OOTD: Blossoms and Bell Sleeves

OOTD: Blossoms and Bell Sleeves

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone!

While I prepare for the launch of my radio show this weekend and line up my planned posts for next week as we get ready to wrap up the month of March (how?!)– I haven’t forgotten to keep things bright, cheery and as “Spring-y” as possible with my current wardrobe and accessory choices- even when the temperatures have occasionally dipped back into the more frigid digits these past couple of days.

Earlier this week I looked to an old favorite top I had picked up years ago while vacationing in Southern California to give me some much-needed color when the sky and the world around me was looking particularly gray as Winter continues to keep it’s tight stranglehold on us here in New England.

I can’t remember exactly which store in San Diego I had purchased this breezy, bell-sleeved floral half-shirt- only that I was wearing it out for a date and paired it with skinny jeans and a tank top underneath it. I still wear it that way to this day- opting for a glittery and dusty rose colored tank this time- although this most recent wear was for work and not for a date purposes.

Not pictured are the dusty rose kitten heels I wore with this shirt to give myself a little bit of height and my feet a break from boots for a day! I simply cannot wait any longer to break out my flats and my sneakers again!

And, side note- I love the small and unexpected details with this top- particularly the crochet neckline. It makes what is already a cute top feel a bit more elegant and appropriate to wear to more “dressier” events. I would just swap the skinny jeans for an equally breezy skirt, instead!

Next week on ‘Blondie Birdie’ I’ve got some more photos from recent travel, a pretty incredible French Toast recipe- and my favorites from this past month (and there’s a couple of interesting things that made the list, for sure!)

But until then- here’s wishing you all a wonderful, warm and safe weekend. Be sure to tune into Indie617 tomorrow from 12-4 PM (EST) to catch my show!

See you all on Monday!

xx

– Ashley –

Bloom Where You’re Planted…

Bloom Where You’re Planted…

Good Morning, Happy “Hump Day” and Happy (official) First Day of Spring, everyone!

It seems fitting that the season of blossoming and blooming would start just as so many exciting new opportunities and changes are happening for me/around me right now. I know I always briefly mention how busy I am lately- but I really mean it! I’ve been going non-stop!

Back at the end of 2018, I had mentioned a couple of new projects I was preparing to start working on and had admittedly been excited to delve more into the details when the time was right. One project was for a radio station based out of Boston, and the other was for a family theater company based in the Pioneer Valley. Considering both of those projects are essentially on opposite sides of the state- I go back and forth fairly often!

I also maintain my full-time legal specialist position and still make sure to find time to spend with family and friends- all of whom are thankfully very understanding to my occasional time restrictions- so with everything finally coming to fruition and all the smaller, more intricate details being ironed out- it feels like I can relax much more easily now!

So, what’s the news?

Well, beginning this Saturday- I’ll be starting my very own weekly show on Indie617 from 12-4 PM where I’ll get to play the music I love, talk about upcoming shows, recap recent events around the city of Boston, etc. I’m so excited since I simply adore everyone at the station and have been having a blast popping by for occasional sit-downs/chats over the past couple of months during the “Morning Glory” show.

You can stream my show online at the website or download the Indie617 app (it’s free- so no excuses!)

Additionally, I’ve taken on the role of Marketing & Publicity Director at Paintbox Theatre– a company I have loved and held dear for a very long time now. The work that they do for children and families in the Pioneer Valley is beyond admirable and I’m so thrilled to be a part of all the fun, crazy, and adorable things they have planned for their upcoming Summer season!

Of course, working across and around the state has sort of grounded me in the New England area- which is funny considering it was around this time a year ago I was earnestly and vehemently talking about moving out to Las Vegas/Henderson, Nevada- and as I continue with my year of self-reflection and attempts at bettering myself by learning from past mistakes and missteps- I think that’s one flaw I need to tackle head on: my eagerness to move to a new location- sometimes places that are thousands of miles away from everything I’ve ever known or worked for- without addressing the reasons why.

First it was San Diego, and my main drive behind that was because I wanted to be closer to friends (and yes, a guy I liked at the time)– but I had never stopped to really consider career opportunities or the astronomical cost of living out there. Granted, where I live is on the pricier side as well- but I can still live and support myself without stretching myself out too thin.

I had just assumed my career could be easily transitioned across the county- but that wasn’t the case.

With my planned move to Las Vegas, my intentions were more fine-tuned- I wanted to live somewhere warm, close to my West Coast Wife, and in an area where the cost of living was infinitely more manageable (and I still do so much!)– but being so far away from my family, my friends and restarting a career over in a part of the country where the turnover rate of the population is nearly non-stop was a bit intimidating.

Plus, financial setbacks throughout 2018 kept delaying the process- and now here I am- finally getting my momentum back.

While Vegas/Henderson is not off the table by any means- I need to rebuild my foundation, first- and I need to do it here at home and by utilizing the aforementioned opportunities/projects I’ve taken on to build up both my finances and my resume (should I decide to switch career paths at any given time. I have to show I’m versatile!)

That means making the best of what I have here (“bloom where you’re planted”) for the time being- which includes potentially finding a less expensive place to live within the Pioneer Valley or outside of the city so I can better accomplish my short-term goals- and gradually work my way towards my long-term ones.

With smaller plans in play and these new projects keeping me occupied and focused- I can say with all sincerity that I’m excited for the future and looking forward to what’s ahead without any nervousness, uncertainty or anxiety- something that plagued me in the past when I was trying to relocate/reignite my life and passions.

And hopefully the future will be warmer here in New England real soon!

I’m off to play catch-up after an unexpected day off from work yesterday- and a little later on this week I’m dabbling with floral print again. I’ll have the photos to show you all what I mean!

Enjoy your Wednesday, everybody!

xx

– Ashley –

Festive Foodie: Mom’s Corned Beef

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

I didn’t forget that yesterday was Saint Patrick’s Day when I posted my “Spring Cleaning” update last Friday- but when you live in Massachusetts and St. Paddy’s falls on a weekend- the party sort of extends into the days leading up to and following the actual holiday until everyone eventually gets tired/hungover and collectively decide it’s time to pack it up until next year.

Such was the case this past weekend, which consisted of plenty of Irish breakfasts, brunches, celebratory parades and green-tinted everything. While I managed to avoid overzealous college students chugging green beer and people dressed like leprechauns loudly trying to trace back their family’s lineage to Ireland (as is tradition!)– there was one thing I made it a point not to skip- and that was my mom’s annual corned beef dinner.

My family isn’t Irish enough for it to actually count- but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate our Irish friends with a traditional meal of meat and vegetables. I asked my mom for her recipe to share here this week- and although she doesn’t actually measure out anything (it’s all from memory!)– she was kind enough to oblige and give her best “guest-imates” on how much of everything to use.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 1 corned beef brisket (point cut or flat cut)
  • 1 bag of red or yellow potatoes
  • 1 bag of carrots (whole or cut)
  • 1 head of green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup brown sugar

READY? HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Put corned beef in a pot, and cover with water and seasoning (optional.) Boil the corned beef until fork tender.
  2. Add potatoes, carrots and cabbage. Finish boiling under vegetables are tender.
  3. Heat oven to 400°F.
  4. Take the cooked corned beef and place it in a baking pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar on top and bake until the sugar is melted and a little crispy- about 20-25 minutes.
  5. Plate the corned beef with the vegetables and serve.

Now, admittedly the cabbage went right into the garbage because, you know- cabbage is gross– but everything else was delicious! I love tender carrots and potatoes- and the brown sugar that was added to the corned beef gave it a pleasantly surprising sweetness I hadn’t expected.

I hope that all of you who celebrated yesterday are recovering smoothly and that today is as easygoing as possible for you. Naturally, I’m back at work and keeping two steps ahead of everything (or trying to, anyway!) so this morning is all about answering e-mails, voicemails, and prioritizing tasks. Living the dream as always!

Here’s wishing us all a good week ahead. I’ll be back on Wednesday with my weekend recap!

xx

– Ashley –

Does It Spark Joy?

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

I’m on my lunch break and am admittedly running on fumes today. The past few days have been busy and the past few nights have been late and long- but I’ve been having such fun with friends and with being productive at a couple of my side jobs/projects. Tonight, to treat myself after work- I’ll be grabbing burgers and catching a screening of “Captain Marvel” with my crew from the office- and then I fully intend to rest and relax this coming weekend!

Amid the busy-ness this week, I’ve also gotten a head start on my Spring cleaning and have been using what little downtime I’ve had to clean out closets, bins, bags, etc. I’ve adopted the Marie Kondo “does it spark joy?” philosophy and have been putting together clothes/shoes for donations, tossing old or expired makeup, and getting rid of knick-knacks around my personal space that have been doing little more than collecting dust.

I’ve also been working on/off on keeping things tidy over here at ‘”Blondie Birdie.” That includes going through and testing links to make sure they still work properly, verifying that images are displaying correctly, getting caught up on e-mails and updating all of my contact information.

That includes finally opening a Facebook page for the blog. You can VIEW AND FOLLOW IT HERE. I promise, I won’t spam anyone with “Fit Tea” advertisements or invites to weird Pay-To-Play games. It’ll strictly be blog-related content!

In a couple of weeks I’m going to be linking my side projects here on the blog, as well- for those who want to participate or check in on all the craziness in the Pioneer Valley theater scene AND on the airwaves in Boston!

But that’s it for me this week. I’ve got to finish up at work. Thanks for everyone’s patience during the process. I’m looking forward to sharing a more streamlined and organized “Blondie Birdie”- with so much more fun content!

Enjoy your weekend, everybody!

xx

– Ashley –

Pastel Pinstripes…

Good Morning and Happy Wednesday, everyone!

It has been such a busy week so far- and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be calming down anytime soon! Between work, writing, a scheduled theater company meeting a little later on this afternoon and prepping for some radio work tomorrow evening- I’ve been going non-stop while simultaneously getting over a 24 hour stomach bug that swept through my office like wildfire earlier this week.

And despite feeling pretty awful on Monday- I did still manage to put together a cute outfit that added some much-needed color and brightness to my pale, cold and clammy skin while I was recovering and trying to get things done at the same time.

The first day of Spring might be a week away- but I’m pretty much forcing an early arrival by wearing pastels and anything floral as often as I can. My most recent attempt to summon the warmer weather (and it seems to be working, by the way!) was this pastel-striped blouse that ties in the front with a pair of skinny jeans and a larger-than-life pink flower necklace.

The blouse itself is revealing if you don’t wear anything underneath it- and seeing how this was what I wore to my office (while I was ill…) I opted to keep a basic white tank top under it to keep it work-appropriate- but I like that I can definitely play around with different colored tops under it, too- since there’s so many pastel hues I can match/coordinate it with!

And the necklace, while bold and fun- is admittedly a bit heavy- but you get used to it after a few minutes and from there you can barely notice it while you have it on!

I’m looking forward to wearing this outfit with one of my gauze or linen midi skirts and some sandals once the last of the snow finally melts- which I know won’t be for a little while longer- but it’s fun to plan those late Spring/early Summer outfits ahead of time.

I’m off to get some work done before I head out to the Pioneer Valley to continue efforts with one of my favorite side projects and meet up with some friends in the area. I’ll be back this coming Friday with some tips/tricks for Spring cleaning (and with a few updates on blog maintenance I’ve been performing!)

Here’s wishing you all a lovely “Hump Day.” Enjoy it! We’re so close to the weekend!

xx

– Ashley –