Favorites: August 2019!

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone!

The end (of August and the Summer!) is nigh- but I’m ready for sweaters, leaf peeping, scary movies and pumpkin patches- especially now that I’m living in one of the most picturesque, straight-out-of-a-postcard areas in New England! It’s going to be my first Fall in the Pioneer Valley- and there are so many things I want to do!

But respects must be paid to August and really the entire Summer of 2019, first- which I fully intend to do tomorrow morning for my monthly “In a Nutshell” post where I recap the weeks that were and talk about what I have planned for the weeks ahead. There’s a lot of ground to cover- but it’s going to be a fun trip down (recent) Memory Lane!

Before that, though- I wanted to share some of my favorite things from August 2019. From beauty products, to jewelry, to silly sentimental pieces- all the way to movies, music, television, etc.

This is my usual months-end “Favorites” post- and as always- I’ll be starting with the things I was able to photograph, first!

Starting with the silly, sentimental pieces- I had picked up this pair of silver, glittery sandals for about $8 at Primark a couple of years ago when I was strapped for footwear just hours before I was headed to a beach bonfire- but these have become my default Summer shoe choice ever since. This past August was no different, as I wore these trusty, surprisingly durable beauties during road trips, ice cream pit stops, lazier days at the office- and lounging lake-side.

I’m going to store them in the back of my closet until next Summer- where I’m sure they’ll see more adventures.

Exfoliation is key year-round, but especially in the Summer when I’m all about exposed legs, arms, and the occasional exposed midriff. I want my skin glowing and smooth- so I try to find scrubs that both buff away the dead skin but also conditions without drying me out.  I’m partial to sugar scrubs, and this whipped one from LALICIOUS does the job just right.

Not only does this scrub smell incredible, like a candy shop- but it leaves my skin touchable, soft, and glowing.

The scrub is $35, but a little goes a long way- so one tub of this will last you well over the course of a season!

Of course, I can’t exfoliate my body without making sure my face is super smooth, too- but being that it’s far more sensitive than say, my knees or my elbows- I rely on this gentle microdermabrasion scrub from Mary Kay that a friend turned me onto earlier this month.

I only use this lightweight exfoliant about 2 times a week if that- but the results are instant- and my serums and moisturizers sink into my skin with so much more ease whenever I apply them after gently cleansing my skin with this scrub. Throughout August, my complexion has been clear, smooth, and even.

Finally, my go-to jewelry for August was simple and consisted of two things. One, a moonstone statement ring I had picked up a couple of weekends ago during the annual Massachusetts Tax-Free Weekend.

The other? A throwback to my pre-teen and early teenage years with the return of the cowrie shell craze. While I couldn’t bring myself to wear a choker of these like the guys I grew up with used to do all. the. time.– I thought the anklet was a nice, more subtle choice.

I wore this all during the Summer, but it really made a splash in August when more people noticed and seemed to get on board with the trend making a comeback! Now we just need to bring back those glittery butterfly-shaped hair clips and I’ll be thrilled.

And that, my friends- just about does it for the photogenic favorites. But, as always- a one or two more things made the list this month, too!

– MISCELLANEOUS –

All Things Seafood – I had said that my Summer 2019 bucket list consisted of eating as much lobster, crab and scallops as possible, and in August I rose to the challenge since many of my favorite seaside shacks close up after Labor Day.

With stops at some of my longtime favorite locations and some new finds here in the Valley (including a delicious chowder house- which I’ll be revisiting soon!) I’m pretty sure I don’t even want to look at anything from the ocean again until next May/June at least.

Clowns, Baby! – With “It: Chapter 2” coming out in theaters next week, a new trailer for “The Joker” dropping earlier this week (the movie premieres in October) and a new teaser poster for the next Harley Quinn movie making the rounds recently- Summer 2019 is all about clownery and I am here for it. My apologies for anyone with a clown phobia- but I am so, so excited for all of it!

Aaaaand now I’m finished! Although it’s the end of the work-week, I’ve still got some things to do around the office before I break for the long weekend- so I’ve got to get going!

As always, if you’d like to share your own favorite things from this past August- feel free to drop me a line!

Enjoy your Friday, everyone!

xx

– Ashley –

Tax-Free Splurges…

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

As my life and my posting schedule falls into some semblance of normalcy (as normal as it can, anyway)– I’m recovering from a bit of retail therapy from this past weekend where I dipped into some local shops in-between working on a couple of my side jobs and projects.

Saturday and Sunday was our annual “Tax Free Weekend” here in Massachusetts- and it’s exactly what it sounds like. For two days, there’s no sales tax on anything- and considering we typically get taxed quite a bit on any other day (they don’t call us Taxachusetts for nothing)– it’s the perfect opportunity for people to buy those big ticket items they’ve had their eyes on- like furniture, home goods, electronics, etc.- and still be able to save a bit of money.

And while I’m all set with furniture, appliances and TV sets- there were a couple of recent fashion/accessory items I’d spotted in storefront windows in and around my neighborhood that I thought I’d snatch up while they were not only on sale- but not being taxed, too.

I didn’t go completely overboard, of course- because a girl still has to eat- but I am loving what I was able to buy and couldn’t wait to share them here!

The first is this crop-top/sweater from ENJOY. in Shelburne Falls. While I’m definitely going to be pairing this one with a blue or white tank top underneath (I don’t think I’m fully ready to embrace the crop-top lifestyle just yet)– I can’t wait to wear this near the end of Summer/beginning of Fall when it starts to cool down a little but we’re all still spending as much as time by the water as possible.

The cure little “lake” written on the front in white was what sold me. Designed by Wooden Ships– this was marked down considerably from $112. Sold!

Also from ENJOY. is this stainless steel necklace that I’ve been eyeing for quite some time. Designed by Close 2 Ur ❤, this durable pendant depicts two bears in the forest- and is made in the USA. How cute is this?

This is another piece I’m going to be sporting a lot in the late Summer/early Fall since I spend a lot of time out in the woods photographing the foliage and change in the season!

Down the street from ENJOY. is Bridge Street Bazaar, another little local boutique with the cutest tops and accessories.  Right away I spotted this light, thin white tank top- covered in the most adorable bee pattern- on one of their mannequins and popped in to snatch it up.

I want to say that the company who makes these tops might be a mass-producer ala Primark (I couldn’t locate an official website)– but it was $19.00 and without tax- that’s good enough for me to have something fun to wear in these last few weeks of Summer.

And finally, a Bridge Street Bazaar original was this moonstone statement ring that turned colors as I was holding it in my hands (it sort of reminds me of cotton candy- since it fluctuates between bubblegum pink and sky blue.)

On sale and without tax- I gladly parted with my $10 to have a new ring to wear to work and out on the town. It’s so pretty and fits perfectly on my finger- no adjustments needed! You can see a photo of it on me HERE.

With under $100 spent and no tax- I’d say I made out pretty good with two cute new tops and two new pieces of jewelry I’ll be incorporating into my growing wardrobe here in the Valley. I’m very pleased- and so is my wallet! I can’t wait to do it again next year. Maybe by then I’ll be in need of a new mixer or a TV or something.

But until then- I’m off to work! Enjoy the start to your week, everyone! Let’s push through to Friday!

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 Chloë 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 –

OOTD: Dressed-Down Dog Walking…

Good Morning and Happy “Hump Day”, everyone!

Although next Monday is the sort of unofficial “First Day of Summer” with Memorial Day, the past few days have been hot, dry, loaded with on/off thunderstorms- and super sunny- so I think it’s safe to say we may have skipped right over Spring this year in New England and just went straight for Summertime, instead.

It’s not that I mind, really- except that it makes dressing practical and comfortably a little tricky with rising temps and blustery winds whenever a storm rolls though. Luckily, I have a fail-proof set of Late-Spring-Early-Summer outfits for such occasions/forecasts- and I happened to be wearing one on a windier day earlier this week while I checked in on Oliver and took him for a walk.

The ensemble isn’t exactly groundbreaking- skinny jeans or Capri pants with a bright tank top, a lightweight cardigan and comfortable flats/sneakers. It’s the essential errand/lounging/casual hang out outfit that women have made look sensational for years- but I’m quite fond of this outfit in particular because everything was purchased at Old Navy and cost under $60.

I just moved, guys- I need to grab good deals when I find them!

Also- I am absolutely feeling all things marigold lately- so this tank top is my new “gonna’ wear this ’til it gets destroyed” article of clothing.

And you may not be able to see it in the brightness of these photos or because Oliver is just the cutest ever- but I found a new set of stacked bracelets I’ve fallen head over heels in love with courtesy of Pura Vida. This stack in particular is their 2019 collection, “Dreaming Outloud”- a Summer-inspired set of colors and charms (including a VW bus- my favorite!)

Pura Vida help generate jobs and income for artisans around the globe- while donating a portion of their proceeds to numerous charities worldwide. I love independent fashion and accessory brands that give back and do something positive for their communities while simultaneously creating cute things I love to wear all the time- so I’ll be buying more in the future from this company for sure.

These bracelets will also- most certainly- make my “Favorites” list for May!

But that does it for me today, everyone. There’s lots of work to be done at the office this morning and lots of preparation to go into this upcoming long weekend! I’m looking forward to touching base on Friday before I head back into the city for Boston Calling!

Enjoy your Wednesday, everybody! Be good to one another!

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 –