Lights, Camera, Action!

Lights, Camera, Action!

Good Morning and Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Today at work is our impromptu Bruins celebration/pep rally in preparation for Game 7 tonight- so I’ve essentially been forced to wear the only black and gold ensemble I had stored in my closet. I don’t mind too much, since the weather is shaping up to be nice again today- but I’ve admittedly been pretty lax on keeping up with hockey this year so I feel a bit like a bandwagon fan right now!

I’m sure I’ll swing by the bar near my apartment tonight to grab a beer and tune in if it’s not too crowded, though!

This past weekend, hot and humid and filled with sunshine- was also filled with lots of work for PaintBox Theatre since our 16th season kicks off near the end of this month! I spent some of my afternoon(s) writing e-mails, putting together show advertisements for local publications- and designing social media content to get us through the next few days. It might sound pretty simple- but it’s a lot of work with a lot of different people and processes involved! Everything has to be *just* right.

The cast are cutting some radio ads this morning, and I am anxiously awaiting the behind-the-scenes photos to share- but before I do that- this recently edited video we launched across our platform can give a little hint of what PaintBox is all about and how much energy the crowd packs into every performance!

That is seriously one of the cutest things ever and I’m so thrilled with our audio/video team for capturing it!

If you live in or around the Pioneer Valley- I really hope you’ll come say hello and enjoy a show with us. All dates/times and ticketing information are available on the website linked above!

Apart from continued work with side projects, lots of iced coffee, and some bedroom ballet/stretching- this weekend was also spent lounging lazily with friends in the area and ordering takeout. Not a bad way to beat the heat- if I do say so myself.

A little later on this week (Friday) I’ve got a super quick and easy recipe to share that is perfect for your next Summer BBQ/Get-Together- before we once again reach the weekend and I get to do a little more exploring/photographing around the Valley. I’m super excited about the places I’m planning to visit!

Here’s to a quick and painless “Hump Day” . We just gotta’ get through the next couple of days, everyone!

xx

– Ashley –

Stop and Smell The Flowers…

Good Morning and Happy Wednesday, everyone!

While I prepare to launch myself into what will undoubtedly be another busy day at work and an evening of post-office plans- I wanted to look back on this past weekend- which was actually super relaxing, sunny, and warm!

I had mentioned last Friday when I was wrapping up the month of May and how it had been for me that my best friend Sean- who still presently resides just outside of Boston- was coming to spend the weekend with me so he could see my new place for the first time and be introduced to the Pioneer Valley with an impromptu tour. I had an idea of a couple of the places I wanted to take him while he was here (weather permitting)– but the rest was very much a spontaneous adventure!

I knew that after showing Sean my apartment and the surrounding neighborhood that I wanted to take him to Northampton- which is sort of the hub of the valley. We spent the entire evening walking around looking at all the shops, artwork, and scenery- and made sure to grab a bite to eat at Mama Iguanas and iced maple lattes at The Roost (we even had a special appearance from Troy who stopped by our table at dinner to say hello!)

Sean was blown away by just how much there was to do and see around pretty much every corner- and when our feet started to hurt from walking so much- we popped by the Tunnel Bar for a nightcap before it was time to return home.

On Sunday morning, we opted to stay a little closer to my neck of the woods and had brunch at the nearby Hope & Olive– where I had the best frittata and home fries of my life and met some of Troy’s theater friends- who he’d quested via text to find me and say hello since they were also having brunch in the same restaurant. It was a pleasant surprise and everyone was very, very kind.

Afterwards, with the sun shining bright and the temperatures (and humidity) rising- I took Sean to the two locations I had planned early on. One was the Montague Bookmill, which I had blogged about during my last visit there on a rainy day in April– and the second was the Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls.

It’s been just about a year since I last visited the Bridge of Flowers- give or take- but what I love about it is that every time I come back- there’s something new and different to look at. The flowers are beautiful and the views of the Deerfield River are breathtaking. While we were there- I managed to snap some really great photos of the scenery and some of my favorite blossoms.

If you’d like to enlarge any of the photos below- just click on them!

By the time a couple of late afternoon thunderstorms began rolling through the area- Sean was already en route back to the city and I was back at my apartment doing laundry and cleaning. Perfect timing!

I’m hoping to visit a couple more destinations on my “to do” list now that I’m becoming more established in the area- and if the weather is as sunny and bright as the forecast is predicting- then this weekend is looking like a good time as any to check them out!

But before we get to this coming weekend- we have to finish up the actual weekdays, first. I’m off to get started at my office and have some much-needed caffeine- but here’s hoping you all enjoy your “Hump Day!”

See you again on Friday!

xx

– Ashley –

May 2019: In a Nutshell

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone!

We’ve made it to another weekend- and we’re leaving another month behind us! It’s hard to believe that June is here and we’re halfway through 2019 already. There’s still so much I want to accomplish and do before Winter creeps up on us again- and now the pressure is really on since Summer is pretty much here now!

I plan to do a mid-year “check in” regarding my New Year’s Resolutions, goals, aspirations, etc. now that we’re a few hours shy from being six months into 2019- but before I do that- I wanted to focus on taking a look back on May.

This past month has been one of the busiest, most surreal, exciting and unexpected for me- filled with big life changes, travel, a festival for good measure- and lots of time with friends and family. I’m still in a bit of a daze that these past few weeks happened- but when I think about them, I can’t help but smile!

The biggest and probably most important thing to happen in May was that I packed up and left my life and nearly everything I’ve ever known as a city girl behind- choosing instead to move out to the more rural, picturesque and “rustic” Pioneer Valley to forge a new chapter in my life and be a bit more independent while living on my own. I’ve only been here for a couple of weeks- but I truly love it here and I have lots of fun posts planned as I continue to familiarize myself with my new neighborhood and all it’s quirky attractions.

I had posted some photos of my apartment in the “bare bones” stage just hours after my move in- but I’m expecting the last of my furniture to arrive in the days ahead so be prepared for a LOT of home decor talk on here and my social media in June! I’ve got a Pinterest account and an empty shopping cart on Etsy- and I know how to use them.

Cambridge, MA. May 25th.

Just prior to that, I spent a week in Nevada- with a road trip to San Diego to see White Lies perform mixed in– with my West Coast Wife, Kelsey- and her husband and little girl. My days were super relaxing, laid-back, and filled with air conditioning, binge-watching true crime dramas and lots of good food- which is how all vacations should be, really. I couldn’t have asked for a better stay and I am so excited to head back there this Fall.

And then there was Boston Calling- where I stopped by last Saturday to spend time with my Indie617 crew, my good friend Steven who was in town- and see some incredible artists while the sun was shining bright. I had the most perfect day while I was there- and I can’t wait to gush all about it during my show tomorrow at the station (from 12-4 PM EST!)

I’m already speculating about next year’s lineup- that’s how eager I am to do it all over again!

And as always- there were plenty of dinners and celebrations at my mom’s house, with my friends in and around the city- and in the Valley as well.

I’m hoping to carry some of this momentum with me into June. I’m already kicking things off with a visit from my BFF Sean- who is coming to stay for the weekend so I can show him around my place and my neighborhood- and the 16th season of PaintBox kicks off near the end of the month- which I have been tirelessly preparing for and am so thrilled and anxious to see just how all the hard work myself and all of the cast and crew have put in these past few months pays off (fingers crossed!)

I also intend to show off some of the Valley here on Blondie Birdie, share some recipes from my sparkling new kitchen- and give a glimpse into some of my favorite Summer ensembles now that warmer days and sunshine are- hopefully– on the way!

Here’s to May- and June being just as lovely for all of us!

I hope you all have a wonderful, fun and safe weekend ahead. I’ll be back on Monday to get the Summer season going!

xx

– Ashley –

Festival Frenzy and Historical Strolls…

Good Afternoon and Happy Friday, everyone!

We made it to another weekend- a long one with Memorial Day this time around- and what a weekend it’s going to be! While today is all about tying up some loose ends at work, indulging in a bit of TGIF pampering (hello mani/pedi!) and visiting my family back home for my mom’s cooking tonight at dinner- tomorrow through Sunday is all about Boston Calling!

That’s right- I’m coming back to the city for a couple of days- and I couldn’t be more excited to visit with friends and catch some incredible artists on the various stages (and let’s not forget the delicious food and vendors that come out for the festival every year!)

I’m going to be working media for Indie617 while I’m there (and dancing like crazy during Tame Impala)– but if you see me- please come say hello! Boston Calling is all about good music, warm weather, and connecting with other people within the community- so don’t be shy!

I’ll be sure to post updates on my INSTAGRAM throughout the weekend- so be sure to check in!

Speaking of photos, I’ve been spending as much time as possible between work and other obligations to drink in the scenery of my new neighborhood- and the other night I was able to enjoy a long, peaceful walk in Historic Deerfield- which is a stone’s throw away from my new apartment. The sun was setting over the old, picturesque homes- and I was able to snap some great shots.

If you’d like to see an enlarged version of any of the photos below, just click on them!

I’m so excited to share more locations around the Valley as I get out and explore the area!

That just about does it for me today. I’m off to take care of business and errands. Even though Monday is a holiday, I’ll have my Boston Calling recap up and ready bright and early!

Here’s wishing you all a wonderful Friday and a sensational weekend ahead!

xx

– Ashley –

Home Sweet Home…

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

What a weekend it’s been- and what a morning so far! I know it’s early, but today was my first time commuting to work from my new apartment out in the Pioneer Valley and what a beautiful, serene journey it was! To be able to chase the sunrise with my coffee and some of my favorite music- and not have to deal with insane amounts of traffic- was ideal.

My move-in day was this past Saturday, and with the help of my brother Colby and my Uncle Mark- it was quick and painless. I am admittedly waiting on some new and vital pieces of furniture I ordered that are still being made/processed and shipped- like a bed frame, a night table, a sofa and a little bookcase- but I anticipate their arrival at the end of the month and until then I have enough to get by and remain comfortable.

I had wanted to wait until my apartment was fully furnished before I shared pics- but I’ve just been so excited about the space and about being in a part of New England I adore that I just couldn’t wait! Between the oak floors, the high ceilings with the exposed beams- and the large windows that surround my bedroom and kitchen- I’m in a rustic, quaint heaven right now!

The most difficult thing about this move, however- was that I couldn’t take Oliver with me. And, since I’m now living alone- I didn’t think it would be fair to him to bring him to a new, unfamiliar place and then leave him for hours at a time throughout the day while I went to work. Instead, I entrusted him in the care of my mother (who watches him for me during the day anyway) with the agreement that I would come and see him for a little while every day.

It’s only been a day or two but I’m already looking forward to walks, tail wags and cuddles during my lunch break in a few hours!

Also- how cute are those flowers my mom (and “Oliver”) got me for my new place? They’re going to get plenty of sunlight. That’s for sure.

I’m still in the process of unpacking and getting acclimated, and I hope to have more photos to share soon- especially once the rest of my furniture arrives- but so far, I’m loving this place!

A little later on this week I’m sharing some more of my favorite pieces from my Spring wardrobe- and then this coming Friday I’m getting ready to head back into the city for Boston Calling weekend! I’m so excited to get back to work with Indie617 after a couple weeks’ hiatus and to check out some incredible artists, vendors- and awesome local food!

I’ll have plenty of updates along the way- so be sure to check back!

Here’s wishing you all a wonderful start to your week!

xx

– Ashley –