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 –

Brunette Birdie?

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

It’s funny and fascinating what changes in your life- big or small- can do to you. They can completely turn your world upside down, or have you re-examining and reevaluating your priorities and your goals- or rejuvenate you, refresh you and set you on a new path you may not have even known existed.

There have been a lot of changes in my life in recent months. A new apartment, a new community, new neighbors and friends. There have been changes in my job(s), changes in my personal relationships- and I’ve been attempting to navigate those changes as gracefully as possible while simultaneously reassessing so many of my wants/needs and clumsily preparing for whatever is going to happen next.

Not all of the changes have been good ones. Some have been heartbreaking. Some have been infuriating- but they’ve all shaped the person I am becoming in this new chapter of my life. It’s a scary thing sometimes, but it’s also exciting in a way- because I’m learning so much about myself, what’s truly important to me, and my resilience in the face of the unknown and uncertain.

And lifestyle/personal changes affect you physically, too. While the first month or so after my move was sluggish and had me feeling tired with daily commutes to work, waiting for the arrival of much-needed furniture, not exactly eating or sleeping the best due to long hours- I’ve since got a handle on things and have been actively and regularly working out, preparing better-for-me-meals and sleeping through the night undisturbed (especially now that I’m no longer living near the city!)

And this past Wednesday, when it came time for me to update my blonde curls yet again with help from my stylist- I decided to go bold, try something new- and ditch the golden hues for a more chocolate-inspired look, instead.

That’s right- I’m a brunette again!

I’m still getting used to the new look, which has been well-received by friends, family and co-workers- and it feels like a fitting way to wrap up Summer 2019 and prepare for impending Autumn and the next chapter of my life I’m preparing to write.

And no, I will not be changing the title of my blog from “Blondie Birdie” to “Brunette Birdie” or any variation anytime soon. I’ve grown quite accustomed to my nickname and my little corner of the internet- and I intend to stay here!

Next week I’m going to be visiting one of my favorite coastal towns here in New England, sharing my favorite things from this past month- and getting ready to leap into September after taking a look back at all the highs and lows of August!

Until then- enjoy your weekend, everyone!

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 –

Pioneer Woman

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone! We made it to another weekend (relatively) unscathed!

For the past few days, I’ve teased at having big news I’ve been anxiously waiting to share with everyone- and now seems like the perfect time to finally divulge the details. I had been waiting for the right time and for the ink to dry before I said anything outside of my immediate family and my employers- but as of May 18th- I’ll be a resident of the Pioneer Valley for what I’m calling/considering a year-long trial period.

I’ll be moving into a lumber-mill-turned-luxury-loft because I’m a walking Pinterest board.

The road of my life will eventually lead to Las Vegas and the West Coast, I’m sure- but I’m not done here in Massachusetts and New England yet. I’m working, actively participating in my community in various projects, having the time of my life at Indie617 and am hesitant to walk away from my family, lifelong friends and a personal relationship I’m very happy with right now.

But, at the end of the day- cost effectiveness, the need for my own space in a clean, safe area far outside the city and away from the traffic, congestion, and pollution- and wanting to be closer to more work opportunities and a community of artists and creators I’ve come to love and embrace has both inspired and persuaded me to make this change.

I’ll still be working with the same company, who have graciously offered me the chance to work remotely when needed so that I don’t have to leave them. I’ll still be hosting my radio show on Saturdays. I’ll still be attending all sorts of events in and around Boston as if nothing has changed- and things like commuting, travel expenses, etc. have already been heavily considered in my decision making and solutions have been discovered with the help from friends and family- but this is something I need in my life right now: mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and financially.

It’s simply getting too expensive to live where I am right now, and having lived with people for as long as I can remember- from growing up with my parents and brothers, co-existing with friends/friends-of-friends/strangers, etc.- having my own place for a fraction of what I spend now to simply keep a roof over my head is going to be such a refreshing change of pace for me.

It has been a joyous journey for the past few years and I’m admittedly excited, scared, happy, anxious and a little sad to be moving somewhere new and kinda’ far out in the country- but it’s a whole new chapter and adventure and with that comes stories to share as I’m meeting new people, visiting new places and trying new things- so at least I won’t be lacking for content here at ‘Blondie Birdie!’

So that’s the news! It was nothing salacious or anything and my apologies to anyone who was getting their hopes up that it was.

I’ll be sharing all sorts of photos of my new place and the process while I’m moving in a few weeks- both here and on my social media, for sure- but here’s to new beginnings!

And also, here’s to the weekend! I’m off to work for a few hours before I head on over to Down The Road Beer Co. for our fourth installment of IndieBrews tonight with The Devil’s Twins. Come on by, have a drink- and bring your dogs so I can pet them!

See you all again on Monday, everyone!

xx

– Ashley –