enter the Whiting & Davis giveaway--it's easy to enter and the odds are in your favor! {By the way, aren't four-day weeks grand? I think we'd all be more productive if we had them on a more regular basis!} Have a lovely Wednesday! xoxo {av}