a perennial debate.

For years, I wouldn't touch gold jewelry. In recent months, I started noticing 
a surprising shift in my jewelry-buying habits: I'm a total gold convert.  

find them here
gold {knot bracelet} silver
gold {mini-disco cone cuff} silver
gold {disco-ball bangle} silver
gold {button bangle} silver

I never thought it would happen, but I actually prefer gold these days. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for my old stand-by, silver, but gold has stolen my heart. Thanks to BaubleBar, I can indulge in both loves without breaking the bank! Where do you fall in the gold vs. silver debate? xoxo {av}

P.S. Love jewelry? Don't forget to link up your blingy posts for tomorrow's Friday's Fancies!


Let me tell you a little story: On Saturday night, I stayed up until 4:30am chatting with my girlfriends, slumber party style. On Sunday morning, our bodies still woke us up at our normal weekday time. {What happened to being able to sleep past 10:00am, college-style?} I made the three-hour drive home later that day and faced a mountain of work before I could hit the pillow again. Suffice it to say, Monday morning was brutal too. The only thing which made me look like I hadn't been hit by a truck after those late nights?
This magically wonderful product, otherwise known as Clarins Eye Contour Gel.

I don't generally like to do product posts, but I couldn't hold out on you all any longer. I first purchased the eye contour gel in October 2011. I was skeptical to pay the $35, but I listened to the woman at the Clarins counter. She told me this product would be a gamechanger, but I didn't believe her. 16 months and two tubes later, it is the one beauty product which makes my day infinitely better. After a late night or an early morning, a little bit of this on your undereyes will feel a.m.a.z.i.n.g. 

I have super sensitive skin around my eyes and wear contacts, so I was worried this product might cause me problems--but it doesn't at all. Not only does it help with puffiness, it helps my eye make-up stay on so much better. Thanks to the genes from my dear old dad, I have some serious dark circles. The Clarins Eye Contour Gel definitely helps hide them. Since I know {cv} doesn't hop on my blog frequently, I can also tell you that even he likes using this stuff. I always feel ready to embrace the day after a few drops of this goodness. I will now happily spend the $35 to replace it.

Do you have a game-changing beauty product in your arsenal? 
Help a girl out! I can't wait to see what you've got in your bag of tricks! xoxo {av}


a is for.

I don't know about you, but this weekend passed in the blink of an eye! Friday night, I spent the evening at the first birthday bash for the PVD Lady Project--a group I just joined here in Providence. As a transplant in the Ocean State, I am counting my blessings I discovered such an A+ group of women in a place so far from home. 

On Saturday, I decided to hop in the car and make a last-minute trip down to NYC. Maybe it was because {cv} was working or because I was sad I wasn't out in California celebrating my dad, but whatever it was, I made my first drive down to the Big Apple. For a girl who grew up driving around cornfields and dodging cows in the road, I was pretty proud of myself for managing the streets of New York. I had a wonderful night in on Saturday with two of my best friends and a few of their co-workers, complete with homemade molten lava cakes. {I promise a recipe soon!}

Brunch is one of my favorite meals, so when Sunday morning rolled around, we decided to go to Buvette--a wonderful little French place the three of us had been for dinner in November 2011. I indulged in a little croque monsieur to fuel up for my drive back to Rhode Island. Before heading north, I grabbed a hot chocolate with my favorite fellow Georgetown blogger. After navigating the city this time, I know I can make many more trips down in the future ;)

Sunday night, I came home to my favorite Indian food on the table--just in time to watch the Academy Awards. {cv} knows how much I love the red carpet, so he was prepared! My favorites {though it was hard to choose!} were Jessica Chastain, Naomi Watts, and Jennifer Lawrence. {jl} gets major props from me for recovering so well from her fall up the stairs! 

Though Mondays may not be my favorite, memories of a great weekend will make today just
a little easier. Having a fun Boston Bloggers event on tap tonight doesn't hurt either ;)
What moments from your weekend deserve an A?! xoxo {av}


P.S. If you blogged about Oscar fashion, don't forget to add your link to Friday's red carpet round-up!


Today, my dad turns 60. He will spend his 60th birthday in the California sunshine with my mother and two of their close friends by his side. He will run a 5K this morning to start off his 60th year and then enjoy a day tooling up the California coast with the wind in his hair. 

Though I love my mother with all my heart, I am a daddy's girl through and through. The saying goes that you can't choose your family. I'm glad that's true. My dad is truly the salt of the earth and I am beyond blessed to call him my father.

From my father, I inherited my love of running, a passion for graphic design, and the heart I wear on my sleeve. We have run more miles together than I have with any other person in my life. Through years of encouraging me on the cross country course {and in life}, he taught me how to rest on the bus. No matter how long it has been since our last run together, we always run perfectly in stride. 

My dad and I have shared 27 years on this earth and I can only hope those years were as happy for him as they have been for me. It is impossible to fathom that my dad is 60. To me, he will always be the smiling face I saw across the table at McDonald's while I ate my happy meal--looking all of 30 years old.

To my father on his 60th: thank you for teaching me what love is. Thank you for stopping whatever you're doing to take my phone calls. Thank you for being a God-fearing man and teaching me the importance of a Christ-centered life. Thank you for loving my other half, {cv}, like your own. Thank you for being you--because you are more than enough. I love you forever! {av}

{third image via Kate Headley}

friday's fancies #117.

Happy Friday! With the best red carpet of the year coming this weekend, I thought it was only appropriate to share some Oscar-worthy fashion for Friday's Fancies. Whether it's an outfit you'd rock on the red carpet or on one you'd wear on your couch while watching the red carpet, it's up to you. Here's what I would wear if money were no object and I could pull off this shade of mint green...

With Rent The Runway and Adorn.com, it's easier to feel like a star--without paying the big bucks. {You know I'm a long-time fan of RTR.} Adorn allows you rent amazing jewelry--including real diamonds which make everyone feel like a princess. {Before Kate Middleton had her bling, I rented these Valentine earrings for our wedding. I'm still obsessed and it's been three years.} Even better? Adorn is giving all {ldl} readers 10% off their future rentals with the promo code: longdistanceloving.

find them here: Catherine Diane Godiva Gown via Rent The Runway + Shaye Diamond Cluster Earrings via Adorn + Moroccan Oil Luminous Hairspray + Sisley Paris Phyto-Rouge Hydrating Long-Lasting Lipstick in Grenadine + {unpictured but perfect and totally out of my price range} Christian Louboutin Glitter Double-Strap Platform Pumps

Many thanks to the Friday's Fancies faithful linking up today! Click here to join our lovely little family and get the themes in your inbox every Monday. Any and all fashion is welcome--don't feel like you need to post about the Oscars to qualify ;) Have a great weekend! xoxo {av}


i have ideas.

During the blizzard earlier this month, {cv} and I finally finished the last season of West Wing. Though I wasn't eager to say goodbye to the characters, I was eager to tackle a few other series we've been putting on the back burner--most notably, Mad Men. I don't know about you, but working through a series from the beginning makes it feel less like TV and more like a movie. I'm down with that...

I may not love the philandering men, but I do love the classic fashion. Seeing behind the scenes in the ad world also make this graphic design nerd very happy. We're only halfway through the first season and I'm totally intrigued. I am also very glad clip-on earrings aren't the style these days. My ears would hate me!

We were late to the game with Downton Abbey, but we are right on track these days. {I am heartbroken after seeing the end of this season...don't even get me started.} After we work through
Mad Men, we're open for ideas--as long as the shows don't involve vampires or blood.
What TV series are in your "life" queue?  xoxo {av}



Back in November, I preemptively shared a holiday iPhone background. It was a little early, but this time around, I don't think I'm overshooting. With Valentine's Day behind us, a springy iPhone wallpaper is in order. It may be my ever-present desire for warmer weather, but whatever it is, a dose of green won't hurt anyone. Here's a "lucky" iPhone background which is perfect for the lead-up to March 17th...

{iPhone 5 version}

{iPhone 4/4S version}

Not sure how to install it? Here's the skinny...

You can strategically place your apps so that the lucky clover shows in the right hand corner. Tricky, right? If you use the background, tag it on twitter or instagram with the #ahappyiphone hashtag! xoxo {av}


weekend scenes.

Happy President's Day! I may be working today, but I am still relishing in the glory of an amazing weekend getaway. We only live an hour from Boston, but with our schedules, we never really get to enjoy it. {cv} changed that this weekend. He booked us a room at the cutest hotel on the planet and we soaked up a weekend in the city, as evidenced by the photos below... 

{behind the photos}
books: We stopped at an amazing store in the South End called Hudson--and I quickly fell in love.
bed: Our room at the Inn at St. Botolph was picture perfect. Chevrons, gingham and seersucker--oh my!
dress: I Rent The Runway for weddings and events but never for fun nights out. This Shoshanna stunner also made it easy to break out my wedding shoes! A winner all around :)
glasses: {cv} treated me to what was easily the nicest meal of our lives at O Ya.  I became an adventurous eater for a night--and loved every minute of it. He booked the rezzies a month in advance, so he earned big points for this one!

{unseen goodness}
-I finally caved and bought a polka-dotted chambray shirt at J.Crew {much like this one}. I can already see it running heavily in my rotation!
-We stumbled upon Olives & Grace, a gorgeous little store specializing in small batch products. The best part? Moochie's Macarons was hosting a tasting in the store! I had my first chocolate-covered macaron--and haven't stopped dreaming about them since.
-I picked up these Rifle notecards at the sweet Gracie Finn. I can't wait to send them!

After this magical weekend, we both agreed we needed to make this "stay-cation" a regular thing. We travel to see friends and family regularly, but we don't often get a chance to get away the two of us.
With so much left to explore, you better believe we're coming back to Boston for more.
Are you a stay-cation fan? I can't wait to hear! xoxo {av}


friday's fancies #116.

A very happy Friday to you! In light of yesterday's holiday, it seemed only appropriate to devote this week's Friday's Fancies to red and pink! This punchy pairing started popping up everywhere last year--and it's still going strong. I love the touch of orange in the dress below--it is a great way to ease into this color combination ;) What do you think? Have you been daring enough to try red+pink yourself?

find them hereShoshanna Sequin Najia Dress {find other Shoshanna dresses here} + Kate Spade Long Drop Earrings + Botkier Valentina Mini Convertible Bag + Stuart Weitzman Platswoon Pumps

If you blogged about Valentine's Day fashion, pretty please link up your posts below. In fact, if you blogged about fashion at all this week, Friday's Fancies is for you--we don't discriminate! This fabulous #FridaysFancies family will welcome you with open arms. Click here to join the mailing list and get all the once-weekly dish on Friday's Fancies delivered straight to your inbox! As always, I am sending lots of love to my faithful posters...you never cease to amaze me :)

{cv} and I are bopping up to Boston for a bit of a stay-cation this weekend and I can't wait! It's only an hour away, but we don't get up there enough. If you're one of the lucky ducks with a long weekend, I'm jealous ;) If you don't have a long weekend {like me}, I feel your pain--I'll be back in action on Monday!
See you then! xoxo {av}


a lifelong smile-maker.

Happy Valentine's Day! This is the eighth year {cv} and I have been valentines, but it feels like yesterday that we shared our first over fondue on a school night. I'm the silly girl who loves this holiday, even if we don't do much to celebrate it. I'm also the crazy lady who scrolls through our wedding photos at least once a week. The photos just bring our big day back to life...

photo by the ever-talented Kate Headley

We met at Georgetown one hazy July night in 2005. This photo was taken just two blocks from where our paths first crossed. One of my favorite moments from our wedding video came just after this photo was taken. I come up from this dip with the biggest smile on my face--and this photo always brings it back. On a lovey-dovey day like this one, I thought this photo fit the bill. It also reminds me how lucky I am to have this loving, funny, hard-working, giving, brilliant, and tremendously supportive man by my side for life :) He truly is my lifelong smile-maker.

However you spend your Valentine's Day, I hope it is filled with an extra dose of love--and maybe a little pink and red. {Speaking of which--don't forget to link up your festive outfits tomorrow for Friday's Fancies!} Happy Valentine's Day, friends! xoxo {av}

P.S. Want to brighten your bestie's day? Send a Paperless Post! Kate Spade just released a few new valentines!



This morning at 4:45am, I woke up to take {cv} to the airport. As we rounded our way into the terminal, I just looked at him and smiled. This scene was all too familiar. During our long distance years, those early morning flights were all too common. Truth be told, I was in college--and AirTran knew how to reel in a kid on a budget with $39 flights at 5:00am.

Though I would have never imagined it then, I could not be more grateful for those gut-wrenching early morning departures years ago. {cv} travels on a regular clip for work and I've come to relish in the peace and quiet of a night alone. Would I rather him be here? Absolutely. Is it absolutely amazing to watch The Bachelor, Girls, and Pretty Little Liars on DVR without blinking an eye? You betcha. 

As the years pass, I find myself increasingly grateful for the years we spent apart. My 24-year-old self would never believe my 27-year-old self was saying such a thing, but it's the truth. When {cv} leaves for a business trip or I go spend a weekend with my girlfriends, we are able to keep on living. Our worlds don't stop because we're not in the same place. The years we spent long distance taught us we couldn't live that way. Have you found yourself surprisingly grateful for something you used to resent? xoxo {av}


the white stuff.

Greetings from a super snowy Providence! I tried to spare your Instagram feeds with shots of all the snow we had in Rhode Island this weekend, but it doesn't mean I wasn't snapping ;) I've been loving Afterglow {an amazing photo-editing app!} and used it on all of the photos below. Here is a bit of a time lapse look at the snowfall. I took the first photo just before I left for work on Friday morning. The final photo in the sequence is evidence that I couldn't take any more photos out that snow-caked window...

We were some of the lucky ones who kept power throughout the storm. When we woke up on Saturday morning, we were greeted with this amazing winter wonderland.

Though I'm not sure exactly how many inches of snow we got, I am certain we had an amazingly cozy weekend in our little apartment. I got slightly nostalgic for this place which we have called home for nearly four years. This will be our final winter here. Though I'm certainly not complaining about getting in our house later this year, it brings up so many happy memories made here. On the upside, we'll have a lifetime to make new ones once we're in our house...

Don't forget to get your final entries in for my #redpluspink giveaway! It ends just before midnight!
For those of you in New England, be safe on the roads today...I'll see you all back here tomorrow!
Happy Valentine's week--it's worth more than just a day in my book ;) xoxo {av}


friday's fancies #115.

When I picked the theme for this week three years ago, I had no clue it would coincide with the epic snowstorm hitting New England today. If you're anything like me, lovely layers are positively crucial for a snowy weekend! Though I'll probably be in yoga pants this weekend, I know there will be plenty of layers involved. Here is a little ensemble I'd love to sport if my shopping budget was unlimited...

Join the Friday's Fancies mailing list by clicking here and get looped in on all the fun! Don't feel pigeon-holed by the themes--they're only a suggestion! Any and all fashion posts are welcome :) If you have any other questions, I'm your girl. Please email me! If you're linking up this week, you also earn an extra entry in my #redpluspink giveaway, so make sure you log it!

If you're in a warmer locale, I'm jealous. I'll be buried under two feet of snow with {cv} this weekend, but you won't find me complaining. I relish the quiet time while we still have it! Many thanks to those of you linking up this week...Friday's Fancies would just be a regular ol' post without you ;) Happy weekend!
xoxo {av}


pretty please help me choose.

Though a snowstorm may be headed for New England tomorrow, my brain is already longing for spring--especially in light of the new arrivals at J.Crew. I have a hard time choosing from their gorgeous array of colors for a few items on my wishlist. I don't know if I'll purchase all of the goodies below, but I just might need to budget for them...

Here's where I need your help...which would you choose??
To add to my 3" chino collection, I want to add one of these two to my repertoire.
I adore these crystal + cabochon necklaces! I may just need to layer these beauties...
Leave it to J.Crew to call for colorful Sperrys. I want the whole rainbow.
{psst: my favorite metallic Sperrys are on sale! GO NOW.}

Before I go today, I wanted to share a little facelift I gave to my polish services.
{If the color below isn't evidence enough, those shorts are definitely on my brain!}

I absolutely cannot wait to hear what you choose--and what you think of the new site :)
As always, thank you for helping make my decisions easier...my closet thanks you!
See you tomorrow for Friday's Fancies! xoxo {av}


eyes on the prize.

Whenever I find myself a bit overwhelmed, I often tell myself to keep my eyes on the prize.
When that happens on a Tuesday morning, it is clear a crazy week is on tap...

When I get overwhelmed, I count my blessings for the things which keep me busy. Whether it is my job, this blog, or all the things I voluntarily put on my plate, I have the health and the will power to tackle my to-do list. Last month, I realized something very important: my "prize" is the happy life I'm building with {cv}--and beyond. The reality is that my eyes are always on the prize. I will joyfully wade through these nutty weeks so I can contribute to our long-term vision.

As the calendar turned to 2013, I resolved to get real. I'm sticking with it. I cannot thank you enough for allowing me to step back to 4 posts a week--without leaving me in the dust. With one month into 2013, more balance is definitely in sight. If you're a blogger, I hope you will give yourself the same luxury this year. How are you continuing to get real in 2013? Keep your eyes on your prize! xoxo {av}


giveaway: my favorite things in #redpluspink.

Happy Monday! It's been nearly six months since I last had a giveaway here on {long distance loving}. Why? I don't want to give away just anything. I want it to be goooood. This giveaway is all about a few of my favorite things. I may be biased, but this is a giveaway which absolutely cannot be missed. And don't be fooled--it is no coincidence that this  #redpluspink goodness comes just in time for Valentine's Day ;)

The winner will receive a pair of festive Hanky Panky's {the best underwear on the planet}, two bottles of Essie nail polish {in Ballet Slippers and She's Pampered}, a $25 gift card to Sephora {to jazz up your make-up routine}, a perfect little pink notebook from J.Crew, and last, but certainly not least, a red + pink-striped Heddy make-up case from Kate Spade {much like this one}.

Entries are welcome from all corners of the globe through 11:59pm on Monday, February 11th.
I will announce the winner on Tuesday, February 12th and ship out all of these goodies that day :)
I feel a little like Oprah today, but I like it--and I hope you do too! Any questions? Email me.
GOOD LUCK!!!! xoxo {av}

psst: If you enter on instagram, all you need to do is take a screenshot of my instagram and then "re-gram" it like you would if you took a photo with your phone, outside of instagram. Most importantly: don't forget to include the hashtag #redpluspink and my username, @amv529.


friday's fancies #114.

Happy February! This week for Friday's Fancies, we're hitting the slopes. Though it's been quite a few years since I put on my skis, I can definitely still get down with the whole après-ski thing. As a lifelong klutz and running addict, I like my knees too much to fly down a mountain, thank you very much. On the bright side, getting cozy by a fire in a ski lodge is right up my alley--hence the theme ;) I decided to pair a pop of pink with some amazing fair isle leggings, which needed to find my closet yesterday...

find them here: J.Crew Collection Cashmere V-Neck Sweater + Black and Warm Grey Cashmere Knit Snood + Plush Fair Isle Leggings + Sorel Tofino Cate Black Boots + Anthropologie Monogrammed Mug + Labello Classic Lip Balm {shout-out to my bestie {ch} for starting my Labello addiction!}

If you love fashion, Friday's Fancies is the link-up for you. The themes are only a suggestion--any and every outfit is welcome! Click here to join the mailing list and be in the know each and every week :)

Whether you're hitting the slopes or staying cozy this weekend, I hope you have a marvelous one! Many thanks to each and every one of you linking up this week. The #FridaysFancies crew is the best around, hands down. See you next week!! xoxo {av}