September 2019: In a Nutshell

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

I’ve never made any attempts to hide or downplay the fact that Autumn is my favorite season and that I enjoy stereotypical “basic” Fall-related activities to the fullest. Apple picking? Pumpkin patches? Leaf peeping? Hay rides and s’mores over bonfires? I’m all about it and I’m not embarrassed or ashamed to admit it.

Needless to say, September through early November is my favorite time of year (after that- Winter, Christmas and coldness tend to take over!) and with this year being my first Fall living in the Pioneer Valley- I’ve been doing my best to make the most of it and indulge in every local Autumnal activity I can.

October is undoubtedly the month/time of year I look forward to the most- but I have to show some love to September, too- especially this past one since it was filled with beauty, travel, good food and time with loved ones!

September started off in true Fall fashion with a visit to the Appleseed County Fair where I got a head start on stocking up on apple cider doughnuts and kettle corn popcorn while browsing local vendors and farm stands. I was so enamored with my time at Red Apple Farm in Phillipston that I returned there a couple of weeks later with my mother and Oliver to partake in our traditional apple and pumpkin picking!

That wasn’t the only tradition I honored in September. My family and I also made our annual pilgrimage to Hampton Beach at the end of the Summer season to shop great deals and chow down on crab cakes, lobster rolls, and savor some fresh squeezed lemonade at their Seafood Festival.

And of course- no early Fall days in New England are complete without a stop at The Big E. I swung by there a couple of weeks ago to grab my favorite fair food (fried Oreos!) and take in the sights and sounds of the best New England restaurants, small businesses and farms had to offer!

And in-between all the travel, taste testing, decorating my place to look like my very own Fall-inspired farmhouse and unpacking my sweaters for the season- I was still able to put together a pretty dreamy Fall playlist, too!

All in all, this past September felt like the perfect way to bid a final farewell to Summer 2019 and usher in the Fall! There’s still a few things on my Autumnal “To-Do” list, of course- but that’s what October is for!

Speaking of- what do I have planned for the coming month ahead? Well, I’d like to photograph the foliage (which usually reaches it’s peak prettiness within the next couple of weeks,) cook up some more Fall-inspired recipes, put together a great Halloween costume and savor all the spookiness that comes with living in Western Massachusetts this time of year! Expect a lot of creepiness and macabre in October! It’s my specialty, after all!

But before I get too ahead of myself- there’s still a few hours of September left to savor- and I’ve got to get some work done at the office.

Enjoy the start of this week, everybody. I’ll be back with a quick, easy and delicious dessert recipe on Wednesday morning!

xx

– Ashley –

Back to Autumn – A Fall 2019 Playlist

Good Morning, Happy Monday- and Happy First Day of Fall, everyone!

It has been scorching hot here in New England these past couple of days (Summer never really goes down without a fight, after all…) but today is the *official* first day of Autumn so I’m hoping all the sweaters and wool knee-high socks I’ve unpacked since the beginning of September can finally be put to some good use soon.

And with it being the first day of the Fall- it only seems fitting that I share my Autumnal playlist for the year- as is tradition every September/October!

Every year, I compile a playlist of newer indie/folk tracks (with some old favorites peppered in here and there) to soundtrack those dreamy, rainy, and semi-chilly days spent out on the back roads in the country looking at the leaves or indoors- curling up with a good book and a mug of warm cider.

And while I typically host my playlists over at 8Tracks– they’ve admittedly gone a little overboard with the ads in recent months- which can be super frustrating when you’re just trying to enjoy some songs without being constantly interrupted. I’ve since made the switch to hosting them through Spotify which appears to be much more user friendly!

So without further delay, here’s “Back to Autumn – A Fall 2019” Playlist!

CLICK TO LISTEN HERE

– TRACKLISTING –

  1. Tall Heights – Depths
  2. Mac DeMarco – My Old Man
  3. Bon Iver – Hey Ma
  4. Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam – In A Black Out
  5. Dawn Landes and Piers Faccini – Heaven’s Gate
  6. Isbells – Reunite
  7. Clairo – Sofia
  8. Ona – Golden Highway Deserter
  9. Maggie Rogers – Past Life
  10. Iron & Wine – Call It Dreaming
  11. The Head and The Heart – Honeybee
  12. Caamp – By and By
  13. Donovan Woods – Portland, Maine
  14. Darlingside – Old Friend
  15. Hozier – Dinner & Diatribes
  16. Josh Ritter – Thunderbolt’s Goodnight

And there it is! 16 songs (clocking in at about 58 minutes total-) for Autumn 2019.

I’m sure I’ll be playing this one to/from my travels this upcoming weekend when I head off to the Mohawk Trail to photograph the foliage!

But, alas- it’s Monday morning and that also means it’s back to work for me. I’ve got lots to do today, so until next time- I hope you all enjoy the playlist as much as I enjoyed putting it together!

xx

– Ashley –

[ Playlist art via Pinterest. ]

Pre-Thanksgiving Prep!

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone!

I managed to dig myself out of last night’s first snowfall of the season (and it arrived with a vengeance!) and get to my office this morning- but whether or not I’m motivated enough to actually get anything done is still questionable. All that shoveling made me tired!

So, the weekend before Thanksgiving is undoubtedly a crazy one. Everyone starts heading home for the holiday, there’s the final grocery shopping trip to get done before it’s time to have the actual dinner, insane amounts of cleaning and decorating to do, and- in my case, at least- the Friendsgivings around the city (and this year, around the state, as well!)

This coming weekend is no exception, and tomorrow morning will be filled with a lot of cooking and baking before I head off to one of my friend’s first attempts at Friendsgiving at his new apartment in Somerville later on in the evening. I’m excited- and I’m sure I’ll be posting a lot of pictures up on my Instagram.

And on Sunday? It’s the same thing- except Friendsgiving 2.0 will be taking place out in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, instead!

Next week on the blog I’ve got my usual weekend re-cap on deck, as well as another holiday-inspired recipe to share before the big feast with my family for anyone looking for something last minute, quick and easy to prepare for their guests.

But before I buckle down for my everyday duties at work and get ready to launch into the weekend- I thought I’d share some links from posts of Autumn days past to help those looking for some inspiration or ideas!

IF YOU NEED SOME AUTUMN/THANKSGIVING-INSPIRED RECIPES

IF YOU NEED A SWEET LITTLE FALL PLAYLIST FOR THE PRE-DINNER RECEPTION

IF YOU’RE ABLE TO GIVE TO THOSE IN NEED

Here’s wishing you all a safe and stress-free weekend. As stress-free as it can be, anyway!

See you all on Monday!

xx

– Ashley –

Crunchy Leaves/Apple Crisp – A Fall 2018 Playlist!

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

This weekend is looking to be one of my busiest yet- with a baby shower for my cousin’s girlfriend, a bridal shower for my soon-to-be-married childhood friend, and packing for a very, *very* early flight to the West Coast first thing on Monday morning.

Needless to say, I’ve got to stick to a pretty tight schedule AND manage to get some sleep in there somewhere!

Today is quick and early day for me at work- and all I’m really going to be doing is changing my phone and e-mail settings to re-direct any incoming correspondence in my office to whoever is around to help before it’s off to get my hair touched up for a little pre-vacay pampering- so it seems like a good time as any to share one of my favorite traditions: My annual Autumn Playlist (via 8Tracks!)

This year’s playlist, inspired by time spent stepping through crunchy leaves and picking apples at the local orchard on brisk and drizzly days- one of my favorite activities this time of year!- features ten tracks, mostly new with a couple of older favorites sprinkled in- from folk, alternative and indie artists that range anywhere from dreamy and relaxing to more upbeat and catchy.

This is “Crunchy Leaves/Apple Crisp” – a Fall 2018 Playlist!

– TRACKLISTING –

  1. Houndsmouth – Sedona
  2. Kurt Vile – Loading Zones
  3. Middle Kids – Edge of Town
  4. Phantastic Ferniture – Gap Year
  5. Death Cab for Cutie – Autumn Love
  6. Cat Power (ft. Lana Del Rey ) – Woman
  7. Hozier – Shrike
  8. Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus & boygenius – Bite The Hand
  9. Iron & Wine – Autumn Town Leaves
  10. Big Red Machine – Hymnostic

I hope you all enjoy giving it a listen as much as I enjoyed putting it together!

The posting schedule may be a little off next week, since I’ll be on the opposite coast and no doubt getting into trouble with my West Coast friends- but you can feel free to follow the action and my adventures over at my Instagram!

Here’s wishing you all a wonderful weekend! I’m sure I’ll pop by to say hello during my vacation!

Enjoy the rest of your Friday!

xx

– Ashley –

Cool Evenings/Hot Coffee – A Fall 2017 Playlist

 

Although the First Day of Fall isn’t until next Friday- I couldn’t resist sharing my Autumn-inspired playlist for the coming season a week early- a tradition I greatly enjoyed during my days of writing Legally Redhead. Fall playlists are always so dreamy, calming and relaxing- and the 10 tracks I chose for this year’s installment are no exception to that rule.

A mix of new releases from some of my favorite artists who dropped albums recentlyΒ (with a couple of older songs I adore peppered in here and there!)– “Cool Evenings/Hot Coffee” was inspired by the nights I spend with friends this time of year- bundled up around bonfires while we sip hot cider and swap ghost stories. It’s magical!

With tracks from The War on Drugs, Amy Stroup, Tori Amos and The National- this might be one of my favorite mixes yet!

– Tracks –
  • Kaleo – All The Pretty Girls
  • Amy Stroup – ‘Til We Get There
  • The War on Drugs – Pain
  • Iron & Wine – Bitter Truth
  • Joseph – All
  • The Lumineers – Angela
  • MUTEMATH – Nuisance
  • Ted Leo and the Pharmacists – William Weld in the 21st Century
  • Tori Amos – Cloud Riders
  • The National – Carin at the Liquor Store

You can listen to the mix by clicking below, or by visiting my 8Tracks Page HERE. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed putting it together!

xx

– Ashley –