Brunette Birdie?

Brunette Birdie?

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone! We made it yet again!

It’s funny and fascinating what changes in your life- big or small- can do to you. They can completely turn your world upside down, or have you re-examining and reevaluating your priorities and your goals- or rejuvenate you, refresh you and set you on a new path you may not have even known existed.

There have been a lot of changes in my life in recent months. A new apartment, a new community, new neighbors and friends. There have been changes in my job(s), changes in my personal relationships- and I’ve been attempting to navigate those changes as gracefully as possible while simultaneously reassessing so many of my wants/needs and clumsily preparing for whatever is going to happen next.

Not all of the changes have been good ones. Some have been heartbreaking. Some have been infuriating- but they’ve all shaped the person I am becoming in this new chapter of my life. It’s a scary thing sometimes, but it’s also exciting in a way- because I’m learning so much about myself, what’s truly important to me, and my resilience in the face of the unknown and uncertain.

And lifestyle/personal changes affect you physically, too. While the first month or so after my move was sluggish and had me feeling tired with daily commutes to work, waiting for the arrival of much-needed furniture, not exactly eating or sleeping the best due to long hours- I’ve since got a handle on things and have been actively and regularly working out, preparing better-for-me-meals and sleeping through the night undisturbed (especially now that I’m no longer living near the city!)

And this past Wednesday, when it came time for me to update my blonde curls yet again with help from my stylist- I decided to go bold, try something new- and ditch the golden hues for a more chocolate-inspired look, instead.

That’s right- I’m a brunette again!

I’m still getting used to the new look, which has been well-received by friends, family and co-workers- and it feels like a fitting way to wrap up Summer 2019 and prepare for impending Autumn and the next chapter of my life I’m preparing to write.

And no, I will not be changing the title of my blog from “Blondie Birdie” to “Brunette Birdie” or any variation anytime soon. I’ve grown quite accustomed to my nickname and my little corner of the internet- and I intend to stay here!

Next week I’m going to be visiting one of my favorite coastal towns here in New England, sharing my favorite things from this past month- and getting ready to leap into September after taking a look back at all the highs and lows of August!

Until then- enjoy your weekend, everyone!

xx

– Ashley –

OOTD: Busy Bee…

OOTD: Busy Bee…

Good Morning and Happy Halfway-Point, everyone! We’re almost to the weekend!

Although this week has been pretty busy so far with work, meetings, side hustles, etc.- I’m excited for this afternoon since I get to take a little bit of time off after I leave the office and indulge in some pampering (see: touching up my hair.) I’m in desperate need of a trim and my roots are long overdue for a little TLC- and today seemed like just as good a day as any to treat myself!

And although I’ll be changing out of business-casual wear and sliding myself into some sweatpants or something for this afternoon’s touch-up, I wanted to show off a shirt that made an appearance on Blondie Birdie earlier this week when I picked it up over the course of Tax Free Weekend.

I adore this bee shirt, which I paired with some jeans and dressier sandals since I was wearing it to work- but you can best believe I’ll be throwing this on with some shorts and flip flops during the last weekends of Summer 2019, as well!

I’m hoping to get back to Bridge Street Bazaar before we roll into September since I’m sure a good bulk of their Summer tops and skirts will go on sale and I’d like to stock up for next year. That, and I love any reason to venture into Shelburne Falls for an afternoon!

Maybe some of the stuff I buy will make it into a future OOTD post? They sure do have a lot of cute things there!

But until then, I’ve got to get some work done and count down the minutes until I’m restyled, refreshed and rejuvenated.

Enjoy your “Hump Day,” everyone!

xx

– Ashley –

Tax-Free Splurges…

Tax-Free Splurges…

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

As my life and my posting schedule falls into some semblance of normalcy (as normal as it can, anyway)– I’m recovering from a bit of retail therapy from this past weekend where I dipped into some local shops in-between working on a couple of my side jobs and projects.

Saturday and Sunday was our annual “Tax Free Weekend” here in Massachusetts- and it’s exactly what it sounds like. For two days, there’s no sales tax on anything- and considering we typically get taxed quite a bit on any other day (they don’t call us Taxachusetts for nothing)– it’s the perfect opportunity for people to buy those big ticket items they’ve had their eyes on- like furniture, home goods, electronics, etc.- and still be able to save a bit of money.

And while I’m all set with furniture, appliances and TV sets- there were a couple of recent fashion/accessory items I’d spotted in storefront windows in and around my neighborhood that I thought I’d snatch up while they were not only on sale- but not being taxed, too.

I didn’t go completely overboard, of course- because a girl still has to eat- but I am loving what I was able to buy and couldn’t wait to share them here!

The first is this crop-top/sweater from ENJOY. in Shelburne Falls. While I’m definitely going to be pairing this one with a blue or white tank top underneath (I don’t think I’m fully ready to embrace the crop-top lifestyle just yet)– I can’t wait to wear this near the end of Summer/beginning of Fall when it starts to cool down a little but we’re all still spending as much as time by the water as possible.

The cure little “lake” written on the front in white was what sold me. Designed by Wooden Ships– this was marked down considerably from $112. Sold!

Also from ENJOY. is this stainless steel necklace that I’ve been eyeing for quite some time. Designed by Close 2 Ur ❤, this durable pendant depicts two bears in the forest- and is made in the USA. How cute is this?

This is another piece I’m going to be sporting a lot in the late Summer/early Fall since I spend a lot of time out in the woods photographing the foliage and change in the season!

Down the street from ENJOY. is Bridge Street Bazaar, another little local boutique with the cutest tops and accessories.  Right away I spotted this light, thin white tank top- covered in the most adorable bee pattern- on one of their mannequins and popped in to snatch it up.

I want to say that the company who makes these tops might be a mass-producer ala Primark (I couldn’t locate an official website)– but it was $19.00 and without tax- that’s good enough for me to have something fun to wear in these last few weeks of Summer.

And finally, a Bridge Street Bazaar original was this moonstone statement ring that turned colors as I was holding it in my hands (it sort of reminds me of cotton candy- since it fluctuates between bubblegum pink and sky blue.)

On sale and without tax- I gladly parted with my $10 to have a new ring to wear to work and out on the town. It’s so pretty and fits perfectly on my finger- no adjustments needed! You can see a photo of it on me HERE.

With under $100 spent and no tax- I’d say I made out pretty good with two cute new tops and two new pieces of jewelry I’ll be incorporating into my growing wardrobe here in the Valley. I’m very pleased- and so is my wallet! I can’t wait to do it again next year. Maybe by then I’ll be in need of a new mixer or a TV or something.

But until then- I’m off to work! Enjoy the start to your week, everyone! Let’s push through to Friday!

xx

– Ashley –

Makeup and Mini-Golf…

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone!

As I had mentioned a bit earlier this week- my schedule got a bit hectic with work and some unexpected car repairs- and I’ve been playing a bit of catch-up ever since. Thankfully, things have seemed to calm down and my life (and posting schedule) can hopefully return to some sense of normalcy.

I mean, my life has never really been all that “normal”- but I’m sure you know what I mean.

Despite the chaos, I’ve still managed to have some fun. Last Sunday night, for example- was my friend Phill’s annual Summer-Slam party at his home in Salem. A group of us prepare our best WWE-themed snacks and head over to watch the PPV, eat loads of food, and laugh a LOT.

This year, I donned my best blonde wig to go as Charlotte Flair. My snack? WOOO!-pie pies, of course!

We always have a blast. Our next event will be in January for the Royal Rumble and I cannot wait.

Tuesday night saw a triumphant return- and my first since I was about nine years old- to Crystal Caves Mini Golf in Auburn, Massachusetts- just a few miles away from my hometown. Troy had been running some errands in the area while I was visiting my mom- and we decided to meet up for dinner, drinks and some friendly competition during a break in our evening.

Crystal Caves is exactly how I remember it- loaded with mosquitoes and right off of a loud and busy interstate- but we still had so much fun. I ended up losing by a mere 2 points- but I have a feeling the margaritas we’d indulged in earlier may have resulted in a miscount.

I’m going to set up a rematch eventually.

With the weekend pretty much here- I’m off to finish up work at the office, prepare for dinner with my family at my mom’s house tonight, get ready for my show on Indie617 tomorrow- and plotting some Sunday travel to Connecticut- weather permitting!

I’ll be back on Monday with some more Summer Bucket List fun.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

xx

– Ashley –

My Summer Makeup Routine!

Good Afternoon and Happy “Hump Day,” everyone!

I had wanted to get this post up bright and early on Monday morning- since I’m one of those people who typically sticks to a pretty strict schedule in terms of work and writing- but life, distractions, and side-tracks happen. In this case, it was a bit of tire trouble with my car (see: completely flat!) and some last minute rearrangements at my office that required my full attention.

With the dust settling and my finishing a productive and peaceful half-day-work-from-home-day (the best kind of work day, really!) I wanted to share my makeup routine I’ve been swearing by throughout Summer 2019. I typically do these posts once every few months to share what I’m coveting during the given season- and it’s always fun to sort of compare/contrast what I’m wearing now to what I was wearing this time last year or the years before that.

If you’d like to sneak a peek into the past- I’ve linked everything here!

SUMMER: [ 2018 ]

FALL: [ 2018 ]

WINTER: [ 2019 ]

SPRING: [ 2019 ]

Now let’s get to it, shall we? It’s a beautiful day and I have a lot of stuff I want to do!

L’Oréal Paris Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream: In the Summer, when it’s hot and humid and my skin gets oily and shiny- the last thing I want to wear is a heavy foundation that is going to run right off of my face. I turn to lightweight BB creams- and I’ve found the most interesting concoction via L’Oréal.

This translucent BB cream (shown below in the swatches) applies as a white/pearl color- but quickly blends in with your skin’s natural tone and offers light-to-medium coverage that stays in place all day. My skin looks fresh, bright, even- and stays that way until I wash this off!

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

Physicians Formula “Healthy Powder” with SPF16: I always brush on a little finishing powder before I step out for the day since my skin had a tendency to get a little oily- especially in hotter weather/temperatures. This light-textured press powder with build-able coverage applies easily enough (without making me look chalky) and offers me much-needed sun protection along with Vitamins A, C and E while covering my pores and giving me a smooth, satin finish.

I keep this in my purse on especially hot days where I might need a little touchup in the T-Zone here and there.

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

Benefit Cosmetics GALifornia Powder Blush: I’ve been avoiding bronzers this Summer, opting for a more natural pink/peach flush in my cheeks when I head out to work, the beach, or out on the town with friends. I have been LOVING this blush- which has a bit of a golden tone to it- because it gives me a natural hint of sunkissed color without making me look *too* made up- and it compliments my current dirty blonde beach hair so perfectly.

If I’m ever feeling tired or groggy in the mornings (it happens to the best of us)- this blush never fails to make me look refreshed and recharged. Total game changer.

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

ModelCo Eyelites in “St. Barts”: Much like opting for BB creams instead of foundations during the Summer, I opt for “set it and forget it” cream shadows in the Summer to prevent them from melting down my face when I’m outside and soaking up the sunshine. This golden/nude tone from ModelCo is by far my favorite- because it gives my lids a lovely bit of sparkle that I can dress up or down with bright eyeliners (I’ll get to that in a moment) or simply swipe on some mascara for an office-safe “every day” look.

Best of all? This shadow will NOT move. At all. It doesn’t flake, crease, run down onto your cheeks, etc. You dab it on and you are good to go all day and night.

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

FENTY Beauty Eyeliner Trio in Papaya Mama, Lime Feva and Skinny Dip: Perhaps my favorite and most Summer-appropriate makeup pick comes courtesy of the fabulous and brilliant Rihanna and her beauty line. I mix and match these bright coral, lime and sea blue liners on the daily- and I’ve had people stop me to ask about them. They’re super pigmented, long-lasting- and match pretty much everything and anything you pair them with from your lips to your fingertips.

As much as I love Fall, I am going to be so sad when I eventually have to put these away and turn to more Autumnal shades for my lids- because these very well could be the best eyeliners I’ve ever purchased. Ever.

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

Kokie Cosmetics “Stay Dry” Waterproof Mascara: I don’t make it a habit to go swimming with a full-face of makeup on but honestly- you never know where a day is going to take you and I like to be prepared for anything- be it an impromptu dip in the pool/lake, a more-humid-than-expected day, or even a good cry over spilled ice cream (this actually happened.)

Kokie’s “Stay Dry” mascara does just that- protecting my lashes from the elements and keeping them long, curled and conditioned. This brand is definitely one of my favorite drug store finds.

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

Rimmel London “Stay Glossy” in “Ready To Flamingle”: Finally, Summer 2019 is all about bare lips with SPF-soaked balm or a quick sweep of a fun, pink/peach color. I’ve found that with this shade from Rimmel- which is long-lasting (without feeling sticky) and has just the right amount of sparkle to give my lips a fun pop of color for an evening out on the town.

This has been my go-to these past couple of months before I dip back into darker tones with matte finishes. And, of course- it’s an affordable drug store find!

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

And, as promised- I always show swatches of what I wear to give you all a better idea of how the colors look outside the tubes and packaging. I’m on the fair side, of course- so these shades may not look the same on everyone!

And that just about does it for me, everyone. I’ve got to get going on some afternoon/evening plans- but I’ll be back on Friday morning with a look at all of the fun from this past weekend- and even some of these past few days despite all the scrambling around and unexpected calamity!

If you’d like to share some of your own Summer 2019 makeup favorites or suggestions- feel free to drop me a line!

Until then- enjoy the rest of your Wednesday and have a great few days ahead!

xx

– Ashley –