Favorites: February 2018!

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone! What a wild weekend I had- which I’ll be talking about in a couple of days when I share my month’s-end “In a Nutshell” post- but for now it’s back to work for me, while simultaneously grieving over last night’s mid-season premiere of ‘The Walking Dead’ (for real- I cried so much that it was actually kind of gross.)

But before I dive into my morning meetings, e-mails and phone calls- I wanted to share some of my favorite things from this past month. Admittedly, there isn’t a lot of products/items since I did a pretty significant amount of traveling throughout February and many of my favorites from January carried over as a result- but there were a few things that stood out and even more odds and ends that I couldn’t photograph that made the list!

Let’s get right into it, shall we?

Despite fluctuating temperatures here in Massachusetts, it’s still pretty cold at night, and this mermaid tail blanket- a gift from my Aunt and Uncle earlier this year- has definitely come in handy on the nights I’ve spent throughout this month lounging on the couch and watching TV or getting some late night work done from the comfort of my dining room table.  This blanket is really warm and really fun- and has made more than one appearance in a selfie or on my Snapchat throughout the past couple of weeks.

Oddly enough, I recently read an article where someone said the mermaid and unicorn-themed clothing and accessories for adults are “juvenile”- which to that, I say- awesome. I’m warm, and that’s all that matters!

I’ve been wearing a lot of turtleneck sweaters lately, which makes accessorizing my neck a little difficult unless I go for statement pieces that are big and bold. I recently rediscovered this peacock necklace that my mother had given to me a couple of Christmases ago and I’ve been rocking it to work and out on the town nearly every day/night ever since.

I love the teal and purple colors- which stand out against my usual Winter-neutral shades of black, tan, and grey- and matching my eye shadow or eye liner to them proves for a fun, pre-Spring look without getting overly light and bright too prematurely.

With plans to potentially move out West later on this Fall, I’ve been revisiting something I’ve had on my ‘Bucket List’ for quite a few years but have never had the opportunity to complete until now. I’m talking about traveling cross-country on the remnants of what was formerly Route 66- complete with cheesy roadside attractions, cheap motels, diner food, and an amazing classic rock playlist.

I picked up this book a while back to see what this journey had to offer- and although it’s a little outdated- a lot of the attractions are still very much in existence (The Blue Whale of Catoosa! Cadillac Ranch! Prada Marfa!) I’ve been enjoying researching the must-sees and marking them down along my personal route map now and then over the past few weeks. It’s going to be an adventure!

And finally, one skin care product I’ve been obsessed with as of late. When I returned from my trip to Vegas earlier this month, my skin needed some serious TLC. The dryness of the desert, followed up by the harsh cold here in New England when I came back home- did a number on my complexion. I turned to this gel textured, 10-minute mask from First Aid Beauty to even out my face- restoring moisture, softening rough areas, and brightening any dull spots that appeared along the way.

I swear by this mask- which I use 2x a week- and achieve fantastic results every single time!

And I think that’s it for the photogenic stuff! Moving on, however-

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

‘Far Out\Thaw Out’ – I had shared my most recent, Spring-inspired playlist on 8Tracks a few days ago here on the blog, but it’s worth mentioning again because I truly love each song I hand selected for it and have been listening to them on a rotation (typically on my way to and from work) and thought it was worth posting again!

‘Black Panther’ – WAKANDA FOREVER. Not since ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ have I been so thoroughly in love with a MCU movie as I am with ‘Black Panther’ right now. It was perfect from start to finish- and I have to give a standing ovation to my Queen, Danai Gurira (who rules on ‘The Walking Dead’, too!) I practically shrieked with joy when she showed up on my screen.

I’m actually planning on seeing it again this week with friends who haven’t had the privilege of watching it yet- and I’m just as excited as I was the first time around!

– GAMES/APPS –

Overcooked – I can’t remember the last time a video game caused my friends and I to frantically scream burger ingredients to each other, but here we are. My BFF Sean discovered this game and wasted no time in getting the rest of us on board- but we’ve been obsessively playing it at get togethers all month and we’re showing no signs of stopping any time soon.

The premise seems simple, but the execution can get complicated REAL quick. You play as little cartoon chefs and have to prepare, cook, and serve recipes in the order that they come in. Once the recipes become more complicated and the orders start coming in faster and faster- things turn into an absolute shit show. Our group’s friendship has been tested- more than once- with this game. Over cartoon cheeseburgers, of all things.

And I think that’s it for my February Favorites! I’m off to get some work done- and I hope you all have a great start to your week! Here’s hoping your Monday goes by quickly and painlessly!

xx

– Ashley –

Belated Birthdays, Galentines Day and Dinner Dates…

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone! After a particularly grueling work week (for me, it was filled with meetings and making deadlines in-between those meetings)– it’s nice to see the light at the end of the tunnel known as an upcoming three-day weekend! I’m just excited about being able to sleep in for a morning, maybe do a bit of local adventuring- and getting some things done around my place!

Work aside, this past week was a lot of fun- having kicked off with a surprise Belated-Birthday-Party for yours truly that was thrown by some of my friends I hadn’t seen since last month, right before I’d gone off gallivanting around the West Coast! We had a really great dinner, listened to music, played some highly competitive video games- and indulged in my favorite type of cake (complete with crazy candles!)– red velvet!

And while I can’t say for sure who wrote the message to me in the frosting- I think I have a pretty good idea who was behind it…

Of course, this week was all about Valentine’s Day (and the equally important and undeniably way more fun Galentine’s Day holiday on February 13th!) and despite currently dating-around-but-not-seeing-anyone-exclusively situation I’m currently in- I felt festive and made it a point to touch up my nails- which had long since been destroyed since my last legitimate manicure in San Diego a few weeks ago while I was visiting for my birthday.

They’re still in good shape as I type away right now- so I’m pretty happy! Look how cute they came out!

And in preparation for the official day of cheesy romantic anecdotes and lovey-dovey gestures, one of my exquisite gentlemen friends invited me over to cook me dinner and watch a movie together at his apartment on Tuesday night- an impromptu date which included wine, flowers, and candles.

I couldn’t resist snapping a photo before we sat down. It was legitimately too cute (and the food was really good, too!) Of course, neither one of us- both overly sarcastic- could stomach a romantic comedy after a couple of glasses of wine. Instead, we opted for Tom Cruise’s “American Made”- which was actually very good! Gritty, a little dark- but funny and entertaining nonetheless.

Today also happens to be the Chinese New Year- and in celebration of the Year of The Dog- I’ll be cuddling up with mine after work today and enjoying some takeout crab rangoon and Lo Mein. I’ll also be bumping this Spring-inspired playlist I put together on my 8Tracks Account during some downtime this week.

If you’d like to give it a listen, it’s linked right here! The track listing is below!

– Far Out\Thaw Out [Spring 2018] Tracklisting –

  1. Vance Joy – Lay It On Me
  2. Birdy Bardot – Black Mirror
  3. James Bay – Wild Love
  4. MGMT – Me and Michael
  5. Franz Ferdinand – Feel The Love Go
  6. Dani Bell & The Tarantist – Crave
  7. Brian Fallon – Etta James
  8. The Killers – The Way It Was

Enjoy your weekend, everyone! See you next week!

xx

– Ashley –

Cool Evenings/Hot Coffee – A Fall 2017 Playlist

 

Although the First Day of Fall isn’t until next Friday- I couldn’t resist sharing my Autumn-inspired playlist for the coming season a week early- a tradition I greatly enjoyed during my days of writing Legally Redhead. Fall playlists are always so dreamy, calming and relaxing- and the 10 tracks I chose for this year’s installment are no exception to that rule.

A mix of new releases from some of my favorite artists who dropped albums recently (with a couple of older songs I adore peppered in here and there!)– “Cool Evenings/Hot Coffee” was inspired by the nights I spend with friends this time of year- bundled up around bonfires while we sip hot cider and swap ghost stories. It’s magical!

With tracks from The War on Drugs, Amy Stroup, Tori Amos and The National- this might be one of my favorite mixes yet!

– Tracks –
  • Kaleo – All The Pretty Girls
  • Amy Stroup – ‘Til We Get There
  • The War on Drugs – Pain
  • Iron & Wine – Bitter Truth
  • Joseph – All
  • The Lumineers – Angela
  • MUTEMATH – Nuisance
  • Ted Leo and the Pharmacists – William Weld in the 21st Century
  • Tori Amos – Cloud Riders
  • The National – Carin at the Liquor Store

You can listen to the mix by clicking below, or by visiting my 8Tracks Page HERE. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed putting it together!

xx

– Ashley –

California Dreamin’…

I did it. I made it. I pulled it off! I traveled to and from the West Coast in just under 48 hours and lived to tell the tale- although I am admittedly pretty tired after coming home and immediately heading back to work these past couple of days. I figure I can catch up on my sleep this weekend, though. I had an incredible time- and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. It was worth feeling a little sleepy and groggy.

My love affair with San Diego began in my very early twenties when I traveled there alone for the first time to see a weekend-long festival that some of my musician friends were participating in. While there, those very same friends gave me a tour of the city- including the beaches, the bars, the numerous venues and even some of the more “touristy” spots- and I was smitten pretty much immediately. Since then, I’ve spent the better part of a decade jet-setting to SoCal and back as much as I can and whenever I get the chance. Many of my friends still live in the area- so it’s always a great time to spend time with them whenever I head out for a few days.

If I could live anywhere in the world- it’d be San Diego- but it’s so astronomically expensive there that I’d really have to do some extensive research to find a reasonable, affordable and actually NICE place to hang my hat. That’s not to say I’m not keeping an eye out, though…

I digress! This past weekend, I was initially supposed to head to Los Angeles for a day and a half or so- but those plans fell through at the last minute. Having already made arrangements with someone near and dear to me in San Diego for Saturday night (when I planned to drive in from L.A.)– I opted to rearrange my flight and just fly straight there, instead- and still return home on Sunday evening.

It worked out well. My flight arrived early on Saturday morning, giving me enough time to get my bearings and make myself look presentable for the day. I booked an affordable room at the very unique and super quirky Hotel Z– where the decor is all pineapples and sass. It felt like every corner I turned- I had to stop and snap a picture of their amenities. The rooms were a bit small- but comfortable- and overall I really enjoyed curling up there after a long night of drinks and debauchery.

Prior to meeting up with my friend at our usual late night hangout spot after he got off of work for the night- I swung by The Casbah for the first time in YEARS to show my support for my longtime friend, Brian- who was being celebrated for his contributions to music in and around the San Diego area for years and years. Lead with a pretty stellar lineup of opening acts- Brian naturally performed as well. I knew of one of his earlier bands, Convoy, for a while when I was younger- but we didn’t formally meet in person until his days in Louis XIV. He’s always been a sweetheart and totally charming for as long as I’ve known him- and he’s an absolute riot. I adore people who can make me genuinely laugh until I have tears in my eyes- and he does it.

I’m so happy for him and I couldn’t be prouder.

I left right after the show wrapped up since a couple of women who’d had a bit too much to drink had started to accost me and I didn’t want any potential or unnecessary to spoil the overall upbeat mood of the evening- but I truly did have a lovely time.

The remainder of my night was spent drinking a tad too much over on 16th street with two of my favorite guys in the universe before I eventually sauntered back to my room to sleep it off and prepare to catch my flight back to the East Coast late Sunday morning.

Mild hangover and a broken sensor on my plane that delayed my flight by just over an hour and a half aside- it was smooth sailing the whole way home. I got home at a reasonable hour and was up and (barely) ready for work on Monday morning- and here I am- already planning my next trip out West!

And going with the music/live show theme- while on the road, in the air, and now back at home- I compiled a short playlist of some of the Summer songs I’ve been grooving to these past couple of weeks and that I took with me during my trip. I uploaded the playlist on my new 8Tracks Account– but thought I’d share it here, too!

This is “Pineapple Daze – a Summer 2017 Playlist!”

– Tracks –
  • Beth Ditto – Oo La La
  • Portugal, The Man – Feel It Still
  • The Killers – The Man
  • Lorde – Perfect Places
  • Capital Cities – Swimming Pool Summer
  • Day Wave – Something Here
  • Alvvays – In Undertow
  • Local Natives – Dark Days
  • Future Islands – Ran
  • Sir Sly – High

 

xx

– Ashley –