monday smiles.

autumn... the year's last, loveliest smile.

After a few rough weeks, I made my way to Durham, North Carolina to spend one last quiet weekend away before baby {v} arrives. Surrounded by three of my closest girlfriends, it was one of those weekends which will forever be written on my heart. I know my world is about to change in a big way, but it is such a comfort to know that some things will always remain the same. Though I may lack sisters, baby {v} will have no shortage of loving and doting aunties. They proved that this weekend.

This wasn't my first trip to Durham, but we did visit a number of new-to-me places worthy of a look if you're in town. Let's just say that baby {v} ate very well this weekend. I wish FedEx could deliver Pizzeria Toro to my door on a weekly basis, along with a few amazing bites from Mateo. As always, Parker and Otis hit it out of the park with their brunch  {and their amazing gallery wall seen above}.  

Autumn hadn't quite hit Durham, but we pretended it had with a trip to the pumpkin patch {as evidenced with those cute pumpkins at the top of this post}. The sunny weather also made a lovely picnic in the Sarah P. Duke Gardens possible. {I only wish I could have brought that warmth with me to Rhode Island. Waking up to temps in the 40s was a hard reality this morning!} I packed for cooler weather, so the bump looked rather autumnal. It is still crazy to see myself in pictures with this 31-week bump. Time is flying. 

As an aside: I've been paying extra attention to amazing stock-up sales in an attempt to dress the bump. As it cools down quickly in New England, finding pieces which will work now and later are most certainly on my radar. I have been living in this Splendid cardigan, which is now 25% off at Nordstrom. {I seriously want it in every color. It is so soft and machine washable. #winwin} Unless you've been living under a rock, I'm sure you know that the Tory Burch Friends + Family sale ends today... 25% off doesn't hurt anyone! Gap is also having a fabulous flash one-day sale: $45 off a purchase of $100+ online makes many of these gender neutral goodies extra affordable. Fall shopping doesn't have to kill your bank account after all ;)

A special thank you goes out to my girlfriends for making baby {v} and me feel so loved. If there is one thing I have learned in my 20s, it is this: investing in friendships is one of the best decisions you can ever make. The same applies to the readers of this blog: though posts have been sporadic lately, thank you for sticking with me. This is an unbelievably hectic but incredibly special time -- and it is a joy to have you along for the ride. Have a very happy week, everyone! xoxo {av}


  1. im so glad you had a fun girls trip! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

  2. Glad you were able to get in a girls' trip! Duke Gardens are amazing. It has been so many years since I have been there (I lived in Durham twice) - definitely want to get back there someday and take my kids. Have a great week!

  3. We always experienced Monday blues because weekends usually ends abruptly. Just like the students from resume centre usually feels, but the great thing about Mondays is that there is always new beginnings along the way.