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 –

Favorites: June 2019!

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone! We made it!

Next week’s schedule is a little bizarre- what with it being a holiday and everything. While I have Thursday, Friday, and then the weekend off from work- I’m going to attempt to maintain some semblance of a normal blogging schedule (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) since I have a lot to cover over the next couple of weeks!

This coming Sunday, the last day of June- will see my monthly “In A Nutshell” post detailing all the highs and lows of this past month while simultaneously giving a glimpse of what’s to come in July- but before I dive into that and the remainder of my weekend- I wanted to share some of my favorite things from these past few days/weeks!

In a month filled with unpredictable weather and plenty of humidity- a lot of the photogenic items/products are for taming frizz and beating the makeup-melting heat- but there’s a couple of other odds and ends I really enjoyed this past June, too!

Let’s get started!

With the exception of a Red Sox hat that doesn’t flatter me at all, I’m not much of a baseball cap enthusiast- but my mother had seen this multi-pattern one from The Niche while out and about and thought of me and my perpetual wanderlust when she spotted the insignia on the front.

I like this hat because it’s adjustable (and therefore doesn’t give me a headache or leave one of those weird red marks on my forehead) and matches essentially everything I own. I can wear it while I’m lounging, running errands, or just hanging out with friends in a casual setting and it’s super cute.

Another accessory for my head/hair- but not one I wear as frequently as the baseball cap- is this super sparkly set of Minnie Mouse ears that Troy picked up for me during a recent trip to Anaheim where he made an impromptu stop at Disneyland!

I had a set similar to these (not nearly as sparkly) when I was a kid and visited the Magic Kingdom for the very first time- but they broke shortly after my return home and I remember being devastated. I’d never had the opportunity to replace them- so Troy grabbing these after I had told him my story meant the world.

They’ve currently found a forever home on display in my apartment- but I’ll probably wear them out to an event at some point, I’m sure.

Of course, wearing all these hats/headbands amid all this humidity is a bad idea- so I’m glad I found this lightweight and moisturizing “Coconut Curl” styling foam from OGX to keep my frizz away and my hair super soft and conditioned!

This mouse has some serious staying power (without the crunch or stiffness) and smells divine- like a tropical vacation- so this is pretty much a must-have lifesaver for me in the Summertime now!

What would I do without this?! I shudder to think!

Moving onto Summertime makeup- I have to preface this by saying I have avoided L’Oreal products like the plague for years. They’d always make me break out, always clog my pores and otherwise damage my skin- but when I ran out of my medium-coverage Sephora foundation and was desperately searching the drug store to find something to get me through a scheduled work meeting in a pinch- I spotted this “Magic BB” cream and figured I didn’t have anything to lose.

And you guys? It’s amazing. The lightweight formula applies like an almost iridescent white color- but then it dries to match my skin tone perfectly. It hydrates, softens, covers imperfections and makes me look like I’m glowing when I have it on! Best of all? No breakouts, clogged pores or damaged skin!

This is my go-to for the Summertime and especially for beach trips! I love it!

I want my makeup to be quick, easy, sweat/waterproof and lightweight during the Summer- so I try to avoid powder shadows that can get flaky or clump together at the first sign of humidity. Liquid shadows are the way to go in the hotter temperatures- and I’m quite fond of this golden shimmer shade from ModelCo and their Eyelites collection.

This liquid shadow, highly pigmented- applies smoothly and dries to a shimmery, long-lasting finish that doesn’t feel heavy or “caked on.” My eyes have a fresh pop of color all day/night and there are no reapplications necessary during the day- even in those moments I’m desperately looking for air conditioning!

And for $12 a tube? You can’t go wrong!

Finally, no new base and eye shadow is complete without a new, long-lasting lip gloss, too! I turned to Rimmel for help in this department- specifically their STAY GLOSSY colors I’d heard so many good things about. With up to 6 hours of coverage (I got about 4, maximum) and a non-sticky formula- this pink/red shade is my signature Summer color and this gloss is something I’m wearing non-stop- be it at work, visiting friends/family, working out, etc.

It’s the perfect Summer color and an even more perfect hot weather formula since it’s lightweight and comfortable!

And that just about does it for the photogenic favorites, everyone- but a couple of other things made the list for June, as well!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

“I Think You Should Leave” – Troy got me hooked on this short (each episode is about 20 minutes, if that) sketch comedy show on Netflix this month. It’s over-the-top, ridiculous- and so, so funny. I love bizarre, off-the-wall humor and I am OBSESSED with this show because it delivers! My favorite one so far has got to be the fully loaded nacho sketch, for sure!

“Archer 1999” – The tenth (and allegedly final) season of “Archer” has blasted the characters off into Space in an ‘Alien’ homage that has been super fun to watch this past month. The show is just as quick-witted as ever- and I really hope they bring everything full circle if it truly is the final chapter of the series when this season concludes!

And that just about does it for me, everyone. As I mentioned earlier- I’ll be back on Sunday to dissect this past month that was- but until then, here’s wishing you all a wonderful Friday and start to your weekend!

xx

– Ashley –

Favorites: May 2019!

Good Morning and Happy Wednesday, everyone!

As many of us try to power through this short work-week- I’m personally looking forward to some much-needed rest and relaxation this coming weekend. Not only am I returning to the studio for Indie617 on Saturday for the first time in a few weeks, but my best friend Sean is coming to visit with me at my new apartment so I can give him a quick, laid-back tour of my neighborhood. Nothing crazy- just good company, good food- and I’m determined to squeeze a nap in there somewhere.

I’m going to be recapping this past May in my monthly “In a Nutshell” post this coming Friday before we kick off June during the weekend- but as is tradition- I thought I’d share some of my favorite things from the past couple of weeks, first. Movies, music, products and odds & ends- this is my “Favorites” list- and the items that I could photograph are up first!

Let’s take a look at what made the cut this month!

While Benefit’s Dandelion Blush had helped get me through the Spring- I need something with a little more color now that Summer is officially (unofficially) here- and I’ve looked no further than by switching over to their GALifornia¬† powder blush.

With a bit more pink/peach to it- this blush also has a semi-shimmery golden overtone- so I look naturally sunkissed when I wear it as opposed to looking like I’m in a bad beauty pageant. It’s subtle, easy to blend and use for contouring- and super flattering on my pasty skin! I know it’ll look good if and when I ever get a tan, too- so it’s my go-to for the Summer!

So my skin has taken a bit of a beatdown in recent weeks as we transition from arctic temperatures and dive right into hot, humid days- and it’s resulted in my face and body not knowing whether or not to feel tight and dry or oily/hydrated. Some days I need extra moisturizer and some days I need blotting sheets like my life depended on it.

On the days where I’m feeling extra thirsty- I use this cooling, refreshing facial mist from Pacifica. I had picked this up in Vegas (the driest of dry climates!) and was amazed at how quickly it worked. Infused with coconut and caffeine- I use this is a setting spray in the mornings and then throughout the afternoons whenever I need a pick me up to keep me looking fresh.

There’s still plenty of things on my “To-do/Bucket List”- but I’ve recently added “Thank Rihanna” to it specifically because Fenty is such a game-changer in the makeup and cosmetics world. I have yet to buy or try a product from the brand that I dislike- and this month I’m adding the BAESIDE liquid eyeliner trio to the list of things I love and haven’t stopped wearing this month.

With three super bright, long-lasting shades (Papaya Mama, Lime Fever and Skinny Dip)– I have been playing around with these liners ever since I got them after returning from Vegas- and I know they’re going to be a “must have” for me in the coming Summer months. They all look really, really beautiful by themselves or intertwined on my lash line.

I’ll put up photos/swatches on my INSTAGRAM soon!

And finally, to sort of move away from skincare and makeup for a moment- which dominated my Favorites List in May- I’ve also been loving these stacked bracelets from Pura Vida. With fun, Summery colors and a cute VW Bus charm that completely won me over when I first saw it- this is my go-to accessory for this coming Summer and recently made one of my OOTD posts when I was talking about casual wear!

I also love indie companies that are charitable and use their profits to better their communities- which is something Pura Vida believes strongly in and does regularly- so it’s beautiful, hand-made jewelry for a good cause!

So, that’s everything I was able to capture on film- but as they say in infomercials- wait, there’s more!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

“The Act” – While in Vegas, Kelsey and I got to talking true crime and binge-worthy series as we drove through the desert together. We started talking about the very real, very bizarre case of Gypsy Rose Blanchard- and the series’ of documentaries and specials centered on her case. Kelsey recommended this limited episode Hulu series starring Patricia Arquette and Chlo√ę Sevigny that follows the events leading up to and after the murder of Gypsy’s mother- so of course I binged it in one afternoon.

I regret nothing. It was riveting- and definitely worth a viewing if you have the time!

“John Wick 3” – Summer is here and with it comes over-the-top action flicks. Troy and I finally caught this third installment of our favorite series a few nights ago- and it didn’t disappoint. I could watch these movies all day, every day.

Also, Laurence Fishburne has the greatest lines ever and only he could make them sound as cool as they do.

And that just about does it for me today, everyone! As I said earlier, I’ll be back on Friday with a full recap of this past month that was- but until then- enjoy your “Hump Day!”

I’m off to work!

xx

– Ashley –

Favorites: April 2019!

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone! We made it to another weekend (and in my case – just barely!)

Next week is a short posting week, Tuesday and Thursday only, given that April is winding down and May is just a few days away (!!!)– but before I recap these past few weeks and get ready to jump into a brand new month that is going to be filled with travel, my move, and a LOT of adjustments- I wanted to share a few of my favorite things from April that helped make all these changes a little easier to get through!

This is my monthly “Favorites” post that highlights some of the products, items, impulse buys, and odds & ends that I’ve been enjoying all month- and as always I like to start with the things I was able to capture with a camera before I work my way down to the miscellaneous things- movies, TV shows, food/drinks, etc.

It’s a little list- but a good one- so let’s get started!

With Spring here, I finally get to switch up my makeup from deep gem-toned eye shadows and merlot-colored lipstick to lighter, fresher shades for the warmer weather! The first thing I decided to swap out was my blush. During the Winter I had been using a silvery highlighter all over my face to give me an icy glow- but with Spring here I opted for something a little more on the pink/rosy side (and with a hint of gold to make me look sunkissed!)

I’m loving this tiny little powder blush/highlighter, “Dandelion” from Benefit Cosmetics. The formula is lightweight and the color goes on so smoothly. I always have just the right amount of rose-gold glow whenever I walk out the door with this on!

I always keep a little roller ball perfume in my bag for touch-ups throughout the day- and I have been loving this “Wild Flower” one from Victoria’s Secret (underrated in the beauty/fragrance department, really!) The fragrance makes me smell like a pretty, tropical botanical garden, if that makes sense- with notes of lotus and magnolia- and it lasts a really, really long time- so frequent applications are a thing of the past!

It’s a limited edition, though- so be sure to snatch one up before they’re gone for good!

Just quickly jumping back to makeup for a second- but did you know that Sephora’s brand of makeup is actually amazing (and super affordable?) Case in point- this medium-coverage, oil-free foundation I started rocking the second the last of the snow melted because it gives my skin a chance to breathe while covering any imperfections flawelessly!

Best of all? It’s only $20! This is going to be my go-through the Summer. I just know it.

Of course, I can’t apply serums, creams, and brand new makeup to a puffy face- which is why I’ve finally caved and purchased a rose quartz facial roller at my local pharmacy. I didn’t want to believe the hype, guys- but it actually works!

Here’s what I do- I keep this roller chilled in my refrigerator overnight. In the morning, while I’m making a cup of coffee and before I put anything on my face- I gently roll this over my skin for about 5-10 minutes. The cold and the quartz reduces puffiness, redness, and helps to smooth out my skin for when it’s time to finally dive into my skincare regimen and makeup for the day!

Finally, in my attempt to live a healthier lifestyle in 2019 and embrace the sleeveless season- I’ve also been searching for the right aluminum-free deodorant- which has proven to be a quest in itself. Some don’t work all that well. Others smell, well- pretty weird- but I’ve found a winner with Secret’s new formula!

Clear, and free of harmful chemicals and dyes- this deodorant doesn’t leave marks on my clothes, smells light and pretty, and doesn’t feel greasy or gross after a couple of hours the way some other deodorants and antiperspirants do. I’m in love!

And I think that does it for the photograph-able stuff this month- but like they say in infomercials- “but wait, there’s more!”

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

“Game of Thrones” – So I know we’re only two episodes into the final season, and I know I’ve had a love/hate relationship with this show over the years- but how good has it been so far? You can tell everyone involved is really trying to give this one a proper sendoff and actually care about doing it right- so even though this Sunday night’s episode is going to undoubtedly destroy me emotionally- I’m also super excited!

Okay, *now* I’m done!

Short and sweet- much like how the entire month of April felt- those were some of the things that particularly stood out for me.

I’m off to get things done at work before I check out for my half day at the office and run some errands- but I’ll be back on Tuesday! Here’s wishing you all a fun, safe and hopefully sunny weekend!

xx

– Ashley –

Favorites: March 2019!

Good Evening and Happy Friday, everyone!

Today’s post is coming at you a little late in the day given how busy I’ve been this week. Within the past 24 hours I’ve been given a raise at my full-time job, found out a company shift has left me with a new team to work with- and applied for a lovely loft out in the Pioneer Valley (fingers crossed!)

Needless to say, I’m a little spent and plan on heading to bed early tonight before I head out to do my radio show tomorrow afternoon and spend an evening with my friend Duncan (who is visiting from Chicago for the second time this month! So excited!)

Before I put a sheet mask on and lay down- I wanted to share some of my favorite things from this past month! In terms of items/products- there isn’t much since a lot of my favorite things from February carried over into this month, as well- but what I did choose has definitely made the last few weeks so much easier.

As always- here’s the stuff I was able to take pictures of, first!

Even though this large floral necklace can feel heavy at times- I’ve been wearing it so much this month because it’s bright and bold and yes- a little tacky. But it’s fun and gets me into a Spring frame of mind- which I so desperately need right now given we keep dipping back and forth into warm weather and then bitterly cold days.

While my wardrobe continually switches between light sweaters on one day and heavy wool coats the next- this necklace remains a constant reminder that sunnier days are coming!

And while I gotta’ hold out on the full coverage foundations until it’s officially BB Cream season- I’m still going into Spring mode with my makeup and this rosy pink matte lip paint from Tarte.

This shade, ‘OG’, is long-lasting, non-drying- and super flattering to my still pasty Winter skin tone. It’s not too pale, but not too bright- which makes it perfect to wear at work or when I’m out during the day and going for the minimal makeup look while I’m having lunch or running errands.

If you’re sensing a pink or floral theme this month- you’re not wrong. I got one of these rose sheet masks from Mamonde in a recent subscription box- and I fell in love with how soft and supple it made my sometimes dry skin feel.

And although skincare products with fragrance can sometimes irritate my face- this one did anything but. The rose scent was relaxing and quite pretty- and I didn’t have any redness or small bumps after I finally peeled it off to take on the rest of my night!

Finally, I’m a huge advocate for women and their sexual health- and I’m wary of promoting products I don’t personally use or stand by. That being said, QUEEN V is one of my favorite and affordable brands geared towards women, their sexual pleasure, and their reproductive health.

These daily supplements boost my immune system and digestion while simultaneously keeping *that* area well-balanced so that I’m always feeling on top of my game. 30 capsules is $19- which is a lot more reasonable than other one-a-day vitamins I’ve seen on the market!

And that’s it for the photogenic goods this month- but I’ve still got a couple more things that made the list!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

‘Captain Marvel’ – Despite man-babies everywhere doing the absolute most to try and stifle this movie’s success from behind their keyboards- I was elated that ‘Captain Marvel’ was such a box office smash because it’s super entertaining and so much fun to watch. Knowing how devastating ‘Avengers: Endgame” will undoubtedly be next month- this was such an uplifting superhero experience to watch well in advance!

‘Us’ – Speaking of excellent movies, does Jordan Peele know how to make AMAZING cinema or what? I have yet to see a skit or a movie he’s been involved with that hasn’t just been expertly shot and acted and I am always left awe-struck and anxiously waiting to see what he’s going to do next. ‘Us’ is super creepy, really unexpected- and could very well be one of the best movies of 2019!

‘What We Do In The Shadows’ – A recent addition, the series inspired by the movie premiered earlier this week on FX and you guys- it is side-splitting funny. For real. I was cracking up so bad within 2 minutes and it just got progressively funnier as time wore on. I can’t wait to see the series through to the finale.

And that’s it for March, you guys! Short and sweet and to the point!

I’m spinning tracks at Indie617 tomorrow from 12-4 before I prepare to wrap up the month with a pretty little bow on Sunday. Lots of stuff and many changes happened this month for me- and I’ll be sure to recap them all with my “In a Nutshell” post!

Enjoy the start of your weekend, everyone!

xx

– Ashley –