Stay-Cations and Solo Debuts…

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

I’m writing this on Sunday night from Troy’s dining room table while I listen to The Cure and munch on a crab cake sandwich from a takeout order I had placed at Fitzwilly’s just down the street. I’ve been staying at his place in downtown Northampton these past few nights- some of which while he’s been away in San Diego for his job- as a bit of a “Stay-Cation” to get away from minor office/home stresses, be closer to the Pioneer Valley while I work on side projects and look at real estate in the area- and just be able to breathe in some fresh air and do a little sightseeing around town.

It’s back to work for me this morning, though- and I’ll be diving into work-mode as soon as I get into the office bright and early momentarily. The good news and the upside, however- is that my little venture/vacation in Northampton left me feeling a lot more refreshed! I desperately needed it after all the Spring cleaning I’ve been doing and all the big changes and opportunities I recently talked about.

This past Saturday saw my brief return to Boston, however- when I launched my Saturday afternoon radio show at Indie617! Although there were a couple of technical difficulties at the very beginning that left me rattled- I got the hang of it and loosened up- and had a really good time! The response has been really kind and positive, too- which is amazing. If you missed it, I’ll be back this coming Saturday from 12-4 PM! I play good tunes and share upcoming and super fun events in the area- so you definitely don’t want to miss it!

Prior to this weekend, however- I’ve got a pretty great breakfast recipe to share on Wednesday- followed by a recap of my favorite things from March on Friday! With Sunday being the last day of the month, my full summary of these past few weeks will be up whenever I roll out of bed for brunch- which means a shortened posting week next week- but it’ll be a good one nonetheless!

For now, I’ve got to get the jump on my work and caseload for the week- and indulge in some post-office burgers and fries with friends after I clock out for the day. I won’t be laying my head in the Pioneer Valley tonight for the first time in a long time- which is a shame- but I’m sure I’ll be heading back *real* soon! It’s so peaceful there!

Enjoy the start of your week, everyone! We’re all in this together and we can push through to Friday!

xx

– Ashley –

In Bloom – A Spring Playlist

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone! We’ve made it to another weekend!

Earlier this week I talked about getting into a Spring state of mind since the snow, sleet, ice, and bitterly cold temperatures were starting to get me down. While I ready my floral print everything, pastels, and spend time in local greenhouses and at flower shows in an attempt to inject some nature and brighter colors into my life- I also needed a seasonally appropriate soundtrack to keep my spirits up until the warmer weather gets here!

Using 8Tracks– which remains one of my favorite ways to create/swap what are essentially good ol’ fashioned mixtapes online- I created “In Bloom”- a brief, ten-track playlist of some of my favorite upbeat and dreamy songs that range from recent releases to a couple of older, classic indie tunes.

I also lined up these songs in Spotify for when I’m in the car- and honestly they make my commute feel a little more cheery and calming despite the fact that there are still some pretty intimidating-looking snowbanks along the roadsides here in Massachusetts.

But I digress! You can listen to the Playlist below (or by CLICKING HERE)

And for the curious- here’s the tracklisting:

  1. Lucy Dacus – La Vie en Rose
  2. Cults – Go Outside
  3. Belle and Sebastian – Another Sunny Day
  4. Deerhunter – No One’s Sleeping
  5. Jenny Lewis – Red Bull & Hennessey
  6. Tall Heights – The Deep End
  7. Soccer Mommy – Blossom
  8. Billie Eilish – When The Party’s Over
  9. Beirut – Gallipoli
  10. Death Cab For Cutie – Northern Lights

This coming weekend I’ll be visiting one of my favorite art museums in the city and bracing myself for some much-needed Spring cleaning around my closet and bedroom- all while losing an hour of precious sleep once Daylight Savings Time kicks in on Sunday morning!

I’ll be back on Monday (and will undoubtedly be sleepy and confused when I am)– so here’s to a fun, warm, safe weekend to you all! Enjoy!

xx

– Ashley –

Holiday Hangs…

Good Morning and Happy “Hump Day”, everyone!

It’s been such a busy week so far- both with work and pre-holiday preparations- but today is my half day at my office and the only thing I intend on doing once I leave for the day and head home is partaking in some baking and staying bundled up in my cozy pajamas and blankets with a hot cup of cocoa while I watch some classic Christmas movies and work on my end-of-the-year posts for the blog.

I need a day of doing the bare minimum- just to recharge my batteries a bit!

I might still be recovering from this past weekend, really- which saw me stop by Idle Hands Craft Ales in Malden for Indie617‘s first annual ‘Holiday Hang’. While I had a couple of drinks and caught up with friends, the station spun some festive tunes and gave away different prizes- including concert tickets and Idle Hands swag. The turnout was great- as was the food provided by Spoko Polish Street Food. The perfect pairing with my cranberry-orange beer, really!

Also, I have to give credit to the seasonally appropriate video of Nick Offerman sitting in front of a fireplace, occasionally drinking whiskey- that was looped for ten hours and played across a wall at Idle Hands from a projector. It really set the mood.

If you want to get the video rolling at your own holiday party (all ten hours of it!)CLICK HERE.

I’m going to be back and live on air with Indie617 this coming Friday (12/14) at 9 a.m. during ‘Morning Glory’ to talk about some of the biggest indie stories of 2018- so be sure to tune in! I’m very excited to recap what has been a crazy year in music.

A little later on this week (also on Friday, to be more specific)– I’m going to have a new bake-free dessert recipe up here on Blondie Birdie- just in time for a Tree Trimming dinner party I have planned with my family later on that night. I’ve got the cocktails ready to go and a soundtrack ready to play- but I’m admittedly still digging out ornaments from storage that my brothers and I have had since we were little kids! It’s tradition, after all.

A little hint about the recipe, by the way- if you love sugar cookies and white chocolate- you’re going to love what I’m going to share.

But for now, I’m going to get some work done and count down the minutes until noon. Here’s wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday!

xx

– Ashley –

October 2018: In a Nutshell

Good Morning, Happy Wednesday- and Happy Halloween, everyone!

With today being one of my favorite holidays, I’m starting things off a bit early this A.M. with a costume party and brunch potluck at my office with my co-workers before I head home to decorate my yard and front porch in preparation for tonight’s Trick-Or-Treaters.

My niece will be dropping by for a candy sweep of my neighborhood before we kick back with some pizza and enjoy a classic horror/slasher movie marathon- as is tradition!

I can’t believe tomorrow is the beginning of November and that Thanksgiving will be just a few short weeks away. I love a good food coma as much as the next person, but I wish October could go on just a little while longer- especially this past one- since it’s been so much fun!

This past month was filled with the usual spooky outings- from haunted pathways in New Hampshire, watching scary flicks in the middle of the woods (and in the middle of the night, no less), checking out Jack O’Lantern festivals with friends visiting from the West Coast and stopping by some of the more notoriously creepy graves in New England- but October was also peppered with plenty of shows, parties (including one of my best friend’s bachelorette party! I can’t believe her wedding is this coming weekend!), pumpkin picking at local farms and random get-togethers, too!

I traveled all over New England in October, including a long overdue trip to Montpelier, Vermont to spend time with family, catching a play at a converted barn in Western Massachusetts- and stopping by the Indie617 HQ to weigh in on music and events around the city not once- but twice.

FYI, if you missed those appearances, HERE’S the first and HERE’S the second! It’s always so much fun hanging out.

This past weekend, I actually braved the storm that rolled through the area to head to the station’s “Boos and Brews” party at Idle Hands Craft Ales in Malden to enjoy some good tunes, some really tasty beer- and PIZZA SKULLS (!!!) courtesy of Fat Boyfriend Bakery They were SO good.

I wore my Freddy Krueger costume to the party, which I’m also sporting today at work and will be wearing tonight while I pass out candy! I should have a decent photo of the whole thing up on my Instagram and here on the blog a little later on today/this week.

So, once all the Halloween excitement is (sadly) over- what do I have planned for November? Well, voting is right up there at the top of my list (and should be for everyone else, too!)– but blog-wise I’ve got plenty more recipes to share, especially with Thanksgiving approaching- as well as more late-Autumn wardrobe staples, early-shopping gift guides for the holidays, a peek inside my Fall makeup collection, and a bit more traveling before it starts snowing around here again!

But for now, I’m going to eat a ton of candy and savor today. Here’s hoping you all have a ghoulish evening! Stay safe out there!

xx

– Ashley –

“But you’re the Pumpkin King!”

Good Evening and Happy Friday, everyone!

While my posts typically go up fairly early in the morning- I opted to sleep in a little late today before work after a night out- and figured I’d update while I was curled up and cozy and getting ready for a much-needed quiet night in.

The World Series is on, and then it’s a late night horror movie marathon before I kick off my weekend bright and early tomorrow morning!

This past week has been wild- in a good way. Shortly after I shared my Game Day recipe for Loaded Baked Potato Chips on Wednesday, I was live on Indie617 during ‘Morning Glory’ with Michael Marotta where we talked Jack White looking miserable at baseball games, the time Ryan Adams baby-sat me, the good ‘ol days of VH1 reality television- and debated which Strokes album was the best. If you missed the segment and want to give it a listen- CLICK HERE.

My time with Indie617 is extending to tomorrow, as well- where I’ll be making an appearance at their Boos & Brews Halloween Party at the Idle Hands Craft Ales in Malden (DETAILS HERE). I’m so excited to listen to some good music, have some drinks, and savor some pizza skulls- yes, you read that right- pizza skulls!

Last night, my good friends visiting from Pasadena for the week met up with me at Franklin Park Zoo so that we could catch up while we walked through their Jack O’Lantern Journey display (which runs through November 4th!) It was really impressive- and definitely made me want to step up my own Jack O’Lantern game!

It was really good seeing them, since it’s been a couple of years- and I’m looking forward to visiting their neighborhood once I’m out on the West Coast again!

But it’s time to watch the Red Sox and get ready for a busy day tomorrow! I’ll be back on Monday with some of my favorite things from October and a recap of this lovely, spooky month come Halloween!

Enjoy your weekend, everyone! Don’t forget to stock up on candy for the Trick-Or-Treaters before the stores run out!

xx

– Ashley –