Holiday Trends: Bamboo Earrings

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

I hope everyone who celebrated Thanksgiving had a wonderful holiday and (hopefully) long weekend! I know I certainly did. The past few days have been filled with family, friends, and *so* much food. With all the turkey, vegetables, stuffing, rolls and pie I’ve been eating at all hours since Thursday afternoon- I’m going to be hitting the gym pretty hardcore over the next few weeks to work it all off again…

… Just to make room for all of that delicious Christmas food, of course!

But I digress- I had a lovely few days off and now it’s time to get back to work- both at my office and here on the blog.

Despite the urge to just wear sweatpants during Thanksgiving and the days that followed- I had to stay put together for various parties and outings in and around my hometown. That meant accessorizing and finding stylish (yet practical) shoes to wear out in the snow, too. When it comes to holiday-centric jewelry- I keep the glitz and the glimmer for New Year’s Eve festivities. While I definitely love all things sparkly- sometimes it’s nice to have something a bit more simple and natural to build my look around.

I’ve been wearing these lightweight, uniquely carved bamboo earrings from Green Tree Jewelry all throughout this past week/weekend- and the response I’ve gotten from my loved ones has been great! So much, in fact- that I plan on doing some of my holiday shopping through the company since they carry a variety of beautiful gifts that extend beyond jewelry.

Green Tree, based out of San Diego (my home away from home!) arose from the ashes- literally- following a wildfire that consumed the founders’ previous baseball bat engraving business in 2008. With eco-friendly laser cutters left unscathed in the aftermath, founders Lance Nybye Sr. and Jr. shifted their focus to designing and carving beautiful, intricate, fun and fashionable pieces from sustainable resources within the USA. Their artistry now extends across affordable necklaces, bracelets, ornaments, switch plates and so much more!

What I love most about these earrings, apart from the fact that they don’t feel heavy at all- is that the bamboo isn’t painted/stained or otherwise changed apart from it’s being carved. The natural, smooth wood finish makes each earring different and special in it’s own way.

The smaller pair I’ve been wearing, the Modern Leaf Bamboo Earrings, are my “daytime” pair. Jeans and sweaters? Leggings and long jackets while out and about grabbing lunch with friends, running errands, or digging out the ornaments to get the Christmas tree set up and decorated? These are my go-to accessory.

This pair is simple- yet still beautiful- and just goes so well with most of what I wear during the day.

And my “nighttime”, fancier occasion pair? That would be the larger, insanely cool Greek Bamboo Earrings– which are dramatic (like me!) and look amazing when I’m dressed to the nines and got a good smoky eye or red lip going on. I wore these to a performance I caught over the weekend and they were THE statement piece I needed to make a lasting impression.

Today is Cyber Monday, so if you’re looking for a beautiful gift that will be treasured by someone special in your life this holiday season and you want to support a great business- go give Green Tree Jewelry a browse.

ALSO! If you enter the code “GTJ10” at checkout, you’ll get 10% off your purchase- as well as free shipping!

Have fun getting some great deals today, everyone- and enjoy the start of your week! Let’s push through to Friday together!

xx

– Ashley –

OOTD: Lizzie Borden Took an Ax…

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

Although today marks a holiday I don’t necessarily believe in celebrating- my office is still closed and I still have to make the best of having a Monday off. My plans today include apple/pumpkin picking with my mother and my niece out in rural Massachusetts, peeping some foliage, and enjoying a lunch outdoors in the beautiful splendor of Autumnal New England!

This time of year, I like to highlight some of the “spookier” pieces in my wardrobe- from Wednesday Addams-inspired tops, dresses with bloody hand prints all over them, and stockings designed to look simply skeletal. It’s a really fun time for fashion in October- and that also includes some unique jewelry, too!

I’m very fortunate in that I have friends and family who understand and encourage my love of all things horror/macabre- so they haven’t blinked twice when I started showing up to get-togethers in recent days with this large Lizzie Borden pendant necklace I had picked up during a Winter visit to her family’s home (now a museum) a couple of years ago! To them, it’s perfectly normal.

Apart from the large brooch featuring Lizzie’s portrait, the necklace also includes a cheeky sterling silver ax/hatchet charm that is noticeable to those who take a long enough glance.

I typically don’t wear this necklace with anything fancy or flashy since it’s big and attention-grabbing enough on it’s own- but it’s a nice addition to my usual October daytime ensembles which consist of (mostly) all black tops, jeans and boots. I aim to look like a vampire as much as possible through Halloween, really.

The necklace is available at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast website (and the inn itself is a pretty fascinating visit if you ever find yourself in Fall River!) which also has a bunch of other really interesting and morbid souvenirs available for purchase. I mean, who wouldn’t want a magnet with crime scene photos of Mr. & Mrs. Borden’s bodies on their refrigerator, right? Definitely a conversation piece for sure.

I have even more oddities to share in the coming weeks, but a local legend seemed like a good place to start when diving into the “Halloween Corner” of my closet!

I’m off to grab coffee and doughnuts (it’s a cheat day!) with my family before we head off to our fun-filled Fall day together. I’ll have plenty of pics to post later on this week- and on Friday I’ve got a pretty quick and easy take on a classic recipe to share with everyone!

Here’s hoping you all have a terrific Monday- and if you’ve got it off from work- make the most of it!

xx

– Ashley –

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!

xx

– Ashley –

OOTD: Bohemian Like You

One of my dearest friends from California is legitimately Bohemian. I’m not talking in terms of style or an unconventional attitude (although he is a musician)– but in the sense that his family were/are from Bohemia prior to it becoming part of the Czech Republic. So, whenever I hear people describe something- be it fashion or home decor- as “bohemian”, I always think of him and how he doesn’t dress anything at all like how BoHo-inspired clothing or accessories are designed.

Case in point- these loose-fitting, high-waist baggy pants I wore this past weekend while running errands and grabbing coffee with friends. I had initially bought these a couple of years ago while shopping for a weekend beach trip where I had wanted something breezy and comfortable to wear when I wasn’t on the sand but didn’t want to throw on jeans- and they’ve been a Summertime staple of mine ever since.

A woman at the cafe I’d popped into for a latte remarked that I looked “very bohemian”. A compliment, of course- but I just thought I looked impossibly comfortable given the heat outside.

I didn’t do anything to dress up these pants, since the pattern is pretty bold all on it’s own. Instead, I just wore a white tank top and my brown suede moccasins (a purchase I made for a cross-country flight to Vegas a couple of years ago and they’ve held up superbly ever since!) which goes well with my brown, faux-leather cross-body saddle bag. It was all about lightweight fabrics, comfortable cuts, and convenience, after all!

For jewelry (since I do love to sport a unique piece now and then)– I turned to a matching necklace and bracelet set crafted from stainless steel pebble-shapes threaded together with smoky quartz of different shapes/colors. I’m still in the experimental phases when it comes to using the healing power of crystals- mainly because I don’t know which ones would benefit me the most- but these looked pretty and had me feeling good about my look for the day, which works enough for me!

Final touches included my round, vintage, blue/green mirrored sunglasses and a swipe of my current favorite orange/coral Maybelline lipstick to brighten up my otherwise minimally made-up face (BB cream and highlighter are my only two necessities in the hot weather!)

Overall I thought this was a very Summery, laid-back, lounge-appropriate ensemble that could also double as fun Festival wear since it wasn’t overtly complicated and super comfortable- even when I was under the sun for a few hours!

And now with it being Monday and my day being filled with phone calls, e-mails, reviewing paperwork and a scheduled company luncheon a little later on this afternoon- I’ve got to dive into my work bright and early this morning.

Here’s wishing you all a wonderful Monday and a (hopefully!) great week. Let’s push through to this upcoming weekend together! We can do it!

xx

– Ashley –

Favorites: May 2018!

Good Morning, everyone!

I hope you all had a fabulous long weekend. Mine was absolutely crazy (in a good way!) and to be honest- I’m still recovering from it a bit. I’m going to attempt to be productive at my office today, but I have a feeling I’ll be heading to bed early tonight to sleep off the last of my grogginess. I’m just thankful it’s a short work week!

My photos/recap of this past weekend- and the month of May overall- will be up on Thursday morning. Memorial Day caused a slight shift in my posting schedule this week, but I’m looking forward towards June and all the Summer plans I have ready to get started on!

But before I jump ahead, I wanted to share some of my favorite products, releases, odds and ends from this past month- most of which are makeup and hair care-related- because May was definitely a month of phasing out my Winter/Spring products to make way for more heat and humidity-friendly cosmetics, instead!

Let’s take a look at what made the cut, shall we?

My color scheme in the Summer months is filled with bright aquas, oranges, golds, corals and pinks- and I’m a big fan of Southwestern inspired jewelry/accessories like this jeweled bracelet and statement ring I purchased from ALDO a couple of years ago. These pieces go so well with my Summer wardrobe- and with temperatures on the rise- I’ve been wearing them daily throughout May.

Side note: the orange in the ring perfectly matches my current nail polish color- and makes an appearance elsewhere in this month’s roundup!

Attention to those with pink hair in need of a touch-up, or to those who want to take a non-permanent plunge with pastels: I have found the perfect product for you! This in-shower aerosol spray from Kristin Ess is applied to wet hair (or towel dried, if you want the color to be a little brighter)– left on for 2-3 minutes, and then rinsed out. The result is a temporary rose gold hue to your highlights that lasts for about three to four shampoos.

I’ve been using this spray once a week to keep my rose gold tint refreshed because it’s so easy to use. It’s also formulated with “zip up” technology- which repairs split ends and the hair’s cuticle while simultaneously creating a barrier to protect your strands from environmental damages and color fading.

The results are definitely noticeable- and the $12 price tag cannot be beat. I love this stuff and I want to buy it in bulk so I never run out!

To create that shimmery, iridescent lip look I covet so much this time of year- I turned to the ‘Unicorn Tears’ lip gloss from Too Faced this past month. With a blue/silver shimmery finish, this gloss can be worn by itself for a unique and bold look- or over lipstick to give your pout a holographic glow.

I wear this over one of my hot pink lipsticks and the results are so neat looking! The sparkle is caught in so many different ways and at every angle- so my lips are the first thing people typically see since they’re so shiny and bright!

And what’s new, Summer makeup without a new bag to put it in? My longtime leopard print bag was recently on it’s way out- so I opted for this new cotton zipped one from Old English Company that boldly states “BUY ME PIZZA AND TELL ME I’M PRETTY” on both sides. It’s very me, no?

While this pouch doesn’t fit all of my brushes, blushes and eyeliners- it does hold the essentials for a day/night out (and serves as a great conversation piece whenever I take it out!)– and is also machine washable- which means easier and more hygienic/thorough cleansing as opposed to canvas/vinyl/plastic makeup bags. I love it!

And finally, my latest drug store/pharmacy finds for Summer makeup! I’ve been taking a break from full-coverage, matte foundations lately to give my skin a chance to breathe. In it’s place, I’ve been using this antioxidant loaded BB cream from Found Cosmetics to give me a little coverage and a ton of skin-nurturing benefits without the harsh chemicals or additives that can cause breakouts, redness, etc. My skin feels and looks so soft, smooth, and dewy- not caked-up or powdery!

And remember that orange shade I’ve been obsessed with this past month? Meet the matching lipstick from Maybelline! ‘Siren in Scarlet’- a tangerine orange with a cream/sheen finish- gives me a bright, long-lasting pop of color in what is otherwise neutral, everyday and office-friendly makeup. I’m obsessed with the finish and the feel of this formula/shade- and am taking it all the way into June with me!

And that’s it for the products/items that can be photographed! I’ve still got a couple of other things that made the list, though!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino: Okay, listen. This album- an unusual departure from the band’s sound and past body of work- took a considerable amount of time to grow on me as I listened more and more and got used to it. It’s definitely a different style, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad. There are a few songs on here that get me going when I’m listening to them on my way to work.

Honestly, I’m just so glad to have another album and another tour from these guys that I’ll even listen to the songs I don’t like *quite as much*- just because.

I’ve Got No Roots – Summer 2018: Introduced last week before I’d left for Boston Calling and Washington D.C.- my new 12 track Summer playlist is a good one I can’t stop listening to. With artists like Middle Kids, The Decemberists and Courtney Barnett- this little soundtrack packs a fun, dance-worthy punch and I can’t wait for you all to play it!

And I think that’s it for May Favorites, everyone! Short, sweet- and to the point!

If you have any of your own favorites you’d like to share- feel free to reach out to me! Maybe I can check them out and maybe they can make the list for June 2018!

But until then- enjoy the rest of your day, everyone! Let’s get to Friday unscathed!

xx

– Ashley –