January 2018: In a Nutshell

Ocean Beach, San Diego. 1/21/18

Good Morning and Happy “Hump Day”, everyone! I’ve managed to dig myself out from beneath the latest snowfall here in Massachusetts to get into boss babe mode at work, re-pack my suitcase for Las Vegas this weekend, and reflect upon this past month. With five Mondays- January may have felt like an eternity to get through to some- but for me, it was pretty busy, and a little crazy, and sorta’ fast-paced- in mostly the right ways!

The month- and year- started off peacefully enough- with a weekend spent at a quaint bed & breakfast in New Hampshire with my best friend to bid farewell to 2017. But, once I was home and back to work- that’s when the real excitement started. There were blizzards, birthdays, and appearances by The Killers (and that was all within the first week!)

I spent time at an incredibly bright and flower-filled art exhibit here in Boston before eventually working my way out West in the middle of the month to kick-off an extended weekend in San Diego to celebrate my birthday. This is where things got a little tricky- because while I had an amazing time in the sunshine and had the opportunity to catch up with longtime friends I hadn’t seen in months- one of my friends got really sick with a flu that had been going around about halfway through my stay. His being down for the count as he tried to recover threw off some scheduled birthday plans- and my trip ended on a much calmer and much quieter note than I had anticipated.

I tried to make the best of it, though. With half-priced margaritas in the afternoons (Happy Hour is illegal in Massachusetts- just a little not-so-fun FYI- so I fully embraced it as much as possible!) and views like this everywhere you turned- who could feel sad for too long?

When I returned from California last week, my family and some of my local friends from around home made sure that I knew they didn’t forget my birthday while I was away. With dinners, cards, and a pretty funny cake (thanks, Mom)– I feel just as loved at 32 as I did when I was 22. Even more astonishing as that the celebration isn’t even done, yet! Before I leave for Vegas, more of my extended family want to treat me to another party- and when I come home from my second voyage to the West Coast- my friends have another get-together planned for me.

I used to worry sometimes that getting older wouldn’t be so fun or as appealing as it seemed to be when I was younger- but the people in my life have made sure that it is and I’m so, so grateful to them for it.

Side Note: A lot of people who follow this blog and my social media accounts sent such lovely, encouraging, funny, and kind messages before, during and in the days following my birthday- and words can’t even begin to describe how much it meant to me. From the bottom of my heart- thank you all! I truly appreciated all the love. It was overwhelming in the best way possible!

Courtesy of my Mother.

And finally, this past weekend- in honor of the WWE’s ‘Royal Rumble’- I headed to my friend Phill’s annual PPV party in an Alexa Bliss costume (with color coordinated cupcakes in tow!) to watch the show, stuff my face, participate in the pool we had going- and compete for our “Best Party Snack” prize- the Snack-Down Championship Belt.

While my cupcakes didn’t score me the title- I was pretty content that the “People’s Elbow Macaroni & Cheese” won- because it was delicious!

We are so nerdy and I absolutely love it.

So what do I have planned for February? Vegas, baby! I head out this coming weekend to visit with friends from Nevada, catch my beloved Pats in the Super Bowl, and maybe see a show or two before it’s back home to work in-between planned day trips to NYC, sharing some Valentine’s Day-inspired recipes, showcasing more pieces from my wardrobe and trying to get through these last few weeks of Winter unscathed.

And to kick things off in February? I’ll have a recipe post later up this week (Super Bowl appropriate!) before I hop my plane on Saturday morning.

Hang in there, everyone- the week is almost over!

xx

– Ashley –

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