Tax-Free Splurges…

Tax-Free Splurges…

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

As my life and my posting schedule falls into some semblance of normalcy (as normal as it can, anyway)– I’m recovering from a bit of retail therapy from this past weekend where I dipped into some local shops in-between working on a couple of my side jobs and projects.

Saturday and Sunday was our annual “Tax Free Weekend” here in Massachusetts- and it’s exactly what it sounds like. For two days, there’s no sales tax on anything- and considering we typically get taxed quite a bit on any other day (they don’t call us Taxachusetts for nothing)– it’s the perfect opportunity for people to buy those big ticket items they’ve had their eyes on- like furniture, home goods, electronics, etc.- and still be able to save a bit of money.

And while I’m all set with furniture, appliances and TV sets- there were a couple of recent fashion/accessory items I’d spotted in storefront windows in and around my neighborhood that I thought I’d snatch up while they were not only on sale- but not being taxed, too.

I didn’t go completely overboard, of course- because a girl still has to eat- but I am loving what I was able to buy and couldn’t wait to share them here!

The first is this crop-top/sweater from ENJOY. in Shelburne Falls. While I’m definitely going to be pairing this one with a blue or white tank top underneath (I don’t think I’m fully ready to embrace the crop-top lifestyle just yet)– I can’t wait to wear this near the end of Summer/beginning of Fall when it starts to cool down a little but we’re all still spending as much as time by the water as possible.

The cure little “lake” written on the front in white was what sold me. Designed by Wooden Ships– this was marked down considerably from $112. Sold!

Also from ENJOY. is this stainless steel necklace that I’ve been eyeing for quite some time. Designed by Close 2 Ur โค, this durable pendant depicts two bears in the forest- and is made in the USA. How cute is this?

This is another piece I’m going to be sporting a lot in the late Summer/early Fall since I spend a lot of time out in the woods photographing the foliage and change in the season!

Down the street from ENJOY. is Bridge Street Bazaar, another little local boutique with the cutest tops and accessories.ย  Right away I spotted this light, thin white tank top- covered in the most adorable bee pattern- on one of their mannequins and popped in to snatch it up.

I want to say that the company who makes these tops might be a mass-producer ala Primark (I couldn’t locate an official website)– but it was $19.00 and without tax- that’s good enough for me to have something fun to wear in these last few weeks of Summer.

And finally, a Bridge Street Bazaar original was this moonstone statement ring that turned colors as I was holding it in my hands (it sort of reminds me of cotton candy- since it fluctuates between bubblegum pink and sky blue.)

On sale and without tax- I gladly parted with my $10 to have a new ring to wear to work and out on the town. It’s so pretty and fits perfectly on my finger- no adjustments needed! You can see a photo of it on me HERE.

With under $100 spent and no tax- I’d say I made out pretty good with two cute new tops and two new pieces of jewelry I’ll be incorporating into my growing wardrobe here in the Valley. I’m very pleased- and so is my wallet! I can’t wait to do it again next year. Maybe by then I’ll be in need of a new mixer or a TV or something.

But until then- I’m off to work! Enjoy the start to your week, everyone! Let’s push through to Friday!

xx

– Ashley –

A Day at Green River Festival…

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

I’ve taken a personal day from work today. Originally, I had plans with some friends to head down to the Cape for the morning/afternoon- however our schedules and respective obligations caused a delay and the trip is now postponed until further notice.

Today also happens to be the anniversary of my dad’s passing- which is always a pretty difficult day to get through- so I’m opting to keep busy and spend the day with my mom so we don’t have to be alone in our memories and grief. We’re going to do some shopping and dining out in my neighborhood- which I’m excited for.

I’m also low-key recovering from stopping by the Green River Festival yesterday and roasting under the sun for a few hours. The festival, a 3-day music/art/cultural celebration- is only a couple of miles away from my new apartment- so parking and reaching the festival on foot were no problem at all. It was a beautiful and sunny Sunday afternoon- and while I’d heard of the festival in the past- I’ve never had to opportunity to go and enjoy it for myself until now.

I saw some fantastic performances, ate some great food, and shopped some local vendors in-between ducking into the shade and snapping some photos.

If you’d like to see bigger versions, simply click!

My favorite find of the day came courtesy of Taproot Threads, based out of my town. All of the artwork featured on their pieces is hand-drawn, and printed on fair-trade garments with water-based ink. The material is soft, lightweight and cozy- and I’m wearing this t-shirt today when I go to spend time with my mom!

Look at how lovely the illustration is up-close!

It was such a great day, and next year I may try to go for all three days (Friday-Sunday. With my work schedule this year, yesterday was the only day I could pull off!)

With many local businesses now going into post-festival “recovery mode”- I anticipate it will be quiet day around the neighborhood. The perfect opportunity to rest and relax.

But I need coffee and I need it now- so I’m off! Here’s wishing you all a good start to your work-week. I’ll be back on Wednesday!

xx

– Ashley –

OOTD: Now It’s All Covered in Flowers…

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone! We made it to the weekend!

It’s been such a busy- but wonderful- week and I’m excited to spend some time with my mom and my brothers tonight at our bi-weekly family dinner, head into Boston for a few hours to do my radio show tomorrow afternoon- and then soak up a little sun back at home while I’m out and about on the town running errands and just exploring my neighborhood!

And while I’m doing that, I’ll more than likely be wearing one of my favorite Summer weekend ensembles- a sundress or romper with bright and fun sandals. Much like I did last weekend when I took my best friend to visit the Bridge of Flowers while he was visiting from the city!

I love a good, simple, comfortable and loose-fitting sundress with a cute print. This one, adorned with hot pink flowers- also has an open back to it- so to keep myself from looking like I was going out to the club when I was really just walking around the more “sophisticated” Shelburne Falls during the afternoon- I opted to wear a pale pink tank top underneath the dress to look a bit more modest and not show off too much skin since there were plenty of families and small children running around!

And if these sandals look familiar- it’s because they’re the ones I had picked up at ModCloth last year and wore for pretty much the entirety of Summer 2018. After pulling them out of my closet and bringing them to my new apartment with me- they are officially back and ready for more (and are still ridiculously comfortable!)

And, as cute as this dress and these sandals are- it’s Shelburne Falls that was the real MVP of this “Outfit of The Day” post. No matter where I turned, the entire village itself was the perfect backdrop for photos and selfies. Look at that wall of ivy! Look at the Deerfield River behind me! They made the dress look even better, honestly!

And that just about does it for me this week. I’m going to be back on Monday with more warm weather clothing, some Summertime recipes, peeks around the Pioneer Valley and celebrating Blondie Birdie’s second year here on the web (!!!)– but here’s wishing you all a lovely, safe weekend ’til then!

Now get out there and go have some fun!

xx

– Ashley –

Pastel Pinstripes…

Good Morning and Happy Wednesday, everyone!

It has been such a busy week so far- and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be calming down anytime soon! Between work, writing, a scheduled theater company meeting a little later on this afternoon and prepping for some radio work tomorrow evening- I’ve been going non-stop while simultaneously getting over a 24 hour stomach bug that swept through my office like wildfire earlier this week.

And despite feeling pretty awful on Monday- I did still manage to put together a cute outfit that added some much-needed color and brightness to my pale, cold and clammy skin while I was recovering and trying to get things done at the same time.

The first day of Spring might be a week away- but I’m pretty much forcing an early arrival by wearing pastels and anything floral as often as I can. My most recent attempt to summon the warmer weather (and it seems to be working, by the way!) was this pastel-striped blouse that ties in the front with a pair of skinny jeans and a larger-than-life pink flower necklace.

The blouse itself is revealing if you don’t wear anything underneath it- and seeing how this was what I wore to my office (while I was ill…) I opted to keep a basic white tank top under it to keep it work-appropriate- but I like that I can definitely play around with different colored tops under it, too- since there’s so many pastel hues I can match/coordinate it with!

And the necklace, while bold and fun- is admittedly a bit heavy- but you get used to it after a few minutes and from there you can barely notice it while you have it on!

I’m looking forward to wearing this outfit with one of my gauze or linen midi skirts and some sandals once the last of the snow finally melts- which I know won’t be for a little while longer- but it’s fun to plan those late Spring/early Summer outfits ahead of time.

I’m off to get some work done before I head out to the Pioneer Valley to continue efforts with one of my favorite side projects and meet up with some friends in the area. I’ll be back this coming Friday with some tips/tricks for Spring cleaning (and with a few updates on blog maintenance I’ve been performing!)

Here’s wishing you all a lovely “Hump Day.” Enjoy it! We’re so close to the weekend!

xx

– Ashley –

OOTD: Romantic Reds…

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone!

Between shoveling through multiple snowstorms and putting myself into food comas from nights out with friends over the past few days- I’m beyond ready for the weekend so I can catch up on some sleep, eat a salad to balance out the burgers, pasta and tacos I’ve been indulging in- and get some errands done that I’ve been sort of putting on the back burner to make way for my social life.

Before I head off to finish up some work I’ve got left at my office to do- I thought I’d share one of my current favorite outdoor ensembles to wear that definitely makes me stand out amid the non-stop snow flurries!

Back when I was a redhead, wearing more than one article of clothing or an accessory that matched my hair color was cartoonish and usually out of the question. But, now that I’m a bit blonder (and just as pale, of course)– I love experimenting with different shades of red and layer it on as much as possible.

So, given that February is pretty much filled with all things red, pink and white for Valentine’s Day- I love wearing this vintage red wool coat that belonged to my mother before it was gifted to me- and this lovely little red beret (with the most adorable floral accent) that was also a gift from a friend who saw it in a shop and apparently thought of me instantly- whenever I’m out and about.

And even though I love a good swipe of red lipstick- I keep my makeup fairly neutral when I’m sporting the coat and the hat at the same time so that I still look like myself within all this beautiful, bright rouge.

I may not be the biggest fan of Winter- but I am definitely going to wear missing this hat by the time Spring gets here!

Next week on the blog, I’m compiling my favorite things from this past month- and taking a look back on all the highs, lows and bizarre in-between moments these last couple of weeks in my monthly “In a Nutshell” post. I’ll be back on Tuesday for a shortened posting schedule for the end of February- but I’ll see you all then!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

xx

– Ashley –