OOTD: Pencil Skirts and Stripes…

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

It’s hard to get back to work this early in the morning- especially when most of my weekend was spent working on other projects, too- because I don’t really feel particularly rested or recharged from my “days off”. Although I’m so excited and so grateful to be productive and in demand for so many different things right now- I have to admit it’s going to feel very nice to come home after work tonight, put on some sweatpants, wrap myself up in blankets and just do absolutely nothing for a few hours!

I digress- this past weekend saw me sneak a *little* time away (35 minutes, to be exact!) to take a brisk stroll in Thompson, Connecticut’s historical district- where I struck a pose outside one of my favorite abandoned buildings in the area. This dilapidated mansion, left to essentially rot by the owner/architect who purchased it to fix up years and years ago- and then gave up shortly thereafter- is one of my dream projects. I’d love to build it back up and restore it to it’s former glory if ever given the opportunity. It’s breathtaking- even in it’s current state.

Since I was in “work mode” while out and about- I was sporting one of my favorite olive green, horizontal striped pencil skirts with a black, long-sleeved thermal top, black tights- and a black, bell-sleeved sweater/cape since it’s been ridiculously chilly as of late.

I know my Winter wardrobe consists almost entirely of black, grays and dark browns- and it has for years- but I’ve been trying to incorporate more colors into the mix without going overboard (I know neon is really in right now- but I need some time to prepare myself before I just jump right into something like that!) 

This green, while definitely on the safer, neutral/Earth tone side- still breaks up the dreariness of my otherwise all-black ensemble and makes me look less like I’m going to a funeral and more like I’m going to a meeting on a painfully frigid day.

Also, this cape/cardigan combo is another piece from my closet I love to wear as often as possible this time of year. The buttons are so big and over-the-top- and it’s so unbelievably cozy!

Over the next couple of days, I’ll be sharing some of my upcoming projects (more in-depth, of course-) as well as a really delicious potato recipe before the end of the week reaches us and I prepare to launch into my birthday celebration(s) next week- so be sure to check back for all the tasty goodness!

Until then, here’s wishing you all a wonderful start to your week! I hope it’s an easy and painless one for you!

xx

– Ashley –

OOTD: Let’s Talk Shop…

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone!

What a busy week it’s been- and while Friday nights are typically the perfect time to unwind with a bubble bath, a glass of wine and some serious binge-watching on Netflix- my schedule rages on through this weekend!

Tonight after I leave my office, I’ll be throwing on a pair of comfortable shoes and heading over to Down The Road Beer Co. in Everett to catch a set by Salem Wolves (who are unveiling their very own IPA they’ve created with Down The Road!) and Radio Compass as part of indie617’s newest venture- indieBrews! I love good bands and beer- so this is one collaboration I’m particularly excited for.

And then tomorrow, it’s off to Northampton to get started on my work with the lovely folks at Paintbox Theatre before I meet up with friends for dinner and drinks.

With all the traveling and commitments- I don’t have much time to change my wardrobe and usually have to wear something that is both comfortable and chic as I maneuver my way between work, meetings, parties, and events throughout the day/night- all while making sure I stay warm since it’s very, very cold where I live right now.

My current go-to ensemble with busy days like the ones I’ve been having lately are lightweight cotton dresses paired with heavier cardigans or chunky sweaters, thermal tights/leggings, and either ankle boots or modest heels to give me a little more height and accentuate my legs.

When I’m sporting a cardigan over a dress, I tend to only button the very top one so that the sweater doesn’t make me look “boxy” or sloppy. By leaving one button fastened, the sweater frames my body like a cape and doesn’t stifle my shape. It’s very flattering- and keeps me warm!

And, side note- but how lovely is this wool cardigan? I’ve had it for a few years now- and the design is inspired by some of the older Chanel cardigans of the same colors/cuts. It’s very cozy- and matches nearly everything in my Winter wardrobe!

Finally, there’s two things- apart from my keys, wallet and phone- that I never leave home without during these frigid New England months when my schedule is packed- and those things are a heavy beanie hat and my trusted Kate Spade notebook holder so that I can keep all of my paperwork, notes, ideas, etc. in one easy, convenient and cute carrying case.

And as for the hat? I think the little poof ball at the top really ties the whole thing together- don’t you?

All in all, this outfit makes me feel cute, confident and toasty warm- and is easy to wear to my office, post-work events, or to my plans with friends/family out on the town since it’s not *too* dressy but still looks sophisticated enough to command a little respect and attention!

But for now, I’ve got to get some work done before I head out and get started on my very busy weekend. You can follow MY INSTAGRAM for updates from the road as I go!

Here’s hoping you all have a wonderful couple of days ahead- and I’ll be back on Monday!

xx

– Ashley –

OOTD: Reindeer Games

Good Morning and Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Today is a half day for me at work, after which I’ll be heading out to Concord, Massachusetts for a bit of a seasonal photo project- weather and time permitting (Daylight Savings Time complicates everything after 3:30 p.m. these days!)

I have a lot to do this morning at my office before I take off- but I wanted to share one of my favorite holiday ensembles I wore earlier this week- both to work and then to a little tree lighting ceremony in the common of my neighborhood later on that evening!

It’s been fluctuating between warm and tolerable (but rainy) and frigid and windy (but sunny) over these past few days- so staying warm, dry and comfortable has been my goal while out with friends, getting some holiday shopping done, and running errands. I still want to stay festive and chic, of course- so I opted to sport some insanely soft fleece leggings (with snowflake and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer print!) a crisp, white chunky sweater and faux-fur lined boots.

And I have never been cozier!

And despite any pre-conceived notions of what constitutes “office appropriate” attire- this ensemble was well-received. In a season where ugly holiday sweaters are celebrated across the board- some fuzzy leggings and an over-sized sweater are pretty tame by comparison!

I had purchased these leggings at Primark last year (the sweater came from there, too!) in preparation for a family party, thinking I’d never wear them again- but I’m glad I kept them and that they still fit so nicely!

And this was completely unintentional when I put this outfit on- but I’m quite pleased that my latest holiday manicure color scheme (red and silver) matched perfectly. I wish I could say it was planned and done on purpose- but it was just luck!

But now I’ve got to get started on downing my morning cup of coffee and getting some cases wrapped up!

Here’s wishing you all a wonderful “Hump Day”! We’re almost to Friday- and I know we can make it!

xx

– Ashley –

OOTD: She’s a Rainbow…

Good Morning and Happy “Hump Day” everyone!

Two OOTD (Outfit of The Day) posts in one week? As Summer winds down and I try to get as much wear out of my hotter-months-wardrobe as possible, I have more and more pieces and ensembles to share before they go back into storage and I have to break out my sweaters and boots for the Fall again!

It goes without saying that I wear a *lot* of brighter colors in the Spring/Summer- and when I stumbled on this bright purple mini-skirt in my closet last week, I knew I had to find a top bold enough to pair with it. This multi-colored, striped, billowy blouse I picked up a couple of years ago (and typically wear with jeans and flip flops when I’m out running errands) was perfect.

Not only do the shades remind me of the tropics with the aquas, pinks and green/yellows- but I can wear my go-to flowered sandals for the Summer and look seasonal while staying comfortable at the office or out with my friends after a long day at work.

As far as makeup goes, I always believe in keeping it simple for the Summer- and turned to a tangerine-toned lipstick from Maybelline I had picked up back in May in preparation for the season. My nails are presently a really bright sea green color, too- so I didn’t think any jewelry was necessary. As much fun as I have in this outfit- I didn’t want to over-do it.

I’m going to miss this top and the skirt so much when I have to put them away again for the Fall/Winter.

But I digress. On Friday, before I head out for the weekend- I’m taking a look back on the past few days (including beach trips, rainy day hangouts and some late night cookie cravings)– and preparing to share a couple more recipes and Summer spots around New England while it’s still hot enough outside to enjoy them!

Enjoy your Wednesday, everyone! We’re almost to the end of the week!

xx

– Ashley –

OOTD: August Brights

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

What a whirlwind weekend I had. Literally. While I was spending time with my mother on Saturday morning, a F1 tornado touched down in her town and caused some pretty significant damage to the Main Street/downtown area and surrounding side streets. Thankfully, there were no deaths or injuries reported- which is a big deal considering we’re not used to (or particularly prepared for) twisters in rural Massachusetts- but quite a few people were displaced in the aftermath.

Saturday’s storm/tornado is the second I’ve narrowly dodged since a F3 swept across a highway I was traveling on back in 2011- and the one thing that still sends a chill up my spine to this day is the sound it made. While taking cover in my mother’s cellar with her and Oliver (who was such a brave little dog throughout the ordeal!)– it sounded like a freight train was speeding by eerily close to where we were sitting. It was the same noise I had heard on that highway back in 2011. It lasted only a few seconds- but it was pretty insane and intense.

My mother’s home wasn’t damaged at all, and I couldn’t be more thankful for that- and yesterday’s weather was clear and sunny- which made it a lot easier for those performing cleanup to the affected areas. It could have been so much worse, but we got really, really lucky.

Yesterday afternoon, after running some errands and taking a much-needed breather following such a close call- I met up with friends for a late lunch/early dinner to decompress and get myself back into a good state of mind. It was pretty hot out- so I opted for this bright aqua sun dress with subtle silver beading along the straps to stay cool and comfortable.

I can’t remember where I got this dress, honestly. I’ve had it for years- but instinct tells me it was probably up at Hampton Beach and more than likely during their annual Seafood Festival. I usually find really cute pieces for amazing prices when I stop by during that time.

I just know I love the color, which was flattering back when I was a redhead but seems to really look lovely and Summery now that I’ve got blonde curls going on. To keep things bright and cheerful, I paired the dress with my pink floral sandals from ModCloth and matched my lipstick shade (Urban Decay!) to the shoes to give my face a flush of color.

I’m hoping to get some more wear out of this dress before the end of Summer- and since it’s pretty versatile- I have a feeling it’s going to be making an appearance in my office within the next week or so. If I need to cover up the beaded straps for any reason- I have a white, short-sleeved cardigan I can pull on over it.

And now with a brand new work-week underway, I’ve got to dive right into my voicemails, e-mails, and caseloads to try and get my schedule clear by Friday and not have to worry about a thing!

Here’s wishing you all a wonderful Monday and a steady, easygoing week ahead!

xx

– Ashley –