friday's fancies #105.

Happy Friday! I am so excited to have the lovely Julie {of Julie Leah} co-hosting today's round of Friday's Fancies. We're expressing ourselves today--by dressing as ourselves :) I will admit that this theme was a bit challenging for me, but I blame it on my endless love of all things classic and preppy. I also managed to channel my cobalt obsession {as evidenced here + here} into my "me" look. Take a peek!

find them here: J.Crew Jacquard Dot Pullover + Kate Spade Jumbo Jewels Graduated Necklace + Hudson Krista Low Rise Jeans + J.Crew Biennial Medium Satchel + Tory Burch Chelsea Ballet Flats + Bobbi Brown Uber Nude Lip and Eye Palette + Michael Kors Large Gold Runway Watch
I'd absolutely love for you to join in the Friday's Fancies fun. Click here to add yourself to the mailing list and get the themes in your inbox every Monday! Don't worry--the themes are only suggestions: any and all fashion posts are welcome for Friday's Fancies. {Though it isn't required, it would be fabulous if you also included a link back here to spread the love to your fellow Friday's Fancies faithful!}
Crossing fingers you ring in the start of December in a marvelous way this weekend :) The holidays are officially here! Sending lots of love to Julie + every single one of you linking up today. You're the best!


Late last year, I blogged about this crazy cold weather contraption called the "snood." These infinity scarves seem to be everywhere again this season. I didn't end up investing in one last winter, but you will absolutely find one on my wish list for this Christmas! While researching this knitted goodness, I decided to share the love--and make a one master list of snoods. 45 snoods later, here's the post!

find these snoods here:
S1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9
N10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 - 19 - 20
O21 - 22 - 23 - 24 - 25 - 26 - 27 - 28
O29 - 30 - 31 - 32 - 33 - 34 - 35 - 36
D37 - 38 - 39 - 40 - 41 - 42 - 43 - 44 - 45

If you'd rather "shop small", look no further than Knits & Knots. The always lovely Leigh has you covered. {Sidenote: I pinned this graphic so you can see the numbers better!}

After this post, I'm officially all about snoods. I just need to get the memo out to my family accordingly!

P.S. Are you ready for tomorrow's Friday's Fancies? Here are all the details! Any and all fashion posts are welcome!

the first month.

One month ago today, I crossed the finish line of the Cape Cod Marathon. I took my first {and not-so-pretty} run 12 days after the race. Since then, I have run a total of six times {for a whopping 17.8 miles}. My knee still doesn't feel 100%, but it is getting there. The reality? I am thankful to be able to run at all...even if I'm not running the volume of miles I'd like.

On the upside, I ran the 8K Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving--and actually felt good. I eked out a 38:30 {7:42/mile} with my daddy-o by my side. It reminded me I still have "it", even if I don't feel like I'm in my groove just yet. I may not be the biggest speed demon out there, but I will take sub-8s any day. I am beyond grateful for each and every step I take because I know not everyone has that luxury.

Waking up to snow this morning reminded me that spring is a few very long months away. As a major klutz, winter running is not my friend. {I slip on the pavement on dry, summer days, so imagine me in the wet, cold winter days.} After a two treadmill-induced stress fractures, I will be spending this winter finding work-out alternatives to running. This is where you come in...

I would positively love your input on work-outs I can do on my own in the gym. I don't love group exercise environments, but I'm open to trying something new. I would love to channel my awkward self in a barre class, but the cost seems prohibitive. The same restriction applies to CrossFit. I pay for a monthly gym membership, so I would like to maximize those dollars I'm already spending if possible.

In case you didn't know it, you are the best readers around--thank you for all your work-out wisdom :)
My questions are endless, but here are a few: Where do you find great gym work-outs? How do you keep up with winter running? How do you conquer repetitious work-outs? And one last one...

glitter goodness.

While I was on vacation last week, I switched it up and got a glitter manicure. I loved rocking Essie's Beyond Cozy! Though I was nervous it might be too loud, it was just the right amount of sparkle. 
I can guarantee it won't be the last time I wear some glitter goodness this holiday season. 
Here are 15 other glittery nail colors which caught my eye...

{find them here--clockwise from 12:00 o'clock}

The only problem I had with the polish? Getting it off at the end of the week ;)
 Do you have any tricks in that department?! I am certainly all ears. 

and that's good enough for me.

I was born in a small town--but not just any small town, the one in that John Mellencamp song. As luck would have it, I met a small town boy. He grew up in a town a thousand miles northeast of me, but it doesn't matter. We both have small town blood running through our veins. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Don't get me wrong: I love living in the city, though Providence isn't really a 'big' city. I thoroughly enjoyed my six years in DC. I just cannot get sunrises like this or sunsets like that in the city. These photos are little reminders of how much I love the peace and quiet of a small town.

When we bought our land this fall, {cv} and I were more than willing to sacrifice the big city conveniences. Visits like the one we had this weekend solidify we made the right choice. I am already counting down the days until our next visit to the Hoosier state at the end of December. Our future home may be in Rhode Island, but all small towns have a way of finding their way into my heart.

John Mellencamp definitely had it right: the small town life is good enough for me.
Have you ever had a lightbulb moment like this?

P.S. Don't forget about the crazy cyber sale at Kate Spade--you have until the end of today to rock it!

cyber sale time.

I normally don't blog on Sundays, but this was one sale where I couldn't leave you in the dark...Kate Spade is having one of their amazing cyber sales. Many of their favorite pieces are on serious discount from now through tomorrow {11.26} at 11:59pm EST.

Say hello to fantastic gifts for much better prices from Kate Spade.
Hurry--because they're sure to go quick! xoxo {av}

friday's fancies #104.

Hello from the Hoosier state! It is only appropriate that Friday's Fancies is devoted to Black Friday :) I am not one for all the Black Friday madness, but you better believe I'll be making it count with the online sales. If I were venturing out, here is the simple + sweet ensemble I would love to wear...

find them here: J.Crew Tippi Sweater in Dark Poppy + Citizens of Humanity Avedon Slick Skinny Jeans + Marc by Marc Jacobs Too Hot To Handle Mini Shopper + BaubleBar Noir Hex Strand + CC Skye Mini Spike Bracelet + Essie Nail Polish in Good As Gold + Burberry Collar and Pin Leather Boots

Here's a little bonus! Many of the items above are on sale for the next few days :) BaubleBar is offering 35% off {today only from 5:00am until 11:59pm EST} and other goodies on Cyber Monday. J.Crew is offering 25% off their entire site with the code COLOR25 through 11/25. Shopbop is offering crazy discounts {between 20 and 35%} based on how much you spend with the code BIGEVENT12 through 11/26.

Want to be a part of the fun? Join the Friday's Fancies mailing list and link up your fashion posts right here on {long distance loving}! The lovely ladies who make up the Friday's Fancies family will make you feel right at home :) Soak up the time with your family and friends...even if it's just spent bopping from store to store. Many thanks to everyone for linking up! Have a memorable {and safe} weekend!


{cv} and I are heading to Indiana today for Thanksgiving--and I couldn't be more excited! Today, I wanted to share a few things for which I count my blessings every day, not just on Thanksgiving. Here goes...

I'm thankful for:
-the continued good health of my family and friends
-the {best} husband on earth--and his uncanny ability to make any day better
-the roof over our heads {and the dreams of the one we'll build next year!}
-the phenomenal friends we have scattered near and far
-the means and mobility to travel to see the ones we love
-the happy reunion with my amazing parents in just a few hours
-the knowledge of what wonder lies ahead after this life is through
-the ability to recall good memories {and to quickly forget the bad ones}
-the unbelievably wonderful community I stumbled into when I started blogging
...and so much more, but we'll keep it to these for now!

I'm going to enjoy the holiday tomorrow with my parents and {cv}, but I'll be back on Friday
for a fun round of {black} Friday's Fancies! Enjoy the day with your friends and family :)

go-to gifts.

While traipsing around NYC yesterday, I made a quick pit-stop in C. Wonder. I visited their store last year in the thick of holiday craziness, not long after they opened. This visit couldn't have been more different--it was quiet and I finally had a chance to take it all in. I also had my eyes out for fabulous gifts for this Christmas. I didn't want to draw attention to myself, so I was only able to snag a few photos. Here were a few of my favorite finds--all under $100 {but mostly under $50}...

 shop them here: jewelry box + pillow cover + studs + tortoise bowl

I also fell in love with this monogrammed cuff and couldn't stop laughing about this iPad attachment. I also want one of these cozymakers in every color. These trays would also be fabulous for entertaining this holiday season. After this visit, I absolutely see C. Wonder as an easy stop for fun and thoughtful gifts.

travel in style.

Happy Monday! In the spirit of a crazy travel week, I thought it would be fun to take a peek at travel totes. I hopped a bus to NYC yesterday and found myself aching for a cute new travel bag. I've become the master packer of the L.L. Bean Boat and Tote Bag for weekend trips--but when I travel for a week or more, I tend to check one small suitcase and carry on a reasonably-sized tote. Though I don't need another travel bag, I am always on the lookout for fun and functional carry-alls. Here are a few of my recent favorites...

left column {top to bottom}:  Kate Spade Is This Seat Taken? Terry Tote + Alexander McQueen Plaid Medium Shopper + J.Crew Rail and Wharf 48-Hour Duffel + Madewell The Transport Tote

right column {top to bottom}: Pendleton The Portland Collection Canyonville Tote + Madewell The Camden Satchel + Nikon Tree Hugger Tote + TOPSHOP Felt Holdall

We rocked the backpacks this summer in Europe...and it was quite possibly the best decision we ever made. Totes are infinitely cuter, but sometimes, sacrificing your shoulder for fashion's sake isn't practical. These beauties seem {mostly} functional, so I think it strikes a good balance ;) I can't wait to hear your carry-on secrets!

P.S. Do you like the little updates on the blog today? It's different, but I hope you do!

friday's fancies #103.

It's going to be a tasty day for Friday's Fancies! Today, we're translating our favorite fall treat into an outfit. This summer, my treat was a refreshing piece of key lime pie--but this autumn, it is a good old-fashioned s'more. After last week's bonfire round of Friday's Fancies, I developed the biggest hankering for this toasty marshmallow + graham cracker + chocolate treat. Here's how it might translate in person:

shop: Rory Beca Keala Front Panel Dress + Kenneth Jay Lane Golden Shadow Earrings + C. Wonder Twisted Chain Links Tortoise Necklace + Clare Vivier Foldover Clutch + Rachel Zoe Charlie Booties
Join in the Friday's Fancies fun and submit a fashion-oriented post below! Whether it's an outfit post or an outfit board, everything goes. The themes are just a way to get your creative juices flowing ;)  If you'd like to get the themes each week, click here to join the mailing list and become a part of this loving family of supportive bloggers! You won't find a better crew anywhere on the interwebs. Trust me.
Sending endless love to my Friday's Fancies faithful...I'm thankful for each + every one of you!
Have a fantastic weekend, wherever you spend it :)

planner planning.

Am I one of the few people in the universe who still like to keep a paper agenda? I see posts everywhere in the blogosphere about ditching the paper planner for Google Calendar exclusively. Call me old school, but I'm just too scared to make the full switch. Even though I'm a social media fiend, I just love paper. Here are a few pretty planners for 2013 which have been on my radar...

1) Kate Spade  2) Erin Condren  3) Design Darling  4) Lilly Pulitzer
5) Crane & Co.  6) May Books  7) russell+hazel  8) Emily Ley

I've had a Kate Spade and Lilly Pulitzer in the past, but this year, I'm leaning toward the russell+hazel binder {with the smartdate inserts}. I don't think I'm totally ready to go in the full-on Google Calendar mode just yet. As the most connected and organized folks I know, your two cents matter--so let me know what you think :) enjoy your Thursday--and I'll see you tomorrow for Friday's Fancies!

holiday iphone backgrounds.

Ok, ok--it may be a little early, but I couldn't help myself. If there is one place I might be able to sneak in some holiday cheer before socially acceptable, it's on my iPhone. Though I haven't perfected this background art just yet, I wanted to give you a peek at my first prototypes :) Since I'm an equal opportunity iPhone lover, you can find holiday backgrounds for both the 4 and the 5...

 {iPhone 4 holiday background}

{iPhone 5 holiday background}

Wondering how to apply this background to your iPhone? Here are a few easy tips:
right click on the image + save the image to your computer
email it to an address accessible on your iPhone
open the email on your iPhone
hold your finger on the image + save it to your camera roll
open the image in your camera roll 
click to share the photo but instead choose to apply it as your home screen wallpaper
...and voilà! instant holiday cheer!

If you don't have an iPhone, I promise to attempt other phone models in future posts! 
Please email me a screen shot of your home screen, share the model and I'll try my best :)
Thanks for letting me try something new today...I just hope you like it!

play up your pomegranate.

Have you ever paid attention to which of your pinterest boards seem to get the most repin love? Whatever it is, my "sip sip" board definitely gets some extra loving. Pomegranates keep popping up in these pretty bevvies, so I thought I might take a peek for a few others to add to my collection. How perfect are some of these drinks for Thanksgiving and Christmas?

{cv} is a huge pomegranate fan, so I'm excited to field test a few of these recipes soon. {I'll be sure to share the winning recipes via Instagram.} Pomegranates go a long way to making something simple like champagne look festive. Sign me up!

what to wear to a high school reunion.

Though I'm only one year behind him, {cv} has the honor of being the first to hit his 10th high school reunion year. In normal {av} fashion, I've got my eyes on a few Rent The Runway dresses and need your input. I have only met a handful of his high school friends, so I'm admittedly a little nervous. Here's the hitch: it is being held in a bar--so I don't want to be seriously overdressed. I am aiming for polished without trying too hard ;) Here are a few of my front-running options...

{all dresses available for rent between $50 + $100 on Rent The Runway}

Since {cv} is from Maine, the weather won't be optimal for the December reunion. I plan on rocking some tights and pumps with whatever I choose. Nothing too fussy. I'm inclined to believe the lacy dresses may be a bit too much for a bar. If I showed up at your reunion in such attire, would you judge? No holds barred here, friends. I need your honest opinions! Would I be better off just rocking a cute top and jeans? Ahh! I am seriously clueless here.

Thank you for your input! Please leave the number of your favorite dress below and any other advice you may have. I'll need it! I still don't know what I'd do without Rent The Runway ;) Happy Veterans Day!

P.S. This is not a sponsored post for Rent The Runway. I just love them that much.

friday's fancies #102.

Happy Friday! This week for Friday's Fancies, we're cozying up next to a bonfire. I'll be honest: pulling together this post really had me craving some s'mores. If I was headed to a bonfire with all my stylish friends, I would love to sport this navy + pink ensemble. In reality, I would probably wear a big sweatshirt...but a girl can dream, right?

find these beauties here: TOPSHOP Cable Pom Pom Hat + Betsey Johnson Pavé Round Stud Earrings + Madewell Dotted Chambray Shirt + J.Crew Excursion Quilted Vest + Rag & Bone Nautical Leggings + Aldo Laverdiere Boots

Did you blog about fashion this week? Join in the Friday's Fancies fun and link up your post! All fashion-related posts are welcome! If you're wondering how so many people know the theme, here's your answer: the weekly Friday's Fancies newsletter! Add yourself to the mailing list and get the themes in your inbox each week :)
I just wish there was a blogger bonfire to attend this weekend--wouldn't that be the best?! Many, many thanks to my Friday's Fancies faithful for linking up again this week! {In case you missed it, you can check out the last few weeks of outfits on Pinterest!} Though we may sneak away to Maine for a night to see his family, {cv} and I are looking forward to a quiet weekend in New England. You won't find me complaining! Soak up your weekend, friends--I'll see you on Monday!

P.S. Don't forget about the 20% off promo at J.Crew Factory while you're lazying around this weekend--see all the details here!

a new toy.

Though I'm happy the first snow didn't happen in October this year, I have to admit that I wasn't exactly prepared for it yesterday. I was in shorts two weeks ago for goodness sake! However, I will thank the snow for inspiring today's post ;) After my marathon, I decided to treat myself to a little something in the form of a Wacom Bamboo Splash tablet. It finally came yesterday and I was so excited to give it a try. Though this graphic is rather simple, it was my first attempt with what I'm sure will become one of my favorite gadgets...

Since you're reading a blog, I'm going to bet you have a few favorite gadgets, programs, or apps. I love my MacBook, but I rarely use {cv}'s iPad. Call me boring, but I find myself using my iPhone mostly for the basic phone functions, Instagram, and Nike+. My readers are some of the most resourceful {and tuned-in} people I know, so I can't wait to hear what techie goodness you have up your sleeves! 

I'll see you for a bonfire-inspired Friday's Fancies tomorrow! As always, any and all fashion posts are welcome! Thank you for putting up with my rudimentary first try on my little tablet--I just had to record it for posterity's sake ;) Have a great Thursday!

what to buy for the newly preggo.

Happy Wednesday! Something must be in the water because I've had multiple friends report their good news to me lately: they're due with their first baby next spring! As exciting as this news is, my gift-giving anxiety starts to rise. What do you give to someone who just found out she's pregnant and doesn't know what she's having? Here are a few little gender-neutral goodies which caught my eye...

find them here: striped one-piece + whale bath spout cover + cozy pack of socks + Burt's Bees wash time tin + Sophie la Girafe teething toy  + sweet pea bunting set + Big Bird stuffed animal + baby hands keepsake + basket weave blanket

Before the question even comes up, we are not on the baby wagon just yet--so back to the topic at hand! Since showers often come later, I would love a few go-to gifts for friends when they first share their good news. I can't wait to get your input on the perfect gifts for the newly preggo lady!

j.crew factory finds

My love for the J.Crew Factory store is beyond measure. Once a season, I make my pilgrimage--often times with a coupon in hand. After a long day at work in Boston, I made a quick pitstop to our outlets on the way home. What did I discover?! A super gorgeous floorset and an entire store discount of 40%. Here are some quick snaps of my favorite factory finds {with links to many of the items below}:

find them here: scottie sweater + chambray shirtballet flatspink clutch + red wedges + floral top
red cords + fairisle sweater + sparkly bracelets + wedge bootsbow sweater + button-downs

I snagged this sweater and this button-down {in a Christmas-y plaid} for excitingly low prices with the support of my extra coupon. My other fab find--a cowl-neck cozy sweater with pockets--isn't online, so you'll have to visit an outlet to find it. I'm not sure how long their 40% promotion is running, but their website makes it easy to snag this goodness without wasting the gas. Seeing as it's election day, getting out to vote should be our first priority. We can all shop J.Crew Factory while watching election returns ;) Even better? They're offering 20% orders of $100 or more and free shipping until November 13th with the code HAULPASS. Victory!

UPDATE: They're having another sale {yay!}--and this one is for 30% sitewide + free shipping with the code: SCOREMORE through Tuesday, November 20th!

ban the black borders.

Happy Monday! Today's post is of a different sort, so bear with me...
I love Instagram. I think many of you might share that love. 
One thing I don't love?! Those pesky black borders. 

Like many of you, I take my photos outside of Instagram and then use this magical program to make my photo infinitely better. After a few frustrations in the beginning, I simply altered my photo-taking habits. As a result, I rarely take photos horizontally on my iPhone. Not a single one of my Instagrams has those ugly borders--and I'm proud of it. Though I'm far from perfect, this is one easy way to make anyone's Instagram feed better.

This is my plea: make Instagram prettier and ban those black borders on your Instagram feed. Make it easier and shoot vertically if you plan to use Instagram. Those black borders don't make your photo more beautiful whatsoever. I hate to be blunt on this one, but I want to keep Instagram attractive. By banning those pesky borders, we can go a long way to making it more enchanting.

friday's fancies #101.

Hello friends! With colder temperatures settling in, this edition of Friday's Fancies is devoted to sweaters. After three New England winters, I am slowly growing my sweater collection, but I find I am always on the hunt for coziness. I would love to sport this black, red, and cream ensemble all winter long!

find these dreamy items here:
J.Crew Cambridge Cable Turtleneck Sweater + Michael Kors Fireball Pavé Stud Earrings
7 for All Mankind Ruby Red Super Skinny Gwenevere Jeans + Ciaté Party Shoes Paint Pot
Rebecca Minkoff Woven Mini Beau Clutch  + Kate Spade Helen Flats
Join the Friday's Fancies family--click here to join the mailing list and get the themes in your inbox each Monday! Any and all fashion posts are welcome, so please don't feel tied down by the theme :)
I'm so thrilled {as always} to have such fashionable ladies alongside me every week! Thank you so much for your love after my marathon last weekend. I have the best readers on the planet, hands down. Enjoy the first weekend of November--and I'll see you all on Monday!

swiss miss.

Remember how we went to Europe three months ago? Remember how I still haven't finished our trip recaps? Time is just flying! Here is one last post devoted to Switzerland before I share our final stop in Germany. After a great day in Lucerne, we took a rainy train ride to Lauterbrunnen in the Bernese Oberland. During our two days in God's country, we stayed at the Hotel Oberland--the most quaint, family-run inn on the planet. Both of our days were spent on the hiking trails and both of our nights were spent on our balcony, enjoying the views with wine. I'll let the pictures do most of the talking, but trust me on this one: if you haven't been to Switzerland yet, you need to put it on your bucket

With the rain, it was tough to take photos to adequately capture how high we hiked up to Wengen. After 150 minutes on the trails, we emerged in this perfectly picturesque village. Recommended by the parents of my Swiss-born bff {ch}, Wengen was the ideal introduction to the Bernese Oberland. For a girl who loves fondue, let's just say I was in absolute heaven.

After getting thoroughly soaked on our hike, I didn't complain about a quiet {and cozy} night at Hotel Oberland. Mountain views paired with great company and wine made for a fabulous Swiss night.

The sun began to show its face on our third day in Switzerland, though it didn't shine all day. {cv} finally had the chance to see the Alps which had been hidden under the clouds since we arrived. This gorgeous waterfall {and crazy views} made our nearly three-hour hike much more doable.

This is how you treat yourself at the end of a long hike: beers with a view in Mürren. 
Pardon the fashionable hiking gear and fleeces.

We spent our last night in Lauterbrunnen at the Horner Pub, affectionately known as the "only pub in town." Saying good-bye to this small town was beyond tough. {cv} and I are already plotting our return. For those of you thinking of making the trek, stop considering. GO.