Pre-Thanksgiving Thanks…

Good Morning and Happy Tuesday, everyone!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around my neighborhood- with decorations and lights going up in all the storefronts and the common at breakneck speed. I believe there’s more than one tree lighting ceremony being kicked off this coming weekend around the Valley- whereas I’m still shopping for my own little tree to commemorate my first Christmas in my new apartment. I haven’t found the perfect one yet- but there’s still time and I’m getting closer, I think!

Of course, Thanksgiving is going down in a couple of days- and I’ll be packing up the apple dumplings I recently picked up at Red Apple Farm and the salted chocolate pie I pre-ordered from Florence Pie Bar before I head over to my mom’s house to mingle and eat- but I have my monthly “Favorites” post lined up in the morning, too! It’s a short but sweet one!

I’ve been thinking a lot about gratitude and what I’m thankful for this year. My friends and family, of course- it goes without saying- and as crazy as my full-time job can make me at times, I’m thankful I’m gainfully employed since I know so many others are out there struggling to find steady work/income right now. I’m thankful to Indie617 for giving me a show on Saturdays and allowing me to grow and learn in a field outside what I’m normally used to- and have an immense amount of fun while I do it.

I’m grateful for my health, my beautiful apartment, my kindhearted and artistic community for welcoming me with open arms- and the deepening friendships/relationships I’ve forged since moving out here.

I’m also beyond thankful for the time I’ve been able to spend with someone near and dear to me. He’s moving for a job opportunity in early 2020 and I’m going to miss him very, very much- but I’m so grateful he’s been such a major part of my life for so long and that we’ve been able to make such wonderful memories together this past year.

I’m especially grateful to this blog and it’s followers/subscribers- who have made 2019 one of my most productive and successful to date. There’s big changes coming to “Blondie Birdie” in early 2020 that I’m excited to share- and I hope you’ll all be excited, too!

But before I get ready to get some pre-holiday work done at my office- here’s some helpful links for those of you who might need a little backup as the day of unapologetic gluttony and super comfy elastic-waist pants draws closer and closer!

Need a last minute recipe? I got you!

Need some holiday outfit inspiration? I got you there, too!

Need a soundtrack for dinner? Oh, you know I got you!

Enjoy the rest of your day, everybody!

xx

– Ashley –

Getting Spooky…

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone! Another work week is done and in the books!

I had wanted to share photos of the absolutely gorgeous foliage we have going on here in Western Massachusetts with all of you this morning- but as most of you know- sometimes life and other obligations come up unexpectedly and plans can change at the last minute.

It’s been a very busy week for me- both at work and outside of the office where I’ve been coordinating upcoming events and social gatherings with friends and family. October is usually a pretty packed month for me anyway- and this year is no different!

This weekend marks my annual trip to Rock and Shock in my hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts- where I’ll spend a day celebrating all things horror movies and Halloween. And then on Tuesday through Wednesday- I’m coming back to Boston to catch a show from Bon Iver at TD Garden and spend some time in the city I love and miss very, very much!

But needless to say, my days post-work have consisted of a lot of planning and a little packing for my upcoming mini road trips and overnight stays. It’s left little time to go out and photograph the changing season properly!

Despite my hectic schedule as of late- I intend on snapping plenty of photos over the next few days and getting them up here on Blondie Birdie ASAP. I’ll also be stopping by some of those creepy, spooky, possibly haunted locations around New England I’ve been talking about to share here on the blog and on social media, as well- and, of course- I’m going to start preparing my Halloween costumes! Yes, costumes. Plural. I never do just one!

In the interim, if you’re looking for some content to keep you busy until I’m back on Monday morning- you can check out the following recommended links!

But that just about does it for me for today, everyone! I’ve got lots to do before I leave work for the day and officially begin my Saturday/Sunday commitments!

Have a great weekend, y’all! Stay safe and be kind out there!

xx

– Ashley –

A Midsummer Night’s Flu…

Good Afternoon and Happy “Hump Day”, everyone!

So, like most things in my life- I like to keep my blogging/blog posts on a semi regular schedule. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are typically the days I share content while en route to my office for my full-time job, unless there’s a holiday or something- in which case the posts are delegated to Tuesdays or Thursdays.

Last week, after I had posted my tribute for my late father commemorating several years since his passing- I had already started drafting my content for Friday morning before I left for the weekend and I braced myself for the heatwave that was scheduled to blanket New England until late Sunday night/early Monday morning.

But then I started to feel a little funny. It wasn’t too alarming- not at first- I just felt unusually fatigued and I kept losing my voice at the strangest times. I spent my Thursday and Friday in a bit of a pre-cold fog and, frankly- forgot to post all together. All I could do was sleep in-between grabbing dinners and seeing a couple of movies with friends (“The Lion King”, which was excellent- and “Rocket Man”, which was… Well.. It was something?)

By Saturday afternoon, after I’d left the Indie617 station and was trying to protect myself from triple digit temperatures outside- I had a full-blown, Midsummer’s flu. Coughing. Sneezing. Fever. The works.

And while fevers are problematic on their own- fevers during a severe heatwave are a major cause for concern. I just couldn’t cool down, and on more than one occasion- friends and family were considering taking me to the hospital since I was borderline delirious and nothing was working at lowering my temperature and making me feel better.

Of course, I had to keep working during all of this- between my office job, volunteering for the Pan-Mass Challenge, and my work with PaintBox Theatre– so I was essentially running on fumes until Monday evening when I could finally rest right and properly with the A/C on, the blinds closed, and an ice pack on my head. No worries, though- I kept my mouth/nose covered and slathered antibacterial gel all over my hands on what felt like a ten minute routine.

Thankfully, the fever has since broke- and I’ve been on the mend and getting better and better since Monday. Today, both my “Work From Home Day” and mercifully a half day as well- is the best I’ve felt since right around this time last week. I’m up, moving, talking, and taking plenty of medicine and getting a ton of fluids. I’m even considering braving the outdoors today for some much-needed fresh air and even more needed coffee!

Volunteering for Pan-Mass!
My favorite volunteer at Pan-Mass.

Of course, being sick had me in a bit of a funk/depression- especially when bedridden and all I wanted to do was scratch more things off of my “Summer 2019 Bucket List”- but I’m resolved not to waste what’s left of July and cram whatever is left into August. Being sad and sick is the worst. Being said and sick during a heatwave is torture. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

All that being said- thanks to everyone who heard through social media I wasn’t well and touched base. It meant a lot!

I’m excited to get “Blondie Birdie” back on track and savor the last few days of July!

I’ll be back – bright and early – on Friday morning! Until then, enjoy what’s left of your Wednesday!

xx

– Ashley –

Blondie Birdie Turns 2!

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

Although it’s never fun to return to work after the weekend- especially this past one where the weather was perfect and I had a lot of fun- I’m excited to get back into my office and push through this week as quickly as possible so we can get to Friday again!

This past weekend, which I’ll recap a little later on in the week- was also a commemorative one as it marked “Blondie Birdie’s” second birthday/anniversary/blog-iversary/etc! I started writing this little corner of the web two years ago on 6/9/17- and while some of my content has changed over the years (I no longer review subscription boxes, for example-) much of it has stayed the same in terms of delicious recipes, peeks inside my closet at my more fun wardrobe staples, and lots and lots of pictures from around where I live and when I travel!

It’s been a wild two years filled with adventures, surprises, eye-opening moments, self-discovery, major life changes, friends and family and so much more- and I’m so honored and thrilled to have so many of you along for the ride. I hope reading “Blondie Birdie” makes each of you as happy and eager to travel/cook/try new things as it does for me when I’m writing it- and I hope to give you all another two years (and many more after that!) or quality posts I take pride in publishing.

Of course, no birthday can go noticed/acknowledged without a little bit of site maintenance. I’ve updated my ABOUT ME and CONTACT pages to reflect more accurate and up-to-date information- and I’ve gone through to make sure there are no broken links/images in posts from the pasts. A daunting task, for sure- but a fun little stroll down memory lane regardless!

I’ll also be making some changes to the design/layout of the blog over the next several days- which I’m excited to see rolled out in completion as the preliminary testing is wrapped up!

And while last year’s 1-year anniversary saw a fun, Summertime-themed giveaway up and running- I’ve opted to wait until the Fall (my favorite season!) to put together something really, really special for you all that you can enter to win. I want to make sure it’s perfect and truly represents me and the person I’ve become over these last two years- and so far I think it may be one of my best giveaways yet. Be sure to keep an eye out in the coming months for more information!

All in all I’m really proud and grateful for these last two years and the progress I’ve made personally, professionally, and in terms of the quality of Blondie Birdie. I’m excited for the future- but if you’d like to peek at the past as I’ve been doing- here’s a handy link to some of my most popular tags:

* RECIPES *

* OOTD *

* TRAVEL *

* BEAUTY *

I’m off to get started on my e-mails, voicemails, etc. I’m going to be back a little later on this week with a look at my weekend and have a super easy, super refreshing Summertime recipe to share now that the temperatures are starting to rise again!

Here’s wishing you all a wonderful start to your week and a peaceful few days ahead! Thank you all again so, so much for continuing to support Blondie Birdie and yours truly. It means the world!

xx

– Ashley –