Holiday Trends: Bamboo Earrings

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

I hope everyone who celebrated Thanksgiving had a wonderful holiday and (hopefully) long weekend! I know I certainly did. The past few days have been filled with family, friends, and *so* much food. With all the turkey, vegetables, stuffing, rolls and pie I’ve been eating at all hours since Thursday afternoon- I’m going to be hitting the gym pretty hardcore over the next few weeks to work it all off again…

… Just to make room for all of that delicious Christmas food, of course!

But I digress- I had a lovely few days off and now it’s time to get back to work- both at my office and here on the blog.

Despite the urge to just wear sweatpants during Thanksgiving and the days that followed- I had to stay put together for various parties and outings in and around my hometown. That meant accessorizing and finding stylish (yet practical) shoes to wear out in the snow, too. When it comes to holiday-centric jewelry- I keep the glitz and the glimmer for New Year’s Eve festivities. While I definitely love all things sparkly- sometimes it’s nice to have something a bit more simple and natural to build my look around.

I’ve been wearing these lightweight, uniquely carved bamboo earrings from Green Tree Jewelry all throughout this past week/weekend- and the response I’ve gotten from my loved ones has been great! So much, in fact- that I plan on doing some of my holiday shopping through the company since they carry a variety of beautiful gifts that extend beyond jewelry.

Green Tree, based out of San Diego (my home away from home!) arose from the ashes- literally- following a wildfire that consumed the founders’ previous baseball bat engraving business in 2008. With eco-friendly laser cutters left unscathed in the aftermath, founders Lance Nybye Sr. and Jr. shifted their focus to designing and carving beautiful, intricate, fun and fashionable pieces from sustainable resources within the USA. Their artistry now extends across affordable necklaces, bracelets, ornaments, switch plates and so much more!

What I love most about these earrings, apart from the fact that they don’t feel heavy at all- is that the bamboo isn’t painted/stained or otherwise changed apart from it’s being carved. The natural, smooth wood finish makes each earring different and special in it’s own way.

The smaller pair I’ve been wearing, the Modern Leaf Bamboo Earrings, are my “daytime” pair. Jeans and sweaters? Leggings and long jackets while out and about grabbing lunch with friends, running errands, or digging out the ornaments to get the Christmas tree set up and decorated? These are my go-to accessory.

This pair is simple- yet still beautiful- and just goes so well with most of what I wear during the day.

And my “nighttime”, fancier occasion pair? That would be the larger, insanely cool Greek Bamboo Earrings– which are dramatic (like me!) and look amazing when I’m dressed to the nines and got a good smoky eye or red lip going on. I wore these to a performance I caught over the weekend and they were THE statement piece I needed to make a lasting impression.

Today is Cyber Monday, so if you’re looking for a beautiful gift that will be treasured by someone special in your life this holiday season and you want to support a great business- go give Green Tree Jewelry a browse.

ALSO! If you enter the code “GTJ10” at checkout, you’ll get 10% off your purchase- as well as free shipping!

Have fun getting some great deals today, everyone- and enjoy the start of your week! Let’s push through to Friday together!

xx

– Ashley –

OOTD: Lady In Red…

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

What a weekend it’s been. One of my longtime and dearest friends tied the knot on Saturday night in one of the most fun ceremonies and celebrations I’ve ever had the fortune of attending (and I’ll have photos from the night up a little later on this week!)– and yesterday, a day that was supposed to be for rest and some self-care- was instead spent at an Urgent Care veterinarian’s office after Oliver sustained a back injury and needed to be checked out.

He’s thankfully okay (it was a strain/sprain and he’s on some anti-inflammation medication to alleviate his symptoms while he recovers)– but my nerves were shot. Once I’d had a chance to come home, shower, and unwind- it took me no time at all to succumb to exhaustion and fall asleep.

And now here I am, at work for another week. Sigh.

Before I launch into my e-mails, voicemails, and caseload for the week- I wanted to share the beautiful, Autumn-appropriate dress I wore to the aforementioned wedding this past weekend, first!

Red is a bold color I never shied away from- my hair was a fire engine red hue for a good several years, after all- and I knew with how bold and exciting my circle of friends are that donning a red dress in a church wouldn’t be frowned upon by them.

I opted for this fitted, quarter-length sleeved red dress that stopped just above my knee and was accentuated with a thin red tie around the waist to break up the simplicity of the fabric. I was covered- perfect for a formal occasion- but was still comfortable when it came time to throw back a couple of drinks and some wedding cake come the time of the reception!

And while more than one female guest ended up taking their heels off by the end of the night- I was able to stay standing in these black velvet, buckled ankle booties with a chunky heel to give me some height and some support. I haven’t really had a chance to wear these out because of all the rain we’ve been having- so I’m glad it was nice out by the time it came ready to head on over to the church!

I turned my convertible faux-snakeskin bag into a clutch for the evening, and the gray and black really played well against the dress, the boots, and my newly acquired dark gray manicure- which really pulled the whole look together for me.

I’m looking forward to getting some more wear out of this dress now that the holidays will be approaching soon- since the red will be pretty festive and the simple style of the dress will be easy enough to doll up or down depending on the event. This one is a keeper, for sure!

But I’ve got a lot of work to do- and this week is going to be another busy one I need to stay on top of- so I’m heading out to get things done before I can even stop and think about getting some much-needed rest and relaxation!

Here’s wishing you all a wonderful start to your week and a terrific few days ahead before we reach another weekend!

xx

– Ashley –

Favorites: October 2018!

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone! Especially my fellow Red Sox fans! What a series!

And so begins another work week- the repetition thankfully being broken up by Halloween and kicking off November in style. While I’ll divulge the details of my wild and fun weekend a little later on this week (as well as re-cap the month of October overall in my scheduled “In a Nutshell” post)– I thought I’d take time in-between catching up on work at my office and recovering from one of twelve flus/nanoviruses going around New England like wildfire as of late and share some of my favorite products, items, odds & ends from this past month.

Despite my current sniffle and scratchy throat- which is thankfully improving after some much-needed rest and relaxation last night (and some NyQuil)– October was a month I tried to practice more self care. That included drinking more water, getting more fresh air, and updating my skincare products/regimen to make sure I was staying hydrated from head to toe. Many of this month’s favorites are items that reflect those efforts!

As always, I’ll start with the things I was able to photograph before I jump into some of the miscellaneous things that were a little trickier to capture with my camera!

When Bath & Body Works had their buy three- get three free sale this past month, I took the opportunity to stock up on some of their Fall-inspired skincare line- including pumpkin/apple/cinnamon-scented scrubs, lotions, creams and perfumes.

I’ve been using these products daily and my skin has never looked or felt better- which is definitely appreciated since it’s been chilly and rainy these past few weeks and I’ve been able to avoid letting my skin get dull or dry as we gradually transition from the Fall to the Winter.

Also? Smelling like a pumpkin pie? I’m loving that!

Bath & Body Works have recently started promoting their holiday line- and the buy three-get three free sale is presently up and running if anyone is looking for some good deals or gifts for family/friends!

If I’m going to indulge my skin in some serious care- then I wanted to make sure my hair was being well taken care of, as well. Lately I’ve been loving all sorts of products from Kevin Murphy– but this detoxifying shampoo might be one of my favorites. I use this once a week, massaging it into my scalp and down to the ends of my curls and letting it sit for a minute or two before I rinse- and my hair feels squeaky clean without dryness or frizz. The non-lathering formula melts away product and chemical buildup at the root, while softening and conditioning the ends.

Of course, not every day can be a good hair day- and while I’ve been seeing a lot of beanies and knitwear around lately- I’ve opted for this navy blue beret, embellished with tiny gold stars, instead. It easily matches most of the pieces in my Fall wardrobe- especially my flannel shirts and sweaters- and it’s just so cute!

Finally, I love boot season- and with a couple of Fall weddings coming up over the next few weeks- I’ve wanted to stay seasonal and comfortable on and off the dance floor. I’ve been loving these tan, suede booties with a wooden block heel from Primark lately- which are also super easy to incorporate into both my casual AND dressy wardrobe- and are insanely comfy, too!

And that’s it for the photogenic products/items- but I’ve got a couple of other things that made this month’s list, too!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

‘Halloween’ – Of course the holiday itself is one of my favorites, but I’m talking about the sequel to the horror-movie of the same name. As a kid, the only horror movie “baddie” who ever truly scared me was Michael Myers. He didn’t have corny one-liners like Freddy Krueger and he didn’t get blasted off into space ala Jason Voorhees.

No, Michael has always stayed the same- silent and ruthless- even through some questionable sequels/re-makes. But, thankfully, the most recent installment in the film franchise brings things back around full circle in a truly terrifying way. It’s just so damned good!

– GAMES/TECH/APPS –

‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ – Even though this game has only been out for a couple of days, my friends and I have been having a free-for-all of a good time playing it. I don’t think we’ve accomplished any of the missions successfully since we keep getting sidetracked- but the graphics and the gameplay thus far are pretty incredible and it was well worth the wait for it to finally be released!

– MISCELLANEOUS –

Idle Hands Brewing: Undead Red – I first tasted this bright red sour this past Saturday at Indie617’s ‘Boos & Brews’ party at Idle Hands‘ place in Malden- and I was hooked. Infused with fruit and with a cherry aftertaste, this beer was delicious- paired wonderfully with chocolate- and wasn’t too potent for a lightweight like me. I’m a big fan, and will more than likely dropping by this weekend at some point to have a bit more.

And I think that does it for my October favorites! I’ll have a recap of this past month up and running on Wednesday morning before I pass out candy to the Trick-Or-Treaters and get ready to jump-start November!

Until then, though- I’ve got to get some work done. Here’s wishing you all a wonderful start to your week!

xx

– Ashley –

OOTD: Lizzie Borden Took an Ax…

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

Although today marks a holiday I don’t necessarily believe in celebrating- my office is still closed and I still have to make the best of having a Monday off. My plans today include apple/pumpkin picking with my mother and my niece out in rural Massachusetts, peeping some foliage, and enjoying a lunch outdoors in the beautiful splendor of Autumnal New England!

This time of year, I like to highlight some of the “spookier” pieces in my wardrobe- from Wednesday Addams-inspired tops, dresses with bloody hand prints all over them, and stockings designed to look simply skeletal. It’s a really fun time for fashion in October- and that also includes some unique jewelry, too!

I’m very fortunate in that I have friends and family who understand and encourage my love of all things horror/macabre- so they haven’t blinked twice when I started showing up to get-togethers in recent days with this large Lizzie Borden pendant necklace I had picked up during a Winter visit to her family’s home (now a museum) a couple of years ago! To them, it’s perfectly normal.

Apart from the large brooch featuring Lizzie’s portrait, the necklace also includes a cheeky sterling silver ax/hatchet charm that is noticeable to those who take a long enough glance.

I typically don’t wear this necklace with anything fancy or flashy since it’s big and attention-grabbing enough on it’s own- but it’s a nice addition to my usual October daytime ensembles which consist of (mostly) all black tops, jeans and boots. I aim to look like a vampire as much as possible through Halloween, really.

The necklace is available at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast website (and the inn itself is a pretty fascinating visit if you ever find yourself in Fall River!) which also has a bunch of other really interesting and morbid souvenirs available for purchase. I mean, who wouldn’t want a magnet with crime scene photos of Mr. & Mrs. Borden’s bodies on their refrigerator, right? Definitely a conversation piece for sure.

I have even more oddities to share in the coming weeks, but a local legend seemed like a good place to start when diving into the “Halloween Corner” of my closet!

I’m off to grab coffee and doughnuts (it’s a cheat day!) with my family before we head off to our fun-filled Fall day together. I’ll have plenty of pics to post later on this week- and on Friday I’ve got a pretty quick and easy take on a classic recipe to share with everyone!

Here’s hoping you all have a terrific Monday- and if you’ve got it off from work- make the most of it!

xx

– Ashley –

Favorites: September 2018!

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone!

We’ve made it to the end of another week- and pretty close to the end of another month!

While this week was a short one for me, what with returning from the West Coast and today being my half day at work (until next week, anyway- when my designated half day shifts to Wednesdays for a little while!)– I’m looking forward to the weekend and getting ready to dive into October- the month when I’m at maximum “spooky” power.

I’ll have my look back on September up bright and early this coming Sunday morning before I head out to do some long overdue apple and pumpkin picking- but before I get too ahead of myself- I wanted to share some of the products, purchases, odds and ends that I was coveting and obsessing over these past few weeks.

That’s right- it’s time for my monthly Favorites!

Now, the photogenic products are at a minimum as it was really hard to commit to fashion/accessories/shoes- not only because I was in the desert for a considerable amount of time this month- and also because the temperatures fluctuated so often back here in New England that I never knew what to wear or when! That’s the trickiest thing about September where I live. Summer does everything it can to hold on, while Fall is ready to swoop in and take over!

I digress- there are plenty of other things I enjoyed in September- and they’re all gonna’ get a mention.

Let’s take a look!

When I read that snakeskin was going to have a serious moment this Fall- I couldn’t wait to dive into the trend. Not wanting to go straight for cowboy boots or belts to incorporate the print into my wardrobe- I opted to replace my faux-leather cross-body bag with a faux-snakeskin one from ALDO, instead.

With a braided metal chain and clasp to keep the two spacious pouches within the bag secure- I have been loving this thing, It hangs comfortably, holds the essentials, and matches pretty much everything I own!

I have a feeling is one is going to be getting me through the Spring when it comes time for me to change things up again!

These two products were life savers- especially when I’d left the humidity in Massachusetts and spent time in the dry, dusty climate around Las Vegas during my vacation. It took little to no time at all for my skin, hair, and lips to get dry- but luckily I was prepared!

Knowing fully well that my makeup was going to be running off my face the second I stepped off the plane in Nevada and all that would be left would be dry, patchy skin- I opted for this moisturizing primer from Tarte. Not only did it keep my skin hydrated (even when I was out in the middle of the desert, roasting under the sun!)– but it kept my makeup in place. No touch-ups necessary as I went from day to night mode!

Of course, when it did come time to remove my makeup and turn in for the night- I wanted a sleeping mask that would keep my skin moisturized and bright so I could wake up and go. Enter this glittery, berry-scented and lightweight gel “Unicorn Glow” sleeping mask from Soo Ae Skin Care. After each night I fell asleep with this mask on, I woke up with skin that looked and felt sparkling clean and refreshed. Side note? The packaging is too cute. I’m in love!

And finally, with Fall in full swing- I’ve been gradually phasing out my bright pinks, corals and red lipsticks/lip glosses from the Summer and transitioning into rich nudes and brown tones. I’ve been wearing these two shades (the lighter, “Satin Ribbon” and the darker, “Teddy”) from NYX’s ‘Lip Lingerie’ collection.

These formulas go on smooth and quickly dry to a nice, crease-free matte finish that make my lips look plump and very Autumn-esque. You can keep an eye on my Instagram to see more photos of them up close this coming weekend!

And that’s it for the items/products that could be photographed- but as they say in infomercials- wait, there’s more!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

‘The Purge TV’ – I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first turned into this mini-series at the beginning of the month, but it’s been such a wild, dark and twisted ride- and now I’m hooked. The show follows three separate story lines that occasionally intersect on the night of the annual purge (the one night a year where all crime- including murder- is legal) as the characters struggle to survive and face their own morality.

It’s pretty intense- although I loved the candle the network sent me following the premiere!

‘Peppermint’ – I love a good vigilante justice flick, especially when the lead is a female- but seeing Jennifer Garner go from the sweet ‘Capitol One’ spokesperson to a no-nonsense Queen who punches bad guys in the face and blows things up? Count me in. I had so much fun watching this with a friend earlier this month. It was completely unexpected and worth a watch for anyone who likes action movies!

– GAMES/TECH/APPS –

‘Dead By Daylight’ – Although this horror movie-inspired PC game would have been a perfect contribution to my October favorites, I couldn’t wait to add it since my friends and I have been having a blast playing it. In the game, you can choose to be a survivor or the “killer” (and some are based off of classic horror movie baddies)– and you either work with your team to solve puzzles and escape the killer- or you go around and kill the survivors before they can escape.

It’s funny and crazy- and is definitely going to keep me occupied in the coming days when it starts raining again!

‘Hidden Agenda’ – Another group mystery/horror game, this PS4-Smartphone hybrid game (from the company behind ‘Until Dawn’!) allows players to work together to track down a serial killer, or- depending on your motives- sabotage your team. We played this as a group right before I left for the West Coast and it was the best. time. Seriously. Get your friends together and give it a shot!

– MISCELLANEOUS –

Maple. Pecan. Everything – Coffee, muffins, candles, etc. I don’t care what it is- if it’s got maple and pecan in it- I’ll eat it or use it to scent my home. Who needs pumpkin spice when this combination is taking over this Fall? I can’t get enough of it!

And I think that’s it, everyone! This month had a lot of fun things I’ll be using well into October- but I’m sure I’ll have some new finds to share, too!

I’m off to finish up some work and enjoy a company luncheon. Here’s hoping you all have a wonderful Friday and beginning to your weekend!

xx

– Ashley –