Notes From Slay-Cation…

Good Morning (it’s still the A.M. where I am) and Happy Friday, everyone!

I’m updating Blondie Birdie from a broken tablet, courtesy of Logan Airport’s TSA staff who felt it was necessary to not only empty nearly all of the contents of my liquid toiletries from my checked bag all over my clean, dry clothes- but also crack the screen of one of my most important electronics, too- before they carelessly tossed it back into my suitcase.

I digress, that huge inconvenience aside- I’m enjoying the last of my time here in San Diego before I return to Las Vegas a little later on this afternoon with Kelsey. While my previous trip to Southern California last Fall had been disastrous to the point where I had debated returning here this time around for fear it would be just as awful- I’ve actually been having a wonderful time- AND I’ve been able to relax like a real, true vacation for once!

The journey here was a long one, but the view sure was nice. After picking me up in Vegas Wednesday morning- Kelsey and I made a quick stop for breakfast at our favorite spot further up the strip, Peppermill– before we packed up our bags and her daughter and started on the long, six hour drive through the desert to San Diego.

I had forgotten that this time of year is typically referred to as “Grey May” in Southern California, so as the hours ticked by on the road and the sun gradually vanished while we drove- being overtaken by clouds and fog- I knew it was going to be a chilly stay. Admittedly, the temperatures here have been considerably better than they have been back home- so I can’t say I minded much. San Diego is beautiful any time of year, really.

And one of the perks of this trip is that it has been all about food. Kelsey and I have been trying new places around Downtown San Diego- including a French Toast sampler from Breakfast Republic and a blondie mocha latte from Spill The Beans Coffee.

We have a few foodie places we’re going to be hitting up once we return to Vegas, as well- so I’m sure I’ll be taking more photos along the way.

Of course, our main reason for this little pilgrimage to and from the desert was to see White Lies last night at The Music Box. We love the band so, so much- but their Boston show had sold out and the San Diego one was the closest to Kelsey- so I opted to fly out to see it with her and get away from work for a few days!

The show was incredible, and the band sound just as fantastic live as they do on their albums- which is a rarity these days. We had the perfect setup from a balcony above the stage where we could see and hear everything crystal clear. It was AWESOME.

Post-show, we made a quick stop at Gaslamp Pizza (the best pizza you’ll ever have in SoCal- and right around the corner from the hotel we’ve been staying) before we passed out. I think it’s safe to say we’re officially in our thirties now. There’s no after-parties anymore. At least not any I can stay awake for!

But we’re getting ready to head out for brunch/lunch and pack up the last of our things for our drive this afternoon. I’ll be updating through the weekend on my INSTAGRAM, as usual- and then I’ll be back on Monday with some more recaps from the journey before I return home Tuesday evening.

Here’s wishing you all a wonderful weekend ahead! Have fun!

xx

– Ashley –

Pre-Easter Prep

Good Morning and Happy (Good) Friday, everyone!

I’m not a particularly religious person. My family, rooted in Catholicism since way back when- have grown considerably more lax in our religious beliefs than say, my grandparents or my great-grandparents were in their day. While Easter was all about God and Jesus and uncomfortable, overly-starched frilly dresses or suits for my parents when they were little- they’ve thankfully raised my brothers and I to just make it all about food, fun, and being with family.

A holiday I can get behind, really!

This weekend- which will be spent at my mother’s house- is going to be a bit chaotic, to say the least. In-between all the cooking, cleaning, and decorating- I’m also taking on the responsibility of picking up and bringing back family members who reside way up North in Vermont- more than a few hours away. I don’t mind, since it’s a lovely drive and Spring has sprung and all- but it’ll take place in-between my gig at Indie617 on Saturday and work obligations on Monday.

Needless to say I’m going to need one serious power nap come Monday afternoon/evening- but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. For now, I’m just excited to see my family again before my big move next month! It’s going to be a bit time consuming and hectic around that time- so I’m looking forward to the calm before the storm where I can eat, drink, laugh and catch up with cousins, aunts, uncles, etc.

I’ve got some fun photos, re-caps, and my “Monthly Favorites” to share next week when I return to Blondie Birdie bright and early post-holiday on Monday morning- but I’ve got some handy links for those of you who are still getting your Easter breakfasts/brunches/dinners together that I hope will help!

That just about does it for me this week. I’ve got to get going at work and get ready for some plans I have later on today/tonight out in Western Massachusetts.

I hope you all have a fun, safe, candy-filled Easter! I’ll see you all again on Monday!

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 –

Like Real People Do…

Good Morning and Happy “Hump Day”, everyone!

Today is my newly assigned half day at work for the next couple of months before our company’s schedules shift again right before the new year- and I have a (hopefully) lovely afternoon planned at a local orchard after I head out of my office today! Unfortunately, I’m simultaneously fighting off a bit of a Fall cold, as well- so I may need to take it a little easy over the remainder of the week.

My sneezing and sniffles is the result of some serious rain and a sudden temperature drop in the past few days- and being caught unexpectedly in more than one frigid downpour when I was wearing nothing more than a thin cardigan came back to haunt me.

Of course, it’s all been worth it- since I’ve been having so much fun over the past couple of days. Monday night, after I all but tumbled out of my office in my hurry to get over to Fenway right away- saw me at House of Blues to catch a set by Hozier and meet up with my dearest of dear, longtime friends- Steven- who also happens to be the brilliant lighting designer/wizard for this tour.

Hozier’s made a few appearances in past Fall playlists I’ve put together- since he’s perfected the dreary, haunting vocals/vibe- but I’d never actually seen him live and was completely blown away at how insanely talented he, his band, and their backup singers are. It was truly incredible-and I watched most of it with my mouth hanging open in absolute awe.

The opening band, Hudson Taylor, were also fantastic and fun and had the entire crowd fired up. I enjoyed them so, so much!

And of course, seeing Steven is always wonderful. I wish he and I saw each other more often, but when we are in the same town at the same time- it’s always so great to get the opportunity to catch up, crack jokes, listen to good music and (if I’m lucky-) watch him work his magic with his stage designs. Last night, with how low-key and laid back the show seemed- sort of reminded me of way, way back when he and I first met so many years ago before tours got super extravagant and complex. It was really nice- and I’m hoping he comes back sooner than later.

The evening ended with a set list (my very first Hozier one!) and a late night cheeseburger on my way home- which is fitting for any Monday night out, really!

Last night, after working late and just starting to feel a tad under the weather- I opted to stay in so I could wrap myself up in fleece pajamas, warm blankets, and have a serious video game session with Sean (we played ‘Dead By Daylight’ in opposite rooms, obviously. It’s the only way to do it properly!) so it was a nice way to unwind while taking care of myself and getting some much-needed rest.

But today I am all about getting back out there and picking some apples and pumpkins- rain or shine- so expect quite a few photos on my social media along the way!

I’m off to get some work done first, though! Enjoy your Wednesday, everyone!

xx

– Ashley –

Crunchy Leaves/Apple Crisp – A Fall 2018 Playlist!

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

This weekend is looking to be one of my busiest yet- with a baby shower for my cousin’s girlfriend, a bridal shower for my soon-to-be-married childhood friend, and packing for a very, *very* early flight to the West Coast first thing on Monday morning.

Needless to say, I’ve got to stick to a pretty tight schedule AND manage to get some sleep in there somewhere!

Today is quick and early day for me at work- and all I’m really going to be doing is changing my phone and e-mail settings to re-direct any incoming correspondence in my office to whoever is around to help before it’s off to get my hair touched up for a little pre-vacay pampering- so it seems like a good time as any to share one of my favorite traditions: My annual Autumn Playlist (via 8Tracks!)

This year’s playlist, inspired by time spent stepping through crunchy leaves and picking apples at the local orchard on brisk and drizzly days- one of my favorite activities this time of year!- features ten tracks, mostly new with a couple of older favorites sprinkled in- from folk, alternative and indie artists that range anywhere from dreamy and relaxing to more upbeat and catchy.

This is “Crunchy Leaves/Apple Crisp” – a Fall 2018 Playlist!

– TRACKLISTING –

  1. Houndsmouth – Sedona
  2. Kurt Vile – Loading Zones
  3. Middle Kids – Edge of Town
  4. Phantastic Ferniture – Gap Year
  5. Death Cab for Cutie – Autumn Love
  6. Cat Power (ft. Lana Del Rey ) – Woman
  7. Hozier – Shrike
  8. Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus & boygenius – Bite The Hand
  9. Iron & Wine – Autumn Town Leaves
  10. Big Red Machine – Hymnostic

I hope you all enjoy giving it a listen as much as I enjoyed putting it together!

The posting schedule may be a little off next week, since I’ll be on the opposite coast and no doubt getting into trouble with my West Coast friends- but you can feel free to follow the action and my adventures over at my Instagram!

Here’s wishing you all a wonderful weekend! I’m sure I’ll pop by to say hello during my vacation!

Enjoy the rest of your Friday!

xx

– Ashley –