Favorites: January 2019!

Good Morning and Happy Tuesday, everyone!

I know it’s early on in the week- but I hope it’s going well for you all so far! I’ve been working (of course) and enjoying a couple of warmer-than-expected days with friends in the outdoors- but February is just a few days away and it’s time for me to compile the things, products, odds and ends that I absolutely adored and was otherwise obsessed with this past month!

It’s a new year- and I’ve got some new followers- so I’ll just give a quick explanation. At the end of every month- I always, without fail- share two posts. One, which falls on the very last day of the month- is a recap of the previous days/weeks. The highs and lows, miscellaneous adventures and photos that didn’t quite fit in with any of my other scheduled content, etc. That post (which will be up this Thursday!) is my “In a Nutshell” post.

Before that, though- I photograph and do a little write-up of all the things I bought, found, was gifted, discovered, etc. that made the month all the more sensational. That would be this post you’re reading right now- and it’s my “Favorites” of January 2019!

But perhaps just simply showing you all the things I loved this month would be a little easier than trying to explain the process. So, without further delay…

First things, first- 2019 is all about keeping organized- and I turn to this lovely little teal and gold sparkly weekly planner from Orange Circle Studio! I write everything in here- my appointments, due dates for bills, meetings, scheduled blog content, plans with friends/family, and goals for each month.

This planner is the perfect size where it fits right into my purse- which means I can take it with me wherever I go in case anything comes up while I’m on the road- and the bright colors and shimmer stand out if I have it on my desk and need to find it in a flash. It definitely doesn’t get lost in the shuffle!

Speaking of staying organized- now that I’m working with my favorite theater company in the Pioneer Valley- there’s a lot of meetings and lot of information I need to keep track of! Not wanting to carry around a flimsy notepad or cover my space with post-it notes- I treated myself to this faux-leather bound Kate Spade notepad and binder.

The motto on the front, “Let’s Talk Shop”- is a nice touch that *I* think makes me look like I’m all business.

I mean, it does- right?

The lining in my wallet I’ve had for a few years now was finally starting to tear/shred and fray- and I decided that for the new year I’d treat myself to a new one. I am absolutely, head-over-heels in love with this New England Harbors-themed one from Spartina 449. It’s like a cute map of home and reminds me of some of my favorite places here in New England no matter where I travel.

The wallet has a ton of space, too- and it holds all of my cards, money, ID, etc. and then some. It’s definitely a welcomed upgrade!

As a belated-Christmas/early-Birthday present this year, my cousin Paige surprised me with this portrait of Oliver- done by the tremendously talented Tami Draws Stuff. It’s so accurate and so adorable and is presently hanging in my office next to an actual photograph of Oliver.

My co-workers absolutely love it. I linked to Tami’s Etsy shop above, so if you or someone you know has a fur-baby you’d like to get a personalized portrait of- either for yourself or as a gift- definitely check her out! Her work is really impressive and oh so cute!

Another Christmas present that I’ve been using pretty much non-stop lately is this gray/black pom-topped beanie from Crane Clothing Company my sister-in-law had given me. I have a collection of beanies (I do live in New England, after all-) but not too many of them have the poms on them so this is such a fun addition to my assortment and one that matches pretty much everything in my Winter wardrobe.

Also, it’s super comfortable and doesn’t move around when I have it on. There’s nothing worse than a beanie that keeps slipping down over your eyes when you’re trying to get things done!

Finally, to close out this month’s collection of items I was able to snap photos of- I’ve been indulging in some serious LUSH treatment throughout January. Specifically, their chocolate lip scrub (which works amazing and tastes delicious)– and their Oatifix mask/facial cleanser. I really love using this mask every few days- not only because it makes my skin smell like an oatmeal cookie- but because it clears out my pores in my oily areas while simultaneously hydrating and calming my dry areas.

This mask is perfect for combination skin- and even more perfect for combination skin during the Winter! It’s a lifesaver for me!

That’s it for the products- but a couple of other things made my list for January ’19, too!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

‘Surviving R. Kelly’ – The Lifetime Network, notorious for bad biopics and tantalizing thrillers for bored housewives, delivered a knockout punch to disgraced R&B singer R.Kelly earlier this month with their six-part docu-series detailing the singer’s troubled past, his multiple victims, and the people in his camp who enabled and assisted him with his abusing underaged girls and the subsequent cover-ups and payoffs.

The series is gripping, heartbreaking, and at times- difficult to watch- but it’s a story that needed to be told and was long overdue. I really hope that within the fallout from it’s premiere- R.Kelly finally gets put in jail and his victims find closure and peace.

– GAMES/APPS –

‘Resident Evil 2’ – The remake of one of my all-time favorite classic horror video games I’ve been waiting months for dropped last week and I have to say that it’s AWESOME so far. Between the graphics, the gameplay, the jump scares and the story (lightly altered but still pretty true to the original)– this is a huge win for Capcom and for the ‘Resident Evil’ franchise as a whole- which has sort of gone off the rails in recent years.

I can’t wait for the weekend so I can keep playing it without being interrupted by anyone or anything!

And there it is- my Favorites from January of 2019! A decent collection of things, if I do say so myself!

My recap of the month will be up on Thursday (and there’s so much to talk about!) but until then- I’m off to get some work done and make some dinner plans!

If you’d like to drop me a line or leave a comment to tell me some of your favorite things from January- feel free! I’d love to hear about them!

And there’s still some time to enter my BIRTHDAY GIVEAWAY BY CLICKING HERE IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY!

See you all soon!

xx

– Ashley –

Pineapple Prize Pack – Birthday Giveaway!

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

As I dig my way out of the ice and snow from yesterday’s visit by Winter Storm Harper and prepare to return to work for the first time since my car accident on Thursday night- I thought I’d kick off the week on a high note and share a giveaway I had planned as a bit of a pre-celebration for my birthday tomorrow (yes, tomorrow.)

Given that Massachusetts and most of New England are presently frozen over and the temperatures are going to remain in the single digits today- it seems fitting to have a warm-weather, Summer-inspired giveaway to lighten and brighten the mood! I’ve been on a bit of a pineapple kick as of late, and thought I’d put together some of my favorite things (and some surprises, of course) for one lucky winner!

With the help of Rafflecopter to keep things organized and fair when it comes time to randomly select a winner- this giveaway is currently open to those residing within the United States, Canada, Mexico and the U.K!

Before I get to the rules and how to enter- let’s take a look at what I’m giving away, first- shall we?

First things first- this striped black and white tote bag (with a bright pineapple printed on the side) to store all of your things- and then some! Despite the fact that it’s the dead of Winter right now- I feel like this tote would match most wardrobes this time of year since you can’t go wrong with black and white!

The pineapple is just a bright, fun splash of color to mix it up a little- and honestly- don’t we all need that when the temperatures drop?

A lot of what’s included in this giveaway is decorative and for the home since this is a time of year when a lot of people are planning on remodeling or redecorating their space.

My own home is transitioning into a Southwestern and tropical theme right now- with cactus print and bright colors to keep things cheerful- and I thought the winner would enjoy having some bright pops of color in their kitchen with this set of dishwasher and microwave-safe sturdy plastic plates and bowls (2 of each.)

Of course, no Blondie Birdie giveaway would be complete without a Yankee Candle (a New England tradition!) included- and keeping up with the theme of this assortment of items- I chose their Williamsburg Pineapple scented large jar candle to feature for this one.

I have a smaller version of this candle burning in my bedroom right now- and it smells lovely, clean, and crisp. It’s a nice change from the pine and Christmas cookie-scented ones I had burning throughout December!

I’m not sure how many of you are 21+, but for those who enjoy a strong adult beverage as much as I do- I included these gold metallic pineapple shot glasses to make your next brunch or girls-night-in a little prettier, Summer-y and fun. Best of all? When they’re not being used for drinking- they can be put on display and not necessarily hidden away in your cabinets.

And for those who aren’t 21+ or don’t like to drink- these hold other beverages just fine, too!

Wrapping up the home decor for this giveaway, I included this metal pineapple platter and yellow ceramic votive candle holder- too! Obviously, these can be placed around your home separately- but I like the way they look together (I’m very much into silver and bright yellows this time of year.)

And, just a warning- the silver platter is on the heavier side- so if you win it, just be mindful of where you place it! I recommend a hard, flat surface that can hold some weight.

Finally, to brighten up your Winter wardrobe and include an easy to incorporate (and very easy to match) accessory into your day- I added this multicolored, lovely, super comfortable wrap headband into the mix, too.

I have this style in a plaid print- and I love it- especially on days where I’m running errands and just want to keep my curls off of my face for a little while.

________________________________________

And as I said earlier- there will be a couple of other surprises added in before I ship this off to the lucky winner- but I’ve got a couple of important rules/specific information for any and all participants to take into consideration!

The giveaway is running from now through midnight (EST) on Friday, February 1st, 2019- after which time a winner will be selected at random through Rafflecopter and contacted directly via e-mail to obtain additional information to process shipping (which I’ll be paying for!) 

If selected, you’ll have 72 hours to respond to the confirmation e-mail. If I don’t receive a response in that time, I’ll unfortunately have to select another winner, instead.

Nothing in this giveaway can be traded or swapped for something else. What you see is what you’ll be receiving if you win!

If all of that sounds good and there are no additional questions/concerns- then this is the moment you’ve been waiting for!

HOW TO ENTER:

First and foremost- please visit the Rafflecopter page for the giveaway by CLICKING HERE to make sure your entry is properly counted!

1. Comment on this post with your first name and e-mail address. (Please keep in mind that I have comment moderation turned on to avoid spambots- so if your comment doesn’t appear right away- don’t panic! I’ll put it through as soon as I’m able!)

2. You can tweet about the giveaway and link back directly to this post or to my homepage: BlondieBirdie.com

That’s it! Just two simple steps and you’re in!

________________________________________

I look forward to selecting a winner and sending them this prize pack. I’m also looking forward to celebrating my birthday tomorrow with friends, family, and co-workers (no taking the day off for me!)

I’d like to thank everyone who has sent well wishes in advance over the past couple of days- both for my birthday and as I recover from Thursday night’s accident. I’m feeling much better and am being taken very good care of by my insurance company (and my mom- who made me a care package for my sore back!) so I’m very grateful and appreciative. It means the world to me!

Good luck to those who enter- and let’s have a good week, everyone!

xx

– Ashley –

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: Fleece Navidad

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

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Mine was as busy as ever- with my wrapping up the last of my Christmas shopping, swinging by a really fun holiday party at one of my favorite local breweries in Malden, and spending some time with my family eating great food and making plans for the coming weeks ahead.

Today is shaping up to be a busy one- not just because of work and some scheduled errands later on this afternoon/evening- but also because the World Series trophy is making a scheduled appearance near my office today. It’s a big deal- especially with the lot of us here being Red Sox fans- so we’re re-configuring our entire afternoon around photo-ops and selfies. As one does, I suppose.

But before I fix my hair and re-apply some lipstick for my own shameless selfie- I wanted to share one of my favorite, festive sweaters to wear this time of year- and one I actually sported this past weekend. Ugly Christmas sweaters and the holiday parties that celebrate them aren’t going away anytime soon- but I like that this one in-particular is actually pretty funny, creative- and kind of cute!

Also- it’s definitely cozy!

I layered this sweater with a white tank top and paired it with a pair of skinny jeans and my knee-high brown boots. The sweater got a lot of laughs, which is always good- and I ended up keeping it on post-party when I met up with friends later on, too!

I plan on wearing this again at least one or two more times before Christmas this year. I love it so much and I never get the chance to wear it- for obvious reasons.

But for now I’m off to get my usual start-of-the-week grind going and begin checking my voicemails, e-mails and reviewing my cases for this week. I’m not thrilled about it- although I’m never thrilled on Monday mornings- but it’s just the first step towards Friday!

I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your day and that the next few days are as stress-free and painless as possible!

xx

– Ashley –