Seafood and Shopping…

Good Morning and Happy Hump Day, everyone!

I’m still recovering from last night’s Interpol show at Orpheum Theater (in a good way- they were phenomenal!) and getting ready to launch into my work day- but I wanted to share some of my favorite steals/finds and photos from my annual trip up to Hampton Beach this past weekend!

Labor Day might be the unofficial end to the Summer, but to me and my family- the *true* way to send off the season and get ready for the Fall is to eat as many lobster rolls, scallops and crab cakes as we can while stocking up on bargains at the Seafood Festival.

This year’s festivities were particularly special since it was the first time we were able to bring Oliver with us! He’s such a wonderful, curious and friendly dog- but crowds and loud noises can sometimes make him anxious- and not everyone in Hampton is as mindful of their pets as I am with mine. On the other hand, I didn’t want to leave him home alone all day- which makes him terribly depressed- so I opted for a somewhat unconventional middle ground.

I bought a dog stroller- and Oliver LOVED it. Not only was he able to see all the action (and eat the occasional French fry I’d sneak him)– but when he got worn out from excitement, he was able to lay down comfortably and sleep peacefully while I wheeled him around from booth to booth. Of course, once we’d left the actual festival- I brought him to the shore so he could run free and enjoy the sand and surf, too!

If you’ve got a smaller/medium sized dog that might need one of these in busy, crowded situations- I highly recommend checking out the selection of carriers on Amazon. Mine was made by VIVO- and it was great quality and super easy to assemble, and even easier to clean, pack up and store for safe keeping when the day was done. There’s plenty of storage space for your pet’s treats, toys, etc. and yes- a cup holder for you, too. I kept my much-needed coffee within reach most of the morning.

Overall, it was such a fantastic day- even though it was a bit chilly along the coast. It was nice spending the morning and afternoon eating great food, watching the ocean, and playing some really old arcade games (that have been around since I was a kid!) along the boardwalk with my mom, my cousin- and Oliver.

Of course, I didn’t just eat amazing food. I did some shopping, as well- and scored some really great deals at some of the shops who were clearing out their merchandise for the season before they shutter their store fronts for the Winter!

While there were plenty of novelty t-shirts, sandals, bikinis and bikini cover-ups on sale- I found a couple of Fall-appropriate pieces that I’ve already started integrating into my wardrobe over the past couple of days!

This grey and white striped, collared sweater was hanging out all by it’s lonesome outside of Dudley’s– and when I tried it on and realized not only how flattering it looked but also how warm it would keep me in the Fall- I had to have it. The end of the season price? $7.50. How could I say no?

Additionally, I spotted this peacock feather printed maxi skirt in the very back of one of the boardwalk shops- where it was marked down to $17. How beautiful are the colors in this skirt? I recently paired this with a pair of brown, knee-high boots and an olive green turtleneck during one of our chillier days- and it looked so lovely.

I had mentioned earlier this week that I’m a big fan of anything with sea life printed on it- so when I saw this sterling silver octopus pendant (marked down to $12)– I knew I had to have it to layer with my other pendants and plain chains.

I really love unexpected and unique designs like this- and I feel the octopus (which is a bit sinister looking, really!) is going to catch some attention if people see it mixed among my other every day necklaces!

I tried a sample of this easy-to-make dip from Moose Creek, and oh my gosh- was it delicious! All you need to do is add a little mayonnaise, a little cream cheese, the dip- and as much lobster meat as you want- and you’ve got a really tasty appetizer to serve at your next get together.

Each packet of dip was $4 and can serve quite a lot of people- so it was well worth the price!

And finally, no trip to Hampton is complete without a stop at Sanborn’s Candies! This year I scored some individually wrapped “chocolate leaves” and a half pound of their soft, decadent and amazing chocolate nut fudge to share with my mom and cousin on the drive back home. It was the sweetest way to end the afternoon!

If you’re ever in New Hampshire at the end of the Summer and have the opportunity to check out the Seafood Festival- I strongly recommend it. Parking and traffic is easiest first thing in the morning- and going on an empty stomach is pretty much mandatory so that you can try a little bit of everything from all the great restaurants and food trucks that come to town to showcase the superstars of their menus.

And be sure to bring cash- since not all of the vendors are equipped to handle debit/credit transactions. It’s thankfully not too common- but it does happen!

I know I’ll be back again next year for it!

But now, I’ve got to get to work and get things done. Enjoy your Wednesday, everyone!


– Ashley –

Pre-Flight Primark Haul

Whenever I go on vacation- particularly when it requires flying anywhere for more than a couple of days- I try to pack light and dress as comfortably as possible.

I used to be the type of woman who would wear my best outfit and a full face of makeup on the plane so I’d arrive at my destination looking radiant and ready- but when your flight leaves at 5 a.m. and you have to be at the airport by 3 a.m. to make sure your luggage gets checked and you get through security in time- perfectly blended eye shadow and killer heels aren’t exactly a priority.

I leave for San Diego bright and early this coming Saturday morning- and while I was out taking care of some last minute errands before my trip- I stopped by Primark to pick up a few airport and cozy night out essentials so I could truly relax (while still looking cute) en route to my piece of Southern California paradise, while I was there and enjoying some down time with friends- and on my way back home to Boston.

Here’s what I picked upĀ (and the prices were a steal!)

If I’m going to be in a seated position for a long time, then I just want to be comfortable. I want lightweight, breathable fabrics and nothing with zippers, buttons, or constrictive waist and/or bust lines. I grabbed a couple of pairs (navy blue and gray) of looser-fitting sweatpants to wear on my flight to California and on my flight home- and paired them with two oversized cotton t-shirts (pink and blue) so that I can nap and eat my airline peanuts in peace and not get off the plane feeling like garbage.

I also have mastered the art of making my way through the TSA- and rather than have to struggle with unbuckling or unzipping boots or strappy heels- I opted for a pair of navy blue memory foam lined slip-on sneakers to wear to/from the airport, instead. They match my sweatpants and t-shirts perfectly- and I can wear them with my jeans while I’m in San Diego, too!

While I’m in California, I will undoubtedly be out in the sun and hitting the beach- but I still need something to throw on at night if and when the temperatures drop a little. I grabbed these two black and white striped tops to throw on over my bikini when I head out with friends and hit some of our favorite bars in the area.

I like that I can wear these to work once I’m back on the East Coast, too!

And finally- at a sale price of $10- I couldn’t resist this leopard print faux-fur coat. I just couldn’t! I imagine pairing this with black leggings or skinny jeans and knee-high boots in my future when I’m back in Massachusetts- or wearing it to an upcoming trip to NYC I have planned ala Edie Sedgwick while I run wild in Manhattan. It’s definitely going to make an appearance in an upcoming OOTD post!

Not pictured are some socks, panties and a navy blue cardigan I had also picked up to replace one I’d lost a few weeks ago.

I spent just under $70 for everything- which is just one of the many reasons I love Primark so much.

The only thing left to do now is pack and run through my travel itinerary again before I up and leave- but first- I have to finish up some things at my office!

Enjoy your Wednesday, everyone!


– Ashley –