friday's fancies #135.

Happy Friday, friends! Nailing the beachy chic look is a true summer dilemma. In order to increase the inspiration and lessen the anxiety for every bathing beauty, this week of Friday's Fancies is devoted to getting beach ready! I can't wait to sport something similar next week for the 4th of July :)

Calypso St. Barth One Shoulder Swimsuit  //  Warby Parker Downing Sunglasses in Walnut Tortoise
Jack Rogers Palm Beach Navajo Midwedge Sandals // Mar Y Sol Adelaide Tote {30% off!}

Join in the #FridaysFancies fun! If you blogged about fashion this week, your post is positively welcome. The themes are only a suggestion to get your creative gears turning. Sign up for the {newly revamped} newsletter to get those themes in your inbox every week! As always, I'll send this little love note to my loyal Friday's Fancies linkers: you make even the crazy weeks worth it for me. Thank you for always inspiring and encouraging me to do even more. I'm biased....but if you're not a part of this little family, you should be.

We're finally greeting our movers on Saturday morning, so I imagine this weekend will be quite a whirlwind. We may not be ready just yet, but we'll get there {at least I'm telling myself we will}. If you do hit the beach this weekend, please don't forget your sunscreen. I'll see you all on Monday! xoxo {av}

P.S. Click here to see how to follow {long distance loving} after the Google Reader cliff :) Do it now!

say it ain't so.

The July 1st deadline to transition from Google Reader to another service is ever-present in the blog world this week. I'm trying to lighten the sadness of Google Reader's exit with this pretty snap from last Friday ;)

I hope you'll decide to stick with {long distance loving} for the long haul! If you haven't chosen your next feed reader, I happened upon this extensive list of options via LifeHacker. Simply add this link: to whatever option works best for you. If you don't read blogs with a "reader" of sorts, then keep on doing what you're doing!

As always, you can also keep up with {long distance loving} using a plethora of social media outlets--including but not limited to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and even Google+. You can also follow along via email by clicking here! Last but certainly not least, you can catch every post using Bloglovin' by clicking here.

What "reader" will be using after July 1st? I've created a number of different accounts using Feedly and Bloglovin'--I just haven't made my final decision. I do apologize I am not sharing a more creative post today, but it is a necessary one! See you on Friday for a beachy round of #FridaysFancies! xoxo {av}

embrace your imperfections.

Truth be told, I am still on my "high" from Alt Summit NYC. I understand it sounds a bit cliché, but it is the absolute truth. Being surrounded by inspiring people from every corner of the country {and world} isn't something that happens often. When it does, I make every effort to soak up as much as I can. In this case, it may take me a few posts to adequately capture my takeaways from Alt. My first takeaway came from Alt's closing keynote speaker, Garance Doré. In her fabulous French way, she touched my heart--and offered a poignant everyday reminder for me, the queen of all perfectionists:

At a certain point, we all have to step back and realize we don't know it all. We can't be it all. These imperfections are what make us unique. The blog world can often feel like one big hamster wheel of competition, but in the long run, the only person you should be in "competition" with is yourself. 

My nerdy quirks make me different--and for once, I'm not trying to shed them just to "fit in". The blog world can have a tendency to feel a bit like high school: the cool kids sit in one table {and have their inside jokes on Twitter}, the artsy kids all hang out in another corner {and curate joint Pinterest boards} get the picture. What I took away from Garance Doré was that this doesn't matter. AT ALL. The sooner we stop trying to fit ourselves into a particular bucket, the better our blogs {and lives} will be. I wish I could have told myself this when I actually was in high school, but I digress. I'll leave you with this...

This is my thank you note to all of you, whether you've been following for days, months, or years: 
You are so much more than a reader to me. You are a friend. You take time out of your day to spend with me, be it reading one of my posts or pinning from Pinterest. However you spin it, you're there. There are plenty of times when I question why I blog--and the answer is reading this post. YOU. Thank you for giving me a little place on the internet to call home--and one where I can finally feel comfortable to be me, nerdy quirks and all. Thanks again for the advice, Garance! Much love to each of you today and every day. 
xoxo {av}


friday's fancies #134.

A quick hello to readers old + new! After a fantastic day at Alt NYC, I'm enjoying a little more of the New York sunshine before hopping a bus back to Rhode Island. I have plenty to share, but today's post isn't about Alt Summit: it's about #FridaysFancies! Since today is the first day of summer, it is only right to celebrate with a true summer outfit. With a bold pop of color, this outfit is absolutely summer weekend material.

Madewell Silk Bow-Back Tank   ||   J.Crew Denim Shorts in Patina Wash
(shh...30% off everything at J.Crew through 6/24/13 with code THEBEST!)

Did you blog about fashion this week or have you posted a recent summer wish list? If so, please add your link below! All fashion posts are welcome. There are no rules to this link-up! If you'd like to get the themes in your inbox every Monday, simply click here to sign up. The themes are just a way to get your creative juices flowing, but as always, the sky is the limit with your posts!

Soak up the first real weekend of summer for me--I'll be inside packing four years worth of our stuff for the big move! Most importantly, don't forget your sunscreen ;) See you all on Monday! xoxo {av}


alt nyc bound!

It's finally time for Alt Summit NYC! For nearly three months, I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of Thursday, June 20th. It has been a dream of mine to attend the festivities at their flagship conference in Salt Lake City, but NYC will have to do for now. I am counting the minutes until they open the doors of the Martha Stewart headquarters on Thursday morning! {It feels a lot like Christmas!}

{image credit: Daniel Schwen}

My outfits are planned and my business cards are at the ready. I am itching to see the magic they have in store! The speakers are absolutely out of this world and my fellow attendees are serious rockstars. I am more than a little nervous about being up to "par" with the Alt crowd, but I know I have to push my limits and take the leap. I feel like Alt will be the push I need to really make things happen!

If you're not there, don't worry! You can keep tabs on all the magic via Instagram and Twitter
The hashtags #altsummit and #altnyc are sure to be treasure troves of Alt Summit goodness.

If you are there, keep your eyes peeled for me--I'd love to meet you :) I'm the short girl with the big laugh!
Here is my "virtual" business card to continue our real-life and online friendship:
INSTAGRAM: @amv529   ||   TWITTER: @luvfromafar   ||   PINTEREST: @luvfromafar

I'll see you back here on Friday with to celebrate the first day of summer with #FridaysFancies! xoxo {av}

good day sunshine.

Nearly three years ago, I made a happy {and pricey} discovery while roaming the makeup aisle in Nordstrom: the Clarins counter. Though I am far from a beauty product junkie, I fell head over heels for their products. The pricetags may be steep, but I include it in my beauty budget. Why? I'm considering it a long-term investment in my skin and a short-term investment in my happiness.

Last week, I ran out of my Clarins Multi-Active Early Wrinkle Cream, so I knew a trip to Nordstrom was in order. This cream has been my go-to for years now, so I knew right where to find it. Imagine my surprise when I found a much taller, slimmer bottle to the right of it which also had SPF! I was ecstatic. Cue the entry of Clarins Multi-Active Early Wrinkle Correcting Lotion with SPF 15 in my daily routine. 

Many moisturizers with SPF cause me to break out, so I was anxious to see how my skin would respond. After a week, I am happy to say this $58 investment was worth every cent. I haven't had any blemishes {outside of the "ohmygoshwe'removing" ones}. Because of the pump feature, I find this lotion bottle much easier to "ration" than the cream jar. The amazing smell remained the same in both formulations, so color me happy yet again. Above all, the SPF on a daily basis is absolutely essential for me. Eliminating a step by combining my daily moisturizer and an SPF will save me time in the mornings--and keep me safe at the same time. It's a definite win-win.

What investments do you make in your beauty routine? Do you have another favorite lotion with SPF in it? Share your secrets, friends! xoxo {av}

friday's fancies #133.

A very happy Friday to you! {cv} and I will be making the trek to Indiana for our final wedding in 2013. After three weddings in four weeks, it will feel a little strange not to belt out Piano Man or have burning quads while dancing to SHOUT!  Thankfully, Rent The Runway has had my back this wedding season--helping me feel like a princess whether in a church pew and on the dance floor.

This outfit is nearly identical to the one I'll be sporting to my dear friends' fiesta on Saturday night. I didn't rent the clutch, but I did rent the dress and the earrings! I cannot wait to get to the hotel and get my paws on this little number. Without further ado, here is my wedding guest chic look...

to rent from Rent The Runwaythe dress + the earrings + the clutch = $105
to buy: the dress + the earrings + the clutch  = $535

finishing touches: 

Did you blog about fashion this week? If so, you're welcome for #FridaysFancies. Following the theme is not required. It's only there to get your creative juices flowing! Click here to join the Friday's Fancies mailing list

Are you in the thick of wedding season? How do you manage multiple weddings in one summer/year?

Lots of love to my loyal Friday's Fancies linkers--you ladies keep me sane in the midst of a crazy month :) Thank you! If you want to see this outfit in action, keep your eyes on Instagram. Until Monday... xoxo {av}

NOTE: I am not sponsored by Rent The Runway. I just love their service that much. For real.

lucite love.

When we moved into our current apartment four years ago, we had no semblance of home styling. It truly was a hodge-podge of furniture from post-college and singledom. Admittedly, I should have invested more time in our decor, but other things took precedence. My intention is to redeem myself in our new home--starting with a few touches of lucite {the hard clear acrylic material which makes the goodness below possible!}. 

from top left:

{cv} isn't biting for something like a lucite coffee table, but I might be able to convince him I need the vapor chair for my home office. Time will tell ;) The good news is that I can incorporate this rockin' material without investing a true arm and a leg. The honest truth is that I want something more on the timeless end of design, so picking something much more modern may not feel right in the long run.

Have you taken the clear plunge? If you've fallen in love with lucite, share your stories here!

Though it does have a certain modern flair, I love how it can act as the perfect bridge from old to new. For more of the inspiration behind this post, take a peek at my virtual apartment inspiration board or my latest Houzz ideabook! Have a marvelous Wednesday, friends! xoxo {av}

you say goodbye.

For nearly two years, I have posted about our journey toward home ownership. About eight weeks ago, I posted about our sheer excitement: we were a month away from breaking ground on our beautiful new home. In the ensuing two months, the market has made itself known and our build is now on hold for the conceivable future. After purchasing the land last fall, you can only imagine how frustrating these developments have been. Sadly, we can't camp out on our little piece of Rhode we're moving!

In the blogging world, it often feels like everything goes perfectly for everyone. {Am I the only one who feels this way?!} In our case, things did not go the way we'd hoped. Few people seem to talk about those experiences--and I will admit that sharing our "failure" has caused more anxiety than it should.
Now that our move--rather than our build--is on the table, I can breathe an enormous sigh of relief. I can be honest and say that blogging four times a week in the midst of our move just isn't realistic. I would much rather produce three quality posts than four that are a bit thrown together. Friday's Fancies will live on, of course, but I have to spend the rest of June making sure we make the move, all while juggling my day job, this blog, and life

On top of everything else, I am one of the most sentimental people you will ever meet. {cv} and I ended our long distance years when we moved into this apartment. We've lived here for four years--and it truly is home. We started married life in this apartment. We lost our little Lucy in this apartment. We have spent more years here than we have in any place since we left for college. Though I'm thrilled to be moving to a better part of town in a gorgeous new apartment, a small part of me feels incredibly sad to say goodbye.

Though the house may not be in the cards this year, it will be in the future. We were financially ready this year, but the market was not. It is hard to accept, but I'm beyond excited to start this new adventure with {cv}. Sharing this news with you isn't the easiest admission, but it's one I have to make. In the eight weeks since I learned this news, I've struggled the most with how to tell all of you, so finally getting this out is such a relief. You'll get to see some fun progress in the next few months as we transition from one place to another. Get excited. Until then, I appreciate your understanding and encouragement as we close one chapter--and start another.

Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your endless support. Thank you for making me realize everything happens for a reason--even though it's hard to see right now. Thank you. 

I'm learning that saying hello is the best way to go. xoxo {av}

P.S. You can follow along with my new apartment inspiration on Pinterest :)

friday's fancies #132.

With summer sunshine in full force, it is only right to devote a round of Friday's Fancies to some serious sunnies! Though I had a hard time narrowing down my favorite pair, I'm positively loving the shape of these Stella McCartney shades. This outfit would be perfect for a summer happy hour, don't you think? 
Did you blog about fashion this week? If so, you're welcome for Friday's Fancies! The themes are only suggestions to get your creative juices flowing. You're welcome to link up whatever you like! Click here to join the weekly mailing list and get the themes in your inbox every Monday. The loyal linkers of Friday's Fancies are sure to welcome you with open arms!

Are you a fan of the shorts + heels look--or do you stick to flats?? 

Though Tropical Storm Andrea may be raining buckets, I don't mind. I am aching for a quiet weekend to get my head on straight in the midst of wedding season! Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy summer schedules to link up with Friday's Fancies. You make this blogging world a happy one for me. I'll see you on Monday! xoxo {av}


the future's so bright.

You need shades. It is summer, after all. Though I'm a huge fan of the classic Ray-Ban Wayfarers, I branched out a bit this spring when I found this pair of Kate Spade sunnies at their outlet. Reasonably priced + cute = a win-win for me :) Take a peek below to see ten of the newest tortoise frames which caught my eye...

from top:

Are you a fan of tortoise or black sunglasses--or can you not choose a favorite?
I can't wait to see your shades tomorrow for another fun round of #FridaysFancies! As always, all fashion posts are welcome--so be ready to link yours up at midnight :) xoxo {av}


summer style pass.

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Rent The Runway. When I caught wind of their Summer Style Pass,  I knew I had to share it with all of you. In the last three weeks, I've attended two weddings, two rehearsal dinners, a bachelorette party, and a bridal luncheon. Thanks to Rent The Runway, I looked infinitely more fashionable for all of them. Forgive my grainy photos to see my favorite looks from the past three weeks...

{find this dress here!}

{find this dress here + necklace here!}

Though we round out our wedding season in two weeks, I'm tempted to cash in on this deal for other fashionable fun throughout the summer. It's really too good to be true. A dress + an accessory for under $75 and free shipping + insurance? They might as well give these rentals away.

As a loyal Rent The Runway customer, I cannot speak more highly of their service. It makes flying to a wedding {or any other celebration} far from home infinitely less stressful. Why? The dress is literally waiting for you upon your arrival--and your suitcase is a little lighter as a result. Who can argue with that? Take advantage of the second size--and you're golden for a little vacation calorie splurge too ;)

What weddings or other celebrations do you have on the books this summer? 
How do you manage multiple celebrations in quick succession? xoxo {av}

P.S. I am not sponsored by Rent The Runway. I just love their service. Truth.

rolling with the punches.

After an incredible nine days away, {cv} and I began our homeward trek toward Providence last night. Unfortunately, we had an extra long layover {otherwise known as a cancelled flight!} in Charlotte. You won't find me complaining about a night in one of my most beloved cities, but I wasn't planning to take another vacation day today. Weather and maintenance issues dictated otherwise...

{photo from yesterday's spontaneous trip to Hilton Head!}

Rolling with the travel punches--and all of life's other "surprises"--is not generally my forte. I'm the girl with a plan. Sometimes though, the best laid plans are meant to be broken. While lamenting to {cv} about going back to reality after our time away, I wished for a day to just recover from all of our travel craziness. You know what? I got the extra day I wanted, though I didn't quite pick it for myself. As I round out the first week of my 28th year, I've decided this year is going to all about rolling with the punches. Life is way too short to take another route. 

Thank you for sticking with me while my posting has been sparse--I'll be back in full force very soon :) Enjoy your Monday! I'll be soaking up as much of this unexpected day out of work as possible. xoxo {av}