“No Lifeguard On Duty” – A Summer 2019 Playlist

Good Morning and Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Before we break for the extended Fourth of July weekend (I’m counting down the minutes until there’s BBQ and fireworks…) and I get ready to do the bare minimum at my office today- I wanted to share a little playlist I’d been putting together over the past couple of weeks in anticipation for impending beach days, popsicles and flip flops- three things I’m really looking forward to in the next few days.

As always, the playlist has been uploaded on Spotify for convenience. The tracks, mostly newer from both this year and 2018- were compiled from some of my favorite “Summer-esque” tunes we predominantly feature on Indie617– and vary between fun and upbeat to dreamy and electronic to moody and melodic. It’s a little bit of everything- but then again so is Summer, isn’t it?

This is “No Lifeguard On Duty – A Summer 2019” playlist – CLICK HERE TO LAUNCH

– TRACK LISTING –ย 
  1. Wallows (Ft. Clairo) – Are You Bored Yet?
  2. BLOXX – Sea Blue
  3. Alex Lahey – Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself
  4. Ladytron – The Island
  5. Arlie – Big Fat Mouth
  6. Japanese Breakfast – Essentially
  7. Stella Donnely – Tricks
  8. Tame Impala – Patience
  9. Local Natives – When Am I Gonna’ Lose You?
  10. Vampire Weekend – This Life

I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do!

I’ll be back bright and early on Friday before I hit the beach to show off some semi-patriotic pieces from my closet- but until then- enjoy your “Hump Day”, everyone!

And have a safe and joyous Fourth! If you’re setting off fireworks- please be careful.

You don’t want to go viral for an unfortunate sparkler accident.

xx

– Ashley –

Lazy Sundays…

Good Morning, Happy Monday- and Happy July, everyone!

To call my Sundays “lazy” isn’t entirely accurate. My Sunday mornings are typically pretty busy, filled with errands- like grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning or paying bills- before I launch into plans throughout the afternoon and evening to try and have a little fun before I head back to work each Monday morning (like I’m getting ready to do right now… Ugh.)

Yesterday, though? Absolutely a “Lazy Sunday.” After laundry and grocery shopping- it was all about eating junk food, laying in bed, napping, and doing absolutely nothing except count down the minutes for June (and my subsequent “June Gloom Curse” to end. See my last post for more information on that.)

Granted, in-between errands and prior to my laying down for the count in the late afternoon/evening- I did manage to visit two wonderful local places: one new and one familiar.

The first, en route to Northampton- was this adorable little roadside farm/flower shop called Sunset Acres Farm in Whately (which I snapped a photo of above since it looks like a secret garden!) It was lovely- and I really would have stayed longer of a rather nefarious looking thunderstorm with cloud-to-ground lightning hadn’t rolled through the area while I was perusing tomato plants to purchase.

I’m absolutely going to head back when the weather isn’t so unpredictable!

The second, the place I’m familiar with- was Local Burger. I was starving and craving a cheeseburger (and buffalo/blue cheese fries.) I haven’t been to Local in a long time, but it never changes. The decor and the food is always the same and it’s always really, really good.

With a food coma brewing- I wrapped up my errands before heading home where my last task of a on/off rainy Sunday was finishing the changes to “Blondie Birdie’s” layout! Yes, if you look now- I’ve gone teal and a bit less cluttered with my site. An appropriate way to begin July and the peak of Summer, if I do say so myself.

Obviously, I’m keeping an eye out for any glitches or issues- so if any of you happen to see anything pop up or look out of place- please let me know so I can fix it!

But that just about does it for me today. It’s going to be a busy day at the office- what with the upcoming holiday weekend- so I’ve got to try and get a handle on things before they inevitably go off the rails.

Have a great start to your week, everybody!

xx

– Ashley –

June 2019: In a Nutshell

Good Morning and Happy Sunday, everyone! I hope you’re all having a great weekend so far!

It’s always a little weird posting on a weekend- especially a Sunday- since mornings like this are usually reserved for coffee, laundry, and trying to squeeze something fun or entertaining to do in the hours between now and when I return to work bright and early tomorrow morning. But. it’s the last day of June- and a day like that needs some acknowledgment!

I will say that I am excited to head into July. It’s the height of Summer, I’ve got some vacation days coming up- and now that I’ve got the last of my furniture in my apartment and am feeling a little more “at home”- I can cook, decorate, and blog more freely and comfortably than I could a few weeks ago when I didn’t really have much more than a mattress and a desk while I was waiting for the things I’d purchased on back order to arrive and be delivered.

It’s nice to finally and really have my own little piece of the Pioneer Valley to come home to every day.

Looking back at June- a month that has, historically, always had it’s share of troubles and woes for me over the years and for whatever reason- can be a bit difficult at times. Is Mercury in retrograde? Are my brief moments of stress, inconvenience, and/or sadness some sort of annual sacrifice for the Summer Solstice? Am I just consistently unlucky for this one month every year?

I’ll never know- but June saw my full-time job become overwhelming at times, one of my part-time jobs here in the Valley become absolutely chaotic with last-minute changes, departures, and poor preparation leading up to major deadlines and milestones- and one of my dearest friends fall victim to a malicious rumor and subsequent gossip that has essentially robbed him of his livelihood and joy as he struggles to overcome it and get back on his feet.

It was, well- a LOT– to deal with these past few weeks. But, the month also flew by relatively quickly so at least it was quick? Silver linings?

I digress. June wasn’t without it’s nicer, calmer moments as well. I spent a really beautiful weekend showing my best friend around when he came to visit me, my blog celebrated it’s second birthday, I dove headfirst into one of my favorite immersive theater companies and experiencesand naturally I got to eat at some really, really terrific Summer shacks in the area, too!

So what’s in store for July? Well, my usual recipes and OOTD posts, of course- but I’m also going to be doing a little bit of traveling in the coming weeks, as well! Not anywhere super far away or anything- but I’ll be crossing more things off of my “Summer 2019 To-Do” list with trips to my favorite beaches, outdoor attractions, local hot-spots, etc.

And I’ll have plenty of photos and updates along the way, of course!

So all that being said- here’s to June- a month that was not without it’s ups and downs. I truly hope all of us who need it have a better July!

I’m off to get a few things done and set off into this hot and humid day. See you all again tomorrow!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

xx

– Ashley –

Favorites: June 2019!

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

Next week’s schedule is a little bizarre- what with it being a holiday and everything. While I have Thursday, Friday, and then the weekend off from work- I’m going to attempt to maintain some semblance of a normal blogging schedule (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) since I have a lot to cover over the next couple of weeks!

This coming Sunday, the last day of June- will see my monthly “In A Nutshell” post detailing all the highs and lows of this past month while simultaneously giving a glimpse of what’s to come in July- but before I dive into that and the remainder of my weekend- I wanted to share some of my favorite things from these past few days/weeks!

In a month filled with unpredictable weather and plenty of humidity- a lot of the photogenic items/products are for taming frizz and beating the makeup-melting heat- but there’s a couple of other odds and ends I really enjoyed this past June, too!

Let’s get started!

With the exception of a Red Sox hat that doesn’t flatter me at all, I’m not much of a baseball cap enthusiast- but my mother had seen this multi-pattern one from The Niche while out and about and thought of me and my perpetual wanderlust when she spotted the insignia on the front.

I like this hat because it’s adjustable (and therefore doesn’t give me a headache or leave one of those weird red marks on my forehead) and matches essentially everything I own. I can wear it while I’m lounging, running errands, or just hanging out with friends in a casual setting and it’s super cute.

Another accessory for my head/hair- but not one I wear as frequently as the baseball cap- is this super sparkly set of Minnie Mouse ears that Troy picked up for me during a recent trip to Anaheim where he made an impromptu stop at Disneyland!

I had a set similar to these (not nearly as sparkly) when I was a kid and visited the Magic Kingdom for the very first time- but they broke shortly after my return home and I remember being devastated. I’d never had the opportunity to replace them- so Troy grabbing these after I had told him my story meant the world.

They’ve currently found a forever home on display in my apartment- but I’ll probably wear them out to an event at some point, I’m sure.

Of course, wearing all these hats/headbands amid all this humidity is a bad idea- so I’m glad I found this lightweight and moisturizing “Coconut Curl” styling foam from OGX to keep my frizz away and my hair super soft and conditioned!

This mouse has some serious staying power (without the crunch or stiffness) and smells divine- like a tropical vacation- so this is pretty much a must-have lifesaver for me in the Summertime now!

What would I do without this?! I shudder to think!

Moving onto Summertime makeup- I have to preface this by saying I have avoided L’Oreal products like the plague for years. They’d always make me break out, always clog my pores and otherwise damage my skin- but when I ran out of my medium-coverage Sephora foundation and was desperately searching the drug store to find something to get me through a scheduled work meeting in a pinch- I spotted this “Magic BB” cream and figured I didn’t have anything to lose.

And you guys? It’s amazing. The lightweight formula applies like an almost iridescent white color- but then it dries to match my skin tone perfectly. It hydrates, softens, covers imperfections and makes me look like I’m glowing when I have it on! Best of all? No breakouts, clogged pores or damaged skin!

This is my go-to for the Summertime and especially for beach trips! I love it!

I want my makeup to be quick, easy, sweat/waterproof and lightweight during the Summer- so I try to avoid powder shadows that can get flaky or clump together at the first sign of humidity. Liquid shadows are the way to go in the hotter temperatures- and I’m quite fond of this golden shimmer shade from ModelCo and their Eyelites collection.

This liquid shadow, highly pigmented- applies smoothly and dries to a shimmery, long-lasting finish that doesn’t feel heavy or “caked on.” My eyes have a fresh pop of color all day/night and there are no reapplications necessary during the day- even in those moments I’m desperately looking for air conditioning!

And for $12 a tube? You can’t go wrong!

Finally, no new base and eye shadow is complete without a new, long-lasting lip gloss, too! I turned to Rimmel for help in this department- specifically their STAY GLOSSY colors I’d heard so many good things about. With up to 6 hours of coverage (I got about 4, maximum) and a non-sticky formula- this pink/red shade is my signature Summer color and this gloss is something I’m wearing non-stop- be it at work, visiting friends/family, working out, etc.

It’s the perfect Summer color and an even more perfect hot weather formula since it’s lightweight and comfortable!

And that just about does it for the photogenic favorites, everyone- but a couple of other things made the list for June, as well!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

“I Think You Should Leave” – Troy got me hooked on this short (each episode is about 20 minutes, if that) sketch comedy show on Netflix this month. It’s over-the-top, ridiculous- and so, so funny. I love bizarre, off-the-wall humor and I am OBSESSED with this show because it delivers! My favorite one so far has got to be the fully loaded nacho sketch, for sure!

“Archer 1999” – The tenth (and allegedly final) season of “Archer” has blasted the characters off into Space in an ‘Alien’ homage that has been super fun to watch this past month. The show is just as quick-witted as ever- and I really hope they bring everything full circle if it truly is the final chapter of the series when this season concludes!

And that just about does it for me, everyone. As I mentioned earlier- I’ll be back on Sunday to dissect this past month that was- but until then, here’s wishing you all a wonderful Friday and start to your weekend!

xx

– Ashley –

The Summer 2019 Bucket List Is Underway!

Good Evening, everyone!

It’s later than usual for me to update “Blondie Birdie,” and I had wanted to get this post up and running earlier this morning- but life happens, and work happens, and errands- and sometimes my schedule just doesn’t go as planned. I’m here, though- resting comfortably in my air conditioned apartment with a sheet mask and a cold glass of lemonade after a long day at the office.

And I’m happy to report that my Summer 2019 To-Do/Bucket List already has one thing scratched off of it!

When I first moved to the Valley, I had talked about wanting to explore pretty much anything and everything there was to do- from off-the-wall attractions, to theater, to parks and museums- and really good places to eat. I’ve grown familiar with certain spots in Northampton I frequent regularly for coffee or dinner- but this past weekend while I was out running errands I happened to pass by Captain Jack’s Roadside Shack in Easthampton that I’d heard about through the grapevine but had never actually visited before.

The place looked pretty busy but not overcrowded- and I was starving- so I stopped with the intention of ordering some fries and a lemonade or something light to get me through the remainder of my afernoon. But, then I saw their lobster rolls- and I’m pretty sure my jaw hit the floor. I had to have one.

LOOK AT THIS!

It was huge, delicious and worth every penny- and I loved the thin cut fries that came with it, too!

If seafood isn’t your thing, no worries- they also had chicken, burgers, pulled pork, and plenty of sides to choose from! And the portions are massive. I managed to power through the lobster roll and some of the fries but there was no way I could eat all of it on my own in one sitting!

I know I’ll definitely be heading back there soon (they have a crab roll that is calling my name) but for now- I’m just glad I got to scratch “eat a lobster roll” off of my Summer Goals list this early on! Next on the agenda? Hitting the beach, obviously!

A little later on this week I’m going to be sharing my favorite things from this past month. There’s a lot of makeup and hair care included now that the heat and the humidity have arrived here in New England- but I’ve found some great products I’ve been loving and I can’t wait to show them off!

Until then, though- enjoy your night and your Thursday! I’ll see you all again on Friday!

xx

– Ashley –