“Be Still My Foolish Heart – Don’t Ruin This On Me…”

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone!

What an unbelievable whirlwind of a mini-vacation it’s been- and the party has been unexpectedly extended into this weekend! A little later on today, after I have some coffee, freshen up, and make sure the errands I put on the back burner until now get done- I’ll be heading back down to Connecticut and to Foxwoods Casino as a continuation of the North American Hozier tour.

This comes after an absolutely incredible show in Boston the other night- where Troy and I managed to watch the performance from the front row of the absolutely breathtaking Boch Center (also known as the Wang Theatre- which always gets a chuckle from people visiting from out of town.)Β Prior to the show, we did our best to stay warm in the colder-than-usual temperatures with a quick dinner at Citrus & Salt. Troy had churros for the first time- and that in itself was a wonderful experience. For me, anyway. I enjoyed it.

It was, by far, one of the best shows I’ve been to in years. So much talent on one stage- from the opening act, Angie McMahon- all the way to the encore that resulted in a deafening ovation from a sold out venue. There was even a birthday toast for one of the Hozier bandmates- resulting in everyone on stage wearing a red wig to match her hair as they drank whiskey and the crowd sang along to “Happy Birthday” for her. Such a sweet, adorable moment.

And after some catch up and some drinks with a dear friend backstage- it was time to get moving onto the next venue. The tour life, after all!

Needless to say, I’ve been on a bit of a cloud nine. I’ve been having so much fun. Monday might be only a few short days away- but work is the last thing I’m concerning myself with right now. I just want to enjoy these final days off!

Tomorrow, I’ll be making the brief trip into Boston to host my Indie617 Saturday show- with a bit of a catch! I’ll actually be broadcasting live from the Ski & Snowboard Expo at the Seaport World Trade Center. If you’re in attendance- come by our booth and say hello!

And after I fully rest and recuperate this weekend- I’ll be back on Monday morning with another recap, I’m sure- as well as some holiday-inspired posts and a look at what I wear to look cute (but stay comfortable) when I’m going to be stuffing my face on Thanksgiving.

Enjoy your Friday and the remainder of your week, everybody! Stay warm and safe out there!

xx

– Ashley –

Hitting The Trail…

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Good Morning and Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Last week, when I went to MASS MoCA for the very first time– Troy drove us there by way of Route 2 West- a scenic roadway that dips between mountains and alongside rivers. I had stated I spent most of the drive with my face essentially pressed against the window as I took it all in- and knew right away I wanted to come back to see/photograph some of the roadside attractions (my kryptonite!) along the Mohawk Trail.

The opportunity presented itself yesterday morning during a scheduled day off for me. The last of the furniture I had ordered for my place was arriving in the afternoon- giving me a solid block of a few hours in the sunny A.M. to go exploring before the delivery people arrived to set up. I grabbed my camera, my keys- and a coconut cold brew via Shelburne Falls Coffee Roasters and hit the road.

Now, because it’s the Mohawk Trail- there’s no shortage of Native American-inspired gift shops and trading posts along the way advertising moccasins, pottery, jewelry, etc. None of them were open as I was stopping/passing by- and they were definitely a little tacky- but that’s the beauty of roadside attractions.

When I did eventually reach a decent area to park alongside a low-flowing river near a state park, I kicked off my shoes and headed on into the water for a super cold, super refreshing calf-high dip. While I was splashing around, I found what looked like two pieces of smoothed over quartz. I cleaned them off and brought them back with me- one for myself and one for Troy- who was the reason I even found out the river existed.

One of the more interesting finds was on my way back to Greenfield where I stopped at the Hail to the Sunrise Monument in Charlemont. Although the reflecting pool was empty, I still got to see the stones depicting various tribes and councils around the United States- and the statue of the Mohawk Native American was in pristine condition.

I was the only one there at the time, and snapped some great photos. You can click on any of the images below to enlarge them.

Although the rest of my day was uneventful- apart from running some errands and tidying up my place- I had such a lovely morning and I’m glad I had the opportunity to go on a mini adventure during the week.

I’m working from home today, and should probably finish breakfast and get comfortable before I launch into my e-mails, voicemails, etc. Here’s hoping you all have a good “Hump Day!” Gotta’ keep pushing through to the weekend!

See y’all on Friday!

xx

– Ashley –

Making a House a Home…

Good Morning- Happy Friday- and Happy First Day of Summer, everyone!

While I was in a full-Summer state of mind weeks ago when the temperatures first began soaring and I started wearing shorts outdoors on the weekends- I actually haven’t participated in any of the usual early Summer activities I’m typically diving into by now. There have been no beach trips, no lobster rolls, and no poolside hangouts- although there has admittedly been more than one ice cream cone in recent days.

A lot of my time, when not working- has been getting situated in my new apartment- where I’ve officially been for a month now! I’m still finding places for my things, still exploring my neighborhood and surrounding communities- and up until this this past Wednesday- I was still waiting on the last of my furniture to arrive. That’s not to say I didn’t make do without a bed frame. I’ve never been one to be too high maintenance to sleep on a mattress on the floor for an unknown length of time, after all- but this apartment never really felt like “home” until I had an actual bed and a couch in it. Now it feels more like “mine”- and I’m absolutely loving it.

There’s still a lot to do, of course. I need to get my TV mounted, actually decorate a little and organize my things- but I’m a lot more comfortable and cozy here and excited to see how my space develops over the next few weeks/months.

I digress, the point of this was also to say that now that it’s *officially* Summer and my life has a bit more stability in it- I can get started on catching up on that list of things I’m typically doing this time of year! The first thing is absolutely going to be eating a lobster roll, by the way.

Although prior to the arrival of my furniture on Wednesday-Β  I did have an opportunity to drive one town over to a little farm in the area where people could pick their own strawberries. I’d never done that before, but let me tell you- it was FUN– and I got some really, really good pickings!

So, so delicious!

This weekend I’ll be on indie617 from 12-4 (Saturday) and then I may catch a performance in Turner’s Falls Saturday night. Then on Sunday, with lobster roll in hand- I might venture out to explore MASS MoCA for the first time. Or, if it’s hot enough- take a dip in one of the local lakes or rivers around here!

Regardless of where I end up and what I end up doing- you can count on plenty of photos on my INSTAGRAM and here on the blog when I return on Monday morning!

Enjoy that Summer Solstice, everyone- and the weekend ahead! See you all next week!

xx

– Ashley –

OOTD: Daily Affirmations

Good Morning and Happy Wednesday, everyone!

It’s a “sleep in” kind of start to my day today, since I took it off from work- but a little later on this afternoon I’m having the last of my furniture delivered to my new apartment and before they arrive- I may venture into Northampton for some coffee and some strawberry picking if the rain can stay away long enough!

Regardless of how my plans (weather permitting) turn out, it’s definitely a lounge wear sort of day- and keeping up with both familiarizing myself with and supporting local brands/businesses and artists here in the Valley- I treated myself to a little present on Father’s Day with this comfy, soft cotton tee-shirt by Secret Holiday & Co. that I picked up while perusing the super cute goods at Grapefruit in NoHo.

The mauve “BE BRAVE” written on the front is needed right now- not because I’m living alone in a new part of New England and it can be a shock to my system at times or because I’m in any sort of turmoil- but because someone very near and dear to me is. I’ve been worrying myself sick about the emotional and psychological toll the stress of the past couple of weeks has taken on him.

When I get exhausted or frustrated with the whole situation and everything that is causing him unnecessary pain- “BE BRAVE” is a nice little reminder to keep moving forward and to never stop doing the right thing for someone in distress regardless of how insurmountable the odds seem. It’s nice to have it on a shirt to remind other people to keep pressing on, too.

I’m pairing this cozy shirt with something equally comfortable- my black lace shorts (no denim for me today!) which are just as lightweight and breathable- especially since it’s going to be pretty humid later on!

A little later on this week I’ll have some updated photos of my new place and some more glimpses into the neighborhood before we break for the weekend! June has been FLYING by, you guys- and I haven’t even gone to the beach yet! There’s going to be so much to cram into the next couple of weeks before we get to the Fourth of July!

I intend to have a fun and productive “Hump Day”- and I hope you all do, too! See you on Friday!

xx

– Ashley –