Digging Out of The Snow…

Digging Out of The Snow…

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone!

While I had wanted to get a post up, as usually scheduled, this past Wednesday- the Winter storm that began whipping though New England on Sunday night had other plans for me. With over two feet of snow accumulated where I live and occasional power outages due to strong winds- my primary focus became staying warm and safe until it was calm enough outside to shovel my way back into the world on Wednesday afternoon.

The storm marked the first significant one of the 2019/2020 Winter season- and while snow is always a welcomed guest throughout December (we’re dreaming of white Christmases and all)– by February I know I’m going to dread the sight of it. It’s like clockwork. It happens every year.

I digress. During a lull in the storm on Monday afternoon- I went for a little hike not far from my office to snap some photos of the aftermath. Little did I know another foot of powder was on it’s way- so I managed to get some nice shots before then.

On top of the snow, a lot of my friends and family have been battling some weird cold/flu that’s been spreading like wildfire- so needless to say I’ve been proactive with keeping myself rested, hydrated, and well until it blows over. The last thing I need during the busiest time of the year is to get taken down by a sore throat or a stuffy nose!

Yesterday, in-between glasses of orange juice and Vitamin C gummies- I headed out to pick up some things in order to finally get around to decorating my apartment for the holidays. November marked six months living in Greenfield- and this Christmas will be the first in my new place!

I picked up some small decor to place around my kitchen and living room areas- and while I thought a $15 artificial, pre-lit tree was the perfect addition to my place- it ended up looking more like something from “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” So comically odd looking. See for yourselves!

Next week on “Blondie Birdie” I’m going to have a recipe for a festive family favorite (say that three times fast,) a peek at my latest ugly Christmas sweater- and a recap of this coming Sunday’s Patriots/Chiefs game since I’ll actually be in attendance! I’m so looking forward to tailgating with friends- despite the cold!

Here’s wishing you all a warm, safe and productive weekend ahead. Be good to each other out there! ‘Tis the season, after all!

xx

– Ashley –

Tree Lighting and Pre-Blizzard Bridges…

Tree Lighting and Pre-Blizzard Bridges…

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

I’m getting a late start this A.M.- due in part to it being a post-holiday-weekend-Monday and also because we have been getting absolutely buried under snow here in Massachusetts. The first significant Winter storm of the season began rolling in through the area late yesterday afternoon/evening- and has been going strong ever since. All forecasts are showing it won’t let up until tomorrow morning- so I’ve been taking it slow and steady today. Shoveling, driving, working- I don’t see the need in rushing myself and risking my safety (or sanity.)

Prior to the storm, I had a chilly- but fun weekend- where I finalized my holiday shopping list and participated in a few festive activities as well- including a ceremonial tree lighting in South Deerfield and a mini-road trip to Vermont where I managed to capture an authentic covered bridge en-route.

I thankfully had my camera with me during my journey(s) and caught some lovely photos along the way. As always, you can simply click any of the images below to enlarge!

I will undoubtedly be taking some photos of the aftermath of this storm, as well- since snow is always the prettiest in December. Anytime after that and it’s just a major inconvenience!

I’ll be back on Wednesday after I dig myself out from beneath the snow and ice and return home to my nice, warm apartment. If you live in the area- stay safe! And, if you don’t- wish us luck as we power through what I’m sure will be the first of many blizzards in the months to come!

xx

– Ashley –

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 –

“Nobody’s walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas…”

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone! We made it to another weekend!

With December officially in full-swing and Christmas just a little over two weeks away- these past few days have been spent decorating, cooking/baking, doing as much gift shopping as possible in-between work and spending time with friends/family- and that’s not including trying to iron out the details of my New Year’s Eve plans and finalizing the last of my blog posts for 2018!

As much as I love this time of year, it can be a little crazy schedule-wise- so I’ve been trying to plan/coordinate my time accordingly and days ahead of time, allotting a couple of hours here and there to get things done so that I don’t get overwhelmed, stresses and flustered. I want to enjoy the holidays, after all!

Earlier this week saw me doing what has become one of my favorite Christmas traditions in recent years- getting Oliver dressed up so I can take his photo for my annual holiday cards. While past cards have just featured Oliver in various, festive outfits by himself in front of a cute backdrop- this year I decided it was time for Oliver to meet the man himself and brought him to my local, independent pet store to meet Santa for a fun little pop-up and fundraiser they had planned.

The store in question were taking donations to help fund the construction of a new dog park in my neighborhood- which I’m really excited about- and they were so good with Oliver. The photos came out amazing- and I can’t wait to get the cards in the mail early next week!

This coming weekend kicks of the series of Christmas/Holiday parties I’ve got lined up over the next couple of weeks- and I’ll be at Idle Hands Craft Ales in Malden for Indie617′s first ever holiday gathering- with an ugly sweater ready to go! If you’re in the area and you want to stop by for some good beer and great tunes- come say hello!

But for now, I’m off to get some work done at my office, get my finances in order since it’s Pay Day today- and make sure my calendar and my planner are all organized for the next few days.

Here’s wishing you all a wonderful Friday and a fun, safe weekend! I’ll be back next week with some new recipes, a re-cap of my festive fun- and plenty of photos along the way!

xx

– Ashley –

OOTD: … And a Happy New Year!

Good Morning, everyone! I’m getting ready to pop by my job to send some last-minute e-mails and participate in what will be day 3 of “Office-Holiday-Hijinks” (today is cookie swap and cocoa day!) before I break for a long, extended Christmas weekend to spend time with my family and friends while delivering the last of the gifts I’ve put together, drinking almond milk eggnog, and preparing to watch “A Christmas Story” over and over in a nice, cozy pair of flannel pajamas.

This coming weekend also marks both my mother and my older brother’s birthdays- so there’s going to be a lot of cake and Chinese food involved in the next couple of days too, I’m sure.

For most of this week I’ve been dressing festive- including but not limited to Rudolph leggings, snowball-inspired sweaters and Santa socks- but one of my favorite ensembles I’ve gotten to wear at a recent Holiday party was my ‘Home Alone’ knitted sweater (which I’ve had for a few years now) with a comfortable pair of black jeggings- and this light-up Christmas light necklace I picked up at a local dollar store. It has a couple of different settings that make it blink at various speeds, too!

While I was sporting this outfit in Back Bay, I actually had people coming up to me to ask where I had purchased parts of it. The sweater is easy enough to find at most online shops- and comes in a ton of different colors, too!

And of course, I couldn’t resist posing for some photos in front of the beautiful display that was set up in the front corridor of the Prudential Center while I had this on. That wreath hanging from the ceiling was gorgeous!

Also, if you don’t think the lights on the necklace look bright enough- may I present Exhibit A?

There I am outside- getting ready to go find my car. That necklace pretty much lit my way the entire walk! Not bad for a buck!

Alright- I’ve got to wrap things up at work before I head out to kick-start my holiday. For everyone who celebrates it- I hope you all have a wonderful, beautiful, warm and cozy Christmas surrounded by good food, good friends, and family. I hope you all stay safe if you’re traveling- and stress-free if you’re keeping your celebration local this year. I hope any gifts you’re giving are loved, and cherished by whoever is receiving them- and I hope you all get something that surprises and delights you, too!

I also hope none of you get coal or a fruit cake or anything like that.

I’ll be back to blogging next week- where I’ll be wrapping up 2017 to the best of my abilities before we usher in 2018. I’m so excited to look back on these past 12 months!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

xx

Ashley