“Now it’s all covered with flowers…”

Good Evening, everyone! Here’s hoping you’re all having a wonderful Friday night- or getting ready to, anyway!

My night is actually going to be fairly quiet and reserved tonight- consisting of watching a movie with friends, eating some pizza and sipping some hard cider since I have to be up for early morning plans first thing tomorrow. And honestly? I just really need a night in so I can wear sweatpants and veg out a bit.

This past week has been crazy at work, and when I wasn’t in my office- I was at networking events, keeping track of E3 coverage (hello, ‘Resident Evil 2’ remake I’ve been waiting for since I was in my teens!) and trying to soak up some Vitamin D whenever I got the chance- including taking an afternoon off for an impromptu beach trip in Manchester-By-The-Sea.

Last weekend, before I got swirled up in Manic Monday and all the tasks/errands/to-do’s that came with it and the subsequent days that followed- I actually ventured out to the wild, wild Western part of Massachusetts to lovely, quaint and picturesque Shelburne Falls to see the famous Bridge of Flowers that frequently make appearances on my friends’ Instagram feeds.

I’d never been, but neither the bridge itself or the scenic drive to and from there along some of the state’s winding back roads- dotted with farmhouses and fields- was well worth it. The footbridge (formerly a trolley bridge) stretches over the Deerfield River and is the home to hundreds of different types of flowers. It’s a very peaceful, pretty walk to take- and naturally I snapped some photos!

Click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pics!

If you’re ever venturing out by Western Massachusetts this Summer- the bridge is definitely worth a quick stop! It’s open ’til October!

In other beautiful destinations I visited this past week- I took a half day at work yesterday afternoon to stop by Singing Beach in-between errands to meet up with my best friend, Sean, for lunch/coffee and to watch as the boats rolled by the marina.  Even though the sun disappeared on us (more than once)– it was still a lovely way to spend an afternoon. The view was definitely better than the one I’m used to in my office, anyway!

Every time I travel to Manchester By The Sea, I try to visit at least one new shop or restaurant since the community has so many hidden and adorable seaside finds to discover. Yesterday’s dinner saw us watching game show re-runs from the 1970s while we ate burgers and fries at Superfine Food, and then grab a couple of ‘Aloha’ lattes (coconut and white chocolate) at Allie’s Beach Street Cafe.

Everything was so delicious- and the staff at both locations were very friendly! I highly recommend them!

But now, with friends on the way for movie night with food in tow- I’m off to be lazy, eat all the carbs- and get ready for the weekend!

Good night, everyone! Have a great weekend!

xx

– Ashley –

OOTD: In Bloom

Good Morning, everyone!

I’m so beyond grateful it’s Friday. It’s been such a busy week- with work, post-office plans nearly every day, trying to find the perfect Mother’s Day gift before this coming Sunday- and squeezing in enough time for the gym and getting enough sleep to function like a relatively normal person. Although tonight is my bi-weekly family dinner with my mom, brothers, sister-in-laws and niece- I have to admit I’m looking forward to just being able to relax and sleep a little late tomorrow morning. I need it!

Earlier this week I had dinner arrangements with friends at The Local in Wellesley (one of my favorite towns in the Greater Boston area!) and thought it was just as good a time as any to break out an oldie but a goody party dress I’ve had since my early-to-mid twenties so that I could match the blossoming trees along Wellesley’s main street/historic district.

This lightweight, cotton dress with detailed embroidery and a floral print is the most beautiful shades of sky blue and pastel pink- and hits a little ways above the knee- making it easy to wear to both my office (with a modest button-up cardigan over it) and out with friends where I can expose some shoulder.

Wearing heels with this dress, however- can make it look entirely too short. Instead, I paired it with my pastel pink flats (which have made an appearance in some past OOTDs!) to stay comfortable and keep from exposing a little too much to those who were enjoying the late Spring afternoon/evening around the town.

And for my makeup- some shimmery pink eye shadow and lip balm was all I needed to keep things in a light, pretty and seasonal state.

I have a similar dress in a different pattern that I feel is more Summery given the colors- so I’m sure that will be making an appearance on the blog at some point after Memorial Day!

But I’m off to finish up some work for the week and get ready to catch up with my family tonight. I’ll be back on Monday- and in the meantime- I hope all the moms out there from all corners of the Earth and all walks of life have a truly beautiful Mother’s Day: filled with your favorite foods, maybe a little wine, some quiet time- and lots of pampering. You earned it!

I’ll be spending Mother’s Day with my own Mama- where we have brunch and some shopping plans in mind- so I’m hoping the nice weather holds up so we can spend more time outdoors.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

xx

– Ashley –

Favorites: April 2018!

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

With only a couple of days left in April, this coming weekend is shaping up to be packed with some mid-Spring activities and some much-needed time outdoors (weather permitting- although the forecast is looking pretty good!) around the city and the park tomorrow.

But before I kick things off by closing out some cases at work and heading over to my family’s home for bi-weekly dinner with my mother and older brothers- I wanted to share some of my favorite odds and ends from this past month. While my overall and more in-depth thoughts on this lovely month that was will be up on the blog via my “In a Nutshell” post on Monday morning- it’s worth mentioning that April was sprinkled with a lot of new finds- from beauty, floral fashion, binge-worthy shows, fun (and thought-provoking) apps, as well a little bit of desert-inspired home decor.

Let’s see what made the list, shall we?

The weather at the beginning of April was admittedly a little moody. One day would give us a glimpse of high 50s/low 60s temperatures- and then the next would have us hiding under umbrellas as it snowed/sleeted. Mother Nature’s inability to make up her mind claimed no bigger victim this year than my skin- which did it’s best to keep up with the sporadic climate changes but eventually dried out completely for a couple of weeks.

While applying extra moisturizers and serums in the mornings and evenings helped a little- it took this cucumber-infused roll-on mask from Yes To to give my complexion a boost to get back on track. Cooling, calming, hydrating and mess-free- I’ve been keeping this tube in my fridge and then rolling it on about twice a week for some insta-comfort. This stuff is a lifesaver on the chillier, dryer days- and I’ll be buying these in bulk when it comes time for me to head out to the desert!

Speaking of the desert- I absolutely covet anything with either palm tree or cactus print- including clothing, accessories, stationary, etc. I thought I’d take that love affair and use it to transform my office a bit since it was feeling a little on the boring side lately- and turned to Modcloth for some much-needed and adorable assistance.

These battery-powered fairy lights- shaped like cacti, of course- have found a home along the side of my desk where I keep them illuminated on those more stressful days where I need a little bit of fun to keep me from losing my cool. The cactus-shaped and magnetic desk organizer, however? That stays visible at all times- since it holds my pens, paper clips, and rubber bands in place. I love it!

This time of year, I’m also a big fan of floral prints- and I try to incorporate them in subtle ways so that I don’t look like Spring threw up all over me. A pretty, tiered top? A bright and cheerful blossom-covered dress? Comfortable (and seasonally appropriate flats?) I own ’em all- and I’ve been wearing them throughout April while I wait for the trees and flowers to show off their own buds and blossoms!

  1. Blue and White Floral Top (Primark)
  2. Pink Blossom Dress (Forever 21)
  3. Flowered Flats (Old Navy)

In April, I complimented my floral finesse with some subtle makeup- limiting myself to just a couple of color combinations and nude, moisturized lips. This was made possible with two very simple products. The first, an all-in-one blush, highlighter and eye shadow palette I stumbled upon by chance from Maybelline while I was trying to find replacement mascara at a reasonable price since mine had unexpectedly gotten clumpy.

The ‘Urban Light’ palette includes a soft pink blush, a shimmery golden/peach highlighter, and two eye shadow combinations- one a pink/fuchsia mix, and the other a mint green/yellow combo. I’ve been wearing them daily- mixing and matching to create my own unique look- and every color is so flattering (a rarity with many palettes that cost double the price.) For $11.99- how could you go wrong?

For my lips, which also fell victim to that aforementioned dry-spell- I kept things simple. This color-less, moisture-packed coconut lip balm from Sephora has become my life source and has smoothed and saved my pout time and time throughout the month. At $6 a tube- I got a few of these (for my purse, my office, and my car)– just in case I misplace one. It’s always good to have a backup!

I think that’s everything that could pose for a photo- but a few other things made the list this month, too!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

indie617 – I’ve been really lucky to have met and connected with friends from various radio stations in Boston over the years. They always open my eyes to new and upcoming artists while simultaneously showing appreciation for the things I grew up listening to- and conversations about shows, albums, recording, etc. are always fascinating. Recently, friends of mine from BCN-turned-Radio BDC launched their own independent streaming radio service- indie617- and it’s AWESOME.

Not only do they play fantastic new music from local and international acts, but they’ve got their finger on all the hottest shows in the city. They sent me to a Franz Ferdinand performance at the House of Blues earlier this month- and I had an amazing time.

You can tune in HERE– but if you’re on the go, the indie617 app is available for iPhone and Android, too! Just check your app store!

Big Mouth – I’m a little late to this raunchy Netflix cartoon about a handful of kids going through puberty, but my BFF Sean introduced me to it a couple of weeks ago by playing one episode and I was immediately hooked and had to binge the entire first season right then and there.

Created by Nick Kroll, ‘Big Mouth’ has a pretty impressive list of celebrities lending voices to the characters- including Jordan Peele, John Mulaney, Kristen Wiig, Jenny Slate and Maya Rudolph (who voices the Hormone Monstress and is INCREDIBLE.) It is laugh-out-loud funny and I’m really excited for season two.

– TECH/APPS –

HQ Trivia – Okay, so my co-worker is the one that got me hooked on this one. I love trivia- even moreso when I can wish cash from playing it- so HQ Trivia is right up my alley. Twice a day on weekdays and once a day on weekends- everyone who logs into the (free) app answers 12 trivia questions in a live, game show environment. Answer all 12 correctly and you and the remaining players who also answered all the questions right split a pot of money that ranges from $5K to upwards of $300K.

With occasional celebrity hosts (like The Rock and Robert De Niro)– the game gets really challenging but still remains a lot of fun. I’ve been having a blast playing with my co-workers and friends after work.

And I think that’s it for the month of April! Just a lot of cute, fun things that made these past few weeks even more fun and memorable.

And with that being said- I’m off to wrap up work for the week.

I hope everyone out there reading this has a fantastic weekend- and I’ll see you all again on Monday!

xx

– Ashley –

OOTD: Spring in the City

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

Being as pale as I am- I used to never wear white for fear it would wash me out even more and make me look like a literal ‘Scooby-Doo’ ghost. And then, when I attempted to dip my toe into the trend a while back- I had people reminding me that one isn’t supposed to wear white after Labor Day- a rule I never fully understood (and still don’t, really.)

But I’m a perpetual rule-breaker, and with this past weekend feeling like the first, real, legitimate set of Spring days we’ve had in a long time- no jacket required!- I decided to throw on a pair of crisp, white jeans, a bright and billowy floral top, and some pastel pink flats to meet my friends for a day of sunshine and burgers in Charlestown.

The jeans are the Rockstar Super-Skinny cut from Old Navy, while the top and flats are from Primark– all affordable and all able to be paired with other tops/bottoms- but what I love most about this outfit in-particular isn’t just how bright and fun it is, but how comfortable it is, too.

In beautiful, historic neighborhoods like Charlestown, it’s much easier (and much more pleasant) to walk to where you’re going- and when you’re in uncomfortable fabrics or overly complicated shoes- your lovely, leisurely day can be spoiled right away.

I really love breezy, loose-fitting fabrics this time of year- and this top had a fun tier/layered look going on that gave me a little bit of flair with my movements and a neat silhouette.

And although I am perpetually clumsy- I’ve learned to utilize long, thin sweaters when I sit down or as I’m eating while wearing white. I carried a cardigan in my bag for that very purpose- throwing it on before I sat down anywhere and making sure it covered the part of my jeans the napkin didn’t quite reach when it came time to eat dinner. See? Getting wiser with age (I think…)

But it’s time for me to go ahead and sip some coffee, swallow back the Monday blues, and get some work done.

Here’s hoping you all have a wonderful week ahead!

xx

– Ashley –