$100 Rent The Runway Giveaway.

Hello again! I'm back with an incredible giveaway for my favorite readers. I refuse to host giveaways unless I would actually want to enter them myself. This $100 giveaway to Rent The Runway certainly qualifies! When their team contacted me, I knew immediately this was an opportunity I couldn't pass up. One winner will be chosen at random to receive a $100 e-gift certificate for use toward their next rental. With plenty of ways to enter, you can up your chances at scoring the big prize!

As a frequent renter, I can personally attest to the quality of their dresses and accessories, as well as their phenomenal customer service. With my baby bump, Rent The Runway continues to knock it out of the park. I rented this gorgeous Shoshanna dress for a wedding this weekend and still felt stylish--even if I don't feel like myself in clothing these days ;) If you find yourself the winner, get ready to pour over the site for hours on end to find the perfect dress for your next occasion--or have their team help you in a snap! FYI: this giveaway runs until Sunday, August 3rd, so don't wait to score your entries! Many thanks to Rent The Runway for making this giveaway possible. Best of luck! xoxo {av}

One winner will be chosen at random. All entrants must be residents of the United States, as Rent The Runway does not ship outside of the country. The giveaway winner will be notified via email at the completion of the giveaway. The winner will be emailed their gift certificate. The owner of this blog did not receive compensation or other reward for hosting this giveaway. The email collected at the start of the giveaway will not be shared and is simply collected for verification. Any questions or concerns can be shared with {av} via email.

boots on (sale) parade - part deux.

boots on (sale) parade via @nordstrom | #nsale
Since I moved to New England, I rely on boots from mid September to late March. Every year, I go on the hunt for beautiful boots. Last year's post showcased a few fantastic choices from Nordstrom and Piperlime, but I leaned wholly on the amazing Nordstrom Anniversary Sale for twelve fantastic options at all price points. These are current styles -- not ones which have been on the sale rack all summer. In my opinion, you'll never regret investing in a pair of boots you truly love. {I scored a pair last winter from J.Crew and I'm already excited to pull them out of the closet.} This year, I may need to add an over-the-knee boots to my collection. A few of the options below fit the bill perfectly--and won't get in the way of my baby bump ;) xoxo {av}

P.S. I promise a full update on our surprise babymoon to coastal California, but take a peek at the amazing adventure {cv} planned via my recent instagrams!

insta-update: summer 2014.

Is it me or is this summer flying by? I can't believe half of July is already in the books! Long after this summer is over, I will be grateful for the sunny summer shots in my Instagram feed. This corner of social media continues to hold a special place in my heart. I could blame my heightened nostalgia on pregnancy hormones, but I have always been a fan of walking down memory lane. I think that's the best part about Instagram: it makes a stroll down this wistful lane infinitely easier. With that in mind, here are a few of my favorite snaps from my feed over the last six weeks or so...

I added some serious sparkle to my rotation since the beginning of summer. A statement necklace and a pretty pair of sandals {similar here} have helped to jazz up my shrinking closet. I also scored this serious steal at TJ Maxx and felt like a real #maxxinista. {For those interested, I promise a full post on my maternity wardrobe soon, so hang tight!}

Since Memorial Day weekend, {cv} and I have been busy bees. From the Jersey Shore to Cape Cod, we have covered a lot of ground in the last few weeks. The next month or so is no exception. With a surprise babymoon, a Midwestern swing, and a Martha's Vineyard weekend on tap, we are squeezing in a lot before baby {v} graces us with his or her presence! I also think it will provide for some fab Insta-opps ;)

My streak of consecutive 10,000-step days continues! Stumbling on new neighborhood gems make my daily strolls even better. The snaps from these walks will always bring back lovely memories of these quiet days. 

If this little blog is quiet for the next few days, don't worry: hop over to Instagram and take a little vacation with {cv} and me! We leave on Thursday morning on our surprise babymoon. This season in our life together is one I will always cherish. He has worked so hard to make this trip unforgettable--and I can't wait to see what he has up his sleeve. {I only know the average temperatures and that the destination is one plane flight away!} The anticipation is killing me, but the adventure which awaits will be worth it. More soon! xoxo {av}

friday's fancies: july.

an outfit perfect for summer nights.

shop the post here: J.Crew Linen Swingy Stripe Tee | Topshop Asymmetric Skort | Sole Society Jenny Slingback Wedge Sandals | Tory Burch 54mm Sunglasses | BaubleBar x Stripes & Sequins Cape Knot Collar | Bobbi Brown Beach Eau de ParfumNARS The NARSissit Cheek KitKate Spade Cedar Street Perforated Monday Crossbody Bag

A very happy Friday to you! I'm back with this month's round of Friday's Fancies, centered around a look for summer nights. Though this skort wouldn't work with my current bump situation, I liked how the faux skirt look took this ensemble from afternoon to evening. It would be perfect for a date night out at one of our Providence favorites. Stripes are a perennial favorite in my wardrobe, so this linen top is definitely on my list. Feel free to add your latest summer looks below--the link-up will be open through the end of July! Friday's Fancies isn't just for Fridays anymore ;) Have a great weekend! xoxo {av}

fast + easy pregnancy skincare routine.

fast + easy pregnancy skincare routine.
(this post is not sponsored by Mama Mio--I just love their products that much.)

Disclaimer: A few of you have inquired about how my skincare routine has changed in pregnancy. This post is for you! I am not a medical professional, so don't take my words as gospel. If you are pregnant {or ever have been pregnant}, I would love to hear about your favorite pregnancy skincare tips. If you're not pregnant {but would like to be one day}, you might want to pin this for future reference. If you're not pregnant {and don't see that in your future}, I promise non-pregnancy posts in the coming days ;)

Before bedtime:
-I cleanse my face using my Clarisonic Mia and my favorite Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser. {This was a part of my pre-pregnancy routine as well.} I find that my skin is much drier and more prone to breakouts in pregnancy, so I like to use my Mia often to try and ward off blemishes. The Clarins cleanser has a soft and pleasant smell, which has never caused me any nausea in pregnancy.
-After sporting some pretty pimples for a few weeks, I was happy to discover the Belli Acne Control Spot Treatment. It doesn't contain salicylic acid {one of the ingredients I have chosen to avoid in pregnancy} and smells a bit like the organic skincare aisle at Whole Foods. In other words, it is unoffensive and very natural.
-As most pregnant women do, I extensively researched stretch mark creams. Most of my research pointed toward genetics--not stretch mark cream--as the predictor for whether you'd earn your pregnancy "stripes". My mother did not have any stretch marks after I was born, so I'm hoping I end up with the same fate. Even still, I wanted to stay moisturized because of the itchiness and discomfort which comes with the stretching skin of pregnancy. My research {and sensitive sniffer} all pointed to Mama Mio. At night, I use a few pumps of the Mama Mio The Tummy Rub Oil on my belly and rear. After oiling up, I use one {or sometimes two} pumps of the Mama Mio Pregnancy Boob Tube on my "ladies" all the way up to my neck. I can't get enough of the light lemon smell--and {cv} doesn't complain either.
-Word to the wise: bring your pajamas into the bathroom with you as you slather on this Mama Mio goodness. Bringing the lemony smell to the bedroom isn't a terrible thing, but I personally want to avoid getting oil all over our sheets. If you sleep in your birthday suit, you can make your own call here ;)

After a shower (or in the morning):
-Mama Mio recommends two treatments daily, but I tend to reach for a different product in the mornings than I do at night. Before I pop on my outfit for the day, I take a fair amount of Mama Mio The Tummy Rub Butter and go to town from my neck to my bum. This stuff doesn't mess around--it truly lasts all day. I kid you not: when I change into my workout clothes after a crazy day at work, I can still feel the moisture from my Mama Mio Butter. I'm also thrilled it has helped me avoid excess itchiness and discomfort. As weird as it sounds, I will be the first to admit that I actually enjoy the time I spend rubbing on my belly. {I feel like I'm bonding!} 
-Worth mentioning {but not spending more time reviewing here}: I have been even more diligent about my sunscreen use during pregnancy. As if my previous melanoma didn't kick me into sunscreen mode, the fear of melanoma did. Whether you're pregnant or not, it is vitally important to stay on top of your SPF. Click here for an extensive guide to my favorite sunscreens.
-As an aside, I take my showers in the morning--thanks to my crazy curly hair. I always run the Clarisonic + Clarins play in the shower, so I'm often cleansing my face twice a day. If you're more of a night shower lady, I would still subscribe to the "before bedtime" routine and use this morning routine before you get dressed.

The long descriptions may have you scared, but I promise you that my pregnancy skincare routine is fast and easy. It may not be the cheapest routine in the world, but for me, it is worth it. I am a low-maintenance beauty girl, so I don't mess around with lots of different products. I find what I like and stick to it. My pre-bedtime routine takes less than five minutes; my morning routine barely takes two. I'll take that!

If you're pregnant now or ever have been, I would love to hear about your own pregnancy skincare routine. I know plenty of other options exist, so I am always eager to hear what worked for others. If I've learned one thing in pregnancy, it is that I'm not the first person to be pregnant--nor will I be the last. Sharing information is the best method for maintaining my expectant mother sanity! Can't wait to hear your two cents... xoxo {av}

barton build: weeks two to five.

I hope you all had a marvelous 4th of July weekend! After a week away from the blog, I am excited to be back with another update on our house build process. Since my last #bartonbuild post, it is mind-blowing to see how far we have come in the last three weeks. As our builder promised, things have started to take shape. Even better, we actually have something today which resembles a house!

I drive by our lot frequently during the week because it is in my territory for work. I feel like a serious creeper when I stop for photos, but sometimes, I bring cookies to our crew and feel a little less creepy. We have been incredibly grateful for a mostly sunny June. The biggest rain delay we could have encountered fell on the 4th of July weekend {thanks to Tropical Storm Arthur}. When we stopped by the build on our way home from Cape Cod, we were relieved and excited to see zero damage and even more progress. Most of the rooms have actually been framed out inside, so it is exciting to walk through our house and get a better idea on how everything works spatially. We couldn't be more in love with how it is all turning out. 

As an aside, the structure on the left side of the house is {not surprisingly} our garage. We decided on a 2.5 car garage to help accommodate {cv}'s bicycling obsession. No, it does not mean that our garage has two and a half doors; it just means that our two-car garage door is shifted slightly to one side for more space to house road bikes and lawn mowers. 

Though there are a few big things which need to happen before the house looks more like the one on our plans, I'm thrilled to say that the #bartonbuild is progressing right alongside my baby bump. All in all, we are counting our blessings for minimal headaches so far. I have a feeling the updates will soon be much less exciting once the framing is complete, but I promise to keep you posted on the progress. Have a fantastic start to your week--and thanks for following along! xoxo {av}