Favorites: November 2017!

Good Morning and Happy Wednesday, everyone! Is it the weekend yet? It’s been so unbelievably busy at work these past couple of days that I’m really just looking forward to a lazy Saturday afternoon where I can stay in my pajamas, sip come cocoa, listen to some Christmas music and get a bit of my holiday shopping done online without having to leave the comfort of my bed.

I figure I just have to tough it out through Friday and then I’m free to be as unapologetically unproductive as I want- and with December just a couple of days away- I thought now was a good time to share some of the things I really loved this past month before I get too sidetracked in my office (or fall asleep under my desk!)

My overall reflection of this November will be up tomorrow morning- but here are the products, entertainment, and odds & ends that made this month even better!

Although I didn’t participate in the 12:01 a.m. “Doorbuster” Black Friday pandemonium- that doesn’t mean I didn’t go out later on in the afternoon to pick up a couple of things. While most of my shopping was for my loved ones- I also squeezed in just a tiny splurge for myself, too- specifically by stocking up on huge bottles of my favorite shampoo and conditioning treatment by Loma Hair Care at my usual salon.

Ever since I went blonde, I’ve had to take extra special care of my curls to make sure they stay hydrated and strong. This is the stuff my stylist uses on me when I pop by for treatments and touch-ups- and it works wonderfully! My hair is always silky smooth and shiny after every use.

Best of all? It smells amazing!

Speaking of smelling amazing: I always try to set the seasonal mood with candles around my place- switching things up every few months- but this cocoa-scented one from Bath & Body Works might be the most delicious, mouthwatering and festive one I’ve found yet!

I bought multiple jars of this hot chocolate and whipped cream candle because it smells like the real deal and I think these would make incredible gifts- but I even feel warmer having it burning near me. It’s that convincing!

Fenty Beauty makes another appearance on one of my monthly Favorites lists- this time with two products! The first is the universally flattering, long-lasting and moisturizing ‘Gloss Bomb’ Lip Gloss- which makes my lips look plumper and smoother while giving me some much-needed, subtle color.

The second is the lightest shade of the ‘Pro Filt’r’ Matte Foundation- which matches my skin tone PERFECTLY. There’s no weird, orange tint after it dries or uneven coverage. This stuff blends in flawlessly and stays in place all day until it’s time for me to wash it off at the end of the night. I’ve never felt so confident and comfortable wearing a moderate-to-full coverage foundation before- but I swear by this.

I bow down to Rihanna for these! Thank you, Queen!

And lastly for the photogenic items/products- one of my guilty snacking pleasures this past month came courtesy of Trader Joe’s (so I really shouldn’t feel guilty about enjoying these as much as I do!) These chocolate-covered marshmallows are so, so good- and I’m embarrassed to admit how many boxes I’ve gone through- especially during the holidays when they seemed to just appear in my kitchen over and over!

If anyone is looking for a Christmas present for me and is thinking buying these in bulk sounds like a good idea- I won’t complain!

Moving onto some of the other things I loved this month that I couldn’t quite snap photos of so easily…

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

“The Punisher” – When Netflix announced they were going to not only increase my monthly billing fee, but were also pulling the plug on streaming a ton of shows I enjoy within the coming months- I opted to cancel my subscription having binge-watched the latest episodes of some of their original series, first. I figure when it’s time to catch up on a new season of ‘Stranger Things’- I’ll re-join for a month or so. Until then, there’s no sense in continuing to pay for something I’ll rarely use.

But first, I wanted to take in Jon Bernthal’s version of Frank Castle in the new season of ‘The Punisher’- and I’m glad I did- because it’s an incredible combination of drama, action and suspense. Bernthal is so unbelievably talented- and I’m glad he was chosen for the role following what felt like his far-too-premature departure from ‘The Walking Dead’.

– GAMES/APPS –

“The Hallmark Christmas Movie Drinking Game” – Have you all seen THIS? It’s been making the rounds in my office over the past couple of days and it’s pretty brilliant. I have a feeling my girlfriends and I are going to be attempting this when we have our weekly dinner/movie night.

If you read about me dying from alcohol poisoning anytime soon- you’ll know I died doing what I loved- watching bad movies.

Alright everyone- I think that’s it for my November Favorites. There’s a few things that I thought about putting on this month’s assortment of items- but I have a feeling they’ll carry over into December.

Enjoy the rest of your day!

xx

– Ashley –

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Favorites: October 2017!

Is it Monday again already? Ew. This past weekend sure flew by quickly! The bright side (there’s always a bright side) is that tomorrow is Halloween, of course- which means we all still have a couple of days left to squeeze in some last minute scares and sweets before we hang up our costumes and usher in November and the impending Holiday Season. I’m a bit overwhelmed just thinking about it already!

Before that, though- I wanted to share some of my favorite products/items/miscellaneous odds and ends that helped to make October the fabulous fright-fest that it was. Most of the things that made the list are silly finds I picked up along the way these past few weeks, while others are some my favorite kinds of entertainment- but all of it holds a special place in my heart when I look back on October of 2017.

Up first are the things I was able to photograph in one place!

A couple of weeks ago, while at the Rock and Shock Horror Convention in my hometown- I picked up one of these ‘Stranger Things’-inspired natural soaps from the booth that had been set up for Fiona’s Fright Soap. This bar in particular smells like a pretty amazing combination of pancakes and maple syrup- and with the second season of ‘Stranger Things’ premiering on Netflix a few days ago (spoiler alert: it’s awesome so far)– it felt like an appropriate time to start using it.

The soap not only makes me smell like a delicious breakfast- but it makes my skin feel really soft and smooth, too. I know this was a limited edition product but I’m hoping Fiona’s eventually makes it a regular item so I can order more of them!

One of my girlfriends, Stef, recently got into canning goods/food with her fiancé- and she’s been kind enough to give me enough food to get me through the zombie apocalypse every time we hang out. Her most recent concoction- and probably my favorite- is this vanilla & whiskey infused apple sauce. She makes it from scratch, air-seals it so it doesn’t go bad- and passes it around like Halloween candy- and it’s AMAZING. It tastes like apple pie filling with a little bit of a boozy kick.

I’ve been hounding Stef for the recipe so I can put it up here for everyone to enjoy. That’s a foodie post I’m really, really going to like putting together!

Speaking of food and sweets- one of my favorite things about Halloween is cooking/baking some seriously macabre snacks for my friends and co-workers. I’ve been loving these edible cupcake/cake toppers from Wilton. They make everything so much more funny- and I REALLY love seeing people’s reactions when they realize that they’re edible and bite into them for the first time. It’s priceless.

I’ll be turning to them when I start baking for next Halloween, too! (Side Note: I love the little edible hatchets you can buy as cupcake toppers. A little bit of red icing and you’ve got a sweet, delicious murder-themed dessert!)

With all of my Halloween stuff going on this past month, it was easy to neglect my nails sometimes. Thankfully, Saks Fifth Avenue had my back- and were nice enough to ship this milk chocolate-inspired shade of nail lacquer from Smith and Cult to me. The color (called “Tenderoni”)– which has quickly become my signature hue on my nails, eyes and lips- is going to be perfect for the remainder of the Fall through the Winter.

It’s smooth, long-lasting, and I’ll be posting a swatch of it soon on Instagram!

Finally, this was another find at the Rock and Shock Convention that I’m completely in love with! I’ve been wearing this Ouija pendant necklace non-stop since I got it- since it’s not only seasonally appropriate- but it looks pretty damned cool, too. I’ve gotten a lot of compliments from people who have leaned in close enough to get a good look at it- and I’m thinking I may keep on wearing it even after Halloween is over!

And that is everything I was able to photograph for my October favorites.

Of course, some other things made the list, too!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

“The Walking Dead” – OOOOOH, IT’S BACK, BABY- AND IT FEELS SO GOOD. Although we’re only a couple of episodes into the eighth season of my number one obsession- the pace of the show has been incredible. Rick Grimes is straight up murdering people. Daryl looks like he actually showered for once. Carol remains my flawless Queen- and Ezekiel still won’t break character. It’s everything I hoped for and more and I’m praying this season makes up for all the heartbreak viewers experienced around this time last year!

“Broad City” – On the opposite end of the spectrum, one of my favorite comedies is back and I couldn’t be happier. One of the things I love most (and there’s a lot I love about it) about “Broad City” is that it focuses on common issues for women everywhere- but it does it in a funny, and often touching or poignant way. The most recent episode, where Ilana admits she’s having trouble finding sexual gratification since Election Night while Abbi comes to terms with aging after finding her first grey hair- was some of the best writing I’ve ever seen on the show. I want to be BFFs with those girls.

– GAMES/APPS –

“South Park: The Fractured, But Whole” – I’m a longtime ‘South Park’ fan (it’s social commentary is spot. on.) and the last game that came out, “The Stick of Truth” is one of my favorites. While “Stick of Truth” was like a ‘Lord of The Rings’ parody- “The Fractured, But Whole” is geared towards making fun of the successful string of superhero movies that have come out in recent years. Featuring more predominant characters in the latest seasons- my friends and I have been pretty much dying laughing while we take turns playing this at get-togethers. It’s a riot- and really, really fun!

And I think that’s everything for the month of October. Most of it was Halloween and Horror-related, sure- but it’s the one time of year where it’s universally appropriate! I’m sure I’ll come back around to less gory and scary things come November.

Try to enjoy your Monday, everyone! I’ll be back tomorrow to talk about October 2017 overall before we pass out some candy and kiss this month goodbye!

xx

– Ashley –

Favorites: September 2017!

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone! This past week has been so insanely busy that I just can’t wait until 4:30 p.m. when I can leave my office for the day, head over to my mom’s house with my older brothers, sisters-in-law, and my niece to have our big bi-weekly family meal together- and get ready for a nice, relaxing weekend- which will include a few laid-back Autumn activities, of course!

Although my look back on the overall month of September will be up tomorrow morning (my “In a Nutshell” posts always get published on the last day of each month!)– I wanted to share some of my favorite products, entertainment, and miscellaneous odds and ends that I really enjoyed these past few weeks. Yes, there are a few pumpkin-related things on the list- this is me we’re talking about, after all- but there’s some other good stuff, too!

First up- here are some of the products/items/splurges that made September even more fun for me!

It should come as no surprise- since it’s been all over Blondie Birdie and my social media accounts since I purchased it near the beginning of this month- that my brown faux-leather, cross-body saddlebag from Old Navy has quickly become one of my favorite Fall accessories. I carry it with me everywhere, it matches pretty much everything in my wardrobe this season (I wear a lot of browns, reds and golds this time of year!)– and it holds the essentials. Also- it has a pretty cute tassel on it that gives it a little bit of character and is nearly identical to ones on a pair of moccasins I’ve been sporting lately.

As a lover of both Bath & Body Works AND enjoying a glass of wine in my bathtub from time to time- I was really excited that the brand recently announced that they were getting in on the bath bomb craze that Lush has pretty much had in the bag for years. That’s not to say I don’t love Lush and their products (they’re one of my favorites!) but B&BW’s “Bath Fizzies” are a little less expensive than Bath Bombs but are just as great. I’ve been loving their Pumpkin Cupcake-scented one lately (and you bet I buy these things in bulk!) because not only does it make my skin and hair smell like a pumpkin spice and vanilla cake- but it moisturizes and conditions, too.

Plus, they’re just so much fun to throw in the tub and watch it change the water different colors!

Keeping up with great products from Bath & Body Works- how incredible are their candles? Although they don’t last as long as, say- Yankee Candle products- they always smell AMAZING and can fill an entire room with the most unique (and sometimes mouthwatering) fragrances. “Leaves” is one of my favorites this time of year- because it’s just a fantastic combination of apple, cinnamon, spices and clove. If you could bottle all of the best things about Fall in one jar- “Leaves” would be it. I always pick up more than one when I go shopping to keep in my kitchen, my bathroom, my bedroom, etc.

When Rihanna first began teasing the launch of her new makeup line- Fenty– earlier this month- I wasn’t sure what to expect. There have been some celebrity-backed brands in the past that have left myself and plenty of other people disappointed (I still don’t get the obsession with the Kylie Jenner stuff, honestly- but maybe that’s just me!)– but the first reviews were overwhelmingly positive and it looked like Rihanna had approved an impressively wide range of shades and colors for a multitude of different skin tones and complexions. I caved and picked up a couple of things- and I’m so glad I did because I have been loving the results!

This “GIRL NEXT DOOR/CHIC PHREAK” Killawatt highlighter is giving me life right now- and makes me glow and sparkle even on the days when I’m exhausted. I wear it on my lids, my cheeks, and as a contour to freshen my face up for work and after-hours. Best of all? It’s reasonably priced. No more buyer’s remorse for overpriced products that don’t work!

Finally- has there ever been a shirt that sums me up so well? This soft cotton jersey-esque top was an impulse buy a couple of weeks ago and has been giving me, my friends and co-workers a good laugh whenever I wear it out and about. I’m actually planning on sporting it this weekend when I make a planned trip to a pumpkin patch outside of the city- because why not, right? Keep an eye out for it on my social media!

And I think that’s it for the products I really enjoyed throughout September- but there’s a few other things that made my Favorites List, too!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

“It” – I remember when I was a kid, my dad read this Stephen King novel cover to cover- only to have nightmares for a few days after he’d finished it. Something being that scary to temporarily traumatize the bravest man I knew was unheard of- so naturally when I was old enough to watch the 1990 mini-series- I went into it expecting the worst- only to be left… Well, not that scared. At all (sorry, Tim Curry! I still love you!) Since then, I’ve read the novel- and although I’m not a particular fan of remakes or the re-imagining of original stories- I always felt like “It’ deserved the Hollywood treatment to really make it worthy of the hype that has surrounded it for so many years.

Well, earlier this month- it got just that. I’ve seen “It” twice in theaters now and I absolutely love it. It’s scary, funny, sad, and- at times- sweet. It’s also perfectly cast. It’s impossible NOT to become emotionally invested in each of the characters. I can’t wait for the sequel in 2019- and I’m already dedicating my Halloween costume this year to the most terrifying scene in the book- and the movie!

The Killers – “Wonderful Wonderful” – It’s been five years since The Killers dropped ‘Battle Born’ on us- so having a brand new album this month felt like getting a surprise visit from old friends for the first time in a long time. I adore this band- always have, always will- and I’ve been listening to WW on heavy rotation since it’s release last week (I also caught a snippet of their set in NYC last weekend- which I’ll get into during my post tomorrow!) It’s a great assortment of head-bopping, sing-along “fun” songs and those pretty, uplifting kinda’-sorta’ballads these boys seem to like so much.

Their upcoming tour should be a lot of fun.

And I think that’s it for my September Favorites. Just a small collection of things I’ve been enjoying over the past few weeks. I’m sure I’ll have plenty more things to share in October!

Enjoy your Friday, everybody!

xx

– Ashley –

Favorites: August 2017!

Good Morning and Happy Monday 2.0, everyone! As September and Labor Day Weekend creep closer and closer- I thought I’d take a few minutes before I get down to business with meetings and telephone calls at work to share a few of the things that made this past August extra fun for me while I savored these last few weeks of Summer as much as I could!

Product-wise, there isn’t much to share- and that’s mainly because a lot of my favorites from June and July (particularly my beach-friendly beauty finds) carried over into August while I was spending a lot of time in the sun before the temperatures drop over the course of the next few weeks- but three things definitely stood out!

The first was this body wash/shower gel from Bath & Body Works, simply called “At The Beach”. I love fragrances that can transport me to other places whenever I smell them- and this Shea and Vitamin E-loaded wash sends me right back to Southern California whenever I use it. It’s a really lovely mix of coconut and flowers that makes me think of sunsets on OB with my friends whenever I’m visiting the West Coast. Better than that, though- is that it cleanses and moisturizes my skin at the same time.

I can’t wait to pick up a couple of bottles of this stuff when the Fall scent collection is released!

Keeping on topic of beautiful, Summery scents- I had to include this ‘Bahama Breeze’ air freshener from Yankee Candle– which has helped make my car, my home, and even my office smell like a freshly made margarita whenever I’m doing my weekly cleaning ritual and don’t want my desk or my upholstery to smell like bleach or the usual strong/potent detergents. A couple of spritzes of this stuff and Summer gets extended an extra few hours!

And, like the body wash from B&BW- these aerosol sprays are going to have their Fall scents released shortly. I’m looking forward to making the transition from beach-side cocktail to pumpkin latte in the coming month.

Finally, with all the time I’ve been spending at the beach or hiking in the woods- I still need to stay vigilant on my sunscreen application. While my usual go-to had previously been spray-on SPF- I’ve been really enjoying this mousse formula from SuperGoop! that I had received in my July POPSUGAR “Must Have” box. This lightweight SPF50 applies evenly and smells really clean and refreshing- and I like that it doesn’t make my skin feel sticky or greasy.

When Fall rolls around, I’m definitely going to be looking into getting face-friendly versions of this stuff. I wear a lot of sweaters and layers when it gets cooler outside, but my face is still exposed to harmful rays.

I think that’s it for the products I’ve been using- but there were a few other things that made my Favorites List this month!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

The War on Drugs: “A Deeper Understanding”- I know, I know- everyone is talking about Taylor Swift’s new single that dropped last week, but there were two other great releases, too! One of those was the latest from The War on Drugs. This has become my current and quintessential “long drive” album to listen to in it’s entirety when I’m on the road. It’s so relaxing and beautiful from start to finish- and I have a feeling a couple of the tracks will be making an appearance on my annual Fall playlist I usually put together this time of year.

Queens of the Stone Age: “Villains” If “A Deeper Understanding” is my driving album, then the latest from QOTSA is definitely my “getting ready to go out for a night on the town” soundtrack. The album is this sort of unexpected mix of rock and a little funk- but I’m so into it. It’s bad-ass- and it makes putting my mascara on every day a little more fun when I have it blasting in my bedroom.

“Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later” – I absolutely binge-watched this at the beginning of the month during an extended bubble bath on a quiet Friday night- and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. This entire series- from the original movie, to the prequel on Netflix and to this long-awaited sequel- has been laugh-out-loud funny and completely insane in the best possible way. Gene and Mitch remain my favorite duo of all time.

– MISCELLANEOUS –

Dunkin Donuts Maple-Pecan Coffee – So I may have gave in to temptation a little early and ordered a Fall-inspired beverage over the weekend when I made a quick stop at Dunkins while en route to Western Massachusetts. With the usual lineup of pumpkin-flavored everything being advertised in the drive-thru- my eyes immediately went to their newest coffee flavor- which is a combination of two of my favorite things. I couldn’t help myself- and honestly the coffee was so good that I didn’t regret it for a second.

Your move, Starbucks. This one is going to be hard to beat and it’s a lot cheaper, too!

And I think that’s everything for August! Now that Fall is (almost) here- you know I’m going to have lots of favorites to share in September!

Alright, I’m off to get some work done- and enjoy my maple-pecan coffee, of course!

xx

– Ashley –

Favorites: July 2017!

Good Morning and TGIF, everyone! Can you believe we’re heading into the last weekend of July and that Summer is going to be winding down soon? As much as I love the Fall here in New England (I’m very much one of those unapologetic pumpkin-spice-everything type of girls)– I’m not ready to say goodbye to Summer of 2017 yet- especially when it’s been so much fun!

But I’m getting ahead of myself here. We still have this weekend and all through August and early September to soak up some more sunshine and hit the beach before it gets too cold out- which is exactly what I plan on doing come first thing tomorrow morning. Before that, though- I wanted to share some of the odds and ends that I absolutely loved this past month.

Most of my favorites from July were cosmetics-related since I recently did an overhaul and mass clean-out of my skincare and makeup to get rid of expired/empty products and make some room for newer items- but there’s a couple of other things that made the list, too!

One of the things that I ate pretty much non-stop throughout July were these cold brew latte dessert popsicles I kept buying at Trader Joe’s. Think of how refreshing an iced cafe mocha tastes on a sweltering hot morning- then make it even colder and put it on a stick- and you’ve got this wonderfully smooth, creamy and satisfying treat that’s low in fat (and calories, too) and gives you a nice caffeine boost when you might need it the most.

I’m seriously addicted to these things so I have a feeling they’ll probably make my August Favorites list, too!

I was admittedly a little skeptical when I first saw swatches of Urban Decay’s latest Naked palette, “HEAT”- since I’m pretty fair and always assumed any sort of red/orange shadows would just end up making me look like I had a bad case of pink eye or a weird rash or something. Earlier this month, however- I was treating myself to a couple of goodies and thought I may as well give it a try- and I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised with how neat these shadows look.

While there’s plenty of red/orange tones- they can easily be blended and sort of mellowed out with the lighter brown and almost rose-colored shades that are included in this palette, too. There’s a nice mix of shimmers and mattes that I’ve been experimenting with pretty much every day since I picked this one up for myself and I haven’t found a color combination that I dislike yet. Every shade is really beautiful and makes me think of days spend out in the desert whenever I visit Nevada!

Another “wasn’t sure at first but now I’m a believer” find? Brazilian Bum Bum Cream by Sol de Janeiro. HEAR ME OUT- I wear a lot of bikinis during the Summer, and even though I never skip squats and am a body lotion/cream fiend- I was intrigued about this Guaraná-packed moisturizer I heard mentioned through word of mouth. It’s all-natural ingredients are supposed to boost circulation in your skin while smoothing and tightening- and some people I know swear by it.

First things first, the cream smells delicious- good enough to eat, even- and it doesn’t feel greasy or sticky after you slather it on, but the most important thing are the results. I’ve been using this quick-absorbing cream religiously for a good portion of July now- and even though I’ve always thought my posterior looked decent, anyway- it definitely looks a lot smoother and feels a bit firmer after I use this stuff! Consider me a fan!

I recently misplaced one of my favorite raspberry-hued Formula X nail polishes, and I cannot find it for the life of me (I think it’s somewhere in San Diego!)– so I found a lovely substitute in Deborah Lippmann’s Summer 2017 collection with this bright, poppy pink shade called “Shut Up And Dance” which I’ve been sporting on my fingers and toes nearly all month. The formula, long-lasting like a gel manicure but without the harmful chemicals and UV rays- gives full coverage and is highly pigmented.

The shade just feels like Summertime- and I doubt I’ll be wearing any other color on my nails ’til the Fall!

And the last thing in July’s beauty round-up is this gorgeous roll-on fragrance from Replica– “Beach Walk”. A really incredible combination of lemon, coconut, cedar wood and ylang ylang- among others- this perfume transports me to the beach even when I’m landlocked at work. It’s hard to describe just how lovely this perfume is- but I’ve been wearing it every day and I get so many compliments on it.

It absolutely reminds me of evenings spent at Old Orchard Beach strolling the boardwalk with my friends. Replica managed to somehow bottle that memory in fragrance form!

I think that’s it for the things I was able to photograph for the month of July- but there’s still a couple of other Favorites, too!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

“Preacher” (2nd Season!) I’ve been a huge fan of AMC’s “Preacher” since it premiered last year, and I was so thrilled that it had been picked up for a second season that started in late June after another series I enjoy, “Fear The Walking Dead”, wrapped up for the time being. The show, characters, story- and the comic book it’s based on- are absolutely bonkers. It’s funny, clever, violent, a little gory- but so, so entertaining nonetheless. I’ve been putting the finishing touches on a Jesse Custer cosplay I intend to wear around Comic-Con next month when it swings through Boston- so I’m very excited!

“Atomic Blonde” – So the movie technically comes out today, but I’m already so hyped up to see this one with my girlfriends this weekend. It’s been a pretty good year for ass-kicking female-led films so far- so to watch Charlize Theron take no prisoners as a secret agent and look stunning while she’s stabbing people with a stiletto heel is something I can definitely get behind. Yes, please!

– MISCELLANEOUS –

San Diego Comic-Con Recaps! – The biggest convention of the year wrapped up this past weekend, and I was LIVING for the updates that were coming out on a near hourly basis- both from friends who were in attendance and on social media. The trailer for the 8th season of “The Walking Dead” (my all-time favorite show, ever- period) stopped me in my tracks when it was released- and I was fan-girling so hard on my phone during the Marvel panel updates. I haven’t been to SDCC since 2014- where I had the time of my life- but I’m really hoping I can be there for 2018 to re-live all the excitement and previews!

Alright- I think that’s everything! Anything else that I may have forgotten will definitely get a mention next month when I inevitably remember it!

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

xx

– Ashley –

Favorites: June 2017!

We’re almost near the end of the month, and one of my posting traditions back at Legally Redhead was to share the items/products/miscellaneous things that I had discovered and/or otherwise enjoyed over the previous weeks. Most Vloggers call this their “Hits & Misses” list, or just “Favorite Things”- but I don’t typically upload anything to YouTube apart from the sporadic concert clips now and then- so I just photograph and/or categorize them there!

A good portion of June was spent at various beaches around New England- typically on the weekends or afternoons off from work- so a lot of the items (particularly cosmetics and hair care!) that I got plenty of use out of this past month were surf and sun-appropriate.

Let’s take a look at those before I dive into some of the other random things I’ve been loving lately!

Sun Bum is a brand I discovered through my favorite surf shop in New Hampshire a couple of years ago- and I always make it a point to stock up whenever I’m in the area and pop by for a visit. Not only are the company’s collection of SPFs, tanning oils and hair sprays/protectors are not only super effective for anyone and everyone planning on catching some rays- but they all smell like a delicious combination of bananas and coconuts, too. If that doesn’t get you into a tropical state of mind- I don’t know what will!

Lately I’ve been utilizing two of their products more than usual- their after-sun cooling lotion, which keeps my skin hydrated and smooth after I’ve been in the salt water all afternoon- and their leave-in conditioner spray (infused with Argan Oil and sunflower seed oil). The spray has been a lifesaver when it comes to preventing my hair from getting dried out or damaged in these scorching Summer temperatures!

I’ve also been coveting those healthy, beachy, “spent all day surfing” waves (even when I’m at work!) so I’ve been turning to Not Your Mother’s Texturizing Hair Cream after my showers in the morning to smooth away frizz and define the shape of my curls a little more. This cream feels like a paste on contact, but once it’s spread evenly in the hands and fingers it glides through damp hair easily and dries quickly. The result are mattified, natural-looking waves- no salt water needed!

I recently wrote about my experience with introducing Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask into my regimen- and I’ve continued to maintain amazing results with it. This was definitely a stand-out product for me in June, and I still have so much of it left that I know I’m going to be using it throughout July, August- and maybe have enough of it for September, too!

And we all know how much I love spoiling myself with new clothes/accessories/shoes at Primark in Downtown Crossing- but I was unaware that they make incredibly efficient and surprisingly low-priced cosmetics, too. One of my favorite finds in the month of June was this sparkly, slightly golden-hued bronzing oil for the face & body. I like to mix this in with my moisturizers and body creams before applying liberally to give myself an extra boost of hydration and a natural-looking sun-kissed glow, too. For someone as pale as I am- this is a big deal!

Pssst- it’s only $4.50, too!

I honestly don’t know how I got on without spray versions of sunscreen when I was younger. They are just SO much easier to use than traditional lotions/sticks/etc. You just spray them all over, give yourself a quick pat-down to make sure everything is covered- and boom- you can enjoy your time in the sun until it’s time to reapply. This SPF50 formula from Top Care was inexpensive and is currently nestled in my beach tote for whenever I venture outdoors for any great length of time.

The formula isn’t sticky or greasy- and dries clear- which is important when you own an all black bikini like I do and don’t the fabric to get ruined or discolored!

In the Summer, I really like my lips to pop (okay, so that’s during every season, but-) and another favorite-find from Primark was this screaming neon pink lipstick/lip gloss combo from the company’s Havana-inspired seasonal collection. At $3 a tube, I wasn’t sure what to expect- but the color is so rich, so pigmented, and so long-lasting that it could easily be the best $3 I’ve ever spent anywhere.

I’m head over heels in love with the color and the creamy, non-drying formula!

One last item from Primark- I swear. I couldn’t resist snatching up these pink and gold oversized cat-eye sunglasses for my recent beach excursion with my friends this past weekend (pictures will be up shortly!) These shades seem to fit the shape my face really well and the colors of the lenses combined with the subtle sparkle of the frames are DAZZLING in the sunshine. You can see a couple of shots of the shades HERE and HERE through my Instagram.

I seriously just feel cooler than cool whenever I have these on- which has been all the time lately!

Okay, hear me out- I know that canned wine sounds a little tacky and more than a bit gross- but most of the beaches around here have some pretty strict “no glass bottles” policies (completely understandable, of course. Nobody wants to step on broken glass while they’re barefoot in the sand!) so when I want to get my rosé wine on while I sprawl out on my towel under my umbrella- my options are a little but limited.

Fortunately, though- Underwood’s canned wines are actually really, really good and well-made, you guys. These have been awesome to have stored in a cooler when I’m on the shore with my friends because they’re convenient and taste delicious (and aren’t overpriced like some bottles can be!)

I’m actually incorporating some into an upcoming Summer drink recipe I’m making soon- so keep an eye out!

I think that’s everything that I could photograph easily- but there’s still a few other things that made my list of favorites, too!

– MUSIC/MOVIES –

The Killers – “The Man” Who would have thought that one single from a yet-to-be-released album would be my most-played track this month? Fusing a bit of Bowie with a little bit of Queen- my favorite band has returned with a bold, confident and swagger-filled anthem for the ages. With lyrics like “They kiss on the ring/I carry the crown/Nothing can break-nothing can break me down”- it’s really difficult NOT to get pumped up while listening to this. I’m so excited for the new album (and the tour that will undoubtedly follow!)

Lorde – “Melodrama” – Speaking of anthems for the ages- Lorde is back with a new album this month and it’s SO good! I’ve been jamming out to this one while I’m shuttling back and forth between the office and it just puts me in such a good mood. My favorite track varies day-to-day, but right now I’m loving “Homemade Dynamite” the best. Check back with me in a few days and I’m sure it will have changed again!

– TECH/APPS –

“Ice-Cream, Please!” – What if I told you there was an app, similar to Uber, but instead of hailing affordable transportation to your destination- it hailed nearby ice cream trucks to come to your location so you can indulge your creamsicle craving, instead? Yes- it’s a real thing. Yes- it works. Yes- it’s amazing- and yes- the app is free! I’ve been having an absolute blast with this one- especially when I get the opportunity to blow my friend’s minds by having an ice cream truck roll up to us when we’re out at any given point.

This one is gonna’ save your Summer, everyone. Mark my words!

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And I think that’s pretty much it for my June 2017 favorites! Not a bad compilation of things, if I do say so myself!

If you have any favorites from June/recommendations for July that you’d like to share- feel free to drop me a line!

xx

– Ashley –