Sunsets and Sandy Toes…

Sunsets and Sandy Toes…

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone! We managed to make it to another weekend!

This week got progressively more hectic at work as the days wore on, and with the first half of the week being filled with a lot of rain- I started to get a little stir crazy at home and in my office. Luckily, I managed to find some downtime to break up the monotony with a couple of visits to Western Massachusetts (where I’ve been treated to lovely dinners and some incredible chocolate chunk cookies from Insomnia Cookies courtesy of my dear friend Troy.)

I also managed to clear a bit of my schedule and find a lovely spot at “The Wall” at North Beach in New Hampshire for myself to catch one of the most breathtaking of sunsets I’d ever seen after the clouds had cleared for a while.

The area is settled right across the street from one of my favorite surf shops- Cinnamon Rainbows– who are always open late. Once the sun had vanished and the stars were out, I popped by for a few minutes to browse bikinis and boards. I get paid today, and I have a feeling some of that money is going to be used at the shop this coming weekend while “Treat Yo’Self 2018” rages on. They have the cutest clothes!

Today is my half day at work, so by noon I’ll be out of my office, changing out of my heels and my dress into shorts and sneakers- and running some errands before it’s time to launch into my weekend. I have boat-related plans over the next couple of days (if the sun can stick around!) involving checking out some lighthouses around Boston Harbor, a possible burger date in my hometown at one of my favorite spots to eat- and I’ll be cooking up a *ton* of buffalo chicken wings for my friend Phill’s annual ‘Summer Slam’ party in Salem on Sunday night!

As always, I’ll have my recap up at some point next week (alongside a great chicken recipe I stumbled across)– and you can follow-along my journey(s) over at my INSTAGRAM.

Here’s wishing you all an amazing, safe and sunny weekend! Remember to take some time for yourself to decompress- and stay hydrated. It’s hot out there!

See you all on Monday!

xx

– Ashley –

OOTD: She’s a Rainbow…

OOTD: She’s a Rainbow…

Good Morning and Happy “Hump Day” everyone!

Two OOTD (Outfit of The Day) posts in one week? As Summer winds down and I try to get as much wear out of my hotter-months-wardrobe as possible, I have more and more pieces and ensembles to share before they go back into storage and I have to break out my sweaters and boots for the Fall again!

It goes without saying that I wear a *lot* of brighter colors in the Spring/Summer- and when I stumbled on this bright purple mini-skirt in my closet last week, I knew I had to find a top bold enough to pair with it. This multi-colored, striped, billowy blouse I picked up a couple of years ago (and typically wear with jeans and flip flops when I’m out running errands) was perfect.

Not only do the shades remind me of the tropics with the aquas, pinks and green/yellows- but I can wear my go-to flowered sandals for the Summer and look seasonal while staying comfortable at the office or out with my friends after a long day at work.

As far as makeup goes, I always believe in keeping it simple for the Summer- and turned to a tangerine-toned lipstick from Maybelline I had picked up back in May in preparation for the season. My nails are presently a really bright sea green color, too- so I didn’t think any jewelry was necessary. As much fun as I have in this outfit- I didn’t want to over-do it.

I’m going to miss this top and the skirt so much when I have to put them away again for the Fall/Winter.

But I digress. On Friday, before I head out for the weekend- I’m taking a look back on the past few days (including beach trips, rainy day hangouts and some late night cookie cravings)– and preparing to share a couple more recipes and Summer spots around New England while it’s still hot enough outside to enjoy them!

Enjoy your Wednesday, everyone! We’re almost to the end of the week!

xx

– Ashley –

OOTD: Polka Dot Pin-Up

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

The weekend never feels quite long enough for me. Especially when it rains most of the time. Although the cooler temperatures were a nice break from the stifling heat and humidity we’ve been dealing with as of late- having to spend the majority of my days off indoors or beneath an umbrella can feel like a waste during the Summertime!

Yesterday afternoon, the sun came out just long enough between torrential downpours for me to enjoy a quick brunch with friends. Having spent the majority of Saturday in yoga pants and a hoodie to run errands- I wanted to dress up a bit- and found this navy blue, polka-dotted pin-up number from Betsey Johnson I had been gifted after a fashion show a few years ago in the back of my closet.

The dress, which still fits like a glove (and I’m so thrilled that it does!) has a fitted bodice, with a zipper up the side- and flowing skirt that accentuates my figure and gives me a fun, vintage pin-up look.

Although my sense of style continues to evolve and change as time goes by and I get older, dresses like these- which draw inspiration from some of my all-time favorite fashion icons like Bettie Page and Tura Satana- will always be welcome additions to my wardrobe and worn as often as possible.

And, with any pin-up-style dress, they can be easily accessorized with simple pearl earrings, or a pearl necklace- and comfortable pump shoes. You can’t see my pearl earrings underneath my hair, but my navy pumps (re-used from a previous Peggy Carter cosplay for Comic-Con!) matched the dress perfectly.

Finally, with a few coats of mascara and a swipe of my red/orange cream lipstick I’ve been wearing all Summer- I was ready to go.

I’m looking forward to wearing this dress a little later on this week for post-office dinner and cocktails since it’s pretty versatile! It’s work-appropriate (with my little white cardigan fastened over it to keep me covered and protected when the office AC is on full blast) and will look so cute when I’m out on the town at night!

But with yet another Monday underway, I’ve got to get started on catching up on my e-mails, voicemails, and cases- as is my usual Monday morning routine. I’m already anxious for Friday to get here and I’m hoping for a sunnier week ahead!

Here’s wishing you all a wonderful start to your week. I hope this Monday is easy on you!

xx

– Ashley –

Backyard BBQ Recipes: 15-Minute Skillet Pepper Steak

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone! We made it to another weekend! Celebrate!

Today is my half day at work, and then once I’m out of my office- it’s off to lunch in the city with some friends and getting a jump start on my plans for the next couple of days. Not that I’m counting down to noon or anything, right?

Before I wrap up a couple of things I put off until the last possible minute and race out the door-I thought I’d share a quick, mess-free and pretty convenient recipe for those of you who- like me- are doing their best to savor the last of these final Summer days with as many backyard BBQs and cookouts with friends/family as you can fit into your schedule!

If you’ve got 15 minutes to spare and some steak and vegetables on hand, you can whip up this on-the-fly dinner recipe with no hassle and feed everyone in no time at all!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 12 ounces top round beef, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil (or other neutral oil), divided
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1½ teaspoons crushed red-pepper flakes
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • ½ white onion, thinly slices
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
  • Sesame seeds, as needed for finishing (this is completely optional. I skipped using these this time around because I didn’t want them to get stuck in my teeth!)

READY? HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Season the steak with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the steak to the skillet and stir-fry until browned on the exterior but not fully cooked, about 2 minutes.
  2. Transfer the steak to a medium bowl. Add the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and crushed red-pepper flakes. Toss well to combine.
  3. In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add the peppers and onion in an even layer. Cook, tossing occasionally, until just tender, about 4 minutes.
  4. Push the peppers and onion to one side of the skillet and return the steak to the other side of the skillet. Cook for 2 minutes. Stir the garlic into the peppers and cook for 1 minute more.
  5. Garnish the steak with scallions and sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

I’m a carnivore through and through- and I love burgers, steaks, chicken wings, etc. during the Summer. The steak was filled with so much flavor- and I added a little extra soy sauce to the vegetables after the fact to give them an additional kick, as well.

This dinner was filling for sure- but afterwards I didn’t feel gross or like I ate too much. It was just the right portion size!

I’d actually like to incorporate some grilled corn (my favorite!) the next time I cook up this recipe for guests in order to add even more flavors and textures to it. You can’t really go wrong with the vegetable choices, after all!

But I’ve got to head out and get to work. I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your Fri-yay and a fantastic weekend!

See you all on Monday!

xx

– Ashley –

Funk and Frosting…

Good Morning and Happy Hump Day, everyone!

This week has been filled with phone calls and meetings, and as we kick off the halfway mark to Friday- the momentum is still going strong. I’ve got so much to do today, and then immediately after work it’s off to a date in Western Massachusetts to decompress and relax with good company.

Although this past weekend took an unexpected turn with some wild weather and a F1 tornado dropping by my mother’s neighborhood for a couple of minutes- I still managed to find some time to take in a bit of impromptu live music, indulge in the sweeter things, and even pamper myself a bit.

On Saturday night, after recovering from the shock of the storm that ripped through the area- I headed back out towards Beverly to grab a couple of drinks and catch a George Clinton show at the Cabot Theater. One of my friends had rounded up a handful of tickets to the show and thought it would be a fun way to pass an evening. He was right- although the show itself was a bit… Unusual?

There was so much happening all at once and a lot of noise so it was a bit difficult to differentiate one song from the next (especially with 20 people on stage at any given time)– but everyone was in good spirits and the inside of the venue was really beautiful- so it all evened out and it was worth the price of admission. It was a unique experience for sure!

On Sunday morning, while nursing an unexpected-and-not-hangover-related migraine that seemed to materialize out of nowhere first thing in the A.M.- I opted to treat myself to some “Unicorn Poop” (yes, that’s the real name) cupcakes courtesy of Whoopie-Doo & Cupcakes, Too! while I was passing through the Sturbridge area. The cupcakes were *almost* too pretty to eat- with the rainbow swirled frosting, edible glitter and rich chocolate cake- but I powered through my remorse once I tasted how delicious they were.

And sure enough- my headache went away shortly afterwards!

Sunday afternoon and evening was all about errands and preparing for this most busy of work weeks- while also sneaking in an aqua-colored mani/pedi combo- but I’m looking forward to doing some more cooking this week (I have a great steak recipe to share on Friday morning before we break for the weekend!) and spending some long overdue time at the beach this coming Friday/Saturday- if the weather holds up, of course.

And Sunday is going to be all about Boston Comic-Con! I’m really looking forward to visiting some of my favorite local vendors and artists since I’ve been out of the circuit for a few months (I love to cosplay and attend the panels, meet and greets, etc.- but sometimes a girl just needs a break now and then!)

Expect a lot of pictures here and on my social media over the next few days!

But we’ve still gotta’ make it through this week- so I’m going to dial it back a bit and just say that I hope you all have a wonderful and stress-free Wednesday- and I’ll see you all on Friday!

Don’t spoil your appetites, either- because the recipe I have planned for Friday’s post is one of my favorites for the late Summertime!

xx

– Ashley –