from iowa to illinois.

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Last Wednesday, I debuted the {distance makes your heart grow fonder} series and your response was incredible! This week, Cait, the gorgeous gal behind Fit, Fierce, and Fabulous is sharing more about her long distance relationship with her fiancé, Zach. This Midwestern couple is doing everything they can to juggle work and school...and an impending wedding next July! Take a peek...

Name: Cait 
Significant Other's Name: Zach
When did you start dating?  September 27th 2007 (I asked him out!) 

At what point did you begin dating long distance? May 2010--I wanted to go back home to attend grad school, while he had a full time job back in Iowa. 

How do you fill your days while you're apart? We call one another 4 or 5 times a day. It may be a little much for some, but we always enjoy talking to one another on our 'breaks' at work or my classes/studying hours. We also have our 'guy/girl' weekends where we catch up with friends. 

What do you find most difficult about being long distance? The hardest part is not being able to see one another for 3+ weeks at a time due to my class or his work schedule. We have gotten better (thank goodness for Skype!), but it can be difficult to not physically see the person for weeks on end. 

How has long distance changed your relationship? It has really brought us closer together. Our three years together while in college allowed us to build a solid foundation to our relationship before we began long distance. It also made us realize that we can have our 'own life' such as seeing our girls and guys when we need a "me night out" and not feel bad about it. As much as we enjoy being with one another, the friendships we have outside of our relationship are super important us too.

What do you enjoy most about the time you have together? We always try to make one another laugh. I can be in the worst mood and Zach will say something that instantly brings me out of my funk and replaces it a huge smile. We also try to do new things together which makes our relationship exciting and fresh. Doing things together for the first time always creates memories (good or bad). 

Is there any end in sight to your long distance days? Zach hopes to move out near Chicago, where I live, as soon as he can find a job and transfer from Iowa. Since we're getting married next summer, we're hoping that it's soon!!

I hope you enjoyed seeing another installation in this's proof positive that if you put the time in a relationship {and believe it can work!}, you can make it like Zach and Cait have. If you are in {or have been in} a long distance relationship, I'd love to share your story here on {long distance loving}. Email me and I'll take it from there :) Hope you all have a lovely Wednesday! Thanks again, Cait! More tomorrow! xoxo {av}

P.S. Have you entered my Shabby Apple giveaway yet? If not, get on it--there's a fabulous 
vintage-inspired dress up for grabs! With plenty of ways to enter, it's worth it. Trust me.

playing dress up: a giveaway.

This isn't any normal Tuesday here on {long distance loving}--it is a fabulous one! Shabby Apple offered me one dress to reward a reader :) You could win your own Moon River--a heavenly grey dress with the perfect amount of vintage flair. This dress is sure to be a winner now and for years to come!

You're sure to the vintage-y dresses on Shabby Apple--I picked a few of my favorites...

{tuileries - upper east side}

How do you win, you ask!? It's easy!
one mandatory entry: follow {long distance loving} on GFC or bloglovin, then visit the Shabby Apple website and tell me which of Shabby Apple's vintage dresses is your favorite in your comment!

extra entries:
+like {long distance loving} on my brand spankin' new facebook page!
+like Shabby Apple on facebook
+follow @luvfromafar on twitter
+follow @shabbyapple on twitter
+tweet this phrase: yay for giveaways! play dress up with @shabbyapple + win a gorg dress via @luvfromafar | enter here:
+pin your favorite dress from the Shabby Apple website on pinterest
+participate in Friday's Fancies this week by showing off your Labor Day chic

Aching for some Shabby Apple in your life and can't wait for the outcome of the giveaway? 
Use the coupon code longdistanceloving10off to get 10% off their website

Best of luck to each and every one of you--I love hosting giveaways because it's one little way to pay you all back for the happiness you bring to me each and every day! xoxo {av}

P.S. The giveaway ends on Tuesday, September 6th at 7:00pm and the winner will be announced on Wednesday, September 7th at 7:00am. You must live in the United States to win. {sorry overseas ladies!} Each entry must be included in a separate comment to count as an entry.

instagram happiness #2.

Happy Monday, folks! I hope those of you on the eastern seaboard weathered Irene without any issues. I'm actually writing this post on Saturday night because I didn't want to leave you all hanging on Monday, in the event we lose power and I can't blog on Sunday ;)

I'm linking up with Ashley at a {little} dash of ash today--I love seeing all the other fun Instagram posts. It makes Mondays just slightly less painful! {If you're on Instagram, follow me -- I'm @amv529!}

Last week, I spent a few days in Boston for work, which meant I could enjoy great food on someone else's dime ;) One of my favorite stops was at Modern Pastry, where we grabbed chocolate chip-dipped cannolis. So yummy! Even though I was in a conference room for much of the week, I kept hearing all the buzz about Hurricane Irene. On Friday, I made a stop at Target to grab a few extra flashlights and found only empty shelves!

Later on Friday night, {cv} surprised me with last minute tickets to see Kenny Chesney and the Zac Brown Band up at Gillette Stadium. Because of Irene, they had to change the second show from Sunday to Friday--and a ton of tickets opened up on Ticketmaster! We managed to get in the door for $25 each, a full $100 less than the face value of our tickets...not too shabby. I love having a legitimate reason to wear those fab Dexter boots I found at a vintage shop in 2009.  Suffice it to say, {cv} and I had an absolute blast!

The other highlights of the week? Opening up all the goodies I received in the mail! I finally got my lovely Kendra Scott "I Do" Carly Botanical Stud Earrings from Max & Chloe! On top of that, a few more goodies for rendez-vous: new england made their way to our humble abode. Mr. Pinky and Gus Gus kept me company through it all :)

What's the most exciting package you've received in the last few weeks?
How did you spend the weekend?

Hope your Monday is free of hurricanes and full of happiness! Much love! {av}

friday's fancies #39.

I really thought this Friday would never come ;) It's been a long week here, but I'm looking forward to the weekend--even if it includes Irene in some shape or form. I don't mind holing up with {cv} and weathering the storm, just pray everyone on the eastern seaboard stays safe! This week, I asked the Friday's Fancies faithful to pull together a chic look they'd sport to a wedding if money were no object. {This theme also works well with the super fun wedding blog crawl hosted by Love is Home and cornflake dreams!}

Since I discovered Rent the Runway last year, I've been able to amp up my wedding guest style in a major here's a look I pulled together playing to my love of RTR and allowing me to be stylish without worrying about my wallet. Check it out!

1) Rebecca Taylor nails the feminine look every time--and this Sweetheart Party Dress is just another example of their lady-like style. I loved the color and the soft polka dots. In my opinion, it's just heavenly! {It retails for $365, but you rent it for just $50!}
2) There's nothing like a bold necklace to make a statement. In a way, this Cara Accessories Chain and Crystal Necklace would also play up the polka dots in the Rebecca Taylor stunner. I'm in love. {It retails for $163, but you rent it for just $30!}
3) A little bling goes a long way and these Crislu Teardrop Sparkle Earrings take this look to the next level. With my hair pulled back, I could show off these beauties and save myself the hefty pricetag with a rental! {It retails for $120, but you rent it for just $20!}
4) A perfect pout, which could be achieved with this Lancome Color Design Lipcolor in Wannabe,  would polish off this whole look. You can also order it with all your other Rent the Runway goodies! {$22}
5) If you've been following along for any length of time, you know I love Kate Spade, so it should come as no surprise that I adore these Covet Heels. I think it's worth investing in one great pair of shoes which can be worn to multiple weddings, not just one! I like to justify it with the cost per wear argument ;) {$276.25}
6) I have been lusting for envelope clutches lately and renting this Kara Ross Snow Queen Clutch would afford me the chance to try it out before I commit. I love the details and the clean lines. But really, who can argue with a cute clutch? Not me! {It retails for $975, but you rent it for just $45!}
Want to see more Friday's Fancies from yours truly? 
I'm guest posting on two incredibly fabulous blogs today, the boot and Get Dressed.

Every week, I feature one Friday's Fancies faithful who got the most "likes" for their post last week...

{click here to visit her blog, come alive}

I've been an {unpaid!} advocate of Rent the Runway for a year--and if you haven't tried it, you should! {Have any questions about the process? Email me...I'm happy to help walk you through it!}

Help a girl out: what one website do you find yourself sharing with everyone?

Many thanks to all of you linking up this week--I really can't wait to see your wedding chic looks! If your past posts are any indication, you'll be one stylish bunch :) I pinch myself every Friday when I see your posts roll's such a dream come to life! Have a fantastic {and safe!} weekend, everyone! xoxo {av}

P.S. If you're in the greater Boston area and haven't signed up for rendez-vous: new england
today's your last chance to register! Don't miss out on all the fabulousness!

final hours.

We're in the final hours...
{for registration that is!}

{jd} has been posting about many of our fabulous sponsors {FriedaSophieSheyna, Sarah Tucker Photography, SAACHI, and lots more!}, so with your ticket to rendez-vous, you're lining yourself up for some serious loot! Bloggers from New England and beyond are making the trip for rendez-vous, so if you're in the area the weekend of September 10th, do everything in your power to be there! You can sign up for some or all of the events--they're all packed full of fantastic bloggers! Grab a printed blogger directory can best be compared to the "who's who" of rendez-vous. {In other words, it's guaranteed to be fabulous!}

If you want to see a full run-down of the weekend's events, click here. Should you have any questions, please send them my way! In order to get head counts for all our vendors, registration ends at 9:00pm EST {Friday 8/26!}, so be sure to grab your tickets before time runs out!

Many thanks to all who've already gotten their tickets--we're so excited an cannot WAIT to meet you at #rendezvousnewengland <--our lovely, long twitter hashtag ;) 

psst: if you know of any businesses who might want to contribute to rendez-vous, please email me
We would love to have them be a part of the weekend and include them in our tote bags or the blog directory :)

a taste of fall.

This guest post from Liz, the beautiful lady behind the blog, Sequins and Stripes, is proof positive we could definitely be friends in real life! I adore her aesthetic and would love to swap closets with her too ;) I know you'll love her as much as I do. Enjoy! xoxo {av}
Hi! It's Liz from Sequins and Stripes and I am beyond excited to be guest posting today at {long distance loving}. While {av} is away, I thought it would be fun to indulge in some fall fashion, considering it is already the end of August and September is right around the corner! Can you believe it? Where have these summer months gone? However, I will say that fall is my most favorite season. Not only is it so classically styled, but I love the cooler air, pumpkin lattes, changing leaves and apple cider! Here are some styles that I am currently coveting for this season:
Camel has to be one of my favorite fall colors - it is chic and timeless and can be paired with absolutely anything. I am also loving the look of feminine blouses with pretty bows, silky fabrics, riding boots, and tailored jackets. This fall is full of classic remixes with fun color and detailed fabrics and I can't wait to add some of these items to my wardrobe...

huge thank you to {av} for hosting me today! Don't forget to stop by Sequins and Stripes
to find daily inspiration for a styled life! Happy fall shopping!

fairy tales do come true.

Today marks an exciting day on {long distance loving}--it's the first post in a new series I'd
like to call {distance makes the heart grow fonder}. For those of you currently in long
distance relationships or for those who swear never to be in one, the stories in this series will
encourage you that anything is possible...with the right dose of love and patience.

I'm thrilled to share the first story of long distance survival from Sarah--she's one of my  all-time favorite bloggers, who lives an enviable life in Switzerland with her husband JB. I love reading about their incredible adventures on her blog, complete with her gorgeous photography and her impeccable sense of style. Most of all, I love their story as a couple. Their tale of survival bridges many years and 
area codes...and it really is one for the storybooks. Read on to understand why :)

Name:  Sarah Tucker {the beautiful lady behind fairy tales are true}
Significant Other's Name: JB
When did you start dating?  We started dating in May of 2007.  

At what point did you begin dating long distance?  From the start, and until we married.  Although we had a solid friendship and grew up along side one another.  Truth be told, I have had a crush on my husband since the wee age of 5, however big a crush you can have at that age.  He was my brothers friend and a few years older.  I can say I've been going to JB's games since I was 5, only on account that I was attending my brothers as well (:  !  

How did you fill your days while you were apart?  I am an introvert, so it wasn't too difficult for me to fill my time alone. I have close friends that I was able to see all the time and those friendships really helped me. I also went to graduate school, so work and school kept me super busy!  

What do you find most difficult about being long distance? We were never a car ride away, always a plane ticket, and though we saw each other often I would ache to just to do normal things - go to the grocery store, cook dinner, watch a movie on a weekday.  

How has long distance changed your relationship?  I can say when we had pre-marital counseling as was required by our pastor before we were married,  we had to take a really long test, and it came out that we had the highest communication score our Pastor had seen.  I think the long distance really helped develop that skill.  We had to talk, to communicate in every way we could think of, just to show we were thinking of the other, since we couldn't just hug, kiss, or hold the others hand whenever we wanted.  

What do you enjoy most about the time you have together?  I love it all.  Being able to wake up and have our coffee together, long dinners, cooking for him, and well just doing almost everything together.  I can't get enough (:  

What sacrifices have you made in order to make things work?  My husband was playing baseball in the states prior to our marriage which meant late night games, and lots of late night phone calls.  I was working and going to school, which meant I had to wake up at the crack of dawn.  But I always wanted to hear his voice, even if it was way past my bedtime and I was half awake.  Of course we had to sacrifice not seeing each other all the time, for knowing that one day we'd be married.  I can say from the beginning I knew I'd be his wife one day, and vice versa.  

How has your life changed now that you're back in the same place?  Oh my stars!  it's the very best.  It also doesn't hurt that we are living in Switzerland and my husbands job only requires a few hours a day of him.  So now we spend all the time together and I love it because we are each others best friends and we adore adventures.  especially ones together!  

psst: If you have a story about long distance that you'd like to share {be it in the past, 
current, or on the horizon}, please email me! I'd love to feature you in a future post!
I'm looking for stories about love, friendship, and everything in between. xoxo {av}

wedding bliss.

Though we've been married almost a year and a half, my obsession with gorgeous weddings continues. When I saw the blog crawl hosted this week by Love is Home and cornflake dreams, I realized it was my chance to profess my love for weddings among the vines. After our trip to Napa and Sonoma in May {see my recap posts here, here, and here}, it affirmed my adoration for gorgeous settings like the ones you see below. Since we've already tied the knot, a girl can dream for her girlfriends--right?

{images sources: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9}

I love the endless tables, the luscious light, the rows of vines, and most of all, the wine!
All in all, I really do think a winery would make a dreamy destination wedding spot.

Have you ever attended {or had!} a wedding at a vineyard? 
What's your dream destination wedding venue?

If you're a lover of weddings like me, link up with Joelle and Jillian this week :)
Get excited for the debut of a new feature tomorrow featuring one of everyone's favorite bloggers!
Enjoy your Tuesday! xoxo {av}

instagram happiness #1.

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you all had fabulous weekends :) I loved seeing your back to school best on Friday--get very excited for a another fun theme for this week! Keep your eyes peeled for the email tomorrow...and if you want on the "heads up" list, email me

Today, I'm linking up with the lovely Ashley from a {little} dash of ash for her new weekly instagram party!She started the fun last week--and this is my first week to join in...and seriously, I'm now addicted
to instagram. {you can find me at amv529!} Here are a few shots from our weekend...

On Friday, the mailwoman left a wonderful surprise in my mailbox--the stamps for rendez-vous: new england. If you're attending, get excited--and if you're not, jump on board! Registration ends Friday.
Then, Mr. Pinky {yes, we had a little gender identity crisis a few weeks ago--so now we have two misters...} made it very clear just how much he wanted food before we left for the night. 

{cv} called on Friday afternoon to propose we head to the Washington County Fair. If you saw this post,  you'll know that he hit the jackpot with that suggestion. We sampled all the finest fair food {read: corn dogs, kettle corn, and even fried Oreos!}, rode a few rides, and even spotted a eggplant mustache. Oh, yes...Indiana felt much closer to Rhode Island after a few hours at the fair, helped by the pigs, cows, and tractors ;) All in all, we loved it--but I do have to say that Midwest fairs reign supreme...

En route back to Providence, we made a pit stop in Kingston, Rhode Island to experience Mews Tavern. {km} first mentioned Mews--and when {cv} heard they had 69 beers on tap, he had to see it with his own eyes. Suffice it to say, we'll be back...

Saturday was super low-key. We got some stuff done around the apartment, though it seems all of it will never really get done. {Anyone else get that feeling?!} {cv} and I got a run in on Saturday--not evidenced in the photos--so I thought it was fair to treat myself to some Tate's. My favorites are the all whole wheat dark chocolate, so they're not too bad, right? We grabbed a few other things at the grocery store so we could make a yummy dinner. On the menu? a citrus ginger roasted chicken with some asparagus, finished off with an easy key lime pie. It was delish. I'm lucky to have {cv}, who enjoys his time in the kitchen!

Sunday was equally relaxing, but we did manage to get a bit done. Sadly, we missed church--but for a good reason: I had to say good-bye to my friend {ds}, who is headed back to school this fall. It was the only time our schedules jived, so I had to make it happen! After our coffee date, I headed back home and  managed to frame a bunch of prints, which had been on my to-do list for months. Three loads of laundry and plenty of email later, it was finally time for dinner at Geppetto's on Federal Hill. We've come to love their grilled pizzas--I tried a new one this time with shrimp and pesto. YUM. The summer is the best on the Hill because you can see great acts in De Pasquale Square--like this Frank Sinatra impersonator, singing some of Frankie's best. We capped off the night at Julian's, one of our favorite neighborhood haunts.

Phew. It sounds like a more hustle and bustle weekend now that I read the run-down, but it really was relaxing. I love the time with {cv}, especially after a crazy few weeks summer of traveling. 

What fun did your weekend hold?
Are you on instagram? {if you are, share your username so I can add you!}

Have a happy Monday--and be sure to see some more instagram fun over at a {little} dash of ash!
xoxo {av}

time for a winner.

I can't thank you all enough for entering {and loving!} my fab bag giveaway :)
This time around, Michelle from michabella: living a life of love, was the big winner...
though I wish I could give each and every one of you who entered an equally lovely prize!

Thanks again to Inge Christopher for being such an incredible sponsor...
if you haven't checked out their gorgeous bags, you're really missing out!
xoxo {av}

friday's fancies #38.

I may not be in school anymore, but it doesn't mean I don't adore the idea of back to school fashion. For that reason, creating a Friday's Fancies around what I'd sport on my first day of school was a no brainer--since it's all about dreaming! If I was still in school, I think my back to school best would look something like the outfit you see below...

1) Admittedly, the pretty purple of the Marc by Marc Jacobs tote prompted my obsession with violet this week. These Wendy Mink Amethyst Stud Earrings would add a necessary pop of color and some excitement to this outfit!
2) It may look simple, but this Marc by Marc Jacobs Victorian Tee Blouse would be the ideal blank canvas for the bold leopard scarf. I especially loved the beautifully simple Peter Pan collar.
3) A little leopard never hurt anyone, right? I think this By Malene Birger Kashimo Animal-Print Wool Scarf would make a statement in a fun and fabulous way.
4) I'm not normally one for black jeans, but I couldn't help but fall in love with these 7 for All Mankind Mid-Rise Bootcut Jeans. The best part? They look like normal jeans, not cheesy '80s black denim!
5) Statement bags like this Marc by Marc Jacobs Lucy Ostrich-Effect PVC Tote can make an outfit--and quite an impression {like I'd want on the first day of school!}. I don't know if I could ever pull it off carrying a bag like this, but in my Friday's Fancies, I can ;) 
6) To add a little edge to this get-up, I included this Gorjana Parker Leather Wrap Bracelet. This beauty could easily transition from a hard day at the books to a night out with friends, if I was lucky enough to still in school, of course.
7) These J.Crew Oxford Ballet Flats bring my preppy side to life in this outfit. I like that they're a modern twist on such a classic style. I'm sold!

What was your most memorable outfit from the first day of a school year? 
{I sported a striped boatneck tee to my first day of high school--and I'll never forget it!
It was also the first day I rocked mousse properly in my unruly curls...oh, the memories.}

Want to see more Friday's Fancies from yours truly? Check out my guest posts!
This week, you can find me on Seashells and Southern Belles and my unrehearsed life :)
Every week, we have a little competition here at {long distance loving}. Last week,
a lovely lady and long time Friday's Fancies faithful, Lulu, rocked it out all the way
from South Africa and earned her time in the limelight this week!

psst: Don't forget to get your last minute entries in my fab bag giveaway--it ends tomorrow morning!
I can't wait to see your back to school best--I hope you had just as much fun with this theme as I did! :)
Enjoy each and every minute of the weekend and many thanks for all the time you take to create your
beautiful Friday's Fancies. Your posts are seriously the highlight of my week...I'm not kidding!
xoxoxo {av}

bold + beautiful.

On Monday, I promised photos from our weekend away--and I'm finally delivering! {cv} and I received an invite to the wedding of a close Georgetown friend, {cd}, and his bride, {vp}, in New Jersey. It was our first experience at an Indian wedding--and we enjoyed every minute! We made the trek down from Rhode Island on Friday night to make it to the Raas Garba, which can best be compared to their version of a rehearsal dinner. Follow along to see more of the photos from this vibrant wedding weekend...

I simply couldn't get enough of the bold and beautiful colors from the sarees which surrounded us
all weekend. We were so honored to be present for {cd} and {vp}'s big day and have the chance to experience their culture up close and personal :) It was simply magical to witness, especially since
their traditions are so different from our own! Everyone welcomed us with open arms and we even
picked up a few new dance moves along the way...

I was so entranced by everything around me that I didn't get any photos of us on Saturday. This is particularly sad because I had worn some fabulous dresses from Rent the Runway. The lone picture of me from Friday night does show me sporting a Mark & James by Badgley Mischka.  {You helped me pick earlier this summer in this post!} It was also my first time to try out their accessories line--and let's just say that I'll definitely be rocking some rental bling one day soon! I simply can't sing the praises of
Rent the Runway enough...

On another fun note, I'm super excited to be a part of {dm}'s girls who inspire series on
Breakfast at Toast! {dm} and I have become quite the bloggy friends while working to create the
sun savvy movement and I can't wait to meet her in real life one day! I can't thank {dm} enough
for including me in this fabulous circle of ladies :)

Have such a wonderful Thursday--I can't wait to see your back to school best tomorrow for Friday's Fancies! I'm getting what feels like the first day of school happy jitters just thinking about it ;) xoxo {av}

psst: stop by cornflake dreams to see another fabulous giveaway we're doing
at rendez-vous: new england! It's from one of my favorite bloggers, Sarah :)

a little twinkle.

Driving home last night, I spotted a few fireflies--a sight I'm not used to seeing in the city. I got nostalgic for the days I would catch them in my backyard in Indiana, entranced by how those little bugs provided so much glow {and made my hands smell totally weird--remember that!?}. I hated when the weather turned colder because I knew I'd have to wait until the next summer for the fireflies to return...

I connected the dots last night--and realized one of the reasons I have always been obsessed with twinkle lights my whole life. They remind me of the fields of fireflies at home in Indiana. Not only do they provide an extra dose of sparkle, but they also bring so much joy! It is amazing how one simple strand of lights can transform a whole scene, don't you think?

{1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7}

Somehow, I think twinkle lights will always bring me back to those summer nights 
spent chasing fireflies...

Is there anything that makes you nostalgic for summer?

I hope your Wednesday has a little extra twinkle today :) More tomorrow! xoxo {av}

fashionably safe.

For those of us in New England, the disappearance of summer signals the reemergence of colder temperatures {and what will all too soon turn into the winter chill--eeks!}. Even though summer is winding down, it doesn't mean that we should stop being sun savvy! Julie and Lauren from Born & Bread alerted us to a new clothing line called Mott 50. The whole idea behind their line is to create pieces which can help you make sun savvy decisions just by slipping on one of their pieces below. Each garment they make has a UPF of 50, which is ten times the sun protection you get from a white t-shirt!

{where to find these pieces: 1 - 2 - 3}

Sure, you'll still need to apply the sunscreen elsewhere, but these dresses {and their other clothes too!} help make it easy to protect yourself from the skin's deadly rays. Though I don't own any of Mott 50's pieces this season, you better believe I'll be adding some to my collection for next summer!

To see more of their clothes in action, check out this little clip
from the Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda...

Want to see more of Mott 50? I highlighted a few more of my favorite pieces over at sun savvy today!
If you haven't already, be sure to join with the 131 other bloggers who have made the commitment to being safer in the sun. It takes a minute to post a comment, but that minute can help save your life...

What changes have you made since you signed the sun savvy pledge?

Comment below {or email me!} and tell us how you're living out the sun savvy pledge--and you just might be featured in an upcoming post. Many thanks to those of you who have shared your story with us. We're thrilled to see so many of you taking care of yourselves and to have your help in spreading the word! 
Have a happy Tuesday! xoxo {av}

psst: don't forget to enter my fab bag giveaway...just four more days to get your entries in!

a rosy outlook.

Happy Monday! I am still recovering from an action-packed weekend {which I'll share more of this week}, but I'm here today with one of my newest obsessions: rose gold. I just can't get enough of it lately...and I think a piece or two of rose gold jewelry really needs to make their way into my fall wardrobe.

{where to find them: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9}

What's your take on rose gold? Love it or hate it?

As a total sidenote: I can't tell you how excited I was to see all the rockin' red Friday's Fancies last week! Keep your eyes peeled for an email on this week's theme...and if you want to be added to the "heads-up" list, let me know via email!

I hope you also haven't forgotten about the fab bag giveaway sponsored by incredible Inge Christopher--there are plenty of ways to win! {read: if you haven't entered already, you're really missing out!} Have an absolutely wonderful Monday! I'll see you all back here tomorrow :) xoxo {av}

friday's fancies #37.

Holy moly! We finally made it to Friday! This summer is going much too quickly for my liking,
but I'm trying to make the most of it :) I hope you are too! Even with autumn in my sights, I don't want
to give up on summer fashion, so that's why I'm incorporating one of the colors I keep seeing for fall
in my Friday's Fancies for this week. The beautifully brilliant red {as seen in every J.Crew catalog!}
inspired my outfit for today. I wanted something a little more edgy than I normally wear and
I think I achieved it...I hope you like it!

1) I'm seriously pining over this Emma Crossbody bag. I mean--HELLO!?--it's so cute! It's got loads of spunk and lots of character. I would love to have it in my closet. {And if you want to win your own, enter my fab bag giveaway--you could pick any from their website!}
2) For my pop of the ever radiant red, I chose this Halston Heritage Pleated Chiffon Dress. I am positively loving pleats and thought this dress was feminine and foxy at the same time! 
3) I adore earrings that make a statement--and these House of Harlow 1960 Star Earrings would not disappoint. They would bring some definite sass to this get-up. I'd also feel like quite the rockstar wearing them!
4) When it comes to heels, I want something that won't make me more clumsy than I already am. These Elie Tahari Portia Patent Leather Sandals fit that bill perfectly! 
5) This Lanvin Chunky Chain Waist Belt would be a great piece to break up the bold red of the dress--and give me a little shape too. Though the belt costs more than the dress itself, it's ok because it's Friday's Fancies ;)
Last week, longtime Friday's Fancies faithful, Jen, rocked it out and won the "likes" competition!
She's the lovely lady behind life spelled jen--a blog chock full of great inspiration and photos :)

If you want to see your blog in lights on {long distance loving}, follow these simple instructions...

What color are you loving for fall? How are you mixing it into your wardrobe now?

Can you believe this is the 30th week for this link-up? It feels like yesterday, but some of you have been around since the beginning and many more of you have joined in along the way. Whenever you started posting, I appreciate the time you take to create your gorgeous posts more than you'll ever know! Thank you all for dreaming along with me :) Have an incredible weekend, ladies! See you Monday... xoxo {av}

P.S. If that bag in my Friday's Fancies has you drooling, don't forget you can win your own! Be sure to get all your entries in by adding your comment to my giveaway post :) Remember: if you include an Inge Christopher bag in your post today {or next Friday!}, you earn an extra entry and add it to the giveaway!

don't miss out.

A few weeks ago, I announced rendez-vous: new england! Along with {jd} from cornflake dreams, I have been working behind the scenes to pull together a fabulous list of events for all our attendees!

Check out all the fun updates below...

Be it the Boston Chocolate Tour, the blogger mixer at the Lounge at the Charlesmark Hotel,
or the SoWa Open Market adventure that we're beginning at Grey's Fabric & Notions, we'd love
to have you for all {or some!} of the weekend!

All final details {including timing of the events!} will be emailed to attendees the week of the
rendez-vous. We were able to get a special blogger rate for the chocolate tour, which made this chocoholic very happy and I hope it makes you happy too! Your other ticket costs cover a fun tote
bag filled with goodies from vendors around the world {yes, I said WORLD!}...seriously, I'm excited
to get one and I'm helping to pull them together!

And that blog directory you can add to your order? Totally worth it! You'll get a little cheatsheet for all the bloggers who are attending the will include their bios and photos to keep you on your toes!

Be sure to check out cornflake dreams today {and upcoming Thursdays!} for the announcements of all the seriously incredible giveaways we'll be hosting over the course of the weekend. You could win some serious loot--like jewelry, handbags, and lots of other surprises! {Last week, it was a piece of jewelry from the glamorous friedasophie--and this week, it's swag from stunning SAACHI! You'll want to stay tuned because that's just the tip of the iceberg...}

In the spirit of chocolate, what is your favorite type of chocolate--white, milk, or dark?
In the spirit of blogger fun, where else would you love to see a rendez-vous?

We sure hope you can join us! Let us know if you have any questions--we're happy to help :) For those of you already signed up, GET EXCITED! The rendez-vous is less than a month away! xoxo {av}

P.S. Many thanks to our friends at Boston After Six, Boston Bloggers, the Boston Daybook
and the Nightly Wingman for helping all of these fabulous events come together :) 

goodness galore.

Since I started blogging last November, my world has opened up--in more ways than one. Not only have I discovered this enormously supportive blogosphere, I've also found many people who have become my real life friends. Case in point: I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Marissa from the boot for an absolutely perfect blate {aka a blogger date} on the East Side of Providence {many thanks to Megan for coining the term #blate!}. We chowed down on some Indian fare before toasting the night with a few glasses of prosecco, all while chatting a mile a minute and discovering even more similarities than we already knew about one another. I loved every minute! Here are just a few photos...

I can't thank Marissa enough for making the trip down to Providence--and I can't wait for more blates with her before she leaves New England for her home in Italy this September. If you haven't checked out her blog, you're missing out...she's even more gorgeous and even more inspiring in person! 

The other takeaway? You MUST try your hand at a blogger meet-up...they help bring blogging to life and really help you understand what a phenomenal community we have here! {psst: if you're in New England, you should check out the blogger rendez-vous I'm co-hosting with {jd} at cornflake dreams over the second weekend in September!} 


Last week, I shared a little bit more of myself and many of you also shared fun facts about yourselves. 
I had so much fun getting to know more about you all :) I also asked if you had any burning questions
for me. Here are the answers to two of those questions...

Lindsay asked: what do you put in your hair to make your curls look so good? 
Do tell your secret, because my curls are sort of just a pile of frizz...

The simple fact anyone is asking me about my hair products makes me smile because it was one of those things which I fought for years until I found this solution. I've tried plenty of expensive products {like the Moroccan Curl Cream, etc.}, but none--and I repeat none--work like these Pantene products do. I use a TON of product in my hair, so you can't beat the cost. I know a lot of people hate on Pantene, but I'm a fan for life.

There is a method to my curl madness: I first put my hair in a towel immediately after getting out of the shower and keep it in the towel until I'm ready to do my hair {but I try to keep it to 3 or 4 minutes}. After I take the towel off, I flip my head down and generously spray in the detangler. I then flip my head upright and brush {yes BRUSH} my hair through completely.

From there, I flip my head back down and put in the mousse {it normally takes three handfuls--but I have a lot of hair}. Before bringing my head back up, I put my towel back on my head--and I don't touch my hair at all until right before I leave the house. By keeping the towel on, I keep frizz at bay--and keep my curls looking nice. I hope that helps, Lindsay! :) If you would have seen me in 7th grade, I guarantee you wouldn't have been asking for my advice...but after doing this for ten years, I say it works ;) 
{read more about the detangler and the mousse on the Pantene website!

Here's another question from Mateya:
How do you get your posts with those fun fonts and crazy outlines??

I'm not a trained professional, so when anyone asks about my blog design, I am beyond flattered. {So...thank you Mateya!} Since we moved to Providence, I have taken a few classes at RISD, which helped immensely in improving my skills "behind the scenes". I find all my fonts on Font Squirrel, a free site which has a TON of great fonts you can install directly to your computer. I suggest choosing only two or three fonts and sticking to them. Using more fonts than that can get overwhelming and discombobulating for your readers. As the daughter of a sign maker, I also know simplicity in fonts helps--you want what you're writing to be readable!

When I make my collages, I use Adobe Illustrator. I was able to purchase the Adobe Creative Suite through RISD at a discount, but otherwise, I know it can be quite costly. The outlines around many of my photos and graphics are made with a few clicks of the mouse while in Adobe Illustrator. You can get your own free trial of Adobe Illustrator here, though it  might be a little daunting without any sort of instruction. I would highly suggest trying to find a few classes to help you get the hang of it, if you really want to navigate Adobe with ease.

Phew! Are you tired of me today!? I bet you are...thanks for bearing with me!

I have one question for you: what is one material thing you can't live without on a daily basis?
{Mine would have to be--embarrassingly enough--my hair products...shhh!}
Do you have any other questions for me?! I'm happy to answer them!

Much love to all of you this Wednesday--is it Friday yet?! See you back here tomorrow! xoxo {av}
P.S. If you're a long distance warrior, please email me! You just might appear in a new feature here on {long distance loving} :)

things I don't miss.

Happy Tuesday, folks! In the last few weeks, I've spent a considerable amount of time thinking
about just how far {cv} and I have come since the days we spent apart. Below are a few photos to illustrate the things I don't miss about the days we spent apart. I'm sure many of you who are still enduring long distance will be able to relate all too acutely...

After some more reflection, I think this post would be more appropriately titled:
three things I'm grateful for now that we're together.

I count my blessings every day that {cv} and I can do those normal things together {like go to the grocery, pick up the dry cleaning, or venture out on a run}. Even when his work schedule gets in the way, I know I will--in the very least--get to see that smile at some point in my day...which truly does make my day that much better.

Back when we were long distance, I was downright selfish about the time we spent together. I hated having to share that time with family, even though I knew it was essential in the plan to become a family of our own one day. In retrospect, the time we spent during our long distance with our families {for holidays, random trips, and the like} really did help them understand just how much stock we were putting into one another. We were serious--serious enough to spend time away from our respective families on big occasions just so we could be together.

These three things I don't miss {and those things for which I am now strangely grateful} have truly shaped how I appreciate him on a daily basis. The three years spent in different cities {from June 2006 to June 2009} helped to mold us into the couple we are today. I have said it before--and I'll say it again: I'm so incredibly thankful we have that reference point...though when we were going through it, I don't think I would have ever been able to say that.

Do you have any difficult past experiences which you've later come to appreciate, 
be it in a long distance relationship or otherwise?

If you are {or were} in a long distance relationship, please email might just be a part of a future series here on {long distance loving}! Thanks for all your input :) have a great Tuesday! xoxo {av}

psst: have you entered my fab bag giveaway from Inge Christopher?
Your entries could spell prize winnings worth more than $100!