OOTD: Busy Bee…

OOTD: Busy Bee…

Good Morning and Happy Halfway-Point, everyone! We’re almost to the weekend!

Although this week has been pretty busy so far with work, meetings, side hustles, etc.- I’m excited for this afternoon since I get to take a little bit of time off after I leave the office and indulge in some pampering (see: touching up my hair.) I’m in desperate need of a trim and my roots are long overdue for a little TLC- and today seemed like just as good a day as any to treat myself!

And although I’ll be changing out of business-casual wear and sliding myself into some sweatpants or something for this afternoon’s touch-up, I wanted to show off a shirt that made an appearance on Blondie Birdie earlier this week when I picked it up over the course of Tax Free Weekend.

I adore this bee shirt, which I paired with some jeans and dressier sandals since I was wearing it to work- but you can best believe I’ll be throwing this on with some shorts and flip flops during the last weekends of Summer 2019, as well!

I’m hoping to get back to Bridge Street Bazaar before we roll into September since I’m sure a good bulk of their Summer tops and skirts will go on sale and I’d like to stock up for next year. That, and I love any reason to venture into Shelburne Falls for an afternoon!

Maybe some of the stuff I buy will make it into a future OOTD post? They sure do have a lot of cute things there!

But until then, I’ve got to get some work done and count down the minutes until I’m restyled, refreshed and rejuvenated.

Enjoy your “Hump Day,” everyone!

xx

– Ashley –

Tax-Free Splurges…

Tax-Free Splurges…

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

As my life and my posting schedule falls into some semblance of normalcy (as normal as it can, anyway)– I’m recovering from a bit of retail therapy from this past weekend where I dipped into some local shops in-between working on a couple of my side jobs and projects.

Saturday and Sunday was our annual “Tax Free Weekend” here in Massachusetts- and it’s exactly what it sounds like. For two days, there’s no sales tax on anything- and considering we typically get taxed quite a bit on any other day (they don’t call us Taxachusetts for nothing)– it’s the perfect opportunity for people to buy those big ticket items they’ve had their eyes on- like furniture, home goods, electronics, etc.- and still be able to save a bit of money.

And while I’m all set with furniture, appliances and TV sets- there were a couple of recent fashion/accessory items I’d spotted in storefront windows in and around my neighborhood that I thought I’d snatch up while they were not only on sale- but not being taxed, too.

I didn’t go completely overboard, of course- because a girl still has to eat- but I am loving what I was able to buy and couldn’t wait to share them here!

The first is this crop-top/sweater from ENJOY. in Shelburne Falls. While I’m definitely going to be pairing this one with a blue or white tank top underneath (I don’t think I’m fully ready to embrace the crop-top lifestyle just yet)– I can’t wait to wear this near the end of Summer/beginning of Fall when it starts to cool down a little but we’re all still spending as much as time by the water as possible.

The cure little “lake” written on the front in white was what sold me. Designed by Wooden Ships– this was marked down considerably from $112. Sold!

Also from ENJOY. is this stainless steel necklace that I’ve been eyeing for quite some time. Designed by Close 2 Ur ❤, this durable pendant depicts two bears in the forest- and is made in the USA. How cute is this?

This is another piece I’m going to be sporting a lot in the late Summer/early Fall since I spend a lot of time out in the woods photographing the foliage and change in the season!

Down the street from ENJOY. is Bridge Street Bazaar, another little local boutique with the cutest tops and accessories.  Right away I spotted this light, thin white tank top- covered in the most adorable bee pattern- on one of their mannequins and popped in to snatch it up.

I want to say that the company who makes these tops might be a mass-producer ala Primark (I couldn’t locate an official website)– but it was $19.00 and without tax- that’s good enough for me to have something fun to wear in these last few weeks of Summer.

And finally, a Bridge Street Bazaar original was this moonstone statement ring that turned colors as I was holding it in my hands (it sort of reminds me of cotton candy- since it fluctuates between bubblegum pink and sky blue.)

On sale and without tax- I gladly parted with my $10 to have a new ring to wear to work and out on the town. It’s so pretty and fits perfectly on my finger- no adjustments needed! You can see a photo of it on me HERE.

With under $100 spent and no tax- I’d say I made out pretty good with two cute new tops and two new pieces of jewelry I’ll be incorporating into my growing wardrobe here in the Valley. I’m very pleased- and so is my wallet! I can’t wait to do it again next year. Maybe by then I’ll be in need of a new mixer or a TV or something.

But until then- I’m off to work! Enjoy the start to your week, everyone! Let’s push through to Friday!

xx

– Ashley –

Favorites: July 2019!

Good Morning and Happy Monday, y’all!

After a busy Saturday in Boston (my first time downtown in over two months!) with Indie617 and spending my Sunday catching up on errands I had fallen behind on while I was ill last week- I think it’s safe to say I’m back to full health and ready to return to my normal work and blogging schedule.

With only a couple of days of July left- and no, I can’t believe it’s over already either!- my attention turns to recapping the month and preparing for some serious “Summertime Bucket List” cramming in August. I have a lot of thoughts about July- which was filled with many ups, downs, surprises and heatwaves- but I’m reserving those for Wednesday morning’s scheduled “In a Nutshell” post- as is tradition!

Today I want to focus on some of my favorite things from July. Products, thrifty finds, entertainment, etc. As always, I start with the things I was able to capture on camera and work my way down the list from there.

So without further delay- let’s get started!

First things first, you’ll notice this month’s items are placed on what is undoubtedly the greatest welcome mat ever created. I decided to truly make my new apartment a *real* home by investing in a proper mat for my door- but not any old one would do. I needed something that perfectly captured my personality and the laid-back, silly vibe I want radiating through my home for anyone who comes to visit.

What better way to do that than by capturing the most infamous line in “The Room” and proudly displaying Tommy Wiseau’s face in the process? This mat, courtesy of TheMatadoorCo, arrived super quick and is high quality. I love it!

I’ve been trying to make time to read before bed each night (when I’m not out late, obviously) since I have so many unfinished books in my collection. I recently added one more, and I haven’t been able to put it down since it arrived via Amazon. Natalie Wood was/is one of my favorite actresses of all time- gone too soon- and this biography by Suzanne Finstad, which was a New York Times Best Seller, is fantastic.

Featuring insight from the people who knew Natalie best and never before seen photos- I’m learning even more about such an incredible and gifted woman whose death still remains a troubling mystery.

I can’t tan. Actually, let me correct that- I can tan, but it requires getting a painful and dangerous sunburn beforehand. And, growing up in the nineties and early 00s- I am not stranger to self-tanners. All of them have left me orange. ALL. OF. THEM.

I was late getting on board the Jergens’ “Natural Glow” train because I assumed it would result in the same, tangerine-tint on my legs and arms that wouldn’t wash off or fade for weeks. Desperate for just a little color- I gave it a shot earlier this month and I’ve been swearing by it ever since. Obviously, this cream works as a moisturizer so my skin stays soft and smooth- but after a couple of weeks of daily use- I have a natural sun-kissed look, too.

It’s nothing too dramatic. I definitely don’t look like I’ve been in Cancun all July- but I also don’t look *as* pasty as usual- and it’s much safer and way more comfortable than getting a sunburn and waiting for it to gradually turn!

Out of all the steps I take in the morning when I’m getting ready for my day- my least favorite is fussing with my very thick and very curly hair. I just like to throw some product in and let it air dry while I tend to more pressing things. However, a lot of products are hit or miss. Some work well, while others leave my hair looking and feeling stiff or crunchy (the worst!)

I recently stumbled on this butter cream product from Garnier– specifically for curly hair and for air drying- and I don’t think I will EVER use anything else other than this moving forward. Not only does it smell delicious- but it softens my curls, tames frizz without making my hair feel heavy and hard- and actually repairs my ends while it’s left in. I have gotten more compliments in the few weeks I’ve been using this than I ever did with other and often more expensive products that were aimed towards women/men with curly hair.

I wanted new sunglasses before Summer wrapped up, and I wanted them to be unique and bright. Being in my early thirties, however- makes finding such a thing at a bit more difficult- especially since I’m a working professional and would be seen entering/exiting my place of employment in them.

I can’t necessarily walk into my office with bright pink flower-shaped sunglasses without raising a few eyebrows.

Instead, I opted for these chic and modified heart-shaped frames from Sojos that give me the best of both worlds- color and a fun, interesting shape- but subdued enough where I can wear them to work or out and about without looking like I’m trying to dress like a teenager.

These come in a variety of shades- but I am absolutely sold on the candy apple red!

When my last tube of mascara got a little goopy in the July heat- I knew it was time for a replacement. While in my local pharmacy, I scoured the aisles for something lengthening, long-lasting and waterproof (a must-have in New Engand humidity.) I spotted the striped packaging for Kokie’s “Stay Dry” black mascara and was immediately intrigued.

I ended up buying a tube, and it has not let me down since. The mascara softens, lengthens and thickens my lashes without making them look too fake or clumped together- and the formula has outlasted sweat, humidity, lake water and unfortunately a few unexpected tears as well.

Best of all? It’s only $7.00 a tube- so I think it’s safe to say this is my new go-to Summertime mascara.

And that just about does it for my photogenic favorites- but a couple of other things made the list, too!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

“The Lion King” – With a recent string of childhood movie re-makes and re-imaginations (and more scheduled to come)– this CGI re-telling of what is undoubtedly one of Disney’s most beloved, celebrated, and possibly traumatic children’s movies ever made was surprisingly really, really good.

The effects were breathtaking, but it was the excellent choice of voice actors that really made this one worth the watch for me- particularly Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner as Timon and Pumbaa. I was actually laughing out loud in the theater whenever you could hear them on screen. It was perfect.

– MISCELLANEOUS –

Starbucks’ S’mores Frappuccino – AKA, the only thing that helped my throat while I was sick. They’re a limited edition Summertime drink- so be sure to grab one before they start rolling out the Fall beverages in early-to-mid September if you haven’t done so already!

And that just about does it for me today, guys. Like I said earlier- I’ll have my full recap of July up and running this coming Wednesday before we swan dive into August. This month was a doozy.

As always, if you want to share some of your favorite things from this past month- feel free to drop me a line!

Enjoy your Monday and here’s hoping it’s an easy start to the work week ahead. Cheers!

xx

– Ashley –

OOTD: All Tied Up

Good Morning and Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Two of my favorite trends from my childhood/teens have made a comeback for Summer 2019- and I couldn’t be more excited to revisit them (sadly, I’m still waiting for butterfly clips to return in all their glittery glory.)

I’m talking about neon and tie-dye- which often go hand in hand. While I’ve been sporting some pretty bold glow-in-the-dark shades on my nails, my eyes and with my accessories as of late- this tie-dye dress has been sitting in my closet for years. The last time I wore it was on a trip to the Cape in my mid-twenties- and I still have the photos of me posing with my friends on the beach while I had it on to prove it!

I can’t remember where I bought this dress, unfortunately- but if I had to take a guess I’d say it was probably up at one of the local beach-side boardwalk shops and I more than likely grabbed it because I desperately needed something with some color to it in my wardrobe for a spur of the moment event/party.

Now that tie-dye is officially having another moment I can wear it again without shame- and I’m so glad it still fits properly and comfortably!

Also, I’m loving the “blink and you’ll miss it” hearts that are printed along the bottom/side. They can easily get lost in all the bright hues mixed together- but they are there!

As usual, I paired this dress with my bright pink floral sandals from MODCLOTH and finished off the look with a pop of neon green eyeliner from FENTY. I feel bright, cheerful, fun and Summer-y in this dress- and I am going to be living in it until tie-dye eventually fizzles out and is replaced by the next resurgence of a long-forgotten trend.

And I’m going to enjoy every second of it while I do!

Before we break for the weekend in a few days, I’ve got a really fun, super tasty- and totally chill- dessert recipe to share on Friday. Until then- it’s off to work/meetings/appointments!

Enjoy your “Hump Day”, everyone!

xx

– Ashley –

OOTD: Your Best American Girl…

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone!

I hope those of you here in the States had a wonderful Fourth of July. Mine was exquisite- spent in the company of both longtime and new friends at various little get togethers, gatherings and potlucks. I’ll have a full recap of my night (and this coming weekend) within a few days- but first I wanted to share my spin on dressing patriotic without looking too over-the-top.

When I was a little kid, my mom liked to dress me to the nines for whatever holiday we were celebrating. Color-coordinated shirts/dresses, shorts/tights, shoes and hair accessories. For the Fourth of July- I was decked out in more Americana, red white and blue stuff than any clothing store had any business selling.

Now that I’m older- I’m all about looking festive but staying comfortable and practical. I want outfits that are easy to take from an afternoon cookout to evening fireworks- from evening fireworks to post-fireworks cocktails. I don’t want to look like I raided a novelty shop or catalog for the cheesiest America-themed pieces around- but I still want to show a little patriotism despite my current political views and opinions on this country not being exactly favorable at the moment.

For yesterday’s 4th of July celebrations- I figured two out of the three American colors wasn’t bad. I chose these little navy blue lace shorts (companions to the black ones I wore in my last OOTD post) and this slouchy, deep red billowy top with bell sleeves. The fabrics were lightweight and comfortable- which was a necessity since temperatures skyrocketed to the high 80s yesterday afternoon and humidity was at an all-time high.

There was no way I would have survived in denim or anything other than breathable cotton without pouring sweat!

For my shoes, I donned my favorite patriotic pair of flats that I’ve had for a few years now (and are still in mint condition) to incorporate some of the white in my red, white and blue.

And for those who saw me without sunglasses yesterday afternoon/evening- I utilized my blue FENTY liquid liner for an extra pop of color!

I’m sure next year I’ll try something a little different, like red and white or all white with pops of blue here and there- but we’ll see!

This weekend I’m heading to the beach, chilling a recipe for Summertime sweets I’ll have up a little later on next week- and getting some overdue errands done in-between time in the sun and surf!

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend ahead of you. Stay cool, stay hydrated, wear SPF (and reapply it often)– and stay safe!

See you again on Monday!

xx

– Ashley –