Film Wars!

Good Morning and Happy Wednesday, everyone! We’re almost to Friday (not that I’m keeping track or anything…)

The good news is that I’ve nearly fully recovered from my recent cold/flu- save for a little residual congestion that has been giving me the worst headaches imaginable- but I’m back on my feet, working without interruption, and making all sorts of plans!

The bad news was that this past weekend, that pesky aforementioned cold/flu was still leaving me bit lethargic- and although I got a few errands done (with some difficulty)– I didn’t accomplish nearly as much as I had hoped during such a lovely and sunny couple of days.

One thing I *did* do, however- was head to my hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts- and to my favorite dive bar, Ralph’s, to catch their annual local film festival/competition- the Worcester Film Wars!

The premise of Film Wars is pretty cool- and anyone can enter the contest whether they have a background in acting/directing/editing/etc. or not. You and your team of friends fill out the online registration form, and then you or a representative from your team attend the launch event (also at Ralph’s) where you’ll get to spin the wheel of movie must-haves (and referred to as the “Devil Wheel.”) Whatever the spinner lands on- be it a wardrobe piece, a line of dialogue, a specific color or sound effect- is something you and your team will need to incorporate into your movie!

From there, teams have exactly 72 hours to write, shoot, edit and submit their films (3-7 minutes long!) to the judges where they will then be premiered at the actual competition the following week in front of an outdoor audience who will individually vote on their favorite of the bunch. Winners get some really great prizes from local sponsors/companies- and it’s an overall fun, silly, boozy time for everyone.

I had a blast catching up with friends from back home, having a couple of drinks, and watching all the participating teams’ efforts. It was so much fun- and the weather held up nicely despite there being possible rain in the forecast!

You can actually view some of this year’s (and past years) submissions by CLICKING HERE. Just be warned that we’re from Massachusetts- and we swear. Like, a lot. Most of those short films are probably not safe for work.

For now, I’m heading off to get some work done before my phone starts ringing off the hook, though- and then it’s onward to some dinner plans tonight!

Keep an eye out this coming Friday before I break for the weekend, however- since I’ve got a pretty fun dessert recipe to share!

Have a great day, everyone!

xx

– Ashley –

OOTD: Bohemian Like You

One of my dearest friends from California is legitimately Bohemian. I’m not talking in terms of style or an unconventional attitude (although he is a musician)– but in the sense that his family were/are from Bohemia prior to it becoming part of the Czech Republic. So, whenever I hear people describe something- be it fashion or home decor- as “bohemian”, I always think of him and how he doesn’t dress anything at all like how BoHo-inspired clothing or accessories are designed.

Case in point- these loose-fitting, high-waist baggy pants I wore this past weekend while running errands and grabbing coffee with friends. I had initially bought these a couple of years ago while shopping for a weekend beach trip where I had wanted something breezy and comfortable to wear when I wasn’t on the sand but didn’t want to throw on jeans- and they’ve been a Summertime staple of mine ever since.

A woman at the cafe I’d popped into for a latte remarked that I looked “very bohemian”. A compliment, of course- but I just thought I looked impossibly comfortable given the heat outside.

I didn’t do anything to dress up these pants, since the pattern is pretty bold all on it’s own. Instead, I just wore a white tank top and my brown suede moccasins (a purchase I made for a cross-country flight to Vegas a couple of years ago and they’ve held up superbly ever since!) which goes well with my brown, faux-leather cross-body saddle bag. It was all about lightweight fabrics, comfortable cuts, and convenience, after all!

For jewelry (since I do love to sport a unique piece now and then)– I turned to a matching necklace and bracelet set crafted from stainless steel pebble-shapes threaded together with smoky quartz of different shapes/colors. I’m still in the experimental phases when it comes to using the healing power of crystals- mainly because I don’t know which ones would benefit me the most- but these looked pretty and had me feeling good about my look for the day, which works enough for me!

Final touches included my round, vintage, blue/green mirrored sunglasses and a swipe of my current favorite orange/coral Maybelline lipstick to brighten up my otherwise minimally made-up face (BB cream and highlighter are my only two necessities in the hot weather!)

Overall I thought this was a very Summery, laid-back, lounge-appropriate ensemble that could also double as fun Festival wear since it wasn’t overtly complicated and super comfortable- even when I was under the sun for a few hours!

And now with it being Monday and my day being filled with phone calls, e-mails, reviewing paperwork and a scheduled company luncheon a little later on this afternoon- I’ve got to dive into my work bright and early this morning.

Here’s wishing you all a wonderful Monday and a (hopefully!) great week. Let’s push through to this upcoming weekend together! We can do it!

xx

– Ashley –

May 2018: In a Nutshell

Good Morning and Happy Thursday, everyone! The weekend is so close we can practically reach out and touch it!

I am admittedly feeling pretty under the weather today. Ever since I got back from D.C., I’ve been battling a somewhat tough-as-nails flu that has rendered me essentially helpless and useless for the past 48+ hours. I’m hoping it breaks before the weekend so I’m not bedridden during my days off- but we’ll see! I’ve got plenty of things to binge On-Demand and on Netflix if it doesn’t.

But enough jumping ahead! This post is about jumping backwards (a little) and taking a nice, long and loving look at the month of May, 2018- and what a month it was!

In perhaps what proved to be one of my busiest, bustling, most jam-packed few weeks ever- May started off with a bang when my friends and I ditched work for a day to kick off the Summer slightly early at Singing Beach- and set off on a seasonal mission to try as many new restaurants and bars as possible (Citrus & Salt is a hit, by the way!)

Mother’s Day was spent brunching and shopping with my mom, and with the warm weather finally here to stay for a while- I spent more time working out/exercising outdoors (when we weren’t having tornado watches, anyway.) Thankfully- storms didn’t blow us away- but the Editors sure did during their show at the Paradise Rock Club on May 16th! Soooo good!

Romantics everywhere celebrated the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle while Bostonians everywhere mourned the ends of the seasons for both the Bruins and Celtics. Let’s go Golden Knights!

But of course, this past weekend and all the crazy fun that came with it was the perfect way to round out May. It started last Wednesday night- when my friend from Ireland came into town to have dinner and do some sightseeing while we caught up since we’d last seen each other in Vegas back in February. It was beautiful outside, which made the night even better- and that weather carried all the way over into Friday- which was also Day 1 of the Boston Calling Music Festival.

I was fortunate enough to have a VIP pass, and seized the opportunity to see acts like Portugal, The Man – Paramore, The National, and my favorite boys by way of fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada- The Killers! The whole day/night was absolute magic. I couldn’t stop smiling. Here are a few of my favorite photos I snapped of the scene with my phone (Click to Enlarge!)

It should be noted that one of those photos is of the “BBQ Bomb” they were selling at The Smoke Shop BBQ’s tent- which was a waffle cone filled with beans, queso mac & cheese, and pulled pork. It may have been one of the best things I’ve ever purchased (or ever ate, really.)

Come Saturday morning, it was off to Logan International to catch a quickie flight to Washington D.C. to spend Memorial Day weekend with my friend Duncan (formerly of San Diego- and now based in Chicago!) who I hadn’t seen since the last time we were in D.C. together a couple of years ago to attend a friend of his’ wedding ceremony. The warm weather held up for most of the weekend- save for a couple of showers and scattered thunderstorms- which was nice.

I forgot how beautiful and clean many section of D.C. were- and although certain parts of the city (particularly the monuments) were pretty packed in the afternoons- by nighttime everyone had cleared out and I was able to do some serious tourist-y stuff like walk the entire Mall to the Capitol Building and Supreme Court without seeing another soul for hours. It was pretty amazing- and the pictures I took speak for themselves!

While we were in town, we caught a showing of “Shear Madness” at the Kennedy Center, which was SO much fun- and I made sure to make stops at Arlington Cemetery to pay my respects and the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery to see the amazing new portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama before I had to head back home and beat the post-holiday traffic on Monday morning.

It was such a lovely weekend- and I took a lot of photos along the way. Below are some of my favorites! (Click to Enlarge!)

So what’s in store for June when I’m feeling better? More travel and beach days, I’m hoping! More Summer fashion and awesome cookout recipes, definitely- and maybe seeing some familiar faces who will be in the area over the next couple of weeks!

But until then- here’s to May- which was wildly fun and unexpected. Here’s to this coming weekend being filled with endless possibilities- and here’s to me beating this awful cold once and for all!

Have a beautiful, fantastic weekend, everyone! See you all next week!

xx

– Ashley –

Favorites: May 2018!

Good Morning, everyone!

I hope you all had a fabulous long weekend. Mine was absolutely crazy (in a good way!) and to be honest- I’m still recovering from it a bit. I’m going to attempt to be productive at my office today, but I have a feeling I’ll be heading to bed early tonight to sleep off the last of my grogginess. I’m just thankful it’s a short work week!

My photos/recap of this past weekend- and the month of May overall- will be up on Thursday morning. Memorial Day caused a slight shift in my posting schedule this week, but I’m looking forward towards June and all the Summer plans I have ready to get started on!

But before I jump ahead, I wanted to share some of my favorite products, releases, odds and ends from this past month- most of which are makeup and hair care-related- because May was definitely a month of phasing out my Winter/Spring products to make way for more heat and humidity-friendly cosmetics, instead!

Let’s take a look at what made the cut, shall we?

My color scheme in the Summer months is filled with bright aquas, oranges, golds, corals and pinks- and I’m a big fan of Southwestern inspired jewelry/accessories like this jeweled bracelet and statement ring I purchased from ALDO a couple of years ago. These pieces go so well with my Summer wardrobe- and with temperatures on the rise- I’ve been wearing them daily throughout May.

Side note: the orange in the ring perfectly matches my current nail polish color- and makes an appearance elsewhere in this month’s roundup!

Attention to those with pink hair in need of a touch-up, or to those who want to take a non-permanent plunge with pastels: I have found the perfect product for you! This in-shower aerosol spray from Kristin Ess is applied to wet hair (or towel dried, if you want the color to be a little brighter)– left on for 2-3 minutes, and then rinsed out. The result is a temporary rose gold hue to your highlights that lasts for about three to four shampoos.

I’ve been using this spray once a week to keep my rose gold tint refreshed because it’s so easy to use. It’s also formulated with “zip up” technology- which repairs split ends and the hair’s cuticle while simultaneously creating a barrier to protect your strands from environmental damages and color fading.

The results are definitely noticeable- and the $12 price tag cannot be beat. I love this stuff and I want to buy it in bulk so I never run out!

To create that shimmery, iridescent lip look I covet so much this time of year- I turned to the ‘Unicorn Tears’ lip gloss from Too Faced this past month. With a blue/silver shimmery finish, this gloss can be worn by itself for a unique and bold look- or over lipstick to give your pout a holographic glow.

I wear this over one of my hot pink lipsticks and the results are so neat looking! The sparkle is caught in so many different ways and at every angle- so my lips are the first thing people typically see since they’re so shiny and bright!

And what’s new, Summer makeup without a new bag to put it in? My longtime leopard print bag was recently on it’s way out- so I opted for this new cotton zipped one from Old English Company that boldly states “BUY ME PIZZA AND TELL ME I’M PRETTY” on both sides. It’s very me, no?

While this pouch doesn’t fit all of my brushes, blushes and eyeliners- it does hold the essentials for a day/night out (and serves as a great conversation piece whenever I take it out!)– and is also machine washable- which means easier and more hygienic/thorough cleansing as opposed to canvas/vinyl/plastic makeup bags. I love it!

And finally, my latest drug store/pharmacy finds for Summer makeup! I’ve been taking a break from full-coverage, matte foundations lately to give my skin a chance to breathe. In it’s place, I’ve been using this antioxidant loaded BB cream from Found Cosmetics to give me a little coverage and a ton of skin-nurturing benefits without the harsh chemicals or additives that can cause breakouts, redness, etc. My skin feels and looks so soft, smooth, and dewy- not caked-up or powdery!

And remember that orange shade I’ve been obsessed with this past month? Meet the matching lipstick from Maybelline! ‘Siren in Scarlet’- a tangerine orange with a cream/sheen finish- gives me a bright, long-lasting pop of color in what is otherwise neutral, everyday and office-friendly makeup. I’m obsessed with the finish and the feel of this formula/shade- and am taking it all the way into June with me!

And that’s it for the products/items that can be photographed! I’ve still got a couple of other things that made the list, though!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino: Okay, listen. This album- an unusual departure from the band’s sound and past body of work- took a considerable amount of time to grow on me as I listened more and more and got used to it. It’s definitely a different style, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad. There are a few songs on here that get me going when I’m listening to them on my way to work.

Honestly, I’m just so glad to have another album and another tour from these guys that I’ll even listen to the songs I don’t like *quite as much*- just because.

I’ve Got No Roots – Summer 2018: Introduced last week before I’d left for Boston Calling and Washington D.C.- my new 12 track Summer playlist is a good one I can’t stop listening to. With artists like Middle Kids, The Decemberists and Courtney Barnett- this little soundtrack packs a fun, dance-worthy punch and I can’t wait for you all to play it!

And I think that’s it for May Favorites, everyone! Short, sweet- and to the point!

If you have any of your own favorites you’d like to share- feel free to reach out to me! Maybe I can check them out and maybe they can make the list for June 2018!

But until then- enjoy the rest of your day, everyone! Let’s get to Friday unscathed!

xx

– Ashley –

“I’ve Got No Roots” – A Summer 2018 Playlist

Good Afternoon and TGIF, everyone!

I’m getting ready to head out to the first day of this weekend’s Boston Calling Music Festival to catch sets from The Killers, The National, Paramore- and many more!- before I have to grab my backpack and fly on out to Washington D.C. first thing tomorrow morning!

But before I go, and to kick off the *semi-official* start of the Summer season this Memorial Day weekend- I put together a little playlist of songs I’ve been listening to lately (the title inspired by the super catchy Alice Merton song- which is also included!) that have gotten me into that jet-setting, beach-going, road-trip planning state of mind I’m always in this time of year.

This is “I’ve Got No Roots” – A Summer 2018 Playlist!

– TRACKS –

  1. Alice Merton – No Roots
  2. Middle Kids – Mistake
  3. CHVRCHES – Get Out
  4. The Decemberists – Severed
  5. Beach House – Dark Spring
  6. Japanese Breakfast – Boyish
  7. Tennis – No Exit
  8. Bastille – Quarter Past Midnight
  9. The Vaccines – I Can’t Quit
  10. Hinds – The Club
  11. Courtney Barnett – Nameless, Faceless
  12. Yuno – No Going Back

Here’s wishing everyone a safe, sunny, and fun Memorial Day weekend! I’ll be back on Tuesday with my favorite odds and ends from this past month- as well as plenty of fun stories to share!

If you’d like to follow my travels over the next few days, be sure to follow me on Instagram!

xx

– Ashley –