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!


– Ashley –

A Slice of Heaven…

Good Morning and Happy (Ugh…) Monday, everyone!

When it comes to day trips, road trips, vacations, etc.- I consider myself pretty spontaneous and open to trying/visiting new places/people/attractions. I’m not married and I don’t have kids- so it’s not like failing to adhere to a strict schedule is going to result in a backseat meltdown or anything.

My original plan on Saturday morning was to head down to Boston Harbor and catch the earliest ferry to photograph some of the lighthouses sitting on the edge of the Harbor Islands- but when I sat up in bed and saw how foggy out it was- I knew I’d need a backup plan. I’m always a little weary of being on a boat in low-visibility conditions- and trying to take good pictures of the lighthouses when they were blanketed in rain wasn’t exactly my idea of an “ideal Saturday morning.”

I suddenly realized that the weather would give me an advantage if I headed down to Mystic, Connecticut bright and early. The last time I had tried to spend a beautiful afternoon in the popular tourist town- finding parking or sidewalk space to walk was near impossible. Never afraid of a little rain and drizzle- I figured I’d have the town to myself to shop, dine and explore!

No sooner had I arrived there, found prime parking on Main Street (which is like winning the lottery)– and exited my car to browse some of the local shops- when the sun suddenly broke through the clouds and stayed out for the remainder of my time there.

After grabbing an iced latte from one of my favorite cafes in the area, Bartleby’s– I spent the mid-afternoon strolling the pier on the waterfront, watching boats pass and the drawbridge in the center of town go up and down to allow the bigger ships to make their way through. There were plenty of sidewalk sales happening once the weather cleared up- so I managed to browse goods by some of the local shops in the area like¬†Tidal River Clothing Co., Trove (for the fella’), and Sea Bags.

When I started getting hungry, I was able to find a seat against the counter at Mystic Pizza (the same one from the 1988 Julia Roberts movie of the same name) and enjoy a slice of cheese pizza- which was everything I’d hoped for and more. Naturally, I had to take a photo of my slice- and the famous sign outside- before I headed back towards my car.

I left Mystic just in time, since a late-afternoon storm had started to come towards the area. My drive back was filled with lightning, thunder and rain- but overall I had a really nice day in one of the most charming coastal towns in New England.

I’m still recovering from my friend’s Summer Slam party last night (and I’ll have the photos from that adventure up a little later on this week)– but for now I’ve got to ease my way into my Monday morning routine and focus on getting some work done since this week is looking like it’s going to be a pretty busy one.

Enjoy your Monday, everyone! Let’s get through this one together!


– Ashley –

Pirates and Piglets…

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

Before I begin another week at work and try to stay dry during what is shaping up to be a rainy few days ahead- I wanted to dial it back a bit and share some of my favorite moments from this past weekend! There was a lot of driving, a considerable amount of delicious food- and a little bit of theater!

On Saturday, I had made the mini-trek down to Mystic, Connecticut for the first time in a couple of years. My original plan was to do a little shopping in Olde Mistick Village (a series of shops, boutiques and restaurants set within a 1700s style-inspired Colonial village) and then grab a slice of pizza over at Mystic Pizza over on Main Street. Yes, *the* Mystic Pizza.

What I hadn’t anticipated was the traffic- both road-wise and pedestrian. When I was a kid, my family typically visited/stayed in Mystic during the Fall- and it was never particularly busy. That all changes in the Summer, however- when tourists flock from all over to get a taste of that small, quaint, seaside New England charm. Not only was getting from point A to B a hassle in itself- but parking was pretty much impossible. After doing some shopping in the village and driving by Mystic Pizza (sadly, may I add-) I eventually returned home to get rested up for yesterday.

I did manage to buy my mother and my dog each a cute present while I was in town, though- so not all was lost.

Yesterday morning, with coffee in hand- I swung by Easthampton to catch my friend Troy in his performance for Paintbox Theatre’s “Pirates!” (which I blogged about last week!) The show was, I believe, sold out- and the auditorium appeared packed to capacity with very excited children and amused adults as they watched the pandemonium take place on stage, in the aisles, and even in the audience.

It was beyond adorable- and I’m so, so proud of the incredible cast and crew who were involved in what ended up being Easthampton’s official Pirate Day- per the mayor- who also happened to be in attendance!

After the show, I headed out so Troy could get going on the planned activities for the kids for the remainder of the afternoon- heading back out towards Central Massachusetts and dodging sunshowers (that turned into thunderstorms) that rolled through the area. Famished before I could reach my destination, I saw signs for Stone Cow Brewery in Barre and decided to stop and indulge in some of their BBQ, a beer, and the scenery. I’ve passed by the place so many times in the past but never had the time to stop- but I’m sure glad I did!

Not only was the food amazing (their corn bread is some of the best I’ve ever tasted)- but the surrounding farmland was beautiful and seeing some baby animals while I strolled the area was the cherry on top of a perfect afternoon.

Although I did feel a little bad when I came across the baby piglets. Especially since I had just eaten a pulled pork sandwich. Yikes.

Overall it was a pretty fun weekend- and being back at work is definitely a downer!

This week I’ve got a fun grilling recipe I’m excited to share with everyone, as well as a peek into some of my favorite products, items, odds & ends from July- so keep an eye out!

Until then, though- I hope you all have a fantastic start to your week. Let’s get through it together!


– Ashley –