A Day at Green River Festival…

A Day at Green River Festival…

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

I’ve taken a personal day from work today. Originally, I had plans with some friends to head down to the Cape for the morning/afternoon- however our schedules and respective obligations caused a delay and the trip is now postponed until further notice.

Today also happens to be the anniversary of my dad’s passing- which is always a pretty difficult day to get through- so I’m opting to keep busy and spend the day with my mom so we don’t have to be alone in our memories and grief. We’re going to do some shopping and dining out in my neighborhood- which I’m excited for.

I’m also low-key recovering from stopping by the Green River Festival yesterday and roasting under the sun for a few hours. The festival, a 3-day music/art/cultural celebration- is only a couple of miles away from my new apartment- so parking and reaching the festival on foot were no problem at all. It was a beautiful and sunny Sunday afternoon- and while I’d heard of the festival in the past- I’ve never had to opportunity to go and enjoy it for myself until now.

I saw some fantastic performances, ate some great food, and shopped some local vendors in-between ducking into the shade and snapping some photos.

If you’d like to see bigger versions, simply click!

My favorite find of the day came courtesy of Taproot Threads, based out of my town. All of the artwork featured on their pieces is hand-drawn, and printed on fair-trade garments with water-based ink. The material is soft, lightweight and cozy- and I’m wearing this t-shirt today when I go to spend time with my mom!

Look at how lovely the illustration is up-close!

It was such a great day, and next year I may try to go for all three days (Friday-Sunday. With my work schedule this year, yesterday was the only day I could pull off!)

With many local businesses now going into post-festival “recovery mode”- I anticipate it will be quiet day around the neighborhood. The perfect opportunity to rest and relax.

But I need coffee and I need it now- so I’m off! Here’s wishing you all a good start to your work-week. I’ll be back on Wednesday!

xx

– Ashley –

Summer Sweets: Peaches-and-Cream Ice Pops

Summer Sweets: Peaches-and-Cream Ice Pops

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone!

I’ve got another long weekend ahead of me since I took this coming Monday off from work as a bit of a “personal day.” Originally, I had plans in the Cape with some friends- but it ended up not happening due to scheduling conflicts for a few of us so now I’m simply taking the day to rest, recharge- and maybe hit the beach or Ashfield Lake again.

And while temperatures are soaring here in New England- I thought today would be as good a time as any to share a really delicious, super easy-to-make-and-freeze Popsicle treat for yourself and/or your guests to beat the heat with!

If you like real fruit, Greek yogurt and refreshing desserts- then you are going to *love* this recipe!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 1 pound (453g) peaches, peeled and cut into wedges
  • ⅓ cup (66g) light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1½ cups (340g) plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup (112g) crème fraîche
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon pure almond extract

READY? HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Arrange the peaches in an even layer on a baking sheet. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt; toss to combine.
  2. Roast the peaches until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the yogurt, crème fraîche, vanilla and almond extract to combine. Transfer about three quarters of the mixture to a container with a pour spout.
  4. Add the cooled peaches to the remaining yogurt mixture in the bowl. Use a potato masher to mash the two together (it’s okay if there are chunks of peaches left)
  5. Pour 2 tablespoons of the yogurt mixture into each ice-pop mold. Follow with 4 tablespoons of the peach mixture, then 4 tablespoons of the yogurt mixture. Continue alternating the two until the molds are full. It’s okay if the layers swirl together.
  6. Place an ice-pop stick in the center of each mold and transfer to the freezer. Freeze until solid, at least 2 hours.
  7. Run the molds under warm water and then unmold the ice pops. Keep frozen until ready to serve.

Honestly, the hardest part of this recipe was the waiting for the ice pops to freeze so I could finally enjoy one in front of my air conditioner! And, once I did- I was so relieved these tasted just as good as they looked.

I love a good ice pop this time of year- and I’m thinking I may try to incorporate pineapple or mango instead of peaches the next time I attempt this one. Something with a little more citrus and sour behind it. We’ll see how it goes!

I’m off to get some work done before I take off for the next few days- but here’s wishing you all a wonderful weekend ahead. I’ll be back- bright and early- on Monday morning. ‘Til then- have fun, wear sunscreen and stay hydrated out there!

xx

– Ashley –

OOTD: All Tied Up

OOTD: All Tied Up

Good Morning and Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Two of my favorite trends from my childhood/teens have made a comeback for Summer 2019- and I couldn’t be more excited to revisit them (sadly, I’m still waiting for butterfly clips to return in all their glittery glory.)

I’m talking about neon and tie-dye- which often go hand in hand. While I’ve been sporting some pretty bold glow-in-the-dark shades on my nails, my eyes and with my accessories as of late- this tie-dye dress has been sitting in my closet for years. The last time I wore it was on a trip to the Cape in my mid-twenties- and I still have the photos of me posing with my friends on the beach while I had it on to prove it!

I can’t remember where I bought this dress, unfortunately- but if I had to take a guess I’d say it was probably up at one of the local beach-side boardwalk shops and I more than likely grabbed it because I desperately needed something with some color to it in my wardrobe for a spur of the moment event/party.

Now that tie-dye is officially having another moment I can wear it again without shame- and I’m so glad it still fits properly and comfortably!

Also, I’m loving the “blink and you’ll miss it” hearts that are printed along the bottom/side. They can easily get lost in all the bright hues mixed together- but they are there!

As usual, I paired this dress with my bright pink floral sandals from MODCLOTH and finished off the look with a pop of neon green eyeliner from FENTY. I feel bright, cheerful, fun and Summer-y in this dress- and I am going to be living in it until tie-dye eventually fizzles out and is replaced by the next resurgence of a long-forgotten trend.

And I’m going to enjoy every second of it while I do!

Before we break for the weekend in a few days, I’ve got a really fun, super tasty- and totally chill- dessert recipe to share on Friday. Until then- it’s off to work/meetings/appointments!

Enjoy your “Hump Day”, everyone!

xx

– Ashley –

The Waters Fine…

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

It’s back to work bright and early for me this morning, unfortunately. Always a daunting and difficult thing to face after a long weekend that was filled with sunshine (and only one or two freak thunderstorms in passing.) I hope those of you who also had an extended holiday weekend for the Fourth of July enjoyed it- and those who didn’t get a break really soon!

My Fourth of July was not spent on a beach or at a park watching fireworks and eating hot dogs and hamburgers (not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course)– but at a community potluck thrown in my neighborhood. I was invited by a new friend-of-a-friend, Kat- and met a bunch of new faces and some additional newcomers to the Pioneer Valley while eating fresh salads, pasta, grilled vegetables and different types of pies. I also got to wave a sparkler around for the first time in about twelve years- which was very, very exciting for me!

I had a really, really good time and I’m looking forward to seeing new friends at upcoming events this Summer.

In the days after the 4th, I made sure to spend some time with my mom and Oliver- including lots of couch snuggles and binge-watching TV in front of the air conditioner in-between errands and ordering pizza. With the heat and the humidity at an all-time high on Friday and Saturday- there was no way I was turning the oven on.

Yesterday, knowing it was my last day of freedom before I returned to the office- I made sure to stay cool and go off the grid for a while- opting out of driving two hours to the beach and instead traveling about thirty minutes away to Ashfield Lake (where my phone has no service at all) for a quick dip.

I had my camera with me- and stored it somewhere dry- but I managed to get a couple of photos while I was lounging.

It was a beautiful afternoon/evening. I’m still very much an ocean girl- but I’ll never say no to a quiet, clean, peaceful lake.

A little later on this week I’m sharing one of my favorite “comeback” pieces from my Summer wardrobe (I love when old trends turn up again!) and whipping up a really delicious- and icy- dessert recipe to cool you all down before this coming weekend!

But before that- I gotta’ get to work. I don’t want to- but I have to.

Hang in there, everybody. Let’s push through to Friday. We can make it if we try!

xx

– Ashley –

OOTD: Your Best American Girl…

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone!

I hope those of you here in the States had a wonderful Fourth of July. Mine was exquisite- spent in the company of both longtime and new friends at various little get togethers, gatherings and potlucks. I’ll have a full recap of my night (and this coming weekend) within a few days- but first I wanted to share my spin on dressing patriotic without looking too over-the-top.

When I was a little kid, my mom liked to dress me to the nines for whatever holiday we were celebrating. Color-coordinated shirts/dresses, shorts/tights, shoes and hair accessories. For the Fourth of July- I was decked out in more Americana, red white and blue stuff than any clothing store had any business selling.

Now that I’m older- I’m all about looking festive but staying comfortable and practical. I want outfits that are easy to take from an afternoon cookout to evening fireworks- from evening fireworks to post-fireworks cocktails. I don’t want to look like I raided a novelty shop or catalog for the cheesiest America-themed pieces around- but I still want to show a little patriotism despite my current political views and opinions on this country not being exactly favorable at the moment.

For yesterday’s 4th of July celebrations- I figured two out of the three American colors wasn’t bad. I chose these little navy blue lace shorts (companions to the black ones I wore in my last OOTD post) and this slouchy, deep red billowy top with bell sleeves. The fabrics were lightweight and comfortable- which was a necessity since temperatures skyrocketed to the high 80s yesterday afternoon and humidity was at an all-time high.

There was no way I would have survived in denim or anything other than breathable cotton without pouring sweat!

For my shoes, I donned my favorite patriotic pair of flats that I’ve had for a few years now (and are still in mint condition) to incorporate some of the white in my red, white and blue.

And for those who saw me without sunglasses yesterday afternoon/evening- I utilized my blue FENTY liquid liner for an extra pop of color!

I’m sure next year I’ll try something a little different, like red and white or all white with pops of blue here and there- but we’ll see!

This weekend I’m heading to the beach, chilling a recipe for Summertime sweets I’ll have up a little later on next week- and getting some overdue errands done in-between time in the sun and surf!

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend ahead of you. Stay cool, stay hydrated, wear SPF (and reapply it often)– and stay safe!

See you again on Monday!

xx

– Ashley –